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Rebounding from loss. Junior Joe Borcia and his struggle to overcome the loss of his brother. Pages 31-33

November 13, 2013 Volume 87, Issue 2

What’s Inside: • Meet Pastry Chef Jess Dawson and Artist April Dejon • What’s up with weed? • Monsanto and GMOs

Visit our website for more stories!

Twitter: @Lhsdoi

Follow Us! Instagram: Lhsdoi

Facebook: Libertyville High School Drops of Ink 2013-14 Staff

Jessica Cartwright, Staff Writer Becky DeAcetis, Staff Writer Molly Downing, Staff Writer Ryan Jackson, Staff Writer Hannah Jenkins, Staff Writer Jacob Luce, Staff Writer Emily Malecha, Staff Writer Connor Polk, Staff Writer Maddie Salata, Staff Writer Shelly Schick, Staff Writer Korina Valenzuela, Staff Writer Kate Vittore, Staff Writer Nick Vittore, Staff Writer Kaitlin Vrba, Staff Writer Mr. Michael Gluskin, Faculty Adviser

Elise Houcek, Editor-in-Chief Alex Zoellick, Editor-in-Chief Kyle Laska, News Editor Ava Polzin, Features Editor Tom Ackerman, Opinion Editor Mike Gasick, Sports Editor Tyler Skinner, Sports Editor Bailey Schmid, Photo Editor Rachael Girmscheid, Social Media Editor Emily Luce, Social Media Editor


November 13,2013


what’s inside

4 5 6 8-9 10-11 12-13 15-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24 25 26-29 31-33 34-35 36-37 38-39

News Briefs

Ava Polzin Features Editor

Learn about President Obama’s health care plan.

letter to the readers

DOI discusses Student Council’s new “Be the Giving Type” campaign in addition to an update on IMEA.

Obamacare: What you really need to know

Humans Contribute to Global Warming

Find out about global warming, the carbon footprint, and how it relates to Libertyville.

Cheater, Cheater

Cheating is a national epidemic. Now it’s at LHS.

High Stakes

As medical marijuana is increasingly accepted, DOI takes a look at its uses and legislation.

GMO...? OMG.

Do you know what’s really in your food? Drops of Ink delves into the issue of genetic modification.

Jessica Dawson: Baking Her Way to the Top Meet LHS’s best student chef.

Keeping Life Colorful

Artistic, poetic, and musical -- learn about senior April Dejon and her creative exploits.

Celebs Then and Now

Take a look at some female celebrities and how they’ve changed over time.

Recipes you’ll be falling for...

Do Thanksgiving the DOI way.

What’s Trending

Find out what’s popular at LHS right now.

What’s Happening?

DOI reports the world’s doings.


DOI staff takes a stance on the alcohol posters, subjective grades, current events, and technology.

Larger than Life

Find out more about LHS basketball’s tallest player, Joe Borcia.

Dear Readers, So many talented students grace Libertyville High School’s halls each day that, too often, their personalities and stories are lost in the shuffle, buried beneath piles of other high achievers, acknowledged only in the simplest terms of their successes. In our second issue of the year, Drops of Ink hopes to shed some light on a few of these exceptional people. Featured here are an artist (April Dejon -- well-rounded in art, music, and poetry), an athlete (Joe Borcia -- motivated in his basketball by a recent family tragedy), and a chef (Jess Dawson -- already working in multiple restaurants). These individuals are not relevant solely to LHS, a trend indicative of our new direction: Increasingly, you can look to our News section, many of our Features, and our What’s Happening? page to gain insight into the larger world with stories chosen for their specific relevance to our larger community and readership. Covering everything from the LHS Student Council’s “Be the Giving Type” campaign to the truth about the ‘zombie’ drug Krokodil, we have put together an issue that aspires to interest and inform on both the micro (Libertyville) and macro (world) levels. With our previous issue, we introduced you to our new staff for the 2013-14 year. With this issue, let us introduce you to our new M.O.


Fall Sports Wrap-Ups

Satiate your curiousity for how each fall Wildcat seasons ended.

Winter Sports Previews

Check out what’s coming this winter.

Catching up with Kevin

Everything you want to know and more about LHS alum and professional athlete, Kevin Walter.

Table of Contents

November 13, 2013

Cover photo by Bailey Schmid


News Student Council begins “Giving Type” campaign By Jessica Cartwright

Student Council has started an all-school campaign called “Be The Giving Type.” The Student Council Executive Board, along with sponsors Mrs. Becky Kinnee and Ms. Andrea Lara, have created this campaign in order to help others. “We wanted to give giving back to the community a positive connotation amongst LHS students,” said Executive Board Vice President Alex Yoor, a junior. Many things are being done in order to raise money, such as the successful Hats For Heifer sticker fundraiser, the canned food drive, and the letter writing campaign to deployed soldiers, which will begin next month. The canned food drive is specifically used for the Libertyville Township Food Pantry. Years ago, not many people brought in cans to donate. This year, however, numbers of cans are increasing past the usual numbers, according to Mrs. Kinnee. “[This campaign is] about giving different things that other people don’t have,” Mrs. Kinnee explained. Amnesty International and SAFE (Save Animals Forever) helped with Hats For Heifers, where they sold roughly 100 stickers. Those people bought the stickers, and then proudly wore them, along with a hat, the following day. Although Student Council has done some of these community service-type events before, the “Be the Giving Type” campaign is known by so many more people this year than years before, said Yoor.

Yoor also explained that events such as the Blacklight Dance, which helped the canned food drive efforts, and incentives like Hanakawa’s fried rice have really caught many students’ attention. In addition, the annual blood drive, held last month in the main gym, proved to be another successful event in Student Council’s efforts. “It felt good to give back to the people in need,” said junior Jessica Leider, who donated blood. “‘Be the Giving Type’ is good because it gave us the opportunity to help people in our community that are in need.”

Photo by Rachael Girmscheid The annual LifeSource blood drive at LHS was held October 11 in the Main Gym.

23 LHS students make IMEA’s All-State Competition By Kate Vittore

This year, 23 LHS musicians in choir, band, and orchestra were selected for the Illinois Music Educators Association District 7 Festival from their auditions in early October and will be traveling to Peoria to participate in an All-State competition. In the world of music, IMEA is one of the most prestigious and exciting competitions an Illinois high school musician can participate in. IMEA is an organization with district orchestras, bands and choirs throughout the state. Students begin preparation early in the school year for IMEA and get around a month and a half to practice their music. When asked how she prepared for the IMEA choir competition, senior Hannah Anderson said, “I sang a lot. I did a lot of sectionals with Dr. Brown. I just sang all the time. I’ve been preparing for this for a long time, and I’m lucky to be in a school with such an amazing music department.” Auditions for the competition were held in different schools around Illinois. LHS hosted the choir students, while Zion hosted the band and Crystal Lake hosted orchestra. Students are asked to play multiple scales and a specific piece for the judges, and are then scored. IMEA is a non-profit organization that has more than 3,500 participants from every level of music education each year. “The whole experience is super fun, and it’s an awesome way to meet new people. I’ve kept in touch with my stand partners even though they went to college,” said Ingrid Reid, a senior cello player. Reid is in the chamber orchestra, Libertyville’s highest level. When asked how she prepared for her audition, Reid said, “Lots of practicing, and using recordings on YouTube to play along with.”


When asked how she was feeling during her audition for IMEA, sophomore saxophone-player Harriet Legan said, “Nervous. This was a very nerve-wracking experience, but I was very happy with how it all turned out.” Legan is one of the youngest musicians from LHS to be a finalist. “I was obviously very excited when I got the news that I was a finalist,” she said. The finalists will now travel to Peoria, Illinois, for the All-State competition next month, featuring the winners of each district of Illinois.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Dustin Helvie The IMEA finalists from orchestra, band and choir pose for a group picture together.

November 13,2013



What You Need to Know

By Nick Vittore

Photo Courtesy of MCTCampus President Obama addresses the talking points of Obamacare in front of the White House last month. Thousands anxiously stood outside of the Capitol building for hours to witness the decision: would Congress deem the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional? Enacted on March 23, 2010, the statute was taken all the way to the Supreme Court over the summer. Chief Justice John Roberts cast his vote in what would become the swing vote: Obamacare would take effect, being ruled constitutional as a mandate. This means that from 2012 to the present, it is required for virtually all Americans to have health insurance by 2014. While the ruling did not have an instant impact, it will have implications on the uninsured come January 1, 2014, when every American will need to have health insurance or pay a penalty fee. While there are rare exceptions to this requirement, any American without health insurance will need to be signed up through a program by this date, which means they must sign up by the mid-December deadline. As the government shutdown came to an end, eligibility to sign up for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) became available via The uninsured have to enroll by December 15 in order for their coverage to kick in on January 1. Signup for the exchanges is now available both via the internet and telephone.

“Depending on the threshold... if you make more money, you are expected to pay more, whereas if you make less money, you will receive more take home money.”- Mr. Voss While most Americans have health care insurance and do not think about it as a major concern, there are 48 million uninsured Americans, according to That’s 15 percent of the national population. Thus, all of the uninsured are affected by this law. According to, the uninsured may obtain coverage from an Insurance Exchange Marketplace. One advantage of the exchanges is that they are competitive yet very accessible. National health care strategy leader Ken Sperling elaborated about this. “Since the employee is given the choice of myriad health insurance options that are very competitive, he or she can make a decision that best meets their particular needs, which we view as offering superior value over a traditional employer-sponsored plan,” he said. Yet the plethora of choices breeds a downside, as there are so many plans to choose from that there are even different purchasing models. Plus, this can definitely result in the young and healthy to pay more


since more people are being included in the exchange marketplace. Due to the fact that many of those people are the ill and the elder, they have to be charged lower, yet this group of people tend to be wealthy, according to Fox News, a popular cable network that reaches over 90 million people. LHS Current Issues teacher Mr. Brian Voss compared the exchanges to a progressive tax, saying, “Depending on the threshold… if you make more money, you are expected to pay more, whereas if you make less money, you will receive more take home money.” However, the website to register has experienced several glitches due largely in part to high traffic., a political newspaper that reports directly out of Washington D.C., reported on October 16 that less than 1 percent of people who visited actually signed up. When a CNN employee tried to enroll as an experiment, it took her more than a week to create a username and password. When she received them, error messages popped up when she tried to sign in, and it took two weeks until she finally could access her account. Granted, Obamacare will not have an impact on most people in the local demographic. As, a website that collects metadata on city facts from virtually all angles, reported an average household income of just over $97,000 in 2011, the Libertyville area is affluent and the Daily Herald reports that only 4.8% of people in the concentration of Libertyville, Vernon Hills, and Deerfield are uninsured, the lowest amount amongst any concentration in the state. It’s worth noting that Obamacare will have no immediate impact on people who receive their health insurance through their employer. Another group that will be affected are young adults who are unemployed and/or financially dependent, in both good and bad ways. “Assuming young adults have insurance through their parents, the nice thing is that they get to keep it through college,” explained Mr. Voss. “For people not in that position, the ideal is that Obamacare will give people a chance to have emergency care at their disposal without having to purchase a plan for a lot of money, even though coverage is limited to major medical emergencies.”

Rollout of the marketplaces Health insurance marketplaces opened Oct. 1, allowing Americans to enroll in private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. How the marketplaces are administered varies by state. State-based

State-federal partnership


R.I. Conn. Del. D.C.

NOTE: Idaho and New Mexico rely on federal technology to run their marketplaces

What you can learn at the marketplaces

Marketplaces help consumers

• Which insurance companies are available • What is offered in each plan

• Enroll in coverage online, in person, by phone, fax, or mail

• Whether you qualify for tax credits to help with cost

• They provide linguistic assistance

November 13, 2013

© 2013 MCT Source: Kaiser Family Foundation Graphic: Judy Treible


Humans Contribute to Global Warming By Hannah Jenkins Global warming is no longer a myth; climate scientists are 95% sure that humans have caused half of what has made the planet’s surface temperature to rise, according to CNN. This may sound trivial, but global warming is actually happening, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. However, many wonder why it even matters if the effects of carbon pollution will only affect future generations and not their generation. This is wrong. Global warming is easily seen in our lives today, for example, the weather is slowly getting more extreme with each season, fossil fuels are slowly becoming more expensive, sea levels are rising, and storms are becoming stronger, as stated by Environment America, an organization in America that is dedicated to preserving the environment. However, since we’re so accustomed to these unnatural conditions, we assume it’s the norm, even though it isn’t. Fossil fuels are continuing to burn, mostly due to being relatively cheap, which is causing the gases to clump in the atmosphere and, thus, cause the world to slowly heat up. The world is always cycling to different phases, like ice ages, or periods where there actually was no ice on earth. But most scientists are fairly certain humans are dramatically speeding up this process because “no matter how much we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we’re already locked in to at least several dozens of sea-level rise, and perhaps several dozens of feet, as the planet adjusts to the amount of carbon that’s in the atmosphere already,” stated Gavin Foster, a geochemist in an interview with National Geographic in September 2013, where the issue focused on how sea levels are rising because of global warming. Because sea levels are rising, storms like superstorm Sandy, a storm that happened on October 9, 2012 that affected the northeast and the Caribbean and was the largest storm to have extended around these areas and caused major damage due to high storm surges, flooding, and accelerated winds. Storms like this are beginning to happen once every decade instead of once every century, as stated by National Geographic. These effects can clearly be seen to us, but we aren’t always so aware of them; thus, people are more resilient to helping a cause that won’t directly benefit them. However, global warming isn’t something we can keep brushing aside since it’s going to happen whether we acknowledge it or not. Currently, Congress is looking over bills for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be able to develop more specific laws about the Clean Air Act, which was passed in the 1970s. The main target of these laws is to limit the carbon pollution allowed to come from power plants, which is one of the biggest contributors in America to pollution, according to Environment America. Clean energy, such as solar and wind, is slowly becoming more popular and cheaper each year. It is steadily becoming a wanted and readily usable alternative for their harmful counter partners of gas, coal, and oil. At Libertyville High School, according to Dave Lapish, there is a recycling program, which can help eliminate having to send reusable resources to rot in a junk yard. There also are motion-sensor lights in certain rooms and in the newer science wing in the school, which helps eliminate unnecessary usage of electricity. Lastly, in addition to saving electricity, the school recently installed solar panels (check out the website for more details on the new solar panels). However, even if we completely stopped emitting fossil fuels today, the globe’s temperature will keep rising, maybe for even centuries, according to National Geographic. Future generations will have to deal with the aftermath of all of the previous generations’ failure to realize the harsh consequences of carbon pollution. The world currently has 440 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is the highest it has been since three million years ago. This means that the world is slowly hitting its limit on how much pollution it can hold; according to National Geographic, however, it will take thousands of years for all the ice on Earth to melt.


November 13, 2013



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By Maddie Salata

Academic cheating has made its mark here at LHS, with students feeling an increasing amount of pressure to succeed academically. Technology has paved the way to easier, faster methods of cheating, with teachers becoming increasingly aware of this prominent issue. Academic cheating has been a prominent issue not only in high schools across America, but right here at Libertyville High School. This generation of students is more competitive and technologically savvy than ever, making it easier and more tempting to cheat. A recent survey of 24,000 students from 74 different high schools, conducted by Professor Donald McCabe from Rutgers Business School, found that cheating has increased drastically in the past few decades. There are many forms of cheating, such as looking over on another student’s exam, stealing ideas or words without citing them, or passing along information about a test or quiz to other students that haven’t taken it yet. The survey showed that 95 percent of high school students admitted to some form of cheating, including copying someone else’s homework. 64 percent of students admitted to cheating on a test and 58 percent admitted to plagiarism. One LHS junior, who did not want to be named so he could speak honestly about the subject, noticed that it has become a lot easier for students to cheat. “I definitely think it’s become easier just because of the use of cellphones. And teachers are always behind their desk, behind their computers, so it makes it easier for students,” explained the student.

“[Technology] HAS MADE IT much easier FOR KIDS TO CHEAT, BUT IT’S ALSO MADE IT much easier FOR THEM TO GET CAUGHT. THEY USUALLY fail to realize THAT.” -Mr. Leone

According to a six-month investigation led by ABC Primetime last April, in which researchers traveled to various high schools across the country to find out how and why students cheat, it was found that this generation of students just has a different mindset about cheating. It’s become a cultural norm -- something that has become so prominent in today’s schools that students don’t really care as much. The bottom line: students have become used to it.


In today’s technology based society, the methods of cheating have changed. Whether it’s looking up papers or answers online, texting friends the answers to tests, or even looking up answers during the quiz, students have access to so many resources that can easily be abused. The internet also makes it easier for students to plagiarize. In just a few clicks, one can copy and paste an entire essay written by someone else. However, what students commonly forget is that teachers can just as easily look up the information. Mr. Matt Leone, who teaches Earth Science here at LHS, believes using technology to cheat isn’t always the smartest move. “It’s made it much easier for kids to cheat, but it’s also made it much easier for them to get caught. They usually fail to realize that,” said Mr. Leone, who has caught numerous students cheating at LHS. One LHS junior, who was caught cheating last year in his English class and did not want to be named, used the computer to copy his sister’s old paper -- a common method of cheating.

“I had a paper due after spring break and I didn’t want to do it. My sister had the same teacher and the same paper, so I just asked her for the paper. I just changed the name and the date. I didn’t recognize that the page numbers were different,” explained the student. His teacher, however, did. “My teacher told me to see her and then I had to have an awkward conversation

November 13, 2013


with her,” said the student. “She made me redo the paper for half credit. I ended up getting a C in the class because of it.” This student is just one of many who use technology to cheat. Some just get lucky and don’t get caught. “I think people use technology [to cheat] and the teachers have no way of finding out. It’s unfair for the students who don’t cheat,” said junior Chandler Scott. Some teachers do try to take precautionary measures to reduce the amount of cheating that occurs at LHS.

“Technology increases THE temptation TO cheat. BUT ultimately I WOULD SAY WHAT WE’RE trying TO DO IS teach students THE ethics. EVEN IF THE temptation IS THERE, don’t do it.” -Ms. Tarczynski

“Most teachers do give out different forms of tests, so that kind of reduces it,” explained freshman Jenna El Ghatit.

Another reason why students cheat is students simply not knowing the information on the exam.

Ms. Meredith Tarczynski, an English teacher at LHS, has implemented different class rules to try to reduce the number of students who pass along information about tests to students in later periods.

“Nine out of ten times it’s panic due to lack of preparation,” said Mr. Leone.

“I try to combat that by telling students that were will be a slight curve on the test, but the curve is the same for all classes. So if period one tells period eight what’s going on, and period eight gets a better score, that means the curve for all classes lessens, which does period one more harm than good,” explained Ms. Tarczynski. However, some teachers aren’t very strict when it comes to disciplining students. “Teachers are really general about students cheating. I mean they say things like ‘keep your eyes on your own paper’ but they don’t actually try to stop it and try to see who’s cheating,” said Scott. But cheating does have its consequences. The Libertyville High School cheating policy in the student handbook states that “any situation where a student is found to be cheating or plagiarizing may result in no credit for the particular assignment and the LST will be notified with each incidence of cheating.” If students are caught cheating more than once, it could result in a failing grade for the course, LST-imposed consequences, and it could negatively impact participation in school activities and athletics, like being asked to sit out of games or meets. As far as the academic consequences go, teachers agree that different “levels” of cheating require different punishments. For example, a student who is caught plagiarizing an entire essay will receive a punishment much greater than a student who glances over at someone else’s test.

Cheating has also become more widely tolerated, not only among students, but also among parents and teachers, according to an article published by The New York Times last year. Research has shown that parents are more accepting of their children cheating. Parents fail to give children strong consequences for their deceitful actions, making students believe what they’re doing is adequate. Mr. Leone said that a decrease in cheating will come when students learn how not to cheat. “Teaching kids how to learn is paramount. They have to have certain skills and one of these skills better be how to learn and how to do it yourself,” explained Mr. Leone. Ms. Tarczynski also believes that students need to learn the ethics behind cheating. “Technology increases the temptation to cheat. But ultimately I would say what we’re trying to do is teach students the ethics. Even if the temptation is there, don’t do it,” said Ms. Tarczynski. In hopes to bring awareness to academic cheating, specifically plagiarism, Link Crew has added a new lesson plan that will be taught this year over the course of a few days. Ms. Tarczynski played a lead role in creating the lesson plan that will be taught to the freshmen in Link Crew. Through a series of activities, discussions, and worksheets, freshmen will hopefully learn what constitutes plagiarism and how to guard against it.

“Just like with anything else, the punishment has to fit the crime,” said Mr. Leone.

Many times students fail to realize just how serious cheating is. It may not seem so significant in high school, but this “bad habit” could turn into something more severe.

So the question is simple: why do students cheat? One reason is the amount of pressure that is put on students to excel academically. The pressure to get good grades is so significant that students are willing to do whatever it takes to get that A.

“If students go to college and they get caught cheating, it’s no longer a matter of getting a zero. It’s no longer a matter of getting mommy and daddy mad at you. It’s now a matter of being removed from an academic institution,” explained Mr. Leone. “The punishments get much higher as you go up. You go into the workforce, now we’re not talking about getting kicked out of college, now we’re talking about losing a job - losing a livelihood.”

“Everyone just wants to get that good grade because everyone knows that’s what colleges want,” said the LHS junior who spoke openly about cheating.

THE SURVEY SHOWED THAT 95 percent OF high school students admitted TO SOME FORM OF cheating, INCLUDING copying SOMEONE ELSE’S HOMEWORK. 64 percent OF STUDENTS admitted TO cheating ON A test AND 58 percent admitted TO plagiarism. Statistics taken from a recent survey of 24,000 students from 74 different high schools, performed by Rutgers Business School.


November 13, 2013




By Connor Polk At every point in my adolescent life, through middle school and into high school, I have been told quite blatantly that drugs are bad. Whether it be through cramped assemblies during red ribbon week illustrating how drugs will detriment my future, backed by motivation of stickers and twizzlers, or through endless chapters on drugs in health class, the point has always been made. And it’s correct too, right? It’s a pretty simple, universal message: they’re addictive, dangerous and expensive, constantly working to ruin your life and leave you as another burnt out victim. But that wasn’t even the worst of it; the most chilling part was being told from the start of all of it that, without a doubt, I would encounter drugs some way in high school. Now, if one steps back to see the overview of this forced horror story, how would things change if suddenly that substance of terror was one of the newest and most popular medicines in the United States? Initially, this makes no sense, not only in the fact that I may have been taught wrong for the past decade or so, but that a school system that I owe my entire childhood and adolescent education to dared to group marijuana next to a plethora of far-from-medicinally useful substances. Within the past 18 years, starting with medical legalization in California in 1996, this country has been making huge advancements toward approval of medical marijuana and marijuana in general. Since this one state, 19 others, and Washington D.C., have voted on, and passed, the right to use marijuana as a viable source to help many medical conditions. While less than half the country may not seem incredibly significant to a nearly two-decade effort, it is actually wildly impressive considering one of the biggest steps in the process was breaking down the stigma surrounding cannabis in America. And even now, that is still one of the biggest issues facing aspiring legal states. But judging by the rapid influx of medically legalized states, nine new states in only the last five years, many only got here by very narrow margins, passed only because the pro-green supporters managed to outvote their competitors by as little as a tenth of a percent. At a more local level, Illinois became the nation’s most recent addition to medical marijuana states after Governor Pat Quinn signed the legalization bill into a law on August 1. The law will take effect on January 1, 2014, but also happens to have some of the strictest regulation laws in the U.S. regarding this new medicine.

As stated by Crain’s Chicago Business, candidates for the medication not only must have a longstanding relationship with their doctor in order to be issued their medical card, but also must be suffering from one or more of 35 diseases and disorders. These include anything from cancer and HIV to complex regional pain syndrome, a nerve disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome, and patients will be limited to two and half ounces of marijuana every two weeks. While Illinois seems very determined to keep a strict system, many expect it to loosen up to the point where it reflects many other more lenient states. “I think its going to be a very tight system until they realize they’re not going to make money, so they’re going to have to lighten up on the restrictions, and within a couple of years…it will become pretty much, in essence, California,” said sophomore Andy Benish. Benish makes this connection to California because of it’s very relaxed system, where ailments that merit prescription are not tightly regulated and can include things like anxiety and insomnia. The first dispensary that has opened up in Illinois is located in Chicago near Wicker Park. It is called Good Intentions and, according to CBS Chicago, while it is not yet able to dispense medicine, it has already opened up, received over 1,000 calls from potential patients, and has began setting up licenses with patients. While medical marijuana is in no way going to be openly integrated into the Libertyville community, the potential local impact has still been a worry. “I don’t think its going to impact our school campus or climate at all,” said School Resource Officer Robert Uliks. “Either you have the prescription and it’s for a specific reason or you don’t, there’s no grey area.” Although this is true, one must still assess to what extent marijuana is currently an issue at LHS. The student assistance program coordinator, Damian Kulikowski was able to provide some insight. While the actual percentage of students who indulge into recreational marijuana use is, and most likely always will be, unknown, he was able to make a judgement based on previous surveys and general observation of the school. According to Kulikowski, when simply stated, it does seem like marijuana is a pretty prevalent issue to LHS; while surveys from February 2012 reveal student usage to be about 14 percent, actual usage seems to reach much higher. The real issue is the availability and easy access to the drug to an average

student. Yes, Illinois does have some of the strictest medical marijuana laws in the country, but to many, that may just seem like another barrier to break down in the desire for more and for better marijuana to be pulled into the black market system of recreational use. Even if one is able to inquire that marijuana is an issue to LHS, it generally has not shown through in the legal repercussions. According to Officer Uliks, only two incidents out of six random drug searches were recorded and neither resulted in finding an actual substance. As the idea of medical marijuana blazes through state after state, one of the most glaring deterrents is the question of pot’s actual medical value. Surprisingly, there is not an actually high amount of scientific research to back marijuana’s wide medicinal value, at least not enough to convince many states and scientists. According to last month’s Chicago Tribune, this is partly due to the fact that it is federally classified as a schedule I drug, defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” This puts it right alongside drugs like LSD and heroin. If it were to be changed to a schedule II drug, defined as dangerous but with potential medical value, the research towards assigning different strains towards different ailments would become much more sound. A good amount of the current motivation towards medical marijuana is personal testimony. In Illinois, the fact that thousands of different patients called in to state representatives to say they were using the drug illegally because it was the only successful medication they found was enough to convince many to push for its legalization. Although these testimonies are a significant amount of evidence, many remain uncertain because of the hundreds of unidentified compounds in marijuana with unknown uses. Further into the uncertainty is the fact that, when smoked, one still inhales tar and other carcinogens from the crude combustion of the dried plant. Fortunately, many other safer alternatives exist. Marijuana can be administered by vaporizers, food made with marijuana, THC pills, and many other unconventional ways. As the country’s progression towards more and more legalization of cannabis is seen, the next few decades could put us into a world very accepting of marijuana.

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus/Los Angeles Times

A variety of medical marijuana strains are displayed for patients at a dispensary in Long Beach, California.

GMO...? OMG. By Elise Houcek

Beyond a slender detachment in the field, where the water’s of a mellow brook run free and unbound, a farmer surveys the consummation of his efforts. Flush expanses of honeyed wheat stir in perfect symmetry, their faultless appearance in geometry and in quantity unequaled by his previous harvests. The air breathes in an illusive harmony, his passion falls to complacency. March 27, 2013 heralded the dawn of a food revolution.

_ Few would argue that in terms of natural resources, we live in precarious times. As populations continue to rise and our ability to provide for this population remains inadequate, the question of sustainability prevails. Prominent biotech corporations such as Monsanto and DuPont endeavor to increase worldwide food production through the use of advanced plant breeding, biotechnology and improved farm management practices. According to their official webpage, Monsanto pledges to double yields of core crops by 2030 without compromising nutrition, a vision that, for many, is currently inconceivable.

Considered the most definitive study to date on GM crops and yield, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield concluded that “GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all.” The Monsanto legislation kindled immediate controversy. Representatives from the USDA and White House argued that the provision undermines the concept of judicial review and degrades the separation of powers between Congress and the judiciary, urging senate appropriations chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) to consider their opposition. According to Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana), “Not only does (The Monsanto Protection Act) ignore the constitutional idea of separation of powers, but it also lets genetically modified crops take hold across this country, even when a judge finds it violates the law.” This concept of unconstitutionality has generated significant debate, as many consider the court’s inherent power to check acts of Congress and preserve the public good an essential component to American liberty. Anti-protection activists have also cited the fact that a number of government officials hold leverage in Monsanto. Former Monsanto VP and current Monsanto lobbyist Michael Taylor, for instance, was named to a high- level advisory position at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2010. According to Global Research, “it is reasonable to assume that his advice to the FDA is focused upon helping his employer reduce its regulatory burden and improve its profitability.” Such a conflict of interest is particularly disconcerting when Monsanto entrusts the safety of its products to the same individuals who stand to benefit from its deregulation: “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications told The New York Times. “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”

In late March of 2013, President Obama approved federal spending bill H.R.933, which served to realign and reallocate government funds for the proximate fiscal year. Provided within its pages is the Farmers Assurance Provision, a bill that, in effect, disrobes the federal judiciary of the right to restrict the planting and sale of genetically modified seeds. Frequently labeled “The Monsanto Protection Act,” the courts would have no authority to act in response to consumer health concerns associated with the primary source of Monsanto’s livelihood: GMOs. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals whose essential genetic code has been manipulated with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other organisms in order to achieve some enhanced trait. Many scientists now believe that altering the eugenics of the world food supply to a state of increased resilience and general production yield will put an end to global hunger. In affording the Monsanto conglomerate and others like it the liberty to grow and cultivate GM crops free of conventional regulation, President Obama and Congressional supporters place unprecedented confidence in the benefit of genetic modification and the ability of corporations to ensure its safety.

Proponents of food safety laws have furthered the cause of discord, claiming that the ability to evade scientific and regulatory review jeopardizes consumer well- being. As researchers continue to explore the consequences of GM consumption, more and more evidence seems to provide a link between genetically modified foods and a myriad of adverse side effects.

Despite hefty claims that the manufacturing of GM crops will boost per capita production and dissolve the global food crises, evidence exists to the contrary.


November 13, 2013


Considering the reality of genetically modified foods. In a two-year long study published on September 19 in Food and Chemical Toxicology, French scientists found that 50 percent of male rats and 70 percent of the female rats who had been fed a diet consisting of Monsanto maize died earlier than those who had been fed a natural alternative. It was also noted that those fed the GM corn began to develop large mammary tumors after the fourth month of the study, ultimately resulting in severe liver and kidney damage and crippling organ function. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) encourages doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all their patients. A vast majority of GM crops are genetically engineered to tolerate otherwise deadly amounts of toxic weed killer. Although this allows famers to rid their fields of undesirable plants without damaging the primary crop, it raises a concern over the toxicity of the final product and any health risk to the consumer. Between 1996 and 2008, U.S. farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs, according to the Institute for Responsible Technology. Not only does the increase in pesticide use pollute the earth’s air and water supply, but it also has been attributed to the recent decline of species such as the monarch butterfly and honeybee. Dr. John Fagan, a former genetic engineer who rejected $614,000 in grant money from the National Institutes of Health out of his concern for the safety and ethics of GMOs, feels that the science should not intervene in the world food supply: “Crop engineering as practiced today is a crude, imprecise, and outmoded technology. It can create unexpected toxins or allergens in foods and affect their nutritional value.”

outright ban the production and sale of GMOs. Following the bill’s approval, over 250,000 Americans signed a petition urging President Obama to review H.R.933 and to remove the Monsanto provision, which, according to Food Democracy Now!, was essentially ignored. As of today, millions of people across the globe have banded together in an effort to resist Monsanto and corporations like it and to inform the public of the dangers associated with genetically modified foods. Organizing anti-Monsanto Facebook groups and staging worldwide protests, activists hope to increase public awareness and to draw the attention of those in Washington who hold the power to make a change. Organic retailers such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway have taken initiative to label their products as “non-GMO,”, a practice that many believe ensures customers the freedom to deny the GM paradigm. “I think it’s important that students recognize just how impactful their decisions are. If we, even in Libertyville, are able to project our dissatisfaction by choosing not to buy genetically modified foods, then we can make a difference; not only in our own lives, but in the lives of everyone who is affected by the dangers of this system,” said senior Peter Cline, March Against Monsanto attendee.

Since its conception, Monsanto has reportedly filed 130 lawsuits against some 400 farmers and 50 small businesses. The biotech monolith aims to insure that individuals will have very little choice regarding the consumption of their products, forcing small famers out of business under the guise of “patent infringements.” Oakhurst Dairy, a family farm owned and operated since 1921, responded to consumer demands to provide milk free of rBGH hormones, a growth steroid heavily produced by Monsanto and currently banned in every industrialized nation besides the U.S. The farm was brought under litigation by Monsanto in April 2007, who claimed that Oakhurst should not have the right to inform their customers that their dairy products do not contain the Monsanto chemical. Oakhurst is one among many who have struggled to maintain their independence in the face of corporate pressures. Private farms, however, are not alone in their efforts; According to The Non-GMO Project, more than 60 countries, including Australia, Japan, and the European Union, currently place heavy restrictions on or

In photos on page 12 above, taken by Ava Polzin, protesters rally at the October 12 March Against Monsanto in Chicago. Feature

November 13, 2013



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Jessica Dawson...

Baking Her Way To The Top By Emily Luce Photos courtesy of Jessica Dawson

scattered,” a little quirky and s ay w al e ar fs go he “C son, who prefers to aw D a ic ss Je or ni drives an laughed se never possible and he w ot fo re ba ly d absolute However scattere . an iv in m ld go e extremely durabl be, her life is most ay m ity al on rs pe e has her fun-loving young age of 17, sh e th t A r. de or in definitely e two top-of-the-lin ith w ed rn te in or worked Italy for five weeks in ed ok co o, ag ic ef, restaurants in Ch a famous pastry ch ith w ed rn te in , er s easy, over a summ ore. It’s not alway m t lo le ho w a ed and achiev ing anything opped her from do st ce on ’t sn ha at but th r goals...and uld to go after he co e sh ng hi yt er ev and y. ng every single da ro st g in go ill st s e’ sh

From the time she was very young, Dawson knew she loved to bake. She would watch her grandma in the kitchen and recalls a particular instance when asked if she was allowed to use knives. “Of course I am, grandma!” was her response, and as would be expected, it didn’t exactly end well. Despite the cuts she got from using that knife for the first time, she always knew she had a passion for being in the kitchen and made a lemon meringue pie all by herself at just seven years of age. “I was so proud of myself. It was something that I had done all on my own following the recipe and it actually came out really well!” Dawson said about her pie. Like most young girls, Dawson owned an Easy Bake Oven and it quickly became a prized possession after she discovered her natural ability to create delicious desserts.

talented chefs and culinary hopefuls, as well as the National Restaurant Association (NRA) show in Chicago - both of which are famous and highly acclaimed occasions. At the NRA show in 2011, Dawson was introduced to a woman named Sarah Grueneberg, who happened to be the executive chef at Spiaggia, a high-class Italian restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Grueneberg invited her to stage at the restaurant - meaning Dawson would begin an unpaid internship and gain valuable experience in the kitchen of Spiaggia. The staging turned into a paid job after the management saw how well she did, and Dawson became the youngest employee at the restaurant for a little over a year and a half. “Spiaggia was such an awesome experience...I met so many great and talented people, and learned more than I ever could’ve anywhere else. The other chefs and employees became my family and I was their baby. I quit because I felt it was time to go somewhere else and do the same thing all over again,” Dawson said about her time as an employed chef. During the summer of 2012, Dawson traveled to Italy for five weeks. Italy is home to a multitude of experienced chefs as well as many cooking schools. While there, she went to cooking school and learned the art of Italian cooking styles. She worked with professional chefs and gained experiences that could not have been acquired any place else. Those experiences were helpful as she returned back to work at Spiaggia, since it serves up Italian cuisine. Dawson traveled with a group of Americans who came from all across the U.S. To raise money for her trip, which she paid for all by herself, she sold her baked goods to students, teachers, friends and family members. The treats were obviously a hit and became very popular.

Recently, Dawson began staging at another restaurant called Grace in downtown Chicago. It is currently an unpaid internship, so she will be gaining more experience in the kitchen there. Grace is located on West Randolph Street, an area known to have high-class, up-and-coming restaurants. She got this job after dining in the restaurant with a close friend. While they were there, Dawson met Grace’s pastry chef, Bobby Schaffer, who invited her to come back and stage. Currently, Dawson commutes to Grace on Saturdays, typically working from about noon until as late as 1:00 a.m.

“When my Easy Bake Oven broke, it was one of the saddest days of my life. Then my mom said, ‘Jess, you know we have a regular working oven in the kitchen, right?’ So I took “I think her advice and started using that,” she said. It soon became a hobby and something that she loved to do in her spare time. Whether it was making simple chocolate chip cookies or complex cakes, Dawson attempted it all. By the time she was 14, she knew that she had to do more than just bake in her free time in order to make her dreams of becoming a chef a reality.

the reason I’m here is because I’m not afraid to fail...” Dawson said.

“I went to a book signing for Rick Tramonto - he’s a professional chef and cookbook author - and I made sure I was last in line to meet him. He gave me his business card, which his wife said he never gives out to anyone. That really made me want to pursue cooking,” Dawson said. A few months later, she saw a sign at her local bank for a cooking demonstration by famous pastry chef Gale Gand - the ex-wife of Rick Tramonto, oddly enough. After meeting Gand, Dawson sent her a couple of emails asking if she needed any help with demonstrations. Gand, who appreciated Dawson’s effort in pursuing her dreams, took Dawson under her wing and became a mentor to her. “Gale has done so much for me. She really got me to where I’m at today...I call her my pastry mama! I can’t thank her enough,” Dawson said. In the following months, Dawson accompanied Gand to cooking demos and large events, such as the James Beard Dinner, which honors and promotes

“I love working at Grace! It has the nicest kitchen I’ve ever worked in. I’ve already learned so much and [the other employees] were really welcoming to me,” Dawson said. The people that she has met along the way have all really impacted her. Dawson says her family and friends have also been nothing but supportive.

“My parents have always supported my choices, which I’m really grateful for, even though I have pretty much taken over my mom’s kitchen and she doesn’t always like that!” Dawson said. Her twin brother, Ryan, loves that his sister is accomplishing her goals. “Jess has been so dedicated to her baking and it’s amazing to see how it has paid off for her,” Ryan said. With the amount of effort that Dawson has put into everything she does, it’s obvious that she deserves all the success that comes her way. Due to the fact that all of her work is located in downtown Chicago, Dawson had to request special arrangements for her school schedule. She has been granted a work release from LHS, and is allowed to leave after fifth period - meaning she takes four academic classes plus gym. The school has been very understanding of what she does, which Dawson said she is thankful for.

Lately, Dawson has been working on creating a website on which she will sell her baked goods. The money she makes off of her site will be 100% put towards her cooking career. The website will be Most of the money will be used for her second trip to Italy, which she plans on taking this summer. “I really would love to go back to Italy this summer. Gale has already helped me look for places to cook but I would go all by myself, which is really exciting,” Dawson said.

Besides using the website to sell her desserts, Dawson asked a coffee shop in Libertyville if they would consider selling a selection of her products. The shop is called Hansa Coffee Roasters, located on Milwaukee Avenue near the train tracks. They agreed to sell four of Dawson’s baked goods, including homemade lemon bars and brownies. The items are already available for retail and are priced at $3 each.

’s n o s w a Jess D nts e v E e l b Memora Dawson cooks on stage at the National Restaurant Association event, the night she was asked to stage at Spiaggia restaurant in Chicago.

Tom Maegdlin, the owner of Hansa Coffee, had nothing but good things to say about Dawson’s desserts as well as her professional approach. “[Dawson’s] lemon bars had the best crust I’ve ever tasted...she picked up on all the business terms really quickly and knew exactly what I wanted. She was easier to deal with than people who have had a lot of experience - more responsive and professional than bakers who have been doing this for 20 years,” Maegdlin said. It’s clear that Dawson has worked at and visited really unique places, but her talents go far beyond that. She cooked through an entire cookbook by Gale Gand called Chocolate and Vanilla, which consists of variations of desserts. Aside from cooking and baking, Dawson takes professionallooking photographs of the food she prepares and eats. She says that the inspiration came from her mother, who is a photographer. Dawson’s favorite food to eat is Mexican cuisine -- she recommends the restaurant called Xoco in Chicago for having delicious Mexican food, which is owned by famous chef Rick Bayless. Dawson is not afraid to try new things when it comes to food because she appreciates the hard work and delicate details that go into preparing it. So how did Dawson get to the point she’s at at such a young age? According to her, it’s very simple.

The night before the important James Beard Dinner, Dawson was paid by Gale Gand to help make 1,000 butterballs. She worked on them all night.

Dawson graduates cooking school in Italy after spending five weeks abroad!

“I think the reason I’m here is because I’m not afraid to fail. At the end of the day, if the whiskey didn’t light on fire, at least I can say I tried to light it on fire, right?” Dawson said, referring to a time where a Julia Child recipe called for her to set fire to whiskey. And although she’s had her share of letdowns, as anyone does, Dawson never loses sight of her current goal at hand. From the beginning of her cooking career, she has done whatever was necessary to keep moving ahead. As for her college plans, Dawson hopes to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. It is a prestigious culinary school, and with the amount of experience she has behind her, she would surely fit right in. Dawson says she isn’t sure where she’ll end up after college, but judging by how far she’s come already, she’s sure to become increasingly more talented as a culinary expert. As for now, she is content with what she’s accomplished and plans to take things one step at a time. That would, of course, be a barefoot step.

Hansa Coffee Roasters Facebook page promotes Dawson’s delicious lemon bars, which sold out within a couple days!

Keeping Life


By Emily Malecha

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word art? Do you think of black-and-white pencil sketches, covered in eraser shavings from the errors made along the way? Or do you think art is the doodles on the back of a high school student’s college-ruled notebook? Maybe you consider art as something like a colorful, detailed mosaic hanging, reflecting light? Or do you consider art something completely different? In actuality, art can simply be described at the expression of human creative skill and imagination. This human imagination can be spread across multiple different subject areas — drawing, music, the art of words — creating ever-changing new ideas and styles, and giving a new definition to the word art. Being skilled in most every aspect of art is something senior April Dejon has been familiar with all of her life, with her accomplishments in drawing, painting, poetry, and music.

Her visuals Bred from a young age, senior April Dejon has always had a passion for art. With an art major mother and a father who was extremely active in music, Dejon’s creative atmosphere at home ultimately sparked her original interest in the arts. “Ever since I was little, I was given art supplies instead of toys,” said Dejon. “I’d be inside painting rather than playing or even being outside.” Though her art started as merely sketching Disney princesses and other children’s characters, her mother and father gave her constant praise and constructive criticism, forming her budding love for art into something that, today, is much larger than just the simple cartoons. “I met April when I first moved here and I was always so jealous of how cool she seemed. People would always ask her to teach them how to draw because she was that good,” said senior Kat Werdan, April’s best friend since the second grade. Dejon describes her art as big, magical, and fantastical. Though much of Photo by Bailey Schmid

her art is somewhat comic style, she also has some extremely realistic and technical pieces which are mostly portraits, such as a portrait of an Edwardian style lady with a large rodent draped around her neck. In most of her work, Dejon prefers the use of female figures in her pieces, but says she has a rare few where she used males instead. She likes to use space and night often in her work, as well as complex patterns such as bold swirls and harsh lines. Her art is strongly influenced by comic book and graphic design as well as the work of Czech painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha. She likes the use of different quotes, sayings and also incorporates many different unique fonts into her artwork. Usually the sayings on her painting are somewhat sharp tongued, witty, and can be somewhat whimsical. On the other hand, the sayings can be somewhat deep and thought provoking. For example, one of her pieces includes an angelic figure of a woman standing in space, with “Every single night’s a fight with my brain” written on it. In addition to her large-scale pieces, Dejon also has formed a hobby of painting shoes. In 8th grade, she saw the trend of the Ed Hardy sneakers growing around her, and decided to start buying white Keds and constructing her own, as well as designing high heels. She started custom-painting the shoes for herself, then began designing them for her friends as well. Some examples of shoes she worked on were pink-and-white high heels, which she accented with brightcolored birds and pink feathers, as well as Alice and Wonderland-themed sneakers, which were the first sneakers she ever sold. Dejon also likes going to garage sales and finding old pieces of furniture to rework and construct into art. As for her future plans, Dejon is set on going to art school, though she is unsure exactly which school she would like to attend. She’s interested in arts school in places out west, especially Portland, Oregon, as well as some schools closer to home, like in Milwaukee. As for careers later on, she is less certain. “My dream job would be graphic design. I love comics,” she said, “But I have no grand delusions on what I’ll be doing with my art when I get older. I’d like to keep life simple.”

Her words Before Writers Week during her sophomore year, Dejon had no interest in anything to do with poetry. “My favorite academic subject in school had always been literature, but it was never anything more than that,” said Dejon. That was until she saw American performance slam poet Buddy Wakefield, who she says inspired her to pursue poetry. Along with Wakefield, her inspirations are many other slam poets; slam poetry is a competition in which poets recite original work against other poets. Since first hearing Wakefield, Dejon has performed at Writers Week, sharing her own original poetry. “What I love about April’s poetry is that it is controlled, yet raw, at the same time,” said Mr. Craig Schmidt, an English teacher here at LHS. Schmidt has been a part of Writers Week for the past four years and loves seeing the student works that come in each year. He witnessed Dejon’s performance at Writers Week and said that her work “takes great care with rhythms and imagery while, at the same time, is very vulnerable and passionate.” As well as writing poetry, Dejon also dabbles in songwriting. She writes lyrics and covers songs, as well as plays original songs, with her friends. “I play piano, self taught,” she said, “and I’ve always loved to sing. When I was younger, I used to walk around my house singing.” As with her art, Dejon grew up around music. Her dad was in bands throughout his life and she grew up always singing and writing songs. Her biggest musical influence is singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, whose music falls largely under the anti-folk genre and style. Along with Spektor’s anti-folk style, Dejon enjoys other genres, especially jazz, including artists like Fiona Apple, and rap. She often helps her friends with their music as well, and says that many of her friends are strongly influenced by those two genres. As for her own music, Dejon describes it as “simple and chill,” with no definite genre. She says her music, like her art and poetry, follows through on her motto of “keep life simple.”

Photos courtesy of April Dejon Three pieces painted by Dejon. A woman standing in a dreamy space scene (left), an Edwardian style lady with a large rodent resting on her shoulder (top), and a woman wearing a feathered collar with flowers (bottom).

Celebs Then and Now By Molly Downing

Looking back at your childhood usually means thinking about the things that made it amazing. Maybe it was going to Disney World every year until you were 12 or something simple like getting off the bus every Friday and just knowing that you wouldn’t have to go back to school for two whole days. For a lot of kids, it was catching the next episode of a favorite show on Saturday morning or listening to a favorite artist’s new album. That is why growing up watching shows like “Lizzie McGuire” and movies like “The Parent Trap,” kids tend to idolize certain celebrities. Some of them remain golden while others tend to veer off the beaten path. It’s always hard when a person’s idol is the one to go a little overboard but that’s why when they do get their act back together, it is so much better. But some celebs never seem to be able to get back on track.

Lindsay Lindsay Lohan used to be one of America’s sweethearts. She played a fearsome double role as twins Hallie and Annie in the movie “The Parent Trap” in 1998; in 2003, she played Anna Coleman in the movie “Freaky Friday.” The year after that, she starred as Cady Heron in the movie “Mean Girls.” Lohan had originally auditioned for the role as Regina, the Queen Bee of the high school. According to, a pop culture information website, when she learned she got the role, she dropped out and re-auditioned for Cady because she didn’t want the role of Regina to make her fans think that she was stuck up and vain. Recently, Lohan seems to have her good days and her bad months. Every time a person opens a tabloid it seems her face is front and center with a headline reading something like “LOHAN BACK IN JAIL” or “LINDSAY CRASHED ANOTHER CAR.” According to the popular celebrity news website E!online, Lohan’s behavior started becoming a problem in late 2006 when she began dating popular nightclub DJ Samantha Ronson. Lohan stopped focusing on her acting career and started focusing on her partying. In 2006-2007, Lohan started getting into trouble for drug use and drinking while driving.

In 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lohan stole a $2,500 necklace from a jewelry store after being turned down a $3,600 ring that she offered to pay only $3,000 for. She was eventually jailed for the crime but was released on a $40,000 bail. “Lindsay is crazy and should really try harder to get her life back together. This amount of years is too long to do nothing about drug problems. She needs to turn her life around,” said senior Krista Erlandson, who grew up watching Lohan on the big screen. Once stars get a taste of roaring fans, movie premieres, and award shows, it’s hard to suddenly have a withdrawal from that. With the “no publicity is bad publicity” attitude, a lot of celebs purposely break the law and get into trouble just so the common man doesn’t forget about them. That being said, sometimes they take their publicity stunts a little too far. “I think that one thing that is challenging when celebrities are in the spotlight is that they have a whole set of pressures that probably the average Joe and Jane don’t, which probably brings a lot of good things and probably a lot of negative things as well. Specifically in the cases of actors and actresses getting involved in substances which start to play a negative role in their life and in their life as a celebrity, it becomes evident in cases like Lindsay Lohan and other celebrities that have addiction problems which cause them not only a lot of headlines, which I guess could be positive or negative, but also things like jail time and a lot of publicity that maybe wasn’t their intention in the beginning,” said A-F LST social worker Mr. Greg Loika when asked why he thinks some celebrities tend to fall out of sync. Lohan refuses to give up her acting career but can’t seem to land on her feet again. She has been losing her tenacity in Hollywood because of her negative reputation. In 2008, Yahoo! Movies reported that she was considered for the role in “The Hangover” as Jade (Stu’s impromptu wife and mother of Carlos the baby) but was eventually turned down because the director, Todd Phillips, thought that she was too young for the part. Lohan also reportedly had a last-minute audition as Lois Lane from “Superman” according to E!online. But, she was eventually beaten out by Amy Adams. But recently Lohan has been appearing as a guest star in sitcoms such as Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management” and starring in a few TV movies such as “Liz and Dick,” which is a TV documentary about Elizabeth Taylor’s life. Lohan still has a long way to go before she is truly back on track. But there’s still time.

Photos courtesy of Rafael Amado Deras and Amanda Lewis

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November 13, 2013 October 10, 2013

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Photos courtesy of MCT Campus

Another celeb that people grew up looking up to would be the famous pop singer Britney Spears. Spears got her start as a Mouseketeer in the TV show “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club” back in 1989 alongside stars like Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake. Her big break, however, came when she was signed as a Jive Recording Artist in the late 1990s. With the release of her debut album, “Baby One More Time” in early 1999, Britney became an international success, selling 13 million copies of “Baby” and 9 million copies of her second album, “Oops!...I Did It Again,” released in May of 2000. In November of the following year, she hit the top 10 with “I’m a Slave 4 U,” which took a completely different turn in musical direction from her previous singles. In the same month, her performance of “Slave” at the 2001 MTV VMA’s caused animal rights activists to be outraged because of Spears’s performance with a live giant snake, named Banana, while also wearing so little clothing herself. She had changed a lot in the three years since she first started and many would say this is when she started to go downhill. Sales of her third album, while still impressive, were not nearly as high as her two previous albums, perhaps due to the increase of new pop female singers like Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Beyonce flooding the market, but Spears, still popular, kept on. Eventually, it seemed it was all getting too much for her. Spears’s four-year relationship with Mouseketeer co-star and NSYNC singer Justin Timberlake ended suddenly and very publicly, and she then stated she was going to take six months off of her career. Very soon after that, she was named “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrity of 2002” by Forbes magazine. Although she was never truly out of the public eye, Spears stopped focusing her attention on her career and started focusing on her partying. A big episode that occurred in February 2007 was Spears shaving all of her hair off. According to, a media information site, she was rumored to do this to avoid a drug test that her ex-husband Kevin Federline tried to force upon her. After that escapade, Spears’s family became very concerned for her mental health and as a result, she spent the next month in a rehabilitation center where Spears finally got the help she needed. “Well some people have to first go to dark places to find themselves,” said senior and actor Christian Klepac who is an avid follower of Britney Spears. Although her time as an “X-Factor” judge has come to an end, the 31-yearold superstar still has a few more tricks up her sleeve. As announced on “Good Morning America,” Spears recently took a gig working at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. She has a two-year and 50-show contract within the famous Sin City and is planning on releasing an album in December 2013. “I think she has done really well and I think she has done great, better then ever really. I think now that she has cleaned up her life, she is going to continue to be really successful,” exclaimed senior Tori Salzwedel, who is a longtime fan of Britney Spears. Spears has come a long way with her career. She has been in the public eye her entire life and won’t be out of the limelight any time soon.

Feature Feature

Most people remember Hilary Duff as that awkward middle school girl trying to find her way in life on the popular Disney Channel show, “Lizzie McGuire.” Or maybe they remember her as their favorite singer. Either way, people seem to give their props to Duff for not becoming a troubled child star. At a young age Duff got a small taste of the spotlight. Her sister Haylie Duff had been touring with The Cecchetti Ballet and the girls’ parents, Bob and Susan Duff, dragged Hilary along to every show. Seeing her sister up on the stage dazzling the crowd made Hilary want to try out for a few roles. So, her mother started signing her up for auditions. Duff got her big break in acting when she became Wendy in the real-life version of “Casper meets Wendy.” Not long after that, Duff got the part as Elizabeth “Lizzie” Brooke McGuire. She played the beloved Disney character from 2001-2004. During that time, she dated the “I Want Candy” pop singer Aaron Carter and “Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz. But that wasn’t all she did in those three years. During that time, she also released her debut album “Metamorphosis” in late 2003. Duff starred as Kelly in the 2002 Disney Channel original movie “Cadet Kelly;” she also played Natalie Connors in the popular 2003 movie “Agent Cody Banks” alongside her then-boyfriend Muniz. She played Lorraine Baker, who was one of a dozen children in the movie “Cheaper by a Dozen.” She once again picked up her role as Lizzie McGuire in the the popular “Lizzie McGuire Movie” in theaters 2003. She was also named “Teenager of the Year 2003” by Rolling Stone magazine. When Lizzie McGuire ended in early 2004, Duff did not quit her career. She very soon after starred as Sam alongside Chad Michael Murphy in the movie “A Cinderella Story.” Duff did a number of other movies after that and released three more albums including “Hilary Duff,” “Most Wanted,” and “Dignity.” She starred as a guest star in a number of shows including “Gossip Girl” and “Two and a Half Men.” In 2010, the 26-year-old star said “I do” to the former NHL star Mike Comrie after being engaged for about half a year. On March 20, 2012, Duff gave birth to her first child, a boy named Luca Cruz Comrie. Although she has been off the public radar for the most part, Hilary Duff is not done with her career. Duff is said to be working on a new album, according to, a celebrity news website. There is no news yet on what it will be called but there have been a few photos of her recording in the studio. The album probably won’t be released until next year but that gives everyone some time to read her young adult books. Her first novel Elixir was released on October 12, 2010, and is co-written by author Elise Allen. It is the first in a series of books that Duff has committed to. When is was published, it ranked No. 10 on The New York Times bestseller list for one week.

November 13, 2013 October 10, 2013

Photos courtesy of MCT campus


Recipes you’ll be falling for... By Shelly Schick and Rachael Girmschied

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so enjoy some of these delicious fall recipes -- they’ll make your mouth water!

Bread and Celery Stuffing This recipe goes very well with any turkey dish! The salty entrée is especially delicious because it adds a healthy variety of spices and celery. The texture is both crunchy and chewy, making it hard to resist. Do not be surprised if you gobble it all up.

Buttermilk Cornbread Calling all bread lovers: you’ll die over this recipe. It is full of a ton of delicious flavor. We recommend putting butter on top to make the dish extra tasty! This cornbread is a perfect consistency: it is neither too dry nor too moist. *All photos by Shelly Schick and Rachael Girmscheid 22

November 13, 2013


Pumpkin Pie This famous pie is wonderful to make around Thanksgiving because it gives everyone a festive autumn sensation to look forward to. The creamy pumpkin flavor, in addition to the thin crust, will give you an out-of-this-world forkful of goodness.

Apple Pie Who doesn’t love a traditional apple pie? This recipe gives you the satification of gooey goodness. The apples melt right into your mouth, and the crust gives it a perfect crunch.

Sweet Potato Casserole This recipe is already savory-sweet but the marshmallows that lay on top add to the perfection of the dish. Just the smell of the casserole makes you want to dig right in. Once you do, your taste buds will thank you.

TO GET THESE RECIPES, GO ON LHSDOI.COM OR SCAN THIS CODE HERE: *To scan the code, get this FREE app: Quick Scan - QR Code Reader Feature

November 13, 2013


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November 13, 2013

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What’s Happening?

An inside look at news around the world and nationwide. By Korina Valenzuela Government Shut Down The government shut down on October 1. Fortunately, it re-opened back up on October 16. According to NBC News, the shutdown itself cost $24 billion out of the nation’s economy. This Photo courtesy MCT Campus/Martin H. Simon totaled to about $1.5 billion dollars a day and cut down the nation’s GDP growth to about 0.6 percent. To end this appalling drain from the nation’s economy, President Obama signed a partial bill to end the shutdown. 14-year-old stabs teacher 14-year-old Philip Chism was charged with murder for killing his math teacher with a box-cutter during the week of October 21. According to USA Today, Chism was said to have stabbed his teacher, then placed her body into a recycling bin before wheeling her off into the woods. USA Today also reported that the recycling bin was pushed 100 feet off an embankment. For now, authorities from the Danvers Police Department have said that Chism has been charged as an adult. Chism is now being held without bail for the murder of the math teacher, Colleen Ritzer.


air Apple has created a new innovative device that will yet again leave its users in awe. Now lighter and thinner, the iPad Air weighs 1 pound and is 7.5 millimeters thin. The new technological device is also 2 times faster and is much more durable than previous versions. Brand-new and improved, the iPad is already in Apple stores around the country.

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus NSA Spies On Americans The National Security Agency has been spying on millions of ordinary Americans since 2001. Since 2005, there have been countless efforts to stop the NSA from spying on Americans using everyday technology. Popular telephone companies such a AT&T have helped aid NSA by installing illegal fiber optic splitters that make copies of email web browsing and other Internet usage from its customers. Various news reports from USA Today told its readers that the NSA has been intercepting phone calls and internet communications between its users as well as physically collecting America’s telephone and other communication records. Recently, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed lawsuits against the NSA for warrantless wiretapping and for violating customers privacy of various telephone companies.

The Krokodil Drug The drug that has recently surfaced, the Krokodil Drug, is said to have terribly affected its users by burning their flesh. However, now experts are proving this evidence to be false and are debunking the proof of the Krokodil Drug. This horrifying new drug is said to be nothing other than an urban legend that had first appeared in remote areas such as Russia and Eastern Europe. Scientists will continue to research Krokodil to unmask the truth behind the drug. School Shooting in Nevada Yet another school shooting struck pain the hearts of many U.S. citizens on Monday, October 21, with 2 dead and 2 wounded. A 13-yearold boy opened fire at Sparks Middle School located in Reno, Nevada. Math teacher Mike Landsberry was killed after being fatally shot by the boy. Two students were also badly wounded after this terrible accident.

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus/Hector Amezcua World Series Champions The Boston Red Sox took home the victory October 30 when they won the MLB World Series. After waiting for 95 years, the Red Sox finally clinched a World Series championship at home. After beating the Cardi- Photo courtesy of MCT Campus nals 6-1, MVP David Ortiz talked to the New York Times about winning a World Series with the Red Sox: “Winning the World Series is special, I think it might be the most special out of all the World Series I have been a part of,” he said. Jesse Jackson jr. goes to jail Former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. entered a federal prison located in North Carolina on Tuesday, October 29 to begin a 30-month sentence for corruption charges. He was sentenced earlier in August for misusing $750,000 worth of campaign funds. The misused money went towards items like vacations, fur coats, and movie memorabilia. His wife, Sandra Jackson, also pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. So far,the Jacksons has paid $200,000 dollars since November 1 and will continue to pay them back.

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus/Brian Cassella

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus/Smith


November, 13 2013


Staff Editorial

Alcohol posters prove to be ineffective Did you know that 77% of LHS students are alcohol free? facts as they know it -- that most LHS students are alcohol free. He went DOI doesn’t buy it, either. As a staff, it was unanimously expressed that on to explain that the main purpose of the project is “to raise awareness the alcohol statistic posters within LHS are not only inaccurate, but also of what our kids are doing. [The posters] validate the decisions they’re have no effect on decisions that students make as a whole. already doing,” said Mr. Kulikowski. He stressed that if the numbers don’t The survey where the statistics are derived from is produced and fit what’s really going on, then why not be honest? revised by Northern Illinois A main component of the surUniversity every two years, vey is its anonymous aspect. Not although adaptations can be only is the survey not required made by individual schools, as to be taken by a student, but well. In the area, the survey is names are not asked, as confifairly common. Just to name dentiality is stressed to ensure a few schools, Vernon Hills, honest answers. The test two Zion-Benton, and Schaumburg years ago was simply a scantron participate in the study, acwith multiple choice answer opcording to Student Assistance tions without a fill in for a name. Program Coordinator Mr. So, although the statistics may Damian Kulikowski. look a little fishy to DOI and stuSo why even distribute the dents as the numbers seem too survey? “When students’ good to be true, it’s a valid point misperceptions are corrected -- numbers are numbers, which so they learn that the majority brings up the argument of the of their friends don’t use, they survey format, once more. then are less likely to engage For those of you who took the in use,” said Mr. Kulikowski. survey, you’ll remember that the DOI expressed that the phrase “within thirty days” was 77% isn’t such a winning practically stuck in your head stat, anyway, as was said in by the end of the period. So why the first poster released this was that the theme? Is informayear (see image). Although tion being manipulated here? this is a fairly strong number Actually, test officials look compared to other schools, to get a gauge of how often according to Mr. Kulikowski, is students drink, rather than just this something to be proud of, asking if students had drank or something that could even at all or in the last year. Asking influence a student’s decision? within thirty days, or a month, Mr. Kulikowski, in fact, gives the test makers a better stressed the criticisms and idea of what’s going on, accorddisbelief he had been told by ing to Kulikowski. students. But in response to Mr. Kulikowski, understood that the survey’s criticisms, Mr. the month of February was speKulikowski emphasized the cifically selected for the quiz to survey’s accuracy, due to its be taken, as well as to be tested format. on for timing reasons. The survey, which first Those in charge of the test at took place two years ago at LHS realized that there were poLibertyville, had “questions tential variables as far as when balanced to determine consisstudents might be inclined to tency,” said Mr. Kulikowski. In drink more (i.e. holidays, breaks, Photo by Tom Ackerman etc). other words, similar, contraThe first of two posters placed in the hallways this year. dicting questions were given So, it was decided to keep the throughout the test to deter information true to the month of irrelevant, or non-serious surveys. February, as there are minimal days in which students are more inclined The next upcoming survey, which will be on February 27, 2014, isn’t set to drink. to have any specific changes, but LHS aims to make it shorter, according Although such information clears up the air regarding some of the misto Mr. Kulikowski. conceptions with the survey, Drops of Ink feels that the survey shouldn’t LHS recognizes the survey’s skeptical feedback, too, but those involved be given at all. with the test like Mr. Kulikowski do their best to keep an open mind with As stated, the posters have little to no effect on decisions students the statistics they might find. Mr. Kulikowski stated that LHS is not trying make, which happens to be the purpose of the posters. If students are to catch students or impose its beliefs on them, but simply stating the not being honest with the survey, the numbers mean nothing.


November 13, 2013


Elise Houcek Editor-In-Chief

Subjectivity Too Great of a Subject? “Nature and literature are subjective phenomena; every evil and every good thing is a shadow which we cast.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher

Perhaps the most nearsighted of grading practices is the designation of language to a strict and finite degree of worth. The method of analyzing student essays (creative or formal) in a way that involves some kind of rubric or other hard-lined device is nearly universally regarded as fair and profitable. While a teacher’s reflection on a student’s work may offer reason, insight and direction towards accepted form, in regards to personal expression, something critical has been misplaced. The assessment of written assignments is a system that confounds and frustrates students on a situational basis. In many occasions (but certainly not all), teachers return student essays offering very little commentary, and the commentary that is provided is frequently derived from a biased opinion or personal preferences. But how could one expect otherwise? The evaluation of writing is a wholly subjective process; what one may embrace as genius, another may misread or completely overlook. The recipient of a “below average” score might question the source of his/her error and disagree with the grader’s definition of goodness, but convincing someone that they just “did not understand” is usually a difficult task. Students, therefore, should not be assigned essay grades on the basis of three substantial truths, each equally as detrimental to the philosophy of composition in theory and in practice. Essay grades are completely partial. Just as an individual holds a distinct political belief, so to with literature and the interpretation of its forms. It is not uncommon for a student who had received “excellent” grades in one year of English to find themselves barely passing in the next. Even if the quality of a student’s writing had not diminished, the way in which a particular teacher values written assignments will inevitably reflect on his/ her personal standards. I cannot begin to describe on how many occasions I have been forced to adjust and readjust my writing style (thesis statements, organization, depth of analysis) in order to adhere to the expectations of a specific class. That’s not to say that the teacher’s grading student essays are stubborn bigots unwilling to accept anything but perfection;, it’s the fact that something so complex and personal as writing cannot be classified as “good” or “bad” by the views of a single individual. Essay grades deride a student’s creativity and act contrary to artistic ideals. Writing in itself is an artistic endeavor, something that requires students to invent ideas and to express these ideas in a profound and original manner. How, then, can a teacher designate requirements for a quality essay? In any case, a student’s creativity is uniquely their own, and forcing an individual to adhere to certain guidelines will inevitably compromise this endowed creativity. Further, disallow-


ing students the freedom to express themselves to their utmost capacity (even if this means rejecting a teacher’s expectations) teaches students to conform to set principles in the future, a concept that completely opposes success in the modern world. Rarely are individuals who have maintained an obedience to common standards regarded as great and memorable;, it is always those who have sought to transcend expectation who continue to be celebrated as innovators. Even a piece of writing that appears insignificant, perhaps for grammatical error or lack of logical organization, should nevertheless be appreciated as an artistic statement, beautiful in its rejection of commonplaces and embrace of unfound disposition. Essay grades impair students’ analytical ability and the objective of education in general. In terms of literary analysis, in which one is asked to interpret a text and to forge conclusions as to its significance, assigning letter grades only hinders a student’s development in the long run. By definition, analysis forces one to draw a profound interpretation to a seemingly one-dimensional topic. Therefore, judging any one essay more accurate or acceptable than another discourages an individual’s personal sentiment and insults their capability to understand meaning. Any such degradation will only cause a student to lose interest in the class or to deny their inclinations in the future. And if the goal of education is to accrue to society a youth of innovation and progress, shouldn’t our systems promote unconventional thought and reject defined conclusions? As Emerson established, the appreciation of writing is by nature inconsistent, and cannot, therefore, be universally understood.

November 13, 2013

Photo by Elise Houcek


Mike Gasick Sports Editor

(Current) Issues in Class “Why can’t I get on this website for my geography paper?” students because they would receive a significant amount more of current events “It’s a .gov website, the government is shut down.” discussion than just absorbing them in a social studies class, making them more “Well, why is shut down?” well-rounded in this area. “I don’t know. I don’t think Republicans and Democrats really like each other.” It is important for students to know what is going on in today’s world outside The above conversation is all too familiar in the LHS hallways, and it needs of the core curriculum they learn in school. Many of the issues in society have to change. I’m not saying that there has to be in-depth, thorough conversations a direct effect on high school students. For example, one effect the Middle about current issues, but it should at least be comprehensive, with knowledge East unrest has on the United States is the increasing prices of gasoline. Most from the classroom. Students have to possess a sense of what is going on in the students, who wouldn’t understand why this is, would be interested in learning world because we are the ones who will be making the future decisions that are more about this and why it drives up the prices. If teachers talked about this being made today. Therefore, issue and how it affects students teachers have to incorporate today, it would make class more talking about current issues in unpredictable, instead of students their classes more. arriving in class, knowing before Several important events hand what to expect for the day’s and issues have emerged lesson. The problems that are trying within the past month. The to be resolved in foreign countries government shutdown had today may have a direct impact many heads turning; Philip on the United States in the future, Chism was arraigned by a when today’s high school students Massachusetts court house on may be involved in these issues. If murder charges for killing his these future decision-makers have teacher; and tragedy struck a a paltry insight on these present middle school in Reno, Neissues, then the future is bleak for vada, when a student opened the country. fire in the school, killing A potential obstacle for some his teacher, wounding two 18-year-olds to overcome would be students and then went on to the lack of knowledge they possess kill himself shortly thereafter. when they vote. If a politician proThese are just to name a few. claims one significantly different Some of my teachers menidea than another candidate, and the tioned these issues, but none students don’t have a clear sense of them went in-depth into of current issues, then that presents any one subject. I understand problems. If a student heads into that teachers have a lesson the ballot box with a lack of knowlplan, and that they are usually edge of the candidate’s views on pressed for time throughout domestic and foreign affairs, then the year to get in as much mawe need to bring about change. terial before final exams, but We can’t have ignorant, uncertain I believe they can fit current voters penciling in a vote for a canPhoto courtesy of MCT Campus didate that they know little about. events and issues into their plans. I don’t believe time Most teachers lecture with voMany students have a lack of knowledge over current issues today. Teachers are the ones who have to is an issue because teachers cabulary terms that students would explain the issues to further enhance the students’ current events knowledge have many potential ways to understand. For instance, when the incorporate discussing current government was shut down from events. They come up all the October 1-17, most students undertime in history classes, with connections being made from the past to the present, stood the general concept that Republicans and Democrats could not agree on but most teachers shy away from talking about the importance these events have anything in the House. That’s about all the knowledge students had on the issue. today. Teachers should make those connections because it wouldn’t be getting off Students want to learn more about the subject. Why can’t the House agree on topic, and students would absorb both the curriculum from the history course and anything? How was it resolved? Will there be another shut down in the near fua dose of current events material to go along with it. For example, revolutions in ture? These basic questions reflect students’ curiosity of the subject. If a teacher World History can be connected to the recent uprisings in Syria and the Middle talks about the issue, then many of the students’ questions will be answered, East. Teachers could incorporate how both the past and current revolutions were which leads to the students’ better understanding the concept. brought about and how their similarities relate to each other. Teachers need to discuss current events more because it develops students’ History is not the only subject that can incorporate these discussions. For critical thinking and problem solving skills, which may be useful for them in the example, a biology course could connect a cell unit to the successful treatment future. According to EducationWorld, a website that helps students and teachers of an HIV-positive infant by American scientists last March. An English class with their schoolwork, “students who take classes that require them to pay attencould read a passage from a classic book, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, and tion to government, politics, or national issues report increased interest in those talk about how the prejudices faced in the book relate to a story such as the mur- issues outside of school.” If this is the case, and LHS teachers start to implement der of Trayvon Martin. Connections made in other classes would be beneficial to current issues discussion more often, then the future is bright for LHS students.


November 13, 2013


Ava Polzin Features Editor

Tech-knowledge-y or Tech-no-logy? “My computer is broken”... “My printer ran out of ink,” a useful tool, but are frequently the most forgotten homework, not because they These pieces of modern technology are the proverbial dogs currently eating are intrinsically less memorable than other assignments, but because they take the homework. These excuses, however, never lose validity as numerous things more time in dealing with servers and potential tech troubles than the projected can go wrong when one relies on such a complex medium for five minutes. Many students choose to leave Conjuguemos activities to their (historically) simple assignments that now serve to disincentivize a student free period to be done in a compromised manner on the small, and increasingly and deem the excuse either necessary or desirable. Currently, there is too much reliable (for this purpose) smartphone, giving some students the opportunity emphasis on technology in schools. Whether to get homework done during lunch, where those without such a sophisticated homework or class work, this emphasis has pervaded every aspect of student life phone (or access to a friend’s) would need to give up half of their lunch (a and complicated it. veritable catastrophe for those in an AP science course) and go to a computerStudents in science courses contend (sometimes as much as biweekly) with equipped resource center to do their work. WebAssign, a website that generates application quesFor Spanish students, Supersite and Realidades are little tions for a given chapter in a given subject (physics, more than extra-involved worksheets. There is no tanchemistry, etc.). Its rigid grading system leaves no room gible benefit to the average student to use a computer in for partial credit and often forces students to the very their nightly work. Despite best intentions, the only benedge of insanity with only a certain number of tries and efit seems to be to the teacher, and while students respect the smallest difference from the expected answer noted the effort to relate to us on our own tech-obsessed level, as wrong. That, and students are subject to the website’s those with the actual computer competence to prefer the failing as happened frequently earlier this year. The site webpage to the physical page are in a strict minority. would shut down for large periods of time, and those who Another example is SmartMusic. It’s impossible to were banking on a certain amount of that time specifiinstall (with more than a few codes, clicks and drags), cally allocated for the infuriating questions were unable harder to uninstall, and lends itself to single-handedly to work as they had planned. Even with that explanation, making a student (who may not have been all that opteachers won’t always extend the deadline (one that must posed to practicing before the use of the program) loathe A dent in my metal computer, courtesy of Smart be kept as the system will disallow answer entry after the any form of instrumental anything. During my freshman due date/time) for there being a record of when a student Music. year (a time I now regard as comparatively low stress), a first tried to access the assignment and all particularly frustrating four-measure assignsubsequent attempts. With too few log-in atment helped my violin bow find its way to the tempts too close to the deadline, students forfeit solid aluminum shell of my MacBook Pro to the right to any extension, especially if other leave a dent, which I now genuinely like as a students have begun or completed the same reminder of why music is best judged by a huwork. man and not the arbitrary listenings of a laptop Nothing, though, competes with the Physics microphone. Other orchestra members had Quizzes for their true unfair complication. Basisimilar experiences, likening its overly harsh cally, if you don’t have a PC (or good access to one) or knowl(and often faulty) grading system to some cruel psychology exedge of how one works, you can’t do the assignment. Not only periment the sole purpose of which was to see how far over the does a Mac owner have to buy a new laptop (the cheapest edge repeated futile actions could make someone go. going for $249.99 at Best Buy) or Parallel Desktops (an $80 Even Libertyville High School’s new preoccupation with download that allows a Mac to run Windows)- the two Google can be problematic. In every class that a Chromeworkarounds that are offered near the program download on the book has been used, at least one student has been incapable of physics websites, but the software has trouble downloading onto remembering their login (or that they even have a login, for and running from PCs. It may be an easy grade for a teacher and that matter). This particular technology set has many kinks that seem to be easy feedback for students, but it’s little more than have yet to be worked out, and during a recent AP Language and a time suck. A quick solution would be to give time in class Composition in-class essay, two Drops of Ink editors (when PCs with the software pre-installed are readily available) encountered trouble when their respective netbooks were “tryScan to see one student’s reacto complete the quizzes; another would be to find an alternaing to connect…” and threatening to negate the work of the tion to WebAssign. tive quiz format assignment that doesn’t have all of the inherent previous half hour. Had the essay been pen and paper, some stipulations that just end up excluding and frustrating students. nervous squeaks could have been avoided. That’s not to say that the questions aren’t beneficial. The meWhile there are those who say that technology is not all bad dium in which they are asked isn’t. Teachers now have access to their students (it really isn’t) or who may be proponents of easy sharing through Google Docs, across hours previously spent blissfully (Sorry, teachers!) apart. Language and expedited communication with Gmail, and instant feedback through Webassign science learners alike are confronted with mid-evening or weekend deadlines and Conjuguemos, the ramifications of too much technology are already felt in that could not have been feasibly enforced before the advent of many homework today’s schools and society. A backlash towards “archaic” mediums for hometechnologies. work and class assignments is sure to come because of the instability of the curDespite the beliefs and best intentions of International Language instructors, rent innovations. When it does, I’ll be waiting with my stacks of looseleaf paper the Language Lab (while acknowledged as a valuable resource) is widely conand sharpened pencils to welcome simplicity back to my nightly assignments. sidered a least favorite activity among students. Sites such as Conjuguemos are Photos by Ava Polzin


November 13, 2013



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Larger than Life

A basketball player’s struggle to overcome adversity to achieve his ultimate goal By Alex Zoellick It’s July 28, 2012, and David Hatyina is drinking, smoking and enjoying his day on his boat, Purple Haze. Little does he know that his whole life is about to change. It’s July 28, 2012, and the Borcia family is enjoying a rather normal summer day on their boat. Tony, the youngest of the Borcias, was tubing with his older brother Joe, at the time an incoming sophomore. Tony fell off the tube, into uncertainty. It’s July 28, 2012, David Hatyina and Tony Borcia meet in a life-changing accident that will leave the Borcia family mourning for a lifetime. “[Hatyina] didn’t really see my brother, but he was there in the water,” said Joe Borcia. “ [Tony] was defenseless. It’s different from drunk driving because in a car you have protection. In the water there is no protection. He was going 40, not looking where he was going, and unfortunately [Tony] was just wrong place wrong time.” Hatyina was operating his boat, Purple Haze, under a haze of his own. Testing revealed that he was high and intoxicated while driving his boat that fateful summer day. Hatyina was charged with 22 different counts in court, including the wrongful death of Tony Borcia, and this past June,

Hatyina was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbing the Borcia family of their youngest child. How does a family overcome the loss of a child? It’s not easy. The family struggles on a daily basis to cope with this tragic event. However, tragedy can bring those affected closer, as is the case for the Borcia family. “We were a very close family before the tragedy, but even closer now,” said Mr. Jim Borcia, while explaining how he and his family, son, Joe; daughters Kaeleigh and Erin; and wife Mrs. Margaret Borcia, have reacted to this tragedy. “Our love for each other, including our love for Tony and Tony’s love for us, has helped us survive this unimaginable event. We love each other more than ever and our Angel Tony in Heaven is helping us stay together and live our lives in his honor and in his memory. We are a family that does things together and are involved in each other’s lives and support each other.” While the mourning process will never be over for the Borcias, each has found a different way to deal with the loss and Joe turned to something he already loved: basketball. “On the court, it’s a therapy to me,” said Borcia. “We all have our outlets to get the anger out. Basketball was really the only thing where I didn’t think about it.”

“Basketball was really the only thing where I didn’t think about it.” - Joe Borcia

Photo by Bailey Schimd Sports

November 13, 2013


Because of his six-foot-nine-inch frame, at first glance anyone in world that Borcia is a very talented passer. Borcia’s size also allows him to take would assume that Borcia is a basketball player. Last year, he was the starting advantage of smaller defenders and score easily. When he meets a defender center for the LHS varsity boys basketball team, and with his dedication and his size, Borcia uses his jump shot or his post moves to get easy points. competitive attitude, it’s no surprise. “His best quality as a player, it’s a lost art nowadays, is his passing for a big Borcia was introduced to the game by his father at a young age and has guy,” said Coach Bogumil. “He really sees the floor well. He does have really been playing ever since. good post moves and that will “We started playing in our backyard get better as he gets stronger. He when he was 3-years-old,” said has really been improving on Borcia’s father. “He loved to dribble his outside shooting, which will even before he could shoot -- I make him hard to guard. I’m rewould also bring him to my men’s ally impressed with the progress league games and he would dribble on that. He’s been working hard and shoot during intermissions – then at it.” he started with the Libertyville Park On the other side of the ball, District Double Dribblers Program Borcia and his dad both agree when he was only 4 – I signed him that he needs to work on his deup early; you were supposed to be 6 fense. At six feet nine inches, it years old, but he was so big that no can be tough to get low into the one questioned his age – although he defensive stance and move with played other sports, basketball was an offensive player, but Borica is always his favorite.” hoping all of the extra work he Mr. Borcia is an LHS alumni who put in this off season will help played basketball at LHS from 1979him make strides on defense. 1982. He loves supporting his former “Offense really came easy to school and having his son follow in me but I know defense is what his footsteps brings him a sense of our teams needs,” said Borcia. pride. “That’s why I am working on “It makes me very proud,” said it. I worked on my speed and Mr. Borcia. “I am very fond of our my flexibility. I go to a personal school and the fine education and the trainer for my flexibility because principles it stands for, both on and [my speed] and my lateral off the court – we have a very good movement were not that good.” history of basketball at LHS that we When deciding on which are trying to continue and help grow.” weaknesses he will work on, The father-son relationship is a Borica looks at what his team two-way street for the Borcia men. needs most. He puts his team in Mr. Borcia is very proud of his son, front of his individual success and Joe draws much of his basketball and that is what drives him to motivation from his father. get better every time he steps “I would say my dad [is my biggest onto the court. motivator],” said Borcia. “He works “Last year I was all-conference very hard and expects the best from as a sophomore,” said Borcia. me. So that is what I expect from “It was pretty humbling but I myself. He played basketball. He just don’t really play for individual wants me to be the best.” awards, I play for my team. I get The motivation Borcia receives off better to make my team better. I the court drives him to get better on don’t play for individual awards. the court. He spends, according to his I want to help my team win.” dad, 22-30 hours a week doing some With a willingness to put his kind of basketball training. Whether team before himself, Borcia it is working on his flexibility, getting emerged as a leader on the stronger in the weight room or just Photo by Bailey Schmid young varsity team last year. practicing drills, Borcia does it all. He put in work every day and Borcia showcases his leaping and dunking abilities. “I have always told him to try to be earned extended minutes-he the best and don’t settle for just being played almost all game, every good,” said Mr. Borcia. “There are a lot of good basketball players, but very game-toward the end of the season after only playing about half the game at few great ones – I have urged him to work on his game outside of his team the beginning of the year. practices, and to especially to work on his weaknesses – lately I have been “He is definitely one of leaders,” said Coach Bogumil. “Even though he is urging him to work in the weight room to improve his strength and agility.” only a junior, he is our leader. Kids are looking to him to bring stability to the As far as weakness goes, Borcia has very few on the offensive side of the team offensively and defensively.” ball. Boys varsity head coach Mr. Scott Bogumil and Mr. Borcia both agree


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The whole team looks to Borcia as a leader, according to senior teammate Johnny Vernasco. Though the team has a wide range of ages, sophomores through seniors last season, they all get along well. Borcia also has another quality that helps keeps the team together: his sense of humor. “Joe is a really funny guy,” said Vernasco. “If any of the guys have their head down he’ll make some comment that will make him laugh.” Every team needs someone to lighten the mood when everything gets tough and that is one of the many leadership qualities Borcia possesses. His leadership qualities and his abilities on the court stand out to colleges. When a college is deciding on what kinds of Photo courtesy of the Borcia family players it would like for its The Borcia family celebrates Kaeleigh’s graduation from Libertyville High School in June 2012. teams, usually big men are Back row, left to right: Mr. Jim Borcia, Mrs. Margaret Borcia, Joe Borcia. the hardest to gauge, according to Coach Bogumil. Front row, left to right: Erin Borica, Kaeleigh Borcia, Tony Borcia. They often take the longest cool to play at, Central Michigan too.” time to develop as players Though Borcia hasn’t received any recognition from any top level basketball and colleges want to see how much taller and stronger the centers and power programs yet, Coach Bogumil still has hope for the young star. forwards will get before offering a scholarship. “I think his skill right “There is always a lot of interest in somebody who is tall in basketball,” said now, he could definitely Coach Bogumil. “The other thing with big kids is you just don’t know, from a play at a small division recruiting standpoint, who is going to come offer him a scholarship next year. one school but if you With big kids, the schools always have an eye on them but are afraid to pull ask me three months the scholarship offer out until they’re are really sure.” from now, six months Right now, Borcia is receiving college interest from quite a few teams, but from now or even going the teams in biggest pursuit of his talent include University of Illinois-Chicainto his senior year, Big go, Yale, Morehead State, Southern Illinois University, Cornell and Central Ten schools could be Michigan. If given the opportunity to go to any college to play basketball, calling him,” said Coach Borcia would choose the University of Illinois. “My favorite school is Illinois,” said Borcia. “That would be a dream Bogumil. “But that’s a school. They haven’t talked to me yet. Realistically Southern Illinois would be lot to do with how he continues to progress. I don’t see why this time next year he has a lot of offers on the table.” What comes after college for Borcia? That all depends on how good he ultimately becomes. “Yeah but [going pro] is very hard to do,” said Borcia. “That’s thinking way ahead but that’d be a dream.”

“I play for my team. I get better to make my team better. I don’t play for individual awards. I want to help my team win.” -Joe Borica

Photo by Bailey Schmid Borcia practices his jump shot before an open gym.


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Fall Sports Wrap Ups Boys Soccer by Nick Vittore

Girls Golf

by Tyler Skinner

Record: 10-3 (5-2 in conference) Most exciting/biggest match, and why: “The highlight of the season was sweeping the North Suburban Conference Tournament. We felt vindicated at the end of the season,” Coach Greg Pederson said. Favorite Moment, and why: “At this year's LHS Invite at Pine Meadow, we won the tournament for the first time,” Coach Pederson said. Postseason Results: Varsity qualified for Sectionals as a team for the third time in four years. Freshman Simone Mikaelian was the overall champion; she shot 78, to beat the best golfers from Lake Forest and Glenbrook North. Mikaelian shot 84 at Conference, which was good for fifth place. Featured Senior: Emma Hoskins placed third in the North Suburban Conference Tournament by shooting an 80.

Record: 13-8-2 in all competitions Most exciting game and why: Regional championship vs. #1 seeded Barrington. It was their last game of the playoffs, as they were defeated 2-0. Favorite moment and why: 4-3 win over Washington High School. The tying goal came from the kickoff and the winning goal came with 4 minutes left off a free kick. “It had to be the win vs. Washington with those crazy goals from Tanner Sanks, Nick Vogel, myself, and then Carlos Schultz scoring with 4 minutes left,” remarked senior forward Lloyd Chatfield. “Plus it was in front of such a big crowd. You play soccer for moments like that.” Postseason Results: Got a bye to the second round of the playoffs where they defeated Stevenson 4-2, then lost in the third round at Barrington 2-0 Featured Senior: Lloyd Chatfield. One of the top goal scorers each year as well as a member of the team since freshman year.

photo courtesy of Kathryn Hyla The girls golf team gets together for a picture after a meet.

Girls Tennis by Nick Vittore Team Record in dual meets: (7-5) Most exciting/biggest game and why: Sectionals, where doubles team Maddie Wagner and Ola Grabowski progressed from sectionals to state this year, placing 4th in Lincolnshire. Favorite Moment and why: Bloomington Invite. Maddie Wagner placed 2nd in her division and junior Halle Roach won hers. “Winning the Bloomington invite was my favorite memory from this season,” said Wagner. Number one singles player Roach agreed on this. “I have been fortunate to go to Bloomington all three years of my high school career, and every one of them has been my favorite memory of each respective season.” Postseason results: Despite losing in a competitive first-round match, Grabowski and Wagner won in the first round of the back draw to earn a state-level win before suffering anphoto by Nick Vittore other defeat. Senior Maddie Wagner returns Featured Senior: Maddie Wagner. a ball during practice. Double “I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of partner Ola Grabowski is in the her this year,” said Coach Dan Kiernan. background.


photo by Gabi Munoz Sophomore Kevin Riley (left) moves the ball up field against Warren.

Football by Tyler Skinner

Record: 3-5 Most exciting/biggest game, and why: “I felt the Mundelein game was a big game because we needed to get some confidence back after Stevenson and Warren. We were able to be physical and run the football which always is a boost to your confidence,” head coach Mike Jones said. Favorite Moment: “Our team as a whole never stopped fighting. We never stopped fighting. We played until the final whistle of every game and I am very proud of our guys photo by Bailey Schmid for doing so,” stated quarSenior Conor Simpson celebrates with his team- terback Anthony Monken. mates after scoring a touchdown.

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Girls Volleyball by Becky DeAcetis

Boys Golf by Tyler Skinner Record: 6-3 in dual meets Most exciting/biggest match, and why: Defeating Carmel at Carmel’s home course. “We played them on their home course (Pine Meadow) and we had 2 of our players (Jack Lipp and Tad Carlson) shoot even par 36,” head coach Sean Matthews said. Favorite Moment, and why: “One of my favorite moments was qualifying 5 golfers (Billy Knutson, Tad Carlson, Matt Reed, Jack Senior Billy Knutson Lipp and Jacob Mueller) to Sectionals at the end of the year,” coach Matthews said. Postseason Results: The team finished in fourth place at Regionals. The five golfers who qualified for Sectionals did not advance on to State. Featured Senior: Billy Knutson, senior captain, golfed at Sectionals after shooting an 82 at Regionals.

Girls Swimming

Record: 26-11 Favorite meet: Senior Vicky Liu said the team’s first regional game, a win over Mundelein was her favorite. “The team was finally united with the goal of trying to make it to state,” Liu stated. Post-seasonal Results: During regionals, the varsity team beat Mundelein with a score of 25-13, 25-17. During the final match, Libertyville lost to Glenbrook North in the championship by a score of 25-20, 25-21, giving the team second place in regionals. Best Parts of the Season: To freshman varsity player Morgan O’Brien, senior night photo by Bailey Schmid was a highlight of the season. “It was aweSenior Vicky Liu serves some seeing the seniors’ faces when we had for the Wildcats. given them their stuff. It definitely made up for the hours and hours we spent working on it,” O’Brien said.

Season Record: 7-3 Favorite meet: According to senior and co-captain Sophia Lex, the Fremd meet was also one of the best parts of the season. “The energy in the room was just so crazy,” she said. To senior diver Morgan Dunleavy, the Lake Country invite was the most exciting; she said the attitude of the swimmers was amazing. “It was just so fun to go into this meet with a great attitude if I won or lost,” Dunleavy said. Breaking the records: This season, the varsity girls swim team’s 200 IM medley relay broke the pool record at the Warren meet; it also broke the school record, according to freshman Grace Hurley. Lex, Macey Neubauer, Meredith Robbins and Staci Herchenbach broke the pool record by 1.5 seconds. Team Wrap-Up: “Each event we have someone who’s really good at it,” said Lex; she said the team didn’t have a bad meet all year.

Senior Morgan Dunleavy

Boys Cross Country by Ryan Jackson

Girls Cross Country by Ryan Jackson

Record: 5-3; 4th Overall in NSC Lake Conference Most exciting meet: The Conference meet, where three runners finished in the top 25 and the Cats took 4th place. Favorite moment: “Watching Pat Humen emerge from the woods (in the Conference race) in first place with a quarter mile to go was awfully exciting...he was able to push ahead and shock the rest of the runners with a surprising and decisive victory,” coach Ben Zollo shared. Featured senior: Atticus Rush. In his third year on Varsity, he has been a steady leader for the Cats all season. At the Palatine meet, he clocked a personal record 16:21 race and finished second overall.

Record: 6-1 overall (5-1 in divsion) -- NSC Lake Division coChampions Most exciting meet: “When we beat Lake Forest on our last home meet of the year. It was senior night and we won a share of the division championship,” said head coach Bill Etnyre. Favorite moment: “Getting my personal record in Peoria...I’ll never forget how amazing I felt and how I made my mom happy cry!” senior Ali Urbanski said. Featured senior: Urbanski. She was a senior leader for the young Wildcats and made significant personal improvements throughout the season. “Ali would PR (set a personal record) almost every race...she led the team with poise and grace, but her grit is what stood out to me this year,” said assistant coach Mrs. Mary Kate Schoenbeck.

photo courtesy of Leah Lilja The varsity girls cross country team rushes out of their box at the beginning of a race. photo courtesy of Mark Buesing Senior Atticus Rush crosses the finish line at Adler Park. Sports

November 13, 2013


Winter Sports Previews Boys Basketball

By Jake Luce

2012-13 Record: 6-21 Varsity Returnees: Seniors Johnny Vernasco, Jack Lipp, Anthony Monken, Pat McKiernan, Matt Reed, Steven Braun, Justin Jost and junior Joe Borcia. Season Goals: “We want to play well throughout the season, not just during the final stretch,” said Head Coach Scott Bogumil. Stand Out Game: “Stevenson, Zion Benton, and Lake Forest. They will be our toughest opponents in the conference,” Coach Bogumil stated. What they do best: “We run the fast break and shoot 3 pointers well,” said Coach Bogumil.

Girls Basketball

Jack Lipp

By Jake Luce

2012-13 Record: 15-14 Varsity Returnees: Senior Rosie Lynch and Juniors Mary Wilterdink and Becky Deichl. Season Goals: “We want to play the game the right way, learn, and grow as players,” says Head Coach Greg Pedersen. Stadout Game: “The first game against Barrington. Most players on our team will be getting their first varsity game experience that night. We'll be young and eager,” stated Coach Pedersen. What they do best: “We move the ball well. We stress passing and moving the ball where the defense isn't. We also work hard to defend our end and protect our paint,” said coach Pedersen.

Boys Swimming

Rosie Lynch

By Kyle Laska

2012 Finish: Finished 4th in State State-Qualifying Varsity Returnees: Alex Snarski, Justin Fu, Matt Harrington, Atticus Rush. This quartet finished 5th place in the 200 Medley Relay and 7th place in the 400 Free Relay at State last year. Season Goals: “Making it to State is the main goal. I’d like to finish in the top 3,” Matt Harrington said. Standout Game: “State stands out. That’s all we look toward,” Mark Boynton said. What they do best: “We are all very fast swimmers,” Boynton said.


Hockey By Tyler Skinner 2012-13 Record: 17-19-8 Varsity Returnees: Seniors John Schueler, Daniel Nekich, Alexander Pong and Alexander Valente Season Goals: “Every season the goal is to win the end of season league tournament and the State Blackhawk Cup,” head coach Stuart Vieth said. Stand Out Game: “[The] Carmel game is always a good time. [There is] a lot of chirping and throwing bodies around,” junior center Luke John Schueler O’Brien said. What they do best: “Act as a team. They stand together no matter what,” Coach Vieth said.

Alex Snarski

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Wrestling By Tyler Skinner

2012-13 Record: 20-2, won the Lake Division, won the North Suburban Conference Tournament, placed 2nd at Regionals. State-Qualifying Varsity Returnees: Seniors Steve Polakowski, Kayne MacCallum, Austin Koziol, Kevin Barbian, and Chris McDermand. Season Goals: “Our goals are always to win the Lake Division, win the Conference Tournament, advance to the Dual Team State Tournament, and send as many wrestlers to the State as possible with several earning All-State honors,” head coach Dale Eggert said. Stand Out Game: “We are hosting Warren on Friday, January 10, and Stevenson on Friday, January 24, which could both be meets that decide the Lake Division title. We are also hosting the Regionals on Saturday, February 8, the first round of the State Tournament Series,” Coach Eggert said. What they do best: Upper weight guys using arm bars to get a lot of pins, according to Coach Eggert.

Girls Bowling By Kyle Laska

Photo Courtesy of the Libertyville Wrestling program. Polakowski wrestling in the 2012 season.

Boys Bowling

2012 Record: 7-5 Featured Varsity Returnees: Taylor Sloan, Natalie Zeng, Kaci Cibrario, Emma Davellis Season Goals: “A goal that we always set for ourselves is to improve from how we did last time,” said Taylor Sloan. Standout Game: “A game that stands out is our conference. [Last Year) we had our highest series as a team and we placed fourth,” said Emma Davellis. What they do best: “Our team Taylor Sloan works together very well and we cheer each other on every game. We help everyone on the team and we're pretty much a big family,” Davellis said.

By Jake Luce

2012 Record: 14-4 Varsity Returnees: Senior Jack Baumruk, Juniors Duncan Hughes, Jimmy Smagacz, and Alex Price. Season Goals: “The team is hoping to perform at an even higher level than last year,” coach Robert Sweno stated. Standout Game: “Our matches against Vernon Hills will definitely be memorable ones. Their head coach, Bill Spigner, Jack Baumruk has been a coach and mentor of mine and I look forward to competing against him,” said head coach Robert Sweno. What they do best: “Me and the boys are still getting to know each other so it is hard to say what we do best at this point. So far, everyone has shown a good work ethic and eagerness to learn. This should pay big dividends when the season starts,” stated first year Head Coach Sweno.

Girls Gymnastics By Kyle Laska

2012-13 Conference Record: 1-4 Varsity Returnees: Seniors Mariah Lee and Rachael Metcalf Season Goals: To finish in top 3 of both Varsity and Junior Varsity levels, and to advance individuals to Sectionals and State. Stand Out Game: “Our meets against Lake Forest and Mundelein will be tough competition this year,” stated head coach Mrs. Tiffany Owens. “Our varsities have been pretty evenly matched for the past few years so the meets are always close. This makes for very exciting meets.’ What they do best: “We all just have fun,” stated junior Jenny Pahng. “We get along so well, and it isn’t just practice for us, but fun as well. It makes everyday exciting, and we are always happy for each other; win or lose.” Sports

November 13, 2013

Mariah Lee


Catching up with Kevin: The journey to the NFL By Kyle Laska and Ryan Jackson In life, it’s near-impossible to achieve the goal of maximum success. Obstacles, difficulties, and hard-hitting safeties constantly stand in the way. However, Libertyville High School graduate and current Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kevin Walter is catching his dream. The journey wasn’t easy, and those hours in the weight room will never be restored. Nevertheless, the fact that he got to where he is today is unparalleled by many. “I’ll just keep working hard. Whatever you do in life, work hard at it,” said Walter. Walter, even with the remarkable success he has obtained, started his journey like many aspiring football players do in Libertyville: at the Libertyville Boys Club. However, the rising athlete wasn’t always the star wideout we’ve come to know. In fact, before football, Walter only wanted to skateboard. Skateboarding was initially his true passion, until he decided to commit himself to football. John Teichman, a coach of Walter’s at LBC, had nothing but respect and admiration for the young player, yet did admit that Walter didn’t jump out at you early on. “He had your typical 13-year-old personality...he was no standout at that point,” said Teichman. Walter, however, had one advantage over every kid out on the field: his work ethic. Walter never took a play off and “even in the most boring practices, he was out there busting his tail all the time,” said Teichman. Walter was the definition of a workhorse. He worked hard on the field, determined to be the best, and pushed himself to the top. While Walter credits much of his dedicated habits to the tutelage of his parents and coaches, it’s clear that he possessed a unique drive from early on in his career. “You knew he would be successful in whatever he did because of his work ethic,” stated Teichman. “He always came and gave 100% all the time.”

Kevin Walter fights his way across the goal line for a touchdown against the Oakland Radiers in 2011.


While Walter started his journey at LBC, his true value was proven playing for the Libertyville Wildcats. Walter, who by then had grown into his imposing wide receiver/tight end frame, was beginning to show signs of greatness. Greatness, however difficult it may be to obtain, was not achievable without a coach to guide him. Luckily for Walter, he received one of the best: Coach Randy Kuceyeski. “[Coach Kuz] always pointed me in the right direction,” said a humbled Walter, “and I’ll always respect him for that.”


never forgot where he came from...being a pro and all of the success he’s had hasn’t gone to his head. He’s really down to earth and one hell of a receiver,” Teichman said. Coach Kuceyeski still admires the generosity and team-first attitude of his most famous apprentice, even after all of his triumphs as a football player. “One thing that stands out about Kevin is how humble he was always ‘What can I do for the team?’ before anything,” Kuceyeski said. Despite Walter’s glaring talent at wide receiver, the coaching staff decided to move him to tight end before his senior year to accommodate for a crop of skilled wideouts coming up to the varsity level. It was a change that many young players could have resisted; tight end lacks the glory that the wide receiver positions have, according to popular belief. “You just have to roll with the punches. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control, just capitalize on the opportunities you get,” Walter said. And capitalize he did. In the 1998 season opener, Walter snagged 10 receptions to kick off a senior campaign that re-wrote the record books. He hauled in 48 passes for 801 yards and 6 touchdowns en route to earning All-Conference, All-Area, and All-County honors. The Wildcats finished with a 10-1 record after losing for the first time that year in the second round of the playoffs. Among other leaders on the team was Newsom award-winning quarterback J.C. Harrington, whose talent certainly highlighted Walter’s strengths. Harrington cherished throwing to such an athletically gifted receiver. “If I threw the ball anywhere near Kevin, it was almost guaranteed that he was going to come down with it. Not only does he have amazing hands, but he’s incredibly athletic,” commented the altruistic Harrington, who eventually walked on the football team at Harvard University. Walter’s impact on the team went deeper than the physical presence he brought to the table. More importantly, he earned the respect of his teammates. “I literally can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have on my team (or on my side for anything) -- you just knew that Kevin had your back and was going to do anything in his power to help the team win,” said Harrington, who, like Walter, earned All-State honorable mention his senior season. Walter is not only respected by teammates, but his coaches as well. His drive to succeed in all aspects of life commanded the admiration of everyone that

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Walter stretches for extra yards against the St. Louis Rams in 2003. This occured in his first year with the Bengals. surrounded him. “He was a strong leader because he led by example and he backed it up. He made big plays, plus he outworked you in the weight room and took care of his academics,” said Jeff Woodruff, Walter’s head coach at Eastern Michigan University. Despite all of the physical weapons that Walter possessed coming out of high school, (he was 6’3” and 215 pounds, while running a head-turning 4.5 second 40-yard dash), he was not a hotly pursued recruit. Several schools offered him chances to walk on, but he chose the lone school that offered him a scholarship: Eastern Michigan University. The Swoops have consistently underachieved in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in recent history, but the school was a comfortable fit for Walter, whose parents originally hail from Michigan. “I was really blessed to have the opportunity to play for them,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.” When he arrived at campus in Ypsilanti, Walter didn’t back off his intensity levels. He continued to push his limits and was eventually rewarded with sole ownership of school records in receptions (211), receiving yards (2,838), and touchdown catches (20). Walter’s devoted work ethic and acute attention to detail were the separating factors between him and other mediocre MAC receivers. “Focusing on a lot of the little details that not a lot of players means a lot to the team and the coaches,” Walter explained. Throughout high school and college, Walter was always the clear-cut, numberone option. It was known that Walter would see a majority of targets, and his stats would be attractive. However, even Walter knew that the NFL would produce a bit of a change. Competition would be stiffer, and playing time would be harder to come by. But before all that panic was the worry of finding a team. In the 2003 NFL Draft, rounds went by as Walter anxiously waited for a phone call. “It was very unsettling...after a few rounds go by you start thinking, ‘Man I might not end up being drafted,’” said an honest Walter. Yet, all fear was thrown aside when the New York Giants called in the seventh round with the 255th overall pick and selected the strong wide receiver from Eastern Michigan. Walter remained in New York for all less than a year before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals. Walter spent three seasons in Cincinnati behind great receivers like Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh. Again, Walter refused to complain. He used the established veterans on the team as resources to help him hone his craft. Walter did what he was told, excelled on special

teams, and started to make a name for himself. All the years of following strict orders from coaches, putting in extra hours of conditioning, and sitting in film studies watching opponents paid off in 2006, when Walter signed as a restricted free agent with the Houston Texans. The Libertyville grad excelled in Houston, especially after becoming the top wideout during Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson’s injury in 2008. Walter’s most productive season came that year, where he had 60 receptions for 899 yards and 8 touchdowns. Walter was finally achieving another goal of making a large name for himself in the NFL. Alas, after many productive seasons in Houston, Walter was released in 2012 following last season. In terms of business, the move to release the aging wide receiver seemed illogical, as it left Andre Johnson as the only proven wide receiver on the team. However, it saved the team $2.5 million in cap space, and paved the way for rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. “Any time you create relationships with your teammates, your coaches, it’s tough. But I’ve been around for a while, I know the aspect of the business,” voiced Walter about his release from Houston. Walter will now look to make an impact with his new team: the Tennessee Titans. Walter looks to build upon what has made him so successful throughout his career for his new team. Although he has been sidelined with a back injury, Walter is hopeful he’ll be back on the field soon. Kevin Walter did what few have done. He made it to the most elite level of the sport that so many have failed to reach. Not only has he made it, but he has excelled. He put maximum effort into every step of the journey, and is now able to say he’s an NFL wide receiver. However, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. “From playing football at Brainerd, walking over to the main building, I remember it like it was yesterday,” stated a reminiscent Walter. “Time flies by quickly, and I’m very blessed I had the chance to go to Libertyville.” Walter will forever be remembered as the skateboarder-turned-football player who went on to have a wildly successful football career. His everlasting impact on Libertyville High School will always be felt, as a role model who proved that hard work and determination pay off. Nonetheless, the most important thing to do, according to Walter, is to remember why you’re playing the game: “It’s just a game. The most important thing even up to this day is just to have fun.”

Walter draws a pass interference against the Green Bay Packers in 2012. All photos courtesy of MCT Campus

Listed in chronological order are the teams Walter has played for in his career. From left to right, they are: the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans


November 13, 2013


Liberty Sports Complex 1950 N Hwy 45, 2nd Level LibertyVille IL 60048 POWERED BY PALMEN SPORTS

Take Your Game to the Next Level Athletic Republic of Libertyville is a science-based, sports performance training movement with real, quantifiable results. How do we give you the edge? With intensive training, sport specific training programs and advanced, patented equipment designed to safely push athletes beyond their limits.

What Works For The Pros

Will Work For You




Train with the same scientific methods and equipment used by professional athletes like Misty May-Treanor, Jim Thome, Darren McFadden, Jameer Nelson, Marian Gaborik, and Montee Ball.


Cross Country


“Their acceleration training has


Track & Field





#1 in performance sports training

improved [my son’s] 40 yard dash, pro agility, foot quickness, and game speed.”

– Montee Ball Sr.

Science. Technology. Results. Average Performance Improvements With Athletic Republic Training: 0.2 – 0.4 seconds in 40 yards 2 – 4 inches of vertical jump height 5 - 8 inches in standing long jump distance 5 mph in throwing velocity 50% improvement in recovery ability 20% gain in peak force and power 33% increase in foot speed Significant improvements in both running and skating efficiency

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EXPIRES 12/31/14

November 13 issue  
November 13 issue