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Table of Contents

Your Duty By Ethan Clevenger - High school assembly writer

Student Life | After-Party Advice


Student Life | DIY Prom Dresses


Student Life | Prom Across Iowa


College Prep | Must-Haves for the Average Dorm 10 Student Life | Price on Prom: Too Much?


Entertainment | Black Swan Review


College Prep | UNI Resource for Biz. Students


Welcome to a new year at the High School Assembly. To

the new freshman - welcome, it’s the beginning of an

exciting chapter. To the new seniors - welcome to the close. You have important jobs waiting for you.

The past few weeks, for those of you watching the

news, have marked a new movement called Occupy Wall Street. This movement is an uprising of those feeling

oppressed by the upper class. This group consists of all

sorts of people. College students to senior citizens have

been gathring outside state capitols across the nation to make their voices heard.

Unfortunately, many of these people have been

no more mature than the politicians and millionaires

oppressing them. The ‘peaceful assemblies’ have been littered with riots and vandalization. These sorts of

activities are not utilization of free speech - they are

crimes. Sometimes it seems that free speech can only occur in a pure form here, in the press, stated with graceful prose, vigor and emotion.

As young people soon to be tossed into the

world, you’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again:

our nation’s problems rest on your shoulders, and I

encourage you to get a start on it right here and now.

This sinking ship will only hold its course for so long,

and it will take a group effort to fix it. There’s never been 2928 Ingersoll Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 PH: 515.283.1933 FAX: 515.283.1646

Volume Six | Issue four

a more exciting time to be a youth in this nation.

Let’s make a real assembly out of this assembly

- a first ammendment assembly of the young people

destined to right these wrongs. You can’t run for office,

and you might not be able to vote. You might feel totally insignificant. But you’re not - not in our eyes, and not in

Mike Rickord | President

the eyes of any politician who knows where we’re headed.

John Streets | Business Consultant

chance to be heard, an invitation to develop your voice

Joe stasi | Account Executive

beast waiting to pounce on you, so don’t let it hit you

Tim Weideman | Editor

confidence. We’re excited to be a tool to catapult the

Ethan Clevenger | Student Writer ADAM OESTREICH | Graphic Design Intern

So this is an invitation to use our magazine as a

and learn where you stand. Just around the corner is a

unexpectedly. Arm yourself with knowledge, prose and

youth of our nation into the limelight.

Here’s to a year of tumult, an election of grandiose

proportion and an era of change.

HUNTER PETERSEN | Graphic Design Intern LAUREN SMITH | Graphic Design Intern 2

Volume 7 Issue 2

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College Prep Special Announcement from the High School Assembly! Exciting news is hopefully coming your way from High School Assembly. Here at the office, we’ve been struggling to find ways to get our readers involved with the magazine and getting their work for publication - making sure that the world gets to see your work. But recently, we had a great idea, and we think you’re going to like it, too. Right now, there isn’t a lot of incentive for submitting your work. Publication is great, but it’s not particularly tangible especially in the short run. So what if we really gave you something you could hold onto for your work? Something like, say, a scholarship?

Here’s the plan: we’d like to set up a sort of liaison from each school interested every year between our magazine and your journalism department. In most situations, this would probably be the editor of the school newspaper. This liaison would be in charge of sending in well-written stories from his or her staff that belong in our magazine for the whole state of Iowa to see. Here, we would filter through these and select the best for publication. Based upon the stories we get from your end and teacher recommendations, a number of these student liaisons will be selected as scholarship recipients to recognize their hard work.

It’s that easy. You’re not even really doing any extra work outside of submitting stories on our website. And for that little extra effort, you’re looking at a chance to put an early dent in what has become inevitable college debt. Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Send an e-mail to isc@ Expect to see this program rolling out pretty soon. Don’t worry, our readers— our greatest asset— will be the first to know.

Jim Tarpey

Sales Manager Dean Foods - Lemars Visit us on the web @


Dean Volume 7 Issue 2



Cheap Christmas Gifts Ethan Clevenger Staff Writer More often than not, high school is a time you may find yourself strapped for cash. Looking ahead, if you’re one of those people who is big into giving gifts, the holidays can be a bit daunting when trying to find gifts to fit your budget. Whether it’s friends or family, here are a few ideas to get you started. First, for friends. Buying a CD or DVD would be a great idea - it’s inexpensive and most people watch movies or listen to music. However, if you have a lot of friends (and we’re sure you do), it can get costly fast. An alternative is burning CDs for friends. Not only are blank discs increasingly inexpensive, but this can be much more personal than any old CD. Like the classic mix tape, a burned CD is a great way to show someone you care. Or, if you’re really stretching the dollar this year, you can loan out your flash drive with mp3s on it to different friends a few days at a time. If music isn’t your (or your giftee’s) cup of tea, food never fails. No,

don’t go buy a fruitcake for each of your friends— you’ll just get it back. Instead, try cookies. You can bake a lot of them at once, so it covers a lot of friends. Not to mention everyone loves cookies. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can make holiday cookies with a cookie cutter, icing, sprinkles — the whole nine yards. As a final option, and note that not everyone will appreciate this, you can always get some construction paper and make a card. It’s the thought that counts, right? This would probably be better suited to your parents, but a boyfriend or girlfriend would also certainly appreciate the intrinsic value. Speaking of your parents, they need love, too. Fortunately, mom and dad are much more appreciative of the quirky and meaningful gifts, and you can afford to spend a little more money on them since you don’t have twelve. If you have old projects from kindergarten like a picture you drew, you might consider buying a nice frame for it. As high school comes to an end, your parents are going to

be thinking about how you grew up so fast, and this will make a great send-off that they can remember your childhood by. It’ll quickly make its way to the mantle. And there’s always the tried and true gourmet coffee and ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug, or perhaps a box of chocolates. Dads love chocolate. For mom, try out some flowers. Poinsettias are great this time of year, and they look killer in a Christmas tree. With these budget-friendly ideas, you’ll be well on your way to spreading Christmas cheer far and wide this year.


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Volume 7 Issue 2

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• Streaming Live on and Volume 7 Issue 2


Student How to Beat the Winter Blues 2/

Ethan Clevenger 16 Staff Writer

2/ 23

Adapted from “10 Cool Ways to Beat the Winter Blues” by Nicole Nichols on

We’ve all felt it. Those “winter Usher blues,” characterized by the mild Raymond v. Raymond depression, lack of motivation, and / low2energy. Luckily, there’s a lot23 you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal if they’re already here.

1. Exercise As if we needed another reason to get fit! ExerciseLifehouse isn’t only and Mirrors for stayingSmoke healthy. It’s great for2relieving the stresses of / life. 23Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism will stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind Alkaline Trio This Addiction


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3 / good by releasing those “feel 2 your mood. chemicals” that improve

3/ concentration, and mood swings. 5 Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, 2. Eat a Healthy Diet brown rice, veggies, fruit) and get What and when you eat have a your daily 8 cups of water. These huge effect on your mood and healthy foods provide your body energy. Avoid refined and processed (and mind) with nutrients, and foods (like white breads, rice, stabilize your blood sugar and your The Rocket Summer Little Boots and sugar). These foods are not energy levels. Of Men and Angels Hands only devoid of the nutrients your 3. Get Some Sun Most people know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less and less time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed—without knowing why! Similar to exercise, sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain 3/ that affect mood. Try to spend a body craves, but they zap your little more time outdoors. Keep energy levels and can affect your your shades up during the day to mood—causing depression, lack of DJ Khaled Victory

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Student let more light in. Sit near windows in restaurants and during class. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to “full spectrum” bulbs. These mimic natural light and actually have the same affects on your mind as the real thing. 4. Act on your Resolutions A recent study from the CDC showed a strong link between healthy behaviors and depression. Women who exhibited healthy behaviors (like exercising, not smoking, etc.) had less sad and depressed days than those whose behaviors were less than healthy. The results are likely similar in men. So don’t blow off those New Year’s resolutions. 5. Treat Yourself Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you— a weekend trip, a day at the spa, or a special event like a play, girl’s (or guy’s) night out, or sporting event (see the “Upcoming Events”

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article.) 6. Relax! You’re busy! Work, class, family, friends— even if you enjoy being busy, everyone needs some time off. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to extra opportunities. Try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing! Read a book or magazine, play video games, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditations, or take a yoga class. Relaxation, especially in the form of yoga, can alleviate stress and leave you with a calm energy. Mental exercises like meditation and positive thinking can help keep depression at bay. 7. Embrace the Season Instead of always avoiding the cold and the snow, look for the best that it has to offer. Take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey or even sledding. Enjoy these opportunities while they last— after all, they’re only here a few months per year. Staying active will boost your energy. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep your spirits high.

8. Get Social Support Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, mentors, co-workers and neighbors. Who can you turn to when you’re down and need a pickme-up? Keep a mental list of these special people and don’t be afraid to ask for help or encouragement when you need it. Something as simple as a phone call, a chat over coffee, or a nice email or letter can brighten your mood. 9. Catch some Zzzz’s People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with all we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. With a little time management and some self-discipline, you can meet your shut-eye needs. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. That way, your sleeping patterns can normalize and you’ll have more energy. Try not to oversleep— those 12-hour snoozes on the weekend can actually make you more tired. Don’t forget naps! A short (10-30 minute) afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energize midday.

Volume 7 Issue 2


2011 S

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Enter Uncharted 3 Ethan Clevenger Staff Writer Since hitting the Playstation 3 in 2007, Nathan Drake and the Uncharted series have quickly become a go-to title for anyone attempting to debate the console war. The first game was great, if not the blockbuster its sequels would become. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves released in 2009 and received essentially every accolade the industry has to offer. It established the series as a cinematic series dedicated to pushing video games into the future and mainstream media. It wasn’t long before people were itching for another Nathan Drake adventure, and it’s finally arrived. The multiplayer has also received a facelift. While there was certainly nothing wrong with Uncharted 2’s multiplayer, it was often overlooked for stalwarts like Call of Duty. This


Volume 7 Issue 2

year will probably be no different with Battlefield and Modern Warfare 3 already out there. However, it should be noted that the multiplayer here is deep and exciting. It offers a new spin on the hohum recipe with power plays to help even scores in the traditional team deathmatch and several other modes to choose from. The co-op adventure offers a loose story that can be played with friends online or on the couch, which is nice to see. However, the matchmaking is a bit buggy at times trying to stick with your party, and the co-op adventure mode can’t be played in order and needs a way to back out of it at any time. After the chapter select is offered, you can’t escape the mode until the game begins and you choose to leave. Other than this, there are plenty of fun

kickbacks and weapon mods, lots of skins and lots of fun. But I’m not here to say all the good things everyone else has already said. We know what it does well. Cinematic, fun and gorgeous. Here’s what you really need to know. Uncharted 3 is its predecessor in every way as far as gameplay goes. The look sensitivity can’t be altered, which can take some getting used to, and sometimes you feel like you’re shooting someone right in the head but nothing happens. These have strayed from the second title, but a forthcoming patch looks to fix this. Until then, these won’t make-or-break your game, even on the hardest difficulties. You should be keeping to cover anyway. Where this title is lacking is in story - specifically pacing. Uncharted 2 did this very well.

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The game started off with you hanging from a train in the snow over a cliff - right into the action. The backstory was jumped into nicely, building back up to where you started, and while Drake’s deduction skills do seem to be bordering on super powers, the plot was consistent. It kept going until you descended into Shambhala where the enemies were notably harder and the stakes were notably higher. It culminated in an exciting final battle and the dramatic escape, resulting in closure and a great title.

Uncharted 3, however, doesn’t build particularly well. (MINOR SPOILER ALERT). The story is going and it’s going and it’s interesting, sure, but you’re not sure where the intensity is. The difficulty is pretty standard throughout. You get to where you’re going and wonder “Wow, when was I suddenly here?” and before you know it the bad guys are almost getting away with it (in an act that is none-to spectacular in itself). Suddenly you’ve stopped them (which isn’t even triggered by a quick-time event, nontraditional for the series), and while you’re certainly left satisfied, the final battle is like “Eh, I’ve been doing this the entire game.”

It feels very rushed by this point. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but it’s not Among Thieves. This title does do a lot building on characters and their relationships, however (for the most part). We get a little of Drake and Sully’s backstory together and Sully is pushed more to the forefront, which many of his admirers will be happy to see. Marlowe, however brief and minor her involvement seems to be, is portrayed very well. One won’t realize how much you really hate her until it culminates towards the end, and suddenly you think “I’m not sure why I hate her so much right now, but I do!” So points there. Unfortunately, we’re still left itching to know what on Earth is going on with Nate and Elena. They appear to be or have been married, but what has become of that isn’t particularly clear. Overall, a none-too-surprising quality title, worth every penny you might pay.

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Volume 7 Issue 2


Enter Christmas Must-Sees Ethan Clevenger Staff Writer The holiday season means many things— decorations, music, gifts and store displays. While these are all wonderful advents spreading yuletide cheer, there are certain things that have a very special touch this time of year— things like a Red Rider BB Gun with a compass in the stock. This thing tells time and the story of young Ralphie and his quest for said BB gun. These are the Christmas classics that you need to see this season, whether you’ve already seen them or not. “A Christmas Story” is the classic tale of a young boy named Ralphie and, most importantly, his determination to get a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. It seems the world is out to get Ralphie, stunting his requests with the curt and overarching reply “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” I have a pair of boxers with this immortal Christmas expression printed on them. Other one liners include “Oh fuuudddgggeee”,

“I can’t put my arms down!” and “He had yellow eyes! So help me God, yellow eyes!” Fortunately for the entire country, this film plays for 24 hours on TBS on the big day, so you have plenty of opportunities. Before you know it, you’ll be putting a leg lamp in your own window every year. I triple-dog dare you to miss this. Speaking of playing 24 hours, USA rolled the next film all Christmas day last year. While Will Farrell’s more recent endeavors have arguably been less-thanstellar, his holiday flick “Elf” is sure to please all audiences. This one is the story of a regular human raised as an elf. After he learns that he isn’t actually an elf, he journeys to the big city to find his real father, a business magnate who takes none to kindly to a grown man dressed in green claiming to be his son. Holiday hilarity ensues. While it won’t be running all day this year, you can catch it on USA at 8:00 PM on Christmas, and probably elsewhere beforehand. Zooey Deschanel co-stars in this one. National Lampoon tends to be a bit racy, but for most of you, “Christmas

Vacation” shouldn’t be anything new. Chevy Chase is once again the family man trying to make Christmas perfect for his family. Unfortunately, with the relatives visiting for the holidays, the task isn’t so easy. Juggling Christmas lights and Uncle Eddy can be a problem, but Clark Griswald will be sure to get the job done. This one will probably be on AMC every night for a week, so be sure to catch it if you haven’t yet. It’s become a piece of Christmas history. And finally, the animated classics. There’s the classic story of Christmas redemption - Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. If you don’t know what this is, you’ve been living under a rock. You’ll never forget the Thurl Ravenscroft theme (“You’re a mean one...”), and it’ll leave your heart three sizes bigger. A live-action adaptation starring Jim Carey also exists, and it’s pretty good itself. I suggest seeing both. Additionally, check out “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The Peanuts gang rallies together to really make Christmas special for Chuck, who is starting to lose hope. After that, be sure to grab the oftforgot second Peanuts holiday special “It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown”. Though not as good as the first, this after-school special is just as worthy of your attention.


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College Prep What You Need to Know About Financial Aid Ethan Clevenger Staff Writer As the college application season is coming to a close for seniors, the big decision is right around the corner. Unfortunately, this decision can be fraught with talk of where one can actually afford to go. In today’s economy, financial aid for college is a valuable asset, so here are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of it. First off, when it comes to financial aid from the school, you need to know that whatever you’re offered isn’t set in stone. Especially if you’re receiving aid for a particular talent, it isn’t too hard to get a little more money out of them. Make friends with your admission counselor, and tell he or she what you’re getting offered from other schools (or fib a bit). If another school is (supposedly) offering you more

money for your talent and this school really wants you, they’ll often up their offer to get you to reconsider. One might not think that schools are adamant about the students they select, but especially at private schools, it’s very possible you beat out several other candidates, and that happened for a reason. Schools want to fill their roster with the best, and if that means offering some more money, so be it. Use this to your advantage - you’re an asset. Next off, don’t skip on third party donations. There are lots of great websites out there that have a wealth of scholarship there for the taking. The competition can be stiff, but if you have the time on your hands, there is no excuse for scouring the web and applying for everything you can get your hands on it, especially if it’ll make or break your college decision.,,, and

finaid are just a few websites compiling this free money for you to work for. And finally, the government gives out financial aid as well. Pell grants are essentially free money, so make sure you’ve applied for these. Second-most important are subsidized loans. These loans won’t actually accrue interest until you begin paying them off when you graduate. That doesn’t mean you can’t start paying early - it just means that the interest will stay away for a while. Believe it or not, that extra tacked onto the initial value can be crushing. If it comes to it, that leaves unsubsidized loans. These are expensive since they start charging interest as soon as they’re granted, but they get the job done. Long story short - make the most out of the free money.

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Several factors contribute to these unfortunate statistics: Distracted Driving - Texting While Driving - Alcohol Use Speeding - No Seatbelts - Inexperience

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Volume 7 Issue 2


College Prep Finals Ethan Clevenger Staff Writer I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are good test-takers and there are bad test-takers. I am thankful every day that I am one of the former, but when asked to write about taking finals, it occurred to me that my account isn’t going to be very interesting. I’ve never gone into finals stressed and worried, and I’ve never spent all night cramming. Then I saw this as an opportunity to help people get a new mindset about finals. First off, finals are, quite simply, just a lot of work. This is probably the best way to think about it. Don’t stress about taking the test itself, but recognize that it’s a lot of work and allocate time accordingly. Several other students are taking the same final, many students have taken the same final in the past, and tons of kids are taking finals across the nation, which means that you can do it too. Just allot time to get the studying done and don’t

procrastinate. If you can go into the final confident that you know the material, it’ll be that much easier to concentrate and not make silly mistakes in addition to having the knowledge to answer the questions correctly. The number one thing not to do while studying is think about winter break. While it’s just around the corner and you probably won’t have homework, the last thing you want to do is reinforce the idea that you’re on the downhill slide. Finals are really important for your grade, and so the worst thing you can do is to blow them off daydreaming about break. In preparation for future finals, make sure you save all of your notes over the course of the semester. Finals are usually comprehensive, so any old notes and assignments will be very useful to study from. If you’re like many fortunate students, your school day ends early during finals. This is not an opportunity to go home and play video games or watch television. This time is allotted to you with


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the expectation that you will use it responsibly. While it’s not a bad idea to take a few minutes and relax, don’t forget that there’s work ahead. Study for tomorrow if you’re unsure at all about the content. And finally, be sure to note some general test-taking strategies. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a solid breakfast. Going into the test, bring extra pencils and batteries for your calculator if you need to. Stay relaxed, and make sure to address questions that you know the answer to and are worth more points first. Best of luck, readers. We’ll see you on the other side.

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UPPER IOWA UNIVERSITY HAS A LOT TO BRAG ABOUT “ I chose Upper Iowa University to develop and broaden my education, play competitive collegiate sports, and meet new people. UIU offers opportunities to young minds everyday.” Shaina Marnell, ‘12 Hanover Park, IL

STUDENT FOCUSED – graduating students with less debt than any other private institution in Iowa EXCELLENT FACILITIES – completing $75 million in Phase I construction of classrooms, residence halls, and a student center GLOBALLY AVAILABLE – offering degrees through 17 U.S. educational centers and 3 international locations ONLINE EXCELLENCE – nationally ranked among top online degree-granting universities by Online Education Database and repeatedly rated for “best buy” programs by

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HOW MANY? How many empty seats in the class room does it take to change your mind? How many empty seats at graduation does it take to change your behavior? How many times do you have to grieve the loss of a friend, classmate or relative? You’ve heard it all before: the leading cause of death in young Iowans is fatal car crashes. But did you know that many of these teens were speeding or using alcohol or driving distracted and not buckled up? Start being a leader now and set the example- Buckle up, Drive the Speed Limit, Don’t Drink & Drive and Don’t Text while Driving!

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The Assembly - Volume 7 Issue 2  

State Dance Champions Crowned

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