HO HO HO!
Happy holidays from the LV staff
Volume 62, Issue 3 Friday, December 20 2013
LAKE VIEWS The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School
Band, Orchestra and Choir concert trifecta invigorate audiences for the holiday season
By Emily Elott
By Nathan Redinbo
Dave Matthys pulled out all of his favorites, in his last winter band concert as LOHS’s band conductor. Aiming to get listeners into the holiday spirit, Matthys selected festive pieces for each of the four bands (wind ensemble, jazz, concert, symphonic) with origins everywhere from Scotland, Ireland, England, Korea, and, of course, traditional American holiday songs. Matthys said, “This year, I am playing some of my all-time favorite pieces. I’ve chosen my greatest hits.” The winter concert this year featured 14 pieces. Matthys is particularly fond of one in particular, “Sleigh Ride,” played by wind ensemble. “Sleigh ride is a piece well-known through American culture. You can’t help getting into the holiday spirit when you listen to this song,” he said. Casey Lum, a sophomore in symphonic and jazz band, however, had other favorites, “My favorite songs were “Moment’s Notice” because it has a great groove and makes me want to dance, and the Nutcracker Suite because I love Tchaikovsky and it is a very festive and traditional song.” The main emphasis in this year’s winter concert featured an immense variety of tones and styles of pieces. One piece, played by wind ensemble, called Bugler’s Holiday emphasized three trumpet soloists: seniors Jamie Zimmerman, Joel Kwartler and Matt Agritelley. “There was a lot of technical faculty involved, which made it very difficult, but I think that we were all honored to perform this piece, especially our senior year,” said Zimmerman. Jazz Band played everything from John Coltraine’s A Moment’s Notice to God Rest You Merry Gentleman. Lum, who plays euphonium in jazz band, said, “What I like about the band program is that we’re challenged to be good musicians, but Mr. Matthys’ emphasis is on us enjoying music and learning.” This was Matthys’ last winter concert, as he is retiring at the end of the year. Matthys said, “I haven’t really thought about this being my last winter concert. I’ve been so busy with all the bands. It probably won’t hit me until this spring.” He continued, “All the bands are doing wonderfully. All are strong.”
The Winter Choir concert on Dec. 16 was the perfect way to bring the holiday spirit to LOHS this winter. The variety of songs warmed the hearts of those who arrived that evening as the singing groups joined together to give the audience a great performance. Choir Director Cole Blume was excited by this year’s performance. Blume has been the choir director at LOHS for six years now and one of his favorite parts of the job is the concerts. The various singing groups have been preparing for over two months, long before the holidays even begin. Blume’s favorite part about teaching choir? “I really enjoy the process of rehearsing, the process that everybody goes through to learn the music,” Blume said. The night started off with the Laker Choir performing “Baloo Baleerie” and “The Sound of Pipe and Drum.” Though the Laker Choir has fewer members than other groups, they offered the audience a wonderful preview of what would be coming their way that evening. The Windjammers brought their usual display of variety to the performance, singing classics such as “Silver Bells” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” but also bringing fresh songs such as “S’Vivon”, a Traditional Hanukkah tune. They also sang “Carol of the Bells,” a beautiful song that echoed throughout the packed auditorium. Bel Canto sang an Austrian carol by the name of “Still, Still, Still” that was ‘achingly beautiful’ as Blume put it, as well as a Russian Yiddish folksong “Tum Balalayka.” Treble Choir sang “In Winter” and “Hanerot Halalu.” A Cappalla performed holiday classics “Alleluia,” “Suo Gan” and “Deck the Halls.” Haley Simms, a soprano member of A Cappella, was enthusiastic for the performance. “We’ve been rehearsing a lot, spending a lot of time singing,” Simms said. That rehearsal time was obvious for all the groups on stage that evening. To end the evening, the massed Choirs performed “White Christmas,” and then the audience joined in for a rousing chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” a traditional Scottish holiday song. One thing was clear at the end of the night: the singing groups at LOHS have spent a lot of time preparing for this concert and the effort paid off. One concert-goer happily exclaimed, “That was the happiest I’ve been all month!”
By Farah Alkayed This last tuesday the LOHS Orchestra performed at their Winter Concert. They have been diligently preparing these pieces for two months and were happy to perform them for an audience. Their orchestra teachers, Anna Trobaugh and Nina Van Pelt, has been helping them to perfect these pieces was excited to finally show the product of all their hard work. The Winter Orchestra Concert is one out of six concerts prepared throughout the year, and includes a variety of winter-themed pieces. “My favorite part was getting a chance to perform in my ensemble,” said sophomore Sarah Wallin, who plays the viola in the Orchestra. The Winter Concert is unique from other concerts because it features ensembles prepared by the students. They chose pieces to perform that fit their skill level and highlighted their talents, and also chose a group of friends to perform the pieces with. The ensembles included seasonal pieces such as Faith Noelle, “Hanukkah oh Hanukkah”, and “Polar Express.” These ensemble offer a unique way or students to play with their own peers and choose pieces specific to their skill level and preference. “They’re a good way to showcase unique skills in small groups,” explained Wallin, “It helps to highlight students’ individual talents.” Wallin’s ensemble performed “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” Other pieces included, “Hanukkah oh Hanukkah,” and “Polar Express.” The ensembles performed skillfully and the students also mastered their group piece, where they performed “Faith Noelle.” The concert went very well and was a great way to showcase the outcome of the student’s hard work and practice. “It went really well and the ensembles were very original,” said sophomore Amir Vesagh, who plays the violin. The orchestra has already begun to prepare for their next concert, which is going to be at state. Trobaugh and Van Pelt have been helping them practice their pieces and sharpen their skills with their instruments. “They keep us organized and give us a lot of time and resources,” said Vesagh.
Lakers join together to help the hungry By Olivia Fuson
Haley Bertelsen/Lake Views
LOHS is actively working to beat Lakeridge’s number of cans and reach the goal of 30,000 cans.
13.6 percent of households—more than 500,000 Oregonians—suffered food insecurity in 2010-2012, according to a survey done by USDA. The Oregon Food Bank reports than over 270,000 of the hungry in Oregon receive emergency food boxes each month, 92,000 of them children. Hunger is an ongoing problem spanning across the globe, and reaching into Oregon as well. That’s why, this holiday season, Lakers have been trying to make a difference. The entire school has banded together in this year’s canned food drive, in hopes of helping out some of the hungry. Senior Jamie Zimmerman, member of ASB, is one of the leaders orchestrating the canned food drive. “It’s an annual thing,” Zimmerman said, “but it wasn’t successful until last year.” Last year LOHS came in first, raising more cans than all of the other schools competing in the drive, with a total of over 30,000 cans. “This year most other schools have raised about 5,000 cans, but Lakeridge has already raised over 25, 000,” Zimmerman explained. Our school is one of the last to participate in the drive, and so will be the final school with a chance to out-fundraise Lakeridge. To get students more involved with the drive, an in-school competition has been organized as well. “It’s a competition between all of the A2 classes in each department,” said Zimmerman,
“and the winning class will receive the golden can-trophy and a donut party.” However, although all of these competitions are fun and exciting, it’s important to remember the true purpose of the drive: to help those less fortunate without the means to purchase adequate nourishment. Zimmerman said that “this year LOHS is donating to the Oregon Food Bank and Tualatin School-House Pantry.” The Oregon Food Bank is one of the largest distributors of food to the hungry in Oregon. According to its website, it has donated over a million emergency boxes of food each year for the past three years in a row. Since the beginning of the Recession in 2008, the Oregon Food Bank reports that their emergency food box distribution has increased by 41 percent. With a greater amount of hunger, food donations become even more important to combatting hunger state-wide. The Tualatin School-House Pantry is more local, providing assistance to people living in the Tualatin, Durham, West Linn and Lake Oswego areas. It provides 5,000 lbs. of food for the homeless each month, and is essential in providing for the hungry locally. December 20 is the last day of the Drive, and results will (hopefully) be out that day. However, win or lose, it doesn’t matter as much as the lives aided by the donation of a simple can of food. Congratulations, Lakers, on helping to make a change this season. Thank you for all of your support and participation.
Katie Brauti continues to take bites out of the elephant
December 20, 2013
By Jack Mclean and Haley Bertelsen Late on Nov. 22, news shocked the LO community as word came that juniors Katie Brauti, Madison Focht and Maddie Owens were involved in a head-on collision. All three were rushed to OHSU; Focht and Owens were released soon after, but Brauti remains in a coma. Ever since, community members from West Linn to Jesuit have showered the Brautis with prayers and support. The day after the incident, students and families gathered in the lobby of LOHS to pray and send encouragement to the girls’ families. The following week schools from all over the Portland area sent in posters and letters wishing the girls a speedy recovery. Family friend Barbara Hamachek set up a Facebook page for the purpose of keeping everyone up to date on their recovery process. With each new update, followers were given an opportunity to support Katie by partaking in small activities that she enjoys. Students did planks in the hall in honor of Katie’s passion for athletics.Close friends of Katie worked with art teacher Katie Brink creating wristbands reading “Team Katie.” They later distributed the bands to students as means of uniting the school in time of great distress. Since the accident, Katie was moved from the ICU and her wounds are healing. She has yet to fully awaken, but has fought through the worst of it. She has recently shown signs of consciousness. Family members and friends have called her steps of progress “bites of the elephant.” Recently, she mimicked her father’s “I love you” gesture in sign language, which her father showed her everyday before going to bed. This was a major step in Katie’s recovery, and hopefully she will continue these “bites of the elephant” until she awakens from her coma.
International agreements help economy but ruins lives By Travis Toal Eight years ago, four nations from South America and Asia created the vague Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement to help “strengthen the special links of friendship,” according to the text. In 2010, negotiations began with many other countries to create an expanded agreement call the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The additions include restrictive Intellectual Property rules, proposed by representatives of the United States. Despite the fact that the agreement would affect all citizens in the member nations, there has been little media coverage. The reason for this is simple: negotiations have been made
in secret with no public transparency, until November of this year. On November 13, Julian Assange and Kristinn Hrafnsson of WikiLeaks released a current draft of the treaty’s chapter on Intellectual Property Rights to the public. The greatly expanded ability of corporations to sue Internet Service Providers, as well as individual citizens, for copyright infringement is very similar to recent proposed bills in the United States, such as SOPA and PIPA. Any resemblance between these bills is understandable, because those portions of the TPP were taken directly from the text of SOPA and PIPA. However, the increased control of companies in the agreement is not limited to the entertainment industry. After leaking the docu-
Lake Views The official student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Jessica Pollard & Zoë Wong MANAGING EDITOR Cassandra Cumberland NEWS EDITOR Jack McLean FEATURES/A&E EDITOR Ruby King
OPINIONS EDITOR Natalie Skowlund
SPORTS EDITOR Allison Kantor
COPY EDITOR Daniel Vogel
PHOTO EDITOR Shannon Elliot
REPORTERS Farah Alkayed, Lauren Anderson, Antonia Arlt, Haley Bertelsen, Eamon Colbert, Cassandra Cumberland, Jessi Daly, Gabriel Edwards, Shannon Elliot, Emily Ellott, Olivia Fuson, Allison Kantor, Ruby King, Jack McLean, Blake Mindemann, Mckenna Murray, Bridget Myers, Meghana Mysore, Jeske Paanakker, Grace Park, Jessica Pollard, Nathan Redinbo, Natalie Skowlund, Travis Toal, Claire Torkelson, Daniel Vogel, Daniel Williams, Zoë Wong ADVISER Stephanie Leben Lake Views is a free press and a forum for student expression. Lake Views is a member of the NW Scholastic Press.
ment, Kristinn Hrafnsson stated, “If you look specifically at the chapter that we released… people will often associate that simply with the music industry and illegal downloads of films etc., but this has a much bigger scope… We are talking about a patent on medical procedures. We are talking about extending the lifetime of patents on drugs which will make it of course much more difficult to produce cheaper generic drugs, which are essential for poor countries and the healthcare.” The impact of strengthening pharmaceutical companies’ monopolies on medicines is that less-developed countries will have a harder time obtaining drugs for their citizens. Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders have spoken about the devastating con-
sequence this would have on poorer nations, which depend on the availability of generic medicines to fight disease. These effects wouldn’t only occur in faraway countries, however. Its influence would be felt by millions of Americans through inflated costs of commonplace medicines such as insulin. There is a trade-off between the financial prosperity of individuals and the economic success of a nation. “It becomes a matter of perspective. Is it more important to protect capitalism or human rights?” asks social-studies teacher Jefferson Moore. “If your goal is to help the economy, this agreement is great. If your goal is to help everybody, improve the condition and welfare of everybody, it’s not.”
MAX bridge shows names are important By Meghana Mysore It lies looming, elusive and unknown. The Willamette rests underneath its arched surface. The question is, what will it be called? Trimet’s new bridge over the Willamette has yet to be named. Its location in Portland, though, suggests a name specific and unique to Portland’s weirdness and thrill. The problem is that no one seems to be able to include all of the bridge’s mystical lure into one all-encompassing name. One suggestion for the bridge includes naming it after the Simpsons. The practicality of this suggestion has yet to be evaluated. Anyhow, like The Oregonian points out, the naming of this bridge will ultimately be a test of “wit, soul, and good sense,” in addition to capturing the right “words and tone.” Perhaps Portlanders should consider other bridges’ names when trying to name to this bridge. When one looks back at other names, he will notice an unmistakable pattern—everything is named after its purpose. For example, in Redding, California, there’s a bridge with a tower that acts like a sundial, and thus, it is called the Sundial Bridge. The Bridge of Gods across the Columbia River evokes a feeling of wonder and awe in all sightseers, due to its name. Perhaps people must consider what feelings they want to evoke with the TriMet’s new bridge. The naming of this bridge, in a way, is much like the naming of a child. Naming is inevitably such a vital part of one’s culture and has been engrained into a person’s past and future. A person’s name is carried with him
throughout his life. A name should mean something. However, other bridge names such as Hawthorne, Sellwood, Burnside, Morrison and Fremont are named after random obscure men. And most likely, as people pass by these bridges, they don’t even think of these old guys. It is possible, though, that names really aren’t as important as people make them out to be. After all, no one truly thinks about one’s name every single day. So, in reality, it doesn’t matter what the MAX bridge is named. In Oregon, colleges are named to commemorate old and important individuals, such as Lewis and Clark College, and its namesakes, the explorers Lewis and Clark. No one forgets the importance of Lewis and Clark, even though one could argue they don’t have a direct impact on a person’s daily life anymore. Names are about a remembrance; a remembrance of something that should not be lost, but that can be lost easily. Even though no child can choose his or her name, he or she has to live with the name. And though people may stress about names too much, they rightfully do so. The TriMet bridge overlooking the Willamette river deserves a name—a name that is Portland-y, unique, and that rings true. It deserves a name that, when people look back on it, creates an unexplainable kind of fascination and wonder. No one can choose his name. No one can decide whether or not he will be remembered. However, everyone can try to be remembered—and Portland’s new MAX bridge deserves this chance.
‘Book Thief’ wows audiences
‘Anatomy of a Single Girl’ provides guide for love-struck teenagers but not much else By Farah Alkayed “Anatomy of a Single Girl” by Daria Snadowsky is the sequel to “Anatomy of a Boyfriend.” This book picks up at Dominique’s first days beginning her college premed. She is looking forward and recovering from a breakup with her last boyfriend, which was documented in Snadowsky’s first book of the series. She meets an amazing new guy in her first few days of her premed and falls for him immediately. The book follows her struggle to balance her relationships, friendships and college, as well as dealing with the challenges she faces and her new experiences. Dominique’s internal monologue throughout the book is extremely relatable to anyone dealing with similar problems. She deals with these problems in the same way as every teenage girl, not always so gracefully, but it truly captures the state of mind she is experiencing. The book is at times shallow, but proves it purpose in illustrating the mind of a single girl. This also creates a very specific target audience. This novel is recommended to teenage girls who relate to Dominique’s struggles, but it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. The book’s main focus is Dominique’s struggle with her relationships. It focuses on her relationship with Guy and her struggle to overcome her breakup with her long-term boyfriend. Since much of the book focuses on her conflicting feelings about her relationships with guys, it can seem shallow at times. However, Dominique’s attitude about her relationships, which are at times indecisive and shallow, offer a unique lens into the mind of a single teenage girl. Despite seeming superficial at first glance, Snadowsky proves her purpose to convey the anatomy of a single girl. Dominique’s relationship with Guy continuously changes and fluctuates between a re-
lationship, a friendship, and a friendship with benefits. The couple also can’t seem to agree on the important aspects of the relationship, like whether or not they should end it before the summer begins. Guy suggests that the two should keep their friendship afterwards, but Dominique maintains an all-or-nothing attitude. The struggles of their relationship is very relatable to readers and educates young girls reading to the complications of a relationship, serious or otherwise. Not only does it deal with heartache, but with the finer points of a relationship like the thin line between dating and friends with benefits. Snadowsky also touches on the details of sexual aspect of their relationship and Dominique’s struggles with becoming comfortable with her sexuality. Snadowsky also skillfully conveys the struggles of balancing all the different aspects of life. Dominique has man problems throughout the book where she can’t seem to balance her relationships with her schoolwork. Her premed takes up a lot of her free time, but she soon realizes dating Guy has become another full-time job. She sacrifices work-hours to enjoy be with him, and deals with the consequences of it. She also struggles to maintain her friendships and her relationship with her parents, who she began to neglect as her time was consumed by college and her relationship with Guy. I highly recommend this book to people dealing with similar problems to Dominique, but would be wary of lending a copy to anyone other than teenage girls. Snadowsky does an exceptional job at dissecting the mind of a teenage girl and creating an extremely relatable novel. Although shallow at times, the book also works to educate readers on the finer points of relationships and the methods used to deal with them.
‘Would you like a tour?’ Portland says yes By Cassandra Cumberland
Drake’s “Would you like a tour?’ stopped in Portland on December 3 at the Moda Center.
Aubrey Drake Graham, previously known as teen-lover-boy Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian drama Degrassi, performed under his mononym, Drake, on Dec 4 at the Moda Center. “Starting from the bottom now [he] up,” Drake signed with Lil Wayne’s Record Label: Young Money Entertainment, in 2009 and dropped his first studio album “Thank me Later” in 2010. Debuting with “Best I Ever Had,” Drake has been a rap/hip hop icon for over four years now. Recently, Drake has even signed a deal with Nike to design shoes for Michael Jordan’s line. As for Drake’s “Would you like a tour?” Artful. Drake’s December 3 performance was certainly artful. The stage, shaped in a sleek white elevated halo was the perfect backdrop for his personal party. Emerging from below the stage, Drake debuted in a full black ensemble. The stage turned shades of red and blue as he rapped the first verse of “Tuscan Leather.” The huge screen behind him filled with collaborative images of the city and Drake’s current performance. Following with “Headlines” and
“Crew Love,” Drake finished the first wave with Tuscan Leather’s second verse. Continuing with anthems scattered amongst his old tracks and new, Drake woo-ed the crowd when he pulled a woman up on the stage and sang “Just Hold On (We’re Going Home)” to her. She cried and hugged him as he serenaded her, truly in awe by his muscular arms and sweet melodies. After continuing with “Connect” and “Too Much,” he halted the music and gave his love back to the fans. Starting with the right side, Drake indicated to all the people he saw in the crowd. He pointed out a plethora of fans in an artful and free verse rap. He proceeded to do the same with the left side and the middle of the crowd until the love was truly felt. After repeatedly asking Portland if they “came here to part,” Drake certainly delivered one. Ending with an exciting rendition of Drake’s original, “All Me,” and one of his most known songs: “Started from the Bottom,” Drake soaked in the love as the crowd awaited an encore. Drake, however, left it all on the stage that night and no encore was needed.
AMAs satisfy music lovers of all kinds By Claire Torkelson
Lake Views columnist and reporter Claire Torkelson attended the 2013 AMAs over Thanksgiving break and returned to the newsroom with rave reviews
The American Music awards (AMAs) is a mainstream music awards show honoring current artists featured that year. First established in 1973, creator Dick Clark wanted to make an award show hosted by the ABC network in order to compete with The Grammy Awards after ABC’s contract to present The Grammys expired. Unlike the Grammys, the awards given out at the AMAs are determined based off the poll of the audience, rather than the recording academy. The 2013 AMA awards show took place in Los Angeles’s Nokia Theater. The audience had the opportunity to vote for their favorite nominees in the given categories, by visiting the AMAs link that was advertised heavily on social media. Although the Recording Academy had little influence on the outcome of the awards, the AMAs was definitely a forecast for big winners to come later on this award season. The 2013 AMAs is a must see event. Ratings for the show almost tripled this year in comparison to previous years. A wide range of people tuned in to witness another historical show. The rating spike comes at little surprise, due to the large amount of advertising. It was hard to avoid the hype of the show when commercials regarding the event consumed our televisions, and billboards were posted across the nation. Whereas the 2011 and 2012 shows had little buzz, and far less advertising. Granted, the expansion of social media reaching a claire torkelson/Lakeviews wider range of people definitely contributes The 2013 AMAs took place on Nov. 24 and featured artists including Katie Perry, One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus. to the show’s popularity. Especially when the people are to vote for their favorite nominees lot of humor to the AMA’s stage by flawlessly on the AMA’s online site, which was found was split in two, with performances on either hit “Wrecking Ball.” Her performance was improvising for three acceptance speeches. Saron Twitter, Facebook and other social media. side. Or for larger sets, performers used the en- mildly appropriate compared to her previous ah Silverman was among presenters that was Online AMA advertisements were prominent tire stage. Katie Perry’s kicked off the night sing- controversial shows. However, there was a able to make the entire live audience laugh out on websites targeted towards a more youthful ing her new hit “Unconditionally.” Her stage set large crying cat on the monitor behind her loud. Towards the end of the night, the AMA’s audience, such as iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, had an incredible light display, and fascinating during the song, which was random and dispresented Rhianna with the Icon award. The Spotify, Pandora, etc. Most importantly, the acrobatic routines. Jennifer Lopez made a trib- tracting. Big awards of the night included New ArtIcon award was presented to Rhianna by her AMA’s had strong celebrity endorsers includ- ute to Celia Cruz by originating back to her mother, Monica Braithwaite. AMA producer ing One Direction, Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Latin routes. Her performance included color- ist of the Year, which was awarded to Ariana Larry Klein created the icon award to “honor an Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus. After Mi- ful dresses and costumes as well as extremely Grande. Single of the Year went to Florida artist whose body of work has made a profound ley Cyrus’s Video Music Awards performance impressive dance routine. Florida Georgia Line Georgia Line for their song “Cruise” and Artinfluence over pop music on a global level” Said on MTV, viewers were most anxious to see sang their smash hit “Cruise” while collaborat- ist of the Year went to Taylor Swift. Taylor Klein. what controversial spectacle she’d put on at ing with Nelly. The performers began singing Swift took home multiple awards that night cruise, but broke into Nelly’s throwback hit including; Favorite Female artist Pop/Rock, The 2013 American Music Awards was an the Nokia theater. exciting show that appealed to a wide audiKatie Perry was the first performer of the “Ride With Me” which was exciting for the Favorite Female Artist Country, and Favorite ence. It exhibited every style of music, as well night, followed by One Direction, Ariana audience and got a positive reaction. The boy Album Country, as well as Artist of the Year. as the history behind the music. The show set Grande, Justin Timberlake, Rhianna, Mackle- band One Direction sang their single “Story of Justin Timberlake was also a big winner, takthe stage for award shows to come, by hosting more, Kesha with Pitbull, Florida Georgia Line My Life.” The night also marked the release of ing home the awards for Favorite Album Soul/ flawless performances, as well as involving all with Nelly, Great Big World with Christina their newest album Midnight Memories, which R&B, Favorite Male Artist Soul/R&B, and FaAmericans interested in voting for their favorAguilera, Kendrick Lamar, Luke Bryan, Jen- went to stores that night. With the suspense vorite Male Artist Pop/Rock. Macklemore and ite artists. The AMAs was excellent and has a nifer Lopez, Lady Gaga with R. Kelly, closing of the new album, the bands performance was One Direction also won multiple awards that lot of hype to live up to next year. with Miley Cyrus. The Nokia Theater’s stage highly anticipated. Miley Cyrus preformed her night. Justin Timberlake was able to bring a
December 20, 2013
Don’t avoid cliches like the plague Girl talks Art By Grace Park
Dressing for one:
They’re everywhere: Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. But we just nonchalantly scroll through them, brushing them off like an old habit. This is what our clichés are today: inspiring statements that have now lost all meaning thanks to overuse. Especially with college essays dooming the social life of seniors, clichés seem to be evermore dreadful. People try to be forcefully original and creative instead of resorting to writing about that truly special trip to rural Africa or winning that deserved state championship title. Every time we hear the phrase “Live like there’s no tomorrow” or – my personal favorite – “You only live once: YOLO,” our automatic response is a smirk under our breaths and a cued eye roll. But the thing is, clichés are true. They are simple inspirational phrases that truly reflect the important qualities of life that we should all share and connect with. Although they hold initial superficial meanings to most of us, clichés resonate with what’s true and authentic. And while these groan-inducing terms are stashed as hackneyed and
outdated, some have stood the test of time because they do indeed reveal universal truths that cannot be denied. Here are some of my favorite time-worn trinkets of wisdom that can provide an important message about who we are: “No pain, no gain.” Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a proverb that may be the most worn of all clichés – but for a very valid reason. I think it’s safe to say that we, humans, are one of the laziest groups out there. It always takes us a heck of a motivation to get off our comfy beds to actually do something. But all the while, we’re always wishing we did
miliar ha, ha, ha, and hee, hee, hee. Regularly cracking a giggle can help you live longer and was found to be one of the top most important methods towards healthy aging. So laugh a little here and there. And don’t forget, the next time you see your doctor, make sure you tell him/her that the best medicine is actually laughter. “YOLO.” Now before you start rolling your eyes, just say it out-loud to yourself. “You only live once.” Kind of depressing, isn’t? A lot of us live with this misconception that the end of our lives is far, far away. But take it from Chaim Potok. Even though our Olivia Fuson/ Lake Views life is only a blink of an eye when measured against the span of eternity, we have the potential this, or did that. As our dear to make life the best possible. “A parents, grandparents, and span of life is nothing,” said Pocoaches have repeatedly told tok. “But the man who lives the us: no pain, no gain. And as span, he is something.” So you’re probably thinking much as I don’t want to admit that parents are always right that it’s cliché of me to even 100 percent of time, I think write about clichés, much less they deserve the credit for en- even advocate that they are true. But just take a moment to look graining this into our heads. back at some of these clichés “Laughter is the best medicine.” Your doctor was wrong and see if they resonate with when he/she said those pills any of your own experiences. were the best medicine. The Although they are universally healing powers of laughter feared and loathed by any writsurpasses all – at least accord- er, clichés hold such value that ing to Doctor Robin Dunbar, cannot be brushed away simply an evolutionary psychologist because it’s overused or outdatat Oxford, who studied the ed. They’re timeless and truly simple trigger of endorphins special trinkets of wisdom that involved in producing the fa- will stick with you forever.
Originality over trend Police officers are not the real bad By Ruby King If I had a seemingly infinite amount of time in the morning to prepare for the day ahead, I would designate at least an hour to myself in which I’d take a cup of tea in my silk dressing robe, reading French poetry while a Ronettes record echoes in the background. Yet because I’m not an aristocrat and can’t pretend to live in “Downton Abbey,” my weekday mornings, like every other high school student, are spent in a rather unglamorous fashion racing to make time for even a nibble of English muffin (The dazzling Oscar Wilde of whom I sometimes aspire to be would not approve). When I’m not trying to prepare my first cup of tea, the short amount of time before first period is spent rifling through my closet, the eternal question being, “what should I wear today,” and more importantly, “what should I wear that’s going to make me feel like I could meet Karl Lagerfeld in Paris for a late lunch?” Contrary to popular (the parents’) belief, impressing other people is the last thing I think about when picking out an ensemble for the afternoon. Thoughts on what men might think about a tweed mini skirt don’t run through my head, and I don’t tie a scarf in my hair just to expect other women to recognize its historic silk Hermès origins. The world of fashion, at its roots, is a universal industry, colors and trends predicted and played with each season, silhouettes gracing runways and filtering into department stores at the hands of starved modern consumers. With so many preconceived guidelines in the global trade of couture, there is no reason for us not to give in to human nature by rebelling a little. I might go as far as to call myself a man repeller. A concept introduced in 2010 by fashion blogger Leandra Medine, she defines a man repeller as, “she who outfits herself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex.” Garments include but are not limited to granny-esque blouses, overalls, spiky avant-garde footwear and trousers resembling something out of Annie Hall’s wardrobe (Unless you’re dating a Woody Allen type. If so, Annie Hall away with those vests and navy blue ties). Man repelling is not achieved with the conscious intention of driving away male attention. Men, in fact, aren’t even really apart of the equation, because the only person I want to satisfy when I slip on a pair of pumps over my woolly sock clad feet is myself. It really comes down to the fact that men are a little like handbags. There are the brightly colored handbags that only complement our lifestyles for perhaps a season, but then there are the exceptionally classic totes such as Hermès’s Kelly or more recently, the Dior Bar tote that work fluidly with our evolving styles for a lifetime. People are naturally attracted to confidence, and if wearing cobalt blue fills you with self-assurance, then wear it; because the men in this world that are smitten with your confidence are the timeless totes we keep around forever. Men are not the only subjects I seem to have repelled with my serious fascination for fashion. The two questions I have been asked most frequently are, “Where do you go shopping?” and “What are your life plans after graduating high school?” For the latter enquiry I always respond with my idealistic dreams of working alongside figures like Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, a blank stare being most often what I receive in return. Not solely because Wintour and Coddington aren’t well known figures in the average teenager’s scope of knowledge, but because the average teenager and/or adult doesn’t see fashion and art as practical or meaningful interests. One should never allow others make them believe fashion is shallow. To be interested in fashion is to be a connoisseur of artful living. The garments we drape across our bodies aren’t there just to keep us warm; they serve as modes of free expression in which our unique identities are cast into society. Fashion is a celebration of culture and ideals, a reoccurring artistic renaissance that reinvents itself each season, the ode to passionate human expression. Life is the canvas; and with fashion, we are living, breathing works of art. Getting dressed in the morning isn’t an act of throwing on the article of clothing closest to the door; or at least, it shouldn’t be. Presenting oneself to the greater world is a very personal experience that deserves great attention, yet not necessarily great thought. The simple fact is that dressing for one, yourself, is the best way to satisfy everyone. Wear those granny-esque blouses and avant-garde footwear with pride, s’il vous plaît.
guys: they deserve more respect By Haley Bertelsen In the bubble sometimes it’s hard to think outside of what we know. When stories about police and crime pop up in the news, there’s no end to the eye rolling and tisking. The LOPO have made their own reputation; maybe they’re a little ridiculous at times, but its better than the alternative. A world without some kind of regulator is just waiting to fall apart. Can they be overbearing? Yes, but the majority of officers don’t want to waste their time. The impression of how officers act and work seems to have become exceedingly skewed by teenagers. Those feelings are even drifting over into the general police population. Portland Police receive a never ending barrage of
criticism from the public. “Useless,” “Brutal,” and “Uncaring” are a few of the words that are constantly being thrown around. Here’s the thing though, as young, well-todo teenagers from Lake Oswego, we don’t have the right to reprimand them. Teens have no clue what its like being in their shoes. The stereotype that all cops do is sit around and eat donuts is obviously not true; however, many think their work ethic isn’t far from it. Remember Occupy Portland, the numerous bomb threats through the years, and the outrageous percentage of homeless and impoverished people? They have to deal with all of that. Over a thousand officers had to work countless hours of overtime during Occupy. They had to spend long nights away from their families and try to cooperate with a peo-
ple that hated them. And did the public ever thank them for their work or support them? No, the public on focused on the mistakes made a small percentage of the officers. Because of those mistakes made by the few, the many now get a less than appealing reputation. Police brutality has been all people take about, but they seem to forget how much charity and support they give to the community. Officers hand out food card referrals for families in need. They make house calls to civilians they know and watch over. Every holiday season hundreds of officers even volunteer countless hours of their time to help children and other families in need. But all of this isn’t to say that brutality doesn’t happen, it does, but those allegations weigh heavily on many good officers.
Life skills department teams up with Spirit Wear Division By Olivia Fuson Beginning this year, the LOHS Life Skills Department has opened a new venue for Laker gear called the Spirit Wear Division. Here students can be seen at both lunches every Friday at a table near the cafeteria selling all forms of Laker spirit wear imaginable. “We started the Spirit Wear Division after I noticed that spirit wear was only being sold at LOHS on certain Fridays, and I thought that we could do more,” Nancy Longman, director of the Life Skills Department said. The Spirit Wear division was created as an extension of the parent club to sell spirit wear on campus, as well as to provide more work experience for the Life Skills students. Sophomore Jordan Gambee explained his role in the program. “We sell and take inventory,” Gambee said, “I like helping people decide what to buy.” He works at the Spirit Wear table during lunch, and said that “the department will be open every day in December.” The department is currently offering a special discount that will continue all throughout the month of December. “It’s 20 percent off everything at the Spirit Wear table except stadium seats,” Gambee said. This offer will stand until the New Year, and the Spirit Wear table will be open every day at lunch for students to purchase Laker gear. Kyle Pataroque is another student who works the Spirit Wear table during lunch, and said that he has been involved with the Spirit Wear division since school began. “I help folding, siz-
Lauren Anderson/ Lake Views
Cori Winstead mentors the life skills class as they work selling spirit wear during lunch
ing and counting the money,” Pataroque said. “I like to size and label the clothes, but it would be great to learn how to work the iPad and be able to sell on my own.” Students can also participate in the Spirit Wear Division by becoming a peer mentor. Junior Brandi Paquette is one of these peer mentors, helping out at the Spirit Wear table during A day second lunch. “I found out that you could be a peer mentor during sophomore forecasting, and it sounded like it would be fun, so I signed up,” Paquette said. “I help students go through using the register, encourage them to participate, and give them sales techniques,” Paquette said.
“This is a great experience for the students,” Longman said. “Through this program they are able to learn social skills, money handling skills and how to be a good employee. Plus, it’s hands-on learning, which I love.” According to Longman, this experience is as valuable as anything that could be learned in the classroom. Spirit Wear Division has been a success so far, and Longman plans for it to stick around in the future. “I see it growing,” Longman said, “the next level will be the Web store, which we’re now working on through the Square program. It’ll probably be around next fall.” Spirit Wear Division is off to a great start, and seems like i’s here to stay.
One Direction launches new album By Claire Torkelson
One Direction fanatics everywhere are rejoicing to the release of One Direction’s newest album “Midnight Memories,” which came out on November 25, 2013. The album was created to appeal to a wider, more mature fan base, and expresses the coming of age of the band members. Unlike One Direction’s past two albums, Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn and Louis took part in writing the all the songs on “Midnight Memories.” The Boys were working towards creating songs that voiced their personal experiences with traveling, relationships and growing up, while still making the lyrics relatable to listeners. Midnight Memories is far from One Directions previous albums’ “Take Me
Home” and “Up All Night” pop, boy bandy themes. Songs including on the album such as “Story of My Life,” “Right now,” and “Strong,” have more of an alternative vibe. The songs could be compared to those created by Maroon 5, or The Killers. Other songs on Midnight Memories such as “Little Black Dress,” “Alive,” and “Midnight Memories” are far more rock and roll, also a little pop. The Songs resemble those created by The Monkeys or The Black Keys. It is apparent the boys of One Direction are trying to appeal to a more mature fan base. The songs from Midnight Memories include provocative lyrics such as “You say you’re a good girl, but I know you would girl” or “I met a girl, I took her, end up to the balcony, I whispered something in her ear that I just
can’t repeat, she said okay, but she was worried what her friends will think.” Although the boys have always expressed romantic emotions towards girls in their music, this album has brought out the sex appeal rather than the devotion and commitment with girls they’ve sang about before. One Direction fan or not, this album is worth listening to. The music can resonate with any type of audience, and has a little bit of everything from pop, rock and roll, indie, and alternative. One Direction is moving out of their formal boy bandy reputation in order to create music that can gravitate boys and girls of all ages. Listen to a couple songs off Midnight Memories with an open mind, and all skepticism will be cleared. This is great music everyone can enjoy.
December 20, 2013
Increasing class sizes are strangling students’ individuality and creativity
Emily Elott / Lake Views
Classes like Jami Wray’s sophomore honors English class are overcrowded with 30 students. Class sizes have ballooned this year with some classes (including AP courses) reaching over 35 students.
By Meghana Mysore Strength in numbers does not always mean strength. In the case of increasing class sizes at LOHS, it certainly is not. In English and social studies classes, the increase of students creates a domineering presence in the classroom, in which students swallow their opinions, knowing they are not likely to be heard. While increasing class sizes might be due to increasing student ambition to enroll in AP classes, or to scheduling conflicts, it is mostly due to a lack of funding, as proved by the conditions in certain English and social studies classes. Increased class sizes means a “crowded, less organized” environment, according to social studies teacher Jefferson Moore. It also means that students cannot expect one-on-one attention from the teacher. Moore expressed his views on the issue: “I feel [increased class sizes] impacts relationships. I cannot get to know my students as well. It literally takes me well into the first quarter to learn some of my quieter students’ names. Additionally, I am less engaged and less aware of individual needs, such as learning styles, learning strengths or personality qualities.” Social studies teacher Gerritt Koepping’s outlook on the situation is much the same. “I have 38 students in one AP Government class. All I have time for are multiple choice tests,” he explained. Teachers are simply not able to know each student personally anymore. Education, though, is completely about personalization, as seen in Ursula Wolfe-Rocca’s smallest social studies class of 25 students, which “this year does not have a single student who is currently receiving below a C. That is not true of my other classes which are all much larger.” Wolfe-Rocca said that in some of her
larger classes, with 33 or more students, she doesn’t have the time to help struggling students or to challenge over-achieving ones. In English classes, bigger class sizes suppress creativity and make personalization near to impossible. “I can’t be a personalized writing teacher with 35 students,” English teacher Jason Parris said. Moreover, bigger classes cause “more confusion, more stress, more chances of missing an assignment, limited opportunities to ask and answer questions and dramatically limited selection of educational activities,” Moore further elucidated on how limited opportunities result from bigger classes, saying, “We used to do a fantastic Congressional Role Play. The congressional simulation is also a student favorite in my post year reflection assignment. But the numbers make the role play unmanageable. We had to eliminate that activity.” Elimination is not the answer, but it seems that there isn’t much more teachers can do presently. The addition of five or six more students to some English and social studies classes seemingly would not affect the functionality of a class. But the difference between a smaller, tightly-knit class and a larger one is not the “difference between first class and coach, but rather the difference between first class and the baggage compartment,” according to Moore. For teachers, increasing the number of students in their classes impacts the design of lessons, reducing the amounts of writing assignments, artwork, and group presentations. While students often groan at the thought of writing an essay, most look forward to participating in an interactive project. Physically, there are backpacks on the floor and legs cram-
ming for space. This “crowding” is also a mental aspect. As Koepping clarified, a greater class size is “not a problem of class management, but about the opportunities lost.” The cause of increasing class sizes at LOHS is attributable to many reasons, including department and faculty cuts, an increase in enrollment, block schedules and budget cuts. Whatever the cause, though, it is important that LOHS notices and tries to eliminate the harmful effects. Electives give students the opportunity to choose their educations and find excitement in what they learn. With the elimination of these opportunities, it can be seen how larger class sizes are affecting the personalization of education. The greatest problem of increasing class sizes is that there is no one to blame. Teachers are simply adapting to the circumstances, as are students. There is no clear way of stopping the detrimental effects of class sizes on students but it is necessary to question the situation, nonetheless. With shrinking budgets, there’s been a “push at the national level to treat schools more like businesses than places that value real authentic student learning.” And resources such as The College Board approach education in this same way. “While the original intent of the program might have been noble, The College Board wants to make money, because it’s better for their bottom line,” Parris continued. Is this generation of education where one can express his opinions freely slowly becoming obsolete? “[School] feels like a factory; widgets come and widgets go…it’s an industrial model of education,” said Koepping. Looking around the crowded classrooms, it becomes more and more clear that, perhaps, it is.
Procrastination pandemic proves beneficial By Emiily Elott Netflix. Hulu. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pandora. What do all of these things have in common? Yes, many of them are social media, but that’s not the only thing that connects them all. All of these Internet concoctions are forms of entertainment. And, specifically, they are the perpetrators of procrastination—the things students look to when they want to avoid their homework. Sophomore June Pauly defined procrastination as “waiting until the last minute to do work.” Senior Shannon Fender described it as “putting something off until the last minute.” And surely, as has been indoctrinated into the average high school student since day one, this mysterious, slippery concept of procrastination is entirely terrible. But this may not entirely be true. Of course, there are some obvious detriments: lack of sleep, bad grades and stress. Nicholas Kiddle, a sophomore, said, “Yeah, [procrastination] is bad because it creates unnecessary stress.” But this negative connotation that has been associated with procrastination since the beginning of high school time may be
ill-fated and ill-advised. In a world where boredom does not exist, where stimuli pounds the five senses at all moments of the day, the place where the best inspiration comes from rarely exists. Watching “How I Met Your Mother” until 11:00 p.m. the night before a project is due and then staying up until 3 a.m. to complete the aforementioned project certainly isn’t beneficial. This type of procrastination is harmful, not helpful. The bad nature of this type arises from the inherent laziness that high school students’ experience. This comes from these students wanting to avoid difficult assignments, or not put in the time it takes to get them done. And this is detrimental. In fact, Kiddle declined to comment further on procrastination, exemplifying this very problem that gives procrastination a bad rap. Kiddle bluntly stated, “I’m too lazy.” Yet this stifling stereotype of procrastination is not all there is. Instead, with the right type of procrastination comes glorious inspiration. Fender explained why she doesn’t mind procrastination, “When I was a freshman, I cared a whole lot more about getting things done in a timely manner, but now I’m comfortable with
Dreaming of a green Christmas
Jessica Pollard / Lake Views
By Jessica Pollard No holiday season is complete without the basics: festively scented pinecones, tipsy relatives, frosted cookies and the environmental impact that helps to comprise “the most wonderful time of the year.” There is no denying that a brilliant Christmas light display will turn even the most emotionally modest adult into an ogling toddler, but the wonder doesn’t come without a steep price. According to a 2011 report issued by the Department of Energy, the amount of electricity used on Christmas lights alone every winter
is enough to light up 500,000 homes for roughly a month. This amount could be significantly reduced by widespread use of LED Christmas lights, rather than the energy sucking regular lights. In addition to purchasing those LED lights, it may be time to go full-throttle hipster in the gift-wrapping department and revert to used newspaper. According to Metro, papers with any plastic coating, sparkles, foil components or bits of tape are not recyclable. The same goes for gift bags and tissue paper. Fortunately, these forms of gift-wrapping are probably re-usable, unless shredded to
bits out of excitement over that new Kindle Fire. Christmas lights and wrapping paper are only catalysts to the present opening massacre that is Christmas morning. This point marks almost a climax to the holiday season and yet the waste continues. The real issue between Father Christmas and the sanctity of Mother Nature lies in the materialism. “The idea that you go out and buy lots of stuff [every Christmas] is engrained in our minds,” observes science teacher Jeff Goodrich, who suggests buying locally when it comes to finding the perfect gift. Toys, appliances and clothes manufactured overseas require frivolous amounts of fossil fuels to wind up under the Christmas tree. As much as gift-givers may not want to admit, countless presents will eventually wind up in the real-life Island of Misfit Toys: the landfill. Keeping material gifts to a minimum is a win for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money, and most people are at least going to pretend to want the free hug coupon offered in replacement of those lesser, hot Christmas-list items. Efforts to make Christmas greener are probably going to be met with eye rolls and exasperation on the part of loved ones who might loathe change, but being more conscious doesn’t necessarily entitle the sacrifice of holiday cheer. It’s best to take it one step at a time when it comes to re-revolutionizing the holidays in a more efficient way. Fork over that newspaper-wrapped free hug coupon with a smile, turn up Mariah Carrey’s “All I want for Christmas” and forge onward as a true warrior for the green Christmas initiative.
putting things off until later.” For instance, in English class, some of the best ideas can come from reading the prompt and then leaving it behind. So, while watching TV or perusing social media, possible ideas and inspiration from the prompt can fester in one’s head, slowly emerging into fully-fledged ideas. With this strategy, by the time a student returns to the English prompt, that student has a whole array of ideas at his disposal, originating from the time spent focusing on other things. “Sometimes, I feel like my best work is produced when I’m under a time constraint, but that may just be wishful thinking,” Fender stated. Procrastination, in small chunks, with an ample escape plan if that movie or TV show or social media posting just becomes too engrossing, can be helpful. Instead of writing the first thought that comes to mind in classes like English and history, procrastination gives the human brain a chance to let ideas cook and to gain insights, as neurons unconsciously flash and spur. And, most of all, it takes away at least some of the guilt that comes with turning on the television when one’s English prompt lies untouched by the computer.
Move over ‘Real Housewives,’ ‘Mean Moms’ is coming for you By Shannon Elliot
One simple phrase, “She doesn’t even go here,” can point all 21st century movie-goers to an all-time favorite high school comedy, “Mean Girls.” The Burn Book and Gretchen’s attempt to bring back Fetch will never be forgotten. Few films can capture and entertain people of all ages while remaining relevant throughout different decades. “Mean Girls,” a 2004 film capturing infamous high school cliques, is an all-time classic. This satire is expected to face some revamp in the upcoming year. “Mean Girls”, an adaptation of the bestseller “Queen Bees and Wannabees,” is set to face some competition in the sequel, “Mean Moms.” The second installment of the “Mean Girls” franchise is predicted to follow the same satiristic pattern, using humor, irony and exaggeration to ridicule life in the suburbs. However, this time around it won’t surround a drama-hungry quartet. Instead, “Mean Moms” will follow the comedic hierarchy of suburbanite moms. “Mean Moms,” will be based on another Rosalind Wiseman novel, “Queen Bee Moms And King Pin Dads.” The first-time around, Tina Fey, a Saturday Night Live alum, wrote a laughable, and quotable, script for “Mean Girls.” Now, it’s time to see
if another SNL alum can recreate the same magic. Beth McCarthy-Miller is next in line to adapt a Wiseman novel. Offspring Entertainment and New Line Cinema have also latched onto the “Mean Moms” Project. These production companies are not rookies to the high school comedy realm, as they produced the Zac Efron hit, “17 Again.” Although many new faces are expected to join the franchise, we can certainly hope a few of our favorite characters from “Mean Girls” will make a cameo or two. It is, after all, not too much of a long shot. In a recent interview with Deidre Behar, Rachel McAdams expressed the possibility for her participation in the next installment of “Mean Girls.” “Oh, that would be fun. I never thought of that...It would be great to..um..revisit that. I mean I love that movie so much and she was such a fun character to play.” McAdams told Behar in a Clevver News Interview. Whether or not McAdams participates in the next installment, alongside her leading ladies, Lindsay Lohan, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried, the film will have a strong following. “Mean Moms” has yet to set a production, cast or release date, however, when the underlying details are released, it’s sure to make headline news.
Opinions Controversy with Cassandra
Senioritis affects everyone It’s o.k. to go it alone
Selfies become global phenomenon By Jessi Daly Mirror pics, #OOTD’s, duck faces galore. With every refresh we find another photograph of the photographer taken by that same photographer. Our news feeds are swarmed with pictures of ourselves, taken by ourselves. Even the Oxford Dictionary is jumping on the trend with officially adding the word to their collection: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” The selfie may be the new and upcoming plague of the 21st century, but who’s to say that’s such a bad thing? Is there something wrong with flauntin’ what you got? That doesn’t exactly mean I want to see every second captured during your senior picture photo shoot, but hey, I’ll spare a “like” or two to some over-edited, strikingly blue eyes and to-clear-to-be-true skin. So, I repeat: I do not want to see every photo ever taken of you. We get it, you’re hot, you’re wearing a Christmas sweater yay, you and your little brother are cute, or all of the above. Whatever. The thing is, you need to decide which selfies really are worth having everyone scroll their thumb over, and which belong forever lost in your camera roll. Selfies are good for the soul. If you’re having a day where your hair looks #perf and the lighting in the room enhances your cheekbones just right, why not document it for the whole world to think so too? Amaro, Mayfair, Rise, Hudson, what’s your Instagram weapon of choice? Personally, I’m more of a Walden girl myself. Add a little touch of contrast and auto-fix and
Lake Views/Shannon Elliot
Seniors, Kristen Parreno, Claudia Herrera and Liz Farri, pose for a notable phone selfie.
I’m golden. Let me be the first one to admit, I know what filter flatters me the most. Judge me silently, but I know none of you would dare to Kelvin yourself when you know you’re really an Inkwell’er. Now that you know when it’s appropriate to take selfies, what kind will you take? Everyone has a selfie that works best for them. Some rock the “this is a natural pose, I didn’t know someone was taking the picture” (when it’s a totally unnatural pose and they did know someone was taking the picture- a.k.a. themselves) selfie. For others a kissy face with the caption as
the little winky-kissy emoji, where you act like it’s a cheesy little joke when you know you really look good, works wonders as well. The trick to selfies is knowing when to post them, where to take them and what filters to use. Bottom-line: selfies are here, and they’re here to stay. There’s no clearing your news feed of them, so embrace them. Just because you take a selfie doesn’t mean you think you’re the hottest thing out there, it just means you’re will the trends and hey, you look good today. Now flip your camera view and selfie-on.
The complaints of a socially fat girl Miley Cyrus oozes hypocrisy and bad morals By Cassandra Cumberland Being a girl, health and appearance play a large role in my life. Here’s a little background, as an elementary student, I “grew up” fast. In the fourth grade, I was towering over my classmates and my legs hardly fit within the small 3x2 desk. This led to many awkward experiences and a negative self-image. I still am profoundly regretful that I never fit in the “tot” size clothing but that is, in fact, nothing I can change. Nonetheless, my fast growth was a learning experience that I still learn from today. Now, sitting at the lunch table in high school (amongst many conversations), arises the concept of health. Some people engage in fitness daily, they believe that the more salad and miles you put under your belt, the healthier they are. I don’t think that’s true, and I’ve seen people who in public eat their beet and squash salad but alone in the depths of their home, eat an entire bag of spicy nacho cheese jalapeno whateveryou-call-them. I’m not saying they’re not healthy because news flash: I don’t really care what YOU eat. But I am questioning how that rationale exists and why we in high school uphold those standards. Health depends on so many things, a lot of it can even be genetic. I recognize that weekly or daily exercise is healthy, yes, but that’s not the only contribution to living healthfully. Did you know that 51 percent of health is lifestyle alone? As in: no smoking, no drinking excessively, less stress, and more focus on nutrition to maintain good health. This statistic does not resemble any stigma that exercise creates instant health and even those who hit the gym daily can be equally unhealthy when they eat at the Carl’s Jr across from the local 24 Hour Fitness. The reason I am calling the question “what is health” is because I truly believe that there is a negative stigma against those not involved in sports. Socially, if someone excercises their behind off and is on some sort of recognized sports team, it doesn’t matter what they eat. There are other types of people, though-people like me. These people, the “antifitnessguru,” are considered lazy and unhealthy. This notion causes me daily to feel the need to defend my uninvolvement: “But I do 13 extracurriculars!” or “I am not competitive enough.” But I do not think I should have to defend myself because I don’t play organized sports. And I ALSO don’t think that this means I’m lazy OR unhealthy. In fact, I’m not lazy and I’m not gonna defend myself anymore because I get it, you’re dedicated. But I am too, just to different things. I’m always busy with hardly any time to myself. Here at LOHS, we are very fitness oriented. Almost everybody is involved in some type of fitness extra-curricular and I believe that is amazing! I do, however, feel the brunt of social outcast of not being a fitness junkie and/or a member of a competitive team. I can’t really do the whole “gym” thing, and I certainly am not competitive enough to play a school-sanctioned sport. I do enjoy walking my dog, Rayne, with my mother and I’m an avid hiker and love the outdoors. The problem is, I cannot engage in organized sports. Therefore, I feel alone, I feel unrecognized, disrespected and socially fat. Socially fat-yes I made this term up! But, let me tell you, this is a true concept (and I’ve had many approach me saying they feel this way too). You’ve seen it in action plenty of times. The girl who you glare at when she pulls out a piece of cake for lunch. Or the girl who returns from the lunch line with three school-made cookies neatly stacked between the white distribution sheet. EVERYDAY I hear girls having to explain the fact that they’re eating Cheetos: “OMG I totally can’t stop right now. SAVE ME” or “whatever, I’m fat. So, what?” Underneath these words, these girls are secretly feeling the brunt of social fatness. No matter their pant size, this doesn’t change. BUT YOU CAN. Please stop succumbing to any idea that your salad filled lunches and 10 hours a week sport schedule means that you are a part of some sort of high end hierarchy. We are ALL equal-DUH. And we all enjoy some sort of leisure activity. I, however, do want to stress that I do not (in any way) condone watching TV all day. GET OUT THERE. If it’s not soccer, football, or basketball… volunteer! Make a difference, do MUN or JSA. You don’t HAVE to play sports, but you do have to do something. As for me, I’m sick of being looked down upon because I don’t score goals or shoot baskets. I’m sick of being called lazy when I get tension headaches for how stressed I am with after-school activities. I’m sick of grinding my teeth at night because of stress and I’m sick of HAVING to love salad or being judged because I DO WATCH KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS. Seriously…. recognize that there is more to life than my/her/his fitness and health and move on. Because I AM.
By Dan Williams
In a nutshell, Miley Cyrus is an awful person, in many facets of life. When a person compromises their morals and values, after swearing one lifestyle over the other, the said person falls into a pit of hypocrisy and compromise that allows one to question the decisions that person may make. Miley Cyrus after swearing off drugs in an interview, and reiterating to Ryan Seacrest that “Drugs are for idiots, I’m never gonna be that person” recently came out in an interview about her cocaine and Molly usage, telling Rolling Stone that “I Think Weed is the best drug on earth. One time I smoked a joint with Peyote in it, and I saw a wolf howling at the moon. Hollywood is a coke town, but weed is so much better. And Molly too.” Not only did Miley Cyrus succumb to drug use, she went against her word, and sacrificed her values for the purpose of recreational drugs. Not only was Miley Cyrus reveled by her younger counterparts, she was seen as a role model for young girls, following a hopefully correct system of values that
they could emulate. Her Hannah Montana character was a mark of innocence for the budding star that many little girls obsessed over, loved and cherished with much positivity. Cyrus’s choice to abandon any sort of innocence, and choose to go down a more bold path, is noble in some respects but disrupting in many other aspects of culture. It is easy to respect the fact that she chooses to act like an individual, but It comes down to the point of who has their “spotlight” focused on her. The behavior that she has continually modeled is not only inappropriate for young audiences to see, it’s providing a false model of behavior that her young audience follows. After her lewd VMA performance, watched by many families and tweens that idolize Cyrus, what sort of example is Cyrus putting out to her audience that adores and follows her actions so closely? What sort of example are these young children going to absorb? Some may simply argue that the children are going to brush it off, and move on with their lives. Although in many cases this may be true, it’s still an inappropriate visual for
any sort of young child to have. Whatever action Cyrus decides to take is going to be closely observed and scrutinized by the media-and in all honesty, this isn’t good. Cyrus will feed off any sort of negative publicity and use it to her advantage, possibly a situation which entails her pointing out that she’s “an individual” and come back with something bolder and vulgar that solidifies the individuality she seeks. There is no denying that Cyrus is a good performer and entertainer It’s just the course in which she has performed her actions, attempting to find her individual and creative side hasn’t necessarily been appropriate to the audience she was once targeting. Miley sacrificed so many of her morals to be and individual, and lost a lot of respect and innocence in my mind, for what cost? The cost of saying that she’s eccentric and off her rocker like most other teen stars that have turned to drugs and partying? Maybe Cyrus needs to evaluate what she’s done, and the image she’s turned into-and how she wants to be viewed by future generations, opposed to how she perceives herself.
Regifting diminishes meaning By Lauren Anderson
Christmas is hands down the most wonderful time of the year. During the month of December children are always eagerly anticipating that special night when old Saint Nicolas shimmies down the chimney to, hopefully, deliver a bountiful haul of presents. Unfortunately, this leaves adults to foot the bill, making the Christmas season one of the most expensive times of the year. High school students are notorious for skimping on quality Christmas gifts and opting for an “I owe you one hug coupon.” Also, with the obscene amount of homework and ever increasing extracurricular activities, there is no time to shop-let alone make-a thoughtful gift for friends and family. This leaves students scrambling around the mall for gifts that they can afford with the few pennies in
their pockets. More frequently, students decide to hunt around their house and re-gift an undesirable present they received in the years of Christmas past. By re-gifting presents, thought is taken out of the age old tradition of gift giving. The infamous laziness of teenagers is displayed through re-gifting. Because teens will do anything to escape the rigorous task of using their brains, re-gifting is a perfect solution. The thoughtless act of re-gifting conveys a sense of indifference to the sanctity of presents; in other words the gifter doesn’t care enough about the giftee to take the time and effort to think about what the giftee would really enjoy. So instead of leaving your brain dormant and allowing it to fill with cobwebs, this December put some thought into the presents that you are giving to family and friends.
Dear Editors of Lake Views and adviser, Ms. Stephanie Leben, This year is my 20th year teaching at LOHS. That means I’ve seen a lot of edition of Lake Views. And while I don’t scrutinize every article, I have, over the years, read probably ¾ of every issue. The quality just keeps getting better and better. In the last issue, I especially enjoyed the articles on American consumerism, Black Friday, Girl Scout fame based on cookies instead of causes and Homecoming dresses being compared to straitjackets. I applaud the writers of these articles (Skowlund, Anderson, Park and Ellot) for taking on controversial topics, some of which should really hit home here. The Black Friday article forced us to look at our complicity in consumer culture. While we decry the so-called desecration of a national holiday, how many participated in the post-Thanksgiving frenzy? As a baby boomer, I found the article on Homecoming dresses especially interesting. I grew up in the era of Ms. Magazine and Feminism. Feminism was about equality and female empowerment. It took many forms. Title IX was a legal form of empowerment (that benefits virtually every female at this school, few of whom even understand, not only the law, but what is was like before the law existed). Rejecting sexual objectification was prominent in our thinking. So, the article on Homecoming dresses begs the question: Is dressing provocatively an expression of female power? Or, is it buying into the age-old notion that women are sex objects? Do those dresses, in fact, straitjacket us? And, more importantly, aren’t the shoes just plain bad for our health? As my high school physics teacher (a male) explained to me in 1975, high heels are physical violence against women. Is the fashion industry dominated by female CEOs or males designing clothes for women so that males can enjoy looking at them? Is the fashion industry just another part of a gigantic mating ritual? Your article provides the opportunity for us to look at the ramifications of some of our simplest (and most hidebound) choices. -Laura Paxson Kluthe social studies teacher Lake Views welcomes the opinions of its readers. Letters to the Editors must be signed and left in Ms Leben’s box in the Main Office. Lake Views reserves the right to edit letters for content, libel and space concerns. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a letter in Ms.Leben’s box.
December 20, 2013
Society should say goodbye to Mrs. John Smith By Natalie Skowlund & Grace Park Arguably the most famous quote from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” goes, “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And while Shakespeare is right in that names can become dangerous when they become the sole basis for judgments, might Shakespeare have been oversimplifying the value of names? For, whether we like it or not, names play an important role in just about every aspect of our lives. The words we designate to describe ourselves, our homes, our emotions and encounters, say a whole lot about what we deem important and how we view reality. Hence, the tradition of women taking their husbands’ last names after marriage has a lot more significance than most people acknowledge. Yet, this tradition is rapidly losing fire, and many couples have begun to consider alternatives to such a patriarchal marriage tradition. We interviewed students and teachers here at LOHS to find out how opinions on this tradition differ. Their responses just may hint at how the tradition will continue to evolve--or deteriorate--in the next few decades. Opinions on name-changing traditions ranged from a strong commitment to the centuries-old tradition of women taking their husband’s last name to a more radical notion of how to approach naming in this modern age. On the side of evolving out of the tradition, Keely Corrigan, a senior and a very ardent feminist, stated, “The American cultural system favors women and families sharing last names to unify the family, but I think it’s problematic because of historical implications of changing the last name. Nowadays, women maintaining their maiden names is their stron-
gest form of identity.” Others, however, think maintaining the tradition is, if nothing else, much more agreeable. As social studies teacher Gerrit Koepping stated, “Doing what society expects of you is certainly more convenient.” But for some, sharing one last name holds symbolic significance. Kristy Aalberg, junior and senior English teacher, believes that in a marriage, if two people vowed to share a life, then it’s important to share a last name that signifies the union. “Before I was about to get married I was pretty set on keeping my maiden name,” said Aalberg. “But my husband said that whether I take his name or he takes my name, sharing a last name is important to be unified as a couple.” And of course, last names hold a sense of ancestral pride for many, which makes it even more difficult to give up. Senior Tyler Alvord elaborated, “There’s a sense of pride specific to my family history… Personally, I would feel a bit off-put if my wife didn’t like my last name.” Interestingly, much of how different people approach the topic of name changing has to do with how much value they staked in names as a form of identity. Peter Dodson, head of the math department, stated, “Last names are very important, they bring a direct sense of history. When you give up your name, you lose a part of who you are as a person.” The emphasis placed on names being an important defining factor has definitely been ingrained in our mindset. On the other hand, Laura Kluthe, a social studies teacher who originally thought it un-feminist to give up her maiden name, ended up giving it up after all. In explanation, Kluthe stated, “I realized my name is not who I am. It’s what I do with my life that matters, not so much my name.”
Yet, perhaps it is not so much the significance of names, but the current political controversy over the concept of gender that should be taken into consideration. “There’s something really nostalgic and comforting a b o u t t h e notion of nuclear family,” English teacher Jason Parris stated. “But how can we honor people who make that choice without stigmatizing or delegitimizing people who for whatever reason don’t or can’t?” Indeed, this issue is a complex one, and it certainly isn’t as finite as names. Opinions about the traditional sharing of the husband’s last name seem to have larger implications about societal views on the gender divide and how it should be dealt with. But perhaps the hardest part about the last name issue is not which name each spouse will use as a last name, but what their children will be called. This question seemed to spark the most diverse range of answers from our interviewees. Aalberg offered, “Maybe an ideal solution would be to keep a family tree showing younger generations the family lineage of names.”
Corrigan, on the other hand, asserted, “A child should take the last name of the more stable parent, but once 18, he/she should be able to decide how they are identified.” Alvord, with a more creative viewpoint, suggested, “I feel that in order to promote a diverse and lasting family line, the children of opposite sex should take the last name of the opposite sex parent.” Yet, from whatever angle one approaches this controversial tradition, it is undoubtedly central to current debates over feminism, gender issues and even gay rights. Last names might seem trivial and of little importance in the scheme of things, but history has amply proven that one small occurrence or trend can reveal a lot about society as a whole. How do we aim to treat women in the future? Are all genders equal in reality, or is that just an abstraction? How are we going to pass down family history through the generations without a consistent naming ritual? The last name controversy brings up all of these questions, as well as myriad more. The questions are ambiguous, and their answers even moreso. With so many different opinions about gender issues, it is virtually impossible to foreshadow how the last name tradition will morph over time, but one thing is for sure: as gender distinctions become less “black and white” in our society, the tradition will have to change as well. Perhaps the answer does not lie in the folds of gender politics, but in the realization that we can no longer rely on gender separations. We are people before we are males or females, and the future of such issues like the last name tradition will likely reflect that notion.
Should teachers assign homework? Homework is important
Homework is a waste of time
By Nathan Redinbo
By Bridget Myers
Not many people seem to enjoy homework. Students gripe and suffer through assignments, parents complain to teachers, and teachers don’t enjoy grading it. So why does homework play such a large role in our daily lives? As odd as it sounds, homework actually has a multitude of positive effects. Even if it’s hard to accept, homework offers students countless benefits that far outweigh the detriments of a heavy workload. The primary reason homework is assigned is to cement the ideas that we are taught in school. In school, the classes may seem confusing, and the lesson can be boring. Not everybody pays attention. However, working in the comfort of home can give students the chance to finally understand the concepts and use them correctly. Study after study has shown a direct correlation between the amount of homework students complete and assessment scores in that class. Homework helps cement the ideas that are introduced in the class, and students can master them when they arrive home. Without homework, the U.S. would probably lag even further behind other nations in tests. The U.S. is already falling behind developing countries, and this downward trend need to be stopped. Homework is an integral part of getting better test scores. There are only so many lessons a student can learn in a school day, and homework can help students prepare better for tests. The U.S. spends more money than any other developed country on test preparation, and yet we are below the worldwide average in math scores and ranked below Vietnam and other developing countries in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a well reputed test that is used to judge students of every nation. The United States is ranked 25, yet the Czech Republic is ranked in the top ten and spends one third of the money that the U.S. does per student. Homework also gives students the chance to learn life skills that will be useful long after school is over. After high school, many people get jobs that require time management skills, which can be learned when completing home-
work. Good habits are important throughout life, and homework teaches a student how to be hardworking, timely and focused. Even though completing an assignment can sometimes seem silly or stupid, it could be teaching students good life skills that will stay with them for a long time. Even though it sounds cheesy, homework also gives students the chance to connect with their parents and keeps them out of trouble. Most parents don’t have quality talks with their children, and homework gives them the chance they need to talk about their kid’s lives. Sports and other extracurricular activities can keep a child away from home long after school is out. Oftentimes, a parent has very little time with their child between their arrival home and bedtime. Homework is a good way to both help parents connect with their children and gives students a good way to spend their time. Some say that homework is an unnecessary waste of time. This is blatantly false. Cementing the ideas that students learn in school can help make the students in this country smarter, and help them compete with students across the globe. True, homework is time consuming and often frustrating or annoying. But by proceeding anyway, students learn how to deal with problems and overcome difficulties. By advocating for less or no homework, we are cheating the students in our schools out of an important learning experience. While it is agreed that many students are bringing home too much homework, homework is a necessary evil. Instead of lessening the amount, we should focus on making the homework less boring and pointless. Assignments with little useful information should be axed and replaced with useful homework that actually teaches a lesson. This will encourage kids to do their best. We need to lower the amount of homework kids are doing, but this doesn’t mean getting rid of it altogether. Homework offers benefits that couldn’t be replicated any other way.
It’s hard to imagine a life free of homework for high school students who constantly find themselves drowning in the assignments teachers give out. It’s almost as if teachers figure high school students have no lives. This is ridiculous though, as high school is the time for self-discovery and the building of life-long relationships. Excessive homework is hindering students’ ability to partake in the teenage lifestyle. Firstly, let’s talk about sleep. Most busy teens drool at the word. They race around from class to class toting a coffee cup in an effort to survive last night’s homework load. This cycle of lack of sleep is an endless menacing bully that breathes down the back of teens’ necks as they anxiously try to finish homework. Studies show that most teenagers should get roughly nine hours of sleep, while most get only about seven hours of sleep. This difference of two hours cannot solely be attributed to homework, but it certainly plays a big role. One study by BBC expresses the detrimental effects of this notion regarding lack of sleep. It was concluded that when students got a full night of sleep before taking a test they answered 93% of questions correctly, compared to the 70% answered correctly by students who were busy working prior to taking a test. Much of the time teens find themselves playing catch-up, constantly feeling behind with the heavy workload, and not allowing for full understanding of the material that is currently being assigned. In being loaded up with such an oppressive amount of homework, students do not even learn what they are being forced to remember for any upcoming tests. They merely memorize for exams and then forget material right after. In this sense, homework is extremely counteractive. Why pile so much on students that they are forced to memorize instead of understand? Homework is supposed to ground the lessons taught in class with an interactive approach to learning. Instead, it drives students away from the core meaning of education, and towards the meaning of a test score. Knowledge is not the only thing that suffers due to excessive amounts of homework. Rela-
tionships and extra-curriculars are also negatively impacted when teens are overwhelmed with homework. They miss out on the opportunity to build friendships and participate in activities outside of school. High school is a very important time to learn one’s impact on society and one’s path of life. Someone does not find the answer to such a question hidden in the pages of a chemistry book. Homework takes away from the interactive aspects of learning, not merely learning that takes place for school, but learning that transpires simply for the greater good of self-discovery. There is much learning to be had in the everyday experience of living, and much of the time students find that their studies take away from these just as important lessons. The thought for many adults of coming home from a long day of work and being then forced to do another four or more hours of homework seems unfathomable and highly ridiculous. This is what it is like for many high schoolers though. They slave away for seven hours in school and then are expected to complete another daunting amount of work, only to be repeated again. The stress that is inflicted upon high school students is far too intense and needs to be lowered in order for a healthy balance of life to be restored. The American school system must be flawed if Finland can find a way to not give out any homework to its students, yet still be one of leaders in the Program for International Student Assessment. Finland stands far above the United States on these assessments, ranking 12, compared to the United States which stands at 36. Americans often use the idea that homework improves intelligence, but with this study clearly disproves this notion. Homework is something that is accepted and taken for granted in society lately. Now, I’m not saying that homework should be eliminated completely from curriculums, but the amount that is imposed upon teens these days has become overwhelming. Students should be assigned no more than an hour and a half worth of homework per night, preserving their ability to factor in other aspects of their lives, and permitting them time to simply be teens. We need to question the importance of homework in the overall education of students. Homework is taking away the opportunity for education beyond the textbook.
The NSA is monitoring your information and sharing it By Daniel Vogel Since Oct. 2001 the National Security Administration (NSA) has conducted surveillance activity within the U.S. without court approval or legal authority, under secret presidential order signed by President Bush. Since then the domestic spying has morphed into a veritable leviathan of digital wiretapping. The NSA collects calls and texts from Verizon, AT&T and other major telecoms. Under the recently revealed PRISM program, NSA agents have direct access to the servers of the biggest companies on the web, including Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and Instagram, and with this direct access they collect metadata and content. This is a massive collection of private data and communications to a degree never seen on the face of the planet. While the government up front claims the information is only used in counter-terrorism activities, behind the scenes this is not the case. The NSA continually shares information with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)- agencies dedicated to combatting drug trafficking and tax evasion respectively, neither of which have anything to do with counter-terrorism activities. So even if one wasn’t a terrorist, a slightly less than innocent text message to a friend in pursuit of marijuana is collected by the NSA and could potentially be shared with the DEA. Even worse, when this technique is used, it is not revealed that it has been used, as agents operate under a legal philosophy of “parallel construction,” where agents are instructed to use “normal investigative
techniques to recreate the information provided” to provide legal justification. In other words, they do an unconstitutional and illegal search and then make something up in order to seem like it was valid. This is the same technique used by money launderers to make their money seem clean, by having money and then explaining where it came from. In addition, the NSA gathers more than 5 billion phone location records per day on cell phones around the world. Location data is one of the most revealing subsets of data out there. As the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.explained in 2010, “A person who knows all of another’s travels can deduce whether he is a weekly church goer, a heavy drinker, a regular at the gym, an unfaithful husband, an outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups — and not just one such fact about a person, but all such facts.” All of these can be used to potentially blackmail an individual politically, thus disrupting
the democratic process. And the NSA has done such blackmailing before. In a program set out by the director of the NSA, the NSA spied on the Internet pornography habits of people identified as radicals (read: muslim), in order to eventually discredit them politically. Obviously this has nothing to do with protecting the country from imminent terrorist threats and is entirely for maintaining the political order, and is a cardinal violation of both the civil liberties of the person being violated and the civil liberties of all people. And so these intensely secret programs undermine the very principles of government. Secret government can not be voted against or for.“I think it’s very naïve to imagine that you can have separate branches of government when one branch, the executive, knows the entire private life and entire private communications, the conversations, of every member of the other branches,” said Daniel Ellsberg in a recent interview with the New York Times, who leaked the
Pentagon Papers which revealed the Johnson Administration’s systematic lies about the United States in Vietnam. With the executive branch now holding the power to potentially blackmail any member of the other branches, the collective democratic ideals of the United States are destroyed and the intentions of the writers of the Constitution betrayed. While you may be a perfect do-gooder now, laws do change, and there are so many laws on the books (40,000 new laws in 2011 alone) that it is extremely likely that if one put enough effort in they could find you in violation of at least one. Besides, the NSA has the technical capacity to store data and communications that have been collected for a long time. So while we may be of a different group than others, we must still defend them against injustices, for these injustices may come one day to haunt us. Our human compassion compels us to help those who are being harmed, and in this situation, the spying harms all of us. Some argue that many already voluntarily give their information to technology and social media companies. While tech companies may know a lot about you already from your use of their websites or their technologies, use of social media is in no way related to the government. Google tracks your web history simply to sell you ads- the government has the ability to prosecute, persecute or kill you. While Apple may have iPhones, the government has tanks and cruise missiles. Besides, under the PRISM program, the NSA can retrieve any information stored by major technology and social media
companies. The NSA program does more than violate the civil liberties of americans and people around the world, it has a direct detrimental effect on the economy of the U.S.. Cisco Systems, a major producer of Internet technology and data storage technology, saw a 12 percent drop in sales in emerging markets in the last quarter, and a more than 30 percent drop in sales in Russia alone. Why? Foreign countries are afraid technology produced by U.S. companies contain wiretapping bugs and other spying tech. For years the U.S. has maintained a technological advantage when it comes to technology production and research; no country has a Silicon Valley to rival our own. We dare not lose this economic advantage - one of our last - to this behemoth of a spying program. And the worst part of the whole shebang? We don’t know the full extent of these programs. The documents Edward Snowden has released which comprise most of the programs described in this article only represent one percent of the documents he holds. There are still 50,000 more documents to be released. Things could be much worse than what we know. Ninety-nine times worse than the executive branch secretly blackmailing and discrediting people politically, ninety-nine times worse than people being put into prison because of unconstitutional searches, ninety-nine times worse than the NSA knowing where you are at all times and what you’re saying online, through texts and on the phone at all times.
Sports with Tork
Alternative sports awaken inner athletes By Haley Bertelsen So, what if you don’t play basketball or football? Maybe you don’t swim or run; so what can you do? Currently, LOHS doesn’t actually have a lot of options, which is a shame because there are an endless list of fun alternative sports. 1. Capture the flag: Just like the good old days in elementary school you can take part in a game of capture the flag. There are multiple leagues that are accepting participants in Portland. Members break up into teams then hide their flags. What’s the twist? You play in locations all over of the Portland area. 2. Zumba Not a balle person and don’t break dance? Well Zumba is the thing for you. Its fun and easy, and actual dance skills aren’t needed. There are tons of classes available through community schools, rec centers and even one at LOHS. Mondays after school, Lakers
get their boogie pants on for a quick workout. 3. Dodgeball If playing in PE just isn’t enough for you, join a dodgeball league. There are literally hundreds of teams, events and versions available for any age group. Communities all around Lake Oswego have their own teams with flexible times and easy commutes. 4. Lasertag Like the idea of paintballing, but not the painful bruises that go with it? Lasertag is just the thing for you. The facilities are cheap and easy to get to. There are lots of groups to sign up with that go one or two nights a week. If you dont want to go it alone, grab a group of friends and make your own team. 5. Gladiator battles Don’t worry, no one has to die. There are tons of groups in Portland that host mock-Gladiator games from wrestling matches to chariot races. They are tons of fun and you’re bound
to meet some interesting people. It may take a little more digging to find but the games are easy to learn and a great experience just to watch. 6 Spoons: Wilderness addition Spoons is like a scavenger hunt fused with tag. Take your spoons out to fun places (like Spring Brooke Park or the beach) and spend a great time with friends. Unfortunately no one has headed this cause. Be the first to start LOHS’s first Spoons Club. 7. City Hide-n-Seek Hide-n-Seek inside is child’s play; take it up a notch and go downtown. Set limits to how many blocks you can go, what stores you can be in or the time limit. Again there are very few to no clubs/groups yet that do this, so start one up yourself. If you want to branch out, maybe try something new, pick up one of these sports. If there isn’t a pre-arranged club near you, start a team yourself. Club applications can be accepted at any time throughout the year.
Disappointment grows Laker swimming dives into competitive meets among sports fans By Claire Torkelson As fans we invest more than just money into our sports teams. Pride, hope, accusations and time all contribute to the role we play as sports fans, along with money spent on merchandise and tickets. When a loss occurs, or a season is disappointing, the toughest blow is to the fans. A fan’s love for their favorite team distorts their practicality and gives them unrealistic expectations and optimism. The fan-team relationship often goes too far to the point where a tough loss can spoil the entire week for a fan, and cause mayhem amongst society. Being a die-hard sports fan is a huge price to pay. Fans possess an urge to rep their sports team’s merchandise on numerous occasions. As a San Diego Chargers Fan, I convinced myself to buy a LaDainian Tomlinson jersey, a cheerleader’s jacket and an engraved Chargers T-shirt on my third grade trip to San Diego. I couldn’t say what the total cost of it all was, but fancy sports apparel such as jerseys and jackets are not cheap. Still, my family and I will collect San Diego Chargers merchandise, spend an unreasonable amount of money, and justify it because we like the team, even if it comes out of our food budget for the week. Along with merchandise purchases, fans will pay for tickets to the games. Tickets for the whole family in most circumstances are not cheap, but if the favored team wins, the experience is worth the price. Not only do fans spend money on their teams, but countless of hours behind a TV screen keeping up with the games. Fans will support at home, which, during football season, means reserving at least two hours in front of the TV screen on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s also inevitable that a fan will have to defend their team against disbelievers or the opposing team’s fans. Defending your team shows an act of allegiance and supports the team in an indirect way. Even though these arguments often cause frustration and in some cases violence, I’m sure the franchise you’re defending appreciates it. As a sports fan, we carry optimism and obviously hope for the best possible outcome for our team. However, it is unavoidable to form high expectations. Even with a poor preforming team, a fan will still hold on to the ideal scenario, that the team can rise above their challenges. These expectations are created by the idea of the underdog, or the upset. The underdog is the team that is poorly equipped and not expected to be a tough competitor, but then defeats those adversities and plays at a higher caliber then thought possible. An upset is when a lower ranked team with a poor record wins a game over a highly ranked team with an impressive record. These types of games happen every season, but not to every team. So because it is a possibility, a fan of a losing team makes up these beliefs that their team will rise above the clearly better opponent. As a result, the fan is overly disappointed. Oregon State Football fans are an ideal representation of this pattern. My father attended OSU, and my family has been following the team my entire life. Earlier this football season, Oregon State’s team had a good chance at going to a decent bowl game. However, the first game of the season, the Beavers lost to Eastern Washington, a Division 2 team. After that loss, it was clear to me that OSU is the same team its been for years, and I shouldn’t let myself get overly excited over OSU’s few victories. My Dad worked up the scenario in his mind that OSU was going to remain undefeated, even against teams such as Stanford and U of O, and get invited to play in the Rose Bowl. At this point in the season, Oregon was undefeated and ranked third in the nation. The prediction my dad made sounded way too good to be true; it was almost a fantasy. Oregon State did end up losing multiple games, shooting away their BCS possibilities. However, they barley lost to U of O, which was impressive in itself. One major cause of frustration for college football fans is the BCS system. BCS stands for Bowl Championship Series. It is a selection system that relies on polls and computer methods to determine college football team rankings. There are five BCS bowls, where the top 10 teams are chosen by the computer will compete. The top two teams will compete in the BCS Nation Championship Bowl. The BCS system has been in place since 1998. Flaws in this system can be detrimental to the success of a football team. Conference affiliation is an issue with the BCS. The obvious bias to the BCS is the SEC conference. One of the SEC teams have won the past five national championships. The SEC clearly produces the best teams, but these teams are also more easily able to get into a BCS game because of the components they play. Most teams from separate conferences will not have the opportunity to play each other. So a talented team from the Big 12 will have an unlikely shot at playing in the National Championship because they are playing the other mediocre Big 12 teams, in comparison to the talented SEC and PAC 12 teams. The BCS is also a computer based system. With all computer based systems there is going to be computer error. It is common with the BCS system. Given these notable flaws, it is easy to see how if a team does not receive the BCS recognition it deserves, there is going to be a lot of outrage amongst fans. Because of all the controversy with the system, the BCS will be replaced in the 2014-15 season by a four-team playoff. This system will be called the College Football Playoffs. Oregon Duck fans have expressed frustration with the BCS bowl results of the 2013 season. The Ducks went 10-2 for the season. Initially, Oregon was expected to compete in the BCS national championship. However, after losing to Stanford the Ducks no longer qualified. The Ducks were chosen by the BCS system to play against the Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl. The longhorns went 8-4 for the season, and most fans would argue that the Ducks deserve higher BCS recognition, especially since they had a Heisman prospect, and numerous five star offensive and defensive players. Fans took to Twitter and social media to express their outrage towards the system. Fights broke out between angry Duck Fans and satisfied Oregon State fans. Even though the Ducks are clearly talented enough to compete in a more impressive bowl game, it is clear the flaws in BCS will not allow them the opportunity. Oregon’s bowl outcome was a joke in fan’s opinions, making many people happy to see the BCS system retiring after this year. As sports fans, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to support a winning team. Losses are inevitable. Fans have reasonable cause to be disappointed, due to the amount of value we place on our teams. It is within our competitive nature to build up high hopes. As fans, we sit in front of our TV for hours, wearing our over priced merchandise, screaming at the players through our screens, and hindering friendships over sports rivalries. It is all too ridiculous but it has morphed into American culture and became somewhat of a radical normality. As barbaric as it sounds all summed up, the nature of a sports fan is the outcome of the investment we place all together on our teams.
Toni Arlt / Lake Views
Athletes from Lake Oswego, Oregon City and other competing schools get into ready positions before the start of a meet.
By Nathan Redinbo Swim season is here, and the Lakers are determined to take it by force. Swim team is made up of over 70 students and is one of the most popular winter sports. Although the team welcomed many new swimmers this year, many swimmers are still optimistic about the season.
Junior Madison Goodall said, “It’s a good family. We have a lot of fun, and everyone spends time together.” The team kicked off the season at home during the TRL relay meet on Dec. 5. Supported by many fans and parents, the Lakers won and placed in many events. Led by captains Marco Womarans, Lucas Rodgers, Abby
Lyons and Maddie McMurray, the team competed with Canby, Lakeridge, Clackamas, Oregon City and West Linn. This year, the varsity team is coached by Coach Mike Branam, the ‘swingers’ (swimmers who swing between varsity and JV) are led by Coach Susan Branam, and JV is led by Coach Amy
Bearden. Sophomore Yifan Mao said, “We definitely have a lot more freshmen this year, as a lot of seniors graduated last year. Despite the overwhelming numbers of new swimmers, the swimmers remain optimistic. “We’re going to have some fun this year,” Mao said. LO is competing with Oregon City on Jan. 16.
LOHS sports programs start to rebuild By Allison Kantor Our sports teams have been rebuilding. In the past, Lake Oswego has been known for their title-winning, excellent sports teams, but recently this has not been the case. As we all know each year the seniors must graduate and leave their beloved school to venture out into the world, but what are they leaving behind? They leave their shoes to be filled by another senior or underclassman, for that matter. Each year we lose talented students and players, but gain many players from the younger generations. “We replaced a lot of the starting lineup this year, but the leadership from the senior class has really helped us find our potential,” junior varsity football player Zach Parker said. This year our football team has had more sophomore starters than ever before. Since the majority of these players had never experienced anything at that high of a level of play it was hard for the younger players to adjust so quickly. In the end we had a losing season, but definitely progressed throughout the season even if the overall standings were upsetting compared to recent years. With practice comes perfect and the younger generations are frankly not developed enough as players to fill these shoes just yet. It takes time to mold a great player and they need to mature before they can shine. Every few years this happens, where a group of seniors leave behind a young team. Not to say that they aren’t all extremely talented but they are just not at their full potential quite yet. “It definitely is difficult having so many new and young players on the team but it’s really good for the upcoming years since they will be even better,” JV basketball player Libby Dozois said. In the past the girls varsity basketball team has struggled to obtain enough players to fill the varsity and JV teams. Because of the lack of interest, the team
has had a hard time progressing as a team. Since the number of players fluctuates all the time it is hard for the team to develop a good dynamic from year to year. This also makes it harder for them to figure out strengths of each player in order to find new ones to fill the shoes of graduated. All across the board our teams have been rebuilding and developing each player into a great one. Although this may be hard for fans to endure, a team that is rebuilding may not be as good as they were the year before; totally understandable. They have to go through a process. Each team must find people to fill the shoes of graduated players. “Last year we had a team that had grown up together and had a great team dynamic, but this year we have players from all over that are having to learn how to work together,” senior varsity basketball player Leo Spada said. This year the varsity boys team is made up of completely new members. With the exception of some returners or JV players from last year, there are a handful of transfer students on the roster. Contrasted with last year, this group of boys has never played together before so it will be a challenge to find their harmony. It’s all about finding new hidden talents that make the team stronger together. For as long as many of our students can remember we have beaten Lakeridge in almost every single sport, but just as we go through this cycle of maturing athletes so do other schools. We see this happening with college teams too, like the Ducks and Beavers. It’s a constant flow back and forth for who is the better team. For a while one team will win and then the tides will turn. It happens all the time in sports and it will continue to happen in a never-ending cycle. This rebuilding cycle will continue to affect all sports teams throughout the years, but the important thing to remember is no matter how good or bad your team may be just know that with time everything gets better.
Trail Blazers keep the ball rolling By Dan Williams There’s no worse feeling then watching a hometown team struggle to win a single game, in the final stretch of a season. In fact, the Portland Trail Blazers just so happened to epitomize that struggle with a 13 game losing streak, to end the season with a 33-49 record. In contrast to the Blazers’ incredibly awful finish to the season, one has to simply observe the incredible execution of the start of the season. The Blazers so far have stacked up some notable accolades in and out of the franchise. They started off the season with a road loss to the Suns in Phoenix, and went on to win 13 games straight, with
notable wins over teams like the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs. Over the streak, the Blazers posted insane numbers, which included a 42 percent clip from the 3-point line. The Blazers currently are at number one in scoring per game, at 107.9 points per game. The Blazers have had some help in their victory streak. They’ve won games because of the scoring and rebounding antics of all-star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is currently leading the team in scoring, rebounding and stealing. Similarly, Damian Lillard has been phenomenal to say the least, averaging 20.0 points per game and shooting a
blazing 40 percent from the 3-point line. The Blazers undoubtedly have had a season remarkably different than the previous one, in terms of team chemistry, defensive mindset and performance against Eastern Conference powerhouses. The Blazers, although still having a long way to go and a lot more to prove, are starting to look promising for a team that has long been on an agonizing track of being continually abysmal. The Blazers were even ranked twice in a row in the top spot of Bleacher Report’s power rankings, and twice in a row in the second spot, behind the Indiana Pacers, by ESPN.
December 20, 2013
Ski team bundles up for a new season By Blake Mindemann
On Nov. 18, the girls and boys ski teams began practice. The boy’s team is in the process of rebuilding due to the loss of seniors this past season. According to their coach of six years, Paul Tollefson, “The men’s team is rebuilding with lots of returning skiers and a strong foundation of incoming freshmen with race experience.” The girl’s team is well stocked with seasoned players, but are welcoming any new teammates with open arms. Both teams are expected to have great seasons. LOHS’s ski teams do very well in their league and just last year they brought home two state tro-
phies. These were the first state trophies LOHS had received for skiing in a long time. Tollefson stated, “Our teams have been consistently strong in the Three Rivers League since I have been coaching at LOHS. We have come home with hardware [awards or trophies] our league every year and had a strong finish at State last season” On both the male’s and female’s team, there are six varsity skiers and the rest are on JV. “Everyone gets to race. It is by far the most fun anyone could possibly have at LOHS.” said Tollefson. The ski teams encourage people who enjoy skiing to come join their team and learn the skills of competing and sportsmanship.
Travis Toal/Lake Views
Lake Oswego Ski team members get physically prepared for the upcoming season with various dryland exercises including wall sits. The girls and boys Ski teams will both be very competitive this year.
Sports Spotlight Julianna Ramey
Zoë Wong: How long have you been playing basketball for? Julianna Ramey: I have been playing basketball since I was five. ZW: Do you play on any teams besides the high school team? What are these teams like? JR: I play for the Oregon Elite basketball team. I have been playing with this club team for three years. It is a lot faster play and more aggressive than the high school season. ZW: What position do you play? What do you like about this position? JR: We have a different number for each position on the court. I play 4 (post) and 3 (wing). I like playing these positions because I like shooting and driving on the basket. I have the opportunity to do both of those in these positions. ZW: What do you during the offseason to prep for basketball? JR: I do lots of basketball clinics and various basketball academies for Oregon Elite. ZW: What do you like most about basketball? JR: I like winning and spending time with the team. One of the best aspects of basketball is the relationships and trust that you build with your teammates. ZW: What are you excited about for this season? JR: I am excited for the Interstate shootout tournament during winter
break. This tournament will be a great opportunity for the team to showcase the hard work that we have put in during practices. We will also be able to learn from our Interstate shootout games and continue to improve. ZW: Do you have any personal goals for the season? Team goals? JR: Personally, I would like to grow as a player. As one of the only returning players on this year’s team, I am excited about the opportunity to be a positive role model and leader. As a team, we are focusing on growth and hard work. Since we are a young team, it is important that we are always looking to improve. ZW: How has being one of the only returning players been like so far? JR: It’s a lot of fun, but challenging at the same time. You have to step up as a leader on and off the court. ZW: Do you have any pre or post game traditions? JR: My pre-game tradition is to put my right shoe on before my left. If I accidentally put my left shoe on before my right, then I have to take both of them off and re-do it. I have been doing this since eighth grade. I don’t have any post-game traditions. ZW: What is this year’s team like? JR: This team is really young. Though we have a lot of fresh players, we are excited about the energy that all of our new players bring to the court.
Jameis Winston emerges as the Snowboard team prepares Heisman Memorial trophy winner for January competitions By Mckenna Murray The Heisman Memorial trophy is considered the most prestigious award in college football and each year numerous players compete to acquire the desired trophy. This 2013 season has been full of up and downs, making the Heisman watch especially intriguing. After the regular season games, it seemed as though Jameis Winston, Freshman quarterback for Florida State University (FSU), was in the top place. He led FSU on its first undefeated regular season since 1999 with 3820 passing yards for 38 touchdowns. With only 10 interceptions this season, Winston had a 67.9 percent completion rate, leading FSU to number one in the BCS standings and a chance to compete in the BCS Championship game. In his last game, Winston and his team played Duke for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship. The FSU team won the game with a 45-7 victory and Winston ended the game completing 19 of 32 passes for 330 yards. He passed for three touchdowns and ran for one. Winston set the Football Bowl Series (FBS) freshman records for number of touchdown passes (38) and yards passing (3,820) in a single season. Though it seemed like Winston would be the clear victor, the investigation into whether or not he sexually assaulted another FSU student could have made voters shy away from giving him the trophy. However, earlier this month the state at-
torney declined to charge Winston, saying that he did not have enough evidence to convict him. Despite this rather large issue, the FSU quarterback was awarded the 79th annual Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, Dec. 14, making him the youngest player to win. Winston also won by the fifth largest margin in modern history of the award over other top contenders. Following Winston in the running was Northern Illinois University senior quarterback Jordan Lynch. During this season, Lynch had become the fifth quarterback in the FBS history to rush for 20 touchdowns and pass for 20 as well. Earlier this year, it seemed as though the Heisman Award would be given to either quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, who won in 2012, or quarterback Marcus Mariota of Oregon. However, both quarterbacks lost numerous games (Manziel 4 and Mariota - 2) during their seasons. Started in 1935, the Heisman Award was originally known as the DAC Trophy and was first presented to Jay Berwanger of University of Chicago. The idea of the award was first thought of by the members of the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan. This club then created its own committee to conduct the awards ceremony and appoint the victor. Since the award is meant to celebrate the most outstanding player in college football, it is encouraging to know that there were many serious prospects for the trophy this season. There were many different leaders that emerged, but eventually Winston rose higher than the rest and claimed the acclaimed trophy.
LOHS Chess team boasts veteran players and a winning streak By Meghana Mysore
On Saturday Dec. 14, the LOHS chess team competed in an individual tournament. The individual players faced opponents mostly from Lincoln High School. At this individual tournament, many of the players were challenged by the strength of Lincoln’s individual players. In spite of this, LO has won all of its bigger matches so far, which are separate from the individual tournaments. However, its biggest opponent is definitely LHS, as they are
ranked higher than LO. On Jan. 15, LOHS will play Lincoln again. Some of LOHS’s top players are Pranav Sharan (Board 1), Patrick Butenhoff (Board 2), Daniel Seitz (Board 3), Yuriy Kamsha (Board 4) and Lyman Shen (Board 5). So far, LHS has had five matches, and in each of them LO has proved its chess prowess. Now, the team needs to continue its winning streak—and, to do so, it must look towards the daunting mountain in the distance that is Lincoln High School.
By Bridget Myers The snowboarding season is off to a great start. This year the team has 34 members, with senior JP Wallis is the captain of the boys team and senior Kendall Cohns is captain of the girls team. The boys team is led by coach Chip Treadwell and the girls team by his wife, Carrie Treadwell. The two coaches provide support for the team and involve themselves immensely with the goals and progression of the riders. Competitions for the team do not start until late January, but the team’s training is
underway, getting them ready for a great season. In preparation for the upcoming season members of the team have been going up to the mountain to prepare for their individual events. Other members of the team are really looking forward to their trips up to Ski Bowl and the bonding experiences as a team. “Our goal is to get as many people to state as possible and simply having fun as a team,” said Wallis. Last year the team had around the same number of members so the team is looking forward to the same enthusiasm and commitment from its dedicated team.
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The Rear End
Lakeridge’s behavior doesn’t merit new stadium The Editorial Board condemns the recent behaviors of the Lakeridge football team, and the lack of appropriate punishments for inappropriate behavior alongside the district’s continued interest in rebuilding the Lakeridge High Stadium in light of gross misdeeds. Lakeridge football players have been accused of misconduct during several of their games, especially the recent Jesuit game. Lakeridge’s players were behaving so savagely that at one point they made 21 penalties in the course of advancing 229 yards. At the end of the game both teams were told not to shake hands and Jesuit’s players were escorted off the field by police because the refs feared for their safety. The Lakeridge football team has become so set on beating its opponents that it has taken that competitive spirit to an unhealthy level. While the district has promised an investigation into the matter, the evidence is overwhelming and thoroughly documented by The Oregonion and Lake Oswego Review. Lake Oswego already has the unfortunate reputation for being exceedingly wealthy, racially-homogenous and downright snooty, and Lakeridge’s misconduct on the field only
supports this generalization. It should be a goal to debunk, not perpetuate, the “Lake Oswego” stereotype, but that will never happen if teenagers from a local high school—along with their coach—decide it’s more important to be seen as sports victors than level-headed people. And yet the district still continues to pursue a $1.5 million improvement to the Lakeridge High Stadium. At a recent school board meeting, rather than debating the appropriateness of rewarding the contemptuous football program, the discussion seemed to revolve around some arbitrary costs related to the project. Instead of addressing the recent issues with Lakeridge’s football team, the school board has tacitly decided to pretend like nothing has happened. The district should not be giving a bounty to these players for their rude and brutish behavior. Sports programs are supposed to inspire the best in a student body, such as determination, courage and teamwork; not bloodthirstiness, disrespect and barbarity. While the district has promised an investigation into the matter, the evidence is overwhelming. In these times of economic insecurity, every
dollar needs to be examined for its effect. Class sizes in Oregon have boomed in recent years, and this problem even permeates the gilded gates of Lake Oswego. With the third highest class sizes in the country, perhaps this money could be better spent on teachers and education materials rather than bestowing financial honor onto this dishonorable program. It seems overly evident that schools should be more worried about giving their students a quality education, as that is the purpose of school. Thus, not only does LOSD’s lack of addressing Lakeridge football’s misbehavior show an unhealthy sense of denial, but perpetuates the notion that maybe Lake Oswego schools have put football on such a pedestal that we spoil everyone involved with our football teams. It seems common sense that if your child decides to trash your house and shout swear words at you, you don’t give them a cookie, you give them a time out. In this case, it’s a $1.5 million cookie, and one even larger mistake on the part of the school board.
How long have you been studying opera? I became interested in it at around 8, but started formally training two years ago.
How to you come to study it in the first place? When I was 8 I heard “Phantom of the Opera” in my grandmother’s car, and that night I made my dad buy the 2005 movie. I have since seen it 138 times, it’s a slight obsession, but it is really what started by desire to sing. Do you sing with an organization outside of school? I take private vocal lessons, but I have also sung with The Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Pacific Youth Choir. I also do a lot of theater because there are not many roles in opera for kids. So I also do a lot with the Northwest Children's Theater, in fact I am currently playing Wendy in "Peter Pan." What is the best part about singing opera? My favorite part of singing opera is the music. The majority of operas were written by the most famous names in music history so I really like getting to pass their work on. And I also really enjoy the rush of performing. But, it can be frustrating because the voice isn’t fully developed until you’re 40, and I’m only 13, meaning that my voice fluctuates a lot, so sometimes a song that I can sing one day I can’t sing as well another.
By Haley Bertlelsen
“Mommy where does snow come from?” “It comes from the tears of all the kids in LO who didn’t get out of school.” Amanda Bynes recently left rehab and plans to study fashion. She’s already started her first line, “Hot Mess by A. Bynes.” CNN has an article in their “Talk TV” section titled “Who Died on Walking Dead.” The List included: everyone. Scientists are currently working on a way to use 3-D printers to create transplant organs and other biological tissues. In other news, I’m building a dinosaur. Some say it’s possible this year that a few insurance companies will raise their policies this season because of numerous, “Holiday related risks.” Because you know if Rudolph falls off your roof, and you’re not covered, Santa could sue you out of house and ho-ho-home. Julia Andrews said she didn’t watch the live “Sound of Music” on ABC. Andrews said,“It was definitely not a few of my favorite things.”
An Oregon football player was suspended for participating in a giant snowball fight. One of the “victims” who told administration of the events was Professor Sherwin Simmons, now known as Professor Party Pooper.
Fox News wrote an article telling Nutella lovers just where their favorite spread comes from. Well I’m assuming the gods… Rumor has it that Justin Bieber will star in the next “Fast & Furious” movie. Really? What is he going to do, race his tricycle?
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Notes from Natalie
By Ruby King
November 15, 2013
Follow us at: @LOlakeviews
Let’s Talk About Religion Might religion be the elephant in the room for American society? By Natalie Skowlund According to The Washington Post, 84 percent of the world’s population is religious. A person’s views on spirituality largely tell about her fundamental approach to life and what she deems most important. So why do we as Americans flinch every time we hear the word “religion” mentioned? Understanding and discussing our own spiritual views, as well as those of others, is crucial to establishing a society founded on acceptance and cohesiveness. I’m certainly not advocating that everyone should be religious or buy into a specific religion, but I am asserting that we get over ourselves a little, pause our judgments for a moment, and listen to each other. If we expect to progress on a global scale, we first need to grow up from our bashful snickers every time the word “religion” is mentioned and have a serious discussion about one of the most ancient, rooted institutions for all of humanity. While the separation of church and state is no doubt a major asset to American society, the emphasis on separation has become so ingrained in our minds that we find it threatening to talk about religion openly at all. Separation does not have to mean disconnect, but that is what has occurred for those of us who feel that the only way to keep religion separate is to deny our attachment as human beings to our religious roots. Of course, that’s not to say that we are all innately religious in this day and age, just that whether an atheist or Baptist, how we live, what we eat, the entirety of our values derive from the world’s religious history—or from questioning such institutions. Just think about the structure of our week: Monday through Friday are workdays and we get Saturday and Sunday off. That structure comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition of Sunday as the day of rest, the day to attend church, and Saturday originates from the Jewish Sabbath. And did you know that Congress begins each session with a prayer? So although we might like to believe church and state are perfectly separate in America, the facts point otherwise. And in the overwhelming majority of the rest of the world, separation of church and state has never even been considered. Too often, we deal with global issues as if they can be considered in isolation. We ignore the complexity of major world problems out of convenience, but is it convenient in the long run? Since 9/11, America has been going berserk out of fear of terrorism, and much of our anger and resentment has been directed towards the Middle East. We find it incredibly easy to place blame on certain extremist leaders—Osama Bin Laden, Sadam Hussein—and groups—the Taliban—and yet, how much do we truly understand why they did what they did? And of course, what they did—and do—is atrocious, but we get nowhere if we just lay blame without examining their reasoning. If we look a little closer though, we realize that these people and groups of people are largely acting on behalf of their Islamic religious beliefs. The dilemma is that when we hear that, we immediately feel the urge to point the finger at all Muslims, when most Muslims would explain that they want as little to do with those extremists as anyone else. But how on Earth would we be able to differentiate between Islamist extremists and the majority of Muslims? Well, we could start by studying the religion of Islam, its history and its present condition. Then, we could make some parallels to our own largely Christian society. It’s not like America has ever had religious extremists parading around covered in white robes and murdering citizens of different races. No, nor have we ever interpreted the Bible in such a way that it upheld the institution of slavery for almost a century. Oh wait… We as humans need a fundamental explanation of some sort for how the world operates and why we’re here. You could be Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic or pagan, but I do care about what you are. What you choose to call yourself and how you go about explaining— or not explaining—your existence is not only fascinating, but it plays a large role in how you interact with others, what career you chose, even which foods you eat. To discount religion by claiming that it is really not significant in this day and age is to accept a version of reality far simpler than the one we actually live in. Whether we like it or not, religion has shaped us since humanity’s beginnings and will continue to for much longer. Thus, I plead just one thing: can we stop tiptoeing around the concept of religion and actually acknowledge it? Instead of allowing religion’s influence on the world to build upon itself beneath the surface, let’s look it in the eyes and try to understand and accept its many different facets.