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Inside this issue: Bible study: Page 2

Cheer dress code: Page 2

TA Today

Drama: Page 5

Students and teachers weigh in on dress code By Lillie Sansing and Kylar Greene Staff Writers

Is the dress code good or bad? Students have mixed opinions. Some students think that the dress code should stay the same, while others believe that it should be changed to something more relaxed. The new dress code required

students to wear shorts that are no shorter than five inches above the knee. Girls must wear shirts that cover shoulders at all time. “I don’t think there is anything scandalous about shoulders,” said Holley McShan. “I think we should go back to the threefinger rule. I also

think that the skirt and short length for girls is unrealistic because it is difficult to find skirt/ shorts that length.” But Middle Scchool Dean Heatherly Whiteside said the dress code is good, “because with middle and upper school girls it ensures that everything important is covered.”

School lunches bring various students’ opinions to the table

By Elizabeth Moseley and Anna Shelby Staff Writers

Tuscaloosa Academy lunches have always been a hot topic among students. Whether they like them or not, students are always talking about them. “I think some of the lunches are good, others are not the best,” said Hallie Harrison. But many other

Eigth-grader North Patterson said the effects of the dress code depend on the gender of the student. “I think it is good for the boys but not for the girls,” Patterson said. Teacher Rachael Gregory agreed. “I think it’s unfair that we can’t show our shoulders,” she said.

Changes in dress code also concerns boys By Price McGiffert Staff Writer

Photo by Holley McShan

A typical daily lunch from the TA cafeteria.

students agreed with her. “They are ok, but I would like better,”

said Tristan Stearman. Lunch continued on page 4

Photo by Scheherbano Rafay

Ta student Chelsea Alan models clothes that are acceptable under the new school dress code.

“I think it’s fair for the boys, but not for the girls,” said The Boys Dress North Patterson. code has changed “I like it” said TA since last year, and some students have Headmaster Dr. Jeffery Mitchell. “My voiced concern. personal opinion “I am fine with about the uniforms collared shirts, but is that we should I do miss the Thave to wear those shirts,” said Harritoo, but I think TA son Standeffer. With the new col- is not ready for lared shirts, students them yet.” TA officials have cannot wear T-shirts considered unianymore, and the girls dress code has forms, but TA has never tried them. changed a lot too.


Some cheerleaders unhappy with dress code changes By Mary Katelyn Price Staff Writer

The cheerleaders are not allowed to wear their cheerleading uniforms to school without sleeves and pants, which has caused distress among some cheerleaders. Cheer uniforms are not in the school dress code because they allow shoulders showing and the skirts are too short. Yet some students pointed out that cheer uniforms have not been in

the dress code in the past and the cheerleaders were abllowed to wear them. “I don’t mind we get to wear are jersey’s so they should wear their uniforms it kind of matches you know,” said JV football player Garrett Sellers On game days, the PeeWee cheerleaders wear their uniforms with a turtle neck and leggings underneath. PeeWee cheerleader Ashton

Brantley was asked what she thought of the dress code. “It’s not fair,” Brantley said. The JV don’t wear their wear their uniforms to school. You see them walking the school halls on game day in jerseys. The one thing that’s been the biggest problem about this whole situation is the cheerleaders spend hundreds on their uniforms all them think it’s only fair, because they are one of the only

Photo by Scheherbano Rafay

JV cheerleader Sarah Corbett Woods wears her jersey and sweatpants since she is no longer able to wear her uniform at school.

people in the school who have to buy everything of their own. With the new dress code at Tuscaloosa

Academy there have been a lot of changes, and the cheer uniforms are one thing that has some students stirred up.

New Bible study a popular recess alternative By North Patterson and Harrison Standeffer Staff Writers

A Bible study, which has been held for about a month, will continue to meet at recess each Tuesday and Thursday. The Bible study is for people who want to get closer to Jesus, organizers said. “I think it is amazing,” said 8th grader Hallie Harrison. “I think it is

an awesome experience to fellowship, but mainly worship with some of your closest friends.” The bible study is for anyone from grades 5-8. Mostly 7th and 8th graders have attended so far, but organizers encourage 5th and 6th graders to attend. “I think it is smart and good for the school,” said 7th-grader Riley Kate Lancaster.

8th grader Carter Bunch agreed. “I think it is very good,” he said. “It is a nice thing for TA’s class to do.” Middle School Dean Heatherly Whiteside supports the Bible study. “I think its a great thing for TA’s students to grow closer together and share with each other,” she said. “TA is happy to support similar groups for students

of other religions or beliefs. If you are interested in starting such a group, please see Mrs. W.” See North Pat-

terson, Hallie Harrison, Harrison Standeffer, or Price McGiffert with questions about the Bible study.

Photo by Austin Rice

A group of students huddle in prayer on the bleachers during recess.


Dress code: Don’t fix what is not broken By Hallie Harrison Staff Writer

The halls and dinner tables of the TA family are buzzing about the new change in the school; the dress code. Some people argue that it’s too little and uniforms should be the new way. Others are upset about this year’s changes: Over the shoulder sleeves for girls, five inches above the knee shorts/skirts and boys are going back to collared shirts every day. Fellow 8th grader Price McGiffert says that it doesn’t matter. So not everyone is upset by the changes. “It doesn’t really bother me; it feels the same as a T-shirt,” he said. But the big thing that has some students so

upset is the discontinuation of TA T-shirts being allowed every day. I personally enjoyed T-shirts being allowed every day because when we had late study nights or games that made us get home late, then students ended up exhausted. I thought it was easier to wake up and throw a T-shirt on and head to school. So does Mary Katelyn Price. “As far as, late nights, ball games studying for tests. Like last week I had four tests and had to dig out something to wear in my closet… last year’s dress code was easier. Even though some people might think it’s a little sloppy. I just think it was easier. It made us happy and when we’re happy it’s easier to learn,” she

said. Also, some students argue that if they are more relaxed in class they will focus more instead of fiddling with their “more formal dress code.” “[The dress code] doesn’t affect your ability to learn, so why does it matter if we are dressed up when we can do the same thing in a T-shirt,” said Lillie Sansing. Others disagree, and approve of the changes, like Dean of the Middle School Heatherly Whiteside. “I love it,” she said. “I think it makes the girls more appropriate. It increases fairness between the genders.” More attention grabbers are the new rules where girls have to wear shirts that are over the

shoulder, and 5 inches above the knee shorts. Instead of the 2-3 finger width strap rule and the infamous finger length limit to shorts. To me it’s hard to find shorts that long and for the longlegged people it looks awkward. I really like the 2-3 inches finger rule, as long as the shirt is appropriate. But I can also see where it could become an issue. “[Addressing the over the shoulder rule] what’s so scandalous about a shoulder?!” said Elizabeth Moseley. Over all, students have mixed emotions about it. Some approve, others say, “Why fix something that’s not broken?” To me, it was not broken. But people just thought it was and it

Need Advice? The TA Today staff’s advice columnist, Earl, can help! E-mail your questions to and they might be answered in the next issue.

New German students adapt to life at TA

By Matthew Teesdale lifestyle and culture. Staff Writer It also takes time to

Germans think Tuscaloosa is different from their homeland, and some students said that they miss Germany. Nils Woerz compared TA to his German school. “I guess its OK, but it is kinda boring to have the same classes every day,” he said. The Germans that have been here for at least two years like it here in America. So it takes some time to get used to America, and the

make new friends. TA students have welcomed German students. “There are a lot of new Germans and most of them are pretty cool,” Carter Bunch said. Nathaniel Schlesinger pointed out that student Joe Goebel hasn’t changed in the last two years, since coming to TA. “Joe hasn’t changed a bit in the last two years, he is still old Joebel,” he said.


LUNCH Continued from page 1 Others were more opinionated towards the lunches. “I think they’re decent but they need more healthy options,” said Holley McShan. School lunchrooms should establish healthy eating habits. The food pyramid says that people aged 14-18 should eat 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables, 5 to 6 cups of protein, 3 cups of calcium, 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits and

3 ounces of whole grain a day. Some favorite menu items at TA are Poppy seed Chicken, Tacos, Rolls, Chili, Grilled cheese, Mashed potatoes (although occasionally a little heavy on the butter, some students said), and catered food. “I think they’re great, especially lasagna,” student Garrett Sellers said. On the days when Tuscaloosa Academy lunches are at their peak, students are very grateful, as well as full. Some students bring their lunch

as well, which is another alternative to eating meals provided by the school. This is a good way to be sure that students get their recommended amounts of various food groups. The salad and sandwich bar has been a lifesaver to the picky eaters of Tuscaloosa Academy. When students dislike what is served that day, they can get a salad or a sandwich or anything else that might be there. The salad and sandwich bars also offer additional side items such as fruit, bread, and cookies.

Fall sports make an early shift to baseball By Tristan Stearman and Nathaniel Schlesinger Staff Writers

It’s October, and though the focus right now at Tuscaloosa Academy is football, many people are talking about baseball, too. The World Series in Major League baseball has begun. That gets those who love baseball thinking about TA

baseball starting this spring. Both junior varsity and varsity are coming off great seasons in 2010. The JV team went 13-4 while the varsity team went 20-8, eventually losing in the playoffs to Macon East Academy. The question now is can JV and varsity repeat their success in the 2011

season? “The JV team is very experienced,” said Coach Patrick Jones. The evidence supports his claim. JV will have at least five 9th graders that will be returning this upcoming season. Jones added that the team had great potential and that “the sky is the limit” with how far

the JV team can go. When asked about the potential of the JV team this year, Jaylen Mitchell, who’s in 9th grade, replied, “[9th grader] William Heath could be a star player for the JV team.” Mitchell sees Heath as a big hitter and star catcher. Jones said that the varsity team is

going to have to find a student to replace their best player from last year on both defense and offense, Jeremiah Tulledge. If the team can do that, he said, then the future looks good for the varsity team. “Whether Varsity will have a playoff team or not is still to be determined,” Jones said.

Arts & Entertainment The talented Mr. V By Garrett Sellers Staff Writer

Matthew von Redlich, or Mr. V as the students call him, has been director of the drama department for six years. von Redlich said that he has been in drama since a little boy and that he performed in plays in

school and college and eventually went professional. Many people think the drama department brings great things to our school. “I think the Drama department brings a lot to our school,” said Middle School Dean Heatherly White-

side. “It allows students who are creative and expressive an opportunity to get on stage and perform. There are students who don’t always want to participate in athletics or some of the academic contests, so it also allows a niche for

Photo by Scheherbano Rafay

Mr. V watches Rehearsal

those students and all of our students.” von Redlich said that he is ready for

the upcoming show because the actors he has are doing a great job in “Taming of the Shrew.” “I’m a little surprised with how well they’re doing,” he said. Mr. V has directed over 100 plays. His favorite plays he has directed are “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown,” “Zorro,” and “The Princess Bride.”

Making of a play the TA way

By Scheherbano Rafay horrible outlook on men and all the Staff Writer

Tuscaloosa Academy will stage “The Taming of The Shrew,” which is also be a musical. The premise of the play was explained by the director, Matthew von Redlich. “The play basically is about whether women should be treated as property and whether having a bad attitude is something that true love can overcome. And I think that we do discover that in spite [main character, Katherine]

institutions that men have created that through it all if she can find someone

for who she is, the she’ll be happy.” The play has very interesting characters played by TA students. Garrett

Photo by Scheherbano Rafay

Parker Leonard goes over his lines in preperation for “The Taming of the Shrew”

she really connects with someone who really will love her

Sellers explained “The character I’m playing is a fairly

old guy trying to get a young, princess you might say. But first he has to get the first daughter married before he can get the second daughter, so he’s just trying to make a plan for that.” Some actors have found similarities with their characters. For example, John David Ryan said “I really like that my character’s a supporting actor so he doesn’t actually get the girl in the end but I really like that because that’s kind of how I am in real life. I’m not always the person at the fore-

front of everything but I generally have some part in it.” Von Redlich said he chose this play because he worked with the musical version a couple of years ago “Kiss Me, Kate” and liked the story. He knew that there was no way they could sing a three hour musical, so he thought he’d go back to the source material which was Shakespeare’s original play. Redlich explained why he kept the play in Shakespeare English and did not Play continued on page 6

PLAY Continued from page 5 modernize it. “I love the language. It’s hard, it takes effort to do it, but if you can do it well then you’ve really succeeded in something. And there’s a reason his plays have lasted all these centuries because there is some just amazing word play and it talks about things that sometimes we can’t express very well, but he does.” Mary Katelyn Price, who plays a merchant, talked about what it is like being in a TA play. “It gets stressful sometimes, but

I love drama so it doesn’t matter,” she said. Ryan also expressed the challenges of being in a play. “The worst part about it is probably just the learning the lines, I mean I’m not going to lie and say it’s fun, but once you get them it’s fun to add on to it.” But many actors said the play also very exciting and fun. “Well, I like doing TA plays, they’re very fun and you get to know more people,” said Sellers. For actors like Price and Sellers, this is not the first

Photo by Scheherbano Rafay

Student Allen Scogin reviews a script during a recent practice for “Taming of the Shrew”

time they have been in a TA production. But, for Ryan and others this is a first. “I’ve always kind of wanted to be in the play and I’ve always had friends that were a part of it. And it’s always just been conflicts with sports or with other performances

I wasn’t actually able to be in a play yet. So I figured this is my senior year and I should make time for it so I cancelled a sport or two and decided to join the play,” said Ryan. von Redlich encourages students to take part in the pro-

ductions and drama. He explained why it helps students. “The part of everybody that was a little kid that played without fear that ran around doing silly voices and just having a good time gets covered up, it gets chipped away, and it gets protected because people are afraid of being embarrassed. I think it helps people remember who they used to be.” The play has both middle and upper school students that have put a lot of effort into it. Support them by attending the play Nov. 15 and 16, at the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa.

What’s happening in the TA Middle School?

Photo by Heatherly Whiteside

6th graders Jessie Goebel, Ashton Brantley, Emily Grace Grier, Anna Claire Diaz, and Caroline Robinson with their tour guide in Colonial Williamsburg.

Photo by Heatherly Whiteside

Photo by Heatherly Whiteside

6th graders enjoy the sights of Colonial Williamsburg

5th grade students Conner Hollingsworth, Mason Palmer, Don DeVenny, and Harrison Howell dress up as part of the Project American Life festivities

TA Today  

Tuscaloosa Academy Middle School newspaper

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