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THE FEATHERDUSTER

FD

BEST OF WESTLAKE

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DO IT YOURSELF

43 FINAL EXEMPTIONS page 61

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6 Westlake High School

Volume 45

Issue 4

May 20, 2014

4100 Westbank Drive Austin, Texas 78746


Ber

ke ley A c ademy

7035 Bee Caves Rd. Suite #100 Austin, TX 78746

512-347-7575

Berkeley2Academy.com

b2awestlake@gmail.com

WHAT THE

STEP ONE:

IS AN

Flip through this issue of The Featherduster and find a photo marked with the Aurasma logo.

HECK

FIND THEM ON PAGES:

AURASMA? 9

Download the Aurasma app to your phone or iPad. Follow The Featherduster’s Aurasma account.

STEP TWO:

STEP THREE:

Open Aurasma and align the scanner over your chosen photo.

STEP FOUR:

Hold your device in place, turn the volume up and watch the video over the page.

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2014

MAY

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Dancing queens

Annual Zenith showcase highlights performances by dance department

18 Nothing to fear Hyline captain senior Alayna Garcia dances a solo routine during Zenith.

Freshman Campbell Erickson wakesurfs on Lake Austin. Lucy Wimmer

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Nick Appling

The interior of Embellish Nail & Boutique, which won best salon in the “Best of Westlake” poll.

Athletes take extreme sports to a whole new level

25 Westlake winners

You picked ‘em — student favorites from around the community

50 Go with the flow Inventor creates water-carrying device for developing countries

58 Feast to famine

Senior shares story of hardships and redemption

Nick Appling

Cover photo: First lieutenant senior Samantha Brocklehurst poses during her solo performance at this year’s Zenith in the Performing Arts Center. Photo by Lucy Wimmer. The Featherduster, the newsmagazine of Westlake High School, attempts to inform and entertain in a broad, fair and accurate manner on subjects which concern the readers. The publication also seeks to provide a forum of ideas and opinions between the staff of the newsmagazine, the faculty, the student body and the local community about issues presented. All material produced and published by The Featherduster staff is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without the writer’s consent or that of the editors. Content decisions rest in the hands of the staff, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. Opinions expressed in the columns that appear

in The Featherduster do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire staff, the school administration or the adviser. The staff encourages letters to the editor as an avenue for expressing the opinions of the readers. All letters must be signed to be considered for publication. Due to space limitations, not all letters will be published, and the editorial board reserves the right to edit them for purposes of placement. No material will be printed that is libelous, advocates an illegal activity or which the editorial board deems is in poor taste. The restriction includes letters to the staff, advertising and anything else the board feels presents an inappropriate message. Visit us online at westlakefeatherduster.com

Editors-in-Chief

Webmasters

Rachel Cooper Caitlyn Kerbow Peyton Richardson

Alexis Huynh ZZ Lundburg

Brains + Brawn

Nikki Humble Jacob Prothro Kathryn Revelle

Jack Stenglein Asst. Sophia Ho Asst. Colleen Pletcher Emily Martin Asst. Drew Brown Asst. Cooper Kerbow

People + Places Madeline Dupre Georgina Kuhlmann Asst. Zhouie Martinez

Trends +Traditions Sara Phillips Asst. Michelle Fairorth Asst. Ananya Zachariah

Rants + Raves

Katelyn Connolly Asst. Jack Speer Asst. Jack Wallace

Online Editors

Business Manager Sabrina Knap

Art Editor: Michaela Moss Ariana Gomez Reyes Alex Charnes

Photographers Editor: Tim Whaling Asst. Lucy Wimmer Nick Appling

Reporters Nelson Aydelotte Drew Brown Nikki Lyssy Margaret Norman

Monica Rao Sage Sutton Sarah Tucker David Tulkoff Brian Wieckowski Michael Wiggin Micah Williams Damien Wills

Andy Brown Fan Club Andy Brown Elizabeth Emery Olivia Kight Cade Ritter Marco Scarasso Cierra Smith Hannah Turner Ben Wallace Shelby Westbrook

Adviser Deanne Brown


&

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brains + brawn

aela Mich Moss

Change of course New graduation requirements await incoming freshmen

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embers of the Class of 2018 will see a lot of changes including the graduation plan, multipliers and cutting down the number of State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness exams this upcoming school year. In one such change, the incoming freshmen will only be required to take five STAAR tests, as opposed to the 15 originally taken by this year’s juniors. This alteration is only the beginning of the modifications to the new students’ graduation plan. The 2014-15 school year will also see the creation of a new graduation plan for the incoming freshmen. The state legislature has decided to remove the Recommended and Distinguished plans and instead have one plan called the Foundation plan. Eanes is adding onto this plan multi-disciplinary endorsements. Each endorsement is a path for different career clusters, such as a STEM track for science-oriented students and the Arts and Humanities track for English-oriented students. Although the endorsements will vary from person to person, each student will take the same basic core classes. “The endorsements will be advanced measures,” Director of Guidance and Career Counseling Jeff Pilchiek said. “Taking a combination of different higher courses gets you an endorsement. Eanes has not decided on all the endorsements as a district, so we chose to keep everyone on track and open to all endorsements by putting them on the multidisciplinary endorsement. There are other endorsements, but they are so detailed that we — and the parents — didn’t think eighth graders should choose. So we put them on the generic plan right now. At their brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

sophomore conference, they can choose from the full, complete list [of endorsements].” Another huge adjustment for the incoming freshmen is that the state legislature has lowered the requirements to graduate. While the state of Texas will no longer require Algebra II, for example, Eanes has not yet decided whether students at Westlake need to take it or not. Eanes is also considering removing the fourth credit of English and instead offering new options such as a technical writing class or an advanced English prep course. Many students required to take these classes are displeased with the changes. “I think that any type of change that isn’t uniform isn’t fair, not just to us, but also to the freshmen,” sophomore Chance Rogala said. “It’s not only unfair to us because we have a harder work load, but it’s unfair to them because they aren’t going to learn as much.” Additionally, some electives and classes this year that do not have a multiplier will have a Pre-AP multiplier next year. One class that will receive the 1.1 multiplier is Professional Communication, commonly known as Speech. Starting next year, juniors and seniors who take the class as a dual enrollment course through Austin Community College will get the multiplier. “We’re kind of guiding ourselves,” Pilchiek said. “The school districts have a lot of leeway. We don’t want anyone to lose out on any options, and we don’t want to put anything in place that doesn’t allow someone to get where they want. We want everyone to have all choices and opportunities available.” —Cooper Kerbow and Jack Stenglein


Study buddies

Lesser-known apps provide unlimited potential Every student at Westlake has access to an iPad and uses it for a variety of purposes. There are millions of apps for everything from gaming to reading to organization. Of those apps, many are educational and can help make learning and the sharing of information smooth and easy. For example, the Shutterfly app allows photos to be uploaded with unlimited storage for school projects, and iFiles enables wireless sharing of anything within the app from computer to computer. While those two are well-known, many helpful apps remain obscure. This list of lesser-known apps should help students begin to use their devices to their full potential. —Nikki Lyssy

Smore

Smore is a web app that allows for the creation of multimedia presentations. Librarian Carolyn Foote found it extremely helpful in setting up library databases for purposes of research. “Smore is a nice website for creating long flyers, and you can scroll through the flyers on any iPad,” Foote said. “A smore can be set up in minutes and looks good every time. The fact that you can embed it into a website makes it really useful.”

Trello

Trello is a collaborative project planning board. It is supported by any browser and is used for planning group projects. “It is perfect for assembling docs, links, images, to-do lists, etc.,” school technology specialist Lisa Johnson said. Carl Hooker, the head of technology for Eanes ISD, said he introduced the app to the district. “The real power from the app comes from being able to collaborate with others and a team,” Hooker said. “It’s a web-based app that works on any device, but you can also download the free app on your iOS device to experience the same dragand-drop functionality.”

Thinglink

Thinglink allows students to submit all pieces of a project to one place and share as a link for their teacher to view. Freshman Jessie Meek found Thinglink to be extremely beneficial in building projects. “This app allows you to sneak information in without hogging a lot of space,” Jessie said. “If there is a project that is primarily picture-based and you need to add some more facts or an explanation or if you just want your end product to be mainly pictures instead of a confusing, wordy mess, this app allows you to ‘link’ information onto photos,” Jessie said. Jessie has never experienced a problem with the app. “I have indeed used this app in my classes,” Jessie said. “Being a student who likes to elaborate and to cram as much information into a project as possible, Thinglink was my secret weapon.”

Evernote

Evernote is an app that will create, organize and make the sharing of notes easily accessible. It is available on any device and offers tagging, keyword searches in various notes and stacks of notebooks. Evernote also provides the ability to record lectures and sync them with any device. Accounts can be created with a personal email address and will be stored forever in the app. This is helpful for graduating seniors who want to continue having access to their projects. Junior Michael Deisher finds Evernote to be extremely helpful. “All your data is transferable through different devices,” Michael said. “If I have one thing on my phone, I can access it through my iPad or laptop.” However, there is a downside to the app. “In order to share documents with other users, and to allow them to edit and comment, you have to pay either a monthly or yearly fee,” Michael said. “Google Docs is free for everything.” That idiosyncrasy aside, Michael enjoys the easy sharing that the app makes possible. “[Evernote is] one of the only apps that will [allow for the syncing of files from iPad to computer],” Michael said.


ZENITH Games: they capture the spirit of competition, the cultivation of skill and the expression of joy. This year, Hyline, Star Steppers, the dance classes and outside acts showed off their playful side in the fun-themed annual Zenith performance April 24-26 in the Performing Arts Center. Months of early morning practices, competitions and late night rehearsals paid off for Hyline members as they high kicked their way to a show-stopping success. Featuring hilarious host Sarah Coker, Zenith won both laughs and applause from the audience. These dancers proved that hard work can be fun and games. —Sara Phillips

LET THE GAMES BEGIN 6

3 Lucy Wimmer

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1. The Star Steppers pose at the edge of the stage, closing out their performance of “Just a Game.” “Being a part of Star Steppers during Zenith is the best part of the year,” junior Caroline Tounget said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it.” 2. Junior Madison Knight dances to “Let It Be.” 3. Dancing in the senior section, Elizabeth Brigham performs Hyline’s “Last Dance.” 4. Senior Hannah Crutchfield dances during Hyline’s performance of “What’s A Girl Gotta Do?”. 5. Hands in the air, seniors Elizabeth Gabriel and Elizabeth Brigham pose with their dads during the Daddy Daughter Dance.

6. Host Sarah Coker and seniors Sarah Barken and Erica Holley spin the wheel to determine prize winners from the audience. 7. Sparkling in their gold costumes, junior Brady Anderson, sophomore Marlaina Allen, senior Lauren Rizzi, and juniors Hannah Moskal, Hailey Nelson, and Alex Denton [from left] dance to “Money.” “The outfits were really fun to dance in instead of the practice tops,” Alex said. “It was the icing on the cake of the whole performance.” 8. Junior Hannah Moskal and sophomores Julia Dansby and Annabel Bordelon pose during “Shoeless Joe.” 9. Senior Theresa Cu strikes a sassy pose at the end of Hyline’s “Vegas.”

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brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

Lucy Wimmer

Lucy Wimmer

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Lucy Wimmer


ZENITH Games: they capture the spirit of competition, the cultivation of skill and the expression of joy. This year, Hyline, Star Steppers, the dance classes and outside acts showed off their playful side in the fun-themed annual Zenith performance April 24-26 in the Performing Arts Center. Months of early morning practices, competitions and late night rehearsals paid off for Hyline members as they high kicked their way to a show-stopping success. Featuring hilarious host Sarah Coker, Zenith won both laughs and applause from the audience. These dancers proved that hard work can be fun and games. —Sara Phillips

LET THE GAMES BEGIN 6

3 Lucy Wimmer

7 1 4

Cade Ritter

2

Lucy Wimmer

7

Lucy Wimmer

Cade Ritter

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1. The Star Steppers pose at the edge of the stage, closing out their performance of “Just a Game.” “Being a part of Star Steppers during Zenith is the best part of the year,” junior Caroline Tounget said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it.” 2. Junior Madison Knight dances to “Let It Be.” 3. Dancing in the senior section, Elizabeth Brigham performs Hyline’s “Last Dance.” 4. Senior Hannah Crutchfield dances during Hyline’s performance of “What’s A Girl Gotta Do?”. 5. Hands in the air, seniors Elizabeth Gabriel and Elizabeth Brigham pose with their dads during the Daddy Daughter Dance.

6. Host Sarah Coker and seniors Sarah Barken and Erica Holley spin the wheel to determine prize winners from the audience. 7. Sparkling in their gold costumes, junior Brady Anderson, sophomore Marlaina Allen, senior Lauren Rizzi, and juniors Hannah Moskal, Hailey Nelson, and Alex Denton [from left] dance to “Money.” “The outfits were really fun to dance in instead of the practice tops,” Alex said. “It was the icing on the cake of the whole performance.” 8. Junior Hannah Moskal and sophomores Julia Dansby and Annabel Bordelon pose during “Shoeless Joe.” 9. Senior Theresa Cu strikes a sassy pose at the end of Hyline’s “Vegas.”

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Lucy Wimmer

Lucy Wimmer

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Lucy Wimmer


TEC members shed light on backstage happenings

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e sat down with Technical Entertainment Crew members seniors Kara Fox, Irena Martinez and Feroz James, junior Jacob Rogers, sophomore Isaac Frost and director David Poole to get a behind-the-scenes look at TEC productions and the work that goes into making shows like Zenith, the Nutcracker and football broadcasts.

The Featherduster: Can you describe the positions available to TEC members and the jobs associated with them? DP: On a big production we will have around 42 kids helping out out of probably 100 [kids] in classes. That’s for Battle of the Bands, the Nutcracker and Zenith. Out of that we have about a dozen on leadership. FJ: Both Irena and Kara have been stage managers. Their main job is just to make sure that everyone else gets their job done. They’re in charge of the morale of the crew and making sure that everyone has a fun time, which is probably the most important job. Then, when the actual show comes around, it’s just calling the cues and getting all of the different technical elements to come together at the right time. IM: And also if a mistake happens, just to keep the crew moving forward. Because mistakes happen in live theater. KF: Even though we’re all over the place, we come together to meet a lot. We always meet up until the last minute, when the show starts, to get the crew focused and stay cohesive. The meeting is just to help us remember why we’re here because things can get kind of exhausting with constant rehearsals. IM: We like to have fun, but we also need to get focused in order ings; we get together and turn from goofy high school kids to professionals. DP: A lot of times those discussions, if we didn’t stop them, would go on for quite some time. When somebody walks into the theater what they’re doing, but I think that’s all secondary to the mission statement. At the end of the day, these kids are involved in a very successful student organization that is not just about learning technical equipment and having fun.

FD: What is your favorite production to work on? KF: I am partial to the Nutcracker Spectacular. That’s what I stage managed. It’s just really amazing to see all of our work come together all about. IM: I’m partial to the musical, but I stage managed that. It’s fun because it’s a different musical every year and it’s a new challenge. We have to create new scenery and redo lighting. It’s just fascinating to create a show from scratch. And you get all of the songs stuck in your head, so that’s fun. JR: I think my favorite is Zenith. Zenith is sort of a lighting oriented show, so it’s kind of fun to bring in all of the moving lights. It’s so

cool to see lights that I programmed working on stage. FJ: Zenith is really cool because all of the students get to be a part of the show and see their work put on display. I’m partial to Zenith because it’s our biggest, most bad-ass event. KF: It’s a different experience every time you work a show. There are different people, and you’re in a different position. IM: And the crews are different, so there’s not always the same dynamic. DP: You’ll never have the same 42 students on a major producstaff goes through and assigns roles. Unfortunately, we’ll have around 50 sign up for around 42 slots, so some kids won’t make it onto a major production that they sign up for.

FD: How much time do you put towards TEC outside of school? JR: For Zenith, we’ve got rehearsals before show week. Then the week of the production is pretty busy. It’s a big after-school commitment, but it kind of comes in spurts; we’re not doing a production every week. KF: On rehearsal nights, we work from directly after school, so it’s 4 [p.m.] to 10:30 [p.m.] sometimes. IM: Production students, who are generally juniors and seniors, stay from 3 [p.m.] to 10:30 [p.m.] because they have eighth period TEC. DP: Zenith and the musical have Saturdays too. It’s intense, but all of the leaders are pretty good at getting the students to focus on study. There’s a lot of peer coaching that goes on. FJ: Some positions have more down time than others. In some we can to get kids through a good portion of their homework. Some days, you’ll be bogged down and you’ll stay up late, but the pros

FD: TEC also does football broadcasts. Can you tell me about that? FJ: It’s a different crew [than our other broadcasts] because it’s such a long time commitment continuing possibly until Christmas every Friday. It’s a more specialized crew — around 24. We have two weeks before school starts to get everyone ready. When we bring in the upcoming freshmen, there’s a challenge getting them integrated with high school and with our crew and learning everything. All of these students basically commit from two weeks before school, ner Cable. Last year our broadcast was available in 1.4 million homes. We’re the only high school that does something like that. It really comes down to student leadership. They get out there and train these freshmen and sophomores basically every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. FJ: Most people don’t view it like ‘oh I’m losing my Friday night.’ They view it like ‘I’m getting to do what I love with my friends.’ For away games, we leave typically sixth or seventh period. The trailer

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has already been packed up, so all of that equipment travels with us. We get there three or four hours before kickoff. We’ll start setting up and [the football players] usually get there around an hour in. KF: We’re the last out, too. IM: Yeah, sometimes they turn the lights off. DP: Our broadcast doesn’t end as soon as the clock hits zero. We always have our post-game interviews. It’s normally an hour and a half after the clock hits zero before we’re back in the bus. There are some nights when we’re not getting back until 2 o’clock in the morning. The football team and the coaches recognize that, and they have been really generous with their support. They know that we get there ment set up in very warm weather, wet weather or sometimes very cold weather. When we played at the beginning of the year in Cibolo, it was pouring down rain. The band couldn’t go, the cheerleaders the game.

FD: Do you feel that TEC is under appreciated or under recognized? KF: I don’t really feel under appreciated. We put on the football banquet at the [Performing Arts Center]. When they see the video It’s the same thing with the Nutcracker. When we bring in the fourth end, they just go crazy. They start screaming, and it’s the loudest the place ever is. It’s the best feeling to see them all enjoy it so much. TEC crew walks out on stage. We do that for Zenith, the Nutcracker and the musical. It’s very evident and well received.

FD: Are any of you considering a career in technical theater? DP: The rationale behind the TEC program was never to prepare students for a career in technical entertainment. We want to teach them leadership, teamwork and team building talents that will help them when they become engineers or doctors. FJ: It’s crossed my mind because I really like TEC, doing sound or computer, but it’s more about giving people skills and a place to going into technical theater. It would be a lot less inclusive.

FD: What lessons have you learned from TEC? KF: TEC often turns kids who don’t really talk into outspoken leaders who can get up in front of a group and guide it. I always tell his story and I know it embarrasses Feroz, but I don’t think I heard and now he’s president. I think that this organization does give people a safe place to express their opinions. IF: I’ve walked all of the different parts of the technical spectrum. I’ve done lighting, sound, stage crew, and it’s just really cool to see the different aspects that go into each one of them. It’s almost like there’s a culture around everything that goes on — like how people communicate and how they’re organized. I also love how we can still be fun and be serious when we need to. DP: There’s no doubt that these 42 students come together and make something that’s Broadway quality. I think a lot of times people make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about the electronics, and we are integrators of technology in a big way, but the key to the whole thing is what you’ve heard them talking about. The relationships. —Peyton Richardson

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photos by Tim Whaling 1. During Zenith rehearsals, senior Feroz James and director David Poole manage the stage. “I would tell the lighting operator when to advance to the next cue, the stage crew when to switch the set pieces and the fly crew when to bring the drapes in or out,” Feroz said. 2. Freshman Conner Beasley operates the audio console while listening to the intercom for his next cue. 3. Using a lighting console, junior Jan Stein designs the moving lights to be used during a Zenith dance.

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LIFE BEHIND THE CURTAIN

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brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com


UNDER

{ opinion }

PRE SSURE

Why our school system needs some major changes It is safe to say that at some point in our academic lives, we’ve all felt stress. It’s a normal response to fear or pressure, and in small doses it can help problem-solve. However, too much stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system and even leave the brain more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. In our school system, stress is constant. A recent study by Challenge Success found that 95 percent of juniors and seniors in the nation reported cheating on tests due to fear of failing. Stress is everywhere in a high school environment: multiple hours of homework each night, tests and quizzes almost every day, worrying about college since the day you first walked into high school and any extracurriculars that have the potential to take up time. However, the Texas Education Agency has implemented a new, hopefully less stressful graduation plan, presented in House Bill 5. When the TEA met in February to vote on House Bill 5, their decisions about the way students in Texas are educated took a step in the right direction. Starting with incoming freshmen next fall, new graduation requirements, if approved by individual school Alex C harnes districts, will allow students to focus on subjects they are interested in, eliminating many credits in the subjects that students do not enjoy. Over the course of four years, there will be only three credits required in both math and science, although there will be many new math and science classes offered for students who are interested. Students will also get to choose courses in career clusters, such as Business and Industry, Arts and Humanities and Public Services. Public Services, for example, will allow students interested in hotel management the chance to focus their studies by taking courses offered within that specific cluster. These reforms are positive changes in our education system. However, Westlake may not be installing some of the changes, such as the three math and science credits, and those of us still on the current graduation plan are seeing no change in our workload or in the attitude surrounding it. School should be about learning and growing, not about who can memorize more for a multiple choice test and who can fit more AP classes into their schedule. The current system sets some students up for failure, requiring us to be good at every subject, and in the beginning of high school, the

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attitude seems to be that the only way to get into college is to excel, excel, excel. This type of thinking is unrealistic. Not everyone can be good at math, and English and a foreign language, but high schoolers are expected to be. Of course, learning all of these subjects is an important step towards being productive in the world, but the common belief is that if a student doesn’t make an A in Algebra, they’re never going to get anywhere in life. And that is just not true. Hopefully, once the new graduation plan is in place, students will find themselves less stressed and more interested in their classes. However, there will still be many problems in our school system that need to be addressed. Ultimately, how will it be possible to reshape our education system into an atmosphere that students enjoy being a part of? We have no-homework nights and late-start days now, but in the great scheme of things, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference. There are some things that we can easily fix that will hopefully make things better. If teachers could get the grades in faster, that would help alleviates stress. When teachers only put a few grades in the gradebook, one bad grade can really hurt, especially if that teacher then takes awhile to put more grades in. Another thing that would help is if kids with problems like depression or anxiety were given a bit of a break. Teenagers with these problems are still held to the same standard as other students, which really isn’t fair. It might not seem like a lot, but letting a student take a quiz a day late or giving them an extension on a homework assignment can make a difference. It’s not just the teachers who can help students out. Parents can too. The amount of horror stories one hears about strict parents who punish their kids for one low grade is ridiculous. It’s one thing to want your children to do well in school and another thing entirely to shove unrealistic expectations on them in a school that already expects a lot. So parents, please, when your kid is already looking stressed, don’t start scolding them about their grades or lecturing them about college. Instead, tell them you’re proud of them, and then tell them to go take a nap. One can only hope that as our generation moves through college and beyond, we will be able to implement new plans that make school more enjoyable and less stressful and instill a love of learning, because that’s what school should really be about. —Colleen Pletcher


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A winning tradition Boys golf team wins State tournament Sophomore Trevor Brown lines up for his putt at the third hole at State April 28. Trevor shot 151 after two rounds to place 26th. Photo and Aurasma by Andrew Baggett The Chaps proved that they are the best in Texas once again, with a slim four-shot victory over South Lake Carroll at State April 28 at Onion Creek Golf Course. The win capped off an incredible season in which the Chaps took home five pre-District first place finishes, the District and Regional championships and a State title. “As a team we are still letting it all sink in,” senior Matthew Perrine, who shot a pair of 68s on the two days (four below par) to take home the gold for first place in the individual results said. “It’s such a great feeling to work so hard all year and to end up with a state title.” At State, the Chaps played for a little more than just a victory. They fought for redemption. It had been four straight trips to State for the Chaps without a single victory, but this time they finally broke through, making the win ever sweeter. “The last time we won a State Title was four years ago,” sophomore Trevor Brown said. “We just haven’t executed. This year we finally came through.” Westlake led by 11 strokes after the first day. On the second day, the South Lake Carroll team made up some ground, but was unable to capitalize due to the large lead posted by the Chaps the previous day. The Chaps scored 575 to the SLC 579. “I feel like the team going into State was the best team we have had yet,” Trevor said. “I’ve known these guys for a while, we get along well, and when we get off the course we can talk to each other comfortably. We are able to be both friends and teammates.”

Team results this season Swing for the Cure: Score after 3 rounds- 288 (third place) Lakeapalooza: Score after 2 rounds - 160 (third place) Georgetown invitational: Score after 2 rounds - 156 (second place)

“[State] was really really fun. I wish my whole team could have been there with me, but it was awesome that they could come out and watch me and cheer me on. I feel like I played really well in my first State tournament.” Freshman Randi Romack

Randi’s results

Spring State Preview: Score after 1 round - 85 (third place)

Region: Score after 2 rounds - 158 (16th place individual)

District: Score after 2 rounds - 142 (third place)

State: Score after 2 rounds - 152 (16th place individual)

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Before State the Chaps took first in Regionals April 16-17 at the Cottonwood Country Club in Waco by a landslide. On the first day they set the pace, jumping ahead by 12 strokes over (then second) third-place Plano West, and then capitalizing on the second day by pushing ahead another 16 strokes over the strong second place finisher McKinney Boyd for the win. “The first day really got us on pace so we had a big lead going into the second day,” freshman Reese Ramsey said. “We were really confident and we ended up winning by 28.” The Chaps also beat Westwood, who was believed to be one of their biggest competitors but had a very disappointing ninth place finish. They were then knocked out of the playoffs. By claiming the Regional title, the Chaps were ranked first in the state and were very confident in their ability to win once again. But it all started with a first place finish at District, where the Chaps were able to kick (then) third ranked Lake Travis out of the playoffs. The Chaps placed first by a margin of 11 strokes. Lake Travis placed third, falling behind Austin to prevent them from advancing. “It came down to the eighteenth hole for Lake Travis,” Reese said. “We already had it wrapped up, but a lot of players for Lake Travis had a very bad last hole and that pretty much kicked them out of Regionals. With an incredible season behind them, the Chaps took home the best prize of all, redemption, and with that, they look to next year. ­—Nelson Aydelotte

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

Freshman Randi Romack putts at Regionals April 14-15. Randi advanced to State after finishing in 16th place. Chuck Nowland


TRACK

GIRLS 1

Chap

1

1

Hutto

Maverick

1

1

District

3

Area

Region

1600 M

3200 M

5:16:61

11:29:37

1

Chap

Meet placments

BOYS 2

Hutto

4:22:00

9:43:30

4

Region

Ben Jepson

Nicole Summersett Pole vault 13’1”

Tommy Lampton Pole vault 13’6”

Kaden Burlison High jump 6’2”

14.73 s 100 M

110 M

43.67 s 300 M

Relay team of Victoria Somerville, Lauren Turner, Brooke Holle, Hannah Szwneri 1:47.87

Hurdles

Relay team of Amelia Hood, Sydne Fowler Brooke Holle, Hannah Szwneri 3:56.21

4X200

4X400

Co

Sh k s rin elb ola roo ne c y b t d W Lo Gr an es ng an Sho est Gr mp y W s jum dco t Pu bro e n ju elb scu ok las t p rin le Sh Di Co Trip 17’9”

Area

3200 M

5’2”

Sydne Fowler

3

1

District

1600 M

Jessica Ellis

Aubrey Hinners High jump

3

Maverick

34’7” 37’5”

107’3”

State qualifier: Nicole Summersett — pole vault

300 M

Hurdles

34.92 s

Relay team of Reed Klubnick, Ryan McPail, Mitchell Myers, Evan Vinson 1:31.04

Robert Dutton Relay team of Reed Klubnick, Robert Dutton, Ben Zook, Evan Vinson 3:26.32

4X200

4X400

Rh Re o Lo des Tr ed K ng l L ip jum egg le ju ubnik mp p 2’5”

14.78 s

n

o ll ers Ha d n n t o A s ds pu in Hu Shot Calv iscu D

45’3” 47’2”

157’9”

State qualifier: Robert Dutton — 100 M hurdles


Signs of spring

Junior Lindsey McLeod pitches to the Anderson Trojans on April 4.

Baseball team secures playoff spot after run in District

Softball wins District

“In playoffs freshman year, we thought we were going to lose in the bottom of the seventh, but Aaliyah Gibson ended up hitting a home run in her last time at bat which won the game for us.” Junior Emma Martino Shelby Westbrook

By the

NUMBERS 0.677 150 3 4 Lacy Boyd’s Batting Average

Total third base runs this season

Total team put outs

Average batting average Westlake held its opponents to

4

Total triple hits

Team batting average this season

0.416

7

Sarah Hildreth’s assists

35

Team RBI this season

Team walks this season

Home run allowed this season

18

Elizabeth DeBlasio’s RBI

9

Total team assists

Janelle Turnquest and Juliana Brown’s batting average

0.556

1.143

62

1

T

he varsity baseball team lost

third consecutive year, capping off an up-and-down season with two losses to 16-5A foe Round Rock High School. With their ace senior Paul Kirkpatrick on the the three-game series 0-3 on April 30, and on May 2, they fell victim to a late Round Rock rally, losing 3-5. “I thought we played really well,” sophomore Canaan Clark-Bateman said. “Some of the best baseball we’d played all year. We didn’t have the run support we needed, and in the second one, we were in it but they put us away late.” At midseason, the situation was dire; it looked like they might not make it. The team, once the powerhouse of the Austin area, had been shut-out by Bowie, had its bats silenced against Akins and dropped a pair of close

games against Austin High and Lake Travis. In order to make the playoffs and keep the program’s streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances alive, the Chaps would need to win their next two games. They’d already lost to Del Valle, and Anderson was no slouch of a team either, as they were in the running for one of the last two playoffs spots. But Westlake was able to pull it out, beating Anderson 3-1 on April 8 and Del Valle 9-0 on April 11, clinching the last playoff spot in the process. “The guys really started to play a lot better,” coach Jeff Montgomery said. “We got a bunch of guys out there that are all in.” The Chaps’ struggles were understandable. Personnel wise, this was a young team and there wasn’t a lot of carryover from the 2013 team. Five incoming seniors and returning varsity players left the team during the offseason and early non-District schedule. In addition, senior Tate Shaw, one of the team’s best players, got injured, and was unable to play. Many of those players were going to be

Doubles players Charles Tan, Fernanda

Contreras win State

Juniors Charles Tan and Fernanda Contreras advanced to the State tournament at the University of Texas April 28. On April 29, the mixed doubles duo walked off the courts State Champions after defeating New Braunfels’ mixed doubles team. “[During the last match], Charles went into god mode,” Fernanda said. “When [the other team served] to Charles, he returned it back with a good forehand. When the ball came towards me, I thought ‘what the heck’ and went for the ball. This hit ended up being the winning one. [Charles and I] dropped our rackets and jumped at each other.” Fernanda and Charles have been doubles partners since January. “It’s easy to play with a partner as talented as Fernanda,” Charles

said. “The most satisfying thing is not the winning, but seeing all your hard work pay off during a match.”

mixed game. It was our goal to win State and we were just excited to go

14

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

On April 17, senior Paul Kirkpatrick goes up to bat against the Lake Travis Cavaliers.

Total second base runs this season

Lacy Boyd’s slugging percentage for the season

Shelby Westbrook

Senior Sam Spears pitches while competing against Lake Travis on April 17.

photos by Shelby Westbrook

Total hits allowed by Westlake this season

Westlake celebrates scoring a run while battling against Anderson High School. The Chaps won 6-5.

Batting against Lake Travis, junior Hudson Valenti hits a foul ball on April 17.

Home runs hit by Janelle Turnquest

0.181

Junior Lindsey McLeod “During our first District game, I was getting hit pretty hard and that hadn’t happened in a long time this season. So I freaked out and basically had a huge anxiety attack and had to come out of the game because I was getting sick on the mound. I felt like I let down my team, that was my greatest disappointment.”

out and play for it.” Varsity coach Kim Riley has enjoyed coaching Fernanda and Charles this season. “Fernanda and Charles make my job easy,” Riley said. “They are very talented and listen to their coaches on how to improve. They have been a joy to watch grow this season. Each match they get better and better. They never get down on themselves and always bring everything they have to each match. They leave it all on the court.” On top of Fernanda and Charles’ success, the team did outstanding in District play. Junior Jullian Sweeny and senior Elliot Lebovitz placed third in boys doubles while sophomore Clara Miertschin and freshman Alex Reinhart won fourth in the girls doubles division. Ali Young placed fourth place in girls singles. “[The best part of this season] was beating Lake Travis,” Hannah

Meek and sophomore Hannah Sutton advanced to Regionals and placed fourth. “I feel like [the season] went awesome for me personally,” Elliot said. “As a team, we all worked hard together and had great results.” The strong sense of communication between Riley and the players proved to be important in this season’s success. “Good communication helps you move better together on the court and play better as a team,” Hannah said. “I’ve learned that winning is much sweeter when you do it with your team. That support and encouragement can go a long way.” —Kathryn Revelle

counted on to lead the team. “We don’t have the leaders that we had in years past,” catcher junior Matt Bull said. compete] on the varsity level.” two players that saw their roles increase, and teammates said they met the challenge. “Both stepped up and both became good baseball players,” Paul said. “They have leadership skills and both showed that they can work hard and push others to be better.” While players leaving, bad luck, youth, and injuries led to a somewhat disappointing season, players say the experience gained this year should lead to success for the Chaps in 2015. “We played really well this season, considering all the guys we lost,” Matt said. “Our whole junior class had to step up and that’s why I really believe we will be better next year.” —Jacob Prothro

Juniors Fernanda Contreras and Charles Tan compete against Houston Memorial at the UIL State Tournament on April 28. The mixed doubles team would win the match 6-1 6-2 and capture the State Title. Aurasma by Ali Young photo by Shelby Westbrook


Signs of spring

Junior Lindsey McLeod pitches to the Anderson Trojans on April 4.

Baseball team secures playoff spot after run in District

Softball wins District

“In playoffs freshman year, we thought we were going to lose in the bottom of the seventh, but Aaliyah Gibson ended up hitting a home run in her last time at bat which won the game for us.” Junior Emma Martino Shelby Westbrook

By the

NUMBERS 0.677 150 3 4 Lacy Boyd’s Batting Average

Total third base runs this season

Total team put outs

Average batting average Westlake held its opponents to

4

Total triple hits

Team batting average this season

0.416

7

Sarah Hildreth’s assists

35

Team RBI this season

Team walks this season

Home run allowed this season

18

Elizabeth DeBlasio’s RBI

9

Total team assists

Janelle Turnquest and Juliana Brown’s batting average

0.556

1.143

62

1

T

he varsity baseball team lost

third consecutive year, capping off an up-and-down season with two losses to 16-5A foe Round Rock High School. With their ace senior Paul Kirkpatrick on the the three-game series 0-3 on April 30, and on May 2, they fell victim to a late Round Rock rally, losing 3-5. “I thought we played really well,” sophomore Canaan Clark-Bateman said. “Some of the best baseball we’d played all year. We didn’t have the run support we needed, and in the second one, we were in it but they put us away late.” At midseason, the situation was dire; it looked like they might not make it. The team, once the powerhouse of the Austin area, had been shut-out by Bowie, had its bats silenced against Akins and dropped a pair of close

games against Austin High and Lake Travis. In order to make the playoffs and keep the program’s streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances alive, the Chaps would need to win their next two games. They’d already lost to Del Valle, and Anderson was no slouch of a team either, as they were in the running for one of the last two playoffs spots. But Westlake was able to pull it out, beating Anderson 3-1 on April 8 and Del Valle 9-0 on April 11, clinching the last playoff spot in the process. “The guys really started to play a lot better,” coach Jeff Montgomery said. “We got a bunch of guys out there that are all in.” The Chaps’ struggles were understandable. Personnel wise, this was a young team and there wasn’t a lot of carryover from the 2013 team. Five incoming seniors and returning varsity players left the team during the offseason and early non-District schedule. In addition, senior Tate Shaw, one of the team’s best players, got injured, and was unable to play. Many of those players were going to be

Doubles players Charles Tan, Fernanda

Contreras win State

Juniors Charles Tan and Fernanda Contreras advanced to the State tournament at the University of Texas April 28. On April 29, the mixed doubles duo walked off the courts State Champions after defeating New Braunfels’ mixed doubles team. “[During the last match], Charles went into god mode,” Fernanda said. “When [the other team served] to Charles, he returned it back with a good forehand. When the ball came towards me, I thought ‘what the heck’ and went for the ball. This hit ended up being the winning one. [Charles and I] dropped our rackets and jumped at each other.” Fernanda and Charles have been doubles partners since January. “It’s easy to play with a partner as talented as Fernanda,” Charles

said. “The most satisfying thing is not the winning, but seeing all your hard work pay off during a match.”

mixed game. It was our goal to win State and we were just excited to go

14

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

On April 17, senior Paul Kirkpatrick goes up to bat against the Lake Travis Cavaliers.

Total second base runs this season

Lacy Boyd’s slugging percentage for the season

Shelby Westbrook

Senior Sam Spears pitches while competing against Lake Travis on April 17.

photos by Shelby Westbrook

Total hits allowed by Westlake this season

Westlake celebrates scoring a run while battling against Anderson High School. The Chaps won 6-5.

Batting against Lake Travis, junior Hudson Valenti hits a foul ball on April 17.

Home runs hit by Janelle Turnquest

0.181

Junior Lindsey McLeod “During our first District game, I was getting hit pretty hard and that hadn’t happened in a long time this season. So I freaked out and basically had a huge anxiety attack and had to come out of the game because I was getting sick on the mound. I felt like I let down my team, that was my greatest disappointment.”

out and play for it.” Varsity coach Kim Riley has enjoyed coaching Fernanda and Charles this season. “Fernanda and Charles make my job easy,” Riley said. “They are very talented and listen to their coaches on how to improve. They have been a joy to watch grow this season. Each match they get better and better. They never get down on themselves and always bring everything they have to each match. They leave it all on the court.” On top of Fernanda and Charles’ success, the team did outstanding in District play. Junior Jullian Sweeny and senior Elliot Lebovitz placed third in boys doubles while sophomore Clara Miertschin and freshman Alex Reinhart won fourth in the girls doubles division. Ali Young placed fourth place in girls singles. “[The best part of this season] was beating Lake Travis,” Hannah

Meek and sophomore Hannah Sutton advanced to Regionals and placed fourth. “I feel like [the season] went awesome for me personally,” Elliot said. “As a team, we all worked hard together and had great results.” The strong sense of communication between Riley and the players proved to be important in this season’s success. “Good communication helps you move better together on the court and play better as a team,” Hannah said. “I’ve learned that winning is much sweeter when you do it with your team. That support and encouragement can go a long way.” —Kathryn Revelle

counted on to lead the team. “We don’t have the leaders that we had in years past,” catcher junior Matt Bull said. compete] on the varsity level.” two players that saw their roles increase, and teammates said they met the challenge. “Both stepped up and both became good baseball players,” Paul said. “They have leadership skills and both showed that they can work hard and push others to be better.” While players leaving, bad luck, youth, and injuries led to a somewhat disappointing season, players say the experience gained this year should lead to success for the Chaps in 2015. “We played really well this season, considering all the guys we lost,” Matt said. “Our whole junior class had to step up and that’s why I really believe we will be better next year.” —Jacob Prothro

Juniors Fernanda Contreras and Charles Tan compete against Houston Memorial at the UIL State Tournament on April 28. The mixed doubles team would win the match 6-1 6-2 and capture the State Title. Aurasma by Ali Young photo by Shelby Westbrook


A DIAMOND IN THE

ROUGH

Former baseball player helps out team of middle

schoolers, offers kernels of pseudo-wisdom

{ column }

photos by Tim Whaling

t’s a brisk, cloudy April day in Dripping Springs. The cool

The writer tells one of his players to go to second on a base hit to left field. He didn’t go to second.

Asa makes eye contact with me, incredulous as a puppy who didn’t get rewarded for performing a trick. You said to just throw strikes. How could that have happened? I just sigh and shade in the Red Sox’s eighth run in the scorebook.

Senior Andy Brown balances having a conversation with an injured player and keeping score.

16

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

Andy Brown


A DIAMOND IN THE

ROUGH

Former baseball player helps out team of middle

schoolers, offers kernels of pseudo-wisdom

{ column }

photos by Tim Whaling

t’s a brisk, cloudy April day in Dripping Springs. The cool

The writer tells one of his players to go to second on a base hit to left field. He didn’t go to second.

Asa makes eye contact with me, incredulous as a puppy who didn’t get rewarded for performing a trick. You said to just throw strikes. How could that have happened? I just sigh and shade in the Red Sox’s eighth run in the scorebook.

Senior Andy Brown balances having a conversation with an injured player and keeping score.

16

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

Andy Brown


Athletes adopt no-fear mentality The Featherduster: How long have you been participating in your sport? Senior Wes Gilmer: I’ve been wakeboarding since I was 10 years old. Senior John Paul Dillow: I’ve been riding motorcross since I was about 4. I was small and couldn’t really ride all that great. That’s initially when I started to learn how to ride on my Honda 50. Freshman Malyn Selinidis: I have been doing tae kwon do for four years. Junior Jonathan Demel: I’ve been skating for about seven years but longboarding for four.

Freshman Malyn Selinidis works on a sparring exercise during practice April 21 at the Westlake Taekwondo Academy. “Sparring has never been about being the hardest hitter,” Malyn said. “Instead, because of my short stature, I focus on speed and being able to maneuver and outwit my opponent.”

sports

Riding his KTM dirt bike, senior John Paul Dillow practices at the Austin Del Valley Motocross Park with his dad on April 30. “The thrill of being in the air and the adrenaline rush is what makes the sport unique to me,” John Paul said.

CE: Our neighbors got a boat, and I immediately became hooked on the sport. FD: Are you sponosored? WG: I’m sponsored by Lake Lessons Wakeboard School. JPD: I’m currently not sponsored. A local shop TJ’s KTM has been giving me a lot of support, and I have been getting most of my bikes from them recently. To become sponsored you really have to travel a lot and race often, and with school I haven’t been able to do that as much. JD: I’m sponsored by a clothing company called Modern Mountains. —Drew Brown

Lucy Wimmer

“F

lying through the air on a wakeboard is a moment of freedom. Something you can’t experience on a roller coaster. —senior Wes Gilmer

now. FD: What is the most thrilling part of your sport? the adrenaline rush, I also like to just go fast in general. MS: The most thrilling part for me is sparring and board breaking. It’s certainly exhilarating when someone is aiming kicks at your head. Board breaking has always been hard for me because I am rather short and small, so I have to really concentrate to hit with all of my power. FD: What has been your craziest experience participating in your sport? JPD: One time I got lost in the desert with my dad in El Paso. We took a trail that we had never taken before and actually almost ended up in Mexico. Halfway through the ride our bikes started to overheat and we were lost for almost half a day before we found our way and made it back. CE: When an engine block in our boat blew up. It wasn’t a big explosion, but it made a loud sound and the boat started smoking. We ended up almost sinking. FD: What has been your biggest injury when participating in this sport? WG: My knees are pretty screwed up from a fall I had wakeboarding a few summers back, and I’ve had patellar tendinitis for a few years due to it. JPD: Personally, I have been lucky and haven’t really had too many

Riding his wakeboard, senior Wes Gilmer does a switch toeside 360 while practicing at Texas Ski Ranch. Wes is currently sponsored by Lake Lessons Wakeboard School. courtesy photo

but that’s about it. MS: I got pretty severe nerve damage in my left shoulder from a combination of tae kwon do and archery. It’s been over a year since I was

FD: What is your proudest moment? WG: Going to Nationals two years ago and beating multiple professionals who do this for a living, including one of my idols Aaron Reed. MS: Getting my black belt, especially since the testing was really difJD: Winning Austin’s Labor Day race two years in a row. FD: How did you initially get into the sport? WG: I watched YouTube videos and saw people on the lake wakebeen teaching me and riding with me ever since. MS: I began TKD shortly after I was forced to stop [ballet] due to stepping on a lumber nail and having foot surgery.

18

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

photo and Aurasma by Tim Whaling

“I

got my first skateboard when I was 10, and it just went from there. I got into longboarding about three years ago when I saw a group of guys ride down a hill by my house. —junior Jonathan Demel

Freshman Campbell Erickson jumps on his wakeboard. Campbell goes out on Lake Austin at least four times a week on his M3 Wakeboard Boat. Campbell is sponsored by Ronix Wakeboards. “I love ocean surfing and wakesurfing is just an extension of that,” Campbell said. “It lets you do tricks and advance in a sport where there is a lot of room for innovation. There isn’t any correct style or way you ride. You kind of just have to make it up as you go.”

Nick Appling

Junior Jonathan Demel slides down Bayhill Drive in Lost Creek. Although this is one of his favorite hills, he rides all over Austin. Nick Appling


Athletes adopt no-fear mentality The Featherduster: How long have you been participating in your sport? Senior Wes Gilmer: I’ve been wakeboarding since I was 10 years old. Senior John Paul Dillow: I’ve been riding motorcross since I was about 4. I was small and couldn’t really ride all that great. That’s initially when I started to learn how to ride on my Honda 50. Freshman Malyn Selinidis: I have been doing tae kwon do for four years. Junior Jonathan Demel: I’ve been skating for about seven years but longboarding for four.

Freshman Malyn Selinidis works on a sparring exercise during practice April 21 at the Westlake Taekwondo Academy. “Sparring has never been about being the hardest hitter,” Malyn said. “Instead, because of my short stature, I focus on speed and being able to maneuver and outwit my opponent.”

sports

Riding his KTM dirt bike, senior John Paul Dillow practices at the Austin Del Valley Motocross Park with his dad on April 30. “The thrill of being in the air and the adrenaline rush is what makes the sport unique to me,” John Paul said.

CE: Our neighbors got a boat, and I immediately became hooked on the sport. FD: Are you sponosored? WG: I’m sponsored by Lake Lessons Wakeboard School. JPD: I’m currently not sponsored. A local shop TJ’s KTM has been giving me a lot of support, and I have been getting most of my bikes from them recently. To become sponsored you really have to travel a lot and race often, and with school I haven’t been able to do that as much. JD: I’m sponsored by a clothing company called Modern Mountains. —Drew Brown

Lucy Wimmer

“F

lying through the air on a wakeboard is a moment of freedom. Something you can’t experience on a roller coaster. —senior Wes Gilmer

now. FD: What is the most thrilling part of your sport? the adrenaline rush, I also like to just go fast in general. MS: The most thrilling part for me is sparring and board breaking. It’s certainly exhilarating when someone is aiming kicks at your head. Board breaking has always been hard for me because I am rather short and small, so I have to really concentrate to hit with all of my power. FD: What has been your craziest experience participating in your sport? JPD: One time I got lost in the desert with my dad in El Paso. We took a trail that we had never taken before and actually almost ended up in Mexico. Halfway through the ride our bikes started to overheat and we were lost for almost half a day before we found our way and made it back. CE: When an engine block in our boat blew up. It wasn’t a big explosion, but it made a loud sound and the boat started smoking. We ended up almost sinking. FD: What has been your biggest injury when participating in this sport? WG: My knees are pretty screwed up from a fall I had wakeboarding a few summers back, and I’ve had patellar tendinitis for a few years due to it. JPD: Personally, I have been lucky and haven’t really had too many

Riding his wakeboard, senior Wes Gilmer does a switch toeside 360 while practicing at Texas Ski Ranch. Wes is currently sponsored by Lake Lessons Wakeboard School. courtesy photo

but that’s about it. MS: I got pretty severe nerve damage in my left shoulder from a combination of tae kwon do and archery. It’s been over a year since I was

FD: What is your proudest moment? WG: Going to Nationals two years ago and beating multiple professionals who do this for a living, including one of my idols Aaron Reed. MS: Getting my black belt, especially since the testing was really difJD: Winning Austin’s Labor Day race two years in a row. FD: How did you initially get into the sport? WG: I watched YouTube videos and saw people on the lake wakebeen teaching me and riding with me ever since. MS: I began TKD shortly after I was forced to stop [ballet] due to stepping on a lumber nail and having foot surgery.

18

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

photo and Aurasma by Tim Whaling

“I

got my first skateboard when I was 10, and it just went from there. I got into longboarding about three years ago when I saw a group of guys ride down a hill by my house. —junior Jonathan Demel

Freshman Campbell Erickson jumps on his wakeboard. Campbell goes out on Lake Austin at least four times a week on his M3 Wakeboard Boat. Campbell is sponsored by Ronix Wakeboards. “I love ocean surfing and wakesurfing is just an extension of that,” Campbell said. “It lets you do tricks and advance in a sport where there is a lot of room for innovation. There isn’t any correct style or way you ride. You kind of just have to make it up as you go.”

Nick Appling

Junior Jonathan Demel slides down Bayhill Drive in Lost Creek. Although this is one of his favorite hills, he rides all over Austin. Nick Appling


DRUG

MONEY

Texas spends $1 million a year to randomly test high school athletes for anabolic steroids. Is it worth it? Athletic trainer James Allen is not in a good mood. It’s April 3, and Allen, more often testing program, mandated by the University Interscholastic League.

list of 20 prohibited substances. have run similar programs, but Texas has the largest by far. The UIL’s athletic coordinator, Bloomberg News at the

laughs and rolls their eyes. 2A trainers laugh The UIL’s program is the largest sports in 2008, the UIL has randomly tested 60,380 high school athletes. A sample of Texas high schools are randomly selected each year for the athletic department must email the UIL the full rosters of all athletes participating at their

the initiative began. “I’ve been exposed to several negative ex

the percentage of female athletes plummeted to an average of 6.77 percent. The same trends of the testing becoming dramatically more

it may not seem random, reputable programs often use similar methods of selection. “If the UIL has decided that really this is more of a problem among boys, then that

guard for high school athletes. Their build For the enormous scale of the program, process. Last year, the UIL listed nine positive

people, only 300 are coming from the girls, the other 3,200 are coming from the boys.’ As

list of students to be tested. The UIL contracts

PRICE (per 10 mls)

Anabolic steroids $50-200 Veterinary Grade............................. $40-75 Black Market/Gym.......................... $50-200 Pharmaceutical Grade....................

testing period. athletes’ urine samples. they need to disproportionally represent a on anabolic steroid use — recreational drugs positive test — are you ready for this — [ap

BACKGROUND

made in the 1930s, are substances that chemically increase protein mainly within skeletal muscle cells. They have practical medical applications, such as treating chronic wasting conditions in cancer and AIDS patients, but are commonly abused. SIDE EFFECTS

AAS are tied to a host of neurological and physiological health problems. Extended use is linked to personality changes, from increased aggression (roid rage), to serious depression and paranoia. Some drugs affect natural hormone levels, leading to acne, premature baldness and stunted growth. Damage to the liver, heart, bones and kidneys can also be seen.

photo illustration by Cade RItter and Ben Wallace

20

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

the UIL saying that they could be randomly that they’re not actually testing for, they’re not going to catch it. Those tests are very, very The UIL separates the tests into four cat egories. The vast majority of tests are catego

to $750,000 per year. The UIL’s list of ana test, but they use the fear of being drug tested people because it gives them some support in note of changes in the UIL’s testing procedure after the cuts.

detected. If a student is absent, or refuses to in athletes. and the student must go through an appeal still are labeled as unresolved. These tests come from the labs detecting a high ratio of

probably going to have some acne. All dra matic. You may see a shift in their personality, 2007 through 2010, the percentage of female

” While all trainers theoretically should be opposed to any steroid use at the high school


DRUG

MONEY

Texas spends $1 million a year to randomly test high school athletes for anabolic steroids. Is it worth it? Athletic trainer James Allen is not in a good mood. It’s April 3, and Allen, more often testing program, mandated by the University Interscholastic League.

list of 20 prohibited substances. have run similar programs, but Texas has the largest by far. The UIL’s athletic coordinator, Bloomberg News at the

laughs and rolls their eyes. 2A trainers laugh The UIL’s program is the largest sports in 2008, the UIL has randomly tested 60,380 high school athletes. A sample of Texas high schools are randomly selected each year for the athletic department must email the UIL the full rosters of all athletes participating at their

the initiative began. “I’ve been exposed to several negative ex

the percentage of female athletes plummeted to an average of 6.77 percent. The same trends of the testing becoming dramatically more

it may not seem random, reputable programs often use similar methods of selection. “If the UIL has decided that really this is more of a problem among boys, then that

guard for high school athletes. Their build For the enormous scale of the program, process. Last year, the UIL listed nine positive

people, only 300 are coming from the girls, the other 3,200 are coming from the boys.’ As

list of students to be tested. The UIL contracts

PRICE (per 10 mls)

Anabolic steroids $50-200 Veterinary Grade............................. $40-75 Black Market/Gym.......................... $50-200 Pharmaceutical Grade....................

testing period. athletes’ urine samples. they need to disproportionally represent a on anabolic steroid use — recreational drugs positive test — are you ready for this — [ap

BACKGROUND

made in the 1930s, are substances that chemically increase protein mainly within skeletal muscle cells. They have practical medical applications, such as treating chronic wasting conditions in cancer and AIDS patients, but are commonly abused. SIDE EFFECTS

AAS are tied to a host of neurological and physiological health problems. Extended use is linked to personality changes, from increased aggression (roid rage), to serious depression and paranoia. Some drugs affect natural hormone levels, leading to acne, premature baldness and stunted growth. Damage to the liver, heart, bones and kidneys can also be seen.

photo illustration by Cade RItter and Ben Wallace

20

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

the UIL saying that they could be randomly that they’re not actually testing for, they’re not going to catch it. Those tests are very, very The UIL separates the tests into four cat egories. The vast majority of tests are catego

to $750,000 per year. The UIL’s list of ana test, but they use the fear of being drug tested people because it gives them some support in note of changes in the UIL’s testing procedure after the cuts.

detected. If a student is absent, or refuses to in athletes. and the student must go through an appeal still are labeled as unresolved. These tests come from the labs detecting a high ratio of

probably going to have some acne. All dra matic. You may see a shift in their personality, 2007 through 2010, the percentage of female

” While all trainers theoretically should be opposed to any steroid use at the high school


continued from page 21 level, some turn a blind eye. Bans on anabolic steroids serve not only as protection, but as a measure to keep a level playing field. “It’s not that our trainers wouldn’t be doing the right thing,” Ringwood said, “but I think the fact that the state is randomly testing means when I go see us play Podunk High or whoever, I can feel good I’m seeing a fair match. If they do let it be site-specific, which might be more accurate, and Podunk High decides that they’re going to cheat; you can’t do anything about it. I think it needs to be randomly done from a statewide organization. There are schools that have cheated on standardized tests. The teachers erase and bubble in the right answers. If there are people out there willing to do that, I’m sure there are people that would look the other way when it comes to steroids.” Regardless of their views of how best to prevent steroid-use, the trainers acknowledged that no single method would ever be perfect. “If you look at the number of people in 2011 and 2012, they tested 3,311 people and they only came up with nine positives,” Stafko said. “There are too many big schools in the Dallas and Houston areas, and I can guarantee you a bunch of those people are using steroids. They just aren’t getting caught or they’re not getting tested.” In addition, just because an athlete comes back with a positive test doesn’t automatically mean they’re a user. Protein and muscle supplements are seen much more regularly than anabolic steroids. “The supplements kids take I think are more of a problem,” Stafko said. “Anything you take from GNC is not [regulated]. These kids honestly could be taking herbal supplements and pop up positive on a steroid drug test because of what they’re taking. The FDA does not regulate anything that comes out of that type of shop. If you actually go pull something off the shelf like Ripfuel or some of these other things, there is something in there that has a steroid-like quality.” Unlike steroids, supplements are used out in the open. “You never really see [steroids being used], but you hear about it,” junior football player Zachary Schroeder said. “But in easily every-other locker you would see creatine and supplements.” These substances may have just as serious side-effects, but are nearly impossible to regulate. The producers of herbal or nutritional supplements aren’t required by law to disclose all the ingredients in their product. “They can get away with that because they have something called a proprietary blend,” Stafko said. “They don’t have to tell you what’s in their product because that’s what makes their product their product. So the players are taking stuff and have no idea what they’re taking. “ Trainers have seen side effects such as muscle problems, cramping, dehyrdation and heat exhaustion from even the more common

22

brains + brawn westlakefeatherduster.com

“There are schools that have cheated on standardized tests. The teachers erase and bubble in the right answers. If there are people out there willing to do that, I’m sure there are people that would look the other way when it comes to steroids.” ­ math department head and statistics — teacher Laura Ringwood

supplements. But much like with steroid use, the short-term positives are usually noticed by the athletes and coaches first. “The problem with the supplements, the creatine in particular, is it causes your body to retain water,” Allen said. “It makes your muscles look big and pumped up. But just because your muscles are big, that doesn’t translate into strength. We try and talk to kids, but when they look at themselves, and they see themselves bigger, and their coach looks at them and says ‘Ooh, you’re big, you must really be working’ — whose message do you think carries more influence? Consequently, those kids become more susceptible to dehydration and muscle strains. We’ve seen it happen way too many times.” Supplement use often becomes a problem from coaches trying to combat steroid use. If a player wants to get big quickly, using legal drugs can help before a kid turns toward anabolic steroids. “I don’t think [the coaches] recommend their players take any sort of illegal substance,” Stafko said. “I’ve never heard them say it directly, but I’m sure they’re told about nutritional products if they don’t think they’re getting enough of something. It would not surprise me. They’re trying to help the guys out the best they can, to make sure they get bigger, faster, stronger without using any illegal substances.” Part of the athletic trainers’ disenfranchisement with the UIL’s program comes from how specific the program is. The list of substances athletic trainers have to keep an eye out for extends for far longer than the list of 20 anabolic steroids. “I’ve been here 29 years,” Stafko said, “and I can honestly say we’ve probably had several students that have done steroids, but we’ve had far more students that have taken the creatine, who’ve had the alcohol, who’ve done the pot and all the other list of recreational drugs. I think that’s a far bigger problem than the steroids. Honestly, I don’t think we have a steroid problem here.” While some high schools in Texas have had in-school drug testing that checks for

recreational usage, Westlake uses a more personal method. If a kid is using, the first ones to notice will often be the trainers. “If we think someone is doing any type of drugs, we’re going to talk to their coach, to their counselor,” Stafko said. “If they’re having signs or symptoms that we don’t think we can deal with, we’ll call the nurse, because they have some background [for treating] recreational type of drugs. “There are a couple of guys that I know for a fact took [steroids],” Stafko said. “They were football players, it was years ago, and you could see the changes in their physique. This one guy came back in the fall and I was like ‘Who are you?’ We see these guys every day.” Amid the backlash to the state-wide program, many have called for a more holistic approach to fighting substance abuse, not strictly steroids. “I think they could hire some more personnel in school and have that available for kids who have substance abuse problems,” Allen said. “I think there is far more damage there from [recreational drugs], especially to adolescents and pre-adolescents.” Allen said that although Westlake is an “exceptional community,” the temptation of short-term benefits often blinds users, adults and kids alike, from the long-term health effects. “[Years ago,] this one guy left in May and came back in August and you’re going ‘There’s no way you did that naturally,’” Stafko said. “It’s funny, I actually happened to run into him within the past year. He said ‘Do you recognize me?’ I couldn’t think of his name but I could recognize his face, so I said ‘Yeah.’ He said ‘I’m dying now.’ ‘So you were using steroids now weren’t you?’ ‘Yes ma’am, I was.’


LINDSEY MCLEOD

SYDNE FOWLER

Tricks of the

trade Westlake athletes showcase their talents, experiences as high school players

Sport: Track and volleyball Grade: Junior Years on varsity: 3 Height: 5’3” Years playing sport: 6 Spirit animal: Jaguar Nickname: Syd, Sassy Syd, Cricket Team/individual accomplishments: Three-time District Champion in 100 and 300 meter hurdles, three-time varsity girls team District Champions. Favorite thing about sport: “I love the competitiveness. The girls you compete against are not your friends, so you don’t have to be nice. When you win it’s an incredible sense of accomplishment because you put in all the hard work and you receive the accolades.” Memorable moments: “To date my most memorable moment would have to be when I won District in the 300 m hurdles this year. I remember going into the last 100 m and seeing the Lake Travis girl’s shadow, and it was like a kick in the butt because I knew she was coming for me. Most exciting race ever. It’s fun to be challenged.” Cade Ritter

MATTHEW PERRINE

RHODES LEGG Sport: Track Grade: Senior Years on varsity: 2 Height: 5’9” Years playing sport: 2 Spirit animal: Cheetah Team/individual accomplishments: “Finishing ninth in long jump at the Texas Relays this year because [only a] very select group makes it. Only the top 26 from the state of Texas [make it], which is a huge accomplishment for me.” Favorite thing about the sport: “Being an underdog and coming out on top. This is my favorite thing because I’ve been undersized or an underdog all my life, and against all odds I have been extremely blessed to come out on top.” Memorable moments: “In the Temple v. Westlake game this year when we were down big and ended up coming back to win the game and I had the best game of my season. It was bittersweet to win that game because we were underdogs against Temple and we squeezed out a victory in the very end.”

Cade Ritter

Sport: Golf Grade: Senior Years on varsity: 4 Height: 5’11” Years playing sport: 10 Spirit animal: Lion Team/individual accomplishments: “The team has won eight times this season, and I have won individualy six times.” Favorite thing about sport: “The individual aspect of it, You are able to control your own fate of the game.” Memorable moment: “ I got a hole in one at Regionals this year on the fourth hole. ” Future Plans: Play for Auburn next year

Nick Appling

Sport: Softball Grade: Junior Years on varsity: 3 Height: 5’4” Years playing sport: 13 Team/individual accomplishments: 2013 pitcher of the year in District 15-5A, District Champions past two years, MVP in 2013 Corpus Christi Tournament Favorite thing about sport: “The people who play on the Westlake team are really fun to be around and play with.” Memorable moments: “My most memorable moment was when I was offered the scholarship to play in college. Playing for a Division 1 college has always been a dream, and to know that all of my hard work paid off was the greatest feeling ever and is something I’ll never forget.”

Shelby Westbrook

PAUL KIRK PATRICK Sport: Baseball Grade: Senior Years on varsity: 2 Height: 6’3” Years playing sport: 10 Spirit animal: Honey Badger Nicknames: Pauly K Team/individual accomplishments: Made Second Team of Central Texas Favorite thing about sport: “Pitching, getting out of the inning and going into the dugout.” Memorable moments: “Big tournament Cooperstown, we got third out of 100 teams.” Future Plans: Play for Wake Forest next year

Cade Ritter


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& THE

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photos by Nick Appling, Lucy Wimmer, Nikki Humble, Tim Whaling and Shelby Westbrook

P

BEST OF WESTLAKE people + places

The whole school was surveyed, and 287 students chose the best breakfast, burger, park and more in our community to see what really deserves to be called the “Best of Westlake.” —Cierra Smith and Kathryn Revelle

Best grocery store Best Mexican restaurant Maudie’s H-E-B

Best burger P. Terry’s 701 S Capital of Texas Hwy (512) 306-0779

701 S Capital of Texas Hwy (512) 732-9930

3801 N Capital Of Texas Hwy (512) 306-0779

Other

McDonald’s

la r til To

20 9 18

11

Maudie ’s

Las Palomas

’s

H-E-B

P. Terry’s

ll’s Randa

Tra de r Jo e

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Tres A mig os

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Lu pe

Ha tC r ee

Other


Best salon Embellish Nails & Boutique

3201 Bee Cave Rd (512) 327-7776

3663 Bee Caves Rd #3 (512) 328-9898 Other

Lotu sH un an

Metamorphosis F in ley ’s B a

Villa Salon and Spa

ca

Stein Mar t

Other

ellish Nails & Boutiq ue Emb

Spor t

Boulder Park (Lost Creek)

Red Bud Isle

er Oht

Salone Di Essenza

C

cuts per Su

The Beau

ty St

ore

mi

Dolce Salon

Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

d

Be

ve e hi

s Cl ips

Salone Di Essenza

om m ons

Hai Ky

Clips

16

se ane Jap

i& Sush

Grill

Dolce Salon

Rollingwood Municipal Park

Best sandwich Thundercloud Subs

Best pizza restaurant Austin’s Pizza

Best breakfast Texas Honey Ham

Best dessert Amy’s Ice Creams

3201 Bee Caves Rd (512) 328-2114

3201 Bee Cave Rd (512) 327-7776

3736 Bee Cave Rd #6a (512) 330-9888

2805 Bee Caves Rd. #416 512) 328-2697

Other

y John’s Jimm

Howdy Donut

Pizza Nizz a

er Oth

ZP izz a

Texas Honey Ha

m

za

tti Ga

izza ’s P

ms

er Oth

ra ne Pa

Bruegg

er’s Bagels

Domino’s

am

I ce C r ea

berry Pink

Marye’s Gourmet Piz

Sub way La Madeline

11

Amy’ s

9

18

14 20 IHOP

Br e

ad

Texa s H on ey H people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

o oy

6

1 6

9

2

Pizza

3 13

14

’s Austin

Subs

11

ce

People’s Pharmacy

9 9 1 84

loud

31

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24

Fro y

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8

2 13 11

Rita’s Ita lian I

Other

St

26

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G r ea t

8

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Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant

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Fra nc es

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22

5 14 3 11 21 13 1 15 8 2

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The Bar ton Creek

s tion llec e Tyl

rb

20 18

3755-B S Capital of Texas Hwy 512-477-1566

701 Capital of Texas Hwy S B 250 (512) 327-9888

Fo r

er Oth

Best park Barton Creek Greenbelt

Best clothing store Tyler’s

8 3 12 2 11 6

Best Asian restaurant Lotus Hunan

Trianon Coffee


Best salon Embellish Nails & Boutique

3201 Bee Cave Rd (512) 327-7776

3663 Bee Caves Rd #3 (512) 328-9898 Other

Lotu sH un an

Metamorphosis F in ley ’s B a

Villa Salon and Spa

ca

Stein Mar t

Other

ellish Nails & Boutiq ue Emb

Spor t

Boulder Park (Lost Creek)

Red Bud Isle

er Oht

Salone Di Essenza

C

cuts per Su

The Beau

ty St

ore

mi

Dolce Salon

Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

d

Be

ve e hi

s Cl ips

Salone Di Essenza

om m ons

Hai Ky

Clips

16

se ane Jap

i& Sush

Grill

Dolce Salon

Rollingwood Municipal Park

Best sandwich Thundercloud Subs

Best pizza restaurant Austin’s Pizza

Best breakfast Texas Honey Ham

Best dessert Amy’s Ice Creams

3201 Bee Caves Rd (512) 328-2114

3201 Bee Cave Rd (512) 327-7776

3736 Bee Cave Rd #6a (512) 330-9888

2805 Bee Caves Rd. #416 512) 328-2697

Other

y John’s Jimm

Howdy Donut

Pizza Nizz a

er Oth

ZP izz a

Texas Honey Ha

m

za

tti Ga

izza ’s P

ms

er Oth

ra ne Pa

Bruegg

er’s Bagels

Domino’s

am

I ce C r ea

berry Pink

Marye’s Gourmet Piz

Sub way La Madeline

11

Amy’ s

9

18

14 20 IHOP

Br e

ad

Texa s H on ey H people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

o oy

6

1 6

9

2

Pizza

3 13

14

’s Austin

Subs

11

ce

People’s Pharmacy

9 9 1 84

loud

31

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24

Fro y

ar

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8

2 13 11

Rita’s Ita lian I

Other

St

26

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G r ea t

8

Izu

Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant

Gre en

r’ s

op Sh

Fra nc es

er

22

5 14 3 11 21 13 1 15 8 2

’s

Co

The Bar ton Creek

s tion llec e Tyl

rb

20 18

3755-B S Capital of Texas Hwy 512-477-1566

701 Capital of Texas Hwy S B 250 (512) 327-9888

Fo r

er Oth

Best park Barton Creek Greenbelt

Best clothing store Tyler’s

8 3 12 2 11 6

Best Asian restaurant Lotus Hunan

Trianon Coffee


WELCOME to the

BIG LEAGUE

Terms of the Rift Baron Nashor: An epic monster that, if killed, grants a powerful buff to the entire team. Brush: You can hide in these shrubs growing throughout the map to ambush others. Champion: The champion is the character that you control. Each champion, 118 in all, has his or her own specific abilities and talents. Farming: The act of killing the enemies’ minions, which give you a steady supply of gold if you consistently kill them.

Justin

Gank: To ambush an enemy.

Dorla

nd

Westlake embraces “League of Legends” craze It’s no surprise that “League of Legends,” the most popular game in the world — confirmed by Riot Games — made its way to Westlake. The game has dominated the PC world with more than 32 million gamers registered to ‘League.’ Every second, 10 games start. League, with its uncanny iron grip on gamers, came to Westlake not quietly, but with a roar as it hooked the school’s gaming population. It’s not uncommon to hear talk about students’ impeccable kill/death ratios or how they set up the greatest gank ever. League talk is heard all the way from freshmen to seniors. A club was even formed devoted to the game until it disbanded due to meeting issues. “A [lot] of the student body plays ‘League of Legends,’” senior and former League club member Son Pham said. “It’s a way to interact with individuals that share similar interests.” The biggest reason for League’s lasting success and appeal is the replay value the game has to offer. “You can get a new champion [or character] every one or two weeks, meaning more replayability,” freshman IV Manning said. “It’s like a new gaming experience every few weeks.” At first the game seems overwhelmingly difficult, overloading the player with minute details and hordes of statistics. Not to mention it is also accompanied by a slew of incomprehensible lingo to add to the chaos. But if you bring it back to basics, the game can be quite simple. It’s essentially a battle between two teams to destroy each other’s bases. “‘League of Legends’ is a multiplayer

28

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

online battle arena,” Son said. “It’s sort of like Call of Duty, but you control a [specific] character [that is different from the rest].” Even so, the game is hard to learn and even harder to master. It demands attention to detail, an overload of stimuli to the brain. “There’s a lot of different information that you have to know to create a good base foundation of the game,” IV said. “Having a good team that is viable is an important part of the game. If you don’t have a good team composition, then you’ll be overrun.” Students spend hours and hours logged onto League, the tempting but wicked mistress of the gaming world. Son plays about 40 hours a week, an impressive feat given the already overwhelming amount of homework and extracurricular activities to which many students commit. The obsession comes at a cost, though. Many a student has fallen to League and abandoned their once diligent study habits. “League does get in the way of school, but I usually finish my homework before I play,” freshman Jacob Hill said. “It interferes mostly with my free time, [and] it has kept me from studying more.” Despite the academic perils of the game, League’s popularity doesn’t appear to be dying out. As long as League survives, Westlake students will flock to the game. “Having friends that play League is awesome because you have a pool of players that you can constantly call,” IV said. “You have people that you know in your life to play with you in the game.” —Jack Wallace

Jungle: The area in between the lanes that is free for you to travel in. The jungle contains monsters that grant power-ups. To earn these power-ups you must kill them. Lane: The map is comprised of three lanes (there are three in Summoner’s Rift), all leading to the bases. It’s up to the player to choose which lane to travel along. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA): A game infusion combining action with real-time strategy. League of Legends is a prime example of this. Minion: The nexus will spawn these little guys to aid you in destroying the enemies’ base. Killing enemy minions gives gold. Nexus: The base. Destroy the enemy’s and defend yours. Shop: This is the place to buy items with gold that you earn in the game to kill, kill, kill more effectively.

Summoner’s Rift: The most popular arena of the game, in which two teams of five face off. Turret: Each lane is guarded by towers armed with magical firepower. They won’t hesitate to vaporize you, so watch out.


BIG MAN ON CAMPUS

It’s common knowledge that he was student body President. We all know he’s on the varsity football team. But did you know…

He was almost on Jeopardy. He almost won the Home Slice pizza-eating contest. He has published a paper about plants. He’s a closet Pokémon fan. He was held back once and has gone through eighth grade twice. At graduation, he will be named salutatorian. He is the most interesting man at Westlake. He is senior Viraj Mehta. —Hannah Turner I figure I can waggle [my eyebrows] and make people uncomfortable.

My spirit animal is a dolphin. The swimming and the flipping and following tourists around giving them aneurysms of happiness

Did you know the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows?

sound fun. I’d be a wild

That was the fashion back then. But I wouldn’t shave mine off.

dolphin, I wouldn’t want to be

in a tank with people poking and prodding at me.

I was going through [the shoes at Nordstrom Rack] and they stop at size 18, which are big shoes, but I know people that wear size 18. But

I ran away before I moved here. My parents had thought it all through. They were going to take me to Cancun and then to Texas as a secondary thing. It was the only time in my life that I’ll ever say ‘I don’t want to go to Cancun.’ So, the day that we were leaving, I Googled where the bus was, because I had never taken it before. I took the bus downtown to the library and hung out. I read a Star Wars book or two. The police were called, and I shook hands with the officer before he told me that I was either going to jail or Texas. Running away is not actually a crime, so I couldn’t have gone to jail. But if I ever met that

there were a pair of size 30 boots.

I’m not kidding — I could fit my whole leg in one of those boots. I figure if they make those boots Bigfoot must exist, because there has to be a market for those boots.

I like elephants. I think baby elephants are the most adorable animals on Earth even though they’re

bigger than a Volkswagen Beetle. They have no idea

cop I would tell him that Texas

what’s going on though. They’re walking around with so much brute force and they have no clue what’s going on.

wasn’t that bad.

My favorite thing about humanity is that no one has any idea what’s going on, but everybody is

really good at pretending they’re not winging it. But

everybody is really winging it all the time.

Hannah Turner


The Huynh Family supports

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MARKE TING + GRAPHIC DESIGN www.rondamike.com 408.621.6576 or ronda @ rondamike.com

Post a pictures of your food on Instagram and hashtag “Maryes” for a free homemade cookie

3663 Bee Caves Road 512-327-5222 www.maryesgourmetpizza.com

Maryes Gourmet Pizza now offered by the slice from 3:00-6:00 pm for $3 per slice


la M

oss

161

Snowdon

Location: Wales Height: 2,372 ft Time: four hours

Number of countries involved in human trafficking.

27,000,000

Scafell Pike

Location: England Height: 3,245 ft Time: five hours

Number of people in modernday slavery around the world.

$32 50%

billion

Sophomore participates in Three Peaks Challenge to raise awareness of human trafficking

The facts:

Peak 2

hae

FREEDOM

The plan: Peak 1

Mi c

Climbing toward

Peak 3

Ben Nevis

Location: Scotland Height: 4,409 ft Time: five hours

Twelve-year-old girls kidnapped and sold as sex slaves. Women brutally abused and forced into servitude. Boys coerced into forced labor and exploi-

-

Total yearly profits made by the human trafficking industry.

four-mile-per-hour pace and increase the distance

Percent of transnational victims who are minors.

-

1,200,000

Between 14,500 and 17,500 men, women and The money Laney and her father will raise

-

Number of children trafficked globally in 2000.

year, and sophomore Laney Overholt has joined the movement to combat this travesty. In order to raise

119

sent to Mumbai, India, the location of one of the only 24 hours. tossed out to fend for themselves. The rest of the -

-

pearance on an Internet radio station called Picante and shared her story with 10,000 listeners around the world. Laney has also made a YouTube channel called Overholt Overhills to post videos where she -

we are up there, so he helps to calm me down, and herself both physically and mentally to help raise awareness for this issue.

-

32

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

Shelby Westbrook

80% Percent of transnational victims who are women and girls.

Laney said. “The channel helps to spread the word

Sophomore Laney Overholt trains for the Three Peaks Challenge by walking two miles with her father, Rob, at the Barton Creek Greenbelt April 17. To donate, go to gofundme.com/OverholtOverhills.

Number of minors exploited for commercial sex in Dallas, identified by the Dallas Police Department in 2007.

In preparation for the climb, Laney and her Margaret Norman

Statistics regarding human trafficking are hard to confirm due to the nature of the crime and under-reporting on this issue. This information has been provided by the Polaris Project’s Human Trafficking Statistics.


la M

oss

161

Snowdon

Location: Wales Height: 2,372 ft Time: four hours

Number of countries involved in human trafficking.

27,000,000

Scafell Pike

Location: England Height: 3,245 ft Time: five hours

Number of people in modernday slavery around the world.

$32 50%

billion

Sophomore participates in Three Peaks Challenge to raise awareness of human trafficking

The facts:

Peak 2

hae

FREEDOM

The plan: Peak 1

Mi c

Climbing toward

Peak 3

Ben Nevis

Location: Scotland Height: 4,409 ft Time: five hours

Twelve-year-old girls kidnapped and sold as sex slaves. Women brutally abused and forced into servitude. Boys coerced into forced labor and exploi-

-

Total yearly profits made by the human trafficking industry.

four-mile-per-hour pace and increase the distance

Percent of transnational victims who are minors.

-

1,200,000

Between 14,500 and 17,500 men, women and The money Laney and her father will raise

-

Number of children trafficked globally in 2000.

year, and sophomore Laney Overholt has joined the movement to combat this travesty. In order to raise

119

sent to Mumbai, India, the location of one of the only 24 hours. tossed out to fend for themselves. The rest of the -

-

pearance on an Internet radio station called Picante and shared her story with 10,000 listeners around the world. Laney has also made a YouTube channel called Overholt Overhills to post videos where she -

we are up there, so he helps to calm me down, and herself both physically and mentally to help raise awareness for this issue.

-

32

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

Shelby Westbrook

80% Percent of transnational victims who are women and girls.

Laney said. “The channel helps to spread the word

Sophomore Laney Overholt trains for the Three Peaks Challenge by walking two miles with her father, Rob, at the Barton Creek Greenbelt April 17. To donate, go to gofundme.com/OverholtOverhills.

Number of minors exploited for commercial sex in Dallas, identified by the Dallas Police Department in 2007.

In preparation for the climb, Laney and her Margaret Norman

Statistics regarding human trafficking are hard to confirm due to the nature of the crime and under-reporting on this issue. This information has been provided by the Polaris Project’s Human Trafficking Statistics.


Tim Whaling

Junior Noah Hanna stands in full firefighting bunker gear. Noah has been part of the Austin Fire explorers since February of 2013.

F

ifty pounds of gear: pants, boots, jacket, helmet, gloves and air tank. Ninety seconds to put it all on. For junior Noah Hanna, president of Ausall part of the routine. “I’ve known that I wanted to be a ers getting in the engines and going out to help people, and the job always

During his sophomore year, Noah began actively pursuing his passion, and he joined the Austin Fire Explorers. The program, Explorer Post 370, ing as a career and getting a leg up on the training that is eventually needed. “I’ve been with the Austin Fire Department since about [February] the basic requirements to see if I could do any now, and I found a page about the Austin Fire Explorers. After I saw that, I went to one of their meetings, and then I joined Noah’s involvement in the program has impacted him in numerous ways, from close friendships developed through the shared passion, to taking on more advanced leadership positions. Along the way, he has also found guidance and mentorship in the four adults that run the course. “There are about 20 kids who are a part of the program, but there’s really only around 10 who show up pretty close within the 10. And then there are four adult advisors. Three

north Austin, for their regular training and classes. During this time topics can vary broadly with the occasional surprise drill thrown in. start with maybe an hour and a half of classroom stuff before we train or do search and rescues. Every training session, the lieutenant will set an alarm on his phone. And at some point during the lesson he’ll hit the alarm, and we all have to rush out, get to our gear and put it on. You’re supposed to be able to put all of the gear on in 90 seconds. I’m one of the faster people in the junior program. You just step into your boots and pull them up and then put the shoulder straps on. Once you put the mask on, you put on the hood. After that, you get the coat on and zip it up all the way, which isn’t the hardest part, but the zip always gives me trouble. Then you put your air tank on, turn it on and attach the mask to it. Next helmet on and your gloves on last. Once we’ve done all that, the instrucIn addition to their regular schedule of weekly meetings, the program also allows participants the chance to vie against junior members of other organizations in various competitions held around the country. “[For the competition in Ohio] there are two trailers stuck together, and it makes a fake house

“I’ve known that I wanted to be a firefighter my whole life. I grew up next to a fire station when I was little. I would watch the firefighters getting in the engines and going out to help people, and the job always looked so cool.”

close with the four of them as well. I think being a part of this has made me more mature and more responsible. I recently got promoted to [president] of the program, and I’ve had to take on more responsibilities. I have to make sure people are stay-

—junior Noah Hanna

in. Just stuff like that. It’s pretty much just scheduling and making sure

Burning passion Austin Fire Explorer trains for firefighting career 34

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

As a veteran member of Explorer Post 370, Noah plays an active role in introducing new students to the rigors of the program, a responsibility that often forces him through highly stressful situations. “There were some new people who joined earlier so we were teaching to the harness and then get on air, and we saw that one of the tanks had about two minutes of air left. The instructors wanted to show the kids how to deal with what happens when our air starts running low, so they had me just sit there with that tank on until the entire thing ran out of

put a dummy somewhere, and they black out all of the windows so that it simulates the way it would the dummy in the pitch black and bring it out. There was also another competition where you had to deploy a hose and hit the target as fast as possible. I’m not necessarily nervous about these events being real life situations, because we’ve gone through so much training that muscle memory just kicks in. I don’t about the dangers around them, because if they stop thinking about the environment around them then it gets dangerous. I mean that because of the training you’ve gone through together, you feel safer because you

plans on taking time after high school to attend college and join the Army just because most applications require college credit and I want to make sure that I have a back-up plan. Originally my parents were a little skeptical because they weren’t sure how serious I was about this, but since I’ve been in the program for a whole year now, they understand that this is ity from such a young age. However, Noah is one of these people. He’s

face mask will vibrate and the heads up display on the mask will tell you

towards working towards that.

going through my mind] was just to keep the mask on, because in an ac-

only thing that I know I would look forward to every day. Plus there are also a bunch of perks that come with the job, like the pension and the

scary because I knew I could’ve just taken the mask off if I really wanted -

—Monica Rao


Tim Whaling

Junior Noah Hanna stands in full firefighting bunker gear. Noah has been part of the Austin Fire explorers since February of 2013.

F

ifty pounds of gear: pants, boots, jacket, helmet, gloves and air tank. Ninety seconds to put it all on. For junior Noah Hanna, president of Ausall part of the routine. “I’ve known that I wanted to be a ers getting in the engines and going out to help people, and the job always

During his sophomore year, Noah began actively pursuing his passion, and he joined the Austin Fire Explorers. The program, Explorer Post 370, ing as a career and getting a leg up on the training that is eventually needed. “I’ve been with the Austin Fire Department since about [February] the basic requirements to see if I could do any now, and I found a page about the Austin Fire Explorers. After I saw that, I went to one of their meetings, and then I joined Noah’s involvement in the program has impacted him in numerous ways, from close friendships developed through the shared passion, to taking on more advanced leadership positions. Along the way, he has also found guidance and mentorship in the four adults that run the course. “There are about 20 kids who are a part of the program, but there’s really only around 10 who show up pretty close within the 10. And then there are four adult advisors. Three

north Austin, for their regular training and classes. During this time topics can vary broadly with the occasional surprise drill thrown in. start with maybe an hour and a half of classroom stuff before we train or do search and rescues. Every training session, the lieutenant will set an alarm on his phone. And at some point during the lesson he’ll hit the alarm, and we all have to rush out, get to our gear and put it on. You’re supposed to be able to put all of the gear on in 90 seconds. I’m one of the faster people in the junior program. You just step into your boots and pull them up and then put the shoulder straps on. Once you put the mask on, you put on the hood. After that, you get the coat on and zip it up all the way, which isn’t the hardest part, but the zip always gives me trouble. Then you put your air tank on, turn it on and attach the mask to it. Next helmet on and your gloves on last. Once we’ve done all that, the instrucIn addition to their regular schedule of weekly meetings, the program also allows participants the chance to vie against junior members of other organizations in various competitions held around the country. “[For the competition in Ohio] there are two trailers stuck together, and it makes a fake house

“I’ve known that I wanted to be a firefighter my whole life. I grew up next to a fire station when I was little. I would watch the firefighters getting in the engines and going out to help people, and the job always looked so cool.”

close with the four of them as well. I think being a part of this has made me more mature and more responsible. I recently got promoted to [president] of the program, and I’ve had to take on more responsibilities. I have to make sure people are stay-

—junior Noah Hanna

in. Just stuff like that. It’s pretty much just scheduling and making sure

Burning passion Austin Fire Explorer trains for firefighting career 34

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

As a veteran member of Explorer Post 370, Noah plays an active role in introducing new students to the rigors of the program, a responsibility that often forces him through highly stressful situations. “There were some new people who joined earlier so we were teaching to the harness and then get on air, and we saw that one of the tanks had about two minutes of air left. The instructors wanted to show the kids how to deal with what happens when our air starts running low, so they had me just sit there with that tank on until the entire thing ran out of

put a dummy somewhere, and they black out all of the windows so that it simulates the way it would the dummy in the pitch black and bring it out. There was also another competition where you had to deploy a hose and hit the target as fast as possible. I’m not necessarily nervous about these events being real life situations, because we’ve gone through so much training that muscle memory just kicks in. I don’t about the dangers around them, because if they stop thinking about the environment around them then it gets dangerous. I mean that because of the training you’ve gone through together, you feel safer because you

plans on taking time after high school to attend college and join the Army just because most applications require college credit and I want to make sure that I have a back-up plan. Originally my parents were a little skeptical because they weren’t sure how serious I was about this, but since I’ve been in the program for a whole year now, they understand that this is ity from such a young age. However, Noah is one of these people. He’s

face mask will vibrate and the heads up display on the mask will tell you

towards working towards that.

going through my mind] was just to keep the mask on, because in an ac-

only thing that I know I would look forward to every day. Plus there are also a bunch of perks that come with the job, like the pension and the

scary because I knew I could’ve just taken the mask off if I really wanted -

—Monica Rao


LIVING WITH LEUKEMIA

Sophomore stays strong through treatment

A

At the beginning of May 2013, sophomore Zoë Ashton began experiencing extreme fatigue and side-and-back pains. Then little red dots, called petechiae, began to appear on her legs. Before she knew it, she ended up in the hospital May 17. After blood tests, the doctors gave her the diagnosis: Type B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. “I was just in shock [when I found out],” Zoë said. “I remember my doctor was coming in, and she was talking to me and was asking questions like, ‘Do you know what cancer is? Do you know what Leukemia is?’ and all of a sudden I just knew that’s what I had.” Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is a cancer found in blood and bone marrow and is the most common form of cancer among children. According to stjude.org, the cancer is high-risk and approximately 3,000 people younger than 20 are diagnosed with this form of cancer in the United States each year. “There was a mystery, and I insisted on getting an answer,” Zoë’s father Don Ashton said. “So I insisted Zoë’s mother to take her to the

36

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

Tim Whaling

doctor, and it’s a good thing I did.” After the visit to the doctor, Don Ashton had received a call from the doctor with Zoë’s blood cell count. “I just knew right away,” Don Ashton said. “He had one of those voices on the phone. He said, ‘Your daughter’s white blood cell count hear.” Two weeks after Zoë was diagnosed, she suffered from septic shock, which is a life-threatening infection that can harm several organs and even cause them to fail. She ended up in a coma for nine days and in intensive care for 11. After she woke up, she was moved to time, she was incredibly weak and even had two grand mal seizures, which are the typical seizures people suffer from that result in loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. “A lot of it I don’t remember because I was on so much medication

that I was just crazy and loopy back then,” Zoë said. “It’s all just kind of a blur. Like if I try to think about it, it’s just kind of a crazy memory that everyone tells me about instead of me actually remembering a lot of the details. It’s just so weird.” Zoë’s case was very severe and incredibly dangerous, especially after the septic shock and seizures. “We’re unbelievably fortunate that Zoë could be doing this well nine months later,” Don Ashton said. “[This] is nothing less than a miracle.” Zoë underwent intensive treatment for more than nine months, including 87 nights in a hospital. “[I went] to the clinic about every week and if not every week, every two weeks,” Zoë said. “I was taking lots of medication and going to the hospital for chemotherapy and physical therapy. In addition, I’ve also been doing other types of therapy for my mental state because having cancer doesn’t just take a physical toll on your body, it also takes a mental toll. You can’t help but feel really isolated.” and is now in the maintenance phase, which is less demanding and focuses on getting patients back into their normal way of life. “Now that my intensive [treatment] is over, I only have to go to the clinic once a month for a spinal tap to check that there’s no cancer in my spine,” Zoë said. “You go to the clinic for the normal things, like telling the nurse what’s been going on since you last visited, if you have any pain or if anything unusual has been going on. Then you get to see your doctor and talk to them, and if you need more blood or if you need chemo or just anything, you get it there. But the main point of going to the clinic is to check your blood counts. I still take lots and lots of medication, but I prefer having to take medication than having to go to the hospital and get it.” Since her diagnosis, she had not attended classes on campus until the end of April. “The plan was to do home-schooling,” Zoë said, “but I have had lots of things get in the way. I remember every time [we] got around to home-schooling, I was either too sick or too tired or at the hospital or something was going on.” Westlake has been accommodating and helpful to Zoë and her family throughout the time that she has been out of school. She has been a part of the ARD [Admission, Review and Dismissal Committee] program that helps students and families work out a plan for kids with

son that helps families that are going through what I’m going through now. If I made a kid’s day better, then I [would] know I did my job.” Zoë has had many challenges in her struggle against cancer, but the hardest part for her throughout this whole experience has been not being able to do many of the things she was used to doing normally. things that I used to do that really connected me with [who I am are] gone, and now I’m doing something else that I really don’t want to do. Another hard part has been not being able to see my friends at school every day and not being able to do the activities that I love. I’ve had to Though it’s been a constant battle, Zoë truly believes there is some good that has come from it all. “This is going to sound crazy, but I really feel like cancer will help me in the big picture,” Zoë said. “I have a different perspective on life that a lot of people don’t have unless they had cancer. If I didn’t have cancer, there would’ve been so many people I [wouldn’t have met] and so many things I wouldn’t have done and even though there’s been a lot of hard parts, I feel like overall when I look back on this it’s going to

I feel like overall when I look back on this, it’s going to have a positive influence on my life. —sophomore Zoë Ashton

“I was actually shocked at how supportive the school has been and all the things that they can provide for my case,” Zoë said. Special Education Coordinator Matt Zemo and case manager and home-school teacher Molly McMillan were instrumental in keeping Zoë connected to school. Zoë returned to campus on April 29. She is now enrolled in lunch, fashion design and choir and will be staying for the rest of the school year. “I missed school the most,” Zoë said. “Everything else you can do in some way or form. Even if you’re in a wheelchair, wearing a mask or something else, it may be different from what you’re used to, but you’re still doing it. But school is one of those things that I just couldn’t do. Hopefully, because I’m in maintenance right now, I’ll be able to go back in the fall [for the entire year].” While Zoë does miss going to school, her plans for after high school are still up in the air as she continues to explore what she wants to do for the rest of her life. “Yes, college sounds nice,” Zoë said. “But right now I’m kind of cally — isn’t really on my mind. I don’t really think a four-year university is for me, but who knows what will happen when I’m a senior. I honestly don’t know what I want to do when I graduate from Westlake. I do know that I want to try many things and have several careers. I think that I would be a child life specialist or a social worker at a clinic or hospital for children with cancer. I think I would be the kind of per-

Throughout this entire hardship, Zoë has been surrounded with people who love and care for her. “I have a really great team behind

and dad,” Zoë said. “Even before cancer, my parents and I were really close, but now we’re even closer; they’re a great support system. They have been really trying not to show any sadness or anger coming from the whole experience, but I know they’re upset and angry. And I know it’s tough on them. They put their own things aside to help me, and I just think that’s amazing. If they want to cry or they want to yell, they don’t. They just swallow the hard pill and help me. If I could be a parent half as great as mine, I would be set. My kids would be set. My parents are so strong, and I think anyone that has had to go through this is just the toughest, strongest, bravest and most passionate person in the world.” In addition to the people who surround Zoë every day, the school and community have showed their support for the Ashtons during this hard time. “Westlake choir has also been a great support system. Mrs. [Jen] Goodner and Mr. [Ed] Snouffer are both just amazing, and they’ve been sending me stuff from the whole choir. They’re really making sure I feel like I’m still a part of the choir family even though I’m not there. I didn’t think I would have such a great team of people behind

but I have a whole army of people behind me that are helping me and praying for me.” Zoë feels that she has grown and matured as a person throughout this entire experience, learning life-long lessons that she will cherish and use for the rest of her life. “I try to look at things in perspective,” Zoë said. “Sometimes I get pissed off, but then I take a step back and really think about it. I can see the light and can see that this is happening for a reason. For example, if I’m in the hospital and feel like crap and there’s a huge bag of chemo going into my chest for 24 hours, I try to take a step back and look at it and say, ‘Zoë, even though this stuff is basically killing you, the doctors know what they’re doing and in the long run, it’s going to help you get better.’ And now I kind of have that perspective on everything. I always try to look at the positive because if you constantly look at the negative, you’re just going to feel like shit all the time. If I take a bunch of negatives from the whole experience, how is that helping anybody? I’ve learned through this whole thing that I’m really strong, and that I have a lot of courage. There have been a lot of things I had to go through that I’ve come out of. Who can say that they had septic shock, were in a coma for nine days and lived? There are so many things I can do now that I didn’t know I could do before.” —Sabrina Knap


LIVING WITH LEUKEMIA

Sophomore stays strong through treatment

A

At the beginning of May 2013, sophomore Zoë Ashton began experiencing extreme fatigue and side-and-back pains. Then little red dots, called petechiae, began to appear on her legs. Before she knew it, she ended up in the hospital May 17. After blood tests, the doctors gave her the diagnosis: Type B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. “I was just in shock [when I found out],” Zoë said. “I remember my doctor was coming in, and she was talking to me and was asking questions like, ‘Do you know what cancer is? Do you know what Leukemia is?’ and all of a sudden I just knew that’s what I had.” Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is a cancer found in blood and bone marrow and is the most common form of cancer among children. According to stjude.org, the cancer is high-risk and approximately 3,000 people younger than 20 are diagnosed with this form of cancer in the United States each year. “There was a mystery, and I insisted on getting an answer,” Zoë’s father Don Ashton said. “So I insisted Zoë’s mother to take her to the

36

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

Tim Whaling

doctor, and it’s a good thing I did.” After the visit to the doctor, Don Ashton had received a call from the doctor with Zoë’s blood cell count. “I just knew right away,” Don Ashton said. “He had one of those voices on the phone. He said, ‘Your daughter’s white blood cell count hear.” Two weeks after Zoë was diagnosed, she suffered from septic shock, which is a life-threatening infection that can harm several organs and even cause them to fail. She ended up in a coma for nine days and in intensive care for 11. After she woke up, she was moved to time, she was incredibly weak and even had two grand mal seizures, which are the typical seizures people suffer from that result in loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. “A lot of it I don’t remember because I was on so much medication

that I was just crazy and loopy back then,” Zoë said. “It’s all just kind of a blur. Like if I try to think about it, it’s just kind of a crazy memory that everyone tells me about instead of me actually remembering a lot of the details. It’s just so weird.” Zoë’s case was very severe and incredibly dangerous, especially after the septic shock and seizures. “We’re unbelievably fortunate that Zoë could be doing this well nine months later,” Don Ashton said. “[This] is nothing less than a miracle.” Zoë underwent intensive treatment for more than nine months, including 87 nights in a hospital. “[I went] to the clinic about every week and if not every week, every two weeks,” Zoë said. “I was taking lots of medication and going to the hospital for chemotherapy and physical therapy. In addition, I’ve also been doing other types of therapy for my mental state because having cancer doesn’t just take a physical toll on your body, it also takes a mental toll. You can’t help but feel really isolated.” and is now in the maintenance phase, which is less demanding and focuses on getting patients back into their normal way of life. “Now that my intensive [treatment] is over, I only have to go to the clinic once a month for a spinal tap to check that there’s no cancer in my spine,” Zoë said. “You go to the clinic for the normal things, like telling the nurse what’s been going on since you last visited, if you have any pain or if anything unusual has been going on. Then you get to see your doctor and talk to them, and if you need more blood or if you need chemo or just anything, you get it there. But the main point of going to the clinic is to check your blood counts. I still take lots and lots of medication, but I prefer having to take medication than having to go to the hospital and get it.” Since her diagnosis, she had not attended classes on campus until the end of April. “The plan was to do home-schooling,” Zoë said, “but I have had lots of things get in the way. I remember every time [we] got around to home-schooling, I was either too sick or too tired or at the hospital or something was going on.” Westlake has been accommodating and helpful to Zoë and her family throughout the time that she has been out of school. She has been a part of the ARD [Admission, Review and Dismissal Committee] program that helps students and families work out a plan for kids with

son that helps families that are going through what I’m going through now. If I made a kid’s day better, then I [would] know I did my job.” Zoë has had many challenges in her struggle against cancer, but the hardest part for her throughout this whole experience has been not being able to do many of the things she was used to doing normally. things that I used to do that really connected me with [who I am are] gone, and now I’m doing something else that I really don’t want to do. Another hard part has been not being able to see my friends at school every day and not being able to do the activities that I love. I’ve had to Though it’s been a constant battle, Zoë truly believes there is some good that has come from it all. “This is going to sound crazy, but I really feel like cancer will help me in the big picture,” Zoë said. “I have a different perspective on life that a lot of people don’t have unless they had cancer. If I didn’t have cancer, there would’ve been so many people I [wouldn’t have met] and so many things I wouldn’t have done and even though there’s been a lot of hard parts, I feel like overall when I look back on this it’s going to

I feel like overall when I look back on this, it’s going to have a positive influence on my life. —sophomore Zoë Ashton

“I was actually shocked at how supportive the school has been and all the things that they can provide for my case,” Zoë said. Special Education Coordinator Matt Zemo and case manager and home-school teacher Molly McMillan were instrumental in keeping Zoë connected to school. Zoë returned to campus on April 29. She is now enrolled in lunch, fashion design and choir and will be staying for the rest of the school year. “I missed school the most,” Zoë said. “Everything else you can do in some way or form. Even if you’re in a wheelchair, wearing a mask or something else, it may be different from what you’re used to, but you’re still doing it. But school is one of those things that I just couldn’t do. Hopefully, because I’m in maintenance right now, I’ll be able to go back in the fall [for the entire year].” While Zoë does miss going to school, her plans for after high school are still up in the air as she continues to explore what she wants to do for the rest of her life. “Yes, college sounds nice,” Zoë said. “But right now I’m kind of cally — isn’t really on my mind. I don’t really think a four-year university is for me, but who knows what will happen when I’m a senior. I honestly don’t know what I want to do when I graduate from Westlake. I do know that I want to try many things and have several careers. I think that I would be a child life specialist or a social worker at a clinic or hospital for children with cancer. I think I would be the kind of per-

Throughout this entire hardship, Zoë has been surrounded with people who love and care for her. “I have a really great team behind

and dad,” Zoë said. “Even before cancer, my parents and I were really close, but now we’re even closer; they’re a great support system. They have been really trying not to show any sadness or anger coming from the whole experience, but I know they’re upset and angry. And I know it’s tough on them. They put their own things aside to help me, and I just think that’s amazing. If they want to cry or they want to yell, they don’t. They just swallow the hard pill and help me. If I could be a parent half as great as mine, I would be set. My kids would be set. My parents are so strong, and I think anyone that has had to go through this is just the toughest, strongest, bravest and most passionate person in the world.” In addition to the people who surround Zoë every day, the school and community have showed their support for the Ashtons during this hard time. “Westlake choir has also been a great support system. Mrs. [Jen] Goodner and Mr. [Ed] Snouffer are both just amazing, and they’ve been sending me stuff from the whole choir. They’re really making sure I feel like I’m still a part of the choir family even though I’m not there. I didn’t think I would have such a great team of people behind

but I have a whole army of people behind me that are helping me and praying for me.” Zoë feels that she has grown and matured as a person throughout this entire experience, learning life-long lessons that she will cherish and use for the rest of her life. “I try to look at things in perspective,” Zoë said. “Sometimes I get pissed off, but then I take a step back and really think about it. I can see the light and can see that this is happening for a reason. For example, if I’m in the hospital and feel like crap and there’s a huge bag of chemo going into my chest for 24 hours, I try to take a step back and look at it and say, ‘Zoë, even though this stuff is basically killing you, the doctors know what they’re doing and in the long run, it’s going to help you get better.’ And now I kind of have that perspective on everything. I always try to look at the positive because if you constantly look at the negative, you’re just going to feel like shit all the time. If I take a bunch of negatives from the whole experience, how is that helping anybody? I’ve learned through this whole thing that I’m really strong, and that I have a lot of courage. There have been a lot of things I had to go through that I’ve come out of. Who can say that they had septic shock, were in a coma for nine days and lived? There are so many things I can do now that I didn’t know I could do before.” —Sabrina Knap


Your living space says a lot about you — meet junior Alexa Condos

photos by Cade Ritter

“I bought two SAT books in hopes of doubling my score.”

38

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

“I have a lot of posters and memorabilia from this band Star & Micey. They’re four guys out of Memphis, and I’m obsessed with them. They’re one of my favorite bands because they’re so genuine, and they have a really unique sound. One of their wives, Karen, designs all the artwork, so I have all of her designs everywhere. I highly recommend listening to them — my favorite song is ‘My Beginning.’”

“I helped pitch in money for Star & Micey to go on tour last year, and they sent [the bandana] as a random little thank you gift. I think it’s from some thrift store in Memphis. It’s basically just the Mexican flag morphing into the American flag with the Virgin Mary in the middle. It’s so random, and I used to wear it in my hair, but I like looking at it so much more so now it’s on my wall.”

“It’s my grandma’s. I like tricking people about who actually painted it because it says ‘Condos’ on it, so a lot of people assume I did it, but it’s far out of my range of artistic ability. It’s fun. I like looking at it. It’s a little Mexican village. I’d say [my grandma is an artistic inspiration for me] — she does a lot of abstract stuff and so do I. Neither of us have ever done that whole realism scene.”

“[I got this in July from] my friend Stokes who goes to my camp and was in my cabin. She just started making terrariums for everyone during ‘nap time.’ It was a pain to take on an airplane, but I haven’t gotten rid of it since. It means something because it’s my camp soil.”

“I like how authentic the cheddar is. I can’t live without processed food.”


Your living space says a lot about you — meet junior Alexa Condos

photos by Cade Ritter

“I bought two SAT books in hopes of doubling my score.”

38

people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

“I have a lot of posters and memorabilia from this band Star & Micey. They’re four guys out of Memphis, and I’m obsessed with them. They’re one of my favorite bands because they’re so genuine, and they have a really unique sound. One of their wives, Karen, designs all the artwork, so I have all of her designs everywhere. I highly recommend listening to them — my favorite song is ‘My Beginning.’”

“I helped pitch in money for Star & Micey to go on tour last year, and they sent [the bandana] as a random little thank you gift. I think it’s from some thrift store in Memphis. It’s basically just the Mexican flag morphing into the American flag with the Virgin Mary in the middle. It’s so random, and I used to wear it in my hair, but I like looking at it so much more so now it’s on my wall.”

“It’s my grandma’s. I like tricking people about who actually painted it because it says ‘Condos’ on it, so a lot of people assume I did it, but it’s far out of my range of artistic ability. It’s fun. I like looking at it. It’s a little Mexican village. I’d say [my grandma is an artistic inspiration for me] — she does a lot of abstract stuff and so do I. Neither of us have ever done that whole realism scene.”

“[I got this in July from] my friend Stokes who goes to my camp and was in my cabin. She just started making terrariums for everyone during ‘nap time.’ It was a pain to take on an airplane, but I haven’t gotten rid of it since. It means something because it’s my camp soil.”

“I like how authentic the cheddar is. I can’t live without processed food.”


Drawing Strength Veteran art teacher copes with Parkinson’s disease

Art teacher Francis Grubbs critiques her students’ artwork. Tim Whaling

Georgina Kuhlmann

What would you do if your brain started losing touch with your muscles? What would you do if you built your life around making art with your hands, and your body began to betray you? For art teacher Francis Grubbs, this is her reality. When Grubbs began to experience a tremor in her hand in 2005, she thought little of it until advised by a doctor friend to have it checked out. After an MRI, a series of medications and a brain scan, she was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s, a degenerative disease that occurs when the brain releases insufficient dopamine (a chemical that facilitates communication between the brain and muscles), is estimated by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation to affect seven to 10 million people worldwide. “I was in denial for a while [after I was diagnosed],” Grubbs said. “I pretended that it wasn’t happening so I wouldn’t have to deal with it, but then it started getting worse.” The diagnosis came as a harsh blow to the whole family, as Grubbs had recently lost her own mother, age 69, to the disease. “The kids were upset, the oldest one probably more because she remembered her grandma getting sick,” Grubbs said. “So she equated all that with what was going on with me.” Yet while her husband and children were involved in her treatment from early on, Grubbs never told her father, who later died with Parkinson’s at 91, about her condition. “I’m the baby of the family, and we’d always been really close,” Grubbs said. “I didn’t want him to worry.” At first, Grubbs tried a number of medications, but she reacted differently than the majority of patients. So her doctor suggested she take advantage of her youth and undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. “I went around and around with that, because [DBS is] pretty extreme and a little bit scary,” Grubbs said. “I spent about a year trying to determine if I really wanted to do that. It meant a lot of research.” Finally Grubbs decided that DBS was her best option, so she underwent the surgery to implant a neurotransmitter into her body that would deliver electric stimulation to areas of the brain that control movement. The surgery was complicated and invasive, involving cutting-edge technology and a team of skilled specialists. “You’ve got [the neurosurgeon] in [the brain] doing the open surgery and the [neurologists] on the computer,” Grubbs said. “They can see where the electrodes are going into my brain.” The leads in Grubbs’ brain attach to a wire that goes down to a battery pack in her stomach. She has a hand controller with four programs on different voltages to suit situations like sleep, work and high stress. “[The programs] all have different side effects … [because] the electrical current grabs [brain] tissue,” Grubbs said. “[At times] I sit there during programming and they say, ‘How’s this?’ and I say, ‘Not good,’ because it’s grabbing my tongue and I can barely talk. The programming sessions are exhausting because it’s a two-orthree-hour session where they’re blasting me with electricity.’’

The stimulation blocks abnormal signals that cause certain Parkinson’s symptoms, but it’s no cure. In addition to the DBS, Grubbs exercises to help her brain release dopamine and restrict the progression of the disease. She has a trainer who comes to her house and works with her on light weight lifting, cardiovascular activities, yoga and dancing. She also tries to watch her diet and stay healthy overall, but calls that an “ongoing battle in itself.” “Parkinson’s affects your sense of smell,” Grubbs said. “I can’t really smell things anymore, which affects my taste buds too. If something is really intense, like dark chocolate, I may be able to taste it even if I can’t smell it.” Even with the DBS and medications, living with Parkinson’s means that Grubbs must struggle to do what many people take for granted. “It affects gait, speech, concentration and balance,” Grubbs said. “[For example] the other day I was sitting on a chair and I went to cross my legs and I just slid off the chair … and in a lot of ways I’m more [distractible] than I’ve ever been. It’s hard for me to multitask, which is what every art teacher does every second of every day.” The disease also makes her extremely tired, forcing her to cut down on working hours and limiting her ability to travel. “[Parkinson’s is] exhausting. I can only teach in the morning, when I’m the strongest and can think straight,” Grubbs said. “After fifth period, sometimes before, I run out of steam. Even walking is hard. When the medication and programmer are working, I’m in pretty good shape, but I could never do a whole day of work.” But Grubbs, who has taught art since 1980, doesn’t let her disease get in the way of her passion and tries to maintain a positive outlook in her life, work and relationships. “When you don’t know if you’ve got five years, 10 years or 15 years left, when you’re just hoping for the best, you don’t want to spend too much time on negatives,” Grubbs said. “They can eat you alive and just add to the progression of the disease.” Looking back on her years of teaching, she feels that many of the changes she has been forced to make have improved her teaching. She allows the students greater freedom to discover, make mistakes and take responsibility for their learning, which she feels is a better teaching method than “holding [students] by the hand all the time.” She also encourages students who excel at certain techniques, such as printing, to teach struggling classmates. “[Instructing other kids] builds self confidence, and it’s often a better way of learning,” Grubbs said. “It teaches everybody to be a giver, and it really empowers the kids.” Although she endeavors to stay positive, it’s not always easy, and depression is a common symptom of Parkinson’s. “I do get depressed and have those pity parties,” Grubbs said. “[I’ll] kind of have a breakdown, but then [I’ll] sniffle a little, and go, ‘But I have to get up and go do this, or that.’ I fight every day ‘cause I’m too stubborn to give up.” —Georgina Kuhlmann


Twice a year Westbank will donate 3% of your before tax purchases at Westbank to the Eanes Education Foundation. EEF funded 24 teacher positions in 2012 alone! Just chalk it up to being a good community partner!

For more on Westbank’s Project School Bell, visit www.projectschoolbell.com

6/10/14


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&

T

Do

T

trends + trads

it

yourself There’s more to DIY than just arts and crafts. The following seven stories are all about taking the initiative and getting things accomplished. So ask yourself ... what are you going to do?

Pinterest perfect Pg. 44-45 Game on Pg. 48-49

Be happy Pg. 46

Novel idea Pg. 50

Bauble business Pg. 47

Kid inventor Pg. 51

Girl power Pg. 52


Getting crafty W

ith its perfectly coordinated colors and deliciously artsy tricks and treats, Pinterest is the representation of an idealistic culture. Is it feasible to live straight off the Pinterest screen? I’ve made it my mission to do the impossible. —Olivia Kight

DIY

Brownie bites My draw dropped at this one. I couldn’t even believe how impossibly delicious it looked. There was no way strawberry cheesecake brownies would be doable. Before judging me on these pictures, let me just say that the only word to describe these treats is sinful. The cheesecake and the brownie complimented each other so well, and adding in the strawberry topping just made it absolutely addicting. The words my dad used to describe these were “pure heroin.” The only downside is it’s explate. I basically destroyed every piece I tried to serve. Let this be a lesson to all of you — not all ovens work the same way. The best thing to do is check and see if your creation is done rather than just assuming that the suggeted time will do it justice like I did.

Pinterest

Ideal

Olivia Kight

For real

Underwater photo This seemed relatively simple in its concept, but once I thought cute, so how hard could it be, really? The answer: very. Once John and I were in the freezing cold pool, we grabbed the waterproof disposable camera and began. First we practiced kissing under the water, because that in itself seemed like the hardest part. We counted to three and then had no intention of getting chlorine in my eyes, which meant compromising my Once we came up for air, we couldn’t stop laughing. That was probably one of the least cute things ever. Our next plan was blowing air out of our noses while Pinterest

Ideal

Scissors in hand, senior Olivia Kight demonstrates how to make a headband out of a t-shirt. Olivia attempted several projects from Pinterest.

Olivia Kight

For real

just in case the angle turned out weird. Needless to say, our picture didn’t even come close to being as cutesy as the one from Pinterest. Fail.

Aurasma by Cade Ritter

Temporary tattoo This one didn’t turn out quite as I planned, but it was due more to my failures than to the actual process. I got my dad to draw a tiger with sharpie on my boyfriend John, and it looked really cool. The pin said to rub baby powder on it and then spray hairspray on top. Supposedly it lasts four days. First of all, I put way too much baby powder on the area, and it started spilling all over the towel that I had put down. After I smoothed that out, I began spraying the hairspray. I don’t think I was supposed to spray as much as I did, because the sharpie started running all over John’s back. In a frenzied panic, I decided to put more baby powder all over the tattoo, so I quickly grabbed the bottle and started dumping large amounts all over him. This only made things worse, Olivia Kight however, because the baby powder and the hairspray mixed together to

Olivia Kight

Ideal 44

For real

trends + traditions westlakefeatherduster.com

off throughout the evening. Not only that, but the next day the tattoo was

cracked makeup Every girl has experienced the excruciating agony of dropping her blush or eyeshadow on the ground and watching it shatter to pieces right in front of her. This pin has a simple solution to this common problem. All you do is place a few drops of rubbing alcohol in your broken make-up, mix it together, let it dry and then supposedly it’s as good as new. the rubbing alcohol, it was a little pasty. I was skeptical that it would turn into anything someone would want to put on their face again, but the next day it felt just like normal eyeshadow. It was easy, and it will save you a ton of money buying new make-up. Success.

Pinterest

Ideal

Tim Whaling

For real


Getting crafty W

ith its perfectly coordinated colors and deliciously artsy tricks and treats, Pinterest is the representation of an idealistic culture. Is it feasible to live straight off the Pinterest screen? I’ve made it my mission to do the impossible. —Olivia Kight

DIY

Brownie bites My draw dropped at this one. I couldn’t even believe how impossibly delicious it looked. There was no way strawberry cheesecake brownies would be doable. Before judging me on these pictures, let me just say that the only word to describe these treats is sinful. The cheesecake and the brownie complimented each other so well, and adding in the strawberry topping just made it absolutely addicting. The words my dad used to describe these were “pure heroin.” The only downside is it’s explate. I basically destroyed every piece I tried to serve. Let this be a lesson to all of you — not all ovens work the same way. The best thing to do is check and see if your creation is done rather than just assuming that the suggeted time will do it justice like I did.

Pinterest

Ideal

Olivia Kight

For real

Underwater photo This seemed relatively simple in its concept, but once I thought cute, so how hard could it be, really? The answer: very. Once John and I were in the freezing cold pool, we grabbed the waterproof disposable camera and began. First we practiced kissing under the water, because that in itself seemed like the hardest part. We counted to three and then had no intention of getting chlorine in my eyes, which meant compromising my Once we came up for air, we couldn’t stop laughing. That was probably one of the least cute things ever. Our next plan was blowing air out of our noses while Pinterest

Ideal

Scissors in hand, senior Olivia Kight demonstrates how to make a headband out of a t-shirt. Olivia attempted several projects from Pinterest.

Olivia Kight

For real

just in case the angle turned out weird. Needless to say, our picture didn’t even come close to being as cutesy as the one from Pinterest. Fail.

Aurasma by Cade Ritter

Temporary tattoo This one didn’t turn out quite as I planned, but it was due more to my failures than to the actual process. I got my dad to draw a tiger with sharpie on my boyfriend John, and it looked really cool. The pin said to rub baby powder on it and then spray hairspray on top. Supposedly it lasts four days. First of all, I put way too much baby powder on the area, and it started spilling all over the towel that I had put down. After I smoothed that out, I began spraying the hairspray. I don’t think I was supposed to spray as much as I did, because the sharpie started running all over John’s back. In a frenzied panic, I decided to put more baby powder all over the tattoo, so I quickly grabbed the bottle and started dumping large amounts all over him. This only made things worse, Olivia Kight however, because the baby powder and the hairspray mixed together to

Olivia Kight

Ideal 44

For real

trends + traditions westlakefeatherduster.com

off throughout the evening. Not only that, but the next day the tattoo was

cracked makeup Every girl has experienced the excruciating agony of dropping her blush or eyeshadow on the ground and watching it shatter to pieces right in front of her. This pin has a simple solution to this common problem. All you do is place a few drops of rubbing alcohol in your broken make-up, mix it together, let it dry and then supposedly it’s as good as new. the rubbing alcohol, it was a little pasty. I was skeptical that it would turn into anything someone would want to put on their face again, but the next day it felt just like normal eyeshadow. It was easy, and it will save you a ton of money buying new make-up. Success.

Pinterest

Ideal

Tim Whaling

For real


DIY

Don’t worry There is one thing that you really need to do yourself: be happy

I

1

Don’t be a people-pleaser.

2

Clean up your own messes.

3

Smile.

4

Keep yourself healthy.

But wait, didn’t I just tell you to make other people happy? There’s a fine line between giving up your own happiness and just giving. Help people when you can, donate, clean your room when you’re asked to and remind your friends how important they are. Do not go out of your way to make sure someone else thinks you’re the nicest person ever. Be sweet, not a pushover.

A guilty conscience is never good for you. I hope you already knew that. If you screw up, come to terms with it, apologize and fix it to the best of your ability. Move on. Don’t dwell. Take responsibility.

I used to hate when people told me to smile. Smiling is shown on the outside, how the hell was that going to help what I felt inside? But when you smile, you look happy. When you look happy, other people like to be around you. If you’re surrounded by happy people, your own happiness can grow.

Get enough sleep. Recognize any bad emotions you have; breathe. Realize when you’re feeling sick and get better before you push yourself too far. Don’t live off of junk food that you’re going to regret. If you don’t like something, change it. Work out if you think you need to, and stay motivated. If you recognize a personal fault, try to fix it. Even if it doesn’t work, you’ll feel great about the fact that you tried.

5

Don’t become someone else.

Find things you like and get really into them. Use your talents. Understand how cool you are. Dress how you want. Buy things because you want them, not because your friends have them. Don’t envy others. Try your best to love yourself the way you are (aww). You’re beautiful, and don’t forget that.

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Alex Charnes

was always a pessimistic kid, especially in juxtaposition to my younger brother. He was (and still is) an exciting person. People always commented on his smile. Frowning and being angry continued to be part of my personality for a long time. I got stressed out so easily. I had a lot of discontent with myself and my relationships. It started to affect my self esteem and I quickly realized that being a pessimistic, irritable person was no longer an option. I’m sort of on a mission now — in order to be happy, I need to spread these seven tips and hopefully help create a happier world. —Caitlyn Kerbow

6

Communicate.

7

Pick your relationships.

This is the most important thing I am going to tell you. It is also one of the hardest for most people — especially teenagers — to understand. I cannot stress how important it is to let people know when you have a problem — whether it be with yourself or with them. Let me set up a little scenario: You told your friend, let’s call her Jessica, about a secret in your family in complete confidence. You didn’t want to bring up the issue to your parents before getting some advice. She promises to keep it between you two. The next day, your other friend, Linda, comes up to you and asks you if you’re doing okay. Linda explains that she was informed about all of the problems in your family. For the rest of the day, a storm brews inside of you. You’re torn. Should you confront Jessica about her flapping mouth or just let it go? If you’re extremely upset about something, don’t drop it. However, don’t make it into something bigger than it needs to be. Use the communication skills you learned in elementary school. Instead of getting mad, tell Jessica, “I feel upset because I told you those things in confidence.” If she gets angry, try your best to stay calm and work through it. Being able to communicate with friends will strengthen your relationship and help you grow. If Jessica keeps doing this to you no matter how hard you try to fix it, maybe it’s time to make a bigger change. That leads me to my last point.

Our society has a strange ideology that we’re supposed to keep up with every single person we meet. When we lose a friend, we always naturally blame it on ourselves. We feel the need to fix it, we can’t be the one to let it end. We can’t accept loss of relationships. Gaining and losing people is a natural cycle. Just as you may go through having a boyfriend or girlfriend, friends shouldn’t be understood as permanent (especially in high school). When you’re a teenager, you need to be doing what is the best for your growth. Don’t hold onto things that aren’t healthy. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and realize what’s best. Keep yourself happy above all. Friends come and go, but your happiness will (hopefully) always be with you. Put yourself first, and try your best.


Senior Whitney Woodard models her beaded jewelry. Whitney’s creations cost between $15-$25

Just

bead it

Crafter creates homemade jewelry, establishes popular new business

Hannah Turner f you walk around Westmust spend making jewelry after school. lake on any given day, you Luckily, she’s not on her own. may begin to notice a new “My sisters help me, and my friends will trend spreading around come over and help me bead, which is so nice, the school. A number of because they don’t have to do that,” Whitney students have been seen in said. “My dad has been helping me a lot with beaded, braided (and very the business part of it.” affordable) necklaces. Where Whitney’s dad has taught her a lot, from did this sudden style come from? You can give how to get her business license to how to do credit to senior Whitney Woodard. tax work, which can both be very confusing to “I have seventh and eighth period off and do for the first time. With her friends coming I have so much time on my hands,” Whitney to her aid and her mother letting her put off said. “I’m a senior, and I need to think of chores to catch up on orders, everyone seems something to do. I wanted something therato be supporting Whitney and rooting for her peutic to get my mind off of stuff.” success on her journey. High-end stores like Nordstrom’s sell their “It’s been really overwhelming,” Whitney beaded necklaces in the price range of $50 to said. “In the past two months I’ve had so $100. Many girls struggle with the decision many orders, but to be either broke or unfashionable. Whitney it’s really exciting found herself in this very situation and decidto see what the ed to do something about it. future holds.” “I saw this $100 necklace that I really What started liked, and I was like, ‘Oh I could totally make out as just Westthat’,” Whitney said. lake customers Using techniques that her grandmother soon spread to taught her when she was a child, she began other schools. recreating the necklace. After her first success, Pretty soon, it wasn’t long before she was incorporating Whitney was gether own creativity into her designs and experting orders from imenting with new looks. St. Michael’s, Anderson and a few others, Not long after Whitney began beading, including some local colleges. her friend, senior Ashley Livitz, saw how cute “I don’t know how they found me,” Whitthe jewelry was and asked Whitney to create ney said. “I guess my sister’s friends go home necklaces and bracelets for her as well. wearing them, and their parents see them.” “I started making [Ashley] some stuff, then Junior Sarah Shields first discovered her friends saw the jewelry and they wanted Whitney’s jewelry on the business Instagram stuff,” Whitney said. “And then I was like ‘Oh page, BeadedbyW. On the account, Whitney I could start a business’ — a small business. I features her new jewelry and often outfits to never thought it would get as big as it has.” match. She recently started to do giveaways From there, Beaded by W was born. Whitfor her followers. ney gets approximately two to five requests “I think her jewelry is a big hit because of per day for a custom design. Her order book how in-style it is,” Sarah said. “I also think it’s is full with more than 100 names of orders, the fact that she is so flexible when it comes to where customers usually buy multiple items. designs and colors.” Because it’s all customized, the more Recently stores have shown interest. Sarah orders Whitney receives, the more time she wore one of Whitney’s necklaces into Beehive

I

DIY

boutique in the Village of Westlake and they immediately asked where she got it. “I walked into Beehive a little while ago and the owner, Claire, commented on my necklace,” said. “I was wearing a black tassel necklace with black and gold beads.” Sarah explained Whitney and her business to the employees at Beehive and gave them Whitney’s number. After Sarah put the two parties in contact, Whitney went to the store and showed them pieces of her jewelry collection, which are now being sold there. “I make certain [products] for Beehive, but I also still do custom orders,” Whitney said. “Honestly, when I started this, I never thought a store would buy my stuff. I always thought [the business] would just go through Westlake.” Next year, Whitney plans to attend the University of Oklahoma. Fortunately, her roommate, Cara Hall from Memorial High School in Houston, used to bead as well and they’re planning on continuing the business from their dorm room. “I’m not quite sure yet how I am going to do all of it yet, but I definitely still want to continue the business,” Whitney said. Although she will be less available for custom designs, if all goes well, Whitney’s jewelry will continue to be sold at Beehive. “It’s been really overwhelming,” Whitney said. “In the past two months I’ve had so many orders, but it’s really exciting to see what the future holds.” To find designs for sale and to contact Whitney about getting custom jewelry,  visit her Facebook page or Instagram page, both called beadedbyw. —Alexis Huynh and ZZ Lundburg

“I saw this $100 necklake that I really liked, and I was like, ‘Oh, I could totally make that.’” —senior Whitney Woodard


On top of their game

DIY Tim Whaling Freshman Ian Hunicke-Smith reviews his code for his fantasy video game.

Underclassmen create dystopian world

very day freshman Ryan Dunagan and sophomore Dalton Dollihite, along with a group of friends, meet at the same table by the windows in the ninth grade library at lunch. They sit around a group of papers and iPads; the scene looks more like a brainstorming session than a high school lunch period. Unlike most people, though, Ryan and Dalton aren’t doing last minute homework — they’re planning a video game. The role-playing game currently titled “Project Domus” is set in a futuristic

E

choose to side with the government, side with the rebellion against the government but also against these strange creatures, or, if they prefer, side with the creatures.” “Depending on how you play it you could

like taking money to line their pockets and replace them with people who would actually do better for the government,” Ryan added. “And you can repair the government, make it a better place. That kind of stuff.” Just like a professional video game production company, each person on the team has his or her own role in development. Sophomores Brynne Keeney and Walker Register are the artists, sophomore Bryan Silvestro is government, a common concept in popular the cartographer (who makes sure that the culture at the moment. open world logically makes sense), freshmen Alexander Davis, David Lambowitz and Ryan near future where the Earth gets destroyed in are the current coders and Ryan is also a story an accident, and most of the human populacreator along with Dalton. tion is wiped out,” Ryan said. “They’re given a “I’m the one who knows what a gamer new planet, and on that planet is an unknown would really, really love, as well as Ryan; [he species that is endangering the human way and I] are obsessive gamers,” Dalton said. “I of life. The main character’s goal is to protect just do everything in my power to make sure the planet.” what we’re doing is in the gamer’s best inter“If they choose to est.” that is,” Dalton aling Currently the group plans for h W said. “The the game to be playable on the m Ti player platform of computers, but has the that may change in the right future. to “It’s going to be PC and, considering the engine we’re using — it’s called Unity — porting to consoles would probably not be too hard,” Ryan said. “But it would take more time, and it wouldn’t be as popular because console games are usually popular when they have a known publisher backing them. Freshman Ryan Dunagan studies his storySo if it does go to consoles, board for his game titled “Project Domus.” it would be a while after the PC release.” To fund the game, they are going

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trends + traditions westlakefeatherduster.com

to set up a Kickstarter, which is a crowdfunding program where people donate money to fund different projects, later into production. Without a publisher backing them, the group has made its own company to produce the game in a few years when it comes out. “Currently, we are a company; we have a name — RoboRhino Games,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t want a larger publisher to pick us up. It would be great if they could sponsor us or give us a shout-out or whatever they do, but I want to stay an independent company.” Without another company backing them, however, it may be hard to get the word out about their game in a few years when they will use Steam, an online program similar to Xbox Live. “We’re planning to put it on the Steam Greenlight program,” Ryan said, “which is a program where unrecognized developers can publish their games, and the community can vote on the games to put them onto the market. If publishers see them and they really like the game, they can back it to give it more of a name.” As gamers themselves, Ryan and Dalton are very interested in making their game as user-friendly as possible. They will incorporate a device to make their game much more interactive and to have a stream of feedback from the gamers. “One thing that I would want to do,” Dalton said, “since it’s PC and you can livestream things through PCs, [is] basically have [a device like in ‘Fallout’] so you can tune into the livestream of us, the game makers, and get on the forums and suggest ideas so we can get a live feed from the gamers of what we should

Enthusiast develops role-playing game Ask Ian Hunicke-Smith about the PC fantasy, video game he’s creating, and his face lights up. His enthusiasm for coding and projectiles using code. His project, which is currently untitled, involves the user creating his own spells, based on one of Ian’s own gaming experiences. “I was playing Minecraft, and I found this [program that customizes gameplay, known as a mod],” Ian said. “It was pretty small, but it had this idea of creating your own spells. It didn’t really do much with that, but I thought it was a really great idea so I decided to try to see if I can expand on that.” This fantasy story, however, is not set in the traditional medieval setting; it instead takes place in modern times. “It’s sort of centered around creating your own spells based on targeting keys and effects,” Ian said. “So you combine a

It’s sort of centered around creating your own spells based on targeting keys and effects. So you combine a projectile and fire damage, and it’ll [make a] fireball. —freshman Ian Hunicke-Smith

to it, put in the second one.” Even though Project Domus will be the

going to take place in a modern setting, mixed with magic, so I think that’s going to be a very interest-

Dalton are hopeful for the future.

A more traditional aspect of the game, however, is the classic underdog point of view. The protagonist and a rag-tag group of revo-

nitely want to keep on continuing because this is what I personally want to do as a career,” some great potential; it just depends on how we pull it off, and I really am hopeful that it is going to be a success.” If you want to get involved with Project Domus, send an application to rd28640@ yahoo.com. —Madeline Dupre

make the character models, Ian will use free software called Blender. To write the code for the game, he is going to use software called Unity. “It’s a pretty intuitive software, but there are a lot of little, intricate things [we have to do],” Ian said. “We have to create all the models for the [character] heads. We put the objects into the actual game world, we create the environment and we take the code blocks and attach them to the objects. The software manages all of the actual rendering of the visuals, and basically what you do is put the objects in the game and use this code to tell the objects what to do. I’ve pretty much got the basic spell creation mechanics all built up. I still need to do a lot of work on the enemy [automatic intelligences], like actually getting them to move around and shoot at you.” Though Ian is currently producing the game independently, he is open to the idea of working with a company in the future. “I’m probably going to make it on my own until I get a little further into the [creation] process,” Ian said, “but a company sponsoring might be really good because we could actually buy some professional asset libraries [which are a collection of tools that make programming easier].”

practice magic. “The storyline is that magic has been, of course, outlawed, and it’s widely rejected by basically every society,” Ian said. “You’re part of an underground resistance, so basically it’s you and maybe a couple hundred other people against armies; it’s going to be pretty interesting.” His production team includes freshman Sophie Werkenthin, who will help with the soundtrack, and freshmen Julia Rasor and Victoria Pierce, who are helping Ian with the storyline.

update the game once it comes out. “I think that even after it comes out, we’re probably going to be releasing fairly regular updates,” he said. “Most of these updates will be similar to Xbox Live, except tailored for PC games. “I might just stop at getting it onto Steam, but I think that if it becomes popular enough, I might attempt to port it over to Xbox and PlayStation, and possaibly add multiplayer functionality. This all relies on the popularity of the game on release.” —Madeline Dupre


On top of their game

DIY Tim Whaling Freshman Ian Hunicke-Smith reviews his code for his fantasy video game.

Underclassmen create dystopian world

very day freshman Ryan Dunagan and sophomore Dalton Dollihite, along with a group of friends, meet at the same table by the windows in the ninth grade library at lunch. They sit around a group of papers and iPads; the scene looks more like a brainstorming session than a high school lunch period. Unlike most people, though, Ryan and Dalton aren’t doing last minute homework — they’re planning a video game. The role-playing game currently titled “Project Domus” is set in a futuristic

E

choose to side with the government, side with the rebellion against the government but also against these strange creatures, or, if they prefer, side with the creatures.” “Depending on how you play it you could

like taking money to line their pockets and replace them with people who would actually do better for the government,” Ryan added. “And you can repair the government, make it a better place. That kind of stuff.” Just like a professional video game production company, each person on the team has his or her own role in development. Sophomores Brynne Keeney and Walker Register are the artists, sophomore Bryan Silvestro is government, a common concept in popular the cartographer (who makes sure that the culture at the moment. open world logically makes sense), freshmen Alexander Davis, David Lambowitz and Ryan near future where the Earth gets destroyed in are the current coders and Ryan is also a story an accident, and most of the human populacreator along with Dalton. tion is wiped out,” Ryan said. “They’re given a “I’m the one who knows what a gamer new planet, and on that planet is an unknown would really, really love, as well as Ryan; [he species that is endangering the human way and I] are obsessive gamers,” Dalton said. “I of life. The main character’s goal is to protect just do everything in my power to make sure the planet.” what we’re doing is in the gamer’s best inter“If they choose to est.” that is,” Dalton aling Currently the group plans for h W said. “The the game to be playable on the m Ti player platform of computers, but has the that may change in the right future. to “It’s going to be PC and, considering the engine we’re using — it’s called Unity — porting to consoles would probably not be too hard,” Ryan said. “But it would take more time, and it wouldn’t be as popular because console games are usually popular when they have a known publisher backing them. Freshman Ryan Dunagan studies his storySo if it does go to consoles, board for his game titled “Project Domus.” it would be a while after the PC release.” To fund the game, they are going

48

trends + traditions westlakefeatherduster.com

to set up a Kickstarter, which is a crowdfunding program where people donate money to fund different projects, later into production. Without a publisher backing them, the group has made its own company to produce the game in a few years when it comes out. “Currently, we are a company; we have a name — RoboRhino Games,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t want a larger publisher to pick us up. It would be great if they could sponsor us or give us a shout-out or whatever they do, but I want to stay an independent company.” Without another company backing them, however, it may be hard to get the word out about their game in a few years when they will use Steam, an online program similar to Xbox Live. “We’re planning to put it on the Steam Greenlight program,” Ryan said, “which is a program where unrecognized developers can publish their games, and the community can vote on the games to put them onto the market. If publishers see them and they really like the game, they can back it to give it more of a name.” As gamers themselves, Ryan and Dalton are very interested in making their game as user-friendly as possible. They will incorporate a device to make their game much more interactive and to have a stream of feedback from the gamers. “One thing that I would want to do,” Dalton said, “since it’s PC and you can livestream things through PCs, [is] basically have [a device like in ‘Fallout’] so you can tune into the livestream of us, the game makers, and get on the forums and suggest ideas so we can get a live feed from the gamers of what we should

Enthusiast develops role-playing game Ask Ian Hunicke-Smith about the PC fantasy, video game he’s creating, and his face lights up. His enthusiasm for coding and projectiles using code. His project, which is currently untitled, involves the user creating his own spells, based on one of Ian’s own gaming experiences. “I was playing Minecraft, and I found this [program that customizes gameplay, known as a mod],” Ian said. “It was pretty small, but it had this idea of creating your own spells. It didn’t really do much with that, but I thought it was a really great idea so I decided to try to see if I can expand on that.” This fantasy story, however, is not set in the traditional medieval setting; it instead takes place in modern times. “It’s sort of centered around creating your own spells based on targeting keys and effects,” Ian said. “So you combine a

It’s sort of centered around creating your own spells based on targeting keys and effects. So you combine a projectile and fire damage, and it’ll [make a] fireball. —freshman Ian Hunicke-Smith

to it, put in the second one.” Even though Project Domus will be the

going to take place in a modern setting, mixed with magic, so I think that’s going to be a very interest-

Dalton are hopeful for the future.

A more traditional aspect of the game, however, is the classic underdog point of view. The protagonist and a rag-tag group of revo-

nitely want to keep on continuing because this is what I personally want to do as a career,” some great potential; it just depends on how we pull it off, and I really am hopeful that it is going to be a success.” If you want to get involved with Project Domus, send an application to rd28640@ yahoo.com. —Madeline Dupre

make the character models, Ian will use free software called Blender. To write the code for the game, he is going to use software called Unity. “It’s a pretty intuitive software, but there are a lot of little, intricate things [we have to do],” Ian said. “We have to create all the models for the [character] heads. We put the objects into the actual game world, we create the environment and we take the code blocks and attach them to the objects. The software manages all of the actual rendering of the visuals, and basically what you do is put the objects in the game and use this code to tell the objects what to do. I’ve pretty much got the basic spell creation mechanics all built up. I still need to do a lot of work on the enemy [automatic intelligences], like actually getting them to move around and shoot at you.” Though Ian is currently producing the game independently, he is open to the idea of working with a company in the future. “I’m probably going to make it on my own until I get a little further into the [creation] process,” Ian said, “but a company sponsoring might be really good because we could actually buy some professional asset libraries [which are a collection of tools that make programming easier].”

practice magic. “The storyline is that magic has been, of course, outlawed, and it’s widely rejected by basically every society,” Ian said. “You’re part of an underground resistance, so basically it’s you and maybe a couple hundred other people against armies; it’s going to be pretty interesting.” His production team includes freshman Sophie Werkenthin, who will help with the soundtrack, and freshmen Julia Rasor and Victoria Pierce, who are helping Ian with the storyline.

update the game once it comes out. “I think that even after it comes out, we’re probably going to be releasing fairly regular updates,” he said. “Most of these updates will be similar to Xbox Live, except tailored for PC games. “I might just stop at getting it onto Steam, but I think that if it becomes popular enough, I might attempt to port it over to Xbox and PlayStation, and possaibly add multiplayer functionality. This all relies on the popularity of the game on release.” —Madeline Dupre


Turn the page

DIY

Writer publishes novel under pen name

U

nder the pseudonym Koffi Descôteaux, senior Michael Deisher is in the midst of publishing his first novel titled Be. Publishing a book under a pen name has been a lifelong dream of Koffi’s. “I was in love with Lemony Snicket throughout my whole childhood.” Koffi said. “My favorite series when I was young was A Series of Unfortunate Events. I remember when I was young and I found that wasn’t his real name, thinking ‘You can do that? You can publish under a fake name?’ So I vowed to myself that I would do it at some point.” Koffi’s coming-of-age novel revolves around a 17-year-old runaway and features action and adventure. “[The book is about] this girl, and she is extremely bored with her life,” Koffi said. “Then all her friends leave her … so she runs away. It’s basically about all these adventures that go on. The book is separated into two sections: past tense and present tense, and there is a sequel I’m writing in future tense. The past tense is before she ran away, the present is during and the sequel is after she ran away.” One of Koffi’s main influences for the book came from school. “I was actually inspired by a creative writing prompt,” Koffi said. “I took creative writing my sophomore year, and we were given this visual prompt. It was some black and white photo of this girl in front of a doll house with her family, and I was like, ‘I want to write about this girl.’” Koffi wrote his novel during National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, during November of 2013, in which he participates annually. Many novels have gained fame through NaNoWriMo, in-

More about Be. Buy your copy of Be. on Amazon, Kindle eBooks, or Createspace. You can follow Koffi at bethenovel.wordpress.com or on Facebook under the name Koffi Descôteaux.

cluding Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants. “I wrote [the novel] in 30 days, and I never looked at it again,” Koffi said. “I just let it sit on my computer, because I’m very insecure about my work, especially such a long piece. Then in December, I spent a relatively long time in the hospital. I was explaining to one of my doctors that this is what I want to do. She told me, ‘If this is really what you want, it’s no use letting it sit there and gather dust. You should get it out there. Rejection is just a part of life, and J.K. Rowling was rejected 11 times before someone finally accepted the first Harry Potter book.’ So I was like, ‘Damn, I need to get this published.’” Koffi took the doctor’s order. He decided to take a bold step and get his writing out in the open. “The day after I got out of the hospital, I printed out the manuscript,” Koffi said. “It was 186 pages in Microsoft Word, and I put it in a manila envelope and sent it off to this place called Greenleaf Book Group, located here in Austin.” Greenleaf accepted his submission and gave him the opportunity to publish his novel. Unfortunately, the cost was $16,000, so Koffi was forced to turn them down and find an alternative publishing company. “[Greenleaf] wanted to distribute through Barnes and Noble and that was amazing, but I don’t have 16 grand in the back of my pocket,” Koffi said. “They recommended me to another publishing group called Createspace. It was much cheaper, only $900 for publishing, and I still reserve the rights to my work.” Although Koffi says everything is going great in regards to his writing career now, he admits there were times he considered giving up. “The hardest part of writing is just getting through a block,” Koffi said. “I’m sure everyone who writes says that. You’ll be going strong, and then you’ll finish up an idea and you think, ‘Crap, where do I go from here?’

Lucy Wimmer

Senior Michael Diesher shows off the self-designed cover of his novel, Be. When I get in a block, I just start another piece. I always have ideas, so I start another novel, a short story or I write a poem, and that tends to get me going again and feeling like ‘OK I can do this.’” Koffi plans to graduate this year and begin taking core classes at ACC. He has decided to pursue a full-time career in writing, and is supported in his choice by his friends and family. “Writing is what I want to do with my life,” Koffi said. “I want to be able to make this my full-time career. Whether I start off extremely famous or have to work years and years to get to a self-sufficient point in a writing career, I don’t care. I just want to be able to support myself through writing novels and poetry.” In his novel, the main character, B., faces many difficult things. Koffi says the moral of Be. is about learning to be yourself, something he strives to live by in real life and has incorporated into his novel. “Just the essence of being is what inspired me to write,” Koffi said. “The name of the book, Be., is about learning how to be OK with who you are, be OK with your life and where life takes you. Be yourself. Be alive. Be OK. Just be.” –Michelle Fairorth

“Writing is what I want to do with my life … I just want to be able to support myself through writing novels and poetry.” —senior Michael Deisher


DIY

Spring into action Inventor brings hope to Africa with innovative water transporter

water purification system. “[This whole experience] has really made me understand the hardships people in developing countries face,” Akash said. “It’s not obvious when you’re just thinking about it in the U.S., and it’s very different when you actually go there and experience it. My favorite part of this whole process has been to see the benefits of helping people with just a simple device. Even giving a little bit of help can change the lives of millions of people.” —Monica Rao

es

to ho yp

co ur t

over longer distances and trickier terrain. The birth of the Hydro Hauler also meant the creation of Waterloo Springs, the non-profit organization Akash and his father formed to organize their efforts on a larger scale, with major funding coming from Akash and Hilton’s parents, as well as a few donations from the owner of Deep South Plastics. “[The Hydro Haulers] are pretty cheap,” Akash said. “The material itself costs only a couple cents. But the time on the machine to actually create the product is a lot more, so it probably ends up costing about $30 each. And the original mold itself was $10,000.” The first trial run proceeded last summer, and to see the results first-hand, Akash traveled to Ethiopia with his father and Hilton as part of Water to Thrive’s group. For 10 days, they commuted from village to village, explaining how the product worked and helping the locals test it out. “After [making these changes] we implemented our first trial in Ethiopia with 30 of the Hydro Haulers,” Akash said. “We took them to 10 different villages, selected by Water to Thrive, to see how they would perform. We talked to them about whether they liked it or not, whether it worked with their terrain, whether it meshed with their existing technology and just how it fit with their lives. However, there were still a couple of issues, just with the interlocking, that we are still addressing and fixing.” This past April, an encounter with billionaire inventor Dean Kamen infinitely expanded the futures of both Akash and the Hydro Hauler. Kamen, who is well known for his contributions to the medical industry as well as his invention of the Segway, met Akash’s robotics teacher Norman Morgan at a robotics convention in Dallas, and the two struck up a conversation. This discussion ultimately led to Kamen requesting a meeting with Akash and a sample of the Hydro Hauler a couple of weeks later at the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships. Kamen was blown away by Akash’s concept and offered him an internship this summer as well as agreeing to fund the multi-thousand dollar process of obtaining a patent. Kamen also pitched the idea of the Hydro Hauler at his meeting with Coca-Cola in hopes of implementing the product in developing countries worldwide in conjunction with his existing

1 Ha nn ah

T

he afternoon heat beats down on the cracked Ethiopian soil. As the sun slowly shimmers across the stark, never ending landscape, a figure emerges from the distance. It is a woman, maybe 20 to 25 years of age. She is returning home after a lengthy walk to collect water for her family. Behind her, inside what looks like a plastic, donut shaped-wheel, rolls what amounts to almost 20 liters of water. This is the Hydro Hauler, the brainchild of senior Akash Thaker and his father Hemi Thaker. “[It all started] a couple of years ago on an airplane,” Akash said. “We were on our way home from a family trip when we ran into Philip Berber, the founder of A Glimmer of Hope. When we were talking, he started telling me about issues with water in Africa and other developing countries. This got me interested and I thought ‘Hey, this is really cool, what can I do to help?’ I saw something on Discovery Channel called the Q-drum, which is just a simple, rolling water transportation device. So I bought 10 of them online and sent them to Africa.” Akash’s friend Adam Hilton had friends through church who worked with the organization Water to Thrive, so Akash partnered with them to select different villages in Ethiopia that would directly benefit from the Q-drums. However, the feedback they received from each of the villages was fairly negative, with most of the users agreeing that the product was not effective. Realizing that there were multiple design flaws, Akash met with engineers and plastic specialists from Deep South Plastics in Austin to address the issues causing the Q-drum’s ineffectiveness. “First of all, [the Q-drum] was too heavy, so people couldn’t lift it up to get it into their homes,” Akash said. “So we broke it up into smaller devices that would lock together. Second, it was too dirty. The cap would get covered in mud. So we created a smaller hole and a cap that prevented stuff from getting inside the water.” Through these changes, the Hydro Hauler was born. Essentially just empty plastic donuts that locked together and could be rolled, the device allowed users to transport nearly twice as much water, with greater ease

r ne Tu

2

r

1. Children in Ethiopia pull the latest version of the Hydro Hauler, a gift from senior Akash Thaker and his organization. 2. Akash and billionaire Dean Kamen pose with the Hydro Hauler. The two met at a recent robotics tournament and Kamen is helping Akash obtain a patent for his design.


W ha lin

g

T im

Stay gold

DIY

Holding her faithful companion Snowy, junior Maddy Munford smiles for the camera. Snowy appears in many of Maddy’s social media posts for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Socks Rock: Socks for the Homeless.

Girl Scout raises awareness about importance of socks

W

ho has flaming red hair and a heart made of gold? Junior Maddy Munford, a Girl Scout in Troop 316. Over Spring Break, Maddy began Socks Rock: Socks for the Homeless, a service project focused on bringing comfort to the less fortunate. Maddy, who has been a Girl Scout since she was 5, is doing her project so she can earn the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. She must complete at least 80 hours of service as part of her project along with extensive paperwork. The process of getting her project approved by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas alone took several months. “[I had to fill out] this huge packet, and I had to write three essays and answer a bunch of questions about what I wanted to do and who I was going to involve,” Maddy said. “That took a while. Then I also had to email lots of people and ask them if they would be involved. It was a process.” Maddy partnered with Mobile Loaves and Fishes founder Alan Graham and Mitscoots owner Tim Scott. Both are helping her raise awareness for her project and the issue of socks for the homeless. “I’ve been volunteering for Mobile Loaves and Fishes for about three or four years, and the one thing that we bring to people that always makes them light up is socks,” Maddy said. “If we got socks for Christmas or Hanukah, we’d be like ‘Ugh, that’s so lame.’ But for [the homeless], it really helps.” A major part of Maddy’s project is social media. She posts pictures of socks along with messages reminding people how important clean socks are. “I’ve been making a blog, an Instagram, a Facebook page and a Twitter account to spread awareness around the world,” Maddy said. “I’ve been getting friends from different places. The other day I got an email from people in Kenya, and it was so cool. I think it’s sustainable because it’s reaching places around the world. It’s pretty ongoing because on the Mobile Loaves and Fishes website there’ll be a link to

my blog. I’m hoping there will be a little meter saying you can donate socks online, and it’ll just keep rising.” Maddy also plans on celebrating the success of her project in a big way. “At the end of this project, I want to do two sock hops where kids come and get in free with a donation of socks,” Maddy said. “I’ll have Girl Scout cookies there, and we’d all be celebrating socks and collecting as many as we can.” Along with helping the community, the purpose of the Gold Award is to cultivate skills such as leadership, time management and communication. It has helped Maddy become more independent. “I’m not really getting help with event planning,” Maddy said. “I have to plan events on my own, and invite people to come and bring socks. Other people will be helping me by donating socks and spreading awareness. There’s nothing in the project that says ‘you have to do this by a specific date,’ so you have to be on yourself to do it. My self-motivation skills have really developed.” Maddy wants people to know that there is much more to Girl Scouts than simply selling cookies. “I think when Girl Scouts interact with people, they’re usually selling cookies,” Maddy said. “I don’t think people know how much we help everyone. I think most girls quit early on because it’s hard work. But I’ve stayed in it because my mom was a troop leader when I was younger, and I really found inspiration because she was so active in it. It opens opportunities for me, and I can appreciate what I have because I see people who don’t have as much.” Girl Scouts and the Gold Award have done just as much for Maddy as she is doing for the community. “Even though it is a lot of work, I’m happy that I’m doing it,” Maddy said. “It’s really opening my eyes to how easy it is for someone my age to help so many people. It’s making everything I do not about me. Even if you’re not a Girl Scout, I think you should be more involved in your community because it’s something bigger than yourself.” —Sara Phillips

“I think when Girl Scouts interact with people, they’re usually selling cookies. I don’t think people know how much we help everyone.” —junior Maddy Munford

52

trends + traditions westlakefeatherduster.com


Family is why WE DO IT ALL.

. Auto . Home . Life . Health . Business . Retirement We all feel the same commitment to care for our families. As your good neighbor State Farm agent, I can help you meet your insurance needs. Located in the Westlake HEB Shopping Center!


Kristen Cashore Daring adventures, tear-jerking romance, terrifying twists and inspirGraceling, a land where certain individuals possess special powers known as Graces. They are referred to as the Gracelings, and if their power is deemed useful, they are forced into the king’s service for life. The heroine of the story is an

her adventure to free herself from the out what exactly she feels for Po, the mysterious stranger whom she befriends. Not only is the book a refreshing change from the dystodoors, representing characters that the literary world needs to see more of. In short, everything about this story will capture your heart.

Cinda Williams Chima In the mood for fantasy with a dash of romance, rival gangs, princesses, wizards and fate? Then The Demon King is the book for you. The story follows two very different characters, each grappling with their own issues. Little do they know, their fates are intertwined. Hans Alister is an ex-gang leader living in the poverty-stricken slums with his mother and sister and struggling to make a living. In contrast, Princess Raisa ana'Marianna has problems of her own. As the eldest child in the Gray Wolf Throne dynasty, she is being groomed to rule, while simultaneously dealing with an impossible romance and the problems lurking in the corners of the country that will one day be hers. First in a series of four, The Demon King is a great read that will thrill the reader with the story it weaves. —Sophia Ho

Quick picks Ah summer — the one time of year when I can actually get books to narrow down the vast pile of unread books I have into a smaller of the summer. And after much time hoarding books from various sources, I have decided to undertake my task of deciding ahead of time. Here are my picks for the months ahead. —Nikki Humble

54

rants + raves

westlakefeatherduster.com

A BRIGHT AND GUILTY PLACE

Richard Rayner The history of Los Angeles crime in the ‘20s as told in a historical narrative focusing on the crime syndicate’s ties with the local government.

THE PICTURE OF AN OBJECT OF DORIAN GRAY BEAUTY Oscar Wilde This classic tells the story of a man obsessed with beauty, an artist’s passion, and a rich man’s lies.

Steve Martin Steve Martin writes about the alluring Lacey Yeager climbing her way up the New York City social ladder.

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

Ernest Hemingway One of Hemingway’s classics, this novel explores love and loyalty in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War.

TRACKLIST

THE DEMON KING

GRACELING

TRACKLIST

Tried and true favorites reviewed for you

through three hours of music you’re not a fan of, but I have — too many times. My dad is really great at a lot of things, but roadtrip music selection is not one. After suffering through years of listening to the same Emmylou Harris songs and George Strait ballads, I decided to take things into my own hands by creating a temporary solution: making my own three hour playlist with more of a variety. While compiling this mish-mash of music, I decided I needed to keep the genres as broad as possible — because you never know who will ride with you in the car during the long vehicular voyages of the vernal season. As a result, this playlist has every genre your heart could desire — except maybe classical. —Nikki Humble

“Arabella” Arctic Monkeys “Holiday” Vampire Weekend “3005” Childish Gambino “Paint it Black” The Rolling Stones “Head.Cars.Bending” The 1975 “National Anthem” Lana del Rey “Hopeless Wanderer” Mumford & Sons “Forrest Gump” Frank Ocean

“What You Know About Little Secrets” White Panda Music “Team” (Elefante remix) Lorde “Counting Stars” (Basic Physics remix) One Republic “#Selfie” Chainsmokers “Floats My Boat” TheAerMusic “Enjoy The Ride” Krewella “Hey Ma” Camron “Island Song” Zac Brown Band

Haley Hogan

The Summer of 2014 is upon us, which calls for lake music and of course, a little bit of country. DJs have put a spin on all of our favorite songs and have made them perfect for any party. These remixes have transformed all the classics we know every word to into something newer and more exciting. If you’re looking for a fun and catchy remix, Elephante’s twist on Lorde’s “Team” is just the right song, or if you Chainsmokers will get everybody dancing. A laidback party by the lake calls for Zac Brown Band’s classic “Island Song,” which will put anybody in a good mood. This playlist ranges from relaxing to rave and will make this summer just a little hotter. —Zhouie Martinez

Caitlyn Kerbow

TRACKLIST

rants + raves

Party

R

Whether you’re heading to the beach or staying inside all day, we’ve got your entertainment needs covered

Roadtrip

Summer stories

Staycation

&

R

Beat the heat — vacation playlists

Nothing feels quite like running around your stomping grounds with your crew, feeling like you own the place. You know those summer days, when you’re living inside an ‘80s teen movie; and those days deserve a similar killer soundtrack. On afternoons when Austin is sizzling but you still want to be outside or on early mornings when you realize you’ve pulled three all-nighters in a row just hanging out, you’ll want some tunes to jam to. Here is an ample collection of songs that perfectly match the lazy rebellion and hazy nostalgia that blooms in those few sweet, short weeks when everyone that’s cool isn’t traveling the world, getting sand all over the place. —Katelyn Connolly

“Lust for Life” Girls “Someday” The Strokes “Wild Desire” King Tuff “Time to Pretend” MGMT “Crocodile Rock” Elton John “Heavy Metal Drummer” Wilco “No Waves” FIDLAR “Rock Me” One Direction

Molly Stotts

Visit our 8tracks account to listen to these playlists and more

@whsfeatherduster

A link is available on our website, westlakefeatherduster.com


Kristen Cashore Daring adventures, tear-jerking romance, terrifying twists and inspirGraceling, a land where certain individuals possess special powers known as Graces. They are referred to as the Gracelings, and if their power is deemed useful, they are forced into the king’s service for life. The heroine of the story is an

her adventure to free herself from the out what exactly she feels for Po, the mysterious stranger whom she befriends. Not only is the book a refreshing change from the dystodoors, representing characters that the literary world needs to see more of. In short, everything about this story will capture your heart.

Cinda Williams Chima In the mood for fantasy with a dash of romance, rival gangs, princesses, wizards and fate? Then The Demon King is the book for you. The story follows two very different characters, each grappling with their own issues. Little do they know, their fates are intertwined. Hans Alister is an ex-gang leader living in the poverty-stricken slums with his mother and sister and struggling to make a living. In contrast, Princess Raisa ana'Marianna has problems of her own. As the eldest child in the Gray Wolf Throne dynasty, she is being groomed to rule, while simultaneously dealing with an impossible romance and the problems lurking in the corners of the country that will one day be hers. First in a series of four, The Demon King is a great read that will thrill the reader with the story it weaves. —Sophia Ho

Quick picks Ah summer — the one time of year when I can actually get books to narrow down the vast pile of unread books I have into a smaller of the summer. And after much time hoarding books from various sources, I have decided to undertake my task of deciding ahead of time. Here are my picks for the months ahead. —Nikki Humble

54

rants + raves

westlakefeatherduster.com

A BRIGHT AND GUILTY PLACE

Richard Rayner The history of Los Angeles crime in the ‘20s as told in a historical narrative focusing on the crime syndicate’s ties with the local government.

THE PICTURE OF AN OBJECT OF DORIAN GRAY BEAUTY Oscar Wilde This classic tells the story of a man obsessed with beauty, an artist’s passion, and a rich man’s lies.

Steve Martin Steve Martin writes about the alluring Lacey Yeager climbing her way up the New York City social ladder.

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

Ernest Hemingway One of Hemingway’s classics, this novel explores love and loyalty in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War.

TRACKLIST

THE DEMON KING

GRACELING

TRACKLIST

Tried and true favorites reviewed for you

through three hours of music you’re not a fan of, but I have — too many times. My dad is really great at a lot of things, but roadtrip music selection is not one. After suffering through years of listening to the same Emmylou Harris songs and George Strait ballads, I decided to take things into my own hands by creating a temporary solution: making my own three hour playlist with more of a variety. While compiling this mish-mash of music, I decided I needed to keep the genres as broad as possible — because you never know who will ride with you in the car during the long vehicular voyages of the vernal season. As a result, this playlist has every genre your heart could desire — except maybe classical. —Nikki Humble

“Arabella” Arctic Monkeys “Holiday” Vampire Weekend “3005” Childish Gambino “Paint it Black” The Rolling Stones “Head.Cars.Bending” The 1975 “National Anthem” Lana del Rey “Hopeless Wanderer” Mumford & Sons “Forrest Gump” Frank Ocean

“What You Know About Little Secrets” White Panda Music “Team” (Elefante remix) Lorde “Counting Stars” (Basic Physics remix) One Republic “#Selfie” Chainsmokers “Floats My Boat” TheAerMusic “Enjoy The Ride” Krewella “Hey Ma” Camron “Island Song” Zac Brown Band

Haley Hogan

The Summer of 2014 is upon us, which calls for lake music and of course, a little bit of country. DJs have put a spin on all of our favorite songs and have made them perfect for any party. These remixes have transformed all the classics we know every word to into something newer and more exciting. If you’re looking for a fun and catchy remix, Elephante’s twist on Lorde’s “Team” is just the right song, or if you Chainsmokers will get everybody dancing. A laidback party by the lake calls for Zac Brown Band’s classic “Island Song,” which will put anybody in a good mood. This playlist ranges from relaxing to rave and will make this summer just a little hotter. —Zhouie Martinez

Caitlyn Kerbow

TRACKLIST

rants + raves

Party

R

Whether you’re heading to the beach or staying inside all day, we’ve got your entertainment needs covered

Roadtrip

Summer stories

Staycation

&

R

Beat the heat — vacation playlists

Nothing feels quite like running around your stomping grounds with your crew, feeling like you own the place. You know those summer days, when you’re living inside an ‘80s teen movie; and those days deserve a similar killer soundtrack. On afternoons when Austin is sizzling but you still want to be outside or on early mornings when you realize you’ve pulled three all-nighters in a row just hanging out, you’ll want some tunes to jam to. Here is an ample collection of songs that perfectly match the lazy rebellion and hazy nostalgia that blooms in those few sweet, short weeks when everyone that’s cool isn’t traveling the world, getting sand all over the place. —Katelyn Connolly

“Lust for Life” Girls “Someday” The Strokes “Wild Desire” King Tuff “Time to Pretend” MGMT “Crocodile Rock” Elton John “Heavy Metal Drummer” Wilco “No Waves” FIDLAR “Rock Me” One Direction

Molly Stotts

Visit our 8tracks account to listen to these playlists and more

@whsfeatherduster

A link is available on our website, westlakefeatherduster.com


12 THINGS MY MOM

WAS RIGHT ABOUT 1

2 3

4 5 6 7 8 56

No, we’re not going there.

Thanks for never buying me Abercrombie, Hollister or Aeropostale. I know it’s what all the cool kids were wearing, and I desperately wanted to sport a moose on the front of my shirt, but you were right. Those $50 graphic tees and holey blue jean shorts weren’t all that great, and you could totally see my rolls under those embarrassingly tight t-shirts.

You can’t get your ears pierced at Claire’s. Shout out to Donna Emery for knowing better than to trust a 16-yearold with an unsanitary needle gun to shoot a cheaply made, neon stud through my precious, 7-year-old earlobes.

One day, you’ll like coffee. A long, long time ago in a far away land that is childhood, I crinkled my nose at the thought of anything resembling coffee. But nowadays, I’m a zombie rolling out of my bed at 7 a.m., desperate for caffeine. I quite literally drink black coffee like water, quenching my thirst for energy one Monday at a time.

Friends before boys, but family before anything. In second grade, I had a bedazzled shirt from Limited Too that said “Boys will come and go, but friends are forever.” But my mom always clarified that family is priority.

Stay off the roads after midnight. While I dreaded my curfew all throughout high school, my mom was right. The roads are scary after 12 a.m., and it’s not me she doesn’t trust, it’s the other drivers.

9 10

11 12

Drugstore mascara is just as good as department store. Don’t fall into the trap of pretty packages — the green and pink Maybelline tube will always be the best.

Write your thank you notes, keep your elbows off the table and put your napkin on your lap. My mom’s nagging about trivial social mannerisms really got on my nerves when I was younger. But little did I know, she was fostering good habits in me that have helped me out to this day. Thank you notes are a nice gesture, RSVPing is the right thing to do and basic manners are crucial.

Calories don’t count on your birthday, Christmas or Thanksgiving. There’s no better way to celebrate than to go to town on the stuffing and queso. Don’t restrain yourself — you always deserve the fourth red velvet cake ball.

Someday you’ll thank me. You were always right, mom. I know it’s hard to do your job — raising kids is hard and I can be so difficult. I apologize for rolling my eyes when you told me I couldn’t go to that Halloween party on a Wednesday night. Now I know you are responsible for the person I became and am becoming, and in the words of T-Swift, you were on my side even when I was wrong. As graduation approaches, I definitely owe a huge thank you to the woman who made it all happen.

—Elizabeth Emery

One day, you will hate shaving your legs. In the summer of fifth grade, my mom grudgingly bought me my first razor. I felt so grown up — I mean, that practically made me a real-life preteen. Fast-forward seven years, and I can say you were right, mom. Shaving sucks.

Those are just things. Grades, clothes, makeup, cars, houses — none of it is as important as your brains, character and the people who mean the most to you. es

Kill them with kindness. The best revenge is always being nice. Rise above, be the better person and never compromise kindness for your own pride. Stand up for what you believe in, but don’t underestimate the power of amiability.

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

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Judith Bundschuh, CPA Real Estate Broker, Realtor 512-329-5581 phone 1250 Capital of TX Highway South Building III Suite 400 Austin, TX 78746 2013 Realtor of the Year Austin Board of Realtors

2011 Chairman of the Austin Board of Realtors C

M

GO

CHAPS!!

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

supports The Featherduster

CAPITAL CRUISES Come view the famous Congress Ave bat emergence and take in some vestiges of scenic Lady Bird Lake! Offerings include Bat Watching and Sightseeing Excursions, boat rentals and a wide variety of private events including dinners and entertainment. Book today and have the ultimate Austin experience! Reservations can be made at 512-480-9264; Located on the lake below the Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Rd. www.capitalcruises.com

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We create an individualized instructional program for each student and are the Westlake Chaps’ top choice for:  Academic Tutoring  Study Skills Coaching  SAT and ACT preparation  College Admissions


TO FROM RICHES RAGS courtesy photos

1

and other loads of funny, dysfunctional situations arise. If only my family’s experience was special enough to be narrated by Ron Howard. But let’s look at another family’s much less humorous downfall as well. Bernie Madoff not only hurt an astounding number of lives through his deceitful Ponzi scheme several years ago, but it resulted in his son’s suicide and completely decimated the lives of the rest of his family. Somewhere between these two extremes lies my family’s story. In my relatively short life, I’ve lived in waterfront Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach mansions,

2

3

4

1. In an ironic twist, my parents had their wedding rehearsal on one of the boats that was part of the same fleet as the one featured in the first episode of Arrested Development. 2. Here my mom, brother and I were about to go on vacation to the Bahamas on our family friend’s jet. 3. For about three weeks, we stayed at this Salvation Army homeless shelter downtown. 4. This is the 50th anniversary program for the metal parts company which my family owned in Illinois.

58

I

f you’ve seen a few episodes of the TV show Arrested Development, the story of the eccentric Bluth family’s fall from grace, you might be familiar with some of their odd conditions: nearly the entire family lives in a model home, an airport stair car is their only mode of transportation that wasn’t repos-

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

and family friends who managed hedge funds on Wall Street and stayed on yachts chartered in the Caribbean. I’ve spent Christmases in condos slope side of Aspen Mountain, inner-tubed off the coast of Monaco and my father was at one time on the board of directors for a charity with Michael Dell. I’ve also seen my parents arrested, been evicted from multiple homes, moved 30 times in two years within the same town and attended four different high schools in four different states. My family has lost almost every single thing we have ever owned including two of our dogs and our family photos and have also spent three weeks during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in the Salvation Army’s downtown Austin homeless shelter. Kind of a strange story to be coming from a so-called trust fund baby, isn’t it? The events that caused all this built up on each other like a Jenga tower before they came crashing down, and boy, was it a crash. But the biggest falls always make for the best stories, and lucky for us, the resolution of ours has played a larger role than the climax. An insane grandfather who had the power of the purse; a father a mother’s undying love, emotional turmoil anddetermination; and the man upstairs who saved us. They are all a part of the story of how a sup-

... and back again

my family had been trapped in for years, until the start of my senior year of high school. The problems that would mature and rear their ugly heads later in life were born way before my brother and I were. According to my grandfather, my dad was supposed to follow in his footsteps by running the family metal parts factory in northern Illinois after graduating college. But instead he decided to be with my mom and wait at it. Little did they know that this would cause my grandfather to hate my mother — and that it would affect all of our lives in the future. Eventually, he did go to Illinois to work for his father, but the tensions between my grandfather and my mom were too great, so they decided to follow a different career path. As the years went by and my grandfather’s state of mind and pain medication addiction support. It eventually got more and more unpredictable, going from plenty to sparse overnight. My dad did not handle this instability well and resorted to alcoholism and covering up the true multiple jobs, and even when he managed to get sober in rehab, he still had trouble getting solid employment. It got to the point where we were 100 percent dependent on my grandfather. My grandfather began to only send enough money to get through a few days until it ran out and the unhealthy cycle of dependence would start all over again. The rent, among other things, wasn’t being paid, and once the bills stacked high enough, eviction notices started to be taped onto our door. We all thought there was a breakthrough years, becoming the director of marketing and sales for a new company that ran an online directory for luxury goods and services. He was in charge of going to all of the yacht shows, hotels, marinas and anything else related to that industry, in order to advertise and gain clients. My family then spent six months traveling down the East Coast, then across the Atlantic to the French and Spanish Rivieras, Monaco, the Virgin Islands magical times of my life. Even though I missed my friends at school, the adventures we had were on the right track. My parents were happy, and

Student shares story of overcoming family financial struggle himself instead of relying on his father — at least once the company was completely set up. We had so much hope. However, in 2008, the same phenomenon that would take down the entire world economy came barreling full force into the company my dad worked for, ending that dream and putting us back at the mercy of my grandfather. In his desperation to make it seem like everything would be alright, my dad tried to convince us all that his career was still secure by writing bad checks to cover it and ended up spending months in crimes. Even though my mom was not a part of it, she had to go to court twice in order to clear her name since she was suspected of being an accomplice. Because my parents’ credit was ruined and they couldn’t get a long-term rental on their own, the only places we could stay without my grandfather’s help were vacation rental homes. These homes would be booked in advance throughout the year, and whenever another guest would arrive, we would have between those days. So we ended up moving more than 30 times in two years in the same town. Finances were a disaster, and the marital problems it was causing my parents put stress on all of us. Not to mention we had actually moved throughout my life from California, to Florida, to Wisconsin, back to Florida, then to North Carolina, to Austin, to Alabama, back

resumes my mom sent out to turn into a job, we ran out of money saved up for the move. We had to leave the motel we were staying at, and that night, she had to check herself, my brother and me into the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter, just a block away from Sixth Street, for three weeks. I tried begging my grandfather and his shut up by his girlfriend, since I could barely be understood between sobs, but they did nothing, even though the trust fund he had set up for my brother and me was supposedly My mom tried to reach out to family, out of the mess we were in, but the majority of them didn’t help, basically saying the equivalent of “you made your bed, now lie in it.” And of course, my grandfather would support my dad, my brother and me, but only The one friend who did offer to help lived in Florida, and so we moved there with our dad joining us, saying he was going to help, too. However, my dad, along with this friend, also turned on my mom. This friend also tried to get money from our trust, reminiscent of the villain in A Series of Unfortunate Events (without the whole murder thing). My mom decided the only way to escape what we were going through was to have us stay with our dad and hope that he would take care of us through his father. She had promised us she would never take us to another homeless shelter again. She tried to get a job in Austin since that was the best chance to get back on her feet, but because she had such a large gap in the number of

“Kind of a strange story to be coming from a so-called trust fund baby, isn’t it?” —senior Cierra Smith

Four of those moves were during high school, which made it hard to stay with the same sports and extracurricular activities. I also had trouble making friends because it was hard to answer the typical questions of a new girl at school: the reason we moved, what my dad did for a living, where we lived. It’s kind of hard to invite friends over when one week we could be at one place and the next could be at another. The situation got worse a few months after mer before my sophomore year. My parents were hopeful that the strong job market would give us a better chance of getting out of our mess. I even found Westlake High School while researching what schools were around by coming across an archive of The Featherduster online and thought I’d love to be a part of making it. Later on, we also found out that the school and area itself would be ideal for afford it, and it seemed like that might have been possible. While waiting on one of the 80

came to realize how misguided I was when I was with my father. And now we were back in Austin; better late than never. Fast forward to just a few weeks before this school year was about to start: we were eating at our favorite Thai restaurant when the phone rang. After spending most of my high ity, our lives changed dramatically with one call. My grandfather had died. I had never felt a more strange mix of emotions as I did that day. On one hand, there was the sadness for what could have been a great relationship that was wasted on hatred. And yet, on the

to stay in a homeless shelter for six months before she got a position as a youth care worker at Life Works, even though she had all but her dissertation in clinical psychology. In what is the greatest regret of my life, instead of going to live with our mom once she had the ability to take care of us, I chose to live with my dad for about a year. I let him and the people he was surrounded with convince me that everything was my mom’s fault and spent the next year defending him and avoiding my mom’s calls and messages. However, a year later my dad ended up crimes he had committed in the past. And now that she had a professional job at Gary down to Florida and pick up my brother and

being free of the trap we had been in for so long. I opened one of the fortune cookies we had been given, and I’ll never forget the words that were written there: “Do what you love, and the necessary resources will follow.” But nothing could have prepared us for what came. Both my brother and I had access to our trusts, and my dad inherited his trust es. We were able to move into a nicer home but more importantly, we all got the ability to function in life without anxiety over being one step away from destitution again. We had also believed we would never get to see our old family photos and memories after losing them so many years ago. We thought our parents would never have the experience of seeing their teenaged children watch themselves as babies and toddlers on dusty VHS tapes. There were giant boxes of home movies we found scattered all around the basement of my grandfather’s home — copies my parents had sent years ago. A photo album of my parents’ marriage, photos of dozens of other images were now so numerous that we couldn’t carry them in one trip into our home. So, just as everyone’s favorite TV show trying to guess how the season will end, our story will too. I have no idea for sure, but I have a pretty good feeling that our next season of life will be much brighter than the last. Throughout this time, my mom has gotten her counseling license and her own private practice, my dad became a Christian while Florida, and is trying to make ammends for what he did before. They are now reconciling their marriage and doing everything they can sibly. through, I feel it has strengthened my character and my faith. I know how to be grateful for what I have and for what this experience has taught me. Let’s just hope that fortune cookie was right. —Cierra Smith


TO FROM RICHES RAGS courtesy photos

1

and other loads of funny, dysfunctional situations arise. If only my family’s experience was special enough to be narrated by Ron Howard. But let’s look at another family’s much less humorous downfall as well. Bernie Madoff not only hurt an astounding number of lives through his deceitful Ponzi scheme several years ago, but it resulted in his son’s suicide and completely decimated the lives of the rest of his family. Somewhere between these two extremes lies my family’s story. In my relatively short life, I’ve lived in waterfront Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach mansions,

2

3

4

1. In an ironic twist, my parents had their wedding rehearsal on one of the boats that was part of the same fleet as the one featured in the first episode of Arrested Development. 2. Here my mom, brother and I were about to go on vacation to the Bahamas on our family friend’s jet. 3. For about three weeks, we stayed at this Salvation Army homeless shelter downtown. 4. This is the 50th anniversary program for the metal parts company which my family owned in Illinois.

58

I

f you’ve seen a few episodes of the TV show Arrested Development, the story of the eccentric Bluth family’s fall from grace, you might be familiar with some of their odd conditions: nearly the entire family lives in a model home, an airport stair car is their only mode of transportation that wasn’t repos-

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

and family friends who managed hedge funds on Wall Street and stayed on yachts chartered in the Caribbean. I’ve spent Christmases in condos slope side of Aspen Mountain, inner-tubed off the coast of Monaco and my father was at one time on the board of directors for a charity with Michael Dell. I’ve also seen my parents arrested, been evicted from multiple homes, moved 30 times in two years within the same town and attended four different high schools in four different states. My family has lost almost every single thing we have ever owned including two of our dogs and our family photos and have also spent three weeks during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in the Salvation Army’s downtown Austin homeless shelter. Kind of a strange story to be coming from a so-called trust fund baby, isn’t it? The events that caused all this built up on each other like a Jenga tower before they came crashing down, and boy, was it a crash. But the biggest falls always make for the best stories, and lucky for us, the resolution of ours has played a larger role than the climax. An insane grandfather who had the power of the purse; a father a mother’s undying love, emotional turmoil anddetermination; and the man upstairs who saved us. They are all a part of the story of how a sup-

... and back again

my family had been trapped in for years, until the start of my senior year of high school. The problems that would mature and rear their ugly heads later in life were born way before my brother and I were. According to my grandfather, my dad was supposed to follow in his footsteps by running the family metal parts factory in northern Illinois after graduating college. But instead he decided to be with my mom and wait at it. Little did they know that this would cause my grandfather to hate my mother — and that it would affect all of our lives in the future. Eventually, he did go to Illinois to work for his father, but the tensions between my grandfather and my mom were too great, so they decided to follow a different career path. As the years went by and my grandfather’s state of mind and pain medication addiction support. It eventually got more and more unpredictable, going from plenty to sparse overnight. My dad did not handle this instability well and resorted to alcoholism and covering up the true multiple jobs, and even when he managed to get sober in rehab, he still had trouble getting solid employment. It got to the point where we were 100 percent dependent on my grandfather. My grandfather began to only send enough money to get through a few days until it ran out and the unhealthy cycle of dependence would start all over again. The rent, among other things, wasn’t being paid, and once the bills stacked high enough, eviction notices started to be taped onto our door. We all thought there was a breakthrough years, becoming the director of marketing and sales for a new company that ran an online directory for luxury goods and services. He was in charge of going to all of the yacht shows, hotels, marinas and anything else related to that industry, in order to advertise and gain clients. My family then spent six months traveling down the East Coast, then across the Atlantic to the French and Spanish Rivieras, Monaco, the Virgin Islands magical times of my life. Even though I missed my friends at school, the adventures we had were on the right track. My parents were happy, and

Student shares story of overcoming family financial struggle himself instead of relying on his father — at least once the company was completely set up. We had so much hope. However, in 2008, the same phenomenon that would take down the entire world economy came barreling full force into the company my dad worked for, ending that dream and putting us back at the mercy of my grandfather. In his desperation to make it seem like everything would be alright, my dad tried to convince us all that his career was still secure by writing bad checks to cover it and ended up spending months in crimes. Even though my mom was not a part of it, she had to go to court twice in order to clear her name since she was suspected of being an accomplice. Because my parents’ credit was ruined and they couldn’t get a long-term rental on their own, the only places we could stay without my grandfather’s help were vacation rental homes. These homes would be booked in advance throughout the year, and whenever another guest would arrive, we would have between those days. So we ended up moving more than 30 times in two years in the same town. Finances were a disaster, and the marital problems it was causing my parents put stress on all of us. Not to mention we had actually moved throughout my life from California, to Florida, to Wisconsin, back to Florida, then to North Carolina, to Austin, to Alabama, back

resumes my mom sent out to turn into a job, we ran out of money saved up for the move. We had to leave the motel we were staying at, and that night, she had to check herself, my brother and me into the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter, just a block away from Sixth Street, for three weeks. I tried begging my grandfather and his shut up by his girlfriend, since I could barely be understood between sobs, but they did nothing, even though the trust fund he had set up for my brother and me was supposedly My mom tried to reach out to family, out of the mess we were in, but the majority of them didn’t help, basically saying the equivalent of “you made your bed, now lie in it.” And of course, my grandfather would support my dad, my brother and me, but only The one friend who did offer to help lived in Florida, and so we moved there with our dad joining us, saying he was going to help, too. However, my dad, along with this friend, also turned on my mom. This friend also tried to get money from our trust, reminiscent of the villain in A Series of Unfortunate Events (without the whole murder thing). My mom decided the only way to escape what we were going through was to have us stay with our dad and hope that he would take care of us through his father. She had promised us she would never take us to another homeless shelter again. She tried to get a job in Austin since that was the best chance to get back on her feet, but because she had such a large gap in the number of

“Kind of a strange story to be coming from a so-called trust fund baby, isn’t it?” —senior Cierra Smith

Four of those moves were during high school, which made it hard to stay with the same sports and extracurricular activities. I also had trouble making friends because it was hard to answer the typical questions of a new girl at school: the reason we moved, what my dad did for a living, where we lived. It’s kind of hard to invite friends over when one week we could be at one place and the next could be at another. The situation got worse a few months after mer before my sophomore year. My parents were hopeful that the strong job market would give us a better chance of getting out of our mess. I even found Westlake High School while researching what schools were around by coming across an archive of The Featherduster online and thought I’d love to be a part of making it. Later on, we also found out that the school and area itself would be ideal for afford it, and it seemed like that might have been possible. While waiting on one of the 80

came to realize how misguided I was when I was with my father. And now we were back in Austin; better late than never. Fast forward to just a few weeks before this school year was about to start: we were eating at our favorite Thai restaurant when the phone rang. After spending most of my high ity, our lives changed dramatically with one call. My grandfather had died. I had never felt a more strange mix of emotions as I did that day. On one hand, there was the sadness for what could have been a great relationship that was wasted on hatred. And yet, on the

to stay in a homeless shelter for six months before she got a position as a youth care worker at Life Works, even though she had all but her dissertation in clinical psychology. In what is the greatest regret of my life, instead of going to live with our mom once she had the ability to take care of us, I chose to live with my dad for about a year. I let him and the people he was surrounded with convince me that everything was my mom’s fault and spent the next year defending him and avoiding my mom’s calls and messages. However, a year later my dad ended up crimes he had committed in the past. And now that she had a professional job at Gary down to Florida and pick up my brother and

being free of the trap we had been in for so long. I opened one of the fortune cookies we had been given, and I’ll never forget the words that were written there: “Do what you love, and the necessary resources will follow.” But nothing could have prepared us for what came. Both my brother and I had access to our trusts, and my dad inherited his trust es. We were able to move into a nicer home but more importantly, we all got the ability to function in life without anxiety over being one step away from destitution again. We had also believed we would never get to see our old family photos and memories after losing them so many years ago. We thought our parents would never have the experience of seeing their teenaged children watch themselves as babies and toddlers on dusty VHS tapes. There were giant boxes of home movies we found scattered all around the basement of my grandfather’s home — copies my parents had sent years ago. A photo album of my parents’ marriage, photos of dozens of other images were now so numerous that we couldn’t carry them in one trip into our home. So, just as everyone’s favorite TV show trying to guess how the season will end, our story will too. I have no idea for sure, but I have a pretty good feeling that our next season of life will be much brighter than the last. Throughout this time, my mom has gotten her counseling license and her own private practice, my dad became a Christian while Florida, and is trying to make ammends for what he did before. They are now reconciling their marriage and doing everything they can sibly. through, I feel it has strengthened my character and my faith. I know how to be grateful for what I have and for what this experience has taught me. Let’s just hope that fortune cookie was right. —Cierra Smith


Stars and gripes Students remain divided on pled

ging allegiance

PRO:

M

ich

ae la

M os s

Every day, people stand up to say the pledges with looks of annoyance and contempt. At best, most of my second period classmates will either mumble the pledges quietly or offer only a couple of words throughout the duration. Some even flat-out stay seated with no care whatsoever. I, however, persistently stand with my hand over my heart, and audibly recite my oath to this beautiful, free country and state. I refuse to let the pledges die. I’ve noticed a significant drop in pledge enthusiasm as I’ve gotten older, and each day fewer and fewer people say them. Especially now, with the Chap Recap in place of intercom announcements, I know of some classes who haven’t said the pledges all year. But it is state law that both the U.S. and Texas pledges be said every day in school. The only “legal” way to get out of saying the pledge is to have a note from a parent excusing the student from the act. (Which is ridiculous. Don’t be that kid.) Sure, I can understand not wanting to say the pledge for religious disagreements (“one nation, under God”), or because you’re pledging allegiance to a flag (come on, we all know it’s symbolic), but I think that we can all put that aside and take two minutes out of our day to simply acknowledge what a great country and state we live in — it’s as easy as saying the pledge. If you haven’t noticed, America and Texas are notorious for their vast and almost insane amounts of patriotism and pride. It is time to be “one and indivisible” again. So I invite you to jump on the bandwagon, say the pledges and celebrate our kick-ass country and state with me. —Rachel Cooper

60

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

CON:

Contrary to popular belief, the Pledge of Allegiance is not some proof of loyalty that George Washington specifically asked to be included in the school day; it came about because there was a serious lack of American pride that a Baptist minister and magazine marketing director capitalized on. OK, speed round. “Indivisible” — have you seen Congress lately? We literally disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. Not to mention the Pledge was written very soon after the Civil War, which was about as divisible as this country gets. “With liberty” — the whole government-readingyour-emails-without-a-warrant thing puts a damper on this lately. “Justice for all” — gay marriage is still illegal in most states, and despite having 25 percent of the entire world’s prisoners, only one in four murder cases in this country will be solved. The whole hand-over-the-heart thing has a neat story, too. The guy who wrote the Pledge, Francis Bellamy, was a minister. Originally, instead of putting your hand over your heart, you would do the “Bellamy Salute” during the pledge: raising your straight arm at an angle to the sky. Unfortunately, this guy named Hitler came along in the ‘30s and used the exact same salute for the Nazi Party, so in 1942 we changed it to the hand-over-heart salute that we know today in an effort to … you know, not look like Nazis. The pledge doesn’t represent American ideals or valiant patriotism; it’s just proof that Americans are pretty good at reactionary propaganda — this is the case for the “under God” part, too. The state may say that you have to say it, but make no mistake, it is your right to go through your entire life without saying this manufactured speech if you so wish. That said, don’t be a jerk about it. —Brian Wieckowski


TESTING

NEW IDEAS { staff editorial }

No one is exempt from next year’s potential final exemption policies

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy more technologically advanced school supplies, improved bathroom facilities, provide a bigger spending budget in extracurricular activities and allow for smaller class sizes. Eanes is losing more than $100,000 every single year because of low attendance during finals week due to exemptions. You’re probably shocked. It just doesn’t sound plausible. That is the equivalent of two teachers’ salaries. But think about it for a minute — freshmen can exempt one final, sophomores two, juniors three and seniors can exempt all of them. Now factor in the number of students that are taking AP tests and are automatically exempt from those finals as well. With such a substantial number of students absent during finals week, it’s easy to see how that would add up and cause the district to be losing a pretty penny. Time for the bad news — take a second and emotionally prepare yourself. There will most likely be an amended finals policy implemented next year, allowing for fewer (or possibly zero) exemptions. But before you grab a Kleenex box and start sobbing, take a deep breath and calm down. Here’s the good news: if we come up with alternatives to taking finals that would ensure that the school district would still get paid for our attendance during finals week, the exemption policy may not change. We need to brainstorm cheap, fun alternatives to bubbling in an answer document. However, if you decide that these activities just aren’t as fun as sitting at home, there will be a price to pay. We would only need to stay for a few hours in order for the district to gain revenue, and that’s really not so terrible. If we can’t figure out a solution, we might have to take all of our finals. Exemptions might not exist. Instead of that nightmare, here are some options that the district could implement to keep us at school during the last week of the semester: Movie day — Let’s be real, if you aren’t taking a final you’re probably at home watching a movie, so why not do the same thing with the rest of your classmates at school? If we screened a variety of films in the PAC and Chap Court, it would be a cheap and painless way to avoid testing. Popcorn and candy could be offered as well. Junior class college visit — A substantial number of graduating seniors plan to attend the University of Texas this coming fall, and that number probably will not decrease by next year. With such interest in the college that’s just 20 minutes away from Westlake, surely taking a tour of the campus would be a beneficial experience for juniors and a welcomed alternative to taking finals. And if burnt orange just isn’t your color, that’s not a problem either. You can visit Texas State, Concordia or St. Edward’s. Workshops — The school could invite mentors to help with preparing college applications and essays. These sessions could teach healthy study habits to underclassmen and reduce stress for everyone. Junior career day — This is usually held during the second semester of junior year, but it would be just as effective to hold it as an alternative to finals.

Mock TED Talks — These speeches are often moving, inspirational and thought provoking. Quite a few students are willing to speak in front of their peers. So sit in that cushioned chair in one of the PAC halls and let your fellow classmates’ motivational words wash over you, with nary a Scantron in sight. Video games — How many students spend their days off during finals week with a controller in their hands? Set up a variety of consoles, let kids play or compete in tournaments like Mario Kart, Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, Smash Bros, Street Fighter, Trials Fusion and Halo and watch the money flow in. Graduation rehearsals — Seniors already have to meet to rehearse for graduation during finals week. This wouldn’t be a change; now it would count for attendance. Senior field trip — We know that seniors are absolutely dying to finally leave high school and be completely independent, but don’t pretend that you won’t miss your buddies from the four most emotionally traumatic years of your life. What better way to spend one of your last days at Westlake than a day trip with your friends? Service projects — Many students at Westlake are on the track to acquiring the 70 community service hours required in order to get a cord at graduation. It makes sense to have a school day for participating in a service opportunity of your choosing and grabbing a few more hours. Taking at least one final — It isn’t going to kill you. If the school required every student to take even just one final per semester, it could gain revenue. Currently, some seniors go all year without taking a single final. Once they go to college, that is not an option. Having to prepare for a final exam could actually be beneficial. Study hall — During all of these activities, the library could be open for studying. Attendance could be taken via a sign-in sheet, and being at school wouldn’t take away valuable study time. Here’s the point: unless we collectively think up enjoyable activities that we wouldn’t mind participating in during finals week, we will have no choice but to resign ourselves to the arduous task of taking most of our finals. Although it’s hard to accept the possibility of Westlake’s beloved exemption policy slipping away, it is going to happen. None of us want this, but no amount of fist shaking, screaming expletives or banging our heads against the nearest available surface will change it. The most we can do is work together to improve it.

Don’t like these choices? Help us. Find this article on

westlakefeatherduster.com

and leave comments with your suggestions.


THE GAME PLAN Cost: $60 ESRB Rating: Mature Platform: PS4

Cost: 99 cents ESRB Rating: NR Platform: Apple/Android

Do you control power, or does power control you? This question is thoroughly explored in “inFAMOUS: Second Son,” where the player is in control of a vast array of fantastic powers — from the ability to shoot smoke

“They told you it would be easy, just break-in, grab the stuff and get to the door. They didn’t know that the house wasn’t empty, and those creepy eyes on the wall … You know she’s coming for you, don’t you?” This message, along with a bloody eye and a

at light speed. Players take on the persona of Delsin Rowe, a juvenile delinquent who, with his policeman brother, happens upon a crashed, armored car. The vehicle had carried three conduits, or beings with super powers. Two of them escaped, and as the player helps the wreckage, he inadvertently absorbs the powers from the super being. It’s up to him whether to save people from dying at the hands of another conduit and become a savior in the eyes of humanity or become bloodthirsty with his powers and plant fear in the hearts of everyone. The game’s controls are also incredibly smooth. Each action and jump feels much more lifelike on the next generation console, in this case the PS4. The graphics are impeccable as well, an example being the beautiful character models of people in the game. The world seems to live and breathe before your very eyes. The game leaves a lasting impression, all the while never ceasing to reel players into its intricate story. Not to mention blowing up cars with a giant laser sword is awesome. That alone is a good enough reason to cough up cash for this game. —Jack Wallace

IF YOU LIKE “Darksiders II,” “Assassin’s Creed IV”

62

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

will see as they open “Eyes.” The object of the game is to navigate through an abandoned house, grabbing bags of cash along the way, and get to the exit door. Easy, right? But there’s a twist. The house is haunted by a maniacal female vampire out for blood, and the house isn’t a simple shack — it’s a giant maze with a jumble of multilevel rooms and winding stairs leading to dead ends. However, hope isn’t completely lost. Dispersed throughout the house are icons of eyes that can be used to track the vampire’s movements for short periods of time. “Eyes” is an adrenaline pumping, fast-paced strategy game that requires speed and wits to master. Beating the game may take many tries and countless shocks, but the effort is worth it for the triumph of escaping the house. The game is artfully constructed, with aesthetically pleasing graphics and good controls. I recommend it to anyone with a taste for adventure and who’s not afraid of a little scare.

IF YOU LIKE “Slenderman,” “White Noise”

If you’re wondering where your next video game is coming from after “Grand Theft Auto V,” have no fear — here are some that are sure to satisfy your gaming needs no matter what genre appeals to you

Cost: $15 for each episode ESRB Rating: Mature Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac

Cost: $30-$40 ESRB Rating: Teen Platform: PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U

Cost: $10 ESRB Rating: NR Platform: PC

Cost: $15 ESRB Rating: TBA Platform: PC, Mac, Linux

Christmas — a time of all-around joy. At least one would think. Warner Bros. has something else in mind for

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a goat? Would you like to play a game that accurately simulates the experience of being a goat? This game doesn’t do that. That would be tor” puts you in the hooves of a variety of goats, including your classic goat, a super-buff goat, giraffes, ostriches and whales, because … why not? You can attach to things with your elastic tongue and drag them with you, hit things with your head, jump, bleat, lator” is a sandbox game with objectives that you can choose to pursue, or you may simply do whatever you want in a sizeable area with bounti-

Developed by the indie company

Sea” is a two-part episodic expansion as the protagonist, Booker DeWitt, of Rapture, a year before the original storyline takes place. Booker is back Elizabeth recruits him to search for a missing little girl named Sally. The combat has the same play style as “Ingrades. The episode is short but satisfying, and has an intense and surprising ending. “Burial at Sea: Episode Two” episode left off. This time, the player takes on the role of Elizabeth. Sally, the little girl that Booker searched for in of Atlas, the antagonist. Elizabeth is tormented with guilt and makes it her mission to retrieve her. The premise is simple enough, but takes Elizabeth on a journey between Rapture and the lumbia. The gameplay is prominently stealth-style with some elements of survival horror. The whole story can be completed without even attacking an enemy, which gives it a lot of replay value. These DLCs had to live up to their predecessor, which was one of the perfectly with the series. “Burial” could potentially be the last true “BioShock” experience we get. —Alex Charnes

IF YOU LIKE “Far Cry 3,” “The Last of Us”

Christmas Eve day and a prison break is underway by the notorious Black to discover startling news — that there is a $55 million bounty placed on his head by Black Mask, and the eight best assassins in the world have come to corrupt police department is also pursuing Batman for the reward. With no friends and a very critical butler, Batman must defeat the assassins and stop Black Mask. But wait, there’s more. All including the Joker and the Penguin, are taking advantage of the Christmas bustle to wreak havoc around the city. Soaring in an open world environment, the player is able to pick and choose what quests and actions they want to take. From beating up a thief to taking down a criminal mastermind, there are endless options to pursue in-game. “Batman Arkham Origins” combines the freedom of choice with customizable moves, great graphics, in-depth storylines and lots of action. I recommend it to anyone who takes a passion in bloodying up criminals and jumping from one adrenaline-rushing action scene to the next.

IF YOU LIKE “Batman: Arkham City,” “The Amazing Spiderman 2”

circles and pentagrams. It’s like the “Burnout” series, but with goats in lieu of automobiles. Points are earned by items around you. Despite the implied sadism/masochism, the game is actuand glitchy, untested brilliance. If this sounds too good to be true, trust me, it able for $10 on Steam, and worth every penny. With one quick transaction, swinging by your tongue attached to an aircraft as time slowly wittles away and vanishes before your very eyes. —Jack Speer

IF YOU LIKE “Skate 3,” “Garry’s Mod”

sandbox survival game set in a unique universe — think “Terraria” meets space, with similarly charming pixel graphics. The player gets to pick from six races: the space-bound humans, the peaceful, amphibious Hylotl, the dystopian, ape-like Apex, the tribal, plant-like Floran, the medieval, robotic Avian. Each race offers unique aesthetics and an interesting back story. The player eventually progresses over the course of the game from simple tools to futuristic drills and guns. Players explore planets, mining for valuable ore that is needed to create better armor and weapons, power their spaceships and advance through the universe. Despite the somewhat boring and repetitive gameplay, the sheer diversity of planets keeps the game fun and refreshing. Each world is different, featuring a variety of dungeons and settlements, an assortment of weather effects, numerous monsters, a range of biomes and some truly funky mini-biomes. The game also allows the players to build everything from a simple wooden shack to a high-tech underground base. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the game is that are continuously adding new items and features, largely acting on the requests of the community. The game is already fun and playable, if a bit brief due to it being incomplete. —Marco Scarasso

IF YOU LIKE “Terraria,” “Minecraft”


THE GAME PLAN Cost: $60 ESRB Rating: Mature Platform: PS4

Cost: 99 cents ESRB Rating: NR Platform: Apple/Android

Do you control power, or does power control you? This question is thoroughly explored in “inFAMOUS: Second Son,” where the player is in control of a vast array of fantastic powers — from the ability to shoot smoke

“They told you it would be easy, just break-in, grab the stuff and get to the door. They didn’t know that the house wasn’t empty, and those creepy eyes on the wall … You know she’s coming for you, don’t you?” This message, along with a bloody eye and a

at light speed. Players take on the persona of Delsin Rowe, a juvenile delinquent who, with his policeman brother, happens upon a crashed, armored car. The vehicle had carried three conduits, or beings with super powers. Two of them escaped, and as the player helps the wreckage, he inadvertently absorbs the powers from the super being. It’s up to him whether to save people from dying at the hands of another conduit and become a savior in the eyes of humanity or become bloodthirsty with his powers and plant fear in the hearts of everyone. The game’s controls are also incredibly smooth. Each action and jump feels much more lifelike on the next generation console, in this case the PS4. The graphics are impeccable as well, an example being the beautiful character models of people in the game. The world seems to live and breathe before your very eyes. The game leaves a lasting impression, all the while never ceasing to reel players into its intricate story. Not to mention blowing up cars with a giant laser sword is awesome. That alone is a good enough reason to cough up cash for this game. —Jack Wallace

IF YOU LIKE “Darksiders II,” “Assassin’s Creed IV”

62

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

will see as they open “Eyes.” The object of the game is to navigate through an abandoned house, grabbing bags of cash along the way, and get to the exit door. Easy, right? But there’s a twist. The house is haunted by a maniacal female vampire out for blood, and the house isn’t a simple shack — it’s a giant maze with a jumble of multilevel rooms and winding stairs leading to dead ends. However, hope isn’t completely lost. Dispersed throughout the house are icons of eyes that can be used to track the vampire’s movements for short periods of time. “Eyes” is an adrenaline pumping, fast-paced strategy game that requires speed and wits to master. Beating the game may take many tries and countless shocks, but the effort is worth it for the triumph of escaping the house. The game is artfully constructed, with aesthetically pleasing graphics and good controls. I recommend it to anyone with a taste for adventure and who’s not afraid of a little scare.

IF YOU LIKE “Slenderman,” “White Noise”

If you’re wondering where your next video game is coming from after “Grand Theft Auto V,” have no fear — here are some that are sure to satisfy your gaming needs no matter what genre appeals to you

Cost: $15 for each episode ESRB Rating: Mature Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac

Cost: $30-$40 ESRB Rating: Teen Platform: PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U

Cost: $10 ESRB Rating: NR Platform: PC

Cost: $15 ESRB Rating: TBA Platform: PC, Mac, Linux

Christmas — a time of all-around joy. At least one would think. Warner Bros. has something else in mind for

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a goat? Would you like to play a game that accurately simulates the experience of being a goat? This game doesn’t do that. That would be tor” puts you in the hooves of a variety of goats, including your classic goat, a super-buff goat, giraffes, ostriches and whales, because … why not? You can attach to things with your elastic tongue and drag them with you, hit things with your head, jump, bleat, lator” is a sandbox game with objectives that you can choose to pursue, or you may simply do whatever you want in a sizeable area with bounti-

Developed by the indie company

Sea” is a two-part episodic expansion as the protagonist, Booker DeWitt, of Rapture, a year before the original storyline takes place. Booker is back Elizabeth recruits him to search for a missing little girl named Sally. The combat has the same play style as “Ingrades. The episode is short but satisfying, and has an intense and surprising ending. “Burial at Sea: Episode Two” episode left off. This time, the player takes on the role of Elizabeth. Sally, the little girl that Booker searched for in of Atlas, the antagonist. Elizabeth is tormented with guilt and makes it her mission to retrieve her. The premise is simple enough, but takes Elizabeth on a journey between Rapture and the lumbia. The gameplay is prominently stealth-style with some elements of survival horror. The whole story can be completed without even attacking an enemy, which gives it a lot of replay value. These DLCs had to live up to their predecessor, which was one of the perfectly with the series. “Burial” could potentially be the last true “BioShock” experience we get. —Alex Charnes

IF YOU LIKE “Far Cry 3,” “The Last of Us”

Christmas Eve day and a prison break is underway by the notorious Black to discover startling news — that there is a $55 million bounty placed on his head by Black Mask, and the eight best assassins in the world have come to corrupt police department is also pursuing Batman for the reward. With no friends and a very critical butler, Batman must defeat the assassins and stop Black Mask. But wait, there’s more. All including the Joker and the Penguin, are taking advantage of the Christmas bustle to wreak havoc around the city. Soaring in an open world environment, the player is able to pick and choose what quests and actions they want to take. From beating up a thief to taking down a criminal mastermind, there are endless options to pursue in-game. “Batman Arkham Origins” combines the freedom of choice with customizable moves, great graphics, in-depth storylines and lots of action. I recommend it to anyone who takes a passion in bloodying up criminals and jumping from one adrenaline-rushing action scene to the next.

IF YOU LIKE “Batman: Arkham City,” “The Amazing Spiderman 2”

circles and pentagrams. It’s like the “Burnout” series, but with goats in lieu of automobiles. Points are earned by items around you. Despite the implied sadism/masochism, the game is actuand glitchy, untested brilliance. If this sounds too good to be true, trust me, it able for $10 on Steam, and worth every penny. With one quick transaction, swinging by your tongue attached to an aircraft as time slowly wittles away and vanishes before your very eyes. —Jack Speer

IF YOU LIKE “Skate 3,” “Garry’s Mod”

sandbox survival game set in a unique universe — think “Terraria” meets space, with similarly charming pixel graphics. The player gets to pick from six races: the space-bound humans, the peaceful, amphibious Hylotl, the dystopian, ape-like Apex, the tribal, plant-like Floran, the medieval, robotic Avian. Each race offers unique aesthetics and an interesting back story. The player eventually progresses over the course of the game from simple tools to futuristic drills and guns. Players explore planets, mining for valuable ore that is needed to create better armor and weapons, power their spaceships and advance through the universe. Despite the somewhat boring and repetitive gameplay, the sheer diversity of planets keeps the game fun and refreshing. Each world is different, featuring a variety of dungeons and settlements, an assortment of weather effects, numerous monsters, a range of biomes and some truly funky mini-biomes. The game also allows the players to build everything from a simple wooden shack to a high-tech underground base. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the game is that are continuously adding new items and features, largely acting on the requests of the community. The game is already fun and playable, if a bit brief due to it being incomplete. —Marco Scarasso

IF YOU LIKE “Terraria,” “Minecraft”


ELECTRIC

FEEL

What you need to know about today’s smoking trend

TERMINOLOGY electric cigarette, e-cig — pen-shaped, battery-powered device which uses a heating element to warm a fluid, producing smoke-like vapor hookah — Eastern European means of smoking tobacco, usually contains flavoring of some kind, smoke is drawn through water and out a flexible tube electric hookah — a predecessor to the electric cigarette, e-hookahs do not contain nicotine or tobacco but are still flavored. They are confused with e-cigs, creating the illusion that e-cigs are harmless when the e-hookahs are actually less likely to cause health issues smoke trick — instead of simply blowing smoke out through the mouth/nose, a technique is used to create a different look or shape (i.e. smoke rings)

24 64

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

By the 1990s, cigarettes were a well-known staple in rebel culture. We’ve all seen the movies and television shows. Teenagers were smoking at unusually high levels throughout the ‘90s, although many argue that the ‘80s were the prime time to smoke as a teen. In 1978, the movement against advertising cigarettes to kids began. In 1999, laws were passed to encourage public service announcements and non-smoking curriculums were pushed into high schools. This second-wave movement lowered the percentage of cigarette-addicted teenagers by 34 percent. By the mid 2000s, most teenagers no longer considered smoking cigarettes to be a rite of passage. Thankfully, this is still the common opinion, and being a habitual cigarette smoker doesn’t have the allure it used to. The chemicals, lingering smell and possible cancers are enough to steer most high school students away. However, within the past year, a new form of “safer” smoking has become a trend. I had a genuine interest in this new “e-cig” craze and decided to research. First introduced in 2007, electric cigarettes were marketed to adults trying to quit traditional cigarettes. The appeal was that there of burning thousands of chemicals to get the same effect. The e-cigs and disposable products, come in many colors and can be personalcupcake) and with varying amounts of nicotine. Specialty shops are popping up everywhere. And with no government-enforced age restrictions in 48 states cigarettes. I asked users and non-users around the school about their had a different opinion on what an e-cig did or was. Some students

WHAT ARE STUDENTS SAYING?

“I have respect for people who use e-cigs. They could not care less that everyone is silently judging them.”

“Young kids are smoking just because it’s trendy. That can make for really dangerous habits.”

“They are nowhere near as bad as normal cigarettes, but the initial popularity of e-cigs is starting to fade.”

“The e-cig is helpful to my friend by letting him smoke in a way that’s not harmful to his health.”

“E-cigs: The easiest way to get lung cancer and not even know why.”

—sophomore Remi Ogunsanya

—junior Tim Cornwell

is that it’s impossible to breathe in something besides clean air and claim it has zero effect on your body. scientists to study the long-term effects. There isn’t any conclusive data about them. The few tests that have been done found traces of banned in food and drugs), nitrosamine -

the possible side effects and risks caused by inhaling pure nicotine vapor. And since they aren’t regulated, a ton of the products are imported from China. There is no way to know what each bottle

—senior Madi Goll

—senior Elizabeth Emery

—junior Victor Schwartz

But why are e-cigs trending right now? What’s the big deal? If you Google “smoke trick video,” thousands of results will appear. the young people in them use traditional hookahs or e-cigs because, unlike weed or cigarettes, the smoke is smooth and abundant. To many students I asked, this is the main incentive for purchase. Smoke tricks are a common interest for tons of kids — especially on social networks like Vine and Instagram — and e-cigs seem like a harmless way to learn. The makers of electric cigarettes are careful to market the device itself to adults. Many of the packages have a sticker or label that reads “18+” even though there are no laws regulating the sale. However, the juice and fruity options and colorful labels, there is no hiding to whom the bottles and disposables are being marketed. Teenagers are more than The main push for high school and middle school students to smoke anything comes from other kids. It’s an age-old fact that Since smoking has such a rebellious reputation already, it is not too hard to understand why teenagers decide to try it out. And it’s hard to resist an e-cig, with so little evidence suggesting harmful effects. If you’re going to smoke something, I know I cannot stop to glamorize them. But they aren’t illegal, age restricted, and they probably won’t kill you. There are nicotine-free options available, so if you’re going to try it, make the right choice. Honestly, you can be a bit more sure of what’s in them compared to weed you buy

are harmless. There is no question that e-cigs are less dangerous than

the immediate effects on your body are far less than the effects of tobacco. For habitual cigarette smokers, they could be a comfortable way to quit. But really, is this safer, trendy alternative enough reason to start smoking? Probably not. —Caitlyn Kerbow

in tobacco-based products. And since there are no burning embers in an e-cig, you aren’t breathing in ash. However, the truth of the matter

photo manipulation by Tim Whaling

unaware of the nicotine content. So, essentially, I got nowhere. The or “juice” really was.


ELECTRIC

FEEL

What you need to know about today’s smoking trend

TERMINOLOGY electric cigarette, e-cig — pen-shaped, battery-powered device which uses a heating element to warm a fluid, producing smoke-like vapor hookah — Eastern European means of smoking tobacco, usually contains flavoring of some kind, smoke is drawn through water and out a flexible tube electric hookah — a predecessor to the electric cigarette, e-hookahs do not contain nicotine or tobacco but are still flavored. They are confused with e-cigs, creating the illusion that e-cigs are harmless when the e-hookahs are actually less likely to cause health issues smoke trick — instead of simply blowing smoke out through the mouth/nose, a technique is used to create a different look or shape (i.e. smoke rings)

24 64

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

By the 1990s, cigarettes were a well-known staple in rebel culture. We’ve all seen the movies and television shows. Teenagers were smoking at unusually high levels throughout the ‘90s, although many argue that the ‘80s were the prime time to smoke as a teen. In 1978, the movement against advertising cigarettes to kids began. In 1999, laws were passed to encourage public service announcements and non-smoking curriculums were pushed into high schools. This second-wave movement lowered the percentage of cigarette-addicted teenagers by 34 percent. By the mid 2000s, most teenagers no longer considered smoking cigarettes to be a rite of passage. Thankfully, this is still the common opinion, and being a habitual cigarette smoker doesn’t have the allure it used to. The chemicals, lingering smell and possible cancers are enough to steer most high school students away. However, within the past year, a new form of “safer” smoking has become a trend. I had a genuine interest in this new “e-cig” craze and decided to research. First introduced in 2007, electric cigarettes were marketed to adults trying to quit traditional cigarettes. The appeal was that there of burning thousands of chemicals to get the same effect. The e-cigs and disposable products, come in many colors and can be personalcupcake) and with varying amounts of nicotine. Specialty shops are popping up everywhere. And with no government-enforced age restrictions in 48 states cigarettes. I asked users and non-users around the school about their had a different opinion on what an e-cig did or was. Some students

WHAT ARE STUDENTS SAYING?

“I have respect for people who use e-cigs. They could not care less that everyone is silently judging them.”

“Young kids are smoking just because it’s trendy. That can make for really dangerous habits.”

“They are nowhere near as bad as normal cigarettes, but the initial popularity of e-cigs is starting to fade.”

“The e-cig is helpful to my friend by letting him smoke in a way that’s not harmful to his health.”

“E-cigs: The easiest way to get lung cancer and not even know why.”

—sophomore Remi Ogunsanya

—junior Tim Cornwell

is that it’s impossible to breathe in something besides clean air and claim it has zero effect on your body. scientists to study the long-term effects. There isn’t any conclusive data about them. The few tests that have been done found traces of banned in food and drugs), nitrosamine -

the possible side effects and risks caused by inhaling pure nicotine vapor. And since they aren’t regulated, a ton of the products are imported from China. There is no way to know what each bottle

—senior Madi Goll

—senior Elizabeth Emery

—junior Victor Schwartz

But why are e-cigs trending right now? What’s the big deal? If you Google “smoke trick video,” thousands of results will appear. the young people in them use traditional hookahs or e-cigs because, unlike weed or cigarettes, the smoke is smooth and abundant. To many students I asked, this is the main incentive for purchase. Smoke tricks are a common interest for tons of kids — especially on social networks like Vine and Instagram — and e-cigs seem like a harmless way to learn. The makers of electric cigarettes are careful to market the device itself to adults. Many of the packages have a sticker or label that reads “18+” even though there are no laws regulating the sale. However, the juice and fruity options and colorful labels, there is no hiding to whom the bottles and disposables are being marketed. Teenagers are more than The main push for high school and middle school students to smoke anything comes from other kids. It’s an age-old fact that Since smoking has such a rebellious reputation already, it is not too hard to understand why teenagers decide to try it out. And it’s hard to resist an e-cig, with so little evidence suggesting harmful effects. If you’re going to smoke something, I know I cannot stop to glamorize them. But they aren’t illegal, age restricted, and they probably won’t kill you. There are nicotine-free options available, so if you’re going to try it, make the right choice. Honestly, you can be a bit more sure of what’s in them compared to weed you buy

are harmless. There is no question that e-cigs are less dangerous than

the immediate effects on your body are far less than the effects of tobacco. For habitual cigarette smokers, they could be a comfortable way to quit. But really, is this safer, trendy alternative enough reason to start smoking? Probably not. —Caitlyn Kerbow

in tobacco-based products. And since there are no burning embers in an e-cig, you aren’t breathing in ash. However, the truth of the matter

photo manipulation by Tim Whaling

unaware of the nicotine content. So, essentially, I got nowhere. The or “juice” really was.


Which emoji are you?

When I wake up in the morning I ...

If my life were a movie it would be ...

Eat a balanced breakfast

Feel like P. Diddy

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Divergent

Emojis are ...

My favorite vegetable is ...

Carrots

Modern art

Coke or Pepsi?

Pizza

Pick a word. Coke Zero

Coke

Teacher TMI

Crabwalking

Few people in this world are more skilled at creating awkward situations than teachers. Whether it’s mild, like insisting to no end have the power to pass or fail us to mere mortals, but we are high school students, not therapists. When their tangents cause us to lose valuable class time over uncomfortable topics like dead husbands or trying to conceive a child, it becomes a problem. Is it cathartic to share your problems with children who are already burdened by many of their own? Although we grow to care about our teachers, we’d rather learn

Get down girl. Go ‘head. Get down. Get down and crabwalk, that is. What was once merely an inconvenience in elementary school gym classes — the shoulder ache-inducing stance we were forced to perfect in order to play some twisted version of soccer with a giant bouncy ball — has, with age and maturity, morphed into something of an art. When is it appropriate to crabwalk? Or rather, when is it not appropriate? Crabwalk into class. Crabwalk speed toward your enemies, with a steely glint in your eye and watch how they run. Crabwalk at lightning speed toward your love interests, with longing in your eyes and watch how easily they are wooed. To know someone’s crabwalk is to know their Ode to crabwalk; you beautiful walk, you!

location of your tattoos, thank you very much.

Stuff We Like

For dads

Congratulations! You are the black medium square emoji. At first glance, no one knows quite what to do with you. But those who care to look deeper will discover your fabulous shine.

Juxtaposition Feces

Ariana Gomez Reyes

How many Obamas does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Don’t get me started

Stop the presses! You are the new moon face emoji. You know more than you should. This can be alarming. Yet people keep revealing their souls to you. The secret is all in that gaze.

I’m a liberal

Yay! You are the circus tent emoji. Your innocent exterior, reminiscent of childhood fun, hides a dangerous wild side. Friends probably describe you as mysterious. Maybe creepy.

66

Huzzah! You are the pile of poo emoji. On good days, you’re as sweet as soft-serve ice cream. When irritated, you drip with scathing sarcasm, complete with a smile of taunting mockery.

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

Whoopee! You are the fried egg emoji. Delicious and nutritious doesn’t even begin to describe you, but your spirits often droop by early afternoon. You are also probably bald.

It’s your lucky day! You are the frog emoji. On the day you were born, you were declared an instant classic, inspiring the envy and adoration of all. Plus, you’re a crazy cool dancer.

The transition from spring to summer has always been indicated by both the subtle and the bombastic changes nature undergoes. The gradual rise in temperature, the pungent smell of sunscreen the night with their deafening din. That’s right, we’re talking about cicadas, the creepy creatures that serve as an undeniable marker of the new season. Cicadas don’t care if you prefer the music of the car stereo to the droning sounds of nature. They only care about their own physical prowess. Which includes the ability to sing so loudly it would actually deafen a human who stood close make us appreciate the silence of frigid fall evenings even more. Whether we want them to or not, cicadas ceaselessly remind us of what makes southern summer nights so special.

Cicadas

Look inside yourself. What do you see? Look really hard. Do you happen to see a hair tie? Because I keep losing all of mine, and uh, you and I have spoken a few times, so can I please borrow your hair tie? We’re really tight, obviously. Naturally, our few conversations should allow me to needlessly use your valuable and dearly-loved hair tie. I promise I won’t lose it — right now. I’ll lose won’t make sure it’s warm inside my cavernous backpack pouch. Instead, I’ll leave it on the ground, broken-hearted and destroyed forever. So, can I please borrow a hair tie? I need it to accessorize my long, luscious hair and break your weak heart. And no, you can’t borrow one from me later, silly goose.

Hair Ties


Which emoji are you?

When I wake up in the morning I ...

If my life were a movie it would be ...

Eat a balanced breakfast

Feel like P. Diddy

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Divergent

Emojis are ...

My favorite vegetable is ...

Carrots

Modern art

Coke or Pepsi?

Pizza

Pick a word. Coke Zero

Coke

Teacher TMI

Crabwalking

Few people in this world are more skilled at creating awkward situations than teachers. Whether it’s mild, like insisting to no end have the power to pass or fail us to mere mortals, but we are high school students, not therapists. When their tangents cause us to lose valuable class time over uncomfortable topics like dead husbands or trying to conceive a child, it becomes a problem. Is it cathartic to share your problems with children who are already burdened by many of their own? Although we grow to care about our teachers, we’d rather learn

Get down girl. Go ‘head. Get down. Get down and crabwalk, that is. What was once merely an inconvenience in elementary school gym classes — the shoulder ache-inducing stance we were forced to perfect in order to play some twisted version of soccer with a giant bouncy ball — has, with age and maturity, morphed into something of an art. When is it appropriate to crabwalk? Or rather, when is it not appropriate? Crabwalk into class. Crabwalk speed toward your enemies, with a steely glint in your eye and watch how they run. Crabwalk at lightning speed toward your love interests, with longing in your eyes and watch how easily they are wooed. To know someone’s crabwalk is to know their Ode to crabwalk; you beautiful walk, you!

location of your tattoos, thank you very much.

Stuff We Like

For dads

Congratulations! You are the black medium square emoji. At first glance, no one knows quite what to do with you. But those who care to look deeper will discover your fabulous shine.

Juxtaposition Feces

Ariana Gomez Reyes

How many Obamas does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Don’t get me started

Stop the presses! You are the new moon face emoji. You know more than you should. This can be alarming. Yet people keep revealing their souls to you. The secret is all in that gaze.

I’m a liberal

Yay! You are the circus tent emoji. Your innocent exterior, reminiscent of childhood fun, hides a dangerous wild side. Friends probably describe you as mysterious. Maybe creepy.

66

Huzzah! You are the pile of poo emoji. On good days, you’re as sweet as soft-serve ice cream. When irritated, you drip with scathing sarcasm, complete with a smile of taunting mockery.

rants + raves westlakefeatherduster.com

Whoopee! You are the fried egg emoji. Delicious and nutritious doesn’t even begin to describe you, but your spirits often droop by early afternoon. You are also probably bald.

It’s your lucky day! You are the frog emoji. On the day you were born, you were declared an instant classic, inspiring the envy and adoration of all. Plus, you’re a crazy cool dancer.

The transition from spring to summer has always been indicated by both the subtle and the bombastic changes nature undergoes. The gradual rise in temperature, the pungent smell of sunscreen the night with their deafening din. That’s right, we’re talking about cicadas, the creepy creatures that serve as an undeniable marker of the new season. Cicadas don’t care if you prefer the music of the car stereo to the droning sounds of nature. They only care about their own physical prowess. Which includes the ability to sing so loudly it would actually deafen a human who stood close make us appreciate the silence of frigid fall evenings even more. Whether we want them to or not, cicadas ceaselessly remind us of what makes southern summer nights so special.

Cicadas

Look inside yourself. What do you see? Look really hard. Do you happen to see a hair tie? Because I keep losing all of mine, and uh, you and I have spoken a few times, so can I please borrow your hair tie? We’re really tight, obviously. Naturally, our few conversations should allow me to needlessly use your valuable and dearly-loved hair tie. I promise I won’t lose it — right now. I’ll lose won’t make sure it’s warm inside my cavernous backpack pouch. Instead, I’ll leave it on the ground, broken-hearted and destroyed forever. So, can I please borrow a hair tie? I need it to accessorize my long, luscious hair and break your weak heart. And no, you can’t borrow one from me later, silly goose.

Hair Ties


Open Monday and Tuesday 11-9

509 Rio Grande St. Austin, TX (512) 476-3474

Wednesday and Thursday 11-10 Friday and Saturday 11-11 late night brunch midnight-3 a.m. Sunday noon-9

Get your award-winning yearbook in Room 285 for $90 (cash only) before they run out!

We’re proud of our Featherduster seniors and wish them the best. We will miss you! Lik dis if u cry evertim. Congratulations to our fabulous adviser Deanne Brown for winning the Interscholastic League Press Conference “Max R. Haddick Teacher of the Year Award” and thank you for all you do for us!


Volume 45 Issue 4