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GLENBROOK SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
4000 W. Lake Ave, Glenview, IL 60026 VOLUME LII , ISSUE 3, DEC. 20, 2013
FIRST IN A SERIES
growth spurt Predicted rise in student enrollment poses space challenge KALI CROKE
asst. news editor South’s enrollment is projected to continue rising significantly, hitting an estimated capacity of over 3,100 students by 2017, according to studies by the District 225 Board of Education. This
growth poses space concerns for the building. South currently has a student body of 2,738, according to Principal Dr. Brian Wegley. The rise in enrollment is now expected to plateau after its initial growth as opposed to returning to a stable student body size as predicted in the earlier “bubble” projection. Michael Riggle, District 225 superintendent, said the district is doing everything it can in order to limit “over-building” extra space and facilities
to accommodate the rise in South attendance. “One of the things the district is concerned about is that we don’t overbuild,” Riggle said. “What we don’t want to do is to take taxpayer dollars and expand the buildings [so] it becomes bigger than it will ever be used for the purposes of just a couple of years.” Despite the district’s hesitance, Jeffrey Rylander, instructional supervisor of the Science Department, expressed concern for crowding of not only
Projected loss from COLA adjustment*: $1.18 million over 30 years of retirement
Projected loss from COLA adjustment*: $1.19 million over 30 years of retirement**
Decrease in portion of salary paid to pension: $1,224 per year
Decrease in portion of salary paid to pension: $584 per year
How the new law will affect teachers’ retirement benefits across the state and in this school
Increase in retirement age: 0 years
Increase in retirement age: 5 years
See ENROLLMENT page 3
Pension overhaul approved in Illinois
classrooms but also space for teachers to work. “We’re not going to be able to fit that many classes in our classrooms with our current enrollment projections,” Rylander said. “Right now, we are at about an 85 percent capacity, where 100 [percent] would be if we used every classroom every period. You will be teaching biology in a [physics lab] and physics in a chemistry lab. Our depart-
co-news editor The Illinois Congress approved a reform of the state’s pension system for public workers on Dec. 3, and Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislation on Dec 5. Public-worker pensions lack $100 billion in funds as a result of the state not paying its portion of the costs over the last few decades, according to Matt Whipple, president of the Glenbrook Educators’ Association. The new legislation will compensate for that shortfall; it is projected to save $160 billion over the next 30 years. While 55 percent of the money does not exist for pension funds, the program, given the state’s overhaul, will be fully funded by 2044. Fully funding the program would mean that the state could pay for pensions if all Illinois teachers decided to retire simultaneously. However, Whipple believes all teachers retiring simultaneously to be an unrealistic possibility and the state only needs to fund the program at about 80 percent.
Cheryl Hope Age: 65
Retiring in June 2014 Projected loss from COLA adjustment*: $1.23 million over 30 years of retirement Decrease in portion of salary paid to pension: $0 per year Increase in retirement age: 0 years *Calculated assuming a pension of $90,000 **Calculated assuming 40 years of employment
PERSONALIZING PENSIONS: Although affected in different ways based on their ages, Katie Hoover, English
teacher; Matthew Whipple, social studies teacher; and Cheryl Hope, English teacher, will all lose retirement benefits from the latest change in Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA), an annual income raise based on inflation. Two elements of this part of the legislation include a decrease in the COLA percentage and COLA holidays. Graphic by Wyatt Richter
“Usually a healthy funded plan is considered to be 80 percent funded,” Whipple said. “That’s what think tanks [who] talk about retirement funding programs will say. So they’re trying to get even more money than they need.” When the bill goes into effect on June 1, 2014, it will negatively affect teachers by increasing the retirement age for those under age 45, decreasing cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) and placing a ‘cap’ on the amount of pensionable salary, according to Whipple. To compensate for the losses, teachers will have to pay 1 percent less than the current automatic 9.4 percent of salary contribution to their pension. However, Benedict Hussmann, social studies teacher, doesn’t believe that the decrease in teacher contributions will offset the decrease in benefits. “I’m going to get about an extra $100 every month [and that will be] where I’m going to get the savings to try and [compensate] for the thousands of dollars I’m going to lose in pensions...I don’t think
See PENSIONS page 3
Slashed food stamps may increase demand for local food pantries CAROLYN KELLY & CHARLOTTE KELLY
co-news editors Federal funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, decreased on Nov. 1. Eligible households now receive less monthly assistance from SNAP. Two million Illinois residents receive assistance from SNAP, including residents of Glenview and Northbrook, according to the Chicago Tribune. The cuts are the result of an expiration of the additional funding SNAP received from the American
GIRLS IN STEM
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package. The goal of the 2009 increase was to help combat the effects of rising unemployment during the recession, and recipients of SNAP received an 13.6 percent increase in monthly benefits, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. According to Barbara Marzillo, South’s head nurse, definite need for food currently exists at South. “We do still have students who come into our office who truly are hungry,” Marzillo said. According to Feeding America, a non-profit or-
ganization that oversees food pantries, the average family of four will receive a cut of $36 per month. This will leave SNAP receivers to average $1.40 per person, per meal, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. According to Jill Brickman, supervisor of the Northfield Township, this reduction could make a big difference to a family already on a tight budget. Part of the difference will be seen in the quality of food SNAP recipients are able to purchase.
See STAMPS page 4
opinions features a&e
CATCHING FIRE REVIEW
RIGHT AMOUNT OF WRONG
CANS IN DEMAND: Cans await consumers at the Northfield Township Food Pantry, which provides sustenance to around 538 families. Photo by Marley Hambourger
19 MEN’S HOCKEY
Dec. 20, 2013
Google executive visits South, talks energy
LOTS OF LOTS:
As proposed by designers, additions to South’s parking lots will be constructed at locations A, B and C. The current parking situation is projected to become even more crowded as South’s enrollment grows [see Enrollment, front page].
co-editor in chief Dr. Arunava Majumdar, vice president of Google’s energy initiatives, visited South to present to students on Nov. 21. Majumdar presented on energy policy, sustainable energy possibilities and what the younger generation is capable of. President Barack Obama nominated him for the Under Secretary of Energy, and last year Majumdar joined the Google community to advise the company on energy strategy. Junior Avi Dravid, Majumdar’s family friend, heard that Majumdar was visiting Northwestern and proposed that he visit South as well. After Majumdar agreed, Dravid approached South Principal Dr. Brian Wegley. Wegley took the initiative to create a committee of South faculty members to decide the content of the presentation, which included Jeff Rylander, instructional supervisor of the Science Department. “The goal was to provide our students with a challenge to be innovators in the ever changing and highly technical world,” Rylander said. Wegley said Majumdar was “blown away” by students’ questions and attentive behavior. “Dr. Majumdar shared with me how impressed he was with our student body,” Wegley said. “I truly enjoyed hearing Dr. Majumdar’s reflections on the quality of our students.” Majumdar’s presentation emphasized student cooperation to solve the “grand challenge” of energy sustainability, according to Dravid. “Some of you may decide to go into business,” Majumdar said during his presentation. “You may go to Wall Street; we need you all.” Dravid agrees with the necessity of involving everybody in this initiative and expressed hope. “It’s going to take efforts from all sorts of people to facilitate the development of cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy,” Dravid said. “This generation will have to step up, but we can work together to solve the challenge. “
EXPERIMENTAL ENERGY: Present-
ing to South science students about energy projects, Dr. Arunava Majumdar, vice president of Google’s energy initiatives, worked to instill in students the impact they could have on energy. Majumdar is also the Director of the Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute. Photo courtesy of GBS TV
Graphic by Wyatt Richter
Board considers parking lot expansion proposal INAARA TAJUDDIN
co-web editor District 225 Board of Education members confirmed the extent of their project design for the possible expansion of South’s parking lots in their Dec. 2 meeting. If approved, construction would commence during summer 2014. According to Sean Garrison, South’s supervisory dean, there are 144 parking spaces in the conditional parking lot and 300 parking spaces in the senior lot, a shortage ensuring that many students are turned away when they request to purchase parking. “Since no junior gets year long parking, you could say the whole junior class gets turned away at some point during the year,” Garrison said. “Also, all sophomores are turned away as we do not offer parking for any sophomore.” According to Gary Freund, South’s associate principal, approval for the expansion depends on the Board’s eval-
uation of the prices offered for the construction. Areas A, B and C are the Board’s proposed expansion areas (see graphic). The expansion would in-
clude 260 additional parking spots with a total estimate cost of $1.45 million. The new lots could increase student parking by 59 percent. Freund said the discussion was
prompted earlier due to increased safety hazards caused by the growing student population. “If you stand out [in the front parking lot] from 7:40 to 8 a.m. and from 3:15 to 3:30 p.m., it’s just dangerous,” Freund said. “There are just too many cars trying to get in and out, just too many people. For the safety of our students, we believe that adding more parking will make us safer.” According to senior Anbang Zhang, parking did not pose a problem for him this year. However, he did have issues during his junior year because he did not receive parking second semester. “I had to carpool with a friend, even though I had Early Bird [P.E.] and the Variety Show during second semester and he did not, causing schedule conflicts,” Zhang said. “On this note, I full-heartedly agree on the proposal of the expansion, if only to help the junior class.”
Student-to-Student attracts high turnout to motivational event
Each issue, the Oracle features a club’s recent accomplishments.
staff reporter One hundred and sixty students participated in Student-to-Student’s latest event, Snowball, on Dec. 13, setting a record for student attendance, according to Izzy Fradin, Student-to-Student senior leader. Operation Snowball is an international drug and/ or alcohol use prevention program that strives to motivate students to lead healthy lives, free of addictive and illegal substances. Snowball is meant to be a fun outing, as well as informative and motivational, according to organizers. “Student-to-Student is the main organizer of Snow-
ball,” Cole Hamilton, Student-to-Student copresident, said. “We had about 130 to 140 total [sign up last year]. Typically we don’t turn anyone away.” Even students who had already attended were welcome back. Fradin said that going to Snowball again after her freshman year, when she felt ‘like a shy freshman girl,’ was very powerful. “Seeing the freshman girls and the sophomore girls and being like, ‘I can relate to you, I was you at one point,’ was really cool,” Fradin said. Because the club invites different speakers every year, according to Club Sponsor Scott Greenspan, things are always a bit different. Hamilton said the speakers truly make going worth it. “You hear them and you’re motivated to go out there and conquer the world,” Hamilton said. Senior Ajay Bhojwani, Student-to-Student co-president, agreed. “[The speakers are] definitely one of the highlights of the day, and a lot of discussion is based around them and [. . .] how to [apply] what the speakers are talking about to everyday life,” Bhojwani said.
ACTIVE AUDIENCE: Watching students strut across the stage in an activity at Snowball, Izzy Fradin,
Student-to-Student senior leader, applauds the students’ performance. Fradin headed the Curriculum Committee which focused on Snowball’s theme, VOICE: Voice Our Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence. Photo by Marley Hambourger
news ENROLLMENT, from front -ment will be at its capacity [...] within the next year.” Lara Cummings, assistant principal for Student Services, said that the quality of education has the potential to decrease with the rise of students. She is also worried that students may be denied the opportunity of taking certain classes. “Our real goal for students here is to find their passion [...] my concern is that some of these specialty classes will fill up,” Cummings said. “That’s never how we’ve operated at Glenbrook South. We define ourselves by students deciding what [courses] they want to take and us being able to provide them, not having to tell students ‘no, we don’t have the space.’” Senior Chris Coleman said he thought the existing educational environment could change and not necessarily for the better. “It’s going to put more strain on the teachers and resources,” Coleman said. “We’re going to be starting to see larger classes as well as a higher student-to-teacher ratio which might have an effect on the education quality.” Riggle said that increasing class sizes is being considered and that adding even one body to each class would be noticeable. However, departments such as the Guidance Department have expressed the need for additional staff, calling into question where these extra bodies will go. “Each of our guidance counselors has a case-
Dec. 20, 2013 load of 250 [students],” Cummings said. “If we go up to 2,930 students next year, we will need a twelfth guidance counselor [...] I’m struggling to figure out where [in the building] this guidance counselor would [work] next year.” Rylander noted that the situation in the Science Department is not as dire as in the Guidance Department, but limited space poses many challenges for that department as well. The Board is discussing several options on how best to meet the rise in enrollment. According to Riggle, a decision could be made later in the 2014-2015 school year. In the meantime, proposed short-term solutions include creating additional parking space over the summer of 2014 [see “Parking,” page 2]. For now, construction within the building is only taking place to accommodate the size of next year’s student body, according to Freund. Conversations about how best to do so are ongoing. Freund feels that if the decision-making process is protracted, the enrollment will only increase, and South might lose “some of its culture.” However, he also agreed with Riggle when he conveyed the importance of caution while balancing the timing of the decision and the decision itself. “If we are going to 3,200 [students by 2017], we have to prepare for it,” Freund said. “And the longer you wait, the higher [our] enrollment is going to get … I think timing is important, but I also think thoroughness is important as well.”
Graphic by Cormac O’Brien
PENSIONS, from front
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general opinion of the legislation by most of the South staff is not positive, according to Superintendent Dr. Michael Riggle. “I believe they feel upset right now and somewhat betrayed. They felt like they entered into a system that was based upon [pension benefits] that had been guaranteed,” Riggle said. Whipple believes teachers are upset because of the money that they will lose and because of the morality of the politicians’ actions. “There’s an ethical question that frustrates me, [...] that legislators can choose not to make payments they p ro m i s e d to make for 30 years in the face of a constitutional expectation to do that,” Whipple said. “It d i s a p points me. I’m embarrassed for our state legislators.” Laura Fine, Representative from the 17th district, said that the Illinois General Assembly did not take the decision lightly. “I can tell you that for nobody in the General Assembly this [was] an easy vote, and it’s something that was very emotional and difficult,” Fine said. Fine believed that because of the large costs of the system, the bill was the right choice for the future.
“Unfortunately the state can’t keep up with [pension] payments,” Fine said. “We needed to make a change because we have younger teachers in the system right now and we want to make sure it’s the same for when they retire.” While teachers will be impacted by the legislation, the district itself is not currently affected, according to Riggle. However, the bill could change how teachers approach retirement, which will ultimately affect the district especially during times of increasing enrollment. “I think it will have an impact potentially on how quickly people will choose to retire and what we hope doesn’t happen is that people will rush into a retirement,” Riggle said. In addition to the amount of teachers retiring, the district could be affected by the shifting of pension costs from the state to local districts if the state decided it no longer could pay. This could happen if some or all of the bill is struck down in court. “If the state said we’re not paying anymore, [..] that would be a real cost to the district which would change all their financial calculations including things like what do we do with salaries and benefits and building operation budgets,” Whipple said. Currently, the only school system that pays for its employees pensions is Chicago Public Schools, according to Whipple. The next step for the legislation is the Illinois court system, where a coalition of public workers unions called “We Are One - Illinois” has promised to challenge the bill’s constitutionality.
that’s going to work,” Hussmann said. Teachers presently under the age of 45 will have to work longer on a ‘sliding scale’ in order to receive a full pension when they retire, according to Whipple. For example, a teacher in their 40s might only have to work a couple of months past the current retirement age of 60, while newer teachers will have to work up to five extra years, Whipple said. Currently, teachers receive a 3 percent compounding COLA. The bill decreases the COLA percentage and ties it to the Consumer Price Index, creating COLA ‘holidays.’ A holiday is when a retiree skips the COLA for a year. The bill would also lower the amount of money the COLA applies to from the full pension to around $30,000. The changes will apply to current teachers and currently retired teachers. The retirees will be impacted the most, because they won’t be able to find other sources of income compared to a current teacher, according to Whipple. “I have some opportunity to maybe set some extra money aside in a 403(b), [...] but my parents are retired teachers, so they’re 70,” Whipple said. “They’re not going back to work— for them, [COLA changes are] a direct, meaningful, real loss.” According to Whipple, the other major change is to the pension cap. Now when a teacher retires, the top four salaries in their last 10 years of work are averaged, and then their pension is 75 percent of that number. Under the new legislation, the maximum amount of pensionable salary is approximately $113,000, according to Whipple. That number is based on the Social Security wage, and it would decrease the amount South retired teachers receive. “Glenbrook teachers at the end of their career exceed [the cap],” Hussmann said. “So senior teachers, such as myself, will see their pensions reduced by tens of thouCLASSROOM CONGRESSMAN: Listening to a student discussion, Senator Daniel Biss (far right) sits in sands of dollars a year.” David Kane’s political science class. Biss represents Illinois’ 9th District and sat on a conference committe to For reasons like the write and supports the pension bill. Photo courtesy of District 225 cap and adjustments , the
“Senior teachers, such as myself, will see their pensions reduced by tens of thousands of dollars a year.” - Benedict Hussmann, social studies teacher
Dec. 20, 2013
Current, future female students tackle robot challenge together
gether, they’re going to do a project where they have to design a roller coaster using the laws of physics A waterbotics chaland actually build it using lenge was held at South what they’ve learned in during weekends in No[engineering].” vember to promote midIn addition to learning dle school girls’ interest more about their class opin engineering classes. tions at South, the middle From 8:30 a.m. to schoolers were introduced 2 p.m. each Saturday, to older girls with the 18 seventh and eighth same interests. Senior Gagrade girls spent time briela Almeida was one of designing and programthree South girls from the ming LEGO robots. The Engineering Physics class goal was to have the rowho worked at the event. bots swim across kid“They didn’t know die pools of water and about the program or how perform various tasks, to build something with according to Jeffrey Rythe LEGOs, so we helped lander, instructional suthem,” Almeida said. pervisor of the Science According to Rylander, Department. The effemale engineers from the fort was a part of Glencommunity made appearbrook South’s Project ances as well to serve as A.W.E.S.O.M.E., which role models for the midstands for Aspiring dle school and high school Women Exploring Scigirls. ence, Mathematics and “[They came] to just Engineering. rub shoulders with the “Not very many girls girls, talk to them, be mengo into [Science, Techtors to them, just kind of nology, Engineering and examples,” Rylander said. Mathematics (STEM)] According to Almeida, fields, [...] and so to give the program was a new middle school girls who and exciting experience. will soon be South stuWorking with the middle dents kind of a positive school girls was more fun experience with some of A.W.E.S.O.M.E. ALMEIDA: Assisting middle schoolers, senior Gabriela Almeida explains how to change program commands to make the robot move successfully. Althan she had initially exmeida enjoyed watching the girls develop their engineering interests and succeed with her help. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Rylander the opportunities that pected. they’ll have when they “The interaction with get here, we wanted to encourage them Lead The Way (PLTW) classes and to students’ science class and engineering forces and accelerations and energy or other girls who are trying to become to participate,” Rylander said. introduce a new STEM curriculum to elective so that the information from something,” Rylander said. “In [their what you are, you feel a connection The goal of the program was in part the middle schoolers, according to Rythe two build on one another. engineering class] they’ll learn about with them, as in trying to build and creto encourage enrollment in Project lander. The curriculum will connect the “In physics they might learn about how to use a 3D printer. But then, toate and all that,” Almeida said. KATIE CAVENDER
STAMPS, from front “Trying to eat on [food stamps] for even less has all sorts of repercussions,” Brickman said. “And it’s not necessarily that they’re hungry, that they’re literally not getting food, but they’re sluggish and they have trouble paying attention because their nutrition can’t be as good with that sort of reduction.” The SNAP cuts could potentially lead to an increase in need for the Northfield pantry, according to Brickman. They currently have 702 households certified to receive assistance from the pantry, an elevated level from the past. “This year and last year were fairly steady, but over time it has tripled,” Brickman said. “It’s been dramatic. [The recession] is when we started seeing the big increases.” The pantry has changed to accommodate for the economic realities, including shifting qualifying requirements to allow any family that qualifies for free or reduced meals in the area’s schools to automatically qualify for use of local food pantries. Currently any household receiving SNAP aid qualifies to receive free and reduced lunches, according to the National School Lunch Program. South Principal Dr. Brian Wegley said there has been an increase in students using the free and reduced meal program, from 13 percent before the recession to 20 percent today. There could potentially be greater cuts to SNAP in the future, according to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). Congress is negotiating a new ‘farm bill,’ which determines agriculture and food
stamp funding. The bill will potentially be approved in January. The bill could contain anywhere from $4 billion to $40 billion in SNAP cuts over the next 10 years. Paul Morello, public relations coordinator at the GCFD, said that any additional cuts to SNAP would have a significant negative impact on hunger nationwide, because they are “the first line of defense” against hunger. “If there was any cut to SNAP on top of what we’ve already seen, it would be absolutely devastating,” Morello said. “The bottom line is, the private response to hunger, not only in Cook County but across the country, would not be able to make up the difference in SNAP.” C o o k County currently has around 860,000 “food insecure” residents, w h i c h means they don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, according to Morello, and that number could increase. To help South families dealing with hunger, Marzillo said that the nurse’s office works with the Parents’ Association to provide students in need with nutritious snacks, such as granola bars and fresh fruit, that they might not have access to using SNAP alone. According to Marzillo, the nurse’s office has seen a “huge increase” in student need since the recession, and the loss of additional SNAP funding that was provided is a concern for many families on the program. “It’s just so hard to see funds taken away that are truly needed,” Marzillo said.
Student Council exceeds goal without last-minute help JULIA JACOBS
co-editor in chief In this year’s canned food drive, the school exceeded student council’s goal of 100,009 cans by 8,204 cans. However, ten days before the end of the drive, the can total was at 5,000, according to Jeffrey Mathew, student body president. After Mathew made a “call to action” on the PA system on Dec. 15, the school raised approximately 103,213 cans in ten days. For the first time in five years, student council resolved to not call Glenview State Bank for a donation to round out their goal on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break, James Shellard, student activities director, said. This graphic breaks down how the school exceeded its goal without the help of Glenview State Bank or any other last-minute donor.
“If there was any cut to SNAP on top of what we’ve already seen, it would be absolutely devastating.” -Paul Morello, public relations coordinator at the GCFD
Graphic by Coramac O’Brien
The editorial expresses the opinion of the majority of the editorial board and not necessarily that of the publisher, adviser, school administration or staff.
Dec. 20, 2013
Criticism of Student Council’s canned food drive efforts unwarranted For the past five years of the canned food drive, James Shellard, student activities director, has made a call to Glenview State Bank to ask for a donation to round out Student Council’s goal. This is the fact behind that rumor of the “anonymous donor” that float around the school during November. However, this year was different. Student Council did not ask for assistance from the Bank for the canned food drive, yet some students assume that they did and choose to be vocal about it, according to Hannah Schiller, student body secretary. The Oracle Editorial Board wants to both commend Student Council for their achievement and suggest that members of the South community refrain from spewing comments about the “anonymous donor” unless they’re informed of the reality of the situation. During the planning stage of this year’s canned food drive, Student Council explicitly resolved to not request a donation from the Bank on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, Shellard said. “This year I said to [Jeffrey Mathew, student body president,] and Student Council, ‘We’re not calling [the Bank],’” Shellard said. “We’re not going there. I made clear from the get-go that we’re not going there because [the Bank] has been so generous that I just can’t continue to ask them every year.” Transparency regarding the source of donations is the most important way to build the South community’s trust in the Student Council’s efforts. The Student Council worked hard for transparency regarding where the cans came from by reading the totaled donations from clubs on the PA, but then they received complaints from teachers about taking up class time with those announcements, Shellard said. The disconnect between the student body and Student Council was illustrated on the comment
thread of a Facebook post by Kali Croke, junior class president, commending the student body and the Student Council for surpassing the goal of 100,009 cans and clarifying that “there was no bank, no anonymous beneficiary, no student activities check that got us there.” Three South students who commented on the post expressed skepticism regarding the asserted absence of an “anonymous donor,” one writing, “That’s why we spontaneously gained 60000 [sic] cans in two days.” Another student posted, “So how much did glenview state bank [sic] donate again?” The can total displayed in footlong red numbers in front of the HELPING HANDS: With Nov. 26 marking the final day for canned food drive donations, seniors Chris Coleman (left) and Brittney Student Activities Center made Holsman (right) load cans onto buses that will feed families in the Northfiled Township. Along with contributions from the Glenview a leap from 80,000 cans on Nov. community and various fundraising events at South, South acheived their goal of raising 100,009 cans this year. Photo courtesy of www. glenbrook225.org/gbs/home 21 to 108,213 cans by the end of Nov. 26, and the cup outstretched for donations, Schiller said she the student body is informed about their donaOracle Editorial Board be- heard multiple students refuse to donate because tions. That would be taking real food from hungry lieves that students have the “a bank is going to give it to us at the end of it people in our community and real money from right to question the source anyway.” charities like the Red Cross and Vital Brides to of these donations. But the The Oracle Editorial Board believes Student which we donated a portion of the total this year. key word there is “question.” Council made the right decision in ending the However, it’s clear that new strategies Student If the concerned commenters tradition of requesting a donation from the Bank Council used to raise the money and cans without on Croke’s Facebook post had in order to set an example that a South-centric the Bank’s help worked, and the returning meminquired about the source of canned food drive is possible. The expected colbers should use this year as a model for next. For the 30,000-can surge in the last lective contribution from the South community example, Student Council put greater pressure two days of the drive, they’d alone should be around 60,000 cans, Mathew said. on auction bidders to follow through with their know that the combined totals The remaining 40,000 cans were projected to come promised donations. While auctions usually gargarnered by the auction, Stu- from the auction, the faculty basketball game and ner around 9,000 cans, this year’s auction delivdent Council’s “canning” the donations from the greater Glenview community. ered around 16,000 out of the 23,000 that were Glenview community and cuThat means that each student would be ex- promised by auctions bidders, Mathew said. mulative club totals are only pected to contribute $5, and students who can afOne of the reasons that Shellard said he has recounted on the last couple of ford to give more should do so in order to cover quested a donation from the Bank for the past five days before the end of the drive. the students who can’t. Especially considering inyears is that he doesn’t want Student Council’s efThe assumption that Student Council will simcreasing enrollment in the student population, the forts to be diminished by a missed goal. While we ply ask the Bank for the remaining cans at the Oracle Editorial Board considers Student Counagree that the symbolism of reaching a goal does a eleventh hour not only does a disservice to the cil’s goal a feasible one to achieve without outside great deal to raise spirits, we must remember that efforts and intentions of Student Council, it is help. if the canned food drive were to have “failed” by detrimental to the total proceeds and the memIn the coming years, if the school falls short not reaching 100,009 cans this year, it would not bers of our community who benefit from them. of its goal, we don’t think that Student Council have been for lack of effort on the part of Student While walking through the cafeteria with her red should refrain from calling the Bank as long as Council but a burden on the entire student body.
The assumption that student council will simply ask the Bank for the remaining cans at the eleventh hour not only does a disservice to the efforts and intentions of Student Council, it is detrimental to the total proceeds and the members of our community who benefit from them.
“How a rumor starts...”
is published monthly by students at Glenbrook South High School, 4000 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60026. The opinions expressed in the Oracle are that of the writer(s) and not necessarily of the staff or school. The Oracle neither endorses nor rejects the products and services advertised.
editors-in-chief Julia Jacobs Camille Park news editors Carolyn Kelly Charlotte Kelly opinions editors Claire Fisher Sally You features editors Elisa Kim Madison O’Brien a&e editors Shea Anthony Kali Croke sports editors Rachel Chmielinski Breck Murphy
web editors Lauren Durning Richard Pearl Kelsey Pogue Inaara Tajuddin illustrations editor Nimisha Perumpel photos editor Wyatt Richter asst. news Aaron Ach asst. opinions Dani Tuchman asst. features Hailey Hauldren Calli Haramaras Addie Lyon
asst. a&e Lauren Frias asst. sports Hannah Mason asst. photos Marley Hambourger Cormac O’Brien adviser Marshall Harris firstname.lastname@example.org “The Glenbrook South Oracle” @GBSOracle @gbsoracle
Dec. 20, 2013
Effects of solitary confinement call for prison reform
Synesthesia gives Sunkel gift of colorful life
staff reporter EVAN SAWIRES
columnist Imagine this: at 17 years old, you’re caught with heroin in your car. This isn’t the first time, and as your addiction worsens, you fall deeper and deeper into the criminal justice system. By the time you’re 21, you’ve wound up at Tamms Correctional Facility, a super maximum security prison that operated in southern Illinois until this January. You’re denied rehabilitation. Instead, you spend 23 hours a day alone in a soundproof cell. The other hour is spent showering and exercising alone in a different cell. No human contact is allowed, ever. The main idea is simple: isolation warps the brain. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), solitary confinement not only qualifies as torture, it’s ineffective. According to Human Rights Watch, isolation can be just as stressful as physical torture. Effects include paranoia, depression and psychosis, and access to psychiatrists is often limited to phone calls. For prisoners who already have a mental illness, the effects are especially devastating; a lack of structure or meaningful contact ensures there’s no way for any improvement to be made. Nonetheless, an overcrowded prison system continues to push people into supermax for lesser and lesser crimes. The decision-makers remain unrestrained by accountability because we’ve stopped considering prisoners as people. As unreasonable as it sounds, it’s not as uncommon as you’d hope. According to the ACLU, 20-year-old David Tracy spent a year in solitary confinement on drug charges before hanging himself. When 17-year-old Brian Nelson was found guilty of armed robbery, he spent years in a New Mexico minimum security prison before being transferred to Tamms, where he remained for 23 years. While supermax prisons were originally designed for short sentences for only the most violent and disruptive criminals, Nelson’s lawyer Alan Mills said Nelson was transferred without formal charges or an explanation. It’s easy to ignore the out-ofsight, out-of-mind existence of solitary confinement, but that doesn’t stop the suffering experienced there. It’s up to the public to realize that eventually most of the people who experience the torture of solitary confinement will be released back into society, far more broken than they were when they went in.
It was freshman year Biology and I was excited for another Bioday – in other words, an easy period to sleep through in comfy auditorium chairs. Oddly enough though, I didn’t zone out during this movie like I usually did. It was so interesting that it kept my attention the whole period. It was about people who could see colors with musical notes and taste names, and this intrigued me in a personal way I almost felt as if I could relate. Fast forward three years and I’m sitting on another comfy chair, this time in a therapist’s office. Red haze appears over her kind face as she asks questions no one has ever asked me, like, “What does February look like?” I point to a spot in the air and describe a grassy park, frost covering everything around me, mittened couples passing me hand in hand. She smiles and looks me in the eyes, asking, “Have you ever heard of synesthesia?” According to Scientific American, synesthesia is a blending of the senses in which the stimulation of one modality creates a sensation in another modality. According to synesthesiatest.org, only about one in every 2,000 people in the world have this condition. The realization that I have synesthesia surprised me, but it was nothing compared to the reactions from
my friends. First reactions usually resemble something like disbelief or excitement, then come the questions, such as: “What color am I?”, “What personality does the number 8 have?”, “How does your calendar look?” While I appreciate the questions and the interest, it’s hard to explain a way of thinking to people who can’t see inside your mind, and there’s still so much about it that I don’t understand. My mom’s figure is highlighted by light blue and my brother olive green, but I could not tell you what the significances of those colors are. Instead of just thinking about the date, look at my 3D calendar to see where in the year we are. Numbers all have specific personalities and letters are all associated with a different color. Doctors have told me that this condition is caused by extra sensory signals in the brain, triggering different sensations and connecting them to each other. Although synesthesia is genetic, no one in my family has it, and they are actually confused by it. Looking back now, it’s bizarre to think I lived 17 years without knowing I was so drastically different from ev-
Illustration by Nimisha Perumpel
eryone else. I mean, there were always signs: I had never heard of anyone else envisioning a calendar in 3D or finding a colored haze over the people they encounter every day. Colors have always produced different emotions in me. There’s a simple reason why yellow is my favorite color – it makes me feel happy. Red signifies pain, usually causing a dull aching in the front of my head, which is ex-
actly why I own nothing red. A doctor once told me synesthesia is a gift, and I would have to agree with her. While it can be hard to explain to people, it helps me memorize and relate facts easily since there are so many senses associated with one idea. Not only that, but it makes my life much more interesting--I feel like life would be so bland if my mind didn’t function like this. If there’s one thing I’d like
people to know about my condition, it’s that as farfetched as it sounds, I could never make this up. When you think about it, it’s hard for me to relate to how everyone else thinks. I really am excited to see where this gift might take me, and I plan on taking full advantage of it, starting by finding others like me.
Introvert speaks out against negative stereotypes
co-features editor When I tell people that I’m an introvert, they usually nod their heads and say something like, “Oh, that’s why you’re so quiet.” As I found out that many people immediately associate introverts with being quiet, shy or even anti-social, I now find myself hesitant to say that I’m introverted. The social norm sends a message that being extroverted is better than being introverted. Growing up, I often felt like being introverted was wrong or bad because people, including teachers and peers, always told me to speak up more or to be more outgoing. I have tried to “break out of the shell” of my introversion by forcing myself to talk more in front of others and joke around more, but whenever I did, I felt like I was forcing myself into a dress that wouldn’t fit me. It seems to me that extroversion is preferred over introversion because of the existing misconceptions on introverts. According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, about one-third to half of the population are introverts. If, at most, close to half of the entire population are introverts, a better understanding of introversion is crucial for both introverts and ex-
troverts. According to Sejal Schullo, AP Psychology teacher, personality theorists say that the traits of introverts and extroverts are pretty stable over time and space. I realized this through my attempts to become an extrovert. I tried hanging out with friends who were more outgoing and tried to become more chatty, but it didn’t work out. Then I realized that it would be much better to find and look at the good in my introversion rather than forcing the smaller percent of extroversion in me to become dominant. Oftentimes, introverts are considered to be shy people who do not enjoy interacting with others, and those ideas usually translate to negative beliefs about introversion. Contrary to these ideas, Cain, in one of her speeches from TED Talk, said that introversion is different from shyness, which is a fear of social
judgement. According to her, introversion has more to do with how people respond to stimulations. Cain, in her book, wrote, “Introverts may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” Unlike extroverts who enjoy having a high level of stimulation, I feel more comfortable and capable in a quieter place. It’s just a difference between which environment you prefer. It shouldn’t be a question about which one is better. In a world where group work is heavily encouraged and people are
Graphic by Cormac O’Brien
asked to develop stronger traits as leaders, I often felt that extroversion was becoming a necessity. Although I do see value in cooperating with others and developing strong leadership qualities, I believe a better balance between the acknowledgement of introversion and extroversion is needed. Introverts might prefer independent work at times, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing to contribute to the group. They do possess qualities that help create a better balance between introverts and extroverts. According to Cain’s research, many psychologists found that creative people who are good at exchanging ideas and advancing ideas also have a very serious streak of introversion in them. She attributed the need of solitude in having creativity as the reason. Darwin, Cain said, took long walks alone in the woods and emphatically turned down dinner party invitations. Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, dreamed up many of his amazing creations in a lonely bell tower office in the back of his house. People all have different personality traits, and that makes each and every one of them special. I see introversion and extroversion as one kind of the many different terms that are used to describe certain traits. When both are understood and respected as they are, rather than being judged by appearing different than the other, more people will be able to be themselves and be free to do whatever makes them the most comfortable, capable and happy.
Dec. 20, 2013
Day at North proves block schedule as opportunity
co-a&e editor Ninety minutes is a long time. In an hour and a half, I could finish a movie, watch half of a football game or listen to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon—twice. And when I first learned that South would be ditching the eight-period system for the dreaded “block schedule” next year, I also learned I would be forced to sit through an entire class for that same amount of time. There seemed to be some incredible hatred towards this significant change when it first surfaced. Petitions blanketed Facebook to prevent its implementation, yet no one seemed to explain their reason for such malcontent. On a student council field trip to North, however, I got the chance to observe a class on the block schedule, and after this experiBlock 1 6:55-7:35 Daily Announcements Block 2 7:40-9:13 Block 4-5 9:23-10:53 Lunch 1 11:00-11:40
Block 6-7 11:45-1:15
Block 6-7 11:00-11:45 Lunch 2 11:45-12:30 Block 6-7 12:30-1:15
Block 6-7 11:00-12:30 Lunch 3 12:35-1:15
Block 8-9 1:25-2:55 Block 10 3:00-3:40
ence, it is clear that the reason many people don’t appreciate the block schedule is because they simply do not know enough about it. The atmosphere at North was nothing short of “chill.” The entire aura of not only the classes but the hallways during passing periods was a far cry from South’s erratic hallway dash, which is almost as congested as L.A. traffic on good days. No one was rushed, given the leisurely ten minute passing periods, and although the class time was notably longer, the day was already a quarter over by the time we were released. It is ultimately up to the teacher and the student as to whether or not 90 minutes is a long time. With longer class times, teachers have an opportunity to creatively integrate student activities, and they should take full advantage of that. I was lucky enough to go to a class centered around student participation, but for my fellow StuCo-ers who chose lecture-based classes, the time was tedious and difficult to sit through. There are certain aspects of the new scheduling that students can forthrightly appreciate: everyone will gain an extra period due to the built in lunches. Unfortunately, as a student in the Academy of International Studies, I will sacrifice this extra block, but for most students this is an opportunity to enjoy a 90-minute Student Resource Time (SRT), also known as a study hall, in addition to a chosen elective. But for those who are avid overachievers like me, an application process is required to fill all eight blocks with classes. Although the alternating schedule means that each class is held every other day, according to a Districtconducted survey, this sadly does not equate to fewer hours spent on homework. For expert procrastinators and students who do a good deal of their work during the day, when you take into account the extended passing periods and opportunities for a free period, it’s possible that we could be getting a few more hours of sleep at home.
co-opinions editor I’ve been interested in nutrition since my freshman year, when, in my quest for a healthy diet, I decided to try veganism, a diet without any animal products. That lasted an entire week before I decided I love cheese too much. However, even though I’m a meat-eater now, I still look for new ways to shape up my eating habits; recently, I’ve been trying to cut back on sugar. According to Mayo Clinic, excess sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain, poor nutrition, tooth decay and heart disease. Because of this, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories from added sugar each day and that men consume no more that 150. According to Mayo Clinic, however, most Americans take in a whopping 355 calories of added sugar each day. Is it a shocker that our obesity rate is so high? I don’t eat a lot of sugar by the standards of the average teen-—I’ve never liked soda, and while I snack on a sugary item or two almost every day, I eat healthy meals. However,
Unnecessary pressure to date is prominent in Glenbrook South
PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION Ultimately, there are many other nuances to the block schedule that make certain situations unique, but we can expect that information will be thoroughly distributed to students and families in the future. By the time the 2014-2015 school year comes around, students and parents will feel familiar with the changes and conceivably learn to enjoy them. As you start to prepare your schedules for next year, I highly recommend that you take the opportunities presented by the block schedule and fill your extra blocks with classes you love or can benefit from.
Absence of sugar sweetens life:
Photo by Dani Tuchman
Make sure that your four or five core classes aren’t all on one day and budget your time. I’m confident that by the time students become acquainted with the block schedule, they will be wondering why we didn’t implement it sooner.
Week without sugar provides chance to improve diet and health
cafeteria cookies my friends nibI often still feel like I’m addicted to bled on at lunch that threatened to sugar, that I can’t go a day without my sweets. Because of my hesitancy break my willpower. However, by to feel dependent on any substance the end of the second day, my body and to prove I have the strength to started craving my usual sugar intake; instead of indulging my taste kick an unhealthy habit, I decided to buds’ and brain’s cry for chocolate, try to forgo sugar for a week. “Sugar” is a pretty broad term, though, I started snacking on more fatty foods (cheese in particular) to though. What’s the difference between the sugar in fruit and the sugreplace my sugar cravings with another satisfying treat. ar in cookies and chocolate? And After a few days without sugar, what’s with all the different names for sugar, like sucrose and glucose my cravings calmed down. I recognized that my “addiction” was more and cane syrup, that we see in nutrition labels? psychological than physical. My appetite reared its ugly head when I According to The Huffington Post, saw people in my the sugar in fruit and table sugar is essentially the same (both are made from glucose and fructose), but the sugar in sweets is much more consolidated than it is in fruit. Plus, fruit has fiber that slows down how quickly your body processes glucose, meaning that more of the sugar in fruit is used as energy and less is stored as fat. During my experiment, I avoided all the obvious sources of sugar—candy, baked goods and sugary drinks—but still ate fruit. The first day of my sugarless week was easy. I was mentally prepared Graphic by Wyatt Richter for the buttery smell of
classes selling chocolate bars more than it did when I was working on homework at home. As long as I avoided bake sales after school and had alternate snacks at-the-ready after school, I barely noticed I wasn’t eating sweets and soon felt empowered, refusing to let my taste buds rule my life. This doesn’t mean you should give up sugar completely, but you should be aware of what you’re eating and check the label of the next sweet drink you buy. Here’s a quick tip: if one of the first ingredients of the product is sugar, then that food is classified as a “sometimes” treat, not as an everyday snack. Making sugar a special occasion, not a diet staple, not only helps your health but makes you enjoy even more the times that you do eat it. If you want to reduce the sugar you eat in a day but feel daunted by your habit, there are a few babysteps you can take. Try eating fruit every time you have a sugar craving to get your brain used to the natural sweetness of fruit, or start by quitting sugar from your diet for just one day. Having alternate options prepared is key to avoiding a sugary snack. After you’ve started to cut down, let your happiness about doing something kind to your body fortify your willpower and carry you to a sweet, low-sugar life.
Nothing starts a juicy conversation at a sleepover like the question, “Who was your first kiss?” It’s inevitably followed by countless, dreamy stories that lead up to that kiss. However, there are always a few girls or boys that sit there quietly with no story to tell. They usually say they “just wanna get it over with” or that “it’s not a big deal anyway,” when the look on their face says otherwise. A first kiss isn’t a huge deal but also isn’t meaningless. This obsession over romantic endeavours reflects the tremendous pressure that kids experience to have a first kiss or first relationship, typically by high school. This pressure seems to hit like a semi-truck, but it isn’t worth all the worrying we do about it. First kisses, like first relationships, should not be the result of a pressure to have it done by a certain time. High school relationships are meant to teach us about deeper, romantic connections with others to prepare us for our adult years. When someone enters a relationship for the wrong reasons, it does not teach them how a healthy relationship works and can actually teach them the wrong lessons. If we can’t find a significant other, I feel like we sometimes believe that something is wrong with us or we are not “dateable.” Girlfriends and boyfriends are supposed to make us feel special, but finding that person at a young age is a game of chance. It’s great if you find someone you click with, but if you do not, it just means you have to wait a little longer. Absolutely nothing is wrong with you. If you do find an amazing person and choose to enter a monogamous relationship, the pressure to physically “go farther” with your partner can become yet another anxiety-inducer. I know this can be one scary experience because I’ve seen many of my friends put in this situation. This feeling of needing to please your partner will only make you uncomfortable in the relationship and cause further problems, so honesty about not feeling ready to go farther is the best way to avoid an unnecessary fight. Remember a few things about this dating craziness: you do not need a partner – you can be a wonderful, inspiring person without someone beside you – and if you are in a relationship, please respect your partner’s decisions and morals. If you don’t, you will only end up hurting your partner. Dating is not as important as we have made it out to be, but it is what it is and now, we just need to navigate through this whirlwind we created.
Dec. 20, 2013
Catching Fire keeps book’s spark burning SHEA ANTHONY
co-a&e editor The Hunger Games: Catching Fire blazed a bright trail in box offices its opening weekend, earning its place as the best November movie debut of all time, according to Entertainment Weekly. This highly anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games had fans of all ages in a frenzy to find out what was in store for heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). The movie exceeded my expectations but did not live up to its novel counterpart due to the holes in the storyline that dialogue alone could not fill in. Catching Fire is the second installment in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. The movie follows Katniss as she copes with the aftermath of winning the 74th Hunger Games. After evident displays of totalitarian regime tightening in District 12, Katniss and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) depart on their obligatory victor’s tour. While traveling throughout the 12 districts of their country, Panem, Katniss and Peeta witness violent displays of suppression by governmental peacekeeping forces. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) throws a real wrench in the plotline when he announces that the 75th hunger games will involve only past victors. His goal is to annihilate Katniss who has become the living symbol for the revolution. As a reader of the trilogy, I couldn’t help but notice that Francis Lawrence, director of Catching Fire, formulated his movie to cater to the readers of the trilogy more than the movie-goers. It was exciting to be able to follow along and see Collin’s words come to life on the big screen. Francis even used certain dialogue straight from the book which made me feel like a total insider for being able to identify the small nuances that paid tribute to the novel. However, I feel like Francis’s strong parallels to the book were a detriment overall because people who did not read the book were confused and even bored at times. The movie’s run time was about two and a half hours, and a large chunk of that time was spent building up to the 75th Hunger Games. That build-up is crucial in the novel, and the die-hard fans of the books probably wouldn’t have been too happy if it ended up being cut. Though it’s never good to upset a fandom, it’s always a positive if you can encompass a
larger audience with your work, something Francis failed to do. The acting in Catching Fire was spot-on. Plenty of stars who stayed in the shadows during the first movie were key players in this sequel. One of these characters was Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), who makes a strong transition from being a one-dimensional alcoholic in The Hunger Games to a character with several layers who is basically Katniss’ lifeline in Catching Fire. Katniss’ stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), is my favorite character in the movie. His personality is understated, yet he makes the biggest impact on
Best of 2013: DANI TUCHMAN
asst. opinions editor
I still remember the last line to Lee Daniel’s political breakthrough film, “I know the way.” It’s all in the acting, the unbeatable cast and point of view that rightfully summarizes our nation’s powerful history through a lifetime of events, similar to Forrest Gump.
‘Prism’ Katy Perry
Eclectic, versatile, and deeply rooted into the completely repetitive nature of pop music that I’ve grown to admire in this case. Prism cheers me up way more than an Elizabeth and the Catapult album can do, and in doing so, shows her true zest for flamboyant music in songs such as “Birthday” and “This is How We Do.”
Katniss’ image as a revolutionary figure through his styling. Kravitz’s subtle acting is very effective at delivering the importance of the behindthe-scenes characters to the revolution. Though Jennifer Lawrence is a perfect Katniss, her acting was not as meticulous as it was in the first movie. Her emotional response to everything seemed to be the same wide-eyed, in-denial reaction, which bothered me because she did not differentiate between situations that clearly would elicit different emotions. Though the movie has its flaws in its length and consistency, it was good enough to go see twice. The introduction of new characters com-
bined with the strengthening of old ones makes for multi-dimensional relationships, and the number of details that Francis uses helps viewers unfurl the complex plotline adequately without the aid of a 391 page book. Whether you’re a huge fan of the novels, or have never even heard of the series, it’s definitely a movie worth seeing.
the most memorable highlights in pop culture from this year Best celebrity scandal:
Best new artist:
Miley Cyrus twerking Chance the Rapper Hannah Montana grew up recently on the Video Music Awards stage where she was named the twerking sensation that I have come to love. I can’t make up my mind about this girl, but I admire her chutzpah.
Best social app:
The “I can send a heinously ugly picture to you for just one second” social application that has evolved into so much more than what it started out as. With drawing, video capture abilities and the newly added “stories,” this application puts the simplicity back in to social networking, where we no longer need to stress over how many likes we get on a profile picture.
The Chicago-born and raised music sensation blew through the music charts with his refreshing album, Acid Rap. I’m not one to go out of my way to listen to rap music, but Chance’s rhythmic style generated a new sub-category of this genre that I have come to love.
Best celebrity baby name:
Little Prince George has nothing on Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s travesty of a name. The poor kid won’t know if she’s coming or going.
Dec. 20, 2013
TWINNING : Senior fraternal twins Sabina (left) and Hinna Raja huddle under an umbrella in matching outfits. Pictured top right, senior identical twins Armando (left) and José say that it is difficult to find a picture of one of them without the other. Pictured bottom right, senior fraternal twins Jamie (left) and Brent Studenroth smile during a day at the beach. Photos courtesy of Sabina Raja, José Avila, and Jamie Studenroth.
Double trouble: students share adventures, obstacles of living as twins KATRINA LAZARA
staff reporter For most people, the closest they will be to seeing what having a twin is like is by watching the 1998 classic, The Parent Trap. However, according to twinsrealm.com, there are 100 million people worldwide who are living as a twin. South’s student body is sprinkled with a handful of those pairs. Seniors José and Armando Avila are identical twins. According to Armando, they look so similar that people mix them up on a daily basis. Wanting to test this theory, the Avila twins decided to impersonate one another to their science teacher, Cheryl Simon. “It was my class […] and [José] was in there and then I was just waiting outside,” Armando said. “[Simon] didn’t even know it was [José and not me] and then I just walked in and everyone was laughing because they know [I have a twin], and [Simon] was like, ‘What’s going on?’” José and Armando not only look identical but they sometimes share the same thoughts and dreams, according to the Avila twins. The boys recalled a time that they had dreamt the same dream about a giant turkey attacking their dog. “It was a big turkey in our backyard, and my mom told us to get our clothes and go to our neighbor's house,” Armando said. “Then our dog
attacked the turkey, and then the turkey threw my dog against the wall. So my dog is on the floor and then we just went to our neighbor's house, and [José and I] woke up after that.” However, their appearance and dreams are not the only things that the Avila twins share. According to José, the boys are pictured together so often that it is rare to find a picture of one of them without the other. “I can’t find pictures with just me,” José said. “I have never seen a picture with just me. When I do ['About Me'] projects, I always have to cut [Armando] out.” The Avilas are not the only twins who share the spotlight. Fraternal senior twins Jamie and Brent Studenroth began modeling when they were children because they were hireable as fraternal twins, according to the pair. Both Jamie and Brent were asked on several occasions to participate in photo-shoots, ranging from toy advertisements to furniture advertisements. “There was one shoot for some furniture where we had to go to the beach and jump on this bed,” Brent said. “There was this fake dad with us that we had to play with. Both [Jamie and I] were like, ‘Who is this guy?’ We didn’t want to play with him.” However, Jamie and Brent have not always shared the glory. According to Brent, the Studenroth twins were part of a program at Glen Grove
Elementary School called TREE from third through fifth grade. At the end of fifth grade, each person in the program votes for four outstanding 5th graders to be named “TREE-toppers,” according to Brent. “TREE-toppers [in] fifth grade I was crushed,” Brent said. “They called Megan Warshawsky, Jamie Studenroth and then Megan Kay, and I’m like 'Okay, I’m next [to be called'.] [My teacher says,] ‘...and the fourth tree-topper is’, I stand up, [and my teacher calls] Tom Keading. I never said congratulations to Jamie.” Fraternal senior twins Hinna and Sabina Raja have also gotten in trouble before at school due to being twins. Due to some form of twin telepathy, the Raja sisters have been accused of cheating, according to the sisters. “We used to go to a private school, so we were always in the same class,” Sabina said. “[The teachers] would always put us on different sides of the room so they could get to know us as individuals better. Whenever we had to make
a drawing or write a story, [Hinna and I] would [draw or write] the same thing. I remember [the teachers] would get freaked out. They would think we were cheating.” The Raja twins are not always on the same page, however. According to Sabina, the sisters share a room where Hinna is more of the unorganized “bad twin” while Sabina likes to keep things in a neater manner. “[Sabina’s] side of the room is always really, really neat,” Hinna said. “My side of the room there is always stuff everywhere. It’s like a line [down the middle].” According to Sabina, the constant sharing and borrowing of clothes and space can get annoying at times, but she would never give up having a twin. Similarly, Armando and José agree that the ever-present competition between the two can be tense at times, but they love having a same-age brother to grow up with. In addition, despite the gender difference, Jamie loves having a brother her age who doubles as her best friend.
''[The teachers] would always put us on different sides of the room so they could get to know us as individuals better.'' -senior Sabina Raja
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR TWIN?
Dec. 20, 2013
Child development class provides real life experience with kids
COLORFUL LEARNING: During Child Development class, sophomore Jamie Rotman helps Rana out as she works on a transportation coloring sheet. Rana is part of Titan Tots, a laboratory school located in room 183. Photo by Jacqueline DeWitt
staff reporter Around this time, South is scattered with teen parents. They haul their babies around –flour sack babies that is– traveling from class to class. This is one of the projects for the South elective Child Development taught by Kim Kiraly. This elective consists of four levels. During each level, students learn new skills. According to Kiraly, the students learn about the fundamentals of development as well as how kids learn and grow from ages one to nine. As they progress to higher classes, they are able to work with the Titan Tots, and be-
yond that they have the opportunity to teach first grade classes at Winkelman Elementary School. Before they can teach, the students need to know how to effectively educate the kids. “Writing their name, cutting papers [and] identifying shapes and colors are all skills that don’t magically happen for children,” Kiraly said. “Understanding what time of their life is appropriate to be learning the skills comes in [level 161]. In 261, 361 and 461 they learn how to support the students learning those skills.” According to Kiraly, they also need to know how to write a clear lesson plan. A good lesson plan consists of goals that the kids strive to achieve. For
example, one student-created lesson involves constructing paper penguins. “They’re making a penguin project, but really what the students are teaching them is how to identify the different shapes that will eventually become the penguin,” Kiraly said. After students have the fundamentals down, they are ready to work with the kids in Titan Tots. According to Kiraly, Titan Tots is a laboratory school, which means it is there to serve the purpose of teaching the high school students. It is very beneficial for the high schoolers, letting them learn about children and then being able to see it first hand. According to Kiraly, taking this class
and getting the opportunity to work with the kids gives the high schoolers a preview of what working with children in their future will be like. “It’s giving them a huge head start for college because for most students by the time they get to Child Development  or  they’re thinking heavily about working with children,” Kiraly said. “Whether it be education, psychology or social work, they need to know all of these things.” Junior Kasia Przybylska said Child Development has put being a teacher in perspective for her, and now it’s something she can see herself doing. “I can actually work with the kids and see what it’s like,” Przybylska said. According to junior Reshmee Dhorchowdhury, taking this class has had positive effects on her as she learned much more than how to work with kids. “It has made me more responsible because [I know that] someone’s education is in [my] hands,” Dhorchowdhury said. Not only is the class hard work, but according to Dhorchowdhury, the kids are enjoyable. “There’s this kid named Andrew and he can barely speak any English, but one thing he can do is run and give anyone a hug,” Dhorchowdhury said. “That’s one thing [that sticks with us,] is how affectionate the kids are towards us.” According to both Przybylska and Dhorchowdhury, not only is this class informative, but it’s enjoyable to work with the other students and adults. They strongly suggest this class to everyone, even if they aren’t interested in being a teacher or
working with kids. “Everyone is like a family, [and] we are all so comfortable with each other and close,” Przybylska said. Over at Winkelman Elementary School, the feeling of family is still present but the role of the high schoolers is slightly different. According to junior Jessica Hoker, from Monday to Thursday she teaches math and reading to first graders for half-an-hour. “The first day I was really nervous because I didn’t want to mess anything up,” Hoker said. “Once I got the swing of things [it got easier]. They were doing things like addition and subtraction, so that’s something I have a comprehension over. It’s a lot of fun, [and] I plan some lessons, but usually I teach.” This opportunity has been something Hoker has enjoyed, and it has made her realize she wants to do it in the future. “They get really excited and that makes me feel good and that’s part of the reason I want to go into education, so I can work with kids and help them learn but also cope with life struggles,” Hoker said. According to Kiraly, this system is beneficial for the kids as well as the high schoolers. They are able to have more one-on-one time because of the low student-to-teacher ratio. This benefits the children’s learning experience and allows them to connect with the older students. “[The high schoolers] know if [the preschoolers] are having a good day or bad day and they’re able to differentiate their teaching to make sure that kid is getting what they need that day,” Kiraly said. “There’s a great relationship that’s built between the teachers and the preschoolers.”
“I want to go into education so I can work with kids and help them learn but also cope with life struggles.” -junior Jessica Hoker
Coping with family members with Alzheimer’s, students tell their own stories CONNIE HOEKSTRA & MARLYE JERVA
staff reporters One day, junior Jordan Spalding’s grandmother played a round of golf in the morning. When she came back in the afternoon, Spalding’s mom asked her how golfing went, but Spalding’s grandmother didn’t even remember that she had played golf just a few hours beforehand. This was the first time his family noticed the grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s website, an estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. This number has doubled since 1980 and is expected to be as high as 16 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior, according to alz.org. Spalding said his closeness with his grandmother causes his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s to have a greater effect on him. However, he feels that the Alzheimer’s has an even bigger effect on his mom.
“I feel bad for my mom especially [because there are] things that happen in [my grandmother’s] daily life that I wouldn’t notice because I only see her a couple of times a month,” Spalding said. Junior Angela Barris* also feels her grandfather’s Alzheimer’s has the biggest effect on her mom. She says the effect is most noticeable when her mom is on the phone with him. “She’ll reassure him about things she talked to him the day before about,” Barris said. “I know that it’s just hard for her have to hang up the phone everyday, and be like ‘I talked to him about all that stuff yesterday.’” Barris said that her grandfather’s memory of her has been affected, bringing different dynamics to their relationship. “He always [used to] help me with my homework, that kind of thing,” Barris said. “With the dem e n tia and stuff it has kind of [made] a barrier [between us] but I still consider myself close with him.” Sophomore Antonia Toromanovic has also seen many changes in her aunt due to Alzheimer’s.
“Before, she was really outgoing and loud, and she used to wear a lot of jewelry,” Toromanovic said. “Now she can’t wear jewelry anymore. [The doctors] don’t let her.” Toromanovic explained that when her aunt sees others wearing jewelry, she remembers more about her old self. According to Toromanovic, Alzheimer’s is hereditary and people in her family could get it. She is nervous for the future because of this. “It’s just sad because [Alzheimer’s is] a threat to my mom,” Toromanovic said. “It might be a threat to me when I’m older. It’s kind of scary to think that that could happen to anyone.” According to Centers for Disease Control’s website, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Active medical management, however, can improve the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment focuses on several different aspects, including helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioral symptoms and slowing or delaying the symptoms of the disease. Sophomore Emily Abrams, who has a great-grandmother with Alzheimer’s, tries to look at the brighter side. She said she is glad that her great grandmother is still able to have fun even with her Alzheimer’s. “I’m glad that she’s still happy and she still has that big smile on her face,” Abrams said. “It’s just tough when I see her and she can’t say my name right away.” Spalding feels similar to Abrams. He’s sad about the effects of his grandmother’s Alzheimers, but he feels fortunate that he still has a relationship with her. “It’s really sad, but I’m happy that it’s not worse, that I can still have a conversation with her,” Spalding said. *Name has been changed
“It’s just tough when I see [my great grandmother] and she can’t say my name right away.” -sophomore Emily Abrams
Graphics by Cormac O’Brien
Dec. 20, 2013
Maki shoots for higher school spirit in Pep Club, rallies students NICK PANAGAKIS
staff reporter Get loud. If senior Devin Maki, Pep Club copresident, could emphasize one thing during football games, it would be just that: get loud. According to his peers, Maki is very good at doing so. Maki is known for being energetic and spirited at Pep Club, especially during the football games. “I hope that everyone enjoys coming out,” Maki said. “I don’t want people to come out because they feel responsible. I want them to come out to have fun.” Both Maki and co-president Sam DeCosmo have done a lot to encourage the crowd to have fun, even if it means putting himself out there a little more than the rest. “Last year, me and Sam, we both got overalls, and we just wanted to have fun with it,” Maki said. Not only does Maki cheer on South’s sports teams, but he is on one himself. According to Decosmo, Maki is one of three captains to lead the boys varsity basketball program. “Definitely in the offseason he probably worked harder than most,” DeCosmo said. “He’s always there, he’s always dedicated. Even the couple of times where I wasn’t feeling it, he was like, ‘Let’s go.’” As a captain, Maki acknowledges that a lot of players look up to him. “A lot of anything that I try to do as far as leadership goes is lead by example,” Maki said. “I try to work hard so that other guys can see it […] and hopefully people follow me.” Maki’s leadership is inspired by past Pep Club leaders. According to Maki, he has been looking
up to the Pep Club leaders since he first joined the club. He was especially impressed by their ability to balance their school work, Pep Club and varsity sports. “I remember as a sophomore seeing [South graduates] Abby Keller and Troy Farsakian up there,” Maki said. “They were always leading.” According to Maki, he has not always been a natural leader or someone who could always rally the people around him. He said he was nervous as a freshman and sophomore about getting up in front of people at Pep Club. “I didn’t know if I was welcome there,” Maki said. “But I know now that if I would have walked into the Pep Club meeting when I was younger, the older people would have happily had me there and been excited that I was there.” Maki has put in a lot of effort this year into Pep Club, according to DeCosmo. Maki, DeCosmo and Pep Club sponsor Angela Nelson would meet over the summer at Nelson’s house to prepare for the upcoming year. “We would […] create a couple signs, get some chants down [and] get some people together,” Decosmo said. “We created a huge Facebook group and tried to get everyone involved and comfortable with the people around us.” These meetings ultimately prepared Pep Club for two key games of the year. Despite the football team claiming credit, DeCosmo feels that Maki and himself were able to get the Pep Club loud enough that it caused Maine South to fumble the ball. Both Decosmo and Maki were also very pleased with the student section at the homecoming game. “I remember having the football guys come up after and saying, ‘The stands were totally packed, thank you so much,’” Maki said. “That was what really made it exciting for me. They realized what
“I don’t want people to come out because they feel responsible. I want them to come out to have fun.” -senior Devin Maki
OVERALL ENTHUSIAM: Ready for the home opener against Prospect High School, Devin Maki (left) and Sam DeCosmo (right) demonstrate Titan pride. They dressed in blue and gold striped overalls to support the Titans. Photo courtesy of Katie Fakhouri
we put into it and it helped them be able to play better and get excited themselves.” According to Nelson, due to the fact that it’s Nelson’s first year as Pep Club sponsor, Maki has helped her learn the ropes. “Devin [helps] keep me grounded,” Nelson said. “I accept [his advice] because I’m new at this, and I respect what they have to say and their opin-
ions. It’s always about the kids [at Pep Club].” According to Maki, he is pleased with the enthusiasm of Pep Club this year, and wants it to continue at this level after he graduates. “I didn’t put as much time as I did in the Pep Club to have it die out after this year,” Maki said. “I would love to see it continue and have people excited in the school.”
Dec 20, 2013
Diabetes causes imbalance in daily lives of some South students JORDAN SPALDING
staff reporter It is passing period before period 4, and junior Mark Risinger sits in his AP US History class. Resting on Risinger’s desk is a small black bag,containing various medical items. Risinger takes an item from the back, puts it on his fingertip and pushes on the top. A small needle plunges into his finger, and he removes it and places it onto the glucometer, where a beeping noise tells Risinger that his blood sugar level has been tested. Calmly, Risinger wipes off his finger with a tissue, and puts away the kit. Risinger is one of the several students at South who have diabetes. Pricking his finger in order to test his blood sugar level is just one of the steps that he must take every day in order to remain healthy, Risinger said. He is also forced to shoot insulin multiple times every day as well as keep track of what he eats and when he eats. According to www.webmd.com, type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (beta cells) are destroyed by the immune system. People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes most commonly starts in people under the age of 20 but may occur at any age. According to Risinger, he was diagnosed with diabetes in January 2012. Being diagnosed was a shock especially because his mom and brother also have diabetes. “I couldn’t believe it was happening because what are the chances of having three people in one family who have [diabetes,]” Risinger said. According to Risinger, his life was significantly changed after being diagnosed. “Immediately your life is thrust into this world where you have to count everything you’re eating, you have to measure your food, you have to prick yourself and give yourself shots of insulin,” Risinger said. “I think the biggest thing is that you lose your sense of freedom.” According to Risinger, he has gotten used to living with diabetes since being diagnosed. “It’s definitely become a habit, and I think it has been easier because I watched my brother and mother go through it their entire lives, so I knew I had a support system in my family,” Risinger said. “I know what to do, and I know how to take care of myself, but it’s never fun.” Junior Julia Packer also has diabetes, but contrary to Risinger, she was diagnosed when she was 6 years old. According to Packer, she vividly remembers being diagnosed. “I was at my aunt and uncle’s house, and I had just gotten back from the park,” Packer said. “My parents were sitting in the backyard, and they were crying. They told me and I had to immediately go to the hospital. I remember thinking I was dying.” According to Packer, being diagnosed so young
BLOOD GLUCOSE TEST STRIPS
LANCET PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION TESTING TIME: Diabetics frequently have to test their blood glucose level. First, Risinger pricks his finger with the lancet, a device with a needle that emerges to draw blood and then places his finger onto the glucometer, a tool where blood is placed onto glucose strips to measure the amount of sugar in the blood. Photo by Wyatt Richter forced her to grow up very fast. However, she believes that because she has had the disease for such a long time, it has become a part of her life. “I don’t remember not being diabetic, as sad as that is,” Packer said. “It’s a daily routine to me. I don’t really think twice about it, but sometimes I’ll forget that I am because I’m on autopilot with it.” Freshman Callie Pekosh has also been diabetic since she was young. According to Pekosh, she was also diagnosed when she was 6 years old. “I was really shocked because I didn’t know what was happening,” Pekosh said. “I was scared. I didn’t really know what it was.” According to Pekosh, having diabetes has been especially hard for her because she is also an athlete. Pekosh plays soccer and basketball, and diabetes has frequently forced her to miss her practices and games. “I have to sit out if my blood sugar is too high or too low,” Pekosh said. “It’s frustrating because
I have to watch everyone else play, and I can’t.” Although Pekosh, Packer and Risinger have all gotten used to living with diabetes, they all said that they still go through periods where it is difficult to keep track of. “Sometimes you get down on yourself,” Risinger said. “Sometimes you have a week where you want to ignore it, and you can’t because it’s harmful to your health to ignore it.” According to Risinger, going through one of these periods of ignoring some of the necessary steps of living with diabetes causes him to feel sick. “You get headaches,” Risinger said. “For me, I get in a bad mood when I have high blood sugar.
You just feel achy, and you don’t want to do anything. It’s worse because you know you’re ignoring it, and you know you should do something.” According to Packer, if someone that is diabetic forgets to take insulin or loses track of their blood sugar, it could lead them to pass out or go into a diabetic coma. “I’ve been pretty lucky; I’ve never passed out,” Packer said. “I have it pretty under control so I’m not ever really too worried about it, but it can be hard.” Right now, doctors have been searching for a cure for diabetes, according to Packer. “I definitely think there will be a cure in my lifetime,” Packer said. “I don’t know when but hopefully soon. I’m very hopeful about it.”
“I think the biggest thing is you lose your sense of freedom.” -junior Mark Risinger
Tradition of Christmas decorations lights up memories for South alumni RACHEL CHMIELINSKI
co-sports editor Colorful lights brighten the streets in December. They’re intertwined in bushes and cover trees, each house looking different than the one before it. Some houses stand out though, either because they have the most lights on the block or the most creative use of lights. Each house and each lights display has its own story to tell. Two of them are so interesting they were recognized in Mary Edsey‘s The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland, which “guides you to more than 200 of the finest annual holiday displays in the greater Chicago area,” according to amazon. com. South alumnus Carrie Sansing started putting up lights with her mother when she was 12 and hasn’t stopped since. Even though her mother has passed away, she decorates her house with her mother close in her heart and in her memories, Sansing said. Sansing has been accumulating the decorations she puts out for years, and aside from a little help from her husband transporting some of the decorations from an off site location, she creates the display all by herself. According to Sansing, about 125 hours of work go into the display each year. It is complete with not only hundreds of lighted plastic figurines, but it’s also a computer controlled display with music and changing lights. Sansing will continue creating her display
as long as she can with the same enthusiasm she had at age 12 decorating with her mother. Sansing isn’t the only South alum who goes above and beyond with Christmas lights. On Glenview Road a huge evergreen with 10,000 LED lights shines and illuminates the street. That is the work of Danny Murov, class of 2013 graduate. Behind the eye-catching tree sits approximately 100 plastic figurines. “What I have in front of my house is [just] a quarter of what I really have in storage,” Murov said. “I have close to 400 plastic figurines and I only have about 100 [to] 150 out there this year.” Among those plastic figurines are some of the same ones he used to decorate his childhood home. “I’ve been decorating my whole life basically,” Murov said. “I started when I was about 5 years old with my dad and my grandpa. We started out small with a few things like the toy soldiers […] and the Santa on the sleigh on the roof […] it just kept growing and growing every year. Then I took over and I do almost all of it myself.” As Murov’s collection grows, he also changes the display but still keeps a few things the same. “I do make it different every year,” Murov said. “The only thing that really stays the same is the Santa Claus on the roof […] and [the] 50 toy soldiers standing out there.” Like Murov, these South alumni will continue the tradition of Christmas decorations.
LIGHT ‘EM UP: With over 10,000 LED Christmas lights and 100 plastic figurines, South alumnus
Danny Murov celebrates the holiday season. Murov has been decorating the outside of his house ever since he was 5 years old with his dad and grandfather. Photo by Cormac O’Brien
a&e 15 South’s annual dance show continues to ‘Inspire’ Dec. 20, 2013
asst. a&e editor From the Bachata and merengue to hip-hop and tap dance, a variety of dance styles were included in the annual South dance show, Inspire. The South dance show featured Orchesis, Poms, De La Cru and Latino Heat. All four dance groups were hard at work to perfect the routines that each group performed on Dec. 13. Dedicating several hours a day to improve their dances, each group performed their acts for the show. According to Bonnie Lasky, dance show and Orchesis director, the participation of several other dance groups added to the number of tasks to complete. As director of Orchesis and the dance show, Lasky had several obligations in regard to the dance show. “[I was responsible for] putting everything together, not only the dances that Orchesis does but coordinating with Poms, De La Cru and Latino Heat [...], getting everybody together to put the show on and then working with the tech people to do sound and lighting to bring [the show] altogether,” Lasky said. With several other acts joining Orchesis on stage, the variety of music and dances that occurred during rehearsal proved a challenge, according to Lasky. “[Practice] pretty much changes daily because we [had] 16 different numbers in the show, so we [had] lots of different choreography going on,” Lasky said. “Usually we [had] two numbers rehearsing at the same time, and so we [had] dueling music and tap shoes and point shoes [against] each other.” Aside from learning routines, some dancers practiced dances that they had never performed prior to the dance show. Lasky said she believes that the preparation served as a learning experience as well. “I think [the dancers] were learning in the process,” Lasky said. “Some of
graphic and information by Wyatt Richter
these girls danced dances that they had never done before. I have a girl who does ballet, but she’s doing hip-hop for the first time. So it’s a learning experience, too.” Because of the new experiences involved in the preparation for the dance show, senior Bridget Nelson, co-Orchesis captain, noticed the amount of work that went along with the dance show. “A lot of work [has gone in so far],” Nelson said. “We are rehearsing every Monday and Wednesday for two hours, and now Tuesdays have started, so Tuesdays for two hours, and now some Saturdays and Sundays for multiple hours, depending on when you have rehearsal and what dance you’re in.” According to Trisha Moulakelis, De La Cru director, several hours went into preparation for De La Cru as well. Once choreography was finished and rehearsed, the week before the show was
dedicated to dealing with technology and lighting as well as dress rehearsals and on-stage run-throughs. “It’s been a lot of work [and] a lot of extra time,” Moulakelis said. However, according to junior Anna Hofmockel, De La Cru dancer, the team does better when faced with an impending deadline to learn dances. “I think, as a team, we have really come together to get stuff done really quickly,” Hofmockel said. “Between fall sports and our pep rally, we had 16 days [to learn routines], but we managed to pull it off. It just helps us all get better as dancers when we’re in a bit of a crunch.” Joining the dance show for the first time this year, Latino Heat added a different element to the dance show by performing Latin dances such
as the Bachata and merengue. According to Brian Shaoul, director of Latino Heat, the group did not anticipate their participation in the show. “We didn’t even know that we were going to be in [the dance show] Inspire,” Shaoul said. “We were actually starting to put together dancing for trying out for the V-Show, but I was approached by Bonnie Lasky, who runs Orchesis, and she had asked if we wanted to be a part of it this year. So, I asked the group, and that was something that we decided to do. We felt very honored to be a part of this dance show.” Junior Vanessa Aguayo, a dancer in Latino Heat, said that she was nervous but ultimately looked forward to performing in the show. “Performing is probably my favorite part,” Aguayo said. “You get to show off all your hard work and [the] months you put into the dance, all the practices and everything. It’s finally appreciated [...] and I think that’s the most important part of [dancing], getting acknowledged for what you do.” According to Poms Captain, Gabbi Oppenheimer, the Poms are grateful for another opportunity to perform. As a result, the team holds a
“I think dance show is great. It’s just one night that brings all the different styles of dance together.” - De La Cru instructor Trisha Moulakelis
very high standard for themselves with regard to the quality of the routine presented in the dance show. With this standard in mind, Poms coach Julie Smith expects that the team will give a great performance in the show, since, as Smith said, the routine is also performed at competition as well. “They do a nice job highlighting our technical dance abilities and performing well for the [audience],” Smith said. With the array of dances that were performed in the show, Inspire included dances that could appeal to every member of the audience, according to Moulakelis. It was an exciting night that included numbers representing all of South’s dance ensembles. “I think dance show is great,” Moulakelis said. “It’s just one night that brings all the different styles of dance together, which is neat to see. There’s a good variety of dance for the dance show [this year].”
DANCING QUEENS: Posing in different positions, De La Cru member Erika Szfranski, Orchesis members Vinise Elakatu and Lydia Lutz, and Poms member Sara Salerno participate in the annual South dance show (from left to right). The show was held on Dec. 13 and included numbers from a wide variety of dance genres, including hip-hop and ballet. Photo by Marley Hambourger
Dec. 20, 2013
Right Amount of Wrong strums the right chords
staff reporter Eyes open, they see a high school cafeteria with a small crowd. Eyes closed, they see sold-out arenas. With big dreams and high hopes, Right Amount of Wrong (RAW), a pop-punk band made up of four sophomores, begins to play. Though the venue is small, the band still gives it their best effort, riling up the crowd before each song and putting all of their energy into the performance. The band consists of Joey Legittino on bass/vocals, Clayton Nimz on rhythm guitar/ vocals, Andrew Mitchell on lead guitar and Evan Stroud on drums. Coming together only in the past summer, the band is still in its early stages. “We just decided to jam,” Legittino said. “It actually just started as a three-piece band, with Clayton, another drummer and I. But that drummer had things to do. Then we got Andrew and asked Evan to fill in for a show, and he ended up just staying with us.” RAW is not the first band that each member has played in. According to Nimz, he and Legittino were a part of a band from eighth grade going into their freshman year that Legittino left due to creative differences. According to Legittino, he then joined a band known as Spit the Dummy that Mitchell was a part of. After that band broke apart when two members quit, Nimz and later Stroud were added, and RAW was formed. “People have asked me to play drums for a recording or for one [show] but never to be in the band,” Stroud said. All of the band’s music is original and written by each of them as a collaborative effort. According to everyone in RAW, their process for creating a song starts off with a guitar riff from Mitchell that is used as a basis and a building block for the other components in their songs. Legittino and Nimz then add their respective roles to the mix which is capped off with Stroud’s drums. “I just play around on the guitar and something comes,” Mitchell said . “I play random stuff, and if it sounds good, I keep it and work around it, play with it a little bit.” Each member’s creative thoughts have been influenced by bigger musical acts that cover different genres which helps add to their overall sound.
Mitchell is inspired by the metal band Alter Bridge. Legittino and Nimz are heavily affected by pop-punk bands such as Blink-182 and The Wonder Years. “They’re all really musically gifted and good at their instruments [The Wonder Years],” Nimz said. “Also, I like the upbeat feeling of their songs.” Stroud idolizes a famous musical figure who is not known for his skill on the drums. He looks up to famous guitarist Jimi Hendrix, and according to him, likes him due to Hendrix’s charisma. “The way he played music, I’m just attracted to that sound,” Stroud said. The band’s synergy and skill doesn’t come without practice. According to Stroud, practice takes place at his house in his basement, and they practice two to three times a week for at least four hours per practice. Practices consist of perfecting their performance of already written songs and composing new music. “We play until the song is perfect,” Legittino said. “Each song we write is better than the last.” A good relationship within the band helps them create music and perform well together. According to each of them, they are as close as siblings, and they could never see themselves breaking up. “Man, [the band breaking up would be] like taking away my brothers,” Nimz said. “For us to break up there would have to be something terrible to happen.” Going forward, the members have dreams to make it as a band but intend to go to college and acknowledge that they need plans if RAW doesn’t work out. According to Nimz, he wants to pursue a career in medicine while Stroud said he wants to be an engineer. Legittino expressed interest in staying as close to the music industry as possible. “I want to go into law,” Legittino said. “I want to be an attorney in music, checking over record deals and contracts.” Though they acknowledge that the band may not work out, their aspirations outweigh their doubts. According to the entire band, they don’t want to give it an expiration date. Even if they are relatively new, RAW has nothing but optimism for their future. “I see us going up from here,” Legittino said. “I don’t see anything going downhill.”
“Man, [the band breaking up would be] like taking away my brothers. ” - sophomore Clayton Nimz
JAMMIN’ OUT: Playing out to the crowd, sophomore Andrew Mitchell strums his guitar to one of the band’s original songs. Right Amount of Wrong performed after the canned food drive’s faculty basketball game for the crowds that gathered to watch the game. Photo by Marley Hambourger
Dec. 20, 2013
CHRISTMAS CALLS: Snapping their fingers to the rythm, Chambers members Bridget Sampson, Zack Bauer, Sophie Gomez, Johnny O’Gara, Marley Hambourger, Ellie Foley and Joe Lee (left to right) sing “Up on the Housetop” at Hackney’s. Every year during the wintertime the vocal group travels around Glenview and shares the sounds of the holidays at Hackney’s, private parties, country clubs and the Glen. Photo by Wyatt Richter
Chambers’ carols carry spirit through community DANIELLE CALLAS
staff reporter Now that the holiday season is approaching, Glenview will soon be home to sounds of the season at restaurants, nursing homes and in South’s hallways. The annual tradition of the Chamber singers is in full swing as they continue to prepare for their upcoming caroling season. Chambers Director Martin Sirvatka has led the group for 20 years and is excited about what this season has to offer. “We have a great group this year,” Sirvatka said. “They have practiced really hard, and I can tell they are all really excited.” This year Chambers includes 22 students: 11 boys and 11 girls. Chambers is mostly known for their holiday performances around the Glenview community. According to Sirvatka, not only do they entertain with their voices but also with the
traditional Victorian-style clothing, which junior Katlyn O’Brien, Chambers member, greatly appreciates. “I really like the look of the outfits, especially the hats,” O’Brien said. “The guys wear top hats and the girls wear bonnets. I think it really completes the outfits.” This year Chambers learned 28 Christmas carols at their annual “marathon day,” according to junior Marley Hambourger. After the marathon, they all went out for some midnight bowling and bonding. “Marathon day was one of the most amazing days I’ve had since I’ve been at GBS,” Hambourger said. “It was really great to get to know everyone in the group better because we all get along so well.” Freshman Sara Salerno, a member of Girls’ Glee Club, realized how enjoyable and impactive Chambers is and aspires to be a part of it.
“After seeing one of their performances and talking with some of the Chamber singers, I’m amazed at how professional the group is and how much they accomplish every year,” Salerno said. “It seems like it would be a really fun group to be involved in.” Though the group practices all school year, the bulk of their big performances is in the winter, according to Sirvatka. They have 10 gigs at Hackney’s starting on Dec. 11 and are scheduled to sing carols around the restaurant for a few hours, performing in octets with one person singing each part. There are two soprano parts, two alto parts, two tenor parts and two bass parts, according to Hambourger. Senior Laura Mosteller, a soprano one, described the experience of singing at Hackney’s as “frightening and weird” because she often sings “two feet away from someone who might be eating a hamburger.”
The group also performs at Maryhaven Nursing Home, according to senior Tom Olickal, Chambers member. At this event, they perform together with Nine and Solace, two other acappella singing groups at South. “It makes us happy knowing we are making others happy by singing for elders at retirement homes,” Olickal said. “I feel such a sense of pride and accomplishment.” In addition to the holiday performances around town, the group learns classical songs and performs as a group in the Variety show in February. To become a member of Chamber singers, the group holds vocal tryouts at the end of each school year. “You really bond with everyone,” Olickal said. “You go in without knowing anyone in the group, but by the end, you are best friends with everyone.”
Cast of winter play grows closer over dedication to theater ALEX SHARP
staff reporter The actors peer into their script books, trying to recite their lines just as their characters would. Each pause holds significant meaning, something they’ve been working hard to perfect. This is a typical rehearsal for this year’s winter play, “Circle Mirror Transformation.” “Circle Mirror Tr a n s f o r m a t i o n , ” showing in the Lyceum Jan. 24-26, follows the lives of five people in an adult acting class. Through seemingly harmless games and broken hearts, the characters learn important life lessons. According to Director John Knight, the unique performance space, along with other unique qualities will help enforce these ideas. “The play is set in a drama class,” Knight said. “[The drama dance room] is our drama class. If this were real life, that’s where this would be happening. That’s where the people would take the class. So rather than try to duplicate the drama room with mirrors, we already have one. What it also allows us [to do] is to be really intimate with the audience so the audience will be
on top of the action.” Another unique quality in “Circle Mirror Transformation” is the writing style of the script. According to Student Director Robert Poyser, each type of silence has a specific amount of time allotted to it. For example, when “pause” is written in the script, the actors must wait two seconds before continuing their line, whereas if “long pause” is written in the script, the actors must wait four seconds. “[The cast makes] the silences as meaningful as possible because silences are just as important as dialogue is,” Poyser said. Junior Alessandro Berto, who plays the character Schultz, said he experienced some difficulties during rehearsal because of the script’s unique writing style. “I think my pauses are more difficult than my lines,” Berto said. According to South’s drama website, throughout the plot of “Circle Mirror Transformation” the characters form relationships with their other classmates, grow emotionally and experience every-day life problems. Sophomore Michael Sarov, who doubles with Berto on the part of Schultz, feels that because this year’s winter play showcases “five real people,” it has a very distinct theme. “I definitely think the theme is realizing who
you really are and taking the bad stuff and trying to change it into good stuff because each character in the show is individually, hence the name, transformed into a different person by the end,” Sarov said. According to freshman Jordan Zelvin, who plays the acting class’ teacher, Marty, through practice, random ad lib and other games, the cast has had a lot of fun preparing for the upcoming show. “It isn’t all work and no play,” Zelvin said. “Obviously we goof around a little. Okay maybe a lot. In the last rehearsal I ended up on somebody’s shoulders and somebody else ended up on somebody else’s shoulders and we were trying to see who was taller. It just got crazy.” Zelvin believes that because the cast is so small, they will become like a close family. “If you’re not connected, the show won’t work,” Zelvin said. “We have to know each other really well.” “Circle Mirror Transformation” is becoming one of the most performed plays in the country, according to Knight, but that is not the only reason why it was chosen as this year’s winter play. “I thought [“Circle Mirror Transformation”] had a lot of valuable acting oppor-
“This play is very different than anything else you will see at GBS for a while and probably different from what you’ve seen before...” - sophomore Rory Penepacker
SOUND OF SILENCE: Scripts in hand, freshman Jordan Zelvin (left) and sophomore Michael Sarov (right) rehearse their lines. This year’s winter play, “Circle Mirror Transformation,” uses creative pauses to emphasize the themes of the play. Photos by Marley Hambourger
tunities for students,” Knight said. “I’ve [also] always wanted to do a small play.” Sophomore Rory Penepacker, who plays the character Theresa, agrees that the cast has had a lot of fun at rehearsals practicing for the show. According to Penepacker, in one rehearsal the entire cast fit inside a large hula hoop, which is a prominent prop used in the play. “We’ve all kind of bonded a little bit over the hooping,” Penepacker said. Both Zelvin and Penepacker encourage everyone to come and see “Circle Mirror Transformation” because it incorporates elements that are very different from past South plays. Since each show will have a different mix of students playing each character, there will be no two similar casts. Therefore, no two shows will be alike. “This play is very different than anything else you will see at GBS for a while and probably from what you’ve seen before,” Penepacker said. “It’s unique and complex and interesting, and you will be fascinated.”
Dec. 20, 2013
Hockey implements changes, leads to victory against New Trier BRECK MURPHY
co-sports editor Despite a rocky start to its season, the South men’s hockey team is showing improvement in their recent games, according to junior Ryan Buckingham. With an overall record of 6-11, senior captain Trey Buckingham believes that they will continue to improve and out-perform expectations. According to senior captain Michael Dillon, although the record doesn’t show it, the team has had some successful games despite the final scores. “Our record isn’t that great,” Dillon said. “If you were to look at the games, they’re all pretty close losses, so we’re not too disappointed with our record as of right now.” According to Trey, after seven straight losses, head coach Jim Philbin made a few changes to their practices. His efforts changed the frequency of success and pace. “[Philbin] made a decision to stop what we were doing and just work on a few specific things like breakouts, cycling and power play and go from there,” Trey said. “Since that practice, we’ve won the past four games.” This year’s team consists of mostly juniors with many returning sophomores from last year’s varsity team. According to Ryan, this has been an advantage to their play. “We all know each other pretty well,” Ryan said. “I think it helps with the team chemistry be-
cause we’ve grown together as a team.” The team has also gained a new goalie, sophomore Matt Grinde. According to Ryan, he has been a great addition to the team. “He is outperforming everyone’s expectations,” Trey said. “His save percentage is in the high 90s. [Grinde is] number one goalie in our league right now.” While the team is aware of its weaknesses in play, Dillon believes that they make up for any lack of skill in effort. The team competed in a tournament in Jamestown, New York, over the weekend of Dec. 7 in which they had an overall record of 1-2, according to junior Johnny Savino. They lost their first and most competitive game to Ontario Hockey Academy. They were tied 3-3 going into the last period but lost 7-3 overall, according to Savino. On Dec. 12, the Titans beat New Trier Green (NTG), who is currently ranked LEAD IN: TEXT TEXT TEXT TEXT TEXT Photo by Wyatt Richter first in state, for the first time in 23 years. Freshman Nick Stevens made the first Puig’s Puck: In a race down the ice, junior Tyler Puig skates against a Prairie Ridge offensive player. South lost to Prairie Ridge goal for South. At the end of the first pe3-2 on Nov. 20. Photo by Wyatt Richter riod the score was 1-1. By the end of the second period, NTG was winning 2-1. According to Trey, though the team was behind, they went into the locker room ice we were hungry. They weren’t.” winner. South came out victorious with junior DK fired up and knowing they could come back. Nine minutes into the third period, Ryan Arenson scoring the winning goal in the shootout. “Coach told us we were going to win and that The men next hit the ice tomorrow against scored the tying goal. The third period ended, was all,” Trey said. ”When we came back on the GBN. sending the teams into a shootout to determine a
Graphic by Kali Croke
The Oracle’s monthly Q&A with a South alumnus who participates in college athletics
LONELY CROWD: Compared to a game during the regular football season (right), the basketball crowd (left) has many open seats, while football game attendees are packed in the stadium stands. Photos by Rachel Chmielinski (left) and Wyatt Richter (right)
Community must support all South athletics
co-sports editor The first Friday I walked into Springman Middle School, the girl in my Language Arts class asked, “Are you going to the game?” “What game?” I replied. She stared at me for a second and then continued to give me a confused look. “Are you kidding? The football game!” Being relatively new to Glenview, I still had to think about it; did everyone go to South games? Even middle school kids? Do they go to every sports game? After entering high school, I quickly learned that for the most part, people only went to football games. Every Friday night, kids who knew barely a sliver abouy football would stand with their backs to the field, only cheering when everyone else did. One of my favorite things about South is the
school spirit. It’s an excellent community to be a part of, and you can’t find that in many schools. Keep the huge crowds at football games, but there are 29 other sports that also deserve some support. Where is just a fraction of that crowd at other sporting events? Why aren’t a group of friends heading to a water polo match? It’s just as much an outing as going to the football game. No one breathes a word about other sports in the halls, unless there’s something you can’t ignore. If I weren’t a sports editor, I would have absolutely no idea what type of season field hockey had, but I would know the score of the last football game. I won’t say I or the Oracle isn’t guilty of skipping over other sports. Look at the back page of issue one and issue two for the past two years: the back page is always football, regardless of how well they are doing. When football wins, it’s back page news. When football loses, it’s back page just the same. When water polo wins, it’ll be somewhere in the middle of the section or it won’t make the paper at all. Even though the Oracle’s history has proven differently, we realize that all sports deserve equal support and we’re ready to change. Keep the fans and the fan buses coming, but order a few more for other sports.
Zach Jones, 2012 South graduate, currently plays baseball at Northwestern University. Last season, Jones was the two-time winner of the “Big Ten Freshman of the Week.” HANNAH MASON
Photo courtesey of Zach Jones
asst. sports editor
What is your favorite memory from last season? “[My] favorite memory from last season was definitely the game we played at Wrigley Field. I’m a big Cubs fan, so it was awesome to play on that field and we won, so that’s always a plus.”
How did this past season go? “Last season was a lot of fun. I got to play a little more than I had expected. Playing my freshman year was a great learning experience for me that I think will help me out a lot in the upcoming years.”
What is a piece of advice you would give to South athletes?
How did South sports prepare you for your college career?
“I would say to work hard at what you are doing, it will be a lot more fun when the season comes around if you do that. But a large part of that work comes in the offseason; you have to work hard out of season if you want to have a successful season. And I would also say to just enjoy it. It’s great to be on a team with all your best friends, but it doesn’t last forever so you need to enjoy it while you can.”
“At GBS they always had me playing up in baseball. Freshman year I played with sophomores and after that they put me on varsity. I think that helped me become a much better player, playing against older and better competition. That definitely helped me out last year because for the most part I was usually one of the kids on the field. Playing multiple sports also helped out. There are some good coaches there that can teach you a lot.”
When did you first become interested in playing baseball?
What do you think of Northwestern’s baseball program?
“I’ve been playing since I was really little- I can’t even remember how old. I was always on some kind of team and also would play with my brothers in the yard. I just always really liked [baseball] more than the other sports I was playing, so I stuck with it and it ended up working out.”
“I think the program is getting better every year. I’m expecting big things out of us this year. The guys on the team are great, the coaches are great. It’s a really great place overall, baseball and school. I’m really happy to be here.”
Dec. 20, 2013
Triple Weinmans tear up the court Must See
staff reporter The three Weinman sisters, senior Carly, junior Catie and freshman Carie, are all on this year’s girls varsity basketball team. According to Carly, they realized they would all be on the same team when head coach Steve Weissenstein had Carie playing on the varsity summer league team with them. Catie and Carly were already suspected to play together on the varsity team because of their year in school, but Carie was different. According to Weissenstein, he had realized, watching Carie play in junior high, that there was a good chance she would play on varsity as a freshman. This is Carie’s first year being able to play with her sisters competitively. According to Catie, she and Carly were on the same team a few times through Park District because they are only one year apart. Before this year, the only time Carie had been able to play on a team with her sisters was when they were growing and would play for fun. According to Carly, when they were kids, they would play at the park often with their dad. “We always tried to team up and get our dad because he would always get the rebound,” Carly said. “It was just really fun playing at the park.” According to Carie, she hasn’t really noticed being the youngest on the team because they have made her feel welcome, and the whole team has been very supportive of her. Having two old-
Mens Swimming vs. Deerfield Dec. 20, 5p.m.
TRIPLE THREAT: During a practice, the Weinman sisters show off their sisterly bond. Freshman Carrie (center), junior Catie (right) and senior Carly (left) are often on the court all at the same time. photo by Wyatt Richter
er sisters as role models on the team helps with the transition as well. According to Carly, as sisters, they seem to push each other harder and give each other strong advice to help one another improve. “We all kinda play different positions,” Carly said. “We’ve been playing with each other for a while, so we know how each other play,” Carly said. All the sisters agree that having a sibling on the team is helpful to their playing. According to their mom, Heidi Weinman, when they played as kids, they would
pass the ball so cohesively. They never needed to talk because they seemed to know the other sisters’ position. Even now, according to senior teammate Riley Dahiya, they all play really well together. Being on the same team, they all get along really well. They seem to know each others’ weaknesses and strengths. “I don’t think there are any cons [of them playing together],” Heidi said. “They all are happy for each other.” This year was their only chance to be on the same team in high
school because Carly will be graduating this year. According to Catie, it will be very different next year when Carly goes away for college. She thinks it will be different not going to practice with Carly and not having her as a leader on the team. “I’ve never not gone to practice with her especially since we’ve both been on varsity volleyball and basketball together,” Catie said. “It’s going to be weird to not have a season [with her].” The Weinmans and GBS next play Waukegan on Dec. 20.
Sibling duo takes the ice for their last year KATIE MAHER & TYLER AKI
staff reporters Like the Vancouver Canucks’ brother duo of Daniel and Hendrick Sedin, South has theirs with senior captain Trey Buckingham and junior left wing Ryan Buckingham. According to Trey and Ryan, they have been playing hockey together ever since the ages of 4 and 5. When Trey entered fifth grade, age restrictions prevented them from playing on the same team. However, when Ryan made the varsity team as a sophomore, the two were reunited. “For the most part [we have played together],” Trey said. “There are times when we have had to split up because of age [...] so that kind of got in the middle of it when we started playing travel hockPUCKINGHAM PROS: Off the ice, Trey (left) and Ryan ey.” (right) Buckingham are just as close. This is their second Junior deand last year on the same GBS team together. fenseman DanPhoto by Wyatt Richter iel Arenson met Trey and Ryan
through hockey when he was in eighth grade and has played with them ever since. Arenson believes that the chemistry they possess is a big spark for the team. “They know where [the other one is] going to be which is helpful on the ice,” Arenson said. “Their chemistry seems to let off energy in the locker room and helps the team get pumped for the game. When one of them is gone, there seems to be a leadership gap. They play off each other and it seems to be helpful to the team as a whole.” Coach Jim Philibin has coached Trey and Ryan not only on South’s varsity team but also when the brothers were members of the Glenview Stars before high school. He has noticed their brotherly rivalry, but on the ice it seems to be good for them because they know that they need to work each other to become better players. “They’re two different hockey players,” Philibin said. Trey has more speed and quickness, according to Philibin, while Ryan has more agility and aggression. As the younger brother, Ryan has looked up to Trey as a mentor and credits him with making high school hockey a little easier. “[Trey] is someone I can look up to,” Ryan said. “He has good
leadership, so I can emulate his style of play, [and] it helps make a smoother transition to the team.” For Trey, playing with Ryan has changed how he approaches his leadership. The two exchange words so Trey knows the thought process and mentality of the entire team. “[Ryan] has taught me to slow down and realize that the change from travel hockey to high school hockey is hard,” Trey said. According to Ryan, there has never been much of a sibling rivalry between the two. While the brothers both agree that they are very competitive, they realize they are playing the game for the same reason. “We’re working towards the same goal,” Ryan said. “We both want to win.” According to the brothers, playing at Soldier Field last winter was one of their most memorable experiences of their seasons thus far. “It’s a once in a lifetime deal,” Trey said. “[Last year’s team] would have been the team I [would have] chose to skate with on that ice. It’s something you are going to tell your kids about.”
“When one of them is gone, there seems to be a leadership gap. They play off each other and it seems to be helpful to the team as a whole.” -junior Daniel Arenson
Wrestling Russ Erb Tournament Dec. 20, 3:30p.m.
Girls Basketball vs. New Trier Jan. 10, 7:30p.m. Boys Basketball vs.Waukegan Jan. 7, 7:30p.m.
Girls Gymnastics vs. Niles West Jan. 7, 5:30p.m.
Boys Hockey vs. GBN Jan. 7, 7:55p.m.
Dec. 20, 2013
BITTERSWEET BASKETBALL: On Dec. 3, the men’s basketball team was defeated by Deerfield by a score of 43-52. Pictured above clockwise starting at th left: in the middle of a jump shot, senior Devin Maki overcomes the defenders; rounding a defender, Maki pushes past for a shot opportunity; eyeing the defender, junior Chase Daniel is ready to break away; about to slip past the Warriors, senior captain Danny Nikitas scans the court. Photos by Wyatt Richter
Basketball bounces back from previous losses TYLER AKI
staff reporter After a 3-8 conference record in their 2012-13 campaign, the men’s basketball team is looking to turn things around in head coach Ben Widner’s second season, according to senior captain Danny Nikitas. With seven returning seniors, including two returning starters, Nikitas and center Connor McCarthy, there’s a lot of experience on this Titan team, according to Nikitas. “There are some verbal leaders, but most of [the seniors] lead by example,” Nikitas said. “[We want to] set an example for each other and the [rest of the team].” Widner also believes that this year’s team has a very strong class of senior leaders. “It’s not just that they’re seniors, but there are very good leaders in that class too which is very helpful,” Widner said. “They want to win, they
want to compete, and they care very much about the team. They want it to be together, they want to work together, they want both seniors and juniors and the one sophomore we have to feel like they are all going for the same objective.” The Titans started their season with a second place finish at the Loyola-New Trier Thanksgiving tournament with victories over Lake Forest and Prosser before losing in the championship game to the 17th ranked team in the state, Loyola. Senior captain Johnny Cowhey attributed the team’s success to their defense. “In the pool play we played really well defensively,” Cowhey said. “Our goal is to hold every team we play to under 50 points and we did that in three out of the four games we played in that tournament.” On Dec. 6, the Titans hosted Glenbrook North in the Titan Dome and came out with a 44-34 victory over the Spartans for the first time since 2009. Widner credits his team’s defense as the main rea-
son for the win. “We got great defense out of every position on the floor,” Widner said. “One of their first plays of the game [the Spartans] ran one of their favorite sets. [Cowhey] called out the screen early, [McCarthy] fought through the screen and then [Cowhey’s] man receives a double screen. [Cowhey] fought through that perfectly. They didn’t get any of the three looks that they were looking for on that set.” Cowhey also believes that the defense was the key reason why the Titans won. “[Coach Widner] wrote on the board, before the game: play defense together, win together,” Cowhey said. “There was great rotation and North [would have] what looked like an open layup, [and it] would end up being a charge. We took two charges in the second half so there were a lot of key defensive plays.” Nikitas stressed a couple of goals for the team for the rest of the season. According to Nikitas,
there are numerous things the Titans need to do in order to keep their focus for the rest of the season. “We need to stay positive no matter what because sometimes we get down on ourselves and on each other, which is not good,” Nikitas said. “We need to defend well every game. If we defend we will always be in games no matter what our offense is like.” One of the goals that Cowhey emphasized was to win conference. This was the main goal made by the team, according to Cowhey. “We’ve beaten every team in the conference before, so we feel like if we keep playing the way we can play we can beat any team in the conference,” Cowhey said. According to Nikitas, the Titans are led by a myriad of seniors including McCarthy, Cowhey, forward Devin Maki and guard Paul Jones. The Titans next hit the court over winter break at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic starting on Dec. 23.
Wrestling capitalizes on individual success for conference victories HANNAH MASON
asst. sports editor South’s wrestling needs to win two conference meets in order to place in the upper level of their conference, according to head coach Thomas Mietus. On Nov. 26, the team competed in their first meet at home. The Titans wrestled against Hoffman Estates (HE) and Fenton High School. Prior to the meet, senior captain Joey Americus noted that South had wrestled both teams early last season and was confident in the team being able to beat both schools, even though Fenton had wrestlers who competed in the State Tournament last year. “You can’t really look at what [Fenton’s state wrestlers] record was” Mietus said. “It’s a different season.” South came out with a win against HE 4023, and a lost against Fenton 37-17. Senior captain Hagan Synnestvedt said he was very proud of how the team had wrestled in their first couple meets, even though he was absent for some of them. “We got into it pretty fast and caught on re-
vedt said. ally quick,” Synnestvedt said. “We have a really solid team and I think we really bond well, so I On Dec. 6 the men wrestled against Niles West, but lost 35-32. think it wasn’t hard to get back into the swing“It was tough,” Americus said. “We were one sof things. Once we actually started wrestling we realized we are ready, [and] we’re looking for a match away from it. Everyone wrestled well and gave it their all. It didn’t work out in our favor good year.” unfortunately.” Over Thanksgiving break, South competMietus says a personal goal he ed in the Vernon Hills tournahas for the team is to have a ment, where they placed second. The team better pinning average. According to competed against Americus, he schools such as feels a goal Taft, Loyola, the team has Maine West, Vernon Hills and also set is to wrestle hard Maine East. “Taking second six-minute CAPTAIN AMERICUS: In a complace at the Vernon matches. bat against Hoffmann Estates, senior “We don’t want Hills tournament captain Joey Americus (left) preshows that we to get pinned or pares to capture the victory. Americus aims to make it to sectionals, might be able have the match with it being his final year on the end early,” to do more South wrestling team. this year Americus said. Photo by Wyatt Richter than the “Coach Mietus always past,” Synnesttalks about
wrestling hard for six minutes and leaving everything on the mat.” According to Synnestvedt, the wrestling program has been evolving over the last three years since Mietus took the head coach position. “In the first two years it was developing the system, and getting the wrestlers to buy into it and understand it,” Mietus said. “We have a real sound system of philosophy that we follow.” Synnestvedt says that a factor that makes wrestling different from other sports is the one-on-one compenent in the matches.They gain a team feeling by doing things like going out for dinner after meets and supporting their teammates while they watch each other wrestle, Americus said. “It’s a very individual sport when you’re actually wrestling, but everything you do as an individual contributes to the team,” Synnestvedt said. Mietus feels that a reason most people don’t do wrestling is because they don’t understand the hard work that has to be put forth. Americus said that the feeling after a win is what motivated him to make the effort to do the hard work. “There’s no better feeling [than] when you get your hand raised at the end of a match, and that’s what motivated me [to improve],” Americus said.