Page 1


Crossing the Pond: a different sort of homecoming




Is FLVS being overused and abused by students?

Football gunning for reign of new district

Santiago’s Hidden Talents p3 A Bed Time Story



Pat Reed: Join the Club

Special cases of unrequited love p6

the ORACLE p4

George M. Steinbrenner High School —

October 11, 2011 - Volume 3, Issue 1

YOUNG SIMBA by Jake Bittle p11

p8 p15


October 2011

2010-2011 SIPA All-Southern Newspaper

>> Review writing, Best of Convention >> Computer graphics, Best of Convention Editorial Staff

Kyle Dunn

Editor in Chief

Brandon Mauriello News Editor

Natalie Barman Opinion Editor

Erica Everett

Centerspread Editor

Jeff Odom

Sports Editor

Jake Bittle A&E Editor

Ethan Huber

Chief Copy Editor

Blake Scherschel Website Editor

Kiran Shila

Assistant Website Editor

Rachael Landes Photo Editor

Megan Forde

Assistant Photo Editor

Savanna Peterson Business Manager Writing Staff

Ben Schneider Staff Writer

Evyn Moon Staff Writer

Gaby Morillo Staff Writer

Graphics Department

Frances Miyares Megan Varde James Flaskamp Adviser


Letter from the Editor I don’t like starting over. I don’t like going back to the drawing board, square one or the beginning. I do, however, like improvement, and in more ways than one this issue has been a drastic improvement. Both noticeable and unseen, the improvements are far and wide, and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be happier that our front page doesn’t simply blast you with information, but showcases a talented junior, Joseph Anid. And that’s really the ticket with all this. This paper is a service. That’s the very reason we run around the school raking together stories, staying after school causing irreparable eye damage staring at computers and reading more news than is considered healthy. But, ultimately, we do it because we love it. We love seeing our work printed and consumed by our classmates and our teachers. We love hearing your thoughts and letting others react to it in unique and exciting ways. There are some privileges, though, that come with this job, but “with great power comes great responsibility”. For one, you get to quote Spiderman. Then, you get to touch on delicate topics and explore the goings-on that are rarely talked about or are summed up in hallways by rumors and half-truths. That’s where we delight in informing, clarifying and unshrouding. Our paper, however, is going through some larger changes that go beyond size and style. The print editions will be printed every two months instead of our initial monthly plan, since we’ve undertaken a web-first approach. Everything (stories, pictures, links, videos, etc.) will be available on our new—and brilliantly improved—website Hearing your opinions and suggestions will be effortless as anyone can comment on stories. We can bring you richer media that link stories with videos, podcasts and photo galleries. This is the great beauty of the web: unlike newsprint, our space is unlimited. There is nothing that we can’t modify, update, recap or multiply. So, when a member of The Oracle comes walking into your classroom with a bundle of papers and you are finally able to see what this new year brings, remember: The Oracle is back. Kyle Dunn / Editor in Chief


October 2011


Erica Everett / Oracle

Two of Santiago’s paintings. Santiago hangs some of his favorite pieces of art in his office.

Head custodian Manny Santiago reveals hidden talent Erica Everett Centerspread Editor

At first glance, custodian Manny Santiago blends into everyday school life, walking through halls and working on behind the scenes. But not every student knows his passions, which reach beyond the school grounds. He has a passion, a talent and a story to tell. As he walks into his office, paintings and designs splash off the walls that catch the eyes attention. His “sanctuary” holds his hidden talent for visual art. Santiago lived in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Eli Whitney Vocational High School in 1985. He met a couple guys, Masic and Magic, who inspired and taught him to do graffiti. His originality began to burst throughout every masterpiece he envisioned. He started his own graffiti group called “King of Arts”. One of his buddies that became part of his King of Arts groups is now DJ Clear. “He’s one of the greatest DJ’s of New York, he’s like a brother,” said Santiago. Santiago was mostly a self-taught artist. “I took art classes but everything else I learned on my own,” said Santiago, “I was always into art.” Santiago who chuckles when reminiscing about his graffiti nick\name at the time: ‘beast’. “I was big and had long hair,” said Santiago. His artistic gift is permanently etched into his very skin.

Running up each arm, Santiago keeps close his most pre- most: create art. He has been challenged by and has succious drawings tattooed on him. What is so special about ceeded in multiple projects that he takes pride in. “I love drawing tribal designs,” said Santhese tattoos is that he drew and detiago, as he points up. Centered on the wall is signed each one carefully before a painted tribal face. bringing them to the artist to etch on One of his paintings includes characters for him. inspired by artist Vaughn Bode. On his lower left arm is a tattoo “I made my own version of his characof his wife, two boys and him. On ters,” said Santiago. He created his own charhis upper right arm is a Taino Indian acter, putting his own spin of originality in designed tattoo that contains four elehis works. ments: a bear that represents power, “A lot of these characters are people I a dagger that represents strength, a knew from my past.” tribal sun that represents eternity, Above all he strives for a vision of owning and the devil’s face, which represents his own production line. evil. It reminds him all the time that “I want to start my own t-shirt business, power and strength overcome eternal that’s my dream,” said Santiago. evil. It gives him the vigor to go home He loves t-shirt designing and already has and take care of him family no matter Erica Everett / Oracle a couple of his own that he has previously what. He is a role model for his kids, who Head custodian Manny created. He is beginning his own line called attend high school and middle school. Santiago paints all kinds “Bstlyin Flavas” which is his street lingo for “They like to sit next to me when of grafitti in his spare “fresh”. His designed t-shirts are even for sale I’m drawing,” said Santiago, espenow from his new line for all students and time. He started his art cially the youngest one who is to atteachers. Each of his individual works comes tend the school when he completes in Brooklyn, New York. with certain significance through each stroke. His designed t-shirts are He has chased after his dream and pursued middle school. Aside from his job at school, Santi- for sale for students and happiness through art. ago also gets paid to do what he loves teachers. After all, “everything has a meaning to it.”



October 2011

Different kind of homecoming French student welcomes new, exciting lifestyle Ethan Huber Staff Writer

Courtesy of Robbie Morgan

Robbie Morgan (third row center) and his classmates in Japan. The class took a picture on Morgan’s last day, as an earthquake required him to leave early. Brandon Mauriello News Editor

Last August, then-junior Robbie Morgan left Steinbrenner for one year to study in a foreign nation vastly different from America. He was to spend a year in Tokyo, Japan. Morgan decided to take this opportunity because of its uniqueness. “I thought it’d be a fun experience and I really wanted to learn a new language that nobody else knew,” said Morgan. Morgan prepared extensively for his journey before flying over, studying the Japanese language with all the rigor of a typical school class and learning about Japan’s culture and customs. Morgan took on this new journey alone. He said all his goodbyes before he left, as his contact with family and friends was limited; he couldn’t have any visitors and could only talk to his parents once a month. In Japan, Morgan was met by an entire new world which gave him new insights on his own country. “I actually think a lot of the stuff we do now is

weird. Like, I don’t under- was very sad to see all the year in Japan was worth it. stand why we don’t take people affected by it espe“I became near fluent in off our shoes or take off cially since it’s right next Japanese, made a lot of new our masks. We’re very un- door instead of across the friends, learned a whole lot healthy,” said Morgan. world. You really feel help- about the culture, and just Along with these differ- less because you can’t real- a whole lot of things that I ences, the education was an ly do much,” said Morgan. never would have learned enormously different. On April 1, the organiza- before,” said Morgan. “Education is very for- tion forced Morgan to reMorgan has returned as mal. You have to bow to turn home. a senior, but is still enrolled your teacher before and af“It was a liability thing, in some junior classes such ter class. Imagine bowing they had to take all of us as Analysis of Functions to your teacher every day,” out,” said Morgan. and AP United States Hissaid Morgan. Despite the trauma, Mor- tory. However, in March, sev- gan still concludes that his “I didn’t have the time to en months take them my sophointo Mormore year, so I’m just gan’s tenure making up for lost as a foreign time,” said Morgan exchange who, although upset student, to leave, is also glad M o rg a n ’s to be back home. He new life in still talks to friends Japan was from Japan all the shaken. A time. He is also ready catastrophic to use his newfound earthquake knowledge to pursue and tsunami his dream. struck the “I want to work at island of JaDisney, and I want to pan, causing be a sort of diplomat unthinkable for Disney. That’s amounts of why I’m learning damage and French, Spanish, all displacing the languages of the Courtesy of Robbie Morgan thousands of park,” said Morgan. Robbie Morgan learned quickly that people. Whatever the case, “(During when you get sick in Japan, you are Morgan hopes to use the earth- required to wear a mask to ensure his multilingual skills quake) it you do not spread it. wherever he ends up.

When junior Philippine De Saint Martin stepped outside of Tampa International Airport, she was greeted by the humid and oppressive 90 degrees so characteristic of Augusts in Florida. As she made her way to her new home from the airport with the Steffes family, her host family for the next year, she was nervous to start at a new and very large school in a foreign country. De Saint Martin decided to participate in a foreign exchange program and come to the U.S. to perfect her English. According to her, many things are different. “What surprised me is that everything is bigger than in France. Like, the cars, the houses, the food, the shops, everything, really,” said De Saint Martin. School in particular has been a drastic change. “We just have three (grades at my school in France, and it’s like 500 people,” said De Saint Martin, in comparison to the 2000 plus students at Steinbrenner. “School starts at 7:35 and finished at 5:30 or 6. And you have like 2 or 3 hours of homework. And you don’t have a choice. You can’t say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do my homework’. [It’s] really hard.” De Saint Martin encountered many social distinctions as well, such as the food,. “The food is different. It’s not worse, just different.” Also, in the brief time De Saint Martin has been here, she’s observed a different relationship between kids and their parents. For example, where as numerous teens are friends with their parents on Facebook, she says that would never happen in France. And that goes for relationships as well. “In France, usually your parents have no idea. For example, many [of my] friends, when they have boyfriend/girlfriend, their parents absolutely didn’t know that,” said De Saint Martin. And the well established institution of teenage drivers that Americans are so accustomed to is almost nonexistent in France (and most of Europe, for that matter). “Like seeing 16 year old kids’s just really weird.” Which brings up another interesting geographical/social departure from America. Because the driving age in Europe is 18, it doesn’t affect teens nearly as much, if at all, as it does in the States. “You don’t really need a car in France,” said De Sain Martin. “But here you can’t do anything without a car.” In France, most people live in, or very close to, the city. Therefore, her and her friends can easily access the shops, theatres, and restaurants of Lille simply by walking. This is unlike Tampa, for example, where downtown is 20 miles from the school. Fortunately, De Saint Martin has her own chauffeurs in the Steffes family (whose daughter, sophomore Lindsay Steffes, is a foreign exchange student in Spain for the next year.) With this, De Saint Martin should have no problem enjoying all that Tampa has to offer. During her time here, De Saint Martin hopes to make lots of new friends and discover this country.



October 2011

NEWS BRIEFS County begins early release Mondays Hillsborough County School Board contemplated several different scheduling options for the original goal of giving teachers more time to plan out their classes. They eventually came upon a consistent way to do this. Every Monday of the 2011-12 school year, the students of Hillsborough County are released an hour early. “There is no effect on me because we are only getting out an hour earlier,” said sophomore Nakisa Ghannad. The reason students feel this is because classes are only cut by about six to eight minutes. Assistant Principal of Administration Edward Henderson says Mondays allow more time for planning. “I don’t see any difference between early release Wednesdays and Mondays. We get the same amount of things accomplished either way.” said Henderson. Gaby Morillo / Staff Writer

State strengthens “sagging” pants law

Hillsborough County honored for AP program

In May, The Oracle reported on a bill sent to lawmakers regarding a ban on sagging pants. “Sagging” is widely believed to have been adopted from the United States prison system where belts were prohibited to keep prisoners from using them as weapons. The style was later popularized by hip-hop artists in the 1990s, and from then on, it has been a popular style in Florida’s public schools and society. Florida’s legislative body passed a bill on May 13 prohibiting males (or females) to let their pants “sag” and expose their underwear and any body parts in a “vulgar” way. Dress code has been a big part of the Hillsborough County school system since day one. The new law is being enforced further since society took such interest in it. Even though the punishments in Florida’s school systems aren’t as severe [as the state law’s], they will still follow the handbook guidelines. Gaby Morillo / Staff Writer

In a July 22 Advanced Placement (AP) conference in San Francisco, Hillsborough County was one of four counties in the entire nation honored by College Board. College Board awarded the Beacon Award to the county for succeeding in using AP courses to create a culture based on college readiness. Along with this, from 2008 to 2010, Hillsborough County had the largest increase in students earning a 3 or better on the AP exams (1,814). The county also increased AP course participation by an annual rate of 19 percent. During the ceremony, Senior Vice President of the College Board’s College Readiness division Eric Cantor pointed out Superintendent MaryEllen Elia as the brains behind the county’s success. “(She) is a visionary leader who has taken one of the largest districts in the nation and achieved real transformation in a relatively short period of time. Her dedication to the students of Hillsborough is exemplary,” said Cantor. Brandon Mauriello / News Editor



September 2011


Special case of unrequited love support inequality: the Salvation Army. According to their United States website, they believe “that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively samesex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.” Not to knock on those who practice celibacy, but really? If in some alternate world where homosexuality was the accepted orientation, and some internationally recognized charity told you that heterosexuality was a sin and stated as such in the Bible—how would you take it? According to the Washington Post, in 2001 the Salvation Army tried

Frances Miyares Graphics Department When you have enough money and a good spot on the economic/political/social/religious/etc food-chain, you get to say a few things, good or bad, about what you think or stand for, good or bad. Though, of course, an asterisk leading to a small disclaimer at the bottom of your mission statement does exist. *Please be aware that all speeches, appearances, Twitter posts, footsteps, “Liked” Facebook pages and tattoos will be followed by keen eyes and taken account of. There are people watching your every move. So let’s take this scenario: You have the sudden craving for a perfectly put together chicken sandwich with a side of waffle fries, but the only place that you can think of to bother getting in the car for is completely out of the question for girls who like girls and boys who like boys because, well, they happen to put money in certain pockets that don’t like people of the rainbow-kind. The Chick-Fil-A Restaurant chain, according to Equality Matters (“a campaign for full LGBT equality”), has donated more than $1.1 million to a number of organizations that are anti-LGBT under their charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation. From 2003-2008, WinShape made donations to organizations that have expressed LGBT discrimination, including the National Christian Foundation, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Serving Marriages, Inc. and the Family Research Council. These organizations have publicly shared their opposition to the LGBT community, whether it be towards their belief in what a marriage should look like or listing homosexuality as an “impure lifestyle” and a sin. Another big contender in a race to

Quick facts on big companies & the LGBT community

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to strike a deal with the Bush Administration to overrule state and local laws concerning discrimination against homosexual orientation in the work place, and threatened to close up stores and drop-boxes if they were forced to follow said laws. This was quite a few years ago, and they may have changed their stand-point, but you can’t change the past or the hundreds of donors who now give their money to gay-friendly charities like Big Brothers, Big Sisters. And now, last but not least: Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes. Mycoskie was hit by infuriated gay fans and the like over his announcement at his guest appearance at a Focus on the Family (FOTF) event in Orange County in California. FOTF is widely known for their belief that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by bad parenting and family problems, as well as their idea that gays want to destroy marriage (last thing on my mind). Mycoskie tried to play it off as not fully knowing the background of the ministry, living on a sailboat in Los Angeles, but with Google just one click away, how trustworthy can that be? For his next “speaking engagement” at Willow Creek Church, Mycoskie posted on his “Start Something That Matters” website that just because he’s showing up there doesn’t mean that his “acceptance of that invitation should be read as an endorsement of the sponsoring organization or of its views.” Well, I forgive you for now, Mycoskie. But I’m pretty sure that the gay community of the world will still be keeping a sharp nose out for anything smelling fishy. Now, I’m not saying you should boycott any of these places (though I for one do miss the sweet taste of those sunflower oil-cooked waffle fries), but it doesn’t hurt to think twice about who you donate those two cents in your pocket to, where you get your favorite afternoon snack, the comfiest shoes or the funniest comics. TOMS f recent ounder Blak ly app e eared Mycoskie held b a t an e y the Focus anti-LGBT vent gro o Sour n the ce: fo Family up cuso nthe fa mily.c




September 2011

[Staff Editorial]

Should students be allowed to use FLVS solely to boost GPA? AGREE 12


Competition to get into college isn’t a new thing. For decades, students have been engaged in a battle to reach the top of their class. The major determining factor in this race is students’ GPAs. Lately, though, taking challenging courses in school just doesn’t cut it. Florida students are lucky enough to have other resources, fortunately; Florida Virtual School (FLVS) offers the opportunity to boost one’s GPA and gives students a competitive edge on their resumes. FLVS, which is free for Florida students, has been used in past years as a way to retake failed classes, earn missing credits and, these days, it can help boost your GPA. With college admissions becoming more selective each year, along with the incalculably stiff race to become valedictorian, it is completely logical to take a few semesters of an easy class and get an A to boost your weighted GPA. Classes are offered from the manageable (such as Sociology) to the incredibly paradoxical and impenetrable (such as Calculus BC). Hard-working students craving a high GPA need to take advantage of this situation. Earning a top spot in your class has never been


Do FLVS @6




so accessible. Even if you don’t want to be number one, FLVS has opportunities for every student. Say you decided school wasn’t your forte freshman and sophomore year and then decided as a junior you needed to start trying in order to raise your GPA. Or maybe you found a scholarship you want or need but there’s a GPA requirement. In swoops virtual school. FLVS has ridiculously kind teachers, flexible deadlines and assignments that are allowed to be turned in multiple times (depending on the class) for a better grade. Students across the state have made use of this. For those kids, virtual school has become their new Google Chrome home page and the daily logins and weekly phone calls will be totally worth it the day their transcript reflects an improved GPA. There have been many opponents to FLVS, but they seem to forget that the program was designed to enrich students’ education and provide plentiful opportunity to teens seeking more from their high school years. It’s about time we embraced this GPA-boosting tool instead of criticizing it.


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The Oracle Editorial Policy The Oracle is published by the newspaper staff at Steinbrenner High School: 5575 Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz, Florida, 33558 The Oracle works under the SPJ Code of Ethics, Which has been set down as our journalistic standard. The staff believes in freedom of the press, honesty, accuracy, impartiality, decency and equality: We will be observing these at all times. Alll the editorials will be backed up with facts and research. Staff editorials will never be by-lined, because they represent the opinion of the staff as a whole. Money for the publication of The Oracle will come from advertising sales. Any advertising rates are available upon request by calling the Steinbrenner newspaper staff at (813) 792-5131, ext. 258. Advertising which promotes illegal products under Florida law, opposes any religion or is of any sensitive nature will not be accepted. The Oracle is established as an open forum for student expression as outlined in the Student Press Law Center’s model guidelines for student publications. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the faculty and administration of Steinbrenner High School, but rather of the author or of the newspaper staff and its editors. As student journalists, the staff occasionally commits errors,; however, we will always correct the errors in an honest and timely manner. The Oracle welcomes letters to the editor on topics of interest to Steinbrenner High School and its surrounding community. We also welcome contributions from writers not associated with the newspaper staff. All letters submitted to the editor will require the signature of those who submitted them. All contributions need to be turned into Mr. Flaskamp in room 215.



October 2011

Hiding in plain sight: invisible diseases Rachael Landes Photo Editor


According to a study done by the Kaiser family foundation in 2003, “Approximately one in four sexually active teens contracts an STD (sexually transmitted disease) every year.” The blood drive visited the school recently to withdraw students’ blood. For those students that have an STD, they will be getting a form back with its information saying that their blood is unusable because of having that STD. With all that looming around, are schools really teaching about STDs? According to the Center For Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, only 18% of high schools in Hillsborough County taught all 11 HIV prevention topics. This may be a contributing factor to the blind sidedness some students experience. A common misconception seems to be that the only way to contract an STD is through the traditional act of sex. Wrong. Almost everything that can be contracted from intercourse can also be contracted orally. A few of these diseases are listed to the right. The only foolproof way to protect against these diseases is simply not to have sex (see abstinence article). According to Women’s Health Magazine, a way to help protect oneself if having sex is by knowing the partner’s sexual history and using a condom.

Caused by bacteria that grows in warm moist areas like the reproductive track and urethra. It can also thrive in the throat, eyes and anus. It can be passed on orally Some cases of gonorrhea never show symptoms, but if they are present, they will often appear within 10 days.


Is spread through direct contact with syphilis sores. Similarly though, it can be spread though the genitals, anus, mouth or through broken skin. Syphilis will usually show symptoms between 10 to 90 days after infection. Easy to cure while in early stages. Without treatment, a syphilis infection can harm your organs and even lead to death.


How sex i Herpes

A widescale STD in our nation. Once someone gets it (like most STDs) they will have it for life. Cold sores are a common form of herpes, referred to as herpes simplex virus type 1. The likelihood that a person with this STD will infect their partner with genital herpes is very high when a sore or outbreak is present.

About one get pregnant Centers for U.S. has the 46 countries Teenage Pre forth in an att country. It’s This centerfo tribute to tee the factors th true and veri were survey was true or fa of each pie c

Centerfold compile

t ’ n Believe their lies o D Savanna Peterson Senior Staff Writer The myths for both girls and guys who were interviewed are debunked and explained here.

Source: Womens Health Magazine


Ethan Hu Staff

Girls Myths:

Guys Myths:

If you have an STD, you will know and be able to see it.

Using two condoms is better than one because it’s double protection

Many sexually transmitted diseases are “silent”, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. They will cause pelvic inflammation, but it could be weeks to months before an obvious sign is seen. You can’t get pregnant the first time you have intercourse. The only way to refrain 100 percent from being pregnant is staying abstinent. If you’re planning on having sex, you or your partner can get pregnant no matter how many times they have engaged in this behavior, even if it's your first time.

All the friction occurring during intercourse can actually cause condoms to rip or tear, which is in fact more of a risk than using just one. Birth control will prevent people from having STD’s Birth control prevents pregnancy, and is not even 100 percent effective at doing that. It does not apply to protecting against any STDs.

In an age “16 & Pregn erate MTV, a as the “The Teenager” a winning mo der if such the belief th marriage, ev concept of abandoned? Most peo al abstinenc that sex sho “I don’t r vertising [ab just a religio a religion th

Photo illistrations



e third of girls in the United States will t before the age of 20 according to the Disease Control and Prevention. The e second highest teen birth rate among s in the developed world. A 2011-2015 egnancy Prevention program is being set tempt to decrease teen pregnancy in our obvious we are in the midst of a crisis. old recognizes varying aspects that conen sex and why it’s important to identify hat affect it. The statistics of each poll are ified by the sources listed. 100 students yed whether they thought each statistic alse. Those results are printed at the top chart.

compiled by Gabby Morillo

is affecting our generation

The birds and the

bedtime story My mom lost her virginity at a young age to an older guy. He is now her husband. They told me to make sure it was someone my age and who I love. —sophomore Samantha Hamilton

Erica Everett / Centerspread Editor

My dad sat me down at the kitchen table and told my mom to go into the other room. He proceeded to write down detailed notes complete with diagrams about sexual intercourse. If it wasn’t bad enough hearing it, imagine seeing it too. — senior Daniel Davis My dad and I were working on his truck one day, and we were just casually talking. As time went by, the conversation gradually deepened. He explained to me mistakes that he didn’t want me to make with girls. He told me that one minute of sexual arousal can ruin your entire life. —junior Doug Carcamo

ed by Erica Everett / Centerspread Editor

Abstinence in the eyes of the beholder

uber Writer

e when television shows like nant” and “Teen Mom” prolifas well as other hit shows such e Secret Life of the American and the unforgettable Oscar ovie “Juno”, one has to wona thing as sexual abstinence, hat sex should be saved until ven still exists. Has the entire abstinence been completely ? ople will likely associate sexuce with the religious teachings ould be saved until marriage. really think we should be adbstinence] because it’s really ous policy. Nobody outside of hat preaches abstinence prac-

tices it. It’s ridiculous that we expect everybody to follow these rules set up by the religion,” said junior Ian Smith. However, simply from a practical standpoint, regardless of society and beliefs, abstinence does carry some important benefits. Despite the myriad of contraceptives available, only abstinence is truly 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, as well as preventing the majority of sexually transmitted diseases (many STDs can be transmitted without sexual contact). The 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth found that 27% of men and 29% of women from ages 15-24 say that they’ve never had a sexual encounter. Those percentages are up five and seven percent according to the same survey cunducted in 2002. Although the changes noted in this survey were small, perhaps there is an emerging trend of postponement among teens.

s by Rachael Landes; Graphics by Frances Miyares, Megan Varde and Erica Everett

Gaby Morillo / Staff Writer

“ I feel that more people are having sex than less people...because of media and everything else,” said senior Bri Howard. Junior Keith Fitzgerald similarly believes that it’s just impossible to be abstinent. “I don’t think (anyone) can literally [abstain from sex]. It should be when you’re ready, obviously, and if you actually love somebody, but I don’t believe you actually have to be married to do it, as long as you’re [having sex] safely and not like an idiot,” said Fitzgerald. In the end, it’s really just up to personal preference and how each individual feels or what they believe.

Source: Womens Health Magazine

Gaby Morillo / Staff Writer



October 2011

'Moneyball' scores triple play: acting, character, humor derrated players and give his team an edge. Now, quickly: you do not have to like baseball in order to like this movie. ReIf one were to make an analogy from ally. The statistical paradigms and inter-tethe baseball-statistics-drama film Money- am dealings are presented in a manner that ball to a game of baseball, the film would sucks the viewer in more than Beane’s reflect all the joys of the home team span- family problems or rivalries with other king their opponents clean, rather than a Oakland officials do. The latter two items miraculous comeback are all but requiagainst a fearsome red in drama films, In Brief team. That is to say but Beane’s and The Good: Well-told and engaging stothat Moneyball is witBrand’s efforts to ry, dynamite acting, ever-present wit ty and engrossing, but make the system The Bad: Too light in mood to be a perlacks that desperate work is the the fect drama feeling of fighting a film’s driving conThe Ugly: Strange scene featuring battle against all odds. flict. Beane's wife and flamboyant new boThe film concerns However, that’s yfriend Billy Beane (Brad not to say that the Pitt), general manager rest of the movie of the penniless Oa- isn’t well done, beChopped Ground Sirloin Prime Filet kland Athletics, who cause the on-screen Liver Chuck Rib Mignon recruits socially awkcombination of soward statistics whiz ulful, devoted Pitt Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) to help him find and an obese but meek Jonah Hill makes a way to compete against richer teams like nearly every moment irresistible. There’s the New York Yankees. Beane uses the in- a scene where the two of them make sevenovative sabermetrics system to recruit un- ral phone calls at once in order to acquire a

Jake Bittle A&E Editor

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) converses with the Oakland Athletics. Beane used an innovative statistics system to compete against richer teams. certain player, and their delivery and emotion is so authentic that it’s simply impossible to turn one’s face away from the screen. But there’s one unexpected factor that makes Moneyball a great movie: its humor. At the most surprising moments

come some extremely witty and memorable jokes which do way more than just make up for the lack of heart-wrenching struggle, and give Moneyball its unforgettable flair: it’s as clean, easy and accidental as meeting an old friend.

''GREAT FOOD'' Relaxed dining 8745 GUNN HWY ODESSA, FL 813-920-3439




October 2011

Ambitious teen raps with heart, mind Young hip-hop prodigy Joseph Anid (rapping alias MVP) talks to The Oracle about passion, art, metaphors and about his growth as an artist

Inspirations & Influences

Anid told The Oracle that he develops as a rapper thanks in part to listening to artists he idolizes. Below are five songs that he told us have been having a major effect on his music recently.

High school is budding with aspiring musicians and upstart bands, from the light to the heavy and from the soulful to the profane. For some, making music is purely recreational, only a hobby. Every so often, though, one encounters a musician who puts all of his time into making music and devotes his every waking hour to his craft: thinking, dreaming, creating. Junior Joseph Anid is one such artist, well-known around the school for his prolific releases of rap and hip-hop music over the Internet. Anid records songs by himself and also frequently collaborates with other aspiring rappers to make songs which he releases free of charge. The Oracle had the opportunity to sit down with Anid and discuss what makes him stand out as a musician; according to Anid, it’s his passion and the subjects he raps about that set him apart from the pack. Jake Bittle: I want to know at what point you realized that this was your thing, that this was what you wanted to do. Joseph Anid: Probably after I tried quitting it. I couldn’t listen to my favorite artists because I’d always

“… looking for good music then I’m the most reliable / option you have, this is verifiable / me not being on your playlist is unjustifiable …” - Lyrics from “Simba” want to be one of those people. So I tried to quit, but I couldn’t because I’d have those visions of being in that position. JB: From what age did you really pursue that? Did you grow up around music like that? JA: I didn’t grow up around it at all but in 7th grade I got into it and started rapping for fun. I was really bad. JB: It’s interesting that you criticize the music you’ve made in the past. How do you think you’ve grown? JA: Well I’m kinda young, so I’m kinda more prone to grow, and when you grow the things you’ve done in the past seem obsolete. It’s not necessarily growth as in switching up your style, it’s growth as in getting better at what you are currently doing. JB: There are a lot of kids who rap, at this school alone. What do you feel, if anything, separates you from ‘the pack,’as it were. JA: What separates me from other teen rappers? JB. Yes, from other kids trying to get in the game. JA: I don’t do it as a pastime, just to have fun with friends, I do it because it’s what I love to do. I’m actually saying something. I’m also not jacking my favorite rapper, like you hear some kids say they love Wiz Khalifa and rap just like Wiz Khalifa on their songs. JB: So do you think you have, right now, your own spe-

Brandon Mauriello / Oracle

Jake Bittle A&E Editor

Kendrick Lamar, “Hiii Power”: This intense song is flooded with visions of Malcom X, Martin Luther King, and dope double entendres.

The Weeknd, “High For This”: Spacey love song from indie crooner The Weeknd about ecstasy and romance.

Kanye West & Jay-Z, “No Church In The Wild”: A thumping indictment of organized religion from two of hiphop's greatest.

Tyler, The Creator, “She”: A profane song about females from reckless rapper Tyler, The Creator, member of the even more reckless Odd Future Wolf Gang. Frank Ocean “Strawberry Swing”: Rising star Frank Ocean (also of Odd Future fame) reminisces about childhood love while apocalypse looms in the background. Brandon Mauriello / Oracle

Junior Joseph Anid performs his song, “Late Night Vents.” He has also released several other songs such as “Heartbeat”, “Simba”, “Fall for Your Type” and “All Black Everything”. to get into production and learn how to do my own beats cific style? I know that a lot of artists say their own style so I can have my own signature sound, and also I need to is the last thing that they get. How close do you feel you work on metaphors and lyrics like that, because a lot of are to that? JA: Pretty close. (My) flow’s kind of becoming signa- my stuff is too literal. JB: A tagline you’ve used on your blog and elsewhere ture and I like to think I have a voice where as soon as it is ‘Hunger. Personified.’ How do you feel about this? comes on the track you know who it is. JA: That’s basically the drive, the motivation. You JB: How influenced are you by criticism that you get know, especially the kids who are rapping alongside me from your listeners? Do you take that into account or just in Tampa ... I see all these other rappers succeeding and I follow your own path? feel like I can do that, and I can do it better. JA: Well, it depends on what the criticism is on. If the JB: Looking at the future through a short-term lens, criticism is on my skills and mechanical stuff like that what’re your plans regarding new music? then I’m gonna take it into full account but if they’re JA: I put out a song two nights ago (Sept. 4) called saying ‘No, you shouldn’t rap about this, you should rap about that,’ I’m gonna say no, that’s not what I wanna rap ‘Late Night Vents’ and the response to it has been just as good as any song I’ve ever made. So, what I’m doing is about, and I just do what I wanna do. we’re shooting a music video this weekend with Garrett JB: How do you plan to pursue this dream, if you’d call Hilbelink. What I’m going to do is, since the response it that? Is this the direction you want to take your life in? JA: Yep. I’m just gonna make music and see what ha- was so good, I think I’m going to make it the first single ppens, and if it doesn’t work out I’m still trying to do well off this EP I was planning, called This Perfect Dream: The Prelude. I’m hoping to get that out in 2011. in school so I can fall back on that. JB: This is kind of a tangent question, but, could you define what you think are the biggest strengths and weaListen to MVP Online knesses in your music? JA: I’d say what I have to work on most is, first I need

“… this music gave me a way to be heard, manipulating these words, nouns adjectives and verbs just pouring my soul out, hoping my tables will turn …” -Lyrics from “Late Night Vents”

Stay tuned for Anid’s long-awaited EP:

This Perfect Dream: The Prelude Find Joseph Anid's newest song

“Late Night Vents” online at:



October 2011

Summer Reading: Rating the Books

Frances Miyares Graphics Editor

For most of our high school careers, summer reading has been a reality (albeit an oft-maligned reality). Here's a sampling of the assigned books for all grade levels and what students thought of them. Freshmen: Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli

Told from the perspective of a young orphaned boy in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, this book explores the value of identity and the frightening realities of the Holocaust. Freshman Alex Wall's thoughts: “It was good, I guess. It was pretty action-packed and adventurous.”

Sophomores: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

Ender Wiggin is chosen to fight aliens in order to save the world. At Battle School, Ender makes his way to becoming the top student and travels to the alien planet to battle the “buggers.” Sophomore James Lancaster's thoughts: “It was actually a really good book. Had lots of action. I just didn’t like how, in the book, they had those little monitor things in the back of their heads, but I’d give it a 12 out of 10.”

Juniors: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

The Joad family is driven from their poor Oklahoman lifestyle due to drought and economic hardships. They travel to California to seek jobs and a chance at the future. Junior Victoria Genua's thoughts: “At first it was boring and hard to get into, but then it got better— very depressing, sad, suspenseful, and I wanted it to get a happy ending but there never was one. It left me with sad thoughts. Overall, though, it was a logical read!”

Seniors: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who found the secret to animating lifeless matter, tells a sea captain of his tragic journeys and failed escapes from the “daemon” he created. Senior Lacey Meisner's thoughts: “I liked it because the plot was interesting—it was a different story, not what teachers usually give us. I would recommend it because it is a lot more different than our regular school readings.”



October 2011

[Varsity Football]

With expectations set high, success on field measuring up New district, outlook on season adds fuel to fire for best season in school history Jeff Odom Sports Editor After a spring filled with workouts, seven-on-seven workouts and key departures from a handful of seniors, the varsity football team returned to the field for a season with expectations higher than ever. The St. Petersburg Times ranked their seven-on-seven spring squad ninth in the county, predicted a district championship and put multiple players on their watch list for 2011. On that list was senior offensive lineman Alex Vega. Rated as one of the top linemen in Hillsborough County, Vega has emerged as one of the team’s captains and leaders along with seniors Danny Fernandez and Zack Jones since joining the team last year from state juggernaut Plant. When the team opened its first full season of varsity play last season, the bar was set on a winning season, but with an injury plague that made the trainers’ room virtually standing room only, the team fought through 13 injury hardships over the course of their first three games all of which were losses. But when bright, young stars like then-freshman Jake Carroll were plucked off the junior varsity tree, the team began a tremendous turnaround including a three game winning streak and key victories over district opponents

Courtesy of

Senior defensive lineman Alex Vega wraps up Strawberry Crest quarterback Michael Mitchell during the Sep. 16 game against the Chargers. The team has shown vast improvement on both sides of the ball this season which has jumpstarted a district lead and a bright outlook for this season and beyond. that put the team in position for a possible playoff run. However, a one-point loss at Strawberry Crest and a 45-7 loss against Robinson ended the run, but the goal spilled over into this season and with a new district in Class 7A District 7, the outlook is much brighter according to Vega. “We’ve been picked to win our district,” said Vega. “Honestly the biggest challenge to us is going to be (Tampa Bay Tech), they’ve been out there for awhile … I think they’re going to be

our biggest challenge.” Fast forward to year number three, after failing to put up points against rival Sickles, the team worked on tweaking the offense and getting the defense ready to shut down opponents. The running backs worked on finding pockets in the defense to gain an advantage. It worked. Through the pre-game rain and a soggy field, the team pushed the running game and continued to win the battle off the line. Through the next two

weeks, the team continued building on their success, winning the battle that means the most: on the scoreboard. The headaches of the past two seasons against Strawberry Crest were erased with a big 28-0 shutout on the road in Dover, and then continued the next week against Homecoming district opponent Freedom. Everything seems to be clicking for the team, and according to junior running back Kendall Pearcey, that has been a major bright spot.

“Everybody has confidence, everybody is giving 110 percent,” said Pearcey after the big win against the Chargers. “Playing hard, going to hit somebody every play and never giving up, that’s the key.” As the regular season enters its final chapters in the next few weeks, the team as a whole still has the postseason on their mind, but with a newly-born consistency factor, sprinkled in with more heart and determination than in previous years, reaching the light at

the end of the tunnel seems more realistic than ever.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE Oct. 6 - at Gaither* Oct. 14 - at Riverview Oct. 20 - vs. T.B.T.* Oct. 28 - at Wiregrass Nov. 4 - at Chamberlain Nov. 10 - vs. Middleton* * Denotes Thursday night games. All games begin at 7:30p.m. with the exception of Gaither which kicks off 7:00p.m.



October 2011


Not skipping a beat

Revamped volleyball on path for a district three-peat

Patterson fights off rigorous Utah elevation Senior Jimmy Patterson faced a grueling task at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah on Sep. 25. Patterson competed in the 2011 XTERRA Half-MaraPatterson thon Trail Run National Championship Race, after winning the championship title for the state of Florida in his age group. The race was run in the mountains of Utah at an elevation of over seven thousand feet and brought out more than one thousand of the best amateur and professional trail runners in the United States. Patterson trained for the event during the summer, accumulating nearly 500 miles in the two and a half month period.

Girls Cross Country ranked 12th in state by FACA The Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) released their latest rankings for girls cross country and the ladies are ranked 12th. Also in the FACA rankings was junior runner Lauren Garris, who was named one of the top runners in the Class 3A category. The ladies will next compete in the annual Pre-State Invite in Dade City on Oct. 15 at 8 a.m.

FHSAA shakes up numerous championship locations The Florida High School Association (FHSAA) moved around some of its State championship locations and venues due to new contract agreements. Cross Country moves to Dade City, Golf moves to Orlando, Flag Football to Tallahassee and Volleyball moves from Lakeland to Kissimmee. Other venues remain the same including football which was pursued by St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field in a bid to move the games away from Orlando.

Check it out

For more coverage on Boys Swimming and Girls Golf visit oraclenewspaper. com

Courtesy of Steinbrenner Volleyball

Sophomore Casey McLean goes up to set the ball for junior Madison Seuzeneau’s (right) spike. The ladies have been off to a fast start this season, keeping their undefeated streak against district opponents alive. Jeff Odom Sports Editor When the most successful class of players in the two-year team history exited the court after a loss in the regional semifinals against Braden River, many wondered if the girls varsity volleyball team would be able to contend for another district title. Then when head coach Staci Elias announced she was stepping down from her position soon after, the doubts grew even heartier in the minds of some volleyball faithful, but the team knew the proponents for a good year were still there. After Elias’ resignation, Athletic Director Eddie Henderson quickly named then-assistant coach Jennifer Graham her replacement. Graham, a former volleyball player for Central Michigan University, had been working as head of the girls flag football team when the decision was made to give her the lead

role in guiding the team. Junior Madison Seuzeneau says while the transition from Elias to Graham was a little difficult at first, the team has rallied around her and has worked hard to succeed under Graham and there is a committed effort to get better every day. “I feel like everyone has high respect for her and we are doing well with her coaching,” said Seuzeneau. Prior to the start of the 2011 season, the roster was cleared of big names like Erin McMurtry, Natalia Ortiz and Nikki Dohermann all of whom graduated for new faces like sophomore Madison Powell (sister of senior team captain Miranda Powell), freshman Lauren Heldt and freshman Avery Bradshaw. Seuzeneau sees a big boost in team chemistry due to offseason conditioning and the club teams some girls compete on outside of school. “They’ve played for pretty good club teams, also they have come to condi-

tioning and have learned the speed of our level of play and they’ve adapted pretty well,” said Seuzeneau. Moving into a new district for 2011 meant changes for all school athletic teams, but for volleyball the shift from 4A-9 to 7A-7 was easier because of the lack of true competition from new opponents Chamberlain, Freedom, Gaither and Wiregrass Ranch. Only Freedom reached the postseason in 2010 and the only other team to clinch a winning record was Wiregrass which finished 1110. Seuzeneau believes while the opponents may be weaker than in the previous two years, the preparation and game plans will not change. “Last year, our opponents weren’t very strong in districts,” said Seuzeneau. “This year it’ll be a lot harder, games will probably go a lot longer but we’re prepared for anything and hopefully we will be State finalists.”



October 2011


[Cross Country]

Golfer reaches out to community for love of game

Boys striving for more after second place finish at State last season

Junior Pat Reed has been volunteering time to students, teaching them how to play the sport Evyn Moon Staff Writer On most days after school you will find the average teenager at home studying or watching television, but not junior member of the boys golf team, Pat Reed. Reed has been working with First Tee and Van Buren Middle School to teach young children how to play golf on the weekends as a volunteer opportunity. The program provides young people of all backgrounds with an opportunity to develop life-enhancing values— like confidence and judgement—and make new friends their age with the same interests. The program set out to not only teach kids golf, but lifestyle skills for being a better person. His father had been playing golf his whole life and began passing the game onto Reed when he was just a toddler in hopes that his son would follow in his footsteps to love and respect the sport as much as he has. Resource teacher Ross Anderson became close to Reed during last year’s school golf season, watching him play and noticing his skills. Anderson approached Reed and introduced him to Samuel Brown, manager of the First Tee Corporation. “I started volunteering with (Brown and First Tee) over the summer,” said Reed. “I had a lot of extra time on my hands so it worked out well.” During the summer, the group held camps where the children could stay all day while parents were at work. Reed tried to come into the role as volunteer and teach the children the game every weekday. “Teaching golf was almost as fun as playing,” said Reed. “The kids were funny so it didn’t seem like a job” Now that school has started, Reed still volunteers whenever he can on the weekends, but mostly Sundays. His parents are extremely proud of Reed for being so

Oracle File Photo

The team stands on the podium after finishing second in the 2A State Championship meet. in 2010. Early results, and various predictions put this year’s squad among the best in the state. Courtesy of Ross Anderson

Junior Pat Reed (far left) with two of his mentees, both of whom he teaches from the First Tee program about the game of golf. Reed has been a key member of the school team this season and volunteers for the youth program on weekdays. dedicated to a good cause. They thought it was a good decision from right when he started volunteering in late June. “If I have to get volunteer hours, I like doing this the best,” said Reed. “It’s fun teaching all I know about the sport I love.” Reed intends to continue his volunteer work with the group throughout the school year and most likely again next summer.

New girls swim coach Cooper adding stability to team Ben Schneider Staff Writer Three seasons, three coaches. After last season’s Girls Swim coach Jennifer Ordetx stepped down from her position, Athletic Director Eddie Henderson reached out to Geometry and Advanced Placement Statistics teacher, Ana Cooper. This is Cooper’s first teaching job, as she recently graduated from University of South Florida. She

Ana Cooper, a recent USF grad, is in her first year as a head coach.

describes her second job with the swim team as “tiring,” but “lots of fun.” A self-described “water person,” Cooper swam club for 10 years and did water skiing and jet skiing while growing up in Brazil. She spent all four years of high school in Brazil (she immigrated to the United States at age 21) and is already

noticing the differences. “There wasn’t a swim team at school (in Brazil)” said Cooper. Although she has nothing but positive things to say about the experience and the team, she recognizes the responsibility that comes with coaching. The team has high expectations and some individual swimmers are looking to be considered for scholarships. According to Cooper, “the whole team needs to be good” for

scouts to consider attending the meets and watching the swimmers. The team recently attended city relay competition on Sep.10—and although the meet was stopped early due to rain—finished in impressive fashion, sixth out of all public schools and one private school in the county. There’s more to the team than results, though. “The team is very united,” said Cooper. The team will compete against Alonso, Oct. 11.

Ben Schneider Staff Writer Ready to claim the title this year as one of the state’s most elite squads, the Boys Cross Country team has been preparing since their astounding, yet unsatisfying runnerup finish at last year’s 2A State finals. They’ve been conditioning since May and continued throughout the summer. The coach, Bobby McConnell, is extremely impressed with the team’s work ethic. “They worked extremely hard this summer… to accomplish the goal to do one better”, said McConnell. He also stated the goals of the team this season in chronological order: district, regional, and state championships. Although McConnell acknowledges that the team has some star runners- including junior twins Tyler and Zach Bess-Lima and junior Matt Magee- he confidently said, “The thing we stress most is team.”

After losing seniors including Alex Newby, Matt Sarver and Dan Sarver the team rounds out at 26 members, but McConnell is looking at his bright young runners including freshman Anthony Rocca to keep the pace going this year. The runners have certainly set high expectations for themselves, as McConnell has automatically put 11 meets on his calendar this year, one of which is the State championship. The team was upgraded to Class 3A District 3 this year, and for Magee that means “better teams, better competition.” He described his coach as a “quiet leader”, but a good one at that. McConnell himself knows what it’s like to be number one- he was a runner on the 1995 Leto High championship team and was awarded “Coach of The Year” for Cross Country last season by the Tampa Tribune. For updated results on the team, including schedules, statistics and more visit



October 2011

A Legendary Week

Students show spirit and a crazy fashion sense during Homecoming week

Underwear is the new outerwear for freshman Alec Williams and Josh Smith. They found a new way to be identical on Twin Day.

A Warrior stands guard outside Jennifer Ordetx’s room in hopes of winning the Homecoming door decorating prize. With all their hard work, they came in second.

Photos by Gaby Morillo and Megan Forde Compiled by Rachael Landes / Photo editor

Junior Amanda Owen poses in her 70s hippie gear as Erin Johnson belts out a melody channeling her inner 80s rocker. Both enthusiastically represented spirit on Retro Day.

Senior Manny Borda shows off his University of Florida gator pride for College Day. He hopes to attend the university in the fall. Some wish to be lawyers when they grow up. Junior Alexander Griffith wishes to follow the path of a banana. He is not the only one though; many other students this year chose to represent uncommon job types.

The Oracle October 2011  
The Oracle October 2011  

The Oracle October 2011