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Volume 73 Issue 4 • Crown Point High School • 1500 S. Main Street Crown Point, IN 46307 •

• Friday December 19, 2008

Tomorrow’s forecast High 32° Low 19°

More clouds than sun. 10 percent chance of precipitation.

Robo Dogs get $4700 grant from foundation By Anna Ortiz / graphics editor The Crown Point Community Foundation recently awarded the Robo Dogs with a monetary grant of $4,700. The money will go toward the Robo Dogs many expenses of keeping the club running and operating. “I like to fund things that connect kids and their community, as well as help further their education. That’s what [the Crown Point Community Foundation] does, we find a worthwhile project and then we provide them a grant to fund it,” director Pat Huber said. Robo Dogs, an organization that builds robots for high school robotics competitions, was founded two years ago by industrial technology teacher Mark Querry. While students and mentors make up the team, funding is necessity of the club. “It takes $30,000 in order to put the team through two regional competitions and one national competition,” Querry said. Other organizations have also given funding in the past. In the first year the Robo Dogs received $5,000 from the Indiana Program of Workforce Development and a second donation of $7,500 the next year; and NASA donated $6,000 two years in a row through the NASA Robotics Alliance Program. “Being recognized by NASA is an honor. It’s amazing that something small like a high school club would be recognized by a company known worldwide,” freshman Robo Dogs member Brandon Jaworski said. Sponsors also give their time, materials, and services. “Local businesses and auto supply stores supply small parts as well as materials such as aluminum tubing for making pieces we need, and machine shops donate their time to make different parts for us. Mechanical and electrical engineers mentor the team too. In addition, we get several donated tools and equipment, as well as food for our workdays,” Querry said. Expenses for the Robo Dogs can get weighty with ranges in the thousands with competion entry fees between $4,000 and $5,000 and $2000 for a kit to build a robot. “Without [the sponsors’] donations we couldn’t run Robo Dogs. Whether it’s the little guys donating nuts and bolts to the big guys giving grants, they are all very valuable to us. We always make sure we thank each and everyone of them for their donations,” Querry said. Yet hard economic times present some future troubles for the organization’s funds. “The economy might make us get smaller grants, but I’m sure we can make up for it through fundraisers,” sophomore Brandon Steve said.

Teenage Wasteland

Best of 2008

Teens find alternative ways to waste less and reuse more.

A look back at the best moments of the news, television, and music.

pg. 6

pg. 7

S’s a secret Post piques curiosity about secrets.


pg. 10

From the high school halls to holiday sales at the malls, protect yourself from theft this season


s shoppers rush to secure the last minute items on their lists, they should take steps to keep those purchases secure. During the shopping season and due to the economic hard times, incidences of theft are projected to increase. A recent large-scale survey of the ethical standards of U.S. high school students showed that 30 percent of teenagers have stolen before, and onefifth has stolen from a friend. While these statistics may seem surprising, theft occurs frequently within our own school. “On an average, theft happens three times a week. But there has been some weeks where it is one or two per day,” School Resource Officer Chuck Noonan said. “My iPod got stolen about a month ago during first hour by another student,” junior Thomas Vanderplough said. According to Noonan, iPods are the most commonly stolen items. Many students think their electronic devices are safe, but every time one is used in class, people notice and can take it later.  “I keep my electronic devices with me at all times so they don’t get stolen,” junior Katrina Klingberg said.  “We look in to it as much as possible [to get the item back],” Noonan said.  Teachers are also affected by thieving, from smaller items like calculators to more expensive items like laptops.  Some teachers have thought of unconventional methods to ensure their property isn’t taken.  “One thing that I started last year that worked extremely well is gluing scientific calculators on wood blocks. There is always an unprepared student in class in need of a calculator the day of a test or quiz. The blocks were used merely as

a reminder that the calculator is mine and not theirs,” science teacher Andrew Shih said. Though theft in school is common, stealing also frequently occurs in malls and stores. With the holiday season in full swing and the current state of the economy, crimes like purse snatching or theft from vehicles increase.  Busy holiday shoppers can become easy targets for thieves.  However, there are some preventative measures to take.  For example, making several trips back to your car SAFETY prevents carrying around too many shopping bags and losing track of some of them.  It also makes the shopper less of a target for theft.  When putting the packages in the trunk, for instance, cover them with a blanket to 1. Never set anyconceal them. thing down and Another thing to keep in mind when shopping, walk away. especially in larger cities such as Chicago or Indianapolis, is being wary of strangers trying to sell 2. Be aware of items.  At this time of year, con artists distract passeryour surroundbys with a fake sales pitch while taking money or ings. belongings from them. 3. Travel in pairs, Whether in school or shopping, the key to especially at night. preventing thieving is being aware of surroundings and not forgetting any personal items. 4. Drive de“[The experience] taught me not to leave my things fensively. The around,” Vanderplough said. parking spot isn’t Noonan said that there are some simple steps that worth it. can keep shoppers safer, both from theft and other 5. Tensions run threats to their person. He says to always be aware of high this time one’s surroundings and never leave a package or purse of year. Be the unattended, even in a shopping cart. When a shopper bigger person and gets distracted it is easier for a thief to steal items. don’t aggravate Although the loss of material items can be costly, situations. nothing is worth risking one’s personal safety. Noonan said to always trust one’s instincts and walk away from 6. If you sense potential conflicts. something is not right near your car “People can get cranky this time of year. No parking don’t get in--go spot or place in line is worth it--be the bigger person get help. and avoid arguments. It will be better in the long run,” Noonan said. *from Officer Chuck Noonan


Story by Deanna Sheafer / copy editor

Dual class credits available next school year By Kelly Rostin / reporter Imagine doing work in high school, but getting credit for a similar college class. Instead of taking pre-calculus in high school and having to retake it in college, the work counts the same as if the student had taken it on a college campus. This means that students can have the opportunity to have college offered to them at a cheaper cost. These are some incentives that will come about from the new dual credit classes plan. Starting next year, students can get both high school and college credit for some classes they take. While this incentive will only be available for certain classes, principal Dr. Eric Ban feels that it will be a good plan to implement. “This will offer college at a smaller cost

to students. It will also make a student feel good to receive a college transcript while they are still in high school,” Ban said. Right now, Purdue Calumet is one of the colleges that will work in conjunction with the high school for the dual credit courses. Other colleges that may be in on the plan next school year include Indiana University Northwest and Ivy Tech. “The big picture is that students are able to perform at college level, so we shouldn’t make them wait,” Ban said. English teacher Deb Ciochina says that the dual credit opportunity will bring about positive incentives to the students who take part in it. “Anytime you can bank college credit before going to college its like putting money in your pocket,” Ciochina said. “This could make college more affordable for students.”

Ban also believes that the plan will inspire and encourage students to get a college diploma. “The state of Indiana ranks 44 out of 50 in the percent of people over 25 years old with a bachelor’s degree; we’re behind, and we need to find a way to motivate students to get their diplomas,” he said. Ciochina agrees. “This is an exciting opportunity for students,” Ciochina said. “It puts them in the driver’s seat for their future education.” Although earning the early credit is a plus, students recognize the more immediate benefit to their pocketbook. “I like the idea of high schools offering dual-credit courses for free because you earn credit for college in a free class rather than paying for it in the future,” sophomore Andy VandenBerg said.


save the date


School Resumes


Semester Final Exams; Half Days


No School; Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Beginning of Second Semester


Half Day of School


Spring Group Picture Day

in the know

ISTEP scores rise in math and English The sophomore ISTEP scores released Dec. 5 show an increase in both math and English. Math scores saw 3 percent more students passing (for a total of 84 percent) than last year, and English scores rose 1 percent (to bring the total to 82 percent passing). These numbers are well above the state averages pass rates of 74 percent in math and 71 percent in English.

Industrial Tech receives donations Subaru of Merrillville recently donated four vehicles to the Industrial Technology department. The family owned dealership, formerly located in Lynwood, Illinois, is Chicagoland’s oldest Subaru dealership, and has been doing business for over 30 years. With its Donate-A-Car Program the dealership has been donating wagons, SUV’s, and sedans to area high schools since 2001. The Crown Point High School Industrial Technology department, headed by Scott Rettig, will use the four donated vehicles for research in car mechanics. The vehicles will mainly be used for education in beginning shop classes and are hoped to help students better understand braking technology, as well as cooling systems.

Performance benefits Animal Shelter The student group Stray Dogs Improv Club will perform Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. to benefit the Lake County Animal Shelter. Admittance is $5 or a small bag of dog food. All proceeds will be donated to the animal shelter. Patrons should enter through the fine arts entrance and proceed to the theatre department’s black box. The club’s sponsor is Don Bernacky.

Financial Aid Night planned Parents and college bound students are invited to attend the annual Financial Aid Night on Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. A finanacial aid official from Purdue University Calumet will explain FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application procedures and Centier Bank will sponsor a Scholarship Fair. For more information contact the guidance department.

Debate team competes at LaPorte Junior Mava Malik and sophomore Faiza Javed earned third place as they debated whether the social networking sites have a positive impact on the United States. Junior varsity Lincoln-Douglas debater Emily Dick earned fourth place debating whether felons ought to retain the right to vote. Freshmen James Vavek, Sophie Fleszewski, and Paul Kendall also earned points for the team. Judges were Jim Kendall, Michele Vavrek, Cody Renynolds, and coach Janna Carney.


December 19, 2008

Students give back for holidays Classes, organizations donate to local charities By Brenna Wermers / executive editor The holidays are a time of giving. This year, students sacrificed not only their time, but also their wallets to help make the season a little brighter for local needy families. Hundreds of students at CPHS participated in holiday gift drives and donations. Deb Ciochina’s English classes took part in the Adopt-a-Family Program. Ciochina has been involved in this program for over 20 years. Adopta-Family is a charity organization that runs through the St. Clare Health Clinic at St. Anthony Medical Center. “This year, we are taking care of five families. [The students] divide into groups, and purchase clothing, shoes, pajamas, toys, books, school supplies, household supplies and groceries for the families,” she said. “ We collected over 200 gifts.” Not only did Ciochina’s own 120plus students participate, but also members of the football team, Thespian Society and Key Club. Senior Kyle Land represented both his English class and the Thespian Society. “There are a lot of teens who are willing to help, but they just don’t how. Adopt-a-Family is a good organization,” Land said. “People have hard times, and people should really help. Christmas is supposed to be happy and full of memories. This helps them from having to go without that.” These students are not the only ones willing to lend a hand to the less fortunate this holiday season. The National Honor Society annually participates in the Angel Tree Program. This program follows children whose wishes are met by students who volunteer to donate money and gifts to the cause. This was the first year that the project went school wide. It brought together 34 classes, two clubs, and two other teachers in granting the wishes of kids in need. “The students really wanted to do as much as possible with this project. This was totally their doing,” NHS sponsor and English teacher Ashley Monroe said. “With daily news stories of job cuts and a hurting economy, that really makes a strong statement about the

Sophomores Travis Woosley, Evan Wilson, Scott Hannon and Cody Pickett wrap gifts in the cafeteria for the Adopt-a-Family program. Hundreds of students participated in school-sponsored gift drives. teachers and students of CPHS.” Junior Tuba Mirza participated along with her first hour class. “Even though I’m not Christian, I still have a giving spirit. I want those less fortunate to have a good Christmas, and we have to help them, because of what we have.” Ciochina found the outpouring of donations heartwarming. “It is fantastic to see so many generous and caring students,” she said. “Every year I am in awe of their willingness to help and of their enjoyment in doing so. The power of committed students is mighty.” Ciochina also thinks that participation in these programs teaches students

important lessons. “Reaching out to other people teaches compassion, empathy and integrity,” she said. “Anyone can make a difference to others. Anyone can act with humanity. We must do this.” Monroe said that this activity is a great reminder to the joy of giving. “It also reminds us that each person has something to give. The presents that these angels receive are not the only gift,” Monroe said. “The ultimate gift is knowing that someone who doesn’t even know you went out of his way and made a sacrifice so that you might find joy during this holiday season. It’s about kindness and respect for other human beings.”

Beauty and the Beast cast announced Much-anticipated musical preparing to open in March By Ani Tarailo/ guest writer The theater department would like all to “Be our guest” to the musical this spring. Last week, auditions were held for the spring production, Beauty and the Beast. The cast list has been posted, so now all involved are start ing to prepare for the task of performing a Disney classic. Senior Andjela Tarailo and junior Anna Bucci are double cast as the role of Belle, the smart young beauty who wants more than life in a “provincial town.” Seniors Kyle Land and Stephen Hubbell will be playing the Beast, actually a prince who was transformed into a terrifying beast by an enchantress for his lack of compassion towards others. The arrogant villian Gas-

ton will be played by senior Ethan Breightweiser, followed by junior Matt Smith as his sidekick, LeFou. Senior Aaron Fleming will be portraying Belle’s inventor father Maurice. When the enchantress transformed the prince into a beast she also transformed all those in the Prince’s castle into enchanted objects. Cogsworth the clock will be played by senior Trevor St. Aubin. His partner-in-crime, Lumiere the candlestick, is double cast with juniors Blake Zolfo and Lucas Groff. In addition, senior Chrissy Kvachkoff and junior Emma Baker are double cast as the maternal and loving enchanted teapot, Mrs. Potts. Her adorable son Chip will be played by senior Lauren Gullett. Babette, the sassy feather duster, will be played by junior Cally Kline

and senior Kathryn Papamihalakis will play the dramatic wardrobe. Senior Jason Ban will be the evil Monsieur D’Arque. Finally, silly girls #1, 2, and 3 will be seniors Lindsay Hasse, Becky Cygan, and Natasha Boyd, respectively, with seniors Marissa Feliciano, Simone Favor, and junior Brenna Wermers as additional silly girls. The Ensemble includes seniors Chelsea Gyure, Taylor Sykes, Liz Ladowicz, Hannah DeLaughter, Scarlett Walden, Nikkole Stagowski, Andrew Scibbe; juniors Cori Novelli, Amanda Reid, Ethan Gresham, Justin Budde, Ryan Ternes, Stevan Polacek, Anthony Rettig, Sarah Ballas, Andrew Cook; sophomores Kelly Rostin, Kristen Overbey, Tara Durant, Lexi Diamond, Cassie Marshall, Patrick Kvachkoff, Fahad

Ahmed, Derek Hutchingson; and freshmen Briley Masolak, Todd Aulwurm, Ethan DeLaughter, Joe Favia, Katrina Zdanowicz, , Taylor Passine, and Paul Kendall. The musical includes familiar songs like “Be Our Guest,” and “Tale as Old as Time,” that can be heard in the Disney movie. In addtion, the production also includes songs exclusive to the musical version, like “Home,”sung by Belle, and “If I Can’t Love Her,” which is sung by the Beast. Performances are scheduled for March 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 at 7 pm and March 8 at 2:30 pm in the CPHS Auditorium. Tickets will be able to be purchased a couple of weeks before the show opens. The days of the double cast actors and actresses will be announced at a later date.

December 19, 2008

Are gift cards a risky purchase?



Tough economic times closing local businesses taking a


Steve & Barry’s

Steve & Barry’s filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy back in August. All Indiana stores will remain open besides for the Marion, Ind. location. Illinois will be closing eight Steve & Barry’s stores.


Borders have been closing their bookstores that have not earned enough profit. The current Hobart location will not be affected. However, Borders plans on closing 5 of its locations nationwide.

Circuit City

Circuit City plans to close 155 stores that are underperforming or no longer a good fit for the company. They also aren’t opening at least ten locations that were scheduled to open this year.

Disney Store

The Disney Store announced in May that they would be closing 98 of their U.S. stores.

By Michele Bates/ news editor As the economy continues to struggle, some consumers are reluctant to buy gift cards this holiday season. Many stores across the area have announced closings due to the downturn in our economy. Value City recently filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in October. The chain has been in business since 1917. They will be closing 66 of their stores, including the current department store in Merrillville. According to a press release, Value City decided to close their stores because of the downturn of the economy. Another factor was the high gas prices. Merrillville’s Value City has been holding a sale for such items as apparel, shoes, and electronics. The sale has been going on for several weeks. Though prices are reduced from 50 to 70 percent off, the chain is still allowing consumers to use any gift cards they may have. The store will officially be closing its doors this Wednesday. A Value City manager declined to comment. “I go to Value City to buy shoes and shirts. Value City is cheaper and more affordable,” freshman Alex Vercera said. Linens ‘n Things announced in May that they would be closing all of their 120 stores across the nation including the Schererville location. According to a press release, the chain filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and received $700 million for both back to school and holiday merchandise. The press release stated that Linens ‘n Things did see an improvement in sales in 2006. However, the current state of the economy forced the chain to close. A Linens ‘n Things manager was

Leaving a legacy

Photo By Georgia Otte

Stores like Value City have filed for bankruptcy due to unemployment and high gas prices. Other stores such as Linens ‘n Things have announced stores closings across the nation. unavailable for comment. Despite these tough economic times, gift cards are predicted to be a popular gift and most will still be accepted. According to PR News Channel, gift cards are expected to sell more than books, CDs, and DVDs during the holidays. In order to encourage consumers to buy gift cards, some businesses have been introducing new types of gift cards for the holidays. The popular movie ticket retailer, Fandango, is now offering movie ticket gift cards. The Fandango gift cards can be

Seniors Maggie Rivera and Kelsey Drasga work on their Legacy project during teacher Deb Ciochina’s sixth hour class. The senior AP English classes have been working on the project (a book to be published early in 2009) that is based on the six C’s.

as Visa and American Express) can be used at any store that accepts credit cards. However, an American Express gift card loses $2 a month if it not used a year after it was issued. Unfortunately, the Visa gift card has tighter rules. After six months, a Visa gift card deducts $2.50 from a consumer’s gift card. If one does purchase a gift card during the holidays, it is important to ask for a receipt for the gift card. Also, make sure to check and see if there is any locations the gift card is not accepted at.

Senior AP English students work on project: a book based on the six C’s By Megan Binder / editor-inchief

Photo By Brenna Wermers

customized with ones favorite movie. Purchasers can even place their own picture on their gift card. Apple recently launched gift cards for anyone wishing for an iPhone for Christmas. The iPhone 3G Gift Card can be purchased for one of the two amounts. The gift card purchaser can choose to put $199 down for the phone or $840 for the average first year contract. iPhone gift cards are available online at There are still some gift cards that consumers should be careful about. Pre-paid bank cards (such

Senior AP Language and Composition classes spend much of the year like most English classes, reading and discussing works by popular authors. But under their teacher and department chair Deb Ciochina they have the opportunity to work on something more lasting (and, for some, more intimidating): the Legacy project. Started in 2000, the project entails the students splitting up into groups (this year they are in pairs) and researching a particular section of a broader topic. After months of interviewing community members, each partnership writes a chapter of a book that the classes self-publish. The topics change from year to year. Last year’s book Heroes Among Us chronicled the stories of local community members who overcame significant obstacles. This year’s Legacy book was inspired by the six C’s: courage, citizenship, career, college, creativity, and culture.

“When I learned about the six C’s, I thought, ‘Well, those qualities are already in place in the community,’” Ciochina (who picks the topic herself each year) said. “I think it’s important to tie the school in with the greater Crown Point community.” After hearing the final topic in October, the students brainstormed which individuals in the community might fit into one or more of the six C categories. Each partnership chose a person “We actually have two people, Amy Clites and Ashley Bush,” senior Sarah Gallas said. “They’re actresses in New York now, and while it was hard to coordinate schedules they showed me and my partner [fellow senior Andjela Tarailo] how important it is to have perseverance.” According to Ciochina, the lessons learned from the project are one of the things that make the considerable effort involved worthwhile. “It’s a lasting piece of learning, where people will see the book and say, ‘Wow. Your students wrote that?’” she said. “It’s

great to see the evolution of an idea, to watch it grow.” There are 96 students enrolled in the senior AP English classes this year, more than a full classroom size bigger than any other year. As a result, the upcoming Legacy book will be thicker than any of the previous years’ editions. “There’s a lot of work involved with editing so many pages, but we’ll just muscle through,” Ciochina said. “The final product will be worth it.” The project has entailed much work from the students and Ciochina alike already. Each of the student partnerships has been responsible for interviewing their subject, talking to their subject’s family and friends, creating an outline for the project, and writing thank-you notes for all of their interviewees for their involvement in the process. “The hardest part has been coordinating schedules, both with my partner and with our subjects,” Gallas said. “But it’s been really cool to be able to say, ‘Hey, we’re writing a book!’”




Inklings is a student publication distributed to students, faculty and staff of Crown Point High School. It is published monthly by the newspaper and advanced journalism students. Opinions expressed in Inklings do not reflect those of the CPHS faculty, staff, or the administration. Inklings welcomes and encourages signed letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for space or clarity. Letters must be signed and turned in to room C124 one week prior to publications and must not contain personal attacks. Letters may also be sent via e-mail at inklings@ Not all letters may be printed. Such decisions are the sole discretion of the Inklings editors and staff. Advertising is subject to the applicable rate, copies of which are available from Inklings advertising department or by contacting 6634885 ext. 11213. Inklings is a member of the Indiana High School Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll. Inklings can be contacted at 1500 S. Main, Crown Point, IN, 46307; 219-663-4885 ext. 11213; fax 219-662-5663; or Editors Megan Binder editor-in-chief Cori Novelli Brenna Wermers executive editors Deanna Sheafer copy editor Michele Bates news editor Brittany Curtis feature editor Becca Duggan entertainment editor Trey Aultman sports editor Hunter McKee sports assistant Anna Ortiz graphics editor Becca Iddings advertising editor Lauren Cain advertising assistant Joe Nejman Alex Parrish Georgia Otte Cat Fleszewski Jeremy Rex photographers Staff Colin Likas Vinnie Needham Kelly Rostin Milan Savich Matt Smith Nikki Sekuloski Andjela Tarailo Jeff Tompkins Adviser Julie Elston

December 19, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving By Cori Novelli / executive editor

cartoon by


Anna Ortiz

Protecting the First Amendment


Recent events in Portage— where their student newspaper was nearly censored by higher-ups— should remind us to be grateful for our fragile First Amendment rights editorial

In a world where TV shows are peppered with carefully timed “beeps” and newspaper headlines tell of distant countries that have governmentlimited access to the Internet, censorship tends to seem either trivial or foreign. Yet recent incidents at all-too close Portage High School should remind us both how lucky we are in our First Amendment rights and how fleeting those rights can be. There is a long story behind how Portage’s student newspaper The Pow-Wow was nearly subject to being censored by unhappy administrators. Ultimately, it boils down to this: as every student newspaper—this one very much included—attempts to do, The Pow-Wow sought to cover an important story that affected students in their school. The story they covered was about how Portage’s administration had decided to pull a book from its curriculum after a single parent complained. School administrators subsequently claimed that the article was biased and said that they would now require The Pow-Wow to submit all of their newspaper stories before publication, a concept known in legal terminology as “prior review.” Now, the article in question may or may not have been biased. Regardless, the administration’s reaction was not only severe, but disturbing. From a fellow newspaper’s perspective, it’s worrisome to see how quickly those in charge can descend upon those who may not present the administration in the most positive light possible. The Pow-Wow and Inklings share the same job: we seek to keep our respective student readership in the know of all that is going on in the school. Any intervention or attempt to distort the facts destroys that valued connection. Thankfully, Portage rescinded their order for prior review, and the Inklings editors, for one, are grateful that their Crown Point counterparts have never seen necessary to institute a similar order. If anything, the incident should throw into sharp relief just how fragile the freedoms of speech and press are and how appreciative we should be of them.

Over the years, the holidays have become a social and economic extravaganza with the chaos of giving gifts and receiving presents. This wondrous “gift of giving” though, should not fall short with just family and friends; spread the holiday cheer to those who truly need it most this year: the millions of people without jobs or enough money to enjoy what many would consider a “traditional” Christmas. With the devastated economy, there are more families than ever across the nation who, instead of being able to participate in the gift exchanges, are now just hoping to survive with basic necessities. Here is where others are so desperately needed to help. Instead of spoiling yourself this Christmas season, remind yourself where that money would be appreciated most. There are local food pantries, health charities, and even projects at school where money could be donated to the less fortunate. The Angel Tree program also creates a way to help. By providing for a family through the organization, volunteers guarantee those in need warm clothing from the frigid weather, simple toiletries for basic hygiene, and actual presents to open on Christmas morning. Be a part of this extraordinary opportunity to benefit others, and benefit yourself as well with the feelings of reward after knowing you’ve helped someone. Though the economy is deteriorating, holiday spirit shouldn’t have to. This year, think of the blessings you’d be bestowing on a family by simply taking on just one Angle Tree child. Encourage your family, your friends, and even your neighbors to help out, (even if it’s just dropping in a few dollars in the Salvation Army bucket on your way out of Strack and Van Til) because when it comes to Christmas, the reward of giving just keeps on giving.

heard in the



“I get to see some of my family from Indy and Georgia that I don’t get to see very often.” sophomore Brandon Tomko

Gov. Blagojevich “Trying to sell Obama’s seat shows that Blagojevich doesn’t really care about the well being of our country. He just wants to make money.” sophomore Patrick Arnold

Winter Break “I am looking forward to more hours at my job over break. I get to earn some more cash.” junior Jessica Fornof


December 19, 2008


Giving gift cards lacks personal touch By Nikki Sekulski / reporter

Spirited or Excessive? cartoon by

How has your shopping season been affected by the economy?

Lauren VanGorp “It really hasn’t affected me more then it normally does.”

Here’s an analogy: Christmas is to snow as July is to boiling weather. So why, in the middle of July, can I still see Christmas lights and plastic Santas waving at me from the roadside? Part of the charm of the holiday season is the fact that it only comes around once a year. For one month, we can stick to the tradition of putting up our trees and baking cookies for Santa Claus. For one month, everything seems happy when all you can think of is Christmas. When we extend the Christmas season from the traditional December to January to the ridiculous October to March, there’s really nothing to look forward to when the holidays roll around. At that point, Christmas isn’t as special when you’ve been experiencing it for the past three months. It is just another norm that you’ve become accustomed to over the months. Another factor of the extended season is the pure laziness that plagues our society. I’m willing to assume that many of those houses you see with their lights up in the middle of summer are owned by those who can’t take the time to put their decorations away at the end of the season. Granted, some of those houses may also be owned by the die-hards- the select breed of people that refuse to believe that Christmas is not just a winter holiday and that it should be celebrated year-round, the Cindy-loo Whos, if you may. As much as their enthusiasm is inspiring, sometimes the excitement just gets carried away. So call me a Grinch who crushes the spirits of Whos everywhere, but I think the first snowfall of the season should directly correlate with the arrival of our Christmas lights. When it starts snowing, feel free to bring out the automated reindeer and the N*Sync Christmas album, but until then, keep them in the storage where they belong.


Q speak up


By Lauren Cain / reporter

It seems that every year, the Christmas spirit infects people earlier and earlier. Though many people enjoy the holiday spirit, others find its constant presence a bit excessive.


In an age of Black Friday shopping, Christmas seems to last from the first holiday displays around Halloween to the bells that ring in the New Year two months later. Some Scrooges may criticize what is undoubtedly the longest of the holiday seasons, but honestly, where is the harm in the holidays? The most popular cry from strict calendarminders is that Christmas should last from Thanksgiving to Dec. 26 and no more. They claim that these extensions are simply ploys by hungry businesses eager for shoppers’ money, and in these days of economic recession and belt-tightening, it is hard to dismiss that motive. Still, even if that is true, all that a long season brings in the end is a manifestation of the marvelously cheesy but perfectly apt concept of Christmas spirit. Say what you will about our society having been handed to the Wal-Marts of the world, but the Christmas season still brings out the best in most of us. If it wasn’t for this season, would so many food and clothing drives be held? Would there be Angel Trees if there were no trees to hang those needy angels on? It would be wonderful to think so, but the rest of the year speaks otherwise. Rarely are there so many incidents of volunteering or raising money for those less fortunate than ourselves. Christmas brings us all together. The magic of the snow in the air, the childlike anticipation that will forever fill us all on Christmas morning as we gaze on the brightly wrapped packages, and the extra extension of time and treasure towards those who may need it are all moments that should happen year-round, not just between Thanksgiving and December 26. So, does the Christmas season last too long? Not at all. I should think that it is not long enough.



By Megan Binder / editor-in-chief

Holiday season extension unnecessary and disheartening


Christmas goodwill and charity should stay as long as possible

Anna Ortiz

It’s Christmas morning, and I got a piece of painted shiny plastic. Plastic that can only be used at a specific store for a specific amount of time. The person who bought it for me really put a lot of thought into the gift. Now I have to go to the store and fight all the people who decided that the presents they received were not good enough. As more stores offer gift cards, people seem to be thinking that it is the perfect gift. But in reality, they can just become a big hassle with the person having to go to the store before the card expires. I remember the day when my grandpa would give all his grandkids a ten dollar bill and we would all be thrilled to spend it wherever we wanted or even save it. Now, people skip the money altogether and give out gift cards. This forces the person to go to a certain store within a certain amount of time, thus eliminating the so-called “gift of choice,” that stores like to tag onto to the name of the gift card when they are advertising it. Also, gift cards are impersonal when they are given to someone that the person knows. If the gift giver really knows the person, they should try to find them something that they may like to show that they cared enough to try. Although, gift cards can be great when getting a gift for someone the giver does not really know or someone who was added to their list at the last second. In that case, it is fine to get a gift card, because then they do not have to debate about what to get. In the end, a present that is hand picked by the person has more meaning to the recipient. Even money can be a better gift, because the recipient can truly decide what they want when they want it. Presents can be less of a nuisance and more of a gift when it comes down to it.

Danny Fabrici

T.J. Lange

Max Weiss

“It hasn’t. I don’t really buy much.”

“You don’t get as many gifts.”

“It’s pretty much the same. I’ve been shopping at discount stores and looking for good deals.”


Sophomore Jared Smoot outlines a picture of himself in response to a novel read in Kelly Bonich’s English class. Students had to draw representations of the two main characters in the novel they just finished reading.



December 19, 2008


g n i w

Dr a


Ask Laugh Explore Wonder Inspire Live

The Jazz Band plays an opening act for the All-City Band Concert on Dec. 10. The Jazz Band is run by band director Johann Sletto.

Teenage Wasteland

Young generation creates alarming amount of waste

by the


222 million

tons of waste will be generated by Americans this year. Americans each use tons of raw materials annually


the average American consumes


times as much as the average person living in China.



Photo Illustration by Jeremy Rex

By Brittany Curtis / feature editor Green is in. Many teens will have noticed and participated in the popular trend that tries to encourage people to use more eco-friendly and recyclable produces. But let’s face it: teens still waste an astounding amount of materials, many of which are non-renewable. “I think it’s a shame that we waste so many resources without even realizing it,” junior Corinne Kocher said. According to the Container Recycling Institute (CRI), eight out of ten plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or end up in a landfill. CRI also states that more than 50 billion beverage cans and bottles have been land filled, littered and incinerated in the country so far this year. “I use a canteen to hold my water during the day instead of bringing a plastic water bottle every day. I used to have a plastic water bottle every day,” junior Jessica Boerman said, “Once I realized how many I was going through, I decided that I should start using the canteen instead of bringing [a water bottle] in every day. I just put my water in it, and it gets me through the day and keeps my water cold. It makes me feel good to know that I’m cutting back on the amount of materials I waste.” Americans’ total yearly waste would fill a convoy of garbage trucks long enough to wrap around the earth six times and reach halfway

to the moon. It is estimated that this year 222 million tons of waste will be generated by Americans, according to the Environmental Sustainability Committee. “I try to recycle my belongings and really pay attention to what I’m throwing away. I also try to conserve energy by turning off lights and electronics that don’t need to be on,” sophomore Cassie Marshall said. Computers and computer monitors in the United States are responsible for the unnecessary production of millions of tons of greenhouse gases every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In U.S. companies alone, more than $1 billion a year is wasted on electricity for computer monitors that are turned on when they shouldn’t be. “Before taking AP Environmental Science, I didn’t really realize how much we waste on a daily basis and how much we are depleting the environment. I just didn’t know how much our actions can affect future generations,” Marshall said. Another thing that teens commonly waste is plastic bags. About 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used and discarded in the world every year, and they’re not biodegradable. Plastic bags have many downfalls, some of which are probably totally unknown to most people. The production of plastic bags consumes millions of gallons of oil, which could be used for heating or fuel instead.

Many stores have taken to selling cloth bags for a higher price instead, which can be reused every time you go grocery shopping. “I also try to unplug all the stuff that I keep in my room when I’m not using it, because it still wastes energy. I’ll also turn off all the lights that I’m not using in my house,” junior Justin Kaplan said. It’s estimated that five percent of all electricity in the United States is wasted powering devices that are not in use. By turning off appliances that are not in use, not only are you saving money on your electricity bill, but you are also conserving energy. The most obvious way to cut back on what you waste is to recycle materials that you are able to instead of throwing them away. One shocking example of how much garbage Americans produce is Mount Rumpke. Mount Rumpke is the highest point in Ohio at over 1000 feet. However, Mount Everest is not made up entirely of garbage. Mount Rumpke is literally a mountain of trash and is located in the Rumpke landfill. Many other ladfills like Mount Rumpke exist, and by recycling, students can prevent more landfills from being created by recycling their materials and by paying attaention to what they throw away. To find a recycling location near you, visit the National Recycling Coalition’s website:

computer products were discarded in 2007.


billion beverage cans and bottles have been land filled, littered and incinerated in the country so far this year.

87 billion

pieces of direct mail are delivered by the U.S. postal service each year, most of which is never recycled.

All according to the Environmental Sustainability Committee

December 19, 2008


Getcha’ head in the game


Video games create both entertainment and harmful effects By Cori Novelli / executive editor By a combination of sleep deprivation, lack of food, and an extensive amount of prolonged concentration, a 15-year old boy in Sweden collapsed into an epileptic seizure after playing a video game for 24 hours straight. The game, World of Warcraft, is just one of many video games students play, fueling the nationwide game craze. According to TIME magazine, the U.S rakes in $5.3 billion a year from video game sales, more than half the worldwide video game revenue of an average of $10 billion a year. For junior Eddie McGrady, video games have played a major role in his everyday life for over nine years. “I usually play about two hours a day,” he said. Owning over 300 games and 14 different gaming consoles ranging from the original Nintendo Entertainment System to the modern day Play Station 3, McGrady is no stranger to excessive gaming. “I’ve played 16 hours straight a few times,” he said. With these long gaming sessions come various affects. “I will just feel really weak, my hands especially,” McGardy said. Junior Alex Schmidt, who’s longest gaming experience was 12 hours straight, has experienced similar symptoms. “I’ve gotten dizzy where my eyes were blurry and my legs become weak. I usually feel a lot better once I eat something,” he said.

According to InGame Advertising Worldwide, corporate brands’ budgets for in-game advertising increased from $30,000$40,000 per campaign about two years ago to as much as $600,000 per campaign today. The Entertainment Software Association Senior Elizabeth Fleszewski agreed. “My eyes feel out of focus and things sort of move, also my hands will be sweaty and feel numb,” she said. Despite the aftermath from prolonged playing, students enjoy video games for many different reasons. “While also being entertaining, they can be a real stress reliever depending on the game. In the evening, after I’ve done my homework and chores, I’ll sometimes play with my siblings,” Fleszewski said. Fleszewski, who generally plays once or twice a week,

enjoys role play games like Kingdom Hearts and Laura Croft, where the gamer can take the place of the character and follow in the story line. “They’re fun because you get to follow the story and live through the adventure. You are the character and so you feel like a part of the game,” she said. Another unique type of gaming experience started only in the last three years. Guitar Hero has gotten many people hooked. Combining old, popular rock songs and an array of vintagie computer graphics, the game allows players to become their own rock stars, starting off playing at small gigs and working their way up into becoming an expert Guitar Hero legend. Though Guitar Hero originally began with gamers being only able to play guitar, the game of Rock Band, a similar concept to Guitar Hero, incorporated other instruments into their game providing players the choice to play guitar, drums or even the microphone for vocals. “I really like playing the drums, except I hold the sticks loosely and have gotten blood blisters after playing a while,” Schmidt said. Though enjoying Rock Band, Schmidt preferably plays action “shooter games” such as Call of Duty. “I like playing them because they’re fun and I can do things in the game that I could never do in real life,” he said. In general, video games provide all around entertainment to all around different people. “They’re fun, I can play with my friends, and I can meet people who share my interests in the games,” McGrady said.


Obama and Johnny and Hill, oh my! 2008 marked with celebrity appearances in CP and major historic events around the world



When it comes to the who’s who of the world, their “where” is rarely Crown Point—except for 2008. This year saw then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (upper right) slug back the shot heard ‘round the world at Bronko’s restaurant on Main Street, heard her husband and ex-President Bill Clinton (left) speak at the YMCA, and played host to a Johnny Depp (far left) in 1930s regalia as he waved cheerily to hundreds of fans who waited patiently outside the old jailhouse in Crown Point while he and director Michael Mann filmed the upcoming Dillinger drama Public Enemies. Locally, soon-to-be First Lady Michelle Obama (upper left) spoke in Merrillville in April, and the presidentelect himself Barack Obama (right) came to a rally in Highland on Oct. 31.

hard to remember just how big a year 2008 was. As a nation we saw the rise and fall of the economy, watched as the first African-American man was elected president and joined the thousands who went to see The Dark Knight. As a community we stood in the freezing cold of spring break to meet Johnny Depp, joined Hillary Clinton at Bronko’s and listened to Bill Clinton speak at the YMCA. And as a school we met a new principal and watched a new wing grow in the school.

In the headlines, the first ever African-American to be elected

president, Barack Obama, won over the hearts and votes of Americans in November. The failing economy began its decline (caused in part by the subprime mortgage crisis) and forced politicians around the world to consider and approve huge bail-out programs in an effort to halt plummeting stock markets. Gas prices jumped from an all-time high of well over $4 a gallon during the summer to a much wallet-friendlier $1.50 in the waning months of ’08. In August, on the eve of the Olympic games, Russia under President Putin launched attacks into Georgia, leading to skirmishes in the region over the disputed South Ossetia region. Throughout the year, ships were plagued by pirates based in Somalia, ultimately holding an oil tanker hostage.

Even before all the controversy surrounding supporting actor Heath Ledger’s death just months before the film’s release, the next installment in the Batman franchise featuring Christian Bale in the lead role was bound to make some of the $500 million it earned in the U.S. alone, making it second only to Titanic in total gross revenue. The next James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, also drew in fans worldwide, although some complained that the film had abandoned some of the treasured archetypes of the English super spy in place of a film reminiscent of a Bourne movie. Teenage girls also frequented theaters in droves to see the film adaptation of the hugely popular Twilight series

In Hollywood news, O.J. Simpson finally was sentenced to prison for 33

years on armed robbery and kidnapping charges 13 years after his “trial of the century” ended. At the Academy Awards in February, No Country for Old Men won the coveted award for Best Picture, and the films’ directors, the Coen brothers won their fourth Oscar for Best Director. The Spice Girls ended their comeback tour early that same month. On American Idol, David Cook and David Archuleta fought it out for the top spot, and while Archuleta lost the competition, his single “Crush” won over the hearts of girls across the country. In an odd role-reversal, previous Academyaward winner Joaquin Phoenix announced that he was renouncing his acting career in favor

mer Olympics in Beijing. He surpassed the previous record held by another American swimmer Mark Spitz for most medals won at a single Olympics. The U.S. also did well in gymnastics thanks to female competitors and gold-medal winners like Shawn Johnson, and ended up with the most total medals (110). In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants won one for the underdog by upsetting the otherwise undefeated New England Patriots 17-14. Football icon Brett Favre announced his retirement from the Green Bay Packers in March after 17 years playing professionally…but was signed on with the New York

2008 Headline Timeline

Johnny Depp filmed scenes for the upcoming movie Public Enemies in the old jail on Main Street in March. Several students caught a glimpse of the star while he was in town.

1. “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” 2. “Make it a great weekend to be a Bulldog. Be safe everybody.” 3. “That’s what she said!” 4. “I can see Russia from my house!” 5. “Have pride in yourself, and the Bulldogs.” 6. “Why so serious?”

Oh say can you say?

Top 5 Songs of 2008

Match each quote from 2008 with the person who made it popular.


March 4: NFL legend Brett Favre announces his retirement (which proved temporary). . Apr. 1 : In Crown Point, the city-wide smoking ban went into effect, prohibiting smoking . in public areas.

May 12: A Chinese earthquake that registered 7.9 on the Richter scale caused nearly 68,000 casualties, the country’s worst national disaster in 3 decades. . Jun. 27: Microsoft mogul and founder Bill Gates ended his full time job at the company, though he remains chairman. .

Jul. 25 : Ever health-conscious and trendsetters, California banned the use of trans fats in the state’s restaurants. . Aug. 8: After ending his presidential run, Sen. John Edwards admitted to having an affair. .

Katy Perry

Haley Webb “Unfortunately, the year that the economy crashed.”


Lil Wayne


a. most CPHS students b. Tina Fey c. principal Dr. Eric Ban d. the Joker (Heath Ledger) in The Dark Knight e. then-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin f. former CPHS principal Ryan Pitcock

Sep. 7: The two largest mortgage-holding companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, declared bankruptcy. . Oct. 3: Bush signs a $700 billion bail-out plan in effort to salvage the ravaged economy. .

Flo Rida

“I Kissed A Girl”


“Love Song”

Answers: 1. Sarah Palin, 2. Mr. Pitcock, 3. most CPHS students, 4. Tina Fey, 5. Dr. Ban, 6.the Joker

Jets by August.

Jan 2: Petroleum hits $100 a barrel for first time, forelling a year that would see $4.50 gallon gas. . Feb. 3: In the NFL, the New York Giants upset the much favored and otherwise undefeated New England Patriots to win . Superbowl XLII.

“Barack Obama was elected as he will be the first AfricanAmerican president. Also, for all the commotion when Johnny Depp came to Crown Point.”

On our iPods

At the movies, the biggest news of the year was by far The Dark Knight.

Swimmer and already 6-time gold medal Olympian Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals in the 2008 Sum-

Evan Langbehn


As another year draws to a close, it can be

On the field, by far the biggest sports news came from the Olympics, particularly the pool.


2008: Near the Square

By Megan Binder / editor-in-chief

of a musical one.

will be remembered as the year that...


December 19, 2008

Nov. 4: Barack Obama beat out John McCain to become the first ever AfricanAmerican president of the United States after a political campaign that lasted more than a year. . Dec. 14: An Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference. .

Sara Bareilles

Kaleigh Mueller “The whole school changed. I think the whole Ticket to Ride is a good idea as it really motivates the students.”

Music teacher


James Deal “The country changed directions politically, which I am excited about, although I am still concerned about the economy. Also, the Chicago Symphony named a new maestro.”


Arts & Entertainment


December 19, 2008

Your guide to snow day survival

All the ingredients for a fun-filled day off from school By Deanna Sheafer and Anna Ortiz / copy editor and graphics editor

It’s 5:45 a.m. on a weekday morning. All around town students are blissfully sleeping, when all of the sudden phones start ringing. It’s a call from the Crown Point Community School Corporation, saying that due to inclement weather conditions school is cancelled for today. Students rejoice as they peer out their frosty windows. One of the favorite parts of snow days is undoubtedly the extra hours of sleep, but what does one do after sleeping in? Just because you can’t leave the house doesn’t mean snow days have to be wasted with sighs of boredom. Rather than spend quality time with a snow shovel or the couch, have a blast building a snowman with the frosty white snow, or stay in the comfort of your home and take a break watching your favorite holiday movie. Live every snow day to the fullest with the help of this snow savvy check list for the perfect day of cozy bliss.

The perfect snowday checklist Snowman building kit The old days of snowman building with carrot noses and old hats are long gone. Now, there is a kit available that contains a black felt hat, matching red gloves, an orange wooden nose, eyes, buttons, and much more. This classic snow day activity has gotten and upgrade, so just add snow and go!

Hot chocolate mix Once you’ve played outside in the chilly weather, cozy up on the couch with a blanket. Still feeling cold and a little thirsty? A piping hot mug of hot chocolate will surely warm you up. Ghirardelli makes a double chocolate hot cocoa mix, available for fewer than six dollars. To make things more festive, stir it with a candy cane to add a bit of minty delight.

DVD’s Now that you’re warm and comfy, it’s time to pop in a favorite winter flick. Nothing gets you in the holiday mood like the crazy mishaps of Buddy in Elf, or the classic, A Christmas Story.

Baking holiday treats Watching holiday movies can make you crave homemade holiday cookies and other treats, and since you’re at home anyway, it’s the perfect time to bake them yourself. has the instructions for every kind of treat you could ever want to make at your fingertips. Whether you make fudge, cookies, brownies, or gingerbread men, family and friends will enjoy sharing the treats. Photo By Becca Iddings


Open 7 days a week Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Banquet facilities


It’s a Strack & Van Til Thing. Crown Point

(2 locations) 200 Franciscan Dr. (219) 663-0304 10851 Broadway (219) 661-4144


7201 Taft St. (219) 738-2150

December 19, 2008

Arts & Entertainment


Psst! The Secret Life of PostSecret

Website offers people way to reveal their secrets anonymously

Photo By Jeremy Rex

“Sometimes, when I go shopping, I ask to have my purchase gift wrapped just so I can open them when I get home.” This secret is just one of the about 200,000 that Frank Warren received in the last four years. Warren is the founder of a website called postsecret. com and a project called PostSecret. The concept behind PostSecret is to write a secret anonymously on one side of a four-inch by six-inch postcard and to send it to Warren. These secrets are then posted on Warren’s website. PostSecret also has a sister site, PostSecret Community, where more information about the project is available. On the PostSecret site, Warren invites the sharing of all secrets. Sophomore Evie Turner finds the concept of Postsecret a good idea. “I thought it was really cool how anyone could send in the letters and they could be posted online and you don’t know who they are from. It is just a really good way for people to get things off of their chests,” Turner said. According to his website, each secret can be a hope, regret, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, confession, or childhood humiliation. Warren said quotes range from funny, shocking, silly to hopeful. However, he has two restrictions on the submission of secrets. The sender of the secret may reveal anything- as long as it is true and they have never shared it with anyone before, according to his web site. Warren began the PostSecret project in Jan. 2004. He had traveled to Paris, France and was sleeping when he had a dream that would inspire PostSecret. In his dream, cryptic messages had been written on postcards. Inspired, Warren began a project called ‘reluctant oracle’, where he created pieces of artwork that included a profound

Four Christmases

“It is better to tell a secret than keep it in because then there is no more stress building up inside you, and telling someone can help you deal with your problems.

By Becca Duggan / entertainment editor

freshman Ryan Foulds message and released the art to the public for people to discover serendipitously, according to his site. This process evolved to the PostSecret idea. Warren also says that Post Secret has helped him deal with his own past. “In my own life I was struggling with secrets from my own childhood. [Post Secret] was a way to reconcile with my past, and through the courage strangers were showing me, I was able to face parts of my childhood that I was hiding from,” he said in his interview with Mass Media, a student newspaper of Boston, Massachusetts. Warren explains on his website forum that he never gets tired of reading secrets. He said the project has given him a great sense of purpose and empathy. Warren has published four PostSecret books that include many of the secrets he receives. He tries to tell a story or have a theme with the secrets in each book. In his latest one, A Lifetime of Secrets, he was more specific in his storytelling, ordering hundreds of secrets in a loose chronologi-

a few of our

favorite things All American Rejects

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star in the film Four Christmases. Kate (Witherspoon) and Brad (Vaughn) have enjoyed spending Christmas without their family. However, after a flight delay forces them to cancel their trip, Brad and Kate must spend the holiday with their relatives.

All-American Rejects new album When the World Comes Down was released this Tuesday. Because their last CD featured three hits, expectations were high for the latest album, and they delivered. With their pop sound still intact, All-American Rejects used different sounds (such as clapping and acoustics) to create fresh, memorable songs.

cal order in order to show how they change and develop throughout a person’s life. All four books are available to purchase on Postsecret also has a traveling exhibit that has visited various states in the United States this year. The exhibit plans to continue visiting galleries in different states next year, such as the Fisher Gallery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. More than 400 secrets and videos are put on display so attendees can see the front and back of the post cards, according to the Postsecret Community website. Also, in some of the galleries, visitors are able to write down their own secrets to be sent to Warren. According to International Arts & Artists, PostSecret won the 2008 Blog of the Year and 2008 People’s Voice Award by the Webby Awards. PostSecret topped Myspace search lists for 2008 as well, according to Tech News. The mental and emotional benefits of revealing secrets have been debated. Anita Kelly, author of The Psychology of Secrets, wrote in her book that secret keepers can feel better by telling their secrets and gaining insight. Additionally, Kelly wrote that a person telling a secret wants a nonjudgmental, discreet confidant. Kelly described various studies that were about the effects of revealing secrets, including one that lead a conclusion that not coming to terms with a secret can lead to negative feelings. Freshman Ryan Foulds feels that telling a secret to a stranger can be therapeutic. “It is better to tell a secret than keep it in because then there is no more stress building up inside you, and telling someone can help you deal with your problems,” he said. Other people may feel self-conscious about revealing a secret. “I value my personal privacy, so I do not feel comfortable telling a dark secret to someone I don’t know,” junior Shelbie Hesser said. Warren will be posting new secrets on his site every Sunday unless otherwise noted on his blog.

Wii Music Why take lessons why you can play Wii? Wii Music allows gamers to play over 66 instruments by using just the Wii remote and Wii nunchuk. Gamers can play instruments such as the violin, piano, harmonica, and clairinet. The styles of music include traditional, classical, and songs from other Nintendo games. Staying true to the form of other interactive musical games like Rock Band, Wii Music can be played by one or more players, and allows gamers to form a six player Mii Band. For the solo gamer, a variety of minigames are also included. Information compiled by Inklings Editors

Arts & Entertainment



my view

New Year’s not just for the over-21 crowd

By Matt Smith / staff reporter

Instead of putting us in the holiday spirit, these festive records just make us cringe everytime we hear them

1 2


N*Sync’s Home For Christmas Overly-synthesized voices and instruments, bad pop beats, and cheesy Christmas-themed love songs add up to only one thing: a prepubescent money-making machine. In short, just another way to milk a little bit of Christmas money out of hordes of hormonal teenage girls.



3 4


Merry Twismas: A Twistmas Story with Tweety Bird and Their Friends by Conway Twitty Ladies and gentlemen—Mr. Conway Twitty.




5 6

A far stretch from “We’ll make you happy”. Rather than spreading happiness, their sickening cheerful voices make anyone who listens want to throw up on the spot.

Christmas on Death Row

The name says it all. This album brings back such jolly Christmas classics as, “Christmas in the Ghetto” and “Party 4 Da Homies”. Needless to say, rap and Christmas just don’t mix.




A Partridge Family Christmas Card



Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics

Finally, an album I can appreciate. This is what Christmas is all about: obscenities, bodily functions, and racial slurs. Right? Wrong. This album is sick. Just sick.



Christmas with Babyface

Same old songs, same old boring listening. Unless you’ve never heard “Silent Night,” this album doesn’t bring anything new to a Christmas music collection. On the album, only one song is an original, and it’s not a Christmas song.



December 19, 2008

Christmas the Cowboy Way

Snowflakes fall softly onto the treetops, a flame burns warmly in the fireplace, and the sounds of “The Christmas Yodel” fill the air. If you’re in the mood for a bad mix between country, polka, and yodeling, this is the album for you.

A Christmas to Remember Amy Grant gets an “A” for effort here. Four Christmas albums and counting, but she just can’t seem to get it right. This album definitely won’t be one to remember.

By Brenna Wermers / executive editor A new year: 12 new months, 52 new weeks, 365 brand new days. As the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, there is a new beginning for all. No more turkey dinners at family get-togethers, no more of the endless stream of Christmas music that began in October, and no more decorations festooned on and around neighborhood homes, at least for another’s time for New Year’s celebration. Contrary to common belief, New Year’s Eve is not just a holiday for the “over-21” crowd. There are many things that teens can do to enjoy the night of Jan. 1. Many teens find New Year’s a time to reconnect with friends over Winter Break. It’s easy to just stay at home and cozy up on the couch by yourself to watch the ball drop, but you’re in high school now. It’s time to mature the celebration a little bit. Now, I’m not saying go and do something illegal, but keep it fun. Get a group of friends together for a marathon of the year’s best (or worst) films. Reminisce about new, fond memories that arose throughout 2008. Sip sparkling cider and welcome the New Year with an open heart and mind. Or if staying in just isn’t your thing, get out! Have a night on the town. Get all dolled up and go to dinner at a favorite restaurant and ring in the New Year right. After dinner, watch “the ball” drop in Times Square and bring on 2009. Don’t forget, fireworks are not just for the Fourth of July. Make lots of noise by yelling and banging pots and pans in the driveway. There’s no reason why New Year’s should ever be a “ho-hum holiday.” The ever-popular “New Year’s resolutions” can in fact, bring good things for some. Though some cheat or don’t partake in the tradition at all, many teens take them seriously. Whether it’s the promise to eat better, make new friends or try a new sport, resolutions can prove a worthwhile endeavor. New Year’s is not a just a time to “party.” There are many fun, safe and legal ways to welcome 2009.

Harry Potter spin-off proves magical By Nikki Sekuloski / staff reporter After the final installment of the Harry Potter series came out in 2007, many fans may have believed that they would never hear back from the world of Harry Potter, or at least not for a while. But J.K. Rowling has yet again brought another book from that magical world. Harry Potter: the Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book compiled of stories from the book Dumbledore gave Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and last installment in the series. It contains five stories written by Beedle the Bard, the wizard world’s equivalent to our Grimm Brothers. According to J.K. Rowling, these are stories that were told to children of wizard decent before bed. Like many of our bedtime stories, these fairytales taught a

lesson to magical children about the world they live in. A lot of the lessons had to deal with being selfish and wanting more magical power than one person should have. Therefore I believe it was neat to see how lessons taught to us from our parents through our own fairy tales are quite like the lessons presented in this book. These lessons are made known to the reader through notes written by Albus Dumbledore, headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, at the end of each tale. These notes help the reader create a better understanding of the Dumbledore that they may not have been able to create from the books in the Harry Potter series. It shows Dumbledore’s witty side, but also keeps his stern personality mixed in with the humor. Dumbledore’s notes also answer questions about the school in general that were not answered in

the past books, like why they do not have theatrical productions. In addition to the stories Rowling wrote, she included her own hand drawn illustrations. These illustrations were very unique and added a mysterious style to the book. There were illustrations to go along with each tale. The pictures help the reader create a mental image of the occurrences in the stories, because may not be familiar to the readers due to the fact that they are stories from an imaginary world. It was interesting to see just how Rowling visualized the characters and items in the story as she wrote it because the illustrations were from her, not a second illustrator. Many die-hard Harry Potter fans will use this book to find reasons to reopen the mysteries that they thought were over after the last book. The commentary from Dumbledore mentions things that were

addressed in other Harry Potter books, like in “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” one of the stories in the book. It also brings forth aspects from the wizard world that readers may know or have experienced themselves. These aspects range from troubled theatrical productions to solving life’s mysteries. In conclusion, being a die-hard fan myself, I definitely found this book intriguing. It contained names of people that I recognized, like people with the Malfoy surname. I also loved how it reopened topics that I thought had ended in the closing of the series. It may only be 107 pages, but I felt that it dealt enough with Harry Potter to satisfy a fan who is in desperate need of more magic from the magical world written by J.K. Rowling. I found the five stories to be humorous, but also very serious. This book is a must-have for any obsessive Harry Potter fan.


December 19, 2008

Strong start lifts Lady Bulldogs The girls first nine game winning streak of the decade brings number one ranking By Trey Aultman / sports editor The last time that the girls basketball team started out 8-0 was the 2004-2005 season. In that season, the Lady Bulldogs finished 17-6, but lost in the Sectional Championship game. This year the team jumped to 9-0. “I wasn’t surprised, I knew we could do it the whole time,” said sophomore Alle Geisen. The coaching staff was also not surprised at the strong start. “We felt we could be competitive with everybody,” head coach Scott Reid said. The Lady Bulldogs moved through the opening weekend unblemished, and headed into the next weekend to open conference play. At Portage the girls fell behind by 22 point at half time. They came back to defeat the Indians 54-51. Senior Daniela Tarailo had 18 points and, senior Maegen Maloney had 14 (4-5 from three-point land). The next night was Warsaw Community. They came out with a 70-57 win. In the game, Tarailo had 21 points to go along with six rebounds. Also, Geisen had 15 points, and Maloney added 11. The following Friday, the Lady Bulldogs played Chesterton. The Bulldogs pulled off the upset by a score of 45-36. In the game, Tarailo led with 12 points, while sophomore Madeline Moore also added 12 points and six rebounds. Up next for the team was Hanover Central. The girls won by a score of 49-37. Tarailo, led the team again with 14 points, while senior Flori Garcia added eight, and Moore and sophomore Kelly Gross each added six points each. In a weeknight game, the Lady Bulldogs took on Lowell. The team was victorious 45-19.

Tarailo had 13 points, and senior Sydnee Reeves pulled down eight rebounds. That Friday the girls team competed against the LaPorte Slicers. The Bulldogs came out on top by a score of 63-40. Tarailo scored 26 points and 9 rebounds. In last weekend’s games the Lady Bulldogs came out slow against Lake Central trailing by a point at half time, but quickly rebounded. They won the game by a final score of 54-48. In the game, Tarailo led all scorers with 17. Reeves added 10 points with six rebounds. The first blemish on the Lady Bulldogs’ record was 5352 loss to Boone Grove. Tarailo again led the team in both scoring and rebounds. This past Tuesday, the Lady Bulldogs hosted Valparaiso. The girls lost by a final score of 5649. In the loss Tarailo scored 19 points, and Reeves grabbed eight rebounds. “Everyone relaxed. We need to learn not to relax because now we have a big target on our back,” Tarailo said. Despite the recent losing streak, the Bulldogs contribute their early success to the little things. “We have done the little things well at the end of the game to win,” Reid said, “I think we’re mentally tougher than last year, and we have depth. It helps when we can go nine deep off our bench.” The Lady Bulldogs have 11 more regular season games, and only Duneland Athletic Conference teams remaining on the schedule, including tonight versus a one loss Michigan City team at home, 6 p.m. “We just have to attack one game at a time,” Reid said, “We feel we can win every game, but we know we can lose, too.”


Gymnastics team looks to bounce back By Vinnie Needham / reporter

Photo by Trey Aultman

Senior point guard Flori Garcia-Vicente goes in for a lay-up against Lake Central. She finished the game with two points.

The girl’s gymnastics team has a great advantage to come out on top this season. Last year, the teams’ final score was 104.800 in the state meet for a sixteenth place finish. Despite the high finish, the Bulldogs finished behind four Duneland Athletic Conference teams in the state meet. Also, the team finished fourth in the Duneland Conference Championships in February of last year. The Bulldogs were ranked ranked as high as 16th in the state despite the many injuries that occurred. The team has 15 girls instead of the usual nine members. The team has worked very hard to make their routines more difficult and unique from last season. “The biggest accomplishment was coming together when going to state and pulling all the routines together at the end,” senior Liz Maxwell said. In gymnastics there are 4 events to compete in, vault, bars, beam, and vault. Senior Trisha Eberly competes in the all around. “My favorite events are beam and floor,” Eberly said. “It gives me the opportunity to show off my routines.” During the off season, most girls train at Gymnastics Plus to keep up their strength and learn new skills for the upcoming season “The greatest part of the season that I look forward to is the adrenaline rush of competing,” Eberly said. “After training so hard, it’s like a treat.” As this season begins, the girls are ranked 3rd in the region, and are off to a healthy start. The Lady Bulldogs were defeated by the eventual 2008 state champion Valparaiso Vikings 111.7-92.4. The girls open up this season on Jan. 8 at Valparaiso.

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December 19, 2008

Solid start raises confidence for Bulldogs Boys begin season on three game winning streak despite inexperienced roster The boys basketball team has started their season with a strong 3-2 record, (1-2 in the DAC), the only losses so far coming from DAC rivals Lake Central and Valparaiso. “Beating good teams got us off to a good start which helped our confidence,” head boys basketball coach Clint Swan said. Out of the Bulldogs’ three wins, only one was in the Duneland Athletic Conference. To start off the season, the boys played at Hanover Central.In the game, senior Brady Schuster scored 19 points. Also contributing, was senior C.J. Mantel with 12 points and senior Nathaniel Akers with 11. Senior Michael Lipton added seven points and five assists in the 62-35 victory over Hanover Central. After that, the Bulldogs opened up DAC play with a 51-41 victory over the LaPorte Slicers. Lipton had 16 points (including four three-pointers), senior Chris Lakich scored nine points, and senior Nikola Pusara added seven points in the win. Akers contributed seven rebounds. In a Tuesday night game on Dec. 9, the Bulldogs played against the Governors from Hammond Morton. The boys came out on top in that game by a score of 69-48. Lipton led the Bulldogs with 16 points followed by Akers’ 14 points. Akers also added eight rebounds while sophomore Michael “Spike” Albrecht scored seven points, and dished out five assists. The strong start slowed for the Bulldogs when they had to travel to Lake Central High School to face the Indians. In the 58-41 loss, Lipton had 16 points, and Schuster scored eight points. This past Tuesday night, the Bulldogs played against a Valparaiso team that currently ranked tenth in the state. The Bulldogs lost the game by a final score of 57-37. Akers was the only Bulldog to reach double figures with 17 points. “[The new varsity members] showed us confidence and good play as they adapted to a faster pace of game. There is a big difference between Varsity and JV,” Swan said. With seven seniors on the team this year, confidence seems to be a key factor with coach Swan’s squad. “As JV players, we practiced against the best team in the area,” said senior Chris Lakich, referring to the 2008 sectional champion Bulldogs. “Practice against them made this year easier. But now as a senior, I have expectations to win,” Lakich said. Lakich, one of seven seniors on the team, has made it clear that this year’s group has something to prove. “No one knows about our senior class, but we’ve been

one knows about “ No our senior class, but

we’ve been playing together since fourth grade, just like last year’s seniors. Our team chemistry is getting better every game

By Milan Savich / reporter

senior forward Chris Lakich playing together since fourth grade, just like last year’s seniors. Our team chemistry is getting better every game,” he said. In addition to the upperclassman, the varsity roster also consists of two sophomores, Albrecht and Jared Smoot. “Albrecht and Smoot are doing a great job making the transition to varsity. It is very different from JV, especially for the younger guys,” Swan said. Even with the large amount of upperclassmen, Albrecht is one of the starting guards and Smoot has been seeing a good amount of playing time. “It really helps to have younger players like Jared and Mike who play good basketball,” Lakich said. “It’s nice to have solid bench players.” It is still undecided thus far who the dominant teams are in the Duneland Athletic Conference, however with the upcoming DAC match-ups coach Swan looks to keep his teams strategy the same. “It is a very balanced league, but we have the size and experience to be good,” Swan said. “We have to play good defense and be able to rebound. We have to be able to win on the road.” The Bulldogs have yet to play most of the teams in their conference and with many home and road games remaining on the schedule, they are preparing for the challenge. “We have solid post-players and shooters,” said Lakich. “As a whole group we like to do what we do best: run the floor.” The Bulldogs are set to face Michigan City at home tonight at 7:30 p.m. following the girls’ matchup.

Photo by Trey Aultman

Senior Brady Schuster goes up for a lay-up in a game against LaPorte.

take 5 with TREY

Odd injuries plague professional sports By Trey Aultman / sports editor Professional athletes put their body on the line every time that they step foot on the field or court. However, the most danger seems to come off the playing surface. There are countless stories behind injuries that occurred off the field. Former Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Griese was at his house when he was tripped by his dog and fell down the stairs. He hurt his foot and was forced to miss a couple of games. I can see how that would happen, but some injuries are just ridiculous. Sammy Sosa, the Cubs outfielder famous for corking a bat, was in a hitting slump that he blamed on back spasms. That sounds legitimate. However, the pain was started by a sneeze. Another injury was that of Aaron Boone. He tore his ACL playing basketball. The problem with that is he is a baseball player. He had to miss the 2004 season and had a hard time finding a team after that. One of the most bizarre has to be Joel Zumaya, the pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. He had to miss the playoffs due to a sore wrist. That’s a common injury among pitchers. The crazy part is, he got the injury from playing Guitar Hero. Yes, the video game. I guess he was rocking out too hard. Injuries just don’t seem to happen on the field anymore. New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in a night club. The gun shot wound was not bad at all (one night in the hospital), the problem was the law. In New York, the gun laws are strict. Burress’ season is over early, and he faces jail time because he was carrying a gun. He claims that he had the gun for protection after a fellow Giants’ wide out was robbed at gun point the week before. Also in the past month, the Chicago Bulls rookie guard Derrick Rose required ten stitches in his arm. He cut himself on a knife that he had left on his bed after cutting an apple there. Fortunately for the Bulls, Rose will not miss any games with the injury. The athletes are paid millions of dollars to compete on the field or court and when they do things that cause injury they are letting people down. Although some of these injuries cannot be prevented, and are freak accidents, some things are just strange. Why are you carrying a gun? You have enough money to pay for multiple bodyguards, and you’re risking a career. Or, why are you cutting in an apple in your bed? That’s what kitchens are for. Or, if you start to feel soreness while playing a video game, stop. I don’t see how these things happen; but then again, that’s why they get paid the big bucks.

Wrestlers look forward to promising season State ranked ‘Dogs prepare to make another run at the state meet By Colin Likas / reporter It’s hard to imagine how the wrestling team could get any better. Last season, they sent seven wrestlers to state and saw four of them place in the top five of their respective weight classes. This year the Bulldog wrestling team is ranked #1 in the region. The best part for the team, according to head coach Scott Vlink, is that they can get even better. “We just need to work to improve every day,” Vlink said. The team is gearing up for another run at the state podium this season, as they return five of the seven wrestlers that they sent to state last season. Senior Marcus Shrewsbury and sophomore Eric Roach look to improve on second place finishes in the 189 and 130 pound weight classes, respectively. “I just stayed after practice to work with coach Vlink,” Roach said on how he was able to have success last season. Junior Anthony Hawkins also hopes to top a fourth place finish in the 103 pound weight class in the season’s final meet. “I want to win state at the 112 pound weight class this season,” Hawkins said. The key to the team’s success this season lies in their training. They practice six days a week for two hours each evening to practice new moves and sharpen thier skills, as well as conditioning sessions two morning a week.. “We do a lot of conditioning,” Hawkins added. “That includes running and live wrestling.” Although the team is led by some allstate wrestlers, Vlink views the team’s talent in a different way. “All of the wrestlers are important to our success,” Vlink said.

Photo by Ben Cottrell

Junior Anthony Hawkins wrestles in a match against Chesterton. Hawkins, along with several other Crown Point teammates, is nationally ranked. The Bulldogs won their first three meets including their third consecutive Stagg Invite. Over on the freshman team, coach Branden Lorek feels there is a lot of talent on the roster. “The boys who listen and put in the extra time in training will find success at the JV and varsity levels in years to come,” Lorek said. Vlink has a positive outlook on the freshman team and their chances for success in the future. “We have a nice group of freshmen,” Vlink said. “If they stick it out they will

be fine.” Vlink has a tough goal he’d like the team to achieve this season. “We are hoping to get the team to the state finals,” Vlink said. Lorek also has put up some goals for his team to shoot for. “We want each freshman to win a match and finish the season with a winning record,” Lorek said. “We want them to be proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

some fun with the kids and show support for our teams,” Dorulla said. The “Dog Pack,” the name of the newly formed student section, so far has proven to be a successful investment. As of December 19, there is only one loss at home between both basketball programs. “This year’s student section has more students and is a lot louder than in the past years,” girls head basketball coach Scott Reid said. The athletes on the court are noticing the change, too. “It looks like more people are coming, and I’ve heard that people had fun,” senior basketball player and Athletic Council president Daniela Tarailo said. At the end of each quarter at the boys and girls basketball games, a student is selected out of the student section to attempt

a shot in order to win a Ticket-2-Ride. “Let’s have some fun and reward the students who are demonstrating great school spirit in the portrait of our graduates,” Ban said. The “Dog Pack” plans to support sport events other than basketball. “We plan on having the ‘Dog Pack’ at every winter sport this season,” Dorulla said. The Athletic Council of Student Leaders plans to continue the “Dog Pack” into spring sports and into next year. “They plan on doing it for all sports and continuing into next year for football and soccer,” Tarailo said. Today the girls and boys basketball teams will host the Michigan City Wolves. There will be a tailgating party at 6 p.m. in the fieldfouse, all students are welcome.

Dog Pack energizes C.P. student section By Hunter McKee / assistant sports editor If you have been to a sporting event in the past month you might of noticed a difference not on the field of play, but in the stands. Students of the newly formed Athletic Council of Student Leaders(ACSL) have decided to incorporate a more organized student cheer section, from that of previous years. “We decided organize an athletic council to make the games and events more fun and promote good school spirit,” principal Dr. Eric Ban said. The council was started this year by athletic director Bill Dorulla. The council contains 24 students from all 22 sports. “Dr. Ban and I just wanted to have

Quick Hits

Girls Swimming and Diving

With the pool down at Crown Point High School both swim teams have been practicing at other facilities. At the time of the first home meet on Dec. 9, the pool was not ready for use and the meet was postponed. Before that however, the Lady Bulldogs carried their number two ranking in the area against the number one Chesterton Trojans. The girls lost this match by a score of 120-66. Also, the team competed in the LaPorte relays where the Lady Bulldogs came in second place behind only Chesterton. On Monday, took on Highland in their first meet at home. The Lady Bulldogs won by a score of 103-83. Junior Angela Roberts



December 19, 2008

Achievements -Senior Lance LaMere was named to the Times 2008 Indiana Football Postseason All-Area Team for his play as a linebacker on the Crown Point football team. - Senior punter and halfback Mike Kozlowski, senior kicker Mike Lipton, and senior offensive lineman Nick Colonna all received honorable mentions on the Times Postseason All-Area Team. -Sophomore Eric Roach was ranked fourth in his weight class by Wrestling USA magazine in the freshman/sophomore national rankings. -Freshmen Jason Tsirtsis and Tyler Kral were ranked fourth and twenty-fourth respectively by Wrestling USA magazine in the freshman/ sophomore national rankings.

Boys Swimming and Diving The boys swim and dive team started the season ranked by the Times as number five in the area. The Bulldogs opened up their regular season at the number one ranked Chesterton Trojans’ pool. Chesterton, having a swimmer that took part in the Olympic Trials this past summer, defeated Crown Point by a score of 120-66. In the meet, the 200 meter free style relay team of seniors Matt Kukurugya and Brendan Morin, junior Till Hubl, and sophomore Marcus Trybula won their race, and freshman Michael Kukurugya also won his race in the 100 meter backstroke. The Bulldogs came in third place behind Munster and Lake Central in the Munster relays Dec. 6, and had the Valparaiso meet postponed due to the fact that the pool not fully recovered from filtration issues. On December 15 the Bulldogs were victorious over the Highland Trojans by a score of 110-76.


Sophie Fleszewski




December 19, 2008

Ms. Kollak goes to Washington

Senior Amanda Kollak heads to Obama inauguration in January “At the end, we get to go to a Black Tie Gala that Oprah and Beyonce are invited to. Hopefully, Obama will show up too,” Kollak said. In addition, these students will have the opportunity of exploring historic sites and monuments in the capitol, take part in roundtable discussions with national journalists, participate in debates with political experts, and listen to addresses by Colin Powell and Al Gore. “I’m most looking forward to getting to see Barack Obama get inaugurated and all of the processes they go through,” Kollak said. Out of the 300-some students, another local student was invited. Wheeler High School freshman Abby Zeitler took part in an earlier youth leadership program and was invited based off of her performance there. The leadership programs are considered an asset to Kollak since she applied for a scholarship in a national defense program in Washington, D.C. After high school, she plans on going into a career in that area. “I was so proud of her for being one of the 300 students in the entire country selected to go to the forum, ” Amanda’s mother Donna Kollak said.

By Lauren Cain / advertising assistant

I would want to go to Ireland because it is both very different from America, but also has a few similarities.

Who are three people you would love to spend a day with? Hugh Laurie, Paul Konerko, and Tony Schlaub.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? I would change all the ignorance, because then people may care more about what they do.

Name a major issue you believe teens deal with everyday. I believe teens deal with peer pressure on both minor and major issues.

What is something most people don’t know about you? One thing unknown to most people is that I am very into art.

What is one of your biggest fears? Why? Large open bodies of water. You never know what’s underneath you.

I’m most looking “forward to getting to


Barack Obama get inaugurated and all of the processes they go through.

Photo By Jeremy Rex

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A once in a lifetime opportunity is about to present itself to senior Amanda Kollak. She will be in attendance at the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama. Kollak will be taking part in a fiveday program called the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference (PYIC). Its mission is to “provide scholars with a deeper understanding of the history behind the electoral process,” according to the PYIC press release. “Last year, I got invited to go to a national security conference, called the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security, and we got to do things that simulated working for the agencies in Washington, D.C. Since they liked me there, I got invited to go to this conference,” Kollak said. The organization mailed Kollak the initial information and she could choose between a national defense and a medicine program. “I chose the national defense because that is what I want to go into. I qualified to go to the camp because of my grades and everything I’m involved in,” Kollak said. Kollak has a 4.428 GPA and is involved in Advanced concert band, symphonic orchestra, jazz band, pit orchestra, and South Shore Chamber Orchestra as well as National Honor Society. The PYIC is held every four years. Those who are part of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council and the National Youth Leadership Forum are exclusively invited to attend the private Inaugural events that are offered to the young scholars. The PYIC identifies students who show promise in leadership and scholastics. During her stay in D.C., Kollak will not only get to attend the inauguration and inaugural parade, but get to attend a Black Tie Gala Inaugural Ball.

senior Amanda Kollak Photo By Jeremy Rex

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Inklings Dec.2008  

Crown Point H.S., IN newspaper

Inklings Dec.2008  

Crown Point H.S., IN newspaper