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laureate Adam Dowell leads basketball team to victory over Kell with the help of a stunning slam dunk.


What’s Happening? 12/14-17 Finals week 12/18- 1/2 Winter break 12/26- 1/1 Kwanza 1/3- Teacher workday 1/5- Wrestling @ Marietta

Body-scans too intrusive?

don’t know 5%

yes, privacy breach 52%


Hats Off!

volume XXVIII: issue three

no 36%

December 2010


Lassiter High School

yes, unsa fe 7 %


a student publication of

How far is too far?

features LHS student goes to DC rally!

editorials Is the flu shot really worth it?


Tobacco use out of control

2-4 6-8 10-13 14-15 jff 16-17 sports 18-19 features 20-23 in the wry 24-26

news editorials a&e centerspread

A March at Macy’s

courtesy of robert jones

NYC The band had the chance of a lifetime to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

renee puvvada staff writer

It’s still a little hard to digest, but it’s the truth: NBC broadcasted a full minute-and-a-half of our school on national television at one of the most spectacular parades in the country. Watchers in Marietta, by several accounts, hollered at the TV screen while jumping up and down as the Black Eyed Peas and the white coats of the Marching Trojans filled Herald Square;

spectators in New York City would admit some of the same as they realized, that our band, the Lassiter Marching Band, was in the one and only Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ever since May 8 of last year, when four drum majors dragged out a flaming red banner at the Mable House Spring Concert that announced Lassiter’s participation in the 2010 parade, the buzz of excitement has been nonstop. Through a bitter cold November practice, Brittany Pietsch, 9, com-

mented, “I’ve been counting down since day 300. I am so ready for this.” Rehearsals for the parade began in early November, focusing on tedious periods of marching two and a half miles (the parade length) and repetitions of the nationally-broadcasted performance on the parking-lot field. “This will be the third time Lassiter has participated in the Macy’s parade,” said Mr. Watkins, director of the band

continued on page 2

lhs news

continued from front page... at Lassiter. “The drill work is the same as in 2004 and in 1999, the other two times we were in the parade.” Eight coach buses, packed full of 280 band kids and a nervous Dr. Richie, headed for New York the Sunday before Thanksgiving to spend three days in the city before the parade, making four days in all. For many of the students like Addie Caldwell, 11, and Joey Hettinger, 11, it was the first time in the NYC. “I learned a lot about the city I never would have guessed about New York. Just the architecture and buildings were outstanding alone,” Joey said.

The Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving were jam-packed with sightseeing, guided tours, and musical shows. The evening before Thanksgiving, Mr. Watkins called for a meeting before what he considers “even better than winning a National Championship” to remind the band of the depth of being in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, 2010. “It was one of those days you know you are going to remember for the rest of your life,” comments drum major Megan Edwards, 12. The crowds, the balloons, and the pure excitement in the air propelled the band through

the streets of New York City as they played the Black Eyed Peas, “Thriller,” and “Land of a Thousand Dances” for what felt like, “the overall happiness of everyone,” says Addie Caldwell. “It simply left you with a good spirit.” While the memories of the event are hidden behind a turkey leg and a slice of pumpkin pie during a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner that evening, Mr. Watkins said, “I hope the participants leave New York with warm hearts and a story to tell their children. If anything, being in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is something to be very thankful for.”

A European Thanksgiving

natalie kieta editorials editor

degrees, windy, and it snowed three times dur The prestigious Lassiter cho- ing their stay, although the rus was invited to Prague and Vienna roads never got icy. Anof the Czech Republic and Austria. This other thing that took the trip, lasting the full week of Thanksgiv- Americans by surprise was ing break, was the opportunity of a the lack of free refills. It was certainly lifetime. Of those who got the chance to participate, none were disappoint- strange to spend Thanksed with the experience. The week’s giving far from home, but agenda was jam packed with differ- according to Alex Lilly, ent activities, some of which included “It didn’t even feel like touring the city and performing 5 dif- Thanksgiving.” At their hotel, they ate an attempted Beauty ferent shows for schools in Vienna. The chorus sang at a festival Thanksgiving feast of pocalled the Vienna Advent. They were tatoes, turkey (or rather also invited to lunch by the Mayor at some sort of mystery the City Hall where a chorus sang Jeff meat), and cranberry sauce. While they did miss out on Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” There were some things that these Lassiter stu- some things that are part of our tradents were not accustomed to, par- ditions, they made memories that ticularly the weather. It was twenty will never be forgotten. Evan Macie received much attention from the teenage girls in Prague and Vienna because of his Justin Bieber-like appearance. Lexi Croft, Stephen Gorbachov, Zoe Kakou, Beka Miller, Anna Young, and Logan Brafford also experienced an trip that left them all speechless. While the Lassiter students were innocently sitting at Starbucks one morning, a group of women came into the store holding up Christmas tree branches and began to hand them to the students. It seemed like a nice gesture until they started aggressively demanding one euro for each branch. The women began reaching into the students’ purses and pockets searching courtesy of myka murphy for more and more money. After The Czesky Krumlov tower was Awe the most beautiful thing the the women got what they wanted, they left. Everyone looked at each students saw. other and then asked “...did we just

2 P litical changes page

Courtesy of myka murphy

The chorus visited a mountain city called Czesky Krumlov.

get robbed?” The remainder of the trip went more according to plan as the group visited Czesky Krumlov, a scenic little city in the mountains between Prague and Vienna; visited numerous huge churches, went to Melk Abbey, a beautiful and famous monastery, and even took Viennese Waltz classes, during which they learned that some students were clearly more coordinated than others. When asked what their least favorite part of the trip was, Anna Young, Beka Miller, and Alex Lilly replied that it was either the extremely long mass at St. Peter’s church or the Staatsoper Opera. The seating arrangements were not ideal; everyone was standing for hours and it was crowded. Even though these two events were not the best, it was a huge success overall. Memories were made, thousands of photos were taken, and friendships were strengthened. Thanksgiving always seems to bring people together, and that’s what the Chorus trip did for the students who were lucky enough to participate.

renee puvvada staff writer

Long queues of people eagerly waiting to cast their ballots on November 2nd at Lassiter weren’t the only ones who brought forth sudden political changes in Georgia this month. While the race for governor was won by Nathan Deal, and Senator Johnny Isakson, among others, was voted into office, there has been great talk about the recent Republican sweep across Georgia that came from the hands of the voters. After Republican Nathan Deal won the governorship ahead of Democrat Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds, bloggers and pollsters began tracking the party’s progress. They noticed that different officials, including members of Georgia’s General Assembly, joined the Republican caucus even after the November 2nd elections. This spells anxiety for the Liberals and the Democrats, who hoped November 2nd would be the last day of a predominantly Republican Georgia. Zac Littke-Smith, 9, whose family is very liberal, comments, “There was a power outage in my house the day after the elections. My mom said, ‘I bet the Republicans were behind that power loss.’” Despite all of this, Georgia’s Democratic leader Robert Brown said on a WABE newscast that, “... there are indicators that the Democratic Party in Georgia is far from dead.” While there are plenty of issues that both parties disagree on, mutual viewpoints rest upon things like religious liberty and immigration, some key issues of Nathan Deal’s campaign. Deal, a member of the Republican Party, changed parties from the Democrats in 1995. After resigning from his Congressional seat to focus on his election campaign in early 2010, he stood for improving our state’s economy by creating jobs and cutting furloughs, creating an Arizona-style law on immigration, and improving transportation throughout Georgia. Students at Lassiter will await Deal’s reforms on our state’s education, in which he plans to give more power to the locals and therefore provide more flexibility for schools and teachers.


You Know? The Czech Republic is one of the least religious countries in the world. According to a 2005 Eurobarometer Poll, only 19% of the population indicated that they believe in God. page


Aerial Shot

Because of the increasing success of Lassiter’s fine arts programs, a new auditorium is currently in the works to serve all the performing Trojans. This new addition to Lassiter will provide a venue for numerous events to be hosted here at the school. “The performing arts building is going to be a great performancearea for our campus,” says Dr. Richie. “Finally, it’s going to allow us to be able to host chorus, orchestra, and band concerts at Lassiter. All three organizations outgrew our 500 seat theater a long time ago. We are also going to be able to host county-wide musical events that in the past schools on the east side of the county would have had to have traveled to McEachern to perform in.”



Lassiter Edition

This exceptional new venue is to be located where the current tennis courts are. These will be moved onto the practice field next to the band building and across from the baseball fields. The front will be covered with glass and will be facing the main entrance of the school. Construction is set to begin in the Spring of 2011 and should be completed sometime during 2012.

photos courtesy of chapman griffin lanier sussenbach architects, inc.

compiled by julia regeski

Along with the new theatre, the school will be undergoing other major renovations funded by SPLOST III. The cafeteria and kitchens will be remodeled to include a fresh painting, new ceiling tiles, and a sparkling new floor. The media center will be modified, the parking lots will be repaved, and various sports lighting equipment will be replaced or modified. This new auditorium will be an excellent house to various organizations. Keep in mind that this will be in addition to the theatre already located inside the school, which means that Lassiter will have two venues for the performing arts. The new auditorium will be a beautiful addition to Lassiter that should prove beneficial to all students. continued on page


lhs news



cory shaw editor-in-chief

Teachers and facebook

Where should the line between students and teachers be drawn? Facebook, the most popular social networking site in the world with 500,000,000 people and counting, has one mission: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” With constantly streaming status updates, wall posts, photo additions, friend requests, and group pages, even the strictest use of privacy controls leaves an individual publicly open. What happens when the personal online lives of students and teachers clash? One teacher, preferring to speak anonymously, is an avid Facebook user with Lassiter students, but has an interesting perspective on where to draw the line. She comments, “I am never friends with current students. I am, however, friends with former students. I only friend students with whom I have a really good rapport. Knock on wood; I have never made a bad choice.” Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for numerous teachers now out of a job. Ashley Payne, an English teacher in Barrow County, was recently fired because of pictures she posted while on a summer trip in Europe that showed her drinking an alcoholic beverage. The alarming fact is she was not even friends with any students, former or current. Doug Goodwin of the Cobb County School District’s (CCSD) Communications Office explains that there is no direct policy forbidding personal contacts with current students, “Any employee’s private use of the service, or any other similar service, is peripheral to his or her duties as a CCSD

teacher or employee.” Administrative Rule IJNDB, concerning the use of technology resources in instruction, states that employee-created web pages and blogs must be focused on educational purposes. For this reason, Facebook is blocked on CCSD servers. Teachers should use Facebook at their own discretion, as there is no feasible way for Lassiter or the CCSD to control teacher-student communication outside the school setting. Dr. Richie commented, “We live in a large metro area; people are going to see me around, I can’t hide. I’ve lived here for 10 years.” Our anonymous contributor stands by her online page. “You’re not going to see pictures of me doing anything illegal or immoral. My photos are pure family, friends, and scenery from vacations.” In light of these controversies, Lassiter senior Cate Brooks believes that ‘Friending’ teachers truly depends on personal preference. “Being friends with teachers we relate well to gives them the chance to be really involved in our lives.” Mr. Mury, Conceptual Physics teacher and prom coordinator, has a separate Facebook account for Lassiter students. His teacher page allows students the opportunity to post questions concerning recommendation letters or events such as prom. He is wary of the relationships between teachers and students on Facebook, “I do think that it is inappropriate, especially for male teachers, to be friends with current students on a personal Facebook account. I am an adult and my person-

al life really isn’t any of my students’ business. I believe that most students would think that we are on equal footing if I ‘friended’ them through my real Facebook page.” “Being appropriate with students is a constant concern in contemporary education,” explains Mr. Thompson of the English Department. He, too, keeps a separate teacher Facebook account because elements of his private account, including friend posts he cannot control, would be inappropriate in the school setting. Also on his plate at Lassiter are clubs such as Yearbook and BETA, and “In addition to class and meetings, Facebook is the most effective communication tool.” Mr. Goodwin comments on alternative forms of communication. He says “The District provides several means for teachers and students to interact outside of the classroom, including email and server space for classroom blogs.” However controversial it may be, Facebook undoubtedly opens the doors of the past. According to one proactive Lassiter teacher, ‘friending’ former students is well worth any risk, “My favorite is when students from long ago find me and give me an update on their lives. I love tracking their careers, seeing pictures of their families, and hearing about their adventures in life.” For Mr. Thompson, policy and choice are related, “As in most situations, it is up to the teacher to use professional discretion and make the right choice for their students.”

! s y a d i l o H Happy

lhs editorials



KSU’s Dual-Enrollment Honors Program

classes, one of which is hybrid, meaning half online and half class-oriented. “Besides the hectic parking troubles, cory classes are easy and lack traditional busy work,” she comments. Equivalent Advanced Placement classes do more than prepare This semester, I was enrolled Lassiter students for comparable at Kennesaw State University though introductory or Freshman-level colthe Dual-Enrollment Honors Program lege classes. They are more chal(DEHP). Every Tuesday and Thursday, I lenging than KSU. I got college credit carpooled with part-time KSU student once I passed the class. You “AP’ers” Olivia Sewak and full-time student have to pass a single test. And in the Carrie Fincannon. case of Government and Economy, Per Georgia Board of Educayou may have to wait a semester tion Rule 160-4-2-34 and equivalent before taking it. What students in measures by the Cobb County School full-year AP classes do for an entire District, students must take at least five year, I got credit for less than 30 tocourses per semester. These courses tal classes. For you math wizards, can be divided up at a DEHP University that’s six times the number of classand Lassiter in any which way. Juniors es for the same number of credits. or seniors can choose whether to take Students at Lassiter taking multiple part-time of full-time classes as KSU. AP tests will pay more too, because Full-time means 12 to 17 semester the program uses $150 worth of hours of academic credit (four to five HOPE credit. Also, per Cobb County classes). Part-time students take less Policy Administrative Rule LBD, stuthan 12. dents taking a higher level college The first class I took at KSU class than what is offered at the acwas Political Science (in high school companying high school receive an they call it Government) and it’s taught extra quality point in their GPA. by a judge. It was the first day of class The bottom line is KSU gives cory shaw and the first thing he said was “I am a you the chance to experience coljudge. I put people in jail for a living. Studious The dual enrollment gives students the best of both worlds, and lege without the daily rigors of an they are able to get a sneak preview of college life. Don’t try anything on me.” It was a bit AP course. Go for the experience sarcastic, obviously, but that’s when and nothing more.Part-time KSU I knew this was an experience worth transition. I know what’s expected student Olivia Sewak has loved Kenthere aren’t five classes a trying. Then it was off to English Com- of me.” What’s unmatched with the week, doesn’t mean there isn’t work nesaw. “I never thought about ever position 1102. It was a diverse group DEHP program is the experience. You to be done five days a week.” Or so really applying there once I graduated, of people, ranging from high school learn the intricacies of college life. she commented. but now I have applied as an alternate students to senior citizens. Responsibility is the key. Time-man- Carrie Fincannon is a full-time choice to the other expensive colleges (I am using past-tense because agement is important, too. To use DEHP student. She takes four college that are far away,” she remarks. all classes were done at the beginning of the month.) Junior Brittany Gottfried took two classes at KSU and five at Lassiter. She says “I am appreciative of the college credit I will already have when I apply to schools. Plus, it has helped my


my schedule as an example, I went to KSU every Tuesday and Thursday from 8-10:45 am. Monday thru Friday I had three classes at Lassiter starting fourth period. So, three days per week I was not required to be anywhere until that time. My mom said “Just because

Christmas festivities in July



“I usually end up hearing Christmas music before I’ve even finished eating all my Halloween candy,” claims Samantha Bayer, junior. This is a result of people kicking into Holiday season before it starts. People are totally jumping the gun on the whole Christmas and holiday thing. And in doing so, they kind of miss the point of the holidays. People start to celebrate the holidays way too early nowadays and it has some pretty significant conse-

quences. Stores are a big factor in the starting date of the holiday season. They start selling Halloween items on October 1, which I can understand, and then bring in the Christmas retail on November 1st, which I think is crazy. There are 55 days between November 1st and Christmas, not to mention Thanksgiving. As my sister pointed out, we could go buy a pumpkin to carve for Halloween and then drive across the street to buy our ornaments on the same day. That is ridiculous. Stores place a few token Christmas items in strategic points throughout their Halloween merchandise to get people thinking and then bring in the whole supply when the

Halloween retail goes on clearance. Those things shouldn’t even be in the store together at the same time. What people don’t realize is what happens as a result of holiday celebrations starting too early. The hype building up to Christmas is so huge, that there is a big letdown after the big day. People are so consumed with getting everything ready and absolutely perfect for that one day or those couple of days that when everything is over, they sometimes go into a depression of sorts. People lose sight of what the holidays are really about. They are about being kind, giving thanks, and being with family. They make people happy. They make people get along. Most

people become giddy just thinking about the holidays, but as they get closer and closer they start to dread the days after. That one day or that one week doesn’t mark the end of the happiness. It should be looked at as a beginning. The days after are a continuation, not a descent. It seems that each year the holiday season starts earlier and earlier. It makes me think that pretty soon stores will start putting out Christmas items in July. It’s important to take each holiday one at a time and to keep in mind the purpose of the holidays. So don’t get caught up in the hype too early and remember to spread the joy beyond the holiday season.


You Know? Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths range from a low of about 3,000 a year to a high of about 49,000 people a year.

Flu t o h s or

The Laureate Staff 2010-2011 Editors-in-Chief Skye Rubel Cory Shaw

News Editor Annabel Edwards

Editorials Editor Natalie Kieta



A&E Editor Katie Hayes

JFF Editor Julia Regeski

Centerspread Editor Mary Ann Staak

Features Editor Lindsay Hopkins

Comedy Editor Tyler Molinaro

Sports Editor Jack Herman

Staff Writers

Laura Brink Jeff Ciesielski Vince Gonzalez Austin Hayes Will Morris Colleen Purdy Renee Puvvada Samantha Weissert

Advisor Mr. Todd Henry The Laureate is a student publication of Lassiter High School; a member of the Georgia Scholastic Press Association. Editorials reflect the opinions of individual writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Lassiter High School, Cobb County Schools, or their administrators. Financial support for The Laureate is obtained through advertising and subscription sales, and generous patron contributions. Lassiter High School 2601 Shallowford Road Marietta, Georgia 30066 (678) 494-7863

If you are one of the many people terrified of needles you may feel the strong urge to opt out of vaccinating. Lucky for you, the influenza shot is not the only way to keep the flu out. Now doctors are offering the easy and painless attenuated vaccination that is sprayed into your nose. I received the attenuated vaccination only yesterday and, Girl Scout’s honor. It is one hundred and ten percent painless and takes a matter of a mere three seconds. Will has accurately pointed out that some of our immune systems are completely capable of fighting off the flu without any assistance. However, there are elderly people and children who are either too young or too fragile to fight the flu or even get a vaccination. When you cough, sneeze, or come in contact with these people, you are immediately putting them at risk for a disease they cannot handle. You are also stuck with it yourself. Congratulations, your body can correct its own illness but you’re still sick for a minimum of a week or more and the whole time you are putting people around you in danger of catching the flu. The flu bug usually strikes between November and May. (Hey! It’s between November and May right now!) If your excuse is you hate shots, get an attenuated nose spray. If you’re excuse is health risk…Why would your doctor recommend so heartily something that is bad for your health? That doesn’t make much sense to me. The possible side-effects mentioned by my comrade are all extremely, extremely rare and it’s more likely you will catch the flu without the shot than it is likely you would experience the side-effects with it. Getting vaccinated prevents you from catching the flu and rescues friends and family from infection. It is much better to stop the train before it arrives than to wait and see if you survive the hit.


t o n


It’s flu season again and Lassiter students are confronted with the dilemma of whether or not to get a flu shot. Laura and Will can help you make a more educated decision.




morris Before I go into this controversial topic, I must legally say that I am not and do not claim to be a medical doctor, despite being a sexy nurse for Halloween last year. With that in mind, the decision to get a flu shot is one that you should make on an informed basis. To do this, you patients need the facts. Flu shots are meant to prevent influenza. And by prevent, I mean reduce your chances of catching influenza by about 25%. The shot contains a small amount of dead flu virus that is not meant to infect the patient, but instead strengthen their immune system. The problem with this process is that the virus mutates, meaning there is a chance you can get the flu right after your shot. Why give yourself a shot at catching the very illness you’re trying to avoid? The after-effects of the shot are another concern. The flu shot contains a small amount of mercury, an element that has been proven harmful to the brain. Research shows that with 5 consecutive flu shots, a person’s chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease is 10 times more likely. On top of that, the flu shot contains small traces of cancer viruses. An incredibly small trace, yes, but still a risk. However, there is a circumstance in which a flu shot is advised. If your immune system is incapable of recovering from an influenza infection normally, this shot could be what you need. Aside from all the drawbacks, the whole idea seems ridiculous. A shot for a disease that your body is capable of defending itself against is pointless. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. It’s like lowering the rim for LeBron James to dunk. You’d be crazy to think he needs the extra help. I say if you are healthy to begin with, the $20 charge and health risks that can follow are burdens you can afford to miss.

lhs editorials



Hollywood’s creativity running dry



Lights, camera, redo! These days it seems that Hollywood has hit a dry spot in its creativity. It appears a big chunk of the movies coming into theatres lately are remakes or sequels. Clash of the Titans, The Karate Kid, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Piranha, and Dinner for Schmucks are just a few of the remakes that have come out this year. Some were good, some were ok, and some were terribly disappointing. However, there must be enough of a success rate because there are even more in the works such as True Grit and Footloose. Is anybody else ready for some new material? On a scale from one to ten, I’d probably have to give the Hollywood

writers about a six. They earn some points for the few good original movies that have come out and do receive some credit for twisting some of these remakes to make them a little different than the original, but some serious points are docked for the abundance of old ideas. Thing is, it’s not just the writers who are to blame for the remakes, but also the big producers. It’s a money game for a lot of them and they try to recreate something that’s worked in the past. Another issue is the way people react to remakes. “I don’t like it when they mess with my favorites,” claims Sarah Williford, 11. Some people believe that classics should never be remade. They have such an ideal view of the way some of their favorites were made that it’s hard to please them with a remake. The key ingredients are the actors. Sometimes you need to go

with unknowns in a remake because big names are more likely to receive criticism if the film isnot done well. For example, Jeff Bridges has some big shoes to fill in True Grit. Either he does the same outstanding job of the John Wayne version or he takes a whole new spin on things. Any way you look at it, a remake is not a new idea. As for me, I’m still waiting for that breath of new life to create a new classic.

Ther curree are n movtly ie IN T r e m HE W ake s O



When did you find out

SANTA wasn’t real? He IS Real


After 6th

8% 22%

5th-6th grade


3rd-4th grade

1st-2nd grade


Pre-K & Kindergarten 0

10% 5




compiled by natalie kieta

lhs a&e



Hogwarts At Lassiter Professor Dumbledore


mary ann staak centerspread editor

Mrs. Helms



Professor McGonagall

Mrs. Nichols

ney Trelaw


ra Ho




Mrs. Nelsen

Mr .H

Madame Pomfrey

Dr. Richie


You Know? As of December 5th, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 has made $244,519,116.



courtesy of marissa taylor


Katie Hayes, Michael Anderson, Marissa Taylor, Natalie Bishop, and Taylor Bradley dressed up on the night of the premier.

Harry Potter premier: well worth the wait

Many Lassiter students were tired after watching Harry Potter 7, Part 1 at midnight! katie hayes a&e editor

Ties, graduation robes, taped glasses, and sticks made up many of the Potter fanatics’ outfits on the longawaited night of the movie’s release. Fans began arriving at the movie up to three hours before the midnight premier in anticipation of the final chapter of J.K. Rowling’s novels. My friends and I arrived at the movie about an hour and a half before the start, armed with government study guides and homework in preparation for the long wait.

Truth be told, none of us are extreme Harry Potter fans, so we were very shocked by the intensity of some of the self-proclaimed witches and wizards. Merely a couple of steps in the door, we were greeted by dueling fans, decked out in their HP attire. At about thirty minutes until midnight, one crazed fanatic began counting down every five minutes. Taylor Bradley took part in this experience and claims, “I will never be the same, HP4L.” The excitement of the crowd and the energy they created really made the movie even better.

The movie itself was way better than I had expected. It was action-packed and had me sitting on edge the entire time. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One will have you screaming, crying, and laughing…all at the same time. Having not read the Potter books, I had no idea what to expect from this movie, but for senior, Michael Anderson, it was a different experience. He says, “I was a little disappointed at some points, thinking they would be more shocking and scary than they were in the movie, but overall it was

amazing.” Seeing the movie with such intense fans really got me into the movie. Never thinking I would sink so low, I found myself at one point cheering for Harry Potter. The midnight premier was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to do it again for Part Two.

79% of Lassiter students who attended the premier were satisfied with the movie.

COMING SOON Located in the Home Depot shopping centre next to Paradise South of the Border

lhs a&e katie hayes/ a&e editor

Charlie Brown Christmas


page Every year, we fall in love with Charlie Brown’s sad little Christmas tree all over again. As in most of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts stories, Charlie Brown takes center stage. He is troubled by the over-commercialization of Christmas while the rest of the gang happily collects toys and shiny things. Originally a prime time TV special, this endearing animated feature is only 25 minutes long, but its timeless storyline and charming style keep you glued to the TV year after year.

est B holiday movies

After finding Santa Claus on his roof and inadvertently injuring him and causing him to disappear into thin air, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) must put on the left-behind Santa suit and take over Santa’s duties. Accompanied by his 6-year-old son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), Scott goes around the town delivering gifts and even visits the North Pole.  He dismisses it as a dream when he wakes up in his bed on Christmas Day even though he is wearing pajamas monogrammed with “SC.”  But Scott can’t deny his new job when he really begins transforming into Santa—with the white hair, white beard, significant weight gain, and cravings for Christmas treats like cookies and hot cocoa.  Trouble ensues when his ex-wife (Wendy Crewson), believing that he is insane, has his visitation rights taken away, and Scott has to find a way to prove he isn’t crazy and that he really is Santa.

Buddy Hobbs (Will Ferrell) is a human raised by elves at the North Pole and starts to realize something is up when he grows to be over twice the size of the other elves. Upon figuring out that he is not an elf, he leaves to find his real father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan), in New York City. On a grand adventure, he finds that his father is “on the naughty list” and living in a city completely lacking in Christmas spirit. Buddy sets out to save Christmas and win over his family. Senior Ansley Astuto says of Elf, “That is my favorite movie of all time and I watch it year round.”

Davey Stone, a 33-year old party animal, finds himself in trouble with the law after his wild ways go too far. Because it is the holiday season, though, the judge gives Davey one last chancespend the holiday doing community service as an assistant referee for the youth basketball league. Davey thinks he’s gotten off easy until he meets Whitey Duvall, the eccentric, elf-like head referee. Senior, Brian Leiti says, “It’s probably the funniest Chanukah movie I’ve ever seen.”


You Know? The new Taylor Swift album “Speak Now” sold over a million copies on its first week of release.



Taylor Swift takes Lassiter by storm “Speak Now” brings uplifting and positive vibes into the lives of Lassiter students julia regeski JFF editor Our girl Taylor Swift continues to stay true to her boy-crazed, self-reverential lyrics without which the world would have no designated break up songs and/or gaggles of girls screaming the same song over and over again. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. “Speak Now” is classic Taylor: she sings about heartbreak and the simple pleasures of perfect dates. The first single to be released off of this album is aptly titled, “Mine”, which explores the overall creepiness of a girl on a first date who then proceeds to dream about the rest of the couple’s lives- together. While this

song may seem to be a story about true love prevailing over the individual psychotics of some dreamy teenage girl, some believe that this reveals Taylor’s true motives and overreaching plans that develop 5 seconds after any romance begins to bloom. The majority of the songs exhibit a sweetness that succeeds in driving hopeless-romantics mad. With lyrics like, “I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home, I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew, I was enchanted to meet you,” it’s fairly easy for Ms. Swift to cause m o re than a tiny t w i n ge of

giddiness in her listeners. These songs fulfill the expected quality of the album. However, songs like “Better than Revenge” and “Haunted” give l i ste n ers a

twist to their pop-princess. These tunes are not the typical sappy, cleverly-lyriced stuff of magic that has made Taylor the mogul she is today. “Better than Revenge” is a hate song, one directed towards some poor, probably embarrassed, ex-boyfriend who clearly choose some other celebrity over Taylor. “Haunted” has a melody exactly as the title suggests, as it details the lingering essence of some lost love. The album concludes with a reflection of Taylor’s fondest memories of her tour and the people that helped her along the way. “Long Live” is dedicated to those who boosted this fearless star to her spot in the hearts of teenage girls everywhere. “Long Live” is catchy enough to get you humming along quite quickly, and endearing enough to inspire you to act upon those momentous impulses. Overall, Taylor delivers. Her songs are catchy, uplifting, and, in a word, cute, perfect for driving along with the windows down or singing along with your best friends.

What do you think of Taylor Swift’s new album? “I love Taylor Swift because she is a storyteller.” Mrs. Nelsen

“The album has a pop flare, unlike her others.” Natalie Bishop, 11

“Her songs have been stuck in my head all day.” Tansey Schoonover, 12

o T W


Give the best g

for your winter r


Give one of the holiday’s most popular gifts to your snow bear: mistletoe.

What’s better than an indoor picnic? Fill a picnic basket with your sweetheart’s favorite winter treats. Some suggestions are hot cocoa, chocolate, tree-shaped sugar cookies, candy canes, and fruitcake.

for your siblings...

When it comes to buying gifts for your brother(s) and/or sister(s), it’s nice to get something that they may actually use. And you know what they would like or what they would actually use. Don’t buy your brother Eclipse from the Twilight Saga. Don’t buy your sister a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops. If necessary, tell each other exactly what they would prefer under that paper. That way you can be sure to not disappoint. If surprise becomes necessary, try to put yourself in his or her shoes and think what you may want as him or her. If this doesn’t help you at all, you may restort to last-minute gifts for the brother or sister.

for your

When buying gifts are most importan the more expensive gif splurge. Pass over the soap and go for the m Surprise your mom by that would be useful for next time your parent they would really like are returning to kind a homemade gift. A picture frame and p photo of you an

Great Last-mi When all else fails,



gifts f the seas n An easy homemade holiday how-to:



1. colleen purdy/staff

for the people who nt to you, go for fts. Now is the time to usual gifts of ties and more meaningful gifts. buying her something r her kitchen. Listen the ts mention something e. Some creative ideas dergarten and making favorite is making a putting in a recent nd your family.

gingerbread house

inute gifts go for the standard.


3. Elf on DVD

iTunes card


lhs jff



‘Tis the season to be extra jolly!

annabel edwards news editor As the holidays draw near, it is easy to become wrapped up in creating the ultimate wish list and finding the perfect things to ask for. Yes, in some ways, the holidays are about getting; however it is crucial to remember another important aspect of this time of year: giving. As well as giving the deserving people in your life gifts, consider practicing daily random acts of kindness; they will serve as a general gift to society. Leave your change in the vending machine for the next person. Smile at a stranger (and fight off colds while you’re at it; smiling actually boosts your immune system). The next time you go through a drive-through, anonymously pay for the person behind you. When getting off of a long airplane flight, leave the magazine you bought at the airport for the next passenger to find. Let someone cut in front of you the


next time you’re standing in line. Put $10 on a random gas pump. Write something small on a dollar bill that will make people smile. These actions may seem insignificant on paper, but in practice, they truly have the power to turn someone’s day around. You never know what a difference an extra $10 of gas money will make for someone, or how much a simple message on a dollar bill could touch a life. The movie Pay It Forward provides a perfect example of what an impact simple gestures can have: “You don’t need much to change the entire world for the better. You can start with the most ordinary ingredients.” The only way we can start to change the world for the better is by working with what we’ve got. If we’re capable of small acts of kindness, we can go bigger.

stands for

austin hayes staff writer

With one touch of the keyboard, the most famous word in the world will pop up starting with the letter chosen. Some might say these companies are just searched the most, but they are probably the most successful companies or people with their corresponding letter. The names range from department stores to teen pop singers.


Also, if you are trying to find to find some information on eagles or cows, the first thing you will see is the two top online selling websites of eBay and Craigslist.

cory shaw


Leslie Sandors, 10, gets shocked when she finds change.

T W L K Kroger, Lowes, Target, and Walmart all have the most searches for the letters: K, L, T, and W. These results aren’t surprising, as online shopping has become an incredibly powerful tool for company growth.



Some upsets in the Google race for the top were Amazon over Apple and Justin Bieber over JCPenny. Justin Bieber has really only been known for about a year and yet it is still being searched more often than the high end department store. Though Apple is not the first to show up in the “A” category, iTunes still comes up first.


You Know? The most popular New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, number two is to spend more time with family and friends.

New ways to New Year

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

compiled by samantha weissert



“I never really make new year’s resolutions because either they don’t last or I just can’t think of any,” laments Sarah Williford, junior. She’s not the only one who feels this way. If you are having a hard time coming up with a good way to start your new year, well, we can help. Here’s a list of a couple ideas to get you on the right track for 2011:

Go for the banana split

Eating healthier is probably the most commonly picked choice of resolutions. However, it usually lasts about a day and a half. The problem is people don’t seem to make the right healthy choices. You must be selective and mindful of your selections to keep you on track. That is why in 2011, you should skip the brownie sundae and go for the banana split.

Take the car

Riding your bike or walking places is so last year. People seem to underestimate the physical value of taking the car. For example, who doesn’t love Chinese fire drills? Red lights no longer mean stop when you’re mid-sprint. Also, next time you gas up, run laps around your car. You might feel weird at first, but it will catch on. If pet rocks became popular, anything can.

Lose Wait

Time is money. The average person spends five years waiting in lines. Learn to cut.

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Rearrange your room

Things seem to just magically “disappear” all the time. Come on guys, we all know they don’t just disappear, the get up and walk away. Track your lost things down. You might be surprised that your lost earring was actually hiding under your bed or your remote pitched camp under your nightstand.

7. 1280 X 1040

You know, like a screen resolution.


Finish your resolutions from last year.

…or at least try to remember them. A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.

Do less laundry

There has been a lot of hype about going green lately. Well, this is the next solution. Cut down on your laundry. A family of five can save thousands of gallons each year. However, doing less laundry is only half the resolution. This year, you must do less laundry and use more deodorant.

Get a personalized license plate


Holiday Word Search!

9. Become more worldly

Bonjour. Hola. Ni hao. Guten tag. Namaste. Well there you go. You can now walk down the street in France, Mexico, China, Germany, and India. Check this off your list and go buy a plane ticket.

10. Smile

The easiest one, but sometimes the hardest to remember.

Contest Rules

Hidden somewhere within this paper is the logo of Lewis Electrical Contractors (shown below). If you are the first one to email with the page number in which it is located, you win $50! Participants must also include their name and address to receive the check. One entry per person.

Find as many wintery words as you possibly can!





Lewis Electrical Contractors a proud sponsor of The Laureate

lhs sports



Football season in review

jeff ciesielski staff writer

The beginning of the 20102011 school year meant several things for Lassiter students: new classes, new teachers, seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and another season of Trojan Football. After an historic 2009 campaign which ended in the state quarterfinals with a 12-1 record, the 2010 Lassiter Trojan football team had high expectations. With a new head coach, a new region, and many new starters, the kind of success the Trojans had in ’09 was unlikely. Lassiter’s season began down in Moultrie, Georgia, with a preseason scrimmage against the Colquitt County team that knocked the Trojans out of the state playoffs last year. Colquitt came out on top again, winning 3424. A week later Lassiter made the trip down I-75 to Atlanta to play the North Gwinnett Bulldogs in the Corky Kell Classic staged at the Georgia Dome. It was an experience many football players will not soon forget, but they wound up losing 34-14. Using their bye week to sort out some kinks, Lassiter had a game much closer to home at Sprayberry.


The Trojans handled the Jackets 27-20 for their first win of the short season. After a heartbreaking home-opener loss to North Cobb 18-14, Lassiter bounced back with a win against old division rival Milton 35-28. In their first taste of their new region, Lassiter faced long-time rival Walton but ended up on the losing end. After a slow 2-3 start, the Trojans scraped together three straight wins against a tough Cherokee team, a notso-tough Wheeler team, and Marietta. Luckily, Lassiter’s new region only includes seven teams allowing the Trojans a playoff spot with five wins. This became neccessary when their next games against Woodstock and Etowah in losses. The season started with North Gwinnett and finished there, too. The Trojans set out to upset the Bulldogs but came up short, losing 56-7. While it was disappointing to send the seniors off with such a disheartening loss, Lassiter showed signs of improvement over the season and next year’s team looks to come back as strong as ever. Sophmore line backer Ryan Gildea said this about the season, “It was a tough season but we really developed. Next year will be big for us in terms of development.”



Tobacco use leaves players susceptible to mouth cancer.

Tobacco in baseball Star athletes are setting a bad example jack herman sports editor

25% in year 10. Like alcoholics and their alcohol, tobacco addicts technically aren’t breaking any rules or laws, except for With all of today’s precautions being the fact that as they throw one dip in taken in sports, isn’t it time for base- after the next they slowly increase the ball to control tobacco use? The NFL chances that one day their jaws could has taken action on helmet-to-helmet be removed. Such was the case with hits, the MLB tests for anabolic ste- former Major League Baseball player roids along with other illegal substance Rick Bender, who is commonly given abuse, now it is time to control the use the nickname “Man without a face”, a title he embraces in hopes that people of smokeless tobacco in baseball. Addictions like this happen all will see the harmful effects of tobacco across the country as many players use use. Like anything, it takes time. products such as Skoal or Copenha- gen. Granted, most big name players Slowly tobacco use has decreased but haven’t been in the news for diseases there is still room to improve. As of tosuch as gum cancer, but there have day, about 15% of high school athletes been many occurrences where players use tobacco according to another MLB like Brett Butler and Bill Tuttle suffer to study. As studies continue to show this day with Squamous Cell Carcinoma the harmful affects of dip the usage of the tonsils, more commonly known will hopefully decrease. Is that a guarantee? No. But, like anything, being as throat cancer. With all of these events oc- aware is the key. Hopefully society can curring, the statistics must be alarm- work towards cleaning up the sport ing, right? Actually, there is some good and keeping tobacco products away news. In a recent study done on the from high school athletes. As long as Pittsburgh Pirates 2,226 oral examina- people stay alert and know the harmtions took place during spring train- ful effects of tobacco, smokeless or ing from 1991-2000. Year one was the not, statistics for this substance hopeworst as about 41% of the players in fully will decrease. One out of every camp used “dip” (nickname for chew- five deaths in the United States occur ing tobacco). But as the awareness due to the use of tobacco, the most . grew throughout the camp and spread easily preventable way to die. amongst the players, the Pirates orgaHead Coach Jep Irwin is checking his headset pregame. nization decreased from 41% to just


You Know? The ratio for players on the varsity basketball team in comparison to the varsity football team is about 1 to 6.



Girls: season of domination vince gonzalez staff writer Girls Cross Country: “It was a great season,” said Marcie Merriman when describing this year’s team, “We really improved and next year I think we’ll do even better.” The 2010 Lassiter Girl’s Cross Country team started the year off with a bang by winning the Covered Bridge Run, defeating schools such as Kell, Roswell, and Sprayberry. After placing third in the Region Tournament, the ladies qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2008. Unfortunately, the team was unable to keep the magic going and placed eleventh in the state meet. One major bright spot this year was Marcie Merriman, who won seven races! Luckily Marcie is only a sophomore and will continue to produce great results and keep Lassiter in state contention for the next two years. Volleyball: “Final Four, Next year more,” exclaimed Sarah Young when asked about this year’s volleyball season. “It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it was still a great season,” said Sarah. This year’s volleyball team was yet again a great success. After finishing last year in the elite eight rounds of the state tournament the Lassiter team hoped to build off last year’s success. “We lost some strong players. I we also gained talent,” ex-

bonding session was what brought the girls together,” said junior Kelsey Jones. “The mood in the locker room before every game was intense, but we all loved it,” said Kelsey. When describing her favorite moment of the season Kelsey remembered, “After we won the region championship it was one of the best feelings in the world. We turned off all the lights in the locker room and danced for what seemed like eternity.”

plained Becca Arndt when comparing last year’s team to this year’s. Becca was this year’s M.V.P. and will return next year to hopefully lead the Trojans to a state championship. Softball: Yet another final four finish was in store for the Trojans this year when the softball team lost a heartbreaker to Brookwood high school. Led by seniors Morgan Fite, Kelsea Ogletree, Sarah Watson, and Rachel Orlandella, the Trojans dominated region play and finished the season with a record of 13-7. “A team

By the numbers

22 19 7 3 5 3

the number of points averaged by the Trojan footballl team total amount of regular season wins by the Lady Trojans softball team

Lassiter’s total number of seniors in the basketball program

place in which the varsity volleyball team finised

number of wins the varsity football team compiled

place Marice Merriman finished in state for girls cross country



will morris

Student athletes Morgan Ainslie, Veronica Ulicny, Kendal Smith

A football season to commemorate

The 2010-2011 varsity team went 5 and 6 Wins Sept. 3rd Sprayberry 27-20 Sept. 17th Milton w, 35-28 Oct. 8th Cherokee w, 27-24 Oct. 15th Wheeler w, 31-0 Oct. 22nd Marietta w, 21-27

Losses Aug. 21st N Gwinnett L, 34-14 Sept. 10th N Cobb L, 18-14 Oct. 1st Walton l, 31-27 Oct. 29th Woodstock l, 30-14 Nov. 5th Etowah l, 48-21 Nov. 12th North Gwinnett (playoffs)

L, 56-7

lhs features



Shop with a trojan LSC gives underprivileged children a Christmas to remember.

lindsay hopkins features editor

DECA raises money... AGAIN

allison gilmore guest writer

The Lassiter DECA club surpassed its $3,000 goal and raised $3,278.53 for breast cancer awareness! In an effort to raise money for Georgia DECA’s fall community service project, students planned a calendar of activities for the month of October to raise awareness and money for breast cancer awareness. Fund-raising activities began when DECA members designed and sold $10 pink “Knockout Breast Cancer” t-shirts. Students also sold $1 raffle tickets for jewelry donated by D Geller and Son Jewelers. In order to educate Lassiter students and faculty, DECA members read cancer statistics on the video announcements throughout the entire month. On October 1st, DECA held a “pinkout” during which LHS DECA sold pink t-shirts, painted faces for donations, had a “Spin to Win” breast cancer awareness prize-wheel and sold raffle tickets. To raise awareness and encourage community participation, members wrapped goal posts in pink and decorated the stadium, recruited the help of Lassiter cheerleaders to collect donations and wear pink ribbons and pink socks, provided football players with pink ribbon stickers to wear on their helmets, and provided band members with pink ribbon stickers to wear on their uniforms. The Lassiter students, staff, and community showed support for the cause by wearing pink to the game. On October 6th, DECA hosted a school-wide hat day for students and DECA denim day for teachers. Those students who donated $1 wore a hat

and teachers who donated $5 wore denim on two designated days. Members incorporated the celebration of National DECA Week (October 10-16) with the breast cancer awareness activities by showing appreciation to the Lassiter faculty and staff by giving them breast cancer mints, pink ribbon pens, and handing out flyers stating why DECA loves Lassiter teachers. As an additional club promotion, DECA officers hid DECA diamonds around the school for students to redeem for prizes. Prizes included breast cancer awareness notepads and pencils with a grand prize being a Pandora bracelet donated by David Douglas Diamonds & Jewelry (an LHS DECA professional member)! On October 19th, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt (an LHS DECA professional member) hosted a DECA Night, during which 15% of the proceeds were donated to LHS DECA’s breast cancer awareness campaign. Later that week, DECA’s “60 Second Scramble” was held during all lunch periods at which time DECA members passed around pink buckets to collect donations. Lassiter DECA began raising money for breast cancer awareness in 2008. The club raised $1,100 in 2008, $2,100 in 2009, and $3,278.53 in 2010! All of the proceeds made during the month of October through these events were made because of the fall community service project and will be donated to support breast cancer awareness. For more information about becoming involved in Lassiter DECA, contact Mrs. Palmer at or Mrs. Wexler at

    Shop With A Trojan (SWAT) is Lassiter Student Council’s annual charity outreach program that benefits families in need during the holiday season. Although it often goes unnoticed, there are many families in our area that are in a financial bind. In fact, many of them cannot even provide Christmas gifts for their children. SWAT’s mission is to brighten

the holidays for these families and provide their children with gifts on Christmas morning. The LSC members create fundraisers to raise as much money as possible to be divided up among the children. This year’s LSC members have created three separate fundraisers in hopes to raise even more than past years. The first fundraiser is a bagel sale. LSC members will be selling Einstein’s bagels every day before school, with

toasters and cream cheeses for everyone’s favorite breakfast! The second is Candy Cane Candy Grams. The Candy Grams are original or fruity candy canes with a message card attached. Every day before school and during lunch periods, students will have the opportunity to buy Candy Cane Candy Grams to send to friends on Fridays! The third fundraiser asks $1 for one piece of tape to stick Lassiter’s favorite teachers to the wall. During all lunch periods, students will have the opportunity to tape a teacher! Once the money is raised, the LSC members throw a celebration for the families in need. On Saturday December 11, the families joined LSC at Lassiter for breakfast and a visit

from S a nta . At the breakfast, each child is given a goody bag filled with holiday miscellany and treats – including a gift card with the raised money. The best part is that each child is allowed to spend their money on whatever they want! The LSC members are split up and designated a child to spend the day with. They get to walk through the store and help pick out the best toys and games until all of their money has been spent. Shop With A Trojan is one of Lassiter’s biggest charity outreach programs during the holiday season. The LSC sponsors Ms. Allen and Mrs. Webb and the rest of the LSC members are making a difference in the Lassiter community by helping make the holidays a little bit brighter for everyone.


You Know? Though Fox News predicted the Rally to Restore Sanity would draw in about 7 million people, numbers exceeded 10 million. page


Operation: Beautiful

annabel edwards jff editor

across the world, Boyle decided to officially launch Operation Beautiful, starting with the website operationIt all began with one woman’s dwin- dling self esteem, a post-it note, and a The mission is simple: write a note mirror. Caitlin Boyle launched Opera- with an encouraging message, and tion Beautiful with the mission to pro- place it in a random spot where other mote a healthy body image for women women will find it (magazines worldwide.  What started out as a and public bathspontaneous blog post rapidly evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. Boyle unknowingly started a revolution when she stuck a postit note on


courtesy of julia lebow

Julia joined Stewart and Colbert to rally through DC.

LHS rallies for sanity will morris staff writer

In a world with so much insanity and courage, it’s good to know that two talk show hosts on Comedy Central recognize this dilemma and have worked to fix it. On October 30th, The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was an event put together by Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) and Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) in response to Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” Rally put on for his tea party supporters and other conservative parties. Originally both hosts had separate rallies, Jon’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” and Stephen’s “March to Keep Fear Alive”, but over time both decided that they should be joined together. Held in Washington D.C., the rally was far from Lassiter; however, some students such as Julia Lebow, 10, traveled the distance with her father to attend. She took an eleven hour bus ride that drove through the night with other rally fanatics all the way to D.C. Although it sounds like a burden, Julia will be the first one to tell you it was well worth it to see all the celebrities

that made guest appearances. Stars like John Legend, Adam Savage, and Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters, Ozzy Osbourne, Kareem Abdul Jabbers, and even R2-D2 stopped by to support Jon and Stephen’s cause. On top of the celebrities, free trinkets littered the area as rally-goers were given buttons, towels, signs, flags, and much more. The most fun part of the rally without a doubt came from the audience themselves. With attendance reaching over 200,000 people, thousands brought their own homemade signs to show their support. Julia explains, “The best part was all the signs people made. Every political party was represented. Even Wizards.” You can find hundreds of photos from the rally on along with videos and much more. This celebration was one for the ages and if you couldn’t attend, do your part in keeping the fear and sanity alive by visiting or even purchasing rally merchandise. Every penny you give helps Sanity and/or Fear stay strong in our country.

the mirror of a public bathroom and took a picture of it for her blog. The note simply read, “You are beautiful.”  She became inspired to do so after considering startling statistics such as the fact that most American girls start dieting at the age of eight, and more women suffer from anorexia or bulimia today than breast cancer.  Boyle decided that it was time for women to start making changes regarding their body image, and so she took the matter into her own hands. After posting a picture of her note on her personal blog, Boyle asked readers to send in pictures of their own notes espousing a positive body image.  Expecting little response, she was thrilled to find photos flooding in over the next few days.  After realizing that the idea struck a chord in women

rooms are two popular suggestions). Not only does leaving the note make you feel good, but it could also have a very positive effect on the lucky women who stumble across it.  Coming across a positive note may just be an extra perk in the day for some, but for others, it is life changing.  Boyle stated, “Women have told me, ‘You changed my life,’ or ‘You saved my life.’  They’ve really been touched.”  The operation truly has progressed into a nationwide movement; in fact, an Operation Beautiful note was even found in the third floor bathroom of the science building here at Lassiter High School. Operation beautiful is an innovative project that takes the power to define beauty out of the hands of the media and places it with the common woman.  We can now choose to be a part of the movement to redefine beauty, one post-it note at a time.

20% 42%

of girls suffering from anorexia will die prematurely from complications.

of 1st - 3rd graders wish they were thinner.

lhs features



Bright stars among us vince gonzalez staff writer “I had applied to nearly ten businesses and no one had even responded to me.” These words spoken by Nick Cantu are what many teenagers are facing nowadays. In the suffering economy even mediocre jobs are hard to come by.In response, some Lassiter students however have decided to bypass these troubles and become young entrepreneurs. Starting one’s own business is by no means easy. The task is risky as well as challenging. “We really did not know where to start.” But with some help from family members, Nick Cantu and Vince Gonzalez successfully started their own lawn care business. “We basically do anything a big-name company would, just cheaper.” The two young men still struggle at times, but are very pleased with the results. “We work when we want, wherever we want. How many people can say that?” “I am just so good with technology I figured I could make some money out of it.” Alex Fortanbary, junior, is co owner of Right Round DJ Productions. “It was my brother’s idea and we worked together to make it happen.” After DJing many school dances and student parties, Alex is ecstatic with the progress his company has made. “I make so much more money than if I were working for myself.” Animal lover Alex Villanueva decided to take his love of animals and use it to his advantage. “I watch people’s pets when they go out of town or are unable to care for them. I love spending hours with the animals and walking them around the neighborhood.” Alex says his busiest times are during the holidays. “Fourth of July is usually when everybody comes knocking at my door,” said Alex. There are certainly some future stars walking among us here at Lassiter. Alex Fortanbary wanted to leave Lassiter with these words of wisdom about starting one’s own business, “It may not seem easy, but it was definitely worth it in the end.”

mary ann staak

Holy Cow-hutta! FCA retreat 2010 mary ann staak centerspread editor A few weeks ago, about fifty Lassiter students trooped off into the wilderness without the slightest idea of what they were getting into. Alright, it wasn’t exactly total wilderness, and they did have a little bit of an idea of what was going on. It was Lassiter’s FCA winter retreat, Cohutta. The annual retreat spent in the middle of the Cohutta wilderness was described by senior Brittany Ainslie as “one of the best retreats I’ve been on out of all of the FCA retreats I’ve gone on. I can’t believe it was my last one!” The retreat is an FCA tradition and legend. “I’ve always heard such good things about Cohutta, but have never been able to go. I am so glad that I finally got to experience it this

year! I have some of the best memories from high school from those three days,” said junior Julia Regeski. The retreat takes place on top of a mountain in the middle of the Chattahoochee National Forest, just north of Elijay, Georgia. Basically the retreat center is in the middle of nowhere on top of a big, cold mountain. “I think my favorite thing about Cohutta itself is its location. It’s so nice to be able to get away from East Cobb and Lassiter and just be by ourselves in beautiful north Georgia. It gives us a taste of what Lassiter can’t give us!” sophomore Autumn Gwaltney explained. The fifty students left school early on Friday November 12 and arrived in Cohutta around one thirty. They spent the weekend playing games, hiking, worshipping, and getting to know one another better. “That’s what I love about Cohutta—

you meet a bunch of new people doing crazy and sometimes really weird things!” exclaimed junior Aaron Fender. Students work very hard every year to pull the trip together, and this year students said it unquestionably paid off. “This year’s Cohutta is one that will definitely stick out in my mind. It was for sure one of the best retreats I’ve been on at Lassiter,” said junior Alex Fortanbary. All the students who attended concurred that FCA’s annual winter retreat of 2010 was a huge success. “I think the memory that will stick out most in my mind from this Cohutta was when Tim and Mary Ann’s “smoothie” made me puke in front of my team and then a picture of it ended up on the Cohutta slideshow! It was totally worth it, though,” exclaimed freshman Shannon DeSantis.


You Know? Christmas ornaments were not introduced in the United States until 1890. page

Feel free to light the tree! austin hayes staff writer

old Santa Claus. On the other hand, the colors blue, and white around a house usually mean that the family in From the original icicle lights side is spinning a dreidel or two. Kevin Nichols, a sophomores around the gutters to the one family in the neighborhood that goes over- here at Lassiter High School, lives in a board in lights, decorations are one of neighborhood where one of the famithe greatest things about the holiday lies has way too many lights. “There is season. Santa on the roof, reindeer in not one inch on the house that isn’t the yard, and a menorah in the win- covered in lights. The front and back dow are just some of the decorations yards are also filled with many differpeople put up during this fantastic ent decorations.” I am sure that the neighbors enjoy having black-outs durmonth. Say you are caroling around the ing the holiday season Overall, holiday decorations neighborhood, and are not sure what holiday the next house down cele- are one of the greatest parts of this brates. You do not want to sing “O Holy season. The fluorescent lights just Night” if the family celebrates Hanu- brighten the houses up (no pun inkah. But, there are some easy ways to tended). All the different types of figure out which holiday families and lights vary widely from penguins havhomes celebrate. For instance, if the ing a snow ball fight to Santa’s sleigh house is covered in red and green, the with Dasher and Dancer and Prancer family probably believes in the good and Vixen all tied up on the roof.

           The Renaissance Festival is back! After taking a break last year, the Renaissance Student Leadership Team produced one of Lassiter’s most successful festivals yet. Thanks to Mrs. Morgan, Ms. Adams, Ms. Mercure, and the student leaders, the festival was “so much fun!” said Taylor Bradley, 12. “There was a lot of great food, good music, and fun games.”           This year’s festival was DJ’ed by Right ‘Round made up of Alex Fortanbary, 11, Kim Carducci, 12, and Connor Vogleweed,12. Having also DJ’ed the Homecoming after party on the field, Kim said, “It was really fun! I love working school events.”            As for food, the Renaissance Team was able to provide a wide variety ranging from Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets to pizza and subs. Not to mention Rita’s, cotton candy, and Halloween leftovers! The goal this year was to provide enough variety so that everyone could find something they enjoyed – and that’s exactly what they did!                Though everyone enjoyed the music and food, the games were the main attraction! The Renaissance Team set up multiple stations with sack races, 3-legged races, tug-of-war,

and others. Not to mention the professional stilt-walking jugglers and the caricature professional! “My favorite part was getting caricatures!” said Talon Jolley, 10.                Overall, this year’s Renaissance Festival was a huge success among the students. On behalf of all honor students, we would like to say thank you to the Renaissance student leaders and their team sponsors for providing such a great festival.

Student ads!

If interested in a student ad for only $5, complete the form outside room 911

Amanda, Kaele, Kasey, and Stefani


<3 Katlyn

mary ann staak


Maggie decorates her house with a festive snowman.

LHS renaissance festival returns lindsay hopkins features editor


colleen purdy

Dance Students had a dance off.

Dear Jordan, LOVE YOU! - Skye and Kaleigh

Come join FBLA! It’s not too late to join and participate in our awesome meetings and events. Membership forms are outside of room 500. Contact Mrs. Pizza for more information.

Dear Sabine,

colleen purdy


3-legged races were a favorite this year, among others.

Will you marry me?

Love, Your Secret admirer

lhs in the wry The sililiquist saga: Skye’s ultimatum

tyler molinaro in the wry editor

trophe could help,” she complained. “Finding Alex Cho was impossi…” J trailed off as Skye, leader of the Rubellion to which Alex Cho was so crucial, stormed in. She wore all black. The room seemed to darken. Somewhere lightning flashed and thunder crashed. “And why, pray tell, was it ‘impossi?’” demanded Skye. “We…we…” stuttered J. Ann Mary burst into tears. “You see, everyone was dressed as either John Landers or Alex Cho…,” defended T. “And why was your Thanksgiving Sting Operation unsuccessful? You finally traced him to a location, and he slipped through your fingers again,” accused Skye. “There was a turkey that needed saving,” piped up Ann Mary brightly, bobbing her head. “And Alex’s family was so noce, we just couldn’t take him away. They even invited us to dinner!” The Rubellion Ruler gave her a withering glance. She threw down a file onto the desk before T. “Intelligence has discovered, at great risk, that Cho and his body guards will be in that location on December 25. Do not fail me again.” Skye stormed out. Lightning flashed again. Ann Mary and J watched as T took a deep breath and opened the file. He gasped as he saw a single word on an otherwise blank page. The location of the quarry, the last chance at redemption, the final hope of at last capturing and proving the existence of the elusive Alex Cho. T slumped back in his chair. They had better start planning. To be continued.

The two heroes and their faithful puppy tag-along Ann Mary schlepped back to base, the mustardcolored walls adding to their palpable gloom. The heroes were dejected. Ann Mary, by nature, was not, which only added to the annoyance and depression that hung like a pall over J and T. The arguing began over Ann Mary’s incessant meowing. It progressed to J saying something about s o m e o n e ’s mother. It ended when T tried to inject a cleverly-planned remark into the conversation and received the whiplash of blank stares and complaints about uncommon word choice. “Oh T, you are so nonsensical with your intellectual lexis.” Ann Mary teased. “Indubitably,” agreed J. T rolled his eyes and called a team meeting. Squabbling broke out over who would get the spinney chair. “Order!!!” yelled T as he pounded his gavel. The two froze, teetering precariously on the chair’s edge. J moved slightly, causing Ann Mary to crash to the floor. J smiled triumphantly. Sobs began issuing from the shuddering heap on the floor. “I have called this meeting for the purpose of reviewing our past few weeks in the hope that maybe we will find some hope among our ever-lengthening string of miscues.” J and Ann Mary stared blankly back. T tired of their gawking expressions. “The Chinatown Halloween party disaster,” elaborated T, trying to wake contributing writer laura brink them up. J winced. “I don’t see how revisiting that catas- staff writer

J trailed off as Skye, leader of the Rubellion to which Alex Cho was so crucial, stormed in. She wore all black. The room seemed to darken. Somewhere lightning flashed and thunder crashed.



Behind the desk

laura brink staff writer

Deck the halls (Literally, the hallways), because teachers aren’t going anywhere this holiday season. It is a long and well-known fact that teachers do only three things: Teach, breathe, and teach. Outside of these walls teachers do not even exist. We all know they live under their desk during the school year, but where do they go for Thanksgiving Break? It is a question that has deeply puzzled me and now I plan to discover the truth behind teachers on vacation. Through investigative journalism that would surpass Woodward and Bernstein, I have found the truth behind the desk. I have sacrificed my own Thanksgiving Break to uncover the real story behind the living situations of teachers. While very stealthily sleeping in the library and stealing cafeteria food for the nine days we are given for Thanksgiving vacation, I have witnessed the real arrangement of the teachers. And. It. Will. Shock. You. Contrary to popular belief, the teachers do not sleep under their desk. They actually have converted

the gymnasium into a sort of dormitory where the beds come out of the wall (If you flip the bleachers it’s entirely mattresses.) There you will find the entire teaching staff in their jammies gossiping and giggling about students and faculty while braiding each others’ hair. It’s an….interesting…sight to see, to say the least. For food I have discovered the disturbing fact that, unlike regular humans, who are omnivores, the Lassiter teaching staff is comprised entirely of fearivores. They feed on the fears of their students which they keep in a nice jar labeled “The 69, 79, 89 average students.” It was unbelievable to watch the feeding. Absolutely unbelievable. During the day, the teachers turn the cafeteria into an arcade of sorts, where they play fun games such as pin the F on the student. They especially enjoy the game of darts with their personalized dart board covered in pictures of students. It is sure nice to know they think of us over break. So there you have it, my curious peers: teachers over break. Aren’t they fascinating?


You Know? Christmas tree farms are believed to have mystical powers in Finland. page

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Too. Much. Redbull.

Yes ma


o r y few e t f a t a it No ple sta es. tim

It can’t be 45 degrees outside. THIS IS GEORGIA! THIS IS WINTER.



Ne in w kid h cla istor s shi s: lik y toy ny ne e a . w th






The tremendous tree farm trek

What happens when the Brothers Barry, Santa’s security, and a magical tree farm meet? laura brink staff writer

liar middle brother Bart who spoke the doubts that had been running through all their minds. “Guys…How It was a cold and snowy night deep into this tree farm are we?” The in the EC (East Cobb) boys l i f t(and by cold and snowy e d I mean barely chilly and rainy, we are in Georgia people.) Anyway… It was a cold and snowy night in the EC and the brothers Barry were on a mission: To find the perfect Christmas tree. Ben, Bart, and Benbart Barry were desperate for a flawless tree to stand tall with glory in their ho-hum living room. Eldest brother Ben drove t h e i r his brothers too Clam Carl Christ- heads, assessed the area, and realmas Tree Farm and the boys happily ized that in every direction there was hopped out of the car and beheld the nothing to be seen but Christmas glorious acres of ferns before them. Trees. Terror overcame them and litWith an exchange of looks, the broth- tle Benbart’s eyes began to swell with ers dispersed into the wilderness of tears. Strategies for escape were the Christmas tree farm searching discussed for extensive amounts of with wide eyes and limitless hopes. time as the boys wandered aimlessly They walked down rows and rows towards a direction the hoped would and rows. They tirelessly checked ev- lead to an exit. As they paced forward ery branch, needle, and stump. They Bart suddenly fell to the ground. He walked down rows and rows and had tripped over a candy cane lamp rows. They suspiciously eyed every and fallen face first into a massive pile point, space, and angle. This tree must of reindeer poo. As he wiped his eyes be perfect. It must. It was the pecu- clear and lifted himself off the ground

for the first time he beheld the sight before him. Glowing lights, elves marching from gingerbread house to gingerbread house, and even Mrs. Claus scuttling about the grounds; the brothers Barry were in the friggin’ North Pole. And it was friggin’ sweet. “Guys! This is the friggin’ North Pole! This is friggin’ sweet!!!!” Ben yelled dramatically as Benbart began eating the Swedish fish in the gingerbread house’s pond and Bart joined a gaggle of penguins in a fierce snowball battle. Jolliness came down upon everyone like Christmas Eve’s perfect first snow fall. In the middle of a giddy glacier gallop, the boys stopped dead in their tracks at the sound of a booming voice shouting, “Whhhhhaaaaaaattttt areeeee theyyyyyyy doingggggggg HHHHHHEEEEEEEERRRRRRRREEEEEEE?!?!?!?!” It was the voice of head of North Pole security, Miles Finch, bellowed with incredible

fury. As Finch sent his army of toy soldiers charging at the brothers, Ben sighted an early 80’s model of Santa’s sleigh and his mind flickered with brilliance. “Quick! In the sleigh!” the eldest brother shouted. All three boys s a d dled in while the toy soldiers formed around them. It seemed there w a s little hope for escape. Just then, the tenth reindeer, Tripper, who had been long neglected, wriggled his way into the reins and shot off like a rocket. The Brothers Barry were carried briskly and safely away in the sleigh which eventually landed in their driveway. As the boys rushed to tell their beloved mother of the adventure they quickly realized they had forgotten a tree. “You’d better run!” Mother Barry shouted at Ben, Bart, and Benbart as they hurried back to the Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect tree.

lhs in the wry



Tales of a Macy’s Day charade

tyler molinaro in the wry editor

ing out their batons and fencing with them while shouting ‘I am not left handed’ at each other,” What was supposed to be an interjected Lynn Turruptu, a sophexciting and memorable day for one omore oboe player. “Then they anLassiter High School Band, based in nounced a change in plans, telling Marietta, Georgia, turned into a tragic us to follow them and bring everyand embarrassing series of blunders thing.” “What they were arguing that some across the country have about was actually how to fix a labeled “The Macy’s Day Chapretty big problem,” continrade,” doubting that such ued Seedy. an unfortunate occurrence could ever have happened. Problems for the Trojan marching band began early on Thanksgiving morning as the musicians and their celebrated directors prepared to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “We began the day just as we had planned beforehand, complete with all the usual scales, marching exercises, and combing of the fluff atop our ridiculously tall hats,” claimed Ima O. Seedy, a senior trumpeter and veteran member of the band program at Lassiter. “But “You see the flutes had just figafterwards, things got a little abnorured out that there was a serious color mal…” “The band directors started mix up: our hats were trimmed in eggarguing amongst themselves about shell white while our uniforms were something or another, eventually pull- pure white.”

On a quest for eggshell-colored gloves in a last-ditch effort to tie the outfits together, directors of the band led the entire group, instruments and all, through the streets of New York, ending up at their last hope: the gigantic Macy’s. As per their training,

the musicians lined up in precise formations and marched into the large edifice, following their beloved director, Mr. Watkins, into the fray for holiday deals and eggshell gloves.

“It’s hard to say exactly what started it,” mused Claire Inette, a Junior who plays the saxophone. Some of the tubas thought that this was the actual parade and started playing. Pretty soon the whole band was performing the scheduled pieces and marching as we went through the store.” “It took us about two hours before we figured out something was wrong and stopped playing,” admitted Barry Tone, one of the tubas who allegedly started the whole thing. “It’s a big store. But the thing that finally alerted me is that there were no huge balloons, you know? When I figured that out I was like ‘Wait, something’s up.’” Embarrassed and by then a little cranky, the musicians eventually did find their eggshell-white gloves, Mr. Watkins purchasing them while the band students stood waiting for him. “Sometimes, it’s not about marching in the big parade or trying to pop those gigantic balloons when nobody’s looking,” summed up Mr. Watkins. “This was a lesson learned and the gloves we gained will help us be better in the future.”

Smooters and scooters: Thanksgiving natalie kieta editorials editor

of the house as fast as her orthopedic shoes could carry her. Grandfather Smooter zoomed after her on his Thanksgiving morning at the mobility scooter and was just able to Smooter house began just like any snatch her up before she teetered into other morning. Mrs. Smooter slaved the oncoming traffic. After he took away all morning and afternoon to her back home, she was only subdued make a delicious Thanksgiving dinner after being heavily tranquilized with for her family. She’d been praying that medical marijuana that Robby just happened to have on hand. the evening would go smoothly. Mrs. Smooter corralled everyone Unfortunately, her hopes were into the dining room, finally ready to dashed. Her son, Robby, had spent the afternoon convincing his senile have her peaceful evening. To her surgrandmamma that these people were prise, it was very peaceful. Too peacenot her family, but instead terrorists ful. This year, she thought Robby was who were out to steal her dentures mature enough to say Grace - the real and thus deprive her of her favorite version. She’d had enough of his, “Rub yams. Grammy had been worked up a dub dub, thanks for the grub. Yeah, into such a state of paranoia that she yeah, yeah Jesus!” that he had inmade an escape attempt and ran out flicted on the family in years past. But

when she looked in his direction with the intention of asking him to bless their lovely meal, she suddenly realized why the dinner had been so quiet. It was not Robby sitting in his chair, but rather his Asian friend Li. Li’s father had fed him watery rice soup every Thanksgiving but this year he decided enough was enough and snuck over to the Smooter’s. Robby was quite content with this arrangement; while Li chewed on rangy turkey, Robby got to hide under the table and tie his annoying relatives’ shoe laces together. Afterwards, he stealthily creeped out from under the table, decided that he’d had enough of this bland holiday, and took it upon himself to commence with the Christmas decorating. Mrs.Smooter realized with horror that

instead of hanging stockings by the chimney, Robby decided to hang up his old, nasty tube socks. Just as she was surveying the damage, she heard a massive thud. After frantically searching for its origin, she saw Robby sitting in the fireplace, covered in soot. He had decided to climb onto the roof and take a flying leap down the chimney as a “test run” for Santa. Christmas was quickly approaching, and as Mrs. Smooter recalled the years past filled with Robby-induced catastrophes, she realized that it would be a long year indeed. contributing writer annabel edwards news editor

holidays Ch

a guide to the

d e c o r a t i o n s

ities r a

It’s easy and affordable to get in the holiday spirit.

3’ Pine Artificial Tree Pre-Lit

For just $10, you could... - help a child fight cancer through St. Judes Children’s Hospital



Brass Menorah - provide heartworm tests and vaccines to dogs through the Humane Society - donate over 50 pounds of food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank

Glade Winter Collection Scented Sugarplum Candle

- provide a full day of childcare to an underpriveleged child through the Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers


music tunes

The holidays make it easy to overindulge, but follow these tips to get the best of both worlds.

Shake up the festivities by playing holiday music with a twist!

-Hip Hop Hanukkah by Kid Kosher -Don’t Shoot Me Santa by The Killers

hot chocolate 120 calories

egg nog 380 calories

-Dominick the Donkey by Lou Monte -The Twelve Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers -The Hanukkah Song by Adam Sandler -Here’s Your Sign Christmas by Bill Engvall

pecan pie

pumpkin pie

450 calories

230 calories

-I Farted on Santa’s Lap by The Little Stinkers -Leroy the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie -Rusty Chevrolet by The Deer Hunters

mashed potatoes 140 calories

sweet potato souffle 250 calories

December 2010  

The Laureate: Volume XXVIII, Issue Three