Page 1

You demanded it- Senior Spotlight is back! Page 24 December 17, 2009


Volume 56, Issue 2

Christmas is Coming Too Soon by JAMESON SHANK Ah, the holidays-a time of giving, receiving, and peace on Earth. And this year, the holidays are a time to wonder how it has become the holidays so quickly. Christmas may come but once a year, but these days it doesn't go away until it we've had three months of preparation beforehand. The only real reason the holiday season seems to come earlier and earlier each year is our obsession with planning. Getting a jump on things is one thing, but obnoxious inflatable reindeer decorating lawns before Thanksgiving day? Isn't Christmas coming too early? Retailers have a nasty habit of pulling out the holiday goodies when you least expect it-i.e.: way before you expect it. These days, if they aren't shoving Frosty in your face at the start of October, we

assume something is seriously wrong. For example, who hasn't gone to Walmart and seen stuffed snowmen and Christmas trees scattered amongst the gruesome, blood-soaked decorations of Halloween?

Only in America will you see “Shake Your Booty” Santa sitting next to “Man Who Removes Own Head While Screaming.”

Full article on page13

Political Correctness by KIRSTEN WOHLFORD

All-State by NATE CURLOTT On November 28, 2009, over 600 of Iowa's finest singers and 500 band and orchestral musicians gathered in Ames, Iowa to celebrate the All-State Music Festival. This is a gathering of the best of the best throughout the state and North Scott was fortunate enough to be able to show off some of our talent. North Scott had 6 students attend in the choir and one musician in the band. Full article on page 5

Every year it seems we find out that another familiar word or phrase has been deemed offensive to somebody somewhere. No longer can we wish someone a “Merry Christmas” without wondering if they'll snap back with an angry response that the mere mention of Christmas is against their religion. How far can this go until everything is so generic that the holiday season ceases to exist? When someone wishes someone else well, they are not trying to undermine their rights or their beliefs: they're just wishing someone well. That's all. Just because someone doesn't believe in a certain religion or celebrate a certain holiday doesn't mean that they can't just accept good tidings from a stranger regardless. If someone walked up to me and wished me a happy Hanukkah, I'd smile and say thank you, even though I'm not Jewish. It's the thought that counts, isn't it? What happened to common decency? Good will towards man? Oh wait, that's a Christmas phrase, right? Can I say that and not offend you? Once upon a time I could, but the very notion now seems like a fairy tale.

In fact, I find the very concept of “X-mas” offensive. To me, saying “Merry X-mas” is like putting an “X” through Christ-like crossing Him off like he's just another name in just another book. Even though we're not offending non-Christians now, we're offending the believers-and it's the believers who are actually entitled to celebrating the holiday.

Full article on page 28



--{ NEWS


Top Ten


3 Hot vs. Not



Yearly Video Game Review 18 Ratchet & Clank: Crack in Time 19 Atreyu!s New Album 19 The Story of Micheal Oher 22 Disney!s Christmas Carol 23 The Fourth Kind 23




New Year!s Resolutions 8


Song of the Year CAROLYN KECK

16 Street Smarts 20 Senior Spotlight 24 Graduating at Semester 26 Seniors Staying The Year 27 Politically Correct Christmas 28 Plagiarism 28 Photo Gallery 30

Fashion Industry 4 All-State Music 5 College Basketball 5 --{ FEATURES Celebrating New Years Safely 6 Tips For Making Resolutions 6 Things to Do Over Break 7 Origins of Christmas 10 Icons of Christmas 11 Date is Irrelevant to Celebrate 12 Christmas in Europe 12 Christmas is Coming Too Soon 13 Krampus: Anti-Santa 14 Black Friday Shopping 14 Christmas for the Frugal 15 Popular Gift Ideas 15 Important Dates For Seniors 26 Recipes For Christmas 29

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #3

Top Ten by KIRSTEN WOHLFORD Ten sel ect (and often amusing) stor ies fro m ar ound the wor l d 10. In Brazil, a man showed up at his own funeral. He had been falsely identified as being the victim of a car crash the night before by his grieving family when he had actually just stayed the night at a nearby truck stop. When he heard that his own

David Holyoak, dubbed the “Shrek Bandit” due to his unfortunate resemblance to the 3D ogre.

ing make-up or eating, some are not.

made it extremely easy for the police to

funeral was going on, he rushed over as

Several politicians have been religiously

identify and find him. His huge ears has

soon as possible to clear up the mistake.

fighting to outlaw nose-picking while dri-

landed him the nickname “Shrek.”

ving a vehicle. They claim it is an extreme9. A lot people have to take their driver's

ly dangerous distraction, and should lead

3. A couple in Pennsylvania were found

exam once or twice before they get a

to a large fine.

standing drenched in an alleyway when

passing score-but how about 950 times? A

they tried to steal the copper pipes from an

woman in South Korea has been trying

6. In Wisconsin, grocery store shoppers

apartment building. Stealing and scrap-

almost daily for four years to get at least 60

were shocked when a 125-pound black

ping copper pipes has proved to be a

out of 100 on her written driving exam

bear entered the building. Onlookers were

lucrative business for many, but not for

before she passed with the bare-minimum

terrified and hid from the ferocious animal,

these two novices. Unfortunately for them,

score. She has spent approximately 5 mil-

but thankfully, he was not out for blood.

the pipes were still in use when they

lion won (around $4000) on application

Instead, he went straight to the liquor sec-

attempted the robbery, thoroughly soaking

fees in her fight to drive, but it isn't over

tion and just sat on a shelf in the beer cool-

both would-be thieves.

yet: the woman still has to pass a driving

er for nearly an hour until animal control

test in order to finally get her license.

arrived and got him down.

2. When asked to choose a word to reflect the mood of the year 2009, the Oxford dic-

8. Sometimes, alcohol can cause a person

5. A new restaurant in Taiwan has debuted

tionary had plenty of options. They could

to believe that they are something they're

with a very interesting theme: bathroom-

have chosen a word to describe the reces-

not, and this was definitely true when a

style. Guests sit on real toilets (with the

sion, or a word to show the current state of

man in Seattle impaled himself while leap-

lids down, of course) and eat at tables

the country, but instead they used a

ing over a metal fence. Apparently, he

made from bathroom sinks. Meals are

Facebook term-“Unfriend.” Way to go,

earnestly believed that he was a ninja.

serves on miniature toilet-shaped plates,

Police at the scene said that he was just

and drinks come in a souvenir plastic uri-

drunk and “overconfident in his abilities.”

nal. For those without a sense of humor, however, folding chairs and ordinary dish-

7. After a new “distracted driving” law went

es are also available.

into effect in Canada that banned cell phone usage while driving, many people

4. A bank robber in the UK was told by

are pushing for it to include other distrac-

police that he should stop committing

tions as well. While most of their sugges-

crimes because he was “too ugly.” The

tions are reasonable things, such as apply-

thief has very “distinct” features, which has

2009. 1. A man in China walked out on his wife, not because she had cheated on him or was abusive, but because of what she fed him. Every day, for every meal, for every day of their marriage, she would force him to eat nothing but cake. He says that he “felt like a bakery dustbin.” He says that if his wife does not stop baking, he will

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #4

Hot vs. Not by ALYSSA COLE


+ Naughty list + Real trees

NOT - Nice list - Fake trees

+ Giving to the - Being selfish and needy greedy + Snow days in - Make up days in January May + A mistletoe kiss - A mistletoe dis + Dashing through the snow - Crashing through the snow

Fashion Industry: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back by AISLINN MARTIN Just when it appeared that normal girls were beginning to get some respect in the fashion community, scandals involving two well-known fashion designers circle through the media, knocking us all back a few pegs. The inevitable love-hate cycle between the average girl and fashion begins again. Back in April of 2009, Ralph Lauren model Filippa Hamilton was fired from the company-where she had worked for 8 years since the age of 15. While Hamilton is well known in the industry, she is not a household name, so obviously this information did not make mainstream news. However, in September, a disturbing ad for Ralph Lauren began circling around the internet. This photo depicted Hamilton's head on a grotesquely thin body. After this incident, Hamilton went public with her firing, doing several interviews

including one with NBC's The Today Show. Her claim was that she was not, in fact let go for her “inability to meet the obligations of her contract” as stated by Ralph Lauren, but for being too fat to fit in the company's sample clothes. Hamilton is a size 4, 5'10”, weighs 120 lbs, and maintains the fact that her weight and body type have not changed since she began working with the company 8 years ago. As if this wasn't enough, another offensive quote was released, but this time from Karl Lagerfeld, a German designer who is known for revolutionizing brands like Chanel and Fendi. Lagerfeld was recently quoted in a European magazine saying “No one wants to look at curvy women,” when he was asked if he ever considered using average sized girls in a runway show. The designer went on to say that women who were against the typical skin-

ny model prototype are all probably “fat moms sitting with their bags of chips in front of the TV.” Obviously, Lagerfeld is exaggerating. Imagine a little girl seeing that picture of Fillipa Hamilton and believing that it was real, or having the message engraved into her brain that if she is not a size 0, she is a fat slob. Not only are these incidents offensive to women and girls of any age or size, but they're just getting annoying. How many times a year do we have to be subject to these scandals? As bothersome as it is, the fashion industry will continue to do what they do best: cycle. The fashion industry big wigs will never realize that they need to stop making these stupid mistakes in order to sell more clothes. The world is changing and they are obviously not changing with us.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #5

All-State Experience Revisited by NATE CURLOTT On November 28, 2009, over 600 of Iowa's finest singers and 500 band and orchestral musicians gathered in Ames, Iowa to celebrate the All-State Music Festival. This is a gathering of the best of the best throughout the state and North Scott was fortunate enough to be able to show off some of our talent. North Scott had 6 students attend in the choir and one musician in the band. Three-time All-Stater Stacy Phipps led the group, with twotimers Kellen Moss and Audrey McDermott and first timers Travis Brown, Nate Curlott, and Sam Cosner bringing up the rear, with senior Steven Trent was selected as an alternate. Kari Moeller was selected to be

part of the All State Band for the first time in her high school career, with alternates Olivia Hawley and Emily Kolwey backing her up in case she was ill. Stacy Phipps comments on the group, "It was a really great group to spend a weekend with. They were all so talented and deserving of the experience. Everybody had something new to learn and you would've thought they had all been there before." As I said before, it was my first time with this experience and I can safely tell anybody who might be remotely interested in trying out next year that they should do it. It is totally worth it in every aspect. The work can be hard leading up to it, the audition is nerve racking, and the wait is just about more than any human being can bear, but the final payoff is amazingabsolutely amazing. The first time I sat in that auditorium and heard over 600 voices join in unison, I got chills. It was like nothing I had ever heard before. If you think you got what it takes, swallow your fear and try out, because you won't be . As for the concert itself-beautiful. Sixhundred students singing, three-hundred in the band playing, two-hundred performing in the orchestra, all for the same reason-the music. Two and a half hours of Iowa's finest musicians performing a show for thousands in Iowa State's Hilton

Coliseum. The All-State Experience was truly thatan experience. It was worth every single extra minute spent on the notes, every group rehearsal, and every nervous feeling. If you've never tried it and are thinking about it, do it anyway. And if you've tried before, but haven't been successful, keep trying. Travis Brown has been trying since his freshman year, and those four years of work paid off for him; they can pay off for you too. Someday, with the hard work and dedication, you too could have the "All State Experience."

College Basketball Kicks Off Season by AARON VINER As winter draws near, so begins another exciting season of College Basketball. The University of Kansas opened up the year ranked as the number one team in the country (all rankings are based off of preseason polls). Their team this year features freshman guard Xavier Henry and senior guard Sherron Collins. Having the preseason ranking, however, doesn't mean anything as the season drags on. Last season began with North Carolina as the number one team in the country, and while they ended up as the number one team at the end of the season (after taking home the national championship), during the course of the season, the number one ranking changed over 10 times.

For those wondering, North Carolina began the 2009-10 season ranked number four. After a strong showing in the national tournament last season, Michigan State is currently ranked second in the nation, followed by Texas, North Carolina, and Kentucky to round out the top five. One of the surprises of the preseason was Indiana's Butler Bulldogs being listed in the top 10 of many national rankings. For those of you loyal to the Iowa Hawkeyes, you could be in for a season of disappointment. With season opening losses to the low-rated University of Texas: San Antonio and Pittsburgh's University of Duquesne. However, many of the Big Ten

conference teams' outlooks appear to be favorable with five of its eleven teams in the top 20. Looking at other conferences, the Big East, a perennial powerhouse conference, has six teams in the top 25 headed by preseason conference favorite Vi l l a n o v a , while the Atlantic Coast Conference boast four teams in the top 25, including powerhouses Duke and North Carolina. Starting with the many tournaments highlighting the preseason, going through the most exciting month of sports (March Madness), this promises to be yet another great season of NCAA basketball.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #6

Fun and Safe Ways to Celebrate New Years by DESTINIE HSU

Instead of‌


Consuming alcohol

Drink sparkling grape juice

Going out and finding a random Host your own party with your party closest friends Doing drugs

Play games like "DDR" or "Guitar Hero!

Not remembering a thing from Remember your whole night last night and how fun it was Regretting it the next day

Be proud that you did the right thing

Being at risk of hurting yourself Be safe so everyone comes or others back next semester Have a fun and safe Christmas and New Years Everyone! See you second Semester!

New Years Resolutions Guide by DEVIN RASCHE So here we are North Scott, at the end of

lifestyle. A few things to keep in mind when

Also, if you are struggling, don't beat

the first semester. It's been rough, but we

writing your resolution, is to be realistic,

yourself up, stick to it, and keep trying.

made it. December is also coming to a

plan ahead, and talk about it. When you're

close, which means a new year, a new

realistic with yourself about your goals, if

slate for us to begin. For some, a New

you don't meet them one hundred percent

Year's Resolution is the least of their wor-

you won't be as upset, while talking about

ries, but for others it's a way to plan for the

it with your friends and family keeps them

next twelve months.

informed and encourages them to help you

When thinking of what to chisel on this

if they see that you're struggling. Say that

new slate, toss that aside, pull out a mini-

one of the goals is to have straight A's and

whiteboard and a marker. Writing a New

you accomplish that all but one B, pull out

Year's Resolution is as easy as one, two,

that whiteboard and throw a few curves on

three when you break it up into categories.

that A, and it becomes B. Now your goal to

Put all your ideas into the categories of

have straight B's was more than accom-






With that whiteboard in hand, there's no limit to the amount of changes you can make to your New Year's Resolution.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #7

Activities For Over Christmas Break by KAYLA HAMILTON Christmas is one of the world's most celebrated holidays. With a wide variety of traditions to do it's pretty easy to keep yourself busy over Christmas break. Ranging from ancient traditions to the newly adapted ones, there is always something to do over the holiday. If you find yourself becoming a Grinch around this time of year, force yourself to be festive. Nothing is more fun than popping in a classic holiday flick to get you in the mood. Amongst the most best are “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolf the RedNosed Reindeer,” “White Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “The Santa Clause.” All of these movies are great to enjoy with your family while cuddling under a blanket and eating a large bowl of buttery popcorn. One of the Christmas biggies is to decorate your house and--most especially-the Christmas tree. My family makes putting up the tree an almost sacrilegious experience. After Thanksgiving, we pull out the fake tree and our dozens of boxes of decorations; by the end of the day, the tree is laced with garlands, ornaments, and yards of lights. The outside is not spared. Wood cutouts of Santa and his reindeer grace the front of our house. When the last decoration is finally put up, the remnants of boxes make the house look like a war-zone. Another tradition that my family and others practice is “Light Gazing.” We drive around and look at all the different arrangements of lights that our neighbors and festive “go-getters” have taken the time to put up. From Nativity Scenes to miles of Christmas lights, it surely is a show to admire. Cookies. Everybody loves them, everybody eats them, and everybody bakes them. In fact, if you are not a fan of cookies, then I am not a fan of you. At my

house, we spend a whole day making these delicious confections and more. From chocolate-covered pretzels, frosted cookies, and homemade fudge, our house always has a tantalizing smell on Cookie Day. Not only are the treats we make yummy, they can also be a great way to spend time with family. If you are truly feeling the holiday cheer, then sharing these goods with friends and your local nursing home is a great way to embrace the giving spirit that Christmas has come to stand for. Some childhood traditions cannot be forgotten, of course. Building a snowman is a holiday must-especially if the winter

Everyone loves snow angels!

weather resembles that of recent years. After you are done with the body, it is a necessity that you 'pimp' your snowperson; adorn it with clothes, buttons, and, most importantly, a carrot nose. After a day outside, don't forget to enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate full of mini-marshmallows. If any of these traditions don't make you want to enjoy the Christmas season, then try to think of things that are more important about the holiday. Family, appreciation, and giving to those that may be less fortunate. If these values could be embraced this holiday, then it will truly be a merry Christmas.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #8

Reporter Tim Havenhill asks students...

What are your New Matt Moore-

Open Locker-

“To be closed.”

“To lose my... wallet” Dr. Onken“Torture all my students.”

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #9

Year’s resolutions? Sam Morrison“To make a difference in the world through writing.”

Bill Barton- Nate Spainhower“To sound like Corpse Grinder from Cannibal Corpse or find a band to play in.”

“To grow a moustache like my dad's.”

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #10

Christmas Originates in Debauchery by SKYLAR MOORE Although it's unwise to assume that most people don't know the origins of their favorite holidays, Christmas-like several English traditions-is borrowed from someone else. Here are just a few of the many Christmas traditions or trademarks that were of non-Christian origin.


As many Christians and historians know, Jesus's birth is speculated not to be on December 25, but rather in the spring-in fact, Jesus's birthday is closer to Easter (when he reportedly died) than to Christmas. If this true, then why do we celebrate Christmas in the winter instead of the spring? In an attempt to convert masses of Roman pagans, the early Christian church strategically adopted Rome's most exalted holiday-Saturnalia. The pagan holiday celebrating the harvest and the time-god, Saturn, was marked by a week-long celebration in which no one could be punished for breaking the law. Throwing such cautions to the wind resulted in abundant alcohol consumption, sexual indulgences, and general anarchy. The last day of Saturnalia fell on December 25, and in lieu of trying to tame the very un-Christian practices of the holiday, the early church decided it would become Jesus's birthday.


During Saturnalia, Romans often baked and feasted upon biscuits molded in the shapes of human beings, and these strange winter snacks are still produced in a few English (and most German) bakeries during the Christmas season. The English, arguably not the party-animals that the Romans were, were much more innocent when they decided to cook up the Gingerbread Man. They believed in the superstition that when young ladies consumed gingerbread men, they were in a way eating their future husbands. But that sounds bad, doesn't it? Let's rephrase: the English thought eating a gingerbread man would entice a real man into the lives of the young and unmarried


Today, we perceive the mistletoe as an excuse to plant a kiss on that cutie we've been admiring when we catch them beneath it unawares. In ancient times, however, its connotations were less rosy tinted, and mistletoe wasn't quite so sweet. In Norse mythology, Balder, god of light and beauty, was killed using a sprig of mistletoe when the blind god Hoder was duped into throwing it at him by the trickster, Loki. Kissing under the mistletoe is attributed to its association with Balder!s mother, Frigg, goddess of love, but considering the plant supposedly killed her most favored son, this seems questionable. In Britain, the nature-worshiping Druids held the plant in high-esteem because of its perplexing ability to stay green and leafy in the winter in spite of having no roots. In fact, they admired the plant to the point of worship, exalting it not only because it sprung from sacred oak trees, but as a killing agent in toxic brews presented to human sacrifices.

damsels of their country; eating a gingerbread man would make them a bride-tobe. Our practice of making and ravenously devouring gingerbread, although spicier and (slightly) less sadistic, is not a far cry from the practices of pagan Romans.


On the surface, caroling appears to be a Christian thing through and through, and there are surely readers horrified at the origins of their most treasured holiday traditions, all desperately hoping that singing the praises of the Lord are at least original, for sanctity's sake.

Sorry to disappoint, but the Romans founded caroling too. Caroling is yet another transplant from traditional Saturnalia behavior. Because mass intoxication was a cornerstone of the ancient celebration, and because alcohol often tempts even the most level-headed into “questionable behavior,” it was not uncommon to see drunks wander the streets of Rome-in the nude. Singing. Liquor loosened the tongues of unwinding Romans, and it is those stark-naked aspiring singers belting out ancient versions of “I Will Survive” and “Don't Stop Believing” that we have to thank for modern man singing those very same songs in the darkness of our local bars on the karaoke machines. Obviously, the early Christian church didn't want their converts soiling the virgin eyes of Rome's daughters while they sang every song they knew in the buff, so they encouraged hymns praising God; the songs became “I Will Survive (Satan)” and “Don't Stop Believing (In Jesus).” The Christians also encouraged clothing, and remarkably, that went over really well. So what does it all mean? The Christian church converted the Roman Empire by incorporating their pagan practices, and because they did this, they secured the future of the Christian religion-and the Christmas presents piling up under your tree this year. And It's not like this is the first time it ever happened: the story of Noah's Ark and the Garden of Eden were both ripped off from the Sumerians; the Virgin Mary clutching infant Jesus is a copy of the Egyptian goddess Isis and her son; the feat of turning water into wine was originally cooked up by the Greek Dionysushell, even the word “Hell” is borrowed from one of the many cultures and religions Christianity absorbed as it took over the ancient world. Don't lose heart this year because the founding Fathers of the world's most popular religions took a few plays from the other team's playbook; the meaning of the holiday doesn't change just because they did. To quote Shakespeare, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” If there's anything to learn from the escapades and exploits of the origins of our treasured holiday traditions, or from the fact the a lot of Christian traditions could be misconstrued as glorified plagiarism, then let it be this: at least in the case of the early church in corralling in those

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #11

The Many Iconic Faces of Christmas by JON ZROSTLIK For some, Christmas is a time of religious celebration; for others, it is a time of presents, family, and tradition. No matter what religion a person holds sacred, there is usually some type of character or idol that they celebrate around this time of year. Each of these idols helped shape and spread the spirit of Christmas.

elves. The story of Santa Claus is often passed down because it provides a variety of lessons for children who are still young enough to believe, not least amongst them good behavior and a sense of giving selflessly for everyone all over the world.


green Christmas bandit

holy savior of mankind

Dr. Seuss's famous title character from ”How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!” who tried to steal Christmas from an unsuspecting Whoville. This story teaches people how strong the spirit of giving on Christmas is by taking an outcast who hates the entire holiday and turning him into a warm-hearted Christmas enthusiast. Perhaps the biggest lesson Dr. Seuss gave when he penned the story is that even when the whole of Christmas is taken away, the spirit still remains. Its message of unity teaches us that the holiday season is more than just what's under the tree.

As everyone knows, Christmas was named after Jesus Christ and celebrates the day of birth. For those who believe in Christianity, it is one of the most important days on the holy calendar. Even for those who do not believe, Jesus Christ is the holiday's figurehead, and the reason it is celebrated.

SANTA CLAUS jolly bringer of gifts

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN ironically warm and fuzzy

Santa (also known as Chris Kringle) is the much-beloved, red-coated bringer of gifts that comes to children who have been good all year. Legend tells that he lives at the North Pole creating the toys throughout the year with the assistance of his

Born from a 1950's Christmas song and reincarnated into books, movies, and TV specials, Frosty the Snowman was an instant classic. His cheerful appeal and liveliness give a certain holiday spirit that just no other character can fill. It is a whimsical thought to think a snowman could come to life with just a magic hat. The carrot nose and top hat have become nearly trademark in the essentials of creating a snowman. The message of the

story is that even when people make new friends they may have to leave sooner or later. However there is the famous song lyric “I'll be back again someday!” which shows that unity and friendship is strong.

MR. HANKEY the Christmas poo What can only be described as South Park's homage of Christmas spirit, Mr. Hankey, is arguably the most treasured winter icon for secular America. During the holiday season, he brings gifts and good tidings only to those who have enough fiber in their diet. Although Mr. Hankey finds his origins in comedy, he promotes a great message: universal joy during the holiday seasons. Mr. Hankey does not belong to any religion and therefore he offends no one, in spite of the fact he is a steaming, singing pile of stool.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #12

When Celebrating, Date is Irrelevant by TIM HAVENHILL When I was in sixth grade, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. We knew she didn't have much time left, so we celebrated

and put up their Christmas decorations for this holiday.

held a formal ceremony in modern-day Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the

her last Christmas on Thanksgiving. I learned something through this experience-it doesn't matter when you celebrate, so long as you have the family gathered

first Canadian Thanksgiving. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him-Frobisher Bay.

together, good food to eat, and know the meaning of the holiday. Whether it's Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving, it's the family togetherness that makes holidays

Britain's Mothering Sunday: Celebrated on the fourth Monday of Lent, this holiday honors the Virgin Mary, the holy mother of

special days to remember. So, for those of you who celebrate holidays (like Christmas) at different times than the traditional date, here are some holidays that have a different date:

Canadian Thanksgiving: In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. This feast honors a

Jesus Christ. It is celebrated similarly to Mother's Day in US, though the date differs. As in the case of Mother's Day, Mothering Sunday is marked by children giving flowers and gifts to their mothers to show their love and gratitude.

Christmas in July: Believed to have started in Europe, Christmas in July was

successful harvest. The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had tried to find a northern passage to the

born because people longed for the festivities of the winter season. It is said that people actually dress up as Santa Claus

Orient. Although he failed at finding the Northwest Passage, he succeeded in founding a colony. In the year 1578, he

times, we!re all celebrating together in our hearts.

Even though we celebrate at different

Turkish Saint vs. Santa Claus: Celebrating Christmas in Europe by JUSTIN ROBERTS All over the world, cultures view

features. Sinterklaas dresses in a red robe

December as a time for joy before the

and wears a bishop's hat, whereas Santa

brunt of winter sets in. Because winter

wears something similar to industrial-age

holidays are so widely celebrated, it is no

English winter clothes.

surprise that the world has completely dif-

Although they share origins, Santa and

ferent versions of our Christmas traditions.

Sinterklaas are seen as two separate char-

In Europe-in Western Europe especial-

acters. They both arrive by steamboat on

ly-Christmas is carried in by Saint

December 5 and are featured in a massive

Sinterklaas, who arrives from Spain with

parade. That night, children leave their

his assistants, the Schwarze Pieten, or

shoes out for Sinterklaas to leave small

Black Peters.

candies and toys in if he thinks they were


Santa Claus resembles






good. December 6 and 7 are seen as the

American-friendly version of the saint;

major gift-giving events, while the 25 is

hence the similar dress scheme and facial

mostly religious.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #13

Christmas is Coming Too Soon by JAMESON SHANK Ah, the holidays-a time of giving, receiving, and peace on Earth. And this year, the holidays are a time to wonder how it has become the holidays so quickly. Christmas may come but once a year, but these days it doesn't go away until it we've had three months of preparation beforehand. The only real reason the holiday season seems to come earlier and earlier each year is our obsession with planning. Getting a jump on things is one thing, but obnoxious inflatable reindeer decorating lawns before Thanksgiving day? Isn't Christmas coming too early? Retailers have a nasty habit of pulling out the holiday goodies when you least expect it-i.e.: way before you expect it. These days, if they aren't shoving Frosty in your face at the start of October, we assume something is seriously wrong. For example, who hasn't gone to Walmart and seen stuffed snowmen and Christmas trees scattered amongst the gruesome, blood-soaked decorations of Halloween? Only in America will you see “Shake Your Booty” Santa sitting next to “Man Who Removes Own Head While Screaming.” Television is another place where the holidays seem to come much faster than they should. This year, the ABC Family channel had a “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas” during the month of November; apparently, they thought it was necessary to air 25 days of Christmas programming to prepare people for the next 25 days when they air nothing but Christmas programming. Should they not rename their holiday programming celebration “Two Months of the Same Stuff We Showed Last Year?” At least that title wouldn't be so misleading. Perhaps the biggest beef with the need to make Christmas a three-month ordeal is that doing that takes away the meaning of Christmas day. After weeks and weeks of

This picture was taken on November 6th at Walgreens.

non-stop Yuletide festivities, December 25 seems rather insignificant. When you've had more than your fair share of eggnog and heard “Jingle Bells” well over 80,000 times, Christmas day becomes something you look forward to not as a celebration, but as a relief that the holidays are finally over; instead of recognizing the importance of the holiday and what it symbolizes, many of us are just praising the fact that it's over so we can pack those pesky decorations away. It 's easy to see why people become so obsessed with prolonging the magic of the holiday season; it truly is a mystical time of the year and there's a reason why we still

celebrate it in 2009. The problem comes in when those people forget why it is they do celebrate it every year in the first place. Maybe if everyone wasn't so focused on getting their lights up quicker than their neighbor or shopping like there's no tomorrow, people would be able see the true magic of the holidays. I'm sure every person here at North Scott would tell you that these last few months have been stressful; if we all slowed down a bit to take things in and enjoy Christmas on Christmas instead of the entire fall and half of winter, maybe we would have a better understanding as to why this is “the most wonderful time of the year.”

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The Krampus: The Anti-Santa Claus by JON ZROSTLIK Because of his selfless charity and saintliness, Santa Claus is what most envision as the spirit of Christmas. Ina number of nations, however, many h have come to fear one of his fiercest and more gruesome companions-the Krampus. While Saint Nick rewards the nice, this monster punishes the naughty. The Krampus was invented in Old High Germany and is still used to this day to scare children into behaving. The Krampus, almost reminiscent of “Nightmare Before Christmas,” is a terrifying thought to children and adults alike. Children reared in this tradition have simple guidelines in life: be good until Christmas, or an evil goat demon will appear and torture you. On December 5, young men in most Alpine regions dress up as Krampuses and scare little children and women of their village with rusty chains and bells. These costumes generally consist of wooden masks, sheepskin, and horns. Locals take the event very seriously and the majority of people participate. According to tradition, the only surefire way to defeat this demon is to throw snowballs at it. On Christmas Eve, children put out shoes in front of bedroom doors and window sills to receive fruits, nuts, and sweets from Santa if they're good; any rotten chil-

dren will receive nothing or an assortment of stinky objects from the Krampus. Some children try to bribe the Krampus by making him cookies. In some tellings, on Christmas day, there is a ceremony where St. Nick shows up with the Krampus, and the child, Santa drives the Krampus away and bestows them with presents. If there are bad, however, he lets the Krampus have its way with them. Extremely naughty children re put in Santa's bag and are forced to become helpers of Santa forever. Other variations include an event where Santa and the Krampus come to the door of a house and expect children to perform for them. Acting, dancing, singing, or anything else they can think of is acceptable. If the child does well, then he/she receives their presents. If the child does not do well, the Krampus tells them, “Improve by Christmas day or I will come and beat you with a stick and you shall receive no presents,” which, over the years has proven to be quite the ultimatum. It's arguable that the Krampus is possibly the evilest of holiday characters. He makes children fear Christmas, gives threats to kidnap children and force them into labor, demands they dance for his amusement-but he enforces the Christmas tenants of “Be good. Or else.” What par-

ent wouldn't want a demon that tortures children and scares them into behaving to appear on Christmas? The Krampus's methods may be extreme, but at least he gets his job done.

Seriously? Snowballs are our only defense against evil Christmas monsters?

Black Friday: The Insanity Continues by AISLINN MARTIN Sometime around midnight, in the first hour of November 27 2009, there was a stir across America. Long forgotten was the turkey consumed a short time ago, but a new hunger was awakened. Americans piled into their cars (bundled up of course, prepared for long outdoor lines) armed with their ads and their coupons and their lists, and set out, hoping for the best. We see them on the news, we hear about it every year. Some of us witness it firsthand, and some of us even participate. I speak, of course, of Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year that just keeps on growing. This year, stores pulled out the big guns: earlier hours and more deals. Toys R Us bragged “Over 100 Doorbusters!” in their Thursday ad. “We're open 5 am Friday!” was the headline on Target's flier, among photos of their crown jewels: a 32” flat screen TV, a Nikon digital camera, and DVDs marked down to the stores “lowest prices ever!” Walmart's suggestion was expected: “Shop us FIRST for unbeatable

prices!”, while Best Buy couldn't have been more blunt: “Line up early-get 'em before they're gone.” This is American capitalism at it's finest. I myself witnessed some of this mayhem firsthand, as I work at Toys R Us, one of the “hottest” Black Friday retailers. While I was not there for the store's opening (thank God, it was at midnight), I experienced the best of the rest of Black Friday. The gem of the day was hearing a flustered young mother with a cart full of toys tell her 3 year old to stop crying and standing up in the cart because if he fell out she would just “point and laugh at” him. And yes, that is a real quote. Black Friday started out as an event that represented frugality and the quest to get the most out of your dollar in an economic recession; it started out as something to be proud of. But instead, it's grown to ridiculous heights and has come to represent the consumerism and greed of our society. Shoppers and store employees being trampled to death, riots and fistfights breaking out in lines and store aisles, thou-

sands of dollars of counterfeit bills-it sounds ridiculous (and it is), but it's true. In Queens, NYC on Black Friday 2009, an elderly man was shot for the TV he had bought that morning. Shot. For a television. Obviously, violence doesn't happen with every Black Friday shopper, but this “I'm getting what I want and you can't stop me!” mentality is unhealthy and, frankly, embarrassing to me as an American. The fact that there are so many people that are self-centered enough to blatantly be rude and disrespectful to fellow human beings over a marked-down laptop makes me sick to my stomach. At what cost is this behavior? What are we saving by carrying on like this? By saving money like this, we're selling our dignity. We have forgotten what the holidays are about: family, friends, and goodwill towards others. Of course everyone likes presents-not to mention saving money toobut is it really worth spending the holidays in jail?

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Holiday Gift Ideas for the Frugal by SKYLAR MOORE Teenagers are often in a tough spot during the holiday season. Unlike adults, they don't have a full-time job, and often they have a lot more people to buy for-there's all those friends at school, and their family, and their boyfriend's or girlfriend's family, not to mention extended family, etcetera, etcetera. Between crappy hours at work (if they even have a job) and school, trying to find time-and money-for Christmas presents can cause everyone to get a little frazzled. To alleviate the holiday stress, here are some low-cost suggestions for those with a light wallet. Packaging. Why spend half of your budget on wrapping paper and the trimmings when it's only going to get ripped up and thrown out? Instead, seek out unique tins and boxes from local thrift stores, such as Good Will or Salvation Army-hell, even the attic or the garage. A plethora of little, oneof-a-kind baskets, tins, and boxes are available year-round and leave the receiver with something useful to remember you by. Although tissue paper is recommended for lining your new gift boxes, cutting out the wrapping paper alone will undoubtedly save a few trees, not to mention all the moolah you'll save not buying tape, bows, and to-and-from gift tag stickers. Christmas Cards. When you're running low on the dough or just don't know someone very well, Christmas cards are the way to go. Be sure to scrawl some personal message inside besides the quaint, massproduced “Warm Winter Wishes” bull already in there. For an extra kick, purchase blank cards (less than ten dollars for 20 online) and decorate them yourself. For those lacking artistic ability, stamps can also create a tasteful, unique look for the coming year. Seniors-don't forget to send senior pictures! You know you have more than enough you're dying to get rid off lying around. Pictures. For those sentimental people in your life, photos are an excellent (and cheap) gift they're sure to adore. Take any digital picture of you and those saps you know and love to Walmart and have a print made, or if you have the equipment, make the print yourself. If you're in Mr. Peeter's photography class, take the picture and develop it yourself. Grandma and Grandpa, often mushy in their old age, will appreciate the effort and slather you with love and affection. Pick up a frame for cheap at Salvation Army or, for the pickier, the Dollar General. Gift baskets. Not only are they relatively cheap, you can knock out an entire household with just one-if you make it well enough. The contents don't really matter, just make sure they have a cohesive

theme and that the receivers will like what's in it. Don't go giving a basket of select salami or sausages to your hardcore vegan aunt or one that is Packers themed when uncle Boris only bleeds and breathes the Bears. A great gift for your significant other's parents! Treats. Everyone loves to eat, and food is one of the cheapest presents you can give this time of year. Chocolate covered

pretzels (for recipe, see page 29) and cocoa are always sure to be holiday hits. And don't forget those canisters your parents sometimes get with the recipe attached to the lid-those only cost a few bucks to make. If cookies or brownies are also beyond your expertise, purchasing the recipient's favorite candy and presenting it in a gift box is also sure to delight, but be careful-some candy (such as gummy bears) will stale if opened too early. Buying your own gifts is probably the surest way to learn that money doesn't grow on trees, and giving gifts is the best way to learn Christmas isn't about receiving. Take inspiration from the prescribed suggestions above and watch their faces if you want proof. In light of that, ask your parents for less this year-especially if you have a younger brother or sister. The economy has been hard on everybody, and if Mom and Pop don't have a lot of money to spend, let them spend it on the tykes.

Holiday Gift Ideas For Not So Frugal

by ELISA STEGMAN With Christmas roughly a week away, it's time to face the holiday crowds and cold weather to buy last-minute gifts. If you have no idea what to buy your friends or your date, here are some of the most popular and “safe” gift ideas for 2009. For Her: Ugg boots and moccasins $100-$140 at Von Maur Scarves of every color $12.00 at Wet Seal Godiva Chocolates $4-$16 at Barnes & Noble New DVDs: “The Proposal,” “New In Town,” “Up” $19.99 at Borders Picture Frames $12.99 at Borders Salsa or Ballroom Dance Lessons $13.00/person at USA Dance QC Wii Fit $49.99 at Walgreens Twilight Series $58 at Borders iKaraoke for iPod $29.99 at Walmart

For Him: iPod touch (personalize the back for free) $199 Best Buy New DVDs: “Transformers 2”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” $19.99 at Borders Nintendo Wii $199 at Walmart DJ Hero $199 at Walmart Beatles Rock Band Limited Edition $249 at Walmart New Nikes $89.99 at Finish Line A sweatshirt of his favorite team $40 at Finish Line iLife Garage Band (learn how to play guitar through your computer, taught by famous musicians) $79.99 at Best Buy If all else fails, go homemade. Everyone loves holiday cookies or chocolate-covered anything-just be sure that the recipient isn't allergic to any of the ingredients. If cooking is beyond your capabilities, gift cards are always a solid way to go, especially for people you don't know very well.

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Reporters Kayla Hamilton and Elisa Stegman ask students...

What song do you think Mr. SchwartzA tie between 'Achy Breaky Heart' by Billie Ray Cyrus and 'The Quadratic Formula Song' by author too old to be known

Jaime Ruiz'You Never Said' by Armin Van Buuren Feat Dash Berlin

Brett Irving'All Summer Long' by Kid Rock

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best describes 2009? Jodi Williams'Party in the U.S.A' by Miley Cyrus

Coach Jacy Higby'Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night' by Black Eyed Peas

Stewart'Blow Me Away' by Breaking Benjamin

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Sequels, Remakes, and Redesigns: Holiday Video Gaming 2009 by JAMESON SHANK Redesigns

There is plenty for gamers to slap on their wish lists this holiday season: updated gaming systems provide better designs (and far better prices) than their predecessors, sequels continue franchises so beloved by avid fan boys, and this season's remakes are putting a different and unique spin on classic games.

Playstation 3: If you haven't bothered to jump on Sony's next-gen bandwagon yetdon't fret. A redesigned Playstation 3 was unleashed back in September of this year that is smaller, sleeker and lighter than the original console. Of course, the best thing redesigned about it is its price: a minuscule $299-pocket change compared to the console's original launch price of $699. Unlike previous versions of the Playstation 3, this new model cannot play Playstation 2 games or use a second operating system such as Linux. But considering the fact that Sony is actually losing money in manufacturing the new PS3, and a PS2 can be picked up for around $30, it is still quite the bargain.

Sequels Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: The highly anticipated sequel to 2007's “Modern Warfare” continues the events of the first game using an extensive singleplayer and multi-player campaign. Gamers can battle it out in realistic locals and then take the fight online to participate in team death matches. Both Play Station 3 and Xbox 360 owners will be able to get their hands on this action-packed title for around $60. Assassin's Creed II: The original “Assassin's Creed” had gamers sneaking around and eliminating targets during the Crusades. Although this sequel follows the same formula, the scenery has changed from that of the Middle East to the Italy during the Renaissance. Those who liked the first game should pick this next installment up-it's available for both PS3 and Xbox 360 for roughly $60.

Remakes Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles: This remake, exclusive to the Nintendo Wii, recaptures the events from the Playstation classic “Resident Evil 2” and its Dreamcast follow-up, “Resident Evil: Code Veronica.” Those who own a Wii (or plan on getting one for Christmas) can look forward to exterminating the franchise's trademark ghoulish fiends this holiday season. The game, released on November 17, retails for around $50. God of War Collection: Playstation 3 owners may have to wait until next year for “God of War 3,” but at least something is being done to help ease the anxiousness. “God of War Collection” lovingly pairs the first two tiles in the series (“God of War” and “God of War 2”) together on a single blu-ray disc. Although not technically a remake, the games have been remastered in high-definition-something that's sure to delight fans with HD televisions.

PSP Go: Sony also unveiled a trimmed down version of their Playstation Portable aptly named the PSP Go due to its ease of portability. The device unfortunately lacks the ability to play disc-based games and movies like Sony's original PSP. It attempts to make up for this shortcoming with a 16-gigabyte hard drive built in and the ability to add up to 16 more gigabytes using a memory stick. However, The PSP Go retails for $249.99, seventy dollars more than the original PSP, which includes disc playability.

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“R&C:Crack in Time” Cracks Smiles by JUSTIN ROBERTS The Ratchet and Clank series is a fairly long-running series that debuted on the PS2 in 2001, featuring Ratchet (a furry catlike alien) and Clank (his robot companion) as they save the galaxy, brandishing a variety of over-the-top weaponry. The newest entry in the series completes the trilogy began with PS3's “Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction” and “Quest for Booty with Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time.” To refresh gamers' memory or bring newcomers to the series up to speed, the developers feature a brief summary of the other games while it installs. At the end of the first R&CF game, Clank was suddenly teleported by an omnipotent alien race known as the Zoni to an unknown location and the following sequels have the player (as Ratchet) trying to find him, as well as uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of Ratchet's family. The one word to describe this game is “epic.” From the moment you put the disc in (or download it on the Playstation Network), you will constantly feel as if the balance of time itself rest upon your shoulders. The storyline surpasses the previous games, filled with multiple twists and surprises-and the

series' typical (yet still funny) humor. The new time-manipulation puzzles are complex, but not overly difficult and fun to solve and play, and the mix between platforming, racing, combat, and puzzles is superb; you will never get bored with any one type of game play because it shifts to another just as you're about to put the controller down. The only real downfall of “A Crack In Time” is the length of the game; it only takes an experienced R&C players about 10-20 hours to complete the story, depending on if they do the numerous side missions, work on getting all upgrades for weapons, gold bolts, and pieces to a secret weapon. Beyond that, and while it is easy to see that lot of effort went into the storyline, but it feels a little lacking in firepower; although many of the weapons are awesome, 3 of the 18 weapons actually ripped off from “Tools of Destruction.” Upgrading weapons is a challenge that is hardly rewarding; reaching the final level of a weapon only seems to alter it cosmetically, and does little change to the actual function. This game is fun from start to finish and is a good game for all ages to enjoy, In comparison to previous R&C games, I give

it 5 out 5 Bolts, but on its own, 4 out of 5 for its strong story, fun and varied gameplay, nice graphics, good dialogue, but also for its lack of effort in weapons and absence of multiplayer. Definitely a must play for any R&C fan, and totally recommended for anyone else interested in the series.

New Atreyu Album Launches A Much Needed Comeback by DAVID HARRINGTON Atreyu's new album, “Congregation of the Damned,” is a true breath of fresh air-

“Congregation of the Damned”

at least compared to their last release, “Lead Sails, Paper Anchor.” The main problem most found with “Lead Sails, Paper Anchor” was that the band was trying to get more listeners by bringing more of a mainstream pop feel to their music; by doing this, they lost legions of their dedicated fans. Feeling betrayed, most fans were skeptic about Atreyu's new release, but after hearing the first track, “Stop! Before It's Too Late and We've Destroyed it All,” they changed their minds. No longer was Atreyu trying to be a pop-friendly incarnation of Hair Metal. Fans rejoiced, knowing now that the classic Atreyu sound is back. Kicking off with “Stop! Before It's Too Late and We've Destroyed it All”, the dualvocal attack is back with the screamo vibe

hitting just before each chorus. “Bleeding Is A Luxury” has a very driven feel to it, and “Black Days Begin” has a very gloomy, powered by an unearthly tone. Overall, the album is very good, and succeeds in winning back some of Atreyu's old fans while keeping the ones gained by “Lead Sails, Paper Anchor.” Although it is a full-length album, there's something lacking from “Congregation of the Damned.” Atreyu's identity sounds vague and deceptive where before it was more comfortable and sure. Responding creatively to the changing demands of the music industry is what makes or breaks artists in the industry. In Atreyu's case, however, they seem to be forced to walk that middle ground against their will.

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Alyssa Cole tests NSHS students! knowledge of a random topic.

What are the names of Austin Plagge: “Vixen, Blizten, Comet, Rudolf. That's all” Holly Nelson & Chelsea Carroll: “Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blizten, Rudolf, Comet, Donner, Blitzen, uhhhh. Cupid? Rudolf? Google it!”

Shane Rumpza & Abbie Burt: “Danner, Comet, Cupid, Rudolf,

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all of Santa’s reindeer? Alex Rankin, Andrew Chaney, & Tyler Hamilton: “Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen & Rudolf!”

Unknown Old Man: “Dixen, Dancer, Prancer, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolf.” Katie Kranovich: “Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen & Rudolf! Yes! I'm Street Smart!”

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Road to Success: Micheal Oher by GRAYSON SCHMIDT Around Christmas, most kids spend their time wondering what presents they are going to receive or what they are going to eat for Christmas dinner. In 2002, however, all Michael Oher was thinking about was where he was going to sleep and when his next meal was going to be. Oher is the subject of Michael Lewis's 2006 book, “The Blindside: Evolution of a Game,” and the upcoming movie “The Blindside” starring Sandra Bullock. Both stories center around Oher and his many struggles in life-some of which most people could never imagine. Oher's story doesn't begin when he was an All-SEC offensive lineman at Ole Miss, nor does it begin when he was an All-State football player at Briarcrest High School: his story begins when he was just a child on the streets of Memphis, TN. Michael did not have a real family in his life when he was a child. He bounced from foster home to foster home until the age of 16. His mother was a crack addict and he was removed from her custody at a very young age. Michael's father was never really in his life and was murdered when Michael was a senior in high school. With no family to push academics in his life, Michael struggled in school. He was forced to repeat both first grade and second grade, and attended eleven different schools during his first nine years as a student. When Michael was 16, he applied for admission to Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. Briarcrest is a private school with strict academic standards that most people thought Michael couldn't meet, and for the most part, those people were right. It wasn't until he met the Tuohy family that his life changed forever. It was on Thanksgiving break of that same year when the Tuohys spotted Michael walking on the side of the road on a snowy day in nothing but shorts and a tshirt. The family immediately pulled over and offered Michael a place to stay for the night. From then on, the Tuohys took in Michael, allowing him a safe place to stay in their home in upscale East Memphis two blocks from the school. For months he came and went as he pleased, and eventually the family paid his tuition and gave him clothes and other necessities. Not long after taking him in, the Tuohys hired a tutor to address severe academic deficiencies. The tutor worked with Michael for

The real-life Micheal Oher

around 20 hours a week and helped bring his former GPA of 0.9 up to a 2.65. From then on Michael's life only improved more. He took over as the starting left tackle for his high school football team his senior season and quickly blossomed into a division one college prospect. In fact, in 2004, Michael was ranked as the number one offensive lineman recruit in the country. After receiving scholarships from Tennessee, LSU, Alabama, and North Carolina State, he ultimately decided to attend Ole Miss (University of Mississippi), which was the alma mater of his adoptive parents, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.

In his first season at Ole Miss, Michael started 10 games at guard, and became a freshman All-American. From then on Michael moved to left tackle and continued to receive numerous All-American and AllConference awards throughout his college career. Finally in 2009, the Baltimore Ravens selected Michael as the 23rd pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Michael's story has impacted many people by showing that no matter where you come from, anything is possible; and that where you have been, does not necessarily affect where you are going.

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Don’t Get Scrooged Seeing Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ by KAYLA HAMILTON Disney's “A Christmas Carol” follows the spirit of the original Charles Dickens's novel-to the point of boredom. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express), this film is shot using motion capture technology to give it the appearance of any other movie shot with a camera. The story starts out like every other version ever made. Penny-scrounging Ebenezer Scrooge is his usual “bah-humbug” self and refuses to give to the poor. Christmas Eve night however, holds many surprises for him-three, to be exact. Scrooge is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas: Past, Present, and Future. These three ghosts show him individual stories in an attempt to remind him of the man he once was, all in lieu of changing him into the man he could be. As a children's movie, the film is lacking. The film is slow; at times, the animation is borderline terrifying, depicting graphic, decomposing corpses of dead ghosts (at one point, Marley [Scrooge's deceased

former employee], has to physically strap his decaying chin back into place); and it lacks humor. The only conceivably funny part is when Scrooge is shrunk down to the size of mouse (a part which has little to do with the story, anyway). Don't be fooled by the big names in this movie, for it's the same as the older versions. The biggest problem I found with the film is that although it is advertised as a movie for children, no normal child could sit through it an enjoy it; to do so, the kid would have to have the same maturity level as my grandparents-even as a senior in high school, I could barely make it through it without falling asleep. For adults, however, it is not a bad film. Disney's adaptation should have been aimed at mature audiences who already know and have enjoyed the plot over the years. As for children, there can't be many out there who would leave the theater asking for it as a Christmas present. Disney's “A Christmas Carol” is an enjoyable film,

but don't get scrooged out of your money this holiday season by taking the whole family to see it.

For years, movies have been trying to convince us that we're not alone in the universe; none that I have seen have convinced me-except for “The Fourth Kind.” That is, until I realized it was a fake. Milla Jovovich stars as Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist in the town of Nome, Alaska, a town in which there has been an unusually large amount of unexplainable disappearances over the past 40. At first, Dr. Tyler (Jovovich) discovers similar trends between her patients; they all seem to have trouble sleeping and are constantly awoke to see what appears to be an owl looking at them through their window. As the movie progresses Dr. Tyler begins to discover that what they are seeing could potentially be encounters with extra-terrestrials. The encounters are categorized into four stages: an encounter of the first kind, being when someone witnesses a UFO, the second kind, being when evidence is collected, the third kind, being when contact is made, and finally the fourth kindabduction.

In spite of the fact that most of the events and reenactments in the film are fakes, the “The Fourth Kind” still gives audiences the feeling of witnessing an actual alien encounter. Throughout the movie, various scenes feature the socalled “documented footage” along with the regular movie scenes to give the audience. This definitely adds to the whole documentary feel, and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie. Without this, the film would be nothing more than your average PG-13 suspense movie, which when you take into consideration that the footage is entirely fake, it almost becomes just that. Before I knew that the movie wasn't real, I would have given it about a 6, maybe a 7/10. Now, however, I would give it only a 5. Regardless of the authenticity of the actual footage, the movie is still interesting to watch and succeeds in making you wonder whether or not we're alone in the universe. But if you don't mind a mockumentary, then go see “Paranormal Activity.”

The Fourth Kind: Less Horror, More Documentary by GRAYSON SCHMIDT

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Sam Cosner How many siblings do you have? 2! Kristina(20) Michael(18)

How many siblings do you have? 3; Sheldon, Ryan, Madison

Favorite song? Three Little Birds by Bob Marley

Favorite song? I love you song from 23rd Annual Putnam Count Spelling Bee

Why do you deserve to be known at North Scott? Because I keep it real

Why do you deserve to be known at North Scott? I don't think I have the right to tell people why to remember me. If you remember me, I hope it's positive. :)

Favorite article of clothing? Tall socks

Afraid of the Dark?

Stacy Phipps

Favorite cartoon character? Arnold!

Favorite article of clothing? Are snuggies considered clothing?

Favorite show growing up? Are you

Favorite cartoon character? Jasmine Favorite show growing up? Scooby Doo

Peak moment in high school? Making All-State and Regional Honor Choir Most embarrassing moment? Too many to count

Peak moment in high school? I don't that I could pick one. Sorry.

Activities at North Scott? North Scott Singers, 200 South

Most embarrassing moment? When Hope, Alex, Kaleigh and I frantically searched for my phone for an hour in Florida, and it was in my back pocket…

First high school crush? Logan Dues

Activities at North Scott? NS Singer, Jazz I , LP, and Speeech!

Most admired person? Jesus Christ

First high school crush? Nate Curlott

What do you typically do on Saturday nights? Work or hang out with besties :)

Most admired person? Krystin Chenoweth

Favorite movie? Tie between Fight Club and Rent

What do you typically do on Saturday nights? I'm usually somewhere with Nathaniel.

Little known fact about yourself? My given name is Night Hawk

Favorite movie? Blair Witch Project

Favorite restaurant in the QC? Osaka!

Little known fact about yourself? My pinky fingers are misshapen

Travis Brown How many siblings do you have? I am blessed with one twin sister! (Jessica Brown) Favorite song? Probably All-Star by Smash Mouth Why do you deserve to be known at North Scott? Because of my mad beat boxing skillz! Favorite article of clothing? My trusty winter coat Favorite cartoon character? Spider-Man most definitely Favorite show growing up? Power Rangers

Steven Trent How many siblings do you have? 1, Adrian Trent Favorite song? Hump de Bump- Red Hot Chili Peppers Why do you deserve to be known at North Scott? I deserve to be known at NS because I am who I am. Nom. Favorite article of clothing? Either of my twin shirts Favorite cartoon character? Iron Man Favorite show growing up? Spongebob Squarepants Peak moment in high school? Making the All-State Choir in 2008

Peak moment in high school? Either making all-state this year, or school lunches

Most embarrassing moment? Freshmen, chubby, braces, and a mohawk

Most embarrassing moment?I am immune to embarrassment

Activities at North Scott? NS singers, 200 South

Activities at North Scott? Choir, choir, choir, and some LP

First high school crush? Anna Wiese

First high school crush? Myself

Most admired person? My dad

Most admired person? Err…. Myself! (Martin Luther King Jr. too) What do you typically do on Saturday nights? Hang out with friends, play video games, fight crime…

What do you typically do on Saturday nights? Either work, hang out with friends, or indulge in some gaming. Favorite movie? Bio-Dome

Favorite movie? Pretty much any super hero movie

Little known fact about yourself? I am above the influence.

Little known fact about yourself? I am Travis-Man Hero Extrodinaire

Favorite restaurant in the QC? OSAKA

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #25

Katie Kranovich How many siblings do you have? 5- Louis(17), Philip(14), Daniel(11), Sadie(2), Charlie(1)

Peter Trainor How many siblings do you have? 3 Pat, 26 Cheryl, 23 Rachel, 15

Favorite song? 8 Second Ride- Jake Favorite song? Forever by Chris Brown Owen Why do you deserve to be known at Favorite article of clothing? My North Scott? Cause I'm fly zebra shoes Favorite article of clothing? My Favorite cartoon character? Dexter moccasins from Dexter's lab Favorite cartoon character? Peter Favorite show growing up? Rugrats Griffin Peak moment in high school? Sophomore basketball season with Daniel, Sam, and all our boys. Definitely the Burlington bus ride Most embarrassing moment? Tripping in the cafeteria because Kevin Haan tried putting lettuce in my hood. Activities at North Scott? None First high school crush? Matt Cronkleton Most admired person? My nana What do you typically do on Saturday nights? Work with Sam or Matt

Favorite show growing up? Hey Arnold Most embarrassing moment? When the goal post fell on me twice in the same practice. Some people say that I cried, but I didn't cry. Activities at North Scott? Soccer First high school crush? Ms. Adams Most admired person? Dylan Zeimet What do you typically do on Saturday nights? … I go to “soccer” parties

Favorite movie? Joe Dirt

Favorite movie? Fired Up

Little known fact about yourself? I have a twin brother who goes to Bettendorf

Little known fact about yourself? I'm deaf in my left ear

Favorite restaurant in the QC? Azteca

Favorite restaurant in the QC? Taco Bell

Tyler Larsen How many siblings do you have? One brother, Andrew Favorite song? Anything by Angels and Airwaves

Zoey Caweizell How many siblings do you have? 2- Thomas(16) and Veronica(18) Favorite song? Franklin Why do you deserve to be known at North Scott? Because I'm a Boss

Why do you deserve to be known at North Scott? Everyone deserves to be known

Favorite article of clothing? Cardigans

Favorite article of clothing? Shorts

Favorite cartoon character? Snoopy

Favorite cartoon character? The roadrunner

Favorite show growing up? The Classic Cartoons- Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, Charlie Brown

Favorite show growing up? Pokemon Peak moment in high school? 2009 soccer game vs. clinton Most embarrassing moment? Going to wrong classes on wrong days Activities at North Scott? Soccer, cross country, band, key club First high school crush? Laura Carstens

Peak moment in high school? Senior Homecoming Most embarrassing moment? Summer 09 Activities at North Scott? Volleyball, Softball, Tennis, Student Government, SADD/Jel, Key Club First high school crush? Cole Prater

Most admired person? My father

Most admired person? There are many people that I admire

What do you typically do on Saturday nights? Hang out with friends or play PS3

What do you typically do on Saturday nights? Get ice cream with my best friend or celebrate holidays with the girls

Favorite movie? Saving Private Ryan

Favorite movie? The Blind Side and Transformers

Little known fact about yourself? I am a Canadian citizen

Little known fact about yourself? I have eleven toes

Favorite restaurant in the QC? Osaka Steakhouse

Favorite restaurant in the QC? Aztecathey know how to celebrate a birthday

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #26

Seniors to Graduate at Semester by JULIE WANER Senioritis. For many high school students, this word is frequently on the brain, oftentimes beginning while they are freshmen. Each year, a few students make the decision to fight against the dastardly disease by getting out of high school as quickly as they can, sometimes a semester or even a year early. The magic number of credits for graduation at North Scott is 54. For seniors ambitious enough to have taken a full schedule freshman through junior year, this means they can be out of here at semester after only taking 5 more classes. Or as in the case of senior Ann Abney, students who received high school credit during junior high can accumulate enough credits to graduate an entire year early. To some, the idea of leaving the school they have known for most of their lives while missing out on some of the most exciting experiences may seem crazy, but reasons like unchallenging academics, lack of overall interest, and prospects with work instead draw a handful of students away each year. Casey Berglund, Lauren Loeffelholtz, Julie Waner, and Marissa Williams are some of the seniors done after December finals. Early grads are still able to walk with their

class at the May graduation ceremony, and may accompany other North Scott students to Prom as their guests. If considering the next few years of high school give you a sudden case of seniori-

tis, you do not just shake it off. Look into how graduating early can affect you-it could be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Marissa Williams, one of the seniors graduating at semester.

Important Dates to Remember

JANUARY 1 Start signing up for FAFSA, but only after your parents have filed for their income taxes. APRIL 1 University of Iowa Application Deadline JUNE 30 FAFSA deadline for the 2009-2010 school year.

JULY 1 Iowa State University Application Deadline AUGUST 15 University of Northern Iowa Application Deadline

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #27

Tips For Surviving Second Semester by AARON VINER As the long awaited winter break

Children's Theatre auditions are in March

ate, said that the thing that kept him going

approaches and finals for the first semes-

and are designed with less experienced

was the “knowledge that if [he] didn't get

ter come to an end, many seniors may

actors in mind. These are just a few of the

good grades, [he] would be forced into

come to a happy (or sad) realization: there

many activities going on around the high

another semester of high school.”

is only one semester left of their high


school career.

Paulus only emphasized the points

Michelle Paulus, current Iowa State

many of the North Scott teachers have

For some seniors this will be a time to

University student and former Lancer,

slack off and party; for others this will be a

said, “The more you know you have to do,

time to get the most out of friendships that

the less likely you are to procrastinate,”

will likely wither outside of high school' and

which further emphasizes the importance

for most it is a time of desperation to finish

of being involved. Nick Hennigan, a former

your way into letting the teacher allow you

up last-minute college applications.

senior at North Scott and current student

to turning your work in late, that will hurt.

To survive as time wears on, here is

at the University of Iowa, said that had it

In college if the work is turned in late, you

some advice from former seniors for what

not been for Tennis in the last semester it

may as well just throw it into the recycle

to do to help get you through the last

would have been tough to get through until


semester and still have a good time.

the end of the year.

been preaching, saying, “College is nothing like high school. They won't hold your hand.” If you can slack off now and work

As vacation approaches and first semes-

Be involved. This is some of the most

Keep your grades up. While it may

fun you will ever have with other people

not do much to affect your overall GPA,

from North Scott. You can do pretty much

many universities look at what you did in

any activity, even if you've never been a

your senior year to determine if they want

part of one before. If you are interested in

you in their institution. If you don't have

joining athletics now, there is Track,

good grades, you will lose out on many

Tennis, Soccer, Softball, Baseball, and

scholarship opportunities and may end up

ties? Be smart and save the partying till

Girls Golf. However if you are not “athleti-

back in the classroom for a fifth year.

you are safely out of high school.

cally gifted” like many, you can still be a part






Ken Krebs, current Grand Vi e w University student and North Scott gradu-

for Graduating Seniors

ter ends, remember that if you slack off now, even though it is be fun now, it could quite possibly affect the rest of your life. Plus who wouldn't want an excuse to hang out with friends during awesome activi-

Here's to our last semester at North Scott. I'm sure it will be unforgettable.

ACT TEST DATES February 6 April 10 June 12


SAT TEST DATES March 13 May 1 June 5

REGISTRATION DEADLINES February 4 March 25 April 29

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #28

NSHS Students: Stop Plagiarizing Now

Wishing You a Politically Correct ‘Winter Holiday’

Editor SKYLAR MOORE Editor KIRSTEN WOHLFORD It!s around this time of year that the English department starts pushing the research paper. As the holiday festivities start settling in, it!s tempting to just copy a few sentences from a book or even a whole paragraph from Wikipedia, if for no other reason than to make the holiday break come a little bit earlier. Don!t. The English department at North Scott has already done a wonderful job informing students of the consequences of ripping off someone else!s work; I have no interest in playing the part of a broken record— instead, I!m going to appeal to the emotional element often overlooked in the education system and hope, for your sake, you!ll humor me. I know it!s easy to just cut and paste when typing that research paper, but I beseech you—hell, I beg you, do not give in. Someone else put just as much effort as I did into what you are unrightfully claiming as yours. Not all of you are writers, and I understand it may be hard to grasp what you are doing; allow me the honor of putting it in respective. Athletes—you wouldn!t want others claiming your game-winning shot or that record you broke as theirs, would you? Musicians—that song you composed or that note you sung, that!s singularly yours, is it not? Scholars— lord knows you spend more time leveling up your GPA than MMO addicts spend leveling up their Draenei; you deserve the credit. Artists—you didn!t spend hours in that studio creating masterpieces just to scrub the medium off, did you? Thespians—that time you took center stage and the lights shined for you, that was your moment, your time to shine and no one else!s. Anyone who has ever created anything ever—you own your work and you take pride in it; let all the glory Born from your efforts be yours, and yours alone. Is it too much to ask of people to find it in their hearts to allow their neighbors—nay, their brothers and sisters in human intellect—the right of ownership? I know plagiarizing is a tempting sin, and although you will probably never see the writers of the textbooks and encyclopedias you!re stealing from, you will see the North Scott student body every single day, and let us stand as a symbol of who you are hurting when you pilfer the fiction and nonfiction section alike. After all, when you steal from our masses, you're not hurting us: you're hurting yourself. If the urge to plagiarize strikes you, I implore you please find me before it takes you as its next victim. I will sit down with you and help you avoid committing this crime; together, we will utilize any and all techniques at our disposal—together, we will create something at the very least uniquely yours, and if we!re lucky, something you can be proud of. If it keeps you from plagiarizing, find me, and to quote the great Archimedes,“give me where to stand, and [we] will move the earth.”

Every year it seems we find out that another familiar word or phrase has been deemed offensive to somebody somewhere. No longer can we wish someone a “Merry Christmas” without wondering if they'll snap back with an angry response that the mere mention of Christmas is against their religion. How far can this go until everything is so generic that the holiday season ceases to exist? When someone wishes someone else well, they are not trying to undermine their rights or their beliefs: they're just wishing someone well. That's all. Just because someone doesn't believe in a certain religion or celebrate a certain holiday doesn't mean that they can't just accept good tidings from a stranger regardless. If someone walked up to me and wished me a happy Hanukkah, I'd smile and say thank you, even though I'm not Jewish. It's the thought that counts, isn't it? What happened to common decency? Good will towards man? Oh wait, that's a Christmas phrase, right? Can I say that and not offend you? Once upon a time I could, but the very notion now seems like a fairy tale. In fact, I find the very concept of “X-mas” offensive. To me, saying “Merry X-mas” is like putting an “X” through Christ-like crossing Him off like he's just another name in just another book. Even though we're not offending non-Christians now, we're offending the believers-and it's the believers who are actually entitled to celebrating the holiday. Politically correctness is supposed to bring everyone together by taking away the things that make us different, but instead it does the opposite: political correctness breeds contempt towards anyone who is different. Even telling someone to have a nice “Winter Vacation” could be taken offensively-perhaps that person doesn't get a vacation from work or school. Also, the term “winter” itself generally brings to mind images of snow, warm coats, and scarves. Isn't that offensive to people who live in warm climates that don't get to experience those things? Maybe we should just tell everyone to have a nice day instead. Oops, that would be offensive to people living in Alaska who don't get sunlight this time of year. I guess you just can't please everyone all the time. Christmas is a time for Christians to celebrate the birth of Christthere's no debating that. I don't speak for everyone, but it's a safe bet to say that Christians don't really mind people who don't practice jumping on the holiday bandwagon, but when those passengers are huffing and puffing about being offended and missing the point of the holiday in the first place, can't we tell them to get their own damn wagon? In fact, they can get their own holiday and leave everybody else in peace.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #29

Holiday Recipes Sure to Delight by ELISA STEGMAN Recipes courtesy of and

Directions: 1. Twist Oreos and take apart. 2. Scrape cream from cookies and put i nto large bowl. 3. Add cream cheese to bowl and mix cream together. 3. Put remainder of cookies into a Ziploc and seal. 4. Use a rolling pin to finely crush. 5. Add finely crushed cookies to the creamed mixture and stir. 6. Roll into 1-inch balls and chill. 7. Melt almond bark. 8. Dip cookie balls into almond bark and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. 9. Let set and then serve.



One pound of almond bark 1-2 bags of mini pretzels 1 bag of holiday M&M's

Directions: 1. Put a sheet of wax paper over a pan. 2. Melt the almond bark in the top pan of a double boiler at low temperature. 3. Once melted, dip the pretzels into the almond bark and place on wax paper. 4. Place an M&M on each pretzel. 5. Keep in cold place until the almond bark hardens. 6. Serve.



3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa 5 tbsp. granulated sugar Dash salt 3 tbsp. hot water 2 c. milk 1/4 tsp. vanilla


1. Combine cocoa, sugar, salt and hot water in a pan. 2. Heat until boiling. 3. Add milk; cook on low until hot. 4. Stir in vanilla. 5. Serve.

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE Ingredients: 4 cups white sugar 1 cup milk 1/2 cup butter 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow crème 12 ounces peanut butter 2/3 cup all-purpose flour




1 pkg. Oreos 1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese 1 pkg. almond bark

1. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish; set aside. 2. In a saucepan, combine sugar, milk, and butter. 3. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. 4. Remove from the heat. 5. Stir in the marshmallow crème and peanut butter. 6. Gradually stir in the flour. 7. Spread into the prepared pan, and let cool. 8. Serve.

SNOW ICE CREAM Ingredients: 1 c. milk 1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 c. sugar Fresh snow

Directions: 1. Mix milk, vanilla, and sugar. 2. Beat well until frothy. 3. Place mixture in a large bowl and add enough clean, fresh snow until the liquid is completely absorbed by the snow. 4. Serve.

Photo Gallery

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #30

1 2 1 - Jenna Gerard, Laura Carstens, Jessica Jennings, and Jordan Olson at National Honor!s Society.

2 - From “It!s A Wonderful Life� with actors Stacy Phipps, Nate Curlott and Shane Rumpza.


3 - Choir concert at the Festival of Trees.

The LANCE - December 17, 2009 Pg #31


Photo Gallery

5 4 - Lindsey Boock and Alexis Buchman enjoying a snowy day. 5 - Paige Lewis participating in Mr. Merrick!s Egg Drop competition. 6. Student participants during the talent show costumed volleyball game.


Winter Crossword Puzzle B U R W H V L E G G N O G Q A N N F E X E D I


























Lance Winter Edition  

This is a high school newsmagazine in Eldridge, IA.

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