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Inside This Issue

Tragic fire p.3

On February 22, a pan of oil left on a stove at sophomore Breannalyn Pearce’s house accidentally started a devastating

Mask-making and dancing in class p.8 In addition to traditional “Romeo and Juliet” assignments, Ms. Ridgway’s Language Arts 9 classes had several creative options.

Students give back through service While many teenagers find joy in taking a nap or watching television after school, junior Marty Randall does not. Instead, he rushes to complete his homework so that he can volunteer for the Rochester Hills Little League, where he coaches a team of 10 and 11-year-old boys. “I really enjoy volunteering with Little League,” Randall said. “The kids are great, and I always look forward to helping out more the next season.” Sophomore Maryssa Mercer also volunteers with children. Every Sunday, she wakes up at 9:30 a.m. to work with the 2-year-olds at her church. “I honestly look forward to Sunday mornings every week,” Mercer said. “If I’m ever going through a rough time or feeling down, being around the kids always makes me smile. They always say or do something that makes me laugh, and I genuinely have fun when I’m helping them learn new things.” Instead of working with youth, sophomore Farha Hanif chooses to do most of her volunteering at retirement homes. “I love spending my extra time volunteering, especially when it involves helping people in a direct way,” Hanif said. “That’s why I spend so much time at senior citizen homes. Whether I have conversations with the elderly or simply help them play a board game, the smiles on their faces are just really rewarding.” Many, like Hanif, seem to enjoy volunteering because of the help that they can give to those in need. “Whenever I volunteer, I feel accomplished and proud to know that I’m able to help people,” Mercer said. “Working with the 2-year-olds just makes me happy. They are such an adorable age, yet they are very vulnerable and easily influenced by others around them. It is my responsibility to set a good example and ensure that they have positive social interactions. These are critical years in a child’s life that will determine how they will develop friendships later.” However, sacrifices may have to be made in order for teens to find time to volunteer. “I do tend to have a lot of scheduling conflicts,” Mercer said. “I always have a lot going on, so it’s hard to find time to give back to the community. Sometimes, I have to choose between having a sleepover with a friend and going to church in the morning, and that can be hard.”

However, many feel that the benefits outweigh any setbacks. “The greatest thing for me is to see a kid succeed in something he struggled in before,” Randall said. “It feels so great to know that I may have been a part of that improvement.” For many of those who volunteer, there are times when they cannot help but smile. “At the American House Senior Citizen Home, we were playing a word game and I was writing on the board,” Hanif said. “Many times, I was yelled at by the seniors for writing too small. They weren’t being mean at all, but the ways that they tried to tell me to writer bigger were hilarious.” There may also be extra benefits to volunteering that teens might not be aware of. “Volunteer work is an important part of a student’s National Honor Society application,” English teacher Mrs. Ashley Painter said. “We consider volunteer work to be an important part of being a wellrounded student.” After being accepted into NHS, students are obligated to stay involved in the community. “Students in NHS are required to participate in some of the many volunteer activities that we do,” Mrs. Painter said. “Each student must earn 10 points, or at least 20 hours, of volunteer time. NHS is as much about serving the outside community as it is about recognizing good students within RHS.” Although they may need to volunteer as a part of NHS, some enjoy what they do and see the points they receive as an extra benefit. “Volunteering gives me an opportunity to stay involved with a sport that I’ve loved as well as give back to an organization that helped me,” Randall said. “I would do it regardless of NHS. The fact that it is an opportunity for me to get a few points is just a bonus.” Some students, although they may not be rewarded for their work, simply find joy helping others. “Knowing that you’ve made a difference is a great feeling,” Mercer said. “And when I see my work affect the lives of the kids I’m with, that really makes everything worth it.” While some teens may want to volunteer solely because of the rewards that they could receive, many might hope that there are different motives involved. “People shouldn’t volunteer just to volunteer,” Randall said. “Find something that you are passionate about and that you have knowledge in so that you can be of help to other people.”

Sophomore Maryssa Mercer volunteers with 2-year-olds at Kensington Community Church every Sunday. Photo Courtesy of Maryssa Mercer

As the coach of a Little League team, junior Marty Randall helps kids properly throw the baseball. Photo Courtesy of Marty Randall

Sophomores Farha Hanif (left) and Namra Awan perform a Halloween skit for kids at Dinosaur Hill. Photo Courtesy of Farha Hanif

Mercer poses for a quick picture with two of the children at church. Photo Courtesy of Maryssa Mercer

If you like

If you like

If you like

volunteer at Sunrise Assisted Living You might work with senior citizens to: • Bake • Do crafts • Go on walks • Play games • Exercise What makes Sunrise so special? • Unlike an assisted living residence, seniors are able to have fun interactions with others • Not only are students able to brighten a senior’s day by listening to one of their stories, but they also discover how valuable seniors are in the community If you’re interested in volunteering at Sunrise, call 248-601-9000

volunteer at the Michigan Humane Society At adoption centers, where animals are kept healthy before finding new homes, you might: • Walk dogs • Socialize cats • Serve as a “personal trainer” in the in-shelter training program At special events to help raise donations to the organization, you might: • Transport and handle animals • Hand out materials • Assist with registration If you’re interested in volunteering at the Michigan Humane Society, visit www. and click on “Volunteer”. If you cannot volunteer regularly, check the site for helpful ideas.

volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity You might be able to: • Gather housewarming gifts to give to families • Organize and serve meals to volunteers • Work in the ReStore by cleaning, organizing, and customer service • Clean up before construction begins • Landscape after the house is finished • Fundraise to support the building of more houses • Work in administration – answer phones, file papers, and type papers If you’re interested in volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity, call 248-338-1843 or go to the website at www.

working with the elderly …

Source: activity leader Kathryn LeBlanc

working with animals …

Source: coordinator Jennifer Robertson

working hands-on ...

Source: youth director Dana Gibson

Algebra 2: choosing the right math class Junior Lucas Avery sits in class in a daze as he tries to pay attention, but in the end, he is overtaken by confusion. He is in math, which is a class that he has disliked ever since elementary school. It is not that Avery does not try, but math has just never come easy to him. Therefore, he has always felt irritated and left behind. Math teacher Mr. John Schanbeck understands and is completely aware of the problems that some students face in math. “There are a variety of reasons why kids have a difficulty in math,”

Mr. Schanbeck said. “The concepts of math can be very hard to understand, and once a student is frustrated by the subject, it makes it hard for them to enjoy it.” Mr. Schanbeck also believes that if a student has had trouble with math earlier in school, then he or she may continue to be frustrated. “Some people simply do not like math because they got turned off by it previously in their career before they even reach high school,” Mr. Schaunbeck said. Sophomore Tyler Magid also understands how discouraging it can be to be behind in math. “I have always struggled in math, even when I was little,” Magid said. “The worst part is that you do not

understand anything, so you do not want to pay attention, and that makes you struggle even more.” For the many other teens who are in the same position as Magid, they could be reassured to know that there will be a new math system next year. “I think that the development of Algebra 2A and 2B will really help,” Mr. Schanbeck said. “For someone who struggles in math, to go through it in one year is very difficult. To be able to slow down the process will tremendously help students.” On the other hand, there are some students who are perfectly fine with the current math system that is implemented. “I really enjoy math because of

the challenge it brings,” sophomore Katie Cox said. “It is like solving a giant puzzle. I feel that the new system is taking a step backwards rather than forwards, and it is losing integrity.” However, the new math courses were developed based on a statewide change in the mathetmatics curriculum. “Everything has a life, and we are phasing out of Chicago math,” Mr. Schanbeck said. “Standards change with the state of what we have to teach, and we have to match the book up with the curriculum.” Now Avery can take a huge sigh of relief and relax, because next year, he might finally be in a math class that will not leave him frustrated.

Correction In the February issue of The Talon, the page 2 story “Choosing the right courses” had incorrect information. The first mistake said, “Algebra 2 finishes two books in one year.” Actually, Algebra 2 completes the regular college prep Algebra 2 book in one year. The second mistake said, “Algebra A finishes one book in one year.” The correct information should have read: Algebra 2A covers the first half of the Algebra 2 book in one year, and the second half of the book in Albegra 2B the following year.

2 Inside the Nest Talon Michael Fowlin Comes Back the

March 2010

Michael Fowlin, speaks to the freshman every year about tolerance and diversity, is coming back for a second time this year for seniors

Senior Carine Nahed still remembers seeing Michael Fowlin as a freshman. She remembers sitting in the auditorium listening to his stories, not yet knowing how they would affect her. Now, as she nears the end of her high school career, she is eager to see Fowlin again, curious as to how things have changed since she saw him last. “I think it’s important for Fowlin to come back for the seniors because it’s important to refresh and re-instill those values in us before we go off to college,” Nahed said. “It refreshes our memories as to what is truly right and wrong.” Fowlin, who speaks to the freshman class each year, is coming back March 30 and speaking exclusively to seniors. “All of Michael’s shows are about diversity,” Fowlin’s assistant Tessin Bozard said. “‘I am not the Enemy,’ the show the seniors will be seeing, deals with the isolation people can experience when they do not feel

accepted or understood.” Although not catered specifically to students going off to college, the presentation focuses on challenging students to look beyond outward appearances. “The show doesn’t really focus on students moving on to college, but certainly students will feel challenged to look at people through a different lens than they might normally do,” Bozard said. “College is usually a much bigger student environment and tends to have more diversity in the population that one’s high school experience.” The ideas that Fowlin presents tend to be realistic and applicable to many other situations in life. Whether or not these principles are carried over into everyday life is up to the audience member, however. “I hope that people understand the deeper meaning he is getting at,” senior Richa Choubey said. “This is an opportunity to further understand and apply these lessons. When we leave high school we are no longer part of a protective bubble. We need to learn how to handle ourselves in the real world.” These lessons can be particularly important to those moving forward to the next step of their lives as diversity and acceptance are ideas that continue to pop up frequently. “People often refer to diversity as having to do with ‘tolerance,’” Bozard said. “Michael doesn’t think that word is appropriate because tolerance suggests that we simply deal with something even though we may not like it. Michael chooses to talk about acceptance and understanding, which in the long run challenges us to think past our preconceived notions

Michael has been performing for several years and that affords him a comfort with getting on stage before each audience. He always takes the age group of the audience into account and mentally prepares to be most effective to that particular group.

Tessin Bozard, Fowlin’s assistant

about individuals, groups of people and general stereotypes.” Even though the content of the presentation can be taught to any grade level at any school, seniors may be able to take something a little extra out of it. “I think it’ll affect seniors differently because we’ve been though the experiences they try to tell freshman about,” senior Alyssa Rawling said. “We have four years of these moments under our belts.” Nahed agreed. “The other grades are still going through it all,” Nahed said. “We have a better understanding of how to learn from what he is saying.”

Michael Fowlin gives his presentation to the freshmen in the fall, teaching them about diversity and tolerance towards others. Photo by Amy Mackens

Siblings at Rochester: Challenges and benefits As senior Rachel Thompson walks through the hallway, she sees her sister and waves. While having a younger sibling at school with her may be new, Thompson has embraced it. “It’s kind of funny to see my little sister at school,” Thompson said. “She’s growing up, and next thing I know she’ll be graduating. [It’s] kind of scary.” From a younger sibling’s point of view, one may find it nice to see his or her older sibling at school. “The best part about seeing my brother is when he actually says ‘hi’ to me,” sophomore Lauren Daleo said about her older brother, Sam. “Normally he doesn’t, so when he does, it means something to me.” A simple hello is one thing; mutual friends are another. Sophomore Ally Kane feels that it would be strange to share friends with her brother. “We don’t have mutual friends, being that [my brother] is in seventh grade,” Kane said. “But it probably would be a little bit awkward.” Thompson has had a different experience. “I’m pretty cool with a couple of [my sister’s] friends,” Thompson said. “They’re just two of her best friends and I see them often, and they’re cool girls.” Even if one does not share friends with a sibling, he or she may find themselves facing challenges first if they are the older child. For this reason, Kane feels it is more difficult to be the older sister. I think it’s harder to be an older child because then you’re the one who has to experience all of the new things in life without any older siblings giving you advice,” Kane said. “The younger sibling has someone to ask.” Thompson agreed. I’d say it’s harder to be an older sibling,” Thompson said. “I never felt really protective of my sister until a bit before she hit high school,

Graphic by Max Kleiner

School spirit declining

Sophomore Ally Kane stands near the water on a vacation with her brother. Photo Courtesy of Ally Kane

Sophomore Ally Kane sits with her younger brother in front of a Christmas tree during the winter. Photo Courtesy of Ally Kane

but just because I want her to do well and make good choices.” Whether one is younger or older, having a brother or sister may not be a good thing all of the time. “My brother is a disadvantage sometimes,” Daleo said. “He can tell my dad things that I don’t want him

to know.” Thompson feels differently. “[It’s] definitely an advantage, I’d say,” Thompson said. “I just can’t imagine what he’d be like to not hear like, oh you look just like Kristin, or just like Sarah ... it’s not so much an identity, but just association.”

Sophomore Jim Geddes walks into the main gym on a Friday night with a look of disgust. After looking forward to a night of joy and excitement, he is instead filled with gloom and sorrow due to the empty student section. “When I look into the halls I not only see a lack of school spirit, but I see a dying tradition that Rochester has been known for since the dawn of time,” Geddes said. “In addition, I feel emptiness in my heart where school spirit used to reside.” The S.O.F., Rochester’s student section, consists of spirited fans that enjoy watching their fellow Falcons who compete in sporting events. Many students seem to have lost interest in going to events since football season, according to junior Mitch McFee. “I think the atmosphere of the football games is more enjoyable,” McFee said. “Also, the basketball games are during weekdays and students don’t have time to attend.” Junior Trevor Johnson agrees with McFee and thinks that fans are likely to go when crowds will be larger. “People look for more exciting experiences with lots of people, but not many people come to the basketball games besides the Crosstown Showdown,” Johnson said.

Some students blame the socalled lack of spirit on the dearth of success from Rochester’s teams. “Winning would be nice, but, if that’s not likely, then the fans will have to be more supportive,” McFee said. Junior Zac Mitchell feels very strongly about the topic and remains an active supporter of the S.O.F. “The S.O.F. is awesome,” Mitchell said. “Students who come to games should cheer with the S.O.F. The bigger the S.O.F. the better.” School spirit is a very important part of the school. It gives the fans nights to look forward to, and some athletes, like Geddes, thrive on it. “School spirit helps the student body become more involved in their community and school,” Geddes said. “Students are proud to be a spirited school.” Whether the school is slacking or not, many students feel spirit has decreased since football season. Members of the S.O.F. like Geddes want that to change and need the help of the entire school. “The S.O.F. is the heart and soul of Rochester’s spirit,” Geddes said. “When the heart breaks down all of the organs stop functioning. This causes a gradual decay of the life or in this case school spirit.”

Talon the

Outside the Nest


Fire Destroys Home

March 2010

What started out as everyday dinner preparation turned into devastation as a pan of oil caught fire and destroyed sophomore Breannalyn Pearces’s home and damaged the three next to her on February 22. “There was a pan of oil on the stove,” Pearce said. “ I left the heat on the burner and it burst into flames as I turned it off. I went to ask my mom what to do when we heard shattering as the long, oblong light in the kitchen fell. It literally melted the plastic covering, and once the light fell, we knew we had to get out.” In the moments that followed, Pearce was left to decide what to take with her and what to leave as she evacuated her burning home. “I grabbed my cell phone, grabbed my shoes from the back door, saw my ipod and grabbed what I could see, but I didn’t get my purse or my cats,” Pearce said. “I found my cat later. She died in the bathroom because she locked herself in and couldn’t get out. It’s just sad. She was only a year old.” A few days after the fire, the Pearces were able to go inside and survey the damage. “The entire townhouse is burned,” Pearce said. “The damage is so severe that the only thing that is recognizable in my room is my bed.” Along with essentials such as clothing and food, the Pearces are also looking to replace everyday items that many take for granted. “The main thing we need right now is clothes,” Mrs. Deborah Pearce said. “Right now we’re homeless. Once we find an apartment, we’ll focus on getting items for that, but we’re looking for anybody who has things to donate. You don’t realize until you start doing everyday tasks what you need. We just need everything.” It is the replacement process that is causing the most trouble, however. From the smaller items like dishes and silverware, to the larger, more expensive ones like furniture, the Pearce’s have been forced to figure out what to replace and how they are going to go about doing so. “Everything I try to do seems like there’s a problem with it,” Mrs. Pearce said. “Nothing’s going easy. Everything [has been frustrating]. Just trying to get back everything we lost. The worst part was trying to get back in the house to see if anything was salvageable.” Breannalyn agreed. “You don’t think it can get any worse,” Pearce said. “Every day something bad happens … it’s just

On February 22, sophomore Breannalyn Pearce’s townhouse suffered from a devastating fire that destroyed everything they have and the three surrounding houses. Photo by Amy Mackens

Caution tape surrounds the area around the affected homes days after it happened. The clean-up process has since begun and rebuilds are expected to begin soon. Photo by Amy Mackens

The back view of the townhomes after the fire. Photo by Amy Mackens

Every part of the Pearces’ house was burned and destroyed; the fire spread through the attics of the other townhomes, causing damage to the upper sections of the buildings. Photo by Amy Mackens

one thing after another.” Currently, the Pearces are staying at the Concord Inn as they try to figure out where they are going next. One thing they are certain about, however, is the fact that they will not be going back to where they came from. “There’s no way we could go back,” Breannalyn said. “We can’t

afford it.” Mrs. Pearce explains the situation further. “We were basically forced out,” she said. “We were told we would have to pay double rent [for the unit that was damaged as well as the one that we’d be living in], and that’s just not an option right now.” Although frustrating and difficult

Breannalyn and Mrs. Pearce are currently looking for people to help move furniture in and out of their home. Interested students should contact either Breannalyn at 248-709-2664 or Mrs. Deborah Pearce at 248-764-8540. to handle sometimes, the Pearces are coping with the situation. Structural damage aside, no lives were lost to the fire. It is this significant fact that Mrs. Pearce emphasizes above anything else. “Me and my daughter made it out safe,” Mrs. Pearce said. “Everything else is replaceable. People aren’t. As bad as it was, nobody was injured.”

However, for Breannalyn, it can be difficult to maintain that sense of rationality when looking back on the experience as a whole. “It’s kind of bad watching your house burn down,” Pearce said. “You can’t understand it unless you watch it happen. You don’t have anything. No cameras, no pictures – I basically lost the last 16 years of

Students with diverse backgrounds Students whose families have various cultural backgrounds strive to preserve their traditions and unique lifestyles

It is the middle of winter and sophomore Claudia Orzoco’s spirit is lifted as she dances to salsa. The vibes of her tropical Mexican homeland flood through her body and she is overjoyed. “Whenever I get so down because of Michigan’s weather or because I miss my country, I dance salsa and it helps my sorrow go away,” Orzoco said. “Although I do like America, I am happy to move back to Mexico once I am done with school.”  Orzoco and her family moved to America from Mexico two years ago, and they have been successful so far in preserving their heritage. “Food-wise, we always go to

Mexican markets to buy the different ingredients,” Orzoco said. “We only speak Spanish at home, and we hang out with other friends from Mexico. We also have many cultural Mexican paintings in our home.” Senior Mike Hansen from Germany has adapted well to American culture and his family has not preserved their native German culture as much as other immigrants. “I moved to America when I was 13, and we do speak German at home, but my mom is from America so we are Americanized as well,” Hansen said. ”As for preserving our traditions, we have not, because we do not want to live in the past.”   On the other hand, sophomore Farha Hanif takes great pride in preserving her traditions and culture. “We moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh when I was two so my sister and I could have a better education,” Hanif said. “Even though we have moved so far away, we still speak Bangla, eat the traditional foods which are similar to Indian food, and have traditional celebrations.”

Sophomores Farha Hanif, whose family is originally Bangladesh, and Andrea Saluzzo, whose family is from Argentina, are two of the many students at RHS whose families come from unique and diverse cultural backgrounds. Photo by Simonne Lakamper

Sophomore Aggy Rak remains close to her parent’s homeland Poland in similar ways. “We only speak Polish at home,” Rak said. “My family also celebrates Christmas and Easter with Polish traditions.” Rak’s favorite aspect of having

immigrant parents is that she has grown up with a broader perspective of the world. “I see things from two different perspectives,” Rak said. “I am interested with more of the world because I do not just limit myself to one country.”

Orzoco feels similar sentiments. “I think people who only live in one place their whole lives do not have a real angle on the reality of life in a different country,” Orzoco said. “Also, it makes people oblivious to how people with different cultures interact daily.”



Talon the

March 2010

Nutrition: you are what you eat Sophomore Zachary Neeson gets in line to buy his lunch. He puts a slice of pizza on his tray, then adds fries and drenches his salad in ranch dressing. Pleased with his meal, he heads down to eat. “It’s harder to eat healthy because there’s so much junk food available in the world,” Neeson said. Sophomore Sarah Rich agrees that it may be harder for one to eat healthy. “Junk food is more widely available,” Rich said. “Healthy food must be tracked down.” Despite this, Rich tries to be a healthy eater. “I do my best to avoid junk food and pick the healthiest choice possible,” Rich said. “I try to always choose organic food over processed.” Neeson feels that

perhaps one reason teens do not eat healthy food is they feel it doesn’t look appetizing. “Some healthy food looks nasty,” Neeson said. “Stuff like broccoli, pomegranates and celery.” If one, like Neeson, feels that things like broccoli, pomegranates, and celery, then they should make sure to still get correct nutrition. “You should try to take vitamins as a back-up in case you don’t have a perfectly healthy diet every day,” Dr. Ellen Curreri, D.C., of the Chiropractic Health Center said. “Some days you eat worse than

others, so the vitamins ensure that you have the proper nutrition that you need.” If one does not get the correct nutrition, there are serious side effects that could ensue. “On one end of the spectrum, you have obesity,” Dr. Francesca Soliven, M.D., of the Sterling

Heights Henry Ford Pediatric clinic said. “On the other end are eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.” Being obese or having an eating disorder can have negative effects on one’s health. “There are different effects on your body,” Dr. Soliven said. “Obesity affects your organs, and it’s easy to become deficient. The biggest deficiency I see is [of] Vitamin D because we don’t get a lot of sun light. If you don’t drink milk, which is rich in Vitamin D, then you [may] become deficient.” To avoid becoming deficient in any one thing, Dr. Soliven recommends following the food pyramid and watching the amount of each food group consumed. Foods teacher Mrs. Joyce Russell agrees. “Don’t totally avoid anything,” Mrs. Russell said. “But eat in moderation and follow the food pyramid.” Rich feels it may be hard to follow the food pyramid if students are tempted by

unhealthy choices at school. “The school has three places where you can get either pizza, Boscos or fries, and only one place that is considered healthy,” Rich said. “If the school got a better variety of healthy choices, more kids would eat healthy.” Although students may not choose the healthy options, the school has strict guide lines they must follow in regards to what food they are allowed to sell to students. “Over the years the lunches have gotten healthier,” cafeteria worker Maryann Ziegler said. “We make more salads, cook in zero percent Trans fat oil, and are not allowed to sell pop or candy.” Although Neeson feels that unhealthy eating may be related to the school, he believes that it’s not cause soley by lunch options. “It’s because of the vending machines and that students can get whatever they want,” Neeson said. Over anything else, Neeson feels it is a lack of education that keeps kids eating unhealthy. “Kids don’t know how to eat healthy,” Neeson said. “They just grab whatever they see.” Sophomore Zachary Neeson eats his lunch, although it may not be the healthiest choice available. Photo by Melanie Sweet

Why students swear Senior Janice Fung hears the bell ending class. She rises from her chair and heads to the door. After reaching the hallway she tells a friend nearby, “I did wicked awesome on that test.” While some might replace the word wicked with a swear word, Fung doesn’t see a reason why. “I don’t need to [swear],” Fung said.” But I don’t have a problem with people who do. I’m just too bland for such colorful words. Though one should be mindful of whom they are around when they swear.” Sophomore Ally Kane agreed with Fung. “I don’t feel the need to,” Kane said. “I don’t care and I don’t see why. There’s no reason.” Though a reason to swear might be missing, when one walks through the hallways, it’s almost impossible not to hear a curse word or two. “Everyone swears b e c a u s e everyone e l s e does it,” freshman A l e x B o y e r said. “I’m influenced by my friends and my parents.” Others swear just because it’s what they are used to. “Swearing is part of my language and what I’m accustomed to,” sophomore Helen Huetteman said. “It just comes out, especially if I’m in a bad mood.” Most, like Huetteman, would admit to swearing when their tempers are boiling. “Sometimes it’s a response to anger and frustration,” counselor Mrs. Kelly Messing-Mirabito said. “That’s when I see it most.” While Fung doesn’t choose to swear, she sees why kids do. “It could be rage or from casual conversing, to anger,” Fung said. “Some see swearing as no big deal, using it everyday and some see it as a way to express pent up anger.” Boyer thinks people swear fora different reason.

“It’s from friends,” Boyer said. “And the environment in which they live in, and whether their parents do it or not.” Although Kane doesn’t swear, she doesn’t mind if other people do. “They’re just words, they don’t mean anything,” Kane said. Heutteman seems to agree. “It’s not that big of a deal,” Heutteman said. “It’s not physically hurting anyone. Swearing isn’t bad; get over it.” Some think swearing is good, but not all the time. “It’s an issue, but not a major one,” Mrs. Messing-Mirabito said. “There are bigger issues. It’s ok [to swear] if there is some moderation. I mean, one can’t go through the grocery store swearing.” While some might use parents as influences on choosing whether to swear or not, others disagree. “We’re at age when we’re allowed more

Graphic by Max Kleiner

freedom,” Fung said. “When one’s younger, parents have a tighter grip on you. And when one is older, people try to act more mature.” On the other hand, Heutteman thinks high school students swear because of the world around them. “Kids that swear get influence from TV and media,” Heutteman said. “Teens watch MTV, VH1 and shows like ‘Southpark’ that include a lot of swearing.” After Fung finishes grading herself on the test she just took, a friend offers her congratulations. They proceed to their next classes, having a conversation that’s swear-word-free. And though there are many different influences and reasons a high school student does or doesn’t swear, one thing seems to be clear. “As humans we use words to express ourselves and swear words are just that, words,” Fung said. “Heck, any word could be good or bad since it’s not about the word, but the emotions attached to them.”

Think before you ink English teacher Ms. Jean Wood had been planning her tattoo since high school. She endured the anxiety of waiting as well as the pain to receive the puzzle piece that will now rest on her wrist forever. “[My sister and I] were watching the movie ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ and one of the characters said that at the beginning of time the world was broken into pieces and it was our job to put them back together,” Ms. Wood said. “Another character suggests that maybe we are the pieces. So we went with that idea and decided to get puzzle pieces that fit together.” One major problem occurs when tattoos are not as well thought through. “Most of all, I would want [people considering getting a tattoo] to consider how long the tattoo will be on their body,” Ms. Wood said. “So, I would really encourage them to think about whether they want that butterfly on their lower back when they are 50.” People with tattoos don’t recommend getting a tattoo unless a person is committed. “Getting a tattoo is a personal decision,” Ms. Wood said. “It’s really up to the individual. But, I would advise anyone who wants to get a tattoo of the name of his or her boyfriend or girlfriend to reconsider. It’s just never a good idea.” Although sometimes misunderstood, many people with tattoos spent time to plan what they wanted, and often times, tattoos have hidden meanings one may not get just by looking at them. “[My tattoo] says ‘Constance’ on my wrist,” senior Melanie Haberkamp said. “It’s my middle name and my grandma’s name. All my life I’ve loved the style and look of them, at least the ones that mean something and show a statement. I really wanted to get my grandma’s name on my wrist because

Senior Melanie Haberkamp had her middle name, Constance, tattood on her wrist. Meaningful names may be only one reason for one to get a tattoo. Photo by Katie Ziraldo

Senior Calandra Dixon has a tattoo that says “no regrets” on it. Inspirational messages such as this one may be another reason to get a tattoo. Photo Courtesy of Calandra Dixon.

Senior Calandra Dixon also has a tattoo of a flower and a name on her shoulder, which is dedicated to her late grandmother. Photo Courtesy of Calandra Dixon

she means the world to me.” Some people considering getting a tattoo like not only the meaning behind it, but also the ability tattoos have to represent who a person is on the inside. “I don’t currently have one, but I have planned on getting one done for my 18th birthday,” senior Jordan Carlson said. “It’s another way to express who you are by the image you have on you. I think it’s cool to display art on your body.” But when it comes to having a tattoo on your body forever, English teacher Mr. Andre Harding sees it in a different light. “I thought it was cool when I was 21,” Mr. Harding said. “I now realize that tats are self esteem boosters that some of us think we need. That’s why most of us get them.” Although some, like Mr. Harding, grow out of their tattoos, others cherish it forever, regardless of the pain it can cause. “I was really nervous before I got my tattoo, so I was expecting the worst,” Ms. Wood said.

“However, after all of the waiting, the process wasn’t too painful. The anxiety was actually the worst part. It means a lot to me.” But as far as physical pain goes, certain places hurt worse than others. “It’ll hurt, obviously. Depends on where,” Carlson said. “The most painful places are generally the areas with a dense concentration of nerves or wherever the skin and bone are close together.” Despite the pain, tattoos are said to be addictive. “Some say you can’t stop at one,” Mr. Harding said. “And too much of anything is never good.” Regardless of what the tattoo is and what it represents, there is one thing many people agree on—it should have some meaning behind it. “It was something that I had thought about for a long time,” Ms. Wood said. “It wasn’t a spur of the moment thing and it is something that really has meaning for me. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Talon the

March 2010


‘Alice in Despite the critics’ blatant disapproval, “Alice in Wonderland” is an undeniable hit

Critic’s opinion aside, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” is as much a visual masterpiece as it is a solid piece of storytelling. With stunning landscapes and a decent script, “Alice” takes viewers on an hour-and-48-minute-long adventure in the depths of Wonderland. It is a well-known fact that all movies are subjected to critics. It is also a known fact that these critics are particularly negative. In the case of “Alice,” these movie-destroyers seemed to focus on three main points: the plot was too slow, the characters weren’t like the originals at all, and that the 3D was horrific. According to critics, there is a world of wrong within this movie. However, there is indeed a world of right. As described by disgruntled movie-goers, Burton’s “Alice” was an ambling, slow-moving train wreck of a movie. What is partially to blame for this is the fact that the hype for this movie started almost a year ago. The first trailer was released

in July, and from that point to March, little else was leaked. People drew conclusions that it would be just like previous “Alice” movies, and it is not. Burton’s “Alice” cannot be compared to any preceding movie or even the books. The story to this “Alice” is a sort of alternate ending to the books. Only the characters and setting can be compared, but not the story. Granted, the plot was weakly developed, it was not so terribly slow that it became a “chore” to watch. This “Alice,” while not entirely structurally sound, is undeniably entertaining. A second complaint of bitter critics is that Burton has reshaped the familiar characters of Wonderland into strangers. Admittedly, the characters in this film are more “adult” than the ones in the previous Disney movie: a Gaelic-accented Hatter with a particularly gruesome past, and a doormouse with a penchant for removing eyeballs. Again, these characters, while based on the originals, have been adapted to fit the plot. They are crafted to be desperate, in need of change and radical, and they should be. It wouldn’t make sense for Tim Burton to completely remake a movie that has been remade 14 times since 1903. And as far as the 3D goes, the purpose of a multi-dimensional film has given a bad name. When the term “3D” comes to mind,


Johnny Depp stars in “Alice in Wonderland.” (Courtesy Disney Enterprises, Inc./MCT)

one thinks of objects or characters randomly popping out of the screen for a lame gag. In this film, the 3D served a more aesthetic purpose. The beautifully rendered world of Wonderland literally is immersed all around the viewers. It gives one the feeling of being in the environment, as opposed to being a nuisance. Grossing more than 116 million dollars in its first week, which, by the way, is more than “Avatar’s” first week, the critics seem to have missed the mark in “Alice.” And as far as magical 3D worlds go, Wonderland beats Pandora any day.

Mia Wasikowska stars in “Alice in Wonderland.” (Courtesy Disney Enterprises, Inc./MCT)

RATS take a bite out of “Dracula” Vampires have lost their luster. Once fearsome creatures, they now have become the things of teen culture: angsty and “misunderstood.” With this injustice in mind, the RATS hope to restore Vampires their gruesome fame. “I think when people think of ‘Dracula,’ they think vampire, and then they think ‘Twilight,’” junior Mitch McFee said. “So when people hear that we’re going to be doing ‘Dracula’ for our spring play, I think they’re not going to be expecting the type of show that we’re putting on. I think that when they see it, they’ll be pleasantly surprised.” With this updated version of the original “Dracula” story, the cast and crew plan to put on a show worth watching. “‘Dracula’ is by far the most tech heavy show I have ever been in or seen at the high school level,” McFee said. “There’s going to be a lot to look for, a lot of big intense action scenes. This show is definitely going to be exciting to watch and perform.” However, what separates this show from other RATS productions is its subject matter.

From left to right: sophomore Garret Hubbard, and juniors Brady Crites, Kristina Kim and Nick Dauphin play “Party quirks,” one of the team’s favorite improv games. Photo Courtesy of Carla Ramirez Freshman Eddie Schodowski (left), and juniors Brittany Taylor and John Haga read through their lines during a rehearsal. Photos by Max Kleiner

“This s h o w has a very dark story, more drama and more action scenes than many of the shows that have been done here,” director Mr. Frank Gollon said. “There are still some elements of humor, but even still, it’s not necessarily a show for a younger audience, it’s more for teens, the whole ‘Twilight’ group.” While this show won’t exactly be suitable for younger kids, older viewers should be able to take something from the show. “I think anyone would like this production,” junior Alex Reid said. “It’s got everything: romance, mystery, horror and gore. This show is very different from what we normally do, but [the cast and crew] are all very excited and hope that the rest of the school is, too. I think that anyone who comes to see ‘Dracula’ will be able to walk away liking at least some, if not all of [the show].”

DRACULA SHOW DATES April 22 7:00 p.m.

April 23 8:00 p.m.

April 24 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Tickets will be $7 for students and adults, $6 for seniors and children

Improv team to compete in Ferndale After a successful first year on the improv team, junior Brady Crites prepares for the biggest show of the year, an improv tournament in Ferndale, Michigan. “Our roster has made a lot of changes,” Crites said. “But we have definitely grown closer. It feels more like a family than a team.” With the improv team performing on March 31, they have a couple of days to prepare to go up against 15 other Improv teams from around the area. “We would be part of history,” junior and co-captain Carla Ramirez said. “This [$1,000 prize] is the biggest prize for a comedy tournament in Michigan history.” So far this year, the Rochester Improv team has had two performances, which have seemingly measured up to the potential. “Being a member last year’s improv team, I really wanted to get to see a show this year,” former student and former improv co-captain Troy Reedy said. “I know they made a lot of changes this year, but they are really on their game.” The members get to embark on an improve journey down to 9 mile road, and perform at “Go Comedy”, a comedy club in Ferndale, Michigan. “We set to perform at a venue other than

Rochester High School, sophomore Sarah McEneaney said. “This will really promote our skills to Rochester residents.” At “Go Comedy” each nigh, there are two different improv teams that go head-to-head, and the winner returns to perform another show. “This tournament will prove our skills,” junior Michael Lordon said. “It will show that we can compete with adults. We are the underdogs in this tournament.” Teams from all around southern Michigan are attending this improv tournament. Junior Nick Dauphin is worried, but prepared to surprise the audience, as well as the other improv teams. “All of the other competitors are adults,” Dauphin said. “I’m a little worried about the difference in experience.” On March 31, Rochester’s Dead R.A.T.S (Rochester Alliance of Theatrical Students) Society will compete against Magma/ Ricochet, an improv team out of Ferndale. “We have an advantage over the other teams,” Ramirez said. “We’re the only team from Rochester, and we are lucky to have such a variety of talent in the school of Rochester.” With just a few more days to go, Crites practices for perfection and hopes for a victory. “I feel much more confident now than I did at the beginning of the year,” Crites said. “I hope our young age doesn’t hurt us.”

6 Opinion Staff Editorial:

Talon the

March 2010

Class ranking system change is a slow process The Talon

With discussions of a no-ranking system underway, it is hard not to take notice of how lengthy the process is. If anything wants to be altered or reviewed it needs to go through multiple drafts and be approved by the school board. However, what is the point in delaying a change that most everybody sees as being necessary? It is frustrating to see a delay in progress when discussing an improvement to the top scholar selection process that would so clearly benefit the students. As of right now, Rochester Community Schools decides which students are the valedictorians based on grade point average (GPA) alone. What this does is guarantee any student who is able to maintain a 4.0 throughout high school valedictorian status. This is flawed in the sense that students who take more challenging classes are less likely to be rewarded for their efforts, whereas students with easier schedules are more likely to get the easy A and ultimately, have a better chance at receiving the valedictorian title. The salutatorian and top scholars are also chosen based on GPA, and usually it is the students with the top 15 GPAs who are honored. This proposed system would eliminate the titles of valedictorian and salutatorian and would instead honor top scholars based on criteria that takes grade point average, ACT scores and number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken into consideration. With this new system, students who take the harder, more challenging schedule will be rewarded for their efforts. Not only does this allow for a fairer way of classifying students, but it also gives them the opportunity to take the harder classes without fear

What not to do at a stoplight

of their grade dropping, a factor that currently causes many students to avoid taking the challenging courses. Many are excited for the prospect of this change, but what is the point when they will not be affected by it at all? The main problem with implementing the new system starting with the class of 2014 is the fact that everyone knows how dated the current system is. There is little to no credibility surrounding current class ranks when some of the students at the top are only there for getting easy A’s. Some parents argue that it is not fair to change the grading system halfway through their child’s high school career stating the fact that had their child known about the changes he or she would have made different decisions and taken the stronger schedule from the start. However, the strength of any valedictorian, salutatorian or top scholar candidate should be fairly high from the start, considering the work ethic and expectations that are placed on the top students in each grade. Also, if these students are truly concerned about their prospects of becoming valedictorian, salutatorian or a top scholar, they still have the opportunity to take more AP classes and improve their ranking. When discussing a switch that is for the better of the students and the district as a whole, there is no point in forcing current students to deal with a mediocre way of handling class rank. Instead of changing the system beginning with the class of 2014, it should be implemented for all students at the beginning of next year. The problem has been acknowledged and the solution has been widely accepted, so the sooner the change is made the better.

Editor in Chief Jordan Hubbard Copy Editor Emily Hayward

Feature Editor Madison Reitzel

The slowness of the process is unnecessary and it cheats the other grades out of the opportunity.

They should work faster because class rank is important to students and the college application process.

Simonne Lakamper, sophomore

Aaron Kuhn, sophomore

Sports Editors Aaron Kuhn Steven McConnell Graphics Editor Max Kleiner Photo Story Editor Amy Mackens

If change is to happen correctly, then it can’t happen immediately. It has to take time.

Max Kleiner, junior

Circulation Manager Caitlyn Kuskowski

If they are to change the grading system, then they need the time to make sure they do it right.

Chris Saber, junior

Entertainment brings controversey Out of wedlock babies show cultural changes

Millions of “The Office” fans tuned in Thursday March 4 to see the birth of the popular characters Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley’s baby. Although the two characters have now wed, in the season five finale, the engaged couple discovered that Pam was unexpectedly pregnant. Actors John Krasinski (Halpert) and Jenna Fischer (Beesley) have acknowledged the controversy saying that they were “shocked” when they found out Pam was pregnant before they got married, but that it was “such a real situation that many people find themselves in.” But due to delicate treatment of the topic as well as closeness to reality, the show managed to make the story work in an appropriate way. Various media has expressed some concern about celebrity babies conceived out of wedlock in situations such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. However, Pitt and Jolie’s family building without marriage was not an accident, proven through the adoption of two of their children. The couple has shown no movement towards marriage but continue to build on their family life, teaching today’s teen population that it is no longer necessary to be married to have children. In films such as “Juno,” premarriage pregnancies are presented to teenaged viewers in humorous, lighthearted ways. The Oscar-winning film earned $231 million, becoming the highest grossing film according to Fox Searchlight Picture’s history, impacting teenagers across the globe. One could argue that this would project the wrong idea to young teenagers, but promoting it is a good thing. Another television situation dealing with pregnancy out of wedlock was the popular show ending in May of 2007 “Gilmore Girls.” The show followed

Opinion Editor Arthur Lee

Website Designer Drew Hoffman

This 500-word column was inspired by an episode of “Spongebob Square Pants.” Feed your snail Make a sandwich Light candles Swat a bee Call your friends Karate chop the TV Shoot the Breeze with the mailman Fall asleep Chinese fire drill Texting Knit a sweater Throw a party Go bowling Box someone Tame a lion Read a book Write a novel Solve a mystery Shoot a wild animal Shoot anything Get married Chase a butterfly Go jelly fishing Annoy Squidward Bake a cake Watch a movie Buy some candy Do the evolution of dance dance Do any dance Run a marathon Have a baby Raise a family Go to the bathroom Play a board game Drink some tea Eat some crumpets Play the trombone Be British Listen to any song from Jordan Hubbard’s iPod Eat beef jerky Search for big foot Walk your dog Put on a show Run the RED LIGHT

Entertainment Editor Katie Ziraldo

Pregnant Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their children Zahara and Pax Jolie Pitt have fun on the beach of the Bono’s house during their vacation in Eze-sur-Mer, South of France, on May 04, 2008. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM

the story of mother Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter—whom she had at the age of sixteen—Rory Gilmore. Rory is challenged throughout the sevenseason series due to her father’s lack of involvement in her life. Although the series addresses the challenges Lorelai faced raising a child on her own, the strong relationship between the two main characters would imply that not all affects are negative. However, “The Office” treated this situation differently and delicately. Although the expecting-parents were excited, they also faced difficult situations due to other characters’ less-accepting tendencies, as well as Pam’s fear of giving birth and raising a child. But, the couple’s modern-day relationship was not only shown by a baby conceived out of marriage. In season four, prior the engagement, the couple moved bought a house and

moved in together. Many years ago this may have been looked down on just as the pre-marriage baby is today, but as time has passed, television critics as well as viewers have become more accepting of modern-day relationships and television writers taking gutsy leaps into very real situations, however unconventional or ‘frowned-upon’ they may be. Overall, Jim and Pam’s baby may have some sort of impact on teen audiences. But what people should recognize is the positive influence it could have, implying that mistakes do happen but you must follow through if they do. In the case of pre-marriage babies, whether it is on purpose or not, following through is key. And in the end, true love conquered its fears and Jim and Pam were able to overcome the challenges they faced.

Staff Writers James Giardina Simonne Lakamper Kristen Pop Chris Saber Melanie Sweet Adviser Ms. Julia Ridgway

Mission Statement The Talon presents an open forum for student expression to be used by the Rochester High School community to promote and express thought and action. The stories, opinions, and bylined content in The Talon do not necessarily represent and should not be interpreted as the views of the Rochester Community School Board of Education or any of its staff, faculty, or employees. Unless otherwise noted, all stories and opinions expressed here are the views of The Talon staff which is comprised of students in the Journalism II class of Rochester High School. The Talon believes it is its duty and right to inform, educate, influence and entertain its readers and will do this by exercising the First Amendment Rights as defined in the Constitution of the United States of America. The Talon is devoted to professional journalism and fairness in all reporting. The Talon will adhere to a standard of responsible journalism and will refrain from publishing material which is legally libelous, obscene or could disrupt the operation of the school.

Letters The Talon accepts letters to the editor from all concerned parties. The Talon reserves the right to screen and/or edit any and all letters for inappropriate content and length. All letters must be signed. Requests to remain anonymous will be considered by the editorial board. Mailing address: The Talon 180 S. Livernois Rd. Rochester Hills, MI 48307 E-mail:

Talon the

March 2010

March Madness:

From sleepers to favorites

Freshman John Doroshewitz watches the time run out in the 2009 college basketball National Championship game on April 6 as his beloved Michigan State Spartans fall to North Carolina. Though proud of Michigan State, he was disappointed with the finish. “Michigan State had a successful season,” Doroshewitz said. “I obviously wanted the championship, but I can’t complain.” March Madness is the nickname for the postseason for 65 college basketball teams. They play hard all season hoping to build their resumes so the tournament committee will send them an invite. “I really like March Madness,” junior Michael Lordon said. “It is much better than the NCAA football bowl system.” College basketball offers an opportunity for more teams to make a name for themselves on a national stage, whereas the college football bowl system allows only two teams to compete for a championship. “My favorite for this year is Kansas,” teacher Mr.. Adam Clyne said. “They have the most senior leadership and are a very deep team.” Many college basketball fans look forward to the famed “Selection Sunday,” which is the day the bracket is announced. The fans then fill out their brackets and try to predict a winner over and over until they are finally satisfied. “Of course I make a bracket,” Mr. Clyne said. “That’s what the fun of the tournament is. You follow the teams and it’s the only sport you can do that for.” When fans create their brackets they not only figure out their favorites, but also pick their upsets and sleeper teams which are the underdogs. “My sleeper is Vanderbilt,” Doroshewitz said. “In the few games I’ve seen from them they showed signs of [being] a good team.” While many fans love mostly everything about March Madness, there are some NCAA coaches believe expanding the field from 64 to 96 is necessary, others don’t see why. “I would make no change at all,” Doroshewitz said. “Don’t expand the field to 96 or 128[teams], because 65 is perfect.”


Varsity girls soccer has high expectations Although junior Laura Ivezaj has a shooting pain riveting through her knee, she continues to dive around the 18-yard-box to keep the soccer ball out of the net. As the varsity goalie, she is determined to work her hardest in order to help the team succeed. “My individual hope for this season is to help the Falcons out in net,” Ivezaj said. “I want to improve myself as a goalkeeper; I’m going to try to become quicker and save everything that comes my way.” Since it is the beginning of a new season, the team has thought about its objectives. “As a team, we hope to win our league,” Ivezaj said. “We also want to advance past districts this year and into the playoffs.” It appears that in order to achieve these goals, the team will have to work hard. “At every practice, we need to work our hardest and prepare to compete in each game,” senior Laura Kobylczyk said. “We’re going to be ready to go into each game being aggressive.” Although the work may not always be easy, many believe that it will be worth it. “If we work hard enough, I definitely think we can do well this season,” coach Todd Heugh said. “We have a lot of players who are very skilled individually, but if we can all work together, then I really think that we can go far this year.” The players seem to agree that teamwork will be a key component to victory this year. “We all have to act like a team and be as one,” senior and cocaptain Haley Burtraw said. “The drama and people bossing each other around really needs to stay away this year; otherwise, we will not have a successful season. One of my goals as a captain is to bring everyone together and always encourage my teammates.” Pulling together as a team may be difficult, especially at the beginning of the season. “The hardest part of the season might be getting used to new players,” Burtraw said. “We’ll have to figure out how they play on the

Senior Lexie Apel heads the soccer ball away from other players during girls varsity soccer try-outs. Photo by Steven McConnell

Junior Riayane Williams dribbles down the sideline by freshman Sarah Egbert. Photo by Steven McConnell

Rochester Girls Varsity Soccer Roster Coach: Todd Heugh Seniors Amanda Anton Alexis Apel Hillary Braun Haley Burtraw Alexis Champman Lindsay Chenoweth Briana Harris Laura Kobylczyk Carolyn Yee Juniors Chrissy Grawburg field so that we can work as a team.” If the team is able to unite, many feel that there may be no limit to what they can achieve. “I have a feeling that this is going to be one of my favorite years because of the thought of how good we could be,” Burtraw said. “There is a lot of young talent joining our team this year.” The high hopes that players have for the season seems to be accompanied by excitement as well. “The main reason why I’m so excited is because I love big games,” Ivezaj said. “Playing under the lights at home when we have a good crowd is always fun.” Others seem to be most anticipating the memories that are created off of the field. “The best part of the season will be eating at the pasta parties and having our team sleepover,” junior Jessica Nieman said. “I always have

Laura Ivezaj Jessica Nieman Sara Sikorski Riayane Williams Sophomores McKenzie Chilcote Maria Lepore Abby Rawling Freshmen Madeline Chilcote Jennifer Goethals Stephanie Sikorski

Senior Lexie Apel dribbles down the field in attack during varsity soccer try-outs. Photo by Steven McConnell

a great time hanging with the team.” However, teams like Adams, Eisenhower, and Troy Athens, who have all done well in the past, may present challenges. “There are going to be some tougher games for us this season,” Ivezaj said. “[Eisenhower] went to state finals last year, so they’re going to be very strong when we play them in April. Athens will be difficult as well; they’re our biggest rival in the league and they always have a really good soccer program.” Despite the difficult teams that the Falcons may face, many players hold high hopes. “As always, the competition will be tough,” senior and co-captain Amanda Anton said. “Our league always ends up having a difficult schedule. As a captain, I hope to enforce working hard at all practices and games. If we work toward that, I think we should do really well this

year.” Along with a hard work ethic, the Falcons may bring an ulterior motive into their game against Troy Athens. “I really want us to beat Athens on their home field,” Anton said. “We haven’t won on that field since my freshman year, and this year, it’s time for that to change.” With all of the team sleepovers, tough games, and hard work, it seems as if this season will be one to remember. “This season is definitely going to be different from other seasons,” Ivezaj said. “We have a lot of underclassmen that will bring in positive attitudes. They will be really dedicated to the sport, which will help us perform better on the field, and the upperclassmen are determined to make one last run into the playoffs before they leave. We are going to give this season everything that we have.”

2010 Detroit Tigers are poised for success

World Series champions, Verlander wins Cy Young

Chris Saber’s Tournament Predictions Final Four:

Michigan St. v. Syracuse Baylor v. Kentucky Games are April 3 on CBS

Championship Game: Michigan St. v. Kentucky

Game is April 5 on CBS 2010 Champion:



Tigers stater Justin Verlander warms up during spring training. In 2009, Verlander led all of MLB with 269 strikeouts. Photo by JULIAN H. GONZALEZ/Detroit Free Press

TV’s at parties, bars and homes are turned all the way up. Adrenaline is flowing. Emotions are riding a rollercoaster, going up, down and through loop-de-loops. Detroiters go from jumping up and down one minute, celebrating what they think is a Tigers playoff spot, to cursing at the TV the next when the ball goes past Placido Polanco’s glove. When the final out is recorded, Detroit is disappointed, disgusted and heartbroken while watching the Minnesota Twins celebrate, mob and douse each other in champagne. The reasoning behind the mood swings and disappointment? The Tigers lost the one game play-off on October 6, against the Twins that would decide who would represent the American League (AL) Central in the playoffs. Fast forward five months and optimism, hope and belief are flowing for this year’s team. Before one hauls anyone off to the insane aslymn for beleiving in this team. First off, Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers only true slugger will be beastly. In 2010, Cabrera will show that his personal problems from the end of 2009 campaign are far behind him. Before the All Star break, Cabby will lead all of MLB with 38 homeruns, finishing the year with 76, becoming baseball’s

new single season homerun king. Along with unprecedented power, Cabrera will be stellar at first base, winning a gold glove. Taking all of this into account, he’ll be the MVP of both leagues, and to top it all off, have a batting average of .342. In the outfield, 36-year-old Magglio Ordonez will play like he never has before. Over the course of the season, Maggs will be perfect in right field, making no errors. At the dish, Ordonez will show he’s worth his 18 million dollar salary hitting 32 homers, tallying up 117 RBI’s, winning his fourth silver slugger award and finishing fourth in American League MVP voting. Joining Ordonez in the outfield, rookie Austin Jackson will play like his now New York Yankee predecessor Curtis Granderson. But better. Jackson will cover the vast outfield at Comerica Park perfectly, also winning a gold glove. With tutelage from veteran outfielder Johnny Damon, Jackson will steal 33 bases, score 108 runs and make himself a cornerstone of the team. On the rubber, ace Justin Verlander will prove to all he’s Cy Young worthy. JV will improve from his 19 wins in 2009 by winning 23 in 2010, losing only seven games. Over the course of 34 starts, Verlander will strikeout 313 batters and pitch two no-no’s, one against the Texas Rangers the other against the evil empire Yankees. Also, be sure to watch the first game of the season.

Why? JV is pitching a perfect game that day. Anyway, Verlander will win the Cy Young, and ensure he was worth the five-year contract he signed over the off season. The bullpen will be just as good. Joel Zumaya will return to 2006 form, pitching over 100 innings, consistently throwing over 100 miles per hour, and becoming the perfect set-up man for closer Jose Valverde. Out in the pen with Zumaya will be lefties Phil Coke, Fu-Te Ni, Daniel Schlereth, and Bobby Seay, among others. Combined the bullpen will go 22-3, with an earned run average of 1.43, the best in baseball. Overall, as one should be able to tell, the 2010 Tigers will go down as one of the greatest teams of all time. They’ll finish the season with 122 wins, and clinch the division the in the first week of September. In the playoffs, Detroit will sweep the Angels in three, and beat the Yankees in five to win the pennant. Moving on to the World Series, they’ll play the three-peat NL champion Philadelphia Phillies, winning in five games again. A few days after that, the city of Detroit will plan a parade down Woodward Avenue. And anyone attending will get an ear full from the people who believed, had predictions come true and have the wish of a Tigers championship finally being fulfilled. And if not, at the asylum, the only thing requested: top bunk.


Photo Story


Freshman experience Mask-making and old fashion dance help take freshmen back to the 1600’s

When freshman Emma Randall walked into her second hour class, she did not know what to expect. She was not expecting to be able to get out of her seat and learn Shakespearian dance. She was not expecting to smile and laugh with her friends as they learned different moves of a typical dance from during the1600’s. “I definitely prefer more creative assignments over traditional homework,” Randall said. “They let you be really unique and different than everyone else.” By incorporating these unique assignments into her lesson plan, English teacher Ms. Julia Ridgway was also hoping to see students who typically struggle with traditional assignments do well. “Creative assignments have been beneficial because they help break up the monotony of book work,” Ms. Ridgway said. “Expecting kids to do the exact same thing every day they come to class is unfair to kids who can’t experience success in this traditional style.” Not only did the dancing help certain students better understand the material, but it seems as though the classes were able to have fun and relate it to today’s society as well. “The Shakespearian dance has definitely been my favorite assignment so far,” Randall said. “I thought it was really cool to see how much t h e dancing style has changed from back then to the present d a y . Unlike t o d a y , Shakespearian dance doesn’t have a lot of physical contact.” Many students, like Randall, were interested in learning a dance that was much different than what they are used to. “Some of the dance moves we did were honoring your partner, circling clockwise and counterclockwise, and circling with you and your partner’s palms touching,” freshman Nicole Nahed said. “My favorite dance move was honoring your partner because it’s something that you don’t usually see.” Different parts of the dance more exciting to other students. “At the end of the dance, we were all in a circle,” Randall said. “The guys and girls had to step into and out of the circle, but at different times. It looked really cool, like a Sunburst. That was definitely my favorite part.” Along with Shakespearian dancing, the students were also given an assignment to create masks relating to “Romeo and Juliet.” “Some students are such talented artists,” Ms. Ridgway said. “I would

never know it unless I incorporated some art projects into my [lesson] plans. I know that some kids who aren’t proud of their regular homework were really excited to come in and show me their masks.” Students were allotted great amounts of freedom in making their masks. “The mask project was my favorite part of the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ unit,” freshman Weston Ritz said. “It gave me an idea of what life was like during that time, [and] the creativity of the assignment allowed me to express how I was feeling.” Some students put extra effort into their project, knowing Ms. Ridgway would be handing out awards for the following: the most original design, most colorful, most unique materials, most carefully done, wildest, funniest, and most reflective of “Romeo and Juliet.” “My mask was silver with spikes on top,” freshman Brian Palmer said. “I wanted to make it all out of duct tape so that I could win the most creative material award.” While many students seemed to love the freedom that both assignments brought, some did not. “I like traditional homework better because it’s easier,” freshman Yaseen Farooqui said. “It involves less effort.” Although the extra thinking involved in creative assignments may be difficult, some believe that is more beneficial. “Pushing kids to be creative and think outside the box


March 2010

Third-hour mask-winners include: (back row) Emma Randall, Morgan Lipinski, Jessica Bowman, Danielle Repetto, Zach Neeson; and (front row) Alicia Consolo, Sean Boeberitz, Amber Jedrusiejko, Eddie Schodowski and Troy Coleman. Photo by Ms. Julia Ridgway

Fifth-hour mask-winners include: (back row) Jacob Carl, Jacqueline Zuke, Nicole Nahed, Randy Vallie, Deontae Mitchell, Forrest Higgins; (middle row) Alyssa Wade, Samantha Main, and Terri Davis; and front row) Jasmine Johns, Catherine Long and Christian Mui-Blackmon. Photo by Ms. Julia Ridgway

DANCE STEPS 1. Honor your partner 2. Honor your corner 3. Doubles 4. Repeat 5. Circle clockwise 6. Circle counterclockwise 7. Right palms 8. Left palms 9. Gentlemen’s double 10. Ladie’s double 11. Alternative single 12. Honor your partner 13. Honor your corner

(Left) Freshman Weston Ritz took home an award for “Wildest” for this lion mask. Photo by Ms. Julia Ridgway

is important,” Ms. Ridgway said. “In the real world, there are no questions at the end of chapters in textbooks. In the real world, you are given real problems, and you have to think creatively about how to solve them.” Overall, it seems that most of the students who participated in the mask-making and the dancing truly enjoyed themselves. “I liked that we got to do something fun in class,” Randall said. “Instead of sitting and talking about the time of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, we got to actually get up and learn about it; it was really fun.”

Freshmen mask-winners in Ms. Ridgway’s second-hour include: (back row) Natalie Graham, Sarah Schedlbauer, Monique Bedford, Paulina Perez; (middle row) Sean Kosecki, Kalyn Kollie, Anne Welch, Cody Jones; and (front row) Arben Camaj, Weston Ritz, Joe Marino, and Brian Palmer. Photo by Ms. Julia Ridgway

SPrinG BREAK What’s Inside: Spring break preperations, page 2 How to stay safe, page 3 Coach Magiera Personality Profile, page 4 Q&A with senior Chelsea Wekwert and junior Laura Ivazej, page 4

The Hatchling March 2009


The March Hatchling 2009



The Hatchling March 2009

How to stay safe

Ms. Beth East enjoys La Jolla, Calif. during spring break of ‘09. Photo Courtesy of Ms. East

Spring Break Preparations

Spring Break vacations take a lot of planning and preparations. Most that go away over Spring Break spend weeks—sometimes even months—preparing and sophomore Maria Skoczylas is no exception. “I’m going to New York,” Skoczylas said. “I usually aim to start [preparing] a week before we leave. I often procrastinate until the last few days.” But senior Samantha Sobie will be preparing for much warmer weather. “I’m going to Maya Riviera, Mexico [and] we are staying at the Barceló Maya Tropical and Colonial,” Sobie said. “I will be going tanning to prep my skin and will also be going out to buy new bathing suits for the wonderful weather.” But those who tan, like Sobie, aren’t simply concerned about looking tan. “You want your vacation experience to be as carefree and worry free as possible,” Sobie

“[Spring Break] can be an

said. “Prepping your skin helps it get used to the sun rays it will be getting. You don’t want to get burnt on vaca.” Planning for vacations often takes a lot of thought and consideration. “[Planning for Spring Break] can be chaotic,” Skoczylas said. “We go to see family so we buy food to bring them, as well as presents to show our appreciation for them letting us visit.” But the chaos is worth it in the eyes of many students. “I think it’s a big deal for seniors because it’s their last break from high school,” Skoczylas said. “So they want to make it memorable one last time with their high school friends.” But regardless of what one does to get ready, some amount of prep goes into any vacation, especially one as important as Spring Break. “In my opinion you have to be ready for anything that may come your way,” Skoczylas said. “That’s why I bring so much. If there’s a blizzard, I’m set. If there’s a heat wave, I’m good.”

10 Things Not To Forget 1. Phone Charger 6. First Aid Kit 7. GPS/Maps 2. License & 8. Toiletries Registration 9. Music/iPod 3. Safe Money 10. Favorite 4. Clothes Pillow & Snacks 5. Sunblock

somewhere and gotten drunk and done something they shouldn’t have,” senior Derek Miller said. “But we’re trying to prevent that With spring break fast-approaching and from happening, or at least we are assuming summer vacation trailing not far behind, now it won’t.” is the season for teenagers to take advantage That last statement may be the biggest of their new-found privileges which may lead issue in spring break dangers, when students to a mistake they regret. Thousands of high assume it can’t happen to them. And there are schoolers and college kids across the country more consequences than people think. are essentially given complete freedom to do “You can damage personal relationships, whatever they want as well as reputations in a foreign state and and self esteem,” sometimes a foreign Mary Ann Fassnacht country, and that of the RAHCC said. does not always end “Some might break well. According to laws, resulting in legal the Rochester Auburn problems and a record. Hills Community Some mistakes may be Coalition (RAHCC), financially costly.” this doesn’t always Legal problems can have to be the case. result in even more “It can be of an issue if the trip an opportunity to is somewhere outside strengthen family of the U.S. Trying to ties and friendships,” come home from an Evelyn Van Sloten of out-of-country jail the RAHCC said. “To would not be a fun have experiences that foreign adventure. All may influence their of this can be prevented career and lifestyle though; it only takes a choices. We want little preparation. students to make the “When going away most of their time with friends parents either locally or away or other trusted adults by having fun, but should be monitoring in doing so to avoid and supervising their dangerous and harmful activities to keep experiences.” them safe and free Too often parents from danger,” said are included in the Fassnacht. “Also, trips to far off places, taking time to visit but are not involved cultural, historical, enough to prevent and natural sites can something from going be very rewarding and wrong. a group supervised or “We are going to road trip can be Mary Ann Fassnacht, family Daytona Beach, Fla.,” a great idea.” senior Cody Wilson The most important RAHCC representative said. “A few parents warning for spring are going, but they breakers is simply to won’t be staying with be prepared and not us.” to forget their morals and do something they Some students understand the risks that will regret. they may face going somewhere foreign, and “Spring Break is about relaxing and they do not need parents to keep them on a reenergizing as students approach the last leash, but still others are not aware and end few weeks of school,” Fassnacht said. “It up doing something they might regret. doesn’t have to be dangerous, destructive, or “I’ve had a lot of friends who have gone expensive to be fun.”

Sopron, Hungary summer of 2009. “I have never been on a bad trip,” Ms. Burke said. Photo Courtesy of Ms. Burke

In the summer of ‘08 English teacher Ms. Erin Burke traveled to Machu Picchu, Peru with Spanish teacher Ms. Beth East. “One time while traveling from Peru to Bolivia, Ms. East and I were kicked off a bus in the middle of nowhere because we didn’t have the proper Visa,” Ms. Burke said. “When these things happen, you just have to take a deep breath and make the best of it.” Photo Courtesy of Ms. Burke

Ms. Erin Burke during spring break ‘09 in front of the great pyramids in Egypt. “I have a deep love of travel and adventure,” Ms. Burke said.” The experiences that I have had while traveling have been among the most rewarding of my life.” Photo Courtesy of Ms. Burke

Ms. Burke visits Isla Mujeres, Mexico in Feburary 2010. “Try to learn something about the country and its people,” Ms. Burke said. “It is also helpful to try to learn a few basic words in their language.” Photo Courtesy of Ms. Burke

Ms. Erin Burke poses with the sphinx during her trip to Egypt on spring break ‘09. “The worst thing to do would be to act like an ‘Ugly American,’ “ Ms. Burke said. “You cannot expect everything to be like it is in the United States.” Photo Courtesy of Ms. Burke

opportuntity to stengthen family ties and friendships, to have experiences that may influence their career and lifestyle choices. We would want students to make the most of their time either locally or away by having fun.

“It’s a great idea to pack layers because it’s hard to know exactly how the weather is going to be on a long trip,” Ms. Burke said. Photo Courtesy of Ms. Burke


The Hatchling March 2010

is a man of many hidden talents He parks his car from driving over from teaching history at SCHS,then heads towards the baseball fields. Then, new varsity coach Eric Magiera, wearing a baseball cap, and shorts, and full of energy, starts practice. And while Mr.. Magiera is upbeat and excited, his childhood wasn’t alswats so. “My parents were divorced when I was eight,” Coach Magiera said. “And for a few years I didn’t see my dad at all. Then my mom remarried and I had a very rough relationship with my stepfather. Also, my family didn’t have a lot of money, and it was tough living in Macomb Township, an area where so many people were noticeably better off.” While Coach Magiera had a dark childhood, there were still positives. “My grandpa is my hero,” he said. “He was a teacher and coach for over 30 years, was a great family man and helped to take care of me as a child. He has taught me a lot and was a great role model. My goal is to be exactly like him as a person.” While Coach Magiera might think otherwise, he has already modeled

himself after his grandfather who’s in the Michigan high school sports hall of fame for coaching, in that he is the new varsity coach of RHS’ baseball team. “I love the ability to teach the game I love,” Coach Magiera said. “Even though I wasn’t the best player in the world, I think that I can offer a lot of knowledge and advice. There are also many life lessons that can be learned from baseball too.” Though his favorite sport is baseball, Coach Mageria still loves to play other sports. “I still play baseball in the spring and summer,” he said. “I play flag football in the winter and I golf any chance I get. In the past I have even played in kickball and volleyball leagues. I’m very competitive though and hate to lose.” In addition to learning skills for the many sports he plays, Coach Magiera has a talent unknown to many. “In college I was told I was a very good karaoke singer,” Coach Mageria said. “I rarely sing karaoke anymore though. I don’t think I am that good.” It seems like that Coach Mageria has accomplished his goal of modeling himself after his grandpa. And while one may think it’s due to coaching, teaching, playing

Senior Chelsea Wekwert

Junior Laura Ivazej

Coach Eric Magiera watching players at varsity baseball tryouts. Photo by Simmone Lakamper

sports or singing karaoke, the best answer might just be the way Coach Magiera lives his life. “The biggest lesson I have learned is to work as hard as you can and set a good example for others,” he said. “The more I did these things, the further I got in life. I have had a lot of success in my life and it can all be traced back to how hard I worked to get here.” The final player finishes hitting and Coach Magiera is still upbeat, excited and after running a practice for two hours, ready for whatever life throws at him next.

5 x 5: Girls in spring sport Five lovely students answer five questions for your enjoyment 1. What is the Easter Bunnys name? 2. Do bald people wash their hair with soap or shampoo?

Ashley Starr, Sophomore Bun E. Rabbit What hair?

Julie Markiewicz, Junior Hasenpfeffer

Rachel Boreo, Senior Rodger the Ninja


RHS’ new varsity baseball Coach Mr. Eric Magiera

Anna Parker, Junior Carl

Colleen Boreo, Sophomore Doug


A bar of soap


They mix it up

Andy Roddick

Air Bud :)

3. Who is your favorite athlete?

Megan Goethals

Rafael Nadal

Ryan Sheckler

4. How fast do hotcakes sell?

Twice as fast as cold cakes

Approximately 1.8 minutes

What are hotcakes?

Where are you getting the hotcakes?

Are those pancakes?

5. Who is Sadie Hawkins?

A girl in khaki pants

A girl with a stupid idea

A girl that wanted to run for president and make a change

A girl with a high school dance named after her

A real ugly girl who couldn’t guys to ask her out so she asked them.

Q: What item is essential to take on spring break? Ivazej : Advil or motrin Wekwert : My phone Q: What item will you leaving at home? Ivazej : My mom Wekert: My school materials Q: If you could take a celebrity on your vacation, who would you take and why? Ivazej : Jay-Z cause I have an obsession with him Wekert : Gerard Butler, I love him Q: Where is the best spring break location and why? Ivazej : Mexico, because it’s the place to be Wekert : Florida, because it has sun and good looking boys Q: What do you plan to take a picture of? Ivazej : An old man in a speedo Wekwert : My cousin’s wedding Q: What is one thing you will be wearing over break? Ivazej : a bikini Wekwert: a dress Q: After spring break, who will you be sharing all of your stories with? Ivazej : Mrs. Cusmano Wekwert : my best friends Sara Etienne and Lauren Blanchard Q: What’s one thing you hope does happen? Ivazej : Have loads of fun Wekwert : Get a tan Q: What’s one thing you hope doesn’t happen? Ivazej : get arrested Wekwert : getting sick Q: Describe spring break in one word. Ivazej : insane Wekwert : awesomeness

March Issue 2009  

The March 2009 Issue

March Issue 2009  

The March 2009 Issue