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e r u t c i e p h t f o ut

NEWS: Senior wins minority scholarship »PAGE 2

FEATURES: A look at random drug testing » PAGE 17

ISSUE ELEVEN feb. 19, 2008 shawnee mission east prairie village, ks

SPORTS: Soda proves harmful to athletes

»PAGE 23


Low salaries and little prestige contribute to a widespread teacher shortage BY

» stephennichols

Associate principal Steve Loe remembers coming out of college in 1993 and being told not to apply to the SMSD because there were “2,000 applicants waiting at the doors.” Even three years ago, after he had been hired, Loe helped paper screen candidates out of the selection process at East. This year, Loe says they felt a “small crunch” trying to fill vacant woodshop and auto tech positions and find quality math and science teachers, which is a small indication of an ever-increasing problem for the education system nationwide. Thirty-three thousand teachers currently fill Kansas

classrooms and11,880 will be able to retire in the next five years. According to recent statistics, an additional 15,180 will also leave their teaching posts for good in the next seven years. Districts across the nation are beginning to feel the crunch. Reasons for the shortage are plentiful: the salary isn’t high enough, students don’t see the prestige in teaching and competition among schools for new teachers is staggering. Not only are they working to attract and retain teachers, but the state is working on improving the image of the profession, offering a faster entry into teaching and a goal of increased pay.

Last June, Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Alexa Posny reported that there would be a record-high 1144 teacher vacancies for the 2007-2008 school year. The number of vacancies had doubled between school years. Combined, these numbers create a projection that would cripple the future public school system and Posny has put the shortage of teachers as a primary concern. “If we haven’t recognized it already, teacher shortage is absolutely going to be one of the biggest areas of concern that we have in public education in the next five to 10 years, if not within the next year or so.”

» story continued on page 4



Academic achievement Senior wins Black Achievers scholarship BY

running for

Tommy Gray president also involved in

SHARE, NAHS, SNHS, debate, forensics

in the southwest part of the island, where her father works in a factory that produces energy for half of Jamaica, and most of the people she knew owned scallion and peanut crops, never having a definite paycheck. “(Jamaicans) work 10 times the money they make,” Whitely said. “Jamaica is a very expensive place to live, and for people who aren’t doctors or teachers, the regular people, there’s not too much.” Her family felt that she would have more opportunities in the United States, so she came to live with her aunt in Prairie Village seven years ago. “My mother wanted me to have a better education,” Whitely said. “I also wanted to see somewhere new. No matter where you live, you don’t seem to appreciate it until you’ve seen the rest of the world.” Since moving here, she has SENIOR Nadvish Whitley works on an assignment in the taken advantage of the opportu- library. After moving here from Jamaica, Whitely has nities that she wouldn’t have had worked hard on academics, which enabled her to win in Jamaica. She will attend Cot- the Black Achievers Scholarship. » karenboomer tey College next year, a decision but unique in the world,” Lamb said. “In she made after being approached by a recruiter who had learned of her my 17 years of teaching, I don’t think I have met someone who has ponied up award. “Nadvish is unique not only at East, like she has.”

Young Hou

junior years on StuCo 1

previous positions

previous positions

freshman president sophomore president junior representative

public relations chair

running for

president also involved in

Pep club, track

Why are you a good candidate?

running for

David Spero vice-president also involved in

Link crew, SHARE

years on StuCo 2 previous positions sophomore treasurer junior treasurer

What are your goals for student council? “I want charities and school involvement to go better and have kids more involved.”

Qi Chen

sophomore years on StuCo 1 previous positions

running for

treasurer also involved in

Robotics club, Youth in Government, math club

sophomore president

What makes you a good candidate? “I tend not to make mistakes in math, if there are any weird calculations with numbers that need to be done, I am in Calculus BC.”

junior years on StuCo 1

also involved in

NAHS, forensics, pack of pals

junior vice-president

Make the executive DECISION

Eight candidates are running for student council executive board, the four students who are in charge of student council. Students must have been on student council for one year and complete their jobs with enthusiasm. Here are profiles of the candidates running for each position. running for

Jennifer Latshaw treasurer junior

Amy Esselman president

What makes you a good candidate?

“I believe a school that supervises the best is a school that supervises the least. My goal is to give power to the people!”

“I am responsible, dedicated and hard working, and am open to new ideas. I care about this school.”

running for

previous positions

What are your goals for student council?



» paigecornwell

Senior Nadvish Whitley has plans to go to college, find a job and make lots of money. She doesn’t know what she wants to be yet, though she is thinking about being an engineer, but she does know what she wants to do once she has the money. She wants to send the money to her family in Jamaica. Whitely wrote about this goal in her application for the Black Achievers Scholarship, along with an essay about herself and her life experiences. Whitely was a recipient of the scholarship, one of six college-bound high school students who received the award that honors black students who make good grades and are involved in volunteering and athletics. “{For the application} I wrote about everything,” Whitely said. “My struggles, my happiness, I wrote about what my mother would have wanted for my education.” Whitely learned about this scholarship from counselor Laura Lamb, who thought that the scholarship opportunity was a perfect fit for Whitely. “{The scholarship} talked about minorities, academic achievement and need,” Lamb said. “Nadvish is a very bright minority.” Before Whitely came to the United States, she lived in St. Elizabeth, located

junior years on StuCo 3


also involved in

Link crew, NAHS, French club, SHARE

years on StuCo 3 previous positions freshman treasurer public relations chair special events chair

What are your goals for student council?

“I really want to do things that make school more fun. This year we started decorating the halls for spirit week and I’d love to continue that.”

“I would love to represent such a fun student body. I know I can make this year fun and do my best to work hard and get as many students involved as possible.” running for

Paige Cornwell secretary junior years on StuCo 3

also involved in

The Harbinger, orchestra, TeenStar

previous positions freshman secretary sophomore secretary junior secretary


Junior College Planning The junior college planning meeting for parents is Feb. 25 in the library.

StuCo Exec Board Elections Student council executive board elections are Feb. 29.

Parent Principal Coffee

The PTA parent principal coffee is tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the library.

National Merit Finalists The national merit finalists are seniors Emma Austenfeld, Thomas Braslavsky, Jordan Hahn, Eric Hamilton, Emily Hartman, Patrick Kennedy, Kristen Koch, Jack Krieger, Andrew Lee, Sarah McCandless, Libby Nachman, Laura Nelson, Kate O’Neill, Carlea Putnam, Nandini Sarma, Brooke Stanley, Kelly Tankard and Adrienne Wood.

Senior Class DVD The deadline to submit a photograph for the senior class DVD is March 15. All seniors are asked to submit one photograph, as long as the photograph is school-appropriate. Please send the photograph to East in care of Linda Sieck. The dvd will be presented to the senior class at graduation practice in May.

Used Book Sale Donations The East library is now accepting gently used books, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes any weekday between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The donations will be sold at the used book sale April 11 and 12.

Registration for advanced placement exams are now being accepted in the counseling office. Each exam is $84, please make checks out to SME. The deadline to register for exams is March 12.

“My goals for next year are to continue the East tradition of student life being amazing, while also making sure that everyone is involved.”

years on StuCo 2 previous positions

Information meetings for students interested in running for student council officer positions for next year are tomorrow after school and Thursday before and after school in room 307. Students must attend one meeting if they would like to run.

A.P. Exams

What are your goals for student council?

Grant Morris

Class Officer Informational Meeting

running for

treasurer also involved in

Theater, rugby, ultimate frisbee

NHS Induction

freshman president junior president

What makes you a good candidate? “I have experience, hard working attitude and a great personality”

National Honor Society induction is Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Induction rehearsal is Feb. 25 after school.

Sophomore StuCo finds difficulty with student participation in their Piea-Teacher fundrasier BY


planning and fundraising for the Can Drive

sophomore fundraiser



Easy as

Sophomore StuCo Time Management According to treasurer Holly Lafferty

planning and fundraising for the peanut butter drive

» elizabethmcgranahan

said. “Those types of contests can be Eleven dollars. very unhealthy.” Just the price of two Starbucks frappuccinos. Enough help plan Bunch of Chen says that StuCo won’t let a to buy a school dance ticket and about the amount of two Bands and the 5-Minfew failures keep them down. He alChipotle burritos. But not enough to qualify as a successful ready has plans for the future. ute Film Festival decorate for Dances fundraiser. His next idea involves bringing toSophomore StuCo hosted the first ever Pie a Teacher gether the resources of StuCo and the fundraiser on Jan. 22-24. However, in the first few days robotics team. they were only able to raise $11 and therefore were forced “The robotics team had great sucto give back the small profit on the morning of Jan. 25. cess with the bake sale in the coffee shop,” “It sounded like a really fun fundraiser,” sophomore build the sophomore Chen said. “So hopefully by bringing the two Joey Wheeler said. “I was disappointed when I heard they together we can get back on track.” canceled it.” float Besides the robotics club, Chen plans to work According to sophomore vice president David Beeder, harder on getting to know what students are interestthis fundraiser didn’t work because of bad timing. » mackenziewylie ed in so that he can come up with more appealing ideas “We jumped on the idea way too late to make anything for fundraisers. of it,” Beeder said. “It was one fatal flaw that cost us in the Beeder both “I was thinking of possibly having a straw-flyer contest long run.” a g r e e that they won’t let a disapon the ramps,” Chen said. “It’s profitable, fun and low cost. Sophomore president Qi Chen also explains that any pointment prevent them from continuing to explore differWho knows, it could be our next fundraiser.” fundraiser held right after the holidays is more difficult ent ideas and methods of fundraising. Despite the recent letdowns, Beeder thinks it’s imporand this fundraiser also happened to be very short notice. Spring elections for next year’s junior class officers are tant to remember they have participated in fundraisers Chen recognizes that combination prevented them from approaching and many of the sophomore StuCo memraising over $1,000 this school year alone. They were a having a successful fundraiser. bers are unsure of what their future plans for StuCo will major part in several fundraisers including the Peanut ButUnfortunately this wasn’t the first failed fundraiser of involve. Regardless, Beeder says that they will continue ter drive for harvesters. the year- there was also the hot dog eating contest. Word to work hard to make the sophomore StuCo stronger and “The sophomore class did an awesome job with the was spread throughout the school that StuCo would be more efficient this year. peanut butter drive,” sophomore StuCo sponsor Monique holding the first ever hot dog eating contest and it seemed “It is our job to represent the sophomore class until the Goodeyon said. “It was by far one of the most successful that the students loved the idea of it. very last day of school,” Beeder said. “Until that day, we drives.” “I thought it was a great idea,” sophomore Rachel Pediwill keep focusing on what’s best for StuCo and our class.” Chen cino said. “It sounded original and and fun.” Although the students thought it was a good idea, the administration didn’t. They rejected it due to the sevPie-a-Teacher Wiffle Ball Coin Drop Cash Donations MORP eral health hazards. “We try to stay away from contests where students are trying to eat the most,” principal Susan Swift

Rollin’ in the doughStuCo Fundrasiers so far this school year

$300 $4154 $115 $649 $11

Administration discusses cheering etiquette BY

» gagebrummer

On Feb. 7, two meetings were held in the library concerning the actions of fans at boys’ basketball games. One was held at 3 p.m. for students, and the other was held at 5 p.m. for any parent that wanted to come. Athletic Director Gary Howard moderated both meetings. “This is an open forum for you, I want to let you guys vent,” Howard opened the student meeting with. “The bottom line is… as a whole we’re going to represent Shawnee Mission East.” Representing the students were five seniors, and four juniors. Pep club sponsor Nick Paris and pep club president Taylon Johnson were also there to see if Pep Club could aid in a resolution. A discussion went on for approximately 40 minutes concerning students frustrations with the current situation. Senior Tommy Kennedy opened for the students saying, “(Rule 52) has been around since 1988, so why is being so enforced now in 2008?” Rule 52 is a collection of rules concerning the conduct of coaches, players, fans and administration at games. Recently, attendance has gone down drastically at basketball games. Junior Calvin Tidwell said, “Tuesday night, against Olathe East, [we played] probably one of the best teams we’ll play this season. And there were 30 kids there. Two years ago if you came to a big game like that, not only would [the student] sections be full, but all of [the other]

sections would be too.” “The administrators say the enforcement of the rule hasn’t changed. If that’s the case, I’m wondering why no one’s there.” After the students had their time to voice their opinions, Howard addressed everyone with his stance on the subject. His main concern was the singling out of players on the court with chants. “When you guys [chant like] that, you guys have no idea what his parents or his grandparents who might be sitting in the stands…are going through,” Howard said. Here, Howard was addressing the chant “Super Senior!” that was directed at a fifth year senior who had to sit out his sophomore year because of extreme migraines. The students and Howard both agreed by the end of the meeting that the students need to cheer more for our team, but that the administration also has to allow the students to say things as common as “airball,” to a certain level. Parents of basketball players trickled into the library at 5 p.m. Howard, Assistant Principal Loe and Principal Susan Swift stood by to moderate and voice their opinions. Again, the subject of the “Super Senior” chant was brought up. One parent pointed out the fact that the same player had loudly expressed his thoughts on a missed shot by yelling the F-word. He was not penalized for this lack of sportsmanship.

Howard responded to this by saying that we need to not answer negativity with negativity. Cheerleader sponsor Jennifer Zerrer stopped in to talk about girls’ basketball. “These guys say they can’t play as well without fans there, but if you go to a girls’ game you can see Taylon Johnson working her butt off on the court, and a lot of times [the cheerleaders and girls’ team] are the only people there,” Zerrer said. Near the end of the meeting, Basketball Coach Shawn Hair came in, despite the requests of the administrators for him to not be present at the meeting. Hair said, “For the past 12 years I’ve tried to build a passion, for the game of basketball. For the first in time in those 12 years I feel we don’t have buy-in.” Hair was referring to the lack of attendance at games. Hair also took time to point out how well we have been doing in recent years. “We have the second best starting record in school history, beat only by last years’.” He finished with a teary-eyed confession, “This is my life. We all [need to] take a hard look at ourselves and try and become a family again; that’s all I’ve tried to build here.” The meeting convened with the understanding that the administration was going to be more lenient on the rules as long as the students in the stands could re- issue spect their decisions on what is and isn’t appropriate at basketball games.


theharbinger EDITOR-IN-CHIEF »lauranelson ASSISTANT EDITORS »bernadettemyers »stephennichols ART AND DESIGN EDITOR »libbynachman HEAD COPY EDITOR »adriennewood ONLINE EDITOR »halliemccormick PHOTO EDITOR »karenboomer NEWS SECTION EDITOR »paigecornwell NEWS PAGE EDITORS »phoebeunterman »michaelstolle OP/ED SECTION EDITOR »natalieeisenach OPINION PAGE EDITORS »mollycaldwell »anniesgroi FEATURES SECTION EDITOR »melissamckittrick ASST. FEATURES EDITOR »jeffrutherford FEATURES PAGE EDITORS »devino’bryan »taylortwibell SPREAD EDITOR »megshackelford ASSISTANT SPREAD EDITOR »samlogan MIXED EDITOR »rachelmayfield A&E SECTION EDITOR »ruthstark A&E PAGE EDITORS »rachelbirkenmeier »mactamblyn SPORTS SECTION EDITOR »clarkgoble SPORTS PAGE EDITORS »mikecray »joesernett FREELANCE PAGE EDITORS »jordandietrich »maxmcbride »mackenziewylie COPY EDITORS »thomasbraslavsky »timshedor »paigecornwell »jeffrutherford »samkovzan »stephennichols »bernadettemyers »lauranelson »libbynachman »adriennewood STAFF ARTISTS »alexanderson »renli ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR »sallydrape PHOTOGRAPHERS »andyallen »annaleek »marygalvin »tylerroste »taylerphillips »norasalle »mackenziewylie ONLINE SECTION EDITORS »taylorhaviland »katiefreyder »elizabethmcgranahan ADS MANAGERS »aubreyleiter »conortwibell CIRCULATION MANAGER »aubreyleiter STAFF WRITERS »gagebrummer »griffinbur »davidhenderson »mikehake »mikemazzoni »sarahluby »kevinsimpson »nickratliff »duncanmchenry »sylviashank »jordanpfeiffer »davidwebster »landonmcdonald ADVISOR »dowtate Letters to the editor should be sent to room 521 or Letters may be edited for clarity, length, libel and mechanics and accepted or rejected at the editor’s discretion.


Langauge classes have too many

empty seats

There’s a popular joke in Europe: What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks only one language? An American. It may sound funny at first, until you realize that they’re not laughing with us; they’re laughing at us. You don’t have to be a linguistics professor to see that the state of foreign language instruction in our country’s schools needs some serious revamping. Americans’ refusal to take seriously the changing demographics of our globalized world will come back to bite us, not only hurting our reputation, but also our ability to succeed in the future. We live in a connected world. International trade is constantly increasing. China’s economy is booming. We face challenges and opportunities in regions from the Middle East to Africa, Latin America to Asia. We are a major global player. Still, instead of teaching our young people the languages of the rest of the world, we expect the rest of the world to learn ours. This attitude hurts our relations with other countries and cultures and purveys a sense of arrogance from the US at a time when we need to be building friendships. It takes away the opportunity to build cultural understanding and be able to reach more people worldwide. This attitude damages our country’s economic and security prospects, as well as our position in the world. It’s time to change that attitude in school districts throughout America. In order to prioritize our foreign language education, the district should include it in the core curriculum. Making three years of a foreign language in high school mandatory for graduation would put the subject on equal footing with social studies, math and science. It should not be optional to broaden one’s linguistic horizons; just like current core classes,

study of a foreign language is vital to children’s development in today’s world. When foreign languages are electives, students may not be mature enough to realize the benefits of studying another language, or they may just be too lazy to voluntarily challenge themselves. Making the study of another language mandatory will give them an opportunity that they will later be thankful for. To make students more comfortable with this transition, they should also have the option of taking either regular or honorslevel foreign language classes. Thus, each student could choose to take a class with a pace appropriate to their ability or desire. Another important factor in an effective foreign language program is an early start. Studies from countries with successful language programs show that beginning foreign language education in elementary school is directly responsible for degree of fluency. When kids start learning another language at an early age, they’ll have more time and experience with the language by the time they graduate. This is not some radical new idea – in addition to all of Europe, foreign languages are considered a part of the educational core, from elementary school to graduation, in such countries as Canada, Thailand and Morocco. Is it really that important for Americans to speak more languages? Some may say that it is unfair to compare our situation to that of Europe, which consists of multiple, smaller nations, each with its own language. But whether or not we use the average European, who speaks two to three languages fluently, as a benchmark, it’s quite obvious that we need to meet the









The majority opinion of the Harbinger Editorial Board


a publication of shawnee mission east high school 7500 mission road, prairie village, kansas 66208 feb. 19, 2008 issue 11, volume 49 The Harbinger is a student run publication. The contents and views are produced solely by the staff and do not represent the Shawnee Mission East or SMSD faculty, or administration.

» photo illustration karenboomer

challenge posed by today’s world, starting at the district level. Knowing a second language can be a window into another culture. Apart from being an enriching intellectual pursuit, it can also open up countless business and career opportunities. Our globalized world requires that we make strides in understanding our friends, enemies and rivals. Revitalizing our foreign language programs is a vital first step in that direction.

Methods of teaching


Audio-visual translation:: Students listen to tapes and watch movies in the foreign language to simulate real life usage. There are also many acting and roleplay situations for the students to exercise the language. It is referred to as the “crash instruction” in the United States. This method is taught less often, and the direct method is emphasized more.

Grammar translation:

Students are instructed in grammar and are given vocabulary with direct translation. The emphasis is on memorization. Daily exercises in class cover the rules of the language until the students are comfortable with the rules. The principles of this method are based on untiring practice and repetition of the rules.

Direct method: In this method the student learns the new language using only the foreign language. There is complete immersion from the beginning and there is no help given in the student’s native language. It was developed in the early 1900s in German and French schools. This method emphasizes the correct pronunciation of the target language from the beginning of the lessons.

Directed practice:

Students recite and repeat exact phrases. There is extreme concision with the pronunciation and grammar to emphasize memorization. It is used often in American schools. However, there is much criticism surrounding this method because it limits the students’ freedom in choice of conversation and vocabulary.

The International Playground

»source » renli






» photo by karenboomer

the glass of bipartisan politics

Obama offers the most unifying message for Americans

Primary season brings out a throng of organizations in support of the presidential hopefuls. There are Asian-Americans for Hillary, Catholics for Huckabee, Students for McCain, Kentuckians for Romney—even Deadheads for Obama. There’s one organization, however, that at first seems as ironic as Jewsfor-Jesus does. Republicans for Obama. Crossing party lines, this grassroots organization has » phoebeunterman grown since late 2006 to over 700 members from across the nation. Although in a nation of 300 million this may seem insignificant, they’re not the only Republicans supporting Obama this year. In Iowa, there were more than 700 registered Republicans who committed to caucusing for Obama. In Colorado, another 500. And Obama has received endorsements from a number of prominent Republicans, including Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a dedicated member of the GOP. Republicans for Obama (called Obamacans by the Obama campaign) stress that they’re Americans first and Republicans second. Sure, they may not share his stance on gay marriage or abortion rights, but they believe that Obama’s the one who can bring our nation together on the issues that matter most—our economic prosperity and our standing in the world. I think they’ve got the right attitude. Barack Obama is what our country needs to get past the partisan politics that divide us and find the common ground between the opinions associated with either party. Obama has shown his favor of bipartisanism since he first appeared on the national political stage.


19 feb.


In his speech as the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama discouraged against American politicians’ partisan tendencies. “Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spinmasters and negative-ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything-goes,” Obama said in his 2004 speech. “Well, I say to them tonight: There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there is the United States of America.” Although this could be taken as a cliché crowd-pleasing statement, Obama doesn’t make it into one and has stood by it in his congressional acts and speeches since. Obama led bipartisan groups in Congress fighting for better fuel-economy standards for cars and insurance of heat for low-income families in winter. It’s important that our next president be one who respects the opinions of the other party and can work with and listen to people of that party, so that we can spend more time passing bills and making changes in Congress and less time being divided by our differences. Although he has a strong record of bipartisanism, Obama was the National Journal’s most liberal senator in 2007, which doesn’t sit well with most Republicans. I don’t deny his liberalism, but I think even with his strong opinions, he’d be able to effectively work with conservatives and moderates because of his strong will to unite our country. Even though I won’t be able to vote for Obama in this election, I still live in the U.S. and I will feel the effects of whoever is elected to be our next president. I’m passionate about Obama because I feel he’s the candidate who will do something to relieve the partisanism currently paralyzing Congress. One republican supporting Obama wrote in the Daily Kos, an American political blog: “Obama Republicans are pretty sure that Obama is not going to adopt their policy positions. But they believe that he will listen to them, respect their viewpoints, and integrate their ideas into his solutions when doing so makes sense and provides broad

benefits.” This shows that there are some people who are supporting Obama not because they agree with his policies, but because they feel he has the power to unite our country. Creating a unified country was what our ancestors had in mind when the two-party system originated after the ratification of the Constitution. To prevent one party from gaining too much power, a second emerged. I think we may be taking too far what our founding fathers intended as a means of justice. It’s gotten to the point where the majority of Congressmen vote on a partisan basis. According to The U.S. Congress Votes Database by, members of the 110th Congress vote with their party an average of 84.4 percent of the time. The fixation on political party has made it almost impossible to make major changes in our government. Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, asked Republicans which Democratic candidate they would accept or consider to vote for. “Obama would get more than everybody else combined,” he said. “Hillary [Clinton] and [John] Edwards have no crossover voters.” Already, Obama is showing us his power to unite the opposing parties—Republicans for Obama is a prime example. He possesses a vigor in his speeches and an authenticity in his campaign that shows he’s ready to begin uniting and changing America. “We’ve come to be consumed by a 24-hour, slash-andburn, negative ad, bickering, small-minded politics that doesn’t move us forward,” he told the New York Times on Dec. 11, 2006. “Sometimes one side is up and the other side is down. But there’s no sense that they are coming together in a common-sense, practical, nonideological way to solve the problems that we face.” Obama realizes our country’s problem, and I believe he is ready to be the one to move us forward and bring us together.

KCTC survey is not taken seriously by students I should be here having a class discussion about chapter 6 of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” or at least that’s what I anticipated. But instead I fill in circle after circle of the Kansas Communities That Care student survey, wasting away my first hour of the day. I’m not alone when I say these surveys are a complete waste of time; many of the students and staff I’ve talked to agree. The surveys simply are not doing their »jeffrutherford job. It’s meant to help solve problems but I can’t remember any steps taken to solve the problems seen in our community…according to these surveys. Students often entertain themselves as they take the survey, saying that they have in fact used LSD 40 or more times within the last 30 days. But not everyone takes these surveys as a joke. It may be a truthful answer for some students to say the have used cocaine 10-19 times within the last month, but for the majority of students at this school that’s far from the truth. According to KCTC “…it measures the initiation of substance use and the change in patterns of use during important developmental periods and provides important direction for prevention efforts locally and state-wide.” I haven’t seen too many changes being made about the “huge” drug problem in our school or the “excessive” use of firearms. There are two reasons why students are unable to truthfully take this survey: it’s way too long for the information it is trying to get, and it asks the same questions over and over again. This survey includes over 130 questions ranging from simple background information to personal questions like “Has anyone in your family ever had a severe alcohol or drug problem?” But really there are more than the just 133 questions,


»lancervoice senior

Sophie Unterman

more like 200. Under the majority of numbers there are subgroups that ask you all kinds of “Peer Influences” questions. Questions are also asked over and over again. There are 10 questions related to how comfortable you feel in your school environment. There are nearly 50 questions that try to find out about you and your friends drug use and your views on violence. It is fair to assume that this is one of the tools used to eliminate false surveys. According to Darren Dawson, an official from KCTC, about 6 percent of surveys are eliminated each year, but we all know more than 6 percent of kids lie on these things. He also told me one of the major problems with the survey is simply getting schools to participate. Only about 60 percent of school districts in our county participate, and there is obviously a reason for the lack of participation. Dawson said that some schools simply decline because of the time it takes to administer. Meaning: it is in fact a waste of class time. This survey should really not be given at all. The majority of students are unable to take it seriously, resulting in a waste of class time. The KCTC is not receiving accurate information and if they are they don’t seem to be doing much “caring” about it. Information about KCTC clearly states that the test is optional, and I can’t say that I fully understood that before taking this test. I would have gladly declined participation in substitution for a study hall. KCTC also states that good participation “…can only happen if districts and teachers stress the value and importance of the KCTC survey results and provide committed effort during administration.” And I certainly didn’t get that impression. The main point is that the KCTC surveys have time after time failed to do their job. Their job is to improve the community, and implement programs that will help do so. No changes have been made in the past due to extreme results and I don’t see any changes being made in the near future. Changes need to be made to the survey be-

fore changes can be made in our community. And will keep our fingers crossed, hoping.

Psychology of Surveys What strategy goes into writing surveys

Do’s: -Ask specific questions - Use clear language: Get straight to the point with easy to understand language.

Don’ts: -Ask misplaced questions: Questions that aren’t in a logical order are confusing

-Ask double-barreled questions: If a questions has two parts split it into two questions.

- Questions about future intentions: Predictions people make won’t necessarily be right.

-Long questions: Multiple choice questions are the longest and most complex courtesy of

East sophmores and seniors took the Kansas Communities That Care survey this year. The KCTC survey asks questions about topics such as drug use and violence.


Anne Haines


Patrick Barry

QUESTION 1: Have you taken the Kansas Communities That Care survey this year and did you try to answer honestly ? Yes and I did.


Survey overdose


I haven’t taken it before. I’ve heard of something like it.

Oh yeah I did! I’ve had the impulse not to once or twice to say, you know, yes I do crack or yes I’m in a gang.


Caroline Dellett

No. And I would if I did.

QUESTION 2: Do you think people answer the KCTC survey truthfully or take it as a joke? I actually answered them truthfully for the first time.

They take it as a joke, because I mean it’s anonymous. So they’re just like, I’m going to say that I did drugs yesterday. Why not? I try and answer truthfully.

I’m pretty sure they joke around. I don’t ever though.

People usually make stuff up on it.

I don’t think they’re accurate because there’s people who say things to be funny and you’ll get people who think ‘oh they’ll find out what I did.’

No, because most people lie on it, I’ve heard.

QUESTION 3: Do you think that the survey shows what students really do? No, I think that they are ridiculous because everyone says they are a 12 year-old Eskimo.

No, I think people don’t take it seriously. There is a handful of people out of everyone who does.






to the heart

» renli

MLB steroid controversy leaves sophomore disillusioned with heroes anopinionof

Baseball. America’s pastime is just about as American as apple pie, hot dogs and the Fourth of July. Well, our pastime may want to be forgotten, as a foreign substance has taken over the game of baseball: steroids. When I was eight years old, my dad and I went to Chicago for a summer vacation. While I was there, I was treated to a game at the acclaimed Wrigley Field. This was when my favorite player at the time, Sammy » davidhenderson Sosa, was at the top of his game. When Sammy stepped up to the plate the first two times, he blasted two homeruns onto Waveland Avenue. The question of whether those two homeruns came from the use of steroids never crossed my mind at the time, since I was only eight, and could barely tie my shoes at the time, but that is a different story. Looking back upon my experience at Wrigley, it had to be one of the most exciting sports moments of my life. Here I am, an eight-year-old kid watching my idol slam back-toback homeruns out of the park; I should be happy about the experience, right? But now as I look back at it, with all of the allegations of steroid use throughout the late 90s, how can we really tell what was true determination and grit or just some guy sticking a needle into himself ? All of the steroid allegations swirling- such as the ongoing talks with Roger Clemens on whether he was injected by his trainer, Brian McNamee- has really made me wonder just how many of my heroes had been injected with the banned drug. One notorious example of steroid use was Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro, a member of the 500 homerun club, testified in March of 2005 in front of Congress, “I have never used steroids. Period.” Well Raffy, all the finger waving couldn’t get you out of this one. Later that year, July actually, Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. Wow, hold on a minute, a guy who testified in front of Congress under oath, who said he never took steroids, then tested positive for them and is now trying to defend himself. It’s not like Palmeiro went out on a limb after testifying thinking it would be a good idea, to take steroids, after the United States government intervened. Last time I checked lying under oath is perjury, and it doesn’t take a

rocket scientist to figure out that Palmeiro had taken steroids before the March hearing. Or maybe it does. So Palmeiro walked. The United States government is partially to blame, as it was very easy to attain steroids. As I searched the Internet for information on baseball and steroid use, I came across various websites claiming to provide “hardcore legal steroids”. Now, I’m not an expert on how to obtain steroids, but I would guess any gym has at least one meathead, who distributes roids. Steroids are obviously very obtainable as baseball has been infested with them since the late 1990s. Many questions have now risen as to how the records attained during the steroid era should be looked upon. My solution: *. An asterisk. The asterisk could be placed upon the records achieved during the steroid era. It wouldn’t necessarily signify that the player who achieved the stat or record took steroids, rather that it was achieved during one of the darkest eras of baseball. This solution would only settle the battle of the record books. Many players would surely fight the new asterisk rule, but it is not singling anyone out; all the players will have to deal with it. It’s not like just because of one player this new rule could go into place. It was the masses of players using performance enhancers that would bring about this rule. If the player didn’t take steroids why should they fight it? To try and clear their name from an asterisk rather than allegations of steroid use? When the U.S. government finally did step in, Senator George Mitchell released a 400 page document explaining the effects of steroids and who was associated with the drug. This was the first step that baseball had to take to try liberate the effects of the steroid era. Eighty-nine players were listed in the Mitchell report, including Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and current Royal, Jose Gullien. Going through the list of all the players I had once idolized made me think of how their actions could have affected baseball history. All of the records broken, the homerun races, and World Series champions have been exciting, but I would rather have a cleaner game, back to the times of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Lou Gehrig. Baseball has lost some of its appeal to me, as the baseball cards I once cherished rot away in the trash somewhere. I just hope the game I once admired hasn’t become like my baseball cards. Rotten

Prominent Perpetrators


feb. 2008

-Yankee Pitcher, Andy Pettite, openly admitted to using HGH for two days, while trying to recover from an elbow injury in 2002. HGH however, was not banned from baseball until 2005. -Yankee Pitcher, Roger Clemens, is currently speaking with congress on whether his trainer, Brian McNamee, injected him and his wife with HGH and Steroids. -Current Royal, Jose Guillen, will be suspended for the first 15 games. Gullien tested positive for steroids at the end of the season last year. -Former Royal, Jason Grimsley, whose house was raided, is now cooperating with authorities as they found $2,300 worth of performance enhancing drugs. -Tigers player, Neifi Perez, was suspended for80 games last year, as it was the second time he was tested positive for steroids. -Brewer’s Center Fielder Mike Cameron, was the second player suspended for steroids, after Perez, after failing his second drug test for banned substances. -Brewer’s Pitcher Guillermo Mota, was suspended at the beginning of the 2007 season for 50 games.




Dear Editor, I'm responding to a current student at SME's complaint about the large BIG "motivational" blocks that are present now in the school, not to mention a few other things ever since I paid a visit to my alma mater awhile back. I'm not writing to be negative, I'm simply pointing out the facts, because I spent four years at SME and I know what alot of these kids are feeling now. Motivation to do well at school begins at home. If the parents don't care, chances are the kid isn't going to either. I'm not saying that kids can't be inspired by teachers and coaches, but home is huge. While at SME, I was a cardcarrying member of mullet nation- but I managed to get along with all the clique groups and got to know some of the more successful honor students and how they went about things. I learned that it was parents holding their kids up to certain standards varied, but it's been no coincidence that the kids who did well in school have done well in life college or not. There was a degree of accountablity instilled in them, and that's that. There's a few faculty members that are still at SME when I was there(Hi Mr. Dinesen), and things were changing in terms of how students were being motivated to be a part of the school. You either have school spirit or not, and I'll be honest- I was loyal to certain students and faculty members but not the school itself. Pep rallies and other what not's started becoming mandatory to go to and if you got caught dodging them- eighth hours were coming your way. The only way I went to these kinds of things if I was in weight training and Coach Reed kept it simple- go and be there or lose one letter grade. And trust me, he enforced it and I never ever saw one student talk back to Coach Reed on anything. One time I accidentally threw a plate in the trash at lunch and a teacher saw it. I talked back to her like the idiot I was then, and then came Coach Reed and let's just say for one week I mastered the art of cleaning the cafeteria. I was in one of the final classes in which students used to be able to go off-campus and snag lunch somewhere, I was in a class in which soda machines were installed in the cafeteria commons, and also the beginning to the attendance center calling parents if their kid wasn't accounted for in class. I'm thankful that I wasn't at SME at the time of the wellness program(taking everything caffinated away, this isn't UTAH!), and after reading about the change to block scheduling- where do I throw up? Going to school at SME in my time was like being educated in a fish bowl, and I can only imagine how more suffocating it's gotten over the years. The kid who wrote about how much he hates seeing T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K and other sayings as such I'm willing to bet has no problem with the meaning of the words, but how things are being crammed down his and the rest of the students' throats is the issue of it. In as much as the faculty and administration are trying to make SME a good experience, they're not the x-factor. That title belongs to the parents of every student who goes there and if parents actually do their job, I'm willing to bet school spirit and cooperativeness amongst all involved goes way up. I hope that someone from SME hears this, and agrees that political correctness has hit my alma materand it's hurting everyone. Respectfully yours, Ty (formerly McIntosh) Campbell Class of 1991



Student explores the real reason behind different presidential candidates’ success anopinionof

The next presidential election in America holds a lot of promisethe opportunity to change and influence the future in a positive way. When I say that, a lot of people are probably going to start thinking about their favorite candidate. But what I’m talking about is a change in attitude. Modern politics have become a spruced up version of American Idol- a contest in which the » griffinburr person with the most charisma and personality is the winner. Candidates serve to fill voids and whittle themselves into what voters want, which is usually a predetermined stereotype. There’s always the crazy fundamentalist warmonger, the trendy, edgy liberal guy, the aging, “sensible” guy who seems to have no opinion on everything, and so on. It’s a simple game of divide and conquer that many Americans are more than content to play, unfortunately, including many high school students. Candidates certainly don’t try to stop the dividing, but it’s not like many Americans are doing much to help themselves, either. The problem stems partly from the current administration. With most people (Republican, Democrat or otherwise) highly disappointed with President Bush, a gap has developed, a need for someone new or different. Unfortunately, this has translated for most people as “I’ll vote for anyone who doesn’t have a Texan accent and a flippant attitude.” Though many candidates have promising, or at least interesting ideas as to how to fix



“Barack Obama is making headway in presidential politics by following a formula John F. Kennedy would appreciate: promise change, ooze charisma, and downplay experience. The junior senator from Illinois also brings a new element to the JFK equation: his race. He is aiming to become the nation’s first black president.” » Joan Vennochi , Boston Globe


Character or






the new Similarities

America’s problems, a good deal of citizens and students are simply okay with choosing the default candidate for their party and screaming their lungs out before they even consider the problem. This is not to say that there’s no one of note in the way of candidates. Take, for instance, Barack Obama. Among his better policies are the opening of the government to the public eye and the doubling of funding for clean energy projects. These are exciting plans that will certainly benefit America. Yet all anyone seems to care about is Obama’s infectious persona, or his race or, most obnoxiously, his status as “the next JFK.” Now, none of these things are inherently bad. Itís good to have an inspirational leader, and a black president would be a welcome change from two and a half centuries of WASP rule. But are these good reasons to elect someone? Absolutely not. The divide and conquer trick is only more apparent with the constant references to John F. Kennedy. There’s a new guy running for president, and he’s a bit different and he’s basing his campaign off of change. How do we make him appeal to the older generation, who may be afraid or unwilling to vote for him? Simple. Compare him to the most beloved president of the Baby Boomer generation. The worst part is that voters only become more and more enthusiastic as the race goes on. Cults of blind optimism develop around the candidate, and any dissenters or freethinkers are labeled as “traitors”. Any room for compromise is thrown out. People seem to almost need have to have conflict and argument in their lives, and they go about obtaining it with this spectacle of mud slinging and name-calling. Now, I’m not being cynical. Maybe Obama is what we need right now. Maybe it’s McCain, or any of the other candidates. But no one will ever know if they don’t start thinking about the issues instead of gawking at the candidates.

Both are first-term senators running for President Both are young for a President (JFK was 43, Obama will turn 47 this August) Both push civil rights (JFK wanted to desegrate, Obama wants to improve housing rights, voting rights and discrimination issues) Both have messages of inspiration (JFK: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” Obama: “Yes, we can!” and his “politics of hope.”)


Obama’s father was a Muslim-turned-atheist and left his family when Obama was two years old JFK’s father was the U.S. Ambassador to the U.K and had seven children after JFK Obama has very few health problems; he quit smoking to run for President JFK, before running for President, was hospitalized for jaundice, possible leukemia, appendicitis and colitis and also had a bad back. The U.S. Navy rejected him originally because of his back. »




GO LANCERS! Good Luck at

Sub-State Boys Basketball GO SME!!!

Please Recycle Your


[the page about...thrift store shopping] BY




.{ mixedpage.}


» mikemazzoni

» tylerroste

MAJ-R THRIFT LOCATION: 2842 W. 47th Ave.

Maj-R Thrift has everything from clip-on baby ties to an electric lawn mower. They have a huge selection of T-shirts, suits and sport coats, and my personal favorite, sweaters. Although some of the T-shirts I came across had unsightly stains or dirty necks, there were some nicer looking, name brand shirts for really cheap. Only one thing really sketched me out, and that was the electronics. Almost all of them have a sticker reading: “AS IS. NO EXCHANGE. NO REFUND.” Oh and by the way, there is no way to test if the electronics actually work. They should have just slapped a sticker reading, “HAHA SUCKA!” on it, because anyone who buys electronics with a warning label on them deserves to be stuck with their broken TV/ printer/ computer monitor. So I would stay away from the electronics.






» tylerroste

BLESSINGS ABOUND LOCATION: 9620 Nall Ave. Blessings Abound Thrift has a decent selection of winter coats and an abundant supply of flannel shirts and denim jackets. If you are looking to go lumberjack with your get-up, this store has the flannel covered. A lot of the clothing seems to be donated by elderly folks, so the entire building has a distinct musty smell similar to my grandparents’ closet. Though they may smell lightly of mothballs, all the clothes seemed clean and not very heavily used. This may make it seem like they have less of a selection, but the fact that I didn’t have to pick through shirts with yack stains made the experience so much better.




LOCATION: 6219 Johnson Dr.

The Salvation Army store had the widest variety of clothing, but I didn’t find that to be a necessarily good thing. One out of almost every fifth shirt I flipped through had some heinous looking stain on it that made my search unpleasant. I left the store, which smelled like baby-hiney wipes, and first chance I got, washed my hands. One plus though, was that there were working electronics that were plugged in to prove that they did function. Though I did find some stained items, there is a huge selection to go through if you have the time and you may find something worthwhile.

» tylerroste









his dream

Sophomore Adam Levin has been playing his guitar for seven years and is finally getting to where he wants to go BY

» timshedor

It was love at first sight. Sophomore Adam Levin held the Gibson as if it were made of solid gold. He examined the fret board with his fingers. He toyed with the tuning machines. His eyes bored through the lacquered body. It was meant to be. The new guitar was a status symbol – his eighth guitar in seven years. He had finally settled on it after his fifth trip to Guitar Center. It was the guitar suited perfectly to his rapidly growing talent. He had worked hard to deserve this dark burst Les Paul and he was ready to play to the world.He started on the small stage of Aspen streets and then started to play in downtown KC. By that time he was in league with 40-year-old blues artists, playing with them in animated, cursing blues bars.He’s played through cigarette lights and thick, tasteable smoke. He now stands young among his band mates; the ones with combed beards and lurking gray hair. But Levin is far from the weakest member. His licks are faster than the rest and he’s able to stand straight instead of slouching uncomfortably, unlike when he started playing with the group three years ago. He’s come a grown from the nine-year old with a shallow starter acoustic. “I got into guitar because I didn’t like piano,” Levin said. “I knew I wanted to play an instrument so I played the instrument nobody else wanted to play.” He started taking lessons with Jimmy Dykes, a guitar teacher at the Toon Shop. Dykes started him with a small book of basic chords. Levin played and played his first G chord. Next C. Soon he could play most of the open stringchords. Then came B minor. The mother of all bar chords. “It was a defining moment for me,” Levin said. “ ‘Am I gonna quit? Or am I gonna see how far this goes?’ So I worked hard and played that B minor chord. I toughed it out and lo’ and behold, here I am today.” After that, it was smooth playing. During the family vacation to Colorado, 9-year-old Levin sat outside a lonely shopping center with his Melody guitar and strummed along to the rhythm of “Rocky Raccoon” with his guitar case open on the ground. The first day’s take? $6.

ADAM’S COLLECTION These are five of Levin’s seven guitars

12-String Taylor

19 feb.


Harmony 1st Guitar

“ I w a s n’t doing

Sophomore Adam Levin strums his Gibson Les Paul at Expereience Sports Bar during his second half-hour set. He has ben playing with D.C. Bellamy since he was 13. » marygalvin

anything,” Levin said. “I was just a cute little kid playing guitar. I came home and I told my mom ‘I made six bucks!’ And she was like ‘Why don’t you try playing in a busier area?’ But six bucks was still awesome.” He took his mom’s advice and played near Paradise Bakery, a popular Aspen eatery. His parents sat on a bench across from him and listened to hours of “Sweet Home Alabama,” (A crowd pleaser, Levin said). He made $70. By the end of the summer his pockets were stuffed with $200. He played there every summer for the next four years. Levin continued to refine his art in the basement after summer vacations ended. Inside an insolated room where The Clash, the Ramones, and Led Zeppelin looked on, Levin practiced 45 to 90 minutes a day over his Fender Twin amp, a habit that continues today. “My mom comes down sometimes and tells me to turn it down because she’s afraid my ears will go deaf,” Levin said. “I guess she’s right, but I feel like I have to get a certain sound when I play.” He started playing along with Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode, studying the pentatonic scale found through the song. Practicing for hours at the 2 min, 46 second long blues classic, bending the G-string and copying the onefour-five blues progression. Levin memorized the song from beginning to middle to end. Seeking more blues, Levin found The Allman Brother’s Band. After listening to “Live At Fillmore East” CD, Levin had another turning point. “The first time I listened to the album, the hairs on my neck stood up,” Levin said. “My whole body felt electric. It used to be that I would play a bunch of notes because it sounded good. Now it’s more a spiritual thing. Blues is more about expressing yourself between which note you pick.” After enough practice, Levin’s parents asked the owner of Danny’s Big Easy, a downtown Kansas City bar, to let Levin play one night. He was allowed him to sit in with that night’s stage band.

Epiphone Les Paul 2nd Electric

“It wasn’t really a great time,” Levin said. “I was with » marygalvin some guy named JJ and I played only two or three songs. But it was the first time I played.” Levin received more respect as he played more shows at Danny’s and the Westsider, a local coffee house with a Thursday open mic. Although he had some street cred’ he was about to receive a big career boost. His sister began to date Walker Tippit, a lead guitarist in a band lead by D.C. Bellamy, a player with 35 years of professional experience and a veteran of Chicago blues. Tippit introduced him to Bellamy, a “good un’ ” according to Living Blues Magazine, and they invited Levin to play with them. The first show went well. “When Adam first started [playing with the band], he was alright, just a little shy,” Bellamy, who released an album under the Rooster Blues label, said. “But now he’s rockin’ n’ rollin’. When he gets up there he knows what he’s doing. And he’s confident.” But Bellamy tested Levin’s stamina on round two. A trombone section was brought into the bar as Levin stood and played for nearly two straight hours. The crowd cheered him on in a breakdown: “The roof! The roof!” they chanted. “The roof is on fire! We don’t need no water! Let the motherf------ burn!” After that, Levin was playing regularly with Tippit and Bellamy and his dark bust Les Paul. Bellamy will invite him to come to the stage and join the band for as many songs as he wants. Levin plays to the max, savoring every bend and twiddling-diddling on the high frets. But he stays humble, bowing out for the keyboardist and the other guitarist to command their own solos. The band is seamless with their respective instruments, especially for a group aging from 16 to nearly 60. Levin doesn’t even hiccup when Tippit tips him off to his third solo. “I love to see a young guy continue on and nothing to cause him to stray from his goal,” Bellamy said. “And his goal is to play that guitar. I won’t be long until Adam is one of the up and coming guitarists coming out of Kansas City.”

American Fender Stratocaster

Epiphone Hummingbird 1st Acoustic

» marygalvin



Random drug testing has never been considered for East, despite growing in popularity across the country


Testing negative


» megshackelford

hursdays were the days that students skipped. Thursdays meant urine tests for 25 random students at junior Madison Blankenship’s old school, Prosper High school, near Dallas, Texas. These 25 students are only drawn out of the “fishbowl” if they participate in an extracurricular activity. If they want to remain in their activity, they are required to take the test. If they are absent that day, they have to make up the test the following Thursday. It doesn’t matter if they play in the band or score touchdowns on Friday nights, any 25 of them can be tested on a Thursday for use of steroids, marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and alcohol. “A lot of kids that were into drugs did coke or would drink because they come out of the system sooner,” Blankenship said. “And since they knew the test was every Thursday, it was easy to plan for.” According to Jeannie Acton, the journalism director at the University Interscholastic League, ULI, in Texas, some independent school districts like Prosper have mandated their own random drug testing policy that tests for all illegal drugs. Over the past summer, a bill was passed by the state of Texas mandating a drug test just for anabolic steroids applying to all schools in the state. Lawmakers in the state didn’t want it mandated for all drugs due to expense issues. “It is very expensive to do,” Acton said. “The state paid $6 million to fund it for the first two years. They have instructed us at the ULI to think of more funding ideas for the years to follow but we have none at this point.” Acton says that this year few students, if any, have tested positive for steroids. “We’ve contacted a drug company to go in and select schools at random where they will test athletes at random,” Acton said. “We have found that only 30 percent of athletes will be tested in a school every year. As far as testing goes, we drug test more than independent schools do.” The question is whether a policy like this could be brought to our school district. According to Rusty Newman, Director of Student Services for the Shawnee Mission district, student drug testing has never been

considered. However, high schools such as Mill Valley and DeSoto in the surrounding area are researching the legal and financial aspects of a random drug testing policy and exploring how it would impact their community. Newman says that no parent or board member has mentioned to him that something needs to be done about any student drug abuse. “Random drug testing takes a lot of input from the community,” Newman said. “It’s not something that we would ever consider for a long time. It could happen someday, but it really depends if schools around us establish policies or if there are major problems with student drug use.” So far the ULI hasn’t had resistance regarding their drug testing policy; they have just had a lot of questions. “I’ve heard a superintendent from the Fort Worth area speak on the drug testing policy in her schools,” Acton said. “She said the community has been very supportive.” In November, DeSoto’s Board of Education permitted the high school to hold their first public information session—that now meets quarterly—to gather opinions from parents and students on the drug testing issue. They discussed the legal ramifications and financial issues surrounding the likely expensive policy. “There were more questions than answers,” Alvie Cater, Director of Community Relations in the DeSoto district, said. “Right now the Board wants to learn more about it. They would want to hear a parent consensus before they would base any decision.” Cater says that the policy would be a community issue as well, because of a concern that drug and alcohol use is growing among their teens. The students present at the meeting raised argument on how the drug testing would be a privacy invasion but the district said that participating in extracurricular activities is a privilege. According to Jennifer Kern, a research associate for the advocacy group called the Drug Policy Alliance, random drug testing is challenged under the fourth amendment. The Supreme Court approved random drug testing for athletes for the first time in

an Oklahoma school back in 1995. In 2002 they broadened it for all extracurricular activities. According to Kern they said that since the school acts in place of parents, it’s legal to drug test since participating in activities is a privilege. Therefore, constitutional rights are not violated. Newman’s personal view is that the drug testing should apply to all students, not just ones involved in an extracurricular activity. “Why would we only test athletes when we could do it to help all students?” Newman said. “But since the Supreme Court only supports it when the student is in an extracurricular activity, we couldn’t do it this way.” According to Cater, the DeSoto district’s Board of Education would be prepared for all the legal issues that would come with the testing. “The topic would certainly put us in a legal position and I’m not sure if our board wants our district to be the first to embark upon this,” Cater said. The DeSoto Board is also going to research the progress of schools like Oak Grove in Missouri, and the El Dorado school district outside of Wichita, Kansas who have both established new testing policies. However, El Dorado’s policy is a bit different from others: they focus not only on extracurricular activities, but if any student were to attend a school dance or a play, for example, they would have to succumb to a test first. “We are opposed to this ‘suspicionless’ form of testing when the student is randomly selected,” Kern said. “[However], we’re not opposed to a suspicion-based test. Like if a teacher notices odd behavior or if a student’s eyes are red for example, we think that is reason for a drug test.” A suspicion-less drug test, Kern explains, is not the way to treat young people. It causes backlash and shifts the student’s attitude towards school and athletics in a rebellious way. In a study named SATURN (Student Athlete Testing Using Random Notification), conducted in Oregon schools with and without random drug testing, it shows the testing is ineffective and counter-productive. The study shows that the testing actually increases risk with

substance abuse. “There are instances where students may switch from marijuana to something harder like cocaine which doesn’t stay in the system half as long,” Kern said. “They may take up binge drinking because alcohol leaves your system in hours. They may try and cheat the test too.” At Prosper, Blankenship would often hear of upperclassmen switching urine with someone else or going as far as bleaching their urine. “If the administration found out it was altered it’s the same as failing,” Blankenship said. “With the first offense they called your parents and you were given restriction on your activity. They would continue to test you after that. If there were repeated occurrences, there was expulsion and you would have to attend drug awareness classes. You could refuse one in the first place, but it’s counted as failing.” If this policy was established in our district, Newman anticipates as a huge expense issue. “There would be a million questions on how many tests we would give out, what kind of a procedure the test would be, what the consequences would be if a student were to fail,” Newman said. Cater reiterates these same questions as issues for their district too. “The main issue for us too is whether we want to spend money on that right now,” he said. “There’s some pressure on choosing between urgent needs like hiring more teachers and adding more courses, or adding a drug testing program. The Board would have to decide where they’d get the funding, like through our general fund for example.” According to Blankenship, students at her old Texas school, Prosper, have to pay a $150 fee to pay for their testing. If they don’t, they can’t participate. They even have to specifically list all prescription medications they take, including medicine for ADD and ADHD since the test detects these too. “Right now it’s a really hot issue,” Cater said. “We have parents split down the middle, but I think everyone agrees that something needs to be done.” The DeSoto Board has remained neutral for now as the district meetings will continue to transpire quarterly. It won’t be taken up for another big discussion until next year when 2000 they hear feedback from schools Earls v. Tecumseh Public School District like El Dorado on how their first year with the testing went. This U.S. District Court decision upheld man“It would be designed as a datory random drug testing for students pardeterrent for kids,” Cater said. “Just ticipating in extracurricular activities. The deanother reason for them to say cision was based on the conclusions that drug no.”

History of drug testing in high schools 1988


Schaill v. Tippecanoe School Corporation

Veronia School District v. Acton

The Tippecanoe School District required drug testing of its student athletes. When two students contested the policy, the U.S. District Court ruled the policy constitutional. This case argued that participation in school athletics was a privilege, not a right, in schools.

In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the random suspicion-less drug testing of all student athletes. Drug testing of student athletes became established as constitutional because the student athletes already had lower expectations of privacy and their safety could be affected by drug use.

source: American Association of School Administrators

use disrupts the learning environment and poses more severe health consequences for adolescents than for adults.




» renli and alexanderson


After r



P r h $

s b t r a



What is a share of stock? Corporations sell stock shares to raise cash to fund their operations. Most companies make additional stock offerings sometimes to raise more funds. What happens when stock is bought? The person buying is buying ownership in the underlying corporation. Once a corporation sells its shares, it doesn’t receive direct benefit if its share price goes up. Who assists in the buying process? Stockbrokers- they offer financial planning and advice on selecting investments. Usually individual brokers are assigned to a customer, but they are also the most expensive way to buy shares. It typically costs $70 to buy shares using a stockbroker. Discount brokers like Charles Schwab are another option, catering to investors that are willing to do their own research. Their trading commissions are low, making them a good choice if the buyer wants to pick their own funds and stocks. What are ways to invest? Stocks can be bought from individual corporations or mutual funds- these mutual funds invest the pooled funds of a number of investors. By investing in these professional management can be gained and if a broker is used, the person is buying from the mutual-fund company itself, such as Fidelity Investments and the Vanguard Group.

$ President Bush said this new package includes income tax $ $ $ $

relief and tax incentives for businesses. Economists have predicted that tax cuts could reach up to $1000 under Bush’s new concept. Bush claims that this income tax relief could help citizens pay monthly bills and afford increasing gas prices. Taxpayers could receive rebates up to $800 for individuals and $1,600 for married couples under a White house plan. The plan is set up to put money back in the pockets of middle class families and help employers create job openings.

(Sept. 3)




The names bull and bear markets come from the way the two animals attack the prey. If the market trend is up, it is a bull market like a bull thrusting his horns, and if its down its a bear like swiping down its paws. A bear market is a long term downtrend on Wall Street. During the 1973-74 bear market, the Dow Jones dropped by 50% in about just a year. A bull market is a long term uptrend on Wall Street, occasionally interrupted by peaks and lows. To be classified as a bull market the decline must be by at least 15% in the Dow Jones Industrials, S&P 500 Index, and the Value Line Indexes.


» sylviashank

At first, Anna Oman felt “kind of indifferent” about receiving five shares of Microsoft stock for her 16th birthday. Her uncle gave her the shares, valued at approximately $150. Oman didn’t know much about stocks at the time, but has learned to watch them by following her shares each week in the Sunday paper for the last two years. She also took a financial management class, from which she learned ways to be a smart investor. As the S&P 500 and Dow Jones have seen recent losses due to the mortgage crisis, Oman has noticed a drop in her shares’ value. “It’s gone down, but not enough that I want to sell,” she said. “I think it’s just a reflection of our economy.” Due to the economic downturn, President Bush has proposed a package to stimulate the economy. Oman sees the $168 billion stimulus package, signed by President George Bush last Wednesday as “a good effort to repair things.” However, she doesn’t feel it does enough to help people in debt. The package provides a tax rebate of up to $1200 per working couple, plus $300 per child. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500, the United State’s two major stock companies, are seeing declines, and former investment banker Brad Johnson, who worked on Wall Street for 35 years, thinks we’re likely in for a recession. According to U.S. News, a recession is defined as a significant decline in economic activity across the economy, lasting more than a few months. “The recent stock market downturn got going at the end of last summer as symptoms of excess in the real estate market became obvious,” he said. “Things look pretty bad for the next year.” e Buying stock means buying a part of that company. Companies choose how many shares s to make available to sell, which can be anywhere n from 2,500 to over a billion. When it suffers, it’s generally due to a decrease in stock purchases, and an increase in sales of shares. In such times, companies across the board lose money they would normally gain from selling shares of stock, resulting in kind of ripple effect across the economy. The New York Stock exchange is one of the y two major markets in the United States. Here, , trades take place in a giant room. Picture this: scattered throughout the huge

The DJIA surpasses


DJIA closes over 1,000 for the first time.


floor of the stock exchange are trading posts, each manned by a trader called a “specialist.” Each specialist conducts the stock trading for one big company, such as IBM, or maybe a number of companies that have lighter trading volume. Each trading post has a computer terminal on a pedestal, and is surrounded by floor brokers. Each floor broker wears a different color jacket so that the specialist knows which firm the he or she represents. Oman sees the stock market’s recent downturn as the result of indebted Americans who have overspent, Johnson, who’s a 1968 East alum, says the economic problems we are seeing today started more than 10 years ago. Here’s how he explains it: “We went from internet bubbles to a real estate bubble,” he said. Bubbles, according to Johnson, are manias when stocks go way too high. The internet bubble began in the mid-1990s. “The great potential of the internet translated into exaggerated value for internet-related stocks.” During that time, the Nasdaq peaked at 5,000. Then the bubble burst and many stocks lost 80 percent of their value. To compensate, Bill Clinton lowered interest rates. “People started borrowing lots of money and investing it in real estate, thinking it’s be safer than stocks,” Johnson explained. “The price of houses went up way too much.” And that brings us to our current state, where, according to the National Association of Realtors the number of unsold homes is at a record 4.2 million. In June 2007, Standard & Poor’s warned that U.S. homeowners with good credit are falling increasingly behind on mortgage payments, an indication that lenders have been offering higher risk loans outside the subprime market. Late payments of at least 90 days and defaults on 2006 mortgages have increased to 4.21 percent, up from 1.59 percent for 2005 mortgages and 0.81 percent for 2004, according to Economics teacher Rebecca Murphy plans to buy a second home in Tucson, Arizona. The recent mortgage crisis has affected her as well as other investors looking to buy real estate. “The term of the loans I was offered changed because of the mortgage crisis,” she said. Murphy, who began buying stock her sophomore year in high school, thinks talk of a weakening economy is being blown out of proportion, due to several factors. “There’s an election coming up, and since nobody in the current administration is running, both sides – republican and democrat – can attack the economy,” she said. “Once people


Dow Jones exceeds 3,000 for


r talk of a potential recession, investors begin to worry that Wall Street has begun...


get scared the economy will derail, they stop spending money and it does.” Murphy was raised by parents who both invested in the stock market. She began investing at an early age and she encourages her students to do the same. She feels the best way to start is with solid stocks that don’t carry much risk. “Probably one of the best ways to jump in is to get the Vanguard 500 fund which mirrors the 500 best companies in the U.S.” she suggested. It’s unlikely, she noted, that a majority of the strongest companies will have a weak year. Thus, it’s an investor will generally profit from a Vanguard 500. Sophomore Andrew Mohn holds several stocks, and has noticed a drop in their values. He feels, however, that the U.S. economy will soon bounce back. “It’s always been ridiculously resilient,” he said. Mohn also feels that electing a new leader will give people more confidence to invest and spend money. Murphy and Johnson agree. They say investing in the market is a long-term investment, that will pay off in the end if done correctly. “If you invest well, your money can double every seven years,” Murphy said. Johnson acknowledges that economically, the next year looks to be a poor one. Yet, like Murphy, he feels that the economy will gain back its strength over time. “I think that the excesses in the economy and in the real estate market have been built up over a period of years and the problems are too ingrained for a moderate physical stimulus to help at this point,” he said. Johnson predicts that it will take at least a year for the market to readjust. “After any adjustment period is a great time to buy stocks,” he said. Johnson plans to invest when the market bottoms out to the lowest it will get. It’s impossible to tell when that will be. “It could be in six to eight months,” he said. Murphy remains optimistic about the U.S. economy in the long run. “It’s still growing, but it’s growing at a slower rate,” she said. She also suggests people should invest while they’re young. “If you take $2,000 for a typical IRA, and invest that much each year from 22 until 30, and never invest another cent, you’ll have more than $250,000 by the time you retire. In the long term, [investing] is really the best way.”



through the years

Students enjoy spending time with senior citizens, discussing novels and learning about each others lives


19 feb.


» katiefreyder

Year after year students are faced with the same assignment. Read a book outside of school in a certain amount of time and then complete an in class essay or assignment over it. English teacher Laura Beachy’s freshman students get an opportunity to switch it up by being a part of a book discussion held at Bishop Spencer Place, a local nursing home, and talking with residents there and discussing novels. Lancer Literary Circle is starting to attract more students year after year who stay in the group even after they are out of her class. People are starting to realize how much fun it is to be a part of it and that they really enjoy their time with the residents of Bishop Spencer Place. Four times a year Beachy and a group of her freshman English 9 students get together to meet at Bishop Spencer Place and hold a book discussion. The students get into groups of about six or seven students with two residents from Bishop Spencer Place and answer questions about the novel. The Lancer Literary Club started seven years ago when English 9 students were reading “To Kill A Mockingbird,” a novel that is set during the Great Depression. Her students read a book of letters written to Beachy’s classes by residents of Bishop Spencer describing their life experiences during the Great Depression. “My new freshman students read these people’s letters during class and are very interested in meeting the authors of the letters,” Beachy said. Beachy then took a group of students to Bishop Spencer Place to have the residents discuss their lives during that time period. Beachy said that the students as well as the residents enjoyed their meeting so much that she wanted to somehow make it an annual meeting. That is when she thought of the Lancer Literary Circle. Beachy set up a book club so that her students could meet and interact with the residents of Bishop Spencer Place. Her students choose to either do an outside reading book and write a essay in class or to go to Bishop Spencer on an assigned date and hold a discussion with questions that Beachy gives them. 

Seniors Max Gabel and Stephen Gaughn decided that they liked the book chats at Bishop Spencer so much that they have gone back every year since their freshman year. They look at Lancer Literary Circle as much more than a book discussion. They look at it as a fun event to do four times a year.  Gabel even worked at Bishop Spencer Place during the summer of his junior year because he needed a job and already knew some of the residents from the book chat. He worked in the dining room at Bishop Spencer Place as a waiter. “I felt comfortable taking the job because I already knew half of the people that I would be waiting on,” Gabel said. Gabel said often times while he was working he would discuss the books they had read or were currently reading for their book club at dinner. “A lot of students believe that we would have nothing in common with the residents of Bishop Spencer because of the age difference, but the book club has really opened my eyes and made me realize that I as well as the other students who believed that are totally wrong,” Gaughn said. “The best part of going to Bishop Spencer is talking to all the residents.” Gabel believes that one of the most interesting things about the book club is the fact that most of the members of the book club that live at Bishop Spencer have lived through or know someone that lived through the time periods from the novels that the students and residents read about. Beachy was surprised three years ago when thensophomores Gabel and Gaughn came back to her after they had participated in the book discussions from their freshman year and asked her if they could keep going to Bishop Spencer place even though they would get no credit for a book report and were no longer in Beachy’s English class. “ They make the extra effort to go to Bishop Spencer and be there. It just shows a lot about them as people. They saw the value beyond filling it for an assignment. To have students come back year after year that right there is proof that they really do love it,” Beachy said.

Virginia Wood, a member of the book club and a resident of Bishop Spencer Place, says that the book club is a wonderful opportunity because they get to discuss novels and elements of the novel with students. Mary Wheeler, also a Bishop Spencer Place resident, explains the Lancer Literary Circle as a different experience and mostly a new group of students each time besides Max and a few students who come back. She feels that fact allows free discussions about the novel and sharing each others views and opinions. “They pick up on things in the novels that I don’t think about until they bring it up,” Wheeler said. Thelma Hartsock another resident at Bishop Spencer Place and member of the Lancer Literary Circle chimes in. “Like in the book we read called Night,” she said. “The students related it to darkness because the book was very dark. I would of never thought about that idea.” Vera Oloson, another Bishop Spencer Place Resident, discussed how she is surprised at the fact that sometimes she will go into a book discussion liking the book, and after talking with the students and hearing them discuss their thoughts about the novel and she sometimes changes her mind about the novel because of all the things that they point out. “The residents at Bishop Spencer are so glad to be a part of this because they are hardly ever asked how they feel about things and what they think about certain events and things,” Beachy said. “Asking them questions and their opinions on the books that are read makes them feel so important. The Book Club is definitely the best thing I have done as a teacher. It promotes lifetime reading for everyone.”  The residents at Bishop Spencer say that they feel really lucky being apart of the book club and that, as far as they know, this is the only program like this that is in the area. “As far as I know this is the only program that goes on in this area or even is this type of program,” Wheadon Bloch, a Bishop Spencer Place Resident, said. “It is so neat that it was put together and that we are the ones that get to be a part of it.”

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Town Topic BY

» clarkgoble

If I didn’t know where to look, I never would have found Town Topic. The lights are dim, the sign isn’t illuminated and the building is no larger than the bed of a pickup truck. OK, so I exaggerate, but once you step inside, you really realize how small the place is. There are about five tables, located a few feet from the kitchen and cashier. Just like the Westport Flea Market, you order your burger at the counter and wait to pick it up. Monday, the day I went, was Double Burger special, so of course, that was my choice. And while Double might sound like enough, it wasn’t even close. I wasn’t too surprised since the special cost all of $3. I figured out some math here. Six Town Top i c

patties =three Winstead patties =one Westport Flea Market pattie. This isn’t to say the burger was bad. The two bites I had were quite tasty. But there lies the problem. The burger’s taste becomes less of an issue when you realize where you are eating. A bucket lies in the middle of the floor to catch water dripping from the ceiling. The server, an old woman who had probably been working at the place since its opening in 1937, lit up a cigarette in the restaurant minutes after serving us. There aren’t any “No Smoking” sections in a place like this. You can smell the smoke after you get out of your car in the parking lot. There seemed to be little, if any, sanitation measures used here. No gloves on the hands of the cook or server. The server, when identifying which burger belonged to which customer, used her hands to remove the top bun and determine the owner. I’m not a clean freak, but this place just got to me. Maybe a take-out order would have been the better option here. The food was pretty good, the smoke was a little overwhelming, and the rain bucket? Just a little over the top.


Westport Flea Market 19

feb. 2008

Having the reputation of “Kansas City’s Best Burger,” as voted by AOL’s CitySearch last year, the Westport Flea Market was one place I couldn’t miss on my burger tour. Located a few minutes beyond the Country Club Plaza , the Market doesn’t look like it would house a kitchen inside its walls, let alone a famous burger. Looks are deceiving. Surrounded by the real flea market, full of toys and junk as far as the eye can see, the kitchen has the feel of a snack bar. You order drinks through a waiter or wait-


{ } poor {

Winstead’s has been a Kansas City staple for about 70 years, and for good reason. The burgers here, while a tad inconsistent, are the perfect thing to eat when you just want something that tastes good. While I can’t claim these greasy burgers have a lot of nutritional value, they do leave your stomach and mouth very, very happy. To dive into the experience, you must get at least a Double Winstead, and I would recommend the Triple. The patties are pretty thin, and you’ll realize early on that more is better. They don’t necessarily load on the extras, the lettuce, the tomatoes and whatnot, but there is enough there to add to the experience. I think the 50/50, half onion rings,

} solid {

half French fries, is the best side option because you get a little of both worlds. The cherry limeade is the best thing to help you wash everything down. And everyone has to try to Skyscraper milkshake sometime in their life. All in all, Winstead’s has developed quite the cult following for it’s old-fashioned milkshakes, salty onion rings and most of all, its delicious burgers. Call me a member of that cult.




ress, and approach the bar to give your name and order your food. My friends and I were confused where to order, and the confusion on our faces must have been pretty obvious. An old man pointed us in the right direction, and even gave us a coupon for $5 off our meal. I like this place already, and all I’ve had is water. The cooks call your name from the kitchen, and you pick up your burger and add as much lettuce, tomatoes and onions as you want from the garnish bar. No need for “a little lettuce, extra tomatoes.” You add as much or as little as you want. The hamburger, aptly named the Flea Market Burger, is worth all the work. It’s greasy, but not too greasy. It’s thick, but not too much to bite at once. With a side of salty curly fries, there may not be a more American meal. The Westport Flea Market, even with all its billing, does

} fair {


» andyallen

} excellent {

not disappoint. KC’s best burger? I’m apprehensive to make that claim. But one thing’s for sure: you will come hungry, and leave happy.


} masterpiece Star ratings based on writer’s opinion




‘Dead’ off its feet

‘Over Her Dead Body’ follows standard romantic comedy plot

» BY

» devino’bryan

It seems to me like most romantic comedies follow the same formula: a couple meets and falls in love, obstacles get in the way of their relationship and there is never any doubt to the audience that they will get together in the end. “Over Her Dead Body,” the directorial debut of writer Jeff Lowell (“John Tucker Must Die”), follows this basic formula exactly. And while it’s rife with unrealistic situations, there is an unexpected chemistry that makes the movie bearable. Still devastated a year after his fiancée Kate (Eva Longoria Parker) dies just minutes before their wedding, Henry (Paul Rudd) agrees to visit a psychic after his sister (Lindsay Slone) urges him to. Henry is skeptical of Ashley (Lake Bell) and her psychic powers, but it doesn’t take them long to fall for each other. But everything doesn’t go smoothly for the happy couple – Kate decides it’s her duty to protect Henry, so she starts haunting Ashley from the grave. Acting is not the strongest point of the movie. Longoria Parker’s Kate was a more annoying version


of Gabrielle Solis, her character on “Desperate Housewives.” Kate verbally abuses an angel, who ends up leaving her in limbo, before deciding to haunt Ashley. Another important thing the movie lacked was the presence of good supporting characters. Henry’s sister comes off as ditzy and immature, which can be seen in one hard-to-believe scene where she steals her neighbor’s cat so Henry, a veterinarian, will talk to her. And Ashley’s maybe-gay catering partner, played by Jason Biggs, lacks personality and depth. In the most unexpected and implausible scene in a movie full of implausible scenes, he tells Ashley a secret he has been hiding for five years. It left me staring at the screen in confusion. While it was relatively short at 95 minutes, I felt like it started to drag on toward the end. It had the feel of an hour-long TV episode that wouldn’t end. The soundtrack, which was full of popular music like the All-American Rejects, made it hard for

Casper (1995)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Beetlejuice (1988)

me to take the more dramatic scenes seriously. While “Over Her Dead Body” doesn’t break the mold, it has redeemable moments. It’s impossible to dislike Rudd, and his comedic timing is great. The chemistry between him and Bell is more comedic than romantic, but it is there. It sometimes felt like he was bored while acting, but that’s just how his character was dealing with the death of his fiancée. Bell is easily the star of the movie. She brings likeability and quirkiness to a character that lacks originality. Her skill for slapstick comedy and comedic timing makes up for the lackluster performance of Longoria Parker, and she steals every scene she is in. “Over Her Dead Body” is good for a few laughs, but it’s far from an Academy Award winning movie. Unless you have a strong desire to see Kansas City native Paul Rudd or Eva Longoria Parker and her fake tan on the big screen, this movie is best suited for DVD viewing.


Ghost (1990)


Just Like Heaven (2005)


flicks starscale

{ } poor {


} fair {

} solid {

} excellent {

} masterpiece Star ratings based on writer’s opinion






Six actors work to capture the many faces of the famous musician


» landonmcdonald

“I’m Not There,” a six-part rumination on the enigmatic life and music of Bob Dylan, plays like a visual companion to one of his songs. It’s been infused with remarkable rhyme and reason that sounds great, defies logic and transcends tradition. Whether or not you enjoy it depends entirely on who you are and what you can draw from it. So yes, it’s exactly like a Dylan track. This surreal art house ballad strives to chronicle Bob’s evolution as an artist, giving him a new face, name and back-story for every different stage of his career. Six actors, including a woman (Cate Blanchett) and a 12-year-old black kid (Marcus Carl Franklin), will step inside Dylan’s head before the film’s end. But like the real Dylan, the movie is inherently unknowable and will not be easily grasped by the uninitiated. Viewer, you’ve been warned. Unless you’re intimately familiar with Dylan’s life story and body of work, this film might confuse you. But don’t think twice, it’s all right. Plot coherence and a linear storyline is not what writer director Todd Haynes has in mind here. What he’s done is to craft a darker, more ambitious twin for last fall’s Beatles romp “Across the Universe.” Both movies feel like glorious two-hour music videos with bigger budgets. The difference is that “I’m Not There” tries to pack in so many powerhouse actors and performances, it all but overdoses on its glut of talent. Some of the stars get lost in the crowd, but at least one manages to shine. After meeting our narrator (Ben Winshaw) and Dylan’s inner child, a traveling blues child named Woody (Franklin), we witness the rise of folk singer Jack Rollins (the brilliant but sadly underused Christian Bale) and the crumbling marriage of Robbie Clark (the late Heath Ledger), a movie star cast to play Rollins in an upcoming biopic. The first part of the film gets off to a slow start, establishing and jumping around between Dylans so quickly that only Ledger’s Robbie makes an impression. The recently deceased actor (soon to be seen as the chilling new Joker in this summer’s “The Dark Knight”) turns in an low key, tired performance as a man who knows he’s a sham. It’s not Ledger’s best work, but it speaks to the inner sadness the shy Dylan has always conveyed in his interviews and music. Robbie’s story also scores points with its use of “Visions of Johanna,” one of my favorite Dylan songs. Despite this, it’s a slow, unimpressive start to a film I had such great expectations for. But from the second that Cate Blanchett’s Jude Quinn character walks onscreen, “I’m Not There” springs to stunning life and becomes the film I’d



Winshaw plays the inner voice of Dylan, the lonely, cynical creator figure who presides over the film’s events.

Ben Winshaw

hoped it would be. Blanchett, dressed all in black with the trademark shades and mop-top, plays Dylan as we best remember him, the scrawny artist with the howling voice that captivated and embodied the roar of a generation. She looks so much like him that it’s almost frightening. And when she launches into “Ballad of a Thin Man” after being annoyed by a mincing journalist, the moment becomes positively euphoric, a stirring last hurrah for the 1960s counterculture Dylan helped conceive. Nothing else in the film rivals it. From there the film settles into a comfortable pace, as we meet the modern-day Dylan, the aging folk-rock icon who’s finally got religion. His name is Billy the Kid, stemming from Dylan’s known affinity for the Old West legend, and he’s played by another aging star, Richard Gere. Gere, giving the second-best performance of the film, plans to save the inhabitants of Riddle County, Missouri from meddlesome businessmen during a local Halloween masked ball, a strange affair worthy of David Lynch. The celebration, which eerily coincides with the funeral of a sad-eyed lowland girl, is the most visually beautiful part of the film, a strange, vivid slice of the lost America that Dylan pines for in many of his more recent songs. The film’s soundtrack is definitely a benefit. Dylan himself can be heard here and there, and the other artists (Calexico, Eddie Vedder, the Monkees and others) do their best to live up to the legend. The most original variation would definitely be the film’s version of “Tombstone Blues” performed by little Franklin and a band of jazzmen. Although “I’m Not There” manages to cram a lot into its two-hour running time, it still falls short of being a complete dissection of Dylan as a man or an artist. For that, I refer you to Martin Scorsese’s “No Direction Home,” a four-hour epic documentary on Dylan that really cuts to the core of one of America’s most influential and chameleonic artists. “I’m Not There” only scratches the surface, but it’s still a wild, worthy ride.


Franklin represents Dylan’s blues background, a genre of music that inspired Dylan as a child to be a musician. Marcus Carl Franklin

“Narrator Dylan” “Narrator Dylan” 19 feb. 2008 star scale { } poor { } fair



Bale portrays early Dylan, a soft-spoken folk-singer who rocketed to fame and fortune with a slew of hit singles protesting the war in Vietnam. Christian Bale “Folk Dylan”

} solid {

Cate Blanchett “Electric Dylan”

} excellent {

Blanchett plays Dylan at a pivotal crux in his career, experimenting both with electric instruments and mind-altering drugs.

Heath Ledger “Personal Dylan”

Ledger’s Dylan shows the singer’s personal life, detailing his many ill-fated love affairs and an ugly divorce from his first wife.


Gere plays the religious mountain man Dylan has become in his later years, who looks upon modern times with suspicion and a sense of displacement. Richard Gere “Modern Times Dylan”

} masterpiece Star ratings based on writer’s opinion

Drifting to





New Jack Johnson album delievers same soothing sound, but nothing fresh BY

Jack Johnson continues to make music that I fall asleep listening to. But it’s not usually out of boredom. Rather, it’s because of his traditionally mellow approach to songwriting that has quickly turned him into an acoustic-surf icon. His latest release, “Sleep Through the Static,” maintains his signature airy, melodious style that has been kept since his 2001 debut “Brushfire Fairytales.” It is only a small improvement over anything he has done before. The only real differences are a somewhat better assortment of instruments and darker lyrics. This can mean one of two things for fans of Jack: 1) Long-time Jack Johnson fans will continue to enjoy the chill tunes that the former professional surfer has preserved. 2) Or these fans will be bored by his persistence to make music that, much of the time, can sound monotonous. His unchanging style will not inspire any new fans. It’s a mixture of the two. I still thoroughly enjoyed listening to “Sleep Through the Static,” but I was fairly annoyed that I could take any song from this album and place it on “Brushfire Fairytales,” “On and On,” or “In Between Dreams” and it won’t sound out of place. The same argument can be made for his past albums. Since fans have taken such a liking to those albums, I see no reason why most nostalgic fans would be discouraged by “Sleep Through the Static”’s lack of originality. Johnson uses a better variety of instruments on this album to go along with his ever-present acoustic guitar. Compared to his past albums, pianos and keyboards play a much bigger role. “If I Had Eyes,” the first single of this album, is an example. Buoyant piano chords ring throughout the background along with the same upbeat folk-funk guitar technique that made “The Horizon Has Been Defeated” a hit. The pianos and keyboards are not overused though; when they are put in they are positive

Best known

{ } poor {

additions. During “They Do They Don’t,” he incorporates a harmonica, while “Enemy” welcomes the subtle » source: and tinkling of bells into its framework. Those small variations are what make this album sound a little bit fuller and more developed than his > Johnson’s new album was recorded in an earlier works. eco-friendly studio, using only solar power. Although the musical side of this album may seem The album casing is even made out of 100 light-hearted, the lyrical side may be considered percent recycled products. Johnson’s darkest effort yet. “Sleep Through the Static,” the title song, is completely driven by the > Johnson started All At Once, which is a war in Iraq. For example, “Who needs peace social action network providing informawhen we’ve gone above/But beyond where we tion, tools, and motivation for individuals should have gone?” display’s Johnson’s frustration who want to become active in their local that the US has overstepped their boundaries in and world community. the war. > The purpose of the site is to bring to“Hope” was partially inspired after a good friend gether non-profit organizations and fans to of his died of cancer. The line “You better hope you’re create change. not alone” is about how important his friend’s family was during his struggle with cancer. for more information, vist Because Johnson did not experiment very much, the » renli highlights of this record are all trademark Jack Johnson songs. The best track is “Go On.” During parts of this song, Johnson doubles his voice, using his normal tone and a quiet falsetto in the background. A calming, fluid, and album at all by saying this. “Sleep Through the Static” is delicate guitar solo that stretches for the last minute and a a solid Jack Johnson album. Now, despite numerous fullon listening sessions, Jack Johnson’s light, pleasing tone half of the song is my favorite segment of the album. “Sleep Through the Static” is by no means an remains appealing. As a whole, “Sleep Through the Static” is a slight step experiment. I imagine that it will experience plenty of commercial success and settle in comfortably to 96.5 The up from his previous works. His fans won’t be frustrated Buzz’s rotation. I just wish that he would try something by his inability to deliver fresh material. His critics aren’t slightly different. Maybe try reggae, or test out a 12 string going to become his supporters. But everyone will be guitar. Just as long as it is something to break the mold of frustrated by the fact that they can’t seem to stay awake while listening to “Sleep Through the Static” late at night. Ben Harper’s stunt-double. I’m not trying to take anything away from the { }

Brushfire Fairytales 2000

albums starscale

eco friendly album

» mactamblyn

} fair {

} solid {

On &On 2003

} excellent {

Inbetween Dreams 2005

Curious George Soundtrack 2006

} masterpiece Star ratings based on writer’s opinion







The best picks in A&E for the upcoming weeks

British Sea Power brings a powerful swell to their newest work BY

The Sea may never rest. British Sea Power made some waves crash in “Do You Like Rock Music?” where they have shown an almost perfect arrangement of music. British Sea Power (BSP) changed up a few things for this album and reconfigured their song writing. Typically, of the four one-named band members, Yan (Scott Wilkinson) writes most of the songs while fellow band member Hamilton (Neil Wilkinson) will write a few. However, with the new album, the tables have turned and now Hamilton wrote three fourths of the album, while Yan does the rest. With almost no noticeable difference between the two’s voices, the songs seem to flow together yet create a variety that lets the album stand out. Instrumental layout was also not safe from the waves of change in the new album. While Hamilton is listed as the band’s official bass player, he will play guitar on many songs as well. The opening song of the album “All In It” creates a mellower intro where there is a light drum beat and the band sings in unison, and for part of the song there is a guitar line playing in the background, which is very similar what they did to open their first album “The Decline of British Sea Power.” While there are other songs such as “Trip Out” that create a feel very similar to a more upbeat version of Doves mixed with Arcade Fire. However, most of their music can be closely compared to some of their biggest influences such as Joy Division. This type of variety throughout the album creates an almost perfect layout for an album to keep you listening. Throughout the album the lyrics seem to blend almost flawlessly with the songs. Offering both repetition when needed, and silence sometimes, as well. The song “Great Skua” goes without a single word, and if it had any it would damage the song. The pure brilliance of working in the lyrics only when essential and letting the songs play out when necessary really helps this CD. However, there is one instance where lyrical silence hurts the album. For roughly the first four minutes of the final song “We Close Our Eyes” there is nothing going on besides white noise, noise that cannot be made out as much of anything besides seemingly endless twaddle. For the first two and a half minutes you can’t even make out what is going because it is so quiet, but if you simply turn it up really loud it is possible to make out what sounds like a muffled car engine. Although the song

the band


Arcade Fire

Vampire Weekend

What happens when you mix a quartet of prepped out Columbia University students and a heaping dose of Afro-pop? Song titles like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” of course. Vampire Weekend mirrors a few tricks from Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and crafts an album that breezes along like a New England yacht.


ends up being saved in the last half of it by singing/chanting beginning, the words being sung are nearly identical to those of the first song “All In It,” and it ties the two songs together very nicely finishing the album the same way it starts off. “Do You Like Rock Music?” shows a more guitar-dominated feel, which lead me to think that BSP is finally creating a sound of their own instead of sticking with themes and sounds from their influences Joy Division and Echo And The Bunnymen. If not for the times of silence when words where needed, and the one or two occasions when the repeating of verses make me want to yank my hair out this album would have been perfect. Yet the band has kept up their pace from previous albums and then added some. Their music still sounds alike, yet they have a better array of songs, and the quality of music is better because no two songs sound similar on this new album. After listening to the album many times through I can now answer the plaguing question of “Do You Like Rock Music?”; Yes.

Spooky Organs


British Sea Power

“Vampire Weekend”

» joesernett

{ British Sea Power

Healthy Dose of Rock




of expected high-powered jams ‘WIDESPREAD’ LETDOWN Lack leaves new album with more to be desired BY

» davidwebster

Widespread Panic will most likely never receive a Grammy award. That doesn’t matter. Widespread Panic has never been a band hellbent on garnering mainstream success. They are a band that has thrived upon creating unique and entertaining music. Their 10 studio album, “Free Somehow,” is certainly unique, but in the end, the band’s attempt to craft a more serious album leaves a lot to be desired. Widespread Panic is a six-piece outfit led by guitarist and vocalist, John Bell. Famed for their impressive, solo-laden live performances and sell-out crowds, the aging jam-band kings from Athens, Georgia take their traditionally jubilant sound a different direction with their 10 studio effort. This album is the second album since the band’s two-year hiatus in 2003, and this collection is a departure from their traditional powerful, bluesy style. The end result is a particularly bleak album devoid of the high-powered jams that have filled sellout Widespread Panic shows for years. When I first started listening to the album, feb. I was pleased to hear the familiar powerful, 2008 yet laid back sound of the opening song,


“Boom, Boom, Boom.” This song combines the robust grunting vocals of Bell with the epic sounds of timpani drums from percussionist Todd Nance. Unfortunately, this is the only song where the combination really works. However, after the first song, I found myself pressing the advance track button, frantically trying to find a gripping tune. Perhaps I am a shallow Spread-head, but the rest of the album tends to drone on with repetitive, unexciting riffs and ambiguous, melancholy lyrics. The band’s new lead guitarist Jimmy Herring proves to be a versatile musician with the ability to blend softer jazz movements with heavier rock solos. Unfortunately, the din of ill-placed brass and percussion instruments overpowers much of Herring’s impressive skill in messy songs like “Up All Night” and “Tickle the Truth.” Herring shines in “Angels on High,” a song that will undoubtedly be a live concert hit on the band’s next tour. This song showcases the band’s creativity without muddying the song with too many instruments. This song showcases the band’s creativity with perfectly placed succinct

guitar solos. Herring’s masterful fretwork on the songs like “Free Somehow,” and “Flicker” is quite impressive, but his extended whining solos rarely seem to fit with these song’s softer tones. Much of my disappointment with the album comes from the band’s sudden change in style. Had I never listened to the band before, I might have had a different response to the band’s grinding, heavier guitars and mellow vocals. I doubt that any Panic fan will refer to “Free Somehow” as their favorite album. They will most likely select an album like “‘Til the Medicine Takes” or “Bombs and Butterflies” as the bands best work. Widespread Panic has a history as an enthralling live act, and these albums feature more upbeat songs that play well in a live setting. One cannot fault Widespread Panic for their creativity, as it is one of their most admirable traits. It is just a shame that their creativity makes the album fall a bit short. Hopefully, their next album will be free, somehow, of this lackluster effort.



Looking for a new band to discover so you can impress your friends with your ‘indieness?” Grab tracks from a slew of unknowns and then check out the likes of Andrew Bird, Cold War Kids and Grizzly Bear who have a few free downloads as well.

Golden Opportunities Mixtape Okkervil River

Free CD’s are rarely worth the trouble, but the Golden Opportunities mixtape is a present that shouldn’t be overlooked. Simply crafted, beautifully performed tracks like “Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear” are piled one after another to create a stellar track list.

Arcade Fire

“Black Mirror” Video The vague story line introduces a dreaming sailor, a nightmarish giant’s head and a bottle of mysterious glowing liquid...Oh well, forget about discerning plot and focus on the neat little feature that allows users to toggle the instruments and vocals on and off. First revelation, Win Butler a cappella is goosebump inducing.


Soda: pre-game fuel? the new


Despite possible negative consequences, some athletes drink soda before games and practices for the caffeine “energy rush” » natalieeisenach

Gatorade “X” Mountain Dew 355 mL 170 calories 65 mg sodium 48 g sugar 54 mg caffeine

720 mL 160 calories 330 mg sodium 42 g sugar

Tips for athletes using caffeine: •Ingest about three to four hours before the competition, since maximum effect on fat stores takes several hours. •Consider decreasing/abstaining from caffeine for three to four days before competition so that caffeine has maximum effect. Be careful about withdrawal. •Use caffeine under a variety of training conditions to make sure that your body reacts correctly. •Never try anything new on race day. •Do not exceed 12 mg/liter (this is considered “doping” by the International Olympics Committee and is illegal).

How caffeine affects your your mind

sports drinks because they contain sugars as well. Instead athletes should drink them during their work out once they have lost electrolytes. “After you have been sweating for 45 minutes you need to replace the electrolytes you lost. Sports drinks also have sodium and potassium that are good for replacement,” said Okeefe. Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade should be drunk in moderation as well, no more that 8-12 ounces during a game. Diet drinks should also be avoided; even though they do not have the sugar in them they still have the artificial sweeteners that turn on the sweet tooth, causing you to crave more sugars. Rathbun and his teammates realized that the two-liter bottles of ginger ale lacked any nutritional value. For Rathbun, he purely brought the drink to practice to add to his strong stomach image. “If I had drunk the whole thing I would have been lying down the whole practice, practice can really kill you,” he said. “I get side cramping if I even drink too much water during a game. I usually hardly drink during a game.” Nevertheless, even if the Ginger ale is a joke for Rathbun, other athletes continue to drink soda before exercise, unaware of its negative health effects. For athletes and Americans alike, soda is something that should stay bottled up.

your Heart

dicted to this rush and will continue to drink and eat simple sugars to sustain the sugar high. “When we spike and crash all day, it causes inflammation in the delicate cells of our bodies which can causes diseases… such as diabetes and heart disease.” This sugar high is the same energy release that Rathbun gets from eating honey before games. Instead of providing energy for athletes before a game, caffeine and sugar can actually cause jitters, increase blood pressure and increase the heart rate —adding to the anxieties of pregame nerves. “It can also cause headaches, the same way a person who is addicted to coffee can get headaches when they are used to drinking all that caffeine,” O’Keefe said. The phosphoric acid that creates the carbonation depletes the calcium from teeth and bones. According to O’Keefe, there has been an increase in the number of broken bones in athletes. This generation drinks more soda than ever and they are replacing calcium with phosphorous that is in soda – weakening their bones and leeching out the calcium. Soda is also a diuretic, which dehydrates the body. To perform at an optimal level it is important to be well hydrated, after all the body is nearly 70 percent water. O’Keefe suggests that the best way to stay hydrated is to drink w a t e r before a game instead o f

your Muscles


Varsity soccer player senior Alex Rathbun is proud of his strong stomach. It isn’t unusual for him to have a Krispy Kreme doughnut or a Chipotle burrito for a pre-game meal. He even has a tradition of eating tablespoons of honey before a game for energy. This year he began a new tradition at practices: drinking ginger ale. It began after he showed up to practice with a two-liter bottle of ginger ale. From that day on, he brought soda to nearly every-other day of practice. Rathbun would never finish the entire bottle of soda during practice, but he would set it out amongst the other sports drinks and water bottles for a laugh from his teammate and coaches. “Everyone got a crack out of it, besides it was really good on hot days,” he said. While Rathbun brought soda to practice to set himself apart from the team, the average American consumes the drink regularly as part of their daily diet — nearly 576 cans a year on average. Mountain Dew, Diet Sprite, Coke Plus — there are a large varieties of soda, but they all have the same effects. People usually concern themselves with the excessive amounts of calories and sugars found in soda, but they often ignore the other side effects that can hinder fitness, such as calcium depletion, dehydration and jitteriness. Joan O’Keefe, a registered dietician, said that drinking simple sugars before exercising causes your blood sugars to spike. The body can easily break down the sugars, which causes a serotonin release creating a temporary sugar high. Soda drinkers can be ad-


» »

• You think you do better work with caffeine, but work quality does not change • Reduces sleep minutes and increases time it takes to go to sleep • Leads to dependence • Decreases depression; increases alertness • Increases physical stamina; decreases perceived exertion • Coffee causes heartburn in some people • Since caffeine causes irregular heartbeats in certain people, people with heart disease are often advised to avoid drinking caffeine • Studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease • Does not benefit short term, high-intensity exercise (sprinting, for example) • Can enhance performance in endurance sports • Encourages muscles to use fat as fuel • Delays the depletion of muscle glycogen (principle fuel for muscles) and allows for prolongation of exercise

Vitamin Water 600 mL 125 calories 0 mg sodium 33 g sugar

Gatorade 600 mL 130 calories 270 mg sodium 35 g sugar

Propel 480 mL 25 calories 70 mg sodium 4 g sugar

Powerade 600 mL 150 calories 138 mg sodium 38 g sugar

» meghanbenson



WRESTLING UP A WINNER Senior Matt Baker has worked his way up to being undefeated and first in state in his final season BY

» sarahluby

When the wrestling match began, Senior Matt Baker coolly moved around the wrestling mat, on his toes ready to pin his opponent down. As the match unfolded, he would take down his opponent and let him up. Then he would take down his opponent and let him up again. The match went on this way for all the first period and half of the second period. His opponent was tiring, and that’s exactly where Baker wanted him. “I was just focusing on being smart with the moves I did,” Baker said. “Tiring out my opponent just makes it easier for me to capitalize at certain points.” As of Feb. 9, Baker is 34-0 and the only undefeated wrestler in his weight class. He currently leads the team in pins and is the overall point leader. Plus, he’s the number one wrestler in the 189 lbs class in 6A.

Last year, Baker placed third at state. This year, on Feb. 22, he’s looking to place first. “He has a great chance of taking the title,” head coach Chip Ufford said. “With the way he is wrestling now, he’ll be one of the top contenders.” Although Baker is the best now, he didn’t always hold that spot. He had to earn it. “I had to work really hard to get to where I am now,’ Baker said. “I took advantage of opportunities to do summer wrestling and pushed myself harder during practices, anything that would give me that edge.” Baker also believes that he is extremely lucky to be able to wrestle with high quality practice partners such as Seniors Andrew Collingwood and Kenton Closter, who both placed first at the Sunflower League. During the off season, Baker par-




• High Crotch- A pivoting maneuver that allows one to slip by opponents’ arms, then opening up a leg attack. • Single Leg Sweep- Start by circling the leg that you are targeting, then when your opponent moves pounce on his leg.

ON THE MAT • Blanket Ride- To control opponent hook arms to ankle and control wrist and elbow, you can then work in different moves. • Inside Leg Stand Up- When opponent is on top of you, fire off your knees and try and put one of your feet down. Once one foot is down continue to drive upward.

ABOVE LEFT Senior Matt Baker puts a move on his opponent at the SMEast duals on Dec. 1. ABOVE RIGHT: Senior Matt Baker puts another move on his same opponnent. » karenboomer

How far will boys’ basketball get in state tourney?

How far will girls’ basketball get in state tourney?

mike CRAY






clark GOBLE








Substate Finals
















the panel

19 feb.

ticipates in the summer weight program and eats healthy. But his main focus during the off season is getting in more mat time. “The most important thing is to wrestle and gain experience,” Baker said. “While I’m wrestling, other kids are not, therefore giving me an advantage.” By making wrestling a top priority, Baker has risen to the top. But he knows that if he wants to stay at the top, he’ll have to continue to put forth that effort. “It [losing] could happen at any time,” Baker said. “I have to be prepared for every match and wrestle my best.” “The state winner will be decided on who is the best wrestler on that day,” Baker said. “And I believe it will be me.”

Best recruiting class; college football

Did Clemens actually use steriods?

Will the Suns benefit from getting Shaq?




Strikingly talented

Freshman Molly Rappold has high hopes for the future after a lifetime of competitive soccer

» kevinsimpson

Heaving her soccer bag to the floor, freshman Molly Rappold dashed to her computer. She had been told by a woman from the Olympic Development Program (ODP) to check her e-mail in order to find a list of names that she had been waiting to see for weeks. Rappold was one of just one hundred 15-yearold girls in the country to be invited to a prestigious soccer camp, but her cheers of excitement rang hollow in the empty house. She dialed her mother but the endless dial tone greeted her. Next, she tried her father, and again heard his answering machine. Finally, her parents called back 10 minutes later. The invitation came as a surprise to Rappold, who had previously turned down an offer from ODP to take a trip to Coral Springs, FL. When the program previously invited her, Rappold already had a commitment to play in the national league with her Kansas City Futbol Club (KCFC) Intensity premiere team. This time, when ODP came calling, Rappold was ready to go. “I was excited for her, because it’s a big opportunity,” her mother, Kim Rappold, said. “We were surprised, because we had turned down the Coral Springs trip. You never know if you’re going to get another opportunity because there are a lot of girls.” Rappold leaves for Los Angeles tomorrow for the ODP National Soccer Camp for girls 15 and under (U15). The coaches from the program spotted Rappold, a forward, throughout her successful years on KCFC. Her team has won State Cup the past three years, and is currently ranked 12th in the nation. Rappold began her soccer career at a young age, and has been on a successful path ever since. With many opportunities ahead of her, she has no intentions of slowing down. In addition to the camp in California, Rappold is going to Costa Rica with her ODP regional team in April. The Beginnings Ever since she saw her older sister, Emily, kick the black-and-white speckled ball over the pitch, Rappold knew that’s what she wanted to do. Her mother wasn’t surprised. “It was good,” Kim said. “They’re both very different players, and it’s fun to watch them both. Emily was just a strong shooter, and Molly is more of a worker bee.” Rappold has had this tenacious mentality since she laced up her cleats for her first game. She was surrounded by a pack of boys, but refused to be intimidated. “I played rec soccer in kindergarten for a mainly-boy team,” she said. “There were probably two other girls. We were called ‘The Army’, and we had army-green jerseys.” Despite losing every game except one, Rappold was a bright spot on the team: in the team’s lone win, she netted the first of her many goals. Two years later, Rappold moved on to her next team, this one known as the “Mini-Mias” due to the players’ fascination with one of soccer’s most recognizable figures, Mia Hamm. After two years with this team, Rappold moved onto a premiere team, Avellino, until fifth grade,

when she tried out for KCFC. The coach, Huw Williams, liked what he saw in the determined 10year-old. “Molly has always been a feisty, aggressive player,” Williams said. “She finishes well, scores a ton of goals and strikes the ball very cleanly.” Work Ethic This talent came through intense practices, as well as pushing herself when no one is around to push her. “Sometimes, you feel lazy and don’t want to run, but you have to,” Rappold said. “You have to do it for your coach, but also for you.” Williams has driven this mindset home. His team’s practices primarily consist of abdominal work and running, with tough workouts designed for the club by Williams. One drill has the girls running laps at a high speed for 12 minutes, and another has them racing around the perimeter of the field with a teammate, always competing. “We practice three times a week,” Williams said. “We work on technical skills on Mondays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we work more on the team tactics side of things. We work on passing and moving off the ball, which is what a player will do when they don’t have the ball at their feet.” The Travel On April 3, Rappold and a group of other girls from around the country will travel to Costa Rica to take on teams from all over the world, including the U15 Australian and Costa Rican teams. Despite the fact that her parents will not accompany her on this trip for the first time in her soccer career, Rappold isn’t nervous for the seven-and-a-half hour flight. “I don’t really know any of the other girls on my team, but it will be good to meet the other girls,” she said. “I think [ODP] is using this to help us have team bonding.” Leaving town for 10 days is one of many sacrifices made in order to play highly competitive soccer. Rappold estimates she plays in 50 games and up to six out-of-state tournaments each year. This leads to a lot of hours spent with her team, which she enjoys. “Part of it is just being with my team,” Rappold said. “We’re like sisters. For instance, when we went to Wisconsin, we went to the Green Bay Packers stadium [Lambeau Field].” The tour of Lambeau Rappold has traveled to over nine states and is preparing was one for her upcoming tournament in Costa Rica of many field trips the team has taken together. One of Rappold’s favorite was a campus visit of Duke and » renli North Carolina, her dream school. Chicago, Wisconsin, Iowa,


St. Louis; this team has been coast to coast, from the beaches of Florida to the malls of Arizona. However, being out of town as often as she is, Rappold said she misses a lot of things. She doesn’t like being separated from her school friends on the weekends. “In middle school, there were always parties I couldn’t go to,” she said. “I always missed the mixers. I remember that.” Future Despite missing many memories from her teenage years, Rappold is making up for it with her on-field performance. In order t o make the trip to Costa Rica, she was one of just two players chosen from her KCFC team to play on the ODP Regional team. She is the only player from her premiere team headed to California for the camp. This was no shock to Williams. “It’s something that she belongs in,” he said. “It’s something that she will do well in, and I’m very excited and happy for her. I think it is just the first step toward even more successes and more recognition at the national level.” For now, Rappold is focused on playing for East. “I’m excited to have a new coach to teach me new things and play with people that I’ve never played with,” she said. “I want to play soccer in college, so we’ll go from there.”

Soccer travels

» norasalle




26 As sophomore Hunter Stevenson begins his second varsity season, he’s

Swimming in the fast lane BY

» jordanpfeiffer

East has been the Sunflower League Champions in swimming and diving for the past five years, and sophomore Hunter Stevenson has been part of the last two. A varsity swimmer and state qualifier last year, Stevenson placed fourth at the Sunflower League Meet in the 200 freestyle and contributed in the fourth place finish in the 200 freestyle. Although he did not have high expectations last year due to the success of last year’s senior and junior class, he has come back into this season ready to build on his accomplishments last year. “I swim with the Blazers during the off season of East’s swimming,” Stevenson said. “It helps me to not only keep in shape, but to improve my times on my own.” Because of all the time that he spends in the pool, he works out as well. Lifting weights, dieting, and swimming are all apart of his off season regimen to keep in shape. “I frequently go to the practices at five in the morning,” Stevenson said. “So my dad gets up early enough to make me some breakfast, usually eggs.” Coach Wiley Wright believes that Stevenson has not only improved his times, but will also be a valuable leader for seasons to come. “He has improved a lot in his 200 free and sprint events,” Wright said. “(Stevenson), Jack Walker, Clay Finley and Jack Logan are a good core of kids to come back for next year as leaders.” SOPHOMORE Hunter Stevenson practices the butterfly stroke during the team practice. Stevenson is going on his second year on varsity swim team and his second time to state. » laurenbleakley

Both as coach and mortician, Wiley Wright goes

ence: Embalming Theory, Funeral Service Merchandising and Mortuary Science Practicum. Embalming Theory is a class that deals with the preparation of the remains. The three goals of embalming are preservation, sanitation, and presentation or restoration. “The students take corpses from different death situations such as disease, gunshots, and large fatality deaths such as plane crashes,” Wright said. Funeral Service Merchandising is the product knowledge of all of the products used in a funeral service such as the selling of caskets and burial clothing. And Mortuary Science Practicum is a job shadow; students are supervised in a funeral home while performing various tasks that morticians perform. Wright started out working as a mortician in high school, but as many may think, he had quite a tough first day on the job. He was very unsure and scared with the corpses around, but he got used to it. “I liked the whole aspect of it, so I decided to pursue it as a career,” he said. Wright says he has been asked some very odd, yet interesting, questions. “I once was asked if I had ever seen anybody sit up and I was also asked if it was true that the hair and fingernails continue to grow after death,” he said. Wright has encountered some pretty interesting things while working as a mortician. “I once was moving a corpse a while back,” he said. “I tried to move one of the eyes, but for some reason it wouldn’t move. I later realized that it was a glass eye, I thought it was pretty funny.” Wright doesn’t believe he fits the norm of a funeral director. “I don’t think that I would fit the stereotype of a typical funeral director, I think of myself as a happy, laid back guy.”




feb. 2008

» conortwibell

Boys’ swim coach Wiley Wright finishes his cup of coffee, gets in his car and drives the 20 minutes to KCKCC (Kansas City Kansas Community College.) He parks his car, enters room 3628, sits down and confronts his first corpse of the day. Wright is a Mortuary Science teacher at KCKCC in which he teaches students the different aspects of the science. Wright says he enjoys interacting with the students and seeing them succeed in their chosen profession. He also hopes that he assists them in their success. Wright teaches three classes involving Mortuary Sci-

Coach Wiley Wright is a mortician and swim coach for the boys varsity swim team. Wright has been in the mortuary business since he was in high school. » mackenziewylie

Sophomore swimmer Jack Walker agrees. “He’s not your typical swim coach,” Walker said. “He is a really funny guy and he’s very good at what he does. When he first told us as freshman that he was a mortician, I just thought it was another one of his jokes.” Wright has received some pretty unusual looks from people when he first tells them what else he does besides coach. “Usually they have an odd look, like ‘You do what?’ But I wouldn’t fit the stereotype of a funeral director.” Juggling teaching and coaching the 3-peat state champion Lancers may sound tough, but Wright has the right idea about it. “Just with anything, you have to set time management with what you need to do and be organized.” The Lancers will be taking a hard hit next year after losing All-American senior swimmers Brad Crist and Brogan Runion. “I think that we will all miss the leadership the seniors bring, but we have a good core of underclassmen as well as a nice mixture of talent among them,” Wright said.

» sallydrape

» sallydrape

what’s up this week in Lancer sports


Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball @ Olathe East- The Olathe East boys’ and girls’ teams are surprisingly similar. Their overall records are both 9-7 and are hanging in the middle of the Sunflower League standings. The girls’ team lost go-to senior Morgan Boyd, who averaged 21 pts. and 8 rebs. a game last year, but have a program that expects winning. The boys’ team is led by senior Jake Darby, a guard who drives to the basket with authority. Neither Lancer team can afford to overlook the Hawks on the road.


Varsity wrestling at State- The Sunflower League champs expect to use their outstanding depth to place well in Wichita this weekend. Seniors Kenton Kloster, Matt Baker and Andrew Collingwood all won their respective weight classes at the Sunflower League meet, and 11 wrestlers placed in the top six. To win the state title, the Lancers need wrestlers to step up and gain valuable points, even if they don’t win the state title. Senior David Schrunk (right) and senior David Webb have shown potential to place at state this year, among others. A Matt Baker state title in the 189 lb. weight class wouldn’t hurt the state chances.

» karenboomer

MEET of the WEEK

Ludington and the rest of the boys’ basketball team take on the Olathe East Hawks tomorrow night and SM South Friday night. Both games will help determine what seed the Lancers will get for substate.

point COUNTERPOINT NO YES ISSUE: Should March Madness be expanded to include more teams?

How would this hurt the NCAA at all? I think they should expand the tourney to eight more teams, with a grand total of 72 teams. As one of the biggest of the biggest college basketball fans around (I treat the first day of the tourney as a holiday), this would be one of the best things that could happen. A longer tournament, more upsets, more passion, more pageantry and more money for the NCAA. Here’s how it would break down: You would add two “play-in” games to each region, in which the winner would get to play either the one seed or the two seed. The loser would still get to be apart of the tournament, as all of the “play-in” games wouldn’t be treated like the one “play-in” game we have now, but just like a regular first round game. — Nick Ratliff

One of the advantages college hoops has over the BCS is the fact that each team must have a solid overall resume to be selected for the NCAA Tournament. Many major-conference teams find themselves on the bubble come March, thus making strength of schedule and RPI so important. Expanding the NCAA Tournament field would discourage many bubble teams of scheduling hard non-conference games and playing on the road. The NCAA Tournament shouldn’t turn into the BCS, where every team with a .500 record qualifies. A college football team could put together a cupcake non-conference schedule, struggle through conference, scrounge up a 6-6 record and still make it to a bowl game. The fact that it is actually hard to get into the NCAA Tournament makes March even better, making the regular season for teams on the brink that much more important. Tournament expansion would also lessen the quality of an already irrelevant NIT. — Sam Kovzan

Boys’ varsity basketball vs SM South— This isn’t the same South team the Lancers handled easily back in December. Led by sophomore point guard Will Spradling, the Raiders beat Leavenworth, who beat the Lancers last week and stand at 13-3, and St. Thomas Aquinas, which has Iowa State-bound forward Clinton Mann. Spradling has had a flair for the dramatic, winning four games in the last minute. The Lancers need to contain him and get out on senior sharpshooters Tim Bury and Jordan McDowell. SM North (3-12) beat South with physical defense and hustle in last week’s Metro Sports Game of the Week. The Lancers should use the same tactic. A few loose balls won could be the difference between a no. 1 seed in the substate or a no. 2. Varsity bowling @ Regionals- The regional is difficult, but if the Lancer boys’ team rolls well, they could get to the state tournament at the Thunderbird Lanes in Wichita March 1. Senior Charles Marx, junior Sean Robinson and junior Curtis Wells will probably be among the top four scorers that count towards the team score. The girls have a tougher road, and will need to bowl their best meet this season to qualify. Stranger things have happened. Ali Dees has a chance to qualify as an individual.

» sallydrape

the WEEK ahead



charlie ludington

junior boys’ basketball

On his nickname, “The Weatherman,” coined by senior Steve Sykes— I like it a lot, it’s pretty tight to have a nickname like that. On his best game this year— Probably against Lawrence. I had 21 points and we beat them by 20. On his favorite shot to shoot— A three on the left wing, with a little fade. On when he realized he was a shooter— Probably this summer, when I hit nine threes in one half in one of our summer games. That’s when I knew. On the differences between soccer and basketball, both of which Ludington plays varsity— Basketball is more intense and more physical. On his expectations for the rest of the year— I want to win out and win state. On the best player he has guarded— [Junior Marcus] Webb or Mike [McRoberts, senior] in practice. On what runs through his head before shooting— I don’t really think. I just shoot it. On his most memorable shot— I just hit a half court fader in Jack Slaughter’s eye during practice. It didn’t hit rim.

» sallydrape

5 minutes with...


11 10



ABOVE: To participate in the caucus, senior Quinn Rogers registers to vote as a Democrat . “It was exciting to take part in a very unique election,” Rogers said.

» sallydrape

ABOVE RIGHT: Senator Barack Obama greets people after his speech at Municial Auditorium on Jan. 29, a few days before the Missouri Democrat Primary and the Kansas Democrat Caucus. » karenboomer RIGHT: Senior Adam Plotkin attends a Barack Obama campgain rally. After speaking in Kansas City, Obama won the Kansas Democrat caucus on Feb. 5.

» karenboomer

19 feb.


POLITICAL ACTIVISM Students attend campaign rallies and participate in caucuses to get involved in the 2008 Presidential Election

ABOVE: A journalist from National Public Radio interviews seniors Laura Wetzel, David Isenberg and Garett Exline as they wait in line at Asbury Church for the Kansas Democratic Caucus. “Even though it was really cold and took forever to get in, the whole atmosphere was really exciting because it was my first caucus,” Exline said. » karenboomer

Issue 11  
Issue 11  

ISSUE ELEVEN feb. 19, 2008 shawnee mission east prairie village, ks story continued on page 4 » SPORTS: Soda proves harmful to athletes »PAG...