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Surveyor The Washington

2205 Forest Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403 Volume 52, Number 5

January 26, 2008

Blood drive saves lives Students, staff and even some parents put aside their needle phobias in order to help Adastra, the Washington High School chapter of the National Honor Society, save lives by donating blood. For more information on the success of the blood drive, turn to page 3 of the News section. “The blood drive was a huge success. I am very proud of everyone who helped; some people even volunteered to donate two pints of blood instead of one. With so many volunteers, we were able to donate more than we had originally pledged. ”

Rebecca Krewer, ‘09 Adastra Secretary

Below: U.S. History teacher Randy Ray makes his donation to the blood drive, saving approximately three lives.

Photo by Jessica Wohlers Photo by Megan Barnes

Above: Caitlin Sole, ‘09, squeezes a ball to keep the blood flowing.

Below: Graphic by Natalee Birchansky

Matt Daughtery, ‘09 (front), Sean Leeper, ‘09 (back) and Dayna Diggs, ‘09 (left) relax while waiting to donate.

Photo by Megan Barnes

LOOK FOR INSIDE THIS ISSUE Staying in shape is on everyone’s mind. Pages 8-9 of the Focus section provide helpful tips for keeping active during these cold winter months in order to be fit and ready for when swimsuit season finally arrives.

Fan of the Twilight series? Check out page 12 in the A & E section to find other books that those who miss Edward and Bella may find to be entertaining reads.



Great Britain, United Kingdom: Jan. 13, 2009 Jayne Soliman, a 41-year-old British skater, gives birth to a child 2 days after she was pronounced dead. The woman suffered hemorrhage while in her household and died right after arriving at the hospital. Her baby is currently in intensive care but is in a stable state of health.

News Just so you know

Russia & Ukraine: Jan. 6, 2009 A contract between Russia and Ukraine is broken and gas supply is cut off to six eastern European countries. At least 2 Bulgarian cities completely lacked gas, and the country of Turkey went through Iran to increase their gas supply.

Trevor Polk/Surveyor

Wellington, Ohio, Jan. 13, 2009 Daniel Petric shoots both of his parents in the head with a 9 millimeter hand gun after they refuse to let him play Halo 3, a popular video game. He is later tried in court, and the judge states he ʻhad a addictionʼ, blaming the video game for his actions.

Jerusalem, Israel: Jan. 21, 2009 Israel withdraws all of its troops just before dawn from the Gaza Strip. The country makes a unilateral decision to begin a ceasefire, which reflects the desire of Israelis to end the recent Gaza conflict before Barack Obama takes office. The Israeli government is also engaging in diplomatic efforts to halt the flow of arms to the Hamas.

Historic inauguration precedes new political era Shayma Elsheikh Staff Writer Except for the presence of long-standing inaugural traditions -- serving duck, pheasant, and apple sponge cake; displaying replicas of the china from the Lincoln Presidency and one-of-a-kind engraved crystal bowls; using Rouge Basier roses for decoration; selling tickets fetching five digits -- Barack Hussein Obama’s Inauguration as the 44th President of the United States was a historic event in many ways. The inaugural festivities began on Jan. 18 and ended Jan. 20. Celebrations included an Obama Express, Opening Ceremony, Inaugural Parade, and various balls. The Presidential Inaugural Committee promised “an inclusive and accessible inauguration,” one that “sets aside partisanship and unites the nation around [Americans’] shared values and ideals.” It was Obama’s goal to make his inauguration transcend ideological differences. “This inauguration isn’t about me, it’s about all of us,” said Obama in a video encouraging everyone to get involved in his effort to renew America. “This defining moment in our history serves as our opportunity to come together in common purpose, united in our resolve to renew the promise of this nation and meet the challenges of our time.” Lauren Mitchell, ’09, and her mother spent one week in Washington D.C. volunteering for inaugural events. Mitchell began volunteering for the Obama campaign in February 2007 after Obama made his first local appearance at Kennedy High School. Mitchell also had the chance to see Obama at Kirkwood Community College and in Des Moines. Mitchell views President Obama as a very inspirational individual. More than one million Americans watch the inaugura“So many people were involved [in the election] this year that have never been involved before, and that amazes tion ceremony for Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol. me,” said Mitchell. As a volunteer, Mitchell participated in all inaugural events. The Opening Inaugural Celebration on Jan. 18 at Lincoln Memorial drew over 1 million Americans. There were musical performances by industry icons ranging from Beyonce to Taylor Swift. In addition, notable speakers such as Martin Luther King III and Denzel Washington read historical passages. The swearing-in ceremony took place on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 20. Obama took the Oath of Office using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible. Following the ceremony, a luncheon was held at Statuary Hall. The 56th Inaugural Parade marched down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House later on Jan. 20. The tradition of the inaugural parade dates back to the very first inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789, in New York City. After the inauguration of James Madison on March 4, 1809 at the Capitol in Washington D.C., the tradition of the Inaugural ball began. In pursuance of this tradition, there were several different balls this year for different groups of people. “There are ten inaugural balls and I’m going to the Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station,” said Mitchell. The other balls included the President Obama Home States Ball, the Vice President Biden Home States Ball and the Staff Ball, which Mitchell attended on Wednesday night, in honor of volunteers. With events ranging from a highly attended and historic swearing-in ceremony to festive balls, the 2009 Inauguration attracted the attention of many Americans and proved to be a captivating beginning to a new direction in American politics.




Iowa legislators keep priorities amid shortfalls Lauren Sines Staff Writer Facing a one percent decline in state revenues and increased spending needs, the Iowa Legislature will need to make some tough economic decisions in 2009. One of the most pressing legislative priorities this year is the need to continue rebuilding Iowa communities following the floods of 2008. In addition, the Legislature wants to continue supporting the Iowa Power Fund to increase the availability of alternative energy, strengthen education, develop and repair infrastructure, and take charge of the economic future of the state. Governor Culver has proposed borrowing $700 million dollars to meet many of these needs. A primary area of focus for legislators involves assessing flood damage and allocating funds where assistance is needed. Throughout the state, it will be necessary to replace many flood-ravaged roads and bridges and construct flood prevention structures such as dams and levees. Finding the best way to help Iowans who are still in need will also be a major concern. No less important to legislators is the continued focus on enhancing the quality of education in the state. For every student, more than $27 is invested daily in education, which amounts to more than $39,393 per student for the 180 days of instruction. State Senator Rob Hogg hopes to use this investment to strengthen the state of Iowa by developing the readiness of the next generation to meet the challenges the future holds. Increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency are additional priorities in 2009. During the previous session, the legislature worked to create and expand current wind and solar energy plants. These efforts resulted in increased “green-collar” jobs. The legislature is continuing to focus on legislation that aids the expansion of wind, solar, and biomass energies. Though the economy will tighten many budgets, legislators are ensuring that Iowa has a prosperous future Iowa Governor Chet Culver signs a bill ahead.

into law.

Students pump the blood drive Taylor Dose Staff Writer On Jan. 13, 2009, members of Adastra, Washington’s chapter of the National Honor Society, partnered with the Mississippi Regional Valley Blood Center to hold a blood drive at Washington High School. The blood drive combined the efforts of both blood donors and event organizers, and Washington contributed enough blood to save up to 300 lives. The blood drive lasted from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and approximately 120 people donated blood. Even though the two-hour delay for winter weather conditions led to some confusion, Adastra members report that the event took place without considerable problems with volunteers or scheduling. Prior to Jan. 13, Adastra members worked for several weeks to advertise the blood drive, organize logistics, and recruit volunteers. While members made permission slips and gave informational presentations, Adastra officers were highly engaged in making the blood drive schedule and coordinating volunteers. Even more work awaited Photo by Jessica Wohlers Adastra members on the day of the blood drive. Many of them Washington students provide donations of blood helped sign in donors, bring to the Mississippi Regional Valley Blood Center. donors refreshments, and direct activity in the New Gym foyer. Others contributed by bringing cookies, brownies, and juice. “We did what was needed to be done in order to make the blood drive run as smoothly as possible,” said Adastra Co-Vice President Cassy Novick, ‘09. Although a considerable number of volunteers were unable to donate due to low levels of hemoglobin or iron, Adastra exceeded its donation projections. The organization only promised to donate 90 units of blood to the local hospital, but they ended up raising over 100 units of blood. “Every time someone donates a pint of blood, they save three lives. Every Washington student that took time to come and donate should feel proud that they helped someone in need,” said Adastra President Dan Peterson, ‘09. The annual blood drive has been a successful fixture at Washington High School, and the efforts of blood donors and Adastra members continue to yield donations that exceed contribution expectations.

How a bill hits the books in the Iowa legislature... 1) A state legislator from the House or Senate must decide to sponsor a bill and then submit it to be formally drafted by the Legislative Service Bureau. 2) The representative introduces his/her drafted bill to their legislative body. 3) The bill is assigned to a committee that normally deals with the type of issues pertaining to the bill. This committee then assigns the bill to a subcommittee, and the two bodies work together to eventually present it to its place of congressional origin. 4) The bill is debated on the floor and amendments are proposed. The bill must be passed in its chamber of origin and then by the other chamber (the House or Senate). 5) A conference committee is formed so each house can address final issues regarding the bill, such as amendments, and come to a compromise on those issues. 6) The bill is sent to the governor, who will either pass, veto, or take no action.




Winter weather prompts difficult decisions Rachel Owens Staff Writer In mid-January of last year, Cedar Rapids had received 21 inches of snow. With that standard of wintery weather, Cedar Rapids residents have become accustomed to severe weather, but the events of winter 2009 have surpassed expectations. This year, winter weather conditions have thus far produced nearly 27 inches of snow. Iowa’s recently rough winters have often complicated daily business in the public education system. Winter storms can lead to school cancellations or delays due to hazardous transportation conditions. Temperature, wind chill, precipitation, road conditions, and weather predictions are all factors taken into consideration when school district officials make a decision to cancel or delay school. Weather and visibility conditions must be favorable enough to allow the district’s school buses to transport around 5,000 students, and hundreds of young teenage drivers must also be able to navigate the roads. When these factors are assessed and weather conditions prove unfavorable, the result is a school cancellation; when unfavorable conditions are expected to lift early with no Photo by Carter Oswood lasting results, the district simply announces a delay. David Markward, superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community Schools, must constantly watch winter weather to judge its severity. On a Snow piles upon Washington High School while stutypical bad-weather day, Markward wakes up at 4 a.m. to check the status dents stay at home on a snow day. of the roads in consultation with the transportation director of Cedar Rapids. If Markward and other school officials decide to alter school scheduling, the Cedar Rapids Community School District attempts to issue a decision for the media by 5:30 a.m. Since winter weather conditions are often highly dynamic and unpredictable, it is difficult to make decisions regarding cancellations or delays. “Safe passage to school for students and employees is always the first consideration,” said Markward. Because conditions can vary from one region to the next, the superintendent must keep in mind the thousands of students and employees attempting to get to school from all parts of the district. Some are able to travel well when there is a school cancellation or delay while others cannot, and this discrepancy can yield harsh reviews regarding weather-related decisions. Markward receives criticism well, and furthermore attempts to utilize all suggestions in his decision-making process. “All input is helpful as we review our decisions in preparation for the next decision,” said Markward. Through a difficult and intensive process of assessment, school system officials adjust the district calendar to ensure the safety of all students and families.

Warrior Thoughts: Weightlifting Charlie Parks Staff Writer

Number of Snow Days (School Year 2007-08)

6 Number of Snow Days as of Jan. 26 (School Year 2008-09)

5 Projected end date for 2008-09 school year


Linn County unveils plasma arc technology Max Ernst Co-News Editor

Photo by Sky Smith

“I’m doing weightlifting because the varsity soccer team sent me a letter. I’m getting a little bit stronger, although I have always worked out.” - Miguel Diez, ‘11. “I weightlift because my mom wanted me to.” - Sheldon Bazzell, ‘09. “I’m in weighlifting to be strong like Superman. Only the pure athletes take this class.” - Jacob VanderVaart, ‘11.

Flakey Facts

If the Linn County Solid Waste Agency chooses to employ plasma arc technology for garbage disposal, it will be possible to zap trash and generate cash. Plasma arc technology converts trash into syngas and a compact solid material through the use of a high-powered furnace. Syngas is useful as a form of renewable energy when it is converted to methanol, ethanol, or steam. The leftover solid can even be used to make floor tiles and gravel. The closed landfill in southern Cedar Rapids recently unveiled plasma arc machinery as part of a six-week display. During this time, the setup will be open to the public for demonstrations, but it will also be an important occasion for officials with the Solid Waste Agency to assess the potential of plasma arc technology as a future solid waste management system. “This is a time for us to gain more operational data to see if [plasma arc] would be viable,” said Linn County Solid Waste Agency Executive Director Carmen McShane. Although there have been no full-scale plasma arc projects in the United States thus far, Cedar Rapids and Marion residents have become active proponents of the technology in recent years with the closure of several full landfills. Plasma arc technology was discussed in 2005 before the Solid Waste Agency expanded the Site 2 landfill in Marion. The discussion has become relevant once again with the necessity to dispose of a high volume of flood debris. The plasma arc technology has proven to be an opportunity to reduce hundreds of tons of waste and produce renewable energy, but issues remain with using the technology on a large scale. “The economics [of plasma arc] prevent its use so far. It hasn’t been developed commercially, so it is expensive,” said McShane. A plasma arc waste management facility would cost $100 million in construction expenditures. Additionally, it would cost Linn County $60-$100 to dispose of each ton of waste, which would not necessarily be covered completely by the revenue generated from syngas energy. With the landfill option, it only costs Linn County $35 per ton to dispose of garbage. While increased research and money are invested in the commercial development of plasma arc technology, Linn County remains in the epicenter of technological experimentation. The current six-week display of plasma arc technology in the county provides a good opportunity for Cedar Rapids and Marion officials to influence the development of the technology. “It is a good opportunity locally. This type of demonstration is good for Linn County,” said McShane.




How do you “Phil” about Groundhog Day? It is a well known fact that the beginning of February hosts a very significant holiday in the United States and Canada. While it is not quite as festive as being in Times Square as the ball drops on the eve of a brand new year, or Allie Johnson exchanging “X’s and O’s” with your special Staff Writer someone two months later, it can still create quite a stir amongst kids and adults alike. Yes, it’s Groundhog Day. While some may say it’s foolish to leave the winter finish-line up to a furry rodent, I myself find it quite amusing. Every February, in a little hole in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, rolls over in bed and pounds sleepily on his alarm clock. He glances at this year’s calendar-edition of “Groundhog Illustrated,” with February the second clearly circled. All he wants, just like many of us in the ridiculous cold of February, is to roll over and catch some more zzz’s. But he can’t. He has a job to do. Above ground, a frenzy of reporters with flashes ready and film rolling await the prediction. Will it finally be spring? Can we finally experience the long awaited joy of driving with

the windows down and playing ultimate frisbee on the lawn? Or will we be subjected to six more weeks or scraping that stubborn ice off our car windshields in the dark before early bird while witnessing more fishtails than a Friday fish fry? It is all up to him. If the groundhog sees his shadow and is scared back into his hole, this is supposed to signal six more weeks of winter. If the skies are gray and cloudy and no shadow is to be found, spring is here! Some may think this is a corny or dumb way to predict the seasonal forecast; after all studies from the National Climate Data Center indicate that these groundhog reports are only about 39 percent accurate. However, these can’t be much worse than the accuracy of our own local newscasters. These people continually let us down with their constant hype about “white-out conditions” and “.00001 mile visibility.” Then, in the morning when we wake up to clear skies and no new flake anywhere in sight (or three times the amounts they predicted), I’m betting that they wish they could go crawl in that groundhog hole too. Yes, Groundhog Day is a little far-fetched and the publicity surrounding it can be a little extreme. However, I think that if only for ten minutes one Monday morning in February, the thought of someone, even if it is a furry groundhog four states away, hoping for a change after four bitterly cold months, is enough to put a little spring in our step.

Graphic by Trevor Polk

Washing life down the drain: precious hours lost to tedium

Jack Shey Staff Writer

About two nights ago I had an epiphany; a life changing experience that sent me into deep psychological thought for the rest of the night. While searching through Facebook pictures of Shay Gutman and Trevor Polk, I realized how much of my life I have wasted doing pointless activities. From social internet sites to watching MTV’s Paris Hilton’s My New BFF, my life has consisted of activities that do little, if anything, for my future.

Many of my readers can relate to these pointless activities as well. Take showering for instance. Most of us wake up every day and take a shower before school, but little do we know that taking care of our personal hygiene can waste many valuable days of our lives! After pondering this thought in my head for a while I grabbed a calculator and, using the law of cosines, calculated that by the time I die there is a good possibility I will have wasted 182.5 days of my life taking a shower (insert gasp here). Of course, many may deem it necessary to shower, but if you think about it, there are plenty of respectable people who don’t take showers. Homeless people, my ex-manager at Mr. Movies, my Grandpa, cavemen: none of them take showers, yet they are well on their way to success.

To sum it all up, in the end we are all ticking time bombs. From the moment we are conceived we have a limited amount of time to make the most out of our lives. Whether you want to be CEO of Mr. Movies or a professional ping pong player (Yu Chen), don’t waste your time sitting in your room or looking for White Face. Do something to achieve your goals and spend time doing the things that really matter to you. As my good friend Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end it’s not the years in a life, it’s the life in the years.” I think it’s safe to say Abe’s basically suggesting that we shouldn’t waste our time on showers and such, but rather on things that make us happy. P.S. My ex-manager and grandpa do in fact take showers...Most of the time.

Surveyor Editorial Policy Surveyor is established as a school-sponsored open forum dedicated to informing and entertaining its readers. It is published nine times each school year by students enrolled in the Journalism News class at Washington High School. The staff will report as fairly and wellbalanced as possible. All activities and news will be covered to the best of the staffʼs ability. Surveyor accepts the Society of Professional Journalistsʼ Code of Ethics as the basis for good journalistic ethics. Editorials and the reviews that appear under a byline are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily the staff. Unsigned editorials represent the majority of the Editorial Board. The opinions section is designed to provide a forum for the opinions of the Surveyor staff and the Washington High School Community. Readers are encouraged to express their viewpoints through guest editorials. Surveyor also welcomes letters to the editor, with these guidelines: 1. It is not libelous or obscene. 2. It explains the material clearly. 3. It is not longer than 300 words. 4. It is signed.

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Roses - Men’s basketball team doing awesome - Obama’s inauguration - School being half over - Dr. Ghosh funding laptop computers for AP Chem students - Snow days - Men’s swim team winning the Ferguson Invitational - To all those who gave blood

Opinions Thorns - School until June11th (and counting) - Still going to bed at 2:30 every night - New one minute bell - Girl’s basketball losing to City High - Kate Winslet’s Golden Globe acceptance speeches

Middle school teachers not quite up to par Middle school sucked: tapioca pudding was sometimes the only dessert, everybody started getting greasy (in a pre-teen sort of way) and I was physically abused Connor O’Neil at my locker by a girl (she will Staff Writer remain nameless) who out sized me 2 to 1 in height, width and girth. These were without a doubt the worst days of my life, and they provided a poor transition into Washington During my eighth grade year, I noticed that my grades were falling fast. My parents made it clear that this was unacceptable, but I felt I had no control over my grades. I was simply too distracted. Quick Quiz: Would you rather: •Make finger-skateboards out of pencils OR learn the function of a semi-colon (which to this day I am still clueless about)? •Make sling shots out of paperclips and rubber bands OR watch Bill Nye? •Detune all the drums in band OR play “Regal March” on trumpet? These distractions burdened me every day. I think the way I spent most of the time in middle school was trying to stand up and spin around as many times as possible without the teacher saying anything (the record was arguably 16). I also had a great time writing fake notes, signing them “TOP SECRET” and throwing them in the hallway. I don’t mean to brag, but in the weeks leading up to the last day of school, a friend and I wrote about sixty of these notes. On the last day, we scattered them in all of the hallways. But that’s irrelevant. At McKinley, there was simply no respect for teachers. What an awful decision to take up teaching middle school students. Perhaps the teachers would have greater success if they didn’t assume that we were interested in what they were teaching. If the class was boring, the teachers were doomed. I remember one of my teachers (once again, nameless) leaving school for a couple of days to receive emotional therapy because our class was “so mean.” Then one day some woman put a camera in the classroom to monitor our behavior. We were very careful

about acting out in front of the camera. But the next day when the camera was gone, we went back to our old ways. It was, after all, in this class that Grevais Murwanashyaka (not nameless) pulled the shower and flooded the science room. I think he also flipped his desk upside down and wheeled a massive TV into the room. He did some weird stuff. The point is, unless a teacher makes their class in the least bit interesting, or at least demand some sort of respect, they are going to get pwned by the students. But going beyond the carelessness I had for the curriculum, I was also pretty dissatisfied with my teachers. I had one teacher who had to be pushing sixty. She would wear hooker boots with skirts that allowed you to see a tattoo on her lower leg. She also spent more time out of her classroom talking to her “son” on the phone then she did teaching algebra. There was another teacher who showed a Bill Nye video every other day. I did not learn anything. He was also very easy to mess with, so naturally we unplugged the mouse to his computer every day. As fate would have, the student he assigned to “guard” his mouse cord was the one who pulled it the most. But this article is not about how mean middle school students are. In my junior year, I would never be so disrespectful to my teachers. This is not only because I love them (Mr. Miller <333), but because I enjoy what I’m learning about. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m essentially picking the subjects I want to learn about, and that has made school so much easier. I guess there are couple things to take away from this article: 1. Middle School sucks so much, mostly because of general studies and teachers who aren’t even interested in what they’re teaching. 2. Washington is such a freaking good school. The teachers have so much respect, that they don’t have to get emotional therapy. 3. Enjoy (and get used to) the freedom of taking classes that you choose... school is much easier that way. 4. I’m thankful that Mr. Jans doesn’t wear hooker boots.

“...unless a teacher makes their class in the least bit interesting, or demand some sort of respect... they are going to get pwned by the students.”

Molly Brown’s three days off It all started on that fateful Wednesday back in August. I was having a rough week and, like any irrational person I thought this Molly Brown was a sign from God telling me Staff Writer to go to Xavier. Xavier: a Catholic school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa . Catholic school: a place that most young Catholics despise. I was scheduled to transfer on Monday when I learned that I needed dress code clothing. While at Old Navy (the heaven of dress code), I remember thinking, “I hate dress code, but it does make me look better than my usual sweats.” Dress code: a policy to make students look classy by also sucking out their individuality. I arrive on Monday, schedule in hand and my student ambassadors waiting. The ambassadors include Amanda Kimbro, one of my friends from Regis and Hannah Rochford, the smartest person I know. After a 15-minute prayer we went to the cafeteria where some of my brother’s friends are calling me the prodigal son while one of the lunch ladies is practically crying tears of joy at my arrival. This made me feel pretty good about the switch. As the day continues, I drag on to each class entirely confused. In algebra, I am frustrated because not only is the teacher crazy, but he also doesn’t realize that I need help because I have no idea what’s going on. The day does get better. I go to choir with Amanda where, to my disbelief, they make me a soprano II. Soprano II: one step below a Soprano I (where they sing notes only dogs can hear). Tuesday prayer is sufficiently shorter and things are looking up. However my favorite subject, Language Arts, seems to bring me terrible news. The class is reading “Lord of the Flies” and seeing that they are only one chapter from

being finished, I figure I’ll be excused from reading the book. Wrong. I do judge books by their covers, and this one doesn’t look promising. And then naturally I get lost. I’m wandering around, looking for my class. I can’t find it. I see one of my brother’s friends and he isn’t any help. I’m panicking. Lost: the most classic way of making you feel unwelcome at any school. Finally someone finds me and points me toward my class. Then I’m informed that I will be taking a test tomorrow over a subject I’ve never studied, but that wasn’t too different from AP Human Geography. (I never knew what was going on in that class). Thinking about the times back in AP makes me wonder what my Wash friends are doing. The plot thickens. Wash Friends: the greatest people ever. But despite my little nostalgic moment, I’ve decided to stick it out. There’s always next year, right? Then I am told tomorrow is a spirit day, and do I have any Xavier shirts? No. Well, I do have my freshman class T-shirt. The only problem with this shirt is that whoever designed it tried to make it absolutely terrifying. The front and sleeves say “Xavier 2012.” Okay that’s all right, nice and classy, but the back has Jesus dying on a cross with big print saying “REALITY SHOW.” I ended up having to wear the T-shirt. I didn’t expect anyone to want to talk to me while I was wearing that disaster of clothing, but people did. They were all asking me the same question: Why did I switch? I honestly can’t remember...Some strange thing about missing my friends, but I realized that my friends aren’t at Xavier and they never were. My friends are at Washington High School, and I will always be a Warrior, no matter what school I go to. This is my story, and it isn’t the same for everyone. I know plenty of people who aren’t Warriors. They’re Cougars, J-Hawks, or Saints, and that’s fine by me. The most important thing I learned from this whole experience is that life is always going to be complicated, regardless of where you go, but where you have people who can help you through those tough times is where you truly belong.

My Christian view There has been, as anyone can see, lots of media attention concerning what is occurring in the Gaza Strip and the battle between Israel and Hamas. There Nick Heins are a lot of complex and compliStaff Writer cated things and views going on in the United States, the United Nations, Israel and Hamas. It is very important to remember that all life is precious. It is tragic to see deaths on any side in a war. Sadly, in this conflict starting on 12/28/08, the death toll for both sides was around eight hundred, with many other injured. Truthfully I, like many others, pray that there is a just peace, not a treaty stating a cease fire, but a true, just peace. For any religion, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, we cannot beat the drums of war. We should not rile each other into conflict, nor should countries attack each other for land and territory. It is good that people are trying to broker a cease fire, but how long

will the cease fire be abided by before one attacks the other? It is important to remember that truth in these issues is needed. One should not rely on the media’s opinions because the media is not always a reliable and truthful source. Look into the issue, find the truth and then use the facts that are found to form an informed opinion. Whether on the side of Israel or Hamas for the Gaza Strip, remember that true Christians are those who strive for peace and must hope that the violence will be finished soon. Even for those who are not religious, at least believe that forcefulness to get peace does not and should not be what we seek for resolving conflicts. Believe me when I say that we cannot be happy when we hear high death tolls for the enemy; pray and be hopeful for a peaceful and just conclusion to the matter. To my religious brother and sisters: look to the savior for even he says love your enemies. It is okay to defend yourself when someone attacks, but death is not the solution to the problems in the Gaza Strip. To those who do not believe in Christ but in a God, please recognize that human life is one of the most beautiful treasures on this earth and it should not be thrown away carelessly.




Wash debaters fight their way to the top Aunna MacDowell Staff Writer The Washington debate team has a long history of success, and this year senior David Petersen and junior Sharon Kann are carrying on the tradition. The members of the debate team practice every Tuesday and Thursday during the school year. The teams are given controversial issues that they must research and learn to argue from both points of view. This year debaters must defend and challenge alternative energy incentive. Preparing for a tournament requires more than just research on the topic. Petersen and Kann must also consider potential arguments the other teams may have and know how to respond. Petersen and Kann have been doing well so far this year. They have traveled to local and national tournaments, and at some, they have qualified for semi-finals and finals, which means debating all weekend long. A debate tournament is a long process that can take up an entire weekend. On a Friday, a tournament will typically have four rounds. On a Saturday, the preliminary

Photo by Lauren Hoth

Things get a little heated in a practice round between expert debaters, Sharon Kann, ‘10, and David Peterson, ‘09. rounds will finish up, and then on Sunday the semi-finals and finals occur. Petersen and Kann are on their way to qualifying for the

Tournament of Champions, which is the national tournament. Based on their record so far this season, they are almost guaranteed entrance into the tournament that will take place this spring in Lexington, Kentucky. Besides the Tournament of Champions, Petersen and Kann will also participate in the Emory Tournament in Atlanta, the district tournament, the state tournament and the Main East Tournament in Chicago. They are expected to win districts and are hoping to win state, seeing as they are the defending state champions. Debate takes a lot of time away from friends and studying, but Petersen and Kann are both extremely committed. Petersen said, “It’s super, super time-consuming, but it’s worth it.” “I really like the people and the traveling. It’s just really fun overall,” said Kann. Kann is planning on debating at Wash again next year and attending a debate camp at Northwestern University this summer, one of the top programs of its kind. Petersen will be participating on the debate team at the University of Iowa.

Stranathan’s winter driving debacles Mallory Williams Staff Writer


If you’ve lived in Iowa during the winter, you know how driving in the conditions can be a bit of a challenge, to say the least. Tracy Stranathan, Wash alumni (Class of 2000) and math teacher, has had her fair share of Iowa winter driving woes. Her sophomore year, Stranathan and her two friends Caitlin and Jane were breaking Wash rules by leaving campus for lunch. Driving down Forest on their way to Little Caesar’s pizza, the roads were a bit slippery thanks to typical Iowa conditions. The burgundy two-tone car spun out of control, almost hitting a light pole and ramming a snow bank. However, the excitement didn’t stop there. The car then catapulted back to the other side of the rode hitting another snowbank. The car crossed the road for the final time, hit another snowbank and recovered. “My friend Jane was driving and Caitlin and I were in the back seat screaming our heads off like girls,” says Stranathan laughing. “To this day, eleven years later, I still think of that every time I drive past that spot.”


Stranthan’s most recent winter woe was last year. Stranathan was driving towards Cottage Grove and a man was driving past her on Bever towards Mt. Vernon Road. His car slid down the street, flying onto yet another snowbank and flipping onto it’s side. Stranathan was waiting patiently in her car at the top of the hill while many other cars waited behind her. After the tow truck had left with the flipped car, the police officer motioned to Stranathan to back her car down the hill, so she did. “It was snowing like crazy and the cop was flagging me to go forward,” said Stranathan. Since the police officer had told her to back up, her car was stuck in the middle of the hill and could not get through the snow. “My car is like a feather on snow. Wherever it wants to go it goes,” said Stranathan. Stranathan kept trying to move her car and eventually ended up sideways on the hill, making things worse. The police officer went over to her car and began yelling at her for blocking traffic. Stranathan stayed calm but was frustrated since the officer had told her to back up in the first place. “He was the most ridiculous cop ever. I couldn’t believe he was yelling at me! Like are you serious? Jerk.” said Stranthan. Despite Stranthan’s unfortunate situations with winter driving, she has never been in an accident while driving on her own.


A few years after her car disaster, Stranathan was victim to another winter driving adventure. In the winter of 2005, Stranthan had just graduated from UNI and was going bowling as a farewell to her friend Nikki, who was moving to Phoenix. It was snowing hard like it does sometimes in the wonderful midwestern state of Iowa and it was hard to tell where to turn into the parking lot. Stranathan’s friend, Nikki, who was driving, decided to turn where it looked like another car had. Unfortunately, that was not the entrace and the car got stuck (yes, in another snowbank). Stranathan and her other friend Bridget got out and tried to push the car out of the bank. When they weren’t having much luck, a few guys came and also tried to help. They couldn’t get it out either. More people came and eventually there were about 10 people trying to push this car out of the snowbank. All of a sudden, Nikki pushed hard on the gas and the car quickly slid off the snow. This was exactly how the plan was supposed to go except for the part where the ten pushers, all lost their balances, falling face flat into the snow. Luckily the pushers were able to laugh it off and have a snowball fight “since we were already all wet,” said Stranathan.

Graphic by Alexandra Bergman

Diez enjoys many aspects of American culture Lily Gasway Staff Writer

Photo by Skylar Smith

Miguel Diez, ‘10, poses with some of the new friends he has made during his time in Cedar Rapids.

Miguel Diez, ‘10 is from Resistencia, Argentina, and is one of the several Spanish-speaking foreign exchange students here at Wash. Initially, Diez struggled when it came to understanding English. “When you are in another country, you learn a lot because everything is different. You learn that the family is important, the friends are important and the relationships are important.” Diez said. Diez has an older brother and an older sister at home. He is staying with three families, the Phelans, the Boyers and later the Woods’, during his time in Cedar Rapids. Although his older siblings didn’t take part in a foreign exchange, Diez chose to because it “is a really good experience for me. I can see another culture, another language.” Diez has enjoyed American music and playing indoor soccer. He’s also looking forward to soccer in the spring. He has also enjoyed his academic experience at Wash. “I don’t know what my favorite class is,” said Diez. “Can I say lunch?” “I miss friends and family, but I know I will be back, so I don’t miss a lot,” said Diez. When Diez returns to Argentina, he will miss all of the friends he’s made here as well as the snow, Hawkeye games, donuts, Mountain Dew and Wash. In Argentina, he’ll finish high school in November and start college in January. “I like knowing that when I go back to Argentina, I will still have friends here,” said Diez.




Warrior wint

Proper winter running style Warm head gear


Lauren Kelley Staff Writer



Proper running shoes with good ankle support and cushioning

Almost everyone has heard someone (a mom or dad, or slippery winter roads. “Go slow!”, “Leave extra early!”, goes on. The warnings become repetitive, especially durout. Freezing rain and a couple inches of snow become easier to have an accident, whether walking, runSadie Nunemaker, ’10 and Alex Blanchard, together since the end of the cross country afternoon run soon ended in the emergency Franklin Middle School, Nunemaker spotted jump over it, instead slipping and landing on the badly she was hurt,” shared Blanchard, “She was Nunemaker explained that Blanchard flagged use their cell phone to call Nunemaker’s mother. before their ride arrived. “No one stopped!” just walking by like it was normal for us to be Nunemaker’s mom arrived, she was taken to the tors reported a broken leg and a shattered ankle. This is just one example of an easy, unanticisuch as this happen all the time during the winter. wearing proper foot gear. Nunemaker says the shoe chains or attaching spikes to running or traction. Other ways to avoid these incidents smaller steps. Keep both hands free for betwalkway ahead of you to check for icy patches. as possible. When getting out of the car in the of jumping. If you do slip and fall, roll with the protect it. Keeping these simple steps in mind In the end, maybe it is worth it to listen to the warnings. l e a v e a c o u p l e m i n u t e s e a r l y.

Local g

Looking to stay in shape over the winter months, local athletic clubs that offer a wide variety of ame potatoes tone

Helen G. Nassif YMCA

Location: 207 7th Ave SE Cedar Rapids Hours: Monday -Friday 5a.m.-10p.m. Saturday 7a.m.-6p.m. Sunday Noon- 5p.m. Annual high school student rate: $174 Amenities: Walking track, basketball courts, cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights, swimming pool, fitness classes, steam room, sauna, childcare

The Mac

Locations: The Mac Xtreme 4700 Tama St. SE The Mac South 1220 Jacolyn Drive SW Hours: Monday-Thursday 5a.m.-10p.m. Friday 5a.m.-9a.m. Saturday 7a.m.-7p.m. Sunday 8a.m.-6p.m. Amenities: Cycling, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, free weights, cardio machines, piyo, swimming pool, women’s only area, massage therapy, racquetball




ter workouts

es on ice a teacher), remind them to be careful on the “Brake a block before the stop!”, and the list ing Iowa winters, and we learn to tune them routine but the danger is still there. It’s ning or driving, than most realize. ’10, have been running after school season. What began as a regular room. As they were running past a patch of ice and attempted to icy sidewalk. “I didn’t know how laughing but couldn’t get up.” someone down and was able to Nunemaker says it was three hours said Blanchard. “People were sitting there on the ice!” When emergency room where the docpated winter accident. Situations One simple way to avoid them is doctors recommended wearing walking shoes to provide better include walking slowly and taking ter balance and keep your eyes on the Use the shoveled sidewalks as often morning, step from the car instead and bend your head forward to fall could prevent an unwanted injury. is worth it to go a little slower or Maybe it


, but do not know where to turn? Listed below are enities that are sure to help even the biggest couch their muscles.

Aspen Athletic Club

Location: 2120 Edgewood Road SW Hours: Monday- Friday 5a.m.-11p.m. Saturday 7a.m.-8p.m. Sunday 8a.m.-8p.m. Annual high school student rate: $699 (first six months free) Amenities: Cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights, swimming, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, tanning, basketball court

Other ways Warriors stay in shape

Winter miles

Anyone interested in going for a little after school jog- a chance to forget all the gossip and endless homework assignments due the following day, while keeping in shape? Winter miles is a running club that meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning in November. As spring nears, the club meets on a daily basis in preparation for spring sports like track, soccer and tennis. The runners have the option to run when they choose. The club is run by Madame Nicol, Mr. Graham and Mrs. Bosenberg. A typical run is around three to four miles. An incentive for the runners is to run a total of 150 miles by the end of the winter to receive a free sweatshirt. Everyone is welcome!

Velocity vs. Acceleration

Meet the two ways to build speed, strength, agility and endurance all at the same place. Velocity Sports Performance and Mercy Frappier Acceleration are both conditioning programs located in Cedar Rapids. The programs focus on making athletes’ skills increase at any specific sport they choose. The participants use free weights, sled pulls, plyo boxes and wall and harness drills. Velocity has multiple programs based on age. Most high school students would fall into the Developmental II program. This program is a series of 90 minute sessions for two to three months. Acceleration offers just one program that is adjusted to best improve the participant’s fitness level and skills in their chosen sport. The big difference in the two programs’ workout routines is the treadmill work used at Acceleration. All Velocity workouts are groundbased. Velocity’s Developmental II program costs $139.00 per month with a starting fee of $250.00. Acceleration’s six-week program costs $327.90 and their ten-week program costs $360.40. Sign-up for a free trial session at either program by contacting Velocity at (319) 395-7779 or Acceleration at (319) 221-8833.

Indoor Soccer

During the off season athletes find it hard to keep their muscles toned, feet fast and minds sharp, but many warrior soccer players take advantage of the indoor soccer leagues. The boys play on Friday and Saturday nights at The Sports Zone in Hiawatha. Without set practices the athletes admit the indoor league is much more laid back than their actual soccer season. However, it has proven to benefit them once their season starts in the spring. “Indoor is great!” said Jacob Johnson, ‘09. “It definitely helps maintain foot skills and sheilding.” The team had a very successful season last year and is hoping that year round practice will aid them in having a winning season once again. “Playing year round helps a lot and a lot of the players have been lifting as well. I am very anxious for the season to start,” said Jason Krusie, ‘09.

Mercy Fitness Center

Location: 5264 Council Street NE #600 Hours: Monday-Friday 5:30a.m.-9p.m. Saturday 7a.m.-4p.m. Sunday 10a.m.-2p.m. Annual high school rate: $454 Amenities: Walking track, cardio equipment, aerobic classes, pilates, pulmonary rehabilitation, physical therapy, adult weight management




Q&A: Abby Brown Lauren Sines Staff Writer


Described as “one of the most talented female musicians at Washington High School,” Abby Brown, ‘09, has made quite an impression on the music department at Wash. With a CD of original songs, “7:19,” being released on Jan. 27 and a collegiate musical education looming in the future, it is clear that Brown’s songwriting endeavors are just beginning. Surveyor’s Lauren Sines sat down with this up-and-coming talent to learn more about her story.

Musical Artist: Butch Walker Sandwich: Peanut Butter and Banana Class: Any with Miller/Shanley Movie: Dead Poets Society Fictional character: Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz ment hacking my way through all the guitar books I could find. Eventually, I got a lesson teacher a year later. Tell us about your song writing. That’s really what I’m interested in. I have a CD coming out in a week with all acoustic songs. Those songs are online at I got the singer/ songwriter thing out of my system with that CD, and I’m going to focus on writing full band stuff now. I really like bands like Something Corporate, but I’ve never been able to write that kind of music because it’s always just been me. Recently, though, I’ve met some great musicians and I’d like to expand what I’m writing because I have that option now. What inspires your music? Everything. I think there’s a song waiting to be written in everything that happens. I’d like to say that I write about really substantial issues, but the majority of my songs end up being about typical high school experiences. I don’t think that’s bad, though. If I haven’t lived it, I can’t really write about it.

Photo by Carter Oswood

Describe your musical style. My musical style really depends on the day. I’m in jazz band, and some days all I think about is jazz music and chord progressions. Other days I’m relaxed and enjoy writing an acoustic tune, and still sometimes I love turning on the distortion pedal. It really just depends on my mood.

So, you sing and play guitar, right? Yes. I started off just playing guitar, and then I started writing my own songs so I kind of forced myself to sing. For a while there was a clash between trying to be the best guitar player I could be or the best songwriter I could be, and I chose songwriting. I’ve still got a long way to go with both, but it’s definitely worth it.

Hopes/goals for your music? For yourself? I will definitely be studying music in college. I’m waiting to hear back from Berklee College of Music. If I get accepted, that’s where I’ll be next year. If not, I have a few others schools that I’ve been accepted to. Ideally, I’d love to be able to write music full time, but I realize that means I’ll be poor forever.

When did you start? Why did you start? I started when I was about 12. I was just bored one day during the summer and found a really cheap guitar with a beginner book. I spent most of that summer in my base-

Is there anything else that Washington High School should know about you? I like tea, and I think Miley Cyrus might be the most annoying person on the planet.

A string of accomplishments Natalie Neppl Staff Writer Composing music is not only for professionals, but also for students at Washington High School, such as Alexandra Bissell, ‘10. Bissell can be found every morning in the Washington orchestra room warming up with her harp before the bell rings. She has been playing the harp for nearly eight years and composes original pieces. Bissell also plays the piano and guitar. She has been playing the guitar for four years and the piano for 11. Bissell’s fascination with music and songwriting began at a very young age; she began taking piano lessons when she was only four years old. She writes songs for both the piano and the guitar. “Composing adds a lot of originality to playing my instruments, and I love it,” said Bissell. She has written many songs, but when asked what her favorite song was, she could not decide between all of them. “Picking my favorite song is like a mother picking her favorite child. I love them all,” said Bissell. Bissell has had many accomplishments as a musician. Her accomplishments include playing in Carnegie Hall, composing music for the piano, harp and guitar and winning the PTA music composition contest four years in a row. She recalls playing at Carnegie Hall as an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity she will never forget. Bissell plans on pursuing her love for music as a career. She hopes to teach the harp and become a singer/songwriter.

Photo by Lauren Hoth

Welch shares her passion Lauren Glantz Co-Focus Editor Everyone’s childhood is a little different, but it seems we all have one momory in common: the memory of playing at Grandmas, astounded by all the crazy little artifacts that were scattered about. For most it’s simply childhood reminiscence, but for Maria Welch, ‘11, it was where she discovered her love for music. Welch’s favorite childhood pastime was playing with her grandmother’s old piano. At first, she was merely amused by the effect of banging on the keys, but by age eight, she began taking weekly lessons. Instructed by Amy Linzille, Welch grew increasingly more interested in the instrument. Six years after she began, Welch found herself team teaching with Linzille. As a freshman in high school, most would expect Welch’s after school activities to consist of sports, homework and nightly teen gossip. However, Welch made a commitment that took up a majority of her nightly free time. Although she started with only one small student, her clientele soon grew to over five. Welch met with her students on a weekly basis. Although she truly enjoyed sharing her passion with the younger set, Welch had to stop teaching just over a year ago in order to free her schedule. Since resigning as a piano teacher, Welch has dabbled in other careers, such as pretzel making, but piano is still her passion. Although she is unsure of her exact college plans, this high school junior hopes her childhood passion carries on throughout her life and that she can one day share the magic of music with her grandchildren.

Photo by Lauren Hoth




New teen novels soothe post-Twilight ennui To Catch a Pirate

What type of man could ever compare to the werewolves and vampires of “Twilight?” “To Catch a Pirate” by Jade Parker is a novel about the daughter of a governor who falls in love with a dashingly gorgeous, extremely dangerous pirate. Young Annalisa Townsend sets sail one year after a pirate attack that left her father broke to find James Sterling, the young man she barely escaped, and regain her father’s treasure. Upon his capture, Annalisa and James squabble as the latter refuses to cooperate with her demands, but the more time they spend together, the harder they seem to fall for each other. But can James be trusted? Read to find out!

House of Night Series “Marked” is the first in what is deemed an excellent series by vampire-lovers. 16-year-old Zoey Redbird leads a normal life until she is “marked” by a vampire and forced to leave her horrified friends and family to be schooled on how to survive the Change in the House of Night, a school for will-be vampires. There, she learns in a vision that there is more to her destiny: she is ordered to be a spy for the great Goddess and inherit extreme powers. With a world where vampires are famous and high school hasn’t changed, this book will have vampire fans hooked from the first chapter.

A Certain Slant of Light “A Certain Slant of Light” by Laura Whitcomb is a teen romance that has received excellent reviews. A look inside shows a writing style similar to that of “Twilight.” The writing is easy to take in and the characters are extremely realistic. The story is about a girl named Helen who died 130 years ago and spends her days haunting her hosts. As she haunts an English teacher, she is surprised when a boy in his class can see her and even more surprised to find out that a ghost inhabits his body, too. People who finish this love story immediately want to start it all over again. Sound familiar?

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Fans of Twilight will stay up all night reading “A Great and Terrible Beauty” by Libba Bray. With beautiful, stylized English writing and a gripping story line, this novel is as hard to put down as its two companions in the trilogy. The book tells a story of magic, evil, romance and friendship through the eyes of its heroine Gemma Doyle, a 16-year-old girl living in India who has a vision of her mother’s death that comes true. Begrudgingly sent to England and enrolled in a strict boarding school for girls, Gemma discovers a mystery that binds her, a beautiful Indian boy, unexpected friends and numerous visions, leaving readers begging for more.

Rare as O-Negative, bloody new film gets an A-Positive Alex Fuller Staff Writer

returns to his hometown 10 years after a horrible series of killings on Valentine’s Day only to find himself suspect to some recent copycat killings. His teenage “friend” Axel An entertaining story from the beginning, “My Bloody Palmer (Kerr Smith) plays the town’s new sheriff, who is Valentine 3D” features a gripping plotline, fantastic special most displeased to find his wife (and Tom’s former high school sweetheart) Sarah defending Tom. Tom’s true inteneffects and enough blood and gore to....well, lets just say tions of returning quickly come to light – he is intent on enough blood and gore. selling his family’s mine (the site of the killings), after his I must admit I was a bit skeptical of “My Bloody Valfather’s recent death. Upon hearentine 3D” at first glance, specificaling his plan, many of the town’s ly because of the ominous “3D”; in citizens become angered with Tom the past, most so-called “3D” movfor effectively dooming them – and Dirctor: Patrick Lussier ies have been laughed at by viewers it is only a matter of time until the everywhere – the headache causing Starring: Jensen Ackles, killing starts. blue and red goggles were not only When it is revealed that Sheriff Sarah Palmer annoying to wear, but made the Palmer is cheating on his wife with film you were watching appear as one of her grocery store clerks, though a bad television were broadthe plot begins to thicken, slowly casting them, and caused many a generating more and more possible movie fiasco. (“Spy Kids 3D” ring suspects for the copycat killings. any bells)? Not so with today’s 3D, As the characters begin to die off however – the new goggles, although somewhat awkward in the most disturbing ways possible, the film maintains to wear, provide a streamlined look into the film, allowing the killer to be a mystery until the very end, while still for entertaining, and sometimes frightening, action. maintaining the plot. In addition to sporting the newest in 3D technology, So, whether you’re looking to be scared or just looking “My Bloody Valentine” also featured another rare first for to watch a murder mystery unfold this month, My Bloody horror flick slashers everywhere – a decent storyline. While Valentine 3D is the film for you. [Disclaimer – the movie predictable at times, the film’s story is a rollercoaster of acis rated “R” for many very good reasons. Don’t say I didn’t cusations and murders, featuring Jensen Ackels from “Suwarn you]. pernatural” as the haunted Tom Hanniger -- a man who

My Bloody Valentine


Top: Small town folkie Tom Hanniger (Jensen Akles) distends his eyes in horror (and in 3D). Left: 3D glasses ditch their twotone X-mas lenses and paper rims in favor of trendy plastic frames.

A&E Teacher Profile: Peter Clancy

Megan Hartman Staff Writer Harry Potter, Youtube and “My Super Sweet Sixteen” are three ways to describe Pete Clancy’s, Language Arts teacher, interests. Clancy has a wide range of movie favorites including “Sunset Boulevard,” “The Dark Knight” and “Finding Nemo,” which he deems a “classic.” However, one series of movies and books have become a major fixture for Clancy. In addition to seeing all of the Harry Potter movies, Peter Clancy, Clancy is also a big fan of J.K. Rowling’s books. Ironically, Clancy hasn’t always enjoyed the series. “When the first Harry Potter movie came out I thought it was stupid,” said Clancy. “I never really got into them until I was teaching. Then I read all the books in a week and saw all of the movies.” As for television, Clancy’s favorite show is “The

Simpsons.” He also enjoys “Lost,” “House” and has an addiction to the MTV reality show “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” “I think it’s hilarious how ridiculous everyone is on ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’,” said Clancy. “It makes me sad about the world to know those type of people exist.” Another obsession of Clancy’s is Youtube. He watches it everyday and uses it for his classes. “Youtube is interesting in entertainment and education,” said Clancy. “It’s a cool concept that anyone is able to post videos on the internet.” When Clancy isn’t spending his time watching “Youtube” or LA Teacher “My Super Sweet Sixteen” he enjoys playing video games. He has a Wii and Xbox360, but he spends most of his time playing “Guitar Hero.” “Ms. Fattig and I have Guitar Hero battles,” said Clancy. “She beats me, but she cheats.” Whether Clancy is having a guitar hero battle or reading Harry Potter, he will always find a unique source of entertainment.

“I think it’s hilarious how ridiculous everyone is on ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’...”



Upcoming Events •

• • •

The Academy Awards: February 22, 6:00 PM, ABC • Hugh Jackman hosts the 81st Acadmy Awards • Print personal ballot at Large Group Speech Performance Night: January 30, 6:00 PM, WHS Little Theather “The Glass Menagerie”: February 26-28, WHS Auditorium “Legally Blonde the Musical”: February 26, 7:30 PM, Desmoines Civic Center • Check ticketmaster for prices and showtimes Buckwheat Zydeco: February 17, 8:00 PM, CSPS • Afto-carribian accordianist, blues, soul and rock • CSPS, 1103 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA • More information available at Legionarts. org 24th annual Independant Spirit Awards: February 21, 4:00 PM, AMC • Recognizes independant film makers and actors


A&E Speech Team Gains Popularity

Photo by Megan Barnes Left to right: Lexi Bartling, Emily Kratovil, Jason Spina, and Filipe Camoratti fine-tune their Musical Theater number during a late night practice. They are one of several Wash teams preparing for the upcoming Speech competition.

Magie Bridges Staff Writer “Wait, we have a speech team?” Most students at WHS have no idea that our school had a speech team, and have no idea what a speech team is. Our speech team is filled with mimes, actors/actresses, mythical characters, singers,dancers, and a whole lot more. On the speech team there are many different categories that fit many different people. There is a place for anyone and everyone to fit in. There’s One Act: actors simply act out one act of a play, including costumes, lights, props, and sound effects. Mime: actors silently act out a story, just using your body and facial expressions. Improvization: actors are given a problem three minutes before they perform and have to come up with a creative, funny way of solving that problem. Ensemble acting: a shorter version of One Act, but actors aren’t allowed to use costumes or props. Musical Theatre: ten minutes are allowed to put on a mini musical with acting, singing, and dancing. No costumes or props are permitted, but actors do get to use one table and up to six chairs.

TV news: the members put on a news cast, acting as the news castors themselves. They have the weather update, and news stories. Radio News: it’s just like TV news except it’s a little shorter and broadcasted instead of televised. There is a radio show host that gives the audience information about what’s new, a weather update, and of course, a song. Neither Radio News nor TV news perform their piece at competition; they just submit their show and it is watched, or heard, by the judges and audience. Choral Reading: a number of people are involved and mostly they speak in unison. They are allowed costumes, props, and their scripts in front of them. Finally there is Reader Theatre: Readers theatre is very similar to coral ready, except you are not speaking unison. The members all have a scrip in their hand that they are allowed to read of. They are also allowed to have stage props, like stools or sitting blocks. Its just like reading a book, with multiple people, to an audience. The speech coach at Washington is English teacher Carrie Fattig. “The best thing I like about speech, large group and individual, is that the people who work hard outside of practice, do the best.”Fattig coaches most of the groups with the help of a few others, but overlooks everything that goes on with the groups.Fattig is the one who keeps the group together, and if that means being a tough cookie, then thats exactly what she’ll do. Don’t worry, she has her good moments too. A lot of kids are involved in speech, and like it a lot. It tends to be described as a place you can be yourself, and everyone will except you. “It’s so fun. I enjoy being around everyone, doing awesome and sometimes funny things.” says junior, Ben Schmidt who is involved in One Act and improve. “What I like about speech is that the trips are fun... and so is getting up at four to be at school by five on saturdays.” said Alex Schulte, 09, who is involved in musical theatre and improv. “It’s really fun getting to play someone you’ve never played before. You get a lot of experience as a actor/actress.” Said junior, Jennifer Andersen, who participates in musical theatre. Yes WHS does have a speech team, one that it is not only led my a great leader but is also full of amazing people.




Warrior swimmers seek 28th state title Joe Eken Staff writer

Amongst the powerhouse metro sports teams, few are as historically dominant as the Washington men’s swimmers. Since 1961 the team has won 27 state titles. Do the math and that comes out with more than one every two years. It’s also one more than the New York Yankees 26 World Series titles, both of which are eye-popping statistics. The most recent of these triumphs came last year, ending an 11-year drought. The Warriors won the state championship with strong aid from Ryan Phelan, who set Warrior records in the 50 and 100 free, and a strong senior class. Obviously, this year’s team won’t be able to rely on last year’s seniors and instead are looking to others to fill their shoes, or rather, Speedos. “We have a little more depth this year. A lot of young kids are doing well. We’ve got a good group of freshmen,” said Coach Chris Cruise, who won his first state title as a coach in 2008 after winning several in the late 1980s as a swimmer. On Saturday, Jan. 17, the team had an exciting victory. For the first time since 1997, they placed first at the Ferguson Invitational home meet. “Winning the “Fergy” is a huge team morale booster. After getting beat by Valley and Bettendorf in dual meets, beating them on Saturday makes the end of the year a lot

brighter,” said varsity swimmer Banning Young ‘10. Still, this season has been a tough one for the Warriors as the team has struggled with keeping healthy. “We’ve had to battle a lot of injury and sickness. It’s been difficult to get everyone to practice, but the kids have had a good attitude and have stayed positive,” said Cruise. Despite the challenges, the team looks at this season the way they would with any other. They hope to win their conference, win districts and repeat a state championship. These may seem like lofty goals, but it comes standard for a program that’s been such a dominant force through its history. “We work hard in the off-season. The kids make a commitment to being at the top of the sport and living up to the program’s expectations,” said Cruise. Another part of the team’s success may be a result of traditions that help with team bonding. Every winter, the halls of Wash are littered with bleached blond heads that signify members of the swim team. The swimmers are currently ranked ninth in the state and look to move up in the rankings once everyone gets healthy. At any rate, the team has a very good chance to win districts and make it back to the state meet where they could be a very dangerous team. Many returning swimmers have state experience and there’s no denying history will be on their side.

Photo by Lauren Johnson

Washington’s junior varsity team celebrates a victory in the 200 free relay at a recent meet in the Washington pool.

The life of a swim manager...

Molly Strand ‘11

There is an old saying that states, “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.” This may hold true for the Washington men’s swim team who are backed by the swim managers. The managers are Molly Strand, ‘11, Abra Mathews, ‘11, Stephanie Buckley, ‘10, Audrey Rouse, ‘12, Holly Leaverton, ‘09, Erica Ardnt, ‘10, Alex Stephens, ‘11, and Meghan Freme, ‘10. Most of them received their appointments after asking the men’s coach, Chris Cruise, if they could be a manager. As far as their managerial duties go, the girls count yards, yell out intervals, time the races at meets and, as Strand puts it, “Occasionally get thrown in.”

Warrior spirit squad full of fresh faces Abby Varn Staff writer

Photo by Lauren Hoth

Sophomore cheerleaders excite the crowd at a recent basketball game in Washington’s new gym.

Whether at the sidelines at basketball games or front and center at school pep rallies, we all look to the cheerleaders for some school spirit. And the squad, coached by L.D. Kidd, seems to be kicking it up a notch this year. “This year I think a lot of individuals are improving from last year,” said Julia Michalec, ‘11. Michalec joined the squad as a freshmen. “This year we do have bigger numbers, but I think it’s mostly people doing it for fun.” There are, however, other motives. “I did cheerleading because I thought it would be a new experience for me. I’m so used to doing stuff like volleyball and lifting that takes a lot of mental toughness to push myself,” said Megan Schmidt, ‘11. This is Schmidt’s first year as a Washington cheerleader. “I thought cheerleading would be a place where I could show more of my character and be peppy,” said Schmidt. With a more committed team than past years, the squad has made some changes by establishing a separate competition squad. “For the years that I have been cheering, we haven’t been to any competitions because, in the past, a lot of people haven’t been committed to practices. It’s hard for the coaches to teach us a routine without everyone there,” said Michalec. With this newly established competition squad, the team will begin to attend competitions. The team plans to attend a competition at the Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City this coming February. No matter what squad, teamwork seems to be a common necessity. “The team overall works pretty well together. There are some days when we do argue however,” said Michalec. “I like how the cheerleaders all connect and come together since we’re all working together all the time,” added Schmidt.

WARRIOR BASKETBALL UPDATE: Women continue winning record Men’s basketball off to great start Alexis Guess Staff Writer

Alexis Guess Staff Writer

The Warrior women’s basketball team is at it again, starting this season with a 9-5 record. The team is led by seniors Renesa Smith-Taylor and Camille Lidd, as well as sophomore standout Tia Dawson. Smith-Taylor, the team’s starting point guard, is averaging 10 assists a game in her third season on the varsity squad. Lidd is the team’s leading scorer with an average 17.1 points per game, while Dawson is averaging a team-leading 8.3 rebounds per game. The team owes much of their success to the sixth year head coach, Frank Howell. “Coach Howell is very competitive and passionate and knows what he’s doing,” said SmithTaylor. Coach Howell described the season as, “Pretty good so far, considering we came into the season having lost some experienced graduated players.” He believes that they have been working hard every night at practice and at games.

The Warrior men’s basketball team has turned their team around 180 degrees since last season. Under new head coach Brad Metzger, the team has already won more than twice the games that they won in the entire season last year; and they’re only halfway through the season. The team is led by returning senior varsity members Keenan Davis and Chad Christensen. Similar to the secret of the women’s success, Josh Oglesby is the sophomore prodigy behind the mystery of the men’s turnaround season. The team attributes a lot of the success to Metzger’s arrival. He explained that the best way to prepare for their games is to, “Learn and study what opponents are doing, and try to match it, know what you’re doing, and understanding the game.”




Wrestlers seek glory amidst struggles Pat Anderl Staff writer Wrestling is debatably one of the hardest sports in which athletes can compete. Dedicated wrestlers spend countless hours every day drilling and taking hard shots to the mat. Their lives are filled with morning and afternoon practices, meets and weekend tournaments. Once they’re home, they have to worry about staying in their weight class while still keeping healthy. A Wash wrestler never stops thinking about wrestling. Wash’s hard-working team is led by Brandon Burrell, ‘09 and Will Hart, ‘10. They are both returning varsity wrestlers. Burrell was Wash’s only state qualifier last year during a difficult season with losses of key wrestlers who left the team mid-season. Burrell and Hart both hope to qualify for the state meet this winter with hard work. Each practice consists of a grueling series of workouts that build endurance and strength. Ethan Erdenberger, ‘10 describes practice as “extremely difficult.” Practices start with jogging and then move to drilling, which is wrestling with a partner in order to perfect technique. Later, the team does strength training with rope climbs, push-ups, sprints, pull-ups and other intense work-outs. Such challenging workouts have helped to improve the skills and technique of Warrior wrestlers, making Coach Graham optimistic about the season, despite his smaller squad. “We may be losing dual meets, but some of the wrestlers, especially the freshmen, are really stepping up so we’re winning a lot of our matches,” he said. When practice is over, wrestlers go home but must continue to monitor their diets to stay in their weight classes. They eat healthy foods and weigh themselves constantly. Erdenberger hopes that with his hard work and dieting, he can also qualify for state. The wrestlers compete in meets during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, followed by tournaments on Saturdays, and encourage students to come and watch. The district meet will be held at Wash this year, providing Wash students an excellent opportunity to see the wrestlers in action.

Warrior spotlight: John Holtzman

Upcoming Warrior Athletic Events

Brian Kopec Staff writer

1. When did you start bowling, and why? I started freshmen year when I found out that I could bowl for free for almost an entire month. 2. Whatʼs your favorite food to eat for breakfast? I really enjoy a good omelette with the usual: cheese, ham, peppers and onions. 3. Have you ever Wii bowled, and if so, whatʼs your high score? Yes, 300. 4. How would you say Wii bowling compares to real bowling? Wii bowling is much easier, and itʼs a waste of time, though itʼs pretty fun.

January 27 --Varsity & JV wrestling at home against Waterloo East & Highland --Sophomore & varsity men’s basketball at Dubuque Senior --Sophomore & varsity women’s basketball at home against Dubuque Senior *SENIOR NIGHT* January 30 --Bowling at May City against Jefferson January 31 --Mustangs Hockey at the Five Flags Center against the Dubuque Devils

5. Out of “Scrubs,” “House” and “Greyʼs Anatomy,” which is your favorite television show? Definitely “Greyʼs Anatomy.” 6. Do you prefer M & Mʼs or Skittles? I prefer Skittles, definitely.

Graphic by Trevor Polk

John Holtzman ʻ09 Sport: Bowling

7. What is your real bowling high score? 246, which was a great game for me. 8. What does the bowling alley smell like to you? I have no idea. If I had to sum up all the smells of the bowling alley, it would probably be athleteʼs foot. 9. What are your favorite activities to do in your free time besides bowling? I enjoy golf, I really like hanging out with my girlfriend and deer hunting with my uncle is always fun. 10. Being a senior, are you going to bowl in college? What are you going to miss next year? Yes, Iʼm planning on bowling in college, and Iʼm really going to miss my teammates from high school bowling.


Warrior Numbers

Ranking of Kennedy’s womens basketball team when the Warriors (ranked 14th) beat them 76-49 on January 16th


Number of overtimes during the City HighWashington men’s basketball game on January 8th. Sophomore Josh Ogelsby scored the winning basket, pushing the Warriors ahead to win 89-86, breaking City High’s 24 game winning streak.


Years since the men’s swimming team won the Ferguson Invitational. The Warriors beat out highly ranked West Des Moines Valley and Cedar Falls by five and 10 points, respectively.




Athletes build confidence and athleticism through Special Olympics

Anna Fisher Staff writer

Special Olympics is a nationwide organization providing opportunities for disabled Americans to compete in athletics. Wash’s Special Olympics teams participate in three sports: bowling in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track and field in the spring. The team has three coaches: Becky Christy, Jillian Frater and Amanda Williams, who all work in the special education department. They practice once a week after school in the old gym for about an hour. Christy loves her job working with the team. “It’s a great way for the kids to spend their afternoon. It makes them feel involved. And they are a lot of fun!” she said. Special Olympics provides a valuable opportunity for friendly competition between the athletes. More importantly, the organization gives them a positive outlook and builds friendships. “It’s obvious to anyone that knows the kids that they are building confidence. It puts a smile on their faces everyday,” Christy said. The coaches have watched their athletes grow from shy to outspoken, confident people. The team considers the bowling season a success. Bowlers Elbie White ‘11 and April Dickson ‘11 placed second and third at state. Athletes are currently practicing basketball skills. Special Olympics basketball includes skill competitions and team games. During skill competitions, athletes must dribble twenty yards and shoot the ball at a target. Andrew Loggins ‘10 has become an essential member of the basketball team. When he first joined, he wasn’t able to dribble the ball. After two years of experience he can now dribble with ease. Loggins is enthusiastic about the Special Olympics. “My favorite sport is basketball. I love shooting. My goal is to make a three-pointer,” Loggins said. Dickson is looking forward to the spring track season. “I’m going to run slow, but I’ll have a lot of fun,” Dickson said. Christy encourages Wash students to come to Special Olympics competitions and cheer the athletes on. The basketball team game is Feb. 1 at Jefferson and the basketball skill competition is Feb. 7 at Northwest Junior High School.

Photo by Melanie Phelan

Warrior Special Olympics athletes practice in the old gym. The team will compete in a basketball game and skills competition later this season.


Back Page

Show Choir Washington’s three show choirs, Momentum, Celebration and Vivace, attended their first competition at Linn-Mar on Saturday January 17. They performed pieces from various genres including rock ‘n roll, r & b, swing, motown, and Disney.


’s R ock

S e m

w o h

Sing a Song


i T e


ACADEMIC CERTIFICATE WINNERS 08-09 Emily Kopec Jason Krusie Taylor Kuhn Reece Leuenberger Lewi Manirumva Camille Marie-Lidd Nathaniel McFarland Ethan Moyer Stephanie Muehlemann Ian Olson Shaun Mellor Carter Oswood Gabriella Perez Landon Pickens Devon Reese Karen Schmidt Fallon Shakespeare Benjamin Sissel Saheka Smith Anne Stark Wyatt Suess Ross Sullivan Bud (Edward) Trosclair Danielle Wakeham Alice Wang Yuerong Wang Mackenzie Williams

Sing OUt

Right Now

How Do You Know

Karly Abel Evan Anderson Ashley Aull Jessica Bixby David Bucher Aaron Castro Matthew Ceryanec Chad Christensen Andrew Chupp Nicholas Clark Bryce Cooks Brian Covington Aaron Ekland Kellar Elliott Audrey Erger Kyle Freeman Alexandra Gorkow Samantha Haigh Tosha Harrison Roland Hart Megan Hartman Ellen Hatala Charles Heins Andrew Jarvey Michael Jarvey Grace Karns NathanKintner Sarrah Knause

2009 January  
2009 January  

2008-2009 January issue of The Surveyor