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HEAD TO HEAD LASA sophomore Seb Tanaka rejoices after sucessfully completing global journey to find head larger than his own. “It’s a miracle, and I can’t believe this is even possible,” Tanaka said. photo by Joan Min.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING LASA physics teacher John Stormberg is introducing his new AP Napping course, in which students learn to sleep and dream in ways never before thought possible. “I thought it’ d be a great way for students to…Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz,” Stormberg said while falling asleep. photo by Joann Min

APRIL FOOLS While we at the Liberator realize that April Fools’ Day is long past, we see no reason why we can’t keep the party going all month long. In honor of all things strange and comedic, we present the Litigator, LBJ’s premiere satire newspaper. Disclaimer: the next eight pages are not real.

the litigator L I B E R A L A R T S A N D S C I E N C E A C A D E M Y, LY N D O N B A I N E S J O H N S O N H I G H S C H O O L S

April 17, 2014

Volume 40

Issue 5.5

oon M

Examination

Stephanie Park & Daniel Zimmerman

Predators-in-chief

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has just released the final elements of their new testing program for the 20142015 school year. After difficulties with the previous State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam, the state has decided to implement the Mastery Of Obscure (k) Nowledge (MOON) test. “We discovered it’s actually pretty tough for kids to reach the stars,” Commissioner of Education Michael Williams said. “We figured, what the heck, the moon’s just right there.” One of the major selling points of the MOON test is the random testing policy, colloquially known as the Eclipse Standard, in which students are unexpectedly given the test at random. There are no limits to when or where the test can be proctored. “It was freaky,” LASA sophomore Sesha McMinn said. “I was in the bathroom and then this hand just shot through the bathroom stall and threw me the test. I think the smell alone in there probably adversely affected my score.” Unlike STAAR and TAKS tests, the MOON test is proctored by current Navy SEALs. This unorthodox testing method often known as the LUNAcy approach, has brought down cheating and talking during the test while simultaneously increasing the amount of strokes occurring during the exam. “Every time anyone interrupts our testing environment, I don’t care what it is – talking, sneezing, breathing – I make them get off their sorry bottoms and do 50 push-ups,” Navy SEAL Richard Black said. “If anyone complains, get down and give me 70. You think it’s too cold? You can’t handle the cold! You’d think they’d learn to be quiet afterwards, but they always

7309 Lazy Creek Drive, Austin, Texas 78724

After encountering difficulties with the STAAR exam, the TEA has decided to take matters in a different direction with the new MOON testing policy, ensuring testing will never be quite the same.

pant after those exercises.” After reports that students were performing poorly on TAKS and STAAR standardized tests, the TEA determined that they needed to take stronger disciplinary measures were needed to motivate students. Students will now be pushed back a grade for every section they do not get commended on. After public outcry on this drastic measure, the TEA determined that students could alternatively choose to be launched to the moon, quieting public distress. “I failed a couple of the sections my junior year, when it was introduced,” Jordan Elementary School kindergartner (former LASA junior) Jack Clark said. “I didn’t take them up on the offer to go to the moon, but I’m really digging nap time. It’s given me time to really find myself.” As the testing policy includes shooting kids to the moon, if they don’t pass, the TEA has set up a contract with the Johnson Space Center in Houston to fly kids to the moon, allowing the previously neglected NASA program to return to its former glory. “It’s been a lot of fun,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “We thought when we reopened the Apollo program we’d be sending trained adults to the moon, but I guess sending kids who have absolutely none of the skills required to survive in space is okay, too. We just tell them it’s space camp and by the time they realize we’re a bunch of liars, they’re already zooming past the ionosphere.” Students preparing for the chemistry MOON exam have complained about the teaching method of LASA chemistry teacher Joseph Oleniczak. “He’s really great at chemistry, but he just won’t stop with his moon jokes,” LASA sophomore Michael Barre said. “At first it was funny, but how many times can you hear, ‘What do you call meat from the MOON? Meteor rare’ or ‘The MOON really rocks’ or ‘Why did the lunar salesman get fired? Because he couldn’t selene thing’? He just keeps being punny, and all I want to do is learn stoichiometry.”

Frightened LASA sophomore Sesha McMinn takes the MOON test in the bathroom as part of the Eclipse Standard. “Does this mean I’ll be counted as absent?” McMinn said. photo by Stephanie Park

The MOON test includes the traditional courses such as biology, English and algebra, but after pressure from the federal government for even higher standards, the new test will include ancient Elvish literature, quantum physics and golf. Members of the golf team were in a panic when other students began to ask them for help preparing for the exam. “It was ridiculous,” LBJ golf team captain and LASA senior Jacob Baldwin said. “They actually expected us to know golf. I mean, I go practice at least once a semester, but I still don’t exactly know what the long metal things are for or if we’re allowed to drive the little cars.” Due to these higher standards, both the majority of LBJ and LASA students have flunked the MOON practice exam which included a surprise section on Chinese vexillology. Surprisingly, the vast majority of students at the raccoon school in the ceiling passed the exam (further in-depth coverage can be found on page 3). “Squeak,” a raccoon said. “Squeak, squeak, MOON test, squeak.” The strenuous and arguably difficult nature of the exam, has led some colleges to offer degree plans specifically for students who manage to get commended on all sections. Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust said the test offers an in-depth analysis of a student’s academic ability. “It’s so hard, I doubt I could pass it,” Gilpin Faust said. “We just figured that if the kids could get through this test, Harvard would be a breeze.” Despite the difficulty of the test, students have shown a positive reaction to the new materials presented on the various sections. LASA sophomore Sam Gunn, known to his friends as , said studying for the MOON test has prepared her for real-world situations. “I think I aced the Elvish section of the MOON,” Gunn said. “The MOON does a great job preparing students to leave high school. Now, I will be ready to face my future when I become an elf.”

Live jaguar wins male pageant after devouring all other contestants Special co-Editor

At the conclusion of the fifth annual Mr. Jaguar male pageant, in which contestants vied for the title of “Mr. Jaguar” by competing in swimsuit, talent and question and answer portions, Mulac, a live jaguar from the nearby Austin Zoo, was named Mr. Jaguar after devouring every other contestant in front of an eager audience. Mulac, a 133-pound jaguar originally from South America, reportedly appeared backstage halfway during the show, and immediately set about picking off the contestants one by one in quick succession. In his first appearance on stage, Mulac eliminated several contestants in the middle of their talents, eliciting simultaneous screams and cheers from the audience. Midway through the slaughter, Mulac appeared to become thirsty and attempted to drink water out of a baby pool onstage, inadvertently swallowing LASA junior

Vignesh Vasu whole. apart by a live jaguar,” judge Kimberley “Mulac really approached this whole Jibladze said. “I mean, after his incredible competition with shock factor in mind, and showing during the talent section it was I think he pulled it off,” LASA senior Leah pretty obvious that he was the favorite to win. Harvey said. “At first I was surprised by all But we checked the rules, and apparently the blood posthumous and stuff, awards but after are strictly He also showed his softer side that, it was prohibited, when he allowed a few of the a lot of fun so we had to watch no choice contestants to tell their parents Mulac do but to name they love them one last time his thing.” Mulac Mr. Mulac Jaguar.” before finishing them off. later LASA returned senior and -LASA senior Kiaya Skinner backstage, judge Kiaya where he Skinner waited quietly to pounce on each of the said she was impressed by all of the remaining contestants as they returned contestants’ senses of humor and physiques, from their question and answer portions of but ultimately their desire to win paled in the show. comparison to Mulac’s desire to consume “We were all set to award Aniket the top human flesh. prize, at least until he was viciously ripped “In my opinion, nobody embodied the

Bob Ghatakatopodis

spirit of Mr. Jaguar better than Mulac,” Skinner said. “He obviously is a very masculine animal, but he also showed his softer side when he allowed a few of the contestants to tell their parents they love them one last time before finishing them off. Then he took the time to lick some of the blood off of his fur, showing that he also cares about how he looks.” Fellow judge Brian Mayer said the fact that Mulac was named the winner proves that the competition is about more than just being an attractive male. “You just have to sit back and admire all that Mulac had to offer for the competition,” Mayer said. “At first, I was worried that he might be one of those all brawn and no brains type of contestant that we sometimes see, but the way that he stealthily hunted down each and every one of the other contestants made it clear that he could also think on his feet.” At press time, Mulac could be seen hungrily eying the judges table.


the liberator april 17, 2014

STAFF STANCE

the litigator EXECUTIVE BOARD

Queen Bee

Editors-in-Chief

Frittata/Basab’s servant

An accurate stance on the talented newspaper staff Kim “Katpee” Fratakopodis Stephanie Park Daniel Zimmerman Sabab Atahko-Ry Jamie “Yayme” Rodriguez Chris “Hotpocket” Jones

EDITORIAL BOARD Commentary Editors News Editors

Basab “Daslob” Ghatak-Roy Mazie “Gluten-Free” Hyams Sammy Jarrarararararar Aasbb Oyr-Hagtka Sam Zern Sesha McMinn

Life and Feature Editors Second-String Sports Editors “Entertainment”

Logan Kramer Baltazar Zuniga Isabel Saralegui Meagen “It’s” Allgood David de la Fartza Madeline Goulet

Graphics Editor

Victoria Mycue

Varsity Paper Boys

Caitlin Anderson Audrey Halbrook Willow Higgins

STAFFERS Chelsea Banawis, Chris Buffum-Robbins, Eliza Cain, Isabela Contreras, Not Corey Dillard, Don Draper, Chloe Edminston, James Franco, Alex Friedman, Mary Louise Gilburg, Beto Guzman, Nathan Humpfries Lucas, Satan Himself, CJ “The Athlete” Jones, Gwil Johnson, Abby Kaptainman, Adam Kobeissi, Aryaman Lamsal, Ana “aaaaaaaa” Lopez, Oran Latepez-Reed, Rick Ross, Zia Lyle, Frankie Marchan, Hannah Marks, Occasionally Kapil Mattay, Meris McHaney, Surya “Skipper” Milner, Joann Min, Carter Pace, Dresden Timco, Dresden (the city), Daniel “las” Vega, Tristan Wright, Natsirt Wrong, Dizzy Wright, Yoda

Editorial Policy The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of Newspaper, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of not marking comments as resolved.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Bratapodis is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid, unfiltered, instagramless world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. Chris Jones’s sole purpose in life is pretty much just to serve Basab Ghatak-Roy, and should never have been appointed to the executive board. The people are revolted. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. Basab now runs the country of newspaper, and by reading this, all subjects agree to submit to his rule.

Corrections Page 2- Chnloe Edminnston’s name was misspelled. No regrets. Page 192- A comma, was missed, somewhere, Page 69 - We a word somewhere

Letters to the

Editors

We, the Commentary Editors for The Liberator, have spent a lot of time in newspaper class this year. As we’ve worked, a few things about our fellow newspaper students has have come to our attention. The staff of the Liberator is full of bright, academically-adept students who have a skill for writing eloquent articles full of mostly meaningless opinions. That is, when they’re in class and not playing candy crush or space narwhal games. The paper as a whole is a fascinating social experiment with one undeniable conclusion: the staffers of the Liberator are mostly unstable and need to get their lives in check, maybe with professional help. When you walk in the journalism room, turn around, and you’ll spot a map of Austin hanging on the wall. It serves as a cute little way to stalk all of your favorite journalism students, whose houses can be located by pushpins (people still haven’t realized the pin marking David de la Garza’s house is actually the taco truck by the gas station). Turn back and you’ll see a large empty space littered with chairs that hold the best and brightest: boys who spend the entirety of class sitting with headphones eyes glued to their screens. Here, you’ll likely find Kapil Mattay, who can’t bear to be in the presence of, let alone interact with, people who wear less expensive shoes than he does. Safe to say he sits alone. Marissa Hansen’s boyfriend usually only has eyes for his computer. Sometimes he’s found watching soccer, and the other times all the websites he regularly visits are blocked. The area was once home to a couch, but it had to be removed after the spider dynasty that had built its empire between the cushions was finally discovered. The first row of computers is home to a very special group of people in both classes. In many ways, they are actually the exact same, just with different faces. Well, not in the case of Will and Gill. It’s been a year, but we still have no idea which one is which. We’re not alone though. The Liberator’s resident film critic Tristan Wright still can’t distinguish between David de la Garza and Daniel Zimmerman after eight months of class, and they aren’t even twins. (Or related. Or similar-looking.) In eighth period, Bennett Leff ’s girlfriend can regularly be found in the area, wearing Chacos, and remarkably actually working. Nathan Humphreys-Lucas, on the other hand, has no idea what’s going on, ever. The next row is a breeding ground of crazy in both seventh and eighth period. Anonymous “staffers” spend most of their time writing love letters to Mary Louise Gilburg than anything for the actual paper. Mary Lousie and Zia Lyle usually write their articles together, as they are regarded as a unit rather than individuals. Zia gets the left half of the keyboard and Mary Louise bashes her face into the right half. It seems to work for them, as they consistently turn in some of the best articles and are remarkably timely.

art by Lina Fisher

Who is your least favorite

person at LBJ or LASA? liberated minds compla in Ceiling Skuhnk

Snoop Dogg

I really dislike that Mr. Flowers character. All he does is complain about my natural musk while stumbling around class throwing his hands up exclaiming “What? Whatever. I mean, whatever. It’s a thing. So yeah.”

Yo man, this school is the shizzle neffew. It only needs more nachos and eye drops yadigg? Some cheetos too don’t forget those lil’ homies. What was the question?

LASA freshman

12-time LBJ senior

Väinämöinen the Wise William Carrillo Local Wizard

Guys, I know I’m cool, but seriously, the copying needs to stop. You roleplaying nerds aren’t close to being level 9 laser lotuses, so don’t even try. Also, get that camera out of my face.

LBJ senior

My friend Rick is a bunghole.

Sophomore complains about year

Band porta-potty lacks supplies

Dear Editor,

Dear Editor,

Sophomore year is soo hard oh mai gawd!!11!1 I just can’t do my homework and balance my new neopets account! My barbies are going through puberty, so I really need to dedicate more time to them.

I need to tend to my allergies, and whenever I go to the band porta potty, it never has eye drops, nachos, or any sort of drink to counter the cotton mouth allergies bring.

- LASA Neopet Grahate Eyed’ias

Mr. Risinger isn’t decisive enough Dear Editor,

Have an opinion about a school policy? Have a bone to pick with something the Liberator has published? No one cares. Drop it off in room 265 or in the boxes in the school offices and we’ll promptly burn it in a show of dominance.

Here at the Liberator, staffer grades are based on a point system rewarding hard work. Joann Min racks up enough points in a six-weeks to support the GPA of a small village. Meanwhile, Ana Lopez and Audrey Halbrook work restlessly to capture the perfect snapchat selfie on Basab Ghatak-Roy’s phone. Business editor Chris Jones is one of The Liberator’s most hard-working. Each issue, when he’s not busy playing “starwhal” with Basab, he has the remarkable ability to sell all of the paper’s ads to himself (or his family members). You could call him our golden boy. Speaking of golden, goldenvoiced Adam Kobeissi talks in tones so low only whales can hear him, so his cheers for the soccer games he watches during class go mostly unnoticed. In the corner, human generator Caitlin Anderson’s glare emits enough wattage to power the yellow wing of the school. In the next row of computers, Eliza Cain finally beats 2048 in class after playing it 2048 times. Her articles, which started out as well-written pieces in the English language, have disintegrated into series of twos, fours, eights, and so on. The journalism room is abuzz with laughter and gossip. That’s why Alex Friedman’s Jewfro is so big -- it’s full of secrets. Baltazar Zuniga hasn’t shown up all six weeks, likely because he’s taken it upon himself to complete a Paper Jaguar on homelessness despite Katopodis’s refusal to approve the idea. These kids need help. It’s evident action needs to be taken. We suggest the staff of The Liberator attend mandatory mental counseling once a week to regain their sanity. But they may be too far gone. We hate to admit it, but nobody’s perfect, not even us. For example, editors Mazie Hyams, whose “gluten-free” title is fooling no one, and Basab Ghatak-Roy, who may or may not actually be one of the seven dwarves, often get really lazy and never finis

Mr Risinger really isn’t opinionated enough about his political views. Him and Mr. Snyder, I’ve noticed, seem pretty passive and don’t try hard enough to force their viewpoints on their students.

- LASA sophomore Voeht Libertarian

- LBJ freshman Warby Parker

Bathroom stalls small for company Dear Editor, I’ve been trying to accompany friends to the bathroom to help aid them through the mentally and physically challenging experience of “dropping a deuce,” but it’s quite frankly nearly impossible to fit two grown men into one bathroom stall at LASA. The stalls need to be more accomodating for supportive-poop friends.

- LBJ junior Ben Taulli


And the raccoons make three...

Raccoon principal establishes third school on campus above ceilings Staff Writer The raccoon students and teachers of Davy Crockett’s Hat Memorial High School (DCHMHS) scuttle purposefully down Manor Road toward the LBJ/LASA campus. A souped-up, bass-bumpin’ Cadillac Escalade hurtles toward the students of DCHMHS. DCHMHS principal Rainbow Sprinkles hurries in front of her students to face it. She extends her paw and stamps her wooden staff into the ground. “You shall not pass!” she squeaks. The whole of the student body watches with bated breath as the massive SUV screeches to a stop and lurches forward to kiss Sprinkle’s nose before finally slouching back on its brakes in defeat. Silence. Then cheers ring out. The First Rabies dance team lets off a few joyous squeals and the school band begins banging rhythmically on their shiny cooking pots. They arrive on the LBJ/LASA campus triumphant, singing their fight song; “Davvvy! Davy Crockett/If you put us in a cage you better lock it/Some of us have Rabieeeees.” On April 1, DCHMHS officially became the third secondary school housed on campus. This was the culmination of the principal’s difficult struggle to secure safe facilities for the north Austin raccoon school. Principal Sprinkles said the previous campus, a KFC dumpster, has fallen into disrepair. Years of being a KFC dumpster left the one-room schoolhouse riddled with discarded drug paraphernalia and Famous Bowls. Furthermore, a disruption in relations between the school and the KFC management has caused the school’s supply of hearty district-approved lunch items like residual chicken gristle and cole slaw to run dangerously low. “It was probably when I stole all of their spoons,” DCHMHS sophomore Apple Rascal said, gesturing wildly before pausing to nibble on the fur of his tail. “I think that set a new tone for our interactions with the KFC management. That was when things really started to change.” As a species, raccoons are naturally curious creatures with a proclivity for the acquisition of shiny objects. Sprinkles said that the KFC management did not appear to understand this element of raccoon culture, or if they did, they certainly did not exercise proper cultural sensitivity. Following the alleged spoon-stealing incident, KFC halted the meal delivery service that had provided food for the dumpster-school since its inception. “One day the big plastic bags just stopped coming,” Sprinkles squeaked. “We assembled in front of the lid like we did everyday, like we had since I went here, but no one opened it. I remember seeing the look on the the faces of the little ones when they realized that we would have to venture outside the school to hunt pigeons. It was heartbreaking” Sprinkles lobbied the Austin Independent School District (AISD) central office for a relocation to no avail. “I think they misunderstood me,” Sprinkles said. “A week after I first explained the situation to the central office, we received a visit from Animal Control.”

After months of dashed hopes and fruitless telephone conversations with district staff, Sprinkles and the DCMHS student body turned to Twitter. Following the lead of the LASA senior class, they flooded the Twitter account of selective-problem-solver ‘AISD Alex’ (not to be mistaken for ‘AIDS Alex). “After thousands of tweets from its raccoon students and faculty, this Thursday I will be visiting DCHMHS. Remember, #IAmOnlyTheMessenger #keepit3hunna #trill #swag,” Sanchez tweeted. That Thursday, Sanchez arrived at the East Austin KFC with the intention of performing a thorough investigation of the building. However, upon opening the crack-dumpster

We feel right at home on this campus. Everyone praises me as some sort of raccoon goddess for having the foresight to move our school here.

-Davy Crockett’s Hat Memorial High School principal Rainbow Sprinkles

Pooping in a Corner, Honors Rabies Prevention (in honor of the late Raccoons #67, #69, and #12), Not Eating Droppings 101, Eating Bugs Off Skin (weighted on a 5.0 scale) and Organic Chemistry. “I am beyond proud of my students for being so flexible and receptive to change,” Sprinkles said. “I did not expect for it to go so smoothly, and I am terribly grateful for the cooperation from Ms. Crescenzi and Ms. Henry. They have helped accommodate us since the beginning; without them, we would probably be housed in a sewer under the Sonic.” Both LBJ and LASA were happy to accommodate the DCHMHS’ student body above their ceilings. The custodial staff has prepared for raccoons breaking through the ceilings, and LBJ/LASA students are excitedly waiting for the smell of raccoons to seep into their classrooms. “LBJ High School is recognized for its acceptance and tolerance, so it would only be right to help DCHMHS find a permanent home,” LBJ principal Sheila Henry said. “I feel that they will bring an entirely new perspective to school life, and possibly introduce completely new school activities to our students.” DCHMHS’s main rival, academically and athletically speaking, is RatCallum High School, housed in the ceilings of McCallum high school. Their curriculum is mostly focuesed on the arts and offers specialties in such disciplines as painting with fecal matter and spreading fatal disease as a statement against the effects of rapid industrialization on the development of an artistic society. Regardless, the two schools can’t seem to uphold a consistent winning streak in any sport, so their rivalry has reached a stalemate. “We have great academics to serve the needs of today’s raccoon teens, but we still need to work on our athletics programs,” Sprinkles said. “It’s difficult for our students to learn how to play basketball and such when the gym ceilings are so high that our students can’t see or learn from the LBJ and LASA students below.” While the schools are now well integrated from a social standpoint, some DCHMHS students, are struggling with the new lunch-menus. Most students currently subsist on a diet of cockroaches and insulation due to, what the raccoon parents’ group has called, an “unacceptable lack of food waste.” This issue has surfaced in several PTA meetings, and the administration is attempting to secure enough funding to install a fully-functioning trashcan. Along with ensuring the nutrition and safety of their students, the DCHMHS is faced with the challenging task of keeping their students in the ceiling. Students relay horror stories of the drywall ceiling panels disappearing, replaced instead by the shrill glare of the maintenance staff ’s flashlights. A raccoon security force has been established to keep DCHMHS healthy and intact. “We’re delighted to support DCHMHS as they become a part of the campus,” LASA principal Stacia Crescenzi said. “There may be issues along the road, but we are excited to have three schools in one building. Principal Sprinkles, Principal Henry and I are excited for the futures of our three schools.”

Ana Lopez

he found that it was full of several hundred clothed raccoons feasting on the flesh of pigeons. “#trillyoloswag,” Sanchez said before screaming and running away. It was then that Sprinkles decided that she had to handle the situation herself. An exhausting trek through sewers and across a multitude of busy streets landed the raucous group in their new home: the dilapidated ceilings of the LBJ/LASA campus. Needless to say, the raccoons were quick to blend in. Students report that the intensity of campuses’ musty fecal smell has remained fairly consistent despite the new arrivals. Furthermore, the raccoon’s high-pitched chattering and excessive twitching has allowed them to make fast friends with LBJ/ LASA freshmen. “We feel right at home on this campus,” Sprinkles said. “Everyone praises me as some sort of raccoon goddess for having the foresight to move our school here, but it seemed pretty obvious to me. The student bodies of LBJ, LASA and DCHMHS seemed like they would mesh perfectly. I don’t know where else would be more perfect for us to settle down in than the ceilings.” Since moving her entire school, Principal Sprinkles has been able to reestablish DCHMHS’ lacrosse team, Quiz Bowl team and, as a result of their strategic placement in the dance room’s ceilings, their drill team. The first few weeks of integration progressed without a hitch. Thanks to their new location DCHMHS has been able to offer an impossibly wide range of new courses, including, but not limited to: AP

Student returns from Crimean service trip Tristan Wright

Staff Writer

It’s high noon. Armed men in Russian uniforms patrol the streets, and the possibility of war is in the back of everyone’s minds. Meanwhile, LASA junior Ricky Fontaine leans back in his chair at a cafe in Crimea, attempting to order a meal in broken Spanish. “Guatemala’s a fairly different place, culturally, than the United States,” Fontaine said. “For one thing, they’re very protective of foreigners. These guys with the guns and the masks have been following me since about the second day I got here. They told me once that they’re protecting me from the threat of ‘enemies of the state.’” The taller of the two soldiers rolls his eyes. The other one’s spine stiffens at the mention of “enemies of the state.” It’s no surprise to anyone except Fontaine that the Crimean Peninsula is undergoing a period of political upheaval. He explained that his trip to “Guatemala” was funded by his Spanish class for a foreign exchange program. “I was actually separated from my class while we were boarding our plane,” Fontaine said. “I haven’t met up with them yet.” Behind him, the family of a local government official is loudly driven out of their home by more armed forty-somethings in balaclavas. Fontaine doesn’t react. “Oh, they call it ‘Carnaval’ here. It’s a kind of celebration, or fiesta,” Fontaine said, pronouncing “fiesta” with a long “i”. In the square, Russian soldiers struggle to maintain order as Fontaine examines postcards in a small corner store, disappointed at the lack of images of the tropical beach. “The weather hasn’t been anything like what I expected from Guatemala,” Fontaine laments as a local teenager throws a rock through the window of a military transport vehicle and is subsequently arrested. “I guess coming here during the winter was a mistake. I had a fantastic time at the beach, though.”

The beach Fontaine is referring to is the same beach where the Russian Navy immobilized the Ukrainian Navy by sinking one of their own ships in a narrow passageway. The sailors could only sit and watch as Russian soldiers filed onto the shore like ants to a picnic basket to claim the land they had grown up on. Of course, this occurred because of a vote that was in direct violation of the Ukrainian constitution. Meanwhile, Fontaine is ecstatic about the effect this trip will have on his college resume. “It’s a really humbling experience, seeing the lack of running water or electricity in some of these homes,” Fontaine said. “I think this will turn the heads of a lot of good schools in the future.” Fontaine isn’t the only one with no idea of how the college application system works. According to a recent survey by the Association of Brilliant Colleges, nine out of 10 dentists agree that trips like Fontaine’s are the first (and indeed, only) thing a college looks for in its prospective students. “Worldliness is important, especially in the digital age,” a college scout said while waiting at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for Fontaine to return. “With technology always at the student’s fingertips, they really lose touch with the world around them.” School counselors agree with this sentiment as well. LASA college counselor Jamie Kocian made it clear how proud she was that more and more students took the initiative to take these kinds of trips. “I am thrilled that the students are branching out and thinking about their future,” Kocian said. “Service trips show colleges that students are globally aware, and a trip to Crimea shows a clear awareness of current events.” The local residents have expressed annoyance about Fontaine. Dmitri Vasylenko, a local millworker who was laid off during the invasion, lives in the hotel where Fontaine is

staying, and he’s not happy about his presence. “We have enough problems as it is,” Vasylenko said. “The least we could expect is a little decency or respect from him. But no, he’s content with floating through town like a butterfly on laughing gas.” As if on cue, Fontaine asks Vasylenko for directions to the train station. Vasylenko sighs, and with a desperate glance at the Russian soldiers, responding with a dismissive gesture, walks dejectedly to the hotel. Upon arrival back in the States, Fontaine was approached by several college scouts, who had heard that he had recently been on a trip to a foreign country and rushed to meet him on the tarmac. There, they swarmed upon him like ants, and before he even set foot in the terminal, he had 16 different scholarships to colleges around the country. “Muchas gracias,” Fontaine said to the Pakistani gentleman handling his luggage,

before turning to shake hands with a suited Harvard representative. “I’m astounded. Who knew that a two-week trip to Guatemala could get me into Harvard with a full ride?” Meanwhile, the independence of a once-proud nation is crumbling before its citizens’ eyes, and Russia continues to organize similar unconstitutional votes for other areas formerly under their control. In a government building in Moscow, Vladimir Putin sits, pensive, upon his pet tiger and trusty steed, Nikolai. He thumbs through a newspaper, skimming over article after article proclaiming his glory. Suddenly, something catches his eye: a headline that reads, “American Student Travels to Guatemala, Accepted into Harvard.” “Good for him,” Putin says, reaching over to the map of the world on his desk and placing a Khrushchev-shaped chess piece over Guatemala. “I bet he’s a good kid.”

While on a hike in the Crimean Mountains, LASA junior Ricky Fontaine takes a moment to admire the scenery. “I’m glad that none of the Guatemalan volcanoes erupted while I was hiking,” Fontaine said. “I wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with the soldiers that have been following me around.” photo by Abby Kappelman

Art by Alex Friedman

LBJ

LASA

DCHMHS

the litigator april 17, 2014


the litigator april 17, 2014

Females Exist

New Quiz Bowl member Ellen Lake enjoys a Quiz Bowl practice during lunch while the rest of the team occupies the other couch. According to LASA junior and Quiz Bowl member Sam Apple, it is completely normal for Lake to keep to herself at practices.“We don’t like being in close proximity to her,” Apple said. “It’s better for all of us to keep our distance because that’s just how our club has always worked. It’s nice that we have two couches.” photo by Victoria Mycue

First female to join Quiz Bowl in years arouses suspicion Staff Writers

The boys stare at it, not sure what to do. It scurries in but stops a few feet after passing the doorway. One of the boys sitting on the couch trembles in fear and many of the others chew their fingernails. No one knows what to do. Panic sets in as they steal worried glances at it. A timid voice pipes up, “Is it real?” “I’ve never seen one before.” “Should we say something to it?” “If we ignore it, it’ll just go away.” “But that would be skirting around the issue.” With a twitter, the bumbling boys scattered in study, practice, and nervous eating. Beyond the threshold of the practice room, Quiz Bowl boys tensely cradle gray buzzers, dropping them often. They can no longer listen to the questions being asked. In spite of their impressive reservoirs of intelligence, they are struck dumb by the presence of the new arrival. LASA’s nationally-acclaimed Quiz Bowl team had just encountered a member of the female species. Armed with a love of trivia, LASA sophomore Ellen Lake joined the entirely male team against all odds. “When I first joined quiz bowl, most of the team ignored me, but a couple of the boys just stared at me,” Lake said. “I felt like an alien species behind a glass wall. It’s mostly okay, but I get a little uncomfortable when Quiz Bowl practice is replaced by me being analyzed by perplexed male teenagers. ” LASA Quiz Bowl sponsor Jason Flowers said he was mildly surprised that a girl joined the team but disappointed and

entertained by the team’s reaction. “I wasn’t sure exactly what the problem was and then I realized these nerds didn’t know what a girl was,” Flowers said. “The whole situation was pretty sketchy, with all the periphrastic research and overt stares. I didn’t help them though; they need to learn how to fend for themselves once they leave LASA. ” As the Quiz Bowl team puzzled over the creature who had just entered the room, Flower sat on the couch with arms

My mom says that girls are capable humans with different roles in society than boys -LASA freshman James Southerland crossed and a slightly bemused smile. He wanted to quietly allow the boys to discover for themselves what had just walked in. LASA freshman James Southerland was confident of his knowledge. “My mom says that girls are capable humans with different roles in society than boys,” Southerland said. “I don’t have many direct interactions with them though, so I’m excited to do some hands-on research.” LASA sophomore Matt Reiman, who focuses on literature, attempted to explain the situation. “Jane Eyre is a fictional woman struggling to balance freedom and love, or the desire to belong. She was an

orphaned child,” Reiman said. “Maybe [Lake] wants to be free from reality but wants to be part of a team. Or maybe [Lake] is like Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia: imaginative, courageous, and unconcerned about how others see her.” Flowers, meanwhile, had descended into a fit of stifled laughter. Some braver members of the team had begun poking Lake in an attempt to discover her composition and her reactions. Quiz Bowl members mentally scanned the information they were receiving from their surroundings, but when the process was complete, the team was still uncertain. LASA freshman Devin Neel began thumbing through his biology textbook and discovered that most bodily processes were similar between male and female, but that girls are capable of giving birth. Amid the members rifling papers, shuffling feet and swallowing bites of food, LASA senior Lucas Tyler, whose specialty is history, made a proclamation. “This must mean Quiz Bowl is like Jamestown!” Tyler said. “We have a paucity of labor and girls, with their reproductive properties, could benefit our team. We could separate subjects across the gender divide to align individual tasks.” The discussion devolved from there. Lake remained on the team though she said she was somewhat uncomfortable on the male-dominated club for rapid-fire answering of trivia questions. She said she even managed to find a reward from her suffering through her studying. “One of the biggest benefits I get from Quiz Bowl is learning to be less self-conscious,” Lake said. “ Whenever I talk, everyone in the room goes completely dead-silent and stares at me. It’s helped a lot with reading my OPs which, honestly, are the same way.”

Alex Friedman & Frankie Marchan

Katopodis duels Walker, ends high school drama Kapil Mattay

following Walker’s career in her spare time since college. “When I moved in with her I saw it and it The sound of cheers echos throughout the freaked me out,” LASA English teacher Chloe stadium. School spirit travels through the air Cardinale said, referring to the gigantic diagram and so does then-high school junior David pegboard-and-newsclipping Walker, thrown by a fellow cheerleader. Katopodis keeps in the ‘David Walker Room’ The only spectator in the stands, Kimberly of the pair’s apartment. “It’s like A Beautiful Katopodis stares wistfully at the dream that Mind’ up in there. She has so many news has just slipped through her fingers. There clippings and yarn and thumb tacks. I don’t know how she affords all of it on her salary.” stands Walker Using now at the top a complex of the human system, in pyramid, what the pom-poms in designers hand. He had of her to pay. apartment Her junior complex year of high intended to school, be a linen Katopodis -LASA teacher David Walker closet, arrived on Katopodis campus the presumptive cheer captain, but that has constructed a peg-board diagram was before transfer student David Walker connecting Walker with a international showed up at tryouts. He was fabulous. A meth empire, and the 2013 disappearance of captain on his previous school’s drill team Twinkies from store shelves. “Who? Huh? What? I’m not “Breaking and an Eagle Scout, Mr. Walker was already an accomplished young man. Cheerleading Bad;” I don’t know what you’re talking would be just another feather in his cap, about; look at meee!” Walker said attempting but for Katopodis, cheerleading was life. to distract the reporter with his violent Following Walker’s stellar performance, he krumping. “I’m so street. Wanna do some was appointed cheer captain. In the wake of organic chemistry?” Katopodis created an intricate system for her defeat, Katopodis became an outcast. “He wore short skirts; I wore T-shirts,” tracking Mr. Walker that involved origami, Katopodis said . “He was cheer captain and I numerology and her dog Yoda. “I take the date on which a news event was on the bleachers.” She vowed revenge. After graduating occurred then I multiply it by the month and from high school together, Katopodis and divide it by Mr. Walkers age,” Katopodis said, Walker went their separate ways. Katopodis cradling Yoda in her arms. “ If that number is moved to Houston and became a journalism greater than five then Walker did it. I fold that teacher while Walker pursued a degree in news clipping into a crane and it goes on the Biochemistry from Middlebury College, but board. Shush baby Yoda it’s almost time for everything changed when they both began momma to destroy Mr. Walker.” She took all the necessary steps to lure teaching at LASA just a few years later. “I couldn’t believe it when I walked into Walker into her carefully laid-out trap, our teacher meeting before the first day of she became friends with him and then she school, and there was Katopodis in the flesh,” took it to the next level: Facebook friends. Walker said. “It was like high school all over This crucial development gave Katopodis unfettered access the entirety of Walker’s again.” Katopodis knew this was her chance. life, including his embarrassing addiction to She had been waiting for it all of her life. It karaoke and fan-covers of Beyonce songs. “I could feel my heart racing,” Katopodis wasn’t an accident either. Katopodis had been

Staff Writer

We thought, ‘What better way to end this petty problem once and for all than to duel?

said. “The goal that I had spent half of my life working towards was within arm’s reach. There is absolutely nothing that can come close to that exhilaration.” Though no one knows quite how Mr.Walker’s embarrassing dance-photos spread, but everyone agreed that they were hilarious and embarrassing. “Hahahahahahahahahaha,” said everyone ever. Walker soon accused Katopodis of giving Facebook pictures of him to students. Katopodis denied the accusation, but the pair decided that the best way to settle their dispute would be a duel. “We thought, ‘What better way to end this petty problem once and for all than to duel?’” Walker said. “Both of us had passed our prime, so a cheerleading competition wasn’t an option.” Each teacher spent the next week preparing for the duel. Walker had his Organic Chemistry students create new chemicals that might help him win, while Katopodis instructed her newspaper students to research everything they could about how to win a duel. “We felt it was best to get the students involved in this endeavor,”

Katopodis said. “I think there’s a lot to be learned from the real-life experiences of your teachers. Plus, I wanted my students to be prepared if they ever have to destroy Mr. Walker again in the future.” The students in Katopodis’ and Walker’s classes started campus-wide buzz about the duel, which was set for April 1 in front of the Texas statue in LBJ’s courtyard. Although the administration wouldn’t allow posters advertising the event, both Walker and Katopodis agreed that a Facebook event would be the best way to promote the duel. “After all, Facebook was what tore us apart,” Katopodis said. “That was unfortunate, but we became Facebook friends once again to show solidarity before the duel.” At high noon the student body gathered before the squishy makeshift stadium to watch the old rivals settle their score once and for all. Because of Texas’ strict prohibition of weapons on high school campuses, the duel was fought Karate style. Despite his extensive crossfit training, Walker still hit like a girl. “It hurts so much,” Walker said. “ Oh God, oh no. Why is she so strong? OwOwOw that hurts.”

LASA teacher David Walker is socked in the face during the duel between himself and LASA teacher Kimberly Katopodis, which occurred on April 1. No clear winner prevailed. Photo by Victoria Mycue


the litigator April 17, 2014

Jason DuPlant stumbles onto the stage just as a cool breeze drifts over his wool sweater and “legalize” snapback onto the young masses below. His eyes, less focused than Congressman Joe Barton, search for the guitar at his side. His band members walk to their instruments as he picks up the guitar and approaches the microphone. “Austin! I love ya’ll so much,” DuPlant says. “Woah… this crowd is gnarly bro.” The band begins their set, and dancers draped in dreamcatchers and feathered headbands, belly-dance in the middle of the stage. The Austin Chill Festival has finally begun, and the crowd zones out in response, swaying with the music. The lead singer and guitarist of Citizens for Hire, DuPlant, is a sophomore at Austin Community College, majoring in art. He has big plans for the future, including

running his own indie label. “I think I’m going to call it S.T.O.N.E. Cold Productions. Sometimes you just get these like, totally bogus ideas going on in your head,” DuPlant said. “I need to show off how chill music can really get.” For now, DuPlant is trying to keep the festival so chill it’s nippy. The music lasts for three days in Zilker Park, from the April 18-20, and features 40 different artists from a variety of genres. “We’ve got everything out here bruh,” DuPlant said. “My friend JoJo is performing a sick DJ set that I will defs jam out to. Citizens for Hire are like, on another level right now. We like to call ourselves a tribal-alternative fusion, with some vocals that will blow your mind man. But it’s all about the message.” Max “JoJo” Francis, a part time

DJ for college parties and full time Walgreen’s employee, will perform Saturday evening for an eager crowd reveling in his message. He believes his trap beats bring something new to listeners’ ears. “Man, all I have to do is remix some songs and throw it all together, then you got the raddest

producer, wants to help everyone to feel as chill as he’s felt all his life. He created the music festival to help people stay happy and carefree. “Life gets jacked when you got a job and responsibilities, sometimes you just gotta haze out and feel the good vibes,” Crow said. “It’s about relaxing, listening to some dope music, and riding the flow.” LASA junior and local rapper Mason Crowell, who will perform at the festival under the stage name “C-Ro”, fears this chill music will be spread to -LASA junior Mason Crowell unwanted listeners in the future. The discovery and sound,” Francis said. “Imagine originality are his driving forces. those waves bouncing around like “I want people to hear these bros against your eardrum, making dope flows, to hear what a real even more beats. That’s some deep MC is. I don’t know dude, I got all drilling right there, that’s what I’m these mad cats in my crew who trying to do.“ blow that commercial crap away,” Danny Crow, the event’s Crowell said. “The mainstream

I want people to hear these dope flows, to hear what a real MC is.

Better Than Delivery Aryaman Lamsal

Aryaman Lamsal is a recent graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. Upon his graduation, he got a job at Costco distributing food samples. There, he really Staff Writer discovered his true passion for food. Costco exposed him to some of the finest culinary dishes such as Hot Pockets and the always-tasty-sausage-on-a-toothpick. As his taste buds began to get more accustomed to classy delicacies, the next logical step was to become a world-renowned food critic. Below is his review of DiGiorno pizza. You can find additional reviews at FrozenFoodFantasies.blogspot.com. The highest score that any dish has received from me would have to be the deep dish Red Baron Pizza. The flavors just explode in your mouth and I promised myself I would never have another pizza that wasn’t created by Red Baron. This past Friday after my Costco shift, I headed to the frozen food section to pick up my weekly Red Baron Pizza to enjoy on my Friday night. Much to my dismay, all of the Red Baron Pizzas were out-of-stock. There, I released my primal scream, similar to the one that a teenage boy lets out when he dies, yet again, in “Call of Duty.” The scream brought the store to a standstill. In frustration, I started to bang my head against the glass doors. I was in utter disbelief and despair that I couldn’t enjoy my Red Baron Friday. I covered my face and began to sob uncontrollably. Fortunately, some nice elderly lady came to my side to comfort me. As I explained my situation, she nodded her head in a sympathetic manner. After my rant, she grabbed my shoulders and told me six simple words: “Sweetie, it’s time for a change.” She then proceeded to hand me a box of DiGiorno Pizza and walked away. I spent the next couple of minutes just staring at the box. It seemed sinful to try anything besides Red Barron. It would be the equivalent of the polar bear drinking a Pepsi. But I nevertheless I swallowed my pride and drove home with the DiGiorno Pizza. I placed it in the oven and the wait was on. Meanwhile, I decided to watch the movie “Pizza” directed by Karthik Subbaraj to set the mood. After you read this review I would definitely recommend watching the movie. It has nothing to do with pizza, but that’s the beauty of it. You go into it expecting a movie about pizza since it is, in fact, named “Pizza”, but what you get is a Bollywood thriller that makes you sit on the edge of your seat. After 20 minutes, I took the pizza out of the oven and boy was she a beauty. It was as if I was looking at a reflection of myself in the pizza. Everything looked perfect and beautiful. The crust was the perfect texture. The cheese was the perfect consistency (it was probably milked from the Hindu cow god Kamadhenu). With the first bite, I was in heaven. And that’s when I knew I would never consume another Red Baron again.

Score: 9.5/10

Top

5

Dog Deaths written by David de la Garza

Old Yeller (1957) Oh man, this one’s a CLASSIC. As far as dog deaths go, the one that takes place in this beloved film is pretty brutal to say the least. To anyone who watched the movie, Old Yeller was the coolest dog ever. Ever. I mean, he was an old and kindred spirit, a loveable faithful companion who came from the grassy wilderlands and found a loving and wonderful home… and then, plot twist! He got shot straight in the face! By his best friend in the whole world! Who saw that one coming, am I right?! I remember when my little cousin watched that movie, he got seriously screwed-up. He had tons of anxiety issues and he never wanted to get a dog. Old Yeller was some real stuff to that little dude. It didn’t help when he read/ watched To Kill A Mockingbird at school the next week and had to revisit all of those dark thoughts again.

The Fox and the Hound (1981) When the dog died in this movie, I cried so much. This was such a sad and powerful movie. There were so many sad scenes in this movie, like when the fox and the hound got split up and the dog had to hunt the fox and… wait a minute. Did the dog even die in this movie? Now that I think about it, I really don’t know if it did or not. I guess this was just one of those movies where it felt like the dog died. It was so sad and dark and beyond it’s scope that I just naturally assumed that the hound bit the dust saving the fox from something. Now I’m going to have to watch it and cry at it all over again just to figure out what actually happened.

Marley & Me (2008) This one really caught me by surprise, considering I thought this movie was going to be about Bob

Oran Lopez Reed

Staff Writer

can’t screw with these ill bars dude. I’m just scared these hipsters and bandwagon biters are gonna take my rhymes. I got no time for sharks.” He might have some time for polar bears, however. This year the festival will feature the Chill Chamber, a large igloo filled with strobe lights and televisions tuned to the Nirvana Network, Austin’s local zen channel. “Sometimes you gotta just cool down and zone out and let your mind wander after you kill it on the mic,” Crowell said. “And being the biggest murderer in the rap game, I only want real fans checkin me out in the chill chamber. It’s pretty dope when you can watch spinning lotuses and listen to my man Ziggy.” Fortunately for Crowell, his music has not reached tainted ears yet, but he believes this intimate crowd will soak it up. “Man this will be my craziest gig yet, but I already got some mad supporters out there,” Crowell said. “Shout out to my boy B. Sharp!”

Nicolas Cage appears

in ‘Braising Arizona’ David de la Garza

Entertainment Editor Nicholas Cage’s latest role has shocked and wowed audiences nationwide, and will leave it’s mark on our collective psyche for decades to come. “Braising Arizona”, from the director of “Veggie Tales” and the film adaptation of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, is a twisted and almost erotically tantalizing film at its core. Nicholas Cage gives a tour-deforce performance as H.I., his character from the film’s prequel “Raising Arizona”. In this newest installation in the series, H.I. has returned to a life of baby-snatching after seemingly finding peace in the first film. He and his wife have split, and we see in the opening scene that he now lives in a deep and complex cave system in rural Nevada. As the film progresses, we venture further into the extremely weird mind of Nicholas Cage than any other film has dared to venture. H.I.’s obsession with finding the perfect baby slowly becomes a quest to find the perfect meal. As baby-snatching becomes baby-feasting, the audience is invited into a very emotional four-hour film, one which they are sure to never forget. Nic Cage’s baby rampage is a commentary on mass genocides of the past, and between the graphic spurts of baby blood, the dialogue actually proves to be extremely profound. While there are other characters throughout the movie. It is pretty hard to focus on anything other than Nic Cage’s stellar performance. Vanilla Ice and the Eggplant from “Veggie Tales” both make extended appearances in the film, and Vanilla Ice has since been offered multiple dramatic roles, including the role as Jason Bourne’s mother in the latest Bourne film, “The Bourne Maternity”. It is rumored that the babies eaten on set during filming were actual babies who volunteered for the honor of being ingested by Nic Cage. However, that is just a rumor. This film is not for everyone, but it will undoubtedly shape cinema for the rest of eternity. Braising Arizona earns 10 baby heads out of 10. graphic by Alex Friedman Marley and his imaginary buddy. But no, it was about a dog dying. Marley died harder than almost any other dog in a cinematic feature. One second the whole family was cheery, and Marley was licking her crotch and wagging her tail like a happy dog does, and the next second, Marley was super dead. This movie was devastating to the kids who went to theaters expecting to laugh and smile. Instead, all those kids did was frown and cry.

Reservoir Dogs (1992) Now, these dog deaths didn’t actually happen, but they are the ones I think would potentially make the best cinematic dog deaths. Just imagine, a shot for shot remake of Reservoir Dogs, except instead of mobsters from Queens, everyone is a real dog! Dogs beating each other up, dogs doing cocaine, dogs shooting each other in the face in shady warehouses—this film would not only contain the most dramatic

dog deaths to ever hit the silver screen, but it might also be the best movie to have ever been made. I need to call up some industry people and see if I can get someone to start making this film ASAP.

I Am Legend (2007) Ugh. THIS dog. Okay, yes, I’ll admit it—it sucks that he died, and he sacrificed himself to save his master and he was sweet and loyal and a much-needed companion to Will Smith. But frankly, I think Will Smith should’ve picked a better dog to aid him in the apocalypse. He should have found a rottweiler, or a domesticated wolf, or even an UN-domesticated wolf. Anything would have been better than that sad little dog who just got lost in dark buildings. That little dude, cute as he was, sucked fat zombie butt at doing anything. He wouldn’t even retrieve the golf balls that Will Smith hit off of fighter jets in the harbor. What a slacker.


the litigator april 17, 2014

Outbreak plagues campus On the heels of the recent whooping cough outbreak plaguing LASA/ LBJ, another virus has spread through the halls, this one more contagious than the last. Administrators have only recently identified the mysterious illness and are now attempting to quarantine victims. “RBF is not a joke,” LASA Eliza Cain counselor Meagan Butler said. “Apparently it’s not Resident BF lethal, but trust me, I’ve seen the victims. The experts tell me adults aren’t as susceptible to RBF as teens are, but heck, I’m not taking any chances. See you next year.” LASA biology teacher and RBF expert Britney Hopkins held an assembly last Friday to educate students about the syndrome. She said she’s excited to work alongside the student body through the learning process about RBF. “I’ve spent my life researching this illness,” Hopkins said. “It most commonly appears with teenage girls, often brought on with puberty. They’ve always got a scowl on their face despite what they’re actually feeling. Basically, if a girl looks like she wants to hit you over the head with a shovel, she has RBF.” After thorough investigation, it was finally determined that the RBF virus was first spread by LASA sophomore Ari Tolany. She is currently being quarantined in the dungeon, watched over by army commander turned SciTech teacher Jackson Pace. “So what if I unconsciously stare at people and it makes them start crying?” Tolany said. “The kids at this school are wimps. And frankly, I’m offended by the sexist way administration is handling the situation. Might I point out that boys are just as likely to catch this disease as girls? Good lord!” Healthy students and faculty have already expressed their concern about going to school with RBF victims. LASA teacher Jason Flowers told reporters yesterday, in between fits of hysteria, he didn’t think he felt entirely safe at school anymore. “I see death in some of those girls’ eyes,” Flowers said. “I try to remind myself they’re just sick, but I can’t help feeling like they’re waiting until my back is turned to attack. I swear one made a move at me during my lecture the other day. Oh my god, am I hallucinating?” After multiple complaints, administration recently announced that they cannot contain the spread of RBF and are issuing school closure for a week. Crescenzi said the decision was not ideal, but that she was pretty tired of going to school every day anyway. The majority of LASA/LBJ students agree, especially LBJ junior David Smith. “You don’t understand how happy I am that school is closing,” Smith said. “I just want to get away from my ex-girlfriend. I mean, yeah, her facial expressions were never pleasant really, but in those last few days before I ended it, I’m pretty sure she hated me.” Administration encourages parents and students to educate themselves further on the causes of RBF and proper techniques to avoid contracting the illness. “RBF typically spreads through extended eye contact,” Hopkins said. “So I would suggest staring at the floor between passing periods, eating lunch by yourself, maybe wearing sunglasses throughout the day. Oh, and there isn’t a cure.” The school will reopen in a week depending on the containment situation of RBF. In the meantime, RBF victims are being shipped to a remote hospital in the mountains to spend a month recovering and thinking happy thoughts. “I am disgusted with the way everyone is behaving,” Tolany said. “You’re gonna close school just because some girls’ expressions have caused other students to become depressed or have nightmares? Unbelievable. And no, I will not apologize for my face. Get over it.”

Freshman Andres Cortez

Junior Anna Blankenship

Sophomore Tayler Clark

Sophomore Dominique Henderson

Freshman Rodrigo Vivar

Sophomore Natalie Raper

photos by Sesha McMinn and Joann Min

Hot and bothered Oran Lopez-Reed

Staff Writer

A small group of boys, who will possibly become men in the near future, huddle around a welding torch, masks covering their faces. Calvin Stence’s hands are steady as they paint the metal’s contours, but the surrounding bodies jitter in anticipation. The masks quickly slide off their heads as the torch dies down. “She’s beautiful,” a member whispers. They admire the sleek, metallic figure as Calvin presses a green button on their creation. Lights turn on and eyes open, revealing a teenage girl. Instantly the boys look to the floor, unable to meet the creature’s gaze as they scuff the ground with their shoes. The robotics club, after years of development, have finally built the first ever robotic girlfriend. Calvin Jackson Stence is a senior at LASA in the robotics club. LADIE, or Love Adapted Damsel in Electronics, has been meticulously developed for years, though the building phase only began last year. “We were sitting in the halls one day talking about calibration routes or something, and saw a couple walk past us,” Stence said. “I turned back to the members and we all had the same look on our faces. That day we decided to change things for the better.” They started with a design simply meant to build the perfect girlfriend. Striving for a balance of looks and empathy, they want their heart and hormones attended to. “She’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” Stence said. “We installed the transmographier in the central arterial unit to connect her cerebral routers closer to the power source, her heart some would say. I can’t breathe when I look at her.” Calvin’s isn’t the only heart that LADIE has stolen. In a twisted form of mechanized polyamory, she will be shared among the club members, including Merick, a junior at LASA. “Well we’re all a bit in need of some attention,” Merick said. “We decided that since everyone helped build her, we’d all get some time to try and win her love. I can’t wait till Monday.” LADIE was programmed to be predisposed towards males who are of higher intellect and more introverted than the stereotypical alpha, essentially giving a shot at love to the “nice guys”. Additionally, the boys have uploaded her entertainment preferences to fit theirs. “I finally have someone I can watch Doctor Who with and play in League of Legends,” Merick said. “I can even go off and calibrate her to fit me for the week

7”

BUST 32” WAIST 24” 69” HIPS

33”

*Average Victoria’s Secret Model Measurements

Girlfriend Robotics “Gray”-print for LADIE, the robotic girlfriend. graphic by Abby Kappelman

that I’m lucky enough to see her.” Bertucci, the robotics teacher oversaw LADIE’s development. He was a guiding hand as the boys worked tenuously to create love. “You know, this really offers something that these boys would generally not be able to engage in,” Bertucci said. “They’re finally able to talk to someone with the same interests who doesn’t care how they look. I’m happy they have this opportunity.” He also knows the boys have not experienced abandonment yet. Without any women to previously rip their hearts out, they risk being exposed to cruelty and frigidness. Bertucci sees this as a learning experience though. “They might be surprised with what they get,” Bertucci said. “Every girl is different, even the ones you build. Sometimes they just don’t like you, but this is a chance for the boys to learn what it means to presume someone.”

Merick believes with just the right touches to her operating system and interactive layout, he can win LADIE over. When she opens her eyes, she will see intelligent, suave men with good natured dispositions and an ambition to succeed. “She will see us the way we want to be seen,” Merick said. “I have no doubt that I will be attractive to that gorgeous, gorgeous woman. It’s all down to our hard work from her basics down to her fine tuning. I know she’ll love me.” Though he feels the same way, Calvin believes that not everything is set in stone. The best way to approach a situation, or a girl, for him is to ease into it. “She’s tender and sweet, we can’t force her into anything,” Stence said. “If she likes me then she likes me and I’ll leave it at that. I want to win her over.” Now the hardest part for the members is just asking her out.

School marked with fear Sammy Jarrar

News Editor

LBJ and LASA went on lockdown last week after a student was seen on campus with a weapon. While no one was injured, the incident sent a shock throughout both schools. “I never would have expected one of our students to bring something so dangerous to school,” LASA Principal Stacia Crescenzi said. “This sort of violent action cannot be tolerated by the school.” LASA sophomore Daniel Rubio spotted LASA junior Kevin Chau carrying a red Sharpie, which the student later claimed was used for an “art” project. Rubio then called 499TIPS for guidance on how to approach the situation. They promptly redirected her to 911 who then sent a SWAT team trained in marker de-inking. “I was just sitting in calculus when I noticed it in the backpack of a junior sitting at the ‘Intermediate Table’,” Rubio said. “I tried to warn Mr. Davis but he told me he didn’t want to hear my life story so I decided to call for help.” Although Chau’s motives are still unclear, some officials speculate that he may have intended to cause bodily harm to students via marker “assassination”. According to leading investigators on the case, Chau wouldn’t have needed the marker for an art project as he isn’t even in the class. “We’re still in the midst of figuring out Chau’s motive for this attempted act of terror,” Crescenzi said. “Another possibility is that he was using the marker as an alternative means of practicing his pen twirling techniques, something the student is well known for doing.” After the “assassination” of two students via marker occurred at LASA only a couple months earlier, the school administration and the school district decided to take the necessary measures to crack down on all ink-based writing utensils in schools across the city. “The real problem is that the marker sales are just not regulated enough,” Rubio said. “The fact that anyone could just walk into a Teacher’s Heaven and buy a marker scares me. We need to have background checks and psychological evaluations for anyone who plans on buying an Expo, Sharpie or even Crayola marker. It’s the only way to keep our schools marker-free.” LASA parent Rebecca Williams said that she believes the problem doesn’t lie with regulation of markers but instead, the way the student is raised. According to Williams, children should be raised fearing markers instead of using them to create the occasional Mother’s Day card. “I blame violence in video games for this,” Williams said. “Games like Black Cops and Modern War Fair are corrupting the minds of our children. That’s why I only allow my children

to play harmless games like tag.” While most students and teachers at both LASA and LBJ agree that markers have no place in schools, some have spoken out in opposition. “I think these new regulations on markers are really unnecessary,” marker enthusiast and LASA junior Mehraz Rahman said. “I used to bring a 24-pack to school everyday, now how am I supposed to color-code all of my notes?” Currently throughout AISD, pens are still widely in use, but in light of recent events, the school board will have a meeting on April 20 in order to discuss the continued use of the marker’s close brethren and the fate of Chau.

SWAT weapons expert removes the threat in question. photo by Sammy Jarrar


the litigator april 17, 2013

Junior found on campus during lunch Carter Pace & Sam Zern

Staff Writer & News Editor In the past few weeks, reports of a terrifying and mysterious creature have wreaked havoc through the halls of LBJ and LASA. School police patrol has been doubled, and Mr. Davis was seen crying in a corner. What started as a normal lunch break would quickly become one of the most sensationalized occurrences in LASA history. LASA sophomore Alex Seiler spotted what appeared to be a junior on campus during lunch. This rumor quickly became known all over LASA. “I had heard rumors, on occasion, that sometimes juniors stay at school during lunch,” Seiler said. “But I never believed them. That is, until last week when I saw it with my very own eyes.” Seiler was sitting with her friends when she saw something unfamiliar out of the corner of her eye. “At first I thought it might have been a sophomore,” Seiler said. “But when I turned my head, it looked older. There was no mistaking the outline. It was definitely a junior, here inside the building during lunch.” Since Seiler’s sighting, various other students have made claims of their own. Ben Zern, a LASA freshman, was one of the few underclassman who witnessed this terrifying event. “I was just minding my own business, washing my hands in the men’s restroom,” Zern said. “All of the sudden I caught a glimpse of what I’m pretty sure was the junior class t-shirt. I quickly jumped behind one of the stalls to avoid a confrontation. I thought all the juniors were supposed to be off-campus during lunch, but I don’t know anyone else who could have that shirt. I was pretty shaken up.” In addition to the glimpses of the junior himself, students and teachers have reported evidence of the juniors strewn through halls and classrooms. The journalism room is one of the most notorious spots in the school for finding evidence of juniors, according to Photo evidence of the alleged junior outside of the school building. The legitimacy of the photo has been called into question and is currently being investigated. photo by Ben Zern yearbook teacher Brian Martinez. you been to Mueller? That place has everything from Chipotle school day. Child psychologist Dr. Joanna Williams credits “Often after lunch I’ll find chairs strewn around the room and crumbs everywhere,” Martinez said. to Jamba Juice to Starbucks! It just doesn’t add up.” this to a rise in what she considers an enlightenment by the LASA and LBJ security officer Ray Ephriam said he was juniors themselves. “Occasionally I’ll find school work too, like APUSH notes, which is why I’m pretty sure it’s juniors in my room, not messy worried about what these sightings might mean for the future “It seems that these juniors are beginning to realize that of the school. freshmen or sophomores.” they are not, in fact, seniors,” Williams said. “The juniors that “The school just does not have the infrastructure and the underclassmen spotted are likely the ones who have come Despite the reports of the elusive junior and traces of this creature left in classrooms throughout the schools, some at security staff to deal with any more students on campus,” to this conclusion.” the school remain skeptical. LASA sophomore Sam Pastor Ephriam said. “What these students are reporting is not Williams’s is just one of many theories. Lubana rejects her said that the first hand accounts like Zern’s and Seiler’s are natural. By staying during lunch the juniors are destroying the idea, instead saying that the incident was likely a fluke. school’s fragile ecosystem. It’s an abomination.” just made up. “The kid probably just didn’t have money for gas or maybe School officials are presently looking into the issue. couldn’t fit in their friend’s car,” Lubana said. “I refuse to “I myself have never seen any of these mythical juniors on campus during the lunchtime hour,” Pastor, who commonly Campus police officer Don Jefferson said that he doubted the believe that a junior would willingly stay on campus. It was resides in the yellow hallways during lunchtime, said. “I’m close legitimacy of the students’ claims and that there is nothing to probably just bad luck.” friends with most of the juniors and as far as I’m concerned, worry about. While sightings of these juniors seems to be on the rise, “You get reports like these every few years or so,” Jefferson Pastor believes that this is only a trend for the Class of 2015. they all leave campus to go to Mueller or something. Not one said. “Some freshman gets spooked and suddenly everyone’s is ever on campus.” “I know many sophomore students who already can’t wait LASA senior Bikramjit Lubana, who frequently leaves coming out with their own version of the story. I don’t think to begin eating off campus,” Pastor said. “I have no doubt campus for lunch, also said he believes that the reports are it was a junior. The only evidence is one blurry photo and that next school year, the reported number of sightings will false. He said that there would be no reason for a junior to honestly the shadowy shape could be just a tall freshman.” go down, as current sophomores fill the roles of their fellow The occurrences at LASA are not isolated events. juniors and take on duties such as lunchtime at Mueller.” stay, especially with all the options they have off campus. “I think the real question to ask is why would a junior even Nationwide, there seems to be an upward trend in the number No juniors were available for comment. want to be on campus at lunch?” Lubana said. “I mean have of juniors who remain on campus for the duration of the

T-Finch returns from winter migration

Bird enthusiast and Planet Earth teacher Tim Fennell adjusts to new life as a bird News Editor

After an extended winter, longtime Planet Earth teacher Tim Fennell has finally migrated back to the Austin area. his winter Fennell found himself a changed man, more specifically, a harpy. These half-bird, halfhuman creatures must take refuge in tropical areas in the south during winter so as not to freeze to death. Fennell found that in order to stay alive he needed to partake in the annual harpy migration to Tulum, Mexico. “It was the strangest thing that has ever happened to me,” Fennell said. “I woke up one morning sweating profusely. That’s when I glanced in the mirror. I was relieved to see that I was looking back at my same ol’ dashing face, but looking down I saw that my body had

find enough food to eat? I was worried. After a couple days, though, I started to realize how neat being able to fly was.” Until now there have been no reported incidents of humans becoming harpies. Fennell said he plans to make the most of this incident by exploring every aspect of his newfound abilities. “I’ve gone through many explanations as to how and why I’ve become part bird,” Fennell said. “I keep telling myself that I don’t deserve

transformed. I now had feathers, lots and lots of feathers.” Shortly after discovering these feathers, Fennell pulled out his bird grap book. Fennell said that it took him hic by N hours attempting to key himself aia Sipa before realizing that he was a harpy. s “I was surprised to say the least,” Fennell said. “At first I thought I was a red-tailed hawk because of my broad, rounded wings to be and short, wide tail, but that was not the case. such a majestic Instead, I had to go to the internet to find that creature. However I will I had become a harpy.” put my bird powers to At first Fennell said he was bitter about good use. I will keep yelling psh his transformation because of the hardships psh psh as loud as possible at anyone I it could entail. However, he quickly decided see while flying.” this change would be for the better. Fennell said that as a child he spent his “I’ll admit I was disappointed,” Fennell weekends doing parkour, a meager attempt said. “So many things were going through at flight. Even though Fennell faced much my mind. Will my wife still love me? Will I discouragement from teachers and friends

throughout his education, he never gave up on his dreams of flight. “Back in my day, I always told my friends that when I grew up I would be a bird,” Fennell said. “Everyone always laughed at me and told me it was impossible. Looks like I’ve proved them wrong, so that’s pretty neat.” LASA sophomore Lesley Martinez said she felt disappointed when Fennell left mid-semester. She said that since previous Planet Earth classes spoke so highly of Fennell, it was a shame to see him migrate. “I will admit that at first I found Mr. Fennell’s mannerisms odd,” Martinez said. “He would sit at his desk and eat carrots every single day. I assume he was trying to improve his eyesight. But I will admit that now I miss him. I looked up to

avoid captivity by collectors. I find the whole thing quite strange.” Fennell said that he couldn’t be happier with his new and improved physique. He can fly up to 60 miles an hour and takes part in dive bombing students for exercise. “I’ve become much more agile,” Fennell said. “I can just zip through the air like a peregrine falcon. My eyesight has also improved immensely. Now I can spot a peregrine falcon half a mile off.” Martinez said she hopes that Fennell will enjoy his future as a harpy, a transformation that fits his personality perfectly. “I think that Mr. Fennell makes the perfect bird,” Martinez said. “I can see him now, soaring through the sky without a care in the world.” According to LASA Planet Earth teacher Peggy Tavakkol, Fennell’s departure opened up new opportunities to shine. I looked up to him as a role Tavakkol said that though she model and now I literally would miss her have to look up at him co-worker, his departure was because he’s always flying. for the best. “Don’t get -LASA sophomore Lesley Martinez me wrong, the faculty loves Mr. Fennell,” him as a role model and now I literally have Tavakkol said. “I just think that he will be to look up at him because he’s always flying.” happier free and in the wild. Plus, now I will Fennell has not been the only person to get a chance to take over Mr. Fennell’s role as adjust to his unique situation. Fennell’s wife, resident nature dork.” Mrs. Fennell, said she has had difficulties Fennell said his delayed return to Austin adjusting to their life together now that he is worked out for the best. He was able to take no longer fully human. time away from the monotonous routine of “Since he became that creature, my life to connect with his inner bird. husband has picked up some odd habits,” “Every time I got ready to take off, I felt a Mrs. Fennell said. “For example, last night chilly breeze underneath my wings,” Fennell when I was cooking dinner, I looked outside said. “My plan was to come back to teach and saw him darting from tree to tree. When some pesky students, but I figured they’re he came in he explained that he had been tree so stubborn I probably couldn’t teach them weaving and overcoming obstacles. Then he anything they’d remember. Of course, I mean told me he needed to start packing heat to that in a caring and nurturing way.”

Sesha McMinn


the litigator april 17, 2014

The Athletic

DIRECT R Former athletic director Keith Willis looks longingly off into the distance as he realizes the perfect man to be Athletic Director at LBJ is no one but Andrew Jackson. “There was so much leading up to the decision,” Willis said. “From the moment I met him, I knew he was right for the job. The day before I handed him the rose, I was sure I was making the right choice. He is just such a charismatic man, and always knows what to say. I honestly think he’s perfect [for the job].” art by Alex Friedman

ABC airs new TV show documenting LBJ’s search for the coach of its dreams Jamie Rodriguez

Editor-in-chief

After months of filming and editing, ABC Studios recently announced plans to air a new reality show entitled “The Athletic Director.” The show, which was filmed in the spring of last year, documents the behind-thescenes competition that took place for the prestigious position of athletic director at LBJ High School. “People already know that Andrew Jackson eventually got the job, but what they don’t know is the six-week, cross-continental journey that took place before getting to that point,” producer Mike Fleiss said. “LBJ had just gone through what was going to be two athletic directors in two years, so we thought the time was ripe to prove to the world that a relationship between one school and one coach can still work in this day and age.” The show revolves around former athletic director Keith Willis, who at the start of the show is presented with a pool of 25 applicants,

all of whom are vying to be his replacement at LBJ. Willlis, who was hired in the spring of 2012 after four-year head coach Demo Odems took a coaching job at Montana State, had decided to move back to Waco, leaving the Jaguars in need of yet another athletic director for the 2013-2014 school year. “Keith actually came to us and was really interested in creating a bachelor-style show to help him choose his replacement,” Fleiss said. “Normally school administrators are in charge of handling new hires, but Keith is really a hands-on kind of guy, and he wanted to make sure the school didn’t choose a coach who wasn’t there for the right reasons.” During the course of the six-week season, Willis spent time getting to know each of the coaches’ strategies and qualifications, as well as their favorite desserts, how many kids they have and their most regrettable tattoos. The season culminates in Willis getting down on one knee and offering the job to former Manor coach Andrew Jackson, which Fleiss said is easily the most dramatic and heartfelt

McCallum forced to combine athletics, fine arts programs

moment of the season. However, Willis said the journey to get there wasn’t always easy. “The hardest part was having to send several contestants home each week,” Willis said. “Spending practically every waking moment with these guys made it hard to say goodbye, but it was ultimately clear that some of them weren’t ready to settle down and commit themselves to a school.” Filming began in Austin, Texas, where contestants shared a one-room apartment and frequented the nearby hot tub. Producers then followed Willis and the other contestants as they travelled to exotic locations around the world, eventually returning to Texas to visit the finalists’ hometowns and film the show’s finale. Willis said he was interested in Jackson from the beginning of the show. “From the moment he stepped out of the school bus, I knew he was somebody that I could see eventually taking my job,” Willis said. “I remember he came out of the bus wearing this gimmicky jaguar costume and singing the school fight song, which caught

Online PE student makes varsity Jamie Rodriguez

Jamie Rodriguez

Editor-in-chief

Citing increasing budget constraints, representatives from McCallum High School have announced that the school will combine its Fine Arts and athletics programs as early as this spring, with most of the changes to be instituted next fall. “It just got to the point where we couldn’t afford to support both programs to their full potential, McCallum principal Michael Garrison said. “Rather than continue to try to fund both programs independently, we opted to continue all of our sports teams in conjunction with all of our fine arts opportunities. We decided we’d rather do two things really badly then choose to do just one mediocrely.” Throughout the transition, McCallum has worked closely with employees at House Park Stadium, where fine arts students are now in charge of the lighting and sound. During soccer games this season, students scaled the 135-foot light poles to shine multi-colored spotlights on the field below. Due to the lack of funding, however, students were not issued any safety equipment, and any technical operators who happened to fall from the poles were told to “get up and walk it off.” “Rub some dirt on it!” McCallum head football coach Jason Cecil shouted to one technical officer who was thrown from his perch by a strong gust of wind. “Shake it off!” Cecil said his team will do its best to deal with the integration of the two vastly different programs, which arguably have little to nothing in common whatsoever. “Is this an ideal situation?” Cecil said. “No, it’s not. But then again, neither is working at a school where people care more about finger painting than football. I guess I should’ve expected this years ago.” The change will also include a revamp of the school sports uniforms, which will reportedly include “a ton more glitter.” “I mean, it’s obvious they haven’t put much thought into these costumes,” McCallum senior technical officer Morgan Hillard said, eyeing a traditional blue and white jersey with a mix of disgust and confusion. “There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement.” Other changes include plans for entire team to sing the national anthem before games, and athletes will now paint their own supportive signs to be used by the fans. In addition, halftime will now be referred to as “intermission,” and several theater students have already threatened to go on strike if coaches refuse to allow at least one musical game this year.

Noting that being promoted to the varsity online PE teams is in no way any indication of even the slightest amount of athletic ability, online PE coach Jennifer Grigsby informed LASA junior Ben Calloway that he is now a member of the online PE varsity squad. “It gives me great pleasure to tell you that you have earned a spot on our varsity team,” Grigsby wrote in her email to Calloway. “However, we’d also like to remind you that this really isn’t anything special. It’s not like you made the football team or anything. In fact, we’re not even in the same universe as those guys.” Grigsby said that the varsity online PE team seeks out the highest quality of athletes possible, provided those athletes have already completely and utterly failed at every single sport they have ever attempted to play. “We’re looking for really, really low achievers here,” Grigsby said. “I’m talking about the sort of kid who never even got a hit in tee ball. It’s not like we actually even compete in anything, but it’s fun to watch them think they’re on an actual team.” Calloway said he was shocked when he opened his computer one day to discover, instead of the usual pop-up notifying him of the abundance of single moms in his area, an email from his online PE coach saying that he had been promoted to the varsity online PE team. “It was completely out of the blue,” Calloway said, adding that he completely fabricated about 90 percent of his weekly exercise log and pretty much googled every single answer to the quizzes. “I mean, look at me. I never thought I had any chance of moving up the depth chart.” Calloway’s parents also agreed that they were shocked by the news. The notice that Calloway had been promoted to a varsity team of any kind came as a particular surprise to his father, who admitted that he had given up on his son years ago. “You always dream about tossing a baseball with your son in the backyard and hoisting him up onto your shoulders after he gets his first home run,” Chris said. “When it became pretty clear that he was more interested in becoming a warlock than he was in baseball, it hit me hard. But after spending over three years in therapy, I’ve learned to always support my son, even if he does throw like the girl I never had.” Calloway, who has yet to realize that a spot on the varsity

Editor-in-chief

my attention and made me laugh. He really was serious about the show, and I appreciated him opening up to me as much as he did.” Host Chris Harrison said this season is completely different than what viewers are accustomed to. “I’d like to assure viewers that we have just as many shirtless shots this season,” Harrison said. “I mean, twenty grown high school coaches in one hot tub? That’s TV gold.” Jackson said sharing Willis with other coaches made filming the show particularly difficult. However, he said he still has fond memories from filming the show. “One of my best memories from the show was staying in the fantasy locker room with Keith,” Jackson said. “It was a nice place but still had that sweaty locker room smell, which helped me imagine what my life could be like if I decided to work at LBJ. We stayed up all night, just giggling and drawing up plays. I can’t say much else, but suffice it to say that we both knew who Keith was going to propose the job to by the end of that night.”

LASA junior Ben Calloway takes a break from online PE to reflect on his complete lack of athletic ability. photo courtesy of http://tomnichols.net/

online PE team is next to meaningless, said that his promotion represents the realization of his childhood fantasies. “When I was a kid, I always dreamed about being the star of a team,” Calloway said, gazing off into the distance, beyond his dim computer screen and Lord of the Rings posters. “A real team, one that had absolutely no intention of killing zombies or unlocking ancient spells. I look at these online PE readings, and I think, ‘Ben, you really made it. You’re an athlete now.’” At press time, Calloway had been placed on the disabled list due to a pinkie sprain.

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PLAY BALL

YOUNG AT ART

RUNNING AWAY WITH THE CHAMPIONSHIP

LBJ baseball player and sophomore Jorge Rodriguez runs to first base during practice. The Jaguars finished third in district after falling to McCallum and Crockett.

LASA freshman Sameer Pusapaty’s artwork earned him a place in the highest category of Junior Visual Arts Scholastic Events (VASE) on Feb. 8. in San Marcos.

The Lady Jaguars soccer team clinched the district championship after going undefeated in district. A final 10-0 win against Travis High School sealed their position as first.

see page 7

see page 3

see page 7

L I B E R A L A R T S A N D S C I E N C E A C A D E M Y, LY N D O N B A I N E S J O H N S O N H I G H S C H O O L S

April 17, 2014

Volume 40

Issue 5

Daniel Zimmerman & Stephanie Park

Out of the picture

Editors-in-chief

A

ustin Independent School District (AISD) superintendent Meria Carstarphen is the sole finalist for the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) superintendent position which will be formally voted on April 14 by the APS Board of Education. Carstarphen has officially announced she will take the position and plans to leave AISD after serving for five years. APS serves roughly 60 percent of the number of students AISD does, but has significantly different graduation rates. In 2012, APS had a 51 percent graduation rate as opposed to AISD’s 80 percent. Carstarphen was born in Selma, Ala, a town which she said is deeply interconnected with Atlanta. “When [my family] reached out to me and wanted me to consider moving to Atlanta, it was very hard to say that I wouldn't come back home and help my people” Carstarphen said. “I just feel like I have been able to put [AISD] in a place where they can hit the ground running and inherit a wonderful, beautiful district, with a lot going for it and you’re going to attract a very good [superintendant] right now.” In the last weeks before announcing she was planning on become APS superintendent, Carstarphen was voted chair of the Texas Urban Council of Superintendents, an organization working to find common solutions for problems faced by large school districts. “Since Carstarphen started at Austin ISD, she has been very committed to providing leadership within the district and outside of the district and volunteers to be on many boards within our community and within the state of Texas,” LASA Assistant Principal Patricia Martin said. “I think that Dr. Carstarphen is really good at looking outside of the box, seeing things differently and being open to considering new ways to do things.” After arriving at AISD, Carstarphen has attempted to close achievement gaps between various socioeconomic groups across the district by expanding dual language programs to all elementary schools. In the last four years, the district’s graduation rate has increased by eight percent, with English language learners having the highest increase of 27 percent. AISD Director of Public Relations Alex Sanchez said Carstarphen has been successful in increasing educational outcomes for students in a district with rapidly changing demographics. “Urban districts face a variety of challenges trying to serve larger percentages of children living in poverty who are less likely to have parents with high levels of education and are often trying to balance different barriers,” Sanchez said. “The challenges are multiplied from urban districts as they try to maximize resources to provide support for not only academic, but developmental, socio-emotional medical and enrichment needs as well.” Over the past few years, the demographics of Austin have changed and the city has become a Majority-Minority city. Between 2000 and 2012, the population of Black (nonHispanic) residents increased by 33 percent, Hispanic residents increased by 78 percent, Asian or Pacific Islander residents increased by 106 percent and white (non-Hispanic) residents increased by 30%. LASA principal Stacia Crescenzi said the new superintendent must understand the changing cultures at Austin in order to be successful. “I would love to see someone who has a really strong instructional background and who's really committed to understanding the needs of all campuses and all schools,” Crescenzi said. “Someone who is not afraid to really learn about situations and learn Austin and learn both the great strengths that our city has along with the very unique challenges...It is amazing how absolutely unique the culture

7309 Lazy Creek Drive, Austin, Texas 78724

Dr. Meria Carstarphen to leave AISD for job as superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools

of every single one of our campuses is and I think that is a really great strength that Austin has. It allows campuses to have those individual cultures.” Since graduation rates have improved since her arrival at AISD, Carstarphen said she hopes the incoming superintendent will continue to concentrate on improving the education for all demographic groups. “We’ve made improvements in graduation rates but we have unfinished business,” Carstarphen said. “I want to see every school be at 100 percent graduation rates for every student group. And that takes a lot of work. I think we have a lot of good traction, a lot of good movement. I think if we had a few more years, and if you have a leader like me who comes in focused on those things, that Austin could easily see a 90 percent graduation rate in short order.”

AISD trustee representing District 7 Robert Schneider said that while Carstarphen helped students struggling in the district, he’d like the next superintendent to focus on all students. “I'm going to be strongly interested in a superintendent that will able to balance not only the needs of the schools that are in difficulty but also do something to motivate kids already doing well to achieve even more,” Schneider said. “That, along with paying attention to our budget. I mean we got in a very, very bad budget situation that's going to take a lot of work over the next several years, at least for several sessions where most of those decisions are made with regard to the money that gets allocated to public schools.” see Carstarphen, page 3

LASA on track to introduce multiple new electives Special co-Editor

LASA teachers will be offering new elective courses in the upcoming fall semester, most of which supplement the freshmen signature courses SciTech and Ezine. The idea for these classes came up from each of their departments when asked if they were lacking in some of the current elective courses. Included are new science elective courses and a new technical course.The new electives courses Engineering Design and Technology, Graphic Design and Forensic science are all classes that have been approved by AISD. “We have new elective courses every year,” Academy director Kenisha Coburn said. “Part of our goal is to make sure our students’ needs are being met. As we come across high-rigor content electives that we have both the time in terms of staff and we might have student interest and we can get approval from the state to make it a real course, we try to offer those.” LASA teacher Alison Earnhart will be opening up a standardized fourth year sci-

ence elective Engineering Design and Tech- pose like teaching about aerodynamics and nology, which Earnhart said will be some- teaching about structural integrity. [I want what like a SciTech part two. Unlike SciTech to introduce] projects with a purpose rather however, the students would understand the than just a random weirdness that SciTech logic behas.” hind the LASA Ezine As we come across high-rigor maths teacher Brandi and sciHarrison will content electives that we have ences be offering both the time in terms of staff and give an advanced and we might have student inthem graphic demore sign course terest and we can get approval backto supplefrom the state to make it a real ground ment the other in engifreshmen sigcourse, we try to offer those. neering. nature course -LASA academy director Kenisha Coburn EarnEzine. Harrihart son said that said this in Advanced course would assist students who are con- Graphic Design, she hopes the students will sidering engineering as a potential career be able to add to the skills they learned in path. Ezine. “I hope to have some fun creating some “The students will be basically treated weird challenges and projects,” Earnhart as if they are working for an ad agency or said. “I don’t think it’ll be as abstract as Sci- they’re freelance graphic designers where Tech where it’s just some random challenge. they’ve given specifications for a project,” I hope to have projects that have a pur- Harrison said. “By doing individually very

Faith Barksdale

targeted projects, we’ll show you a variety of skills. I just feel like once the students get through with Ezine they’ve learned one aspect of graphic design, and that’s page layout. They do a lot of it, but we don’t really get to dive into any other design things.” Another new course will be Forensic Science taught by LASA chemistry teacher Amy Moore. “It started as a very random conversation,” Moore said. “We decided that would be a course that would interest the students but offer them another science option as opposed to what we have now.” Coburn said that not all the courses that appeared on the choice will make it for the next school year due to lack of student interest. The new science courses and new technical courses have gained enough attention to be real courses next year. “We had plenty of students to sign up for them at least on the choice sheet,” Coburn said. “The teachers are putting in a lot of work to make them good courses. If we thought they would be bad courses we wouldn’t offer them so we expect them to do well.”


Raising the minimum Living wages have dropped alarmingly, not enough for survival

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Early this year, Obama promised that he would get things done, even if he had to work around Congress to do so. It seems this is a promise he intends to keep. On Feb. 12 he signed an executive order increasing the minimum wage of contract workers. He’s hoping congress will pass a bill raising the minimum wage for the rest of workers, Chris Buffum-robbins but republican critics claim that would actually stall the Staff Writer economy. However, this is simply not the case. People against raising the minimum wage will often cough up the same arguments. Higher wages will force small businesses to cut back. We shouldn’t be paying higher wages to people working their first job. The minimum wage is just fine as it is. This may seem like “common sense” to the critics, but all this does is show their ignorance on the actual situation. The argument that small businesses will be crushed under a higher minimum wage is flawed. The fact is that nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage

workers are actually employed by large corporations. Companies like McDonald’s and Walmart are much more likely to employ minimum wage workers, not local businesses like the

hardware store down the street. These corporations can afford to pay these workers more, since the top fifty employers have largely recovered from the Great Recession. Will it raise the prices of their goods? Sure, by a couple of cents, but prices won’t balloon like many naysayers claim. The next big argument critics love is what I call the “teenager myth”. According to this popular myth, most minimum wage workers are teenagers working their first job. This myth allows critics to justify not raising the minimum wage. After all, who would want to pay those no good teenagers more than minimum wage? The teenager myth ignores the reality of this situation. Yes, many teenagers do earn minimum wage, but so do many other people. Eighty-eight percent of all minimum wage workers are over twenty, and at least one-third of them are over forty. Fifty-six percent of these workers are women, and twenty-eight percent are supporting children at home. This reality paints a very different picture of the average minimum wage worker than the one portrayed in the teenager myth. The argument that the minimum wage is enough to live on is also a popular counter-argument. This is just plain false. In many places, the minimum wage is actually lower than a living wage. For example, the living wage for one adult in Travis county is $9.43. The current minimum wage is $7.25. There should be no excuse for a minimum wage to be lower than what you have to live on, which many workers are. Raising the minimum wage will not just allow workers to live off their salaries. With more money in their pockets, workers could now afford to purchase consumers goods. If anything, this will contribute to economic growth and not cause an unemployment Armageddon like the critics say. See, the economy of these United States are based on consumption. People actually need to buy the goods they see in stores. If people are more concerned about living day to day, they won’t be able to spend a single dime on consumer goods. However, if we put more in their pocket, they can actually afford these goods. The more goods are bought the more returns to the economy, which in turn causes growth and even more demand. This loop will cause more growth than any of the “job creators” could do. Raising the minimum wage should be a no-brainer. People deserve to live on the wages they make without having to worry about their situation. They should be able to live the American life we romanticize in the media. They should be able to feed their children and give them a good life. This is not only an economic issue: it is an issue of allowing our fellow citizens to not have to worry about getting by.

Medication deficit disorders

ADD treatments challenge student, alter his personality

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Junior Dylan L SA uo A L

Dylan Luo Not Depression ‘90s kids Mad Men Three-day weekends

Above are the opinions of The Liberator staff and not the individual featured.

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like it was my fault. In fifth grade, I was at my absolute worst academically. Even after my doctors bumped up my dosage, I was still failing all of my classes. I tore myself up over it. I fell into a nauseating loop of self-pity and self-loathing. In my mind, everything was an enemy, so I sank deeper and deeper into the loop. People with ADD, myself included, are very habitbased, for better or for worse. I developed the habit of lying to protect myself in the short term and letting work pile up on me, and I still struggle with it today. I eventually pulled through, but ever since then I have periodically slipped in and out of failure, constantly weighed down by my ADD. Even with all of this, ADD has made me stronger. It has forced me to bear down and work hard to be successful. It has forced me to confront my own shortcomings, not just academically, but as a person. ADD is always going to follow me, and that scares me a little bit, but I know that I’m going to continue to improve, both as a student and as a person. by M az

short bursts of focus followed by long stretches of complete detachment from the world. I’ll blink and suddenly be aware of how much time has passed. In a state of panic, I try to force myself to focus, and then get distracted from the task at hand as a result. There are times when I feel physically unable to stop procrastinating. It really does feel like I’m fighting my mind, but the act of fighting seems to distract me even more. But I can only imagine what it would be like dealing with it this late into my life before medication was available for it. ADD wasn’t recognized as an official disorder until quite recently, and was officially acknowledged in 1980. Before that, symptoms were usually chalked up to lack of motivation or laziness, and it was even considered to be a very minor form of mental retardation. Since physicians have only begun treating ADD fairly recently, treatment methods are largely experimental, including the medicine I take, Vyvanse, (which is the first medicine I’ve taken that doesn’t alter my personality in some way). Personally, I believe that Psychostimulants like these are a viable option, but they should take a backseat to one-on-one therapy sessions at an early age. I’ve recently started seeing a therapist, but before this year, I didn’t have that opportunity. For the most part, treatment consisted of trying a new medication every year, and when the medicine wouldn’t work I felt

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I am a slave to my own mind. Every day I have to hammer every thought into submission and fight for every second of productivity. Tristan Wright My owner is Staff Writer named ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and affects three to five percent of the US population. ADD is a mental condition that inhibits a person’s ability to concentrate, plan ahead and get organized. Severely. I’ve been taking medication for it for about nine years in an effort to minimize my symptoms, and I’m very clearly not alone. But several questions about ADD still remain unanswered. What exactly causes it? What can be done to combat it? And can someone with ADD ever be cured? I was diagnosed with ADD in first grade. I hadn’t really noticed the symptoms up until then. On my good days, I just thought that everyone was distracted as easily as I was. On bad days, I thought I was an idiot and determined that everyone else thought so as well. I don’t remember a lot about those early years, but I do remember my dad telling me that he had been diagnosed at the age of 23. Throughout my childhood I switched between different medications, several of which made me aggressive. I was back on Ritalin for a while, maybe four or five years, then I started taking Vyvanse. When I’m not medicated, I undergo

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the liberator april 17, 2014

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Talk Gay marriage laws in Texas evolving Well done, Texas. I mean, sort of. On February 26, Texas’ ban on gay marriage was deemed unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia. The ruling declared that the state has no legitimate reasoning for the law, violating the ‘equal protection’ clause of the US constitution. The Alex Friedman ruling has no effect yet because the judge is holding off while Staff Writer the Texas government appeals the decision to higher courts. Rick Perry, upon hearing the news, made the same point as Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. They both claimed that “activist Judges” were ignoring the will of their respective peoples, their point being that in both Texas and Oklahoma, gay marriage bans were passed by popular vote. To strike down the law or state constitutional amendment would directly conflict with the will of the people. This notion of a judge overstepping his or her power in these rulings is ridiculous in its assumptions and dangerous in its underlying ideology. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about gay marriage. It doesn’t matter what the majority of Americans believe about gay marriage. The majority in this country do not get to vote on the rights of the minority. That’s not how our constitution works. In fact, that’s why we have a constitution at all, to guarantee rights to all persons, no matter what the majority believes. The fourteenth amendment of the constitution says that “[No State shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” There. Plain and simple. If gay couples are denied the legal protections of straight couples without legal reasoning (of which there’s none to be had), then that law is unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter if your religion says that gay people are immoral, the church and the state are separate. The constitution is the constitution. Denying service like this harkens back to the days of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. We’ve already had this fight and we found these laws to be unconstitutional and having no place in a free society. The bill’s phrasing was so broad that anyone who claimed they had a real religious objection to serving anyone could deny them service. However, even if this bill had said that businesses could only discriminate against gay people, that wouldn’t make it any less unconstitutional and destroying of freedom. What gives me hope about the future of our constitution and our nation can be best described by the evermore apropos Martin Luther Jr. quote, that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I know that we are as a nation becoming more open and accepting. In fact, I am pleased that Arizona attempted to pass such a law. These are the last struggles of a dying homophobia, and the fact that we can, as a nation, look at these laws with disgust and contempt is telling of a bending towards that justice.

PDA is not okay, it’s time to put the focus on keeping our hands at bay

Walking through the hallways is always bittersweet. The five minutes between classes are blissful until you see the overzealous couples expressing their overzealous love for each other. When I walk through hallways, I usually feel a sense of dread. In this dark moment I turn the corner and am greeted with a couple standing in the middle of the hallways trying Aryaman Lamsal to recreate a scene from The Staff Writer Notebook. The two morph into one entity. I don’t think these couples realize that they will see each other in the next passing period. There is no need to kiss each other like long lost lovers. I usually just stand there in disbelief wondering what to do. In the end I just look at the floor and awkwardly slide right past them rushing to my class. No matter what I do, the image of the couple will not leave my mind. Public Displays of Affection (PDA) has increasingly become a problem here at LASA. It makes everyone who is witnessing the lovefest uneasy and queasy. If people get dress coded for wearing distracting clothing there definitely needs to be punishment for the couples who are too affectionate. Seeing a make out session is definitely more distracting than seeing “too much skin.” These lovestruck couples are unavoidable. They are taking the “public” in PDA to a new extreme. School is not the time or place to be making out with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Unless going to school is considered a date, these public displays of love should stop occurring. Save it for after school or the weekends. Now I’m not saying PDA needs to stop completely. There are other ways to show love rather than face sucking. I would much rather see people holding hands or calling each other nicknames such as “Babysaurus” or “McLovin”. I’m sure people wouldn’t mind kissing as long as it lasted for two seconds or less. Anything longer is just uncomfortable. I think from now on couples should just place their hands in each others back pockets as a sign of affection and cordiality. It’s a harmless act that won’t distract anyone in the hallways. Cats show love with one another by scratching each other. Scratching is a display of affection that is hard to spot in hallways and thus people like myself will not be distracted by it. Now, it may be tough to explain to an onlooker as to why you are scratching someone, but a simple “We are in love” will probably suffice. I hope couples begin to adopt some of my suggestions, and once they do I can hold my head up in the hallways while walking.


the liberator april 17, 2014

Art students compete at VASE Four LASA students and one LBJ student compete at VASE, two continue to state-level

Staff Writers

Approximately 40 students made their way through the foggy morning weather to San Marcos on Feb. 8. There, they competed in the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), where students submit their artwork to the regional event. Four pieces by LASA students and one by an LBJ student in the classifications of Drawing and Textiles were chosen to advance on to the VASE State event, which took place on April 4-5 in Bryan, Tex. At the state level competition LASA sophomore Jenna Ma, LASA junior Emma Genet and LBJ junior Jennifer Chavez received the highest level honor, the gold seal award. “It’s kind of like UIL for art students,” LASA art teacher Jessica Michlik said. “Anybody can go to regionals, which is in the middle of February, and from there you can make it to the top of your region, and so they pick the top seven percent of that group, out of your entire region, to go to state. It’s a pretty big deal” The process for submitting art to even the preliminary rounds of VASE competition in San Marcos is a long one, as students begin to prepare their pieces months in advance and then endure one-on-LASA one interviews with judges about their art. Genet advanced to state for her graphite drawing with charcoal accents. “I worked right down to the wire,” Genet said. “Art is always kind of a moving target. I still don’t think [the piece] is done.” It was LASA freshman Aidan Henderson’s first time going to VASE for her woven blanket, which was submitted in the textiles portion of the competition. “This was my first year so I was pretty nervous but it was actually pretty fun,” Henderson said. “We got interviewed about our pieces which was kind of nerve racking but it turned out really well.” LASA freshmen Sameer Pusapaty is not a newcomer to the world of art competitions. Pusapaty placed in the highest category for Junior VASE, was a finalist in the Doodle for Google competition and has competed in multiple other art competitions. “I had to choose between a lot of pieces,” Pusapaty said. “I didn’t exactly like all of them. I didn’t think they were award-worthy. So, I wanted to make the piece I was working on, to make it as good as I [could], to make it competition-ready.” LASA sophomore Jenna Ma went to Junior VASE in middle school and this year submitted two pieces to VASE.

Ma’s white charcoal piece advanced to the state level of competition. “My favorite part about art is the feeling you get after finishing an art piece after a lot of time and effort, knowing that what you made is actually good,” Ma said. “I’m not sure what I would call. my ‘strong area’ because I feel that I’m not experienced enough as a student and artist to know what I’m good at and what I’m not. But I suppose I have been relatively successful.” LBJ junior Jessica Chavez has a history of success at the VASE competition, attending Junior VASE in 8th grade and having two of her pieces win medals at State last year. Nonetheless, Chavez said she was surprised to hear her name called to advance to state this year for her drawing of her grandma titled Querida Abuelita. “I really had no idea if I was even going to go to VASE this year,” Chavez said. “About a month before I had a thought that I should draw my grandma. So I started drawing on and off for about a month, just a little at a time. I would say in total I spent about 1 full day on it, which is a long time for me with pieces.” In addition to seeing the work of other students from around the state, Chavez said the competition helped her to junior Emma Genet hone her skills. “I hoped to gain more skills as an artist and gain inspiration from other artists at the competition, which I did,” Chavez said. “I learned how to draw quickly and a lot about value, technique, shading, et cetera.” According to Pusapaty, who also hoped to gain skills at the state competition, other benefits come from recognition at state level VASE such as college and scholarship opportunities. “My teacher said there are going to be a lot of art scholarships there,” Pusapaty said. “I want to try utilizing that.” While Michlik has only had one student advance on to get a gold seal, she said other students from around Texas always admire and are awestruck by the artwork done by LASA and LBJ students. “I’m really excited,” Michlik said. “I think they did a great job, and for the ones that did win, it was really cool because at the event there were kids coming up to me from other high schools saying, ‘oh my gosh look at this piece!’ and I would ask to see it and they would show it to me on their phones and I was like, ‘oh that’s one of my kid’s pieces’. That’s awesome.”

Art is always kind of a moving target. I still don’t think [the piece] is done.

Dresden Timco & Surya Milner

Jenna Ma’s VASE submission Aiden Henderson’s hand woven quilt submission

Emma Genet’s VASE artwork

Samir Pusapaty’s VASE regionals art submission

“Querida Abuelita” by LBJ junior Jessica Chavez

all photos by Jessica Michlik

Compost program hits second phase Carstarphen Oran Lopez-Reed

Staff Writer

By the numbers:

Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) just started the second phase of its compost program in the city, collecting food products and scraps from homes that would otherwise fill up a landfill. Having delivered green bins to thousands of homes already, trucks came by in late February to collect for the first time since 2012. Marissa Monroy, a public relations specialist at ARR, said that composting is quite beneficial to those who participate. The process can be used to help for gardening as another form of recycling. “Composting turns natural materials, like food scraps and yard trimmings into a resource we can use again,” Monroy said. “It’s a natural process that breaks down organic materials into a nutrient-rich, soil-like material.” People can use almost any organic material for compost, from orange peels to eggs. This does not exclude all non-organic materials either, adding more to what can be tossed in the compost pile. “Remember, ‘if it grows, it goes!’ All food scraps (meat, seafood,

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bones, shellfish, vegetables, fruits, snack food etc.), food soiled paper (including uncoated paper plates, paper cups, napkins and towels) and yard trimmings go in the cart,” said Monroy. “Other items that can be composted include: cotton balls, dryer lint, Popsicle sticks, saw dust (in paper bags), shredded paper, soil, toothpicks and wooden chopsticks.” The convenience and accessibility of composting has helped it gain popularity in Austin, just as recycling did in the past. ARR, as part of the pilot program, began delivering large, green compost tubs that complement their grey and blue cousins. This is part of the second phase of the pilot, which began in February. “Phase 1 began Dec. 31, 2012, and includes approximately 7,900 homes,” Monroy said. “These homes will continue to participate in the pilot.” The first phase helped kickstart the program and helped spread awareness of the eco-friendly activity. The next phase increased the accumulation by almost 50%. “Phase 2 [began] Feb. 24, 2014, and includes approximately 6,500 homes,” Monroy said. “Carts will deliver the week of Feb. 17.” By collecting compost from 14,000

homes, ARR hopes to see a substantial decline in the amount of compost left wasted in landfills. The program could help Austinites understand the concept of composting and its benefits. “[The goal is] to further the City’s efforts to reach Zero Waste by diverting materials that would otherwise go to landfills,” Monroy said. “Almost half of the materials sent to landfills can be composted.” Alexandria Bruton, public information specialist of ARR, asserts the help composting gives to reducing waste. This is part of the “Zero Waste” program the city has been implementing, which plans to vastly reduce Austin’s landfill dependance. “This program is part of our Zero Waste Master Plan to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner,” Bruton said. This pilot plan determines the next steps that city will take. Determining how successful it is, Austinites could see green bins in every home. “We will evaluate the pilot program after this year to determine the best way to roll it out to the city,” Bruton said. “There is no date for city-wide expansion yet.”

Materials thrown away that can be kept out of landfills Year the Zero Waster Master Plan will reduce amount of waste sent to landfills by 90percent

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Number of Austin homes in the current pilot program

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Amount spent on the one-year trial run

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Though the process of choosing a new superintendent will involve input from the board and community, the board will hire a search service to find a new superintendent in a nationwide search. During the time between Carstarphen’s leave and the new superintendent, the board will appoint an interim superintendent. “The way I view the interim is, I don’t want someone just sitting in the chair to keep it warm,” Schneider said. “I want someone to maintain the momentum the district has. [Someone who does] things to move the district forward in the right direction for when the new superintendent comes. But it’s the hiring of the new permanent superintendent that I think is going to be more important in terms of finally developing the profile and developing what the expectations are in terms of what exactly we expect that person to do.” The AISD budget is one of the main issues the new superintendent will have to deal with, Schneider said. He said that while programs such as dual-language learning environments are effective for students, these advantages do not necessarily weigh out cost limitations. “I think it’s pretty clear [these programs are] a better way to do it, but the more perfect question is, ‘Is it something we can afford to do?’, and that is not a questions that has been answered in any kind of detail,” Schneider said. “You’ll have some communities that don’t want the schools closed or boundaries changed under any circumstances, and you’re going to have others that want to change things. So we’re going to be able to do everything we can within our power to generate funds for funding the entire district, not just keeping the regular schools open.” Crescenzi said she hopes the next superintendent will continue to work on solidifying the district’s bond rating as well as helping the district in potential future budget qualms such as changing tax brackets within the district. “Overall, [Carstarphen] has been very supportive of the idea of choice at the high school level as well as fiscal responsibility,” Crescenzi said. “Sort of balancing the need for students to be able to go to a school that is going to better meet their individual needs, while understanding that in some ways there are places where you have to spend money to do that but it still saves you money other places.” LBJ principal Sheila Henry said one of the most difficult aspects for the new superintendent will be earning the trust of her staff and creating her reputation as an organized and “It’s going to be some tough shoes to fill, I can tell you that,” LBJ principal Sheila Henry said. “Right now we’re in a budget crisis as well, so those are going to be some huge things that the next superintendent is really going to have to become intentional and strategic about the way that the work is done and makes sure that he or she has a full support team that is going to be held accountable to the same level as the superintendent because that’s important when you’re working and you’re in charge of a massed of people.”


the liberator april 17, 2014

The [Bess]t man for the job

Former Assistant Fire Chief of Austin Fire Department joins LBJ Fire Academy Joann Min

Staff Writer Students in the LBJ Fire Academy portable sit in silence, listening to Chief Lionel Bess retell one of his many stories from his days as a firefighter at the Austin Fire Department (AFD). LASA Junior Ross Murdock at the academy said this interaction between students and Bess is just one of the highlights students are able to experience after Bess joined the Academy as an official instructor. “He fits in perfectly,” Murdock said. “He works out. He’s just another firefighter in the sense that he has fun with the information,” Murdock said. “He’s always there for you to talk to, so if anything, he’s only affected the program positively.” Former Assistant Chief of the Austin Fire Department (AFD) Bess joined the LBJ Fire Academy as its newest Director at the beginning of the 2014 Spring semester. After 25 years as an Austin firefighter, Bess retired in 2006 but remained a part of the fire community through his many connections with other firefighters. His continued association led him to the opportunity of becoming an instructor of the LBJ Fire Academy. “I’ve got hundreds of friends that are still with the Department so I’ve [stayed] connected,” Bess said. “When I heard about this program and that they had an opening, I applied for it [since it] was a very good opportunity for me to become active again.” Although Bess’s direct relationship with the LBJ Fire Academy started in 2014, he has been indirectly connected with the Academy since the beginning of the program in 2006. “This program was started with the Austin Fire Department,” Bess said. “I was actually on the committee when we were developing this program.” Since joining, he has become a part of the LBJ fire community and has participated in many different ways that would change how the Academy would teach and relate to its students. LBJ senior Christian Diaz said that the relationship Bess was forming with the students of the Academy positively affected the whole community as students found more relatable experiences and confidence in the activities they participate in. “When the instructors teach it, he’s back at the table, [re]learning the same things we’re learning,” Diaz said. “So if I have any problems, I can just go to him and ask him a question.” The atmosphere isn’t the only thing affected by Bess’s presence. According to Murdock, the Academy had had a number of scheduling and coordinating problems in the past that are now being attended to by Bess. “Before Chief Bess came, we’d have days where we’d have

LBJ fire academy practices drills outside the school. photo by Joann Min

a lot of instructors but nothing to do, [so] it would just be a lecture day and there’d be one instructor talking and eight just sitting to the side,” Murdock said. “And on some days, when we’d actually have to do stuff, there would only be two.” Now with Bess as a member of the Academy, Murdock stated that the organization and efficiency of the Academy has significantly increased giving students a higher quality of education and more opportunities. “With Chief Bess here, we have much more standardized schedules and we’ll always have about five firefighters,” Murdock said. “And depending on the day, we’ll have the proper

run smoothly.” Although organization of the Academy has increased its organization since Bess joined, a different factor had also kept the Academy from participating in all of its planned activities; a financial backlash that had cut a number of the Academy’s events scheduled for students. In 2012, AFD significantly cut its budget, decreasing the amount of opportunities the LBJ Fire Academy provided students. LASA senior Daniel Hauglie mentioned that his class had not been given some of the opportunities graduated classes had received during their participation in the program. “For a couple of years there hasn’t really been a director and because of that when Austin Fire Department changed

their program, there was a lot of budget and funding that got cut out of the Fire Academy,” Hauglie said. But with Bess as the new director, Hauglie said he hoped that the Academy will again reach its full potential and give students all of the Academy’s original aspects. Hauglie also said that Bess’s contributions to the Academy both through his active participation and his ties to the AFD have become key to making the LBJ Fire Academy a special program to the school. “Chief Bess is definitely going to bring that whole sense of ‘now there’s a program director so we can allocate more resources here or ask for funding from here and get an actual, legitimate program,’” Hauglie said. Ultimately, Bess joining the Academy has given students another instructor to learn from and, for Bess, an opportunity to remain a member of the fire community without having to physically put out any fires. His many activities have also been put to use as he related much of his own experiences that the students go through in the Academy. “We try to relate a lot of our experiences while we do things the way we do,” Bess said. “It actually gives [students] the opportunity to say ‘I can compare this with other things in life, things that I do, I can connect that with what they do in the fire department.’” Although it has only been a few months since Bess joined the Academy, he said that his short time at the Academy has already brought him great opportunities to reconnect with his passion. “It feels great already,” Bess said. “[The Academy] interacts with the Austin Fire Department and other Departments. This past Saturday, we were at the Oak Hill Fire Department [where I] revisited people that I have known for a long time. So it’s been a good experience.” For the LBJ Fire Academy, the addition of Bess has brought a number of opportunities to become the program it once was. Bess said that the sense of community felt throughout the program, much like a real city Fire Department, is one of the main reasons he has enjoyed the program so much thus far. “Not [only for] the people within a Fire Department, a fire station is part of the community,” Bess said. “I can remember, some of my fondest times were working at a fire station in southeast Austin, and we were part of the community.” Bess said he looks forward to the future he will be able to share with students and stated his hopes that the LBJ Fire Academy will grow even more than what it is today. “[The program] is an excellent opportunity,” Bess said. “And the relationship with people you have as a firefighter, how you can sympathize with people going through disasters even though you’re providing the service for them and how you can put yourself in their shoes and understand how they’re feeling just makes you a better citizen.”

One of the teachers instructs a fire academy class. photo by Chloe Edmiston

Fire academy students practice a drill led by Chief Bess. photo by Daniel Vega

graphic by Marissa Hansen

number of instructors to facilitate activities and make things

LASA holds second annual N-MAST Nationals, which one has to qualify for. And most importantly, it just seemed interesting.” Staff Writer This year, LASA junior Dhruv Puri fulfilled the new officer position of tournament Up a flight of stairs and tucked in the director and began preparing for N-MAST white hallway of math classrooms, math during the fall, allowing for more meticulous and science competitors scribble frantically organization and for greater attendance. on scratch paper. Between testing blocks, Puri organized the bulk of the event in attendees gathered, snacked, and played math 2014, working with registration, food and games. In the early afternoon, awards were recruiting math club members to write the announced and distributed, and participants competition tests (three math, three science and a math team test), stepping in when tests dispersed. The LASA math club hosted the Nautilus were incomplete. “I was really happy to run [N-MAST],” Math and Science Tournament (N-MAST), its second math competition, which drew Puri said. “It ran really smoothly, we didn’t close to 40 participants from Texas, on March have any major troubles with food or 8. LASA alumnus Youry Aglyamov desired anything, we actually finished early, we had to organize a math tournament at LASA the awards ceremony and had all the tests and, in 2013, worked with a few math club run smoothly, no big mishaps in printing or members and LASA math club sponsor Sarah anything. I think it shows how planning stuff Harrelson to write tests and organize the like that can really help out.” N-MAST is the only student-run event, then called the Nautilus Invitational Tournament (NIT) for LASA’s mascot, the math and science competition in central Texas making it different from many math fighting nautilus. “I wanted to organize a math and science competitions which are run by university competition in part because it felt like the staff. LASA senior and math club president Austin area was a desert in terms of academic Jessica Wang helped write the tests for the tournaments,” Aglyamov said. “There was, LASA-hosted competition both years and in other words, a geographic hole. There was said it was very different from numerous also a temporal hole, because no independent other math competitions she has attended, tournaments were happening in April, most of which were on a university campus only stuff like Science Olympiad State and with a large number of participants. “I feel like LASA’s competition was more laidback,” Wang said. “We provided everybody pizza for lunch, instead of MSW, LCSW letting everybody go and come back for the award ceremony, all of Harrelson’s Clinical Social Work and Therapy math games were out, it was much more relaxed.” 5766 Balcones Drive The competition was Suite 101 hurriedly put together in it’s first year and had about Austin, Texas 78731 10 competitors, including 512-380-9090 middle schoolers. The

Frankie Marchan

Jennifer Spradley Jones

individual test topics were Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Advanced Topics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Astronomy. This year, the test categories were changed, leaving Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as science tests but switching the math tests to Lower, Middle, and Upper Level Math. There was also a team math test, which Aglyamov wrote. LASA alumnus Allan Sadun, though not a math club member, assisted with last year’s competition (NIT) as a senior. “I helped out,” Sadun said. “I wrote some test questions, gave advice on how to organize the schedule and fee structure, created a Google Form for people to sign up and attend the tournament, showed up the day of to help set up, grade, and entertain the competitors and in general did whatever I could that I thought needed to be done - but I was only in an advisory role.” N-MAST test questions were based off released national test questions from competitions such as USAMO and AIME as well as techniques found in some art of problem solving books from Harrelson’s classroom. According to Wang, writing test questions was very different from both competing by taking the test and the math she has encountered in her classes. “LASA’s math curriculum is not very math competition-based, which I personally like in a math class,” Wang said. “It’s very, well, especially Harrelson’s class, it’s very theoretical, very proof-based, which doesn’t go well in a competition scene. I liked our tests; I thought they were more interesting than a regular competition math test. It wasn’t all computation; there were one or two proofs in there, and theoretical stuff, so I found it more interesting, but some people thought they were too hard.” According to Puri, N-MAST attendees who had also competed at Rice University were pleased with N-MAST because it ran on schedule, and everyone had a copy of the test and an answer sheet. Wang said a couple of her friends, who are competitive in the Texas

math competition world, attended N-MAST and found the tests challenging. “My experience has been really positive because it’s really different writing tests instead of taking tests,” Wang said. “It was interesting having to write all the tests and finding questions that would be interesting but not too hard, deciding which subjects of math are applicable to everybody, not just LASA students, not making it too easy. It was interesting; it’s a different role to take to put everything together instead of just taking the tests.” Besides the different test structure and small scale size of the tournament, the math club was able to provide breakfast and lunch for participants by collecting a registration fee. As Nautilus manager, Puri said being in charge of an event was a new experience for him. “[Organizing N-MAST] gave me that feeling of what it feels like to actually be responsible for something,” Puri said. “It was a very new feeling, it was refreshing and gave me the cliche adult feeling, like you’re taking responsibility, you’re doing it, you’re running it, it’s all on your back, so to say. So that was a really, really, new feeling for me, I haven’t really felt like that before, so that was really cool.” Sprouted largely from Aglyamov’s imagination, hosting a math tournament is becoming an annual activity for the LASA math club. According to Puri, the club’s goal is to continue to expand the evolving tournament. “For the future, [the math club] definitely [wants] to bring in more kids,” Puri said. “[N-MAST] is very new; it just started last year. It ran really well this year, and people really like it, so we want to advertise even more, have more people show up, and see how far we can take this tournament, to the point of having people all over Texas show up and compete with us, which would be really great.”


the liberator april 17, 2014

David de la Garza

Entertainment Editor It’s all about the sound. Just LISTEN to that sound!” shouts an enthusiastic bearded fellow. He’s leaning on what one could assume was a heavy modified 1950’s hot-rod, but what looked more like a dual-passenger spaceship from a far-away galaxy. It’s cherry red paint job and finished chrome highlights glint sunlight into the eyes of all who pass, including wide-eyed children pulling on the hands of their equally wide-eyed fathers. And the sound that the aforementioned man praises so energetically is indeed worthy of such praise. There’s food, music, vendor stands, races of all kinds, and cars on motorcycles on cars, but what really ties the annual Lonestar Round Up together is the absolutely thunderous background noise that never fails to exhilarate anyone who enters through the gates. The Lonestar Round Up, now in its 13th year, is a massive festival centered around the colorful and creative car culture of Central Texas. The festival includes all sorts of attractions for people from all walks of life, but the main feature is the vast amount of classic, custom and crazy cars and motorcycles on display. People from all across Texas drive their prized vehicles to Austin, specifically the Travis County Expo Center, to let the world see the fruits of

their labor. The vehicle owners range from massive men with bountiful facial hair, to petite soft-spoken girls, and everyone who comes to look at a car is greeted by the owner with a wide grin. Some of cars being shown are restored classic cars, and some of them defy all logic. This year, there was a car that was the length of a limo, but looked like a convertable cadillac. The festival has endless such oddities to off up. While the festival takes place officially on the grounds of the Expo Center, South Congress Avenue has become a defacto meeting point for many of the festival participants. The streets are littered with rat-faced racing machines, and cadillacs that are so big that I have no idea how they even managed to drive through the streets to South Congress in the first place. Everywhere that I turn I see a car that I want; not a car that I want to drive, but a car that I want to own and stare at and polish at least three times a day. The best part about the Round Up is how everyone stops to look at the cars, not just the big motor-heads. Little kids are all over the place gazing at the vehicles, and consequently so are their moms and dads. Some people just sit on the front patios of restaurants so that they can watch the cars drive by as they eat lunch and chat. The atmosphere was magnetic, and the throttle of exotic cars could be heard from a mile away. Back at the Expo Center, I stumbled across another one of the big attractions at

SX SW

Every year the build up to South by Southwest (SXSW) starts a little earlier and gets a little bigger. The list of rumored artists is more widely sought out. The wristbands and badges seem to sell faster. A feeling of both excitement and resentment towards the influx of drunken tourists falls over Austin a little sooner. Together, this adds up to a bigger festival. SXSW has grown to not just include music, film and interactive, but also education and environmental conferences. As one of the largest festivals in the world, SXSW engulfs Austin for two weeks. This year’s SXSW saw some of the festival’s biggest names in music, film and technology to date, including performances by Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Kanye West, premieres of Neighbors and Veronica Mars as well as a keynote speech from Edward Snowden. SXSW Music drew over 2,000 artists performing at over 100 venues. A new addition to the music aspect was the iTunes Music Festival, held at the Moody Theater. On March 12, the iTunes Festival featured Isaiah Rashad, Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar. This show, though almost impossible to get into, was worth the long wait. The three rappers together exhilarated the crowd. Lamar, to thunderous applause, ended the show with the words everyone wanted to hear: “I’ll be back.” Thursday featured the Woodies, a music festival and awards show geared towards college students. This eight-hour concert, set up on Red River and Cesar Chavez, included free Pepsi brand drinks, Reese’s, Saltlick Green Chile Mac & Cheese and an amazing set list. Notable performances were Vic Mensa, an upand-coming rapper who pumped the crowd up in the middle of a hot day, Phantogram, an electronic rock duo whose melodic sound carried through the crowd, Iggy Azalea, a female rapper from Australia that performed with Charli XCX to create fun and exciting energy through their catchy lines and the final act of the night, Childish Gambino. Gambino’s performance,

the Round Up. The swap meet, which is so big it’s more of a swap-a-palooza, is a social gathering of festival participants looking for that one part they need for their motorcycle, or for some, new rims for their custom car. Its environment is much like a beehive, with motorheads rushing from one corner of the showroom floor to the other, looking around and chatting with fellow motorheads. There are car parts that I didn’t even know existed here, and I even saw one guy trade an entire car for a bunch of parts (it was a pretty beat up car, but still). I decided to buy a little hood ornament from one guy, just so I could feel like I was a part of it all. A little farther in to the day, I spotted a co-worker of mine named Sophie. She was there with her classic suzuki motorcycle, which until that day she’d never driven past 20 mph. Sophie is one of the many women who participate in the festival as well. The stereotype is a common one, but one that ultimately proves to be extremely untrue. There are tons of women at the Round Up, and while some of them are in bikinis leaning against cars, most of them are either showcasing their own vehicles or walking around viewing others. The Lonestar Round Up is a great event for everybody, and a must-attend event for anyone who loves cars. The festival is Austinwide, and the massive influx of people into town is a great way to be social and meet some motorheads. The festival includes lots

of great live music as well, so even if you dont want to see cars, you can lie in the sun and listen to some classic Texas tunes. The environment is killer, the people are friendly, and if the weather’s nice than that’s like a cherry on top of it all. It’s one of the few times that a full-grown adult can be as equally excited about something as a six-year-old.

A quick recap of what happened at this year’s threeweek long festival. Zia Lyle

Staff Writer with his entrance to the stage through the crowd with a full band to his incredible lyrics, allowed him to magnetize the entire crowd. The Woodies also featured a secret appearance by Lil Wayne, as well as performances by Steve Aoki and Danny Brown. One difference in this year’s SXSW was that it featured some of the most popular artists in the world. On Friday night, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Jay-Z were all on Red River Street, with everyone except Bieber performing. Lady Gaga headlined at Stubb’s with a performance that included being dramatically (and purposely) vomited on. Jay-Z and Kanye performed solely to those who had a Samsung Galaxy cell phone as an advertising ploy. This scale of performances is new to SXSW and has upset some who are concerned about maintaining an amazing part of the music festival - giving exposure to new artists. Many up-and-coming bands venture to SXSW to make it, but as the festival has grown, it has become more focused on big-name headliners. Bands such as Phantogram, London Grammar and San Fermin as well as artists such as Kelela and Sam Smith blew audiences away with their incredible voices and undeniable musicality. Bands such as these are what attract huge crowds and contribute to the variety of acts a festival-goer can experience. As the festival has grown, so have the sheer number of people swarming Austin. Many visitors simply come for the experience, just going to the free shows (of which there are a surplus). However, there are serious problems that result from so many people in such a small space. On March 12, a drunk driver ran into a crowd of festival-goers, killing four people and injuring 21 more. While the accident was not caused by the large amounts of people, it’s severity was escalated because of the sheer number of people located on the closed-off street the drunk driver turned onto. This raised awareness about drunk driving and inspired more people to choose taxis or other rides home. Tyler the Creator was also arrested for “inciting a riot” after telling crowds to push their way into a venue he was performing at. Crowds and lines will always be part of the SXSW experience but it is difficult to judge just how big this festival can get before more tragic events occur.

Adopt a shelter pup. I'll love you fore ver! - Lucy


the liberator april 17, 2014

CAPITAL STARS

Logan Kramer

Life & Feature Editor As they walked up the steps of the Capitol in front of thousands of people, the 20 girls stood out from the crowd wearing hot pink T-shirts with “Ladies of Distinction” printed across the front. They carried a hot pink banner with the slogan “Not just a statistic.” The crowd that had gathered at the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration listened as the Ladies of Distinction were recognized for their commitment to serving the community. Ladies of Distinction sponsor Kerrie Carter stood next to the girls, beaming. “That moment was enough for me to say wow, what we are doing is empowering,” Carter said. “This is making a change.” Carter began the Ladies of Distinction group at LBJ in the fall of 2012 with six girls. Just over a year later, the group has now grown to over 30 members. In that time, Ladies of Distinction has volunteered at a variety of community events, read to elementary school students, made wigs for cancer A representative from the African-American Heritage Council recognizes the Ladies of Distinction on the steps of the Texas Capitol on Jan. 20 as part of the Martin patients, spent time at elderly homes and created a mentoring Luther King Jr. Day Celebration attended by thousands of Austinites. program with Garcia students. Despite these accomplishments, “It’s mostly [about] finding yourself experiences from Garcia as a guide, Pineda said she hopes to Carter said she and finding what you’re comfortable help younger girls deal with their conflicts. was in awe when doing, and I think the best way to do “I want the girls to be better, because at Garcia there’s a she received the that is through helping others,” Carter lot of drama,” Pineda said. “I can help them go through their call in December said. “[You can do this by] taking problems without having physical action.” letting her know yourself out of the equation and Carter herself serves as a mentor for some of the Ladies of that the Ladies of helping the elderly or helping another Distinction. Through her group, Carter is often able to help Distinction would young girl that might be going through girls with problems similar to those she dealt with as a young be recognized at the same things you are or might in woman. the Martin Luther the future be doing that. [I want the “[My experiences in] high school, college and after college, King Jr. Day girls] to find themselves individually all of those things have inspired me to move forward,” Carter -Ladies of Distinction sponsor Celebration. and then to act out in a positive way.” said. “I [know] the things that I went through, and I just don’t “I was sitting Kerrie Carter The group strives toward this want these girls to go through that. I’ve been through a lot. at my desk, it was mission by doing various community Sometimes I share stories, but I’m a very open person. So a right before one service projects. On April 7, the group lot of girls know things about me, and it can help them not go of our meetings in December, and the lady from the African- began their newest project: mentoring Garcia Middle School down the same path.” American Heritage Center called me, and she was like, ‘Coach students. Carter said the Garcia girls chosen for the mentoring Recently, Carter met with community leaders who Carter, we want to honor your girls,’” Carter said. “We’ve only program have been diagnosed as “high-risk” and a mentor appreciated the Ladies of Distinction’s efforts. Carter was been established a good solid year. She was like, ‘People need can encourage them to move in the right direction. surprised to hear how supportive they were of her organization. to hear about this. At LBJ you only hear about the negative “We’ll probably go twice a month to Garcia just so they “This one guy was like, ‘I love what you’re doing,’” Carter things; on the east side you only hear about the negative can connect with somebody that’s at LBJ,” Carter said. “If we said. “We love the support. To hear how people think that my things, and so we want to applaud you for all of your efforts.’” can get them here and change their lives, I mean, hey, that can small group is making a change in the community, or it can Though the group has garnered recognition, this was change our school. eventually, it just warms my heart.” never Carter’s goal. Carter said that the mission of Ladies of LBJ freshman and Ladies of Distinction member Amy Distinction is to help LBJ students find themselves by serving Pineda went to Garcia Middle School, and she said she was their community. excited to join the new mentoring program. Using her own

Student sings way to choral conference Chelsea Banawis

Staff Writer

As the bus entered Little Rock, Arkansas, LASA sophomore Chiara Alvisi harmonized with 35 other choir members to “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” Alvisi and the Allegro choir of the Conspirare Youth Choirs were finishing their 11-hour journey to the Southwest American Choral Directors Association (SWACDA) conference as one of 19 choirs who had to audition to perform in front of hundreds of choral directors at the conference. Alvisi said that she’s sung for her entire life, but being part of Conspirare Youth Choirs has enhanced her singing experiences. “Singing is something that is so personal,” Alvisi said. “When you play an instrument, you’re making sound out of the instrument...but when you sing it’s your own personal voice. In a way, it’s more personal.” Although Alvisi’s choir usually performs a few times during the spring semester, the SWACDA performance required extra practice from each choir member. Alvisi said that after hours of practicing both alone and with the rest of her choir, she felt prepared for her performance in Little Rock. “There was so much pressure put onto [our SWACDA performance] but at the same time while I was singing, I just felt so relaxed because I knew exactly what I was doing,” Alvisi said. “I’ve been with all these people for a semester and a half and I’ve been drilling the same pieces over and over again but in that moment I knew what I was doing and I knew I could just fully express myself and sing [in] the best way that I could.” Conspirare Youth Choirs director Nina Revering has directed the choirs since 2005. While she was originally worried about her ability to be a director, she said that each rehearsal with Alvisi and other committed choir members convinces her that her work is valuable. “It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had, even if it’s been really horrible and I really don’t feel like coming to rehearsal, there’s never been a time when I’ve left rehearsal that I haven’t been incredibly glad to be there,” Revering said. “Whatever day I’ve had gets turned around and we have such a joyful time. It’s always so special and I feel like I’ve done good work.” While Alvisi has had private vocal lessons and sung in various settings before, she said that she enjoys being a part of Conspirare Youth Choirs because she is able to make a deeper connection with the music as part of a larger group. She said her performance at the SWACDA conference was one of various opportunities that Conspirare has opened up for her. “Whenever you do anything with music it’s deeply personal...” Alvisi said. “[What Revering] always says is, ‘You have to keep in mind [music] is something that goes away. This isn’t something that can stay here. Of course you can make a recording, but it’s never going to be the same and the sound that you make in that moment with that group of people will never happen again and you have to take that in.’”

[I want the girls] to find themselves individually and then to act out in a positive way.

Started from the bottom, now she here Nathan Humphreys-Lucas and Baltazar Zuniga

Staff Writer and Feature Editor

LASA sophomore Becky Carmack wanted to cry. She was glued to the rock face unable to move or think. Her legs started shaking, and her face was turning red with embarrassment. The whole class was watching. “Climbing with a fear of heights is like allowing scorpions to crawl over you,” Carmack said. “ You know you’re going to die, but you do it anyway.” Carmack began rock climbing at the North and South Austin Rock Gyms in the second semester of seventh grade in order to earn an off-campus physical education (OCPE) credit, but there was a catch: Carmack was terrified of heights. “The walls at the North gym when I started were a max of around 20 feet,” Carmack said. “For a while I refused to allow myself to climb anywhere besides the front or back corner where there were mostly flat walls and no anomalies” Carmack’s relationship with climbing was a complicated one, even when she was a child. Carmack loved to climb, but it frightened her at the same time. “When I was little I climbed everything,” Carmack said. “Monkey bars, trees, fences, street sign poles, etc. Anything that would get me off the ground. At my house we have never had a television, so I basically spent three hours a day after school playing in a tree with my brothers. But, even with all of the climbing I was still terrified of heights.” LASA sophomore Julia Cocco convinced Carmack to join the climbing class in the the seventh grade even though she knew Carmack was afraid to climb. Somewhat ironically, she learned of her friends phobia while the pair was in a tree. “We were at her house, and we were like in her tree and she was like ‘You know, I really don’t like heights,’” Cocco said. “And, I’m like “That’s a funny thing to say considering we are in a tree right now.” Carmack’s first experience with rock climbing was harrowing. She had only climbed five feet off the ground, but she was too terrified to dismount. “The first time she had to dismount from a wall, she was freaking out because she was clinging to the wall like a cat to a tree,” Cocco said. “She was like ‘oh, I can’t do it, I can’t do it.’ It’s like ‘Becky, you can do it. You are literally only five feet off the ground.’” Even though she she loved to climb as a child, Carmack found that being too far off the ground made her lose her nerve. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Carmack threw herself into the sport, quickly surpassing her friend who had been climbing since the fourth grade. “Well, it was over the course of a couple of semesters and she kind of blew past me,” Cocco said. “And she was like, ‘Oh, hey Cocco, you wanna come climb this yellow with me?’ and it’s like ‘No, Becky, I’m still on blues [the second least challenging type of wall].’” Once Carmack began challenging herself she became enamoured with the sport. Carmack, a puzzle aficionado, realized that climbing was just another puzzle for her to solve. “I love all sorts of puzzles, jigsaw, Sudoku, Solitaire, TETRIS (is my favorite of all time). The routes are basically puzzles that you have to use your entire body to solve. Picking up the techniques was like learning the way of the game.” LASA sophomore Cameron Randall met Carmack in the OCPE class and he said that he was shocked to find out that Carmack was ever afraid of heights. “I have seen Becky climb several times and I honestly never knew that she was afraid of heights,” Randall said. “Now, Becky is not afraid to try a new route, climb to the top and then jump down without hesitation.” Carmack continued to climb with the class for the next two semesters before joining the team in the spring of eighth grade year. But, not long after tragedy struck. “I was working on a V-4 [grade wall] and there was a part in the route where you had to jump for the next hand hold,

and I missed it and fell onto a mat,” Carmack said. “My foot ended up on a lump in the mat and it became twisted as I landed.” The accident left Carmack in a brace and crutches for six weeks, so she had to quit the competitive climbing team. Despite doctor’s orders, she couldn’t stay away from the gym and returned to climbing as soon as she was able “The one time I went after quitting the team was about three weeks after I had sprained my ankle and I was still supposed to be using crutches and a foot brace,” Carmack said “I managed to fit my foot and the brace into my climbing shoe, but my old OCPE instructor Azfaris refused to allow me to climb anything over a V-0 [grade wall] and only with a spotter full time. It also aggravated me to go climbing with the hurt ankle and be restricted to climbing such low level routes while my friends were challenging themselves to new climbs. Eventually I stopped going until my foot was completely healed.” It took over two months for Carmacks foot to heal and re-heal after a number of unfortunate encounters with a sprinkler in her yard. Even though she knew knew it would hurt, Carmack still desperately wanted to climb. “I basically counted down the days till I was able to climb again, which was also frustrating because there was no magical day on the calendar saying ‘I am completely healed,’” Carmack said. “I had to go with how my foot felt from day to day. One day it would be fine and then I would step on the stupid sprinkler and it would be back into the brace for at least a week. But once I learned to successfully avoid the horrid obstacle in my lawn, I was back in the gym climbing solely for fun with my friends.“ Carmack returned to climbing in the ninth grade for yet another OCPE class, but she hasn’t rejoined the team. Her schedule no longer permits her to climb regularly, let alone competitively. Carmack said that she would love to climb again, but sadly climbing is more like playing an instrument than riding a bike. Though she has lost much of the skill she gained, she still longs to one day return to her favorite sport. “To me climbing is like playing your favorite video game,” Carmack said. “While you’re playing it you are addicted. You play as much as you can and enjoy every minute even when you have to face a boss who kills you thousands of times and you feel like giving up and stopping all together. But then you get distracted by something more time demanding and forget how much you loved playing. Then one day when you have too much time, you pick it up again and fall in love with the game all over. “


the liberator April 17, 2014

LBJ senior Byron “BJ” Maxwell lunges away from the Hays player, reaching for the ball. He takes it and takes a step, looking for holes in the court. “For the Leander game we were really motivated and excited, and had our heads together,” boy basketball coach Freddie Roland Said. “We were focused. For the Hays game I saw something different. The kids were trying to get themselves pumped up when they should have been focusing on the game.” Photo courtesy of Becky Gdula

Boys basketball reaches second round of playoffs, lose to Hays Rebels in final seconds of close contest Staff Writer

With one minute remaining in the second round playoff game between LBJ and Hays high school, the Jaguars are winning 54-53. They need only hold on to their lead for a few more seconds to make it into the next round, when the team collapses and commits several fouls that result in three successful free throws by the Hays Rebels. The scoreboard reads 56-54 as the final buzzer sounds. The Jaguars stand on the court, stunned with disbelief. Following their 50-44 victory against Leander, LBJ basketball head coach Freddie Roland said that he expected the Jags to win the game against the Rebels. He said he thought the team could have done better if they had focused more on the game. “We had a good result in the Leander game and the kids played very well,” Roland said. “At Hays, we made too many mistakes. When you get to the playoff games, especially the second round of playoffs, you need to cut back on mistakes.” The Jaguars dominated throughout their district schedule, often ending games with lopsided scores such as a 99-43 win against Crockett. In contrast, games in the playoffs are often won by slender margins, and Roland said that he believes the team may have let their free-flowing form in district get to their heads. “[In playoffs] there aren’t going to be any blow outs, and only seven or eight

guys can really get out there and make an impact,” Roland said. “I thought at Hays we played very well but made some mistakes that caused us not to advance.” LBJ junior power forward Shane Smith put up four points and nine rebounds in the game against Hays. He said that while the team played well together, mistakes in several areas proved costly late in the game. “They out-rebounded us and we could have taken better shots, but as a team I think we could have played better,” Smith said. “Our main strength was our chemistry, but that was really

including Roland’s first season as head coach in 1993. “We’ve had some great runs since I was here, and I’ve been blessed to play with some fantastic kids,” Roland said. “We’ve been in the state finals three or four times now, and I think that’s fantastic. Our goal every year is to make the playoffs, but next year I’m changing the goal to reaching the final four, because I know we have the capability to make it.” Along with raising the bar, Roland is planning on working harder with the team during the offseason. Roland said strength and technical improvements on the court are his main targets for the offseason. “We’re going to get stronger, faster and smarter,” Roland said. “We’re definitely going to be hitting the weight room and the floors to get fundamentals better, -LBJ junior Terrell Davidson and work on our defense and offense.” Although the season it.” has ended for the Jaguars, Roland said he LBJ junior Terrell Davidson said he is already looking forward to next year’s agrees with Smith regarding the team’s playoffs. If the Jaguars make playoffs the performance, citing a lack of focus as a next year, it will be their 23rd year in a possible reason for the team’s defeat. row to qualify. “Our weakness, I feel, is that we didn’t “It’s something I’ve been doing listen to what the coach was saying and for the 22 years that I’ve been here,” did our own thing,” Davidson said. “A Roland said. “We just treat [playoffs] little more focus would have went a long as if it’s another game. I admit, it is a way.” nice run that I’ve had with the kids, and The Jaguars have reached the second it’s something great that the kids can round of playoffs in each of the past experience, so I hope it can continue.” 17 seasons. The team has gone as far as the final four on multiple occasions,

Our weakness, I feel, is that we didn’t listen to what the coach was saying and did our own thing.

Adam Kobeissi

After losses, LBJ baseball set to place third in district Isabel Saralegui and Abby Kappelman

Sports Editor and Staff Writer

LBJ sophomore Jorge Rodriguez slowly pulls his arm back, then lets the ball fly towards McCallum senior Jordan Gray, who is up to bat. Gray swings and makes contact, sending a loud crack echoing through the stadium. The McCallum dugout roars as the ball sails over the left field fence, breaking the 8-8 tie that had taken the game into extra innings. The LBJ student section falls silent. LBJ was unable to respond in the bottom of the eigth, and the score remained 9-8 in the loss to McCallum. The game against the Knights came on the heels of an extra-inning loss to Crockett. Entering the game, the Jaguars were prepared to counter McCallum’s young team with their own juniorheavy lineup. However, the Jaguars had issues on the mound, as pitcher Tristan Burt suffered from a shoulder injury, and LASA junior Eddie Plaut replaced LASA junior Blake Cooper as starting catcher. Burt was pulled from the mound after the Knights scored five runs. “Eddie doesn’t normally catch me; I normally have Blake as my catcher,” Burt said. “We had some problems figuring out what we were doing in the beginning, what with being crossed up in pitches. That and the fact that every time I threw, it felt like someone was trying to pull my arm off, so it was a little bit of both.” The Jaguars were able to overcome a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to take the game into extra innings, but several mistakes proved costly in the loss. “Those little mistakes here and there, they are costly in tight ball games,” Plaut said. “Everyone in this district’s beatable. It’s a good rest of the season to be expected by all our fans.” LBJ head baseball coach Ruben Covarrubias said that these little changes in lineup and injuries are what can really make or break a game. Rodriguez, who usually plays shortstop, came in as a relief pitcher in the eighth inning. “The [McCallum] game, and the Crockett game, these are the type of games that we’ve been preparing for, because these are the games that are so important and crucial heading into district,” Covarrubias said. “Everyone on that team has an opportunity to help the team, when they all know that their numbers could be called at any time. I think that’s the best part about being a team, being able to rely on each other no matter what the score is [or] the circumstances are.” Covarrubias said that he was proud of the team’s unwillingness to give up, despite being down several runs early in the game. He said the Jaguars learned a lot during the

games against McCallum and Crockett because of the tough competition they faced. “Being down five runs early, we could have easily folded to ten, but we didn’t,” Covarrubias said. “I think everyone was starting to believe in themselves [and] in the team concept, knowing that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.” Burt said that the team knows what they have to fix, and have already begun working on it. He said that the Jaguars are ready for the second round of district and that he believes they are on the level of both Crockett and McCallum. “We’re going to come back and give both of these teams a run for their money,” Burt said. “We’ve had two close games. It’s only going to get better we’re, only going to get better.” The Jaguars lost their second meeting with Crockett 5-8, solidifying their spot in third place in district and earning them a spot in the playoffs. The Jaguars do not yet know who they will face in playoffs.

LASA junior Daniel Weinberg takes a lead off of third base to head home during practice. “Looking back, I think...we have become the team that we want to be,” baseball coach Ruben Covarrubias said. photo by Isabel Saralegui

Members of the girls soccer team celebrate a save by LASA sophomore goalie Emery Reed.“I think the main thing that really stood out about the team was that the girls all really wanted to be here,” head soccer coach Chloe Cardinale said. photo courtesy of Stuart Jarriel

LBJ girls soccer’s freshmen heavy team takes distrcit title Chloe Edmiston

Staff Writer

LBJ girls soccer captain LASA senior Sara Greaves sprints down the field, her cleats slamming into the dirt and sending clumps of grass flying. She intercepts a pass from a Travis Rebel and takes off. She scores, sending the fans into ecstatic cheers. The game ends 10-0, and the Lady Jags are district champions. “We had a really skilled group of girls this year who all worked very well together,” LASA senior and LBJ girls soccer captain Sara Greaves said. “I think this was the most fluid lineup I’ve seen in the four years I’ve played at LBJ.” Unlike previous years, many key players on the Lady Jags team this year were freshmen. LASA freshman Ashley Gonzalez and Aiden Henderson led the team as midfielders, positions essential in both defense and offense. “Overall, age wasn’t really a big factor on our team,” LASA sophomore Emery Reed said. “Before we would leave school on game days, we all sat together in a big underclassmen and upperclassmen circle at the J Spot to eat and talk, as a sort of tradition.” During practice, the coaches ran drills to see which girls worked best together in order to form a more cohesive and compatible lineup of starters. Since many of the athletes had extensive previous experience in their positions, the coaches had a more difficult job of deciding between many talented girls who would be capable of filling a necessary position. “We had a huge team this year, [which] caused a lot of tension, because a lot of talented girls were having to ride the bench,” Greaves said. “This also meant that we had a bigger selection of girls to make our starting lineup. I think this is part of the reason we had such a solid group of starters.” This year’s team also included a larger number of players who practice outside of school, whether it be on a select team or camps during the summer. Most girls, such as LASA sophomore and goalie Emery Reed, came in with multiple years of experience in their specific positions, and the season started with learning how to blend the level of talent into a cohesive team instead of going over basic soccer skills. “I think our team, even for being a young group of girls and not having played together for the longest time, still has a really solid, cohesive foundation,” Reed said. “We worked well together on the field in ways a lot of the other district teams didn’t, and our strong relationships on and off the field made a big difference in our district games.” After standout games against Travis, where the Lady Jags beat the Rebels 10-0, and Reagan where Reed blocked a penalty kick for the win, the Jaguars ultimately won the district championship. During the season, though, the team faced obstacles that made it difficult for them to come together as a team. Before the playoffs, LBJ English teacher and soccer coach Brian Johnson took leave, and was replaced by LASA Latin teacher Byron Browne. JV coach Chloe Cardinale said that she feels the main issue the team has is lack of attention from the school. “It has a lot to do with the girls and the fact that they struggle against lack of funding, and lack of participation in terms of the school not really coming to their games or acknowledging them as a sport,” Cardinale said. “They just don’t get a lot of attention from anyone. So, because of that, they actually step up to the plate and encourage each other and help each other out.” While the players overcame these hurdles and were prepared for the district’s level of competition, Rouse, the team whom the Lady Jags met in the first round of playoffs, handed the Lady Jags a 4-0 loss, eliminating them from playoffs. In the practices leading up to the playoffs, the Lady Jags were also faced with the possibility of playing against girls whom they had played with on select teams, so practices had to be changed to accommodate the increased competition. “We were practicing the way we usually did, but we are also increased the intensity so we were prepared to play harder,” LASA sophomore Ally Martin said. “We worked most on getting more touches, and when we fixed that, then that fixed a lot of other things like passing and shooting.” Throughout the season, the upperclassmen on the team have provided moral support for the new underclassmen on and off the field. The captains, including Greaves, organized times where the team could bond, which they hoped would translate well to the field. This contributed to the Lady Jags having one of their most successful seasons in the past few years. “I absolutely loved our team this year,” Reed said. “It’s a very young team, but the talent and potential, going into the next few years especially, is so high. It doesn’t hurt that we all get along really well too.”


the liberator april 17, 2014

All roads lead to districts and beyond

The LBJ Jaguar boys relay team warms up alongside the other district teams, stretching their legs and assessing the competition, as the crowd slowly fills the stands. “The biggest problem distance boys faces is getting people on the team,” LASA junior Raymond Khun. “This year only a few people joined as freshman and are team is already small as it is. The sprinters are good as far as I can tell, they have a lot of guys and talent is here on both sides: distance and track.” photo by Jacob Hammond

LBJ track Jaguars finish season, look towards districts Staff Writer

LBJ senior Lee Anthony Dawson strains to pass the purple baton along as he runs towards his teammate. He leans forward, handing off the baton to LBJ junior Zae Giles, who grabs it and sprints down the track, leaving Dawson gasping for breath. The LBJ relay team goes on to place first in the 4x100 relay at the AISD Invitational. “Our team’s been doing really well,” Dawson said. “We’ve competed in many track meets and haven’t lost yet in a 4x100.” As with all sports, track has its regular athletes that are bound to try out just because they enjoy the sport, but this year many members of the football team tried out as well. Head football coach and athletic director Andrew Jackson required players to participate in some offseason sport in order to play on the football team next year in an effort to keep the athletes in shape and prove their commitment. “I think every sport you do deals with running,” Jackson said. “Track teaches you how to run properly, so you can be faster. Track also builds character, because it’s individual to a certain degree. You’re in the spotlight [in track], but kids can hide in teams and have no spirit. You will be able to see what type of character they have when they are competing on their own.” The track team also consisted of LBJ cross country runners, such as LASA seniors Jacob Hammond and Noah StevensStein, who ran for the team so that the athletes could maintain their speed throughout the year. Unlike most of the football players, the cross country runners still participated in events at track meets. According to Dawson, it did not matter which LBJ team the runners were affiliated with, as everyone was on

track for the same reasons and it brought them all together. “The difference is basically just the commitment to the team [this year],” Dawson said. “Everybody wants to run track, everybody wants to get faster, everybody wants to compete and win.” The track season started early in order to build this commitment to the team and work up the strength necessary

If you run hard enough, and devote a lot of time and energy into running, you will get good results. -LASA junior Raymond Khun

for a successful season. Preseason began with runners participating in both long distance and short distance runs, regardless of preferred events, then moving to the workouts most necessary for their specific events. “The team started the season off with base training,” LASA junior and long-distance runner Raymond Kuhn said. “For distance runners, this meant going on a lot of long runs. We’d run around 20 miles per week. Sprinters would typically lift for the first 45 minutes or more then come out to the track and run some drills, for example 16 200s set to a buzzer to keep you on a pace.” When the season started, showing up for practice every day and completing that day’s workout was mandatory, even for those who opted out of participating in events. The coaches

wanted to see who was committed and make sure the athletes were physically prepared for the season ahead of them. “People may have trouble making time to run at home or show up to practice, or they may have trouble with getting their desired splits,” Kuhn said. “In track, if you run hard enough, and devote a lot of time and energy into your running, you will get good results. The season isn’t a long one, and, especially with spring break, it goes by really quickly. Time is very valuable to a runner, on and off the track.” Dawson said that running requires a lot of mental training, as well as physical toughness, so preparing for meets involves a lot of mental preparation. Track meets have a tendency to last until 10 p.m. or later and therefore require a lot of focus for a long time period. This, Dawson said, takes a lot out of the runners. “To prepare for a meet, we first have to get focused, and just not think about it too much,” Dawson said. “We don’t want to overthink it. We just get focused and train hard and help each other out.” The Jags said that their main goal, as similar to previous seasons, was to place in major events in district, giving them a better spot for bi-district, area and so on. Dawson and StevensStein both said that their training this season has been solely to make the state meet and place, both of which haven’t been done before for the Jaguars. Although there are short terms goals for each meet, the overall focus of the season has been to make it as far as possible after district, ideally participating in the state meet in multiple events. “My main goal was to win district in both of my events and then hopefully win area and advance to region,” Stevens-Stein said. “I really hope to beat my personal best in region, and move to state, but that’s really hard. It would be nice to make it to state, since it’s my last year and I’ve worked really hard, but we’ll see.”

LASA track runners place in district meet, qualify for area on April 16

Manor Relays VARSITY BOYS - 3rd 4x200m - 1st - 1:28.10 Zae Giles, Juwan Smith, LeeAnthony Dawson, Ashton Williams 400m - 1st - 52.5 DeAndre Wytaske 1600m - 2nd - 4:44.7 Jacob Hammond Long Jump - 1st - 20’10” Zae Giles

Isabel Saralegui

Sports Editor

Stony Point VARSITY GIRLS 400m - 6th - 1:04.27 Dana Broadnax

AISD Invitational VARSITY BOYS - 3rd VARSITY GIRLS - 6th 4x200m - 1st - 1:30.72 4x100m - 4th - 51.55 Devin Allen, Juwan Smith, Sharlyce Jones, Bre Pickens, Deandre Wytaske, Ashton Williams Dana Broadnax, Ronesia Hardeman 4x200m - 1st - 1:49.42 Jasmine Bertram, Sharlyce Jones, Ronesia Hardeman, Bre Pickens Texas Relays VARSITY BOYS 4x100m - 8th - 42.20 Zae Giles, Lee’Anthony Dawson, Juwan Smith, Ashton Williams

Chloe Edmiston

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A gunshot echoes throughout the stadium, and the following silence is quickly interrupted by the pattering of sneakers on the track. LASA senior Jacob Hammond comes around the first bend as the Jaguars along the sides of the track cheer him on. He pounded down the track, pulling ahead of the other boys. Eyes squinted, sweat beading on his forehead, legs straining and arms swinging, he finishes the 800-meter run. He slowed himself down and accepted the congratulations from his teammates on his win. “We swept the top three places last year in the mile, and we’ve all gotten a lot better this season,” Hammond said. “ I didn’t know what to expect from the other runners in our district because we hadn’t seen them a lot this season. [Though,] I expected that we would do well. It was the same deal in the 800-meter. I was pleased with how we did. Our coach was happy so that’s good. If our coach is happy, I’m happy.” Hammond also ran the mile and placed second. He said that the team has improved a lot this year, but that districts are always a challenge. LASA junior Ben Girardeau also ran the 800 as well as the 1600, placing third in both events and qualifying for the Area track meet. “Next year I would like to continue to do well at district and hopefully be able to win both of those events,” Girardeau said. “Both [LASA senior Noah Stevens-Stein] and Jacob are graduating this year.” Girardeau said he likes track because it combines running with his competitive nature. LASA junior Maria Gilbert, who ran the 1800 and 1600 meter runs at district, agreed. “I thought the team would do well at the meet, but I haven’t had a very good season so I didn’t expect myself to do that well,” Gilbert said. “So I was just trying to do the best for this season.” Whether they were advancing or not, the team said they were impressed with their fellow Jaguars. Hammond said that he thinks district went well. “We had a lot of people who had lots of improvement in times, which is one of the main

indicators in track of how well you are doing,” Hammond said. “We had a lot of people who ran fast and improved from last season.” With Hammond and Stevens-Stein graduating this June, they leave behind a balanced team. The team has a lot of junior runners as well as a few younger runners, some of whom have already impressed older runners. “We have some really good young guys that have learned a lot,” Hammond said. “Our coach is really good so he knows how to deal with different people and I think he will steer the team in a good direction.”

Noah Stevens-Stein gains an early lead at district, starting quickly to gain first place. “I like running because I enjoy running as well as its competitive nature,” LASA senior Ben Girardeau said. “District is always a fun meet to go to and it felt more competitive this year than it has in previous years.” photo by Jacob Hammond


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