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theroar February 2014

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theroar Voice of the Students

Vol. 16, No. 4 February 2014

Opinion

Sports

4 Inbox

17 Wrap Up

Letters, surveys, tweets and more

Winter sports come to a close with rocky seasons

5 Zero sense

18 Spring Sports

Strict tolerance policies do more harm than good

Lacrosse, tennis and track teams take center stage

6 Net Neutrality

19 Cat Tales

Internet-regulation decision opens the door for censorship

News 8 Time out

Some colleges recommend a gap year before starting

9 Service check

Proposed legislation would alter rules for student volunteers

15 Round’s a shape

Teenagers less likely to participate in physical activity

Junior Chris Mikulus and senior Patrick Furino fill plastic bags with soy, dehydrated vegetables and nutrients Jan. 26 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church as part of Tatiana Martin’s Senior Project to host a packaging event to make 50,000 bags of food for Burkina Faso, Africa.

Entertainment 20 TV Bingeing

Marathon viewing becomes latest media distaction

Photo courtesy of Florida Catholic

Features 10

Taxing tasks District warns of dire consequences if proposed tax fails referendum. by Keiran Sheridan

12

On Top of the World Senior Jack Moore ascends for a closer view of Mount Everest. by Valerie Ferretti and Jessica Whaley

ON THE COVER: Photo courtesy of Jack Moore Design by Jack Dickens

Sam Lack says Olympics can bring teens together

14

Skilled on Strings Junior Rachel Ho pursues musical perfection.

21 Movie Review

Off-putting “Her” powerful, emotional

22

Music Review Country artist debut gives new meaning to country

23 Music Review

Broken Bells’ sound new and exciting

by Evy Guerra

THE ROAR West Shore Jr./Sr. High, 250 Wildcat Alley Melbourne, FL 32935 (321) 242-4730 ext. 255 FAX: (321) 242-4740 Adviser: Mark Schledorn Editor in chief: Felicia Solazzo Managing editor: Stephanie Everest Business manager: Tatiana Martin News editor: Keiran Sheridan Opinions editor: Molly Minta Sports editors: Lindsay Gorham, Sam Lack Entertainment editors: Andrew Lim, Lauren Youngson Web manager: Dana Brown Design team: Erica Denni, Jack Dickens, Monty Karas Staff writers: Elena Abascal, Angela Ahern, David Almeida, Mikayla Almeida, Brandon Bailer, Nick Baker, Jessica Blanco, Hana Bilicki, Mika Bilicki, Haleigh Boyer, Natalie Brown, Luke Brunner, Hannah Brusca, Sergio Carlos, Rima Chakhtoura, Joey Crown, Joe Cowett, Greg Darnell, Krishna Davda, Jake Dimond, Erika Dietl, Ian Dillon, Danny Dolnik, Emily Dubec-Hunter, Richard Dujovne, Brandon Duncan, Kha Duong, Deanna Ebling, Kailey Fairchild, Valerie Ferretti, Lev Freeman, Katie Garwood, Max Girard, Jeremy Gluck, Alyssa Gorewitz, Allen Greathouse, Evy Guerra, Gage Guinta, Kendall Hinson, Cassie Hughey, Taylor Irwin, Evan Johnson, Taylor Kelley, Thomas Kendrick, Maddie Leary, Michelle Maldonado, Adam Marzec, Ryan McCullough, Nora McSorley, Ben Mechachonis, Chris Melchiori, Chris Mikulas, Noah Moletteire, Jack Moore, Amanda Moscrip, Naeem Motlagh, Konur Oyman, Sujan Patel, Rayme Persad, Shane Potter, Casey Schauman, Liz Schmidt, Alec Sepulveda, Erin Sheridan, Alannah Stewart, Justin Thompson, Shilo Toland, Yasemen Turkmen, Jonathan Wakim, Christian Walker, Jessica Whaley, Kyle Wheat, Savannah Wheat

Please recycle this magazine


yourturn

surveysays

What do you think about the timing of class selection this year?

55% It’s too early.

41%

I don’t care.

4% It’s too late.

Did you notice when the bells were ringing early?

64% Yes, and it annoyed me.

30%

Yes, but I didn’t care.

6% No.

What is the primary reason you’d go to EFSC?

58% I’d never go.

21%

The classes are easier.

16%

It’s cheaper to get my AA there.

5% I don’t want to go to school every day.

Currently, the average cost of an associate degree is $2,963. Students who are dualenrolled and participate in early admissions will earn their AAs at no cost to them. Immodesty shows poor priorities Modesty: the quality of behaving and dressing in ways that do not attract sensual attention. I would like to know why many girls have decided to dress immodestly. I think it’s because they want more attention. If you are a girl who dresses immodestly, maybe you are trying to get the wrong kind of attention. Wouldn’t you rather have attention because of who you are? The Bible portrays women as valuable human beings who deserve to be loved and respected. I do not know if any of you believe in the Bible, but there are several places where it mentions Photo: M. Minta the importance of being modest. Girls I know Weekly update Per a new policy, who show self-respect by dressing modestly are history teacher Kirk Murphy updates also the ones who draw their moral values from content on Edline. the Bible. For example: Proverbs 11:22 — “As Better communication needed a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.” High school is a stressful experience for Also, there was a Princeton study that showed any teenager, especially for one attending a when women dress provocatively, men’s brains school as challenging as West Shore, which see them as objects, not as people. I think that demands that students’ organizational skills when a girl is immodest, she blocks who she be refined to an art in order to survive in really is, revealing her body instead. You are the chaotic mixture of homework, clubs and valuable and were created for a purpose, and you extracurricular activities. As a senior who deserve to be valued for who you are as a person, has experienced the struggles of being a West not for what you look like. Shore student for nearly six years, the one Yes, girls, you are beautiful. However, I don’t thing that I believe will greatly improve the think you would want to have a relationship experience of students is the a reliable way because the person only likes you for your for students to know the dates and times of beauty. If you can have relationships with the important events. depth of the ocean, why settle for a puddle? Students are overwhelmed with different forms of communication. Watching Reeder Ward, 9th grade WCTZ News in fourth period, handouts in homeroom, and even handouts from teachers twittersays add to the confusion. The Roar web site and the school newspaper are reliable ways of Sometimes I pretend I’m on pacific coast time so then it’s like it’s 12 am finding out about upcoming events. But not and not 3 am. everyone in charge submits information to —Haley Keener, @halkeener them or to the Edline calendar. Students should have easier access to information so I need spring break now. that their already chaotic academic lives in —Malia Brock, @MaliaBrock high school can be made easier. Natalia Marmol, 12th Grade

Inbox

VISIT WESTSHOREROAR.COM TO: vote for “Survey WRITE TO US Send a letter: to Room 3-104 Says,” view the photo of the day, catch up on the latest news, Send an email: OR or to your English teacher communicate with the staff or stay up-to-date on sports. theroarletters@gmail.com The Roar recognizes itself as a public forum and encourages letters from West Shore students and members of the community. The Roar cannot print ads promoting activity illegal by Florida law, ads opposing any religious beliefs, ads written in poor taste, ads with racial or sexist comments, ads considered inappropriate by the staff, advocacy advertising or ads containing libel.The Roar is not responsible for web sites viewed through links found on pages mentioned in the publication. The Roar values letters from our readers: the maximum length for letters is 200 words. No more than one letter a semester will be published from a writer. Letters and columns are edited for length, content and clarity. The Roar maintains the right to edit all submissions for poor taste, length, grammar and libel. Views expressed in the “Opinions” section do not necessarily represent the views of the Brevard County School Board, the West Shore administrators, faculty, student body or The Roar staff.

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ourturn

Illustration: Jack Dickens

staffeditorial

Zero-tolerance seems more like zero intelligence You’re in third grade — it’s your birthday. Your grandmother, kindly, bakes a cake and sends it to your school. But with it she includes a cutting knife. Your teacher cuts and serves the cake to the classroom and, at the end of the birthday celebration, you’re called down to the principal’s office. You’ve been expelled. For one Delaware third-grader, that was not a thoughtexperiment. That was reality. Why? “Zero tolerance.” But a new bill sponsored by State Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) could help right this wrong by giving school administrators more discretion in such cases. Entering the American lexicon during the Reagan years, “zero tolerance” is an all-encompassing term that was used to describe an absolutist policy towards drug trafficking and substance abuse. Eventually, “zero tolerance” became an

educational policy that punishes any infraction of the rules, regardless of the circumstances. The “rules” in question are ones that prohibit the possession or use of drugs or weapons on school campuses. Now, while this may seem like a common-sense idea, in reality these rules ban drugs like Tylenol and Excedrin. Set aside the fact that most of the so-called “dangerous” students this policy has stopped were honors students, kindergarteners and Cub Scouts and just look at the facts. Zero tolerance, as an educational policy, fails to recognize that, even at 17, 18, we’re still learning. We’re still figuring things out. To punish us, absolutely, for our misconceptions and inadvertent wrong-doing is not the right approach to solving the problem of school violence. All it does it break the hearts of parents and shatter the dreams of students whose future prospects should be a college dorm, not a prison cell.

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Molly Minta

Net Neutrality Court decision risks creating world of censorship

6 l theroar l february 2014

Photo: Creative Commons

The other day I was standing in the magazine aisle in Publix attempting to find the latest issue of National Geographic for my mother and I couldn’t find it anywhere. “National Geographic Kids,” that I found, but “National Geographic” remained hidden. As I was meticulously combing the shelves, a woman wearing a pastel pink and violet camouflage sweater chose to stand directly in front of me. This woman was a bit older, so I forgave her. I generally like to hold a policy of patience with elderly people because they’ve been occupying this planet for, let’s say, about 60 years, and so they deserve to drive slow or go first in line or, in this case, stand a bit closer to the shelves in the magazine aisle. So, I move a little to the left and, a pause later, she moves a little to the left. I take a couple steps to the right and, a pause later, she takes a couple steps to the right. At this point, I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. This odd dance we’re doing could really just be a coincidence. So I take a step back and walk to end of the aisle. And, a pause later, she wanders over to the spot directly in front of me. I mean, it probably wasn’t a coincidence. Last month, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with an issue that is, surprisingly, very similar to mine: Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission. The case is fairly simple: In 1996, the Telecommunications Act applied “common carrier” obligations to the Internet; saying that Internet service providers, as companies that are responsible for the “transport” of information, could not “discriminate” (i.e. pick and choose) against the public and prevent certain people from accessing information. Verizon objected, claiming that those rules made difficult for them to manage increasing Internet traffic and provide quality service to its customers. The circuit judges agreed, ruling that the FCC needed to redefine its regulatory framework and thus opened up a very smelly can of possibilities; data discrimination on the part of service providers, and a tiered Internet (essentially,

Game-Face Under Verizon v. FCC, Internet service providers could have the ability to block websites based on content. structuring the Internet like cable television is structured today). In summary, network neutrality. Network neutrality is the term for laws that have been governing our current conception of the Internet (I say current, because the Internet-as-we-know-it could change tomorrow who knows). Basically, it’s the idea that pink and purple camouflagecovered Internet service providers cannot discriminate against the flow of information by blocking, halting, slowing, or otherwise tampering with data on the Internet. Which is why it would seem like this case would be a big deal: it appears as if the ruling has bid adieu to a fair and open internet. But, Verizon v. FCC is not problematic. The court may have ruled against the FCC’s regulatory framework, but it also gave them an opportunity to redefine it, thus not entirely squashing the protections that Internet regulation affords us. No, Verizon v. FCC is problematic because it’s another Wikipedia page in a long slew of Wikipedia pages about limiting free speech and free use on the Internet that you only skimmed for that one research paper that you didn’t really care about (although you should). For this generation, and especially for the

next, the Internet is so integral to the idea of free speech. It’s not enough for me to stand on the sidewalk with posters, I have to be able to broadcast my opinion on the Internet where I can reach millions of people. And if you need further convincing, look to current events: Facebook claims to have helped elect President Barack Obama, Twitter for instigating the Arab Spring. YouTube provides us with a first-hand account of these events— one that isn’t blurred by media bias. And what all these websites have in common is that they all use a lot of data. If Internet service providers tiered the Internet, an improbable, but not impossible, outcome of this decision, these would be the HBOs of the Internet. What this means is that if Internet service providers wanted to block you from accessing YouTube under the guise that it “uses too much data,” they could. And they have. In 2007, Verizon Wireless censored a text-messaging program that was used by NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, to contact their supporters and, later that year, AT&T censored Pearl Jam’s political protest, by shutting off the sound when lead singer Eddie Vedder sang “George Bush, leave this world alone.” Businesses and corporations should not be allowed to exercise this kind of censorship, especially because the Internet, for so long, has been relatively free. We treat the Internet like a portable Hyde Park; everyone can get up on a pedestal and speak, without restrictions. We expect to have freedom to access any website on the Internet, no matter how much data it uses. “Internet” and “free information” are synonymous, and changing that redefines the 21st First Amendment in a way that harms us all. We must make sure that we are not subjected to needless and unwarranted tampering of data just because a company feels like it, not dissimilar the rude woman I encountered at Publix. This recent decision may not turn out to be a big deal, but in light of the discussions of Internet privacy, censorship, and data usage, something big is currently loading.


Graphic: Jack Dickens

Taking a Break Ivy League schools suggest students take a gap year By Erin Sheridan What if you were told you could go to school but still get to take off a year? And after that you wouldn’t be going to just any old school, it would be an Ivy League school. Harvard University has been pioneering the gap year for more than 40 years, encouraging students to defer their acceptance for a year to take advantage of traveling or completing a special project. A gap year is a structured period of time when students take a break from formal education to increase self-awareness, learn from different cultures and experiment with possible careers. With a gap year there are two options. One type of gap year is where one takes a break from school for the year without having previously applied for college while the other one is after you defer your acceptance to a school you have been admitted to. Every year, approximately 80 to 110 students defer their acceptance at Harvard because their admissions letter even recommended it. “I took a gap year between college and medical school,” 2006 West Shore graduate Shiv Gaglani said. “I had a bucket list that I wanted to cross off before going straight to medical school.” Gaglani said he wanted a break from continuous schooling. “I had been going non-stop from kindergarten through twelfthgrade and knew that medical school would be all-consuming,” he said. “So I decided it was the right time to explore.” Gaglani previously had applied for medical school and got accepted but deferred the offer for a year. “I was fortunate to have an opportunity to defer my admissions, so what I did during my gap year was pretty open,” he said. “I did not have to apply during my gap year.”

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Within Gaglani’s gap year, he experienced many different activities. “I ran in marathons/triathlons, learned to fly, as well as dove into my long-standing interest in education through publishing and tutoring,” he said. “Most importantly, I had more time to spend with my family and built important relationships.” Even though Gaglani took a year’s break from school, he didn’t believe it affected his studies when he returned. “I felt ready to go once I got to medical school and immediately hit the grind again,” he said. Graduate Karl Krehbiel said he did not know Harvard suggested taking a gap year until later. “Honestly, I don’t even think I knew that they suggested a gap year until after I had already arrived here for my freshman fall,” Krehbiel said. “That’s probably the biggest reason I did not take one. However, I was really excited to start at Harvard, so even if I’d known that a gap year was suggested, I probably would have opted to start right away.” Along with taking a gap year comes many advantages such as solving issues to academic burnout, reigniting a sense to better learning, and possibly getting into a more prestigious university. However, senior Ilana Krause who applied to Dartmouth said she disagreed with this. “I am planning to go straight into college because I want to start earning credit hours now so that I can graduate at a normal time and potentially apply to grad school after that,” Krause said. “That’s why a break isn’t necessarily needed, because it will ultimately draw out the timing process.”


&RPPXQLW\6HUYLFH6KXIÁH Proposed bill could alter student volunteer landscape By Nicholas Baker Students could soon be earning getting engaged in a political campaign if your volunteer hours from businesses you’re a young person who finds someone and politicians if state Sen. Tom who inspires you to do so,” Lee said. Lee (R-Brandon) has his way. Lee Politically active senior Sierra Purden has sponsored a bill, SB 566, which opposes the proposal. would modify the types of community “I have volunteered for campaigns, but service required by the Bright Futures I really don’t think the bill would be a Scholarship, extending acceptable great idea,” Purden said. “Service hours venues for earning hours from are supposed to get students volunteering non-profits to professional and civic to help the community as a whole. I don’t outlets. This would include internships see working for someone only a part of with businesses and politicians. the community would benefit from as Lee said the bill would complement being a reasonable outlet to earn hours.” the intent of the Bright Futures service Former National Honor Society learning requirement. sponsor and Senior Project coordinator “Under Bright Futures, the whole Sherie Jenkins is concerned the bill may idea was kids would give something misguide students volunteering efforts. back to our state,” said Lee, who was “I’m worried the bill will create a in his first term in the Senate when generation of kids that don’t find value the scholarship program was created in selfless service,” Jenkins said. “It seems in 1997. “They would learn a little like they’re trying to redefine service. Photo: Jenna Winter something about the culture of our Instead of performing altruistic acts with Political passion Senior Sierra Purden works history where we do expect people to intrinsic motivation, it will be more about on a political campaign. Under proposed give back in our country, and also gain extrinsic motivators. Kids will be more legislation, she would earn community service some out of classroom experience.” focused on ‘what’s in it for me,’ than actually hours. According to guidance clerk Dixie helping the other person.” students into partisan, highly-political Thompson, expanding community service Jenkins considered the bill’s appeal, but activities in a candidate’s political campaign, laments what could be lost if it passes. beyond non-profit organizations could with a low degree of administrative weaken its impact on the community. “The bill is so practical, but it just changes oversight,” said Deirdre Macnab, president “To go out to a politician’s office for your the whole color of service. I feel like hours means you’re singling out,” Thompson of the LWVF, in an interview with the students should be doing both, which they Miami Herald. said. “That’s not really helping out the have been at West Shore for years now,” Lee’s legislative assistant Doug Roberts community as a whole.” Jenkins said. “Both of my kids are in college contends that the bill gives students a Mike Drake of the Guidance Department right now, serving and doing internships. choice. said the bill has its pros and cons. The service has nothing to do with their “I think its fairly cut and dry,” Roberts said. professions. Their service comes from the “I really disagree with earning hours from helping politicians. They shouldn’t be able to “If they don’t want to serve their hours with heart.” come into schools to campaign, and this just a campaign, they don’t have to.” Aside from broadening the definition of Roberts said the bill may benefit seems like they’re trying to draw students to volunteering in the policy of the Bright Florida public schools by refining loosely them,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind kids getting Futures scholarship, Lee also shows concern interpreted standards. their hours from businesses, as long as that for the validity of the hours being earned. “Some districts make their own rules, and business is helping the community back, “We want to make sure that, basically, some already accept hours from campaigns,” extracurricular volunteer activities are all like Grimaldi’s Chocolate, which is donating he said. “There are big inconsistencies with this month’s profits to the wounded soldiers counted, provided the parent is involved acceptable credits for community service.” fund.” and everyone signs off on it,” Lee said in an Lee views this as an opportunity for The bill drew criticism from the League of interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “You students to get involved with politics. Women Voters of Florida. have different definitions being drafted by “There is nothing more core to our “The League has a high level of discomfort different school districts. The guidelines set democracy as a philanthropic activity than with the idea of channeling high school forth in law allowed it to happen.”

february 2014 l theroar l 9


News Feed Education

Tax travails District begins to pitch tax request, but not all are on board By Keiran Sheridan Walking down the hallways, one cannot help but notice the campus, which has retained its original infrastructure for 57 years, is beginning to feel the effects of age. “West Shore is an older school, and naturally, it looks older,” Assistant Principal of Facilities Robert Farrell said. “You can take a walk around and realize it is an older facility. For example, you can see under some walkways, the metal in the concrete is beginning to rust. While this is not a safety concern due to how the walkways are built, I have contacted the district and they will be coming out to look at it.” West Shore is not the only school in the district facing these maintenance needs. Brevard County school district currently has more than a billion dollars in property assets, much of which is aging. “Maintenance is maintaining,” Farrell said. “That is hard to do without funds. To continue running schools in general, the district has had to pull funds for facilities out of the operating funds, which is for people and programs.” This is why, despite the failed half-cent sales tax referendum in 2012, the surtax will be back on the ballot this November. If passed, the surtax will generate approximately $35 million per tax year for the capital budget. “The hope is with the sales tax, extra monies will come in not just to maintain the schools, but actually fix and replace things,” Farrell said. “Items such as air conditioning units need to be redone due to age and wear and tear.” Since the fiscal year 2008, Brevard has lost more than $145 million in tax revenue earmarked for the capital budget. Because the district derives funds from property taxes, the school district has been negatively affected by housing market crash. In addition, the state Legislature supplied $1.1 billion to facilities funds in 2007, but from 2008 onwards schools have received no facilities funding from Tallahassee. “That is quite a loss to make up,” School Board member Michael Krupp said. “Our

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capital reserve fund will be used up by the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, and thus, it is imperative that the surtax be passed and monies put into capital budget.” While it has been decided the revenue for the surtax will be used only for the capital budget, the language of the half-cent sales tax referendum has not been released to the public.

“To garner votes of conservatives, the board will have to convince us that spending and contract award processes are under control.” — Bill Mick, talk show host “Dr. Binggeli is working with district staff and also will be holding community input meetings to develop strategies for the advertising and favorable marketing of the surtax,” Krupp said. “Also on the agenda will be a cut list of programs, staff and school closures should the surtax not pass. These community meetings will be held throughout Feburaury at Astronaut, Viera, and Bayside high schools. Through these meetings the Board hopes to gain input and finalize a budget recovery and reductions list which was presented to the school board on Jan. 21. Superintendent Brian T. Binggeli shared his thoughts on the Brevard Public Schools website. “To effectively address some of our financial challenges, it was imperative that we develop a comprehensive plan,” he said. “If funding should increase, we can begin recovering items lost in years past. If funding levels decrease, having a cut list already approved will assist us in making tough decisions.” Still, local radio talk show host Bill Mick said the community outreach will not be enough to gain votes in favor of the surtax. “As with any political process or campaign, the board will have to properly

message their position to the masses,” Mick said. “They have failed horribly at this in the past and, so far, are not doing any better this time around. They are portraying this as a drastic need for maintenance and repair issues. Should they pass the tax and then begin spending on other items, their credibility would be forever damaged with the voters. ” Similarly to the last time the surtax was on the ballot, the board would have to secure the votes of conservatives in order to pass. “To garner votes of conservatives, the board will have to convince us that spending and contract award processes are under control,” Mick said. “In my estimation, they will have to limit the number of years the tax would be in play to four or so, with the voters having an opportunity to approve it again at the end of that time frame if the voters are convinced that the monies have been spent wisely and in accordance with the pre-vote information given voters.” If the surtax does not pass, the board says schools will have to be closed. These schools have not been identified at this time. “The previous practice of not specifying which schools could be on the closing list prior to such a vote has backfired on them,” Mick said. “Their tone is condescending to the voter and threatening drastic cuts if they don’t get their tax will also rub voters the wrong way. Voters are tired of being talked down to by elected or appointed officials whom the voters hire and pay to administer the schools.” Despite the Board’s silence, Matt Reed of Florida Today has predicted that MILA Elementary, Sea Park Elementary and Palm Bay High School will be on the chopping block. Mick says these students are facing the consequences of past board decisions. “Under previous administrations, when the economy was strong and the schools had plenty of money, expenditures were heavy, at times with unnecessary items, and the debt incurred was extreme,” Mick said. “We are paying for those bad decisions now.”


Help wanted Rust, peeling paint, concrete separation, collapsed drains and CBDLFEVQCBUISPPNTmFMETSFnFDU repair issues on campus. Brevard Public Schools will ask the voters to approve a half-cent sales tax in November to address such breakdowns throughout the district. Photo: S. Toland

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News Feed Everest

EXPEDITION EVER EST

Photo Courtesy: J.Turingan

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Senior tackles trek to world’s tallest peak

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By Jessica Whaley and Valerie Ferretti

ith lungs burning and adrenaline surging, senior Jack Moore marveled at the the view of Mount Everest, a sight that seemed out of reach only days before. During the summer, when Moore began brainstorming ideas for his Senior Project, he vacillated between making a movie or running a triathlon. But when Moore’s father extended the idea to travel halfway around the world with him, the bucket list opportunity became a reality. “It was challenging but incredible at the same time,” Moore said. “Just being able to have this opportunity was amazing. It was so crazy to see all these people living off of so little yet they are all so happy, like the 10-year-old kids I saw lugging heavy materials for miles to their village.” 12 l theroar l february 2014


Cultural Contrast ´7KH6WDUEXFNVWKHUH was $17,000 won, or Korean dollars, for a FXSRIFRIIHHµ ´2QHWKHPRVWGLIÀFXOW SDUWVRIWKHWULSDFWXDOO\ ZDVXVLQJWKHEDWKURRP EHFDXVHLWZDVMXVWD KROHLQWKHJURXQGµ

IT’S ALL REL AT I VE

relentless altitude sickness. “When we got up to 17,000 feet, I was over-exhausted and just wanted to eat and sleep,” Moore said. “The feeling of not being able to breathe normally was awful. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.” Along with extreme fatigue, the senior battled severe temperatures below minus 15 degrees. “The cold was horrible at that altitude, even the snot from my nose was frozen,” Moore said. “Sometimes when hiking I couldn’t feel my fingers. They were just nubs and my feet would freeze and then get a little tingle, which was a relief because it meant they were still there.” At last, Jack found himself standing in view of Mount Everest, feeling that all of the physical and mental ailments that discouraged him along the way couldn’t compare to the reward right before his eyes. “The sun was rising over the mountain, giving it a deep orange-red look with snow flying everywhere with each big wind gust,” Moore said. “It looks nothing like the photographs, being there you get this silly feel for how massive Mount Everest really is, it looks like it would be impossible to climb from where we were.”

Mount Everest 29,029 feet

Commercial airplane 25,000 feet

Graphic: Kha Duong and Rana Karycki

The $20,000 trip started with a 15-hour flight from Atlanta to Seoul South Korea unraveling a journey with many obstacles. Upon arrival, Moore immediately noticed a vast difference in security compared to that of the United States. “The day before we got there, the new dictator, Kim Jong-un, had just assassinated his uncle which is a really big deal there,” Moore said. “So when we landed on the runway and walked to the airport, there were armed guards with assault rifles checking your passports; it was really different from what I’m used to.” After an eight-hour flight to Kathmandu, a city in Nepal, with the intent to stay for only one day, Moore and his father travelled to the hotel, experiencing culture shock along the way. “It was just crazy. There’s no real rules of the road, and that blew my mind. Cars were coming everywhere but everyone understood,” Moore said. “It was clustered and full of smog; it was the worst smell ever.” Moore and his father faced excessive power outages on a daily basis that lasted up to hours on end. One day turned into five when the duo became trapped in the city due to excessive fog. “We couldn’t fly out, so on the fourth day we tried to get on this huge post-cold war Russian helicopter but it was rusted and didn’t work,” the senior said. Eventually, Moore and his father along with 15 other climbers in the group got a ride in three-five man helicopters to Surkhe. “That was an awesome ride but scary at the same time because the pilot only

spoke Nepali, so i didn’t know what he was saying. It was a bumpy ride and we were barely clearing the ridge lines,” Moore said. “We landed and it was awesome to be there since we were so cooped up.” Because of the five day delay, the group worried it wouldn’t make it to Mount Everest in the allotted time. Instead of climbing to the base camp of Everest as Moore and his father had originally intended, they agreed to ascend Kala Patthar, a side mountain that would provide a picturesque view. “I was getting really mad because we had already come so far,” Moore said. “You’re so close but still so far from the mountains.” The guided group with 22 sherpas and 12 yaks, then labored forward encountering high altitudes and bridges all along the way. “We crossed these suspension bridges, some of which were half a mile long and really high up,” the senior said. “You stepped on them and they started shaking like crazy; I was wondering how it could support so many people, even the yaks crossed it with only two suspension cables at the beginning and end” Surprisingly, the highly anticipated climb wasn’t the hardest part of his expedition. Rather, Moore struggled most with the

Bald eagle ÁLJKWKHLJKW 10,000 feet

Eiffel Tower 1,063 feet

theroar l february 2014 l 13


First Violin Junior’s musical ability garners awards By Evy Guerra Backstage at Suntree United Methodist Church, junior Rachel Ho walks in circles, almost hyperventilating and thinking about the audience full of teachers from around the state, family, and friends. The nerves are making her mind go all over the place. She walks on stage alone and the bright lights are just low enough so she can see the audience. Then she picks up her violin, and all the nerves are gone. She made her solo debut with a Mozart concert. Having played the violin since she was three, she is an accomplished musician. Performing is her favorite aspect of all. “I like people watching me and I like showing them what I can do best.” Her latest accomplishment was being awarded the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition winner. Ho is the only one to have ever Photo: courtesy Baldino Studios won the award twice: last year for the Virtuoso Junior Rachel Ho has violin, and this year for the viola. She been playing the violin for 14 years. has earned all of her titles through an audition process, and out of the many does not have one that is her favorite. grateful for that because I wouldn’t be “I guess everything has a level of where I am today without that.” significance but nothing really stuck She plans to continue to play after out to me as the main thing I’d want to high school. share with people yet,” Ho said. “As a side job I definitely hope to be a Ho has been taking private lessons part of a major orchestra but as a main from Carey Moorman for five years job some type of medical work,” Ho now. He believes the early start and said.  natural talent has a lot to do with her During her 14-year musical journey, success in music, but he has recognized Ho has picked up several other a change since she started. extracurricular activities, including ice “I think she has become more of a skating, dance, and golf. Ho decided to sensitive musician,” Moorman said. stop dancing a few years ago because “More aware of her surroundings, more the schoolwork started to pile up. Her flexible, and more willing to adjust to music has remained a constant. situations around her which makes “Compared to sports I think music others sound better too.” just connects with you more personally While Ho loves playing now, she just on a different level and then sports remembers not being as enthusiastic. is just kind of like running around,” “My mom forced me to, it’s really all Ho said. “Very repetitive I guess but because of her,” Ho said. “When I was practicing is repetitive too, it’s just younger I never really practiced so my something about the violin and viola mom had to push me constantly. I’m that clicks.” 

14 l theroar l february 2014

Ho, who has played in the school’s advanced orchestra since seventh grade, is also the concertmaster at West Shore. She is in charge when Ms. Fallon cannot be there. “She’s a great student, she’s concertmaster because she’s a great leader,” Fallon said. “She’s reliable, everything she needs to be.” Her life isn’t always playing classical music, she also enjoys listening to it. “I like hip hop. I also like classical music because it’s basically what I grew up on,” Ho said “I feel like you can enjoy classical music a lot more versus regular alternative music.” Ho’s primary motivation is external. “I think it’s the competition from other people that makes me strive to become better,” Ho said. Ho likes using her musical talent to give back. At least once a month, to boost the spirits of hospital patients through MusicMD’s, a nonprofit organization of local musicians, who go play for the patients at Holmes Regional hospital medical center. “I enjoy the patients’ reactions when they listen to the music,” Ho said. “Most of them, they’re alone, so whenever MusicMD’s comes around we bring them so much joy and I enjoy the cause.” She was all ready set on going into the medical field, MusicMD’s has only encouraged Ho’s interest in pursuing a medical-related career. “Most of the people I play for cry, out of tears of joy not sadness,” she said. “Personally it makes me happy not because I like seeing people cry but just to know that they enjoyed my music and its actually making them feel better.” Despite her more than 20 awards, she still chases one that remains elusive. “Perfection, of course,” Ho said. “That’s what all musicians strive for.”


Do Something Teen health risks arise through inactivity By Katie Garwood and Savannah Wheat Books and learning are important but can only go so far. A little exercise and healthy living are necessary, too. “I tell my kids all the time, it doesn’t matter how smart you are if you’re dead,” P.E. teacher Greg Eller said. According to recent studies done by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four adolescents, ages 12-15, are physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. And in a 2011 study, the CDC found that 29 percent of high schoolers met this requirement. P.E. teacher Nicole Anagnostis attributes the lack of physical activity to the poor examples set by some parents. “Adults are the biggest influence on the activity and healthy lifestyle of children,” Anagnostis said. “Only three percent of American adults are considered healthy, and I believe this sets a bad example for the youth of our country. It’s not the kids’ fault that they’re unhealthy: they can’t buy healthy food for themselves, they can’t drive themselves to physical activity events, and they can’t buy $300 video games for themselves.” But being physically inactive has consequences. According to registered nurse Gloria Gunning, a sedentary lifestyle can cause severe health issues. “Diabetes, of course, is on the rise in our nation with the young people and teenagers and depression,” said Gunning, the school nurse. “Lots of kids are spending more time inside

OBJECTS AT REST

with video games than going outside, so there’s a lack of Vitamin D from the sunshine as well.” Staying fit is easier than it seems, according to guidance counselor and powerlifting coach Spero Tshontikidis. “There’s a million sports out there people can do, the key is movement,” he said. “People just get sedentary and sit in front of a computer. Playing video games won’t keep you healthy, and the longer you sit, the harder it is to get up and move, especially as we get older.” Although Tshontikidis’ workout regimen of three days a week in the weight room and three days a week working on cardio is more than can be expected from most teenagers, Tshontikidis said that any physical activity  especially weight lifting  can have great benefits for athletes. “Let’s say you’re a basketball player or soccer player or track or whatever, lifting is really good because it increases performance potential because you’re stronger, so no matter what you’re doing, the stronger you are, the better you’re going to be on the field,” he said. Tshontikidis added that exercise not only has obvious physical advantages, but mental benefits as well. “Psychologically, it helps people’s self-esteem because you have a positive change in body composition,” he said. “Plus, you feel good, so physiologically and psychologically, you look good and feel good, so you’re better off.”

Having a well-balanced diet, not to lose weight, but to be healthy is an important step in being physically fit. Junior Natalie Mann takes her diet seriously; she’s cut bread, pasta, dairy products and processed foods out of her diet completely, which she says makes her feel better “physically and mentally.” “I usually have eggs and vegetables for breakfast,” Mann said. “Lunch is usually some kind of meat, either chicken or turkey, sweet potato slices, a homemade fig or prune bar, a Clif bar and mixed fruits. For snack, I have a protein smoothie with spinach in it.” Eller suggests starting a reward system for eating junk foods, rather than completely cutting them out of a diet. “You should eat right all the time,” he said. “I know kids like brownies and cookies, and you don’t have to cut them out completely, just save them for Saturday or something, like a treat. You can’t eat that stuff every day and make it a part of your diet.” Sophomore Allan Joyner said that taking responsibility for one’s own health is key. “You have to be committed to staying fit,” he said. “You need to take it upon yourself to stay healthy, you have to want it.” Eller added that any kind of exercise, regardless of intensity is crucial. “Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, you just have to do something,” he said. “Even a brisk walk every night helps.”

Teens’ lifestyles becoming more sedentary by the year

Graphic: E. Denni

theroar l february 2014 l 15


Soccer-centric West Shore alum pursues sports dream in Chicago

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“It’s something that we will never forget, and we still talk about it every time we see each other,” Liam Wixted said. “I have never been so proud of Aidan. He’s one of the best soccer players I know, and this academy is helping him develop his skills to become an even better player. He’s going to go far.” Now that the two go to school in separate states, the brothers agree they both cherish their time home together. “We are best friends so it’s always fun when we’re together, although my mother worries because we’re known to get ourselves into a bit of trouble when we’re together,” said Liam, who attends the University of Central Florida. The boys’ mother, Kelley Wixted, expressed how difficult it was to let her 16-year-old son leave for Chicago. “Our whole family was very sad to see him go, but he really wanted to go off and play in the academy, and we knew what a great opportunity he would have,” she said. Recently, however, Wixted has been home recovering from an injury to his shoulder. “I keep on dislocating my shoulders, and unlike some types of dislocations, mine are inferior dislocations,” Wixted said. “So when they come out the socket, they stay out of the socket until a doctor or someone else who is qualified can set it back into place.” Wixted said he has dislocated his shoulders at least six times. “Once, I experienced two hours of agony before a doctor could set it,” Wixted said. “My latest injury required surgery, which the doctor said went perfectly.” Wixted is looking forward to returning to the academy soon, although he said he sometimes misses just being a “normal kid.” “I miss out on a lot of things like homecoming, powderpuff and West Shore soccer, but I think it’s all going to be worth it in the long run,” Wixted said. “I miss so many amazing people and memories from West Shore, but I don’t quite miss the workload.”

Photo: courtesy A. Wixted

By Stephanie Everest Many would cringe at the prospect of sports practice in the middle of the night, but at 10 p.m., West Shore alumnus Aidan Wixted reports to the soccer field for his second training of the day. Moving away from family and friends, the high-school junior recently left Melbourne to join the Chicago Magic Paris Saint-Germain soccer team and academy in Illinois where he spends most of each day alternating between practices and schoolwork. “My day usually consists of waking up around 7 a.m. and doing school work until morning practice at 11 a.m.,” Wixted said. “Each practice always has a purpose – either strengthening our technique, team play or physicality. After practice, we have to do some school again for four hours, and then we have time to just relax until our night training.” Game-Face Aidan Wixted (left) and his After night training, the athletes teammate set a serious tone in the locker room turn in their phones and are sent to before the game. bed. What might seem like a rigorous U.S. youth National Team. They have cool schedule has been a way of life for Wixted. experiences, and they really bring the level “I was never a very good soccer player up at practice.” until about 11 when I really started to Above all, Wixted said he credits his older excel and I realized how much I love brothers for making him the soccer player soccer,” Wixted said. “From that point on I he is today. practically lived for the sport.” Wixted’s brother, Shane, played for a Now at the academy, Wixted is able to soccer academy in Clearwater. play with kids who share his passion. “Shane was at the academy a bunch of “I can honestly say that before Chicago I years back, and I’ve grown up wishing I had never been in an environment where could play at that kind of level.” Wixted kids want to get better every time they go said. to training. Every practice, each player goes As a West Shore student, Wixted and his 110 percent.” brother Liam played together on the varsity Along with coaches occasionally flying in team for four years. from France to train the team, Wixted said “We both pushed each other to work he most enjoys playing with athletes from harder and stay focused,” Liam Wixted said. around the world. “We were able to talk about each practice “A kid from Zambia lived with us for and game on car rides home, and we could a while until recently when he signed a go to the fields and train by ourselves.” pro contract in Brazil,” Wixted said. “He The dynamic duo helped lead the team to told us a lot about his African culture, become Class 2A State Champions in 2012 and he was an amazing player. I also live for the first time in the school’s history. with a bunch of guys who play for our


gametime

Hoops Finish Quite Different

The Next Step Senior goalie commits to Flagler By Lindsay Gorham

Photo: Dean Stewart

Senior captain Desiree Shields has committed to play soccer for Flagler College in the 2014-2015 season and plans to major in education. She expects to play keeper along with one other player on the Saints’ roster. “The only other goalie on the team is a senior, so hopefully I will get a lot of playing time,” Shields said. “Playing as the only other goalie will help me go further in soccer and gain more experience.” Shields knows that college soccer will be drastically different from the highschool or club soccer experience, and she’ll miss the close-ness of her varsity teammates. “I look forward to moving on in soccer,” Shields said. “But the bond our team had this year was incredible. I will miss all the girls next year. They were basically my second family.” Shields, with nine clean sheets led varsity girls’ soccer team through districts and into regional play, finishing

Clear It Senior Desiree Shields punts the ball away. She led the team with nine shutouts. with a record of 14-3-2. The Lady Wildcats’ regular season ended with a 1-0 double-overtime loss to Cocoa Beach in the district finals. District runners-up, the team traveled to Orlando where it lost to Bishop Moore 2-1 in a regional quarterfinal.

Promising Start Boys’ lacrosse opens with two victories By Chris Mikulas

Photo: Dean Stewart

Led by strong play by goalie Jack Moore and the team’s young defensive unit, the West Shore boys’ lacrosse team stunned the Sebastian River High School Sharks 12-9 on Feb 17 and and followed that up with a 6-4 victory over the Rockledge Raiders the following day. “It has been a long time since I’ve felt this good about a win in any sport,” junior Jake Dimond said. “In the previous seasons, winning any games was considered an immense achievement for the team, and now we just won the first game of our season against a big district rival and have started off undefeated.” Moore tallied 14 saves in the win over

Saving Face Senior goalie Jack Moore runs to protect his net. Rockledge, a career high, and stifled a Raider offense that looked baffled all night. “The whole game I was just trying to focus and be ready,” he said. “It took a while for our offense to get going, but we were able to hold them off. It was a great start.”

By Sam Lack While the boys’ basketball team found themselves without key starters for almost every game and were only able to tally one district win on the way to a 4-22 season record, the girls’ team dominated their regular season foes and finished 9-1 in the district before falling at the hands of Cocoa in a first-round upset. Despite neither team achieving the level of success they imagined before their seasons began, both were able to find some silver lining as they move forward. In just her third year on the varsity team, junior point guard Lydia Kline scored her 100th career point in a January game. “Lydia has been the focal point of the team all season,” head coach George Derr said. “She was our primary ball-handler, floor leader, and the player her teammates looked to her to make adjustments on the floor during the games.” The boys’ team was derailed by injuries for much of the year, but with seven seniors set to return next season, the future looks bright. “Given that there wasn’t a person on the team who was able to be healthy for every practice or every game, we certainly missed out on the team unity that a lot of others teams have,” said team center Jake Dimond, who found himself sidelined by a broken tooth, sprained ankle and strained lower back over the course of the year. “With a little more time to bond, we could have been a top notch team.” The girls were unable to continue their regular season dominance as they entered the playoffs, falling 46-41 to Cocoa in the first round of the district playoffs despite finishing as the district’s top seed. For senior Nora McSorely, the defeat was the swan song of a two year varsity career. “We just weren’t able to get the score up in the end,” she said. “I am going to miss the friends I have made on the team in the past couple years and I wish them the best in next year’s season.” Derr’s team will enter the 2014-15 season with a lot of promise, and it starts with Kline. “This team expected to be playing for a second district title, so I am certain the players will tell you that they are disappointed,” Derr said. “I believe the team had a very successful year, despite all of the changes in coaching staff and playing philosophy. They achieved many quality wins throughout the season. There is still much to build on for next season.”

february 2014 l theroar l 17


gametime

Seniors lead spring sports into action By Konur Oyman

Tennis Erich Heinricher

Photo: Dean Stewart

Senior Erich Heinricher awaits a return during a practice session.

Q: What do you expect from the upcoming season? A: “I think it’s going to be just like any other year. It’ll be easy for me and hard for all of the other kids. I pretty much won’t play half of the matches this year because they will be so easy.â€? Q: After losing some of your star players last year, do you expect that to affect your season? $´:HGHĂ€QLWHO\ZRQŇ‹WEH making states. The only way we would get to states this year is if I get lucky and beat Albert Go from Merritt Island, but honestly no one else has a chance of making it.â€?

Girls’ Lacrosse Christine Sherry Q: How do you think the upcoming season will turn out? A: “I expect us to have a really good season with all of the returning players we have but DOVRWRKDYHDPRUHGLIĂ€FXOW season because other teams have just been getting better.â€? Q: What do you think are the team’s strong and weak areas? A: “I think some of our strengths will be working as a team, knowing the game, new skills we’ve learned from camps, Photo: Dean Stewart and the experience we’ve had. Senior Christine Sherry Some of our weaknesses could looks for an open be the seniors we lost last year teammate during a game who were a vital part of our against Merritt Island. WHDPVSHFLĂ€FDOO\RQGHIHQVHÂľ

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Track Luke Brunner

Photo: Dean Stewart

Senior Luke Brunner whips the discus during a meet at Cocoa High School.

Q: How do you expect this upcoming season to unfold? A: “We have new coaches this year and they are training us really hard. They are a lot more intense than the coaches last year, but still I don’t think we are going to do much better than last year.â€? Q: What events will be the teams best and weakest? $´,WKLQNDQ\RIWKHĂ€HOG events are going to be our best area. I think that the track events are going to be our worst and we are going to struggle with them because we just don’t have enough people competing and our competition is pretty good.â€?

Boys’ Lacrosse Ryan Bellone Q: What do you expect from this upcoming season of lacrosse? A: “I expect a lot from this season. We have a new coach who used to be the coach at Holy Trinity so he knows what he’s talking about. We also have a lot of young guys this year which ZDVGHĂ€QLWHO\QHHGHG:H also have a lot of returning guys so that combination hopefully will work out well. Photo: Dean Stewart Senior Ryan Bellone lets Coach Dan O’Halloran told us that we can win a lot of games DVKRWĂ \GXULQJ and he can see us making game against Central it to the playoffs with a high Catholic. seed.â€?


cattales

Sam Lack

Let the Games Begin Sochi’s Olympic Games bring out patriotism in students

Photos: E. Dubec-Hunter, Creative Commons

By Sam Lack Your sports trivia question: What Olympian, nicknamed the Flying Tomato, finished fourth during the Sochi Winter Olympics in the snowboard halfpipe, failing to become the first American Winter Olympian to win three consecutive gold medals in one event? The scene was Room 3-104 during lunch. The event was the Olympic hockey semifinal game between USA and Canada. The participants: several senior students, and reluctant teacher Mark Schledorn. We rallied our red, white and blue, and found ourselves planted in front of a live stream of the game. There was one lone Canadasupporter among us, and needless to say we, he wasn’t given much opportunity to voice his opinions. The point is, even on a balmy 80-degree day in central Florida, kids who’ve never even seen snow crowded around a projector screen and watched an event played on ice, during the Winter Olympics. That’s what is so grand about the Olympics. Despite the atrocities surrounding the Sochi Olympics -from terror threats and stray dogs to snowflake faults at the opening Patriot Spirit Senior Sam Lack runs around ceremonies; from an athlete getting URRPZLWKDÁDJZDYLQJEHKLQGKLPDV stuck in a bathroom, to the same he cheers for the US men’s hockey team athlete getting stuck in an elevator, the games were held, and the nations Teachers permitted streaming of the and their citizens were united in a twoOlympics during class, as long as work was week period of relative peace healthy being accomplished. competition. They then quickly forgot their rules and The effects were distinctly noticeable became entranced by the spectacle that is in our school’s population. Students who the Olympic Games. don’t know a slam dunk from a southpaw Sure, Russia won the most medals, the (left-handed baseball pitcher, for those Netherlands made a mockery of every of you wondering) would come in every other nation on the speed skating track, morning eager to discuss last night’s figure and those infuriating American hockey skating short program, or Shaun White’s players failed to medal. inability to medal, or the ever-angering Sure, there were stray dogs running USA men’s hockey team looking so superb amok, and Bob Costas’ eye was genuinely over Russia, then being unable to net a goal nauseating. against Canada. Sure, the temperature in Sochi tended to

hover around 60 degrees during the day, and ESPN giving away the day’s results before NBC aired the events that night on tape-delay was so infuriating that I personally conceded to boycott their channel and website for the fortnight. Yet still, when Merrill White and Charlie Davis snagged America’s first ever gold medal in ice dancing, NBC’s viewership ratings were it’s second highest ever for a night of Winter Games. Still, T.J. Oshie managed to become a hero in the eyes of Americans everywhere, scoring the goals in a shootout to beat the host Russians in men’s hockey. Still, people were regularly captivated by the inspiring stories of athletes who, as if characters in a Disney movie, overcame massive obstacles to compete on the world’s biggest stage. It is hard not to find yourself rooting for the Canadian skier Alex Bilodeau whose best friend is his brother with cerebral palsy; or the American bobsledder Stephen Holcomb who served in the military, then overcame a degenerative eye disease that led him to a suicide attempt; only to compete, and win two bronze medals in Sochi just a few years later. Still, a little group of students in warm and temperate Melbourne, Fla., huddled around a table and marched throughout the publications room, sporting an American flag across their backs, watching their fellow Americans citizens— their idols and heroes— even if just for a fortnight, play a game that many of them knew nothing about. Yet, all the while, they cheered like they were lifelong fans. That right there, that compelling, binding effect that these international games have on students, teachers, administrators, and parents; that is the magic of The Olympic Games. Trivia Answer: I gave this one away earlier, but the answer is Shaun White, formerly of the bright red afro, that finished fourth in the Snowboard Halfpipe final, after winning gold in 2008 and 2012.

february 2014 l theroar l 19


cultureshock

Media marathons. TV bingers watch a season’s worth of shows in hours By Lauren Youngson and Andrew Lim Holding a chicken sandwich, senior Susanna Plyler sits herself in Binge-watching has been around for years with show marathons on front of her computer and pulls up Netflix. Scrolling through the cable television, but Netflix has made this a more popular practice. dozens of available shows and movies, she decides to watch Season 7 The website automatically streams the next episode for its viewers, of “Grey’s Anatomy.” After only an hour break for dinner, Plyler turns making it easier to lose track of time and watch half a season. off her computer and goes to bed. “I watch my favorite shows, ‘The Lying Game,’ ‘Hart of Dixie’ and “Usually I watch four hours [of television] a week, but lately I watch ‘Gossip Girl,’ on my computer through Netflix,” Ward said. “It is like 8 hours a day,” she said. “Now I watch once I get home until when much easier that way, and I find myself watching more episodes at I go to sleep.” once since all the seasons are there.” According to Harris Interactive, more than half the population Despite the negative connotations of the word “binge,” many considers “bingeviewers remain watching” when unconcerned a person watches with their at least two to excessive three episodes w a t c h i n g 35 in one sitting. and report it ng However, there as a positive Br e a k56i have been drastic experience. Ba d cases in which “I love bingeindividuals have w a t c h i n g watched entire television shows seasons of a because I get television show attached to the in a single day. c h a r a c t e r s ,” “Once I Ward said. “I watched 10 get emotionally episodes of invested, and I Gossip Girl in hate when they one sitting,” do something sophomore that I don’t agree Megan Ward with.” said. “It was B i n g e nice because I Laying Back A MarketCast study shows that about 67 percent of the population has watching doesn’t was able to get binge-watched television. come without through one of my favorite shows quickly when I didn’t have much its downsides however. According to AP Psychology teacher James going on. Now I don’t have to worry about watching these episodes Pustay, too much television time can make the brain idle. when I should be focusing or doing other things.” “[Watching television] is a passive activity. It involves stresses that Plyler agreed that it’s easier to watch certain shows in one sitting. affect the physiological side, like weight gain. These stresses can “I don’t have much work right now, which is why I’m binge- hurt the mind if it’s not challenged. People are not developing their watching,” she said. “I can sit down and watch several episodes brains,” Pustay said. “You sit there idle, doing no good, physiologically instead of one episode a week.” and psychologically. You’re not really processing information, unless However, not every television show can be properly “binge- you’re watching educational shows. ‘You use it or you lose it’ is watched.” Often only highly suspenseful catch the eye of binge- especially true for the brain.” watchers, such as “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Despite these risks, even many adults indulge themselves in a Walking Dead.” Netflix has even created its own original television little binge-watching. AP Human Geography teacher Brooke Owenshows, such as “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” Thomas said she actively participates in binge-watching. which were created almost specifically for binge-watching. “I have gotten into ‘Supernatural,’ I am already on season five,” “I like the dynamics between the characters [of “Grey’s Anatomy”],” Owen-Thomas said. “It is more convenient with my schedule. I can Plyler said. “The worst things seem to happen to them: plane crashes, finally sit down and spend a ton of time watching the shows I like. giant storms, infidelity, the complexities of right vs. wrong.” And I recently got Netflix, which is dangerous. It is addictive.”

the office

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LOST

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20 l theroar l february 2014

MADMEN


cultureshock

Odd Love. ‘Her’ powerful, emotional.

‘Lego.’ So awesome

By Joey Crown

By Allen Greathouse

Who would have thought that one of the best love stories would be science fiction, and who would have thought that one of the best sci-fi stories would be a love story. “Her,” the new film written and directed by the visionary filmmaker Spike Jonze, presents a premise that is risky and largely off-putting to general audiences. This premise being a man that literally falls in loves with his computer, or rather the hyper-intelligent Operating System that evolves with the user. Jonze could have easily screwed this up; if the premise had gone in any other direction, it would have ruined the movie entirely. But the expert craftsmanship that went in to this film elevates it beyond genre and produces an entirely believable relationship that is both powerful and emotional. Our protagonist, Theodore Twombly, played by Joaquin Phoenix. He is the main focus of the film, visually, and is the focus of probably 90 percent of the shots. He provides a stunning portrayal of man getting over a divorce with his wife and his attempt to move on romantically and be in a relationship with another woman. He finds this woman in Samantha, an AI that is referred to as his OS. Samantha is merely a voice, Scarlett Johansson’s to be exact. So there is no physical

FAN FIGHT SOCHI 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS “THE BACHELOR SEASON 18”

“FLAPPY BIRD” APP

form of her present in the film, other than the phone Theodore keeps with him at all times in order to be with Samantha. Their relationship develops into something real and convincing, and despite a few awkward scenes, you can really sense the connection these two have, which is a testament to Phoenix’s acting as he creates a convincing relationship with her without having to play off a physical actor. Samantha feels very human and, likewise, is flawed like one. She obsesses over her flaws like a lot of humans do, like her lack of physical form, which she strongly believes limits her relationship with Theodore. They teach each other how to love, and then they fall in love. As Samantha evolves as an AI from her interactions with Theo, Theodore evolves just the same, which is just one of the many parallels the film creates between Theo and Samantha. Never does their relationship feel forced, and many of the struggles they face with each other are comparable to the relationships between two humans. “Her” creates a world that seems entirely likely to happen. The subtlety of it all had me convinced that this was the direction that society was headed too. The modern disconnectedness of people and the need for belonging in the prevalence of technology illustrate a contradiction in the world. As we become more obsessed with the technology around us, we lose sight of the people we hold dearest, a theme that perfectly describes this beautiful film, and even if the premise is uncomfortable to you, I urge you to watch this film with an open mind and develop a new understanding about what love can be.

LOVE IT

“Everything is Awesome!” about “The Lego Movie.” At first glance, “The Lego Movie” might seem like a child’s movie. But don’t be tricked by the flashing lights, bright colors and the little yellow toy people. “The Lego Movie” can indeed be watched by children, but the real plot of this story was made for the adults. With complex characters, a hidden plot and its ability to captivate any audience, “The Lego Movie” is nothing short of a pinnacle in the animation genre. Emmett is an average Joe, living his average life for the longest time, until one day when everything changed… Emmett was forced into a position where he would have to save the entire Lego universe, at the same time trying to woo over the girl of his dreams, Wyldstyle. But there’s one problem, she doesn’t even notice him, let alone like him. Well actually that was a lie, there’s another problem, she has a boyfriend. Plus to add insult to injury, her boyfriend Batman is egotistical and a jerk to Wyldstyle. Despite the way she is treated, she still stays with him. This is tough for Emmett, but he perseveres so that just maybe he’ll have a chance. For what was seemingly merely a child’s movie, our hero has quite the challenge set up for him. He still needs to find what makes him unique. Additionally, he is the Lego society’s only chance for survival. And then there’s the greatest challenge of all, winning the girl of his dreams. So in short, “The Lego Movie” has action, adventure, nostalgia and, more importantly, love all wrapped up into one story about your average, ordinary guy, the underdog, Emmett. I highly recommend this movie, so the next time you go to the cinema consider giving this one a chance because there’s something for everyone.

WHAT IS IT?

“My favorite sport is Scheduled for Feb. 6-23 in Sochi, Russia, ÀJXUHVNDWLQJEHFDXVH the 2014 Winter Olympics has experiLWDGGVDUWLVWLFÁDUHWR enced controversy and protest, particularly sports.” over recent terrorist attacks and Russia’s - Lauren Novak, 7 laws against “gay propaganda.” “I love watching all the )HDWXULQJWKHÀUVWQRQ&DXFDVLDQPDQ different couples, the in the show’s history, the 18th season places they travel to and of “The Bachelor” introduced Americanthe drama.” born Venezuelan, Juan Pablo Galavis, -Jenna Bratman , 9 on Jan 6. “I like it because it is Released May 2013, the Flappy Bird challenging, and most app is a game where players must tap games don’t challenge the screen to avoid pipe obstacles. It reached No. 1 on iTunes before being me.” - Robert Madden, 10 removed by the game’s author on Feb. 9.

HATE IT “It’s boring. We don’t have snow in Florida so we can’t really know much about it.” - Allie Henderson, 8 “The show is too set up and not realistic enough.” - Sean Simonian, 11 “Do you mean Angry Birds?” - Jennifer Stone, 12

february 2014 l theroar l 21


cultureshock

Restoring Force. Of Mice and Men adds new twist. By Jessica Blanco

Born and raised in California, Of Mice and Men is a metalcore band whose name is derived from John Steinbeck’s novel. “The book ‘Of Mice and Men’ says ‘the well laid plans of mice and men often falter.’ You make plans, and they get screwed up. [Jaxin Hall] and I both had plans for life, and they both got screwed up, so now we’re making the most of what we can,” lead singer Austin Carlile said on the band’s Youtube channel. Of Mice and Men has been together for almost six years and remains successful in the alternative rock field with its third studio album. “Identity Disorder” is the ninth song on the album, and it is my favorite. This song homes in on the traditional roots of Of Mice and Men, rather than the newer metalcore twist the band has promoted as its image. Carlile’s voice is beautiful, flowing endlessly with the tempo of the song. The guitar and drums are lighter, demonstrating its alternative atmosphere and promoting a lasting impression on the listener. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. I have been a follower of Of Mice and Men for a some time, and this album, is a completely unique breakthrough, its amazingly fresh and shows a new twist on the “traditional” sounds of Of Mice and Men. Each song has its own creative personality, and somehow they all flow together to create a prefect LP. My only advice to this refreshing band? Avoid screaming incoherently. Fans enjoy Carlile’s golden voice; not being able to hear the lyrics ruins the whole song.

The No. 1 Girl. Country debut shows promise.

By Hannah Brusca Jennifer Nettles’ debut solo album That Girl has been awarded the No. 1 album on iTunes in country music. The amazing sound and beat of the lead single, as well as great story line, create the recipe for a perfect reward. The hit song, also named “That Girl,” embraces a whole new meaning of the word “country.” The lower-base drum beat and hand-clapped rhythm seem like they’d clash with the artist’s country vocals, but instead they’re the perfect combination. With Nettles’ wide vocal range, the bursts of energy from hard-to-reach notes make the song even more pleasurable to hear. In addition to the track’s stunning vocals, the song also comes with a unique story, shown in the music video. The term “that girl” refers to how Nettles does not want to be portrayed. An already-taken man tries to make a move on her, and she tries to tell the girl he’s cheating on what really happened before gossip interferes. There is a plot twist near the ending of the music video; when Nettles is about to tell the girl the truth, the girl takes off her apparent wig and reveals that she is also Nettles. This can be interpreted as though Nettles was always meant to be with the man from the beginning, or even that he likes all different parts of her personality, as the girl with the wig may have been her alter-ego. Nettles’ compelling album is a must-buy for both its great sound and story.

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WILDCAT PLAYLIST WHAT’S PLAYING IN THE NATION?

“Most of my music is from the 60s to the 80s. That’s because music today is no good and makes no sense.” — Marc Spurlock, 10

“As a teen, I listened to what was alternative at the time. The lyrics were deeper. It was different than what most were listening to, like mainstream pop.” — Carrie Aune, English teacher

“It’s Raining Men” Success The Weather Girls

“Hand in Glove” The Smiths The Smiths

“Centerfold” Freeze-Frame The J. Geils Band

“Longview” Dookie Green Day

“Dancing With Myself” Don’t Stop Billy Idol

“Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” Sailing the Seas of Cheese Primus


cultureshock

A New Genre.

A Bloody Mess.

Broken Bells offers exciting sound.

English singer unimpressive.

By Thomas Kendrick Broken Bells are the combination of two very different and eccentrically minded people who create music at opposite sides of the spectrum. James Mercer is an indiepop artist from The Shins, while Brian Joseph Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse) is an L.A. super-producer who has helped sculpt records from Norah Jones, the Black Keys, and later this year, U2. The collaboration of these two creates an unclassifiable combination of rock, hip-hop beats and sleek electronica that pushes the boundaries of any music genre. Back in 2010, Broken Bells’ self-titled debut crafted the band’s foundation that was a bright fusion of cushy beats and spacey music that has been furthered in their latest endeavor, After the Disco. Perhaps the strongest track on the record, the six-and-a-half-minute “Perfect World” features New Wave synths and altered glass guitar flash during key moments that make a compelling and adventurous introduction to an album that goes beyond the bounds of alternative music. This song effectively summarizes the tone and instrumentation of the entire album; it’s rueful, archaic, and happily melodic despite its somber theme. It’s an atmospheric introduction with a pulsing bass line that builds to an epic chorus that starts the record in the best way possible. One of the best things about Broken Bells is their ability to blend complex yet catchy choruses with melodic pop that is still smart and smooth. The eclectic Broken Bells have taken an adventurous step in the right direction, upping the ante and keeping things fresh, something many bands lack the courage to do.

By Andrew Lim British pop music has gained a reputation for being awful, with several music acts originating from TV music competitions. Though some groups have proven gifted, many seem devoid of any talent. But English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has mixed origins. She was lead singer of an indie band in the 90s, but she was brought back into the spotlight recently after placing fourth on the TV show “Strictly Come Dancing.” Like her origins, her album Wanderlust is mixed. “Young Blood” was the first single, and it baffles me why it was chosen. Say what you want about how bad the other songs are, but at least they’re kind of interesting. This song is just boring. The whole song has the same dreary tone; I’m constantly waiting for a boom of energy that never comes. A song describing how love makes you feel young should be exciting. “Young Blood” just feels flat. The lyrics are full of bad metaphors. “Days are ghosts,” according to Ellis-Bextor, going by unseen when she’s with her love. Well Sophie, if days are ghosts, wouldn’t that mean that your current life is devoid of energy, a shadow of your once good life? This is the first line of the song, and it already fails to establish its own theme. While the song production can be impressive, even the “best” songs on the album (if you can call them that) are dragged down by her unimpressive vocal style.

february 2014 l theroar l 23


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BBN Vol. 31 No. 24

June 17, 2013

Brevard

Business

News

$1.00 A Weekly Space Coast Business Magazine printed in Brevard County, Florida since 1984

The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse establishes a foundation By Ken Datzman COCOA VILLAGE — The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse, a cultural pillar of the community for more than two decades, has established a fund–raising vehicle for the organization as it

The Roar February issue  

The February issue of the Roar, West Shore Jr./Sr. High School's student newsmagazine.

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