volume 44, no. 3 • friday, dec. 21, 2012
Team raises funds for Andy Parrish
Road tripping on the
An evening of mystery
By IonaPearl Reid-Eaton Business Manager
As Andy Parrish crossed NC 54 towards his home in Woodcroft Aug. 15, he was struck by a car. Parrish, son of former basketball coach Larry Parrish, suffered injuries to his ribs, arm, vertebrae, ankle, eye and brain. In response to the accident, his coworkers from Harris Teeter sponsored a benefit for him at Triangle Presbyterian Church Oct. 6, the TCBY near his job held a fundraiser Nov. 6 and the men’s basketball team held a benefit at Chick-Fil-A Dec. 19. Varsity head coach Kim Annas said that he chose Chick-Fil-A for the fundraiser because Andy Parrish loves three things: North Carolina State University, Jordan basketball and Chick-Fil-A. “We felt like that’d be a great way to kind of raise money for him, but at the same time, have the guys give back to him,” Annas said. “… There is a big void that we have to fill because he was such a versatile part of our program. We just felt like it would be great to have the guys interact with the community, and if people don’t know Andy, they can learn who he is through the guys.” Andy Parrish has worked with the men’s basketball teams for the past 11 years, performing such tasks as washing uniforms, videotaping games and recording player and team statistics. Senior K.J. Alston, who has known both Parrishes since his freshman year on the team, said that he was at the YMCA with teammates when he found out about the accident through an email sent by Annas. “It was very nerve-wracking,” Alston said. “I couldn’t believe that that had happened – [Andy is] such a good person. We didn’t know the whole story or what exactly happened, so we didn’t know how badly he was hurt.” Annas said that Andy Parrish’s optimism and keenness to complete jobs most people find trivial make him a valuable asset to the men’s basketball program. “There are a lot of people today who are too prideful to do certain
see PARRISH page 3
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News Features Opinion Sports
jordan high school 6806 garrett road durham, nc 27707 falconscry.org Clockwise from top, Wadsworth the Butler, played by senior Alex DuBois, cracks a joke that the audience, but not Mrs. Peacock and Mr. Boddy, played by seniors Carling Counter and Josh Allen, respectively, finds humorous. Senior Julia Waters looks over the Clue script during a dress rehearsal Nov. 29. Waters is one of theater teacher Olivia Garcia’s two independent study students, and she planned on directing the fall play as her major project for the year. Instead, Waters acted as the stage manager for the class performance. Mrs. Peacock, Ms. White, played by senior Elise Kimple, and Colonel Mustard, played by senior Akiel Pyant, react to a confession made by Professor Plum, played by senior Nick Eze, during the dinner scene. White and Plum examine incriminating photos of Scarlet and Mustard. Miss Scarlet, played by senior Lindsey Young, puts a hand on Colonel Mustard’s shoulder as Wadsworth exposes their affair.
Photos by Starlyn Combs
Theater 4 students showcase Clue in auditorium Because the auditorium was closed for the first two months of school while facility workers removed asbestos, the drama program was unable to stage a large-scale fall performance in the space. Instead, Theater Arts 3 students performed the musical Into the Woods at local elementary schools, and Theater Arts 4 students planned to present a Mystery Dessert Theater performance of
Clue in the classroom black box theater. But workers removed the asbestos in the main part of the auditorium in time for a few performances of Into the Woods and for the Theater 4 class to use it for the Clue show Nov. 30. Based on the board game, Clue follows seven characters as they attend a dinner, at which they learn that each of them has been blackmailed by the same
person. Multiple murders ensue, and more secrets unfold as the dinner guests attempt to identify the killer. Students adapted the 1985 movie script to work for the stage, which included blocking where the actors would stand and move. The performance was free, but patrons could make donations to support theater arts. - IonaPearl Reid-Eaton
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Aspiring environmentalists experiment on ecosystems By Ellen Yuan Features Editor
In the past month, AP Environmental Science students participated in a project in which they created models of different ecosystems called eco-columns. Each group of four to five students created a miniature representation with 2-liter bottles. The groups divided their eco-columns into terrestrial, decomposition and aquatic ecosystem representations that connected to one another. Students added worms, fruit flies, soil, fish, snails and plants to their models and observed them. To simulate rainwater, students poured water through their ecocolumns. Senior Gabby Fudale said that the purpose of the project was to observe how the components of ecosystems interact with one another. “In environmental science, we learn, essentially, about the environment and how different factors interact within it,” Fudale said. “This can be seen in our eco-columns. Though nature is not one large column with one ecosystem stacked upon another, the natural interaction is there, and this is likely the best way we can study it.” For the first half of the project, Fudale and her group members measured levels of potential hydrogen – or pH – and dissolved oxygen; later, they wrote a lab report detailing their observations. Fudale said that she
liked the interactive aspect of the project. “My favorite thing about the project is getting to watch our micro-ecosystems function as if they were in nature,” Fudale said. “It’s also kind of interesting that a lot of the students have bonded with their fish in their eco-columns. At the beginning of every class, students will run over to their ecocolumns to check on their fish and make sure they’re OK.” Each group determined the composition of the miniature ecosystems and what factors it would measure. Science teacher Terrance Burgess said that the groups enjoyed comparing their results. “One particular group is looking at the effects of fertilizer on not only the land but the water,” Burgess said. “The interesting thing is that they don’t have any plant growth now, but they have a lot of nitrogen in their water. One group did the exact same thing, but they had an explosion of plants in their terrestrial column … .” When Burgess was student teaching at Northern, his mentor teacher assigned a similar project that was only two-weeks long. Burgess designed this project with his mentor in mind. He said that he decided to make it one month long because the class meets every other day, and his schedule enables students to observe more drastic changes over a longer period of time. Burgess said that the few prob-
Maliyah Tan/Falcon’s Cry
Environmental science students in Davida LaCosse’s class created eco-columns out of 2-liter bottles which are divided into terrestreial, decomposition and aquatic ecosystem levels. lems students have had with the eco-columns have served as learning experiences. “It’s easier for me as the teacher to say, ‘Don’t do that,’ but they won’t learn anything unless they actually do it,” Burgess said. “A group on the first day brought in compost, so we already talked about pH, and one of the students didn’t realize that there was coffee grounds in the compost. Now she knows that coffee is very acidic, so when they put in their decomposition and it rained in their
ecosystem, their water turned black pretty much instantly, so the fish that was in there lived for a couple of hours.” Junior Alexis Crewse, whose group’s compost contained the coffee grounds, said that Burgess has given students a lot of independence on the project, which she has enjoyed. Further, she liked how the project connected to the school grounds. “We have a lot of control over what we do,” Crewse said. “It’s interesting because we got a lot of stuff on Jordan’s campus.
We have crickets and grass … so it’s really cool to see the ecosystem around Jordan … .” Crewse said that since her group’s fish died on the first day, she and her group members had to adjust their project. They decided to look at the effect of adding nitrogen, in the form of fertilizer, to the soil in the miniature ecosystem, which enhanced the oxygen content. “Right now, we’re [keeping it with the coffee grounds in the water] because this kind of stuff will happen in nature,” Crewse said. “Mr. Burgess suggested that we leave it as it is and try to see if adding nitrogen by fertilizer to water will help clear up the water in the aquatic system … .” For their summer assignment, students had to design ecosystem projects that could be maintained in classroom environments, and Burgess said that some of his students were able to use the designs for this project, even though the two were not intended to overlap. “They’ll have other projects that they’ll have to complete, but this serves as more or less a review of things that we’ve learned,” Burgess said. “It’s a good point where instead of me actually teaching them about different ecosystems and them not having any hands-on experience with it, they actually get to put it together and determine the different kinds of ecosystems.”
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friday, dec. 21, 2012
Tri-M society makes plans for Hurricane Sandy relief By Alima Morgan Staff Reporter
This year, the Tri-M honor society’s annual service project will be an event to raise relief funds for Hurricane Sandy victims. Band teacher Andrew Weiss started the school Tri-M chapter when he came to Jordan in 2007, and the group currently has 46 members. Senior Allison Tepperburg, who is vice president, said that the most rewarding aspect of being a part of the Tri-M program is putting together events that help reach the chapter’s goals, which are exposing people to music and giving back to those in need. This year, she has a personal reason for wanting to help. “I know that I have family in New York, Mr. Weiss has family in New York, [and] some other people in Tri-M have family that were affected by the hurricane,” Tepperburg said. “… We’re just doing everything that we can to help these people with that relief fund.” Though the chapter has not fully planned all the details for the event, Tepperburg has discussed ideas with the rest of the honor society. So far, the general plan for the fundraiser is to have a sponsored race and an open carnival on the football field, she said.
Maliyah Tan/Falcon’s Cry
Junior Mariana Castro-Arroyo prepares to hang a coat at the Durham Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert Nov. 30. Members of Tri-M volunteered at the event. “We are hoping to try and plan a [five-kiliometer race] in the spring just around Jordan track … and maybe fun and games in the middle of the track, while people are walking or running or jogging or whatever,” Tepperburg said. “Maybe [we could have] a dunking machine and ways that people can get informed about
Hurricane Sandy fundraisers that could last the whole day and also be a festival.” The money will be donated to the Hurricane Sandy relief fund of the American Red Cross. The exact monetary goals have not been set, according to chapter treasurer senior Akiel Pyant. “Nothing’s too little, and
nothing’s too big, just as long as we can help the victims of Hurricane Sandy,” Pyant said. “It doesn’t matter how much money we make.” The five officers of the honor society meet monthly and they plan to discuss the service project soon. During whole-chapter meetings, the officers share what they have talked about separately for input from the members. Pyant is new to Tri-M, and he said that being in the group supports his chorus education. During the meetings, Pyant works with chorus, band and orchestra students to learn about music. “This is my first year being in chorus, and … I’m new to Tri-M honor society, so this is all very new to me,” Pyant said. “… I’ve had a really good experience with Mr. Weiss and the rest of the students.” Senior Ransom Pate, the chapter historian, said that other than the Hurricane Sandy relief project, the chapter members will start music tutoring after the winter break. The tutoring will be open to anyone, no matter what his or her experience level is. “We’re going to try and get people from the band, the chorus, [and] from the orchestra [to do the tutoring],” Pate said. “If you want to learn how to sing or play an instrument, it would
be a good place to come.” Pate’s responsibilities include documenting the honor society’s service projects. Though he has not taken any pictures yet, Pate said that he looks forward to taking some of the Tri-M fundraiser. He said that the chapter does good things for the community and that the most rewarding aspect of being involved is being about to volunteer with people that share interests. “Really anybody [can be involved],” Pate said. “I think we’re going to try and open up and see if more of the school can come and have a good experience.” Though Weiss is the supervisor of the chapter, the students collectively decide on the service projects it will complete, Tepperburg said. She said that she directly works with the president of the society, senior Mar LaCosse, and the other officers, and that all of the ideas come from them and the other members of the chapter. “I think it’s a great program that will continue throughout Jordan and nationally, no matter who is [advising] it, because I think it is very student-led,” she said. “The only thing that Mr. Weiss does is approve the things we come up with, so I think that the fact that it’s very studentled means it is very easy for any teacher run it.”
Brain Game team advances Seniors Sam Bacon, Kevin Christopher and Ben Skeen deliberate between takes of Brain Game taping Dec. 8 at the WRAL studios in Raleigh. The team pictured, long with senior Phoebe Wooldridge, defeated Person and Wayne County Day School. The team earned a score of 510, while Person and Wayne received 0 and 310, respectively.
Larry Parrish shakes hands with senior K.J. Alston at Chick-Fil-A Dec. 19. The restaurant held a benefit for Parrish’s son. IonaPearl Reid-Eaton/Falcon’s Cry
PARRISH from page 1 or setting things up before a game, but Andy will do whatever is needed, whatever it takes to get the job done,” Annas said. “It didn’t matter how menial the task or how important the task, Andy will work hard to do it. You just don’t find many people like that.” At the Dec. 7 game against Orange High School, the coaching staff presented Larry Parrish with a plaque commending his son’s work for the team. The Orange game was the first that Larry Parrish was able to attend, and Alston said that he and his teammates
were not aware that he would receive a plaque. Alston said that Andy Parrish’s situation has inspired the team to do well this season. “Andy being hurt this season has given the team a lot of motivation and a lot of will to do good,” Alston said. “We want to do good for him and for Coach Parrish. We know that if they were able to be with us, they would be, and we want to have a good season for them.” Andy Parrish is currently being treated at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro. Updates on Andy’s condition can be found at CaringBridge. org/visit/andyparrish.
Maliyah Tan/Falcon’s Cry
DART earns NASA grant The Durham Area Rocketry Team – including Jordan sophomores James Drezner and Amanda Escalante and senior Marielle LaCosse, as well as students from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and Durham School of the Arts – secured a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to participate in the annual NASA Student Launch Initiative. The team is raising money to travel to Huntsville, Alabama in April 2013 to compete with 20 other middle and high school teams. The goal of the contest is to formulate a rocket – funded by NASA – that will fly a mile into the sky; the team that flies a
falcon Briefs rocket closest to a mile wins. In addition, judges rate the rockets in an array of minor categories like Best Looking Rocket and Most Innovative Experimental Design. Last year, the DART progressed to the national level of the Team America Rocketry Challenge, finishing in 15th place out of 100 teams. This ranking qualified them for the NASA Student Launch Initiative, but NASA rejected their initial proposal last fall. Over the summer
of 2012, the DART formulated a second application, which NASA accepted. The winners of the contest have a chance to earn scholarships from NASA, and university representatives will attend the event in Alabama.
JHS acquires 3-D projector Durham Public Schools presented Jordan with a new three-
dimensional projector unit this year. The unit is portable and came packaged with videos covering science and math topics, as well as electronic 3-D glasses for observers. The projector is stored in science teacher Sarah Wilson’s room, but it is available to all teachers who wish to incorporate it into their curricula. Wilson said that DPS science curriculum coordinator and former Jordan teacher Benjy Downing helped Jordan secure the unit. Science teacher Jeremy Deyton utilized Jordan’s 3-D projector to help his AP Chemistry students visualize three-dimensional molecule bond structures and interactions. Deyton said that the projector can make otherwise complicated concepts easier to understand for students who have trouble picturing them. -Healey Cox-McMahon
English classes perform The Great Gatsby Daniel Miller’s AP English 3 classes performed student-written skits in class Nov. 8-9. The skits were based on The Great Gatsby, a book published in the 1920s about the conflicts in eastern elite society before the Great Depression. Miller gave both his A-day and B-day students approximately two weeks to summarize their assigned portions of the novel into a script that could be enacted in a 10-minute performance during class. Miller also required that students bring in costumes, props and PowerPoints for their stage set. Clockwise from top left, junior’s Allison Shaughnessy and Gabrielle Rupprecht, who played Daisy Buchanan and the narrator – who voices the thoughts of Nick Caraway – respectively, perform a scene from The Great Gatsby in which Daisy prepares to go to lunch after an invitation from her cousin Nick. Nick and his friend Jordan Baker meet the drunken Owl Eyes, a minor character in Gatsby, in the library of Jay Gatsby’s house during a party. Juniors Meg Dondero, Scottie McLeod and Carter Chambliss portray Nick, Owl Eyes and Jordan, respectively. Juniors Kriea Giffen-Dean and Amar Patel act as Daisy and Tom Buchanan, respectively, in an early scene of Gatsby in which they meet Daisy’s cousin after he moves to a nearby location. - Amy Grissom
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friday, dec. 21, 2012
Calendar School Events Dec. 22 - Jan. 2 Winter break Jan. 10 Spoken Ink duo slam 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 Dance concert Jan. 17 End of first semester Jan. 18 Teacher work day and student vacation Jan. 21 Martin Luther King Jr. day and student vacation Jan. 22 Financial aid night 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 Sophomore parent night 6:30 p.m.
Local Events Dec. 21 Blue Suits at Motorco Music Hall 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. $5 admission Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Contra Dance at the Carrboro Century Center 8 p.m. Newcomer lessons; 7:30 $15 admission Dec. 31 - Jan. 1 First Night Raleigh 2 p.m.-12 a.m. Downtown Raleigh Adults $12 and children $10. Kids under five have free admission. Feb. 2 Black History Month parade 12 p.m. Fayetteville St. starting at W. G. Pearson Elementary School Free admission
A look into the life of a page 5
friday, dec. 21, 2012
The Evolution of the undead By Kevin Ostrowski Copy Editor
A ragged arm crashes through a glass window, its flesh ripping on the jagged opening and scattering shards across the tile floor. Oblivious to the pain, the zombie outside moans and thrashes its bleeding limb around the interior of the house, searching for survivors. Clustered in a corner, they console one another, at once reassured by the protective boards holding the monster back and terrified by its proximity. A child, gripped tightly, begins to cry. The beast withdraws and shuffles away, sure to return for brains another day. Zombie scenes like this, in which a small band of survivors often fights the undead, abound in movies, but few people realize where the deceased came from, besides the grave. Near Halloween, social studies teacher Don Jones showed one of his classes a New York Times article explaining the origin of zombies, titled “A Zombie is a Slave Forever” and written by Amy Wilentz. The piece states that Africans traditionally believed the souls of dead people could be captured in bottles for use. In French-controlled Haiti, slave owners exploited their workers’ beliefs to control them, threatening to keep their spirits from passing into the afterlife and thereby make them into zombies. In 1985, The Serpent and the Rainbow – a book, which inspired a movie of the same name – advanced Wade Davis’ claims that zombies in Haiti may have been created by the use of a tetrodotoxin. Davis, a Harvard educated ethnobotanist, claimed that Haitian individuals could keep victims in a death-like trance for years by abusing the chemical. Davis and his research became a source of controversy in the scientific community, and many doubt the authenticity of his work. Jones said that though he had not heard of the Haiti connection before reading Wilentz’s article, the fact that zombies have a link to reality did not surprise
him. “Most of the myths, whether it’s Halloween, whether it’s zombies, whether it’s witchcraft, a lot of those have roots in myths to explain the inexplicable going back centuries,” Jones said. “A lot of pagan rituals … have either been adopted by society and turned into something more secular or just kind of co-opted by major religions.” Although preceded by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, W. B. Seabrook’s The Magic Island, and several other works connecting to Haitian zombies or addressing the risen dead, George Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead depicted zombies as flesh-eating for the first time in film; it has largely become known as the beginning of the zombie genre. As time has passed, zombie movies have changed in character; they once chiefly explained the reanimation phenomenon through technological disasters and portrayed zombies as slowmoving, while they now rely upon viruses as the catalyst for zombie genesis and show a rapid horde of corpses. Jones said that realism, to a degree, is an important aspect of good zombie films. He said that part of their popularity comes from the topic that they address, however. “I think most people are kind of fascinated with things that are beyond explanation,” Jones said. “That’s just a form of escapism, in a different way. I mean, death I think, is something that is often thought about on a lot of different levels, and zombies are kind of a fun way to look at what happens to people gone by.” Although the current image of the carnivorous dead has its roots in film, the hungry prowlers have since infected other media, even branching out into music, in which the term “zombie” has come to mean someone incapable of independent thought. Sophomore Ben Eller plays zombie video games and watches the television series The Walking Dead, in addition to keeping up with the latest movies. “The very first zombie movie I ever saw was the original Dawn of the Dead … ,” Eller said. “I have always had this fascination with the reanimation
aspect of it, and since then, I’ve always been into any affiliation with zombies, like any movies or zombies associated with it.” Most zombie films utilize gore to create a dark atmosphere, but Eller said that one of his favorites, Shaun of the Dead, is actually a comedy. Eller said that for him, zombie movies fall into two categories, depending upon whether they use horror or humor, and he judges each type on different criteria. “Well, I think in order to have a good, more serious zombie movie, you would have to definitely develop a relationship with your main survivor characters, the ones that aren’t infected,” Eller said. “You need to get the viewer emotionally connected to them, because whatever situation they go through, you’re going to be emotionally invested in it with them, and how many of them die or not is sort of up to the director. For the comedy, I think you need a good, dark sense of humor.” When social studies teacher Jamie Sliwa was younger, he researched zombies, among other Halloween monsters, because he feared them and thought that they would become less frightening if he understood them. Sliwa said that he keeps up with zombies in the media, and he has seen their prevalence increase since he first saw them, when he was only around 7 years old. “I would say that they have become more popularized by movies and television shows in the media because we seem to cycle through all our fearful-type creatures,” Sliwa said. “Once we make vampires sparkle, we have to find something else that’s scary.” Sliwa said that the majority of fictional monsters – including zombies, mummies, werewolves and vampires – have historical roots, and vampires in particular provide a strong example of how movie directors and writers in the horror genre shape old ideas to meet the public’s expectations. At the same time, he said that stories of familiar frightening creatures, like zombies, recur in popular culture because of the way they affect people. “I think [these monsters] are coming back because they represent our most basic fears,” Sliwa said. “… The idea of becoming a zombie is the idea of losing yourself, losing your ability to make decisions and get along in the world, and I think that’s one of people’s primary fears.”
The undead through the ages 1968 (film) Night of the Living Dead Radioactive contamination brought the dead back to life.This was the first time a film-maker portrayed zombies as flesh eating creatures. 1978 (film) A world-wide pandemic reanimaimates corpses that prey on humans. This film addresses materialism through its portrayal of the death of a greedy main character.
1985 (novel) 1987 (film) The Serpent and the Rainbow Clairvius Narcisse was taken from his grave and fed an herbal brew which made him come back to life. Narcise is a figure from Hatian religion. People revived in this way are under the control of whoever revived them, and they have no will of their own.
2004 (film) This zombie comedy, a parody of Dawn of the Dead, tells the story of Shaun, a man who is too hungover to notice the zombie apocalypse at first, but eventually has to fight for his life. 2003-2011 (Comic Book), 2010-2012 (Televsion Series) Zombies are created when humans acquire a disease that kills the part of the brain that makes them “human,” causing them to show no empathy and crave human flesh. Graphics by Kareena Gardner and Amy Grissom
features Falcon’s Cry 6 fans create media Fandom: Homestuck surrounding web comic’s plot page six
I fell in love.” While reading the comic online, Woodell researched its background and the allusions that Hussie makes to mythology and stories such as Peter Pan. Additionally, Woodell began to read fanfiction that followers of Homestuck posted on Tumblr, a social media website. She said that her favorite pieces have her OTP, a term fans use to represent ‘one true pairing’. Hers is the couple that she wishes was in the comic the most. “I once read a piece with my two favorite characters that I thought belonged Graphic by Cassidy Woodell together, and they were written into the story together,” Woodell said. “I think that was probably my favorite. Plus, it was well-written. It’s hard to find fanfiction that is grammatically correct.” Senior Amy Hillsman said that because anything can be posted on the Internet, fanfiction is typically not well edited, and she is picky about both content and grammar of what she reads. “I don’t read that much fanfiction,” Hillsman said. “What I do read is usually really well-written, even if it is not too based on the Artists Cassidy Woodell and Kareena actual stories that the Gardner have created Fanart for Home- characters are in.” stuck characters. Garner’s reflects her Hillsman follows OTP, Rose and John. Woodell drew a Homestuck, and she realistic representation of a troll from looks for fanfiction that Homestuck named Vriska Serket. stays true to the original
Additional fanfiction websites
By Amy Grissom “A young man stands in his bedroom…” begins the web comic Homestuck by Andrew Hussie. The comic continues with thousands of slides of cartoons, flash animations, interactive games and character dialogues. The creators raised $700,000 in one day to fund the release of a videogame in 2014. Beyond Hussie’s comic, fans further develop the world of Homestuck through their own creations. Fanfiction and fanart, written stories and art pieces created by fans, incorporate the original characters and or settings of television shows, books, graphic novels and even web comics like Homestuck. Senior Cassidy Woodell said that once she discovered Homestuck, it took her approximately three months to catch up with the comic, which Hussie updates as many as three times a week. Although she thought it was weird at first, it quickly drew her interest. “I had a friend that had this shirt that has this really weird looking guy on it,” Woodell said. “It was from another one of Hussie’s comics called Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, which is a whole different story entirely. I thought [Homestuck] was the dumbest thing in the world, but then my friend got my boyfriend into it, so I started reading it, and
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Graphic by Kareena Gardner
characters because the author intended them to behave a certain way. For that reason, she does not read fanfiction that puts incompatible characters together, nor does she include them in her own fanfiction, which she publishes on Deviantart, a website where many fans post their pieces. “If their personality doesn’t work together, then you shouldn’t put them together in any sort of relationship,” Hillsman said. “I try to stay true to the characters when I’m writing it. There is this one girl in Homestuck who is really reserved, and she likes reading these books about dark magic. That is what she was doing in my story. She was exploring dark magic. She was more absorbed in her books than talking to the other characters, and that is what she is like, [who] she is in the comic.” In addition to the fanfiction, Hillsman publishes her fanart on Deviantart, though the site is not exclusive to Homestuck content. Through the website, members can join groups that will connect them to specific fanfiction, like Homestuck, or other publications that do not have to do with fandom. On both her fanfiction and fanart posts on blogs, Hillsman said that she receives comments that provide encouragement. Hillsman’s friend, junior Kriea Giffen-Dean, also publishes her artwork on Deviantart. Griffin-Dean said that she began drawing fanart pieces as soon as she started reading Homestuck about a year ago, when Hills-
man introduced it to her. Most of her pieces remain unfinished and unpublished; in total, she estimates that she has published 10 pieces. The sense of community that comes with putting pieces online is part of reason GriffinDean enjoys publishing fanart, she said. “I mean, there is a lot of friendliness in general,” Griffin-Dean said. “It’s kind of like a family even though you’ve never met most of these people, and you probably never will. It’s just, people are really nice, even if your art isn’t really that great. I mean, it’s really nice to have someone like that.” Giffen-Dean said that despite the tremendous popularity of Homestuck online, Jordan students have not shown much interest in the comic, but the readership is increasing. She said that she plans on buying a sweatshirt with a Homestuck character on it with the hope of attracting the attention of other people and creating further discussion, because the group she talks to within Jordan is still limited in size. “When I first started reading Homestuck, I only knew one person who read Homestuck,” Giffen-Dean said. “I think it is starting to catch on because there are at least seven people that I know of. … Most of it is just us telling our friends, ‘You should read this. I know it’s crazy, but just try it.’ It’s a lot of that. It’s going to grow because once you have a few people in a group who really like something, they are getting other people to like it, too.”
In addition to Homestuck,fanficton and fanart exists for other books and television shows including the Harry Potter and Twilight series and Dr. Who. The website FanFiction.net is for fanfiction of all genres. On the website, the most popular fanfiction pieces are about Harry Potter and Twilight characters with over 100,000 pieces each. Other forums for fanfiction include: percyjacksonfaN fiction.webs.com
whofic.com twilighted.net theforce.net
Onedirection fanfiction.com LOTR fanfiction.com
HarrypotteR fanfiction.com homestuckfanfiction. deviantart.com hungergames fanfiction.com
supernatural ville.net gleefanfiction.com justinbieber fanfiction.com
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Several small scholarships make larger difference By Amy Grissom News Editor
Jordan students in the Class of 2012 collectively received $7.5 million in scholarships, which students depend on every year to attend college. Additionally in 2012, enrolling undergrads received over $20 million dollars in scholarships at the district level. According to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition has risen 5.6 percent each year since 2001. Because of this increase, students have become more dependent upon financial aid and scholarships. According to the NCES National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, students typically receive on average $2,523.31 in scholarships. In addition, the NCES reports that the government has awarded an average of $9,100 in financial aid per undergraduate student who gets aid. In a survey conducted by the Institute for College Access and Success, the average student debt is $26,500 after college. Because the financial burden of student loans can become overwhelming, applying for scholarships is always helpful, guidance counselor Paula Cook said. She said that even in instances where families are able to pay full tuition, students should apply for scholarships because the money could be used to pay for graduate school after college. “There are a lot of scholarships that don’t get claimed because not enough people have signed up for them,” Cook said. “Those small amounts add up. Some students think because they are not getting a full ride or thousands
of dollars that it’s not worth their time.” Cook said that although some students do receive full scholarships, many students pay for college through financial aid and accumulated small scholarships of $500 to $1000 amounts. “I met a counselor at a conference recently whose sons – she has one who went to Duke [University] and one who went to Stanford [University] – and they applied to probably 30 scholarships a month and paid for their education at those schools through scholarships,” Cook said. “… It would be nice if every student could get a full ride scholarship, but there’s just not that many out there. I see a lot of kids that apply for scholarships more in the spring because we have a lot of local scholarships that become available in the spring.” Every year, the Jordan PTSA awards a scholarship worth $500 to a senior applicant. Guidance counselor Elizabeth Gordon, who also has two daughters in college, said that despite her expectations, only approximately 30 students apply because those who do not apply tend to be more concerned with the full scholarships. She said that it is more strategic to apply for several scholarships because students have better odds. “I had [my daughters] try to apply for [many] scholarships, just like I encourage other students to apply, but the difference is I could make them do it,” Gordon said. “… They did get more noes than yeses, but that’s how it’s going to be. That’s why you need to fill out numerous scholarships. If you do that, you will get some
Maliyah Tan/Falcon’s Cry
Senior Chantel Carter fills out information on College Applications Day, Nov. 15. Guidance Counselor Paula Cook said that though many students focus only on full-ride scholarships, many smaller scholarships go unclaimed. money. I can’t stress the small scholarships [enough].” Because she lives in a singleparent home, junior Carrie Nowell – who will graduate early – decided that she would only apply for full scholarships such as the Robertson Scholarship Program for Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Ronald Reagan Scholarship. Nowell said that she plans on applying primarily to private institutions where the tuition is much higher, so larger scholarships will benefit her. “I need more financial support since I’ll be mostly on my own and private institutions are so expensive and are in the $50,000 range,” Nowell said. “If I don’t get grants from the schools, I’m going to have to find a way to pay for that. It makes a whole lot more sense to try to find a full ride, to me, than to find fifty $1000 scholarships, especially because a lot of time you only have
time to apply to one a year.” Nowell said that seeing her sister, who graduated from Jordan eight years ago, go through the admissions process helped her make decisions about applications and scholarships. She said that her sister’s college applications helped her decide that small scholarships would not help her enough in the long term. “She did a lot of the little [scholarships] for working towards the big stuff … ,” Nowell said. “She also had more financial support at that point than I did, and so she did more of the little stuff because it was all she needed.” Although she has done most of the research for college applications and scholarships on her own, Nowell said that it was through Cook that she discovered new options such as the Ronald Reagan Scholarship. “[Cook] doesn’t know me that well, but she does know I am
really into psychology,” Nowell said. “If there was an opportunity for some kind of psychology scholarship she would specifically point it out to me, or forward it to me or give it to me when I come in … .” Gordon said that it is key to establish good relationships with high school counselors because knowing students helps counselors distribute information that better applies to specific students. In addition, it helps counselors to know students when they write letters of recommendation. “If I have met a student three or four times and I know things about them and then something comes through about specific scholarships, I’m going to bring in that student who I know,” Gordon said. “We will put something on the [announcements] or Ms. Cook will send out an email, but you don’t always get them. But if I call you in, you are much more likely to fill it out.”
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friday, dec. 21, 2012
Twins and triplets reflect on life with siblings By Alima Morgan Staff Reporter
In the grocery store checkout line, three sisters wait for their goods to be scanned, bagged and rung up. The cashier sees two of the girls and notices their similar looks. “Are you guys twins?” he asks. The girls smile, and gesture to their third sister. “Well, there’s three of us.” This scenario happens regularly to the Whitcomb triplets, freshman Isabel Whitcomb said. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of twin births in the United States rose from 18.9 to 33.3 per 1,000 births from 1980 to 2009, a 76 percent increase. The NCHS attributes the growth to the increased age of women having children and more frequent use of infertility treatments. Mothers over age 30 have a higher chance of giving birth to multiples because older women are more likely to have double ovulation, according to Human Reproduction. Further, the increased use of medicine in a controlled environment increases the chance of having multiples, according to the NCHS. Whitcomb is a fraternal triplet with identical sisters. She said that she remembers being involved in twin and triplet matching customs. “My mom wasn’t really into [dressing us the same], but we [did],” Whitcomb said. “I think until we were about 4 or 5, she bought all these outfits, but she got them in different colors.” Whitcomb said that she prefers being the fraternal sister. She said that while she was raised with her siblings, her mother saw her as separate from them. “[Our mother let us do what] we wanted to, but she knew that I was different,” Whitcomb said. “I was more interested in other things, [while] my other two sisters were more interested in sports and stuff, and I wasn’t into that stuff.” Since Whitcomb shares a birthday and a group of friends with her sisters, she said that she often does not feel like an individual among her peers. She said that she would rather be identified as her own person in social groups. “… If we’re getting invited somewhere, they’ll say, ‘Let’s invite the triplets,’” Whitcomb said. “You’re not named as an individual. You’re kind of a group.”
Graphic by Maliyah Tan
Juniors Caroline and William Fowler are fraternal twins and have no other siblings. William Fowler said that his relationship with his sister is no different from what he imagines it would be if they were not twins. Junior William Fowler said that he does not see his relationship with his fraternal twin sister, junior Caroline Fowler, as a unique one, since they have no other siblings. “It’s not really that different,” William Fowler said. “I mean, the only difference really … between siblings and being fraternal twins is that we’re the same age, so we have the same stuff going on.” Even though the twins have a close relationship, they cannot read each other’s minds, William Fowler said. This phenomenon, which professor and twin Horatio Newman first studied in 1942, claims that twins have insight into each other’s minds so they think the same things, feel each other’s pain, and even see and hear what the other is thinking when they are in separate places, according to Shift magazine, published by the Institute of Noetic Sciences. “We don’t have telepathy,” William Fowler said. “I mean, only sometimes, but it’s usually based off of facial expressions. It’s not telepathy.” Although no definitive scientific research exists to prove twin telepathy, journalist Guy Playfair gathered many anecdotes for his book on the subject that suggest that twins do share degrees of bonding that can go
so far as enabling them to finish each other’s sentences. Caroline Fowler said that she and her brother occasionally say things in unison, but that it is pure coincidence. “I mean, sometimes we say the same thing at the same time, but it doesn’t happen a lot at all,” she said. “… It happens once every few months, so it’s like with normal siblings or just like with your friends … .” Since the Fowler twins are the same age and do most the same things at the same time, they have a noticeably stronger bond than they would if they were regular siblings, William Fowler said. Caroline Fowler said that she feels apprehensive about her separation from her brother in the future, since she is so used to being with him. “Whenever he is away … or I’ll go away for a long time … I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s weird to be away [from him], or to not see him,” Caroline Fowler said. “I’m kind of weirded out for college, because we’re probably not going to go to the same college, so if we don’t go to the same college, then we’re going to be separated for a long time. That’s the first time we’re really going to be separated from each other, and that’s going to be really weird.”
Maggie Harris Senior Maggie Harris was 15 years old when she had her first seizure. She said that she got a weird feeling in the middle of the night, so she went into her mother’s room to sleep with her. Then, she told her mom, “It’s happening.” She went numb. Her limbs were moving, but she did not know which way, she said. Eventually unconscious, she dropped to the floor, and her mother witnessed her have a grand mal seizure, which marked the beginning of her epilepsy. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is a disorder that produces seizures. In 2010, Harris was diagnosed with two types of seizures: grand mal and petit mal. Grand mals, or Generalized Tonic Clonic seizures, are the most well-known kind and the kind more people have. They are characterized by a stiffening of the limbs followed by jerking limbs. Petit mals, or absence seizures, are small lapses in awareness that are accompanied by intense pain. Harris said that she has had three grand mals in her life and that she has around 10 petits every day. Her seizures are usually provoked by extreme stress or strenuous activities. She said that the petits have occurred in classes, but she can hide them. During these shorter, secondslong seizures, she retains consciousness. “[Petits] are pretty painful for me,” Harris said. “Anytime I use a lot of force or exercise, I can definitely feel it, and I have to stop because it’s so painful.” In middle school, Harris won multiple athletic and academic awards. After she was diagnosed with epilepsy, she had to stop playing soccer and
basketball because the physical activity caused too many seizures. When Harris was diagnosed, she started taking various medications to suppress the seizures, but they cause an array of other side effects, including liver problems, weight changes, fatigue and insomnia. Harris said that one side effect that had an extreme consequence on her was short-term memory loss, which caused her grades to drop dramatically. “I remember sophomore year I would spend all night studying for AP Government,” Harris said. “When I’d take the test the next day, I’d just sit there and cry because I couldn’t remember anything, because … I couldn’t retain anything.” Children who develop epilepsy usually grow out of it. Harris, however, got it as a teenager, so she will most likely have it for her whole life, she said. “I feel like, just growing up as a teenage girl, you already have enough to worry about [without epilepsy],” Harris said. “There were some times when I would have a doctor’s appointment once a week, and I did this throughout the year, and it was miserable, and I’d have no social life.” Harris said that epilepsy medications make her tired, so she has to be in bed by 9 or 10 p.m. every night and cannot stay out late. Epilepsy has negatively affected her both physically and emotionally, but she is learning to accept her condition. “During the first year I held a grudge against everyone because they were so happy and I was so miserable,” Harris said. “You kind of get past that, though, and you realize everyone else has their own problems.” – Kareena Gardner
Senior Maggie Harris played soccer until she developed epilepsy. She played for the soccer association Triangle United as well as for Jordan. Now, exerting energy causes seizures, so she can Photo Courtesy of Maggie Harris no longer play.
9 Immigrant student works for pride to support family’s income friday, dec. 21, 2012
By IonaPearl Reid-Eaton Business Manager
Senior Alane Llanga works up to 40 hours each week at the McDonald’s on NC 55; she takes the Durham Area Transit Authority bus to her job directly after school, sometimes working until 11 p.m. and not arriving home until 12:30 a.m. Though Llanga only makes $7.25 an hour, she earns more money than her mother, who works at a local hotel. All of Llanga’s money goes to pay her family’s phone, water, electric and other bills. Llanga began working at McDonald’s over the summer. She said that though some of her friends have jobs as well, they do not work as many hours as she does, and their families do not depend on them to work in order to pay the bills. “I’m really proud because I don’t know who’s going to be working 40 hours and give all their money to their mom,” Llanga said. “I have friends, and I tell them [how much I work], and they’re like, ‘Nuh-uh! I can’t do that! Give my money to my mama like that? I ain’t going to work
Senior Alane Llanga cleans the counter at McDonald’s Dec. 12. Llanga moved to United States three years ago and all her money goes to pay for her family’s bills. Amy Grissom/Falcon’s Cry
for her!’ and I feel like, ‘Wow. You can’t stay with me because you’re a different person.’” Llanga was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and lived there until three years ago, when she, her mother and two younger siblings traveled to the Gabonese Republic on foot, a two-day trek from their home. From there, the family sought political asylum in the United States and moved to Durham. Llanga’s first language is Lingala, but she speaks French and English as well. She said that
her mother has more difficulty finding a well-paying job because she cannot speak English. “We came here for a better life,” Llanga said. “We are refugees who came here for freedom. The U.S. government helped us to peace, but it’s not for free.” Llanga said that her family owes the government $5,000 for asylum; they pay in installments of about $168 every month. When her family lived in the Congo, Llanga’s mother was a businesswoman who often traveled, and the family had
more than enough money live on. Llanga’s mother did not allow her to have a job while there, Llanga said. “I’m African, so with this kind of cultural stuff, you have to help [your family],” Llanga said. “… For graduation, I have to pay for pictures, everything like that, and the money I have at McDonalds don’t help me a lot with that, so that’s why I’m looking for a second job, so I can make sure everything will be ready for my graduation … .” English as a Second Language teacher Miriam Granados has Llanga as a student, and said that she is constantly surprised by Llanga’s vivacity despite the adversity she faces juggling school with supporting her family. “I think that immigrant students, or any students who help their families like that, are proud to work,” Granados said. “I think that there is a sense of pride in contributing to the welfare of [one’s] family.” Jennifer Painter, also an ESL teacher, said that over her years at Jordan, she has taught many students who had to work to contribute to their families’ incomes. She said that
she has witnessed academically motivated students drop out of school because they had to provide for their families. “I think it’s always been a reality for immigrant families,” Painter said. “I think also sometimes, families are separated, and if they aren’t all together, a child has to go into an adult role before they live otherwise because maybe it’s a single parent and they’re the oldest sibling in the family.” Painter said that knowing students who have to contribute to their family income has made her more aware and appreciative of the privileges that she had growing up. She said that immigrant families place more emphasis on the welfare of the group than the person. “U.S. culture is often very focused on individual achievement, and I think sometimes in immigrant families, the individual sacrifices for what the group needs,” Painter said. “If the family needs the student to work, that’s probably not what the parents want to happen, but there’s an understanding that that might be what needs to happen at the time.”
Animal lovers volunteer at shelters By Cole Ronk Staff Reporter
One day, a man walked into the Animal Protection Society of Durham where senior Tristan Keith volunteers carrying a small pit bull puppy. He told the woman at the front desk that the puppy was a present for his girlfriend, but she did not want a dog. The lady nodded and asked him to sit down while she went over some paperwork. A few minutes later, she finished and told the man that if the shelter were to take him, the shelter might have to put him down. The man took the papers and after an hour, relinquished his small, brown-eyed dog to the staff. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy reports that 20 percent of people that adopt dogs from shelters end up returning them. The leading cause of death in healthy dogs and cats is euthanasia by shelters, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Despite these statistics and having countless tragic experiences, Keith said that volunteering at an animal shelter is rewarding. Keith started volunteering as part of a job shadowing assignment for her Advanced Studies class in animal science. Keith said that though volunteering was initially for a class, it has turned into much more; she said that she wants to be
a veterinary technician who assists veterinarians and doctors with treatment. At the shelter, Keith files papers and works the front desk, answering clients’ questions and helping them choose pets to adopt. At most APS shelters, volunteers under 18 require guardian supervision when working with animals. She said that working with the staff and the clients is enjoyable. “It’s a great place, and I wish a lot more people would go to animal shelters to find dogs because there are some sweet, beautiful, friendly dogs out there,” Keith said. “It’s just a real mellow place. Everyone’s just so friendly and it’s just so much fun.” Senior Alandra Williams also volunteers at the APS of Durham for her CTE course. Williams said that she works alongside her mother every Saturday to walk the dogs and give them treats, potty breaks and much-needed attention. She said that volunteering at the shelter is one of the most rewarding experiences that she’s had. “I keep begging my mom to let me go back [to the shelter], and I honestly enjoy being there with the dogs,” Williams said. “It’s nice to make an animal happy, and people are like, ‘How do you make an animal happy?’ You make an animal happy just by giving it attention, and I love just making an animal happy. It’s very enjoyable.” Of the 5 million companion animals
that enter shelters each year, 3.5 million are euthanized, according to the American Humane Society. Williams said that the rate at which shelters euthanize does not necessarily depend on the number of animals but instead on their characteristics. If a dog is aggressive, it is not going to get adopted and most likely will get euthanized, she said. “The most popular dogs are exceptionally friendly and therefore, more likely to get adopted,” she said. “Most of the time, the popular dogs are the ones that everybody loves … the dog can be put into a room with a hundred strangers and be friendly to each and every one of them. Those are the dogs that become popular.” Many people do not take strays and other animals to pounds because of the high euthanization rate, which paints a negative image of shelters, Williams said. “Most people think of an animal shelter as a bad place,” she said. “It’s not that way. People try to paint pictures of an animal shelter as this place that leads to an animal’s death, and it’s not that way. I would want to make people see the way I see animal shelters. I think the positives outweigh the negatives, but it’s really hard to get other people to see the way I see.” Senior Brittany Durham volunteered at the APS of Caswell County for her CTE class. Durham distributes food for the cats and dogs while shadowing her aunt, who
Photo courtesy of Alandra Williams
Senior Alandra Williams plays with a dog at the Animal Protection Society of Durham. Williams volunteers every Saturday at the APS. also works at the shelter. Though Caswell is far from Jordan, it is the closest shelter that allows people under 18 to work with animals without guardian supervision. Durham said that she wants to become a veterinarian, like her aunt. Though Durham has only volunteered once, she said that she intends on returning as soon as she can. She said that the shelter does not have as many resources for cats, like food, and that wild cats are almost always euthanized. “I know a lot of the cats that were put down were feral, and they don’t have the room or space or time to socialize them,” Durham said. “… [Pet cats] have plenty of people to love them and stuff. These ferals are just wild basically.”
page ten The Golden Compass Philip Pullman
The first of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass creates a world where one’s soul is represented externally, in the form of an animal. The book follows heroine Lyra as she discovers the mysteries of the universe.
The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical comedy that explores aestheticism, the appreciation of beauty, and hedonism, the belief that humans live solely for pleasure, in Victorian society through the clever use of tasteful humor, puns and insults.
V for Vendetta Alan Moore and David Lloyd
In this graphic novel, a masked anti-hero initiates a rebellion to topple the totalitarian English government in the 1990s.
g n i d a e R
In this scientific, non-fiction work, Singh explores the Big Bang theory of the universe and its roots in early breakthroughs in physics. From Eratosthenes to Copernicus to Einstein, Big Bang enthralls readers with simple explanations of grand scientific concepts.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Matilda is a children’s book that tells the story of a young girl who escapes her miserable family life through reading. Dahl is able to depict the true magic that lies in a good book.
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the Buendia family, starting with its patriarch, José Arcadio Buendia, and moving through seven generations of joy and misfortune. The nonlinear story makes the journey beautiful, and Marquez is a master of magical realism, in which magical elements are as common as any Elsewhere everyday routine; they Gabrielle Zevin often go undetected by This fantasy novel tells character and reader the story of a girl who dies until later in the in a bicycle accident and story, calling into the wakes up in a place where question what we everyone grows younger until even consider to they turn 7 days old and return to be “real.” Earth as a baby.
s k c i p p to y r C ’s Falcon
Many people assume that high school students have mastered the skill of reading, but some still struggle. This year, Durham Public Schools is focusing on literacy; as part of that emphasis, it has implemented Foundations classes, which focus on reading and writing. Even with the increasing availability of online resources and e-readers, 37 percent of people aged 16 to 17 still check out books from the library, according to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey.
The Green Mile Stephen King
Under the veil of 1930s The Handmaid’s Tale Southern racism, a black Margaret Atwood man is accused of the In Atwood’s tale, violent rape and murder if you are a woman of two white girls. The not married into crime, the evidence and status, your only value the accused all seem to comes from being able paint one picture of the to bear someone else’s crime scene. King paints child. The reality of life in another that challenges this dystopic novel places the idea of reality and women into a caste system humanity itself. that has no room for freedom. Photos by Maliyah Tan
District institutes lexile testing and support classes to develop literacy By Ellen Yuan Features Editor
Though freshman Alex Tang was born in the United States, she grew up hearing English at school and Vietnamese at home. Today, both her parents still talk to her in Vietnamese, but they will occasionally try to speak some English, which she will sometimes help correct. Tang enrolled in her first Foundations English class this year, which helps her with her pronunciations of words. Tang said that these classes are unique because students get to work more with writing and improving their grammar and spelling. She said that the content of the course comes naturally to her, and she often helps other students in her class. “It’s helpful, but I would like to challenge myself more to higher levels,” Tang said. “I’ll try to help some students in class that don’t know how to spell a word or don’t know how to say it.” According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics, the worldwide adult literacy rate in 2010 was 84.1 percent. In contrast, the youth literacy rate was 89.6 percent. Durham Public Schools reports that in 2011, 50 percent of Jordan students were proficient
in reading, a 37.5 percent decrease from the previous year. In 2012, 75 percent of Jordan students were proficient in reading. This year, the district implemented Foundations 1 and 2 English classes, which help students who scored at Level 1 on their reading test in the 8th grade to improve their reading and writing. English teacher Crystal Dixon, who works with both English 1 and Foundations 1 students, said that in previous years, Jordan had similar classes that literally taught students to read through a computer program. This year, she said that the Foundations classes give students a chance to talk in an open forum about the texts that they read. Dixon said that she usually splits up the Foundations classroom into different groups based on students’ reading levels and that one challenge is motivating students. She said that the most important thing is for her students to make sure that they are reading and writing in some kind of way every day. “It’s tough because the kids know that they struggle with reading, but they still try hard,” Dixon said. “They want to get better, so keeping them motivated, you want to do things that are of interest to them, but also because we want to focus on the reading aspect. We want them to enjoy what they are
doing … .” Instructional Facilitator Samantha Swauger said that currently, the issue in literacy is not whether students are literate or not, but it is trying to shift the way that instructors look at literacy and guide students to read more complex texts. Under the new Common Core State Standards Initiative, teachers need to change instruction in their classrooms, Swauger said. She is specifically training teachers to build student literacy this year, she said. “… The idea is, instead of just getting literacy in your language arts classroom, you’re going to get it across the board in all of your disciplines, so that it prepares you, later on when you graduate, to go to college, get a job, to deal with the kind of text that you’ll have to work with,” Swauger said. “… The district has kind of implemented a scholastic vision of what literacy and Common Core will look like, so at the very least, you should be seeing more informational texts, you should be seeing more academic vocabulary, you should be seeing texts that are more complex … .” Swauger said that text complexity can be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. One way to assess student’s grasp of text complexity quantitatively is through the Scholastic Reading Inventory program,
Swauger said. Students take a test on a computer in which they have to read a passage and answer questions. The more questions that the student gets correct, the more complicated the questions get. At the end, students receive a lexile score – which tells the student what level they are reading at – and a list of suggested books to read based on their score. The test results are helpful to not only the students, but also the teachers; the results often guide her lesson plans, Dixon said. “Once we get the scores back from the first time, we can see [that] we might not want an extremely difficult novel. We might want to pull something maybe a little bit lower, so again we have customized stuff for each particular kid,” she said. “When you have kids who are similar, at the same level, we can group those kids together and sometimes we’ll group some of the higher kids with some who struggle a little bit, to kind of feed off each other, so it’s really about creativity with the assignments and types of assignments.” Students will take tests throughout the year – one in November, January and April – to see their progress over time. Tang said that she took a scholastic test in November and thought it was pretty easy. “[The test]
friday, dec. 21, 2012
was good,” Tang said. “We had to read short stories and take notes, and we had to take a test on [the stories]. We just had to memorize, but we could use the book, so it was really helpful. I think I did well because we could use the book, so it was pretty easy.” Text complexity is also measured qualitatively by looking at the difficulty of an idea and the amount of background knowledge needed. The SRI test is not the only factor in determining a student’s literacy level, but is a good baseline. Last year, only a couple of the freshman classes and a few others at Jordan took the SRI test, Swauger said, but this year, the testing has been expanded to include freshman, sophomore and most of the junior classes. Swauger said that the test is a powerful tool to motivate students to improve their reading and that students should look at the score as a starting point for reading growth. “… We wanted to test more students, so this year we tested much more wider scale, and next year, depending on if we can get more seats, we would like to do it with the whole school … ,” Swauger said. “It’s a big undertaking. I mean even if you’re on your way out and you’re graduating, I think it’s a very valuable piece of information to have when you’re leaving.”
Technology causes shift in library usage By Cole Ronk Staff Reporter
Every morning, the media center computer lab is flooded with students who are rushing to complete assignments and projects, sending urgent e-mails and conducting research – everything but checking out books. With the recent increase of new technology, like e-readers and tablets, the student use of paper resources in the media center has significantly declined, librarian Connie Maynor said. Students are utilizing easier-to-use computer resources in place of materials like biographies and atlases, but technology has not affected students’ pleasure reading, Maynor said. She said that she has noticed that though they might enjoy their time spent on the computer or playing video games, many students still enjoy reading. In fact, ereaders have encouraged student reading, she said. “We’ve always had [students], fortunately, [that are] still very interested in reading for pleasure,” Maynor said. “I’ve seen more students who have their own Kindles and iPads, and they read books online … I think it’s good.” The media center does offer its own electronic resources. PlayAways, or MP3 player book recordings, are available for checkout. Play-Aways are great complements to the hard copy versions of required class reading, Maynor said. Students who learn in different ways, through touch or hearing for example, often listen to the Play-Aways while reading printed text, she said. The library also offers e-books from the Follet Shelf collection and links to free audiobooks through its website In response to the growing number of online resources, library use has changed, with 55 percent of students nationwide using the libraries for online research, according to the Pew Research Center. Maynor said that many students who use the media center use the computers and printers to complete assignments and to contact teachers by email. “We still have quite a few students who do come here to study or finish homework, [but] they’re not necessarily coming to use the library resources, like to use the reference books or to use the encyclopedias,” Maynor said. “… They do still do come in the mornings or after school and at lunch to check out books, which is a good thing.”
Students have transitioned to online sources for their projects and essays because of their easy access and referencing, Maynor said. Some teachers are not as enthusiastic about online resources as others; 87 percent of U.S. teachers in 2011 said that technology has created an easily distracted generation, according to the Pew Research Center. “We have different teachers, and their methods of teaching are a little bit different, though certain teachers want students to use at least one print source,” Maynor said. “Some teachers want [to] limit them to the number of electronic sources they can have.” The Pew Research Center found that 40 percent of people aged 16-17 use libraries for research. Senior Miriam Zouhri, who works as a media assistant, said that that most people who come in are there for either class work or required reading, not necessarily for research. “… It’s usually just [for] work, but … other people … check out books for themselves,” Zouhri said. “They’re mostly there for computers or for homework.” The media center reports a consistent weekly average in book circulation, from 195 in 2009 too 199 in 2012. Zouhri said that she does not handle a lot of checkouts, and she said that the hectic teen
life keeps students from reading for pleasure. “I don’t think it’s that the library doesn’t have good books. I think it’s just that we don’t have time to read,” Zouhri said. “They’re interesting. They make me want to go and read them, but honestly, when am I going to read them? Staying up to three in the morning to read a book? No.” Teen life has not stopped junior Jessica Alston, who spends nearly seven hours of her day reading for fun. Alston said that she spends mornings, lunches and afternoons in the media center, doing everything from reading romantic comedies to doing homework to looking up words in dictionaries. “Even though in the morning it’s really crowded … I usually just stop in and check out a book or [do] homework,” Alston said. “After school I do most of my reading.” Alston also attends multiple clubs at the Durham Public Library, including one for graphic novel enthusiasts. Although she appreciates the electronic resources at the library, Alston said that she prefers print books to e-readers or audio books. “I don’t want a Nook or anything,” Alston said. “I like old books and flipping pages. [Technology] hasn’t really changed [the way I read, but I do] go online to like renew a book or something.”
Maliyah Tan/Falcon’s Cry
Junior Jessica Alston reads a novel in the library. Alston said that she spends about seven hours reading every day.
on the street Emme Redick “I’ll buy a crowbar and tell my dad to get a gun. Make friends with all the fast people because they’ll get me food, and make friends with all the slow people for bait.”
Kaitlyn Miller “Run away screaming.”
In the event of a zombie apocalypse, how would you respond? Brennan Wood
“Go up to my mountain house with all of my dad’s and grandfather’s weapons, and then we have a system developed for who’s going to farm, take care of the animals and maintain the well ... .”
Evan Jaynes “Flamethrowers. Lots and lots of flamethrowers.”
Photos and interviews by Kevin Ostrowski and Maliyah Tan
Review: Warm Bodies
Movie lovers expect the same elements in each zombie film they watch: terrifying, rotting, undead corpses that consume live human flesh in a desolate world devoid of hope with governments that struggle to keep the population alive. Warm Bodies, on the surface, may seem like a predictable portrayal of the impending apocalypse, but before dismissing it as the next Night of the Living Dead, consider that this zombie flick has a twist: a zombie falls in love. Warm Bodies is based on Isaac Marion’s 2010 novel of the same name, which was well-received for its unfamiliar concept of a monster protagonist, as well as its contrasting themes of gore and poetic romance. Using these same elements, the film production truly brought Isaac Marion’s zombies to life. Main character R, played by Nicholas Hoult, is portrayed as a lost soul from the very beginning, charming the audience with his wit and making viewers question why anyone would ever dislike a zombie. This question is answered shortly afterwards when R and his group of zombies go hunting for – and consume – their next meal, a prime example of this movie’s ability to change between, and combine, humorous and horrifying scenes quickly and effectively. From R’s love of vinyl records to the barren zombie-ridden airport
official movie poster for Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies stars Nicholas Hoult (R), and Teresa Palmer (Julie). Hoult is known for Skins and About a Boy. Palmer is in I am Numbert Four and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. where he resides, the film takes all of the existing zombie stereotypes and combines them with unexpected lighthearted moments to form a creepily cute atmosphere. For example, R is a heroic figure when he tries to help Julie, played by Teresa Palmer, blend in with the zombies by telling her to “be dead,” then critiques her overacting. Conversely, R shows his dark side when he snacks on Julie’s late boyfriend’s brain. This film rarely loses the authenticity of its setting, characters or special effects. Guided by the smooth edits and transitions, the dialogue stays humorous throughout the film, as shown through R’s inner-dialogue
and the numerous comical situations he encounters. Unlike most zombie films, Warm Bodies is filled with hope for a happier world, despite all the turmoil the apocalypse has caused. The undead get a second chance at humanity when R protects Julie, beginning a chain of events that leads to a possible cure for the corpses. They lost the ability to dream, sleep, talk and just be alive – all human characteristics – when they became zombies; however, all of those things become increasingly possible for the entire zombie race through R’s responses to Julie’s friendship. Very gradually, R’s zombie-like appearance and his inability to communicate diminish while he tries to impress the object of his affection. R’s innermantra, “Don’t be creepy,” gives the audience a new perspective as he navigates the difficulty of courtship when one is a zombie. As a whole, the film Warm Bodies should be highly enjoyed by all movie fans, breaking stereotypes and urging them to root for an unlikely protagonist. Paying tribute to the zombie classics through its campy atmosphere, yet deviating from predictable plot points, Warm Bodies is a horrific, hilarious and heart-warming film. Memorable performances from Hoult, Palmer, John Malkovich (General Grigio), Dave Franco (Perry) and Analeigh Tipton (Nora) capture the audience’s attention from the moment they are introduced until the final scene. Director Jonathan Levine’s uproarious take on this new apocalyptic world is surely one that movie-lovers will not want to miss. Warm Bodies is scheduled for release in theaters Feb. 1, 2013. - Maliyah Tan
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Top ten things to do at Jordan if you survive Dec. 21, 2012, the last day of the Myan calendar, which some have suggested will be the end of the world.
10. Park in the principal’s spot.
9. Go into NCWise and give yourself all A’s.
8. Eat your meals in the courtyard.
7. Wear leggings as pants.
6. Ride Charlie E. Horse. 5. Dance on the library skylight.
4. Use the emergency
shower in a science lab.
3. Make a real swimming pool on the roof.
2. Grow a Hopkins beard.
1. Remind yourself that it’s not the end, but the beginning.
Next Issue Guest writers go
friday, dec. 21, 2012
on whether or not high school students should date
Electoral college skews election results In December of 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of George W. Bush and halted a vote recount in Florida. That decision awarded him the state’s electoral votes and the presidency, even though he failed to win the popular vote. Although only four presidents have taken office without garnering more of the constituency vote than their competitors, none need have, and in a nation that seeks to follow the principle of popular sovereignty, the will of the majority should take precedence in elections. Electors, who collectively form the Electoral College, choose the president in accordance with the popular votes of the states they represent. Each state has an equal number of electors and members of Congress, but the current two-party system ensures that some regions are more politically significant than others. States that have a moderate political makeup can be influenced by the candidates’ actions, while those that historically cast their electoral votes for one party or another are unlikely to change. Therefore, politicians
seeking to move into the White House often concentrate their efforts on swing states, paying less attention to populated strongholds in the campaigning process. The Electoral College unfairly distributes political power among the electorate. Any given vote in a swing state is more likely to decide how its electors will side, but additionally, the voter-to-elector ratio in each state differs; a relatively small number of electors cannot be divided evenly throughout the nation with each representing a finite piece of the public. This disparity means that not all votes are created equal, that a North Carolina resident’s opinion is valued differently than the thoughts of someone living in Tennessee. Instead of allocating electors to each state, the government should enable constituents to select their next president by popular vote. Candidates would then attempt to reach the greatest number of people, involving more of the populace in the political process. Further, every person would have an equal say in the matter,
Graphic by Amy Grissom
regardless of the views of others in their state. While the representational difference may be small, the U.S. government can easily eliminate it entirely. The Founders developed the Electoral College in a time when greater equality of representation among states was a necessary component of the proposed Constitution; with a popular vote, large states would have become more powerful than
others in the union and the document may not have passed. Now, the circumstances have changed. The states have joined to become a much more cohesive nation, and clinging to tradition should not prevent pragmatic progress. The Electoral College remains in place only because it has existed for centuries, not because it is the most accurate way to judge popular opinion, and it has outlived its usefulness.
Affirmative action levels otherwise unequal playing field Last month, our country’s first African-American president was reelected for a second term. The U.S. Attorney General is African-American, and in 2009, the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was appointed. Our new government leadership is a clear sign that our country is changing. By 2043, minorities will become the new majority in our country. With the changing diversity in our country, one wonders if affirmative action is still necessary, but I still firmly believe it is. Historically, affirmative action was a remedy to counteract past discrimination. In 1961, President John Kennedy issued an executive order creating the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, which mandated that projects financed with federal funds “take affirmative action” to ensure that hiring and employment practices are free
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of racial bias. Four years later, sions, among other factors, but President Lyndon Johnson gave outlawed the use of numerical a speech to the graduating class quotas to achieve diversity. at Howard University that laid Today, our society seems the groundwork for affirmative to forget that affirmative action action. He told the graduates was created to ensure that evthat through affirmative action, eryone, regardless of race and the United States “seek[s] not gender, was given an equal opjust freedom but opportunity portunity. This past October, – not just legal Abigail Fisher, equity but human a white female, ability – not just sued the Univerequality as a right sity of Texas after Casey Moore and theory, but her undergraduGuest Columnist equality as a fact ate admission and as a result.” application was The 1978 Supreme Court case rejected in 2008. Fisher said University of California v Bakke that she should have been acfocused on Allan Bakke, a white cepted into the University of man who was not offered ad- Texas because of her outstandmission to the University of Cal- ing high school merit, but was ifornia at Davis Medical School. not offered admission because As part of the school’s affirma- of a diversity quota. Because tive action policy, sixteen slots Fisher was denied admission were reserved for “qualified” to the University of Texas, she minorities. The Court conclud- said that she was a victim of ed that race could be consid- reverse discrimination. Fisher’s ered as a plus factor in admis- case has made it all the way to
Letters Policy: We welcome letters from our readers. If you have a suggestion, complaint or just something to say, write us. Please note the following policies we observe: • All letters should be typed and double-spaced or neatly handwritten. • We will correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar or clarity, but we will not change the information or meaning of the letter. • Falcon’s Cry reserves the right to edit or reject any material which violates policies set by our editorial board or DPS. We also reserve the right to edit for length. All letters must be signed. Submit letters via mail or e-mail.
the U.S. Supreme Court, and it has become arguably one of the most important cases this year. It is a clear sign that the topic is relevant and can sometimes lead to reverse discrimination. After reading about Fisher and her lawsuit against the University of Texas, I surveyed 328 Jordan students about affirmative action. Seventy-one percent of them said that affirmative action is still necessary in today’s society. Over half of those who said that affirmative action is still necessary were Black or Hispanic. Only 54 percent of the students said that affirmative action should be used in undergraduate admissions, and of those, 60 percent were AfricanAmerican, while only 30 percent were white. As an African-American female, I firmly believe affirmative action is still necessary in both the workforce and undergraduate admissions because
our country still struggles to provide equal opportunities to all people. Some may believe that I am biased on the subject of affirmative action because I am a double minority, and affirmative action is seen by some as a way to give minorities an upper hand. Affirmative action was not put in place to give an “upper hand” to minorities, but to ensure everyone is on an equal playing field. It is insulting for anyone to say that minorities are given opportunities based solely on their race or gender. Affirmation action ensures that others and I are given a fair opportunity and are judged based on our merit and skills, rather than our physical appearance. We have made progress, but those who are against affirmative action refuse to acknowledge reality. As a country, we cannot pretend that the reasons why affirmative action was created no longer exist.
We Goofed! In our Nov. 5 issue, we should have credited the gubernatorial candidate photos on page 9 to the official North Carolina government site. On page 10, we stated that the men’s soccer team played Middle Creek High School in the second round of playoffs. The match was against Sanderson High School. We stated that senior Ruben Gomez scored a goal against Athens Drive; sophomore Ruben Garcia scored the goal. On page 12, we spelled junior Rahim Winston’s name incorrectly. Falcon’s Cry regrets these errors.
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Learn about anything and everything on the Internet
Healey Cox-McMahon whatever
If you talked about the Internet in the ‘90s, two things were bound to come up in the conversation: Al Gore and the information superhighway. Today, Facebook and Twitter dominate similar conversations about the World Wide Web. Now that mobile access to the Internet is included in a smartphone plan, many teenagers have access to social media nearly 24/7. Facebook’s ironically named “News Feed” is normally cluttered by overused memes and passive-aggressive status updates. Twitter and Instagram are becoming increasingly popular, and while they are a step above Facebook in providing fasterpaced and more pertinent accounts of ongoing social activities, they fail to provide any applicable knowledge outside of new topics for gossip. Before MySpace surpassed Google’s popularity in 2006 and effectively transformed the Internet into the social networking engine it has become, our real world identities were hardly shared online. Now, Internet users can log into most websites with their Facebook accounts and link the two services, effectively trailing their personal information
nearly everywhere they go. Before social networking, users went exclusively by screen names; like personalized license plates, monikers allowed people to blend into the traffic without revealing their true identities. Some preferred not to customize their personas and stripped their plates entirely. An anonymous post can only be judged by the words contained in it – this uninhibited form of human communication is the pinnacle of free speech. Users fervently post their unrefined thought processes in a rush hour you want to be a part of – posters can share and discuss one another’s darkest secrets with people around the world without the worry of any immediate social repercussions. Whatever happened to the information part of the superhighway? Teenagers today have taken to using the Internet more like a public diary than the vast knowledge bank Gore imagined. The Internet has plenty of useful, accurate information on it, but it is just as easy to find purposefully misleading content. The more often one maneuvers around the backed-up traffic to observe the disaster wrecks of misinformation scattered along the road, the easier it becomes to avoid them altogether. Skepticism is one of the more valuable skills people can develop as they accumulate mileage on the superhighway. Recently, over two million Facebook users shared a picture of a photoshopped lottery ticket – Nolan Daniels promised to give $1 million of his $587.5 million in winnings to a lucky Facebooker who shared his post. Though a simple Google search revealed the truth behind Daniels’ prank, hundreds of thousands of oblivious users continued to repost the delusive photo. Take a detour off the superhigh-
Art by Ziwa Mukungu, billboard graphics by Kareena Gardner and Amy Grissom
way and one may discover the Dark Internet – inaccessible by a conventional web browser – where information is exchanged with nearly complete anonymity by anyone with the proper software. Darknets can serve as information relays, totally free of the grasp of copyrights and censorship. Another popular decentralized peerto-peer network includes torrenting files, a process in which users can seed, or upload, large files in small pieces along with many other seeders while leechers, or downloaders, copy the file parts and eventually recreate the data, which they can then seed. While torrenting is not performed with the same level of anonymity as exploring a darknet, both networks grant access to a wealth of information that is otherwise
restricted and allow participants to help keep the traffic running smoothly. Everyone should use the Internet to explore their interests and beliefs beyond their own social lives. Over two billion people are traversing the superhighway across the world’s continents. The Internet provides users with the opportunity to learn about virtually anything in existence, if they are willing to explore deep enough. Watch out for those with road rage, but rest assured that many more will kindly share directions. Numerous billboards line the superhighway, depicting everything from cooking to coding. Without a doubt, a sign or two will catch your interest if you venture out of the social media supermall and go for a joyride.
Society should value precise and unbiased news media
Amy Grissom i’ll draw it
According to a 2012 Gallop poll, a majority of Americans do not trust their media sources; of that majority, most view their major media sources as too liberal. As a liberal myself, I found it challenging not to show favoritism towards President Barack Obama while writing the Republican and Democratic party platforms for the second issue of Falcon’s Cry. Even though I knew it was unethical to present opinion as fact, I still struggled because a lot of bias is unintentional and therefore, often less noticeable in certain parts of writing, such as diction and tone. Although it is
difficult to overcome, I found that with many sets of eyes, detailed research through multiple sources and a precise words, it is possible to report without bias. I used research sources such as Propublica.org and Politifact.com because they have established themselves as unbiased. Prior to the research that I conducted, I had not heard of either resource to the degree that I had heard of The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. The reason for the popularity of some publications may be that readers want opinionated articles, but the same responsibility of reporting the whole truth still applies. If readers chose to get their news from unbiased sources, then the incentive to provide bias would be eliminated. If a high school publication such as Falcon’s Cry is able to eliminate bias, it should be a nonexistent problem for major networks such as Fox News and CNN. Yet, people identify many news sources as leaning liberal or conservative because of their coverage choices
and partiality. It is possible to expunge bias from the media, so reporters and editors should convey information without skewing the facts. Still, most networks ignore that responsibility because it reduces profit. If readers relied on unbiased sources, even the most biased major media networks such as Fox News would be motivated to report responsibly. The media maintains communication between the government and the people; if it fails to report honestly because of a political bias, it is limiting the opinion of the people to its persuasion, but the media’s job is to inform the people, not to direct them down one political path or another. The readers are accountable, as well, because resources exist that provide information without bias. Although the media is responsible for reporting
the truth, it is not responsible for the readership that seeks out biased coverage. Readers should choose non-biased sources so that they can form their own opinions instead of allowing the media to do so for them.
Graphic by Amy Grissom
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Head Head Should school breaks coincide with religious holidays?
Current vacation calendar is realistic Non-Christians need time to celebrate By Ellen Yuan Features Editor
and therefore it would be pragmatic to also have school days off at those times. When both parents and children have the same breaks, it is easier for families to spend quality family time with one another. Further, it is also convenient that the big school breaks align with important holidays. Winter break comes right at the end of first semester, and spring break comes at the end of the third quarter. Schools should at least acknowledge the other religious holidays. Students who do observe religious holidays other than those of the Christian religion should be allowed to take the day off, or even the week off. Fortunately, many of the religious groups observe their holidays around the same time. Thus, the current break-schedule is ideal. A majority of the American population observes Christian holidays, and if schools were to take more days off, the ability to educate students would be altered. Although ideally everyone would have breaks that coincide with their religious holidays, granting them would not be a practical solution.
The day after swarms of little costumed bumblebees and super heroes raid their neighbors’ candy stashes, stores across the nation fill their shelves with Christmas ornaments and toys. A month passes by, and it becomes difficult to ignore radio stations solely devoted to playing Christmas music. Stores cater primarily to Christians, adorning their windows with nativity sets around this time of year; similarly, schools schedule breaks that accommodate Christian holidays – winter break falls around Christmas and spring break falls around Easter. According to a 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 78.4 percent of all adults in the United States follow the Christian religion, and because many people observe important Christian holidays, many of the federal holidays fall around them. The Pew Forum also reports that aside from the 16.1 percent of adults who consider themselves unaffiliated with a particular religion, the United States mainly comprises Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist followers. Additionally, the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist groups only make up only 4.7 percent of the adults in the United States. Therefore, a relatively small part of the American population observes nonChristian holidays. If schools formed breaks around Muslim holidays, it would only be fair to also include breaks around Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish holidays. Then, devout followers of other minor religions would vie for schools to observe their respective holidays, and before long, students would have more breaks than school days. To some, minimal schooling may sound appealing, but in the long run, is it worth it? Students would not learn as much as they do now, and the state and productivity of the workforce would decline. Frequent breaks would also diminish those festive vibes that fill homes around the holidays. Part of the reason why winter break and spring break are so highly treasured is because they come only once per year. The United States has several federal holidays during which many businesses or companies either close or pay workers more. Several of Graphic by Kareena Gardner these holidays are Christian holidays
By Cameron Bynum Guest Columnist
Holiday break is coming up, and people are planning trips, designating days to spend time with their families and, most importantly, preparing for Christmas! Wait, what about the people who don’t celebrate Christmas? The numerous Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and people of other religious affiliations have to put up with the stress of school while, at the same time, celebrating their own holidays. The Jewish celebrate Hanukkah, which is usually around the time when Christians celebrate Christmas, but this year it starts on the 8th and ends on the 16th, placing it right in the middle of school as the teachers are piling up assignments and projects to be completed before the break. Imagine waking up Christmas morning, ripping open all of your presents, and having an amazing day spent with family and friends only to have the burden of going to school the next day.
Shouldn’t there be holiday breaks for more than just the Christian holidays, even if Christians do make up most of the population? This school system is part of a government founded on democracy, which operates on the principle of majority rule and minority rights. Where are the minority rights if not all minorities are accommodated? This year, Muslims celebrated Eid-alAdha, which began on Friday, Oct. 26, and even though their absences were excused on that day, they still had to make up any work that was missed. Adding just two Muslim holidays to the calendar, Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, would add five days of missed school in the next decade, because a lot of times they occur on already recognized holidays or weekends. The Jewish holiday Yom Kippur took place Tuesday, Sept. 25 this year, which just so happened to be a school day, so after celebrating one of the most significant holidays on the Jewish calendar, students had to go right back to school immediately after enduring a twenty-five hour fast. Public schools should take a better approach to granting days off for other religious holidays and see to it that everyone is treated fairly. This will make it is so that students, families, and teachers can better appreciate the cultures and religious views of each other. Just these few days off can make a big difference. If people feel that the school system is keeping them in mind, then they will be more inclined to do well in school, as opposed to doing badly in school because they feel as if their religious beliefs are not being taken into consideration. The number of non-Christians in the public school system is rising as America is growing larger and becoming more diverse. In these times of change, it’s crucial to meet the needs of the minorities in a population. So, what are a few days of school when you’re protecting the idea of equality that this country is known for?
Children display good behavior for ‘good’s’ sake
Kevin Ostrowski all i do is work
The holiday season is upon us. Soon, a bearded man in a red coat will make his annual circumnavigation of the globe, giving gifts to all the good little girls and boys. Zooming through space, accomplishing an incredible amount of work in a single night, he will hold the hopes of many American children, who will gaze up into the sky awaiting the clatter of reindeer hoofs on their rooftops. Somehow, the image fails to instill joy in my heart. In a culture that considers doing “good for goodness’ sake” a manifestation of moral character, the promise of presents often counterproductively encourages selfishness and promotes a mentality that views friendly behavior only as a means to an end. Parents have long used the threat of coal in stockings as a way to discipline their children
during the Christmas season, and for those in a certain age bracket, the trick proves effective. After all, what youngster would forego the opportunity for a new toy just to act up? Once children become old enough to realize that their parents will not follow through with the threats, Christmas loses its power. The harm caused by raising people in this manner extends beyond childhood, however; it teaches the youth that pretending to be concerned about others can further one’s own interests. When children exhibit the traits that their parents wish them to in order to receive gifts, they learn that under certain circumstances, they can put on a mask of amicability and gain rewards for it. People raised only with an emphasis on the returns of good actions tend not to be inherently kind; rather, they act kind when society would punish them for behavior that deviates from their facades. They are opportunists, and a collection of them cannot work together in a productive fashion. Each looks out for his or her interests, disregarding the needs of the group. American culture correctly upholds friendliness because an entire community striving for it produces
Graphic by Joy Montemayer
Jordan High School 6806 Garrett Road Durham, NC 27707 Falconscry.org FalconsCry@gmail.com 560-3912 x.12632
News Editor Amy Grissom Features Editor Ellen Yuan Sports Editor Healey Cox-McMahon positive results, not because the individual can manipulate it to achieve personal goals. The degradation of the values at the center of most holidays – including kindness, openness and humility – started long before a certain chubby culprit corrupted the minds of the youth. In fact, Santa Claus represents a commercialism that seems as inevitable as it is loathsome. Every winter, many think of tangible objects instead of intangible fellowship, which holds far greater significance. When people gather with their families to celebrate, they should note the bond that considerate action breeds, not the
strike that, reverse it Graphic by Kareena Gardner
even 15 to 20-point scales. High schools also require a conversion of their respective point systems to the universally-used GPA. Most colleges, however, use a 10-point scale or letter grades. Accurately comparing student-to-student achievement across all 50 states requires using a scale that is easier to convert, or ideally, a universal grading system. Comparing the different grading scales can become convoluted and inaccurate because of the different interpretations of grades. North Carolina is one of 11
Copy Editor Kevin Ostrowski Managing Editor Kareena Gardner
material goods that can follow it. I cannot write a blanket condemnation of all holiday gift giving; indeed, the practice of exchanging presents is a pleasant way to show care for one another. The problem arises when the presents become more significant than the feeling that underlies them. Parents should focus on the general benefits that can be achieved through adhering to a moral code when speaking to their children, instead of bribing them with gifts. Youngsters may behave if they think a red-robed figure stalks their every move, but with time, their nature will prove as fake as its origin.
Ten-point scale creates equal opportunity for all
In the cases of employment and the college application process, perception is reality, and first impressions can be the difference between one’s acceptance and denial. The multitude of grading systems causes admission officers to make inaccurate comparisons of student achievement. From preschool to college, grading scales can vary immensely in complexity. Elementary schools, for example, usually employ an easy-tounderstand amalgamation of Facebook-like emoticons and gold-star systems that indicate both behavior and comprehension in class. Higher grade levels incorporate 7, 10 or
friday, dec. 21, 2012
states that use a 7-point scale. Most foreign countries employ 10-point scales or number codes that would correlate to letter grades, but none use the 7-point system. Although it is a good compromise between the commonly used 5 and 10point systems, the use of the 7-point scale does not make sense; correlating the different systems and converting to GPA is difficult. Colleges that use the 10-point scale, like New York University and Columbia University, do not necessarily look at GPA
but do look at letter grades in particular. Making straight A’s on any scale sounds much better than making A’s and B’s, even if both scenarios result in the same calculated GPA. For example, if a student in New York, who is graded on the 10-point scale, makes straight 92s, he or she has all A’s, but a student in North Carolina who has also made straight 92s is not considered to have made all A’s and might, consequently, be looked on unfavorably in comparison. If students felt better about the grades they were making, they would consistently make better grades. The 7-point scale is out-ofdate and complicated. Changing the nation to a 10-point scale would allow colleges and employers to make accurate, apples-to-apples comparisons of student achievement, would simplify conversion of grades to GPA, would boost student morale and, by extension, would improve student achievement itself.
Staff Reporters Alima Morgan Cole Ronk Photographer Maliyah Tan Business Manager IonaPearl Reid-Eaton Adviser Starlyn Combs Professional Organizations National Scholastic Press Association; Columbia Scholastic Press Association, North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, Journalism Education Association Contributors: Cameron Bynum, Maggie Harris, Joy Montemayor, Casey Moore, Ziwa Mukungu, Alandra Williams, Cassidy Woodell Awards: N.C. Scholastic Media Association Tar Heel Award, 2010. National Scholastic Press Association AllAmerican rating, 1996-2001; NSPA First Class, 2010-2012, 2008. Columbia Scholastic Press Association Silver Medalist, 2008, Gold Medalist, 2010-2012. N.C. Press Club Clara Cartrette Award for General Excellence, 2010, 2009, 2006; runner-up 2008, 2005. Falcon’s Cry is a public forum that invites contributions from any member of the school community. It is published by students in Journalism 2-6 at Jordan High School. The signed opinions on the opinion pages and the advertisements do not necessarily reflect those of the Falcon’s Cry staff, nor the Jordan administration, faculty or student body. Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Falcon’s Cry editorial board. Falcon’s Cry is printed by Triangle Web Printing.
All Volume 44 content ©2012 Falcon’s Cry All rights reserved.
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Martial artists defend themselves
Don’t Miss: V. Women’s Basketball vs. Southern Jan. 4, 6 p.m.
Wrestling vs. East Chapel Hill Jan. 6, 6 p.m.
Varsity women’s basketball team strong on all fronts By Kareena Gardner Managing Editor
The varsity women’s basketball team played Wake Forest-Rolesville Dec. 6 and won 50-47. The Falcons (5-3, 0-0) were ahead until the Cougars tied the game 3232 at the end of the third quarter. Then the Cougars briefly took the lead in the fourth, before senior Bayley Coleman-Cox and sophomore Salita Greene scored a combined 18 points to win. When Jordan played Wake ForestRolesville Nov. 27, the Falcons lost by 2 points. Greene said that even though Jordan opposed the Cougars at Wake Forest-Rolesville the first time and played at home the second, the location did not contribute to Jordan’s win. Greene said that she performed better at home for another reason. “I watched some film [of the first game against Wake Forest-Rolesville],” Greene said. “I watched myself during the film, and I saw that I was being lazy and passive, so this game I was determined to go harder and be more aggressive.” All the players need to work on their aggressiveness, Greene said. She said that the players try to improve this quality during practice, but occasionally, their satisfaction holds them back. “We work on it, but sometimes it just doesn’t transfer to the game,” Greene said, “We work on it, and then the players don’t do it all the time.” Even though only a couple of players regularly score, Greene said that the team has a well-built defense. Head coach Ty Cox said that the team’s success comes from having a strong offense as well as a powerful defense. The two games that the team lost this year were very close, he said. The girls demonstrated their skill in the game Dec. 7 versus Orange when the Falcons won 77-25. “I think the defense is, by far, the best
Sport short JV Women’s Basketball (2-4, 0-0)
The same intensity that helped the JV women’s basketball team defeat the Enloe Eagles 47-36 on Dec. 4 fueled the team’s 37-32 win against them Nov. 20, according to head coach Jameka Jay. She said that in both games the Falcons took an early lead and held it. Jay was the JV women’s basketball assistant coach last year. She said that she is excited to be head coach of the
defensive team I’ve had,” Cox said. “ … We’re doing it on both ends of the court, because we scored 77 and we held the team at 25. I think that we are starting to do things on all faces.” This year, the team includes some extraordinarily talented players, Cox said, but he remembers that the players are just teenagers, so he tries not to push them very hard. He is passionate about the game and wants the team to win, however. “I expect them to do their best,” Cox said. “I don’t expect them all to do the same, because that’s not really possible, but I want them to give 110 percent. I expect them to respect their teammates, respect their coaches and respect their opponents. Basically, I expect them to have fun.” Sophomore Jazmyne Norwood said that the part of basketball she enjoys most is the excitement that comes with the games, especially when her team wins. So far, the Falcons have a winning record, but they have only played non-conference teams.
“I don’t think anyone in the conference is better than [the non-conference teams],” Norwood said. “I just think [the competition comes from] the pride you have when you’re playing in your conference.” Norwood said that she anticipates that the PAC-6 games, especially the one against Hillside Feb. 5, will present more of a challenge because of the rivalry within the conference. She said that she is worried that the players’ confidence will cause them to become complacent, just when they need to focus the most. She said that their contentment will not hold them back very much, though, because the team is continuing to cooperate better every game. “[At the beginning of the season,] we weren’t really clicking,” Norwood said. “We couldn’t play with each other. We have a lot of talent on the team, but we couldn’t really play together, but now we can.” The Falcons’ next home game is Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. against the Southern Spartans.
team (2-4, 0-0) because the players are dedicated to the sport. “We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve had some rough times in those games, but they were able to bounce back and pick up and make things happen,” Jay said. “We beat Enloe twice this season. … I think the girls are really intense and really excited about the season. I think the jitters have gotten out of their system and they’re ready to play now.” As the coach, Jay said that she wants to lead the girls not only in the game but also in their academic careers. She said that she especially likes to work with their teachers to improve the players’ grades through positive reinforcement.
“I praise them for things that they do in class,” Jay said. “I read over different projects with them. I actually help them search for information on the computer in order to get their schoolwork done, so I really become one with them as far as their academics are concerned.” Every other week, the team has a late practice from 5-7 p.m. Beforehand, Jay requires the players to attend a study hall in her room from 3-5 p.m. Sophomore Julia Diesel is the team’s point guard, so she works in the study hall after school. “It’s really helpful,” Diesel said. “I think most people would just go home and goof off and not get anything done,
Photos by Starlyn Combs
Above, sophomore Salita Greene looks for an open teammate to pass to as the Enloe Eagles surround her during the game Dec. 4. Below, sophomore Jazmyne Norwood drives around the Enloe defender towards the basket. The Falcons won the game 69-53. so I think that it’s a nice time period to have access to other students in the same classes or just school resources like textbooks and stuff.” Diesel said that after working hard in study hall, the girls turn their attention to basketball. They have been practicing plays to improve their performance in the games, Diesel said. “I think we’ll have a good season,” Diesel said. “We don’t have many people come to our games, but we’re worth watching. If people give us a chance and come watch it – a lot of people think girls’ basketball is boring, but I think you have to come watch it and judge for yourself.” – Kareena Gardner
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Martial arts training offers more than self-defense By Healey Cox-McMahon Sports Editor
Last year, senior Clark Rogers and his friends were at the Durham Skate Park when another group of older teenagers began yelling at them to get out. Rogers’ group refused to move from the public park, and the aggressors initiated a fight, injuring some of his friends. Rogers tried to stay passive until one of the assailants ran at him wielding a skateboard. Rogers utilized a kick he learned from his training in Muay Thai, a combat sport often incorporated into mixed martial arts, and hit the thug in the face, taking him to the ground. “Some of my friends had little marks on them,” Rogers said. “I meant to kick him in the stomach, and I guess my leg went up too far. It was really fast, it was really fast how it happened … . I had to defend myself somehow because I knew that guy wasn’t going to stop. If you’re out on the streets and you need to defend yourself, you need to be like, ‘OK, this person is coming to attack me, he’s not going to stop, and I can’t just stand here.’” Rogers said that he was bullied during his freshman year, like many other freshmen were, so he eventually decided to attend multiple classes at LA Boxing, including mixed martial arts and other self-defense classes. Mixed martial arts incorporates a variety of fighting styles – like Muay Thai, judo and karate – into one flexible combat system. Rogers said that learn-
IonaPearl Reid-Eaton/Falcon’s Cry
Senior Clark Rogers blocks a kick from Ken Lacy while sparring at LA Boxing Dec. 11. Before Rogers joined the school wrestling team, he would train at L.A. Boxing up to six days a week. ing martial arts has made him a calmer and less stressed person. “Martial arts teach you to be calm in the cage once you’re fighting,” Rogers said. “Once you’re training to stay calm on the outside, you’re more responsible, you’re more disciplined, you’re more awake, you’re more active and you’re not as tired while you’re in school, like on Mondays when you’re like, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to be here.’ … I don’t have a lot of anger. I don’t get mad that easily.” Junior Lambodhar Damodaran has taken classes at Karate International since he was four years old and has earned a third degree black belt. Damodaran said that the instructors stress the importance of self-discipline within not only karate but also the students’ everyday lives.
“They make you responsible for everything,” Damodaran said. “In terms of respect … every time you come in, you have to bow to show respect. They expect you to be a respectful person outside of the dojo. They expect that you’re self-disciplined as a person, to make sure you’re responsible. The philosophy follows you from karate into your daily life … .” Karate competitions have numerous sparring rules that act as safeguards to prevent participants from seriously injuring one another. Making physical contact with one’s opponent earns points, but attacks directed at the face or below the waist or are especially aggressive will justify a warning that will count against the offender’s current score. Damodaran said that if he
were in a situation in which he had to defend himself or someone he cared about, he would feel prepared to break the rules of sparring in order to fend off an assailant. “Sparring is totally different from a real situation,” Damodaran said. “In a real situation, you have to do whatever you must do to make sure you’re OK. When it comes to sparring, it’s more like a competition than survival. When it comes to a real situation, you can’t live by the rules of sparring because sparring has its limits.” Jesse Bowen owns Karate International of Durham, and he has a 10th degree black belt. He has taught martial arts for over three decades and has instructed Damodaran since he began taking lessons. Bowen is also a physical education and
corporate education instructor at Duke University, where he teaches the principles of Asian philosophies and how to apply them to business practices. He said that while self-defense is the basis of karate, martial arts also act as a self-improvement program. “I teach my black belts how to be able to use this leadership in their schoolwork, in their life, every part of who they are,” Bowen said. “You don’t put martial arts on and then you take it off. If you’re a martial artist, you wear your martial arts 24/7. … So self-defense, in the dojo or outside of the dojo, it’s still the same identical thing.” Bowen said that part of learning self-defense is understanding how to avoid getting into dangerous situations in the first place. Because people make their own decisions, they can choose to look at the possible outcomes of their actions and realize that it is often better to walk away when they finds themselves in a risky situation, he said. Some of his students have ended up in jail because they refused to follow the principles of his teachings or misused their skills. “If the person that you see in prison had the chance to stop and look at what would happen, on a certain level that maybe did happen, and they’re spending now 30 years in prison, they would tell you that they would do something different,” Bowen said. “Martial arts is about being able to become strong enough [to walk away], because martial arts is not just about the physical side, it’s about the mental side.”
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friday, dec. 21, 2012
Starlyn Combs/Falcon’s Cry
FC: Describe what goes through your head when you see that your opponent is much bigger than you. MM: You just have to use your other ability. If he’s bigger than you and you’re faster or stronger, you have to use your techniques and strengths against him.
Senior Anne Ashe moved from Norway to the United States with her family this school year. Ashe, who swam in Norway for fun, joined the 71-member swim team this season. She is participating in a school sport for the first time.
stroke for you? AA: I mean, the one time, we actually did the butterfly. That was really really hard because you have to be really good. The people who do it are really strong.
Falcon’s Cry: Why did you decide to join swim team? Anne Ashe: It’s fun, really, and cool. Swimming is cooler, and it’s more including, in a way.
FC: Describe what it is like getting up at 4 a.m. for practice. AA: It’s 4 o’clock in the morning, but swimming is fun, and once you actually get into the pool, it’s not that bad. Just the whole waking up is hard. It’s hard not to fall asleep in [my classes].
FC: Why do you think the swim team is more inclusive? AA: Well, other teams have tryouts, and if you’re not very good, you don’t get on the team, but on the swim team, if you’re, like, horrible, they still let you participate and get better. FC: How do you develop team chemistry when there are so many swimmers? AA: It’s really nice. Everybody talks to each other in practice and meets. When we have practice on days that we don’t have school, we’ll go out to eat breakfast together. So many new people, and it’s really cool. FC: What do you swim? AA: I swim breaststroke. It’s like the only one I know how to do. FC: What is the most challenging
FC: How do you practice for swimming? AA: I think because I used to go swimming for fun and stuff in Norway, just like you would go running. FC: Any pre-meet rituals? AA: No, but we have the whole team get in the water in a circle. It’s really cool. FC: What are some of your personal goals? AA: I definitely want to try to not get last. The main thing is to try and get better in everything. FC: How do you stay motivated? AA: Definitely the swim team, because everybody is like really
good, and they don’t say to your face, “Oh my gosh, you’re horrible.” They’re encouraging and like, “You can do this.” FC: What is the best advice that you have gotten? AA: Just to really work hard and try, and you’ll do well. FC: What is your most exciting moment on swim team? AA: I think it was probably [in the meet against the Durham School of the Arts Nov. 26] because it was the first time I actually swam in a meet. I think that was really cool. I was really happy because I was actually going to swim, but it was so scary because everyone was really good. I was scared I was going to mess up, and even though I got last, everyone was really supportive and, “Oh, you did good.” This year is senior Matthew Morgan’s fourth season as a wrestler but his first on the varsity team. Morgan wanted to participate in a sport that would allow him to lose weight and gain strength, and he chose wrestling. At the Bull Durham Holiday Classic Dec. 8, Morgan placed third for the tournament. Falcon’s Cry: Do you have any personal goals? Matthew Morgan: My goal would be [to make] AllConference.
Starlyn Combs/Falcon’s Cry
FC: Do you think you have a good chance of getting AllConference? MM: All-Conference, it’s going to be tough for me, but I can probably make it to states.
do is to keep wrestling until the end of the period and work your moves.
FC: How is being on varsity different from previous years? MM: I lift a lot more, and I compete against tougher guys, so it’s kind of difficult. FC: Tell me about how your season is going. MM: We’ve got lots of new guys, and we’re picking it up fast. This Saturday [Dec. 8], we got second overall at Bull Durham Holiday Classic, and we had 12 of 14 wrestlers place. Four got first, one got second, five got third and two got sixth. I’m proud of my season so far, even though I was sick and missed some wrestling. I went 3-1 at Bull Durham, and I’m especially proud of myself because I was pinned in my first match, but I wrestled hard the next three and pinned all three to get 3rd at the 160-weight class, which is one class higher than I usually wrestle. FC: What are some of the ways that Coach [Philip] Davanzo motivates you personally? MM: He makes us wrestle for the team, you know, as one. FC: What do you usually do before matches? MM: Some people listen to music. I like to get in some shadow wrestling, which is wrestling by myself, pretending someone is there. FC: What do you do when you face a tougher opponent? MM: When there’s a tougher opponent, a lot of times, it will deal with how we handle it. If we’re outmatched, sometimes we can get stuck or get put on our back, but the best thing to
FC: What are some of your strengths? MM: In situations where there is no clear person that is dominating, I can get down to where I can get the point. FC: Tell me about your proudest moment as a wrestler. MM: It would be when I won the Panther Creek Catamount challenge last year. There were five matches, and each one gets tougher and tougher, and it taught me how tough wrestlers are, and [how] you had to keep on fighting. FC: So what is the hardest thing about wrestling? MM: When there’s a tougher opponent, and you know they’re tougher, it’s hard. But you’ve got to keep pushing, keep working, because if you show the other guy that you’re tired, then you know that he’s won the match, and if he’s tired, then you know you won. Also you have to try not to be beat by a certain amount, so the other team gets less team points when they win. FC: Do you wrestle outside of school? MM: I do wrestle outside of school. Usually in the spring, I do Cardiac Kids Wrestling Club. It’s like lots of people from Durham schools, Raleigh schools, Chapel Hill schools, and the club itself is in Hillsborough, so we get to compete at different tournaments. FC: Is that mainly how you stay in shape in the off-season? MM: Yep. I do that, and we have summer workouts at the school. -Ellen Yuan
– M (3-1, 0-0) W (3-
1, 0-0) Highlight: The men’s and women’s teams placed second in the quad meet against Broughton, FuquayVarina and Wakefield Dec. 11 with scores of 181 and 157, respectively. Senior Connor Thompson and junior J.C. Bradley finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 breast stroke event with times within 2 seconds of each other. Additionally, juniors Jake Dressman, Robby Shaefer and Stephen Young and freshman Alex Bird placed first in the men’s 200 relay. Latest Scores: Orange W (M) 226-60 (W) 117-109, Carrboro L, Durham School of the Arts W (M) 204-89 (W) 179-102, Panther Creek L (specific scores were not available)
Men’s Basketball – (3-4, 0-0) Highlight: Senior Jared Hendryx committed to Queens University in Charlotte Nov. 15. Hendryx, who averages 12 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, had 13 rebounds and 11 blocks in the game against Orange, Dec. 7; the Falcon’s won 47-46. Latest Scores: Wakefield L 66-65; Orange W 47-46; Wake ForestRolesville W 64-61; Enloe L 76-52; Wake Forest-Rolesville L 54-51
0-0) Highlight: Ten players scored to defeat Orange 77-25, Dec. 14. Senior Bailey Coleman-Cox scored 24 points, junior Millicent Blivin scored 10 and sophomore Salita Greene scored 17. In the game against Enloe Dec. 4, Coleman-Cox scored 38 points and Greene scored 19 points, contributing to a 64-53 win. Latest Scores: Orange W 77-25; Wake Forest-Rolesville W 50-47; Enloe W 69-53; Wake ForestRolesville L 36-34; Enloe L 38-36
Wrestling – (5-1, 1-0) Highlight: At the Bull Durham Holiday Classic Dec. 8, the Falcons finished second overall, and 12 of the wrestlers, including seniors Tyrece Jones, Allal Kartaoui and Robbie Tomasic and junior Wade Clifton, all placed first in their event. In the match against East Chapel Hill Dec. 5, six wrestlers defeated their opponents to win the match 56-18. Latest Scores: East Chapel Hill W 56-18; Broughton High School W 45-27; Southern Lee High School W 61-17; Chatham Central High School W 43-36; Central Academy of Technology and Arts W 60-16
- Amy Grissom
friday, dec. 21, 2012
Swim team size creates tactical advantage By Alima Morgan Staff Reporter
It is morning practice for the swim team, and its members are up before sunrise. At the Campus Hills pool, all 71 swimmers have to work with only eight lanes, so the team splits into groups of eight or nine per lane. Junior Haley Saunders, who started swimming on the school team (1-0-4) this year, said that she sees the size of the team as one of its biggest challenges, since it gets crowded in the practice lanes. She said that lack of space can be a source of tension among team members. “I mean sometimes when you’re there that early, things can make you mad,” Saunders said. “It’s kind of hard to get along with them in the morning … and I need to work on my willingness to accept these things.” Though the size of the team presents space issues, Saunders said that having so many swimmers together is socially beneficial. She said that the team brings together people with different characteristics and makes them a family. “It’s a little overwhelming at first, but you get to know them individually, and it just creates a bigger and broader social spectrum,” Saunders said. “It’s a lot of social stuff.” Senior captain Connor Shaw said that he sees a tactical advantage for the large team at competitions. “I definitely think that’s our strong point,” Shaw said. “When we’re having … dual
Starlyn Combs/Falcon’s Cry
Freshman Alex Bird swims the 100 meter butterfly in the quad meet against Broughton, Wakefield and Fuquay-Varina High Schools Dec. 11. Bird placed third, and junior Robby Schaefer placed second in that race. Jordan men and women finished second overall. meets, we definitely win more points because there [are] more people, and you can tell that when we went to quad meets [when] we’d only take 48 people, so we couldn’t get those straggling points that we could have gotten with more people there.” So far this season both teams won in the meet against Durham School of the Arts Nov. 27, lost two individual meets and finished second and third in the two quad meets. Shaw said that despite losing four out of five meets, the team is improving and will continue to do so as the season goes on. In the quad meet after Broughton High School Dec. 11, both teams earned second place. Jordan defeated Wakefield High and Fuquay-Varina High, re-
spectively. “I think that we really swam as best we could,” Shaw said. “Everybody swam as hard as they could, and I know a lot of people got personal bests. I think we’re in, at this point of our season, on the rise instead of falling down.” Assistant coach Daniel Miller is coaching swimming for the first time this year, though he swam competitively through high school and swam intramural in college, where he also played water polo. When the season started, Miller’s goal was to learn how to coach a team. “I’ve been learning how [head coach Kristen Abrams] structures practices, and the way that you do things when you practice yourself and the way that you practice when
you coach a team are very, very different things,” Miller said. “It’s been a very eye-opening experience for me in terms of understanding how I can take a more active role, moving forward and going into next year, and that’s what I’ve been getting out of this year, just a learning process.” While Miller has learned and adjusted to being a coach, he said that he has also observed the mostly inexperienced team grow in skill. “I think the season’s going really well so far,” Miller said. “We’ve had good performances at some meets. The swimmers are improving in their timing, and I think everyone’s making really good strides. So even though we haven’t won every meet, I think we’re making good progress.”
Two basketball players sign letters of intent Friends, family and members of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams packed the fiction corner of the library Nov. 15 to watch seniors Bayley Coleman-Cox and Jared Hendryx sign letters of intent to play basketball at Division 1 Hampton University and Division 2 Queens University of Charlotte, respectively. When the letters were signed, applause filled the library, cell phone cameras flashed and some students in the crowd even broke into tears. The event began with a short speech from Principal Jerome Leathers. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Bayley and Jared for a while,” Leathers said. “It’s been exciting to see them courtside, excelling, but also academically.” Then men’s
basketball head coach Kim Annas praised Hendryx – who has played on the varsity squad for almost three years – for his hard work and resilience after a knee injury kept Hendryx sidelined for much of his junior season. After Annas spoke, Ty Cox, Coleman-Cox’s father and head varsity women’s coach, thanked members of ColemanCox’s community, including her pastor, family members and past coaches, many of whom were present. Both Hendryx and Coleman-Cox’s mothers spoke briefly before the athletes themselves addressed the crowd. Hendryx spoke first. “Thank you all for the support,” Hendryx said. “It’s been fun working hard with the team [and] my coaches, and I look
IonaPearl Reid-Eaton/Falcon’s Cry
Senior Jared Hendryx signs his letter of intent for Queens University of Charlotte Nov. 15 beside his mother, Linda Addison. forward to my next chapter at Queens University of Charlotte.” Then the athletes silently read their contracts, signed them, and posed for pictures – Coleman-Cox in front of a
Hampton banner adorning a bookshelf behind their table, and Hendryx in a Queens cap with his mother. The event concluded with refreshments. – IonaPearl Reid-Eaton
Falcon's Cry issue 3, 2012-2013 Charles E. Jordan High School