FHNTODAY.COM - FRANCIS HOWELL NORTH HIGH SCHOOL - ST. CHARLES, MO.
december 12, 2012 volume 27 issue 4
contents NORTH STAR / DECEMBER 12, 2012
Junior Brittany Steck is the new Sugar Plum Fairy at Main Streetâ€™s Christmas Traditions. Itâ€™s an event that started on Nov. 23 and will end on Dec. 24. (alyssia luque)
on the cover This month, the North Star takes an in-depth look at the possibility of the end of the world, which is feared to happen in the next nine days, and explains some of the theories of the end.
DISTRIBUTED FOR FREE TO FHN BY THE NORTH STAR STAFF / PROVIDING AN OPEN FORUM FOR FHN SINCE 1986 2549 Hackmann Rd. St. Charles, MO 63303
2 new improvements FHN
12 sugar glider Senior Kaitlyn
Stone has two sugar gliders as pets.
36 wrestler Senior Tyler
Drumline kicks off their season with some changes. 3 Accomplishments The
13 snapchat app Check out this
36 Gymnast passion Michaela
journalism program at North was awarded during the JEA Spring nationals.
infographic to learn about the new way of photo sharing through social media.
Randolph expresses her love of being a gymnast through coaching and training.
4-5 FREE ACT Test The class
14-15 Holiday time Find creative
of 2015 may be given a free of charge ACT test during the 2013-14 school year.
ways to make your money last with the holidays right around the corner.
SPORTS 30-31 Volunteering Senior
Smith has been wrestling since he was 10 years old.
40 movie review Read reviews
about the top-rated popular holiday movies voted on by FHN students. 42 Foreign goods Americans
Sami Ritter helps with a special needs cheer team.
should rely less on imported products and more on themselves.
34 ATHLETIC triple Sophomore
43 Cursive writing Missouri
Dominique Meyer qualified for state in three different sports.
debates the positives and negatives of teaching this skill in schools.
PAGE BY AMANDA STALLINGS
Briefs by Jordan Bryson, Ashley Flerlage, and Alexis Tainter
2012 mock rock competition S
tuCo’s 2012 Mock Rock was held Friday, Nov. 30 and featured 11 groups. Seniors Zach Ksiazek, Kailee Schott, Morgan Robben, Catie Blake, Kelly Gannon and Braxton Perry won the $200 cash price for their performance. “It was really fun, though we were worried we weren’t going to have enough acts and considered cancelling,” StuCo Sponsor Jani Wilkens said. Despite the outcome and attendance of about 300-350 people, StuCo did look into cutting Mock Rock. Wilkens and StuCo co-sponsor Shelly Parks expressed their concern of the low number of acts to the StuCo cabinet Tuesday morning before Mock Rock and by that afternoon, enough groups signed up to secure 2012 Mock Rock. “I was thinking people would be so upset,” Hannah Brown, Secretary of StuCo, said. “So we just hustled to get things done.”
To see more photos from the Mock Rock competition. Or use this link: http://goo.gl/OpQ9h
Senior Zack Ksiazek dances with his group of five other seniors to a medley of “Hairspray.” There were 11 other acts that also participated in the lip-synching contest. (matt krieg)
FINAL REVIEW SCHEDULE Wednesday, Dec. 19: 1st Hour Exam 2nd Hour Exam 7th Hour Exam
Thursday Dec. 20: 3rd Hour Exam 4th Hour Exam
Friday Dec. 21: 5th Hour Exam 6th Hour Exam
Through the Optional Intervention Format, the first exam of the day will begin at 8:20. “It’s a great resource for students to find additional help with specific difficulties they individually have,” English Teacher Dan Dilber said. Students will have the option of arriving at the normal time in order to meet with teachers for extra help, or the option of arriving at 8:20. “I think everyone should come at 7:20 and get a little extra help and their best on finals,” freshman Brendan Simon said. “It’s dumb to miss out on stuff like that.” Buses will still run on the normal schedule, so any student who plans to arrive at 8:20 must provide their own transportation. “I’m nervous about finals,” freshman Aaron Moore said. “Finals sound really stressful, but having half days is kind of nice.”
PAGE BY ASHLEY FLERLAGE
The St. Charles Convention Center will host the fifth annual Helping Hands for the Holidays event on Dec. 17. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. that evening, less fortunate St. Charles citizens will have the opportunity to go for a holiday buffet, a giveaway of clothing, holiday-themed games for the children and more. “I’m really happy we’ve helped this event to grow,” Joe Capitanelli, marketing manager of the Convention Center, said. “I’m proud it’s become a great community event.”
Qualifying for state After a long audition process, seniors Matt Miller and Laura Schulze will be going to the Missouri All-State Choir in January. To qualify for All-State Choir, Miller and Schulze auditioned to be accepted into the District Choir. Choir teacher Lorraine Smith will be helping Miller and Schulze learn the music they will be expected to sing. Ultimately, Miller and Schulze are among the top 16 high school singers in St. Louis area. “I’m ready, prepared,” Miller said. “I’m feeling like a champion.”
christmas on main St. Charles’ annual Christmas on Main Street began Nov. 23 and will continue until Dec. 24. There is a chance to meet 35 different Christmas characters who stroll along Main Street. New roles have been added including a gingerbread baker and a candy cane confectioner. “I love being a part of Christmas traditions,” senior and performer Emily Meyers said. “It brings joy and Christmas spirit to people, they learn about different traditions from all over the world and from the past.”
So far this year, the FHN Quiz Bowl has been to two meets, which consisted of two games each. FHN lost all four games. During their last two meets, the team has struggled with not having some of their team members present and there were new types of questions such as science computation. During the meets, teams of four from various schools go through four rounds of question and answer. “There are pretty difficult questions in any academic subject,” junior Matt Schneider said.
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 01
Students from FHN’s journalism program stand with the awards they won at the 2012 Fall National High School Journalism Convention in San Antonio, Texas. At the convention, students attended different classes where they were taught new journalism skills. Nine of the students received an award from their on-the-spot competitions. (Submitted photo)
Overall staff awards • Best of Show in Newsmagazine: North Star • Sixth Place in Special Edition Newspaper: North Star • Best of Show in 275-324 Page Yearbook: Excalibur Yearbook
Other awards from the year • NSPA 2012 All-American Award: Excalibur Yearbook, 2012 • NSPA 2012 All-American Award: North Star, 2011-2012 • NSPA 2012 All-American Award: FHNtoday.com, 2012 • The Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist: North Star • Quill and Scroll award for distinctive achievements in scholastic journalism: Francis Howell North High School Journalism Program • Rising Star Adviser Award: Beth Phillips
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Honorable Mention in Broadcast Sports Story: Jon Doty Honorable Mention in Computer Design Advertising Honorable Mention in Computer Design Infographics: Maddie Hiatt Honorable Mention in Yearbook Copy/Caption for Clubs: Chelsie Hollis Honorable Mention in Yearbook Copy/Caption for Student Life: Liz Leonard Honorable Mention Yearbook Sports Photography: Julie Schwartz Excellent in Broadcast Feature Story: Christina Desalvo Superior in Newsmagazine Layout: Nick Bussell Superior in Yearbook Layout Inside Pages: Morgan O’Neill Third Place in the Multimedia Feature Story of the Year: Paige Yungermann Fifth Place in the Newspaper Page/Spread category: Kelsey Bell Third Place in the Infographic Category: Kelsey Bell First Place in Newsmagazine Cover Design: Kelsey Bell First Place in Infographics: Kelsey Bell
New directors give new direction
Drumline works on their new season with different expectations and leadership
BY JASMINE WAHLBRINK
firstname.lastname@example.org | @jwahlbrink
This year, Drumline has two new directors, Tommy Roam and Mike Davis. Having new directors is refreshing for the Line, according to Cernicek. “It was a lot less organized last year, it was more of a test run,” Roam said. “This year we have more of running start.” Roam graduated from FHN in 2011. He and Davis both assisted with Drumline last year. This year, due to previous directors leaving, they moved up to Head Directors. Roam feels more prepared this year to take charge and believes the students will be more organized this season. “I know a lot more when it comes to what I should teach the kids and what I shouldn’t,” Roam said. “I’m more qualified, more experienced.” Drumline will compete in about four competitions during their season, though it is subject to change. There is one competition nearly all of the team looks
Senior Nick Goatly (sammie savala)
forward to the most: The WGI Championships that will take place April 18-20, 2013 in Dayton, OH. “It is the last competition and the biggest one since you are competing with drumlines all over the world,” senior Eric Craven said. Last season, Drumline made it to the finals in two competitions and they have hopes of accomplishing more this year. “Our last season was better [than previous seasons],” senior Mike Cernicek said. “It was a step in the right direction for sure.” The team of around 30 students practice for three hours after school and practices take place two to three times a week. With the time they spend together, the members get a chance to bond. Cernicek’s favorite part is being around the other students. “I like the bonding experience between all the talented kids,” Cernicek said. “You get all these ambitious kids in one room and it’s kind of a good experience.” With all the new changes with Drumline this year, the majority is anticipating the season and what is to come. “I’m looking forward to an awesome season,” Roam said. “I think this season will be one of the best we have ever had.”
Competition dates for Drumline Feb. 9 Competition Location: FHN Feb. 16 Competition Location: Indianapolis, Indiana March 23 Competition Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky April 18-20 Competition Location: Dayton, Ohio (WGI Championships)
PAGE BY AMANDA STALLINGS
Publications earn awards at the JEA/NSPA National convention BY NICK PONCHE
email@example.com | @ngponche
Sixteen FHN students sit together in a convention center in San Antonio, surrounded by thousands of other high school journalists representing their publications. They anxiously wait as the Top 10 results for the Best of Show in the newsmagazine category are announced. 10th place is called. It isn’t FHN. Ninth. Eighth. Seventh. Still no. With each name called the tension grows. Sixth. Fifth. Fourth. Some grow hopeful, others become discouraged. Third. Second. It’s all or nothing now. Finally, the judges get to first place. Francis Howell North is announced, and the group explodes with enthusiasm. “It was really exciting, just being there cheering for your school,” senior and Director of Live Coverage Jon Doty said. “It was a really good time.” From Nov. 15-18, the Fall National High School Journalism Convention was held in San Antonio. There, students went to journalism workshops and had their school publications
judged and awarded. In addition, they participated in write-offs: on-the-spot individual competitions. Nine FHN students placed in their category, including two that received the best ranking, Superior. These results are consistent with the success that the publications have experienced during the past few years. These have included five Missouri High School Journalists of the Year (and one National one), a National Journalism Teacher of the Year, seven Best of Show awards, two Pacemaker awards and many other group and individual recognitions. This has built up FHN’s reputation nationally as a competitive journalism school. “[At the conventions] when you mention that you’re from FHN, some people recognize you right away,” senior and Co-Editor in Chief of the North Star Newsmagazine Nick Bussell said. “It says something about us, that we’re a top notch program.” Many in publications agree that the motivation that comes from going to Nationals is one of the reasons why it is so important. “[Getting motivated is] an expectation,” Assistant Publications Advisor Beth Phillips Phillips said. “When kids go to the convention and see that status we have, they see what they do is already above what most people are doing, and they want to keep going and keep making that better.” According to Phillips, whether at home or across the country, the awards represent the effort of the students that won them. “It shows that just because you’re in high school, it doesn’t mean you can’t be as good as the pros,” Phillips said.
Winter guard returns BY JESSICA ALLISON firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Megan Hinman and junior Sydney Hardin practice their flag routine. Winter guard is preparing for their first competition that will take place Jan. 26. (dajah lasenberry)
PAGE BY AMANDA STALLINGS
There are now 15 girls on the Winter guard team, which is more than they have had during previous seasons. Winter guard member Madeline Corrao, who is a part of the flag section, is looking forward to building a stronger team. “As of right now, we’re very unfocused,” Corrao said. “We’re still at basics now but I feel like we’re getting the hang of it and we’re going to have a lot more variety because we have more girls.” The team participates in many competitions including the Mid Continental Color Guard Association (MCCGA) and Winter guard International (WGI). They have one main goal of placing in the top 15. Williams says his team should be well prepared to reach that goal. “We will do well because we won’t accept people who don’t have the potential to reach the level of the veterans,” Williams said. Williams is known for his tough and demanding approach to coaching. He plans on using his team’s performance ability and strong technical aspects. The weakness is the amount of new people, but the girls haven’t let that faze them. “I believe we can get it done,” junior Catherine House said, “We all know that we share one common goal, and we will work crazy hard to achieve it.”
ns TOP TWEETS @_babii_dom_ The fact that finals are right around the corner is crazy to me! #fhnnews
Varsity Lady Knights Basketball won 70-10? Um. Heck Yeah We Did!#greatjobladie #fhnnews Madison Gillam
@JNeiner I’m just ready for Christmas and New Years already #BestTimeOfTheYear
Did we just completely skip winter and go straight to spring?
@ Samiam035 Brought home a 5th place, AND a 1st place trophy! So proud of my girls!! #FHNKnightline #YearOfTheComeback
I call my mom to tell her I want a dog for Christmas and she claims her phone service is “breaking up” and hangs up the phone. Cool Emily Grzybinski
Got accepted into MO State and SEMO. Which one to go to though. #ToughThinking Jake Shollar
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policy To encourage more test taking and college applications, FHSD considers aspects of paying for the ACT for the class of 2015
BRIANNA MORGAN | 1006BRIANNAMORGAN@GMAIL.COM
HSD is in the process of being approved by the ACT Board to become a testing site for the 2013-14 school year. By becoming a testing site, FHSD would be able to administer the ACT test themselves at each of the high schools during the school day. If approved, the ACT test will be administered to the whole class of 2015 in March or April of 2014 with all expenses paid for by the District. The District will only pay for the ACT test once for each student in their junior year in order to ensure that each student has been given the opportunity to take it. Because not all colleges require the writing portion of the test, only the basic portion will be administered. In January, the ACT Board will decide whether or not to approve FHSD as a testing site. The ACT Board looks at location, size, security, accessibility and attendance of a school to make their decision. “I definitely think it’s a great idea because it’s allowing every student the opportunity to take the ACT without having to worry about paying for it or their mom and dad paying for it,” Math Teacher Greg Brown said. According to Principal Darlene Jones, the high school principals suggested last year that the District look into becoming a testing site for the ACT. The Academic Department decided this was something they wanted to support because of the opportunity would provide for students. Another reason is that some neighboring districts, such as Parkway and Rockwood, are already named ACT sites. “If we get a good response, we’ll see where to take it from there,” Director of Student Learning Chris Greiner said. “Right now we are just dipping our toes in the water. If we get a good response, we’ll adjust our staffing plans to meet the needs. I’m excited about it.” If approved, the tests will cost the District estimated total of around $60,000. However, the exact amount for the tests will not be known until the spring when the Board of Education discusses how it will fit into the budget. “We’ve had a vision, or priority, for the District to try to make sure our kids are as college and career ready as possible when they leave high school,” Greiner said. “Part of doing that is taking the ACT.” A semester-long ACT prep course for half of an elective credit will be available to all high school students in the District beginning next school year regardless of if FHSD becomes an ACT testing site. This is so students who cannot afford or don’t have the time to take a prep class are able to take it during school hours. “I think students will benefit from this because it will save a lot of money that they could put towards their college fund or anything else they need to pursue their education,” sophomore Blake Barringer said. Because there will only be two hours available for the course, there will only be
PAGE BY BRIANNA MORGAN & AMANDA STALLINGS
Above: Sam Foulks Bottom Left: Kelli Baulch On Nov. 15th, students prepare for their ACT test at a Cambridge Review class led by math teacher Patty Bartell. If approved, the 2015 class will receive on free ACT test during the 2013-14 school year. If this process is passed, the District will have to budget out an estimated amount of $60,000 to pay for the tests. (photos by kerry moriarty)
60 slots will be available. One quarter will percent go to a twoyear school or tech school. be taught by a math teacher and will focus Hopefully, we encourage the other 10 percent to on math and science topics, such as reading see college as an option for them.” and interpreting graphs and data. Another The ACT will be administered to students much quarter will be taught by a communication like the PLAN test taken by all sophomores. arts teacher where the main focus will be on The ACT will not be mandatory in a sense that reading. students will be penalized if absent the “It won’t make a difference to day the test is taken, but they will most me if the District is approved or likely have the opportunity to make it up not because I take the ACT every at another time. year,” sophomore Evan Wilkins “I would take advantage of this said. “But it will give everyone the because it’s a good opportunity, and I chance to take the ACT who might don’t have to pay for it,” sophomore not have had the chance to take it Patti Anderson said. “It gives me a good EXACTLY HOW otherwise.” idea, academically, of where I am now MUCH IS A According to Greiner, 80 percent and where I want to be by the time I STUDENT SAVING of the class of 2012 took the ACT. graduate.” BECAUSE OF THE FREE TEST? Most four year colleges require The District hopes to help students their students to have taken the identify their strengths and weaknesses Original Price ACT test at least once. by giving them exposure to the ACT test. of an ACT test: In order to try to make college This will allow them to plan their future $35 a possibility for all FHSD classes accordingly as well as help them Price of ACT students, the District decided to when applying for colleges. test with late make sure that all students have “Scientific studies show that students fee: $57 the opportunity to take the ACT who take rigorous core subject classes are at least once and then retake the more college-ready,” Greiner said. “So test on their own time in order to we want our students to take as rigorous improve their scores. a course experience as possible because “50 to 60 percent of our graduates go to that’s what college is. It will better prepare them a four year school,” Greiner said. “30 to 40 for college.”
OWN D K A E R B E H T ITS F
WHO IT BENE
A survey was given to 206 students from FHN’s class of 2015. Here are the results.
PAGE BY BRI MORGAN & AMANDA STALLINGS
Have never taken the ACT test before.
The students who were surveyed believe the free ACT test will most help them: • • • •
20 percent: improve their test taking skills 28 percent: achieve a higher ACT score 26 percent: save money on the test 26 percent: prepare for college
To read a suggested list of tips while taking the ACT and how to make sure you’re prepared. OR use this link: http://goo.gl/Hxlhz
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 05
This year’s Mock Rock exhibited a variety of acts ranging from Elvis and Queen to Bieber and Mean Girls.
SCAN HERE To see videos of all the performances from Mock Rock. http://goo.gl/0FAjK Senior Tyler Stevenson performs Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” at Mock Rock, held annually in the auditorium. Stevenson placed second in the competition and won $100 for the charity of his choice. (matt krieg)
06 FHNTODAY.COM 12.12.12
LEFT: Seniors Zach Ksiasek, Braxton Perry, Drew Landherr and Sam Kuntz perform “Jingle Bell Rock” as performed in “Mean Girls.” The seniors played out the scene down to the dresses, dancing and kicked boom box. (murphy riley) MIDDLE TOP: Emcees John Hallemeier and Liz Condon present all of the participating groups from Mock Rock one final time before the winners are announced. (murphy riley)
ABOVE: Senior Cody Fingers dances to Elvis for his solo performance this year. Fingers received an honorable mention and a standing ovation at the end of the show. (murphy riley) MIDDLE BOTTOM: Six girls and one boy acted out the song “Fabulous” sung by Sharpay from High School Musical 2. The “ladies” dressed up in all pink as an ode to the heiress.(matt krieg) LEFT: Matt Miller, Joey Henry, Stone Birkner and Brock Birkner dubbed the “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. (matt krieg) PAGE BY MURPHY RILEY
life in a fairy tale
Scan for a video on thoughts from Brittany Steck, her family and her supervisor on her new employment.
fairy on main Junior takes on a sweet character for Main Street’s Christmas Traditions BY SOPHIE GORDON
email@example.com | @sophgordon
hen she enters the building behind the railroad tracks on the riverfront, she grabs her tiara from her costume rack and heads to the back. She sits down in front of a mirror, tiara perched on her head, and begins to apply purple and pink eyeshadow to her face. From the corner of one eye, she sweeps downward and creates a large purple swirl. From the other eye she moves upward, pink spiraling above her eyebrow. Finally, she adds a line of silver on her eyelids to top off the effect. Next, she replaces her pajama bottoms with black leggings and adds a layer of silver on top. each layer, making sure it twirls when she spins. Her purple “pirate” jacket, which she laces shut over her silver-gray t-shirt, comes next; followed by her size seven boots. Her shoe size is only four but
she slips on a pair of regular socks and a pair of thick, wool socks from Bass Pro Shop to keep her feet warm and prevent her boots from sliding off. Finally, after the morning’s announcements, she grabs her wings. A lady snaps her wings in place and smiles. Then, the girl dressed head-to-toe in purple heads for the door, ready to start the day. She grabs her wand, a stack of character cards and heads out the door, leaving the girl who entered behind. “My favorite part of being the Sugar Plum Fairy is probably spreading Christmas cheer to all of the people in St. Charles and seeing all of the kids and dancing with them,” Brittany says.
Where it began Her journey to becoming the Sugar Plum Fairy starts in the basement of the St. Charles Visitors Bureau. Two ladies listen to Christmas music and keep track of the order of auditioners. Brittany Steck, a 16-year-old junior from North, approaches in a black dress with Candy Cane” in her own words but keep the same basic information. Brittany sits for 10 minutes, waiting for her turn, jotting notes down and reading the story over and over. Finally, they call her in. that I had left my house early enough to allow myself enough prep time,” Brittany says. “Honestly, there wasn’t enough time to be scared
PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT & NICK BUSSELL
or nervous because I knew it would show through, and I needed to put my best foot forward. I was auditioning for my dream job. I don’t know why I would be nervous anyways.” She walks into a room where a group of women wait to see her performance. Among them is Christmas Traditions’ Artistic Director April McCandless, who casts each of the characters. On her mind is the fact that only 30 spots are open, yet more than 100 people are auditioning. “Are you auditioning for a character or a caroler today?” McCandless asks. Though Brittany is auditioning for a character, she decides to sing a song in addition to retelling the story because she knows it will give her “extra brownie points.” She waits for the go-ahead, then candy cane on his Christmas tree. She points accusingly at her audience, pantomimes the creation of the candy cane’s hook and stretches on her tiptoes to hang up the Christmas lights. Then she starts to sing. “Halfway through her audition [we knew],” McCandless says. “She sang ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,’ and she was just adorable and so energetic. We had her do some other things to see how her improv skills were, and we asked her some questions. By the time she left, we were pretty sure that if we didn’t see anyone else that was better, she would get the part.” While auditions continued, no other Sugar Plum Fairies came through the doors. “I think we had a couple of people that we were like, ‘Well, maybe...’” McCandless says, “but she just stood out above and beyond everyone else. There really wasn’t any decision with her. Sugar Plum Fairy [is] very bouncy and bubbly and mold. I don’t know how we knew she was right. She just was the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Though a few formalities remained, the role of Sugar Plum Fairy was hers — her biggest role yet. “I was so proud of her and so excited for her because not only did she make it to do this awesome Christmas Traditions, she actually got a huge part,” mother Cindy Steck says. “I think she’s perfect for the part. She is always very lively, smiley, jumping around.” Her sister agreed. “The Sugar Plum Fairy is supposed to be really energetic and that’s exactly what Brittany is. She always has lots of energy,” Bethany said.
The preparation To prepare for her role, Brittany enlists the help of her family. Her grandmother Kathryn MerBethany assists in picking out the costume fabric and choosing makeup. Her mother acts as chauffeur, taking Brittany to each rehearsal, photo shoot
PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT & NICK BUSSELL
Junior Brittany Steck interacts with kids on Main Street.With being the sugar plum fairy Steck greets the people who visit Old Town St.Charles. “It’s really easy to start conversations with people by commenting on their clothes” said Steck. Steck likes to greet everyone she sees, even if they don’t stop to chat. (alyssia luque)
“Santa couldn’t run Christmas all by himself, he needs his elves,” Brittany says. “And in the same way, my family has been like my own little workshop of elves because they’ve helped me get everything from my costume to the tiny details like my makeup. I really appreciate all of the help they’ve given me because this would not have been possible without their help.”
Fairyland Brittany keeps her family in mind as she prances up and down the sidewalk, running from “horseless carriages.” A group of children approach and she grins, greeting them with a wave of her wand. She asks if anyone knows some new candy. When none of the kids answer, she takes it She begins the lesson by placing “ribbons of sugar” on her hands and feet and encourages the children to do so as well. Once the ribbons are in place, she tells them to reach from the tips of their toes to above their heads twice. She pauses the second time their hands swing above their heads and asks a gentleman in the crowd to be her “sparkle conductor.” When the man agrees, she hands him her wand and instructs him to wave it around as she and the kids twirl, creating
lollipops of their own. The process ends when the everyone throws their hands in the air and shouts “Merry Christmas!” as the sparkle conductor “sparkles” the group. The rest of the day, she stops to talk with chilTwist,” or “Twizzler” dances, and hands them her character card, one of 35 kids can collect. She’s number 14. She smiles and wishes them a “wanderful Christmas and a sparkling new year.” “She gave me high expectations, but I think she has risen to that and even a little bit beyond,” McCandless says. “I see her out there with little kids, teaching them how to dance, and spreading joy. She’s doing a great job out there. I’m pretty sure at the end she’s going to be everyone’s favorite.” At six, the Sugar Plum Fairy heads back to the building where her day began. She immediately asks someone to “de-wing” her before moving to the back room to change. She shrugs out of her jacket, sets her wings safely in the corner of the room and changes back into her pajama pants. Then she sits in front of the mirror and takes her makeup off, revealing the face of a girl worn from a long day. Finally, she places her tiara and wand back on her costume rack, where they will sit until the Sugar Plum Fairy returns.
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 09
n o i h fas
PHOTOS BY ANNE REINER, CAMERON MCCARTY & JULIE SCHWARTZ
y k c a T style
PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT & NICK WYER
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR TIES FROM? “The Goodwill on Harvester.”
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR WEARING TACKY TIES “They were cool, so we bought them, you gotta stand out from the pack.”
WHEN DO YOU WEAR YOUR TIES?
“I only wear them to homecoming, because it’s pretty much the only time I wear a tie.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TIE? “My wolf tie, because I’m the alpha male and I should wear a wolf tie.”
WHAT ARE SOME PEOPLE’S REACTIONS “Sweet tie, or cool tie man, or anything else that involves complimenting my excellent taste.”
DO YOU GET ANY WEIRD LOOKS WHEN YOU WEAR YOUR TIES? “Not really, or unless I just don’t notice them.”
find your style on pinterest
HOW MANY SWEATERS DO YOU HAVE? “Around 12, including sweater vests.”
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR SWEATERS? “Goodwill, Avalon Exchange, and old folk.”
WHY DO YOU WEAR SWEATERS? “They’re so comfy and different, they’re abnormal, people who don’t know me come up to me and call me the sweater guy.”
ARE THERE ANY NEGATIVES TO WEARING SWEATERS? “I’ve had people come up to me and call me an idiot, I just laugh, I don’t care what other people think.”
Scan here to get to a Pin Board on Pinterest and see some tacky clothing examples from tacky holiday outfits or if you just wants to be a little silly during the week.
OR go to: goo.gl/u0EEU
WHAT MAKES SWEATERS UNIQUE TO YOU? I’ve never found one that’s alike, they’re kinda like people, you never know what you’re going to get.”
PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT & NICK WYER
WHY DO YOU WEAR TACKY SOCKS? “I only wear them when I want some laughs or when family comes to visit.”
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 11
OF THE MONTH Senior Ben Oar loves working on a car he has grown up around his whole life BY CARLY VOSSMEYER firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Ben Oar’s 1997 Camaro Z28, decked out with a new clean paint job of white with orange stripes, is a work-in-progress. He continues to work on the interior, pulling out the current motor and putting a different motor with a forced induction. “I think it’s really cool what he’s done to it, and that he does it with his own money,” senior Justin Arle said. Oar isn’t the only person in his family that has a passion for Camaros. His brother, Nick, and his dad, David, also have Camaros. David would fix up and sell Camaros when he was in high school, just as Oar does now. “I think it’s awesome my dad and brother both have Camaros,” Oar’s brother Nick said. “My first car, which I still have, was a 1991 Camaro. The cars are a way for us to bond to our dad and each other. ” The Camaro is a project Oar is working on to make it a 30th anniversary SS clone. Oar is recreating a replica of the special edition Camaro. He enters it into car cruises and shows, and even occasionally drives it himself on weekends. “It stands out,” Oar said. “A lot of car owners don’t take care of [their cars]. I’ve babied mine.”
Senior Kaitlyn Stone, owner of sugar gliders Lilo and Leilani, sits in the room where she keeps her pets. Stone also keeps lizards, hamsters and snakes in the special animal room. Stone takes the sugar gliders everywhere with her; excluding school. (photos by murphy riley)
Part of the family An only child and her family finds companionship with their two exotic sugar gliders, Lilo and Leilani
Leilani for Kaitlyn’s birthday Feb. 2012. “She was so giddy,” Tammie said. “It reminded me of a little kid at Christmas -- the excitement Lilo and Leilani leap from Kaitlyn’s hand to level. She was nervous and excited all at the same her shoulder, crawl down her back and glide to the time, not knowing what to expect.” nearest available surface. Kaitlyn focused a lot on bonding with her sugThey are soon to be one-year-old sugar gliders. ar gliders. It took about two weeks to bond with It’s their nature to be spontaneous. Leilani and two and a half months to bond with Ever since she was little, 17-yearLilo. old senior Kaitlyn Stone has loved “She really only likes me, and FHNTODAY.COM she likes to be in her cage and animals. Growing up with animalloving parents, there were always stay there because she feels safe in pets in the house. The Stone family there,” Kaitlyn said, describing Lilo. currently owns four dogs, two sugar “She’s more calm than Leilani.” To watch a gliders, two hamsters, two cats, two Kaitlyn devotes a lot of energy video about Kaitlyn’s furry bearded dragons and one snake. The to her pets, but still has time for flying friends animals keep the mood light accordStudent Council and her boyfriend, ing to Kaitlyn’s mom, Tammie Stone. OR use this link: http://goo.gl/olK0R senior Ryan Sebacher. “It’s funny to watch my husband “She really cares about them,” walk around with a purse with little Ryan said. “I would never want to sugar gliders in them,” Tammie said. have them because they would make me too nerWhen Kaitlyn knew she was mature enough to vous. She’s really good at taking care of them care for a sugar glider last year, she found a private though.” breeder in Columbia, MO. Kaitlyn sees Lilo and Leilani as a source of love “We always say ‘No more animals’ but she is that have helped her be an only child. really good,” Tammie said. “One time she wrote a “I’ve always loved animals and taking care persuasive essay and made a power point.” of them,” Kaitlyn said. “And I guess I’m an only Tammie remembers Kaitlyn’s excitement the child, so I needed something to love and take care first time the three of them took home Lilo and of.”
BY AURORA BLANCHARD
email@example.com | @aurorabee
PAGE BY BRITTANY STECK
now you see it, now you don’t
This app allows you to control how long your friends can view a picture you take by setting the timer. You can set the timer from one second up to ten seconds then send it. The person who gets your picture must have their finger on the screen to view the photo. - Snapchat was released on July 13, 2011. -“Snapchat is fun because I can make ugly faces with my friends all day long.” Paige Martinez, 11 -“It’s entretaining and it got popular so fast because everyone wanted to try it.” Emma Cleaveland, 10
On The Rise
Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. 1 2
Average Weekly Users
500000 400000 300000
-Snapchat’s so-called mascot is this ghost. The ghost represent the pictures that shows up and then disappears. You can never get the picture back.
200000 100000 0 Since its release, Snapchat has steadily grown. According to techcrunch.com, as of the week of October 22, the average number of weekly users appoached 600,000. The app is free for iPhone and Android.
-Something people might not know about Snapchat is that if someone takes a screen shot of a photo, it will alert the user right away.
opening up snapchat 1
Snapchat currently has taken FHN by storm. “As of Dec. 6, 2012 Snapchat is number 2 on iTunes’ Top Free Apps chart. Using Snapchat is super easy to operate. Step one to opening Snapchat is downloading it. Snapchat is available for iPhone and Android. Once you download it, you can create a username and password to log in. You can then find friends by typing in their username or you can find them through Facebook. You can create groups of your friends so you can send one picture to multiple people.
Next, take a photo of yourself or of someone else by using the blue camera button.
PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT
Also, you could draw of the picture by tapping the pencil button in the top right corner of the screnn then choose the color you want and begin your drawing.
Then, to write on the photo you can tap on the photo and a keyboard will appear. Then you can type the message for your friends to see.
Now you are ready to set the timer. Tap the clock button in the bottom left side of the screen and you can choose how long your friend will see it.
After the timer is set, tap the send button in the bottom left in the screen, choose your friends’ username and your snapchat is ready to go.
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 13
COLLECTOR OF THE MONTH
Santa FIGURINES Kearns’ collection of St. Nicks creates cozy Christmas atmosphere BY CYNTHIA CAHALL firstname.lastname@example.org
Arlene Kearns, the secretary for Associate Principal Jack Ameis and Assistant Principal Nancy Wade, has been working at North for 13 years. What few people know about her is that she keeps a collection of jolly saints that started about 20 years ago. “Most people think its pretty cool, and who doesn’t like Santa?” Kearns said. Not all of her figurines are the standard Santa, though. Some are based on different themes like golfing and NASCAR. “I have one that’s probably 2 1/2 feet tall,” Kearns said. “He’s just cute.” Kearns has spent under $200 on her collection of about 20 Santas which are mostly gifts that come up from the basement at Christmas time to be displayed. “[My favorite part is] her display of all her Santas in one spot and the balance she displays,” Kearns’ husband Rick Kearns said. The collection keeps growing, especially with the secret Santa that takes place in the main office each winter. Kearns once received a crystal Santa snow globe from Secretary Elaine Downs. “I think it’s a great collection,” Downs said, “I was happy to know what to get her for Christmas. It made shopping really easy.”
deck the halls Sommer and her family take Christmas decorating to the extreme with unconventional decorations
“When I was little, we didn’t have a lot of lights,” Brittany said. “Every year [the decorations] kept growing because we’re crazy Christmas people. If we didn’t It’s Thanksgiving night and out of the frosty dark- decorate it would be unlike us.” ness the spirit of Christmas already lingers in the air. After decorating for a total of 18 years, the Sommers Several houses are decorated neatly in twinkling lights have developed a process to the decorating. Decoratand traditional wreaths. Then all of the sudden, another ing usually begins between the weeks before and after house illuminates the winter evening. Thanksgiving, depending on the weather. FHNTODAY.COM The decorating process begins with BrittaThe house has a degree of brightness that almost rivals that of the Griswolds. ny’s older sister and FHN graduate, Brooke Colorful inflatables dot the yard and a Sommer planning out where the major incarousel full of Christmas animals spins flatables belong. To see a gallery around slowly. Santa even waves from “Brooke has strong feelings about where of these extreme Christmas the upper window to the onlookers and everything goes,” Brittany’s mother, Chris decorations. children below. It’s not the North Pole, Sommer said. “Sometimes she would get but the closest thing in Saint Charles: home and say ‘I don’t like it,’ and we would OR use this link: http://goo.gl/sll95 the Sommer house. have to move everything.” Each Christmas, sophomore Brittany After the layout of the decorations is set Sommer and her family transform their front yard into up, it’s a parade of decorations from their storage place: a Christmas extravaganza featuring a plethora of inflat- the attic, better known as the “cemetery of old decoables and lights. While traditional decorations such as rations.” From there, the whole family works to bring bush lights and wreaths are included in the Sommer’s the decorations into the garage for a warmer assembly yard, they incorporate a few nontraditional elements. away from the cold. After that, it’s a matter of stringThe yard features a light up giraffe, elephant, and seal, ing lights onto the bushes and trees and hooking up the along with a twelve foot inflatable hot air balloon with extension cords. Santa riding in it. “The most challenging part is the power outlets,”
BY LAUREN PIKE
email@example.com | @pike_n_ike
PAGE BY NICK BUSSELL & JASMINE WAHLBRINK
Dominant: Brittany Sommer has several large inflatables and moving ornaments for the Christmas holidays. Far left: The polar bear is part of the few items that is LED lit. Left: The Ferris wheel has animals in each seat. Right: Brittany Sommer kneels in front of one of her favorite, the carousel. Far right: The penguins are one of the oldest inflatables in the yard. (kendrick gaussoin)
check ‘em out
on a penny budget St. Charles Coffeehouse Hot chocolate, along with an array of other drinks, is what this quaint coffeehouse has to order. Grab some friends and enjoy a cup. Price: 16 oz., $2.50
PAGE BY JASMINE WAHLBRINK & NICK BUSSELL
have an extra buck
te Hot Chocola
Chris said. “If you have too much power, you’ll blow the circuit. When the lights are on, we can’t plug in hair dryers or vacuums. If a little bit of water gets on the cords, it will short out.” Next up, each inflatable is tied and with the use of 10-foot bike chains, chained to the ground. After an incident where someone stole decorations, the Sommers decided to use chains to stop the thieves. From then on, when the chains came out, Chris started calling her family “the Chain Gang.” According to her the whole decorating process takes around three hours. “The best part is seeing the overall product and how it’s all together and lit up and spending time with my family,” Brittany said. “I feel so accomplished when it’s all done.” Although decorating is typically a tradition shared between their immediate family, Chris has been known to recruit anyone willing to help decorate. “We’ve recruited other family members and even past boyfriends,” Chris said. “We’ll take anyone with time on their hands.” Now that Brittany and Brooke are older, decorating the house has become more about bringing the Christmas spirit to younger children in the neighborhood. The tradition of decorating has become a typical sight for these younger children during the Christmas season. “The kids are excited,” Brittany said. “We have a Santa in the window waving at them and they wave back.” The neighborhood kids are not the only ones who enjoy the light and decoration display. According to Chris, people have personally thanked her for the festive decorating. She has even had someone thank her with a box of chocolates and a note. “We just love everything Christmas and like to show it off,” Chris said.
It might not have the traditional outdoor setting, but the rink is always in pristine condition. The Rec-Plex is also an easy access located right off of Mexico Rd. Price: $5.25 admission, $3 skate rental
The Zoo Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo is fun for friends and family. See the penguins and puffins while you’re there too. Price: $4 for Zoo members, $5 for nonmembers
Picasso’s For a small amount more, you can not only enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, but you can take a chilly stroll down decorated Main Street. Price: Small cup, $3
Steinberg Skating Rink If you’re willing to go the distance, Steinberg is in Forest Park. It’ll cost around $6 in gas, but for the largest ice rink in the Midwest it may just be worth it. Price: $6 admission, $4 skate rental
Jellystone Park Visit Santa’s Magical Kingdom this winter in this 35 acre park. You’ll spend a little more on gas, but for more than two million lights to see, you won’t regret it. Price: $19 per car
JUST PLAIN FREE
Blanchette Park This approximately 200foot hill is located in the rear of the park. When not looking for a long trek, bundle up for this mini adventure.
Art Hill Located outside the St. Louis Art Museum, this approximately 400-foot hill provides a steep thrill ride for friends and family to enjoy.
For a google map showing the location of all the “Winter Musts” and the distance from each other. OR use this link: http://goo.gl/jQ6zn
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 15
OF THE MONTH A typical work day at Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Shop holds more than pretzels and cheese BY BRITTANY STECK
firstname.lastname@example.org | @littlemsbritt
Cold dough is rolled out on the countertop where it is molded into a cylinder shape and twisted and turned at the command of senior Alec Kilb. The smell of cheese and other sauces pull shoppers in from all corners of the mall. Being a worker at Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Shop may seem easy, but so much more than pretzel-making goes into a shift. “You basically just have to know how to deal with the dough,” Kilb said. “And know how to work the oven and deal with customers.” Since Nov. 2010, Kilb has been flipping pretzels, pouring drinks, and cleaning the kitchen at Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Stop at the Mid Rivers Mall. Kilb was referenced for the job by his grandmother, who has been working there for three years. Kilb works about 20-30 hours a week along with being enrolled in school and the work program. “It’s pretty awesome that he can balance it all out,” girlfriend and junior Olivia Olson said. “I’m really proud of him.”
SCAN HERE To watch a video about Alec and his pretzel.
OR use this link: goo.gl/yXLiR
Junior Kyle Pratt working his shift at the Country Club Car Wash drying cars as part of completing a full service wash. Rain or shine, their job involves drying, vacuming, and waxing cars that come in through out the day. As of now, Kyle has been working at the car wash for well over a year. (photo by cameron mccarty)
Soaped up rides
A local business helps out FHN by employing students and giving them a safe and fun place to work BY MADDIE HIATT
email@example.com | @maddiehiatt
The hot wax is bubbling, the vacuums are revving up to go and FHN students are ready for their shift. Country Club Car Wash currently employs about 30 FHN students. Some were hired from the work program, but it’s a common place among students to work because of the laid-back atmosphere. Senior Allie Lukefahr was hired two years ago. She enjoys her job for many reasons. “You get paid more there than most teenagers,” Allie said. “It’s not minimum wage and we get tips. I like that it’s really laid-back, and you can make a lot of money.” One thing FHN workers enjoy is that there are a lot of fellow students that work at Country Club. Because of this, junior Krista Burris, who was hired in April 2012, says enjoys the time she gets to work with some of her friends. “I like it because then you don’t have that awkward getting-to-know-people period,” Krista said. “You know everyone pretty much and a lot of my friends work there too, so it’s fun.” The managers, Tim Kummer and Steve Biele, may help make the job fun, but there is a downfall. It’s not always the most weather friendly job. Country Club Car Wash is opened daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and during the summer and winter,
there can be extreme weather. It’s the cold that Allie is not fond of. “You feel like you can never put enough layers on to get warm,” Allie said. “We complain when it’s hot and when it’s cold. There is never a happy medium.” While Allie may not like the weather, Kummer likes the relief the car wash gets when students in the work program come in. If participating in the work program, each student has to complete either 10 hours week to earn one credit for the semester or 20 hours a week to earn two credits. “They really help me out,” Kummer said. “Since they come in at 12, they give me added relief, and they are a big help.” The managers like to have fun with their employees on a regular basis. Krista once asked off work to go hunting and Kummer, who is not a fan of hunting, wrote “deer slayer” next to Krista’s name on the schedule. “The managers know everybody,” Krista said. “Even though so many people work there, they know everyone’s name.” According to Krista and Allie, the practical jokes and funny managers create a positive overall feeling at Country Club Car Wash. “The job is so laid back and it’s fun,” Krista said. “You’re not like always stressed out. I think it’s a really good first job.”
PAGE BY CYNTHIA CAHALL
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end Calendar is near The North Star takes an indepth look at the theories of the end of the world and the coming zombie apocalypse
The mysterious calendar ends on Dec. 21, stirring end of the world fears and ideas BY BRENDA ALVARADO firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Illustrations by Murphy Riley and Cameron McCarty
The Mayans were known for being great astronomers and predicting things before they happen, such as the destruction of their own kingdom. So, when their 5,000 year calendar abruptly ends on Dec. 21, it isn’t very surprising that many people might believe that is when the world ends. “People love end of the world stories,” Mayan Expert Mark Van Stone said. “It turns from a scholarly speculation to a popular idea.” The end of the world idea originated from scholars who were looking at the Mayan calendar and noticed it goes from 3100 to 0. To them, this meant that it would stop or restart leading to a disaster or event. This idea spread to the public and became the phenomenon it is today. “When someone is mysterious like the Mayan, people like to make up things, creating these modern fantasies,” Van Stone said. The Mayans knew a lot, they had in-depth knowledge of the solar system. On Dec. 21, the sun will line up with the Galactic equator, causing the Galactic Alignment. According to FHN Earth Science teacher Joe Breen, the Mayans believed humans were born out of it and they’d go back on that day, hence the end of their calendar. “I think the Mayan calendar is accurate,” sophomore Ariel Kirkpatrick said. “But, I know they’re wrong sometimes.” The calendar itself consists of three calendars connected within each other, the Tzolk’in, the Haab and the Long Count. It works by a combination of the three, where each cycle plays a role in the forecast of the day. “They had so much in depth knowledge about the universe and how it works,” Breen said. “Everyone thought that their calendar ended because they knew something.” Public concern of the Mayans predicting the end of the world is so high that NASA created a section about it on its website. Having already predicted the existence and flaring of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, the end of the world is just another one of the things the Mayans “predicted.” Accurate or not, it’s on their list of predictions. “I think I might go to sleep that night thinking that this could be it,” sophomore Madison Kelly said. PAGE BY MORGAN O’NEILL
natural disasters to the extreme
the war to end all wars
The movie “2012” sparks ideas of the world ending
The power of nuclear weapons could be enough to end all life
Zombies become a legitimate threat in New Age apocalyptic theories
BY BRENDA ALVARADO
BY AUSTIN SEAY
BY AUSTIN SEAY
Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Some see them as exciting additions to their days while others think of them as an annoyance that disrupts their day. In 2012, it is believed that these exciting disruptions will cause an end to Earth all together. “I think the world could end by natural disasters,” sophomore Madison Kelly said. “Especially tornadoes, floods, icing of the flood or all three at once.” The movie “2012” depicts the end of the world by catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis, followed by a polar shift in the Earth’s core. In the movie, New York becomes flooded in October, causing the start of the end of the world. Ironically, Hurricane Sandy mirrored the events in the movie this October. “I think that tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanos erupting and other natural disasters at once could destroy buildings and kill many people,” sophomore Elizabeth Scanlon said KSDK Meteorologist Bree Smith theorizes that the end would be caused by a series of events. Earth’s weather is caused by a surplus of heat at the equator moving to the polls called the oceanic circulation. For the world to end, the oceanic circulation would have to stop transferring adequate heat. This would decrease the amount of oxygen in the ocean. It would affect the marine life and, in turn, humanity. “People are concerned with storms increasing,” Smith said “We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.”
A total of 210,000 died from the nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, according to the Huffington Post. Some believe that if a full-scale nuclear war occured, it would be the end of humanity. “I’ve seen clips of the bombing,” sophomore Timmy Xiang said. “The aftermath boggles my mind.” According to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Cold War History Society (SPCWHS), the USA and Soviet Union came close to nuclear war. The American government even had a plan during the Cold War to fly the president in the Air Force One during any nuclear attack. Even though the standoff between the two countries is over, the threat has not disappeared. “I don’t think the U.S. or Russia ever wanted to annihilate the rest of the world,” SPCWHS member Eleanor O’Rangers said. “I’m more concerned with countries with less than rational leaders.” According to O’Rangers, the Cold War didn’t escalate due to neither country wanting to start a war. However, countries such as North Korea are testing weapons and have made threats of attacks. “They are a government that may need to prove their superiority” Government Teacher Chip Crow said. “They may do so with military presence.” If these countries ever managed to spark a worldwide nuclear war, many fear that it would be an extinction-level event. “All the mass destruction could wipe out most, if not all species,” sophomore Zach Beckmann said.
PAGE BY MORGAN O’NEILL
A REAL LIFE
Ever since George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” back in 1968, zombies have been an icon of our culture. Since then movies, games, books and television shows have been released with the theme of a world filled with the undead and how the characters survive. In the last few years, things have escalated. What had once been just a genre became a full-blown phenomenon, with people becoming seriously concerned about a zombie apocalypse. Fans have gone from enjoying the films to coming up with strategies if the dead actually rose. “People always come up with zombie survival tactics,” junior Jessica Stelzer said. “They think the world is going to end, and they are paranoid about it.” The old theory goes that a horde of mindless cannibals would destroy civilization as we know it. Although this usually represents a deeper fear or concern, people have gone as far to find real world theories on how an actual apocalypse could occur. The fascination with the idea of mind-altering parasites and hysteria-inducing drugs almost blurs the line between game and legitimate fear of an undead attack. “The gore, the weird stuff; it’s unnatural,” freshman Alyssa Savage said. “It’s not normal to see people with blood all over their face.” The general consensus is often that the people would panic. However, fans of the genre often come up with plans on how to survive. Acquiring a form of self-defense and fortifying a well supplied area such as a mall or supermarket is one of the most common tactics. However, many writers of modern zombie fiction have other theories and scenarios of how to deal with different situations. According to Jonathan Maberry, writer of the “Rot and Ruin” series, people staying informed and staying together would keep people safe and prevent the spread of the disease, ultimately letting humanity win against the zombie uprising. “They need to keep a line of communication,” Maberry said. “There will always be hope and promise that help was coming.” 12.12.12
COMES TO LIFE here they're
Often the subject of science fiction movies, zombies are also something With the support of teachers scientists are looking into to see what’s possible and if they’re a threat and students in the community, Republican Spencer runs against
BY DANIEL BODDEN email@example.com
ith the end of the world supposedly near, some apocalyptic ideas have been spreading and causing all kinds of reactions. Zombies are often grouped with these “seemingly crazy” ideas, but some people are wondering if zombies may be more realistic than people think. Matt Mogk, the author of “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zombies” and head of the Zombie Research Society based in Los Angeles, and other organizations are looking into whether or not zombies are something to worry about. “I think they are both a human invention and a legitimate threat,” Mogk said. “There
absolutely could be something like a zombie outbreak. It might not necessarily be like the movies. We’re never really gonna know until it actually happens. I think it’s totally possible.” In May, an incident involving bath salts, a synthetic cocaine substitute, took place in Miami. Randy Eugene, 31, was shot dead by police while eating the flesh of another man and refusing to stop. He was suspected to be under the influence of bath salts. Other incidents involving drugs and face-eating have occurred in the past. Although these people weren’t actual zombies, the behavior exhibited was zombie-like.
“It seems like bath salts kind of do cause zombie-like behavior,” Mogk said. “The key though is that it’s not infectious. Bath salts may make the person crazy and attack other people, but it won’t make those people start attacking other people.” Another indication of zombie-like behavior can be seen in the Toxoplasma gondii parasite which causes rats to lose their fear of cats and be eaten by them. Similar fatal diseases are chronic wasting disease, which affects deer, and mad cow disease, which affects cows. In both cases, the brain is eaten away and rotted. This causes the animals to act strangely, losing control over the ability
the zombie craze “I’ve always wondered what would happen in a zombie apocalypse. With all the TV shows and hype about it now, it’s really interesting.” Courtney Vishy, 11 “They’re really intense, gruesome creatures. They’re interesting because sometimes they’re missing body parts and eat people.” Marissa Watkins, 10 “They’re awesome and make the best movies because they’ve made their own genre just based around zombies.” Mac Sievert, 11
PAGE BY MORGAN O’NEILL
to do normal things like walking. would cease to be after about a year.” In extremely rare cases, mad cow disease Another possible way for zombies to exist is spreadDo to you humans and called Creutzfeldtwould think that political ads are effective be through stem cell and neurogenesis Jakob disease. (growing brain cells) research. These have or justIta causes waste dementia, of money?loss of coordination, and eventually death. Some think given hope to theories that brain cells could be “They’re effectiveoffor people who don’t look this disease or mutations other illnesses grown, possibly regrown in dead people. deep to into them and because I don’tmake think they “I ever could spread humans essentially certainly think there’s potential there,” come close to being true.” -Sam Scopel,Mogk 12 said. “There’s no telling what we’re people into zombies. “I think that zombies could exist through going to be able to do in the future.” “They’re a waste because they [politicians] some type of virus,” senior JohntoMalone, a in need When it comes to a zombie apocalypse, could use that money help others zombie enthusiast, said. “There’s viruses like some think it’s a possibility. As of now, or something like that.” -Sara Bargen, 9 mad cow disease that could evolve to humans. aspects of zombie-ism have been observed but Anything is possible. Bacteriapolitical and viruses not all in one person at one time. What’s the craziest ad you’ve seen change daily and that’s outside the range of “There are certain elements of zombie-ism, this year? man-made viruses that could be programmed but they haven’t been put together totally,” “Dave Spencer’s ‘Job Creator’. It was just so said. “The most likely way is just a disto do anything.” Mogk could just see making In Newcheesy. GuineaI in the 1950s, anhim entire tribe up things ease we already have that continues to adapt as disease he wentcalled along.” -Courtney caught aup fatal kuru that startsNixon, 12 and mutate. I think it’s absolutely likely. I with symptoms of unsteady walking, lack of “Claire McCaskill’s ads on youtube. Theycan’t weresay 100 percent but it’s totally possible.” muscle and emotional tremors and they played If an outbreak was to happen, Mogk thinks annoying and control, obnoxious because slurred speech. The video disease eventually caused the problem would not only be getting zomafter every I wanted to watch.” death since it isn’tBaker, curable. bies controlled, but to find the source of the - Amber 10Although the tribe was infected with the disease because of their infection, which could be difficult. Since an cannibalistic traditions, the disease can also infected person could infect others even withbe sporadically developed or inherited. Some out actually being a zombie yet, there would scientists think that a mutation or merging of be no way of knowing who was infected and diseases could cause the same results. who wasn’t. “I think the best theory would be a virus that “It could spread all over the world, espeactivates within a certain period after death,” cially if the incubation rate were days or Biology Teacher Laura Montgomery said. “It weeks before people became zombies. People would only cause some functions to continue could be infected and not know it,” Mogk and wouldn’t regenerate or replace tissues, but said. “They could get on planes and travel all [the corpse] would have some kind of reawak- over the world like in the movie ‘Contagion’. ened activity and could be contagious until it You’ll see outbreaks all over the world.”
you might be a zombie if You have a tendency to drool a lot. You feel that you’re always moving at the same slow, sleepwalker-like pace. You are told you smell bad, or like roadkill. You are craving other people’s brains. You have the sudden urge to go to the mall. You send people running away from you. You try to speak, and you can’t form words, just groans and moans. You know or are friends with other zombies.
“I’ve liked zombies ever since the game ‘Left For Dead’ and I thought it was an interesting concept.” Ashley Hudspeth, 12 “My brother and I have always loved zombies and watched zombie movies.” Spenser Scopel, 11 “Zombies actually scare me because I feel like they could actually happen. Scientists could mix up the wrong chemicals at any time and become infected.” Ariel Kirkpatrick, 10
FHNTODAY.COM To watch how students would defend themselves in a zombie attack or go to http://goo.gl/10g6l
PAGE BYMORGAN O’NEILL
anatomy of the beast
Not able to form words, but can mutter growls and grunts.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a nationwide government organization, has been issuing tips and guidelines on what to do in case of a zombie apocalypse through their zombie survival guide “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic.” “We were doing some social media on what people were preparing for, and we kept getting, zombies, zombies, zombies,” Jason McDonald, media relations for the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response said. “We put out a preparedness message every year, and it’s usually something bland like, ‘this is how to prepare for a hurricane.’ The year of 2011, we decided to do something more tongue-andcheek.” According to McDonald, the idea for the guide was taken from zombie expert Max Brooks, author of “World War Z,” who uses his novels as a way to educating students about Find the guide at things like AIDS. http://goo.gl/0h8iP In the CDC’s survival guide, they list steps they believe are essential and necessary in surviving the zombie apocalypse. These steps are also meant to be able to cross over in the cases of emergencies. “I think it’s unnecessary because the world’s not going to be taken over by zombies,” junior Morgan Stock said. “The government should save their money for something we can actually use.” Along with the survival guide, the CDC has released public service announcements using the zombie apocalypse to bring awareness upon other serious subjects, such as cardiac arrest and natural disasters. “I think it’s a good way to get young people involved and shed light on things that are more serious,” junior Casie Sheppard said.
Basically, non functioning after zombification.
Able to see the slightest sign of their human prey, even in pitch-black environments.
nose Biologically enabled to smell the brain of any living Homo sapien.
Can hear humans from miles away, octaves higher than before zombification.
Constantly hanging open with drool draping to the side.
Digests even the toughest of human innards.
arms Don’t have too wide of a range of movement
22 24 FHNTODAY.COM
Rigor mortis, possibly even tinted green or white.
Stagger at a pace of about 10 feet per minute.
Twist highlights the organization’s 2011 emergency survival guide BY CARLY VOSSMEYER
PAGE BY BY MORGAN O’NEILL PAGE NICK BUSSELL
what you need if you want to survive Information from: http://goo.gl/qwR9b
what to bring
what to do
To prepare for the impending apocalypse it is important to have adequate supplies available.
Assemble a group - This will extend resources and everyone has a talent that could be utilized. Study the books - Read up on what to do in worst-case scenarios, take a look at tips for surviving natural disasters, learn from examples of other survivors. Cut down on luxury items - Now that the world has been overrun by zombies, there won’t be any more coffee, potato chips or protein shakes. Prepare for the basic food items. Stay alert - At the first sign of zombie outbreak, begin contacting group members and discussing plans for evacuation. Keep traveling laws in mind when deciding what to bring. Start building an alibi. Leave urban areas - As safe as it seems, urban areas are the most likely areas for fires, attacks, industrial accidents, etc. Escape to the wilderness. Know your destination - Don’t just jump in the car and head north. Know where you’re going and how far
water And lots of it. At least one gallon per person per day. Try bringing a portable hydration pack for rehydrating on the run.
food Bring nonperishable items like energy bars and peanut butter. Minimum of three days supply.
To increase chances of survival once the invasion starts. is it from civilization (threat), water and other natural resources. Check up-to-date maps and know whether the area has any natural defenses. Mountains are a good choice. Plan the route - Make sure airlines are still flying, boats are still sailing, and taxis are still driving before choosing a destination. Moving away to a remote island would be great, but how will you reach it without a plane or boat? Always have a backup plan - Everyone knows that sometimes plans fail. Make sure to have place B, C, D, and E prepared as well. Plan an escape route - If defenses are breached, make sure everyone knows where to go and how to get there. Keep backpacks filled with supplies and drill the plan into everyone’s heads. Be on guard - Keep lookouts posted at all times. Even after everyone has settled in, no one can truly relax.
basics Such as sanitation items, extra clean clothes, emergency cash, copies of personal documents, cell phone with charger, emergency blanket, sleeping bag, maps, etc.
first aid At least a week’s supply. Don’t ignore the small things. First a cut, next a zombie meal.
Flashlight For shining in eyes, lighting paths and locating missing persons.
radio Battery-powered or handcrank (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) -for updates on safe zones and outbreaks.
supplies A wrench, pliers, plastic sheet, duct tape, scissors, matches, any of these make for multipurpose tools for any situation To see if you could survive the apocalypse take the quiz on fhntoday.com at http://goo.gl/sOCRk PAGE O’NEILL PAGE BYMORGAN BY NICK BUSSELL
FHNTODAY.COM 23 25
sources for zombie entertainment
movies 1. 2012 (2009) This film takes place in an apocalyptic world where the Mayan prediction comes true. This action-packed thriller follows a family on their journey towards the only hope for humankind: huge arcs that carry the last survivors on Earth. 2. 28 DAYS LATER (2002) This zombie filled movie takes second, for its storyline, graphics, and gore. How could you ever turn down a good old fashioned zombie movie? 3. ZombieLand (2009) This comical, bloody, but lighthearted zombie flick has someone that other zombie movies don’t: Woody Harrelson fighting zombies and searching for Twinkies. 4. Night of the Living Dead (1968) One of the original zombie movies, this film was one of the scariest movies in its day. The story revolves around a group of people who take refuge in a farmhouse in an attempt to survive an attack from the undead. 5. Shaun of the Dead (2004) In this zombie comedy, a man decides to turn his life around by winning back his exgirlfriend and reconciling with his mother while dealing with a community of zombies.
video games 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Fallout 3 Metro 2033 Resident Evil Call of Duty: Black Ops Plants vs. Zombies
Books 1. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks 2. The Magic Island - William B. Seabrook 3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith 4. Rot and Ruin - Jonathan Maberry 5. Day by Day Armageddon - J. L. Bourne
THIS NIGHTMARE IS only a
DAYDREAM With Dec. 21 swiftly approaching, people turn to the theory of a zombie invasion that is not scientifically supported
BY AMANDA STALLINGS firstname.lastname@example.org | @AStall13
ecause of some New Age theories on the end of the world, some believe that a shift in the magnetic poles will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21, nine days from now. With the fear of an apocalypse, society and the media have portrayed a possibility of a zombie apocalypse. There have been theories that have been said to be true, but some of those are scientifically impossible.
Neurotoxins have become a popular theory in support of why a zombie outbreak could take place. However, according to FHN Biology Teacher Laura Montgomery, neurotoxins would never be able to result in zombification because they would not account for the craving of brain tissue and decay. After a person was revived from the trance-like state, they would go back to normal.
Parasites have also been said to be a theory of a zombie outbreak. An example of such a parasite is Toxoplasma gondii, which is a single-cell parasite that is mostly found in cats. The parasite alters brain chemistry and can be transmitted to humans through undercooked meat including pig, lamb and venison. This certain parasite can also be transmitted through hand-to-mouth contact of infected raw meat. Some people believe that zombies could be caused by a parasitic organism; however, FHN Biology Teacher Chris Dalton doesn’t agree. “I, myself, don’t think a parasite could turn a human into a zombie,” Dalton said. “Parasites can affect your mood because they make you sick and ill, but they don’t change who you are physically and genetically.” This theory of a zombie outbreak has also branched from diseases such as Human African Trypanosomiasis, commonly known as the sleeping sickness. A vector-borne parasitic disease, the sleeping sickness is transmitted to humans by certain species of tsetse fly bites. The flies acquire the infection from humans or animals carrying the parasite. These flies are found in sub-Saharan Africa, and regions that depend on agriculture,
fishing, animal breeding or hunting are the most vulnerable. However, there are regions where the tsetse flies are found, but the sleeping sickness is not. It’s a disease that neurologically turns healthy human beings into zombie-like confused people. The disease can kill an infected person if left untreated.The disease can develop in areas that have single village or an entire region. Within an infected area, the intensity of the disease can be different from one village to the next. James Powell is a mathematics and biology professor at Utah State University. He uses the subject of zombie invasion in some of his classes to teach application of mathematics to ecology. Powell has studied what would happen if a zombie attack would take place in his own of hometown Logan, Utah. He believes in outbreaks of diseases like rabies, but that a zombie outbreak is very unlikely. “In the context of stuff that I’ve looked at, it could happen that we have an outbreak of something that kills off, let’s say, 40 to 70 percent of human population,” Powell said. “Something like that really could happen, but I think the idea of real zombies is unlikely.”
Phenomena, rabies, the flu and even the common cold can usually take someone’s level of energy down. According to Powell, the theory of neurotoxins and parasites causing a zombie outbreak is not possible because if a person gets sick, their speed and stamina will be decreased. “Zombies seem to have an awful lot of stamina and motivation,” Powell said. “If you take a human body and get it really sick, it’s just not going to keep function very long.” FHN teacher Matthew Riffee, who has previously taught biology also agrees that theory of a zombie apocalypse has been proven wrong by what is known in science at this point. “In my opinion, science is always evolving,” Riffee said. “In the future, who knows? Maybe zombies could happen. But based on what we currently know in science, it doesn’t appear as though it could happen. The human body would most likely shut down before it could go through the drastic changes to turn into a zombie.” PAGE BY MORGAN O’NEILL
the last ten days
Students express how they would spend their days before the end “I would stop shaving, dye my hair bright red, get a tattoo of an eye on my face, and I would take over a Taco Bell and have a party.” Valerie Udovenko, 10
“If I knew the world was ending, I would go to some shows, eat a lot of food and finish my bucket list with Ike.” Bailey Smith, 12
“I would go hunting and hang out with all my friends and family.” Jacob Flaherty, 11
“I would go skydiving because if I die from it, it doesn’t matter anyway. Plus it’s free falling; what’s better than that?” Evan Miller, 10
“I would go to Six Flags, and go to church more often.” Mallory Echelmeyer, 11
“I’d spend all my money and eat a lot.” Ami Patel, 11
“I would get my son Charlie whatever he wanted and do what he wanted for our last 10 days.” Val Vanderbeck, Math
“I would do everything I’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t because I was restricted by laws, good morals and gravity. So pretty much anarchy.” Lucas Dykes, 9
Mac Sievert Spenser Scopel Ariel Kirkpatrick Andrew Leonard Courtney Vishy
the undead Lucas Dykes Marissa Watkins Breanna Relleke Alex Heigl Alyssa Savage
Kaitlin Eifert Corey Bruns I’esha Boll Drake Kruep Fionna Cruz
To see a video of the official zombie maker Rachel Rotter as she takes on the challenge of zombifying students or go to goo.gl/rPTG2
for more go to fhntoday.com/zombies
PAGE BYMORGAN O’NEILL
Stevie Snee SCC student Francis Howell North alum
SCC makes it happen. support around every corner at St. Charles Community College. Take the next step toward success at stchas.edu/future_students.
h a n n a H s i s i h t , o s she's a helper
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cheering through it all Senior Sami Ritter shows her passion toward special needs children through volunteering BY ALEXIS CHRISTO email@example.com | @alexis_christo
he patients’ faces light up with excitement as the first cheerleader, Little Lily, does her stunt. “She’s so pretty,” one of the patients whisper. Behind the scenes, Senior Sami Ritter and her 10-year-old buddy, Gabby, get excited about their upcoming performance. They go over exactly what they need to do so Gabby’s nerves are calmed and she feels prepared. As the others continue to perform, off to the side, a girl starts to cry. Her buddy picks her up and bounces her around. With the help of another buddy, they try to make her smile and keep her quiet while the other girls are performing. After a few more performances, it’s Sami and Gabby’s turn to do their log roll. As do all the buddies, Sami does the stunt first and then their girls follow after them. The concept of having the buddies go first is it shows the girls what they’re doing and that it’s okay for them to do their stunts. Adrenaline Explosion Cheer (AEC), a cheer team for kids with special needs, held a performance on Nov. 9 at Ranken Hospital to showcase their talents to the young patients and their parents. Sami volunteers as a buddy, along with three other girls from North, sophomore Bailey Bay, and seniors Haley Stegman and Kelli Balch.
“we push the girls as far and as comfortable with what they’re doing. They seem to be doing really well.” -sami ritter, 12 Sami first started volunteering with AEC two years ago when she had to opportunity to fill in for another volunteer. “I’ve always liked helping people and had the opportunity to do it,” Sami said. “I didn’t realize I would get anything out of it.” Sami’s buddy, Gabby, has Down Syndrome. Those with Down Syndrome have poor strength, poor muscle mass and usually have cardiovascular health problems. Despite certain challenges, Gabby is always happy and
her hard-working motives have her loving to learn and try new things, according to Sami. “We push the girls as far and as comfortable with what they’re doing,” Sami said. “They seem to be doing really well.” As a buddy, the volunteers help the girls with stunts such as forward and backwards rolls, cartwheels, builds and pyramids. They also assist them with dances and routines they learn. “I absolutely love doing it because it’s the best hour and a half of my week,” Sami
PAGE BY ALEXIS CHRISTO
Left: Adrenaline Explosion Cheer poses for a group photo after their performance at Rankin Hospital on Nov. 9. They showcased their talents that they’ve worked on every Sunday prior to the performance. (cameron mccarty)
Other students at FHN are inspired to reach out and help others
Haley Stegman Senior
Time volunteering: 2 years
What’s been your most memorable time while volunteering?
Far Left: Sami Ritter helps out her buddy Gabby practice flipping on the mats at their practice facility. Center: A volunteer guides her buddy through flips for their routines and stunts that they perform at competitions. Left: Haley Stegman helps her buddy work on skills on the balance beam during training course at their gym. (Photos by cameron mccarty)
said. “Seeing the smile on their faces and the enjoyment they get while doing it.” Kylie, Sami’s younger sister, has Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that causes mucus to build up in the lungs or other areas and can cause delayed growth. Sami’s sister has had a strong effect on the way Sami lives her life and chooses to relate to others. “I don’t want anyone to treat her differently, even though she doesn’t look different,” Sami said. Founder of AEC, Sara Von Harz, started the program her sophomore year in high school. There are 15 volunteers, each paired up with a cheerleader who range from five years old to 18 years old. On top of teaching the girls stunts, once a month they have a sign language session for the girls to learn sign language so they can
PAGE BY ALEXIS CHRISTO
communicate with everyone on the team. “I like being able to see the kids’ progress, see the skills they get and see how happy their parents get when they see their kids do something they would never do,” Sara said. Along with volunteering, Sami has done mission trips with her church youth group; her most recent trip was over the summer to New York. Her youth group worked with the elderly special needs called Camp Pioneer and volunteered with the Special Olympics. Working with those groups of people made Sami consider looking into medical field involving careers with people with special needs. “I’ve gained that you really can’t judge a book by the cover,” Sami said. “You’ve really got to get to know the person and once you do, you find out how amazing people really are. And how much it means to them that you care.”
“Most memorable time was at Joplin, Mo when they took first in the competition.”
Bailey Bay Sophomore
Time volunteering: one month
Why did you get involved with AEC? “Sami Ritter told me about it and I wanted to do it for a long tme and she got me involved.”
Kelli Balch Senior
2 years How have you been affected by volunteering? “[I] feel like it’s made me a better person and more accepting of someone and different ideas.”
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 31
Bring On the games
Senior Adam Kassly slams his stick down on the ice to prevent the puck from going into the goal. This was one of the many saves Kassly made against FZN. The Knights were victorious with a 4-0 win. (julie schwartz)
Looks can be deceiving
The Varsity Hockey team is currently 3-0 in their conference and 3-4 overall. Despite having a 15 player roster and their record, Coach Paul Bruemmer thinks they are a still force to be reckoned with. “I think we will be very competitive in our division,” Bruemmer said. The team won Gold Cup this year, and now they set their hopes to win the division and their conference, which is toward the end of January. “I think we have a talented team, and we could upset Season Record: 5-4 anyone,” Varsity forward and sophomore Brycon (as of press time) Johnson said. Bruemmer thinks they are a very talented and competitive team. Though hockey is not sponsored by the school, they still take pride in calling themselves the Knights. Bruemmer also believes if more student fans come out to see them play, it will motivate them to do even better. “We need as many fans as possible,” Bruemmer said, “The boys take a lot of pride being named the Knights, we want more people to come and watch.”
The winter sports teams focus on starting the season of strong and keeping the pace
STORIES BY RODNEY MALONE, AUSTIN BARBER, AND ABBY WEST
Varsity wrestler Jordan Powell takes his opponent to the mat in the Nov. 28 meet at North. The Knights took on the Timberland Wolves for the first meet of the year. (zack eaton)
Junior Annelise Arger sprints down the court on a breakaway after stealing the ball. North defeated Timberland 43-37 at Timberland on Dec. 4 in their first regular season game. (abigail griffin)
Ambitious season Intentions moving forward step by step Through their challenging schedule, the Wrestling team is confident about their season. “I expect them to get better everyday,” Harold Ritchie, head coach of Varsity Wrestling said. ”We have a lot of expeSeason Record: 2-2 rienced Varsity guys who are seniors, and I expect (as of press time) a successful season from them.” Sean Smalls, a Varsity wrestler and senior, expects a lot from himself and he is confident about his season. “I’m expecting at least to qualify for State and get a State medal,” Smalls said. “I also want our Varsity lineup to qualify for State.”
AS OF 12/6/12
Record- 4 wins, 2 losses Pins- 2
As of press time, the Varsity girls Basketball team is 2-2, and Coach Matt Watson hopes to have a better record than the previous season’s record of 9-18 . Varsity Guard, junior Jessica Moceri, believes her team can pull off a successful season. Season Record: 2-2 “We put in a lot of practice, and I feel like it will (as of press time) pay off,” Moceri said. Varsity point guard and shooting guard freshman Austine Pauley thinks that the team is capable of winning a lot of games. She aspires for the team to go to State and become State champions. “I think our team this year can go to State and win it all,” Pauley said.
MADISON GILLAM BASKETBALL Games Played- 4 Points scored- 56 Rebounds- 34
Games played- 10 Goals- 4 Assists- 3
PAGE BY RODNEY MALONE
On Dec. 2, Senior Drew Landherr bowls his frame to help his team win a meet against many differant schools from sround the area. (matt krieg)
Junior Josh Carpenter defends against a break-away. FHN took on LSHN at the boys basketball tournament on Dec. 3 (megan tanksley)
Aiming for districts shift in leadership Every Sunday, the Bowling team faces off against a variety of high school teams in the St. Charles area. There are two teams at FHN right now, and their goal is to make Districts and beyond. Winning PercentageThe Bowling team has a 71.4 (as of press time) winning percentage of 71.4 (as of press time) so far this season and would like to continue with the good start and improve their scores. Paaren thinks with a strong finish to the season that they could advance to District and State tournaments in the spring. “We must adapt to lane conditions, we have to focus and overall practice more,” senior Kyle Paaren said. “We would like to finish first.”
For the first time in 26 years, the Varsity boys Basketball team started the season with a new coach, Darrell Davis from Fulton High School. The team had to make a quick transition since Davis got the job two weeks before Season Record: 0-2 the season started. Davis thinks (as of press time) the team has done a very good job adjusting to the new system, and coaches. During an SCW game on Dec. 3, Davis suffered his first setback when senior Kyle Lemons was fouled in the third quarter. Lemons broke his collar bone and will be out for six to eight weeks. “You can’t worry with what you don’t have, but with what you do have,” Davis said. “Kyle supports the team, we will take it one game at a time.”
The Knightlne team performed on Dec. 1 at Lindergh. The team preformed their new jazz dance to the song Blow by Kesha. (photo submitted)
During the Girl’s swimming tryouts, the rookie swimmers are coached by head coach Chip Crow. (logan bergman)
bringing home a win rebuilding, reloading Knightline competed in their first competition on Dec. 1 at Lindbergh High School. The team placed first in their kick dance and fifth in their jazz dance. The team created the new routines for the competition. FHHS, FHC and FZE Nationals: Jan. 31 to were competitors along with Feb.4 others at Lindbergh. “Our first place was well deserved,” senior Morgan Robben said. “Our kick dance was very well put together and prepared.” Knightline’s next competition will be Nationals from Jan. 31-Feb. 4 at Disney World in Florida.
CLARISSA SANBOTHE SWIMMING 50 Free- 30.06 seconds 100 Free- 1 minute 14 seconds
The girls Swim team is rebuilding after losing 11 senior swimmers from last year. Only seven of the 20 swimmers on the team are returning from last year. Coach William Crow thinks they will have to fill holes left from the seniors Season Record: 1-0 and focus on becoming a more (as of press time) experienced team. “I honestly don’t know what this team will look like because there are so many new people,” Crow said. Crow is looking forward to the unknown factors and thinks the team can have a successful season.
BLAKE SHAMBRO BASKETBALL Games Played- 2 Points- 13
To find out all of the other personal statistics for players.
tough choices case
After severe injuries, it’s hard to choose between your health and your love for the game
BY DRAKE KRUEP firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 8, I was in a head-tohead collision with another teammate at football practice and was out for an entire month of July until I was cleared. In week two of the season I was blindsided by an opposing player. I failed my imPACT tests multiple times and my mother decided I should see a doctor. I was cleared but faced with this tough decision - I could play football but gamble with my life, or I could quit football forever but be unhappy. I chose to return to football and finish the season. Most people would say I am gambling with my life and being reckless. In some ways I am, but football is a sport I can’t live without. Taking football away from me is like taking water from a fish. Choosing not to do something you love because there’s an outside chance of something bad coming from it is no way to live your life. While there is danger in the decision I chose, I’m doing everything I can to keep myself safe and limit the dangers that go with my decision. Decisions are tough, but in the end follow your gut and do what you think is best.
OR use this link: http://goo.gl/CImgx
PAGE BY AUSTIN BARBER
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 33
top 6 most common high school
sports injuries With more than 28 different high schools sports being participated in each year, injuries are occuring at rapid rates throughout seasons
playing back WITH TO
MAGIC STATE Sophomore Dominique Meyer qualifies for State in three different sports BY BRENDA ALVARADO email@example.com
Sophomore Dominique Meyer is no stranger to State competitions. Within her freshman and sophomore year, she’s qualified in all the sports she participates in at North; cross country, diving and track. “To qualify in three sports in high school is difficult,” Cross Country coach Sean Fowler said. “Doing it by your sophomore year is rather impressive.” To achieve this State streak, Dominique placed in the top 30 at Districts and Sectionals for cross country as well as the top four in track and had a score of at least 110 in diving. “It didn’t seem like that big of a feat,” Dominique said. “I just focused on one at a time.” Having already qualified for State this year by scoring a 220 she hopes to it onto the podium this year by placing in the top eight at State. As for track, she plans to switch from the 4x8 to pole-vault, seeing more of a future for herself there. In cross country, she hopes to break 20 minutes on the 5k State course. “She can do it,” junior Brandon Rosner said, “if she pushes herself and runs a smart race.”
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, or any injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no visible signs of a brain injury.
Shin splints cause dull, aching pain in the front of the lower leg. Some people feel it only during exercise; others, when they’ve stopped exercising. Sometimes, the pain is constant. They can be caused by swollen muscles, stress fractures, or “flat feet”
“I was running at someone in football and we hit each other,” senior Jonah Elliot said. “I have bad memory, and I get headaches.”
“I got shin splints from not working out my calves enough, junior Alexis Happe said. “Now I have to wear compression socks.”
It’s an injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that hold your bones together. Although ligaments are flexible, all it takes is a sudden twist for them to stretch too far or snap entirely.You might get a sprain if your foot lands on the ground at an angle, or with too much force.
concussions for the fall sports season
shin splint cases for the fall sports season
Back pain can cause problems anywhere from the neck to the tailbone. The back includes: The bones and joints of the spine. The discs that separate the vertebrae and absorb shock as you move. The muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments in the knee that connect the upper and lower leg bones. Injuries range from mild, such as a small tear, to severe, such as when the ligament tears completely or when ligaments and part of the bone separate.
back injuries for the fall sports season
“It was at soccer practice and I got slide tackled from behind,” senior Allie McDonnell said. ‘Physical therapy sucked but it helped out a lot.”
“I tore muscles in my lower back, because during soccer I jumped and landed on my heels,” senior Andy Bartell said. “It still hurts if I do anything strenuous.”
“I was jumpsetting in volleyball, and I came down on my ankle,” junior Stonyrae Harris said.
torn ACL’s for the fall sports season
ankle injuries for the fall sports season
The knee is the largest joint in the body. The upper and lower bones of the knee are separated by two discs. Leg bones are connected by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The surface of the bones inside the knee joint which absorb shock, and allow for joint movement. Injuries to any of these structures can cause knee pain. I developed tendonitis in both of my knees from playing volleyball last year,” senior Mark Reichert said.
statistics from trainer Joe Bommerito
knee injuries for the fall sports season
info from www.webmd.com
PAGE BY ABBY WEST
fighting TO THE TOP Through the years, Smith has been dedicated to the sport of wrestling BY DAVID MCFEELY firstname.lastname@example.org
At age 10, senior Tyler Smith began wrestling. He started because it sounded interesting. “It felt like it was a hard sport when I started,” Smith said. “But getting my first win really made wrestling worth doing.” His first win came in fourth grade and first high school win came in ninth grade at a Parkway West tournament. He said his biggest victory was in his sophomore year when he defeated the number one wrestler in Missouri. “I think he has been getting better at practices and he should place higher than he did last year,” sophomore Zak Davlin said. Last year, Smith took sixth place at State -- the only FHN wrestler to medal. His success gave him high expectations for this year. “I think I’ll place in State and might get first because I did really well last year and can only hope to get better,” Smith said. Smith plans to not wrestle next year because St. Charles Community College, the college he’ll attend, doesn’t have a team. “I think he is a pretty darn good wrestler and could definitely wrestle in college,” Assistant coach Chris Brown said.
Senior Michaela Randolph has been doing gymnastics at Flipslide Gymnastics since getting hooked at a young age. Besides practicing to become better individually, Randolph helps other build their skills. Randolph wishes to earn a degree in exercise science to have a career as a coach or trainer. (matt krieg)
hopes for a bright future Senior Michaela Randolph spends her time practicing competitive gymnastics as well as coaching others
the others.” The other three nights out of her week, when she is not practicing. Randolph spends her night at the From the age of 7, Randolph realized she had a gym coaching younger kids, ranging from ages six passion for gymnastics. It first began with a Girl to 15. She trains them in various different skills Scout event where she visited a gym to experience and passes on her knowledge of technique. what the life of a gymnast was like, and she was “It takes a special person to coach others,” Baker hooked. said. “She is good at knowing how to push them “I grew up just me and my mom, so I had to and make them feel good when doing it.” choose one sport,” Randolph said. With an average of 30 of hours a “I really liked gymnastic classes, so FHNTODAY.COM week she spends at the gym, RanI just stuck with that.” dolph has grown close to many of her Gymnastics is different from other teammates. Randolph feels that havsports, according to coach Jessie ing a family-like feel while practicing To watch a Baker. makes competitions even better. video to see how Michaela Pre-requisites: “We have always just been an extra uses her skills Coordination, balance, agility, coach for each other,” teammate at practice physical strength, and flexibility. Becca Campbell said. “In all honesty OR use this link: http://goo.gl/IVzF0 Randolph currently trains three she is just a great person all around.” nights a week at Flipside GymnasWhile continuing to train with her tics where she has been training since she began teammates, Randolph is beginning to plan for her gymnastics. At Flipside there are 10 levels, the future. She hopes to reach as high of a level as more skills that can only be acquired the higher she can at Flipside, this coming year. Randolph level that is earned. She is currently at a Level 8. also wishes to pursue an exercise science degree Randolph is skilled in several events including in college, which she hopes will get her a job in bars, vault, beam and floor. Last year she placed coaching or training. She also wishes to participate at Regionals, taking third in beam and fourth on in college pole vault. floor. “Just her commitment level as a gymnast and as “She is really unaware of how talented she actua teacher is amazing,” Baker said. “She shows that ally is,” Baker said. “She is a great role model for if you dream big you can accomplish anything.”
BY ABBY WEST
email@example.com | @abby_west19
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Tag your tweets with #FHNnews 12.12.12
Your omg moment The main character in Polar Express was never actually named. He is credited as Hero Boy. http://goo.gl/Od0Fh
modern classics Holiday
1 polar express
with 2 elf will ferrell
This is the movie that makes snuggling up to a fire on a cold, snowy night with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows sound ideal (and that’s not just because of the song dedicated to the warm beverage). There’s something to be said about a story depicting a boy who finds his childhood once again while helping me rediscover my own along with him. It really makes Christmas seem magical again, like it did when I was a child. This is a movie that just makes it easy to relax as well as get pumped up for snow and the holiday season.
“Elf” defines “modern holiday classic.” It’s a perfect representation of the innocence of Christmas and believing in Santa Claus. This is easily one of the best movies Will Ferrell has ever acted in as well. The humor is perfect for all ages and it also never fails to get some laughs. It’s one of the few holiday movies that is even quoted in the summer. Good luck going a whole year without hearing “Buddy the Elf. What’s your favorite color?” But of course, that just may be because “Elf” rule number one is to treat everyday like Christmas.
This movie is the popular book of our childhoods come to life, which is exactly what I like about it. There’s not much to say about it other than it’s just an adorable, heartwarming movie. I absolutely love the colors and excitement for Christmas in Whoville. Even the hairy, green Grinch is enjoyable to watch despite his attempts to destroy Christmas. It’s probably due to the fact that Jim Carrey does a wonderful job making it believable that he really is as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eal as the Grinch.
It’s a series that has pretty much grown up along with me, which is always fun. Tim Allen’s portrayal of a Santa, who is far from perfect, makes Santa Claus seem far more realistic and is one of the best portrayals of the jolly old man. Each movie brings something new to the table as well with new plot and characters. Time doesn’t stand still either. The actors actually age over the years of production, and they’re still the same actors and actresses as in the first movie. It’s nice to have all of these things in a series.
THE GRINCH 3 HOW STOLE CHRISTMAS
FHN voted and here are the results, reviewed by Tannyr Seddon
santa 4 the clause series
5 ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
The ending is cute, with a lesson that should be cherished by all: the holidays are a time for selfless giving. This is really what makes the movie. The beginning caught my attention with its unique “action” sequence, but toward the middle I lost interest. It became dull. Luckily, it picked up toward the end. The cool thing was that Santa’s family is like any other: easily weighed down by the pressures of the holiday season.
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PAGE BY TANNYR SEDDON
Not-so-Haunting encounters BY RODNEY MALONE firstname.lastname@example.org
“Haunted Encounters” is a wanna-be sci-fi thriller that is basically copying the idea of “Ghost Hunters.” “Haunted Encounters” is four people trying to find ghosts at certain locations like an old theater, house, or a barn based on people’s claims and suspicions. If the purpose of this show is to prove that ghosts exist, it’s failing. For instance, they walked passed a bed that was made up in the alleged haunted house. However, when they got back to the room, the bed had handprints on it. It could have been a human who made the prints.
When three investigators were in the basement of the house, they said they heard ghost footsteps from upstairs, but it could have been the investigator upstairs already that was walking around. These supernatural investigators said they had evidence based off electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) recordings but the EVPs just sounded like static and weren’t believable. Watching the show, I came to a conclusion about the investigators: they want to find supernatural things so badly their minds play tricks on them. I think this show will get taken off the air after the first season if not sooner. This show is a joke and honestly a chore to watch.
A CERTAIN october THE WEIRD WARRIOR BY AMANDA STALLINGS
email@example.com | @AStall13
When I picked up “A Certain October” by Angela Johnson, I was looking forward to an inspirational book. The book is full of detail and meaning, like when the main character Scotty gets in a tragic accident that puts her younger brother in bad shape, she blames herself. But I didn’t understand exactly why. I felt like it was lacking something. I got lost in the demanding, detached writing. I was so overwhelmed with the book’s meaning and became too focused on understanding the book that I didn’t enjoy the potential inspirational story of the book. I feel like spending time on the book was a somewhat a waste of my time.
BY NICK WYER
firstname.lastname@example.org | @copperwyer
Ke$ha, the always eccentric glitter queen’s latest album “Warrior” is filled with infectious beats and repetitive lyrics. As usual, Ke$ha still gives me that “this is weird and why am I listening to this” vibe, but it’s done in such a way that I continued listening. I found myself wanting to dance within the first minute of the first song. My main gripe about the album has to be the fact that I can’t take Ke$ha seriously. One minute she’ll be singing about her life prior to pop-stardom, then the next she’s singing about partying with a ghost, in her track “Supernatural.” She just doesn’t make sense. Other than that, I would say “Warrior” is a pretty solid album from Ke$ha.
PINTEREST GOT MY
INTEREST The social media site makes it easy to find and share web content BY JAKE CHIARELLI email@example.com | @ChiaJake
Pinterest, the social media giant, capitalizes on individual interests and fads. The site has taken photos, design tips, memes and advice and organized it all in a huge database. I found that it’s very accessible, and the content ranges in variety. For a while, I was afraid to even try Pinterest, because I thought it was a site made for women only. Pinterest scared me, but now I admire it’s creativity and varying content. There are a few topics on Pinterest that I think would appeal to male users. The one drawback I found was that most men might not know about the site because it doesn’t appear to market as much to male audiences. Therefore, I find the site to be missing a large target audience by not promoting a more male-friendly presence. However, I think Pinterest is a great site, with a huge amount and variety of content available to anyone. Pinterest proved to break through it’s prenotion of being a feminist website, and now I feel fine with looking at Star Wars memes on Pinterest.
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PAGE BY TANNYR SEDDON
ALLIANCE The United States has to stop unnecessarily relying on importing from other countries BY JAKE CHIARELLI firstname.lastname@example.org | @ChiaJake
The United States relies entirely too much on foreign products. Imports have almost become our primary source for manufactured goods. I think this is an unnecessary loss of American jobs in a time of economic instability. The United States relies on manufactured goods like clothes, electronics and perishables, as well as oil from foreign nations, even though they could produce those things themselves. They import billions of dollars worth of products every year, which definitely contributes to the world economy, but not their own economy. For example, they spend $13 million per hour on foreign oil because it’s cheaper and easier to use a current source of oil, rather than starting new rigs, and creating a whole new oil source here in the U.S. But I believe that if they started drilling more in Alaska and The Gulf of Mexico, they could become less dependent on foreign oil in the future. I understand that a solution will take time, and the U.S. can’t stop buying the oil right away, but they could take steps to lessen our dependence on it. I believe we should become extremely less dependent on foreign imports instead of paying for goods that could be produced by men and women who are in need of jobs in the U.S. They need to stop outsourcing jobs because it’s cheaper. That’s one of the reason why the nation has such a high unemployment rate. The U.S. If it could lessen its need for imports, and start creating manufacturing companies, mirroring those of the 1950’s and 60’s, when everyone had a job that improved the country, the nation could become as strong, and as powerful as it was in those times.
Students use cell phones that are most likely imported from foreign countries. (photo illustration by sammie savala)
FHN voices their opinions on events happening around the school, country and world
“I plan on taking advantage of [the free test], it’ll just give me a better chance.”
“Right now the U.S. is superior as a military power but China is developing quickly.”
Holiday greetings “Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ isn’t a big deal, but there’s always going to be people who complain.”
PAGE BY ELAINA PETERS
With holiday greetings, people are way too worried about being politically correct rather than they should be.(photo illustration by zack eaton)
Don’t be sensitive to celebrations
Political correctness shouldn’t matter when it comes to holiday greetings BY ELAINA PETERS
email@example.com | @elaina_peters
Winter is the most magical time of year. While not all of us are advocates of the freezing cold weather, the holidays are truly what makes winter a favorite. We all believe in different things; we all express ourselves differently. Playing it safe is always the ideal thing to do in certain situations and saying “Happy Holidays,” to someone whose religious background you are not familiar with, shouldn’t be one of those situations. In America, we shouldn’t have to play it safe in something as embracing as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah,” thanks to the first amendment. It is a nice gesture to be wished a happy time of year whether it is in your beliefs or not. Com-
munities need to come together, accept each other and not have to worry about greeting each other with a vague, emotionless “Happy Holidays” but instead greet others with whatever they believe in. America is diverse; the holiday cheer is spread in many different languages. On St. Charles’ Main Street the culture is very diverse. In fact, there are actual Christmas stores. Even though Main Street as a whole decorates in generic winter decorations, they still allow the individual stores greet as they wish, in return making Main Street as welcoming as it is. Respect is all that matters. As long as the words spoken are in good intentions, saying “Happy Kwanzaa” to someone who celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, and vise versa, should not be frowned upon in public.
Typing away the curve BY DELORES LAMPKIN
firstname.lastname@example.org | @deloris_lampkin
Cursive writing is quickly being replaced with technology. (photo illustration by megan tanksley)
New Star wars films
“It can go either way because it’s Disney. It can either be really good or really bad.”
PAGE BY ELAINA PETERS
TACKY SWEATERS “It’s stupid. I just don’t think it’s funny or cute anymore since everyone does it.”
Cursive writing is useful for official documents, but at the same time there’s no need for teachers to spend more time than necessary teaching cursive if students are only going to use it for one thing: their signature. Since November, Missouri has been debating about the positives and negatives of cursive writing in the school system. It was decided in the Baltimore School District in Missouri that cursive was no longer helpful to students due to the 21st century and its technology dependence. The original purpose of teaching cursive was to speed writing up. But most students can now type faster than they can write. I agree with the Baltimore School District because we don’t need cursive in our everyday lives. However, I do agree with FHSD which does believe that cursive writing is a good module for students to learn and has plans to keep cursive in the schools. It’s a good thing, but at the same time, I think students should only learn how to practice the cursive letters for their signature. Since the world is positively evolving, school districts should allow students to evolve with it. TERESA WOOTEN
red lunch trays
“I learned cursive in preschool, but the only thing I use it for now are signatures.”
“I don’t understand why they have [the new red trays] most people just throw them away anyways.”
Myself A cliche, or not-so-cliche, success story about growing up from a real kid BY ELAINA PETERS email@example.com | @elaina_peters
Making decisions is the hardest thing to do. I like to say that I have a phobia of “decision making” even though there isn’t a real diagnosis for it. Luckily, I had someone to guide me through all my decisions, who knew me better than I knew myself. Advice was always 13 steps across the hallway to my brother’s room. Last year I made the most “self-improving” change in my life. I moved 715 miles from my decision-maker. My brother, Corbin, a sophomore at UNC-Charlotte, stayed home in North Carolina while the rest of us headed out here for Dad’s job. Little did I know, I would be making my own friends and own decisions. I’m finally realizing that without this happening I would not have dreamed of doing the things I’ve done in the past year which have made me who I am today. Knowing who I am will prepare me for the bigger decisions I will be making soon. All this time I have been making my angsty, teenage self miserable by thinking life was unfair when in reality, I’ve just done something that all of us have to eventually do: grow up. I now have to decide which shirt is “cooler” every morning and which classes I will be taking next year on my own. I have to make my own judgments on my peers now without having someone right in my ear, but I feel good making them.
12.12.12 FHNTODAY.COM 43
Sir, we are too late. Earth is overrun by zombies, the Mayan Calendar has ended, the Sun is exploding with solar flares and in about 17 minutes a rogue planet will strike. Let’s skip out of here.
Yes. I heard Neptune is nice this time of millenium.
north star take:
The Mayans started unnecessary mayhem (editorial cartoon by jordan bryson)
A look through skeptical eyes at the 2012 end of the world prophecies ON BEHALF OF THE EDITORIAL STAFF firstname.lastname@example.org | @fhntoday
The Mayan calendar. A catastrophic flood. The Christian rapture. We’ve heard it all before. Y2K. Solar flares. Technology overtake. The who, what, when, where, why of the world’s end has been predicted thousands of times since the beginning of human existence. But note that word--predicted. They’ve all failed. Everyone is still here. So when Dec. 21 rolls around, people will enjoy their day, go to sleep and enjoy the next day as usual. The recent craze has been about the Mayan calendar and how it just cuts off on Dec. 21, 2012. The “end of the world” theory gained some ground in the latter part of the 2000s and completely blew up. The movie “2012” was created in its honor, along with the show “Doomsday Preppers” and there is even a WikiHow page titled “How to Overcome a Fear of 2012.” When the Mayan prophecy gained popularity, it seemed many jumped the bandwagon, coincidentally found other 2012 prophecies and did no research on anything they were talking about.
Google “2012 end of the world theories.” There are pages upon pages of theories predicting the doom that was supposed to take place this year. Since nothing has happened yet, it’s just to assume all of these predictions will have to take place sometime this month. Probably the second biggest end of the world prophecy for 2012 is the one from Michel de Nostredame, more commonly known as Nostradamus. According to History.com, he predicted things from the French revolution to the creation of the atomic bomb to the falling of the Twin Towers. In context, reading Nostradamus’ prediction with the event it apparently predicted, it seems to fit perfectly. However, out of context, Nostradamus’ poetic predictions are almost so vague they could be shaped around any happening, and it would make sense. Then there’s the rumor of a rogue planet on a course to hit the earth. With the technology available today, space administrations would have already known about it for years. The actual fact of the Sun aligning with the center of the Milky Way is also going to take place. However, it too has had the Dec. 21 doomsday theory tacked onto it. Along with the amount of 2012 prophecies there are, there has also been a number of galactic alignments that never resulted in man’s doom. According to NASA, a galactic alignment can’t even be narrowed down to a specific year, much less a specific day.
The most recurring doomsday prophecy in history is the rapture, or the second coming of Christ. This is because interpretation plays such a huge role in the end of the world theories. The most recent failed rapture prediction was set for May 21, 2011. Harold Camping, a Christian radio broadcaster, interpreted the Bible and said the rapture would occur, then following, the universe’s end on Oct. 21, 2011. Predictions of the rapture will never be correct because one is only able to interpret the date of its happening or if it even will take place. The biggest thing about all of these 2012 prophecies is that people believe them right off the bat. If the theories flying around were questioned before immediately believed, there would be less rumors, less theories and lesser popularity on the predictions already present. Taking everything for face value is what made one 2012 theory after another come from authors to scientists to researchers. All the while, the original predictions seemed to become more embellished and more popular. In situations such as these, when thousands of people are saying earth’s population is set to expire in just nine days, become a skeptic. When rumors fly around about a civilization that made a calendar in 3114 BC, and it’s set to end with death and destruction in this lifetime, educate yourself. Feeding the 2012 fire with ranting, raving and being naive will only allow it to grow.
PAGE BY DELORES LAMPKIN
staff Co Editors-in-Chief: Aurora Blanchard & Nick Bussell
Even though Disney bought the rights to the Star Wars movies, don’t plan to see Mickey and his pals aboard the Starship or defending the Death Star (images from shutterstock)
LUCASFILM AND DISNEy are BETTER OFF as teammates BY TANNYR SEDDON
email@example.com | @teesedd
Recently, the almighty Disney bought out Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The ruckus caused by this is actually a little ridiculous. As Disney plans to continue the saga in 2015, the “Star Wars” fans are pretty worried about the series becoming just another fairy tale. It’s in the heads of many people that Princess Leia is now a Disney princess and the fighting will be practically non-existent. This shouldn’t even be a worry. The branch of Disney that makes the kiddy movies that are filled with happily-ever-afters won’t be the one creating “Star Wars.” Leia won’t be joining Belle and Ariel or turning in her crazy hairstyles and blaster for a shiny, gold crown and a frying pan as if she were in “Tangled.” Disney also owns Marvel. “The Avengers” earned over $600 million and had movie critics and fans raving about it for months. There was no lack of fighting in that movie. It didn’t degrade the original intent of Stan Lee, and this will be the same for the vision of George Lucas.
The day Black Widow gets the status of Mulan is the day Leia becomes the next Snow White. Disney already has “Star Wars” characters and attractions in their theme parks anyway. If she was destined for that title, she’d already have it. Disney owns seemingly everything. Believe it or not, they own ESPN, ABC networks and Touchstone Pictures, among others. There seem to be few complaints about content from these guys. The new movies may not be exactly what we’re used to, but I have no doubt they’ll turn out to be just as good in many ways. I expect the new movies to follow the standard of the old ones made by George Lucas’ company. It’s also been said Disney plans to include him in the writing, directing and producing. The special effects won’t disappoint either. It’s a new day and age, and we have tons of new ways of making lightsabers look realistic. Combine that with one of the top movie making companies there is, and you’ll probably get some great films. I don’t expect them to be anything less than other movies Disney has made in the past. If the new “Star Wars” are bad, forget their existence and only watch the originals. For now, just hope for the best. Hakuna Matata.
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