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iewer V

Bauer and Kuschke build a house Features p. 5 Pothen protects MV Spread p. 7


Friday, March 16, 2007

Volume 53

Zodiac straightforward, captivating Reviews p. 9

Issue 10


Physics Fair triggers reaction Seniors skip following Fair By Vicky Kelberer staff writer

The evening of Monday, March 5, countless students, staff members, and parents descended on the Mounds View gymnasium for Physics Fair, one of the biggest academic events of the year. This year, over 360 MV physics students participated. According to Mike Cartwright, Accelerated Physics teacher, Physics Fair is a group project designed to challenge the students to integrate the concepts they learned first semester. “The project consists of a minimum of five components that must interact with each other," he said. "Each group must in turn trigger the following group and build a large-scale Rube Goldberg-like chain reaction.” In addition to the students, parents, and onlookers, judges came to examine the projects. “Most of the judges have been volunteering for years,” said Cartwright. “Years ago, we sent out notices to local companies that hire and employ engineers. And that’s how we originally got our judges from 3M and Honeywell and companies like that.”

Judges evaluated projects based on how well students understood physics concepts, creativity of the reactions, and aesthetics. However, the ultimate goal for students was for a chain reaction to be completed for an entire class. No class completed a chain reaction this year. Such a chain reaction has only been completed once—in 1999—in all 10 years of Physics Fair. One reason for the perceived difficulty of the project was the overall complexity. Students were to incorporate a hovercraft, propeller car, catapult, and tracked vehicle. Bringing each of the steps together proved to be the hardest thing for many groups. “Our team could not get everything to come together no matter how hard we tried,” said Katelyn Schwieters, 12. “Luckily, the first time it worked was when we were being judged.” Others were not so lucky. It often took multiple tries to complete the reaction, and groups fretted about how this would affect their scores. “I thought it went well overall, until we got a few steps in and it just stopped,” said Andrew Janssen, 12. “I’m glad it worked

on the second try, but that might not look so good in the judges’ eyes.” Students also ran into problems when it came to devoting time to the project. They often did not realize how much effort and labor they needed to put in. “We only met once the day before,” said Raunain Rahman, 12. “It was definitely not the best time of my life.” “Most groups work really well together. The students are allowed to choose their own groups, so usually they pair up with people they know they can agree with,” said Cartwright. “Some groups are less functional, and hopefully they work out their differences before the Physics Fair.” Rahman ran into some of these problems with his group. “Splitting up the work seemed so unfair sometimes,” he said. “Everybody was slacking!” Still, most groups managed to get all of the necessary work done and once they were at the fair, students were ready to relax. “This whole thing has been a huge stress,” said Kate Hellmich, 12. “The end is finally in sight!” And after Physics Fair, as Hellmich put it, most felt “amazing, absolutely amazing” to be done.

photo by Nick Cairl

Monday, March 5, over 360 students participated in Physics Fair, the culmination of a semester of physics knowledge.

By Alice Liu staff writer

On Tuesday, March 6, Physics teacher Matt Washenberger noticed that on average, 10 to 11 students were absent from each of his classes. This was the first time he had been aware of a senior skip day. The day after Physics Fair saw a large number of absences, both excused and unexcused, from the senior class. While some of these absences were due to personal illness or the DECA event that day, rumors had been spread on the night of Physics Fair that seniors were planning to have a “senior skip day.” “People were asking me if I were going to school the next day,” said Max Arndt, 12, CoPresident of Student Council. “We didn’t hear about [the rumors] until the night of Physics Fair, and we made an announcement that students still need to come to school the next day,” said Accelerated Physics teacher Mike Cartwright. According to the Student Handbook, “rumored skip days” count as an unexcused absence. Students who miss school due to an unexcused absence will be given no credit for any work missed in classes. Some teachers such as Washenberger gave their classes a quiz the day after the Physics Fair. Students who skipped school that day would not be allowed to make these up. “I’m having quizzes whether or not they were in the Physics Fair, and I think that’s right,” he said. “If they are unexcused, then teachers don’t have to offer an opportunity for the kids to make it up.” Students were released from

the Physics Fair at approximately 9 p. m. and thus, according to Washenberger, there was no reason for students to not show up at school the next day. “They were let out at a reasonable time,” he said. “I bet that most of them go to bed past nine o’clock and I’d be willing to bet that most of the work was done prior to that day.” He continued, “I believe that the beginning of the tradition of a senior skip day after the Physics Fair will jeopardize the Physics Fair for future students, which would be too bad because it’s a great experience.” But while some students did not show up at school the next day, many students still did. Arndt felt that it was his responsibility to the student body not to skip school. “The senior skip day was not my idea,” he said. “I did miss most of first hour because I was extremely tired from the Physics Fair, but I came to school because I feel it’s my responsibility to be here and the administration expects a lot from me.” As Student Council CoPresident, “I know that I’m a role model for the student body and I want to be a positive role model,” he said. The Accelerated Physics class did not experience as large of a number of absences as the regular Physics class. According to Cartwright, he only had an average of four to five missing per class. “It didn’t affect me too much because not a lot of students were absent from my class,” said Cartwright. “I don’t think the Physics Fair encouraged people to skip in any way, I think it’s just something that students decided to do.”

The ALC: Is this alternative an equivalent to MV? By Anna Brockway and Emilie Wei features editor editor-in-chief

“If you ever take a picture of my girlfriend again, I’ll break your phone, break your hand, and punch you in the face.” During his second week at the Mounds View Area Learning Center (ALC), Graham Odean, 12, was the surprised recipient of these words. Two hours after taking a girl’s picture on his cell phone, Odean was confronted by an angry male student. “I could’ve taken him though,” said Odean, chuckling. The environment at the ALC was so different from Mounds View that Odean found it hard to adjust. After returning to MV this winter, he questioned both the social and academic environment of the school district’s alternative program - which serves as a safety net for many area kids.

“It’s a lot easier to get credits...[and] they don’t do homework, so it’s much easier,” said Odean. However, another student and several administrators defend the ALC, saying it simply serves a different purpose than Mounds View. Originally, the ALC was proposed by Governor Rudy Perpich through the High School Graduation Option bill, which passed in 1985. ALC’s mission is to “provide a non-traditional learning environment for developing learner competence, character, and citizenship.” The bill was “intended to provide more options for students who were not mainstream,” said Julie Wikelius, MV principal and former ALC counselor. The Mounds View District ALC was among the first four to be created in the late ’80s, and because of its success at helping students graduate, ALCs sprang

up in virtually every state school district within five years. Jeanne Lukens, Dean of Students at ALC, said that it is by offering “a different structure that enables students to work at an individual rate toward graduation” that the ALC sets a foundation for its success. “Currently we are meeting the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals regarding No Child Left Behind legislation,” she said. “Our graduation rate is 80 percent...Approximately 80 percent of those graduates were not on track to graduate from their home school of Mounds View or Irondale.” Odean questioned whether the students are graduating because less is expected of them – perhaps too little. In one of his classes, the English Option, Odean said the teacher started by asking him what he wanted to do in the class. He proposed to read three books; with the teacher’s

approval and completion of a book report worksheet, Odean received credit for the class. A former MV student, who asked to be called Lucy, agreed that sometimes her classes at the ALC seem too easy. But, she added, “It’s like an independent work-study, so you can work as fast or as slow as you want.” According to Wikelius, not everyone is eligible for the ALC. Students who transfer to the ALC need to meet at least one of the High School Graduation Incentive Qualifiers: students with test scores below their peer group, students behind in credits, teen parents, or students recovering from drug dependencies. The ALC runs on six-week cycles equivalent to Mounds View’s eight- to nine-week quarters. Full-time ALC students, however, take a full six-hour course load within each cycle. Odean, for example, was able receive credit for five year-long

classes while attending ALC for one semester. Lukens, Dean of Students at the ALC, explained that the differences between course loads at the ALC and district high schools are only a matter of structure. “All students take comparable credits in all subject areas,” she said. “The coursework may be different because we design our classes for students to finish their work in class.” In contrast to the course load at Mounds View, however, the ALC offers a unique opportunity. “‘Freedom of Flight’ is a true ‘hands-on’ experience,” Lukens said. “Students are introduced to flying small engine planes...We use computer software from Cessna and high-end flight simulators,” said Lukens. “Field trips have and may include flights at the Anoka-Blaine Airport.”

ALC continued on page 4


op T 10 Things to do with your spring break


Guzzle sunscreen like an albino Irishman

Dance... With The Stars!



Let all your dreams die, start fresh Take back the night!

Eat pork rinds nude on the couch... just like like last year



Give Weinberg a spongebath


Get your groove back

Find your inner beauty, then lose it on the bus ride home




Get a haircut, freak


Try to remember what you did over Spring Break

2006-2007 Viewer Editors Editor-in-Chief

ETween phone home! MARCH 16, 2007

More and more, kids from ages eight to twelve are getting their own mobile technology

By Chelsy Mateer staff writer

Receiving a cell phone at a younger and younger age seems to be the trend. Walking though the mall, it’s not abnormal to see children as young as eight texting on their new RAZRs. Currently, about 5.3 million kids ages eight to 12 have cell phones in the U.S. according to the consulting firm Yankee Group — more than one in four ‘tweens.’ This number is expected to double, and it’s ridiculous: preteens don’t need cell phones There are only a few arguments that thrifty parents can use to back up a purchase like a top of the line phone. The implied use of the phone would be to constantly check up on a child’s whereabouts — but how often is a kid that young left out on their own? Whether they’re at a friend’s house or baseball practice, these kids are kept in a closely monitored environment. Usually events that take place outside of a house are tightly scheduled, leaving little need for communication between appointed pickup and drop-off times. Pat Delahunt, 12, who has been cell phone freeall his life, said, “Why would someone at ages eight through 12 need a cell phone? It’s stupid, they’re completely dependent on their parents, so they probably won’t be going anywhere without them anyways,” said Delahunt. If you aren’t driving anywhere alone, for what reason do you need to contact your parents at that age? Most kids at age 10 aren’t even allowed

to stay home alone. The responsibility of having a cell phone is too great for a tween. In sixth grade, when most students are focused on moving into a new school, the responsibility of not running out of minutes, and not losing their phone, is simply too large. “As I look back at that age, I wanted a cell phone so bad. Now, I realize that it really isn’t necessary until you start driving,” said Amanda Schrankler, 12. The desire for a cell phone for that age is purely social — a kid in middle school really isn’t concerned with wanting to tell their parents where they are. Middle school is all about talking to your friends and fitting in. So if your friends have a cell phone, why shouldn’t you? My younger brother, who is eight years old, explained to me why he wants a cell phone. “It’s cool and I’ll be able to call my friends and they can call me. It’s really cool.” When parents give into these outrageous demands, jealousy begins to creep into the hearts of their siblings. Erin Marvin, 11, said, “My sister is in sixth grade, and she has a cell phone. It’s not fair because I didn’t get one until my sophomore year and I only got one because I got in a car accident.” We can only hope that some day these confused kids will realize that fitting in isn’t everything. Until someone can come up with a logical reason for why an eight year old needs a cell phone, these demanding children should enjoy not having another responsibility.

Emilie Wei Managing Editor Eddy Kwon News Michael Bonin Editorials Graham Clark Commentary Ryan McGrath Features Anna Brockway Ben Messerly Spread Laura Linder-Scholer Lauren Thornton Variety Christina Florey Reviews Megan Wang Sports Lauren Bennett Alex Bonemeyer Gallery Liz Roemer Business Manager Kaitlin Ostlie Photographers/Artists Nick Cairl Emma Turnquist Advisor Martha Rush Assistant Advisor David Weinberg

The Viewer is printed by: Crow Wing Press

Bergen Butala, 11 “I wasn’t allowed to get one until high school. But my little sister just got one and she is in 7th grade. It’s so unfair – and she never even uses it.”

Willie McLellan, 12 “I don’t think it’s a good idea. They don’t have the maturity to use it responsibly.”

Amanda Oliverius, 12 “They can use regular phones. You shouldn’t need a cell phone until you can drive.”

w was nds Vie air of all time. u o M , sf nth f This mo biggest physic uld be proud o e o h th s t u to r o home took pa o attended: y ne who r all wh do with Everyo . And fo etter things to k r o w their find b e. eed to your tim really n

Staff - Ashley Aram, Alice Liu, Kathleen Gormley, Josh Bornstein, Audrey Benkemoun, Nikhil Gupta, Nate Grann, Alicia Hilgers, Abby House, Victoria Kelberer, Andrew Larkin, Belle Lin, Andrew Madsen, Chelsy Mateer, Lauren Peake, TT Phan, Sam Louwagie

The Viewer is published by the student editors at: Mounds View High School 1900 Lake Valentine Road Arden Hills, Minnesota

Should tweens have cell phones?

graphic by Graham Clark

all photos by Kathleen Gormley

MARCH 16, 2007


She’s so... contagious? Bornstein examines death in the media By Josh Bornstein staff writer

I remember where I was the day she died. I was at a speech team practice, and one of my teammates, George, received a text message from his friend telling him the news. He stopped practice, picked up the remote, and switched the TV on to CNN. Sure enough, there was Wolf Blitzer in his Situation Room, stony-faced as ever, reporting on the death of one of the world’s most bizarre and controversial celebrities. I was surprised to learn several of my teammates had never heard of Anna Nicole Smith, the freshly deceased media queen. She was quite possibly one of the biggest gold diggers of the last two decades: she married aged oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall while she was in her 20s (he in his 90s), and attempted to gain his fortune when he died 14 months after their marriage. Unfortunately for her, Marshall’s son Pierce began to fight her in a legal battle over

the $1.6 billion estate. During the years following the blow-out cash battle, the busty blonde kept busy, making a handful of B-movies, starring in her own reality show, gaining and losing

photo courtesy of

Anna Nicole Smith, pop icon? weight, giving birth to a daughter (parentage unknown), and losing a son. As we peered into the Situation Room, I reflected on her death, and thought to myself, “Well, she certainly was interesting…in a car-crash sort of way.” Once the TV was off, I figured I had finally heard the end of her. But when I turned on CNN a

few days later while eating breakfast, I nearly spewed my coffee all over the TV screen; there she was again! And again the next day! And who can forget the day after that!? Fast forward two weeks later. What began as a time of mourning for a dead woman had morphed into Terri Schiavo-sized publicity cesspool. Six different men—including her ex, her lawyer, her former bodyguard, and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s current husband—all claimed to be the father of her daughter. Her will was outdated and was not filed in a court, so her estate does not officially belong to anyone at the moment. There still has been no real settlement over her late husband’s estate, and worst of all, her body wasn’t put in the ground for more than a week; she continued to waste away in a Florida morgue. To my relief, some closure has been provided since then and she was finally buried on March 1. In addition, the media coverage of the controversy is in remission, though I fear it could

rear its ugly head again with the ongoing battle over the fatherhood of her child. Stay tuned for

photo courtesy of

Anna’s late hubby J. Howard Marshall more! As much as I would like to, I can’t blame this media debacle on her—she was a person who took pride in being quirky and repulsive, and that disgusts me. No, friends, the real problem here is the mainstream media. Tabloids run stories about celebrity gossip, but when major news networks like Fox and

CNN go on marathons broadcasting this drivel, it’s appalling. This kind of journalism is lazy. The news stations dig up as much dirt as they can about the celebrity in question, and attempt to get the “full scoop” by interviewing the alleged lover all the way to their nanny. This kind of reporting is better suited to situations where understanding multiple sides of a story is crucial (see: Iraq war). It’s this humiliating exposure of people like Lisa Nowak—the diaperclad astronaut charged with attempted murder—that shows major news networks are just out for a quick buck by catering to the public’s thirst for controversial stories. If I’d wanted to hear about a slobbish celebrity like Anna Nicole Smith, I would read People Magazine. The major news networks should provide no more than a passing mention of people like her. A common motto about news stories in the industry is, “If it bleeds, it leads.” I wonder if that’s now become, “If it smells it sells.”

An Uphill Battle

Bong Hits 4 Jesus;

Should all student groups have the same right to advertise in school?

“Free” speech in America

By Ashley Aram staff writer

The success of the studentled group Straights and Gays for Equality (SAGE) vs. the Osseo School District in their fight for equal privileges to advertise freely about their school was a large stride towards the freedom that student-formed groups deserve. The insulation that schools so desperately strive to maintain against controversial groups is not worth the limitations put on the student body as a whole. The SAGE controversy began in 2005 when two students, along with their parents and the SAGE group, filed a suit claiming discrimination in US District Court. The school named the group non-curricular, because it did not follow the curriculum. The students claimed that the Osseo Schools violated not only state but federal laws by restricting them from equal use of the announcement system, bulletin boards, and space in the yearbook. The court ruled in favor of the students, granting them equal access to advertisement for their group. The school lost in part because the cheerleaders -- also unrelated to any school curriculum -- had been allowed to advertise. As structured as schools would like their policy on student-led groups to appear, most boil down to the opinion of a single authority. So why bother making requirements, like correlating with the curriculum, that only pose as one more obstacle that ultimately limits more than

just the “controversial” groups? The MV policy has a school sponsored, non-school sponsored rule, which claims that only groups that are school sponsored can have free reign to advertisement within the school. To form a school sponsored group at Mounds View, students must fill out a form, write up an essay, and survive the opinion of Bob Madison, the activities director. That sounds fair enough, but issues still cause a few raised eyebrows among the student body when it comes to what’s considered school-sponsored or not. I believe that a great deal of freedom should be allowed to students who would like to form groups and involve other students within their school. Being involved and participating is highly encouraged at our school, but not all kids have interest in sports, or artistic activities. The more we limit studentformed groups from advertising, the more we are limiting students from seeking out their interests and becoming involved within their student body. If a group supporting one of the most controversial topics in today’s society can survive and come out on top within their school district, then who knows what else can be accomplished. But the message that all should receive from SAGE’s success is that the limitations on student-led groups made by our school administrations can, and should, be questioned.

By Nikhil Gupta staff writer

“Bong Hits 4 Jesus,” the banner proclaimed as the Olympic Torch was carried past. In 2002, in the sleepy city of Juneau, Alaska, a student named Joseph Frederick and his friends lofted this very banner in front of the Olympic Torch procession, horrifying his school administration and launching the biggest student free speech issue in 20 years. The high school principal had released students from school to view the parade. They were standing across the street from the school –not on school property. When they unfurled the banner, the principal ran across the street, and seized it out of their hands. Frederick was suspended for 10 days. Following his punishment, he sued in federal court claiming his free speech rights had been violated. The District Court ruled in favor of the school district, while the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of Frederick. Enter Kenneth Starr, the witch-hunter who hounded President Clinton for the better part of his Presidency. Add to this volatile mix a pending Supreme Court case – to be argued March 19 -- and we have on our hands a very bizarre situation that nonetheless raises troubling constitutional questions. Schools are permitted to restrict students’ speech on school grounds and at school events – that much is clear. But the Olympic procession on a public street is neither. If

schools districts are permitted to censor students’ speech outside of school property, what free speech will we have left? Could schools censor us when we are at malls or in the privacy of our homes? There needs to be a clear line drawn between students’ lives at school and outside of it, lest our personal freedom be eroded into nothing. More importantly, there is no purpose in censoring students’ speech. For example, Nazism is strictly banned in many western

not espousing Nazi or radical Islamist ideology. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that they were issuing a call to all fellow students to begin smoking pot, as the school board maintains. They were most likely doing what teenagers do best – acting a fool. Their action can be written off as yet another stupid prank pulled by teenagers. And unlike many teenage pranks, it harmed no one. The action did embarrass the school district, but is this one embarrassment worth trampling the first amendment over? Consider for a moment that the school’s presumption is correct and these students had created a four-word manifesto for universal drug use. Even in this situation, censoring their speech would not be appropriate. Assuming for a moment that the use of marijuana is considered by society to be “bad,” we would be best suited to change these students’ opinions by engaging them in dialogue. It is only in only in schools that society can teach non-violent civil discourse and participation. Education can teach stuphoto courtesy of dents the value and responsibility of free speech. But what use European nations. This, howev- is civic education if we have no er, merely creates underground rights? fascist movements, as eviAs we consider the world denced by the rise of ultra-right today, rife with bigotry and wing parties throughout the injustice, war and poverty, it continent. does not take much to realize It is only by engaging in that it is only through educated dialogue that we can hope to dialogue that we can alleviate sway people’s opinions and these ills. As the self-probeliefs. Censoring hate speech claimed fountain of world does not address the problem; it morality and righteousness, it merely suppresses it. would be a shame if in our own In the Juneau case, however, nation we depart from this funFrederick and his friends were damental principle.


MARCH 16, 2007

Teens drive on the edge By Belle Lin staff writer

Emma Burt, 10, was riding in her friend’s Buick Century when they approached the bridge near Highway 10. The music on their speakers was loud enough to rattle the windowpanes as both were looking everywhere except the road. In the midst of a struggle over the radio, the car swerved wildly. The two lost control of the Buick as it nearly collided with a cement pillar supporting the bridge. “Neither of us were paying any attention to what was going on,” Burt said. “When the radio’s on, we always fight over it. I think I’m a good driver, but when my friend’s driving, she doesn’t always pay attention to the road. We’ve almost gotten into accidents a bunch of times.” Burt may casually brush off these incidents, but the National Young Driver Survey confirms that Burt and her friends are not alone. Though many teens con-

sider themselves “good drivers,” it may not be enough to keep them or their passengers safe. The new study, released earlier this year, was created to “learn more about teens’ views on what is important to keep them safe in cars.” It shows that although fewer teens are drinking behind the wheel, electronic devices and unruly friends are making the roads more hazardous than they’ve ever been. Jointly conducted by State Farm Insurance Co. and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the study asked teens nationwide: “What is happening when your peers drive that is making them unsafe?” Of the 5,665 high school students surveyed, more than half said they’ve seen friends textmessage or use hand-held games or musical devices while driving. Almost 90 percent said their peers drive while talking on cell phones. Another 85 percent reported hearing loud music play in the car. MV students are no excep-

tion to the nationwide teen epidemic. 93 percent of the teens surveyed remembered witnessing friends “singing, bouncing, or acting wild.” Incidentally, Burt reveals that she and her friends often have “dance parties at stoplights.” Erin Burns, 12, also describes herself as a “good driver.” However, she acknowledges that she is one of more than 50 percent of teens who say they text-message while driving. “While I’m texting, I’ve come close [to accidents] a couple times. I’ll be focusing on my phone and I’ll look up, and I’ll be in the wrong lane and swerve back,” she said. For Brent Johnson, 12, his iPod is what keeps his attention on its screen and off the road. “I have a hookup for my iPod in my car, so I’m always scrolling around choosing songs. Music is my biggest distraction,” he said. Yet in addition to these factors, teenagers in the survey mentioned other aspects that

David Derong, 11, and Vanessa Dunne, 11, send text messages while driving into a snowbank. hol or drug use is a problem at school,” said Lukens. “One of the many qualifiers of students that attend Area Learning Centers is being identified as chemically dependent.” This compares to about 70 percent who report alcohol or drug use as a problem at Mounds View, according to dean Paul Anderson. Odean and Lucy both said that talking about drugs is common at the ALC. A conversation that might be whispered at MV is more open at the ALC. “If kids are cursing or talking about drugs, [the teachers] are just like, ‘stop it’ – they’d prefer you not but they don’t really care,” said Lucy. “Most kids there drink a lot, smoke, pot is very widespread, some kids have really bad drug issues – but they’re not the majority, most kids just do recreational drugs.” Another major difference between MV and the alternative program is that ALC students are allowed to participate in a “smoke break” on the grounds if they have a permission slip signed by their parents. “Technically you could go play basketball, but people just don’t,” said Odean. The students are required to stand inside a painted white square on the ground, while the ALC community liaison watches over a sanctioned cigarette break. Explaining the school’s philosophy, Lucy said, “A lot the kids there are addicted to nicotine – some kids just go to the ALC for the smoke break

because they can’t go the whole day without a cigarette and otherwise they just wouldn’t go to school.” The ALC administration attempts to help these students. “As in MV or IR [Irondale], we have counselors and programs in place to address chemical issues with our students and their families. We provide individual chemical counseling and may suggest that they seek outside counseling and/or treatment,” said Lukens. In this atmosphere – and with a student body that was already struggling at either MV or Irondale – ALC students sometimes lack motivation for their schoolwork. “There were some students that would just say ‘Oh, I just can’t do it’ and leave,” said Wikelius. However, sometimes these students would come back and when “they came back the third time, they really were gangbusters... they just came in and they were focused, and they worked hard and they took extra classes. Once [the importance of a high school diploma] became clear to them, they finished everything up and did very well.” Lukens agreed. “We actually have students that may have started at the ALC behind in credit that actually complete their graduation requirements ahead of their class,” she said. “By statute, if the students complete the local high school requirements, they are entitled to the same diploma offered by the

local high school.” ALC students have the option of receiving either a Mounds View School District diploma, which does not specify a high school, or a diploma from their home school, available upon transferring back. ALC credits are noted on their transcripts. Achieving that diploma is the main goal for most ALC students. For Mounds View students, most of whom are used to the rat-race of competing for four-year college admissions, it’s a major change in perspective. “Generally the students that attend the ALC are interested in a technical college or a community college in order to pursue their career goals,” Lukens said. “Some students decide to enter the work force following high school graduation. Very few students pursue a four-year degree at a post-secondary institution.” Lucy and Odean both said they plan on attending four-year colleges. “I do plan on going to college, but I don’t know where yet,” said Lucy. Odean said he is considering Century Community College. He said MV did much more to prepare him for the future, but for some students, Mounds View’s courseload and expectations are just too much of a hurdle. “I think that there’s not one school that’s perfect for everyone,” said Wikelius, “The ALC can be a great second option.”

enough on the road to believe the results hold merit. “You’d think that [teens] would be more cautious, but sometimes they get careless and make bad judgments,” said Glasow. “They use their cell phones, talk to people in the backseat, listen to music too loud, or wave to someone on the road they see. Sometimes they don’t pay attention when turning or stopping...Teens don’t mean to make bad judgments, but they forget they’re putting their lives and other people’s lives in danger when they make careless mistakes.” With the results of the survey in mind, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirms such “careless mistakes” make the roads alarmingly perilous for teen drivers. Their research revealed traffic accidents racked up the highest death toll for 15 to 17-year-olds in Minnesota, and when the 16year-old carries passengers with him, the odds of a crash are increased by nearly five times. Yet in spite of the statistics, Jenny Ihbe, 11, disagrees, “You can be just as distracted driving by yourself...You can zone [the passengers] out.” But in reality, the most dangerous aspect of teen driving may not be a cell phone, friends in the car, or not buckling up, but teens’ laid-back attitude concerning the risks of the road. Like many other teen drivers who believe they are immune to accidents, Burns seems nonchalant over the potential perils of driving. “My mom always screams at me while I’m driving,” she said. “But it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. It’s not a life-or-death issue.”

Get If you would like to see a specific activity or event featured in coming issues, please email mvviewer Love, your features editors


ALC continued from page 1 Along with the aviation program, students enrolled at the ALC have the same opportunity as students in district high schools to participate in the 916 or PSEO programs. Another benefit of the ALC is a more personalized atmosphere within the classroom, where students are on a firstname basis with teachers and have smaller class sizes. “It’s more personal. If students have issues they can actually talk to the teachers about them...[the teachers] do a good job being mentors,” said Lucy. “It’s actually really inclusive, not clique-y – I’ve had a ton of conversations with people whose names I don’t even know.” Odean agreed. In one semester at the ALC, he experienced class sizes ranging from four to 18 students. “I like the fact that you refer to the teachers by their first name,” said Odean. There is also no detention and teachers “don’t care if you leave, but you’re not allowed to come back.” According to Odean, the basis for this policy is that teachers don’t want their students to use drugs and come back to class. This resonates with the ALC’s higher reported drug usage – and isn’t surprising, since prior drug dependency is one of the reasons for transfer. “According to the Minnesota Student Survey, 2004, (Ramsey County) 83 percent of students agree or strongly agree that alco-

photo by Nate Grann

play into driving negligently. 76 percent remember seeing friends driving while “struggling with negative emotions.” Burns admits that if she is “in a really bad mood,” she will “speed up and be careless.” A further 75 percent of the teens in the National Young Driver Survey revealed that their friends drive even when they are tired. Burt says that she has seen her friends “fall asleep at stoplights when driving to school in the mornings.” However, the study does reflect positive results. 90 percent of the teens surveyed said they never or seldom drive after drinking or using drugs. Compared with the number of teens speeding or “acting wild,” the fewest number of teens in the survey state that they reported friends that drank or smoked marijuana behind the wheel. Based on the findings of the survey, Health Teacher Gretchen Zahn said with the exception of drinking and using drugs, “which might be worse or might be better” at Mounds View, Zahn believed the statistics regarding other distractions such as cell phone use and fatigue hold true for MV students, who may not believe “singing, bouncing, or acting wild” are serious issues. Yet not all students agree with the results of the survey and how it portrays teen drivers. “Adults should trust teenagers more,” said Debbie Li, 12. “We’re actually not as bad of drivers as they think we are. Adults think every teen driver on the road is a troublemaker, but no one would want to be in an accident on purpose.” However, Alyssa Glasow, 10, who is just beginning her driving experience, says she has seen

Mar 24 - The U of M’s 5K Run for Research takes place at the East and West Bank Campuses. Registration tables open at 12 p.m., and the run starts at 1 p.m. Come dressed as your favorite superhero!

Apr 3 - Blood Drive comes to MV! Put on by the Anatomy & Physiology class, it provides an opportunity for students to give back to the community. Pre-registration required: watch ads for more info. Apr 13 - Battle of the Bands is taking place at 7 p.m. in the Gym. Bands wishing to play must turn in a one-song demo to Rm. 142 by Mar 28. At least half of the band members must attend MV, and bands will be chosen based on their demo and timely registration.

MARCH, 16 2007


U of M s t ude nt s r un f or r es e ar c h By Kathleen Gormley staff writer

photos courtesy of Tom Spehn

Instead of classes at MV, Connor Bauer, 12, and Nick Kuschke, 12, build a house from scratch in Hugo during the first three hours of the day. The house is expected to be market ready by mid-spring.

Seniors build foundation for future By Abby House staff writer

Each afternoon, Connor Bauer, 12, and Nick Kuschke, 12, sit through sixth hour social studies like any other high school students. They spend evenings doing homework and playing sports; in many ways, they appear to be normal teenagers. But, every morning since October, Kuschke and Bauer have been doing something most people have never done. They are building a house. Kuschke and Bauer are part of a program called 916 Construction Occupation, which involves the construction of a house from start to finish. “We build a house from the ground up. We drywall. We put roof on—we do everything that has to do with building a house,” said Bauer. Tailored towards students who are considering a career in construction, this program attracted Kuschke and Bauer. After hearing about the program from Kuschke’s older brother Brian Kuschke, who participated two years ago, they became seriously interested. “It gives them [students] the opportunity to experience all parts of building a house…it also earns both high school and college credit,” said Colleen

Lavin, Career Resource Specialist. Lavin recommends the program for dependable and committed students who are “genuinely interested in the construction trades.” Because school funding only allows 28 students from Mounds View to be in all of the 916 programs, Lavin has laid out more criteria in selecting students to be a part of the program. “They have to be responsible because of the safety on site. They have to be dedicated…They have to have passed the BST (Basic Skills Tests). I look at [their] attendance records. I talk to their dean…They must be able to drive to and from the site,” Lavin said. Kuschke and Bauer fit the bill, and both are planning to continue into construction-related careers in the future. “I am going to go straight into work for a plumbing company,” said Bauer. Kuschke is leaning toward a future in carpentry. “I am going to St. Cloud Technical College for their carpentry program next year. I am also going to play golf for the university,” he said. The projects involved with building the house may not only be better for students heading into construction in the

future, but it may also be more effective for their learning in high school. The program accommodates a different learning style than what may succeed in regular school. Bauer recommends it “for those kids who are more hands-on and who don’t really love to be in school for six hours every day.” Both Bauer and Kuschke identify with kinesthetic learners. “I learn by watching somebody do something and working with my hands better than reading or writing,” said Kuschke. Learning from the experts on the site has been a unique experience for Bauer especially. He is learning the tricks of the plumbing trade while still in high school, giving him a jumpstart into his future. “We sub-contract plumbing, air conditioning, HVac. When we do contract it out, we get to work with them and learn it.” By mid-spring, the house is expected to be finished and ready to sell. “I am going to feel good, like I can’t believe I did that. Being part of building a house is pretty cool,” said Kuschke. Bauer keeps it all in perspective, and continues to look ahead, saying, “It’s just another step forward. When you get it done, you’re happy, then you find out the next step.”

Several student groups at the University of Minnesota are organizing a “5K Run for Research” to be held March 24 on the U of M campus. The funds from the race will benefit autism research at the U of M. According to the race’s official website, the event is “organized through a partnership between Students Today Leaders Forever, the Neuroscience Club, the College of Liberal Arts Student Board, [and] the Public Relations Student Society of America.” In March of 2005, 360 people raised over $5,000. Last year, both of those numbers increased; 450 people raised over $7,000. The race is not exclusive to U of M students - it is open to the public and to people of all ages. This year, runners are encouraged to “Be a Hero…Dress your Hero.” One team of walkers in this year’s non-competitive race will be masquerading as the superawesome superfamily from the superDisney movie, The Incredibles. U of M student Brian Peterson, a key founder of the 5K Run for Research, firmly believes that this type of event has great potential to unify a diverse group of students. “I think community events like this can really make an impact and bring people together. The 5K is a great example of an event that connects the campus and the community in support of a great cause,” he said. Peterson has been involved in the run since Spring 2005, and he says his favorite memory comes from the first year’s run. “A person who was homeless at the time donated one dollar to the cause. Upon counting the funds raised through the event soon after, it was realized that the 5K event raised exactly $5,000,” said Peterson. “That one dollar turned out to be the 5,000th dollar. It will surely be one of those stories that I will carry with me for life.” This year, a team of 20 volunteers has been working tirelessly for months to organize the race. Sara Benson, 2004 MV

graduate, was involved in planning last year’s race, and is this year’s self-proclaimed ‘director of public relations.’ Benson said her background in public relations has been very useful in promoting this event. “The best thing they’ve taught me is how to communicate with people,” said Benson. “I’ve written tons of letters trying to get the word out about the race.” Benson, who is double majoring in Spanish and Strategic Journalism- Public Relations at the U of M, credits MV with building a solid foundation for her to further her public relations skills. “The classes [at MV] really taught me how to approach the professional world and get their involvement…I learned creative ways to express my message and get the attention for things that deserved to be noticed,” said Benson. Although there are many different 5K races organized by U of M students, the 5K Run for Research is the most well known. “Ours has a great turn out and we’re known as ‘the 5K.’ If you said, ‘are you doing the 5K?’ people would know exactly what you’re talking about - which is one of our greatest prides!” said Benson. According to the group’s mission statement, their goal is “to create an event that can be carried on year after year, becoming a part of the tradition of the University of Minnesota…The event will also raise both funds and awareness for a charity.” For the first two years of the Run for Research, the proceeds went to benefit the U of M’s cystic fibrosis research. However, this year, all proceeds will go to support autism research. Early registration with a donation of $10 was due March 9 but, registrations will be accepted on the day of the race up until the start. Benson encourages students of all ages to participate in the race and to dress as their favorite superhero for a good cause. “It’s a really great cause and they really need the help. The ‘U’ holds one of the highest research facilities, and can make a difference in the lives of many,” said Benson.

Mounds View gets Shakespearienced, rocked

Left: Himadhari Sharma, 12, Nick Cairl, 12, Nate Chan, 10, and Anna Brockway, 11, kick up their heels in the student-run production of the Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Right: Directors Graham Clark, 12, Sarah Cadorette, 12, and Eddy Kwon, 12, take their bows on Saturday Feb. 24 at the last performance of three nights.

photos by Joanne Messerly


Feelings toward law enforcement can be ones of avoidance, fear, and sometimes even loathing. Forgetting that their job is to keep us - the general public - safe, we often feel like they’re simply out to cause a problem. We see cops waiting on the side of the road to catch people speeding or patrolling the city for vandalism; but rarely do we see the other aspects of police work. In actuality, the majority of police work happens behind the scene, out of the public’s eye. Sergeant Phil Chelstrom from the Ramsey County Police Department gives us an inside peek at what it is actually like to work in law enforcement, what it really means to be a cop. Q: What does an officer's job entail exactly? A: Court testifying, writing reports, gathering information, interviewing suspects/witnesses, crime prevention Q: What crime or violation occurs most frequently in Ramsey County? A: Criminal damage to property and theft from auto. Q: Where does the revenue from speeding tickets go? A: The money is divided between the State, County, and City the violation took place in. Q: What is the most common crime or violation committed by high school students? A: Theft. Q: What are some misconceptions that the general public has about law enforcement? A: We know everything. We're out to get you. We are biased. Q: What is a growing concern within the Ramsey County Sheriff department with teenagers and crime? A: Tobacco, alcohol violations, gangs, disrespect of other peoples’ property. Q: What kind of credentials make a good police officer? A: Honesty, trustworthy, dependable, reliable. Q: What is your favorite part of your job? A: Working with the different variety of people. Q: What is your least favorite part of your job? A: People try to hurt or lie to us. Q: How did you come to be a police officer? What did you do before you had this job? A: Went to school. Took the Police Officer's examination.Went through rookie school academy. I worked at different grocery stores and drove a school bus. Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring police officer? A: Stay in school, get good grades, stay out of trouble. Have good friends and good communication skills. Stay in good physical condition. Q: What other jobs are there other than being a patrol officer in law enforcement? A: Investigations, Warrant Division, Civil Process, Courts Division,Water Patrol, Transport Division, Special Investigations Unit, Narcotics, K-9. information compiled by Ashley Aram staff writer

Deputy Pothe By Kathleen Gormley staff writer

‘yeah, because I’m r Breathalyzer test.” Another event th personality of Pothe when he was on pat the strangest reason “I pulled one gu wards on a side stre only gear that worke give him a ticket be house, only two or t endangering anyone Pothen didn’t alw began as a sophomo

Although he used to chase intruders and criminals, work at a federal courthouse, and serve at a historical site, Deputy Glen Pothen says his job at Mounds View is his most enjoyable yet. A normal day on the job is largely concerned with helping others. The first thing he does each morning is check in with the custodians to see if anything happened to the building overnight, such as vandalism or trespassing. These seem like mundane tasks for a police officer, but Pothen said many people have misconceptions about all cops and their duties. “I think that most people think that the police are always mean, that any time they show up you’re always in trouble. ’m here because I And probably the biggest thing is that we don’t have feelings,” want to be here. said Pothen. To anyone who has conversed with Deputy Pothen, he - Deputy Glen Pothen clearly does not embody any of these stereotypes. “Whenever I see him walking in the halls he always seems have a minimum tw really personable and friendly, which is really cool,” said tice or a related field Laura Stoddard, 11. “It’s nice to know that not all cops eral credits at Lakew are mean and nasty.” State University wh Pothen has been a police officer for nine years, and Then he enrolled at has been working as MV’s School Resource Officer for complete the skills p three years. When not patrolling the halls of MV, Pothen is an avid required of all law e “There weren’t a hunter and fisherman who also enjoys mountain biking. However, he says his favorite thing to do with his time at the time,” said Po Minneapolis Federa off from work is to spend time with family. “I’m married numerous private se and I have a set of three-year-old twins, so obviously I Ramsey County Pol like to spend as much time with them as possible,” he “When I tested [ said. one position open an “A lot of people look at the uniform and don’t realize Currently there a that I enjoy sports, I’m married, I have children, basically Ramsey County Pol that I’m a person.” ages students interes Being a police officer for nearly a decade, Pothen has maintain a well-roun had many interesting experiences while on patrol. “If you’re thinki “I pulled a guy over once just to simply tell him that his tail light was out. I walked up to the car and said, ‘Sir, sure that you do wel do you have any idea why I pulled you over?’ and he said, think, ‘I have to tak



An officer’s view on reality television police shows By Josh Bornstein staff writer

photo by Nick Cairl

On television, we often see police officers engaged in risky skirmishes against all types of criminals: reckless runaway drivers, drunken husbands, and psychotic gunmen. This is all thanks to shows such as Cops, World’s Wildest Police Videos, and Disorderly Conduct. However, according to Deputy John Tholen, these reality shows are only getting the world of law enforcement about half right. Tholen praises Cops as “a very realistic show.” He says that it does a good job of “showing how things are handled in different parts of the country,” referring to the ways police officers must handle each type of situation and crime, due to differing laws and law enforcement tactics in each state. Additionally, “it helps to show how people act in our society.” However, Tholen thinks that the shows focus too heavily on the less common aspects of police work. “It is rare that we have to use physical force [to restrain people],” he says. “Nowadays we have tasers, which helps to end situations quickly.” Tholen also has a bone to pick with the CSI television dramas. “They find a fingerprint and find who it belongs to within seconds. That’s not the way it works. We have one person in our crime lab. It can take weeks or months to find a suspect, and that’s assuming they have fingerprints on file,” he said. Shows like Disorderly Conduct depict cops dealing with incredible situations using daring tactics. One episode shows police footage of a man threatening to jump from a balcony with his baby daughter in his arms,

only to be foiled at the last second by an officer who goes up and nabs both of them. Tholen says that situations like that are rarely that extreme. “Only once in a while do you have people who want to jump off a bridge or something,” he said. He also frowns upon the idea of brashly attempting to grab a jumper from their ledge. “What we usually do is back off and get negotiators to try and talk them down,” he adds. Tholen has no clear idea of what it would be like if Cops filmed an episode in Ramsey County. “You never know what you’re gonna get,” he said, but pointed out that “we live in a place that doesn’t have a lot of violent crime.” Television shows never reveal what cops are doing when they’re not taking down criminals. Tholen explains his daily routine: “We come in, take role call, and review things going on in the area. Then I’ll inspect my squad, and then either go out on patrol or respond to calls.” He says that on average, an officer will take “eight to ten calls a day, mostly about civil disputes.” To the surprise of many, officers actually spend more of their time on the job filing police reports than being out on patrol. “You go to a domestic [disturbance] and spend about 15 minutes at the scene,” said Tholen, “and then you write reports for at least two hours.” While television police shows do provide real footage, viewers should keep in mind that these shows do not paint a complete picture of life in law enforcement. Indeed, the premise of these shows is to entertain, and not necessarily to educate. photo courtesy of

en keeps Mounds View safe

really drunk.’ He blew a 0.28 on a

hat further shows the amiable, pleasant en occurred on a residential street trol duty. He described this incident as he has ever had to pull someone over. uy over because he was driving backeet. His transmission went out, and the ed was reverse,” said Pothen. “I didn’t ecause he wasn’t that far away from his three blocks. In my opinion he wasn’t e. He was just trying to get home.” ways want to be a police officer. He ore at Lakewood College (now Century Community College) pursuing a degree in Business Management, but taking a few criminal justice classes to fulfill his general credit requirements when he had a moment of realization. “I was taking a business final and I just thought, ‘I don’t want to do this. I would rather be in law enforcement,’” said Pothen. The state of Minnesota requires all peace officers to wo-year college degree in criminal jusd. After completing his two-year genwood, Pothen transferred to St. Cloud here he received his four-year degree. a community college in Hibbing to portion of his training, which is enforcement officers. a lot of law enforcement jobs out there othen, who worked at the St. Paul and al courthouses, Fort Snelling, and ecurity companies before joining the lice Department in 1998. [for application at] Lakeville, they had nd they had 425 people applying.” are 400 officers working for the lice Department, and Pothen encoursted in a law enforcement career to nded curriculum. ing this is what you want to do, make ll in all of your classes. A lot of people ke just criminal justice classes.’

Certainly criminal justice classes are important, but also tainly demanding, Pothen finds meaning and enjoyment in understanding people- take some psychology classes,” working with students in a friendly environment. said Pothen. His favorite part of his job is “working here at the Because the career is so psychologically demanding, school. I think working with students in a school setting is Pothen stresses the importance great because I still get enough opportunities out of of sustaining relationships school to do the normal law enforcement stuff [such as with friends outside of the patrolling]. I think this is a great opportunity to get to police department in order to know students. It’s just a very enjoyable day for me to be maintain emotional stability. here; I’m here because I want to be.” “If you’re going to college for law enforcement build solid, long relationships with friends who are not in law enforcement. The job can burn people out,” said Pothen. “I have a good base of friends who are officers but I also have a lot that have nothing to do with it.” In addition to his friends in and out of the force, Pothen feels that having many different elements to his job has been helpful to his mindset. “I’ve been able to switch around [between different divisions]. It makes a big difference to be working in the school as opposed to out on the street,” said Pothen. “It hasn’t gotten to me photo by Nick Cairl because I’ve been able to do different things.” While the job is cer-


MARCH 16, 2007

Spring Break 2007 Week long party or planning for future? By Alicia Hilgers

Theresa Hwee, 11. Lots of juniors use spring break as a road trip with their family searching for a college to Rapidly scratching off the apply for, but not all jundays in their planners until the week of spring break, many jun- iors have anxiety attacks over the future; others go iors and seniors find themselves on trips with families or in different positions. Junior year is often described stay at home. “This year I’m just as a stressful year full of tests going to be hanging out and decisions about the future, which clouds many spring break with friends here and celebrating after taking the adventures. SAT,” said David “I’m visiting colleges Strandberg, 11. because I’m worried where I’m “My junior year I went going, and I need to visit a with one other girl and her bunch of campuses,” said family, it was a more family-oriente’re going zip-lin- ed trip. Senior ing in Jamaica and snoryear is more about the freekeling in the Cayman dom, and nightlife even though Islands. we have a chaperone - Tyler Rice, 12 going on our trip this year,” said Makinzie

staff writer

Cole, 12. Starting as early as freshman year, students start planning their dream senior trip with a

Other seniors have their trip more spontaneously planned. “I’m going to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with Krissy Reinke, Amanda Wyszynski, and Mallory y junior year... it was Blumer this year. We a more family-oriented trip. first tried to plan it all Senior year is more about the out and we freedom, and night-life even had a few meetings, though we have a chaperone but it was hard for all going on our trip this year. of us to agree on a - Makinzie Cole, 12 place to go. We finally decided to just book a group of friends. plane and go with it,” said “I’m going on a cruise with Alexis LaFleur, 12. 10 guys for my senior spring Along with these exotic desbreak, this year is much more tinations, groups have activities important than last year because planned out to make their senior I can hang out with my buds. trip unforgettable. Some guys have been planning “During the day I want to be this since freshman year,” said on the beach, tanning, maybe jet Tyler Rice, 12. skiing and other stuff, and going



out at night,” said Cole. “The cruise line gave us an itinerary of excursions that we could go on, and we’ve decided that we’re going zip-lining in Jamaica and snorkeling in the Cayman Islands,” said Rice. Although senior year is more about the freedom you’ve earned the past few years and experiencing new things with friends, there are still parental chaperones traveling with the groups. “We’ve had a meeting with all the parents to make sure that everyone is on the same page and my mom and my brother are also going to Puerto Vallarta,” said Cole. LaFleur’s situation is similar: “My mom and another mom is going on the trip, they let us plan everything, but they obviously booked the flight and everything.” Whether staying at home, going on a lavish trip, or traveling with families, spring break is your time to escape from the monotonous days at school.

Where are this year’s SENIORS going? Destination: Playa del Carmen, Mexico Travelers: Alexis LaFleur, Mal Blummer, Amanda Wyszynski, and Krissy Reinke

Quote for the trip: “KJoakes!”

Destination: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Travelers: Makinzie Cole, Suzanne Florey, Makinzie Cole, Louise Dickson, and Christina Florey

Quote for the trip: “Too legit to quit!”

Destination: Princess Cruise: Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Princess Cays

Travelers: Zach Walen, Kyle Wahlund, Tyler Rice, Brian Novak, Stu Batten, Rustin Thompson, Peter Leafblad, Austin Savat, Bryan Larson, and Barret Nesvold

Quote for the trip: “SB 07: keeping it real on the ship for the whole trip!”

photos by Nate Grann


Ship sinks Modest Mouse Zodiac chills, MARCH 16, 2007

By Andrew Larkin

make full use of the song’s six minutes to dance around the notes, exploring in every silent 16th note a subtle snare roll. Still, the guitar is not altogether forgotten; it uses the song’s quietest moments to meander about the riff, stretching it here and there as if it were recorded from a jam session. The

changed since “Float On” and a panned guitar riff that repeats itself during off-beats, it is finalIn 2004, a decade of diligent ly killed by backing vocals that music-making finally paid off for sound ripped out of the worst underground gods Modest music the ’80s had to offer. Mouse, as their MTV hit “Float Its sudden descent into a On” ushered in a year of feelquiet section sounds overgood dance rock. rehearsed, and its return to the Yet, as original as the halfchorus is obviously calculated. barked vocals Eventually, the and bubbly guibacking vocals tar riffs sounded overcome the to the public, song, as they they were repeat lousy regressive for lyrics over and the band abiliover in a blatant ty-wise. The attempt to annoy vocals, comthe listener to pared to prevideath. ous albums, Occasionally, were restrained, the band tries to and the very recreate the beat of the song meandering style had been simand sudden tranplified to a sitions that were bass-snare the lifeblood of dance groove. earlier albums, Good News for most notably on People Who “Spitting Love Bad News Venom.” seemed to be a However, the generalization eight-minute of Modest track fails to Mouse’s style— account for the an attempt to fact that the oneappeal to a guitar acoustic wider audience. section it opens Still, for the with is so repetihardcore fan, tive and simple Good News was that even after tolerable, and one minute, it the opportunity becomes painful. it provided the When the band band was excitkicks in 30 secing. With their onds later, the status cemented song is already as indie-pop beyond repair. musicians, they All three of the were given the riffs played in chance to the song are borrelease songs as ing, and each creative and section seems to intricate as their take an eternity strongest works photo courtesy of to wrap up. to the entire Even the public. Modest Mouse sinks a career with We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. album’s best We Were song, “Parting Dead Before the consistency lulls the listener into of the Sensory,” which manages Ship Even Sank, the latest album a trance, while the subtle variato take advantage of a boring set to release on March 20, is a tions keep the song definitively drum track, can barely sustain thorough betrayal of that opporin their consciousness. itself. Brock’s lyrics come off as tunity, and of the grace and origNo songs on We Were Dead angsty and childish (“Who the inality they held before they approach this playfulness. The hell made you the boss?”) and appeared on MTV. drummer might as well have sat rob the dignity of the quiet, The album is distinctively in a recording booth for an hour melodic section of the song. Modest Mouse’s work, from the playing the same simple beat. When the beat picks up and barks of lead singer Isaac The drums aren’t the only boring breaks down this anger is used Brock’s vocals to the sharp, parts of We Were Dead, however. effectively, but the song would scratching guitar, but the band The bass line on “Education” still only have been a mediocre has lost all of its subtlety and sounds ripped straight out of a track on any older Modest surprises. hip-hop song, and by the fifth Mouse album. On “Dramamine,” the opener song, the high-note guitar riffs The biggest problem with We on the band’s 1996 release This played in bridges sound indistin- Were Dead, however, is not Is a Long Drive for Someone guishable. blandness. If the album were with Nothing to Think About, the “We’ve Got Everything” simply bland it could have been main guitar melody plays the exemplifies the incessant simquietly passed off as a lousy same general tune for the majori- plicity of the new album. Backed project. The tragedy is that We ty of the song, yet the drums by a dance-beat that hasn’t Were Dead takes the stylistic aspects that the band has maintained throughout its career, all the intricacies of Brock’s voice, all the strange guitar effects, and cuts them into one long stream of oversimplified, overproduced pop. The same guitars that once aptly utilized six-minute songs to meander over and around a central riff have cut their sounds into rigid verse-bridge-chorus patterns and been laid on plain dance beats. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank took the energy, emotion and style of a decadelong career and simplified it into one hour of lousy repetitive pop songs. Modest Mouse’s capacity for legitimate creative output has undeniably sunk.

staff writer

giving many creepy thrills

By Sam Louwagie staff writer

In the “Zodiac” Killer’s final letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, he cockily stated: “I am waiting for a good movie about me.” After countless bad re-enactments including Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry and Bulkley’s B-grade The Zodiac, his wish has finally been granted. David Fincher’s Zodiac tells the true story of the unsolved hunt for the serial killer who taunted and terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area with his grizzly murders and cryptic letters to the media - but it is not a horror movie. Audiences hoping for a gory slasher-thriller will be disappointed by the fact that Zodiac deals entirely with fact and revolves more around the men who become obsessed with finding the killer, rather than the killer himself. By now, Hollywood has ruined the “based on a true story” tag. Plenty of thriller movies, like The Amityville Horror or Texas Chainsaw Massacre claim to be based on true events, but pay little to no attention to what actually happened. Zodiac breaks free from these false norms. The murder scenes are all depicted exactly as police have described them, based on crime scenes and forensic studies. Police investigator Dave Toschi was hired as a consultant for the film, along with surviving Zodiac victim Bryan Hartnell. Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) has a reputation for pouring on the atmospherics, so it is reasonable to go into Zodiac expecting a stylized, dark movie. Instead, Fincher makes a conscious effort to limit stylistic flair, making Zodiac a deliberate piecingtogether of facts, evidence and details. Even the killing scenes are straightforward, with no big jolts or even any background music, much more like a documentary

than any of his past films. But that isn’t to say that Zodiac is not completely captivating from start to finish. It didn’t need atmospherics or style, because the story alone is so engrossing. By simply letting the story tell itself, Fincher has created one of the best movies of 2007. Zodiac’s biggest strength is its relatively low-budget ensemble cast. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Robert Graysmith, a Chronicle political cartoonist with a sharp mind for solving puzzles. Graysmith is referred to as the newsroom “Boy Scout,” because he doesn’t drink, smoke, or swear, but his fascination with cracking the Zodiac’s ciphers evolves into a persistent, insane obsession to “find the Zodiac, look him in the eye, and know that it’s him.” As over 15 years go by, Graysmith changes from a polite, earnest kid into a man driven to solve a dead case, facing the strain of a failing marriage and countless dead ends. Gyllenhaal spends the early portion of the film looking like a puppy dog just hit with a newspaper, but he flawlessly captures his character’s transformation into a darker, more obsessive man. Zodiac looks at the way the killing spree affected the San Francisco area from a few different perspectives. It takes a personal look at how the case built and destroyed the careers and lives of a few men. It briefly shows the terror Zodiac’s victims felt as they were brutally murdered, and it takes a broad view of the entire terrorized city, effectively shown through news broadcasts and talk radio shows. Zodiac is not your typical thriller movie. It isn’t polluted by Hollywood and it doesn’t provide closure or proposed answers. It’s long (2 hours, 40 minutes), but thanks to solid acting and writing, never boring. Zodiac, wherever he is, can stop waiting for a good movie about him. Twenty years after he left the spotlight, he’s got one.

photo courtesy of

Jake Gyllenhall plays an obsessive rookie in Zodiac, David Fincher’s latest.

MARCH 16, 2007 photo by Nick Cairl


New opportunities for two deserving lacrosse teams By Chelsy Mateer staff writer

Both boys and girls lacrosse are embarking on a new era this year. Both have been sanctioned by the state high school league, and the girls team has been sanctioned at MV providing the team with more funding and a space to play in the Mustang stadium. The girls lacrosse team is no longer the “Lady Spartans,” and it no longer includes players from Irondale. They will now be Mustangs. “We did really well in the club we did last year. So, this year we hope to make a name for ourselves in the new league,” said Katy Queensland, 12. The team, which took the state title last year, has a lot of new players coming in, but also has 11 returning seniors who will all most likely see varsity time. Key players this year are Allie Benson, 12, Holly Ellingson, 12, Sarah McArdle, 12, Lauren Ostlund, 11, Jessie Saemrow, 12, and Anne Taylor, 12. One of the teams last year took first in state, and this year there will be two teams created from new and old members. “A good goal for this year would be to get through the season

strong and work as a team, even though we don’t know how good we’ll be compared to other teams. We want to try our best and maybe make it to state,” said Cara Morphew, 11. The boys lacrosse team boasts a large spread of talent throughout all the upperclassmen. The captains this year are Eric Elgin, 12, Luke Gutzwiller, 12, Zach Jacobsen, 11, and Steve Nagle, 12. This year captains’ practices were started a month earlier. Many are doing acceleration on a weekly basis, and training as a team mostly every school night. Nagel has a broken collarbone, but will return one month after the start of the season. He hopes to come back strong and make an immediate impact on the team. The team is expected to win a majority of games.

Jacobsen said, “We’re a well rounded team with a variety of talent. We have a lot of potential and are ready to play.” “We now have the ability to talk to MV about being a sanctioned sport this season, and it might actually happen next year,” said Garret O Brien, 11. Although both girls and boys lacrosse have state tournaments this year, the boys team cannot compete because it is not a school-sanctioned team. Nagle said, “This year we are in two different leagues, the State High School League, in which we can’t play in state because we aren’t sanctioned yet, and the Minnesota Boys Scholastic Lacrosse Association (MBSLA) – which, there isn’t enough teams to have an actual state tournament.” They are hoping to have end of the year tournament at MV, in place of state this year, and take the title. Another goal is to be sanctioned as soon as possible. Bob Madison, Activities Director, said, “Boys lacrosse should be sanctioned sooner rather than later. The problem is that we don’t have enough funding yet to even cover the current sports we have.” Both teams fundraise to get money for the season, but due to high costs for equipment, and field use, the boys will have to wait to receive a school sanction.

Rebuilding a record-breaking year Girls softball aims to make this season as good as the last

By Andy Madsen staff writer

Coming out against their archrival North Saint Paul, the girls softball team thought they had the Section in the bag. They had beaten North Saint Paul previously during their 2006 season, already reigning as the Suburban East Conference champions, only to lose to NSP in the

photos by Lauren Bennett

Section Finals. This year, things will be different for the team. Many view this year as a rebuilding year due to the major losses from last season. The team lost eight starting seniors from last year’s squad; most recognizable are catcher Amber Roth and pitcher Kristen Danielson. Danielson, the homerun leader statewide, could always be counted on when the team needed runs. Roth not only had a strong arm, but was also among the top 12 hitters in the state (stats provided by Star Tribune). Each brought an up-tempo style to the game every time they saw the field. This years’ team is hoping to make up for it with a more team-oriented style. “This year it’ll be hard to measure up to last year’s success but I think we’ll be okay if we come together as a team,” said Emily Gorman, 11. Captaining the team this year are a trio of talented players. Second base Sam Howard, 12, who has been on varsity since her freshman year and recently signed with the University of Minnesota, will be looked at to carry her team to another Conference Title. Center fielder Kaley Burns, 12, will be depended on to make big plays in the outfield. Last season she played hard, but due to an ankle injury didn’t see a lot of play-

ing time. The last of the trio is junior tri-captain Katie Kruse, 11, who steps in for the first time as the team’s starting pitcher. Last year’s squad had a terrific season, winning its first Conference Championship in Mounds View history, not only beating NSP during the regular season but also rivals Centennial and Hill Murray. If this year’s team can mesh together early in the season, expect them to make another run at a Section title, as well as to defend their Conference for a second time in a row. “I think that we have really good team chemistry this year, and we seem to work well and have a good time together. I think we’ll do a lot better than people expect,” said Michelle Brunn, 11. Returning varsity members also include; Lauren Bennett, 12, last year’s starting first base, Katie McClay, 12, Jess Thompson, 12, Brunn, and Gorman.

MARCH 16, 2007


March Madness Let the games begin

By Patrick Delahunt guest writer

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived once again. It’s time for the nation’s top collegiate basketball teams to take the floor and battle for a spot at the Final Four in Atlanta. As usual, there’s sure to be plenty of upsets and stellar individual performances, so here’s a brief look at the teams and players you should be familiar with before the Big Dance kicks off.

Teams to beat Florida- Florida returned all five starters this season that simply dominated the 2006 tournament on their way to a national championship. The Gators have experienced a few late season losses, but there’s no reason to believe the reigning champs won’t be at the top of their game when it matters most. Kansas- The Jayhawks are an extremely talented team which enters the tournament playing its best basketball. Seven of their past eleven wins have been by at least 20 points. But beware; Kansas has struggled in recent years in the NCAA Tournament, being upset in the first round the past two seasons. North Carolina- Like Kansas, UNC’s roster is cluttered with good young players. The Tar Heels are the second leading scoring team in the nation at 87 points per game. However, they have fallen into a late season rut, losing four games since the start of February. Ohio State- Led by freshmen sensations Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., the Buckeyes were the top team in the Big Ten. This young team has been steadily improving throughout the season and should be peaking at just the right time. UCLA- Coach Ben Howland has his Bruins playing just as well as they did last year when the reached the national championship game. They enter the tournament as one of the favorites due to their hard-nosed defense and stellar guard combo of Arron Afflalo and Darren Collison. Wisconsin- The Badgers have been one of the country’s most solid teams all season long and at one point rattled off 17 consecutive victories. Wisconsin does nothing flashy, yet their patience and defense will make them one of the toughest teams to knock out.

Greg Oden Ohio State

Alando Tucker Wisconsin

photo courtesy Terry Gilliam

Primetime performers Kevin Durant, Texas- Only a freshman, Durant is the favorite to win national player of the year and has carried his young team in almost every aspect of the game. Durant has reached 30 points in nine games this season and the Longhorns will go as far as he can carry them. Acie Law IV, Texas A&M- Law may be the best point guard and most clutch player in the tournament. Despite helping to turn A&M from a laughingstock to a national title contender during his four years on campus, Law has not become a household name for college basketball fans. Expect that to change very soon. Joakim Noah, Florida- Noah was the driving force behind Florida ’s dominance in last year’s tourney, doing everything from blocking shots to leading fast breaks. His stats have been less than sensational this season, but Noah seems to live for the big stage. Greg Oden, Ohio State- At seven feet and 280 pounds, freshman Greg Oden is a man-child. His defensive prowess, footwork, and ambidextrous post moves have led some to call him the best true big man college basketball has seen in the past decade. Alando Tucker, Wisconsin- Tucker is the heart and soul of the Badgers. The energy and leadership he brings to the court for them is contagious and he has the ability to score points in bunches as well.

Joakim Noah Flordia

photo courtesy Phil Sandlin

Potential bracket-busters Nevada- The Wolf Pack dominated the Western Athletic Conference this season finishing 14-2 in the conference. They are led by All-American Nick Fazekas who returned to school after the team failed to advance past the first round of last year’s tournament. Xavier- The always-tough Musketeers will rely on the savvy of their experienced lineup to try to pull off some upsets. Xavier possesses a very balanced attack, with five players averaging at least nine points per game on the season. Southern Illinois- The Salukis’ 27-6 record has earned them an unusually high seed for a Missouri Valley Conference team. SIU is known for its bruising style, which includes tough defense and patient offense. Only two opponents have reached 70 points against them this season.

Pat’s picks With no clear number one team and plenty of intriguing sleepers, the 2007 tournament is sure to one of the most unpredictable tourneys in recent memory. When it’s all said and done I expect Florida ,Kansas, Georgetown, and Virginia to reach the Final Four in Atlanta on March 31. I think Florida ’s experience and multitude of weapons will allow the Gators to repeat, but with so many evenly matched teams, your guess is as good as mine.


MARCH 16, 2007

They are watching you... The Viewer dissects famous and infamous conspiracy theories

photos by Emma Turnquist

By Andrew Larkin and TT Phan staff writers

The Assasination of JFK

Roswell In July of 1947, near Roswell, New Mexico, wreckage of a "flying disc" was discovered and recovered by the US military. The "top-secret research balloon" that had crashed was kept low-key for a time, as were the alien bodies inside, which were dissected and examined by medical professionals at a nearby base. One of 11 reported alien crash sites, Roswell is the most famous example of the poorly-steered attempts of alien life to contact humankind- specifically, humankind as is found in the American Southwest.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong made one giant leap for airbrushed film footage, overcoming solar flares, radiation, micrometeorites and even the devastating force of Russel's Atomic Bomb (similar to the Teapot, but more lethal) to plant an American flag on the moon. It stood proudly, waving in the wind that the moon really has, because the moon also has real weather patterns, and real cloud movements, and real rain too! Armstrong's inspiring step on the moon provided a much-needed moral booster for Americans looking for a new source of national pride, and conspiracy theorists looking for a new source of endless debate.








Ch up ac ab ra

The Apollo Hoax


13% 16%

15% McCartney

During the heart of the Cold War, America needed a definite leader to deal with its enemies: the communists, the CIA, the KGB, the mafia, J. Edgar Hoover, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, and male models. All managed to put aside their differences to kill that leader, JFK, or coincidentally all tried to do it on the same day. The event that traumatized a nation must have seemed convenient for these competing groups, for despite the strong evidence suggesting each one of them was involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK, nobody is quite sure which one of them actually did it.

126 students polled

Cover up of Paul Chupacabra McCartney’s Death The rumors of Paul McCartney’s death began on October 12, 1969. A man called into a radio station announcing McCartney’s death and asked the DJ to play “Revolution 9” backwards with a hidden message: “Turn me on, dead man.” Since then, conspiracy theorists have analyzed every album to death and believe that McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 while working on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the car, of course, being discovered three years later. According to theorists, the Beatles were verging on their big break with many contracts in place, so a McCartney look-alike, William Shears Campbell, was given plastic surgery so as to... look like McCartney. Hidden clues and backwards messages, and references strewn throughout every album after and including the release of Sgt. Pepper’s in 1967 all testify to a cover-up. The White Album’s backwards message of “Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him,” on the song “I’m So Tired,” is the greatest evidence supporting the dream that Paul McCartney was, in fact, not responsible for “Live and Let Die.”

Lochness monster? No way. Dragons? That doesn’t even make sense. Chupacabra? Totally and completely valid. This infamous creature has begun to pop up ever since its first sighting in 1975 when it supposedly sucked the blood out of livestock in Puerto Rico. Since then, it has apparently migrated around the American continent and somehow to Russia, leaving believers in terror. Sightings have reported a half-dinosaur, half-alien with quills while the more recent ones have described a hopping kangaroo-like monster attacking cattle. A few have even speculated that the Chupacabra’s dark, tormenting eyes have hypnotic powers. While many theories surround the existence of this legendary being, it never seems to make the news. The reason: because most scientists regard it as an urban legend.

Unicorn horns exploited by Pharmacists As told by Jack Basten, 10 Aids, polio, tuberculosis, malaria, bird flu, bubonic plague… Hundreds of diseases have haunted our earth for centuries, countless have died because of them and it was all for naught. Doctors have known an all-purpose cure for years. It is the alicorn: the great healing horn of the unicorn. Medicine men and healers throughout time have helped people—for little profit. However, as pharmacists rose to power, they heartlessly overthrew the use of this wondrous medical tool in search of riches. They attacked and killed many of the unicorns, only saving a few for their own use. Now the pharmacists manipulate the population into buying overpriced drugs in order to rule the world. When good people donate money to find cures for diseases, the pharmacists take this money and use it to put a pharmacy on every street corner. It won’t be long before they’ll use this power to enslave us. We must act now to save the few remaining unicorns and destroy the pharmacist threat.

March 16th, 2007 - MVHS Viewer  
March 16th, 2007 - MVHS Viewer  

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: -Bauer and Kuschke build a house Features p. 5 - Pothen protects MV Spread p. 7 - Zodiac straightforward, captivating Rev...