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Mounds View


Friday, April 11, 2014

Volume 61, Issue 11

Changes to the SAT

photo courtesy of

by Emily Ruan staff reporter The College Board sent a shock wave through high schools across the nation when it announced March 5 that the SAT would undergo a major overhaul set to be implemented in the spring of 2016. This revamp comes as a result of criticism that the SAT has become too disconnected from high school curriculums, said College Board President and CEO David Coleman. The new test will revert back to the pre-2005 scoring scale of 1600, with a math section and a combined reading and writing section each accounting for half of the points. The essay will no longer be required, and its score will be reported separately. In addition, the infamous vocabulary section of the exam will receive a complete facelift, replacing obscure words such as “ignominious” and “obstreperous” with words that students encounter on a more daily basis. Calculator use will also be banned from some math sections, and the math skills tested will be limited to a narrower focus. In all sections of the test, students will no longer be docked points for choosing incorrect answers. Mounds View veterans of the SAT differ in their opinions as to whether the changes are beneficial or

not. The optional essay has proven to be one of the most controversial aspects. “We learned in AP Psychology that your writing skills are the best indicator of college success, not so much your score as a whole,” said Carly Bandt, 12. “It’s just crazy that they would abolish that whole section.” Alex Guzina, 11, disagreed. “I think that it is a good move. Although most students will probably take the essay regardless, having freedom of choice never hurts.” Many colleges may still require the essay of their applicants, so Guzina’s prediction is likely to be true. Another criticism of the new SAT is that the changes will make it too similar to the already existing ACT. “I disagree with what the College Board is doing,” said Varun Mangalick, 11. “They say the ACT is becoming more widely valued and accepted than the SAT, but instead of making the SAT just like the ACT, they should try to differentiate the SAT and make it better.” However, market share is a real concern for the College Board, whose SAT has lost ground to the increasingly popular ACT in recent years. A new trend of colleges declaring themselves SAT-optional has further lowered demand for the company’s

leading exam. The redesigned test may seem more approachable and relevant to students, potentially revitalizing demand. An additional consideration of the College Board is the oft-cited linkage between socioeconomic status and SAT score. Students who come from wealthier families can often afford to spend thousands on test prep sessions and study books that teach the tips and tricks of SAT test-taking, versus actual knowledge itself. The revisions to the exam are designed to lessen the possible advantages gained from expensive tutoring. “I hope the new test will reflect better what students know rather than how they test,” said Scott Wiens, dean of post-secondary services. As a part of this effort to broaden access to the SAT, the College Board will partner with Khan Academy to provide free test prep to all students through online videos and practice questions. “I like the partnership,” said Mitchell Gu, 12. “Since it’s free, it levels the playing field a bit more.” Daniel Yong, 9, will be among the first to take the revised SAT in three years’ time. He said, “I’m more excited to take the new version. I was a bit nervous on what the best way to study for it would be, but because of the changes, I feel it’ll be a lot easier to prepare for.”

Tanning: Not for teens anymore? by Josh Yuan staff reporter Growing up watching Hollywood movies, every teenage girl wants to look like Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz, with beautiful hair and smooth tan skin. But how far would they go to achieve that seemingly perfect image? According to recent studies, the amount of indoor tanning by teenagers in recent years is higher than ever. As many as one third of white 11th grade Minnesota girls tanned indoors in 2013. This statistic could change drastically as Minnesota legislators are proposing a bill known as the “Tan Free Tans” act that would prohibit minors from legally use tanning beds. The main goal is to limit the cases of skin cancer for minors, as the cases of melanoma have

more than doubled among teenagers since 1995. Though tanning salons in Minnesota are immensely popular among teenage girls year round, they are much more widely used during the winter. With little sun and no incentive to be outside in the frozen tundra of the Minnesota winter, teenage girls turn to tanning salons as a way to better their looks—as 18 out of 70 Mounds View girls surveyed say they have used tanning beds at least once. Ultraviolet radiation created from tanning beds produces Vitamin D, a source of mineral that is crucial for a body’s development in bones and muscles. But studies show that indoor tanning beds give out ultraviolet radiation 10 to 15 times more intense than

regular sunlight and increase the chances of skin cancer by 59 percent. “Tanning beds have intense UV radiation which poses a serious health risk and possible eye damage,” said Eboni Thompson, school nurse. The most well known side effect from tanning beds is skin cancer, more specifically, melanoma. Melanoma is one of the most serious skin diseases, which is usually due to excessive amounts of exposure to ultraviolet radiation which leads, to destruction of skin cells and developments of tumors. Treatments of melanoma usually require surgery, and though it is curable, the success rate for treatment is not 100 percent and may result in fatality. Another potential consequence from the usage of

tanning beds is premature aging and wrinkling of skin. Even knowing the potential health effects through tanning beds, teenage girls still prefer to pursue the perfect body image and to follow the influences of movie and pop stars. “That’s sad and too bad, but it’s not really a big issue I guess,” said Durbahn. “It’s not going to stop me from tanning.” Legislators are pushing Minnesota to be a part of the five states that already have banned tanning bed usage by minors, but through the long process of the passage of a state law and large opposition by indoor tanning industries, the passing of the bill is still far from being achieved.

It’s sad and too bad, but it’s not really a big issue I guess.” -Brittany Durbahn, 11

Tanning beds have intense UV radiation which poses a serious health risk... ” -Eboni Thompson, school nurse

2editorials TOP



ways to get out of tests

10 8 6 4 2

Dog ate your study materials?


Optional Snow Day

Practice forging Dr. John Doe’s signature Use Weinberg’s class in Spain as an alibi

Claim to have been touring colleges chlorine gas

Have Graham come up with an excuse for you


5 3

Call in sick with the sniffles Whine about the 80/20 and how stressed you are

Tamper with the school’s electricity

2013-2014 Viewer Editors Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor


Phoebe Ke

Sasha Safonov Manager of Design Kyoka Millard Business Manager Nina Bertelsen News Monica Kemp Editorials Tristan Aschittino Alistair Tang Features Ryan Yoch Nicole Wahlin Spread Neha Sethi Tommy Sletten Variety Namrata Gadela Reviews Kyoka Millard James Birr Sports Maddy Rosenow Molly Hancuh Gallery Rebecca Nara Photographers/Artists Christine Kao Michaela Morse Adviser Martha Rush

Online Crew

James Birr, Kobi Endrizzi,

Joe Janey

Staff Aaron Adams, Emma Blume, Sarah

Dhols-Graf, Thomas Doty, Eva Hoffman, Persis Ke, Jonathan Kim, Katrina Renacia, Emily Ruan, Sean Sabeti-Oseid, Clara Wang, Josh Yuan

The Viewer is published by the student editors at: Mounds View High School 1900 Lake Valentine Rd Arden Hills, Minnesota Sauk Centre Publishing

April 11, 2014

Should Minnesota legalize medical marijuana? 21

The legalization of marijuana has lately become a hot button issue in Minnesota. Recently a medical marijuana bill cleared its first hurdle, passing state legislature. The bill would allow patients, with a doctor’s prescription, to possess 2.5 ounces; an ounce is about 50 joints. Also patients would be allowed to grow as many as a dozen cannabis plants in their own home or buy from a licensed dispensary. Given the heated controversy of this issue, the public needs to view this more objectively, understanding the pros instead of focusing on the cons. In general, the legalization of medical marijuana would not only aid our nation’s citizens healthwise, but would be a significant economic boost and source of new opportunity. The damaging effects of marijuana are very minimal. Studies have shown that smoking cigarettes is worse for your lungs than smoking marijuana. Marijuana does not impair lung function—at least not in the doses inhaled by the majority of users, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, addictive qualities are negligible and most people don’t develop an addiction with one-time use. It is even less addictive than legal substances such as alcohol. Medical cannabis is, in some cases, a life saver to those with frequent seizures, and can also ease the pain and nausea of cancer and AIDS patients. It’s also been proven to calm and aid victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including veterans. This drug allows patients to cut down on chronic medications, and also helps those with addictions to prescription medications be weaned off of them more easily. The state would use funding from application and licensing fees to subsidize the estimated cost of $250,000 in the first year needed to regulate and monitor medical marijuana operations. Arizona, after legalizing, now sees nearly $40 million in tax revenue per year. In addition to medical legalization, marijuana legalization for recreational use also would be a good idea in the future. Granted, the government is just getting

Say yes


around to medical legalization in Minnesota, but elsewhere, such total legalization policies are becoming more and more prevalent. Money brought in from taxation of marijuana would equate to approximately $2.2 to $6.4 billion a year. Another economic gain would be the boom of new job opportunities and employment from a new sustainable industry from growers to packaging and supplying. In 2012 nearly half (48.3 percent) of drug-related arrests in the U.S. were linked to marijuana. Given the number of arrests, if possession and sale were legal, it would save taxpayer’s money in not having to pay for the living costs of those inmates, not to mention stop the imprisonment of people in possession of a mostly harmless drug. Governor Mark Dayton is leery about passing any medical use laws and would only pass a legalization bill if it was supported by law enforcement. Every law enforcement association in Minnesota opposes the legalization of cannabis so legalization is most likely out of our reach under the Dayton administration. Despite Dayton’s opposition, the legalization of medical cannabis would aid Minnesota’s citizens by improving their health and the economy of our state.


Says no

Keeping marijuana out of the hands of Minnesota’s youth is at the forefront of the argument against the proposed legalization bill. The bill would allow certified patients to have access to marijuana through dispensaries throughout the state. Other components such as allowing patients to cultivate their own marijuana if they lived too far from the dispensaries or smoking the drug are also up for debate. Legalizing medical marijuana would make marijuana more accessible for people who do not need it for medical purposes, which is an immutable fact of loosening the reins on commodity regulations. This is something to fear if marijuana is deemed a morally corrupt commodity by the government, and instead, the government should stop the advancement of the bill to protect our society. Protecting the youth of Minnesota is important. Kids start the drain-circling spiral of addiction when they are young. For people who start abusing marijuana when they are young, 17 percent of them will become addicted. Marijuana causes motivational and emotional problems, especially when smokers start young. As the legal status of marijuana becomes a more popular debate topic, the use of marijuana among youth has increased. Once you start, you may never set a reasonable limit. Nipping this issue in the bud (pun

intended) by terminating the bill stops all sorts of things. Apathy is an extreme issue in a high school environment. Any substance that could empower the forces of apathy and deter the success of students should be restricted. Just as Adderall and other prescription amphetamines and opiates are extensively abused and sold illegally (prescribed users can sell it quite easily), marijuana would be more accessible to curious students. There should be some consistency in policy, however, if marijuana is to remain illegal. Dronabinol, a manmade form of cannabis, is legal with prescription. Such a drug is helpful for patients when all other medications have failed, but it is also habit-forming. Prescription opiates and amphetamines need to undergo an even more extensive regulation process. It is quite apparent that the physical and psychological implications of such drugs severely surpass any possible consequences of marijuana. Though marijuana can have therapeutic benefits to patients, it carries health risks. The FDA needs consistency in units for a substance to be a legitimate medicine. Within marijuana plants, its chemical compounds may vary, depending on the specific plant. This may alter the effect each unit of medicine has on one patient to another. Marijuana also has different strains with different levels of THC, thus changing the strength of the drug’s effect. Since marijuana is often inconsistent in its potency, it should not become a legal medical medicine. Synthetic versions of cannabis are already available for safe, legal use and are more consistent with dosages and effects. These types of drugs already provide the beneficial medicinal uses of THC, rendering medicinal marijuana unnecessary. Alcohol is legal and teens get wasted daily. Smoking tobacco is legal and every day more and more teens get hooked on nicotine. With the legalization of medical marijuana, many, youth included, would have a greater accessibility to the drug. The passing of the bill would lead to more destruction. Why add to the list of accessible debilitating substances?

Viewer Mission Statement 1. To publish news, information and opinion articles for and about student, faculty and administration activities, interests and policies. 2. To maintain high ethical standards with regard to fairness, personal and legal rights, responsibilities and accuracy. 3. To provide a forum for free and responsible expression of student opinion and present well-balanced, locally researched coverage of issues of broader student interest. 4. To strive for a high level of competency in the technical aspect of writing, including grammar, spelling, clarity, and precision. 5. To welcome diversity and increase the scope and depth of our coverage in order to heighten mutual understanding and awareness throughout our entire school community. Articles and letters to the editor appearing on the editorials pages represent solely the opinions of the writers and do not represent in any way the viewpoint of Viewer, our advertisers, Mounds View High School or its staff. The editors of the Viewer welcome and encourage the publication of all viewpoints. Correction from the 3/12/14 issue: Principal Jeff Ridlehoover said that student speech rights are left ambiguous for a reason. He did not make reference to inner-city schools. The paragraph was removed from the online version of the editorial, “Allow students their free speech on campus.”

3 Student


April 11, 2014

Stop Altering our Test


SAT changes may be the beginning of a downward spiral by Sasha Safonov managing editor The College Board, reigning as the supreme being of standardized tests since 1926, has lost its foothold. For the first time in history, on September 2012, more people took the ACT than SAT. The trend continued through 2013. The College Board recently rolled out several monumental changes in an effort to make the test more fair for students, to make it more accurate, and to increase popularity of the test. But does the focus on accessibility compromise accuracy? First and foremost, the Scholastic Aptitude Test is a tool used as a predictor for success in college. Numerous studies have shown that the SAT, along with high school GPA, provides the best indication of college success. As such, any changes to the test—no matter how minute—should be taken into careful consideration for the effect they can have on college bound seniors. Some changes are a long time coming. The removal of the heavily dreaded

“arcane vocabulary” portion of the test makes practical sense and won’t be missed any time soon. But for the College Board, every step forward is two steps back. Confounding changes include making the best predictor of the SAT, the essay section, optional (Comparing Alternatives in the Prediction of College Success, Zahner, et. al.). While many institutions may require the essay portion, the end result is that more students will be coerced into taking the SAT at the expense of accuracy—a questionable trade-off. In addition, the removal of the penalty for guessing has the surprising effect of encouraging people to guess. This leaves much of SAT score to chance, especially considering many questions can be narrowed down to two or three answers. Another possible problem is the narrowing of topics addressed in the math portion—or quite frankly “dumbing it down.” To be clear, it is too early to tell the effect that these changes will have as an accurate predictor of college readiness. But the test is arguably easier—something that

could affect the accuracy of the test. The SAT and ACT once existed as two distinct tests which functioned to give the student more choice—to take the test that was a better representation of their abilities. The differences between the SAT and ACT are narrowing at the student’s expense. And the clashing of the tests may take a turn for the worse. “I think it’s sort of a race to the bottom now,” said Shaan Patel, director of SAT programs for Veritas Prep in an interview with U.S. News, indicating that the next change the ACT embarks on might see a drop in standards in order to remain competitive against the SAT. Yes, there is a discrepancy between demographics, but the unfortunate truth is that education in America is unequal. The College Board’s partnership with Khan Academy are huge steps in the right direction. However, changes to the actual tests need to be scrutinized, and availability needs to take backseat to accuracy.

“In my opinion SAT was unnecessarily long and difficult. With these changes SAT will slowly become more like ACT over time.” -Minu Bhunia, 12

“I think that these changes are going to hurt the students who are the first to take these tests. Resources and practice tests will be less available, and colleges are going to have a harder time interpreting the data.” -Jon Wang, 11 Photos by Alistair Tang and Christine Kao

Crimea: Why you should care by Sean Sabeti staff reporter Russia has invaded Ukraine and annexed a peninsula on its eastern side called Crimea. This small peninsula happens to be a strategic point for Russia, as it provides direct access to the Black Sea which eventually leads to the Atlantic Ocean. While the world watches events unfold in Ukraine, new information surfaces every day that seems to complicate our understanding of the present state of affairs. As members of the international community, it is essential for us to understand the broader implications that this historic juncture will have now and in the future. If nations can’t learn to respect each other’s sovereignty, only chaos will ensue. The subsequent build-up of troops near the new border with Ukraine is a clear violation of its sovereignty. Nations should not violate other the borders of other nations. Protests have since reemerged in Kiev playing on many Ukrainians’ fears that Russia will advance further into Ukraine and launch a full invasion. If Russia doesn’t mean to invade, then they wouldn’t have amassed tens of thousands of soldiers and armaments near the new border with Ukraine. Perhaps this is a show of force, but if Russia proceeds further into Ukraine, the diplomatic crisis that would ensue could be far more dire.

Editor opinions What your Viewer editors think of various issues.

Image fair use from

A map of Ukraine. Crimea, the area under dispute, is in black.

Throughout history, small scale disputes have often inflated into larger ones, sometimes even global crises. Just because it isn’t happening on our front doorstep, doesn’t mean that we won’t be involved someday. Like an old-fashioned bar fight, conflict could arise that would encapsulate entities all over. In defense of his actions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that the invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003 shows a double standard by Western powers regarding this issue, and he does bring up a devastating point. The U.S. violated Iraq’s sovereignty by invading under false pretenses, killing

“Take time to smell the flowers. Quantify that time. Next, use that interval to do something you care about.” - Rebecca Nara gallery editor

“I wish I could, but every time I try to smell the flowers my spring allergies start acting up.” - Ryan Yoch features editor

hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, while only a few people have perished throughout the crisis in Crimea. Though the U.S. set a terrible precedent by invading Iraq, and arguably Afghanistan, two wrongs don’t make a right. To justify the annexation, a highly questionable referendum was held to determine whether the people of Crimea would want to join the Russian Federation. As far as legality of the referendum goes, it wasn’t carried out within the framework of the Ukrainian constitution. The referendum gave a 96 percent in favor result, which is highly questionable since the Tatar minority of Crimea which makes up about 15 percent of the population has boycotted the vote. To add insult to injury, the Crimean government required all Tatars to give up their land for undisclosed purposes, and since then, most have fled Crimea. When we were young, we were taught not to take other’s belongings, or at least to ask nicely before borrowing something. The conflict in Ukraine may seem distant and irrelevant to the our everyday high school lives, but after all, World War II started on another continent as well. If we want to avoid more major conflicts like World War II, we must first start by preventing the minor ones. To do so we must pay attention to and learn from global conflicts, in the hope that one day we will be able to avoid these conflicts from ever happening.

“The inevitable end-of-theyear struggle of wishing for summer but not wanting your friends to graduate and leave...” - Nina Bertelsen business manager

“By now I hope that every teacher realizes second semester seniors have no motivation to do more than the bare minimum.” - Molly Hancuh sports editor

4features MV’s

worst drivers April 11, 2014

Getting your license and driving is always something to look forward to. But what most people don’t think of are the many tickets and fender benders that are possible. These students have had lots of experience in this area of driving.

by Maddy Rosenow, sports editor

The second [accident] some kid slid through a stop sign and tboned me pretty bad.”

-Tyler Fredlund, 10

photo by Nicole Wahlin

Tyler Fredlund Tyler Fredlund, 10, is the epitome of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or so he says. Fredlund just turned 16, and therefore hasn’t had his license for long. This still hasn’t prevented him from getting in two accidents in such a short period of time. But Fredlund isn’t bothered because according to him, neither was his fault. “The first [accident]

some guy merged into my lane, so I swerved to avoid him, and ran into the freeway barrier,” said Fredlund. “The second [accident] some kid slid through a stop sign and t-boned me pretty bad.” Accidents or not, Fredlund feels he’s not a horrid driver. “I mean I’d say I’m a good driver,” said Fredlund. “I haven’t gotten any tickets yet, but other people get really scared in the

car with me. I don’t know why.” Fredlund may not know why, but his friends seem to have reason to fear car rides with him. “He’s a horrifying driver,” said Aleks Westlund, 11. “He kind of just merges whenever, and does whatever he wants on the roads. It’s terrifying.”

Anna Solfest Anna Solfest, 11, is the queen of fender benders. Stationary fender benders, to be exact. “One [fender bender] was we both backed out of a parking space at the same time,” said Solfest. “The other was I was backing out of a driveway, and there was a parked car I didn’t see behind me.” The “queen of fender benders” may be a slight exaggeration, as Solfest has only hit two cars, but her friends seem to believe it’s been a few more than two. “There’s been so many close calls, she has to have gotten in a ton of accidents,” said Natalie Nowatzke, 9. Solfest does admit the number could be a lot higher. “I’ve come close a couple more times,” said Solfest. Whether Solfest has hit

two cars or more, it doesn’t take away from the comedy of hitting stationary objects. “It’d be fine if all the objects were moving,” said Nowatzke, laughing. “But so far all of them have been stationary.” Although Solfest may be a little unlucky in the parking lots, she feels it has changed her as a driver. “I think it’s made me a more cautious driver,” said Solfest. Cautious or not, it still doesn’t end the mockery from her friends. “They give me a super hard time about it.”

photo by Nicole Wahlin

Anna Solfest poses atop her car, which she is famous for hitting objects with.


April 11, 2014

n g mi a to the next level g e k ta s t n e d u St by Alistair Tang staff reporter Some people play sports, listen to music, or even knit. But most hobbies don’t compare to the addictive and time-consuming nature of video games. “One day, as soon as I got home from a tennis game, I started playing. I kept playing until I realized it was two in the morning,” said Sejin Kim, 11. “I had to stay up the rest of the night to study for an AP chem test.” According to the Huffington Post, over 72 percent of households play video games. When you take into account mobile games such as 2048 or social games like Farmville, it’s easy to see how widely popular video games are. When someone starts playing video games, they rarely stop. “I’ve


been playing since I was eight,” said Kim. “I spend about 60 percent of my free time on video games.” Though many consider it a waste of time, there is some merit to video games. “I think it’s mostly beneficial because it opens new opportunities for non-athletic people,” said Kim. Games like League of Legends and Starcraft are highly competitive and are so popular that professional leagues have been created for them. Becoming a professional video game player is now more achievable than ever. Gan Liu, 12, dreams of becoming a professional gamer someday. “If you’re a pro gamer you get to do what you love to do all the time, and I want to do that,” he said. Though a career in gaming would be fun, Liu understands the commitment and sacrifice needed to play professionally. “I’d have better grades if I didn’t play video games,” said Liu. Despite his academic woes, Liu believes the benefits of gaming outweigh the possible costs. “[Playing video games is] like falling in love — you have to put all your time and money into the game.”

artwork by Michaela Morse

Chinese teacher loves job after long journey

by Josh Yuan staff reporter

As she leads a reading from the textbook, Chinese teacher Linda Chang is happy to find that her life ended up exactly how she imagined, but at the same time, so different. Chang, who is in her third year as Mounds View’s only Chinese teacher, has promoted significant development in the Chinese program since her arrival at Mounds View in 2011. The number of students enrolled in the Chinese program increased from 72 in 2010 to 99 in 2014, and students agree the rigor of the course has increased dramatically since she began at Mounds View. But Chang’s success often disguises the struggles she faced in her journey from Taiwan to America. Chang found her passion for teaching at a young age. Though she enjoyed tutoring children in math, it was her obsession with blackboards that put her on the path to teaching. “I remembered I always stood on a chair to write on the blackboard,” said Chang. “I loved to write on the blackboard. I don’t know why.”

Born and raised in Taiwan, Chang grew up in a culture that stresses a good education. After cruising through high school, Chang decided that receiving an education from the small island of Taiwan wasn’t enough. “We knew if you had good foreign language skills, it is easier to find a job,” said Chang. “We would always think of either Canada or America.” In 1999, Chang moved to Toronto, Canada. After nine months of improving her English at York University’s English as a Second Language program, Chang moved to Ontario to study psychology for her undergraduate degree at Brock University. Chang was the only Asian in her class, and often struggled with her English. “It was really terrifying,” said Chang. “Unless you have had that kind of experience yourself, I don’t think you can really understand.” Despite the language barrier she faced, Chang was determined to improve herself any way she could. “I always sat in the front, and I would always bring my tape recorder during the lecture,” said Chang. “Then after class I would go to the library and listen again.”

English was not the only challenge Chang encountered. Away from home for so long, Chang often felt homesick, and her family was eager to have her back in Taiwan. But Chang, knowing the importance of her studies, ignored her parents’ pleas and stayed in Canada. “In our culture you are not supposed to disobey your parents,” said Chang. “That was really hard for me, but I knew for my future, I needed to stay here.” After college, Chang created the Chinese program at Hmong Academy in St. Paul. During that time, she taught during the day and took classes with the University of Minnesota’s licensure program at night. Her hard work paid off in 2011 when she received her Chinese teaching license and a job in the Mounds View School District. The progress of the Chinese program at Mounds View not only reflects Chang’s hard work, but also the courage she has shown along the way. “I really enjoy having her as a teacher,” said Jeremiah Bonde, 11. photo by Christine Kao “It’s amazing to see how far she has Linda Chang can’t help but clap when her come.”

student answers her question correctly.


Students share their lives thr

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by Katrina Renacia staff reporter People do it everywhere and anywhere. Whether they’re a celebrity or just an ordinary person. They do it while they’re eating, when they’re shopping, studying, or even when they’re pretending to be asleep. Everybody loves taking selfies. What was once a bizarre thing to do, taking a photo of yourself has become so popular that Oxford English Dictionary has crowned the word “selfie” as the 2013 word of the year, after an increase of 17,000 percent of its usage in the past few years. Although most people think that selfies are a recent innovation, their roots can be traced quite far back. Selfies have been appearing in a variety of different forms for the past decades, starting as artists painted elaborate self portraits. The first developed copies of selfies became possible with the invention of the Polaroid camera, a camera which produced a printed copy of the picture taken instantly. As technology improved and more gadgets were developed, such as camera phones and webcams, taking selfies became easier and less awkward; hence, the sharp increase in popularity.




1) Jornie Counihan, 10, in Washington D.C. 2) Lydia Bodnar, 10, at a production of Woodbury Community Theatre. 3) Harris Deno, 12, at his house. 4) Greg Amusu, 11, in Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida. 5) Kenna Lee, 10, at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN. 6) Annalee Blake, 10, at Alcatraz island in San Francisco, California. 7) Hana Gulli, 11, in Colorado. 8) Social studies teacher Martha Rush in the Viewer room at Mounds View High School. 9) Lily Sacay, 11, at the Chicago River. 10) Mike Edinger, 11, in Arizona. 11) Sarah Bujold, 12, in Missoula, Montana. 12) Kenna Lee, 10, at Afton Alps in Hastings, MN. 13) Leah Lind, 9, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. 14) Siobhan Reynolds, 11, in Ireland. 15) Faith Tomczyk, 11, on a cruise. 16) Phoebe Ke, 12, at a Science Olympiad banquet. 17) Tess Martin, 11, in Florida with the girls solftball team.



rough selfies But what caused the dramatic surge of selfies was mainly possible after the invention of front-facing cameras, which were introduced by Apple in the iPhone 4. It allowed the photographer to preview the photo before actually taking it. Social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat also became an avenue to easily share selfies. Instagram was the first social site where selfies were widely used. Its filters and other special effects gave selfies and other pictures a more vibrant feel, which greatly added to their appeal. It also allowed other people to see your photos and comment on them. A new app has overshadowed Instagram. Snapchat, a photo messaging application, allows one to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. Users can set a limit on how long recipients can view their Snaps. Whether you take selfies to make “duckfaces,” show the world your “just woke-up” face, or to simply share a snap of your smile, selfies are always a fun and lively way of interacting with your friends and sharing your experiences.


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8 variety

April 11, 2014

Delectable Breakfast Diners

by Tommy Sletten spread editor While chain restaurants are typically nothing new, The Original Pancake House (OPH) is a brand new concept for people in Minnesota. The chain has just recently come to the Midwest. On the weekends in particular, The OPH is packed, and can sometimes garner an hour wait or even longer. But the wait is well worth it. The restaurant is clean and well designed, with tables, booths, and a breakfast counter for very

l Flameb u f r u


browns, or pancakes. The honey-glazed ham is succulent and delicious, and the massive pancakes—which take up the entire plate—are sweet and warm. For only $8.15, Flameburger is nice on the wallet, too. With locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Roseville, and Columbia Heights, Flameburger is all over the place. The nostalgic atmosphere and old-fashioned, cozy food is hard to forget.


delectable maple syrup. But if there is one thing to get, it is the bacon. This bacon is thick and juicy, and is prepared to perfection. The tantalizing smell makes one’s mouth water, and each bite tastes like heaven itself. The Original Pancake House is open from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. every day, and can be found in the Crossroads Mall across the street from the Rosedale Mall.

e rg

Old fashioned formula

Fla v

The delicious pancakes are topped off with strawberries and whipped cream.

breakfast bar, complete with linoleum floors and red vinyl seats. While Flameburger doesn’t necessarily sport new or modern breakfast offerings, it definitely has the old-fashioned, delicious formula down. From country fried steak to french toast, Flameburger offers only the best homestyle breakfast. One of its trademarks is the “Ranch Breakfast,” with two eggs, a choice of meat, and toast, hash

Regulars and newcomers alike intermix at Our Kitchen’s ‘60s style breakfast counter.

small groups. No matter where one chooses to sit in the restaurant, the experience is unparalleled. The menu has bountiful choices, which can be intimidating at first, but it lets the customer have whatever they could imagine for breakfast. The prices are adequate but not a huge bargain, as a plate of blueberry pancakes runs at $7.25. No matter the price, the pancakes are spectacular. Each bite feels like a flavor explosion in one’s mouth, with pillowy pancakes and

photo by Tommy Sletten

by James Birr online managing editor Craving a delicious breakfast, but sick of the brand names Perkins, IHOP, or Denny’s? Flameburger, with multiple locations throughout the Twin Cities, is the answer. Apart from their fantastic, homestyle breakfast offerings, the ‘50s style atmosphere adds more and more to the dining experience. Walking in, one comes right up to the

photo by Ryan Yoch

The best pancakes in town

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Origin e h T al

feels li n e k h e c it

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Pancakes, hash browns and more can be found on a griddle not much bigger than a desk, while eggs and omelettes are fried on a small stove to the left. Amidst the sounds of bacon sizzling and customers chatting, the diner’s motherly waitress darts around the room taking orders and making sure everyone feels at home. Our Kitchen does not take reservations, and is open from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends. The tiny restaurant can get quite busy on weekends, but the turnaround is quick, so most customers never wait more than 20 minutes for a table. The warmth you feel while eating at Our Kitchen comes from more than the home-brewed coffee or the freshlymade cinnamon french toast. It comes from a positive attitude and a welcomehome atmosphere that has withstood the test of time.

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by Ryan Yoch features editor There are very few places like Our Kitchen left in the world. With its cozy atmosphere, retro style, and undeniably fantastic food, Our Kitchen leaves nothing on the table. This intimate breakfast diner in Uptown Minneapolis has been serving breakfast with a smile since 1941. Though seats are hard to get—the whole restaurant is about the size of a Mounds View classroom—patrons can choose to sit at either a ‘60sstyle breakfast counter or two small tables tucked into the corners of the restaurant. The lengthy breakfast menu at Our Kitchen is both delicious and well-priced. A meal of two eggs, hash browns, and a warm blueberry pancake costs only $6.95, leaving patrons’ wallets and stomachs feeling full. All of the food is prepared by Our Kitchen’s two lovable cooks, and is made directly in front of customers.

Coziest atmosphere around

photo by James Birr

The retro style sign outside Flameburger.

9 Pretty In Prom Dresses reviews

April 11, 2014

Dress: Tony Bowls, $450

photo courtesy of TJ Formal

photo courtesy of Prom Dress Shop

Dress: Mignon, $398

Dress: JVN By Jovani, $358

THE INSPIRATION: Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2014 Couture

Dress: JVN By Jovani, $390

Dress: La Femme, $450

Dress: La Femme, $250

THE INSPIRATION: Zuhair Murad Spring/Summer 2014 Ready-to-Wear

THE INSPIRATION: J. Mendel Spring/Summer 2014 Ready-to-Wear

Dress: La Femme, $450

photo courtesy of Prom Girl

Dress: JVN by Jovani, $378

photo courtesy of Prom Girl

LOVELY LACING photo courtesy of La Femme Fashion

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of La Femme Fashion

photo courtesy of Prom Girl

photo courtesy of Prom Girl


Dress: My Michelle, $128

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of


photo courtesy of Prom Girl

By Kyoka Millard Prom 2014 is just around the corner, and there’s nothing quite like attending the biggest dance of the year in the best dress. Find your dream design inspired by the trends of Spring/ Summer 2014 Fashion Week.


April 11, 2014

Living up to last year’s expectations

Boys baseball tries to live up to last year’s championship team by Clara Wang staff reporter Expectations, expectations. The Mounds View boys varsity baseball team won the State tournament last year, giving them a lot to live up to this year. Last season was an incredible one, with a record of 20 wins and only six losses. Team captain Sam Hentges, 12,

All teams debrief with the coaches after practices.

said, “It was fun; our team kind of came together and when your team comes together you can do unbelievable things, and it was just a good year for us.” Winning state meant a lot to teammate Charlie Callahan, 11. “It was one of the best feelings in the world,” he said. This season a lot has been shifted around, including a change in head coach from Jon Nuss to returning coach Mark Downey. The team also lost graduating star players such as Max Knutson, Lars Anderson, and Ethan Decaster. But many on the team don’t seem to be worried. “Obviously this year will be different with the coaching change, and we lost a lot of seniors, but I think that we could possibly do it again and have another great season,” said Hentges. A fresh wave of talent has swept in to replace last year’s tide of seniors. They show much promise, but living up to last year’s success won’t be easy. Junior Henry Decaster is stepping in as pitcher this year, a position which his older brother Ethan played last year.

“I think Henry’s doing a good job, he’s trying to fill really big shoes this year… He’s definitely becoming a leader, like Ethan was on the team, and he’s definitely got the player potential,” said Hentges. This season, Mounds View baseball is yet again blessed with another roster of stellar senior players. One of these is pitcher Kellen Rholl, 12. “He’s done a lot of work during the off season and I think he’s going to play a big role on our team this year. He’s going to participate in the starting role this year,” said Hentges. The team has a lot of other players to watch out for as well. According to Alec Abercrombie, 11, Hentges should do a lot of damage at the plate this season. Tucker Gran, 12, also has a lot of potential to be a strong player this year. With such a stacked team, can Mounds View make it to the State championship for the second time? When asked about this, Abercrombie seemed fairly confident the team had another shot at the title. “Our section is loaded, but I mean if we make it to State, I think you could probably tack us down for the ‘ship,” said Abercrombie.

Athlete of the Issue

Coach Steve Gorman helps Michael Gaines, 11, with bunting at practice.

All photos courtesy of Ellie Fleming

Varsity pitchers throw bullpen at practice.

months, more or less depending on school and other extracurriculars. Q: When did you start playing? A: I started playing in the summer of 2009, the AAU Jr. Olympics was my first tournament. Q: What are your goals for yourself in the future? A: I hope to be able to win an event at the US Open this summer and eventually make the U.S. team.

David Lee Junior Table Tennis

Q: What do you like so much about Ping Pong? A: I love the community, the rush of counter looping and the combination of physical endurance and mental toughness it has developed in me.

Q: What do you stress the most about the sport to others you’re coaching? A: When I’m coaching others I always tell them to think of what possible returns you opponent can give; the game isn’t just played by you.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? A: If I could have one superpower I would want to have the ability to add more hours into my day, Q: How often do you com- currently it is a struggle to pete in Ping Pong tourna- balance both training and academics. ments? A: I play a tournament about once every two information compiled by Molly Hancuh



April 11, 2014

Spring sports start with a bang The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League began in 2009 with 30 students from 3 different schools. This season, over 6,100 students will represent 185 schools in the league. Mounds View, along with Irondale, will be competing this year for the first time. by Sarah Dhols-Graf staff reporter “Pull.” A clay pigeon is released and spins away from the shooter. Bang. It shatters on impact. Many people at the range are experienced shooters, dusting the majority of their targets. Others can hardly keep their hands from shaking as they try to aim and brace themselves for the recoil. But all are there for one reason: the sport of trapshooting. While it began as a way to improve their aim while hunting, it soon became a sport of its own. Trapshooting, dating back to late 18th century England, started out using live pigeons as targets and evolved to clay pigeons before the 20th century. This year, Mounds View has its own trapshooting team, coached by Tom Landwehr. Shooters practice at the Metro Gun Club in Blaine every Sunday from 3-5 p.m. and compete against other high school teams. Hunter Landwehr, 10, said, “In a typical practice, we shoot two sets of 25 [clay pigeons], and the helpers try to fix your stance if you need improvement.” Three years ago, the league started off with a handful of students. It has since grown as interest in the sport has taken off. Students at Mounds View have talked about it since the league began, but more pressure from parents and students pushed it through. “Several families were interested in expanding the variety of school sports options to open opportunities for kids that might not have an interest in team sports. With the growth of the “Archery in the Schools” program, and related initiatives, this seemed like a great program,” said Tom Landwehr. The Mounds View team consists of 19 students ranging from experienced shooters to beginners. “While it would be fun to win State, a lot of the people are in it for the fun and to learn how to handle a shotgun,” said Hunter. “It’s about teaching some people who don’t have access to a shotgun or equipment.” Every Sunday presents a chance for everyone to improve their skills. “I enjoy the team camaraderie and working everyday to improve my scores,” said Joe Molenaar, 12. Though many believe trap shooting consists of mindlessly aiming at a target, the sport is more mental training than physical. “Trap shooting is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical,” said Colton Langer, 12. Mike Langer, Colton’s father, who volunteers during trap practice, describes the winner of a meet as the shooter who can stare down their opponents the longest without wavering. Recognized as one of the safest high school sports available, trapshooting is a fun way to get involved in activities outside of school, with little experience needed. “The whole point of the program is for students to have fun,” said Luke Swenson, 10. The Minnesota High School Clay Target League organizes meets and shooting areas, while volunteers for the team set up practices and help out the participants. As stated by the Clay Target League, every member contributes to a team score in a meet, each shooting one round. The team average uses all scores for the remaining third of total team scores. The team with the most points at the end of the meet is the winner. If an entrant shoots the top score, his or her score is used as the “High Gun Score,” which counts towards a third of the overall team score. “Top Performers” use the top score average from 50 percent of the team, also contributing a third of the points. This year Mounds View Trap Team hopes to make their mark in the league in their first year of competition and perform well at State in June.

photos by Christine Kao

Joe Molenaar, 12, is one of three seniors on the team.

Kaelah Wood, 11, and the rest Ben Snuggerud, 11, hit 16 out of the team shoots at the Metro of 25 clay pigeons at the first Gun Club in Blaine. practice.

Mounds View’s own All American

Colton Langer, 12, is a two time All American in Trap Shooting and won the World Junior Championship in 2012

by Persis Ke staff reporter

Conditions were perfect as championship day of the Grand American Trapshooting competition began. Colton Langer, 12, had high expectations for himself. The day before, he had told his dad he was aiming for a perfect 200, no small feat. As the day continued and more of his competitors started missing shots, Langer couldn’t help but feel surprised. In these conditions, a beautiful blue sky and no wind, he expected everyone to perform at a very high level. However, even before the last shot of the tournament was fired, Langer knew. He was the 2012 World Junior Champion. Langer was first introduced to guns at age 12 on an outing with his Boy Scout troop. He immediately fell in love with shotguns and began pestering his dad to bring him to the range. At the range, Langer discovered competitive clay pigeon shooting. He chose trapshooting because it was similar to pheasant hunting. “My dad was like, ‘What’s that?’” said Langer. “He thought it was just ‘the flavor of the day.’” However, Langer’s passion grew. That Christmas, his grandfather, an accomplished sporting clay shooter, gave him shooting equipment. He then joined a Youth League where everyone shot 25 rounds per week for 10 weeks. After the 10 weeks ended, Langer kept going to the range to practice a few hours each week, focusing on addressing his weaknesses.

At age 13, he began competing, first in local tournaments, then state and national tournaments as he kept winning, culminating in 2012 with his World Junior Champion title. A state champion and two-time All-American, Langer believes practicing is the main reason he has progressed, although he does believe luck and talent are also involved his rapid rise to elite trapshooting. “Hard work can get you a very long way, but there has to be natural ability as well to get to the national level,” said Langer. “Practice is definitely the biggest thing in this sport.” Nowadays, Langer practices around four or five hours each week during the school year or whenever he has the time. While competitions take up much of his summer—he comes home a total of 13 days—Langer finds trapshooting easily balances with school. “In my family,

photo by Christine Kao

Colton Langer, 12, has been shooting since he was 12 and is aiming for a Minnesota High School Leauge title this year.

school is the number one priority,” he said. “You can’t do anything without [an education]. So if I have a test or a big project, I can just cut practice.” Langer joined the newly formed Mounds View Clay Target Shooting Club; he hopes to win a Minnesota State High School League title and help the team improve. He also plans to go to the Grand American in August where he aims to regain the title and qualify for the AllAmerican team. On National Signing Day, Langer signed letter of intent to Midland University on a shooting scholarship, and he wants to continue trapshooting far into the future. “I plan on doing this for my whole life,” said Langer. “Or at least as long as I can.”

12gallery With a future so bright... April 11, 2014

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Juniors moving forward by Thomas Doty staff reporter As the high school years wind down, it is time for juniors to start thinking about what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Whether or not students plan to attend college, every student has their own dreams and goals. Scott Wiens, dean of postsecondary services, said, “Over 90 percent of Mounds View students plan to attend college after graduation.” For those thinking about attending college, the selection process can be a stressful and rigorous time. Juniors search deep to find what they truly look for in a college. “What I look for in a college is a nice location and a nice campus,” said Matt Baker, 11. “I look for a name I recognize,” said Mark Sheldon, 11. After college, it’s a whole different experience. Entering the real world can be intimidating if one isn’t sure what they want to do. “I’m experimenting with my options,” said Austin Braden, 11. “I want to graduate high school—that’s my first goal.” As for some, a career choice is already set in stone. “I want to be a computer programmer,” said Sheldon. “I want to attend Carnegie Mellon University. It’s the number one computer engineering school in the country.”

Another student, Connor Larson, 11, has also decided the career path he wants to take. “I want to be a chemical engineer,” he said. “I like chemistry so it’s a perfect fit for me.” As these juniors inch closer and closer to graduation, the thought of reality starts to kick in. Mounds View is doing everything they can to prepare and equip juniors to the best of their ability, hoping that it will give them everything they need to be successful in the real world. “We purchased an online program called ‘Prep Me’ which students access through Naviance,” said Wiens. “We also have test

prep sessions available outside of school hours.” All the help available to juniors is matched with expectations and requirements. It’s understandable that the class of ‘15 looks at their final year with a mix of anticipation and trepidation.

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information compiled by Rebecca Nara

60 juniors answered a two question poll reguarding their past and future


leaving a legacy “I have a senior that I look up to that inspires me to run faster and work harder.” -Ben Carpenter, 11 “Zach Litzinger inspires me to face swap.” -Graham Fiebiger, 11 “Yeah, he looks like Captain America!” -Aaron Gale, 11

“We all look up to Leyla!” -Sophie Gaschott, 11 “She’s so smart.” -Nathan Torunsky, 11

cartoon by Rebecca Nara

“They’re all so happy and fun. I’ll miss them.” -Kayla Sentz, 11

Issue 11 2013 - 2014  

Issue 11 of the Viewer this year.