Parkway North High School
N rsestar 12860 Fee Fee Rd. St. Louis, MO 63146
Volume 52, Issue 3, December 11, 2013
Holiday Traditions Bring People Together See more on page 6
Insert Laughter (Here) Practices to Compete With Other Parkway Schools See more on page 5
PNH Wrestling Team Practices for Upcoming Matches See more on page 10
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Boy Scouts Change Membership Policy to Admit Openly Gay Youth Aurora Wrancher Co Editor-in-Chief On Thursday, May 23, 2013, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted to change its membership policy to allow opening gay youth members. The Boy Scouts of America membership policy change passed with more than 60 percent of the votes. The wording that denied membership has been followed for 103 years. “Everyone deals with change in different ways. In the long run, everyone should get used to it and things will be normal again,” said junior Nikith Rao. In 2012, the Boy Scouts of America’s policy said, “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.” Christine Dieckmann, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Greater St. Louis Council said, “We believe this update to our policy will allow all kids who sincerely want to be a part of Scouting to experience this life-changing program while remaining true to the long-standing virtues of Scouting.” The vote to change sparked some outrage around the country, mostly from churches. Family Research Council, which is anti-gay, uploaded a video on Youtube in which they stated that the Boy Scouts were “abandoning their moral compass” by thinking of including gay Scouts. “The BSA is the same great youth organization it has always been, working with a variety of faith based and community
Norsestar Staff Aurora Wrancher ...Editor in Chief
...Editor in Chief
Jamie Powell ...Features Editor
The policy that will liift the ban on openly gay scouts will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. This change in policy only applies to the youth members and not to the adult leaders.
organizations to serve youth and families. Going forward, the BSA remains focused on its mission and helping to accomplish great things for America’s youth,” said Dieckmann. While Baptists churches urged the BSA to keep the policy the same, the Catholic Church, which is the third largest supporter of the BSA, said that it would like to continue working with them even if the policy is changed. “While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Our
Scouting family remains focused on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens,” said Dieckmann. “It’s long overdue and it should have been done a long time ago. They have no right to discriminate,” said secretary Joan Bible, who has a son in the BSA. There have been a lot of people who are unhappy with the change, but a lot who think it is long overdue. “It’s good considering that we live in the United States and everyone needs to have equal opportunity for everything,” said Rao.
Chaney Cooper ...Sports Editor Emma Mitchell ...Opinions Editor Sophie Wennemann ...Entertainment Editor Brianne Lewis ...Ad Manager Staff
Writers and Photographers ...Carly Steffen ...Ryan Lutker ...Monyelle Asher
The new policy that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 will not change the Boy Scout’s mission. “The only change in BSA policy is that a youth member simply stating he or she is attracted to the same sex, but not engaging in sexual activity, does not make him or her ineligible for membership,” said Dieckmann. A problem that some homosexual members may have is, committing to the group. Because the adult policy is still the same, the day he becomes 18, he will no longer be able to be a member. The policy for adolescent membership was under consideration, the policy for adult members was not, so the policy for adults remains the same. Gay and lesbian leaders will still not be allowed. “If it applies to members, then why shouldn’t it apply to the leaders as well?” said Rao. According to CNN, former den leader Jennifer Tyrrell, who is a lesbian, was sent a letter by the Ohio River Valley Council asking her to sever any relationship that she has with the Boy Scouts. In an interview with CNN, Tyrrell said that “It would be really hard for that boy to believe in trustworthiness and loyalty and all those things that are important as a Scout.” While many believe this will have a negative affect and harm enrollment and image, some believe it will have a positive effect. “Ultimately, we believe that focusing on this single issue, on which some may not agree, rather than on the many benefits on which we do agree is detrimental to serving the youth on this nation, Therefore, the BSA is focused on its mission and helping to accomplish things for America’s youth, said Dieckmann
Norsestar Policy Norsestar encourages students, teachers, parents, administrators and other readers to publish their opinion in the form of a letter to the editor. However, due to space limitations,not all letters can be published. Any student or faculty member may submit an article or photo to the Norsestar by placing the item in the mailbox in the library or by giving to a staff member. Letters must be signed; no anonymous articles will appear in the newspaper. Norsestar will accept any letter submitted regardless of whether or not the staff agrees with its opinion, unless the material presented is libelous, promotes illegal activities, or is deemed in poor taste by the editorial board. The staff reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarification.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Try Putting Off Drinking
TryPOD Program Teaches Health Students The Dangers Of Binge Drinking Staff Writer TryPOD, Try Putting off Drinking, is a new peer-taught program that Parkway North has adopted. It teaches sophomore health students the dangers of binge drinking and the effects it has on the teenage brain. “Students get a very good understanding of how drinking damages the brain,” said health teacher Jody Chambers. Try Putting off Drinking is a prevention program sponsored by National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The upperclassmen teach TryPOD to the sophomore students during their health class who are able to learn from their peers on a more personal level, instead of a teacher were it could feel more like a lecture. “When it comes from peers, it doesn’t feel like preaching,” said senior TryPOD member Alexa Roux. TryPOD began this semester and will continue next semester. “I think it is important to learn that you don’t need to drink to have fun and to know the physical consequences [of binge drinking],” said junior TryPOD member Madeleine Meyer. According to the National Consumers League, binge drinking is drinking five alcoholic drinks in a row in a very short amount of time, and then a person’s blood alcohol concentration could reach 0.8 percent or higher. Consuming alcohol at this rate could possibly lead to acute alcohol poisoning. “They should know the risks and the effects in life now and later,” said junior TryPOD member Deanna Meyer. Alcohol on the brain can be very dangerous. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol
can slow down the pace of communication between the neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that carry messages to the neurons, which are tiny nerve cells. “It is important that everyone knows the facts [about] alcohol,” said Roux. TryPOD gives students an outlook on how dangerous binging can be and how it can affect their brains. According to Psychology Today, MRI scans of the brain showed that heavy drinking damaged nerve tissues. The TryPOD presenters also taught students that alcohol can impair a person’s coordination and memory. “TryPOD made the students more aware and hopefully they’ll think before drinking,” said Deanna Meyer. TryPOD can not only benefit the sophomore students, but it can benefit the upperclassmen presenters as well. They are able to learn about certain things that they may not have known before. “I didn’t know the risks [of alcohol] until TryPOD,” said Deanna Meyer. Parkway North has seen other schools, such as Kirkwood, use this program and have witnessed great results from those schools. North wanted to adapt this program so that their students could benefit from this program. So far they have received great feedback. “We should have done [TryPOD] a while ago. We have gotten great feedback,” said Chambers. According to Madeleine Meyer,the information surprised some of the students and several students seemed interested in the lesson. The TryPOD members hope that this will cause people to be more cautious around alcohol and think twice before drinking alcohol.
Photo from Altered States
According to Interactive Biology, serotonin is a “feel good” neurotransmitter and is related to overall health. When alcohol reaches this part of the brain, the alcohol can actually increase the serotonin levels in the brain, which is one of the reasons for the addictive effect of alcohol.
“Students were interested in it, and hopefully, they will pass on the information and it will spread to others,” said Madeleine Meyer.
Binge Drinking is very harmful on the brain. TryPOD hopes that students will be aware of the dangers of binge drinking after taking part in the program.
Key Club Week Encourages New Members To Join, Raises Money for Project Eliminate Aurora Wrancher Co-Editor in Chief
that will be shipped overseas to kids who don’t have much. They filled the boxes with school supplies, personal hygiene items, and clothes. “I really like volunteering. I volunteered a lot during the summer on my own. Learning about Key Club and how they do different things really sparked my interest. They help the community, not just in Parkway North, but outside of Parkway North too,” said junior Madison Eacret. A common place for the members of Key Club to volunteer is at the Butterfly House. “They had different events going on [at the Butterfly House]. We helped run an event where the kids come and they had different stations set up where they could make pictures using stamps and we told them about the different butterflies coming out and migrating,” said Eacret. “It’s always good to give back to your community to keep it going. Not everyone has as much as you do and even if you’re giving time, I think it’s one of the most impor-
tant things. It helps people tremendously. You help them but you get as much in return from the relationships that you make. It’s a great feeling,” said Eacret. Photo By Aurora Wrancher
Nov. 4-8 was National Key Club week. Throughout the week, people could donate $1 and receive either pretzels or trail mix during lunch. The proceeds went to the Eliminate Project, a program designed to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). “We volunteer our time and we help to make a difference in our community. Kiwanis is the group that sponsors Key Club nationally and the Creve Coeur Kiwanis group has been really good helping us out with things. Kiwanis and Unicef partnered up for Eliminate,” said Key Club sponsor LuAnn Fallahi. MNT is a deadly disease that takes nearly 60,000 lives of babies and a significant number of women each year. The money goes toward the vaccines, syringes, and other things that women and their babies need in order to be immunized. The goal of the campaign is to raise $110 million for the
project. The purpose of Key Club week was to advertise the club and display what they do for the community. At the end of Key Club week, about 30 new members had joined. “I joined Key Club because I heard it was a great way to get involved in the community. I love to volunteer, and that is what Key Club is all about – helping others,” said senior Carly Vogel. Because Key Club is centered around volunteering, it could be beneficial for people who are in the A+ program. The volunteer hours can go toward the hours a student needs for A+. “Everybody needs help at times. I think that giving is also receiving because at some point, most of us are going to receive some help. Those of us who can help should help those who need it. If we all stay in our individual pockets and don’t help each other, anywhere in the world, then I don’t think we’d grow,” said Fallahi. The Club also took part in Operation Thanksgiving where they created boxes
Juniors Brandon Etz, Stephanie Kim, and Candace Wiley volunteer at the table during lunch for Key Club Week. Proceeds from donations in exchange for pretzels or trail mix went to the Eliminate Project.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
North High Seniors Suffer from Highly Contagious “Senioritis” Who is justified to have feelings of “Senioritis”?
Chaney Cooper Sports Editor Senioritis---the one crippling ailment that seems to strike everyone at least once in their high school career is characterized by the lack or loss of motivation in school, skipping classes, lightening class loads, procrastinating, and an overall resistance to school work. While seniors and underclassmen alike claim to come down with it, few are truly entitled to it; and even though it has a negative connotation, the affliction is understandable for certain seniors. “When your senior year rolls around, suddenly you have a whole new batch of responsibilities. Looking into and applying for college and figuring our career paths…I have found myself less focused on school and more focused on college planning and preparing for my future in other aspects,” said senior Cassidy Munie. High school is one big marathon, and as seniors, the finish line comes into sight abruptly. Seniors are so close to the end, they can taste it, and that creates a sense of restlessness which leads to senioritis. It is a concept that really only seniors can understand since they’ve earned their credits and put in their time. High school is not their main focus anymore. It has shifted to what’s happening after high school for them including college and/or work. Underclassmen have not reached that status yet. “Underclassmen sometimes watch seniors as models and they want to try [their senior privileges], and they’re like ‘why do they get to?’--- [I tell them] they’ve earned it,” said senior class principal Dr. Tori Cain.
It’s true that underclassmen say that they have senioritis, but they can’t possibly understand it because they’re still running their marathon, and have a ways to go. They still have to surpass all of the hurdles that signify that they’ve almost finished the race: applying and deciding on a college or having a finalized plan for what they’re doing after high school and having completed all of their required credits and classes. “It’s annoying when underclassmen claim to have senioritis because they still have to keep their grades up for college, and they still have a long way to go,” said senior Seniors, including those who normally Russell Susuki. Often times, seniors don’t even need slack off 4% to be in school second semester because they have the credits necessary to graduate already, achieved early by not failing classes and doubling up on English. If that’s the case, then their slowing down and lack of motivaAll seniors 23% tion because they don’t have a need to stress themselves over classes, is understandable. ****Out of 967 responses “For seniors who already know where they’re going, there really is no point to try schedules, taking a free block or two to come much because the application process hap- late or end their days early by dropping an pens so early. They don’t feel the need to put unnecessary credit, many are doing so while staying in their AP and honors classes, or in effort,” said Susuki. However, that’s not to say that all se- mixing easier classes with them. Allowing niors have earned the justification to give into one’s GPA to drop could negatively affect adsenioritis, as senior class principal Dr. Cain missions and their future. In narrowing their said, whether or not a student has grounds is concentration, the quality of their classes is more important than the quantity. “individually based.” “For individuals who are responsible Students who have accomplished everything they need to do to graduate may and have their credits taken care of, it’s unhave senioritis. But often times, instead of derstandable,” said Dr. Cain. Senioritis doesn’t have to be have to just completely blowing school off, they’re still working to get something out of their have bad consequences like skipping classes last year. Even while some seniors cut their or bad grades. For many, changes in habits or
Only seniors who have worked hard in high school 47%
Anyone in high school 25% schedules help take the edge off so students can focus on other important life changes. Senior year is really the only opportunity students have for a break. As Dr. Cain said, in college there is no break senior year—seniors in college are faced with increasingly harder classes and then the thrown into real world. Seniors who are justified to feel symptoms of Senioritis should be able ease up on their workload for the short time that they’re able. While some students possess an immunity to senioritis, it can be harmful if not treated correctly. If you are experiencing the symptoms of senioritis before senior year should seek educational help immediately.
Changes Made to Ritualistic Black Friday Shopping Features Editor Cold nights, hot cocoa, and standing in line. These are the most common things to do on Black Friday. It has been the busiest and most popular day to shop since 2005. The day after the Thanksgiving marks Black Friday, where many wake up to the crack of dawn to stand in line and wait to shop for the great deals which range from 25 to 75 percent off select merchandise. However, this year, stores opened on Thursday evening, Thanksgiving, to entice shoppers early. While this may seem like a good idea for companies, opening stores on Thanksgiving is a bad idea because it dePhoto by Jamie Powell West County Mall shoppers search for sales.
stroys the concept of Black Friday and ruins Thanksgiving for both people who had to work and those who wanted to get to the sales early. “Unfortunately I have to work on Black Friday. My hours are 10 p.m. on Thursday until 6 a.m. on Friday. It sucks that I have to work on Thanksgiving...at least I get paid,” said Junior Melissa McDowell who works at Nine West Shoe Company on the galleria. Some people like Black Friday and go shopping for the amazing sales. “I go Black Friday shopping almost every year. The sales are pretty good. I save a lot of money,” said senior Trevon Smith. However, some like Black Friday for the experience and feel the new changes destroy that experience. The favorite part for most people on Black Friday is waking up early in the morning while it’s still dark, bundling up (with coats, jackets, and scarfs), sipping a cappuccino from Starbucks, and waiting in line until the doors open to start their shopping. “I don’t like the changes to Black Friday. I like the whole waking up in the middle of the night factor of it. I ruins the point of Black Friday,” said Senior Kiana Simmons While some thought it ruined the experience of Black Friday, others thought it ruined the feel for Thanksgiving. “I didn’t know about the changes, but I like it because this means that I’ll be able to go shopping, since I have work, but I don’t like it because it interferes with Thanksgiving and the whole meaning of it,” said senior Jennifer Brockes.
Photo by Jamie Powell
Calender and toy venders try to entice buyers at West County Mall. The top three stores that bring in the most money on Black Friday are: Walmart, Target, and Best Buy according to USA Today.
Others weren’t bothered by the change and felt it didn’t affect Thanksgiving since most people are finished by the evening. “I really don’t have an opinion on it. I mean after you’re done eating, you don’t have much to do so might as well go shopping,” said senior Julia Snow. Although there are many people who don’t like the new changes to Black Friday, other people dislike the concept of Black Fri-
day all together. “I don’t shop on Black Friday because of I feel like people are only excited for Thanksgiving because they know Black Friday is right afterwards,” said sophomore Diamond Ray. Although changes were made to Black Friday, many were still excited for the special sales on clothes, electronics, furniture, and miscellaneous items.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Parkway North Improv Team Collaborates With Nearby Schools Photo by Brianne Lewis
Senior Joe Warth plays the game Washing the Dog with junior Alayna Huthsing.
over drama, performers support each other by showing up at shows and collaborating. “The Parkway Improv teams help each other even if not directly. We all love to come to each other’s shows because the best way to get better at Improv is to watch good Improv. Attending shows and getting a chance to watch some pretty great improvisers is a lot of help,” said Gaubatz. “We also learn skills together. Last year, we had shared coaches nights with other Parkway Schools which is where a professional improviser comes in and does a work-
shop with us. It’s a great experience because, not only do we learn from the coach, but also each other.” The sponsors of the Parkway teams have, in the past, met at the beginning of each semester to find dates for coaching nights. The district provides funds for a professional coach to help all of the schools in one night. During these coaching nights, performers from all four schools learn new games, new skills, and make valuable connections. “This year, that budget was cut, so each school is having coaches on their own depending on if they can afford it,” said Drama teacher Chad Little. Just like any creative community, Insert Laughter (Here) has a unique style and vibe. “PNH Improv is unique because of the people. With improv, there are no scripts, or sets, or even costumes to hide behind. The people are what bring life into Improv, and I can’t tell you how much those people mean to me,” said Gaubatz. The team has tentative plans to perform with Kirkwood, another school that Parkway North interacts with a lot, whether it be sports, Improv, or other drama programs. “We are currently trying to collaborate with Kirkwood’s Improv team because they are looking for a team to do a show with; however, if those plans fall through, Insert Laughter (Here) has lots in store to work
with other schools,” said Gaubatz. The performers practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school. “I look forward to Tuesdays and Thursday because it is so much fun to let go of any due dates or projects and just play games with such a crazy, personable group of people. I’ll admit we aren’t always good. There can be some scenes that sink before they even start, but we keep coming back because we love what we do and we want others to enjoy the fun too,” said Gaubatz.
‘Tis the season to have countless holiday movie marathons. Ranging from modern movies, to classic modern movie, to the old-time classics, the winter months are prime time to sit with a cup of cocoa and watch movies about the holidays. Often, holiday modern classic movies circulate around children and their holiday adventures. A Christmas Story tells the tale of a young boy who tries to convince his dysfunctional parents, and Santa Clause, that a BB gun is the perfect holiday gift while keeping the holiday spirit. “A Christmas Story (1983) is my favorite [holiday movie] because it’s funny and heartwarming,” said senior Sam Williams. Home Alone (1990) is a classic but modern holiday movie in which a boy, Kevin McCallister, fights off thieves from robbing his home, after he is accidentally left behind from a family vacation. On another hand, Christmas Vacation (1989) focuses on an entire family’s, the Griswolds, adventures. Some older, classic, popular holiday classics are It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), and White Christmas (1954). These classic holiday movies focus heavily on family values during the holidays, and can often be viewed on popular TV channels. “I like It’s A Wonderful Life because it’s a classic about the spirit of giving,” said Williams. The 1946 classic centers around a strict and depressed middle class man, who commits suicide on Christmas Eve, but is brought back by his guardian angel. He is shown what it would be like if the world did not have him in it, and through a Christmas
adventure, he realizes the meaning of family and Christmas spirit. More modern holiday movies like The Polar Express (2004) incorporate more fantasy and the idea of joy and remembering the important things during the holiday season. Elf (2003) centers around a human, Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, as he traverses around New York city believing he is one of Santa’s elves. He meets his biological father, a business man portayed as a sort of Scrooge. Buddy’s goal in the movie is to restore Christmas spirit in the people of New York. “I like Elf, it cracks me up,” said senior Rachel Monsey. Many of the movie references lay way to meaningful themes. Holiday movies are not just about presents and laughter, but they are a gateway to the more pure reasons why the holidays are celebrated. “I think presents and Jesus are the most known themes,” said junior Alayna Huthsing. Many Christmas movies have very similar plots, but The Santa Clause movies (The Santa Clause 2 in 2002 and The Santa Clause 3 in 2006) starring Tim Allen have unique plots and characters. “It’s more modern, and they have different plots for each one, so it’s not just the same. Some Christmas movies all have the same plot. They’re sort of generic. But [The Santa Clause movies] are all different,” said freshman Lauren Sparks. Seasonal holiday movies are all about focusing on family and the spirit of the holidays (while sipping hot chocolate, of course).
Photo by Brianne Lewis
Co-Editor-in-Chief One-hundred and eighty-six Improv performers walk into a bar. The bartender says, “We can’t serve you here.” The Improvers say, “Why not?” and the bartender says, “Because you always order off-menu. You make everything up!” The only thing that is more interesting than the PNH Improv Team’s puns is putting four Parkway Improv teams in one room. The Parkway Quad is one example of a collaboration between Improv teams in St. Louis. In this friendly competition between the four Parkway high schools, teams participate in Improv games to earn points for their team. “Last year, we came through as the underdogs and placed 1st in the quad. So we will be preparing for the quad in the coming months,” said senior Erin Gaubatz. The Parkway Quad’s winner was determined by points that were awarded to each school after every game. According to senior Sam Williams, the points were determined, “arbitrarily. It’s like, ‘Ok, for this game the winner gets this many points.’ Then, in joke round, you got a point if your joke was laughed at. So that’s how we won. We went up the most during joke round and got a bunch of points at the end.” In schools that value many activities
Senior Milo Brucker and freshman Niko Meyers play Bus Stop. In this game, one player tries to make the other walk away.
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Movie Season Emma Mitchell Opinions Editor
Modern Classic Movies
December 11, 2013
Parkway North High School
From Parties, to Presents to Get-Togethers
Parkway North High School
s a Spark
for Snow Days to Sled at Special Spots Photo by Ryan Lutker
Along with unique shops and attractions, such as St. Charles Christmas Traditions where different actors dress up for the holidays, downtown St. Charles is a popular place for students to get together for the holidays. Many students spend time shopping or simply enjoying the holiday decorations and atmosphere throughout the season.
“Eggnog, because it tastes good,” said junior Dorian Sanders.
Sophie Wennemann As winter rolls around again this year, people are getting excited for all of the special pleasures that come along with the seasonespecially snow. When it comes to snow and sledding in St. Louis, there is a variety of great places that students and families can go for steep hills and winter fun. “I like to sled at St. John Bosco Hill because it’s a good hill, it’s pretty steep, and it’s not that long to walk back up,” said sophomore Sophia Bell. From private hills like church hills or backyard hills to big hills like Art Hill in Forest Park, St. Louisans can find a good place to sled around nearly every street corner. However, some of the best St. Louis hills can end up being a long drive in bad weather, especially for Parkway North students living in the Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights area. Because of this, many people are attracted to the hills that are close by. “I like to sled on my hill in my backyard because it’s a big hill and makes me go fast. I go to Craig Elementary School’s hill sometimes because it’s big,” said sophomore Chris Sutherland. Forest Park is known for its big hills and exciting atmosphere, which makes it a popular spot for sledders each winter. The most popular hill is Art Hill, just outside the St. Louis Art Museum because it’s a very familyfriendly spot that has a lot of sledders. Art Hill offers a safe yet thrilling ride and there are fires for those accompanying sledders to keep warm and enjoy the view. “[I like to go to] Art Hill. Even though the hill is annoying to climb up, the ride down is worth it,” said junior Valerie Zhuravel.
“Mashed Potatoes. I like them with gravy,” said senior Brandon Hayes.
What is Your favorite food of the Holidays?
“[My favorite holiday food is] brussels sprouts,” said social studies teacher Bill Vogt.
The hill at St John Bosco Parish is close to school and a popular sledding destination for students.
Art Hill does not only offer a fun environment and a good hill to sled on but many fun shops and cafes where sledders can get a bite to eat with their friends or family when they’re finished. Comet Coffee, Kaldi’s Coffeehouse, Shaw’s Coffee, 2 Schae Café, and Kayak’s Café are all popular places in the area where sledders will go to warm up with a hot drink or dish. While sledding in itself can be fun, it isn’t only the ride that sells the activity to people every winter, but the memories that make it special. “I’ve gone [to St. John Bosco’s hill]
forever with my dad and sisters. It brings back good memories,” said Bell. In addition to fun memories, some people go sledding in winter to keep alive old traditions with friends or family. “I have gone sledding at 3 in the morning at least once every year since eighth grade with friends,” said Zhuravel. So this winter, whether you’re eager to hop on your sled at the sight of snow, or maybe just like to go once or twice a season, St. Louis is packed with great hills to enjoy the weather (and hopefully some snow days) with your friends and family.
“[My favorite holiday food is] seasonal turkeys,” said freshman Ariana Paul.
“Breakfast French toast that my mom makes once a year,” said sophomore Christopher Haberstroh.
Real Or Artificial? Students Debate Which Type of Christmas Tree is Best
Some students purchase their real trees at farms such as Pea Ridge Christmas Tree farm.
Carly Steffen Staff Writer Christmas and other holidays are approaching quickly. By the time Thanksgiving was over, people had already purchased their Christmas tree at a local farm or set up their artificial tree. Both types of trees have their pros and cons. Many people buy artificial trees because they are easier to set up and cheaper in the long run. Other people believe it saves trees, which may be true, but most buyers don’t know the actual impact on the environment because of them. “I have a fake tree because they are better for the environment,” said junior Jake Thomas. However, artificial trees may not be better for the environment. According to Earth911, artificial trees have a negative affect on the environment when discarded. The artificial trees people buy today contain metal and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a non-
biodegradable plastic. This man-made PVC will actually sit in a landfill for centuries after disposal. This means it will last ‘forever’ and is perfect for holiday use year after year , but the chemicals that go into making this decoration affect the environment in a negative way when burned or thrown away. People also like artificial trees because they have the option to buy different colors of trees. They also have a smaller risk of setting on fire compared to real trees, which can get too dry and begin to lose needles or catch fire. “This year, we are starting to set up lights in the shape of a Christmas tree because I don’t like the needles everywhere. We are also cutting out snowflakes in the shape of Star Wars characters,” said English teacher Jeff Church. “Another reason why I have a fake tree because the real ones catch on fire,” said Thomas. Some people prefer real trees for the tradition and natural smell.
“I like the smell of real Christmas trees because they remind me and smell like Christmas,” said junior Sydney Carothers. Christmas tree farms around St. Louis are prepared for when people come out after Thanksgiving to purchase their real Christmas tree. A few farms close by are Sullivan Farms, E.H. Glueck & Co., Haegele Farm, and Pea Ridge Forest. A few other local farmers bring in their trees to the Olive Schnucks shopping center to sell; plus, there’s a small farm near the Butterfly House which normally sets up the weekend after Thanksgiving. “My brother worked at Hertkey Nursery and brought a real tree home, and it’s a Hanukkah tree,” said Junior Brian Coulter. Artificial trees can be found at any hardware store or chain store like Walgreens, Walmart, or Lowes. In the end, the artificial trees will save a lot of time and money; however, some people don’t like the idea that it doesn’t fully represent Christmas or their holiday tradition and it harms the environment.
Photo by Ryan Lutker
Photo by Carly Steffen
Singing songs, eating food, decorating the house, spending time with loved ones. These are all customs that different people have during the holiday season. The holidays are a time of festivities, and students and teachers at North celebrate with their own unique twists. “After Thanksgiving, we have a cousins day where we do fun things like bowling or going to the movies. It’s a different activity every year,” said junior Sangeeta Samuel. Popular holiday traditions often involve getting together with family, especially those members who live far away. While some students have traditions about going out for a day of fun, others hold special holiday parties on a yearly basis to enjoy time with friends and family while spreading holiday cheer. “Before Christmas, we have a holiday party and every family [who comes] is required to sing a holiday song. The tradition started because my mom likes to be hospitable and we don’t have a lot of family [in town],” said junior Kemi Ola. This school year, two big holidays, Thanksgiving and the second night of Hanukkah, fell on the same day. This is a rare event and will not happen again until 79,811. This unique situation gave some students a chance to come up with their own traditions to celebrate this unique holiday combination including lighting the menorah. “We’re going to add in latkes [to Thanksgiving dinner] and prayers, but were also going to get presents and talk about the holidays,” said junior Alexis Becker. Other members of the Parkway North community have special traditions regarding setting up a Christmas tree. “We go to Eckerts Family Orchard after Thanksgiving. Then’, we cut down a tree and decorate it,” said junior Elisabeth Shepherd. For some people, Christmas tree decorating is a big deal. Students often get together with family and spend the day setting up and decorating the tree. After Thanksgiving is an ideal time for this holiday tradition. “The day after Thanksgiving is decoration day. We hang up greens and garlands,” said Latin teacher Adam Stiller. Along with parties and get-togethers, some students enjoy going to special places for the holidays. From Tilles Park, whic sets up a large light display that students can drive through to historic downtown St. Charles, which has many unique shops for holiday shopping, many locations put up decorations for the holiday season. “My family drives through downtown St. Charles during the holiday season to see holiday decorations,” said senior Aditya Mudgalkar. While going to see decorations is a fun holiday traditions, some teachers at North have special traditions regarding the celebration of Christmas Eve. “We go to a Christmas Eve candlelight service. It’s solemn but joyful,” said Stiller. Different churches have special Christmas Eve services that night before Christmas to commemorate the holiday. Often highly attended these usually include lighting candles, singing Christmas songs and sometimes even reenactments of the nativity story or special performances. Throughout the year, many individuals celebrate different holidays with repeated traditions, but none as prevalent or special as those around the holidays. “Traditions bring people together,” said sophomore Elizabeth Berson. “It gives you a sense of belonging.”
Photos by Emma Mitchell
Students, Teachers Celebrate With Ready, Set, Go! Holiday Traditions Students Hope Gianna Sparks
December 11, 2013
Even stores like Walgreens sell artificial Christmas trees that students can purchase.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Students Benefit from Learning Foreign Language Photo by Monyelle Asher
Monyelle Asher News Editor
elson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Learning a foreign language can be a daunting task, but there are numerous benefits to it. “You never know who you’re going to meet and where you’re going to meet them,” said sophomore Ana de Zamacona, who moved to the United States from Monterrey, Mexico at the age of seven. She believes that it is good for people to learn a language besides their own. Spanish teacher Maureen Ruiz del Arbol, who also speaks a little French and Italian, stated that foreign languages are important to know because they give the learner a glimpse into another culture and allow people to learn more about themselves when learning about other people. “I think [American citizens learning another language] helps them because it makes them better citizens of the world,” said psychology teacher Bob McKitrick. “People who know their own language and English [are] more understanding of global issues and perspectives of different cultures.” Aside from the social benefits of learn-
Ruiz del Arbol practices verb conjugations with her Spanish I students in a game of catch. When a student catches the ball he/she has to say a sentence decribing what he or she likes.
ing a second (or third, or fourth) language, there are more academic reasons languages can be helpful. “It can benefit people in several ways,” said Ruiz del Arbol. “Having a better understanding of people’s culture, and more practically speaking, offering professional opportunities.”
Most colleges, especially selective ones, require their students to have taken at least two, preferably three or four, years of foreign language in high school. And according to salary.com, bilingual people earn five to twenty percent more per hour than the position’s base rate. “Knowing Latin helps with English
grammar, as well as law and medicine terms,” said Latin teacher Matthew Pikaard. When deciding what language to learn, it may help to understand the background of certain languages. Romance languages such as Spanish and French are more closely related to English than languages in the SinoTibetan family like Mandarin and Cantonese, which might make Romance languages easier to learn. If someone prefers learning a widely used language, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Bengali, and some form of Chinese or Arabic tend to be a good bet. Other languages, like Latin, can help in different fields. “If you learn a language at an early age, you become more fluent in the language,” said McKitrick. The best time to learn a language is before the age of seven, which might be why some high school students find verb conjugations and vocabulary memorization and different sentence structures frustrating. However, there are a few helpful tips that can make the process easier. According to sophomore Emily Lee, who moved to the United States from Korea in 2011, “Just keep trying even though it’s hard. At some point, it will get easier. And reading helps.” “Be patient with yourself. Do your homework and pay attention in class, said de Zamacona. “As much as it may not seem like it, the practice really helps.”
Beyond Snow Days:
Paul Tandy Oversees District-Wide Communications
ood morning, this is an important message from the Parkway School District. Due to inclement weather, all Parkway schools are closed today.” Students await these words spoken by Paul Tandy, communications director for the Parkway School District, but the man behind the snow day calls is working year-round on things much more influential to Parkway students. Students remain generally unaware of what the Tandy does on a daily basis. “Paul manages a number of people. He and I and one other person probably work most closely together,” said Annie Dickerson, Parkway community communications coordinator. “He has had difficult job in that a lot of different things… fall under the communications umbrella. So when in doubt, if there is a job to do or a project to handle and no one knows who should handle it, it goes to the PR people.” One of the most well-known projects that Tandy is a part of is the Parkway Mobile App. He did the research to see if it would be beneficial, and then researched what should be on the app. “First of all, I researched the technology and looked at other trends around the country. I was in a conference where people like me from around the country [discussed mobile versus computer],” said Tandy. “I was looking at the data and the number of people who now have smartphones, as opposed to traditional phones. And we looked at dis-
tricts who were saying that the vast majority of people who were actually logging onto their system were actually doing it [on mobile devices] as opposed to the computers.” The mobile app, with Tandy’s help, is set to be upgraded in the next year. Instead of having a multitude of apps related to Parkway, there will be one place to do everything from checking Infinite Campus to emailing teachers. “You shouldn’t have to go to a computer to log in to check your test scores or find out what your next assignment is, or, as a parent, to check on your child, check attendance, or check your account balance for the food. That should all be there in one convenient place for you as a student or a parent,” said Tandy. “Right now, if you wanted to check grades, you would have to go to the Infinite Campus mobile app to do that. You’d have to have a second log in to do that there. You’d have to go to school bucks to do your lunch account and stuff like that. Whereas, we’re seeing that it needs to all go to one place. It’s the Parkway app. You’d have to login, but once you login, it feeds you all of your personal information.” Parents and students could also get notifications for certain things involving the Parkway app, which is something Tandy surveyed parents about to ensure that the notifications would be used. A large part of his job is bridging the gap between Parkway administration and the community, parents, and students. “Some years back, we were getting ready to come up for Parkway’s big five-year review from the state. We knew that one of our areas of deficiency in the past evalua-
Photo by Molly Thal
Molly Thal Editor and Chief
Paul Tandy returns a phone call from an administrator in the Rockwood School District. Tandy communicates with administrators from other districts to discuss best practices.
tions had been that we didn’t really have an ongoing system for input from the parents. We went out and researched best practices of other districts around the country and we came up with Project Parkway. My role is that myself and the Deputy Superintendent are what we call the ‘chief worriers.’ We’re the ones who are always worrying about what’s the plan, what are we doing this year. We have quarterly meetings now with the big group and we have quarterly meetings with the steering committee,” said Tandy.
For anyone considering a career in communications, Dickerson has some advice: “If you’re going to do PR and the reason you’re doing PR is because you love people and you love communicating and being social, don’t go work for a corporation. Work in an agency because it’s an excellent experience, and then go work for a nonprofit or a school or doing something where the culture is very supportive. That’s how Parkway is. Everybody here cares about one another and that’s why I love being here,” said Tandy.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Parkway Peer Teachers Connect During Annual Retreat Ryan Lutker Staff Writer
n Thursday, Nov. 21, twenty-seven students from Parkway North attended a district-wide Peer Teaching retreat at Camp Wyman in Eureka, MO. Peer Teaching is the Parkway School District’s character development program. The program is intended to strengthen students’ integrity and provide the skills that aid students to make healthy choices and maintain a safe and drug-free lifestyle. “[During the retreat], students open up, share freely, hug each other, then pledge to reach out to others with a positive antidrug and anti-alcohol message,” said sponsor Scott Moeller, who has attended the retreat for over ten years. The students on the program also develop leadership skills to be positive role-models. The Peer Teachers are trained to bring what they learned to the middle school, where they will teach seventh
grade students about what good character is and how to make healthy decisions. “The Peer Teaching retreat offers an authentic experience for peer teachers to really delve into their personal feelings and philosophies regarding responsible decision making, integrity, and underage drinking,” said sponsor Julie McMullen. “This retreat offers time to self-reflect and meet so many kids across the district who shares their same perspective and obstacles which is not possible to recreate in a traditional training session.” Students involved in Peer Teaching have different reasons for their participation, though most students agree about what their motivation is: living a safe and drugfree life, and using the skills they learn to inspire others to lead a similar lifestyle. Junior Hannah Gutmann said that the reason behind her involvement is teaching “middle school [students] that high school isn’t really just parties and drinking, there
“[My favorite part was] our share groups and getting to meet people from other schools that you can relate to a lot.” -Hannah Gutmann
At the Peer Teaching retreat, juniors Douglas Fritz, Abby Lammers, Shreya Anand, Myles Washington, and Emily Nicholson discuss the day’s activities after dinner on Thursday, Nov. 21.
are other opportunities.” “I am involved in Peer Teaching because I strongly believe in being safe and drug-free,” said junior Stephanie Kim. The trip was made up of share groups and large presentations. The share groups were a small group of students with representatives from each of the four main Parkway high schools: North, South, Central and West, and a teacher. In the groups, students gained and improved upon the skills and knowledge important to good character
and decision making. It also provided a more informal place to share experiences and talk about feelings. “[My favorite part was] our share groups and getting to meet people from other schools that you can relate to a lot,” said Gutmann. The large group presentations included speakers Brian Miller and Carla Carrabino, who had lost a loved one to drunk driving, and speaker Shelley Farinella, a former Peer Teaching coordinator who spoke on the topic of integrity. On Thursday night, McMullen led an activity called cross-the-line, which was both a favorite and an emotional toll for many students. “My favorite part of the retreat was when we all came as a big group and did the cross the line activity because it showed everyone how connected we really are by our experiences,” said Kim. “I have been on the retreat six times... Each retreat is different because each group of kids is different, but I have never left a retreat feeling unfulfilled or that the kids were unfulfilled,” said McMullen.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Pinning Down a Win:
Parkway North Wrestling Team Trains for Success Photo by Gianna Sparks
Gianna Sparks Centerspread Editor Feet pounding on purple mats. Hands clapping together. Students cheering each other on. These are all sounds associated with the Parkway North wrestling team that is hoping to excel this 2013-2014 season. “Our goals this year are to set a clear foundation, have polished technique, and, most of all, believe that we will win and accomplish that goal as a team,” said junior Carlton Price. This year, wrestling started on Dec. 4 with a match against Kirkwood High School at Parkway North. One of the objectives that the wrestling team has been working on since the start of the season is to be able to trust and encourage one another. They are also continuing to work on skill and technique to make them a strong team. “Our practices start with mild conditioning and workouts which usually include carrying someone your weight and sprinting, drilling wrestling moves, [and] to finish off, live wrestling and conditioning,” said senior Paul Cassell. “[In practice,] we focus on the basics. The basics are offensive moves such as the double leg, and we focus on defensive moves such as the sprawl,” said Price. Wrestling is a physically demanding sport that requires individuals to train hard. In order to prepare and get into shape, the team practices every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. Practices consist of everything from weight lifting to sprinting and drilling. Despite intense practices, wrestling coach Matt Conley believes that the hardest part of wrestling is just deciding to try it out. “Wrestling is viewed as a hard and challenging sport. One of the biggest challenges is to get [students] to step on the mat and
Coach Conley congratulates the team for hard work and dedication after practice on Nov.10. “We have a great group,” said Conley.
try it out, but anyone can be successful,” said Conley. Some students may find it daunting to even sign up for wrestling because they see it as challenging. However, once students practice and work at it, wrestling becomes something they can handle. “Wrestling is a difficult sport, especially mentally difficult. I personally think it can be Photo by Gianna Sparks
Junior Carlton Price and sophomore Adam Wymore practice pins during a drill, wrestling for one minute at a time before switching partners. They did this to practice technique and endurance.
really fun. You learn how to work hard when you want to achieve something. Your teammates become some of your closest friends. I’m really close with a lot of the wrestling team,” said Cassell. Although wrestling may seem very individualistic, the wrestling team at North tries to promote the team aspect to help them trust and encourage each other. At the end of every practice, the team sits together and congratulates each other for good work, even clapping for certain members. “We have been focusing on team unity more than anything which will help us mentally in the end. We end [practice] shaking each other’s hand for a good practice and break saying ‘I believe’ ‘believe in what’ ‘VIKINGS’,” said Price. While the team is focusing on unity, they are also trying to remain academically focused. “The team is having trouble with getting people to do their homework,” said Cassell. It can be challenging for students to balance school work and sports, especially with after school practices and matches. However, the team is trying to excel not only in sports but also in schoolwork by allowing students to take time off for practice if legitimate help
is needed. Another challenge that the team is facing is the fact that wrestling is not as popular as some other winter sports. “Wrestling isn’t televised like other sports,” said Conley. In order to gain the interest of the school , the wrestling team held a showcase for parents on Nov. 16 at Parkway North. There, wrestlers gave demonstrations and gained practice for upcoming matches. “Wrestling matches can be brutal. It’s one on one combat. They are challenging physically and mentally. You just have to push yourself to the best of your ability,” said Cassell. The Parkway North team had approximately one month to prepare for their first wrestling match. Wrestling matches have a point based system where different actions, are awarded different point values. Wrestlers can win by scoring a certain amount of points or pinning their opponent to the mat. “My favorite part of wrestling is the competition and aggressiveness. It’s the competition to be better than anyone else and to influence your teammates to do better,” said Price. “That makes wrestling fun.” The next wrestling match will be on Jan. 3 and 4 at Hazelwood High School for the All Suburban Conference.
“Wrestling is a difficult sport, especially mentally. I personally think it can be really fun. You learn how to work hard when you want to achieve something” -Senior Paul Cassell
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Girls Swim Team Prepares for Upcoming Season Kori Clay
pseudo in shape. I swim with Robinwood West.” Improving after the loss of Heather Lundstrom will be a tough task, but the girls aren’t taking it hard. They look forward to focusing on the current individuals and team for the upcoming season. “Obviously [Heather leaving] made a big impact,” said Doering, “[however,] we still have good swimmers.” Photo by Kori Clay
Community editor After completing their first meet on Dec. 10 against Parkway Central at home, the Parkway North girls varsity swim team continues to get use to some new changes ranging from the coaching staff, to incoming freshmen, to the absence of graduate Heather Lundstrom—one of the fastest swimmers in Missouri. Despite their hurdles, many of the girls are prepared to give it their all this season. “Performing well in swimming takes strength, speed, and good technique,” said head coach Jennifer Meyer. These skills can be obtained through a lot of hard work and practice. At the high school level, natural talent can only get a swimmer so far. The other portion comes from hours spent at practice sharpening skills and developing techniques to perform better than opponents. The girls swimming team spends a great deal of their week in the pool. They practice six times a week, including on Saturdays. “[The workouts this season] should be as hard as they should be,” said Meyer Practices focus on working on the girl’s strength, speed, and technique. To continue these skills in the off-season, some swimmers practice during the summer, while others prepare through Fall sports.
“I run cross country during the off-season,” said junior Amanda Lopatin. Along with Fall Sports, another way to remain fit is through summer leagues, which are formed at different clubs for girls who want more of a challenge in the off-season and also want to remain in shape during the off-season. Senior Katharine Doering said, “During the summer, I do summer league to stay
Swimmers prepare for time trials for 200m freestyle in practice on Nov.14. Head coach Meyer believes that “anything is possible [this season]” with all of the changes.
Senior Ellen Lundstrom, sister of graduate Heather Lundstrom, thinks that the team could possibly benefit with the absence of her sister. “We lost her, but other people will pick up the slack. We won’t just rely on one person; we’ll be more well rounded,” said Ellen Lundstrom. The team also welcomes a new assistant coach to the team to help improve the talent and techniques of the team. “My swim teaching expertise is in free style and the new assistant coach Michael Cowl has excellent experience in all the strokes. Together, we will help the girls refine and improve their technique and do the appropriate training to improve,” said Meyer. “We have 33 [swimmers] signed up,” said head coach Jennifer Meyer who has been coaching and teaching swimming for years. The team will consist of 28 of swimmers. With the potential of new freshmen and returning swimmers, the girls swimming team is remaining positive as the season begins. “Anything is possible in my opinion,” said Meyer. The next meet is Dec. 13 against Rockwood Summit High School at 4 p.m. at Rockwood Summit. They have high hopes for the rest of season as their potential continues to grow.
Girls Season Begins with Changes as Boys Season Ends with State Competition North Sends Qualifiers to State; Dachroeden Breaks Records Photo by Mary Ney
Brianne Lewis Business Manager Parkway North High School varsity boys swim team competed at the State competition on Nov. 15-16. Last year, the team finished with a record of 5-6 with only one swimmer, junior Jared Dachroeden, qualifying for State. “It was exciting to be able to go to State this year. Last year, I was the only qualifier, but this year we got a relay and another individual event. It was a lot more fun,” said Dachroeden. Every swimming competition has different events in which swimmers can compete individually or in groups. There were 12 events at the state competition. North had swimmers who qualified for five of them: the 200 yard medley relay, 200 yard freestyle, 100 yard backstroke, 100 yard butterfly, and the 400 yard freestyle. “We weren’t sure if we were going to make a relay this year and the last possible chance that they could make it, they made the State cut. It was exciting all of the way down to the end,” said coach Bart Prosser, who completed his 15th year as coach this year. North had four qualifiers who went to State this year. The group included junior Jared Dachroeden, who competed in the 200 yard freestyle, the 100 yard backstroke, and the 400 freestyle relay; freshman Joseph Kim, who competed in the 400 freestyle re-
Matt Ney, Joseph Kim, Josh Lay, and Jared Dachroeden solidify their eligibility for State at Conferences on Nov. 7. Their haircuts are a Conference ritual. It is done for team bonding and to get swimmers excited about the potential wins.
lay; senior Josh Lay, who competed in the 100 yard breast stroke and the 400 freestyle relay; and senior Matt Ney, who competed in the 400 freestyle relay. “It was really great feeling knowing I was swimming alongside some of the best swimmers in the state,” said Ney. The five alternates were freshmen Gabe Fels and Benjamin Fite, sophomore Josh
Zimmerman, junior Henry Warren, and senior Grant Dachroeden. The alternates do not compete in the meet unless needed, but gain experience by being there. “[We bring the alternates] along so they understand what the big meets are about and give them a chance to cheer on kids in the water,” said Prosser. Dachroeden did not place at State, but
broke two school records in the 100 backstroke (00:54.04) and 200 freestyle (1:47.15). The state records are 49.51 for the 100 backstroke and 1:38.86 for the 200 freestyle. He considered this a huge accomplishment. “I am proud of the records. That’s exciting because those have been up for a long time. I actually know one of the people [who held record] personally so that is fun too,” said Dachroeden. Many athletes have a ritual before they compete, whether that is listening to a particular song or wearing the same uniform to every meet. Dachroeden said that he does not have a ritual, but he talks to Prosser before each competition. “It’s just get into the water, have a good start, do whatever [the coach] said to think about and think about that. Then, think about the finish,” said Dachroeden. All four qualifiers competed in the relay which consists of four strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle). Each swimmer swims one stroke two lengths of the pool which is 50 yards in length. Then, the next swimmer dives end to complete his section. “We had our best time of the season in the relay; all four of us improved our times,” said Ney. The relay was a team effort. For the senior swimmers making to state was a good way to end their high school swimming careers;and for the others it was good experience for future seasons.
December 11, 2013 Parkway North High School
Parkway North Upholds the Tradition of Chivalry Month Zack Becker Online Editor
Senior Duncan Wheeler displays a flag noting his defeat in a game of chess. Wheeler lost to senior Luke Matthews, and must now suffer the shame that goes along with defeat. Senior Mary Kate Mudd blesses outgoing cars in the Senior Parking Lot. “It was a funny job so I tried to make the best of it by having fun with it,” said Mudd.
Senior Kyle Toser-Aldaz confesses his sins to Senior Cody Mayse. Mayse held a confession booth during class for students to repent.
Senior Joy Garcia shares a sonnet she wrote with Mark Bannecker. Garcia then argued why love is the greatest human virtue until he was satisfied with her effort.
Senior Duncan Wheeler tells English teacher Mark Bannecker why he is an honorable teacher. Wheeler must profess his admiration for a male teacher for a class project.
Senior Milo Brucker performs Brutus’ funeral speech for Julius Caesar from William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Brucker gave the speech on a table in the commons while senior Sage Elfanbaum pretended to lay dead at Brucker’s feet.
Senior Danny Cohen pushes senior Martin Valkov into senior Gabe Sander in a joust. The joust was held in the commons during lunch to entertain the students. Many rounds of jousting were held with a final noodle fight to conclude the competition.