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Auburn Riverside Student Voice DEC 17, 2013 • VOLUME 19 • ISSUE #3

Leverenz earns place in WIAA Hall of Fame See page 12

Best hot cocoa of the season See page 7



InFlight Dec 17, 2013

The year the movie industry stood still with the stories the writers take it a little bit too In 1975, Steven Spielberg far,” he said. “I revolutionized the way films remember liking were marketed with Jaws, an Rocky and Rocky adaptation of the Peter Bench2 but the sequels ley novel about a shark that are just the same terrorizes Amity Island and the story.” three men who set out to stop Pacific Rim, it. Ever since its release, maanother major jor Hollywood films have sold 2013 release, themselves as a spectacle. fell short of its Jaws, along with the earproduction budliest modern blockbusters like get by almost 90 Star Wars and Raiders of the million dollars in Lost Ark, are inventive, classic the U.S. market, films. What they’ve left in their only generating PHOTO COURTESY CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE, WIKIMEDIA.COM wake today is a nightmare. a little over 100 It’s not enough to say million. Foreign One of the few good things left about new movies is watching them on the big screen in thethe modern Hollywood sys- aters. theaters, on the tem- throwing money at big, other hand, genCGI (Computer-generated imagery)-heavy, This dogmatic system is best exempli- erated three times that. I bring this up to redundant or else ridiculously plotted action fied by the dearth of originality in Holly- exemplify another foreboding trend in modepics- is broken. I could argue forever the im- wood films. ern Hollywood filmmaking: more and more portance of balancing art and entertainment “There are currently a lot of sequels films are made with overseas audiences as in film, but the truth is major studios aren’t and remakes. I’d like more original ideas in a priority. interested in low-key, creative films. They’re Hollywood,” senior Jonathan Baunach said. “International audiences love action, only interested in the bottom line- making Principal Dave Halford similarly laments wild and exciting special effects that can money by selling movies as products. the lack of originality in movies. “I think only be created by our technology,” movie

producer Lynda Obst said. If American movies aren’t even being made for Americans, why do we bother to go see them? Indeed, the CGI of today has become the dividing line in terms of supporters and naysayers of modern film. In a survey conducted with students, 47 percent believe movies are getting worse largely because of the improvement of CGI and the stagnation of storytelling, 21 percent believe film quality has remained largely the same, while 32 percent believe movies are improving in tandem with CGI improvements. “Movies are getting better because of better special effects,” junior Xiomara Vargas said. While I have no problem with CGI (even if practical effects have always been superior), I believe story and characters should always take priority. There is still hope for cinema yet. If you hate foreign films on principle (even though you shouldn’t) I have to at least advocate independent films, which are made with minimal studio funding and influence, and oftentimes have original, entertaining, and emotionally resonant stories. Hollywood doesn’t respect its audience’s intelligence, and it’s time we stop patronizing it.


was like going on Myspace. Not that ads are a bad thing, but having to sit through a five minute unskippable ad about who knows what is annoying. Not only has Google taken over Youtube, they are also attempting to make their own version of social media called Google+. Another thing they might ask when you sign in to your Google account is if you want to join Google+, or have a rundown on how Google+ works. It even tries to get you to add people to your Google+ circles (that’s basically your friends). If you would like YouTube to change its comments section, go here and sign this petition: http://www. Even YouTube’s co-founder Jawed Karim is against the new comment section.

Cameron Fairchild GUEST REPORTER

Google+ monopolizes YouTube’s comment section Remember a time when there were little to no ads on YouTube, or even when the website still functioned properly? Some of you might not know, but what you see on the website when doing general browsing is different than what users see if they upload videos every day. When users upload a video to YouTube, the process is not as easy as one might think. Some days it might take one hour, other days it might take five hours. It might even take a whole week just to get one video out on the internet for other people’s enjoyment. One of the most recent changes to Youtube is the comments section. To comment, you need to have a Google+ account and it


editor-in-chief Mackenzie Brown business manager Karlee Johnson photographer Dylan Johnston social media editor Jude Hanno cover illustration Mackenzie Brown adviser Patrick Swenson

staff reporters Mackenzie Brown Jude Hanno Karlee Johnson Dylan Johnston Alex Vasquez guest reporters Cameron Fairchild Sarah Koenig Jacob Lonergan Sasha Terry Eric Walker

has to be linked with your YouTube. “The new YouTube comment system has made it impossible for me to reply to my fans in the comments,” popular YouTuber Sp00nerism said. It’s not that I don’t like the design to the comments, I just hate how it works. One should only need to have a Youtube account to say something in the comments section. Most YouTubers who upload videos daily don’t comment anymore because it’s near impossible to keep up with what goes on in the comments section. Occasionally, Google might ask if you want to change your YouTube name to your real name on Google+. This is extremely annoying and everyone says

no anyways, so why even have that feature put in? Google+ might not be as bad if they weren’t trying to shove social media down your throat. When YouTube didn’t have anything to do with Google, there were little to no ads, and even with ads, they would only be five seconds long. With the integration of Google+, and as time progressed, YouTube got more and more ads, until pretty soon, it


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artwork, opinions and comments. However, we will not print any unsigned letters or work. Please contact us in room 402, through e-mail at or by calling 253-804-5154. Advertisement is available through InFlight. Advertising gives business the opportunity to reach more than 1800 faculty and students. Support students going to the state and national journalism conventions, help with publication costs, hardware, software, and resource purchases. We encourage students, faculty and community members to contact us through e-mail at or by calling 253804-5154 for further advertisement information.

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Auburn Riverside High School


Ugly Christmas sweaters are ugly Alex Vasquez STAFF REPORTER The wonderful holiday season is here again. Christmas trees, scented pinecones, dreaded family Christmas pictures and fruitcake are back! Unfortunately, so are the “ugly” sweaters. Which is exactly what they are: ugly. Many people seem to think that having an ugly Christmas sweater is a fashion trend, but in reality, does wearing grandma’s clothes really say something good? Ugly Christmas sweaters are called ugly Christmas sweaters for a reason. I mean, some people actually go out of their way to find the ugliest sweater possible only to wear it and have the nerve to call it “cute.” Excuse me? Does no one know the definition of “ugly?” Come on! Have some dignity, people. Dress your age and save the frumpy sweaters for when you’re a grandparent. You’re too young to dress like you don’t care. Many students here agree with them being annoying and completely stupid. “I’m not the biggest fan of them,” sophomore Aubrey Camarillo said. “But then again, I don’t really care.” There are such things as cute ugly sweaters, and then there are ugly ugly sweaters. Which are the types of sweaters that are most unliked. You can really tell the difference: cute ugly sweaters are found at name brand stores whereas ugly ugly sweaters are a rare find and are

actually rarely worn. People wear sweaters around the holidays for warmth anyways, so why not make it a decoratively themed sweater, just for fun? Some students however disagree with such a statement. “I think they’re really cute, but only if they’re not too tacky,” sophomore Melissa Chamberlain said. Students may agree with Chamberlain, and may also think that wearing the sweaters is a form of showing a sort of unique taste. “They’re not everyday clothes people wear,” junior Thailer Mcleod said. “I think wearing them shows diversity and a colorful side of people.”

Most people would think that you’re only supposed to wear these kinds of sweaters around the holiday season, although I personally have seen people wearing reindeer and snowman sweaters starting as early as September. “I sometimes even wear them in July,” Chamberlain admits. Most people wear these sweaters when it’s cold outside, which is completely understandable. Except there are other warm items of clothing that are not incredibly ugly. You can go anywhere and find better sweaters than ugly ones. Although, some people don’t exactly think that certain people should even be

wearing the sweaters. “It all depends on if they can rock the look,” Camarillo said. “Sort of like some people can rock a short dress, while others really can’t.” In my opinion, no one can rock the ugly sweater look. It’s something that no one should wear. Ever. There are a lot of alternatives to wearing these sweaters that no sane person would enjoy looking at. You can wear winter coats, multiple layers, or even sweatshirts! Whether or not these sweaters are an actual fashion statement, people will continue to wear them to express their love for the holidays, or just for the weather.


NHL: Bring hockey back to Seattle Eric Walker GUEST REPORTER NHL hockey seems to be in just about every major U.S. city. Why not Seattle? We all deserve it. It is definitely possible to do it. As of right now, the only problem is that we need money and a place to play. To put it simply, no arena, no deal. A former NHL goalie, Doug Soetaert, said in a Seattle Times article that “they have to get an arena.” This sounds all too familiar; remember the Sonics arena deal plan? This is the same one and the stadium would act as a home for both professional sports teams. I believe that this sharing of stadiums would bring much more income to Seattle as well as bring the city together with the forming of a new team. Few people know that Seattle was a major city for hockey long ago. Todd Smith, a writer for, dubbed it the “Original Hockeytown USA,” because Seattle’s first hockey team, the Metropolitans, won the Stanley Cup in 1917. Hockey is alive and well in Kent with the Thunderbirds, but they are not a major league team, or close to it. If we can get an NHL team in Seattle, I think it would generate a huge fan-base based on the popularity


The Metropolians, Seattle’s old hockey team, won their World Hockey Championship in 1917.

of Kent’s team. Hockey is a great sport in my opinion, and I enjoy watching it. Many people in Seattle would too. “There are a lot of devoted fans out

here,” Soetaert said. The most important roadblock for a Seattle-based NHL team, therefore, is to get an arena built. Geoff Baker, a colum-

nist for the Seattle Times, said “What matters to the NHL is infrastructure.” So all we need to do is get people to vote on an arena and it will attract leagues such as the NHL and NBA. A new stadium could also create a new venue for concerts and other events. Some students would be thrilled to have an NHL team in Seattle. “We need a hockey team to be a major sports city. It would be absolutely fantastic and we could finally compete at the highest level in hockey. Imagine a rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle’s proposed team,” senior Jacob Spracklin said. Senior Pablo Rasales agrees. “I think it’d be pretty cool.” Junior James Hornbuckle added to the sentiment. “It would be a great new franchise in Seattle.” Here in the Northwest we all can agree that we have a great sports community with teams like the Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners. It wouldn’t hurt to bring in another professional sports team. The NHL would be a great fit here, and it might even attract an NBA team in the future. Hockey has had history in the past here and it would be great to see it alive and well today competing in the professional scene. Let’s bring professional hockey back to Seattle!



InFlight Dec 17, 2013

School clubs bring Christmas spirit Alex Vasquez STAFF REPORTER Christmas is just around the corner and Riverside is planning many interesting and exciting events for the holiday season. The Auburn Santa Parade, which took place on Saturday, Dec. 7, featured both the Marching Band and Key Club. The Marching Band played the tune “Deck the Halls” and marched alongside the Auburn community in the cold. Key Club sold hot chocolate with West Auburn during the Santa Parade. Key Club is also taking the initiative to help out those in need for the holiday season. The stocking stuffing event, which was on Wednesday, Dec. 11, gave a fun stocking filled with cool toys to help kids who wouldn’t have been able to see Santa or get into the holiday spirit without the help of their community. The hygiene drive also took place on the 11th. Another event that helps bring out the holiday spirit of giving is the annual blood drive. The blood drive is today and tomorrow. In order to donate blood, you must be 16 years of age. The blood drive is a perfect way to give during this holiday season, because it allows normal everyday students a chance to help those in need. Many charities are trying to find ways to help many local foster children and orphans. Some charities also try to collect food for the local food banks to feed local families. The food bank will have a holiday meal set for those who cannot afford food.

Along with the support Riverside has thrown behind these many amazing causes, it has also conceived many ways to make the holiday season enjoyable for all of the students here. This year a few different events will complement the holiday season, one of which is Winter Wishes, which is basically the Wishing Well from last year. This will be organized by both the R.A.K.E Club and our ASB officers.

The ASB of course has been working very hard to prepare for such things. “We work long hours; before and after school,” ASB President senior Drew Wallen said. “We’re just trying to make some positive impacts in individuals’ lives.” Any student could come and put a slip into Winter Wishes to have their one wish come true. Winter Wishes became an idea when ASB wanted to bring students together, and


also grant some wishes to students to make their days brighter and happier. In addition to Winter Wishes, there is also going to be a clothing drive. The clothing drive is where students bring in and donate jackets, gloves, and other winter essentials for the students who can’t afford such important things. This is important because some people in the world don’t have the capability to afford warm winter clothing. Riverside’s trying to help those in need for the winter holiday. The ASB is also in charge of this. “We all have a zero period now, so we can split up into committees and get planning and organizing done more efficiently,” said junior Kristi Nyguen, who is another member of the ASB. Their zero period works effectively to get work done faster for the students here. The holiday season, as we all know, is about giving. Not all the students are as fortunate as others. ASB is attempting to help give to others and be kind and caring people. “We all have blessings and not everyone is as fortunate as others, so we’re just trying to help,” Wallen said. ASB is trying its best to make our school a better place, and they’re succeeding by planning things such as Winter Wishes and the clothing drive. In a couple days, Winter Break will start, leaving many students and ASB members to reflect fondly on how they helped others in the Auburn community and spread holiday spirit throughout our school.

Seniors Nicole Coppola, Lauren Crimi and Miranda Martens lounge around before getting into character as elves for the Santa photos.

Spring musical to shake up audiences Karlee Johnson STAFF REPORTER Riverside’s annual spring musical is fast approaching. The musical is going to be All Shook Up and will be performed on March 7-9 and 14-16. All Shook Up is a 1950s musical about rock-and-roll. It is not only just a musical, but the show itself has a lot of opportunities for those who enjoy acting. A mysterious stranger in a leather jacket shakes up a small Midwestern town in 1955. It’s a story of cross-dressing mistaken identity and the romance that ensues. It was inspired by Twelfth Night and other Shakespearean comedies. Every single song played is by the one and only rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley. Presley hits included are songs such as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog” and “Love me, Tender.” Director Karla Seman believes it is a play many will enjoy. “I chose this musical because it naturally is really upbeat,” Seman said. “It has a lot of parts for both acting and singing giving those performers to have more opportunities. There is also a lot of flexibility for the choirs and the actors who perform in All Shook Up.”

The first meeting for auditions was on Nov. 21, and the auditions were on Dec. 2-5. The final cast list for the spring musical was posted on Monday Dec. 9. Seniors in acting roles performing in their last musical are Nicole Coppola, Shaun Meehan, Taylor Fairchild, Rizelle Rosales, Kyle Nacis, Mason Fox, Megan Lucchesi, Hannah Treece, and Sam Thurston. The musical has approximately eight main characters and parts for statues for their few big singing parts in the show. Besides that, a bunch of extras will be singing, dancing, and acting along to support the entire play as a whole. Although Seman will direct the play, a team of staff members help out with the production as well. Choir teacher Jonathan Stenson will aid in the singing portion, and science teacher Judith Shaw works on costume design. The dance director is Harry Turpin, and theater technician Ed Dunaway will work backstage with tech students such as senior Michalyn Thompson. According to, the author of the musical, Joe Dipietro, wanted to create a show that’s all about loving someone, no matter who they are. “It’s really about needing someone so much they rock you to your soul.”


The spring musical, All Shook Up, will have performances in March, and feature the music of Elvis Presley.

Feature 5

Auburn Riverside High School

School causes stress in teens Jude Hanno STAFF REPORTER In the morning, the alarm goes off, and the snooze button is pressed time and time again in an attempt to get one more minute of sleep. Finally, after getting dressed and ready, heading off to school is a gruesome experience. Tired eyes, Starbucks coffee, and mumbling by the first couple periods of the day. You’re tired. You’re exhausted. You’re 110% done with a day that has yet to even reach noon. You’re contemplating sleeping in classes. You’re stressed about the test in 3rd period. You’re treading water. Barely breathing through. You’re dead. You feel tired and all you want is the comfort that your bed allows, and by third period, all you want is to go to lunch to have even a little time off from the work, the tests, the lectures, and the pop quizzes. Why are students so exhausted and stressed? The answer is simple: school. According to a story from CNN, “among 13- to 17-year-olds, school is by far the most commonly mentioned source of stress.” High school has many challenges students have to face every day. When we enter as freshmen, we first don’t understand all the pressure that is being driven into us. The Huffington Post said “making the tran-

sition from middle school to high school can be a particularly daunting time. You’re suddenly thrust out of your comfort zone into a brave new world of upperclassmen, homerooms, lockers, parties and football games. It’s no surprise that a significant number of high school freshmen find the adjustment overwhelming.”

Once students reach orientation freshmen year, the pressure is on. Students, from the first day they enter the class, are asked about their future goals, as well as pushed towards taking advanced placement classes. They are told the more you take, the

better. Not only are the aforementioned AP classes important, but we are told that colleges don’t accept people with low GPAs, and that colleges don’t accept people who don’t take after-school activities. The next four years will determine the rest of your lives, they told us time and time again. Freshman Gaby Yoxtheimer believes that stress in high school “breaks down self esteem.” Freshman Hailey Wagner agrees with Yoxtheimer, and believes that high school impacts students with mental disorders negatively. Wagner also believes school causes high risk stress levels in teenagers. “You get lots of work and not a lot of time,” she said. “There are lots of activities, and when you do it all, you just don’t have the time!” Freshman Cole Brown believes he understands why high school stresses out teenagers so much. “It’s what they expect from us. You’re trying to do everything right. I’ve had so much anxiety just from school alone.” Freshmen year is just the beginning. As students progress through the years, they

get overly stressed and tired. By the time students reach their sophomore years, they have begun to lose all hope. AP classes give a lot more homework than expected, and students who participate in after school activities don’t come home until as late as 9 at night. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “about 11 percent of of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18.” If you applied that statistic to the student population at Riverside, about 175 students suffer from a depressive disorder. “Any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode.” If school is the leading cause of stress in teens, then school has more than any other impact on the depressive state of a teen who may or not be feeling depressed through genetics or through a harsh impactful traumatic episode. School’s combination of homework, grades, tests, extracurriculars, social pressures, and graduation are all factors that enable school to be the leading cause of stress for teenagers.

“Flip the Switch”: annual school themes improve togetherness Jacob Lonergan GUEST REPORTER

come back from the prank that ended up landing Riverside on the news for all the wrong reasons. Wong and the ASB at the time came up with a message to spread schoolwide.

Before Wong’s presidential senior year, Jeff Miles, part of the ASB’s executive board, thought of the message “Flip the Switch,” a simple sound bite that encapsulated the aims of the Wong’s ASB presi-

dency: encouragement of students to make a change and a 180 in their attitudes so that the school could rebound from the previous From the Michael Wong presidency, to year’s scandal and unify in the process. Drew Wallen’s reign, school togetherness The aim for the new theme was to bring has been one of the ASB’s top priorities. students together and create a positive If you’re a senior this year, you’ve environment. “I convened my ASB team heard them all: Flip the Switch, It’s Our and we decided it was time for a change,” Time, RPOE, and Rip up Your Cool Card. Wong said. The yearly slogan is still a relatively new That’s just what they did. Wong and concept, but it’s already second nature his ASB team focused on what was importo most students. In the mere four years tant: a feeling of schoolwide unity and these themes have been adopted, the comfort for every student. “If you don’t school has come together by leaps and feel safe, there’s no way you’re going to bounds. participate in school and school spirit,” Riverside used to be a bit different. Wong said. The yearly themes are now naturally inThe ASB’s new call to action was incorporated into each school year, which troduced in the first assembly at the beyears ago, hadn’t even been thought of. ginning of the 2010 school year to the new That was, until a very important freshmen and returning upperclassmen. change was made four years ago. What The message quickly stuck with students. was supposed to be a small prank by a From then on, a tradition was started small group of students toward another, to make all students feel welcome, espeturned out to be very big and very racist. cially incoming freshmen, with a simple The prank affected and offended many slogan that everbody knows to remind stustudents. dents to stand against prejudice and bul“We looked horrible in the public lying. eye,” Michael Wong, one of the masterThe tradition still carries on every minds of the yearly theme, said. This year when we walk into school and hear sparked an idea in the mind of Wong, who our new welcoming theme. One tiny PHOTO COURTESY GINA SANDLAND had just been elected as the next ASB change made four years ago will forever president. Come next year, he decided it be a part of Riverside as it blossoms into Freshman students wear the mark of Raven Pride as they venture through the school on their first day with was time for a change. an ever-growing, comforting environment the help of their Raven Crew leaders. The school was looking for ways to and a united school community.

Feature Winter Wishes grants student requests 6

InFlight Dec 17, 2013


Winter Wishes was run this year by language arts teacher Angela Rigley, and the ARHS community could join in and help It’s that time of the year again: a time out. Normally 20 or so people actually stick of giving and spending time with family and around and help out the whole entire time. friends. Winter Wishes is here to do just “It’s the best part of Christmas, thinking that. of ways to brighten someone’s day,” Rigley said. The idea of Winter Wishes started with the R.A.K.E Club (Random Acts of Kindness). At first it was just a fun idea to brighten up people’s days. Then it started to get bigger and more serious when they started to collect from students around the school. “We wanted to look past our own needs and on to others who needed something,” teacher Julie Moberg said. R.A.K.E. wanted to do something to help the immediate community, and to give back and help those who are in need. This is the third year R.A.K.E. put on Winter Wishes. To sign up for Winter Wishes, students had to fill out a form they could find at either lunches. The form allowed them to potentially give a gift anonymously to a friend/family member at this school, or even a gift for themselves. The gift could be anything school appropriate, PHOTO BY DYLAN JOHNSTON and it didn’t need to be a seri-

ous gift either. Fun and friendly joke gifts were accepted as well. For example, one year, someone asked for kisses from all of the cheerleaders, so they gave that person a bunch of Hershey Kisses. Serious gifts were also accepted. Winter Wishes uses the donations businesses give them to buy gifts for all of the people who filled out a form to participate. One way Winter Wishes raises money is by taking Santa pictures, which are only one measly

dollar. Its not too late to support Winter Wishes, by taking a picture with Santa this week. Fun gifts were handed out at the assembly last Friday. These are gifts that were written down on slips of paper and put into the well. At last year’s assembly, senior Drew Wallen sang Santa Baby to Principal Dave Halford. Other gifts will be distributed before break on Dec 20.

At the wishing well, students made wishes for themselves or fellow students.

Christmas traditions abound during holidays Student traditions vary: caroling, tree decorating, and Santa Sara Koenig GUEST REPORTER Everybody had that one odd winter tradition. Maybe it’s shopping for the perfect Christmas tree in a Christmas tree forest and cutting it down yourself. Perhaps it’s spending every snow day making a world class snow man. Some people open a present on Christmas Eve and others just their stockings. Maybe it’s putting reindeer antlers on your dog...every...single… year. It could be just giving socks to your Uncle Scott because they’re always getting lost, or maybe it’s spending the morning trying to wake up your parents. Sometimes it’s them trying to wake you up. Students all over school have their own little traditions they do around the holidays. Christmas traditions are what set the scene for Christmas spirit, without them, where would Christmas be? “We set up Christmas on Thanksgiving,” freshman Morgan Gailey said.

Some people have more common traditions than others, such as sophomore Nicole Johndrow. “Open a present on Christmas Eve, and then the rest on Christmas Day,” Johndrow said. Still, others spend their Christmas making presents by hand. “We make gifts for our family,” freshmen Evangelina Shvetc said. Commonly known traditions are the kiss under the mistletoe, Christmas caroling, and believing in Santa Claus. In a recent poll of students, only 2 percent had ever kissed under the mistletoe. People are 50/50 on believing that Christmas caroling is either fun or annoying and 80 percent stopped believing in Santa during elementary school with the other 20 percent quitting during middle school. Most people also decorate Christmas trees, and in different ways: some with colorful lights on an evergreen fir, others with artificial snow and glittering ornaments. There are unlimited combinations of golden ribbons, colorful rainbows, or strings of popcorn or candy canes. Beneath its branches goes the best part of it all—the presents. Winter sports are another common tradition among students, skiing and snowboarding being the most common, along with ice hockey and ice skating.

Of the students interviewed, only about 60 percent practice winter sports. A majority of the students who practice winter sports do skiing and snowboarding. Only a shocking 5 percent of those who practice winter sports do ice hockey or ice skating. Not everyone even celebrates Christmas. Though the celebration of the holiday is more common in our school than others, some students celebrate Hanukkah, which is Jewish; Diwali, which is Hindu; Eid, which is Muslim; or one of the many other holidays celebrated that are also similar to Christmas. It doesn’t really matter what you celebrate, as long as you have a merry holiday season, and a happy New Year. PHOTOS COURTESY CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE, FLICKR.COM

Auburn Riverside High School

Arts & Entertainment


McDonald’s McDonald’s is known for a lot of their menu items, but many people don’t even know they serve hot chocolate. For only $2, you can get a twelve ounce, and if I’d known how good it was, I would’ve gotten a large. It was perfect warm temperature and served with whipped cream and a nice chocolate drizzle. Not to mention, the cup it came in was a cute red Christmas one. Holding a spirited Christmas cup is way better than holding a plain one, everyone knows that. It was plenty chocolatey and sweet, just perfect. Plus, all McDonald’s always have easy access, since they’re all around town. Some are even 24 hours, so if you are craving a drink at 2 a.m., you can go get one.

panera One of the best places I got hot chocolate was Panera. It was a little hot, but it wasn’t expensive and it was good. Not to mention, Panera has some of the best coldweather foods like soup and warm bagels. It was not too sweet, not too bitter, and served with whipped cream and chocolate. The most disappointing thing about it was that it was served in a plain Panera cup, white and boring. It didn’t make me feel the Christmas spirit. Who would’ve guessed that Christmas spirit would be one of the most important ingredients in a good cup of hot chocolate.


One drink that there’s little to no debate over—hot chocolate. Unlike some seasonal drinks like pumpkin spice lattes or eggnog, mostly everyone loves chocolate, and it’s available almost all year round, especially in the cold season. Every chocolate has its own flavor and its own tiny details that make it extra delicious.

Big Foot Java If there was an award for cheap and delicious, Big Foot Java would take the cake. You can get a 20 ounce drink for under three dollars. It’s not really anything special, there’s no special ingredient, it wasn’t even served with whipped cream or that special chocolate drizzle. However, nothing is quite as good as cheap cocoa. It’s so cold outside that anything remotely warm practically gets chugged down instantly, so it’s not like anyone takes the time to savor every sip. Big Foot, unlike other competitors, have fast and effecient drive-throughs too. Warm, chocolatey, fast service, and cheap, the perfect combo.

Starbucks A lot of different types of hot cocoa taste the same, which makes sense. It’s really just milk and chocolate powder mix. Even with two ingredients, Starbucks still has a really unique type of drink. It’s chocolatey and rich, but the chocolate is almost a little bitter, like dark chocolate. It’s still really good, and served with whipped cream at request. One thing Starbucks will always have going for them are their Christmas cups; everyone knows they’re the best. The unveiling of the cups is practically a national holiday. It symbolizes Christmas. Waiting in a ten car drive-through is totally worth a little taste of Starbuck’s hot cocoa.


Arts & Entertainment

InFlight Dec 17, 2013

Disney’s Frozen dazzles Mackenzie Brown EDITOR-IN-CHEIF Frozen came out in theaters for the holidays, and watching it was the best way to start off the holiday season. By far, it was one of the best movies of 2013. It had an actual plot, unlike most Disney movies, and a good one at that. Frozen tells the story of Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, a princess in the town of Arendelle, and her quest alongside ice-salesman Kristoff, reindeer Sven, and snowman Olaf, as they try to rescue her sister Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, from isolation. Elsa, born with the ability to freeze just about anything, is pushed into the mountains by the people of Arendelle after she accidently turns the town’s summer into winter, with her powers. The best focus of the movie was the plot. It was actually detailed, there were plot twists, and it made sense. Some parts it seemed that events in the story would appear pointless, but everything in Frozen came back to connect in the end. I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped more than twice—at a Disney movie. Usually, movies about princesses tend to be aimed towards ten-year-olds, but this was fantastic. Not only that,

but it was funny. Not wow-that-was-stupid funny or it’s-so-cute-it’s-funny funny, but genuinely, laugh out loud, hilarious. Frozen is also cutely romantic. It doesn’t overly push the idea that every


aven uling

Students share their opinion on current topics and pop culture

Candy Canes


The sweet and savory stick of candy is liked by most students here. As we near Christmas day, candy canes are enjoyed by more people to bring on the holiday cheer.

Christmas Music


Not only does this music bring holiday cheer, it’s also incredibly catchy! Students have been listening to Christmas music since mid-November in order to bring on the holiday spirit!

princess finds a prince or anything like that. In fact, there’s a little heartbreak and betrayal in the movie. When the first song hit, I was worried that Frozen would appear to be a lot more of a musical than a movie. There were a lot of songs, which is expected from a Disney movie, but by the seventh or eighth, it still didn’t seem like too much. Why? Because they were good songs. Like the kind of songs you go home and secretly put on your iPod without telling anyone. There are no weak characters in the movie. No one plays a part that seems unimportant. Some are serious, some are evil, some are dorky, and one can’t even talk. Still, they are all important. Most modern day Disney movies will never compare to the classics. Most. Frozen, however, belongs at the top of the list. Way at the top.

Ugly Sweaters

66% Uggs


Not only are ugly sweaters incredibly warm, they’re also incredibly cute! Students around campus are excited that the cold weather is finally here so they can snuggle up in a warm sweater.

These fashionable boots stirred up quite the debate here. With most girls rocking their boots this winter, Uggs Australian boots don’t fit into the equation.

ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas


Christmas movies of every type are displayed in this holiday cheer TV event that students apparently love to watch!



MySpace became uncool, Facebook’s becoming uncool. Google+? It was never cool. Many students yell out a loud “NO!” when asked what they thought about this lame social networking site.

Auburn Riverside High School

Arts & Entertainment


Zoolights add sparkle to Christmas spirit Karlee Johnson STAFF REPORTER Every year around the holiday season, tons of people like to go and see what the Christmas lights look like. There are a bundle of places where you are able to see them. Whether they’re around your neighborhood or in a place you pay to get in to, their are a host of places to see the wonderful Christmas lights displays. The place I went to was Zoolights. Zoolights is at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma. Overall, the whole experience is more for the little kids who go with their families. I was open to going, because I have only heard good things about others who went in the past years. The cost to get in the park area wasn’t expensive at all: it was only $9 at the gate, and you can go and buy tickets at a store such as Fred Meyer, where there are a little bit cheaper. The cost at the front gate also included many extra attractions in addition to Zoolights. These included watching Santa swim with the sharks and many other activities that are largely geared toward younger patrons. The park hours are 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., which is an ample time frame for taking in the lights. It honestly wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting to go and see a bunch of animals along with the Christmas lights

that they had up. Although the lights they did have up were very bright and wonderful, I was more disappointed in the fact that there weren’t that many animals I was able to see. Besides that, it was fun. They were also offering rides on camels and they had their famous carousel open for all ages in the park. I would recommend it if you were going with your family or a group. I have really young cousins and they absolutely loved it. I didn’t like the fact that it was extremely cold, so one thing to remember is to dress warmly because not everything is inside. Zoolights was really fun. It is open until Jan. 5 and is closed on only Dec. 24, and open on Christmas Day at 6:00 p.m. The park itself is asking for donations for Christmas lights. They don’t want the thousands of lights that end up at the landfill every year to go to waste. You are able to drop off the lights in bins that are set up throughtout the park, or in the main entrance of the park.


The Zoolights Christmas light show is presented at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. It is open in the evenings from 6:00 to 9:00, and will remain open until Jan. 5. It will be closed on Christmas Eve, but open on Christmas Day.

Fantastic Allegiant completes Divergent triology Deck The Hall Ball Sara Koenig GUEST REPORTER With the long-awaited Allegiant, Veronica Roth concludes her thrilling trilogy she began with Divergent, which was first published in 2011. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Roth’s action/adventure/romance/sci-fi/dystopian/satire/postapocalyptic saga follows the story of Beatrice, or Tris Prior, who is a divergent, or a person who has all the traits that her society celebrates: peacefulness, intelligence, honesty, selflessness, and bravery, while most people only have one of those traits and are divided on that basis. I really loved this book! The characters are impeccable, and feel and act like real people put through the situations they must handle. I especially digged the character Caleb, Tris’ brother, because of his complicated relationship and mysterious motives that change unpredictably as the novel unfolds. For a teen romance, Allegiant has a lot of teen romance that is very good and convincing. The love between Tris and Tobias is very well told. I also loved the supsense of the novel, as the author’s writing style really puts you in the shoes of the characters and right into the action. Peril permeates and punctuates each page

of this pulse-pounding, prescient, partially perplexingly complex piece of prose. This book is a definite-page turner. Of course, you can’t talk about how great the final book in a series is without mentioning the previous entries. I would venture to call Roth’s trilogy one of the fin-

est around for the young adult audience both in this decade and in general. It eschews the awful dreck of the supernatural romance that’s been peddled to popular acclaim in recent years, and instead exploits the dystopian teen romance market that has become very popular of late. This book specifically retains the melancholy atmosphere created in the first two novels, especially towards the end, and makes it both satisfying and unnerving as our protagonists triumph and fail in equal measure. Some people compare this trilogy to the Hunger Games, but I never thought that that trilogy was as thrilling as this trilogy, largely due to there being a lot more surprising plot twists and more investing characters. You especially pull for Tris and her friends and loved ones as you reach the novel’s end. You really hope they’ll be okay. Allegiant also works as a dystopian novel, and I should know because I love dystopian fiction. Dystopian novels are books about nightmarish, strict societies, like the Hunger Games or the classic Among the Hidden books by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The world Roth creates is suitably oppressive and haunting, which helps you empathize with the characters even more. Allegiant is a masterful, heartbreaking, and potent tale of friendship, love, betrayal and hope that will enthrall all those who submit to its power.


Deck the Hall Ball 2013 was awesome! A lot of good bands showed up to Key Arena, including the Arctic Monkeys, Churches, Foals, Lorde, Alt-J, the Head and the Heart, Phoenix, and Vampire Weekend. The stadium was filled with people, and the sound in there was great. The bands who really killed it were the Arctic Monkeys and Phoenix because they knew how to put on a great show. The Head and the Heart were good as well, and had a lot of power in their songs. Another great performance on the electric side was Alt-J, whose unique sound was a definite hit. Vampire Weekend’s always-original and always-slightly-off style meant that not all of their songs translated perfectly to the large venue, but those that did absolutely killed. By far, I think that Phoenix was the best performance in the concert. In the beginning they had technical difficulties, so they had to improvise one of their songs with just singing and a guitar (which was a severe, but successful departure for the electro-alternative band). They came through after that, delivering the songs and style audiences have come to expect from them in grand fashion. All in all, the concert was a great experience and I would recommend going to Deck the Hall Ball 2014!


Auburn Riverside High School


Boys Swim






The boys swim and dive is starting a new season this winter. The team wants to have a good season and win many meets. They lost a lot of seniors last year who played a huge part in bringing the success of the team. They are going to try to maintain the skills they had from last year. The boys swim coach this year is science teacher Mike Van Eaton. He has been an assistant coach for 10 years and this year is his first time being head coach. Van Eaton has played a huge role in the success of the swim team in the past by being an assistant coach. Now, he has the opportunity to take on the whole new level of coaching. Van Eaton has some important goals he wants to accomplish this season. “We need to improve our times to be very competitive,” he said. He also thinks swimming is an individual competition and we need improvements on endurance. Van Eaton plans to accomplish these goals by training his swimmers to work harder for longer periods of time. He prepared for the season by working on technique, and now he is coaching endurance. Van Eaton understands what it takes to be a coach. There are two freshmen on the team and more people can still join the team. Some key players on the team are senior Jace Davey, junior Eriik Snyder, and senior Robby Iverson. The team is hoping for some individuals and relays to make it to State and win this year. They are also hoping to have a good league season and to be very competitive. With the success the swim team faced last year, it will be a hard act to follow, but the players are giving it their all to hopefully make the season best it can be and play the best they can. The team travels to Kentlake this afternoon for a meet at 3:30 p.m. After that, although they’ll be practicing most of Winter Break, they won’t have a meet until Jan. 7, when they take on T.J.

It’s that time of year again for the competitive sport of wrestling. Dedicated wrestlers are ready for the new season to begin. Career counselor Steve Mead and history teacher Shawn Martinson are co-coaching the wrestling team this season. Martinson has many high expectations for this year. He wants the wrestlers to get as much mat time as possible and just get overall experience. Martinson also believes this year will be a year of improvement. “Last year, we had a lot of seniors and now we have a really young squad,” he said. “It’s a hard sport, but they’re really talented and there’s so much potential to be successful.” Martinson knows that some key players will bring success to the team. He mentioned seniors Todd Houston and James Smith, junior Landon Stockton, and sophomore Gabe Tugade. Mead’s goals for this season are for improvement from the players every week and that they have a full 28-player team for SPSL competition. An important asset to the team is senior Larkin Williams. He was a two-time state competitor and a three-time lettermen. Mead has been a wrestling coach from 1991 until now. Martinson has been co-head coach since 2008. The wrestling team has been preparing incredibly hard for their wrestling season. You can see them running in the hallways after school and practicing wrestling in different areas on campus. The Ravens take on Mount Rainier and Kent Meridian in a double dual meet tomorrow starting at 5:00 p.m. They’ll travel to Renton for the Lindbergh Invitational on Saturday, Dec 21.

Girls B-ball Eric Walker GUEST REPORTER Women’s basketball looks to have a great season this year by hard work and dedication. Assistant coach Julie Moberg said the team is “working hard on building a program, not only for varsity, but for JV and C team as well.” The team is going to try new training methods to hopefully increase the chances of winning as well as improving the players individually. New head coach Derek Pegram, who is excited to see how well the teams do this year, said “We are preparing by making practices very competitive. We want the girls to get used to competition every day in practice.” The dedication by the head coach means the players will be working harder to improve their skills. The team is more focused on being good themselves rather than studying their opponents. “It’s about us getting ready to play,” Pegram said. “It’s not about the other team. We’ll beat ourselves before we beat them.” There’s a lot of pressure for players to get better individually. The goal is for improvement and beating their own personal motivations. There’s a lot of dedication this year with both the players and the coaches. The new coaching staff is quite a combo with Moberg being Pegram’s old teacher when he was a Raven student. Moberg said that it is really cool to have him as a coach but they are getting used to switched up roles. The team faces Kentwood tonight at home, and will also be home on Friday against Emerald Ridge.

Boys B-ball Jacob Lonergan GUEST REPORTER Boys basketball is set to follow its fellow Riverside sports teams’ winning records for their current season. James Brown is the head coach this year, and he’s going to be using his experience to his advantage. Brown has coached five different schools including Riverside, and played on three different teams himself. Joining Brown is assistant varsity coach Earl Taylor, who has served as an assistant for many seasons. The team has many experienced players as well. Senior Joshua Turner is giving his all this year so he and his teammates can get to the playoffs and, soon after, State. Senior Derek Brown, a leader on the team, is similarly excited to play this season, calling his team “one of the best teams I’ve played with, not because of skill, but chemistry.” Brown thinks that players buying into the program will surely have success. Brown is averaging 27 points a game. He scored 34 (so did junior Mitch Wetmore) in the first game of the season against Capital High. The boys have played five games as of today. They were 3-1 as of press time last week; they fell to the Tahoma Bears on Dec. 10, wasting a 32-point performance by Brown. Results of the games against Kentridge and Bonney Lake were not available, taking place after InFlight went to press. The boys go up against Kentwood tonight at 7:30 p.m. They won’t play again until Dec. 28, during Winter Break, in a nonconference game against White River at 4:30 p.m. A conference game against Mount Rainier follows that, on Jan 3 at 7:30 p.m.

The gymnastics team is planning on having a successful season and are working hard towards their goals for this year. With so many past successes, it will be hard to beat last year’s team, but the gymnasts for this season are hopeful they can improve. This year’s captains are juniors Hannah Wilson and Emily Polkow. Polkow’s goals for this season include the team getting better as an entire group of gymnasts. Her major goals are to “get to State as a team and hope that everyone improves.” Polkow also has some individual things she would like to improve on from last year. “I’ll be working as hard as I can and getting help from my coach,” she said. The coaches this year are Cathy Robinson and Natalie Hackry. This is Robinson’s 7th year coaching, and with some hard work, she has been able to help the Ravens find success. Robinson plans on improving her team this year as well. Gymnastics’ biggest goal this season is to make it to districs and compete there as well as they can. Last year, the team made it to the South Puget Sound League Sub-district meet, and both Wilson and Polkow competed. Wilson finished 34th with a score of 29.600. This year, the entire team hopes to improve and do even better than they did last year. Tomorrow, the team makes its way to Kent to compete against the Kentridge Chargers at 7:00 p.m. On Thursday, the J.V. will attend an invitational meet at Kentlake.



InFlight Dec 17, 2013

Leverenz earns WIAA Hall of Fame position, our respect Cameron Fairchild GUEST REPORTER


ing Leverenz was a no-brainer. “Chris was nominated due to her Over fifteen years passion for the sport as head coach. More and her success,” he than 300 recorded wins. said. “She has been A member of the Washan outstanding role ington State Coaches model and coach for Association. A signifiboth the programs at cant contributor to the Auburn Riverside and development of high Auburn High School.” school volleyball. An Leverenz did beintegral member of our gin a near-30 year schoolwide community. career in the field of Head volleyball high school coaching coach Christine Leat Auburn High as an verenz’s many years of assistant in 1983, but service and numerous has dedicated the accomplishments have majority of her time netted her a spot in the Coach Christine Leverenz coaching, 19 years, to Washington InterschoRiverside. Though she lastic Activities Association’s Volleyball Coach Hall of Fame, which is currently serving as Dean of Students for she was inducted into at the State Volley- Mt. Baker Middle School, she returned this year as head varsity coach and promises to ball tournament this year. Volleyball Coaches Association member do so for many more years. “As of right now my plans are to conAnthony Batinovich claimed that nominat-

tinue coaching at Auburn Riverside until I get too old to do that,” she said. “My decision regarding when I am done coaching will depend on whether or not I am still having an impact on student-athletes.” According to many of Leverenz’s student-athletes, that impact is still greatly felt. Senior Sydnie LaValley had nothing but praise for her coach, citing her commitment to the team and concluding that she inspired her to achieve success in more fields than just volleyball. Senior Austyn Lawrenson felt similarly. “She is an amazing coach,” she said. “She always gives her best for you, so you want to give your best for her.” Leverenz’s coaching style was commonly cited by her athletes and colleagues as one of her greatest strengths.

“She was high energy and had a really specific program,” P.E. and Health teacher Julie Moberg said. In Leverenz’s own words, she is a strong disciplinarian in practice, but she also uses humor to keep things light. “Student-athletes need to be able to understand where their coach is coming from,” she said. “I believe if players respect their coach they will work that much harder.” Clearly, Christine Leverenz’s place in the WIAA Hall of Fame was well-earned.


InFlight December 2013  

The student newspaper of Auburn Riverside High School