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December 2009 • Maine East High School • Park Ridge, Illinois

The Pioneer


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The Pioneer

DECEMBER 2009

Maine East gets fewest H1N1 shots in District 207

A teen recieves a nasal H1N1 vaccination.

ber the viral online video of cheerleader Desiree Jennings, who claimed to have developed Dystonia, a life-threatening disease that causes abnormal posture, muscle spasms, and a

Illinois Deaths from H1N1 since April 2009

reduction in voice. Many students, upon seeing this video, were determined that they too would acquire this rare disease from the H1N1 shot. An internet sensation, with over 400,000 hits on the first day alone, news of Jennings’ disorder spread very quickly. But other reasons also swayed people away from getting the shot. “I wasn’t so sure on getting the H1N1 shot,” said sophomore Jenny Hanna. “I’m really afraid of needles so I decided to not get it.” Many people believed

that the H1N1 vaccine was in fact a shot. In reality, for most people, the vaccine was received through a nasal spray. Only the small percentage of people who have asthma were given an actual shot of the H1N1 vaccine. For most people the needle was not the issue. The reason that seemed most common amongst students as to why they didn’t want to get the flu shot was the lack of information and the way the information was distributed to the students. “I’m not afraid of needles, but I had no idea

what side effects there were to getting the H1N1 shot,” said freshman Hiral Tailor. “I didn’t know of the importance of the shot and I didn’t want to risk anything.” Tailor felt like many that the information regarding the so-called swine influenza was limited and in some ways misleading. “I saw no point in getting the shot,” said senior Abdul Manan. “I’ve never gotten flu shots before, so what was the point of getting one this year?” Since April there have been over 11,000 deaths due to H1N1 flu worldwide, according to the New York Times. With such a great death toll, the government has been pushing residents to get the H1N1 shots. The Obama administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control, released a new ad campaign with TV and radio ads informing people about the risks and providing information about the prevention of H1N1 this season.

see SWINE, page 11

By the Numbers: 360

H1 N1 Shots at Maine East 556

860 shots at Maine Township High Schools H1N1

School

860

South

School

All Maine 207 students and faculty members were given the opportunity to receive a free H1N1 (swine) flu vaccination on December 2. There were a total of 388 students and staff members at Maine East who received the H1N1 shot. At Maine South there were a total of 860 shots given and at Maine West a total of 556 were given. Why the lower number at East? In a school of approximately 2000 students and staff members, 388 students equals roughly 20%. Many factors played into the students’ and parents’ decisions about whether or not to get the vaccination. Many people remem-

Yahoo! News

By Yogi Patel

556

West

360

East

0

200

400

600

Number of Shots

800

1000


DECEMBER 2009

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The Pioneer

Frequently Asked Questions about college applications By Mona Hamdan 1. When are the deadlines for most college and university applications? Deadlines vary by school. The more selective schools have either early decision or priority deadlines (which are already passed) however it is common to see deadlines in December and January. It is important to check the institutional website to confirm deadlines or check on Naviance Family Connections, College Zone or College Board websites.

2. What are some important things to look at before deciding the college/university you plan to apply to? If you are still considering which schools to apply to continue to ask yourself the following questions: a. Will I need to commute? If so, the choices are more limited. If not commuting, how far would I be willing to travel? b. What size school will suit me best? In what environments do I learn best? c. What level of selectivity am I eligible for (talk to your counselor or see what the admissions information indicates as average GPA and ACT score ranges). d. Is money a consideration? If so, check www. meritaid.org to see about scholarships at individual institutions or else go to www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov and work out an early estimate of what your family will need to contribute. e. Is there a particular field of study you are certain about? If so, what schools offer the program?

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the top-rated schools in Illinois.

3. How long does it take until a reply comes back? When should I call to ask? The length of time to hear from an admissions office depends on whether or not they release decisions on a set date or it is rolling admissions. For the latter, it means that as they get busier it takes longer. Keep checking online to see the status of your application. If you need to contact them try email or else call during regular office hours.

4. What are things I should do and check over the winter break? During winter break, study for final exams because senior grades DO matter. Also, if you have not com-

pleted your applications, personal statements or essays use that time to do so. Continue to research online from home and determine a time line of when you will be able to visit campus if you have not done so already.

5. If seniors had seven important things to know before the break, what would they be? • Don’t procrastinate…finish any outstanding pieces of applications and get them done. If you have not applied to Oakton and intend to attend there, do it before break. • If you have not requested transcripts don’t hesitate – even if the application isn’t due until well after we return from break….sooner

is better than later or forgetting. • Review your goals for winter break and how to make best use of the time • If you need recommendations teachers do NOT write them over break (it’s their time off with friends and family too!). But you could fill out the paperwork and get people lined up for once we return. • Attend the holiday alumni panel, ask questions and listen to what the former graduates have to honestly say. • If you are completing a personal statement or essay, be sure to use spell check but also have someone read it for editing purposes. • Don’t panic – many schools continue to accept applications well into January and February. The earlier you do it, the better your

A panel of Maine East graduates shared their college experiences yesterday.

chances of getting in and getting financial help.

6. What are some important tips about teacher recommendations? When asking for a recommendation, secure materials from the CRC, only fill out one copy and always keep the original and give copies to the writers. Always ask the writer if they have the time and can represent you well. The teacher does not have to be from a class that you received a good grade but rather someone who can attest to your work ethic and attributes.

7. How do you handle a personal statement? A personal statement should be an expression of yourself to help further illuminate the reader about things they wouldn’t know from reading your application alone. This is a time to “toot your horn” about yourself (just don’t be arrogant or conceited). Take advantage of these two weeks off! Get everything finalized for your years after high school, you do not have much time. Good Luck!


The Pioneer

Louder than a

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Maine East held the fist ever Suburban Poetry Slam Wednesday night in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Maine East. The event, titled “Louder than a Lawnmower�, was hosted by Def Jam poet Kevin Coval and featured DJ Itch 13. Schools from across the area participated, includ-

DECEMBER 2009

ing Maine South, Joliet, Leyden, Palatine, Wheeling, Niles West, and North Shore. Each school brought its poetry slam team to recite original poetry and compete. The slam was organized by Maine East English teachers Mr. Coval and Mr. Hessert.

The audience included students and families from all of the schools in attendence, as well as many Maine East alumni. Maine East came in 3rd place behind Niles West and Palatine High School, but everyone who participated felt the positive vibes and rhythm of the night.

Lawnmower


DECEMBER 2009

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The Pioneer

Tri-M hosts Murcia Youth Symphony Orchestra By Trina Jose

Passing the band or fine arts hallways, one hears the ascending and descending of major and minor scales, the harmonious voices of student choirs, the tuning of string, brass, and the warm tones of woodwind instruments. Maine East High School’s various choir, band and orchestra courses provide students the opportunity to pursue their musical abilities and interests. Furthermore, students get the opportunity to participate in a variety of music ensembles like Demonaires, Demon Strings, Marching Band, Jazz Band, etc. In 1936, Alexander Harley, band director and Music Department Chairman, thought that it was best to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of student musicians. “If we strive to cultivate musical sensitivity and perception in our students, we must likewise give adequate recognition for their efforts and achievements, and we must inspire them to strive for higher goals.”*

With the help of his wife, Frances Harley, Maine Music Masters was initiated in 1936. From there, Maine Music Masters was one of the first student organizations to arrange community concerts, food and clothes drives, and other community outreach events in the Des Plaines/Park Ridge area. In 1952, the name Maine Music Masters was changed to Modern Music Masters, then later to Tri-M Music Honor Society. In 1983, Tri-M became a part of the Music Educators National Conference: The National Association for Music Education and was recognized as an approved program in 1986. Now, Tri-M is recognized as an international honor society ranging from middle school to high school students. Intended to recognize students for their outstanding leadership and musicianship, Tri-M has up to 5,500 chapters worldwide, showing the world and its communities the beauty and importance of music. Last year, Maine East’s Tri-M Music Honor Society contributed time and effort

The Murcia Youth Symphony Orchestra rehearses for its performance last night.

to spread music throughout the Des Plaines and Park Ridge communities. In an effort to educate young children (pre-school) about musical instruments and various singing methods, students from choir, band, and orchestra planned a trip to Lutheran General Hospital’s Day Care Center. There, the children were able to interact with the instruments (holding and hearing) and join choir students in performing musical scales. Furthermore, Tri-M members participated in a Coffee House event where fellow students performed

and socialized amongst staff and friends. As a tribute towards Alex and Francis Harley, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and the accomplishments of the students within Tri-M, a tree was planted in their honor. This year, Tri-M started its chapter by hosting and supporting the Murcia Youth Symphony Orchestra (with the help of the Fine Arts Boosters) at Maine East High School. These young, talented musicians from Spain toured America in early December and held their last performance of the season in the Maine East

Auditorium last night. In support of their stay, TriM members, with the help of AP-Spanish students, welcomed the group with warm, open arms and a few Symphonic Band and Orchestra students were given the opportunity to perform with them Congratulations to all the musicians on an outstanding performance! * From “Tri-M Music Honor Society: Tri-M Overview.” MENC - The National Association for Music Education - Home. Web. 12 Dec. 2009.

What is Scholastic Bowl? for 200 points

By Shaun Kuriakose One of the things that many Maine East students lack knowledge about is the Scholastic Bowl Team. One of the slightly overlooked activities at M.E., many students hear about it but are usually thinking, “what exactly is scholastic bowl?” Ms. Bianchi, an Algebra and Geometry teacher, described it simply as “basically like Jeopardy with

teams”. If scholastic bowl is basically “Jeopardy with teams” then Bianchi, in her third year as the JV coach, and Ms. Bratek, varsity coach, would certainly fill the role of Alex Trebek. Scholastic Bowl is basically multiple teams going against each other in a competition to answer the most trivia questions correctly.

see SCH. BOWL, page 11


The Pioneer

Giving: the gift you give yourself

By Selma Matezic Clothes, cars, and electronics make us all happy, when we see money, our automatic reaction is to spend it, and more than half of the time it’s on ourselves. Is it wrong that we love stuff? No. It’s human. But sometimes, giving someone a present feels better than getting one. The holidays should really be about family, religion, and spending time together. But these days, it’s turned into five-hundred wants, and no needs. We are all more worried about which trendy eight-hundred dollar jacket to get than which jacket to buy for a kid who actually needs it to stay warm. The Gift of Giving isn’t about the gift you give; it’s about the meaning behind the gift. Although it might feel like a pain figuring out what to get for people, it’s actually fun. It’s like a challenge imagining what each person would love for the holiday. Each person has his or her own person-

ality and what you would want can be completely different from what someone else may want. My point isn’t to tell you to automatically stop refusing gifts, and just give them to others. I want to give you a challenge to actually sit down and think of what someone would love to get. Don’t give them another meaningless gift. Give something that has more to it than one week of use. Try even donating to charities. Those clothes that have been sitting in your closet will do more good for someone who is freezing in the streets. Warm clothes, canned foods, and day-by-day essentials will give a lifetime happiness to a family, much more than a brand new video game you will only play for a month. It is fun to get gifts, but what’s even better is the smile on the person’s face who receives a gift from you. So do something different this year- stop being greedy. Give a gift that will be remembered forever.

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DECEMBER 2009

Receiving gifts: the more the merrier! By Nadia Khavari Yes, it’s that time of the year again - Christmas! Many say it is better to give than to receive. Sure, giving gifts is nice, but receiving them? Ten times better! If you ask someone which they like more, giving or receiving a gift, and that person says, “giving”, look them square in the eyes and call them a liar! Obviously, getting a

gift is better, I mean, come on! We all know what you are really thinking. Who doesn’t love that feeling of waking up on Christmas morning knowing you have presents waiting for you under the tree, right? Importance lies in the thoughtfulness of the gift itself, or at least that’s what my mom tells me. The gifts you get should be appreciated because you know that person was thinking about

you, although I know it’s sometimes hard to think that way, especially when you get a brown and lime green sweater from your aunt and uncle! If you don’t like the gift, just smile, say “thank you, I love it!” and later that day throw it in the back of your closet where it will never be seen again. But always remember, it’s the thought that really counts, right?

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow: the fuel for winter fun By Michelle Zdobylak Winter break doesn’t have to be an unproductive drag – you can accomplish a lot during these two weeks. Rather than sitting at home by yourself, go out and enjoy the new snow. Your family and friends can be a great company. Grab a carrot, scarf and hat; invite your family; and build a seasonal newcomer to your family, a snowman.

Another great way to bond with your loved ones is to grab a sled and head to the nearest hill. Laugh out loud till a snowball fight breaks out! Build a fort and cover yourself from those incoming snowballs being thrown at you. You will win in an instant. When you get a little chilly, head inside for some holiday movies. I suggest watching Polar Express, Scrooged!, Home Alone,

and Elf. Don’t forget the blankets and hot cocoa. Spend the second half of your break with your closest friends. Head to the nearest snow resort for some snowboarding or skiing fun, or preferably both! Split it into two days. Day one: snowboarding. Day two: skiing. Two great local choices in-

see SNOW, page 8


DECEMBER 2009

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The Pioneer

The Ultimate Gift Guide By Selma Matezic and Nadia Khavari Winter is the time of giving, and with the holidays coming up we have made it easier for you by making you a gift guide. The holidays are well-known for last minute shopping that result in undesired gifts. Below are suggestions that will make you have quick shopping trip for your whole family. FOR GRANDPA With the cold winter in Chicago, your Grandpa would love warm slippers. To go along with the slippers, we suggest a plain vest. You can get both items at Sears, JCPenney, or Carson’s.

FOR GRANDMA For your Grandma, she would also love warm slippers. With the slippers, think of her favorite scent and buy a candle as well. Candles can be found anywhere! Try Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath and Beyond, and even Target. For the slippers, check any department store.

FOR DAD Sports, tools, gift cards, and electronics are a man’s best friend. For this holiday season, try giving him new golf clubs or tennis rackets. Coffee gift cards work well for morning runs. Other ideas are an mp3 player, or a new device he has been eyeing. Throw in a good pair of gloves for when he helps shovel the snow! For these gifts, check Best Buy, Walgreens, and Macys. FOR MOM On the other hand, jewelry is a women’s best friend. She will enjoy getting a special necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings. One choice will be enough! You can add a small gift basket with her favorite sprays and lotions as well. JCPenney and Macys always have sales going on this time of the year, so stop by and check what is on sale/clearance.

FOR BROTHERS Any brother is easy to find the perfect gift for. They would highly appreciate their favorite cologne, shirts, or even some electronics- like an ipoddepending on your limit. Both Express and Macys have great things to offer. They both hold wide vari-

eties of shirts, dress shirts, and even winter accessories like hats and gloves. Check these places out!

FOR SISTERS For your sister, think girly gifts. She will love makeup, purses, shoes, or any type of jewelry. They’re somewhat like every-day needs, so she will be sure to use them. Try going to Sephora and Forever 21. These stores offer fun makeup, accessories, and lots of clothes. FOR AUNTS & UNCLES *If you are giving gifts to your aunt or uncle, gift cards work great. Pick their favorite department store or restaurant they love. You can buy one big one, or two separate ones. Think JCPenney, Sears, Nordstrom’s, Olive Garden, Chilis, or Outback Steakhouse. FOR BOYFRIENDS Instead of giving him another sweater or cologne, think of something thoughtful. Build-A-Bears can be a unique gift from the heart for that special someone. You can make the bear exactly how you want it for him. With the bear, make him a mix-cd of his favorite songs, and any type of his favorite candy or chocolate.

FOR GIRLFRIENDS Jewlery is nice, but getting it engraved is even better. Think of putting your date together, her name, your name, or both of your names. You can even write something special on it! The best things to get engraved are bracelets, inside of rings, and the back of a charm on a necklace. Tiffany’s and Company is a great store to do this process. If your tight on money, try Things Remembered. It is a small store that specializes in engraved jewelry. Get her a mix cd as well!

Buying the 12 Days of Christmas By Erika Oppermann One Partridge in a Pear Tree $ 104.89 Two Turtle Doves $ 50.00 Three French Hens $15.00 Four Calling Birds $ 280.00 Five Golden Rings $ 250.00 Six Geese-a-Laying $ 150.00 Seven Swans-aSwimming $ 3,500.00 Eight Maids-a-Milking $ 41.20

FOR FRIENDS For a girl, you can get her any kind of giftcard. Think of what she needs the most, and find that store. For a guy friend, find the video game he has been eyeing and buy it for them. For both of them, throw in a nice set of gloves, scarves, and hats. All of these purchases can be found at Target, best Buy, and OldNavy. Have fun and good luck shopping.

Nine Ladies Dancing $ 3,932. 72 Ten Lords-a-Leaping $3,499.99 Eleven Pipers Piping $ 1,179. 36 Twelve Drummers Drumming $ 1,277. 64 Don’t forget to add the sales tax! Information from http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas. com/


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Give your time this Holiday Season!

By Amanda Shaw This year don’t be selfish, go out of your way and help make someone’s holiday season bright. There are hundreds of local charities that could use your help! Most teenagers believe they’re too young to help or they just don’t know where they can go to help. I’m a seventeen-yearold senior who has volunteered and if you ask me, helping someone else gives you the best feeling in the world; knowing that you went out of your way to make someone’s life a tiny bit better feels great. Here’s my story: two years ago in December I had extra time on my hands and decided to put it to good use. I went to the local Senior Center and spent some time with the people. Most of the people there had no families or weren’t close enough with them to share the holidays. I spent a few hours playing card games

SNOW, from page 6 clude Alpine Valley Resort (72.5 miles away) and Devil’s Head Resort (171 miles away). Don’t know how to snowboard or ski? It’ll be that much funnier when laughs break out on your attempts and continuous falls. If going to a ski resort is too costly, go rent a pair of ice skates at our nearest ice rink: Iceland! Skate rental costs $3 and it’s $5 per person to skate. Iceland’s public skate times include a mixture of morning and afternoon hours: Monday through Friday, 10am-11:45am; Thursdays from 4:10pm to 5:25pm; Fridays from 8:15pm to 9:45pm; Saturdays from

and chatting with lonely seniors and it was surprisingly fun. A week or so later I got a card in the mail thanking me for spending time with them. They said that I had made their Holidays special and that they were glad to have met me. Since then, I go back every year and visit with the people who love my company. Seeing how happy they are to have someone to talk to makes me feel fulfilled and you can do the same. One of the most wellknown charities is The Ronald McDonald House Charity. They are looking for young kids to collect pop can tabs and donate them. As you may know, Maine East already donates to the this charity, but hey, why don’t you go out and collect tabs at home or in your neighborhood. The more you collect, the more you help. Another charity always looking for teenagers to help is Habitat for Human12:05pm to 1:20pm; Sundays from 2:30pm to 4pm. Iceland is a great rink for your first day of ice skating. Once you have gotten the hang of it, pack up your car with friends and drive down to Millennium Park for one of the best ice skating experiences in the Midwest. Millenium Park’s ice rink is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The best part about this rink is that you skate for free, but if you would like to rent skates, the cost is $9. As you show off your new skills, you will have a beautiful view of the city. Stay close to your family and friends this break. Have fun and always be safe!

ity. They are looking to find young, rambunctious teens to help them build homes for local families who have lost their homes. If you’re a handy person or love to build things, give them a call! One of my favorite charities is called Meals on Wheels. They provide food for people who are unable to provide it for themselves. If you want to help them out, join their mailing list by emailing Margo Willard at mwillard@ mealsonwheelschicago.org. For people who have less free time but still want to help, try collecting food for the local food bank. Go around your neighborhood and ask for donations or even check in your own house. I know it may not seem fun or exciting, but don’t knock it till you try it. Call one of these charities and volunteer. Trust me, there’s no better feeling than helping someone out there feel a little Holiday Spirit!

DECEMBER 2009

Contact Information for Local Charities: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana 1900 Spring Road • Suite 310 Oak Brook, IL 60523 USA Phone: 630 623-5300 Fax: 630 623-0808

The Salvation Army 609 West Dempster in Des Plaines Contact Constance Marquis 847- 981-9111, ext. 102, connie_marquis@usc.salvationarmy.org

Campus Kitchen Project at Northwestern 2245 Sheridan Road, Evanston Contact Jonathan BW Kaufman 847-491-6925 JKaufman@campuskitchens.org Habit for Humanities • Chicago, Illinois: Windy City HFH 2201 South Halsted St Ste 1251 Chicago, IL 60608 Phone: (312) 563-0296 Fax: (315) 563-0297


DECEMBER 2009

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The Pioneer

Featured Band: By Annie Ziga When you think of metal music, you think of highly amplified guitar distortions, insanely fast bass drums and bold, intense vocals; now when you think metal, you will think of this issue’s featured band, Sakradon! Sakradon comes straight from Huntley, Illinois, and includes guitarist Joel Wilkinson, vocalist Ferret (Mike Wier), drummer Scottie Kripner (The Kript), guitarist Jett Lucas, and bassist Nick Williams. Here are some amazing details about their band and their music.

Always passionate about music, Sakradon sprung from another band rooted by Joel and Scottie. When their vocalist left, they searched for another and luckily happened to come across Ferret. “We ended up hearing Ferret on the bus and liked how he sounded,” explains Joel and Scottie. “Then we looked him up online and he had videos of him screaming like a beast.” Ferret was then added to the band known as Divine Slaughter. When the band was looking for another guitarist, Ferret told the band about Jett. The band liked his “blues brutal soloing kind of sound” because it was different from everyone else and that was exactly what they wanted, to be different. The decided to come up with their own new name, and Sakradon was born. Afterwards, Jett told the band

about Nick and how he might be a cool idea for a bassist. They tried him out and realized he was perfect for their sound. Continuing with their originality, the name Sakradon is an original name made directly by the band themselves. “Ferret sent us a list of names, “ explains drummer Scottie. “We picked out two of them that we liked, one was Akron and the other started with an S, but we didn’t like Akron because it sounded like Akon and Acorn so we combined the S but changed it to make Sakradon.” Not only is their name different, their sound is different as well. Their metal genre is combined with melodic and technical sounds with a slight influence of blues. They feel it conveys the image of power and pain and uniqueness. What is most special about Sakradon is their technical abilities within their music. They write all of their own material and like to create music that not only sounds good but is difficult to play. “We like to challenge ourselves,” says guitarist Joel. “We don’t try to limit ourselves to what other bands are doing either. We take in stuff from a lot of different music to put it together into something that is different from everything else but yet still within the metal genre.” With influences such as such as Job for a Cowboy, Suicide Silence, Trivium, Metallica and Cradle of Filth, they are sure to be nothing short of entertaining. They have played many shows in venues such as The Rave, Clearwater Theater, Just for Fun roller rink and X-treme Wheels and always please crowds with their great stage presence. They like to entertain audiences and they love their fans. They are also unique in that they love meeting new bands and setting up shows with them, ba-

sically to bring people together who love the same thing, music. They take their music very seriously but at the same time they know how to have fun. When asked who their celebrity crushes might be, the band jokingly replied, “Colin Farrel” for Ferret and “Chris Farley” for Nick and if they could be anyone living or dead for a day Nick would be King Kong. At practices they also enjoy playing tricks on each other. Ferret would hand a bottle of pee to Scottie telling him it was apple juice, but luckily Scottie didn’t drink it. When the band is not making music or joking around they enjoy hanging with friends, playing Xbox and going to shows. Within the next year or so, Sakradon is shooting for their own tour and they wish to get signed to a record label. They eventually want to play shows with bigger bands and be a part of a huge tour such as Mayhem fest. After they wrote their two newest songs “One Cadaver Too Many” and “Chased by Richard Chase” they realized the possibility

of success towards their goals. “Our new material showcases our abilities,” explains the band, “and we really like what we’re putting out there, it sets a path for only bigger and better things to come.” Sakradon’s unique music is definitely worth checking out. Visit them on their MySpace and hit them up for one of their new CD’s which will release six amazing songs for metal lovers to enjoy. Also in perfect time for the holiday season Sakradon will be playing The 20 Bands of Christmas show at Just for Fun roller rink in Mchenry, IL, on Saturday, December 19th. If you love music you should not miss out on this amazing opportunity to hear Sakradon! Feel free to add them on MySpace and talk to them about any of their shows, their CD, or to find out more about the band:

www.myspace.com/ SAKRADON


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DECEMBER 2009

TOP 10 NEWS STORIES OF 2009

1. The H1N1 Virus Pandemic Also known as the swine flu, the H1N1 virus is believed to have started in Veracruz, Mexico, and in June was declared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as a pandemic. There are currently over 11,000 confirmed H1N1 deaths worldwide, although the World Health Organization has said that the total mortality from this strain is likely significantly higher. The CDC estimates that nearly 10,000 have died in the U.S. alone.

2. The U.S. Economy Continues to Struggle

3. The Battle Over Health Care Reform in the U.S.

Many analysts have concluded that the $787 billion stimulus package Congress approved in February is working to bring the country out of its worst financial crisis since The Great Depression, but the U.S. economy continued to struggle in 2009. The national unemployment rate surpassed 10% and it went even higher in some hard-hit areas like Michigan, who saw its unemployment rates go over 15% in September and October.

President Obama made health care reform one of his top priorities when he took office in January. After months of debate about the details, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a health care reform bill in early November. Just this week, Obama said that Congress is ‘on the precipice’ of passing the bill. Obama also said that without this bill, the country “could go bankrupt.”

5. First African American U.S. President Inaugurated Barack Hussein Obama II was inaugurated on January 20 as the 44th President of the United States and the first African American president in the country’s history. He defeated Senator Hillary Clinton in the primaries and Senator John McCain in the general election. According to attendance numbers, TV viewership, and Internet traffic figures, Obama’s Inauguration may have been the most-observed event in human history.

4. Michael Jackson’s Death On June 25, Jackson, 50, suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles and was treated by his personal physician and paramedics, who could not revive him. The coroner officially declared the death a homicide caused by a combination of the drugs propofol, lorazepam, and midazolam. Millions around the world were shocked and devastated by his death, which came less than a month before he was to kick off his “This Is It” tour. His public memorial service on July 7 was broadcast around the world and viewed by an estimated one billion people.

6. U.S. Will Send 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan President Obama announced on December 2nd the U.S. will deploy 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan over the next six months, bringing the total there to 100,000. Obama said the troop surge is to reverse the gains by the Taliban and to secure population centers in the dangerous southern and eastern parts of the country. Obama also asked U.S allies to send more troops. Obama plans to turn over security to the Afghan government in July of 2011.


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TOP 10 NEWS STORIES OF 2009 CONTINUED...

8. 2016 Olympics To Rio de Janeiro, NOT Chicago

7. Timetable Set To Remove Troops from Iraq

Despite four years of planning, millions of dollars, and pitches by several high-profile people, including Oprah Winfrey and President Obama, Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics was denied on October 2. Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics of 2016.

President Obama announced in February that he would begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, ending the U.S. “combat mission” by August 2010 and withdrawing all troops by December 31, 2011. The U.S. has had a military presence in Iraq since invading the country in March 2003.

9. US Airways jetliner crash-lands in the Hudson River Called the “Miracle on the Hudson”, US Airways flight 1549 has just left La Guardia Airport in New York on January 15 when it struck a flock of geese and lost thrust in all of its engines. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his crew crash-landed the airliner into the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew survived.

10. Air France jetliner disappears over Atlantic Ocean

Air France flight 447 was bound from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, France on June 1 when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 216 passengers and 12 crew members. The cause of the crash is still unknown, as the flight recorders (‘black boxes’) have not been recovered.

SWINE, from page 2 “After seeing the big obsession with washing hands and covering coughs I didn’t see a reason not to get the shot,” says sophomore Amar Shah. “Even though I didn’t know too much about the shot I still chose to get it. “The government wouldn’t release anything that would harm us. And in reality, I felt nothing. I

had no side effects.” High schools and elementary school students were the first to receive the shots because they were considered at risk, along with senior citizens and pregnant women. On December 11, the Center of Disease Control allowed all Illinois residents to receive H1N1 shots. Shots can be obtained from various locations including local drug stores and physicians’ offices.

SCH. BOWL, from page 5 The subjects can range from school subjects, science, and math, to the conventional music or sports. The teams are split up, with freshman and sophomores as JV and juniors and seniors as varsity. While Ms. Bianchi may not be a television host, she still has one thing in common with the great Jeop-

ardy host. They both spread knowledge onto the youth. Even though she is a math teacher, Bianchi coaches her students to succeed in all the subjects they currently study, for the questions are generally based on what those kids would currently be learning in their classes. Two of the MVPs of the JV team, according to Bianchi, are George Jabbour and Will Brady.

“Powerhouses” was how Bianchi described them. It is technically too late to join scholastic bowl, however if there are any dedicated students who insist on showing up to practice, then maybe the coach will make some room. The scholastic bowl season started in October and will go through to February (or March if the team makes it to the State Finals).


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The Pioneer

DECEMBER 2009

TOP 10 ENTERTAINMENT STORIES OF 2009 1. 2009: The Year of Celebrity Deaths

Many well-known and beloved celebrities died during the past year. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Patrick Swayze top the list, but we said goodbye to several other headliners over the past 12 months: OxiClean pitchman Billy Mays, former NFL quarterback Steve Mcnair, famous newsman Walter Cronkite, Senator Ted Kennedy, actors Dom DeLuise and David Carradine, Ed McMahon, actress Natasha Richardson, writer John Updike, and the list goes on.

2. Modern Warfare 2 Sets Sales Records

The sixth installment of the Call of Duty game series broke world records and dominated sales charts. It generated $550 million in its first week of release, selling over 4.7 million copies in the U.S. and U.K. alone. Stores throughout North America opened at midnight on November 10 to crowds of people anxious to get their war on. Many stores sold out of their copies during the first day of sales.

3. Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at Video Music Awards

As Swift was about to accept the award for Best Female Video, West sprinted on stage, grabbed the microphone from her, and praised Beyoncé for making “one of the best videos of all time,” leaving Swift silently stunned. West’s obnoxious behavior even prompted President Obama to call him a “jacka**” in an interview.

4. The Huge Success of Paranormal Activity

First-time director Oren Peli made the film in 2007 and reportedly produced it for about $15,000. Paramount Pictures bought all rights to the film for $300,000 and planned to release a remake of the original Peli film in 2008, but a rift between Paramount and DreamWorks put the film in limbo until producers decided not to remake it, but run the original film in several college towns across the country. The buzz was so strong that the studio decided to have a full release across the country. Paranormal Activity has made over $100 million domestically and has been cited as one of the most profitable films ever made.

5. David Letterman Admits to Affairs with Late Show Employees

A CBS producer attempted to extort $2 million by threatening to expose Letterman’s relationships with employees of The Late Show. Letterman testified before a grand jury and then admitted on his program on October 1, “I have had sex with women who work for me on this show.”

6. Reality TV Desires: Balloon Boy and W.H. Party Crashers.

On October 15th, millions followed the breaking news story of a 6-yearold boy, stuck in a weather balloon made by his father, floating helplessly across eastern Colorado at 7,000 feet in the air. The balloon landed, with nobody aboard, and the boy was found hiding in the attic. Three days later it was revealed that the story was a hoax, set up by the boy’s parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, in an effort for publicity so they could get a reality TV show. In late November, another couple searching for publicity and reality TV fame, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, made it past the Secret Service and into a State Dinner at the White House.

7. Singing Sensation Susan Boyle

The 47-year-old singer garnered worldwide attention for her impressive performances on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent, but she ultimately lost in the show’s finale to a perfect performance by a dance group called Diversity! Boyle still signed a deal with Sony Music and sold over 500,000 copies of her debut album within three weeks.


DECEMBER 2009

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The Pioneer

TOP 10 ENTERTAINMENT STORIES OF 2009 continued... 8. Oprah Winfrey Announces Television Show Will End in 2011

Oprah Winfrey left some fans in shock and others in tears when she announced that her TV show will end on September 9, 2011 after 25 years on the air. “I love this show, this show has been my life,” Winfrey told her TV audience on November 20th. “I love it enough to know when it’s time to leave.” The show, which has earned 48 Daytime Emmy Awards, is syndicated to 215 markets in the U.S. and distributed by CBS to 145 other countries.

9. Jon & Kate Split Up

Jon and Kate Gosselin, the stars of the popular cable TV show Jon and Kate Plus 8, decided to end their marriage. After 10 years of marriage and 8 kids, their lives fell apart for millions to see on TV and in the tabloid magazines. Apparently the fame from the TV show was more than the couple could handle. It was reported that both Jon and Kate were having affairs, and Jon was seen with several women. They both denied the rumors, but then announced on the show that they decided to live apart from each other and their divorce will be finalized by the end of the year.

10. The Beastly Success of The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The second film in the Twilight series was released on November 20 in countries around the world and, despite largely critical reviews, set box office records for biggest midnight screening ($26.3 million) and biggest single day domestic gross ($72.7 million). Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner reprised their roles from the first Twilight film.

Holiday Treats Gone Mad

BEST MOVIES OF 2009 as voted by Mr. Miller’s Film students 1. The Hangover 2. Transformers 2 3. Up 4. Taken 5. Inglourious Basterds

6. Public Enemy 7. The Blind Side 8. 2012 9. Zombieland 10. Brothers

By DnA


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The Pioneer

DECEMBER 2009

TOP 10 SPORTS STORIEs OF 2009 1. Tiger Woods Takes Indefinite Leave from Golf After Woods, the world’s best golfer, crashed his SUV into a neighbor’s tree at 2:25 a.m. on November 27th, stories of infidelity and marital problems seemed to emerge daily. Finally, earlier this week, the story truly graduated from the tabloid headlines to real news as Woods announced that he would take “an indefinite leave” from the sport that has made him nearly a billionaire and one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII for Sixth Title. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass to game MVP Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds remaining to clinch the win, 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals. It was the sixth Super Bowl victory for the Steelers, the most of any NFL franchise.

5. Yankees Win 27th Championship Surprise MVP Hideki Matsui led the Bronx Bombers to their 27th Title, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies four games to two in the Fall Classic. The Yankees 27 Championships ranks among the most in any professional sport.

2. Mark Buehrle Pitches Perfect Game On July 23rd, the White Sox hurler threw only the 18th perfect game in Major League history, and the first since David Cone’s gem for the N.Y. Mets in 1999. He retired 27 consecutive batters en route to the 5-0 victory over the Tampa Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.

6. Lance Armstrong Returns to Tour de France, Finishes Third.

3. Michael Jordan Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame On September 11, the Basketball Hall of Fame inducted MJ, whose list of accomplishments in the sport is second to none: six World Championships with the Chicago Bulls, six NBA Finals MVPs, 5 League MVPs, 10 league scoring titles, 14 All-Star selections, 3 All-Star Game

MVPs, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and 2 Slam-Dunk Championships.

Despite being away from competitive cycling for over three years, Lance Armstrong overcame a serious crash in a Spring race and competed in the 2009 Tour de France, finishing in third place.


DECEMBER 2009

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The Pioneer

7. Brett Favre Returns to the NFL.

8. Bears Trade Kyle Orton for Jay Cutler.

First, he retired. Then he said he still wanted to play. Then he really retired. Then he decided he really wanted to play. Not even Favre himself could have predicted playing for the Minnesota Vikings and having one of the best seasons of his career at age 40.

If the Chicago Bears were having a better season, this story would probably be in the top five. The Bears made the move for Cutler, a so-called “franchise quarterback” who was unhappy with his new coach in Denver. Then the team signed him to a two-year, $30 million contract extension. Too bad they didn’t get an offensive line and some receivers to go with him.

10. Blackhawks Make a Run in the NHL Playoffs.

9. Usain Bolt Sets World Records in 100m and 200m at World Championships.

With a team full of young, exciting players, the Chicago Blackhawks made it to the Western Conference Finals last spring before losing to the Detroit Red Wings. It was the first playoff appearance for the Hawks since 2002 and gave hockey fans in and around Chicago reason to be optimistic for the future of Blackhawk hockey.

The Pioneer Staff

The world’s fastest human was at it again during the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, in August, where he ran the 100m in 9.58 seconds and the 200m in 19.19 seconds, bettering each of his world records by .11 seconds. Bolt has set records in five consecutive competitions.

Editors-in-Chief Yogi Patel Mona Hamdan NewsEditors Selma Matezic Nadia Khavari Sports Editor Logan Germaine Fine Arts Editors Dylan Guzman Amanda Shaw Editors Michelle Zdobylak Shaun Kuriakose Max Lewis Entertainment Editor Erika Opperman

Reporters & Photographers Sejla Bajramovik Keandra Broaster Breanna Colorina John Hidalgo Christine Lam

Ornina Sada Emily Lapinski Maddy Scaletta Yoseline Martinez Enkhtsogt Solongomaa Marie Moon Shawn Thomas Kenny Nissan Victoria Walley Sandra Piechocka

THE PIONEER Maine East High School • Park Ridge, Illinois The Pioneer is dedicated to reporting on news, entertainment, and sports events for Maine East High School and the surrounding community. The Pioneer is distributed to students, staff, and a limited mailing list. Submit story suggestions, photos, letters to the editor, or comments regarding the content of the newspaper to sponsor Matt Miller via email: mmiller@maine207.org The Pioneer does not accept outside advertising. FOLLOW THE PIONEER ON TWITTER: @mehspioneer FOR ONLINE PDFs of THE PIONEER: http://tinyurl.com/Pioneer0910


SPORTS Ping Pong Team hosts interscholastic meet By Emily Lapinski The Maine East Ping Pong Club hosted an interscholastic tri-meet on Tuesday, December 8, against Libertyville High School and Loyola Academy. The Demons finished third in the event, but Coach Bob Brown and his players enjoyed the event and look forward to playing against other area teams over the next few months. “Win or lose, I’m very proud of our players,” said Brown. “I think we have a very talented team here,” said sophomore Jonathon Coldea. “I am glad to be able to see us in action.” Players from all three teams enjoyed the event, which consisted of both singles and doubles matches. “This is an important moment in history,” said Libertyville Coach Christophe Guiard as the match began, mocking his overly serious statement with a chuckle. But for the Ping Pong Club at East, this was truly an important moment.

Hosting such a well-organized, competitive event shows how far the Maine East Ping Pong Club has come in just its second year. The team hopes to compete in at least two more interscholastic competitions this school year. To get the club off the ground last year, Coach Brown repaired several of the school’s broken-down tables himself and provided paddles and balls for the players. He hopes that student participation will continue to grow at East, and that the school will eventually provide some more updated equipment and more appropriate areas for practices and matches. Coach Brown also hopes to pursue sponsorship possibilities with a company like Killerspin, a major table tennis company headquartered right here in Chicago. The team’s captain, senior Enkhtsogt Solongomaa, looks forward to the competitions against the other teams. “This is my

last year, so it is great to be able to compete for actual placing,” he said. Solongomaa has played ping pong for much of his life and he enjoys working on his own game and helping his teammates improve. Before the matches against Libertyville and Loyola, he was optimistic but realistic. “The team will do well,” he said. “But if we don’t, we will move on and do better next time.” Many of the Maine East players have grown up playing ping pong, but some just picked up the game, and the team is always looking for students interested in playing some ping pong, having fun, and even competing a little. Those new to the sport will also have fun learning. For those interested in some fast-paced fun, the ping pong club meets on Tuesdays after school in Room 020 and is always on the lookout for new players, so come check it out!

The Maine East team competed well against Libertyville and Loyola.

Maine East Ping Pong Team members, from top to bottom: Enkhtsogt Solongomaa, Jon Coldea, Adrian Ziejewski, Mateusz Wszolek, and Sarah Han.


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