pantherprowler Pflugerville High School
vol. 29 issue 3
the voice of the student body for 29 years “I liked how our girl wasn’t shy and she really enjoyed herself and the presents.” Haley Outon, 12 “I enjoyed the food and watching him open his presents. His face was priceless.” Jasmyn Booker, 10 “The smile on the kids face when he was opening his presents.” Javon Artis, 11 “He enjoyed his presents and he seemed to like all his presents and he was smiling all the time.” Justin Moss, 9 “I liked helping her ride her bike.” Brandon Woodward, 9
Adopting a giving spirit
contagious spirit High school students helped out community students with food, toys, bikes and clothes. This was the 27th consecutive year for Adopt-AChild. photos by lily neal and tayllor floyd
Students bring joy, gifts to less fortunate for 27th year by justinpaul prowlerreporter Adopt-a-Child has been a tradition here since 1982. Last Friday was no exception with economics hitting families hard, students continue to help the community’s children with a total 86 children to be “adopted” this year. Classes saved money for as long as eight weeks and have risen up to $250 per classroom.
The PHS students who do Adopt-a-Child every year say how they love the children or their child’s enjoyment of the day and that the child got a good Christmas that year. “Watching the kids face when he opened his presents,” senior Andrew Muniz said. “Yeah, it’s fun seeing how much money you can save up together.” For some students, it’s a chance to give back to a program for which
they once benefitted from. “I contributed over $100 this year,” Susie Smith (who wished to be anonymous) a former Adopta-Child, who understands what her class’s Adopt-a-Child is going through. Even simple gifts can go a long way. “I like to see how the Adopta-Child children enjoy their gifts so much,” sophomore Anthony Esquivel said. The Adopt-a-Child as a program helps children every year
to spread holiday cheer amongst the peers in the school. With the 27th year completed it’s no surprise that students were excited about the event. “My favorite part was the Nerf war with our little kid,” junior Marisa Gilbert said. A wide variety of gifts that have been given to the children: from books to bikes to clothes and socks; the “Adopt-a-Child” children enjoy them all.
“Clothes, jeans, jackets and no toys,” Smith said in response to what she received when she was an adoptee. Even though the Adopt-a-Child children may receive “needed” presents in addition to “wanted” presents, it still makes them happy. Former Adopta-Child children come close to yet another year of celebration reminding them of their time here. “I hope to give them a better Christmas than I had,” Smith said.
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside december 2009
Vandalism, trash causes PISD to close tracks to public by zubinnoorani prowlerreporter Recently, some people had to change their daily routines. Due to the misuse of the track, the PHS as well as all PISD high school tracks have been closed to the public since Nov 30. The middle school tracks have not been closed, nor have the elementary school tracks. “The actual tracks are relatively new, the problems we have encountered have occurred on all three campuses,” PISD athletic coordinator Dwayne Weirich said. “I have not been involved in any discussions about re-opening the tracks, and the only community response I have received was in support of and understood the decision, as they had witnessed people using the facility much like a park and doing as they pleased and not abiding by the stated rules.” Some students agree with the track being closed. “I did not know that the track
access denied New sign informs potential joggers that the track is now closed to the public. photo by lily neal
was closed, it was complete news to me. I think it should remain closed because if the public is misusing it, then the track is being paid with school dollars,” senior Donald Burba said. Other students disagree. “I disagree because the track is
Science olympiad rocks competition The Science Olympiad finished fourth overall at the Cy-Falls Invitational in November. Rhonda Harmond coaches the team, which also finished fourth at Greenhill this past weekend. Some highlights:
Students resume classes. Pick up your schedules from your first period teachers.
18 MLK Day; no school
Student council hosts first ‘formal’ dance of the year: Winter Ball and students will get a chance to join and be entertained while at the dance. “ Just to get everyone together after the holidays and have fun,” said Cureton. Besides a good way to begin the semester, the dance has other purposes. “To have a school event that replaces the homecoming dance that we don’t have, and give the underclassmen a chance to have fun at PHS,” student council officer Caleb Davis said. The school has not had a dance in the past years, so this Winter Ball will be will be a nice replacement for not having a dance at the school. “I hope a lot of people show up because than it would be really exciting,” Cureton said. The Winter Ball will have a theme of a winter atmosphere with theme colors of white, blue, and black. The tickets are $5 each and the ball will be held at the PHS cafeteria on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Dot’s Place 15803 Windermere Drive Dot’s is a popular soul food restaurant located just off of pecan street. It is well loved for its satisfying home-cooked feel, and has rightfully earned its popularity. It is buffet style, allowing patrons to view the food they are preparing to select, however the food transcends buffet quality. All of the meals I have tried at Dot’s were delectable. Although their plates are probably far from healthy, they are comforting and tasty, and come in such a mass that no one will be left hungry after a meal. Dish Of Choice: Chicken And Dumplings
Masala Wok 1100 Center Ridge Drive The sound of Bollywood music videos play in the background of this unique Indian cuisine while the cooks prepare your meal. The food dish I had was the Tandoor Plate, which is chicken that is dipped in a yogurt sauce then baked in a clay oven, it comes with rice and nan. Masala Wok also has a mix of Asian cuisines like curry and noodle bowls. The curries can come in a range of spiciness from mild to blazing. To go along with the curry, you have a choice of meats, beef, pork, chicken, lamb and even vegetarian. This eatery is fairly cheap ranging from $5 to $9. Dish of Choice: Tandoor Plate Taste Of Ethiopia 1466 Grand Avenue Parkway It’s not everyday that you come across a restaurant offering ethiopian cuisine. The entire
Corbyn Salisbury senior
Duong Duong junior
Stebin John senior
Caleb Davis senior
establishment is unique, with cultural decorations and a TV playing Bollywood style music videos and commercials for Coca-Cola in a language you can’t learn at school. Prices are at first intimidating, until you see the serving size. One order can easily feed two people. The food comes out on a giant
tortilla-like pastry, which you can tear apart and eat with your meal. The experience is hands-on and thus that much more enjoyable. The food itself is tasty, and the atmosphere is not one you’d find at any other establishment, and thus diffidently worth any extra cost. Dish of Choice: Tibbs Fitfit
other unique places to eat
by hufsakhan prowlerreporter The first ever Winter Ball will be held on Jan. 30. This dance will be the first dance of the year. Being hosted by Student Council, it will allow students to have a nice fresh start for the new semester. The Winter Ball will be a formal event where students are suggested to wear formal attire. Black tie attire for men would be suitable. For girls, dresses are a good suggestion, according to student council sponsor Tima Attafi. This dance will allow students from all grades to join in and have a nice social event. “Our school doesn’t have any dances, so this is nice a way to have fun,” junior Damariz Cureton said. This dance is a reason to dress up and enjoy themselves. Students from all grades are invited to come. Dates can be sought out for this event. It will allow students to attend a nice, well put together dance in which decor will be emphasized
mellow yellow (clockwise from left) Cafe Mangu can be found in a little yellow house straight off of Pecan Street. Masala Wok serves indian food between Pflugerville and Austin. Taste of Ethiopia offers a unique menu and atmosphere. Dot’s Place pleases patrons with satisfying meals. photo by arlyn labelle
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Junior Ivan Dixon placed 1st chair and freshman Bobbie Lile placed 4th chair at the TMEA PreArea Auditions last night. These students will audition for the Texas All-State Choirs on Saturday Jan. 9 in San Antonio. Choir is taught by Devina Hendrix and Susan Neff.
by arlynlabelle&lilyneal prowlerreporters Cafe Mangu 15200 FM 1825 Across from the H-E-B on FM 1825, sits a cozy Caribbean restaurant in a small yellow house. The bright inside and loud echo of conversations caused somewhat of an annoyance, but the seating on the patio was relaxing and peaceful. It was hard to choose just one dish with the full menu with all the entrees; you have your choice of three side dishes to go along with your meal, which include tostones (giant plantain chips), mariquitas (light and crispy plantain chips with mojo), yucca and more. The service is a little slow, but the food really makes up for it. Dish Of Choice: Carnarones Shrimp
Singing all the way to state auditions
5, 6, 7th 18 Exams: periods
Interesting eateries allow for more options when selecting what is for dinner (or lunch)
Emma Fullerton - 4th place: Original Oratory, 8th place: Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking Sylvia Omozee - 7th place: Original Oratory, 6th place: Prose Chris Workman - 7th place: Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking Ellen Hense - 1st place: Novice LD Debate
Zilker Park Open 6-10 p.m. Exams: 1, 2, 3rd periods; Early Release
Unique local restaurants review, ‘anyone feel like Ethiopian tonight?’
Congratulations to following students for their successes at the Round Rock TFA State Qualifier. Coaches are Jennifer Arnold and Elizabeth Finalists Waldrop
The automotive competition team won several individual awards on Nov. 20 at the 10th Annual Central Texas Shootout in Georgetown. Randy McFaddin teaches the auto classes. 1st Place computer diagnostics-- Oscar Alcantara 2nd Place disc brakes-Jacob Jalufka 2nd Place ASE Test-Richard Clary 2nd Place Vacuum Test-Caine Moreno 2nd Place Vehicle Lift-Ryan Rios 3rd Place DVOM-Christian Obregon
13-21 Trail of Lights
Forensics place at TFA qualifier
Auto team wins individual awards
maintain our shape and we won’t be ready for soccer,” sophomore Susan Kaemmerer said. “I disagree, our track should not be closed because people should be able to exercise on the track freely,” senior Erica Davidson said.
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside
n oo ? rt er ca v e st ie Be ov or m k ea fr b? n lo ea l s Cl ta to
Steven Tran, Azeen Anjum, Jill Garcia - 1st place “Picture This” Anthony Ackerman, Jill Garcia - 1st place Trajectory Matthew Bolanos - 2nd Place Astronomy Jill Garcia, Anthony Ackerman - 4th place Dynamic Planet Elizabeth Herrmann, Anthony Ackerman - 4th place Forensics Jill Garcia, Anthony Ackerman - 4th place Fossils
Semifinalist Adriana Escobar - Original Oratory Matt Hamilton - Original Oratory Sylvia Omozee - Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry Allison Varney - Original Oratory and Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking Chris Workman
a good way to exercise and it also feels like you are not doing much when you really are,” senior Sara Nimitz said. “This is bad because now that the track is closed to the public and we won’t be able to run on the track over the summer. So we can’t
The following schools are open to the public: Dessau Middle Kelly Lane Middle Park Crest Middle Pflugerville Middle Westview Middle Caldwell Elementary Copperfield Element. Dessau Elementary Northwest Element. Pflugerville Element. Spring Hill Elementary Windermere Elementary
Hot N’ Cold- Katy Perry
Yeh still do
Guitar hero master
Taj Palace Indian Restaurant 6700 Middle Fiskville Road
Hakuta Sushi 900 Pecan Street E
Beluga 661 Louis Henna Blvd #300 Half and half
Space invaders 5
Total slob Incredibles Love- Musiq Soulchild
Yung money crew
Get paid for doing nothing
Investing in stock
Fuji Japanese Restaurant 15803 Windermere Drive Mediterranean House Buffet 15803 Windermere Drive
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside december 2009
What to look for in a laptop:
Computer woes? Don’t know what to buy? Use this handy guide to figure out what you need
by calebwellauer copyeditor If you’re a senior, you know college is coming up. You also probably know that you need a computer for your classes. The question is, what kind of laptop should you get? You need one that will last a long time. Nothing flimsy and plastic, and nothing cheap. Many students opt for a low-end laptop from Dell or HP, but the fact of the matter is that those computers can die before you even finish college, or cracks develop in the casing or the screen. Get a laptop with a metal chassis, because they don’t crack, and are much better at protecting the inside of the computer. A Macbook Pro has a metal chassis, and
because it’s a Mac, it will last years. The Dell Studio laptop also has a metal chassis, and are at the higher end of Dell’s line of laptops, such as the XPS, and the Studio XPS will last a long time because of its high performance features. A Macbook Pro starts at $1200, a Dell Studio starts at $600, and a Studio XPS starts at $1000. Another major competitor many students end up buying from is Hewlett Packard--mainly because of price. A Mini starts at only $299, and so does an “Everyday Computing” laptop. However, for a good computer that will last at least through college, the price has to give. I’d go for the High Performance models they have, which start at $599.
Desktops aren’t a good choice either, for most students, because they have to be mobile with their computers. As sensible (and costeffective) as a desktop might be, unless the aspiring college student is going to become a programmer or graphic designer, or anything in the computer field, a laptop is the best choice. Finally. Wait until the very last minute to buy your computer. Computer manufacturers update their models frequently, and I know from experience that three months after I bought a laptop, the manufacturer made a major update to the hardware that would have made my computer much faster if I had it.
The Dell Studio laptop has a metal chassis, so it’s more rugged than the average laptop, and the Studio is at the higher end of the Dell laptops, such as the XPS.
Macs are the priciest among the laptop competitors, but they also last the longest because the operating system they come with doesn’t put as much stress on the hardware.
Many college students go for an Hewlett-Packard laptop because of cost; A Mini starts at only $299, and so does an “Everyday Computing” laptop.
1) First thing to do is set a price limit. Most manufacturer’s websites have a search function that will let you set a cap on price. 2) High Performance: means that it has a more-than-decent processor and a good graphics processor. Will last longer because it won’t become obsolete as quickly. If high performance is not an option, at least opt for a Dual Core processor. 3) Metal chassis. These will not crack and won’t warp as easily. It also will help the laptop be more rugged because it will handle impacts better. 4) Look for a laptop with at least a 320GB hard drive. Even if you aren’t going to be doing much with your laptop, a 160GB hard drive will run out of space very quickly.
‘Alice in Wonderland’ to provide stage wonders by mauricioramirez entertainmenteditor “Alice in Wonderland” is a story that many have liked for its originality but it also has being disliked for being controversial and having a rare and unpredictable tone. Overall Alice’s adventures have been translated into 125 different languages due to its popularity among kids and adults, and adapted to film and theater adaptations countless times. Now PHS has adapted the original Alice in wonderland into a play that is soon to come out in January as a replacement for the musical. “It’s going to be a great time, and is going to be visually compelling story,” theater director Cheryl Painter said. Many people wonder how could Alice in wonderland be a successful play here at PHS, due to the original story having scenes that could be impossible without
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January 30, 2010
the help of great technical work and convincing acting. “We take up to two hours after school, everyday to practice, but the hardest part is the blocking,” freshman Austin Christ said. Blocking is the planning out of stage movements in the scenes. But the main question stays the same: will this adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” stay faithful to the book? “It stays a faithful adaptation to the book. It’s going to be fun to watch,” Mrs. Painter said The play “Alice in Wonderland” is sure to hold many surprises, and a very entertaining plot. “In the play there is a really cool part where Alice starts changing sizes,” sophomore Elijah Brune said, who plays the March Hare. High expectations and memorable scenes will be crowd favorites. “It’s going to be a crazy zany adventure on an epic proportion,” Christ said.
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside
of Austin Rock your world Reviews hot concert venues 912 Red River Street Mohawk has a unique multilayered outside With the live music capivenue. There are three levels, each with a differ: tal of the world just next r 17 embe lers, c ent view of the stage. Concert goers can pick e D door, Pflugerville students Ant ul A a t s between a standard nose-bleed ground area, a y d tend to have exemplary conCr an rlem a middle section where they can view the side H cert educations. We know not er y dacit e c e m b nd and back of the stage, and a third upper story to wear hats or sunglasses, D e A ractiv hite, t t A where music fans can stand or sit in plastic not to keep your money in any 22: Hot W ular, s, Mup chairs while watching the show from above. o P pocket it might slip out of or be hysic atap eltdown : P The outside has an individual feel, with tree plucked from and not to com14 gM tatin nuary y r r sumps acting as tables and chairs, and a e J plain too loudly about the large, nb Falco with a n greenery surrounding the area. a e heavily pierced and tattooed s D Relea nberry Cd The inside stage is much more comlco man standing behind you who a F a Dan pact, with a bar-feel complete with mulkeeps breathing like a horse on titudes of neon signs. To see a bar show the back of your head. without being old enough to enter a bar, Something we may know head to the inside of Mohawks, with x’s on your even more is venues. fists of course. Stubb’s Mohawk tends to stick with the indie scene, 801 Red River Street playing small and local bands. Stubb’s has an outside stage and a basement Emo’s stage, which can be found by entering through 603 Red River Street Stubb’s BBQ restaurant and walking down a flight Emo’s is a very popular concert destination of stairs. The stage and concert area is intimate, and which tends to cater to the Alternative and Popan ideal place to see lesser known bands or bands Rock scenes, consisting of an inside and outside with calm crowds. stage. The outside stage is quite a respectable size. It Although indoors, Emo’s inside (stage) is far consists of a large dirt area leading to the hooded from small. The stage is tucked in a corner, with stage, with a balcony flanking it’s right side, a balthe rest of the room left cony that is occasionally enlistShows to See: Shows to See: to hold a standing audied for stage dives. Other then December 15: ence. the balcony, the only place to The Devil Wears December 19: The outside area watch the show from is the dirt. Whitman CD rePrada, All That Reis also a fair size, with mains, Story Of the Due to this, it is very easy to get lease party, with year, Haste The a wide stage allowing messy at Stubb’s shows. However, Whitman, Colour Day Wheel and The many fans to get up close the muck on your shoes is usually December White White Lights to their bands of choice. made up for by a large participa29:Red Jumpsuit December 31: The area here is also Apparatus, Fit For tory crowd. Black Joe LewLa Zona Rosa Rivals and Go Acstanding only. For the Stubb’s plays a wide variety of is and The Honey612 W. tion Team comfort of fans, there Shows to See: genres, and is a good place to go bears, Hard proof January 17: 4th Street and Afrobeat is a large roof overhead, for big or small shows. Never Shout Never, La Zona February 25: December 15: Carter Hulsey, The so bad weather is nothMatt Hires and JaRosa is a res- UnderOath, August Denison ing to fear. son Castro taurant and a Burns Red and Emconcert are- ery December 17: na, with one The 101X Indepenstage located dent Workforce Xinside. It is Mas with Phoenix, not a small Hocky and White Denim area, and February 13: their is plen- comedian Chris ty of room Hardwick on the for a crowd Nice Tweets Tour to move, or mosh, around. With this venue, there is a roof overhead, so rain is not an issue. However their is no seating area for concert-goers who prefer a less exerting experience. La Zona Rosa does not discriminate when it comes to genre, and plays bands of all breeds.
by arlynlabelle editor-in-chief
See: s to Show
The Lovely Bones
15 Girls Le Disko-
Shiny Toy Guns Elements of
15 Freedom- Alicia Rebirth- Lil
22 Stronger- Mary J. Blige
The Hang Over
15 Inglourious Basterds 22
(500) Days of Summer
29 District 9 Paranormal 29 Activity
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside december 2009
Public or private school: which program is more proper for pupils? A look at different school systems from an educational nomad I have formed my own opinions about these approaches to education. My mother jumped through countless hoops to get me into the magnet programs that are offered in other school districts. Magnet schools feature special programs. Rather than offer a comprehensive curriculum that can appeal to every interest like the schools in our district, magnet schools have a focus on one area that will prepare students for their chosen career path. I hear students constantly ask, “When will I ever use this?” and more often than not, teachers never have the answer. Unlike the public schools here, magnet school students can find relevance in what they learn and know how it applies to their future. The magnet program is offered to everyone and draw qualified students from all over the district, thus the term “magnet”. This program is offered in many other school districts, including AISD. Soon, our district will follow suit and even began construction on a new school that
by leslienguyen-okwu newseditor Too many youth presume that public school systems are more low-funded and downtrodden than their alternative school system counterparts. In other words, they “suck”. We assume that other methods such as private school, which generally cost a hefty sum of money to attend, receive better funding. Therefore, those who are privileged and can shell out the money receive more opportunities while public schools are at a disadvantage and stuck with the second best materials. Like the vast majority of my peers, I held the same belief about public schools. Personally, I‘ve spent time in different educational programs throughout my academic career. And in my experience,
will offer a magnet program much like the ones in Austin. I spent much of my former education attending classical centers that teach an enriched curriculum with an emphasis on Latin, piano, and the arts. I’ve also attended math, science, and technology magnets. I always felt I had the upper hand when it came to education. So, when I left the magnet school program and enrolled into the PISD, I was disappointed. But to my surprise, I was now offered options that I had not had before. I formed new interests that I didn’t know existed. Mark Kincaid, PISD Executive Director of Career and College Readiness, told me that public schools “try to be everything to everybody”. More and more, I’m realizing that he’s right and that it’s a good thing. Maybe not every public school system is up to par, but they offer a myriad of options that can fit the needs of any student. Any type of seclusion is harmful to a student’s growth. Some parents try to alienate their children in
overheard “I’m not sure it does, unless you let it consume your life... but most people don’t.”
“If you play World of Warcraft that’s all you talk about.”
rebecca stearns librarian
“It destroys your life because you lose track of time and then you realize it’s late... That happened to me.” quinn
How do online games affect real-life social interaction?
“I think it decreases people’s social lives... People who play online games don’t get out as much.”
“It doesn’t affect me, and I play a lot... too much.”
“It makes you an outcast and lazy. And it keeps you inside all the time.”
the belief that they are protecting them. However, these good intentions have adverse effects. Home schooled students are typically socially impaired. That is not to say that they don’t interact with other people, but hardly the amount and variety of people they would have had in a public school. To the same effect, students that attend all-girls or all-boys schools don’t have the same opportunities to normally interact with the opposite gender. We can’t be shielded from the outside world forever. Those who try will learn the lesson the hard way. The real world isn’t always filled with familiar people. In public school, we interact and learn with people from all walks of life. History has taught us that collaboration is important. China use to be an isolated world. Now with collaboration, they will soon surpass the United States as the world leader of technology and innovation. It’s not because the Chinese are better funded. It’s because they effectively utilized their commu-
nication with other countries and learned to work with what they had. With the same idea, public schools offer in-service for teachers where they collaborate and exchange ideas so they can become better teachers for the good of the students. I originally set off to examine the downfalls of the public school system. Instead, with a little thought and research, I found that the public school system was the best choice and had the most to offer. What it all boils down to is that when it comes to a student’s education, it depends on the student. It varies with every case. We live in America, a country where our education is guaranteed. That’s something we all too often take for granted. Not everyone has the means to sit in a classroom and learn like we do. We are bombarded with a multitude of different approaches to education. But regardless of how or where we do it, the opportunity to learn is a blessing.
Letter to the editor: Band needs the new hall So I was reading the Panther Prowler – as we all do when they arrive – and I started reading the story regarding the rules about football games. I was enjoying the sarcasm that the editorials contain, but a line in an article about football rules caught my eye: “Here’s an idea, why not renovate the stadium and make more room… oh, wait, all that money’s going toward the new band hall.” People keep complaining about this new band hall. Here’s the deal: it’s extremely necessary. Being a former band member, I fully understand why they’re getting one. It’s quite difficult to fit 180-something students into an area that’s not appropriate for the size of the program. Practice rooms have turned into storage rooms and the instrument storage areas (which have rats in them, by the way) are overflowing with students, instru-
ments, bags, and now books because of the locker shortage. We are lucky that we have our own stadium in the first place, and don’t have to share like Round Rock Independent School District does. An inconvenience once every couple of Fridays for only half a semester can’t compare to an everyday problem that happens all school year, as well as about a month of summer. While we’re at it, when was the last time the band got a little recognition for their accomplishments? I’m not ragging on football; I love football and I love our team. But it seems like sports often outshine fine arts, and we should be grateful our district is encouraging those arts with a well-needed facility. If you’re so worried about getting a good seat, just show up early! -Erin Kelly, junior
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside
Tardy tank takes its rules too seriously
Teachers allow no excuse for students who had no chance to arrive on time
by calebwellauer copyeditor What am I, 3? As I left fifth period, I decided that after I got to my locker, I’ll go to the restroom. Why? Because the school has decided that we can’t be trusted enough to be let out during the first and last fifteen minutes of class. In class, we had a quiz, and by the time it was over we were in the “fifteen-minute zone”, and no one was allowed to leave the classroom.
So, after I retrieved my textbook out of my locker, I went to the bathroom. I’m not in there for long, and when the minute bell rings I’m already headed to my next class. I go through the double doors to my next class in D-hall. As I get to the other pair of double doors, I find that it’s locked. And no one is coming the other way, or opening them for me. Not even a teacher. I bang on the door for about thirty seconds. No one comes. The bell rings. I keep banging on the door in hopes that someone will come. Eventually, someone comes for me. I’m not too late, I think. I get to the door, and my teacher asks me if I have a pass. I politely try to explain the situation
The ‘other’ bubble
to her. Of course she won’t hear it. She simply tells me that I have to go to tardy tank. For being thirty seconds late, when she hadn’t even started talking. I try to explain it again. She tells me, “You know those doors are locked; you should go around next time.” As if I wouldn’t have been late either way! Furiously, quietly, obediently, I follow her to the cafeteria, to the dreaded tardy tank. I copy the rules like a good little boy, and now here I am. Anxious, angry, and wronged. Sitting uncomfortably hunched over a brown board. I have to miss a day of class because the doors were locked! I get to miss a class because
a misguided teacher thinks that it’s always the students fault that they’re late. Even better, she thinks she doesn’t have to listen to reason! Authority is the answer to everything, right? Really, missing the first five seconds of class isn’t the end of the world, and it’s a bit of a stretch to say that the teacher has already started class by then. If they’re right at the door and the bell rings, they’re not tardy. Hall sweepers need to be less strict. If administration wants students to act like adults, they should treat them like it. D-hall doors should be unlocked. Yes, I know “adults might come in”. The same reason we can’t have facial hair. But just give us a little leniency.
The weather’s gotten colder.
Often, when I’m strolling down the hall, a handful of fleeting, perplexed looks are cast my way. I can immediately tell their minds are at work, frantically searching for possibilities that can remedy their predetermined perceptions on racial identity. They are stumped. Their scanning eyes by leslienguyen-okwu are in search for a familiar characteristic, newseditor something to put their minds at ease. On a subconscious level, they are in a desperate attempt to label me, force me into what they perceive to be norm. Finally, they give up. “What are you?” I am Nigerian. I am Vietnamese. I am a minority within a minority. I am multiracial--the “Other” bubble. We place needless and unwarranted importance on racial characterization. It’s easy to comprehend something that is unfamiliar as wrong, because it is a threat to our already set standards of society. However, different isn’t always necessarily bad. Nearly everyone is a combination of one race or another these days. The surge of these unique people is rapidly emerging into a new standard of America. The election of President Barack Obama pushed our skewed perceptions into the limelight. Media coverage revolved tirelessly around Obama’s racial background. Millions exclaimed in joy as the nation elected the first black president into office for the first time in history. But we did not elect just a black man into the presidency; we elected a black and white man into office. Did we forget that Obama is biracial? Obama not only has a black father, but also a white mother. This is where the “one-drop rule” comes into play. The “one-drop rule” holds that if a person has one drop of black blood in them, this person is immediately classified as solely black, while the rest of their racial components are dismissed. The more we blur racial and ethnic divisions and attempt to disregard this diverse ethnic classification, the more we lose who we are and forget our ancestral ties. Those who are blessed with the gift of multiraciality struggle to conform to society’s standards and the plight of self-identity. It was not until 2000 that people were allowed to select more than on race on the U.S Cen-
prowler staff 09-10
Editor-in-chief: Arlyn LaBelle Front page editor: Caleb Wellauer News editor: Leslie Nguyen-Okwu, Alaina Bonilla Thoughts editor: Conrad Reid Entertainment editor: Mauricio Ramirez Centerspread co-editors: Brandon Morales, Jordan Lewis Sports editor: Zac Gonzales Student life editor: Stephanie Lumpkin Backpage editor: Hufsa Khan, Tayllor Floyd Sports reporters: Connor Jackson, Josh House General reporters: Justin Paul, Zubin Noorani, Veronica Ivicic Photographers: Lily Neal, Tayllor Floyd Adviser: Mrs. Sheryl Floyd
The Panther Prowler, the student newspaper of Pflugerville High School, is an open forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. The Panther Prowler is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference, the Journalism Education Association, the Texas Association of Journalism Educators and the National Scholastic Press Association.
The weather’s gotten too cold.
It snowed! For five seconds.
We got a new marquee outside the school!
Multiracial identities are a blessing, not a curse
sus, an option that is not even offered on the TAKS test. We are a blend of cultures and traditions and not one is more important than the other. As our family trees began to grow more complex and intricate, we must recognize every distinct part that makes us who we are and take care not to exclude any of those parts. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be immersed in two vastly different cultures. But I take caution when I strive to stand apart and flaunt my diverse representation, as my father has always instilled in my sisters and I, “You are not just African. You are not just Asian. You are a person of the world.” We must not forget that regardless of the amount of ethnicities and mixed ancestries that reside our planet, there is only one human race. Let us celebrate diversity. Go ahead and stare.
Winter break is coming!
Nobody knows how to use it.
In the meantime, good luck on midterms
Pflugerville High School 1301 W. Pecan Pflugerville, TX 78660 (512) 594-0501 Room F217 http://pisd.activelearningnetwork.com/phsnews By-lined columns are the opinions of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Panther Prowler staff, the Pflugerville faculty, staff or administration, or the administration of the Pflugerville Independent School District. Letters to the editor are encouraged. Letters which would be libelous, malicious or disruptive will not be published. Names will be withheld upon request. All letters are subject to editing. All correspondence, wither editorial or commercial, should be addressed to Pflugerville High School, in care of The Panther Prowler.
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside december 2009
Social networking sites and virtual lives hinder real-life growth
Modern distractions detract our generation from the world outside the computer screen
by conradreid thoughtseditor
We all have our vices. Honestly, I’m trying to pull myself away from MySpace and Facebook long enough to write this article. And, in all likelihood, the only reason you’re reading this is because your teacher won’t let you text, get on Facebook, or play video or computer games. Let’s be honest: most of a teenager’s downtime is spent on some sort of social networking medium. Whether it be texting, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or among the most infamous-- “World of Warcraft”--there are thousands of ways for teenagers to get connected to everyone else. Almost too many. The fact is all the digital media in the world is a mental overload. I can’t count the hours of my youthful, exuberant life wasted in front of a glowing screen, pressing little buttons in the hopes that other people will press little buttons back at me and a little text conversation
will ensue. I’ve done it all: I had a brief fling with Neopets when it was actually entertaining; then, I moved on and met massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG’s) like “City of Heroes.” Then, I left that for “World of Warcraft” and MySpace. Finally, along came my newest friends, Facebook and Twitter, and we all had a party. Except when it came down to it, I was still sitting alone, in the dark, with nothing but a computer. The problem with all the online content is that it prevents us from having real-life social interactions. Having “lots of friends” on the Internet is an entirely different thing than having “lots of friends” in real life. Having thousands of friends on MySpace does not ensure in any way that a person will have anyone to talk to in their daily life. These impersonal “friends” made the concept of “friendship” less of an intimate connection and more of a headcount. What’s more, all these entertaining versions of life distract people from reality. I’ve seen not only plenty of my friends get sucked in by the grease-laden, pimply-faced beast that is “World of Warcraft;” I’ve watched my entire family fall
out of this world World of Warcraft is just one of many modern M.M.O.R.P.G.s that can distract people from their non-virtual life
under its spell as well. I can understand its allure; it’s a visual masterpiece where you can fight monsters and interact with anyone around the world. You see reward for your efforts, and you gain power, respect, talents. But it’s so easy to fall into the trap. It’s so easy to let it become something that feeds the
human desire for recognition. The same thing goes for social networking sites; you can have as many friends as you want, no matter your personality. You can be whomever you want, and you can edit your sentences. You can say only exactly what you want to say. You have a backspace button.
So it’s obvious why people have grown to love these games and websites as much as they have, but people don’t pay attention to the negative effects: the destruction of intimate relationships. You can release all your emotions on a blog for everyone to read. You can act tough. No one has to know who you really are. Not to mention it becomes that much easier to act that way without guilt, when the person you’re talking to is nothing more than a faceless mass of text. While writing this article, I’ve checked both my MySpace and facebook five times. I also got a phone call, and, while talking about someone, I had to be told what the person’s Twitter username was to know whom we were talking about. It’s become a disease. It makes it so difficult for our generation to know people by names and faces and personalities, and we instead recognize them by bulletins and status updates and caricatures of their identities. All this stunted “social” behavior leads to a lack of development, both culturally and ideally, in today’s society. It’s developed a stranglehold on us, and it’s something that will hold tight until we find the next big thing. Here’s hoping that next time, it’s something worth the trouble.
High school misses the mark by focusing on fickle follies Students leave unprepared for college, never learn life lessons because of babying
by calebwellauer copyeditor
High school does not prepare us for the real world. Or even, for college. Any adult will tell you that “you have no idea what the real world is like”. Any college student will tell you that “college is much better”. The fact is that high school is steven tran12 supposed to prepare us for future encounters with difficult situations
of real life--not the issues of egotis- A in the class, the teachers are very tical teachers telling us we have too happy with you. much stubble. Not so in high school. MinisI’ve been in college; They re- cule things such as the hair on guy’s ally don’t care about how you dress, where your piercings are, if you have your cell phone out during class, or if you have a backpack just barely big enough to hold a textbook. faces and the length of a girl’s skirt No. What they care luke about akin11 is is what causes us to miss important if you get your work turned in on material being taught in the class. time, completed, and your atten- Instead, we have to be in the office dance in class. If you can make an to do deal with principals who en-
act these strange, and unjust rules. Even if you make an A in the class, are a perfect student, and are never absent or tardy, you’ll get sent to the office for your hair being a shade too bright. Moving onto tardies. In our school, for being tardy you get to go to the cafeteria and sit there while you miss class. In college, again, they could care less! If you’re late, you’re late, and you’ll just have to ask a friend what you missed. If you have to go to the bathroom, there’s no interrupting
“High school is supposed to prepare us for future encounters with difficult situations of real life--not the issues of egotistical teachers telling us we have too much stubble.”
the teacher to ask for a pass. You just get up and go. Probably the most major difference between high school and college is that you’re paying for it, and the instructor doesn’t care if you fail or not. High school teachers are supposed to care. If they care so much about our education, maybe they should think about the fact that every time we’re sent to the office for something so ridiculous as our appearance, we’re missing class. With cell phones, I think that as long as you use it after you get your work done, your teacher should give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not trying to help someone cheat on a test.
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside 9 december 2009 stats&scores BASKETBALL GIRLS dec/jan calendar us-them Flag football phenom OPPONENT VAR G JV 9th BLUE 9thGOLD Harker Heights Judson Round Rock Crockett Highlands Martin Willis Midway Bryan Leander Bastrop aeraer FM Marcus
58-53 70-44 What’s the key to your JV team’s success? 57-39 “Stellar defense is our key 68-18 to success.” 61-37 Coach April Ellickson, JV basketball 54-46 69-34 53-59 Recent tournament successes 63-66 Hays Consolidated: 56-33
Girls’ basketballneed cleverness here!!!!!!!!!! ball
Nancy Walling will be inducted into the National Collegiate Flag Football Hall of Fame in December. She was quarterback of her team that won the 1982-83
(December 10-12) Varsity: 1st place
VAR B JV 9th BLUE 9thGOLD us-them OPPONENT What’s the key to your Leander 78-62 undefeated JV team? Ellison 92-83 “Playing together really McNeil well, playing as a team, we 71-52 shoot people down...” Madison 66-59 Coach David Raigosa, A&M Consolidated 77-78 JV basketball Madison (Dallas) 88-73 Westbury Christian 55-57 Recent tournament successes Harker Heights 65-58 Pflugerville Holiday Classic: Dekaney 89-62 (December 10-12) Red Oak 56-33 Freshmen: consolation winners Hendrickson 80-76 JV: 1st place Waco Univ. 68-50 Varsity: 1st place *Also won the Killeen SA Reagan 64-60 Invitational Dec. 4-5 Killeen Ellison 72-64 overall 12-2 8-0
team. started in 2003 while at the University of Texas. Five people are inducted each year.
How did you get into flag football? I grew up playing football with my brother in the streets, and in college I played basketball and they asked me if I wanted to play. Did you play both sports at the same time? I started playing flag football after my basketball days.
Did you play on a co-ed team or was it an all girls team? I played both but for the in duction is for the girls team. What is your favorite memory from your flag football days? I played in the super dome, it was awe some! What was your reaction when you found out you were getting inducted? Really honored, being in the Hall of Fame of anything is awesome. I’m happy to be a part of such good program.
Heisman hopes were anyone’s guess by joshhouse prowlerreporter As you know by now, Alabama’s Mark Ingram was the winner of this year’s Heisman Trophy. The race was the closest in recent history, and was too close to call, since the players invited to New York since 2004 when USC’s Matt Leinart won the trophy. Here is my take on the five finalists invited to the ceremony. Colt McCoy QB Texas: This
year McCoy threw for 3,512 yards, with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Although McCoy’s number have fallen off compared to last years, when he was the Heisman front-runner, this year he has led the Longhorns to their first ever 12 win regular season in school history, and has the most wins ever by a college player in FBS history at 45. McCoy is only a win away from winning the Longhorns first National Title since 2005. Mark Ingram RB Alabama: This Alabama star has really shined, taking over the reins at running back for the run heavy ‘Bama squad. Ingram has rushed for 1,542 yards while scoring 15 touchdowns in the defensively
powerful SEC., and has his team set to play the Longhorns in the National Title game. Toby Gerhart RB Stanford; The little-known Stanford running back really emerged onto the national scene with career days against USC, Oregon, and Notre Dame. Gerhart was second in the nation in rushing yards (1,736), and was first in scoring with 26 touchdowns. He had 200 yards rushing in three games this year, and only had one game where he didn’t hit 100 yards rushing. Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska: Suh hoped to make history on Saturday by becoming the first true defensive player to win the Heisman trophy. Already awarded
the Nagurski trophy for best defensive player of the year, Suh really bolstered his Heisman status with a strong performance against Texas where he had 4.5 sacks. Suh has twelve sacks on the year, making him the most feared defensive player in recent history. Tim Tebow QB Florida: The former heisman winner was probably invited back just because of his name, his numbers were down this year, and he had a late season collapse against Alabama. Still, Tebow passed for 2,413 yards this ear and led the team in rushing with 859 yards. The Heisman, as I saw it, was a three horse race between Gerhart, McCoy, and Ingram.
18 Boys basketball at Judson Girls basketball vs. Westlake
21 Boys basketball at Stony Point
02 Boys basketball vs. Ander-
son Girls basketball at Anderson
05 Girls basketball vs. Austin 08 Boys basketball vs. Akins NCAA Football
01 Ohio State vs. Oregon Rose Bowl
State vs. TCU 04 Boise Fiesta Bowl vs Alabama 07 Texas BCS Championship
19 Cowboys at Saints 27 Ravens at Steelers,
Cowboys at Redskins
Eagles at Cowboys, Giants at Vikings, Patriots at Texans
17 Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
Cavaliers at Lakers, Celtics at Magic
31 Mavericks at Rockets 05 Rockets at Lakers 08 Cavaliers at Nuggets 09 NY Nicks vs. Houson Rockets
LA Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs
13 LA Lakers at Dallas 16 Cleveland at LA Clippers
Back to the ship
Girls look for repeat trip to State
10 questions with
Football season comes to an end with offensive bang by brandonmorales prowlerreporter A year of up and downs is the only way to describe the Pflugerville Panthers football season. Through all the hardships and turmoil of injuries the Panthers still somehow made it to the playoffs for the third consecutive year. The team entered the playoffs against an (8-2) San Antonio Reagan team that was arguably the best team in San Antonio. Reagan was undoubtedly the favorite to win the match up. The Panthers steven tran12 thought otherwise, using an explosive defensive stand to upset the
Rattlers 10-3. It was a much-need- exploded in the fourth quarter and ed spirit boost, and expectations beat the Panthers 51-37. Fans and for the team began to rise. Even students watched as their expectatalks of getting to the State game tions crashed to the floor. “It was heartbreaking, we were, in the mix. thought we were going to make it First they had to get past what to State, ” said senior crew leader seemed to be a more reasonable Kyle Kulzick. match up against a (10-1) SA BranSenior Nick Bownes agreed. deis team. “Overall were proud of what The stats matched up and the the team accomplished, it was just Panthers were picked to win the sad to see our season end short game. The game started with offensince it’s our senior year.” sive fire power from both sides, and Brandeis was defeated in the little defensive pressure. It seemed quarter final round by New Braunthe winner would be theluke teamakin11 fels 14-7. Westlake, which plays in whose defense stepped up first, the 5A Division 1 bracket will face and unfortunately it was Brandeis Euless Trinity at State Saturday. that got the memo first. Brandeis
sorrowful ending Senior Justin Sandoval hugs Desmond Smith after the defeat against San Antonio Brandeis. The offense exploded with yardage, however, setting a record five touchdown passes by quarterback Alex Dean. Sandoval had to sit out due to injury. photo by tayllor floyd
10 questions with piercesimpson How long have you been playing basketball? “I’ve been playing since I was five.” How do you prepare yourself for games? “I like to listen to my iPod and get my mindset right for the game.” Who is you favorite NBA player? “Jamal Crawford.” What gets you pumped and why? “Jay-Z gets me pumped because his music tells stories and motivates me. He’s my favorite rapper.” Do you have any superstitions ? “I don’t have any superstitions but I like to keep a routine before game time.” What’s your favorite pregame meal? “My favorite pre-game meal is Golden Chick because it fills me up and I’ve been eating it before games since freshman year.” What are you expectations for the team this season? “State Championship! We have a really good squad and we can compete with anyone in the state.”
Experienced team should go deep in playoffs by zacgonzales Killeen ISD tournament Dec. 3-5 Deon Mitchell, Demetrius Smith, sportseditor where the Panthers faced two de- and Jarrell Turner. They also lead Last year’s basketball season fending state champions. Another the team in scoring,” said Coach couldn’t have been more exciting will be hosted here at Pflugerville, Murphy, who also metioned sixth without buzzer beaters and come- Dec. 10-12, and the other is in man Pierce Simpson as one of the from-behind wins. Round Rock right after Christmas, other team leaders. This season is looking to be Dec. 29-30. With 19.4 points per game, even greater than the last. Demetrius Smith (Cleveland) has The Panthers will also be playThe Panthers are taking the ing in a tough district. a total of 97 points on the season. court with nine seniors this year. “Westlake has a lot of their Deon Mitchell averages 17.2 points and they are fighting for their sixth players returning this season. Oth- per game with a 56 percent field straight district championship er teams to look out for are Akins goal percentage. Mitchell wants to and to make it even further than and Bowie,” said Coach Murphy. average five assist per game, so far last year’s third round of playoffs Westlake has a roster stacked he is at 4.6 per game. Jarrell Turner where they were beat by Converse with juniors and seniors, with six has a 57 percent field goal percentJudson. seniors and seven juniors. And age with 13.6 points per game. And Last season, the Panthers even though the Akins football with a hot starting line up the Panseemed to be unbeatable at any team doesn’t put up much a fight thers also have a tough bench. given venue. With only four losses on the football field they can conWith many of last year’s playon the entire season the Panthers test on the court, undefeated so far ers returning as juniors and sewere ranked 14 in the state. niors, this year should to be greater on the ‘09-’10 season. “We have a lot of returning Over the past three years, great than the last. players this year,” said Coach Mike leaders have stepped up to lead The Panthers look forward to Murphy, “We lost three players. the team, as emotional leaders and making their mark once again in They know what to expect and topping off the stat chart. district 25-5A with no problem. they know the team’s goals. They “There are three main leaders, help lead each other.” With a record of 11-2, the Panthers are currently ranked 21 in the state. The Panthers will be playing in three college NBA or college: college tournaments beginning this Dream Car: anything landrover season. They paid off claimed first place in the soccer/softmaking wife Hobbies:
When did you start playing basketball? “I started playing in fifth grade.” What is one of your pre-game rituals? “We dance in the locker room before games.” What’s your favorite pump up song? “Hit them with that Flex” Who are some people you look up to? “Candice Parker and Lebron James” What did you do in off-season to improve? “I worked out everyday this summer, and I worked on my dribbling a lot.” Favorite fast food? “McDonalds duh! Super size me!” Do you think you have a shot at state this year? “I think we do, of course we do!” What was the best thing about going to State last year? “We loved the free food.” Who is your dream husband? “Chris Brown, I would just get money if he hit me.” Favorite thing to eat before a game? “Cookies and cream that I break up and mix them up with watermelon sour patch.”
boys assistant coach
without her. Players have stepped up and shown what the team can accomLast season the girl’s basket- plish. Senior forward Christie ball team couldn’t have asked for a Mooney is one player that’s defimore perfect season. The girls had nitely taken the chance to step up an overall record of 32-6 and an averaging 14.0 points a game. “I see my role this year as more important, helping the team work together, and making sure everything runs smoothly,” Mooney said. It’s a long year, and the Panthers still have plenty of time to improve, and get key players back in the lineup. “When Nneka gets back on the court starting Jan. 15 she won’t have to adjust to the team, the team will adjust to her,” Coach Nancy Walling said. access denied New sign informs potential Like any year the team joggers that the track is now closed to the will have struggles and chalpublic. photo by lily neal lenges on there way to getting where they want. Sophomore undefeated district record of 14-0, guard Ari Booth said, “One of the making it to the state semi-final challenges this year is keeping our playoff game. heads up.” Together they can do The Panthers have already that by staying positive and motistarted off this season strong by vating one another. With the way working hard and earning a record the team has started this season of 8-2. With junior post Nneka En- looks to be another great one with emkpali out because of her injury hopes of getting to the title game she sustained at the state game, the again. team has still been going strong by alaniabonilla newseditor
news student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside
girls assistant coach
student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside
April AprilEllickson Ellickson
Favorite b-ball team:
buy house in bahamas football
If you had million dollars you would: Fav sport besides b-ball
Rosie O’ Donell Alex Rodriguez always have more than one boyfriend sixteen candles
Play you in a movie: Celebrity Date: Best advice mama gave you: Favorite Movie:
aggies travel football Will Ferrell Susan Boyle or Megan Fox respect everyone Charlie and the chocolate factory
student life thoughts centerspread entertainment feature sports flipside
5 minutes with... Santa Claus
Top 10 Christmas presents
Flies his sleigh to deliver presents to good little girls and boys in one night, and brings joy to everyone
1. New Phone
Is global warming a problem for you at the North Pole? “Yes, Rudolph fell through the ice, without his red nose we would’ve never found him.”
How many kids have caught you putting presents under the tree? “Well, I had the elves fire up one of those Men in Black pens so it really doesn’t matter.”
How long have you been Santa? “Well, let’s just put it this way, dinosaurs are hard to make gifts for.”
2. New Ipod nano 3. Camera
What types of cookies do you prefer? “I would rather have a fajita.” When you’re not delivering presents, what do you do in your free time? “I polish my boots, look at how they shine!”
Are you worried about swine flu at the North Pole? “I’m more worried about the reindeer flu.” What is your favorite time of year? “December 26th, that’s my day off.”
Do you agree with Obama’s health care plan? “My elves always squabble about that guy, I prefer to stay out of political things .”
Have you had any cutbacks on your shop from the recession? “We don’t buy supplies, we make things by magic, DUH!”
Do you plan on having children anytime soon? “I’m 8,000 years old, I think it’s a little too late.”
4. Clothes 5. Laptop
6. Game System 7. Car 8. GPS 9. Shoes
What’s yo’ flava?
POLL OF THE MONTH
Winter break plans? “I’m going to visit my family in North Carolina.” Meridith Steiniger, 12 “I’m going cliff diving in Bora Bora.” -Cara Shepperd, 10 “I’m going to Disney World with my host family.” -Eilika Münz, 11
“Get payed, get some money, chill with the family, going to Beaumont, Texas to visit family.” -Kendra Biagas, 12
“I’m going to southern California to visit USC, college campus, definitly be partying, visit the family.” -Tevin Caldwell, 12
“Zebra mocha with extra whip cream.” -Hayley Munguia, 11 “Double chocolate chip frappicino.”-Parker Cook, 10 “Chocolate ghirardelli fresion with chocolate whipcream and protien shot.” -Amy Holloway, 12 “Pumpkin Swiss latte with no whip cream.” -Jordan Studivant, 11 “Diet-alamocha espresso.” -Cathy Moore, Latin teacher