Volleyball makes state after 18 years!
Photo by Chelsea Luedtke
How does birth order affect siblings? See page 6
How fake is Reality T. V.? See page 10 How well do you know GHS? See page 11 Do you miss our German students? See page 16
Gretna High School • 11335 South 204th Street • Gretna, NE 68028 Volume VIII • Issue II • November 2009
2 news November 2009
Foreign exchange students discover sports through school By Liz Stratman Editor-in-Chief
The crowd roars as the star quarterback scores a touchdown for the Dragons, making it a 7-0 lead. The cheerleaders excitedly shake their poms and kick their legs in the air, pumping up the student section. Football players chest bump and make various gestures to congratulate each other. Let’s face it, the U.S. loves football; but this sport isn’t common for all countries. So while most GHS students know at least a little about what’s going on at the Gretna football games, senior foreign exchange students Gesa Mayer from Germany and Louise Gabrielsson from Sweden are overwhelmed with confusion. Mayer and Gabrielsson say football is totally new, but they’re
Journey to Kansas City, Missouri Des Moines, Chicago, Omaha, Illinois Iowa Nebraska
starting to catch onto how it works. “I have tried to understand it and people have tried to explain it thousands of times and I still don’t get it,” Gabrielsson said. She says volleyball, cheer and football aren’t very common in Sweden, but she enjoys watching them here. “I especially like football, cheerleading and dance team because it’s so ‘American,’” Gabrielsson said. Dressing up according to the theme of each football game, Gabrielsson tried her best to show her school spirit as well as learn the football “tricks of the trade.” In both Germany and Sweden, sports aren’t connected to school. The only sports-related activity through school is P.E. class. Any other sports are played with clubs instead. Gabrielsson likes how there are a variety of clubs at GHS because of the lack of activities at her school.
ebraska Dusseldorf, Germany London, UK
Gutersloh, Enebyberg, Germany Sweden
D I F F E R E N C E S
“Here, schools are very focused on sports,” Gabrielsson said. “In Sweden we basically don’t have any sports that are connected to Submitted Photo the school u n l e s s Students show their school spirit with their Hawaiian wear at a football game. Louise Gabrielsson, one of the two foreign exchange you go to students, is on the bottom, far right front. a special program.” important, like with school spirit.” Gabrielsson currently plays club Mayer plans to join the track team soccer and plans to play for school this in the spring and maybe the basketball spring. Back in Sweden, she danced team. Right now, she is a member of and played soccer. the band and plays saxophone. “Here you can choose what “I was in swim team, [in you want to do,” Mayer said. “There Germany] but you don’t have a pool at are competitions so it’s much more school,” Mayer said.
Germany vs. U.S. • Mayer says people are friendlier in Nebraska • “I learned British English in school so you [Nebraskans] have kind of an accent to me,” Mayer said. • She finds it strange that people in Nebraska eat dinner and lunch very early. • Mayer says she doesn’t like that it snows in October here and thinks the cold is awful. • Mayer says in Germany they use bikes and have dance clubs open to people over 16 and there’s a lot of swimming in public pools.
Sweden vs. U.S. • “People are not as shallow as in Sweden,” Gabrielsson said. • She says people are more outgoing here and “welcoming.” • Gabrielsson says it seems like everyone is centered around sports people here and dress very sporty. • “I’m used to everyone really dressy,” Gabrielsson said. “Tennis shoes, for example, would never be used other than when you’re working out.”
? arned What will you miss? ? s e s l i u m o y o you have What d What d What o you h nd ope to A friends. y m d learn? n a r te o o o d sc n e se you ca light blu
Mayer: First she took a one & a half hour flight from Gutersloh to Dusseldorf, then a flight from Dusseldorf to Chicago, and finally a two-hour flight from Chicago to Omaha.
Total Travel Time: 12 hours
Gabrielsson: Starting in her hometown Enebyberg, she traveled to Stockholm, then took a two-hour flight to London, a nine hour flight to Chicago, a six hour bus ride to Des Moines, then to Kansas City for a soccer tournament and after that, she finally arrived in Omaha.
Total Travel Time: 4 days
rs, my re becau y brothe “I hope to learn more advanced English.” --Gabrielsson a car the “I miss m t you don’t need “I miss livin a r g next to th the fact th y bike.” --Maye e ocean and actual ‘city. gb living close ’” --Gabriel everythin to an sson sson “I want to learn to shoot a gun.” --Ma “I will .” --Gabriel miss t yer e ice cream om es aw he peo e th ple he “I will miss re and the hu counge cars u are in another .” --Ma portant when yo im is Mayer “It “-t. ac yer a lot to make cont try that you talk “I’ve learned to be more independent.” --Gabrielsson
Students decide whether Why are lunches so small? dress code is fair or not By Kelsey Charrlin Staff Writer
From strapless dresses and short skirts in the summer, to holey jeans and low-cut shirts in the winter, styles change all the time. As the fashion world gets more and more revealing by the minute, students struggle to keep in line with the dress code. Students just want to try to express their individuality and wear what’s in style rather. “People don’t realize that what they wear reflects on what people think of them,” junior Cindy Sedlacek said. “I don’t think they should allow low cut shirts and booty shorts.” Principal Kirk Eledge said rule No. 1 on the Dress Code states a student’s appearance should be of high enough standards to contribute to the general learning environment, and that rule covers many of the dress code violations, including holes in jeans. “No, I have nothing against the dress code except for the hole in the jeans [rule], because it’s stupid because when you have to wear shorts you show more skin than the hole,” sophomore Dean Wilkins said. For students who get caught numerous times for sneaking around the dress code, it is not a good idea because there are penalties day after day. “If a student gets caught, we usually let them change the first time, but for repeated offenders it can be anywhere from a DT or a Saturday School,” Eledge said. While some students have to worry about accesorizing around the dress code, others don’t. “No it’s fine,” sophomore Angie Kauffman, said. “I really don’t dress inappropriately.” The majority of the students who get sent home are students caught
with jeans with holes or, revealing tops Principal Kirk Eledge said. “The holes in the jeans should, like certain areas shouldn’t,” junior Trey McCampbell said. “Like printed words, I had to take off a shirt that said ‘crap’. They said I had to cover it and like supposedly if it’s beeped out like censored it would be allowed [when we all know what it means]”. McCampbell isn’t the only one that has been caught with a dress code violation. “Yes, I just got sent home for my jeans,” junior Jenna Derosa said. Some students think that the school board should change the dress code and make it more lenient. “Some girls wear extremely short shorts, and you have a girl who with really long arms and it’s different,” sophomore Brianna Silence said. “Jeans with holes, they sometimes make you change in to shorts, when you’re showing more skin,” Silence said. When the fact is, the dress code will most likely continue to be the same even as the styles continue to change and become more revealing.
1.Student’s appearance should be of high enough standards as to contribute to the general learning environment. 2.Shoes will be worn at all times. 3.Printed wording or pictures on clothing advertising or promoting tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or is vulgar in interpretation will not be permitted to be worn.Violators will be disciplined. 4.Headwear is not to be worn in the building during the school day. Examples of head wear include hats, caps, bandanas, and scarfs. 5.Sleeveless shirts, tank tops, or shirt/blouses showing the midriff, bust line or back are not permitted. 6.All shorts/dresses/skirts are to be mid-thigh or longer. With arms hanging at the sides and all fingers extended, the length of the clothing should be not shorter than the tip of the longest finger. 7.Any clothing or accessories that may interfere with the educational process may be removed or confiscated as to improve the learning environment.
By Payton Samuelson Online News Editor
The halls are full of students speed walking towards the cafeteria. The line stretches down the hallway and the starting point, the place where the lunch ladies fill the colorful trays with the school food, seems miles away. After all of this hustle and bustle students look down at their dragon ribs, green beans, grapes and a small carton of milk and think to themselves… “This is all I get?” The lunches high school students eat are not much bigger than the ones the elementary students receive. What does a senior guy think about getting nearly the exact amount of food as a little second grade girl? “They could be a lot bigger,” senior Josh Reynolds said. “People get hungry and school lunch does absolutely nothing.” “If you’re an ant, you’d be full,” sophomore Derek Hill said.
“The lunches are normal size if you want to feed elves,” sophomore Sam Applegate said. Reynolds, Hill, and Applegate agree that the lunches should be twice the size they are now in order to be filling. The question behind all this is: why are the lunches the size they are? “The state has portion guidelines we must follow,” food service director Kathy King said, “There are three options, Enhanced Food Based Menu or Traditional Food Based Menu or Nutrient Standard Menu. We use the Enhanced Food Based Menu.” For students who don’t find the lunches filling, they can get extras. According to Nancy Turpen, the secretary who handles the computer at lunch time, about one third of the students in the school get extras. “Crispitos are the most popular,” Turpen said. And the cafeteria workers are prepared for that. “We make about 400 extra crispitos,” King said.
Enhanced Food Based Menu Planning Option K-6
Meat or Meat Alternate (per week)
Milk (per day)
8 fl. oz.
8 fl. oz.
Fruits and vegetables (per day)
Grains and breads (per week)
“If you’re an ant, you’d be full.”
-Derek Hill, sophomore
editorial 4 November 2009
Learning loses its luster By Liz Stratman Editor-in-Chief
While passing out Vanilla Wafers to the infants, all under one year of age, I look across the room and see Tyson touching the tips of his fingers together, signing “more,” because he had already devoured the two cookies I gave him. As I made my way toward him with the box, he moved his right hand in a circular motion over his chest, indicating “please.” When I gave him two more cookies, he touched his lips with the front of the fingers on his right hand and moved his hand away from his mouth, palms upward. He was saying “thank you.” At the daycare I work, we teach the babies sign language and incorporate it into every day activities, since they cannot talk, only make random obnoxious noises. This goes to show that even in high chairs, children are already learning. According to Multnomah County Library research, babies are born learning. During a baby’s first year, his/her brain more than doubles in its size, and by three years, a child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s. So why is it that young children
are so much more willing to learn than high school students? Because children’s brains are in young stages of development, they’re fascinated by the smallest things and don’t even realize they’re learning. Like in the preschool room, the kids love putting together puzzles and they just happen to be alphabet puzzles; so while they lay the pieces in place, they recite their ABC’s. As children get older their interests change, and they no longer are infatuated with ordinary things because they aren’t new to them. They don’t want to put learning before activities they enjoy, as where in younger years, discovering something new was exciting. Children today would probably choose playing video games over reading and most teens would much rather download new songs onto their I-pod rather than study for a biology test. By the time high school comes around, most students are sick and tired of learning, especially in subjects that don’t interest them. Learning becomes more of a chore than a privilege. When students are forced to take all of the core classes, including some that they can’t possibly see benefiting their future career in any way, they no longer have as much motivation to try. Most students succeed more in their electives, because they are more relevant to what the person likes to do. Nearing the end of high school,
students are stressed about looking into colleges, and feel the pressure on their shoulders. Their future lies ahead and what they choose to do after high school can change their lives forever. Some stop caring about grades and school all together, even when they should be giving more of an effort. Learning should always be a privilege and not a chore because what’s the worst that could happen, someone learns too much? Too much knowledge doesn’t exist; it never hurts to gain more. If teachers mixed it up every once in a while, students would stay motivated and enjoy learning like they used to. In Jennifer Berry’s article on Sylabus-rpp.blogspot.com, she lists five secrets to making learning fun: involve
everyone, utilize the entire body, give positive reinforcement, work in groups, and change up the routine school day. These secrets to having fun in the classroom may work in some circumstances, but I can’t say that all of them would make high school learning more fun. Teachers have tough curriculum, and they must teach the required materials because at this age it’s crucial with college approaching. I do think changing up students’ environments would help, as well as giving students more say in what they want to do. If the students are invested in what they’re doing, they’ll do better. Just like the infants with the treats they receive for their signing, high school students need encouragement to stay motivated to learn.
The Voice News Staff
Editor-in-Chief: Liz Stratman Photographer: Lexi Busch In-Depth Editor: Natalie Doering Features Editor: Lauren Sawyer Online/News Editor: Payton Samuelson Entertainment Editor: Taylor Bradish Sports Editor: Danielle Spurgeon
Staff Writers: Kelsey Charrlin Ethan Dawes McKenna Kerr Hannah Applegate Advisor: Jamie Hestermann
The Voice is a monthly publication sponsored by Gretna High School, 11335 South 204th Street, Gretna, NE 68028. The office of The Voice is located in sponsor Jamie Hestermann’s room, room 400. The phone number is (402)332-3936. Reader response is welcome in the
form of suggestions and ideas. They can be dropped off in room 400 at any time. Editorials are solely the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Voice staff or Gretna High School.
editorial 5 November 2009
Taking time to volunteer proves to be rewarding The Voice’s Opinion
All teenagers are self-absorbed and careless. FALSE. Most teens wish they had the time to help others. TRUE. Some students find a way to make volunteering possible, and the outcome of the experience is usually rewarding. TRUE. Students realized just how rewarding this experience could be through TOPSoccer, The Outreach Program for Soccer. This past fall, eight GHS students volunteered to assist children with disabilities in playing soccer for National Honor Society (NHS). More students will sign up in the spring as well. Without even
realizing, the students formed bonds with the partners they were assigned and helped them in more ways than just how to play soccer. Aside from TOPSoccer, NHS also requests volunteers for other various activities; from helping children with Kids Connection or Math Madness, to the community with bell ringing or Gretna Neighbors, to the school with the show choir competition or Library Latte, there are volunteer opportunities for any students’ interests. Volunteering means taking time out of one’s busy schedule to help others. How is this possible for a student overwhelmed with activities, work and school? The idea of setting aside time for yet another task seems
practically impossible for many, but the pros of volunteering definitely outweigh the cons in most cases. Not only do students feel a sense of accomplishment and pride after volunteering, they can prove the stereotypical self-absorbed teenager assumption wrong. With this alone, students should realize why volunteering would make a great addition to their lives. By satisfying others, people can actually make themselves feel good as well, so why not go the extra mile? There is nothing to lose and the benefits are endless. Often times instances such as helping at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter make people realize how fortunate their lives are. While some people don’t even have clothes to
wear or food on the table, the majority of teens these days own a cell phone and I-pod on top of basic necessities. Our society sometimes forgets to be thankful for the possessions they own and the privileges their lives entail. Volunteering makes for better person because the caring attitude shows in everything he/she does. That’s why scholarship organizations often ask applicants to list their volunteer or community service hours. Through the amount of time a teen volunteers, organizations develop a sense of what the student is like. A student with many volunteer hours on their belt can gain an advantage over others. But don’t let that be the only reason to help out the community.
train is leaving the station, just as I reach the platform. The modern world moves so fast that it would seem, despite the cleverest scheduling, there are simply not enough hours in the day. To an extent, it has always been so, but today, society feels the pressure of time even more. I’m not proposing a war on speed. Speed has helped shape our world in ways that are wonderful and liberating. Who wants to live in a world without the Internet or jet travel? The problem is that our love of speed, our need to do more in less and less time, has gone too far; it has turned into an addiction. Even when speed begins to backfire, we religiously cling to the gofaster gospel. Diet not working? Try liposuction. Too busy to cook? Buy a microwave. Many millennia ago, cavemen slept when they were tired, hunted when they were hungry, and played when they felt like it. Now, people feel they must get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, but no more than 10. It’s customary to eat 3 times a day. And people who have time to simply enjoy life? They’re looked down upon, but
everyone still wishes for time to stop and smell the roses. In 1748, Benjamin Franklin coined the infamous phrase: “Time is money.” Nothing embodied this new mindset in a clearer form than the shift towards paying workers by the hour, instead of for what they produced. Here in the present, we deal with the exact same idea of “making a fast buck.” Companies release software before their projected date of completion. Why? To meet the demands of masses of people who are too impatient to wait any longer for the product. So, the incomplete software comes out with multiple “bugs,” and the correction process takes even more time that waiting another month to release the product. The balance between time and technology is lost. Working long hours and booked schedules creates stress. With stress, come health problems such as: insomnia, migraines, hypertension, and asthma. I’m no doctor, but it would be easy for me to prescribe a healthy dose of relaxation for overbooked people. However, it’s not that easy. People want to have successful careers,
eat out with friends, play sports, catch their favorite shows, work out at the gym, read the newspaper, see the newest movies, listen to music, have the hottest gadgets, holiday in exotic locations, spend time with family, and put in a few hours of community service along the way. It’s an insane notion to expect this much from life. Rushing from one meeting to another practice, to my job, I start to feel like my schedule is living my life for me. I run out the door without a coat, when it’s raining, and think, “How could I have missed that?” I even check the time too quickly to notice what the clock actually says and have to look again. Just like everyone else, I’m not immune to a rushed lifestyle. But next time I type in my e-mail password incorrectly, I won’t retype it faster to make up the time, causing me to make mistakes again. In the long run, it’s better to slow down for 5 seconds of my life, instead of having my e-mail provider lock me out of my account for 15 minutes. I suppose that’s just what I get for forgetting life is too short. I need to slow down, and enjoy every minute of it.
Brainwashed by speed: How valuable is time? By Lauren Sawyer Features Editor
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Draw the curtains to let the earliest beams of dawn shine through your window? Pull your slippers on, and mosey into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee? No, if you’re like virtually every human being on earth, you check your alarm clock to see what time it is. I do the same. If it’s early, I roll over and attempt to squeeze in another few minutes of shuteye before I have to start my day. But if it’s late, I spring out of bed and make a beeline for the bathroom. I’ve been awake under five minutes and my day has already being dictated by time. Whether it’s on the bedside table, the corner of a computer screen, or my very own wrist, I’m constantly checking the time. In this fast moving world, it always seems that the time-
6 features November 2009
Sibling order: Do you fit the mold? By McKenna Kerr Staff Writer
“Mom! Jimmy hit me!” “No I didn’t!” “Ya, you did!” “No I didn’t. She’s lying!” Sound familiar? The pushing, fighting, and constant accusing that little Sally is mom’s favorite has become a common occurrence in almost every household. You always have the oldest that’s bossy, controlling, but has the freedom to do what they want. Then there’s the youngest who gets away with everything, but also has to wait to do “the big kid stuff.” So between the bossing around of the younger one and the framing of the older one, is there really such a thing as “brotherly-sisterly love.” Or are siblings just one more person to fight with? Have you ever been blamed for something you sibling did? Making a mess, breaking a lamp, starting a fight. Every person has a different story. “[My sister] stole my mom’s make-up,” said junior Demi Duin, “but I got blamed for it.” It’s a common belief that the youngest child is the most spoiled and gets away with a lot more, but why? “The youngest [is spoiled more] because you were once spoiled as the youngest, but now you are not as interesting,” senior Spencer Strong said. Do the youngest re-
ally get the most attention? “I think I get the most attention,” Duin, who is the oldest child, said. Some students would say extra attention for younger children is deserved. “They deserve more attention than me because I can do more on my own and they can’t,” Strong said. If a person is not the oldest but not the youngest, obviously he/ she is classified as a middle child. So, is being between the bossy oldest and the babied youngest a walk in the park, or is it just an annoying curse? “It’s not good or bad,” senior Zach Eggert said, “because you’re not the oldest but you’re not the youngest.” When being in the middle, that child has to deal with not getting as much attention as the older child once got. “My mom barely has any baby pictures of me because she was obsessed with my older brother Spencer,” sophomore Mattie Strong said. In every family where there is more than one child, there is going to be sibling rivalry and the accompanying fights. “We fight at least once a day,” Duin said. If siblings fight so much,
what exactly are they fighting about? “We’re different from each other, so we have different views on different things,” Mattie Strong said. If all siblings do is bicker, what makes having a sibling worthwhile? “They’re someone you can talk with about personal things that you couldn’t talk about with anybody else,” Spencer said. Whether they are younger or older, brothers and sisters will always be there making every day special. They may not always make you happy, but they’ll always be there when you need them. Sophomore Mattie Strong and Senior Spencer Strong
Sophomore Codi Backen and Senior Timbre Backen
Are you a stereotypical sibling? Check below to see how your qualities match up.
People Pleasers Reliable Cooperative Caregivers Crave Apporval Perfectionist Assertive Ambitious Energetic Scholarly
Middle: Flexible Rebellious Peacemakers Stubborn Cynical Friendly Uptight Outgoing Imaginative
Youngest: Risk taker Idealist Hard-working Attention-seeking Secretive Sensitive Sociable Confident Spoiled Manipulative Funny
in-depth 7 November 2009
How to survive: Substitute teachers By Natalie Doering In-depth Editor To say that all subs are alike would be a lie. Some choose to dive into the current topic, discussing and explaining what the absent teacher would normally do. Others are more apt to pop in a video, dim the lights and hope no one causes any trouble. But just as the teaching style varies, so does the ways to survive the days when your normally present teacher is gone. Junior Alyssa Stahr knows what she does to survive, and what she doesn’t want to receive. “I just keep on the down low because I DO NOT want a five hour detention,” she said. Senior Marissa Sichta shares similar views and follows the same plan. “I try not to annoy subs by not doing anything that would draw attention to myself,” she said. It’s a common conclusion that many do all that they can to avoid the warnings and the sound of pen hitting paper as the substitute teacher writes their name down. Sometimes though, it’s hard not to get caught up in the joy of an
interrupted routine a sub places. “I don’t do anything to aggrivate them [the subs], but I think we just mess around more which probably makes them mad,” sophomore Tate Rittenberger said. Sichta agrees. “When the subs are filling in for teachers nobody likes, the one who give long assignments, everyone is happy and excited to get a break,” she said. Luckily, Rittenberger can gauge what the sub will be like before he decides how to survive. “I see how they react to the first question someone asks and base my actions on that,” he said. Junior Lindsay Reuter chooses not to take the risk and remain neutral when it comes to surviving the substitute situation. “I’m an excellent student who listens and follows directions,” she said. Opinions of subs may vary as often as the plan of survival does. Dreaded subs will be welcomed with moans and sighs of distaste and those who are more favored
by the students will be received with cheers and sighs of relief. “It all depends on if they’re in a good mood or not when it comes to survival,” Reuter said. Unfortunately, in the haste to judge the substitutes performance during the given period, students lose track of the fact that subs have to survive students as well, and must plan their attack also. “If I were a sub, I’d be pretty nervous. Especially if it was at the high school…we can be brutal,” Stahr said. Rittenberger disagrees, and would welcome the opportunity to be a sub. “I think it would be fun to be
in new places and meet new people,” he said. But after some thought, he realizes where the downfall lies. “Unless the kids were bad. Then that would stink,” he said. One must remember though that while being judgemental of substitue teachers is easy when they are mean and demanding, it’s the moments that you enjoy having them that matter. Because although you have to survive subs, subs have to survive students just just as much.
g n i
b b u
v r u
S g n i iv with Mr. Ahrens & Mrs. Mazur What is your favorite part of subbing?
“Just having experience with different new people every day”
Are there any challenges in Gretna subbing?
No. The kids are really well behaved, and good lesson plans are preconceived. I haven’t found many discipline problems here”
Are there any challenges?
“There’s challenges like getting the students’ attention and keeping it and keeping them working, but I don’t have any problems, especially in Gretna.” Do you have any funny stories?
“My own kids never wanted me to sub in any of their classes.”
in-depth 8 November 2009
If you’re running late there is literally nothing you can do to make it on time
Sophomore Jenni Davis
sleep Fell a g y durin ove da ! .M class ee end ds 3 r kwar c h k a b T ee d s w ove ar . space e w M or ac f sp 1
New school clothes! Move forward 3 spaces
Walk and talk at the same time. And just stay out of the way of people who need to get to their classes.
Picture is in newspaper! Move forward 1 space Mr. Miller calls you to his office. Move backwards 2 spaces.
Late book fine. Move backwards 3 spaces Four tests tomorrow. Move backward 4 spaces
Parents are notified of failing grade. Move backwards 6 spaces
Locker jams. Move back 2 spaces
Make a varsity Aced a test! Move forward meet. Move 3 spaces forward 2 spaces
How to survive: Freshman year
The lunch line is short today. Move forward 3 spaces Junior Kelsie Troudt
Teacher gives you a pass. Move forward 2 spaces
Caught texting. Go back to start ! s o it p is to get your Extra Cr d r a w r phone back Move fo s 4 space
Server won’t connect. Lose your turn
By Natalie Doering In-depth Editor
The green walls slowly close in on you as your breathing quickens, and the stench of old gym socks and a moldy sandwich rush into your nose. The thought to scream for help crosses your mind, but during passing period no one will think twice about loud voices. Instead, you rest your head on the backpack of whomever occupies locker 715 and dream about next year when you will be a sophomore, and no longer have to worry about surviving freshman year. Although the stereo-typical upperclassmen, those who push kids into lockers and torment underclassman, do not exist at Gretna High School, it is still vital that freshmen plot and plan their survival. Freshman Erin Miller has already mapped out a strategy to making it through the rest of the year. “Surviving isn’t hard as long as you don’t ask for trouble. I don’t act like I’m in their grade,” she said. Luckily, Miller is wise in her decision because many juniors and seniors are known to
Teacher postpones the test for a week. Move forward 5 spaces
ate our l Two h Move . start rd 4 a w r fo s space
become angry when freshmen forget this. “They think they’re better than the upperclassmen,” senior Ty Vetter said. Freshman Nicole Emanuel has determined her plan of attack for survival during the 9th grade, and it remains similar to that of Miller’s. “I’m surviving by studying and remembering that I’m just a freshman!” she said. But those who remain at the top of the food chain must also remember that they too were once in survival mode, struggling to make it through the first year of high school. Along with this understanding comes advice that is sometimes vital to the youngest in the school. Junior Maggie Hobbs shares some wisdom that she learned 3 years ago when she was in the same predicament as the current freshmen. “I survived by finding good friends and sticking with them and just having fun. I would suggest the freshmen learn to respect us. It will make their life a lot easier,” she said. Vetter takes a different approach. “I didn’t get any… so why should they?” he said. Miller and Emanuel both agree though, that middle school is vastly different from high school. “I like being a frosh! High school is way better
Expulsion from Gretna Schools. Automatic loss.
S Swick M i w b ov ne ih a e F 5 ck lu sp w . a ac r es ds
What makes your school day di fficul
than middle school,” Emanuel said. Miller comes to the conclusion. “In high school you get more freedoms and more fun!” she said. A blast of light reaches your eyes, and a sense of panic sets in as you pray it isn’t your lockerstuffing upperclassman “friend”. The smell of cleanliness returns, and you feel a sense of control and freedom, similar to when the transition from middle school to high school was made. You feel a sense of relief and realize that freshman year isn’t too bad (aside from your recent adventure), and if you work to survive it, it can be a great year.
The server before . crashes s ff o y la p Make ving. ard 2 sa ards Move forw ov M e backw s e spac 2 spaces
Supsended for Goo d getting in a grades th is fight. semester. New Move Move Mov car! e backwards 2 forward 3 4 sp forwa rd o spaces ts. spaces
Snowday! Move forward 2 spaces
Trying not to fall asleep!
I hate when people stop in the middle of the hal lway, unless it’s some of my friends, then I would stop and talk to them
PLAN testing. Move backwards 2 spaces. Slipped on banana peel at lunch. Move backwards 3 spaces Leave for vacation at noon. Move forward 4 spaces.
Junior Brooke Arp
Car doesn’t start. Move backwards 3 spaces
Book checked in the hallway. Move backwards 2 spaces
Class competition Move forward 3 spaces
Not being able to play basketball
Senior Chris Piper
Senior Chase Brion
Senior Zach Self
Forgot to study for a final. Move back wards 7 spaces
Overslept! Lose your turn It rains at a band competition. Move backwards 2 spaces.
It really bothers me when people kiss in the hallway.
Freshman Anna Elbracht
10 entertainment November 2009
Reality Tv? By Taylor Bradish Entertainment Editor You’re flipping through the channels on a Tuesday night. You’re most likely going to stop on the tv show, or movie that catches your attention right? Most likely you’re going to come across a reality tv show. Four out of five Americans say that they think too many reality tv shows are on the air. So why can’t teenagers seem to pry their eyes away from them? “People like reality tv because they have a chance to escape from their own life and because they need their daily dose of drama,” senior Nikki Hotovy said. Teens talk for weeks about the stupid fight someone had on The Ruins, or the drama that’s going on The Hills. It’s innocent entertainment and hard not to enjoy reality television. “There are a lot of stupid people on reality tv shows and people
feel better about themselves knowing that there are more stupid people out there then them,” German foreign exchange student Livia Kuklick said. People don’t seem to mind if the show is actually true reality, or just a made up script with paid actors. Who knows if some shows on the air are real, or if they’re fake. “I think shows are fake, like “Date My Mom”, on MTV, but there are other shows that I think are real,” Kuklick said. Who’s really going to say? Would t.v. shows lose a lot of viewers if they publicly came out and said their show was fake, even though most people already agree that reality t.v. is staged? “I think tv shows would lose viewers if they came out and said they were fake because you couldn’t take the show seriously if people knew it wasn’t real,”Hottovy said. “But on the other hand, I think that most of the situations on reality t.v. are real, but its way to dramatic to make for good t.v.
The most outrageous reality tv shows of all time: “The Littlest Groom”: A group of tiny bachelorettes competed against averagesized women for the heart of a 4-foot-5 bachelor. At the end of the show, would the little sized groom choose a long-legged lover or a pint-sized princess? “Amish In The City”: Five Amish young people were taken from their traditional lifestyles and sent to the city where they shared a home with roomates and got their first taste if a whole new world. “Married By America”:Viewers played matchmaker for complete strangers. The newly created couples were immediately engaged to be married all whiile being filmed. realitytv.about.com
Bands attempt comeback!
By Taylor Bradish Entertainment Editor Do you remember jamming out to the Backstreet Boys, Nsync, New Kids on the Block, back in the day? How would you feel if you flipped on 94.1 and heard the framilar balads of the backstreet boys? The former chart toppers, The Backstreet Boys, are trying to make a comeback. They released their album “This is us,” on September 30th, missing one band member Kevin Johnson. The Backstreet Boys are trying to promote their original old style of pop and hip hop, similar to Chris Brown. But despite their changes in style, they still stay true to the cheesy lyrics of broken
hearts and true love. Some people think it’s a bad idea bringing old bands back in the picture. “I think it would be a lot harder to get an old band back together because they don’t know whats in style,” Senior Jake Butler said. For whatever reason these bands want to come back and start making music again, there’s nothing we can do about it. They’re back and ready to attack. But is it going to be harder for these bands to make a comeback, knowing there past? Or will this give the bands an advantage? Their name is already known. “I don’t think it will be harder for them to come back because they already know the industry, they’ve got
A scene from “The Littlest Groom.”
connections,” senior, Ellen Eitzmann said. But for sophomore, W h i t n e y Silence, it’s a different story, “They probably won’t have an easier time coming back.” B u t honestly after being in the dark for so long what would make these pop bands want to pop back up? Most people have the same response: they want more money, they’re missing
the glory days, and basically in a nut shell, they want their fame back. “They’re running out of money, or losing their fame,” Eitzmann said. “They want to get noticed again,” Silence said. -Jake Butler Its going to come Senior as quite a shocker when people here Nsync blasting through their stereos, will they be sucessful or will everyone be singing there famous lyrics, bye bye bye?
“I think it would be a lot harder to get an old band back together because they don’t know what’s in style.”
How Well Do You Know Your School? Across 1. First person alphabetically in the school 3. Disease people are worried about getting 5. They got third in state 6. People who came to visit us for two and a half weeks 7. Our varsity football quarterback 8. This team got an excellent rating at state 14. The grade the oldest volleyball girls are in 16. Our homecoming king 18. Number of twins in the sophomore class 19. Our homecoming queen Down 1. Last person alphabetically in the school 2. Gesa Mayer is from this town in Germany 4. Louise Gabrielsson is from this town in Sweden 9. Our mascot 10. Name of our One Act play this year 11. Number of new teachers this year 12. Made up disease that seniors catch 13. This was banned from the school this year 15. Kennedy Healy held a fundraiser for this 17. Teacher who does the famous hawk impression
Everybody has their obsessions “I’m obsessed with music be“I’m obsessed with cleaning cause it’s a way of expressing because it digusts me when stuff your feelings.” sophomore, is dirty.” junior, Lauren Faris Brendan Barton
“I’m obsessed with football because I like the adrenaline.” freshman, Anthony Rippe
“I’m obsssed with comlaining because it makes me feel better.” senior, Molly Dembinski,
“I’m obsessed with food because I like it, it tastes good, and it’s ummy in my tummy.” English teacher, Blaine Christen
12 features November 2009
Gretna TOPSoccer: More than playing a game “The first time I didn’t really want to go, but then I saw what it was about, and loved it.”
By Lauren Sawyer Feature Editor With homework, sports, work, and every other responsibility students have, it seems remarkable that high school students would make their top priority, for six consecutive Thursday nights, donating time to helping children they didn’t even know. As time went on, volunteers would soon get to know their buddies closely and develop a great respect for helping others. “I never really thought my partner knew who I was,” junior Cassie Kirkpatrick said. She was wrong. It was a special moment when Kirkpatrick returned to practice after missing the previous session, and learned how much her buddy truly thought of her. Thrilled she was back, Kirkpatrick’s buddy ran up and gave her a hug. It’s moments like these that make volunteers of Gretna’s TOPSoccer program feel like they’re gaining more than they’re giving. The Outreach Program for Soccer, or TOPSoccer, is a communitybased training and team placement program for children with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The programs kickoff was two years ago, with about five players. The most currant games took place this past fall. It doesn’t seem like a teenager’s favorite after-school activity, but students used the greater purpose for motivation. “The first time I didn’t really want to go, but then I saw what it was about, and loved it,” said junior Stephen Kessler. Eight students volunteered through National Honor Society this year. The time served went towards required community service hours for this academic program. National Honor Society sponsor
-Stephen Kessler Junior
Volunteers junior Zach Hadden, junior Stephen Kessler, and senior Hannah Dittmar congratulate each other after a game. The Gretna TOPSoccer program started two years ago with about five players.
Jami Ewer said she has always received positive feedback regarding students’ participation in community work. She had nothing but high expectations for TOPSoccer participants, and they didn’t let her down. Gretna TOPSoccer Player Coordinator Mike Bartenhagen was pleased with the volunteer’s efforts as well. “The kids in Gretna have been a great support for the program,” Bartenhagen said. Students put their hearts into each game where they were paired with a buddy and began with stretches to prevent injuries. Next were warmups including lunges and high knees, plus a game to work on basic balance. A favorite warm-up was Red Light, Green Light. When “red light” was called, everyone would have to stop the soccer ball they were kicking. Just as in the warm-ups, the actual game of soccer helps teach sportsmanship and teamwork, however normal rules aren’t followed precisely.
In each game, the goal is to use many of the same rules, as junior Jessica Tarsikes said, but usually referees make few calls. “It’s a great opportunity to help kids who really need help,” Kessler said. TOPSoccer uses two teams, but the competition doesn’t overshadow each player’s accomplishments. No matter who scores, everyone cheers for them. “Even my buddy got really into it. He kept cheering, ‘Wazza!’” Tarsikes said. The children need help to keep focused on the game, and in some cases, to merely stand up. Disabilities range from Autism, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, to physical disabilities that require a wheelchair. Through it all, fun is still the main priority, and the children played each game with just as much enthusiasm as any healthy child. One day, senior Matt Kennedy’s buddy kept throwing the ball over the
net. He was up to about eight times before he stopped. Kennedy describes his buddy as having a hilarious expression as he threw each ball in utter fascination. Sometimes, to keep the spirit of fun alive, a humongous yellow ball was used instead of a soccer ball. Ironically, the most exciting part of the game was guaranteed to be the end. After the official game was over volunteers and their buddies did the chicken dance. Waddling and flapping limbs around was used as motivation for the children- if they kept running, they could do the chicken dance. It was simply a positive way to end each game. This season has come to an end, however the program’s impact has remained with the high school volunteers. “I learned a lot and volunteering helps you make the best of life,” Tarsikes said. A veteran volunteer of three years said he enjoyed, “Getting to help those who have never had a chance to play a sport, it probably sounds very generic, but it is the truth,” Kennedy said. “When you help someone have fun and find happiness, who wouldn’t have the option otherwise, it really does mean a lot.”
features 13 November 2009 Hunting: A student’s passion By Ethan Dawes Staff Writer
Sweat rolls off the hunter’s brow as he patiently waits all day for his chance. His camouflaged suit is uncomfortably positioned on his body while he crouches cautiously in his tree stand. Finally, an eight-point deer crosses his path and turns broadside to him. A hunter’s dream kill. He takes the final pull back on his bow and releases his arrow. This past year, sophomore Riley Smith has taken bow hunting more competitively. He has killed four deer this year compared to one deer last year “ I concentrate on what I’m going to do,” Smith said, “I get really excited when I finally see one.” Smith’s mindset is strictly focused on becoming a better hunter and not coming home empty-handed. “I’ve gotten a lot more serious in deer hunting this year than last year,” Smith said. “It’s more fun actually trying.”
After Smith gets one though, the question is what to do with that deer. Surprisingly, there are many things that can be done with the meat of the deer that you get. “ I field dress it and process the meat myself, “ Smith said. “It’s pretty gross but I’ve gotten used to it.” First off, deer jerky. This can be easily made from spare pieces of the deer and cooked for two to three hours. Other parts of the deer can be made into summer sausage, steak and hamburgers. “My jerky is a big hit at school,” Smith said. “I’ve made a couple dollars selling it too.” Smith hunts all year long for different game, but mainly his focus is whitetail deer. The deer-hunting season starts from September 15th to November 13th and November 23rd to December 31st. In order to keep the animal, you must buy a tag to bag your kill. The bag limit is one deer of male or female gender and one antler-less deer or whitetail deer. “It’s my favorite thing to do cause it’s a way to be by myself and enjoy the wildlife, I love it.”
Sophomore Riley Smith (middle) presents his prized white-tailed deer. Hunting has been a passion of Smith’s since he was a toddler.
Deputy Lance Schickert bows down to the students in the BASE room after losing the weekly football face-off. Each week, the BASE room students and various school officials predicted the winners of major football games, and each week the students reigned victorious. Other school officials who lost include: Mr. Eledge, Mr. Mueller, Mr. Brandon, Mr. Bruggeman, Mr. Ribar, Dr. Riley, and Mr. Feeken.
sports 14 November 2009
What’s your First state appearance nickname? Ronnie Brown
in 18 years
“Everyone calls me ‘Ginger’ because I have red hair and ‘Gladius’ is just an inappropriate nickname.” -Kevin Andersen, 11
“Freshman year, playing scrummage in Brian Bartek’s backyard and we picked names from the Miami Dolphins, he gave me Ronnie Brown, and it just stuck.” -Ross Labenz,12
“I think people think of Dennis Rodman because he is crazy and I am too!” -Ian Grigsby, 11
Sophomore Elaine Cramer goes up for a spike during Gretna’s state game against Grand Island. The winner of the best out of five matches won the game. Grand Island took the victory with three wins over Gretna’s zero.
“Stefan started calling me it and then the rest of the seniors called me that now everyone does.” -Colton Motsinger, 11
C. The Chosen One
E. Schvinx Answers: Brandon Frink- Schvinx, Jamie Carlson- Moose, Brad Morgan- Tank, Dave Dudney- Diesel, Patrick Carney- The Chosen One
Photos by Chelsea Luedtke
With hands held high, juniors Emma Hulsey and Kelsi Kuhn go up for a block hoping to pull it off and gain the point.
sports 15 November 2009
How does girls’ cross-country stack up to boys? By Danielle Spurgeon Sports Editor Waiting for the start, she stretches and mentally prepares to go out on the grounds and run free. Sweat rolls down her face, as she is approaches the finish line and kicks it into full gear, it is now time to step it up. As she passes runners, one by one, hoping to take a victory for the team. Did she push hard enough to break her personal record and take the gold? This year’s cross-country team did very well throughout the season. They had many competitions over the two months, which led them to become state qualifiers. “The team did awesome, boys and girls both competed very well throughout the season. They are a good group to work with,” cross-country coach Joe Marik said.
The girl’s varsity team won districts so they attended the state meet. Out of the runners that competed, two of them placed in the top 15 at state. Freshman Emily Roll took 6th place and junior Sam Soupir earned 14th. Soupir has gone to state all three years and received a medal with every appearance she has made in the state tournament. There have only been six girls from Gretna that have medaled at state, and Soupir holds three out of the six medals. Although they didn’t place in the top 15, freshman Maddy Paskelvic ran away with 18th place and junior Katie Allen with 26th. The girls took an overall team score of 33, taking third place in the state tournament. “As a freshman, I was worried about going to state,” Roll said. “I didn’t want to mess up or do bad. It was fun though because I got to hang out with all my friends and compete with all the good competition.”
The boys, however, didn’t win districts, but they still had three runners qualify. The qualifiers were senior Spencer Strong, senior Brett Friesen, and freshman Tim Grundmayer. Unlike the girls nobody placed, Strong took 72th, Grundmayer 50th, and Friesen 48th.
“I did better this year than the last and the team was as good as I have ever seen,” Friesen said. The girls team may have had a better season than the guys but we will see what next year will bring.
way would be intense in many eyes, but these girls say otherwise. “We pretty much messed around the whole time. Even though we went to the range every day, we didn’t do much,” Faris said. Now if these girls just went to the range every day and messed around it maybe a surprise to hear how well they did in districts. They got first out of eight teams and their score was 423. “I was really surprised how well we did in districts. 7 out of the 10 of us placed. It made us think we could do really well at state,” junior Abby Allgood said. Once they got to state they soon realized that it wouldn’t be an easy task to even place. The competition looked tough and the girls didn’t know what to expect going into this because a lot of the girls were younger and had never been to state. “I was really nervous and I didn’t place but it was cool to be only
a sophomore and going to state,” Wollenburg said. Although Wollenburg and the other girls at state didn’t place, there was one player who proved practice makes perfect. “ I worked really hard through the season, and I was really excited when I medaled in state,” Allgood said. It showed how it all paid off.” At state, the focus wasn’t always on golf or who placed, the girls had fun times in the hotel and brought back some funny stories to tell. “At the hotel we filled a trash can with water. We put it against one of the hotel doors then we would knock on the door and when the person opened it the water would spill all over their room,” Wollenburg said. Throughout the whole season the girls had a rough start but laughed their way through it with all the fun times they really had. All in all, the girls think they had a great season, no matter the outcome of state.
“ It was a fun and good season even though we didn’t do the best in state,” Faris said. “I think we can improve and do even better next year.”
Photo by Courtney Randall In hope of a win, the girls’ varsity cross-country team gets lined up to start their run. The weather was not cooperative at all.
Looking back on an exciting season for girls golf By Lexi Busch Photographer As the girl’s golf team members look back on their season, they remember the good and bad times. The good seemed to overshadow the bad. The record for varsity duels was 6 and 1 making their only lost to Platteview 237 to 236. Their lowest score of the year was 185 versus AGEM and Nebraska City. When the girls think of the bad times, they think of the long practices walking all around the golf course and the rough start to the season losing to Platteview, only by a point. But as the season went along they all realized their potential and most started to improve. “I improved a lot through the season,” junior Lauren Faris said. As time went on the team improved too, but we didn’t start out too hot.” Having long practices every day after school and walking all that
Photo by Brooke Arp
With eyes focused on the ball, sophomore Jordyn Wollenburg takes a swing, determined to have a great hit.
story 16 photo December 2009
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Coming to America
Nineteen German exchange students got a taste of America when they came to Gretna High School. They were paired with students here in the school and had the opportunity to experience GHS life and participate in a number of activities. They enjoyed exciting activities like going to the capital. They also got to do whatever they wanted with their host family. “We went laser tagging, to the zoo and Target, and we got hot chocolate,” sophomore Shane Nevius said. Other students found things to
do around school. “I have walked around the school and ate pizza,” German exchange student Kristina Jaenisch said. As a group though, German teacher Kellye Deane set up some trips for them to take. “I planned the welcome and going away party,” Deane said. “We also went to the State Capital, Nebraska Historical Museum, and many other places.” Just because they had a host family though didn’t mean they had to spend every minute with them. “There is a lot of space between us,” Nevius said. “We don’t always hang out, maybe a couple times a week.”
Students weren’t the only ones who got to host somebody though. “I got to host the teacher Mrs. Lowdy,” Deane said. So when they are not hanging out with people, what did they do? “I’m usually eating or sleeping,” German student Ole Lender said. The real question though is why they decided to come visit America? “It was an offer at our school,” Jaenisch said. While they were here they had noticed some big differences and similarities. “The school is very different here,” Lender said. “The students here walk to their teachers. In Germany the teachers walk to their students.”
“All the sports and hanging out with friends is very similar to back home,” Smolka and Jaenisch said. The schools aren’t the only differences between America and Germany. “The food here tastes good, but it’s not as healthy,” Lender said. For these Germans it was a very exciting and possibly scary experience. Some of them came knowing some of the other German students already. “Some of the others that came were friends,” Jaenisch said. So even though they were only here a couple weeks, they made a lot of friends and became very popular in Gretna High School.