The NORTHERN LIGHTS
December 2013 Issue 3 Volume 58 North Central High School www.nchslive.com @nchslive
ASKING YOU TO
FOR YOU TO ACCEPT
OUR IDENTITY. - EAN, Equality Alliance co-president
TRANS AND PROUD: STUDENTS SHARE PERSONAL EXPERIENCES story inside
Rawley Davis: Narc? Page 8-9
2 l TNL INSIDER FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Reader, North Central has always been an incredibly diverse and accepting place, typically free of ridicule for those different from each other. However, recently, while discussing college decisions and applications with some of my fellow students, one student in the discussion described a college I have applied to as “faggy.” Really? Is this incredibly homophobic and offensive term the adjective that should be used to describe a school that has slightly different views or beliefs than this student? Are we as a school, and as a society, reduced to such a low level of tolerance that we must degrade any person or institution that we may disagree with in the slightest? I would like to think not. In this issue, we celebrate the diversity here at North Central. We discuss various religions, as well as different gender identities found here at North Central. Instead of belittling a belief that you may not fully comprehend or agree with, why not be thankful for the opportunity to learn from the medley of students from different backgrounds North Central is comprised of? John F. Kennedy once said “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” By not castigating those with different beliefs than our own, we do not waver in our own beliefs. Rather, we strengthen the power of all citizens to believe and practice whatever and however they please. After all, this is the United States, land of the free and home of the brave is it not? Let’s put aside this attitude of intolerance and narrowmindedness, and celebrate the sweet liberation that freedom provides us.
The NORTHERN LIGHTS
The Northern Lights December 2013
TNL TAKES ISSUE
Hallway PDAs need to go away High school relationships are a common thing throughout the halls. It always seems as though there is a couple attached at the mouth, or hips or other places not appropriate for public hallways. The thing that confuses many is that each class is only 50 minutes, yet these kids act as if they will never see each other again. We don’t need the vision in our minds sitting in chemistry of two people playing tonsil hockey. There are much better things to focus on rather than being able to reach your partner’s epiglottis with your tongue. School is potentially a giant turn-on for some, however odd that may seem. Another shocking part about these couples is their audacity to do this right in front of teachers. Teachers don’t want to see you and your significant other making out right before they have to deal with you in class. Actually, nobody wants to see your friendliness first-hand. Administration should probably be doing something to help curb this acticity, not whether leggings qualify as pants. There is a time and a place for everything. School passing periods are not ideal for teenage romance to blossom. The school day isn’t so long your lust can’t wait a few hours. Let’s all do something to put an end to hallway PDAs.
SINCE LAST ISSUE...
QPDAs, or public displays of affection, such as the one these two students are displaying need to be stopped in the hallways. Danny Kleschick Photo illustration.
Last issue, we discussed the improper drop off procedures of parents dropping their kids off in the student parking lot instead of at Door no.1. Unfortunately parents are still causing traffic hazards by dropping their children off in the wrong place.
Football player discusses coach’s resignation TNL: Why do you think Coach Keith Shelton decided to step down from his position so early? HW: Coach Shelton told us last night that for the love of the program he decided so early so that the athletic directors would have enough time to pick a new successor because the coaches before him were hired in May and April. He said that for the love of the football team he decided so early. TNL: How do you feel about coach Shelton decided to step down? HW: It’s kind of sad because as long as I’ve played football from 8th grade, 9th grade to now he has been head coach. So to see him leave is like the end of an era. We’ve been to the sectional championships twice, two years in a row, and we don’t want to stop, we’re on the path to winning.
H.B. Webberhunt was a senior cornerback who played four years under former coach Keith Shelton.
TNL: What was it like the room when Coach Shelton made his announcement? HW: It was really sad. Coach Shelton actually got choked up a little bit and everyone in the crowd was sad and we actually ended up giving him a standing ovation. TNL: Do you ever think he plans to coach again anywhere? HW: I know now he said he wanted to be with his kids and his sons needed a dad. So in the future I don’t know if he will but as of now I don’t know because of how young his sons are.
The 2013-2014 editorial policy for The Northern Lights can be found at www.nchslive.com. Editor-in-chief Daniel Kleschick NCHSLive! Editor Maxwell Freeman Managing Editor Carter Herman
Copy Editors Keaton Lents Adam Friedman TNL Special Editors Jerome Bingham Brandi Metzger Michael Mitchell Sarah Carlson
Staff Members Roman Baisa Nate Bercovitz Connor Bright Tommy Cagnassola Catherine Curtright India Davis Erin Doss Chris French
Jacob Hansen Marina Higuera Sam Johnson Madelaine Leistikow Elizabeth Mannheimer Rebecca Owens Alexandra Patterson Nolan Schloneger Michael Schmahl
Brett Schneider Dominique Turner Taylor Schimp Adviser Tom Gayda, MJE
STAY IN TOUCH The Northern Lights North Central High School 1801 East 86th Street Indianapolis, IN 46240 phone (317) 259-5301 fax (317) 259-5369 web www.nchslive.com twitter @nchslive tout @nchslive pinterest @nchslive Signed letters to the editor may be delivered to K634. Emailed letters will require signature verification. On the cover... Ean, formerly Elena, is proud of his transsexuality. Danny Kleschick photo
The Northern Lights December 2013
AROUND NC l 3 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
QRepublican Congresswoman Susan Brooks, mother of graduate Connor Brooks, talk with senior Traver Clifford. Brandi Metzger
Congresswoman talks issues with seniors Congresswoman Susan Brooks returned home on Friday to discuss serious issues with NC students. The Indiana-born Republican left her office in Washington, D.C. to speak to seniors during 10th period about her experiences as a freshman member of Congress and about current affairs. After giving a speech about her role as the U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 5th district in Congress and the member of multiple committees, Brooks spoke to seniors about the “biggest issues” today. Those issues included health care reform, the government’s budget and the debt ceiling. “I think it is important to try to explain to high school students what problems and issues I’m working on in Congress that affect their lives, now and in the future,” Brooks said. Brooks said the Affordable Care Act, which requires all Americans to buy insurance, is the number one issue in Congress. “The problem is that this bill was passed in a completely partisan way, so there were no Republicans who signed on to the bill at all,” Brooks said. “And now that they are standing it up, the technology piece of it is failing in a big way.” Brooks said one controversial issue she is passionate about is the current issues about the NSA and Edward Snowden. She did not claim to either support or regret the action of Snowden, who revealed several government secrets to the public. She said she was struggling to find balance between citizen safety and privacy. “With technology changing so much, how do we balance that [safety] and make sure we’re protecting the privacy of citizens?” Brooks said. “We could have a whole session on that.”—Brani Metzger
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Senior swimmer Rachel Hayden signs her letter of intent to attend the University of Missouri. Hayden chose Missouri over Notre Dame, Pittsburg, Tennessee,, Purdue and Ohio State for both the swimming program and the campus. After finishing third in the 50 meter freestyle last year, Hayden is looking to improve her finish this year. Katherine Keesling photo
Senior swimmer signs letter Rachel Hayden, a senior on the girls swim team, made the decision on Wednesday, November 13 to sign with the University of Missouri swimming program. “I signed with the University of Missouri because I wanted to join a team that seemed to act like a family,” Hayed said. “I wanted everyone to cheer for each other and like each other.” Hayden explained the process that led up to her being given the opportunity to take her swimming to the next level. “First, you get letters in the mail,” Hayden said. “Then, when you show interest, they call you and try to get you to come on a visit. [Missouri’s] campus was really pretty and everyone was really nice. Everything was close together so it will be easy for me to go anywhere.” Missouri was not the only school that pursued Hayden, due
to her dedication and hours that she spent training. 5 other universities offered her scholarships: Notre Dame, Pittsburg, Tennessee, Purdue and Ohio State. In the end, however, Missouri triumphed in signing Hayden. Hayden has committed much of her adolesence to swimming, and it is evident that all of her hard work has paid off. “I have been swimming for nine years,” Hayden said. “Swimming two times per day prepares you for the college atmosphere.” Hayden is a co-captain for the girls team, and is looking to improve upon her third place finish in the 50 meter freestyle and sixth place in the 100 meter freestyle races at the state championship last year. -Catherine Currtwright
Singer wins competition, scholarship Recently, senior Kat Jones displayed her singing talents at the Schmidt Vocal Competition. Jones placed second in the competition and won a scholarship to Miami University for $1,500. “My favorite competition has to be the Schmidt Competition. I have made a lot of friends at these competitions and it is intriguing to follow their achievements,” Jones said. Jones has competed in various competitions and showcases. She has received a gold rating at ISSMA every year she has competed. In March of this year, Jones was a finalist in the Schmidt competition, receiving a $2,000 scholarship to Miami University. This past October, she received 2nd place at another Schmidt competition. Most recently she received 1st place in the 17-19 year old category at the NATS Regional Competition. “I love singing and participating in competitions because competing makes me a better singer and performer,” Jones said. Jones loves classical music and hopes to pursue a career in classical singing. “Classical music has a certain innocence to it. It is pure. I like being able to sing songs composed hundreds of years ago and make them my own. Each song has a story and I like to put
myself in the situation and try and show the audience what the composer wanted them to see,” Jones said. Though she has received a scholarship to Miami University, she says that she is keeping her options open and applying to many different colleges. Many seniors struggle with the application process, but students in the performing arts are pressured even more because most music programs require an audition to be selected into their program and study their performing arts major. “I have recently applied to several universities where I plan to study Classical Music Performance. After that, I’m not sure what I want to do exactly but I know that if I am doing what I love I’ll be happy,” Jones said. Jones is a member of Counterpoints and Descants. Though Counterpoints and Descants are also show choirs, Jones loves having a break from classical and being able to enjoy different style of music. Jones performed a solo at the Messiah last Tuesday night. Counterpoints’ and Descants’ show choir season starts second semester. “I can’t wait for show choir season and I hope that everyone comes out and supports NC Choirs,” Jones said. —Alex Patterson
The Northern Lights December 2013
4 l AROUND NC
Counterpoints go solo for event Solo night for the Counterpoints has always been a big hit among show choir performers. This year no one outside of Counterpoints was allowed to come see the performance, but according to the members, it was one to remember. Junior Allie Wineland divided the Lorde song, “Royals,” into a six-part set and performed it with Annie Krueger, Kit Sommers, Anne Sisk, Katelyn Muldoon and Kim Shirrell. The act presented was a favorite among the audience. “My overall reaction to solo night was that it was a really fun way to connect with my peers and classmates, as well as getting to see how talented everyone around me is. I know everyone is great at singing, but some people just wowed me with their vocals,” Wineland said. Although everyone in Counterpoints is extremely talented, some people surprised the other members by their performances. Junior Alex Belmont thoroughly enjoyed getting to see all of his classmates sing. “It was really fun. I learned a lot about some people in the group that I didn’t know about, and I think we all bonded a lot during the event. We even got to know Mr. ( Michael) Raunick better, too,” Belmont said. Solo night turned out to be an event many Counterpoints will remember. “It created memories that I’ll definitely have for a while,” Wineland said.
Intramural season begins With the intramural basketball season starting recently, there has been a great deal of anticipation and excitement within both the A and B leagues. The season started on Nov. 18, as the gymnasium filled with intramural players from all grades. The B league has 12 competing teams for the upcoming season while the A league has only four teams for 2013-2014 season. Of the numerous competitors within the B league this year, the defending champions are gone, leaving the championship up for grabs. Of the notable returning teams from last season are the runner-ups, White Lightning, along with the Flameingos, North Willow Farmers, TCM, NCWS and Our Meat II. “As coach of the ‘Mingos, I believe that my team of hardworking boys has a very promising and successful season ahead of them,” coach of the returning third place Flameingos Samy Mamilli said. There are also many new teams in the league hoping to capture the title. These teams include Fuegos Locos, Long Rangers, TFG, the Koofers and the Deenosaurs. “Every shot we put up, we feel confident,” Fuegos Locos starter Parker Reist said. Among the still undefeated teams in the B league is White Lightning, the Flameingos, TCM, the Koofers and Fuegos Locos. The Long Rangers, NCWS, TFG and Our Meat II are among the teams still winless in the B league. —Tommy Cagnassola & Adam Friedman
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QLily Jurkiewicz, junior, and her sister Madeline have traveled to Europe to perform their music. They have already signed with Asthmatic Kitty Records, and have also released their first album earlier this year. They have their own website, which features their music, links to YouTube videos, and photos. Photos used with permission from lilandmad.com.
Student begins international music career Growing up around Broad Ripple, sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz were constantly surrounded by musically based minds. After Madeleine graduated from Cathedral and went off to IU, an idea sparked and two years of work which has recently paid off. “It’s been really satisfying because I’ve been working on this for two years,” junior Lily Jurkiewicz said. This past fall break, the sisters travelled to Europe to promote their music on a mini tour. Signed with Asthmatic Kitty Records located in Bloomington, the dynamic duo also recently released their first record, “Lily and Madeleine”. “It feels great to actually be able to see the tangible results of all of our hard work paying off,” Jurkiewicz said. However, the mellow tunes of these sisters do not always appeal to all and sometimes conflicting tastes interfere with new developments.
“It’s hard because I like more upbeat and rock type music, but we have really chill and soothing sounds,” Jurkiewicz said. “I’m trying to create a more upbeat and fun sound to introduce to our fans.” However, now that their first album has been released, the sisters may have hit a road block. “It’s kind of hard because since we’re both in school, we don’t have a ton of time to work on our music,” Jurkiewicz said. “Even though we want to, I can’t always make it down to Bloomington to record or write with Madeleine.” Once the album was released, the girls fed into the excitement to create a few last minute songs and developments towards their careers. These are located on lilandmad.com as is their EP, “The Weight of the Globe” which was released earlier this year.—Maddie Leistikow
The Northern Lights December 2013
AROUND NC l 5
Student creates school-specific site
Q Key Club students organize canned foods from the annual can food drive. Washington Township families benefit from the school-wide event. Maddie Lestikow photo
Key Club runs canned food drive
With the holiday season well under way, many attempt to give back to their communities. Many members of Washington Township have begun to raise both goods and funds to help others in the district. The Key Club’s canned food drive Senior Class Council’s Penny Wars and All For Children’s Trick or Treat for Toiletries have all contributed to the less fortunate in the Washington Township area. “This year we raised an overwhelming amount of goods for others in Washington Township,” Leanne Kabrich, Key Club volunteer said. Running from November 21 to December 6, the Key Club collected non perishable items which will be donated to less fortunate families around the district. On December 7, members of Key Club and Senior Class Council came together to bag the items for benefitting families. Families will picked their bags up last weekend. —Maddie Leistikow
Nora Starbucks moves The Starbucks in Nora is celebrating the 10th anniversary of that location by moving to the location of the former Nora Café. The store is moving directly across the street in front of Target. Every 10 years the contract is up and the store has the opportunity to renovate. The renovation of the new building will offer more space for customers, and a drive thru will be included at the new location. The Nora location is the second busiest in the area, and a drive thru will cater to the coffee crowd. The store is extending its hours, but the exact changes are still unknown. Next Wednesday and Thursday the original location will be closed as operations move across the street to the new location. -Carter Herman
Junior Conner Douglass recently created an app, Yuuvo, that helps one student get involved with other students and friends. Similar to a social network, Douglass created his app specifically for North Central students to get involved and connect. This app allows users to post pictures, videos and blogs. Douglass says the creation of this app is an on going process, and he started this process roughly two months ago. “I’m constantly updating it,” Douglass said. “Being a new student I haven’t had too much trouble with time management.” There are also some similarities and differences between his website, nc connect, and his app, “Yuuvo.” Similarities include having the ability to subscribe and connect with other people that you may know. Some differences are that nc connect”relates to school and school functions, and Yuuvo”helps you get involved with more personal things. Douglass’ intentions on creating this app were to help people have a social network centered around only North Central students. “Yuuvo is very similar to many social networks. The most similar social networks would be Instagram and Twitter,” Douglass said.
Being able to follow people and sign in via Twitter are Yuuvo features. Having the ability to post pictures along with captions are the general idea Douglass took and personalized them from Instagram. Douglass also mentions the creation of this app did not charge him with a fee. He got to create this app for free. Yuuvo continues to grow with new members, and as of November 8, there was a total of 60 members. Douglass says that he released this app at the beginning of November. The sign-in feature with Twitter allows users to easily use their previous information linked with Twitter. Yuuvo pulls information from Twitter, including a person’s username, profile picture and a brief bio of who they are. This feature also allows the user to find their friends they follow on Twitter and requests that they follow them on Yuuvo. The name Yuuvo was also created by Douglass. “It took about four different times to come up with the name Yuuvo. I went through a whole bunch of different names. Yuuvo came about by combining the word “you” and the word “voice,” Douglass said. -Connor Bright
Q Conner Douglass, the founder of Yuuvo, uses the logo for branding purposes. Max Freeman photo
Latin club holds Build-A-Bear Workshop For the third year in a row Latin Club members created teddy bears at Build-A-Bear Workshop in Castleton Square Mall on Thursday. The bears will be given to young patients at Riley Children’s Hospital. Latin Club had collected money for two weeks before building the bears. The club collected enough donations to make 45 bears. On Thursday more than 10 individuals were present at the toymaking workshop. Those people included Latin Club members, Steven Perkins and his wife and two children. Members began the building process at 4:45 p.m. when they picked out the hearts for the bears. Build-A-Bear already stuffed and partially sewed 45 bears to expedite the process for Latin Club. After completing the heart ceremony, club members had their bears completely sewn and then finally moved on to the naming station. Two-year club member Mikaela Zahm-Hamiter made three bears that evening, which she named Starburst, Skittles and Morpheus. Having been to the Build-A-Bear multiple times, she claimed to enjoy the workshop. “It think it’s a cool establishment,” Zahm-Hamiter said. “I mean, everybody gets to make their own thing and they all get to create it
how they want it.” Maxwell Ober, an eighth grader who takes Latin at North Central, built four bears. He said he highly supported the cause because it reminded him of an act of kindness he experienced years ago. “When I was two, I was in [Riley] and someone dressed up as Santa and gave us stuffed animals,” Ober said. Next week Latin Club will write fables for each bear. Then it will deliver the bears to child patients at Riley. Last year the club created 60 bears, which had been more than the year before. Each bear cost $10. Continuing its community service, Latin Club will have a towel and sheet drive next week. It will collect towels, blankets, sheets, pillow cases and other similar items for animals at the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Collection bins will be in the foreign language classrooms that week. In October Perkins was named 2014 Indiana Teacher of the Year. He has taught at NC since 1998. Both of his children made bears at the workshop. -Brandi Metzger
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The Northern Lights December 2013
6 l NCHS LIVE! PERSONALITIES
Chalk is not just for kids
Carlson shares inexpensive gift idea
WHAT YOU NEED: A mug (any color), chalkboard paint or spray paint and masking tape.
CARLSON’S CRAFTS with Sarah Carlson
QThe taping process can get a little tedious, make sure you cover up all the spots you don’t want to be chalkboard.
QMake sure you spray the chalkboard paint, don’t use any other paint or it won’t work!
QIt’s almost done, time to get the chalk out!
QTime to desgin it! Now you can personalize your mug and give it as a gift.
Each issue our website personalities bring TNL readers exclsuive content.
STEP ONE: Tape the parts of the mug you do not want painted.
STEP THREE: Remove tape.
STEP TWO: Spray (or paint) the mug.
STEP FOUR: Personalize.
TIPS: Do more than one coat of paint and let it sit for a while before putting chalk on it because if the paint is thin or wet the chalk will scrape it off.
Pacers continue to impress
STROLLIN’ NOLAN with Nolan Schloneger
As the Indiana Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 1 they went 16-1 and had the best record in the NBA. The Pacers are on a seven game win streak and have shown so far that they can challenge for the NBA title. There has already been much anticipation for a possible rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals with the Miami Heat. The Pacers took, the eventual winner, Miami Heat to seven games. They were within a lay-up of winning the series and advancing to the NBA Finals. Paul George has shown another great improvement this year by improving his all around game. He is hitting three pointers consistently and becoming the consistent scorer the Pacers needed. George is currently the NBA’s 4th
leading scorer averaging 24.6 points per game. Another addition to his game has been his defensive prowess. He is sixth in the NBA in steals averaging 2.16 a game. Also, Luis Scola summer signing for Indiana has proven to be the bench scorer that was lacking in the series against the Heat. He has a good mid-range game and can contribute on the boards. With the Pacers recent winning results, anticipation has been building to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back to Indianapolis. The once unrealistic ambition to win the NBA Finals has become an expectation: anything less than the a championship is an unsuccessful season.
QPacer's foward David West passes the ball to center Roy Hibbert on the free throw line against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Max Freeman photo
The Northern Lights December 2013
NCHS LIVE! PERSONALITIES l 7
The clash of the pizzas
JACOB THE FOOD GUY with Jacob Hansen
To me, pizza is a staple meal in my diet. The pizza places I enjoy ordering from are Donatos, Marco’s and Papa Johns. Each of these fine establishments have pizzas that are unique from one another which makes this week’s matchup more profound. First off, we will take a look at what each restaurant charges for a 14-inch, large cheese pizza. Marco’s is the most economical option because they charge $11.43 while Papa Johns and Donatos charge $11.99 and $13.49 respectively. Delivery fees for each restaurant are all less than $5 and if you were to order breadsticks, drinks or other sides the differences in prices would become negligible due to varying costs at each pizzeria. Since the prices are the same, what would separate these eateries is taste. Donatos is known for their thin cornmeal crust while loading the pizza with toppings. What also sets them apart is that they cut their pizzas in squares rather than slices. Both Marco’s and Papa John’s
specialize in thicker, hand tossed pizzas which seem kind of basic. Papa John’s gets last place on taste because their pizza seems rubbery, and the cheese fake. Marco’s gets second because their crust has a good texture, unlike Papa John’s, and their taste is just basic pizza. Donatos wins, with the thin crust and indescribable taste. In the final category of analysis we will look at location. Papa John’s along with Marco’s has locations all around Indianapolis and is very convenient. However the best tasting restaurant, Donatos, doesn’t. Along with driving further you’re going to have to pay more for the best pizza. Papa John’s is out of the picture just because it is not enjoyable to eat. Finally Marco’s has a mediocre taste, competitive pricing and advantageous location. However with pizza, taste trumps all and even if I have to drive a bit further to Donatos they win this matchup.
The Holiday season: are you buying into it?
SCHMAHL TALK with Michael Schmahl
It looks like the turkey-fueled, box cutter wielding hordes running through Walmart and Best Buy are now a thing of the past. Research shows that foot traffic in major shopping retailers was down 11percent this Black Friday, while total sales suffered a dramatic decline of 13.2 percent on what may be the busiest shopping day of the year. While the Black Friday is over, American consumerism is still alive and well. In fact, it appears to be thriving due to two aspects of the shopping scene: online shopping and extended deals. Shopping used to require trudging around a mall or outlet store. Consumers had to walk from shop to shop. Now, thanks to online retailers such as Amazon, almost all shopping can be accomplished via the internet. The popularity of Cyber Monday, now the second most profitable day of the year for retailers, demonstrates Americans’ new obsession with online shopping. New smartphones and tablets allow for greater convenience and mobility when ordering online. Retailer and e-commerce websites provide information on current and upcoming sales. Some companies even offer discounts for ordering online. Despite the growing trend in online retailing, more than half of American shoppers will physically visit a store to make
their purchases. This more traditional method of shopping has also undergone changes. This year, retailers began advertising bargain sales as early as Thanksgiving Day. For the first time, shoppers did not have to make a midnight trip to the mall in order to get the best deals on the hottest items. Shopping could be completed on during Thanksgiving Day, thus avoiding mad crowds and sleep deprivation. Even more popular is the combination of online shopping and traditional shopping. Many consumers browse their favorite retailers’ websites looking for deals, then travel to the stores so that they can have the confidence and satisfaction of physically purchasing the product. Another popular shopping practice is to order an item online and pick it up at the store. Store websites allow shoppers to compare prices for the same or similar products. These recent developments in the shopping world are facilitating the growth of consumerism. Now more than ever Americans want to shop on their own terms. Cyber Monday and the recent Thanksgiving sales allow consumers to conduct their purchasing at their own leisure. The mad dash of Black Friday is dwindling, but its influence has spread to become a Black Season.
Want more from Sarah, Nolan, Michael and Jacob? Visit nchslive.com for more from our web personalities.
08 l FEATURE
The Northern Lights December 2013
NOT A COP? ...Sure Senior Rawley Davis moved to North Central his junior year from Center Grove. Or did he? With an incredibly mature appearanc, and an odd sense for law enforcement, there have been suspicions that Davis may be an undercover cop. TNL reporter Maddie Leistikow investigates what many have been talking about...
The Northern Lights December 2013
High school is hard enough for many, so imagine the possible nightmare senior Rawley Davis has dealt with once rumors of him being an undercover cop became to fly. Despite how outrageous it seems, Davis has heard these rumors for two years. After transferring from Center Grove at the beginning of his junior year, Davis was already anxious about being the new kid, yet after just the first day several people already knew who he was. “I thought it was weird ‘cause I didn’t expect people to know me so quickly,” Davis said. However, Davis decided to be the bigger person and not let the rumors get the best of him, even when he found out the source. “J.R. Keller. He started it the first day of school,” Davis said. “I sat like two seats away from him in U.S. History and he said I was 32.” After a mere two days at a brand new school, Davis decided to accept the fact that his new peers knew him as a nark. “If people don’t know me and they hear my name they’re just like “oh the nark” and then they’re like yeah, that guy,” Davis said. “I just laugh and I’m like yeah I guess, I’m 32. it happens.” Although Davis believes it was Keller who started the rumor, some dispute what he thinks. “I’m actually pretty sure it was the swim team,” senior Sean Hayden said. Even Davis’ closest friends have some suspicions about his adult-like stature. “If you look at Rawley, you’re obviously going to ask yourself why there is a 30-year-old man in the classroom,” Hayden said. “I guess visually its weird cause he doesn’t look like a 17 year old kid.” Davis does however have a few traits which seem to contribute to the rumors. “People know when I leave parties to leave cause I have like a sixth sense to know when cops are coming. It’s kinda funny,” Davis said. It seems as if others have begun to realize this as well. “After a party he left, the cops showed up like five minutes later,” Hayden said. “At another party the next weekend, he left, and once again the cops showed up. It’s just a continuous strand of events.” Teachers have also begun to have suspicions of Davis, wondering why a “grown man” is sitting in their classroom. “Mrs. (Kari) Fritz, I had her for SAT and ACT and she thinks I’m 32,” Davis said. “All the teachers like talk about it sometimes too, I think.” The fact that his father just so happens to be ex-military may not exactly be in Davis’ favor either. “(It contributes) A little bit. They all think he’s my police captain,” Davis said. “And whenever someone gets busted or someone gets pulled over I just tell them it’s my uncle.” Davis has, however, been successful in brushing off rumors and even making light of a less than easy situation. “They’re actually kind of funny. Everyone knows me better now and the rumors have spread to Carmel, Cathedraland other places,” Davis said. “Colte Elkin, he spread the rumor, he told a bunch of Carmel girls and he asked them if they knew me.” Despite his situation however, Davis’ close friends also like to play up the rumors as much as they can. “Without a doubt he is,” Hayden said. “Everytime he leaves the cops show up, so why would that happen?”
FEATURE l 09
“ ” Without a doubt he is (a cop). Everytime he leaves the cops show up, so why would that happen
10 l FEATURE
The Northern Lights December 2013
in whichgod we trust? V
by Nolan Schloneger, Sam Johnson, India Davis, Michael Schamhl and Adam Friedman
FEATURE l 11
The Northern Lights December 2013
As Thanksgiving comes to a close, the Christmas season begins to take hold of everyone’s lives. Music on the radio shifts from Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” to “Jingle Bell Rock” and “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.” ABC Family starts airing Christmas movies every night beginning December 1. Christmas trees go on sale and houses begin to to illuminate with Christmas lights. The Christmas season brings families together and is a joyous time all around. Although many people’s Christmas celebrations are relatively similar, everybody has different family traditions when comes to the celebration. Those who have parents with different religious beliefs often celebrate two different holidays. Junior Nijah Bares celebrates both Kwanzaa and Christmas. “During Kwanzaa, I spend a week with my grandparents,” Bares said, “but I also open presents on Christmas morning and eat Christmas foods with my family.” Many Christians will flock to grandparents and relatives’ houses to be with family and enjoy each other’s company. Some will also open presents during Christmas and attribute it to Jesus receiving gifts of gold, Frankincense and Myrrh from the Three Kings. The Kings came from all over the country to witness Jesus’ birth. Since Christians have developed the tradition of opening presents to celebrate the gifts Jesus received, Judaism has also adopted the tradition as well with the celebration of Hanukkah which occurs around the same time as Christmas. Christmas music and movies flood radio and TV stations around the United States and even the world. People have varying views on what to be there favorite one of each. Freshman Jake Johnston’s favorite Christmas song is “Jingle Bells” and favorite movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” “Christmas Vacation” is a comedy that details the events of hosting a family Christmas. Senior Tyler Nash prefers Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.” His favorite movie is “A Christmas Story,” a movie that depicts a boy’s struggle to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. As Christians prepare for Christmas, they remember the roots of their religion while celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas offers a chance for Christians to celebrate their religion with friends and family.
Hinduism is a religion based on the beliefs of polytheism, karma, reincarnation and tolerance. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted by people who know very little about the religion. Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion with more than 1 billion people classifying themselves as Hindu. But even with these large numbers Hinduism is primarily practiced in India where it originates from. But in places like England, United States, Southeast Asia and some sub-saharan African countries significant Hindu populations can found. Jiggar Patel was born in Kenya but both his parents were born in India and believe in the practices of Hinduism. Patel moved to the United States at a young age but both his parents make sure they keep some of their Indian roots. “My parents consider themselves very religious and together we celebrate the Hindu holiday of Diwali every year as our kind of Christmas,” Patel said. Diwali is a five-day Hindu festivals that usually falls between mid-October and mid-November. The holiday last five days. It’s called the festival of lights and its recognized as an official holiday in India, Myanmar, and Singapore. The holiday is sacred to many Hindu’s because of its deep meaning in the involvement of family and togetherness.
“My family and I celebrate this Holiday every year, and we use as a time for us to come together as whole,” Patel said. But like many other minority religions in America Hinduism is hard to practice because of the United States school and work systems. according to Patel. If he lived in India he would be able to spend the holiday with his family all day. But living in America he can only spend Diwali at night with his family after he gets out of school and his parents get off work. The holiday Patel and his family do get off is Christmas and New Years. But it isn’t the same for Patel. “I get Christmas and New Years off, but I mainly use them as free time to hang with friends and go on vacation they’re not very significant in my life,” he said. “I think Christmas break for me is like it is for many Jewish kids because on Christmas day we usually go the movies and eat at restaurants that our mainly open,” Patel said. Christmas is not celebrated as an official holiday in India. But because the religous tolerance of the Hindu religion many people acknowledge Jesus as an angel. Hinduism is polytheistic meaning the belief in many gods and because of this Hindu’s can believe in Jesus as a god like figure. Although Christian’s and Hindu’s differ on what they believe Jesus did. Some Hindu’s believe he came Southeast Asia and through teachings he was had to reaffirmed the Hindu belief in selfreligious practice can equal a universal god-consciousness. “I have heard of Hinduism believing in this but i can’t be for certain that its actually true,” Patel said. But according to Indian officials, Easter is celebrated by many Hindu’s as well.
Islam Whether it’s going out of town, giving gifts or gathering family and friends together on the holidays everyone celebrates it in their own way according to their traditions and beliefs. Based on a religion the foods or practices during the holiday seasons vary because every religion has there own specific way of showing their spirit. One of these many different religions is Islam. In the Islamic culture a mix of both Thanksgiving and Christmas are combined to form the islamic holiday Eid, which occurs after the fasting holiday of Ramadan. “Fasting from sunset to sundown without food or water helps you understand how hard life is and how hard it is for someone to not have food in their stomach,” senior Ali Peer said. Just as in many other religions some may visit family or even volunteer to help those in need for various holidays. Usually on many Islamic holidays families gather together and go visit a mosque to pray with others of the religion for that day. This shows the dedication and respect that one has for the Islamic religion by setting aside a day to praise is important by making this a priority. “In Middle Eastern countries goat and camel meat is cut up and given to the poor but since we’re in America we just send money to our family,” Peer said. In a diverse school such as North Central some may find it easy to adapt to the environment based on the many different religions and cultures that their are around the school. With Islam being such a common religion around the world today it wouldn’t be difficult to find other students who share the same religion. Although, In Islam one must pray a few times a day including in the morning and the early afternoon this could be a possible problem for some Islamic students. “NC is a pretty chill school, I haven’t faced any challenges except having to pray everyday at 1, but i can’t do that because of school,” Peer said. Even though traditions and beliefs may be different in almost every religion there is around the world or even in our own school we can find that celebrating the holidays and gratitude the way however one chooses to based on their religion is a common tradition for everyone.
Amid the twinkling lights, the prevalent gift giving and the fattening food many people forget the spiritual significance of the festivities that take place during the holiday season. However, some students choose to disregard the religious aspect of the celebrations altogether. Atheists, agnostics and other non-religious people are a rapidly growing demographic within the United States and worldwide. “I guess probably around middle school kind of I started to realize that I didn’t think much about [religion]. And then I actually thought more about [my beliefs] my freshmen, sophomore year,” senior Noah Gordon says. Gordon qualifies himself as an atheist, but he claims that this is not an issue during the holiday season. “We celebrate Christmas, we just don’t touch on any deeper meaning to it besides familial significance,” Gordon says When asked to describe a typical Gordon family Christmas, the scene he illustrates bears many similarities to what might be considered a traditional Christmas experience. “Christmas Eve my mom usually cooks dinner, like roast beef... That’s usually when we actually have our extended family over and such. Then Christmas day I am usually still with my mom, then we open presents [together].” Gordon uses the energy of the holiday season to put an emphasis on family. “You get to spend time with the people you care about,” Gordon says. Junior Erik Ohannesian, who qualifies himself as a non-believer, also recognizes a deeper meaning to the holidays than just the religion behind it. He views the time around Christmas as a time to recognize value of the people in his life and to give thanks for the roles they play. “It’s a time for people to come together and can appreciate what you have. As a non-believer, I can appreciate it on a different scale, but on one that is shared by those who celebrate the holidays for religious regions,” Ohannesian says. Despite the religious influence of the holiday season, Ohannesian does not feel uncomfortable or intimidated by the spiritual atmosphere in which he finds himself. This is an outlook he believes he shares with other non-religious students. “For the community of people at North Central who are nonreligious, [the holiday season] is of no threat. People do celebrate holidays for religious purposes. It doesn’t infringe upon what I believe, and I try my best not to infringe upon what other people believe,” Ohannesian said. Both Gordon and Ohannesian see the holiday season as a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate, regardless of beliefs or ideologies. “I think people give [the holiday season] their own meaning. I’m happy to let people do whatever makes them happy,” Gordon said. “There is an overarching value to holidays that transcends the religious aspect,” Ohannesian said.
Judaism Diversity at NC is more than race and socioeconomic class. Religion is one of the most diverse demographics at the school. With more than 20 major religions in the world today, many are represented at NC each and every day. Judaism, with about 14 million followers in the world today, has a significant population at NC. Major celebrations in the religion include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. Many outside of the religion may not know as much about Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Atonement and the new year of the Jewish religion, respectively. NC allows Jewish students to observe their traditional holidays, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, by being excused from school. Depending on how strict of a follower of a religion the student is,
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QJunior Stav Linkon celebrates the Jewish faith. Here he is dressed in traditional Jewish garb, worn to religious ceremonies. Linkon is wearing a Yarmulkah on his head and Talit, a prayer shawl. Linkon recently celebrrated they could be excused from 1-3 days of school. However, Jewish students are not allowed to skip class during Hanukkah, an eightday holiday, but with the first two days being the most important. “Hanukkah is the best holiday. It’s eight days of giving and family celebration,” junior Stav Linkon said. Although Linkon and his family members are less strict followers of the Jewish faith, they still enjoy celebrating all of the holidays observed by the religion, including Hanukkah. “We light candles, get presents and spin the dreidel,” Linkon said. Common Hanukkah traditions also include lighting the menorah each day of the holiday, a total of eight days. The tradition of lighting the menorah originated with a biblical story.
Hannukkah, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the Maccabi’s victory over the Romans. The event lasts eight nights, representing the length of time the oil lasted in the temple. Keaton Lents photo
The story is about how the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem had just enough oil to light a candle for one day, but it burned for eight days. The Hanukkah tradition recreates this in Jewish homes for the holiday each year. The holiday begins on the evening of Nov. 27 and ends on Dec. 5 of this year. The dates of Hanukkah change each year because the holiday is based on the Hebrew Lunar calendar. For example, next year the holiday starts on Dec. 16 and ends on Dec. 24, much later than the 2013 dates. Sophomore Ben Hirsch, also a less strict follower of Judaism, celebrates Hanukkah each year with his family. “We have a hanukkiah and it basically has eight slots to light
candles. It’s a mini-menorah,” Hirsch said. Since the menorah is used mainly for inside a temple only, hanukkiahs are used at homes. Hanukkah is celebrated in a variety of ways, most notably by lighting the menorah/hanukkiah and giving and receiving presents on each day. Normally, those that celebrate Hanukkah don’t do much on Christmas. “I used to get Christmas presents and Hanukkah presents because my grandmother was Christian, so we’d double up on presents,” Hirsch said. However, he still feels strongly about Hanukkah. “I think Hanukkah is like Christmas on steroids,” Hirsch said.
The Northern Lights December 2013
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M A E T L L A B T E K S A B S ’ N E M R U O Y ! G N S UP PO RT O L R E T ALL WIN Saturday, Dec. 21 NC vs. HSE “Ugly Holiday sweater night” Friday, dec. 27 & Saturday, dec. 28 NC Holiday tourney saturday, Jan. 4 NC vs. Terre haute North Friday, jan. 24 NC vs. LN “JERSEY NIGHT” SAturday, Feb. 1 NC vs. Park tudor “SUPER HERO NIGHT” FRIDAY, FEb. 7 NC vs. LC “NERD NIGHT”
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The Northern Lights December 2013
From an early age, most students associated themselves as one gender. Entire lives are divided by gender lines: boys’ and girls’ lines in school, boys’ and girls’ sports teams, and so on. However, at North Central, students who feel uncomfortable with their gender assigned at birth have begun to speak out. These students are questioning the gender equation...
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ow would you feel if one day you had to quit your favorite sport?.. and your favorite hobby... and your friends turned on you... and you were left contemplating your identity because nobody treats you the same anymore. How would that make you feel? Well you’d feel like Ean, a transgender student who decided for the safety and welfare of his friends and family that he’d rather not share his last name. Ean is biologically a girl, yet he identifies as a boy. “I knew by at least the second grade that I did not like female get-up, as you could say,” Ean said. “You know how they say girls on one side, boys on the other side for lines? I felt very confused on that, I didn’t want to be in the female line but they were so against me being in the male line.” It wasn’t until the third grade that Ean was sure that he was not like other girls. “I would say by third grade I definitely knew,” he continued. “If you could see pictures of me I definitely stepped more into the masculine and I felt safer in a way. It was until the summer of my freshman year where I found the label, watching ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ from Chaz Bono who is a transgender male celebrity.” Ean noted that he doesn’t want anyone to think he likes ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ in fact he originally watched to see Hope Solo. “I’m a soccer nerd,” he explained in a lighthearted manner. Ean is not the only student who has had trouble defining his gender. In fact, within North Central, there has been a growing population of transgender students. These students vary on their perception of their gender, yet share a common bond in not fully associating themselves as their birth gender. Alex Lusteg, a junior transsexual student, explains transgender as “anybody that doesn’t directly identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth.” Senior Abby Kattau, a student who identifies as genderqueer, agreed. “If you’re born biologically a girl, but in your head it doesn’t match up, that’s pretty much what transgender is,” Kattau said. Lusteg and Kattau both realized that they didn’t identify as female in far different ways than Ean. For Lusteg, he did not truly understand what transgender was or how many transgender people there were until he read about it on the Internet. “I came across this message board about it and I was like I thought that only happened to like two people and like celebrities and stuff,” he said. “And so that was like around 8th grade and freshman year.” Lusteg also came to his realization when he went to see the movie “Magic Mike” with many of the female members of his family. While the rest of his family was ogling at the characters toned and sculpted bodies, Lusteg was impressed by their physique, and wanted to know how he could achieve such a physical appearance. For Kattau, the terminology of transsexual does not quite fit. Kattau identifies as genderqueer, meaning that neither gender quite fits. “I don’t directly identify as transgender,” Kattau said.”I don’t really necessarily feel like I match up with the black and white of the gender spectrum of boy or girl. Neither one really seems to fit.” Fellow senior and gender queer student Meara Delaney humorously said, “I’m just queer. It’s too hard to stick myself into a box. I tried that before, and it didn’t work at all.” In fact transsexual does not fully describe many people who don’t fully associate themselves as their own birth gender. Transsexual describes those such as Lusteg and Ean who associate themselves completely as the opposite sex. Gender queer, such as Kattau and Delaney, describes those individuals who do not associate themselves as either male or female. Gender fluid, which is technically a part of genderqueer, is a term to describe those who may change weekly, or even daily, on their perception of their gender identity. One such student is senior Aaron Sanders, who identifies the majority of the time as a male, but on occasion feels incredibly feminine and thus identifies as a female. Sanders described the confusion that many may feel when first realizing a gender fluid identity.
16 l FEATURE “Say that you’re a boy, and you wake up in the body of your mother,” Sanders said. “And so you’re in a woman’s body, but you know that spiritually you’re a boy.” For Sanders, the majority of the time, he associates himself as a male. However, on certain days or occasion, he feels his feminine side more strongly. “Then I break out my heels or my makeup,” Sanders said. Finally, senior Avi Serrano identifies as trans feminine. Serrano was born male, however feels feminine and associates personal beauty with the female body. Serrano described the realization process as watching “America’s Next Top Model” and being envious of the female model’s physical traits rather than the male’s. Both Sanders and Serrano, who both model, have posed both as males and females for photo shoots. While these students are now perfectly content with their identity and expressive who they truly are, it was not always so easy. Initially, Ean felt adversity from close friends and even his parents. “For a whole year I was feeling really ashamed,” Ean said. “Just because I wasn’t the usual gay or lesbian. My parents and friends were sure I was gay and the fact that I wasn’t was almost a disappointment, to my own parents.” With knowledge of his decision to transition and become a transgender male, Ean’s friends responded in a variety of ways. “I did lose some friends,” he said. “I also became a lot closer with a group of people that really understand me. The big issue though, was some friends who I assumed would be very supportive, would not wrap their heads around it and not be very supportive. Some used very derogatory language towards me, being ill in the head, was one.” Unlike Ean, Kattau’s friends did not seem to judge Kattau for being gender queer. Rather they looked beyond gender identity to see Kattau’s true personality. “All of my friends are like ‘oh yea that’s cool, whatever. Let’s go back to doing whatever we were doing,” Kattau said. Lusteg also did not feel adversity from fellow students, however did feel persecuted by certain coworkers. Lusteg, who prefers male pronouns and titles and changed his name upon his transition, works at a local pizza restaurant. He says that many of his coworkers refuse to refer to him as a male, and will not use his chosen male name, even after he has repeatedly asked him to identify him as a male. Likewise, Sanders also experienced an incredible amount of judgment for his expression. When Sanders first realized he did not fully associate himself with a male, he was found himself almost trans-phobic, and was scared of the abnormality of his identity. However, with the help of a supportive father, he realized that true expression of his identity was the only way to find contentment. Even after publicly declaring his gender fluidity, Sanders faced an incredible amount of adversity. Living in Florida at the time, Sanders described receiving hateful Facebook messages, filled with bible verses and condemnation. Sanders learned to ignore those who did not truly understand his expression, and to focus on those more accepting of his identity.
The Northern Lights December 2013 One common area of anxiety and confrontation for many transgender or gender queer students agree upon is the bathroom. Many have faced cruelty and/ or awkward encounters with fellow students in the bathroom. “I do dress pretty masculinely and stuff,” Kattau said. “And if I go to the bathroom, like nine time out of 10 its good, but every now and then, like at least once a month, someone will start something. And I’ll just be like I’m not here for this and go to the nurse or something.” Serrano has also experience similar interactions in the male restrooms. Serrano describes situations where males in the bathroom either think Serrano is a biological female, or just laugh amongst themselves. Principal Evans Branigan III commented on the bathroom conundrum many transgender and gender queer students face, saying “First of all, I want to say we respect all students and their personal preferences. There are stalls in all bathrooms, so students can use what they feel comfortable with, but transgendered students can also ask for passes to use the restrooms in the health center, guidance office or a faculty bathroom.” In fact, however, many transgender and gender queer students have always felt uncomfortable when divided along gender lines. Specifically for Kattau and Delaney, classes that are divided into girls and boys teams, or girls and boys sections do not seem to have a place for them. For many of the seniors, graduation is another source of slight confusion, particularly with caps and gowns. Traditionally, males are given black caps and gowns, and females are given red. However, many transgender or gender queer students want the opposite. “I think its going to be weird ‘cause (the parents) are going to be looking at all the girls and they’re going to assume oh they’re girls they’re wearing red, but when they pop up with the guys, they’re going to see this person who maybe in the face looks like a girl, and they’re going to be like wait is that a girl or a guy they’re wearing black,” Serrano said. Branigan also commented on graduation, saying “Typically, at graduation, girls get red gowns and boys get black. However, if a person wants to get a different gown, that’s allowed, because North Central as a school decides that.” One thing that both Sanders and Serrano agreed upon was their annoyance at those that glorify their identities. “I just want to normalize it,” Serrano said. “I’m not trying to make a huge deal out of it. I’m not trying to get attention or anything like that. I’m guess I’m just trying to be...” Kattau finished Avi’s sentence with “It sounds like you’re just trying to be you.” All of the student were in agreeance that the general student population is uneducated on the
subject of transgenders and gender queer, and that a more informed student body would lead to a far more accepting peer group. “I’ve found people to be pretty accepting but really uneducated on the whole, which is kind of hard to deal with,” Lusteg said. “You’re at school and you’re trying to get an education but then you have to educate everyone else in order for them to be comfortable.” Kattau agrees, saying “Education of people who are familiar with the topic is the key. That’s why its so important to do things like (this interview) because it just gets more information out to the population and allows them to become more accepting and knowledgable.” “You’ve got to expose people to it,” Sanders said. “I’m not trying to be like here it’s in your face, I’m just trying to be like hey were out here.” For Ean, the transition got a little bit easier sophomore year when he met another transgender student in his physics class. “He used to go here,” Ean said. “I was able to talk to him and I was able to see, ‘hey it really is possible to transition.’ And then I started going to Indiana Youth Group.” Indiana Youth Group is an organization in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers can meet with other teens facing similar problems. Heterosexual teenagers known as allies are also invited to meetings. “There’s free food for dinner,” Ean admits. “It attracts a lot of the allies, I’ll tell you that.” The organization provides a safe place for teenagers facing a transition like Ean to have fun and enjoy themselves, whether it be through group work or charity projects. Both Kattau and Lusteg also attend youth group meetings. In fact, Kattau was voted prom queen of the youth group prom last year. For transgenders looking to fully physically transform into the opposite sex, there are several medical procedures that occur. The steps taken to achieve a gender operation are not easy. Ean explains that right now he is considered “pre-op,” a stage where teenagers who wish to go through a gender operation must be evaluated by a therapist. “I have to be in therapy in order to get my ‘letter,’” Ean said with frustration. “My ‘letter’ is a really a letter from my therapist, that tells my hormone therapist that I really do have Gender Dysphoria.” Gender Dysphoria, otherwise known as Gender Identity Disorder, is described by the American Psychiatric Association as, “strong desires to be treated as the other gender or to be rid of one’s sex characteristics, or a strong conviction that one has feelings or reaction typical of the other gender.” The next stage of treatment would be testosterone shots, or the growing of facial hair and muscle tissue. The shots are followed by top surgery, which, for females at least, includes the re-shaping of the breasts and the removal of fatty tissue to make the breasts into more masculine pectorals. The procedure for the man is the exact opposite. Ean suggested that his breasts are already small so he would only need to be shaped in a more masculine way.
“I just want to normalize it. I’m not trying to make a huge deal out of it. I’m not trying to get attention or anything like that.” -Avi Serrano
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Ean poses here with a shirt that raises awareness for transgenders. Ean, along with other transgender youth who are a part of his youth group, made and sold the shirts to raise Then comes the controversial, bottom surgery. Bottom surgery includes transforming an individual’s biological genitals into those of the opposite sex. Both Lusteg and Ean are fully prepared to undergo all other medical procedures, however the pair are skeptical of bottom surgery. Alex explained that bottom surgery is not quite as perfected for biological women as it is for biological men. “Bottom surgery is not really something that I’m down with because while it’s more advanced from the male to female side of things, (for female to male) it’s like really expensive and not quite there yet,” Lusteg said. Indeed the surgery is incredibly expensive in the United States. Dr. Sherman Leis is a top cosmetic surgeon who specializes in transgender surgery in the Philadalphia area. “Dr. Leis has been a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon for more than 30 years. He did his first transgender surgery right after starting his practice and then didn’t do them for a quite a while
funds for one of his friend’s gender transformation surgeries. Ean wears the shirt to show his pride in being openly transsexual. Danny Kleschick photo.
because he was quite busy but eight or nine years ago he was encouraged to make his services more available to the transgender community and he started to do transgender surgeries again. Since that time he has dedicated most of his time to those surgeries, I would say about 90 percent of his surgical practice is all different kinds of transgender surgeries. Facial, chest reconstruction, and genital reconstruction surgery, Carol Sherman, manager of Lei’s practice said. According to Sherman, male to female bottom surgery costs roughly $19,150. For female to male bottom surgery, the costs are approximately $21,250. Chest reconstruction surgery can range anywhere from $4,500 to $5,500 for both male to female and female to male, plus an extra $2,000 to $2,400 for anesthesia. Speaking on the risks of transgender surgery, Sherman said, “There are always risks with any type of surgery you can do but you could have bleeding, infection, Necrosis. These are all rare, we always make sure that our patients are in good medical conditions before doing
surgery, there are pre-operative tests that are required for each patient to tell the doctor that the patient is healthy enough to undergo the surgery. The risks are not specific to transgender surgery.” There’s a high risk of getting the surgery in the United States, Ean explains. Other countries like Thailand and Germany have nearly perfected the operation and as result a lot of hopeful transgenders travel out of the country to get surgery. Sanders and Serrano do not plan on undergoing the medical procedures at the moment, but are both open to considering it in the future. Participating in activities, both school sponsored and outside, can be difficult for many transgenders and gender queers because so many activities are divided along gender lines. Ean quit the girls soccer team after two years. He explained that he just didn’t feel comfortable in the locker room, but since he was not on varsity the decision to quit wasn’t quite that hard. Giving up club soccer was much more difficult. His
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The Northern Lights December 2013
The Northern Lights December 2013
TNL’S TRANSGENDER TERMS Gender Queer- a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders. Transgender- Denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender. Transsexual-A person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex. Gender Fluid- Gender fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days. Transfeminine- A person who’s femininity or female identity is not universally considered valid. Transmasculine- Of or pertaining to female-to-male transgender people or experiences, especially the experiences of male-presenting genderqueer people who were assigned female at birth but who identify as more male than female. Left: From the left, senior Aaron Sanders, junior Alex Lusteg, junior Ean, senior Meara Dalaney, senior Avi Serrano and senior Abby Kattau. Danny Kleschick photos
FEATURE l 19 parents made him quit because of discrimination concerns, but his soccer teammates were some of the last people he told about his transition. This still wasn’t, however, as Ean described, the event that hurt him the most. One of Ean’s favorite hobbies was participating in the school’s JROTC program. But his Gender Dysphoria held him back from achieving the ranks he originally wanted. “I wasn’t able to tell my side of the JROTC story,” Ean said. “I’d say I was a pretty decent cadet, I had earned a lot of medals, ribbons and I loved JROTC. I loved the military side, teaching and learning the military tricks. I loved how the community was built.” Ean still felt just a little bit uncomfortable. “As I got through with my transition, getting through it personally in my head, especially my sophomore year, was a big deal,” Ean explained. “I wanted to be given a male JROTC uniform to be
“I was in a position of rank,” Ean said still visibly distressed. “I was hopefully going to make an impression, but I just couldn’t in a female’s uniform. It is not even just the uniform, it’s the principle that I want to live as a male and be able to do these things and JROTC said no.” Within the school setting, many transgenders and gender queers have experienced both triumphs and setbacks in gaining equality and fairness. Kattau has found competitive athletics and comradery in the women’s rugby team, winning multiple state championships along the way. Kattau was also voted onto the ballot for homecoming queen this past fall. However, while none of the transgender or gender queer students interviewed have had any issues with teachers, Kattau spoke of friends that had trouble with some staff members. According to Kattau transgender and gender queer students in the past have had issues getting teachers to recognize them as the gender they wish to be identified as. For Sanders, no discrimination is inhibiting his freedom of expression and identity. He expressed special excitement for the prospect of grad dance. “For grad dance, I’m wearing a dress, heels, wig, make-up… I can’t wait,” he said. Next year, he will be attending the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science to study mortuary science. While his freedom of expression was discriminated against, Ean remains hopeful that changes are coming soon. “As a whole, gay and lesbian rights are the frontier for moving civil rights,” Ean explained. “Transgender will be right behind them in gaining our rights. I know that in at least 33 states alone, I could still be fired simply for being transgender and gays and lesbians can be fired in 29 states. The probability [of change] is slowly increasing, but transgender will come a little bit after.” Lusteg also looks forward to the movement gaining momentum and power. “I really look forward to the day where you don’t have to completely assimilate yourself into a binary gender to be accepted by society.” He said. “Then we won’t have to normalize ourselves so much, cause that so sad.” Serrano added, “I guess the easiest way to separate these things is to say you have your sexual orientation, your sexual identity and then your sexual expression.” Ean describes America’s overall view of homosexuals and transgenders quite different. “People are now wrapping their head around ‘gay and lesbian, OK that’s not a choice,’ we can finally realize that,” he said. “Transgender is a different ballpark, we’re not asking you to really accept our sexual orientation, we’re asking for you to accept our identity.”
“I know that in at least 33 states alone, I could still be fired simply for being transgender and gays and lesbians can be fired in 29 states. The probability [of change] is slowly increasing, but transgender will come a little bit after.” —Ean worn my junior year, because I knew by then I’d be fully out and in full swing of transitioning as a male. I thought wearing a male uniform would allow me to be respected more and I could feel more safe.” After requesting for a male uniform from his colonel, the colonel went to his superiors, the leaders of JROTC in Indiana, to see if Ean could wear a male uniform. The leaders rejected Ean’s proposal saying that he was not legally a male and therefore could not wear a male uniform. “I understand, from a military side why they couldn’t allow me to do that,” Ean said. “I still felt it was discriminatory, my parents were fully supportive of me and we even took it to (Mr.) Branigan. He simply stated that it is JROTC’s call because the uniforms were government issued and he could not make a final call.” Branigan commented on both the JROTC and soccer incidents, saying “North Central as a school doesn’t make the decisions for things like that. The IHSAA states that students must participate in the sport that identifies with their birth gender. They use birth-gender locker rooms as well. The same goes for JROTC: it’s sanctioned by the army, so North Central can’t make uniform or participation standards on a case by case basis.” Athletic Director Chuck Jones declined to comment on the possibility of transgender athletes in IHSAA sports. After the incident Ean parted ways with JROTC.
20 l OPINION
The Northern Lights December 2013
Key Club deserves recognition With the season of giving upon us, North Centrlal students have once again contributed to a successful canned food drive. Key Club, among others, deserve recognition for the hard work that goes in to planning the annual event. Key Club sponsor, Lynda McQuiston said, “Our goal is to meet the needs of the families, and we definitely met that goal, however we don’t have totals yet.” This year, according to McQuiston, there was a lower spread of participation from different classes. Despite less involvement from across the school, McQuiston is still confident their goals were met. “I think fewer classes participated because of the time frame not being shorter, but interrupted,” McQuiston said, “We also need to do a better job of informing students of why we do it this time of year and why it is important.” McQuiston has been involved either directly or indirectly with Key Club and the food drive for several years. Senior Class Council’s Penny Wars set the stage for a successful drive, and they, too, deserve a pat on the back for their efforts. We do, though, encourage students to work harder next year to bring in more cans. By looking at the atrium, the number of bags of food seems a bit low. We know as a school we are capable of doing big things, so let’s set a goal next year and work toward it as a whole. For less than $1, every student could bring in two cans, putting a major dent in our final goal. Teachers who aren’t participating need to make this a priority. While some teachers work around the drive as being a first period competition and bring in cans from several classes, there is something more fun about all classes being on a level playing field during one class period. We also want to recognize Junior Class Council, Student Council and National Honor Society for spending two Saturdays at three different Marsh stores to collect cans for the drive. Dozens of students have helped in one way or another to help families in need. While we can all agree we need to continue to do better and not rest on past success, it is the season to show gratitude to those who have gone above and beyond. So once again, well done Key Club, Lynda McQuistion and all those who helped make the canned food drive a success. We are proud of you.
PANTHER RANTS & RAVES We asked three students what they thought the student section was called:
“The No-Freshman Zone” Nathaniel Carlson, senior
“Do we even have one?” Kenya Grant, junior
“The Jungle” - Landess Cart, sophomore
Perfect attendance not always easily achieved It’s the most essential part of school, though to most students it’s the hardest award to receive. It’s so simple that students forget that it is an honor. Should it even be an honor or should it be expected? Perfect attendance seems to be a foreign concept or unachieveable accomplishment for nearly all students at NC. To have no absences for all four years of high school is what North Central recognizes as perfect attendance. North Central has a strict attendance policy that differs from other schools. According to the Student Handbook, which is given to all students at the beginning of the school year, North Central defines perfect attendance as an honor that is given to students who have neither missed any days of nor been late to class. To clarify further, perfect attendance means no half-days, no excused or unexcused absences (except for school sponsored events) and no tardies. Fulfilling these requirements is very difficult for many students because of illnesses, family obligations, or religious holidays. Senior Hannah Hoyt is one of a few panthers that has had perfect attendance since the beginning of her freshmen year. “Perfect attendance was a goal of mine since I started as a freshman because I knew that North Central gave a scholarship to a student with perfect attendance for all four years,” Hoyt said. That’s correct folks, North Central offers a scholarship to students just for showing up to school everyday. The administration also acknowledges students with perfect attendance in the Commencement booklet. “I think that it’s not that hard to get perfect attendance if you really strive for it but, to accidently get perfect attendance would be really hard,” Hoyt said. Apparently a lot of students feel this way about going to school everyday. It’s becoming more
common that students are taking “Personal days” as senior …. put it. “Students aren’t excited to come to school and truthfully don’t want to come to school. They feel as if school is a punishment and not a privilege. It’s scary that know one like to go to school anymore,” Ripani said. Attendance is vital for success in school. Just think about it, how can students learn if they’re not here to be taught? Not attending school sometimes cannot be avoided but when it can it should be. “I think I have had more success in high school and have had an advantage because of my attendance. I never have to make-up work and I’m always there to get extra help,” Hoyt said. Missing school is missing instructional time. Students obviously feel that missing school is common and not a big deal because last year only six seniors out of over six hundred graduates had perfect attendance. “There were times that I didn’t want to go to school especially after I had my wisdom teeth pulled, but I came. I’m not saying that you should be at school when your sick or hurt but taking the day off just because isn’t something that I recommend.” Though there are reasons for being absent school students should not want to miss school. Attendance is important and chronic absences can be avoided. Attendance Works, a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance, suggests that families create backup plans for getting children to school if something comes up, and that parents reach out for help during tough times such as unstable housing, job loss and health problems. Other parents, school staff, after-school programs or community agencies can help, or provide connections to other resources.
The Northern Lights December 2013
By Nathan Bercovitz
OPINION l 21
What determines a snow or 2-hour delay day? Every year there a few specials days that something extraordinary happens, we get to be late or miss school entirely. Those days are called snow days or two hour delay days. But like everybody else I’ve always wondered how to they determine whether we get a two hour delay, snow day or nothing at all. To help fix those grays areas I’m going to attempt to determine what it takes to qualify special day. Now the first thing to remember is timing is everything. If it snows too early or too late the great Indiana snow plow service can usually get up the snow. For a snow day or two hour delay to happen it has to be icing/snowing between the times of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Two hour delays are the trickiest to determine because underlying factors like temperature or certain damages can
cause them. But for our sake I’m only going to try to predict temperature and ice/snow caused two-hour delays. When the temperature drops below freezing (32 degrees fahrenheit) we all suffer. Our fingers and toes get numb. Our noses and ears get red. No matter how bundled up we get with gloves and hats it still doesn’t ever seem to be enough. But is especially miserable when the sun is down and you have to wait for the bus. But there becomes a point when you stand outside that it’s just too cold to be out there. In my opinion when temperature gets around 10 degrees fahrenheit and lower its too cold to stand outside for more than 5 minutes even if you’re bundled up in hats and gloves. Also its important to remember that if the temperature is below 10 degrees then the wind chill probably makes it feel
colder. Another contributing factor to two hour delays is road conditions. If it snows anywhere between 3-5 inches its hard for the snow plowers to get up all the snow in enough time to make the roads safe. The same goes with about 0.25-0.75 of an inch of ice. But in both conditions by the time rush hour ends (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.) the road conditions become safe Snow days are the hardest to determine because there can be such a small difference between them and two hour delays. If it snows anywhere above six inches the roads are too unsafe during the entire day to drive. Also if it is above an inch the roads become too unsafe the entire day to drive.
24 l SATIRE
QTwo students exhibit the the complex shake-up that caused one Junior boy, let’s call him Jim, to brake his wrist. Such handshakes can be seen around the school primarily
NOT The Northern Lights December 2013
during passing periods. Jim hopes that students will not attempt these type of handshakes anymore, because of their destructive nature. Dax Kleschman photo.
NTNL EXCLUSIVE / OPINION
Student breaks wrist attempting elaborate handshake by Cats McGee One student will probably not be shaking hands anytime soon. A junior who wishes to remain anonymous, let’s call him “Jim,” broke his wrist attempting to do one of those elaborate handshakes seen in the hallways everyday. There’s a bigger problem though, handshaking is an issue. Some students don’t care how soon they get to class, others are in a big rush. That’s all right, we have no problem with that. But what really bothers students is that some kids that cause other students to be late, just because they’re not in a big hurry. We’re talking of course about handshakers. Not to call anyone out, but yes it’s only the male students. Have you not heard of a simple wave? There’s a lot of variety in the handshakes around NC. There’s the classic straight up-and-down shake, that guys tend to perform in joking manner. Next, there’s the original shake-up, two hands go in for the classic shake, then clasp together at a point before the thumbs meet. It is often used for situations of appreciation. The O.G. shake up is followed by the complex shake up. In the complex shake up, two hands go in for the O.G. shake up but right before the hands clasp, both clinch their index fingers and turn in an immaculate 180 degree rotation until their pinkies touch and clinch, proceeding another 180 degree rotation in which hands release from an og shake like position. While incredible and quite difficult to complete, the act becomes quite a nuisance. To avoid these three time consuming shakes, one could perhaps wave or nod to acknowledge the presence of the people they see everyday.
To prevent future injuries Jim has decided to help Not The Northern Lights instruct the whole student body to stop shaking-up and start waving. “I think waving and nodding can be the new wave around North Central,” Jim said. “I don’t want anyone feel the shame that I went through.” According to Jim, the wave is begun on the with both arms on a person’s side. Depending on which arm is dominant, in Jim’s case the right is, raise that arm slowly and begin to open the wrist so the palm is facing the person getting waved to or wavee. Once the palm is in the wavee’s peripheral vision begin moving the tips of the fingers from the left to right and back until the wavee’s attention is met. Then he will, if done correctly, will proceed to wave back in this polite fashion. “Be careful to not strike anyone around you,” Jim said. “They might get very angry and just start yelling at you for no apparent reason.” Jim’s friends are not fully adjusted to his lifestyle yet. One friend from Jim’s “gang” as he calls it, “PTM,” was especially against waving. “Waving is ridiculous man,” he said. “Just shake-up man, all the cool people are doing it.” While some of his friends are struggling to understand the full extent of a wave, others are slowly assimilating. Jim’s friend “Jeff,” who also wished to remain anonymous, is now nodding at Jim in the hallways. “Well I was a bit hesitant at first, I’ve grown up in an environment where shaking-up is the social norm,” Jeff said. “But what I’ve learned from joining PTM, is that friendship is key, and so I’ll nod at Jim, at least until his hand heals.”
Dec 2013 Issue 3 Volume 58 North Central High School