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Districts sue state over cut funding

ANVIL 50 Years of Coverage

New Braunfels 10

Memorial 5


By: Carson White Co-Editor-in-Chief Houston Independent School District (HISD) announced that it, along with some 250 other school districts including Pearland ISD and Fort Bend ISD, is Klussmann suing Texas over school budget cuts that they claim are unconstitutional since they do not adequately fund rising standards and enrollment. “This funding cut comes at a time when Texas is adding 80,000 more students each year and lawmakers are holding school districts accountable for meeting the highest academic standards in state history,” HISD’s press release said. The lawsuit is expected to come to court in 2013 and cost HISD $65,000 a year. Although, when the district sued the state over the 2005 budget, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the districts be reimbursed for all legal fees. The budget cuts will allocate Texas schools about $4 billion dollars less than they have in the past. SBISD received $20 million less this year than it has

Volleyball falls to Cy-Woods in third round of playoffs.


Tennis snags second in state By: David Nosrat Reporter

Patricia Rotan

see LAWSUIT page 5

For the second consecutive year, the varsity tennis team suffered a heartbreaking loss to the New Braunfels Unicorns in the 5A State Finals, falling 10-5 on Saturday in College Station. The Mustangs, while falling short of their goal for a state title, claim the title of best tennis team in Houston. For the Unicorns, it’s their fifth consecutive state title. “The trip to the state tournament was a great experience for all of us,” sophomore Ciro Lampassas said. “I’m really happy that we got to go this year.” The matches between the two teams were heated and very close. In girls play, the two teams split three games apiece, while the Unicorns claimed seven of the ensuing nine matches. Claiming victories for the Mustangs were Nousha Nowamooz, Courtney Wright, Meredith Hughes, and the doubles teams of Christian Viera and Stefan Lemire and Lampassas and Katie Davis. “It was all so intense,” senior Rose Palermo said. “All of the matches were so close, and everyone was playing really well.” The team advanced to the

see TENNIS page 9

The Mustangs battle Westside tonight at 7 p.m. at Tully Stadium in the first round of the 5A, Division 2 State Playoffs.

Patricia Rotan Top: Doubles partners senior Stefan Lamire and junior Christian Viera celebrate after winning their doubles match. Above: Members of the tennis team watch and cheer on their teammates in their final match against New Braunfels on Saturday. Right: Junior Nava Nawamooz serves to her opponent.

Patricia Rotan

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Teachers On the Run NEWSin BRIEF

Wichmann and Reed participate in races By: Meili Criezis Reporter

English teacher and football coach Russell Wichmann has run at least one mile each day for four years straight, no matter the circumstances. “Its tough running when you’re sick, and I’ve been pretty sick before,” Wichmann said. He began running track in high school but stopped during college. After he married, he

resumed his hobby, and running soon became a passion that involved his whole family. “My wife is a runner too, so we’ve decided to make that our lifestyle choice,” Wichmann said. In 1986, Wichmann ran the first Inaugural Marathon in Austin; he now prefers shorter races because they are less damaging to the body. Wichmann doesn’t follow a strict daily schedule and has no

dietary restrictions. His motivation for keeping up with his daily run is more of personal goal than anything else. “For me, [running] is a way of testing myself and of course I do it for the health benefits,” Wichmann said. “I’m always out there trying to run fast as fast as I can.” World Geography teacher Mary Reed will be running a different kind of race. Reed has been all over

the world—from Haiti to Japan to Uganda—but this November, she will travel a little closer to home to participate in The Great Urban race on Nov. 12, making this her sixth race. In previous years, the competition has been held in San Antonio, Las Vegas and Houston, but this year, it will take place in the Crescent City: New Orleans. Contestants are encouraged to wear

see RACES page 5

Comedy Sportz The Comedy Sportz team wil be competing in its annual Memorial against Memorial match on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in the Black Box Theatre. The show begins at 7 p.m.

Theatre Pot Luck Dinner The Theatre pot luck dinner will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 28 in the Auditorium. The dinner is open to all students. During the evening, students competing in state will be showcased, and Troop 2980 will be initiated. Cost for admission to the event is $10.

Life Skills Thanksgiving Banquet The Life Skills program will be holding a traditional Thanksgiving banquet on Nov. 17 during all lunches in the Multipurpose Room. The purpose of the banquet is to say thank you to the outstanding families, students and teahers who involve themselves daily in the students’ lives. All students, faculty and family members are invited to join the life skills program in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.

UIL Literary Criticism

Photo Courtesy of Mary Reed Photo courtesy of Russel Wichmann

On the run. English teacher and football coach Russell Wichmann prepares for a marathon with his wife, Pamela Wichmann, by paticipating in a fun run in Brenham. “My favorite race is the 5K,” Wichmann said.

Students participate in The Nutcracker By: Callie Carson Co-Editor at Large


scholarships to perform in the dance from the Greater Houston Nutcracker Project. The Project grants scholarships to the underprivileged preteens that could not otherwise be able to participate in dance. The scholarship recipients are taught basic ballet steps, and dance in both of the recitals. The Nutcracker will be performed o n

Nov. 29 in Jones Hall. The first showing will be performed for HISD schools. The second is open to the general public at 7:30 p.m. Both performances have free admittance.

The Physics I PreAP students have designed mousetrap cars, which they will race in the upper White Wing on Friday, Nov. 18.

UNICEF will be holding a fundraiser over the next couple weeks to gather food to donate to the Houston Food Bank in order to feed local homeless people during the Thanksgiving season. They are accepting canned goods in room V104 as long as the cans are not opened or dented. The fundraiser will take place during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Pjoto credit: Mary Reed



On Her Toes. Senior Daphne Standefer demonstrates her en pointe during reheasral.

Mousetrap Car Racing

UNICEF Fundraiser


wo Memorial students will be participating in the Nov. 29 performance of The Nutcracker ballet with Margo Marshall’s School of Ballet. The students, along with 100 underprivileged students from around Houston, are a part of the annual Greater Houston Nutcracker Project. Senior Daphne Standefer has been a ballerina for 13 years and has participated in the Nutcracker every year. “It can get boring sometimes, because I already know most of the dances, but it’s still a lot of fun,” Daphne said. “I love dancing, and I have great friends at the studio.” Margo Marshall’s small company requires intensive rehearsal hours, including practices on Sundays. “It’s really time consuming,” freshman

and ballerina Rachel Standefer said. “Working on Sundays, Saturdays, and after school can be really tiring.” Due to the size of the company, all of the ballerinas play multiple roles. Daphne will play Snow, a Dew Drop, a Spanish Dancer, and one half of the Flowers Couple. “I love playing the Spanish Dancer the best,” Daphne said. “It’s fun to be able to have so much character even when I can’t talk. The Spanish Dancers are really sassy.” M a r g o Marshall’s regular company, including both Stadefers, performs almost all of the ballet’s second act. The first act’s larger scenes, namely the party, battle, and angel scenes, are performed by scholarship recipients from around Houston. The novice dancers, ranging from 6 to 13 years in age, received

English teacher Lauren Shelley is searching for students who would be interested in joining the UIL Academic Teams for literary criticism and spelling. Students are not required to have experience, and anyone can join. Each team will have 4 members and 1 alternate. If students are curious about the competition or joining the team, visit Shelley after school in room G207 or contact her at Lauren.shelley@springbranchisd. com. The competition will take place in March.

Markette Tryouts There was a Markette tryout information meeting Monday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the MultiPurpose Room. The tryouts themselves are on Nov. 24.




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LAWSUIT: filed against state CONTINUED

historically. “Your class sizes are larger, we have less resources for students and less support for teachers,” SBISD superintendent Duncan Klussman said. “Our administration can’t function like this.” The budget cuts stem back to 2005 when many Texas school districts had tax rates around the state-mandated rate cap. The Tex-

as Supreme Court ruled that taxes this uniform were the same as a statewide property tax which is unconstitutional. The Court then lowered the rate cap and instituted a higher business tax to make up for lost funds. The new tax has fallen $2 billion short of expected revenue every year since its institution in 2006, and now Texas schools are paying the price. “There are some lawmakers saying that they

added money to the budget,” Klussman said. “My question to them then is, why does everyone have less money? It’s all smoke and mirrors.” SBISD will vote on whether or not to join the lawsuit later this month. “I think we’ll be major players in this,” Klussman said. “The Board will vote in late November but my belief is that we will join the lawsuit.”

much of it focuses on a scavenger hunt in and around the city. While some contestants concentrate on the race and finishing at the top, others, like Reed, are there to take in the sights and sounds of the city. For Reed, getting

to know the city is as important as finishing the race. “I’m there for the fun of it and to donate the money for the good cause, “Reed said. “My goal for New Orleans is to go and enjoy the whole weekend.”




RACES: inspire teachers CONTINUED

costumes, but this isn’t mandatory. “In the past, I’ve dressed up in a Greek toga, a Hawaiian luau costume, and a 50’s outfit,” Reed said. Although the race involves running,


Kimberly Landa Seventeen Again. Senior Madison Stewart cheers with the some new faces at the Night Pep Rally on Friday, Nov. 3. The dads of Varsity Football Players performed a cheer with the Varsity girls to entertain and raise school spirit before the final game of the regular season against Strake Jesuit on Nov. 4.

Patricia Rotan Winning Smile! Upon being named Homecoming Queen, senior Meredith Miller receives a congratulatory embrace from her father and escort, David Miller. Meredith was crowned by Caroline Hickey, the 2010 Homecoming Queen, during the halftime show of the Homecoming football game on Friday, Oct. 21.






PL By: David Nosrat Reporter

Following their 35-14 victory over the Strake Jesuit Crusaders, the varsity football team was able to advance to the playoffs with a 5-2 district record (7-3 overall) as the third-place team in 19-5A for a second consecutive year. Their first playoff game is tonight at Tully Stadium against the Westside Wolves from HISD. The Wolves finished 6-1 in 20-5A (8-2 overall) and advanced to the playoffs as the second place team in their district behind Lamar. The winner of the Memorial-Westside match will take on the winner of the Langham CreekAlief Taylor game. The Mustangs look to mimic last year’s storybook march through the playoffs. The jaunt took them to the state semifinals, where they fell to the eventual state champion Cibolo-Steele in San Antonio. Leading the Mustangs on the offensive side of the ball this year is senior running back and TCU signee for baseball, Boomer White. White has rushed for 1,200 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Tyler McCloskey has thrown for 775 yards and six touchdowns, while rushing for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. McCloskey’s favorite target has been junior Ryan Baumgartner, who has accounted for three touchdowns on the season. Joining the Mustangs in the 5A, Division II playoffs will be the undefeated Katy Tigers, who play Madison in the first round. The two 19-5A representatives in the 5A, Division I playoffs will be Cinco Ranch, who plays Bellaire, and Morton Ranch, who plays Lamar.

Kimberly Landa





Mustangs in the

LAYOFFS The Mustang Varsity Volleyball team By: Kelsey Smith Co-Editor-in-Chief

fell to the number two team in the Houston area, Cypress-Woods, on Tuesday in the third round of the 5A

state playoffs, ending a stellar season. The Mustang’s have proved a tough team to beat in the district and playoffs alike. In the first round, they defeated Westbury in just three matches. Then they went on to defeat Cy-Fair, winning 3 out of 4 close matches, advancing to the third round against Cy-Woods. The team had an extremely successful season, finishing undefeated in 19-5A play. This is the team’s first district title since 2007. “This year doesn’t even compare to last season,” senior Ali Smith said. “We’re much more of a team now, and we’re a lot more experienced both on and off the court.”

Bump, Set, Spike! Junior Carly Freels spikes the ball past Westbury. The Mustangs defeated Westbury in just 3 matches to advance to the second round of playoffs. “We played really well, in 2 of the matches they scored less than 10 points,” senior Caroline Ciaccio said.

Kimberly Landa

By: Kelsey Smith Co-Editor-in-Chief

Cross Country ended a successful season on Saturday Nov. 5 after sending two runners to the Region

III-5A meet. Senior Caroline Sladic and Junior Mitch Groesbeck advanced to Regionals after placing 9th and 10th in the District meet. The Cross Country team as a whole did well in the District meet on Oct. 28. The runners skills were tested as they competed in one of the most competetive 5A districts in Texas. The girls team finished in fifth place, and the boys finished in 4th place. Sladic and Groesbeck’s times at the District Meet qualified them to advance to the Regional Meet. Groesbeck finished 23rd in Regionals with a time of 16:23 and Sladic finished 15th at 11:54. After a strong finish this year, the team is already looking ahead. “I’m really looking forward to next year,” Groesbeck said. “We’re going to have a lot of experienced seniors and our goal next year is to make it to State.”

Run Mitch Run! Junior Mitch Groesbeck finishes the final leg of the Regional meet at Atascocita High School. The race was a good opportunity to compete against top runners in Texas. “I didn’t like the course that much, but I’m happy with the outcome. ,” junior Mitch Groesbeck said.

Photo Courtesy of: CiCi Sladic





Anything but lax for lacrosse Girls lacrosse takes on the Richardson Tournament

Photo Courtesy of Tammy Smith Fast Break. Senior Samantha Duffey sprints down the field as she brushes past her defender. Duffey played in the Halloween Shoot out lacrosse tournament in Dallas. “This tournament is a great way to see where we will stand in season,” Duffey said.

By Lindsey Taylor Reporter


emorial girls’ club lacrosse team is revamping the program and preparing for a winning season by starting with an annual Halloween tournament. To get the girls into shape, Scott Elmore, the head coach, is assisted in training the girls with two additional coaches. “We have two MHS

alums helping out on coaching staff,” Elmore said. “Courtney Webb coaches part time while Emily McKenzie is a full time assistant. Both played in college and are great resources for the current girls, as they played the game and know what they are doing.” With dedicated coaches to train the team, rigorous practices consist of mixing conditioning and skill building.

“We practice two to three times a week as a team to prepare for the games,” junior Audrey Davis said. “This year practices have gotten harder since we have a lot of timed miles.” Besides preparations for games, the Richardson Tournament required the players’ skills to be up to par. The tournament took place in Richardson on Oct. 28-30.

“We had a competitive schedule for all three of our squads, and we were challenged, which is exactly what we needed,” Elmore said. “Personally, I was to be able to see which girls are ready for the varsity level and help us get back to the upper echelon that we have been for so long after our off year last year.” The Mustangs finished 1-3 for the tournament, but it was good prepara-

tion for what they will face this season. To reward the players’ hard work, Saturday night consisted of trickor-treating in the hotel. Everyone dressed up in their favorite costume for an early Halloween celebration. “I dressed up as Harry Potter for the costume contest because he’s my hero,” junior Maryam Amjadi said. With a balance of fun and hard work, the tournament is something that most players look forward to each year and enjoy. “The best part of the tournament was eating candy and bonding with the team,” junior Claire Rottino said. Junior varsity placed second in the tournament after winning four out of five games. Despite the loss, the team remains hopeful for a great season “So far this offseason is looking good,” Elmore said. “We are a lot farther ahead than we were last year at this point, due mainly to fact we were able to start closer to labor day. This year’s team is going to be athletic and fun to watch, and we hope the students will come see us play.

Par for the course

By Emma Mattson Co-Sports Editor I never thought I’d be a golfer. But after three years on the team, I’ve finally discovered the influence its had on every aspect of my life. I’ve grown up in a family of golfers, and golf has been the most difficult thing I have ever attempted. My father tried tempting me with glitzy golf gear and my own set of pink clubs, but I refused to play. Like all golf skeptics, I thought the game was a waste of time. One summer morning, I woke up to the sound of my dad shouting up the stairs. “One round, Emma!” he yelled with renewed glee. Then I heard, “I’ll take you shopping when we’re done!” Instantly, I was in. I couldn’t believe that neither of us had thought of this before. So, off we went, and I imagined what the day would entail. What exactly was a sand trap again? Why were they there? All at once, I felt anxious as I walked up to the first tee box, looked out onto the expansive fairway, and started feeling like 18 holes was 18 too many. But I took out my driver and swung away; and shockingly, over the course of nine holes, I didn’t play horribly. And when the day was over I couldn’t believe how much fun I’d had. I realized I had some aptitude for the game, and even more surprisingly, that I liked it. To my dad’s delight, I spent the following year practicing and improving my game, and made the varsity team. I began looking forward to practices, learning to value the rewarding process of slowly teaching yourself a skill. Since then, golf has become an integral part of my life, aside from providing me with a pastime that I truly enjoy and can share with the people I love; and I trust that the lessons that golf has taught me will help me on my way, as I leave high school and start playing the next round.




Varsity Girls Cross Country

Freshman A Football

Last Week: Region III-5A meet on Nov. 5 This Week: N/A Bright Spots: Senior Caroline Sladic competed at the Region III-5A meet on Saturday, Nov. 5. She came in 15th place overall.

Last Week: Beat Seven Lakes 33-32 on Oct. 27. This Week: N/A Overall: 5-2 District: 3-1 Bright Spots: The team finishes out their season with a strong win.

Varsity Girls Lacrosse

Varsity Tennis


Last Week: Tournament over Oct. 29-30. This Week: N/A Overall: 1-3 District: N/A Bright Spots: Senior Hannah Ochs played an awesome game dominating the draw, and scoring many goals.

Last Week: Lost State tournament on Nov. 5. This Week:N/A Overall: 16-0 District: 7-0 Bright Spots: N/A

JV Football

Varsity Volleyball

Last Week: Lost game against Strake on Nov. 3 This Week: N/A Overall: 0-5 District: 1-8 Bright Spots: The team has shown great improvement. For example we played Seven Lakes and lost a really close game.

Varsity Football

Last Week: Beat Strake Jesuit 35-14 This Week: First playoff game against Westside at 7 p.m. at Tully Stadiyum. Overall: 7-3 District: 5-2 Bright Spots: Junior Tyler Mccloskey shines as the quarter back. He continues to make crisp passes and hopes to lead the team to victory.



Freshman B Football Last Week: Beat Seven Lakes 48-29 on Oct. 27. This Week: N/A Overall: 3-3 District: 2-2 Bright Spots: The Team reflects over a season well played with lots improvement.

Last Week: Beat Westbury and Cy-Fair. This Week: TBA Overall: 29-13 District: 12-0 Bright Spots: The team is having an amazing season and hopes to do well in playoffs and get to state.

Varsity Boys Cross Country Last Week: Region III-5A meet on Nov. 5 This Week: N/A Bright Spots: Junior Mitch Groesbeck competed at the Region III-5A Meet on Saturday, Nov. 5. He finished 23rd overall. Kimberly Landa

Dodging the tackle. Senior Boomer White runs past the Seven Lakes defense on the Oct. 28 game at Rhodes Stadium. The Mustangs came out victorious, earning a 33-22 victory over the Spartans.

TENNIS: falls to NB in finals CONTINUED

Finals to play against New Braunfels, handily defeating McKinneyBoyd, 10-6, in the semifinals the previous day. “It all went pretty well, we won the semis pretty handily,” junior Christian Viera said. “We knew that the finals were going to be tough, and we played hard, but in the end didn’t win it.”

For Palermo, this matchup was especially bittersweet, since she has attended New Braunfels summer tennis camp (NEWKS) for years. “Playing New Braunfels was actually really interesting because I knew half of the team,” Palermo said. “At NEWKS we are like a team although we don’t play competitively. So it

was weird to be cheering against them, but it was definitely a friendly competitive atmosphere—for me at least. It was all very sportsmanlike.” “Unlike New Braunfels, we get to keep almost all of our varsity team, while their team mostly graduates,” Lampassas said. “That means our team just gets stronger and stronger as the years go on.”

Avery Birdwell

Smiles at state. Senior Lauren Bender and Junior Katie Davis pose with the trophy at the conclusion of the state competition. Although they didn’t come out victorious, they held their own earning the honor of second place.

Patricia Rotan

Run and jump. Senior Stefan Lamire comes back down from a jump hit in the state tennis tournament in College Station on Saturday, Nov. 5. The team finished second in state, falling to New Branufels.



The People Behind

The Anvil

The University of Memorial High School By Kirby Smith Co-Sports Editor

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

Bailey Tsuru Photo Editor

From the moment I first entered high school, the countdown until college began. I could not wait to feel the freedom of starting applications and not having my grades “count” anymore. What the heck was I thinking?! Now that I face November of my senior year, reality has set in. I quiver at the thought of leaving this place; of not having quizzes and daily grades to bring up my GPA, of not staying in my rigid schedule, and of not having my mom pack my lunch every morning. You can call me a baby, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I am not ready to pick up my bags and head out to live on my own.

This realization came when infamous college visits began. I found myself staying in the dimly lit Hardin House dorms and watched students migrate classes without a friendly “hello!” or even a smile. Everyone was busy. This was the opposite from what I witness everyday in the hallways of Memorial. I think the reason that I’m “freaking out” is because we all have this preconceived notion that college is going to be easy. That we are going to make friends instantly and automatically have everything figured out, but the closer the deadlines approach the more I realize how unrealistic that is. Maybe it’s my dependency that’s

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

holding me back: the fact that I still don’t know how to fix my own Internet, or get from point A to point B without my talking Tom Tom. Or maybe it’s my fear of loneliness: the picture of being in a foreign city knowing only a handful of people. Perhaps, it’s my fear of change. I have grown up in the same house, surrounded by the same group of people doing the same old routine. Frankly I’m, well, comfortable. I’m not ready to introduce myself to a sea of new faces or scavenge for my own meals. The truth is I am fine staying right where I am, and I am deathly afraid of venturing past my barrier, of Bunker Hill and Voss. It seems as if all of these college kids simply

Madeline Wadsworth Home town: Deer Park Old School: Deer Park High Name:

forgot about high school, they forgot the legacy they left here, the halls they walked, the tests they cried over and the ones they rejoiced over. If this new chapter is going to erase these memories then I know for a fact I am not ready to begin reading. As I order my cap and gown and utter the words, “This is my last…..,” I become the emotional dramatic girl I have always resisted. The thought of getting an acceptance letter brings a mixture of joyous and scared tears to my eyes. Rumor has it that by the time graduation comes around I will be ready to get out of here, but by the looks of it I am going to be clinging to the flag pole begging not to leave this place.

Is there anything about your old school that you wish

‘Stang Studies

At my old school we used to tailgate before the games and I wish we did that here. Memorial would do?

If I could be in any extracurricular activity it would be:


Your favorite part of Memorial is: a. The pep rallies b. Music during the passing period c. Sporting events d. The teachers e. Other: What do you miss most about your

I miss my friends and all the people from my old school. old school?

Memorial has a different system for hallways, with the different colors, than my old school did.

How is Memorial different?

If you could change one thing about Sahar Sadoughi Web Editor



I think Memorial is great how it is and wouldn’t change anything.

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. Pre-Cal b. English c. Science d. History e. other:

The size and number of people in the school.

What scares you the most about our school?

Memorial is the best because:

school spirited!

It is very

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.




Cheaters never win With shaky hands, you type in the URL address for the all-too-familiar College Board web site. After logging in, you clench your jaw and click the “View Scores” button. During the 1.3 seconds that it takes the page to load, a wave of anxiety overwhelms you. Were your scores good enough this time? It’s no surprise that students stress over the SAT and ACT standardized tests. After all, test scores are heavily weighted in the vast majority of college students to applications, take extreme, meaning Agree: 4 even illegal, that the Disagree: m easures t h r e e 5 in order hours you to succeed. spend bubbling in a However, no Scantron on a Saturday matter how morning really could play a major role in much pressure students determining your future. may feel, cheating on the There is no denying that SAT or ACT can never be students feel tremendous justified. Today, the problem of pressure to perform well on these tests, and critics cheating has spread far of standardized testing beyond the days of copying friend’s homework claim that the intense a stress encourages some before class. Six students

Editor’s Poll

Joey Scavone

12th Grade

“Yes because when you are crammed for time and you have those last few questions to answer, your first instinct, although not good, is to look left or right.”


“No because you have many chances to take the test and so much time to prepare and get ready for it.”

12th Grade

Does the SAT or ACT put too much pressure on students and drive them to cheat?

Alexia Karpen

F A C E Off

from Great Neck, NY were recently charged with misdemeanors for allegedly paying a college student between $1,500 and $2,500 to take their SAT tests for them. The college student, who used fake IDs to get into the testing centers, was charged with a felony and could face up to four years of prison time. Though prosecutions such as this one rarely occur, the incident has shed light on the serious consequences

of cheating. Even more appalling than the New York cheating scandal itself is the response of high school students and parents. Rather than holding the six students accountable for their actions, SAT opponents have been quick to point fingers at the standardized testing system, claiming that students who cannot handle the pressure are compelled to cheat. This shortsighted view not only degrades the morality of high school students, but it also implies that students have the right to attend the colleges of their choice without earning their way in. In our competitive society, it would be nice to think that if you want to go to (insert dream school here) badly enough, you should be able to. However, this is not the case. If you have to cheat to get into the college of your dreams, then you better keep dreaming-you’re just setting yourself up for failure once you get there.


Times Have Changed By Emmalee Bergez Opinions Editor

Looking back, it amazes me that I ever thought the things I did. At the time, my thoughts seemed practical and obvious, but as I matured, I realized they were serious misconceptions. Since my freshman year, when I successfully fulfilled the stereotype of a “fish out of water”, I have made some life changing discoveries, each of which have made my high school years that much more enjoyable. 1) As a freshman I thought I wouldn’t need a locker, but now it’s practically a storage unit; not only filled with books but also extra clothes and jackets. 2) As a freshman I thought my parents could just wake me up in the morning, but after arriving tardy one too many times, I purchased my first high tech alarm clock. 3) As a freshman I thought breakfast was unnecessary but now I rely on cereal in the morning, tea during first period, granola during second period, goldfish during third period and grapes during fourth to sustain me until lunch. 4) As a freshman I thought driving to school with my parents was embarrassing, and now I know that I was right. 5. As a freshman I thought I needed an elevator pass to get to the second floor, asked my mom for money, and then realized there is no such thing. 6) As a freshman I thought I needed a Jon Hart shoulder bag, but then I figured out that it was impractical to carry three textbooks, two notebooks, a book, two binders, and a jacket all on one shoulder. 7) As a freshman I thought the only way I would get to class in time was to sprint fullforce down the halls, but now I understand the advantage of making every passing period minute count, and have mastered the art of walking into class at the same time as the late bell rings. 8) As a freshman I thought I needed to block out my entire afternoon and night to study for a test, but now I appreciate the perk of learning to walk without looking and cram during every extra minute of class: it’s fresh in your memory. 9) As a freshman I thought wearing a Tshirt to school was socially unacceptable, but now it’s inconceivable to think I would ever have the energy to dress cute more than once a week. 10) As a freshman I thought not playing a sport would be THE end of my high school career, but now I understand the awesomeness of being able to come home, lay on the couch, and watch my daily T.V. shows without having to get my heart rate up. As I have grown older, my beliefs and values have grown with me. Although I may not think the same way or do the same things, I am still a reflection of the girl who brought money for an elevator pass and hauled to class everyday. I fully believe though, that three years from now, I will be looking back on the things I think today and writing about how, confused and naive I must have been.





DIVERSITY Bailey Tsuru

Kimberly Landa

Diversity: a variety of different things. Like a puzzle concocted of different shapes and sizes built by the hands of a supreme being, it is the essence of Memorial High School. Take a look around you: every single thing is different. Your two different breeds of dogs, the different types of cakes at a bakery, even your two best friends. The understanding and acceptance of others as unique individuals fills our halls each and every day. Due to a variety of cultures, students are exposed to a whole new world outside of the Memorial bubble. With summer trips half way around the world and seven time zones away, our peers receive the opportunity to serve others in foreign countries and change lives in ways we cannot fathom.

Patricia Rotan

Avery Birdwell

Linsdey Limbaugh


The Anvil

Issue 3


Open for Business: Alex Seekely Reporter,” Herrington said. “I hope to grow and Most teenagers think of “business” as a become my own line one day.” Carl began his business more recently. major in college or something to go into His company, Memorial Tutors, is an as an adult. However, junior Timothy Davis, and seniors Madison Herington and in-home tutoring service conducted Ben Carl have already made their mark by himself and other Memorial High on the business world as high school stu- School students at the top of their class. “The idea is that students who have dents. Granted, they don’t employ huncompleted and excelled in the ofdreds of staff members, or any, for that matter, but they do take their companies fered subjects, maybe even with seriously and are able to profit from them. the same teacher, can teach othHerington began her small jewelry er students [in those classes] efbusiness, Madd Designs, at the age fectively and efficiently,” Carl said. There have been a couple of of 16 and now has numerous trunk shows. Her trunk shows are a good struggles so far in his business. “Finding and hiring tutors that I way to sell her products, but she also uses them as an opportunity to trusted and met with academic regive a little back to her community. quirements was difficult,” Carl said. Carl’s business has a web site, “For every show, I always donate a percentage of money to a charity,”, but he Herington said. “For example, from my relies primarily on word of mouth. “We direct people to our last show, I donated some money web site because it allows them [toward] breast cancer awareness.” to schedule and conduct everyHerington spends multiple hours a week making and delivering jew- thing they need online,” Carl said. Although he might be able to manage elry, updating her web site, taking orders, and bargain shopping for beads. this business even past high school, he Her biggest success to date has been plans on handing it down if he cannot. “I will pass the business on to someone selling her jewelry in a store in Oxford, Mississippi, but that is not the only way who I trust will do a great job,” Carl said. Davis started his photography busishe gets her name and products out there. “I also have my web site, http:// ness over the course of the past year.

Timothy Davis


“I started my business to make money from a hobby that was getting expensive,” Davis said. He photographs numerous events, excluding weddings, and spends a good deal of time with his camera every week. “I spend about 10 hours a week shooting and doing post-production for yearbook and way too much time studying techniques and technical aspects,” Davis said. Though their talents vary, these students are similar in that they all are making their dreams possible by doing something they’re passionate about.

Kimberly Landa

Junior Timothy Davis poses for his self-portrait.

Students create and run their own entrepreneurships

Photo courtesy of Madison Herrington

Kelsey Smith

Senior Ben Carl poses with his fellow tutors gearing up for a day filled with learning.

LEADING LADIES PAGE 3T Art by: Kirby Smith


Selling her jewelry at a trunk show, senior Madison Herington helps a customer choose the right gem.






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WOMAN By: Sophie Macicek Reporter





n an ordinary day, seniors Rob Hogan and David Comer go to school, do their homework, and play video games. But when they step into the theatre, they step into a whole new world, act as new people, and get in touch with their feminine side. In the upcoming play Leading Ladies, Hogan and Comer play the roles of two broke actors who must pretend to be women in hopes of winning a large sum of money. Through the process, they fall in love with two women and must learn to balance making the girls fall in love with them while still pretending to be females. Their challenge is to win the money and the girls without giving away that they are actually men.

Memorial Theatre presents Leading Ladies

In order to effectively play this role, Hogan and Comer must learn to be feminine. “It’s really exciting to play a woman,” Hogan said. “This play is such a good comedy and allows me to be someone I normally can’t be.” To authenticate their femininity, Hogan and Comer’s roles require them to wear makeup along with large, elaborate dresses similar to Shakespearean-style gowns. “I’m used to lots of costume changes from previous plays, but it’s definitely going to be weird to change back and forth from a suit to a dress,” Hogan said. Their hilarious and outgoing personalities make both Hogan and Comer perfect fits for these roles. Most guys would find it too embarrassing or too difficult to act like a girl, but these two actors make the

most of their parts. “It’s kind of embarrassing to have to wear a dress,” Comer said. “I mean, I want people to come see the show... but I don’t want people to come see the show.” However, Hogan and Comer are not the only ones working hard. Every student involved in the play can be found rehearsing anywhere from two to five hours each day after school in the weeks leading up to the play. “You make a huge commitment being in theatre,” junior Lisa Ellis said. “Most of us are involved in other organizations so it gets to be pretty hard to handle around rehearsal time.” Although the two are faced with difficult roles, the play is dependent on the whole cast.

Nov. 10-12, 17-19 at 7 p.m. and a 2:30 p.m. pe rformance on Nov. 19

All photos by Lindsey Limbaugh

Tickets are $10 onli ne m

Hogan struts his stuff as Maxine, an overthe-top drama “queen” who seeks to impress his/her love and scam an old woman. Maxine’s infectious confidence convinces Stephanie into joining the plot.

Comer is a flustered fairy in his role as “Stephanie”, Maxine’s partner in crime. Comer is wearing Titania’s costume from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

As Stephanie, Comer struggles to perform as a woman in a play within the play. His love interest, Audrey, watches in bemusement at Stephanie’s bumbling.

Comer and Hogan’s characters panic when their scam threatens to become unraveled. Both “women” are tired after a night of lies, scandal and passion.





College Trip Insid Adam Mrlik Entertainment Editor Callie Phillips Reporter

l pefu o h any ine. t m u , o s visit ertain r came g colle to a c out the ther n o k o hile nts stic to check nd any little e a e d r s n u u d e t s be s l groun But oft aunto t t cia st d an ts. o o o w s hy p m r u s W e la t h . Yo u o t e p h r o po ed en t ide the couple v i pus, nt-relat g n is he r with a rs to e t o d i : t u t p n s ive tri ion tte r s a e r d m o h u or n art of t our exc es? Fro ment an t u p ite p y e venu c u x et o ing e k G a u d e . q i s br fin lace s and ex not ps at un y can p o ted an op of st late, m nexpec e pit st u o ese r som map. choc h o t f in plan al road , s fun p ma enti your this ess e plor


Emma Sutton: “Visiting Aggieland was a total blast. If only I knew the fun things I could’ve done to break up the drive time.”

Kelly Sikora: “My trip to TCU helped me better understand where I wanted to go to college. It was informative and also fun!”

Michael Cisarik: “During my tour I learned about how TCU has a great sense of community around campus.”

Shelby Shelton: “Cocoamoda was a chocolate wonderland, I loved and enjoyed the unique finds. The town was so cute and fabulous.”






TCU- Natural Bridge Caverns

Take your family on an adventure they’ll never forget: a chance to walk into a natural cave over a million years old.Whether you want to walk or repel, it’s sure to be an experience that you have never felt before. Embark in an underground world of beauty and mystery.

Baylor- Cocoamoda

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Cocoamoda, a high-end chocolate shop in Calvert. Cocomoda’s claim to fame is their production of delicious truffles and other sweet delights utilizing fine ingredients from all over the world. Let’s face it, visiting colleges can be grueling; this stop will make it much sweeter.

A&M- Washington on the Brazos

From the historically rich Independence Hall, to the quaint and cozy Fanthorp Inn, this stop is sure to be a sensation. Choose to take an official tour with a professional guide, or explore the town at your own pace. While this side trip is definitely for history lovers, anyone can have a good time looking at the award-winning photo exhibit.

Trinity University- The Alamo

This building, constructed in 1744, makes history a reality (not to mention good restaurants within walking distance).Visiting the Alamo will give you an edge; when talking to the admissions office you will look intelligent and impeccably educated. Not only is the Alamo a staple in Texas history, your parents will enjoy this pit stop just as much as you will.

University of Texas- Barton Springs

Cool off from all that walking around campus and dive into the refreshing waters of Austin’s Barton Springs. The water hole is located in Zilker Park. Austinites and tourists alike regard this natural swimming pool as a symbol of the city. So throw on that burnt orange swimsuit, stir the lemonade, and feel refreshed.

Seniors, how was your college trip experience?






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Classics to Fall Back On By Caroline Sladic Entertainment Asst.

“This is one of my favorite pieces. I love vintage jewelry because it adds flair but is also classic.” -Erin Kriendler, Junior

We polled stylish Mustangs on their favorite fall pieces. Here’s what they said: If you could pick one of these places to shop for classic staples which would you choose? a. Anthropologie b. Nordstrom’s

c. J. Crew d. Macy’s “I’m all about accessories. I wear big bold earrings almost every day to brighten up outfits, especially in the fall and winter seasons where clothing can be kind of drab and muted.” -Macy Livingston, Senior

“I love wearing boots, so I always opt for an outfit with boots and a classic belt or scarf to mix things up.” -Holly Hepper, Junior


ost people associate the word “Fall” with pumpkins, leaves, varying shades of orange, Thanksgiving, and much awaited cooler temperatures. Houston is somewhat lacking in the latter, with temperatures still hovering around 80 degrees, keeping Memorial fashionistas on their toes. With weather that only barely changes from season to season, classic pieces that carry over become increasingly important. Every wardrobe needs classics: a piece of clothing or an accessory that transcends all seasons and is effortlessly chic. The ultimate classics can be mixed and matched for a variety of looks, and can also be paired with trendy items without looking outdated or forced. “I think color blocking is becoming very mainstream- which I love.” -Lissa Holthouse, Sophomore

What is your favorite accessory?

a. Watch

b. Bracelet c. Scarf

d. Earrings e. Necklace

What is your favorite season (clothes-wise)? a. Winter b. Spring c. Summer

d. Fall

Which would you rather? Flats vs. Boots “I consider gold jewelry like small hoops or a bangle, timeless pieces that you can wear anytime.” - Rachel Weingeist, Sophomore

“I go with the simple pieces. I shop at places like Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie.” -Mason Meador, Senior

Michael Kors Watch vs. Tory Burch Wrap

Bracelet All photos by: Bailey Tsuru





Anvil November 2011 Issue  

The November issue of the Memorial High School Anvil Newspaper