Northwood High School • Pittsboro, N.C.
OMNISCIENT - THE NORTHWOOD -
(om-nish-ent) adj.: having infinite knowledge and awareness October 21, 2011 • Volume 5 • Issue 1
The easy way out, or the ultimate study guide? Students and teachers discuss whether or not using SparkNotes is cheating By Madison Roberts Staff Writer SparkNotes is one of the most teenvisited websites in America. The website gives detailed summaries of thousands of short stories and books as well as analyses of characters, themes and an explanation of major quotes in pieces of literature. In a recent survey conducted by The Omniscient, 70 percent of students admitted to using SparkNotes as a substitute for reading the material assigned in their English classes and only 17 percent considered it cheating. Junior Jordan Riggsbee said he uses them frequently. “Pretty much every chapter of every book I’ve ever read,” he said. “It’s a lot better to actually read the book and then do the SparkNotes, but there’s not enough time in the day for that.” English teacher Kari Haddy sees many reasons her students use SparkNotes. “I do think a lot of students read them because they get these books and are frustrated by them…. And they know
online there is this thing that is just going to explain it to them,” Haddy said. Senior Julia Sloane has used SparkNotes to supplement her knowledge and to review the material, but says she has never used it in place of reading the book. She has a dif-
ferent point of view on her peers’ choice to only read a summary. “I think it’s dumb,” Sloane stated. “It’s not going to help you.” Haddy agreed. “It’s like you go out to see your favorite
Caroline Schneider/The Omniscient
STUDENTS admit to using SparkNotes, sometimes instead of doing their reading.
Sailing and Prevailing
Freshman Jennifer Gay spends two and a half years sailing the Caribbean By Taylor Maloch Staff Writer
The ultimate vacation: a two-and-a-halfyear sailing adventure to some of the tropical islands in the Atlantic. Northwood freshman Jennifer Gay and her family returned last spring from sailing to the Caribbean, where she had been for the past two-and-a-half years. “My dad had always wanted to go on a boat trip, so one day he came home and told
us that he had taken a leave of absence from work and we were going on a vacation,” Gay said. Gay was surprised by the announcement. “I had no idea we were going to go [on the trip, but] my mom knew that my dad was going to want to do this eventually,” Gay said. The family owns a boat called OPUS and left on Election Day in November 2008, when Gay was in sixth grade. The trip began in Oriental, NC, before the family sailed south
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gay
JENNIFER GAY and her family sailed the Caribbean for over two years.
The Omniscient takes a look at spooky games, holiday traditions and haunted houses in this Halloween spread.
Page # 6
to visit the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic. “[Before the trip] I had never been out of the United States; the farthest place I [had] traveled was Minnesota,” Gay said. Living on a boat was a different lifestyle for Gay. She shared a room with her parents, was homeschooled and as an only child, got a lot of attention. When OPUS stopped at a dock or marina, Gay’s family visited with other traveling families. The families they met also lived on boats, but were from different backgrounds. Gay met people from Canada, Australia, Scotland and multiple countries in between. Because Gay is an only child, she was happy to play with any kid she could. “Your best friend could be a five-yearold because it didn’t matter how old they were, as long as they were kids,” Gay said. Even though the Gay family enjoyed sailing, there were plenty of things to do off the boat as well. They participated in many activities such as swimming, kayaking, fishing and snorkeling. On shore the family enjoyed hiking, visiting islands, meeting new people and shopping at nearby stores. “There were a lot of crazy experiences;
see SAILING page 5
Webcams Teenagers are frequently visiting chat websites like Omegle and Chat Roulette that utilize web cameras.
Page # 10
movie and you enjoy it. You sit there for two hours and your friend reads the summary on rottentomatoes.com. How do those even compare with each other?” Haddy said. “I see it as the exact same thing. [By] reading a summary, you know what [a book] is about, and you can act like you read it, but it really means nothing.” Many teachers make attempts to give assignments that are “SparkNotes-proof.” Haddy mentioned how she tries to put quotes on her tests and quizzes as well as questions about topics that were discussed in class. “Our constant battle [as teachers] is to make assignments where reading the book is necessary,” Haddy said. Although a majority of Northwood students have read SparkNotes to substitute for their assigned reading, English teachers still believe it is important to require high school students to read the actual book. “There’s no way that you can get the full scope and range of understanding and relate it to appreciating a piece of literature straight from SparkNotes,” English Depart-
see SPARKNOTES page 5
Northwood welcomes over 300 freshmen B y Kaitlyn Mattiace S taff W riter
Northwood’s population is on the rise. Class sizes are increasing, the hallways are becoming more packed and the student-to-teacher ratio is changing. This year’s freshman class has 326 students, which is up 14.7 percent from last year, and 22.7 percent from two years ago. “If this year is any indication, it’s just going to keep growing. And if that’s the case, we certainly are going to need more English teachers, and we need smaller class sizes,” said Phyllis Bazzari, an English teacher. English classes are especially packed because it is the only class that is required through all four years of high school. “[This large growth] may create a logistics problem for the school, with classrooms and teachers and resources,” Bazzari said. The size of the freshman class has been escalating every year for at least the last four years, according to NC WISE
see FRESHMEN page 5
Students and coaches discuss sportsmanship along with their team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Page # 11
Haunted Gym at NHS The athletic department is hosting a haunted gym Halloween weekend to raise money for the department. It will be open Saturday, Oct. 29 (6-12 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 30 (6-10 p.m.). The cost is $5 per person and is open to the public.
Cheerleader fundraiser The cheerleaders are having a pancake breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Andy’s from 7-10 a.m. A plate of pancakes costs $5, dine in or out. Money raised will buy cheerleaders new uniforms.
October 21, 2011
Scholarship winners announced
Senior Dominique Dukes was named a semifinalist by the National Merit Scholarship Program, and Melissa House and Julia Sloane received Letters of Commendation. Northwood also announced that Sterling Logan and Peter McClarnon were nominees for the MoreheadCain Scholarship, while Elizabeth Gordon and Connor Dominique Dukes Tripp were nominated for the Parks Scholarship.
Seven seniors reflect on summer experiences at Governor’s School By Matt Waite Staff Writer
Summer is rarely a time when students choose to think about school, much less willingly attend one. However, for the seven now senior students at Northwood who earned a spot at Governor’s School, that was not the case. Each student had to complete a challenging and possibly nerve-wracking admissions process, which eliminated the majority of applicants before admittance into the six week North Carolina program for the academically gifted. “[It] was kind of like applying to a college,” said Jessie Vohwinkle. “You would list all of your experiences and you had to take an academic test to qualify.” The application and test scores were then sent to Governor’s School to be reviewed and used to narrow down the field of applicants. If the students successfully completed this part of the process, they then had to write two essays and, depending on their subject, do an interview or deliver a prepared monologue in front of an admissions board. “The audition was very stressful,” said Vohwinkle. “We had to go into a room [where] there were two judges and a video camera and we had to present a two-minute monologue and that was it. It was basically your two minutes to be able to get in or not.” Henry Stokes agreed that the process was stressful. “[The monologue was] nerve-wracking,” Stokes said. “Though all auditions are like that and after a while you get used to [it].” The students had three classes during the day that were
founded a dance company and a man who was found innocent after spending 20 years in prison. When commenting on their favorite aspects of the experience, Sterling Logan, Vohwinkle and Stokes all mentioned how they enjoyed the other students. “Governor’s School is full of students exactly like you,” Logan said. “They actually care [about academics and] you don’t have to try to hide the fact that you are doing your work when you go home.” “You could walk up to anyone and strike up a conversation and they would just be the nicest people on earth,” Stokes said. “It was an environment of complete openness and respect. They wanted to understand what you thought about, what you did, and just having three hundred people your own age with those things was so powerful.”
referred to as areas one, two and three. According to Stokes, area one classes focused on the subject that a student was selected for, area two classes covered philosophy and area three classes attempted to take what had been learned from the first two classes and ground it by using the student’s personal experiences. The class also tried to apply it to the student’s social worlds by helping them make links between ideas, actions, theory and practice. Depending on their subject of interest, some students had to complete a research project, such as Rodrigo Catalan-Hurtado, who attended Governor’s School for natural sciences. “We had to make a poster about a topic that was in natural science,” Catalan-Hurtado said. “I chose one about psychology in apes: how gorillas, chimps and monkeys see each other and how we see each other and what the difference is between them.” April Gibbs described the teachers as having “a mindset that you should not learn to get good grades, but should learn for the sake of learning.” According to the students that attended, there were many differences between Northwood and Governor’s School. “At Governor’s School you don’t have any homework and you get to learn what you want to learn, unlike [Northwood] where there are so many different subjects that they give you homework in,” said Catalan-Hurtado. “[At Northwood] you really don’t get a choice about what you want to learn.” When not in class students could play sports, talk with each other, watch films and listen to guest speakers. There were a wide variety of speakers who shared their stories and talked about a variety of different topics, such as a woman who
Yourself Into A 2012 Yearbook!
Caroline Schneider/The Omniscient
JESSIE VOHWINKLE sports a t-shirt supporting NC Governor’s School, which she attended this summer.
Sullivan Music Musical Instruments & Accessories Repair & Custom Shop Private Lessons 11 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC 27312 (919)-542-3970
• Tax Preparation
Serving Small Businesses in Chatham County www.carolinasmallbizpro.com
October 21, 2011
Introducing the new assistant principal: Mr. Mark Gould By Gloria Rodriguez Staff Writer A new school year arrives full of new students, new teachers and new rules. This school year, there is also a new assistant principal, Mark Gould. This is Gould’s second year as an assistant principal. Last year, he was an assistant principal intern at Williams High School in Burlington, and before that he taught fourth grade and elementary school for six years. “It is a big change from elementary school to high school,” said Gould. “The biggest difference is the amount of freedom.” Gould heard about Northwood from teachers at Williams High School, but had been looking at openings in many surrounding counties. During his interview, at least 10 people interviewed him and the other candidates. “Gould stood out because we were looking for a total package in an assistant principal, and primarily somebody with good technology skills, somebody that is a people person, somebody that has a strong sense of this is the right way and the wrong way to do things in the school and someone with a strong academic background.... He was all those things,” said Principal Chris Blice. Gould works with ninth and 11th grade discipline, the mentor program and the buses. Gould also has other responsibilities such as supervising teachers and students, benchmarks, textbooks and teacher evaluations. “He definitely jumped in and started out running and needs very little supervision,” said Melanie Williams, the school’s other assistant principal.
Gould described his experience at Northwood so far as “great,” even though he had to learn pretty quickly how things operate. “Mr. Blice and Ms. Williams are doing a great job, and I am glad to be a part of it,” Gould said. Something that stuck out to him about Northwood is that he hasn’t heard negative remarks about the school from students. “Teachers, the administration and students all seem positive about being here,” Gould said. Gould has a lot of expectations for Northwood. “I expect teachers to recognize that they are professionals, that they have an extremely important job of educating students, and to treat it that way,” he said. “In terms of students, I expect them to do what they need to do in order to achieve the goal that they want to graduate high school.”
Jessica Clayton/The Omniscient
MARK GOULD assists a student during lunch.
Northwood students struggle over fast food policy By Kaitlyn Mattiace Staff Writer
students (regardless of where it comes from) during the hours of operation of the cafeteria and does not meet the guidelines created by Breakfast eateries in Pittsboro receive the United States Department of Agriculture a lot of business from Northwood students (USDA) is considered a competitive food. before they start their school day. However, Another reason why competitive food students have had to learn the reality of sales are not allowed is because they are low bringing food from an outside source, or in nutrients and high in fat, added sugars, socompetitive food, into school—it will be dium and calories. The FDA considers these thrown out if it is seen by administration. foods of “minimal nutritional value.” Although the policy is difficult to regulate, Loosely translated, this rule applies to there is a reason why students cannot bring food that is brought into the school from an competitive foods outside source, into school: the like McDonald’s. administration Therefore, students needs to ensure that cannot walk into Northwood will school with a always have funds clearly marked from the federal McDonald’s bag or government for cup in hand. free and reducedMikkie Galprice lunches, or lagher, a senior, else some students learned about this won’t have access policy the hard to what might be way: During her the only meal of first two weeks at their day. Northwood, she “The problem was asked multiple is that if you alKaitlyn Mattiace/The Omniscient times to throw low it, and if the FAST FOOD BAGS are not permitted inside. away her breakfast. evaluator, [who] is “I don’t like someone that just goes around and pops in [the policy]…if I don’t bring my lunch from school cafeterias, were to walk in and see home, I’m not going to eat here. I don’t eat it, they [would] immediately pull all of the [school food] at all,” said Gallagher. lunch funds for your school system, which While students may not agree with this for Chatham County would mean millions policy, “We are not the food police,” Blice said. of dollars…. We can’t afford that,” said “If you bring your lunch from home and Principal Chris Blice. you bring it in a plain bag, that’s ok. If you Under the North Carolina State Board of were to, inside that bag, have a hamburger Education Policy for Nutritional Standards from McDonald’s that is sitting in a plastic in School, food that is served or consumed container or wrapped in a baggy, who by students during school must meet certain knows where that came from…. There’s a health guidelines in order for it to be prolimit on how far I’m going to go with it,” vided to the students. Any food that is sold to Blice said.
French Connections African Art, French Antiques, Assorted fabrics, and much more 178 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC 27312 Phone: (919) 545-9296 Email: email@example.com Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm / 1st Sunday of the month: 12 - 5pm
Personal Chefs Nurturing Triangle Families for over 15 years
we specialize in specialty diets prepared in your home everything from tofu to tenderloin local/organic ingredients optional
NEW HORIZONS TRADING COMPANY clothing & accessories h shoes h jewelry & gifts 52 Hillsboro Street Pittsboro, NC (919) 542-7366
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30-5:30 Sat 10:00-5:00 Sun 12:00-5:00
October 21, 2011
Charger Challenge replaces Graduation Project
By Caroline Schneider Editor-in-Chief
Along with the 326 freshmen and the lack of parking spaces in the parking lot, something else new has come to Northwood this year. Replacing the graduation project for the first time in two years is the Charger Challenge. The Charger Challenge is the newly developed graduation project, a requirement that students have to participate in and complete before receiving their diplomas. This year’s project, however, has some major differences from the last. In the new project, every grade level has to complete an individual project as well as 20 hours of community service a year. This project also doesn’t require mentor hours, which was one of the largest student complaints of the last project. According to assistant principal Melanie Williams, the requirement of mentor hours wasn’t realistic anymore due to budget cuts. “Some students had a really rough time finding a mentor [so the county office] started paying a company called Chatham Together to be mentors for our students,” Williams said. “Based on budget cuts, we couldn’t pay them anymore.” At the end of last year, upon hearing what they thought meant “no more graduation project,” Northwood now-seniors celebrated. What they didn’t understand at the time, however, was that the Board of Education was still going to require some sort of project designed by the faculty of each school. The administration asked their leadership team (composed of the head of each department) along with some additional
teachers to attend a meeting to come up project will be valuable for generations with ideas. Furthermore, Williams sent to come. out an email to every teacher, trying to get “I think it’s a good thing and will really as much input as possible on what they benefit the incoming freshmen to have all wanted for their students. that community service when they’re ap“I got a lot of feedback from teachers plying for college in a few years,” Andersaying that in addition to course requireson said. ments they really wanted our students to Williams agreed that the community work on what we’re calling a well-rounded service would be valuable, but for a differstudent, being able to survive in a world ent reason. that’s larger than Pittsboro,” Williams said. “We really want people to think about Williams said teachers wanted students service to the community,” Williams said. to learn “We want more about you guys to Seniors Juniors diversity, know that • 20 hrs. community service • 20 hrs. community sertolerance there are • Group reading & class vice and cultural other people awareness. in the world discussions (in English IV) • Diversity portfolio “[We that may be • Research paper just want less fortu• Oral presentation students] nate, and to really be Northwood’s Charger Challenge you have to able to be be thankful, Freshmen Sophomores receptive to and service the diversity • 20 hrs. community service • 20 hrs. of community is something service that you will • 8 hrs. job shadowing that really experience helps you.” • Diversity portfolio • PowerPoint or iMovie when you Now presentation transition when it out of high comes to school,” Williams said. high school students, work is work, and a The administration put their favorite ideas popular question being thrown around is together and submitted their conclusion to whether or not this project is going to add the county office where it was approved. onto already busy upperclassmen schedEach grade level has been assigned a ules, or replace parts of them. reading or writing project that will in“For English 12, it’s actually instead troduce them to new thoughts and ideas of,” Williams said. regarding diversity. On top of that, each English 12 students will still be learngrade level has a community service reing most of the material that has always quirement as well. been in English, but some components Senior Catherine Anderson believes have been eliminated from the course that the community service aspect of the load to make room for the project so that
seniors aren’t over worked. “I’ll probably be cutting out another unit of study or maybe a couple of activities or projects here and there because there is just no time,” said English 12 teacher Nick Winstead. In the other three grade levels, however, the project will be on top of the rest of their coursework. “[That’s] because if you think about the graduation project in previous years, it was completely in addition to your course work,” Williams said. Junior Cassie Meyer feels that an extra project on top of an already busy junior schedule will be especially demanding. “Next semester I have three AP [classes] which is going to be really stressful already, once you add the Charger Challenge it’s going to be a pretty heavy load,” said Meyer. Junior Courtney Daniel feels the same way. “My course load is pretty good right now, but sports included and having the project is [going to be] challenging timewise,” Daniel said. As of now, the plan is that the Charger Challenge will stay the same for the next four years. “We want this year’s freshmen to be able to go through the whole process because the goal of it is to be truly a culminating activity where there’s something to do at every year that builds upon the last,” Williams said. The idea is that the oral presentation required in the 12th grade guidelines will be a summary of all that the students have learned about diversity over the years. “I think it will be better [than the last project],” Daniel said. “Because all of the grades are doing it, it will give us [all] more experience.”
127 Persimmon Hill Pittsboro, NC 27512 Phone: 919-942-7000 Fax: 919-933-7755
Meeting all R your residential a y or commercial m o structural needs n d
October 21, 2011
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Kaitlyn Mattiace/The Omniscient
NORTHWOOD HALLWAYS seem quite crowded with over 300 new freshmen. student data files. “I think they’re just going to keep getting bigger because there are new neighborhoods and I know a lot of people that have moved into my neighborhood that have younger kids,” said senior Catherine Anderson. Depending on the size of their middle school, a potentially more crowded ninth grade environment could make the transition into high school different for incoming freshmen. “Northwood is a lot bigger [than my middle school] and it has a lot more people…. I have one class that has 47 people in it, and that’s a little bit different,” said freshman Melanie Mather. Teachers are noticing a difference in their freshmen classes as well. “Ideally, at the English 9 level, especially in a regular class, a smaller class than 31 would be better,” said English teacher Kathy Greenlee. “I’m going to try to teach the way I always teach and encourage kids to stay after school more because they can’t get
one-on-one from me during class time,” Greenlee went on to say. Chatham County’s population grew by 28.7 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With more people moving into Chatham County, future growth at Northwood is expected. While small schools allow people to have a closer connection to their teachers and peers, growth can be valuable to the students in many ways. For example, in a larger school there are more students to participate in clubs and organizations. This makes it easier for clubs to complete big projects because the workloadto-student ratio in a club is less than that of a club in a smaller school. “The fact that our population seems to be growing means that sometime in the future we will go from being a 2A high school to a 3A high school,” said Principal Chris Blice. “Generally, when you have more numbers, you are able to provide additional opportunities for your students that you may not be able to do in a smaller school.”
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
ment Chair Pat Thornhill said. But Thornhill believes that using this tool in the right way can be very effective. “The purpose of SparkNotes is to help you as young people see things in the literature that you otherwise wouldn’t have seen,” Thornhill said. “Obviously it’s more challenging to try to make kids read the literature…but honestly, I’m a fan. I want to help kids understand that there’s a right way and a wrong way to use those sorts of resources.” As the data in the survey suggests, many Northwood students do not see substituting a detailed summary for reading the actual piece of literature as cheating. On the “About” page of SparkNotes.com, it clearly states that the information they provide is not meant to replace reading. “We’re here to help you learn, not to help you cheat. Our literature guides are meant to be read along with the books they analyze,” the site states. Freshman Lucas Cooper does not believe that using SparkNotes instead of reading is considered cheating. “Cheating would be giving [you] the answers. Sparknotes is just helping you read the story…. It’s like a teacher at home,” Cooper said.
Is SparkNotes cheating? Only 17% of students said yes Have you used SparkNotes instead of reading? 70% of students said yes
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
one time, when we were in Grenada, we went to this spot where they had a lot of monkeys. If they were on the fence and you stood with your back to them they would jump on your head,” Gay said. Sometimes things went wrong on OPUS, like when boat parts needed to be replaced or items fell into the ocean. When these things happened the family would dock and wait for replacement parts. The things they lost could be found washed up on the shore later. While off the coast of Grenada, the boat encountered a hurricane and Gay’s family prepared for the worst. “We tied the boat up in the mangrove trees; it’s safer and doesn’t hit you as bad because the mangroves block the storm,” Gay explained. Although Gay said she had fun on the trip, there were also some things over the past two-and-a-half years that she did not enjoy as much. “[My least favorite part was] school,” Gay said. “But I also went three months without playing with [other] kids.” Finally, last April, the Gay family returned to the States. Gay said she was glad to be home and see her family, and although she was happy to see her old friends again, she said she still emails the friends she met on the trip. “I don’t really miss the boat that much because it is nice to have my own room [again]. Before, I just had a bed, now I have electricity, water and steady Internet,” Gay said. After a break from the water, the Gay family may have another sailing vacation in their future. “My dad wants to go back, but my mom doesn’t yet,” Gay said. “I kind of want to go back sometimes, but other times I don’t.”
Advertise with THE OMNISCIENT, and spread the word about your business with an award-winning newspaper. For more information, contact Neal Morgan at:
Phone: (919) 542-4181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 21, 2011
OUIJA HAU By Madison Roberts Staff Writer
Illustration by Samantha Yigdal
The Thing: A surprisingly good horror film By Matt Waite Staff Writer
Given how many scary-bad horror remakes have been produced in the last few years, the prospect of The Thing being resurrected is hardly something that would make fans of the original happy. This might change a bit if they read that writer Eric Heisserer was actually penning a prequel because he respected the 1982 film so much. However, that hope would most likely revert back into a more extreme form of disappointment when it was discovered he was responsible for penning the terrifyingly bad Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Given its screenwriter and the usual quality of films that have tried to mimic the success of their 1980’s predecessors, it would seem almost like a given that The Thing would share the same fate. Somehow, though, against all odds, The Thing actually manages to be a good horror film, almost great, though it will probably never reach the classic status of the 1950s film or its 1980s remake The movie follows American paleontologist Kate Lloyd, a surprisingly well-written character who is capable and competent while wisely avoiding any action heroine clichés. The same cannot be said for scientist Sander Halversen, who recruits her to help his Norwegian team transport the frozen corpse of an alien from a ship that crashed 100,000 years ago. He is written as an incredibly stereotypical leader who says lines like, “Do not ever question me in front of my team. You’re not here to think, you’re here to get that thing out of the ice,” and whose sole purpose seems to be wanting a tissue sample from the alien. His desire for a tissue sample unsurprisingly turns out to be a bad idea and awakens the alien who, if you have not guessed yet, wants to destroy humanity for undisclosed reasons. The Thing also stumbles with regards to every character outside of Kate Lloyd’s with none of them going through any semblance of character development. This
is partly caused by the fact that The Thing has such a large cast of readily expendable characters, which simply does not allow for character development and acting. The fact that The Thing is any good at all is partly because Matthijs van Heijningen gives a strong debut as a film director and shows a lot of respect for John Carpenter’s The Thing. It also helps that the editing is done so well that when I went to check the time I was shocked to see I was a hour and a half into the film and not the half hour or so that I had expected. This is easily one of the best-edited horror films I have seen and, may I dare say it, better than the original. The Thing even managed to scare me at times, especially when it was providing the jump out of your seat type. However, I was disappointed at the lack of scenes which attempt to prolong the fear, especially since Carpenter’s 1982 film did such a great job of it. Even the few scenes the film has were ruined by the highly telegraphed script, which make their outcomes obvious. Fans of the original will be disappointed that The Thing does have several CGI special effects shots, since John Carpenter’s original set the standard for gross out effects using only practical effects. For the most part, however, they are done very well and I could rarely tell when either was being used. The Thing has one of its best scenes during the closing credits, which takes events right into the beginning of John Carpenter’s The Thing, which should please fans of the original and helps make up for the film’s horribly contrived ending. Given that I had set the bar so low for this film (because of the fate shared by so many other horror remakes), the fact that it was any good at all made it stand out and crush my expectations, leaving me pleasantly surprised. Even when judging it as an original work it is still fairly good, though it does lose some of its luster.
In a recent poll conducted by The Omniscient, Northwood students voted Reese’s their favorite Halloween candy. Reese’s -27% Twix-18.5% Skittles-18.5% Snickers- 15%
Hershey’s-10% Other- 5.5% Lollipops- 3% M&M’s- 2.5%
“Ouija, are you there?” By some mysterious power, the cursor slowly makes its way to the word “yes” on the glow-inthe-dark board. “Are you a sun or a moon?” The sun symbolizes a good spirit and the moon symbolizes a bad one. Without explanation, the cursor moves to the picture of a moon in the top right corner of the game board. It’s 10 p.m. and senior Tyler O’Dell and a few of her friends are gathered around the Ouija board, each with two fingers touching the cursor. “Multiple times after saying goodbye and coming back, the same person came up and claimed to know my parents and it told me my parents’ names. It also talked to my friend and told her her address,” O’Dell said. Even though the Ouija board is not a new concept, it is a growing trend among teenagers. Senior Joanna Thomas attributes the growing trend to teenage curiosity. “[Teenagers play] because they are curious and don’t believe that it works,” Thomas said. Senior Shelby Wolfe believes in the powers of Ouija and continues to play because she finds enjoyment from it. “It’s fun and you see different [people’s] stories and you want to know who you’re going to talk to,” Wolfe said. Science teacher Sarah Robertson, who does not believe in the Ouija board, thinks it is purely a source of entertainment.
“I think it’s bunch of giddy I think they’re j looking for a go time,” Robertso But many stu do believe that are communicat through the Oui board. “I’ve played with multiple pe and I know I do move it and I fe they aren’t mov either,” O’Dell Junior Jorda Riggsbee agrees “It’s really s and I don’t mov thing and no on moves it either. to be a ghost,” R bee said. Although the many Northwoo dents who belie the Ouija board spirits, students there are other f “I believe th in the group slid around the boar up. It’s just for Plummer said. Junior Katel who is also skep powers of the O at Bynum Bridg group of people of Caylee Antho daughter of Cas was supposedly through the boa “We asked if h and it moved to y After playing game, people fe
Key Club participates in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF By Emily Brooks Staff Writer
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a non-profit organization that raises money while kids collect candy. During this nationwide event, trick-ortreaters carry around a small, orange box to collect spare change in order to provide vaccines for children around the world. To this day, UNICEF has raised more than $164 million through its Trick-or-Treat campaign. UNICEF buys more vaccines than any other organization in the world. In 2010 alone, they bought 2.3 billion doses of vaccines for children and moms in developing countries. Northwood’s Key Club takes part in
this program by raising money that goes to “Project Eliminate,” a project by UNICEF that provides maternal and neonatal tetanus vaccines to mothers and infants in impoverished countries. “In past years we’ve raised an excess of $300 for the program, and all of the money goes to help the children,” said Key Club adviser Jeanette VanVickle. Senior Anna Brown has been participating for years now and appreciates what it does. “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a great experience because it takes [a] greedy holiday where kids go out and get candy, and turns it into something that can help others,” said Brown. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF boxes can be accessed through the Northwood Key Club.
Kaitlyn Mattiace/The Omniscient
October 21, 2011
UNTS NHS STUDENTS
The History of Halloween By J essica C layton S taff W riter
a kids… just ood on said. udents spirits ting ija
Halloween is traced back to an ancient Celtic festival held on November 1 in which the Celts believed the boundary between the living and the dead blurred and ghosts were believed to return from the dead the night before, October 31. When the Roman Catholic Church conquered the Celts, they combined the festival with their own, and changed it to affiliate with the Catholic Church. Then, the festival was renamed to All Saints Day, or All-Hallowmas, which was celebrated with bonfires, parades and
d it eople on’t eel that ving it said. an s. scary ve the ne else It has Riggs-
dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The holiday was brought to America with the new settlers and a new name, Halloween. It was mainly celebrated in Maryland and southern colonies because New England’s religion was against participation. As immigrant traditions combined, new traditions were added to Halloween. People began mischief making, sharing stories of the dead, telling each other’s fortunes, dancing and singing. As Irish settlers became more prevalent, Halloween became more popular and eventually developed into the form of the holiday we know today.
Halloween Traditions Compiled By Kaitlyn Mattiace
ere are od stuCaroline Schneider/ The Omniscient eve in STUDENTS find a mysterious game as a source of entertainment. d and in s think emotions, but most students agree played the Ouija board when he forces at work. that it is spooky. was in middle school, does not hat one person “It kind of creeps you out and believe in the Ouija board or its des the [cursor] you think about how there are powers. rd and it’s made all kinds of spirits around you,” “I think it’s an inanimate obfun,” senior Alex O’Dell said. ject; I don’t believe in or worship Wolfe, who has played the inanimate objects,” Blice said. lyn Thompson, Ouija board multiple times, also Science teacher Cari Chrisptical about the feels frightened after playing. topherson still owns her board Ouija board, was “It’s such an adrenaline rush from when she was a teenager and ge playing with a and you start hearing things and says that she believes in spirits e when the spirit it makes you freak out. Once you and thinks that the Ouija is real. ony, the deceased see it work you believe it for“I truly believe in spirits, it’s sey Anthony, ever,” Wolfe said. not very scientific,” she said. y communicating Ouija board is not only a “But if there are spirits, they have ard. common form of entertainment to communicate, right? And I beher mom killed her for teenagers today, but many of lieve there are wacky things that yes,” Thompson said. Northwood’s teachers played this can happen places and I’ve heard g this mystifying game during their teenage years. of wacky things happening places. eel many different Principal Chris Blice, who So why not? Prove me wrong.”
Review: Hollywood Horror Show in Snow Camp, NC B y Madison R oberts & C aroline S chneider S taff W riters
Grudge, Chucky and a scene from Sleepy Hollow, the house lives up to its name and is a fair representation of Hollywood horror movies. There are three or four places along the way The drive to Snow Camp from Pittsboro is where the tour stops moving and the characters put around 50 minutes, on long curvy roads, not all on small skits. The acting isn’t exactly up to par, of which the GPS recognizes. Although the drive considering the entire thing is put together by filmis under an hour, your wait to enter the house will makers and based on scary movies. A few times be much longer, depending on the day you go. the acting seems random and out of place, and We waited in line for almost an hour, on a Sunday some of the characters are a little strange. Other night, with only two groups entering in front of us. times it is better, both interactive and entertaining, Groups consist of 8-12 people, as some characters are comical a rule based on how small some and knew how to interact with rooms are and the fact that they the diversity of the crowd. want everyone to be able to see About 20 minutes in, right all props at all times. The tour of around the time the tour heads the house takes 25-30 minutes outside, the energy of the and there is only one set of tour house dies down. There are guides, so depending on how places where you walk and many sets of 8-12 people are in nothing jumps out at you; the front of you, you’re going to be tour gets boring and allows waiting a while. time to talk or get side tracked. While waiting in line, a screen Around that time it also bedubs the house as the scaricomes more predictable; you Madison Roberts/The Omniscient see the characters before they est thing in the Carolinas, and although we haven’t seen any jump out and they don’t bring other haunted houses this year, if that is the scariest as many screams. Although the props at the end thing in the Carolinas, the Carolinas disappoint. are still intricate, the tour should be cut by 10-15 On the upside, the house itself is very well put minutes so that by the time we leave, we’re still together. We have to give props to the props, which scared out of our minds instead of being bored are elaborate and extensive. The character make and somewhat inattentive. up is very well done, and the variety of spooky The cost of the tour is $20, which should be creatures and serial killers kept us on our toes for reduced along with the length of the tour. A 20most of the tour. Although none of the characters minute tour for $10 would be way more worth it. are allowed to touch you, they do a good job being For Pittsboro residents, however, it’s a waste as creepy as possible, stalking you as you walk by of money and time, as the long drive and the cost and jumping out at all of the right times. With the of the ticket are higher than what they are worth.
The Omniscient researches influences of the holiday Trick-or-treating dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” if they promised to pray for the family’s dead relatives. The practice, which was referred to as “going-a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food and money. The tradition of handing out candy on Halloween night comes from the distribution of “soul cakes,” as encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. Dressing up is a tradition which has both European and Celtic roots. Over 2,000 years ago, winter was full of terror and worry, with food supplies scarce and death abundant. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. As a disguise, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. Pumpkins are brightest in color in October, when they are harvested just in time for Halloween. The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when colonists in early America sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. They then baked the pumpkin. Jack-o’-lanterns were initially carved out of potatoes and turnips hundreds of years ago in Ireland. When Irish immigrants came to America and discovered pumpkins, it led to jack-o’-lanterns becoming what they are today. The name “Jack-olantern” comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Bobbing for apples is a game that can be found at many Halloween celebrations. At some parties during the 18th century, the first successful young, unmarried applebobber was supposedly the first to walk down the aisle. This tradition held a lot of importance because marriage and fertility are necessary to carry on your genes, and disease and death were common tragedies before ample medical treatment came around.
Charger Challenge raises student questions and concerns
Earlier this month, we all gathered in homeroom to receive our report cards, collect too many hand outs our parents will never see and be given a sheet of paper that was supposed to answer all questions and present us with all necessary information on the Charger Challenge, Northwood’s new graduation project. As seen on page four of The Omniscient, this year’s project is much different than the projects previous seniors have had to do. And although we are glad that we are no longer forced to research a topic we have no interest in or bother community members for mentor time, we still feel that this new project is far less than perfect. For this project, students have to participate in 20 hours of community service per year, something that we think will be very beneficial to us when applying to colleges. Although we find the requirement of community service to be valuable, we can also recognize that forcing students to participate in community service, who may not want to, isn’t as helpful to them as the administration is implying it will be. Forced service does not have the same effect as volunteered service, and we are sure that some students will find ways to cheat the system. We also feel that the components of this project are not as realistic or easy as they seem. For one, the sophomore class has to do a job shadow and answer questions about the diversity at the work place. Diversity is not the most important feature of a work place and having them focus on that aspect while doing a job shadowing is basically throwing away a learning opportunity.
The most important problem with this project though, is that we feel that diversity is not the best topic that this project can be focused on. As students in this community we have already been exposed to diversity and have already learned about it through other classes and our own experiences. The best way to teach diversity is to be around it, to be involved in it, and to learn through exposure. Northwood is a diverse school, so to focus on a topic that we don’t have a problem with in this community seems like a waste of time. Overall though, we feel it is safe to say that none of us really want to participate in a graduation project at all. Being forced to do something extra on top of all the homework, clubs, activities, sports, AP classes, SAT testing, college applications and football games is a pain. It’s not fair that students can pass all of their courses and still not receive a diploma because they didn’t write this extra paper. We feel that the project is a waste of time for staff, who have to grade these projects, and the students, who can be doing something better with their time. Now that this project has been put in place though, we’re sure that it’s not going to be changed for this year. For that reason we want to stress the importance of keeping the project as it is for years to come. If the project is really going to benefit this year’s freshmen, the school needs to refrain from changing it so that it can really be a culminating learning experience. Constant changes make students notice inconsistency and that inconsistency says to us as a student body, that this project is unimportant and makes us question why we’re doing it at all.
The things that go unnoticed Gloria Rodriguez Teens complain about how much they hate the government in the United States. We criticize the rules and laws. I’m sure I have plenty of times too. We complain about not having enough freedom, such as driving at a young age, or not being able to buy cigarettes until the age of 18. We look at all the things we don’t like, but the benefits go unnoticed. Instead, we should also see the positive effects of our government and the laws. Over the summer, I had several experiences that made me change my way of thinking. During my summer vacation, my family and I went to Charlotte for a couple of days. My grandma lived in Charlotte until she passed away seven years ago. She was originally from Cuba, and that night we sat in the living room talking about Cuba’s dictatorship. People in Cuba don’t have the freedom that we have. Children in Cuba don’t even go to school. We as teens complain about the law here? What a joke; we wouldn’t survive a day in Cuba. I don’t think I have ever been to a store where they limit how many things I can buy; to the contrary, I am sure the store would like me to buy way more. I don’t understand how big families do it. Imagine if you had a big family you had to feed. You can’t just feed half of the people in your family and let the others starve. Teens should more often think about people around the world who have it worse than us. We are very fortunate to live in a country where we have freedom and opportunities. My best friend Lisa moved to Mexico almost four years ago. She lives in Monterrey, a city so full of violence, death is not shocking anymore. On August 25 two dozen gunmen
burst into a casino, doused it with gasoline and started a fire that trapped gamblers inside, killing at least 53 people and injuring a dozen more. I had seen news about it, but didn’t pay too much attention because I do not live there. This summer Lisa came on a two-week vacation. On our way back from the airport she told me about how terrible it is living in Monterrey. She has experienced many shootings and the violence is incredible. One of the worst experiences she has had in Monterrey happened a week before her vacation. There was a shooting in front of her house and the only survivor was a baby girl. As she describes this, I’m thinking, “Where is the law?” We should appreciate the fact that experiences like those don’t happen frequently here. While she was here all she wanted to do was walk to every place in town. Everyday we went somewhere new, but she didn’t want to drive; she preferred walking. One day I asked her why she wanted to walk instead of ride in a car. She told me that she felt safe walking through these streets; she didn’t feel threatened or have fear here. I never even imagined anyone would be frightened to walk around in their own country. It made me realize that even the smallest things like that are important. I also learned that in Mexico you have to apply to attend high school. It is kind of like applying for college, except your grades are the only factor that count towards admission. Lisa applied to two of the best schools, but got into neither. Instead she got put into another school, which she didn’t want to go to. She talked to me about how that school was wild. Students did drugs, got in fights, were very undisciplined and didn’t want to go there. Seeing her cry because she didn’t get in the school she wanted actually made me feel guilty. She made me feel thankful for attending such a good school, a school where even if I don’t always agree with the rules, I know it will always help us be better and grow.
Facebook is not a diary, keep it to yourself Emily Brooks
- THE NORTHWOOD -
- EDITORS Editor-in-Chief: Caroline Schneider
The Northwood Omniscient is published monthly by journalism students at Northwood Opinion Editor: High School. It aims to present accurate covMadison Roberts erage of events of interest to our readers, as - STAFF well as provide an open forum for the opinEmily Brooks ions of students, faculty and the community. Jessica Clayton We welcome letters to the editor, which can be delivered to the advisor in Room 914 Ally DeJong or sent to the school’s address. Letters must Taylor Maloch be signed, and the staff reserves the right to Kaitlyn Mattiace reject any letter containing libelous stateAustin Moody ments, to edit for length and to ascertain the Gloria Rodriguez truthfulness of the content. Letters should be Matt Waite limited to 250 words. Unsigned editorials represent the majority -ADVISORview of the editorial board. Columns, letNeal Morgan ters and cartoons represent the views of the email@example.com authors.
3:00, Friday afternoon. Students are freed from Northwood High School with a weekend of endless possibilities awaiting them. I get on Facebook that Friday night, only to see that many of my Facebook friends, mostly underclassmen, are posting about how they are going to be “slizzard,” “hammered” and most commonly, “flying high” by the end of the night. I have no respect for anyone who finds it necessary to publicize to the world how they are going to go do these things. Honestly, most people do not care about your screwing up your high school years, getting caught by the cops and getting charged with underage drinking or possession. This younger crowd getting involved does not seem to understand the effects that their actions can cause. If you aren’t old enough to drive a car, you shouldn’t be opening a bottle of liquor. I realize that the majority of Northwood students think that it is “cool” to smoke and drink as a freshman or sophomore in high school. I have seen countless tweets, Facebook statuses, wall posts and pictures explaining and showing the world about what went down on the weekend. If you robbed a bank, you wouldn’t set
your Facebook status as “Just made some quick cash after robbing the BB&T.” The same goes for underage drinking and smoking marijuana. Don’t share with the world that you just broke the law. Students need to understand that once they post something on the Internet, it is available for anyone to see, whether or not their Facebook and Twitter accounts are set on private. Believe it or not, 38 percent of colleges and universities say that what they see from these social networks negatively affect their views of the applicant. In a 2011 survey of 359 admissions officers from top colleges in the U.S, 20 percent of them said they Googled applicants. Thomas Griffin, director of undergraduate admissions at NC State told the Wall Street Journal that “the school will do an Internet search, including Facebook and other sites, if an application raises ‘red flags’ such as a suspension from school; we have to use this information to make the best decision for the university.” Not to mention, when applying for a job, many bosses look at social networking sites as well. Tim DeMello, owner of the company Ziggs, told CBS News that 20 percent of companies are secretly scanning online profiles before they interview applicants. All in all, I don’t want to have my news feed blown up all the time about people being foolish. It’s like what many of you have heard from your relatives: don’t share anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.
October 21, 2011
Suppressed Creativity? Caroline Schneider
Madison Roberts/The Omniscient
A VOTE will be held in May to ban gay marriage in North Carolina.
Marriage is a right, not a privilege Kaitlyn Mattiace
In my opinion, people are born with a certain sexual orientation. It is not a choice; it’s a natural desire. Many homosexual people don’t come out until they know they are completely ready because they want to avoid being judged or treated differently for having this inclination. It’s not easy for people to find themselves and know who they are, much less to tell other people who they are. If they weren’t afraid of the harsh reality of certain outlooks on homosexuality, then they would come out as soon as they knew that they were homosexual. Some people feel that they must hide their true self, in fear of what the people around them will think. No one should ever have to hide any part of themselves. The North Carolina House of Representatives recently passed a bill that will give voters the choice of amending the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. If passed, this amendment would make it impossible for homosexuals to be legally married in North Carolina. May’s vote will be a significant one. Amendments to the Constitution cannot be changed unless there is another amendment put into order for the purpose of changing or contradicting the first. Banning gay marriage can only hurt people; it does no positive deeds to anyone. Not only would banning gay marriage prohibit couples from participating in traditions and making their commitment official, but it would also deny couples rights that married people have access to, such as inheriting property, visiting a sick partner in the hospital and providing citizenship for non-citizen spouses. Does it really bother people that much that they must make the effort to officially ban homosexual people from being married? A ban on marriage sounds like a ban on free-
dom. In history class, we study heroes of civil rights movements and their success in defeating unjust laws or proposals. If we ban marriage, we are going to see leaders and heroes stand up to fight for their rights. Could these be heroes that our children will read about in their history textbooks? Those who fought for a right that they deserved, and were wrongly banned from? I truly hope that this will not be the case, for no one should have to put up such a fight in order to obtain the rights that they deserve. By this point in history, we should be able to see this opposition and do the right thing before it happens. Differences in sexual orientation have always existed, but they have not always been accepted. If everyone were able to see people in their natural light, then no one would feel afraid to express who they are. If you can’t be open with others, then you start to lose touch with your true self. You become ashamed of who you are and might try to change yourself, which never works. Advocates for passing this amendment argue that same-sex marriages could be detrimental to the well-being of the child or children raised by the couples. I think that no matter the structure of the parental unit a child has, what matters most is what occurs within this marital structure. Who thinks that a ban on gay marriage is going to stop homosexual people from following their natural desires? Whether or not a couple is officially married, they will still be together if they want to be together. Why not just let them be married? Marriage is a tradition that everyone should have the right to participate in. After all, if we can afford to let heterosexual people marry an unlimited amount of times, what would be the problem with letting everyone that wants to be married be married. Marriage is not a privilege; it is a right. Legal marriage was created for people, by people. Therefore, not one group of people can possibly have the right to determine whether or not to allow another group of people to participate in a tradition that their own ancestors created. We are one entity of humans and we need to love and be loved, accept and be accepted.
It’s exhausted, I know. Dress code. They have assemblies that talk about it, we publish stories about it, the teachers are always getting on you about it, the administration obsesses over it, your peers are always complaining about it and now I’m going to write about it. But here’s the thing: as over it we all may be, it’s still a problem. Students are still being sent home to change, and it seems like the faculty is standing at the front of the school every morning straining their necks trying to find someone who they can send to the office. I don’t understand it. Not showing up to school in swimsuits makes sense. But this year, the dress code has been pushed too far, seemingly becoming a faculty addiction to catch students whose shorts are 1/34 of an inch too short and sending them to the office where they are wasting valuable class time. I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal to make students who are dressed appropriately, although they may not entirely meet dress code, change clothes. I know that there is a set rule from the Chatham County Board of Education, and I know that the faculty is supposed to enforce it, but it’s pretty obvious when something is appropriate and when something is not, and when students are clearly not dressed inappropriately, it shouldn’t be such a big deal if their skirt doesn’t reach the very tip of their middle finger. At the beginning of the year, we were told that the dress code was put in place to show us how to dress “professionally,” to prepare us for the world ahead of us. Not to be rude, but news flash, you guys: we’re allowed to wear short dresses in the professional world; and skirts, and tank tops, and one shoulder tops, strapless tops, hats, and sunglasses. And if the point is to keep us always dressing professionally, why are we still allowed to wear sweatpants to school? Not everyone wants to put in the effort to dress up every morning like they’re going
to work, which really shouldn’t matter because they’re not. The point of spirit week is to get all of Northwood’s student body participating in supporting their school by having them dress up on a variety of the different days. Students get excited and start planning their outfits as soon as they find out what themes the days are going to be. So imagine how discouraging it was to receive a call from the school that included the message that the dress code was going to be reinforced during spirit week. With silly outfits and a pep rally, spirit week should really be more fun and relaxed than any other week during the school year. Monday was decade day and my friends and I were happily decked out in crazy 80’s work out gear. I had on dark blue tights, and large (I’m 5’2 and wear a small) pink shorts that were above my fingertips. They were big, they were baggy and quite unattractive, and I still got called out for them because despite how oversized they were, I was told that they weren’t long enough. Now I wasn’t forced to go home and change, but it more than killed my school spirit. I much prefer a teacher or faculty member who compliments my creativity rather than criticizing my lack of ability to find extra large shorts. Yes, I was definitely not dressed professionally. But it was spirit week, so nobody else was either. So were they inappropriate? I don’t think so; they were giant and loose and not revealing. Maybe booty shorts that cover nothing are inappropriate, maybe wearing a sports bra to school would be inappropriate, but my large shapeless soffees were definitely not. Neither are tank tops and neither are running shorts. If a teenage boy gets turned on from staring at a girl in running shorts, it’s not because her shorts are showing off her legs in a way no one can resist. It’s because he’s a teenage boy, and no matter what you do, he is still going to be a teenage boy. Dress code has been more restricted this year, with yoga pants being added to the list of banned clothing. I’m so glad I’m a senior, because by the time the freshmen are in my place, I wont be surprised if they can’t dye their hair, have a tattoo or even wear jeans that fit properly.
Caroline Schneider/The Omniscient
A STUDENT’S dress just meets the dress code requirements.
Bad influence behind Barbie Madison Roberts
Emily Brooks/The Omniscient
BARBIE is a bad role model.
As much as I loved playing with Barbie dolls as a little girl, they are completely unrealistic. At such a young age, girls should not be exposed to a size-zero girl who lives in a dream house and drives a pink car. Newsflash: The chance of this actually happening to a girl is one in a million. Now yes, I did enjoy playing with Malibu Barbie in the hot tub and having her go on dates with Ken, but secretly I think I kind of wished my life would be like Barbie’s some day. “If Barbie were an actual woman, she would be 5’9” tall, have a 39” bust, an 18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe,” Galia Slayen, a student at Hamilton College who tried a create a lifesize Barbie, wrote in the Huffington Post.
Barbie represents materialism to the extreme. Her perfect boyfriend, Ken, is the hottest guy on the beach. He’s that guy that every girl wants to be with, and of course Barbie is his girlfriend. This gives girls the mentality that unless they have a body like Barbie’s or live in a dream house, they will not be with their prince charming. On Oct. 8, Mattel added a Tokidoki Barbie to its collection. This Barbie doll is modeled after the Japanese inspired fashion brand. She has pink hair and is covered in tattoos. Now, I have no problem with tattoos, or the people that have them. I think they are a creative form of expression. I do not, however, believe that they should be printed on a Barbie doll’s body. You cannot legally get a tattoo until you are 18 years old because they feel that any age under this is too young to decide whether or not you should make a decision that will permanently impact your body. To be exposed to these at four years old may increase a child’s desire for a tattoo, a decision they may regret when they are older.
When one turns 18, they can choose to get a tattoo if they want, but at four years old, they should not be exposed to them on a Barbie. Just like Barbies, Bratz dolls are a bad influence on kids. They destroy girls’ selfesteem. They dress like prostitutes and they stand for materialism. Even their name represents what they are: brats. And young girls playing with these dolls may turn children into brats too. Yes, Barbie dolls and Bratz are a fun form of entertainment, but the message they send is not a positive one. They contribute to the growing materialism and self-esteem issues in today’s society. Children grow up thinking they should be like Barbie, and adults played with Barbies as children, so they strive to have the dream house and racy sports car. Barbie is not beauty; she is a piece of plastic that has been run through a machine and duplicated millions of times. Girls should not want to be like her—they should strive to be different and have their own goals, away from a pink car.
Communication Made Visible
By Ally DeJong Staff Writer
users add friends to talk to them at their choosing. But there are also websites such as Omegle or Chat Roulette that allow users Teens are no longer satisfied with just to randomly talk to anyone in the world. sending an instant message; they want Students use sites like OOVOO and to see visuals. Video chatting is becomSkype to talk to family and friends. ing more conventional due to increasing “Skype is a good way to talk to people technology. Now you can talk to someone out of town, especially if they are in a difhalfway across the world, as if they are ferent country,” said junior Samantha Petty. right in front of you. “You get to see their faces.” There are the common video chat webAnother reason some students like these sites such as OOVOO and Skype, where sites to hold conversations is that a direct response is seen immediately, rather than waiting for a thoughtout reply. “It’s easier to read people because you can see their facial expressions,” said junior Chase Golden. The biggest difference between sites like Skype and sites like Omegle is the random anonymity that takes place on Omegle or Chat Roulette as opposed to identified friend lists on Skype. Jessica Clayton/The Omniscient On these anonyWEBSITES like Omegle are popular among teenagers. mous websites no
personal information is required and the video chatting starts instantly. Video chatting websites run on a live stream where users are randomly paired with other users. If they are paired with someone they don’t want to chat with, users can click the “next” button and instantly access a new partner. On Instant messaging, video chat and Omegle, the fellow chatter’s name is presented as “stranger,” since personal information such as one’s name is not stated. Northwood students visit these anonymous sites for multiple reasons. Some students use them to meet new people and others just find them as a source of entertainment. “You get to meet people from around the world,” said Dylan Lowe, sophomore. “I use Chat Roulette for fun,” said Petty. “Some people are funny.“ A way for some students to find the desired entertainment on anonymous chat sites is to “troll,” or to be crude towards other users. “I troll, I say rude things to people because it’s amusing and I like to read their reactions,” freshman Alyanna Ridiman said. In some cases, inappropriate or sexually explicit content may be present on these websites. The sites make it easy to click a
Flashing Lights and Late Nights Teenagers enjoy local dance clubs
Jessica Clayton/ The Omniscient
button and move on to the next person at anytime with no warning, but viewers can’t erase what they saw. Northwood students have run into people who have done these types of things before, and some have decided that this content can make the sites hazardous for students. “You never know who you’re going to meet and there is a lot of bad stuff on there,” said Golden. In a lot of cases, students have mixed feelings about chat websites and the safety or misuse of webcams around the globe. “I think Skype can be a great way to communicate with people out of the country for free, and I think [that] Chat Roulette can be really dangerous because it’s random strangers that do inappropriate things,” Petty said.
By Jessica Clayton Staff Writer
eryone is dancing and having fun. stay away all together. You just forget about all the bad “I don’t go because I heard the stuff and let it all out and dance environment there is very un“You can express yourself and the night away. You very rarely sanitary and inappropriate,” said it just gives me time to get away; see someone who isn’t smiling.” junior Katelyn Thompson. I like to have a blast and I like to On the other hand, there are Another type of dance party dance.” some posNorthwood Junior Charles Hope shared sible dangers students athis favorite thing about going to that go along tend is a rave. dance parties, a new craze for with dance Like at L in Northwood students, especially parties. Gang Japanese, L in Japanese. L in Japanese is a violence, at a rave a dance party that is usually held at fighting and live DJ plays Cats Cradle or the Local 506, two thieves are loud techno clubs in Chapel Hill. Students go present at music while to hangout with their friends and times. Senior the crowd have a good time. Jacobi Harris — Palmer Richardson dances. A According to sophomore Shanhas attended dark room non Burke, these parties feature L in Japanese with strobe a lot of dancing and even more and encountered thieves before. lights, LED lights and black lights people. Usually, a live DJ blasts “Someone pick-pocketed me intensify the experience. loud rap music for an energetic aufor my phone,” said Harris. “The music puts me in a sensadience. Students have a chance to Fights can get started during tional coma and I don’t care what let loose and dance their hearts out. the parties and outside after the anyone thinks, I just dance. I go “There’s just a lot of people festivities are over. whenever I get a group of friends dancing; there’s no alcohol or “One time this guy got mad together that like to have fun like anything. It’s just people chilling at another guy and pushed him I do. It’s really crowded and I and socializing,” said Hope. through a railing and they started always meet new people,” said Students find it enjoyable to fighting. Then the whole party senior Palmer Richardson. not only hangout with their friends got cancelled and everyone had to The types of dangers at raves from Northwood, but meeting new leave,” said senior Chrissy Wildiffer from L in Japanese because people. They enjoy being able to ex- liams. there are more problems with press themselves through dancing. While some students avoid drug and alcohol use. Alcohol was “The atmosphere at dance pardanger by sticking in groups or banned from being sold at the venties is crazy,” said Burke. “Evleaving early, others prefer to just ues. Another problem is the clubs failing to be up to code or not being large enough to hold the amount of people that attend. “If you’re going to be smart when you go it’s going to be fun, but if you’re going to be stupid, you’re going to get in trouble,” Photo Courtesy of Steve Goren/Flickr said sophomore DANCES like raves and L in Japanese are becoming increasingly popular. Allie Ray.
“The music puts me in a sensational coma and I don’t care what anyone thinks, I just dance.”
Photo Courtesy of ABC.com
“THE MIDDLE” airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.
The Middle Comical and Practical
By Emily Brooks Staff Writer ABC’s under the radar comedy The Middle is sure to make you laugh out loud. It shows the daily life of the stereotypical American family of five who live in Orson, Indiana. The Heck family, consisting of Mike, Frances, Axl, Sue and Brick, puts a comedic twist in their portrayals of the daily trials and struggles of life in an American suburb. The show is now in its third season and the Heck family has grown up and is better than ever. Mike and Frances are working parents just trying to keep their children from being arrested. Axl, the eldest of the children, is a teenage jock whose typical outfit consists of just boxers and tube socks. He usually roams the house looking for something to eat, drinking milk straight from the carton or picking on his sister. His sister, Sue Heck, a 15year old girl, will make you
laugh until you can’t breathe anymore. Now a high school freshman, Sue faces an entirely new set of worries and woes. Her dedication to her athletic life is impressive, except the only sport she makes is cross-country, a notryout sport. Although she fails at most activities that she does, Sue constantly says, “Sue Heck does not give up.” Brick, the youngest, usually has his nose buried in some piece of literature. Though very intelligent, Brick is socially awkward and is constantly being set up on planned play-dates so he can try to make a friend, but it seems as if Brick’s only friend is his copy of the dictionary. This show is the greatest thing to come to ABC. You Jersey Shore fans should branch out from Snookie and turn to the Heck family—they are more comical. This little known treasure airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC before the famed Modern Family.
Students, coaches discuss sportsmanship By C aroline S chneider Editor- in-C hief
Whether it’s shoving on a football field, cursing on a volleyball court or screaming from the sidelines, it may seem like poor sportsmanship is littering the multiple high school playing grounds around Northwood High. Jack Middleton is the Northwood varsity soccer coach, and although he claims that good sportsmanship is important to the sport, he’s not naive in admitting that even his team doesn’t always act appropriately. “Our sportsmanship could use a little bit of fine tuning, [but] on the whole I’d say 90 percent of the time we’re doing pretty well,” Middleton said. “Every now and then your tempers get flared a little bit because your adrenaline’s up and that’s going to happen with any team.” And that may be true, but Northwood’s starting quarterback, senior Cam Pappas, blames poor sportsmanship on a different problem: a team’s inability to win. — Soccer “If it’s the fourth quarter and a team knows they’re going to lose, they’ll probably start talking junk,” Pappas said. Senior football player Kevin Williams agrees. “[There’s a drive] because everybody wants to win…. everybody is shooting for the same thing,” Williams said. A lot of the time poor sportsmanship can originate from aggressive or talented players frustrating opposing teams, but multi-county referee Robert Mouro, who recently refereed a Northwood soccer game, recognizes that it isn’t always the players who contribute to a string of bad behavior on a field. “A very large part of it can have to do with the coaches and the athletic director,” Mouro said. “If they tolerate a player who demonstrates some sort of unsportsmanlike behavior, whether its cursing at somebody [or] pushing somebody after a play, it will grow.” Middleton agrees.
“There are teams out there who have coaches that encourage that rough play which leads to bad sportsmanship,” Middleton said, “… and there are a couple of teams that I think need to do a lot better job of it.” And there may even be teams at Northwood that have an aggressive coaching problem. An anonymous Northwood athlete holds her coaches partially accountable for the poor sportsmanship her teammates display toward each other. “[Our coaches] try to yell at us to make us mad, but then a lot of times their yelling doesn’t really affect us,” the player said. “If we’re in a game and the other team [is winning], the yelling is not going to [help].” When one thinks of sportsmanship, it’s usually regarding actions between two different teams, but some Northwood teams admit to lacking proper sportsmanship when it comes to each other as well. Senior and varsity soccer captain Blake Svendsen sees this occasional problem with his team. Svendsen plays defense for the team and admits that coach Jack when the game isn’t going as well as Middleton it should, his teammates are known for getting a little irritated with each other “You’re just trying to get the best out of other people when you think they’re not performing as they should,” Svendsen said. Svendsen feels that fighting within a team makes more sense than getting frustrated with the opposing team during a game. “You don’t really have a reason to be angry at [other teams],” Svendsen said. “You can’t control what they do but you can have a hand in what your teammates do.” Senior tennis player Kimberly Miskow finds that success for her is found through teammate support rather than confrontation. While playing doubles, Miskow understands that messing up occasionally is just a part of the game. “I’m just really supportive because sometimes [my partner will] mess up… [and] sometimes I mess
“Your tempers get flared a little bit because your adrenaline’s up...”
up too,” Miskow said. “We’re basically just there to support each other so we can play at our best and it’s really fun when you’re winning and you have a teammate that’s really supportive of you.” Senior soccer player Emily Davis feels that sometimes bad sportsmanship is just a part of the game, but it doesn’t affect how her teammates feel about each other. “[On my challenge team] my friends and I would yell at each other,” Davis said. “But then when the game was over we would be happy with each other because that’s just how sports are.” Northwood boys’ basketball coach Russ Frazier agrees. “Things are said during a contest between players that [are] heated sometimes,” Frazier said. “But when the game is over, that’s over; you walk off and shake hands and that’s what makes sportsmanship valuable.”
Caroline Schneider/The Omniscient
SPORTSMANSHIP may be a problem at Northwood.
Out with the old and in with the new: Northwood completes football renovations By Ally DeJong Staff Writer
Madison Roberts/The Omniscient
AUMAD WALKER races down the field. Football must win final two Football is currently 2-1 in conference play with an overall record of 2-6. The Chargers won two in a row after a 0-5 start. They will need to win both of their remaining two games to advance to the playoffs, according to coach Bill Hall. Potential playoff game against JM looms for soccer team Soccer had a regular season record of 7-6-4 (5-6-1 in conference) before playing DSA on Wednesday. They currently expect to enter the playoffs as the fourth seed from the Carolina 10 conference, likely having to play JM in the first round. Though with two games left, nothing is certain. Holloway-Daniel doubles team compete in Regionals today Tennis finished its season 6-9, while several players continued
their season into the playoffs. Today, Hannah Holloway and Courtney Daniel play in the Mideast doubles regional. Golf undefeated in reg. season Golf finished its regular season with a 6-0 record. Emily Brooks won Tuesday’s conference championship with a 72, Maggie Denny shot 82 and Rachel Wynne shot 89. Several Chargers will play in regionals this Monday, including Brooks, Denny, Wynne, Kyndall Hutchinson and Borden Thomas. Volleyball finishes winless season Volleyball finished their season 0- 19. On Senior Night, held Oct. 12, eight senior players and one manager received flowers as they were escorted by parents through a tunnel formed by the JV players. — Compiled by Austin Moody & Emily Brooks
larger press box was constructed and put in Over the summer, renovaplace. Some tions were made to the main students feel field and surrounding areas. the new press These changes include a new scoreboard, larger press box and box is benefiremodeling of the sidewalks and cial in other ways too. concession areas. “[The new After the last scoreboard was repeatedly struck by lightning, a press box] gives us athnew one was bought and set up letes a better for the 2011 football season. opportunity “The number one [change] to get noticed that we have is the new scoreby colleges because with being board because now we can see the score and times of the games higher up you can see the field easier. When it was lower you being played,” athletic director would lose people when trying Jason Amy said. to video tape them,” senior footWhen new bleachers were ball player Dexter Jarmon said. installed in 2008, they blocked The concrete and sidewalk the view of the field from the additions around the concession press box. This year a new, area and field house were put in for students, players and fans so they would no longer have to walk through muddy areas to get to concessions. Kaitlyn Mattiace/The Omniscient Surrounding THE NEW press box is now two stories tall. the sidewalks
Kaitlyn Mattiace/The Omniscient
are plants and mulch. Some students liked the new changes and thought it complimented the area. “The [renovations] are amazing because it makes the field look a lot nicer than it did. People actually want to come and watch games,” junior Justin King said. Other students felt the changes were impractical. “I think that the sidewalks took away a lot of the places where people would hang out, so it is probably going to get trampled on or torn up,” Jarmon said. Although the school did not say the exact cost to make these enhancements, Blice said that most of them were funded through donations, volunteers and left over building funds.
Every month we’ll showcase an individual and his/her achievements from an ongoing sport. In order to qualify, one must be nominated by his/her coach for athletic ability, outstanding leadership, work ethic and sportsmanship.
Max Griffin boys’ cross country
— Compiled by Austin Moody
One of cross country’s top runners. “A fast and dedicated runner who will not stop for a second. He’s one of the first runners in everything.”— Jacob Friedman, So.
Julia Sloane girls’ cross country
A consistent runner and leader, says Coach Ron Horton. “All around incredibly talented and one of the most amazing runners I have ever met.”— Kelly Reiter, Fr.
Both a well-rounded player and a very spirited leader who helps keep the team motivated, says Coach Steve Thomas. “She is very encouraging and always stays positive and tries as hard as she can.”— Tyler O’Dell, Sr.
Adam Leviner football He has been playing defense this season, but got a slight concussion Oct. 14. “He is always motivating us and taking charge.”— José Pena, Sr.
Carmen Reichle tennis The only singles player to beat Carrboro twice. “Her strength on the court is so inspiring because no matter what her day was like, she always gives 100 percent.”— Michaela Johnson, Jr.
Aaric Artis soccer
He’s recuperated from last season’s torn ACL and is a defender this season. “He always gets us pumped when he yells and gets on us when we mess up.”— Nate Holst, Sr.
Emily Davis volleyball
Carly Almes cheerleading
She is captain of the squad and the only senior on the team. “She understands us and doesn’t judge anybody if they don’t do something right.”— Allie Ray, So.
Karen Vanderford golf
She is progressing well and showing potential, according to Coach Karen Crisp. “She is very dedicated and hard working and she is very fun to be around.” — Rachel Wynne, Jr.
Rise to Success: Palmer defies odds By Emily Brooks Staff Writer
On Sept. 10, Tobais Palmer caught a 65-yard touchdown pass to score for N.C. State in the third quarter game against Wake Forest in an attempt to help the Wolfpack come back to win. Four years earlier, Palmer sat in the classrooms of Northwood as a typical high school student. “After scoring in the game against Wake, I just knew that there were going to be more good things to happen in the season and that I just have to put in more work to get better,” said Palmer. Although he is now playing football for a large, Division I university, Palmer took a long road to get where he is now. Palmer, a five foot eleven, 175-pound wide receiver, graduated from Northwood in 2008. He excelled in athletics, especially football. During his career at Northwood, Palmer rushed for over 4,700 yards and scored more than 80 all-purpose touchdowns in three seasons. Scout.com ranked him a three-star recruit and the No. 41 cornerback in the country. He had originally signed with NC State in 2008, but did not qualify academically and ended up at Georgia Military Academy. “The first year I didn’t like [Georgia Military], I didn’t want to be there. But I dealt with it,” said Palmer. While playing football for the school, Palmer helped lead the team to a bowl game. He graduated with his associate’s degree and was also on the President’s list for academics. “[My two years at Georgia Military] not
only made me grow as a student-athlete, but as a person. I developed better time-management and became more responsible. It just helped me out a lot; it helped my character,” said Palmer. Upon his completion of his two years at Georgia Military, Palmer moved to Raleigh to finish his college years at N.C. State. After being redshirted last year, Palmer is now taking the field as a wide receiver for the Wolfpack. He has excelled at State not only athletically, but also academically. Palmer said he made the Dean’s list while he has been there. “It has been a good experience so far; it has made me into an all around better person,” Palmer said. Though he is enjoying his time there, Palmer admits that the most challenging part of State is getting up in the mornings. During the season, Palmer has workouts at 6:45 a.m. every morning. During the offseason, he has workouts at 4:30 a.m. It may have taken Palmer a long time to get where he is, but his high school coaches always knew he would go far. “I remember his athletic ability more than anything,” Northwood football coach Bill Hall said. “His sophomore year I remember him having five touchdowns against Burlington Cummings, and within that game he had 503 all purpose yards, an 80-yard reception as well as setting a school record with a 99-yard touchdown run. It was an amazing night.” Northwood Assistant Coach Brian Harrington shared the same memory of Palmer. “He was definitely a superstar and wasn’t
afraid to be a superstar. He was very coachable. I guess in one word: amazing,” Harrington said. “He has always wanted this,” said Hall. “He has worked hard, he has been working since his freshman year of high school for this. I haven’t missed a home [football] game at State since he has been there.” Aside from football, in 2008 Palmer finished first in the 100-meter dash at the NCSAA 2-A Track and Field State Championship. His
senior year he was named the Chatham County Athlete of the Year. As far as his future goes, Palmer said that he is just taking it day by day. “Only God knows what will happen. I go out and I practice hard, and when game day comes, I play,” Palmer said. “Hopefully by the time I graduate and my career here is over, there will be somewhere else where I can hopefully go and play. If not, I will see what life has planned for me.”
Photo courtesy of Alex Sanchez/The Technician
TOBAIS PALMER braces for a hit from Liberty University’s Lee KaJuan at Carter Finley Stadium Sept. 3, 2011. Palmer had 3 receptions for 46 yards in State’s win.