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Inside This Issue

Tanning Dangers p.4 Although a popular addiction, going to tanning salons and laying out can lead to severe and potentially cancerous consequences later in life.



From the spirit days and lunch activities to the carnival before the game, Homecoming Week 2009 is sure to be one to remember.

Teen Love: Is it Possible? High school students may or may not be ready for real love

With all the flirting, broken hearts, breaking up, and making up, love seems to be running rampant at high schools everywhere. However, there is some debate over whether high school students can really be in love. “I do think teens can be in love,” senior Elan White said. “I don’t believe that teen love is for everyone, but it works for some.” Junior Tom Hayward agrees with White in that teenagers can be in love, but feels that it is harder than when one is an adult. “It is harder to be in love as a teen because you have so much stuff going on,” Hayward said. “Sometimes you may not fully know what you look for or want in a relationship.” Neither age nor gender seems to make much difference when it comes to the opinions of RHS students. “I believe that people can find love in all ages,” sophomore Karoline Newer said. “Especially as a teen when emotions and hormones are crazy.” SophomoreAmy Stacho is in agreement and thinks that the beginning of high school is when one can find true love. “This is when you’re growing up and realizing who you are and what you want in someone,” Stacho said. Although White feels that one can be in love at an early age, he holds a slightly different opinion when it comes to flat out dating. “I think people should call it ‘dating’ around tenth grade or so,” White said. “Any earlier than that and it’s not so much dating as it is hanging out with a guy or girl and giggling a lot.” Despite the fact that she feels that teens could possibly be in love at a high school age, Newer doesn’t believe they can be in love at first sight.

Photo Illustration by Jordan Hubbard, Caitlyn Kuskowski, Amy Mackens and Melanie Sweet “I think you have to get to know someone before you can love anything about them,” Newer said. White and Newer share a similar opinion when it comes to love at first sight. “It takes way too much to know you love someone just by looking at them one time,” White said. “I think you need to give the whole dating thing a few months before you can truly say you’re in love. It’s just too soon to tell if you’ve been dating for a few days.” Though teens may not be claiming love after only a few days, they occasionally seem to rush into relationships. “I think it’s from seeing other peers in relationships and [students] wanting to be like that,” Stacho said. “Also, the idea of someone who cares and loves you is

comforting.” Gowdy somewhat agrees with Stacho on the reasoning behind rushed relationships. “[Dating] is ‘the thing’ to do, I guess,” Gowdy said. “And the fact that it’s nice to have someone there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on.” When it comes down to it, there is just no way to say for sure whether or not teens can truly be in love when they are in high school. It really depends on the people in the relationships because everyone is different. “I think there are always possibilities,” Gowdy said. “I think you can fall in love at any age. Love is a strange thing and it works in mysterious ways. I think you can have an automatic connection, but you have to grow into love.”


- Less than of all people marry their high school sweethearts. - If the couple dates after high school instead of getting married right away, the success rates are increasingly higher. - People who get married after the age of 25 have

64% 43%

a chance of staying together. of all high school sweethearts who marry divorce. Information Courtesy of

what students think... Do you believe that teens can experience true love?

No,we don’t know our full potential of love yet, because we haven’t experienced any Brittany Byrnes, other part of life sophomore besides high school.

Yeah, it might not last forever, but everyone can fall in love.

Adam Malinowski, junior

I don’t believe that people in high school can be in love. Kids always say I love you to make the other feel special.

Mitchell Ash, freshman

Poll based on responses from 315 RHS students

Inside the Nest


Talon the

Welcoming the new staff Ms. Chelsie Fell art teacher •Went to Western Michigan •This is her first year teaching,

although she taught summer school art at Chippewa Valley. • Wacky talent:“I can out-burp almost anyone. My parents always hated this talent.” •She became a teacher because, “I just always felt that I could really connect with people. It helps break down barriers between the student and the teacher. Plus, I had two unforgettable art teachers in high school that made me want to give back what they had given to me, confidence in myself.” •Hobbies include bike riding, watching movies, traveling, photography, seeing stand-up comedians, going to concerts, and cooking. •She wants to do a triathlon by the end of next summer.

Mrs. Susan Demeniuk

assisstant principal

Mr. Vic Fournier athletic director

•This is his sixth year as an athletic director. •Has worked at Hamtrack and Bishop Foley previously •“I’ve always been a sports junkie. I love sports. And I love kids. Being an athletic director is kind of the best of both worlds. I love coming to work every day. It’s just something I love to do.” •His greatest accomplishment is being a father. He has a daughter, Ella, who is 3-years-old. •His hobby is playing sports like softball and basketball. When he was in high school, he played football, basketball, and baseball. He also played club soccer in the years leading up to high school. •The most rewarding part of his job is, “seeing kids be successful. It’s great to see kids develop, both on the field and as people.”

Mrs. Lisa Newman assistant principal

New staff member Mrs. Jean Caza, the main office secretary, answers the phone and looks into some files in order to operate the school. Photo by Melanie Sweet

Ms. Maria Alvarez Spanish teacher •Went to school in Mexico for her

•Has been teaching for seven years, •Was a teacher for 12 1/2 years and worked in administration for the •Taught at Fitzgerald High School second semester of last year •Is a nurse at Royal Oak Beaumont hospital •Worked at Avondale High School •She loves working with kids and thinks education is power. “The more you learn, the more you can do.” •Her greatest achievement: “My kids. They’re amazing.” •Her hobby is baking, and judging ice skating all over the country. She recently judged a competition in Florida.

undergraduate, OU for her Spanish major, and Wayne State for her Master’s •This will be her fourth year teaching. She taught Spanish for three years in the Pontiac School District. •Became a teacher because she enjoys working with students and loves to teach her native language •Greatest accomplishment was fulfilling her family’s goal of getting an education •Her hobbies include walking, listening to music, reading, visiting friends, and dancing to Latin music.

and taught summer school in East China. She has also subbed for Utica schools, and volunteered at Lincoln and Chelsea. •“My greatest achievement is being more successful than my teachers in school ever thought I would be. I like doing things that people doubt I can.” •Hobbies include mountain biking, reading, scrapbooking, lifting weights, and being with her family •“I love anything Disney!”

Improving the school A new school improvement cycle has started, with science teacher Ms. Erin Harris, history teacher Mrs. Aubrey Trimble, and science teacher Mrs. Kelly Mozdzierz helping to lead the way. “RHS is actively working to improve its educational practices by participating in what we call Professional Learning Communities (PLCs),” Ms. Harris said. “ As a staff and also as departments, we meet during PD time to discuss strengths, areas of improvement as well as collaborate/discuss content such as re-alignment of curriculum, teaching methodologies, student learning strategies, common assessments and best practices for standardized tests.  We have created three goals for this cycle, which include a math, science and literacy goal.” Ms. Harris first became involved with the School Improvement Committee/ North Central Association (NCA) last year. “Ms. Zdeb approached myself, Mrs. Trimble and Mrs. Mozdzierz  regarding the openings for new chairs as Mr. Byrd and Mrs. Malsbury were finishing out their five-year cycle,” Ms. Harris said. “We have pretty big shoes to fill!” Mrs. Mozdzierz, who is the person that is in charge of the science group, describes the overall improvement process. “The staff had a meeting that broke them up into either the math, literacy, or science groups,” Mrs. Mozdzierz said. “Each group then came up with a goal and presented it to the entire staff, along with strategies to integrate them into the classrooms.”

September 2009


Mrs. Trimble’s literacy group’s goal is one that focuses on preparing students for college entrance exams such as the ACT. “Our literacy goal is to make sure that every student can meet the college readiness standards,” Mrs. Trimble said. “By including more nonfiction text within the classroom and providing kids with more opportunities to read informational text, we’re hoping to accomplish this.” Ms. Harris’ group on the other hand switched their focus to timed test preparation and comprehension improvement. “I am in charge of one goal group which revolves around math,” Ms. Harris said. “Our tentative goal is to increase comprehension and reading for content in order to meet college readiness standards with a sub-goal to assist students with time management skills during timed testing.” Mrs. Mozdzierz’s group’s strategies focused on the increasing student exposure to inquiry-based text and interpreting and using data tables. In addition, they focused on making cross-curricular connections to other subjects where these skills may come into play. Overall, Mrs. Trimble has a positive outlook on all of the changes that are being implemented during this school year. “I think so far, our staff members seem to be very excited,” Mrs. Trimble said. “Student success is the overall goal for everyone and the staff has been doing wonderfully. They’ve been getting involved and coming up with great ideas.”

Mrs. Kelly Mozdzierz is in charge of the science department. Goal: Increase students’ skills in strategy, using data tables, picking out key information, increase inquiry based labs, and make crosscurricular connections.


Ms. Erin Harris is in charge of one goal group which revolves around math. Goal: Increase comprehension and reading for content to meet college readiness standards with a subgoal to assist students with time management skills during timed testing.


Mrs. Aubrey Trimble is in charge of the literary department. Goal: Make sure that students can reach college readiness standards and to include opportunities for more nonfiction text in the classroom.

Mrs. Jean Caza secretary

Ms. Jennifer O’Toole counselor

•Attended Michigan State University •Went to college at Saginaw •She previously worked at McGregor Valley, Delta College, and Oakland

Elementary, Hampton Elementary, and Van Hoosen Middle schools. •She became a secretary because she is interested in office procedures. •Her greatest accomplishment is “raising three healthy, well-educated children.” •Her eldest child is 37-years-old and the two younger children are twins who are 31-years-old. •Some of her hobbies include reading, going for walks, and doing crafts.

University •Worked as a fourth grade teacher at Hugger and Baldwin Elementary Schools, and a counselor at West •Has not had her greatest accomplishment, but has had many little ones when helping kids in need •Loves to play in the dirt, planting vegetables and perennials •She became a counselor because, “I’ve always wanted to help people, and have always been interested in decision making.”

Parents can view student grades online With another new school year, comes new classes, new teachers, and now, new technology. Soon to come in November of this year is a system that enables students and parents to see their grades posted online regularly by teachers. But will this technology be a problem or a benefit to RHS? Math teacher, Mr. Rob Byrd, who is piloting the software, believes the system will make dealing with grades easier. “I think that it’s an amazing concept,” Mr. Byrd said. “It is person friendly on both the teacher and student sides. It also enables students to deal with teachers more directly. A student can just print out their report and approach their teachers. There will be no more posting grades on the wall.” The system, which will be tested by a small group of RHS teachers through November, and, barring any major technical difficulties, will be released for all teachers to use. Although some students feel this is a negative change, students like sophomore Amanda Graham like the idea. “I think this will be a good thing for me personally, because my parents are constantly asking for grade updates,” Graham said. “This way they will be able to look everything up instead of having me get grades from my teachers. Teachers also don’t always send out progress reports, so it would be

A student checks his grades on the Rochester website. Photo by Amy Mackens

“I think that it’s

an amazing concept. There will be no more posting grades on the wall.

Rob Byrd, math teacher

helpful for me to keep up as well.” It seems that the system, which has already proven successful in other schools around Oakland County, will go over well in the RHS community, but there are still a few problems for teachers. “The only drawback I can see is in the beginning, when parents want to see their children’s grade,” Mr. Byrd said. “People will have to learn patience. Teachers need a realistic time table to post grades, and will most likely post once a week, but sometimes it could be more.”

Inside the Nest


Talon the

September 2009

They are more than RHS legends

Getting to know the DMs Kelsey Galang: The end of sophomore year, I tried out for Drum Major for the experience. I had no intention of getting it, so I was surprised when I actually got it. Favorite Song: The “Alma Mater” and “Everybody’s Everything” Job Highlight: Getting to know everybody and creating a relationship to see how the band works at its best Morning Practice: Refreshing and awakening In Conclusion: We have to have a lot of showmanship. We have the big picture and have to know how every piece fits together.

Galang prepares to conduct another song at practice. Photo by Arthur Lee

People are looking up to me, just like I used to look up to people before me. Matt Grabowski, senior

Fox helps sophomore Teja Suryatevara correct his rhythm. Photo by Arthur Lee

Matt Grabowski: When I tried out for DM, I wasn’t sure if I would make it or not. I just worked and tried out. Just happened, I guess. Favorite Songs: The “Alma Mater” and the “RHS Fight Song” Job Highlight: We have to be the teachers and molders. Every little thing has to be perfect, and that’s our job. Morning Practice: Wake-up call In Conclusion: We have a lot of responsibilities that the normal band member does not have. I wanted to push myself to the extra level because I wanted to be a bigger part of this band.

Krista Fox: I honestly didn’t think it could happen, but of course I hoped it. I wanted to be someone who had influence. Favorite Songs: The “Alma Mater” and “Appalachian Spring” Job Highlight: It would be just like the influence I have over what happens in the band and over the new marchers, like how they’re gonna perceive marching band. Morning Practice: Necessary Evil In Conclusion: It’s a lot more work than people think it is. We had to learn all these new skills, like how to be a leader, conduct, give commands, and being perfect at marching and knowing music.

My inspiration was my sister because she was drum major before. I always push myself to the best I can do. Kelsey Galang, senior

Grabowski takes his turn conducting the band at practice. Photo by Arthur Lee

“You have to be a

role model and get people as psyched up about it as I am. Krista Fox, senior

High school tradition reaches out to graduates

FMB alumni return Homecoming is going to take on a more personal meaning for some past members of the Falcon Marching Band (FMB) thanks to seniors Lauren Blanchard and Natalie Lyon who organized a Homecoming alumni event for former members. “We’re inviting FMB alumni to march down and perform with the marching band at halftime,” Blanchard said. “They’ll be sitting in the stands with us, doing all of the cheers and just reliving their band experience.” Inspired by the University of Michigan alumni event in which her mom participated, Blanchard has been planning this event with Lyon all summer. “[Summer] was basically the brainstorming phase and was when we really starting looking at the U of M information again,” Blanchard said. “That was when we began to contact other people who might want to be involved and who could potentially help.” Chris Shannon, a 2009 graduate and current Wayne State freshman, participated in the FMB for four years and is glad to see the band start an alumni program. “Alumni bands bring everyone together again,” Shannon said. “Many of us [haven’t] have seen each other for months, and even years! The cheer team has alumni cheer with them after halftime, and many SOF alumni come and cheer their hearts out, so it’s only natural that the band alumni come back and play together for a piece or two and to play those ‘hard to forget stands tunes’ and Fight Song!” Lyon agrees. “It is an opportunity for us to reunite with people who care about the band and is something that will hopefully continue on in the future,” Lyon said. “The biggest payoff would definitely be being able to

Krista Fox, Jason Choi and Lauren Blanchard (from left) play with Chris Shannon, an FMB alumni. Photo Courtesy of Krista Fox

The bandos prepare to play with the returning alumni. Photo Courtesy of Krista Fox participate in it in the future.” Lyon is not the only one who hopes the alumni event becomes an annual one. “I sincerely hope this does [become annual] because many alumni already come back for the football game, why not put an instrument in their hands as well?” Shannon said. “Knowing Mr. Nadeau and his emphasis on band family, I see this event becoming a larger, annual event that many alumni, not just band alumni, look forward to!” The idea of family is one that is also shared by Blanchard. Due to the lengthy practices and long hours spent on the football field each week, marching band members can spend anywhere from eight to 14 hours a week together during marching band alone. Bonds like that are not easily broken. “We call ourselves a family,” Blanchard said. “And we really are.”

Outside the Nest Talon



September 2009

Can You Take the

Heat ? Trying to look sunkissed increases a person’s chance of health complications

“Tanning can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, and skin cancer,” Dr. Edward Suchyta, MD, from the Henry Ford Lakeside pediatric clinic said. Risks aside, Utley is “not really” troubled by any possible consequences of her actions. “As long as it’s nice outside I wake up, go outside, sit in my pool and go tanning,” Utley said. Although she still goes tanning, sophomore Danielle Pulliam is slightly bothered by the longterm effects it may have on her body. “Yeah, I can be [worried],” Pulliam said. “That’s Being tan has almost become a competition, why I don’t go more then twice a week.” between friends and foes - who has a better tan at Pulliam only goes a few the end of summer vacation? times a week, but some However, teens often forget may go more, even daily. about the grave and serious The constant exposure to effects that will last longer the sun may result in more than a simple tan. than just a temporary tan. Many people, especially “[Tanning] can cause teenagers, seem to love hypo pigmentation from everything about being tan, exposure, which can make from getting one, to showing the skin look blotchy,” Dr. it off. Suchyta said. “I don’t think [people] like It is certainly popular being a pasty white color,” but not all teens are sophomore Melody Utley interested in following said. “And everyone looks the crowd, at least in this better when they’re tan.” aspect. Clevenger doesn’t Sophomore Danielle approve of the tanning Clevenger agrees with Utley Danielle Clevenger, sensation. – to a point. sophomore “I don’t go tanning,” “Why are teens obsessed Clevenger said. “It’s really with anything? Because it unhealthy for your skin. makes them look good,” I’m comfortable with my Clevenger said. “It’s a decision because it is one personal decision, but it scares me sometimes.” to protect my body.” Getting a noticeable tan may make the teen look Medical professionals seem to have come to good now, but it can lead to less desirable looks in a consensus on purposely obtaining a tan, though the long run. some are more outspoken than others. Dr. Usha

“It’s really

unhealthy for your skin. I’m comfortable with my decision because it is one to protect my body.

Dangers of Tanning one million cases of skin cancers

1. More than are diagnosed annually.

90 percent

2. Up to of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun. 3. Frequent tanners using new high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure.

12 times

4. On an average day, more than Americans use tanning salons.

one million


5. Approximately melanomas [Melanoma being the most dangerous form of skin cancer] will be diagnosed this year, with nearly resulting in death.


6. One person dies of melanoma every .



7. The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age .


*Statistics courtsey of the skin cancer foundation

Batra, MD, of the Henry F o r d Sterling Heights pediatric clinic only had one thing to say about the issue. “Oh, it makes me mad,” Dr. Batra said. “I don’t recommend it.” Even though they tan, many teens still take precautions when just spending time out in the sun.Theyrealizethedangers – and inconveniences – of bad sunburns. “I always wear sunscreen,” Pulliam said. “I don’t want a sunburn; they hurt really bad.” However, it doesn’t end at pain and redness; according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a single bad sunburn during one’s childhood doubles the chance of developing melanoma, a form of skin cancer, in his or her life. Nevertheless, the entire ordeal can be avoided by following a few simple rules. “Limit exposure to time when you need to be in the sun,” Dr. Suchyta said. “Stay in the shade when you can and use sunscreen.”


5 Students review Harry Potter Talon the

September 2009

“I had my own

Sophomore Nick Rinehart reads Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, his favorite of the series. Photo by Melanie Sweet

thoughts about how the story would look on screen and the movies didn’t match up.

Four of the seven books that make up the Harry Potter series include Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Socerer’s Stone, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows. Not pictured: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Chamber of Secrets. Photo by Melanie Sweet

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets June 1999 Harry Potter & the Harry Potter & Sorcerer’s Stone the Prisoner of June 1997 Azkaban July 1999



“The movies would be good if they weren’t based off the book series,” Choubey said. “I don’t think any portrayed the books badly, they just In the make-believe world of missed a few parts.” witchcraft and wizardry, many have Of course, pre-existing ideas of the tried recreating the global worship movies can only happen if one has read of Harry Potter, but the books and the books. Some, like freshman Sarah movies remain seemingly in a league Thompson, claim that the movies are of their own. the only real reason they know about The sixth movie recently came out, Harry Potter. nearly completing the movie version “I don’t think that I would have of the seven-book series. And although realized Harry Potter existed if the movies are widely popular, not they hadn’t produced the movies,” everyone favors them. Thompson said. “I’m not much of a “I preferred the books to the movies reader, but I do enjoy a good movie. because J.K. Rowling is an amazing I think the movies were a huge writer,” senior Richa Choubey said. “I contribution to the amount of Harry read the books Potter fans.” before seeing W h i l e the movies, so the series in I had my own general has thoughts about been extremely how the story popular, would look on some viewers screen and the favor specific movies didn’t movies. match up.” “ M y Even those favorite movie who might not was the fourth normally enjoy one, Harry books more Potter and the seemed to agree Goblet of Fire,” with Choubey. Thompson said. “Usually “It made me I like movies look forward to better because I the upcoming don’t read that movies even much,” junior more.” Richa Choubey, Juliya Yu said. Choubey senior “But I liked the agrees. books better.” “I would say As books of that the best this genre seem interpretations to be, the Harry were The Goblet of Fire and The Potter series is not limited to one age Sorcerer’s Stone,” Choubey said. group or gender. Sophomore Nick All in all, it would seem that as long Rinehart, a self-proclaimed expert, is as the movies aren’t being compared to also a fan. He too prefers the books. the books, they are excellent. Having “Only books can capture a not read the books, Thompson praises character’s thoughts and allow you to the movies. know what they’re thinking,” Rinehart “To be honest, I really enjoyed said. “The movies just aren’t long them” Thompson said. “They were very enough to explain the whole story or dramatic, and caught my attention.” get everything right.” Even Rinehart, who clearly prefers Although he likes the books more, the books to the movies, agrees and Rinehart still loves the movies. says that they were good. “I’ve always seen the movies within “There were plenty of mistakes, a week of their release,” Rinehart said. but all [movies] have those,” Rinehart “I went to the midnight release for this said. “The producers and directors previous movie with my friends.” don’t always do the best job cutting the Choubey agrees that the movies right things out, but it all makes sense themselves are actually very well in the end.” done.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire July 2000

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone November 2001

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix June 2003

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets November 2002

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince July 2005

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban May 2004

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire November2005

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows July 2007

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix July 2007

Harry Potter & the HalfBlood Prince July 2009

Note: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2 will be released in November 2010 and July 2011

Music brings people together Certified music therapist Julie Ross’ eyes well up as she describes her personal connection with music. There is something about music that can cause someone who is shy and someone who is outgoing to feel the same way. There is something about music that allowed Beethoven to continue hearing his music inside of his head, even after he had gone completely deaf. Something about music has the ability to affect a person’s mood, bring people together, and even change a person’s day completely. “Music is one of the most essential forms of self expression and communication,” Ross said. “It is the bridge of cultural divisions. Music is my life, my heart, and my soul.” Music has a profound ability to influence and even alter human experience. “No matter what mood I’m in, I know at the end of the day I will be able to do what I love,” sophomore Amanda Walker said. “Whether it’s singing, playing guitar, or listening to others. It puts me at a piece of mind.” Tests show that musical beats trigger certain feelings of happiness, sadness, or fear, depending on rhythm and pitch. However, what feeling is triggered is not based on culture, but human nature. It has the ability to change a person’s mood and sometimes even their entire life. “Personally I don’t think I’d be involved in anything at school if it wasn’t for music,” senior and guitarist for local band Valdis Jordan Carlson said. “I wouldn’t even have the same friends. Marching Band gave me a

“Music is a

Music and the Mind

mirror into a person’s soul...people are drawn to music they can connect to the most. Music therapist Julie Ross entertains senior citizens. Photo Courtesy of Julie Ross second family and the closest friends I have. I believe my future wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for music.” From dancing at a club, to singing in a church choir, music touches everyone’s life in some way. “Music means everything to me. It’s what keeps me moving and brings me closer to other people,” Walker said. “No matter what genre it is, no one can say they hate music.” People tend to drift to music that they can relate to and understand. Because of this, people who like the same music often have other things in common as well. “Music is a mirror into a person’s soul. Everyone comes from their own set of life expectations and are raised a certain way,” Ross said. “People are drawn to music that they can connect to the most, and that reflects their life experiences.” Listening to or creating music has

physical effects, including lowered heart rate and lowered blood pressure. But, it also can lift people’s spirits. “Music has a certain quality that no other fine art has,” Ross said. “It reaches beyond each individual’s differences and draws the heart of the group together so they beat as one.” Music releases a “feel-good hormone” called dopamine and a hormone that comforts, called prolactin. People listen to different kinds of music depending on their mood. “Music can change the way you feel on things,” Carlson said. “If things aren’t looking good, I generally look toward something like Boston, or the Beatles. If I’m doing something around nighttime, I like listening to piano, and classical. If it’s during the day and I’m driving around, generally something like Lamb Of God, or Metallica.”

Music releases a “feel-good hormone” called dopamine.

Releases a hormone that comforts, called prolactin.

Learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times by using this 60 beats per minute music.

Making music “exercises” the brain.

Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. He would play the violin whenever he was stuck on wording.

Classical music makes the pulse of a heartbeat relax to music beat.

Music affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves.

Music therapy is used for motor disorders like Parkinson’s and speech problems.

Musical beats can be recognized at an early age: as early as in the womb.

A long time ago, a man and woman that would be separated for a long time while he hunted would want to remember each other, so they would have their own song that they’d sing that would stick in their head and keep them faithful.

Julie Ross, music therapist

Local band Valdis played at 2008’s Rochestapalooza. Seniors Jordan Carlson, Chris Owen, and Haleigh Dever. Not pictured: Alex Meier. Photo Courtesy of Jordan Carlson

6 Opinion

Staff Editorial: With a staff Professional Development Day once again falling on the same day as the Homecoming game, some students are concerned that attention might be taken away from the game due to the fact that there is no school, and consequently no pep rally, on the actual game day. We, The Talon staff, disagree. Although we can understand where these students are coming from, we like to see this situation as a positive one rather than a negative. Here’s why: 1. No school = all day tailgate. The Soldiers of Fortune (S.O.F.) is known for crazy-long tailgates and all day festivities, and Homecoming is no exception. While some students will be undoubtedly sleeping in on their day off, the S.O.F. can use this oneday break as an opportunity to host an all day, parking lot pep rally. 2. No school = carnival! For the first time, Student Council will be hosting a pre-game carnival for all students with activities such as a dunk tank and other “carnival games.”

This would be nearly impossible to pull off if we had to attend school on the same day. 3. No school = longer pregame prep for coaches and players. Whether this extra time is used to mentally prepare for the game or to finalize last minute plays and line-up changes, having game day off is an advantage that should not be overlooked. 4. No school = extra Homecoming preparation. From hair and nail appointments to last minute dress mends, there is a lot to finalize before the actual dance Saturday night. Instead of worrying about getting everything done on the day of, take this day to get some of it out of the way. 5. No school = the only option. There is nothing that can be done about the fact that we do not have school on the day of the Homecoming game, so why not make the most of it? Take advantage of all the activities that would not be possible if school were in session Friday and have fun! Homecoming only comes around once a year.

Talon the

September 2009

A day off before Homecoming is a good thing

Our Views

Generations of parents before our time went through their teenagers’ rooms, listened to phone calls and even read some diaries. But today, parents have Facebook. In 2004, Facebook was created for college students to be able to communicate,

Opinion Editor Arthur Lee Graphics Editor Max Kleiner

A day off gives you time to get pumped up for the game and dance.

Aly Rosenau, sophomore

Photo Story Editor Amy Mackens

The day off lets [S.O.F.] have an all day tailgate and we have no school.

Chris Saber, junior

It’s bad because you I’m never against a day don’t get pumped up with off. the whole school.

Laura Herbert, senior

Madison Reitzel, junior

as if wherever teens go, their parents are there with them. They have access to anything their child says to someone, or anything someone says to their child. Imagine, you’re minding your own business as you do your routine Facebook check when you see you have a friend request. It’s your worst nightmare—your Mom or Dad has asked to be your friend. You are faced with a dilemma: do you accept it and risk awkward situations? Or ignore it and risk getting in trouble? Many teens felt obligated to accept the request. Due to the loss of privacy, many members of the popular site have stopped posting things their parents

Business Manager Dan Offenbacher Circulation Manager Caitlyn Kuskowski Staff Writers Sara Corneliussen James Giardina Emily Hayward Drew Hoffman Aaron Kuhn Simonne Lakamper Arthur Lee Steven McConnell Kristen Pop Madison Reitzel Aly Rosenau Chris Saber Melanie Sweet Kate Ziraldo Andy Zhou Adviser Ms. Julia Ridgway

Mission Statement

would not approve of, such as racy pictures. It could be argued that because of this, a parent being on Facebook is a good thing. However, even if the teen stops posting about it on Facebook, that doesn’t mean it will prevent them from doing it in the first place. So a parent adding their child as a friend won’t keep them from doing wrong, and if anything— can simply upset the child. Stanford University has even begun offering a ‘Facebook for Parents’ course, teaching all parents the ways of Facebook and how to keep up with their kids. A parent on Facebook is unreasonable, and the amount of adults feeling the need to join due to lack of trust is insulting.

Freddy the Falcon

What is his true identity? creature. This creature is a giant falcon; those who study the beast have called him “Freddy.” Some truly believe a giant blue bird wanders the halls, others argue he is a student council member in a large bird suit, I personally prefer the latter. My theory, backed up by Through the hallways hours and hours of research, is of Rochester High roams a flawless. 1. If he was just mysterious a man in a costume, wouldn’t he come out more often? He’s much too elusive and hidden to be human. In the best of times he may come out two, maybe three times in a month during the fall. 2.Secondly, if he was human wouldn’t he talk? Those who have been lucky enough to be close enough to Freddy that he would have been able to hear them speak have never received a response from the elusive bird. 3.Thirdly, scientists always

Editor in Chief Jordan Hubbard Features Editor Laura Herbert

Parents on Facebook invade students’ privacy and in 2005 it was opened to high school students for the same purpose. In 2006, Facebook began accepting members over the age of 35. At that point, adults took up less than 1 percent of all Facebook users. However, according to USA Today’s 2007 article, the number of members over the age of thirtyfive has jumped to 3.6 million, dominating more than half of all Facebook members. Since then, more and more adults—including parents, aunts, uncles, and now even grandparents—have taken part in the Facebook phenomenon. Thanks to Facebook, parents can now use the site as a way to see everything their kids are up to. It is

The Talon

Who’s Freddy?

talk about how birds are the closest things we have to dinosaurs, meaning there must be some kind of link between the two. Freddy the Falcon. He looks like a bird, but he’s a different color, and about the size of a velociraptor. Not only does my theory help to explain the wonder of Freddy, it now tackles the issue of evolving dinosaurs. 4. Last, but not least, last year a student was DAVID HASSELHOFF. rumored to “be” Freddy, we’ll Jim Geddes, call him Honathan Juck to sophomore protect his identity. First off, Honathan isn’t anywhere near 6’ 2”, which is the height we have guess Freddy to be. Also, Honathan has 5 toes, not three like the Freddy “costume” would suggest. Simply ridiculous. I attempted to obtain an interview with the giant nonspeaking bird, but I was unable to find him, or figure out how to communicate with him. But Freddy is the Pillsbury at the next football game you Doughboy. attend, maybe he’ll be there, Kirstie Ovlasuk, and then you can decide for junior yourself.

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 and 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: jridgway@rochester.k12.

Talon the

September 2009



Falcons look for Homecoming win Homecoming week is an overwhelming time. One of the occasions to look forward to is the homecoming football game. It’s the night before the dance and draws the biggest crowds of the year “Spirit week builds up the atmosphere for the homecoming game,” junior Mike Kmiec said. “All I will be thinking about this week will be the game, which will make me more focused come kick off.” It has been 10 years since Rochester won its last homecoming game. This year, the team is looking to change that. “This game is key,” Coach Clark said. “This could determine whether we have a winning season or not. Both our offensive and defensive line need to step up.” This game is a must win for the Falcons. The game is against Seaholm this year, and will be on Friday October 9th. “The homecoming game is really important to me and to the team,” junior Nick Reed said. “It’s the game where everyone comes out to cheer

us on, even if it’s the only game they go to.” For some, this would be their last year to win a homecoming football game and that’s what is on the line for the senior players. “I just have to think of everything that is on the line here,” senior Gabe Whiteley said. “I have to do my job and everyone needs to step up to the challenge, just like we did against Groves.” So far Rochester is 1-3 and their record heading into this game could affect the outcome. “The coaches and players are going to have to work their hardest,” Coach Clark said. “We have to produce this win and during that week of homecoming, the players should focus on the game, not the activities.” The win depends on how hard Rochester works during practice, but it also depends on the support of the fans. “The homecoming game draws the biggest crowd,” Kmiec said. “All of the Rochester fans come to see a victory and they are part of that win. Everyone wants to put on a show, even the fans.” The impact of this game could also affect the last two games of the season. “It’s simple really,” Reed

Senior Charles Holmes lines up as wide reciever at practice. Photo by Steven McConnell

said. “If we win, our confidence will be sky high and we’ll go into our last games on top of the world. Not only that, if we win, we will gain more support, which will in

return give us more confidence.” This is one of the top games of the year for Rochester and every year they work towards achieving a victory.

“Everyone needs to come ready,” Whiteley said. “There will be nothing that we can’t compete with. Rochester isn’t going to leave that field without a win.”

Soldiers of Fortune promotes spirit R o c h e s t e r football over the past few years has been disappointing and the team has won very few games. However, this does not stop the diehard fans of the Soldiers of Fortune (S.O.F.) from showing up at every game the Falcons play and cheering louder than any other student

section in the county. These crazy students have one thing in mind when showing up in the parking lot at four o’clock every Friday for their tailgate, and that is having as much fun as they possibly can. “My favorite part of going to the tailgates is playing cornhole,” junior Brady Crites said. The preparation for Friday night games always starts with the tailgates. Students have a good time playing cornhole, tossing around the football and eating a pre-game meal consisting of hot dogs and hamburgers. “The best theme is Pirates vs. Ninjas because you get to dress up as sweet characters and do piratethemed chants,” sophomore Jacob Seidl said. Every week members of the S.O.F. have a theme that they dress up for. Some examples of the

various themes are Camo night, “I hate Adams” and baby night. After the Falcon Marching Band enters the stadium, the S.O.F. follows and does their ceremonial sprint to the spot reserved for them in the stands. They then encourage people to yell and cheer until they lose their voices. “I come to the tailgates and games because it’s a lot of fun and I have a lot of dedication,” junior Michael Lordon said. Every member of the S.O.F. displays great dedication and spirit towards the school they love. “People should become a part of the S.O.F. because the little schoolgirls frolicking with their freshmen football buddies up on the blacktop aren’t having as much fun as we are,” junior Gabe Gibbs said.

Above: Juniors Gabe Gibbs, Trevor Johnson and Brady Crites of the S.O.F. cheer at superhero night vs. Farmington. Left: Senior Ryan Byrd dressed up as Mermaid Man. Photos by Amy Mackens

Falcons persevere through loss of key players After the struggles of losing key seniors and the coach in the middle of last year’s season, the boys varsity soccer team is taking a step in the right direction. “I think we are doing better than everyone thought we would. We are proving them wrong,” senior captain Tyler Leppek said. “We weren’t ranked in the top ten in Oakland County preseason, and I feel that’s our incentive.” Head Coach, Chris Purgatori, also firmly backs his team, and believes that they have as good a shot as anyone to win the OAA division. “I absolutely think we have a chance to win,” Coach Purgatori said. “This team is young but very skilled and a lot of people underestimate how good we really are. We have proven that we can play with the best in the state.” One of the teams’ greatest assets is that they are a very close group Sophomore Michael Bowyer feels that the team plays well together as a whole. “We play with a lot of passion and we bond well,” Bowyer said. “I feel really special because there are not many underclassmen on the team, and I am treated with respect.” Everyone on the team can agree that the main goal is to win the

“I think we

are doing better than everyone thought we would. We are proving them wrong.

Tyler Leppek, senior

OAA division and advance in states, and senior Mike Hansen revealed his secret to being successful. “What motivates me is being part of a team, and you have responsibilities to yourself and the team, and in order for the team to be better you have to be better yourself,” Hansen said. “The secret to success is determination.” Being determined is exactly how the Falcons will overcome adversities and challenges, to achieve their goal.

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Talon the

September 2009

e B h i t g r T e o d n

Carolyn Berwick Grade 10

Mrs. Kelley Cusmano English Teacher

What is your favorite part of Homecoming? I always look forward to the pep assemblies. You get to miss class, it’s loud, crazy, and really fun.

What can we look forward to for Homecoming? It’s going to be more than just a dance. It’s going to be a show, or an event.

Girls Homecoming Preparation


Guys Homecoming Preparation

1. Monday: Appointment for hair, nails, and dinner. Tuesday: Go over plans. Wednesday: Nails done. Thursday: Pep assembly. Friday: S.O.F. tailgate and game. Saturday: Hair done, pictures at Meadow Brook Mansion, dinner and the dance.

1. Monday-Thursday: “Spirit week is how I get ready for the dance.” Friday- “I play in the football game and win the ‘big one.’” Saturday- “I dance and enjoy myself.” 2. “I get my tux before homecoming week and figure out where I’m going to dinner. Usually I have a date and a group to go with, but what really on my mind is the homecoming game.”

2. PLACES TO GET DRESSES: Chrome: Royal Oak; Flirty Fashions: Rochester; Boutique Angelique: Rochester; Windsor: Lakeside and Great Lakes Mall; Group USA: Great Lakes Mall.

3. “I get up in the morning and make sure everything is ready for the big dance and, once the time comes, I fully get dressed and leave.”

3. PLACES TO GET NAILS DONE: Douglass J. Aveda: Royal Oak; Le Crème Salon and Spa: Troy.

4. “I love how hyped up everyone is for the game. The students get so excited.”

4. PLACES TO GET SHOES: DSW: Rochester; Famous Footware: Rochester; Macy’s: Somerset Collections. 5. PLACES TO GET JEWELRY: Parisian: The Village of Rochester; For Love: Somerset.

Students look on at a lunchtime activity (top), S.O.F. supports Falcon varsity football (middle), cheerleaders pump up the crowd at the pep assembly (bottom). Photos by Ms. Julia Ridgway and Mr. Christopher Green



Theme: Theme: Theme: Camo day Superhero


Theme: Theme: Pep assembly NO SCHOOL K-8 Day

Lunchtime Activity: Lunchtime Activity: Lunchtime Activity: Lunchtime Activity: S.O.F. Theme: Scavenger Hunt Marshmallow drop Karaoke Blue and White Field day relay

Wit 's End This high school band has blown away their competition to take control of the local metal scene



The Hatchling

The Hatchling

September 2009

September 2009


The band, which initially started out as a middle school alternative rock band, plays for “stealing the show,” but also for their love of music. “The main focus of our band is just how much we love music combined with how much we love brutality,” Tomko said. “While you will hear some simple heavy riffs we pride ourselves on our musical talent.” The band will be playing at the Factory in Downtown Rochester on Oct. 15. From left: senior Chris Tomko, RHS alumnus and sophomore at Oakland University Brian Wietecha

Wit's End : Guaranteed not to disappoint

“I’ve had a bass forever, but until [the band] asked me to play with them, it just sat gathering dust in my closet,” senior Emily Wietecha said. Emily now permanently plays bass for Wit’s End and is the sole girl in the band. Wietecha filled in a year ago at Mayhem Festival when Tomko, who initially played bass, had a broken arm and switched to vocals.

Set list Preview

Wit's End will be playing a show at the Factory on October 15 and the set list should look something like this: Paranoid (Cover of Black Sabbath) Deceived I Belong To You Later to be Announced Rock and Die (Cover of "I Love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett) Thy Kingdom Come Fall to Pieces *All songs are originally by Wit's End except for Paranoid and Rock and Die

Tony Halushka, a senior at Stoney Creek High School, has remained the drummer for Wit’s End since the band’s beginnings as an alternative rock group named Batery (excluding some time junior year). “I have never heard a metal drummer as talented as [Halushka] is, including big bands,” Tomko said of Halushka.

If Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine, Marilyn Manson, Trivium, and Dethklok were combined and re-incarnated in the form of a high school band, it would be called Wit’s End. The band originally began five years ago as a more alternative group, similar to the bulk of bands out there. “We really played whatever,” alumnus Bryan Wietecha (lead guitar) said. “Then Dethklok inspired us to play metal. What really inspired us was that we really knew music more than most people, and we wanted to make good music, incorporated with hard metal.” In that five-year span, the original band, consisting of senior Chris Tomko (bass and vocals) and his step-brother Tony Halushka (drums) rotated through a few members until landing Brian Wietecha in 2006. The three then saw a video of (senior) Chris Vogler playing guitar on facebook and were blown

away. They immediately contacted him and added a rhythm guitarist. Before a show in 2008 Tomko broke his arm at “Mayhem Fest” (a huge metal music festival) and in a pinch Bryan’s sister (senior) Emily Wietecha was given a crash course in bass and then permanently added as a fulltime member of the band. The decision to keep Emily on bass was based on Tomko’s amazing stage presence once the bass was out of his hands and he was left to perform. Thus, the Wit’s End we know now was born. The band realized that without Tomko’s stage presence, they were nothing more than every other band. “You’ve got to assume [the audience] won’t remember your songs,” Tomko said. “They won’t be like ‘hey do you remember that one band that played that song that went da da da da da?’ So you need to put on a good show. That’s why I did the duct tape thing. And, for the record, it was stronger than duct tape, it was gaff tape.” But that’s not the only

thing it took to get noticed. “You’ve got to practice your material a lot, get all of your songs to the point where you hate playing them, then you’re ready to do them live.” Tomko said. Although it’s not just practice. “In any aspect I would take quality over quantity,” Bryan said. “We’ve been playing for four years, and we have [written] seven songs. You’ve got to put everything you have into what you play.” Although they have only written seven songs, Wit’s End has many many more in their arsenal. “Covering songs that people know well and like to hear are especially fun,” Vogler said. “Currently we’re working on ‘Stricken’ by Disturbed, and Bryan and I have some new material that we’re really excited about. They’re not quite ready to play at a show yet, but they’re almost there.” After following their own advice religiously, Wit’s End has a bright future. “Our next project is to record some

material,” Tomko said. “We’ve got a guy waiting on a call back from us.” That’s not the only thing looking up in their future. “We can probably be signed pretty soon,” Tomko said. “All we have to do is get our act together and actually go for it.” Bryan has a similar opinion. “We have a lot of songs and we’ve played a lot of venues,” added Bryan, “And that’s all it really takes. I think we can hack it in the real world.” The members of the band have even higher dreams than that. “We want to be touring next year,” said Tomko. “In a few years we want to be touring with Dirt Fest. It’s like Mayhem Fest but a little smaller.” A band of teenagers who puts on a mind blowing show with face melting riffs and the stage presence of Kiss, does it get any better? “When we practice we wear capes,” said Bryan. “And we each have Sith Lord names,” added Tomko, aka Darth Shriekus.


The Hatchling September 2009

Remembering Patrick Swayze After a summer of losing Baby Boomer icons, the first major celebrity death of the school year has occurred. Patrick Swayze, who suffered from pancreatic cancer for 20 months, has died. For a few students, the death hit hard, but for many, Swayze’s death was just another magazine headline. “I like the movie Dirty Dancing,” junior Connor Antenucci said. “But I don’t really feel affected by his death. It’s sad, but he wasn’t very prevalent to my generation.” The truth of the matter is, the Dirty Dancing star’s death was only significant because of the reaction from staff and students’ parents. “I know I would have found out about his death soon enough from the radio or TV,” senior Bea Hall-Nicol said. “First my mom told me, though. She was sad about his death and even sadder that I wasn’t.” The recent death of celebrities more relevant to the past than present has noted the interesting gap between the generations of parents and students. Though kids nowadays tend to be closer to their parents than ever before, the stars they consider culturally significant is still as distant as can be.

Top 5 Patrick Swayze movies 1. Dirty Dancing (1987) 2. Ghost (1990) 3. Youngblood (1986) 4. To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) 5. Red Dawn (1984)

5 x 5: Students in theatre club Five lovely students answer five irrelevant questions for your enjoyment. You are the ________ to my ________.

What is currently in your pocket right now? I say Hillshire you say...? What do you need to be reminded to do today? If you were an ice cream flavor, what kind would you be?

Gabe Gibbs, junior

Natalie Phillips, senior

Sarah McEneaney, sophomore

Adams to my sucks

Cheese to my Chicken, hen house. macaroni

Carla Ramirez, junior Dreams to my sleep

A phone and wallet No pockets

My phone

I WISH I had money in my pocket.

Farms! Go meat!

Farm go meat!



Get a girlfriend


Not forget my lunch at home.

Mustard, because it actually exists

Well, definitely not vanilla, that’s for sure

Vanilla, because I’m incredibly boring.


Nicole Armold, junior

Kaileigh Bianchini, senior Q: So, now that you don’t cheer, what do you to fill your time? A: I do a lot of charity work around the community. Q: Where do you do charity work? A: I help with the Special Olympics, Sunrise Assisted Living and the Humane Society. Q: What do you do at Sunrise, change bedpans and stuff? A: (Laughs) no, I play games with them and talk to them; they have some pretty interesting stories because they’re so old. Q: Any retirement home stories of your own? A: Well, this one time I was helping out with one of Sunrise’s events, like a dinner, and this man, who I knew from several other occasions, kept shouting “trash lady” at me to get my attention because I was cleaning. I was like, “you know me! I played bingo with you!”

Q: You seem to do a lot after Peanut butter to my school, how do you make time for jelly school work? A: This year, I’m in two AP classes so it can get tough. A whole lot of nothing… Q: Anything get under your skin? A: Yeah, I have random OCD issues and I like things to be a certain way, Farms! like how my desk is organized or how I do a test from back to front.

Record the new episode of ABDC on Sunday…and to get my social security card changed.

Take a nap.

Taco flavor!

Pizza ice cream

Q: Have any guilty pleasures? A: Although I’m supposed to be a vegetarian, sometimes I’ll eat meat. Q: Who would you invite for a fantasy dinner? A: The real “Rain Man,” Ghandi and Gerard Butler. [Butler’s] absolutely gorgeous!

September Issue 2009  
September Issue 2009  

The September Issue of The Talon, 2009