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As the school year draws to a close once more, THE EDGE takes one last look at what’s come before ... ... And what it might mean for what comes next.


THE EDGE Hosted by student club MOSAIC, diverse students share their cultural backgrounds with community on March 5th. PAGE 8

All good things must come to an end. As many fan favorite TV shows reach their inevitable conclusion, fans react to what first inspired their fame. PAGE 10

April 17, 2015

C O M M E N TA RY POP CULTURE It’s the story itself that draws us to the small screen & the act of tuning in that makes TV a close family friend........11

HIGHER EDUCATION Success stories have been built on less than high school alone. So how important is college after all?...........16

STAFF EDITORIAL Despite mounting accusations of misconduct, fraternities & sororities are still a staple of college life........15

GRADUATION If ever there was a time to move on & stop looking back, graduation is it. “Let it go,” seniors................................17

UP FRONT CLUBS Seventh Annual International Fest showcases the diverse cultures, traditions, and food of East’s “international” student body........................................................................8 ENTERTAINMENT As many of TV’s favorite faces come to the small screen for the last time, fans reflect on what brings people back season after season..............................................10

“Too much information?” Oklahoma proposes to ban AP U.S. History due to the curriculum’s less than positive scope. Is this censorship of American history ... or simply watering down the full facts? PAGE 12

STUDENTS Students & families live and thrive with the potential danger of life-threatening medical and health conditions.............................................................................................23

F E AT U R E S SCHOOL A potential ban of the AP U.S. History curriculum in Oklahoma has students & staff asking about the censorhship of this nation’s complicated history................................12


As more sexual assaults find their way into the headlines, more and more begin to question the role of fraternities & sororities in college. PAGE 15

CLUBS LITERALLY SPEAKING Creative & poetic students participate in annual Literary Festival competition...............................................7

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES From romance to action to horror and more, take a look at the best Hollywood has offered.......................18

FINE ARTS THEATER East’s Fine Arts Department brings Disney classic to the Performing Arts Center stage............................................7

SPORTS GYMNASTICS Senior Alayna Dieter finishes her high school career leaps & bounds ahead of most...................................................22

ON THE COVER As the end draws near, now is the time to look back on what’s come before ... ... And how it could inform what comes next.

Become a Wolf partner of THE EDGE by writing to: for more information. Partnership packages are affordable and demonstrate your commitment to Oswego East’s student journalists, the craft of high school journalism, and the educational future of 308’s best students.

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THE EDGE Volume 10, Issue 3 Oswego East High School 1525 Harvey Road Oswego, IL 60543


Samantha Loveland

EXECUTIVE STAFF Madison Miller Logan Weeter Anna White



Imani Baker, Alison Brackett, Thomas Cummings


Justin Howard Query


Justin Howard Query

THE EDGE is the student-designed publication of Oswego East High School, whose purpose is to respect the ethical and legal guidelines that govern the student press. THE EDGE strives to provide students with accurate, informative, entertaining, and diverse student news, recognizing the responsibility of democracy as related to professional student journalism. THE EDGE observes the same ethical and legal responsibilities as those imposed on all news media and refrains from unprotected speech, which includes the publication of material deemed obscene, defamatory, likely to incite lawlessness or violence, invasion of privacy, in violation of copyright law, deceptive or misleading, or substantially disruptive to school activities. THE EDGE provides a forum for student expression, and students are encouraged to submit letters to the editor for the purpose of free expression, and every effort will be made by the editorial staff to publish these letters. Letters must be signed as “okay to print” and will not be published if unsigned. All letters and guest columns are subject to editing for content, grammar, and length. The staff reserves the right to refuse the publication of a letter. Staff editorials, although written by a single writer, are written on the behalf of and represent the majority opinion of the staff. All student columns represent the opinions of the student columnist, and do not represent the opinion of the staff as a whole, of Oswego East High School, or of Oswego Community School District #308. Letters may also be delivered via e-mail to: PRIOR REVIEW COMMITTEE Dean Adele Dalesandro Assistant Principal Danial Durbin Dean Gerald Wicks

THE EDGE is a member of the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association

THE EDGE logo design printed with permission by

Jason Query & Argos Entertainment. All rights reserved.

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” -- Oscar Wilde




Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin

The Imitation Game


(available now for the PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox One & 360, and PC)

It’s been just over a year since the action role playing game, Dark Souls, hit shelves on previous-generation consoles. Now, From Software is fine-tuning the experience of Drangleic on next gen consoles. Scholar of the First Sin features the original Dark Souls experience plus all of the downloadable content, with fresh new enemies, items, and a significant graphic boost. Who needs a prom date when you’re slaying the undead and demons in an underground crypt devoted to the Rat King?

Jupiter’s Legacy, Volume 1

(available now on DVD and blu-ray)

One of the best movies of last year and one of the most unrecognized history lessons of the past century is finally available to the small screen! Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) was one of the most important secret weapons of WWII, bringing a quick end to the war by his breaking of secret Nazi codes. But it’s his story, both triumphant and tragic, that demands to be seen, brought to you as it is by Oscar nominees Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The film won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

(available at respectable comic book stores)

American Crime (airs at 9 p.m. CST on ABC)


Police procedurals are a dime a dozen on TV these days, but truly gripping murder mysteries are a bit harder to come by until now. But American Crime is a compelling, quiet, nuanced, complicated passion play of character studies and conflicts of interest. Perhaps it’s the fate of programs like these to discover the same fate as AMC’s The Killing or Fox’s Gracepoint. When the mysteries are smart and demand an attention span (and ask truly difficult questions related to social issues--in this case, race), American audiences don’t necessarily have a history of sitting still for long. But for the time being, all the attention has been captured here. Falling in love with a program like this is definitely no crime.

The children of the world’s greatest superheroes have a hard enough time filling the shoes of their superpowered parents, but when infighting threatens to tear the family apart, one branch of young heroes take one path, and the remaining branch takes a decidedly different one. What happens next will put the world in great peril when superpowered problems take to the global stage! Written by Mark Millar, the comic book mastermind behind Wanted and Kick-Ass, with art by fan favorite Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman, Batman & Robin), this collection is available just in time for the prequel series, Jupiter’s Circle. Jupiter’s Circle #1 hits the newsstands this month.

(available on CD and digital platforms)

It’s the first DCFC album since 2011 and the last featuring guitarist and producer Chris Walla, who’s left the band after 17 years. Called a continuation, not a coda, by the remaining bandmates, DCFC now intends to carry on as a trio. As the band picks up the pieces, you should pick up this album immediately.

Death Cab for Cutie Kintsug i




he final push for the end of the school year is upon us. And, in general, it provokes in most of us an urge either to look back on everything we’ve experienced (with glee or dread) or to look ahead to all that lies in store for us in the future (again, with glee or dread). In its own way, this “last stand” begs its due attention. Like a Friday night football game or opening night of the theatrical production or a crucial standardized test, the finish line … whatever it looks like … demands some respect. And some fear. Too often, the last day of school is envisioned like some sort of oasis that will finally grant your every need: Rest. Nourishment. Reprieve. So much so that once it’s in sight, year-long sprint or gallop or leisurely jog suddenly becomes an emaciat-

ed crawl. (“Emaciated.” It’s AP for starving or decayed.) Instead of racing across the finish line with fists raised, we barely cross the finish line with more than an audible whimper. They say it’s not how you start, but how you finish. How truly sad if that missive is entirely true, when so many students are shutting down right now, instead of gearing up. Here’s a challenge to our readers, that we finish in the same manner in which we started. Unless, of course, we started with mediocrity. So rather, let’s end better than we ever imagined we could. Let the finish line, in fact, fear us. Let the finish line respect us. Then, it stands to reason that we’ll truly love it.

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” -- Charles M. Schulz

What would be the most ideal end of a first date?

Plans for a second date 46% A promise to call / text tomorrow 33% A kiss on the front step 21%

“It’s not you, it’s me. I don’t like you.”

“I don’t have time for anything serious.” “You deserve better than I can give you.”

42% 10% 39% 9%

What is the worst way for a relationship to end? You never speak again You have all the same classes next year

He / she begins dating your best friend As “friends,” but you’re still secretly in love

28% 20% 38% 14%

Which is the best conclusion to a children’s book?

Katniss marries Peeta Harry Potter’s scar never hurts again Bilbo writes a book about his journey Tris dies Reneesme will marry Jacob

26% 38% 15% 18% 3%

What is the best conclusion to a really good film?

What is the most ideal way for a relationship to end? “This isn’t working out for either of us.”


What should be the most memorable moment of senior year?

Attending the Homecoming game Going to the Homecoming dance Going to the senior prom Going to the senior celebration Walking in the graduation ceremony

2% 4% 31% 6% 57%

What would be the best all-time last words to utter before your death?

“I’m bored with it all.” 25% “I must go in, for the fog is rising.” 41% “Happy.” 24% “This is the last of Earth! I am content!”


To be continued ... The hero dies valiantly Good triumphs over evil A plot twist & surprise ending

24% 13% 21% 42%

Which is the best conclusion to a television series?

Walter White dies in Breaking Bad Ross & Rachel marry in Friends Absolutely everyone dies in Lost Dan Humphrey is Gossip Girl! Ted + Robin in How I Met Your Mother

57% 17% 11% 5% 10%

“I’m bored with it all” was spoken by Winston Churchill. “I must go in, for the fog is rising” was spoken by Emily Dickinson. “Happy” was spoken by Raphael. “This is the last of Earth! I am content!” was spoken by John Quincy Adams.

6│student life│THE EDGE

April 17, 2015


Students participate in annual Literary Festival


ontinuing on the ninth year in a row, East students began preparing for the regional Literary Fest once again. This festival is a writing competition that gives students a chance to showcase their writing and come back home with more knowledge and experience about the subject. Literary Fest this year took place on April 15th at Oswego East High School and gave junior high and high school students the opportunity to meet known authors, participate in workshops, and win awards on their writing as well. Students will be able to gain exposure that will benefit them in ways that sitting in a classroom would not. Every year, Tim Ochoa and Patrick Sweeney continue to sponsor the event for East students, and every year, at least one award is brought back to the home of the wolves. Literary Fest has brought at least one award back to East from the competition in eight of the nine years that the program has been running. “I think it has been an amazing experience to help students get pub-

lished. We have had 450 students published in eight years, and that is what drives myself, as well as Mr. Sweeney to continue sponsoring the event,” Ochoa said. To participate in Literary Fest, students have a submission deadline in early January where they submit some of their best writing in categories such as poetry, short fiction, one act plays, descriptive sketches, personal narratives, and literary analysis essays, poetry being the most popular. Senior hopeful Haley Mizerk who has been published with Poetic Ink is competing in the poetry category of the competition. “The competition is strong. You really need to put your heart into your work and want to gain something out of it in order to have the will to win,” Mizerk said. Judges of the competition are generally chosen from being published and usually judge the specific category that they were published in. They play an important role in the competition not only by selecting who wins in each category, but by running the workshops that the

students participate in and offering feedback for a chance for them to get advice on becoming better writers. Senior hopeful Scott Augustine is participating in the competition for poetry for the first time this year. “Honestly, it’s all about the exposure. I may not win this year, but I would have had the opportunity to work with people who I know generally want to help me be better, and I think that’s important,” Augustine said. Ochoa and Sweeney are typically only able to select 30 students out of however many submit entries for the competition every year. Last year, there happened to be 120 submissions, with only 30 chosen and this year there were around 80 submissions. “It’s tough. We generally choose the students that may have been published before that we know are going to get an award when we hear back, or we usually pick students who are enrolled in our club and creative writing courses,” Ochoa said. Many participants of this event have been writing since a very early age and are excited to take their

skills and meet authors who are their age from other schools and get advice to help them get better. They take these two main wishes as their drive to want to participate in the competition and their hope to do well. Senior Jennifer Moss, another competition hopeful, clearly stated that just because you attend the event in previous years, it does not mean they have a better chance at earning a spot to participate more than someone new. Moss said that Literary Fest is a pretty fair competition and that she had the opportunity to participate her eighth grade year but submitted an entry last year and was not asked to the event. Since East is hosting the event this year, all forty students that were selected by Ochoa and Sweeney, will have the chance to participate. “I think it will be a fun experience. I know other kids that get published in Lit Magazine, so I think it will be cool to see what other students bring to the table and have written, and also see what I have written,” Moss said.

East Fine Arts to present Disney musical next week


ast Theater will be putting on their adaption of the Disney musical of the classic movie Beauty and the Beast. The theatre department will put be putting on the show from April 23rd to the 25th. The musical tells the heart-warming tale of bookworm Belle who finds love and adventure with her captor, the Beast, within his enchanted castle. It’s a well-known Disney classic many have grown to know and love. Due to this, many expectations are held for the cast. “From an audience standpoint, they are expecting us to this wellloved show justice. Doing a wellknown show like this is exciting because I think it will draw a good audience, but it is also intimidating because people have preconceived ideas about how it should look going

in,” senior Sydney Pelligrini said. Pelligrini will play Mrs. Potts, the motherly housekeeper of the castle. Beauty and the Beast is a family friendly name, one that everyone knows. No matter the age, whether young or old the show holds a sense of familiarity and childhood that most keep close to them. When choosing the musical, they have to consider what show would be best for the cast as a whole. “I really like to consider the kids that will be involved. And a lot of it is not picking a show for a specific person but picking a show where many kids’ talents will be able to be showcased,” Theatre director Nicole Schremp said. Pelligrini said that a musical as big as Beauty and the Beast requires the cast to be on their A-game. In order for everyone to deliver the best possible performance, chemistry within

the cast is a must, and with a cast that ranges from young to old and from inexperienced to veteran, the actors have managed to learn how to work well together. Schremp said that the chemistry within the cast has been a tremendous strength for the group as a whole, adding that when there’s chemistry off stage, there’s chemistry on stage, which improves the show. In order to put on a show, the cast has to be capable of working well together. “We are all very supportive and accepting of one another which is crucial to this process,” junior Gigi Grande said. Grande will play Babette, the flirtatious feather duster. “From what I’ve seen so far we have a great cast and we’re working really well and the early practices are very promising,” junior August

April 17, 2015

Schulke said. Schulke will play Gaston, the arrogant man after the heart of Belle. Any stage production has its fair share of obstacles for even the most experienced cast of young actors. This particular production is unique due to the comparisons it will likely draw to the animated film, which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, among other awards, in 1992. “[The audience] has a set image in their minds of what the show is supposed to look like, especially with characters like Belle. There’s pressure to deliver and the cast knows that. But it’s also fun to put on a show that is so well-known because audiences will want to see such a beloved show,” junior Emily Straughn said. Straughn will play the show’s lead, Belle. written by Alison Brackett

THE EDGE│news│7


“Our goal is really to show variety and different heritages. We want to share cross-cultural relations at our school, in our community, and around the world, and [we] hope the audience will notice that.”

Junior Amna Hoda applies a Henna tattoo to junior Linda Bonilla at the March 5th International Fest. Proceeds were donated to an end-of-the-year fundraiser. “[The tattoos are] culturally put on for weddings and other major events,” Hoda said. “Eid is a common time for girls to get [the tattoos].” Photo by Samantha Loveland

Culture club

MOSAIC Club’s 7th Annual International Fest brings together cuisines and performances from a variety of backgrounds aimed at promoting student diversity at East by Samantha Loveland


ll the senses were alive and stimulated as global music, food, and performances layered the evening as part of East’s 7th Annual International Fest. The program, sponsored by MOSAIC Club, took place Thursday, March 5th in and out of the Performing Arts Center. Attendees were able to experience cuisines and student-led performances that fed into the night’s overarching theme of “We are the World.” “It’s about bringing diversity together [and] celebrating various cultures,” senior Faith Woodfork said. Woodfork is a member of MOSAIC club and was a key initiator of the event, providing some of the food for the night and co-hosting the evening with fellow member Emily Thorson. Promoting cultural awareness, diversity, and cross-cultural accep-

8│news│THE EDGE

tance has been cited as the tultiamte goal of MOSAIC club, with International Fest being a highlight event of the year for the student group. Half the night took place inside the Performing Arts Center, where speakers and performances shared their unique take on various cultural traditions. The other half took place within the Commons area, where students and teacher sponsors manned tables representing various nations, providing cultural cuisines to try. Assembling food, performances, and coordinating schedules were among the chief challenges members of MOSAIC had to face when organizing the event. But such efforts were worth it, Woodfork said, when the missions of MOSAIC were able to be broadcast. “Our goal is really to show variety and different heritages. We want to share cross-cultural relations at

our school, in our community, and around the world, and [we] hope the audience will notice that,” Woodfork said. Throughout the school year, MOSAIC holds monthly meetings where members share foods from different backgrounds, watch foreign films or films with a cultural significance, and discuss the traditions of various cultures. Ultimately the goal of these meetings—where students of all ages are invited—is simply to promote a discussion about cultural diversities and what makes individuals from different backgrounds singular. How they as members can better promote acceptance and diversity awareness in and around the community is another topic of discussion. With “We are the World” being the 7th annual International Fest, the pressure was on for members this

year to come up with a fresh, new theme to keep the tradition going. “The biggest challenge was definitely coming up with new ideas for this year. This event has gone on for several years and I personally have only had experience with one fest before this, so we wanted to make sure this year had fun, new ideas,” senior co-host of International Fest and MOSAIC member Emily Thorson said. Planning the event on a limited staff and with limited volunteers was also challenging. MOSAIC sponsor Dianna Aldaba sited member involvement as one of the main challenges in putting up the event, as was scheduling performances. Nonetheless, there were several speakers and performances that were ultimately put up to showcase student and community talent.

April 17, 2015




1. The South Korean flag’s background is white, symbolic of peace and purity, while the middle circle is derived from the yin & yang balance of the universe. The triagrams together represent the notion of harmony and movement. Photo courtesy of 2. The Muslim Student Alliance table showcased some traditional instruments and antiques. Photo by Samantha Loveland. 3. Senior Hibah Rehman (not pictured) hosted a table of traditional cuisine at the Palestine and Pakistan tables. Rehman said volunteering at International Fest was her way of helping to showcase diversity and eliminate ignorance. Photo by Samantha Loveland

Each year, MOSAIC generates a theme for the festival, which they beleive encompasses their mission and goals of intermingling cultures and heritages. They then design their various events--such as speakers, performances, and food presentations--to further enhance that theme. “The themes have become a saying. In the past we have utilized the themes to center our reception, and this year it acts as a catch phrase,” Aldaba said. This theme was made more apparent by the level of student involvement evident throughout the night. Several students of varying nationalities or involved in world languages engaged in coversation with those who visited their table, offering food traditional to their nation. Such student involvement displays greater levels of kinship when it comes to promoting diversity, fur-

ther contributing to the festival’s goals of community awareness and diversity. Some students, most notably those involved with the Muslim Student Association, even wore and displayed traditional clothing items and artifacts specific to their culture and various traditions. For those parents and students who attended, seeing students take the initiative to broadcast and share their culture’s values and traditions may indeed be key in encouraging others to do the same. Featured food items included sweet Korean cakes, traditional Middle Eastern dishes, as well as dips from Egypt. Temporary henna tattoos in traditional Middle Eastern designs were also given by members of the Muslime Student Association. Some of the featured performances included the Irish Dance Group and

“The themes have become a saying. In the past we have utilized the themes to center our reception, and this year it acts as a catch phrase.”

a group made up of students from East’s German Club. Each performance was put up with the intention of sharing different traditions and unique heritages. This aspiration was ultimately what International Fest planners hoped atendees would enjoy about the festival. “Hopefully those who attend[ed] will [have gained] knowledge of where the traditions of some countries started. [We] want to inform people about all cultures so we can

April 17, 2015

accept and understand them,” Thorson said. “We also hope everyone will just have a great time and enjoy the night.” Opening oneself up to diversity was indeed an aim of the night, as was trying new things—especially when it comes to the food. “We hope that [those who attended] tried a new dish and moved outside of their comfort zones. I love watching students experience food, music, film etc. that’s out of their own comfort level,” Aldaba said.

THE EDGE│news│9

TELEVISION 1. The fate of Don Draper (Jon Hamm, right) will be decided in the final seven episodes of AMC’S Mad Men. When the April 5th premiere airs, Draper’s career and marriage are on the rocks. Photo courtesy of AMC 2. Sawyer (left) and Kate navigated a difficult romance for most of the six seasons of ABC’s Lost. The show’s finale was met with equal parts praise and disdain for a show of such complicated storylines. Photo courtesy of ABC



Through the looking glass As beloved, critically-acclaimed T.V. series come to their inevitable end, fans are forced to say goodbye to the friends they made on the screen by Madison Miller


s creatures of habit and emotion, we hate to see things we love leave us. This includes T.V. seasons we have spent watching during some part of our life. We form a connection with T.V. because T.V. has always been there for us. Many shows this year are putting on their last precious time of public airing before they say goodbye to their loving and dedicated fans. Glee will end shortly after six long, heartfelt seasons. Mad Men will end after seven seasons. Parks and Recreation will end after seven comedic seasons. Two and a Half Men will end after a giant twelve seasons on air. David Letterman turns in his talk show duties after thirty three years on the job. Breaking Bad left viewers crazed after only five seasons. Perception says goodbye after only three sea-

sons. A large part of watching television is being able to connect to the plot and the characters on a personal level. Many of us have different ideas of what entertainment is and how it can please us based on our personalities and interests. Junior Morgan McDowell said that she finds herself extremely dedicated to many of the television shows she watches or has watched in the past. “I can get really emotionally connected to shows… where a series’ plot directly affects my mood,” McDowell said. “I can remember watching Alias and a certain character’s death occurred which caused me to start sobbing and face time [a friend] to confirm he wasn’t actually dead.” Television has a way of personally connecting and drawing in an audience. We see ourselves in the embodiment of the show and the

characters to the point where it is a normal feature of life. Many people can agree that good shows stand out for a number of reasons. “Whenever I watch [T.V.] I get engrossed… and I don’t want each episode to end and when it finally does I just want to watch the next one,” junior Emma McCall said. According to McCall, shows really need to grasp her attention and keep it; otherwise it’s not worth it. She wants to see good acting and a plot that can sustain functionally. T.V. has to both appeal to a large portion of the nation, but also appeal to each person individually. Television has a way of drawing us in or cutting us off before we’ve had our fair share of contentment with the progress of the plot. There is a fine balance between having a good run and proceeding past the point where viewers are un-

interested in the material. “I feel a little depressed because keeping up with a show that still airs new episodes is kind of exciting,” junior Austin Eby said. “However, when I want a show to end I’m usually fed up with the characters and bored with where the story is going.” Many shows give us a sense of nostalgia, as they can connect to certain aspects of life such as love, family, or childhood. English teacher Peter Conrad has had a love for T.V. since he was a kid. “[I remember] watching and sitting around with family…laughing and happy,” Conrad said. According to Conrad he really appreciated the ability for television to bring a family together, as it did before and later in his life. He believes that T.V. has a social aspect that allows people to get together and talk about something mutual. He credits

10│news│THE EDGE

April 17, 2015


Tuning in has always been what it’s about

How would you prefer a television series to come to an end? As long as the shows keep coming, let the ending happen when it happens. The series should have an end that’s perfect and just in time.

Which TV show do you wish was still on the air?


5% 30% 3% 47% 15%

Did you know? In 1992, 44.4 million viewers watched Theo graduate from college in the series finale of The Cosby Show. Almost 10 years later, 52.5 million viewers watched all the Friends live happily ever after in 2004. In 1993, 93.5 million viewers watched everyone (who knows your name) enjoy one last drink at Cheers in the series finale in 1993. Ten years earlier, 125 million viewers watched Hawkeye board that final helicopter in the series finale of M*A*S*H.


television to different factions of his current life, such as his love for storytelling and writing. Some of us will go to extreme lengths to keep the series we love around us. Whether this is watching past seasons again, watching mediocre spin off series, or writing raged emails to the producers. Junior Morgan McDowell said that has had a fair share of disappointment in the television she watches and said she would love to see some of her favorite programs return. “I’d do anything to see Alias come back,” McDowell said. “I’ve gone as far as writing J.J Abrams in attempt to convince him to produce my idea of a spin-off series where I’m Sydney Bristow’s daughter pushing a

April 17, 2015

Generic Photo Caption

career in the CIA.” T.V. has always had a special power over people. Whether it’s the sadness of a character’s death, the surprise that comes from finding out key information of a favorite character, the happiness in witnessing a couple’s relationship bloom, or the anger when all of this is ripped away a few years later, a long-running program has the potential to be a fond friend that visits once a week. Multiple times a week, if you count reruns. The second half of the last season of Mad Men premiered on AMC on April 5th. The final episode of the series will air on May 17th. David Letterman’s last broadcast will air May 20th on CBS.

by Madison Miller COLUMNIST


What does it mean to love T.V.? Is it staying up until 2 a.m., staring at the screen like a drone? Is it keeping up with shows that have always been your tradition? Is it watching reruns of shows that bring back memories? Or is it the experience in general?

veryone has their own idea on what T.V. should be and how we interact with the industry. I think T.V. plays a major role in how we progress and how we think as humans. It determines our interests, our family or social life, and our aptitude for tradition. I progressed from Scooby-Doo, to Disney Channel, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer now. I think T.V. has a way of growing with us. We start watching shows that teach us about basic life as a kid and eventually progress to shows that teach us something much deeper about our surroundings. T.V. latches onto us because we feel a connection with the people, the cast, the plot. It all feels so real. The worst part is when this is ripped away too soon and we feel empty because a part of us has been left unfinished and disregarded. My experience with television has been positive. It brings me closer to my family because of the experience of sitting around watching together. Whenever I feel a conversation stall to a period of uncomfortable silence; I know I always have T.V. to fall back on. I can talk about a character, a death, or anything I find interesting. It has a means of connecting people with similar interests together. I can credit T.V. to saving my social life on many occasions. I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite show because it nev-

er seems to reach that bland state. It goes episode by episode, but, at the same time, it provides an overall story line. At the same time, it’s always been easy for me to see myself as Buffy. Not the vampire-slaying, supernatural destroying beast (unfortunately), but the other aspects of her life and her personality. I connect to her romantic endeavors and her intense susceptibility to emotions. I see myself in her progression through life and high school and ultimately college. The shows complex, she’s complex. It’s so intriguing and relatable. This is why we watch T.V., right? We all get so terribly angst when we don’t like a show or how a show ended. But really, can you blame us? The ending feels like the most important part, it isn’t, but it certainly feels that way. Also, defending what we don’t like or like defends our television and personal honor. I could sit here and say that the “journey is more important than the destination,” but that’s ridiculous. Certainly the adventure of sticking with the show is important, but so is the ending. If we have to let go of our favorite show, shouldn’t we get answers? Should the industry rip us off our dying series wish? There’s so much controversy with endings because of the pressure we put on them to be perfect.

THE EDGE│news│11


Making history

A potential ban of AP U.S. History in Oklahoma raises questions about what and how history should be taught in public schools by Logan Weeter


chool curriculums are up for question in most subjects. Math teachers try to make sure their lessons involve what students have the highest chance of using when they go off into the real world. English teachers assign the books and essays that will best shape students into effective readers and writers. But history is different. History is a pretty concrete concept, simply consisting of what has happened in the world, and is not subject to much change. However, this common knowledge is being brought into question in our school systems. On February 16th, Oklahoma’s educational legislative committee voted 11-4 in favor of a bill to remove AP U.S. History from public schools. This bill was created by Daniel Fisher, a Republican and active member of a group called the Black Robe Regiment, which holds the belief that lawmaking should be entirely done by the church. Fisher defends his actions by saying that the current AP U.S. History curriculum focuses on what is bad about America and does not promote “American Exceptionalism,” a belief that holds that America is qualitatively superior to other nations. This educational shock in Oklahoma has caused a few heads to turn in other state governments, and we

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“U.S. History focuses on a reasoned understanding of how America came to the point that it is today, the good and the bad. All of that contributes to the American identity, not just the positives or negatives.”

as a country could be facing a large change in what has been a constant curriculum for a long time. The question is brought up on whether or not this practice is applicable on the homefront, and whether it is proper to teach American Exceptionalism. Junior and AP U.S. student Kyle Erwin said that he does not think so. He said that the entire ugly truth needs to be shared with students. “America has done some pretty horrific things, such as imperialism in the Philippines and Japanese Internment camps, to name a few,” Erwin said. “We can’t just ignore these acts. It’s not about teaching whether or not America’s good. It’s about teaching the truth of what’s happened in America’s past.” AP U.S. History teacher Steven Ideran pointed out the neutrality of the curriculum by its very nature by pointing out the necessity of teaching history in full. “[U.S. history] focuses on a reasoned understanding of how Ameri-

ca came to the point that it is today, the good and the bad,” Ideran said. “All of that contributes to the American identity, not just the positives or negatives.” Some would argue that the Black Robe regiment and the ideals that it is trying to enforce in the classroom and the government are an infringement of the constitutional foundation of separation of church and state, which is a conflict that the diverse community of East has limited experience with. Enforcing a religion in the school, believing that it is the morally correct choice raises the questions on the differences between religious morality and humanistic morality. “In a religiously diverse community like East, it’s impossible for one creed to determine what’s right or wrong for everyone,” senior and Muslim student Gilton Cross said. “I don’t want a church telling me what to do any more than a Christian wants a mosque telling them what to do.”

When a situation like Oklahoma’s turns as many heads as it did, one cannot help but be hypothetical about the situation on the homefront, and ask how an altered curriculum would affect students. Senior Alexander Fonseca said that a curriculum with a strictly positive depiction of America would cause conflict and discord between citizens and lawmakers. “I think it could turn negative quickly if [students] figure out bad things about America on their own time that they didn’t learn in school,” Fonseca said. “It might make them distrust the school system.” Without even looking at possible effects of a curriculum change, the question needs to be asked regarding whether or not a change is truly justified, and whether America’s history is truly so terrible. Cross said that he thinks so. “America has a big bad side, as does every other nation on earth,” Cross said. “If you don’t know your history, you’re doomed to repeat it.”

April 17, 2015


Keep the “American” in “American history”

How comprehensive should a U.S. history education be? We should learn all of U.S. history We should learn most of U.S. history We should learn only what is on the test

U.S. history is not entirely relevant POLL BASED ON A CROSS-SECTION OF 500 STUDENTS

In a recently conducted poll of East students, roughly 39% of America’s history is entirely negative. Nine percent, meanwhile, said that America’s history is is entirely positive. Fifty-two percent said that American history is a combination of positive and negative aspects. Senior James Lewis said that what truly matters is how the curriculum presents American history. “American history is simply what happened. Its all abiut how teachers portray that information as positive or negative,” Lewis said. At the time of this printing, the ban has not been put into full effect, but lawmakers are making preparations as they move forward. Instead of removing the program altoghether, Oklahoma is proposing a new history curriculum to be considered in the old class’s place. At the time of this printing, the updated and revised advanced placement curriculum would include teaching the 10 commandments as they appear in the Holy Bible, as well as speeches delivered by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

April 17, 2015

by Logan Weeter COLUMNIST


lose your eyes. Think of the concept of America. What do you see? Stars and stripes? Revolutionary war soldiers? A white guy with a mullet on a Rascal scooter, with a Big Mac in one hand and an M-16 in the other, being carried away on a massive eagle? Regardless, whether seriously or sarcastically pictured, the word “freedom” probably popped up somewhere in your imagination. The idea of freedom has been prevalent in the States since her relatively recent birth. But what I’ve noticed is that those who claim to be the largest patriots in the country tend to favor very restrictive and traditional social policies, such as forcing school prayer and opposition to women’s rights and same-sex marriage. These people claim their support of the land of freedom, but only as freedom is defined by them, which rules out freedom on most social issues. The situation in Oklahoma appears to reinforce this theory tenfold. The committee that voted on this bill was composed of 11 Republicans and four Democrats, and the bill to restrict students’ educations passed with all 11 Republicans in favor and all 4 Democrats opposed. The situation is made worse when the man who proposed the bill is part of the “Black Robed Regiment” that hopes to tear down the separation between Church and State. He appears to defy the Constitution

Oklahoma’s situation doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident. Other southern states are considering adopting the currculum change. It’s easy to pin this problem on a political party. Shove the blame on the Republicans and wash our hands of it. But this problem transcends parties. No one’s in support of this, so why is it happening? And what does it suggest about American history? there, but wants to keep all his guns because it’s his Constitutional right. Dan Fisher, make up your mind. But Fisher is an example of extreme conservativism. All the pieces fit. Except that they don’t. Look around at East, and you’ll see that no one, Republican or otherwise, believes that schools’ history curriculums should be censored. Senior and proud Republican Alexander Fonseca openly spoke on his distaste for the entire concept of the bill, and expressed his concern about its impact on his party. “Honestly, even though I’m a Republican, I’ve gotta say that this’ll reflect pretty negatively on my party,” Fonseca said. “All the people who are dealing with this, even conservatives, are opposed to it. I’d like to think that this was a giant fluke, but now that I see more states getting involved, it’s confusing.” According to polls conducted for this publication, a vast majority of East’s students want the opportunity for a full and comprehensive education in the history of their nation. So is this a Republican vs. Democrat issue, like everything else in the country? It appears not. Look back on American history. The country’s had its fair share of atrocities in its short time: The near-extermination of Native Americans, the Atom Bomb, and Japanese Internment camps, to name a few. Situations like these are real and can’t be ignored. To ignore

or lie to students about these acts is a direct act of censorship, and in turn, a restriction to the freedom of students to learn. People have a right to know about their country, and if the entirety of America’s history depicts the country in a rather negative light, then so be it. People in power like to forget that America isn’t perfect. Social oppression and war run rampant in our history, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican. It’s pretty clear across the spectrum that this isn’t the right way to go. So what do we do about it? Right now, we’re not in a situation where our curriculum is at any risk, but people also thought that Oklahoma was an isolated incident, and now other states are considering similar policies, including big bad Texas, which oversees a vast majority of the public school textbooks in the nation. This could allow the virus of censorship to spread nationwide. Again, we’re not in any immediate danger, but the possibility of facing this threat isn’t nonexistent, so we spread the word. Ignorance is our greatest weakness, and the more people that simply know about the problem, the less likely it is that the problem will be ours to face. Show your distaste for school censorship, and show it loudly. As Mark Twain said, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government only when it deserves it.”

THE EDGE│in-depth│13



What is one thing you most look forward to having accomplished in four years?

“In four years, I plan on graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in engineering.” -- senior Ryan Petzke

“I hope to be working full-time or interning for a film company.” -- senior Andrea Carrillo

“I hope to have a full ride to a Division I school.” -- freshman Juvia Davis

“I look forward to finding a job I enjoy in the automotive field.” -- junior Jacob Rodriguez

“I’m excited to discover what kind of career I will do later in life.” -- sophomore Emma McCullough

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April 17, 2015


There remains a place in college for educational, compassionate fraternities


ollege is arguably one of the most crucial parts of a person’s life. With higher education being given such a spotlight on the stage of America, the acts of blatant racism in universities nationwide are sure to draw quite a bit of attention from the media and society in general. What sparked this recent topic of prejudice in the exclusivity of Greek life was the racist chants caught on video from the University of Oklahoma’s branch of the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, speaking of lynching African-Americans and never allowing them into their fraternity. Instantly, the media was in uproar. Everyone began looking for any sort of negativity in other forms of Greek life and college in general, and after an anti-sematic romp and an unpunished rape that couldn’t be “technically proven,” people were convinced that fraternities as a whole stand on a foundation of evil and bigotry. Is this justified? English teacher Michael Curtis, who was pledged to a fraternity in his college experience, said that condemning the entire social system of Greek life due to the actions of a few is taking matters to the extreme. “Everyone likes to look at things on a surface level and find something to blame,” Curtis said. “It’s easy to blame the Greek system in general for the stupid actions of the few, but there’s much more to it.” We as a society like to find what’s wrong with a situation and forget any positive parts of the situation that have the potential to morally correct it. For example, in the case of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, within days of the video’s release onto the internet, the University of Oklahoma shut down SAE in their school. The two leading students associated with the video

April 17, 2015

were expelled immediately and now face heavy consequence from the SAE society as a whole. The situation became so controversial that the president himself told the nation what he had to say about it in an interview. President Barack Obama said that the heartening part of the situation was the quick reaction by the University students and staff to condemn the actions of the fraternity. “The way we have to measure progress [in America] is not, ‘Is there ever going to be an incident of racism in the country?’” Obama said, according to a report published by the Huffington Post on March 21st. “It’s, ‘How does the majority of our country respond?’” There will always be ignorant people in this world. All we can do is make sure that the masses are ready to prove the humanity of society. In this case, society is the Greek life system as a whole. In high school, students spend all of their time surrounded by other students that live within a radius of a few miles of the school. College is the first time in a person’s life where he or she is really exposed to people that are truly of all different backgrounds, coming from different parts of the country, or even the world. College really is the ultimate melting pot. There will be people who turn this diversity into conflict. Those people will go on to offend others and cause trouble, Higher education is about personal growth and expanding the mind in every aspect to prepare one for the real world. There’s an overwhelmingly higher amount of fraternities and sororities that build the community up through service and care. This sense of communiy contributes to everyone’s collegiate experience in some way, and that can’t just go unnoticed. We’re all better than that.


What is the true purpose of a fraternity or sorority? 15% 10% D


C 32%

B 43%


A. To uphold the traditions of the Greek society B. To meet like-minded young people C. To participate in community service & philanthropy D. To encourage academic & social success

What is the true purpose of college or a higher education? 19% 11%






B 38% A. To explore different majors B. To prepare for a career C. To participate in different social opportunities D. To encourage personal development POLLS BASED ON A CROSS-SECTION OF 500 STUDENTS

THE EDGE│opinion│15

b c d


From rags to riches: How important is college after all?

Oh! The Places You’ll Go (Without College) Coco Chanel

C by Anna White COLUMNIST


eople joined clubs and honor societies, did community service, took extra classes, not because they wanted to, or because it would better their work ethic, but because it “would look good on a college application.” Maybe not so much freshman and sophomore year for some, but I felt like my entire high school career was centered around getting into college and the importance of it all. The amount of stress that is put on students from the beginning of high school, especially junior and senior year is intense, but we’re constantly told that it is preparing us for college, and adult life. But as the end of my high school experience gets closer and closer, I question more things every day, the importance of college in particular. For me, not going to college has never been an option. Though I’ve had various ideas as to what I’d do as a career, I remember dreaming of college at a young age. Even now, I cannot imagine myself at this point not pursuing a higher education. Nowadays a college degree just seems essential for most jobs, especially ones with a decent salary, and those that include other benefits. Fields have become so competitive that a college degree does not even guarantee a job in today’s society, but the unemployment rate is higher for those without a college degree. But in recent years, as college tuition prices increase, and other options might need to be looked into, the question of whether or not college is worth it becomes more important. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average price of a four-year institution has been steadily rising for years; from 2011-

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left school at the young age of 18. She went on to become one of the most famous fashion designers ever.

ollege. University. “The best years of your life.” For the past five years (at least), I’ve been told that everything I did was leading to that moment. The entire high school experience for many people is supposed to be in preparation for college, most actions were met with the questions: “How will this look on a college application?” and “How is this preparing me for college?” I even found myself and others around me justifying certain actions because of college. But I and few others ever stop to ask the important question: “Do I really need college in the first place?”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

dropped out of Princeton University due to low grades and went on to write a book that you may have read.

Walt Disney

left school at the tender age of 16. He later went on to build an empire built by a mouse.

John Lennon

was expelled college. He started a band called the Quarrymen. Members would eventually become the Beatles.

12 it was a little over $33,000. Looking at the price of a good education, and weighing out that option, it’s no wonder why so many people (about 30%) do not go to college. Recent years have also shed some light on people becoming successful without pursuing a college degree. Arash Ferdowski, Mark Zuckerberg, Susan Lyne, and Bill Gates are only a few people who have discovered success without higher education. But the way I see it, these people were already intelligent enough to get into and go to these prestigious schools, they just happened to see a greater potential in themselves and they probably thought a lot before acting on it. Yes, there’s probably hundreds if not thousands of extremely successful people that have not gone to or dropped out of college but I honestly think college could be beneficial in some way for most. I’ve heard hundreds of times that college will be some of the best years of life, not because of what you learn educationally but because of the people you meet, the way you grow on a psychological level, and the experiences you have. Now, that may not appeal to everyone, and college may be just out of reach for some people, but I believe that with so many of them existing in this country, there is a college for almost everyone. Many people have the opportunity to become the next Bill Gates or the next Mark Zuckerberg, but the idea that it could happen should not stop anyone from pursuing a higher education. They obviously worked hard to get to where they are, and I see college as a good start for teenagers to figure out what it is they want to do, and if college just doesn’t fit, as it didn’t many successful people, then so be it.

Tom Hanks

attended Sacramento State before leaving to intern for a theater company. He would win two Oscars.

Ellen Degeneres

has done pretty well for herself after attending the University of New Orleans for only a semester.

Brad Pitt

studied journalism at the University of Missouri, but dropped out two weeks shy of graduation.

Ted Turner

was expelled from Brown University. And yet he still became a media mogul worth millions.

Oprah Winfrey

left Tennessee State University before she began making millions and giving it all way.

David Karp

dropped out of school at 14 at his mother’s suggestion. Good with computers, he created Tumblr.

Lady Gaga

before taking over the world of pop music, dropped out of NYU after her freshman year.

April 17, 2015

You’re cordially invited, seniors ... ... To let it go.

Famous Last Words (in fact, in Film) A


“You met me at a very strange time in my life.”

B “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”


by Samantha Loveland COLUMNIST

“I’m too old for this.”

D “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

E “I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.”

F “I’ll be right here ... “

G “ ... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

H “You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry: you will someday.”


ikened to a chapter book, complete with trifling characters and bizarre conflict encountered throughout the pages, life comes in stages big and small. As we reflect on our own experiences, the emotional and evolutionary shifts that occur in our own lives are abstractly set by ourselves based on our own growth. And yet, there are those universally acknowledged phases we go through that are seen as hallmarks of our development as individuals. Many of these hallmarks exist within the education system, as it may collectively be agreed upon that during one’s formative years in school is where many of our social triumphs and blunders take place—to scar us or otherwise for the rest of our days. But the growth that comes out of that experience is entirely the point, the dog-eared page of one chapter that has come to an end before the next one can begin.

hat being said, the commencement of those stages of schooling—preschool, elementary, junior high and, of course, high school— does in fact hold a lot of weight in our individual and societal progression. And yet, even high school—that blessed purgatory of counterfeit charm and tongue-in-cheek sidesteps which prove most necessary to make it out alive—that too must come to an end. And once it does, do yourself a favor and let it go. So often do we see the very people who toiled for four years to reach a better state—the university, internship program, etc., of their dreams—only to make their “triumphant” return back to the place they tearfully and so dramatically made a point to say goodbye to months or years ago. High school is a chapter, an important one, which we all must complete. Hopefully it is done with a positive attitude, with some fun, and of course with much hard work. But when it is over, let it stay over. Do we return to our middle school playgrounds once we’ve moved on? I should think not. Why should high school be any different? The high school you graduate from is not that back corner booth at your local diner which you claim when you’re passing through, knowingly watching the young, fresh folk of the present meander through the same issues you once had. Nostalgia, in this way, is for the dead. We’ve spent 12 years of schooling preparing ourselves for our future, and now is the time when seniors most passionately proclaim their readiness to get out, move on, express themselves … So why don’t they? Ultimately what we as graduating seniors will miss the most about the high school experience is

the ease of it, the routine which—despite our yearlong protests to the contrary—we will find were very much integral to our comfort as young adults. “Out there,” in that expansive and elusive somewhere of our post-high school futures, we will feel the pang of ambiguity that lies before us, and many will feel the self-conscious need to reclaim the sense of familiarity we had once known. But will yourself not to return to that closed door you so forcefully sought to close behind you. For your return will be less of a Homecoming for those that don’t remember you and a backwards step in your growth as an independent individual. Let the people who fueled those long-lasting memories be the ones you harken back to, the friends and even the educators who may have influenced you ten-fold throughout your educational career. Seek them out for the sake of companionship and fellowship. But do it for the right reasons. High school will soon be over. You will no longer be in your self-sustaining spotlight surrounded by 500 of your peers who, regionally, come from nearly the same background. There’s no need to impress. You will soon be a face—sometimes a name— but mainly a face, in a wide sea of other faces. Your new challenge will be to make yourself stand out, known, and recognized for what you as an individual can do. Put your efforts there. Seek out those life-changing individuals you were lucky enough to meet within the 18 years you’ve had thus far, but do it to add to your individual growth, not to cradle the part within you that’s afraid to move on. Take a tip from the Ice Queen herself—she turned out all right. Let it go.

A. Narrator (Edward Norton) from Fight Club (1999). B. Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from Back to the Future (1985 ). C. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) from Lethal Weapon (1987). D. Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) from Magnum Force (1973). E. Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) from The Silence of the Lambs (1991). F. E.T. from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). G. Rick Lane (Humphrey Bogart) from Casablanca (1942). H. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) from American Beauty (1999).

April 17, 2015

THE EDGE│opinion│17


i’ll never see another film like that again

Pick of the litter The buck stops here. So does a tired Top 10. Highlighting the best films in action, comedic, horror, and more ... by Samantha Loveland



erfectly summing up the adventurous spirit of the titular hero, the score to 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark is just one outstanding quality this soaring adventure flick contains. Spawning three sequels, a Disney World attraction, and countless media and pop culture allusions in years to come, the Indiana Jones series is one of monumental importance in the field of action-adventure. Director Steven Spielberg undoubtedly set the standard for adventure films with riveting action, chock full of animated villains and damsels in distress. Films that wished to incorporate head spinning action with a scheming plot and exciting feats were forced to look to the Indiana Jones


very year delivers a batch of new films that either flop or astound the minds of eager, receptive audiences worldwide. And yet old seems to always triumph anew when it comes to classic cinema, with well-established standards flying into the hearts and minds of movie lovers everywhere. These fan-favorites exist in every genre, and here is a look at the best of horror, comedy, family fun, and more.



elebrated for its confounding mixture of adventure, romance, betrayal, sword fights, and miracles, Rob Reiner’s 1987 quirky film is inconceivably funny and the ultimate family classic. Adapted from William Goldman’s novel, the film stands out as memorable in its own right and has since gained a cult following after its home video release. Riddled with various narrative and thematic elements, it is exactly this charming juxtaposition of ingredients that makes the film so magnetic. With characters such as the Man in Black, Miracle Max and memorable


lines (“Inconceivable!”), color, comedy, and true movement of the heart never fail to be elicited. All these elements mesh into a film that is fit for all ages—omitting the overtly sentimental and bland comedic attempts that often seem to fill contemporary ‘family features’.


series for inspiration. The opening sequence of professor/ archeologist Indiana Jones escaping from a large tumbling boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark is iconic in nature, as is the brown hat Jones dons during his escapades. Incorporating dazzling special effects, sets, and staging on an extremely large scale, Spielberg set the stage for adventure films filled with intrigue and action galore.

18│arts & entertainment│THE EDGE

ry. Yet it is not only the infaHORRO R mous “shower scene” that exemplifies Hitchcock’s innovative filming techniques. The entire film utilizes striking camera angles and vantage points to further submerge viewers into the disturbing tone he was trying to iercing score, innovative create. camera angles, and the abilThe desire to delve into the psyity to give one chills more che of his viewers and plant within than 50 years after its re- them a gnawing sense of exposure lease, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and vulnerability drove Hitchcock revolutionized the horror genre in to use ground-breaking techniques cinema. in his film. Today, it takes only the flash of a The sheer radicalism that oozes raised knife by a silhouette for audi- from the film cannot be overshadences to recognize one of the most owed, and it is enough to get one distinguished features in film histo- unsettled any time of the day.


April 17, 2015





ominated for six Academy Awards and commercially and critically praised, Joe Wright’s 2007 gripping romantic drama Atonement is a beautiful articulation of love, grief, and penance. Set against the outbreak of the second World War in England, the story follows two lovers who are torn apart by a crime in which one is falsely accused, setting about a ripple effect in which its consequences are felt most forcefully by the precocious, 13 year old accuser. The novel on which the film was based was similarly acclaimed for its beautiful prose and thematic elements, and such influential storytelling patterns are transitioned beautifully onto the screen by Wright. It is rare to happen upon a film that is so rewardingly rounded out by exceptional acting, directing, and cinematic technique, yet Atonement is a drama that is beyond perceptional and realized and ultimately heartbreaking. Critic favorites Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy triumph beautifully as the ill-fated lovers, as does eloquent veteran Vanessa Redgrave, who plays the aged version of the young character who sets the story’s conflict in motion. It is Saoirse Ronan, however—only 12 at the time of filming—who gained the most renown, even garnering a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Ronan plays the imaginative youngster who convinces herself and those around her of the guilt of one of the lovers, eliciting an emotive response from viewers that is immersive to say the least. The film’s cinematography, which is infused with natural glows and color, adds an especially vintage atmosphere that further heightens its classic qualities. The romantic, passionate score by acclaimed composer Dario Marianelli ties the film’s sweeping drama together most beautifully.


he first installment in George L u c a s ’s original trilogy, A New Hope set the stage for a whole new method of filmmaking—most notably when it came to the aesthetic perspective. The use of special effects in film before the 1970s was substantially low and not particularly advanced. A New Hope, however, revitalized the use of computer initiated imagery and set the standard for cutting-edge special effects use in big-budget blockbusters. The first film follows a farm boy named Luke Skywalker, who hails from the lone planet of Tatooine, as he journeys with new found friends in an intergalactic quest, eventually joining the Rebel Alliance that combats the imperialistic Galactic Empire, with the help of the elusive rebel Han




ften inappropriate and politically incorrect, Steve Martin’s 1979 The Jerk is one of his best—and one of the most beloved comedies of all

time. Martin plays Navin R. Johnson, the son of a poor black family of sharecroppers who—despite his exterior complexion—does not realize he is not black, and he is eventually told the ugly truth by his “mother,” and sets out to discover himself and start a new life in St. Louis. Gag-fueled mishaps and adventures subsequently befall the naïve, idiotic Navin—who is elicits many a headshake and sigh by the genius of Martin. Some of his most humorous exploits include his persecution by a crazed man at his first job at a gas

April 17, 2015

Solo and his Wookie sidekick Chewbacca. The film incorporates defining elements of the classic “hero’s journey”—including the climactic and ever redemptive deus ex machina—which also contributes to the scope of the epic. The use of such state of the art special effects most notably contributed to the film making film history as the ultimate science fiction flick.

pump, his invention of the handy “Opti-grab”—which at first makes him a billionaire before backfiring on him, as well as his adventures as a carnie where he meets an aggressive stunt rider who vies for his affections. All these make for a rowdy, hilariously stupid ride. Bernadette Peters’ Marie serves as a perfect love interest for the befuddled Navin in her own sweet, naive way. Her presence adds to the film’s witty, endearing nature. Laden with tongue-in-cheek jokes and humor that stems from racial and social naiveties, The Jerk ranks high as one of those winning comedies who is just as hilarious as it is charming.

THE EDGE│arts & entertainment│19



I Was a



Indie Film



with Azul Weber


enior year is a time for reflection, a time to consider what’s come before, a time to consider what comes next, and a time to consider how things could have played out differently. High school yearbooks are there to record what’s come before. High school reunions are there to record what comes next. Others will use iPod playlists to capture those high school years. Others will use Timehop to revisit these four years of young adult life. But whether you see yourself fully captured in the screen of teen movies, know that there must be some element of high school that you’ll see again when you revisit these familiar (and some, not so familiar) films about what it means to be a teenager … … The good, the bad, and the ugly … … And all that played out precisely as it did.

MOST MUSICAL The film’s soundtrack alone makes this movie worth it. Use the playlist as a road map and discover some unsung indie bands!



usic can make or break a film, whether you actually notice it or not. In this case, music is one of the driving forces behind Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, a story of boy meets girl, yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Nick (Michael Cera) is the bass player in a teen band, possessed with a brilliant vocabulary in music and recently heartbroken over his ex-girlfriend Tris. Over the course of their relationship, Nick’s heart burned for Tris. He similarly burned mix CDs for her, introducing her to music that she never quite appreciated. Norah (2 Broke Girls’ Kat Denning) is Tris’ friend, and she’s been falling for Nick through those very mix CDs. And the potential for a relationship between the two is amped up to 10 when Norah asks Nick to pose as her boyfriend for five short minutes. Those five minutes turn into one unforgettable

night as the two bond over their shared love of Where’s Fluffy, an elusive indie band, and the film continues their search for the group’s secret show somewhere in the heart of New York City. Cera and Dennings are refreshing as the leads, somehow capturing the apprehensive sense of adventure that all teens know so well, fearing everything and nothing all at the same time, and the scenes of that adventure are captured with relative ease without falling into a snakepit of MTV-like orchestration. But it’s the film’s soundtrack that becomes the star of the show, artfully compiled and featuring music from indie favorites such as Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, and We Are Scientists, giving the film a youthful and exhilarated vibe. Watching this film makes you feel like you can do anything and go anywhere and do any crazy thing and still find someone to do it all with you, and that’s something all teens are looking for.

20│arts & entertainment│THE EDGE

April 17, 2015

MOST OUTGOING In this film, making friends (as wonderfully weird as they may be) is sometimes as easy as putting yourself out there. So few do!



t its core, being a teenager is about finding what you really love and who you want to be, and in Whip It, Bliss Cavendish (Ellen Page) is an awkward, indie-loving misfit in Texas, forced by her overbearing mother to compete in beauty pageants. After visiting a roller derby competition with her best friend, Bliss is inspired by the unapologetic toughness of the roller derby women and soon finds her passion, both in roller derby and a broody rocker (Landon Pigg), both of which turn her life upside down. With a cast of quirky characters that seems to embody a little bit of all of us, played by an outstanding cast and accompanied by indie hits, Whip It manages to capture what it is to be a lost teenager. The film captures what teenagers are most scrambling for, and Whip It shows that while the process of it is complicated, it happens and it’s worth it. Whip It makes you thirst for your future to begin.

MOST ATHLETIC Overcoming the monotony of teen life is going to require some creativity. This movie shows it also requires some major hustle.



ased on Daniel Clowes’ 1997 graphic novel. Ghost World is the story Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), both self-isolated pseudo-intellectual misfits, disdainful of their materialistic peers. While scanning the classified section of a newspaper in search of an apartment that they can share, Enid finds an ad placed by a man searching for a woman he met at an airport, and Enid proceeds to call and set up a fake blind date. She later visits the man at a yard sale after she feels guilty for setting him up and learns that he is a lonely record enthusiast named Seymour. The two develop a close but awkward relationship that impacts Enid’s life in a number of ways. The relevance of Ghost World lies in the character of Enid, who is so unapologetically herself that it almost feels like too much. She is loud and abrasive and opinionated and makes everyone aware of who she is. So often teenagers are forced into cubbies, scared of being unlike everyone else. Enid represents what we wish we were like, so shamelessly ourselves. In her friendship with Seymour, it becomes clear that no matter who or what you are, someone will be drawn to it and stick with you, no matter how you may see yourself.

CLASS CLOWN Sam Rockwell steals the show as Owen (center), a waterpark manager who could teach any young person how to live life with a little fun.



n a scale of 1-10, where do you see yourself?” This question is posed to 14-year-old Duncan by his mother’s boyfriend, Trent, and it will follow Duncan through his vacation summer that is at the heart of the film, The Way Way Back. So Duncan soon seeks solace at the local waterpark, where he befriends a ragtag bunch of adults who never seemed to grow up. And accompanying them is his jaded neighbor Susanna, who might be able to teach Duncan a life lesson as well.

April 17, 2015

The film doesn’t follow the trend of most teen films with implausible plot twists and melodramatic voiceovers, but it somehow manages to capture the sentiments of teens everywhere: no one likes to be told that they don’t measure up, and no one wants to be treated like they don’t. Nuanced with a perfect balance of drama and humor, the film casts its share of memorable faces that you may have overlooked elsewhere. The Office’s Steve Carell makes one of his most despicably best appearances here.

THE EDGE│arts & entertainment│21


Stick the landing Senior Alayna Dieter had the opportunity to compete in state for beam and ends her last year of gymnastics on a high note by Tom Cummings


igh school is said to have some ups and downs, but senior Alayna Dieter has spent the entirety of her high school career turning those somersaults into success through the school district’s gymnastics program. Alayna is one of many athletes to make it to the state level and, according to Alayna’s mother, she has had gymnastics in her life since she was a small child. Alayna herself said that gymnastics has made her who she is today and has contributed to how she acts on a daily basis. “Gymnastics has made me a perfectionist. I have learned to never settle and that every routine can be better,” Alayna said. “I’ve become more competitive and like to win in everything I do. Without gymnastics I don’t think I would be as dedicated as I am today to my activities.” Ever since she could remember, gymnastics has been a large part of her life. She’s always put away some of her time to gymnastics, showing dedication not only to competitions but also each and every practice. “She is very knowledgeable in the sport,” Sarah Dugan, Alayna’s gymnastics coach said. “She is a great coach when it comes to helping others with a new skill, or giving constructive feedback for corrections. I have appreciated her honesty in the gym.”

22│features│THE EDGE

Senior Alayna Dieter successfully makes her way through a backflip on the beam. “Gymnastics has taught me to never give up and to improve myself in everything that I do. Just like a routine, everything in life could be done better and I strive to improve everything that I do,” Dieter said. Photo courtesy of the Dieter family

“Gymnastics has made me a perfectionist. I have learned to never settle and that every routine can be better.”

This was Alayna’s fourth and final season of gymnastics at East. This season was also very important for Alayna because she had the chance to compete in state for beam. For the team in general the season had its ups and downs. “We’ve had a good season and many accomplishments were made as a team and individuals,” junior Alexia Stamas, Alayna’s teammate, said. Alayna is very involved at East, competing in the school’s golf and track teams on top of gymnastics, as well as being involved in National Honor Society, Science National Honors Society and football managing. “At practice and meets, Alayna is very focused, but also knows when it is appropriate to have fun,” said junior Alecia Sahatdjian, another one of Alayna’s teammates. “I feel as though she balances the stress of the sport very well and maintains a good game face.” The attitude that Alayna portrays is shown to exude both confidence and

excellent teamwork. Her teammates said that they benefit from her being around, due to her encouraging everyone around her to do their best and achieve their goals. “Alayna is my biggest supporter, but also my biggest rival at gymnastics,” Sahatdjian said. “If I am having a rough practice she always takes time to talk to me and really give me the encouragement that I need.” Gymnastics requires both physical and mental strength to properly execute, and according to her teammates, Alayna has adept intelligence when it comes to gymnastics and knows what it takes to better herself . “After finishing the season at the state meet, I think Alayna will take some time away from gymnastics for awhile,” Dugan said. “If she decides to continue gymnastics in college, it may be in the environment of intramural sports.” Alayna’s high school gymnastics career has come to an end, but her success was apparent even from the tender age of youth.tender age of youth.

“Alayna looked like a gymnast as a toddler, and definitely had a ‘stickto-it’ attitude,” Susan Dieter, Alayna’s mom, said. “She is great at goal setting.” Alayna has left an impact on a lot of the girls in the gymnastics program, but when she leaves, her teammates say that there will be a gap in leadership. “Next year, I won’t have Alayna’s support, but I am challenging myself to be the teammate to someone new that Alayna was to me,” Sahatdjian said. “Although I won’t have Alayna there as direct competition anymore, I will always remember that she made it to state so I can too.” Alayna has decided not to pursue a long-term career in gymnastics. She will instead study cardiothoracic or general surgery in college. “I am not sure what is next with gymnastics for Alayna with college on the horizon,” Susan said. “I do see her as always staying athletic and I know she will be a success in whatever she decides on.”

April 17, 2015

True, physical education


Teenagers with life-threatening health risks defy their conditions daily, continuing to live “normal lives” by Anna White


illions of people in America today are living with potentially life threatening diseases, a good portion of these people being high school students. Worse still, it is not everyday that teenagers think about how some of their actions could affect the health of their peers. Junior Josh Schroeder, who has a severe peanut allergy, said that it is easy for people around him to forget that he has an allergy and may have a snack or lunch with peanut products that he should not come in contact with. “I have to be careful wherever I go, and [when] I eat something, I can’t just zone out. I have to be aware that any time I’m outside of my house the traces could be anywhere,” Schroeder added. Allergic reactions can range from something small like an itch or small rash, to something severe that could send that person to the hospital. While some students may groan about being restricted from having certain products or foods in classrooms, according to, every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room, which totals up to over 200,000 visits per year in the United States. Not only are allergies growing in the U.S. the number of teenagers with some type of life-threatening condition is rising and students may

2 1. English teacher Tamara Lilly and her type 1 diabetic son Daniel horseback in Alaska. “He’s a trooper ... and on the surface it seems like he handles it just fine ... and he does,” Lilly said. Photo courtesy of Tamara Lilly. 2. Many type 1 diabetics wear insulin pumps that deliver small amounts of insulin to keep their blood sugar in the target range. Photo courtesy of need to become more aware of their peers and the effect they might have on them. “If my blood sugar goes extremely low I can pass out and if I’m around a lot of people that didn’t know I have diabetes, I could die,” senior Caitlin Collins, who has type 1 diabetes said. Collins has a condition that is seen a little bit less in people, and it is something that she has to regulate multiple times a day to stay healthy. “I was diagnosed at 22 months… since I’ve had it so long and I don’t remember the time when I didn’t have it, I know that my body is really sensitive so I’m good about knowing if my blood sugar is too high or too low,” Collins said. Though Collins is not so much affected by other people, she has to be sure to know what is going into her body. “Because I have an insulin pump, I have to be extra careful about my

surroundings around where the insulin goes into my body,” Collins added. Collins’ condition in the long run will also affect her career choices because people with diabetes are so sensitive, some jobs are out of the question for them. “Since our bodies are so sensitive it could affect the job. For instance, I know I can’t be a pilot for a commercial airline, because if my blood sugar got too low unknowingly, I could accidentally kill a lot of people,” Collins said. Obviously, high school students do not have to worry about one of their peers flying their planes right now, the daily struggles that these students have to deal with is something to learn from. English teacher Tamara Lilly knows first hand what it is like to deal with diabetes as well because her son also has type 1 diabetes. “I am bound and determined to not

let this be an obstacle [for my son]. He can and does anything he would do without diabetes,” Lilly said. These students do not let their health risks stop them from doing anything that they want to do. “It has just helped me learn that I need to take care of myself. I take my life and my health into my own hands,” senior and anemic Kristen Feigel said. Students that have these extra health issues have to worry more every day, and what may seem like a small obstacle on the outside poses a high risk that they face on a daily basis. “Having a child with an incurable illness makes you incredibly sensitive to others’ needs,” Lilly added. “Since diabetes is something you cannot see, [some] people think it’s no big deal. I understand the tug between wanting it to seem like no big deal and wanting people to know how serious it is.”

April 17, 2015

THE EDGE│features│23

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Producing an award-winning newsmagazine that appeals to a diverse audience of student readers is no easy task. Doing so demands a work ethic that would test even the greatest heroes, to tirelessly bring to print and digital media the most comprehensive, thought-provoking features that matter most to young people. From local sports to intriguing student features ... From in-depth reporting of world news to the tackling of sensitive contemporary issues ... ... THE EDGE is always prepared to put on its best game face. High scores, indeed.

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The Oswego East Edge -- 04/17/2015  

The end is near and THE EDGE is taking one close, final look at you & the world around you. Check out the latest & last word of the 2014-201...

The Oswego East Edge -- 04/17/2015  

The end is near and THE EDGE is taking one close, final look at you & the world around you. Check out the latest & last word of the 2014-201...