Issue 9

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wow Portage High School • 6450 U.S. HWY 6 PORTAGE, IN • Issue 9

ALL Pow Wow dissects Valentine’s Day on pages 6 and 7


Admin cancels West rehab in favor of other plans


New marijuana bill proposed in Indiana Legislature


Tribe Time does not benefit upper level students


Students, coaches weigh in on use of supplements in sports


What’s better than being in love?

FRESH PERSPECTIVE FOR FRESHMEN Class of 2019, beyond must take two new courses in order to graduate

The odds seem to be ever Lydia Gerike Editor-In-Chief • @lydi_yeah in the class of 2019’s favor when it comes to their academic careers. Not only will they have the benefit of the redesigned SAT, but they will also be given new tools at the local level to better set up their success in high school and college. Beginning with the class of 2019, two additional courses will be graduation requirements for all Portage Township students: Personal Financial Responsibility and Preparing for College and Careers. According to descriptions currently on the Portage Township Schools website, Personal Financial Responsibility will help students learn about topics such as investing, budgeting, taxes, credit and banking. This way, issues people commonly experience with money in their adult lives can be avoided. The school will recommend this class be

taken during junior year. The website also says that Preparing for College and Careers, which will be geared toward sophomores, will focus on planning for the future. Students can focus on high school scheduling, the college application processes, goal setting, and career plans. While both classes have an unrequired equivalent this year, head guidance counselor Lynn Alkire explained that the school system feels making them mandatory will greatly help students. The career course, for example, helps students get motivated by focusing on their futures. “The more that we can know about careers and how to figure out what we want to do when we grow up, the [more] learning can go on during school, because you’re learning with a purpose,” Alkire said. She believes that the more knowledge a student has, the more he or she can drive

him or herself to achieve their goals. This means learning becomes up to the individual more so than administrators. “Every time I have a purpose for what I am doing, I sure do a much better job than when I have no direction,” Alkire said. In order to even out the new requirements with electives, the school is currently trying to offer new courses during summer school, although nothing is definite as of yet. Regardless, Alkire does not view the extra courses as too big an issue for students trying to figure out their schedule. Out of a possible 56 credits over a student’s high school career, only 40 are needed to graduate with a Core 40 diploma, excluding honors requirements. This still leaves 16 credits of electives, and Alkire feels this should work just fine for students. “May it take away study hall opportunities that they would have used before? Sure,” Alkire said. “There’s plenty of room for

them to still have electives and take these new courses that we feel are extremely beneficial to their future.” Graduation changes are also being made at the state level. According to Alkire, ISTEP+ End of Course Assessments will now be recreated to fit the new standards Indiana follows after moving away from Common Core. Students will be forced to think more, as they could now get questions that ask for more than one right answer. Portage’s change has come just in time to reflect the new innovation of the state. “The state’s big push is to make sure that students leave high school career- and college-ready,” Alkire said. “We have added these two new courses in order to help that push as well. We think it’s important that kids know what’s out there and also be able to be financially responsible so they don’t leave here, flounder, and then up being in major debt for the rest of their lives.”



Issue 9 • 2/13/15



Former theater director Bill Bodnar set to take larger role for upcoming ‘Godspell’ production While them I teched. I’ve done all the drawings students of this for the for the programs, and the cover Shelby Ford generation have drawings for the programs since 1972.” Staff Writer • @ShelbyFord9 the chance to Giese, who has been the head director get involved in for the past five years, has recently given theater when they are in elementary or up the title as head director and Bodnar middle school, Bodnar did not have this will be taking over for a short time. opportunity. Bodnar said, he first had Although Giese is no longer the head the opportunity to get involved in theatre director, he is still involved in the theater in high school. He stuck with it through program, and assists Bodnar by giving college and has been involved with the him his input and is involved with tech. theater program at PHS for Giese said that Bodnar was 38 years. his mentor in high school. Bodnar is looking Giese took all of Bodnar’s Bodnar got started in the theater program in 1972, classes, was his teacher’s forward to the when it was his first year of assistant for two years in a spring musical teaching. Bodnar was the row and was involved with “Godspell,” which the theater program. From head director of the theater program up until 2010 when he will be direct- their mutual love for theater, he decided to retire and they have remained in touch ing. focus some of his attention and friends. on golfing. Kevin Giese, “We’ve always worked who was a former student very closely together so you of Bodnar’s, was Bodnar’s know he’ll take my input recommendation him for the job because and tell me to go fly a kite or he likes it,” of Giese’s love for theater. In 2010, Giese said. “He has no problem doing Giese took over the title as head director. that. As you can tell he’s a pretty straight Although Bodnar was no longer forward guy.” the head director, he continued to stay Junior Kevin Ard, who has been involved with the theater program in involved with theater since his freshmen various ways. year, has had the chance to work with “There were times where I was the both Giese and Bodnar. Giese has been sponsor of thespians,” Bodnar said. Ard’s head director since his freshmen “There were times when I wasn’t. Some year and Ard has had the chance to meet of the shows I directed and some of and work with Bodnar, since Bodnar is

always helping out after school. “Of course Giese was Bodnar’s student so they’re like the same person,” Ard said. Bodnar has a lot of experience in theater from being both an actor and director. Bodnar said, he would much rather perform and leave someone else with the responsibilities for the overall function of the play. Being involved with theater for the past 38 years has made it

an important part of his life. “An important part of my life is right here in this room, some of the best moments of my life happened in this auditorium,” Bodnar said. Bodnar is looking forward to the spring musical, “Godspell” that he will be directing. He also looks forward to introducing a whole new generation to one of the musicals that was really important to his generation.

Director of this year’s musical “Godspell” Bill Bodnar discusses the girls’ audition dance with junior choreographer Lydia Gerike. Photo by Lily Someson

CZILLI IN CHARGE Portage graduate runs for city council

Amber Nelson

Online Editor • @PHSPress

After high school, students have dreams they want to achieve. For 2013 graduate Collin Czilli, this dream includes making a difference in local politics. This year, Czilli is working to make this dream a reality. On Jan. 20, Czilli announced that he will be running for Portage city council. According to Czilli, the council is the governing body of the city. Czilli said he decided to run because politics had always been interesting to him. “What really pushed me into politics was the TV show West Wing, earlier when I was eight, maybe nine years old,” Czilli said. “What really pushed me into getting involved with local politics was the fact that I knew I could make a difference in people’s lives by representing them and being their voice.” Czilli is currently a full-time student at Indiana University Northwest and he is pursuing his degree in political science. Czilli is a member of the Portage Township YMCA Board of Directors and the Portage Economic Development Commission. Previously, he served on the United Way Board of Directors and the Portage Township Schools Alternative Energy Committee. Czilli believes that being involved in high school benefited him in the long run. “I was able to get involved through the high school with the Publications Department,” Czilli said. “I was able to be visible to the community in city council meetings and school board meetings, so I understand the issues that face the city.” He believes that the council should find ways to compromise and make decisions. “Currently, there are some members

of the council who aren’t interested in that, they’re not interested in getting things done,” Czilli said. “They’re interested in putting politics above the city, and in my opinion, that is not what the city council should be about.” According to Czilli, Portage is the largest city in Porter County, and he believes that this means Portage should be a leader in the community. “We need to find ways to make this city grow and that is through different policies we can put in place to allow business to come to the city, to create jobs in this city and a place that people want to raise their family,” Czilli said. Portage has been an important part of Czilli’s life. “I’ve lived in Portage my whole life, my parents were Portage graduates, my grandparents are from Northwest Indiana and I want my children to have the same life that I had here in Portage and go to school in Portage,” Czilli said. Czilli believes that his age does not compromise his ability. “I’m young, theres no secret about that,” Czilli said. “I’m 20 years old, but youth shouldn’t be something that stops someone from being involved.” His campaign is just starting, but Czilli has already conceived his game plan. “My plan is to walk every door in the district and make sure we talk to every voter,” Czilli said. For Czilli, it is important that Portage is a reflection of it citizens. “I know that I plan on living in this city for the next 30, 40 years, so I know that I’m invested in making this city the best that it can be,” Czilli said. “I’m going to make sure this is the community that we deserve.”



Issue 9 • 2/13/15


Weekly SSR schedule to change for next year, allows for all students to participate For most students, SSR has been a time every Managing Editor • @phspress Friday to read their new favorite book, take Accelerated Reader tests, or skim through a magazine. Next year, however, students can expect to see a change in this typical routine and schedule. According to principal Jen Sass, starting next school year there will no longer be the usual Friday SSR schedule. Along with that, the way the school runs the Tribe Time activities is expected to change. Instead of having reading time every Friday and doing Tribe Time on Wednesdays, there will be an assigned day each week where students will participate in a variety of activities. Sass said the students would receive a specific mod on the schedule that they would go to once a week.

Mary Clancy

There will not be a certain process to assigning students to each room, but the whole class will be composed of students in the same grade. The mod would be placed in between mods 3 and 7/8 so that all of the vocational students are able to attend. Sass said the reason for creating this mod is to include all students in SSR and the developmental assets. “Actually, the biggest reason to have a different mod was because our vocational students always get missed because it was second mod, and we have about 500 or 600 kids in vocational who always miss it,” Sass said. In addition, Sass hopes to change this day from Friday to a day in the middle of the week because students view Friday as a fun day and, therefore, tend to not focus. Once students are assigned a teacher for this period,

“I want to continue what we’ve done right with developmental assets and reading for the students.” Jen Sass, Principal

WINTER WONDERLAND Students bust a move at Duneland Falls for Winter Formal 2015

they would stay with that teacher for the remainder of their high school career. During this mod, the activities the students complete would alternate between SSR, reading strategies, mentoring and Developmental Assets. Because the classes are split up by grade level, each grade level will have reading activities of different difficulty levels. One new addition will be the introduction of mentoring during this mod. “With the mentoring piece I want to give kids another avenue to figure out what they want to do when they get out of high school. I want them to know what they’re good at as they get up the chain,” Sass said. “As juniors, I want them to know how you fill out college applications, what a FAFSA is and how to go on college visits.” Sass hopes to improve the SSR and Developmental Assets schedule that is already in place. “I want to continue what we’ve done right with Developmental Assets and reading for the students,” Sass said. “It’s important to continue SSR to encourage reading.”

OUTDATED WEST WALLS Plan to remodel open concept walls put on hold to complete othe district initiatives

Classrooms in the west building of Portage High School are separated only by half-walls. Without complete walls, noises from other classrooms cause distractions when teachers try to give their lesson. Photo by Alex Stack.

Juniors Claire Hagan, Micky Mitchell, Sara Dailey and Wilma Naslund dance to the ChaCha Slide. Photo by Matthew Rasnic

Seniors Haley Crnarich and Kiley Jones stop dancing to pose for a picture with junior Sierra Mueller. Photo by Matthew Rasnic

The open Alexis Christlieb concept Staff Writer • @PHSPress design of Portage’s West building has long been a topic of debate by both students and teachers alike. Last year, a proposal to completely close off individual classes into normal rooms was announced by the school. What had been once plans to simply replace the walls, however, has turned into a larger project and idea than expected. According to Portage Township Schools Superintendent Dr. Richard Weigel, the project was proposed last spring. However, the school board wanted to wait for the new superintendent to decide their actions on the matter. Now, as the superintendent, he has added this project to his agenda but thinks of it in a different perspective than simply building new walls. “Is the goal to just put up walls? Or put up a setting to where our students can excel?” Weigel said. According to Weigel there are many items he and the school

board needs to prioritize in order to move forward and said the board, himself included, will go by what is needed the most. In this instance for the walls, Weigel believes it is something more than replacing outdated walls, which is why the walls are not expected to be replaced anytime soon. Weigel would like to incorporate blended education, which involves using “virtual and direct teaching methods” to help get information into the minds of students. By incorporating this method of education, Weigel said classrooms will have to be structured differently to benefit that learning method. “When thinking about the space, we want to create a learning culture,” Weigel said. Weigel said he has a constant goal of wanting to help the students of PTS reach their full potential. Weigel believes the environment of each classroom is a key factor in helping students achieve the ultimate goal of success. According to Weigel, by considering the culture of every student and applying a learning environment

that accommodates to each of them, the students will be able to excel more effectively. “We want to think about tomorrow’s learning, not yesterday’s learning,” Weigel said. According to Weigel, before he can move forward with the project we have to grow as a school system and he must figure out the learning culture. After both of those tasks have been completed, everyone on board with this project such as the school board, teachers, parents and students,has to take the time to work together in order to come up with the best solution to approaching the issue. “It needs to not be about what I want, it has to do with what the board, teachers and the students want,” Weigel said. When the time comes for this project to continue, which is still unknown to Weigel, he and the school board will be working together with the director of finance, Wendy Kulczyk, to come up with the best way to eventually find the means to fund the project of remodeling classrooms.



SPREADING THE LOVE Sorrels, Fleming volunteer in impoverished countries

When most high schoolers think of traveling, they think Editor-in-Chief • @Clarinotist of going to Florida or another popular vacation destination, but for juniors Jada Sorrels and Elijah Fleming, traveling takes on a whole other meaning. Both Sorrels and Fleming have traveled to nations in central America to conduct volunteer and missionary work. Sorrels has traveled the Dominican Republic in the past and just returned from a nine-day trip to Haiti last month. “It was a really good experience,” Sorrels said. “I got to hang out with some girls from an orphanage that was started by two men that are from Iowa, and connected to that was a widows village that takes care of baby orphans, and then a boys orphanage.” Sorrels got involved in these excursions through her church. As of late, parishioners of the church have been interested in traveling to poverty-stricken nations to assist with the dilemmas present there, which includes, according to Sorrels, lack of common necessities. “We put up clotheslines for the girls, because, before, they would have to hang up their wet clothes on cactuses. So we installed clotheslines, built lofts in houses, basically just took care of the girls,” Sorrels said. “We helped some of the widows out, we took the babies off their hands for awhile so they could relax.” Sorrels said that after she returned from the Dominican last year, she could not wait to return to the area. “I never wanted to leave. I wanted to take all the kids there home with me, and I was looking forward to having the experience again,” Sorrels said. “I didn’t feel like I had to go, I wanted to go. It was something I looked forward to.” As Sorrels went to these places through her church, there was a certain amount of missionary work involved. She said that in Haiti, the people there were raised Christian and went to church every Sunday, so faith was already a large part of her life. However, in the Dominican, she said, it was completely different. “We would go to random villages that didn’t know God, they had never heard of Him. You would ask them if they knew Jesus, and they would say, ‘who?’ So that was more missionary work than Haiti was,” Sorrels said. Of all the things she saw in Haiti, there was one experience that stuck out to her. “When you are driving down the streets, a lot of the kids that aren’t in the orphanage live in these houses that are like tin roofs held up by wide sticks, and they walk

Nick Blue

around and have no pants on,” Sorrels said, “they have no shirts on, and if they do, they’re super dirty, and there’s holes all over them.” Fleming, in his travels to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala, has had similar experiences and said that the thing that touched him most about his travels was how close knit the people of those countries were, and how their lives differ from those of Americans. “Everyone down there will get together every evening for big dinners and stuff like that,” Fleming said. “In America its more of ‘pick something up from the Chipotle and get moving. Everyone down there is more like a family, it’s a big thing for them.” The people, Fleming said, extended that sense of family to himself while he was there. “I love the people. Everyone is friendly, everyone is one big family. They’re all really welcoming. Its like they had met us before, they all treat you like your family,” Fleming said, “like you’re one of them.” Fleming said that while in Guatemala, he did a lot of construction work, building and installing sinks, due to the poor plumbing and water quality there. Just as Sorrels did some missionary work during her travels, Fleming said that he built Bible schools for children, but more often just did general construction work. Much like what Sorrels saw in Haiti, Fleming said that in many locations the living conditions were not good. “Everything is really small, theres a lot of corrugated housing and roofs, nothing big. It’s just meant to get through the weather, [because] there’s tropical rains and storms everyday,” Fleming said. “It’s all small, but their housing has what they need to get by daily.” Aside from his work in these nations, Fleming said the local wild and plant life affected him as well, because theirs is so different from what he was used to at home. Fleming said that his travels have given him a sense of what is outside of Portage. “It makes you realize what’s actually out in the world, and what you see on the news is really only what they want you to see,” Fleming said. “You never knows what’s going on in the world until you see it for yourself. Its made me want to travel more. After high school I want to study abroad for a few years.” Both Fleming and Sorrels plan to continue to travel abroad to volunteer in the future. Sorrels urges others to do the same. “If you’re thinking about going and you have the connections to go, you really should,” Sorrels said. “There is no reason you would regret it.”

ROBOTICS COME TO PHS Unfortunate circumstances lead to new VEW course

Seniors Chris Jordan, Matt Barbosa, Noah RunyeonOpinion Editor• @TheMavrovic Light, and Cody Trent had all enrolled in an advanced engineering course that would employ a curriculum involving the creation and construction of an original design and the presentation of that model to businesses and other engineers. “Over the summer, we were told, ‘Oh you’re not going to do that anymore,” Jordan said. “It was really a disappointment.” Due to some unforeseen changes to the availabilities of teachers, the course had to be modified to include other students and a compromised curriculum had to be met to fit the skill of that class. That compromise lead to the creation of a VEX Robotics course “Even though I was upset about that change, I started to realize that the VEX is just as beneficial and just as fun as [the previous course] could have been,” he said. The first quarter of the all year class was comprised of practicing with prefabricated robots provided by Mr. Kappes and going through different drills to become familiar with using the robots. The second quarter was spent selecting and building their own models for robots that would eventually compete with other schools for a chance to go to the state competition. “At the beginning of the year, [we learned about]

Marko Mavrovic

programming with C-code, the basics of censors,” Trent said. “We broke off into two teams. We have gone through a couple different robots, [and went] back to the drawing board.” The class has put their two robots to the test in two competitions in the past three weeks, the first time ever Portage has been a part of anything similar. “There are seven qualifying rounds,” Trent said. “Each round you are paired up with a random alliance.” The objective is to demonstrate the robot’s ability to move cubes and stack those cubes within a set period of time, allotted points are then given to the teams. “There are 15 seconds where the robot is autonomous,” Trent said. “Then there is one minute and 45 seconds of controlling it.” At the most recent competition, 36 teams were present and competed and while this is Portage’s inaugural year, the two teams faired very well. “Both teams advanced to quarterfinals,” Jordan said. “Cody’s team got to semi-finals.” At the end of the competition, the two teams respectively ranked fourth and tied for seventh. “That’s phenomenal, neither team expected to get that far,” Jordan said. “This is a win for us.” The two teams hope to punch their ticket this weekend as they compete at Crown Point, home to a nationally renowned robotics program. This will be their third and final chance to qualify for the state round.

Issue 9 • 2/13/15

ALTERNATIVE FAMILY MAKEUPS Adopted siblings do not change family dynamic

go out with my family and people will look at Features Editor • @Samxoswag us differently because my Most people belong parents are white and they to what many consider [Daniel and Ryan] are to be a traditional family, not,” Steorts said. with a mother, father and While Steorts has maybe a sibling or two. two adopted brothers, However, some people sophomore Alexis Prickett belong to a nontraditional was adopted at age two. family. Some have siblings Prickett said that her who come from different biological mother had parents. Others four other children have two mothers before her and present in their life. one child Adoption mixes after. When up the typical her biological family dynamic. mother came to Sophomore the conclusion Grace Steorts that she could comes from a not financially unique family. afford to raise Steorts has another child, two adopted Prickett was brothers: adopted by Daniel Steorts, family friends. who is six These family years old, and friends were former Ryan Steorts foster parents who who is just could not have one year old. children. Before Her brothers’ adopting Prickett, biological mother, they adopted Angelic Whitehead, is Sophomore Grace Steorts a son named Paul Prickett. poses with her adopted also Steorts’ “Being brothers, Daniel and Ryan. older sister. adopted Photo provided. “I never really doesn’t see them as matter to my nephews. me,” Prickett said. “I’m I am their sister and they in a good family and even are my brothers,” Steorts my [biological] mother said. still loves me.” Steorts says that Prickett says that she her sister has a mental does not know much disorder called Ring 21 about her biological Chromosome Syndrome, father. However, she has a which restricts her from good relationship with her taking care of children. biological mother. Because of this, Steorts’ “I like that I can still parents agreed to adopt talk to my [biological] both of Whitehead’s mom and have another children. Steorts said that mom at the same time to her family will not hide raise me,” Prickett said. the unique adoption from Being adopted has Daniel and Ryan. caused Prickett some Daniel, the oldest of hardship. Prickett says the two brothers, already she has received multiple knows that he has two comments over social mothers. Daniel calls media attacking her for his biological mother being adopted. These “mommy” while he calls comments range from his adoptive mother “You’re adopted because “momma.” However, no one loves you” to Steorts says that Daniel can not exactly understand “Your mother should have aborted you.” the concept of adoption Although the just yet. comments bother her, Adoption is just one Prickett says that she aspect of the Steorts remembers that she was family that is unique. lucky to be adopted. Daniel and Ryan are also Prickett gets through the black while the rest of the family members are white. hardship by focusing on Although Steorts views her “more important things.” “I cry sometimes, but family’s ethnic diversity it’s okay because I get as normal, she says she over it fast. Why should has noticed other people I listen to someone who staring at her family with a doesn’t know anything judgmental expression on about my life?” Prickett their faces. said. “It’s annoying that I’ll

Sam Smith



Issue 9 • 2/13/15

CLUBS CONQUER SPECTATOR SPLURGE Separate organizations come together for projects

Binge-watching Nextflix begins as hobby, becomes obsession Lily Someson

Photography Editor • @actualily


Pop Corn


Pop Cor



Members of HOSA and Natural Helpers instruct Prom Fashion Show participants.

In order to Photographer • @Jay_madd17 successfully put together large scale events, different clubs and organizations have to work together. The Prom Fashion Show is an annual event put on by Natural Helpers and HOSA in order raise money for their organizations. For clubs who have to work together to pull off a single event patience is a virtue and communication is key. Sometimes with large groups like HOSA and Natural Helpers, being able to speak with one another can prove to be a challenge. “Communication is really difficult,” Lynn Wilson, HOSA and co-Natural Helpers sponsor, said. “[But], we have two groups of good listeners.” HOSA and Natural Helpers have been putting together the fashion show for six or seven years with Lynn Wilson and Jodi Newby as the coordinators. While the two groups face challenges when working together, being able to successfully put on the show demonstrates how harmonious the student body can be. “I think it shows unity in the school,” Wilson said. Working on the fashion show has been a great time for junior Jennifer Rivera who

Jalynn Madison

is a member of HOSA. “I love being around all of these people,” Rivera said. “There are all kinds of kids here that have all different personalities and we kind of bring it together.” The money that the groups raise will be used to support their organization. However, this year HOSA is using some their share of the money to help a former Portage student who graduated in 2010. “This year we have a former Portage grad [who] has been sick with a brain tumor,” Wilson said. “[HOSA] is trying to help raise some money to offset her costs for cancer treatment. HOSA and Natural Helpers are not the only groups that work together throughout the school. Recycling Club receives help from ROTC every Thursday. While most of the members recycle on the first, second, and third floors, ROTC takes care of West. Seniors Erin López and Zane Colon are in charge of Recycling Club through NHS and spoke to ROTC to ask for their help. “I went and talked to ROTC personally and asked if they could do West and they agreed,” López said. Though working with other clubs is hard to do, Rivera agrees that it is worth it.

AVERAGE AMOUNT OF HOURS SPENT ON NETFLIX According to Netflix Inc., Netflix users usually spend about

1 hour and 44 minutes on Netflix daily.

MOST WATCHED SHOWS ON NETFLIX According to Netflix Inc., the 5 most watched shows on Netflix are

1. Breaking Bad 2. Family Guy 3. How I Met Your Mother 4. Supernatural 5. The Walking Dead

Netflix is the blockbuster video of a new generation. Instead of going out and grabbing a movie from the rental store, the entire cinematic experience that was formerly achieved by VHS tapes and DVDs is now at your fingertips -- for only 8 dollars a month. It’s no surprise that because of this fact, Netflix can turn into a habit that slowly grows into an obsession. Psychology teacher William Fortenberry believes that the reason why Netflix has these addictive qualities is because of the accessibility associated with it. “People most likely binge watch Netflix due to there being zero commercials. Also, you can watch full seasons without having to wait months or years,” Fortenberry said. The opportunity to binge on the shows that would usually captivate audiences once a week is here, and Fortenberry believes it is here to stay. “When Netflix first came out, the company used to mail DVDs to your house. Now, being able to stream Netflix from almost any device, someone can watch movies/TV shows without any wait whatsoever.”

Grab your iPad and get ready. . .

THE POW WOW IS ONLINE! ISSUU.COM/PortagePowWow Browse the same print version online with clickable links! Do you want it to be even easier? Download the ISSUU app and search PHS Press! YEARBOOK YEARBOOK YEARBOOK YEARBOOK YEARBOOK YEARBOOK YEARBOOK
















Issue 9 • 2/13/15



The Pow Wow dissects the science of attraction, looks at online lo Lexy Young


News Editor • @lexy_young

Physical attraction can be contributed to science and biology. According to writer of “The Look of Love: Top 5 Physical Signs of Attraction,” Cristen Conger, one has five physical signs of being attracted to another person. The first sign is a faster heartbeat, the second sign is sweating of the palms, the third is changing the tone of voice one speaks in (males lower their pitch and females make their tone higher), the fourth sign is pupil dilation, and the fifth sign is mirroring the body image of the other person. These acts are done subconsciously. One’s heartbeat increases because when attracted to another individual, one’s brain releases nor-epinephrine, which is an adrenaline- like substance. Nor-epinephrine is also the substance that leads to sweaty palms when attracted to another. “Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher suggests that since men are more visually stimulated than women, their brains dole out bigger doses of monoamines,” Conger said in his article. Men generally deepen their voices simply for the reason that biologically, women are typically more attracted to deeper voices, and women increase the pitch of their voices for the same reason- biologically men are more interested in women with high pitched voices. The dilation of eyes is credited to the fact that dopamine is released in the brain when attracted to another. Dopamine is a trigger for dilation because it excited the nerve endings in eyes and causes the pupil muscle to contract.

DATING AND THE INTERNET The Internet can be a successful tool for love in today’s day and age. A distance of over 700 miles does not stop senior Emily Hensley from having a relationship. Hensley has been in a relationship for almost one year after meeting her



boyfriend from Belleville, New Jersey, online. After posting a status saying “Somebody talk to me, this bus ride is going to kill me,” Hensley’s boyfriend messaged her and that is how the romance sprung. To stay in contact, Hensley and her boyfriend text and try to Skype at least two times a week. Hensley said he stayed in Portage for a week in October for a chance for them to meet in person. “He is the sweetest person ever,” Hensley said. “I just want to say, it’s never weird to meet somebody online, it’s pretty common now, but Skype first- you don’t want to be catfished.” Sophomore Stevie Lush also started a relationship with the help of the Internet, but unlike Hensley, distance is not an issue. Lush thought junior Megan Westmoreland was very pretty so he direct messaged her over Twitter and told her so. This message lead to a relationship of 13 months and still going. Lush then attended a football game with Westmoreland and after about a week of getting to know each other he asked her to officially be his girlfriend by writing “Will you be mine forever?” on a napkin while she was in the bathroom and he placed it where she would see it after coming back to the table. “It was nerve-wracking,” Lush said.

HIGH SCHOOL-COLLEGE RELATIONSHIPS High school dating oftentimes leads to mixing of grades. It is not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be in a different grade than the other, just as it is not uncommon for one to be working on achieving their high school diploma, while their significant other works on starting the journey to achieving their college degree. According to Junior Rudy Azcona, there are pros and cons to dating somebody in college while they are in high school. Azcona has been dating a freshman in college for about five months.

Rose colors each have a specific meaning. Are you giving the right one?

Lavender Yellow Love at first sight, Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Enchantment Delight, Promise of a new Peach beginning, Welcome Back, Appreciation, Remember Me, Jealousy, Closing the “I care” deal, Let’s get together, Red - Love, Beauty, Sincerity, Courage and Respect, Gratitude Romantic Love, Orange Congratulations, “I Love Desire, Enthusiasm You”, “Job Well Done”, White Sincere Love, Respect, Purity, Innocence, Courage & Passion Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Roses by the numbers Youthfulness, “I 1: Devotion am worthy of you,” 2: “Marry Me,” when Heavenly entwined together Pink 6: A need to be loved or Appreciation, “Thank you,” cherished Grace, Perfect Happiness, 11: True, deep love Admiration, Gentleness, 13: A secret admirer “Please Believe Me”



Issue 9 • 2/13/15


ove, relationships between high school and college students


According to Junior Rudy graduating. Like Azcona, Azcona, there are pros and cons Alexander also feels that some to dating somebody in college distance is what keeps their while they are in high school. relationship strong. Azcona has been dating a “When we finally do see each freshman in college for about other there is no reason to fight,” five months. Azcona met his Alexander said. “Seeing him is girlfriend, Jessica in school, just awesome.” she was a PHS student in high According to Alexander, school. the disadvantage of having a Azcona thinks boyfriend in college is that having a that college students “The good thing girlfriend in are busy. college is better “He is always doing about her being than having a something, and it’s older than me is sometimes difficult to high school relationship the fact that she have a conversation because he feels with him while he is there to help that oftentimes is busy,” Alexander high school said. out with senior couples see each Senior Ben year stress.” other too much, Schaefer has been Ben Schaefer, causing them to dating his girlfriend get sick of each for one year and four Senior other and have months while she drama. attends Valparaiso “When I do see her, it’s like University. precious time to me,” Azcona Like Azcona and Alexander, said. Schaefer met his girlfriend According to Azcona, having Autumn, because she was a an older, more educated Portage High School student. girlfriend comes with one Schaefer, like Alexander, feels disadvantage. that the downside of being in “She’s smarter than me and a relationship with someone in brags about it. That’s annoying,” college is the fact that they are Azcona said. always busy, and makes spending Senior Abby Alexander also time together more difficult. has a significant other in college, “The good thing about her and they have been together for being older than me is the fact 15 months. that she is there to help out with Alexander met her boyfriend senior year stress,” Schaefer said. Sam in school, because “She has already gone through he attended PHS prior to it.”

Single? Find out what you should do this Valentines Day!



National Freedom Day




9 Kite Flying Day


Monday Groundhog Day National Pizza Day

Tuesday 3

4 National Carrot Cake Day

10 Umbrella Day

World Cancer Day

Laughing with Friends

You like to be heard but you cannot handle hearing the truth. It is a good thing that animals cannot talk because you still need a companion. This Valentines Day, grab a can of tuna or a chew toy and have a blast playing with your favorite furry friend.

You’re the best friend everyone wants. Instead of complaining about being single, you like to laugh with the ones who love you the most. This Valentines Day, get together with a few (single) friends and have a good laugh!

16 President’s Day



Dog Walking Day

23 Play Tennis Day

24 25 Clam Tortilla Chip Chowder Day Day

Battery Day




6 7 Ice Cream National Bubble Gum for Weathermen’s Day Breakfast Day Day

11 12 Peppermint Abraham Patty Lincoln’s Date Birthday

Gumdrop Day

Crab Racing Day


13 Radio Day



26 Tell a Fairy Tale Day


Mint Chocolate Day

Love Your Pet Day

Polar Bear Day

nte rru pt!



Se ek Ad v ic e

Playing with Pets

February 2015 Sunday


Po lite ly i


! ne Do rk Wo

You’re upset. Do you want to be alone, tweet about it, or seek advice?

Your friend will not stop talking, do you listen or politely interrupt?


g ttin Ge ne alo e B

You like to be alone, but hey, nothing is wrong with a little you time! This Valentines Day, pop some popcorn, head to your couch, and enjoy an entire season of your favorite television series on Netflix.

How long can you stand being alone? Forever, days, or hours?

urs Ho

! Stay

Fo rev er!

Relaxing on Your Couch


You’re meeting up With your friend, But they Brought a date

ut oo

Would you rather Spend a Friday night Inside or Out with friends?

r! tte wi

At home, do you relax or get work done?


Le av e!

Sta y

T on Go

Cudd le up !

When you’re Laying down, do You like to cuddle up Or go on twitter?

14 Ferris Wheel Day 21

Card Reading Day

28 National Tooth Fairy Day

Graphic by: Sam Smith

Valentines Day is the most well-known holiday in the month of February. However, there are more important holidays in February that do not involve heart-shaped candies and a boy wearing a diaper, who shoots people with magical arrows. Instead of celebrating a holiday based off of love, this month celebrate a holidays based off of food and fairy tales. Graphic by: Sam Smith



Issue 9 • 2/13/15


Proxy news agency run by the state government is an outrage; reminiscent of “1984” Indiana governor Mike Pence wisely pulled the plug on the concept of a government-run news agency, an idea that would be the indicator of pure insanity and 1984-esque ridiculousness. The proposal was to Marko Mavrovic create a source of news that Opinion Editor @TheMavrovic would be available for smaller publications that cannot always keep their market informed. Yet, this source of “news” would be controlled by the press secretary and staff of the governor. Luckily, our governor apparently turned on his brain and tuned his ears to the reaction that was so overwhelmingly negative and decided to scrap it. But let us examine why the reaction was so negative and why the very soul of “JustIN” is tainted with ludicrosity. The reason for this agency being created was proclaimed in a way that made the Pence administration seem like a good Samaritan but it turned into a Jack Kevorkian killer of the truth, as if just because “JustIN” is providing something easier

excludes the fact it is the euthanizing the truth to its death along the way. While that may be an exaggerated way of describing it, it is frightening to think that the state government would have had the power to dictate what the public would know to be “news.” The public can only search for the knowledge that is available to them; the availability of that knowledge is in the hands of our society’s journalists. As a journalist, I personally find “JustIN” to be disrespectful to the integrity of my role to my readers, and I should think that all journalists would feel the same way if they take their duties as the “truth-seekers” in our community seriously. Aside from my view of my role as a journalist, a view that some may find to be quixotic, I am bothered by this state conglomeration of press releases simply because I am a sane individual who wants to know what is happening behind the closed doors of our government in Indianapolis, an individual who does not want to be spoon fed information that is concocted by a slew of lawyers who wield a mastery in the art of twisting lingo to find the purposes of their client. That was a mouthful. It seems that the higher-ups in American culture, the politicians, the media pundits, and even the self-proclaimed

cultured celebrity tweeters, are quick to criticize the totalitarian governments across seas that possess state-run media. They contrast these countries with ours in a way that makes it seem like our media is praiseworthy and full of integrity. But I have a feeling that this is not the case, but that our national government is better at contorting its and the media’s reputation. I have learned in my AP Government class of this creation of facades occurred during the Clinton presidency, one that could have been extremely marred and tarnished by numerous scandals that would be the bane of any individual not equipped with an extremely manipulative task force that Clinton was equipped with. His staff, led by his press secretary and comprised of legal advisors, sought at all and any means to uphold Clinton’s legacy amidst the storm of controversies. Deals were made with White House correspondents, leaks were made in order to fabricate momentum for Clinton’s administration. This is but one example. Mike Pence’s “JustIN” had the potential to be another example. But luckily for everyone, “JustIN” is on its way out.


In a society that is dominated by white history, a “White History Month,” would be unfair The cold winds of January have finally passed over northwest Indiana, and as we jump into the month of love, groundhogs, and copious amounts of snow, one vital part of February is sometimes Lily Someson overlooked in the wake of Photography Editor @actualily other holidays. Black History Month is here for just 28 days, and in this month we’ll probably celebrate by watching Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in history class for the 40th time and/or watch a short documentary on why black history is important, accompanied by a worksheet for which you’ll probably cheat off your friend for the answers. Nevertheless, this is the one month of the year that black history, politics and rights come to the forefront of the agenda, and that is extremely important. But one question is always asked around this time of year that never fails to baffle me: “If there’s a Black History Month, why isn’t there a White

History Month?” African-American people get a month, Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from Sep. 15 to Oct. 15, and Asian Pacific American Month is celebrated in the month of May. So why isn’t there a month to celebrate white people? I’ll tell you why: Because white history month is not just every month -- it’s every day. We live in a society that caters heavily to people of European descent, and we are taught almost strictly white history in our schools through American History. We don’t have to search hard through a textbook to find the history of the white man and all of his struggles; they’re spelled out right in front of us. But sometimes it’s harder to find the history of minority Americans in our curriculum just because we live in a whitecentric society. This term is called Eurocentrism, and it is the reason why white men make up over 65 percent of federal and elected seats in the United States. It’s also the reason why not even 1 percent of Fortune 500 companies have black CEOs. The lighter your skin is, the easier it is for you to live in America. Giving black people, Latinos/Latinas and Asian/Pacific

Islanders a month of their own is the least America can do for these minority groups. They deserve entire textbooks dedicated to their ancestry and history taught in public schools. They deserve to be celebrated and revered for their backgrounds, not shoved into a few sections of a bleak American Lit book. They deserve more than just a month. It exasperates me when people ask why there is not a white history month because as Americans, white history is all around us. From the time we are children, it is taught in our classrooms as the entire truth, and in some cases it is presented as the only form of history that is available to learn. Minority history is American history, too. We can not forget about them. According to the US census bureau, over 50.4 percent of all for the children born in the United States are of racial and ethnic minority. Those children deserve to have their ancestry taught to them instead of the whitewashed history we are given now. Instead of making our society even more Eurocentric, we should celebrate all of the many heritages and ethnic groups that make up this country.


Parents’ reluctance to vaccinate their children creates preventable problems at Disney If ignorance really is bliss, then Disneyland certainly earned its nickname, “The Happiest Place on Earth” The Magic Kingdom saw a measles outbreak before the holiday season that has spread out across the country and resulted in a total of Lydia Gerike 102 cases in 14 states. Editor-in-Chief @Lydi_yeah The cause is not some new super strain of the disease that has mutated past the capability of what modern medicine can suppress; we can still prevent measles just fine. Instead, the reason that this easily avoidable outbreak has occurred is because parents are electing not to vaccinate their children. Unfortunately for everyone, vaccine phobia is not a new fad. In 1998, British then-doctor Andrew Wakefield conducted and published a study that purportedly found a link between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Needless to say, panic ensued. Suddenly, a proven method that has saved children and adults from countless disease outbreaks was shunned by society. People were more concerned about autism, currently considered to be a genetic mutation by scientists, in an otherwise perfectly healthy child than watching that child contract a disease that could actually kill them. There was nothing to worry about, though. Beginning in 2001, the vaccination ingredient thimerosal, which was believed to be the cause of the autism issues, was almost or completely removed from the MMR vaccine by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No statistics connected this

change to a lowering of autistic diagnoses. If that weren’t enough to convince the public, then Wakefield losing his medical license in 2010 should have been; the entire doctoral community came out against his findings. Yet, somehow, the stigma continues. Anyone who still believes that vaccines cause autism or other developmental disorders is blatantly ignoring the facts that are plastered absolutely everywhere at this point. It takes two seconds to Google “Do vaccines cause autism?” and find a multitude of both news and regular web results that all come up with the same answer: Vaccines do not cause autism at all. Play the video at the top of CNN’s result and their medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, argues that Wakefield’s study was “deliberately misleading,” with fabricated data that seemed to be pulled from thin air. Medical sources like the CDC also back up articles like this, and they sit right below news site results on Google. But just as some parents refuse to feed their offspring anything but organic foods without factual cause, an alarming number of caregivers have decided they still do not want to subject their children to vaccinations. It was a “health” thing, even when the whole point of vaccinations are for health in the first place. Autism is not contagious, but measles, mumps and rubella can easily spread from person to person. Somehow, this did not play into any decisions parents made about the general best course of action regarding the MMR vaccine. By choosing the social well being of children over their physical well being, people who believed this was okay essentially told the rest of the world that their child’s mental state was more important than the lives of hundreds or even thousands of other children. Parents have a public responsibility to make the safest decision, not only for their child, but

for those who share the same public space with said child. In Connecticut, courts recently ruled that a 17-year-old girl with cancer (notably noncontagious) could not make the personal decision to decline chemotherapy, and her mother was more or less considered neglectful for allowing her daughter to die on her own terms of a cause she couldn’t prevent. Unlike autism, the alleged side effect of the MMR vaccine, chemo actually causes great pain to the recipient with no physical benefit to anyone except his or her future self. It makes sense that someone might not want to go through this long and exhausting process for arguably successful health. The logic behind the cancer and vaccination scenarios should be flipped. To say that a parent has the choice to expose their baby to an easily preventable disease but not to allow their teen (who is almost a legal adult) to let a non contagious disease to run its course is a hypocritical approach on the role of a guardian in regards to medicine. Medical professionals have a responsibility to protect people from themselves, especially when people start following fads based on misinformation. In the grand year of 2015, this vaccines-cause-autism should be far behind us, yet it is not, partially because our doctors are not sticking up for children’s health . We must reverse this terrible belief that the MMR vaccine is linked to disability. All it does is protect from horrible outbreaks like the one that occurred at Disneyland and make humans generally better off. If you think that disease prevention is stupid and everyone should just expose themselves to measles and rubella, I hear flights to California are pretty cheap this time of year, and I’m sure Cinderella’s ugly step-sisters would love to hear that your child gave her the mumps.


Opinion Issue 9 • 2/13/15

TRIBE TIME NOT BENEFICIAL TO UPPER LEVEL STUDENTS Monthly activity does not focus enough on what advanced students need

Three weeks ago, in a monthly session of Tribe Time, I sat in my second mod class and was told to read a passage and fill out a chart having to do with main ideas and conclusions that can be drawn from the text. Later in that same day, in AP English, we discussed how to properly Nick Blue write a synthesis essay, one of Editor-in-Chief • @clarinotist the essays on the AP exam. Needless to say, these two activities don’t equate in terms of usefulness to me; I already know how to identify main idea. Writing a synthesis essay, however, might be more challenging for me. I, along with every other student at PHS, are made to participate in Tribe Time every month. During this time, PHS students are required to, among other things, complete a language arts activity. The English activities that all PHS students must complete during Tribe Time are, while possibly beneficial to students who struggle with English, utter wastes of time for most other students, especially those who take advanced classes. English teacher Heidi Thibideau, who devises the reading strategies for Tribe Time, says that there is a method to her madness. “Think about world class musicians, think about world class athletes, think about any person who’s at the top of their game, they never stop practicing fundamentals, so these reading strategies, while they may feel like ‘I don’t need to do this, I am reading at a college level,’ as you progress and you go into

college you’re going to be given harder and harder texts, and it may turn out that these strategies that you did in high school that you thought were not going to be beneficial actually do benefit you when you come to text that is really difficult and really hard to understand, which will come no matter how high your reading level is now,” Thibideau said. However, high level students do not need to dabble in identifying the main idea of a passage and writing it down: this is something we have been conditioned to do automatically and subconsciously so that we can focus on other aspects of text such as rhetorical devices, elements of argument and aspects of fiction such as symbolism and theme. However, Thibideau says that not even all advanced students have the abilities that some teachers assume they do. “One thing I’ve noticed about those students is sometimes they have not been taught explicit strategy work, and sometimes that’s a real problem,” Thibideau said, “because sometimes you need a strategy to figure something out, because people just assume that [advanced students] know how to do everything because you’re really smart, but sometimes you don’t.” What high level students truly need during these activities is tutelage for what we strive to achieve: top notch SAT scores, superior ACT scores, and fours and fives on AP exams. English teacher Joshua Cavan agrees. “I find that the activities that we have to do don’t match up with the students I have, so for example doing ‘Yes Ma’am’ with my Pre AP or AP kids really isn’t what I feel that group of kids should be doing,” Cavan said. “I would much rather be doing AP review with them. I’m not too worried with them failing the ECA. What I have to worry about is their scores on the SAT and ACT and the AP exams. That is where I would like to put my focus.”

Cavan says that the solution to this issue is to provide various activities for teachers to choose from, instead of making all teachers and students do the same thing. “My biggest gripe is I would like to see a variety of activities available to the teachers, not just saying ‘One activity must be done by every single teacher, here,’ no, [they should say] ‘Here’s a selection of activities at different levels, choose the one that is appropriate for the group that you have at the time,” Cavan said. “Thats what I’d like to see. We try to do a blanket thing where everybody has to do the same thing, and I’m not for that.” Indeed, Cavan has good points. This would fix the issue at hand, providing the help that advanced students need and crave. An even better solution to the issue would be to take advantage of the changes to Tribe Time next year (see page three) and place advanced students together during the Tribe Time mod, so that during that time we can be given what we need from teachers that are equipped to provide it. Thibideau, however, says that these types of actions, those that vary the activities given, have already been implemented. “We have tried to make the reading selections more varied and put some at a higher level, and almost every strategy we’ve done have said to teachers you can choose your own text, so it can be a novel that you’re reading in AP English, a physics journal, whatever, so thats my argument,” Thibideau said. Hopefully, these changes will soon be visible. For now, however, I and countless other advanced students are left wondering when the school will provide us with the specialized prep that we need to succeed. PHS focuses too much on getting students to be average, instead of focusing on getting already advanced students to be truly great. Tribe Time is only perpetuating that standard.


Walking through the food court of the mall, it is not unusual to see a nine-yearold girl with a Build-A-Bear box in one hand and an iPhone in the other. While children used to ask Santa Claus for a new bike, currently iPads are at Sam Smith the top of children’s wish Features Editor @samxosmith lists. Young children should not have modern technology devices such as tablets or smartphones. Technology may be the future, but children are the future as well. Modern technology can be dangerous to the children who will someday run our government and shape our society. Handing young children smartphones can danger the process of developing morals, poses as a danger to their social health and also exposes them to threatening situations. A Neilsen survey showed that 70% of children under the age of 12 use tablets. Parents often introduce these electronic devices to their children because they view them

as an educational tool. Eventually, when they see how they react to the tablet, parents will give it their child to shut them up like a giving a baby a pacifier. Parents hand rambunctious toddlers a tablet instead of confronting the children and teaching them right from wrong. According to, children learn right from wrong from their experiences. Dealing with misbehavior by placing a tablet in front of a child may be easier than putting them in time-out. However, children will not learn values, ethics and morals from being given a toy when they misbehave; they will not even know that they did anything wrong. If a child is unaware they have done something wrong they will only do it again. Parents need to confront children about their behavior rather than pacifying them with a tablet. A study out of The University of California, published in “Computers in Human Behavior,” concluded that preteens who went five days without access to technology were remarkably more capable of reading human emotions than preteens who had frequent access to cellphones, televisions and computers. When children communicate through text messages and

social media, they only see half of the person’s reaction. They cannot determine one’s emotions by looking at their body posture or the expression on their face when communicating through technology. The more children are using text messages to interact with one another, the less they are able to appropriately socialize in person. Giving children smartphones can also put them in dangerous situations because of the availability of social media. KnowTheNet’s Social Age Survey showed that 21% of children post and receive negative comments starting at age 11, and 43% of children message strangers at just 12 years old. Not only have negative comments on social media lead children to suicide, but children are also vulnerable and naive. When young children are willing to message strangers, they are also likely to be manipulated. Strangers could convince these children to give them personal information which puts them at risk of being kidnapped, assaulted or even killed. Children should not have smartphones or tablets. These modern devices danger the developmental process for young children. The exposure to smartphones and tablets can affect a child’s social health. Putting a these devices into their hands can also lead a child to a dangerous situation.


Being a teenager is hard. Between dealing with high school drama in friendships and relationships, managing Mary Clancy school work Content Editor • @shady1801972 and a social life, and struggling to keep grades up and earn class credits, it’s a mystery that we don’t go crazy. However, the complications don’t stop there. On top of balancing all of that, we deal with being members of a weird in-between adult and child stage, and are oftentimes expected to make adult decisions while still being treated like children. At the age of 17, I come across this problem a lot. Being in my last year of high school, I am in a position where I am choosing not only which school I would like to attend later this year, but also what I would like to major in. Keep in mind, these choices will affect me for the rest of my life. Most adults don’t seem to realize that at 17, there are a lot of possibilities for this to go wrong. In the next few years of our lives, we teenagers will be going through a lot of changes. One of those will probably be changing our minds. The truth is, we will

probably change our decision about what we want to major in, or even what college we want to attend at least once. That doesn’t stop us from having to make the decision this early in our lives. Now all of that is manageable; teenagers have been making their college choices for years and end up being fine. Some of them even end up majoring in what they went to school for in the beginning. But if we are old enough to make huge decisions about our lives, we should not be treated as kids. At 16, we are eligible for driver’s licenses. At 17, we can buy our own R-rated movie tickets. Most 16 or 17 year olds can even find a job. But yet, we aren’t old enough to do some very simple things on our own. One example of this happened to me just a few weeks ago. When I realized my printer was out of ink, I had to run to the public library to print off my SAT ticket. When I asked the lady at the desk to use a computer, she told me I could not because I am not yet 18. I am old enough to legally drive myself to the library, to print a ticket for a super important school test (that I need to take for college admissions) but I am not old enough to use the computer or printer? If we are trusted to drive our own cars without adults and to receive acceptance into college, we should definitely be trusted to use a computer in a public library. If anything, parents should be allowed to give the library permission for their minors to use the computer, so that if something did happen, the parents would be

to blame. The next issue: going to the doctor. I am 17 and I still can’t go to the doctors without my mommy? I understand there are certain laws and all, but what a huge inconvenience it is to still need a parent to take you to see a doctor. Not that I have a problem with my mom being at the doctor’s office with me, but when she has to miss work to take me when I am perfectly capable of driving there myself, signing myself in, and paying without her, I should be allowed to go on my own. One more point I would like to make. When I feel sick and I stay home from school, I use medicine to help me feel better. Usually my parents would be at work, since it is a weekday. If we are out of medicine, and I’m talking simple over-the-counter cough medicine, I should be allowed to run to Walgreens and grab some. However, I have been stopped before when trying to buy some. While there is no law on this, the cashier still found it necessary to give me a hard time. Let me address the other side. Yes, there are stupid teenagers out there who would abuse library computer privileges. There are teens that would probably do something stupid if they were allowed to go to the doctor on their own. And I definitely know there are teenagers who would buy over-the-counter

medicine for the wrong purpose. Believe me; I know how some of my generation can be. But that doesn’t mean all of us should be prevented from doing these simple tasks on our own. Face it, there are adults who abuse these privileges just like teenagers could. I understand having age requirements, but waiting until 18 to allow these seems a bit ridiculous to me. I feel that even at age 16 my peers and I could be trusted to do these tasks on our own without needing mommy and daddy. Or, if we are going to be treated like children at that age, then let us continue to act like children instead of having to choose a college, move out and start our lives by giving us time off before we are expected to mature. Living as a teenager can be hard enough. We do not need to deal with the stress of being expected to act like grownups and make adult decisions while being treated like children and not being trusted to start doing simple tasks on our own. We need to start being allowed to be more independent so that when it is time to move out on our own, we have some clue of how the real world works. If we suddenly earn all of these privileges at the same time that we go away for school or move out on our own, it will just be harder to adjust to.

I am 17, and I still can’t go to the doctor’s without my mommy?



Issue 9 • 2/13/15

c o S r ’ e s b n o a a i r d d n VARSITY RESULTS I AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Boys Basketball Girls Basketball Boys Swimming Girls Swimming Gymnastics Record 11-8-0

Record 12-12-0

1-16 Lake Central High School 1-17 Lake Central High School 56-61 L 42-58 L 1-17 Boone Grove High School 1-19 Hanover Central High 54-67 W School 1-23 Merrillville H.S. 36-59 69-52 L 1-30 Michigan City H.S. 1-24 Merrillville H.S. 66-65 L 64-39 L 1-31 Kankakee Valley @ Kanka- 1-26 Mishawaka H.S @ kee Valley H.S. Mishawaka 59-52 W 60-58 W 2-6 Crown Point H.S. 2-3 Munster H.S. 82-77 L

Follow @PHSPress on Twitter for sports and news updates, and chances to be featured UPCOMING GAMES in the Pow 2-12 Chesterton H.S. 2-17 Rensselaer Central Wow and H.S Legend! 2-20 LaPorte H.S. 3-3 IHSAA Sectionals 3-14 IHSAA Regionals 3-21 IHSAA Semi-State 3-28 IHSAA State Finals

24-72 W


2-10 IHSAA Sectionals 2-21 IHSAA Regionals 2-28 IHSAA Semi-State 3-7 IHSAA State Finals

Record 4-4-0

1-13 Valparaiso H.S.67119 L 1-15 Calumet New Tech 134-16 W 1-19 Crown Point H.S. 90-96 L 1-27 Lake Central High School @ L.C. 64-122 L


2-19 IHSAA Sectionals @ Chesteron 2-21 IHSAA Sectionals @ Chesterton 2-24 IHSAA Diving Regionals@ South Bend Riley 2-27 IHSAA State Meet@ Indianapolis

Record 5-5-0

1-15 Calumet New Tech 129-35 W 1-19 Crown Point H.S. 77-103 L 1-20 Chesterton H.S. 37-149 L 2-5 IHSAA Sectionals @ Chesterton N/A 2-7 IHSAA Sectionals @ Chesterton 230 pts. 3rd place


2-10 IHSAA Diving Regionals @ Mishawaka 2-13 IHSAA State Meet @ Indianapolis

Record 5-0-0

1-15 Lake Central H.S N/A 1-19 Michigan City H.S. 1st place-107 pts 1-26 Crown Point H.S. @ PHS 107.9 pts. 1st place 2-2 Hobart H.S. @ PHS N/A 2-5 Merrillville H.S. @ PHS 109.2 pts. 1st place 2-9 Lowell H.S. @ Lowell 107.15 pts. 1st place 2-11 Valparaiso H.S. @ Valparaiso

UPCOMING MEETS 2-18 Chesterton H.S. @ PHS 2-28 DAC Championship Meet @ PHS 3-7 IHSAA Sectionals@ Chesterton


Record 7-0-0

1-24 Hobart H.S. @ Hobart 1st place 233 pt. 1-27 Valparaiso H.S. @ Valparaiso N/A 1-31 IHSAA Sectionals @ Calumet N/A 2-7 IHSAA Regionals @ Calumet 8th place


2-14 IHSAA Semi-State @ Merrillville 2-21 IHSAA State Meet @ Indianapolis


THE PROS OF THE OATS KEEPING THE MOMENTUM Athletes use supplements to improve

Basketball teams challenge themselves With sectionals Alexis Coffman in less than Sports Editor • @lianna350 a month, the boys basketball team is holding their record at 11-8-0. After heading into double overtime at last Friday’s home game against Crown Point, the team took the loss as an eye opener rather than complain. Junior Kevin Jenkins was disappointed after the game, but felt it was another chance to prove themselves. “I am satisfied with the team’s season record, yet I am not,” Jenkins said. “We have had many close games this season. At the same time, though, we have beat teams we had not beaten in a long time. That gives us strength to know that we can excel farther, even if it meant losing a bit.” The team has bonded a little closer not just because they are a small team with 13 players, but because they knew that is what they needed to work on. With that being said, they have strengthened their game plays for a reason. Junior Canaan Cooper said he does not see the team having any setbacks, just pushes for the team to succeed. “With junior Jordan Olson out for a while due to an concussion, the players have been keeping each other safe on the court. Other than that, the rest of the team has been healthy,” Cooper said. As for Jenkins, he believed that the team’s defense could be strengthened by communicating better on the court. “Our game plays have improved, I just believe myself and the team could work on the way we are on the court. Giving more opportunity for other players to try and score,” Jenkins said. According to Cooper, reflecting back on last Friday’s game against Crown Point, he felt the team played well. Cooper had fouled out in the second overtime, but he was proud of all of the team’s effort that night, win or lose. He did not feel like the team lost, but realized that they are still a step closer to improving for sectionals next month. Both Cooper and Jenkins felt that the team can move forward despite their losses. “Once we get in the game and win, we often just let up when what we shout do is keep going,” Cooper said. “If we did not let up and kept the momentum going, I feel we

could become better and show that we work to earn our place in the rankings without slacking.” As for the girls’ team, sectionals have already taken place. The girls ended their record with 12-12-0 and are in post season. Junior Cheyenne Lambert could not wait to make it into sectionals. ‘No matter what, we qualify for sectionals,” Lambert said. “But the is fact that, in my eyes and along with my teammates, we have done great. Our confidence this season has risen, and now we feel unstoppable.” The team has become close and each of them have improved their roles, according to freshman Hanna Piro. “Every game we play, I keep pushing and I want to win more of them,” Piro said. “You have to give it your all like it is your last game.” Lambert said she is undecided whether she is satisfied with the teams record. “I am happy that we still have a shot to prove ourselves, and seeing how far we come makes me proud,” Lambert said. “We have put all of our hearts into this season simply because we kept believing, we kept trying. There were just some games we could have won, but we have learned from our mistakes and ready to prove ourselves this post-season. As for Piro, she could not be happier to play on a strong and well-formed team. “To play varsity and accomplish my goals for the season of overcoming fears I had helped me become a better player,” Piro said. According to Piro, she has given 100% of her effort when it came to playing on varsity. Her practices have made her and the team better every time they step on the court. She remembered when she started the game against East Chicago back in November and the team won with the score of 80-70. She said this made her excited to know they won against an equally skilled team. Lambert felt that this season has made her work on her mentality. After bruising her patella, she was out for a couple days and realized she could not wait to get back on the court and help her team. “All around the sport strengthened me mentally, helping me cope with the losses and do not doubt myself,” Lambert said. “To trust myself that I can do it and that I can be the player my teammates need me to be.”

More than 28% Social Media Staff • @SierraJudy389 of high school athletes take supplements,according to The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Our high school contributes to this percentage with many athletes taking supplements such as pre workout and protein. Supplements are products used to enhance athletic performance that may include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, or botanicals. While taking protein supplements, senior Nick Chandler says that his bench max went up 15 pounds in a month and a half. “Supplements do not just make you gain muscle. You have to lift and put a lot of hard work to get the results,” Chandler said. Athletic trainer Annie Gonzalez believes that too many athletes abuse supplements. “Supplements that are used improperly absolutely affects the users health. A lot of athletes use protein supplements unwisely. Supplements can cause more harm than good if abused,” Gonzalez said. Sophomore Victoria Farley believes that athletes can improve their performance in sports if they use supplements properly.

Sierra Judy

“Taking supplements has helped me with muscle recovery when I’m lifting and with my energy. As you’re using the supplements in the proper way and at the right time, they can have an extremely positive affect and be very beneficial to athletes,” Farley said. Gonzalez says that, based on her experiences, too many athletes get injured while taking supplements. “I am personally against supplement use because there isn’t any regulations on supplement use, so any athlete can go into a health food store and have a very wide variety available to them, not knowing enough or the right things about the supplements to use them correctly or properly. Supplements can cause muscles to grow too fast making it easier for the muscles to tear,” Gonzalez. Assistant football coach and health teacher Terry Chestovich is also against supplement use. “ I believe that athletes should get their proteins from what they eat, and if they don’t, they should change their diet accordingly,” Chestovich said. With having experience with taking supplements, Farley would recommend them to athletes as long they don’t abuse them.

Sophomore Victoria Farley opening a Pro and Oats supplement jar. Supplements help her and her performance in Track and Field. Photo by Jalynn Madison



Issue 9 • 2/13/15


Team breaks ten year streak, sets eyes on winning state title Shelby Ford

Staff Writer • @ShelbyFord9

For the first time in ten years, the varsity wres-

tling team has won regionals. Before sectionals, the team was ranked number four by, and since then they have won sectionals and regionals, and have recently made it to semi-state which will be on Feb.14 against Merrillville. According to junior and varsity wrestler Timmy Gensimore, by the team being ranked number four, it has motivated them to fight harder to be ranked number one. Junior and varsity wrestler Tyler Joseph

agrees with Gensimore. “We’re the most hated team in the building when we walk in because we’re at the top,” Joseph said. “It pushes us more because we all know we should be one and not four.” Freshman and varsity wrestler Kasper McIntosh placed first in sectionals and second in regionals. McIntosh said before sectionals, his nerves were trying to get the best of him. “Before sectionals, I was really nervous and I kept thinking I wasn’t good enough, but the team and coaches kept me up and told me everyday how good I did and how good of a wrestler I am,” McIntosh said.

The team placed first at sectionals Jan. 31 and advanced to regionals Feb. 7 where they came up on top once again. Before regionals, the team was confident and all wanted to do something that they had not done in years, according to Gensimore. McIntosh agrees with Gensimore and says that the team knew they were going to win because of how hard they had worked in the wrestling room everyday. Although the team as a whole was not nervous, that was not the case for Joseph. “The whole week I was nervous for my first match,” Joseph said. “If you lose the first match at regionals your done so one

mistake can be the end of your season.” Although Joseph was nervous before regionals, he was not after he took first place in his 132 pound weight class. Along with Joseph, 11 of his teammates will be going to semi state. The team hopes to capture the state title, and according to Joseph, he hopes to see the team win state. He also hopes to see himself as an individual on the podium.. According to McIntosh, the team all has the same dream. “Everyday we all kind of push each other, we’re all chasing after the same dream, a state title,” McIntosh said. “We all want it.”


MVP swimmer thrives on team despite coming from limited background with sport

Freshman Daniela Demko swims down the lane. The girls team completed their season last week with a 3rd place finish at sectionals. Photo provided.

Alexis Christlieb Staff Writer • @PHSPress

Coming from a limited swimming background, freshman Daniela Demko has landed a spot on the girls varsity swim team. Prior to swimming competitively for the PHS swim team, Demko swam as a Portage Poise Swim Club member and had knowledge of her father swimming the 500 meter during his high school

career. Demko said she experienced an incident where she fell into her pool at a young age and got back into the pool at the age of four. According to Demko, her parents nicknamed her frog when they discovered she naturally swam breaststroke. Coming into high school, Demko’s parents encouraged her to join the swim team. At first she didn’t like swimming in meets, but she pushed herself to continue to swim to see what she could

accomplish. “All the foot cramps, chlorine rashes, mornings I jumped into a freezing pool, were all worth it,” Demko said. According to the head coach of the girls swim team, Greg Mundt, Demko has developed into the second fastest swimmer on the team after completing a 100 yard time trial of all four swim strokes at the beginning of the season. To Mundt, Demko is a quiet and motivated swimmer with a lot of dedication. “It’s been fun to see her confidence grow throughout the season,” Mundt said. According to Demko, being on the swim team is difficult, it is hard for her to juggle swimming and being a cellist in the high school’s orchestra. However, through all the difficulty, she has made goals for herself to stay on the right track. Demko would like to shave at least a second off of her 100 breast time. She would also like to see herself more committed and motivated next season. Demko said it is hard for her to complete these goals and feel confident about her skill as a swimmer because she compares herself to the older swimmers on the team and relies on her mother to remind her that she is only a freshman.

“I’m not a morning person at all, and I’m used to being pretty lazy, so I need to focus a lot more,” Demko said. On the flip side, according to Mundt, Demko has met all of his expectations and more during this season. Mundt would like to see Demko pick up some of the other swim strokes to become more versatile. Mundt acknowledges this is Demko’s first year of competitive swimming and said he believes she is still absorbing all of the information about the sport. According to Mundt, she has only improved during the season and does an excellent job at what she does. “To come into high school with a limited swimming experience and accomplish what she has done is simply amazing,” Mundt said. According to Demko she enjoys her teammates and coaches as much as being on the team. Demko said she feels the swimmers on the team are very close knit and carry out a relationship out of the water and away from practice. Demko appreciates her coaches and how they have been able to motivate her to push for greatness as well as to not give up along the way to get there. “I love my coaches, they find the in between helping us improve and making swimming fun,” Demko said.

Girls team looks back on sectional win while boys get pumped for their sectionals Going into the season the girls swim team did not have Social Media • @Sierrajudy389 as much talent or the number of girls needed to fill all the events. Head coach Greg Mundt says that many girls have improved and has more confidence in his team compared to the preseason. The girls swim team placed third at sectionals Saturday, for the second consecutive year. Junior Rachael Joseph was impressed with this season. “Many of us went into this season a little nervous about how we would finish at sectionals due to losing the seniors we lost last year, but personally I’m very happy with how the team finished this year,” Joseph said. Their third-place finish last weekend ended the team’s season. Sophomore Maddie McConnell says she was disappointed when her season ended. “Even with all the hard work putting into the season unfortunately no one advanced to state at sectionals on Saturday,” McConnell said. Freshmen Daniela Demko said she was nervous but that only motivated her to do better at sectionals. “I was a little nervous, because I’d be swimming against the best of the best, some girls with much faster times than me. But that was just motivation to get me more and more pumped for

Sierra Judy

the meet. I was so excited to prove how hard I’ve worked and have all of those hard practices pay off,” Demko said. At the beginning of the season, Mundt was worried how the team would adjust to losing talent. “The season went very well. We lost a couple of talented seniors last year and I wasn’t sure if we could replace them this year. But we have a huge group of underclassmen that have stepped up and filled those spots. It’s been fun to watch this team progress and improve,” Mundt said. As the girls team season has ended, the boys swim team is preparing for their sectionals, which will be on Feb. 19. The team has worked hard this season and is trusting their talent, according to sophomore Jason Taylor. “As always for us PHS swimmers, we strive to whoop Valpo and come in second behind Chesterton. With the work we’ve put in this year, we can come close. We’ve got a lot of guys who will be in the top eight, and that’s a good thing. The team is just looking up and knowing that we will perform our best,” Taylor said. The team has worked hard to hopefully see their times decrease as sectionals approach, according to head coach Eric Mundt. “The guys have worked very hard throughout the year, and we know that the work will pay off as we begin to rest soon in preparations for sectionals,” Eric Mundt said.

Sophomore Maddie McConnell cheers for her teammate. Photo by Haley Crnarich.


Back Page

Issue 9 • 2/13/15

WHAT GRIND YOUR GEARS? Tweet us what grinds your gears @PHSPress to be featured in the next edition of the Pow Wow “When I try to drive through the school parking lot and someone walks in front of my car.” Marisol Barajas, 12 - @marisolx13 “When it snows and people have no idea where to park still after 6 months.” Nick Bell, 12 - @Nick_Bell15

“What grinds my gears is when people give you dirty looks when you are in the way as they walk up the wrong side of the stairs.” Rudy Azcona, 11 - @RudyAzcona97 “When *you’re walking with fresh kicks on and everyone has to step on it like a doormat #comeonman.” Michael Sanchez, 11 - @msanchez1371

Senior Haley Crnarich and junior Hunter Thorn dance at the Winter Formal. Photo by Matthew Rasnic.

“#Whatgrindsmygears is everyone goes to the basketball games but nobody goes to the #4 wrestling team in the state’s meets.” Rudy Azcona, 11 - @RudyAzcona91 “The stairs.” Carrie Prohl, 12 - @CarrieProhl “Jesse Bustos @Jesse_Bustos.” Dakoda Steele, 11 - @DakodaSteele

10 Things Better Than Being in Love

“The food.” Amanda Miletich, 10 - @amiletich2000 “The smell of the cafeteria tables because they’ve just wiped them with hot water and not any soap.” Diamond Curry, 11 - @DiamondLaMaya

Unexpected snow days.

“The phrase ‘what grinds my gears.’” Sam Smith, 11 - @Samxoswag

A lot of pasta. Literally, so much pasta.

PEOPLE OF PHS Belt owes love of music to popular video game

Meet Noland Belt. Noland Belt is a junior who is making his mark on Photographer • @Jay_madd17 the music department. He said he became interested in music back in fifth grade, during the concert the high school puts on to foster this type of interest. “I saw the band and I thought, ‘Wow! They sounded really cool!’” Belt said. From there, his new passion escalated to games, like “Guitar Hero.” Belt said he originally wanted to play the clarinet but realized he was good at playing percussion on “Guitar Hero.” “My mom said, ‘You like drumsets so you should become a percussionist.’ So I weighed my options and ended up becoming a percussionist,” Belt said. Percussion became his instrument of choice and now he finds many uses for his talent within the music department. According to Belt, he has played with Jazz I, the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra, and the Jazz Band. Belt has also helped play for the musical and the choir. “Any group that needs me, I help,” Belt said. William Timmerman has known Belt for three years and admires his dedication to music. “I have enjoyed watching Noland’s musicianship develop

Jalynn Madison


wow Portage High School • 6450 U.S. HWY 6 PORTAGE, IN • Issue 9

and improve over the years,” Timmerman said. “His sense of humor is wonderful and his leadership skills are second to none.” Like most music lovers, Belt’s passion for music has become a part of his daily life. Belt said he has always thought music was really cool. “Throughout my journey, I’ve just grown more attached to music; it’s been something that has always been in my life.” When he is not playing music with various bands, Belt is very active at his church. Belt said he attends a lot of church events, is on the worship team and oftentimes chairs or cochairs events. In addition to that, he likes trains and Monopoly. According to Belt, he has liked trains since he was young. “[Trains were] a complex system that I’d try and figure out,” Belt said. Belt wants to go to Indiana University and enroll in the Jacobs School of Music. According to Belt, he wants to continue to play music in the future. “If I had my dream job, I’d go to Disney and be one of the conductors of the Disney Band,” he said. Wherever life takes him, Belt wants music to remain a constant in his life. “I just want to play music, make music, and help other people make music; I think that’s the coolest part.”

The First Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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Sleeping in.

Editors-in-Chief Nick Blue Lydia Gerike Content Editor Mary Clancy Design Editor Taylor Clemens


Getting over 20 likes on a selfie.

When you get the wifi password.

A basket of puppies.

Feb. 15 discount chocolate.

Not having to deal with a significant other.

Mrs. Sass reminding you to #makegoodchoices

Photography Editor Lily Someson

Opinion Editor Marko Mavrovic

News Editor Lexy Young

Sports Editor Alexis Coffman

Features Editor Sam Smith

Online Editor Amber Nelson

Staff Writers Alexis Christlieb Shelby Ford Social Media Staff Sierra Judy Photographers Jalynn Madison Alex Stack

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