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Ju l i a Truszkows

ki’s Portfolio

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A compilation of written work and designs from 2012-13


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Mainstream? The term “hipster,” originally used to express individuality, has become a common stereotype used and misused by students at West High By Julia Truszkowski juliatruszkowski@gmail.com

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here’s more to the story than an oversized flannel shirt paired with tight jeans and tattered shoes. The story lies in the pointer finger jabbed in their direction accompanied by the retort: “What a hipster.” It’s a word muttered in the hallways and commons, hashtagged on Twitter, and directed at individuals sporting unique, trendy clothes. It’s a compliment, an eyeroll, a lifestyle, a big void of undefined “huh?” to anyone over the age of 30, and something West High students can’t escape. “Over the past couple of years it’s become a big topic,” said Olive Carrollhach ’13, who frequently falls victim to the stereotype. “It’s been taken by high school students to mean anyone who follows certain trends with clothing or music.” So, is there a distinct hipster recipe? If you add a Bon Iver record and some thick-rimmed glasses and subtract Justin Bieber, Abercrombie, or anything else deemed “mainstream,” can you stick it in the oven and expect it to come out hipster? Graham Bly ’13 thinks there’s more to it. “I feel like ‘hipster’ is a broad term [with] a lot of subcategories to it,” he said. “It encompasses a lot of different styles so it’s hard to pinpoint.” However, many feel they can distinguish hipsters from non-hipsters as easily as if it were green from gold. A trendy ensemble of second hand sweaters and tight-fitting jeans alludes to independent film festivals and a pretentious attitude. “I hope I’m not that pretentious,” Bly said of these assumptions. “If someone saw me and had a previous hatred towards hipsters then they might think, ‘Oh, he’s just one of those people and they all suck.’ But I’m a nice guy, so don’t hate.” Judge a book by its cover and you might miss out on potential friendships, according to Carrollhach. “I think [people] assume that I’m only going to be interested in hanging out with a certain type of person,” she said. “Just because I’m wearing a Cosby sweater doesn’t mean I’m not a person you can relate to.” Erin Weathers ‘13 tries to eschew this hipster label as well.

Just because I’m wearing a Cosby sweater doesn’t mean I’m not someone you can relate to.”

-Olive Carrollhach ‘13

“-Erin Weathers ‘13

I’m hip, I’m cool. I’m a ‘coolster,’ but I’m not a hipster.”


‘Hipster” is a broad term... It encompasses a lot of different styles so it’s hard to pinpoint.”

-Graham Bly ‘13

what first comes to mind when you hear the word “hipster?” Isn’t a hipster someone who doesn’t like what everybody else likes? I don’t like football. Does that make me a hipster? -Lilian Zhu ‘14

Trendsetters- the iconic Raybans, beanies, and vintage floral dresses. -Eveline Dowling ‘15

If I ever wanted to be a hipster, I’d go to Erin Weathers’ closet and steal her clothes. -Joey Abreu ‘13

“I dress the way I want… I don’t go out of my way to listen to obscure music just because it’s obscure,” Weathers said. “I don’t force myself to do something because people will think I’m a hipster for doing it.” Similarly, when Carrollhach wears a sweater she jokingly refers to as “grandfather chic,” there are no ulterior motives lying beneath it. “It really just comes down to what I find fashionable,” Carrollhach said. “I think it’s important that your clothes and your overall persona broadcast who you are as a person.” Weathers agrees. “The way I dress definitely defines me,” she said. And, just as she grew older, her taste evolved with her. “[People I’ve gone to school with] saw me go through my horse phase in third grade and they saw me with braces in junior high, when I thought I could express myself through graphic tees and graphic tees alone… Now that I’m older, I guess you could say I found myself. I’m confident and I stay true to myself.” Bly shows his true colors by playing in a band, which he considers “expression at its finest.” “I play ukulele and synthesizer, sometimes drums,” he said. “I guess you could call our style independent or alternative.” “Indie” music is another key ingredient in the hipster recipe. Under the radar bands are often thrown in the mix, just like the people who listen to them. “I guess you could say I have a sort of eclectic

taste, but it’s definitely not all of the stereotypical hipster music,” Carrollhach said of her broad musical spectrum, ranging from German techno to country. Being the first to discover something can be appealing, but it’s more human nature than wanting to be a part of the hipster crowd, according to Carrollhach. “I think there’s a certain level of pride in pioneering anything,” she said. “If you don’t want to be one of the crowd, you want everyone to know that you thought of it first.” Despite the natural desire to be unique, Weathers doesn’t steer clear of mainstream music, from One Direction to Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” “You know what? I’ve never changed the radio station when that was on,” she said. From Carrollhach’s pixie haircut to the lockpicking kit she got for her birthday, she stands out as an individual. But that doesn’t mean she can’t relate to her classmates. “I like eating ice cream and building pillow forts and watching movies and driving to nowhere,” Carrollhach said. “I do generally the same things as everybody else.” Forming opinions about someone should be as simple as thinking they’re “super cool or have good taste,” according to Weathers. “I just want to do away with the phrase ‘hipster,’” she said. “I don’t label anyone as a hipster, especially not myself.”


Athletes aro Adrienne Jensen, ‘13 Location: California, Las Vegas,

New York (just to name a few) Sport: Tennis “Since I was just a little girl I have traveled all over the United States for national tournaments.I love many things about what tennis has brought into my life, but my favorite thing is the time it has allowed for me to be with my mom. My mom travels everywhere with me and makes everything so much more fun. It’s so fun seeing different parts of the country, meeting different people, and experiencing something different than Iowa.”

Katie Milani, ‘12 Location: New York City Sport: Dance

Tereysa Lehnertz ‘13 Location: Jamaica Sport: Swimming

“I auditioned for the Alvin Ailey program [last] March and was selected to be a part of their professional program and was placed in the highest level for ballet and pointe. I was one of 12 chosen to be in a piece choreographed by a well known choreographer and then was chosen by the choreographer to be a soloist in his piece.”

photo used with permission from Katie Milani

photo used with permission from Tereysa Lehnertz

photo used with permission from Adrienne Jensen

“I swam at the Puerto Rican state meet and qualified for the national swim meet. You had to get first or second place in an event and I got second in two of my events. My relays were on the podium and I made it back to finals. There’s a completely different culture [in Jamaica]. It was my first time traveling without my parents and it was an all around amazing experience.”


und the world Daniel Gardarsson, ‘13 Location: Iceland Sport: Track and field

By Julia Truszkowski

“I got to race for my home country and win gold in the 3,000m race in front of my whole family. The race was the junior nationals in Iceland and I was the youngest in my age group. I still compete every summer at nationals in Iceland now, but it’s not at the junior level anymore, so the races are for adults which makes it much harder. I still ended up with a bronze medal in the 1500m.”

juliatruszkowski@gmail.com

Lugging their suitcases through airport security, these travelers have soccer balls, running shoes, and goggles stashed alongside their usual travelling gear. Aboard their planes, they venture across 50 states, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico to do what they love. Katie Milani ‘12 spends her summer in the City That Never Sleeps dancing ballet and pointe at the prestigious Alvin Ailey program. Tereysa Lehnertz ‘13 stands on the podium sporting a medal at the championship swim meet in Jamaica. Daniel Gardarsson ‘13 competes for his home country Iceland in the annual track and field championship, winning first place and the pride of all his relatives. These athletes have trained for years to leave the farmland and cornfields of Iowa behind and travel across the globe to show the world that hard work really does pay off.

Anna Hausler, ‘13 Location: Italy Sport: Soccer

photo used with permission from Anna Hausler

photo used with permission from Daniel Gardarsson

“When we were staying in Gubbio, Italy we found guys our age playing in the Plaza Square and our team decided to play them. The whole town of Gubbio heard about us Americans playing them, came out to watch, and lined the square cheering us on. [We became great friends with] the guys we played but we could only communicate with motions and pictures because of the language barrier.”


By Megan Stewart WSS Intern Greetings are your first impression, they are what you probably remember most about a person. I had a great first impression of the owner as he greeted me. If you want great service, and tasty foods then this is the right choice. Nodo is fairly new with only being open for a little less than two years. Right as I walked in, I was immediately welcomed by the owner himself. I went with my parents and he even shook their hand The owner was the cashier, helped out in the kitchen, delivered the food, and I even spotted him washing dishes. He was very helpful in deciding what to get and was there to answer any

questions needed to be asked. While my family and I were wait for our food (which wasn’t long at all) the owner was telling us cool facts about the restaurant. For example he said Nodo actually stands for North of Dodge because of its location on North Dodge Street. Before North of Dodge, Nodo would have stood for North of Downtown.The rest of the staff were fun by being themselves, dancing around the kitchen. I saw this when I happened to peek in the kitchen, which was partly open to customers. The atmosphere of the restaurant itself was calm and relaxing. There was no sign of impatience or a rush. Nodo had a very modern feel to it, starting with the furniture. There was mainly stainless steel furniture and fun tall tables with bar stools and a bench for another option. The unusual paintings of bugs on the

walls made it seem even more modern. The menu had a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soup, and even some burgers. The wraps were each around $8, pretty reasonable for how much you got. The sandwiches were each around $4-6, which is also a pretty fair price. I got a wrap with turkey and spinach which was delicious and very flavorful. At first I didn’t even think that it would be that good and I even had second thoughts about getting what I

ordered. I am so glad I stuck with it. The menu wasn’t very descriptive so I really didn’t know exactly what I was going to eat but it turned out to be very good! Nodo is an under the radar type of restaurant. I believe this restaurant should be more known because of the great service and excellent choice and taste of the food.

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Spinach Salad

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Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich

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Portabella Mushroom Sandwich

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Turkey Spinach Wrap

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Coralville Indoor Rec Center There’s something about this fountain - maybe it’s the powerful feeling of completing a workout (I’m using that term loosely) and actually deserving all that invigorating H20 - that gives it a special place in my heart. The thing purrs when water comes out the spout like a beautiful waterfall, and it flows down my dry esophagus like the most bountiful stream. My loss was tragic, but as the books say “If you truly love something, let it go.” With heavenly water like this just minutes away from my house, I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Target- Coral Ridge Mall I’m a vigorous shopper. And by the end of my trek across the mall and back, I’m carrying multiple shoe boxes and a Forever 21 bag the size of my torso if I’m lucky. A quick stop in Target is about the only thing to keep me from dropping after all that shopping (excuse the cliche). There’s nothing like tooth-numbingly cold water to perk me up when I’m about to use my newly purchased clothes as pillows and blankets to cash out right there in the middle of the mall. There’s a child sized fountain and one for grown ups like me, and this is without a doubt the coldest water you will find in all of Coralville. The only negative? It gets a little cramped when idiotic mall-goers try to lug their shopping carts into the bathroom.

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Coral Ridge Mall- Food court bathrooms These fountains are conveniently located just outside the food court, for those of you that are too stingy to purchase an actual beverage. There are four in a row to eliminate lines, and the height varies - always a plus. However, there is nothing memorable about these guys, besides the machinery working harder than necessary when the “push” button is pressed. These will do the job when washing down your Chik-Fil-A, but there’s nothing special here.

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West High- Outside the library Let’s review the replacement fountain, shall we? Heads up, readers, I will show no mercy. You can taste the chemicals in this water, and perhaps the metallic aftertaste is intensified by the lukewarm temperature. These two fountains, side by side, are the exact same height. How are pre-pubescent freshmen supposed to reach? How am I supposed to bend down in my skirt and get a drink without flashing the student body a stellar view of my rear end? Going to the nearest vending machine and investing a buck in a Dasani isn’t such a bad idea, folks.

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’m a routine kind of person. I follow it as if something bad will happen if I don’t, like avoiding black cats and stepping on sidewalk cracks. I’m sure I’m not unusual for doing so; everyone grows accustomed to taking the long route so they can catch a glimpse of that cute boy at his locker, and going to the bottom floor to avoid that annoying couple making out in the freshman wing. I’m also very particular. And if my routine doesn’t go my way, well... that just doesn’t happen. That’s why I’ll risk being late to fourth hour just so I can buy my oatmeal cookie in the cafeteria every day at lunch, and why I’ll wait behind someone filling up an entire Camelback just so I can take a slurp from my favorite drinking fountain- something I’ve done religiously ever since freshman year when I discovered its perfect temperature and thick spout. You know the one I’m talking about, right? On the right side, just outside the main entrance of the library? The one the janitors just replaced with a mediocre fountain with room temperature water and a thin, stingy spout? Maybe I’m the only one who notices the quality of drinking fountains, but let me tell you... I went berzerk. My whole routine - my whole day - has slightly shifted around to make up for my tragic loss. Yes, you heard me. Tragic. But don’t lose all hope, those of you that are going through withdrawal without that glorious fountain. I’ve composed a list of noteworthy places you can go to get your fix of refreshingly cold, thick-spouted water.


Julia Truszkowski's Portfolio