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francis howell central high school | volume fifteen | issue five |

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delve 3-8 | sweat 9-13 | in focus 14-15 | the scene 17-22 | be heard 23-26 | interact 27 | aperture 28

FOUR {where are you going} Know where you want to go with college but not sure how to get there? The Central Focus created an easy-to-follow chart about what classes to take to prepare for the future.

EIGHT {final-ly} Alterations to finals schedule made with aim of providing students with more time to prepare and study for end of semester exams.

twelve {laid up}

9

derrick puni

Kristen Warncke’s torn ACL — and the loss of two key graduates — has the girls basketball team looking to replace several important pieces from last year’s 20-win team.

TWENTY-ONE {beliebe it} Justin Bieber’s new Christmas album breathes new life into old standards while introducing five new songs for the winter holidays.

TWENTY-eight {fighting fear} zach lund

2}

22

adopt-a-family

opening shots | december 16, 2011

6

Dealing with bullying in school is a difficult problem, but Caitlan Good believes if students take an extra step, problems can be made less severe.


{delve} By Claire Henderson delve editor

T

Teachers pass the test Switzer, Ridlen, Fay receive their National Board Certification after months of preparation, submitted materials and a final test photo by savannah mceachern

here are 12 teachers at FHC who have received their National Board Certification. This past year, three teachers have been added to that list. Mrs. Judy Switzer, Mrs. Michelle Ridlen, and Ms. Laurie Fay all received notification on Nov. 20 they had passed their National Board test and are now certified. When teachers apply for certification, they do so through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The standards by which they are assessed for their certification are called the “Five Core Propositions” according to www. nbpts.org. These standards require that “teachers are committed to students and their learning, teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students, teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning, teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience and teachers are members of learning communities,” according to the website. Fay, Ridlen, and Switzer all reached these standards and now they are recognized as National Board Certified teachers, which comes with many benefits.

want to see more? scan the code above and see in-depth stories about each teacher that received their National Board Certification

photo by matthew cochran

photo by kelci davis

or visit fhctoday.com/delve fhctoday.com | delve

}3


Seniors prep for early release 19 seniors have taken extra measures to graduate at the end of this semester By Jessica Mugler

graduate early. “I planned on graduating early last year, so I took double courses of Classes. Exams. Finals. For fedup senior Kelsey D’Arcangelis, English and science last year,” said this continuous cycle is tiresome D’Arcangelis. According to D’Arcangelis, and obsolete. She has decided to escape this cycle. She is going to she was tired of high school and do this by graduating a semester wanted to move on to something early, in December, instead of June. that will benefit her major. She plans on majoring “Some students in nursing and are just done and “The hardest credit attending Missouri have enough credits; State University in some don’t want to to get is the fourth be here anymore. English credit. Students Springfield. “I start school Others want to either have to take two in January [2012] move on with life, start college, get a English classes in the and I’ll be two fall of senior year or semesters ahead job or save money to start the for college in the take it early.” nursing program fall,” said Guidance { Michelle Breuer} at Missouri State,” C o u n s e l o r guidance counselor Michelle Breuer. Students wanting to graduate early must earn 24 said D’Arcangelis. and pass meet several coursework requireAccording to Mrs. According to Mrs. credits ments, including passing Biology, Algebra, English 2 and American Government. Breuer, students Breuer, students who graduated looking to graduate early must earn 24 credits by early can come back to attend prom December and have passed their and can choose to walk with the class at graduation in June. end of course exams. “There is no ceremony in “The hardest credit to get is the fourth English credit. Students either December, but if students attend the have to take two English classes in graduation practice in May, they can the fall of senior year or take it early,” walk with the class at graduation,” said Mrs. Breuer. said Mrs. Breuer. D’Arcangelis is one of 19 seniors The grads must also have taken Biology, Algebra, English 2 and who will be graduating early this American Government. In addition, winter. One of 19 that will be the students’ parents must sign a escaping the ongoing cycle of high consent form to allow their child to school. staff reporter

*

1

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delve | december 16, 2011

.5

.5 personal finance

1

health

1

practical art

3

Students also must pass the endof-course exams (EOCs) in Algebra I, Biology I, English II and American Government

fine art

3

social studies

4}

math

english

4 credits 3

sciences

{graduation requirements}

AP Biology, Genetics, Chemistry I, AP Chemistry II, Anatomy Lewis & Clark Career Center (Health Occcupations, Health Related Occupations) Trigonometry, Math Analysis, AP Statistics, AP Calculus Foods & Nutrition I & II AP Psychology, Psychology

medical & nursing Doctor, nurse, physical therapist, sports medicine

AP Psychology, Psychology Languages Speech I & II Sociology, Contemp. Issues

human services Psychology, hospitality, social work, caretaking, services

careers working with people

AP Statistics, AP Economics Business Technology Introduction to Business Introduction to Accounting Marketing I & II You & the Law Languages

education teaching, administration Lewis & Clark Career Center (Early Childhood Education) Child Development I & II AP Psychology, Psychology, Speech I & II Languages

business & finance accounting, economics, marketing, management, banking, sales

engineering & lab sciences Engineering, research, animal sciences, technology, physics, chemistry

Chemistry, AP Chemistry AP Biology, Genetics, ZoBot AP Physics, Physics AP Statistics, AP Calculus Computer Aided Drafting I & II Introduction to Engineering Principles of Engineering Digital Electronics

careers working with data Journalism, Digital Photojournalism Creative Writing Drawing I & II, Graphic Design I & II AP Art Studio, AP Art History I & II Clothing and Textiles/Advanced Clothing, Fashion Design, Housing & Interior Design Band classes (all), Choir classes (all) Multimedia I & II

careers working with things technical trades Construction, repair, carpentry, electrical trades

.... ... ..

Residential Architecture Computer Aided Drafting I & II Woodworking I & II Lewis & Clark Career Center

START HERE

AP Psychology, Psychology, Contemporary Issues Sociology, Journalism, Speech I & II, Debate AP English courses AP Economics, You & the Law

arts & communications Writing/journalism, art, performing arts, music, design

careers working with ideas law & public service law, government, law enforcement, corrections

Choosing your path With hundreds of classes available to students each year, it can be difficult to wade through the myriad of core classes and electives. While you can choose your classes at random, students who know what career path they plan on following can benefit from taking courses related to these fields. The Central Focus navigated the 2012-2013 enrollment guide to find the best classes for each career category.


photo by matthew cochran

Nurses Christy Gerling and Lori Godby chat in the nurses office in early December. The three nurses caution students to get plenty of rest and eat well as the temperatures begin to get colder.

Sick tips to stay strong By Cody Jones staff reporter

After a few weeks of unusual warm winter weather, Mother Nature has started her inevitable decline of temperature. This signals an unfortunate statistic in FHC attendance. The winter months bring the lowest attendance based on statistics of the last five years. Staying healthy in the winter season is one of the many tough tasks a student faces, but according to RN Angie Cherven, just being smart can help students avoid illness. “Everybody knows about the obvious, you know, don’t share food or drinks, and avoid close contact with people who seem sick,” Mrs. Cherven said. Practicing simple health conscious behavior will increase the odds of staying out of the nurse’s office. In one Wednesday morning, there were four cases of vomiting with a few students reporting other flu-like systems, all before the first lunch. Those are just a few of the sicknesses the nurses see in their everyday duties during the winter season. “We see a lot of vomiting, flu, diarrhea and a lot of colds,” Mrs. Cherven said.

“Home is where you should stay when you are sick.” Assistant principal Dave Stofer offered his thoughts on students staying home. “If they are contagious, if other people can get sick from them, they should stay home. Don’t come if it makes yourself more sick,” Mr. Stofer said. Statistics of FHC attendance show that attendance has not dropped below 90 percent monthly for over five years, but a decline is noticeable during the winter period. November, February and January all dipped below 92 percent at least once, and have obvious low points compared to the rest of the year. Mrs. Cherven offered some insight on why the school sees such a constant decrease in attendance during winter. “We’re together in groups and inside close quarters,” she said. The frigid temperatures force families and friends around the fire, but that is where the bugs spread. To build immunity to these bugs requires some simple practices, according to RN Christy Gerling. “Don’t wear down your immune system. Drink lots of water, eat right, get lots of sleep. It’ll all help to build the

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12

immune system up,” said Mrs. Gerling. “Make sure you get your flu shots, and multi-vitimans can help.” According to discoveryhealth.com, studies show that vitamins enhance immunity response. The website also provided more tips for a healthy winter, such as reducing stress, and staying away from drinking and smoking. One tip that seems reoccurring is to avoid contact with ill students. However, being smart as an ill student is just as

important as being smart around one. “It is very rare to get perfect attendance. Everybody is going to be sick once and a while. If they are contagious, and if other people can get sick from them, they should stay home.” said Mr. Stofer According to Mrs. Gerling and Mrs. Cherven, being smart and health conscious can only be beneficial to students, which will be of most importance as the temperatures continue to drop.

fhctoday.com | delve

}5


International Club vice president, senior Joshua Burns, and president, junior James Pugh, compare boxes of toy Hot Wheel cars. Burns and Pugh bought Hot Wheels, board games and clothes for the first family.

Students raise money, By Alli Keisker

print executive editor

A pile of presents and a long receipt later, International Club was ready to start wrapping gifts for two families in need this holiday season. The club has been participating in Adopt-A-Family for many years, even before Mrs. Katie Lozano became the sponsor. For the last month, all that could be heard in Mrs. Lozano’s room was the cutting of coupons. Each week it was generally a different group of about four to six students, with some familiar faces, according to Mrs. Lozano. International Club decided to incorporate

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delve | december 16, 2011

students throughout the coupons into its Adoptday. Donations ranged A-Family this year “For a lot of the families from a $100 bill to spare because they hoped to in Adopt-A-Family, this is change in a student’s stretch the funds raised usually the only time of the pocket. through the Magic Every foreign language Change Bucket for year they are going to get teacher was competing the families in order to new and nice things. This against each other for provide more for them is [International Club’s] the “Trophy of Giving” this Christmas. busiest time of the year. and a cookie party “For a lot of the We saved so much money for all of their classes. families in Adopt-AMrs. Ashley Wager’s Family, this is usually with coupons this year.” classes won this year. the only time of the year { Mrs. Katie Lozano} Mrs. Wager’s classes they are going to get international club sponsor competed against not new and nice things,” This is Mrs. Lozano’s fourth year as the sponsor of only the other teacher’s Mrs. Lozano said. “This International Club. She and the club have spent the last month collecting and cutting coupons, shopping and classes, but each of is [International Club’s] wrapping presents for Adopt-A-Family. The family donated to two families this year. Check out fhctoday.com/aperture her individual classes busiest time of the year.” for a gallery of the club’s shopping trip. wanted to compete During the week of against each other. Nov. 15-22, all of the One of the best things about Adopt-Ateachers in the foreign language department kept personalized Magic Change Buckets Family is to see how generous the students in their rooms to collect donations from become and to see who donates and what


$2,310.90 in the break down

Walgreens 204 items

Burns compares Matchbox to Hot Wheels for a little boy in one of the two families. Adopt-AFamily provided gifts an other necessities for two Hispanic families.

want to see more?

Should have paid: $907.07 Actually paid: $442.44. Saved: $459.63.

or visit fhctoday.com/aperture

JCPenney’s

scan the code above and see a gallery of International Club’s shopping trip for Adopt-A-Family

23 clothing items

Should have paid: $662.07 Actually paid: $255. Saved: $407.07

Schnucks

photos by savannah mceachern

156 food items Should have paid: $257.06 Actually paid: $170.55 Saved: $86.51

Historian, senior Mollie Lager, browses the clothing racks for pajamas for a six-month-old baby in one of the two families. Lager's group purchased $358.02 worth of gifts for the family they were shopping for.

Target

35 gift requests

cut costs for families they donate, according to Mrs. Lozano. Mrs. Wager thinks it is less successful whenever there is a school-wide collection for a charity. She feels the students choose to give more to Adopt-A-Family because they realize if they do not, then the families will not get anything for Christmas. “I think students donate more money because it’s only the foreign language department who is collecting money,” Mrs. Wager said. “Whenever we try to raise money or canned goods as a whole student body, it’s less successful. The students realize that if they don’t donate, the families won’t get presents. It’s on their shoulders to provide for the families.” Through the week of the Magic Change Bucket, about $2,300 was raised; Mrs. Wager’s classes raised about $835 alone. Last year, Mrs. Wager had a student who donated their whole paycheck and this year a student donated a $100 bill. “We [collected] monetary donations to buy

presents for families in need and physical donations for Christmas presents and canned foods [for the families],” Mrs. Lozano said. Once the club had collected donations, it was time to shop. Though the club had planned to use coupons on its big shopping trip, according to Mrs. Lozano, she was going to handle the coupons herself because she thought it would be too stressful for the students to do on their own. In one shopping trip alone, Mrs. Lozano paid $442.44 for $902.07 worth of items for the families at Walgreens. “The students bought the things the families had requested specifically, but I was in charge of the trips that involved coupons because I knew it was going to be a big trip,” Mrs. Lozano said. “We saved so much money with coupons and provided even more than we have in previous years.” Because Mrs. Lozano was handling the coupons on her own, she had the club

members purchase the personal gifts that the family requested such as a coffee maker, baby clothes, children’s toys, a sewing machine and board games. Club members spent more than $500 at Target for nearly all of the gifts the families specifically requested. Mrs. Lozano was able to purchase extra items for the family with the funds leftover thanks to using coupons. “By participating in Adopt-A-Family we hope to provide staple food items to get the families through the year. We want to take the worries off their shoulders,” Mrs. Lozano said. “We try our best every year to provide what the family requests on their list, or as many [items] as possible.” After all of the gifts had been purchased, the club met as many days as possible, both before and after school, to wrap presents and label food, household and hygiene items. Mrs. Lozano dropped off all of the gifts at St. Charles Community College on Dec. 10.

Should have paid: $549.77 Actually paid: $534.82 Saved: $14.95

Aldi’s

148 items Paid: $177.67

Toys R Us 2 items

Paid: $177.67

Costco 4 items

Should have paid: $220.66 Actually paid: $170.66 Saved: $50

purchased more than 600 items and saved $1,026.15 fhctoday.com | delve

}7


New finals schedule gives more study time By Maddie Newton

photo by elise thomas

staff reporter

Junior Jennifer Rekosh flips through some notes while studying in the library last week. School administrators decided to change the finals schedule to provide more time for studying before finals.

Stressing and studying are often used to describe the end of December and May for students. As finals approach, a new schedule lifts a weight off of students’ shoulders. In years past, students have taken three final exams on a Friday and finished with half days on Monday and Tuesday, with two finals each day. This year, however, students will take their first three finals on Monday, Dec. 19 and two on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and Wednesday, Dec. 21. Also, on Wednesday, finals will not begin until 8:10 a.m. and there will be no 35-minute class in between finals. Principal Sonny Arnel decided to

make these changes in an effort to provide students with extra study time in the morning before finals. “The time buffer is erased between finals and the hope is that students will be able to use the time to talk to the teachers they need to in the morning,” Dr. Arnel said. Monday and Tuesday will still start at 7:20 a.m. and buses will run on schedule all three final exam days. Although the first final on Wednesday starts 50 minutes later than usual, Dr. Arnel still warns students to be in class at 8:10 a.m. “This is a system to assist student achievement to benefit student learning, but the students still need to be on time to their first final,” Arnel said.

Dr. Arnel met with both the department chair teachers and the administrators to insure that he was making the right decision. Science department chair, Mrs. LuAnne Scott feels both teachers and students will benefit from the new schedule. “It will give the students study time early and the teachers will appreciate being able to get some work done in the morning,” Mrs. Scott said. According to Mrs. Scott, the motivations for this change were to help the students and teachers manage their responsibilities. “This will help everyone utilize our time better for finals,” Mrs. Scott said.

“After graduating high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. SCC gave me the time to figure it out before transferring to a four-year university.” ~ DJ Shocklee SCC alum Francis Howell Central alum

Find SCC on : Ask your counselor how to get started at St. Charles Community College. Call 636-922-8000 or visit stchas.edu.

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delve | december 16, 2011


{sweat}

Center of attention Junior Derrick Puni hopes improvement off court will translate to more success on it photo by ellen hinze

By Cody Jones

I

staff reporter

n the wake of fall season sports, several student athletes take some time to relax and catch up in their studies. There are, however, many instances in where a student moves from one sport to another, seemingly ignoring the rigors of the previous sports season. Typically, there is a brief transition period for students in which they let their bodies recover so they can turn in high performances for the next sport. Rarely are students able to go from performing at high levels in one sport, to turn around in less then a month and deliver the same quality of play in another completely different sport. Junior Derrick Puni has the stats and size to prove otherwise. At six-foot-five inches, Puni was able to turn in a four touchdown season for the varsity football team, quickly recover and deliver a 30-point game vs. Imagine College Prep in the debut game of

the season. “A common misconception about Puni is that he lacks dedication, and he spends all off-season playing Call of Duty,” junior Evan Pagano said. However, those closer to him know how much dedication he really has to his sport. “He shoots balls in his driveway all day during the off-season,” Pagano said. Puni knows it’s that kind of hard work and dedication that he needs in order to get post season honors again. Last season, Puni was named an all-conference and all-district player as a center. Despite the fact that Puni accomplished high honors as just a sophomore, he was quick to name flaws in his game that he must improve on in order to get potential scholarship offers. “I need to work on my ball handling and my shooting,” Puni said. “It’s what I need to do to get better.” While Puni is quick to point out flaws in himself, former and current teammates see nothing but positives in his game.

“His range beyond the arc is impressive,” junior Jack Dickens said, former teammate of Puni. Current teammate junior Terel Tipton finds even more positives with Puni’s skill level. “I like his post game and his ball control,” Tipton said. All of those skills were on display during his sophomore season, his first year on varsity. As a sophomore, Puni led the squad in scoring as a sixth man. He looks to build his stat line with his goal for this year. “I hope to average a double-double for every game this season,” Puni said. To achieve his goal, Puni has to maintain focus, something he thinks he does excellently leading up to games. “On the bus to games, I just put my iPod in and put all my attention into the game. I really try to think about what I’m going to need to do,” Puni said. In the games, Puni’s focus carries over, as he makes sure to think about every move and every assignment he is responsible for. Not everybody sees it that way though.

“Puni is a jokester off the court, so people don’t think he’s capable of being serious,” Pagano said. According to Puni however, it’s all business when he steps in the paint. “In order to perform at the best of my ability, I make sure I focus on my assignments,” Puni said. According to Puni, he is well prepared for his junior season. This off-season, he played with a summer team. His team, The Missouri Impact, benefited his skills and made him excited for the future. “The season went pretty good, we played in a lot of out-of-town tournaments. We traveled a lot and I thought it was fun,” he said. The basketball season has started, so Puni will get to see if his off-season training will come full circle. As he pushes forward for more honors, Puni has another thing in mind. “Maybe, just maybe, I could get a scholarship,” he said with a giant smile on his face, a sign that he thinks there are big things on their way in the future.

fhctoday.com | sweat

}9


By Matt Lundberg sweat editor

The lights in the main gym flicker on as Sensations Coach Nicole Huffman walks in to prepare for the Sensations’ morning practice. During this practice the girls have about one hour to run through their competition dances and according to senior Amber Rumbolo, make the best of this limited time. “We get [here] at 6 [a.m.], pretty much looking like we just rolled out of bed and then get right to work. . . We practice both of our dances about three times in a row just within one hour so it’s pretty exhausting,” Rumbolo said. This hard work pays off in a big way, though, according to Rumbolo. The Sensations took first in hip hop during their competition at Lindbergh High School and placed second with their jazz routine. For the team’s five seniors, this would be the last time that they would be dancing at this competition and this is a concept that is tough for senior Danielle Grieve to accept.

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sweat | december 16, 2011

“I’ve danced at Lindberg for years now, success from last year in which they won and this was the last time I will have danced state, according to Greco. “Our goals for this year are staying first in in it,” Grieve said. “It makes it harder to give state, being in the top five in Nationals and it all up.” The team this year has five seniors. In keeping the drama out of the team,” Greco said. addition to Rumbolo In order to maintain and Grieve, the team this goal, these morning also has Calli Fletcher, “I’ve danced at Lindbergh practices can be Hannah Greco and for years now and this is crucial. Sydne Glenn. the last time I will have “We all dread morning Fletcher, Greco and danced in it. It makes it practice, we’re not Rumbolo have been harder to give it all up.” morning people exactly, members on the but we work hard varsity team since their { Danielle Grieve } and get many goals freshman year and senior accomplished [in these have bonded with team This is Greco’s fourth year on the Varsity Sensations team. practices],” Rumbolo members in preparation She has also participated in the Saeger Spirit Team as a for these competitions Spirit Leader, along with dancing outside school at a private said. dance studio. The seniors this and actually competing year had the chance with other schools. “We get close to everyone on the team to dance at the Edward Jones Dome and at the competition,” Rumbolo said. “It’s will be dancing at the Family Arena in Dec. bittersweet because [this] year is already when the boys basketball team takes on Kirkwood. half over.” At the Dome, however, the girls had to This season the girls hope to repeat their

photo by savannah mceachern

Five seniors take final bow

fight through some technical difficulties, but were successful according to Glenn. “I feel like the beginning was really rough, but when everything got better, we all came together and preformed the best we could after what happened,” Glenn said. Leadership and confidence helps to get the team through nerves and execute in competitions according to Greco. “Being the captain, I didn’t want to let my team down,” Greco said. “You have to tell yourself you have this; we have this.” As far as future plans, each girl has her own destination in mind, but all are at least considering dance. Greive will be attending Missouri S&T and is thinking about joining the dance team, Rumbolo will be attending LSU or Arizona State and plans on auditioning for a spot on the dance team. Greco plans to attend Iowa State and try out for the Cyclone dance team while Glenn will attend Mizzou. Lastly, Fletcher is undecided about schools or her future in dance.


meet the

photo by amber roth

At their family night performance, the Sensations stand ready to perform their Jazz routine. At Lindbergh, this routine, danced to “Run the World” by Beyonce, earned second place.

photo by amber roth

Hannah Greco

photo by amber roth

seniors

photo by savannah mceachern

Calli Fletcher

Danielle Grieve

Seniors Amber Rumbolo and Hannah Greco move through the Sensations jazz routine at family night on Dec. 9. Rumbolo and Greco have been on Sensations since their freshman year.

photo by amber roth

photo by amber roth

SYDNE GLENN

Frozen mid-routine, the Sensations perform their hip hop dance at their family night.The routine earned first place at the Linberg High School meet in early December.

photo by amber roth

photo by amber roth

Amber Rumbolo

Our goals for this year are staying first in state, being in the top five in Nationals and keeping the drama out of the team. Hannah Greco {senior

fhctoday.com | sweat

}11


Injury sends Warncke to bench By Blake Beck

In addition to Warncke’s injury, the team suffered two significant losses over the The girls basketball team suffered a summer, with alumni Madeline Ragsdale major loss during a fall league game and Stacy Belt both graduating. As was the case with Warncke’s, the when junior and two-year starter Kristen Warncke tore her anterior cruciate vacancy has put increased pressure on multiple players, including ligament (ACL), an injury that junior Grace Wade and senior will more than likely leave Jessica Rekosh. The team’s her unable to play for the success could ultimately rely season, according to Coach “I think we Brian Ricker. will be just as on both Wade and Rekosh, according to Coach Ricker. Warncke, who was second good, if not “Both Wade and Rekosh have on the team with nine points better, than to help out inside with the scoring per game last season, was last year’s this year,” Coach Ricker said. a leading contributor to last Through the first three games, season’s 20-win campaign. team. Even the duo have indeed contributed Coach Ricker deems this with injuries on offense, scoring a combined injury a major loss for the and departed 10 points per game. The two team. players, we have also helped on defense, “Kristen’s injury definitely still have a lot with Wade ranking third on the hurts us,” Coach Ricker team in rebounds. said. “We would have of talent.” The Spartans, despite the been stronger with her, but { Kristen Warncke } injuries and inexperienced [junior] Kathryn Gerler has Junior players, work into the season stepped in real well. We with a four game winning streak. miss Kristen, but we are very Warncke believes the team will succeed even though she To the team, the hot start to the lucky to have Katy.” is not playing because of the season is no surprise. Warncke In Warncke’s absence, talent already on the team. What do you think the Girl’s feels this team has an extremely Gerler has averaged roughly basketball team’s chances are this season? Answer us on or good chance at matching last 12 points throughout the facebook or twitter. year’s 20-8 record. first three games of the “I think we will be just as season, good for second good, if not better, than last on the team. For Warncke, watching her teammates succeed from year’s team,” Warncke said. “Even with the sidelines creates a bittersweet feeling. the injuries and departed players, we still “It’s hard to watch,” Warncke said. “But have a lot of talent.” Coach Ricker shares the same it’s fun to be there and support my team.” Warncke plans to support the team by sentiment as Warncke and the other assisting players that play her position players. “I do believe that the team can be and encouraging her teammates from the successful this season,” Coach Ricker stands. “All I can do is just cheer them on and said. “We have some talented kids and give tips every once in awhile,” Warncke we have worked hard, but other players just need to step up.” said.

Junior Kristen Warncke encourages a teammate during the girls basketball team’s close 45-43 defeat of Hazelwood Central on Dec. 9. A torn ACL has forced Warncke to the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

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sweat | december 16, 2011

photo by kelci davis

photo by kelci davis

staff reporter

Celebrating a basket during the Lady Spartans close victory over Hazelwood Central, junior Kristen Warncke leaps off the bench as teammates and coaches look on at the action.


Wrestlers struggle, expect improvement

By Mary Niebur staff reporter

As this year’s wrestling season kicks off, wrestling Coach Steve Cross and the team remembers last year’s season, in which the team won match after match against some of the best schools in the state. With the graduation of an elite group of wrestlers, including a three-time state champion wrestler, alumnus Terrell Wilbourn, it should go without saying this year’s team has a big name to live up to.

The first match of the season was lost to Seckman High School which the team has not been defeated by in five years. Although the match was lost, it was somewhat expected, according to Coach Cross. “We lost 14 good wrestlers that graduated last year, and this season we have a lot of new team members in the line up who have great potential, but it’s difficult for any wrestling team who had the majority of their team graduate to start out as the best,” Coach Cross said. “As the season goes on we’re only going to improve.” Most wrestlers are confident the team will continue to succeed, despite the loss the team suffered at its first match, including junior John Wood, who was on the team last year in addition to this year. “We lost a lot of wrestlers at the end of last year leaving the team with only a few old members and a lot of empty spaces for new people to fill which means there is

going to be lots of room for improvement and practice,” Wood said. “As everyone knows, practice makes perfect, so I think if they keep practicing and trying their hardest, they will succeed in doing well this season.” The team’s line up has many new members this season, but that is not stopping the coaches from pushing the wrestlers to try their hardest at practices, matches and tournaments. “Our goal is to put our best team on the mat by state,” Coach Cross said. According to senior Cole Anderson, the first semester will be more difficult than the second. “First semester is going to be tough, but second semester we will do better,” Anderson said. “I’m confident that we are going to place in the top ten during state because we take state very seriously and push ourselves at practice to do our best and we bring all that onto the mat with us when it comes to state.”

fhctoday.com | sweat

}1


Making connections, closing the distance By Alli Keisker

print executive editor

Having a child leave home can be hard on any family, including alumnus David “DJ” Wojciehowski’s family. DJ is an Airman First Class (A1C) rank in the United States Air Force. Though it was difficult for his family, it was especially hard on him. DJ entered the Air Force a month after his graduation in 2009. He is the second of three children, but the first to leave home. Though the military was always a consideration of his, it was not his first choice, but he was still anxious for the experience. “I was a little nervous [to join the Air Force], but I was also excited to be starting a new chapter in my life and was wondering on how it would change me,” DJ said. Along with his excitement, his family also had pride in him, according to both DJ and his mother, special education teacher, Mrs. Monica Wojciehowski. “My family was proud for what I was doing, but at the same time my parents were sad that I was leaving,” DJ said. “I was the first child that was leaving the local area so they were a little upset, as was my sister, but they were still proud for what I was doing and supported my decision 100 percent.” With his family’s approval, DJ joined the military not realizing all of what it would entail for him. At first, DJ had a hard time being away from friends and family. He suffered from homesickness. He first became homesick when he was waiting to start his advanced training. According to Mrs. Wojciehowski, there was a three-week long period between basic and advanced training because DJ needed additional clearance for it to begin. “It was difficult [at first.] I had a hard time concentrating on what I needed to do, but it didn’t affect [my work] too much. I didn’t sleep as much as I needed to, but I was still able to pass the classes that I needed,” DJ said. “It wasn’t as bad as some people who had complete mental breakdowns and got discharged because they couldn’t perform what they needed to.” Mrs. Wojciehowski said the hardest part of having a son in the military is for a parent to know their child is homesick. “When he first finished basic [training] and was waiting to start his advanced training, he had a lot of down time and knew only a few people.” Mrs. Wojciehowski said. “This was when the homesickness was the worst. I was upset because I could not do anything for him, but also was somewhat relieved that I did not need to make the decision for him to come home; it was out of my control.”

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in focus | november 16, 2011

Despite his homesickness, Mrs. Wojciehowski at work because I don’t have it at my apartment, and DJ’s father, Mr. Stan Wojciehowski, feel he but while I am at work I can get on Facebook and has grown into a strong, confident young man. check my e-mail,” DJ said. “When I am not at work, Though things are better now, but there are still I can use my phone for Facebook and e-mail, but I can also make calls. I can’t have my phone days DJ feels homesick. “I still have days where I feel homesick, but it is with me while I am at work because of my jobs easier for me to cope with now, than it was when classifications.” Though he can contact family and friends now, I first joined. One of the hardest things for me, right now, is being so far away from my family and it was not always that way. According to DJ, friends,” DJ said. “It’s hard to be away from the whenever he was in his early stages of training he people you grew up around for such long periods could not talk to anyone, including family. “It is much easier now [to keep in touch] than it of time and to try and make new friends in the new was when I was in tech school. I have much more places that you go.” Though some who join the military are not free time now, rather than having classes all day to [the point] where I permitted to leave often, or couldn’t communicate ever, DJ has traveled quite with people in any way,” a bit, according to Mrs. “I still have days where I feel DJ said. “It is very easy Wojciehowski. Currently, DJ is stationed in Fort homesick, but it is easier for me to to stay in contact with Meade, MD, but has lived cope with, now, than it was when people [now] because I have so much free in Texas and Florida during I first joined. One of the hardest time.” training and has traveled to things for me, right now, is being Even with the ability Virginia and Pennsylvania. so far away from my family and to communicate with Despite his loved ones, DJ says homesickness, he is able friends. It’s hard to be away from the distance can be to come visit friends and the people you grew up around difficult when it comes family approximately every for such long periods of time and to missing out on six months. He has learned try to make new friends in the new important events. to cope by being involved places that you go.” “I don’t really miss out in outside activities. He on holidays so much was able to participate in as I do with birthday’s some community musical { DJ Wojciehowski } and all that. I feel out of productions and has made alumnus the loop now because friends in Maryland. I’m not around to be This year, he is coming Wojciehowski is in an Airman First Class rank in the United States Air Force. home to spend Christmas He joined the Air Force the summer after his 2009 graduation and has been involved with everything, away from his family ever since then other than the few times he has been but I try to stay involved with his family and he permitted to return home. As he has been in the Air Force, he, like others in the military, has suffered from homesickness. as much as I possibly tries to come home again can,” DJ said. during the summer to visit Though it may be hard friends who have returned home for college. He also travels to Kentucky for DJ, and other military members, he feels it has been a good stepping stone in his life. Christian College to visit friends. “I have had a great experience so far. [The military] But DJ is not the only one who is allowed to has definitely helped me mature in life. I’m getting travel. His parents can visit him in Maryland, too. “[DJ] has been home at least a couple times to go to new places for free and get to meet new a year. Stan went out to Maryland and spent people all the time just through my job and through Thanksgiving with him,” Mrs. Wojciehowski said. the [United States Air Force Base Honor Guard.] “He will be home for Christmas and has been home Granted it has been hard to get to where I am, but for Christmas each year since being in the military. I it has been rewarding.” DJ plans to finish his military career and go back have been out to Maryland twice to visit him.” Whenever DJ is back in Fort Meade, he still to school to earn a college degree. If others plan to maintains contact with his family via phone calls, join the military, DJ recommends one thing. “I can say that, if there are people who are thinking Facebook and emails. Even with those forms of communication available to him, he only has of joining, it is a rewarding experience, but make Internet access available to him while he is at work. sure that it is what you want to do 100 percent,” “I can talk to anyone at pretty much anytime of DJ said. “I speak from experience when I say that if the day, so staying connected with people is very you aren’t 100 percent committed, it will be much easy. I usually only have Internet access while I am harder for you.”


“

With her son in the U.S. Air Force, special education teacher Mrs. Monica Wojciehowski holds onto photos and memories of her son. Her son, DJ, went into the armed forces the summer following his gradutation in

photos by kelci davis

[When DJ went into advanced training] was when the homesickness was the worst. I was upset because I could not do anything for him, but also was somwhat relieved that I did not need to make the decision for him to come home; it was out of my control. Mrs. Wojciehowski

{special education teacher, mother of alumnus in the united states air force}

fhctoday.com | in focus

}15


SENIORS!

Today is the final day for you (or your mom) to purchase a senior remembrance ad in the yearbook! Stop by room 139 to reserve your space in the back of the book. While you’re there, purchase your copy of your senior yearbook

ARE YOU YET?

Reserve your copy of the 2011-12 yearbook at registration. Cost of the book is now $65. Name: _________________________________________ Grade: ____

Date:________

Cash: ____

Check#_____

All checks must be made payable to FHC Publications

Staff signature: ____________________

16 }

advertisements | december 16, 2011


{the scene}

Jamming ‘Under the Mistletoe’ Infamous teen sensation releases his highly anticipated Christmas album

T

h e r e comes a time in every artist’s musical career when they reach a lull between albums. By Sean In such dry spots, Gundersen artists either communications choose to take a editor break from the life of constant melodies, or release an ‘in-between record’ such as an EP to tide over fans until their next big release. Unfortunately, some artists — such

photo illustration by kelci davis, photos courtesy of justinbeibermusic.com

as NSYNC and David Archuleta — fall to the realm of unnecessary ‘themed albums,’ most notably Christmas themed releases. I myself am a lover of Christmas music through and through, though I pride myself in the ability to weed out the good from the bad. Much like previous years, this holiday season came with an array of Christmas album releases including, but not limited to, the great Michael Bublé and Zooey Deschanel’s band “She & Him.” At any rate, the holiday blockbuster album of this wintry season is undeniably “Under the

Mistletoe,” by the infamous Justin Bieber. The 11-track album features five original songs and six unique vocal stylings of some of the most beloved Christmas songs of our generation and of years past. “He brings a fresher vibe and a different spin on the classic Christmas songs that I’ve been listening to for years,” said junior Sydney Donovan. Paired with collaborations featuring the talents of such stars as Boyz II Men, Usher, Mariah Carey, and The Band Perry, Justin’s album is sure to “make the holiday a little bigger,” as rapped by Busta Rhymes

in a vamped-up rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” showcasing the experienced rhymes of Busta, and a small taste of Justin’s new found rap skills — showcased proudly in his already viral freestyle rap over “Otis” on YouTube. To the lament of many fans, it seems as though Justin will never be received at a level of true respect and admiration despite his talent, charitable manner, and personable demeanor. “I think for the most part people have already formed an opinion about Justin for better or for worse, and they’re holding to it,”

said junior James Pugh. “Sadly, I don’t think the bulk of people will ever be able to get past the conformity of their views and simply enjoy his music.” Regardless of personal preference, people should pick up a copy of Justin’s album and soak up the warm tunes this holiday season. After all, this is the time of year when we are all supposed to get past our dissonance and live in harmony, is it not? So kick back with a loved one during a brisk winter afternoon by the fireplace and let Justin’s voice ring through the rafters. ‘ Tis the season.

fhctoday.com | the scene

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playlist

“cool, calm, and collected” When life’s trials and tribulations become overwhelming I find it best to simply retreat to my room, sprawl across my bed, put in my headphones and drown out the sounds of the world. Something relatively soothing is just what the doctor ordered. These tracks are the remedy for a jumbled mind.

by Lizzi Holland

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

“Lady Blue” by As Cities Burn

With a slow start and an electric ending, this a song that will relax you, but not send to you dreamville. This is a song that will make you think. Your brainwaves will sync up with the beat and enjoy the trip.

“Starry-Eyed” by Elli Gouldering Now, you’ve probably heard the original version of this, but the “Starry Eyed” that belongs on this playlist is the acoustic version. Elli Gouldering’s voice is so pure while maintaining a hint of a jazzy rasp. When I first heard this version I had goosebumps.

“Imaginary Enemy” by Circa Survive This is another song in where the acoustic version is better than the original. The less prominent music allows you to hear Anthony Green’s voice in a way I never had before. The chilling lyrics and phenomenal guitar solo will leave you wanting more.

“Mexican Wine” by Fountains of Wayne

Laughing Senior Zachary Lund embraces funnier side of life as he works his way through his early artistic career

“Mexican Wine” is tad more lighthearted than the previously selected songs. It does, however, still contain a solid melody with an older feel to it.l

“Not a Second to Waste” by A Rocket to the Moon This song connects to the small part in everyone that worries that they’re wasting their time on someone/something. Bittersweet due to its hint of truth, you’ll want to replay this song over and over.

“Another Lonely Day” by Ben Harper If you have never heard of Ben Harper then you’re severely missing out. One of the most underrated artists, Ben Harper is a proficient maker of smooth tunes; this song is particularly relaxing.

“Pour Me Out” By He is We He Is We is another band that just oozes calm feelings. No matter how difficult the subject, He Is We delivers a catchy, clever song jam-packed with genuine emotion.

“Fever Dream” by Iron and Wine The guitar playing alone makes this song noteworthy. The only way you should ever listen to this is in your bed with the curtains drawn while you ponder your existence. Yes, it’s that good.

“Three Little Birds” by Brandon Urie I’m not usually a fan of covers, so the mere fact that I’m recommending one means something. Brandon Urie maintains the soul of Bob Marley’s original “Three Little Birds” while still putting his own twist on it. Not to mention, that this cover displays exactly how amazing Brandon Urie’s voice truly is.

“I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie This song is the definition of this playlist. That’s all I can say about it. If you haven’t heard it, you are missing out on more than you can imagine. Go listen to it. Now.

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the scene | december 16, 2011

“One of the reasons I love art so much is because it makes you a god, in a way. You manipulate the composition, the viewers, the way people feel. I can make it as happy or as funny or as depressing as I want. And I love that power.” want to see the artist at work? scan this QR code to watch Zachary Lund create the drawings in the background or visit fhctoday.com/ifocus


through life By Kelci Davis

visuals executive editor

He sits in the corner of the room blocking out the noise from the rest of the students. Suddenly, without warning, senior Zachary Lund yells out and crumples up the sketch he has been working on and chucks it in the trash can as he walks back into the supply closet to get new supplies. When it comes to Lund, his need for perfection has been pushing him further and further in his journey of becoming an accomplished artist. “I like being in control of things,” said Lund. “And I’ve learned that I can control the way I make my work look. I always loved the thought of using your imagination to draw, and doing that is another way for me to manipulate life.” With 17 years of practice behind him, Lund has seen many changes and conflicts in his style, but his overall urge to be in control has stayed consistent. He often finds himself conflicted in his work. “I go back and forth between my artist’s ego and reducing myself back to my childish tendencies and imagination. It creates a strange contradiction to work with,” said Lund. “One minute I’m being an immature pervert like I used to be, the next I’m working like a professional artist.” When Lund first started out in art, he would sit for hours in his room letting his imagination drive his compositions, as he lacked any formal training. According to Lund, everything he learned up through the last couple of years was self-taught and came through practice, determination and an over-active imagination, which fostered his risky and unique style. “When I was younger, I was almost afraid to censor myself. I used my imagination for everything and just did exactly what I felt,” said Lund. “It typically came out sexual or crude, and that still tends to show through in some of my work. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve matured a lot, and the world around me has changed. So, naturally, so has my work.” This change has been bittersweet for Lund. While he appreciates everything he has learned in both life and art, he finds it hard not to revisit some of his old pieces. “It’s kind of sad in a way,” said Lund. “Everything I do has to be so precise now or I hate it. I used to just be free-form, and worry more about the overall work rather than one minor detail. It’s a shame really. I have to resist the urge to go back and fix all the mistakes I see in my past pieces like ‘I Wish I Was a Bird’ and ‘I Hate the Dentist.’ But I know nothing’s ever completed. No piece of art can ever be perfect, so it’s never done. And at the same time, I won’t go back and edit any

of them because it stands to show how much I’ve grown and where I’ve come from. It’s like a parent with their child: they try their best, but know their kid isn’t perfect, but eventually, you just have to let them be who they are and move on with their life. I have to let the piece be what it is and not take that away, as much as I want to.” Instead of focusing on the past, Lund focuses on what he can come to create in the future. “Things will always change and evolve. And so will I. So while I do miss my old style, and may incorporate it at some points now, I won’t return to it because it’s not who I am now. I am where I am for a reason, and I’ll be moving forward and changing still,” said Lund. While he has some apprehension, Lund looks out onto the horizon optimistically. He utilizes his deep sense of humor to push him forward in life and art. “I love things that make me laugh,” said Lund. “I guess that’s why I love comics so much. I don’t take things seriously, and I don’t take people seriously. I don’t take myself that seriously for that matter, so why take life seriously?” Lund’s love of the jocular side of life has brought him to wanting to work with comics or graphic art for the rest of his life. “Obviously, I’d like to become an awesome graphic artist, but I’m not really wanting to do anime or anything. I really like Saturday cartoons, and I’d be pretty happy doing them,” said Lund. His apprehension of the future lies in his inability to see him doing anything else in life. “I don’t even want to think about any other job. It’s just not me,” said Lund. However, developing his skill with this style has been difficult, as it’s not as commonly emphasized in the school’s art classes. “Most of my inspiration for this style has come from the comics I read. And I just learn to how to create my own by looking up tutorials and things on the internet. No teachers here really do comic book style,” said Lund. ”But don’t get me wrong, they’ve been a great help. They’ve taught me a lot to help push my abilities further, with techniques like how to use implied lines. I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but implied lines are the key to success.” However, there is one teacher who will always stand out to Lund when it comes to his art. The first art teacher he came across at this school, Mrs. Judy Switzer, has been a great influence and motivator in his life. “Switzer was really the first teacher to accept how annoying I am, and to give me straight-forward advice,

and understand my style and what I do,” said Lund. “Not to mention she’s like a mom to me.” Mrs. Switzer believes that, while his sense of humor will get him far, Lund’s perseverance and dedication will get him farther. “Zach’s style is so wonderfully unique. He has a really interesting, obscure sense of humor that is always illustrated in is work,” said Mrs. Switzer. “Besides his great personality, his hard work and dedication really drives his skill. He’s constantly practicing, all the time, any time he can and that says something. Practice makes perfect, as they say. I definitely think that determination will take him far in the art world.” With these skills becoming developed, Lund has had new opportunities opening up to him. After having the School of the Art Institute of Chicago accept his portfolio, he hopes to attend college there. “When I found out they accepted my work, I was speechless,” said Lund. “I was so happy and ecstatic, I couldn’t contain it. It’s been a great motivation for more work.” Lund also feels he owes a lot of his inspiration and growth to his long-time best friend, senior Justin Montgomery. “Justin’s just an awesome kind of guy. Whenever I get an idea or some kind of inspiration I immediately tell him. He’s been a great influence and been with me through so much. I owe a lot to him, in a way,” said Lund. Montgomery tries to help out Lund whenever and however he can, especially through laughter. “Basically, when Zach needs inspiration, I act stupid. If I can make him laugh, it usually helps,” said Montgomery. “Just because he hasn’t taken classes doesn’t mean he won’t go far. I think he’ll go very far because of his humor more than any thing else.” Lund’s contradicting love of control and acceptance of change has propelled him into his own level of work and style, which developed from his lack of training, humor and imagination. “One of the reasons I love art so much is because it makes you a god, in a way,” said Lund. “You manipulate the composition, the viewers, the way people feel. I can make it as happy or as funny or as depressing as I want. And I love that power.” No matter what path he takes in the future, Lund knows his passion for art will stay with him. But when asked about what his next step will be from here, his sense of humor once again shined through. “I guess my next step is out the door,” said Lund. “Out the building, to my car. And from there, who the hell knows?”

fhctoday.com | the scene

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Perfect presents for your partner By Madelyn Newton staff reporter

If you have been dating for more than one year

.........

.........

{boyfriend}

If you have been dating for less than one year

“You definitely don’t want to get them something cheap. Something sentimental that they would enjoy, not that you would enjoy for them.” Katlyn Schaefermeier {senior

......... If you have been dating for more than one year

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the scene | december 16, 2011

If you have been dating for less than one year

Tyler Keane {senior

.........

“You could get your girlfriend a stuffed animal or something so that they always have something to remember you.”

{girlfriend}


“Drummer Boy” makes its mark

It’s hard to believe that a bunch of people banging on drums and playing obscure instruments can change your life, but it can. Before you get turned off by the fact that I am talking about a Christmas program at a church, realize that “Drummer By Margaret Boy” is not the typical church Borgmeyer Christmas concert. be heard editor Professional musicians from all over the St. Louis area come together at Grace Church in Maryland Heights to make astoundingly powerful music. Sure, the overall story of Christmas is included, but it is not told in the typical “sing a bunch of carols, watch a reenactment of Mary in the Manger” Christmas program. I’m guessing at some point in time you have seen a video of “STOMP” or maybe even the live DVD; “Drummer Boy” is basically “STOMP” on Christian drugs. Yes, “STOMP” is awesome, but generally has less than 20 people on stage at a time. During “Drummer Boy,” there are often more than 100 people on stage at a time; there are dancers, drummers, guitarists, singers, assorted percussionists, and two years ago, even acrobats. I have always been a person who is extremely moved by music — but “Drummer Boy” had to have been the most emotional I had ever felt at a concert. The concert is performed completely surrounding the audience — a 360 degree experience. Drums fly in from the ceiling, musicians appear in the upper balcony, parades of instrumentalists come in from the back of the sanctuary — weaving in and out of the audience. The first time I saw “Drummer Boy” was two years ago. Having gone to Grace on a regular basis before, my family and I had the inside scoop on when to get there and where to sit. In past years, “Drummer Boy” was free; the church wanted a free program in hopes that more people would come to see it. But in 2009, the traffic going to the church caused thousands of people to not even get into the show; so, the church has begun charging to ensure everyone who goes will have a seat. My family and I got to the church two hours early to find that a small line had already started. We were probably the sixth or seventh people in line. After another long wait for the show to start, the

Pounding away on garbage cans filled with paint, members of “Drummer Boy” entertain at last year’s performance. The immersive performance begins tomorrow and runs until Dec. 23.

lights went pitch black. I could feel the pulses of a base drum radiate through my seat. A didgeridoo belted out a low note from behind me. I was in complete awe of everything going on around me. Everywhere I looked something was happening, but even with so much going on, everything was tied together perfectly. The music was breathtaking. I seriously couldn’t handle how emotional it was making me. A few times I looked around to see even the burliest of men crying over it. When the show ended there was a roar of applause. My hands turned bright red from how much clapping I did. Once all the craziness settled down, there was a state of almost shocked looks on people’s faces. I couldn’t even figure out words to describe what I had just seen. I mean, it’s one thing to see something like that in a movie or to see a good concert from a famous band, but I didn’t expect anything that amazing from my local church.

photos courtesy of grace church

A pair of drummers pound away in unison during a performance from last year’s “Drummer Boy.” Grace Church in Maryland Heights has been putting on the show for several years.

want to see more?

scan the code above to see a video of “Drummer Boy” and to purchase tickets ... if they’re still available.

or visit www.gracestl.net

fhctoday.com | the scene

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Ideal nail ideas

Nail design how-to, perfect for the holidays By Lizzi Holland the scene editor

want to see more?

scan the code above and see a how-to photo story on how to create various winter nail designs or visit fhctoday.com/thescene

Free

12 oz. Blizzard Treat

When you purchase any 12 oz. or larger Blizzard Treat at regular price

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the scene | december 16, 2011

1015 St. Peters Howell Rd., St. Peters, Mo. 63376 36.397.0501


{be heard}

Holiday jingles bring out inner Grinch Student loathes holiday music due to it being overplayed throughout the winter

The day after Halloween everyone breaks into Christmas mode. Decorations come out, sweaters are brought to the forefront, and mistletoe is hung with care. Nowadays, Thanksgiving is afterthought By Lizzi Holland an the scene editor compared to the almighty Christmas. Santa comes to town in early November, no longer saving his journey for December only. The quick progression from Halloween into Christmas is not really much of an issue for me. Sure, there may be an abundance of retched reindeer sweaters

on elderly women everywhere, but all and all, I’m a firm believer that Christmas brings out the best in people. People smile more, people have more patience, and people are more forgiving as the holidays approach; maybe to save themselves from falling victim to the infamous ‘naughty list’. Whatever the reason, the quick flip to roasted chestnuts and jingle-bells is not what really grinds my gears. The real culprit is Christmas music. Now, I’m no Grinch. My heart is its rightful size and healthy, beating in my chest cavity. Yet, the sound of Christmas music coming through a speaker makes me want to tear my hair out. I believe that the cause of this hatred stems from elementary school itself. From kindergarten to sixth grade I was forced

to learn and perfect the virtually identical set list for the annual Holiday Concert for music class. I’m not sure how your elementary school was, but at Wedgwood everyone took a music class, everyone learned the holiday music and everyone performed; no exceptions (unless a parent called in, but who wants to be the freak that can’t sing with everyone else because of the religious affiliations?). And I don’t care who you are, singing ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ and other cliche holiday songs every year for seven years will make you learn to loathe Christmas music. I also feel like the insistence every department store has on constantly filtering Christmas music throughout their

store is just out of control. Just because I’m walking through a store does not mean I have the desire to be bombarded by holiday cheer. Yet, despite all of these factors, I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was my mother singing Christmas music to herself throughout the entire year. Now, I don’t mean to rain on the parade of happiness she has year wide, but the constant humming and singing and whistling is enough to drive a person to madness. You know when I think Christmas music should be played? On Christmas Eve and Christmas day. That’s it. Not a month, week, day, hour, or minute more. Two days out of a year I will accept caroling and other forms of Christmas music. Any more and I might snap.

fhctoday.com | be heard

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E

veryday a surprising amount of kids at our school live in fear. Constantly trying to figure out how to hide, how to stay out of harms way. They never know when their bully is going to strike. Not everyone can understand what it’s like, but I can. I have been a victim of bullying. It’s a hard thing to admit, yes. I never told anyone while it was happening, but looking back I wish I would have. Just knowing that I let those people affect me so much hurts. How did I let them ruin my self-esteem, and make me feel worthless? Here is my story: I went to private school from fourth grade to eighth By Caitlan grade and I was in a class of ten by the end of it. Seven girls, three Good staff reporter boys. As most of you know, girls are pretty good at intimidating each other. With only seven of us, there was, of course, a lot of drama. At times it really seemed hard to go on. I felt like I was alone, and it’s hard to cope with something like bullying when you feel like you have no one to turn to. When you have absolutely no one, and you sit alone at lunch, while the nine other kids in your class are talking, usually about you, and you’re just alone day after day, it seems hard to see past whats going on, and it seems easy to just give up. Most days, I felt worthless, I never had anyone to confide in. Most days, I went home and cried. My parents and teachers had no idea what was going on. I had no friends. I didn’t know anyone outside of my school at the time, and I had no one to turn to. This all went on for almost two years. A lot of this bullying, and social isolation lead to the development of my severe depression. There is, however, a good ending to this story. After a few months of all of this happening, our principal finally noticed I wasn’t myself. He notified his wife, who was my teacher, and she pulled

all of us girls aside and we had a huge talk. After the talk, it became obvious there needed to be a change in the way everyone was acting. Finally, everyone decided to give up on the ‘let’s hate Caitlan’ game, and eventually we all learned to accept each other. You just need to remember that it will get better. It cannot stay bad forever. Everyone needs support, everyone needs to know that it will be okay. Without some sort of a support system, whether that be a friend, family member or a teacher, most will just hold it in and will be affected more than they notice. Their grades drop, they always stay home, they develop negative feelings towards themselves, lose friendships and isolate themselves from society, as was the case in my situation. Recently, we have been encouraged to attend a home room, in order to spread awareness on bullying. How many of us actually went? I confess, as much as this topic haunts me, I did not go. I, along with many other students, felt it was a waste of time. I would like to think that something like the 45-minute discussion about bullying would help spread awareness and help end the problem, but people just don’t understand what it’s like to be bullied, or how to help, unless they have actually been through it, and know what it’s like to feel like they have nothing left to live for. All faculty members say will listen, and take kids seriously, but do we all believe it? From the point of view in, as students, I’d say that most of us don’t feel we have an adult within the school we feel comfortable to talk to about anything in our personal lives. It’s not a secret that our school has been trying to show us that they care about the safety of students. There is, however, a small portion of our school who experience bullying every single day. While teachers, principals, and counselors believe they are doing all that they can do with raising awareness throughout the student body, I believe not enough is being done. But, the question is, what more can be done? The sad truth is

take the pledge

scan the code above and take the pledge to take a stand against bullying from now on

or visit standtogether.tv 24}

be heard | december 16, 2011

there are still kids who are bullied. Every single day. The source of the bullying still has no face. Studies show that bullying usually leads to the victim to stand up for themselves, or it will wreak havoc on their self-esteem, but as we’ve all seen in the news lately, many of these kids get to the point where they don’t see a reason to go on, and they end up taking their own lives; this is the affect of all of the bullying, day after day, on the individual person. As was the case with Ashlynn Conner, who was only ten years old when she took her own life. This is a sad occurrence, but we all need to realize it’s happening. It’s a hard truth to face, but we need to see it. We need to reach out. Everyone needs to know, they have someone. To anyone reading this, just know it is happening. It is real, and people need help. Even if you just take an extra step and ask someone if they’re okay, and actually listen, or encourage them to ask an adult for help. No one can make someone come forward, and report the problem, but we can all do something to make sure everyone knows they have someone they can turn to. Realistically, bullying will never go away, but we can do our best to show victims that they have a friend, and that there is hope for their future. Together, we can show everyone just how important they are to all of us, and hopefully realize that bullying is never the answer.


Infidelity creates chance to grow, be happier

You’re amazing. I don’t want anyone but you. No one makes me feel the way you do. I love you. I’ve never been happier in my life before. I’ll never leave you alone. You’re a part of me. I never want you to leave. You’re so By Kelci Davis beautiful to me. I’ll always visuals executive editor be here for you. I’m in love with you. We’re going to have a happy ending. These are all lies I’ve heard. I’m not the only one who’s heard them either. The sad truth is there are so many of us who’ve been looked in the eyes and fed these lines only to later realize each one was just knife in the heart. I heard these lies for six months before I was exposed to the truth. My boyfriend’s best friend called me when I was at a school football game, and told me that the boy I was defending had been sleeping around for our entire relationship, and for the last four

months had had another girlfriend. It’s a moment I won’t forget. One moment I was standing in the cold with some people I barely knew, and the next I couldn’t feel anything but the fact that I knew nothing about the person I loved. For a long time, I was infuriated with myself. There were signs. My parents were wary. My best friends tried to warn me when they saw the way he treated me. But for some ungodly reason I let him talk me into him again. In the end, I felt pathetic, angry, betrayed and so many emotions that I couldn’t begin to define. Two days after finding out, I confronted him. He refused to meet me in person, as he knew what was coming and said he couldn’t handle telling me the truth in person. He hesitently admitted to the crimes against him and was silent as I condemned him. And then I heard it again. “But I still love you. I never stopped loving you.” In that moment, everything changed. I started laughing because I realized something that changed my life forever: I didn’t care.

I laughed and smiled as I said goodbye, and wished him well in life. I realized that I didn’t care how he felt or what he had to say, because I knew how I felt, and I knew I deserved better than him. After all this, I’ve never understood how someone stays with a partner who’s lied to them. Cheating can be forgivable, but lying and trying to cover it up isn’t. I had a near stranger tell me the truth about someone I’d spent six months with and that’s not acceptable. It’s hard to walk away from someone you’ve invested so much of yourself in. It’s hard to think it will be better in the future. It’s hard to make yourself vulnerable and open to yourself and the world again. It’s hard to learn that it really is better to be on your own sometimes. But in the long run, you need ask yourself what you deserve. Do you deserve someone who doesn’t respect you enough to keep their hands to themselves or someone who genuinely cares about you? Do you deserve someone who will lie to your face and hide it

behind a smile and pretty words or someone who will be honest with even if it may sting? If you can’t answer these questions, it’s likely you aren’t mentally or emotionally capable of being in any kind of a relationship outside the sixth grade. So, whether the wound is healed or still stinging, know that you are now a stronger person because of it. It may be hard, but look back and smile because you know you’re in a better place now than when half your life was an assortment of decorated lies. Besides, the best way to make your ex feel even worse about the situation is by being happy and moving on to someone bigger and better than they’ll ever be. We all want a happy ending. And maybe the happy ending doesn’t include a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s just you, on your own, picking up these pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is just moving on. It’s time for you to start living your happy ending.

the box

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finals late start

Getting an extra hour of Z’s in before the last day of final exams was the greatest idea concieved since the concept that the Earth was round.

stepping up

The newly instated FHC Step Team performed for the first time at the varsity girls basketball game, showcasing the swagger not so commonly seen in other teams or clubs.

benedict albert

We always said we would rue the day when Albert packed up shop and shipped out from the Cardinals. Unfortunately, loyalty was a non-factor in perhaps the biggest decision in St. Louis sports history.

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LOVE LIKE LEAVE

winter break

As if having a late start on the last day of finals wasn’t already great, having a solid two week winter break away from school is the bomb.com.

fine arts frenzy

The return of the once beloved “Fine Arts Festival” and “Mr. FHC” events in January and February respectively are sure to be a hit, as these functions haven’t been seen in five years.

gotta exempt ‘em all

It seems a bit extreme that each student is only offered three finals exemptions in their high school experience. Frankly, students who don’t take this advantage should be eligible to trade them to others like pokemon cards.

fhctoday.com | be heard

}25


staffeditorial Empty hearts, full of pride T

he holiday season is upon us and for many military personnel, this brings on the bitterness in their job that does not allow many servicemen to return to their families for the holidays. When many families sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, some have empty spots at the table. As customers breach the doors on Black Friday, deployed soldiers are conducting patrols in hostile areas and cadets are returning to their respective academy. These empty spots would have been filled by the dedicated soldier in the past few years, and while many people focus on the families affected by this, often times the soldier is overlooked. Missing family holidays is a consequence individuals hoping to attend any of the military academies, or enlisting in the armed forces, must consider as they deliberate over this decision. For many seniors who will be joining the ranks next year, this could very well be the last holiday they are able to spend with their family for the next few years. Going into the military takes a special individual. Upon joining, many of the luxuries you had over the holidays disappear as a result of the commitment to the forces. However, joining the ranks places you on a team with many elite individuals who become a special family with whom you live, eat and fight

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be heard | december 16, 2011

with. These b o n d s made in the military can serve as a second family to many servicemen and will help to alleviate the pain of not seeing family members during the holidays. The main military academies are the United States Military Academy, in West Point, Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. These schools, while allowing cadets to return home for holidays, only allow 72 hours on select holidays for cadets to spend time with family and loved ones. This may not seem like much time when compared to the time most people take off over holidays, but in this three day period, cadets

get a slight break from the significantly stressful schedules associated with the academies that originate with rigors of tough classes and intense physical training. Holiday travels at the academy, while offering a chance for cadets to see families, also cause a nuisance for families who must pay for airline tickets and also pick up their cadet from the airport amongst all of the other holiday activities.This may be a small price to pay, though, for cadets and families to get together to celebrate holidays as a family before graduation from school and their formal commissioning as an officer in the U.S. military.


letter to the editor Dear Central Focus, As many of you have heard, there has been some controversy in the school and in the Art Department. Sophomore Alexandra Behlmann created a fantastic sculpture in the image of a brassiere, but has been denied the right to display it. Because so many students have approached me about this, I thought I would write a letter to the editor and shine a little light on the bra — err, subject. The objective for this sculpture project was to explore Pop Art, based on the work of sculptor Claes Oldenburg. In the 1950’s there emerged an art movement called Pop Art. You may have heard of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who are famous Pop artists. The movement concerns subject matter from popular culture. You see, this movement evolved as a backlash to Abstract Expressionism, a movement that explored deep emotions through non-objective subject matter. You’ve probably seen these paintings of swirling colors and groups of seemingly random shapes. Well, to make a long story short, the Abstract Expressionist took themselves, and what they were creating, very

seriously and weren’t much for humor. Many would claim that they lacked a sense of humor (this might sound familiar to some of you) in response to this overly reflective self-exploring art movement, the Pop artist retaliated with a movement that looked outward, at everyday objects and explored their purpose and place in our society. These artists wanted to use objects and images that we take for granted and show them in a different light by changing their shape, scale and structure; ironically, this is why we all wear bras. The result was fun art that created conversation and an exchange of ideas on how we view our world, our society and our selves. In response to this project challenge, Alex decided to create a five-foot long, four-foot tall, white velour bra with sparkly bows. She chose her subject matter because it was definitely an object of popular culture and a symbol of the feminist, which Alex, herself, is. Alex wanted to make something common, unique and interesting. Cheers to you Alex, you succeeded in BODACIOUS way! Her sculpture was displayed for a total of 10 minutes

before it was removed. In those 10 minutes, this genius work of art created a stir of intense conversation and severe controversy. It has sparked debates on American sociological issues such as the easy acceptance of images of violence over those with even a mild suggestion of sex and why we, our society, live in fear of legal action, avoiding any and all situations that might offend and lead to a confrontation and possible suit. I have heard students talking about the “fakeness” of the school environment and how far removed it is from the reality of the real world that they are being trained to function it. The debates and conversations continue to emerge and rage, and I suspect they will continue to do so for some time. This is exactly what good art is supposed to do. Art, good art, will always raise more questions then it answers. So, we cannot hang the work. Don’t be mad. Don’t be disappointed. The “man” has played right into our artsy hands and given us a platform (or dare I say under wire, support or foundation) of discussion that might not have occurred otherwise.

Love you FHC,

want to voice your opinion? send a letter to the editor at fhctoday.com

Mrs. Judy Switzer

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Francis Howell Central High School 5199 Highway N St. Charles, Mo., 63304 Phone: 636.851.5636 Fax: 636.851.41

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Coming up short

photos by savannah mcearchern

After making second place at state the year before, the Spartan wrestling team had a lot to live up to when facing their rivals, the Francis Howell Vikings. After many close battles, the Spartans fell with a final score of 33-31after a short line-up cost the team the victory.

Junior Tyler Bates glares at his opponent as his match begins. Bates wrestled in the 160 lb. weight class both last year, and this current year.

Junior Brenden Howe pulls his leg out from the grasp of his opponent. Howe won his match 9-7 in the 120 lb. weight class.

Senior Kyle Hayes lifts the leg of his oppoent into the air in a attempt to bring him to the mat. Hayes ended up losing to Howell 14-4 in the 138 lb. weight class.

As the timer runs down, Bates attempts to put a final move on his opponent. With only a pin between the two wrestlers, Bates won his match.

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aperture | december 16, 2011

After defeating his opponent, junior Christopher Stagl receieves applause from the home crowd. Stagl has been wrestling for the Spartans for three years, and plans to continue his senior year.


Central Focus December 2011