Page 1

C. Leon King High School

6815 N. 56th Street

The C. Leon King High

Tampa, FL 33610

Volume

51

813-744-8333

Issue

1

September 2011

Scepter

TheBulletin Veterinary program instructor receives state award

BY RACHITA DAS

Business Manager

SHIFTED SCHEDULE - Bus passengers flood the ramp at 7:15 a.m. The later bell schedule has allowed more buses to arrive early and increased the number of students entering the school at one time.

Schedule changes evoke concern

ramp is packed with rows of buses and incoming cars of student Content Editor drivers. This is the point when bus drivers feel the most anxious. Under the impression that a later start means more snoozing “I get very worried when all the kids, hundreds of them, are let time in the mornings, most students rejoice upon receiving the out at one time, and I see student drivers driving in and students news of a modified time schedule. Starting this year, the school walking through the buses and other people; the crowd looks like board has imposed a 20-minute delay to the starting time of ev- a mess and it can get very dangerous,” said bus driver Holland. ery day. However, such excitement began to diminish as the time The time change proposed by the Transportation Department change became a source of inconvenience. attempts to solve last year’s problem with buses arriving tra minute x Senior Anam Arif has been a bus rider for the e s d late in the afternoon. Because buses were scheduled ny a past two years. Last year, her bus arrived at o to drop off elementary school kids before they m y come to pick up high school students, high her stop at 6:38 a.m.; with the time change w this year, Arif’s bus reaches her stop at school students frequently had to wait an 6:39 a.m. She arrives at school prior to extra 20 minutes after school before the 7 a.m. every morning, approximately buses arrived due to a tight time frame the same time she arrived last year. between the bus schedules. However, unlike last year in which However, the bus route and time in she could immediately exit the bus the morning remain unchanged and and proceed to the cafeteria, Arif is a new problem arises when students required to stay on the bus seated for are arriving to school much earlier about 15 minutes. Not only does her than the start time. According to the morning routine remain constant and Classroom Teacher Association’s unaffected by the time change, but contract, teachers are not required Arif also loses more time after her arto arrive on campus until 7:15 a.m. In rival on campus. other words, student bus riders would be “I [would] rather just come to school unsupervised around campus if they were to ILL H later because now I can’t manage my time for be released upon their arrival. Under concerns A US SH TR A TION BY SAHIL other things such as socializing or doing homefor student safety and legal manners, bus riders work,” Arif said. must remain on the buses until supervisors begin their Other students on the bus express similar concerns, noting that duty. they often have to stand at the back of breakfast lines after they On the larger scale, because the morning bus schedules reare released from their buses. main the same, elementary school children are still scheduled to “There’s no time to socialize,” said sophomore Dima Ibrahim. be picked up at their bus stops at 7:15 a.m. As a result of this Senior Brittany Briseoe, who sits next to Ibrahim, points out 20-minute wait at high schools, bus drivers are not able to report that socializing has different meanings for many students. to their next stops on time. “Socializing is not just sitting down and talking, but also walk“There is something called the Law of Unintended Conseing around the campus with friends; just sitting here makes us feel quence, and the best plan sometimes may have negative results agitated, and it’s harder to control our moods,” Briseoe said. that we don’t know,” said Ronald Carrell, a teacher attending By 7:15 a.m., the entire student parking lot adjacent to the bus morning duty at the bus ramp................CONTINUED PG.3

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BY AMY CHENG

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The Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) has recognized Cassie Miles as the Rookie Teacher of the Year for the state of Florida. Miles teaches the Veterinary Assisting Program that was initiated last year. This program gives students the opportunity to earn a state license as a certified veterinary assistant upon graduation. The certification can be used in order to gain an animal caretaking position anywhere from a zoo to a veterinary hospital. “After a bit of a rough year last year, this award really came as a surprise,” Miles said. Last year there was an accident involving pit bulls getting onto campus on the weekend, which resulted in the death of a few animals. Miles was able to overcome this mishap and continue to make her program successful, ending the year on a positive note with her nomination for the award on the county level in April. This nomination came from Pam Walden, the supervisor of the county for NJROTC and Agriculture. “My supervisor told me that she nominated me for my attitude, perseverance, and dedication to the job,” Miles said. This dedication can be seen when she speaks of the Doggy Spa & Pet Parlor, a program run by the Vet Assisting students in which teachers can bring their dogs for grooming for a minimal fee. “We are planning on expanding the program from teachers, to students, and eventually all of Temple Terrace,” Miles said, “The program allows students the opportunity to learn in a hands-on way.” “I think her award is wonderful and reinforces the hard work and dedication she’s put into the program. It bodes well for its future success,” said Principal Michael Rowan. Miles was recognized at a school board meeting downtown at the ROSAAC building on Sept. 27, 2011.

Look Inside ...1-5|News 6-7|Opinions 8|Blurbs 1b-5b|Features 6b-7b|Sports 8b|Homecoming

‘Bright Futures’ scholarship program tightens requirements BY KIMBERLY CARLIN

Production Manager

For 15 years, Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship has offered financial aid to students who excel in academics and contribute to their community. This year’s Florida Legislative Session has made several changes to the minimum requirements for each of the three scholarship levels, and such changes begin to affect students graduating in 2012. The three levels for Bright Futures Scholarships are differentiated by requirement and award amount. The highest level, Florida Academic Scholar, which previ-

ously needed 75 service hours, is followed by Florida Medallion Scholars and Gold Seal Vocational Scholars, which had no service hour requirement. Now all levels have increased their service hour requirement to 100, 75 and 30 hours, respectively. “These changes will affect the people who were working towards the Florida Medallion Scholarship and Gold Seal Vocational Scholars the most because community service hours have never been attached to those awards,” said College and Career Counselor Gonzalo Garcia. These additional requirements of hours are especially pertinent for students in their

senior year. Earning all the necessary hours to be eligible for the scholarship will now take more time in an already busy year. “They gave it to us at the last minute and it’s just inconsiderate to do this our last year,” said senior Ken Yu. “It’s something [students] should begin now, at the beginning of the year, because it is much easier to get 75 hours over time than all at once in May,” Garcia said. Students in all grades working towards a Bright Futures Scholarship will be affected by the changes made at this year’s legislative session. A gradual increase in minimum SAT or ACT scores is in place

for graduating classes of 2013 and 2014. No other changes have been announced. “Right now there is nothing to indicate [anymore changes], but it’s really up to the whim of the Florida Legislature,” Garcia said. Student sentiments towards the changes varied greatly; over half of 200 polled students were not even aware of the changes made. However, of those who knew, 68 percent were disgruntled by the new benchmarks. “Some people had already met the requirements and now they’ll have to push to .....................CONTINUED PG.3


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Scepter

September 2011

School earns prestigious ranking in two prominent publications BY KEERTHI VENGATESAN

Copy Editor

Last year, King was ranked 53rd in the Washington Post’s “2011 High School Challenge” and 293rd in Newsweek Magazine’s “America’s Best High Schools 2011.” In 1998, Jay Mathews of the Washington Post started using the Challenge Index to “rank” schools in the local area based on the number of college-level exams given and the number of graduating seniors that year. However, as time passes, he realized that it would also be prudent to examine all of the schools in the country. King was first seen in the Index in year 2007, standing at rank 35; since then, it has been included ev-

ery year. The honor has been a great source of pride in the academics of the school, especially this year when King is recognized as an “A” school. “The school is very excited, and it doesn’t really matter who really does the ranking. When people learn that we are one of the best, they just start to take ownership,” said Assistant Principal for Curriculum Yinka Alege. The selection process for the Challenge Index is quite simple: take the total number of college-level exams given by the school at the end of the year and divide by the number of graduating seniors that year. The school offered 16 different AP courses and 20 different IB courses last year, and the rate of graduating seniors was quite high. In that respect, these statistics contribute to the overall ranking of the school. However, upon hearing about the selection method for the index, many concerns arise about why the schools are ranked based on how many tests are given instead of how well students do on the tests. According to Jay Mathews, the reason that the Index only counts quantity is that some schools only allow their best students to take the college level classes so that they can have near–perfect pass rates. Still, the Index shows the excellence of the school and what it is trying to accomplish. “The vision of this school is to help students finish high school, and succeed in college. We don’t want them to just

get into to college. We want them to succeed in college,” said Assistant Principal for Magnet Curriculum Mathew Romano. Aside from the Washington Post, King has also annually been placed on Newsweek Magazine’s “America’s Top High School’s” list, ranking in 293rd this year. This list is slightly more complicated than the list that utilizes the Challenge Index. According to Newsweek, this list is made up of six main components: four-year graduation rate, percent of graduates who enrolled immediately in college, number of college-level tests per graduate, average SAT and ACT scores, average Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) scores, and the number of courses offered. Regardless, King, the only school in Hillsborough County to be placed on this list, is ranked high under either method. “Everybody from teachers to administrators to general staff helps to get the school on the list and keep it there. The bus drivers have to get the students here on time, the lunch room workers have to keep the lunch room running smoothly, and the custodians have to respond to any situations in the school,” Romano said. The sense of pride and happiness is prevalent throughout the school as it is recognized on a national scale.

Fortunately money was not an issue for the school because the Hillsborough County School Board arranged both the hiring of the company and the balancing of the checkbooks in this account. This time was the first in the school’s 50-year history that such an extensive piping project has been completed. Occurring a year following a golden anniversary, the transformation appears to almost purposefully coincide with the advent of a new principal and a revival of longestablished policies. CuraFlo advertised “less mess, cost and time than pipe replacement,” with patented process called Epoxy lining, and indeed the School Board hired company as an alternative to replacing hundreds of feet of pipes.

“We were getting rust and mineral build-up,” Donaldson said, citing the necessity of the unseen restoration. For about two weeks immediately before the start of the school year, workers utilized Epoxy lining to “flush out” the pipes on the North side of the school, adjacent to Sligh Avenue. Though epoxy lining has existed for almost as long as the school has, its first use in an educational institution in this county was in the beginning of August 2011. “It didn’t really affect [summer] school activities ‘cause it was all underground,” Donaldson said. Designed to last for 40 to 60 years, these pipe repairs will hopefully last until alumni celebrate the school’s centennial.

Summer piping renovation aligns with new school changes News Editor When questioned about the reality of summer construction, more than a handful of students and even some administrators were at a loss for words. According to Assistant Principal for Administration Dennis Donaldson, such lack of awareness may not necessarily be for the worse. In any case, the school recently endured an unprecedented piping renovation. “I don’t think [the students] will see the effect of it or not,” Donaldson said. “No one has had complaints of rust in their drinking water, so evidently it’s worked. It used to be that when they shut down the school for a long time, and then tried to turn the water back on, it would take a while” for conditions to return to normality.

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CAMPUS PHOTO OF THE MONTH PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARTIN (SENIOR)

BY XIAOYI REN

STRIKE A POSE - Leopard Gecko, Geico, of IB Science Instructor Dodi Cline’s classroom offers entertainment for students during spare time. Cline received the gecko as a birthday gift from her students in 2008. Submit Entries to KHSScepter@Live.com by Oct. 20.


September 2011

3

Scepter

Pride featured at Relay For Life Summit

BY SY-WOEI HAO

Photography Editor

Lyrics are forever a part of a song just as people are forever a part of our lives. “As I walk down the open road and the days fly by, no calendar’s full; as we’re closer I look for more, but today I mark my calendar for a cure.” Four-year Pride member Betsey Giammattei sparked a new relationship between Pride and the American Cancer Society after her performance of her original song “Face the Paper” at King’s 2011 Relay For Life. Additionally, Pride sang many other inspiring songs which touched the participants, chaperones, and survivors that were present to witness the largest fundraiser ever conducted by the school. This year, the group was invited to perform at the annual Relay Summit in Orlando, Fla. on Sept. 9 and 10. Relay Summit gathers all event chairs and team development chairs from Florida and Puerto Rico in order to provide them with workshops and opportunities to plan

for the most successful relay. “It is really inspirational,” said Tatiana Henry, Event Co-chair for Production for the 2012 Relay. “Going is like putting faces and names to what we’re actually fighting for.” Chad Cornwell, the new Pride director and first-time participant of Relay For Life events, felt a bit nervous leading Pride into the summit. “[We are] jumping into the deep end of the pool,” Cornwell said. “This is a pretty big gig.” Prior to the start of school, Pride had already started preparing for the performance through a Saturday camp to learn all the music. In addition, Pride members attended two-hour after school practices every Wednesday. “The work we’ve done has really gotten us prepared to represent the music program at King High School [and] our community,” Cornwell said. Cornwell believes that the performance with the American Cancer Society is a big

SINGING TOWARD THE CURE - Seniors Ben Levinson and TJ Ciesla play an instrumental accompaniment as Pride sings “Light Up the World.” About 1000 Florida Relay For Life Summit members were in attendance to see Pride perform.

BRIGHT BEGINNINGS - Vocal Music Director Chad Cornwell helps prepare Pride for the Relay For Life Summit performance. The Summit was the first event in a series of Relay related activities planned throughout the year.

step for Pride, and he wants to continue moving in a forward direction towards a national level. He aims to educate Pride in the mindset of it becoming a part of the community and using their gifts and talents to serve others. “I was a little unsure of going because I have a little bit of stage fright and I’m the only freshman boy, but Pride is like a family and I [was] really looking forward to seeing the faces of [the] cancer survivors,” said Chance Fleeting, freshman. At the summit, King became the center of attention for being the only student-run relay in Florida and for possessing such widespread publicity. “Our presence was known,” Henry said. “All of us being there prove that students are capable of pulling off an event that contributes a lot to the American Cancer Society. When people find out you’re from King High School, they are really impressed.” Pride’s style of performing created a different atmosphere than what was established at other events. “It was actually quite dramatic, theatrical really, the way they planned it,” said Team Recruitment and Development Chair Ann Nguyen. “The Master of Ceremony

said we were done and Pride suddenly started singing.” Nonetheless, Pride’s performance provided excitement and positive energy to those at the summit and even to those who were not able to attend. Important Due Dates for Relay For Life March 24-25, 2012 1/6/12

First $50 Fundraiser Due

1/9/12

Medical Release Forms & CDs

1/30/12 Team Slogans 2/6/12

On-site Fundraiser Information

2/20/12 Chaperone Forms 2/24/12 Luminaria & Survivor Forms 3/2/12

Final $50 Fundraiser, 5 e-mails

3/5/12

Team Captain Forms, Walking Schedules

3/9/12

Relay Spirit Week Begins

3/21/12 Picture Day & Event Meeting 3/23/12 Relay For Life Benefit Concert Registration is open and more information can be found in Room 105.

...CONTINUATIONS FROM PAGE 1

Bright Futures requirements changes continued... BY KIMBERLY CARLIN

Production Manager ...get it done,” said junior Aysha Powe. “Will it help students who received the scholarship and went to college?” Garcia said. “Yes. Will it help the students who are applying for college and need scholarships? No, because when you raise the requirements, you limit the amount of people that can receive that financial assistance.” In spite of the higher requirements, some students feel the changes increase the integrity of the scholarship and serve to further prepare students for college. “It makes a little more sense to get more service hours anyway because that’s better for college and it looks good,” said sophomore Justin McReynolds. “[Before the changes] it was a way for people who worked hard and excelled in high school to achieve something for college and by limiting that, it helps those who still meet the requirements because they earned it, but at the same time, more people are left out,” said senior Omoniyi Alimi. Many resources are available to help connect students with service opportuni-

ties to fulfill these hours prior to January, when the Bright Futures application becomes available. The school district website has a list of locations and programs that offer service activities and many school clubs that allow members to participate in group community service activities. All projects must first be approved by a school counselor. In addition to these new changes, Bright Futures applicants must complete an error-free Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the spring. Last year was the first time a financial aid form was needed for any Bright Futures Scholarship. “I found irony in the fact that a merit based scholarship now requires a need based form,” Garcia said. Whether these changes will help students pursue activities that prepare them for college or merely limit the number of eligible applicants is uncertain. Either way they have definitely altered some collegebound students’ bright futures.

Schedule changes continued... BY AMY CHENG

Content Editor

... during the first quarter of this school year.

MATH. READING. SUCCESS.

of Temple Terrace

10958 N. 56th St. (813)786-4874

Carrell points out that everyone has something different that each values, whether it is socializing for the students or the student safety for the administrators. From the administrators’ points of view, the students benefit by staying cool and seated in the buses before school instead of having to stand in the hot afternoon sun. “The biggest challenge is to balance the policies and to work within the parameters, and at the same time, trying to find

what’s best for the students and the staff members, to make sure that everyone is happy,” said Principal Michael Rowan. Hopefully, the weekly one-hour early release on Mondays and the returning of spring break to the third week of March will lighten concerns and bring forward a more positive response from the general population.


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Scepter

BY BRADEN SMITH & AMY CHENG

Columnist & Content Editor

Getting a new principal is a notable occurrence. Getting a new principal who has both attended and worked at a school before is rare. Michael Rowan’s history with King gives him a special perspective no other could have. “I’m not only the principal. I’m an alumnus, so I want to see the school succeed,” Rowan said. Rowan’s past with King is long and storied. It began with his graduation in 1987. After completing his internship at his alma mater, Rowan taught history here and coached the boys’ soccer team before becoming an assistant principal of student affairs. He continued as assistant principal for administration at Wharton High School for six years before his homecoming in 2011. “I have a familiarity with the school, and that makes for an easier transition,” Rowan said. “I know where all the closets are.” Some things have changed though. “The 400 building is new, and homecoming has fallen by the wayside,” Rowan said. “Enrollment always goes up and down, and right now we’re down. It uses to be around 2400 and now it’s only about 1750.” To Rowan, however, the most noticeable change lies neither in the physical nor the statistical aspects. “I think the outside community perception has changed over the years from when I was a student here to now as the principal. What I want to do is bring back the old feeling. I want King to feel safe; I want it to be where students come to football games, basketball games, homecoming events; we want to make it a place where people will feel comfortable and safe to come back to, and they want to come back to,” Rowan said. Taking the first steps to revive the old recognition of the school, Rowan has been working closely with the Student Government Association in planning possible events that will incorporate the community. One idea is to bring back the “Sugar Shack,” a winter-holiday occasion in which clubs open their doors to the neighbourhood and invite local low-income elementary students to provide them with holiday spirits and a more memorable celebration. Re-forging homecoming into the tradition it once was and increasing school spirit in general are also at the top of Rowan’s to-do list. With the homecoming night pep rally reinstated, one part of that goal is on its way

September 2011

to being achieved. Additionally, clubs are required to make one banner each for homecoming and Lion’s Roar, to encourage participation among members during homecoming spirit week. “A majority of our students are involved in a club at some level, whether it be a service club or interest club; the most direct way to touch as many students as possible is through clubs,” Rowan said. “The ideal effect is that we are all on the same team going in the same direction, and through that, we build school unity, school pride, chemistry if you will, and it’s just a common denominator for all of us.” On the subject of school spirit, Rowan believes looking the part is the first step. “I wouldn’t call it a success yet, but a change that’s underway is the improvement of the aesthetics,” Rowan said. The new policy pushes for a uniform Columbian blue and lion logo on school apparel. Other beautification efforts around the school will follow. Rowan notes that developmental changes are necessary for any school. “Anybody who comes to this building, whether it be a teacher, a student, a parent, or a community member, if the building is nice, looks good, then people are apt to feel good about it and more apt to have a good experience,” Rowan said. By presenting an appealing environment for all the stakeholders, Rowan hopes that the beautification efforts can create a sense of belonging and thereby change the perception of the school first in the minds of teachers, staff and students. Appreciation and spirit come naturally only when the school population feels better about the campus and when the campus is clean and pleasing. Students and teachers will carry on the momentum of changing the community perception of the school once they truly believe in the school and feel a part of the family. Rowan also has plans for increasing the academic success of his students. In particular, he wants to make the true student-athlete a common occurrence on campus. “We’re implementing academic plans for the sports teams,” Rowan said. “School-wide reading and writing initiatives will be implemented, and we want to make sure there is a time set aside before practice for athletes who are struggling with the FCAT or a particular class to receive the help they need.” Rowan wants to redefine what it means to be a Lion and make that definition a positive one.


September 2011

Scepter

5

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/DESIGN BY SAHIL SHAH


6

Scepter

Letter to the Editor

Opinions

September 2011

Dear Scepter,

King High School has never been the Land of Oz, and if there is one thing you can believe of the Lions, it is that they will let you know. People paint the school as the most miserable place this side of the river Styx, quick to discourse on lists of microbial flaws. The bell schedules are train wrecks and the administration a Stalinist regime. Complaining is a part of the human condition, especially the adolescent one. We as students often come together under the common goal of spreading the word of our martyrdom. Whether it is good or bad, I am too biased to tell. Thus, when someone pranks the school, our fingers instinctively point towards the nearest arbitrary suspect we can burn at the stake. The students accuse the administration of allowing such an act while whispering gospel for the school’s delinquent Robin Hood and the administration counters that the students have no faith in King High. Suddenly everyone but ourselves caused this recent plague. Sure, if you’re reading this, there’s a 1700 to one chance you weren’t super gluing the doors, but be wary to call for the flood. It is too easy to defer the responsibility and too hard to blame ourselves. The pranks, for all their silver screen mythologies and teenage tall tales, just reveal the lack of faith in our school. As discontent storms shatter to deluge of rebellion, we must catch ourselves in the act of pitying ourselves for getting wet. We see the glass, glistening, gorgeous façades of other schools both around the county and on television and entitle ourselves to a school as perfect as Prince Charming’s castle.

We ask why we should respect a school that doesn’t even have an Olympic swimming pool or even a gourmet chef. Too easy it is to rain lightning on this land we see as the cause of endless suffering. So quickly we forget that the prank that caused our discontent is not limited to King. Rather than simply shout names for the guillotine, we need to attempt to make the school a better place for us to be. Pranks happen. They happen here, and they happen to the beautiful schools we dream of. We don’t see the prank as an isolated event but rather King’s very essence. The actions of a bitter student need not describe the failures of students or of teachers, but merely an isolated coup. I am as capable of hyperbole and hypocrisy as anyone, but if our culture changes from one of self-defeat to one of pride, as cliché as it sounds, we can recast the school as our bright republic despite the passing showers. If we take a moment to realize that the only thing stopping King from being a place to praise rather than condemn is a little faith, we will rise above the petty actions of one person and reveal the sun that we have forgotten still shines on us and our school. Simply lift a helping hand rather than a pointing finger. Build open forums, not gallows. I still believe in King. We deserve it.

- TJ Ciesla, Concerned Senior

Alliance reflects accepting viewpoints

BY VISRUTI SANKAR

Marketing Manager

When one hears the word “gay,” a variety of ideas may run through one’s mind. If people are older, they might think “happy, lighthearted and carefree.” If they are growing up in this day and age, they are more likely to think of homosexuality, which spurs many connotations, positive and/or negative. Growing up in an accepting community with open-minded family and friends and raised with values of tolerance and equality regardless of characteristics such as race and orientation, my view on sexual orientation is that we are all human beings who should be treated equally. Privileges and freedoms should not be restricted by any laws or general ideologies within communities. However, I know that many people disagree with my opinion and feel that people of different sexual orientation from themselves are inferior, abnormal and should not be treated equally. These people might choose either to express their views or to suppress them and treat people equally while maintaining their own opinions. The fact that they might choose to suppress these feelings due to the fear of being viewed as judgmental goes to show that, as I am happy to say, our society as a whole seems to be growing more tolerant. The word “homosexual” seems to have faded out of our society’s language today, and people use only the word “gay.” This alone is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is

unfortunate that an alternate meaning has evolved out of the word – one with a negative connotation. Simply speaking, many people today use the word “gay” to be synonymous with stupid, bad, or in general, anything that is frowned upon. Though people might not mean to do so, the use of the word “gay” in this negative manner perpetuates an opinion of negativity towards homosexuals. The recent reinstatement of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at school pleases me, because it shows that the issue of homophobia in our community is being brought to students’ attention. I feel the club will be received with tolerance by the majority and will cause some to reconsider their previous attitudes. I am looking forward to the positive effects that GSA will have on the student body and to the bridge that it will forge to connect students. But in order for the GSA to implement this bridge between students, some effort has to come from the students as well. The student body must be open-minded and accepting of others that feel differently than they do, whether that means having a different sexual orientation or just simply having different views. However, with an open-minded population, and the foundation of a Gay-Straight Alliance, the possibilities for future interactions and friendships are endless.

As I walk down the corridor during my last year in high school, reflecting on the past seems to come naturally. In this final year, we have reached the climax of the suspense that has filled our ears for many years. As I became incredibly entangled in the web of stress and pressure that comes with responsibility, I began to lose the meaning of our final year together and began to feed into the large funnel of expectations that did not come from within me. Escape was indispensable, and as I walked into the movies with my friends, I was transported back to my childhood – and into the future. In the literal sense this would mean that I was exploring the savanna with my friends by my side, looking for the nearest watering hole. Unfortunately, the Lion King did not provide me with a fast-ticket to Africa but did provide me with the some of the best inspiration that I could have asked for. As I rewatched the film on the big screen, I could not help but compare it to the changes that I saw around me. Instead of being mystified by the scurrying colors and animals on the screen, I listened to the words and could finally understand the meaning behind them. As the movie wore on and screams of delight became more frequent by the younger members of the audience, a certain scene stuck out to me. Rafiki, the wise monkey, learns that the much-needed lion prince Simba is still alive and pursues him through the jungle. When he is found, Simba is hesitant to return to the Pride land and assume his position as king due to his fear of facing his past. Rafiki takes his staff and hits Simba on the head. Simba, in surprise, asks why Rafiki hit him. Rafiki replies, “It doesn’t matter; it is in the past!” Simba, while grudgingly rubbing his skull, notes, “But it still hurts.” Rafiki then declares: “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it—or ... learn from it!” Learning that everything happens for a reason and that it is never too late to learn even the smallest of life lessons in order to grow into a better person is something that I took from the theater that evening. People are like projections on a screen, illuminated by a light. When nightfall arrives, some will be set apart from the light that glows from within. Life is like the plot of an endless movie, providing clues throughout the twists and turns to something greater. And lastly, the relationship we have with ourselves is like a velvet rope, intertwined with all of its complications, but shaped into a singular, splendid piece that can guide us in the correct direction, or even more valuably – in the direction that sits best with our conscience. Life varies in length, depending on how you choose to live it. I believe that the value of the words forever and instant have lost their meaning. If your “forever” were to end in an “instant,” would you be content with how you spent it?

Editorial Board and Staff

The C. Leon King High Editor-in-Chief Sahil Shah Production Manager Kimberly Carlin Business Manager Rachita Das Copy Editor Keerthi Vengatesan Content Editor Amy Cheng News Editor Xiaoyi Ren Assistant News Editor Lolade Bakade

Sahil Shah

Proudly Published by C. Leon King Senior High School

Features Editor Nisha Patel Features Assistant Eric Chao Editorials Editor Sheena Jain Photography Editor Sy-woei Hao Graphics Editor Jena Young Sports Editor Marigny Nevitt Sports Assistant Kunaal Murthy

Adviser Christine Muñoz

Marketing Manager Visruti Sankar Columnist Braden Smith Administrative Assistant Sucheta Roy Web Specialist Haoqing Wang Staff Writers Shivam Bharadwaj Neha Patil Serena Kotwal Rishi Bollu Nathan Logan

Principal Michael Rowan

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Publisher Florida Sun Printing

Scepter is published by the journalism class of King High School 6815 N 56th Street, Tampa, FL 33610. Phone: 813-744-8333 ext. 260

Editorial Policy The Scepter is published seven times per academic year by students in the journalism program at C. Leon King High School. Content is determined by the staff and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of King High School’s faculty, administration, adviser, or student body. Students are permitted freedom of the press as granted by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This right is acknowledged in the Hillsborough County Student Handbook. Signed editorials and columns reflect the views of the writer. Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Scepter editorial board. Letters to the editor and guest commentaries are encouraged and should be signed. The editorial board reviews letters to the editor, advertising and guest commentaries and reserves the right to edit and refuse material. Reasons can include length, clarity, libel, obscenities, violation of copyright laws,or the potential to disrupt the educational process at King High School.


September 2011

Viewpoint

Scepter

No Child Left Behind: Revised A look at the changes facing US Education Policy BY NISHA PATEL

Features Editor

The greatest motivator is a threat of punishment, an idea which has been disputed in almost all movements for change. It formed the basis of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Former President George W. Bush enacted the legislation in hopes that all schools will bring their students above set reading comprehension, math and history standards by 2013. Failure to do so grants the government permission to sanction the school. However, a new leader means a new perspective, new ideas and new priorities. The change also means the benefit of hindsight and knowing which ideas were effective and which were not. The debate over NCLB was so inconclusive that the act’s efficacy remains uncertain. Recently South Dakota, Montana and Idaho told federal officials they would disregard key aspects of the law. Wisconsin officials plan to substitute the law, and Tennessee is following up with these ideas. As support drops from state to state, the legislation seems to have no teeth by which prove itself functional. Responding to the discontent, Obama rewrote the act. Under the new system announced Sept. 23, Obama will allow many schools to escape punishment if there is indication of a commitment to change. There are three tests the schools must pass before they can apply for a waiver. First, an evaluation system will be in place for teachers and principals. The evaluation, however, is still based mainly on student test performance. This is a major flaw in the act. Standardized tests can create a debate on their own, but the main issue is who to hold

accountable for the education of the country. If the country wants students to improve, it does not make sense to threaten teachers to improve. By evaluating this way, the act compares scores of second graders in one year to second graders in the next. This method evaluates teachers, and evaluating student improvement is lost in the shuffle. Second, students must meet standards that prepare them well for college or a career. The modification was in response to states’ lowering their standards to make it easier to achieve the requirements. Excuse my naiveté, but I was under the impression that holding the high school diploma also meant being held accountable for one of these two options for the student’s future. I cannot say that I am opposed to this requirement; I am glad that the purpose of high school is now clearly stated. Third, states must target the worst performing schools for improvement. The requirement is a continuation of the original NCLB policy that requires turnaround plans for the bottom five percent of schools. This captures the true essence of NCLB and evoked little concern from the states. It seems to be one of the effective policies that Obama chose to keep. The changes seem to appease the states by allowing them to get by with what they want. The implications of this are concerning. This country should not be looking for loopholes. If the states are merely “improving” based on their skill in using confirmation bias, there is not real improvement. An advantage to this modification is more support, but relaxing the requirements may worsen education, which certainly cannot be the goal of any legislation.

Sagging pants pull down success BY ERIC CHAO

Assistant Features Editor “No more sagging pants” was the consensus of the Florida Senate and Governor Rick Scott. As a result, Florida, only the second state after Arkansas, has adopted Senate Bill 228. This bill bans any student from exposing his or her underwear or any other body parts in an inappropriate way. The bill is enforced by mandating school boards to adopt dress codes barring the inappropriate exposure of underwear. In addition, those who refuse to obey the new rules will be punished accordingly. Parents or guardians will be notified for the first offense, and the student will be withheld from extracurricular activities for five days for the second offense. The third offense will result in three days of in-school suspension in addition to a 30-day exclusion from extracurricular activities. How to avoid these punishments? Put simply, just

pull up your pants. The reason the bill was passed is that legislatures believe students who wear sagging pants are disruptive to the learning environment. However, students’ opinions differ greatly. While some students endorse the new bill, others, who may not frequently wear their pants below their waists, find a certain liberty violated. Still others just do not care as the bill may not affect them directly. Personally, I believe that this new bill will increase learning efficiency. Besides, it is not very appealing to see students with their underwear hanging out and their pants at their knees. Such an appearance may give off a negative impression of the student. The school board believes that this bill will effectively help remove some distractions for students and will enhance the education quality. So a quick message to all students: please keep your pants above your waists!

Staff Viewpoint

Schedule changes only bring partial benefits

A sense of satisfaction hovered over us once an official announcement was made that school was scheduled to begin 20 minutes later than the normal 7:20 a.m. and end 20 minutes later than the normal 2:40 p.m. dismissal. Some deem these extra 20 minutes to be useless. Others, however, see these mere 20 minutes as full of possibilities: an extra 20 minutes of craved sleep, an extra 20 minutes to cram in homework, an extra 20 minutes to beat the rush hour traffic, or just an extra 20 minutes to themselves. These 1,200 extra seconds have saved some from becoming walking zombies through the hallways and have saved others from receiving their fifth tardy in the first few weeks of school. Additionally, another change has been imposed in regards to early release days. Rather than releasing students two hours early on two Wednesdays a month, the county now releases students one hour early every Monday. Eyes began to cringe at the sight of this new regulation. One fewer hour in school on Mondays seemed to be inefficient, but opinions seemed to change drastically as that extra hour of spare time became an extra 60 minutes of relaxation, an extra 60

minutes to finish lingering work, or an extra 60 minutes to simply begin on the night’s work. While appreciation is noted for the schedule changes, students seem to have a stronger opinion towards the new traffic flow in which all drivers, regardless of whether they are student drivers or parents dropping off their kids, must enter campus on the Sligh entrance and leave using the 56th Street exit. This change creates a massive line at the light that controls the traffic flow onto campus. While the intention of the new traffic direction was to streamline traffic and to make it easier for cars to turn out of campus, the results have turned out to be the opposite. With only one side to enter campus, the traffic travels as a cluster. Time is of the essence; with everyone on a tight schedule and not being able to wait, cars might dash madly to make the light, leading to a higher chance of accidents. Those extra four minutes at the light plus the time to pull through the parking lot is now a matter of racing to class before the doors are locked. The new changes imposed have had both positive and negative outlooks.

The Times

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BY BRADEN SMITH

Columnist

September 11, 2001: a date which will live in infamy. Every American remembers where they were when they heard the news. But it’s been 10 years. The physical damage of the attacks has mostly disappeared. The tears shed for the 2,977 people who lost their lives have dried (although they’re often shed anew) and the scar of Ground Zero has been healed by the construction underway on the World Trade Center Plaza. But what about the “scar” on the American psyche? It’s easy to see the rampant cynicism and prejudice created by this tragedy. You can’t channel surf for five minutes without hitting at least three pundits discussing our country’s downward spiral. We were outraged, saddened, and above all else scared by the attacks, and it shows. What many forget, however, is that fear, whether in a wild animal or the most powerful nation on Earth, is the most powerful motivator known to man. It’s true that we were motivated to hate and brash action, but we were also motivated to examine our changing role in the world. From the fall of the Soviet Union and the First Gulf War to a huge economic and technological boom, the 1990s were a decade that firmly cemented in our culture the idea of American infallibility. When that idea was destroyed in the flames of 9/11, some things changed. A passive appreciation of our freedom transformed into a fierce sense of patriotic identity and a frightening encounter with our nation’s mortality made us determined to preserve our ideals and our place as the strongest and freest nation in the world. The events of that fateful day were sobering. Yes, we were battered, but as a people we moved forward with a clearer head and a clearer purpose. As time goes on, that unity seems in danger of fading away. After ten years, everyone remembers the events of that September morning, but few seem to remember what those events did to us as a people. Across the nation and even in Washington, the tenth anniversary of September 11 brought Americans together in a mourning that transcended all ideological differences. If on the tenth anniversary of September 11 we can do the same, the United States of America will be the better for it.

Rose Coloured Lenses BY KIMBERLY CARLIN

Production Manager

With the beginning of senior year, the pace of life has reached a sprinting pace. There are so many final high school obligations to fulfill while preparing for the next big adventure in the future. And in comparison, these months are not so bad to the ones approaching. Graduation is our acme to summit whether this spring or in four years. For most of us, graduation is a clear goal. We get to meet all the requirements and earn our right to walk across that stage. It is our flag on the mountaintop, the tangible accomplishment of our efforts. It is the fruit of a goal finally achieved. There are many other goals we have in life, set up to keep us on track and give us purpose. Some are concrete and planned out like a career on Broadway after making it big in a community theater production of Cats. Others are vague and distant like finding your prince charming and living happily ever after. Is the purpose of all goals to help us achieve a fairy tale ending? Graduation brings us closer to independence, closer to our own careers and closer to the goal of all goals. Even our Declaration of Independence knows the value of the pursuit of happiness, but what about the path we take to get there? Is it critical to star in Cats over the Phantom of the Opera? In some ways, the journey is often the reward. After high school, we drift away from many of our friends, growing upwards and out. But happiness develops out of our gained experiences which will never leave us. This year stays with us until we graduate and beyond. We shouldn’t focus so much on the final outcome as the journey we take to get there through Prom and GradBash. Looking back, we change a lot during high school, physically and emotionally. We are becoming accustomed to a quicker pace and more strenuous schedules. And when we get to our goals and stare them straight in the eye, our happiness will not come from being there on the stage with a diploma. We will be happy because of the path we chose to get there.


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Scepter

September 2011

Feature your club in the Scepter by emailing KHSScepter@Live.com by Oct. 15.

F BLA F BLA is the place to go if you want to know how to survive in the world! With topics ranging from Healthcare administration to Website Development, you can show off your skills in any way you want! Come to Ms. Lampe’s room if you have questions or contact Adil Riazudeen (HR: 1154. Email ariazudeen@live.c om or contact him on Facebook) Spokesperson: Adil Riazudeen

DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY Dumbledore’s Army is a club at King High School centered around the Harry Potter series. Our mission is to bring together Harry Potter fans, help others, promote literacy, and have a ridiculous amount of fun while doing all of it! From forming a new Quidditch team as a part of the International Quidditch Association to becoming a chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, the second year of Dumbledore’s Army is going to be even better than the first! Come to Room 222 or contact us at DumbledoresArmyKHS@gmail.c om for more information! President: Tatiana Henry

ATHLET ICS ASSOCIAT ION Interested in Sports? Want to prove your might and wit when it comes to athletics? Join the Athletic Association for sports talk, advice, and fun events! During club meetings, we have various athletes from sports at KHS showcase their club, and provide information relevant to their own teams and encourage others to try out through this showcase. On top of this, the officers of AA look forward to hosting amazing events such as dodgeball, football, and many more sports througout the year at our designated events. For all information on club meetings and events, join our facebook group (KHS Athletic Association) Presidents: Apoorv Kaushal & David Frick

MU ALP HA THETA Mu Alpha Theta is for anyone who has a passion for mathematics and competition! Join today and learn lots of useful concepts in a variety of mathematical areas, including Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus, and Statistics. Go to competitions and assess your skills in both individual and team-based tests, and have fun in a highly competitive, yet still cooperative environment. For more information, contact Haoqing Wang (vice president/secretary)at haoqing_wang@ hotmail.c om President: Keerthi Vengatesan, Rishi Bollu

BETA CLUB Invitations for membership were delivered on Friday, September 9 to sophomores, juniors, and seniors during homeroom. The National Beta Club is an honors club with an emphasis on academics and service. The requirement for invitation is an un-weighted GPA of 3.8. The induction ceremony for new members will be held in October. If you would like more information about the club, please visit tinyurl.c om/khsbeta. We’re looking forward to a great year! Presidents: Robin Russo, Amy Cheng

ARML/F LSAM The ARML/F LSAM club is for students who have a high interest towards the study of mathematics. Through the participants of this club, students will have the opportunity to qualify for the Florida teams for the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML), Harvard-MI T Mathematics Tournament (HMMT ), and the Princeton University Math Competition (P UMaC). We strongly recommend students who have done well and participated in MathCounts or the American Mathematics Competitions Tests. President: Kun Cao

KHS RED CROSS Want to help make a difference in the world? Do you have a passion for helping others? King High School’s Red Cross Club is on the lookout for proactive, altruistic students who want to improve their communit y and world. If you fit the bill, please contact Shreeya at shreeyadeshmukh@gmail.c om or Roy at roy.peng05@gmail.c om. Members will receive training and earn lots of service hours while having fun and giving back to the communit y! Presidents: Roy Peng, Shreeya Deesmukh

SP EECH & DEBATE Following an extremely successful year as the Leading Chapter in the District, the King High Speech & Debate team continues to be a proud member of the National Forensics League and to compete nationally. If you are interested in politics, or anything related to arguing, as well as creative speaking, this is the club for you! Public speaking and the ability to be able to convey a message will be a skill that can set you apart in any arena of workplace or school, and many life scenarios. Join our team by getting more information in Room 115. President: Sahil Shah

KEY CLUB Hello Key Clubbers! We are looking forward to having a great year dedicated to volunteering and upholding KHS Key Club’s reputation as an outstanding and award-winning service club. We have many potential volunteer opportunit ies, so if you are interested or have any questions, feel free to contact any of the officers. We hope you are just as excited as we are for upcoming service projects and wish you the best in both academics and extracurriculars this school year! Presidents: Vedant Acharya, Alison Choi

GREEN CLUB Green Club is devoted to preserving the environment. To reach this mission, our club provides numerous opportunit ies for volunteer hours at cleanups and habitat restoration projects, helping restore the planet’s natural equilibrium. This year, we hope to implement recycling bins in the cafeteria and to partake in a planting project around the school, allowing KHS to look better and maybe even create some shade in this excruciating Florida weather! If interested, see Mrs. Shaw (room 224) or Jelena Runjaic (room 121). President: Jelena Runjaic


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counterpoint ∙ court-martial

cour∙age \’kərij\ n : not being scared to stick up for yourself – LaVonda Weston, senior cour∙age \’kərij\ n : to be brave and not afraid to step up for something – Amanda Thompson, freshman cour∙age \’kərij\ n : to rescue someone in danger – Greg Windham, senior cour∙age \’kərij\ n : the ability to believe in yourself – Kierra Davis, junior

ILLUSTRATION BY JENA YOUNG

BY NISHA PATEL

Features Editor

Children find it easy to appreciate bravery in those who serve us. After all, things were much more unfamiliar and intimidating when we were half our current sizes. Firemen, soldiers, policemen and ambulance drivers sometimes take the time to visit schools and make motivational speeches. We would be awed by their responsibilities…and loud sirens. Often times, however, we grow older and start stubbornly asserting that nothing harmful will ever happen and life will always drag on forever. Risks are fun since the consequences seem to be negligible. Essentially, we think we are invincible. We are almost numb to violence or natural disasters because they become everyday aspects. The reality is, however, that there is a big difference between life and death and that there are people whose careers focus on preserving the former -- just for us -- and making sure it is lived in good quality. Many of us were young during the September 11 attack. We may have visited the building or knew some people

Look Inside

Reviews 3b

from New York, but for some, the attack is etched in their memories as a tragic event, perhaps replayed a bit too intrusively for their cartoon schedule. However, there is one thing we can learn from it. In a state of emergency, the people of our country respond immediately with courage. We have everyday heroes looking out for us all the time. So let us take a soldier for example. We should at least acknowledge what the uniform represents. “What [the uniform] represents is that you are able to walk through the streets without the oppression you see in other countries on television,” said Darrell Russell, captain of the ROTC program. “It’s a big deal, and a lot of people take it for granted.” For someone whose career involves interaction with both the courageous young and old, Russell has had some experience with what courage means. “Most adults think courage is doing what is right and standing up in the face of adversity. In high school, courage is being a leader,” said Russell. Others seem to have different ideas. But even if it is difficult to define the word exactly, we should appreciate the quality of courage in others.

DESIGN BY NISHA PATEL & SAHIL SHAH

Fearful Living 4b-5b

Sports 6b-7b


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September 2011

Reviews

Store Review AOE SUPPLY

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BY: AMY CHENG

Content Editor

AOE stands for Art, Office and Education. The supply store is located on 56th Street, close to the intersection with Fletcher Avenue. The location appears to be very unnoticeable, as I have been driving past the store for the previous year and was not aware of its existence. However, this boxy, flat and portable-looking building actually holds some of the most valuable tools for students and teachers. When I first stepped into the building, I was bewildered by the amount of supplies it offered. The products are stored neatly in rows, and although the space between each row is narrow, one can easily distinguish the major sections with a simple glance. The left side of the store presents mainly stationery supplies such as notebooks, staplers, different kinds of construction papers, markers and soft poster boards. This section would be extremely helpful for students who are assigned the task of creating a display board, as there are also display board borders and cut-out letters. For the teachers, it offers such classroom supplies as posters, bulletin board and whiteboard accessories, and instruction tools. Further to the side is a whole section designated for hard project boards and canvases. Canvases of different sizes

and quality are stacked on multiple levels. Equally appealing to artistic students, stacks of sketchbooks and paint supplies stand on the right side of the store. Adjacent to various brands of pastel, charcoal, water color paint, acrylic paint and oil paint are other painting utensils such as palettes and paintbrushes. The most charming aspect of AOE to the students and faculty might be its proximity and its reasonable prices. Compared to other arts and crafts stores, such as Michael’s, AOE’s price range seems to be more affordable. Customers can save up to 50 percent in art supplies. However I do not recommend buying regular school supplies, such as notebooks, since they tend to be more pricy than the ones sold in community supermarkets. The staff members at AOE are also tremendously friendly, as they will guide you through the store to help you find supplies and explain to you the pros and cons of each product. Sometimes, a customer may even request a certain product that the store does not offer, and the staff will place an order for pickup. AOE is certainly a local hotspot for everyone: teachers, students, artists and parents. Pay a visit and you may very likely find some hidden treasure.

ELLA‘S FOLK ART CAFE RESTAURANT REVIEW pork belly, not bacon, but it made no difference to me. The salt and chewiness of the pork contrasted in the best possible way with the richness of its dark chocolate coating. The chocolate syrup and chopped nuts on top were a nice touch but didn’t add a whole lot. My next visit to Ella’s began with their soup of the day, a cold strawberry, basil and lavender purée with a dollop of cream on top. It was a nice idea, but it failed in the execution. There was a faint flowery aftertaste, and the cream helped offset the tangy flavor, but I wouldn’t recommend it to you unless strawberries are your favorite food. I then had the “Ayano Duck,” a pan-fried duck breast served on a ginger beet purée. The purée was surprisingly delicious and was an excellent complement to the gaminess of the duck, but the effect was ruined by the presence of an unnamed fishy sauce drizzled atop the

breast. The real strength of the plate was in its simple side dishes. The braised leeks and grilled sweet potato let the ingredients speak for themselves, and they each combined very well with the duck. In order to get a comprehensive review, I felt the need to experience Ella’s trademark, soul food Sundays. I ordered the most delicious fried chicken I’ve ever encountered (and I have a Southern grandma) served next to a whopping buttermilk waffle. These two classic foods were rave-worthy on their own, but the most adventurous part of the meal, a maple gravy, ruined it as a cohesive dish. I left this abortive attempt to combine both foods’ traditional accompaniments after an initial taste. Ella’s Folk Art café is a very cool Seminole Heights hotspot that does a great job of giving Americana a modern twist. That being said, the crazy stuff was hit-or-miss.

BY: BRADEN SMITH

Columnist

In this issue, we’ve brought up the problem of fears. One area of fear (or at least trepidation) I feel must be discussed is in the fear of unfamiliar food. To serve this purpose, I’ve chosen to review one of Tampa’s hidden treasures, Ella’s Folk Art Café. From the bowling balls lining the sidewalk to the giant wooden spectacles adorning one wall, local art barrages customers as they walk into Ella’s. Adding to the fun, quirky ambience is live music on the weekends that comes from a seemingly out-of-place stage. And now (drumroll, please), the food! My first visit to Ella’s began with “CB & J,” stars of fried cornbread served with Granny Smith apples and bacon jam. For those like myself who enjoy the juxtaposition of sweet and savory, this appetizer is heaven, but it may be overly sweet or overly odd for others. For the main course I ordered an All-American meal with a twist. The “stuffed” (with gorgonzola and caramelized onions) burger was served on a bed of arugula in the middle of a delicious round of bread. It came with some insanely good handcut fries. The sharp flavors and smooth textures of the stuffing were coupled quite nicely with the rich beefiness of the burger. You couldn’t go wrong with fresh french fries either. I finished off the evening with (brace yourselves), chocolate-covered bacon. It was actually cured

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Features

BY XIAOYI REN

News Editor

An over-the-shoulder glance, a few breaths through a straw, a missed heartbeat, temporary immobilization during which an eternity passes—then finally the one inch-long, half-ounce cockroach scurries off. Who hasn’t met a person with a fear of this paperweight with six legs and antennae? Any fear can seem irrational and even laughable to those who are not afflicted with it. To those who are, it may be deathly serious, especially if it evolves into a phobia. When senior Tracsean Kirby encounters a snake, frog or otherwise slimy terrestrial creature, she panics and runs. Most people have heard of the “fight or flight” response; it is indeed a defense mechanism for near-death situations. Even though Kirby might know that a snake is not dangerous, her association of slimy animals with uncertain outcomes makes her uncomfortable to the point of fear, to which she responds with flight. “I never tried to fight [snakes] off,” Kirby said, “never been that close.” Another person can have an entirely opposite view. “I’m comfortable with bugs, frogs, snakes … just not with spiders,” said sophomore Shannon Li. “It’s a combination of Harry Potter,” in which Ron Weasley, one of the main characters, is characterized with arachnophobia, “and nature shows such as National Geographic and Nova.”

BY NEHA PATIL & SERENA KOTWAL

Staff Writers

Horror No. 1: So you have been shopping for that perfect dress for over a month. You find it, it fits you, and you feel like a princess.… Not too fast! You walk into homecoming and find your biggest enemy wearing the same exact dress as you are! What are you going to do? Solution: Take it easy! Hundreds of people attend homecoming every year and it is natural for you to come across the same outfit as somebody else. What really matters is how you carry it. How can you be different from the girl who is wearing the same outfit as you are? Simple: think this way--you are an individual who is out to have a good time. Your demeanor can have a greater impact than your appearance. Do not let your insecurities and fears over a simple dress ruin your night. Be carefree and spirited,

September 2011

The shows repeatedly inform her that harmless spiders far outnumber poisonous or toxic ones. Yet she remains fearful even while acknowledging this incongruity. Li’s case, not unlike those of people from Tallahassee to Timbuktu, begs the inquiry into the cause and development of fears. Although scientists claim that the Homo sapiens has evolutionarily shed instinct, intense fear still feels like an instinctual response. Psychologists, though, generally recognize fears as learned behavior. Li’s mother and older sister both treat spiders with trepidation. Kirby too concluded that her whole family has a fear of snakes, though noting that the behavior is concentrated in the female members. “[The men] are supposed to be all manly, and kill [the snakes] off,” Kirby said. The gender divide aligns with a University of Maryland Medical Center finding that more women have fears. In this instance, it would not be surprising if the men curbed their visible fear to appear more masculine. That is not the case with phobias. Phobias are fears compounded. Phobias result in avoidance. Phobias disrupt normal activity. Phobias refuse to hide behind a macho façade. And, truthfully, phobias are completely irrational. The typical psychology textbook invariably paraphrases these points. A phobic suffers intense and persistent anxiety and/ or maladaptive behavior, the text will go on to tell its reader. Since neither girls exhibit all of these characteristics, their fears have not escalated to phobias (yet). Even true phobias, however, are not so unique.

which will definitely earn you some points to compensate for the clash. Horror No. 2: So what do you actually do at homecoming? Eat, drink, hang out and ... dance. Suppose you are not the best dancer and are embarrassed of those “moves.” You sit there in a corner and watch everyone else having a wonderful time on the dance floor… Solution: Seriously? It’s dark. No one cares. Homecoming is not a dance competition--just let it go. Feel the music, and free yourself from any inhibitions. Dance like no one is watching! Besides, everyone else is probably too busy enjoying his or her moment to judge you. Horror No. 3: Everything seems perfect. Your homecoming date is funny, interesting and romantic. He escorts you into the venue like a true gentleman. But just as the celebration begins, he is out of sight. Your homecoming date has ditched you! Solution: So what? It’s not the end of the world. A


September 2011

Rarely does a person exhibit one so singular as to cause the scientific community to instantly rush to his or her vicinity to investigate and experiment. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), anywhere from 6.7 to 12.5 percent of surveyed Americans admit to phobias, making it the most common mental disorder in the United States. Psychologists group common phobias into categories. Besides animal phobias, specific (simple) phobias include being alone (monophobia), storms (astraphobia), crowded places (demophobia), closed spaces (claustrophobia), flying (aviophobia), blood (hemophobia) and heights (acrophobia). A list of all known phobias is not interminable; the one that took Fredd Culbertson some 10 years to compile identifies only 538 of them. 6. A person with a fear of palindromes should read the following word neither forward nor backward: aibohphobia. 6. On the other hand, hydrophobics should continue to consume H2O. 6. Sorry, you there with the dreaded hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Apparently, people have ample opportunity to joke about others’ phobias as well as their fears, but, as part of the human race, no one can truthfully declare he or she is fearless. Atelophobics, dream on! Those who are correctly diagnosed with a social phobia can attempt to make light of it in their secluded sanctuary. And what of the advice of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt? Phobophobics will certainly agree.

Features

BY NISHA PATEL

Features Editor You may not have run into a burning building to save a kitten, rescued a drowning child, or hiked miles through a desert for survival. Many people do extraordinary things, but that is not to say that a student in high school does not deserve credibility for conquering his or her seemingly insignificant or irrational fear. Major hotspots of turned leaves are extracurricular activities. Many times, a student joins a sports team or interest club in hopes of cultivating their talents outside the classroom. Conflicts arise, however, when the student is placed into an unfamiliar environment and asked to showcase them in front of others. LaVonda Weston, now a senior, was on the varsity cheerleading team as a freshman. She was intimidated by the cheerleaders on her team not only older but also, she feared, more talented. Weston, like every other first-timer, was forced to set her concerns aside and hope for the best. “I had to perform in front of the band, the football team and for competitions,” said Weston. Fears have the tendency to change a lifestyle. The effect is sometimes only realized once that fear is conquered. “I am less shy now,” said Weston. “I speak up for those who are not so good all the time, and I talk to others more.” The realities of confronting an uncomfortable situation also find themselves within the classroom. For freshman Amanda Thompson, asking questions in front of the class was one of these nervous dilemmas. Aside from personal satisfaction, she now receives a

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more substantive benefit from overcoming this obstacle. “I got over [my fear of asking questions] because it helps me get better grades,” said Thompson. Thompson, like many, finds it beneficial to overcome her fears at school. The very thought of school brings about a mix of emotions, and it may be surprising that one of these emotions is fear. Generally, extracurricular or academic fears test students’ selfconfidence. “I was scared of failure because did not want to let anyone down,” said Salina Suarez, senior. The universal fear was conquered by a universal solution, what she defines as courage. “I am not as scared anymore because I am proud of myself,” said Suarez. Different motivations can cause the release of inhibitions. Whether it is forced or pressured by an external influence, pulled by an incentive, or inspired by a role model, one factor is always necessary: selfconfidence. “What helped me get on the stage was believing in myself that I can do it. I have confidence in myself,” said junior Kierra Davis. She has now come a long way from her first performance on stage, because every talented person will always have an obstacle to overcome in their uphill battle.

common misconception about homecoming in high school is that a girl must have a guy by her side or vice versa. Homecoming is not all about your date; it is about having a special time with those who really matter: your friends (or maybe a date who does not run off). Horror No. 4: The night is here, and you have the perfect dress, the perfect look and the perfect date. At least you thought so until you arrived at the dance, and the two of you just stood there with nothing to talk about, nothing to do and nothing to look at. Awkward! Solution: The number one factor that leads to awkwardness is silence. If you have absolutely nothing to talk about, then ask your date if he/she would like to get something to drink or would like to dance. Strike up a conversation with another couple about the night. Be yourself! That is the reason your date asked you to the dance--because he/she likes your personality. So let those characteristics shine, and make it a night to remember!

ILLUSTRATIONS BY JENA YOUNG


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Sports

September 2011

Football season loses momentum after strong start

BY HAOQING WANG

Staff Writer

With a record of 5-5 last year, the football team pulled off an average season. Led by quarterback Greg Windham and wide receiver Chris Murray, the team looks to perform even better than it did last year. “The team has matured into leaders,” said Offensive Coordinator Trey Thomas. “We have a lot of up and coming young players, as well as players who have started for four years.” The team has practiced intensively over - Trey Thomas the summer and during the school year. “We’ve done a lot of exercises, weightlifting, running, a few 7-on-7 tournaments, and a lot of class sessions,” Thomas said. “Every Friday we do a workout for NFL players, [which] improved our strength and endurance.” The team kicked off the season with a pre-season 43-13 win against the Middleton Tigers. Murray made a touchdown on a kick return and later made an interception. After the Lions scored 17 points in less than a minute, Middleton did not manage to recover. Following its win against Middleton, the Lions defeated the Wharton Wildcats in the first game of the season. Although falling behind in the first half with a score of 2-6, the team won the game with a fourth quarter rally that resulted in a score of 14-6. The Lions’ next game was against the Tampa Bay Tech Titans. Due to their close proximity, King and Tampa Bay Tech have had a strong rivalry. Although the Titans had easily defeated the Lions for many consecutive years, the Lions surprised them last year with a 9-7 win. This year,

“The team has matured into

leaders.”

LYING IN THE WAIT - Outside linebacker, Demetrius (Twan) Dillard prepares for the snap in the game against Alonso High School. The 38-34 loss brought the Lion’s record to a 1-2 for the season.

however, they had another close game in which the Lions lost 28-35. “We should’ve won the Tech game,” Thomas said. “We just got off to a bad start.” Indeed, the team fell behind 0-21 in the first half. The Lions had another good run in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to cover for the deficit in the first half. The third game of the season was against Alonso. In

another close loss, the Lions dropped 34-38. The team has a current record of 1-3, compared to its record of 2-1 with a forfeit to Strawberry Crest at this point last year. The team looks to improve its streak with the upcoming games against Strawberry Crest and Leto in the coming weeks. The homecoming game will be on October 14 against Jefferson. The season will end for the team with games against Hillsborough, Armwood, and Durant.

Wrestling room grant offers future players new facilities BY MARIGNY NEVITT

Sports Editor

For the past fifty years, sports teams and students have only had one makeshift weight room at their disposal. Thanks to the Athletic Booster Club, this situation is soon to change. The present weight room that football players, baseball players, track runners, HOPE students, and weight lifting students all utilize is simply a classroom that has been converted into a weight room to preserve space. “It’s antiquated, it’s old, it’s way past its usefulness,” said Assistant Principal for Administration Dennis Donaldson.

The fundraising for this project began under the administration of Carla Bruning during the 2010-2011 school year and was spearheaded by the Athletic Booster Club. Following its 50-year reunion, the first graduating class has provided a large donation to fund progress. Once the Booster Club raises a certain amount of money, the Hillsborough County School District will be asked for a matching fund to cover the rest of the construction and renovation costs. “We’re not far away,” Donaldson said, referring to the goal which must be met before the match from the county may be requested. The wishful thinking is that the fundraising will be com-

pleted by the end of this school year or over the upcoming summer break so that a new, fully functioning weight room will be present during the 2012-2013 school year. The weight room, although often used by sports teams, will be an feature available for all. “It is time that we move into the modern age of weight lifting rooms,” Donaldson said. “It will bring pride to the school and the athletic program...it’ll be nice.” The administration hopes that the new room will be an attribute which one will not forget, and that students and athletes alike will be proud of the reconstruction. The idea is that it will be a place in which students feel comfortable and safe.


Sports

September 2011

Case Study: Should Marching Band be considered a sport? BY KIMBERLY CARLIN

Production Manager

After school, cross country runs on the track and in a park, volleyball trains in the gym and football drills in the stadium. Above all the bustling action floats the music of the marching band, running sets on the practice field and rehearsing its songs toward perfection. The band practices six hours a week in addition to playing at Friday night football games. Musicians train over the summer and spend their afternoons under the scorching sun, much alike many of the athletes do for other sports. The amount of physical training required for marching band is comparable to that of an athletic training program. “It is very similar [to training for a sport],” said senior Paul Buchman, head equipment manager. “We first teach marching fundamentals just as they teach you how to dribble in soccer, punt in football or pitch in baseball. Once we teach those basics, we can put them to the test on the field, putting both marching and music together, just as a football team puts their skills together on the field.” “[Training] was tough, especially coming in as a freshman,” Ivette Cuadrado said. “Only having, like, less than 4 hours the first week of band camp to learn the fundamentals was tough. By the second week I got them down but then it was time to put them to work.” Beyond the high level of physical aptitude and endurance required to march for band, many other factors combine to make marching band a unique extracurricular activity. “When you’re having to focus on where your next set is, breath control, what you’re playing, how your playing

it, making it musical, etc., all while running, for example, 30 yards in eight counts, it can get really tiring,” Buchman said. “Marching band can be more physically demanding than many sports because of how many different things you have to focus on both physically and musically. But it is a performance rather than a competition.” The differences between competition and performance are central to the discrepancy many students see between marching band and other defined sports. “[Marching is] as much of a game as two ice skaters competing because, unlike a game, the two sides aren’t constantly battling, but, like a game, one side will prove to be better than the other,” said junior John-Kyle Smith. As a member of the drum line and of the school’s soccer team, Smith has a distinctive perspective in comparing marching band to a physical sport. His opinion, however, is not his alone. “While we may be trying to give the best performance we can, even to say a performance greater than others, we are not competing against other marching bands,” Buchman said. “We joke after many of our performances for half-time that the score for half-time was 1-0 but, in the end, it’s not a competition.” “I do not think band should be a sport,” Smith said. “However, the similarities are that they both take a lot of practice, time, and sweat.” Although band requires a high amount of effort and dedication, the emphasis remains with the music rather than the sport.

Swimming continues victories

PUSHING TOWARD VICTORY - Freshman J.J. O’Malley takes a breath as he swims his part of the Boys 400 Freestyle Relay at City Relays. Although the meet was canceled halfway due to rainy weather, the boys still managed to make a good showing BY RISHI BOLLU

Staff Writer

The first two swim meets were on Sept. 8, 15; swimmers were rained out of the third on Sept. 22. The boys team won both, but the girls have yet to win. To prepare for their meets, swimmers practice from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day after school, except on the day of a meet, at the Temple Terrace Recreation Center under the instruction of Coach Don Rooks. They practice the breast stroke, butterfly, back stroke and freestyle daily, pacing themselves on an interval basis. “I don’t like to keep a record of how well we do,” Rooks

said. “Swimming is an individual sport, and the only person you really have to compete with is yourself.” This year, the swim team has more boys than girls. “It was bound to happen,” said senior Linh Duong, who is on the girls team, “but it also compels us to work harder because we want to get thrilling feeling of being winners as well.” Because of their smaller numbers, the girls each have to participate in more events in order for their team to get a higher score when swimming against larger girls teams. For some of the newer members of the swim team, adjusting to the rigorous practice sessions can be tough. “The first two weeks of practices in the beginning of the

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MURTHY’S MINUTE BY KUNAAL MURTHY

Sports Columnist

The football world this summer was mired by one main factor: the NFL lockout. All 32 teams were unable to practice shortly after the Super Bowl. Every single team’s facility was shut down and players were unable to work out, watch film, or play football in the facilities. The reason for the lockout was that the players wanted more money added to their salaries but the owners of each team disagreed. The players did not comply with the owners and as a consequence they started the lockout. Not only was the lockout effective throughout the offseason, but if an agreement had not been made, it would have continued into the start of the NFL season and there might not have been a season at all this year. To the great delight of players, coaches, and fans, an agreement was made near the end of the off-season allowing the season to start on schedule. Players and coaches were able to go back out on to the field and practice with their teammates and prepare for the upcoming season. However, because of the lockout there was a significantly shorter off-season, which can prove to be detrimental to many teams this year. Personally, I think that even the possibility of a lockout in ANY sport should be banned. A few years ago in the National Hockey League there wasn’t a season because of a lockout. Teams were aching to get back out on to the ice but regulations of the owners disallowed this to happen. Finally, in the National Basketball Association is currently under a lockout and it looks like there will end up not being a season this year. After the NBA Finals, a similar situation to the NFL lockout occurred. To pass time, players have played pickup games in high school gyms, the famous Rucker Park, and overseas. Because of the lockout the NBA will likely see a handful of elite players decide to go overseas and play professional basketball in Europe or China for a year until the lockout finally ends.

year were a bit difficult. I went a lot slower than most of the other swimmers because I was a novice and I wanted to pick up a lot of the important fundamentals as quickly as possible,” said senior Vinh Phan. “My muscles were sore for the first few days of practice, but I got used to it.” Many members of the swim team usually make it to the regional competition. However, the regional competition then has an extremely competitive selection process for advancement to state competition. While the first place competitor in each event is almost guaranteed a spot at states, the rest of the top four may not make it because when selecting for states, the twenty-four competitors with the best times out of all the regions will advance in each event. Last year, only Jed Rodriguez made it to the state competition for the 200 individual medley and the 100 breast stroke.


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Homecoming

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Monday: Character Day Tuesday: Ti-84 Day Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday Thursday: Western Day (No Weapons) Friday: Spirit Day

Monday: Hall Decorating Contest Tuesday: Chalk/Sidewalk Contest Wednesday: Spirit Competition Thursday: Tailgating & Lion’s Roar Pep-Rally Friday: Class Booths & Homecoming Game (Night)

On Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, the annual Homecoming football game will be held at King High School. Playing against the Jefferson Dragons, the King football players will need your support as they try to claim their victory. Paint yourself with school colors at the new “‘Spirit Shack’” and join your classmates to cheer for our team!

September 2011

DESIGN BY SAHIL SHAH

Voting will be conducted from Oct. 3-6 on www.edline.net for Freshmen Royalty, the sophomore Duke and Dutchess, junior Prince and Princess, and senior King and Queen. On Oct. 7, underclassmen winners will be announced, as well as the top 4 candidates for Homecoming King and Queen. A second round of voting will open online to name the final winners from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13 for King and Queen. Underclassmen winners and upperclassmen candidates will participate in the annual walk at the Homecoming Game on Oct. 14, 2011. All winners will be crowned at the Homecoming Dance.

BY KIMBERLY CARLIN

Production Manager

As a part of the renewed effort toward more school spirit, Principal Michael Rowan is bringing to campus, a nighttime pep rally has been planned for the evening of the homecoming football game against Jefferson. Originally a King tradition, nighttime pep rallies have not been held for many years. “We were inspired by Rowan after his success with night pep rallies at Wharton,” said Emily Kolilias, student body president who helped coordinate the upcoming pep rally.

BY KIMBERLY CARLIN

Production Manager

Homecoming is around the corner, bringing, as in years past, a flurry of excitement and school pride. However, this year holds major changes for students with the hopes of increasing enthusiasm. The administration and Student Government Association (SGA) have assembled a multitude of activities such as a prehomecoming game tailgate and special homecoming shirts to help achieve such goals.

Rowan hopes that by holding a pep rally outside of the school day, more of the community will be able to attend and that the students who do attend will have more spirit than during a mandatory pep rally. However, very little of the school population will be lost because of the change; of 200 students polled for their interest in attending a nighttime pep rally, three-quarters were enthusiastic about the idea. Depending on the success of the homecoming nighttime pep rally, future nighttime pep rallies may be planned for students and the community to come together.

Principal Michael Rowan believes homecoming is the optimal event to reach all students because it is a common experience each year and a majority of the student body is able to participate. He hopes that by emphasizing school spirit during homecoming season, the overall excitement for the school wll increase and continue to play an important role on campus. Because of its unifying nature, homecoming will be accompanied by a tailgate for fans, a nighttime pep rally and the sale of special homecoming shirts. The previously reinstated Lion’s Roar will also be held the night before the game as a way for students to poke fun at the opponent, the Jefferson Dragons. Clubs will be expected to increase their participation in the satirical and slapstick skits for Lion’s Roar and the other homecoming events as a way to gain additional student involvement. The most extreme of these changes may be the initiation of a nighttime pep rally, which is anticipated across campus. Rowan has hopes it will further the amount of school spirit in the student body in a more constructive way than daytime mandatory pep rallies. “Most students enjoy a pep rally for what it is: it is a school thing, but it’s not tied to the classroom, and it’s not mandated as far as academics are there,” Rowan said. “A night pep rally you’re going to have students who

want to be there, are there. Because at the end of the day, 1700 students going to a day pep rally aren’t all going to want to be there. Whether it be because of academics or, you know, they just don’t believe in the school. You have more along the lines of people who want to be there.” “We hope there will be more students who want to participate in pep rallies and have more spirit overall,” said Emily Kolilias, president of the student body, sharing Rowan’s goals. In order to build up school spirit through the entire week of homecoming, the theme days will be considered in an overall “Class War” between the graduating classes. In order, homecoming week will consist of Character Day, TI-84 (Nerd) Day, Western Day and Class Color Day. Banners made by each club will also be displayed around campus, all in the hopes of increasing school spirit and unifying the student body. Homecoming is one of the few events each year with the opportunity to draw the entire school population toward a common goal. “It’s the one thing that no matter what side of the fence you are, no matter where you come from, it’s the one common denominator at King High School,” Rowan said. Homecoming is more than the football game and dance: it is transforming into a weeklong event aimed at instilling spirit across the Land of the Lions.

September 2011 - Scepter Newspaper  

September Issue of C. Leon King High School's Scepter

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