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potlight S East High

Nihil Sacrum Est

1600 City Park Esplanade




February 2012

Volume LXXXXVIII Issue X


by Elizabeth Reger and Kristian Marker


veryone needs a little help sometimes” reads a sign held by a man pacing back and forth on the corner of Josephine and Colfax. All he needs is a few dollars to afford the bus that will take him to his daughter, but his tattered appearance, tired face, and handmade sign immediately create the vision of the homeless beggar we all have seen and frequently ignored. Unfortunately for them, the Parks Service has not looked the other way. On January 19th, an encampment of eight homeless people were forcibly removed from a nook behind the dog park off the path to Sun Mart. Parks Services had delivered a three-day eviction notice on the 16th to these people, but they didn’t budge until the deadline passed and they were cleared out. This makeshift family was disbanded. The most recent nationwide survey from the United States Department of Health Services revealed that over 643,000 people, over 11, 000 of them in Denver, are living on our country’s streets. Of those thousands, nearly two thirds have a serious mental illness or suffer from substance abuse. The remaining third have struggled with money much of their life in addition to recently being laid off, fired, or otherwise hindered from obtaining a job. However, the severe weather conditions of the Colorado winter can turn a fight for shelter into a fight for survival. On February 10th, as most East students spread Facebook messages and texts rejoicing in the break from school, Denver’s homeless were left to face a night of dropping temperatures and mounting snowdrifts. To the many people outside, the winter weather created an ominous threat of death and severe illness. According to the National Coalition of the Homeless, there were over 700 reported deaths of homeless people from hypothermia this season alone. When hypothermia strikes someone, usually after heavy exposure to freezing conditions, they may become disoriented. If they do not find help soon they will lapse into a deceptive sensation of warmth and comfort. If they get to that point, they don’t have long before their body shuts down. In Denver, more than half the homeless population has no health insurance, or means to get it. A staggering 83 percent has reported significant health problems or obstructing disabilities. Their only access to health care is in the clinics funded by many homeless shelters, but conditions in these can be dismal. More than the lack of security, the perils of begging, and the shortage of basic supplies, these men, women, and children also have to overcome harsh stereotypes and poor treatment. Many of the people who took up residence in the East High vicinity now find themselves searching for a place to lay down for the night. Because they can’t camp on public land, they are left to drift from shelter to street corning hoping for a break. The East High Spotlight caught up with a few of them to try to better understand the life they endure. continued on page 4

Inside this Issue... Features


Spotlight On... East Entrepreneurship

Opinions Going Dutch:

Learning from the Netherlands’ Liberal Laws and Attitudes

A look into the life of a pregnant East student

page 5

pages 10-11

page 14


page 2

February 10th, 2012

They Said What?! by Abbey Lew

“By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon”. Newt Gingrich, Republican presidential candidate, speaking on Florida’s space coast.

“I’m in this race for Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.” Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, during a CNN interview.

“For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”.................................... A Wikipedia Website Statement, on January 18, 2012. 3.8 million English Wikipedia pages shut down protesting against the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill that would enable more U.S. law enforcement trafficking over the Internet.

“The lows are disappointing but that makes the highs much sweeter. That’s what drives you to compete.” Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos Quarterback “When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better. So tonight, I am proposing that every state requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.” 18. President Obama during his 2012 State of the Union address.

“I will make you pay for this. Damn it, go back on board!” Captain Gregorio De Falco, Italian coast guard in Livorno, berated the captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, who abandoned the ship as it was sinking.

Spotlight East High

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Genevieve Crawford & Dylan Wells MEDIA DIRECTOR Austion Woolfolk SENIOR EDITOR Max Segal


SPORTS EDITOR Keaghan Dunn-Rhodes REAR END EDITOR Joe Harrison PHOTO EDITOR Chris Padgett

by Jacqueline Kimmell


STAFF ARTISTS Saad Moosajee and Jeremy Harker

800 12-098

Logo Design by Mo Shane East High Spotlight, Room 210A, 
 BUSINESS MANAGER Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper 1600 City Park Esplanade, Denver, Colorado 80206 Elizabeth Reger Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service. The Spotlight is published by the student newspaper staff NEWS EDITOR of East High School. The views expressed are those of the Jacqueline Kimmell individual students and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsor or of the staff as a whole. Student editors, not the adFEATURES EDITOR ministrators or the Denver Public Schools Board of Education, Joie Akerson are responsible for the content published. CENTER EDITOR Nick Brown OPINIONS EDITOR Andrew Wise

News by the Numbers

STAFF WRITERS Alessa Barton, Deaunna Bridgeforth, Natalia Dellavalle, Aubin Fefley, Kahlia Hall, Christopher Harder, Daniel Hartman-Strawn, Abigail Lew, Kristian Marker, Grace McCabe, Denise Meeker, Gabriel O’Connell, Alison Oksner, Andrew Palmquist, Adelaide Sandvald, Harper Sherwood-Reid, Willow Turano, Ty Wagner, Poulami Wielga, Sara Yates

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. SPONSOR Mr. Mark Ajluni

PRINCIPAL Mr. John Youngquist


People killed in clashes after a soccer game in Egypt. Riots erupted the next day over the police’s failure to intervene. Sex offenders the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is planning to arrest this month. Colorado Senate Bill that, if passed, would make CPR a graduation requirement for all Colorado students.

$5 Billion

Public offering for Facebook. Facebook is venturing into publicly held stocks.


February 10th, 2012


page 3

cessed food.” Ms. Brooks adds, “Healthy food is very expensive.” Another factor is the media and how it communicates mixed messages about eating.

Winning By Losing

ast faculty member, Ms. Castillo, pulls out her baby carrots and Chobani yogurt. “Is eating this okay?” she asks Ms. Brooks, referring to her already shrunken meal. “Well, it’s definitely better than a donut, but still high in sugar. I recommend protein shakes, they contain less sugar and you’ll feel more full afterwards.” Goal of the week: Acknowledge your sugars and say good-bye to them. east’s new Since December, East’s new Biggest Loser Program, inspired by the hit TV show, has Biggest loser kindled hope for the school’s students and facProgram helps ulty. Originally a student’s idea, the program is a chance for East community members to develop Shape lifestyles and maintain goals about their body image, exby Abbey Lew ercise, and eating habits. Student engagement counselor Ms. Brooks, scholarship coordinator Ms. Castillo, and youth services program coor- ing to balance work, food and exercise has gotten dinator Ms. Battle join one to six other students them off track. Both participants joined to become every Tuesday at lunch for Biggest Loser meetings more active, feel less tired, and lose more weight. Ms. in the Future Center. Castillo adds, “I was tired of “I think peomy clothes not fitting, and I ple have a miscon“I think people have a misconception of have a lot of cute clothes I ception of the procan’t wear!” the program, it’s not like we are going gram, it’s not like Weight loss can be an to run 3 miles hand-in-hand. It is very we are going to run uncomfortable subject to 3 miles hand-indiscuss, yet all participants individual” hand. It is very inare comfortable with one dividual,” says Ms. Brooks, who helps mentor the another. At the meetings, they talked and laughed participants. Participant Ms. Battle adds, “We are about hair, stress, and exchanged recipes in an atmodefinitely looking for more members. Everyone’s sphere of mutual support. “My favorite part of the welcome whether they want to lose weight, get program is being able to listen and apply my health tips, or give tips.” knowledge to help participants reach their goals,” says Additionally, every Tuesday morning, there Ms. Brooks. Ms. Castillo also encourages more people is an optional weigh-in down in the Nurse’s Of- to join, saying, “It’s never too late to start; if you want fice. Ms. Castillo considers this to be the hardest support and don’t know where to begin, this [BL propart of the program because it requires patience, gram] is a good first step.” “I’m like ‘seriously?’ After everything I did? I know this is going to take time. This teaches me The Obesity Epidemic persistence.” There is a reason why Colorado is referred to as During the meetings, everyone talks about “the healthiest state.” It has the lowest obesity ranking healthier eating habits, managing weight, suc- in the U.S. Although a 19.8% obesity rate is the lowcesses, struggles and work out routines. A student est in the country, 20 years ago, no state had obesity participant who prefers to remain anonymous levels even over 15%. Maintaining a stable weight can speaks highly of the program, “I like that they’re prevent other health problems, such as diabetes and taking the time out for us, and letting us know high-blood pressure. According to the American Diawe’re not alone.” After struggling with weight for betes Association, in 2011, 25.8 million people in the 5 years, she wants to end the year with a strong U.S. had diabetes and 79 million had prediabetes. positive outlook and to feel healthier mentally, According to Ms. Castillo, the main reason for physically, and emotionally. the increase in obesity is the modern-day lifestyle, Both Ms. Castillo and Ms. Battle have both “This is such a fast paced society, people look for confound that as they’ve gotten older, try- venience, which usually results in fast food and pro-



Summer Just Got Longer

hile shivering and swaddling themselves with layers of clothing, a few Denver residents discussed the problems of a very different season. They contemplated what seemed to be a perpetual problem among the older school buildings in the city: a lack of air conditioning that led to sweltering classrooms in the first weeks of school. On January 22, after petitions aplenty, hundreds of surveys, and debates galore, the Board of Education decided to shift the first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year backwards approximately a week and a half. Instead of beginning the next school year on the 16th of August, the revised calendar uses the 27th as the first day of school. The date is a careful compromise between beginning late enough to avoid the heat and early enough that finals will still take place before winter break. Despite the compromise, many still have qualms about the change.

noted, could make very little difference. However, upon further discussion, many found that even a week could make a large impact on athletics, breaks, and tests. Mr. Mendelsberg notes that his greatest concern about the date is the fall sports seasons, for which training begins in early August. “Athletics at some schools will be greatly affected,” he says, although he makes sure to include the fact that East shouldn’t suffer too much because the start of training beginning in August will remain unchanged. The board took care to circumvent in their decision the possibility that, with a later date, final exams for high schoolers would take place after the two-week winter break hiatus from school. Both Haynes and Mendelsberg described how difficult it would be for students to return from break and jump into test-taking on material they hadn’t discussed in weeks. Fortunately, the August 27th date allows final exams to be completed before winter break is scheduled to begin.

Tricky Decision-Making

Consulting the Community

by Harper Sherwood Reid


Says Happy Haynes, the Vice President of the Board of Education and member atlarge, who voted for the August 27th start date, “[We] struck what seems to be a reasonable compromise.” Other board members, however, expressed concerns about the change that a few have called “superficial.” One week, they

A survey conducted of parents, students, teachers, and community members found what Haynes calls “A pretty healthy response [to the change]... But [the results] were all over the map.” Nearly 40 percent of the people surveyed supported a start date after Labor Day. The other two-thirds, however, were split almost

A Lifestyle Change

During the meetings, Ms. Brooks stresses the importance of a good diet. Food she promotes includes proteins, gluten free bread, good carbs, brown rice, sweet potatoes, natural peanut butter, vegetables, and most importantly water. Foods she disapproves for the participants are those high in sugar and fat (such as Chobani yogurt), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, alcohol and mayonnaise. She recommends only one fruit per day since it is high in sugar, but have days to splurge. Ms. Brooks also encourages eating six times a day to prevent overeating during one meal. Losing weight takes money, time and, most importantly, willpower. Ms. Castillo believes, “The biggest goal for the program is to realize we have power. We have control.” Resisting cravings, changing diet and taking the time out of busy schedules to work out is difficult. When participants started the program they learned how much they had incorporated unhealthy habits into their everyday routines. “It’s hard I know, it’s a whole lifestyle change,” states Ms. Brooks. Thanks to the Biggest Loser program, the participants have already noticed progress within two months. Ms. Battle, who has participated in previous programs similar to BL says she is making better food choices, is involved in a boot camp three times a week with Ms. Castillo, and has incorporated morning workouts into her routine. Another participant was happy to share her achievements, “I’ve cut down on sugar and portion intake, I walk around the park every other day, and I meet with the trainer.” Ms. Castillo has noticed positive changes in both her energy level and mood saying, “When you are happy, you take better care of yourself. In the future, the program hopes to be more involved in group workouts, Ms. Castillo’s suggestion was to get a gym sponsorship. Another idea is to create tangible incentives that would attract more participants. But for now, the program is off to a steady start and all participants are taking the initiative to change their lifestyles and continue until April. Glancing hopefully at her new Curried Chicken and Pasta Salad recipe, a student participant sums up the program, “I’m working towards a better me.”

DPS School Board votes to start 2012 school year later evenly between keeping the date the same and moving it back one week. Those who completed a Spanish-language survey, overwhelmingly supported keeping the date the same. Most students supported school beginning before Labor Day. “I think students get bored. Kids are ready to come back by mid-August,” says Mendelsberg. He also mentions that one week will not, in his opinion, make too large of a difference in the heat of the building. Students around East seem to express a certain apathy about the subject, although a few agree with Mendelsberg, feeling that nine days will not noticeably reduce the heat. As one student notices, “[East] was hot for two, three weeks, even a month into school. A week is not going to change that.”

The Future

The decision to change the first day of school was primarily due to the complaints of those involved in the school system about heat. However, the Board could just have easily chosen to pursue a bond for air conditioning to be installed in all the older schools in the district. So why didn’t they? “Very rough estimates expected that it would cost about 400 million dollars,” explains Haynes. “We could be talking as much as half a billion dollars, which is a pretty significant amount.” Taking into account that the last bond

Respondents favoring starting school in... First week of September

Third Week of August

Fourth Week of August

the district secured was about the same amount of money and was meant for many different uses, even considering asking for nearly 500 million dollars seemed unthinkable and unrealistic to the Board. Haynes notes that cooling systems may be pursued in the future, saying that “some folks might be exploring air conditioning over time, especially as schools may use innovation grants.” This summer will be long, more than a week longer than originally planned. To make up for this, school will potentially have to go much later in the next few years. Students can only hope that by then, East High School will have air conditioning.

[NEWS] itting in an old rusted lawn chair, Sarah* waves and smiles at each car passing her on the intersection of Josephine and 17th. She holds no sign for money or food nor does she beg anyone for it. Bundled in layers of hats and sweaters, Sarah* extends her cane as she sweeps up a piece of littered trash and tidies her surrounding area. Those few square feet of concrete on the buzzing corner is her home. It wasn’t always like this. After working diligently to become a licensed nurse in order to support her extended family, including her nine grandchildren and siblings, Sarah developed a chronic heart problem limiting her ability to maintain a job. Now she supports her family by gathering food and change from kind hands. A thin tube runs through her layers of clothes delivering oxygen for her heart from a metal tank she pushes on a cart. “Half of my heart is gone,” she explains, without a flicker in her warm smile. Her condition hinders her from driving, standing, walking too much, or working, so instead she sits, smiles, and makes the best of each of her days. She also plays a maternal role in her community. “I feel I am the mother or grandmother figure here,” she explains, describing the mutual respect felt among the homeless community around East. Sarah mentions three other people who all live around neighboring corners and get along very well. She mentions one young man who has a special affinity for. “There is also a wonderful colored man just down at the corner, who always looks out for me,” she praises as she turns her head and looks down 17th to see if he’s there. “If I was to not show up for a few days, they would say something. We all would for each other.”


(preferred not to be photographed)


fter a messy divorce, Juan fled New York to Colorado, hopeful for a change. Shortly after he arrived, the economy took a dive and Juan found himself desperate to find employment opportunities. “I needed a place to lay my head and eat. On top of that, I couldn’t even pay child support for my own kids. Breaks my heart, “Juan says tearfully, rubbing the sides of his slick, dark hair. The struggle left Juan on the streets with nothing but the clothes on his back and memories of a home. “People wouldn’t acknowledge me. I felt like an alien. They’d say, ‘Get a job, you’re lazy.’ I used to get so frustrated. I want a job! Do you think I just decided to sleep in the cold?”’ Juan choked. “We all put one shoe on at a time and we all bleed the same.” He caught his breath quickly, straightening the creases in his pants. He looked up, beaming, “but there was hope. My sister took me in.” With the help of Juan’s sister, he was able to find a job at a local restaurant where he could bus tables and start his life back up. Juan was homeless for seven years. Despite leaving that life, he refuses to forget all the friends he made along the way, including Sam. They giggled and cracked jokes while passing a cigarette back and forth, fondly remembering nights spent with nothing but a bottle of Jack Daniels and each other to keep their minds off of empty stomachs and bleak futures.

Our Breakfast Picks Breakfast Croissant Sandwich - 3.95 Eggs, Cheese & Artichoke Parmesan Spread with Lettuce and Tomato Add Meat: $5.25

Spices Breakfast Burrito - $7.50

Scrambled Eggs, Potatoes, Pico, Lettuce, Choice of Bacon, Sausage or Ham, Smothered with Chili Verde & Cheese

Huevos Rancheros - $7.50

Two Eggs, Corn Tortillas, Chili Verde, Beans &Flour Tortillas


Homemade Soups

Spices Café Hours

French Toast, Two Eggs Any Style Choice of Ham, Bacon or Sausage

Garden Salad - $2.75

(Three Pieces) $4.00 With Fresh Berries $6.75


Buttermilk Pancakes

Short Stack (Two) $3.75 Full Stack - (Three) $4.50


Three Egg Omelettes

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Breakfast Sides

Toast - $1.00 (White, Wheat, Rye or Sour Dough) Hash Browns - $1.75 Two Eggs Any Style - $4.25 Add Ham, Bacon or Sausage - $6.50 Side Pancakes (2 Small) - $1.50 Burger Patty or Chicken Breast - $3.50 Chopped Steak & Eggs - $7.95 Smothered with Country Gravy Grilled 8 oz. Choice Chopped Steak or Pork Green Chile - $1.00 Country Fried Steak & Eggs - $8.50 Eggs (1) $1.25 (2) $2.25 with Spicy Country Style Cream Gravy Ham, Bacon (4 Slices), or Sausage (4 Links or 2 Patties) - $2.95

Our Soups are made fresh in our kitchen daily With Any Sandwich Substitute Cup (8oz) - $2.50 Bowl (16oz) - $3.75 Cup of Soup For Your Side Soup (Bowl) & Garden Salad Combo - $5.25 for $1.00

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Can Soda - $1.00 Bottle Water - $1.25 Shakes & Malts - $4.00- $4.50 Sparkling Water - $1.50 Ice Cream Cones & Cups - $2.25 Hot Bag Tea - $1.50 Coffee: Small 12 oz - $1.50 Hot Chocolate - $1.50 Large 20 oz - $2.00 Milk (16 oz)- 1.50 Hot Bulk Tea: Small 12 oz - $1.75 IBC Root Beer $1.50 Large 20 oz - $2.25 Fresh Brewed Ice Tea - $1.50 Hot Cider $1.50 Smoothies - $4.50 Fruit of the Day Or “Breakfast” - (Yogurt, Bananas, Orange Juice, & Honey) Juice (Orange, Cranberry, Apple, Grapefruit) (16 oz) - $2.25

Crisp Mixed Greens, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion & Croutons

Chopped Salad - $6.25

Romaine, Provolone, Red Onion, Cucumber & Tomatoes

Farmer’s Salad - $6.95

To Any Salad Add Steak, Chicken or Turkey - $2.25 Grilled Shrimp (4) - $3.25

Chef’s Salad - $7.95

Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Fresh Vegetables & Cheeses on Bed of Mixed Greens

Chicken Caesar Salad - $7.95

Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, Green Peppers, Celery, Mushrooms, Red Onion, Avocado, Hard Cooked Eggs & Croutons Lunch Sides French Fries Onion Rings Side Basket $1.50 $2.95

Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast on a bed of Romaine with Croutons, Parmesan Cheese & Caesar Dressing


French Ranch Balsamic Blue Cheese Italian Vinaigrette 1000 Island Honey Dij on Small (2 oz) - $.55 Large (3oz) - $.75

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Served with Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Burger Additions Kosher Pickle Spear & Choice of Side American, Swiss, Cheddar, Pepper Jack & Provolone - $.75 Ground Chuck Burger - $5.50 Crisp Bacon (2 Slices) - $1.25 Patty Melt - $6.50 Sauteed Mushrooms or Onions - $.75 Burger on Thick Rye with Grilled Blue Cheese Crumbles $1.25 Onions & Swiss Cheese Guacamole or Fresh Avocado - $1.00 Veggie Burger - $4.95 Salsa or Jalapenos - $.55 Sante Fe Style Garden Burger

* Name has been changed


Served with Kosher Pickle Spear & Choice of Side French Fries, Onion Rings, Cole Slaw or Potato Chips

Grilled Chicken Breast - $6.50 Grilled Marinated Boneless Breast of Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Lettuce and Herb Mayonnaise on Toasted Wheat Roll

Homemade Meatloaf - $5.50 Grilled Whole Shrimp - $84.5 on French Bread with a Roasted Tomato & Garlic Mayonnaise, Lettuce and Tomato

on Toasted French Bread with Creamy Remoulade Dressing

Tuna Salad Croissant - $5.95 Triple Decker BLT & A - $6.95 Albacore Tuna Salad with Green Apples On Toasted Croissant with Lettuce and Tomato

Crisp Bacon, Tomato, Avocado, Lettuce & Mayonaise *Your Choice of Bread*

Grilled Turkey & Avocado Melt - $6.50 Thinly Sliced Turkey Breast, Avocado, Tomatoes & American Cheese on Grilled Sourdough Texas Toast

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* Choice of Beef or Chicken * Sauteed Thinly Sliced Beef or Chicken with Onions, Peppers & Provolone on a Toasted Hoagie Roll

French Dip - $6.50

Thinly Sliced Roast Beef on toasted Hoagie Roll, Served with Au Jus

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Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Mayo *Your Choice of Bread*

Italian Combo - $7.95

Roast Beef, Salami, Capicolla Ham & Provolone Cheese with a Spicy Red Pepper Spread on French Bread with Lettuce & Tomato

Classic Reuben - $6.25

Thinly Sliced Corn Beef, Kraut & Swiss on Rye with 1000 Island

Grilled Chicken & Portobelo Mushrooms - $6.95

on a Toasted Wheat Roll with Artichoke Parmesan Spread and Lettuce & Tomato

20% off of purchases for east students in



ith a pair of blue eyes that dart from place to place and a Stockholm patch adorned heavy winter coat, Sam sits behind the Sun Mart convenience store with a cloud of lingering smoke wafting from the cigarette in his hand. His chin rests on his other hand, which is balled into a fist. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, the fifty-two year old left Europe in search of adventure. He can proudly say he has been to almost every single state in the United States. After settling down in Denver, Colorado, Sam maintains a staunch disappointment with his adopted country and is strongly liberal in his vigorously espoused beliefs. “Screw the government. I do what I do and they do what they do. That’s best.” Sam contradicts the stereotype of a homeless person. He is not uneducated or indolent; he has two degrees, one in botany and another in psychology. The prideful man refuses to ask or accept any assistance, especially not through panhandling. Almost thirty years of homelessness leaves his skin bare and rough, but he doesn’t care. “Not one bit,” he claims. His smile is bright along with a coarse chuckle that echoes in the empty parking lot. However, when a camera appears, that friendly face vanishes and is replaced with the cold stare of man who has years of reasons to be cautious.

here was a point when I just gave up.” Steve has been struggling with money and battling homelessness for over five years. After years of a sturdy job, Steve’s car broke down and was too expensive for him to fix. With no car, Steve was out of a job as well, and so he gathered his things, wrote up a sign, and began to ask for whatever people could spare. “I’ve been doing this for five years, and not much has changed,” he illustrates. “People still give me looks, put on…lipstick and makeup, look at themselves in the mirror, role up the windows when I walk by, shout things, ignore me.” Respect for people like Steve is a rare occurrence, but through his faith in God he maintains the respect for others as he wishes he could see returned. Raised as a Catholic by his grandmother, Steve re-discovered his personal faith as a source of support in what proved an otherwise hostile world. He turned to Denver First Church, a local church that reaches out to the homeless, and has found great solace in the presence of God in his life as well as in the community at the church. “The pastor, the youth, they’re all good people- they don’t judge you!” With no family, and few of what most consider common necessities, Steve’s faith is more than a belief. It’s a way of life. Giving grace to God every day, Steve finds the strength to stand on the corner and believe in a better future. He’s just working to gather enough money to get a car and a job. After all, he concludes, “you’re only as good as your word.”

The “1510" - $5.50

Cheese - $5.25 Fruit & Nut Granola - $6.25 Ham & Cheese - 6.25 with Fresh Fruit and Milk Denver or Chili Verde - $6.95 or Vanilla Yogurt Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat - $4.25 Veggie Omelette - 6.95 with Bananas, Raisins and Brown Sugar


From the Griddle

All Omelettes Served with Hash Browns & Choice of Toast or Pancakes Buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy - $3.75 Smothered with Pork Green Chili. $1.00 Homemade Biscuits with Plain - $4.75 Country Sausage Gravy

The Following Breakfasts are Served with Hash Browns & Choice of Toast or Pancakes

February 10th, 2012



by Elizabeth Reger and Kristian Marker

Meet the People You Look Away From

page 4


page 5

photo by Disree Wallace

February 10th, 2012

When most of her peers were worried about grades and extracurriculars, senior Desiree Wallace was occupied with her six-month-old Tyson.

Growing Up Too Soon

by Denise Meeker


East Students Transcend Stereotypes of Teen Parenting

girl mindlessly passes through East’s crowded halls. She pulls up the hood of a black sweatshirt to cover her head. But the hoodie is hiding much more than just her head. Someone bumps into her and she instinctively reaches for her stomach. “Watch it!” she yells defensively and the boy mumbles an apology. In class, her friend sees her furrowed brow and asks what’s wrong. She sighs because she hasn’t told her parents what only her closest friends know: she is three weeks pregnant and plans on keeping the baby. “The father doesn’t even know,” she exclaims, and her friend nods understandingly. But in truth her friend doesn’t understand at all. As much as she wishes she could, she cannot relate to this. The expecting mother must now deal with the fear of her mother’s reaction, her peers’ judgements, the possibility that the dad may not stick around. Instead of telling her friend about the startling statistic she knows about teen pregnancy, that 80% of fathers don’t marry the teen mother of their child, she says, “Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be okay.” Even in these overwhelming and terrifying situations, there is hope. East counselors Terita Walker and Lauran Allinson are two sources of help, and not just for the pregnant girl -- an increasing numbers of boys have been visiting the counselor’s office in search of help. Allinson says that these boys usually seem confused as to where to turn and come asking about what they should do. People naturally tend to think first about the girl because she has no choice, she has to deal with the pregnancy. But the situation can be hard for the young father as well. The boy can feel helpless when it comes to much of the decision-making. For example, what if the girl wants an abortion? Does the father have a say in the matter? The confusion and fear is universal for all involved. Once a girl finds out she is pregnant it is very hard to decide where to go next, and the fear of how to tell her parents

was born. This story is one that isn’t close to finished; Wallace still attends East and admits that “It’s really hard having to go to school and then go home. You can’t just do your homework, because you have a baby and that’s your first priority.” On the topic of sleep, Wallace rolls her eyes and says “you have to be really, really patient and willing to miss a few hours of sleep!” Her last piece of advice for pregnant girls is to not “keep the baby unless you’re absolutely positive it’s something you can do. There is adoption and other options, so make sure you have support around you because without it, it’s absolutely impossible.” Throughout her endeavor with pregnancy, junior Alaina Tannenbaum says that hands down “the weirdest feeling was when [my baby] was moving around in me. It was almost felt like there was air in your stomach. Then I read that it was her growing. It was like a happy feeling. She was so active! I wouldn’t change anything even if I had the chance.” This was quite the growing experience for her: “It’s really changed my perspective on life. She was my awakening and she’s made me so happy.” Though in respect to her peers she is slightly less positive: “I guess you would say some were happy and supportive but the majority did not accept it. It was really hard to show up to school because of the people staring at me and gossiping. I was judged every day.” Senior Derrik Campbell learned his girlfriend was pregnant via a pregnancy test one day after school his junior year. “I had so many mixed emotions during that time. I was scared and shocked but somehow I was a little happy. I thought ‘now there will be a part of me in this world.’” Like Tannenbaum and Wallace, Campbell looks at the world with new eyes, “[The pregnancy] put a The counseling office: they aren’t just for schedule issues! whole lot in front of me, and now I see a whole Planned Parenthood: only blocks from East, the center provides options new meaning to life.” for birth control and helps guide young teens through pregnancies. It is Like many teen parents, Campbell has saclocated at 2030 E. 20th Avenue. rificed a lot to be a good role model to his child. Children’s Hospital: holds many programs for teen parents. He says this prioritization is key to surviving as Project Pave: helps to secure a future for the child and the parents by esa young parent: “Make sure you’re always givtablishing a healthy relationship between two young adults, and figuring ing above 100% to your kid. Make sure you can out the right options for the parents. support this life.”

and the father is all too real. Allinson stresses the abundance of resources at East and the importance of using them. “Find someone you trust, anyone. It can be a teacher, a counselor, or a friend. Anyone who can help guide you in the right direction... There are many resources; you just need to know what’s available. We have excellent social workers and psychologists who are here to help...and you can always come to me!” Walker stresses the importance of finding a personal “support system at East” and that she is always willing to help and her door is always open. “People believe that a counselor’s job pertains mostly to changing schedules and what not, but that’s not the case. We are here to lend a hand in any way we can,” says Walker. Sometimes all you need is a sturdy support group within your family. In senior Desiree Wallace’s case, most of her teachers didn’t even know she was pregnant. She now has a six month old boy named Tyson who is the joy of her life. Wallace’s journey began her junior year. At age 17, when most of her junior friends were stressing about grades, she was stressing the fact that she was going to be a mother. “When I found out I was pregnant, I took it really hard. But I was a little excited too.” After lots of thought she and her family decided they would keep the baby after it

“ It was really hard to show up at school. I was judged every day. “

80% of fathers don’t marry the teen mother of their child.

you can turn with questions 4 places concerning pregnancy: 1. 2. 3. 4.


page 6

February 10th. 2012

Drum Roll Please... East’s Drum Line doesn’t miss a beat despite funding and spatial challenges icture yourself in the midst of a sea of hundreds of students at an Angels sporting event. Each one is clapping and cheering to the beat made by the Drum Line, dedicated to pumping up the athletes on the field and the students on the stands. A group of seven talented young men-- Cole Fleming, Sanjay Pawar, Joe Morales, Isaac Daumler, Joe Garcia, Joe Edwards, and Calvin Davis-- make up the team of drummers who live for school spirit. Though all the current members all share a passion for percussion, they were all introduced to the Drum Line in different ways. Senior Cole Fleming first became a drummer in fifth grade when he had to choose an instrument to play. “My mom wanted me to play violin,” he said, “but that really wasn’t my thing, so I chose drumming. I’ve loved it ever since.” He became a part of the Drum Line in his sophomore year, “I just wanted to get into a different kind of drumming…enhance my fills and what-not.” Freshman Isaac Daumler’s story is quite the contrary. Before this year, he had never played, but he says he has always been interested. One fateful fall day, his path happened to collide with Fleming’s: Daumler was sitting at the “E” when his friend Fleming overheard that he enjoyed drumming, and asked if he wanted to join. And so began their journey together as pioneers of the pump up. When it comes to each member’s role in the drum line, most of the guys are flexible to play whatever is needed. “I run the prac-

East students prepare to cast their ballots for the first time by Emma Dargen


Junior Sanjay Pawar (left) and captain of the drumline Senior Cole Fleming practice three times a week to prepare for games, pep rallys, and other East events.

tices and count off the beats,” says Fleming, storage rooms. And as a result they often re“I’m like the captain.” And as de facto captain, ceive noise complaints. Last year, however, Fleming creates most of the line’s cadences, or things were worse: “The Drum Line was in rhythms: “I just make something up and we trouble… we didn’t have drums,” says Flemplay it.” ing, “but the faculty was urging us to push forThe energizing cadence that all Angels ward.” After mentoring and a fundraising car know well is called “Locs,”--“That was made wash, the guys were able to obtain new drums in my sophomore and make the year by the [for“It’s just exhilarating to get up on drum line a funmer] captain. Now damental piece stage and play. “ I teach it to the fuof every East ture generations.” sporting event. Regarding what will happen next year when Another minor set back – although Fleming graduates, junior Sanjay Pawar says, some might not always consider it a nega“I’m probably going to be captain…if I prac- tive – are the “stalkers.” “Girls will send their tice.” friends up to me and be like, ‘That girl over It’s mostly easy rolling for the Drum there thinks you’re really cute!’” says FlemLine, but there have been some obstacles ing. “There are also creepy ones who get rethey’ve had to overcome. These include their ally close to my face when they talk to me and lack of a designated place to practice, forcing whisper in my ear.” Pawar, who has gone to them to practice in hallways and cramped great lengths to prove his disinterest in the

Voting Virgins

ith the 2012 presidential election season now in full swing, East High students are finding themselves immersed in political debates and enthralled by a heightened level of civic participation -- and civil discourse. Students, particularly those in the senior class, face a great challenge in picking a candidate and developing opinions of their own, since many will have their first experience with voting in the fall. Now confronted with the immense task of sifting through the onslaught of confusing political jargon, interpreting vicious mudslinging and biased news sources, students are either jumping in headfirst or steering away from the often overwhelming process. For the most part, East students, even those not old enough to vote this fall, seem to be spending their time bantering back and forth about the nationally televised Republican debates, or dissecting G.O.P. primaries. The student body is now finding themselves encapsulated by a political culture that they likely had not experienced at such caliber in the previous election when East’s soon to be voting seniors were just freshman. First Time Voters Senior Cass Obmascik, who already has extensive experience in the political process through campaigning and participation in

Con-Law, is one of many East students who will be voting this fall. Obmascik says, “I think that many people these days complain about whatever they can…but many people don’t vote.” Recognizing this flawed logic, Obmascik says, “The best and most convenient way to affect the political change you want is to vote.” For students entering college in the fall and leaving independently for the first time, voting on issues involving financial aid and civil rights have become especially important. “President Obama’s plan to make student loans more manageable and to keep tuition down is extremely relevant to my life, and therefore I will be voting based on that issue,” says Obmascik. As incoming freshman, college will be the perfect atmosphere to foster new opinions and spark debate. “College is the time when you change as a person and develop opinions of your own.

Voting ensures that these new opinions are represented in Congress,” says Obmascik. For now, however, students will be getting involved in whatever ways they can while still in high school and still far from election day. Missing the Cutoff Though many seniors and a few juniors will get the chance to vote come fall, junior Katie Pellicore is among those who will miss the cutoff day to vote and have to wait another four years for a chance to vote in a presidential election. Pellicore misses the cutoff day by a frustratingly small margin of six days, turning eighteen less than a week after election day, November 6th. “I keep up with the news and government policies and feel like I am just as qualified to vote for president as someone born six days earlier,” says Pellicore, who despite being frustrated about not being able to vote is re-

photo by Adelatide Sandvold


by Adelaide Sandvold

girls, explains “They’re not that bad, they’re just really weird.” Though the Drum Line is currently all male, the group is always open to new members, both male and female alike. There are no criteria to join: “Just come and play,” says Fleming. However, “[new members] have to be dedicated,” says Pawar. “We don’t let [new members] perform if they’re bad, but they can always come to the practices and learn.” With only three, ninety-minute practices each week, it still allows leniency in each drummer’s schedule. The guys unanimously decided that the purpose of the Drum Line is to have fun and to be a guiding light of true school spirit. Despite the noise complaints and lack of funds, performing makes it all worth it, says Fleming: “It’s just exhilarating to get up on that stage and play. Then the people go crazy.”

maining an active young citizen. “I would like to make some sort of a difference by either campaigning for Obama or just, if possible, working to ensure full participation in elections,” says Pellicore. Developing an interest in and opinions on political and social issues is key to being an active citizen who makes informed decisions when they finally are given the opportunity to vote for political contenders. Pellicore insists, “I think every citizen has a sort of obligation to be informed about and participate in your government, regardless of age …you should know what policies your government is implementing and be a part of your government, so that it can most effectively fulfill its obligations.” She cites, “voting, keeping up with the news, or other methods of citizen participation in government,” as ways that students can get involved even in high school. She hopes that students who lack interest in government will recognize the importance come this new election season. “How your government functions and the people who run it both directly and indirectly affect your life…and so if you have the opportunity to have a say or change how your day to day life functions you shouldn’t let that slip by.”

Get Involved!

Are you 18? Register to vote at elections. It’s fast, easy and free. Seek out volunteer opportunities at


February 10th, 2012

Hell’s Angel: Back for One More

page 7

by Andrew Wise

Psychology teacher Alan Chimento battles DPS once again – and this time, it’s personal


s he sat nervously waiting for his turn to speak at the January 19th Denver Public Schools Board of Education hearing, East psychology teacher Alan Chimento wasn’t smiling. Under the bright lights at DPS headquarters, there would be none of his usual comedy. This was personal. His name was called, he marched up to the podium, took a deep breath, and spoke: “George Wallace made the following statement during his inaugural speech as governor of Alabama: Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. This became the rallying cry for those opposed to integration of African American children into public schools during the Civil Rights Movement. This statement reflects the sentiments of people within DPS who are opposed to the integration of children with special needs. I am here tonight to talk about my encounters with some of these individuals.” On August 24th, just three days into the school year, Chimento’s seven yearold daughter, Audrey, was suspended from Swigert Elementary for a confrontation with another student. Just two days later on the 26th, she was suspended again for running through the cafeteria without her shoes on. Audrey has Down Syndrome. After these two disciplinary measures, Chimento contacted Superintendent Tom Boasberg with his concerns. Chuck Raisch, Principle at Swigert, expelled Audrey, stating, “It’s hard for me and my staff to reinstate Audrey because you violated the trust of the school by contacting the superintendent’s office.” When Chimento asked what he meant, he stated, “It’s like you cheating on your spouse and her forgetting about it the next day, expecting everything to be the same.” It took forty days for the district to allow Audrey’s enrollment at another school and she arrived at Bill Roberts to a staff that struggled to meet her needs. After Chimento “raised his voice” to Audrey’s new teacher, he was banned from the premises of the school, and Audrey left this school as well. Now, Audrey gets on a bus at 6:50 in the morning and doesn’t return home until 4:30 in the afternoon, in order to attend Green Valley Elementary, about ten miles from the Chimento residence. Thus it was that Chimento strolled to the podium at the Board of Education meeting and unleashed a three minute speech that seemed to knock the wind out of many in the audience and every one of the board members. Arturo Jimenez was the sole board member to face Chimento for the entirety of his statement, the rest stared down toward their desks.

A HISTORY OF REBELLION For some of these board members, Chimento’s reputation may have preceded him. He has taught at, and battled, the administration of almost all the high schools in DPS. He started at Montbello, where he got the boot along with a few other popular teachers after helping to organize a march against an all-boys assembly. At West, Chimento helped his students to organize an anti-tobacco campaign that led them all the way to Washington DC. When those same students began to lobby the school board for new text books and other basic resources, Chimento was asked to leave. “When I was at West, and told the principal that I didn’t have enough chairs or books for my students, she said I’d have plenty once the extra students dropped out… I think I was fired at West because I was teaching kids to advocate for themselves, and that was very threatening to the district hierarchy.” Chimento used to hand out a packet, titled Activism 101. Near the end of his time at West, students were using the information in this packet to try and save their teacher’s job. Chimento’s work at West earned an appearance on Good Morning America, an article in Westword, and substantial grant money for the school. A year after his firing, Chimento received a call from the school asking for help continuing the cirriculum he’d put in place. He refused, as he did when Montbello asked for his history curriculum, though he did offer to sell it to the school for $10,000 (a relative bargain, when the school spent $1 million on three other curriculums in the same year). HELPING AUDREY Chimento’s efforts at West were merely professional. This battle with the district isn’t about proving a point or helping a community. It’s about helping just one person: his daughter. Chimento has solutions in mind for DPS Special Education’s current failures. He points out that The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first law in the US to require Special Education, basically saying that disabled kids can’t be sent to an institution. Chimento feels that DPS has not progressed to standards beyond what was required by this forty year old law. He believes the district can take steps forward, if only it would make the choice to try and catch up to current standards. “In the 21st century model… one teacher instructs everyone in the classroom, where every special ed. kid, no matter how severe their disability, is in the same room with the regular ed. kids. The teacher tries to work with that [special ed] kid, and the results have been that test scores go up for all kids in these classes. I know that

photo by Andrew Wise

Alan Chimento’s signature vehicle epitomizes his rebellious spirit.

this stuff works, the district just doesn’t want to implement it.” In terms of his own daughter’s situation and DPS’s failures up to this point, Chimento puts a lot of blame on the teachers. “There are teachers throughout the district who teach kids who are middle and upper middle class. Stapleton is a fine example of this, and I think that they are very successful. I’ve always said that a chimp could teach that class, the kids are going to be successful no matter what, and to say ‘I can’t teach the hard kids…’ That’s a problem.” FRUSTRATION BUILDS Not a single Board of Education member has responded to repeated emails and phone calls from the Spotlight, and Chimento feels it is unlikely that Audrey will attend a DPS

school next year. “The district doesn’t care. Nobody cares. It’s like ‘so what?’ There was not one person in that meeting that I felt genuinely cared. I’ve been told by administration, ‘if you don’t like this district, why don’t you just leave?’ I do like this district. I just want it to be better. It works for some kids; it doesn’t for a lot of kids,” says Chimento. As Chimento collected his papers and descended from the boardroom podium, people in the audience applauded. The members of the Board did not speak and moved on to the next item on the agenda. Nonetheless, Chimento stood tall and proud as he marched out the door. A father must advocate for his daughter, and must do his best to give her an opportunity to succeed. Chimento is many things, but he is not a rebel without a cause.


photo by Dylan Wells

photo by Dylan Wells

Lawrence Garcia was the spokesperson for the staff of North High School during the school’s revamp several years ago. The entire staff was forced to reapply for their job as a part of this process, and Garcia was one of many who were let go. He applied to nine other schools, but was turned down largely due to his association with the resistance at North. “The thing that I think is most disagreeable is not inviting our constituents to the table. Teachers, parents the community, students, everyone. If they’re going to make schools in this city the best they can be, everyone needs to have a say and everyone needs to work together, and I think the district uses a rather heavy handed approach in their dealing with our constituent

Social science teacher Peter Goldin has a reputation for questioning flawed district policies. Currently, he is very unimpressed with the new teacher evaluation process, “Learning, Evaluation and Planning,” also known as LEAP. “They call it peer evaluation, it’s not peer evaluation. Its bureaucratic evaluation... It’s not going to improve instruction to have someone who doesn’t know me and doesn’t know this building telling me you should do this, you should do that.”

Peter Goldin

Science teacher Margaret Bobb is a representative for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. The DCTA is a teachers union who aims to establish labor agreements within DPS. It is thanks to this organization that classes are capped at 35 students. She understands the frustrations of trying to get anything done within this district: “Anything that happens in this district is in the backroom. You have to be on a committee or know someone to make your voice heard. There is this hidden hierarchy that you have to appeal to in order to get anything done.”

Lawrence Garcia

Margaret Bobb

photo from the Denver Post

other teachers in states of rebellion


February 10th, 2012

photo by Chris Padgett

page 8

Each of Leonard Davis’ angel wings are dedicated to a lost family member.

Skin Deep

The body as a memorial photo by Joie Akerson

by Joie Akerson

photo by Joie Akerson

A tattoo of her mom’s name is one of Junior Iola Riggins’ three tattoos.

An inverted treble and bass clef form a heart on Junior “Isabel Jones’” hip.

Memories take flight

Junior Leonard Davis has angel wings. They aren’t figurative wings because he plays varsity basketball for East, or because he’s a good friend, or even because of his Christian values. Rather they are the visible, flightless wings emblazoned on his back in ink, each honoring the legacies of two lost family members. Davis’ grandmother raised him for the first half of his life. He remembers “sitting on the porch with her in the summer and playing dominoes,” taking refuge from the heat of the blaring Colorado sun. After he moved away at fourteen for military school, his grandmother died of liver failure. The first wing became a symbol not only of her “passage to heaven,” says Davis, but also a tangible representation of her impact in his life. The second wing is dedicated to Davis’ cousin, his mentor in the second half of his life until his cousin committed suicide on July 28th, 2010. “When I was fourteen and I moved away to military school, my cousin acted as my dad,” Davis says. He was Davis’ role model and friend, but his cousins’ own experiences with gangs, and later in the military, were suffocating him – and ultimately cost him his life. Davis’ tattoo serves as both a celebration of his cousin’s life and as a daily reminder to carry out his cousin’s unfulfilled life goals: “My cousin had a lot of dreams, but he got into trouble…” Davis explains, “So I’m living out his dream now. I look at it everyday in the morning and it reminds me who I am living my life for. I don’t live my life for myself anymore, I live it for him.”

A Permanent Way of Remembering

Junior “Isabel Jones” has never told her mom the real reason why she has a tattoo of music notes on her hip. She brushed it off when her parents asked, saying it was just something she wanted and didn’t offer up the full story. They “freaked out”—her dad desperately wanted it removed and her mom demanded an explanation. But the whole truth reveals that it was more than just an impulsive decision, more than just a passion for “love” or “music,” the words surrounding the music notes that together form a heart. It was a goodbye. “Jones,” whose name has been changed for publication purposes, firmly believes in the power of the tattoo. In October 2010, a close friend of hers whom she lovingly refers to as “my brother,” passed away from unknown circumstances. His devastating and

unexpected death reverberated around the community; it was shocking to everyone who knew and loved him. His biological sister decided to get a tattoo similar to one he had: musical notes. The idea of a commemorative tattoo rapidly caught on, and soon seven of his close friends and family, including Jones, had tattoos honoring his life etched on their bodies. They vary slightly between individuals with personalized sayings. “He was a permanent person in my life, and it’s a permanent way to keep him there,” she says. Regardless, her father still wants the tattoo eradicated from Jones’ body. However, Jones contends that a removal wouldn’t change much: “If I had to get it removed, I’d just get it again as a sign of respect for my friend…He deserves to be remembered.” An unforgettable “addiction” For some, tattoos are coping mechanisms or a method of documentation, while for others, like junior Iola Riggins, tattoos became an “addiction,” a means of putting her personality and memories on worldwide display. Riggins’ first tattoo was of her mother’s name, subsidized by her mother herself. “I think she had a feeling that eventually, I would get one anyway. She wanted to show that she was cool with it, as I long as I told her,” she says. But Riggins couldn’t stop with just one: “After the first, they were kind of addicting. It’s hard to stop once you get one.” And quickly following the first was the Chinese character for love surrounded by music notes. It is now dedicated to her “love of music,” but initially she only got it because she “didn’t know what I wanted next.” She followed up that one up with a tattoo of her childhood nickname. And she plans to keep the ink flowing. Her plans for the next round of tats include a tiger on her foot, her favorite animal, and a commemorative tattoo of her deceased god father, similar to Jones’ and Davis’: “When he was living, we were close. Probably closer than me and my real dad. He died when I was about four or five. My life took a turn when he died,” she says. Though many fear the pain of getting a tattoo, Riggins barely bats an eye anymore: “It was a hurt that I could tolerate. It only hurt because it was permanent.” The weight of a permanent a tattoo didn’t seem to be lost on any of the students, though it didn’t seem to faze any of them either. Riggins best expressed the unanimous sentiment: “I don’t think I will regret them. They all mean something, they all have sentimental value. They all matter.”

Tat Stats:

14% of teens have tattoos the top of a


is the most painful spot to get a tattoo



have tattoos than women


of people who have tattoos regret them

shoulders are the least painful place to get a tattoo

24% of the general population has a tattoo


February 10th, 2012

Dare to Disturb How the written word is changing East High School

page 9

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Mic by Aubin Fefley

by Poulami Wielga


t’s a Friday night. The doors to Coffee at the Point in Five Points open and close as people gradually make their way to a cozy nook in the back of the cafe. With a steaming drink in hand, the audience feels comforted as senior Sydney France offers a warm welcome and a gentle nudge of encouragement to share any work of art they’ve brought. One by one the performers step up to the mic to express themselves, whether it be through poetry, a monologue, or even music. Just a month ago in early December, Serendipity staff members hosted an open mic at a local coffee shop in Denver. Spectators as well as performers found it to be a diverse and extremely pleasing mix of works. Due to its success, the club has made it a monthly event. Though Serendipity’s open mic nights are similar to East’s Open Mic Club, Serendipity’s central focus lies in the annual publication of a literary magazine. The magazine is an eclectic assortment of students’ art, like doodles or short stories. As works of art trickle into Serendipity throughout the year, members read, edit, and contemplate the contributions to decide which of them gets published. The chosen entries get put into a beautifully crafted magazine for purchase at the end of the year. “When it comes to Serendipity entries, we get everybody! We get stuff from the kids who don’t speak, the kids who can only talk about sports, and the kids who only talk about the parties they’ve attended and the illegal activities they participate in,” France enthuses about the variety of applicants. With one or two editors for each section (nonfiction, fiction, poetry and art) the work included in each publication contains a variety of works, signifying the true diversity at East High School. “Editors help narrow down selections and then hand them off to the rest of the group, who gives them a ‘yes, put them in the magazine,’ a ‘maybe’, or a ‘no.’ At least four or five people will go over a piece before a final decision is made,” explains Emily Griffin, poetry editor of the magazine. When sorting through the various pieces three qualities are sought after: creativity, originality and variety. This is to ensure a wide spectrum of people are represented as well as writing styles. In previous years, Serendipity has had less of a presence within the community. This year, members have truly taken initiative, promoting the voice of the club. Funding for Serendipity comes predominantly from grants that members themselves apply for as well as through sales of past issues. Sponsor and lit teacher Mary Connelly speaks highly of the definite revival the club has gone through. “[Serendipity] was dormant for a long time. Last year was a really big revival year. Because Serendipity isn’t its own class teachers struggled with balancing time to make it successful. However due to the student commitment it has been a big success this year and last year.” The enthusiasm and devotion of the students involved is evident. There is no doubt that the club is run with care and love of the arts. Expression of oneself is supported. In fact, it’s highly recommended.

s the bell signaling the end of fourth period rings, the halls flood with hundreds of hungry students ready to spend the next fifty minutes fighting the lines at Noodles or Chipotle, cramming for the big chem test 6th period, or just relaxing on the South Lawn with friends. One Friday a month, however, a group of Angels spend their lunchtime feeding their appetite for creativity and music -as well as free pizza -- as members of Open Mic Club. Open Mic Club is an opportunity for students to express themselves in front of an audience of accepting peers. Performances range from poetry to interpretive dance, and everything in between. Open Mic is not a commitment, but rather it features a changing cast of characters each month, catering to the artistic whims of its performers. The club was originally founded by speech teacher Matt Murphy and former staff member Jamie Laurie (that’s right -- Jonny 5 of the Flobots) when Laurie worked at East as a paraprofessional. The club was first known as Wake Up, and focused on allowing more minority students to share their thoughts and works in a safe and supportive environment. Though the focus of Open Mic has broadened in recent years, poetry has given way to more singer/ songwriter performances, the tight-knit community remains the same, according to current club sponsor, East psychologist Jen Dacpano. Inside the speech room, students mill about excitedly until the stage is taken by the ever enthusiastic Nico Gallegos. His monologue forswearing negativity and commending the spirit of the performers reminds the group why they are here, and then performers begin to take the stage. First up, a girl sings Etta James, and when she hits the high notes, everyone feels her joy. Then, two girls take the stage. One sings while the other improvises an interpretive dance. Such is the magic of Open Mic. “Open Mic is a place for me to express myself,” says junior Breanna Batts with a con-

photo by Jen Dacpano

Reviving Serendipity


Freshman Julian Carey plays his strumstick at Open Mic night.

fident grin. “It’s a way for me to release my inner feelings… We’re a family here.” Batts admits that freshman year, her main motivation to frequent Open Mic was the pizza. “I’m not going to lie about that!” she laughs, “but then I started writing poetry again, and it felt good to perform. The environment is very homelike.” Batts also invites East students to use open mic as a healthy outlet for pent up teen angst. “When you’re feeling angry, come express yourself through something artistic,” she urges. “It has to be school appropriate, but it doesn’t matter what you’re feeling. It’s kind of like ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’” Open Mic stands out for how accepting it is to anyone seeking the spotlight. “There’s a great synergy,” says Dacpano a self-proclaimed “word nerd” and a poet herself. “Every performer wants a stage, and the audience wants success for every performer. Students

get excited about having a safe, open forum where everyone feels welcome.” Freshman Maya Thomas is a singer. She is not in choir or any other organized group, but at Open Mic, Thomas does not hold back. “It’s such a great outlet!” Thomas says. “Open Mic is such a good place to showcase my interest.” Thomas says she would love to see the club get more press and attract more members. In her opinion, “This is a group of kids that are very talented and don’t get enough attention.” “Sharing poetry,” Dacpano opines, “is a truly cathartic experience. It inspires people. A group of strangers can become a community. It will make you laugh and cry, and it will make your face hurt from smiling.”

Words of Wisdom from a Poetic Alum by Poulami Wielga


t a young age, Cheever had already begun to use her gift of writing, majoring as a creative writer at Denver School of the Arts (DSA) for middle school. By her sophomore year at East, she was a member of the Denver Minor Disturbance slam poetry team, a group which she describes as a welcome change in atmosphere in comparison with her usual life at school. During Cheever’s senior year, Minor Disturbance made the spotlight at the Brave New Voices poetry festival, a young poet showcase. At this worldwide extravaganza, the team took third place out of more than fifty teams. Cheever kindly offered to share her own thoughts about poetry and the power of the written word: Why were you drawn to poetry? “For me, poetry, especially slam poetry, has an emotional pull. The raw honesty that comes out in slam is fas-

cinating. What I love about poetry is its potential for perfection. The fluidity and grace of a good poem, a really good poem, can take your breath away.” “A lot of people complain that they don’t like poetry because it’s harder to understand than prose. It’s less concrete and it’s subtle and sometimes it can be totally confusing. But that’s why I love it.” Why should people within communities care about poetry? “Arts programs are so important in school-- they give students who might not be interested in academia a chance to excel in a creative field.” What have the poetic communities you have been exposed to been like? “Poetry has given me the opportunity to meet and write with an incredible variety of people. The people I am close with in the slam community are so wonderfully different from the people I know at school or in other extracurriculars, and I am so lucky to have been exposed to that vibrant, diverse culture.”

5 Opportunities for Aspiring Writers

1. East Speech team: Students can choose which event they 4. Mercury Cafe: Every Friday there is an open poetry readwant to compete (poetry, humor, drama, etc) in.

2. Open Mic at East: Every first Friday of the month in the Speech and Debate room (room 207).

3. Open Mic at Coffee at the Point: located on 27th and Welton, hosts a monthly event run by Serendipity.


ing. The Mercury Cafe is located on the outskirts of downtown, on 22nd and California. Serendipity magazine: Get your writing published! Pick up applications from room 215; the due date for submissions is February 14th.

Spotlight On...

€ntrepreneur$h More Money, More Problems

Novice Stock Investor shares his secrets

By Saad Moosajee and Nick Brown


here may not be a legal way to become rich overnight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Jackson Bock, a junior at East High School, has found monetary success in the stock market. Bock is a member of a financial club that includes East graduate Elliot Mamet and two students from Colorado Academy. The club specializes in trading and investing in hyper-volatile stocks, an unpredictable yet lucrative industry. WHERE IT ALL BEGAN... “I started in 7th grade and was looking for an aggressive way of taking money and making more money,” said Bock. “My dad advised that I invest in hyper-volatile stocks.” Following his father’s advice, Bock purchased 7 shares of Apple at $220 per share, 5 shares of UPS at $60 per share, and 2 shares of HTC at $300 per share. Bock’s investments were far from blind purchases. Sharing his thought process, Bock states, “I bought shares in Apple and HTC because they were posting good growth despite the economy, I also felt that the technology industry would be the first to rebound after the recession. I invested in UPS because of my confidence in their CEO.” As all major investors know, shares seldom pay the same dividend. Bock’s investment in Apple paid off greatly, with stocks doubling in price since he purchased them. Apples recent fourth quarter results corroborate Bock’s predictions about the technology industry, posting a net revenue of $28.27 billion. Although HTC has seen similar success, it has been incredibly inconsistent. Unfortunately, UPS has only declined in value since Bock purchased it. These outcomes are typical of investing, and show first hand the risk of the stock market. Some investments may pay out life changing sums, but that’s not usually the case. The opportunity for financial gain comes wiith the risk of huge losses. Bock disgresses, “luckily i’m not managing an incredibly large fund, so I haven’t lost a lot of money as a result of that.” ...AND WHERE IT CAN GO. For Bock and many other students interested in entrepreneurship, investing the stock market can be a segue into a career in finance. “One day I am hoping to manage a hedge fund. Finance economics have always interested me because I see them as a real world application of math,” says Bock. Despite the stress of dealing with massive sums of money, a career managing hedge funds has its perks. Mitt Romney, a leading candidate in the GOP race, netted 21 million dollars last year through interest on hedge funds alone. Students interested in trading stocks have little standing in their way. There is the potential for big pay offs with even a small portion of money and basic knowledge of economics. However, all investing should be done with caution, as the risk of losing money is always present. Then again, with a strong understanding of economics, consistent dedication, and a bit of luck, an ambitious student could find their way to Wall Street.

Jackson Bock

Five Tips to Win Big 1 Always look one step ahead – buy your stocks when

they are cheap. 2 Don’t be afraid to say no – a gut feeling is probably the right one. 3 Keep up to date on current events – trading is a global game. 4 Don’t be a lemming – just because it is popular does not mean it is a good idea. 5 Do Your Research – know what you are buying, and why you are buying it.

hip 4 Your entertainment East’s Professional Partiers By Adelaide Sandvold


f you ever find yourself in a club that happens to be throbbing with Colorado teenagers having the time of their lives, chances are good that you’re at a party thrown by 4 Your Entertainment. The party-passionate, event planning company is owned by juniors Gage and Hamilton Odell, Ian Curtis, Bobby Rodriguez, and Josh Volin. For starters, “we rent out venues that would hold about 2,500 people, maybe three [thousand],” explains Gage Odell. “Then we distribute tickets to kids at schools all across the [Denver metro] area,” Volin adds, “schools including Littleton, Creek, Regis, Montbello, South, and TJ.” On average, it takes twenty to thirty hours before each party to get everything ready. “It’s a lot of driving, meeting new people, trying your best not to [mess] up anything,” Gage describes. “[Also] making the event [Facebook] page, finding someone to print posters, finding promoters all over the city and meeting and staying in



contact with all of them.” Curtis adds, “it’s hard work but it’s worth it!” Each party is known for having thrilling performers that are able to keep thousands of kids out on the floor for hours on end. “We find artists, usually locals, who wanted some extra cash but obviously had to be decent enough to play their music live, and then we have a headliner perform, someone on the same level as Chevy Woods or KiD iNk.” Odell explains. Volin adds, “we are constantly trying to find new artists and would love to look at new talent, we just ask that the artists post their work on the 4 Your Entertainment [Facebook] page and then we check them out and get back to them.” At the beginning there were five investors who each made a great contribution to the company. “Each of us had the same amount of shares,” says Volin, “so we would have to work and make decisions based on a majority vote rather than have one guy calling the shots.” Such teamwork proved to


Hamilton Odell, Ian Curtis, Gage Odell, Josh Volin doesn’t see himself doing event planning and promoting exactly, “but definitely something like it. It was a good business opportunity because in the future I want to do something with business and go to school for business.” Curtis, on the other hand, definitely looks at this current venture as something he’d pursue in the future. “I would love to get into the music industry some how,” he says. “Mostly promoting for sure.” Volin is right in the middle. “It was an experience for sure,” he adds, “[but] if I was gonna do it over, I would make it much more professional.” As for those who patronize these events, it’s a safe bet in trusting these guys to carry on the tradition of the East High partying ways.

“Making $250 a party is pretty sweet.” be a challenge, but luckily these boys were graced with enough start up money to find success even through majority votes. There is a retainer fund that is used for each party to take care of the venue and the performers. As for each party’s profits, when you have a few thousand partiers each buying ten-dollar tickets, “you could easily make a couple grand but when [you have] the big names, they cost money, so we always only have a bit left.” Odell explains. As for that last bit, “making $250 a party each is pretty sweet,” Curtis adds. When he first started, Gage didn’t exactly see himself where he is now. “In the beginning I honestly had no interest, but a 2011 graduate named Jake Malman got me into it and I was making a lot of money.” As for the next few years, Odell says he

hats help the healing

hen senior Kianna Acosta bought her mother an anniversary gift, she didn’t know what she was getting herself into. After presenting her mom with a circular knitting loom, her mom responded, “well, why don’t you start making hats, and then you can teach me.” So Kianna started to knit hats. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT “My first hat was an experiment. It was really tiny, but I looked pretty good in it,” Kianna said, smiling. She considered selling her hats, and began asking people if they wanted to buy hats with personalized touches. “Some wanted ears on their hats, some wanted mohawks,” Kianna explained. Freshman, Riley Kerr, bought a mohawk hat from Kianna and said, “The hat was great, nice and warm, and big enough for my head.” Kianna also began making scarves to sell to friends and fellow students, but hats proved to be more popular. “I really love making the hats so I sell them for a bargain,” Kianna revealed. Currently charging $3 for a hat and $4.50 for a scarf, Kianna often makes little profit because this barely covers the cost of the yarn. It often takes Kianna five hours to knit a hat and ten hours to knit a scarf, which presents a big time commitment with little pay off. Therefore, she is thinking of raising the price to ten dollars per hat to make a larger profit. Every once in a while, someone asks her, “Can I give you twenty bucks for a hat?” to which she happily replies, “Sure.”

By Natalia Dellavalle

A HELPFUL HOBBY “I want to help my mom because she’s sick, but it’s hard to get a job, so I’m just doing something at home that makes a little bit of money,” Kianna says, adding, “My dad is the only one that works, so he’s the only one making income.” Kianna’s mother suffers from an autoimmune disorder called lupus, which affects the body’s internal organs. “People used to die from lupus around the age of thirty, but my mom is a fighter,” she proudly states, also acknowledging that medical advancements have been made. She says that for now, she’s saving her money for a time when she needs it. As for the future, Kianna declares, “As long as people want hats, I’ll be making them!”

$3 for a HAT $4.50 for a SCARF

Acosta sporting her own design. Kianna can be contacted at


page 12

February 10th, 2012

cartoon by Jeremy Harker

Selling Senior Year How Jostens is making a fortune off of East High’s seniors by Ty Wagner


ust a few short weeks ago, a short, blonde, charismatic man stood in front of the entire senior class, and espoused a truly enlightening philosophy which has changed my life forever. This well trained professional reached into my soul and tugged at my heartstrings, unleashing a cascade of riveting emotions. He preached, “Martin Luther King stood up for what he believed, Helen Keller persevered, and Gandhi changed the world; and when you buy a class ring you can too.” He lamented, “My best friend died in an alcohol induced fire at a graduation party; thus you should buy a pencil holder to signify responsibility.” He explained “Our rings signify the attainment of your greatest goal, graduation, which is exactly why we remove hundreds of students from class time multiple times a year to sell them.” While these are not direct quotes they are the ludicrous and hypocritical messages propagated by his employer, Jostens, a company which peddles graduation goods such as gowns, class rings, t-shirts, sweatshirts, key rings, tassels, and graduation announcement letters, year after year during senior class meetings- or should I say senior class


infomercials. Jostens exploits high school students through disingenuous advertising, detract from valuable class time, and represent the void of critical, independent thinking and blind consumerism which has infected our society.

Student Stupidity

I sincerely apologize to those reading who were willing to shell out 400 plus dollars for a class ring. Not because I think you are stupid and vain (I do), but because you truly got ripped off. Why would anyone want to walk around with a gaudy, ugly, super bowl-esque ring, championing their ability to maintain a 2.0 GPA during high school? Worse than that are the generic hoodies, sweat pants, and T-shirts which brand you as “senior, 2012” and nothing more. I imagine that’s exactly how you want to be known during your freshman year of college, and the rest of your life. So I ask how is it that countless students fall into Jostens’ expertly designed trap year after year to the tune of millions and millions of dollars?

We are Jostens’ most ideal prey.


America the Capitalist

Students are easily swayed by consum-

Rants “I hate h ow som eo seem to never be f the deans just in a goo like you d mood get in tr .I ouble fo – Tina C r breath ts arter, Se ing.” nior

t e no r a s p swee ake you l l a h l like ey just m ss at all e e f “I d. Th go to cla e d e o ne ant t late.” w t no ou’re n, Senior y n whe Lawso h -Nija “ The all th Senior S h a wha t hot at irts wer e t all. $ – Tac ?” 10.0 not 0… helle for Gran t, Se nior

erism, tending to believe that no event is complete without materialism. Each momentous occasion in the average Americans life comes complete with presents: birth, birthday’s, Christmas, Bar Mitzvah’s, sweet 16’s, graduation, college graduation, anniversaries, marriage, giving birth, your kids giving birth, all the way to death. In other words, American Students are a ridiculously easy demographic to sell to. Effortlessly influenced by the promise of greater idealism along with instant gratification, we are Jostens most ideal prey. Unfortunately, our school has made it clear they are more comfortable with feeding us to the wolves.

A Rotten Deal

After my first exposure to Jostens at the junior class meeting, while annoyed, I felt appeased with the assumption that they must be paying the school for the privilege of advertising to its students. However, Jostens just happens to offer a slightly better deal to students than its only competitor. The school doesn’t see a dime. This is so far removed from any other American business practice to verge on absurdity. There is no freedom of

choice for students, nor healthy competition or fair transactions. It fails all the essential facets of the American Economy. Yet our students and school continue to stand by while Jostens stomps on what makes this country great.

Harnessing Idealism

I propose a boycott on all Jostens products with the exception of caps and gowns, until Jostens ceases its faulty advertising practices, and gives our school the compensation it deserves. Until these concessions are made we will continue to mar one of the proudest moments of our lives with corporate corruption. However, we should not throw out all of Jostens messages. Just like Gandhi, MLK, and Mandela, each of us should strive to achieve our goals and change the world for the better after graduating. However, I beg you to remember that each of these people achieved greatness WITHOUT a class ring on their fingers. Let’s show Jostens how to really make a difference.

Raves “Lisa Smith’s Healt h and Medical class is Legit. I wo uld definitely suggest that all ju iniors & seniors take it.” -Hannah Burelson , Senior

is putm a e t l al asketb he stats, my B s y o “ The B ork. Check t w ting in inning.” w Senior team is ius Cardoza, etr – Dem

at we’re h t t c a f e “I love th ser & closer to clo getting r ion!” graduat l Williams, Senio tel - Shawn

by Deaunna Bridgeforth


February 10th, 2012

How to Avoid being the Ugly American

page 13

The Germans find us... acting as the world police


Lou y r e V

Very Insular Arrogant


eople wander along ancient cobblestone streets, gazing at the delicately carved buildings. Even the air smells like a masterpiece. Ahhhhhh, the city of romance and infinite love; now where is the McDonalds? You need some real American food, not these baguette things. You’re wearing your American flag shirt, with your custom made fanny-pack that has a majestic eagle on the front soaring with American purity. The French people around you are whispering “ugly American” in their French accents and French hats. Later you find on your IPhone that they are called “Berets.” While you’re on your IPhone you look up what an “ugly American” is and you find this, “Ugly American is an epithet used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home”. You’re not the first ugly American in Paris, but let’s hope you’re the last. Now first let me say, I like America. I like living in America. I like eating American food. I like watching American Television (Jersey Shore, that what’s up!). That said, our propensity to like all things American has fueled an unfavorable stereotype to foreign countries. I have had the pleasure of traveling to a few European countries, Italy and England being among them. I have to say, when they figure out you’re American, which doesn’t take long, they treat you a little differently. It’s kind of like “oh those stupid American’s, they don’t know anything about anything.” This type of attitude is very common in most, if not all, of the European countries. It is my belief that we aren’t really the best guests when we travel to other countries, so sometimes the stereotype is correct. When I was in Italy, I saw some Americans acting very much this “ugly American” stereotype, being loud and disruptive, acting arrogant and flaunting their own success. For example, we can look at the reception of President Bush and President Obama when they entered foreign countries. When President Bush visited Ireland and the United Kingdom, he was greeted by over 100,000 protesters filling the streets of London when he arrived. According to CNN, however, “Obama receives rock star reception in Ireland”. President Bush was from Texas, and his father was President as well. He had an air



I mean arrogance, rudeness, and affinity for guns.

The Australians think we... s rselve u o r e f d Consi perpower o u the s rld the wo

Are Loud

e Ar

Are all Che er

of self-righteousness about him. A key difference in President Obama’s and President Bush’s administration is that President Obama is much more involved with the global community. The new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, conducted May 18 to June 16, finds that “confidence in Barack Obama’s foreign policy judgments stands behind a resurgent U.S. image in many countries. Belief that Obama will “do the right thing in world affairs” is now nearly universal in Western countries, where lack of confidence in President Bush had been almost as prevalent for much of his time in office.” The thing that makes President Obama a better stereotype for America is that he is humble, educated, and overall a really good person. That’s the type of stereotype we want. President Obama has done a good job at portraying that, not the President Bush Texan personality. By Texan personality, I mean arrogance, rudeness, and affinity for guns. I love our American culture, but there are some things that we should get rid of. For instance, our belief that we are the only ones in the world that matter is an attitude that will do us no good. Our belief that everyone will adapt to us is faulty and will lead to us failing to keep up with the rest of the world. That said, there are some good things about American culture that we should keep and cultivate. For instance, our determination, our fight for rights and equality, our democracy, and our diversity, and most importantly our freedom; these are the things that define our American culture. We should focus on strengthening our fundamental values that we built this county upon, and getting rid of the things that we didn’t. This will not only beat the “Ugly American” stereotype, but also improve our American mentality.

cartoons by Jeremy Harker

by Sara Yates

leaders, dit



d Ru


p Stu e r A

W res e dr pe ive d ct b o fo t s fa ly n Since the o e is McDon- the e ig car place in Franc k that we are nviro s and nm do alds, they thin en n’t t fat

The French believe...

We are extremely loud

Don’t get inv with the G olved lob Communit al y Are Fat Make our o wn rules

We’ve published our opinions. Now publish yours. Contact us at


page 14

Going Dutch





Photo by Ali Oksner

z z z




February 10th, 2012

by Andrew Wise


How we can learn from the liberal laws and attitudes of the Netherlands by Ali Oksner


Colorado and Holland: Side by Side

teenth Amendment onsider this: the U.S.A. has some of the is not given attenwas ratified on June strictest drug and alcohol laws in the tion and restrictions; 30, 1919, it stimulatworld and yet both substances are abused it does not hold the ed rampant undermore here than most of the world. Conversesame intrigue or ground, organized ly, the Netherlands, known for its lenient power, according to and widespread laws, has one of the lowest drug usage perMelle. “I think pretty Drinking Age criminal activity. centages today. Is it possible that our governmuch of my grade Yes, Prohibition sucment’s desperate attempts to keep drugs and has been drunk, 50 cessfully reduced the alcohol out of reach of minors are ultimately percent or so, but (less than 15% amount of alcohol counterproductive? only a few have been alcohol only) consumed by AmeriYes. At least Melle Verlare, a fifhigh. The alcohol use cans but it brought teen-year-old in the Netherlands, thinks is way higher than the Marijuana Access more negative effects so. The epitome of the Dutch cliché, Melle drugs use. Personally, than social change. is a sweet and innocent blonde with an enI think [it’s] because Still, our strict level dearing accent, the occasional grammatidrug use is legal.” (With medical (At coffee shops) of enforcement cause cal mistake and plenty of opinions. On the Further differlicense) underage alcohol American attitude towards drugs, she shares, ing from The Nethconsumption to be a “I think there are too many laws, that only erlands, The United Driving Age convenient act of remake it worse.” She sees the value in letting States has one of the bellion. the citizens decide. “In Holland the use of latest drinking ages in I n hard drugs is definitely not a normal thing the world. In most of a similar vein, the to do. But, unfortunately, some teenagers do Europe, 16 year-olds Dutch teen pregnanTeen Pregnancy Rate use soft drugs. For example, Marijuana.” are able to purchase cy rate is the lowest (Births per 1000 girls 13-19) Obviously, Marijuana is present their own liquor. in the world. Rik H. in Colorado’s landscape. Since it became Sure, the privilege is W. Van Lunsen of the medically legalized in 2001, dispensaries exciting in the beginUniversity of Ammushroomed across the state. The legality of ning and the teenagsterdam attributes cannabis may be limited here but the accesers are likely to abuse their triumph of the serious problem to four sibility is not. Dutch drug policy is uniquely it. But unlike the 21-year-old Americans, things: liberal sexual attitudes, excellent sex directed by the idea that every individual is these young adults are usually living under responsible for decisions concerning their their parents roofs and therefore, more likely education, free supplies of contraceptives, own health. Therefore, they see the use of to be supervised and limited than our college and legal abortion. When teens feel that they drugs as a personal health matter, similar to students living (and partying) on their own. will not be judged or punished for having sex, the use of tobacco and alcohol. The decision The kids also know their limits sooner, before they are not afraid to ask for contraception of use is left to the citizen and the choice is they can drive at 18, and for the rest of their and they are properly educated about it. From often different than you might expect. It lives see alcohol as less of an activity and more what Verlare has seen at her Dutch school, “I seems that when adults treat Marijuana as of an actual beverage. As Verlare explains, “It think maybe only a few students have had something of little interest it causes disinteris ‘cool’ if you drink at parties [and] a lot of sex. In Holland I think the normal age to have est in its youth. people do go out on the weekends. But of sex for the first time is 16 or 17, but it also deMarieke Van De Loo, citizen and recent course not everybody. I think that in my year pends on your education and what’s normal university graduate of Amsterdam, explains almost everybody has done drink once, but in your school.” Notice that she did not say the lack of impact marijuana has on most of not everybody has been drunk. In Holland it’s a word about influence from adults because, the city’s inhablegal to drink at the according to her, they do not have any. With itants. “Most age of 16, but I think unprotected sex rampant among American school kids – most of the students teens, more likely with drug use, a more reteenagers – will have drunk at 14 or laxed attitude from adults could rid the need for nauseating TV shows like “Teen Mom” probably try 15.” it for maybe a The U.S. has and take rebellion out of the picture. Obviously, the Dutch government month in high had the same oldhas found tolerant policies to be, paradoxischool. Everyfashioned polione does just cies for too long. cally by American standards, successful in from curiosity,” America witnessed limiting the usage of drugs and alcohol. It she smiles, “but the failure of even is proven to yield positive results. By elimiif you continue stricter liquor laws: nating the temptation to indulge in “the forto smoke weed from 1919 to 1933, bidden fruit” the draw of harmful substance regularly as an Prohibition in the diminishes. Following the example of the adult, it’s a sign U.S. was in effect. Netherlands way of thinking could actually A sign in Amsterdam explaining alcohol laws that you don’t That meant that the accomplish what Americans have not – the want to gain a lot from life, that you are kind distribution and consumption of alcohol was lowering of drug usage, alcohol abuse, and of a… loser.” Marijuana is not an avenue of completely illegal in order to save grain for teen pregnancy. Stop being obtuse – Go Dutch. rebellion or a means of feeling free when it the purposes of war. As soon as this Eigh-








photo by Ali Oksner

ou want me. I see you there in 3rd period, your eyes going out of focus as you stare at the Promethean Board. Numbers and variables swirl into a strange language that baffles the mind. You can’t comprehend a word your teacher says. You shake yourself up in your chair, slap yourself in the face, pull your eyes wide open and for a moment you feel alert and ready. But it can’t last, and soon your eye lids feel like they’re lifting a hundred pounds each, and without even noticing you drift into my warm, soft arms. The spot where your pen landed on the page begins to expand as the ink soaks in, and then before long you jerk awake to laughter. The teacher, along with the whole class, is staring at you as you blink your eyes, slowly comprehending the fact that you have just sat slumped and lifeless in your chair for nearly half an hour. What you don’t know is that the teacher stood there, mocking you until you finally jerked awake. Sleep deprivation is an unfortunate fact at this school, and it may be the single most substantial factor holding each of you back from being successful. Without adequate sleep, East quickly becomes a sea of oversized fourth graders, battling with multiplication and struggling to say “trigonometric” out loud. Finally, there is no motivation, just 2,500 sets of eyes staring at the clock and begging it to move faster. It’s your own fault, on some level. You’re the one who doesn’t start math homework until 11:30 because you were on a roll in Call of Duty and naturally, that is more important. You drank the red bull after dinner in order to finish that essay and build that LEGO castle, for whatever reason. Like it or not, you need me to survive. It’s nice on the weekends, when you sleep until about 2 in the afternoon. Those are great times for us. Why can’t it be like this during the week? Am I just a Saturday night fling to you? And teachers, give these kids a break. Don’t make them read 50 pages a night and then watch them sleep through your session of analysis the next day. Who does that help? What good are those 50 math problems if the kid can’t stay awake for the lecture that taught him how to do this work? Coaches, your sport is never the only thing in a kid’s life. If they sleep, they’ll be healthier. If they get their homework done, they’ll be eligible. Win, win, all around. Overworked athletes stagger around like zombies, and their teachers shake their heads, worried for their pupil’s health. Respect yourselves, students. And adults, respect that these kids are better at things when they get to sleep. This is about health, and about true education. Its about engagement and efficiency. Sing some lullabies, heat chamomile tea and for god’s sake, get to bed.



February 10th, 2012


ou have that look on your face of pure disbelief, no idea what you’re going to do now. How are you ever going to explain that you’re a teenager who is about to become a parent? You take a deep breath and wonder, “How did I get here? What does the future hold?” Surprisingly, everyone this month has asked me questions on how to handle becoming a teen parent. Seeing as I’m not a teen parent, this task is a little difficult. So after asking my friends that are parents, I’m going to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

page 15

Ask Deaunna!

This Month’s Topic:

Teen Pregnancy

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?? Message Deaunna on Twitter @DeezyBeThuggin, or bring it by Room 210 So I ’ ready m person a scar to have s lly not ed of ex I ’m cons all th e ing m quences e possib le y & a you sister h after s eeave a ng ag how e. I baby d t don’t o tell m on’t kno at y b w want to h oyfriend a I v e sex -Not yet. ready

t I have ever no idea tha s a h om m fe but My ay in my li d a re fo be were had sex decided we I d n a d n it all the my boyfrie didn’t think e month e w t bu , y d rea m on and now I’ way through do I tell my mom? ow pregnant. H o Be -Mommy T


Wow, that’s pretty intense. In all honesty you just want to tell your mom the full truth. Ask her to dinner or something like that and just lay it out there. Most teens don’t tell their parents that they want to have sex. There is no telling how your mom is going to take the news, but just make sure you keep it real with her.

at he g me th se he's n i l l e t becau keeps riend an abortion really f y o b My ut I get me to elling d yet b wants y to be a Da I go about t the o d e d not rea st it. How s baby & tak n i i h a am ag nt to keep t oice I made? ch wa him I bility of the i s n respo o Do Thing t -Right


Abortion is a very hard topic of conversation to go about because everyone has their own opinion about whether its right or wrong. Seeing that he’s saying he’s not ready to be a daddy, are you ready to be a mommy? If this baby is something you really want to deal with then I say go ahead and do what you feel is right in your heart. Even if it means thinking about adoption and all of that, open your eyes to the various choices you have besides abortion.


Como se dice

by Grace McCabe


n exuberant Spanish teacher has his back to the class as he writes something on the board. While doing this, he instructs his students (in Spanish) to turn to the person sitting next to them and discuss what they did over the weekend. Crickets. As the teacher turns around to scan the room, he sees that the students are primarily concerned with playing Temple Run on their iPhones, staring out the window with glazed expressions on their faces, or sleeping. Their priority right now is not learning Spanish. While this scenario may seem to be just another case of lazy teenagers, it is really indicative of a larger problem with East High students and Americans in general: We’re ignorant about the value of language. Whether it’s the fact that former Speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich once called Spanish “the language of living in a ghetto,” or the sorry statistic that only 25% of United States elementary schools and 58% of middle schools offer foreign language courses, we believe our language is the world’s current lingua franca. We seem to think that this entitles us to sit

“Ignorant?” back, relax, and let everyone else learn to speak like us. This is drastically different than the rest of the world. In Asia, great importance is put on learning English. There are more children studying English in China than there are in Britain. In India, the English-learning industry brings in the equivalent of $100 million a year. Schools in the majority of European countries teach at least one language starting in the first or second year of school, and in some countries, such as Spain, they teach at least one language starting at the age of three. English is the most taught of these languages, and according to the European Union, 90% of students in Europe are taught English at some point in their education. It is not uncommon for a French high schooler to speak not only French, but English and German as well. Although the number of foreign-language immersion schools and the number of language classes in private schools in the United States are rising, much needs to be improved on. This is especially true in public schools, where budget cuts and a general lack of resources cause administrators and teachers to cut some programs. More often than


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o I hope after reading this, all of you future mommies and daddies out there have an idea of how intense having a baby at this age can be. If you’re considering doing it, think it through before you make the choice. A few minutes of pleasure can lead into a lifetime you’re not ready for.

not, the programs cut are foreign language. In an education society centered around standardized tests on core subjects and teacher evaluations, foreign language programs do not receive the respect or priority that they should. Yes, ensuring kids are at grade level in reading, writing, and math is important, but so is creating globally-conscious citizens who are prepared for our changing world. English is not the be-all-end-all. There are over 40 million and counting Spanish speakers in the United States, and as many businesses globalize, wouldn’t it be smart to try to increase the number of Americans who can speak some of the world’s most spoken languages, like Mandarin Chinese? Not only is it logical for Americans to study other languages from a young age, it’s polite. We are not the only country in the world, and English is not the only language spoken. You can go to many foreign countries and get by without speaking the local language, but is that going to be a very authentic travel experience? And what message does that send to the people who’s countries we visit? Are we really so inconsiderate that we won’t even bother to attempt to speak in a country’s native language when we’re there? Widening our horizons and improving our education when it comes to foreign languages is not simply considerate, or wise, or fair. Yes, it is all of these things, but most importantly, increasing our interest and proficiency in other languages is necessary for our survival and success as a nation.

A lot of catching up to do Europe: Average age foreign language classes start: 8 100%

of In high school, European students study one foreign language

50% study 2 foreign


United States: Average age foreign language classes start:



In high school, of Americans study one foreign language


page 16

February 10th, 2012

Club Sports Get Kicked to the Gutter

Athlete of the Month

James Danahey: Triathlete Competes at High Level in Unique Sport

photo courtesy of James Danahey

by Daniel Hartman-Strawn

by Chris Harder


weat dripping off his intense expression, Junior James Danahey attempts to muster any remaining strength as he wills his bicycle up a steep mountain road. Danahey glides through the water, his long and lanky body cutting through with a sleek ease. Back to the road, his legs burn as he hits the “runner’s wall”, but digs out the perseverance to overcome. Cycling. Swimming. Running. These are sports Danahey, a triathlete, excels in, yet most students at East High School are not familiar with. Formerly a basketball, baseball, and tennis player at East, James decided to focus on the sports he felt he had the best chance to succeed in. Athletics run in the family for Danahey. His uncle was a cycling enthusiast, father a mountain biker, his mother runs avidly and has participated in triathlons as well. Always having been a gifted athlete, he is shining in his somewhat unusual athletic pursuits. All three events of a triathlon (cycling, swimming and running) are equally important and difficult. Danahey has been participating in them since he was little and placed 6th in the 2010 National Championships in Florida. “Florida was crazy. I was feeling really good on the bike and swim, but when I got to the run I just bonked, which is basically severe cramping, and I had such a tough time finishing, but somehow I made it through,” says Danahey. He submits himself to a grueling training regiment for triathlons, five to six days a week, practicing one to two sports a day, for two to six hours a day. Triathletes must devote enough time to each aspect of the event to be successful, yet James will admit he has a favorite.

Danahey enjoys all three events of a triathlon, but his favorite is cycling.

“Cycling is my favorite part because I get to travel at insane speeds, hang with friends, break traffic laws and get a great tan-line,” he says. James also participates in cycling competitions, racing in 25 last summer with five first-place finishes and a 75 percent podium appearance rate. He enjoys rides in the mountains, stating, “They’re a great escape. When you go on a 60 mile ride by yourself it’s just so calm and peaceful.” Lookout Mountain is a challenge Danahey regularly tackles as part of his training regiment. Danahey has recently taken his natural athleticism even further, falling in love with rowing. Probably the most unconventional of the sports James engages in and typically a prep school endeavor, rowing has quickly become one of his favorites. “I just kind of jumped into it. It was new and it used similar techniques to what I was already used to. I plan on trying to get a college scholarship in rowing.” He goes to indoor facilities at the Colorado and Denver Athletic Clubs and the Boulder Reservoir for his training.

Though the competitive spirt instilled in him through his early years in team sports remains, he admits that he loves the challenge of individual sports even more. “I love the camaraderie of team sports, but I really like how you can compete against yourself in triathlons. You really are your own opponent, racing to better your previous time each time out.” James’ future only continues to brighten. A tall, lanky and naturally athletic kid, Danahey is very competitive and plans to push himself as far as he can. “Eventually I want to do an Iron Man, but that’s really long term. For cycling, I’m trying to get on a U-21 Junior Pro Team.” The competitive fire burns strong within, but Danahey knows that it will be a long road to achieving his goals in such difficult individual sports. With only himself to rely on, James knows that only he can stand in the way of conquering the last grueling hill, the last arduous mile in the pool or the final, back-breaking sprint to the finish line.

“...I really like how you can compete against yourself in triathlons. You really are your own opponent, racing to better your previous time each time out.”

Three Seconds to Victory

by Gabe O’Connell




photo by Conrad Trybus


tense silence fills the gym as 138 pound Devon “Bubba” Zavala sizes up his opponent. It’s for this brief couple of seconds – this limbo between bench and brutalization – before the match starts and the clock begins ticking down that wrestling becomes a head game. These stare-downs can determine the victor, and indeed can rapidly become one of the most crucial moments of the match. Then, the whistle sounds and Bubba becomes a frenzied three-second pin from victory or failure. I won’t lie, even one with captivating writing talent such as myself has difficulty portraying wrestling with the same anticipation that one might attribute to, say, basketball or football. There are no blockbuster hits featuring a wrestling teams road to glory, nor a wrestling league featuring matches at coveted prime air times. This should not be taken as disrespect; wrestling is – simply put – not a spectator’s sport. And yet, despite this, the rag-tag and frankly unexpected group that is the East High Wrestling Team practices every weekday after school only to battle through a tournament nearly every Saturday in hot and grueling gyms that, regardless of their proximity to East, will almost always remain strikingly unpacked. Do not, however, make the mistake of equivocating wrestling to less of a respectable sport because of this. “Every fight is a battle, and if you get ahead of yourself you’re finished,” says sophomore Varsity wrestler Conrad Trybus after a brutal match. And watching the match behind him it would seem this

is the truth. Both benches erupt in support and offerings of strategy, though it seems unlikely that either wrestler, teeth grit, breathing heavy, can pay much heed to any of it. “I try to stay with it all the way through, I mean, once I got it I gotta keep it.” Maya Nelson tells me, allowing herself a small, satisfied grin after a winning match. It’s truly striking how excited she is, how practically every wrestler, win or lose, seems as though they are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Having only watched a few matches, it seems as though the wrestling ring is the last place many students would ever want to be. Maybe that’s the true rub of it, the fact that these student athletes would devote such frequent, grueling hours to a brutal and demanding sport with a seemingly nonexistent fan base. These wrestlers aren’t doing it for the attention. Those that have come expecting the drama and glory of athletic warfare leave disappointed. No, instead every player in the wrestling program fights for themselves, and for the honor of their school. Though perhaps they aren’t the most recognized or supported of athletic programs East, they deserve the same respect that they treat the game with.

“Every fight is a battle, and if you get ahead of yourself, you’re finished.”


or many students at East, getting to represent your school as an athlete is essential to the high school experience. Lucky for the Angels, there are not many schools that have as many opportunities for athletes as East. We have the standard set of varsity sports: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. But what really sets East apart from other DPS schools are its more obscure offerings. Two prime examples would be ultimate frisbee and rugby. These programs have been extremely successful, with the rugby team going to the State Championship 10 years in a row, winning most recently in 2009, and the ultimate team winning state this year. Success is usually rewarded with recognition, but this has not been the case with rugby and ultimate. Rugby and ultimate frisbee have remained club sports, leaving much to be desired by the athletes that dedicate so much to pursuing success in sports they love. Unlike sports recognized officially by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), which oversees everything from football to music to speech and debate, students do not receive an athletic credit for playing on the rugby or ultimate Frisbee teams. This poses a dilemma to those wishing to participate. In order to meet graduation requirements, a student is required to obtain two semesters (seasons) worth of sports credits. This makes it impossible to play only rugby. And in the case of Frisbee, where there are fall and spring seasons, an athlete must choose not to participate in one of the seasons in order to obtain their credits. The argument could be made that a student can take gym class or weight lifting during the school day. But for students who want to take full, rigorous schedules, this is impossible. Most sports that are kept at the status of clubs are fringe sports, with only small groups of students involved with programs. With East’s rugby and ultimate teams this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This year about 90 students are registered for the rugby program, and around 40 students are signed up for ultimate Frisbee. The rugby team has been around since 1988, and the current head coach Bill Baer has been involved with the program for 18 years, with 13 years as head coach. The ultimate Frisbee program has been around for almost 10 years, and is coached by East alumni, many of whom participate in highly competitive adult club leagues in Colorado. Both programs venture outside of the state each year, traveling to Utah, Kansas, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, among other places. When it comes to rugby and ultimate, East isn’t simply an anomaly. There are 24 high school men’s rugby clubs in the Front Range area in 2 divisions. There are 18 teams that East competes with in Frisbee. Numbers like this point to a sport that is has surpassed being relegated to the periphery of the sports world. Nationally, rugby participation has increased exponentially in recent years, growing by 350% between 2004 and 2011. These statistics point to one thing: its time to give these sports the legitimate status as varsity sports in Colorado that they ought to have. Students who commit their time, sweat, and blood to a sport they love deserve to receive recognition from CHSAA as “real” athletes.

Students who commit their time, sweat, and blood to a sport they love deserve to receive recognition from CHSAA as “real” athletes.


February 10th, 2011

page 17

Taking it to the


Stress and Celebration

A look into the intense life of a Division I recruit by Andrew Palmquist


photo courtesy of Katie Katie Leonard

atie Leonard stood humbled next to the phone. The then sopho- tremely hard to balance my classes,” says Leonard. For many recruits, more hung up, finishing a conversation with one of her heavi- the offers mean a lapse in their motivation for school. Katie, who has est recruiters, Southern Methodist University. Leonard was almost maintained honors courses since her freshman year, has seen recruitreduced to tears. Not tears of joy or reassurance, but of anxiety and ment as motivation to succeed in the classroom. “A lot of girls on my stress. Her dream of playing collegiate soccer, one that had seemed to team got their first offer and just saw it as an excuse to get D’s. But after be set in stone, seemed for a brief moment to be left in limbo. She be- talking to some Ivy League schools, I’ve pushed myself even more.” gan to panic, triggered by the fact her scholarship was being offered For most recruits like Leonard, the constant mail is all but an anto another player if she did not commit soon enough. noyance after a while. “To me the mail shows a lack of personal interest Leonard, under the proposition she would have to decide as or commitment to me as a player.” Leonard merely describes the daily just a sophomore, asked herself the demanding question, “What if I junk as “a waste of paper.” She speaks for most recruits when saying make the biggest mistake of my life?” Leonard has been confidently it takes a lot more than a notorious name to catch her attention as a caressed through that day and school. Leonard sorted out the entire recruiting process her favorites in a short few by the brief yet meaningful months before making her advice of her coach, “Let it visits, but it was during the be.” visits when she discovered It is a goal and a dream a few that stuck out. “When that almost every high-school I got down to my top three, athlete initially sets for themMiami, SMU, and UConn, I selves: to have mail and scholknew it was because I could arship offers filing through see myself there. All three the door, to have top univercoaches welcomed me in as sities from all over the nation a member of the team from clawing to bid for your skill the start.” After three trips set. The truth of the situation to each school, Leonard is, few high school students had spent nights with each ever reach this level of athletic of the team’s members, atsuccess. tended classes with the athLeonard’s journey letes, and sat with coaches through the ins and outs of at the games, helping her recruitment began long begauge the true personality fore her first scholarship ofof each school. It was at the fer. She was introduced to the University of Connecticut, formula when she was fourthough, that Leonard felt teen at an out-of-state tourshe meshed best with the nament, as coaches from all team and coaching style. over the country stalked the No matter how well sidelines, looking for promisthe process has unfolded ing talent. Only a week later for the recruit, she still has she was on the phone with her resignations about colthe coach from Cal-Berkeley. lege recruiting. Although The call was only the startathletes for most sports ing point of a two year period are scouted early in their consisting of college visits and high school careers, women’s Leonard’s (right) stellar play for her club team was a main reason for her recruitment. scholarship offers. soccer pushes the line with A common misconception of Division 1 recruits is that they sit most of the top girls committing during their sophomore or even freshback as the universities and offers sort themselves out, until one day man years. “The whole process moves too quickly, the expectation for they are forced to narrow it to one. “Due to the strict NCAA policies, 15-year-olds to make a life defining decision like commitment is ridicuathletes such as myself must push their relationship with schools lous. But it’s the standard.” Katie was fortunate enough to ease into her from initial interest to finally visiting the coaches and the universi- commitment to UConn after three visits to the school and countless ties,” Leonard explains. “Our coaches tell us who is interested, but the conversations with the coach. However she did feel her share of anxiety, universities aren’t allowed to call us. The rest is really left up to the “Before I committed I never wanted to rush into a decision, but I was student.” Between her sophomore and junior year, Katie put together constantly stressed knowing that if I didn’t decide soon enough, my top 10 college visits, traveling all across the country to potential schools. schools would be more than willing to give the same offer to their Plan Even when an interested school had the possibility of offering her B.” a scholarship, “we had to pay for the travel costs, where we stayed, Katie Leonard’s verbal commitment to UConn seems to be the everything during the visits.” Last March, during her first college trip start of a new step in her athletic career and the end of a long but rapid to Georgia University, the coach shocked Leonard by walking her trek through the life of recruitment. Even Katie admits though, “There and her family into his office. Katie, who refers to herself as “clueless” is a reason there’s a higher transfer rate for women’s soccer than any at the time, had received her first scholarship offer, an experience other sport,” whether it is the increased pressure to commit early or not. that made the efforts “all worth it.” The college trips, no matter how With signing day a full year away, the recruiting process already seems beneficial to her career, have had a straining effect on her school life. to be all but over for Leonard. “With a tournament or college trip every other week it’s been ex-

Angel Recruits When National Signing Day happened on November 2, eight East Angels signed to play college sports. The Spotlight was there to see the big day, and learned what it the college recruitment process was like. “It’s really exciting. For four years in my future I already know basically where I’m going and what I’m going to do and it just takes a lot of stress off.” Reed Mathews

“I think this truly represents what East High School is about. Even though all of these athletes performed well and obviously have done well, I think that you can notice that their scholastic side is also very high and I think that goes hand in hand with being a true student athlete. I’m just very proud of these folks and I think some of the schools that they’re going to is a testimony to how high they have achieved.” Bill Ewing, Athletic Director “The recruiting process was kind of long and grueling but I finally got my chance and now I’m excited to go to Garden City and play baseball. It feels great. It feels incredible.” Zach Moldenhauer

2% of high school athletes receive athletic scholarships 37% of college athletes attend school on athletic scholarship


page 18

February 10th, 2012

Finding a Way to Worship in Sports

by Willow Turano

Danilo Gallinari and the Nuggets are near the top of the Western Conference this year.

Starless Nuggets Still Shine by Keaghan Dunn-Rhodes


fter the Denver Nuggets 117-104 win over the Miami Heat on January 13th wrapped up, the box scores told a tale of two very different teams. LeBron James led the Heat with 35 points and Chris Bosh had 17, but Miami’s scoring output dropped considerably after those two. The Nuggets, on the other hand, won with a very balanced attack. Sure, Ty Lawson put in 24 points, but five other Nuggets scored in double figures. The Nuggets also had 7 more assists as a team than the Heat, who lead the league in offensive production this season. Such is the way that the Nuggets are winning in 2012. With no true star, Denver is getting victories night in and night out in a way that the NBA hasn’t seen since the 2004 Pistons: with teamwork. For many diehard NBA fans, this unorthodox style may seem as foreign as enjoying a college game. Indeed, the Nuggets are invoking comparisons to NCAA teams with their college-like style of play. They play up-tempo, are deep at every position, and have no player that averages over 20 points per game. When the Nuggets traded superstar forward Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks after months of bitterness almost a year ago, common sense told fans that New York had gotten the better end of the deal. Many Denver fans had never even heard of the players gained in the trade. Kosta Koufos? Danilo Gallinari? And who the heck was Timofey Mozgov? Today Gallinari, Koufos, and even Mozgov are known and loved by Nuggets fans, who have been pleasantly surprised with their team’s success. Since the trade, the Nuggets are 33-16 (including playoffs). The Nuggets are in fouth place in the Western Conference. A comparison of the Nuggets and the Knicks these days reveals two very different teams. While the offensive output is balanced in Denver, New York is one of the most top-heavy teams in the league, with every player other than Melo and Amare Stoudemire averaging less than eleven points. The Knicks have gone a surprisingly weak 21-31 from the time of the trade to now, and are near the bottom of both their division and conference in the 2011-2012 season. The Nuggets will only get better as a season like this one goes on. Due to the lockout, the shortened sixty six game schedule means teams play more games in fewer nights than during a typical season. Unlike most teams, Denver should benefit from this new schedule. They are so deeply talented as a team that they could feasibly switch out all of their current starters for bench players and still do well. The unselfish and entertaining style of play that Denver is employing this season gives fans hope for both the present and future.

aitlin Ryan lies in bed with two things on her mind: tomorrow’s swim meet and God. Caitlin, a Christian, feels that her religion can be present in her athletic pursuits of swimming and field hockey. “Religion gives me a sense of comfort. Since my parents are unable to make it to all of my games, I know I still have someone there supporting me,” shares the sophomore Ryan. This extra support can be the push an athlete needs to succeed. Ryan is one of many athletes who look to their religion and God for support. “Growing up in a Catholic school it was required that the students pray together before and after a sporting game. I never prayed during sports outside of school,” states Ryan “but recently have I began to pray in high school athletics.” Ryan also voiced that she is “not embarrassed and doesn’t want to preach.” High school is a very judgmental time in a student’s life and being religious is one of many things that students can be judged for. For this reason, many kids keep to themselves about religion. Many students have become more open about their religious beliefs thanks to positive, spiritual professional athletes. There are plenty of professional athletes who have strong religious views, some more open than others. Whether they reflect before going up to the plate in baseball or take a knee to pray after a touchdown, these athletes are confident in incorporating religion with their sport. Tim Tebow, for example, is known for being a publicly active Christian. He is a very positive athlete who has stated in the past that football is just a game and being able to reach out to others is something that is more important. Even those who don’t pay attention to sports will see this. “If Tebow is able to be outspoken, than I can be too,” says sophomore Doug Todd. Some athletes have the added religious influence of their coaches. Randy Gallegos,

photo by Willow Turano

photo by Denver Post


Sophomore Caitlin Ryan is able to incorporate her religion in swimming and field hockey.

head coach of the wrestling team at East High School, is known for being a religious coach. He leads a prayer before every match, tournament, and practice. Part of his religious incorporation relates to the book of Genesis. Wrestling is the first sport mentioned in Genesis. Jacob is shown wrestling an angel and he shows that he never gives up without a fight. Emulating Jacob is the East Angel wrestling team’s motivation to succeed, according to Coach Gallegos. “No matter what the score is, anything can happen in a match,” says junior Devon “Bubba” Zavala. “As long as you give your best, everyone is going to be happy, you should be happy with

yourself. Even if you don’t take first at least you know you went out there and gave it your all.” Coach Gallego’s theory is, “Even if we don’t win, the bible states, ‘it isn’t our glory, it’s God’s glory.’” The team’s workouts tend to relate to religion and using numbers that tie in with the Bible. Sets of 5, 7, and 10 have special religious meanings. Religious athletes may incorporate their religion with sports, but they know they can do well without prayer. For some, worship is more than just an extra motivation or a boost of confidence, it is a reminder to stay positive.

DPL Put Out of its Misery

State football committee misses the boat in this year’s realignment cycle by Max Segal


ext year, East will beat GW one less time. At the end of last semester, the state’s football committee recommended a realignment plan that included disbanding the Denver Prep League, one of the state’s oldest football conferences. Dick Nelson, a DPL historian, was one of many people hurt by the decision to disband the league. “In a way it’s kind of sad,” he told The Denver Post, “but that’s also kind of a sign of the times.” The “times” Nelson was referring to consist of an era in which the DPL has often failed to produce a team that can advance past the first round of the playoffs. DPL teams, including East, regularly endure beat downs at the hands of suburban foes like Cherry Creek. It was time to put the league out of its misery. With three playoff teams in 2011 (Lakewood, East, and South) and a state finalist, the DPL may have looked like an average or better football conference on the surface. However, without their only non-DPS member, Lakewood (state finalist), the Denver Prep League looked a lot less impressive last season. The DPL was 11-20 in non-league play including playoffs, and without Lakewood’s 4-2 record, DPS teams were a putrid 7-18. The conference’s poor play left CHSAA with no other choice but to disband the league and attempt to put teams in the best position to be competitive. The attempt was noble and necessary. Placing East in a league with better competition could have toughened up the Angels. “A lot of the public schools in Denver really don’t have a competitive team. Those schools that do have a good team do have

the opportunity to play other schools that are more competitive and that would improve their game,” says interim athletic director Bill Ewing. Over the past few years, East football has regularly feasted on weak DPL opponents only to be bounced from the first round of the state playoffs. “I think we can get better playing a little bit more competitive teams,” Ewing continued. A change of scenery and exposure to greater talent could have helped East become more of a championship contender (or at least a dark horse). Unfortunately, the committee placed the Angels in another relatively weak conference, the Aurora league, where East will play Rangeview, Hinkley, Gateway, Adams City, and Aurora Central. East’s toughest competition will likely come from Rangeview, who went 7-3 this season, but all three losses came in non-conference play. The rest of East’s future conference opponents went a combined 9-32 overall. A change was needed, but the committee failed to put East in a competitive conference that could help them improve. Instead, the Angels were dropped into another situation where they will likely abuse most conference opponents but struggle to succeed at the state level. The disbandment of the Denver Prep League was inevitable and justified, but for the Angels, the future will likely consist of the same stuff in a different county. East would have undoubtedly benefited from tougher competition, but unfortunately, they’ll have to wait for the next realignment schedule to have the chance to play with the state’s top dogs, Mustangs and Bruins.

For the Angels, the future will likely consist of the same stuff in a different county.

Quick Hitters

The former DPL fared terribly as a collective league last year against non-conference opponents, going 11-20. Changing leagues may seem helpful, but in reality the Aurora League is not much more competitive than the DPL. Rangeview won the East Metro League title last year. Meet the Aurora League (2011 records)

Rangeview........... 7-3 (7-0) East. ....................6-4 (5-1) Gateway. ..............5-5 (5-2) Hinkley..................2-8 (2-5) Aurora Central ...1-9 (1-6) Adams City. .........0-10 (1-9)


February 10th, 2011

page 19

Glorification of Almighty Meandelsburg Marches On Tired East Cop Looks the T Other Way Because by Trapped in a Well


What is the Point? by Padgett Queen

photo by Dylan Wells

ensions rose in the newly renamed People’s Republic of Denver is forming behind the staff protests and student uproar. Spotlight reEast High School as Colonel Andrei Meandelsburg enacted more porters made attempts to contact the rebels and, after meeting rebel measures to ensure the permanence of what was intended as an interim contacts in the back hallways of the second floor, reporters were blindgovernment. A statement issued by the administration stated that it folded and led to a dark corner of the maintenance tunnels where a would be in the “best interests” of the student body to “remain compli- team of several dozen grungy psychology students huddled behind ant as all traces of East as it existed under the ineffective and weak gov- their leader, Alan “Che” Mento. Puffing on a thick cigar and sporting a ernment of John Yummyquist are swept away.” Yummyquist remains lopsided beret with “Wal-Mart is Evil” on the front, Mento addressed missing after masked gunman forcibly removed him from his home his concerns with the new administration. “The consumer neo-capitalists cannot be allowed to transform one more student into one of Tuesday. Student dismay at the departure of the former Yummyquist ad- their brainwashed automatons,” he said. “The only proper education is that which is gleaned in a ministration turned to protests constant state of revolution.” as Meandelsberg seized more One of the student guerillas, and more power via executive when asked about his motivaorders printed en masse on tion for joining the revolutionpink office paper. Room 128, ary movement, replied, “It gets now known as the Ministry of me out of class dude, plus the Obedience, has responded by deans suck. What else is there detaining dozens of students. to say?” “It’s been really freaky,” said CRACKDOWN one student who wished to Meandelsberg and the remain anonymous for fear of administration have made siretribution. “I was starting to lencing this movement their fall asleep in Algebra, as usual, top priority. After nearly a and all of a sudden Keithan hundred students formed an busts in wearing this weird “Occupy the E” movement, black uniform and starts beatthe deans and security officials ing this kid with a night stick. mobilized under the auspices Then he put a black felt bag of a “hall sweep” and cleared over his head and dragged him Meandelsburg Commissions a Lavish Renaisance Painting in Foyer their makeshift encampment. out of the room.” The student paused for a second. “I mean, usually that’s the kind of thing you expect They indiscriminately fired tear gas into the crowd and herded more than two dozen students behind a grate on the first floor. Once it was from Vanderson.” over, the students were moved into the ISS room, after which they STAFF RESPONSE Melody Digdugg, head of the former Drama Department, now were never seen again. Meandelsberg has further consolidated his power over the media renamed “Department of Performance Propaganda for Betterment of the Glorious People’s Republic,” has also voiced opposition to the expression of the school. The office, in another large notice posted new administration. “They brush the arts aside for their own insidi- in the light-ringed marquee usually reserved for announcing drama ous purposes! It’s so… not absolutely fabulous. A dystopia? That’s so performances, stated the following: “The spring musical, should it uncreative. This administration is just dull! Not like Yummyquist. Now be performed, will be renamed ‘Working… for the Betterment of the that man had flair.” Indeed, many of the posters for the new adminis- Glorious People’s Republic.’ The speech team will, from now on, only tration featuring a polarized Meandelsberg and the words, “no hope, recite pieces that the administration deems acceptable. All music and don’t even think about it,” have been widely criticized as being a major choir programs will receive approved music within a few months. Art blight on the walls of the school. Judy Synagogue, East’s former design and Design classes will only produce art in keeping with the new outteacher, is now the head of the propaganda department. “It’s a new me- look of the school. We thank you all for checking what creativity the dium to work with, but I guess the students are just going to have to public school system has left you.” The Spotlight itself has received learn to express themselves through the propagation of soul-crushing a notice that it is to be re-named “The Daily Berg,” and is to operate with the purpose of “spreading the glorious spirit of East High expression,” she said. School.” Watch out for our headline story next month: Meandelsberg: RESISTANCE There have been reports that a large-scale resistance movement Not Short. Definitely Not Short. We Never Said That.


by Downtown Brown


he torment and ridicule had reached an unbearable level. Drama created by her thoughtless posts and status updates had become too much for Carrie Arctan to handle. It was time for the high school sophomore to finally delete her Facebook profile. On the evening of January 22nd, 2012, Carrie was no longer a member of the popular social networking site. She thought this would be the beginning of the end for her social issues, but it was quite the opposite. Later on the same night, Carrie complained to her mother about a headache. She went to bed hoping for the pain to go away. As she lay down to sleep, she had no idea what she was in store for. The next morning Carrie woke up but could not see anything. She tried to scream, but could not say anything. Through some sort of freak accident, Carrie Arctan no longer had a face. The young lady was quickly rushed to the hospital. The doctors had never seen such a devastating case of facial loss. After a series of tests and experiments, they were able to draw a conclusion. Mark Suckergerb, Carrie’s doctor, had this to say. “It seems that what we have is a simple example of mutation happening at an alarming rate. After young Carrie deleted her Facebook profile, her social life for all practical reasons was over. In response, her face, a body part used for social interactions, was no longer necessary. Her body basically rejected her facial features from her body.” Dr. Suckergerb then went on to warn that these cases would most likely become more and more common. He warns that all

photo by Saad Moosajee

Facebook Fights Female Face,

Facebook and other social networking site users contact their physicians before deleting a profile. If not, it could cause serious consequences in ones social life. The doctor plainly stated “this new disease will be the leprosy of the technological era.” The Spotlight tried to reach Ms. Arctan for commenting, but was unable to do so because the young lady cannot speak. Her mother commented, “my little Carrie is so devastated she was practically bursting in tears for days. Hypothetical tears, of course, because she doesn’t have eyes to cry with, but still, it’s sad to imagine.” To express our sympathy for the high school student in her trying times, the newspaper staff collected money to buy a new pair of sunglasses and are waiting for a thank you note in the mail.

“Rear End” Disclaimer

The nonsense included in the “Rear End” section does not represent the views of the Spotlight staff, the editorial board, the sponsors, my new shoes, the snow day, the only Valentine you will get from your mom, or the Super Bowl commercial with Clint Eastwood. The point is, the “Rear End” is intended for comedic effect and should not be taken seriously.


t smells like weed, backpacks are emitting the sound of glass hitting glass, little Jimmy is getting beat up and robbed, and Officer Lou Tennant is looking the other way. Lou has been part of the Campus P.D. at East High School for nearly thirty years, and it seems he has finally given up on stopping kids from being kids. “I tried for thirty years to make a difference! And those meddling kids are still fighting, listening to music too loud, and doing them drugs. It seems the only thing I can do is just sit back and let what happens happen.” Says the tired old cop, as he slowly sips his coffee, a single tear trailing down his cheek. It is always a sad day when a man gives up on his dreams, but unfortunately Lou never even came close. “I wanted to be a detective. I grew up watching Law and Order SVU. Det. Benson was so fine. I just wanted to be like her living the high life. Instead I got stuck at this stupid high school giving out Minor In Possession and Assault tickets. It’s more like baby sitting then police work.” Whines Tennant. In a recent study statistics show that there is somewhat of a cop hierarchy. On top there are the cops that bust in to party and ruin the night, next the cops who drive up and down Colfax with pens cocked and ready to write a ticket. Then of course the mall cops, and finally at the bottom, the useless school cops. This study may or may not be Tennant’s source of demotivation, but whatever the true source is, the deans are struggling to get him back on track. “Who will watch the ‘E’ 24/7 and take up a very convenient parking spot on Esplanade every day? Who is going to stand uselessly in the corner of the Panek Gym as hundreds of students walk by hammered and fornicate on the dance floor? Without Officer Lou, our school could fall into total chaos!” Vents a frustrated dean. Student reactions have also been unexpectedly negative as well. One student states, “It was fun at first, you know, going up next to a cop with a 40 oz. and a blunt, I got some great pictures for my tumblr. Now that I’m used to it though, it’s just taking all the fun out of everything.” Clearly something needs to be done about this blissfully ignorant rogue cop, but what? How can a hopeless man regain his dreams and determination? If not the blatant act of waving a fat joint in the face of the law, then what feat of high school idiocy will bring Tennant back to the land of nightsticks and sirens? What does this mean for the future of East? Only time can tell, but something needs to be done before the school falls into chaos.


page 20


Cult of Tebow Explodes


by Harkadarks


Q: No, the part about the anagram. A: What about an anagram?

Q: I don’t… I… whatever, thank you Mr. Attenson, that is all.

A: Peace of Tebow be with you.

by Big Foot’s Harry Son




You will live to be a 94 year old woman with 4 cats regardless of your current gender.

You will experience a tragedy. All I can say is that it will be extremely tragic. If you are given a box of chocolates shaped like a heart on Valentine’s day, don’t eat them. They are poison.

Don’t forget that there is an extra day this month. Yup, that’s all the advice you get this time around. Cancer

photo by Saad Moosajee

photo by Gabe O’Connell

by Lame O’Connell

iles of recognition for Denver’s newest religious addition were submitted to the Colorado State Courthouse on Saturday. “The Church of the Second Coming of Our Lord: Jesus Christ Reincarnated into the Holy and Relatively Coordinated Tim Tebow” has already developed a following in the teens and appears to be growing fast. The following is a brief ‘Q and A’ with Ivan T. Attenson, the president, postmaster, CEO, general administrator and “Red Pope of the Coming Dawn,” of the CSCOLJCRHRCTT, on January 29, concerning the founding of his new religion. Question: So, how did you come up with the founding principles for your religion, and when? Answer: Okay, first off, I didn’t “come up” with the guiding light of our religion. I was divinely inspired while watching Tim Tebow’s first game against the Chargers. That’s when I knew with every fiber of my being that I existed only to worship him. Q: You mentioned worship? Please elaborate on your church’s specific practices regarding worship ceremonies. A: What you gotta understand here is that we’re still at a very early phase. We don’t have, y’know, any doctrines yet or anything, but we’re pretty open to suggestions. Usually though, we all gather at Jim’s hou- er… I mean the Sacred Tebow Time Temple an hour or so before a game, and pray for a half an hour before kicking off the Consumption. Q: And uh, what is your style of prayer? A: Well, we usually all take a knee and sort of um… y’know drape a hand over it and place our head down over that. Q: …you mean like Tebow’s touchdown celebration? A: Exactly. We like to call this stance “The Drape” and we believe it to be the position at which Chi is most easily tapped into and manipulated. Q: You mentioned something about Chi. Care to elaborate? A: No I didn’t. Q: Forget it. Earlier you mentioned something about a consumption? What’s that about? A: Yeah, well usually during the game Deb likes to make nachos. Nachos are the holiest food, you understand. The three points of the chip represent the Holy Trinity, and the cheese on top is Tebow. See, a lot of people think that we think Tebow is Jesus’ second coming or something. Really though, we think it’s more like the nacho diagram; Tebow is the cheese to Jesus’ nachos. Q: So you consider yourselves Christians? A: Well, there’s no denying the numerous similarities between biblical Jesus and Tebow. Q: Such as? A: Well um, Jesus and Tebow both are five letters, and Tebow was homeschooled. Historians tell us that Jesus, also, did not attend public school, and the Broncos game in the quarter finals is similar to Jesus’ crucifixion: The game was painful to watch, surely, and “New England Patriots” is an anagram for “Pontius Pilate.” Q: …I’m pretty sure that’s incorrect. A: No, see they didn’t have educational institutions like ours in Jesus’ day, so-

February 10th, 2012


ast High admin. announced last Friday that Dean Anderson will return to his small home town in the Cajun Bayou in March. Anderson, who has been East’s toughest dean for many years, was allowed to immigrate from the Suthun’ Bayou three

years ago as part of a government program to teach Southerners how to speak English. Unfortunately, his work visa expires this coming March, and East will have to hire a new dean to organize hall sweeps and talk about their mamma’s jambalaya. In a faculty meeting last week Principal Mendelsberg wished Mr. Anderson well, and said that, “Dean Anderson has done more for this school than any previous dean. Never before in East history have the students put so much effort into disguising their lack of sobriety. The man will be missed, that is for sure. I’m short.” As for the security of his future in the South, Anderson told the East community not to worry because, “I already got me a job catchin’ squirrels for the local grocery. Them suckers is fast, but they ain’t no faster than students ditchin’ class.” Anderson will be missed, undoubtedly by almost every goody two shoes in the school. On aspect of the government program that landed him the job in the first place will be to share what he learned about America with his fellow Bayouans. No doubt, the folks down south will be shaking everyone’s hands, running incredibly fast, and scowling at children in no time.

Horoscopes Leo




Yelling racial slurs in public isn’t the best way to receive the attention you desire.


When in doubt, listen to the wise words of Hall & Oates. You’re a rich girl and you’ve gone too far. We all know that the pole in your room isn’t really for exercise. Remember that one time at that one party when you wanted to do that one thing, well you will finally do it this weekend.




Shaving your head, legs and armpits will not make you more aerodynamic when you ski. Unless of course you ski in the nude. It is highly likely that you will see a leprechaun on February 29th this year. If so, ask for a refund. If you wanted to keep that pillow you loved, you shouldn’t have used it as a sponge. If you come across a single balloon floating into the abyss, remember the color. It will get you out a of a bad situation at some point.

February 2012  
February 2012  

February 2012 east spotlight