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LION Online LION has produced a website that includes additional photos and copies of articles found in the monthly issues. Continue to access the website for updates and breaking news.

See Page 2 for editor’s note

LION The Voice of Lyons Township Students Since 1910

Friday, February 20, 2009  Volume 99, Issue 5


A day in the life of... LION investigates the daily routines of LT staff members, including a student assistant and an associate principal. Pulse, 16-17

All-school Assembly Two LION staffers debate the pros and cons of the All-school Assembly.

Opinions, 8

How Data Consortium is set to change the face of education in the LT sphere and how the power of numbers and a revolutionary data analysis tool will soon allow the school to track students from kindergarten to graduation

see page 2 for story

photo illustration by Elizabeth Pierson

LT grads, staff attend Inauguration Local Obama supporters rejoice in historic moment by Tom Meyer

When Barack Obama raised his hand and took the Oath of Office on Jan. 20, 2009 millions of Americans of all political parties watched with fascination as history was made. Nearly 1.8 million people braved the cold weather to witness the event live, packing into the National Mall in record numbers. While the story of each person in attendance is different, at least five have strong LT connections. For World History teacher Deborah Anderson, the inaugural celebration was too perfect a combination of a historical moment and the culmination of a campaign in which she had invested her time and money on Obama’s behalf to miss. “When I got that phone call [informing me that I had received tickets] I just went crazy and I knew that now I had to go,” Anderson said. “I was so blessed to receive this wonderful opportunity.” Anderson had heard on the news that each congressman had been given hundreds of tickets to disperse and that any interested citizens should write to their local represen-

“I wrote about being a history teacher, and my parents growing up in the South,” Anderson said. “I think that helped. I was just so lucky.” Once in Washington, D.C., Anderson enjoyed the atmosphere and what she perceived as the sense of camaraderie among the millions gathered in the city. On numerous occasions Anderson said she was amazed by the variety of states and nationalities represented in the crowd. “I met and talked with people from Montana and Tennessee and Georgia and Colorado and even Australia, Norway and Kenya,” Anderson said. “There were just masses of humanity on the Mall. I had never seen that many people in my life. People of every race, ethnicity, economic and social standing, all coming together for this historic event. I am A father and daughter watch during Barack so proud to see the first African American Obama’s Inauguration. Many LT staff members president.” Anderson, who volunteered for Obama’s and graduates attended. Matthew Glowicki campaign with her old sorority Delta Sigma tative or senator, which she immediately did. Theta and said that as an African-American Just days before the Inauguration, Anderson she can remember times of discrimination in Basketball Dan Lip- her grandparents’ town in Mississippi, was received several calls from Rep. begins Voice Lyons inski’s office informing her that she’d been one of the lucky ones The for whom the of InauguNew head Sloan leadsration worked out as planned. selected to receive two coach tickets,Tom meaning that she’d be admitted to a closer viewing varsity basketball team intoarea. its season Not so fortunate in that regard was

Maggie Potthoff ’04 who worked as a field organizer for the Obama campaign in Iowa. All official campaign workers were given tickets to the ceremony, including Maggie who said that she “jumped for joy” when she found out that she would receive two purple tickets. However, upon arriving to their gate on Inauguration Day, Maggie and her brother Max Potthoff ’10 were stuck in line for three to four hours and never were admitted to the ceremony. “We felt extraordinarily disappointed,” Maggie said. “We just kept thinking, ‘well, I’ve got a ticket, I’ll get in.’ But that’s not how it worked out for us. We ended up leaving and looking for a TV somewhere that we could watch it on, but nowhere was open, so we just huddled around a little radio with a street vendor and listened to the speech.” Maggie was asked by reporters several times to comment about having missed the swearing in, but declined because despite the frustration of being stuck in the so called “purple line of doom,” she said the Inauguration was still an incredible memory. Maggie had tickets to that evening’s Township Students 1910 Youth Ball where she was Since able to see Obama in person. Maggie said she was already Story continued on page 5

opening Ill. tournament. North Campus100 S. Brainard Ave. LaGrange, 60525 South Campus4900 Willow Springs Rd. Western Springs, Ill. 60558 Sports, 12

Art project overload Page 1.indd 1

Lion questions the legitimacy of craft-

2/17/2009 6:52:19 PM

Data jargon Each school that is participating in the Data Consortium has a “Data Champion” who is in charge of coordinating the information from the school.

LION has produced a website to provide our readers with an online outlet for information. Included on the site are additional photos and copies of all articles found in the monthly issue of the LION. There are currently photo albums of Brownstock X and the All-school Assembly posted on the site. Check out www.

Tableof Contents nNEWS- pages 1-3 nCLUBS- page 4 nIMPACT- page 5 nETCETERA- page 6 nEDITORIALS- page 7 nOPINIONS- page 8 nYOUR VOICE- page 9 nSPORTS- pages 10-12 nDINING OUT- page 13 nMINORITY- page 14 nPROFILES- page 15 nBEHIND THE SCENESpages 16-17

Crime alerts


The Western Springs Police Department places crime alerts on their website, under the Law Enforcement homepage.

Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 2

Man threatens students near Garden Market Plaza

Suspect approaches students on three different occasions

by Katie Schoder

Almost everyday after school, LT students can be found relaxing in Garden Market Plaza to enjoy a quick snack or walking home from school with a couple of friends. On Jan. 12, this daily routine was interrupted by three incidences in and near the Garden Market Plaza that involved a male subject confronting LT students and requesting money from them. During the first incident, which occurred shortly after school let out, a vehicle approached students near Great American Bagel at the Garden Market Plaza in Western Springs, according to police officials. Within the car was a male, who was accompanied by a female. The male offender asked students for money, which they refused to provide. After their refusal, the students left the scene. Shortly after, the male subject approached another group of students outside of Walgreens and then proceeded to follow that same group northbound on Gilbert Avenue. He asked them for money and when the victims did not offer any, he implied that he had a weapon while also asking them to enter the vehicle. The students refused to go into the offender’s vehicle and left the scene. “No weapon was ever used or displayed, but the offender implied that he had a concealed weapon,” Brian Budds, Deputy Chief of the Western Springs Police Department (WSPD), said. “Because of the threat, it is classified as an Attempted Aggravated Robbery.” Around 3:50 p.m., one LT student was walking

In January, there were three incidences in and near Garden Market Plaza that involved a male subject Lena Novak asking students for money. on 47th Street near Blackstone Avenue when he was approached by the offender, LaGrange Police Department (LGPD) Detective Dave Rohlicek said. The suspect asked the student for money, similar to the Western Springs incidences. In this scenario a weapon was inferred, and the student proceeded to leave the scene. Since the WSPD and the LGPD share the same radio band, the LGPD had heard about the two incidences in Western Springs. After Rohlicek learned the facts of the Western Springs cases it was determined the same person was responsible for the robberies. The WSPD is currently working cooperatively with the LGPD on these cases because they both

involve the same suspect, Budds said. “We are working on some leads, but have not made any arrests,” Budds said. “There have been no other incidences that have been reported to us or the LGPD since that time.” Later on Jan. 12, NC administrators were informed about the first incident via a telephone complaint. LT then updated the WSPD on the situation. Regarding the second incident, a student reported the series of events to the LT administration, who then told K.C. Church, who is the high school liaison officer between LT and the WSPD. Rohlicek contacted Assistant Principal Kris Costopolous on Jan. 13 and she had already known about the robberies. By the morning of Jan. 13, the WSPD was aware of both incidences and responded with a crime alert on the department’s website. After the crime alert was announced, LT followed up with a mass email, whose purpose was to continue the line of communication from the police department to the administration to families. “Any time anyone’s safety is threatened, it is a concern,” Principal David Franson said. “The intent behind the written communication is to inform and encourage parents to review safety information.” In the email, the administration reminded parents to use this opportunity to discuss certain safety lessons or concerns with their children. “I believe parents always appreciate real-time communication from the school when something unusual related to safety has happened,” Franson said.

nADS- page 18 nCONFLICT- page 19 nGET OUT- page 20

AroundLT Feb. 19-22: Annie Get Your Gun (Musical), NC Reber Center, 7:30 p.m. (Feb 22 show is at 3:30 p.m.) Feb. 24: Junior High Jazz Festival and Concert, SC Performing Arts Center, 8 a.m. (workshop), 7:30 p.m. (concert) Feb. 26: Honors Orchestra Concert, SC Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28: King of Hearts Dance, SC Fieldhouse, 7:30 p.m. March 2-3: Varsity Choir Auditions, NC Vaughan Building Room 279, 3 p.m. March 5: NC Student of the Month Breakfast, NC Room 140, 7 a.m. March 6: AP Exam Registration Deadline, NC and SC Bookstores, 7:15-10 a.m. March 9: Senior Madrigal Auditions, NC Vaughan Building Room 279, 3 p.m. March 10: Band Concert, NC Reber Center, 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. March 11: Understanding College Admissions Program, NC Reber Center, 7 p.m. March 2-14: Mavros Festival (Play), SC Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. March 16-17: Wind Ensemble Auditions, NC Vaughan Building Room 275, 3 p.m. March 17: Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival, SC G Wing, 3 p.m. March 18: Winter Athletic Awards Night, NC Field House, 7 p.m. March 19: NC Blood Drive, NC Vaughan Gym, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Cover Story: The Future

Data consortium launches

Large scale initiative set to provide new opportunities by Monica Ramirez and Paul Schied

One of the computer screens in Julie Brenson’s office flashes to an extensive looking chart. With a few taps on the keyboard, Brenson pulls up the English portion of the practice ACT. With a few more, some of the boxes in the chart light up yellow. She has told the database that she wants to see all of the questions that less than fifty percent of students in a given course level answered correctly. The sixth column is conspicuously yellow; all but the AP level missed that question over half the time. The test booklet on Brenson’s desk is open to question six of the English section, and she observes that it is a tricky application of hyphens. Were she an English teacher, she could spend the next day in class talking about hyphens. But Brenson is not an English teacher. She is the Director of Assessment for LT, and she is demonstrating what the school’s new database and analytics tools can do. If knowledge is power in the educational realm, a database the size of the one that is currently in the works is the holy grail of teaching tools. Currently in its first year, data consortium is a project that seeks to compile, analyze and apply student related data from Lyons Township and five associate grade school districts. The partnership will center on the pooling of data such as test scores, grades, attendance and other indicators of student achievement. This past summer, LT purchased Cognos, a sophisticated software package designed to allow for in-depth and specific analysis of that information. While the project is a long-range initiative and is currently in its infancy, the school hopes to generate reports developed with the insight gained from the data as soon as next fall. “Let me paint you a picture,” Superintendent Dr. Dennis Kelly, who has been a major proponent of the project, said. “Three years from now, a teacher is sitting in her classroom, and she can see where kids are learning, and where kids are not learning. That is the ultimate goal of the data consortium: to put information in the hands of teachers.” By inputting scores from tests like the ISAT, EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT, teachers will be able to view student progress throughout their middle and

high school years. Ultimately, by viewing these test scores, teachers will be able to create lesson plans focusing on the areas students need to improve on. Input and analysis has already been completed for the practice ACT that juniors took on Sept. 24, 2008. No one is more excited about the possibilities than Julie Brenson, who is leading the development of the project at LT along with Director of Curriculum Scott Eggerding. “To me, working with our teachers, working with our associate districts, looking at data to help our studnets, and using a wonderful software tool like Cognos is all fun,” Brenson said. “I love every part of this.” According to Director of Technology Ed Tennant, the program itself is complicated, a fact stemming from Cognos’s flexibility and power. Currently, only standardized test scores are being entered into the database, and other information such as grades will be added next year. “The whole goal is to get more information in teachers’ hands - to access information about how well kids did in previous years and how well other teachers are doing [teaching] those same skills,” Eggerding said. At meetings during the Jan. 20 institute day, teachers were given a sneak peek of the database that they will soon be able to use to analyze the performance of their classes and their individual students. “The reaction was really positive,” Brenson said. “The teachers were wonderful. The institute day was good for opening their eyes to things we can offer them next year.” While the prospect of tracking students over their entire academic careers was at first daunting for some, many teachers found they had a better idea of what the data consortium was really about after attending training sessions. “As an English teacher and humanist, I’m a bit wary of measurement or data as a general rule,” Timothy Spitsberg, language arts teacher, said. “But the idea here isn’t about just test scores, it’s about giving teachers new and or better information so that hey can do their jobs better and students learn more. [It’s] hard not to see benefit there.” The highly focused analysis that Cognos can facilitate is only one aspect of the project. LT and the associate districts, all of which send the majority

of their students to LT for high school, are looking to compile what Tennant calls “historical and longitudinal type data” that will enable teachers and administrators to see student progress over time. “We are hoping that this positively impacts student achievement,” Tennant, who leads the technical aspect of the consortium, said. “The focus is more on the program and curriculum changes that can be made than on the data itself. Data is a tool.” The data consortium is in keeping with LT’s search for new ways to analyze and boost student achievement. “Data-driven decision-making is a huge trend going through education right now,” Brenson said. “We are trying to work out ways in which we can most effectively use data.” While the desire to use numbers to get a firmer grasp on reality is present throughout the educational field, the way in which the LT sphere is approaching the issue is slightly more novel. “It’s never really been done,” Kelly, who will retire in June, said. “Some might call it insane. I would call it progressive. There are no roadmaps.” While some large state entities like Kalamazoo County in Michigan and the state of Georgia are already using Cognos, the LT area data consortium is among the first to be attempted across several public school districts in Illinois, Tennant said. Cognos, which was recently acquired by IBM, is primarily a business intelligence tool used for corporate analytics. The technology lends itself well to projects like this one, however, and Cognos is looking to fill the niche for database analysis in education. For this reason, Cognos, which Kelly said the school originally thought was too expensive, cut LT a deal. “They were pretty aggressive on their pricing, and came way down from the list price,” Tennant said. “Cognos came in and said, ‘we want to give you this Cadillac, Lexus-type product, for Chevy price.’” Ultimately, the over $94,000 that LT and grade school Districts 101, 102, 103, 105 and 106 have spent is an investment for the future. Kelly sees data consortium as a means of addressing many of LT’s and the associate districts’ goals, including improving minority achievement. “Data consortium is going to help us on all of our goals,” Kelly said. “Instead of guessing what is going on, we’ll know because we’ll have the data.”

Below are the average scores of each section of the ACT for the Spring 2008 PSAE-ACT taken by students at LT.

23.2 English

23.8 Math

23.2 Reading

22.9 Science

2/17/2009 6:53:05 PM

Summer renovations For the 2007-2008 school year, LT spent $3 million in renovations. In the previous year, $2.5 million was spent. This year’s total is $235,000.


Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 3

A sixth sense Daniel Thuma, sixth grader at Spring Avenue School, said the majority of sixth graders were against the proposal of moving sixth grade to Gurrie.

LT cuts expenditures

MCT Campus

Due to struggling economy, summer projects scaled back

by Tori Bokios

Each year LT spends around $1 to 3 million in summer renovations. Due to the poor state of the economy, officials have decided to cut spending to $235,000 for the summer of 2009. “LT’s school board has historically been financially conservative and tries to keep money reserved,” Chairman of the Facilities Committee James Kholstedt said. “We try to keep a balanced budget and try to stay within the income that we have. We are trying to maintain our facilities, but are currently avoiding large new projects.” As recently as last August, the school district’s financial condition looked consistent with resources available in prior school years,

LT applies for waiver by Carrie Mulderink

LT’s Driver Education program has applied for a five-year waiver of Illinois’s Driver Education laws, so it can continue offering range, which has been in place since 1976. The need to apply for this exemption surfaced when new mandates, enacted in January 2007, were put in place that required all Illinois high schools to offer six hours of behind-the-wheel driving and does not allow range or simulator to serve as a substitution for time on the road with an instructor. LT did agree to discontinue the 7.65 required simulator hours in summer 2008, as they also felt that it did not better prepare students for driving. However, the school does clash with state lawmakers on another matter; they feel that range provides students with valuable experience. Scott Eggerding, LT Director of Curriculum, along with Driver Education teachers, filed an application earlier this month with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), hoping it will grant LT a five-year waiver from the new laws, which would allow the school’s three-phase program to continue. “The state doesn’t feel that range serves a purpose,” Eggerding said. “We feel that it is a great opportunity for teenagers to practice before they are put in less predictable situations on the road. We want to meet requirements and pupils’ needs at the same time.” According to Eggerding, students and teachers reaped the benefits of the 12-month exemption from the laws last school year. Last year 13 high schools in Chicagoland were granted such a waiver, including Oak Park-River Forest, Naperville Central and Glenbard West. LT will find out in April if its waiver was approved.

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but since September of 2008 there has been a substantial change in the economy, causing LT to cut back on renovations, Director of Business Services David Sellers said. “It is a reality of life and our current economy,” Superintendent Dennis Kelly said. “You don’t spend unless you have to when the economy is declining. Most people will not notice the lack of change in the short term.” A list of the potential projects was broken up into three tiers ranked at high, medium or low priority and presented to the Board of Education, which made the final decisions. “The school system would benefit from every one of those projects being funded,” Sellers said. “We always present to the board the three tiered format so that they have the opportunity to perceive how they are prioritized.” The approved projects include the replace-

ment of NC pool locker rooms, the P.A. system at SC, Boys Athletic Shower Room at SC, door replacements at both campuses and masonry tuck pointing at NC. They were chosen due to safety issues or deterioration. “I think one positive in the lack of projects is that over the past few years LT has made significant progress as far as making large improvements such as the SC pool, the SC Performing Arts Center and changes made to the Little Theater,” Sellers said. One of the main projects taking place is the renovation of the pool locker rooms at NC. The lockers are exposed to humidity and have started to rust and break down in spots, Physical Welfare Division Chair John Grundke said. “[These renovations] are needed and will be a welcome change for our students and

other outside groups that use the pool,” Grundke said. “They will be able to use the new lockers for years to come.” The replacement of the boilers at NC will be postponed, despite the fact that they have not been replaced since 1950. “With the proper maintenance we can run the boilers until the Board is comfortable with replacing them,” Director of Buildings and Grounds Kenneth Brescia said. PE/Athletic locker room upgrades, unit ventilators, classroom renovations and other projects will also be reevaluated next year. “We are hoping that the economy will improve and that the discussion will resume for projects for the summer of 2010,” Sellers said. “I hope next summer will be more productive for facilities improvement.”

School Boards reject sixth grade transition No changes to be made to local middle schools

by Alyssa Marie Harn

A group of students stand in front of Park Junior High School. Last year the School Board of Education of District 102 considered the idea of moving the sixth grade from the associate Megan Bannister elementary schools to Park.

Although eventually declining to take action, in the past year the School Boards of Education in both District 102 and District 105 considered moving the sixth grade to the middle schools. The School Board of Education (SB) for District 105 started to consider moving the sixth grade to Gurrie Middle School last April. The SB decided to study the option because the sixth, seventh and eighth grade combination is a popular grade configuration in the Chicago area, Glen Schlichting, Superintendent of District 105 said. “To make that move would have required a lot of planning and researching, enough to take us away from some of the goals we are working towards right now,” Schlichting said. The SB felt as though it needed to investigate the option before committing to a long term plan. Officials found that research suggests that sixth graders are better academically in a kindergarten through sixth grade environment than in a sixth through eighth grade environment, and there is no evidence of an academic benefit in moving the sixth grade to Gurrie, Schlichting said. “In all of the studies we couldn’t find one single compelling reason to make that move at this time,” Schlichting said. Current sixth grader Daniel Thuma of Spring Avenue Elementary School, part of District 105 thought that the SB should have moved the sixth graders to Gurrie. “I thought it would be a good challenge socially and academically; because the sixth graders could interact with older kids and kids from other schools which

prepares you for LT,” Thuma said. While Gurrie considered this decision with psychological and student considerations in mind, Park Junior High School of Distict 102 started looking at this idea due to the need for space. The parents and the Park community were generally against the idea and had the same reaction as that of Gurrie. “I think that the decision not to move the sixth graders to Park was a wise one,” Terry Hankins, Ogden Elementary School and Park parent said. “As it turned out, there wasn’t enough money to do it anyway and not moving the sixth graders to Park allowed the Board to concentrate on improving the curriculum and academic performance of Park rather than focusing on the construction and logistic issues which would have been necessary had the Board decided to go ahead with the proposal.” District 105’s SB held forums open to the community throughout 2008. “We wanted to engage the community in this project with the use of surveys and forums,” Schlichting said. “We wanted to use it to build some really strong relationships with community members.” Both communities were very engaged throughout the decision making process. “It was an example of democracy in action, as parents district wide spoke loudly and clearly against the move,” Hankins said. “Many people moved into District 102 because of the outstanding neighborhood kindergarten through sixth grade elementary schools. The kindergarten through sixth grade configuration is far from broken, so there was no need to try to fix it.” The SB of District 105 made it’s final decision on Dec. 15 and the SB of District 102 decided to open full day kindergarten in order to solve their space constraints.

2/17/2009 6:53:59 PM

Orchestra careers

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, located on Michigan Avenue, is composed of 107 resident musicians and hosts more than 150 events every year.


Friday, February 20, 2009 n Page 4

Musical families An orchestra is composed of four families, including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion; each sit in their respective sections while performing.

Orchestra hosts quiz night fundraiser

Parent committee puts on event for first time to fund Disney World trip

orchestra parents went to local businesses and let them know the cause they were petitioning for, prize coordinator Irene Vleor said. by Katie Palmer Noodles and Co. in LaGrange was one of the compaParents were jumping out of their chairs and shouting nies to participate in the cause. Noodles donated 25% of out trivia answers at the orchestra’s quiz night on Jan. 17. the profits from every purchase with the presentation of This event was held to benefit the orchestra’s first trip a special coupon on Thursday Jan. 15, Ewing said. After a final total of $1,000 in purchases, the orchestra to Disney World, which will take place DisneyAgenda during the week of spring break. made $250 in the process. After looking at a number of venues to host the event, “It was great to have an event that is In addition to enjoying the the parent committee decided to hold it at the LaGrange intellectual, fun and supports the school, warm weather and Disney which ties everything together,� orchestra Park District, Moore said. theme parks, the orchestra The Park District had the right size room and a cenwill be involved in a variety teacher Jane Ewing said. of events during their trip As part of the event, radio personality tral location for all of those who were attending. such as: In addition to the quiz night, silent auction and raffle, John Williams from WGN-AM came to be the group has also had several n�You’re Instrumental� the master of ceremoindividual fundraisers to Workshop (recording nies. He is the father of “It was great to have other contribute to their own funds. the soundtrack to an an orchestra member an event that is intellecFor example, each student sold and will be going on the animated film) tual, fun and supports the butter braids (a type of pastry) nPerforming at Downtown Disney trip too, Ewing citrus fruits on their own said. school at the same time.� and Disney at Waterfront time, and the profits went to their At the quiz night, Stage -Jane Ewing, orchestra own personal account, student teams of 10 participated nExploring Downtown orchestra member Katie Pogdirector in eight rounds of trivia, Disney Marketplace and parent organizer Karen gensee said. Character Store Orchestra members have also received $2,400 from Moore said. Each round had its own theme such as presidential, Illinois, LT and Olym- LT’s parent teacher counsil for their trip, which they split nCompeting at Disney pic trivia, as well as movies, science and among each student fund, Ewing said. Music Competition The grand total of all the orchestra fundraiser events nature. Some orchestra students also came nViewing Wishes at so far is $15,000, she said. to perform, Ewing said. Nighttime Spectacular The quiz night event proved to be not only profitable Each ticket was $10 and with about Fireworks Display 160 people in attendance, the event raised for the orchestra students trip to Disney, but was widely nAttending Festival Disney approximately $4,000 for the Disney trip, enjoyed by all the parents that attended the event, Ewing Awards Ceremony Ewing said. The trip will cost $50,000 alto- said. “It was so much fun!� Moore said. “We were thrilled gether, or $1,000 per person, with about 70 nAttending festival of the that people had a good time.� students attending. Lion King Performance Since the event went so well, the parent committee is There was also an auction and silent nViewing the Specgoing to try to make it annual. raffle at the quiz night to further aid the tromagic Parade “We all worked hard and it turned out to be a great orchestra’s trip. Prizes included a weekend Source: Orchestra itinerary getaway to Geneva, a sailboat ride on Lake success!� Vleor said. “We didn’t know how it would work Michigan and signed sports memorabilia, Ewing said. The since it was our first time holding the event, but luckily everything went smoothly and we would like to try it auction and raffle made over $1,000. In order to get prizes for the event, again next year.�

A woman bids on an autographed baseball mitt at the silent auction, and radio personality John Williams presides over the quiz night. photos courtesy of Jim Anderson



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Fax a request to: ATTN: Lion 708-579-5474 or

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Page 4.indd 1

2/17/2009 6:54:55 PM

Inaugural misstep Chief Justice John Roberts and Barack Obama incorrectly recited the Oath of Office during the Inauguration, causing Obama to retake the oath.

INAUGURAL Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 5

Record crowds Nearly 1.8 million people packed the National Mall for the Inauguration of Barack Obama, braving cold weather and wind chills for the event.

A witness to history A personal account of the 2009 presidential Inauguration

by Matthew Glowicki

promised myself that if I ever were to become a journalist, my top priority would be telling stories which the general public does not often get to hear. A minor case of frostbite, claustrophobia-inducing Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s presentation also crowds and less-than-perfect viewpoints all managed to create some of the most memorable moments of my focused in on the power of youth. He called on today’s generation to dedicate themselves to making a differlife. ence in the world. Hearing examples of hardships from Last month, I was honored to be a part of history his own life, challenges in my life paled in comparison. by traveling to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration His words gave me the urge to go climb a mountain, of Barack Obama, the nation’s 44th and first African write a novel or do something great. This got me to American president. As a member of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, I joined 7,500 other high thinking: if all 7,500 conference participants took Tutu’s words back to their own communities and continued school students from the U.S., as well as international to follow his advice, the world would be a much better students from countries such as Costa Rica and Zimbabwe, for the Inauguration. During the conference, I place. If we all followed the principles of peace and experienced both official inaugural events around D.C. helping out our fellow man, applying them to our daily lives, the amount of positive change would be astoundand heard from special guest speakers who offered ing. Though bettering the world is not a small task, Tutu words of advice and motivation. No matter where I made me believe that our generation, banded together, was or what I was doing, I always was thinking in the back of my mind, “you will never experience this again could make it happen.  The other half of the conference was all about in your life.” It was a sobering feeling, yet I realized President Obama. From the “We Are One” Opening how incredibly lucky I was to be experiencing such a Ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to historical event in such a personal manner. the Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, the energy of the By far the most entertaining and influential speakers I heard from at the conference were broadcast jour- crowds was overwhelming. The opening ceremony brought together actors, singers, politicians, and hunnalist Lisa Ling and humanitarian Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Though not as recognizable as the confer- dreds of thousands of Americans to celebrate the changing of power in America. It was like one giant party ence’s other speakers- Al Gore and Colin Powellto which we were all invited. Standing among a sea of Ling and Tutu each spoke about subjects that I find excited onlookers, I felt a resurgence of patriotism and incredibly interesting. Ling spoke first, giving me an pride in my country which I had not felt since the uniinside look at the world of broadcast journalism. Her words and stories illuminated a human side of journal- fying aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. “The Star Spangled Banner” played as the ceremony came to a close, infectism, which I had not been able to fully grasp before she spoke. Ling stressed the role of the youth, my gen- ing the crowd, which spontaneously began chanting the verses of the patriotic song. “From sea to shining sea” eration, in keeping the transition to online media an honorable, trustworthy process. Noting how the media was a fine representation of the crowd that day, which was a mix of white, black, brown, men, women, young often covers stories that have little to no substance, and old. People I met had introduced themselves previLing made me feel rage and a sense of injustice over ously as “Jessica from Florida” or “Jenna from Vermont,” how many voices in the world are screaming out for but at that moment, we were all citizens of America. help, yet are overshadowed by the story of the adopThe actual day of the Inauguration was the culmition of Angelina Jolie’s 10th child. At that moment, I

nation of the entire trip, the one event that I looked forward to most. The moment had finally come and I would be there to soak it all in. The crowds drawn to the Capitol that day, some 2 million, were completely awe-inspiring. Never before had I seen so many people in one place. It was eerily reminiscent of a sci-fi movie, depicting the evacuation of a major city after some sort of alien attack. An hour of constant walking gave way to moving only feet at a time. Yet, by the time the ceremony began, I had secured a close vantage point-albeit obscured by trees- better than anything I could have imagined. When Barack Obama finally took the podium, I had been standing in under 30 degree weather for over three hours, but that didn’t matter. I was there, in person, hearing him give his speech live as the words came from his mouth. His speech boomed over the length of the mall, speaking of the challenges ahead that our country and its citizens will face. Putting political allegiances aside, his speech provided me with a sense of optimism and hope in the future of America. The country can and will recover. It simply depends on the dedication of its citizens and the perseverance of the American spirit. If we Americans could unite for this occasion, there’s no telling what we could accomplish as a nation acting as one. Such feelings were made possible by being there as it happened, breathing in the D.C. air as a new chapter in the history of America was opened. Reflecting on my short break from the real world, I take away one theme: renewal. It was incredibly refreshing, stepping away from my daily suburban life and into the focus of the nation’s magnifying glass. The day-to-day routine of eat, sleep, and school can become quite numbing, and this experience came at just the right time. I learned a few things, among them that we are more alike than we are different, and stronger together than we are divided. I learned to trust in the invisible bonds which hold all Americans together and that without this trust, we cannot survive. I learned that I was a part of something much bigger than myself, yet still big enough to make change happen.

Matthew Glowicki

Presidential Inauguration lives up to expectations story continued from page 1

near the front of the room but as the crowd just kept pushing forward, she ended up being particularly close to the stage where Obama appeared. “The Youth Ball’s what did it for me,” Maggie said. “Barack got up and spoke to us like a proud father. He gave us advice and said that he’d seen what we could do so he believed in what we could do now. That’s when everything—the campaign, the election, the Inauguration—finally felt real.” Maggie had volunteered regularly early in the campaign and when Obama began to seek Obama Organizing Fellows, she decided to apply and was selected for the unpaid position. In July of 2008 Maggie was hired as a field organizer and was responsible for trying to convince approximately 10,000 voters in her county to vote for Obama in November. Over the course of the summer of 2008, Maggie headed the opening of the Obama field office in Clinton County, Iowa where she directed about 200 volunteers in recruiting and “Get Out the Vote” efforts. “The campaign’s a lifestyle,” Maggie said. “You don’t have time for other parts of your life, working 100 hours a week - you’re just fully invested in this. I definitely took away a lot of friendship from this whole experience, meeting so many dedicated people. The Inauguration was a culmination of all that.” For Beth Kelly ‘01, daughter of Superintendent Dennis Kelly, the Inauguration had a similar climactic feel. Kelly marched in the

Page 5.indd 1

Inaugural parade with the American Workers Contingent. She was involved with Obama’s campaign through SEIU, a major union that endorsed Obama. Individually, Kelly helped manage SEIU’s effort to support Obama in the crucial northern section of Virginia in the form of making phone calls, going door-todoor and directing organizers. Kelly was unable to watch the Inauguration as she was preparing for the parade, but the group she was with counted down until 12 p.m. when Obama became president “People just went crazy when the clock hit noon,” Kelly said. “It was really cold waiting for the parade to start, but it was just insane how many people there were.” Once the parade started, Kelly was stunned at the number of people present and was even able to make eye contact with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as she walked past their observation booth. “I’m pretty sure they only looked at me because I was the one waving and shouting like crazy,” Kelly said. “But it was just so amazing to see them in person right after they were sworn in.” While Kelly’s connections to a major Obama supporter run deep, Psychology teacher Jessica Lee has ties to another prominent supporter of Obama: Senator Dick Durbin. Lee attended George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. and later interned for Durbin on Capitol Hill, particularly in the area of education policy. As an Obama supporter and with such strong links to Washington, D.C., Lee decided

Spectators stand atop port-a-potties, struggling for a good view at the crowded Inauguration. Matthew Glowicki

that this was a perfect opportunity. “It was really good to be back in D.C.,” Lee said. “I was there when the election season started and had amazing opportunities to hear politicians speak like Hillary Clinton, Karl Rove, and news anchor George Stephanopoulos. I was also in Grant Park on election night so I was able to participate in different aspects of the election. It was a very memorable election. So being in D.C. for the inauguration brought it all together for me. The experience was almost surreal.” Lee particularly remembers the silence that fell over the crowd when Obama began to speak and was amazed that it continued throughout the entire speech. However, she does have somewhat tempered expectations for Obama because she is so used to the way things actually happen in Washington.

While Lee recently finished her experiences at George Washington and in Washington, D.C., Alison Porter ’08 is just beginning there. Porter, a freshman at GWU, volunteered on numerous occasions for the Obama campaign before joining Rock the Vote, a bipartisan organization that focuses on turning out the youth vote. “I volunteered with his [Obama’s] campaign early on, and was really excited to see him finally take the Oath of Office,” Porter said. “I woke up at 5 a.m. that morning and walked about a mile to the National Mall. I’ve never seen so many people so patriotic and enthusiastic about politics or a particular politician.” Since Porter was unable to volunteer for most of the election due to her internship with Rock the Vote, being able to attend the Inauguration was particularly special. “This was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” Porter said. “I’ll never forget the incredible amount of support and excitement I saw throughout the entire weekend.” Porter also was able to attend the We Are One ceremony featuring Obama and highprofile musical guests. “This epitomizes why I wanted to go to school in Washington D.C. so badly,” Porter said. According to Porter and Potthoff, other LT graduates in attendance included Kerry Ipema ’07, Leslie Clarke ’07, Pat Donley ’07, Sharief El-Gabri ’06, Danny Napleton ’06, Will Keller ’98, and Kate Cathera ’05.

2/17/2009 6:55:29 PM

Random chatter “[She’s] Asian, and [she] came from Asia. If you’re Caucasian, did you come from Caucasia? - Janet Brown `10

Random chatter


“I like quantum physics; it’s like my comfort food. Aside from cookies.” - Mary Clare Roche `09

Friday, February 20, 2009 n Page 6



A good rule to follow when making trouble is to avoid being caught. Whether running away or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is always best to stay safe and have a good alibi. compiled by Marnie Georges

Goat kids police Police in Nigeria have arrested a goat and it is being detained on charges of armed robbery. A group of men brought the goat to the police claiming it was an armed robber who used black magic to change himself into a goat. The group saw two men trying to steal a car and ran after them. They claim one of the men ran away while the other turned himself into a goat as a distraction. The state police will do nothing further until it is scientifically proven that the goat was really a man. Many people believe in witchcraft throughout Nigeria, and some came to the jail cell to view the goat resting in its cell on a pile of straw.

Boy pretends to patrol A 14-year-old boy impersonated a Chicago police officer in late January and served on the force for about five hours one Saturday afternoon. The boy reported for duty at the Grand Crossing Police station dressed in uniform claiming to be an officer from another district assigned to help. He signed out a police radio and a ticket book and stopped traffic violators with another officer who did not notice the boy was underage. While the boy was wearing a full police uniform, he did not have a gun, a bulletproof vest or a police star. The matter is now being examined in the Internal Affairs Department of the Chicago Police.

Man races to celebrate

A Minnesota man was looking for a new way to celebrate his 30th birthday. B.J. Van Beusekom ran on a treadmill for 24 hours, beginning on his birthday and stopping at noon the next day. Beusekom used a treadmill at Athletic Performance Inc. (API), in the town of Brooklyn Center. API provided a DJ, slumber party and a big screen television to keep Beusekom motivated. Taking breaks only to change clothes and use the restroom, he raised $3,300 for the American Lung Association. After completing the “feet,” Beusekom rested his stiff legs.

Crash cuts cuticles short

Lee Redmond was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her 28 feet long nails, which she broke in the car crash. She had not cut her nails since 1979, and her longest nail on her right thumb measured 2 feet 11 inches. Sources: Associated Press, Reuters, MSNBC, Yahoo News

The annual LT musical for the 2008-2009 season is “Annie Get Your Gun.” The musical, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, follows the story of Annie Oakley, a famous sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. The show runs from Feb. 19 until Feb. 22 in the NC Reber Center. Megan Bannister

NewsReel: Here’s what is happening at other schools Orestimba H.S. Newman, Calif.

School board bans book

Because of many vulgarities, the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District is attempting to eradicate the narrative “Bless Me, Ultima” from the curriculum. Rick Fauss, superintendent of Orestimba High School, removed the novel from classes this year. Certain English teachers will voice their view to the school board. The book is an influential Mexican American novel enumerating the tale of a young boy growing up during the 1940s in New Mexico. “We have ample evidence throughout history of what happens when we start banning books,” Rudolfo Anaya, the book’s author said. “When we are afraid of ideas and discussion and analytical thinking, the society will suffer.” Source: Associated Press

Manheim H.S. Lancaster, Pa. 

Prior Lake H.S. Savage, Minn.

Students create three comedies

Prior Lake High School was determined to put on a different sort of production, to vary their theatrical events. The students were to perform three one act plays over the span of three nights. The titles of the plays were “The Rules of Comedy,” “Conventional Behavior,” and “Volpone.” In addition to being showcased for the students’ enjoyment, the plays also appeared at the Missota Conference One Act Festival at Prior Lake High School on Jan. 24.

Drug bust at school

Four students were arrested for drug crimes at Manheim High School. Two others were later convicted for being associated with the criminals. According to Sgt. Tom Rudzinski, the students were a part of an “undercover drug operation” taking place in the area. The students are being punished for dealing as well as possessing marijuana and a variety of other drugs, including prescription drugs. In order to recuperate from this ordeal, Manheim High School’s superintendent, Gene Freeman, requested that the school take part in a random “property sweep” conducted by the police where every locker was searced. During the sweep students were not to leave their classrooms for the 90 minute duration. According to school officials, no drugs were found on the premises. compiled by Lena Novak

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2/17/2009 7:24:48 PM

Parking problem Because the majority of the NC parking lot is devoted to staff parking, there are only 25 highly sought after spaces reserved for student drivers.

EDITORIALS Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 7

Parking lottery system fails to consider need of each student

Our Position: Instead of relying solely on a lottery system to distribute the coveted parking spots at NC, administrators should consider the need of each individual as well as seniority in their decision.

Each semester, more than one hundred students apply for parking spots in the NC parking lot. This year, first semester alone, 246 students applied for parking. Then, second semester, 144 students applied. Despite the huge interest, only 25 of these students are randomly selected to receive one of the in-demand spots each semester. Although the administrators are not to blame for the overall lack of parking, they can control which students receive the sought-after spaces. Instead of doling out the spots to students by chance, the administration should implement a system that considers both the need of each student along with his or her year in school. The schedules of LT students vary drastically. While some students balance a part-time job, athletics and other extracurricular activities every day, many students just head straight home after school. A number of students are dependent on the salaries they earn from after-school jobs, and in some cases, these students need transportation that leaves directly from school in order to arrive at their workplace promptly. If these students live far enough away from school to have bus transportation provided, oftentimes the buses arrive too late or take too long for them to get to work on time. Many other students are involved in sports or activities with very demanding schedules. Some LT athletes have practice both before and after school, beginning before 6 a.m. and lasting late into the evening. Although LT does provide late buses, they depart long before any sports practices are over. Therefore, these athletes must rely on a parent to drop them off and pick them up at inconvenient hours, or they must find a ride with a friend who has a parking spot. While walking or biking to school is typically a viable option, few students feel safe or alert enough to walk or bike home so early in the morning or late at night. In light of these safety concerns, these busy students could greatly benefit from the luxury of a parking space in the school lot. Students with less hectic schedules have time to walk to and from school while it is light out, yet many of these students end up with parking spots in lieu of more deserving peers. Although it would be impossible for administrators to award spots to all of the students with demanding extracurricular responsibilities, they could at least ensure that some of these diligent students receive parking spaces. When applying for a parking spot, students should be required to include a brief explanation of their daily commitments, from sports to activities to jobs. Students should list the time that they must arrive and depart from school each day as well as how far away they live. Then, school officials could use their discretion to administer spaces to students with the greatest need. Because there will likely be more deserving students than spots available, seniors should have priority in the decision. This method would be more time-consuming for the administration; however, it would greatly simplify the lives of both busy students and the parents who must chauffeur them. LT prides itself on its active student body, so the school should do these committed students a favor by allowing them a better chance to receive parking spots.

Brownstock business

This year, there were 22 acts that performed during periods two through 10. T-shirts were also sold and all the profits went to Toys for Tots.

Save Brownstock, keep unique LT tradition alive

Our Position: In light of success and student approval of this year’s Brownstock event, it is imperative that the LT administration keep this tradition alive despite the retirement of founder Glen Brown.

What originated as a small gathering in English teacher Glen Brown’s classroom, with students showcasing their musical talents in front of the class, soon evolved into an annual tradition at NC, a celebration of music and camaraderie. As the event grew in venue with a move to the Reber Center, it also grew in participation—including both students and staff— and became a highlight of the year, revealing unknown musical talents from familiar faces around LT. Brownstock, like other school traditions such as the All-school Assembly, works to unify the student body in a school that is geographically divided by two campuses. Brownstock makes LT unique; it is unlike any other event hosted by our school or any other local school. It carries the weight of tradition and meaning, commemorating an LT teacher and bringing together students in an informal setting to honor their peers’ talent. The all-day music festival has occurred each year on the day right before the Winter Break for the past 10 years. Because it is probably the most highly anticipated break of the year, LT cannot reasonably expect students to put forward 100 percent effort in class on this day. If teachers or division chairs prohibit their classes from attending the event, they often offer a “class-party” in lieu of Brownstock; this use of time is much less productive. If class time is going to be diverted from the curriculum, then why should students be forbidden from enjoying their last day, listening to live music and partaking in a tradition that defines the student body and LT as a whole? Brownstock gives students pride in their school, a pride that is unparalleled by any passion for LT sporting events or classes. While this year’s Gold Rush presence at sporting events is at an all time low, the attendance at Brownstock thrived from enthusiasm and student participation. Brownstock has the reputation of being laid back and celebrating LT’s musical talents that might otherwise go unrecognized. Not only do students have the opportunity to perform for their peers, but teachers—those who you would least expect—can pick up their instruments and perform for their students outside of the classroom. Of course, the argument may be made that it is not a fair event because only NC students participate; however, eventually all students will have the chance to grace the stage or otherwise participate in the event as an audience member. While all schools have events similar to our homecoming variety show, Brownstock allows the musically inclined to showcase their talents and reveal their passion in a school environment, an opportunity other high schools most likely do not offer. In a festival reminiscent of the eclectic nature of Lollapalooza, students can enjoy everything from punk rock to rock-‘n’-roll cover songs to Bob Dylan classics. Though founder and namesake Glen Brown may be leaving LT, the event and legacy of Brownstock should be kept alive, not retired.

Staff Vote: 20-3

Staff Vote: 22-1

The Voice of Lyons Township Students Since 1910


LION February 20, 2009  Volume 99, Issue 5

Open Forum: The opinion section of LION is a public forum. Editorials represent the opinion of the LION staff. Other opinions expressed in columns and letters to the editor are the opinions of individuals. Letters to the editor must be signed and represent only the views of the signed writer. Editorials: Editorials represent the collective opinion of the entire LION staff. The idea for the staff editorial will come from the Opinions Editor or suggestions of the other editors and staff members. One writer will compose each editorial. The staff’s vote on the issue will be published with the editorial in the newspaper. Advertising: Display advertising rates begin at $30 with optional discounts available. Call 708/579-6403 between noon and 1 p.m. for further information. Subscriptions: Yearly subscriptions can be purchased for $10. Lion 2008-09 Staff: Editor-in-chief-Paul Schied Managing Editor-Elizabeth Pierson Art Director-Kate Stephens Page Designers-Marnie Georges, Alyssa Marie Harn Co-Copy Editors-Matthew Glowicki, Tom Meyer Co-News Editors-Tori Bokios, Katie Schoder Opinions Editor-Meg Vertovec Sports Editor-Jack Hostettler Assistant Sports Editor-Joe Moran Pulse Editor-Marney Coleman Assistant Pulse Editor-Katie Bates Business Manager-Nick Miller Public Relations Manager-Carrie Mulderink Reporters-Tom O’Brien, Alex Butler, Mike Lyons,Lena Novak,Katie Palmer,Monica Ramirez, Kristin Van Spankeren,Tripp Stelnicki Photo Editor-Megan Bannister Freelancer-Kelly Bastyr Adviser-Jason Scales Faculty Assistant-Nik Gallicchio

Contact via e-mail:

Page 7.indd 1

Jack Hostettler


100 S. Brainard, LaGrange, Ill. 60525

2/17/2009 6:57:04 PM


Burrito backlash

This year, many seniors were angered when all LT students were offered free burritos. In previous years, only seniors have received this benefit.

Birthday girl This year marks Barbie’s 50th year on the market. The iconic doll still brings in an estimated $3 billion dollars each year.

Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 8



Every year, SC and NC students come together for the All-school Assembly in the NC fieldhouse. Although many students look forward to the spirited event, others see it as a waste of time and money. LION polled 189 students to see how they felt about the annual assembly.


How do you feel about the Allschool Assembly in general? 3%

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Boxes- without both Forest Green and Jungle Green, I'd be a lost soul.  Second semester senior year- If I weren’t so lazy, I’d think of something witty to write here.  Groundhog Dayonly in America.  Minesweeper- if I knew how to play, I’d only have a worse addiction.  Orville Redenbacher- you know you’re a legend when you make delicious popcorn AND are mentioned in a Lil Wayne song  Snuggies- Google it. Seriously.  Miley Cyrus- the lip-syncing is better than your real voice. Stick with it.  The new LION font - gknaof

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smoke- all the benefits, without paying $6 a pack.  Combination fast food restaurantsgood God, finally! Krispy Kreme and Taco Bell ... IN ONE PLACE! Somebody pinch me!  Catching shirts at the All-school Assembly- sweet, an XXXXL 2002 Homecoming shirt! It’s like Christmas in February!  School-wide burritos- score one for the freshmen.  Michael Phelpsthe competition isn’t the only thing he smokes ... budumpsssh!  Spiked hair- little kids? Adorable. Teenagers? Questionable. Mid-30’s with kids? Unacceptable.  McDonald’staking the unhealthy salad from mere dream to slimy reality.

Page 8.indd 1

No interest or opinion 4% Waste of time and money

12 Generally fun to watch and participate in


How do you feel about this year’s All-school Assembly? I did not attend last year


Unites students and factulty








Other Suggestions:

When we polled the student body, many people offered suggestions for future all-school assemblies. Below are some of the most popular:

More class competitions

Different performers/ entertainment



What do you think would improve the All-school Assembly next year?



Worse Way to get out of class



More audience participation

 More teacher performances  Jesse White Tumblers  Make assembly longer  Tug-of-War weight limit for wrestlers  Just cancel school that day  Only give free burritos to seniors  Kanye West performance  Shaq

Other More club/sports team competitions and performances

55 No


All-school Assembly brings together student body; promotes school pride, unity

by Katie Bates

In a school divided by multiple campuses, unity becomes less of an expectation and more of a goal to be achieved. While an assembly that buses roughly 2,000 freshmen and sophomore students to an upperclassman campus, and cuts out two full hours of the normal school day, seems an over-ambitious and somewhat unnecessary reach, the work done and sacrifices made for the event are hardly in vain. Regarding sheer student appeal, the assembly is an event highly anticipated by many LT students of different grades and backgrounds for a quite simple reason: the All-school Assembly gives all LT students a chance to participate in something together. Annual participants in the assembly include in-season sports teams such as boys basketball, girls gymnastics and the Eurythmics dance company. While displaying portions of their talent in different activities or competitions (such as the boys swimming vs. wrestling tug of war competition), the sports teams involve the audience, or rather, the whole school in what they do, bringing students with different interests together. Aside from showcasing sports teams, the class competitions select several members from each of the four classes at LT to compete in floor events. The competitors

look to their class members in the audience for additional energy and support. While the assembly is widely intended for fun and entertainment, the class competitions motivate students to participate, interact and, in turn, enjoy each other’s company. While somewhat drastic measures are taken to ensure the scheduling of the All-school Assembly each year- bus shuttling from SC to the NC, shortening and partial deletion of class material for one whole day- the necessity can be derived from the anticipation and excitement of the students and staff for the event each year. It is often an event to be looked forward to as a mass amount of attendants walking out of the All-school Assembly with disapproval is a rare occurrence. The bottom line is, with college standards continually rising and high school work load increasing, it is not enough just to post a flyer or make an intercom announcement voicing your team, club or cause. Experience is key in truly being able to understand and appreciate fellow students, and the large pep-rally ambiance of the assembly provides just that. From Relay for Life promoting its yearly summer event to the LT Steppers performing a piece of original urban dance, the All-school Assembly caters to a variety of personalities, interests and then some.


Extravagant All-school Assembly wastes time, Student Council funds

by Kristin Van Spankeren

Each winter, LT students and faculty members alike look forward to the entertaining and lively all school assembly presented by Student Council. Although this fun event promotes a stronger bond between peers and their school, the assembly includes some negative aspects that affect LT as a whole. To name a few, the gathering is very costly, offers outlandish performances and is a waste of class time. In total, the cost of the assembly usually ranges from about $4,000-$5,000 each year, Brian Nolan, Student Activities Director, said. The money to pay for all performers and special features comes from the revenue from sales during the Homecoming and King of Hearts dances. Even though Student Council strives to stay inside its budget, this large sum of money could serve purposes that are truly necessary for LT, such as remodeling the bathrooms that students often complain about. Also, similar to the Hurricane Relief donation at Homecoming in 2008, Student Council could make better use of its funds by contributing more money from sales to a charity. Last year, Student Council paid about $1,500 for rented items at the assembly. This year, even more money was spent on performers. This raises a concern

as some performances last year did not necessarily appeal to the viewers. Specifically, the male and female performers that performed intimate acrobatic stunts together on the fabric suspended from the ceiling were observed by several students as excessive and unentertaining. Overall, the assembly lasts for nearly two hours, not including the one hour time period for underclassmen to be bused to and from NC. In addition, because of its elongated time frame, the assembly decreases each class period to about 19-29 minutes each, making teaching a full lesson and gaining students’ attention almost impossible. However, students may argue that the assembly is merely a creative and fun way to create a positive vibe at LT. But does it really require 46 buses wasting energy and creating pollution to bring pride into the halls of LT? School spirit must come willingly from each member of the student body to create an optimistic outlook on school activities, not from a forced assembly in a hot, stuffy gym of 4,000 people. Although the assembly is created with good intentions, its costly price, peculiar performances and misuse of class time are not necessary in promoting overall school pride.

Barbie Girl I’ll admit it—I’m pro-Barbie. On a superficial (or should I say… plastic?) level, it’s indisputable that the doll flaunts an unrealistic body and unfeasible features. However, if you take the time to look beneath that perfectly tanned synthetic exterior, you will see that there is much more to Barbie than an hourglass figure on steroids. People are quick to criticize Barbara for her build. Most people have heard of the scientifically proven fact that no actual human could physically sustain Barbie’s curvaceous stature (although images of Pamela Anderson beg to differ). To all of those Barbie bashers, let me reiterate that Barbie is plastic. She also does not have toes, her head can be easily detached and reattached on a whim and her feet are permanently flexed in a position that, though convenient for her hot pink heels, is utterly ludicrous. So, I don’t really think that Mr. Mattel was aiming for realistic. There is another major loophole in the protest of Barbie’s opposition. The same moms who are preaching that Barbie promotes an unhealthy body image are often guilty of being figure-obsessed themselves. Instead of seeing Barbie for whom she really is—and trust me, although it may seem otherwise, there is more than just air between those plastic ears—Barbie haters focus solely on her flamboyant figure. I mean, seriously, Barbie is far more successful than she gets credit for. Between finishing med school to become a pediatrician, surgeon, dentist AND vet, Barbie is also a paleontologist, an astronaut, a NASCAR driver and was elected president long before the highly publicized campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. If keeping up with that crazy schedule doesn’t warrant a Malibu vacation, I don’t know what does. So, to all those feminists who attack Barbie, I say first and foremost, watch out. Barbie was an officer in the Army, Marine Corps and Navy—don’t let her blonde tresses and lipsticked smile deceive you. And, more importantly, recognize that Barbie represents so much more than an overly exaggerated supermodel. She is a role model. So take that criticism farther down the doll aisle—to a much more deserving toy. A Meg Vertovec Bratz doll, perhaps?

Phish-head Probably one of the greatest days of my senior year was the day that Phish announced that they were getting back together. The renowned ’90s jam band is reuniting on March 6 and playing for three nights at the Hampton Coliseum. My older brother, who was once a Phishhead himself, and I are fortunate enough to be going to see Phish on March 8! After the band’s abrupt 2004 break up, all four of Phish’s member went down their own paths and tried having solo careers, but nothing could surmount the music that the original band was able to produce. Phish was able to entice its listeners with its mellow and extended jams, and unlike most bands, it performed better live than in studio recorded albums. Whenever I am listening to Phish, people always ask me: “How can you listen to Phish? There are no words.” This is true; the band’s songs have very few words (they are mostly Trey’s guitar riffs and the band jamming). However, the lyrics are clever and creative when they are there. Songs like “Brother,” a song about somebody jumping in the tub with “your brother” are random and goofy, Joe Moran and that is why I love them.

2/17/2009 6:57:50 PM

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Friday, January 9, 2008  Page 9


NumberCrunch Sudoku puzzles consist of grids of nine columns, nine rows and nine blocks of nine smaller boxes. To solve the puzzle, fill in the squares so that each column, row and block includes one of each digit one through nine.

What would your version of the Valentine’s Day candy hearts say?

“My version would say ‘Facebook Stalk Me.’ I think it’s funny because most teenagers’ lives revolve around Facebook.”

Maggie Orlowski ‘12

“Mine would say ‘Nice abs’ because that is an important feature for that special someone to have.”

Ryan Faucher ‘11


LetterstotheEditor White fights teen car crashes The issue of teen driving safety is very important to me. In 2005 and 2006, it seemed that just about every time I opened a newspaper or turned on the news, there were stories about teenagers killed in car crashes. It was happening too frequently, and I knew something needed to be done. That’s why in the summer of 2006 I initiated the Teen Driver Safety Task Force. We knew we had our work cut out for us. We knew that automobile crashes were the leading cause of death for teens. We also knew that national studies showed that a strong graduated driver liscensing (GDL) program could work to reduce teen fatal crashes. As a result of the Task Force’s work, my office initiated and the General Assembly passed groundbreaking legislation that took effect Jan. 1, 2008, giving teens more time to obtain valuable driving experience while under the watchful eye of a parent or guardian, limiting in-car distractions and requiring teens to earn their way from one stage to the next by avoiding traffic convictions. State and national traffic safety organizations praised Illinois’ GDL law as one of the best in the nation. The praise was all well and good. But results are what really matter. That is why I am pleased to announce that teen driving fatalities in Illinois dropped over 40 percent in the first full year of our state’s GDL law. In 2007, 155 teens age 16-19 were killed in automobile crashes. In 2008, 92 teens died in crashes. The fact that 63 fewer teens died in automobile crashes in our state last year is worthy of celebration. While we can and should celebrate that

this law is working as we intended-the goal all along was to save lives-I believe we still have work to do. No law is perfect. As such, my office will continue to work with state and national traffic safety organizations to consider ways we can improve upon Illinois’ GDL program. My office will also continue to partner with high schools, driver education instructors and parents to improve the way we prepare our teens to drive safely and responsibly. The goal is always the same: to make Illinois roads safer and save more lives. Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State

Junior speaks against ACT class LT has recently made the decision for juniors enrolled in second semester study hall to undergo a mandatory ACT prep class twice a week during their work time. This decision, intended to raise students’ scores for the ACT, is unfair to many students. Junior year in high school is very demanding and many students choose to take a study hall in their schedule to keep up with the work they will endure during the year. Aside from the high work load, juniors are also taking the ACT and must prepare for that. Although the opportunity for students to take ACT prep classes during their study hall may be very beneficial to those who don’t have time to take prep classes outside of school, the fact that this class is mandatory makes it unfair to those who have already begun preparing for the ACT. Many juniors who have, or are anticipating taking the ACT in the future, have already enrolled in similar prep classes outside of school. These outside classes cost extra money,

“My phone number!”

and also take precious time out of students’ schedules. When students have enrolled in these classes outside of school, they should be able to use their study hall time as they please and not be diverted from their studies by material that they have already encountered. LT should offer optional ACT prep during study hall, and let students decide for themselves whether of not they feel it would be necessary for them to sustain.

Samantha Janas ‘10

Anna Karwowski ‘10

Teachers interject opinions This year the first African-American was elected president of the United States. It was not an effortless campaign. Republicans and Democrats battled to make this a historic election. America would either have an African-American president or a woman as vice president. Because of this excitement, politics came up in many class discussions. In past political discussions in classrooms, tensions arise quickly, especially when a teacher contributes with his or her own political views. It makes many students feel uncomfortable when their opinions are challenged by their teachers. Although it is important to inform students about events occurring in our nation, it is also important to allow students to have their own political ideas. Many high school students haven’t yet developed their political views, so when teachers express their opinions, students are given biased information. Teachers should make their students aware of political events, while not letting their personal beliefs effect discussion. Erica Geis ‘10

“‘Forever = You + Me’”

Nathan Cox Reed ‘09

“I have four. ‘I’m in a glass case of emotion,’ ‘I caught you a delicious bass,’ ‘I love lamp,’ and ‘You smell like bacon.”

Biology teacher David Stormont

Write and tell us what you think  100 S. Brainard Ave., La Grange, Ill. 60525  LION reserves the right to edit all letters

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2/17/2009 7:08:55 PM

‘Roid Ranger

Alex Rodriguez’s name was released as one of the 104 positive results for ‘03 steroid testing. He had previously denied any performance-enhancing drug use.


Friday, February 20, 2009 n Page 10

Cubs closer, anybody? Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg will try to impress manager Lou Piniella during Spring Training, as they are the two candidates for the 9th-inning role.

Seniors ready to take leading role LT baseball anticipates seniors carrying on program’s prestige, tradition

by Nick Miller

Expectations were high for the 2008 LT varsity baseball team. With many players remaining from the 2006 summer state championship team, LT was billed as a preseason state title contender. The Lions had a solid if unspectacular season, relying primarily on senior veterans. In 2009, the baseball challenge falls to a new group of seniors. “It really shouldn’t be that big of a deal [not playing much during the 2008 season],” pitcher/first basemen James Leszczynski ’09 said. “We played the summer season with kids at the same level as us and we played on travel teams throughout the summer. We got a lot of playing time then, so last year’s inactivity won’t affect us this year.” If last summer was any indication, LT has the ability to make a deep run in the playoffs. After a slow start, the Lions played their best baseball at the end, defeating St. Joseph’s and upsetting top-ranked Nazareth to win the Regional championship before falling to Fenwick in Sectionals. That big improvement over the course of the summer season has the LT coaching staff optimistic for the 2009 campaign. “I am very optimistic about this team,” assistant coach Chris Cabaj said. “Anytime you are successful as a program it is cause to be encouraged. We did struggle a bit last summer early but I think we grew as a team and a program. By the end, beating the top seeded team is certainly something we can take and stick in our memory bank and use as positive imagery during the spring.” Tryouts for this year’s team will take place the first week of March. After three weeks of practice, LT opens their season March 25 against Montini, followed by a week and a half of a draconian schedule of non-conference games against such perennial powers as Brother Rice, Sandburg and Naperville Central. Looking forward to conference play, a cause for encouragement is the success that the senior class has had in the West Suburban Silver conference, including a conference championship their sophomore season. Oak Park-River Forest and Hinsdale Central will probably pose the greatest threats to another first place finish in the Silver division, but the conference, top to bottom, is arguably one of the tougest in the state.

Josh Hudnut ‘09 practices hitting in the batting cages during a

baseball intermural practice on Feb. 9.

Megan Bannister

“We focus on the challenge of playing baseball well and not who our opponent may be,” head coach George Ushela said. “We respect all of our opponents and expect them to play their best against us.” Perhaps the biggest positive coming out of the summer season was the emergence of a solid starting rotation. Although nothing is predetermined and a roster has not yet been set, based off of the summer season, LT will most likely use a combination of

This is the first in a series of stories following the LT baseball team. There will be updates throughout the season.

Leszczynski, Brian Lehmann ‘09 and Josh Hudnut ’09 to start the three weekly conference games. Brian Hass ’09 and Mark Koziol ‘10 also figure to get a lot of activity, either as nonconference game starters or relief pitchers. “I’m not worried about the starting pitching at all,” Lehmann said. “We will be in every game, but the question is can we put runs on the board. It’s going to come down to how consistent we are on offense.” The lineup will see many new players competing for playing time. If the starters look anything like they did over the summer, the infield could consist of Leszczysnki at first base, Lehmann and Mike Pater ’09 rotating between second and third base and Spencer Mahoney ’11 at shortstop. Andrew Schrepfer ‘09 should retain his role as the starting catcher. The outfield will have its share of first time starters as well, with Danny Marston ’09, Ryan Nabor ’09 and Mike Hughes ’10 figuring into the equation with Brian Trefil ’09, who started in center field last season. Ushela is confident the inexperience will not be a problem going into the season. “The seniors who primarily sat as juniors hopefully developed and honed their skills in their junior year to make a greater contribution as seniors,” Ushela said. “Generally, those players are more determined and focused to not let an underclassmen beat them out of the playing opportunity at their position. Their hunger for playing time is a tremendous motivator for them to work even harder and make the most of the opportunity that they may have as a senior.” Even with positive answers to questions about the offense, the success of this year’s team will be determined by how well they react to adversity. This, according to Cabaj, is what separates the good teams from the great ones. “All of our successful teams have played with an eventempered approach to the game,” Cabaj said. “When adversity hits you, and it always does in baseball, do you complain about it or do you work harder and smarter to overcome it? If our guys do that I feel we will have another great season this year at LT.”

Gymnasts statebound Girls gymnastics perseveres through gym flooding by Tom Meyer

As the girls varsity gymnasts walked into the gymnastics gym on Dec. 22, the first Monday of winter break, they had a lot to think about. The team was undefeated, heading towards a conference championship, ranked seventh in the state and included in the Chicago Tribune’s preseason five teams to watch. However, all that vanished from the girls’ minds when they opened the door to their gym. A pipe had burst in the cold temperatures and flooded the area under the floor, causing buckling and bulges in the normally flat surface. Upon being alerted to the situation, maintenance immediately shut down the flow to the area to contain any flooding before absorbing and removing the water. “The landing mats on the gym floor are new, but because they were removed in time, damage was avoided,” head coach Katherine Karubas-Powell said. “We were very lucky as the cost to replace regulation landing mats is expensive. LT’s Administration responded as promptly as possible. We have one of the finest facilities in the Conference.” Despite this setback, the team continued to practice at the facility and adapt to their new situation. According to Karubas-Powell, once the water was removed the damage to the floor was minimal enough that the team did not ever have to miss practice. In order to fix the buckles in the floor, weights were brought down to the gym and placed on the bulges to flatten them, which occasionally affected which apparatuses could be used. “Some days, we couldn’t practice beam or bars, depending on where the floor was buckled at the time,” Erika Wallace ’10 said. “It was just a little distraction and it truly didn’t have a long-term impact on the team.” While the immediate problem with the

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While the immediate problem with the floor was resolved quickly, a lingering smell in the gym triggered questions about a possible mold presence, which would be a major health concern. A dehumidifier was placed in the room to remove excess water from the air, but no water was ever found in the dehumidifier. Due to health concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was brought in to carry out tests to determine if mold was present in the gyms and whether the facility could continue to be used. “The most important thing is safety,” Karubas-Powell said. “There have been no secondary mold symptoms, but we weren’t taking any chances. According to EPA reports, no mold was discovered in the gym.” This was fortunate for the team because on Feb. 5 the gym hosted a regional meet, which the Lions won. The girls then advanced to the sectionals competition at Hinsdale Central, where they finished second to Sandburg and earned a trip to the upcoming state competition to be held at Palatine High School. LT finished ahead of the Red Devils by less than one point to earn their second place finish. The winner of each of the four sectional meet moved on to the state meet and the four highest ranked second place finishers also advanced, including the Lions. State competitions will begin today, Feb. 20, and will finish on Feb. 21. Additionally, stars Emily Urben ‘09, Kristi Carling ‘09 and Taylor Southworth ‘11 finished in the top five on their respective apparatuses, including uneven parallel bars and the balance beam, meaning that will also automatically move on to individual state competitions. In spite of this unusual situation, the team has continued to move forward and Karubas believes it will not be a major distraction for the athletes. “It will only get in our way if we let it,” Karubas-Powell said. “It has not been a challenge because we haven’t let it. These

A girls gymnastics team member stretches across one of the buckles that developed as a result of Photo courtesy of Catherine Cozza water damage in the NC gymnastics gym over winter break. girls spend so much time in the gym and they’re so focused that this hasn’t really been a problem.” Remaining focused is of particular importance because this year’s conference and regional champion squad is eyeing a deep state run to cap off an already successful season. “We’ve been able to overcome this,” Wallace said. “We’ve had practice everyday and I don’t think anyone’s missed a beat.” Karubas-Powell shares this view of the team and said that she thinks that the girls will not suffer many adverse affects from the flooding. “I’ve been really proud of the girls and the way the team’s handled this,” KarubasPowell said. “We’ve had this huge adversity and the gymnasts have handled it so well. I think of it as a little wrinkle in our path, but they’re still shining.”

SWEETSTATS 0- Chicago Bulls on the East roster for the NBA All

Star game last Sunday in Phoenix. - pitchers in running for the Cubs’ closer job. Carlos Marmol and ex-Marlin Kevin Gregg will square off during Spring Training, both hoping for the 9th-inning role.


7- days until the LT “blackout” when the boys varsity basketball team hosts rival Hinsdale Central at the NC Fieldhouse. The Devils beat the Lions handily in their first meeting 60-49. Tip is 7:30, Friday.

35- years Johnny “Red” Kerr worked in the Bulls’ organization. Red served in a variety of roles, most notably as the team’s very first head coach and then as a color commentator. He was recently honored by the team, and will have a statue made in his likeness placed outside the United Center.

104- MLB players who tested positive for steroids in the ‘03 season. Among them is current New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, the ‘03 MVP.

2/17/2009 7:25:57 PM

Spring in the air The Cubs and Sox will look to jumpstart their respective seasons this week in the Arizona sunshine. The Northsiders are in Mesa; the Sox in Glendale.

SPORTS Friday, February 20, 2009 n Page 11

Phelps’ folly Michael Phelps was recently suspended for three months by USA Swimming for his unfortunate party photos taken at the University of South Carolina.

Senior heads toward state meet

Lyons’ experience, competitive nature results in success by Kristin Van Spankeren

Alex Lyons ’09 joined LT track as a freshman simply to spend more time with friends, and not necessarily to pursue a future in running. But his motives may have lead him down a different path when he competed at the varsity level that season and raced in the 3200 meter relay at state. Lyons’ early varsity success continued with state appearances his sophomore and junior year. His enjoyment of the sport helped him to work harder, ultimately letting him triumph as an athlete, Lyons said. With his competitive drive, natural speed and hard work ethic, Lyons makes an exceptional track runner, Lisa Menninger, Lyons’ mom, said. “What I notice most about Alex is how he wants to be a complete athlete,” Menninger said. “Alex is not afraid to work hard and be committed.” With Menninger’s 11 years of experience as a runner, competing in over 25 marathons and becoming a professional duathalon athlete in 2003, she notices the signs of a devoted track athlete in her son. Lyons not only trains intensively for his sport, but recognizes the importance of his sleep mannerisms, diet and obligation. He understands the ups and downs of running and can deal with the realistic aspects of it, Menninger said. “Alex has learned to do the extra things in his training to be a good high school ath-

lete,” head coach Mike Danner said. Lyons’ 3-year state experience as a Lion, running in the state finals last season and being a member of the fifth place cross country team in 2008 differentiates him from other runners, Danner said. However, his teammates’ encouragement makes workouts easier, and the general team vibe makes the sport more enjoyable, Lyons said. “The cross country and track people are very nice and supportive of each other,” Menninger said. “He’s part of a larger group that does it all very well.” As a senior, Lyons wishes to enjoy this season as much as possible and has several individual and team goals. Along with winning conference, he looks to help the team win its seventh consecutive sectional title, which will be held at Bennett Field in May. On a personal level, Lyons hopes to win the 800 meters at state this year, after just missing being all-state (top nine in each event) last year with a 10th place finish by .4 seconds. Lyons will hopefully be all-state in two events this year, Danner said. “This year I am trying to do all the little things right,” Lyons said. “If I lose by that little margin again, I’ll know that I did what I could.” Lyons will continue his track and cross country career at American University in Washington, D.C. with a partial scholarship for both running and academics. “He will be successful and happy at that level,” Menninger said.

Lyons runs a leg in the 3200 meter relay at Lewis University his sophomore year. That year, Lyons was a part of the state qualifying team in the same relay. He has run the 3200 meter relay all three years in track, as well as the 800 meter photo courtesy of Alex Lyons run the last two years.

Boys track eager, optimistic for sectionals, state TrackTimeline The boys track team hopes to improve on 2008’s conference and state tournament performances. Here are the first six upcoming competitions.

n Feb. 20 Plainfield Central & Nazareth n Feb. 28 Proviso West Invite n March 2 Downers Grove South Invitational n March 10 Marist & Vernon Hills n March 13 Proviso West, Conant, & Palatine n March 20 WSC Source:

Boys track team begins its 2009 season ready to compete, improve from 2008 by Mike Lyons

Coming back from a successful regular season and a disappointing state performance, the boys track team is optimistic about the 2009 season. Few losses of varsity runners last year, more intense practices and a deeper and more experienced team should contribute to a successful IHSA state meet and regular season performance. “We did pretty well last year,” Alex Lyons ’09 said. “We won our sixth straight sectional title in a row and took I think 16 guys to state. We didn’t do as well at state as we wanted. This year the intensity of winter training has gone up for everyone. We’re running more volume and feel this will give us the strength to do well through the end of May.” The varsity’s experience will be a factor in helping to improve the team’s state performance. “The biggest thing is that guys will be coming back with experience,” boys track coach Mike Danner said. “The intensity of practices will definitely pick up in the state series. Because of their experience, they will be able to handle these tougher practices.” In years past, LT boys track has been primarily known as a strong distance team. However, the sprinters, such as Pat Hill ’09, and jumpers this year will add depth to the team that has not been seen recently. This deep and

experienced varsity is the source of the team’s optimism. “We also earned our second consecutive LT Relays championship,” Hill said. “Our main improvement that we have made within the last two years is our sprinting core. We are known for our distance runners, but our sprinters and jumpers will be strong. We have a good group of guys who train hard all year round. This sprinting and jumping core will be stronger than LT has seen in quite some time. We have a lot of experienced guys who have been on varsity since freshman year and know how to get things done. We just need to execute.” The team hopes to defend its sectional title and to be competitive in its conference, particularly with perennial running power York. “As a varsity team our main goal is to be an all state team,” Hill said. “We are focusing on doing better than York in conference, which only the seniors have successfully done in their sophomore year. In this past year our sectional has been changed but we would like nonetheless to win another sectional title. We also want to do well at big meets such as LT Relays and the Prospect meet. Indoors every meet we just want to get out there and improve. Outdoors we want to be unstoppable.” The optimism and desire to compete extends to the team’s other athletes. “I think we’ll come out fighting,” hurdler Karston Anderson ’09 said. “Our conference is really tough; it’s a dog fight at the conference championships. York always has tough competitors. I believe we can pull through.”

Girls track young, but ready

Young girls track team prepared to overcome inexperience by Tom O’Brien

As the girls track team gathers in the SC fieldhouse every afternoon around 3:30 p.m., one can’t help but notice that there is something missing. The team, which has many runners, has a senior class of fewer than 10 members. This year’s squad has returned most of its state competitors from last year, but the lean presence of eight seniors - who normally contribute most of the leadership on teams where all four grades practice together - would seem to be a significant weakness. Yet, no one on the team seems overly concerned. “It’s weird that such a small amount of seniors are participating as they were always great leaders as well as someone to look up to,” sprinter and state-level competitor Emma Grimes ’10, said. “I also see it as an opportunity for juniors to step up, considering there are so many of us.” Because of this lack of senior leadership,

Page 11.indd 1

coaches are looking for younger team members to step up and fill the void. “It’s an opportunity for the juniors to step up and get the feel for leadership so we can continue to grow this year and next year,” former sophomore MVP and middle distance runner Kelsey Kilrea ’10 said. The fact that the players believe in themselves is only encouraged by their coaches’ belief in them. “We have great junior leadership, along with the remaining seniors,” head coach Greg Frandsen said. “We have a lot more experienced runners coming back with big meet experience.” Even if senior leadership, or the lack thereof, does not end up being one of the higher hurdles the team has to surpass, there are still several issues Frandsen would like to see the team address. “Our strengths are in the middle distance events and relays, but we need to score more points in the field events, along with adding depth to our 1600 and 3200 [meter runs],” Frandsen said. “We should be much better in the long jump and triple jump.”

Holly Rhode ‘09 runs during the 4x800 meter

relay during a Feb. 12 meet hosted by LT at the SC fieldhouse. Megan Bannister

Improving in these specific areas should help close the significant gap between LT and perennial conference powerhouse, Hinsdale Central, Frandsen said. “I think we have a really strong team this year and each runner has so much potential, so I think that if we all put our best into this season we can do better at the state meet.” Kilrea said. “I think this year we are ready to rise up and meet the challenges handed to us.”

CubsAreBack As the lights went out on the Cubs’ season last year, the team left many fans wondering if their club could ever reach its true potential. The Cubs entered the playoffs as the team to beat in the National League, only to fizzle out of the playoffs after a divisional series sweep by the Dodgers. It’s a new year, with new faces, and as the lovable losers take the field in Mesa, Ariz. for Spring Training, they will once again feel the pressure as favorites to get back to October baseball. The Cubs will need to rely on a strong rotation as well as a deep outfield. That starting staff will include familiar faces in Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden. After righthander Jason Marquis was traded to the Colorado Rockies, it looks like the leading candidate for the fifth spot is Sean Marshall. This is the best and deepest pitching staff in the NL Central, if not the league, but will need injury-prone Rich Harden to stay healthy throughout the year, which has been a problem in the past. The outfield has the ability to help carry the Cubs with its depth. Alfonso Soriano will be the man in left for the Cubbies, but Reed Johnson, Joey Gathright, and Kosuke Fukudome are interchangeable at all three outfield positions, giving the team the versatility that is envied by clubs throughout the division. Newcomer Milton Bradley will provide switch-hitting power to the lineup, a much needed asset in a dominant right-handed team at the plate, and utility man Aaron Miles can be placed almost anywhere. Last year’s wild card winners out of the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers, will be without their workhorse in starter C.C. Sabathia, who signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees in the off-season and their other ace, Ben Sheets. Their rotation will not be able to fill the enormous hole left by Sabathia, and while the offense includes sluggers Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, this team simply won’t be able to stack up to the quality and depth of the Cubs’ roster. The last apparent division contender is none other than the rival Redbirds out of St. Louis who have made headlines recently when reigning NL MVP Albert Pujols gave slugger Manny Ramirez manager Tony LaRussa’s phone number. While this blockbuster deal would make opposing pitching staffs cower in fear with the thought of Pujols, Manny, and AllStar Ryan Ludwick going 3-4-5 in the lineup, the Cardinals are not likely to shell out the four to five year contract that the 37-year-old Ramirez wants. This team will once again be put on the shoulders of Pujols and could be the Cubs’ stiffest competition if the team can stay healthy, an issue that eventually knocked them out of the playoff hunt last year. A rotation that will likely be without former Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter might eventually seal its own fate down the stretch. As evidenced with last year’s playoff blowup, the fate of the Cubs in October is unpredictable at best. One outcome is almost a sure thing, though: the Cubs will once again be the ones spraying champagne in the locker room after a Central division Jack Hostettler championship.

2/17/2009 6:59:09 PM



NBA All-Star Game The Western Conference handily defeated the East 146-119 on Feb. 15 with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant sharing the MVP title.

Tripp Stelnicki

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Next Friday night, LT will welcome conference rival Hinsdale Central to the NC Fieldhouse for a boys basketball showdown. For this night only, the Gold Rush is turning out the lights: wear black. Come out, cheer, chant, help LT get a big W, and be part of LT’s first-ever Blackout.

Scores  Highlights  Profiles

LT sends five wrestlers to state

ABigGoldJoke Proviso West was slipping away from LT’s boys basketball team late in a game earlier this season when Justin Phipps ‘10 caught a pass at the top of the key. Sensing opportunity like a wily entrepreneur, Phipps – the team’s 6-4 rebounding machine – gathered himself, sailed past frozen Proviso defenders with two powerful dribbles, elevated, and – before anyone could say “Hey, he’s about to unleash a hellacious, backboard-shaking dunk!” – unleashed a hellacious, backboard-shaking dunk. It was awesome. (And that’s about as eloquently as I can put it, sorry.) Pounding his chest and hollering indecipherables to the heavens, Phipps had given his team (and the decently-sized Fieldhouse crowd) a shot in the arm. The adrenaline was palpable. Proviso – big, baaad Proviso – looked a shade intimidated. (I repeat: it was awesome.) I’d like to tell you Phipps’ slam ignited an LT comeback that night. I’d also like to tell you LT’s student section seized control of the game, capitalizing on the adrenaline, chanting and cheering like madmen ‘til the final whistle, assisting the blue and gold in claiming a huge conference W … all of it culminating in a rowdy celebration on the court and tons of high-fives and back-slaps for Phipps. But LT lost by 14. The Gold Rush made a few half-hearted stabs at “de-fense!” and nothing more. This brazen indifference was nothing new, though. If anything, it was expected. In ‘08-’09, LT has witnessed the extinction of I-bleed-blue-and-gold diehards and seen them replaced by a miserable batch of unapologetically apathetic juniors and seniors. Y’know, kids more concerned with Bobby’s after-the-game party than the atrocious officiating or Kevin Muldowney’s ‘09 latest nasty finish. Guess I missed the whole “School spirit? Who even cares!” announcement. Or something. To cheer after a big defensive stand is to incur scathing “Is that really necessary?” glances from the muted onlookers surrounding you. To attempt a chant – even one so unoriginal as “We are (clapclap) LT!” – is to risk eye-rolls and irritated sighs. Heckle a referee or opposing player, and you may earn a nickname from those to your left and right; something real creative, like “The Kid Who Actually Cares.” Supporting the team? Totally embarrassing. Just silently glance at the scoreboard every so often like the rest of us, OK? By the way, what are we doing after this? Bobby’s? If you don’t plan on chanting or cheering, don’t plan on coming. If you don’t plan on wearing gold, don’t plan on standing anywhere near the front row. If you don’t plan on offering the bald ref Rogaine four to six times a quarter, don’t plan on evading this type of criticism. Good? Great. So glad we could clear this up. Next Friday night, Hinsdale Central will pay LT a visit. Central has a junior guard named John Whitelaw. He’s the star quarterback, the golden boy … the Hinsdalean Hercules. Your mission? Give him nightmares. Chant, cheer, heckle. Be creative. Turn up the freakin’ volume. Anything. But Hinsdale’s kids will probably out-cheer LT’s, as is typical, even in spite of the muchanticipated Blackout. At least the new color will be fitting. Black, to mourn a lost cause.

Afraid of the dark?

Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 12

Competitive conference prepares Lions for IHSA state meet by Nick Miller

Varsity wrestling coach Griff Powell knew that competing in one of the toughest conferences in the state would pay off eventually. After the Lions finished second in conference to number one in state Oak Park, the team qualified three individuals and two alternates on Saturday for the state meet—the most ever under Powell and the most for LT since the 2003 season, when six made the grade. And Powell attributes much of the success to the caliber of competition they faced week to week in the conference. “This is the first year in my time at LT that the conference has been so tough,” Powell, who took over head coaching duties in 2004 from Mark King, said. “It makes us better in the long run. Every Friday [meet] is a test. We are better prepared now for the state tournament because of that kind of competition week in and out.” Mike Ryan ‘09 led the way for the LT wrestlers at the De La Salle Sectional with a second place finish in the 152 pound weight class. Bob Gavrick ’10 and Drew Bates ’11 both finished fourth at 103 pounds and 130 pounds respectively, high enough to qualify for the state meet. Matt Nora ’11 placed fifth at pounds as did RJ Dilcher at 145 pounds, making them alternates. The top four finishers at each weight class in the four 3A sectionals earned a state berth, while the fifth place finishers are alternates. “We wrestled against Oak Park in conference and they were also in the same regional as we were,” Dilcher said. “We saw a lot of guys before hand, and so we were familiar with them. Many of these guys will be wrestling at the state meet, and just to have wrestled against them before has really helped.” LT failed to qualify anyone for state last year and had only one qualifier in 2007. Not since 2006 has an LT wrestler won a state match. Anthony Castillo ’00 was the last wrestler to win an individual state championship—in 2000 at 152 lbs. Powell believes this group will have more success than those of the last few years simply based on their mindsets. “We have a great group of kids this year,” Powell said. “They have put so much work in the off-season and have been training for this for a long time, and things are start-

John Windmoeller ‘11 and Jack Pearson ‘12 execute a hold during a recent wrestling practice. The Lions qualified five athletes to compete at the state meet. Megan Bannister

Dayton, Ohio

1. Oak Park River Forest 2. Minooka 3. Providence 4. Lockport 5. Neuqua Valley 6. Plainfield Central 7. Glenbard North 8. Rockton Hononegah 9. Libertyville 10. Lincoln-Way Central Source: Illinois Matmen website

Chicago, Illinois Cross Country, Track

LION takes a look across the country to see where LT’s most prestigious senior athletes will be headed to play NCAA Division-I athletics.


LT is currently ranked 15th in state for wrestling. Here are the top ten teams in Illinois.

Mike Janusek, Loyola University Chicago

NCAA Bound

Brenten Blakeman, University of Dayton


ing to click for them. This group knows that they can compete [with the top kids in the state] and they want to place in the state tournament. They aren’t just happy being there, and it’s exciting with a group like that.” Though both Powell and Dilcher stated that winning the conference was a goal, they agreed that gaining experience by wrestling such a tough conference schedule was more important long term. In fact, LT is planning to make its schedule even tougher in the future by enhancing the early season competition—all in the hopes of bettering themselves for state. “It would have been nice to win the conference, but our goal all year has been to peak in February,” Dilcher said. “We want to be wrestling our best come the state tournament and end up being successful at state.” The individual state meet, which takes place at Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois-Champaign campus, begins today with the preliminary rounds and will conclude tomorrow with the championships at each weight class.

Projected major: Undecided

Source: LT student athletes

Projected major: Business

Peter Bruton, Boston

Matt Lakis, Drake University

College Boston, Massachusetts

Des Moines, Iowa



 

Projected major: Secondary Education



Projected major: Biology

Pat Weigand, University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa Alex Lyons, American University

Swimming Projected major: Engineering

Washington, D.C.

Jack Hostettler, Saint Louis University

Cross Country, Track

St. Louis, Missouri

Projected major: Literature

Cross Country, Track Projected major: Advertising

Joe Hladik, University of Missouri

Amanda Boskovich, Ohio State University

Columbia, Missouri

Columbus, Ohio



Projected major: Physical Therapy

Projected major: Business

2/17/2009 7:00:02 PM

Ancient artifact

The Voice of Lyons Township Students Since 1910


An 8-year-old community member makes an exciting artifact find. Read about the LT connection.

Profiles, 15 Dinner and a Movie LION reviews Hollywood Boulevard, a theatre that serves dinner along with a feature presentation.

Friday, February 20, 2009  Volume 99, Issue 5

Get Out, 20

A Day in the Life

LION went behind the scenes and shadowed multiple school employees, including Ray Monroe (above), to better understand their jobs.

Behind the Scenes, 16-17


In light of the failing economy, the opportunity to eat out seems to be disappearing. LION decided to recommend three local restaurants: one cheap, one moderately priced and one expensive.

$ El Faro

by Mike Lyons

Pros: good food for cheap prices Cons: long lines at night

Located at 6136 S Archer Rd. in Summit, El Faro offers delicious and generous helpings of Mexican food for nominal prices. When viewed from the outside, the shabby building may evoke reactions such as “Wait, is this really it?” While it is easy to pass this restaurant without a second glance, the reasonable prices and huge portions of food overshadow this restaurant’s surroundings and appearance.

$$ Lucca’s

by Katie Schoder

Pros: cozy ambience, ideal meal sizes Cons: small dining room, hours open

At Lucca’s Ristorante, the dining experience resonates of European flair, with its café ambience and antiqued accents. The combination of a cozy dining room and hearty meals provides the ideal spot for high schoolers to spend a reasonable sum on Italian dishes. Upon entering the pizzeria, the warm lighting and close-knit tables offer the inviting feeling that most European establishments thrive on. With bricks on either side

$$$ Vie

by Elizabeth Pierson

Pros: quality meals, unique atmosphere Cons: price, small dining room

Set in familiar downtown Western Springs, Vie is anything but familiar. With a main room that brings a touch of eclectic glamour, Vie has all the class of a downtown restaurant with the convenience of a suburban locale. Though French in name, Vie offers a wide variety of food from a seasonally inspired menu that emphasizes locally produced products. The staff at Vie defines amiable, offering to take our coats the instant we walked in the door. The waitress, though a bit overly

Page 13.indd 1

While the quality of the ingredients may not be as high as other local Mexican restaurants, such as Chipotle, the quantity of food is much larger and is offered at a much lower cost than the competition. The sign above the restaurant reads “El Faro, The House of the Giant Burrito.” This sign preaches the truth. The burritos, which are made on an orderby-order basis, include tomatoes, your choice of meat, cheese, lettuce and beans, are roughly the same size and weight of a newborn baby. If you accompany this magnificent monster with a soft drink, your meal will cost you a measly $5.78. El Faro also offers a wide variety of fla-

vored drinks in addition to typical soft drinks like RC or 7Up. One burrito will almost always be more than enough to fill you up. When you enter the restaurant, there is typically a line of two to three people during the day, but at night the line can reach out of the door. Because the restaurant is a fairly small size, many customers take their food to go. If you do choose to stay and sit in a booth, there is a jukebox that offers a wide variety of Mexican and rap music. El Faro’s back room offers pool tables and larger tables if your group is too large to fit comfortably in the booths. Eating at El Faro after 10 p.m. is not recommended;

the line is usually much longer, and the other patrons are not quite as friendly as during the day. El Faro offers a casual dining experience with huge quantities of food for nominal costs.

of the dining room, there is a sense of dining in one of those hidden treasures that only the locals are familiar with. The meals include pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches, and each category has its own relative price range. While there are the standard pasta dishes, some of the more eccentric ones prove to be quite delicious. Shrimp Arrabbiata and Fusilli & Sun-Dried Tomato both deviate from the usual plates that high school students order, but both blend common ingredients into unexpectedly tasty dishes. The use of fresh items such as baby broccoli and fresh tomatoes adds a refreshing taste to the pasta dishes, which cost anywhere between $10 to $15.

For pizza lovers, Lucca’s offers many options, including thin crust, Sicilian style, pan, stuffed and calzones Almost all of them have different price and size ranges, but all fulfill a craving for a variety of ingredients and a flavorsome sauce. The ristorante is just open for dinner, meaning customers can only partake in the Lucca’s dining experience at night. Although the combination of the nighttime skies and restaurant’s soft lights add to the atmosphere, it would be a nice alternative to dine there for lunch. Since it is only open at night, Lucca’s is a good choice for dinner with a few friends or family members. The dining room hosts eight tables, most of them set

up for two and a few of them have seating for four. As a result of the limited seating arrangements, dining in small groups is the best choice. For a dinner that costs a little more than the average high school budget, Lucca’s supplies a European getaway of satisfying meals and a welcoming atmosphere.

persistent, was knowledgeable of the menu and our glasses were never empty. While the main entrance room functions mainly as a bar and lounge, the L-shaped main room boasts numerous cozy tables, ideal for close conversation. Keep in mind, Vie is not for those looking for a cheap dinner out. While the quality of the food is unparalleled, the portions are on the small side, though such is typical of a fine dining experience. Also, the prices are unusually high for a suburban spot, with entrees ranging from $27-40 per plate. The “seared yellowfin tuna, new potatoes, salt-cured olives, pickled green beans, radishes, hard-cooked egg” ($16) may sound extravagant, but the elegant appetizer was an excellent indication of

the meals to follow. The “21 day aged dietzler farm beef tasting: wood-grilled steak, fried meatloaf, braised beef tomato ragout, coltri family potatoes, pickled artichokes, parmigiano-reggiano” ($35) can be more simply defined as a “steak sampler,” however the quality far surpasses any beef from Applebees or Lonestar. The “local pork combination: wood-grilled loin, accompanied by slow-cooked fresh bacon, ‘macaroni and cheese,’ werp farm kale, cipollini aigre-doux, raspberry jam” ($30) was an interesting combination, but the chef’s sophisticated mac-and-cheese was sheer brilliance. Finally, the dessert of “chocolate brioche bread pudding, candied hazlenuts, preserved strawberries, drumgray highland cream liquor ice cream” ($9) was the

most unique item—resembling an undercooked brownie—which, surprisingly, was almost too much to finish after what appeared to be a petite meal. While the menu’s wording may be confusing enough to raise a few eyebrows, after some clever decoding—with aid from the “Menu Glossary”—the meals are worth the effort and price.

North Campus  100 S. Brainard Avenue  La Grange, Ill. 60525

South Campus  4900 Willow Springs Road  Western Springs, lll. 60558

2/17/2009 7:00:58 PM

Superindentent says

Gap stats


“There is no single silver bullet to address the issue,” Van Clay said. “We have identified the problem, now we must identify the solutions.”

In the 2008 PSAE test at LT, 79% of Caucasian students met or exceeded state standards, as compared to 24% of African American students.

Friday, February 20, 2009 n Page 14

I N O R I T Y Re

t r po

Bridging minority achievement gap LT Feeder District 102 confronts achievement gap

by Marney Coleman

In Illinois, the gap between Caucasian and African American students’ state mandated test results is one of the highest in the nation according to a 2005 study by The Achievement Alliance. While some progress has been made to close the achievement gap between Caucasian and minority students, the achievement gap remains an issue both at the state and national level. It also remains an issue for the Board of Education (BOE) of District 102. One and a half years ago, the Dist. 102 BOE made addressing the minority achievement gap one of its goals and formed a work group to take on the issue. In December 2008, the work group became a more permanent Minority Achievement Steering Committee, created to oversee the implementation of the work group’s plans, District Superintendent Mark Van Clay said. A result of the steering committee was a community forum, which took place on Jan. 22 at Park Junior High School entitled “A Conversation on Race and Achievement.” The presentation was open to parents, faculty and community members where data collected from both the Illinois State Achievement Tests (ISATs) and Fall Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) illustrated the achievement gap between minority and majority students. After the presentation the attendees then broke into small groups where they addressed three big questions: what programs already exist that are helping minority students learn, what impediments exist and suggestions for improvement, Van Clay said. As Dist. 102 is an associate district, or feeder district, to LTHS, the presentation and initiative affect LT as well, African American liaison Nikita Hulbert said. Hulbert also serves as the LT Representative for the Minority Achievement Steering Committee. “Kids who have had past achievement


Below is the breakdown of race at LT in percentages, according to Interactive Illinois Report Card ( The numbers are based on the 2007-2008 school year, with a total population of 3,840 students.

Students dance, create family

Latino Dance Troupe members aim to experience Latino culture by Monica Ramirez

83.5 80

Caucasian Hispanic


African American Multiracial Asian


(0.1% Native American)


10.1 2.4

0 difficulties have achievement problems at LT,” Hulbert said. “Research shows that programs struggling with reading and math can identify problems in the primary grades. If these problems are addressed at the elementary schools, then we can target the issues at that time and each child has a greater chance for success.” While LT has no immediate plans to host a similar community conversation, minority achievement has always been an ongoing priority at LT, Curriculum Director Scott Eggerding said. One example is the recent goal setting “Mental Karate” program brought to LT by author Mawi Asgedom.




“Everyone is a stakeholder,” Eggerding said of minority achievement. “We try to do whatever it takes to give students the tools to achieve.” For now, goals for Dist. 102 and LT include working on initiatives and curriculum issues. The steering committee for Dist. 102 will look at the results from the conversation and set targets and goals specifically for this year and next year to address tangible goals, Van Clay said. “There is no one particular solution [to the minority achievement gap],” Hulbert said. “It is a complex problem as a result of many variables and must be tackled from many angles.”

Although the Latino Dance Troupe has been in existence for more than seven years, its ultimate goal of creating friendships and learning opportunities for its members is one goal of the club that has remained the same. Latino Dance Troupe is a club that allows students to get a taste of various Latino rooted cultures. By performing meringue, bachata, salsa, cumbia and even folkloric dancing, students immerse themselves in customs that come from Latino countries all over the world. “We like to expose and show how diverse Hispanic background is,” Aurora Colon, Latino Dance Troupe advisor, said. “There are many people who think of Hispanic as being Mexican or Puerto Rican, but it’s a combination of Spanish speaking countries.” The Latino Dance Troupe’s annual performances include LT’s Diversity Assembly, this year on March 13, as well as its Mother’s Day dinner. The dinner provides an opportunity for parents to view their children in a different light, Colon said. “Last year when they did the Mexican Hat dance the parents were really glad to see something they grew up with,” Colon said. “It’s important to make sure parents know what their [kids] are doing.” “It’s more than a club, we are a family in a way,” Yesenia Rodriguez ’09 said. “It’s not only dance. We get together and by combining those things we become more united. It shows in the dances because we’re always having fun.” In an effort to create a relaxed atmosphere, Colon allows students to start practice with a period of freestyle, where members of the club choose the music and dance moves they use. “It’s not all structured dance,” Colon said. “It’s a club. The purpose is to have fun. The basic point is to learn how to dance. Latin music is what you feel.” There are many members of the Latino Dance Troupe, and all have different reasons for being a part of this culturally orientated club. Some simply enjoy dancing with friends, while others believe it allows them to be a part of something rewarding. “It gives us an opportunity to be ourselves, and it helps us to learn something new,” Natalie Lopez ’10 said. “You get to learn dances, then perform them. It’s a really great feeling.”

Diversity Assembly FAQs LION asks Gina Wutke, International Club Sponsor, questions about the upcoming Diversity Assembly

compiled by Carrie Mulderink

Q: Where and when will the assembly be held? A: Friday March 13, 2009. It is held at both campuses in the field houses, North Campus in the morning and South Campus in the afternoon. Q: How many acts are being performed? A: There are currently nine groups performing. Q: Is the participation this year, more or less than usual? Why do you think that is the case? A: The participation is all the same groups from the 2007 Diversity Assembly. However, we have one additional performer, an Italian Opera singer from the Lyric Opera of Chicago. We also lost one performance, the Korean Fan Dance, because all of the participating students graduated. Q: LT alternates years between holding the Diversity Assembly and the Black History Month Assembly. Why do you feel it is important to expose students to both of these topics? A: I think it is important to have these assemblies so that students and interested groups can share culture and the diversity that exists at LT with the entire school.

Page 14.indd 1

Q: Who plans the assembly? A: International Club coordinates the Diversity Assembly. The Black History Month Assembly has a different sponsor. Q: When does preparation start? How many hours are spent planning before the Assembly? What work is required to organize the assembly? A: We started preparing for the Assembly in December. International Club spends countless hours preparing, we have an advertising/decoration committee, a trivia and logo contest committee, and some of our students are MCs for the assembly. Q: What is the purpose of this assembly? A: To share and express diversity. it?

Q: Who started the assembly and why did they start

A: I think Olga Boutov was the previous sponsor, who did this assembly, as she was the sponsor of Faces of LT (that club no longer exists). I am not sure who the original creator of this assembly was. Q: How long have you been involved with the Diversity Assembly? What motivates you to keep up with it? A: I have been the sponsor of International Club for four years now and this is my second Diversity Assembly. I am motivated to continue with this because the students are passionate about it and I think it is important to celebrate diversity.

A group of Irish dancers perform at the 2007 Diversity Assembly. The Irish dancers are just one of the many groups that work to create the variety at the assembly. This year’s assembly will take place on Mar. 13, LION file photo 2009 at both campuses.

2/17/2009 7:06:46 PM

Clovis culture

Evidence of the ancient Clovis culture in North America dates back to the end of the last glacial period, which is believed to be 13,000 calendar years ago.

Q &A

PROFILES Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 15

Musical aspirations

Myles Emmons ‘10 hopes to major in composition in a music conservatory after he graduates from LT next Spring, and eventually wants to be a film composer.

Free association with... Melinda Edwards,

District switchboard operator and PA announcer

Q: What do you do as the LT district switchboard operator? A: I direct every call that comes into LT to the right place. Q: Weirdest thing to happen to you at LT? A: When we all got sent home on the first day of school two years ago because of a power outage. I think that’s the first time that’s happened in LT history. Q: Future plans? A: To make the 50 year mark of employment at LT. The current record is 43 and I’m already at 27—might as well go all the way!

photo courtesy Myles Emmons

LION asked Myles Emmons ’10 about winning first place for his original composition at the Illinois Music Educators Competition.

Q: Place you would choose to live if it could be anywhere in the world? A: Wisconsin. I grew up spending my summer vacations there. I love Wisconsin; it’s become my second home. Q: Favorite holiday? A: Christmas because I love to see all the little kids light up.

compiled by Alyssa Marie Harn

Q: What was going through your mind when you found out that you were the first place winner in the IMEA competition? A: I was really excited to be the top composer in Illinois for the high school category. Q: What competition did you win? A: I won the Avant Garde category. The piece I composed is titled “Breathing through the Five Basses and Drum (Butoh a violent calm).”

Q: Biggest pet peeve? A: Pants hanging low. Q: Last song you heard? A: A song by Kenny Chesney—not sure which one, though. compiled by Kate Stephens

Teacher aides student in archaeological find Eight-year-old discovers important ancient spear point

Q: What did you do at the IMEA All State Conference? A: I went to the Honors Showcase, which features the first place winners for compostition. I recorded all of the parts of my composition separately on my computer and my composition was played at the festival.

by Lena Novak

Q: What instruments do you play? A: Piano, cello, bass, bass guitar, drums, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, guitar and accordion. Q: How long did it take you to compose this piece? A: Two hours. Q: What inspired you to compose this piece? A: A video I saw online of a Japanese dancer. Q: If an artist were to take your composition and add lyrics to it, who would you want to perform the piece? A: Bjork; I think she is the only one that would perform it successfully.

Chris Azzarello, 8, found this spear point made by the Clovis people in his school’s backyard. Kelly Bastyr

Lisa’s Specials Highlights, color, haircuts & up do’s Phone: 708-354-6661 Fax: 708-354-6666 6960 S. Wolf Rd.

Page 15.indd 1

76 S. LaGrange Rd. LaGrange, IL 60525 (708) 352-9111

After looking for rocks in the backyard of Trinity Lutheran School for a school nature activity, Chris Azzarello, 8, found an interesting rock. His teacher thought nothing of the rock, but Azzarello liked it enough to bring it home. “My brother was pretty excited and I thought it was pretty cool,” Matt Azzarello ’11 said. Matt brought the rock to school for extra credit where Brian Bardy, paraeducator, classified it as a spear point from the Clovis people based on specific details. “I was totally thrilled beyond belief of what Matt brought in,” Bardy said. On the spear tip there is basal grinding and fluting, two key characteristics in denoting Clovis spear points. The Clovis were some of the first people to inhabit North American territory. They relied on hunting and gathering to survive and known to have been a mobile group. Matt allowed Bardy to examine the spear

point. Several months later, Matt along with his mother and younger brother went with Bardy to the site where the spear point was found, Bardy said. There, he surveyed the area using a GPS handheld and filed a site report with the Illinois Archaeological Survey at the Illinois State Museum. The spear point was not buried deep in the ground. Chris found it lying in the midst of a pile of other rocks, Matt said. When Bardy submitted his report, he supplied a map of the artifact’s location along with line drawings of the artifact showing the chipping pattern. Eventually the spear point will be donated to a local museum. For the past 30 years, Bardy has worked as a local archaeologist and historian.  This isn’t the first artifact that he has helped to discover in the area, Bardy said. His other finds include other spear points, pottery and a 17th century French coin found in La Grange in 1996. While Matt chooses to refrain from archeological explorations, Chris continues to look for more artifacts in his area, as it is a hobby he continually enjoys, Matt said.

Mon.-Fri. 12:00-9:00 PM Sat. 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

26 S. LaGrange Rd. #100 LaGrange, IL 60525 (708)-579-3033

2/17/2009 7:07:52 PM

Do your duty

Familiar face

Some of Ed Piotrowski’s duties as NC Associate Principal include scheduling classes for students and teachers, organizing the busing system and coordinating summer school.

Students may recognize locksmith Ray Monroe from the traditional Native American tribal dance that he has performed in the past for the Diversity Assembly and for specific classes.

Super Sodexho


Sodexho, LT’s food service company, has created the Sodexho Foundation, which supports programs and initiatives to stop hunger. Some of these include job training and nuitrition education.

Friday, February 20, 2009  Pages 16 and 17

n I l a eci

Behind the Scenes Irene Grzesik

Ray Monroe

NC Cafeteria Employee


by Meg Vertovec

Arrives and begins with work orders marked “priority”

7 am Mr. Piotrowski enters LT

6 am

The head cook arrives and prepares breakfast for the students and teachers

TRUCK.indd 1

7:20 am

Short staff meeting to discuss problems from previous day and name any special groups or special events of the day

Cafetria serves students breakfast

Student Assistant

I am sure we have all seen the student assistants standing around the school. We may not know what their names are, but we know they are there. The student assistants at LT are just like the police; they wear blue and they are concerned about the well-being of a population. Police guards are there to protect and

Ed Piotrowski

NC Associate Principal

Sometime around 4:30 a.m. the morning after Super Bowl XLIII, Ed Piotrowski’s young daughter was enduring a bit of early-morning crankiness. A big Cardinals fan, one can assume.

ensure the safety of the community, just as the student assistants are here to watch over and assist the entire student body. After spending a day with a student assistant, I have seen how large a role they play for maintaining the environment that exists at LT. It takes a lot of energy to be a student assistant. The only time we remained sedentary was when we were at the front desk. At this station, Tom Kazda screened the incoming visitors and answered the phone, while I discovered that the front desk is a great opportunity to people-watch. There are so many people coming in and out of the school, and it is the job of the student assistant to see each face and be sure that no one is coming in who is not supposed to. Everyone seemed to know Kazda and waved to him on their way by; I felt like I was sitting at the cool kids’ lunch table. Monitoring the lunch periods is another significant part of a student assistant’s day. Kazda said that this year has been a great year concerning appropriate lunch room behavior. If everybody goes by the rules, his job is pleasant and everyone is able to enjoy lunch in a clean and friendly environment. Although their schedule remains pretty routine, one cannot be quite sure what will happen. We could be patrolling the halls and finding spare change on the floor when suddenly a voice could start speaking

through Kazda’s headpiece. We would have to take off at lightening speed to sort out the situation. The student assistants must have lungs of steel because I was constantly out of breath each time we had to hurry to a new location. Kazda, like all student assistants, frequently gets called to deal with problems. Although the vast majority of students comply with the rules, there are some who act out. When this situation occurs, Kazda and the assistant principals work together to calmly solve the problem. Along with this, the duties of a student assistant are vast and multitudinous. Whether it is dealing with a theft report, doing crowd control at a packed school event or greeting the students every morning, a student assistant is always there to help. Students feel free to go up to them and ask them a question, or to politely wave to them as they walk past. It is important for student assistants to maintain a positive rapport with the students. They are like the watchdogs for the students, ensuring that that students may have an environment that is healthy and conducive to learning. After spending a day with Kazda, I have truly gained appreciation for all that the student assistants do for our school and the students.

But she only needed a little extra TLC, and the North Campus Associate Principal handled her a.m. issues like a pro. Piotrowski lost an hour of sleep – he typically wakes as his alarm strikes 5:30 – but his is a rigorous schedule, and not one for the faint of heart or snooze button-inclined. No time to fret over sacrificed Zs. Having sufficiently settled his daughter, he’s out his door at six and through LT’s a shade before seven – each and every day, daughter-related duties notwithstanding. Once in his office, Piotrowski – in his second year as an Associate Principal and ninth at LT overall – tears into his typical routine. His initial responsibility involves monitoring the master schedule and assuring its readiness. Piotrowski is cognizant of every class and every teacher’s location; he also keeps a handle on students’ schedule changes and updates. This Monday, Piotrowski dropped in on a math class, just for the heck of it. There was no formal review sheet to fill out, nor was there any mandatory report in need of filing. Piotrowski will sporadically slip into the back of a classroom with no pre-

text, simply observing for observation’s sake. Intermittently, Piotrowski tends to his voice and e-mail. Updates, often involving teacher absences or substitute information, are sent to him over the course of the day. This particular Monday, Piotrowski skips lunch. It’s more common for him to eat late – around, say, three – or, if time doesn’t allow for it, he won’t eat at all. Busy guy. But if you happen to see him hustling down to a lunchline to grab an 8th period snack, forgive him. Piotrowski’s average afternoon involves working on long-term projects or meetings. Presently on his plate are two issues: first, arena registration is underway, and the task of assembling the ’09-’10 schedule will soon be thrust upon Piotrowski’s desk along with those of the division chairs; second, graduation and issues involving seating charts and other ceremony-related things. Piotrowski usually aims for a 4:30-5 p.m. departure, pending meetings. Before he leaves, though, he checks his reports one final time, doing a little early prep for tomorrow’s master schedule. Always prepared. He’s home soon afterwards. Hopefully the daughter’s a little cheerier by now.

by Katie Palmer

by Tripp Stelnicki

by Alex Butler

7:45 am 5 am

Tom Kazda

As I apprehensively tiptoed through a somewhat forgotten doorway, after only a few steps, I found myself in an entirely different atmosphere than the normal NC building. While most other LT students were in class on Feb 3, 2009, I was shadowing the cafeteria employees to learn more of what they do all day. After a few offbeat seconds of the difference in atmosphere, the confusion cleared to reveal Marcy Lingo, head of the NC cafeteria. Immediately she led me around the corner and into her office, where I dropped off my backpack. I introduced myself as did she, before she handed me my uniform: a chocolate brown hairnet. I was led to the south side of the kitchen, where two industrious employees greeted me: the cook and the assistant cook. Both courteously flashed me a smile and a name as they hastily got back to their work. I felt like a Slytherin in the Hufflepuff house, completely out of place and in the way. Cinematic productions did not do these ladies’ routine one bit of justice; just watching them I grew tired. Every time I thought I had found a safe haven to observe, I realized I was merely an obstacle to maneuver around to get to what they needed (of course, their patience with me was bottomless). The preciseness of their routine astounded me, along with their vitality. After a few minutes, it was time for their single 10 minute break, during which Lingo graciously gave me a tour of the entire cafeteria. As she spoke, I couldn’t help but notice the apparent effort to bring a more healthful twist into their array of options. Of course, I especially took note of the heavenly corner in which hundreds of those melt-in-yourmouth golden brown chocolate chip cookies were stored. Lingo then led me back to the teachers’ lounge in which the 11 cafeteria ladies were taking their break. After viewing them seated all at one table, My immediate impression was that of a Thanksgiving dinner- one big happy family seated with each other in contentment. After their break, one such employee, Irene Grzesik, was gracious enough to let me follow her around like a lost puppy. As the students noisily flooded in, she filled me in on what goes on behind the serving counter, all the while working the cash register and meeting the students’ needs. These ladies have all been together for years. They all share the same woes, and all have shoulders to lean on. While each and every one could easily choose another profession, none of them have an ounce of desire to do so. They’re a team, they always have been, and they always will be.

If a student is unable to spot LT’s resident locksmith Ray Monroe coming down the hall by his distinctive long hairstyle or warm smile, he or she will likely recognize the jingle-jangle of his signature keys. While most people carry around a key ring of five or six keys, Monroe’s ring is weighed down by an impressive 176. But these 176 keys are only a few of the hundreds Monroe uses every day—the “most important ones,” he said. In total, he has eight key rings loaded down with 200-300 keys on each. Although the number of keys Monroe has is incredible, even more remarkable is his ability to know which key goes in each door without even looking. It is almost like a sixth sense: Monroe is able to magically retrieve the correct key out of the mass of metal on the first try—every time. As a locksmith, Monroe makes, labels and delivers keys; picks jammed lockers, file cabinets and doors; changes locker combos; and even repairs electronic locks. He has a worn book crammed with pages and pages of his tiny, neat print. Monroe calls this his “Locksmith Bible”—it is full of the codes to each of the keys, which he already has memorized. The hundreds of codes, which distinguish the lock that each key is matched to, are second nature to Monroe; anyone else would struggle to comprehend this foreign “locksmith language.” Monroe has been in charge of all of LT’s locks and doors for 29 years, ever since his father, who also worked at LT, helped him get the job in 1980. But Monroe’s interest in keys was sparked long before that time. After his father installed a new lock on their garage door, 8-year-old Monroe resorted to using a bent paperclip to successfully pick the lock and retrieve his bike. Even as a child, he did not rely on sophisticated tools. Now he is a certified locksmith with the Locksmithing Institute of America and is also a member of Associated Locksmiths of America. Monroe is undoubtedly an unsung hero of LT. Waking up as early as 1 a.m. to get to work, he is deeply committed to his job. Moreover, Monroe’s contributions to LT extend far beyond his role as the school’s only locksmith. As a Native American, Monroe has also educated numerous classes about Native American culture and performed authentic Native American dances for the entire school at the Diversity Assembly. In the past, Monroe has also helped the Art Department, posing with his Harley motorcycle for students to draw. From his unmatched locksmith skills to his Native American performances, Monroe works tirelessly to better the school both from behind the scenes and center stage.

While commonly referred to as “security guards,” the uniformed personnel throughout the school are officially called “student assistants.”

Feel like you know EVERYONE at LT? Ever wonder what happens each day to make LT run? LION delves into the lives of four hardworking LT employees who you may have never met and explores their daily activities in depth.

: n o i at g i t ves


What’s in a name?

10:30 am

8:45 am

10 am

Staff front desk, screen incoming visitors and answer phone

Observe random classrooms in the morning

9:30 am

All other NC cafeteria employees have arrived.

Take post in East hall (entrance to middle café) and watch student lunch lines and enforce appropriate behavior

10:30 pm

Make keys, label keys and change lightbulbs


1 pm

Lunch is served. After each period, food is replenished and dishes are washed

Run to get lunch as lunch lines close


Patrol the hallways, be sure all students are where they are supposed to be and enforce school’s rules and regulations

1:45-2 pm

Cafeteria employees leave school.

2:30 pm

Clock out

4 pm Leave LT

5 pm

Leaves LT

1:10-1:30 pm Lunch break

2/18/2009 12:13:14 PM

Page 18.indd 1

2/17/2009 7:01:46 PM

Gaza the Great

Around 50 B.C., Gaza reached its peak of civilization under Roman rule, with leading theologians and exports matching those of England and Ireland.

Egyptian effort


In December 2008, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry began accepting donations and aid from any donor for Palestinians engaged in Gaza Strip affairs.

Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 19

Palestine, Israel fight for Gaza territory

International tensions heighten in Middle East, conflict escalates to missile attacks by Marnie Georges

Tensions are high yet again in the Middle East as fighting has commenced between the nations of Israel and Palestine. They are fighting over the territory of Gaza. The Israelis feel it is their land; however, the Palestinians currently have control of the territory. Democratic elections recently placed members of the terrorist organization Hamas in power. Many people in Israel are angered by these elections. Missile attacks have been sent from both sides, with Palestine receiving aid from Egypt, and Israel maintaining a forceful retaliation. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has maintained strict border controls around Gaza as a result, so life has become difficult for people needing to pass through the territory. Both nations have been harmed due to the fighting. There is a great deal of tension attached to the conflict, partially due to the feelings of the nations. “Israel is only 60 years old—not nearly as old as Russia, Poland or other nations—it’s not even an era of a human life,” Sarah*, who visited Israel for several months, said. “It is an intense fight because Israel doesn’t seem permanent.” Many people feel that the Israeli reaction may be too harsh, citing the disparities between the original attacks by Palestine and the retaliation by Israel and the IDF. “Israel should want and has the right to stop rocket attacks, but the disproportionate level of force used is not good for Israel,” Sociology teacher Thomas Swiontek said. “Missile attacks by Hamas in Israel have not caused a portion of the damage caused in Palestine and this breeds greater resentment and risk to Israeli security in the long run.” Some have conflicting views regarding the actions taken on both sides, since the violence has taken so large of a toll on both nations. “I think it is safe to say that even though Israel has every right to defend itself, its conduct at the moment is questionable at best,” Nate Johnson ’10, who is Jewish, said. “It needs to clean up its act before real progress can be made.” The plight of the people is the focus of many, since innocent civilians on both sides are suffering. “I feel like the Israelis have overreacted,” Joyce Cassel, former American Studies teacher who visited Palestine, said.

“For 18 months, the people in Gaza have received very limited food, cooking oils and medical supplies, so there is a high level of frustration there. America doesn’t report that part. There are very few entry points into Gaza and Israel hasn’t permitted goods to go in. People have had the bare minimum for 18 months. I don’t agree with Hamas and the rockets, but everyone must understand the people.” Visitors to Israel had many reactions to the nation, citing its desire to remain normal in spite of the war. “[Israel] is a welcoming country and something I found while there was the overwhelming amount of patriotism,” Stephanie “Mimi” Yong ’08, who visited Israel, said. “This is a country that is small in size, but large in heart and force.” Visitors to Palestine had a very different experience, seeing the effects of war firsthand. “Palestinians on the West Bank are also suffering and they have an increased number of checkpoints where an Israeli guard decides if they can go through or not,” Cassel said. “Some days they can, some days they can’t—it is all up to the guard. Some days children are not permitted to go to school. Palestinians are gracious, hospitable and very good people who are really suffering. These are all hardships among the people—Gaza is far worse off.” Many people can agree that it is necessary for awareness about the conflict to be spread. People in America may not be as aware of current events as they could be. “People need to grasp the facts and learn about both perspectives,” Sarah said. “First they need to start caring and then drop their biases. People are blind towards the facts of issues everywhere, and they don’t know or care how much is going on around the world. They don’t think about it day to day.” The media does not always portray the conflict realistically. The United States media portrays the Gaza conflict with a bias towards Israel, while news from Arab nations portrays it with a bias towards Palestine. “I read criticisms on how the United States portrays it,” Swiontek said. “The U.S. news doesn’t show the horrors of young people dying and families being torn apart that are a realistic part of war. Without that, war itself becomes unreal and it’s just too abstr­­­­­act to comprehend.” Because many people are only receiving biased news, they may have their opinions formed on incorrect information. The media may skew people’s perspectives. “Hamas has grown stronger because the public opinion around the world has shown examples of Israeli destruction

A Palestinian boy holds gun shell casings last month in Gaza City. MCT Campus

on Gaza and has legitimized Hamas as a victim,” Swiontek said. “This has caused rallies for greater support in the Arab world and around the world for Palestine, and strengthened the ties between Hamas and Iran, which may become a more serious threat to Israeli security.” Some people are conflicted about the fight, and do not wish for it to end negatively. “As a Jewish individual I consider Israel my homeland,” Johnson said. “I feel like what it does reflects on me and Jews everywhere, and their mistreatment of Gaza makes me ashamed to support Israel. Their actions are fodder for anti-Semites everywhere, anti-Semites eager for evidence that Jews are vile creatures. The last thing the Jewish people need is another reason to be hated.” Some still manage to hope for a better future, and want to take steps to achieve it. “I think people here need to pay more attention to issues like this and others around the globe where there is mass killing— places like Palestine and Darfur—lots of terrible things are happening around the globe,” Sam Thalji ’09, who has relatives in Palestine, said. “I think if people voiced their opinions about it, more people will. We can make a difference.”

*Name has been changed at student’s request

Look for the first Lion Newspaper website at The website provides:

nup-to-date news nextra photos

nadditional coverage

Page 19.indd 1


The voice of Lyons Township Students since 1910

2/17/2009 7:27:42 PM

Performance update: Annie Get Your Gun

7:30 p.m. NC Reber Center, Feb. 19-21 3 p.m. NC Reber Center, Feb. 22 Directed by: Eugene O’Reilly Written by Irving Berlin, this musical is a fictional account of the life of western sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her husband Frank Butler.

GET OUT Weekend Entertainment

Feb. 22: Emerald City Theatre Company: Cinderella, Apollo Theater, 1 p.m.

by Tom O’Brien

Feb. 26: Chicago the Musical, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27: MacBeth, League of Chicago Theatres, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28: Historic Skyscrapers, Chicago Architecture Foundation, 10 a.m. March 1: Blue Man Group, Briar Street Theatre, 1 p.m. March 2: Sara Bareilles, Schubas, 7 p.m. March 3: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Ducks, United Center, 7:30 p.m. March 4: Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, Auditorium Theatre, 7:30 p.m. March 5: Busta Rhymes, House of Blues, 7:30 p.m. March 6: Dave Barnes, Subterranean, 8 p.m. March 7: Emerald City Theatre Company: Dr. Dolittle, Apollo Theatre, 10:30 a.m.

Katie Bates

An imposing tower greets those who arrive at Hollywood Boulevard Theater (above). One of the theatres is set up before guests arrive. The chairs are not anchored into the floor, allowing moviegoers to whirl around as they please. Menus are placed on the counter in front of the chairs so that patrons can decide on their meals once they are seated (below). Tom Meyer

Americans have developed many pastimes in the past 200-plus years. Baseball is great entertainment and fantasy football provides a good rush of adrenaline, but there are two things we Americans have learned to do in excess better than anyone else. We sit and we eat. The problem is that not many commercial outlets cater to both of those benefits, which is what makes Hollywood Boulevard Theater in Woodridge such a splendid experience. As you enter the theater, there is no lobby for snacks or any of the typical movie fix-ins, just a waiting room crammed to maximum capacity with other moviegoers and extravagant artwork shipped from around the world. Once in one of the theatres, which are decorated in various Hollywood or famous theatre themes – ranging from Green Room to Casablanca – the experience dramatically changes from an average movie showing. After sitting in a cozy office chair, a menu will be placed on the desk in front of one’s seat. Just before the movie starts, a waiter will come and ask for the patrons’ orders. The menu is what one would expect from a typical Americanstyle restaurant, with the only twist being movie-themed names. Offerings include the Arnold Schwarzenburger and the Jurassic Pizza. Dessert is offered, and includes choices such as the California Dream’n Cheesecake and the Rascally Wabbit Carrot Cake. “The Chuck Norris Chicken [a Buf-

Katie’s Final Cut

Rental Review: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (PG-13) /out of five Paw Prints


Flurries High: 29 Low: 19

Flurries Partly Cloudy High: 27 High: 25 Low: 19 Low: 15

In-Theater Review: He’s Just Not That Into You (PG-13) /out of five Paw Prints

falo chicken sandwich] was like a roundhouse kick to the taste buds!” moviegoer Kevin Urbain ’10 said. And although one would expect ludicrous prices on such large portions of food from a movie theater, most of the main courses range from a moderate $6 to $12. One can expect a check of around $15 or $20, which turns out to be a good deal for the stellar dining. However, not all trips to the Hollywood Boulevard will have completely happy endings, because there are a few setbacks that will likely strike a nerve in the purest of movie connoisseurs. Even though tickets run at a moderate $8 for adults, one must be accompanied by an adult at most matinees and all evening shows. Many screenings do not even allow minors in OscarNominees on their first weekends, regardless of rating. Don’t have enough money to go see a new film? Secondly, several disTry renting one of these tractions take away attenAcademy Award nominees tion from the feature film. once they come out on DVD. Throughout the screening, nThe Curious Case of waiters discreetly roam Benjamin Button the aisles, occasionally cutting the paying customer nFrost/Nixon off from the film. The nMilk theatre can also not reach nThe Reader complete darkness, seeing nSlumdog Millionaire as many people would othSource: erwise leave with messy stains covering their attire. This sometimes makes distinguishing characters and events in the darker scenes a difficult undertaking. When going to Hollywood Boulevard, consider seeing a movie that you would otherwise consider a second or third choice (such as Underworld: Rise of the Lycans), and save watching the Oscar winners for a more conventional theatre.

Marney’s Musical Madness Album: The Fray Artist: The Fray

Marney Coleman

Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion Artist: Animal Collective /out of five Paw Prints

/out of five Paw Prints

There is a certain mystery that surrounds Animal Collective; the myriad of sounds that comprise the band’s music ranges from musical samplings to obscure noises that sound completely foreign to human ears. It is this collage of sounds that draws in listeners and leaves them captivated. Animal Collective’s innovation with sound and composition within a single album is what truly makes “Merriweather Post Pavilion” remarkable. Variety is the magic word here: songs range from the slow and contemplative “Bluish” to the manic, optimistic “Brother Sport.” With the release of “Merriweather” the members of Animal Collective have struck the perfect balance between the strong musical characters of the band: David Portner’s intense yelling, Noah Lennox’s mellow crooning and Brian Weitz’s affinity for production. This harmony among members allows for a better flow of the songs throughout the album, with elements from each member present in each track. In addition to better flow overall, “Merriweather” is by far the group’s most accessible album to date. Gone are the days of intense walls of noise and lengthy songs; on the newest release the group utilizes acoustic techniques, such as the piano on “No More Runnin,” in addition to its trademark experimentation with sound. Bottom Line: Animal Collective’e eclectic assortment of sound and genres within creates a unique listening experience, appealing to a wide variety of listeners.

When I first listened to The Fray’s newest, self-titled album, I literally had to At a simple glance of Internet Movie stop halfway into the first song to make Database page for “He’s Just Not That sure I was not accidentally listening to the Into You,” the A-List roster is astoundband’s first album, “How to Save a Life.” ing: Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, JenThis is the double-edged sword of the nifer Aniston, and Scarlett Johansson newest release from The Fray: for veteran are just a few. Name-dropping aside, fans, it will be warmly welcomed as virtu“He’s Just Not That Into You” is a quality ally a continuation of its first release, but romantic/tragedy. those who wanted a little something more The film, based on the 2004 novel by from The Fray – a little risk-taking, a little Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, tells the experimentation – will be disappointed. stories of several men and women and This is in no way saying that “The Fray” their unique relationships with different is a sophomore slump. The band executes facets and levels of love. Viewpoints that power piano pop better than most bands usually come across as inexcusable are today. For example the first single, “You given a somewhat plausible light. Found Me,” is laden with a heavy piano While the documenting of these faults melody, which dominates the majority of turns the movie into a tragedy, comedic the song. Front man Isaac Slade’s raspyrelief is never too far away. The fact that yet-mellow voice is still distinguishable most people will probably find themand gives the band a certain unique quality selves in such situations presented by the among other bands of the genre. movie throughout their own life makes One exception to the stylistic monotony “He’s Just Not That Into You” a realistiof songs is “Say When,” which finds the cally hysterical view. band veering slightly into a harsher rock However, efforts to make the scenes sound. Drums find a heavier hand in this exceed being merely “funny” are somecomposition; however, the song hardly times apparent. But, of course, the movie qualifies as hard rock and seems like a ends with each character in a state of kitten when compared to other songs of positive resolution, giving hope to even that genre. the most hopeless of romantics everyBottom Line: With regards to new where. musical styles and experimentation, the Bottom Line: “He’s Just Not That new album by The Fray is a disappointInto You” is a relatable and witty porment, but fans of “How to Save a Life” and trayal of the miscommunications of love, mellow ballads in general will enjoy the dating and marriage that cause upheaval brand of piano-driven songs. between women and men alike. Please recycle your copy of the LION n 708/579-6016 n 100 S. Brainard, LaGrange Ill. 60525

The girls of the first “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie are re-united for a sequel based on Anne Brashares’ original novels. The four girls relate to a wide scope of teenage females, and the film holds to the established “feel-good” quality the novels capture so well. Four best friends (Bridget, Carmen, Lena and Tibby) find a pair of old blue jeans that miraculously fit their different body types perfectly. Realizing the rarity of the situation, the girls agree to send the pants to each other throughout the summer. Now in college, the girls venture on new and exciting journeys alone. While the acting quality of the stars has improved since the last “Sisterhood,” the film seems to have one flaw. The movie covers the second, third and fourth novels, causing major confusion and hurriedness in the storyline The plot leaves out major events that add to character development, such as Bridget’s summer-long stay at her grandmother’s house and the full extent of Lena’s relationship with her artistic muse, Leo. While the sequel is satisfying to many, to a follower of the books, the film’s content is barren and unfinished. Bottom Line: While “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” continues the endearing tale of four teenage girls, the compiled interpretation of three books in the series only glazes over the story’s events.

Page 20.indd 1

Events Calendar

Hollywood Blvd. offers dinner, movie combo

Feb. 25: Jersey Boys, Bank of America Theatre, 2 p.m.

March 10: Mary Poppins, Cadillac Palace, 7:30 p.m.



Theater entertains, feeds patrons

AroundTown Feb. 21: Gypsy Kings, Chicago Theatre, 8 p.m.

March 8: Million Dollar Quartet, Apollo Theater, 3:30 p.m.

Weekend weather:

Friday, February 20, 2009  Page 20

2/17/2009 7:02:53 PM

LION Issue 5  

Issue 5 of the 2008-2009 year

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