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Northwest School of the Arts 1415 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte, NC 28216


June 3, 2011 Volume XIV Issue 4

School News Features Opinion

2-3 4-6 7-8

In this issue Shocking crime occurs at Northwest Page 2 Teachers and students weigh in on foul mouths in school Page 4 Senior Class Destinations Page 6 A Day in the Life of the 24 hour play festival Page 8

Northwest explores Wonderland Dance department brings Alice In Wonderland to the Booth Playhouse

Photo courtesy of Amelia Hartsell

During The Mad Tea Party, dancers enjoy the tea before Alice comes to ruin their party. Naja Richburg Layout Staff This year the spring dance concert had many new twists. The dance department put on Alice in Wonderland, but this time it wasn’t only a ballet. What is usually just known to be the “Spring Ballet” now incorporated all of the styles of dance for the first time. “Using all forms of dance offered at NWSA was fantastic,” said dance teacher Amelia Hartsell. “This gave the Dance Department a chance to spotlight all of the talents of our students.” The Dance Department collaborated to produce Alice in

Wonderland, a story of a young girl (played by senior Stephanie Watkins-Cruz) who falls asleep and dreams of her fantasy world. In wonderland, nothing makes sense, and she finds herself face to face with characters such as The King of Hearts (played by sophomore Roderick PittsPhifer), the shady Chesire Cat (played by senior Kasey Cannon), and the alluring White Rabbit (played by senior Brianna Stevenson). “It was scary at first, but I love to dance, and in the end I had to let go of my fears of messing up. I allowed myself to have fun and enjoyed my last show at Northwest. More than anything it

was huge blessing and I wouldn’t have given it up for anything.” said Watkins-Cruz. The story of Alice has already been turned into a ballet piece, but to avoid copyright issues and to incorporate all of the styles of dance, the entire story had to be re-choreographed. Along with totally original choreography, the music was composed by the choreographers. “Creating my own music was a lot of fun. With the programs and software available for music making any person can make awesome tunes,” said Hartsell. Although Alice was a success, there were still some challenges in the process of creating such

a great show. Since Alice would be held at the Booth Playhouse located in uptown Charlotte, the four choreographers had to communicate their needs and concerns with each other and with the people at the Booth. The choreographers also stated that it is hard to communicate technical needs through an email. Despite the challenges, the Dance Department produced a great original show. The members of the Dance Department hope to produce similar shows, “I would like to continue creating music for my choreography for all of my concerts,” Hartsell said.

Japan’s natural disaster connects with Northwest Freshman Reichel Levi worries about her family members after the earthquake in Japan Cameron John Layout Staff Freshman Reichel Levi originated from Japan. When news of the earthquake in Japan reached her, she was shaken. Many people across the world were devastated by the destruction that was caused by the Japan earthquake. She says there are multiple designated rescue centers, and drills are run for crises to prepare the people for when disaster strikes. “I haven’t heard from my family, yet but I’m confident that they’re okay” said Levi. Her mother considered adoption before she was born but at the last minute backed out and

kept her baby. Her mother took care of her for a few months after her birth. Her mother decided to put her up for adoption after those few months because she was not ready. Soon after, she was adopted by a family in Charlotte, N.C. Her grandparents in Japan discovered she was alive, which was previously unknown, from medical files found when they were at a doctor’s appointment. When they found out, they contacted the adopted family and pursued the custody of their granddaughter. The result was joint custody where Reichel stays with her adopted family during the school year, continuing her education in America, and spent

spring break and other holidays with her grandparents. Her grandparents live in Osaka, just south of Tokyo. They run an antique shop and her grandfather does traditional tattoos as a side business. “It’s where I grew up and I don’t think it will ever be the same,” she said. The earthquake and the radiation crisis have caused a massive relief effort from organizations around the world. Relief efforts to assist Japan have included the help of 17,000 sailors and marines off the coast of Japan and the Red Cross foundation dispatched 115 National Disaster response teams and 1,000 medical staff to help with the efforts of relief teams already there.

The Red Cross maintains a list and medical records of victims and survivors to assist people around the world to locate relatives and friends. So far, Reichel hasn’t found her grandparents. Reichel said she is worried for her family and friends and that there are people she knows that are dead. “They’re real people and real family and friends that are very important to me” Levi said. The relief efforts continue forward, focusing on aiding the sick and wounded in Japan. It is easy to see that it will be months before the stricken country will be able to stabilize and return to a state of normalcy.

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June 3, 2011

Do SmartBoards live up to the hype?

Preparing for Parenthood

Teachers and students explain the pros and cons Lincoln Frye Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of

Koller and his wife welcome baby Olivia Marie to the family Samantha Sabin Editor-in-Chief With an almost two yearlong wait behind them, science teacher Donald Koller and his wife are officially parents. “When I get home and see her she just lights up, all smiles and cooing and such. It is such an awesome feeling,” said Koller. When they heard that they would not be able to have children of their own without major surgery, the Kollers immediately turned to adoption. It wasn’t too long before they began swapping information with an adoption agency. With a failed adoption in the previous year, Koller and his wife thought that the adoption agency was just calling to update some information back in March. “It never crossed my mind that we’d been matched again, but it turns out that we were just being carefully optimistic…,” Koller said. They were needed in Hawaii where they welcomed Olivia Marie Koller to the family.

“Just the feeling of finally having a family; that is the greatest reward,” Koller said. “It is just different now that it is not just me and Mrs. Koller; everything feels more complete.” The biological mother does not have visitation rights, for she has completely signed away custody of Olivia. “We send pictures to her, and a letter, once a month until Olivia is a year old. After that, I think it is every three months for a few years, and then every year after that,” he said. Olivia will grow up knowing that she is adopted, and when the time comes she can decide if she wants to meet her biological mother or not. “Her biological mother is a sweet young lady who just wanted the best for her daughter,” said Koller. Koller has learned a lot about parenthood during these past three months. For one thing, it is more difficult for him to go without his eight hours sleep now than it was when he was

17-years-old. “Also, and this is a little bit science-nerdy-like, but I’m amazed at how helpless human babies are, and for how long,” said Koller. “How did we survive back in the days of living out on the savannah with other animals possibly out to eat us? Our brains really are our most powerful weapon.” Koller and his wife look forward to Olivia’s musical days. Seeing as they both think that it is important that she play instruments, naturally Olivia will start off playing the recorder, and then the ukulele and work her way up. The Kollers also dream of their future camping and backpacking trips with Olivia. “I look forward to showing her different things, plants and animals, and explaining what they are and how it all fits together,” said Koller. With high hopes for his daughter, Koller only wishes that Olivia follow her own dreams, no matter what they end up being. “My dream is that she find

something that she really likes and become as educated about that as humanly possible,” Koller said.

Photo courtesy of Donald Koller

Where have all of the instruments gone? Officials catch band thief, and the school is rewarded in return Gabrielle Ross Layout Staff This year Northwest School of the Arts’ students were subjected to a shocking crime. In January students started to realize their instruments were missing. By the time officials had discovered the instruments were stolen, ten of them had already disappeared. The police said that the thief, Samuel Gilchrist, had gotten hold of a master key to our school, however that is not the case. Gilchrist had a key to a storage room that he could access only when the school was unlocked. The police are unsure how Gilchrist got hold of the storage key. He would enter the school in the morning after the custodians unlocked the building, before any students were on campus, and

leave after taking an instrument. The stolen instruments were then being sold online. In the mornings before school starts, there are only two security guards that police the entire campus and no security cameras in the band/orchestra hallways, once Gilchrist was in the building he was virtually unseen. “I use to leave my instrument at school because I have different band classes on different days. When I used to share a flute with another student it was easier to leave it than to worry about who had the instrument,” said senior Ashanti Pierce whose tenor saxophone was stolen. Dr. Barry Bowe was unable to change the storage lock without CMS approval. The key request was submitted several times before the property manager agreed to have them changed.

Once the lock was changed Gilchrist was caught by the police while trying to break into the storage room during a stake out. The CMPD metro department caught Gilchrist and his trial was May 3 this year. Northwest has since, taken additional precautionary security measures to prevent theft, including adding cameras to the band halls. “I knew a lot of the people affected and it sucked, because practicing in class was harder, especially since our band teacher got fired,” said senior Oscar Diaz. Two trumpets, two flutes, one violin, and three alto saxophones were stolen. “I’m glad we finally have cameras in the band hallways, but I still think people should be cautious about where they put their things,” said Pierce. Out of the ten instruments

the school recovered eight of them. The school received a generous donation which allowed Northwest to purchase the missing tenor saxophone, and flute, with extra money to purchase a new piccolo flute at Music N’ More with a generous discount. After further investigation the police found that Gilchrist, a registered sex offender, had two other accomplices who have not been caught. “I’m pleased that the locks were changed and that additional security cameras were installed. CMS was very cooperative and assisted us. The CMPD worked closely with Office Mobley in investigating the incident,” said Bowe.

It was always the same routine in school: teachers would write notes on a board and the students would copy. Then the worksheet that the teacher wrote, copied and printed on paper was passed out. This long and tedious process of writing, erasing, copying, printing and writing again left teachers with strong headaches and hand cramps. Then came the dry-erase board and overhead, the fascinating new technology of the day. Each came with exciting new benefits. But those were the olden days. Now there are Smart Boards that look like any other board but they can go above and beyond any technology that came before. “I love the hands-on experience that the Smart Board provides,” said sophomore Alexus Bonaparte. They connect to the teacher’s computer and can display what ever is on the monitor screen. The boards also feature a writing part in which anyone can write directly on the board in various colors and styles. They also eliminate paper by displaying notes and worksheets to the whole class at once. These boards can also save a copy of the notes, so they can always be accessed and can never be lost. “I love my Smart Board, and I think that every teacher should have one,” said English teacher Melissa Hefner. Hefner uses her board to display notes that she has previously written on her Smart Board and this eliminates paper from Hefner’s classroom. She has even found an interactive fun website to help her students study for the vocabulary tests. “The website really helps me understand how to use the word, not just the definition,” said sophomore Stephanie Rowe. However, Smart Boards do not always help students and relieve the teacher of their stress. Teachers are required to go through a training process in order to learn how to correctly operate their new Smart Board. Just like students, teachers are not always 100 percent sure how to work a new piece of technology, even after being taught how. The same concept applies for Smart Boards. When teachers first start using them windows always pop up unexpectedly and documents open accidently, causing the teacher to stop class and fix the issue that has arisen unexpectedly. Often the students will strike up a conversation with their neighbors causing disruption and disorder in the classroom. “The class gets disruptive because [Hefner] is not paying attention to us because she has to focus on her Smart Board,” said sophomore Erin Tillman. See Smart Boards Page 7

June 3, 2011

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Modern Runway: Northwest visits the Bechtler Museum Student designers received a unique opportunity thanks to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Photo by Alice Wilder

As the fashion show approached, students rushed to complete their garments on time for the Modern Runway: the Art of Fashion

Krystin Skinner Business Staff Fashion has a whole new name this year at Northwest. Students from Barbara Wesselman’s apparel and costuming courses worked with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art have put together a fashion show titled Modern Runway: the Art of Fashion. The idea of the show is for students to use pieces from the Bechtler and incorporate them into garments

using the principles and elements of design. “It’s exciting because it’s not something Northwest usually has the opportunity to do,” said junior Kilee Price. Pieces such as Wood by Raphiel Benazzi, Happy Table by Diego Giacometti, and Project Pour un Monument a` by W.C Fields were used in the designs. All of these pieces and more can be found at the museums website. “It’s fun to see what other students are making because their

entire outfit isn’t made from one pattern, but instead they’re creating their own as well as combining patterns to make these one of a kind pieces,” said Price. This is the first year for the Becthler fashion show at Northwest. The partnership was formed between the museum and our school after Wesselman had completed a seminar through the Charlotte Teachers Institute at the Bechtler. Soon after this the Bechtler asked Northwest to be a

part of their artists and residents program. Wesselman’s own unit, ‘The Influence of Modernism on Fashion,’ coincided with the fashion show held in May. Students in the advanced courses were required to create a garment as part of their grade while those in Apparel I were given the option, but this did not hold them back. “Several Apparel I students are submitting pieces regardless,” said Wesselman. The show is great opportunity

for students to mix majors and interpret art differently than they would normally. “This year’s Bechtler Fashion Show is a first, and it’s such an honor to be invited to put on this event, but hopefully it is not the last for many years to come,” said Wesselman.

“Eat more chicken, but only if you are straight” Chick-fil-A’s prejudices towards LGBT students offends many people in the school Sarah Bryan Staff Writer “Eat more chicken, but only if you are straight.” To many LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) students, this should be Chick-fil-A’s new slogan. Over the last few months, several gay activist groups have started uncovering the restaurant’s ties in anti-gay programs. Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation’s Retreat Center was asked by Good As You through email if the program is open to LGBT people. “WinShape Retreat defines marriage from the Biblical standard as being between one man and one woman. Groups/

Individuals are welcome who offer wholesome, educational conferences and programs that are compatible with Biblical values and WinShape’s purpose,” was their response. Good As You replied asking for a simple, clearcut answer, and the Winshape Foundation replied “We do not accept homosexual couples.” Junior Evan Morales thinks Chick-fil-A’s view of gay people “is totally against civil rights. What does who I am sleeping with have to do with the lives of other people? It is very homophobic and wrong. A restaurant should be open to all.” Chick-fil-A was historically founded by a devout Christian family, which has hindered their business, because many

atheists refuse to eat there, but not substantially. This recent news about Chick-fil-A’s views about gay people has had a completely different effect. This is not the only instance that has the LGBT community so upset. Some of Chick-fil-A’s franchises frequently donate to several anti-gay organizations like the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Focus on the Family, and others. Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-fil-A still said that all people, including gays, are treated with respect and that their business is welcome. Despite claiming this and promising that the company has “no agenda” when it comes to gay people, an investigation by Equality Matters into the political donations

made by the company showed that they have given over one million dollars to organizations supporting anti-gay initiatives including reparative therapy, designed to “cure” gay people. Although the president and a lot of franchise owners feel this way about the LGBT community, other franchises work hard to insure their customers that they are not biased toward or against any group of people. Cathy made sure to mention that he does not want the views of the company to make gay people feel like they are not welcome to eat at the restaurants, but that is not how most people feel. A lot of protests and boycotts have been cancelled because the pro-gay organizations feel that protesting

only Chick-fil-A would almost justify similar practices of other businesses. On the other hand, gay and lesbian groups in colleges across the country have launched campaigns to get Chick-fil-A restaurants off of their campuses. “I love the sandwiches and waffle fries from Chick-fil-A but hearing what my money would be going to, I refuse to eat there. I’m not going to hand my money off to a narrow-minded bigot organization that deems certain people ‘diseased.’ I am not a disease, so don’t try to ‘cure’ me,” said junior Alex Lewis.


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June 3, 2011

You kiss your mother with that mouth? Sarah Bryan Staff Writer

Students obscene use of profanity in school is starting to get noticed

A student wouldn’t curse around their parents or grandparents. They wouldn’t curse around a police officer, yet many students still seem to curse in school. Cursing around a teacher is not only a disruption in the eyes of the teacher, but it is becoming something that students are proud of and encouraged to do by classmates. Once upon a time it was taboo to curse to an authority figure, but now it is an everyday part of life for a lot of students. “If [curse words] are being used in casual conversation, there is not a big problem there. However, as soon as cursing is used and directed at a person, I have a major problem. That has no place in school. It is not something you can do in everyday life either, and students need to learn that lesson,” said science teacher Donald Koller. One student who believes it is basically okay to curse is junior Aubrey Vinson. “I would swear openly and excessively if I wouldn’t get in trouble for it,” she said. For a lot of students this is the case, but others choose to act out by cursing to their teachers even though they know they will be punished for it, and they end up with referrals or in-schoolsuspension. Just ask Assistant of Student Intervention Mark Plant how many students he sees in I.S.S. for acting out in front of teachers. The current rules against cursing directed at teachers, do not seem to be helping the problem. The administration may

have to think of a new, stricter policy to try to get students to watch what they say. “Swearing at and around a teacher is different. I wouldn’t call them a[n inappropriate word] or something but I’d use it in conversation,” Vinson continued. Most people would agree that when teenagers are with their friends, it is virtually impossible to censor what comes out of their mouths, but where should the administration draw the line between what is acceptable in the classroom and what is not? “Bottom line is, it’s a freedom of expression, it’s a way that people are going to express themselves, but there is a statute of limitations, there is a fine line between what I will let pass and what I wont let pass, and as a teacher it is up to my discretion,” said art teacher Brian Hester. Many students have allowed themselves to feel comfortable about swearing at school because they cannot get away with it as easily at home. “It’s surprising how used to cursing you get at school. You don’t really care or pay attention until the teacher comes in. That’s when you filter your language,” said junior Luisa Donoso. In middle school and high school a lot of kids act goofy, it’s understandable. Despite this fact, this is a crucial time for kids to transform into young adults and eventually into adults, and with this new responsibility students need to learn what is and what is not socially acceptable. “I treat students as young adults up to the point where they cannot handle it, or act like children,” said Koller.

Photo illustration by Samantha Sabin

You may now kiss the bride! Charlotte Symphony plays at the Royal Wedding. Lincoln Frye Staff Writer Finally, after years of breaking up, making up and ‘just being friends’ Prince William of Wales is married to Catherine ‘Kate’ Middleton. The ceremony took place on April 29 at 11:00am at Westminster Abby in London, England. The Dean of Westminster Abbey and the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall conducted the service, while the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Honorable Dr. Rowan Williams married Prince William and Kate Middleton. Charlotte’s own CharlotteSymphony Music Director Christopher Warren-Green directed the London Chamber Orchestra, who played at the Royal Wedding. “I’ve been there during years with Perick and I think that Green has taken the symphony up a notch definitely. He is a lot more personable. He really loves music and is a rock star in Europe

and the fact he choose charlotte makes us very lucky. I’m not surprised that they choose him for the royal wedding,” said senior Oscar Diaz. The names of the songs were not released but CNN stated that it was “traditional hymns.” Christopher Warren-Green was born on July 30, 1955 in Gloucestershire, England. In 1988 Warren-Green was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the London Chamber Orchestra, a title he still holds today. He has conducted the London Chamber Orchestra at numerous Royal Events including His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales’ 60 birthday celebration, as well has his marriage to the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles on April 9, 2005. Warren-Green became the Charlotte-Symphony Director in September 2010. He is a citizen of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America and lives in Charlotte with his wife Rosemary, and his son Jamie.

Photo from

The Royal Family happily takes a photo after the extravagant event of the Royal wedding.

Warren-Green is also a close, personal friend of Prince Charles of Wales who originally suggested him to conduct the orchestra at his son William’s wedding. “It’s a professional honor, it’s a personal honor. They are our Royal Family. There are a lot of fine conductors and musicians in

London and the UK, so to be chosen is a great honor and I must say I’m thrilled,” said Warren-Green to WFAE 90.7 FM. Warren-Green will return to Charlotte soon to continue directing the Charlotte-Chamber Symphony, while Prince William and his new wife the Duchess of

Cambridge, will go on their honeymoon. The world celebrates the Royal Wedding while Charlotte congratulates Christopher Warren-Green on a job well done.

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Insightful Summer Reads Joneka Percentie and AliceWilder Copy Editors Many students cringe when they receive the required summer reading list in the mail. As Intermission’s certified book nerds, we have taken it upon ourselves to create a list of books that you should read this summer without the threat of a summer essay hanging over your head.

Looking For Alaska,

John Green

Follow Miles “Pudge” Halter to boarding school. His adventures, crushes and pranks will sure to ignite mischief and make any summer unforgettable.




Truman Capote

Read the book behind the iconic movie. A mere 192 pages, this beautifully written novella will add a touch of New York City glamor to anyone’s summer.

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins Who needs American Idol when you can watch children fight to the death on live television? This is what life is like in the dystopic Panem, the capitol forces each of their 12 districts to randomly select one girl and one boy to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. Only one can come out alive. A bit more exciting than washed up judges, wouldn’t you say?

The Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling Prepare for the final movie installment by rereading the series this summer. If you haven’t, you are probably one of the few people left in this world that needs to. Trust us, the movies leave out half of the plot, so tackle the life changing series this summer.


Jose Saramago

Take your heart, rip it out, and stomp on it. This is how you will feel after reading this book of tragedy, romance, and perseverance. A modern town is faced with chaos after an epidemic leaves everyone blind. As they try to survive, one woman emerges as a leader and fights to regain their sight. For more book recommendations, be sure to check out the Intermission book blog at www.!

Photo Illustration by Rene Vanek

NWSA Students will Dance with the Best Sophomore Roderick Pitts-Phiffer and Freshman Rodolfo Tandazo will be dancing with elite dancers and choreographers this summer Alice Wilder Copy Editor This summer, while many Northwest students are at the beach or watching Jersey Shore, sophomore Roderick PittsPhifer and freshman Rodolfo

Photo Illustartion by Gabby Ross

Tandazo will be entering into the professional dance community. Pitts-Phifer will spend a month and a half of his summer with the Alvin Ailey dance company, a group he calls, “one of the most successful, versatile and amazing dance schools in the entire world.” It has been PittsPhifer’s dream to attend the program since he was in seventh grade. He traveled all the way to Baltimore, Maryland for the audition where there were “at least 90 dancers my age that had a lot of talent.” Pitts-Phifer was nervous but

stayed focused. “I knew that I had to give it everything and do the best I could,” he said. He waited anxiously for three weeks for a phone call from the company. The company announced that not only had he been admitted to the selective program, he’d been offered a full-ride to the program. After fourteen years of dance, PittsPhifer had been admitted to one of the most respected dance companies in the world. “I went crazy, ” Pitts-Phifer said. He will spend the summer in New York City training with dancers from ages 16 to 25 and with world renowned choreographers. Freshman Rodolfo Tandazo will spend a month at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. Harid is a boarding school during the year and hosts a month-long summer school for ballet students. Tandazo has

had three years of dance during the current school year Tandazo has trained at North Carolina Dance Theatre “to take dance in the morning, go to NWSA, and then go back to NCDT and take another class.” According to him, his rigorous training helps him, “get better in [his] technique.” However, these experiences take away from social time. Ultimately, his sacrifices paid off, for Tandazo auditioned for the Harid program in February and received a full scholarship. “I will be able to

become a more versatile dancer,” Pitts-Phifer said. “[It will] help me in my future because that’s where I want to go for my career as a dancer.”

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June 3, 2011

Where are they going? In State Schools Appalachian State University Boone, N.C. Ariel Clayborn Ben Davis* Samantha Hunter Zanesha Jeter* Sarala Mahlin Korn Colin Moore Beth O’Ham* Emily Rapp* Kaylie Schmidt Alexander Swing Art Institute of Charlotte Charlotte, N.C. Khalid Ahmad-Bey Kendall Rivers CPCC Charlotte, N.C. Austin Andreas Andrew Benton Somalia Blakeney Brianca Bravo Rebecca Buchana Carly Clanton Ryan Clawson Paul Davis** Zhane Ferguson Jadae Fowler Rachael Gargagliano** Ryan Gunnerson Choet H** Travonte House Michael Jones Meghan Mack Adira McClain** Devira McClain** Kaitlyn Miller Shelby Miller Cameron Pace** Sadie Scott Bailey Stowe Khrystian Thompson Lauren Thompson Johnny Wilson Tashonda Wright** East Carolina University Greenville, N.C. Chyna Fuller Kerri Harper Jacob Regan

Stephanie Watkins-Cruz* Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City, N.C. William Smith* Clifford Waddell III* Guilford College Greensboro, N.C. Selena McGonnel High Point University High Point, N.C. Ashanti Pierce Johnson & Wales University Charlotte, N.C. Kristen Lyon Melanie Phillips* Louisburg College Louisburg, N.C. Chermaine Johnson* Meredith College Raleigh, N.C. Chandler Snipe* Methodist University Fayetteville, N.C. Amber Nudo North Carolina A&T State Greensboro, N.C. Chanese Belton Lakesha Harris* Kayla Jackson Nija Patterson Camille Washington North Carolina Central University Durham, N.C. Sonnie Guzeh Shelby Jackson William Pinson* Asia Singleton Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, N.C. Sarah Justice* University of North Carolina at Asheville Asheville, N.C. Nicholas Belvin* Wesley Stevens*

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, N.C. Brittany Hall Liz Johnson Libby Livingston* Rachel Worsham University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, N.C. Kevin Caldwell* Kasey Cannon Kathyrn Harding Anna Holston* Julian Hudson Cheyenne Jackson Sarah Legg Brianna Stevenson Myeisha Swain Janiece Turner* University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, N.C. Kasey Combs* Nicolas Delgadillo Chartu Lopez-White Kelly Mulhall Kevin Pettice Bria Powell University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, N.C. Bianca Golden Samantha Roberts* University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington, N.C. Madison Tyndall University of North Carolina School of the Arts Winston-Salem, N.C. Nachelle Fullins-Lovell Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, N.C. Monja Johnson Wake Tech Community College

Raleigh, N.C. Clay Speidel Western Carolina University Cullowhee, N.C. James Lambert Emily Moore Shani-Leigh Searcy Wingate University Wingate, N.C. Sierra Bridges* Winston Salem University Winston-Salem, N.C. Sylvia Bidgood*

Out-of-State Schools American University Washington D.C. Allison Begeman* Austin Peay State University Clarksville, T.N. Danielle Marotta Berklee College of Music Boston, M.A. Oscar Diaz* The Boston Conservatory Boston, M.A. Morgan Wilson* Capernway Bible School New Zealand Noelle Mapstead Circus Soleil Annalise O’Hara Digital Media Arts College Boca Raton, F.L. Tacuma Gora Memphis College of Art Memphis, T.N. Rashad Worthy* The New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts New York, N.Y. Ian Fermy*

Northern Illinois University Rockford, I.L. Bailey Hayman* Northwestern University Evanston, I.L. Aubrey McGrath* Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, O.K. Jennifer Philbrook* Pace University New York, N.Y. Rachel Tate* Randolph College Lynchburg, V.A. Megan Datta* Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, G.A. Kayla Holland School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, M.A. Mary Lyons* Scripps College Claremont, C.A. Nicole Merchant South Carolina State University Orangeburg, S.C. Donovan Montgomery University of Missouri Columbia, M.O. Gabby Grosso* University of South Carolina Columbia, S.C. Andrea Grier U.S. Army Dijaune Covington Westwood College Atlanta, G.A. Terry Cureton* *Scholarship recipient **Transferring


June 2, 2011

What is good music?

Joneka Percentie Copy Editor I’m at my computer desk, analyzing Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No. 5 for my music theory class, and as pretentious as it may sound, I couldn’t help but think “Geez, this music is pretty awesome.” Then suddenly, my sister runs in, showing me the latest video to go viral: a thirteen year old girl contemplating the endless possibilities of the weekend and which seat to take on her ride to school. I couldn’t help but wonder how music progressed from Romantic composer Johannes Brahms to the infamous Rebecca Black. Or how it came about that Beethoven is immortalized as one of history’s most influential composers all

the while Katy Perry is on Billboard’s Top 100. All of these artists are considered good to someone, however, is there a concrete definition of good music? Music is like an emotion; it can’t be defined. Yet, many people like to impose their views of music onto others, and even criticize opinions they view as irrational. I mean, who could ever come to love country music? The reason music is controversial because it is such an important part of many cultures and lives. Many are protective of their favorite band, idolize their favorite singers, and glorify pop icons. Even musicians from the 15th century were particular about their music. Before music was first printed in 1476, each piece had to be carefully copied by hand in order to be shared

with others. This just shows a fraction of the importance music has had around the world since its early times. “Music is a language that is expressed through the audible sounds for which no one requires a translation, therefore music can be utilized, when shared between cultures in the right fashion, as a tool to increase brotherhood among people in the world,” said Isabel Aretz de Ramon y Rivera in the International Journal of Music Education. Music is international, and what’s considered good music is constantly changing. It becomes outdated or obsolete. Even new technology advances music’s progression. Thanks to autotune’s birth in 1996, we never have to hear a flubbed note ever again, unless the artist is performing live. It ends up

like plastic surgery, leaving the singer’s voice so aesthetic and perfect that it’s nearly unrecognizable. Can highly altered pop music, even the stuff that’s considered good, compare to the raw voices found in music from decade’s past? Truth is, it doesn’t. And while it doesn’t compare, that doesn’t mean it can’t be good. What is good music? Many can ponder over this question for hours on end and never come to a general consensus. Everyone has personal taste, but when do taste and opinion cross over to critical judgment and logic? I don’t think it does. As emotional as music is, it cannot be defined by separating our intellect from personal feelings. Music is emotional; whether you feel something when you listen to it or not, is what makes it

A love for all things ridiculous, caffeinated, and literary Underclassmen must figure out how to adjust to a new year without their older companions Samantha Sabin Editor-in-Chief June 13 is D-Day, at least for me. I’ve watched them go through the rigorous courses, the college application process, and now it’s my turn. My friends are graduating, and for a while I’ve been trying to imagine life without them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be completely alone next year, but without people like Stephanie Watkins-Cruz, Shani Searcy and Gabby Grosso, my days at Northwest will never be the same. They’re my resident high school veterans. I turn to my senior friends knowing that they’ll provide the answers. Questions such as “What exactly do I need to know for this AP exam,” or “Does this sound like a good topic for my graduation paper” are repeatedly asked on a daily basis. It’s a cycle: seniors take underclassmen under their wing until they graduate, and by the time they’re seniors, they realize they’ve mentored an underclassman. Now I’m on the other side of the looking glass.

For instance, Shani saved my Spanish projects during sophomore year. Uruguay: it’s a South American country next to Brazil that’s shaped like a potato. My friendship with Shani was defined by this cowboyloving country. For Spanish III, Ms. Fleshman-Cross placed everybody in groups for a yearlong set of projects on one country. At first look, Uruguay is flat out boring; it takes time to realize that in actuality it’s a pretty cool place. The multiple festivals, the diverse terrain, and the authors dedicated to writing about cowboys brought Shani and I closer. I fell in love with the wellknown Gabby and Shani best friendship back in the summer of 2009. While at dinner with a group of people, Gabby and Shani decided to wear fake mustaches and unibrows to the restaurant and act like a married couple. The waitress went along with it and in return we all chipped in with a decorative tip. The coins were arranged to say “U RULE,” incorrect spelling and all. That’s when I knew that these ridiculous

people would play huge roles in my life. Stephanie Watkins-Cruz is a different story. We didn’t meet at ridiculous outing with fake mustaches and unibrows; we simply have a love for all things caffeinated and literary. Throughout the past few weeks, as we crammed for exams and completed mountains of homework, we’ve invaded our local Books-a-Million. Stephanie had already made the store her second home when I decided to come tag-a-long. Now we know one of the barista’s favorite coffee orders at Starbucks by heart and have plans to start a book club there. Words simply cannot explain how much I love those seniors. The senior trip was my ultimate trial. My life supports were exploring the wonders of Universal Studios while I was reluctantly learning about FDR’s World War II policies. Thoughts like “I have to wean off of our daily conversations,” and “Just let them relax in Florida,” raced through my mind. Those four days made me realize how each

of them personally touched by life. Without Stephanie, I lacked a fellow coffee addict to get me through tough times; without Shani, my Friday’s were not Rebecca Black approved, for there was no partying without her; without Gabby, I lacked the commentary of a sarcastic student with senioritis. I had heard of these amazing people, but it wasn’t until this year that I actually got to know them. I don’t know where I was freshman year without them, but I never want to be without them again. The flood gates will open on D-Day; just get the tissues out now. On that night, I’ll sit in the audience fulfilling my duties as a junior marshal while they end a chapter in their lives. Memories of researching Uruguayan gauchos (cowboys) with Shani, and invading Stephanie’s home over spring break, and blasting Ke$ha on the way home with Gabby will flood my brain. I won’t be heartbroken, simply nostalgic. My friends overcame an obstacle: they completed high school. I’m proud.

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good. Good music isn’t just the music that will still be popular 300 years from now, because those emotions can change. Every style of music has its value. It’s appreciated differently. Despite widespread speculation, rap music is not automatically good or bad. Classical music is not automatically good or bad. Go on and listen to whatever showtunes, pop, rap, or jazz music you want, because music is all about enjoying it. The music I listen to doesn’t make me superior to anyone- or anyone superior to me. While I don’t go home and jam out to heavy metal, it’s alright if you do. And that awful pop song you can’t stand to hear one more time is some twelve year-old’s anthem somewhere.

Visit us online! Intemrission has gone virtual. Be sure to visit to read online exclusive stories. Like us on Facebook: NWSA’s Intermission Online Read our tweets: @NWSA_ News Follow our blogs: www. AND Smart Boards continued from page 2 After the issue is fixed the teacher must then regain control of his or her students and continue the lesson. This process takes away time in which students could be learning. However, in time classrooms will quiet down as teachers get used to operating the boards that not only eliminate paper but, according to Bowe are “expected to increase student test scores.” More paper will be eliminated, thus helping the environment, and student test scores will hopefully increase as these new Smart Boards begin to takeover Northwest.

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June 3, 2011


12 Hours to write + 12 hours to rehearse = 24 Hour Play Festival Sophomore Rene Vanek shares her directing experience during the day-long festivities Rene Vanek Business Manager I awoke at 5:30 A.M, ready to go right back to sleep. I contemplated not going at all, and facing the wrath of an angry, sleep deprived theatre teacher. I decided to go, so I got up and prepared myself for the day. Today was the day I was going to direct a play for the 24-hour play project. These shows were put on by the plawrighting class. I arrived into a sullen little black box around seven to be greeted by a pile of junk food and a few tired writers and directors. I could not imagine spending 12-hours locked up in school writing a play. The playwrights were high school students Lexi Hooton, Virgina Stamler, Sage Royal and Hailey Spitz, Megan Datta, Guthrie Howard, Colin Moore, and Jordan Gonzalez. The directors were Alex Gagne, Brianna Cleggett, Colin Moore, Guthrie Howard, Paul Davis and Genie Grier. We picked a number from a hat that corresponded to a play that was written. Junior Justina Hauss, who stage managed the show,

presented me with my play, Virginia Stamler’s “Ring, Ring.” The play was about a mysterious phone call from an unknown voice to an unsuspecting man. It had a very shocking ending, and I kept racking my brain trying to think of what I need to do. I did not want to anger a playwright, but I still wanted to create a good show. I sat down, read the play, and at first I said to myself “What just happened!?” I read it three more times before actually understanding and forming it into my own show. Before I could really truly decide what I wanted to do with this psychological thriller it was 7:30, time to cast. Casting went quickly there were only about 40 or 50 people. The clock was already ticking furiously and we had to get started. After auditions, the other directors and I had a proverbial blood bath just going around the room claiming actors they wanted. There was a shortage of people which is rare for an NWSA audition. We even had to use some of the techies to fill in as extras in the show. It was 8:32 A.M. and time to get moving on a show that

I had barely read twice. After the bloodbath, I ended up with Kristian Andrewson, Asia Edwards, Emily Moore, Laura John and Caroline Oswalt. I was very pleased with my cast, so I tried to prep them for the play. Rehearsal and more rehearsal, we polished and shined it for a few hours going through the script, doing blocking and trying to do the best I could in what little time I had. Hours passed, and my cast and I worked diligently with limited yelling and freak outs. The hardest part was acquiring props for my show. I am a huge fan of big sets and props, so it was hard for me to do without. Also sharing “my” actors was difficult. I wanted to rehearse the show to its full integrity but I did not want to be a selfish director. Finally it was 7 P.M. and time to perform. We were the second play in the seven show line up, and in my opinion we did a wonderful job. I was very proud of my cast and every show that was preformed. I went immediately home after thanking my cast. I then breathed a heavy sigh of relief that it was all over.

intermission 2010-2011 staff Editor-in-Chief Samantha Sabin Business Manager Rene Vanek Layout Editor Allison Webber Photo Editor Kyle Caldwell Layout Staff Saeshan Carter Kayla Jackson Cameron John Naja Richburg Gabrielle Ross Business Staff Ian Fermy Krystin Skinner Copy Editors Joneka Percentie Alice Wilder Adviser Tommy Phillips Staff Writers Sarah Bryan Tara Calhoun Lincoln Frye Nachelle Fullins-Lovell Teya Knapp Chartu Lopez-White Reagan Parker

Contributors Justina Hauss Lexis Hooton Barbara Wesselman

The opinions expressed in Intermission do not necessarily represent those of the school’s faculty or administration, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board or its administration. Intermission is a public forum for student expression. In compliance with federal law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability.

Issue 4 Volume 14  

Volume 14 Issue 4 of Northwest School of the Arts' student newspaper, Intermission.

Issue 4 Volume 14  

Volume 14 Issue 4 of Northwest School of the Arts' student newspaper, Intermission.