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John F. Kennedy High School

Volume 46, Issue 2

October 19, 2012

It’s here.

Kennedy students’ perspective on the upcoming presidential election

page 18

the torch

CONTENTS Editorial 04

Trick-or-treat tips

News 06

Page 8

Photo by Alli Nemecek

Breast cancer awareness

Profile 12

Cougar mascot reaches last year

Photo 14 16

#It’s fall Fall sports wrap-up

Feature 18

Page 14

Photo by Hanna Krivit

It’s time to decide

Arts & Entertainment 21

Smart wars

Health 22

Inkling of meaning

Sports 25 26

Page 22

Photo by Steph Mercer


torch John F. Kennedy High School 4545 Wenig Rd. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 Volume 46, Issue 1

Cougars talking the talk Girls’ cross country scampers to victory

Cover by Tara Mittelberg Cover photo by Darcey Altschwager

mission The Torch staff and adviser are committed to producing a top quality student newspaper applying high standards of writing, editing, and production. The Torch seeks to fairly serve the Kennedy High School faculty, students, and staff, showing no favoritism to decisions about content are the responsibility of the individual editors and the Editorial Board.

Letter from the editor I will be the first to admit that my guilty pleasure is TLC’s reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras.” The show has received a lot of negative media attention lately saying that the mothers who are featured on the show need to be put in a psych ward. Critics say there is already enough social pressure on women to look and dress a certain way so we don’t need to put any additional pressure on young girls. But honestly I think that these critics are just flat out jealous. I want to be a beauty queen more than Dr. W wants kids to take AP classes. I mean, who doesn’t want a big a fancy crown to wear on top of their head and a sash that states you are someone of importance? But I don’t want to be just any beauty queen in general. I want to be the ultimate grand supreme of the full glitz world. In full-glitz pageants you get the pleasure of having dresses that cost thousands of dollars, hair and makeup done by a professional, a coach that tells you every move to make, and my personal favorite, the flipper (fake teeth that cover up any imperfections in a beauty queen’s dazzling smile). The best of the best in full-glitz pageants spend up to $10,000 on materials for the pageant. I’m dead broke, so financing my dream may be a little difficult (Any sponsors out there?). The whole competition process seems pretty difficult to me. Walking with pretty feet, making gestures with your hands that bring attention to your face, having the sparkling smile - not sure I would be able to handle all of that. I just want a crown. I practically forced it out of Nina Yu’s hands for the picture to the right (See her pageant story on Page 9). I am told that I am too old to be a first-time beauty queen. The other girls have been doing pageants since the day they were discharged from the hospital at birth. But I could take them Hunger Games style if it comes down to it.

Torch Staff: Darcey Altschwager Editor-In-Chief

Mohammad Cheetany Mananging Editor Hanna Krivit Photo Editor Tara Mittelberg Feature Editor Spencer Grekoff Buisness Editor Amy Brause News Editor Alli Nemecek News Editor Steph Mercer Profile Editor Bailey Zaputil Profile Editor Michael Abramson Arts & Entertainment Editor Sam Nordstrom Arts & Entertainment Editor Grace King Health Editor Rachel Langholz Health Editor Norm Althoff Sports Editor Annie Feltes Sports Editor

Zack Goodall Copy Editor Chuck Baxter Copy Editor Mary Mathis Assitant Photo Editor Isabel Neff Online Editor Ethan Divis Online Editor Hannah Bruns Writer Jason Grobstich Writer Terin Kane Writer Lydia Martin Writer Emma Moss Writer Summer Thompson Writer David Hynek Podcast Jordan Lunsford Podcast Trevor Melsha Podcast Stacy Haynes-Moore Adviser


Trick-or-treat tips

Alli Nemecek

Halloween is one of the best times of the year. The weather is just right at that time, there are pumpkin products, and, of course, you can dress up in a ridiculous outfit in order to get candy. However, you have to have a creative costume in order to get extra candy. There are three simple steps in order to get that extra piece. These tips are especially useful as you get older and lose the cuteness that you had as a child. First, you might want to search the internet for some examples of creative costumes. Once you do this, you want to see how many of these ideas will work for your lifestyle. For instance, if you are not going to a party with only your friends, please make sure you are appropriately clothed. Being inappropriately clothed is not how you get extra candy from parents that might have their kids out trick or treating while you are. You should just keep it classy.

Second, make sure that your hair is in some ridiculous hairstyle that you would never be able to recreate. This is unique, and makes people wonder what you were thinking. It also bumps your costume up on the creative scale especially if no one would be able to even attempt to recreate it. Third, dress in warm clothing. Oct. 31 is typically chilly, so you need to be able to maintain a stable body temperature. The key to warm clothing is layers. You can always take off an article of clothing if it gets too warm, but it is better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to being comfortable. With all these tips comes the question of age. If you have a good enough costume, no one will be able to tell what age range you are part of. As long as you can pull off a creative costume, feel free to collect your free candy.

Hallway Debates It’s October now and the political campaigns are well underway. There have been debates and most people know the candidates’ views and beliefs. While debates are typically between the presidential candidates, you can hear miniature “debates” between students in the halls of Kennedy. However, these “debates” are nothing more than angry arguing about how and why their political views are better than the others. Here are some steps to proper political etiquette. The first step is to think. Not only should you think about what you’re going to say before you say it, you should consider both sides of the argument. Each story has two sides, to it’s good to think about that before you blatantly accuse the other person for being “wrong” in their views. Think about who’s around you when you say something, because not everyone would be okay if you insulted a political party


when their members are around. The next thing to do is to not call people out for their political views. If students don’t take part in political discussions, don’t call them out for being uneducated. Don’t call out your friends and tell them that they can’t be friends anymore because of their political views. If you’re political views shape you this early, you’ll be limited in the number of friends you have in the future. The final thing to do is to stop trying to change people’s opinion. Don’t pretend to know everything about your political party and shove it down other people’s throats. Most people know their stance by now, so rambling on about how much you think the opposite political candidate is

Graphic by Darcey Altschwager

Isabel Neff

wrong, will do nothing more than annoy the people around you. Now don’t take these advisory tips as not being able to talk about politics at all, just remember that when you do, to keep it on a civil level.


Sympathetic social media I absolutely cannot control myself. Every for all that your life sucks, it time I log onto Facebook, I will inevitably could be so much worse. And start to stalk through everyone’s statuses, yet, those countries, on the pictures and comments which ultimately sliding scale of depression, serves the purpose of making me feel like don’t out-sad us. Again, it’s a a pile of utter crap. It’s a matter of com- matter of comparison. It’s just so ridiculous. Faceparison: I already hate my life and myself enough, seeing all these people positively book is just a contest where delighted with theirs makes me want to everyone is competing to post the most liked statuses, throw myself off a bridge. best But hey, thanks to research, I “When you let a website the profile picknow I’m not alone! and “According to the study by and someone’s stupid ture Utah Valley University, the party album make you e n o u g h more the people use the hugefeel like your life isn’t albums to make them ly popular social networking as wonderful, then look like websites, the more they will Facebook means too they have believe that others are much much to you. “ awesome happier, the Daily Mail reparties and ported,” said IANS, of the The the coolest friends, the wildExpress Tribune. So, I nailed it on the head. Something est of nights. It’s more about about seeing everyone else having a great bragging about than sharing their lives. While I’m not the type to advocate the time makes you feel like you’re not. Consider this--the United States is second place evils of new age technology and social mein the world for lifetime depression, right dia, I’ll be first to say that what Facebook after France. We’re one of the most prosper- and social media does is make us diminuous, educated, elite countries in the world tive, a tool that flattens the complexity and and yet we rate second for having the most struggle of a human being to 420 characunhappy people. Think of all those countries ters or less or some stupid picture of carin Africa that you see on TV reminding you toon animals with the caption, “tag which

Bailey Zaputil one applies to you! xoxox.” When you let a website and someone’s stupid party album make you feel like your life isn’t as wonderful, then Facebook means too much to you. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t let what other people are doing in their lives be the measure of yours. Let’s be honest... your life probably sucks enough without it.

Staff editorial: Educate yourself on the issues at stake for the upcoming election It’s here. Whether you like politics or not, Tuesday, Nov. 6 is the presidential election and one of your greatest opportunities to make a difference in your life. Voting is one of the most important rights you have as an American. If voting is so important, why did nearly a third of eligible Iowans turn down this opportunity in the 2008 presidential election? Was it apathy? Ignorance? Downright laziness? Regardless of the reason, as a staff the Torch believes this is unacceptable. Thousands of people have died for your right to vote. Is it worth throwing that away?

Beyond historical implications, the result of the 2012 presidential election will directly affect you. You have the opportunity to impact your future and only you can control your vote. Although it may not seem like your individual voice can make a difference, a large enough chorus can. This is why it’s important to gather political knowledge, make informed decisions, and let your voice be heard. As young adults, we are especially sensitive to the effects of this election. The policies created by the winner will be at their peaks at precisely the time we’ll be searching for student loans, entering the

workforce, and trying to prepare for our financial future. Even if you will not be 18 on election day, it is still important to be informed about politics and know which issues are most important to you. Not only will you be more capable of holding political discussions, but you will also be prepared to participate in the 2016 election. Even if you’re not an avid political fanatic, Nov. 6 will give you the opportunity to make a small difference in the future of the United States and the policies that affect you. Will you take it?

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r e c n a C t s a e s r s B e n e r a w A

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, two Kennedy teachers share their battle with breast cancer.

Fighting Together. Katherine Kittredge (left) and Michelle Frye (right) “grin and bear it� despite both being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. Both are currently undergoing chemotherapy but staying positive.


Photo by Bailey Zaputil


About 1 in 8 women will get Breast Cancer over their lifetime. 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer. Breast cancer represents almost 30 percent of all cancer in women. In times of hardship, people are drawn together to face the odds. This is how a community is truly built: by the efforts of hope. So when teachers Kathy Kittredge and Michelle Frye announced they both had breast cancer, Kennedy once again came truly together to show their support. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, students such as Drew Hartl, sr., Sydney Schantz, sr., and Kelsey Turnis, jr., decided to help raise money in support of their teachers by starting a charity effort called, “Pink Club for Michelle Frye and Katherine Kittredge!” The group originally started on Facebook and currently has about 100 members. The club raises money through bake sales, bracelet and t-shirt sales and an event called Carnation Day where students can buy a carnation for a certain teacher and send them a note along with it. They also encourage pink-outs or wearing a pink bandana or shaving heads in support. Schantz in particular helped raise money to buy the bracelets through donation boxes, and raised $193.60. Hartl, who founded the group, is planning on shaving his head: “I was sitting in class one day and Ms. Frye said ‘who’s gonna shave their head with me?’ and I was the only one who actually took her

Walking for a cure (above). Walkers line up in front of Mercy Hospital before the annual Especially for You walk on Oct. 7. Photo by Alli Nemecek Brace yourself (right). Bracelets that Sydney Schantz, sr., sells to raise money for the “Pink Club for Michelle Frye and Katherine Kittredge”. Photo by Bailey Zaputil seriously or didn’t realize that she was joking. So I’m planning to stick with that.” Frye and Kittredge both say the support they’ve received has been incredible. They’ve received cards and emails from students, staff and parents. They’ve had dinners brought to their houses, the staff helping with schedule planning when they can’t. Sometimes support comes as simple as someone wishing them well. Kittredge, who was diagnosed last April, found herself in the position where she’d have to move her classroom over the summer. But she was in for a surprise. “An enormous number of the custodial staff actually moved my room over the summer so I wouldn’t have to do that,” she said, “I think it’s incredible the kind of support I’ve been getting here.” Frye, who was diagnosed two weeks before school began, said that while she hasn’t cried yet, it’s when she sees things like the bake sales and people shaving their heads when she gets teary-eyed. “Sometimes its hard to accept kindness and the generosity of others--it’s humbling---and it really is easier to give than to receive. I’d rather do things for other people than have them do things for me.” Though being diagnosed was a shock for them and their families, both women

say everyone is handling it well and try to continue their daily lives as best as they can. Kittredge has assured her family that she should be done with chemotherapy by Christmas, while Frye should be finished by February at the latest. It’s hard trying to continue a normal schedule, but both stated the same thing: life goes on. And they’re hopeful for what will come. Kittredge, who is a science teacher, says that in terms of medical advancement the future is bright. “There are many people out there and there are lots of exciting things happening right now in science of study about breast cancer, and what I would want to tell the students is, ladies: you will need to worry about it, but you will not need to worry about it like I do, because everyday they are finding new things about it.” Frye, her family, and her daughter’s cross country team from Washington participated in the Especially For You annual breast cancer walk. She expects will become a family tradition. “My mantra comes from my mother and it is, ‘all will be well.’ And no matter what happens, all will be well. so that’s my motto-and I’m sticking to it!” bailey zaputil

Pages by alli nemecek & amy brause 7


Briefly Brief stories of the latest news going on around Kennedy and Cedar Rapids. Writing center for student use: Seven seniors are on staff this term for a writing center to assist with all essays in room 72B. The students there will be available to help write and edit essays. Students are encouraged to stop in or make an appointment by going to the Academics tab and clicking on Writing Center on the Kennedy website. Class of 2016 elections: People interested in running for a class officer position can pick up forms from room 164 on Monday Oct. 22. The forms must be returned by Friday Oct. 26. Improv workshops/auditions: There will be an improv team workshop open to all students Oct. 24, a closed sign up audition on Oct. 30, and callbacks on Oct. 31. These workshops will begin around 7 p.m. on those nights. Speech auditions: Speech auditions for the 2012-2013 speech team have been moved to Nov. 6 and 8, from 3 to 7 p.m. Sign up sheets will be out the week before auditions.

Graphic by Jordan Lunsford

Candidates make use of social media

Social media has played a pivitol role but the use of social media is crucial, acin the 2012 presidential election. Can- cording to Liz Purchia, Iowa Press Secredidates’ campaigns use Facebook, Twit- tary with Obama for America. “Social media is a huge part of the camter, Youtube as well as other websites to paign,” Purchia said. “Twitter and Facespread their message. “Social media has played an integral role book, and Youtube have a huge influence [in the campaign],” Alissa Ohl, Press Secre- so it’s something that we embrace both at the state and national tary with Romney for “Social media will continue level.” President said. “It’s Romney for Presione of the tools we to play a bigger role as there use to communicate are more platforms and more dent uses there website (debates.mittromour events, our stotools on each platform,” and Obama ries, our ideas to both -Alissa Ohl, Romney for America uses there our followers and our for President Press Secretary own (barackobama. internal team.” com/debate) for supOhl believes that with future campaigns, social media will porters watching the debates to follow become even larger. “Social media will along. “It’s a great way for debate watchers continue to play a bigger role as there are to see what’s going on in the debate, how more platforms and more tools on each people are reacting, and how the Romney team is responding to everything.” Ohl platform,” she said. Obama for America is using voter-to- said. amy brause & alli nemecek voter contact by knocking on doors and calling voters. The campaign is traditional,

8 Pages by alli nemecek & amy brause


Holiday Inn Express proudly supports the Kennedy Torch

October 19, 2012

8:00am - 3:00pm Mount Mercy University Students & Educators in public, private and home schools are invited to “Step Up for Diversity.” The Student Diversity Leadership Conference will empower and inspire attendees to be more understanding and accepting of all avenues of diversity. This years’ conference will focus on taking a stand for diversity, being proud of who you are, accepting and helping others accept that diversity is the key for success, growth, and knowledge.

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Page by Spencer Grekoff 9


For more zumba dancing, visit



French teacher dances to own beat

n d r e w Trout, a new French teacher at Kennedy and Washington this year, has brought some energy and life experiences to both schools, while also being a Zumba instructor. The workout dances create a unique way to lose weight while having fun. He is certified to teach both French and Spanish; however, he only teaches French at both schools. Trout teaches two Zumba classes, one at a gym and one at Kirkwood. One of his friends knew his interest in dancing because of his days in show choir in high school and pushed him to try it. “I kept doing Zumba and it was great. I kind of got a little snobbish about my Zumba and saying ‘this person isn’t doing a very good job’ so I said I could do it better if I taught it myself, so then I got certified to teach Zumba,” Trout said. He’s certified to teach regular Zumba and Aqua Zumba, which is taught on the deck of a pool while the students are in the water. To get certified for Zumba instruction, Trout had to register, go to an all-day training, and pay a fee. While he doesn’t think it would be worthwhile to do Zumba in class because

the merengue A latin dance similiar to marching. Move arms in a circular focus close to arms and waist.

he doesn’t teach Spanish, he did teach Trout said. Zumba to his students during HomecomTrout is also working on his master’s ing week. “I played two truths and a lie degree from the University of Northern with my French class and one of my truths Iowa in Teachers of English to Speakers of was that I was a Zumba instructor and Other Languages so he can teach English that’s how I told everyone because many as a Second Language. Norm Althoff people wouldn’t have expected that from a high school teacher. I had some people gone so I said ‘let’s do a dance.’” He used it more when he taught Spanish at his other schools to show his students how important the culture was. Last year, Spanish teacher Jan Perkins had all of her Spanish classes take Zumba for a class period. Trout started his love for languages by studying abroad in Spain in college. “I studied in Spain and I got to travel a lot. During college I traveled to Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, France, and Portugal,” Trout said. He also added that languages came easy to him and he liked traveling and knowing what he was talking about. “French represents such a diverse group of ethnicity and countries and cultures. French is spoken in around 25 countries; they’re not all official languages but some are and some aren’t,” Trout said. Trout grew up in the Kennedy area. “My last school closed and I know Cedar Rapids really well and Kennedy has a good reputation so I thought it would be a good place,” Trout said. He last worked at a school in Cedar Falls. Working at two schools has been a challenge but he con- Raise up. Andrew Trout has been a certified Zuma tinues to feel more comfortable. “You have instructor since this summer. Photo provided by Andrew Trout. to be really organized, and at first I wasn’t, but now I’ve got my system and it works,”

salsa rhythm A simple step that involves moving your feet to the side to the count of one-and-two, three-and-four.

the cumbia The cumbia step is right foot front, left foot steps in place, right foot back, left foot step in place, rocking front to back.

14 Page by Bailey Zaputil & Steph Mercer

the reggaeton

A combination of Latin and hip-hop, with no speciic steps but involves stomping feet and bent knees.

ing, g



Left: Nina Yu proudly wins Miss Iowa. Bottom: Katie Knox poses with her escort before taking the stage at a pageant. Photos provided by Nina Yu and Katie Knox.

Ladies in gowns

Kennedy freshmen participate in National American Miss beauty pagents Glitz, glamor, oversized hairpieces, fake teeth, and an overload a judge asked Yu what she would put on a sandwich. of sparkles are what most would expect to find at a beauty pagContests like Causal Wear and Talent are separate entries that eant thanks to the hit reality TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Yes cost extra and do not contribute to the overall score. Both girls beauty pageants like those featured on the show do exist, but for have competed in the talent competition, where Yu showcases students Nina Yu, fr., and Katie Knox, fr., those beauty pageants her piano skills and Knox shows off her singing ability. One year are like a foreign language. for Casual Wear, Yu decided to dress up like a nerd, which ended Yu and Knox decided to enter the National American Miss up getting her first place. (NAM) pageant after receiving a letter in the mail. Yu was very Even though the state pageant is not until April, Yu and Knox young at the time and told her mom she wanted to compete just have already begun to practice. They practice their public speakfor the crown. Yu has been competing in NAM for five years and ing and most importantly, Knox must practice her walk. The sechas won numerous awards ranging from queen of the junior pre- ond she gets her new shoes she throws them on to make sure she teen and pre-teen age division to first runner-up can walk in them. in the talent competition at the national pageant. Yu and Knox wish that pageants like NAM “With NAM I Knox has participated in a multitude of activiwould be showcased on “Toddlers and Tiaras”. ties over the years such as soccer, dance and tenEven though Knox watches the show religiously, am confident” nis, so when she got her letter two years ago, she she does not believe it is an accurate reflection of -Nina Yu, fr. decided to give beauty pageants a try and won all pageants because of the crazy pageant moms third runner-up her first year at the state pagwilling to cut off other contestants’ feet so they eant. cannot go on stage. “They portray bad images of NAM focuses on judging girls based on their confidence and pageants,” Knox said. public speaking abilities instead of who is the most beautiful or But NAM isn’t all drama free. At nationals when Knox was pracwho has the best-looking full glitz dress. ticing, she walked in her high heels out to a point on the stage “With NAM I am confident and I have self-esteem in myself, and ended up falling off. “But it was only practice so the judges and I am not afraid to go on stage and introduce myself,” Yu said. weren’t there and nobody was in the ballroom,” Knox said. DurYu and Knox agree that the confidence they gained from NAM ing her first year, Yu remembers a girl being crowned in the prinhelped them in the beginning of freshmen year to feel less intimi- cess division, and peeing on stage while they were securing down dated and make new friends. her crown. When she walked to the front of the stage to wave to At NAM, four events contribute to contestants’ overall score: the audience the girl’s dress absorbed the pee. Formal Wear, Personal Introduction, Interview, and Community In the future, Knox and Yu will continue to compete in pageants Involvement. Interview is Yu’s favorite competition in the pag- to earn titles for their self-confidence and other important skills eant. they have learned along the way. “I think in a couple of years I am “I like it the most because you can interact with the judges,” Yu going to try the Miss America Pageant,” Yu said. said. During the interview anything goes. One year at nationals, Darcey Altschwager

Cougar mascot reaches last year fsljdskdskldfsd-



o great mascot or superhero ever reveals their true identity. Especially as a mascot, one should never reveal themselves in a game. But after three years, Kenny the Cougar has finally decided to show his true identity. Dylan Laylin, sr., is on his fourth year of being mascot. “I always wanted to be a mascot, so I asked around,” Laylin said. “After getting help from one of the associates in the Asperger’s program I found out [how to become a mascot]. I went to the first cheer practice and found out that I got it,” Laylin added. After some practice and getting suited to his new identity, Laylin began being the mascot at the football and basketball games. After being the mascot for so long, Laylin has developed some preferences for what he likes. “[The best thing about being the mascot is] the roar of the crowd.” Laylin also enjoys being able to lead the crowd as well as interacting with people at the game. As much as Laylin may love being the mascot, one thing he doesn’t enjoy is how hot he gets while cheering. “After a long day, and I’m running all over the place, I swear I steam from how hot I get,” Laylin said. Even though Laylin doesn’t enjoy the heat, he still doesn’t have a least favorite thing about being the mascot. On top of being at each game ready to roar, Laylin is involved in the robotics team, Best Buddies, and the tennis team. “Robotics is simple, robots are cool, and I just like robots and Best Buddies is awesome because it’s just hanging with friends,” Laylin said. Laylin also really enjoys playing tennis in his free time and for school, playing since he was in seventh grade.

After cheering at so many games for Kennedy, Laylin hasn’t had a favorite game that he enjoyed being the mascot at, but enjoys all the games he is the mascot at. “I love the rivalry games like Xavier, Linn Mar, and all the others [Cedar Rapids schools],” Laylin said. After high school Laylin hopes to continue being a mascot and join the likes of some of his favorites, such as Ducky of University of Oregon, TC of the University of Northern Iowa, and Ricochet of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. “I want to be [a mascot] for pro hockey or pro football,” Laylin said. Masked or unmasked, Laylin has been a cheerful supporter of Kennedy sports and is hoping to take his work at Kennedy and one day be a mascot on a professional level. Even unmasked, Laylin is proud to call himself Kenny the Cougar every Friday night. Mohammad cheetany

Photo by Hanna Krivit.


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Pages by Hanna Krivit 15

Fall sports wrap-up Athletes finish the final weeks of the fall season

Photo by Spencer Grekoff

Photo by Hanna Krivit Photo by Hanna Krivit Top: Getting through. Alex Hillyer, sr., carries the ball at the Homecoming football game against Jefferson. Above: Fly like a butterfly. Michele Wasta, jr., practices the butterfly stroke during practice. Above right: Right angle. Ross Grekoff, so., looks at the line of his putt at the state golf meet. Below: Rocking the boat. Kennedy cheerleaders lead the student section in the “Rock the boat� cheer. Bottom Middle: RUN! Katie Wampole, sr., sprints to the finish of the MVC super meet.

Photo by Spencer Grekoff Right Colum: Top: Congrats. Harrison Moore, sr., holds state runner-up trophy for golf. Bottom: Bump, set, spike. Bre Boote, sr., sets the ball in the volleyball game against Iowa City West.

Photo by Hanna Krivit Photo by Hanna Krivit

16 Page by Hanna Krivit

Photo by Darcey Altschwager





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It’s time to de You have 18 days until the Nov. 6 presidential election. Have you decided how to cast your vote? How do you feel about the economy? Birth control? Healthcare? If you’re like 19 percent of Kennedy seniors, you haven’t made up your mind. In this issue, we look at two students who have made their decision. We examine who they’re voting for and the issues important to them. A die-hard supply-side economist. A volunteer for the Obama campaign. How do these two Kennedy activists’ political views compare to one another’s? They’re more similar than you’d think. Madeline Harris, sr., and Kelsey Hrubes, sr., both believe in liberal social policies such as the allowance of gay marriage. To some degree they both advocate the conservative policy of a limited government in the economic sphere. If they’re so similar, why does Harris support Republican Mitt Romney and Hrubes Democrat Barack Obama? “My social beliefs are very important, but at this moment the economy is number one,” Harris said. “We just

can’t spend any more money as a country now. We just can’t.” Hrubes has different priorities. “Liberal deals with more social issues and that’s something I feel more strongly opinionated on,” she said. “I don’t really like a lot of Romney’s opinions on things. I think some of his social points on stuff are kind of scary.” According to Adrian Evans, Kennedy government teacher, many students share Harris’s and Hrubes’s liberal social views. “The younger people tend to be more Democratic because they see the problems that are in the world and in society and they want to change them,” he said. Teenagers are also concerned about jobs and the economy. “They’re

worried,” Evans said. “Teenagers need cars. Teenagers want to be able to go out and have fun on the weekend...but if you don’t have a job all you’re doing is sponging off mom and dad.” The belief in a limited government and liberal social views is the main platform of the Libertarian Party. Harris, a proclaimed Libertarian, is voting for Romney despite her liberal views on gay marriage, abortion, and birth control. She believes strongly in a conservative fiscal policy. “Ron Paul himself is Libertarian, so I would’ve voted for Ron Paul, but if I did vote for Ron Paul that would take votes away from Romney,” Harris said. “I don’t want to split up the Republican vote.” Harris was raised in a conservative household, but neither of her parents are registered as Republican. Her father works for Conveyor Engineering, a business of approximately 50 employees. Because of this, she is very concerned about the candidates’ plans for small businesses. “According to Obama’s plans for his tax reallocation, my dad himself will be paying an extra $350 per month,” Harris said. She does not like Obama’s welfare plans and believes strongly in the value of hard work. “My great-great-great-grandparents came over from Ireland then they were very poor,” Harris said. “They moved to Iowa and became farmers and created a life for themselves. So I believe in independence. You should depend on yourself.” Harris wishes to clear misconceptions about her party. “A lot of people, I think, are scared of the Republican party because they think we’re like evil, soulless people,” she said. “I have a soul, I promise.”

Pages by Tara Mittelberg



Like Harris, Hrubes says she is not against a smaller government and trying to cut spending; however, her social views more strongly impact her political choices. “Some people don’t like that Obama supports lots of welfare to people but I don’t think it’s right for someone to criticize the President because he’s trying to help the less fortunate,” she said. Hrubes supports liberal policies affecting women and students such the Lilly Ledbetter Fairpay Act and Pell Grants. Although Hrubes won’t be 18 on Election Day, she’s involved in the Obama campaign by volunteering five to 10 hours per week at a local campaign office. She’s also the president of Kennedy’s Young Democrats Club. “Basically I’m kind of a liaison for my volunteer organization,” Hrubes said. “I tell people in Young Democrats if they’re interested in doing anything for the campaign I can hook them up with volunteer stuff.” To learn about the other side of politics, Hrubes reaches out to conservative classmates. “When we get into heated class discussions my thoughts on things start to open up and I start to think about my opinion,” she said. “I’m friends with Maddy [Harris]…and because she’s very opinionated I like listening to her.” Although Harris and Hrubes support different candidates, both believe in the importance of voting. “If you’re 18 or older and you’re working, all of the policies affect you,” she said. “I hate it when people complain and then don’t vote.” Hrubes agrees with Harris. “It’s something you should pay attention to because it’s your future.” Tara Mittelberg

BY THE NUMBERS Who gets Kennedy’s vote?

Mitt Romney

Barack Obama

{Undecided 19%}

{Other 11%}


{ {

18-year-old seniors planning on voting 18-year-old seniors who feel knowledgeable enough to vote


93%} 64%}

Which issue concerns you most?

57% the economy 33% social rights 5% healthcare 5% foreign policy

information from 149 surveys distributed to Kennedy seniors 19

arts & Entertainment

Artist of the month: Joey Bada$$

The facts: Artist: Joey Bada$$ Genre: Hip-hop Hometown: Brooklyn, New York Hit Songs: “Survival Tactics” “Waves” “Hardknock” “Don’t Front” “Suspect” Twitter: @joeyBADASS_ Website: 1999. The cover to Joey Bada$$’s debut mixtape. Creator and Odd Future, A$AP While most 17 year olds are in Rocky and A$AP Mob, and XV and the world of high school, teenager the Squarians, Joey Bada$$ is affiliJoey Bada$$ is making a name for ated with the Pro Era crew. Includhimself in the rap game. ing rappers such as Capital STEEZ, Joey Bada$$, who first got featured on “Survival Tactics” and acknowledgement for his video CJ Fly featured on “Hardknock”, “Survival Tactics” earlier this year Bada$$ works with his crew in when he posted it on Youtube, is production and rapping, in hopes to now making a name for himself. establish to new “progressive era” of After graduating from high school, hip-hop. Bada$$ and his affiliated crew Pro Era set out to create a new moveWith Bada$$ and the Pro Era ment to establish a golden age of crew, you can expect upmost quality hip-hop. on each song. With a retro hip-hop Since his debut track of “Survival sound and new fresh lyrics about Tactics”, Bada$$ has been steadily Bada$$’s experiences in Brooklyn, gaining reception for what he has Bada$$ has a refreshing sound that done. After Bada$$’s first mixtape, is rare in this current state of hip1999, was released in June, Bada$$ hop. Already being compared to the likes of Nas and other greats out of received attention from the New New York, Bada$$ is on his way to York Times and soon after better success. known artists such as Mac Miller. With a new single coming in late Since June, Bada$$ has released a October, and album in the upcomnew mixtape entitled Rejex, a coming future, Bada$$ is a promising pilation mixtape of the songs that artist on the way to success with the didn’t make 1999. Pro Era crew. Like many upcoming rappers, Mohammad Cheetany many affiliate themselves with a crew. Such as the likes of Tyler the

Scan this QR code with a smartphone to get the latest music updates from the Torch. 20 Page Mohammad Cheetany

Cinematic Scares


ouse at the End of the Street is a psychological thriller that explores the eerie questions of “What secrets do your neighbors have? Can you trust them?” The whole movie starts off as a romance and drama when Elissa and her mom move in across the street from a house; the scene of a double murder. Elissa begins forming a bond with the sole survivor of the incident, Ryan. The legend says Ryan’s sister killed her own parents and later drowned in a river, but some say you can see her living in the woods. Disregarding her cautionary advice, Elissa ignores her mother and takes a chance on Ryan, slowly realizing the story is far from over. Sound familiar? The first act presents you with everything you’ve seen before in horror movies, but when the second act rolls around, everything changes drastically. The story quickly drops from a romance to the horror and suspense you were expecting, and you begin to wonder who you can trust. The film grows intriguing and exciting, building up to an extremely shocking and disturbing twist. Unfortunately, once the twist is presented, the thrilling and suspenseful finale lasts for a mere 15 minutes before ending abruptly without much explanation. The script was what dragged this film down, as it’s filled with clichés and odd transitions that don’t feel natural, giving the movie a roughly pieced together feel. It drops storylines that one will want fully explained, and fails at making other storylines interesting and developed. The film still works as a whole with the great talents of the actors, but falls flat when it comes to being an original horror movie. It does pack in some awesome jump scares, but it will never fully scare you. It’s a good movie for a late-night horror marathon, but it’s not one that would be considered for much else. Jason Grobstich

Smart wars:

arts & Entertainment

an in-depth look at the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3

The iPhone has tons of new features with an all-new physical look. The phone is 18% thinner, 20% lighter, and has 12% less volume. The iPhone, which was previously made of glass, is now built with an aluminum back and a glass front. The retina display everyone saw on the iPhone 4s is back. Some major changes and additional features have changed the iPhone for the better; the maps feature is different and has easier navigation with, turn-by-turn navigation, 3d views, and traffic views. They have also added some features to the camera app including panoramic photos. These are not the only additions to the iPhone. The phone is 4G compatible and is available from all major US carriers. Due to this, the internet speed of the phone is very dependent on your carrier. The iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6, the newest operating system for mobile Apple devices. iOS 6 has over 200 new features iPhone 5. Apple has sold more than 5 million iPhone 5’s already. and has been given an esthetic makeover. The new operating Photo by Sam Nordstrom system has a new and improved Siri, which works properly Display: 4 inch 640p Touch Screen in the UK, and has improved accessibility features. Google’s Chipset: Apple A6 with 1.3 GHz Dual core processor and a apps have been removed and replaced by Apple-made apps. PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU. These apps that have been eliminated include Youtube and Memory: 16gb, 32gb, 64gb Google Maps. RAM: 1 gb Sam Nordstrom and Michael Camera: 8mp and 1.2mp with autofocus, image stabilization, Abramson touch-to-focus, face detection, geotagging, and panorama plus 1080p camcorder at 30fps

Display: 4.8 inch AMOLED HD 720p Touch Screen Chipset: Exynos 4412 with quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 processor and Mali-400MP GPU Memory: Up 128gb with 64gb SIM card and 64gb SD card RAM: 1gb Camera: 8mp with 3264x2448 resolution and simultaneous video and image capturing, touch focus, geotagging, face and smile detection, and image stabilization.

Galaxy SIII. The S III’s quad-core processor provides exceptional speed.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is the newest edition of Samsung Galaxy S series. The S III innovated many aspects of android phones in physical and software design. The S III features a polycarbonate body, which gives it an exceptionally light weight of 133 grams. Although to some this may feel cheap, the S III is solidly built. The front is protected by Gorilla Glass 2 and the battery cover was made to be particularly robust. The S III runs on 4G LTE as well as 3G and 2G. The speed of the network depends on one’s cellphone carrier. In the US, the phone is available from T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. Due to this, the internet speed of the phone is highly dependent on one’s carrier. T-Mobile’s version of the phone does not support LTE. The S III runs on Jelly Bean, Android 4.1, the newest Android operating system. Jelly Bean features enhanced vsync to smooth animations and to keep animations from getting ahead or behind. Jelly Bean also features triple buffering to smooth page scrolling and animations. To reduce latency, Jelly Bean uses CPU input boost during the next touch event after periods of inactivity. Jelly Bean also features resizable widgets and notification expansion. Michael Abramson

Page by Michael Abramson & Sam Nordstrom 21


Inkling of meaning

Teachers and students use tattos to represent themselves ous. The needle needs to break the skin to reach the dermis in able to make the tattoo permanent. Because the needle breaks the skin, this sometimes causes bleeding. Blood can carry diseases and, unless the equipment is cleaned properly, the transfer of blood from one person to another can cause contamination with disease. The risk of infection is also a possibility. Steven Jolly, jr., has a different reason for wanting to get inked up. “I really wanted one, and I wanted to represent my family.” His tattoo is across his chest; the word ‘Family’ tattooed in cursive black. “I know I’ll never regret family and I’m representing the love for mine,” Jolly said. It is also important to

cations while they are still consider placement when young. This has forced many getting a tattoo. Katie Bova, teens to go outside of the state language arts teacher, thinkborder to get inked. “In Iowa ing of her profession and the you can’t get [a tattoo],” Zenor circumstances, decided to use said. “So my parents drove me her feet as a canvas. “I wanted to Omaha,” Zenor said. a place where I could display Tattoos can be very symbolic them, yet easily conceal them and unique, but also require a when needed,” she said. She lot of thought put into them currently has three tattoos on other than her feet. “I really didn’t know what the design. Because to get at first, but I knew I It’s smart to of the wanted to get one. I probbe informed obvious permaably spent about a year just about the nence of thinking about what I want- possible consequences. tattoos, it ed and where I wanted it.” “Whomever is against -Walt Zenor, sr. decides to Iowan law get a tattoo, to get a I believe thought needs to go tattoo under the age of 18. This is in effect as a precaution into planning it. These things are permanent,” Bova said. to prevent teens from making Steph Mercer mistakes with lifelong impli-

Teacher tattoos. Katie Bova’s Japanese Kanji tattoo (left) matches her sister’s. Photo by Steph Mercer

Perserverence. Walt Zenor, sr., memorializes his triamph over cancer. Photo provided by Walt Zenor

A tattoo often holds a special meaning behind it, and in the case of Walt Zenor, sr., it represents overcoming cancer. Zenor’s tattoo representes the 42 chemotherapy treatments he went through when suffering from Rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of cancer that attacks the muscles. It also shows the day in which he was diagnosed, and the day of his last treatment. Although only 16 when getting a tattoo, Zenor put a lot thought into it. “I really didn’t know what to get at first, but I knew I wanted to get one. I probably spent about a year just thinking about what I wanted and where I wanted it.” Colorful and meaningful, getting a tattoo can be danger-

For more stories about tattoos visit


Graphic by Tara Mittelberg


Creative substitutes Kennedy students transition to gluten-free diets

Kennedy students with gluten Oasis Falfel in Iowa City, a his mom found out she was alternative pasta. Those with Celiac disease sensitivities are finding creative Middle Eastern restaurant gluten intolerant. “Some people ways to eat healthy and enjoy which specializes in vegan and think whole wheat is healthy, need to avoid gluten all but wheat is hard for the body together. However, “If gluten-free eating. new types of food. someone is sensitive to Linda Ashley, a dietitian at to process,” Madsen said. Jill Koster, sr., has not eaten Madsen brings his lunch gluten, that is a side effect gluten since the beginning the Oakland Road Hy-Vee, said, of this year. “I started having “Gluten is the protein found in to school every day. He finds of poor digestive health. If they stay off of gluten for problems eating two years ago,” wheat, rye, oats, and barley.” creative ways to replace a time, they can get back she said. She began by giving If someone has Celiac disease, foods that contain gluten to tolerating gluten again,” up anything with flour, and they are intolerant to gluten with better alternatives. Ashley said. really easy, which means “It’s has now Rachel that their instead of having a r e p l a c e d “If someone is sensitive to Langholz all gluten gluten, that is a side effect of auto immune bread roll, have a is potato,” Madsen foods. poor digestive health. If they system to said. He often “As soon stay off gluten for a time, they unable as I went can get back to tolerating p r o c e s s packs salad gluten, she with rice off gluten, I gluten again.” tortellini said. didn’t have -Linda Ashley, dietitian Wheat is in f o r problems,” many comfort lunch Koster said. Hy-Vee Chinese, cake, and foods and has become a staple a s cookies are the hardest things in our diet. To make gluten-free an for her to give up. Even though eating easier, Hy-Vee’s Health she tries to always eat gluten Market offers a whole aisle of free, she said, “Gluten-free flour alternatives, Ashley said. Jake Madsen, sr., became doesn’t taste the same.” Koster enjoys dining at the gluten-free last year when Gluten-free. Individuals with gluten sensitivities must rethink their diets.

Graphic by Mary Mathis

Torch’s Taste: Darcey’s Delights

Gluten, dairy, and egg-free chocolate chip cookies:

Ingredients: 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup all-vegetable shortening, at room temperature ½ cup packed light brown sugar ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon flax seed ¼ cup water 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup dairy free chocolate chunks

1. Boil water and add flax seed and stir with a fork to get the chunks. (This is used as an egg substitute) 2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 3. In a large bowl and using a fork, beat together the shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flax seed and vanilla. Gradually mix the flour mixture; stir in the chocolate chunks. 4. Using a 1½-inch (3.5-cm) scoop or a

rounded tablespoon, drop the dough 2 inches (5-cm) apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Baked until golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer to a brown paper bag-lined surface or a wire rack to cool.

Pages by grace king & Rachel Langholz 23


Let’s talk about sex

High school sexual education class opportunities are more frequent in the Cedar Rapids Community School District because of the increasing number of sexually active high school students. According to the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention about 48% of high school students are sexually active. The sex education presentations at Kennedy begin with juniors on Thursday, Oct. 25, and sophomores on Thursday, Nov. 1. Freshman presentations begin on Thursday, Dec. 13 with another presentation on Thursday, Feb. 14. Seniors are presented with an alternative “Life after high school” class on Thursday, Mar. 28. Ida Sorenson, nurse at St. Luke’s Family Health Center, and Dr. Sharon Bertroche, MD at Mercy Medical Center, have visited schools in Cedar Rapids School District for the past twelve years, teaching students about sexual health. Derek Ray, jr. has listened to two sex education presentations at Kennedy. He said, “They taught me the Feeling frisky. Students get over-friendly in Kennedy importance of safe sex and pregnanhallways before learning about sexual health. cy. They taught direct information Photo by Hanna Krivit about STD’s, STI’s, and to be absti-

nent from sex until I’m married. It’s a class that gives you the information everyone needs to hear.” Sorenson said, “I believe that sex education class has a very big impact and has made a difference in the students’ lives.” The percentage of pregnant teenagers from Kennedy and Washington who come to the health center has decreased in the past few years according to Sorenson. Bertroche has taught sex education to middle school and high school students for the past ten years. She goes to eighth grade classes at the end of their sexual health unit to inform them about Sexually Transmitted Diseases. “In middle schools, I have a lot of time for the students to ask questions about what I have told them. But at high schools I really don’t have enough time to even explain everything I would like to,” Bertroche said. Sorenson said, “Our main goal is our message “choose abstinence,” if you are having sex use protection. Sex health is important to have throughout the school years.” Terin Kane

1. Which STI do David Beckham, Lindsay Lohan, Rhianna, Brad Pitt, and Britney Spears have? a. Chlamydia b. Genital warts c. Herpes d. Gonorrhea 2. Which STD causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)? a. HPV b. Gonorrhea c. Syphilis d. Herpes 3. What is hard to spell and easy to catch? a. Chlamydia b. Human immunodeficiency virus c. Tricomoniasis d. Human Papillomavirius 4. What percent of teenagers are sexually active? a. 19% b. 69% c. 41% d. 48% 5. If you are sexually active, how often should you get tested? a. Once a year b. Everyday c. Once a month d. Never

6. Which of the following is not a birth control option? a. patch b. shot c. the pill d. having sex in a hot tub 7. What percent of people who use condoms get pregnancy? a. 15% b. 0.2% c. 48% d. 100% 8. What STD can you get from oral sex? a. Herpes b. HIV c. Both “a” and “b” d. None of the above 9. What’s the average age to lose your virginity? a. 14 b. 17 c. 21 d. 15 10. What percent of teenagers have discussed sex with their parents? a. 38% b. 12.5% c. 81% d. 51%

24 Page by grace king & Rachel Langholz

C, C, A, D, A, D, A, C, B, D

So you think you know about sex?


Cougars talking the talk Athletes reveal how to get in an opponent’s head


here is a force at work in the world of sports that is often overlooked. You won’t find it on any stat sheet and people most likely won’t win any awards for it. But ask most athletes and they’ll tell you it’s a giant part of a lot of competitive events. This is trash talking.    When your competing and things get heated some athletes choose to use this form of verbal abuse to let there opponents know they’re coming for them. Senior linebacker Grant Miller shares how he feels. “I just like to talk some smack out there. Try to get in their heads a little bit and make them make mistakes. If they talk back to me I just say none given and keep goin’ at it. It’s pretty fun,” Miller said. Although it’s fun to talk trash on the field, it’s not the only way that students put trash talking to use. It’s also key in motivating a team to be ready to play their opponent, even before they step on their field of play. “Before a volleyball game we’ll say stuff about the other team,” volleyball player

Lexi Rogers,sr., said. “We’ll talk about how they think they’re better than us and how were about to go out there and show them what’s up.”    Trash talking is not as easy as it seems. The talker does not want to sound dumb and they have to have something good to whoever they’re directing the eloquently compiled vulgarity at. Take some tips from senior quarterback of the football team, Riley Fergus. “Before any game we play I like to dig up some stuff on the opposing team to try and get under their skin during the game. I consider myself a pretty good trash talker, maybe the best on the team, and you need to load your arsenal with some good stuff if you want to be the best. If anyone says something negative to you, you have to let him or her know they’re wrong. I’m right all the time so even if a referee, for instance, threw a flag on me, I let them know they messed up there. If you do those things, you’re on your way to some good trash talking,” Fergus said. David Hynek


Riley Fergus: has five near ejections, three personal fouls, and has shouted an infinite number of put downs

Grant (The Storm) Miller: has personally attacked four quarterbacks, and is public enemy number one for O-linemen. Lexi Rogers: Has given three six-packs, made four girls cry, and Emotion. Football players get each other fired up before

practice. Some athletes trash talk to get in their opponent’s head. Photo by Annie Feltes

her infamous glare could turn medusa to stone. Stats collected by David Hynek

Page by Annie Feltes & Norm Althoff 25


Girls’ cross country sc

30 Pages by Annie Feltes & Nathan Althoff

Racing to victory. From left: Katie Wampole, sr., Tara Mittelberg, sr., Carolyn Stone, jr., Alyssa Averhoff, jr., Lauren Meyer, so., and Allison Culver line at the MVC Super-meet in Cedar Falls. The Kennedy girls’ cross country team is currently ranked second in the state.


y scampers to victory Cross country team races to win seven out of eight meets, finishes third at MVC Super Meet


he Kennedy Girls’ Cross Country team began winning races at the start of the season and they haven’t stopped. The team finished the regular season with a record of six wins and no losses and placed third in the Mississippi Valley Conference meet. The Cougars are ranked second in the Class 4A rankings. “It’s kind of a surprise at how well we are doing, since last year we weren’t doing very well,” Lauren Meyer, so., said. The cougars were ranked twelfth the previous year, and fifteenth the year before that. This year, Kennedy has four dominant runners. Katie Wample, sr., Alyssa Averhoff, jr., Allison Culver, jr., and Meyer lead the pack every time. These four runners have placed in the top 15 of every meet so far. Behind these four top runners however, is a very strong team. “Hopefully we will keep winning,” Meyer said. All of the runners are very proud of their accomplishments this season and agree that they did not expect to do this well. Coach Jensen started practice for the team the first week of August. Since then the team has been working hard to achieve their goals. They have put lots of hard work into this season and they believe this has made them successful. Their daily practice consists of a one or

llison Culver., jr., sprint off the startPhoto by Darcey Altschwager

two mile warm up followed by about an average of six miles. “We’ve been running a lot and training a lot harder,” Averhoff said. The cougars are coached by Mark Jensen. Jensen has prepared the team well for their competition. “We are working hard every day, we have a plan that we stick to,” Jensen said. “Everything we do every day is trying to make us faster.” Running a race is a very mental game. You need to be focused in order to win. Practice prepares the team as a whole but an individual has to do their own mental preparation for their race. “I make sure I eat lots of carbs and get good sleep. I have to be focused before the race and warm up well,” Meyer said. “I usually try to relax myself, and think about what I have to do but I don’t over-think it to the point that I stress myself out,” Wample said. The cougars have many goals for the rest of the season and plan to continue working hard to achieve these. “We want to win our district meet so we can get a banner for the school,” Meyer said. The team has never won a district meet before. Another goal from the team would be to place in the top three at the state meet. “There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Wample said. Lydia Martin

Page by Annie Feltes & Nathan ALthoff 27

John F. Kennedy High School 4545 Wenig Rd. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

“The torch has been passed to a new generation.” - John F. Kennedy

Volume 46, Issue 2

Kennedy Torch, October 2012  

The Kennedy Torch explores into political race.

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