Page 1


ANVIL 50 Years of Coverage

Mustang Park Renovated

Mustangs off to 9-5 start; open district play against Cinco Ranch on Dec. 16 SEE PAGE 8 VOLUME 50 • ISSUE 4

Angels aid in Life Skills By Hannah Vergult Reporter

Above: Computer generations show what the new baseball facility will look like when completed. Below: The stands will be able to hold as many as 550 more spectators.


New baseball stadium set to open By Abigail Godfrey News Editor

As part of the 2007 SBISD bond plan, Mustang Park received a much-needed face lift this past summer. The building is still under construction, but it will be complete for the majority of the baseball season this spring. The alterations, which are part of the improvements that were made to the school beginning this past summer, focus on fully utilizing the space and facilities available in order to improve the fan areas. The seating capacity has

been increased from 400 people to 950 people. The rest room facilities and concession stand were upgraded as well and suspension netting was also added beJeremy York hind the home plate area. “The facility will be one of the best high school facilities around,” Head Baseball Coach Jeremy York said. “We are excited about it and hope that we can fill it for every home game this season. It will be an excellent place to

Lindsey Limbaugh

watch a baseball game.” Players have seen the new field and are excited to play on it during next semester’s season. “It’s rewarding to have worked so hard in the past and now, as a senior, have such an amazing field to play on,” senior and returning varsity baseball player Miles Roeder said. “It gives us incentive to play the best we can knowing we’re blessed to have such an amazing facility for ourselves and our fans.” Mustang Park is located across Echo Lane on the east side of the Field House park-

ing lot. The amended facility will be fully ready within the next few weeks with a projected completion date of Dec. 1. There will be an opening day event for the first varsity home game against Stratford. “We are hoping that the student body will enjoy it and come out and support our teams throughout the season,” York said. “We had outstanding support last season and now with additional seating we are hoping to have this same support throughout the year.”

Every school day, six students dedicate either their lunch or a class period to spend time with special needs students in the Life Skills room. Seniors Caitlin Owens, Camille Owens, Katie McArthur, juniors Courtney O’Donnell and Kerry Egan, and sophomore McKenna O’Donnell assist with the special education program by interacting with students and preparing learning activities “As an adult looking at teens, all we hear about is the bad press that teens get, so to have these girls give up their time boggles the mind that people are so good,” Life Skills teacher David Leeder said. “This story needs to be told.” The girls enjoy the opportunity to work with the Life Skills program on a daily basis. Some spend their lunches helping out, while others sign up as an office aid. “I have a sister who was in the life skills class and I have always been interested in helping out,” O’Donnell said. “It just seemed like a fun thing to be involved in.” For McArthur, a typical period in the Life Skills room

see LIFE SKILLS page 5

STUDY UP, MUSTANGS! The ACT will be administered tomorrow morning and Final Exams start next week. See Exam Shedule on Page 5

NEWS... 1-5 SPORTS... 6-8 OPINIONS... 10-11 PHOTO ESSAY... 12ON THUNDER... 2 5 seeSection GYPSY, page STORY PAGE 8

see SEO, page 5








Orchestra students advance to State

Musicians strive to reach the highest level of competition By Emma Mattson Co-Sports editor


ix Memorial students have earned the honor of making it to the All-State Orchestra Competition. Earning the honors are seniors Brandon Simon and Elizabeth Cai, juniors Sarah Song and Joy Ahn, sophomore Rebekah Kim, and freshman Tiffany Hu. Together, all of these students make up the team of musically talented students who traveled to San Antonio to participate in this prestigious honor. “Judges only pick the best high school musicians who then have to send a recording of

their audition,” Hu said. “They eliminate until they have the top 40 of each specific instrument and that means you made it!” With such grand requirements, earning a spot in All State is quite a strenuous task. Each of the students spend five to six hours a week practicing their specific instruments and must balance their talent with rigorous school work and other extracurricular activities as well. “I play the cello, and during the summer I try to get in a few hours a day, but during school, I don’t have much time, so it varies whenever I have a spare moment,” Song said.

Simon and Cai are veterans of the AllState competition, as this is their fourth year to attend. These two musicians have worked extremely hard in attempts to get as far as possible. This is such a rare feat for high school musicians, and these two students have been recognized for their extraordinary accomplishment. “We have fun performing, and I wouldn’t trade all of my time dedicated to music for anything,” Cai said. “I’ve gained so much from playing and have had many fun and new experiences.” Each of the six musicians sent in

auditions, and after being carefully scrutinized by the panel of judges, were approved to continue on to All- State. The students spend lots of time together and grow very close through hours of practice and performing. “My favorite part of orchestra is that there’s so much diversity in personalities,” Song said. “Everyone is so different and I love that we can come together to meet one goal. It really is a team effort.” All of the musicians enjoy orchestra a great deal and some even hope to continue to pursue a career in music at the

see STATE page 5


NEWSin BRIEF UNICEF Donations The United Nations Children’s Fund is having a fundraiser to gather food for the homeless over the holiday break. Students are asked to bring canned or dried, non-perishable food to donate to those in need. Donations should be brought to V-104.

Mustang Heart Award The Fall Semester winners of the Mustang Heart Award are Meredith Hughes (9), Andrew Van Norman (9), Adam Khalifa (10), Lawrencia Nkadi (10), David Holland (11), Golbou Shariatmadar (11), Brooks Taylor (12), and Lauren Ammerman (12). The Mustang Heart Award, based primarily on student nominations, recognizes students who impact their community by demonstrating outstanding character. “The award is for unsung heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty inside and outside of school without recognition,” math teacher Cathy Hodge said.

Football: Round 3 Playoffs

Lindsey Limbaugh

Practice Makes Perfect: Focusing on his sheet music, Senior Brandon Simon practices in preparation for his fourth trip to the All-State competition,which took place in San Antonio.

Lindsey Limbaugh

Pulling Heart Strings: Senior Elizabeth Cai, seated first on the left, joins her fellow orchestra students in practicing. Her playing qualified her for All-State competition for the fourth time.

Student conducts lab research By Kirby Smith Co-Sports Editor

This past summer, senior Michael White worked as an intern for the Baylor College of Medicine in the Houston Medical Center. He had the opportunity to work in a lab among PhDs doing research on a certain type of bacteria. The bacterium is used to work with the body in order to improve one’s health. In order to receive this internship White had to apply and then interview for the position. “The interview was pretty nerve-racking,” White said. “Especially because the men interviewing me were going to be the people I would be working with for the next eight weeks.” A typical workday for White lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “The hours made me feel like I was really in the work field,” White said. “It gave me a great idea of what I could be facing in the future.” However, the time he

spent did not go without reward; White was paid a salary for his work at the medical center. “Getting paid was a bonus, but I would have done it, hands down, without a salary,” White said. “I was just interested in learning.” After White finished his internship, he wanted to take his studies even further. White asked his lab supervisor if he could use his lab to conduct his own experiment. “I wanted to continue the research that I had started,” White said. “Thankfully my partner said that I could use his lab, and I began work on my own sector of the research.” White’s work built on the advances he made over the summer. “Basically I added this good bacteria with a dietary component in order to reduce the swelling of the intestines to help cure diseases like Crohn’s disease,” White said.

The experiment was entered into a science competition “I entered my research report into the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The title was ‘Production of Histamine in hdcAcontaining Lactic Acid Bacteria Indigenous to the Human Gastrointestinal Tract’,” White said. The competition was against other students around the country. White’s experience caused him to reconsider some of his future plans. “Although I didn’t place in the competition, I was so thankful to have this opportunity because it gave me a better idea of what I want to do in the future,” White said. “Being a part of this experiment changed my mind on a few things. I always thought that I wanted to become a doctor and treat patients, but now I am considering

see WHITE page 5

The football season came to a close on Saturday, Nov. 26 when the Mustangs fell to the Port Arthur Memorial Titans, 24-14 in round three of the playoffs. The game was played at Turner Stadium in Humble.

Athlete of the Week KHOU has named freshman swimmer Alex Buscher Athlete of the Week. She received this honor for her gold medal perfocmances at the Corpus Christi and Spring Branch invitational meets. Her interview with the news station will air during this evening’s news cast.

Orchestra Concert, Silent Auction There will be an Orchestra concert this evening at MHS beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium, followed by a silent auction to raise money for the Orchestra. All students and parents are welcome to attend. The event will end at 9 p.m.

Secret Santa Student Council hosted the annual Secret Santa faculty/student gift exchange on Dec. 9 in the multi-purpose room. The exchange took place before school and included a breakfast.

Happy Holidays! The Anvil staff would like to wish students, faculty and staff a safe and wonderful winter break.



Head Back to Class for Less at the



Character Before Achievement

offering seminars in: 713.877.0484



social etiquette résumé -writing prom packages interviewing techniques



Find great deals on Back-to-School items!

Clothing, Backpacks, Shoes, Supplies, Trendy & Vintage

Jewelry, Dorm Room Furniture, and much more!

1625 Blalock Road North of Long Point Houston, Texas 77080

Hours of Operaon Mon.––Fri. 10 am––6 pm Sat. 10 am––5pm


Donate your household goods and furniture. All proceeds from our resale operaon support MAM’’s programs to help those in need. MAM can pick up large items such as furniture. To schedule a pickup, email us at or call 713-491-4330.



LIFE SKILLS: student helpers CONTINUED

begins with a greeting, “Hi, Miss Katie” from each of the students. She then begins to set up and get the kids situated for lunch or help out with anything else that needs to be done. “Everyday when I walk into Ms. Watkins’ room everyone is so happy,” McArthur said. “I walk in the door ,and it makes my day.” With the arrival of the holiday season, the Life Skills room is not limited to its regular helpers. On Dec. 16, the Markettes will conduct a Secret Santa with the special needs students.

“It’s really humbling to help out. and I’m really excited to be able to exchange gifts,” senior Chloe Gold said. Markettes will participate by purchasing a variety of small gifts, all based on a wish list from each student. Gifts include MHS t-shirts and gear, hair barrettes, and snacks, which will be exchanged in the Markette room. “I think the Life Skills students will have a great time with my girls and they are touched to be able to work with them,” Markette teacher April Graham said.

STATE: Orchestra students advance CONTINUED

Cai plans on double majoring in music and chemistry next year at either the Eastman School of Music or the University of Rochester. Orchestra is one of her passions and she plans to continue to pursue it for

the rest of her life. “I love being able to express my emotions through music using my instrument, and by doing that I’m able to bring joy and enjoyment to others when they hear the pieces I perform,” Cai said.

SEMESTER EXAM SCHEDULE Tuesday, December 13 (full day of school): Period 1 Exam- 1:00-3:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 14 (noon dismissal): Period 2 Exam- 7:50-9:50 a.m. Period 3 Exam- 10:00-12:00 p.m. Thursday, December 15 (noon dismissal): Period 4 Exam- 7:50-9:50 a.m. Period 5 Exam- 10:00-12:00 p.m. Friday, December 16 (noon dismissal): Period 6 Exam- 7:50-9:50 a.m. Period 7 Exam- 10:00-12:00 p.m.

Private and Group Lessons for Children and Adults Music Theory and Live Performance Coaching

WHITE: conducts research at TMC CONTINUED

I am considering doing research as well, and hopefully getting both an MD and PhD in order to have the best of both worlds.” Regardless of the extent of his future pursuits in the research field,

White’s internship will continue to serve as a source of both motivation and opportunity. “Everything I learned was so new and interesting,” White said. “I am excited to see where this experience will take me.”



Patient and Experienced Teachers

9183 Katy Freeway Suites 100-200 Houston, TX 77024

Since 1999

(713) 365-9154





Signe NAME: Beau Rathjen SPORT: Baseball SCHOOL: Rice University “The most exciting part of signing is knowing that all the hard work I’ve put into baseball is finally paying off for my future.” NAME: Ben Carl SPORT: Baseball SCHOOL: Baylor University “I was so excited to sign with Baylor, especially because Drew Tolson, one of my lifelong friends and teammates, also signed.” NAME: Boomer White SPORT: Baseball SCHOOL: Texas Christian University “I’m really excited to being going to TCU to play baseball.The team is really great and the coaches know what they’re doing, so I know I made the right choice.” NAME: Brock Davidson SPORT: Baseball SCHOOL: U.S. Military Academy At Westpoint “Choosing Westpoint for college was a really easy decision. I’m really excited to be able to play baseball there.”

All hand photos by Baily Tusuru





Memorial students are known for athletic prowess. Only a lucky few, however, achieve greatness and receive scholarships. Colleges and universities desperately sought after certain Memorial students for their incredible athleticism. This November, seven talented seniors signed and agreed to play college sports next year. From volleyball to football, you’ll be hearing a lot about these athletes in the future.

NAME: Caroline Ciaccio SPORT: Volleyball SCHOOL: University of San Diego

“I chose University of San Diego because it has a really pretty campus and beach down the street. I really like the coach and players on the team, and they have things that I’m interested in studying.”

NAME: Drew Tolson SPORT: Baseball SCHOOL: Baylor University “I chose Baylor because it’s a good school with a prestigious baseball program. I’m especially excited to be there with my friend Ben Carl.”

NAME: Jennie Kieval SPORT: Softball SCHOOL: Sam Houston State “My parents went to Sam Houston so they really pushed me to go there for softball. I really like the campus, the team, and the coaches when I would go on my visits.”

NAME: Martin Tolentino SPORT: Track & Field SCHOOL: Yale University “I thought Yale was the right choice for me because of the balance between athletics and education offered there.”

By Adam Mrlik Entertainment Editor By David Nosrat Reporter






Basketball swooshes into season Girls and boys basketball season off to a strong start By Sophie Macicek Reporter Girls’ Season: The girls’ season has gotten off to a good start with a bronze championship in the annual Jack Frost Tournament in Georgetown, Texas. This is also the first time in history that the

Boys’ Season: The boys season has also started off well with big wins such as their 51-48 win against Cy-Fair and a 52-41 win against Reagan High School. “My expectations are to make a run in the playoffs,” senior Max Yanke said. “We lost in the first round last year

“I’m really proud of our team this season because we have all been playing our hearts out. Our hard work has really been paying off.” - Junior Elissa Kissner

Lady Mustangs have placed in three different tournaments in a single season. “I’m really proud of our team this season because we have all been playing our hearts out,” junior Elissa Kissner said. “Our hard work has really been paying off.”

so I’d like to get further than that this season. Sailors: To help support the teams, the Sailors are eager to get out to the games and cheer the players on. These junior and senior guys are notorious for wearing sailor hats to all the boys’ varsity basketball games and acting


as cheerleaders in the stands. “The best part about playing on the basketball team is playing in front of the Sailors,” senior Kyle Dobbins said. “They are always rowdy at our games, and it makes the games so much more fun.” Giving Back: As a team charity project, the basketball teams are cohesively working with Samaritan’s Feet and the “Barefoot for Bare feet” movement. Their goal is to raise $2,000, which in turn will provide 200 shoes to less fortunate children all over the world. “I’m really excited about giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate,” junior Jennifer Taylor said. “I love being involved in charity projects, and it’s especially fun while working with my teammates.”

Kimberly Landa Quick pivot. Junior Trip Brown pivots around his defender as he looks for an open pass. The Mustangs defeated Nimitz. “I love being able to fake out the defense. It’s so fun to see the look on their faces,” Brown said.

Fantasizing about football Fantasy football leagues growing at Memorial By David Nosrat Reporter

In the last few years, fantasy football has gained more and more popularity. Individual leagues between friends and co-workers are extremely common. Chatter in the hallways about math tests and the weather now include topics like “Matt Schaub got me 26 points last night.” At Memorial, both students and teachers alike take part in this glorified stat tracker. “I’m in a league with a few of my friends, and we all have fun doing it,” senior Mark Camero said. “I love watching football, and fantasy football lets me get more involved in the games and the stats, plus winning bragging rights is always fun.” Fantasy football basically makes Camero the manager of his pseudo-football team composed of different players from the real National Football League (NFL). As the “manager,” he takes part in a draft with other people in his league; he can trade, add or drop players,

and change the roster. To keep track of who wins and who loses, each participant is awarded team points based on their performance in weekly games. For example, a rushing touchdown awards six points, a passing touchdown four points, and one point per sack. At the end of the week, the manager will add up the points that have been accumulated by their players and compare their overall

Kimberly Landa Helmet held high. Senior Boomer White removes his helmet as the team sings their last Alma Mater at the end last playoff game of the season against Port Arthur Memorial. The team suffered a loss in their 3rd round playoff game.

groups of people, which is why leagues have developed between friends and teachers in the past few years at Memorial. “I’ve been playing in the school league for about seven years, and 15 years total,” Vieth said. In the past few years, fantasy football web sites have emerged, and managing a team has become significantly easier, allowing fantasy football to become

“I participate in fantasy football because it makes the NFL that much more interesting.” -Craig Veith

score with others’ in their league. “I participate in fantasy football because it makes the NFL that much more interesting,” math teacher Craig Vieth said. “My team is doing all right so far; I’m in second or third place. But I still plan to win as usual.” Fantasy football allows people in each league to have another competitive aspect in their lives, making it popular among many

the phenomenon it is today. “I’ve been in the league at the school for about five years now,” math teacher Phil Harter said. “I like fantasy football because it’s a good way to follow the NFL and hassle your friends about their performances in a competitive but friendly way.” With the huge amount of leagues this season, even more are expected to appear next year.

Paying the Price

By Meili Criezis Reporter When the Saints went to the Super Bowl, I would have loved to go to New Orleans to see the game in person and root them on. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go due to the price of the tickets. I realized that if it were my grandpa’s day and age, affording tickets wouldn’t have been a problem. ‘Back then’, families used to go to baseball, football and basketball games without having to worry about the cost of tickets. The athletes stayed loyal to their home teams and weren’t swayed to join others by the promise of a larger salary. ‘Back then’ it used to be more about the game, the tradition and the loyalty. Unfortunately, ticket prices have sky rocketed, making sporting events too expensive. Going out to the ball game with the family on a sunny Saturday afternoon is costly, especially when trying to get good seats. Meanwhile, overpaid athletes and their coaches are making millions upon millions of dollars – they are just raking it all in. It’s more about the money than the game and the athletes’ loyalties now belong to the dollar. This is at the expense of the fans that provide the support for the teams, coaches and the game. Professional athletes have worked hard for their fame and they deserve to receive credit for their accomplishments; not to the extent of the ridiculously enormous wages they are currently earning. Everything is best kept in moderation- but sports companies and sponsors don’t seem to understand this concept. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the NBA lockout to end, perhaps sports fans should take things into their own hands and have their own lockout until the excessive fiscal policies of their favorite teams are lowered to more reasonable standards. Then, maybe we all will be able to enjoy a good game without burning a hole in our checkbooks.




Varsity Boys Basketbal

JV Boys Basketball

Last Week: Beat Nimitz 66-58 on Nov. 29. This Week: Playing Stratford on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Don Coleman Coliseum Overall: 6-3 District: N/A Bright Spots: Senior Kyle Dobbins helps bring the team to victory as the leading pointguard for the Mustangs.

Last Week: Beat Nimitz 52-42 at Memorial on Nov. 29. This Week: Playing Stratford on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Don Coleman Coliseum. Overall: 5-2 District: N/A Bright Spots: Anthonky Cokinos proves to be a strong player and is improving.

Freshman A Boys Basketball

Freshman B Boys Basketball


Last Week: N/A This Week: Playing Stratford on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Stratford

Last Week: N/A This Week: Playing Stratford on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Stratford.

Bright Spots: The defense and offense is improving, and the team is learning how to work together.

Bright Spots: The team is working together in order to achieve success as they get deeper into the season.

Varsity Girls Basketball

JV Girls Basketball

Last Week: Beat Clear Creek 60-49 on Nov. 29. This Week: Playing Morton Ranch on Dec. 6 at Morton Ranch. Overall: 12-8 District: N/A Bright Spots: Laurel Carrell continues to be a strong player as she helps lead the team throughout the season.

Freshman B Girls Basketball Last Week: Beat Cleark Creek 34-16 on Nov. 29. This Week: Open district play on Dec. 6 at Morton Ranch. Playing Mayde Creek at home on Dec. 9. Overall: 10-2 District: N/A Bright Spots: The girls are begininning to work as a team as they head into district play.



Sophomore Boys Basketball Last Week: Beat Seven Lakes 48-29 on Oct. 27. This Week: Playing Stratford on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Don Coleman Coliseum. Overall: 3-3 District: N/A

Last Week: N/A This Week: Game agaisnt Morton Ranch on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Morton Ranch. Overall: N/A District: N/A Bright Spots: The team is improving as a whole and is looking foward to starting district games.

Freshman A Girls Basketball Last Week: Beat Katy Taylor on Nov. 28, 36-21. Overall: 6-2 District: N/A This Week: Game against Morton Ranch at Morton Ranch on Dec. 6 at 4:00 p.m. Bright Spots: The whole team is doing great and hopes to keep up their winning streak.

Kimberly Landa

Between the legs. Senior Brooks Taylor dribbles the ball down the court as he tries to outplay his opponent from Nimitz High School. The Mustangs defeated Nimitz, 66-58.



The People Behind

The Anvil

Holiday Traditions in the Making By Lindsey Taylor Reporter

Carson White Co-Editor in Chief

Kelsey Smith Co-Editor in Chief

Emily Snow Co-Editor at Large

Callie Carson Co-Editor at Large

Emmalee Bergez Opinions Editor

Emma Mattson Co-Sports Editor

Adam Mrlik Co-ent. Editor

Kirby Smith Co-Sports Editor

Caroline Sladic Co-ent. Editor

Abigail Godfrey News Editor

Nick Pohl Kimberly Online EdiLanda tor Photo Editor

After the last bite of pecan pie is gobbled down, I immediately usher in my favorite time of year: the Christmas season. The aroma of decadent hot chocolate, the taste of peppermint bark, and the sight of my Christmas tree sparkling with homemade ornaments always brings me excitement. Decorating for the holidays while blasting classic songs like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is something that I always look forward to. Ornaments from my younger years provide a trip down memory land while perfecting my Christmas tree. Pasta shells infused

with glitter function as borders for frames of pictures of my sister and I in elementary school. One of my favorite decorations is the trees my relatives and I make. Each year, we decorate Styrofoam trees with an array of vibrant candies. Dishes ranging from peppermints to gumdrops to Hershey’s kisses cover the table. Using icing as glue, we hold contests to determine who constructs the best candy tree and display them all as centerpieces for our Christmas Eve dinner. Of course, the Holidays always bring delicious food. Sugar cookies in festive shapes adorned with red and green sprinkles, brownies with peppermint icing, and other treats leave my mouth

Sahar Sadoughi Web Editor

Reporters: Meili Criezis Mariam Khan Sophie Macicek David Nosrat Callie Phillips Alexandra Seekely Lindsey Taylor Hannah Vergult Photographers: Patricia Rotan Avery Birdwell Lindsey Limbaugh

watering for more. After feasting, a competitive round of Pictionary and charades ensues. Laughter bellows in the room as silly facial expressions and abstract drawings leave us in hysterics. When I was younger, I used to leave a questionnaire for Santa to fill out with requests like whether or not a new Santa would replace him if he ever dies. I remember giggling for days after Santa reported that he was “as old as the hills” when I inquired about his age. One year I even got Rudolph’s signature, and another time my questions were left unanswered since apparently “elves delivered my presents”. Basically, responses varied depend-

‘Stang Studies Davis Wong Home country: Australia Old School: James Cook High Name:

Your favorite part of Memorial is: a. The pep rallies b. Music during the passing period c. Sporting events d. The teachers e. Other:

ing on which one of my aunts or uncles decided to become Santa for the evening. I left crackers for the reindeer, and in the morning they were crumbled on my porch. My eyes lit up as I felt pride in feeding Santa’s magical beasts; however, I later discovered that my mom had crunched the crackers before I had woken up. While some people tend to find joy in Santa’s gifts, I discovered fun in the silly memories I made. Although society places focus on gifts during the holidays, spending time with family and friends should be emphasized the most. While my new iPhone will break, I will always have memories to treasure.

If you could create any new club for Memorial what

I would create a club for Democrats.

would it be?

If I could be in any extracurricular activity it would

I wish that I could participate in water aerobics. be:

What do you miss most about your

I miss all of my friends from my old school and having less homework! old school?

Memorial has so many more people than my old school and is a lot larger.

How is Memorial different?

If you could change one thing about

Bailey Tsuru Photo Editor



I wish that Memorial had more diversity throughout the school.

Memorial what would it be?

Advisor: Todd McCardle THE ANVIL Memorial High School 935 Echo Lane Houston, TX 77024 713-251-2500 Principal: William Lakin


is your favorite class? a. Math b. English c. Science d. History e. other:

What scares you the most about our school?

The first bell of the day!

Everything about Memorial is just so awesome! Memorial is the best because:

The ANVIL is published monthly by Memorial High School Publications and uses high school-appropriate advertising to offset costs. The ANVIL is a nonpartisan newspaper. The Editorial Board writes an unsigned editorial which represents the opinion of the entire staff. Spring Branch Independent School District and MHS cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or handicap in its educational, career and technology education programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1973. The ANVIL is copyright 2011-2012 by MHS publications, all rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced by any means without written consent from MHS Publications. Subscriptions are available for $25 per year. The ANVIL is printed by USA Printing and is designed by students using Apple Macintosh computers, Adobe InDesign CS4, Adobe Photoshop CS4. The ANVIL is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference, the Columbia Scholastic Press League and the Texas High School Press Association. The ANVIL welcomes letters to the Editor. Please enclose your full name (which we withhold upon request) and the telephone number. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Please bring letters to room R-204 or to the address on the left.



The Spirit of Getting I’ve grown up hearing “it’s better to give than to receive.” As I grew older, however, I realized that little sentence was true for different reasons than, in my childish naïveté, I’d originally thought. Now, I understand that it isn’t better to give because it’s the right thing to do or because book drive beyou ex4 : cause it’ll help e perience Agre his class win an 5 the inefgree: a s i D ice cream party, fable joy he’s still donatof maked five sacks of ing others books. If a bilhappy, but because you’ll lionaire writes a check get a tax break for the boxfor $1,000,000 to Star es of old toys you donate of Hope because, due to to Good Will and it’ll deincentives, it’s cheaper clutter the living room before Grandmother comes than paying taxes on that money, there’s still for Christmas. This begs the question: $1,000,000 going tois giving because of incen- ward a good cause. In that mindset, if incentives get tives really giving at all? From the receiving end more people to donate of charity, motives don’t and volunteer, they apmatter. If an elementary pear a godsend. There’s no doubt in my school kid brings in mind that incentives five sacks of books to a


Editor Poll

F A C E Off

work. What I’m concerned with are their cultural implications. America has a worldwide reputation of being very “me-centered”. We’re the “greedy green giant” of the West--we invade other countries for oil, we spend thousands of dollars to make our noses smaller, etc. etc. Clearly, other countries say these things because they’re just jealous. The more I researched for and thought about this editorial, however, I started to wonder if our reputation might hold some weight.

The truth is that even when it comes to giving and volunteering, which should be the epitome of selflessness, we feel the need to ask “what’s in it for me?” Maybe we’ve been trained to think this way. In primary school we had competitive food drives or penny races, with the promise of a few extra minutes of recess or a pizza lunch for the most philanthropic class. In high school we join MMOB or NCL to spruce up our college applications. Then, when we grow up instead of giving old clothes directly to a homeless man on the street, we drop them off in trash bags at MAM because we’ll get tax breaks for them. I don’t think the real question is whether incentives are good or bad, but what they say about our values. The real question here is: What do they say about us? What do they say about us?

Kirgan Hopkins 10th Grade


12th Grade

Claire Gundlach

“No, its not bad because you’re still volunteering and helping others, but if you benefit it’s just an added bonus, in the end you’re still volunteering.”

“Yes, It is wrong because you should volunteer just because you want to help people, not because you want to get some award or prize out of it.”

Is it wrong to volunteer for personal gain such as for a resume or prize?


A Choice, Not an Echo By Callie Carson Co-Editor at Large

“I will offer a choice, not an echo. This will not be an engagement of personalities. It will be an engagement of principles.” Thus Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater announced his candidacy for the 1964 presidential election. Goldwater’s ideas would later become pivotal in the modern conservative movement, which in turn influenced my parents’ and my personal views. I like to think of myself as being “conservative.” While I’d like to say that’s because I genuinely agree with the Republican party’s views, I know that it’s simply the way I’ve been raised. My parents taught me to speak English, hate higher taxes, and always concur with the Grand Old Party -- even if I’m not always sure why. I know that my concurrence is nothing more than an echo of my family’s beliefs, and I also know that I need to stop. It’s not just me. Republicans and Democrats alike, we’ve all been taught to agree with our parents. Now, however, our mindless regurgitation of political mantra (Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing, “too big to fail” is a crock, etc.) won’t simply be a string of words floating around. As the newest generation of voters, what we say and think will make a difference not only in the Texas primaries this March, but also in the presidential election next November. With these elections creeping closer, it’s time for the new voters of the Class of 2012 to make their own choices instead of echoing the opinions of parents, teachers, peers and even the politically-charged media. Well-formed opinions need to be based on knowledge instead of sheer opinion, on fact rather than hear-say. It’s time to try out different new sources like the British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio and the Associated Press. Time to research the nominees and go beyond their well-polished campaign-funded web sites. It might take away from Facebook and Twitter time, but doing proper research helps us make smarter choices. I have been doing my own political research and have found that the more I know, the more I agree with my parents’ general philosophies. It’s nice to know why they believe what they do, though, and even more assuring to know that what I believe is a choice. We of the Millennium Generation are going to have to live with the decisions made today. Like it or not, these decisions are now influenced by our own choices. We need to make sure that those decisions are ones that we agree with not because it’s what our parents think, but rather because it’s what we think. We need to stop echoing and make a choice.





LI GH T s Lindsey Limbaugh

Patricia Rotan

As lights line the roofs of homes, restaurants, and offices alike, the holiday season has officially arrived. The December nights in Houston fill the city with cheer and happiness as the lights all around town consume the community. With the holidays drawing near, families begin to pull their decorations out from the depths of the attic to create winter wonderland- masterpieces for all to enjoy. When the sky goes black, and the sun goes down only one thing pulses throughout our school sodden minds: the lights. Cars filled to the brim with our classmates and families, unload onto the streets as the famed light viewings begin. Grab a big mug of hot cocoa, blast the holiday tunes, and get ready for the fabulous season of lights that awaits. Kimberly Landa

Avery Birdwell

Bailey Tsuru

Bailey Tsuru


The Anvil


FAST & FURIOUS By Emmalee Bergez Opinions Editor

Admiring the tracks since birth, sitting behind the wheel since he could walk, and competing since he could drive, senior Joey Scavone has dedicated many hours to race car-driving. Scavone spent his childhood helping his dad build and craft their own cars and traveling with him to NASCAR competitions around the country, hoping to one day race himself. As members of the Motor Sports Ranch Houston race club, Scavone and his family spend most of their summer and weekends speeding down the 2.38 mile 17 turn track preparing for his upcoming competitions. “My dad has been training me with go-karts ever since I was tall enough to ride,” Scavone said. “But I finally got behind the wheel of his Z06 Corvette race car at the age of 12.” Feeling the need for speed, Scavone applied for his license at age 17 after a series of time trials and paperwork. He was required to complete a certain number of laps under a desired time, all while being tested for stability and control. He is now able to compete in

SCCA races and holds responsibility for his own Mazda SPEC Miata race car. “It was always a goal of mine to race in a legitimate league,” Scavone said. “I had been practicing for so long on the track at Motor Sports Ranch, both clockwise and

I remember why I love to racethere’s just nothing like it. -Joey Scavone

counterclockwise, that my dad and I decided I was ready to get my license.” From January to December every year, Scavone puts his new freedom on the roads to the test. He has competed in seven races at Motor Sports Ranch, located in Pearland, with three topthree finishes. Usually competing against 10- 15 other drivers, Scavone has thus far always finished in

the top 5 places, qualifying him for numerous awards. “I received the ‘Most Likely to Burst into Flames’ award for a members 24hour team contest where we built cars using less than $500 and raced them in what we call the ‘Lemons Race’,” Scavone said. For Scavone though, it is not all about winning. Just the thrill of being on the tracks and picking up speed is enough to keep him coming back. “My top speed at the very end of the straightaway is usually around 145 mph and the adrenaline rush is huge,” Scavone said. “Every time I come out of it I remember why I love to race- there’s just nothing like it.” Hoping to continue racing in the future, Scavone gives credit to his dad for all he has accomplished and experienced. “I can only thank my dad for exposing me to racing and letting me do all of this ridiculous stuff from such a young age,” Scavone said. “He’s the guy that will just about run you off the track, and then right after, praise you for how well you did and tell you what to work on.”

Need for speed. Racing down the track, Joey Scavone anticipates the finish line with hopes of leaving his competition in the dust. He has been driving race cars since he was 12 years old and competitively since age 17.

Life Saver. Knowing the dangers of race car driving, Scavone practices every weekend to perfect his driving and motor skills. He takes important measures to ensure his safety while also leaving room for lots of adventure.

Family rivalry. With support from his father, coach and competition, Scavone documents his time on the race track and celebrates his win. Scavone regularly competes at Motor Sports Ranch against people of many ages. Photos courtesy of Joey Scavone



Art by: Kirby Smith








One Student at a Time.. At Cram Crew, we are concerned with every student’s individual success. To achieve this, we come to your home, work around your schedule, and create an individualized curriculum tailored to your specific goals. | | 713.464.2726





Collegiate Challenge By Alex Seekely Reporter

Lindsey Limbaugh

Getting ready to hit the submit button, parent volunteer Christy Rowland and her mentee share nervous excitement. Submission of the college application is what they’ve been waiting for all year.

She [Tidwell] is a very devoted, generous, and willing person. ” - Donna Shirley

Bailey Tsuru

Researching scholarship opportunities, Ann Tidwell assists a student in narrowing down his college list. Her knowledge of scholarships helps students to sort through all the information.

For a woman without any kids of her own, Ann Tidwell treats all of her “children” in SBISD like a mother would. Tidwell runs Collegiate Challenge, a volunteer program designed to assist students with their college applications, resumes, and applications for financial aid. The program first started at Memorial in the spring of 2010 after other high schools, such as Northbrook and Spring Woods, had success with it. “I saw an e-mail from SBISD recruiting volunteers for Collegiate Challenge, so I volunteered for MHS for the Class of 2011,” Tidwell said. “I believe MHS is a great school, and I wanted to help.” The program relies on parent volunteers for mentors. Each mentor is paired with one or two students, and the groups meet every Monday afternoon from the start of the school year until the students have sent in their applications. “We’ve had a fabulous, fabulous group of mentors in Collegiate Challenge,” Tidwell said. “Most of the volunteers we have right now worked with the Class of 2011 and are currently working with the Class of 2012.” Although Tidwell is in a volunteer position, she works with the group full time. Donna Shirley, the college applications counselor for Memorial, works with Collegiate Challenge as well and speaks very highly of Tidwell. “She is a very devoted, generous, and willing person,” Shirley said. “She brings cookies to Collegiate Challenge every week and never takes money.” In addition to Collegiate Challenge, Tidwell also established the Mustang Heart Award at Memorial High School. She also volunteers for other schools and associations throughout the district and helped to completely renovate the library at Memorial Middle School. “I started volunteering about fifteen years ago,” Tidwell said. “I was a volunteer coordinator. I’ve also served on Campus Improvement Teams and the District Advisory Team.” All of Tidwell’s hard work gives many students throughout the district access to opportunities and the means to achieve their dreams that they would not have otherwise. “I get involved because I want to be involved,” Tidwell said. “The students are our community’s and our country’s lifeblood.”





Support Memorial Basketball’s charitable effort and help them reach their goal of raising $2000 for Barefoot for Bare Feet, which will provide 200 pairs of shoes for children around the world. “It’s nice that our team is unifying over such a cool cause,” senior Kyle Dobbins said. “We thought about the fact that we go through two pairs of basketball shoes a year while some people don’t have shoes at all.”


Support our troops this holiday season by sending a care package to a soldier fighting overseas. Visit for information on how and where to send a package. Purchase a toy and drop it off at a Toys For Tots box, found at any local Walgreens. Toys for Tots is a tradition many people participate in each year and is a simple way to make a big difference in a child’s life.

twelve days of

By: Kelsey Smith Co-Editor In Chief Callie Phillips Reporter


Purchase a gift that gives back when you’re doing your holiday shopping this year. TOMS shoes are a great option and the person who receives them also gets the knowledge that they gave a child a pair of shoes as well. Clean out your pockets and look underneath the couch cushions to gather up loose change! Any combination of quarters, dimes, or nickels you can come up with can be put in one of the famous Salvation Army Red Buckets, found at many local retailers during the holiday season.

Serve Christmas Dinner at a shelter for women and children without a home of their own for the holidays. Salvation Army Family Residence is one place you can volunteer to serve, and offers a rewarding giving experience. “I serve meals on Christmas day each year,” senior Kelley Dickey said. “It’s one of our family’s traditions.”

Voluntee to the e You can carol at ing and several be more and call and way




Support Memorial’s new club, H20, and help build wells in Africa. The club is aimed at raising funds as well as interest, and welcomes any kind of support, whether time or monetary contributions, from students. “It’s really neat because even just a dollar is enough to give one person water for an entire year,” senior president Kate McMordie said.



A relatively inexpensive and easy way to benefit the community is making goody bags for the homeless. It’s as simple as filling a plastic freezer bag with non-perishable items and a water bottle, and distributing it to anyone you see in need.

Have fun and help out a local elementary school simultaneously! Participate in Wilchester’s first annual Jingle Bell Run. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 and the cost is $25 per person.

The holidays are a joyous time, filled with much giving and receiving. Families take time to enjoy dinner together, students enjoy shopping for the perfect gift, and almost everyone looks forward to unwrapping presents on the big day of celebration. However, the holidays also offer a great opportunity to give back to the community. This season, take time out of your schedule to give back. There’s plenty of simple opportunities we can take that really do make a big difference in the lives of others. After all they do say “‘tis better to give, than to receive.”

er at a nursing home and bring joy elderly over your Christmas break. n get a group of friends together and a home, or simply spend time talklistening to the residents. There are nursing homes in our area that would e than happy to have visitors. Be sure before you go for more information ys to help. In the chilly winter months, there is an even greater need to provide warm clothing. Clean out your closet and help others make it through the season by donating old sweaters and clothes to MAM.

Brighten up a sick child’s day by making them a comforting quilt and delivering it to Texas Children’s Hospital. Get creative with fun fabrics to make a Linus blanket that will be cherished for years to come. “Every year we have more and more requests for Linus blankets,” sophomore Bethany Ochs said. “It’s a very quick and simple way to contribute volunteer hours in your neighborhood, and the product means the world to sick families.”




Kimberly Landa

Smooth Sailing. The senior Sailors cheer on the varsity boys basketball team to a victory over Nimitz on Nov. 29. The Sailors, who were nominated by Sport Zone as the best high school basketball fans last year, bring spirit to each game.


Patricia Rotan

Singing Loud for All to Hear. Junior Adrianna Castilleja, along with other members from Mad Jazz, an extracurricular emsemble group, performs a rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is You� at the choir concert on Monday, Dec. 5.





year in review As a new year approaches and the old comes to a close, many reminisce on all that has taken place over the past 365 days. All the

By Caroline Sladic events- however worldly or personal in scope, flash through their minds as they prepare to clear their slates and start a new year. The Anvil staff Asst. Entertainment Editor

isn’t any different, and we’ve prepared a State of the Union to sum up 2011.


Caroline Sladic

iPhone vs. Blackberry The launch of the iPhone 4 brought another surge of customers to the Apple brand which added to the over 200 million iOS devices Apple has sold. The popularity of Apple products have caused other companies, such as Blackberry to decline in usage, due to the fact that their phone does not provide anywhere near the amount of options and apps that iPhones do.

-Fro-yo -Netflix -iPhones -Hunger Games -SEC -Twitter -Ellen -Kristen Wiig -Amanda Knox -Bridesmaids -E-Readers -Modern Family


-Ice Cream -Blockbuster -Blackberries -Twilight -Big XII -Facebook -Oprah -Amy Poehler -Casey Anthony -Hangover -Books

-Two and a Half Men

Caroline Sladic

E-readers vs. Books Are books becoming obsolete? Many have strayed from reading and buying hardcopy books in lieu of downloading them online straight to their iPad, Kindle, or Nook. Downloading books has gained popularity because of its resourcefulness, ease of purchase, and convenience.

the best 2011 had to offer in... Television:

Airing Wednesday nights on ABC, Modern Family revolves around the families of Claire and Mitchell, whose father, Jay, is remarried to someone their age. Claire must deal with an irrational husband, two vastly different teenage daughters, and an offbeat younger son. Mitchell and his partner Cam recently adopted a daughter, Lilly, whom Jay’s wife Gloria adores. Each episode is filled with witty banter, hilarious circumstances, and enough problems (presented in a comedic light) to make ours seem a little less worrisome.

Literature: If you want to take part in the latest book craze, you need to get your hands on the new book series The Hunger Games. Author Suzanne Collins creates a compelling story of love triangles and death that questions the meaning of free will. In Collins’ series a made up country is split into 12 districts: in order to keep the districts under the control of the overbearing capitol they must each send a boy and a girl from their district into the annual Hunger Games: a fight to the death among 24 tributes. The main character, Katniss Everdeen, is trapped between a fight for life, love, and freedom in her quest to rebel against the capitol.


Move over, Hangover. 2011 brought us a new hilarious obsession: Bridesmaids. Comedians Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph made us crack up with their insane antics. Main characters include bride-to-be Lillian and bridesmaids Annie and Helen along with other members of the bridal party. After Lillian becomes engaged, her long time friendship with Annie becomes strained as perfectionist Helen tries to take over. The whole party goes through the traditional wedding rituals, but ridiculous twists and turns keep anything from going as planned. This female powerhouse kept audiences laughing the whole film through.





December Print Issue  

The December Print Issue of the Memorial High School Anvil Newspaper