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Papillion-La Vista South High School 10799 Highway 370; Papillion, Neb. 68046


Thursday April 17, 2008

Volume 5, Issue 5

Students take deeper look into foreign cultures CAR projects extend research

projects such as listening to a podcast in the target language, reading an article A foreign language is written in the target language often a recommended course or learning a song in the for high school students. target language. Yet, too often students focus Sophomore Paige solely on the language and Kurtzuba chose to interview neglect the cultural aspect. a German chef for her CAR To remedy this gap in the project. curriculum, the foreign “I’m interviewing Gerda language department created from Gerda’s Restaurant,” the Cultural Kurtzuba said. Adventure “Since I like “the goal Reflection cooking and I behind the projects for all want to become car project students enrolled a chef, I can see was to... give in a foreign what Gerda had students an language. to go through opportunity “The goal to learn about to come to the behind the CAR United States the language projects was to and start her and culture address the state own restaurant.” outside the and national W h e n classroom...” s t a n d a r d s -Spanish teacher Sarah Baker s t u d e n t s for culture, complete their communications and projects they are required connections and to give to answer a set of questions students an opportunity to about what they gained from learn about the language the experience. and the culture outside the “Students need to describe classroom in a way that best what they did, how they suits their interests,” Spanish did it, how it pertained to teacher Sarah Baker said. their language, what they Students were given over learned, what they wanted to 60 project options to choose share with others and what •continued on page 2 from. Among these were Amy McConnell Staff Writer

robert nielsen/the torch

Chugging down the concoction of Jones Sodas, TABASCO sauce and other liquids, seniors Brogan Kauzlarich and Monet Thomas compete in the “Fear Factor” section of UTC. Kauzlarich went on to compete in the final four.

battle to become the

ultimate titan Blythe Butcher Focus Editor

ROBERT nielsen/the torch

Dancing around in green tutus, seniors Tyler Speck and Kyle Hubenka perform their talent for the judges. The two received a standing ovation for their dance.

Before this year, students were never given set standards as to how to obtain the title of the greatest Titan. However, in late March, Student Council produced the Ultimate Titan Challenge. This reality television show-based competition included 20 seniors: 10 boys and 10 girls. While the freshman, sophomore and junior classes attended advisory sessions to prepare for next year, the senior class attended a special assembly where the Ultimate Titan Challenge was introduced. During the assembly, seniors had the opportunity to nominate challenge participants. After the nominations were counted, the competitors included seniors Kaitlin Barnes, Jessica Carlson, Jessica Grothe, Katie Hubenka, Brogan Kauzlarich, Clare Koeppe, Catherine Prather, Ashley Simpson, Monet Thomas, Liz Thornburg, Eric Borst, Anthony Dunn, Will Findlay, Kyle Hubenka, Josias Hueser, Doug McAcy, Shawn Saunders, Brent Sorensen, Tyler Speck and Joey Tomasiwicz. Of these seniors, one male and one female would be named the Ultimate Titan. •continued on page 4

DECA qualifies four for nationals Josh Conrad News Editor Four students at PL South have shown their aptitude in the many facets of marketing by qualifying for the national DECA competition. The competition will take place at the DECA International Career Development Conference on April 26-29 in Atlanta, Ga. To qualify for Nationals, each participant had to place third or better at Districts and then at State. After qualifying, competitors are preparing to make the next step in their journey. Seniors Sarah Kohler and Kellie McFeely worked together in the Advertising Campaign category. The team worked with Kajoma’s Boutique, a fashion store in downtown Papillion, to

create an advertising strategy in an effort to bring more business to the small store. The team was able to choose the business to work with, and in this case it was an easy decision. “We had both stopped in to Kajoma’s before and saw that it carries a lot of brands that other stores don’t have,” Kohler said. “We thought it fit us for this project.” Kohler and McFeely conducted public surveys to decide the store’s target market, worked with ownership to create advertising and involved the business in a silent auction. For competition, Kohler and McFeely created a presentation reporting the effects their advertising campaign had on the business. This presentation •continued on page 4

courtesy photo

Seniors Sarah Kohler and Kellie McFeely receive first-place state DECA awards. The two qualified for the National Convention.





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Braden boex/the torch

CDC releases STD study related to teenage girls Doug McAcy News Editor

A new national study was just conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and concluded that an estimated one in four (nearly 3.2 million) teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 is affected by at least one of the more common sexually transmitted diseases. Some of the most common STDs include the human papillomavirus, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus and trichomoniasis. While abstinence is the only way to protect onself against contracting an STD, one local organization that is helping to broaden awareness of this situation is the Omaha Women’s Fund. The Fund conducts research and distributes funds and grants to help raise the awareness of issues facing young and old women in the Omaha area. Almost a year before this CDC study came out, the Omaha Women’s Fund was spreading the word on this primary concern around the Omaha metro area. “We hope to educate people about the fact of the epidemic of STDs,” Executive Director of the Omaha Women’s Fund Ellie Archer said. “Last year alone, we had radio ads, TV spots and billboards from an Alegent Health grant.” In accordance with its STD awareness campaign last year, the Omaha Women’s Fund coordinated a current-running web site,, to continue its education throughout the metro area. The web site contains information on STDs regarding the most common infections, symptoms and prevention tips. Another local organization currently helping to stymie the STD epidemic in the area is the Creighton University Medical Center. “It (the CDC study) doesn’t come as a surprise to us here in Douglas County where the STD rate over the last five to six years has been higher than the national rate,” Director of OBGYN at the Creighton Medical Center Terry Simanek said. •continued on page 4

3 6 7 9 NEWS

ProStart, SkillsUSA state results


Katie Dodge gets up close and personal with marine life



Track team travels to South Dakota to compete

In-depth interview with Treaty of Paris









arts & ent.


Photo essay



The Torch


Show choirs wrap up competition season The show choirs recently wrapped up their competition season at the Omaha North Viking Cup and Northeast Nebraska Jazz/Show Invitational. The Titan Prep show choir won first place in the prep division at the Viking Cup. Lady Titans won second place in the womens’ division at the Viking Cup. Titanium won the grand champion award at the Viking Cup and first place at the Northeast Nebraska Jazz/Show Invitational.


April 17, 2008

Student attends NSTA national science conference Senior’s zoo academy presentation leads to trip to Boston Macayla Scarpello Staff Writer

Prom court candidates announced The Prom candidates are

King seniors

Mark Harris, Kyle Nielsen, Tyler Speck, Michael Czaplewski, Jeremiah Saffold, Brent Sorensen and Kyle Hubenka Candidates for Prom Queen are seniors Monet Thomas, Mica Velasquez, Laura Burke, Katie Hubenka, Mindy Janssen, Sam Ritter and Clare Koeppe. They will be crowned Saturday night at 10 p.m.

Success at State Science Olympiads Five students attended the State Science Olympiad competition in Lincoln on April 15. Erik Hagerup and Sydney Rainey Biler placed second in the Chemistry Lab event. Kent Rainey Biler and Sydney Rainey Biler placed third in the Ecology event. Wade Anderson and Sydney Rainey Biler placed third in Experimental Design. Kent Rainey Biler and Kyle Rodenhausen placed third in the Sounds of Music event.

Cold Stone Creamery contest Cold Stone Creamery is sponsoring a contest where each Metro area high school creates its own ice cream flavor. The flavor that gets ordered the most will win an ice cream social for the school and the creator of the flavor a scholarship. ProStart senior Jacob Mounce, created the flavor “Titan Tantalizing Blast,” which consists of Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and cookie dough mixed into a cake batter ice cream. The contest will last through April 22.

Courtesy Photo

Senior Nichole Johnson tours a museum during her trip to Boston. Johnson was one of four students from Nebraska to receive a trip to the national science convention.

In early February, select students from different states gathered at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education in Boston and senior Nichole Johnson was one of them. Due to her achievements and work in her academy, Johnson was able to attend the fair to learn more about the ever-changing world of science. During her junior year, Johnson was required to enter the Metro Science Fair as a part of being a member of the zoo academy. In doing so, she conducted an experiment on the diets of fossa. She earned second place overall and was given the opportunity to attend the state science fair in Lincoln. Johnson placed in the top five and received an all-expenses paid trip to the national science convention. Only four students from Nebraska were invited to attend and Johnson was the only one from the Omaha area. Once in Boston, the attendees were able to tour the labs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and present their poster projects for the National Academy of Science. “It was cool because normally I don’t get to talk to people the same age who have the same interests, usually everyone I work with

is older,” Johnson said. Students who attended became lifetime fellows of the National Junior Academy of Sciences and the conference exceeded Johnson’s expectations. “The conference was a lot of fun and it wasn’t what people would normally think of a science fair,” Johnson said. This year, Johnson conducted another project on the energy requirements of the cat species while working at the zoo. She will be attending the state science fair on April 18 and will be presenting the same research she brought to the metro competition about the tigers, lions and pumas. Johnson’s interest in science started at a young age. “I’ve always been interested in science and animals,” Johnson said. “When I was little I used to fix my stuffed animals with Band-Aids.” With Johnson’s involvement in science and helping out at the zoo for her academy, she intends to continue with her studies after high school. “I’m going to be attending the University of Missouri and studying animal sciences,” Johnson said. “From there I plan on going into grad school and studying animal nutrition.”

CAR: Projects range from making food to songs •continued from page 1

preconceived notions they went into the project with and how they changed,” Baker said. Some students will have difficulty answering these questions, however, because the projects they chose did not allow for the type of learning required for this project. “I don’t think these projects are really accomplishing what they’re supposed to because people aren’t really doing the projects to learn about the culture,” junior Ginny McClintock said. “Like with mine, I collected Spanish food labels, but I could just buy those at Hy-Vee.” However, like any project, students who put more effort and time into it will gain more from it. “Students who select thoughtfully and do the projects as intended are going to get a better understanding of the language they are

learning,” Baker said. “For instance, if you’re looking into business and you choose to contact a business person who uses their language, it can help determine what they’ll do in the future.” The main advantage in doing these projects is that it gives students a chance to apply what they are learning in the classroom to their interests outside of school. “This is a better way to learn about the culture than being in the classroom because in class we don’t really talk about the culture,” McClintock said. Overall, the projects have added a little extra spice to the daily grind of foreign language classes. “I’ve gotten some really interesting projects so far,” Baker said. “I think as teachers we stand to learn a lot. We can see what kind of talents students have outside of school.”

Ally Phillips/The Torch

Sophomore Brooke Cousino cuts radishes for her CAR project. The goal of the CAR projects were to expose students to the cultural aspect of the chosen language.


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The Torch



April 17, 2008

SkillsUSA shines at state convention Rob Nielsen Staff Writer

In late March, after many months of fundraising and preparation, 21 students in the SkillsUSA organization finally got the chance to test their skills at the state competition in Columbus, Neb. The participants had the chance to compete in many competitions ranging from firefighting to photography, and they walked away with 13 medals and a greater respect for their respective talents. The conference began with the opening ceremonies. Among the highlights, PL South won the SkillsUSA Builder’s Award for expanding its club the most in the last year. After the ceremony ended, some of the leadership development competitions began with many of the state-only competitions as well as a few

of the national qualifiers. One of these contests was Quiz Bowl. The three-hour wait between the beginning of the competition and the South team’s first round started to take its toll on some of the participants. “It was very long and dramatic,” senior Kyle Hubenka said. “[I] didn’t want to compete for a while until we won the first round.” In the end, the Quiz Bowl team finished with a third place medal, winning three of its four rounds. It turned out to be the best conference in the school’s history. Adviser Roger Campbell cited the growing size of the group as the reason for the success. “It was the added numbers,” Campbell said. “We had twice the membership this year.” The bronze medalists included sophomore Chris

Young and seniors Robert Nielsen, Kyle Hubenka, Will Findlay and Eric Reid for Quiz Bowl, sophomore Will Heida for Electronics Technology and sophomore Kim Mueller for Pre-School Teaching. The silver medalists included senior David Furcini for Prepared Speech, sophomore Connor Smith for Customer Service, senior Eric Reid for Architectural Drafting, senior Jay Stutzman competing with Metro Community College for Diesel Equipment and senior Will Findlay for Pre-School Teaching. PLS had one gold medalist, the second in the school’s history. Junior Ben Wunderlich was named state champion for Automotive Finishing Technology. Wunderlich is now qualified to compete at nationals in Kansas City, Missouri, in June.

Robert Nielsen/ the torch

Junior Ben Wunderlich is all smiles as he receives his gold medal for Automotive Finishing Technology. Wunderlich was the only gold medalist at the SkillsUSA competition from PLS.

ProStart team members compete at State Emily Lynch Staff Writer

For most high school students, making dinner consists of placing a meal in the microwave or boiling some water for macaroni and calling it gourmet. However, “The Savage Chefs” in ProStart took their cooking skills to the next level by winning the regional ProStart competition in Lincoln on March 18 and moving on to the state competition in

Hastings on March 29. At State, The Savage Chefs team, which consisted of seniors Marissa Camacho, Tara Chandler, Kalani Griggs and Mary Sothan competed against 12 other teams. To do the best they could, they had to study the ProStart books for questions, quiz each other with random questions and consistently attempt to make their meal as best as they could. “We would practice by going through the same

meal we used in competition everyday,” Sothan said. During the competition, the girls had to produce a meal under the stress of several judges critiquing their cooking, sanitation, professionalism and knowledge of cooking. The team chose to prepare an Asian meal, which was composed of Chinese chicken lettuce wraps, Asian pork with vegetable noodles and banana and chocolate spring rolls.

District physical education program receives grant Funding aims to establish life-long exercise habits in students Ally Phillips Staff Writer From children in kindergarten to seniors in high school, students haven’t had many choices when it comes to physical education classes. However, the Papillion-La Vista School District recently received the Carol M. White PE Program Grant, which is provided through The school district was awarded $355,626 to spend toward PE classes and equipment. “We have an individual that works with grants,” assistant principal Dr. Mark Weichel said. “They noticed a lot of schools have done it and had good results.” When the grant was researched, the school district decided to apply. The grant seemed almost perfect. “The PE needs met up with what the grant gave,” Weichel said. “We thought it was a good opportunity.” There is a committee of PE teachers from the school district that meet once a month to discuss what the money will go toward, which has not been decided upon yet. PL South would like the money to go toward different types of PE courses. “We are going to buy a lot of types of equipment to give more variety for PE,” PE teacher Gwen Egbert said. Other than having more diversity in PE classes, the grant has another initiative. Teachers would like to

“We chose our meal because Mary researched on the Internet to find a meal that we thought looked good,” Chandler said. “We got all of our recipes online.” They were graded in two categories, Culinary Assessment and Management Case and Quiz Bowl, to be able to move on to Nationals. Best of beef, best of pork, best of sanitation, best of professionalism, best of dessert and best of knife skills were other categories

in which the teams could receive awards. In the management category they had to answer several questions in a “Jeopardy” style quiz bowl. Being first years in ProStart, The Savage Chefs were at a disadvantage but managed to do well. Out of a possible 400 points they achieved 260. “The knowledge bowl was the hardest because there was a lot of stuff to know and we didn’t always know it, but we still did good,” Sothan said.

After preparing the meal and participating in the quiz bowl, the scores were compiled and the results were given out. The Savage Chefs walked away from the competition with a third place trophy in the Best of Professionalism category. “I was actually very excited they made it to State,” adviser Louise Dornbusch said. “I was very happy with their accomplishments on the culinary and the •continued on page 4

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ALLY PHILLIPS/ the torch

Students in weight lifting go through stations that test agility, footwork and endurance. The grant money will go toward new classes to keep students in good physical shape.

try to have students enjoy exercising so that it will be easier for them to maintain it throughout life. “We are setting up PE classes that students are able to incorporate to life,” Weichel said. Few students know about the grant, but those who do are excited. “I think it is a good thing and a great way to improve upon what we have,” sophomore Stephanie Burkholder said. “Other students will be pleased because there aren’t very many choices now.” During one of the monthly advisement periods, students took a survey on what additions they would like for the PE department. They

were also allowed to come up with their own ideas, whether realistic or not. “It would be sweet to get our own swimming pool or some interactive video games like ‘Dance Dance Revolution,’” Burkholder said. With the grant acting as an opportunity, it doesn’t have its ups and downs. “It’s a lot of money and we can get a lot more equipment that we normally couldn’t afford,” Egbert said. “The problem is finding a place to put it.” The grant’s money going toward PL South will go into effect during the 2009-2010 school year. This grant will help to offer a wider range of physical education classes.

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The Torch


April 17, 2008

UTC: Seniors battle for ultimate title •continued from page 1

“I thought it sounded like a good idea,” Speck said. “It showed school spirit and showed the younger students it is okay to go to school.” The judges for the competition were channel 94.1 radio personality Montez, the Fightin’ Titan mascot, math teacher Paul Kunes and a special mystery judge, science teacher Dee Linse. The event kicked off with the “Titan’s Next Top Model” portion of the competition. As contestants were introduced, they entered the stage portraying their view of the Ultimate Titan. This was the contestants’ first opportunity to impress the judges. “(I wore) jeans with a polo and a blazer cause it mixed casual with professional,” Dunn said. The contestants then competed in the “Fear Factor” portion of the challenge. For this segment, each competitor pre-selected three different items to eat or drink. The items they were given to choose between included: half a lemon (the rind included), SPAM, pickled pigs’ feet, coffee beans, hot sauce, baby food and saltines. Once they finished their food, they had to drink a concoction of unknown ingredients to complete the event. The first to complete their food for the girls was Kauzlarich and for boys was Findlay. “I didn’t

Rob Nielsen/The Torch

Competitors look on as they are being introduced to the audidence. Seniors Liz Thornburg and Kyle Hubenka won the Challenge.

get to choose because I got there late so I got pickled pigs’ feet, baby peaches and a lemon.” Dunn said, “The drink was the worst part. It was ham flavored.” The competition continued onto the “Are you Smarter than a Freshman” section, which tested the contenders’ overall intelligence. Each student had to complete a

test that covered questions pertaining to everything from math to the Black Hole. After wearing out their brains and stomachs, the competitors then moved onto the physical portion of the challenge: “Survivor.” For this competition the boys went first. It started off with them simply having to balance on one foot on

a chair. The competition became more difficult as they were drenched with Super Soakers, then had to dance to the “YMCA” and “Macarena.” The last standing male contender was Sorensen. The females then faced the same challenge. However, they had to dance to the “Chicken Dance” and

“YMCA” and play Simon Says. The last standing female was Carlson. “Simon Says (was the hardest part) because I don’t take directions very well,” Simpson said. Throughout the competition, the audience had many opportunities to participate. While transitioning between events,

the audience was invited to partake in a dance contest. The winners received T-shirts from Titan Town. Another way the audience was invited to participate was through a text message vote. At the end of the night, the fan favorites, as the winners of the text vote were called, were announced. They were Koeppe and Dunn. After the audience entered their votes, the challengers were faced with their first elimination round. The top four boys and four girls were left. The final contestants then moved on to the “Titan’s Got Talent” competition where each competitor had one last opportunity to show what made him or her the Ultimate Titan. The competitors did everything from dancing, to playing an instrument, to teaching the judges something new. They had about three weeks to prepare for the talent portion. “In all reality, I hadn’t really prepared,” Kauzlarich said. “I was going to have someone videotape me figure skating but it was too short of notice. I just decided that hair is something I am good at so it would be funny to shave my brother’s hair into a mohawk.” Thornburg and Kyle Hubenka proved through their school spirit, individuality, bravery and intelligence that they were the Ultimate Titans.

DECA: Students excited to compete STD: Estimated 3.2 million affected •continued from page 1

won the pair first place at State and qualified the team for the national competition. “Because we got first at State, we are excited to see how we will place against the competition at Nationals,” McFeely said. Junior Martin MacNabb placed third in Automotive Service Management at the state competition to qualify for Nationals and is looking

forward to the experience. “I’m excited to meet new people and compete against the best,” MacNabb said. “I want to give it my best shot and come home with the gold.” For this category, participants took a written test and took part in a role-play where students were judged on how they handled real-life situations. Junior Ryan Compton also

qualified for Nationals in the Food Services category, which followed the same competition format. With all the competitive success that DECA has seen this year, DECA adviser Stephanie Kruse sees how this competition can affect students. “It’s exciting to watch them create and get excited and put their personalities into their work,” Kruse said.

ProStart: Lasting memories forged •continued from page 3

side. Obviously the judges thought they were very professional.” The Savage Chefs were pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the competition. “The best memory was

going to our first competition and getting a silver medal because we didn’t think we’d get anything at all,” Sothan said Not only did they grow in the cooking field but they also became close with one

another throughout the experience. They were able to make lasting memories. “It was really fun and very memorable because I caught my pants on fire and Marissa (Camacho) almost had a small oil fire,” Chandler said.

•continued from page 1

A new vaccine on the market used to help prevent young women from getting HPV and cervical cancer is the CDC-recommended Gardosil vaccine. “We offer the Gardosil vaccine in our medical center along with a patient help program to help patients who cannot afford the vaccine or their insurance does not cover it,” Simanek said. Along with Gardosil, the

medical center often offers patients the opportunity to fill the prescription of an antibiotic to fight STDs. “This is often more effective because teens are not usually interested in filling their prescription because they may not have the money or are afraid of their parents finding out,” Simanek said. There are an estimated 3.2 million young women and girls affected by STDs nationwide. Several

organizations around the Omaha area are trying their hardest to spread the word and make people become aware of the impact and damage they can do. “Our biggest frustration is mainly the pervasive thought young people tend to have thinking ‘It (an STD) isn’t that bad,’” Simanek said. “Most STDs can be asymptomatic and it’s important to treat it before it can cause any major damage to the body.”

Summer 2008 countdown SENIORS: 14 days Underclassmen: 25 days get ready for summer fun :)


The Torch

Frustrated student speaks out When it comes time to choose a career, the education field may seem appealing. All of us have spent countless hours in the classroom interacting and relying on our teachers. What an honorable profession! When we were younger, I don’t remember ever hearing about a teacher who had failed to do his or her job. However, it appears to me now that some faculty members take a lot more pride in their work than others. I understand that the financial circumstances wouldn’t be a great incentive, but if that is a problem, don’t become an educator in the first place. I believe that really good teachers teach because they love to interact with kids and help them grow. Unfortunately for the students, some teachers have chosen the incorrect profession. I can count on one hand the number of teachers who have made a positive difference in my life, the people who have motivated and encouraged me to do my best. They engaged me, supported my creativity and helped me think outside the box. I believe teachers should be leaders, influential and kind, willing to help when students ask for it. When the teacher likes his or her job and is excited about what he or she is teaching, students become more willing to participate in class. They will follow suit. Good teachers set good examples. Though some movies have Jill May educational value, watching futile videos and doing pointless busy work is not an acceptable teaching technique. Instead, create projects that engage our minds and challenge our mentality. Whether the students admit it or not, we all want to learn. It’s human nature to yearn for knowledge, but if the instructor simply hands out completion grades, there is no retention or connection to the subject matter at all. This ineffective and improper method of “leadership” sends the message to students that they are incapable of learning, that they aren’t worth educating, that they only need to know enough to pass the test. Is this acceptable? No, it isn’t. I believe students should want to come to school. Regrettably, I cannot say that I look forward to every class I attend. I have had many teachers whom I admire and respect. Those teachers recognized when I was struggling and helped me to catch up. They demonstrate positivity and care about me as a person as well as a student. It is really a shame for students to sit in a classroom and be told what they should know. Instead, the teacher should use that time to help the students who are struggling. School should be a place students can go to gain knowledge and understanding without feeling belittled by their supposed mentor. For those teachers who do not aim to expand students’ intelligence, but who are simply inhabiting the classroom, perhaps reconsider your misguided actions. So I would like to give my thanks to those teachers who have inspired and encouraged me to succeed. You have made an difference in my life, and to you I am eternally grateful.

April 17, 2008




Merydeth Cummings/ The Torch

Alcohol use jeopardizes friendships Among waking up to prank phone calls and smoke alarms, waking up to a text is not the most pleasant beginning to the day one can have. However, the content of a text can either make or break a day. A text like this: “Good morning darling! What are your plans for today?” is always a day-maker. However, a text like this: “Hey love. Just drove by your neighborhood. I’m drunk. Lot. Have a good day. I love you and miss you,” is a definite day-breaker and can leave the receivers starting their days in a nauseous stupor. There are so many things wrong about this text, besides the obvious misspellings, that it is hardly funny. As freshmen, most of us were raw to the world of rebellion amongst friends, but after spending so much time in high school many of us have become a little too accustomed and comfortable with it. Sure, hearing about underage drinking amongst teens is common. If one were

to listen in on people’s plans for weekends, a person might hear numerous replies of “You know what I’m doin’!” But very rarely does anyone ever hear about the friends of these underage drinkersthe ones who get called in the middle of the night for a ride home, the ones who sit on the couch and watch their friends take shot after shot, feeling too helpless and small to do anything about it. Some may say these friends are just as guilty as the ones who are drinking. This may be so, but there are some who would rather be there for their friends than see them risk the lives of themselves and others trying to drive home drunk after a night of partying. We’ve all been advocates for these friends numerous times, we’ve done the whole “picking up” routine and we’ve sat there and watched friends slowly deteriorate. To them, their weekend binge drinking is no big deal, it’s just relaxing and fun. But we must ask ourselves this time and time again: “Didn’t we have fun before you started


Lisi Genaidy There is not a force of nature stronger than a balanced breakfast. It’s what our mothers, worried guidance counselors and various gurus have been telling us all our lives, so it must be true. The modern teen breakfast must be a hypersonic experience to better maximize one’s beauty sleep,

and above all else it must be simple; any lacerations from complex kitchenware would be catastrophic for the droopy-eyed teen. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, muffins, toaster strudel, sure they’re great, but there’s just no time to consume them, and even more, they require more neurons than one is able to stimulate at the unholy hour of 7:15 a.m. Clearly there is only one reasonable, logical, safe, sane option at breakfast: cereal. However, picking out a cereal is like picking out the fatal vial from a cache of poisons. Select a fruity combo like Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles and you’ll be sick before the end of first period. Go out


Summer is near

Student parking situation

More classrooms

Early April’s cold, snowy weather

“Cheery Cheerios”

“Fantastic Fruits”

on a whim and choose that wonderfully deadly Captain Crunch and the top of your mouth will be crisscrossed and bleeding. Bypassing the sugary, chocolate, frosted and other equally sweet fare, which offer only a guaranteed VIP pass to the dentist, what’s left is all that’s good in this world: Cheerios. Cheerios has no age or species limits—men, women, children, ducks, Cheerios satisfies all. The design guarantees contemporary art pieces, memorable jewelry and endless game opportunities. Besides, it’s all about the “O” these days: Obama, Oprah, Omaha.

As the official Kellogg Web site states… “Kellogg’s® Froot Loops® breakfast cereal is fortified with 11 essential vitamins and minerals and is low in fat. These colorful loops give kids a sweet and fruity start to the day.” Wow, that is truly mindboggling. The genius that is Kellogg’s has managed to pack 11 essential vitamins and minerals into only five different colors and flavors. That’s 2.2 essential vitamins and minerals per color. Imagine what could happen if someone gave them a box of Crayolas. No, I don’t think America is quite ready for that. But if Toucan Sam gets




Papillion-La Vista South High School 10799 Highway 370 Papillion, Neb. 68046

Copy Editors: Lindsay Byers, Doug McAcy Advertising Manager: Dei Rathburn Photography Editor: Braden Boex Front Page Editor: Kaitlin Barnes News Editors: Doug McAcy, Josh Conrad Opinions Editor: Taylor Ingraham Focus Editors: Blythe Butcher, Kaitlin Barnes, Jill May Features Editor: Lisi Genaidy Entertainment Editor: Lindsay Byers

Athletics Editor: Chandler Thomas Staff Writers: Drew Hudson, Macayla Scarpello, Robert Nielsen, Ally Phillips, Tim Emerson, Paige Jones, Amy McConnell, Kayla Clark, Merydeth Cummings, Carissa Hernandes, Michelle Schlueter, Emily Lynch Photographers/Graphic Staff: Braden Boex, Robert Nielsen, Ally Phillips, Paige Jones, Blythe Butcher, Merydeth Cummings, Kayla Clark Ads Staff: Macayla Scarpello, Kaitlin Barnes, Casey Lenz Adviser: Ami Carper Adler

drinking?” There will always be memories left of when it didn’t take three shots of vodka to have a good time, or a beer to “be more relaxed.” Memories of when just hanging out and watching a movie together was all we needed to do to have fun, and going to Target to buy candy was our substance abuse of the week. Putting up with this abuse of friendship affects many students. The abusers don’t see how much their friends worry for them and hope that they will realize how stupid they are being. There are way too many people who must go through these hardships weekend after weekend. This alcohol epidemic is not a minor character flaw-it is life. This trend has transformed into an obsession for too many. This doesn’t mean giving up on those friends who make bad choices, because there will always be people in life who have different lifestyles. If they don’t even realize how worried their friends are for them, then this will have

creative enough, Froot Loops could replace bran as the health standard. Maybe that’s a stretch. In fact, calling Fruit Loops a health food is just downright lying. But everybody already knew that. No, the real reason that Fruit Loops haven’t been pulled from the local grocery store shelves isn’t for any sort of nutritious value, but instead because of the psychological effect it has on the consumer. We all know how we feel in the wee hours of the morning when we wake up: tired, sluggish, not quite firing all cylinders. But alas, society still requires that we contribute, so we have to wake up somehow. And what better way than by

weeded out the true friends from the fake ones. Back before high school everything seemed so easy. See a friend drinking a beer? Tell a parent. Catch your friend with weed? Tell them to stop. Stepping back in time I’m sure we can all remember thinking, “If I ever saw someone do that, I’d do the right thing. I know I would!” But the right thing, what is the right thing for friends in awkward positions to do anymore? Telling the parents isn’t going to do anything but A) get them grounded and B) make them frustrated and probably cause them to rebel even more (i.e. even more substance abuse). So what is the right thing? This is a really hard question to answer. But maybe being there for those friends who have strayed off the path. This doesn’t mean they should just pat them on the back and tell them everything’s okay. That wouldn’t be acting like a friend at all, but losing a friend is sometimes what a person needs to bring them back to reality.

Braden Boex

shocking the mind by pouring outrageously colored cereal into our bowls. Step one complete. Now let’s keep the brain like that. Ahh, I got it. Let’s give our hearts a run for their money and pack it full of sugar! One bite of anything packed as full of sugar as Fruit Loops and your mind will be working LiKe ThIs!

Members of:

The Torch is an official student publication of Papillion-La Vista South High School. The Torch is printed by Suburban Newspapers approximately once a month. The paper welcomes all letters to the editor from readers. All letters must be signed and may be mailed to 10799 Highway 370 or turned into room B17. We reserve the right to reject letters, or to edit them for content or length. All letters to the editor and columns represent the opinion of the writer. They do not represent the opinions of The Torch staff or Papillion-La Vista South High School. For advertising or subscription rates, please contact us at (402) 829-4600.


The Torch


April 17, 2008

Training dolphins furthers career Carissa Hernandes Staff Writer The sound of dolphins swimming, splashing and talking fills the air around junior Katie Dodge as she slips into the pool. She waits patiently as one of the dolphins swims over to her. Lifting her hand to her face, she makes a signal and the dolphin lets out a high-pitched squeal. This was Dodge’s first up-close encounter with the marine creatures at Sea World in San Diego. Dodge went to Sea World in San Diego about two years ago and trained dolphins as part of Sea World’s Dolphin Interaction Program. She learned about dolphins and the many aspects of training them. “I’ve been interested in marine biology since seventh grade,” Dodge said. “My family has always said I have a big heart and at first I wanted to go into nursing, but I loved animals so much that it pushed me in this direction. When I went to Sea World, I decided to take a chance and try something new.” Dodge and the other participants learned the signals necessary to train the dolphins and the dos-anddon’ts of dolphin safety. Then

they were allowed to swim and play with the dolphins in a tank. The encounter gave Dodge a wealth of memories that will last a lifetime. “The trainers told us to go stand by this wall,” Dodge said. “Then they whistled and the dolphins swam away and came back and splashed us. We had no idea, and we got soaked.” The experience was not only fun but it also taught her many things about herself as well as life. “It reinforced how much I wanted to go into marine biology,” Dodge said. “Also it teaches you discipline and to care about something other than yourself.” Dodge’s adventure in dolphin training encouraged her to continue to pursue other experiences in marine biology. Sea World offers many camps to people of all ages. Dodge is set to go to one of their summer resident camps next summer. She will learn to train a variety of marine animals including sharks, dolphins and penguins. Dodge has high hopes for her upcoming trip to Sea World. “I hope it will be really fun,” she said. “Also I hope I get a lot out of it. I want to learn more about marine

Paige Jones/the torch

Showing school spirit, baseball and football player junior Josh Homme’s room is decorated with Titan memorabilia.

courtesy photo

Working with a dolphin in San Diego as a part of Sea World’s Dolphin Interaction Program, junior Katie Dodge holds the animal’s pectoral fins during playtime. Dodge also learned how to train a variety of marine animals, including sharks.

animals, like dolphins, and their behavior, not just about how to train them. I want to also get first-hand experience that puts me ahead so that someday I can go into this field.”

Reasons other than studying the animals are making Dodge excited about her approaching journey. “I am excited to meet other people from around the nation and the world

courtesy photo

With alternating neon pink and lime green colors, junior Kylie Maskell enjoys her throwback to the 70s.

that share the same interests as me,” Dodge said. “Also I’ve never been this far from home for this long.” Through her past experience, Dodge’s love for animals and marine biology

has continued and grown. With this new adventure on the horizon, it stands poised to leap to new heights. “I like the feeling I get knowing that I am helping animals,” Dodge said.

Paige Jones/the torch

Freshman Erin Byers’ love for dance is the inspiration for her room where her impressive array of trophies reign.

Rooms: creativity expressed through design Paige Jones Staff Writer Teenagers’ rooms can be their sanctuaries. They give themselves opportunities to express them in many different ways. From posters of their favorite bands to pictures of their friends plastered everywhere, teens’ rooms are very special places and sometimes the only places that teenagers can have privacy. For junior Josh Homme, his Titan-inspired room

serves as a place in which he can reflect on what being a Titan means. Homme has the luxury of waking up every morning to a room covered in blue, silver and black. “It’s school spirited,” Homme said. Filled with items such as the Titan flag, “Class of ’09” on the wall and a giant Titan “T” logo, Homme gets only positive reactions from people about his room. “People think my room is really cool and shows Titan power,“ Homme said.

“Since I was going into One of his most meaningful items in his room high school as one of the first students to be a full Titan, I is his giant Titan “T.” thought it was “ I t represents our “I thought it was a a good idea school and it’s good idea to show to show my dedication my dedication a sweet logo,” to the school to the school Homme said. Homme’s through my room.” t h r o u g h -junior Joshua Homme my room,” parents can be Homme said. thanked for Homme’s dedication to most of the hard work that went into decorating his being a Titan is only part room. But there is a reason of the deal. Unlike many for Homme’s Titan-themed students’ rooms, Homme’s room with all of these room stays nice and tidy. “I don’t like to have a important items in it.

dirty room,” Homme said. “It’s my pet peeve.” Homme plans on going back to his clean room even after he goes to college. “I will have high school memories when I go home,” Homme said. Memories swarm around senior Christine Peterson’s room. She got the idea for her Hawaiian-themed room after going on a family vacation. “I love the beach so I decided to make it a part of my room,” Peterson said. “It reminds me of when

my family and I went to Mexico.” Peterson’s tropical room is covered with pictures of beaches and bright colors. Her most cherished possession in her room is a picture frame that shows different pictures of the ocean. The owner of another brightly colored room is junior Kylie Maskell. Her room parallels her personality with bright colors. “People always say, ‘Your room is so cool,’” Maskell said.

Catholicism becomes more than faith, evolves to vocation for student

Plans to become priest, attend seminary changes way of life Lisi Genaidy Features Editor

Lisi Genaidy/The Torch

After lighting a candle, junior Jacob Stein says a prayer for the benefit of others. Stein is an altar server at his church.

Chastity, poverty and obedience: alone these vows are momentous, however, when coupled with a life devoted to prayer, study and guidance, the declarations take on an even more vital magnitude. Whereas teachers develop the mind and trainers or coaches hone the physique, priests safeguard spirituality. It is to the latter that junior Jacob Stein hopes to ascend. “I want to be a priest because I’ve been influenced by a priest in my life that’s had a big impact on the way I live my life and my faith,” Stein said. A former pastor at Stein’s church has had an impact on the outcome of his life.

“He put my faith into an understanding to where it was something that I wanted to grasp and learn more about,” Stein said. The appetite for enlightenment began in 5th grade when under the guidance of mentor Father Francis, Stein realized the changes and good he could implement as a priest. “Since I didn’t go to a Catholic school, I didn’t really think of it as a possibility as a child,” he said. “Just going to religious education and being around Father Francis, seeing how he was able to affect so many people’s lives, put the idea in my head.” Participating in mass as an altar server at his church since 6th grade has only broadened Stein’s religious understanding. “It helps me understand

the mass because the mass is, of course, confusing,” he said. “By starting at an earlier age it just grew into more understanding as I got older.” It wasn’t until this past summer that the idea metamorphosed into a goal, a career choice, and seminary became the next aspiration after graduation. After high school the path to being ordained entails eight additional years of schooling. The first four years concentrate on the subject of philosophy, and the last on theology. Despite his enthusiasm, Stein is impatient to be finished. “The hardest part will be waiting to be ordained,” he said. “I want to just be ordained now. I want to be ready and go through seminary and start.”

Although the vows of chastity a priest takes forbids one from having a family, it’s not one Stein feels like he will miss. “Having the wife and the kids is the same thing as having the parish, but it’s just a different way to achieve it,” he said. “I just look at priesthood like I want to give everything I have to find that pearl in the field. I’d sell everything I had to buy the huge field, to just find the pearl that’s buried somewhere in the field, and that’s what priesthood is.” It is the search for that pearl that is Stein’s ultimate passion, his drive to go through seminary, become ordained and ultimately devote his life to others. “You get to witness day to day what some people witness once in their life.”


The Torch


April 17, 2008

Friehe to play golf in Washington

Senior starts season off with wins, has high hopes for future Chandler Thomas Athletics Editor The crowd is silent as the golfer steps up onto the tee box. He places his golf ball on the tee and lines up his shot. He imagines the ball blazing through the air and landing gently, directly in the middle of the fairway. Then he prepares to drive the ball off the tee and watch it fly. He shatters his tee as he swiftly strikes the ball and sends it into the air. The small crowd cheers as he watches it land in the fairway, just as he had anticipated. He proudly walks off the tee box and prepares for his next shot. Driving the ball off the tee is only one of the many aspects of golf. Striking, chipping and putting also have to be mastered to become a great golfer. Senior Ross Friehe is on his way of mastering all of these tangibles. Winning the Lincoln High Invite, the Millard South Invite and the NGA classic so far this year, he has hopes for a state title. “I hope to win a state title before I head off to college,” Friehe said. “I need to end my high school career on a good note.” Winning a state title will

take hard work, along with a lot of patience. Friehe aspires to continue his success for the entire season. “I’m hitting the ball very well right now. I wish I was playing in the state tournament tomorrow,” Friehe said. Friehe’s scores this season are nothing short of impressive, with a personal best of 65 strokes and a tournament best of 68. “If I can average around a 68 for the rest of the season then I believe I have a great chance of winning the state title,” Friehe said. In 2007, Friehe made three visits to different colleges with aspirations of a Division-I golf scholarship. One of these visits took him a long ways from home. “I have a good friend who lives up in Spokane, and he let me stay with him while I took a visit to Gonzaga University,” Friehe said. Friehe’s other visits to University of NebraskaLincoln and the University of Kansas also interested him, but the trip to Washington had the most influence on him. “What persuaded me into going to Gonzaga was the coach,” Friehe said. “He is a

really, really nice guy and he seemed to actually want to have a personal relationship with his players.” Last November, Friehe signed his letter of intent to become a Gonzaga bulldog. “This wasn’t the toughest decision, just because I was planning on going there ever since my visit,” Friehe said. “And then they went ahead and offered me a golf scholarship, so I accepted in a heartbeat.” Finishing the season strong before he begins to pack up and go to college is one of Friehe’s goals, but having fun and competing with his teammates are also reasons why Friehe wants to make the most out of his last season. “I enjoy playing golf everyday with a fun group of guys,” Friehe said. “It makes practicing in the bad weather easier to endure.” With a solid golf game, great teammates and a scholarship to Gonzaga University, Friehe has a bright future ahead of him. He hopes to never forget his high school years. “I want to make sure to make even more memories this season because they will be the last ones I make during Courtesy Photo my high school career,” Friehe Senior Ross Friehe takes his first shot off the tee at the Millard South Invite. Friehe won the said. invite with a score of 74.

Track takes victories in South Dakota competition Kayla Clark Staff Writer

casey Lenz/ the torch

Sophomore Kelsey Jones runs in the 4x400 meter relay. Jones participated in the 4x4 relay, the 400-meter and got 2nd place in the 800-meter run at the North Hermn Invite.

On March 22, the boys and girls Titan track and field teams traveled to Vermillion, S.D., to showcase their skills in the Norm Herren HS Track and Field Meet. The meet was held indoors at the Dakota Dome. “We went to South Dakota because they have a beautiful indoor track,” boys coach Bob Williams said. The Titan girls set 10 new school records in South Dakota. Junior Justine Buskirk, senior Britni Scott and the 4x400 meter relay team were among the record

setters. “The girls did really well,” girls coach Jeremy Haselhorst said. “There is still lots of room for improvement, but I’m proud of their performance.” Sophomore Marissa Kaluza, who placed seventh in the girls’ division for the 60-meter dash, wishes the meet had gone better. “Even though I think I did pretty well, I wish I had placed higher,” Kaluza said. Overall, the girls placed second out of 10 teams in the meet, just 20 points under the Papillion-La Vista Monarchs. The boys also did well at the meet, with eight boys placing in the top three places

of their events. “We had our best meet of the season so far,” Williams said. “No team scores were kept, but if they had been, we would have won the meet.” Junior Jake Kunkle set a new school record in his event at the meet. “My highest vault was 13 feet, which hasn’t ever been reached in our school,” Kunkle said. Other placers were junior Michael Burrus in the 60meter dash, senior Adam Meyer in the 3000-meter run and the 1500-meter run and junior Brayden Kelly in the 400-meter run. The Titan relay teams

also competed and placed high at the meet. The girls 4x400 relay team, consisting of sophomores Maddie Glesinger, Erin Klein, Kelsey Jones and Laura Brown, placed second in its division just four seconds after the Monarchs. The boys 4x400 meter relay team anchored a third place win, led by Kelly and fellow junior Josh Harnisch, and the boys’ 4x200 team placed second, led by Burrus. Overall, the Titans represented PL South well in South Dakota. “There was not much I could find fault with at this meet,” Williams said.

Four freshmen excel in soccer Tim Emerson Staff Writer From conditioning to practice everyday after school, four freshmen who tried out for varsity soccer made it on the team. The freshman players consist of Jen Stanek, MiKayla Peck, Carissa Hernandes and Thomas Bullock. “All of my sisters were amazing at the sport so they knew exactly what I was going through,” Bullock

said. Many of these freshmen receive support from players and other family members. “I worked really hard at try-outs and my parents and my sister encouraged me,” Stanek said. Stanek’s sister, junior Sara Stanek, is also on the varsity team, and they take turns cheering each other on. “I think that working with the other freshmen is a learning experience not only for them, but for me also,” Sara Stanek said.

Bullock has been setting goals for himself and the sport since middle school. “I set my sights on varsity ever since I was in 7th grade,” Bullock said. “Once I finally got here I tried as hard as I could and it paid off.” The freshmen also enjoy working with the other varsity players and intimidation is not a factor. “I feel like I don’t have to impress the rest of the varsity team. We understand each other and realize everyone makes

mistakes,” Jen Stanek said. “I know I will make a few.” Even the simplest words can spark a big burst of endurance and stamina in any player, especially a freshman. “When the team tells me I did a good job, and maybe I will get it next time, it makes me try a hundred times harder,” Peck said. Another freshman tries to manage a life outside of varsity soccer. “Balancing a social life, school work and all my varsity responsibilities is

Robert Nielsen/ the torch

Sophomore Mia Juarez dribbles the ball down the field. This is Juarez’s second year participating on the varsity team.

difficult,” Bullock said. “But impressing my teammates isn’t on my mind because they are all pretty laid back.”



Pom & Cheer


•Boys team: 4th place •Girls team: 15th place •Benjamin LaBombard: 5th place in 100-yd. breast stroke

•1st in varsity sideline •3rd in non-tumbling •4th in tumbling nonbuilding •3rd in jazz and pop •4th in hip-hop

•Team results: 20th place •Cody Green: 2nd place in 125 lb. weight class

The freshmen on the varsity soccer teams are preparing with their other teammates in hopes of a great season.


The Torch


Documentary provides honesty unmatched by top dollar films MOVIE REVIEW “Confessions of a Superhero”


Stars: Maxwell Allen, Christopher Denis, Jennifer Gerht

Currently available to rent or to own on DVD

Drew Hudson Staff Writer

In the wild world outside of our corn-bordered box, there lies a place of wonder and mass appeal that attracts attention throughout the country. That place is Hollywood, Calif. Many creative, original minds flock out to the West Coast every year looking for fame, fortune and the chance to make their mark among the rungs of the wealthy and powerful. “Confessions of a Superhero” is a documentary that tells the story of four people who have traveled to, drifted to or ended up in Tinseltown. While struggling to become serious actors, these four intricate, mysterious people give the audience a look into their lives as street performers on Hollywood Boulevard. The four performers (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Hulk) all have something to bring to the table. From Superman allegedly being the child of Sandy Dennis, an Oscarwinning actress, to Batman’s stories of working with the mob, the film lifts the lid on the dark, yet hopeful, souls of these four people. With interviews that are perfectly lit and character development following a riveting, suspenseful pattern, the picture easily captures

all the glamour, hurt, fame, fortune and sadness that is mixed into the experience of becoming a star. Every character is a melting pot of emotion and shines in his or her own way while still retaining his or her humanity in the face of the monster that is Hollywood. During the movie, however, there are many points where the audience feels disconnected from the emotion of it all due to poor footage and a lack of depth. Various shots feel improvised and used just to fill space instead of being important and insightful. Documentaries are supposed to tell a story no one pays attention to, but tell it in a way that makes the audience want to listen. If the interviews and story weren’t so great, this movie would greatly suffer from flat shots of film and repetitive video

that are capable of more than a few yawns. Overall, the tale of finding one’s way in a world of cruelty and fame is heartwrenchingly sad and overwhelmingly hopeful at the same time. The audience sees the broken pasts of these people, but is also allowed to peek at the potential in their futures. “Confessions of a Superhero” is the definition of the dreamer’s manifesto that tells no lies and apologizes for no dark truth it unveils. Even with the boring footage, the documentary is worth its weight in gold (approximately $2,299.10) because it is a human-interest piece that will not be matched in caliber for years to come. “Confessions of a Superhero” is available to rent or own at select stores and through any movie rental store.


April 17, 2008

New butterfly, insect exhibit brings unique experience to Henry Doorly

Michelle Schlueter Staff Writer

On a weekend afternoon, many students enjoy going to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. There they can view sharks, gorillas, penguins, orangutans, ostriches, parrots, leopards and lions, just to name a few. Whether creepy, furry, scaly, noisy, or wacky, these animals will soon have something new to contend with. Currently under construction, the Butterfly and Insect Pavilion will be opening on May 15. “There will be two parts, first there is a Butterfly Wing, where around 1500 butterflies from all over the world are flying around and landing on people,” supervisor of the Butterfly and Insect Pavilion Kay Klatt said. Students can expect to find more than butterflies throughout this wing however. There will also be several water features, displays of frogs and tropical plants. The second wing of the building is called the Insect Wing. “You will find all sorts of insects such as beetles, mantis, ants, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes and spiders,” Klatt said. “There are also waterfalls, tropical plants and exotic birds.” This new exhibit however has more included than exotic butterflies and creepy crawly

kayla Clark/THE TORCH

Construction for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s Butterfly exhibit is scheduled to finish next month. As a fundraiser, the zoo gave members the opportunity to adopt a butterfly.

insects. As with every exhibit in the zoo, it is designed to not only fascinate but also relay a message. “Bugs are so important to us, and this exhibit will explain how insects benefit the earth,” Klatt said. “Bugs are cool too.” In addition to the butterfly and insect rooms, there will also be a butterfly breeding room, insect breeding room and an amphibian room. “There will also be a lower level, but the public can only view this from outside looking in the windows,” Klatt said. For those who are not spellbound by the bizarre and alien, they have another reason for visiting the pavilion. “The public will also see the giraffes up close and

personal,” Klatt said. However, it takes more than just constructing a home and bringing the insects in to make this exhibit work. “There are several permits needed for the new building,” Klatt said. “USDA has strict regulations for housing certain insects.” Many students who enjoy the zoo are thrilled to see another exhibit arrival. “I go to the zoo a lot and think it would be a new and exciting add on,” sophomore Emily Harriman said. Because of the regulations, not many zoos have the opportunity to house exhibits such as the Butterfly and Insect Pavilion. “This is the first butterfly building in Nebraska,” Klatt said. “I know people will really enjoy it.”




Billboard Hot 100 for March 30 through April 5

USA Today Top Sellers for March 30 through April 5

Highest Grossing Films for the weekend of April 4-6

1) “Touch my Body,” Mariah Carey 2) “Love in this Club,” Usher ft. Young Jeezy 3) “4 Minutes,” Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake 4) “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis 5) “No Air,” Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown 6) “Sexy Can I,” Ray J & Yung Berg 7) “Lollipop,” Lil Wayne ft. Static Major 8) “With You,” Chris Brown 9) “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles 10) “Low,” Flo Rida ft. T-Pain

1) “A New Earth,” Eckhart Tolle 2) “Compulsion: An Alex Delaware Novel,” Jonathan Kellerman 3) “The Final Warning: A Maximum Ride Novel,” James Patterson 4) “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert 5) “The Other Boleyn Girl,” Philippa Gregory 6) “Simple Genius,” David Baldacci 7) “Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson,” David Oliver Relin 8) “1 Magic Treehouse #39: Dark Day in the Deep Sea,” Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca 9) “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” Jeff Kinney 10) “Twilight,” Stephenie Meyer

1) “21”-$15.3 M 2) “Nim’s Island”-$13.2 M 3) “Leatherheads”-$12.7 M 4) “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who”-$9.1 M 5) “The Ruins”-$8.0 M 6) Superhero Movie”-$5.4 M 7) “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns”-$3.42 M 8) “Drillbit Taylor”-$3.41 M 9) “Shutter”-$2.83 M 10) “10,000 B.C.”-$2.8 M

The Torch


April 17, 2008


Treaty of Paris Rising Chicago band shares tales of past, hopes for future Lindsay Byers Copy Editor The self-described “powerpop rock” band Treaty of Paris originated in Chicago, Ill., in late 2004. After a number line-up changes, the band ended up with Mike Chorvat on lead vocals and guitar, Dan Wade and Phil Kosch on guitars, Brandon Capetillo on bass and Chris Insidioso on drums. These five released the EP “Behind Our Calm Demeanors” in the fall of 2005, and it immediately began receiving airplay on commercial radio stations in Chicago. A self-booked tour of the Midwest and East Coast followed, and in spring 2007 the band was signed to Airport Tapes and Records, an independent label launched by Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. The band is currently touring with Yellowcard, The Spill Canvas and PlayRadioPlay!, but took a short break from this to play a small show at Sokol Underground in Omaha on March 9. I got the chance to sit down and chat with them as the local bands ran their sound checks before

the show. Q: What are the band’s biggest musical influences? Mike: We all like Motion City Soundtrack; I think we can agree on that. Brandon: I would say The Beatles. Mike: Yeah, definitely The Beatles too, who are kind of the influence of all bands… ever. But, we always say like, Weezer, The Foo Fighters. It’s kind of straight up rock, but we like the poppy stuff too. Q: How did the name Treaty of Paris come into existence? Mike: Basically it started off as a joke. We were fourpiece before, and I played guitar. Then Phil joined the band and started playing with the guitar. The first thing, we were like, “Come up with a name,” and we looked at this huge list of names. Treaty of Paris was on it, and we thought it was the funniest thing in the world. We were like, “Who would name their band Treaty of Paris?” Well, it ended up, we played our first “secret show” under that for our friends and stuff, and basically we couldn’t think of anything we liked better, so w e were like, “ Tre a t y of Paris it is.”

And a month later Brandon was like, “Wow. That’s really our name.” Dan: The joke was on us. Q: What have you been listening to lately? Mike: Lately I’ve been listening to the Phil Kosch Solo Acoustic Project. Phil: I’ve been listening to The Chemical Brothers’ “Prodigy” and this band called Danger. Chris: Hell’s Lions. And I also have been listening to the Phil Kosch Solo Acoustic Project a lot. Phil: And yes, we have been listening to Jack’s Mannequin. Q: What’s your favorite band that you’ve played with so far? Dan: Well, we toured Europe with Metallica last year and that was probably the best tour we ever did. And U2 was pretty fun. I don’t know, what was your favorite, Phil? Phil: I’d have to say, we actually played a zoo with a band called Collective Soul, in front of 5,500 people, probably my favorite band of the 90s. It was cool. We rocked out, and we heard Gel, so we were excited.

Q: What can be expected from Treaty of Paris within the next year? Dan: In the next year we can expect to do lots and lots of touring, traveling, just basically getting our name out. Promoting our record is pretty much priority one for us right now. Other bands like to call it “road doggin’ it,” so we’ll be “road doggin’ it” for the next year. Mike: We’ll be playing lots of gigs. Chris: Giggin’. Mike: Giggin’ it up. You know we have to prepare for the second record, because that’s the big record. It’s the one everybody’s really going to be critical about, so we’ve got to make it good. Treaty of Paris’s first record “Sweet Dreams, Sucker” was released on Sept. 25, 2007, and can be found in stores everywhere. Their current tour with Yellowcard will come to a close at the end of April, but watch for them in the Van’s Warped Tour from June 20 to June 29.

Bandmembers Brandon Capetillo, Dan Wade, Mike Chorvat, Chris Insidioso and Phil Kosch make up Treaty of Paris. This band is currently touring with Yellowcard and will be playing on the Van’s Warped Tour from June 20 to June 29.

Braden Boex/THE TORCH

Student, teacher enjoy ballroom dancing lessons Jill May Focus Editor While some regard ballroom dancing as classical and outdated, two individuals from PL South find joy in performing. Junior Ali Holton takes ballroom dancing classes at the DC Centre twice a week. “I watched my parents do it for a year, then I decided I wanted to try it too,” Holton said. There are around 20 different types of ballroom dances. “There is traditional waltzing, but there are lots of Latin dances, too, like chacha and tango,” Holton said. “Tango is my favorite. It’s about two people in a fight dancing, and they don’t look at each other. I like it because it’s really loud.” Holton has become accustomed to the many different styles. “There is salsa, tango, samba... It gets to the point where I can just listen to a song and know what steps go with it based on the music,” Holton said. The DC Centre, where Holton and English teacher Lorraine Feldhausen attend classes, has recently launched a youth program for students in grades 7-12. “There are about eight people in my class and you just kind of dance with the instructor or whoever is there,” Holton said. Lessons can be one-on-one, as a couple or with a group. While Holton learns in a group class, Feldhausen takes a class alone with her husband. “I had been trying to get my husband to go dancing

with me for 30 years and finally for Christmas he bought me ballroom dance lessons,” Feldhausen said. “I just think dancing is romantic and it’s a time for you and your partner to connect.” Some couples choose to compete with other dancers at organized events. “I did a floor show with my instructor,” Holton said. “We made up a tango routine and performed it at a dance party in front of people. Although it wasn’t a competition, it was really fun.” Feldhausen, like Holton, simply enjoys the time with others. “Yes, there are couples who compete, but I just like to do it because it’s time that I get to spend with my husband,” Feldhausen said. “It’s nice to actually get to interact with your partner and not simply sit around and watch TV.” Feldhausen has gained confidence through her dancing experiences. “It’s nice to be able to go to a wedding or something and know what you’re doing and not have to pretend,” Feldhausen said. “I think students would enjoy Prom and Homecoming a lot more, too, with real dances.” Holton is glad she found this activity as a teenager. “It is definitely something I plan to continue doing in the future,” Holton said. “I want to eventually be able to enter competitions.” Both Feldhausen and Holton feel dancing is a good skill for young people to acquire. “I like it because it’s fun and you get to meet kids from a bunch of other schools,” Holton said. “It’s always fun to meet new people.”


April/May SEE •”Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” April 18 •”88 Minutes,” April 18 •”Forbidden Kingdom,” April 18 •”Made of Honor,” May 2 •”Iron Man,” May 2


•Santana at Qwest Center, April 22 •Chevelle at Sokol Auditorium, April 20 •Michael Buble at Qwest Center, April 27 •Casting Crowns at Mid-America Center, April 27 •Tech N9ne at Sokol Underground, April 30


•11-Worth Cafe, 2419 Leavenworth St. •Bernies Pizza Parlor, 5092 S. 162th St. •Bob’s Grill and Cafe, 317 S. 17th St. •Miracle Hills Cafe, 627 N. 114th St. •Paradise Bakery, 120 Regency Parkway.



The Torch

April 17, 2008

Photos by Braden Boex/the torch

Key Club sponsored Spring Fling on April 5. The event offered fun, games and food in exchange for canned goods.



1. Dressed in a costume, senior Kaitlin Barnes portrays the Easter Bunny. The excitement of Spring Fling helped many children burn off excess energy from the long winter. 2. Senior Demi Huff colors a poster to publicize the Spring Fling. Bright colors were used to attract attention and add to the Easter theme. 3. Indiana Claus, son of Spanish teacher Dinah Claus, chooses a car as a prize for winning at BINGO. Prizes included a variety of colorful toys, stickers and candy. 4. Garrett Grice runs around a group of chairs at the Cake Walk. Prizes included cupcakes, cookies and juice. 5. Seniors Mica Velasquez and Mindy Janssen open Easter Eggs before the Easter Egg Hunt begins. Several hundred eggs were up for grabs. 6. Isabelle Claus chooses a prize at BINGO. Spring Fling featured a bounce house, cake walk, games and a visit from the Easter Bunny.






The Torch