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simon nguyen w ARTIST

Isabella Fu Aaron Greenberg Julia Biest Sasha Rice Sophia Li Lily Hauptman Katie Bry Glen Morgenstern Sam Shevitz Michael Burke Sophia Garland Audrey Wang Annie Zheng Michael Burke Max Baker Ope Falako Mackenzie HinesWilson Joel Hsieh Felix Hu Grace Kim Albert Liu Hannah Gold Madi Ward Jack Glon Simon Nguyen Aleesha Shi Sarah Semmel

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3 Behind the scenes of the 2016 fall play panorama


Ladue theater troupe performs 'Steel Magnolias'




The play involves six female characters who live in Chinquapin, Louisiana. Beauty salon owner Truvy Jones and her assistant Annelle Desoto style the hair of rich widow Clairee Belcher, her best friend Ouiser Boudreaux, resourceful M’Lynn Eatenton and her beautiful daughter Shelby. The show focuses on the interactions between these women, telling a story of loss and friendship. “When we’re choosing a show, we’re trying to find something that has literary [and artistic] merit to it, and we want to find shows that can get as many students involved as possible,” theater director Michael Pecka said. “This semester, I have a lot of really strong girls, and I wanted to showcase them.” With such a strong emphasis on the female bond, it was critical for the cast to build a strong dynamic. Like the "Steel Magnolias" characters themselves, the

juniors Katie Bohnert and Annie Heartney don their costumes and run through rehearsal. They play M'Lynn, Clairee, Annelle and Ouiser, respectively. (Photo by Hannah Gold)

2. GET GLAM w Sophomore Annie McNutt, who plays Truvy, does the hair of senior Jamie Tao, who portrays Shelby. Truvy's salon is an important setting within the play. (Photo by Hannah Gold)

lighting crew, props crew, makeup crew and publicity crew, but then I have students in charge of those crews, and those would be production staff people. They usually have to fill out an application with me to indicate their interest, experience, why they think they'd be a good leader, etc. Then I select the production staff from those applications.” After the cast and crew have been chosen, each person works ha es on his own role. Actors e l a pick up scripts, highlight their parts and memorize their lines while the crew plans the aesthetics of the show. “The first week usually is a blocking rehearsal,” Pecka said. “The actors all have their scripts on stage, and we go through the script one page at a time, [writing] down when they move from one part of the stage to another, when they enter and exit, etc. Thus, when they're memorizing AR T IS T

his year, the Ladue theater department put on Robert Harling’s "Steel Magnolias" for the 2016 fall play. They performed Nov. 3-5 in the Performing Arts Center.

1. GIRL TALK w Seniors Julia Kennedy and Margaret Moran and



news editor

role, junior Annie Heartney sought to understand her character better. “To get into the character mindset, I read through the script a lot and did a bunch of research on the story,” Heartney said. “I read up on all the characters, not just Ouiser, so I could get a better idea of the dynamics and relationships she would have with the five other women.”

sh i

sophia LI

Ladue cast grew closer throughout their rehearsals. “This play has been a great experience because I feel like our cast has molded together really well,” senior Margaret Moran said. “It is made up primarily of seniors, with two juniors and one sophomore as well. Our entire cast is only six people, and we are all female, so it is sort of like having a big group of sisters.” To get their parts in the fall play, students had to pass their auditions. Unlike the spring musical, students did not have to come with memorized materials like monologues or songs. “In the fall, we typically do what are called ‘cold readings,’ so you don't have to have anything prepared,” Pecka said. “Anyone from school could show up to audition for a play. We will usually take scenes out of the show and make copies. Students will look through them and do a reading of the scene in front of me, my student director and maybe a couple of my stage managers.” Some cast members went beyond memorizing their own lines. While preparing for her

However, putting on a play requires more than just the actors. Behind the scenes, crew members work to ensure that the lighting, sound, makeup and costumes enrich the play. All students are welcome to join the crew. “Pretty much anyone who signs up for crew is just on the crew,” Pecka said. “We have

their lines, they're also memorizing their blocking.” In total, the cast and crew spent numerous hours practicing for the performances. They frequently stayed late after school during their many rehearsals. “The whole process [to prepare for a play] usually takes anywhere from five to seven weeks, depending on the show. That’s every day after school for two or three hours. When we get into tech rehearsal, we’re adding lights and sound so the rehearsals run longer. We might be here after school until 6 or 7 o’clock.” This year, Pecka gave students more control over their parts. With increased creative freedom, the cast and crew can add their own personalities and quirks to the play. “I can be compulsive about things, and so it's difficult for me to just let others [take control],” Pecka said. “But that's what I've done for this show. It's always great to see how hard your students have worked.” h

panorama NEWS 4 Bloody Murder: Ladue Mock Trial returns A new year brings new changes to the club sophia LI

news editor


ock Trial tryouts took place Oct. 24 after an informational meeting Oct. 17. The club had their first official meeting 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the English office. This year’s case is about the murder of Daniel Whitley, a Missouri racquetball state champion. The police arrested and accused Payton Reed, the second best racquetball player in the state, of shooting Whitley with the intention of killing him. “I really like that it’s a murder case this year,” junior and Mock Trial lawyer Noor Rahman said. “[It’s] a lot more interesting than other topics. Last year the case was about cyberbullying. Though cyberbullying is fairly prevalent in high school, a murder case is much more emotion-evoking and engaging. There are so many sides to this story and so many different routes you can take when presenting it, which makes it very fun to work with.”

To properly handle the case, Instead of several prosecution social studies teachers Jeff Miller and defense teams, the club curand Robert Snidman decided to rently has only one of each. The hold auditions, as opposed to the small size and higher stakes are open recruitment of past years. meant to increase competition In recent years, the club has and motivate students to work experienced problems with mem- harder on their roles. ber commitment. The auditions “I would like to see us do helped eliminate uncommitted well,” Snidman said. “Last and overly busy students. year we didn’t do well, and “Everyone had to take role it was because students and either do an opening, which weren’t preparing or coming is a summary of either side’s to practices. Hopefully, [this case, or year] we’ll they had achieve a to [create] When someone is struggling with ranking.” a set of To solve something, they can depend on questions their team members to help them last year’s for a witattendance and find a solution. ness in problem, junior Noor Rahman the case,” the sponsors Snidman developed said. “When someone decided to an attendance policy. Members do [the questions list] for their are allowed two absences before audition, they gave one of the they are removed from the team. coaches the set and we asked “There’s no excused absencthem the questions. They’d es,” Snidman said. “It’s because play the role of the witness and we need to practice. If a witness answer the questions as if they shows up and the person who has were on trial. This demonstrated been assigned to question them to us that they had spent time doesn’t, then the witness wastes preparing.” time not practicing.”

jack glon w ARTIST

The selectivity of the teams and the attendance policy foster a sense of pride and ambition to excel. Witnesses work together with their lawyers to create responses to questions from the opposing team. During the competition, students will be judged on their abilities to make and refute objections. “Our team dynamic is very cooperative,” Rahman said. “When someone is struggling with something, they can depend on their team members to help them find a solution. I feel like I can count on my teammates to support me.”

The use of real litigation terms and processes challenges students to produce a performance that mimics what would happen if the case were real. Being a part of Mock Trial also expands students’ academic and rhetoric skills. “I joined Mock Trial because I have always been interested in law and wanted to get more of a feel for how a court case goes,” senior Leanna Feng said. “It has helped me become a better public speaker, grow more comfortable with speaking in front of a large audience and operate under a lot of stress.” h

Ladue juniors bring back the Ping Pong Club

Members hone their skills through weekly practice felix HU

news writer


adue students introduced Ping Pong Club Oct. 19. The club meets every other Wednesday after school in the Commons. “I started [the club] because I wasn’t interested in doing other sports this year,” junior and founder Gigi Goebel said. “I used to play a lot of ping pong with my brother. So I thought, ‘Why not start a club?’” Thus, she asked gym teacher Keith Harder to sponsor the club, and he agreed. After receiving permission from Activities Director Sweeney LaBarge, the club was finalized. “A benefit of it being in the Commons is that people can easily find the club. Students don’t have to look for it because the ping pong tables are out for everyone to see and play,” junior and co-captain Laura Ewald said.

However, there are “There are no resome issues with Ping quirements to be in it,” Pong Club’s current Ewald said. “Unlike in location. Because other clubs where you there are no gyms have to do community available for the club service or have a certain to use, it has to be skill, students without held in an open space. any experience can “Being in the come to Ping Pong Club Commons does give it to learn and play.” exposure, but we don’t The new Ping Pong want to see students Club may assist in coming down, running increasing students’ between the tables PLAY BALL w Junior Ian Pallares prepares to return opportunities to face and messing around,” the hit. He is a part of Ping Pong Club, which meets twice more opponents both Harder said. “I want to a month. (Photo by Madi Ward) in and outside the high move it into the gym school. So far, Goebel so that players will have less “I just want everyone to know and Ewald have not found other distraction.” that it’s about people having fun. schools with active ping pong Despite its location issue, clubs, but they are expanding [Anyone] can join whether or the goal of the club remains their search towards communitynot they’re good at ping pong,” the same. Goebel hopes for a wide ping pong events which are Goebel said. “Depending on the welcoming setting where people day, we can teach or we can have not held within schools. with different interests can grab “My goals would be to gain competitive tournaments.” a paddle, play with each other more committed club members To encourage membership, and improve their skills. She Ping Pong Club members are not and to eventually compete somealso wants to reach students who where else,” Goebel said. “In the determined by skill. People with don’t feel comfortable trying out future, I want us to be more of a various amounts of experience for formal sports teams. team and less as a club.” are welcomed.

In the past, Ladue has had a ping pong club. However, there weren’t enough committed members, and the club was discontinued until this year. “It came and went due to a lack of dedication,” Harder said. “Kids who didn’t have passion wanted to start a club. The key to keeping the current [ping pong] club functioning is the devotion behind the students that are driving [the club].” Nevertheless, Harder, Goebel and Ewald remain optimistic. They look forward to running the club throughout the years. “We’re still trying to get a footing,” Goebel said. “The specifics haven’t been fully determined yet, but I’m happy that we’ve come so far.” In order to continue, the club will need new members. Currently, 13 people have joined. “I believe that they have passion for it and will rally more members to keep the club going,” Harder said. h




Special Olympics: Ladue students partner with Volleyball Edition students who have disabilities isabella FU



adue hosted its 27th Special Olympics volleyball competition Nov. 4. Special Olympics is a global organization that hosts sporting events for individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities, but competitions are held every day at the national, regional and local levels. Ladue’s tournament is only one of hundreds of schooland non-school-sponsored Special Olympics events in St. Louis. Ladue hosts the volleyball tournament, but other local schools hold other athletic events such as soccer, basketball, track and bowling. Ladue has been hosting Special Olympics games since 1989; decades of experience have led to a Special Olympics tradition. Students with special needs from across the St. Louis area are

invited to participate as athletes National Junior Honor Society; in the volleyball event. Ladue it was very rewarding, and I had freshmen may volunteer as buda great time. It was just a great dies and leaders to participate in opportunity.” the activities, either supporting Even though this volleyball the athletes in their competitions tournament was Ladue’s 27th or coordinating the logistics of event, it was slightly different the event. Buddies are paired from all the rest. In previous with athletes, and these pairs are years, the volleyball games took grouped into a team that complace in the Nielson and Rampetes in volleyball games against ming Gyms, while other smaller other teams. activities were conducted in a Freshman Michael classroom. This Wayne was one of year, however, Future Events the approximately construction limited Nov. 15- Bowling 190 volunteers in the the amount of space Medal Tournament event. Wayne signed available for such a at Rockwood Valley large-scale athletic up to volunteer as a buddy because he event. To solve this Nov. 21- Young wanted to get a new Athletes Program at problem, Ladue perspective and meet decided to move the Whitfield School someone new. games to the Fifth “It was awesome. Grade Center. I made a friend, Eitan, today. “This change in venue didn’t In addition to being a super affect the tournament at all,” nice dude, he’s great at volleyEnglish teacher and Ladue ball!” Wayne said. “I remember Special Olympics coordinator when we did a similar event for Wendy Guhr said. “We had the

same number of courts, players and buddies that we had in the past.” Special Olympics will most likely be held at the Fifth Grade Center again next year but will probably return to the high school in 2018 when the renovation is complete. According to Guhr, this temporary change in location is beneficial in some ways. “The fifth graders will get to see what they will be able to participate in once they get to the high school, which could be something they have to look forward to,” Guhr said. The success of this year’s event gives Ladue good insight

annie zheng w ART EDITOR

on how to improve itself for next year. One idea, however, transgresses time and presents itself in every event: partners benefit by interacting with each other. “All participants benefit as they interact with each other and befriend one another,” Guhr said. “This event allows our students to give back to our community and provide support to those who have special needs.” h

What in the world? Looking at big news French police relocated 3,852 migrants living in temporary camps in Paris to various shelters Nov. 4. Many of these people come from Somalia and Afghanistan.

A jury found Rolling Stone magazine guilty of defamation Nov. 4 after its controversial story regarding a rape in the University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. School administrator Nicole Eramo sued, claiming she was portrayed as overly insensitive.

Media discovered Nov. 2 that government officials in Nigeria raped women who escaped from the terrorist group Boko Haram. The women traveled to camps for refuge but found themselves abused by camp leaders.

South Korean protesters demanded Nov. 2 that president Park Guen-hye resign after news outlets found out that Guen-hye’s friend and adviser Choi Soon-sil supposedly saw confidential government documents.

Locals likened 16-year-old Ana Julia Ribeiro to women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai. Ribeiro spoke Nov. 2 on behalf of the children who would be affected by Brazil’s proposal to reduce government spending, which would hurt public schools. audrey wang and simon nguyenw ARTISTS



A balancing act:


Student and gymnast Dani Wides excels in school and at gymnastics

“Gymnastics means everything to me– cheering on my teammates, seeing my teammates and coaches and just albert LIU having fun everyday,” Wides said. “I would really want features writer to do gymnastics in college and get a full-ride scholarship lying and tumbling while balancing school, soph- to a Division I school.” omore Dani Wides displayed passionate skill at Wides has already experienced a degree of success last year’s Junior Olympic National Championships. in gymnastics. Last year, she was invited to the Junior Olympic National Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Wides continues to pursue gymnastics to its highest “I was in Fort Worth for [Junior Olympic] National level on her quest for success. She is currently a level 10 [Championships], which is similar to the real Olympics, gymnast at All American Gymnastics. but with only level 10 gymnasts,” Wides said. “Although “I started gymnastics when I was four,” Wides said. I didn’t do the greatest since it was my first time, my “When I was little, I would start flipping around the experience at Fort Worth was amazing.” house, so my mom decided that gymnastics would be the With the dedication and time she continually puts into sport for me. You have to be very determined and strong gymnastics, Wides is always crunched for time to get her to be a good gymnast.” schoolwork done. Balancing her schoolGymnastics has been a big influence Dani’s an amazing gymnast. work while vaulting and performing is on Wides’ life, and the environment of one of her daily challenges. However, [She] works really hard and she perseveres and manages to excel in constantly being in the gym has shaped her personality. Her fellow gymnasts all never gives up. gymnastics and do schoolwork. look up to her as a positive role model “Level 10 is the highest level in freshman Emerson Barnett both in and out of the gym. gymnastics [other than] elite, which is “Dani’s an amazing gymnast,” freshthe best you can be,” Wides said. “It is man and teammate Emerson Barnett said. “[She] works very hard to do schoolwork with gymnastics. A lot of the really hard and never gives up. Even when she's hurt and times I have to leave gymnastics practice early to get my can't tumble, she always does what she can and comes to schoolwork done and study for tests.” practice.” Other Ladue gymnasts also enjoy the atmosphere surWides practices in the gym five days every week for rounding the beams, bars, vaults and mats. Gymnastics four hours each day, so gymnastics has become a big allows people to enjoy competing while meeting new part of Wides’ life. She plans to continue pursuing and individuals who share the same interests as them. competing gymnastics during college and supporting her “My favorite part of gymnastics is the environment teammates throughout her gymnastic career, regardless of at the gym,” Barnett said. “It's great and makes me love her success. spending time there. Competing is a close second.”



Leaping and tumbling, sophomore Dani Wides enjoys her time at the Junior Olympic National Championships, a tournament that includes only level 10 gymnasts, in Fort Worth, Texas. “Seeing my friends from school is really hard when you are doing gymnastics over the weekend,” Wides said. “Homework is also hard to squeeze in with gymnastics.” (Photos courtesy of Dani Wides)

Wides’ and Barnett’s parents give their full support. At Wides’ meets, her parents watch and cheer for her. “We’re super proud of our daughter for being dedicated to gymnastics,” Nancy Wides, Dani Wides’ mother, said. “Gymnastics was worth the investment.” h


Teacher spotlight: Ann Rittenbaum

Everyone in this school has a story to tell. Follow us on Instagram to see more.

Lily Hauptman: What is your funniest teaching memory? Ann Rittenbaum: This gawky freshman came into class, and he was late. He said, “I missed the bus.” One of my seniors got up and said, “Son, you can’t be stupid and ugly.” The whole class burst out laughing. LH: In what grade did you start learning Latin? AR: I started taking it in eighth grade, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue. LH: Why do you enjoy learning about Latin?

(Photo by Lily Hauptman)

AR: [Latin] is like a puzzle. You take things apart and put them back together to get the meaning. Vocabulary expands. It’s so good for students. It teaches them to think. LH: What is a fun fact about yourself ? AR: When I was 12, I had a horse, [who] was about 12. He was an open jumper, so we would to go little towns in Missouri and ride in the horse shows and compete. You earned money if you won. It was really fun.

(Photo by Lily Hauptman)

“[Debate] is really helpful for getting better at speaking. It’s a very encouraging environment.” “The team members are all very nice. They are willing to help when you need it.”

Exchanging languages and cultures German students stay with Ladue families Sophomore Donovon Moore’s family hosted another exchange student, Melvin Rauh-Bröckelschen. He loves ope FALAKO the atmosphere at Ladue, even though it differs greatly features writer from schooling in Germany. For example, the exchange students’ school is an open campus. ollowing the end of an American-German ex“Ladue is way bigger than my school in Germany, change program at MICDS, 16 German students and [my school] has less subjects as well,” Rauh-Bröckfrom Dortmund, Germany arrived at Ladue, and elschen said. “The students [here] are very friendly and the community welcomed them with open arms. During kind to me.” their two-and-a-half-week stay, these German students Along with the other German exchange students, experienced the daily life of American teenagers by livRauh-Bröckelschen went to MICDS to explore another ing with host families. type of school in America. Though he noticed considerJunior Mahima Gunapooti and her family served as able differences, he still prefers Ladue. hosts for Luzie Hardt. Gunapooti has grown as an indi“We went to MICDS, and the students there are very vidual by housing Hardt. similar to the students here,” Rauh-Bröckelschen said. “We started texting over WhatsApp for about two “It’s good to see different types of schools. I prefer Ladue months before she came, so we could get to know each because it’s better here.” other,” Gunapooti said. “I learned a lot about Germany German teachers Debbie and about her and her friends, Lund and Patrick Quinn have so we have definitely grown I’ve noticed a lot of energy in the Ladue been working together to much closer by hanging out community; kids are excited because they make this program a realand living together.” get to meet people from another place and ity for Ladue. After MICDS During the weekends or share what’s alike and what’s different. ended their program, they met when she was not busy with with the German coordinaother activities, Gunapooti and German teacher Debbie Lund tors and made Ladue a partner her friends took Hardt around school. Individuals who host St. Louis. They visited attracstudents have the opportunity to stay with their German tions like the Arch and the Saint Louis Science Center. exchange students in Germany. “Since this [was] her first trip to America, I [took] her “[The students] started communicating with [the sightseeing on the weekends. We also [hung] out with my German students] by being pen pals,” Lund said. “Then friends and her friends,” Gunapooti said. Ladue students decided whether they wanted to host a Gunapooti’s friends helped her out by brainstorming German student here and/or if they wanted to travel to activities for Hardt. They also sat with her at lunch. Germany.” “I told my school friends about hosting months in Before staying with host families in Ladue, the Geradvance, and they were all excited and intrigued,” Guman students visited Chicago for four days. Though the napooti said. “I'm glad I let them know ahead of time, exchange was a lot of work to plan, Lund believes that and they have been really nice and open to her. Luzie it all paid off in the end. This new opportunity provides [told] me she [felt] really comfortable around them.” Ladue adolescents with a way to experience German Hardt has become fond of the Ladue community culture, and it provided German adolescents with the opduring her time here. Not only does she get to interact portunity to experience American culture. with the other German students, but she gets to talk with “I’ve noticed a lot of energy in the Ladue community; Ladue students as well. kids are excited because they get to meet people from an“I like that everyone is so welcoming,” Hardt said. other place and share what’s alike and what’s different,” “My host family [treated] me well and [was] also very Lund said. “The German students made conversations [in welcoming. [Gunapooti] has so much homework to do, the classroom] more interesting.”h but she still hangs out with me.”


double takes senior Ben Sheinbein




actor Christopher Meloni

teacher Laura Berns

What Thanksgiving food are you?


What is your ideal Saturday night?


How would you describe yourself?


What is your favorite subject?


What is your favorite color?


What is your dream career?

a. reading or watching Netflix b. spending time with my family c. hanging out with my friends d. going to a concert

a. cool, calm and collected b. kind and lighthearted c. funny and goofy d. always on the go

a. English b. Math c. Science d. Social Studies

a. Blue b. Purple c. Yellow d. Red

a. Author b. Teacher c. Doctor d. Lawyer

If you answered mostly A, you are turkey. You are reliable and traditional. If you answered mostly B, you are pumpkin pie. Everyone loves you, but you are basic. If you answered mostly C, you are stuffing. You are always salty but everyone’s favorite. If you answered mostly D, you are cranberry sauce. You are tangy but classic.

We scoured the halls in search of Ladue’s best look-alikes... here’s what we found.

actress Jane Kaczmarek

junior Simone Daley

actress Vanessa Hudgens

(Student photos by Lily Hauptman. Celebrity photos courtesy of,,


Application Checklist: Create a Common Application account. Learn information and show interest in colleges by meeting representatives as they visit Ladue. Make a list of colleges to which you are applying and keep it current. Know which colleges on your list require supplemental essays or materials.



Discuss essay topics with someone close to you and have him/her read the final product. Talk to teachers about writing recommendation letters and request them on Family Connection. Complete questionnaire on Family Connection for a counselor recommendation letter. Know application deadlines for colleges and for their scholarships and financial aid. Complete the transcript request form in the College and Career Office 3 weeks prior to first deadline. Send ACT and/or SAT scores to colleges. Hit submit on the application and relax. (Source: Ladue’s college and career office)

EARLY DECISION PROS CONS Applicants are able to learn their admission decision in December. Admission chances can be stronger because of the greater demonstration of interest. The Early Decision pool is generally smaller than regular decision.

23 %

Applicants must make a binding commitment. Applicants may not be able to know all admission decisions for prospective colleges. The applicant pool of Early Decision can be stronger than Regular Decision.

of 113 polled Ladue seniors are applying to a college through Early Decision.


“Balancing my normal schedule with the application process has definitely been a challenge,” senior Melissa Melnick said. “I missed several days of school to go [visit colleges], so making up all of that work was often stressful.” Stress spreads throughout the school. Not only do students feel the load of the college application process, but the teachers who assist students have responsibilities during this time as well. “We all feel hammered pretty thin because teachers have an obligation to keep doing school, and we have an obligation to continue with the work of the course,” Gutchewsky said. “We still have to do our

katie BRY

in-depth editor


cademics. Sports. Activities. Three things that students must balance every year. However, in what is so commonly referred to as the easiest year of high school, complete with senioritis, even more work is piled on in the form of applications, college visits and interviews. English teacher Kim Gutchewsky helps seniors through this process by discussing and editing essays and writing recommendation letters. “The college application process is pretty brutal,” Gutchewsky said. “Students are asked to do an absurd amount of work just to apply for college, so I want STOP putting pressure on yourself. No to be able to help anyway I matter what happens, you will be okay can.” Some of this work includes and find happiness. filling out the Common ApBREATHE in and out. Finding relaxplication, writing essays and ation methods is a key step to discoverproviding various supplemental ing inner peace. materials. Students must also make sure that documents SMILE because you are a senior. Try required by the school get there to enjoy the last few months in the high in time for their application to school environment. be considered. This includes high school transcripts, standardized test scores and recomOn a scale of 1-5 how stressed are mendation letters. Seniors who have gone you from college applications? through the application process now have a better understand40 ing of how to tackle this previ35 ously unfamiliar process. One 30 such senior is Teddy Vincent. 25 “[I advise to] start the pro20 cess early and don’t cut it close 15 with your deadlines,” Vincent 10 said. “It will make everything 5 feel a lot less demanding.” 0 1 4 5 2 3 With deadlines hanging (based on poll of 113 Ladue seniors) over their heads, students feel immense amounts of pressure. This looming pressure from deadlines reading and our writing for in class, and often causes stress for students, according then we are writing letters and doing esto Gutchewsky. says that are also of importance. It is just a “Students have the stress of the deadlot to do all at this time of year.” line, and they have a lot to put together,” Throughout his senior year, Vincent Gutchewsky said. “Even though they have learned to balance his school work and time over the summer to see this train com- soccer season with the application process. ing, that sense of urgency doesn’t always He explained that as soon as he would get kick in to provide the needed momentum home from soccer practice, he had to go to provide the needed materials.” straight to working on essays or suppleGutchewsky explained that when apmentals for college. plying to a variety of colleges, students “My stress levels have definitely can have different essay prompts to which increased,” Vincent said. “But luckily not they must respond. This creates a greater to the point that I am completely dysfuncamount of work for them to complete. She tional.” added that along with the tasks seniors The pressure students put on themselves must undertake in order to apply for colwhile trying to juggle applications and lege, they also must keep up with regular maintain their senior-year grades can take school work. a toll on their mental health. According to

tips to destress

Percentage of people polled


Looking into the magnitude of stress that the college application causes to Ladue seniors district psychologist Maggie Travers, this stress can also materialize into physical ailments such as headaches, sleep deprivation and anxiety. “Some students have become so overwhelmed that they might put off completing the applications or avoid doing school work due to their anxiety level,” Travers said. “They sometimes withdraw from family and friends and forget how to have fun.” Melnick shared that she has had several fights with her parents throughout her stressful college application process. Additionally, Melnick noted that she opted to stay home and work on college essays

about all of the college options out there so Ladue students send applications to a wider variety of colleges.” Another reason Fox encourages students to apply to a variety of colleges is because of “the log jam effect.” He compared students applying Early Decision to a competitive college to when too many logs try to go down one river. When this happens, it is less likely for all of them to be accepted. Melnick is applying Early Decision to the University of Pennsylvania. “For me the most stressful part of college applications has been my route through the athletic recruiting process,” Melnick said. “I began reaching out to coaches the summer after my sophomore year for recruiting purposes.” She visited the university to talk to its coach in the hopes of guaranteeing her admission. However, the coach was not able to secure a spot as she had planned. “Then I had to spend extra time making sure my application represents my qualifications without the comfort of coach support behind me,” Melnick said. After the applications are turned in, stress will begin to diminish. However, even after students finish their application and hit submit, their stress does not always disappear until decisions are made. “The most stressful part of applying to college is all the waiting,” Vincent said. “You have to wait for all your materials to be submitted to each college. You have to wait for scholarship decisions and admissions decisions. It is really frustrating.” Many different factors influence choosing a college and cause seniors stress. For example, the cost of college is the most influential factor in choosing a college, second only to academic programs, according to a voluntary Google Forms poll in which 113 Ladue seniors participated. “Finances are one of the important parameters for families when choosing a college,” Fox said. “We think finances need to be considered when developing a college list, rather than after the admission decisions arrive. We think it makes sense to apply to colleges with finances in mind.” After the stress of getting into college has dissipated, students still must work hard during the second semester. “Second semester [seniors] have to be working for themselves,” Fox said. “It is important that they are not doing it to get into college but they are continuing to work hard to be successful in college.” h

stressed about college apps?

Try these apps to destress Stop, Breathe & Thinkan app that includes mindfulness activities to calm and destress people. After a person describes how he feels, he gets personalized meditation tracks. Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness- provides people with meditation for all levels of experience. This app allows people to track their progress with exercise mindfulness awareness. Essence– Breathing Relaxation- “the world’s simplest breathing relaxation app.” Essence shows people when to breathe in and out for optimal relaxation. instead of going out with her friends on several weekends. “The most stressful part about that is my friends who don’t always understand that I am making decisions to further my success in life,” Melnick said. “I am not trying to personally attack them by not hanging out for a weekend.” Another factor that seniors stress about while applying to college is the selectivity of colleges, according to college and career counselor Ken Fox. He added that he takes pride in the fact that Ladue students will apply and attend different types of schools ranging from large state schools to small private schools. “It is the level of competition at many selective colleges that adds to the stress,” said Fox. “We try to share information




busting college myths

TEST YOURSELF CHECK YOURSELF Private universities always cost more than public universities.

False. Although the sticker prices for a private university can be higher, they can often provide more merit and financial aid compared to public universities.

Grades in senior year will not affect chances of getting into college.

False. The college and career office sends your 7th semester grades to colleges. This means that even in senior year, students must maintain their GPA.

Colleges weigh the importance of an essay differently.

True. While some colleges do not even require a personal statement, others believe it is necessary in order to detect a voice in applicants and thus admit them.

A good activities list will make up for poor grades and test scores.

False. Colleges appreciate well rounded students, however a super-packed activities list will not compensate for low test scores and grades.









the most applications 21 colleges Senior Shirley Gelman

“I’m not sure if I want a big state school or a private medium or small private school. I have visited all the schools I am applying to and I feel like I could be happy anywhere.”

19 colleges Senior Nisha Naseer

“I know what I want to major in and study, but I don’t have a preference as to where I want to go. Choosing after acceptances come in can ensure that I go to the best possible school for me.”

18 colleges Senior Wendi Medler

“I am applying to so many schools so I can have many options because the college I choose determines where my career begins.” (All photos by Katie Bry)

(based on poll of 113 Ladue seniors)




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Dear Meredith, We are so proud of you and all of your accomplishments! You have grown into such a beautiful person, both inside and out. Good luck at Mizzou and remember to call us! Love, Mom, Dad, Kacie, and Boots



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panorama Ladue makes waves


Senior Sit Down Ladue boys’ swim team qualifies

every relay, five individuals to state glen MORGENSTERN


3x8 Reps

How To: Start with legs shoulder width apart. Lift bar to stand straight. Lift the weight with your legs, keeping your back straight. Return down with barbell below your knees, but not on the ground. (Photos by Iyayi Ogbevoen)

Triceps: Skull Crushers

Quads and Hamstrings: Dumbbell Lunges

5x8 Reps

How To: Start with legs straddled in the front and back and with equal weight in both hands. Do a lunge, but do not touch the knee to the ground. Return up in the same spot. Do 15 reps on each leg.

Step 1:

Abs and Core: Knee Tucks

4x10 Reps

How To: Start with a fixed barbell, which has a fixed weight and a curved handle. Keep elbows tucked in and feet on the ground. Lower weight to forehead, but do not touch it. Push up and repeat.

2x20 Reps

Step 2:

Shoulders and Upper Back: Romanian Deadlift

Step 2:

GM: Do you have any preor post-meet traditions? DC: After each meet, I like to go to Chick-Fil-A. Typically, I get a spicy chicken deluxe sandwich.

Simple Stuff To Look Buff Step 1:

GM: Do you have a life motto? What is it? DC: It’s gotta go wrong before it goes right.

achieved most, if not all, of them.” Last year, LIFTING OFF w Waiting on the block, senior the team lost Iyayi Ogbevoen prepares his entrance into the cononly one dual ference tournament. Ogbevoen qualified to state as meet. Howan individual competitor. (Photo by Hannah Gold) ever, their Despite that display of improvement is sportsmanship, there's an aura of tangible. competition on the team. Every “Every person on the team has practice is a chance to improve a place on the team, and when and prove your worth. they believe they have a pur“Coach Gentry wants us to alpose on the team, then they are ways race the person next to us,” inspired to do whatever they can Benduski said. “Even if it’s your to further themselves,” Gentry team member, you always want said. “I look at the statistics of to beat the guy next to you.” the team over the years, and it’s That mantra has proven to be amazing. What might have been useful to the surging swim team. an amazing time three years ago Constant competition pushes the is now standard practice for 75 team to new heights. However, it percent of the team. Ninety-nine comes with a catch. percent of the team is able to “The more we compete achieve something that only 33 amongst each other, the more we percent of the team could do build each other and push each three years ago. That really says other to the next level,” Gentry something about the team.” said. “In practice, I stress that if Another part of the success is you set goals and set your mind the team’s discipline and humilto them, there’s nothing stopping ity. Intense practice after practice you from being very successful. can lead to frustration, but the team keeps a professional image. We compete against each other in the pool, but we also need to pull “Our team has a lot of sportsmanship,” Everaert said. “When- each other up. I want the [swimmers] to become great citizens, ever we finish a race, we always ready to tackle the challenges of shake the guy's hand that swam the world.” h next to us.”

Step 2:

GM: What was your favorite Ladue cross country experience or tradition? DC: When we have a meet out of town, we have a tradition of playing hide-and-seek in hotel rooms with the lights off. Trying to find everybody was a highlight.

“The swimming team has been building for a couple of years now,” Coach Hap Gentry said. “It’s not that we just miraculously became good, but we’ve been developing talent for a number of years. The [athletes] are just starting to show themselves. We have depth and strength, and it’s starting to come to fruition.” The improvement isn’t coming from nowhere. Hard work and determination from the entire Ladue swim team in practice led to its rise in every single area of the sport.

Step 1:

GM: Who is your role model in sports and why? DC: My role models in sports were my cross country captains George Garner and Cal Weisman. They were really good at pushing me to run well.

espite its undeniable catchiness, the phrase “watershed moment” does not accurately describe the swim team’s run of success this season. With a record of 9-0 in dual meets, the team has been a powerhouse in its conference. It’s a slight improvement from last year’s accomplishments, but considering the graduation of last year’s seniors, this year’s ascension is even more impressive.

Step 1:

Glen Morgenstern: When did you start getting interested in cross country? Devin Callahan: I read this book called “Born to Run.” It basically said that anybody could be good at running. I was interested and wanted to know a little bit more about it.

sports editor

“We aren’t lacking strength in any one stroke,” junior Alex Benduski said. “We have good breast strokers, we have good butterflyers, we have good backstrokers and freestylers, but that’s not just true for the first relay. Other teams might have the same speed as our first relay, but our second, third and fourth relays put in a lot of work, and they’re really fast.” Some important seniors graduated, but it doesn’t appear to be a problem. A surge of young swimmers this year has revitalized the swim team’s core. “A lot of new swimmers came in, and it’s their first time swimming in a race, but they love being a part of the team,” senior Cedrick Everaert said. “Practices can be hard, but competition can be fun. A lot of the young guys have worked hard to improve.” That work has paid off. The team has qualified all three relays and five individual athletes to state, an incredible amount for one team. “We’ve had a lot more discipline,” junior Reid Rogers said. “We’ve all been there at practice doing the hard work that’s necessary, and at meets we perform just like we should. We set our goals pretty high, but we

Step 2:

Each month, Panorama sits down with a senior athlete. This month’s featured player is cross country runner Devin Callahan.

How To: Start holding a pull-up bar with feet off the ground. While keeping the knees together, raise the knees to a 90 degree angle. Return back down, keeping knees bent and together. (Photos by Sam Shevitz)

panorama Leaving everything but the skates



Sophomore hockey player transfers to St. Louis from Nebraska to pursue a career on the ice sam SHEVITZ sports editor


magine you are 15 years old, a sophomore in high school. You have the opportunity to pursue a new life in a new city, playing the sport you love, but you have to leave your friends, family and team behind. Sophomore Evan Ross did just this by moving from Omaha, Nebraska to St. Louis simply to play hockey. Ross transferred to Ladue this summer after he tried out for and made the St. Louis AAA Blues team. “It was weird at first moving to a house with new people and new faces,” Ross said. “For hockey players, [moving for sports] is pretty normal, but the average person would probably never do it.” Ross is billeting with another family, which means that the family volunteered to have Ross live with them while he plays for the Blues. Though difficult for the players, it is the most common way of living in a new city for hockey players moving to play. Ross is billeting with his teammate, MICDS freshman Jack Williams.


“It’s weird being on your own. week. The team travels all across “It was a little awkward when There’s a lot more time managehe first came [to live with us],” the country and even to Canada ment stuff and responsibility that to play against other teams. Williams said. “He had to get I have to do,” Ross said. “My used to the school schedule and This year will be Ross’s dad was all for the idea, but my hockey schedule. Also, it’s hard fourth year playing AAA hockey. mom was a little skeptical about to ask for something from someHe played three years for Omaha the idea of me moving to be with before making the Blues. one else, and Evan has grown to another family at 15.” ask my mom or my dad for help “I heard good things about Ross made the Blues’ U-16 when he needs it.” the program and knew kids on team and quickly became friends the team from previous hockey Williams, the AAA Blues with another Ladue student, goalie, has developed a close camps that I had been to,” Ross junior Zach Levy, who tried out relationship with his new billet said. “When I was in Omaha, I and made the same team this brother and teammate. Even knew I would have to move to summer. Levy, who has lived though they go to different high play hockey, and St. Louis was here his whole life, plays for La- the closest place to home that I schools, Ross has felt very comdue hockey and the AAA Blues. fortable during his time with the could play.” Williams family. Although Ross lives in the “It is like having another district and attends Ladue, There’s a lot more time managesibling living in your house. the Mid-States Club Hockey ment stuff and responsibility. My dad We don’t do everything Association has a 365 day together, but we usually play was all for the idea, but my mom restriction for billeting payers. very competitive ping pong,” was a little skeptical of me moving to The billet players must live in Williams said. “We do home- be with another family at 15. the district for one year before work together and help each they are eligible for high sophomore Evan Ross other out because we usually school play. Thus, Ross cannot procrastinate on all of our yet play for the Ladue team. “It says a lot about hockey in homework.” “I was disappointed that I St. Louis that people are moving Ross transferred from Omacouldn’t play for Ladue, but my here just to play for our team,” ha’s AAA hockey team to the main focus is AAA,” Ross said. Levy said. “Last year we had AAA Blues. Tryouts happened “The Blues have a great program over the summer, and Ross is one five players get picked in the and the coaching staff always has first round of the NHL draft, so it the players’ best interest in mind. of only two players who moved really shows that we are serious from out of town to play for the After the Blues program, I’m competitors here in St. Louis.” team. For Ross, the move was hoping to move on to the USHL The Blues meet for workouts, more than a matter of hockey, it and get a scholarship to play practices or games five days a was a big step in his life. Division I hockey.”h

Noteworthy Number


The average points per game the Ladue varsity football team scored this season, as of Nov. 2. At 9-1, the team looks to clear their path to the state championship in their new class, class 4. The team expects to get far into the tournament this year. So far, the team has gotten by on an efficient offense and great communication. “Our offense is firing on all cylinders,” senior Evan Mack said. “We have strong players in every position. It’s not every day when you have a team that meshes as well as we do. The chemistry is something pretty special, and that will help us get to our goal of winning state.”

Mark Your Calendar Time





9:30 p.m.

Varsity Hockey

Eureka High School

Brentwood Ice Arena


8:15 p.m.

Varsity Hockey

Parkway South High School

Queeny Park Ice Arena


5:25 p.m.

Boys’ Basketball

St. Charles High School


7:45 p.m.

Varsity Hockey


Brentwood Ice Arena


7:00 p.m.

Boys’ Basketball

Ritenour High School

Ladue High School Gym


5:00 p.m.

Boys’ Varsity Wrestling

Pkwy. Central and more

Ladue High School Gym


5:00 p.m.

Boys’ Varsity Wrestling

John Burroughs and more


6:00 p.m.

Girls’ Basketball

McCluer North High School

Ladue High School Gym


6:00 p.m.

Girls’ Basketball

Oakville High School

Ladue High School Gym

Ft. Zumwalt North Upper Gym

J. Burroughs Taylor Athletic Center


A lil’ advice



Staff Editorial

College essays do not portray applicants honestly


n ng






features editor

n the world of ballet, there exist two different, yet equally impressive groups of people. There are jumpers, dancers who can spring and leap without huffing and puffing, and turners, dancers who can twirl endlessly without fear of falling or failing. I, however, fit into neither group– a turmper, if you will. It is not that I fit into both groups because I am a true prodigy; I am not a “typical” or “gifted” dancer, and I am not stick thin with long hair made for a bun. Yet attempting to échappé or pirouette forces me to realize that I do not have to be the greatest, strongest or smartest to experience happiness. In fact, the main reason that I enjoy dancing is that I am not a prima ballerina, a dancing superstar or particularly talented. First, dancing has taught me to lose myself. After 15 minutes at the ballet barre, I forget that I have a physics assignment, an English paper and math homework due the next day. Instead, I focus on the placement of my spine and the elongation of my arms, not fearing that I’m not the best– because I know I’m not. In Sparkle practice, the feeling is similar. By the time we do our team huddle at the end of practice, my feelings of stress have entirely subsided. It doesn’t matter that my star jump may not be the highest; I care, I smile and I laugh. Second, dancing allows me to further my education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students involved in extracurricular activities are more likely to find success in school. I need structure in my day, and knowing that dance starts at a specific time every night forces me to finish as much of my homework I can by the time I throw a leotard and tights in my bag and twirl off to ballet. Behavior, according to “Positive Effects of Extracurricular Activities on Students,” also improves with involvement in extracurricular activities. During ballet, my class of 18 dancers is silent, listening intently to my teacher. After the ballet class, the students curtsey to my teacher. Though the curtsey may be short, it has taught me about how to behave properly in front of my elders. Additionally, ballet educates me about respect for my peers. After a classmate performs a combination well, my teacher often asks that student to demonstrate those steps to the rest of the class. At first, I felt a twinge of jealousy as my teachers applauded other dancers. Eventually, however, I discovered that my teacher did not have malicious intents; she wanted us to learn. I now clap, understanding that every student should experience her moment in the spotlight– on the stage or in the class. Lastly, dancing– or not being good at dancing– constantly reminds me of the value of hard work. While other girls may have naturally beautiful arches and point their feet with ease, in order to achieve a semi-arched foot, I must work twice as hard. Next time you ponder whether you fit in as a jumper or a turner– don’t. You do not need to be “good” at something to succeed. I am a mediocre dancer and I am proud of that. h

The first semester of senior year entails college applications and many sleepless nights. With so much to do and so little time, students often stress over their to-do lists. At the top of the list is writing college essays. Many universities accept the Common Application, whereas others require additional writing supplements or a completely different application. The primary concern with writing college essays lies in whether admissions officers will find them unique enough to warrant acceptance into the university. Although the purpose of these essays is to provide colleges with a deeper look into an applicant’s life, many students begin to cater toward the admissions officers, only including information that makes them look good. It’s human nature to want to please; if given standards to meet, people will rise to the occasion. This explains the porcelain façade of a student’s college essays. The person described in the essay doesn’t entirely match up with the real person. But how can students write about the experiences that make them unique when admissions officers seem to be searching for certain qualities? To satisfy this desire, writers just stuff their applications with achievements and qualifications, losing the original point of the essay: to learn about the applicants. Colleges should make it their goal to incentivize candidness in essays. Many students hire tutors to help them with college essays. The tutors know the inner workings of the higher education system and guide students with how to answer the prompts. For example, a common question asks applicants about their favorite books. By their senior year, most students barely ever read

(Photo by Katie Bry)

“I support Hillary Clinton because I don’t support Donald Trump.” –Junior Tre Merritt

(Photo by Aaron Greenberg)

“I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and has a good sense of economics, which could put this country where it needs to be. –Junior Max Kitsis

for fun. According to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that benefits youth, less than 45 percent of teenagers read for pleasure in 2014. With so few seniors reading outside of school, how can a student honestly say that he or she has a favorite book besides something that he or she read in middle school? In such instances, tutors will tell students what colleges are looking for. Most students end up writing about a book that a high school English class required them to read, like “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “In Cold Blood,” even if they didn’t actually enjoy these books. Many companies capitalize on the college essay writing frenzy. Rush Essay and SuperiorPapers are two such companies that specialize in custom essay writing, ranging from college application pieces to research papers. Writers from both companies have said that the industry has grown immensely in the last few years. The increase in students using these services proves the growing pressure and importance of well-written essays. Ideally, admissions staff should reevaluate their criteria when it comes to reading college essays. Despite the stress and imperfections of the college applications system, students should strive to put their best foot forward while maintaining honesty. h (Unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board.)

Corrections from 10/12 Pg. 9– Gunnar Sinnett’s name was spelled incorrectly. Pg. 12– As of press time, the soccer team’s record was 23-1.

Whom do Ladue students support for the election? And why?

(Photo by Aaron Greenberg)

“I... [support] Donald Trump because I believe in his tax policy, his foreign policy and his trade deals.” –Sophomore Tripp Lochmoeller

(Photo by Julia Biest)

“I support Hillary Clinton because she supports women’s rights, and [she] is an activist for minorities.” –Junior Noor Rahman




Is the Pledge of Allegiance still needed?


The Pledge helps foster the national identity grace KIM

opinions writer


he date is Sept. 11, 2001. A deafening rumble fills the air as two towers collapse. In an explosion of smoke and debris, some scream and run in terror, others helplessly stare at the chaos while many others are gripped with fear. In such a crisis, where fear and suspicion run rampant, the country needs to be united. Even something as simple as the Pledge of Allegiance, consisting of just 39 words, is a crucial reminder of the sense of community essential to the United States. Though some may view the Pledge as an unnecessary part of the American creed, its importance is not in its mindless recitation but the significance behind its words. Because of the lack of zeal at the beginning of the 1890s when the patriotic fervor of the Civil War was an old memory, Francis Bellamy, the original author of the Pledge, wrote it with the belief that “it should invoke allegiance,” according to The Smithsonian Magazine. The Pledge of Allegiance was simply intended as a means to help bridge the gap between Americans after a crisis involving national identity. Much like how the U.S. was divided between Northern and Southern values during the Civil War, the country has faced and always will face issues that pit the views of citizens against each other. According to the Associated Press, “most Americans expect the U.S. to fight in another war in the coming years.” And when such a problem arises, the Pledge can serve as a common link between the division; it appeals to the patriotism of all citizens to overcome differences


for the sake of their country. This extra boost of patriotism might be needed in the upcoming years. According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of adults saying they are “extremely proud” to be American is at 52 percent, the lowest it has been in 16 years, with millennials and liberals accounting for the least patriotic groups. It might be that people don’t like the direction in which America is headed, or they’ve become indifferent to their national identity. But how will they act in times of national crisis when the country can only rise through citizens’ faith in it? However small it may be, the Pledge may allow people to look beyond their dissatisfactions with the country and give an oath of loyalty to help the nation, not just criticize it. This increased patriotism will be essential to making Americans feel proud of the United States’ increasingly dynamic demographics. According to Pew Research Center, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority by 2055. Much of this change has been, and will be, driven by immigration. Nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the U.S. in the past 50 years. With this dramatic influx of immigrants and cultures, it is even more important that the various cultures feel united and bonded under one country to get through difficult times. Despite the controversy surrounding the Pledge of Allegiance, its intention is pure: to unite the people and rekindle loyalty to the country. It has been ruled in the Supreme Court that no one should be forced to say it, of course, and anyone who does not wish to say it has the constitutional right to withhold. But perhaps as an American, above other things, one has a duty to prioritize and encourage the strengthening of a national identity.h

Polls of the People Which of the following continents would you like to go to on an exchange student program? Read more about German exchange students on pg. 7.

Australia South America 5% 15% North America 4%

Asia 12% 4% Africa

60% Europe

Of the following, who is your favorite 2016 Olympic female gymnast? Read more about gymnastics on pg. 6.




The Pledge is not applicable to today’s public

mackenzie HINES-WILSON

opinions writer


isabella FU


or decades, Americans have adopted the ultimate expression of American loyalty, the Pledge of Allegiance, into their daily lives. The Pledge is said in schools, at major sporting events and at congressional meetings. Recently, however, many criticisms of the Pledge have arisen, and with good reason. Our American identity has changed dramatically since the Pledge’s official recognition by the U.S. Congress in 1942, making some aspects of it unsuitable for the current population. One line in the Pledge makes it particularly controversial. Added to the Pledge in 1954, the phrase “under God” was formally adopted into the Pledge after the Red Scare, the widespread fear of communist influences after World War II, according to The New York Times. This addition may have provided a greater sense of unity and safety to the nation, which was predominantly Christian during that time, but it failed to foresee and adjust to the nation’s ever-changing religious demographics. Economic globalization and improved transportation systems have brought waves of immigrants from diverse cultures and religions to the U.S. Many of these immigrants aren’t Christian and may feel uncomfortable reciting the line “under God,” which is obviously referring to the Christian God. The religious aspect of the Pledge becomes even more concerning when the government interferes. The state of Missouri issued a law Aug. 29 mandating that all public schools recite the Pledge every school day. By doing

so, the government infringes upon one of the nation’s founding principles–the separation of church and state–as acknowledged in the First Amendment. Furthermore, the Pledge as a whole raises concerns. Children as young as 5 years of age recite the Pledge weekly, if not daily, at school without the ability to comprehend its meaning. Years of casual recitation eventually transform the Pledge into a sort of mindless propaganda– a forced, obligatory action that only incites dread and annoyance after time. Yes, the Pledge was adopted with the intention to foster a sense of national unity, but this role has diminished throughout the centuries. Many people don’t want to say the Pledge because they don’t believe they’ve experienced this so-called national unity. This was exactly the case for Dena Vardaxis, according to Boston’s public radio station WBUR-FM. When her daughter asked her what the Pledge meant, Vardaxis struggled to support its intended representation of liberty, freedom and allegiance. As an immigrant, Vardaxis and her family were often met with people’s stares and judgements, making her feel alienated from the rest of society. Vardaxis and others in similar situations don’t feel comfortable reciting a pledge that conflicts with their own view of American unity. Granted, no one is legally required to recite the Pledge, but social pressures make it almost impossible to not say it. By not standing up and reciting the Pledge, one is automatically assumed to be some sort of social protester or critic. Some people might use their silence as a form of protest, but others may use it simply because they don’t believe mindless recitation is necessary to show their national pride. h


24% 18%


9% 5% 0

Laurie Gabby Simone Madison Aly Biles Kocian Raisman Hernandez Douglas

How often do you think you should be required to say the pledge of allegiance? Read more about this topic on this page.

44% of students said once a week 28% of students said never 21% of students said every day 7% of students said ‘other’ (Survey based on 311 people sampled)




PHOTO michael BURKE photo editor



he world was shocked Oct. 27 when Twitter declared that Vine, the once-beloved 6-second video creation app, social media platform and bright spot on the Internet that it acquired in 2012 would be shut down. Vine had more than 200 million active users at its height, but recent months have seen far less activity and many “Vine Stars” have deferred to other social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Twitter said that the website will remain online for now so that people can still “watch all the incredible Vines that have been made,” but future plans are unclear. We asked 230 Ladue students to pick their favorite Vine from a list of ten viral Vines, and these are the results. RIP Vine. You will be missed.h

Check out to view these Vines and more stories online.



1 “LEBRON JAMES” Post Date: 6/27/14 76,831,261 loops 813.7k likes 523.9k revines


4 “When you are really good at pretending to like your birthday gifts..” Post Date: 8/7/15 119,786,638 loops 653.2k likes 321.0k revines

“#TurnipForWhat?” Post Date: 12/29/14 52,724,012 loops 352.1k likes 190.0k revines



“grandma loves ping pong.” Post Date: 2/25/15 59,918,345 loops 609.9k likes 373.3k revines

“I got my hater blockers on” Post Date: 6/15/14 39,386,056 loops 538.2k likes 371.9k revines

“who is she” Post Date: 7/2/15 114,526,692 loops 692.6k likes 344.9k revines


“skittles” Post Date: 5/30/13 59,851,487 loops 845.8k likes 530.3k revines


“Happy Fourth of July!!” Post Date: 7/4/14 91,040,431 loops 600.7k likes 398.0k revines


“She’s speechless” Post Date: 4/2/14 24,912,363 loops 415.9k likes 243.1k revines

“(No Caption)” Post Date: 12/29/14 58,788,528 loops 795.6k likes 402.2k revines

Profile for Ladue Publications

Panorama Nov 2016  

Panorama Nov 2016