Page 1 JLabMag .com Inside what you need to know now The Hi.Life takes a look at the 25 annual Christmas in the Park. Also in this issue is a recap of the past year’s most exciting events and a few thoughts on how to best spend your snow days. Lee’s Summit High School Volume 94 Issue 5 December 20 Price $0.50


December 20, 2012



16 08. News Dicover the history behind the special Christmas tradition lighting up Kansas City during the holiday season for the past 25 years.


16. Center spread Often times after high school, students will attend a community college, state university, or private college where they will pursue their dreams, but is that all there is to the college experience?

24. Entertainment This newest animated film fantasy by Dreamworks is sweeping the box offices at tens of millions of dollars. It is none other than the Rise of the Guardians.

26. Sports In mid-November, this athlete was crowned as 2012’s men’s 100 yard breaststroke champion in the state of Missouri. He is none other than Lee’s Summit’s very own Zach Knoche.

39. Features Every year people from all over Kansas City gather in one place to experience the glow of the Plaza lights, but few know its true history.



04 ADS

Experience Baker University

You’ll get a free Baker T-shirt during your visit!

Go to to see a list of campus visit days or to set up an individual visit at the first university in Kansas. Contact the Office of Admission with questions, or to register by phone, at 800.873.4282 ext 7891.  STAFF PAGE  05

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Choosing the Road of Higher   “A road diverged into two, and I chose the road less traveled.”   Often times, parents and teachers reference this old saying for one reason or another. Whether it is to encourage us to reach higher, or to make us realize that we could try harder depending on the situation, but what we decide to do with their advice is often incredibly different.   For many, we will choose to ignore them, possibly thinking that we know best simply because we are of a younger generation and can understand technology while they can sometimes barely grasp the concept of

cell phones. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we as teenagers rarely understand the complexities of things that adults have to deal with such as taxes and insurance premiums. Because of various life experiences that adults deal with, they generally know how to best approach touchy situations and will advise us to keep us away from problems. Believe it or not, but many adults actually enjoy helping kids, especially your parents.   Of course, then there are those of us who do listen intently and soak up every solitary detail of the advice being given to us. Ultimately, listening to their advice will, in most situations, help us to achieve our goals and gain a better understanding of the problems we are facing or how to go about creating solutions.   While many times it does seem that only positive outcomes are achieved by listening to parents and teachers, idly listening to adults drone on and on can produce negative outcomes. Sure, we will get our tasks finished and be in the clear for a short while, but what happens when we need to think for ourselves and nobody is there to provide support or insight into any given situation?   The answer is that we would basically crash and burn. If a parent is doing your homework for you, then when test day rolls around, the score you get will rarely reflect the scores from your homework. If your parents always file your taxes for you, how will you do it when you are on your own? If your parents always did your laundry for you, how will you know what colors are ok to wash together?   So while in some situations it is best to listen idly or choose to do your own thing, it may not always work out well. We need to learn how make a third road for ourselves, drawing on information from others and ourselves to craft unfavorable situations into desirable outcomes.

Kevin Adams


Editor in Chief: Kevin Adams Managing Editor: Haley Gillilan Photo Editors: John Wood and Zac Harris News Editor: Shelby Wagner Features Editors: Mary Jo Roccaro and Kailyn Smith Entertainment Editor: Haley Gillilan Fashion Editors: Tori Carlile and Jordan Julian Opinions Editor: Sean Stevens Sports Editors: Jonathon Barr and Andrew Potter Copy Editors: Paige Seymour and Daniel Graham Ads Manager: Tierney VanMeter

Writers and Photographers: Aaron Hagan, Aaron LaPaz, Allison Litthong, Andrew Potter, Andy Jarnevic, Anna Meyers, Annelise Hanshaw, Ashley Hagan, Brooke McLanahan, Cara McCauley, Chelsea Englis, Cole Raymond, Darby Beatty, Darren Clay, Dia Sims, Endia Sears, Grace Rodgers, Grace Tibbitts, Hannah Nickles, Ian Nickens, Jared Shepherd, Jesse Butler, Josh Harris, Jude Spaulding, Kyle Tye, Logan Phillips, Maddy Wylie, Matt Rellihan, Megan Terry, Morgan Bruce, Nathan Michael, Payton Seymour, Sydnee Pointer, Taelor Oller, Tristan White and Victoria Gardner. Advisor: Marc Russell



Safe Cigarettes?

The safer alternative offering many nicotine-addicted teens desiring to quit a new solution to kick their smoking habit.

U.S. survey indicates that 21% of the adults of America smoke. Then another survey says that nine out of ten tobacco users say that they start before they became eighteen years old, meaning about 20% of teenagers smoke. This the sad fact of today’s age of teenagers; they have chosen to smoke at a young, impressionable age which detriments their own futures. There are, however, people around the world making safer

cigarettes, in hopes of putting the regular, harmful cigarettes into oblivion. Their solution is electronic cigarettes.   The electronic cigarettes were made to feed the nicotine addiction without the side effects of the other bad chemicals that are used to make regular cigarettes.   “They usually have a small percentage of nicotine, and the idea behind these are to gradually kick the habit of smoking regular cigarettes,” resource officer

Darnell Sims said.   Of course, smoking cigarettes in general is not the healthiest thing ever, but people still smoke, fully aware of the consequences. According to, these consequences include yellow teeth, unhealthy skin complexion, poor athletic abilities, lung diseases, and even heart diseases. In some cases, the situation can even be fatal: About one out of five people in the U.S. die due to smoking.

  Some believe it is easier to not even smoke at all, but there are others who will choose to smoke. Those who chose to smoke at a younger age and have become addicted to them up to this day can gradually kick their addiction to the curb by switching to electronic cigarettes. These cigarettes are preferred because those that smoke these would only be smoking vapors and not the actual, potent smoke; water vapors are inhaled

rather than the other more dangerous chemicals that cause the problems in the human body.   “Compared to regular cigarettes, electronic cigarettes are pretty safe,” Sims said.   The best way of all to stay healthy is to still not smoke cigarettes at all and lead a healthy lifestyle, but for those that do smoke, now there is a solution which will eventually put out the flame of their addiction. by Jesse Butler  NEWS 07

Polar Bear Plunge Change for change. “All teachers have cans on their desks that anybody can donate to, junior Ama Idun said.


Student Senate challenges students to donate their spare change to a great charity, all to eventually dive into the freezing cold waters of Longview Lake.

taring into the cold waters of Longview lake, the student mentally prepares to take the plunge. Upon hitting the water, a cold chill runs down the student’s body. Paying money for the opportunity to take this plunge may seem like an odd decision, but when the jump is meant to help the Special Olympics, the decision becomes easier to justify.   “The polar bear plunge is a nationwide fundraiser to raise money for Special Olympics organizations,” Student Senate advisor Karla Thompson said.   Student Senate plays an important role in the polar bear plunge program at the school.   “The Special Olympics is a specific charity student senate donates to,” Thompson said.   Student Senate is trying a variety of programs to encourage more students and teachers to donate money to this good cause.   “Stop the bop is a way to raise money. We’re not going to stop playing the song, until we raise money,” Student Senate president Nikki Perrilloux said.   Another tactic being used is having students volunteer to get pied in the

face during lunch time. Students Special Olympics. have to pay one dollar if they want to   “It helps those children who are throw a pie at one of these students. mentally or physically disabled to A scale to measure progress towards do the same activities and to feel the goal amount has also been accomplished and gratified just produced. like normal teenagers. They have   Donating money to the charity a lot of programs that are just like is an easy way for students to get programs for other kids with special involved and make a modifications,” difference. Thompson said. “It helps those children   “I feel that   Benefitting the who are mentally or supporting either Special Olympics, the physically disabled to community or Polar Bear Plunge is an do the same activities national organizations important fundraiser is important as an and to feel accomplished for our school and adult, as a member the community that and gratified just like of a community. It’s rewards not only normal teenagers.” a responsibility we all the kids in Special have,” Thompson said. Olympics.   Hopping into the lake feels   “You actually get to see the kids rewarding because of the work it get excited about the equipment does for a great organization. Being they get. It makes the experience so able to participate requires students worthwhile,” Perrilloux said. to raise fifty dollars for the activity.   Paying money for the opportunity   “It’s a fun way to raise awareness,” to dive into freezing lake water may Junior Ama Idun said. not initially seem like a great decision,   Student Senate hopes to raise but for a great cause like the Special at least $400 for Special Olympics Olympics, it is easy to see why through Stop the Bop and Pie in the students would take the plunge. Face, and they would like to reach $4,000 before Polar Bear Plunge. by Andy Jarnevic The money raised goes to buying photo by Ashley Hagan equipment and trophies for the


Holiday Greetings. Animated, hatwaving snowmen line the entrance to Christmas in the Park every December at the Longview Lake Campground.

Christmas in the Park

Dicover the history behind the special Christmas tradition lighting up Kansas City during the holiday season for the past 25 years.


s winter creeps towards us, most campgrounds and parks spiral down and come to a standstill. However, for the Longview Lake Campground, it is just the beginning. Every year for the last twenty-five years, they have put together the iconic Christmas in the Park.   “In September of 1988, Jackson County Parks + Rec employees were given the challenge to create, design and construct a holiday wonderland that would benefit both the community and local charities. Longview Lake Campground was chosen as the event site and park personnel began working to have the project completed by November 27. Christmas In The Park opened with a line of cars that stretched as far as the eye could see,” Jackson County Parks and Rec office coordinator Susan Kinnaman said.   Since 1998, the campground has closed down in October to start preparations for the huge undertaking that Christmas in the Park has become. As December rolls around, the park seems to come to life with lights; however, it is no small feat to run.   “As early as February, representatives from throughout the department come together to discuss new display ideas for Christmas in the Park. All displays are designed and built in- house. No matter what the weather, rain, sleet or snow, this incredibly talented staff

staff keeps the lights glowing from Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve,” Kinnaman said.   Standing on the other side of the lake, you can almost see the lights brightening the horizon. And there are a lot of them. Given that they start planning in February every year, there is no shortage of lights or entertainment.   “There are over 300,000 lights and approximately 175 animated figures that transform Longview Lake Park into an enchanting winter wonderland. New this year, NASCAR lovers will enjoy seeing Santa behind the wheel of his North Pole version of a NASCAR. This 10 by 30 foot display boasts 3,840 lights and gives a nod to Christmas In The Park’s Birthday with its number 25,” Kinnaman said.   For twenty-five years, Christmas in

“There are over 300,000 lights and 175 animated figures that transform Longview Lake into a winter wonderland.”

Susan Kinnaman

Jackson County office coordinator

the Park has become much more than just pretty lights and a fun experience; it has generated a lot of money for local charities. To benefit from Christmas in the Park, non-profit charity organizations must submit a request in July stating how the money raised will benefit and provide services to residents of Jackson County. Then, they are randomly selected to participate.   “Each night, volunteer groups who have been selected from a drawing oversee the collection boxes. This year 41 organizations will benefit from Christmas In The Park. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have eclipsed the half-a-milliondollar mark, and donated to over 800 local charitable organizations. Almost 200,000 people across the region share in this special holiday experience each year,” Kinnaman said.   With crews starting constructing as early as October, it is easy to see why this display is generating as much donation revenue as it does. This year is no different for them, as they hope to keep drawing attention, crowds, and donation money, while spreading Christmas cheer throughout Kansas City. Join in on the fun and tradition of this year’s lights before the year ends and the lights go out. by Sean Stevens photo by Darby Beatty

#LSHSProbs   “A problem at Lee’s Summit High School is not having very much school spirit. Every Friday we are supposed to wear black and gold, but not many people do. I have a friend that goes to West, and she said on Fridays almost everyone is wearing blue and silver. Also, not many people go to the away games. I think it is a problem because the teams need out support to make themselves feel confidant.”

by Krista Gillespie

  “A problem with the school that bothers me would be the amount of bugs, especially in the weght room locker room. I have found many spiders, crickets, and unnamed bugs that I’ve never seen before in the locker room. I find this very disgusting. If we spray the school one weekend, I think that would help a lot.”  OPINIONS 09

What would you do if...

YOU Word RAN On OVER The Street A p t o t a DOG? f. ld s wh f ou ter o t e w a v I i r m d o n d I’

by Janae Groh

  “A problem that I have noticed is late start. I don’t mind having shorter classes or waking up late, but I get to school at 8. I don’t like the fact that we can’t go anywhere in the building until 8:15. I wouldn’t normally mind it but more times than not, I have questions that I want to ask my teachers. I either have to rush around to get my questions answered, or I don’t get them answered at all.”

n o s d n m. e p Ia e d e t r I e h w

compiled by Sean Stevens

by Megan Black

Can we quote you on that?

Hi-Life welcomes letters to the editor. Stop by A227 with your letter, or submit one at, and keep an eye on the next Hi-Life to see if you made it.


Should we have more than one nurses office? by Annelise Hanshaw photo by Endia Sears illustration by Jillian Moore


ushing through the halls, heart beating fast, and arriving feeling worse than before. This is one of the conflicts of having just one health room.   “Before West opened, we had two nurse offices,” principal John Faulkenberry said. Years ago, there was a second nurse office in the school’s A building. It is now gone and causes trouble for students who are far from the one we have currently.   “It’s harder for students that need medical attention to go from the top of one building to the bottom of another,” senior Amber Moody said.   When students are feeling sick the last thing they want to do is rush to the only health room; it only makes them feel worse.   “It’d be nice [to have another health room]. One of the challenges of LSHS is how spread out it is,”

Faulkenberry said.   I think that in order to ensure a healthy experience, we should bring back the nurse office in A building. Students with asthma may need treatment quickly and rushing down the stairs and to another building is only going to make it worse.   “The district sets staffing ratios and we’re able to serve our students with just one nurse,” Faulkenberry said.   After talking with the principal and some students, I learned that the nurse leaves once a day to check on another school close by. Some students complain that the assistants then left to do intake are not helpful.   “You have to weigh all the decisions,” Faulkenberry said. “If we were able to spend some amount of money for a new staff person, I would like for it to be a teacher.”   There are always those choices, and it all depends on priorities. During

flu season, it seems pretty important to have a second health room or even nurse on hand.   “The nurse is technically put here by the district,” Faulkenberry said. “It’d take the district giving us more money.”   I think that if the district provided a part-time nurse during the times where sickness and medical attention is more common, we could guarantee a healthier school.   With the new attendance policy, the health of students needs to be focused on even more. The expectation of us going to school needs to be met by the same determination to keep us healthy.   If we were to have another nurse office, students would be healthier. Being healthy affects happiness; this could be a huge improvement to the school.

Snow no!  OPINIONS 11

  Snow days: some people think that they are the best things ever. Others dislike them, and wish there were less of them. My opinion is of the latter. People’s opinions of snow days change depending on what they get to do on them.   Staying at home and babysitting is not most people’s ideas of a great snow day. Watching younger siblings fight is never fun, it is simply headache inducing. Also being a younger sibling would be horrible because then one would always be bossed around by the older one, and this also causes major headaches. While it would be great to go out and have a snowball fight, it is hard to do so, as the snow is often brown and mushy, or not the right type of snow to be able to do that. This causes people to not be able to build a snowman, a snow fort, or even consider having a snowball fight.   There is also the problem of transportation, not being able or not being allowed to drive can cause one to be stuck at home for a lengthy number of days. When it is icy on the ground people also are not able to ride bikes, skateboards, or roller skates, without being in danger of sliding and hurting themselves. Also, walking is mostly not an option because then, unless one has snowshoes, one

would still be at risk of getting hurt.   Another problem people find themselves in is that homework is often completely forgotten there is the prospect. If it is the night before a school day and it is suggested, people do not do their homework thinking they will do it during the over day. Now if the next day is a snow day, maybe one will actually do the homework, but it is more than likely it would be forgotten. However, if the next day is not a snow day, then homework was never done in the first place and people get in trouble at school for that.   While it is true that snow days can be a great day to sleep in, on the snow days that people do not know about them until the morning of snow days, sleeping in does not always work. For the people who get up extremely early, they are often completely awake and ready by the time the snow day call comes in. Which means people would rather not go back to sleep after they are ready for a day, so this means some people actually do not get to sleep in.   With all this combined, some people truly do dislike snow days, but, of course, it all depends on how different people think of them.

  Anyone who has ever lived in Missouri knows that if you do not like the weather, you can wait twenty-four hours and it is likely to change. Missourians are accustomed to harsh seasons. Summers can get so hot you feel as though you are walking on the sun, and who has not heard the expression, “it’s not so much the heat as it is the humidity”? On the flip side, winters in Missouri can be brutally cold--last year withstanding. With these extreme weather conditions, no one is going to mistake Missouri for Florida with its more pristine weather conditions. So what is our reward for tolerating Missouri’s typically cold winters? Snow days! These are the days that every student, teacher, and even administrator starts anticipating beginning the first week of December. I love snow days! I love the energy and excitement that a mid-morning snow fall brings to students. I love the buzz around school. I love the question, “do you think we are going to dismiss school early today?” Snow days are the antibiotic to winter depression. Snow days rejuvenate students and staff. Snow days are part of the fabric of growing up in Missouri, and they provide a positive influence on the mental welfare of students and staff. If I could manufacture snow days like Crash Davis did rainouts in the movie Bull Durham, then I would use the following as my criteria: 1. No more than one snow day prior to winter break. The

first semester is already shorter than the second semester, so first semester snow days only make the second semester that much longer. 2. A minimum of three and a maximum of five snow days per year, with four snow days being optimal. More than five days is simply too many days to make up at the end of the school year. 3. An early dismissal on Thursday and a snow day on Friday would have to be one of the combinations. What a great weekend bonus! 4. Principals work on snow days, which provide an excellent time to “get caught up. “ Considering this, the LSHS administrative team would be able to pick a snow day during the second semester that helps them get caught up. I know this is a little self-serving, but I make up for it with criterion number five. 5. If the principal gets to pick a snow day, then the senior class should be allowed to choose a snow day as well. Oh, I forgot, those are called senior skip days and seniors pick enough of them already. Maybe we let grades nine, ten, and eleven pick the second snow day.   The only compelling reason against snow days is having to make them up at the end of the school year. Seniors, is this an issue for you? Me neither. So as we enter these long winter months, I say, “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”

Anna Myers Vs. Meisenheimer

by Anna Myers

by Mr. Meisenheimer


Scarlett Fever


by Jordan Julian

‘Tis the season to stand out in the classic holiday colors.


night in

ice skating


Seeing Green  FASHION 13

family dinner

basketball game

plaza date


t s i l h s i w s a m t s Chri


otos By Victoria Ga

By Tori Carlile Ph




1. Candies black blazer, $58 2. Apartment 9 orange scarf, $28 3. Izbyer black leather jacket, $58 4. Obey red shirt, $38.50 5. Croft & Barrow black leather boots, $84.99 6. Obey white and red shirt, $42.50






2 1. Obey pale green shirt, $32.50 2. Maroon Tony Hawk shoes, $54.99 3. Reclaim buckle cologne, $32.95 4. Obey red shirt, $29.50 5. Sonoma black leather jacket, $108 6. Axist silver button up, $55


3 6




The Top 6 Distinguishing Factors in 1) Your major of choice

2) College Location

3) Campus and Student Body Size

One of the many important things to think about when applying to a college is what field you want to eventually have a job in and what major would be best for that field. Many colleges probably will not have the major you want, and there is no reason to go to a college if it does not prepare you for what field you want to go in.

Ask yourself, do you want to stay near your family and friends, or do you want to explore another part of the country or even the world? Location really does have a large role in choosing a college because it is where you will be living every semester for however many years you will be in school.

Larger schools will typically have bigger classes with less one on one attention, while smaller schools, in turn, will generally have smaller and more focused classes. This is something to think about if you struggle without more guidance from the teacher. Bigger schools will also have more people, obviously, so if you are a social butterfly, bigger schools may be a better fit for you.


Choosing a College 4) Tuition

5) Housing

6) Atmosphere

You may want to go to the most prestigious and expensive school out there, but unless you receive many scholarships or your parents have enough money saved up, that may not be realistic. An important factor when deciding what college you are going to attend is whether or not you can even afford it.

Is there on-campus housing at this college? Will you be able to pay for your own housing outside of the campus? Considering all of the costs, the answer is probably no, especially with all of the other payments that come with college. So make sure to look into what kind of housing(if any) that the college you want to go to offers.

If you have visited the school already, you might already know how you would fit at a certain school. Feeling like the college is right for you, not just based on your major, is an important factor in choosing the college that you fit into. Visiting the colleges you are looking into is a good way to figure out if you fit in there or if you would fit well going there.


  Senior year could quite possibly one of the most important times in a person’s life. Not only are you in your last year of high school, but you are at the point where you decide what you will do with your life after school, where you will live your own, and making other big decisions and choices. Choosing a college, a major, a new life almost, is something that is very important and it is good to know what to think about when applying to colleges and what to expect from college. There are many things to think about when deciding where to apply for school and also many things to do to prepare for college applications in the first place.

Application Checklist High School Transcripts (Grades) Letter(s) of Recommendation: Talk to your counselor as soon as possible to get a letter of recommendation. A lot of schools ask for a recommendation letter and the school counselors expect you to meet with them at least two weeks before the date you need the letter sent in. Take the ACT/SAT: Almost all schools expect to see a score on either the ACT or SAT tests. Take these as soon as possible so you will have a score to send in when applying to schools. It is also good to take these tests early because if you get a score you are not happy with, you will have time to retake the test and get a better score before sending these scores in for college applications. Application Essay: Typically, a school will want a small essay over a certain topic. A lot of times, the topic is something along the lines of “what would you bring to this school that’s different than a typical student,” or something along those lines, but it could be anything. Extracurricular Activities: It really is important to be involved in extracurricular activities in school or outside of school because these things are what makes you stand out above other students. Plenty of applicants may have a 4.0 GPA, but the thing that makes one person stand out is how involved they are.  CENTER SPREAD  19


College is not for everyone, and there are plenty of other options for post-high school life. Some include: -Apprenticeships: If you are looking in to a certain job, why not learn this job hands on, in person. An apprenticeship is a great way to get started in your career choice by being in the actual work environment. -Joining the military: Many people may want to join the military once they are done with high school. It can also help with college payments if you wish to go to school after your time serving in the military. -Going straight into the work force: If there is a family business or other type of work that you already feel would be a good fit for you, then by all means, go for it. College isn’t required to have a stable career. -Taking a year off: Though it may be harder to get into a college or university a year after high school, it is still done a lot. It may be a good way to go if you are still unsure of what you want to do in the future and need more time to decide. -Volunteering: This may be a good path to take for the first year or two after high school if you are still finding your place in the world and want to make a difference in the mean time. -Traveling: If you have always wanted to explore the world, this may be the time to do so. There are even student exchange programs as well as other educational programs that can allow you to travel all over the world.  CENTER SPREAD  21



Whitney Houston died due to drowning in her bathtub with drug abuse and coronary heart disease being contributing factors. The pop star had suffered an unfortunately premature death at the age of forty-eight. However she had led a good life having won six Grammy awards and sold 170 million albums, singles, and videos.


Whitney Houston Passes Away

The Queen of England celebrated sixty years on the throne. Queen Elizabeth has made her Diamond Jubilee, a celebration that has lasted throughout all of 2012 in order to celebrate this important milestone. This included the Diamond Jubilee pageant as well as several parades. The queen is only the second of her kind to having had sixty years on the throne.

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee APRIL: 100th Anniversary of Titanic

MARCH: Hunger Games opens. Most internet searched movie of the year

Somebody That I Used To Know



Gotye’s Pop anthem Somebody that I used to Know became the top selling single in 2012. Having sold over 1.28 million copies after hitting the number one slot on the charts where it had stayed for five weeks. Carly Rae Jepson’s Call me Maybe came in second and FUN’s We are Young in third.

T imeline by Jude Spaulding


Avengers Takes Out the Competition


JULY: London Summer Olympics

MAY 4TH The movie The Avengers was something to be remembered and 1.5 billion dollars across the world doesn’t lie. Breaking box office records as the biggest opening weekend and the fastest film to make 1 billion dollars worldwide it is the most successful move to have been released by Disney to date.  ENTERTAINMENT 23

SEPTEMBER: J.K. Rowling publishes her first novel, The Casual Vacancy, since the Harry Potter series.


Gangnam Style, written by Korean pop idol, PSY, became one of the worlds most popular songs due to it’s music video and the well known lyrics “Heyyyyyyy Sexy Lady”. The video recently became the most watched video on You Tube when it had reached 804 million views. In addition to breaking that record, it had reached one million views on the first day of it’s release, breaking the record for most views on the date of the uploading.

OCTOBER 14TH Fearless daredevil Felix Baumgartner near space heights in what is one of the most daring stunts in recorded history . The former soldier broke the sound barrier in his one hundred pound, pressurized flight suit as he fell from thousands of feet in the air. The descent lasted approximately nine minutes with about half of that being spent in free fall.

Gangnam Style Sets Record

Felix Breaks the Sound Barrier NOVEMBER: President Obama reelected

OCTOBER: Superstorm Sandy hits East Coast


DECEMBER: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton announces her pregnancy

Disney buys the Star Wars Franchise

Curiosity Lands on Mars AUGUST 6TH The Curiosity Rover launched for Mars on November 11th 2011 at 10:02 a.m. EST and landed on April 6th 2012 at 1:36 a.m. EST. The rover is equipped with the most sophisticated mobile laboratory land on another planet. With this technology, scientists hope that Curiosity will turn up with some interesting results.

D OCTOBER 30TH Disney bought filmmaking studios, LucasFilms, for 4.5 billion dollars and along with it one of the most well known films of all time Starwars. Disney plans on making episodes seven, eight, and nine of the popular saga. George Lucas certainly seems excited about simply being a fan of the film instead of being the creator of such a production .


Rise of the Guardians


n a world where Santa is a Russian, sword wielding, action hero and Yetis make all of the children’s toys, childhood icons must ban together to save the worlds children from darkness. The guardians must come forth and save the world in a situation so dire that a new guardian must be chosen.   DreamWorks productions have done it again with the fantastic film Rise of the Guardians. In the movie all of the childhood icons everyone held dear at a young age are real and four of these icons are selected to be guardians, defenders of earth’s children. These guardians included Santa Claus, the Sand Man, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny whom of which are guided by an entity they only know as the Man on the Moon.

Due to the seriousness of the situation the Man on the Moon, however, has chosen a new guardian to help defend the planet. This new guardian is young mischievous spirit, Jack Frost. Jack doesn’t want to have this great honor, however, as children don’t even believe in him, his only contributions to children are snow days. Things grow more serious as he learns that each guardian had a life before becoming what they are now, and he is driven by a quest to get his memories back.   The movie was able to put an interesting twist on our beloved holiday patrons giving them some depth; honestly, nobody would picture the Tooth Fairy to have an intricate backstory or to have any significance other than giving kids

money for their baby teeth. The story was able to keep the viewer’s attention and compelled on to watch the movie all the way through however it wasn’t very complex and lacked some backbone so to speak.   With that, Rise of the Guardians is a great film. It’s like The Avengers of childhood fairy tales with the ability to invoke that sense of wonder one might have had as a child. This makes it a perfect movie to see for any reason be it a family outing or just hanging out with friends.


by Jude Spaulding photos courtesy of AP Images

Greetings and Salutations


ess Than Jake’s newest album, Salutations brings back the up-tempo, Greetings and Salutations offers a guitar heavy sounds of earlier Less Than refreshing look back into the music Jake albums like Losing Streak and that helped make modern punk Hello Rockview. music what it is today.   The album opens with “The New   Greetings and Salutations is Less Auld Lang Syne”, an explosive and Than Jake’s eighth studio album extremely appropriate intro into an and is a combination of the EP’s amazing album that sounds almost Greetings from Less Than Jake and exactly like other songs previously Seasons Greetings from Less Than released by the band. In typical Jake released in 2008 and 2010 fashion many of the songs like “Can’t respectively, as well as some songs Yell any Louder” and “Oldest Trick that were previously unreleased. in the Book” have a very prominent Greetings and Salutations is trombone accompaniment comprised of songs that were all Longtime fans will note that like older written in 1996 but only recorded this Less Than Jake releases, Greetings and year, and unlike other punk giants Salutations isn’t full of long, brooding like blink-182 and The Smashing ballads, however, it does bring a few Pumpkins, Less Than Jake has kept slower, lighter songs in “Goodbye Mr. their signature sound. Greetings and Personality” and “Done and Dusted”.

Almost opposite of these is “Flag Holder Union”, a loud, heavy political anthem reminiscent of those of Rage Against the Machine back when punk was socially aware.   Greetings and Salutations is like a journey back to the mid-nineties, back to the days when ska-punk was at its height, and is a breath of fresh air for a dying genre of music.

***** by Jared Shepard photos courtesy of AP Images  SPORTS 25

The Chiefs’ Struggles Story by Matt Rellihan Photos courtesy of AP Images



Scott Pioli

Marty Schottenheimer

•Free agent signing nightmares Stanford Routt (Not on team) Erik Winston (26 sacks given up by Chiefs O-line) •Terrible draft picks (Jonathon Baldwin, Allen Bailey, Dontari Powe)

•Return to “Marty Days” •Has years of experience •Knows how to run a team •HIRE HIM NOW!


Romeo Crennel

Andy Reid

•Lets Cassel play •Bad coordinator signings •Not a good coach, but good coordinator

•Can take a team to a super bowl •Knows how to build quarterbacks (Donovan Mcnabb) •Can incorporate the West Coast Offense



Matt Cassel •19 total turnovers •Can’t read a high school defense •Weak arm power and horrible accuracy •HE BETTER NOT BE ON THE TEAM NEXT YEAR

Alex Smith

•Smart decision maker that doesn’t turn the ball over •He has mobility and a rocket arm •He’s simply a winner; with a great run game behind him he is superb •WE CAN GET HIM CHEAP, DON’T OVERPAY!


Athlete Profile 22.68 seconds

50 freestyle, 27th place in prelims at State competition

57.58 seconds

100 breastroke, 1sr place in prelims at State competition

57.70 seconds

100 breastroke, 1st place in finals at State competiton.

photos by Kevin Adams

Zach Knoche:

LSHS’ own State champion swimmer


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am aut quatempe vParum laciet a assitaspe quibustorro ma doluptate cuptatur? Qui sendam nectemp erferna tumque accaectempor atior aut moles as aut quidemporio quo moluptatia porem fugit, experfe rionsequae odis deliquos sum is quatque officius dusam harit re et et enest qui corum ad quod quo vendam que nihici repeditatiat qui omnia dolumet, con et, odios etur aut fuga. Ommolorrum faccullor mo blabo. Siniscid quosandit quaestion endions equaspelita quia quis accusaes exerum que estione ide et, sed et aut et harciis nobit omnim qui im aperum, nonsediaest laut apit labo. Cepudia vel iunto dendiciis by Wendy Hayworth  SPORTS 27




1) Senior Joe VanCil kickflips the new hip at Lea MacKeegan skatepark. No big deal though, it was just his warm up. 2) Don’t know who he is, but his ollies are high enough to go over any of the posers you can find in town. 3) Sophomore KJ Dillard fronside 50-50 the kinked flatbar. He skates so much he probably goes throug 4 pairs of wheels per year. 4) Untitled Skateboards’ very own, Josh Barclay, kickflips over a handrail in west Kansas City. Nothing stops this guy, not even 30 foot rails. 5) KJ Dillard airs it out from the Lea MacKeegan park bowl. He didn’t land it, but it looks cool.




photos by John Wood


Every year people from all over Kansas City gather in one place to experience the glow of the Plaza lights. by Hannah Nickles photos by Allison Litthong


old weather, brisk breeze, and layers of clothing all come with the winter season. Something else that comes with winter is Christmas lights. Some people put up lights for decoration, but the Country Club Plaza does it as a tradition that all started with just one strand of sixteen lights hung over a doorway.   The first time lights were ever hung was in 1925 by Charles Pitrat who was head of the Nichols Company maintenance operation. Pitrat hung a six-foot strand of colored lights across the doorway of the Suydum building. The Suydum building was also the Plaza’s first building. As more buildings were built more lights were added. The first official Plaza lighting took place in 1925.   The installation of the Plaza lights begins in early August. Currently LED lights are used on all singlecolor green towers which include the Nichols Tower, Zoom Tower, Granfalloon and Ingredient towers, the two balcony towers, and McCormick and Schmick’s dome. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a lights test takes place from 2 to 6 am. Which has also become a

Photo taken on top of a nearby parking garage oversees the blankCountry Club Plaza.

popular family tradition for families to get a “sneak peak” of the lights. The only year the Plaza lights weren’t lit was in 1973 when President Nixon called upon all Americans to curtail the use of Christmas lights to reduce the dependence on foreign oil imports. Another tradition the Plaza has is carriage rides. The best time of year to take a carriage ride is during Christmas. There are currently two carriage services on the Plaza. At the end of the winter season every light is taken down and tested individually on a work bench and inspected for damage. It takes almost four months to uninstall all the lights.   Every year someone special is invited to flip the switch and light the plaza lights for the first time. These guests include George Brett, Trent Green, Kate Spade, Olympic sprinter Maurice Green, Paul Rudd, Walter Cronkite, Derrick Thomas, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Marcus Allen, Buck O’Neil, Jason Sudeikis, David Cook, Lee Greenwood and Oleta Adams, Thomas Jones, Jamaal Charles and Eric stonestreet, and Sporting Kansas City players Matt Besler, Kei Kamara

Plaza Lights and Jimmy Neilsen this past year. The big switch on stage really does turn on all the lights and the child chosen from the audience is always at random.   Each string of lights is made to fit one exact spot – the same spot every year. The installation crew from Capitol Electric uses what they call a “secret code” which is on aluminum tags to identify where each strand of lights belong. Each string of lights has a series of numbers that correspond to the building, the location on the building, and height they are to be hung at.   All the lights are maintained daily to keep all burnt out bulbs replaced. The burnt out lights are turned into gift toppers and souvenirs at the Plaza Customer Service. Several thousand bulbs have to be replaced annually. This past year the Plaza lights were lit for the 83rd time on Thanksgiving day.

The Cheesecake Factory towers over the Plaza.  FEATURES 29






1. In the distance the Michael Kors building shines bright 2. Standing on the corner of Central St. and Nichols Rd. 3.The lights align the sidewalks and streets. 4. The carriage gives off a luminous splendor. 5.The lights imborder Fogo De Chao reflecting a radiant glow. 6. The lights align the sidewalks and streets. 7. The lights shine bright on a Monday’s eve.


Lights glisten all around town, Christmas trees appear in every store; the jolly season of giving is here. There’s only one problem with giving; it costs so much money. Here are some fun, adorable gifts that are easy to make. they will leave you plenty enough money for some fun holiday break activities.

Here is a way to wrap and decorate gifts without having to buy a bunch of new wrapping paper every year. Find some old newspaper and paint. Paint the newspaper any color or multiple colors, then dry it with a blow drier. Put a bow on it and it becomes some beautiful Christmas gift-wrap. It is a great way to recycle too.

DIY Christmas Gifts

by Grace Tibbets photos by Brooke McLanahan

Buy some magnets from the craft store. Find some stickers or even create a cute design. Stick or glue the stickers or design onto the magnets. This makes cute magnets to give to friends in less than 5 minutes. snowmen

  Buy a 9 inch by 12 inch piece of felt or fabric, thread, a needle, a Velcro dot, and any decorations wanted for the case. Cut the felt into fourths. Turn one square inside out, sew a seam across the bottom and open side. Turn fabric right side out, attach a Velcro dot to the inside of the pouch, and attach decorations.

Buy a plate from the dollar store and write words, draw a picture, or write something meaningful on it. Bake for thirty minutes in the oven at 150 degrees to make it permanent. This is a cute idea for family or friends.

He loves me  FEATURES 31

He loves me not

Abuse. It’s as ugly as it looks. Most people know about physical abuse, but what about mental or emotional abuse. If any of the following apply, speak up and confide in someone trustworthy who can help. Does he... respect your family? Does he...


Family should be a top priority This is so important, if he respects your family, then he will respect you.


always listen to you, no matter what?

He never interrupts rudely and never says critical things. Any guy that will genuinely listen is one worth keeping.

always truthful and trust worthy?


Confiding in someone with out them making you feel bad or stupid is an important characteristic.

4.Accept you for

who you are?

If he loves you he will never would try to change you. Be youself and donot let anyone change who you are.

by Megan Terry sources: http://www. types_signs_causes_effects.htm

1.criticize you and put you down?

Your partner should not constantly put you down. These put downs are in fact considered abuse.


act excessively jealous and possessive?

A jealous partner who controls where you go or what you do all of the time is not okay.


constantly check up on you?

There is a difference between “checking up” and making sure you are okay. If they are constantly demanding to know where you are, who you are with, and what you’re doing, than this is a form of abuse.


feel afraid of your partner much of the time?

If you are feeling afraid or uncomfortable around your partner, this is not a good sign. Try to find help from someone or call a hot-line.





Be able to find Iran on a map. Know what the city council is up to behind closed doors. Find out how to make an icebox peanut butter pie from scratch. Get it all in the newspaper, print or digital, because a little depth looks great on you.



Smart Content_(cafe)_9x11_bw.indd Black






Snowday Solutions

rapped in warm blankets, lost in an amazing dream, life is good. Suddenly, all this great stuff is interrupted by an alarm. Disappointment quickly sets in as the realization hits that it is time to wake up for school. But then the phone rings and the news is even better than expected: No school!   Snow days always sound so exciting until they actually happen. People think they will have so many plans, but nine times out of ten they are stuck at home doing nothing. However, some people have found ways to enjoy snow days and make the best of them.   “I love snow days. I get to play in the snow and drink some hot chocolate,” sophomore Samantha Herbel said.   If there is a chance of a snow day, seize it; try actually going outside. Sled, make snow angels, have snowball fights and, obviously, a snowman should be made.   “Snow days are great; they give me a break from reality. Sledding is a job and if I could be paid, I’d be a millionaire,” sophomore Madison Greenlee

said.   Going outside on a snowday is not essential in order to have fun, however. There are more relaxing (and most likely warmer) ways to spend the day.   “I like to go to my friend’s house to sled, drink hot chocolate and watch movies. And don’t forget you have to stock up on that soup,” Greenlee said.   A snowday could also be the perfect opportunity to get things done around the house. Decorate the Christmas tree, make a gingerbread house, clean a room or two; the possibilities are endless.   Although it is not an ideal way to spend a snowday, shoveling snow for money is always an option. After all, who can really say no to money? Not to mention it would be a nice thing to do for all the neighbors.   If hard labor does not sound like a dream come true, sitting around in pajamas and watching cheesy movies never gets old.   Snow is gorgeous, so go outside and enjoy it while it lasts. Or just take the opportunity to sleep in and be lazy, as there might not be many more chances. As always, make sure to have fun.

by Taelor Oller photos by Taelor Oller


The Best Gift. Ever.

Not sure what to write on the Christmas list this year? This quiz is here to help.



It is a Monday night and your favorite team is about to play, but you have homework to do. You decide: is only a shirt. You have been saving up for a cool shirt, but your parents tell you that you should save that money for college. You decide:




o Sp

r ve

h ryt




Hey, I gotta have clothes. Your boss calls while you are in the middle of holiday shopping. He tells you that you need to come in asap. You:

Homework, duh.

A friend has given you money to get him a book. At the bookstore you realize that the book he wanted costs less than what he gave you, and you have spotted your favorite band's new album. After you pay for the book, you:






lb ta

Do not say a word!

Tell your friend it expired. It might be awkward, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

o nw


, th




is Fin

Improve your game. Go to practice.


g pin

Drop everything— literally — and go to work. You have entered a national art contest and won first place. (Good job.) The next day, someone asks to buy the art from you for a lot of money. You:

y e Tak mone e . h t run and

Your favorite band is in town, and you got a ticket! A guy walks up and offers you a lot of money for your ticket. You:

One of your friends is playing your least favorite song on full blast. You:

Go home and curl up in your bed.

Go out and buy yourself a sports jersey.

I should give the money back, I suppose.

You are exchanging gifts with a friend. You open yours to find an iTunes card, but unfortunately it has expired. You:

On the way out of school, the coach asks you to help out at practice, even though you are exhausted. You will:

Keep the art and hang it over your fireplace, no question.

This concert is a dream come true. You have to go.

Put up with the music (for now).

Request a lovely piece of jewelry for Christmas.

Sell the art and buy cool stuff.

Ask for money and you will be happy on Christmas morning.

Food for thought: a book?

Break the stereo. Or just change the song.

You really need an iTunes giftcard.

by Jesse Butler  FEATURES  35


New Year New Goals

New Year’s resolution is a commitment a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or fixing a bad habit. The key to a successful New Year’s resolution is to have a plan and stick to that plan.   Someone who is seeking a lifechanging resolution might want to consider steps to make their goal realistic.    These steps would include: making a realistic goal, developing a plan on how he or she is going to accomplish the goal, write it down, and start putting the plan in action.   Coming up with a New Year’s resolution should not be more difficult than the resolution itself, so try not to stress out if there is not a clear-cut goal to start the year off with.   With the deadline in question fast approaching, many people are starting to reflect on the year that has come and gone and are looking forward to a new beginning.   For many, the new beginning is a fresh start or a change in attitude.   “I want to enjoy life more and live every day to the fullest. I plan to achieve this by taking up new hobbies and getting more involved,” freshman Kelsey Jackson said.   “My New Year’s resolution is to make my

last semester of high school memorable and live it to the fullest with no regrets,” senior Kaelyn Bailey said.   Some people have a different mindset of what they want to focus on for the upcoming year.   “My New Year’s resolution is to get bigger and get in great shape for the upcoming football season; I will achieve this by lifting weights every day and eating the right things,” junior Jake Rushton said.   “For the new year coming up I want to focus more on getting big. I will pursue this goal by lifting weights, working hard, and giving everything,” freshman Zach Mitchell said.   Although many people set goals for themselves, not everyone reaches them. If a goal falls through, do not be discouraged. Treat it as a learning experience and move on with the new year.   New Year’s offers people a new beginning and the chance to get the year off to a great and successful start. The key is to never get discouraged, stay focused, and, of course, be realistic. by Payton Seymour photo by Logan Phillips


Tis the Season 161 feet

2 weeks Average lifespan of a snowman

1.76 billion

candy canes produced in the U.S. each year


America’s Christmas Tree Coeur d'Alene Resort, Idaho

Merry Christmas!

1.5 billion Christmas cards annually sent by Americans

$434,947,093 spent on unwanted gifts every year


To get to

every house in

one night,

Santa must visit



homes per


mi ion

of Americans


Top-Selling gift of 2012?

attend Christmas parties

Kindle Fire

Christmas trees produced annually


total cost of the gifts from

“The Twelve Days of Christmas”

Kids stop

believing in Santa

at age

7 3/4 (on average)

45% of the world celebrates Christmas

by Mary Roccaro and Darren Clay statistics provided by http://

December 2012  

Lee's Summit High School's monthly newsmagazine.