Millard North High School
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011
Hitting the rig ht note this h Omaha symp o hony and MN l i d ay: students cel
ebrate the se ason
performances on Dec. 16, 17, and 18. Th While this ese pieces of is a new music include op Upon a stage better players po rtunity for ar ound a dozen where Bela then I will some, a familiar carols Fleck, Yo-Yo m ev ajority of th er be. It’s cool , as well as on Ma, Michael While es e to see so ta le e nted the group composi Bublé, and an students aren players much talent in collectively tion. abundance of ’t rookies to such a young pr ac ti other renowne ce pl pe “I aying in front of n the past th rson,” Reeves sa for countless hour d musicians e group friends and id. s, they are also piece has alway have displayed fa m W ily hi , or le ev fa th s ce en e high school their talents, been a slow, d with an thousands of abundance beautiful Chris a handful of ex Omaha citizens students are am of tmas song, like ceptional MN fr . Stage fright ee time due az ed to th e ‘Silent Night.’ violinists perfor to only is ch a thing of the ild prodigy-lik performing tw This year, it’s m along with past because e talent o so ‘Wassail Wassa 30 other Omah ng s. This m of os t of the music the youth, th means time to il,’ this weird a area students e young ians have m ee t foreign party so at the Holland an d al m re bond usicians impres ady experience with students ba ng. Hopefully Center for the s members d years of ck st it will work annual show, “C ag e. pe of rf the Omaha Sym orming on stag hristmas with out,” senior “People get in e. phony. fake fights Shannon Reeve the Symphony. “I don’t ge “My colleague over card gam ” s said. t nervous s ha es ve . Fo rtunately, Fo an The oft r ym en told me ho some, this un ore, but my fir opportunity I never lose at an w much st year, I ique to y ca and rare chan perform for rd dr games, th op ey ped my bow on enjoy hearing so this isn’t an ce will be the thousands of the very an d is su first time play e spectators in th fo la se r me,” st ei note. I was frea ng my students ing on Holland Holm said. e state’s most perform king out, Center’s stage acoustically ap bu be t ca it was okay beca use they no for the holiday pealing music The best mom use during t only ents don’t event. After venue is a re the [applause] sound great ha sult of Omah pl pp ay , I could just but also act en backstage ing their a part as an audi or during Symphony viol re lik ac e h down and ge professionals,” rehearsals, bu inist and viola ence member t it,” junior Nagosky t w he observing in teacher, Anne N n every K sa ri id st . en Gjesdahl sa seat in the au agosky. the comfy id. di en ce theatre seats, is filled “A few years B To ehind their ensure perfec and the youn they’re taking back, she immunity ti g on vi ol their place in arranged to ha in ists hit to fr om st age fright are ye the violinists of the spotlight as all the right ve a bunch of ars of on all ages no te s performers. [Nagosky’s] vi cr st du eating ag ri e ng the show, fiv and public perf holiday harmon olin and viola ormances e group y th students part ro “I ug — re ’v st hout he e ar never done ‘Chr arsals in addi ting from a the Holland Cen icipate in th istmas tion to young e te r. at the Symphon actual show. ag in e. de pendent practi Playing beside We’re playing y’ before and “When you pl ce take the MN ay there it I was so exci only one song students are kids place before op m ted when my by ourselves in ak es you feel real en ranging from ing night. teacher asked m the actual perf ly special si x to “Th 18 years of age. e rehearsals because the spac e to do it. I am ormance part an e d is re set apart becaus of the show, bu ally nice. pr ac “I ’m not a huge ki tice mean you After you get do e for the past t we also play d person, have to ne pe six years I’ve Christmas caro rf orming bu gi ve t it’ up Facebook an s always fun be on stage and th been going to ls in the lobby,” cause they d leisure e cr ow ‘Christmas at senior Zac Holm d lo ti reacts ok m e. up to us olde It’s strictly hom the Symphony’ positively to yo said. r players. ework, u, it’ to watch, not to s a So The students fe eling m e of them are al you can’t get play in,” junior then memorize ready far rehearsal,” anywhere else a vast amount Haeley Carl said ,” of . Gjesdahl said. Gjesdahl said. music in or der to be compl etely prepared for al l five Front Editor an Beaumont
MN sets record for most National Merit Semifinalists
Emily Seymour Sports Editor
To be named a National Merit Semifinalist is a prestigious honor for any high school student. The honor is so impressive that only 16,000 of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT received the distinction. For MN, this honor went to 21 students, with seven additional students being named National Merit Commended scholars. After taking the PSAT in October of their junior year, students whose scores are in the top 50,000 in the nation receive notification. Of those
50,000, only 16,000 receive the honor of being National Merit Semifinalists. Earning the qualification of Semifinalist this year required students to earn at least a 209 out of 240 on the PSAT. To prepare for the test, the students took to various study methods to ensure success. “I took a couple of practice tests from books and took the practice test that they gave out in the counseling center,” senior Semifinalist Daniel Shats said. For senior Semifinalist Emily Reiff, the night before consisted of late night studying and starting the morning with a hearty breakfast.
Get to know the GOP Candidates for the 2012 election
“I think I just ate copious amounts of waffles and flipped through my review book at midnight the night before,” Reiff said. To further prepare, sophomores are given the opportunity to take the PSAT, but it does not account for any distinction by National Merit. “I actually got the exact same score as I got the year before. I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t get it but I was happy [when I got it],” Shats said. Nonetheless, Shats’, Reiff ’s, and the others’ test preparation techniques paid off for not only them, but MN as a whole. Of the 109 Semifinalists in
Nebraska, MN had 21 of those students. Not only did MN hold the distinction for the most of any school in the state, but the highest and second highest PSAT scorers in NE are also seniors here. “We’ve done well in the past, but this was a pretty good year,” counselor Loel Schettler said. “By far, we had the most [National Merit Semifinalists] of any high school in the state.” For those named Semifinalists and Commended scholars, the distinction gives them validation for hard work in academics. “It was a great rise to the top, but it’s bittersweet knowing that you’ve peaked
Pages Six & Seven Check out tips for successfully surviving finals
as a 17-year-old,” senior Semifinalist Grace SolemPfeifer said. Aside from the honor, students have opportunities to earn scholarships. Being named a National Merit Finalist, a distinction given to 15,000 of the 16,000 Semifinalists, enables students to apply for scholarships from the National Merit Corporation, corporate sponsors, and the colleges themselves. “The application as pretty typical with basic info, activities, [and a] transcript,” Reiff said. I think I wrote an essay about hating math as a child.”
National Merit Semifinalist from Millard North: Haonan Bai Rachel Brown Rishi Chebrolu Ravi Chintapalli Matthew Falcon Austin Grady Jackson Gzehoviak Mohit Jain Catherine Nguyen Allen Qiu Emily Reiff Aanya Sagheer Daniel Shats Eshita Singh Grace Solem-Pfeifer Carl Stokes Erik Strottmann Caitlin Wilhelm Cole Wilhelmi Xiongfei Zhang
Page Ten Get the scoop on Justin Bieber’s newest Christmas CD
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 2
Oct. 31, 2011 marked the day when the global population supposedly reached an all-time high milestone of 7 billion. The United Nations has estimated a population of 9.3 billion by the year 2050; this value is expected to be greater than 10 billion by the year 2100.
In an effort to bolster gay rights abroad, President Barack Obama directed American agencies to look for ways to combat foreign governmental criminalization of homosexuality, including direct governmental abuse of LGBT members in their communities.
The Omaha Police Department recently proposed a new city ordinance that would prohibit carriage ride vehicles from operating around TD Ameritrade during the College World Series, thus decreasing traffic congestion during baseball season.
As reported by the Omaha World Herald, Millard might let out school before Memorial Day in 2013 in exchange for slightly shorter winter and spring breaks. The new calendar was approved by the school board, but ultimately, it depends on the number of snow days next year.
A RECAP OF
1: President Barack Obama headed the long-awaited U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan beginning in July. 2: Singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in July. 3: Occupy Wall Street demonstrations against the growing economic disparity began in September. 4: Singer Katy Perry broke the record for most number one singles from a sole album, Teenage Dream, in August. 5: Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her daughter Caylee. 6: Japan suffered a major earthquake and tsunami in March. 7: Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno announced in November that he will retire at the end of the season due to the Sandusky scandal. 8: Socialite Kim Kardashian divorced basketball star Kris Humphries after 72 days of marriage in October. 9: Former Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was ousted, captured, and killed by Libyan protestors in October. 10: Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was shot and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs and CIA operatives in May. 11: Kate Middleton wedded Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in April. *Infographic by Nithya Rajagopalan | Sources: upi.com, amazon.com, mnn.com, sweetandtalented.com, mediabistro.com, israelshamir.net, dailycaller.com, hotbeautyhealth.com, jewishjournal.com, uniorb.com, stylesectionla.com
Students relive, reminisce about the past year Clayton Annan Staff Writer
Current Events This past year holds historical significance to the U.S. and the world. Throughout this past year
there have been numerous pro-democracy protests and rebellions all throughout the Middle East. “For sixth months, all we talked about was Arab Spring and how different countries were being initiated because
one country was going through democracy,” junior Santhosh Ramini said. “It was for a good cause, but I felt like it could have been handled in a less violent way.” Another historical event that took place in the year of
2011 was the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. This historical event brought America to tears as many gathered around Ground Zero to celebrate the end of what seemed to be an ongoing nightmare. “I remember hearing a lot about the death of Osama bin Laden,” junior Michaela Dirks said. “A lot of people were controversial about the situation [and] didn’t like how the U.S. reacted with other countries.” One huge threat that everyone can agree on is the horrid effects of natural disasters. “The Japanese tsunami showed us how dangerous and devastating natural disasters can be,” senior Thomas Ryan said. “It greatly impacted the Japanese economy, which ultimately affected our economy as well.” Entertainment From pop sensations such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, to Charlie Sheen’s rambunctious outbursts, the public is left lagging behind, trying to keep up with the latest gossip. It is certain that these past 12 months have had its share of fairytales and even heartbreaks. On July 23, Amy Winehouse passed away, along with her vibrant voice and unique genre of music. “I thought she was a good artist, but she was also a really troubled person,” senior Taylor Seymore said. Though the public showed its sympathy towards Winehouse and family, they sustained diminutive respect towards the 72-day marriage
between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. “Nobody was surprised about Kim’s divorce,” junior Yasmeen Bora said. “I feel kind of bad because I feel like she did like him and it’s not working out; but at the same time, they probably shouldn’t have gotten married.” While Kardashian was going through a divorce, Prince William and Kate Middleton were busy choosing a castle that’s big enough to harbor their undying love for one another. Overall in the year of 2011, new faces, talents, and relationships came onto the scene. Sports In sports, 2011 has been yet another year full of constant adjustments, surprises and appalling scandals. This was the first year that the College World Series was hosted at TD Ameritrade Park instead of Rosenblatt stadium. “It was interesting to see [the transition]. It hurt some local businesses, but overall, I think it was a better switch,” senior Adam Shriver said. Though the stadium change went over smoothly, other changes don’t. Penn State football coach Joe Paterno went from being a well-respected coach to being unemployed after the former Penn State assistant scandal, leaving many fans were outraged and upset. “Joe Paterno was essentially immortalized in college sports. Just because of one thing, he’s gone,” junior Joey Kim said. “No matter how much tenure he had, he was still gone within a month.”
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 3
With masses equivalent to 10 billion suns, two newly discovered black holes have been deemed the largest black holes to date. These two black holes have the potential to consume everything, including light, within a region five times the size of our solar system.
Not only does tea contain antioxidant properties that can prevent disease and cancer, but recent studies also suggest that consumption of herbal, white, and green teas can result in a bolstered fat metabolism, and thus, an increased endurance for exercise.
>> Human Interest
In light of economic hardships, more and more Santas say that children are asking for less and less for themselves. Requests of “a job for mom or dad,” “money for the heating bill,” and “a place to live” are becoming all too common from children on Santas’ lap across America.
Drug dog brings deterrence, prevention with frequent visits Brent Griffiths Staff Writer
The familiar buzz of the intercom sounds as it kicks into gear; a few jolt by its abrupt sound. Students look up and hear that it’s time for another Code Yellow. Clanging doors echo through the halls as droves of teachers lock their classrooms. MN braces for yet another visit by Dolly the drug dog. These occurrences have become more prevalent within the past month. Dolly visited MN five consecutive times from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, as well as twice on Dec. 7 (as of press time). “The administrative team felt it was the right time to remind students of the consequences of poor decisions. Bringing drugs or alcohol into school is a bad idea,” principal Brian Begley said. MN, or any other Millard school is able to summon Dolly as frequently as they want because Millard Public Schools pays for her handler,
School Resource Officer Anthony Ward, and the dog as well. Both are stationed at Millard North Middle School. “The district fund allows for the canine unit to be called upon as many times as we want—daily, weekly or monthly,” Begley said. However, even
and a classroom all have to be randomly selected,” Ward said. The limits to schools drug searches stem from the laws surrounding probable cause and reasonable suspicion. These laws allow schools to use reasonable suspicion, which requires less proof than probable cause. “In order for police to conduct a search we need probable cause whether in Omaha or Spokane, [whereas] schools need reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a search,” MN School Resource Officer John Martinez said. If Dolly detects the odor of drugs, or hits on a locker, backpack or car, the school and the handler follow a specific policy. “We don’t open lockers, cars or book bags during the search, but if Dolly has a hit, we are authorized to search further, and call the student
The administrative team felt it was the right time to remind students of the consequences of poor decisions. Bringing drugs or alcohol into school is a bad idea. Brian Begley Principal
with the increase in searches, students and teachers rarely see Dolly in action. She and her handler sweep a classroom, lockers and parking lot all in the span of a class period. “[The search] is required to be done randomly. Since no one person can be singled out, each row of cars, lockers,
down to the office,” Ward said. The drug searches allow for both preventive and deterrent effects. The administration has seen an increase in the number of students who provide tips in person and on the district’s anonymous hotline. “I am grateful for the many student citizens of MN that provide good credible, specific leads that help combat drugs and alcohol in our school,” Begley said. As Dolly and her handler exit MN, the intercom buzzes for the final time. Begley confirms student suspicions that Dolly has paid yet another visit, while reaffirming that she can come back again anytime to enforce school policy on any student who brings drugs or alcohol to MN. “[When someone is caught] I feel sadness and anger that someone would have the audacity to bring drugs into our school. I also am determined to eradicate drug and alcohol possession, use, and distribution in our school,” Begley said.
Meet the GOP Candidates:
As the first votes of the primary season approach, the political personalities of each candidate begin to emerge Bachmann initially rose to prominence with her popular cable television attacks on President Barack Obama and Michele Bachmann the Democrats. She currently garners her support primarily from an evangelical Christian base, as well as from the Tea Party.
T h o u g h largely written off in the early spring, Gingrich experienced a surge in polls amid voter discontent with other candidates Newt Gingrich combined with strong GOP debate performances. His support stems mainly from evangelicals, the Tea Party, and Wall Street.
Huntsman vies for the 2012 presidential bid with a unique characteristic— the fact that he worked under Obama for two years. With Jon Huntsman arguably the most foreign policy experience out of his competition, Huntsman primarily draws support from moderates and Wall Street.
In his third run for the White House, Paul has polled consistently in the middle of the pack, unlike others such as Perry or Ron Paul Bachmann. He stands in staunch opposition to the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary system and U.S. military engagement abroad.
From his home state of Texas, Perry runs on a record of cutting spending and creating jobs without raising taxes. Perry appeals Rick Perry predominantly to social conservative Christians, evangelicals, and the Tea Party despite a soft stance on illegal immigration.
Known as the presumed GOP f r o n t r u n n e r, R o m n e y provides a blend of business experience and a national profile. He faces Mitt Romney opposition from a large majority of Republican religious conservatives, who question his record of flip-flopping on certain issues.
Former House Speaker
Former UT Governor
Former MA Governor
Infographic by Nithya Rajagopalan | Sources: www.news.bbc.co.uk
Fact not fiction Nithya Rajagopalan Editor-in-Chief
Siri’s fatal flaw
Unveiled in conjunction with the iPhone 4S in October, the artificially intelligent personal assistant application Siri is the culmination of visionary minds and ingenious ideas. As heralded by the Apple website, “Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more.” However, there is just one snag: Siri is a complete and utter nincompoop when it comes to basic knowledge useful to women. Tell Siri that you have been stabbed or have broken your arm, and it will immediately generate a comprehensive list of nearby hospitals, as well as offer a plethora medical advice tips. Tell Siri, however, that you have been raped, and it will direct you to long-term services, rather than immediate ones, such as police stations or hospitals. Ask Siri where the best spot to dump a dead body is, and it will provide you with a comprehensive list of proximate mines, dumps, and swamps. Ask Siri where to get a mammogram, however, and Siri will be at a loss. In addition to not being able to adequately process responses to rape situations and find substantial women’s health centers, Siri also lacks in offering viable sexual abuse resources and responses to domestic violence resources. This reoccurring phenomenon has solicited outrage and resentment from many an iPhone user, and has even incited a response from Apple itself. “These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr explained. Though Apple would like to simply chalk these omissions up to nothing more than “glitches” in their beta product, the fact is that they actually elucidate a deeper lying issue pervading through Apple. As astutely asserted by a Slate article published December, “the problem here is one of neglect and not malice.” No intentional decision was made to infuse Siri with an ignorant and dangerous bias against women. Instead, the problem is rather that the crippling lack of women in “innovative, customer-driven technology services” in Apple—a fact attested to by the Apple’s less than savory choice to name another device released earlier this year, the “iPad.” The programmers behind Siri invested a great deal of time and resources into producing the pinnacle of artificial intelligent technology. In fact, Siri, the application designed particularly to cater to the virtually every need of the average user, is arguably the most useful and utility-driven application the new iPhone 4S has to offer. At the same time, these very same Apple programming nerds also spent an baffling amount of time imbuing Siri with human characteristics to make conversation as realistic as possible. Perhaps instead of giving Siri the ability to tell and respond to corny jokes, find escort services, share drug know-how, and make obscure science fiction references, the programmers should have been more focused on more relevant issues, such as instances of rape or mammograms.
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 4
Makin’ Premature Christmas cheer presents problems the Case Jenna Pfingsten Staff Writer
Casey Waughn Opinions Editor
Maybe I’m biased
There’s an old saying that goes “good, better best, never let it rest until your good is your better and your better is your best.” However, on Nov. 15, Millard voters did not agree with this saying as they rejected the proposed $140 million bond issue. Although Millard is already noted as one of, if not the best district in the state, the bond issue would have ensured that status is maintained. Throughout the night as I pondered the overall aspects of the bond issue and why 57 percent of people voted no, I kept coming to one conclusion: maybe I’m biased. As a student, maybe I’m biased, but I’m overjoyed at the thought of improving the building by creating one entrance. Not only would this improve security but it would also prevent students from nearly freezing solid from walking outside in the winter to make it to class on time. If voters can increase security and reduce the number of potential hypothermia cases, who wouldn’t vote yes? As an athlete, maybe I’m biased about the field turf and improved wrestling, athletic training and weight rooms proposed on the previous bond issue. Field turf would essentially pay for itself once factoring in the cost it takes to maintain grass, not to mention that the risk of injury is less when playing on an artificial surface. Even with constant maintenance, grass will never be the perfect surface that field turf is. If having 12 athletes get skin diseases in one year from the conditions of the weight and wrestling rooms isn’t a good enough reason to provide them new facilities, then I don’t know what is. As a journalist, maybe I’m biased about the amount of misinformation that swirled around, in part because the district didn’t promote the bond issue well enough, but mostly because voters didn’t bother to put a little effort into researching and figuring out the logistics of the bond issue. This includes the misconceptions regarding the miniscule fraction of the bond issue that included field turf and the false rumor that all teachers would get cell phones. Lastly and most importantly, maybe I’m biased as a member of the Millard community. Good schools striving to be better is attractive to homebuyers and families looking for residence. The passing of this bond issue would have shown potential homebuyers that we are dedicated to constantly improving our schools. When given the chance to make my better my best, or to maintain my best, I always take it. But then again what do I know, I’m biased.
It’s the day after Halloween and you’re still trying to fully recover from excess candy the night before. As you walk into the department store, you’re bombarded with Christmas trees, holiday music, and countless advertisements reminding you to buy a gift for that “special someone.” While this scenario is a bit extreme, stores have kicked off the holiday season earlier and earlier each year. When Christmas starts too early, people are less excited for the actual holiday. Stores started advertising Christmas right after
Halloween and Santa started walking around malls two weeks into November. Some people get sick of Christmas because it’s a busy season for planning. There are parties to plan, decorations to put up, and end-of-the-year trips to prepare for. Planning a Christmas party takes a lot of time and effort. The list of things to do ranges from decorating to preparing a guest list. Holiday trips also include a great deal of stress and planning. Christmas decorating itself is an immense task. While some start the decorations before Thanksgiving, others put it off until a week before Christmas. Either way, the decoration setup can be difficult on one’s sanity. All the stress of parties and
trips can easily wear someone down. This planning is for the purpose of Christmas, but when Dec. 25 comes, these planners are ready for the big day to be over. Other people feeling the stress over Christmas are parents and teens. Parents are stressed with the task of finding the perfect gift for a child and teens also often have the pressure to find a suitable gift for their significant other. The burden of Christmas shopping is one most people shy away from until the last moment. With all the reminders of gift buying from stores, it adds a new layer of strain to the procrastinator. However, some consumers enjoy the extra month of Christmas because it allows them to take pleasure in the
holiday season longer. In contrast, it can quickly become too much of a good thing. The lights, decorations, and Christmas music can easily overload an already stressed out consumer. We also enjoy our everyday routine and normal dayto-day lives. The Christmas season knocks it out of whack. By the end of December, we’re ready for everything to go back to the way it was. In the long run, when Christmas comes too early, the stress of planning and buying makes people ready for Christmas to be over. If this jump starting Christmas continues, we’ll start hanging garland in September and acting like a humbug on Christmas morning.
“Yes since it’s our first year of finals, as freshmen it will give us more time to figure out what to do.”
“More time so you won’t have to rush through the test so students will get better test scores.”
Zach Baier, 9
Will having 95 minute periods, extended from last year, be helpful for finals?
Justin Bailey, 10
“I’d rather have a half day because the amount of time we had last year was good enough.” Brendan Coogan,11
“Yes because you don’t have to rush to get tests done and you don’t have to worry about looking at the clock.” Kristyn Otter, 12
CU l8r literacy:
Frequent text usage causes ignored side effects James Geiger Online Editor
Text messaging is more than an everyday occurrence—the simple and convenient solution to a phone call has been woven into the fabric of our communication skills since its creation; but its effects may reach farther beyond tired thumbs. When the service was first started in 1992, it was a little slow on the uptake, but now thanks to widely popular ‘unlimited messaging’ plans, 74 percent of all cell phone subscribers have texting as an option on their plan. While text messaging may be a cheap, simple, and effective
The Hoofbeat The Hoofbeat staff will publish nine issues of the paper at Millard North High School (1010 South 144th Street, Omaha, NE). Type is set with the use of Macintosh computers. Printing is done by White Wolf Printing, Sheldon IA. The Hoofbeat is a member of the Nebraska High School Press Association and National High School Press Association. The Hoofbeat exists for the express purpose of student information and learning. Advertising will be sold at $7 per column inch or by special quarter, half, or full page rates. Information can be obtained by calling 402-715-1404. All uncredited editorials express the view of the The Hoofbeat staff. All columns express the subjective opinions of the writer.
way of communicating with friends and family, its overuse by the teenage demographic is starting to cause both communicative and physical side effects which are largely being ignored. Because texting is all about speed, frequent texters often forsake spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure in order to maintain thumbs quick to the send button. Shortened words and text acronyms allow for this speed to be achieved, but a regular lack of proper grammar and spelling, according to linguist professor at the University of Texas at El Paso Richard Teschner, can cause adolescents to “[become] accustomed to picturing words in the short text forms.”
Editors-in-Chief Front Editor News Editor Opinions Editor Focus Editor Features Editor Entertainment Editor Sports Editor Online Editor Graphic Editor Illustrator Photographer
While some claim that texting expands social circles and allows teens to remain connected with their close friends, this constant connectedness often lacks true emotional feedback. Simple “emoticons” are used to convey basic emotions, but according to a University of Southern California study, the lack of in-person response causes emotion to go unnoticed. “If things are happening too fast, you may not ever fully experience emotions about other people’s psychological states,” the study’s author, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang said. The effects of frequent texting can also have reaches far beyond the cell phone.
Elisha-Kim Desmangles Nithya Rajagopalan Bridget van Beaumont Nithya Rajagopalan Casey Waughn Elisha-Kim Desmangles Elizabeth Moran Elizabeth Groth Emily Seymour James Geiger Bridget van Beaumont Kelly Bast Jennifer Newton
Many physical effects have also been noted—most notably sleep disorders. Along with a constant deluge of communication comes the constant need to respond to messages—a necessity which may be breaking into sleep patterns. Phone disruptions while sleeping and late-night conversations can cause sleep deprivation in a demographic which already has enough to worry about. Text messaging is a very popular and useful method of communication that isn’t going away soon. But its use should be well controlled and monitored in order to avoid the linguistic, emotional, and physical issues that come with constant texting.
Clayton Annan Nick Beaulieu Alan Davis Justin Deffenbacher Elizabeth Graff Brent Griffiths Marin Hartfield Emily Hefeli Athira Jayan Jenna Pfingsten Sarah Cushman Brian Begley
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 5
Policy proves positive, places finals first Staff Editorial
For the upcoming final exams, a new policy will be enforced not allowing students to make up missed exams at a later date which reaps benefits and fairness for all. Excitement rushes through your mind as your family is getting ready to leave for Cancun days before final exams. Winter break starts early for you. You think that you can just take the exams when you get back from break. Though this has been the case in the past for many students, students will no longer be allowed to take final exams on days other than designated final exam
dates. The changes made through state attendance laws and Millard Public Schools’ stricter adherence to attendance regulations has caused MN administration to implement stricter attendance policies during final exams days. This policy in regards to finals is a positive as it will help teachers provide the student the results from the final back quickly if they are all taken at the same time. Not only will students receive their scores in a more proactive fashion, but teachers will not have to go through the trouble of finding solutions for students who cannot
take the final on the designated day. Teachers will also be able to grade finals by their deadlines. Also, this new policy allows for more fairness among the student body as each students has the same amount of time to study for the finals. This way if all students take the finals on the same day, they do not have to worry about studying during their break and they are more prepared to take the final in the first place. O f t e n t i m e s , student schedules are accommodated based on ACT or SAT test dates. Just like these standardized tests, final exams should also be a top priority. Therefore,
This new policy allows for more fairness among the student body as each students has the same amount of time to study for the finals. also place emphasis on the importance of taking finals on final test dates. “Exceptions can be made on certain circumstances but in general we’re standing firm,” Begley said.
Talking toddlers: Children T h e Final S m a c k d o w n To what receive phones too young
Under certain circumstances
extent should students be able to take finals late?
Never 8% 5
designated dates. There are extenuating circumstances, such as illness, in which students will not be able to take the finals on the designated dates. The school is willing to meet those circumstances, but
the stricter finals attendance policy forces students to work their schedules around final exams, just as they would ACT or SAT exam dates. “It’s similar to high stakes testing dates such as ACT or SAT. Families must schedule vacations and trips around these important dates on a regular basis. We are approaching Millard North final exam dates in the same way,” principal Brian Begley said. Even though students and parents may disagree with the policy due to having to change vacation plans, it is important for them to understand that final exams are important and should be taken on
65 * Based on a survey of 50 people
Emily Seymour Sports Editor
In this technologically advanced day and age, it is difficult to fathom not having a cell phone at hand to make a fast call or shoot a quick text message. Business executives, stay-at-home moms, and students reap the benefits of having a communication device at their fingertips. Children are now even toting around the latest cell phone, with the fastest growing demographic for owning a cell phone being children ages 10 to 11, according to Pew Research Center. However, parents should refrain from getting their children phones at too young of an age and rather base the decision off if the child is mature enough to handle owning a cell phone. When children receive cell phones at a very young age, it creates a sense of entitlement. According to clinical psychologist Jill Squyres, young children who are given phones feel that their phone should be upgraded each time a new model hits the market. If the child has to wait to receive a cell phone, maturity will help so that the child does not feel they need every cell phone that hits the shelves. Many parents, however, support giving their preteenager a cell phone because it enables them to ensure the safety of their child by being able to reach them. They see the benefit of instant communication and enjoy the ability to make sure their child is safe. However, if a parent is worried about their ten year
old being off doing something that is potentially harmful, they should be looking after their child. Ten-year-olds are not mature enough to be out wandering the mall by themselves unsupervised, so there is no need for a cell phone in the first place. For parents who need to have communication with their child, smart phones are not necessary. Simple phone options, like the Firefly, disables the child from texting and limits the numbers the student can call. These limitations ensure that the student is not spending too much time on their phones.
Young children who are given phones feel that their phone should be upgraded each time a new model hits the market.
The responsibility of owning a cell phone correlates to maturity. Children need to be able to grasp the concept of not overusing their cell phone. Take Dena Christoffersen, for example. The 13 year old Wyoming girl sent and received 20,000 text messages in a month on a plan that did not have texting, incurring a bill worth $4,756.25. The younger an individual is, the less they understand the concept of a phone and a cell phone bill. Being able to mentally comprehend the phone plan’s limits is key when dealing with controlling bills. While it is just a gadget, cell phones require the owner to be responsible and use the phone properly. Age should not be the determining factor in whether or not a child should receive a cell phone, but rather if the child is mature to handle to responsibility.
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 6
Survivor: MN Finals Edition r o f d t o o h F g u o h T
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The fury of finals:
Students share their hopes and worries about final test taking Elizabeth Moran Features Editor
The sounds of bell ringing for the Salvation Army and the smell of freshly decorated sugar cookies drown out the focus of school. Students’ commitment toward finals diminishes as the first semester finally comes to a close. “I feel my whole grade relies on that one test and that I might fail if I don’t ace it. In reality, it’s not that big of a deal in the end,” sophomore Kailyn Tauber said. For sophomores, juniors, and seniors, finals are simply a fact of life while freshmen are experiencing the nervewracking feeling of taking their first big cumulative test. “I’m really nervous for
my first finals ever. I’ve heard that they’re really long and are most of your grade,” freshman Miranda Graves said. Study habits prove specific to the individual. “Whatever works” becomes too true as finals near. “The rhythmic purring of my cat helps me concentrate on studying for finals. I also love to tune into 104.5 for Christmas music so I can get psyched for the holidays while studying,” senior Olivia Northrop said. Meanwhile, others crack down for their AP Calculus BC exams with more dedicated measures. “I lock myself in my room on the Sunday before finals and cram until I pass out,” junior Brett Begley said. The weeks before finals are spent reviewing material and making flash cards for most, but for some students, they deal with the stress in a different way. “During finals season, I bake
a ton of cookies, brownies, whatever it takes to keep going. I substitute baked goods for sleep,” senior Alyssa Holt said. Aside from a plethora of baked goods, caffeine stimulates the minds of students year-
Holt said. The Peppermint Mochas are just another sign that the holidays are here and infiltrating every crevice of life. It becomes difficult for students to concentrate on finals when they’re anticipating the holidays, a favorite and familyoriented time of the year. “I feel that my holiday spirit is murdered by school. Unfortunately, Santa Claus and ‘Ho Ho Ho’ have no connection to AP Biology,” Holt said. Stress escalates as students realize the importance of final exams to their transcript. Students deal with that stress in more than one way. “The impact on my grade [worries me] and I just have
During finals season, I bake a ton of cookies, brownies, whatever it takes to keep going. I substitute baked goods for sleep.” Alyssa Holt Senior
round. Some have to have their daily cup of joe and end up spending hundreds of dollars on their caffeine fix, which is the case for Holt. “I always have a piping cup of coffee next to me at all times while studying. I go into debt. Dang you Starbucks and your delightful Peppermint Mochas,”
people make me food so I can eat the stress away,” sophomore Jack Wilson said. Meanwhile, procrastination remains one of the biggest diversions from academics. Facebook and Twitter can be found with statuses of people who admit their procrastination. Some even shut their Facebook profiles off during finals season to help them concentrate. “Basketball practices and games are my biggest conflicts for the winter finals season. To deal with these, I always tell myself to start studying early and not save it all for the day before, but I always end up procrastinating anyway,” Begley said. Hopefully, these 95 minute exams will end in a better outcome than what many students are dreading. “I hope to gather knowledge from my finals but even more than that, I want to gain some A’s,” junior David Ricchini said.
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 7
S T E R C E S Y D U T S that many t ou s rn tu it , es m ny ti
ions. Ma at you do. 1. Go to review sess th s on ti es u q e m sa have the of your classmates minute break 5 1 a f el rs ou y e iv 2. While studying, g energized re e om ec b l il w in ra rb every 45 minutes. You again. and ready to focus youâ€™re done, e c n O . g in y d u st r fo 3. Reward yourself a relaxing e k ta r o w o sh te TV ease.com watch your favori , kidshealth.org, infopl s.com, testtakingtips.com Hartfield ard rin gec Ma lle by dco fin ed s: pil rce com Sou Information . bath Tuesd a 1. 8: y Finals S 00 a. m. to chedule 3. 9: 45 a. 9:35 m a 5. 11 :30 a . to 11:20 .m. . m 7. 1: 40 p. . to 1:30 a.m. m. to p.m. ( 3:15 p.m. with lunch )
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Above illustration by Kelly Bast
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 8
Lending a hand:
MN students help new Mustangs transition Justin Deffenbacher Staff Writer
From the small lunchrooms of elementary school to the vast cafeterias of area high schools, lunch plays an important role in the social perspective of students’ days. Students remember fond memories of chatting with friends and meeting new people for years to come. However for some students, the lunchroom represents a desolate table in the midst of a sea of social chaos. “Lunch represents one of the most social and important times of the day and you can feel really lonely if you are sitting by yourself,” world language teacher Angela Lallman said. Recently several MN staff and students created a club that tries to stop students from eating alone. The club, named the Lunch Bunch, was started by world language teachers Angela Lallman and Kelly Moor. The club
was started after Lallman remembered her experience as a new student attending a high school in Boston. “As a sophomore, my family moved to Boston. I knew no one, and I ate lunch alone which is why I started the Lunch Bunch,” Lallman said. In conjunction with her personal experience, Lallman developed the program after she was assigned to create a project for her master’s degree. She asked her son, who currently attends Millard West, what a major problem that was seen in high schools. His response pushed her to develop a group called the Lunch Bunch. The club now has several members who also share similar experiences to Lallman’s. Sophomore Hannah Worrell moved to MN in 2010 and became one of the students that ate alone. This year Worrell joined the Lunch Bunch to help students that were going through a
similar struggle. “After being new last year, I wanted to help other students make the transition to a new school or to high school,” Worrell said. Other students joined for different reasons rather than having something in common with their lunch friends. Senior Tope Banwo became a member because she felt it was a good cause. “I joined because I liked what the club was about. I thought I would be a pretty good person to sit with someone because not everyone has a friend to sit with and I think that no one should have to sit alone,” Banwo said. The Lunch Bunch not only serves as a place to connect students with someone to sit with at lunch, but a place where new students can develop their own network of friends. “The students who previously ate by themselves now have a social network
of classmates to count on as well as a spot with a group of students,” Lallman said. Being a part of Lunch Bunch helps the club members, gaining new friends and the feeling that they were able to help other MN students. “I like the fact that I’m helping make someone comfortable as well as offering them a place in our school,” Worrell said. As well as offering a place for the students, club members find things that they share in common with their lunch members. “I have found a lot in common with the students I eat with at lunch. The students that I sit with are almost all new, which I am as well,” Worrell said. The group, which started at the beginning of the school year, has been very successful, helping several students by offering them a place to sit at lunch and a group of friends to socialize with.
“We have been successful in one hundred percent of the cases in which students were given a place to sit. Even today, those students are still eating together,” Lallman said. Now that lunch table, once barren, is full of laughter and chatter. The aim of Lunch Bunch is reached once
The students who previously ate by themselves now have a social network of classmates to count on as well as a spot with a group of students .” Angela Lallman
World Language Teacher this student is no longer by himself or herself and has a network of classmates they can rely on. “The real purpose of Lunch Bunch is to help lonely souls find a connection,” Lallman said.
Beat the winter blues this year
As winter break begins to drag on and you begin to feel isolated from the rest of the world, you come to realize that you’ve caught it: cabin fever. So before you get restless, this calendar has an event or activity for each day of winter break. This year, there will be no excuse to catch the winter blues over the 14 day break.
If you’re an early bird, join the Henry Doorly Zoo for breakfast at Penguins and Pancakes. Visits from African Penguins and food from the Pancake Man will be provided from 8:30 to 10 in the morning.
As a New Year’s resolution, get caught up on your volunteer hours by volunteering at the Nebraska Humane Society. Dogs and cats need volunteer company to keep from getting cabin fever, too.
Raid Target or Wal-Mart’s board game aisle to stock up on endless entertainment such as new games like “Imagine If...” or classics like “Clue.”
Invite some friends over with blankets and sheets. Then bring back childhood memories by making giant forts in the room with the most furniture.
Claim your booth at Buffalo Wild Wings early and spend the day watching an abundance of football, including the Capital One, Outback, Gator, Rose, Tostito’s and Ticketcity Bowls.
Pick up some Eileen’s Cookie dough to bake Santa, as well as your family, a treat whether or not you’re a confident cook.
Head to the Omaha Children’s Museum to check out “Dinosaurs: Dawn of the Ice Age” exhibit and “LightPlay,” a holiday light show played to Mannheim Steamroller music.
Missing warm hot days? Set out to Coco Keys Water Resort to get your fill of warm weather during the winter months at 3321 South 72nd Street in the Holiday Inn Omaha Convention Center.
For even more stories and photos, go to:
Spend the day glued to the TV and get your fill of holiday movies with The 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family or watch the NBA season opening with the Boston Celtics at New York Knicks.
Score some tickets early and make way to the UNO Maverick’s home game against Quinnipiac University at 7:30 p.m. at the CenturyLink Center .
Enjoy classic winter weather activities; sledding, snowball fights and grab some Tupperware or Igloo Makers from Target and Wal-Mart and start constructing your own snow shelter, fort, or igloo in the backyard.
Check out the Christmas exhibits at the Durham Museum to stay in the holiday spirit or the temporary exhibit “Cut!: Costume and the Cinema Programs” which features clothes of movie characters.
Before partying the night away for New Years, celebrate Noon Years at the Henry Doorly Zoo. The event includes an early countdown with a beach ball balloon drop when the clock strikes noon.
Infographic by Bridget van Beaumont
Scan these barcodes with your smart phone to be taken straight to the Hoofbeat Online!
Take a drive to Bass Pro Shop’s Santa’s Wonderland. While this may sound cheesy, activities include laser arcade and video games.
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 9
Junior leads flourishing Photography Club Staff Writer
As you stumble into the room, the atmosphere hits you immediately. The sound of insightful anecdotes followed by laughter fuel the energy in the room. Students fill the rooms tables possessing vivid photos, preparing to present to the class. Standing at the front is junior Alex Elfering, leader and founder of MN’s Photography Club. Elfering leads Photography Club into its second year. “The goal of the club is how to use your camera and how to use your skills with it,” Elfering said. Photography Club manages to capture the creativity and energy of students, and put it to productive use, by learning how to become a better photographer. “I give out small assignments and then we show them in front of the class and then discuss photography subjects,” Elfering said. One characteristic of Elfering is his ability to lead Photography Club efficiently, and do so with a phenomenal
me in,” Doyle said. Doyle is one of the most prominent members of the club, and has known Alex for around a year. “Alex is a really good public speaker, and with cameras, there is a lot of information you need to know and he does a good job of communicating that to peers,” Doyle said. Members of the club are satisfied with Elfering’s leadership as well as his knowledge that he brings to the table. “When you get to know something as well as Alex does with cameras, you can tell people what you know and what you love about it,” Doyle said. Even into its second year members are still growing for Photography Club. As new members come every meeting. This is the first year for member Mikala Kolander. “The best thing I like is that you learn a lot of stuff and get different peoples opinions, you learn a pool of ideas from other people,” Kolander said. Kolander views Photography Club as a
learning experience, and looks forward to the future for the club under Elfering. “He connects with everyone, he jokes around, and has fun with everyone,” Kolander said. Along with classroom activities, Elfering in the past has organized a photo walk at Henry Doorly Zoo. “It was a learning experience and a good get to know type of thing, everyone learned a lot about lighting and things like that,” Elfering said. Setting up in a scavenger hunt type of format, photo walks are something that Photography Club plans to do again in the future. Elfering helps, in that he applies that knowledge in a creative way in a fun atmosphere that students can operate well from. Elfering’s gift in public presentation and fun teaching techniques help form a flourishing club at MN. Photography Club holds meetings about twice a month in room 1105. Dates for upcoming meetings can be found on the MN news.
Football by Drew Doyle, 10
Tiger by Drew Doyle, 10
Music by Alex Elfering, 11
When I was 16...
I was 16 during 1973. Premicrowaves. Pre-computers. We had eight other families on a party line. We hung fish in the senior’s lockers, got caught, got suspended, and got famous. People still talk about it, and those lockers still smell bad.
Elizabeth Moran Features Editor
CSI Syndrome After a long day of school and work, most are ready to hit the hay immediately. For me, I’m all too ready to hit the “power” button and start my late night TV ritual. Watching my favorite crime drama shows is thought of as one of my nightly priorities, and I often stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to finish a few good hourlong episodes. Because once an episode starts, I have to finish it because my parents always told me to follow through. I hope that applies to my crime show addiction, too. Law & Order: SVU detectives Benson and Stabler are just simply a part of my everyday life. Even writing this column seemed difficult knowing that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was only a click away in the other room. According to The Internet Movie Database, Criminal Minds, Dexter, Castle, The Mentalist, and NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service and also my all-time favorite show) were all ranked within the top 30 most popular TV shows in 2011. Crime and murder mystery shows have been taking over for more than a decade now. In 2000, CSI premiered and started a new kind of crime show than what was previously shown. CSI originally began in Las Vegas and later spawned a couple of other CSI series—Miami and New York. Video games and board games have even stemmed from the TV series. Even though many critics denote these shows for their unrealistic “glamour,” it is what really attracts viewers to the shows. The high heels, chemistry between partners, and the quickness of the forensic science process may be dead wrong to the reality, but this drama helps the average joe’s life find some sort of excitement. The fancy gadgets and allure grab my attention even though I am completely aware that it’s garbage. The drama isn’t quite Jersey Shore style, but it still conjures the same effect. After one intriguing episode, you’re hooked and look forward to the new episodes every week or the day-long marathons that you dedicate yourself to. And tonight, the ritual will continue even though I’ll go to bed paranoid that someone might break in. My obsession is well-worth it even if my astronomy test the next day won’t contain material on the procedures of gathering evidence for criminal cases.
My boyfriend and I wrecked a car badly. He broke his back, and I broke a few bones. We didn’t even have seat belts back then.
I hoed beans and detassled corn in the summer. I went to all the school dances. “Smoke on the I participated in basketball, Water” was always the bigsoftball, track, and science gest song. Disco was just starting to roll. club.
amount of knowledge for some one with little professional experience. “My dad sends me books about public speaking and, I use the Internet a lot. Those lead me in ideas to kind of present myself better,” Elfering said. Elfering’s father has his own photography business, and does everything from portraits to events. “He is a major influence, for our last meeting last year, he did a presentation on strobe lighting and flash, and it was cool because he used different subjects,” Elfering said. Elfering manages to lead students and simultaneously educate people about photography. “What motivates me a lot is the amount of people that come. That really excites me because it means that I’m doing something right and also my love for photography and the thrill of meeting new people,” Elfering said. One of those members is sophomore Drew Doyle. “I’ve taken a big interest in photography in the last couple years because Alex has drawn
Gnome what I’m sayin’
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 10
Dare to dine: One pizza, burger, and hot wings lead girl on a
quest to some of Omaha’s food challenge hotspots Emily Hefeli Staff Writer
SHAME GAME: Looming over diners is the “Wall of Shame” with photos of 159 daring diners who failed the Stella-nator challenge. As of press time, only 3 of 159 hopefuls defeated the daunting burger. | Photo by Elizabeth Groth Challenge: “The Big Joe” Description: If a duo can finish the 12 pound pizza known as “The Big Joe” from Frank’s Pizzeria in one hour, the challenge is free, and the duo will be awarded with one free large cheese pizza every month for a year. Challenge: “The Blazin Wing Challenge” Description: In Buffalo Wild Wings, one challenge awaits only the bravest diners. Complete with the hottest peppers and a stringent six minute time-limit, adventurous challengers must scarf down a dozen overwhelming-wings. Challenge: “The Stella-nator” Description: This nearly impossible challenge looms over the heads of a special group of hungry connoisseurs. After 156 failed attempts, patrons still occasionally sample this gut-busting challenge. Infographic written by Elizabeth Groth Information gathered by Emily Hefeli Sources: www.forums.penny-arcade.com http://www.franksnewyorkpizza.com/special-deals.html http://www.fromaway.com/observations/the-blazin-wingchallenge-at-buffalo-wild-wings-a-photostory
I sat there on the edge of defeat with sweat beading on my brow. On the table before me sat the source of my anguish: a small sausage and pepperoni pizza. After a day spent chowing down on burgers and wings, I had to finally throw in the towel. In a time where eating lean and green is all the rage, there still remain a few select restaurants across the Omaha area willing to dare only the heartiest of appetites with battles waging over milehigh burgers and gargantuan pizzas. As one of the most iconic (and cheapest) food challenges, it only seemed natural to embark on my food-quest from Buffalo Wild Wings. In a challenge that focuses on tolerance to pain rather than stomach capacity, the Blazin’ Challenge calls on competitors to finish a dozen wings covered in their signature Blazin’ hot sauce (a tasty concoction made of habaneros, jalapenos, vinegar and cayenne pepper) in under six minutes. As a self-professed spiceo-phobic, I was hesitant to go for the challenge, so I
instead opted for just a few of the Blazin’ Wings. After combating watery eyes and burning lips, I have to admit that the possibility of scoring free merchandise and a spot on the Wall of Fame is definitely an incentive for a future attempt at the entire challenge. After drinking excessive amounts of water and aiding the sting of hot sauce, I hopped back in the car to pay a visit to Stella’s Burgers in Bellevue where one burger brings in both professional food challengers and brave souls alike. As indicated by the name, the Stella-nator is a burger that encompasses a Dr. Frankenstein-like mash-up of six beef patties, six slices of cheese, six fried eggs, 12 pieces of bacon, fried onions, peanut butter, jalapenos, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Challengers have a time limit of 45 minutes to polish off the five pound burger and a basket of fries. Winners receive their meal and a t-shirt for free along with their very own place on the Wall of Fame. For those less fortunate, a spot on the restaurant’s Wall of Shame is secured alongside 156 other competitors. However, with a record of
only three victors, the Stellanator still remains one of the most active challenges around the Omaha area. As I shook off the effects of my mini-Stella-nator and popped the top button of my jeans, it was time to head to the next stop on my food quest. According to my crazy logic it seemed perfectly rational to head to Frank’s Pizza, home of the well-established and unbeatable “Big Joe.” This mammoth-sized pizza has put even professional food challengers to shame. Weighing in at a whopping 12 pounds the logic behind it is simple, every component of the pizza is exactly two pounds (that includes sausage, pepperoni, sauce, crust, etc.). If a team of two people can finish off the pie in under an hour and hold it in for an additional 15 minutes, the victors will have their check on the house and also each receive one free pizza a month for a year. Fifty dollars and potentially two pounds later, I had finally reached my capacity. As I stared up at the 30-inch pizza pan, I realized just how insane food challenges are. Putting waistlines and dignity on the line, they manipulate on of the most basic components of our existence: food.
Standing alone“Under the Mistletoe” Elizabeth Groth Entertainment Editor
As the snow begins to fall and the temperatures drop to unbearable lows, people everywhere get into the holiday mood. This includes the chart-topping stars of the Hollywood world. Many famous singers have been known to release special albums for the Christmas season. Celebrities from Mariah Carey to Michael Buble have released their own unique Christmas collections, and now Justin Bieber has decided to follow suit. Bieber’s latest album, “Under the Mistletoe” features a mix of beloved classic Christmas tracks and original Bieber songs to create a unique sound of the Christmas season. Unfortunately this unique sound didn’t really put me in the Christmas mood. With the unwelcome additions to beloved holiday classics, this album will hardly go down in history as a holiday music trademark. The teen star’s latest album left me confused after my first time playing through it. Bieber’s vocals were better on this album than any albums prior, but this album was extremely gimmicky. While there are good things to be said about any new album, this one is lacking
for Bieber’s part are improved However, there were several you to give to charity./ Rarely many necessary attributes. from those in his early songs, do people even wanna help shining lights illuminating the One of the features missing the rap didn’t fit very well with at all,/ ’Cause they warm by new album. In fact, several from this Christmas album is the classic Christmas tune. If the fire, getting toys and their of the tracks off of Bieber’s a consistent Christmas theme Bieber’s intentions d o l l s , ” new album were enjoyable. that leaves the listener with a with this “Mistletoe,” “The Christmas jolly feeling. Instead, Bieber track Song (Chestnuts Roasting on uses his latest track listing to Sile an Open Fire),” “Home sing typical pop songs. n (De This Christmas,” and While I have to admit that lux t Nig eE e o “Pray,” were all the tracks on this album would t h e diti Mistl on) t highlights off be good to put on most CDs, of the album. some of them simply didn’t Only Thing I Ever These songs belong on a Christmas all feature a album. Bieber croons Get For Christmas Chris nice variety of love and commands tmas of rhythm, his listeners to donate Love Drummer Boy feat. Busta and lyrics, to charity in his latest Rhymes s as well as album. While love nut t . t s a mix of and public service e Christmas E fea Ch ( ) ve announcements la ng La el en So Fire) generally earn an a en p L s a M n M c ma S o m e d a y artist an awardFa II ist n Ope (a II ) r h a At Christmas winning CD, the yz L z ion nA e C Bo (Deluxe Edition) Th ing O Home La oy dit classic Christmas This Fa . B e E ast feeling was missing Christmas feat. t x Ro ea elu traditional from this album. f The Band Perry ion) and All I D t i ( d fresh While every song W E an Is Yo xe u due t For Ch u l C h r i s t mas on his album has an e ristm t Mar (D as iah C y a arey r anthems. overt Christmas meaning, P In fact, the underlying messages Santa Claus Is Coming To Town these tracks don’t have much to do with might have been the holidays. The track “Fa La able to boost the La” relies on clever word plays All I Want Is You entire album to a success for its subjective “Christmas were had it not suffered its other song” status. “I’ll take your to pollute unfortunate shortcomings. heart with boughs of holly, Fa the iconic piece, “Under the Mistletoe” Busta la la fa la la la la la la la la, Baby he succeeded. Rhymes raps. was an admirable attempt, ‘cause you’re the reason to be “It’s crazy how some people While it is clear that the however failed, at a Christmas jolly, ” say, say they don’t care/ When Christmas season is known album. Perhaps Bieber should In the Christmas classic there’s people on the street as a time of giving, perhaps have focused on his strength “Drummer Boy,” the teen with no food; it’s not fair./ guilt-tripping his listeners —love songs and put out a star features the hiphop artist It’s about time for you to act wasn’t the best approach for Valentine’s Day album rather Busta Rhymes and a rap. merrily;/ It’s about time for Bieber to take in this track. than Christmas. While the vocals on this track
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 11
Girls’ basketball attempts to step over competition
Alan Davis Staff Writer
The pound of fresh athletic shoes on hardwood. The crisp sound of the ball going through the net. The sharp blow of a referee’s whistle all the way to the soft touch of the leather ball. The basketball season is here. Currently, the MN girls
However, there is never a discrepancy in hardworking between starters and nonstarters. Each player on the team works just as hard as the next. “The team’s effort always has me excited. Everyone can hit a jump shot or free throw, but not everybody will dive after a loose ball or take a charge. But we aren’t afraid of any bruises,” Tarpinian said. In fact, the team attended a basketball camp at the University of Mississippi in order to prepare for the upcoming season. Not only does the team rely on their chemistry, they also pride themselves on playing tough and having an intense defense. “We are a defensiveminded team, and we are determined to win every loose ball and out-rebound every team. You never want to take a break on the court, especially on the defensive end,” Tarpinian said. This early in the season it’s hard to tell how well the team
will fare. They are focused on practicing, and getting out of any ruts that they might be in. “Right now, the team is looking strong because we have a lot of returning players, but we really need to work on perfecting our plays,” Hild said. With multiple returning players and a focus on defense, the Mustangs are planning on improving even more from last year. The Lady Mustangs look to showcase their talents to the world. “There are some people that are skeptical of the girls, but they want to win just as bad. People tend to underestimate girls basketball,” Persigehl said.
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SCRIMMAGE SCRAMBLE: Junior Jordan Tynes reaches above her teammates to gain possession of the ball during a 5-on-5 scrimmage during the girls’ basketball practice. The girls’ team defeated opponents Lincoln North Star 56-26 during their season opener in Lincoln. | Photo by Emily Seymour
basketball season is starting strong with a commanding 56-26 win against Lincoln North Star on Dec. 1. After their last season, which culminated with a district finals appearance and a 16-8 record, expectations for the team are running very high. With multiple starters returning and a more experienced team, the Lady Mustangs look to dominate the court. “We have a whole bunch of kids coming back. I expect us to get better. I’m anticipating that we can play a lot of kids. That makes me hopeful. We are deeper than we have ever been,” head coach Scott Persigehl said. The team has five players with starting experience coming back for another season: seniors Rachel Hagge and Haley Tarpinian, junior Mary Dineen, and sophomores Holly Hild and Brooke Savage. Along with these starters, numerous other players are returning.
State-bound: Senior swims her way to state qualification Elizabeth Graff Staff Writer
There is only one word senior swimmer Natalie Renshaw uses to describe how competing at state feels. That word is “nervous.” “Once I am done with the events though, I wish I could do it all over again, all of the rush and adrenaline kicks in,” Renshaw said. Renshaw has competed at state swimming all three years so far, and has already qualified to go at the end of the season. Last year she placed fourth in both the 50 and 100 free at state. “Natalie has accomplished her short term goal of qualifying for the state meet. She now can focus on her long term goals,” coach Tara O’Shea said. Renshaw qualified at the first meet of the season, which took place Dec. 3 at Millard West. “It was a shock. Now I just want to get faster. Technically I have two goals, but I get one if I get the other. [I want to]
get the school record in the 100 free and drop below 53 seconds in my 100,” Renshaw said. With goals in mind Renshaw now serves as the captain of the MN girls varsity swim team helping others achieve their goals. “[Being captain] is an honor. I am head of the whole team; the coaches look at me to be [the swimmers’] leader. I keep positive attitudes up, and when [swimming] gets hard, I tell them to keep trying,” Renshaw said. Renshaw’s motivation isn’t left unnoticed by teammates. With her head held high, the team is led to victory by their captain. “Natalie is definitely a great leader. She’s so great at motivating and pushing everyone but keeping the energy light and fun at the same time. She’s probably one of the funniest people I know and we can always count on her to be ready to swim,” sophomore Mary Kate Luddy said. “I’m going to miss her next year.”
Renshaw’s positive attitude keeps motivation levels at their peak throughout practices and meets. Attitudes reflect off of Renshaw to the team, keeping high demeanors. “Natalie’s presence is very commanding at over six feet tall. When she speaks everyone listens,” O’Shea said. Last year, Renshaw set the school record for the 50 free beating former student, Trina Larson’s time set in 1998. “First of all, it was really exciting. I have my name up in the pool. I was kind of mad though; I was shooting for [setting the school record] in both the 50 and 100. But it gives me something to push for,” Renshaw said. Renshaw’s time set on Feb. 26, 2011 was 0:24:48 seconds, beating Larson’s time of 0:24:62. “Setting a new school record is quite the accomplishment and significant event. She will leave her legacy after she graduates from high school. Future Mustang swimmers will be setting their goals to beat her record,” O’Shea said.
The Big Picture
JUMPING JOSIAH: During the Dec. 3 tournament at MN, junior Josiah Gustafson attempts a jump shot over an opponent from Papillion-La Vista South. The Mustangs defeated the Titans 5238. | Photo by Kelly Kuwitzky
Step 1. Streamline your body as you begin a dolphin kick by pressing your chest.
Step 2. The high elbow catch movement is when you pull the most water with your arms.
Step 3. Pick your arms out of the water and start bringing them forward, still undulating your body for your dolphin kick.
Step 4. Finishing your stroke, bring the body back to position one and finish the dolphin kick.
Photos and quotes by Amber Baesler
How to... do the butterfly with junior Daniel Weaver
Issue 4 | December 13, 2011 12
Sip on that haterade Emily Seymour Grade: Senior Factor in deciding to wrestle: Preparation for football in college Other sport played: Football Current team: Varsity
Grade: Senior Factor in deciding to wrestle: Preparation for boot camp for the Marines Other sports played: Soccer Current team: Junior varsity
Grade: Junior Factor in deciding to wrestle: Encouraged by older brother who wrestled for MN Other sport played: Football Current team: Junior varsity
Rookie wrestlers ready for real rounds
MN prepares three new wrestlers for primetime Athira Jayan Staff Writer
The dark blue mats are covered with sweat. The wrestlers anxiously gather around coach Scott Loveless as they hear a quick pep talk. The crowds of parents cheer eagerly as they watch the multiple wrestling matches going on, as all of the wrestlers’ hopes and goals for this season linger in the air. It’s a new season for wrestling, and with a new season comes new wrestlers to the wrestling team. It’s a foreign experience being on the wrestling team this year for junior Griffy McMillin, and seniors Dahaun Meredith and Jimmy Woelfel. For McMillin, who is on the JV team, the inspiration to join the wrestling team stemmed from his family. “My brother has wanted me to wrestle for a long time, since seventh grade,” McMillin said. McMillin’s older brother, Connor, participated in wrestling at MN, but McMillin decided to do football instead.
Eventually, though, his older brother convinced him to try wrestling, and so far he has enjoyed it, even though it is different from football. “[Wrestling] is more individual than football, and if someone loses a match it doesn’t bring the whole team down,” McMillin said. McMillin sometimes finds it annoying that
[Wrestling] is more individual than football, and if someone loses a match it doesn’t bring the whole team down. Griffy McMillin Junior
he is always compared to his brother in wrestling, and while he admits he is not as good as his brother yet, he is determined to beat his record. For Woelfel, joining the wrestling team was not only about staying in shape and trying new experiences, but also for preparing for the Marines. Woelfel has already enlisted
Jock Talk Peter Butler
and is on a contract. He is going to leave June 4 for basic training in San Diego to be a motor transport mechanic and believes that wrestling will help prepare him for boot camp. “Wrestling is the most physically demanding sport. I have a high respect for it, and I wanted to be a part of [the team],” Woelfel said. Wo e l f e l joined the team as a sophomore, but in the end quit due to being too busy. Wo e l f e l joined as a senior instead, and is temporarily on the JV team. He enjoys wrestling but is also very competitive. “I do my best and make sure I’m working hard whether I lose or not,” Woelfel said. Meredith, like Woelfel and McMillin, is determined to do his best in wrestling and has took up wrestling to help prepare him for football in college.
Meredith is a varsity member on the team and finds wrestling to be extremely important. “It’s real serious because I know that it takes hard work in order to be a champion,” Meredith said. Meredith was also strongly encouraged by his family to start wrestling. “My grandpa and grandma have supported me, and the fact that I’m a ‘big guy’ means I can do some work on those mats,” Meredith said. Meredith finds the practices a great way to help prepare him for sports in college and he finds wrestling to be a new challenge. “It’s just that you have got to work hard. You can’t give up and you have to keep practicing,” Meredith said. As the whistle blows for the wrestlers to begin, McMillin, Woelfel, and Meredith get ready to wrestle on the dark blue mats. Although each one had a different reason to join wrestling, they are all determined to do their best and bring their own strengths to the MN wrestling team.
MN athletes share their interests in and out of the sports world.
If you didn’t have an ice scraper, what would you use? Chuck Norris
Nothing because I don’t have a car
Ryan Cox’s diamond earring
Boxing day is... Awesome because A Canadian holiday Day when people Really called Ryan A Canadian holiday I’m so violent and celebrated after box? Day love to hit people Christmas
What is your favorite Buddy the Elf quote? “We elves try to stick to the
“Bye Buddy. Hope four main food groups: you find your dad!” candy, candy canes,
candy corns, and syrup!”
“These toilets are huge.”
“Elves’ four main food “Congratulations! You groups are candy, did it! World’s best candy canes, candy cup of coffee!” That’s corn and syrup.” Ryan’s favorite, too.
How did the Grinch steal Christmas?
He didn’t, I did!
He took it
Wouldn’t you like to know?
Took all of the presents
He didn’t, Ryan Cox did.
What would Suh do? In the past, whenever there was a tackle or play in football that seemed dirty, I would simply just determine whether or not it merely looked bad. Now I have a new method; I ask myself, “What would Suh do?” Stomp on a player’s arm? Ndamukong Suh’s done that. Shove a player’s helmet into the ground twice? Again, Suh is guilty. Late hits resulting in fines? Another strike for Suh. During his time playing for Nebraska, I thought Suh was a respectable player. The Heisman Trophy candidate seemed to have everything going for him. He was a strong, aggressive player with a likeable personality. The only thing he seemed bad at was driving, but that was an off-the-field matter. When it came time for Suh to enter the NFL, things seemed to be only looking up. Suh earned the bragging right of being the only rookie invited to the Pro Bowl. He also earned countless awards including AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year. With an impressive rookie season record, it seemed inevitable that Suh’s streak would continue into his next season. However, buck stopped there. Suh has racked up $42,500 in fines in three separate instances due to late hits in a year and a half of playing. Sure, Suh probably claims these were unintentional, but three? He has also set a record for most personal fouls in a year and a half with nine flags. Sporting News has even named him the NFL’s dirtiest player. But who can forget the infamous stomping incident on Thanksgiving? As viewers were devouring copious amounts of turkey and mashed potatoes, Packers’s guard Evan Dietrich-Smith found himself with his head being repeatedly slammed into the ground followed by a lovely stomp to the arm from the 307 pound Suh. Suh’s excuse of “I lost my balance” just made the situation worse. A 24 year old should be able to determine right from wrong. He’s not playing Pop Warner football. He should have the capacity of thinking and making decisions like an adult. Suh, nonetheless, is paid to be a professional football player. His excuses make it seem that he cannot take responsibilities for his actions. So, he was in a moment where emotions were strong and he took out his anger on the opposing team. He needs to just man up and be held accountable for his actions, and not wait until after his team issues a statement. There’s no doubt the two payless games Suh received as punishment were deserved. I wonder if not getting his $164,000 paycheck for these two missed games will be incentive not to incur more ridiculous penalties. Suh certainly had the potential of being one of the greatest defensive linemen. This “mistake” will no doubt hinder his career. I lost all respect for him. He will now notoriously be known for his dirty playing technique and the stomping situation. Suh’s only benefit is helping determine whether or not a play is dirty. Were limbs stepped on? Were helmets repeatedly slammed into the turf? What would Suh do?