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Volume 44

Issue 4

May 21, 2013 4100 Westbank Drive Austin, Texas 78746


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Editors-in-Chief

Marketing

Andy Brown Marco Scarasso Ben Wallace

Jacob Prothro Cierra Smith

Brains + Brawn

Nikki Humble Alexis Huynh ZZ Lundburg

Peyton Richardson Asst. Colleen Pletcher Emily Martin Asst. Margaret Norman Asst. Kathryn Revelle

People + Places Sara Phillips Asst. Elizabeth Emery Asst. Jack Stenglein

Trends + Traditions Caitlyn Kerbow Monica Rao Asst. Madeline Dupre Asst. Olivia Kight

Rants + Raves Katelyn Connolly Rachel Cooper Asst. Michael Deisher

Katie Mitchell Emma Pennell Jack Speer Katherine Spencer David Tulkoff

Web Team

The Establishment

Business Manager Hannah Turner

Art Editor: Michaela Moss Editor: Ariana Gomez Reyes

Phographers Editor: Tim Whaling Cade Ritter Shelby Westbrook

Reporters Martin Celusniak Michelle Fairorth Liam Gerrity Laura Jessich Sabrina Knap Georgina Kuhlmann

Erin Armstrong Hailey Cunningham Laura Doolittle Mackenzie Franklin Carley McNicholas Catherine Mear Julia Moskow Zoë Nathan Nikki Roop Erica Schwartz Ryan Stankard Jessica Stenglein Monica Tan Josh Willis Selah Maya Zighelboim Taylor Meister

Adviser Deanne Brown

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. cover art by Justin Dorland table of contents photo by Ryan Stankard Junior Jed Lee competes in the long jump at the District track meet April 11 at Westlake. He placed fourth with a 21’4” jump and both girls and boys track teams took first overall in the freshman and varsity levels of competition.

May 2013 brains + brawn

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Higher education Policy forces teachers to acquire master’s

people + places

18

Around the world Adventurers to take gap year in Europe

trends + traditions

34

Apocalypse now

How will we reach oblivion?

rants + raves

52

What’s up, dock?

A look into students’ iPad taskbars


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District policy dictates that new teachers must acquire master’s degree

Can teaching be taught? Eanes Independent School District teacher Lee Carnes said. “I’m [paying tuition] on my own and that’s says yes. In 2008, the Eanes school board initiated a policy requirfine. I knew that going in.” ing that any teacher hired after that year to acquire a master’s degree For teachers like Carnes, the master’s degree program is an opwithin eight years of beginning to work in the district. Now, five years portunity to continue their educations and provides the motivation to later, the deadline is drawing near for many employees. strive for more in their careers. “By having more teachers with master’s degrees in the district, it “Getting a graduate degree has always been a personal goal of mine increases the culture of professionalism among the teachers,” school since I started teaching, but I’ve never really pursued it,” Carnes said. board president Kal Kallison said. “Things get in the way, life gets in the way, so I appreciate that they In establishing the policy, the Eanes district hopes to raise the have this requirement because it got me started. I’m always looking for quality of education it provides to an even higher level. According new ways of approaching literature, new ways of thinking, new ways of to Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Lester Wolff, the looking at the world and at subjects, and I think [the master’s degree] idea is that employees who have their master’s degrees gain access to will only help.” a wider range of knowledge, ideas, skills and experiences than they English teacher and cheerleading coach Alison Leifeste completed would otherwise. her master’s through the PTEP program four “[The teachers] know more about teachyears ago. It took her two years to earn the ing and learning; they are able to utilize new degree. and different strategies,” Wolff said. “It’s the “Obtaining my master’s was challengI kept track of how much teacher’s enthusiasm and knowledge that ing due to arranging schedules [specifically] time I spent on schoolmake class more exciting as they pass that coaching, personal and classes,” Leifeste said. enthusiasm onto their kids.” “The professors were tough and expected a lot related activities: grading, Achieving a master’s degree is no small out of us. I loved that. [They] took a personal coaching, teaching, transfeat, and Eanes is trying to ease that burden interest in us and truly wanted us to learn. I through the Partnership for Teacher Excelabsolutely enjoyed being a part of PTEP.” portation, etc. The shortlence Program, which offers several benefits Although there are many beneficial est week I had was 84.5 for those involved. Teachers have the option aspects to the master’s requirement, there of getting their degree through PTEP rather are challenges that go with it. Teachers are alhours. than acquiring it on their own; they can take ready hard-pressed with their full-time jobs, two professional leave days a year, during and the added strain of getting the master’s —English teacher and which they can study and do homework. degree will only increase the workload. coach Ashley Baker Teachers also receive free two-year use of a “All education is beneficial, the more you laptop. Lastly, PTEP, cooperating with the know the better, but how beneficial it will be University of Texas and Texas State Univeris the question, and at what cost,” volleyball sity, offers a number of degrees, including General Education, Adminand track coach and English teacher Ashley Baker said. istration and a variety of Natural Science degrees. If a teacher is part For one thing, getting a master’s degree is a heavy financial burden, of PTEP, the Eanes Education Foundation pays for up to $6,000 of the even with PTEP assistance, and in cases like that of married Westlake $13,000 to $15,000 tuition. The financial assistance does not cover coaches James and Ashley Baker, this price tag is a troubling matter. textbooks and additional fees. Both Bakers were hired after the policy was adopted. Part of the Bak“Our people who are going through with the master’s are very ers’ tuitions will be paid by PTEP, but the amount of money deducted appreciative of the fact that part of the cost is paid,” assistant athletic from their household income will be considerable. Obtaining the dedirector Al Bennett said about the coaches under his supervision. gree will mean a stipend of $2,000 per year added to teachers’ salaries, While PTEP can be a great help to teachers, it also limits the numbut that means under the best-case scenario, a minimum of four years ber of degrees available to them, as there are many courses that are not will pass before the salary will cover the cost invested in the degree. included in the program. For example, if a teacher wanted to get his “I’m newly married and my husband and I were starting to think or her degree in coaching or English, he or she would be ineligible for about buying a house, but with $600-a-month payments — it’s $300 PTEP and would be required to pay the full fee, which usually averages for each of us — that’s just not feasible,” Ashley Baker said. between $15,000 and $30,000. The Bakers are not alone in their financial concerns, but at least for “I’m not using the program because I don’t want to get my Master’s now PTEP is the cheapest option available. Despite the high cost of tuin Education, I want to get it in English,” first-year employee English ition, the greatest challenge that teachers face in getting their master’s


Tim Whaling

English teacher Ashley Baker also coaches volleyball and is married to teacher James Baker. Both Bakers were hired after the policy was initiated.

degree is time management. Most begin work long before the first bell rings, and then spend hours after school ends tutoring, grading assignments and preparing lesson plans. “With all of the responsibilities that we have as teachers and coaches, adding multiple hours a week of classes, not to mention assignments and homework, seems a little daunting,” said soccer and volleyball coach and English teacher James Baker said. “As teachers, we are experts at multitasking, but there is only so much we can get done.” Depending on the number of classes taken, a master’s degree generally takes two to five years to complete. During the school year, the time that teachers have in which to go to classes is limited to the hours that they themselves are not teaching, time which otherwise would be spent grading, socializing, caring for family, working another job or engaging in recreational hobbies. Many teachers have young children, so when they leave for evening classes they must arrange for their children to be supervised. Some have family members who can take over, but those who are single, or whose families are unable to watch the kids, must make other arrangements. The logistical, financial and emotional strain of this conflict is taxing on many levels. “I have sympathy for those with time issues,” Wolff said, “but in the long run there are people who were able to organize their time and had the supports in place to make it work. My challenge is to find the opportunities for the teachers who do not have those supports yet so that they can make it work as well.” The requirement will be a challenge for everyone involved. Perhaps the faculty members facing the greatest difficulties are the coaches. In addition to teaching three to four academic classes and one to two athletic periods, they spend many hours beyond the school day overseeing practices and attending games and tournaments. “When this all started I kept track of how much time I spent on school-related activities: grading, coaching, teaching, transportation, etc.,” Ashley Baker said. “The shortest week I had was 84.5 hours.” Volleyball coaches like Ashley Baker might oversee games on Tuesday and Friday nights, practice until 6 after school on Mondays,

Wednesdays and Thursdays, and either practice or attend tournaments on Saturdays. Furthermore, many teachers use their free Sundays to catch up on grading assignments and preparing for the upcoming week. According to Bennett, football coaches clock in around 100 hours a week during the football season. These long weeks leave very little time for anything else. Taking a class one or more evenings a week would mean missing some of the important aspects of a teacher and coach’s job. “The problem is that I’m a full-time teacher and coach. [The master’s program] means that I won’t be able to be there for my students as much,” Ashley Baker said. “If they decide to have classes on Wednesday nights, then I can’t help the other coaches with volleyball practice, which means that they’ll have to do more and the girls won’t have as much one-on-one time. When teachers and coaches have so much on their plate, they won’t be able to give the 110 percent that this job requires. If they’re always tired and always working, teachers can’t have that energy and enthusiasm that makes them good at what they do.” Moreover, many coaches work during the summer to prepare their teams for the fall season, and if they are concurrently attending summer school, they are faced with yet more logistical dilemmas. The district has acknowledged the increased challenges faced by coaches and is trying to work out some of these conflicts. “Texas State designed a program for coaches particularly. It’s called Health and Human Performance. There may be some flexibility built in because of the time,” Wolff said. This is the first year for Health and Human Performance, so how easy it is to work it in and beneficial it is has yet to be seen. Another option for a more flexibility would be online classes, which would allow teachers to work around both school-related and extracurricular conflicts. For now, PTEP does not offer financial aid for online programs, which average around $17,000, so if teachers wants to receive help paying for their degree they must physically attend classes. Currently there are no direct consequences for a teacher not having his or her degree eight years after he or she begins employment in the district. The requirement is outlined in teachers’ contracts and is simply something that they are expected to do. Some teachers worry that their contract will be terminated unless they have acquired their degree or made significant progress towards it, but nothing is set in stone. “We haven’t really talked about [the consequences of not having the degree] because the eight year commitment won’t happen for a couple more years,” Wolff said. “What will probably happen is I will have a conversation with them to find out what their plans are. It’s just the expectation that they’ll do it.” —Georgina Kuhlmann

Tim Whaling

English teacher and cheerleading coach Alison Leifeste earned her master’s degree through the Partnership for Teacher Excellence Program four years ago.


Heavy metal

Robotics teams place in world championship tournaments

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The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technol- ing of 35 freshmen and sophomores, started working on their robots ogy Robotics Challenge team placed fourth in the Archimedes diviin September. They worked weekdays and Saturdays for a total of sion at the world championships April 24-27 in St. Louis. The FIRST seven to 10 hours per week. The FRC team, made up of 34 juniors and Technical Challenge team, the Pi-Rho Maniacs, placed seventh in the seniors, met Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays for 15 to 23 Franklin Division. total hours per week during contest season, which began in January. “I was very excited about the world championships,” Pi-Rho MaAs the dates of the contests approached, the teams met more often to niacs team member freshman Dalton Dollihite said. “I think it shows finalize, improve and tweak designs of the robots. that the robotics program can actually make a “Those hours were exhausting, plus going difference in education.” home to homework didn’t help,” FRC team The four FTC teams from Westlake — Pimember junior Lynnea Hernandez said. “But Rho Maniacs, Tau Manifesto, Torque Omega it was also really fun just being with your and Summation — competed in the Alamo Refriends and working on something that we gional qualification tournament March 28-29. cared about. Staying hours after school each There, Tau Manifesto and Summation won day and working on the weekends tested our their divisions and were tournament finalists. team’s dedication, but we all knew it was a The Pi-Rho Maniacs won the Rockwell Collins necessary sacrifice if we wanted to make it Innovate Award for engineering excellence to [the International Championship in] St. and the Inspire award, the highest team honor Louis.” of the competition. The Inspire Award qualiIn addition to hard work and long hours, fied them for the world championships in St. the robotics teams owe much of their recent Louis. success to the 14 industry mentors who volAlong with the FTC teams, the FRC team unteer with the robotics program after school. has also made its mark on the robotics comThe mentors teach the students about design, munity. The FRC team was awarded the prototyping, programming, electronics, basic Chairman’s Award, the highest team honor, problem solving and project management. at the Hub City Regional Feb. 28-March 2 in “In essence, we have 14 professional Lubbock. This award also served as the FRC coaches who volunteer with the students,” team’s ticket to the same competition that the robotics coach Norman Morgan said. “It’s courtesy photo FTC had qualified for. very helpful.” Junior Akash Thaker discusses a new robot part which was created by the “It was great for the team to win the The FTC teams and supporting adults will Westlake robotics program at the world championship in Saint Louis, Mo. Chairman’s Award,” FRC team member also participate in the Asia Pacific Invitational The part, called a string potentionmeter, measures the change in the angle junior Michael Keim said. “Having written at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia of the shooter deck of the robot. our submission, I was really caught up in it. from July 4-6. In addition to the three-day When we lost that regional, many looked to me since it is the other tournament, the FTC teams will be putting on a one-day workshop that way of qualifying for the International Championships in Saint Louis. I teams from Australia and Pacific regions will attend. sank in my chair when I thought we hadn’t won — they incorrectly an“[I’m looking forward to the Australia trip] because we’ll get to see nounced the winner — and when they called our name I was shocked lots of new teams and new ideas for robots and presentations,” Sumand very happy. People piled on top of me, hugging me and thanking mation team member freshman Ben Gorr said. “At one of our competime.” tions we had to program another team’s robot for them. It was really Both the FTC teams and the FRC team spent many hours working cool to help out, so I am also looking forward to helping other teams.” on their robots to get them ready for contests. The FTC teams, consist—Jack Stenglein

New class to teach students 3-D design

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Next year, the list of technology-based courses will receive an update with the addition of a new engineering class. The class, called Engineering Design and Presentation, will teach students how to use Solidworks, a 3-D computer-aided design program, or CAD. The program can rotate objects in space to be viewed at different angles. Physics teacher Tim Jordan and robotics teacher Norman Morgan collaborated on the creation of the course, but Jordan will be the sole instructor. The new class will give students interested in engineering another elective choice. “We intend for this to be part of a fouryear engineering path,” Jordan said. “With ro-

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botics, my electronics class and the Engineering Design and Presentation class, someone can take an engineering-based course all four years.” The class will require students to come up with engineering solutions and create presentations using the Solidworks program. It will be available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. “Until now, junior and senior students would learn Solidworks on their own,” Jordan said. “We wanted to make it more directed and give students a chance to take an actual class. For anybody who’s interested in engineering, CAD is going to be useful.” Students taking Engineering Design and

Presentation will have the opportunity to become CAD certified. This will give them a competitive edge for college and careers. “My goal is that my students can pass the certification exam,” Jordan said. “We’ve heard of people coming right out of high school with Solidworks certification and going to work for $35,000 a year in part-time jobs while they’re in college. If they need a CAD background in college, they’ll have a good tool under their belts already. Once you know one CAD system, it’s very easy to learn others, so even if they go somewhere that doesn’t use Solidworks, they’ll have the concepts down and will know how to use it.” —Sara Phillips


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ZENITH Annual performance showcases dancers

Hyline dancer raises her mask while to Cramer Seniordancing Amanda the songto“Dance dances “Spectrum” with Without You” Hyline at Dance the 2012-2013 Zenith. Team at Zenith.

Busting a move, senior Rusty Hutson performs in the Gyline routine choreographed by the Hyline officers.

Flashing a smile, Spirit Director junior Maddie Bitting dances to “Oz” during Zenith. “I love Zenith because it’s so much fun performing for my friends and family,” Maddie said.

Senior Hannah Lynn strikes a pose during the dance “Romeo and Juliet.” The moving lights were done by Sara Clark.

In one of several jazz routines performed by Hyline, Second Lieutenant senior Kia Race dances to “Romeo and Juliet.”

The Star Steppers dance team performs to “Royalty” at the premiere of Zenith’s three-night showcase April 1820. The team had previously won first place for this dance at the Westwood High School dance competition.


n i a r p B ow

TED reaches out to Austin youth in recent conference

er

As the lights dimmed and people began applauding, the about a Future City model they made to solve the first annual TEDx Youth Austin Limitless conference was broadcasted problem of water run-off. Use the QR code around the world from Westlake Performing Arts Center. “I was really impressed with the middle school- to learn more about Close to 900 middle and high school students from schools all over ers’ Future City,” Ashley said. “I heard about it the speakers. Austin sat in the PAC on March 30 to participate in the event and hear and thought ‘Oh it’s just going to be a little toothpresenters in every field imaginable. Most of the talks focused on the pick and glue model’, but it actually turned out to “Limitless” theme: “dream more, explore more, do more.” However, be amazing. I made sure to go up to them afterthere was a wide variety of talks focusing on everything from cancer ward and have them show me how it worked.” research to public transportation. A break in the middle Elemental Chemistry Club founder seof the conference let the atnior Ashley May gave a talk about her love of tendees talk to the presentI think it was the best chemistry and the deadly properties of different ers, see the Future City model and even see an elements. appearance by the Westlake robotics team which day of my life, to be “I got to talk a little about chemistry and the showed off a robot that it programmed to throw honest. I could talk elements,” Ashley said. “It was cool to not just basketballs. Ashley’s sister, sophomore Lindsey enjoy chemistry, but to share that love with othMay, also said she enjoyed the conference. to people with such ers. I was really amazed how many people came “I learned life lessons from ‘don’t be afraid up afterward and told me that they enjoyed my of refusal’ to ‘look at the world from a different amazing life talk and that it made them interested in chemisperspective every once in a while,’” Lindsey said. experiences and neat try. It was kind of neat to be able to affect other “I found it all very interesting, and it made me people like that.” want to go and do something big in life. At the perspectives. Ashley said that the rest of the conference same time, it made me feel like I’m not doing —senior Ashley May left her blown away as well. anything with my life. Either way it motivated “I think it was the best day of my life, to be me to find my passion and pursue it.” honest,” Ashley said. “It was way different from The TED Talks’ passion for community any normal kind of day because I could talk to involvement and change went beyond just the people with such amazing life experiences and neat perspectives.” talks given. Payment for attending the event was not monetary, but One of the headlining speakers was Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie lives was instead a donation of four service hours by the attendees to an with an undiagnosed condition that has only been seen in two other Austin charity or nonprofit of their choice. people besides her in the world. Because of this condition, she weighs This may have been the first TEDx event in Austin, but it certainly less than 60 pounds and never gains weight. Lizzie has encountered won’t be the last. TEDx Youth conventions have happened multiple bullying all of her life for her appearance, and a YouTube video calling times in cities and countries all over the world and those who have her “the world’s ugliest woman” was finally enough for her to devote attended say that they were so inspired that they would definitely go her life to motivational speaking. She has also released a book called again. Be Beautiful, Be You. “There was just such a great variety of thinkers,” Monica said. “Lizzie Velasquez’s speech was life changing,” sophomore Monica “There were so many people from so many different fields and they’re Rao said. “It was one of the most moving presentations I have ever all doing crazy work. I had no idea all of this was happening and it seen. She is just such an incredible human being. I don’t know how was just inspiring and eye-opening. You leave thinking ‘I want to be one person could be so brave and so kind and so hardworking. It’s like these people. I want to do things like this’. And the fact that it was amazing. She has so much strength. You just want to better yourself to run by students just made it even more inspiring. I would definitely go be like her and learn from everything she’s gone through.” again if I could.” Another impressive talk was from a group of middle schoolers —Peyton Richardson


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Golf captain senior Sierra Sims readies herself for a drive April 4 at the Fazio Canyons Range. Sierra took second at State April 30.

Driving ambition Star athlete dominates at golf tournaments, earns full scholarship

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iligence. Dedication. Drive. These are the skills required to excel in golf, and senior Sierra Sims has all of them. With more than a decade of experience and a history full of victories, Sierra is the epitome of a golfing champion. Sierra began golfing with her sister and her father when she was 5 years old. When she turned nine, she began to participate in tournaments and by the time she was 12 she showed a serious commitment to golf. After she and her family moved from North Carolina to Austin when she was in seventh grade, Sierra maintained her athletic focus. She attended St. Gabriel’s for middle school, but came to Westlake her freshman year and immediately joined the golf team. “The whole reason I wanted to come to Westlake was because of the girls golf team,” Sierra said. “[Life on the golf team] is really fun. All the girls are really close and we encourage each other. It’s nice having people to practice with since golf is so individual.” Sierra’s abilities have taken her far. She has won a series of tournaments since the beginning of high school, including first place at State her sophomore and junior year and two consecutive National wins last April. Recently, she completed a record-breaking round of golf at Lions Municipal Golf Course with a score of 63, eight under par. High pressure and tough competition don’t faze her at all during tournaments. “She loves the pressure that comes with having a chance to win a big event or beat a worthy opponent,” golf coach Chuck Nowland said. “[While] most golfers let nerves get to them, Sierra somehow gets more focused and eager to play the next shot. That is a rare gift.” This year, Sierra became co-captain of the golf team along with seniors Christine Campbell and Claire Wooldridge. She shines as an individual athlete and as a team player. “I always tell people that Sierra is one of the top three athletes to ever attend Westlake, in any sport, boys or girls,” Nowland said. “I would put her up there with Huston Street and Drew Brees. These top

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Cade Ritter

tier athletes are not only great in their sports, but they are incredible leaders and team players. That’s the thing with Sierra — she loves to win on her own ball, but she loves for the team to win even more.” Despite her talent, Sierra must train hard. She practices almost every day for at least two to three hours, a heavy commitment that a less dedicated athlete might not be able to handle. “There are some people who don’t even go to school who I’m competing against, so I have to keep up with them,” Sierra said. “Staying focused and not letting anything else distract me [can be difficult]. Going out to practice every day gets hard, especially now that I’m a senior and really want to graduate.” The many hours of practice and competition have paid off, however. Sierra earned a full scholarship to Wake Forest University in North Carolina and will be playing golf there with her sister Mariana next fall. Sierra has made her coach proud with this accomplishment. “I expect Sierra will have a successful and rewarding college golf career at Wake Forest with her big sis,” Nowland said. “This next challenge will prepare her for the big time LPGA tour. I personally think Sierra’s talents, mental toughness and love for the game will take her all over the world. She’s that special.” After college, Sierra plans on pursuing a career as a pro golfer. She will attend Qualifying School, an annual tournament that allows golfers to become eligible for professional events. If she competes well enough, Sierra will earn a spot on the LPGA Tour. “You don’t have to [graduate to go pro], you just have to be 18,” Sierra said. “You can declare yourself pro anytime you want, but [unless you go to Q-School] you won’t be able to get into the best tournaments and play in the ones you see on TV.” Sierra has already made a mark as a golfer through her personal performance and through her positive influence on the girls golf team. “Over my four years at Westlake, I feel like I’ve contributed tremendously to the golf team,” Sierra said. “Through my dedication to practice, I feel like I have inspired the girls to work harder and get better.” —Sara Phillips


In the rough

Damaged terrain challenges boys golf team at Regionals Varsity boys golf went into Regionals April 15-16 with high hopes and a will to win, but a strong will just wasn’t enough, and Westlake only managed to earn sixth place, missing the top three cut to go to State. Lake Travis, which lost to the Chaps in the District tournament, took second place and continued on to win the State championship. “We had the worst tournament of the year,” sophomore Matthew Perrine said. “Although the course was in poor condition, we didn’t handle it very well. We could have done a lot better staying focused and staying calm.” Although the boys were very hopeful and prepared going into Regionals, they struggled due to the course being in extremely poor shape. “I don’t know what we could have done better,” golf coach Callan Nokes said. “I talked to our senior captain [Stratton Nolen] who was State Champion last year and he said there was nothing, we were ready to play. We had been practicing all the days leading into the tournament, we had been preparing to play on fast greens and I had called the pro up there and he said there were going to be fast

greens. I just didn’t know they weren’t going to have grass on them. When situations like this happen it tends to cause frustration in the players and they lose confidence, which leaks into the other parts of their game.” The loss was especially disappointing since the team had a streak of six wins in a row at the Regional tournament. According the missed short putts which they normally would make. “We played awesomely at District and we felt really confident that we would have a great chance at winning Regionals again,” Nokes said. “We have a great history of playing at Twin Rivers — we won the tournament there in February which is called the Regional Preview — and we were even missing our number two player at that tournament due to him being out of town. I personally felt great about our chances going into Regionals.” The team qualified for Regionals by winning first place in the District tournament March 22 at Roy Kizer, defeating Lake Travis and Austin High. “I thought it was a really good tournament because Austin High and Lake Travis are

both really good teams,” Nokes said. “I was pleased with how my team played in District. Westlake has an advantage over other teams by having a number of good players. A lot of schools will have one or two really good players, then have a drop-off as you go down the line. I feel that we have more depth than other teams.” There are two different divisions in every tournament. There is a team division in which the four best scores are counted out of five players each day for two days. In case of a play-off, the fifth player’s scores count as well. In the individual division, the player who has the lowest two-day total wins the tournament. Matthew won first place in the individual division of the District tournament, which was a great accomplishment for only his second year on the team. “I went into the tournament with confidence,” Matthew said. “Although it was one of the tougher districts in the state, I had a good feeling about our team advancing. I just had to play my best and see what would happen — that’s all you can do.” —David Tulkoff

Girl golfers keep the ball rolling at State Tournament, take second

Junior Robin Tan takes a swing at the the 5A State Tournament April 30. The girls golf team took second place with a total score of 605, finishing behind Lake Travis.

The varsity girls golf team swung into action and took second place at the 5A State Tournament April 29-30 at Morris Williams Golf Course, scoring just seven points more than Lake Travis. “State was really exciting this year because we knew we had a chance to win,” golf captain senior Christine Campbell said. “It was a bittersweet feeling because it was my last high school tournament, and we really wanted to win, but I am still very proud of us getting second. This was my fourth year playing in State so it was really special seeing all my other teammates come out to support us.” The team succeeded on an individual level as well. Golf captain senior Sierra Sims and Christine took second and 13th place, respectively. “Sierra helped give our team a chance to win and put herself in position to take gold almost until the last hole,” golf coach Chuck Nowland said. “No coach could ever ask for more. Christine had her best State Tourney ever. She has played on four state teams and has two golds, a bronze and a silver to show for it This year, Christine knew she had to make some changes to her swing and she got after it. By mid-spring her tee shots had a new authority, ball striking totally improved and she really delivered with rounds of 73-76 to finish in 13th place.” Even before State, the team had a series of strong wins. The JV team took fourth place at the Annual Barbara Puett Classic and the JV division of the Don Beaver Invitational. The varsity II and III teams won the Lauren Johnson Memorial in Victoria and the McNeill Tournament. At Regionals, Sierra took second, and Christine and freshman Maya Walton propelled the team by scoring 77s. Maya and Sierra made the All Region First Team and Christine made All Region Second Team. “I’d say this has been one of our best years ever,” Nowland said. “The senior leadership has been amazing from our three captains and their six campadres. Everyone has contributed to show our younger players how we can play Chap golf with an emphasis on team spirit and never-give-up attitude.” —Sara Phillips


Sticking w Girls lacrosse team places 4th in District play, makes brief appearance in playoffs

Senior Christina Rosendahl carries the ball around an LBJ player in an attempt to score. The Lady Chaps won 14-6. Tim Whaling

Running up midfield, senior Audrey Allen attempts to evade LBJ players.

Sophomore Harper Young shoots and scores through a crowd of opposing players. Tim Whaling

Tim Whaling

Under the leadership of new coach Lauren Fitzgerald, the scholarship. Christina will attend Southwestern University and play varsity girls lacrosse team has completed its club season with a District lacrosse at the college level. record of 9-5. Along with Westlake, there were six other teams in the “A lot of colleges are just now opening up lacrosse programs, so Texas Girls High School Lacrosse League Central Division 1, and the they need girl lacrosse players,” Winnie said. “Down here, lacrosse is top four teams continued on to District playoffs at St. Andrew’s on relatively new, but up in the North it is pretty common.” April 26. The Chaps lost their first playoff game against St. Stephen’s, Lacrosse is not an official UIL sport causing the size of the teams to bringing their season to an end. Many of the girls credit this year’s suc- suffer. Because it is not a well-known sport around campus, this affects cess to the new coaching staff. the number of girls who try out. There are fewer than 40 players for JV “The coaches this year were incredible,” A-wing sophomore Hanand varsity. nah Tucker said. “We have always had really good players, but the “I feel like the amount of girls trying out has decreased since I was a coaching hasn’t been organized. The coaches this year were really good freshman,” said Madalyn, who plays D-wing. “It definitely isn’t explodabout that.” ing in Westlake. Because it is a club sport, it is harder to get girls to Lacrosse is a field sport involving serious hand-eye coordination, play, but we manage to stay afloat.” teamwork and fitness. The sport takes more skill than brutality. In Another reason girls may not play lacrosse is because of the fee. The many ways, womens lacrosse is very different from current registration fee is $575, which is twice as much mens. as the $250 fee for playing school sports. The $575 pays “Besides the setup of the field and the general for fall training & the spring season as well as paying idea of catching and throwing, [womens and mens] the Eanes District for field use, equipment, uniforms, are pretty much completely different sports,” low coaches salaries, insurance and tournament fees/exattacker sophomore Winnie Case said. “Boys have penses, according to Fitzgerald. different sized sticks for offenders and defenders, boys “It holds a lot of people from playing because have body pads, boys can hit and they are a lot more lacrosse is expensive and getting used to playing takes physical. In girls lacrosse, it takes a lot more running some time,” goalkeeper junior Leanne McGonigle said. because you have to be able to out run people instead of Despite the expense, the underclassmen still have just pushing them over.” big hopes for the team and future players. Safety is an important part of womens lacrosse. “I am looking forward to practicing with the Tim Whaling From safety gear to excessive calls from the referees, younger goalie, Sarah Tucker, who is on JV this year,” Sophomores Juliette Fray and Winnie Case keeping the girls safe is the top priority. Players are reLeanne said. “She has a lot of potential and she is really chase the St. Stephen’s goalie during their quired to wear safety goggles and mouth guards to every good. I am also training the middle school goalie, so final game of the regular season. practice and game. I am excited to have a back-up and train the girls and “Last year, they were thinking about giving us helhave little ‘mini-mes’ on the field.” mets which would have been really awkward because we Even though lacrosse may not be the most popular don’t have any pads, so we would have just been like bobble heads run- sport in school, the girls who play love their sport. ning around,” Winnie said. “You surprisingly never get hit in the face.” “When we are working together we do really well,” Madalyn said. The team was led by senior captains Audrey Allen, Christina Rosen- “When we talk and communicate on the field and are cooperating redahl and Madalyn Hostetler. Because womens lacrosse is a growing ally well, that is when our team does the best. You can tell that we are sport, there are many college scholarship opportunities. Audrey is one cohesive unit.” planning to attend Mercer University in Macon, Georgia on a lacrosse —Margaret Norman

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Stepping up to the plate Chaps qualify for playoffs, lose to Cedar Ridge in first round

Lacrosse for dummies Overview: Each team has 12 players on the field including a goalie. The game lasts 60 minutes with two 30-minute halves. The field is divided into three sections by two restraining lines. Only seven offensive players and seven defensive players are allowed past the restraining line. At the beginning of each half, and after every goal, the play is started again with a draw. Draw: The center players from both teams stand in the center circle with the back of their sticks facing each other. The referee places the ball between the two sticks and the players push their sticks together to keep it in place. On the whistle, the players push and pull their sticks upward releasing the ball. Goalie (G): Stops the ball from going in the net. Stands in the goal wearing body padding and holding a stick with a large net. Point (P), Center Point (CP), Third Man (3M): Help defend the goal. Stay in the defensive third of the field. Center: Transitions from defense to offense. Also controls the draw. Defensive Wings (D-Wing): Wide, defensive-minded players that mark the A-Wings. Offensive Wings (A-Wing): Wide, attacking players. First, Second and Third Homes (Low-A): Score goals. Stay in the offensive third of the field.

Michaela

The girls softball team finished its District season as cochampions with Bowie and moved on to the playoffs. Scan this QR code to read about the players and their successful season.

Shelby Westbrook

Outfielder senior Carson Spencer slides into home base while playing the Lake Travis Cavaliers March 26 at home. Though Carson was called out, the Chaparrals defeated their District rivals 4-3. For the Chaparral baseball team, this season has been one of change. Gone is longtime baseball coach Jim Darilek, who retired in July following 22 years at the helm. Following Darilek’s retirement, assistant Jeff Montgomery was appointed the new head coach. Players were confident that he could carry on the tradition that Darilek had helped to build. “We were all excited because we knew that Coach Montgomery would do the best job that he could,” pitcher junior Paul Kirkpatrick said. “We knew we had a good team and that with him, we would do well.” The team started the season by heading to Laredo to participate in the Border Olympics tournament. It placed second, winning its first five games before losing to Laredo United in the championship game. “The Border Olympics were awesome,” pitcher senior Duncan Brown said. “We lost a heartbreaker in the championship game, but the bonding our team gained that trip is an incredibly valuable asset.” Following the solid start, the team finished out its tournament season with a 13-8 record and entered the gauntlet that is 15-5A District play. “Our district is very unusual,” Duncan said. “There are so many competitive teams that every game is a must-win game.” On April 26, the Chaps beat Austin High 2-1 and qualified for the postseason. The team’s 9-3 District record forced them into a three-way tie. After a coin toss, the Chaps landed in the third seed spot. Playoffs started May 2 with the Bi-District round against Cedar Ridge, which the Chaps lost 3-4. On May 3, at home, the team defeated Cedar Ridge 4-3, taking the series to three games. The season ended with a loss to Cedar Ridge in the final game on May 4, with a score of 4-9. Overall the Chaps went 23-12 on the season. —Jacob Prothro


Senior Casey Sutton returns the ball on April 29 at the 5A State Tennis Championship at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on UT campus.

Making a racket

Mackenzie Franklin

Seniors Clayton Niess and Casey Sutton encourage each other at the 5A State Tennis Match, where they won the Mixed Doubles event. The championships took place at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on UT campus. Mackenzie Franklin

Tennis team sends four players to State After a trip to the Regional Finals in the fall season, the varsity tennis team was ready to prove itself in the individual spring season. It did just that, sending four players to the State Tournament April 29-30 at Penick-Allison Tennis Center at theUniversity of Texas. Singles players senior Meredith Hopson, sophomore Fernanda Contreras and the mixed doubles team of seniors Casey Sutton and Clayton Niess made the cut to play in the State Tournament. “Making it to State was a process,” Meredith said. “It was exciting to be one of the top eight girls in the state and to represent Westlake.” Meredith and Fernanda both won their quarterfinal matches but came up short in their semifinals. Meredith lost 4-6, 2-6 to Chuyang Guan from San Antonio Johnson, who later won the State title. Fernanda lost her match in a third set to Courtney Anderson from Cypress Ranch 6-2, 2-6, 1-6. “My last match felt like it was in slow motion,” Meredith said. “It was bittersweet. Bitter because I came up short of my goal, but sweet because even though there were many ups and downs this year, it ended up as a solid experience of being a Chap that I will never forget.” After a mixed doubles State victory last season, Casey was ready to come back to the tournament and defend her title. The doubles team dominated in the quarterfinal, 6-4, 6-3, and semifinal, 6-0, 6-1 in two sets. The final match was more of a challenge for the duo, but they were able to pull out a win in a third set with a match score of 3-6, 7-5,

6-3, clinching the State Championship. “We really struggled in the first set and the beginning of the second set of the match,” Casey said. “At one point in the match we were down 3-6, 2-4 so we had a huge comeback to make, but I knew that we could do it. Nemo [Clayton] and I just really pumped each other up and used that energy and momentum to bring us home a State Championship.” In District play Meredith and Fernanda played each other five times this season — Meredith won three with Fernada taking two. Casey and Clayton only suffered one loss all season. The Chaps sent five to the Regional tournament April 15-16 at McLeod Tennis Center, in Lubbock including the two girls singles players, the mixed doubles team and boys singles player sophomore Charles Tan. “It takes some luck to get out of District,” coach Kim Riley said. “It’s not all talent. It’s about getting a good draw and being healthy on that day.” Finishing the season with four players in the State tournament was a great accomplishment for the Chaps. With a State championship to share with Clayton, Casey is happy with how her career ended. “I seriously could not ask for a better ending to my senior year and my tennis career,” Casey said. “Nemo and I have been like family since we were 7 years old. We grew up together and I couldn’t possibly imagine having a better partner for this season. It was absolutely perfect.” —Emily Martin

One for the books Although the girls soccer team fell short of its ultimate goal of a State Championship, its season can be summed up in one word: domination. The 22 girls not only came together to hammer all other teams in their District for the second year in a row, but they also won championships at the Frisco, Katy and Georgetown tournaments and finished in the state’s Elite Eight. All together, the Lady Chaps scored a total of 120 goals, had 87 assists and earned the first ever national ranking of no. 1 in Westlake girls soccer history. The Lady Chaps completed District with a record of 12-0 and an overall record of 28-1. Their one and only defeat was April 13 in the Regional Final game against defending State Champion Plano West, which brought the Chaps’ successful playoff run and even more suc-

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Girls soccer earns first top national ranking

cessful season to an end. Kicking off playoffs against McNeil March 28 in the first round was a great warm-up to all the competitive opponents that stood ahead for the Chaps. This was only the second game all season for the Chaps that ended with a one-point differential. The defenses and offenses of both teams were evenly matched the entire game, until Kendall Ritchie broke the deadlock and scored the only goal of the game. “It was the first playoff game and we all realized that if we lost, the season was over and that was the last thing we wanted to happen,” Kendall said. “On the bus before every game we have pep talks. I told everyone that there was going to be a time when we have to say goodbye, and that was not going to be tonight. There weren’t going to


be any tears when we got back on that bus. After I scored I was really excited, but I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to keep the lead. Like we always do, we pulled together and shut them down and won our 25th game of the season, still undefeated.” The Area Match on April 5 was at Cub Field in Humble against the Klein Bearkats. Coming away with a victory of 2-0 gave the team momentum for the next game against Kingwood. On April 9, the girls met Kingwood in the Regional Quarterfinals held at Turner Stadium in Humble. With a prior win against the Mustangs in preseason play, the team had a certain level of confidence. When it came time for the game, that was truly evident in the

Taking the lead Track team wins District, qualifies six girls for State

Ryan Stankard

At the Regional meet April 26-27 at Baylor University, sophomore Nicole Summersett broke her previous record of 12’ 6” in the pole vault and brought the school’s record up to 12’ 8”. Junior Corinne Grandcolas placed second in the long jump at 18’ 6.5” and is set to advance with Nicole to the UIL State meet May 10. The girls 4x400 team of seniors Kamri Ball and Carly Grandcolas, freshman Brooke Holle and sophomore Sydney Fowler broke the school record that was set in 1997 with a new time of 3:56.39. “We worked so well together and pushed each other to be our absolute best, not just for ourselves, but for the team,” senior Kamri Ball said. “After the hours of practice and endless meets, being able to break the school record during my last track meet in high school was amazing.” Before advancing to the Regional meet, the girls took the title in the Area meet with a first place win, while the boys team placed eighth. Together, 38 individuals in addition to six relays qualified for the Area meet April 18 at Burger Center. “I think we improved dramatically and I’m proud of how we performed at the Area meet,” girls coach Chris Carter said. At the District meet April 10-11 at home, all of the girls divisions and boys varsity and freshman divisions took home first place. As many of the runners look back on the season, they acknowledge that winning District was a fight. “The District title didn’t come easily this season,” junior Ben Jepson said. “It was a shame we didn’t go farther as a team.” The focus continues to be on the impressive performance at the District meet level. The coaches stress that the runners performed better than expected in that meet and are excited for next year’s season. “At the District meet, where nobody really made any major mistakes, many people stepped up in ways that they had not before,” coach Bert Bonnecarre said. “Luckily, only two of these runners were seniors, so I expect the team to be strong next year, too.” After qualifying for the State meet for the second year in a row, Nicole was excited to continue to build on her success with the help of her teammates and coaches. “Breaking the school record was an amazing experience,” Nicole said. “I had so much support from an amazing team of athletes and coaches.” — Josh Willis

play of junior Rachel Coyle, who unleashed her drive and scored three of the four goals that game. “Every single time I got the ball that led to a score was because of an amazing pass by a midfielder like [sophomore] Zayne [Matulis] or [sophomore] Kendall ,” Rachel said. “Coach [Rene] Rebe always says you have to get the heartbreak goal, which is the third one. No one can really come back from that, and the fact that we scored more than that really just proves how much we deserved to be in the playoffs.” On April 12, the team recovered the lead three times to clench the Regional Semifinal game from Garland Sachse in order to advance to Regional Finals. By the end of the

regular 90 minutes, the scoreboard showed a 1-1 tie. Two overtimes and six penalty kicks later, with a score of 3-2, sophomore goalie Kalli Douma decided enough was enough when she blocked Garland’s final attempt at the win, clinching another solid “W” for Westlake. “We ended up down in penalty kicks and I knew that after all the practice we had done throughout the year, I needed to make a save,” Kalli said. “Christy tackled me and then everyone else hugged me [after the save]. I felt so much happiness, love, and pride for my team. We all work so hard, and that game was the culmination of all that work over the course of the season.” — Taylor Meister


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Adventurers to explore France during gap year

“L

’avenir est un lieu comreasons, Hofstra was the only college I applied supportive and encouraging. In fact, Jerod’s mode pour les rêves y mettre to, so there wasn’t another option. After that mother will be going to stay with him for the des songes.” “The future is happened, I decided that I didn’t want to go first three or four weeks before Nikki arrives. a convenient place to put the to ACC since I wanted the chance to apply “My parents are totally down with the dreams of your dreams.” to more colleges as a first year. So I made whole gap year,” Jerod said. “Sometimes my French novelist and Nobel Prize winner dad pretends like it’s not happening, but my the decision to take a year off. I looked up a Anatole France said this almost 100 years bunch of different volunteer programs in a mom’s in love with Paris, so it became someago; however, his wisdom couldn’t be more thing we really bonded over. She’s really into lot of different countries. I’m really interested applicable than if he’d said it yesterday. in traveling, but I’ve never actually left the it and has supported it for years. It’s someTo most of us, this quote is just another country before, so I was kind of overwhelmed thing we’ve talked about for awhile. It wasn’t saying, another piece of inspiration to think with how many choices I had. But Jerod’s just ‘Surprise, I’m going to France. Bye.’” about at a later time. But to seniors Nikki Nikki’s mother also approves of her one of my best friends and I’ve already taken Roop and Jerod Thornton, this quote is direct two years of French, so I decided that my best daughter’s decision and is thrilled that she’s advice that they’re taking to heart right now. spending the year abroad. option was to go with him. And then I started Following their graduation, both Nikki and talking to Jerod about it, and I just got hooked “My mom is really excited,” Nikki said. Jerod will be moving to France to participate on France.” “She wanted me to have other options besides in a program called Work Away, which allows going to ACC and losing my ability to apply Throughout this process, both Nikki young travelers to crisscross the country and Jerod’s parents have been completely to other colleges as a first year. I’ve never working for food and housing gotten the opportunity to go on as pay. The two of them have vacation or anything with my cultivated an interest in French family, so getting the chance to culture over the years, so a gap travel was important to her.” year in France is a realization While Jerod spends the first of both of their dreams. month with his mom in Paris, Although the two will be Nikki will continue working in taking the trip together, they Austin before joining him to arrived at this decision in very begin the Work Away program. different fashions. “When I first realized I “I’ve been planning on takwas going to take a gap year, ing this gap year for around I did so much research in one two years,” Jerod said. “I’ve day,” Nikki said. “I was just so been studying French and I’ve overwhelmed by everything. taken all the available [French] Eventually I found the [Work classes at Westlake, as well Away] website on my own, but as some at Austin CommuJerod and I decided that we nity College. I’ve always had a should do the program togethdesire to travel and now that er. It was really after that point I’m graduating, I finally have that France became a priority the opportunity to go and for me. Essentially, Work Away follow my dreams. Hakuna gives you the opportunity to go Matata. Honestly, I never and work for different people thought about other countries across the country. You can see [besides France]. I studied what they’re looking for online abroad in Russia a couple years and instead of paying you with ago, but even then France was money, they just give you a my ultimate goal. I like the place to stay and meals. “ language and I seem to have an The jobs vary depending on affinity for it, but really, I love the people who are hiring, so the country because it’s just an the two of them plan on crossamazing center of culture.” ing the country to gain the most For Nikki, the decision to they can from the experience. spend the year in France was “Usually these people just photos by Tim Whaling much more spontaneous. want you do things like buildReady for adventure, Seniors Nikki Roop and Jerod Thornton look forward to their year abroad. “I really love “I was already set to go ing or gardening, and some of this opportunity because it allows you to travel, but you still get the chance to work and help other people,” Nikki to college on Long Island, at them just want learning English said. Jerod will leave for France following their graduation and Nikki will join him a couple weeks later. After Hofstra University, when the and talking to their kids,” Jerod meeting up, the two of them will travel the country through a program called Work Away. financial aid fell through,” said. “There’s even one lady Nikki said. “Due to personal who wrote, ‘We don’t know

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Ric Peyton

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how to use eBay. Please come live with us and teach us how to.’ There’s such a wide range of possibilities available to you. The situations vary by each house, but the families will list what the maximum and minimum amount of time they want you to stay is. We’re planning on a series of visits.” In terms of transportation, both Nikki and Jerod have been saving up money to cover the stages in-between, when they will need to catch trains to different regions of France. “We’re definitely planning the least expensive route possible, so we’ll stay in hostels and catch terrible buses to get to the next place,” Jerod said. “It’s almost like backpacking, since we probably won’t be carrying suitcases.” Though the two may look the part of typical backpackers, their interests are broader than simply vacationing and sightseeing. “I really love this opportunity because it allows you to travel, but you still get the chance to work and help other people,” Nikki said. “I wanted to do something useful with my time there. Plus, you learn so much more about France when you get to stay with and talk to people who actually live there.” After their year is up, Nikki and Jerod both plan on returning to college. Jerod has already been accepted to Bennington College in Vermont, and Nikki plans on applying early this fall to Columbia, Syracuse and four other colleges for the 2014-15 school year. Her dream has always been to end up in New York City, and she hopes to reach it by the time she begins college. The duo will also be writing a blog together about their journeys in France. “In addition to everything else, I’m just not totally sure what I want my major to be and what job I want to keep for the rest of my life,” Jerod said. “So, I’m hoping that somewhere along the way, something might spark my interest.” This year abroad will be the realization of old dreams and new, and though Nikki and Jerod both have a touch of nerves, they’re excited to share the experience together. “I’m more nervous about getting there, but I think once we do, everything will be fine,” Jerod said. “Especially since we’re together, we’ll just be like ‘What the hell just happened? What did they just say?’ And now that I have my best friend with me, I feel like everything will work out. We can just laugh about the confusion and the ridiculous stuff that happens together. I think an important part of life is stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something crazy like this.” —Monica Rao

Off the beaten path Senior plans to trek across Spain

Zoë Nathan

El Camino de Santiago. It spans two countries, nearly 500 miles and finds its origins in Biblical times. What was originally created as a journey to honor St. James is now a world-renowned trail from France to Spain that is crossed each year by thousands of pilgrims hoping to experience the life-changing effects the walk is said to have. This summer, senior Bennett Dampier will become one of these travelers, hiking the trail to its final destination at Santiago de Compostela. Having first heard about this trip two years ago, he developed an immediate fascination that will finally be realized this year. “I learned about the trip during my sophomore year, while taking art history in Ms. [Melinda] Darrow’s class,” Bennett said. “We did a section on the walk; learning about how it was originally a pilgrimage, and how all the cathedrals there were started. The whole thing sparked my interest and for the past two years I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do it. I’ve been planning the whole thing out since then.” The trail runs across northern Spain and finishes at the famous cathedral, Santiago de Compostela, which is believed to hold the relics of St. James.

Travelers walk around 12 to 17 miles a day and stop each night to rest in pilgrim hostels called refugios. As soon as he completes the walk, Bennett plans to return to Pamplona to participate in the festival of San Fermin, known around the world for the running of the bulls. “I’m ecstatic about going to the festival in Pamplona,” Bennett said. “Everybody I’ve talked to keeps trying to stop me from running [with the bulls], telling me that I’m going to get killed. I’m absolutely terrified, but it’s a once in a lifetime chance, so I have to do it. At the very least, I will run 20 feet, hop over the fence and let all the locals make fun of me.” After the festival, Bennett will return to Madrid and stay with his brother’s friend, before possibly returning home. “One thing I have been considering is staying in Spain,” Bennett said. “I’m just waiting to see what happens if I fall in love with the place once I get there. My biggest problem is the fact that I don’t speak Spanish. I’ve been trying to learn and I have the Rosetta Stone [language program] but I still speak almost no Spanish. I’m nervous, but I know it’s going to be fun.” —Monica Rao


No place like home Globetrotter anticipates return to Spain after year spent in Austin

Movies portraying girls traveling musical here was amazing.” “In all of Europe, we have less but of better abroad usually take a stereotypical approach. According to Ines, just as we hold stequality,” Ines said. “But here, it’s more like They embark on insane adventures, meet reotypes for places abroad, the world holds you go to Forever 21 and buy as much as you interesting people and gain experiences that stereotypes for Americans. can. Even though you know that after three are sure to shape the rest of their lives. There “It’s totally like a movie — everything,” days of wearing it, it’s going to be broken. is always a happy ending. Do you remember Ines said. “It’s totally what I expected. Except There is an obsession here with Nike shorts. curling up on your sofa, watching Lizzie Mcfor the fact that not all cheerleaders are You can just go out however you want. But in Guire portray an Italian pop Spain, you wouldn’t do that. If star in her romantic advenyou go to the grocery store and ture? you’re wearing Nike shorts Maybe her outings have and tennis shoes, people ask if been missing a bit of the you came from the gym. It just excitement that Lizzie exdoesn’t happen there, it’s our perienced, but sophomore culture. I like the American Ines Ybañez’s life has been way. You always have to look interesting nonetheless. She nice in Spain.” has lived in four countries on After this school year two different continents and comes to a close, Ines is movfluently speaks two languages ing back to Spain with her — English and Spanish. Ines’s family. She has kept in close parents decided to take a year contact with friends there as off from their jobs in Spain to the year has passed. spend time with their older “Whenever I talk to my daughter in Austin. Ines spent friends back home, they ask if her sophomore year as a Westthe head cheerleader is dating lake student, taking her first the captain of the football taste of American culture. team,” Ines said. “And hon“My sister [in Austin] had a estly, I don’t even know. That’s baby and we wanted to be with what they think it’s like. I talk her,” Ines said.“I was born in to them all of the time, really. Madrid, Spain. I’ve [also] lived [Spain] is seven hours ahead. near Bath, England and Paris, When I’m leaving school, France. I started learning Engthey’re going to sleep.” lish at around 5. All schools in Ines calls Madrid home Spain have to teach English and hopes to live there perma— it’s the law. When I moved nently. She has experienced to England, I was about 10 other cultures and is set on years old. I went to a boarding where she feels she belongs. school to learn English. I went “I’m excited to go home,” to Paris to learn French and Ines said. “I would love to lived with my sister.” raise my family there. When Madrid and Austin are I was younger I wanted to Carley McNicholas filled with completely different live abroad. When you leave, During a sightseeing trip around downtown Austin, sophomore Ines Ybañez discovers the Roadhouse Relics pickup truck. people and the school systems you appreciate it a lot more. are unlike each other in many [But] I’m going to miss my ways, socially and curriculum-wise. American [Westlake] friends. And I’m going to miss the stupid. Not all blonde Americans are stupid. schools offer extracurriculars that other parts opportunities I have here.” That’s what the rest of the world thinks. Peoof the world have never seen. Ines joined Ines has experienced something that not ple in Spain imagine American high schools choir when she enrolled here, and is still many others have or ever will. She misses her just like High School Musical. When I was in actively involved. city, where she belongs. the musical, I felt like that. I felt like Vanessa “In schools in Spain, you don’t get to “You learn and it’s an experience,” Ines Hudgens. Singing for three minutes made me choose what you want to do,” Ines said. “You said. “Right now, I have the best level of feel really special.” just have regular classes. You don’t get to English of any of my friends [back home.] It’s America, compared to other countries, is choose extra classes. That’s something I’ve hard, though. I’m ready to go home. Spain is a complete culture shock to many. Ines was never seen. Private schools have choirs, but home.” happily surprised to see how American culthey’re more of a Catholic-church choir. The —Caitlyn Kerbow ture is expressed, specifically in fashion.

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Wheels on the bus

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Avid camper finds new mode of transportation Big. Hippies. Little Miss Sunshine. Those are the first words that come to mind when you see sophomore Austin Fagerberg’s 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon. It looks more like it should accompany Scooby Doo and the gang than drive through Westlake’s parking lot. Austin’s dad got him the van over winter break. He had a similar one at Austin’s age and wanted him to have the same experience, but Austin was not sure how he felt about it. “At first, I was kind of tentative,” Austin said. “I didn’t know what other people would think of it. Initially, the biggest issue for us was gas mileage. It gets 14 to 16 miles per gallon, which is not ideal, especially when I

am paying for gas, but as I learned to drive stick-shift and got to know it a little better, it just grew on me.” Austin’s friends had a similar skeptical reaction, but they also learned to love the van. “Originally they thought, ‘What is that?’” Austin said. “Those were most of the reactions, but when I told them it has a sink and a stove and two beds and a fridge, people started to change their minds a little bit. I think the image that goes with that car is so different than the image my friends perceive of me and what most people perceive of me, and that’s why I think I like it so much. I don’t come off as a hippie dude usually, and it’s a

Zoë Nathan

Sophomore Austin Fagerberg and junior Patrick Prendergast stand by Austin’s VW van at Commons Ford Park. “The time to sit and think while camping is wonderful,” Austin said. “I really just enjoy being outside.”

hippie bus.” Besides using it to get to and from soccer practice, Austin takes the van on camping trips. Camping is a passion of Austin’s, but before he had the Volkswagen, he rarely had the opportunity to camp and explore. In the five months since he received the van, he has gone on two camping trips — the first to Pedernales with two soccer friends and the second to San Angelo State Park with his best friend, junior Patrick Prendergast. While the first camping trip went according to plan, the second trip was much more problematic. “There were initial navigation issues,” Austin said. “It took about three hours to get to Fredericksburg [on the way to San Angelo], which should have been a much shorter trip. We ended up in Comfort, Texas, with very little gas, so we had to find the nearest gas station. Of a 12 gallon tank, we had to fill 11.7 gallons, so we were running on fumes at that point. We had the speaker and charger and stuff running, so we blew out a fuse, so the radio stopped working for about a threehour period. I fixed the fuse in the fuse box, and then within an hour of mountain biking, Patrick ran over a cactus and popped a tire. On the way home, there was a weird rattling sound that we couldn’t figure out. Those are things that I’ll remember more than the actual hanging out at the place.” Austin also wants to go to college in California, and with his van he would be able to camp in the state’s many natural parks. He likes camping because it allows him to connect to nature. “The time to just sit and think while camping, is wonderful,” Austin said. “I really just enjoy being outside. If the van didn’t have a bed, I’d probably sleep just outside without a tent, just looking up at the sky. When you go with a friend, it’s camaraderie; it’s just you and nature. It’s the feeling of freedom.” —Selah Maya Zighelboim


Put it in ink

Student discusses tattoo, meaning behind it

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ou’re walking down South Congress on a hot Friday afternoon. It’s hard not to notice the necks, arms and legs adorned with various tattoos. People who have tattoos chose them for reasons ranging from sentimental remembrances to what’s trendy at the moment. For instance, senior Alyssa Garcia has a tattoo that she loves. On her wrist she has the sign of the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter. The triangle represents the invisibility loak, the circle represents the resurrection stone and the vertical line epresents the elder wand. “People love my tattoo if they know where it’s from,” Alyssa said. They think it’s like the biggest sign that I love Harry Potter, which I do. If they don’t know where it’s from they ask if it’s geometry, the iluminati symbol, Star Trek, Star Wars or the Delta force.” The Deathly Hallows tattoo was drawn on her pressure point, so the pain of getting it was immense. But because the tattoo wasn’t applied orrectly the first time, she had to go through it all again. “It was horrible,” Alyssa said. “I had to get it redone completely. I ot it done in New York and the guy didn’t press down hard enough, so half the ink faded. When I got it fixed in Austin I saw the description on the bill and it said, ‘crap tattoo from New York.’” The pain was intolerable both times. She was nauseous and didn’t espond well. “The first time I just wanted to puke and everything,” Alyssa said. But I thought, ‘I have to do this. I’m already halfway through, I have o do it.’ The second time I almost passed out. My friend had to walk me to the bathroom and to his car.” The pain was major because they used a tiny needle since the size of he tattoo is only a couple of inches. “They used [what feels like] the smallest needle in the world,” Alyssa said. “It was literally just scratching my skin. Some people like he process, some don’t. The guy who re-did my tattoo said he hates he tattoo process but loves the outcome, and that made a lot of sense o me.” One might think that the possibility of something going wrong gain would sway Alyssa from getting many more, but on the contrary he has a list of tattoos that she wants in the future. “[I want] a Peter Pan quote, an infinity symbol with “hakuna mataa” in it and a rose on my shoulder blade for my grandfather,” Alyssa aid. “His middle name was Rosendo, that’s why my middle name is Rose. Since he died [when I was young] I figured [since] he was my best friend, I’m going to get a rose for him.” The Deathly Hallows tattoo wasn’t her first choice for a tattoo deign, but because of the cost she ended up getting it. “It was supposed to be a Peter Pan quote,” Alyssa said. “‘To die would be an awfully big adventure.’ I’m going to get that in a couple of months, as soon as I save up enough money.” The quote has special meaning to Alyssa. When her grandfather passed away it was something that helped her through the tough time. “I moved in with my grandma after my grandpa died,” Alyssa said. The Peter Pan movie had just come out (with actual people) and I was sad kid for a few months. One day I was watching the movie, and people always said dying was scary and they never wanted to die, but Peter Pan was young and welcomed it. He wasn’t afraid. And I wanted o be like that too, so the quote has stuck with me since 2003.” Though she has big plans for tattoos in the future, her family isn’t s thrilled about the idea. “My mom really hates it,” Alyssa said. “She doesn’t like the fact

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people + places westlakefeatherduster.com

that I’m changing my body. She’d rather me get tattoos than piercings, though. My family also hates it. My grandmother asks me every time I see her, ‘You don’t have anything new, do you?’” Right now Alyssa doesn’t regret her choice of getting a tattoo, but in the future she might when it comes to getting a job. “It might be a little hard when looking for a job and I’ll probably start regretting it then,” Alyssa said. “I want to be a teacher, so I’ll have to cover it up.” Right now she isn’t ashamed to show off her inked wrist. It’s on her dominant hand, so it’s in plain sight. “If [people] don’t see it the first time, I’ll get them to see it,” Alyssa said. When it comes to getting tattoos her motto is, “If it’s something you really love that inspired you, there’s nothing bad about it. But no faces, names and dates.” She stays on the safe side, avoiding possible bad memories or regrets. Yet, not everyone follows these guidelines. “One of my ex-boyfriends has a tattoo,” Alyssa said. “He’s in love with aliens and he loves girls. You know those sexy tattoos with girls in bikinis? Well it’s an alien in a bikini.” Senior Melissa Rangel, who has a couple of tattoos, tries not to judge other people’s tattoos too harshly. “I like to respect people’s decisions just because I’d like them to respect mine,” Melissa said. “What may have significance to you may have zero significance to me. But personally, I dislike tattoos on the face. I feel that’s just one of worst places you can get a tattoo. Once, I saw a girl with the Barbie logo tattooed near the bottom of her eye, I just found it very odd.” Melissa has a tattoo behind her ear of a heartbeat and the quote, “If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it,” on her upper left back. She wanted a tattoo for a long time; since she was young she has been intrigued by other people’s sleeves of tattoos. “I’ve always been fascinated by how meaningful a piece of art can be,” Melissa said. “You can see a flower and to you it may mean just a

Almost passing out her first time around, senior Alyssa Garcia got her tattoo redone when a tattoo artist in New York didn’t correctly do it. “Apparently I’m not good with needles,” Alyssa said after feeling nauseous both times.


flower, but to someone else it can mean more than just a flower.” Melissa said she feels that tattoos shouldn’t be something people judge her on. She is her own person and isn’t defined by what is inked on her body. “I don’t really think a tattoo makes me less capable of doing what I want to do in my near future,” Melissa said. “As some people may see it that way, I can always hide my tattoos for a job. Though Melissa believes that a tattoo shouldn’t affect how others view her, other people don’t see it that way. “[People treat me differently] all the time and I don’t really know how I feel about it,” Melissa said. “There are people who portray me as a bad person just because I have a tattoo. There’s people out there doing actual harm to people and they’re not being called out. It’s a never ending cycle — people will always argue saying that I put myself out there by getting a tattoo. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that.” When some people see the tattoo on her ear they get confused. They think that it’s stitches or staples. “I actually get a good laugh out of this,” Melissa said. “People often stare at it with confusion. My tattoo is fairly small and on my ear you can usually only see it when my hair is up. People in public and at school have come up to me asking me what it is and over-analyzing my ear, and also complementing it. I find it funny how people I don’t know come up to me and start touching my ear.” —Katie Mitchell

r lle

Tattoo: Her father’s initials, DMD. Location: Behind her ear, “It’s easy to cover up if necessary, but I can show it off as well.” What it means: In memory of her father “who passed away six years ago of brain cancer. I knew I wanted to commemorate him somehow and a tattoo seemed the most personal way.”

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Tattoo: “To thine own self be true,” in Hindi. Location: Hip What it means: “The past two years I’ve been going through a lot of personal stuff so it was nice to get a tattoo representing the change I’ve made.”

“I’ve come to realize that just because I have a tattoo it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person,” senior Alyssa Garcia said. Holding a chain-link fence, Alyssa shows off her tattoo of the popular Harry Potter symbol, the deathly hallows.

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Teens with tats

photos by Julie Moskow

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Tattoo: Ben Breedlove’s initials, BDB. Location: Chest over his heart. What it means: “It reminds me of my dead best friend and all the memories we had together. I got it over my heart because I feel like that’s a way I can keep him close and because he died of a heart condition.” Tattoo: A dove with a heart. Locations: Left wrist on her vein. What it means: The symbol represents freedom to love who you want to love. “Even though I’m straight, I really believe that everyone should have equal rights. I really believe in accepting people for who they are.”


Greece is the word Siblings share culture through Greek dance, perform at various venues haling

Tim W photos by

Standing behind the curtain ready to go on stage, sophomore Nicole and senior Zach Price can feel the adrenaline flowing through their veins. They are ready to show their Greek culture to the audience. Ever since elementary school, Nicole and Zach have been participating in Greek dance through Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church. Greek dancing lets Nicole and Zach bond with each other and the other 15 high school members in their troupe, Levendia. “Across the country, at most Greek Orthodox Churches, you find Greek dancing troupes just like ours,” Zach said. “Greek dancing is one of those things that gives you an automatic connection with fellow dancers. It’s a great way to meet people and give people a great performance.” Greek dancing is something that most people with no ties to the Greek culture have never experienced. The dances include many different and complicated foot movements and steps. When they dance, Nicole and Zach focus on lower body movements and precise arm motions. “I like Greek dancing because it is a unique and challenging thing to do,” Zach said. “Greek dancing can be very complicated. There are many steps to remember and if one person messes up it can affect the whole troupe.” Greek dancing looks like no other style of dance and has its own unique steps and motions. “There is a lot of group dancing with a lot of footwork,” Zach said. “Modern styles of dance are usually more focused on individuals with more arm and body movements.” All the members of the troupe need to stay focused and energized for the performances to look polished and professional. The music for each dance can vary from traditional to modern but is always a variation of Greek music. “Listening to the music is very important,” Nicole said. “If we get off the music then the whole dance doesn’t look right. It is also very important to say together and move fluidly.” A highlight for the troupe is its annual performance at the Mediterranean Festival at St. Elias Church. The event displays several different cultures, including Turkish and Serbian. “Every time we dance at the Mediterranean Festival

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we get a lot of great energy,” Nicole said. “It is a really great feeling to let the crowd experience something new. Letting people get a look at Greek culture and showing them something new gives our troupe a great feeling.” The troupe usually has around eight performances each year ranging from events at their church to festivals and even the US Special Olympics. “When we performed for the Special Olympics team they went absolutely nuts,” Zach said. “It really gave me a great feeling to give them such a good performance.” Dancing is a very big part of the Greek Orthodox culture. When Nicole and Zach perform in front of a Greek audience, the pressure is on. They know their audience knows what to look for and when they mess up. “For me, each performance is different,” Zach said. “For mostly American audiences, it’s a lot more relaxed, because we know that they will not scrutinize our footwork, and they normally go crazy for even the simplest dance. But for a mainly Greek audience, there is a little more pressure, because the audience has experienced dancing before. But no matter who the audience is, it’s always exhilarating and exciting to be performing for other people.” Every year the troupe at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church loses valuable seniors when they go to college. Nicole doesn’t want to give up Greek dancing and plans to continue her career for as long as possible. “I think it would be really cool to start a troupe whenever I go to college in a few years,” Nicole said. “I hope to continue to get better and better in the future, and eventually join an adult troupe that travels and performs on a high level. I want to Greek dance for as long as I possibly can.” —Emily Martin


500 days of

summer

Unlike Tom Hansen, we aren’t lucky enough to have 500 days of summer, but with the 80something days we do have, there are unlimited possibilities. For some of us, summer is about adventure in far-away destinations. But Austin’s own weird and quirky vibes have inspired a multitude of weekly events to pop up throughout the city, some of which were previously inaccessible due to hectic school schedules. The streets of our fair city may not be up to par with tropical locations and boat shoes, but as an unseasoned traveler, I encourage you to spend time this summer taking advantage of Austin’s own adventures. —Nikki Roop

Spiderhouse Café poetry slams Tuesday nights at the Spiderhouse Café are seasoned with culture well worth its $5 cover. The poetry slams start at 8:30 p.m. and give different poets three minutes to present their work. If you come in a group of two and arrive early, you might be chosen to judge each poem with your partner to help decide which poet wins the cash prize. Everyone on staff is loud and opinionated, but understanding and supportive at the same time. During performances, well-versed attendees will utter “oohs” and “ahhs,” and yes, there is the traditional reaction of snapping your fingers at art by Ariana Gomez parts that really

Blazer Tag Adventure Center

We’ve all probably visited the largest laser tag arena in Texas as children for birthday parties, but one of the best things about the place as an older person is its great student deal. Every Thursday night, students can purchase two full laser tag games for the price of one ($8.50) with a valid student ID. If you’re looking to take advantage of this special offer, you can become a member for $5 and the staff will track your scores over time and even provide you with discounted games. For more information, check them out

Swing dancing at Women’s Fed Every Thursday night at 8 o’clock until midnight, the Austin Swing Syndicate brings swing dancing to the Women’s Fed on San Gabriel downtown for $6. This weekly event is extremely fun and casual — you don’t have to know anything about dancing before attending. Free classes are given at 8:15 p.m. in a separate room during the main dance, and attendees are usually more than happy to teach a newcomer. Dressing up is an option, while meeting new people is almost always required. If it’s around the time of your birthday, you can participate in a birthday dance, where a crowd gathers around you and you switch off partners multiple times during a song. Holidays usually yield a themed dance of sorts, and sometimes live swing bands play on stage. Even if dancing isn’t your thing, you can have fun by watching the more experienced partners.

The Mellow Mushroom pizza parlour Among delicious, thick-crust pizza, this eclectic restaurant features events called Happenings a few nights each week. Feeling smart? Try your luck at Mellow Trivia on Tuesday night over an exquisite calzone. Singing more your style? Open mic nights are both entertaining and frequent. If you’re looking to hear some local bands, live music is provided almost every Friday night. This place really has it all, and the crazy décor and lights somehow make it even more mellow and down-to-earth. For more information on specific events, check them out on Twitter at @MellowAustin.


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?

What’s next? There were baby boomers, flower children and Gen X. What are we? They’re calling us “Generation: Why Not?” We were born into an age of rapidly changing technology and limitless access to information. What will we create with the resources given to us? Will technology be our crutch, or a stepping stone to a better world?

WHAT’S POSSIBLE?


Changing the subject

How teachers think the world will look in 25 years

Every younger generation thinks the older one doesn’t understand them, and more often than not, that’s true. Teachers are the exception to that rule. Their jobs let them (or force them to, depending on who you ask) be around teenagers and children as they form their ideas about the world. We talked to a variety of Westlake’s teachers to gain some perspective on the future of education and prospective development of current social debates. The Featherduster: How do you think the subjects you teach, and the ways you teach them, will change over the next 25 years? Mark Misage: “I don’t think [physics] will change. It hasn’t changed in the last 20, 25 years. Lauren Gehman: “Chemistry is constantly changing, but on an introductory, high school level, it doesn’t really change all that much. If you are on a college level, you would be saying, ‘Yeah, this new research came along,’ but here the most I can do is make the labs more user-friendly so students can actually understand them a little bit better, and play around with [the labs] and try cool new things.”

MM: “The fundamentals remain the fundamentals.” Rennie Rebe: “I teach government so it’s an ever-evolving subject with current events and the laws constantly changing. I think it’s an exciting subject to teach.” FD: Do you think students are going to learn differently in the future, such as more homeschooling or using more technology? Nancy Misage: “Evolutionarily, your brain has been built to learn in the way it has been built to learn, and it takes a huge amount of time to change how those neurons connect. So maybe your resources, maybe your tools will change, but how you learn doesn’t. That [would take] millions of years, not 25.” Madelyn Percy: “[Students] are learning the same way I learned 10 years ago, and the same way that other teachers have learned. If you think about it, you still have to process information the same way. Having an iPad doesn’t just let you plug in an ear bud and suddenly you understand physics.” MM: “[Students] are facing different distractions than we were, though.” MP: “We passed notes, you guys have iChat.”


photos by Tim Whaling

Catherine Cluck: U.S. History

Madelyn Percy: Physics

RR: “I think there is an expectation that the classroom will change as the technology develops. The education isn’t just about the iPad, you still have to be able to articulate your thought, you still have to be able to think critically. [People are] concerned that we are producing kids that have more information or have more knowledge that can’t necessarily articulate a solution.” Catherine Cluck: “I almost think we are losing the creativity part. I think we got real creative 10, 15 years ago, and now kids can’t do well unless they know exactly what is expected of them. Whatever that comes from, whether it’s the multitude of testing or that everything seems to have to be quantified by data or it’s not valid, [students] don’t have the confidence to just go out on their own unless they have this exact prescribed list of expectations.” MP: “It’s the risk taking.” NM: “There is something different about being physically present and being able to react in real time. Yes, the tools are going to change, but this right here [gestures to other teachers and the interviewers] is what is so important about the classroom setting — having students engaged with each other, talking to each other.” CC: “Anybody could take their health classes or whatever online, but that’s the very basic [education], and [students] know they can do that in maybe a couple of weekends, but that’s not a quality education. It’s the experience of sitting in a class with your peers and with someone who is knowledgeable in that field, who can guide, direct and shift discussion wherever the kids are interested or answer the questions they have. That’s what I feel we’re losing — that we’re moving away from the actual relational component of education and teaching.” MP: “Socialization is such a huge part of what we do. You learn a lot about how to behave in public from your parents, but not everything. You have to be with peers and other adults. I think that by going onto these online classes and pushing for homeschooling, you’re losing that component. Kids [being unable] to articulate as well is a major concern, because you can have a group of people, but if they can’t communicate with [each other], then they’re useless.” RR: “It’s not about just being smart. You can take a class and be smart and regurgitate information, but, to me, it’s also about having someone to shake you out of your comfort zone, having somebody pose a question to you that maybe you haven’t thought of. In government, taking a student who’s really conservative or really liberal and

Lauren Gehman: Chemistry

James Bak

getting them to see the other viewpoint, and while that’s RR: “Unfortunately, I feel lik all of the stuff going overseas uncomfortable, that’s what it means to be educated. It’s almost better off telling stude having a broader view of what the world looks like and a good thing, ‘What are you g what the intricacies are. Just regurgitating and learning area. You become an expert i new information online, while it shows how smart you are, chance at getting a job.’ I feel is not how the world works. You have to be able to make part of globalization. It is so c connections.” specialized earlier, you may b James Baker: “I see a huge value to kids being uncomCC: “I also think that the env fortable. You look at the classrooms and you look at the to people who have to start th extracurricular activities and you have kids focus thementrepreneurial idea is much selves on what they’re comfortable with. And I don’t feel years ago. The risk is huge, b like they’re learning the skills that they need to be successsorts of programs where you ful, because they’re going to encounter things once they it’s a lot easier to get your ide graduate that make them uncomfortable.That’s my job, to think there was sort of a sens make students feel uncomfortable.” body was going to be in a cub NM: “Yeah, and having a teacher or coach or sponsor or dea somebody, [they] push you but into those uncomfortable situnie ations or propose questions tha that you weren’t ever willing to There is interconnectivity talk [ask] on your own. That’s the between everything. So the thin growth.” more you understand how for MM: “Any kind of growth abl requires some stress. If you one subject relates to another JB want to grow a muscle you relates to another is going to whe stress a muscle, you don’t give you a skill set for any job. you stress a muscle too much, but you you do stress it. You have to be — Nancy Misage job pushed.” Iw gett FD: What jobs do you feel of t are going to become imsomeone you knew.” portant for our generation? NM: “That’s life. It’s not any NM: “I think that jobs won’t fall into neat categories. I world.” think how we can best serve students of the future, stuMP: “And if you’re networkin dents now, is to show them that knowledge doesn’t come for it.” in discreet categories. You have to have a broad base of knowledge. There is interconnectivity between everything. FD: In the next 25 years, So the more you understand how one subject relates to social issues changing? another relates to another is going to give you a skill set for MP: “Gay marriage has got t any job.” an issue 25 years from now, t MP: “You’re going to see a lot more service jobs. We are a is it even still an issue?” service economy. We no longer have these major factory CC: “I think the legalization complexes and so, frankly, that component of being able I think marriage equality is c to interact and being able to communicate well with other people is important because you’re going to be dealing with those ground swells are start RR: “When I was in high sch people.”


ker: English

Rennie Rebe: Government

be left out.” vironment is much more open heir own companies. The h more accepted than it was 15 ut with Kickstarter and other can put your idea out there, ea recognized by the public. I se that [in the future] everybicle and you would only be een, but I think that human nature requires that sort of ith people face to face. I think r having those skills and being

at when you go into a job interd based on your resume. That’s Most of the time, I would say he interview just because of omeone you knew.” different in the business

ng as a high school student, go how to do you see our

to [be legalized.] If that’s still that’s just embarrassing. Why

of marijuana is coming and oming very soon. I feel like ing to gain momentum.” hool, you wouldn’t have seen a e in high school. You wouldn’t ion on the campus.” his, but I feel like our governlagging behind. You look at rage person, and they’re like mebody, enjoy.’ ‘If you want to ve them, awesome.’” ool, the issue was much more And I grew up in Houston and xactly like Westlake. Race was e anymore. Gender identity e issues now.” rk with during the summer, n, frankly, I think they’re a bit

Mark Misage: Physics

more accepting. I think that maybe it started in areas of people within a higher socioeconomic bracket, but I think it has definitely percolated through society and so you’re now sort of seeing a broad swell of support from very diverse communities trying to support these issues. And actually I’m not sure the race issue is over. I just think about Facebook, and the stuff that I see is shocking.” JB: “You’re always going to have ignorant people and it’s always going to seem like the most ignorant people are the loudest.” CC: “And I think it does make it seem like the issue is bigger than it is, because they are the loudest.” JB: “You have this video game culture where you have the ability to hide behind an avatar or just a voice behind a headset and say things that you wouldn’t ever say to anybody in front of you ever, and yet here you are. It becomes a social norm to act this way on a video game where you’re screaming at somebody.” FD: What do you think would have happened by now or would exist by now that doesn’t? MP: “Fusion.” CC: “Way to go physics [laughs].” RR: “Compromise.” NM: “We used to have compromise. Everyone [today] is too stuck in their opinions.” MM: “A background check bill.” NM: “I want the machine that you go up to and say ‘make me a bagel’ and then food appears. I also want the machine that you ride on a conveyor belt and it showers you and dresses you in the morning.” JB: “That seems creepy to me.” — Monica Tan, Ben Wallace and Caitlyn Kerbow

Nancy Misage: Physics

Principal discusses vision for new class structure

While Westlake’s tomorrow might not include personal student Segways or totally virtualized homework, Principal Dr. John Carter does have big plans for the future. He currently isn’t planning on introducing any new technology, rather opting to use the tools currently available to alter the school’s curricular structure. “If I had $1 billion I think I would continue to create an environment here that best prepares students for the work force, college and what they’re going to experience there,” Dr. Carter said. “That would involve allowing students to collaborate on some long term projects to demonstrate what they’ve learned and communicate what they know via alternative types of assessments, rather than standardized, paper-pencil tests.” Dr. Carter plans to help students experience courses and learning in a more interdisciplinary manner than what has traditionally presented. “I think one of the things we’re going to look at is how to help the next generation of students see the interconnectedness of learning,” Dr. Carter said. “Schools since the late 1800s have been organized around discrete disciplines such as mathematics, social sciences, physical sciences, biological sciences and languages, but really, when it all comes together, learning is much more interconnected than one particular discipline.” Dr. Carter, who considers himself a progressive thinker, said he envisions the future classroom as a very collaborative environment with teachers and students working together to create demonstrations of the curriculum in which students may truly apply what they’ve learned rather than repeat and reproduce textual information. Such projects and demonstrations would continuously answer the questions “Why am I learning this?” and “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” Dr. Carter also envisions a classroom in which teachers and technology collaborate to educate. “Teachers will always be relevant,” Dr. Carter said. “Technology just lets teachers provide students with learning opportunities like never before.” —Liam Gerrity


How to prepare for the apocalypse Step #1: Start a stockpile

Have you ever pondered whether or not the world will end in your lifetime? Doomsday seemed to be on everyone’s mind this past year, what with the anticlimatic Mayan calendar prediction. But while there has been a lot of talk about how the world might end, have you thought about what you would actually do if a world-changing scenario actually happened? Well, the answer is here, and whether you are a hard-core survivalist getting ready for a zombie invasion or just curious and want to know more about this topic, this guide is for you.

—Cierra Smith

Food

Water

Other

Purchase foods similar to your current diet. Pay attention to how much food you consume regularly to create your stockpile with enough to last your ideal amount of time (whether you plan for a couple months or a few years). Buy nonperishable or easy-to-prepare food (pasta, flour, canned foods, Meals Ready to Eat and dehydrated foods). Regularly check expiration dates; a good rule of thumb is to check the pantry every six months and replace any expired goods with new ones.

Have a minimum of one gallon of water for drinking, hygienic uses and cooking per person per day. Store in water bottles and jugs, but if you have a large supply it might be better to use a water storage tank. Use only food-grade plastic to ensure stored water quality. Note: either rotate out water supplies or make sure the containers are meant for long-term use because certain types of plastic will eventually break down into the water.

Medical supplies: medicines, first-aid kits, extra prescription supply (if needed) Important papers and information: IDs, documents, emergency and personal contact info Car supplies and fuel: gas cans, oil, spare tire, jack Tools: general tools, generators, cooking supplies, water purifiers, duct tape, paracord or rope, emergency radios, etc. Personal items: clothing (winter clothing if needed), toiletries, cell phones, computers, towels, money, credit cards, etc.

Step #2: Holding down the fort Alright, you’ve gathered the supplies, but what do you do now? Well, consider this — if disaster ever struck, would you stick it out at your home or head for the hills? You might answer differently depending on the situation and whether it was short or long-term. And when a crisis occurs, danger can come from anywhere. So to be ready for it, here are some tips for hunkering down in your home. If you still have electricity when a power outage occurs, put up curtains on windows to keep inside lighting from showing outside the house at night.

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Check door and window locks to make sure they are working properly. It’s a good idea anytime, but even more important in a crisis situation.

If for some reason you have to leave your home, have a mode of transportation ready to go and loaded with any supplies you might need on the way there or at the destination. Plan at least two different routes to reach a safe area and try to avoid busy or heavily populated roads that could be shut down or clogged by traffic from other people trying to leave.


In some situations, it might be better to leave the cities and suburbs and head to a bug-out location (BOL). This can be anywhere you think you have better chances of surviving than where you are now. Here are qualities to look for in choosing a good BOL: •In a rural, secluded location •Contains enough land to grow and raise food to feed everyone •Has or is near water resources like wells, streams, lakes or rivers •Has adequate shelter •Can be outfitted with off-the-grid energy sources such as solar panels and windmills

Safe room

A safe room can be a great home asset. Not only can it be a place to keep your stockpile, but it also can be useful if a storm, home invasion or other emergency occurs. Make sure it is in a sturdy part of the house, has no windows and has enough room for both a group of people and the stored supplies. art by Cierra Smith

Bug-out location Off-the-grid energy sources

Food Sources

20 ft. underground

Fallout Shelter

N.B.C. protection: No, I don’t mean that you need to protect yourself from 30 Rock or Matt Lauer, but if you are concerned about the possibility of nuclear, biological or chemical threats (and have some extra money lying around), it may be a good idea to invest in a fallout shelter. Some may feel like being in a submarine, while others have lots of subterranean legroom. A fallout shelter can also double as a cool basement if nuclear war fails to become a reality. The price can range from nearly $25,000 to more than $300,000.

Sources: •atlassurvivalshelters.com •blog.allstate.com •channel.nationalgeographic.com •homestead.org •offthegridnews.com •prepper-resources.com •readynutrition.com •undergroundshelters.com •visual.ly/beginners-guide-prepping -doomsday Scan this QR code to learn more about preparedness with the web articles that helped make this infographic.

Step #3: Learn!

While this guide is a good start to learning about the art of preparing for a potential apocalypse or other lifethreatening phenomena, don’t just take my word for it. Go find out for yourself. There is a wealth of information to add to this guide on the Internet, in books and magazines that are dedicated to subjects ranging from wilderness survival to off-the-grid living. Hopefully no one will ever need to use this guide. But in the unfortunate event that zombies rise up, economies collapse or natural disasters devastate, you may sleep better knowing that you are safe, prepared and ready to take on anything.


Pick

poison your

We’re all tired of hearing about apocalypses. So we didn’t die last December, let it go. However, we will die off at some point, and it’s important to ponder the way in which we’ll finally kick the bucket. Of course, zombies have become a topic of interest in many apocalypse conversations. But as future victims of death, and maybe, let’s be honest — hopefully (it would be awesome), apocalyptic death, we must not forget about the other irrational ways in which we may reach oblivion. Which apocalypse would you prefer to die in? —Monica Tan

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Zombie We’ve all thought tirelessly about the zombie apocalypse, and based off of movies and TV shows, we’ve begun to prepare in case the dead come back to life. You may have already chosen your stakeout place, you may be able to scavenge for food and you may have perfected your aim, but the zombie apocalypse contains a factor that is impossible to prepare for. If your loved ones turn, how will you kill them, and will you have the strength to? The worst part (or some might argue the best part) of the zombie apocalypse is watching those you know succumb to the sweet craving of human flesh. Will you be able to survive while you watch friends and family gurgle blood from their victims, drag themselves through abandoned hellscapes and attempt to eat you while they disgustingly twitch and gag?

Robot While the zombie apocalypse involves a lot of emotional pain, it is arguably the robot apocalypse that takes the cake in heartbreak. Your TVs, cars, phones and appliances morphing into giant evil robots will be your last form of entertainment from the devices you were once so loyally dedicated to. Death may not be as physically painful in this situation, but the feelings of betrayal and shock will be especially poignant. With technological dependence at such high levels today, a widespread gadget mutiny would completely floor most of us, leaving us not only deprived of phones, computers and tablets, but fighting the devices we once trusted and loved so dearly. In a sense, the turning of technology in the robot apocalypse parallels the turning of humankind in the zombie apocalypse.


Plague

Explosion

Invasion

While a plague would most likely force you to witness the grotesque deaths of your friends and family, at least these deaths would be quick, as would be yours. The worst thing about dying of the plague would be the constant sound of agonized screaming accompanied by the painful knowledge that you will soon experience the same pain. Second to that, everything around you would feel grotesque and contaminated. Human existence would consist solely of dying and burying the dead. Bodies would rot on the streets and maggots would crawl through the orifices of those unfortunate enough to die in such a catastrophic state. One would likely live accompanied by the constant fear of unintentionally killing oneself through an innocent breath of air.

Although most of the horror of a nuclear holocaust comes from the post-explosion effects, mainly mutation, it’s important that these radiation-related deaths are considered. The post-explosion life of any given person will vary on a case-by-case basis in this situation. If you are left unscathed from the blast, life among newborn human-beast hybrids could go either way depending on the intellect and morality of those reborn as ghoulish freaks. If mutants still have the ability to live normally, albeit maybe with an extra arm or green skin, life may not be affected as negatively. However, if those affected become ravaging, bloodthirsty beasts, well, good luck. And if you yourself have been mutated, it is up to you to live on as a monster, a feat most of us are too weak to face.

An alien invasion would undoubtedly be the most rewarding of all apocalypses, considering our unanswered questions concerning the existence of extraterrestrial life. Not only would we find solace in having at least one neighbor in our vast universe, we would finally know what aliens look like, how they communicate and if UFOs are actually just big metal Frisbees. Unfortunately, our newfound knowledge would come at a price. If the movies are anything to go by, we can look forward to ruthless slaughter, alien spawn bursting out of our abdominal cavities and invasive probing. We may see the people of the world put aside their differences and unite to combat the alien horde, or we may just be exterminated in cold blood. Either way, it would be nice to know what shape their heads really are.

art by Justin Dorland


Future fashion

The styles of tomorrow

In 1968, the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey was released. Looking back, their prediction for what fashion would be like 30 years in the future is laughable. With their pink silicon skirts and their lamp-shadestyle hats, their prediction of style turned out to be the epitome of what was socially unacceptable to wear in 2001. Writing about the future is also popular in young adult literature these days, and the variations of futuristic style among authors is vast. Our imagination is the only tool we have to concoct an idea of what fashion might be someday. We can never fully predict what the future might bring in the ways of fashion, but it will sure be hilarious if we end up dressing in ways such as these.

2

1

3

–Laura Jessich

1 2 3

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Capital fashion is based on bright colors and neon eccentricities. The style is primarily inspired by Suzanne Collins’ book, The Hunger Games, and is contemporarily worn by singer, Lady Gaga.

The space-age style was galvanized by ‘60s sci-fi movies. We see this fashion in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek. It consists of bright metallics and spandex and embodies the idea of futuristic space travel.

Inspired by the Industrial Revolution, the genre of steampunk is reflected in this outfit. The style is made up of 19th century fashion and set in a post-apocalyptic future. The genre was essentially influenced and created by the authors H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, H. P. Lovecraft and the more modern author, Scott Westerfeld. photos by Laura Jessich

trends + traditions westlakefeatherduster.com


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Silicon Valley, Texas Austin’s expanding technology f ield and the jobs it offers As our society becomes increasingly dependent on technology, more and more jobs are opening up in the field. While Silicon Valley might be known as the capital of technology, Austin is located in the 2010-2011 top sixth state for high-tech employment growth — and houses more than 3,500 high-tech firms.

—Martin Celusniak

Computer Engineer Average Yearly Salary in Austin: $76,000

IT Manager Average Yearly Salary in Austin: $51,000

Desktop computers, laptops, iPads, smartphones, power plants and even modernday cars needed someone to design their computer hardware. That’s where computer engineers come into play. They use complex math and science to develop the microchips and components that are needed to make computers work. All other jobs in the technological field rely on computer engineers to create the computer hardware and technology that they work with. Dell and Samsung are two of Austin’s employers in this field.

Programmer Average Yearly Salary in Austin: $71,000 Most students at Westlake have used Microsoft Word to type up their English papers, Ebackpack to download notes, DocAs to work on a project on the go and Angry Birds to procrastinate. Behind all of these applications was a team of programmers. A programmer’s job includes coding, updating and debugging computer programs. Work can be found at Dell, Data Foundry and NTT Data.

What do schools, offices and banks all have in common? They all use computers. What do all computers have in common? Errors. When servers crash and computers break, a company relies on its Information Technology department to fix it. An IT manager’s job is to ensure that broken doesn’t stay broken for long. Along with this, they are expected to manage computer security and upgrades. Jobs can be found at many businesses in Austin.

Web Developer Average Yearly Salary in Austin: $80,000 Today we rely mostly on the internet to find out what we need, and because of this, having a web page can be crucial to a business’ success. Whether it is a major computer company or just a local store, it needs a website. Web developers are hired to create and maintain these websites. A developer’s job is a hybrid between the creative and technological sides of technology — they must know how to design layouts for websites as well as how to code and secure them. Employment options for web developers in Austin include jobs at HMG Creative, Clarity Ventures and Alt Creative.

Marketing Average Yearly Salary in Austin: $49,000 There are reasons why Apple is a leading company, and that isn’t just its innovation alone. It has marketers who know how to make people want its products. Computer companies, as well as software companies, rely on marketers to create their advertisements and make their products seem like the next best thing. Regardless of how advanced a company’s technology is, they won’t be able to sell it without a good marketing team. Technology marketing jobs in Austin can be found at Dell, Rackspace and Advanced Micro Devices.

*Average yearly salaries as of April 2013 from Indeed. Other sources include: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Area Development Online.


A L M O S T APOCALYPSE The epic story of what never happened on December 21, 2012

What was expected to happen

What actually happened

I gazed out at the world, crumbling to its conclusion before me. Heat waves rose from the ground making everything seem like I was looking at it through a disorienting lens. Explosions erupted sporadically from the terrain surrounding me. The rock I was standing on started to vibrate ferociously, making me trip over myself and fall to the ground, skinning my knee. I looked up. This was it. Everyone had been speculating as to whether this was just a hoax, or a conspiracy, or a misinterpretation of an ancient calendar, but the world was actually ending right before me. Suddenly the ground split, creating deep and massively wide cracks in the earth. I started thinking about what was happening to everyone else in the world at that moment. Households unlucky enough to be placed directly on fault lines probably experienced a quick, yet extremely painful death (only after they fell thousands of miles before being vaporized due to the extreme heat and pressure). Those who were “smart” enough to take shelter in self-made apocalypse bunkers most likely got to watch the entire world diminish until their structure couldn’t handle the insanely huge change in air pressure and eventually collapsed in on itself, crushing and suffocating all inside of it. Everyone was dying. All so-called “strong” structures or landmarks were completely destroyed. The sea dried out. I crawled into the fetal position and cried for all that my life and this world could’ve been, and then all was dark. The sun came up the next day to a wiped-out population. No living thing was left. Oh wait, a sign of movement! A cockroach scurried out from under a rock to the next form of shade, under a pile of rubble that was once known as Mt. Everest.

I woke up on Friday morning to the sound of no alarm clock because I was finished with all of my finals. I rolled over to look at my clock and my heart sank. Adrenaline poured into my brain and bloodstream as I spastically jumped out of bed. I was supposed to referee a dodgeball tournament at 9:30 a.m. and it was 9:25. This wasn’t happening. I had been working on my time management lately and this little stunt I was pulling would destroy my recently acquired reputation for timeliness. I jolted into hyper speed and began to get ready as fast as I possibly could. I looked into the mirror and saw a rat’s nest on my head and horrific circles under my eyes, consequences of the previous night’s intense studying. Normally, I could work some magic to make it look like I had gotten a decent amount of sleep all week, but there was zero time for that this morning. I glanced at my phone. 9:27 a.m. Yep, not an ounce of time could be wasted. I pulled over my required dodgeball shirt and threw on some tennis shoes and dirty Nike shorts from the floor that may or may not have completely clashed with the T-shirt. I took one more look around my room and in the mirror. My clothes were scattered all over the place and my hair was an utter disaster, but somehow I managed to pull myself together. Kind of. I ended up getting to Hill Country only 10 minutes after I was supposed to be there. I looked down at my phone. Wasn’t the world supposed to end today? What time did everyone say that was going to be? 11 a.m.? I continued my day, blowing my whistle and yelling at children not to cheat or throw the dodgeballs at the heads of the other children. I glanced at my phone after a while. 11:14 a.m. Well, that was that. We’re all still here. —Olivia Kight

photo manipulation by Cade Ritter

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Only time will tell Hollywood takes on the future

It is not possible to go a day without noticing humans discussing the future. Turn on the TV and you’ll see anything from a weatherman predicting a natural disaster to a diplomat predicting nuclear war. Inspirational phrases such as “Carpe Diem” and “YOLO” do their best to encourage us to take life as it comes, but could there be some merit to concerning ourselves with the future of society? Some issues could have a profound impact on future generations. The following films take into account the many possibilities that could either haunt or enchant civilization in a futuristic world. —Katelyn Connolly

endetta V r

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Back to the Future trilogy actually zips viewers into the past, but by the second installment, Marty McFly, played by a young Michael J. Fox, has finally made it to ... 2015. That isn’t very far into the future these days, but in 1989, as technology companies were beginning to boom, nothing short of a digital dreamscape was expected in the coming millennium. With only two years before the universe catches up with Marty’s DeLorean time machine, what predictions from the film will hold true? Today’s architecture is not the neon playground imagined in the movie, and we don’t race everywhere on hoverboards, but with technology moving at its current pace, this visualization could easily become a reality.

Alie

Set in the 22nd century, this classic sci-fi thriller documents the adventures of the crew aboard a spacecraft on its way home to Earth. When they land on a suspiciously deserted planet and encounter a nest of alien eggs, one of the creatures hatches and horror ensues, locking the crew members into a battle to survive. Starring Sigourney Weaver in her breakthrough role, this tale of space travel and extraterrestrials offers a terrifying prediction of what could be lurking in the corners of the universe that humans so desperately wish to penetrate. The award-winning effects are surprisingly convincing and the crossover sequel, Alien vs. Predator, is a welcome, unintentionally humorous refresher after the suspense of the original.

n

but Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey remains a jarring and thought-provoking look at technology and human evolution, and how they will together affect our future. Told in four parts, with minimal dialogue, the story revolves around intriguing black monoliths on the moon and the space mission that is launched for Jupiter in order to investigate the signals they transmit. Unfortunately, HAL, the computer controlling the spaceship, has plans of its own. This film is known for its ambiguous message, but the unique interpretations each individual comes away with have made it one of the most iconic and enduring movies of the sci-fi genre, still leaving viewers intrigued 45 years later.

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Some futuristic views of the world involve space travel and some speculate on technological advancements, but another fascinating facet of discussion is the future of human society — and the possibility of dystopia. In V for Vendetta, the post-nuclear-war world of a not-too-distant future is depicted as a totalitarian and oppressive place. Then, the captivating “V” appears, his face obscured by the Guy Fawkes mask that has now become a symbol of Anonymous and other revolutionary groups. The most chilling aspect of this film is not V’s violent rebellion but rather the real possibility of totalitarian regimes emerging from the chaos of the modern world. Although it is one of many dystopian stories, V for Vendetta seems particularly immediate.

s os


Dawning of the future

1

3

Eyes half shut, you manage to wrench yourself into the shower. Clumsily turning the handle, water begins to cascade from the shower head. In the past you had to limit the time spent in the warm embrace of the water, but that is no longer the case.

art by Christine Schulz

Water-recycling shower

1

For economic and environmental reasons, it’s usually best if one doesn’t spend an eternity in the shower. However, these reasons get thrown out the window with the creation of the water-recycling shower. The recycling shower cleans, filters and pasteurizes the water before reuse, allowing it to use a fraction of the water used by a normal shower. This is beneficial for both the environment and the family budget. Since water is a crucial commodity, the use of such a shower greatly helps to preserve it, and also keeps the water budget down. So go ahead, take that 30-minute shower, both the environment and your wallet can take it.

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Having gone hours without food, you have a hankering for breakfast. Opening your refrigerator door, a daunting amount of food stares back at you. As you take out the last of the eggs, the fridge notifies you of the now depleted stock, and adds eggs to the shopping list on the family shopper’s phone.

2

Hair disheveled, you make your way to the mirror. Staring at the reflection, you tame stray hairs and make yourself presentable for the upcoming day. As you go about your grooming, you notice a blemish on your face. Using the mirror’s built-in camera, you zoom in on the zit and assess the damage.

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Interactive mirror

The magic mirror is here, folks, and has a handful of tricks. No longer will you have to strain your back to get a closer look. The mirror’s built-in camera will take care of that, allowing you to zoom in and out. In addition, the mirror comes with countless apps which cover a plethora of utilities. Do you want to check the traffic conditions? See if you got any new emails? How about see the latest game’s highlights? The smart mirror has got you covered. It even comes equipped with a toothbrush timer, to ensure your pearly whites get a thorough brushing. Now your everyday narcissist will have even more of an excuse to be stuck in front of the mirror.

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Smart refrigerator

Just as our phones have grown smarter, so have our refrigerators. The smart refrigerators of today are no longer just keeping your food cold. In addition to keeping stock of its contents, the smart fridge is able to keep track of expiration dates with a simple scan of a barcode or receipt with a smartphone. For those times when no meal plan comes to mind, the fridge, knowing the available ingredients, can suggest meals. The fridge can even take into account the user’s health, being able to suggest meals for those with diabetes, food allergies or on a diet. A new era is dawning for the fridge, as it takes a more active role in the kitchen.


Your hand blindly shoots out for your blaring alarm clock, which has effectively ended any hopes of returning to a peaceful slumber. School will be starting soon. Rubbing the sleep from your eyes, you eventually manage to overcome the seductive grip of a warm bed, and spill out of the sheets. Like a newly arisen zombie, you stumble your way to the bathroom and into the new day. —Marco Scarasso

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Shuffling through your bag, ensuring you’ve packed away all the essentials for your day, you are finally ready to go. As you walk out the door, you quickly grab your glasses off the counter. These glasses aren’t the kind that help you see. Nor the kind that blocks out UV rays. No, these glasses are smarter than that.

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With a plate full of food and an empty stomach, you’re more than ready to eat. Utensil in hand, you proceed to shovel food into your mouth like there is no tomorrow. You suddenly hear a droning noise. No, that buzzing is not emanating from your phone, it is from your fork.

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Diet-monitoring fork

The fork of the future no longer passively sits by while you gorge yourself. When a user is eating too quickly the fork will buzz and vibrate in order to warn the user of their increased consumption rate. Eating food too quickly has been associated with weight gain, digestive problems and feeling less satiated, leading you to eat in excess. The fork also tracks how long a meal took to be consumed and the amount of time between lifting the fork to your mouth from the table, this data being uploaded for you to view. Despite a gimmicky look, the fork of the future aims to not just deliver food to your mouth, but to look out for your health.

Glasses of the future

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Smart glasses are no longer just a gimmick of science fiction movies. An attempt to basically create a hands-free, wearable computer, the smart glasses aim to do a plethora of functions. Being hands-free, many, if not all, of these functions will be accessed using voice control. Such functions include taking pictures, shooting video, sending messages, getting directions and much more. Already, app developers are attempting to create innovative apps, which will add countless other features for the smart glasses. If successful, smart glasses will be the next stride in the technological field, as the tech moguls further push the boundaries of technology.

Futuristic printer takes robotics class into new dimensions This January, Westlake’s robotics program purchased a 3-D printer. By layering melted plastic, the printer allows students to turn their designs into tangible products efficiently and inexpensively. "[The printer can make] anything you can design smaller than a loaf of bread,” robotics teacher Norman Morgan said. “We've made key chains, parts for robots, radio holders and an electronic device called a string potentiometer, which would cost about $300, but we made ours for about $15." The $2,199 printer was purchased from the company MakerBot with funds donated by robotics students’ parents. It has made prototyping an easier task. "The printer has helped us get from design on the computer to real life,” robotics student junior Jeff Pflueger said. “It's helped change the way we think about how we manufacture things." Although 3-D printers sound like something from out of a science fiction movie, they are becoming increasingly more common. “There are more and more companies that are producing them,” Morgan said. “There are a couple different styles and types, but ours is the most recent, easy-to-use machine out there." —Sara Phillips


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The SkyMall of the future The technology of the future will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. New inventions will improve every aspect of life. These may be for war, medical advances or just to sell to airline passengers on their flights (to the moon). Here is our vision for the SkyMall of the future. —Peyton Richardson

Delectovision Wow, that chocolate commercial really makes me crave a taste. With Delectovision, all you need to do is reach into the screen. Made popular by Willy Wonka, this technology is brand new to the public. And, for only an added $19.99, you can get an attachment that will work not only for food, but also for anything on the television screen. *Not recommended during shark week or Halloween specials.* Yours for the low price of $10,449.99 (without attachment).

Bigger-on-the-inside bag Going to school, work or vacation can be back-breaking when you consider all of the stuff you have to carry along. A small bag would never fit everything, but a big tote is way too clunky. Your problem now has a solution. The ‘Bigger-on-the-inside’ bag has been adapted from Timelord technology and is now available for Earthlings for $139.99. No limit has been discovered to how much our bag can hold. Everyone is using them — Mary Poppins, Hermione Granger and many more. Get yours today. Available in seven different colors.

Anti-gravity keychain This keychain is the newest, easiest way to carry your groceries, suitcases or other heavy bags. Just clip it on and set the approximate weight of the luggage you want to carry to watch your problems literally float away. Hold on to the connected string to put your bags in balloon mode, or set the weight five pounds lower on the keychain to have your luggage float right above the ground. Only $99.99.

Chromavision goggles Rainbows are pretty. It’s hard to argue with that. But did you know that the mantis shrimp can see more colors than we can? The outrage! Humankind is lesser than a crustacean. Well, we can fix that. With Chromavision you can see beyond the colors of the rainbow. Upgrade your rods and cones. You have three now, but with Chromavision we’ll increase it to 16, for only $29.99. art by a ich

ela Moss

Who needs human contact? People are annoying. Get a self-sustaining biosphere. Hungry? There’s food. Want to tune out the crowds? Good thing you can turn on the sound proofing feature. Bored? Stream Pandora radio, Netflix, Hulu and other entertainment websites directly into your bubble. Go everywhere without interacting with anyone. Only $1,479,999.99.

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Anti-drop phonecase

You and your phone both feel this stress when it comes to dropping it. Those milliseconds before your phone cracks feel infinite. Now, those worries are a thing of the past. With this revolutionary case, your phone will bounce right back up to you. This phone case was developed by Harvard scientists for high-tech space programs. Propelled by microscopic magnets embedded in both the phone and your complementary bracelet, the system is only activated when it experiences a sudden change in velocity. Then the magnets in both activate to pull the phone back towards you. Never worry about cracking your phone again. Cases available for almost every phone on the market. Only $59.99.

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5/15/13


Optimistic

Government

Society

Poverty? Gone, thanks to more aid to those in need. Deadly diseases? Eradicated by more research, vaccines, increased innate immunity and sanitary living situations everywhere. In this future, all of the world’s major issues today will have been solved. Even small, merely annoying things will be gone. Including baldness, shaving and traffic. This utopian future takes care of all inconveniences, because what’s the point of them when they can be easily w fixed? In today’s world, both obesity and hunger plague our society. The solution to these widespread problems will become reality. Fast food restaurants will be wiped out by easily accessible, fresh food, or they will actually serve healthy options. People will have more access to nutritional information, healthy foods will become reasonably priced and there will be enough food for everyone. The human rights atrocities in places like Syria will also be resolved. Torture will no longer be needed as a method of interrogation, there will be more humane prison conditions and fewer non-judicial executions. In the future, people will be healthier, happier and humanely treated.

Fortune

tellers Looking into the future with two different views

One possible apocalypse that terrifies humanity today is a nuclear holocaust. The rising tensions in the Middle East and Asia have pushed the threat of another world war into people’s minds. Eventually the human race will figure out that there is no point to war, and humanity will be able to make more discoveries about the Earth and outer space without constant fighting. The world will become peaceful, and this will lead to a flourish of prosperity because our government will not be spending copious amounts of money on war supplies. Another idea that will become reality is often seen in science fiction — aliens. After this peaceful era has been ushered in, extraterrestrial populations will see that we have come to our senses on fighting each other and will come to meet us. It may sound silly, but the possibility of alien life is more likely than not, especially since water was recently found on Mars. The colonization of other planets is another space-and- government-related change that will likely happen in the future. If not only because of the overpopulation of the Earth, we will likely try to live on other planets for the sole purpose of exploration. In the future, the world will definitely be a peaceful place with an interest in exploring the final frontier.

Pessimistic

Society

Humanity is going down hill. Fast. One only has to observe today’s youth Generally speaking, people have two to predict our grim future. An ominous harbinger is the way we treat our outlooks on the future. Either they believe children. Their fragile pride needs participation ribbons and good job trophies to ensure they can psychologically function as adults. Goodness in an apocalyptic fate for the world with knows how they’ll handle life if their egos aren’t constantly stroked. Furidiotic governments and dead penguins, or thermore, there seems to be a plague of idiocy ravaging countless television they subscribe to a more utopian view full of networks. Channels, once educational, have fallen to mediocre standards. clean air and craving machines. We looked Broadcasters such as the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet once showed educational programs which expanded the mind. Today, if you tune in to either, at four different aspects of the future from you’ll be greeted to the sight of a toothless redneck catching the latest vermin in these two different angles and described the South. Future generations will live in a pitiful world. The concepts of success and what we think will happen. failure will be gone, and there will be no competitive spirit. Sorry, no more Super Bowl Sunday. Every player got a ring after the first game. As for entertainment, television has hit an all-time low with the premieres of True Love in the Bayou and Honey Boo Boo Goes to Washington. I weep for humanity.

Government In order to look at the future, let’s evaluate our present roster of politicians. One would hope that they are well educated, the cream of the crop. However, many of their statements suggest otherwise. Do some politicians even know how human reproduction works? I’m looking at you, Akin. One of the latest presidential candidates, Representative Michelle Bachmann, literally goofed. Apparently the definition of literally was lost on Bachmann as she described the need to repeal Obamacare before it “literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.” So be on the lookout, folks. According to Bachmann, the Af-

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fordable Care Act is on the loose, killing the general populace. Maybe these mistakes are forgivable, but often their leadership behavior isn’t. Each party spends more time impeding the other’s progress than doing what’s best for the country. Let’s remember, these are the leaders of America. In the future, the weak leadership of the coming generations of politicians fails to keep the United States united. Three countries emerge: The North, The South and Texas, which follows through on its threats of succession. Sitting on each throne is an incompetent leader, full of false promises and ideological bull that promotes their party’s power and not the welfare of his or her citizens.


Technology

Some of the largest issues the world is facing today are environmental — global warming, deforestation and species endangerment. Everyday things such as power plants contribute to climate change. This will just be a bad memory because there will be no petroleumfueled cars on the road and more alternative energy sources being utilized. We will turn to wind power, geothermal energy and solar panels. We will also reverse deforestation. Many people are cutting down forests to either open up land for developments or agricultural purposes. The issue is that these large collections of trees are vital to keep the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in balance. These rain forests will either be replanted or a large number of urban gardens will be planted to cancel out the damage. One more problem today is the endangerment of some species. This goes hand-inhand with climate change and deforestation, because with both comes the loss of necessary habitats for animals. If deforestation is reduced and the rising sea levels that are the result of climate change are stopped, then endangered animals will live and to thrive. Eventually, these ecological problems that plague us today will become a thing of the past.

After the huge technological advances of the past 100 years, it is pretty safe to say that technology will continue to evolve. The idea of free energy is already enticing to developed countries, but the beneficial changes this act would bring to underdeveloped countries are enormous. Another free and widespread “net” will be worldwide Internet. There are multiple benefits to the Internet being everywhere. First, accessibility. Even if you are driving in the middle of nowhere, penniless, you can still access it. One can constantly contact his or her loved ones and there will be more opportunities for students to work or study. Another development will be a personal machine that is sure to become a staple in homes — a craving machine. Beautifully displayed in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s

Justin Dorland

Environmental

Guide to the Galaxy, the craving machine senses what you are most hungry for and produces it. Chocoholics and vegetable lovers alike will adore the machine that can make their chocolate-covered asparagus. Even though this machine may hurt the fight against obesity, it would help with the problem of hunger. The use of technology is already so beneficial today, that it will absolutely be used to its full potential in the future. —Madeline Dupre

Technology Our generation is already insanely dependent on technology. Imagine how intense the addiction will become within our lifetime and beyond. We already can’t survive without the Internet, but within the next 100 years, a life without screens will be unheard of. Eyesight will be exclusively limited to near-sightedness, as the option of being able to see far away is no longer a necessity (everyone is looking at his or her devices — who needs to look up and

see what’s around them?) No one will spend time on hair or makeup, because why would we need to worry about our outer appearance when people see us for our texts and tweets? The option to call on a phone is completely eliminated, because people will communicate exclusively through texting with their mobile devices. Other than online, social skills are nonexistent, for there is no longer a need to show off our “stunning” personalities. After

all, everyone experiences the same technology-filled day. Rather than putting ourselves out there to indulge in exciting adventures, we will all sit in our rooms for eternity, surfing the web to find “entertainment.” History e-books in our online schooling system will speak of a time when people met their friends and significant others in person, and online dating was just a seemingly desperate last resort to meet people.

Environmental

Justin Dorland

The environment and its declining health has been a problem looming over our heads for the past few decades. In the next 100 years, our predictions and fears will become realities. Remember watching that cute and adorable cheetah cub prancing across the African plains on National Geographic? He’s dead. Those little baby monkeys, swinging from tree to tree, joyfully babbling with their little monkey friends? Dead. The precious penguin chicks, waddling alongside their parents, dancing their little jig? Wait for it...dead. Greenhouse gases and global warming will finally catch up to us and destroy almost every living thing and change our world into the scene from The Lion King where Scar has taken over as king and everyone is starving or ... dead. Oil spills will become more frequent, turning our oceans black and killing all of the living organisms in the ocean. The dead fish will rise to the surface, and our entire atmosphere will smell of rotten seafood. This mass of rotting flesh will make Earth inhabitable, spinning, lifeless forever. —Olivia Kight and Marco Scarasso


Bringing sexy back ... again Pop icon returns with ambitious new album

the catchiest beats I’ve ever heard, and the fact that it features Jay-Z makes it even better. The second single and power-ballad “Mirrors” will have you belting the chorus no matter where you are. The shortest song on the album, “That Girl” is a warm, genuine song that will definitely make any girl swoon with Timberlake’s voice melting over the track like honey. “Blue Ocean Floor” concludes the album with a change of pace from fast and upbeat to slow and smooth for those looking for a shift from Timberlake’s usual style. And here’s the best news: Timberlake said he has plans to release a second half of the album on Sept. 30. Ten tracks on the first half, 10 tracks on justintimberlake.com the second ... a total of 20 songs to complete The 20/20 Experience. The double album will definitely be making up for his hiatus from music. So hold yourself over for six months with the beauty of the first half of The 20/20 Experience and know that at least you won’t have to wait another seven years to hear more JT. —Rachel Cooper

Bored to death

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equivalents of survival strategies. I might not mind them so much if they were sympathetic or interesting, but so far, the only character I’ve actually taken a liking to is Daryl— the only one on this show who does anything productive. I should be rooting for these characters, and instead I spend most of the episodes hoping they’ll all be eaten in the next scene. The writers of The Walking Dead are also oblivious to logic. They don’t seem to be planning ahead, and they wait until future episodes to come up with excuses for the ridiculous circumstances that took place in previous ones. The entire premise of the first half of the second season was that the survivors were looking for Sophia, a little girl in their group who, as it turned out, had been zombified and locked in a barn. Yet no one on the farm had noticed … And I wanted to like this show, I really did, but this is the golden age of television. There is so much amazing stuff to watch on TV and I want an awesome zombie show to watch, too. But this is not an awesome zombie show. This is a mess. And I’m not saying it needs to mimic the comics. It just needs some good writing, not to mention acting, so that I don’t hate every character except for Daryl. —Michelle Fairorth Ar

Viewers have been raving about AMC’s The Walking Dead since the release of its first six-episode mini-season in Oct. 2010. The show features some heartfelt, emotional scenes, hair-raising scares, gore, violence and an interesting plotline. It also features some of the most mediocre acting and dialogue I’ve ever watched. For those of you who are imperviously immune to gossip, The Walking Dead is basically your average soap opera built around a zombie apocalypse. The series is based on the comic books of the same name created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, and so far it has been an outstanding success and has created an enormously loyal fan base. However, why this show is held at such high standards is beyond me. I, for one, am completely shocked by all the hype this series has received. A character study driven by a zombie apocalypse, produced by the network behind Mad Men and Breaking Bad has incredible potential; it should be riveting and engaging, but I feel as though the writers are ruining the promise of its concept. While at times, the show is suspenseful and believable, it can also seem incredibly irritating and fictitious (I know, it’s a zombie show, but it should still feel real). The show appears to have no sense of direction or consistency, most of the characters are hate-able (I’m looking at you Lori) and as it seems, the writers will sacrifice anything, including the show’s integrity, to create an emotional impact. At times, it’s easy to forget I’m watching a zombie apocalypse series as opposed to a show about survivors complaining all the time. One of the things about The Walking Dead that bothers me is the characters. It baffles me that these people have survived so long, because they seem to have zero competence and think that lack of communication and irrational spontaneity are the

The Walking Dead’s plot is rotting away

zR ey es

Genius. Suave. Classy. Perfection. All of these words combine to describe the work of art that is The 20/20 Experience. After seven excruciatingly long years, Justin Timberlake has returned to music with such power that it’s almost unbelievable. The title of his new album is fully descriptive of the music it contains — it’s aesthetically pleasing on all levels. Not only is it a masterpiece of sound, but you can feel, even see (in your mind, of course) the music when it is played. Almost every song clocks in at an average of seven or eight minutes, which might be overwhelming to some when compared to the normal three minutes our generation is used to, but that only adds to the artistry of the album. It is made clear by the strength of the songs that this is how his music is supposed to be heard, with the added time allowing for fun experimentation within the tracks. The highlights of the record include, of course, the first single “Suit & Tie,” which was released Jan. 15 and swept the nation. Although there have been mixed reviews on the track, the song may have one of


Education or entertainment? Times are definitely changing. Remember the good ol’ days when you would get out of bed and dread going to school? You knew that going to school meant being deprived of your phone, computer and your video games for eight straight hours. Going to school meant socializing with the other students and teachers and if you were caught texting or playing your Nintendo Game Boy under the cafeteria table, you ran the risk of getting sent to the principal’s office, or even worse, having the school call your mom. But those days are long gone. We are now living in a world where it’s normal to see a 3-year-old pressing his or her toddler fingers on the screen of an iPad; where it’s common for a 10-year-old to fathom the terms “backing up” or “syncing.” And now it’s becoming normal for schools to issue iPads to students, rather than the outdated textbook. Don’t get me wrong — personally, I am loving this phenomenon. I no longer get out of bed to go to school to learn. I get up knowing that when I get to school, I have the option to learn. Or Snapchat my friends. Or Instagram. Or use Pinterest. Or, my personal favorite, watch movies and TV. The question is, is all this entertainment really good for us? As much as I love catching

up on the latest Vampire Diaries, it’s in many ways destroying the whole school environment. What does that mean for our future? I can already foresee the average IQ score diminishing and the lazy and fat American rate increasing. I think we are too focused on satisfying our short-term pleasure needs, when we really should be trying to understand what is important for the long-term. Sometimes I miss school for sickness or for college visits, and when I come back, I ask countless friends what we learned or did in class that day and they say, “Oh, I don’t really know, I was watching x, y and z.” I think the key to a healthy life, whether physically, emotionally or mentally, is to have balance. With the world becoming more and more technologically savvy and dependent, it’s essential for us to become more disciplined in turn, understanding when it’s time to use or put away certain things. Let’s face it, nothing can really stop a person from somehow watching a certain show that they want to watch. Whether the school blocks Netflix or allows it, there is still Amazon, ABC Player, CW apps ... or even just typing in what you’re looking for on Google to find a pirated site. There is no stopping it, but we all have the capability to be responsible and to go to

school to do what we are supposed to be doing in the first place. We go to school to get the best education possible, to get into the college that we always dreamed of attending and to meet and interact with real-life people, not cyber-people. Social media, in many ways, is destroying the general feeling of school. And as much as we don’t like to admit it, we need school. It teaches us how to act around other people, how to use our minds to create original ideas, how to find jobs, how to find out who we are as individuals. I, myself, am a movie freak. Movies are my guilty pleasure. I love watching everything from Dirty Dancing to The Dark Knight Rises. But as much as I do enjoy it, it won’t get me anywhere. I can’t get a job from watching The Social Network and I won’t be getting married anytime soon if I only fantasize about Ryan Gosling shirtless in Crazy, Stupid Love all day. I need to live my life, as does everyone else, starting with some actual participation in school. Media shouldn’t have to ruin our grades or our lives. It’s time for us all to understand that technology should be used as an added resource and not a must-have-or-Ican’t-survive way of life. —Erica Schwartz


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The fandom strikes back Avid nerd deplores Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm 1983 was the year the original Star Wars trilogy ended. Director George Lucas tied it all together with a clean finale. Solo got the girl, Luke made amends with his father and the Empire was defeated. Simple as that. Then in 1999, the first prequel to the trilogy was released. The “true” followers cried blasphemy against their creator. To many, it destroyed the greatness that was Star Wars. The storyline was completely different than that of the originals. The plot followed Darth Vader’s younger self, Anakin Skywalker, and painted a story of a future hero waiting to rise. This film was followed by two more installments in 2002 and 2005. Both had tremendous success in theatres despite the bashing to their reputation. Flash-forward to 2012 — Lucas made a decision to sell the rights to the franchise to the Walt Disney Corporation. Disney followed this announcement with plans for a movie in 2015. This set off a series of screams from fans everywhere. Some screamed in happiness, but

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most in anger. I, like many, was infuriated. For the past couple of years, Lucas has discussed retirement. When asked by PC Magazine, Lucas stated, “I wanted to get into, sort of, another stage of life where I’m not in the film business anymore. I don’t have to run a corporation.” We all knew this time was coming, but no one was prepared for a major corporation like Disney to enter the picture. And when the bomb dropped, it felt as if my world came out from under me. The creator of the highlight of my childhood sold it for a chunk of change; a sumptuous $4.05 billion. You know what else makes me angry about this situation? The fact that producers decided to add a sequel trilogy to the end of the originals. There is literally no interesting plot line to add on. Vader is dead, Yoda is dead, Kenobi is dead and the actors don’t look the same as when Return of the Jedi ended. I’m sorry, but I cannot imagine a foreseeable plot line good enough to please everyone. Disney, I get it,

y’all need to pique interest to bring outsiders into the Disney kingdom or whatever, but you don’t mess with this. And seriously, you brought JJ Abrams in to direct the movie. Abrams has directed the Star Trek reboot and sci-fi thriller Super 8 and has created many popular TV shows such as Lost, Fringe and Alias. These shows and films all have the same quality of ultra cool effects and mystique to bring in the viewer for a visual paradise. But, this is a serious movie franchise with a seriously powerful fan base. OK, listen JJ, I really like what you did with Star Trek, but you just added fuel to the biggest nerd war in the history of humanity. You have double crossed the Star Trek fandom ... not cool buddy, not cool. (But I really love your work Mr. Abrams, please don’t hate me.) In summation, I would like to say goodbye to the pivotal point of my childhood. Disney, whatever you may do to it, don’t screw it up entirely. Please. —Nikki Humble


Guys, girls duke it out over their preferred forms of social media

War of the web The rewards of redditing It’s safe to say that Reddit consumes far too much of my productivity (the little that my mind can have at any given time). It’s so easily accessed on all types of Internet-bearing devices that it’s now a reflex to open the app/ browser/shortcut — I’ve actually involuntarily memorized their virtual locations on my own gadgets — that it is truly never more than seconds away. As such, it’s a go-to distraction — and a mighty distraction it is. However, not all distractions are hindrances to well-being, just as productivity can be a bane to one’s health. Some things fall in the middle. Reddit is such an activity. Its oddness lies in the fact that it can be non-engaging and non-informative, while also holding the potential for true communal education. For many, Reddit is solely an image board (where imgur takes over), a place much like TV: sit back, flip through its contents, laugh, smirk. But for others, Reddit is a forum in its truest sense in that it has a board for almost every topic ever discussed — a forum for the whole

world. There is no place like it to join together with people who share your interests. On both sides of this spectrum, we have the “posters,” the people who feed the website’s hunger for content. On the counterproductive side, it’s much like a competition. Strangers post to get the other strangers’ attention, and hopefully glean an “upvote.” Is it cool, funny, or an attractive woman (as Reddit’s user base seems to be largely male)? If so, it will do well here. This part of the site — r/funny, pics, gaming, adviceanimals (specific boards where people post) — is strangely representative of modern television. Just like on TV: if it’s cool, if it’s funny or if it’s attractive, you have a winner. There’s no problem with these specific “subreddits” (categories of content), just as there’s no problem with television. However, if you want the real gold, you have to probe the depths of the site for subreddits that interest you, no matter how small a reader base. These are the places where communal

education happens; here’s where things get made. Here, in these vestiges of originality (or OC, original content), you’ll often find what makes it to the most popular subreddits days down the road (a week in Reddit time, or so it seems the more you spend on the site). Here, people aren’t vying for your attention and your upvote, but for your input, observation and recognition. It’s like a small town versus the big city; the small subreddits against the “hivemind.” Regardless of competition for “karma” (a stupid name for your amassed upvotes), Reddit is a jack of all trades in terms of Internet entertainment. It does television’s job, providing pure entertainment. It does a forum’s job, where people can discuss their hobbies. It can even inform on social issies. In this way, it’s like “Pinterest Plus;” it does the same thing, but better, if you ignore the vulgarity and meme humor. Which, in some cases, can be the best thing about it. —Cade Ritter

The perks of pinning Gone are the days of tearing out pictures from magazines and saving them — now a new craze has swept the nation. Pinterest is a website where you can create boards and compile a virtual collage of anything you like. Not only is Pinterest a website, but you can also download the free app so you can pin from wherever you are. It’s organization made fun — you can pin things ranging from what you are going to wear tomorrow to the layout of your college dorm room. When I first found myself in the world of Pinterest, I thought it was almost overwhelming with so many different categories to pin from. As I started to finally figure out this new social media site, I found I could follow my friends’ boards as well as other people’s boards from all over the world. The ideas and pictures which circulate around Pinterest are endless. You don’t have to pin items from only the categories or the others you follow on Pinterest either, because you can upload photos from your camera phone to share.

Think about this for a second: say you are on your favorite clothing store website and see a cute dress you want to remember. All you have to do is “pin” it on a board and it is saved forever. Even for us low-tech people, Pinterest is so easy your grandparents could figure it out. If you are an arts and crafts type of person, on Pinterest it is easy to find amazing projects to do on a boring Sunday. Watch out though: fandoms have started to become a large portion of the site as they fill your home newsfeed with an insane number of pictures of the celebrities they stalk. Even though Pinterest has more female than male users, guys can also use Pinterest to pin their interests using the wide range of sources. So the next time you’re looking for a funny quote, new recipe, fashion inspiration or place to add to your bucket list, look no further than Pintrist. —Emma Pennell


On task

Not quite what the school board had in mind

You all know the routine: the teacher is walking around the classroom and you, the average always-on-task Westlake scholar, need to quickly get back to eBackpack before you’re caught Redditing. Double click that home button and, more than likely, a long row of the other apps you’ve been messing around on will pop up. You may have fooled your teacher, but you can’t fool us. —Alexis Huynh and ZZ Lundburg

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Although Netflix may be blocked from the school server, that doesn’t mean that students don’t faithfully, and sometimes obsessively, fall into mindless entertainment at home. With movies and TV shows ranging from Korean dramas to Upper East Side love octagons, we can see why it would be a very popular choice. We know students out there continuously test the Netflix app to see if it has finally become student accessible — trust us, we’ve had our fair share of denial and heartbreak. We need our daily dose of Chuck and Blair!

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Six seconds. That’s all you have to make something amazing. You breathe in and begin to press the screen. The bar fills and you stop and start filming like a pro. Vine is like the new YouTube/Instagram/ Gifboom. It’s like the greatest parts of every social media app squashed together. Between cackling at junior Cathlyn Jones’ hilarious voices, and secretly hoping your videos will get noticed and you’ll be recognized as a Vinelebrity, Vine offers hours and hours and hours of immature, pointless entertainment.

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The epitome of the word “hipster.” This website is full of introspective quotes, high-waisted shorts and fading floral print. With the growing number of self-proclaimed vintage lovers, the amount of constant reblogs is at a record high. And good news — the administration has yet to block it. So, my Tumblr-loving amigos, let’s continue to fly under the radar and preserve our rights to our blogs and the deep emotional attachment we feel for our online Tumblr boyfriends/girlfriends.

Vine

YouTube

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The holy grail of all apps. The tragedy that is the blockage of Facebook from the school server has affected all of our lives. The constant and crippling need for stalking said crush can’t be satiated. Our yearning for photos of parties and cute selfies are cruelly denied, making us socially detached zombies. The everchanging profile pictures, the funny uploads from YouTube and sarcastic statuses remain unliked. And denying us the information on our crush’s relationship status? Who would do such a thing?

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Hooray for YouTube being unblocked from the computers and iPads! Fellow YouTubers, our days of silently hoping that one day, we can finally watch “The Most Popular Girls in School” without having the librarians scold you from behind their wonderfully decorated counters, are over. With our new profound freedom, anything is possible.

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Facebook

Spotify

A music lover’s paradise. Though this European app only allows radio listening (similar to Pandora) instead of individual songs, the upsides include the ability to save songs onto different playlists, and radio access that adjusts to your preferences. Sadly, what you listen to can show up on your Facebook, so everyone knows about your horrid and unfortunate Nickelback obsession.

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{ staff editorial } All school-sponsored sports should be supported, regardless of gender

Sidelined by sexism

B

“Behind every great man is a great Senior Girl.” That was the Senior Girls’ slogan for the 2010 football season. Harmless, right? The football player goes out and does the dirty work on the field while his doting female attendants stay back in the kitchen, baking and making signs for him with markers and butcher paper. That’s the way it’s “supposed” to be. And the female athletes? Yeah, nobody really cares about them. Everybody knows the only sports worth recognizing are played by men. Take a look around the Commons. The center is completely blanketed with signs celebrating the male athletes made by “their” girls. They’re impossible to totally ignore, and many of them hang there long after the sport seasons have ended -- we may be otherwise tempted to forget how central the focus is on boys athletics at this school. Go stand on the W and look up. You’ll see handwritten signs reading “Brandon’s gonna tame those Tigers” or “Michael mashes Cavs.” But do you see any sign left up for the girls soccer team on its dominant run to the State semifinals this season? How about some acknowledgment of the softball team’s impressive regular season? The girls teams have been quietly outperforming the boys for years, but you’d never know it. Fun fact: of the 30 State Championships won at Westlake in gender-specific sports, girls teams have accounted for 20 of them. But that doesn’t matter, because we’re seemingly stuck in the pre-Title IX days here, when girls were only allowed to play 3-on-3 half court basketball. The pedestal the boys are placed on exaggerates how little attention the girl athletes receive. The mixed-gender sports are also given the cold shoulder. Who is making signs for the tennis? When was the last time someone made cookies for the swim teams? Have the perennial State-contending golf teams ever been properly recognized? Most of the student body doesn’t

even pretend to care about these activities, and since they’re not maledominated, no outside group dares to adopt or support any of them. It’s just not fair. Although it was started exclusively for the football team, similar volunteering outlets to the Senior Girls have expanded to reach soccer, basketball, lacrosse, baseball and rugby. They put countless hours into baking cookies and cake balls for “their” boys before their big games. Granted, nobody is forced into being a Senior Girl, Soccer Sweetie, Courtside Cutie, Stick Chick, Bleacher Babe or Rugger Hugger, but the system is an excellent reflection of an unwritten gender hierarchy that too many still accept as the norm. Not only is the concept extremely sexist, but it reinforces the idea that the men are meant to go out and show their strength while the “weak and feeble” girls watch from the sidelines and provide moral support. There’s a simple solution to this problem that the Hyline and the band have already adopted. Every year, they bring breakfast for each other on the dates of their major competitions. Although nobody is given individualized attention, both organizations feel supported. If, for instance, other organizations like volleyball and wrestling teamed up to support each other by attending matches and exchanging gifts, all sports would feel equally valued. This mutual appreciation doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as the support groups already in place, and it would be a step in the right direction towards building the confidence of all teams, sports and otherwise, while dropping the stereotype that Westlake has been accepting for years. Long-standing traditions can sometimes be hard to pull away from, but it’s high time we take a step back and look at the blatant sexism that’s been festering under our noses. It’s 2013. Our society has grown increasingly non-gender exclusive, and there’s no reason that Westlake should not follow suit.

Ariana Gomez Reyes


Student shares views on the violence of rape, its punishment; suggests ideas for prevention

An unforgivable crime August of 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio. Two 16-year-olds decided to have “sex” with a girl, perform digital penetration and ejaculate on her while transporting her from party to party. The victim was passed-out drunk. You can see that I put the word “sex” in quotations. This is because it wasn’t really sex; it was sexual assault. One of the boys proceeded to take photos of the naked victim and then send them to his friends. Adults turned a blind eye to the situation, as the rapists were, as portrayed by CNN, “promising young athletes” who shouldn’t have their futures ruined. Their football coaches and others helped keep the fiasco on the down-low to prevent the boys from suffering major consequences. Although they could have requested a trial by jury, Trent Mays’ and Ma’lik Richmond’s court procedure involved only a judge. Mays will serve two years in a juvenile detention center, as he was the one who took photographs of the naked victim lying unconscious, while Richmond will only serve one year. During their court proceedings, both of the boys made apologies, but one was especially controversial. Mays, the older of the two, said, “I would truly like to apologize to ***, her family and my family and the community. No pictures should’ve been sent around, let alone taken. That’s all, sir. Thank you.” Let’s take a moment to reflect on that atonement. In his apology, he never mentioned the fact that he was remorseful of the major actions he had committed during the parties. All he said was that he was apologetic for taking pictures and then sending them to friends — not for raping a 16-year-old girl. Richmond then stated his apology but wasn’t able to finish it because he was too emotional. He broke down crying into the arms of his attorney, which, according to Poppy Harlow from CNN, was “incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men who had such promising futures — star football players ... literally watched, as they believed, their lives fell apart.” The judge later stated that “if [the boys] were convicted in an adult court of these charges, they would be spending many years in prison.” OK. I don’t care that the boys were 16 and 17 years old at the time of their conviction. I don’t care that they had such “promising futures” or that they were “star football play-

54

ers.” I don’t care that one of them broke down crying in court. I don’t even care that the victim and the assailants were drunk. Rape is rape, and rape is wrong. There’s no debate. In my opinion, these boys should have been tried as adults. This goes for all incidents of sexual assault. Another tragedy occurred on Dec. 12, 2012 when a woman and her friend boarded a charter bus containing six others, including the driver. The citizens on the bus began to harass the couple, and when the male friend began to retaliate, they hit him in the head with a metal rod and knocked him unconscious. They then proceeded to strike the woman with the weapon and drag her to the back of the bus. While still striking her with the pole, they began to rape her violently. Throughout all of this, the driver did nothing except continue to deliver the passengers to their destinations. A Hindustan Times report revealed that “a rod was inserted into [the victim] and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines.” Needless to say, the victim died a few days later after multiple surgeries. Because the rapist responsible for causing the most internal damage is a juvenile, he is going to be charged as one and can only receive a maximum of three years in jail. I don’t think it would be best for me to write my opinion on that decision, as my mother always taught me if I’m going to say something bad, it’s better not to say anything at all. As for the other five assailants, they will be tried as adults and could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison. However, in March, two of the accused claimed to not have been on the bus during the incident. Something that is making the case more difficult is that each of these cities has conflicting laws regarding rape and it is undecided in which of these locations the actual crime occurred, as they were on a moving bus. Because the case is still ongoing, only time will tell what will be decided.

These injustices need to come to an end. The fact that such horrifying actions can be performed without substantial repercussions infuriates me. Sexual assault is a huge violation of someone’s body and the victim will spend the rest of his or her life having to cope with the memories of something they had no control over. Unfortunately, there is no “cure-all” remedy to prevent sexual assault, but there are various steps that we can take to come closer to a world without rape. The first one would be to go beyond just saying “you shouldn’t go out alone at night.” Something we can do is teach our children how to defend themselves if a dangerous scenario arises. Some examples would be to supply them with mace or a pocket stun gun. It would also be beneficial to explain to them that if they do find themselves alone, they should stay in well-lit areas and have a thought-out plan on how to react to the unexpected. Second, there needs to be education in the school curriculum that addresses violence and sexual assault. Throughout my 12 years of being in the education system, not once have I ever been taught about rape, molestation or even sex for that matter. This is especially terrifying knowing that 28 percent of male victims of rape reported they were first assaulted when they were no older than 10 (NYtimes. com). The more we teach about sexual assault, the more informed and safe students will be. Sexual assault is not a juvenile crime. It is serious no matter the age of the perpetrator. Rape can affect anybody. The assaulter doesn’t always have to be a male and the victim isn’t always female. NYtimes.com released that one in 71 men have been raped, many before they were the age of 11. Sexual assault can happen between strangers or even within marriages. This should not be the case. The topic of rape needs to be addressed in schools so more people understand. That’s the only way people are going to be aware, and awareness is the first step toward change. —Michael Deisher

“ ”

Sexual assault is not a juvenile crime. It is serious no matter the age of the perpetrator.


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6’4”

Long

photos by Tim Whaling

5’0”

story

short

Petite person avoids getting stepped on, invests in heels I never really think of myself as short. I’m kind of like a Dachshund that thinks it’s a Great Dane. When I’m standing by one of my friends, I don’t feel any different. But ever since middle school, people have made it very clear to me that I am vertically challenged. Here are a few clever and creative ways others have informed me of my small stature. “Sara? Where’s Sara? Hello? Oh, there you are! I didn’t see you down there!” “Did you really just jump to reach that?” “How’s the weather down there?” “How tall are you? Four feet?” And the most brilliant and original of all: “You’re short.” I try not to let it bother me, but sometimes this playful teasing comes off as a little of-

fensive. After all, I didn’t choose my height. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide, “I think I’ll stop growing when I hit five feet!” Sure, my feet don’t always touch the floor when I’m sitting in a desk, but does that mean you should point it out? No. Despite the occasional mockery, however, being short isn’t “half bad.” In fact, I think it’s preferable. There are lots of things I can do that are out of reach for tall people, and you can’t say that very often. First off, I can fit into any small space. Is there a cramped seat in the back of an airplane? Ha, I fit comfortably. Have fun hitting your knees against your chin. Are the masses of students in the hallway moving at a snail’s pace? I can dart between people with ease.

Can’t find a place to hide during a game of hide and seek? Not me, that laundry basket will do just fine. Second, I’m always put in the front for pictures. While all you tall people are struggling to keep your face from being hidden by other tall people, I’m sitting proudly in the most visible position. Finally, let’s not forget that I can always put on high heels for instant height. What are tall people going to do if they want to be shorter? Hunch over? Walk around on their knees? I don’t think so. So go ahead, laugh at my height. I know deep down inside you’re cringing with envy, because short is a fun size. —Sara Phillips

Friendly giant towers over small citizens, reaches top shelf “How tall are you?” “Do you play basketball?” “How tall are your parents?” “Wow! I feel short!” Okay. I get it. I’m tall. I don’t know why, but there seems to be some unwritten rule in our culture that people feel the need to identify that I am indeed, tall. Here’s some more stuff I hear on a daily basis: “Wow! It must be nice being that tall!” ‘What’s the weather like up there?” “I should hire you to get stuff off my top shelf.” Well, believe me, if I could hire myself out as a professional topshelf reacher, I totally would. But that’s not my point. My point is that being tall isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I still put my pants on one leg at a time, except my pants are 30-36. Yeah. Try finding that at your local Academy or Wal-Mart. It’s impossible. You know why? It’s because they don’t exist. Seriously, nobody makes a decent pair of jeans for people of my stature that you can get off the shelf. They either look like a pair of fabulous capris on me if they fit my waist, or they make me look like Jared from Subway showing off his “fat pants.” And that’s just the beginning. Don’t even get me started on school buses, or as I like to call them, “contortionist chambers.” I found out pretty suddenly around freshman year, when I first cracked 5’10”, that 5’10” is the limit to comfortably sit on a school bus. Ever want to find me on a school bus? Just look for the guy who’s either sitting sideways on the seat, trying to conserve valuable legroom, or the guy with his knees against his chest quietly cursing the anti-tall establishment for making school buses only for short people. But this issue is not exclusive to land transportation. Are you fa-

56

miliar with regional jets? You know the kind. They’re the little tiny jets you take to go from somewhere nobody ever flies from to somewhere nobody flies to. Well, the ceiling on those jets is just short enough that I can’t stand up straight, so I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame boarding my flight to Middle of Nowhere, Kansas. Do you know those school desks we spend six to eight hours a day in? Those instruments of torture come as a double whammy for me, being 6’4” and left handed. Have you ever tried to slouch and twist yourself to be able to somewhat comfortably use a school desk? No, you haven’t. I wouldn’t even wish this daily punishment on my worst enemy. However, being tall isn’t all bad. Imagine being tall at a concert. You never have the problem of being too short to see over the person in front of you, barring Andre the Giant coming back from the dead. Also, I always look like a hero when people ask me to do stuff that they can’t reach. With my roughly 9.5’ reach, I can get to items that short people have to use a ladder to get to. Sometimes, in my head, I become Captain Tall, savior of short people everywhere. Of course, my costume would have to be custom tailored, because I can’t exactly walk into the superhero shop and get a costume for tall, skinny me. But that’s OK. So, long story short, stop asking me how tall I am. Here. I’m going to answer all the questions you know you want to ask. I’m 6’4”. No, I don’t play basketball. Yes, I have bad knees. The weather up here is quite pleasant, thanks. And finally, you feel short because I’m tall. Thanks for your attention. —Ryan Stankard


Flight of fancy

Come on,” the instructor signals — the whirring wind dwarfs any other sound. I step up to the door, and my hair swirls up through the holes in my helmet. Glancing at the monitor on the far wall, I gulp — 114 mph. I look down and fall into the wind. Free fall? Yes. Skydiving? Well ... sort of. iFly Austin, one of more than 20 locations all over the world, offers a faux skydiving experience — a wind tunnel located just off of North Hwy 183. For $60 per person, my friend and I rented the proper equipment (a lovely blue and red jumpsuit, helmet and goggles), learned the basics of indoor skydiving and spent two minutes zipping around in a 50-foot tall, glass-walled wind tunnel. When we first arrived, we checked in downstairs and paid our bill. While the experience was expensive, many coupons and group rates are available and the rate for returning flyers is reduced to $50. Even though you may have to reach a little deeper into your pocket, your $60 goes towards equipment rental, instructor fees and safety precautions. Jumping out of a plane can cost upwards of $200, but iFly gives you the chance to fly for about a third of that. We were then directed upstairs to the observation deck — several chairs and benches placed around the central, transparent tunnel — and ushered into a side room where we were introduced to our trainer. His hair was unkempt, and his face was scruffy. While I would trust him enough to keep me afloat in the controlled air column, I wouldn’t jump out of a plane with him. Here, we also met the rest of our group, a birthday party of screaming 7-year-old boys, and viewed a helpful, but self-promoting instructional video, learning the basic hand signals and how to assume the chin-up, stomach-down position we would fly in. I was initially terrified, crippled by my fear of heights. But I figured that if these kids could blindly leap into the wind, I could at least cautiously lean into it. My time in the tunnel was divided into two one-minute flights, and, to my surprise,

Scan this to see a video of our free fall.

Daredevils take to the indoor skies at iFly a smile was plastered on my face the entire time. The instructor pushed and spun me around in the flying Superman position. Once I was stable enough, we zoomed up to the top of the air column a couple times, spinning swiftly. When my time was up, I stumbled out of the wind tunnel, still dizzily giggling. As it turned out, there was no reason to be nervous — spongy netting keeps flyers safely high above the wind generators below and in a separate booth, another instructor controls the speed of the wind, adjusting it as needed. And there is no falling, only floating. Twenty minutes later, my legs were still shaking and my hair was a tangled mess; however, I would love to go skydiving again. Although, I think I’ll stick to the controlled indoors for now. —Hailey Cunningham

At iFly Austin, senior Monica Tan floats in a wind tunnel while the instructor monitors from below.

Before her flight, senior Monica Tan practices the Superman position she will fly in.

Senior Hailey Cunningham flies in the column of 114 mph wind.

Tim Whaling


Up forgr ab s Jealous claw machine enthusiast seeks revenge, finds new talent

Claw machines, after much practice, have really become my forté. I don’t play basketball and I don’t go to football games on Friday nights. My typical Friday night usually includes eating enchiladas with my family and having a go at the claw machine at El Gallo on South Congress Avenue. One Friday night, my parents, my younger brother, my brother’s friend William and I went out to our typical hangout to get some quality Mexican food. As we walked through the front doors, William noted the hypnotizing, blinking claw machine in the far right corner. William’s eyes got as big, if I do say so, as tortillas. After sitting at our table for a while, William asked my parents if they had some quarters he could use for the claw machine. Once we scavenged through our pockets, we all finally came up with a handful of quarters for little William to have a go at the game. I felt like telling him, “Hey kid, sit down, that thing is rigged and you can never defeat it.” But I was so wrong. William came back with a cheap stuffed animal in hand. I was amazed. Now my eyes were the size of tortillas. How could a sixth grader be skilled enough to actually win something from the claw machine? I’m pretty sure when I was a sixth grader I was still trying to figure out my locker combination number at school. That’s when my mind was made up. My family and I would return to El Gallo and I would become the master of the claw machine. I would not be defeated by a hunk of metal and a mere sixth grader. Because that’s pretty low, even for me. On those Friday night outings, I would practice the way of the claw machine. Eventu-

ally my parents just started bringing Ziploc bags filled with quarters because my brother, William and I would just go at it turn after turn. I was getting pretty frustrated with my results. I would position the claw exactly where I thought it could get that spiky ball or that awkward giraffe, but I would come up empty clawed. Then it would be little William’s turn. This kid really showed me up after he won the awkward giraffe. Even after all the practices at El Gallo without William being in my presence, he was still better than me. The saddest part was that he’d walk out of El Gallo with not just one, but sometimes two stuffed animals from the claw machine. One Valentine’s Day, he even charmed my friend with his lady skills and won multiple puppies with pink and red hearts. Wow, so he can defeat the claw machine and flirt. This kid is good. After many of my failed attempts at the claw machine, I started asking William if he could sort of tutor me in the art of claw machines. Once William began helping me, I noticed a huge difference. Friday nights became more eventful for me, if you can even say that, because I started winning big time. I was winning spiky balls and awkward giraffes left and right. I don’t really consider myself a pro claw machine player — a sixth grader had to show me how it’s done. But I do consider myself to be very good. The feeling you get when you win some object from the claw machine on a Friday night is better than any Friday night date. Well, maybe not, but it comes pretty close and sometimes you have to work with what you have. —Kathryn Revelle

BE THE

CLAW Buddy check

Never go into a round by yourself. Always have someone at your side to get different perspectives of the situation. When you believe you have placed the claw in the perfect spot, have your designated partner go to the other side of the machine to double check.

Stuck in the middle Never go for an object that is pushed against the glass. An object that is pushed against the glass will not allow the claw to wrap around the entirety of the object. Instead, choose something in the middle that is propped up.

Not too big, not too small The size of the object you plan on going for is very important. Something that has a width larger or smaller than the claw will only cause a tragic slip. You must choose an object that has the same width as the claw.

art by Michaela Moss


STUFF WE LIKE

Random red lockers

If you’ve walked through the English hall above the Commons, then you might have seen this elusive creature, a student storage Michaela Moss apparatus that dares to be its own red individual in a sea of mainstream blue. If it were a person, he or she might be wearing tight pants and thick-rimmed glasses, sipping a chai latte while listening to music too high-brow for the likes of us. Whether its existence is purposeful or accidental, we know this: Westlake is keeping Austin weird one locker at a time.

eye

zR

me

Go

na Ari a

s os M la ae

You know who you are. You’re the people who shamelessly park in the designated “no parking” zones at the end of the rows of parking spaces in the senior lot.You get there late and don’t want to park with the rest of us mere mortals. And, of course, it’s never a small car. No, you park your Ford F-9000 or your Jeep “El Giganto” right there, effectively halving the space we have to leave the senior lot. We don’t know who you are. We don’t know where you live. But we will find you, and we will make you park legally. Like the rest of us.

ich

ez Gom

Illegal parkers

M

a Arian

A grandma is someone everyone can love. She’s the woman who is always there to comfort you, give you sweets and tell you how all the boys should be lining up to date you. You love her unconditionally, even if she gets a little nutty sometimes. With the constant push to cook together or eat more and more, you can almost feel yourself gaining weight as you drive out to her house. But even causing you to gain a few extra pounds doesn’t deter your love for her and her endless cookies. Grandmas are like having a stressfree mom who feeds you better and doesn’t get mad about your grades. Every kid deserves the random hugs, overnight visits and special presents you could only get from that special lady.

Rain is pouring, students are making their way to class and shoes are squeaking on the linoleum floor. In an attempt to soak up excess water and keep the floors clean, mats are ever-so-carefully placed in each doorway. After a few periods worth of stepping, slipping and shoving, the mats are wrinkled and rumpled. Not a single student or faculty member takes the time to flatten the corners before the mat is completely folded over. The doormat takes the role of a door stop and a bump in the road is created. Traffic is slowed because of a flimsy slab of rubber and olefin (yeah, we googled it). Are they really worth the frustration and struggle? We’re tired of falling because of a gnarled lump of fabric on the tile. In lieu of this slippery struggle, please vote for the upcoming bond to replace the door mats with red carpet. s

Grandma

Doormats


CAUTION!

Page will be trimmed one pica in from this outside bleed line.

Volume 44 Issue 4  

the Featherduster Volume 44 Issue 4