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May 27, 2011 | Volume 23, Issue 9 Four teams race for success at Drake Relays, p. 5

•photo by Blake Lanser

On April 26, Forbes magazine released their second annual “Best Schools for your Real Estate Buck,” article, naming Pella Community School district the third best public school for the real estate dollar nationally. “Forbes called about two months ago telling me we would be recognized. I answered all the questions they asked, but I didn’t know our ranking,” said Superintendent Mark Wittmer. The school district scored 98.25 of 100 points. The district’s median home price was appraised as $148,200, the lowest amount of any of the Top 10 schools on the list. According to, the look at America’s top districts demolishes the idea that more money equals a better education. “I thought that it was fantastic. Parents are concerned about education in Pella. Students participate in incredible levels in the fine arts and sports. When you compare our property value to the others in the Forbes report, my husband and I wondered why we weren’t number one,” said English teacher Suzi Jones. According to Forbes. com, Forbes, in partnership with the organization GreatSchools, analyzed two sets of tests scores for 17,589 communities throughout 49 states to come up with the final score for each school district. Forbes first assessed the statewide standardized test scores for their results. Nebraska was not included in the analysis because it does not have a statewide standardized test. GreatSchools also derived the rankings using results from the most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress data, a federal program that randomly selects students in fourth, eighth and 12th grades for testing

to provide state-level assessments of learning and educational progress. GreatSchools calibrated the results of individual cities in a single state with national standards to come up with an absolute score for each city. It then graded them on a curve with the highest-ranking city, Falmouth, Maine, median home price around $351,550, representing 100. GreatSchools assessed more than 200,000 public schools. “I wasn’t aware they [Forbes] did this, but I wasn’t surprised by the results. We’ve got great kids, great teachers and a great community. This is a special place, and I want people to understand that we didn’t apply for this. We’re not trying to toot our own horn; this was done by a private institute. I’ve met with people around the state of Iowa who have a sense that Pella is only good because of our Dutch community filled with ‘perfect’ Dutch kids. We have a great starting product, but the community, school system and the hard work of the kids makes the success we have. I think people tend to think there are factors other than hard work that make us successful, and that’s not the whole picture. Our staff, community and students who go above and beyond, those are the things that make us as successful as we are,” said Wittmer. •Jessica Salpor (



School Districts 1) Falmouth, ME 2) Mercer Island, WA 3) Pella, IA

PARADE. Dressed as immigrants, seniors Jordan De Jong, Nick Van Gorp and Thomas Yoder ride a raft to their final day of high school as they cross the border from student to adult. Crazy senior rides ranged from four-wheelers to flatbeds, and even a throne.

New pool management brings strict regulations for student lifeguards This summer will bring a couple of new changes to the public aquatic center rules, its customers and its employees. After last year’s drownings, the pool is adopting new lifeguard regulations and some new rules are coming with it. After a change in management, the pool is switching to Ellis & Associates (E&A), an international aquatic safety and risk management consulting firm. E&A requires all of the lifeguards, who it employs, to be certified in their training program. It also will bring some changes to common pool rules. One of the biggest rule change is E&A’s 10/20 rule, which will increase pressure on lifeguards but aims to increase overall safety. The rule states, “The 10/20 rule, created by E&A, holds that guard should be able to identify a distressed swimmer within 10 seconds while properly scanning his/her zone and respond to that distressed swimmer within 20 seconds, for a total response time of no more than 30 seconds.” Perhaps the most dramatic and interesting change is that the aquatic center is going to start performing baby drops to keep lifeguards alert. “A baby drop is when they drop a child like doll and the guards have to get to the doll within 10 seconds,” said senior lifeguard Nick Shepperd. Along with the baby drops, the guards will also have to adjust to a new

uniform regulation, which will make the guards wear matching uniforms, making them easier to recognize to the swimmers. The uniforms, that will include matching shirts, hats and suits, will be provided by the city. While the aquatic center hopes the new program will be a step in a better direction, some life guards are not too excited to get certified with E&A, especially a few of which who were already certified. “We have to take a class [to re-certify], and one of the days we will be at the indoor pool from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., which I know has no one very pleased,” says junior Katie Sunderman. Perhaps the guard with the worst luck is sophomore Ben Robertson, who got certified two weeks prior to his interview only to find out that he has to get completely re-certified. Many changes deal with the lifeguards and their training, certification and overall work experience. Pool goers are going to have to adjust to some changes as well. See Lifeguard Regulations, p. 2

Page Editor: Kelsey Van Tasell

May 27, 2011

Faculty finds new ways to make Briefly Speaking ... use of parent teacher conferences

Teachers will no longer be required to stay until eight-o-clock on school nights for more than two days next year. In the high school, there will only be two parent teacher conferences instead of four starting at the beginning of next year. In a decision made April 25, the board of administrators and faculty council approved a new policy that would only schedule two mandatory PT conference nights. The PT conference nights will be in the first six weeks of first semester and in the first six weeks into the second semester. They will take place from 5 to 8. The other two PT conference nights will be replaced with teacher collaboration time that will take place in meetings throughout the year from 7 to 8. Teacher collaboration time will focus in on the different aspect technology, “Pella Vision,” and “Pella Goals,” and “Universal Constructs: Essential for 21st Century Success,” according to the 2011-2012 Instructional Plan. “I think that it is good to try a new idea. It seems logical, and it seems like a more effective use of our time... I would think coming to school [in the mornings]  you are always pretty fresh and being fresh will help generate new ideas and help make it easier to focus,” said English teacher Regina Linn. The idea for changes was initiated by Principal Eric Nelson and proposed to the faculty council. After being approved, the idea then went on to the board of education. “Basically, my job as administrator is to use teacher time in the most affective manner possible. Parent-teacher conferences as they exist today are different than in the past because so many things right now are real time,” said Nelson. These morning meetings will insure that teachers are still spending the same amount of time working throughout the year; however, their time will be used in a different manner than previous years. “The main reason for the change is so we can focus in on enhancing the classroom to develop 21st century skills for students at our high school,” said Nelson. •Madeline Meyer (

Lifeguard Regulations (continued from page 1) A new rule will make it mandatory for patrons 12 years of age and up to take a test before using the deep end of the pool and the diving boards. This is a common rule in most pools already, but until now has not been a policy at the aquatic center. Also, there will be a few short breaks during the day where all swimmers must exit the water. This is another common rule, but in most pools there is a ten minute break every hour. The lifeguards are more supporting of these changes than getting recertified. “[The rules] will help the lifeguards and swimmers relax and rest a little,” said senior lifeguard Olivia Warner. Some speculation has been offered that the rules are being made in light of last year’s drownings. Administrative services director Jenny Hasseltine says “... Changes to our certifications and rules beginning this summer are additional steps that we are

taking, in part due to last year’s events, to continue to offer safe fun to our patrons. The other reason for these changes, is the new management of the City’s aquatic facilities. “ Overall, the new regulations aim to make the pool safer by preventing an accident, instead of being able to deal with an accident faster. But, the program still takes accidents into consideration. “[The program] is supposed to allow us to be more confident lifeguards and not doubt ourselves if something happens while we are working,” says senior Nick Shepperd. For the lifeguards, getting re-certified may be annoying, and some swimmers may think a swimming test will be a pain. But, Hasseltine is confident in the changes. “Our facilities will still be just as fun and safe as they have always been,” she said. •Evan Jones (

CONGRATULATONS! Senior graduates particiapted in an awards night May 11. The evening was sponsored by Dollars For Scholars, a local organization committed to providing funding for high school graduates who will attend college. Seniors Daniel Borgerding and Jordan De Jong are on stage after accepting their awards from Central College. “Other than the awards night being extremely hot, it was really nice. The ceremony was great to see all of my classmate’s accomplishments and to see what they have all achieved,” said Borgerding. •Photo by Jack Parisee

Aldrich prepares for college through Harvard summer program The school year is nearing an end, and while summer is the start of a break for most students, it’s simply a continuation of studies for others. Junior, Chet Aldrich will be spending his summer break in Cambridge, Massachusetts, taking part in Harvard’s Secondary School Program. The program offers over 200 different courses, from African and American studies to engineering, and everything in between. Students are prepared for college life and study through workshops, academic counseling and tutoring services and living on campus. Aldrich will be taking part in the macroeconomics course. “I’ll get eight college credits, and it’s an intensive course. In seven weeks, they’ll cover a year’s worth of material,” said Aldrich. Students involved in the program get to experience some aspects of college life: living in dorms, being involved in clubs and activities, such as band and orchestra and even going on weekend trips to places like New York City. Participants of the program

are also given the opportunity to visit other Ivy League schools, such as MIT, Brown and Yale. What does it take to qualify for such a prestigious program? “You have to send in an application, a personal essay, an essay from class, a transcript. It’s like application policies at most colleges, it’s more holistic. [Having taken the] ACT and SAT tests isn’t required, but if something is required, you do it, and if something’s reccommended, you still do it. They end up choosing about 1,000 kids to participate,” said Aldrich. Aldrich learned about the program through a friend, and without knowing very much about it, applied, “...Hoping to win the lotto.” Now that he’s been accepted, his excitement and understanding of the program have grown. “It’s a boost because of initiative, to do something good with your summer, plus, there’s college credit. And there’s always that thing with the Harvard name,” said Aldrich. • Eric Moore (em.pelladium@gmail. com)

Page Editor: Maddy Scholten

May 27, 2011

Retirees give final good-byes

as school year draws to an end The end of the 2010-2011 school year for most students and staff means the beginning of another summer, which will inevitably be followed by another year of school. However, for Superintendent Mark Wittmer, Spanish teacher Gretchen Klein and band director Dick Redman, they will all be retiring after this year. What follow are their responses to 10 questions about school, life and moving forward. Where are you going next? Klein: I have no idea. The world is open; we’ll just see what happens. Redman: I hope to judge contests, do clinics, and I will be working part time at William Penn. Wittmer: In the meantime, I’ll be playing golf, woodworking and if something comes up from a vocational standpoint that I think in my mind I’d love to do, I would certainly consider it. What drove you to your position? Klein: Knowing a foreign language opens up a whole new world. It gives you a whole new perspective, and I wanted to share that. Redman: The opportunity to move from a 1A school to a 3A school and the quality of the program. I student taught here when I was in college. Wittmer: My wife and I had been here a couple times. I didn’t know much about the school system but we really loved the community. So eventually, things worked out, and I came. What will you miss the most? Klein: Laughing with the kids. I laugh every single day. I’m just here for the yucks. Redman: The students. Wittmer: That’s a hard question. I mean legitimately that it has been a labor of love to work here. We’ve got great kids and an incredible staff. I tell people everyday I’ve got the greatest job in the state of Iowa. What have you gained from working here? Klein: I’ve gained personal relationships. Redman: Every aspect of teaching, from the knowledge to interacting with the students. Wittmer: I think I’ve gained an appreciation that high expectations are necessary for high achievement. Do you have a memorable moment? Klein: I’ve enjoyed every single day that I’ve worked here. Yes, there are bad days, but I enjoy it all. Redman: Too many to list. Wittmer: I don’t know that I really have a

favorite memorable moment. What do you want to say to students and staff? Klein: The students are the most important thing. Everything that you do should be focused on the students. To the students: try to find joy in learning. Redman: It’s been a great time. Good luck to everyone. Wittmer: To work together. It used to be that teachers were independent contractors. We cannot exist that way anymore. The shrinking of the world, I think reflects the fact that we have to depend upon other people. What feelings has your retirement left you with? Klein: I feel like I haven’t been coming into work these past years. It’s just been so much fun. Redman: Mixed. Wittmer: It has left me with really mixed emotions. I’ve done this for 39 years and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It has really been a joy. What advice can you give your successor? Klein: Find joy in the students. Embrace where they’re at and how they feel about things. Redman: Be prepared to have a great time. Wittmer: My best advice would be to come in the first year and listen and watch and learn and build relationships, and then get a sense of ways to make the system even better. What’s the most important lesson the district has taught you? Klein: It’s not about me, it’s about the students. They’re what matter. Redman: That you can never overestimate the potential of your students. Wittmer: We’ve got people who may not have the highest paying job, but do it incredibly well. They do it with enthusiasm. There are just really quality people and quality employees at every level. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in education? Klein: Technology. When I started, there were no computers. We had ditto machines. Redman: Technology and how we use it as a resource. Wittmer: That we now have got to do things collectively together. We now have to depend on other people, within our organization. •Jake Anderson (, •Jack Parisee (, •Sarah Muller (

•RETIREMENT. Superintendent Mark Wittmer, Spanish teacher Gretchen Klein, and band director Dick Redman will all be retiring at the end of the school year. “It has really been a joy. I can honestly say I can’t remember a day that I got up in the morning thinking ‘I just hate going to work’,”said Wittmer.

Page Editor: Jocelyn Van Dyke

May 27, 2011

Breast cancer awareness slogan sparks disapproval by adminstration As a result of the rise in breast cancer cases, 40,000 women died in 2010 alone. About 70-80 percent of breast cancer occurs in women who have no family history of breast cancer. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. These statistics only emphasize the need to get the word out about prevention and treatment for breast cancer. One foundation is not only turning heads in the non-profit organization world, but is also rallying support against this fatal disease in a unique way. The Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB)

and its use of interesting events and products is making breast cancer a more talk-able subject among high schoolers today. KAB wants to work to break down the barriers that make the topic “awkward” and shy kids away from becoming educated about breast cancer and its prevention and treatments. Awareness is spread through pieces of art, clothing and bracelets. The popular “I <3 Boobies” bracelets are the up front advertisement, along with matching t-shirts. As for events, KAB sponsors concerts and action sports surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. Those aren’t the only things, however.

With gardens full of tulips and three days dedicated to celebrating a tulip festival, it’s no wonder Pella is called “the City of Tulips.” Groups of volunteers and businesses around the community help prepare for planting tulips each year. The Garden Club formally took care of planting, but since the 90’s a crew of Randy Sikkema, Mike Clark and Rick Knoll has lead a group of volunteers. In May, Sikkema fills out an order form for tulips. He sends it into the City of Pella, who collects all of Pella’s orders, including places such as Pella Corp and the Historical Village. From there, the order forms are sent to a company in the Netherlands, and the tulips are shipped to Pella. Each year the crew of volunteers must carefully calculate when to plant and hope that the weather permits. “We don’t have control over the weather, but we try to plant the tulips some Saturday morning in the middle of October. We’ve realized that over the last few springs it’s gotten warmer, so we’ve been able to estimate the timing of when to plant the tulips,” said Sikkema. In total 380,000 tulip bulbs are planted every year. The Historical Society plants on their property in the Historical Village and Scholte Gardens. “A group of six of us go and plant tulips. In the Scholte Garden we planted 35,000 tulips and in the Historical Village we planted 25,000 tulips,” said Historical Village employee Karen Herringer. As the tulips wither and die, the bulbs along the main roads, in the city parks and in the Historical Village are available for digging up. No tulip bulb is ever planted twice. This ensures that fresh, new bulbs come up each year to beautify “the City of Tulips.” “[Digging up bulbs] is one of those things that is just kind of fun. I don’t dig up a lot of them, just a few. It’s interesting, and the people who do it basically are doing a service because all the bulbs have to be dug up and the city doesn’t have to pay someone to do it. What city in the state of Iowa can you go to dig up tulip bulbs? I think it does a lot of nice things for the community,” said Pella resident Mary Ann Emerick. • Sarah Muller (

Art shows, where pieces are auctioned off for donations to cancer awareness and prevention programs, are held all around the world. These shows feature many unique art pieces. Up for bidding are plaster molds of female torsos that have been painted or designed by many talented artists. Through the molds, artists show the emotion, stories and thoughts on breast cancer and how the disease has affected their lives. Early detection and overall knowledge are key when dealing with cancer. Foundations like KAB are working hard to spread the word to everyone, especially to youth so they can make decisions now that can really make a difference later on. There has been some controversy surrounding the bracelets and attire being worn at school. Assistant Principal Jon Muller comments on the issue. “We [the school] had two students wear shirts with the term ‘I <3 Boobies.’ At that point, we discussed it with Mr. Nelson

and other faculty and determined that the term ‘boobies’ could be offensive and derogatory according to the school’s dress code. This has nothing to do with the cause; we support the cause against breast cancer. Rather, it’s a matter of terminology. The school is not trying to stop people from supporting the cause, but are trying to uphold the integrity of the dress code,” said Muller. Students who choose to wear the bracelets do so for many different reasons. “I wear the bracelet because of my mom. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer and this is how I help support her. I don’t really think the bracelets are offensive. It’s just another way to raise awareness,” said senior Callie Deaton. “I wear my bracelet not for shows and giggles. It is for my aunt who is going through her second round of breast cancer,” said senior Seth Vander Horst. •Shaun Sokol (

TIPTOE. Seniors Jocelyn Van Dyke, Heidi Gritters, Lisa Houser and Caitlan Murphy tiptoe through the tulips during Tulip Time. “I appreciate all the work people put into planting tulips to make our town beautiful for Tulip Time. I enjoyed spending Tulip Time with my friends; just hanging out, eating good food and watching all the tourists. It’s fun to see how excited they get over the tulips that we get to see and enjoy every day,” said Murphy. “I really enjoy walking around during Tulip Time and looking at all the different kinds of tulips. There always seems to be a variety of shapes and colors. I think the people who plant the tulips do a wonderful job, and I can’t imagine the amount of time it takes to plant so many. The tulips really do a lot for our community. After all, it wouldn’t be Tulip Time without tulips!” said Houser. •Photo Submitted.

Boat’s Home Furnishings 620 Franklin St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2040 Brom Auto Service & Sales, Inc. 819 Broadway St. Pella, IA 50219 628-1700 Community 1st Credit Union 500 Main St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2022

Page Editor: Madeline Meyer

May 27, 2011

New Summer League: Ballin’ for ca$h The hoops have long been raised, the bleachers withdrawn for weeks, and even the intramural bracket has been retired from the gym door. Still, a group of about 20 of the high school’s most fervent basketball enthusiasts refuse to let the buzzer sound. As scholastic sports draw to a close, they have already laid the foundation for a “summer league” in hopes to maintain their game until the winter. A long-held brainchild of seniors Michael Ge, Nick Dorman and junior Benji McElroy, summer league aims to provide both novice and veteran players with an organized opportunity to keep their skills fresh and bodies active throughout the summer months. Ge, a student coach for boys’ varsity basketball, noted that practice during the off-season is vital to the progress of any player. “The purpose of this is to get kids off of their butts at

home and onto the courts. Participation in summer league will allow them the opportunity to mature their abilities along with other players. Guys who play competitively will get a chance to develop their skills, and those who don’t will get a great learning experience,” said Ge. Whereas only 20 upperclassmen have currently signed on to the summer league’s roster, its members hope to net at least 10 more before the opening game. What they call “the regular season” will feature a rotating schedule of 10 three-man teams, the winners of which will advance to a playoff bracket, and a shot at the championship. What’s the incentive behind a summer’s worth of sweaty socks and hours of practice? A cash prize, of course. The summer league’s founders plan on charging an entrance fee of $10 per player. This means with a proposed 30-member league, the winning trio will walk away with a Benjamin a piece.

Four events compete at the Drake Relays

A stadium filled with 20,000 spectators, happy with the way that we competed. world-wide acclaim, and an infamous There’s still room for improvement, but it blue track. The Drake Relays, also known gave us a good feel of what state will be as America’s Athletic Classic, has taken like this year,” said Gustafson. place since 1910 and continues to attract The girls track team also sent two the most elite college and high school events to the Drake Relays. The 4x100 track and field athletes. and 4x400 relays both qualified. Senior Located in Des Moines at Drake Makenzie Vander Molen, junior Katie University’s stadium, this three day Sunderman, and sophomore Nadine Van meet has grown to become one of the Zomeren ran in both events that qualified. most important and largest of its kind. Junior Marielle Gaiser ran in the 4x400 High school teams qualify for the meet and freshman Claire Wisniewski ran in by submitting their best times in events the 4x100. that they have run for the current track “After the Drake Relays, we have high season. Drake then selects only a certain hopes of going to state in every running number of athletes based off the fastest event and maybe even a few field events times, regardless of school size. Selection or two. We have high expectations for numbers vary from event to event. ourselves and for each other, so I don’t Qualifying for the Drake Relays this think it will be hard for us to accomplish year from the boys track team was the this goal,” said Sunderman. 4x100 relay of seniors Travis Ewing and The girls 4x100 team went into the Daniel Borgerding, junior Austin Fuller Relays ranked 33 of 80. The relay ran in and sophomore Chris Brogden and the the preliminaries April 29, finishing 39th 4x800 relay of juniors Grant Gustafson with a time of 52.24. Though it was a and Colton Haning, and sophomores season best time for the team, they did not Wade Pingel and Evan Jones. advance to the finals. The 4x400 team also The boys 4x100 went into the Relays ran April 29, going in ranked 23rd of 24. ranked 50th of 80 teams that qualified, Running a time of 4:08.01, they finished and ran in the preliminaries April 29. 20th. This also was a season best time, but Due to a dropped hand-off, the team it did not secure the team a spot in the was disqualified. The boys 4x800 team finals. ran April 30, ranked 15th of the 16 teams “Drake was a very fun experience. that qualified for the event. Running their Although we didn’t finish as well as we season best, they finished 15th with a time would have liked to, we ran our best of 8:13.73. times so far in both events. The whole “It was awesome to compete in such experience made us better runners, a great field of runners. We weren’t too and we strengthened friendships in the nervous before our race, and we were process,” said Vander Molen. •Maddy Scholten(

But, the prospect of wealth is the least of the summer league’s lures for true-blooded ‘ballers’ like senior David Rozendaal, a zealous sports fan and recreational player who doesn’t see much court time outside of the intramural season. “I had no idea about the cash; I just like to play. It’s good exercise, it’s a fun sport, and there just aren’t very many other opportunities for amateurs to play after intramurals. It’s really just all about playing for me,” said Rozendaal. Games are to be held at Work Systems, Caldwell Park and the outdoor courts at Central College. To become a participant in the summer league, talk to one of the aforementioned players, or simply join the group on their official Facebook page dubbed “Pella Summer League.” •Nathan Kooker (

Golf Senior Kelsey Van Tasell What is one obstacle you have had to overcome this season? “An obstacle that I have had to overcome is changing my chipping patterns, I’ve really had to re-learn how to chip this year because I’m trying to learn how to do different chip shots, so I’m trying to learn how to direct the ball by stopping it faster; it’s a difficult thing to grasp.”

Track Junior Katie Sunderman Why has this season been unique? “This season is unique because we are such a well-rounded team. It has been a long time since we have had such diverse team with so many girls who are able to do so many different events successfully. We have great hurdlers, long distance runners and sprinters this year who are all doing such a great job. Many of our field event girls are young, but they are doing well and are continually improving as meets go on.”

Golf Senior Beau Vander Sluis What is the best memory of the season and what goals do you have for the rest of the season? “My best memory so far has been going to all of the golf meets and meeting new people to golf with... The goals that I have for this year are to shoot a lower round and just have a blast playin’ some golf.”

De Jong Door Service 1307 Columbus St. Pella, IA 50219 628-8736

Fareway Stores Inc. 2010 Washington St. Pella, IA 50219 628-9995

Holiday Inn Express 2508 Bos Landen Drive Pella, IA 50219 628-4853

Midtown Tire Company 109 E. Oskaloosa St. Pella, IA 50219 641-628-1072

DeVries Electric 2121 Old Highway 163 Pella, IA 50219 628-1416

Garden Chapel Funeral Home 1301 Main St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2430

Pella Orthodontics Dr. Kim Wass 715 Main St. Pella, IA 50219 628-9195

Kathy Kooyman, Realtor, Home Realty 641-416-0182

MidWestOne Bank 700 Main St. Suite 100 Pella, IA 50219 628-4356

Pella Pets Veterinary Clinic 411 Oskaloosa St. Pella, IA 50219 620-8880

Red Rock Chiropractic Center, P.C. 1400 Fifield Rd. Pella, IA 50219 628-9991

Digital Solutions Inc. 809 West 8th St. Pella, IA 50219 628-0088

Genesis Healthy Living 628-1031

Leighton State Bank 900 Washington St., Box 6 Pella, IA 50219 628-1566

Pella Nail Salon 604 Liberty St. Suite 129 Pella, IA 50219 628-1104

Precision Pulley, Inc. 300 S.E. 14th St. Pella, IA 50219 628-3115

Royal Amsterdam Hotel 705 East First St. Pella, IA 50219 620-8400

Recker Dental Care 2114 Washington St. Pella, IA 50219 628-1604

May 27, 2011

Page Editors: Megan Card, Jessica Salpor

Young Americans face uphill

climb to first full-time employment

•Marielle Gaiser( As graduation looms, the question being asked by many seniors is “What now?” While the coming summer will be consumed by choosing a major, finding a roommate and getting acclimated to the idea of personal independence, the transition from backpack to briefcase is the next step toward adulthood. As students get an early taste of what it means to join the workforce through local internships, colleges are schooling students on how to gain a rapport with possible future employers to set themselves up right out of graduation.

Vermeer internships allow students

a glimpse into the workforce The lazy days of summer are over for a few graduating seniors. While other classmates will be sleeping in, these seniors will be working as interns at Vermeer Corporation. Senior Devon Dawson applied for the Vermeer internship, along with seniors Hope Wadle and Tim Michaels. Some students have already found out if they received the job, but others will know for sure whether they got the summer internship sometime in late May or early June. Dawson applied for a full time, paid internship. “I may be working at the Lampost Lounge that will be opening soon. I would probably be doing cleanup and food preparation. I applied late, and the only job left was janitorial, which I’m totally fine with,” said Dawson. A big part of interviewing and finding out possible job opportunities is all about who one knows, and what those people can do to help one applying for the job. With the Vermeer internships, those who apply who have one or both of their parents working at Vermeer have priority over other applicants. “The application process was pretty easy because [my family] has a friend who works at Vermeer, and he helped me through the application,” said Dawson. While some internships are about finding what one wants to do in the future, Dawson is simply looking for job experience in the real world, along with saving up more money to put toward his college fund. “I want to go into business one day, so [this janitorial

internship] probably does not directly relate [to what I want to study in the future]. [I decided to take the internship] as a summer job saving for college. I am looking forward to the internship, if I get it that is,” said Dawson. Senior Tim Michaels received a full-time paid job at Vermeer working in construction. Michaels filled out the application online. “I wanted a different job and a solid full-time job that I could make some money from. I think it will be an interesting job, and I will learn a lot. I’m working construction, so I will pour cement [as part of the job],” said Michaels. Senior Hope Wadle also applied for a summer job at Vermeer, one of 15 applicants. She officially found out that she got the job late April and will be starting May 23. “The process for applying for the job was easy; I knew I needed to find one for the summer so I could have loads of money for my summer adventures. Since my dad works at Vermeer, he

told me to apply. I got online, and 20 minutes later, I was in the running,” said Wadle. The area that Wadle applied for is different than that of Dawson’s, yet it is also a paid full-time job. “I decided to apply for Quality Reception in Plant 2 because I knew I was good with computers and people skills, and that is something that this job required. I also applied because they are looking for someone to create designs for memos and documents, and I feel like that is something I could strive in. I am majoring in interior and graphic design, so this could help me get some extra experience,” said Wadle. While these internships are only available for the summer, all recipients agree that the experience they will gain from opportunity will only be beneficial in the long run. Along with the connections they will make as interns, this networking could one day lead to full-time employment for the Vermeer Corporation. •Taylor Rennich (tr.pelladium@

334 Central College graduates line the H.S. challenge for that person to advance without Kuyper Fieldhouse, red and white tassel in tow. a furthered education,” said counselor Teresa Anticipating the hand-off of a diploma, the 2011 Thompson. graduates are one step closer to joining the career Thompson has first-hand experience of world–or at least they think they are. But what understanding what the job market can be like so many current graduates are discovering is that for young adults. She has seen students from the their hardest challenge is ahead of them, with the high school making the decision to go directly attainment of a job. into a career. Last year alone, 10 percent of The current economic problems are by no the graduating class went into the workforce, means a secret, but the reality of the bleak job military, or their whereabouts are unknown, market could be an unwarranted surprise for while 20 percent attended a two-year school young adults trying to jump-start a career. Not and 70 percent attended a four-year school. No only will these job-seekers matter what your choice is, be competing against their Thompson has some tips for own former classmates, young adults who are seeking Class of 2010 stats but they will also have full-time employment. to contend with the large “If I had to advise a future •70% attended a four-year number of unemployed college student or even a high college applicants, many of which school student on what to •20% attended a two-year are a culmination of the do to put themselves at the college still-unemployed college head of the race to get a job, I graduates from the past would recommend that they •10% are working, in the milifew years. do internships. Networking is a tary or unknown According to a fundamental way to keep afloat CareerBuilder survey, in a struggling workforce. I, fewer than half of employers plan to hire recent myself, got my first job after I got my Masters due college grads. The good news is this is actually to having a great relationship with advisors and a decrease from the past, where in 2007, almost counselors I had worked with,” said Thompson. 79 percent of employers were against hiring, a popular site for freshly-diplomaed college graduates. With an entrepreneurs, defines successful business unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, prospects of networking as one of the best ways to put receiving a full-time position right out of college yourself ahead when applying for a job. A top 10 seem unrealistic. list on the site by columnist Stephanie Speisman “With the job market being what it is, employers describes effectibe business networking as the are going with experience over verility. Many “linking together of individuals who, through times, when students immediately enter the trust and relationship building, become walking, workforce, they are in a particular situation, talking advertisements for one another.” where they have a connection with a company or •Megan Card( department. That being so, it can be a long-term

Staged interviews make for employment preparation When students begin hunting for jobs, the most intimidating part for most is the interview process. For students taking communications, that fear was taken to the classroom. Over the course of two days, every student in Mrs. Fank’s third period communications class had to dress up in their finest clothes to prepare for interviews with three “very intimidating” school officials. Principal Eric Nelson, vice principal Jon Muller and government teacher Mark Core asked the students a series of questions in an attempt to replicate a job interview. Senior Nick Gerdes said that this interview was even more intense then a a real job interview. “Not only are those pretty high ranking guys, but every other interview I’ve done has always been a lot more casual then this one. So, I definitely was nervous.” Gerdes was not the only person who found the process daunting. Senior Jessica Van Wyk was also worried about “the interrogation” by Nelson, Muller and Core. However, she did not find that as the worst part. “Their questions were tough, but the fact that you had to answer them in front of a class of students made it much worse.” The questions the teachers asked ranged from basic “Why do you want this job?” to the much tougher “What was your biggest mistake?” “We did have some examples of potential questions, “ said Senior Alex DeJong, “But you don’t really know what to expect when you actually get in front of the whole group. But, as soon as you were able to get into a flow, it wasn’t too bad.” According to Core, the interviews are not necessarily the best form of figuring out potential employees. “I’m not sure how employers can really figure out who they want to employ from a process like that. It’s all kind of staged and set-up. I’m sure there are better ways.” •Nick Dorman (

Tips to becoming a professional success No matter if you are a businessman just trying to climb the corporate ladder or an aspiring entrepreneur on the verge of being endorsed, success comes from the same basic principles.

Play the game...Play to win

It doesn’t always matter who you know or what sex you are, just get with the game. Learn the game, and play as a team. Create a Unique Ability Team Play to your strengths. Everyone will be more prone to success if they are given the ability to play to their strengths. Take Moments to Care We move so quickly for success that many times we forget what we are working for, the people. In the end, relationships count. Network Before You Need It It is never too early to network. Everyone needs help along the way, and any simple connection can land you a job. Love What You Do If you want to be a success, you need to have a passion for your work. Tips come from President of CEO Inc., Deborah Millhouse, according to the website,

Page Editor: Benji McElroy

May 27, 2011

Staff Editorial

Editorial Cartoon

Embrace your leap into adulthood

•Eric Moore (

Alternative News Royal wedding’s hype off the charts Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s glorious wedding, on April 29th, not only broke online streaming records (2.9 million streamers), but also might have managed to break President Barack Obama’s heart. President Obama was reportedly left off the holiday-worthy event’s guest list. While this can be interpreted as some sort of slap in the face, it’s actually probably just an acknowledgement that the president has far better things to do than watch a prince marry some hot chick. Just like most Americans. Most of the hullabaloo over the ceremony stems from all the Brits getting a day off for this. A legitimate day off for a wedding. Think about how much everybody would love a wedding on this side of the pond if we got an entire day off for it. If Carmelo and LaLa’s wedding had garnered a day off, it would have easily topped Will and Kate’s. Somehow though, despite being deprived of a national holiday, some devoted contingent of starry-eyed moms came out in droves to watch. This not only affected breakfast quality across the U.S. of A., but also might cause a spike in the divorce rate. Think of how many elaborate weddings now look like they might as well have taken place at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel because they have to stand up to the colossal standard set by Catherine Middleton and Prince William. Disney even went as far as to tack a precious little veil onto some plastic Mickey Mouse ears. Think about not only how confused the five-year-olds, who “just so happened” to be on vacation during this, were when mommy sprinted out of the hotel room in church clothes and Mickey Mouse ears, but about the entirety of this ridiculously over-hyped event. Most people groan when they receive a wedding invitation in the mail, but then freak out when they’re given the opportunity to creep on complete strangers’ wedding via television? Afterall, if you skipped the first few periods of school to watch the royal wedding, then you’ve pretty much already R.S.V.P.’d for your great-uncle’s second wedding during the summer. It doesn’t make sense to get all jazzed up over something that has absolutely no importance. It’s not even remotely interesting. Then again, maybe it’s like some people not appreciating the momentousness of the World Series, and everybody should just be allowed to strap on their Mickey Mouse ears and rejoice. •Benji McElroy (

The last year of high school is spent thinking about two things: graduation and getting into college. Though these tasks can be broken down to more daunting events, like taking exams, filling out applications and choosing the right school, many seniors forget that the journey does not end with buying linens for their dorm room. So many people get caught up with getting into college that most forget the next step: the transition to adulthood. Just because someone reaches the golden age of 18, it does not mean they are an adult. Adulthood, by definition, means complete self-sufficiency. According to a California survey of 300 two-parent households, it is not until the age of 26 that a child is able to get by without leaning on mom and dad. So, while each graduating senior may have some time before they trade in their backpacks for briefcases, the transition to competent “During the school year I’ve adult is in the works. been working part time to These next few years save up my money for things are designated to I need, but during summer I’ll preparation, and with get a full time job to save as the right steps, they much as possible” can be made with ease. Senior Lauren Newendorp Basically, it is time to GROW UP. Though there may be some who find it more productive to laugh at every single bowel movement joke, getting yourself prepared for an independent (and that means financially) life starts at graduation. So, for those wanting to start out of the gate with a running start for success, follow these basic guidelines. First, create a budget and a savings account (with money in it!). One of the smartest lines ever uttered was, “Don’t spend more money than you have.” Trying to balance an income-to-debt ratio, especially right after graduation, can bury a person before they have even had a chance to make something of themselves. Be smart during college, set a legitimate budget, monitor spending and save, save, save. Network like your life depended on it. While the idea of a hard work ethic has been instilled in most students since kindergarten, many times it is as much about who you know as it is what you know. Especially in college, “I’m getting a full-time job gaining a positive and I’m going to save my rapport with fellow money and manage my time students, professors to grow accostomed to being completely independent.” or advisers could lead to job opportunities. Senior Brenna Wichhart Take business cards whenever available and keep them in a back-pocket, who knows when they might come in handy. Finally, be flexible. Going into college undecided should be seen as an openended opportunity. Not that there is anything wrong with knowing what to major in, but dabbling in other subjects never hurt anyone. If anything, majoring in engineering but minoring in creative writing cannot only give a student two completely different career paths, but it could give them the opportunity to find a common ground between the two. A mystery series about everyone’s favorite aerospace engineer detective? Whatever you choose, just remember that things rarely ever occur exactly as you plan them to. Overall, embrace adulthood. You only get to enter it once, so do it right the first time. (The Pelladium Staff voted In favor of this editorial, 21-0)

Pelladium Staff Executive Editors: Megan Card, Nathan Kooker, Eric Moore, Kelsey Van Tasell Page Editors/Reporters: Tiffany Carter, Michael Ge, Benji McElroy, Madeline Meyer, Taylor Rennich, Jessica Salpor, Maddy Scholten, Jocelyn Van Dyke Visuals: Marielle Gaiser, Eric Moore, Jillian Sagers, Mitch Shepperd, Micah Zeimetz Reporters: Kayla Da, Nick Dorman, Mark Dykstra, Adam Gromotka, Evan Jones, Sarah Muller, Jack Parisee, Shaun Sokol, Haley Sytsma, Whittney Reinier Adviser: Ann Visser The Pelladium is a monthly tabloid produced by the high school journalism department to serve as an informative, educational and entertaining communications media and to provide an open forum to students and readers. •Letters to the Editors are welcome and encouraged. These letters must be signed and should, in no way, be libelous, irresponsible or obscene. Letters must have verified facts and should deal with issues. The Pelladium reserves the right to edit grammatical errors, libelous content or length due to the space limitations. Letters may be brought to Room 201 or sent to Pella Community High School, Box 486, Pella, IA 50219. •The Pelladium will strive to deliver information in a fair and truthful manner. The Pelladium will function in accord with all applicable laws, both in regard to the rights and restrictions of journalism. •The views expressed in this publication are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Pella Community High School Administration or the Pella Community Schools Board of Education. The Pelladium will make retractions in the event of errors made in the content of printed stories. Retractions will be printed in the issue immediately following the issue containing the errors. •The Pelladium is a member of the Iowa High School Press Association.

Page Editor: Tiffany Carter

May 27, 2011

Watch. “Water for Elephants”

After having fallen in love with Sara Gruen’s New York Times bestselling book At a glance... “Water for Elephants,” I eagerly awaited the arrival of the movie. A sliver of me didn’t wish to see the film, just in case it didn’t meet the Who? Circus bar that had been set by the book, but another performers, elephants part of me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the beloved characters come to life. Of and a former vampire. course, the later part won, and I found myself sitting in the movie theatre, bouncing with anticipation. What? A story of Having yet to buy into the “Twilight” forbidden love set during phenomenon, I can’t say that I was overjoyed the Great Depression to discover that Robert Pattinson would be the star of the show. Alas, this thought quickly dissolved as I became engrossed in the film, and soon I was so swept up by the story that the actors’ real names simply didn’t matter. Pattinson plays the role of Jacob Jankowski, an aspiring veterinarian whose dreams are trampled when his parents pass away leaving him penniless and alone. Whether it be chance or some other outside force, Jacob finds himself becoming part of a traveling circus named “Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth”. It is here that his life is changed forever. Jacob meets a woman named Marlena Rosenbluth, (played by Reese Witherspoon), and the two begin a romantic journey cemented together by their mutual love for an elephant named Rosie, who joins the circus shortly after Jacob’s arrival. The catch, however, is that Marlena is married to an abusive man with a bipolar personality. As one can only imagine, the tension complicates and drama ensues. While this may sound like any other generic love story, I can assure you that the thrill of the 1900’s circus gives this film its own special flare. With the movie taking

Watch. “The Voice” “The Voice” aired for the first time on April 26 on NBC. Based upon the popular Dutch X Factor At a glance... series, the show features a variety of artists, each with a different sound and something unique to offer, competing for a recording contract and to be When? The show airs crowned the “Voice of America.” Tuesdays at One by one the competitors made their way to the stage to perform in front of celebrity judges Cee 9 p.m. on NBC. Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. While facing the other direction, Why? Cee Lo Green? chairs turned to the audience, the judges listened to the vocals to determine who they wanted to Christina Aguilera? have be apart of their team. When the performance Forget you, genie in ends, the judges turn around to see their choices a bottle. face to face. From there, the judges and performers begin their training for the season. Having seen similar shows like “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent,” I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the concept of the show. I found the judges to be equally as appealing and it was exciting to see who they were trying to con into joining their team. The friendly “fights” they put on towards each other reminds me of the Simon vs Paula arguments back in the early “Idol” years. For one performer, they decided to leave his appearance unknown to see what viewers at home thought of his singing ability alone. It was something different and I like seeing how surprised everyone was when they finally revealed who he was. Hosted by Carson Daly, the show has already scored 11.8 million views. With each episode stepping up the level of competition, both the judges and performers must push to the best of their ability to bring all they have to the stage. In order to keep the people at home interested, as well as the judges, contestants must give their all to make it to the final showdown and be crowned the winner. •Haley Sytsma (

Silver Lining 733 Franklin St. Pella, IA 50219 628-3650 Sports Page Grill 1111 W. 16th St. Pella, IA 50219 620-1149 Sports Page Sporting Goods 1562 Washington St. Pella, IA 50219 628-4999

Stravers True Value/ Radio Shack/ U.S. Cellular 818 Main St. Pella, IA 50219 628-3330 Subway 714 Liberty St. 412 E. Oskaloosa St. Pella, IA 50219 628-8923 628-3054

TD&T Financial Group, P.C., CPA’s 606 Franklin St. Pella, IA 50219 628-9411

Taco John’s 911 West 16th St. Pella, IA 50219 628-8818

Tri-County Vet 650 Hwy T-14 Pella, IA 50219 628-4040

TK Concrete 1608 Fifield Rd. Pella, IA 50219 628-4590

•Graphic by Marielle Gaiser

place during the Great Depression, the delicate balance between attempting to make a buck and attempting to enjoy life can be seen. The magnetic pull the circus had back then was almost palpable, and I can see why people squandered their hardearned pennies for an enchanting show. In a time where people didn’t have much, enjoying the little things in life mattered that much more. Even though circus performers often hoodwinked people in the towns they visited, the circus still provided that much sought after glimmer of hope. In the end, I cannot give the movie five of five stars. This is simply due to my respect and adoration for the book. Although the director works hard to keep the movie’s plot close to the book’s, it’s like everyone always says: the book is better than the movie. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the movie is still worth checking out! •Jocelyn Van Dyke (

Play. “Angry Birds” Of the thousands of applications available for Apple’s iTouch and iPad, the game Angry Birds appears to be Who? Ferocious making the biggest waves. People of all fowls aiming ages seem to be on to destroy pigs. board of the Angry Birds train. The game has several Why? It’s society’s versions, ranging •Graphic by newest addiction. from Angry Birds, Angry Birds Jillian Sagers Seasons, Angry Birds Rio. Even more are in development. Each version also has a free tutorial so there is no pressure to buy the application if you’re unsure about the game. I was initially skeptical about trying the game. The idea of killing little green pigs by sling-shotting even smaller birds seemed like an awkward concept to me, but now that I’ve started, I just can’t stop. The original Angry Birds is pretty basic. A generic nature background, three birds to shoot and pigs blocked in wood and glass blocks, but Rio and Seasons is where the creators seem to be having more fun. Seasons is a much more expanded version of Angry Birds. There are several different seasons to choose from: Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Halloween, because of this there are more levels and more courses to play on, giving you much more gaming for the money. Each season is unique and fitting for their titles. For example, Easter has Easter eggs to knock off the blocks for extra points as well as bunny ears on some of the pigs. There are also Easter colors throughout the game, like the pastel pink and purples that are common throughout the Easter holiday. Though this version is much more difficult than the original, it prompts an intriguing challenge. Rio, the latest version, is jungle themed, so the gamer gets to kill monkeys as well as pigs, and the backgrounds are much more detailed with additions like palm trees, big rocks and the pig and monkey placements are more fun because they’re harder to get to. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the three versions of Angry Birds, so be on the lookout for more versions to come. I would give each of these games four and a half out of five stars. • Kelsey Van Tasell (

At a glance...

TRIUMPH Martial Arts 308 SE 9th St. PO Box 41 Pella, IA 50219 866-648-8480 Ulrich FordLincoln-Mercury 1130 West 16th St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2184 Van Dyk-Duven Funeral Home 615 West 1st. St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2540

Vander Ploeg Bakery 711 Franklin St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2293 Dr. Gregory Vannucci, D.D.S, P.C. 2601 Washington St. Pella, IA 50219 628-2011 Vermeer Sales and Service 661 Hwy. T-14 Pella, IA 50219 628-2000

Work Systems Rehab & Fitness 308 SE 9th St. Pella, IA 50219 621-0230

Catch up on the latest news at Always a New Issue

Page Editor: Michael Ge

May 27, 2011

Fish & Sheps • Mitch Shepperd Dear PHS Students, I’m the one of the least appreciated plots of land. (Second only to my cousin, the grave plot, because rotting corpses everywhere would be, well, smelly.) You all need to start kissing my asphalt butt and start treating all of us better. Just last week, some daredevil decided to do a donut right over me. So, ever since, I’ve been the laughing stock of the parking lot due to the giant tire marks streaking across me. I put up with your shenanigans day in and day out, yet I get zilch for respect. In fact, it’s in your best interest to make me feel special, because I know everything. Like that time you backed into a fancy-looking sedan a couple months ago and screeched away without leaving so much as a note. Or, how about that time you made-out with your best friend’s girlfriend in the wee hours of the morning? Seriously, don’t mess with me. And to you underclassmen who think you can park on me, you might as well be spitting on my great-grandfather’s grave (God rest his soul, after so many years of dealing with horse manure). I am a parking spot that was raised from birth to be exclusively for juniors, yet you pre-pubescent scallywags opt to place the universe in limbo by parking your ’98 Taurus on me. It’s parking lot sacrilege, plain and simple.

High School Hazard • Jillian Sagers

Not only do you park your unwanted keesters on top of me, but you also proceed to cross over the line of demarcation that outlines each and every one of us. I know, I know, you’ve invested a lot of money and time into spraypainting your rims chrome and such, so you couldn’t possibly park within 10 feet of a nearby vehicle. What you fail to understand, though, is that when you put just the tip of your car into one of us, it means either nobody can use us or a lowly golf cart can use us. Both are extremely cruel fates for a devoted spot. Having your car dripping enough oil for a second Middle East is the absolute last straw. It’s a greased-up version of Chinese water torture that goes on for the whole school day. If you can imagine a Scooby Doo villain drooling on your face all day, then you might be able to sympathize with me. Plus, oil has a tendency to stain, which makes it look like I have a Godzilla-sized blackhead on my face. I guess what I’m trying to say, guys, is throw me a bone once-in-a-while. I’ll keep your secrets on the DL and I’ll deal with you double-parking for the sake of your spraypainted rims, if you just throw me a dap here or there, you know? I won’t deal with those juvenile underclassmen, though. No way. No how. Sincerely, Junior Parking Spot in the Far Left Row, Three Down From The Top As we approach the end of the year, the realization that a slew of goodbyes are going to be necessary has dawned upon us. We need to say so long to a lot of people, including you, our dedicated readers. But, as Romeo once said to his beloved Juliet, “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” and this bittersweet moment is about to hit us like a freight train. Adam: It’s a strange feeling, graduating from the school system most of us have spent our educational career learning in.

Last Stop Terminus Termination Graduation

Green Supporters...

Jake: And now we have to say goodbye to all the teachers and students we’ve spent this time with. I hate goodbyes. A: Someone obviously didn’t read last month’s installment; hating won’t get you anywhere. We should embrace our chance to move on. J: Even so, there’s got to be a better way to part ways than an awkward, sad or angry interaction. Someone should create a specific system so these times are easier.

Applebee’s, 1600 Washington St., 620-8646 Bos Landen Golf Club, 2411 Bos Landen Dr., 628-4625 Braafhart’s BP Amoco, 834 Washington St., 628-2474 Central Cellular, 1530 Washington St., 628-9520 Comfort Inn & Suites, 910 West 16th St., 621-1421 Dutch Meadows Landscaping, 100 1/2 Vermeer Rd.,628-4450 Eyecare Partners, 823 Franklin St., 628-9225 Jansen’s Decorating & Kitchens, 614 Franklin St., 628-4247 Leighton Processed Meats, Leighton, 626-3211 Nick’s Greenhouse & Floral Shop, 219 Oskaloosa, 628-2230 Oriental Express, 706 Main Street, 620-1199 Pella Implement Company, 655 Hwy. T-14, 628-2131

A: I’ve got just the idea to put the terrible system of goodbyes aside: everyone should watch Titanic and bawl their eyes out before graduation. That way, there are no tears to spill over your diploma. J: Only you would cry over something as clichéd as a movie about a boat. A: That reminds me, we’ll all be sailing away pretty soon... :’( J: And maybe the best way to get over it is a bro-hug and a heartfelt, “So long.” I guess goodbyes aren’t the same for everyone. We need to find our own way of saying “adios,” regardless of how hard that way might be. Jake Anderson ( & Adam Gromotka (apg.

Pella Implement Company, 655 Hwy. T-14, 628-2131 Pella Printing Co., 1190 West 16th St., 628-4941 Prudential First of Pella Realty, 601 Franklin St., 628-9840 Sadler Sign & Design, 203 SE 16th St., 628-9889 Van Maanen, Sietstra and Meyer, P.C., 705 Main St., 628-3737 Van Maanen Seed & Chemical, 2073 Eaton Ave., Leighton, IA, 626-3471 Windmill Cafe, 709 Franklin St.,621-1800 Windmill Mall Antiques & Collectibles, 637 Franklin Street, 628-1095

Page Editor: Taylor Rennich

May 27, 2011


SERVE. Senior Kelsey McNabb works on a senior service project. As part of the senior service project, McNabb worked at Caldwell park. “I had so much fun at senior service day! The city guy that was helping us was named Chandler and we just had so much fun hanging with him and just messing around. It was actually kind of fun mulching the playground because we could still work but talk and have fun at the same time!” said McNabb. •Photo by Molly Neil

TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS. High school students run the Klompen Classic (top). Many sophomore boys are pictured running at the beginning of the race. 2011 Tulip Time Dutchesses (bottom) perform downtown during the festivities. “Dutchesses is a really fun group of girls; I got to perform a lot during Tulip Time, and it was great to experience the culture and to represent the town,” said Dutchess member Hanna Martin. •Photos by Tiffany Carter and Sierra Hrdlicka

BLAST FROM THE PAST. Jazz II director Dick Redman directs past Pella Jazz I students that he taught in previous years. This was a tribute to Redman in honor of his retirement. “It was thrilling. Not only was it really great to see them again, but to see them play again,” said Redman. •Photo Submitted

PREPARE. Senior Nick Van Gorp prepares to serve the ball (left) as sophomore Morgan Ernst (right) awaits a serve in a tennis match against Pella Christian. “We had a great tennis season this year. I had a lot of fun playing with the upper class men and joking around with the coaches,” said Ernst. •Photos by Jack Parisee and Marielle Gaiser

COMPETE. Senior Mariah Vande Lune, junior Madeline Meyer and senior Sarah Wittenberg (left) run the 1500 meter race at a co-ed track meet hosted by Pella. Freshman Jordan Pingel (right) clears a hurdle at the same meet during the shuttle hurdle race. “My favorite thing about track this year was definitely the environment and getting to run and compete on such a great program,” said Pingel. •Photos by Jack Parisee

SHOOT. Senior Deckar Lynch (left) takes a shot during the boys varsity soccer game against Pella Christian. Varsity boys won 9-0. Sophomore Bri Schroder (right) prepares to cross the ball during a home varsity soccer game against Norwalk, winning 2-0. “All of our passes really connected and that is what won us the game. My best memory of soccer is listening to Kelsey sing in the goal. Her and Lisa are a lot of fun!” said Schroder. •Photos by Tiffany Carter and Jace Versteeg

SWING. Junior Rachel Schwab (left) prepares to drive during the girls golf meet at Norwalk May 17. Junior Lucas Boyd (right) putts during the Chariton Invitational. Boyd shot a 74, finishing 3rd place out of 48 players. “While our team has not quite had the success as the last few years, it has still been fun. I’m most looking forward to playing in the state tournament,” said Boyd. •Photos submitted

Class of 2011 Senior Edition

May 27, 2011 | Volume 23, Issue 9 Graduation: May 27, 2011 Time: 7:30 p.m. Graduation Location: Central College, Kuyper Fieldhouse Class Colors: Green, Black Class Flower: Spider Mum

Class Motto: “Together, we have experienced life, separately we will pursue our dreams and forever our memories will remain.” Class of 2011 Officers: Student Body President Ben Palmer, Student Body Vice President Emily Drey •Gr


ic by


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Officers: Jocelyn Van Dyke, Christina Hibbard, Kelsey McNabb, Megan Card, Laura De Penning, Alan Pfadenhauer, Diane Pham, Addie Smith, Tricia Wisniewski

Seniors’ plans vary from in-state to hundreds of miles away. (Note: This list is compiled from those who completed their senior survey.)

Army Reserves: Kelsey Van Tasell David Simons Brenna Wichhart Brittany Rempe Sarah Masek Victoria Vander Hart Clarkson College: Dillon Stralow Luther: South Dakota State Jake Anderson Ashford University: Tom Johnson Iowa Central: Seth Vander Horst University: University of South Lindsay Bentzinger Creighton: Nick Gerdes Marine Corps: Andy Doty Dakota: Augustana: Hayley Morgan Teag Klyn Wes Hoksbergen Mika Hrdlicka MacKenzie Anthony Travis Ewing DMACC: Beau Vander Sluis Garret Swank Truman State: Megan Card Tim Michaels Caleb Klyn Lindsay Willemsen Minneapolis Kirsten Maakestad Upper Iowa UniverBethel Matt Nunnikhoven Ryan Van Norden College of Art and Mariah Vande Lune sity: University: Josh Vande Noord Iowa State Design: Jordan Bossard Whitney Williams Leah Engelbrecht Jared Briggs University: Nick Van Gorp Mandy DeMeulenaere Wartburg: Christina Hibbard Callie Deaton Thomas Yoder Minnesota State: Olivia Warner Laura De Penning Katie Van Haaften Dylan De Boef Kelsey Fleenor Samantha Thomas Tulane University: Jacob Martin Stela Armstrong Kelsey Fynaardt Cody Lutgen Moberly Area: Kara Burnett Jacklyn Budding Hali Steenhoek Katey Mitchell Chris Mitchell Aaron Acosta University of Iowa: Wheaton College: Calvin College: Tyler Neff Sidney Pezley Morningside College: Devon Dawson Will Loux Addie Smith Lindsey Verhey David Rozendaal Blake Bogaard Rachel Greving William Penn Central College: Ellsworth Shaun Van Weelden Lynae Toom Nick Dorman University: Sarah Clark Community: Zack Zemanek Mount Mercy: Nick Shepperd Michael Sorensen Emily Drey Jon Van Zee Cole Bogaard Makenzie Vander Pafoua Vue Wyoming Tech: Aaron Grieger Grand View Michael Ge Molen Nathan Kooker Nate Reams Molly Neil University: Ebbi Joseph Northwest Missouri Eric Moore Work Full-time: Lauren Newendorp Alex De Jong Elizabeth “Schatzie” State: Diane Pham Preston Dixon Alan Pfadenhauer Kelsey Vermeer Shrout Ryan Lanke Adam Gromotka Mission Trips: Karissa Rempe Deckar Lynch Mitchell Van Zante Northwestern, Orange Tori Gensch Gerrit Visser Brett Schouten Jessica Van Wyk Taylor Veenstra City: University of Rachel Wiley Jakob Steenhoek Grove City: Taylor Venteicher Megan Current Northern Iowa: C.O.C: Tim Van Weelden Bekah Heikes Elizabeth Yang Kyle Newendorp Shayna Grundey Allen Johnson Pelladium Staff Alexa Azinger Hawkeye Sarah Ferguson Heidi Gritters Tricia Wisniewski Bryon Kalkwarf Executive Editors: Megan Card, Nathan Kooker, Eric Moore, Kelsey Van Tasell Chris Bandstra College: Kirkwood: Kelsey McNabb A.B. Coleman Online Courses: Page Editors/Reporters: Tiffany Michael Ge, BenjiJoe McElroy, Rennich, Jessica Salpor, Maddy Jesse Blauw TelanCarter, Paulson Boots Madeline Meyer, Taylor Jocelyn Van Dyke Tyler Scholten, Elliot Jocelyn Van Dyke Kyle Ellenwood Visuals: Marielle Gaiser, Eric Moore,Downing Jillian Sagers, Mitch Amelia Shepperd,Guerena Micah Zeimetz Spencer Boeyink Carson Rockhurst : Brooke Fessler Undecided: Reporters: Nick Dorman, Indian Mark Dykstra, Evan Jones, Sarah Muller, Shaun Haley Sytsma, Whittney Reinier Daniel Borgerding Hills:Adam Gromotka, Lindsey Naaden KelsiSokol, Rempe Hannah Sloan Drew Kleis Adviser: Ann Visser Ciera Kooyman Colten Sanders Morgan Van Maanen San Fransisco ComUniversity of Houston: Jessie Swank Caitlan Murphy Kodi Smith Hope Wadle munity College: Taylor Carter Jacob Vos Pelladium is a monthly tabloid by the high schoolLeadership journalism department to serve asSamantha an informative, educational and University entertaining communications media and to provide an open BenThePalmer Jennaproduced Dickenson academy, Wagner of forum to students and readers. •Letters to the Editors are welcomeColorado and encouraged. These letters mustSimpson be signed and should, in no way, be libelous, irresponsible or obscene. Letters must have verified John Sheldon Brittanie Kochheiser Springs: College: Nebraska: facts and should deal with issues. The Pelladium reserves the right to edit grammatical errors, libelous content or length due to the space limitations. Letters may be brought to Room 201 or sent to Pella Community High School, Box 486, Pella, IA 50219. •The Pelladium will strive to deliver information in a fair and truthful manner. The Pelladium will function in accord with all applicable laws, both in regard to the rights and restrictions of journalism. •The views expressed in this publication are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Pella Community High School Administration or the Pella Community Schools Board of Education. The Pelladium will make retractions in the event of errors made in the content of printed stories. Retractions will be printed in the issue immediately following the issue containing the errors. •The Pelladium is a member of the Iowa High School Press Association.

Class of 2011

May 27, 2011

Page Editors: ---Kayla Da, Mitch Shepperd, Jillian Sagers

Most Likely to ... Have an E! True Hollywood Story about my life. - Eric Moore Pull an Asian Chris Mitchell joke on you and call you racist for laughing with me. - Elizabeth Yang Be a Tori Gensch probation officer. - Morgan Van Maanen Always live in Iowa. - Ciera Kooyman Save a life. - Wes Hoksbergen Be well-rounded. - Teag Klyn Win a comedy award. - Dillon Stralow Make a difference in the lives of people that are less fortunate. - Alexa Azinger Be seen working out. - Brooke Fessler Not make morning class. - Taylor VenWorkaholics teicher Turn into a mountain man or kill a cougar with my bare hands. - Ryan Lanke Own a restaurant and do some drawing on Move somewhere tropical. - Caitlan Murphy Move to the east coast or the side as a hobby or befriend anyone I meet. - Derek De Heer somewhere tropical. - Andy Doty Be doing weight dips. - Jesse Blauw Be singing at any given time to make people smile. - Kelsey Be America’s next cake boss. - Lindsey Naaden Make you laugh for doing Fynaardt Epic fail at something simple. - Dylan De Boef Chill. something stupid. - Hope Wadle Procrastinate. - Mitchell Van Zante Brain-i-acs -Chris Bandstra Make a “Jeff the Turtle” comic and act like Shave... NOT! - Ben Palmer Have a funny story. - Rachel Wiley Be he’s a 10 year-old his entire life. - Gerrit Visser Own a lake arguing with Ben Palmer. - Mika Hrdlicka Change my mind! - Sammy home. - Hannah Sloan Move away from Pella. - David Simons Wagner MAKE YOUR DAY! - Callie Deaton Completely change. Work at TV stations in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids, or keep Cole Bogaard Work with people who need help physically, socially working at C.O.C. - Allen Johnson Work on a major play proand emotionally. - Katey Mitchell Work for National Geographic. duction. - Tyler Neff Be a computer geek. - Preston Dixon Jake Anderson - Brittany Rempe Tell you a random fact at a random time. Live with all sorts of animals her whole life! - Lindsey Verhey Be Lynae Toom Nick Van Gorp - Lisa Houser Answer every question with “yes.” - Ryan Van famous. Obviously. - Elizabeth “Shatzie” Shrout End up drawing Katie Zaffiro Ben Palmer Norden Wear sweats. - Zack Zemanek Trip in the hallway anime in front of the teachers while they are teaching. - Pafoua and be the most easily distracted person. - Tricia Wisniewski Vue Change something. - Adam Gromotka Answer this quesAmerican Idols Picassos Wake up five minutes before class! - Lindsay Willemsen Apolotion inappropriately. - Tyler Elliot Still be trying to talk to Taylor gize for apologizing. - Brenna Wichhart Be talking or listening Kara Burnett Swift. - Alex De Jong Win a Nobel Peace Prize. - Deckar Lynch about music or be seen with a guitar. - Jacob Vos Be AfricanHave a blonde moment or just “not get it”. - Makenzie Vander Molen Host the American. - Beau Vander Sluis Be adopted by Huddle. - Kyle next Woodstock. - Nate Reams Be at the next Woodstock. - Aaron Acosta Ellenwood Never get lost. - Whitney Williams Be seen talking. Publish a book or become the next Mrs. Jones. - Tori Gensch Swag on them - Seth VanderHorst Be hunting. - Josh Vande Noord Perhaters. -Michael Ge Be ready for new people and have it be a lot of fun. Dancin’ Fools form hazardous stunts in a motor vehicle. - Jon Van Zee Invent Travis Ewing Make a difference in a child’s life. - Jenna Dickenson Follow a time machine to transport me to past eras, especially the Rascal Flats around the world. - Taylor Carter Invent new things and inno1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s because they have the best clothes! - Mariah Vanvate existing things. - Ebbi Joseph Be the best kindergarten teacher ever. deLune “Win the Best Ginger of the Year” award. - Tim Van Weelden Be - Kelsey VerMeer Work with people who have special needs. - Lynae Toom Gym Junkies the biggest Lego geek you’ll ever meet. - Shaun Van Weelden Be found Be found taking a nap. - Jessica Van Wyk Break a bone, be on the injured singing a song in Dutch. - Katie Van Haaften Get embarrassed. - Jakob Thomas Yoder list or have a hip replacement by the age of 25. - Jared Briggs Fall UP the Steenhoek Fail PE because of not making it up. - Kodi Smith Not have stairs or work on a cruise ship. - Brittanie Kochheiser a gall bladder. - Addie Smith Leave Iowa and never come back. - Nick Run LA. - Katie Zaffiro Marry a super model. - Garret Swank Randomly Shepperd Not hand in my math homework. - Brett Schouten Consume dance in public. - Victoria Vander Hart Be a Chippendale dancer. - Daniel the largest amount of ice cream in a lifetime, marry Matt Damon, and Borgerding Be a dog lady. - Kelsey Van Tassell create a new species called the Freckasian (freckled Asian). - Karissa To be a professional mommy. - Jocelyn Van Dyke Steal your girlfriend. -JorLeah Engelbrecht Schaudt Not fill out this survey! - Colten Sanders Vote Libertarian. Brooke Fessler dan DeJong Draw the pictures in a group project. - Nick Van Gorp Give - David Rozendaal Stay in Pella the rest of her life. - Karissa Rempe you a reality check. - Diane Pham Be in a near-death driving experience. Daniel Borgerding Have a buzz cut when I’m 50. - Alan Pfadenhauer Be doodling with sharpHeidi Gritters Make a girl mad. - A.B. Coleman Win the High Roller Award. ies. - Sidney Pezley To have hoop dreams. - Telan Paulson Create the - Michael Sorensen Live abroad in the mission field and die a martyr. - Stela Terminator. - Matthew Nunnikhoven Wear something sparkly. - Lauren Armstrong Be seen smiling no matter what! - Taylor Veenstra Own a shoe Newendorp Get embarrassed, get red in front of a group of people and store and design shoes. - Rick Williamson Be in a Lil’ Wayne music video. be called “Kool-Aid.” - Kyle Newendorp Get made fun of for being a ginger Amelia Guerena Put my classmates behind bars. - Sarah Ferguson Live in or eating something containing red #40 and having an allergic reaction. Colorado. - Jordan Bossard Be sitting in Barnes & Noble, reading and drinkMolly Neil Be talking in class. - Chris Mitchell Run over your trash can. ing hot chocolate. - Bekah Heikes Try and be involved in everything at once - Sarah Masek Make an awkward situation even worse. - Jacob Martin Band Geeks in college. - Mandy DeMeulenaere Find enjoyment in a room full of rambuncSpice up your day with an outrageously random fact. - Kirsten MaakeKind Souls tious kids! - Laura DePenning Bribe you with a cupcake. - Kara Burnett stad Daydream in class. - Cody Lutgen Give useless information. - Will Eat a whole jar of pickles! - Sarah Clark Be African-American. - Josh Loux Make a joke or donate a couch to the journalism room. - Teag Klyn Cortis Be mistaken for J Lo from behind. - Megan Current Fight in the Be mistaken as Justin Bieber. - Caleb Klyn Strike up a conversation with UFC. - Devon Dawson Tip a canoe. - Thomas Yoder Be asked for technical a random stranger. - Christina Hibbard Be a starving artist. - Shayna support. - John Sheldon Yell “hey bud” to my friends or yell everywhere, Grundey Turn in the senior survey late. - Aaron Grieger Be the first feespecially in places you’re supposed to be quiet! - Kelsey McNabb Never male football player for U of I or be on time for every college class. - Radrive a car. - Tom Johnson Be up at the most unreasonable hours. - Olivia chel Greving Ruin the conversation. - Nick Gerdes Receive an award for Tricia Wisniewski Warner Eat the same meal as a five-year-old. - Drew Kleis Change my most hours spent watching Netflix. - Kelsey Fleenor Get caught dancing hair color. - Jessie Swank Be Awesome. - Carson Downing Acquire curand driving. - Leah Engelbrecht Rock the pantsuit. - Megan Card Be smilNathan Kooker rency and disregard females. - Derek Lanser Be relaxing on the beach in ing! - Emily Drey Mika Hrdlicka some tropical place. - Hayley Morgan Have car problems. - Hali Steenhoek Preston Dixon

Note: Seniors had the chance to give themselves a “Most Likely To” award in their senior survey.

***”Most Likely” award information collected from seniors who turned in senior surveys.***

Senior Edition

May 27, 2011 | Volume 23, Issue 9

Athletes share four-year memories CROSS COUNTRY

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL “I just absolutely love the sport. I just had so much confidence in my teammates. My favorite part was being conference champs last year because it’s been something we’ve been striving for.” - Senior Mandy DeMeulenaere “He [Chris] gives his all every day and continues to do whatever he can to improve himself and the team.” Junior teammate Brett Kingery



“I was committed to playing tennis for four years because it’s such a great sport! Being able to be with all my friends for four years and making new friends each year as well. The best part for me was just being on a team and enjoying my time with my friends.” - Senior Kelsey McNabb “I would say that my original desire to play tennis began when I saw how successful my older sister was here at Pella High. The best experience from the past four years in tennis would, most definitely, be all the “Fun Fridays” that Coach Seipel has done.” - Senior Rick Williamson


“I went out for track in middle school and I gained an interest in track/hurdles because my whole family did track, and my older brother did 110 highs. My best personal experience in track was just bonding with all my teammates, we made up team dances, sang the whole bus ride home, and took victory laps with Rass. My best overall experience was running shuttle hurdle at state track with my hurdle girls.” - Senior Megan Current

“The best part of the fours years was starting as a freshman and getting a chance to connect with a new group of guys every year. For our team, would probably be this year. We’ve grown as a team so much, and we’re seeing it on the field. Our ages range quite a bit, but everybody contributes their own on the field and they add their own personalities when we’re all just hanging out.” - Senior Spencer Boeyink

“I think the main reason for staying in track was to stay in shape and keeping that competitve edge. My favorite part was hanging with the guys while working so hard.” - Senior Alan Pfadenhauer

“I’ve done soccer my entire life, since kindergarten. Probably the most exciting moment was making it to state sophomore year. ” - Senior Kirsten Maakestad

GOLF “I’ve been golfing since I was five, so it’s always been something I’ve always really liked, and it’s something I enjoy doing. My favorite part was freshman year because of the girls on the team. There were only five-and-a-half people. Addie Smith was in golf as well as varsity soccer, and we all got really close.” - Senior Kelsey Van Tasell



“I honestly found wrestling extrememly enjoyable. I also loved the competition and the challenge. Wrestling is definetly challenge. Without a doubt my favorite part was the friendships and relationships I built on the team. Senior Jesse Blauw

“Football is a huge passion of mine and it’s a family feeling! My favorite part was “I stayed with golf all four years because I just love doing it. hanging out with the guys I have been doing it since I was three years old, it’s almost and having fun while like it is in my roots. My favorite memory in sophomore year working hard. when we were driving home and a girls team was behind us and we were giving them our cellphone numbers with our Senior Teag Klyn fingers and actually called each other. - Senior Beau Vander Sluis

“Every day was a good experience with the team, which to me is like a family. I enjoyed seeing every member improve on a daily basis and during the races. I also enjoyed the tight-knit groups of runners, I was able to go to state with. No matter how well we did at state in my four years, our team still came together as a unit and made memories. In parting words to my fellow state members of cross-country I say KARAMU!” ” - Senior Mariah Vande Lune

“We probably have the greatest coach, ever and it was fun. We had a strong team unity that I felt apart of during crosscountry. [The Best Part] was probably just being part of the state championship team and P.R’ing in my last ever race in highschool; winning state in ‘09 and just being successful, overall. ” - Senior Brett Schouten

BASKETBALL “I went out mostly because I enjoyed the sport but I also was influenced by my brothers, and basketball figures from Pella that I looked up to all the time. Every time I threw it down it really got my team going and usually energized us and the crowd. But, that doesn’t come close to the relationships I made with the team and having fun with them was the best experience I’ll never forget. When we beat Norwalk, oh man that was sick. That was probably the best experience the team had.” - Senior Kyle Newendorp “My best experience with my team was going to team meals, bonding, discussing pre-game issues, girl talk and locker room experiences. I think the team’s best experience during the time would be forming stronger friendships, bonding and sharing memorable moments from going to state to losing intense games.” - Senior Lindsay Bentzinger

FORTE/CHEER VOLLEYBALL “I was so commited because I was so passionate toward dance. I also knew the program had potential. My favorite part was triple crowning this year. That has been a dream of mine since freshman year. I am really proud of those girls, not much was expected of us and we succeded. Senior Leah EnglebrechtForte -There were no four year cheerleaders.

“I had a fun time beint with the girsl on and off the court. Being on varsity as a sophomore and getting beter made me believe that it would just keep getting better for my junior and senior years, and tha tI could conribute more to the team. The best part was being on the starting lineup for junior and senior years. Anotehr great thing was that both our team went to state both years.” - Senior Kelsey Fynaardt

Page Editor: Eric Moore

Brink of Sagacity Eric Moore (

Eighteen years of life and it’s come down to this, the moment all parents dread and all kids long for but, upon arriving at it, hesitate. It’s really an accumulation of moments; the realization of independence and uncertainty of Ferris Buller, the wistful and nostalgic feeling present in the chorus of Vitamin C’s “Graduation”, the consideration of how much of what is ahead of you is in your hands and how much has been set out for you, like in The Graduate. Crap! I promised I wouldn’t go popculture crazy, but the truth is everything I’ve learned about all this “coming of age” junk has come from movies and television. I’ve been shown what the feeling of great independence and possibility is supposed to feel like all my life, and now that I’m finally there, I’m realizing those movies were frighteningly accurate in certain ways and extremely ” Hollywood” in others. It’s true; the same nostalgic feeling that tugs at your heart every time a classic song plays is bound to occur in your senior year. The impossibly fast final year of high school is so reflective and at the same time, so focused on the future that you won’t have time to experience the present, which is why it speeds by. Being on the brink of freedom and autonomy is exciting, but it brings with it multiple instances of attempted documentation (everything will be your last____, and people will want to take pictures and video of whatever_____ is). Then there’s the things that aren’t true. You probably won’t get to roam the streets of Chicago for a day without anyone noticing, you probably won’t dramatically discover furtive qualities about yourself or others through a day-long detention and you probably won’t have an intimate relationship with the mom-next-door (probably not). But even if the things you experience, the relationships you make and the internal discoveries you realize are less quixotic than in the movies, they will prove to be just as pivotal in shaping your life and who you’ll become. Rest assured, you will have your own slow-

motion, washed out mental images and memories, playing in a mental slide-show at times when you most need them. Without being overly sappy, I need to give props to the things this high school has offered me; the speech and drama department, for giving a superfluously creative kid an outlet for catharsis, the English and art departments for doing the same and, most obviously, the journalism program, which has sparked a passion for me and allowed me to utilize and enhance my artistic and written interests, especially through this column. Despite the limited view of the world from the scope of Pella, I have to acknowledge that I’ve grown to appreciate our community even more so during my high school years. Almost everyone seems to have an ambivalent relationship with their hometown, and I’m no exception. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is to cite Tulip Time as an example; you complain about how it’s always the same and then you surprise yourself by having a good time. As I type these last few words, there is an urge to slowly saunter towards the sunset with my fist in the air with “Don’t You Forget About Me” ominously complememting my steady gait, as I trudge on in search of things to conquer, mistakes to make, people to piss off and a whole lot of possibility to experience. Okay, that’s a bit ridiculous, but if these past four years hadn’t turned out so ridiculous at times, then I would have nothing to write or to reminisce about. I could have just copped out with the cynical “goodbye columns are stupid and cleche”, but that’s not who I am. And if there’s anything I’ve really learned in recent years, it’s that being cynical and antagonistic towards everything orthodox is the easiest and laziest way to appear profound, but not everyone is stupid enough to fall for it. About a thousand metaphors about roads and paths come to mind as well, all of which are probably true.

May 27, 2011

Reading Is Dangerous Nathan Kooker (

For two years now, I’ve followed religiously the masterpiece of educational journalism entitled The Columnist’s Bible: a guide to proper column content and construction. Each of my articles has held true to the guidelines scribed in the battered, leather-bound edition passed down to me through seven generations of Pelladium columnists. Now, I’ve reached its final chapter, and I quote: “Chapter 19: Writing Your Last Column – Discard any traditional themes and compose a reflective essay brimming with cherished high school memories, bids of best luck, and heartfelt goodbyes…” Paging through the archives, it’s evident my predecessors heeded the directions faithfully for the culmination of their series’. They published elegant and inspiring pieces that could draw the tears of a Nazi. But, not me; I’m not one for warming hearts. Only the illiterate could deny that sermons, not sentiments, are my strong suit. So here I diverge from the path of the common columnist, and to all of you, student and citizen alike, I ask one last question: what is driving your life? It’s been nearly three months since I was accepted into two extremely selective, highly-regarded universities, and two months since I realized I couldn’t attend either due to finances. When I started my college search, I had my sights set on prestige alone. I had wanted to attend a top-ranking institution with an acceptance rate under 20%. I had wanted to go to a school with a surefire route to academic elitism, one where I could take the first steps to becoming some sort of renowned name. Understandably, surrendering these aspirations and signing on at a public university was devastating. I couldn’t bear to slip into the cracks of the education machine along with 30,000 other nameless, faceless youth. But in being forced to do so, I underwent something of an enlightenment. It struck me that my ambitions were thoroughly illegitimate.

Why was I so preoccupied by desires for academic achievement, wealth and veneration? In truth, I wasn’t at all. It was society that categorized these things as the greatest virtues. It was society that pointed at what it calls “success,” spanked me on the bottom and set me on my way the second I tumbled out of the womb. I’ve spent my life thus far outdoing and overachieving, but it’s time to drop out of the rat race. I am on my way to an average college where I will begin an average future, though I no longer carry misconception that average is undesirable. I may never attain fame or fortune, but I will be rewarded with uniqueness, having only one lifetime to partake in those lowsuccess things that matter most to me. I will compose music and I will write a book. I will philosophize, argue and a be skeptical of those things everyone accepts. I might live for the rest of my life in a three-room apartment with no cable or air conditioning, so be it. But, I will certainly not wither away, straining for achievements that are by no means achievements to me. The world is full of too many brainwashed people destined for success, people caught up in aspirations that are not a reflections of themselves, but of society. This town is actually a breeding ground for such creatures. We strive for admiration, yet admiration only exists between us. Achievement is only evident when we compare ourselves. Removed from society, we are individual, unique people whose lifestyles ultimately matter to us and us alone. The best commercial to ever grace television commissioned was by Wendy’s in 2007, and featured a great exodus of faceless people running across a fielded vista and jumping into a gaping chasm in the earth. They all follow one another thoughtlessly until one man, clad with Wendy’s trademark pigtails, suddenly stops, looks around and questions, “why?” Look at yourself. Why do you do what you do? Are your motives uninfluenced and entirely yours, or are you living for the rest of us?

Action Reaction On Sept. 11, 2001, the iconic images of the burning Twin Towers acted as an impetus for the nation’s “War on Terror.” Former President George W. Bush, in an address to the nation following the attacks, said, “A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.” With these words, America began its

fight against terrorism, stationing numbers of troops in the Middle East. One of the most notable moments in America’s efforts to stop terrorism included the capture and death of Saddam Hussein, and on May 2, 2011, America’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden was also killed. How do you think the death of Osama bin Laden will affect America’s fight against terrorism?

“I think the death of Osama bin Laden is a step forward, but I don’t think much will change. We will still have the exact same security, and America’s still going to be in danger of an attack. We’ll always be at risk.” Freshman Jackie Sunderman

“I think it’s a symbol of hope to Americans. It shows that we’re actually achieving some victories in this seemingly endless war against terrorism. However, I think it also shows just how far we have to go.” Junior Rachel VanRoekel

“I think Osama bin Laden’s death will certainly affect America’s fight against terrorism since he was the head of Al Quaeda. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has said the war with terrorism is not over yet just because Osama is dead.” Sophomore Tim Seo

“I think that Osama’s death will “renew” the fight against terror as people might say, ‘Oh we’re actually getting stuff done.’” Senior Shaun VanWeelden •Jessica Salpor (

May 2011 Pelladium  

The print edition of the Pelladium, originally released on May 27, 2011. In full color!

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