Volume 109 Issue 2
Pg # 6/7
Pg # 8/9
Pg # 10
Pg # 11
NORTH HIGH SCHOOL 501 HOLCOMB AVE. DES MOINES, IA 50313 A PUBLIC FORUM FOR STUDENT EXPRESSION
THE_O'S_Opinions_ Minecraft pg 3 -Natale/nash
pg 3 - McNichols
NOT A Barbie
pg 10 -Castillo/Vargas
pg 11 - Lovan/song
THE_SPREAD Fall Fashion THE_ARTS URINETOWN
pg 6 /7 - Lothi
pg 8/9 - Kelley/Waughtal
THE_LOCKER_ROOM FALL SEASON RECAP
pg 4 - Young
pg 5 - Young
Photo 1: Wyatt Powers (Soph) at the fall fashion shoot Photo 2: Instagram User @isaacthegamerr takes a picture of North High School Photo3: Chanbopha Sam (Sr) at the fall fashion shoot
COVER PHOTO CREDIT:
Executive Editor & Chief Storyteller – Chanbopha Sam Executive Editor & Master of Design – Cameron Fisher Social Media Director – Michael Pham Sports Director – Derek Young News Editor – Kelsey Ambrose Features Editor – Sammi Linebach Opinions Editors – Valerie Natale & Esperanza Vargas Creative Arts Editors – Hatte Kelley & Leah Waughtal Copy Editors – Jacob Sanderman, Iliana Castillo Photography Editor – Saleena Lovan
Photo 1: The NHS Band gettiing ready on Senior night Photo 2: Instagram user @supa_minh takes A picture of The Urinetown Program Photo3: Destiny Foster(Sr) at play rehearsal
Reporters: Kolby Chup Alexander Crosby-Anderson Paige Hennick Jessie Hertz Celina Horsley Tanna Jones Aminah Lothi Alejandra Magallanes Hannah McNichols Rachael Nash Yolanda Perez Jesse Primrose Marina Song
Chandalae Staples Moise Tuombemungu Daishon Willis LAURA ABUHL ELISHA BOARDMAN MICHAEL COLON-RAMOS WILLIE GARDNER ABBY MCGRUDER Elisha Boardman Michael Colon-Ramos
“You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can not pick your friends nose.” By: Valerie Natale Rachael Nash
Imagine a world where everything is square. You can build anything you want, travel to the Nether, and defy gravity, I’m not talking about some stupid computer game. I’m talking about Minecraft. People of all ages are playing Minecraft now. From children to young adults, even thirty year olds enjoy the amazing game. Minecraft has became a
pop culture icon. Maddy Hannagan, 18, has been playing Minecraft for about three years now. “I prefer to play by myself. Most of the time I’m working on a project, like a new structure and I find that it’s better without the distractions of other players.” Hannagan learned about Minecraft through a few friends. Tristan Kidd, 17, has been playing Minecraft for four years. “Disadvantages to playing Minecraft would be how time consuming it is and how it draws you in. I often rage quit. I cannot tell you how many times I’ll be playing legit survival, having a lot of items and just
die. You lose everything.” Kidd watches TheCreatures on Youtube, who make Minecraft videos. Alvaro Coarite, 17, has been playing Minecraft for three and a half years. “Perks to playing would be spending time on the game, having some sense of accomplishment for making cows and chicken get funky.” Coarite watches Sips, Sjin, and Roostertheeth on Youtube. “People who shouldn’t be playing Minecraft are people without hands and goldfish because crafting isn’t easy without hands and the fish provides moral support.” I’ve been playing Minecraft
NOT A Barbie
“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
Make sure to visit our online articles to read another opinion piece about AP Seminar by Kelsey Ambrose.
since Freshman year. I usually play with Coarite and other online players. There are many Youtubers that play Minecraft. From TobyGames to PewDiePie. I would say SkyDoesMinecraft and Deadlox are my favorite players. People who shouldn’t play are children and preteens. They’re extremely obnoxious online and do not understand server rules and often cheat. Notch created Minecraft for everybody to enjoy peacefully. Whether is being through LAN, offline gaming or server games, it can make any unique gamer happy. If you’re not sure about playing Minecraft, Youtube various players for yourself.
So what if I don’t have a thigh gap? When I was younger, I would always play with Barbies, and Bratz dolls. I would look at them, and think that I’d look like that when I was older. I had to be thin, I had to have long hair, and I had to be able to keep a boyfriend. I would always go to the bathroom to make sure I looked presentable enough to go to school. I’d turn sideways, hold my breath, suck in my stomach, and admire the flatness. When I couldn’t hold my breath anymore I’d breathe out, and the disappointment would start flowing back. One day, I’d say to myself, one day I’ll be skinny. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that it’s hard to have that Barbie doll image. I’ll never have the curves or the beautiful long blonde hair that Barbie has. In today’s hypocritical society, it seems that nobody is happy with his or her apperance. A major issue is weight. Why are so many girls striving for that size 00? Is it okay your stomach isn’t flat and you don’t have at thigh gap? I can pretend all I want that I’m losing weight for me, and to be healthier, but in all honesty, that’s not the reason. I want to lose weight because I feel disgusting. I feel unwanted. I feel out of place in a world full of size 00 models and extra-small shirts at the mall. The media pushes girls to be skinnier, to be thin like the photo-
shopped images of girls on the covers of magazines. Certainly, the media plays a big role in why society is so obsessed with being thin. But that’s not why most people want to lose weight, is it? They want to lose weight because of the stares. The snickers they get from people passing by, the way their self-esteem plummets with each look in the mirror. It stings. It’s painful, way too painful to bear. No matter how many kind people tell you looks don’t matter, you can’t
We have all of these rail thin models who pose for magazine covers that set the example. The example which our generation follows. Therefore making us believe that we have to have a thigh gap, a flat stomach, long hair, and a boyfriend. One college student decided to build a life size Barbie. Galia Slayen, who fought her own battles with anorexia, built the life size doll to draw attention to the issues that girls with eating disorders face. It was her way of bringing awareness and letting others know how unhealthy a person with Barbie’s measurements is. If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9” tall, have a 39” bust, an 18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe. I’ve talked about models being influences. So, what about Tumblr? The “Tumblr girls” might not have planned on being the influence they are, but when girls with curvey bodies see the pictures online of their skinny jeans and their thin bodies, or even just the clothes they own, it makes some teens instantly wonder why we don’t look like them or have what they have. Why can’t we fit into those jeans or be confident wearing a 2 peice swim suit? I want to lose weight, just like many other girls my age. But why? Certainly not because it’s my choice. Certainly not because I simply want to become healthier, even if that does play a small role in it. I want to lose weight because society wants me to lose weight. There, I said it.
“No matter how many kind people tell you looks don’t matter, you can’thelp but feel like the ugly duckling. “ help but feel like the ugly duckling. And in that instance, when you decide to lose weight not by your own choice, but because of society, your body no longer feels like your own. Society made that choice for you, chose to make you uncomfortable in your own skin, and beat you down until you conformed to their standards. The phrase ‘body image’ is said with a sneer, with a self-assured smug look on media executives faces. It’s a phrase meant to make you feel uncomfortable. And it works.
“We have issues.”
Fall Season Recap
Page by Derek Young
The 2013 season has not been a good one. It has been a winless season with one more game left to play against Ankeny. Coach Hanks had this to say on the ‘1314 season,“This was probably the best team to be around as far as attitude even though they are not winning they stay positive. Now when they watch film they recognize what’s happening and where the mistakes are coming from.”
The volleyball team has gone winless this season. A young team consisting of one senior and the rest being underclassmen have played very hard and have had a fun time doing it. Mikayla “Micky” Neal commented on the season, “It’s been ok. There are times where we’re good and times where we’re bad. A collision of both.”
The Cross Country team has had a quiet and winless season but still have competed stongly. “This is the best season we’ve had in the past two years and the first time we have enough players to qualify and score as a team. The kids have been working really hard all year and are improving,” said Coach Phil Feguson about his opinion on the past season.
The girls have had a decent season winning one meet against Perry and fighting through the rest with the stuggle of having very few swimmers compared to every other opponent. Rachael Nash commented on this season, “I think we’ve done pretty well. We have lost a lot of good swimmers, but a lot of us have gotten really good times in our races. Our win against Perry was freaking awesome.”
The golf team had a one win season beating Hoover and had a narrow loss to Lincoln. Sophmore, Michael Sunga, had this to say on the Polar Bear Golf Season, “It was a lot of fun, I made a couple of new friends. We treated each other like brothers. Some of us had that brotherly competitivness that helped make sure we had a good time instead of putting pressure on ourselves and each other. So my opinion of this season is that it was very successful.”
Taylor Wisecup, Senior, Photo by Colt Wyatt
Freshman, Albert Rassavong, walks off after running, Photo by Colt Wyatt
Are you eligible?
By Derek Young, Sports Director
Ever been to a North High event and notice players or students that should be participating in the event but instead they’re just sitting on the bench or not even there? Well there is one big reason this year that has possibly changed North High athletics and activities for many years to come. This past August, Mr. Vukovich, Mr. Tate and other activity directors got together to discuss the eligibility policy that North had in place for many years. The old policy was that a student who competed in sports had to have a D or better to be able to participate. After discussing the policy they came to this conclusion; Any student who competes in sports or activities must have a C or better to participate. Pending a Waiver Form, but back to that in a moment. Why was this rule created? Why is North the only one doing it? Mr. Tate, North High Athletic Director, thinks the policy makes sense. “It was created because we want students to care about their academics and their future. Soon school will be over and you won’t be able to swim or
play basketball anymore but you’ll have your education.” Not only did they drop it on students as school started, most of them didn’t learn until about a month ago, but North is the only school doing it. “We like to think North is made up of great educators and thinkers. The new grading policy is an example of many great things our leaders have put forward,” said Tate. So far the creators of the new policy are big fans of it. “I think it’s a great initiative taken by our principal to make sure that our kids maintain good grades and are able to compete while holding themselves accountable on things that are needed,” Tate told me. Coach Chad Ryan, Boys Basketball Coach, believes it can have a very positive effect on student athletes. “I think it’s a good thing. The term is student athlete. The student comes before the athlete.” Not all students like the new policy but others don’t seem to mind it all. They understand you have to do what is required. “I like it because it helps me focus more on school and my grades,” Senior
Basketball player, Terrance Bush stated. But do all students feel this way? Michael Pham is on the fence about the whole thing. “Yeah it gets students more focused on their grades but not all of them. I think the bar is set too high.” Not all students are screwed by their grades as long as they show effort and a want to pass class. For people who are on the brink of pass or fail or just fell behind but have stepped, up there is a solution. The Waiver Form. The Waiver Form is an opportunity to prove you are making improvements on your grade. So whether or not you have a D or F you still have a chance to play. This can only happen if you are determined to raise your grade. It works like this. Lets say your failing World Literature. You will get the Waiver Form and take it to your teacher. He/she will approve or deny two things. The first is effort in class, the second is unique contact points. Unique contact points are points you can get from teachers for visiting them after school and getting work done. In the end it’s really all on the students and if they are willing to get the work done. So has there been a drop in eligible students due to the new policy? Maybe.
“I think it’s a good thing. The term is student athlete. The student comes before the athlete.”
The Girls lineup against Indianola Photo by Colt Wyatt
“We’ve had a few student athletes who are receiving D’s and F’s. But what we are seeing is more students interacting with teachers and coaches. They are getting grade checks, completing waiver forms and attending homework help,” Tate told me. But on the other side of it Coach Ryan has seen “a few students who have failed and not been able to complete the waiver form.” “Yeah, not our team but I did see it for football,” Bush told me when I asked him if he has seen a drop in players due to ineligibility. From personal experience I can agree with that. After to going to just about every North High football game this season I can tell you that a large amount of students, too large if you ask me, were standing on the side of the field standing in jeans. Not all of them were out due to grades, but I’d bet more than half were. The big question is, do they leave this policy in place for many years to comes? Ryan finished with this, “With anything you’re going to have to see how it works. If the data is positive then we should keep it in place. In years to come there will probably be some slight changes but that comes with any kind of change.” Whether you like the new policy or not you have to deal with it. So embrace it and take advantage of the tools around you. No one will do it for you.
the_Features Dedicated coach, Iraq vet, and caring teacher shares his story
Dotson coaches softball at North, wrestling at Roosevelt By Maria Soto-Herandez and Madison Houska J1 Interns With confidence, a bright smile and a positive attitude, Daryl Dotson spends his days from early morning to late night helping all sorts of students with their lives. He uses sports as a way to connect with the students. One interesting quote he uses as a personal motto is, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” This shoes he is a hard-working man and doesn’t give up easily to anything or anyone. He was born and raised in Waterloo, IA. “I was raised by my mom...no dad around,” he said. She had three jobs and it was hard,” said Dotson. Growing up, he wrestled, played football, ran track and played basketball. He is currently divorced and has three children: Payton (20), Jenesis (10), and Elijah (9). “In my free time, I enjoy fishing with my kids,” he said. He attended Drake and Upper Iowa University for college. Dotson played football at Upper Iowa. He also served in Iraq for seven months where he learned Arabic and how to communicate with the native people.
and taking things serious. Showing all kids that they can to do it no matter how rough it gets.
Veterans Day 2013 November 11
Please join in this joyous event! The annual Veterans Day Assembly will take place promptly at 8:55 a.m on Friday, Nov. 8th in the Roberts Auditorium. Veterans are encouraged to contact ROTC to take part in this year’s assembly.
Dotson teaching Intro to Business on Oct 22 during block 3. Photo taken by Moise Tuombemungu. “My greatest accomplishment was going to Iraq and coming back in one piece,” he said. Dotson has many plans for he future, including a vision for himself in five years. “I will still be teaching, but I’ll be a better
teacher. I’d like to be a role model for other coaches as well,” he said. “The kids deserve 100% attention and they deserve to be coached,” Dotson said. This speaks of him as a man who loves his job and working with kids, having fun
“For those who fight for it, freedom has a special flavor the protected will never know.” -Author Unknown -Quote selected by Lucas McNichols, Commanding Officer MCJROTC
Concept By: AMINAH LOTHI
Photos by: Jessie Hertz & Cameron Fisher
FALL FASHION GUIDE GUYS
Fall is finally here! If you’re like me, you’re probably very excited or you could really be bummed because of the cooler weather but.... Have no fear, Aminah’s here! Just because it’s cooler, doesn’t mean you have to completely put away your summer wardrobe, you could still wear skirts, shorts and dresses in the fall which is something that I love! Add a nice jacket, and some tights to keep warm and you’re ready to go! Now, for my fellas -- here’s a good fashion tip, *wink wink.. Ladies, let’s be honest, we love a guy in button ups! Which is great this fall! Crew necks are also one of the best things during the fall, you can either be dressed up or dressed down with a crew neck, and it’s comfy! What’s not to love. My point is, fall fashion is very simple and classy! Don’t be too bummed about the cooler weather. Remember to always get up, dress up, show up, and smile!
FIND MORE PICS AND STYLES ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE: FACEBOOK.COM/NORTHHIGHORACLE
Flushing Out The Details Hatte Kelley and Leah Waughtal
Two acts in less than two hours. Two acts, and 25 students, countless musical numbers and even more hours spent memorizing lines. Drama students have spent seven weeks singing, dancing and acting their hearts out in preparation of opening night.
hearsed five days a week and have become a family. Not everything is fun and games for this group however. The time limit and the looming threat of opening day, has become a crucible of pressure.
stage and new to drama it has been very difficult because I didn’t know what to always do. The hardest part was memorizing staging and all of my cues and each of my lines.”
Each student is expected to memorize hours worth of dia-
Vanessa Brady, the choir director at North, has put in
Musicals are made of magic, people say. They believe when the lights go out and the band begins, every motion after that is flawless coincidence. What they don’t realize are the 81 hours of rehearsal each student has put in to this production. All of their hard work comes down to less than two hours to captivate an audience into passionate love with each character. Two hours to fall in love with a hero, Bobby Strong. Two hours to laugh at the comedic relief and sarcasm of Office Lockstock, and two hours to see the nature of goodheartedness in Hope Cladwell.
These students have re-
Paint bucket in the dock, photo by Leah Waughtal logue, their own personal vocal parts and as much choreography as possible. Freshamn Duncan Vivanh, new to the stage and a lead, expresses his opinion: “Because I am new to the
immense amounts of time and energy to make this musical successful. “The music is a major challenge. Some of the music is eight parts or more, so it is more difficult music than we have done at North in a long time. And then
for students who are good actors, but don’t have experience with singing, it becomes an added challenge.” Mark Rixner, drama director at North, recounts his work with student actors and what challenges Urinetown has presented: “Its always difficult when you have so many students with so many different things going on, whether they have jobs or athletics – or have personal issues. Its hard to juggle putting on a major production as well as all the other responsibility students have. Another challenge is getting the most out of your actors when they might of never had any experience on stage before – whether it being middle school or just never being involved in drama before. A lot of teaching and reteaching needs to take place. Kids don’t realize how difficult musicals are. Junior Rebekah Ostermann stars as Hope Cladwell in the production shares her experience. “The music of this show is very interesting. The musical also includes a lot of different genres like jazz chords and blues. Our past musicals like Annie, were pretty straight forward with only some
the_Features harmonies. But with this musical it is more complex because each vocal part is different. There are multiple Soprano parts. We are doing the best we can, and putting in a lot of practice. We put a lot of work in choir, and outside of rehearsal” she said. Junior Valerie Natale said, “I envy everybody involved with the play, it takes a lot of time and skill to pull off an amazing play.I think it takes about 1 to 2 months to put together, build sets, learn scripts, and add dancing on top of that.” Junior Michael Xayavong plays Bobby Strong and completed his sixth production at NHS. “A lot of work has been put into this production, from the acting all the way to the technical aspect because I work on both. I’ve been pretty busy. The amount of work I’ve given into this is more than our other plays. When we put on these kinds of productions everyone really has to come together and make it work which is why I enjoy this,” he said. These students have faced massive amounts of work between juggling their classes and this rehearsal regime. But some beautiful things have come out of the struggle. Between each and every scene you will find students in groups laughing and practicing their lines. New friendships have been forged within these hours of hard work. Vivanh adds, “My favorite part however is that I get to jump WEBSITE: NORTHHSORACLE.COM
into a character and be someone who isn’t me. Preforming is great to me because it allows me to transform myself into another person on stage. Even though it was difficult I feel that I have worked very hard in this role.” Rixner says, “There are so many things that have to be considered, all the time spent at rehearsals – the dancing – the singing – the acting. It isn’t just lines, its lyrics and dance moves. But all of those things are what make it so great in the end, the melding of all of these responsibilities into one fantastic production.” Vanessa Brady also expresses her excitement “So many students have found their voices, 25 students in the past seven weeks have found their voice--and how exciting is that?”
A Theatre Technician, junior Iliana Castillo worked behind the scenes on Urinetown. photo by Leah Waughtal.
North High School is famous for its theater program. The dedication of the cast and the hours of work put in by the tech crew make each performance a wonderful experience for the audience.
This isn’t a play review.
This piece is about the dedication and creative genius that these young actors have. The audience may enjoy the experience of the stage for only two hours, but these student will carry it with them for the rest of their lives. These young people have fallen in love with their roles, and the friends they have made because of the stage.
Dasia Black (Pennywise) performs during Urinetown. Photo by Taj Milton.
Although the pressure can be overwhelming, it brings out the best in all of us. It pushes students to work harder, become closer, and take pride in their own work.
2 ACTS 25 STUDENTS 81 HOURS OF REHEARSAL
Michael Xayavong (Bobby Strong) plays the lead in this, his sixth drama performance. Photo by Taj Milton
The Human Skin Can Be Hard To Live In ILLIANA CASTILLO
Every part of your body is covered in nerve endings. These nerves send signals to your brain when something comes in contact with your skin. Your brain then reacts accordingly, releasing endorphins which make you feel pleasure or pain. For some people, happiness doesn’t come easily. They use razors to lift themselves to a state of temporary bliss. Life seems to be an endless pursuit of happiness. A constant roller-coaster of different emotions with a deeply embedded necessity to be loved. So what happens when being loved and happy isn’t an option? You’re thrown into a seemingly bottomless pit of depression and loneliness. You spend days pretending that the smile on your face is never going mean more than it does now. Then superficial things are sought out to step over the pain of feeling so lost and unloved. They’re harmful. They eat away at your mind and your body, all for a moment of euphoria. To people who wish to remain anonymous, cutting is just temporary bliss. Sometimes it starts after your guard is down. “When everybody around you has convinced you that you’re a giant a**hole and that no one likes you. You take it out on yourself and you convince yourself that you deserve it,” Dean said. Cutting may start at a very, very young when things that are supposed to be candy and rainbows are actually far from it, “Second grade, when I picked up a shard of glass and started cutting. When I was little, my step dad was abusive to my mom and I,” Ruby said. People look at cutting as though it’s easy to get out of. As though a lot of threats, plenty of time at the therapist might make it instantly better. And it
might, with time. North’s counselor, Mrs. Kimber Foshe, talks about how she helps students that come to her, “When I find out a student is self harming, I try to determine why they are doing it. Sometimes they tell me they are cutting because it makes them feel better. Some people, when they are feeling so badly on the inside, they don’t feel anymore. So really, sometimes cutting can be a form of reassuring yourself that you do indeed still feel, and sometimes they feel that the pain is wrapped up so tight inside that by cutting it releases that sense of pain.”
dia has played a large part in defining self harm. “There’s such a blurring of boundaries, and it’s just amazing to me because it’s just so horrible.” Cutting should not be described as “stupid” when you’re dealing with something as bad as sexual assault. The emotional damage caused by sexual assault is hard to cope with, and while cutting isn’t a good way to manage, some people can’t think of another way. “It was regret from a case of sexual assault where she told me ‘you wanted it’ [that made me start cutting] and made me believe it was my own fault,” Bobby said.
"nobody likes to advertise that they are hurting on the inside" - Kimber Foshe
Cutting is like a drug, “It goes on and off, I try to get myself to stop and then I start again. It’s like an addiction,” Meg said. It all comes down to that chemical released in your brain, the one that temporarily soothes pain. “At first it was just once in a while. But then it became daily because I found that I couldn’t stop. It was like a drug that I needed to have to feel human, I guess. To feel something. I thought I needed it,” Meg said. “It’s just a matter of, why did you pick cutting instead of doing something like poetry. How did that help you deal with it? And they usually say, ‘I don’t know,’ and that’s honest. You’re right, you don’t know.” Mrs. Foshe explains. Mrs.Foshe also thinks that social me-
It seems as though cutting is being taken lightly. As though it’s just another flaw people have about them that is okay to expose whenever you see fit.
ESPERANZA VARGAS deserve pain.” “My little brother found out somehow, and he uses it against me all the time,” Ruby said. One of Mrs.Foshe’s methods includes differential reinforcement of other behaviors. “I always like to have students swap out one behavior for another. So instead of cutting, what else can you do? Something to take your mind off of cutting or keep your hands busy.” There isn’t a definite method to help people deal with their emotions, but there are always things we can do to help. Blackmailing to get what you want doesn’t help at all. Still, you can’t force a person to want to get better. They have to want it. There are a great deal of people willing to help, but try to remember that you are not helpless. Expose yourself to things like sports, acting, writing, or drawing. There are so many things you can do to channel your negative energy into something much more positive. By being more aware, you can change a person’s life. Everybody’s story is different, everyone’s needs are different, but sometimes all
“My family knows. Yeah. Do they care? No. Do they use it against me every single day? Hell yeah,” Meg said. “Sometimes there’s a big shame factor,
nobody likes to advertise that they’re hurting on the inside,” Mrs.Foshe says, “Some people feel like they
someone needs is someone to listen to and support them. A smile goes a long way. Be nicer. Don’t judge, instead, try to understand because self harm is a serious issue. So treat it seriously.
D I V E R S I TY @N H S race!
34.25% 65.75% are caucasion
1,254 Polar Bears
Speaks a second language besides English
Liberia- 5 Nepal- 6 Mexico-33 Myanmar- 23 Burundi- 2 Eritrea- 3 Ivory Coast- 12 El Salvador- 7 Thailand- 10 Tanzania- 3 Ethiopia- 1 Somalia- 6 Guatemala- 2 Congo- 7 Laos- 1 Vietnam- 5 Nigeria- 1 Bhutan- 4 Ghana- 1 Puerto Rico- 2 Iraq- 1 Serbia- 2
Birth countries out of the U.S
are non-white students
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Published on Nov 22, 2013