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Harbinger the


SEPT. 29, 2008





While other districts take great strides to becoming eco-friendly, the Shawnee Mission school district takes small steps // LOGANHELEY

Columbia blue, black and white isn’t turning green anytime soon, but the district says it is making the school more environmentally friendly by taking smaller steps. With the new construction at East, blow dryers are replacing paper towels in some of the school bathrooms. Automatic toilets are replacing the manual ones.  According to Chris White, the District Bond Project Manager, all the school’s lighting has been upgraded with more efficient lamps. New lighting ballasts will allow the lamps to run on less electricity, saving money and lowering energy use.  Better insulation on the walls, windows, and doors will also

be installed. Not only will these improvements be more environmentally friendly, but it will also save the district money. “If [the district] didn’t take these steps, it would cost exponentially more to run the district,” White said. Other districts have seen the benefits of green items.  After implementing a new lights system and other more efficient items, the Park Hill School District in Missouri is seeing energy savings of more than $300 thousand a year.  If all new school construction and school renovations went green starting today, energy savings in the U.S. alone would

total $20 billion over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. But going green doesn’t just mean installing better lights and windows. One of the “Four Pillars of a Green School” according to the Green Schools Initiative is for schools to become toxic free.  New York, Maine and Illinois have passed laws requiring schools to use environmentally sensitive cleaners. According to Leigh Anne Neal, the district Director of Public Information, the district is trying to reduce irritants in schools by using non-toxic and environmentally safe cleaners.


FEATURES: Student plans rave >PAGE 10 SPREAD: How texting affects reading >PAGE 12-13 A&E: Review with “Clay” >PAGE 16

PAGE 2 NEWS / SEPT. 29, 2008

Area schools work to be more environmentally conscious crease the chance of students and staff getting asthma. “If you can reduce the chemicals being used in the school, you reduce some of the triggers that can cause asthma,” Moore said. Staley High only uses cleaning products certified with a Green Seal. One potential benefit of the school is that it could reduce school absences. The LEED certified Johnson County government building has reported a decrease in the number of employee sick days and an increase in employee approval of their work environment. Mershon is expecting similar results. “The air that we breathe within out building is cleaner and fresher,” Mershon said. “And the research has proven that we should have less sickness.” Joan Bray, a Missouri State Senator in favor of the green law, says that the payback for building green is coming quicker than it used to. Not only does she feel going green is cost effective, but she feels it is her own duty to go green. “I’m a steward of the public money, public policy and the public tax dollars,” Bray said. “[My colleagues and I] have an obligation to set a standard and an example in the state government, the local government, and the school districts regarding a good policy in energy use and conservation.” Bray feels that if kids grow up in schools that practice good green methods, then those methods will go home with them. According to Bridging the Gap, a Kansas City area environmental group, about 86 percent of plastic bottles are thrown away, about 860 million a week. The average household is responsible for 216 pounds of CO2 emissions each year due to drinking bottled water. Riott feels that issues like drinking tap water instead of

bottled water are easy fixes and can contribute to the environment in a positive way. “There is a great deal that we can do in our lives at home to be green,” Riott said. “So what the student body does, not just the building itself, has a huge, huge impact.” Even though the district has not declared itself “green,” White says they are taking steps to become more energy efficient. “We have in the past and we are continuing to be conscious of the issue and are trying to incorporate the concepts of being sustainable, planet friendly, not contributing to making things worse, but making them better, and being energy efficient,” White said. White says that new insulation, lights, and a new heating and cooling system will make it cost much less to run the district. But Riott doesn’t want the green initiative to end at the buildings. She would like to see a school-wide carpooling and biking program established. Schools can apply for grants of up to $4,500 if they start programs that “green” their school, such as a carpooling or recycling program. The grant is offered at West recently received a grant from the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation for its use of solar power. Shari Wilson, a director for Kansas Green Schools, feels programs like this one will help the environment for generations. “We need to use only what we really need and not use up all of our resources that future generations may require,” Wilson said. “And I think a lot of schools are really starting to think about that, and I think people in general are starting to think like that too.” White believes going green is a longterm commitment to the future of the planet. “We are stewards of the world, and • Improves the environment by reducing toxic pollution and waste, conserving we’re not here to destroy it, we’re here resources and habitats, and minimizing global warming and ozone depletion; to pass it on to future generations,” White said. “Anything that we can • Increases health and wellbeing, particularly in populations most affected by do, that is green or not, that makes product choice, such as schoolchildren, service staff, and the elderly; and the world a better place is a very ap• Demonstrates to various business segments that environmentally responpropriate thing to do.”

Green cleaners can be as simple as using a mixture of white vinegar and water in place of conventional floor cleaners. According to the Green Schools Initiative, 30 percent of cleaners are known to cause human health or environmental problems. Neal says that the district has and will continue to consider green initiatives. The district did not pursue Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED) certification on any of its new buildings because the initial costs would be too high. According to Clark Mershon, the principal of Missouri’s first green high school, the newly built Staley High School, it cost the North Kansas City School District about one percent more, initially, to build Staley High. Mershon says that the payback on the initial cost will be seen in the first three to five years. The U.S. Green Building Council says it typically costs about $3 more per-square-foot to build a green school, but the initial investment will be paid back within a few years. Missouri passed a law this summer requiring its schools to follow guidelines on “green cleaning” programs and use environmentally sensitive products. Director of Community Outreach for Bridging the Gap and East parent Kristin Riott says that there is no such legislation pending in Kansas. Some Missouri school districts have already taken the green cleaning initiative, such as the Park Hill School District. According to Nicole Kirby, the Director of Communication Services of the Park Hill School District, the green cleaners are safer, healthier and cost about the same as conventional cleaners. Deborah Moore, the Executive Director of The Green Schools Initiative, says using fewer chemicals in schools can de-

Why use ‘green cleaning’ products?


sible products can improve quality and boost profitability.

: THE GREEN GUIDE precedence and process

// Courtesy of: Staley High School in Missouri is the first “green” high school in nation. The school environmentally friendly building materials, which saves energy and the district money.


the top


changes you can make to reduce your ‘carbon footprint’

1) Give up bottled water - about 86 percent of plastic bottles are thrown away; about 860 million per week. Average household reduction of CO2 emissions: 216 pounds a year

2) Wash your laundry in cold water Average household reduction of CO2 emissions: 327 pounds a year 3) Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs Average household reduction of CO2 emissions: 566 pounds a year 4) Set thermostat at 68° in winter, 78° in summer - Average household reduction of CO2 emissions: 553 pounds a year 5) Cut your gasoline use by a quarter - Average car reduction of CO2 emissions: 2500 pounds a year source:

The Legislation in Missouri:

Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, school districts must establish a “green” cleaning policy that involves the use of environmentally sensitive cleaning products, unless implementation of the policy would result in an increase in the cleaning costs of the district. source:


Construction continues to create traffic problems // KATHLEENIRELAND

With heavy construction and new entrances around the school, recent changes at East have taken their toll on traffic conditions. The biggest issue is not having enough space for cars to enter the parking lots. After taking away the spirit circle from last year, there is not one main area for people to go for drop-offs. By taking away one high-traffic area, it has only created more confusion in other already frantic dropoff zones. There is now an even more severe car stoppage around the junior and senior parking areas. Senior Ian Bryant, thinks current conditions are pretty hectic. His problem is more with trying to leave promptly after school, than with getting into the parking lots in the morning. “With so few places to get in and out, I think it makes things harder than they need to be,” Bryant says. Another problem is with individuals who haven’t been following the correct drop-off protocol. Parents try to stop directly in front of the library to let their kids out instead of pulling all the way forward to stop which causes a massive

car backup. “If people did it the way it was designed to go, things would go smoothly,” SRO officer Brady Sullivan said. Sullivan is currently dealing with trying to inform parents of proper drop-off protocol. He thinks once everyone knows the proper way of picking up and dropping off students, the back-up will dramatically decrease. “Just get in your car and go,” Sullivan said, “you can mess with other stuff later.” He suggests parents come later to pick up, if they can, or pick up on side streets to reduce traffic delay. Sullivan says the junior parking lot isn’t as big of a concern as by the office. The cars aren’t backing out into the street as much, but there can be a 10-15 minute wait for students and parents. “But that’s just something you’re gonna have to deal with, it’s not a flawless system,” Sullivan said. There’s not truly a fix in place currently since it’s only a temporary problem. With a new drop-off zone, similar to the spirit circle, coming next year, they anticipate the traf-

fic situation getting better, though there has always been at least a slight traffic dilemma at East. At the beginning of the year everyone from campus police and school planners to Prairie Village Police and construction workers helped to reduce confusion. Margaret Ash, mother of sophomore Ryan Ash and freshman Kevin Ash, believes things have been going much smoother since the beginning of the year. “Though parking is still kind of a mess,” Ash said. There’s not much SRO or teachers can do to enforce proper protocols. They can’t give tickets out to parents for stopping too long, since it’s on public property. Though things are presently chaotic, the situation is expected to get much easier in the long run. With a new drop-off zone, about three times the size of the spirit circle, in progress, it should be much easier for parents to unload students without affecting traffic too dramatically. “But, until it’s done, we wont be able to tell,” Sullivan said.

Crammed Classrooms



Lack of classroom space becomes an issue for teachers and students


The Shawnee Mission School District has a total revenue of $249 million, more than 40 times that of the average Kansas district. But each teacher is not allotted their own classroom and classes with more than 30 kids are crammed into rooms meant for 15. “The availability of room space here is horrific, nothing short or less of pathetic,” said Dr. Karl Krawitz. “It’s a credit to the teachers for doing this well… is it a good situation? Absolutely not.” The space issue is prevalent throughout the school, but it mostly affects the English and math departments. There are 28 English teachers who share 10 classrooms, and there are


There will be no school Oct. 6 for school improvement and Oct. 10 for the end of the quarter. The schedule for that week is as follows: Tuesday: Even Hours Wednesday: Odd Hours Thursday: All Hours College Connection night is tonight from 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.

11 classrooms for 17 math teachers. Before coming to East, English teacher Vicki Tucker taught at a school where 80 percent of the students lived below the poverty line. “They did not get to eat during the day if they did not have breakfast and lunch at school,” Tucker said. Yet each teacher had their own classroom and there was a computer writing lab for the English department. East has computers on the fifth floor. However, they are used for business classes only. The math department is split between the first and fourth floors. Many math teachers are frustrated because they feel that collaboration, the administration’s main emphasis, is unattainable because of this

Seminar Update: Nominations for the Homecoming Court will take place on Wednesday during senior class seminars. The Homecoming Pep Assembly will be Oct. 8 during seminar classes in the gymnasium. The fall musical celebrating 50 years of East musicals will be in the cafeteria this year and will run Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.

split. Poor organization makes this unfortunate situation even more bothersome. For instance, Tucker shares her room with English teacher Bill Boley. They were put together because they both teach junior English. However, Tucker only teaches senior English in that room and hardly sees Boley. The space is so cramped that there is barely room for the two desks. Tucker also teaches down the hall in English teacher Kristin Anderson’s room. Ironically, she has more classes in this room than in her own. Since plan rooms are occupied, Tucker must spend the period in the four-computer magazine room tucked in the back of the library. Math teacher Jennifer Horn spends her plan period in the math office. Having taught at East for nine years, Horn is used to sharing rooms. She rooms with math teacher Monique Goodeyon, and although they each have a computer, they are forced to share Horn’s computer because it’s the only one that hooks up to the projector. “Instead of staying logged on to my computer, I have to log out every time I leave, and then haul my stuff to 127,” Horn said. According to Tucker, teachers are making sacrifices and students are affected. Many students in search of assistance or a grade check-up are not being helped efficiently because their teachers are not always able to have necessary materials available in one place. The space issue is not due to a small budget; the district’s 2008-09 proposed budget is $354 million. It is actually a result of a bond issue that took place in 2003. Five years ago, a series of issues was presented to a district committee made up of patrons, faculty and students. The district agreed

that the need for extra facilities (auditoriums, gymnasiums, FACS rooms, science rooms) was top priority. The government issued the district $178 million making it the biggest bond issue the district has ever seen. East is the last of the five schools to undergo renovation. Being landlocked and the smallest school in the district also adds to the space problem. Since the bond issue, enrollment has decreased by 225 students. In response, the trailers were removed. However, there is still a shortage of rooms. The issue of whether to allot money for additional classrooms is expected to be district-wide at the next bond election.

The AFS lobster sale is Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the hallway on the fourth floor near the office, due to construction near the gymnasium

East is in the process of updating the school’s Mission and Vision statements and we want to hear from you-the most important part of our school! What do we want to achieve as a school? What are our common values? Where do we want East to be five years from now? Please voice your opinion and help us revise the Mission and Vision statements for East. Go to and click on the Mission and Vision links and let your voices be heard!

The ZAPS PSAT/SAT Test preparation seminar is tonight and Tuesday from 3:00-5:30 p.m. or 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the cafeteria The deadline to register for the Oct. 15 PSAT/NMSQT and PLAN Test is Oct. 10. Sign up for the tests in the counseling office.

Downsizing the Rooms How smaller classes are affecting both East teachers and students English Department - 10 rooms for 18 teachers Math Department - 11 rooms for 17 teachers Total students - 1,886 Total Teachers - 119 Student:Teacher Ratio - 17.739 : 1 Source:

PAGE 4 NEWS / SEPT. 29, 2008


New legal studies program experiences more enrollment than expected

// ANNIESGROI The district takes pride in its Signature Programs because they offer unique opportunities for students. North has the Biomedical Health Program and the PreMedical Health Science Program. South has the Center for International Studies and Project Lead the Way. West has the Biotechnology Program. Northwest and East have International Baccalaureate. And this year East has added the district’s newest Signature Program --the Legal Studies Program. This is the first year of the Legal Studies Program and the only new class offered will be Introduction to Law and the response has been much bigger than predicted. Enough students have enrolled to fill two sections of Intro to Law instead of the expected one. The next classes in the program are the already available Mock Trial and the newly added Argumentation and Discussion, which will be an informal debate class where students learn the skills of arguing a case without parameters. Starting in the 2009-2010 school year both Forensic Science and an honors course, Legal Studies Research and Writing, will be taught. Students can take the classes individually to see what interests them, but to receive the Legal Studies designation on their transcript they must take all four classes starting either freshman or sophomore year. Paulette Manville, former East debate coach, was one of the first people involved in developing the program. She thought the Legal Studies Program would be a good way for students to learn new ways of thinking, similar to the strategic thinking law students would learn.

“When you go to law school they tell you ‘we’re not going to teach you law. We’re going to teach you how to think like a lawyer,” Manville said. In the 2006 school year Associate Superintendent Gene Johnson, now the Superintendent asked Manville if she would like to work on developing the Legal Studies Program. Manville was interested for two reasons. She had practiced law and found it wasn’t right for her, so she wanted a way for students to experience careers before signing on. Also Manville believes the skills students learn in both Debate and in Legal Studies will stay with them no matter what career they choose. She talked to then Principal Susan Swift about the idea, but work on the program didn’t really start until that summer. Over the summer of 2006 Associate Principal John McKinney and the District Social Studies Specialist, Deb Brown started to develop the program’s syllabus and objectives. In October of last year the Legal Studies Program was approved by the Board of Education, allowing it to be offered this year. The program was finalized by March of 2007, in time for enrollment and soon after local law firms started to donate law books and offering field trip possibilities for students. Although the program is now open to all East students, not only those in Debate, the main goal is still career exploration. McKinney says that this program isn’t only about a deeper understanding of law, but about planning for the future. “ For those of you who find this is a fit, this is something I’d like to pursue [it’s] an opportunity to enter into college and beyond with such a solid background that there will be no question of your success,” McKinney said. Students in Legal Studies Research and Writing will review old cases to come to their own conclusions. This involves researching, documenting and preparing an actual legal brief on the case. McKinney says that the work students will do in the last class of the program is comparable to the work of a first year law student. “In the end they will not have only seen a lot of different careers with legal emphasis,” McKinney said. “ But also be ready if it’s something they want to pursue, be ready to jump right into law school after college.” World Geography, and now Intro to Law, teacher Ron Stallard says he was excited when he found out about the new program because it is so different from other social


program low-down

// DANSTEWART studies classes and will offer something new for students. “It’s a lot more—I don’t mean this in a negative way, but it’s a lot more real life,” Stallard said.“ History seems like well, that happened then; law is now.” Intro to Law covers not only the basics of what law is and the legal terms associated with it but also specific types of law. Throughout the year students will learn about criminal, civil and constitutional law and how they are used. “The biggest thing they’re going to get out of it is a is just a way of thinking at a higher level, because its not just find the vocab word and write down the definition,” Stallard said. “You actually have to think about this stuff and apply it.” Sophomore Courtney Boyd enrolled in the Legal Studies Program because she has considered being a detective and wanted to learn more about what it would actually be like. She says she likes the hands on activities they do in Intro to Law such as learning about real cases that have happened and discussing people’s thought processes. Boyd says she has found it the most interesting learning “that people are so different and how some people understand things differently then each other, so they think they can get away with stuff.” Stallard’s classes will go on trips to learn about careers in law. He plans to take the students on a trip to Topeka and a trip to see the Kansas Supreme Court is also a possibility Boyd is looking forward to seeing the process and work that goes into making laws in Topeka. “ We actually get to see how our society works,” Boyd said “We get to see what impact laws have on people and how they are made.” Stallard says the reason he thinks this program will be good for the many students enrolled is that it gives them fresh perspective on the world. “It lets them know there are more things outside of Prairie Village. There’s Kansas, there’s the United States and there’s the world, “Stallard said. “And these laws affect all of that.”

On other specialized studies in the district source:

Center for International Studies at SM South

Biomedical Health Science at SM North

Biotechnology at SM West

• Introduces the techniques utilized in biomedical science while providing students with an opportunity to participate in field experiences at health care sites.

• Designed to assist students in developing research skills in this field of science. Students will learn how procedures are used by scientists through field experiences in local laboratories.

Project Lead the Way™ at SM South

Pre-Medical Health Science at SM North

Broadmoor Technical Center

• Provides a full-day program of courses that explore intercultural communication. Language courses are offered in Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. • Created for students interested in pursuing engineering careers. Courses include math, science, and technology.

• Designed for students who have gained broad experiences outside the classroom and demonstrate an interest in clinical medicine.

• Offers training in a variety of fields including culinary arts, commercial baking, graphic design, fashion design, multimedia technology, small engine repair, computer networking, and filmmaking.


Spreading to

With Missouri schools starting green cleaning programs, green legislation should start . . .

phy on a much larger scale, the city of Santa Monica, California, reportedly eliminated 3,200 pounds of hazardous material after using safer alternatives to traditional products. Although is East is smaller, the same principle can be applied to create a cleaner environment. However, Missouri is only the fourth state, after New York, Illinois and Maine to implement such a bill. The Shawnee Mission District should support the same plan. Our paper towels are recycled, but we can expand to more and better alternatives. Legislators should propose a bill that requires schools to only purchase cleaning products certified by Green Seal, a non-profit organization that certifies products as being “green” after meeting safety and other requirements. This law should go into effect at the end of the school year, if not immediately. However, if the newly purchased products exceed the standard budget used by the regular supplies, schools should be allowed to override this law and purchase whatever product is within their guidelines, green or not. Yet some schools have benefited after using green products. For example, Georgia’s Riverside Military Academy saved $280,000 after replacing 20 regular cleaners with one Green Seal certified cleaner. Such surpluses could be used by

Harbinger the

a publication of shawnee mission east highschool 7500 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208

sept. 29, 2008 issue 3, vol. 50

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.


















Green Seal works with manufacturers, companies and lawmakers to make production more eco-friendly and to promote “green legislation” such as the green cleaning laws going into effect in Missouri schools.

The Standard

source: Green Seal

Want to have your opinion heard?

send a letter to the Harbinger Editorial Board











Mission Statement

“Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services.”

Green Seal identifies the most environmentally friendly brands of everything from fuel-efficient vehicles to hand soap and gives them their seal of approval.



All About Green Seal





East to fund for updated curriculums, advanced technology and improved clubs. The plan should also allow schools to retain their current stock of regular supplies and use them until depletion instead of switching to all-green products immediately. In this way, the school saves money by utilizing the remaining resources, yet is still on track to providing a healthier and safer environment for teachers and students. Exclusively purchasing green cleaning products can only help the Shawnee Mission District. It benefits the students and teachers by increasing health rates and decreasing cleaning costs.

The majority opinion of the Harbinger Editorial Board

With block scheduling, a new principal and construction, who has time to worry about cleaning products? Yet cleaning products are exactly what we should be worrying about. According to the Green Schools Initiative, 30 percent of all cleaning chemicals cause health and environmental problems. Carcinogens, neurotoxins and asthma agents are all components of the six billion pounds of chemicals the cleaning industry consumes annually, ironically turning our “clean” school into a toxic dump. East, as well as the rest of America, is crushed by this hazardous onslaught. The best response to this danger is to purchase only green cleaning supplies, products that have a neutral pH balance and are without aerosols. The state of Missouri passed a bill last July requiring all schools to purchase green cleaning supplies, beginning in the 2009-2010 school year. The law offers only opportunity for positive change in the environment. After making the green cleaning supply switch, schools have reported a 3 percent rise in daily attendance. The increased attendance rates are the results of higher health rates, students are less sick and are more participatory in school as well as extra-curricular activities. Using the green clean philoso-

state state
















Tearing Down Memories Junior thinks housing developement in place of the old Leawood Country Club is a move that doesn’t need to be made.

AS construction begins on the former Leawood Country Club, fences and gates are being put up. Heavy construction equipment makes its way into the lot to begin moving large amounts of dirt in order to re-lay the land and start digging foundations. // TYLER ROSTE

an opinion of

One of my finest childhood memories is being picked up at the green bench at Leawood Country Club. Me and hundreds of other kids from my neighborhood, really. It was a bench with the wear and tear of years of wet swimsuits, sandy flip flops, and childhood friendships. Done with tennis, done with swim team, done with dinner, starting a new friendship— same spot as always, I’d head for the bench. The bench is no longer, though. Instead it’s been replaced by what the unknowing eye would think is a mammoth dirt bike course. It’s the preparation for “the Estates of Old Leawood,” sounds fresh out of my Sims neighborhood from 3rd Grade. The twenty-three new homes (which I won’t refer to as estates for I feel it’s belittling to my one-story abode just blocks away), sound fancy, but may just end up being the Clark Griswold of north Leawood living which don’t jive with the ranch homes and mixed-levels we’re used to. “Life with style,” as the zones are being dubbed must be the developer’s dream for identical, faux-mansion housing to stir up homes associations on a ground I grew up on. That is, if I wanted my neighborhood to slowly melt into Blue Valley. No biggie. I mean, who really cares about childhood memories, anyway? Leawood Country Club closed on this piece of land just off 89th and Lee due to years of mismanagement until it was finally purchased by developers with every intent of tearing down an “unsafe” property as the club was, according to them. An “unsafe” property that housed a swim team full by February and welcomed families that stayed until the lifeguards left. But it’s unsafe now, in the case of “the Estates”, as the flood plain on the east of the land will be increased dramatically with terrain changes designed for activity trails and benches in a potentially hazardous setting. That’s not what NSPJ Architects, Prudential Realty, and Aristocrat Builders would tell you, though, as they are the new kids on the block in this Old Leawood neighborhood full of heritage on the land they’re tearing apart. They’d love to explain how country French exteriors and ambient lawns make everyone happy. Heck, throw on some complex rooflines with a lawn cut like Kauffman and call it an Estate! The problem with this development is the city of Leawood’s inconsistency with the original zoning Master Plan which called for the same 17-acres to be recreational space. Having changed that for these beacon homes, there


is no longer a single public green space north of I-435 in times had at the country club, we got the essence of losing it the city of Leawood. An elected county parks official even all, as did Leawood residents this side of the interstate, too. discovered that houses in the vicinity of recreational space Green space is something to be treasured in this society experience a 20% increase in their value. priding itself on environmental values, but in the eyes It doesn’t matter to city hall, but it matters to my family of greedy developers and selfish council members that’s and my neighbors— the ones who elected officials to protect something not even thousands of people can uphold. that statistic. Leawood Country Club was a diamond in the rough, but New housing isn’t a bad thing, the way it’s being done, developers now want to ruin the value that acreage has to though, is. the city and numerous families. Families of kids that once An exclusive, gated community, that only twenty-three waited on the green bench at the top of the property and families are a part of damages the bond subdivisions between looked down on pools and tennis courts that their siblings 83rd and 95th and Mission and State Line have. The developers and parents once used. are referring to them as “Convenient. Maintenance provided. I remember the last time I got picked up at the green Perfect.” But that’s not what I, for one, want to see happen bench. I knew the club was going to close, yet I had no in my neighborhood, nevertheless on my former stomping idea 1.2 million dollar homes would be invading six years grounds. later. It’s a disgrace the city of Leawood can’t recognize the Where’s the stereotypical American neighborly love of importance of recreational space on a property that has ties borrowing tools, raking leaves, mowing lawns, shoveling to countless numbers of its citizens, including myself. snow (i.e. anything you shouldn’t want to do)? It’s all in the I can recall myself getting taller as my forehead got closer hands of workers who will do it. Sounds like Life with No to the outstretched fin of a smiling whale allowing all tall Style. enough to jump off the high dive. There was gutterball in the The announcement of this project after a drawn-out six leafy waters of the “cold pool”, a baby pool I learned to swim years of waiting is insulting. in, dive blocks I became competitive on, and a park-like I can recall myself getting taller as my forehead got closer atmosphere that breeded friendships whether you were in to the outstretched fin of a smiling whale allowing all eligible first grade or signing up for AARP. The country club provided to jump off the high dive. There was gutterball in the leafy a place for countless memories to all who went there, but gutters of the “cold pool”, a baby pool I learned to swim now that opportunity is no more. in, dive blocks I became competitive on, and a park-like Except for the twenty-three families who will get to use it atmosphere that breeded friendships whether you were in again, that is. first grade or signing up for AARP. But now, such a forced development, as this seems to be, ruins the opportunity for tennis courts, open fields, swimming pools, and playgrounds my kids could use down the road in the same place I did. Call me selfish, but I think many LCC faithful would feel the same way. Childhood lessons and memories had been shared on a beautiful piece of land now at the whim of bulldozers’ teeth and contractors’ egos. The city of Leawood needs to reconsider where its heritage and family ties are to create a place for activities promoting such and idea to continue at the same location. And that doesn’t mean country French development. CURRENTLY the plot of land where Leawood Country The project’s website refers to it as “the essence of having it all” at the Club resided is a field of dirt. As the construction Estates. But really, for those of us crew works to prepare the land for building homes, who will probably never live there they spend most of their time replotting the land so and instead remember the great that it will not flood in heavy rain. // TYLER ROSTE

PAGE 8 OPINION / SEPT. 29, 2008

Striking the RightNote an opinion of


Sarah, just want to provide you with a moment of inspiration as you begin your tennis season. That’s how Dr. Karl Krawitz’s letter to me began. He has been writing letters of motivation to his students since his second year of teaching. And for good reason. He knows how much these words of encouragement mean to his students. He wants them to feel like someone believes in them and supports them. He sure got that point across to me. Here is someone I had never met before, yet he is writing me a letter thanking me for my leadership towards the Lady Lancer tennis

team. Never before has anyone outside my family done this. With this token of appreciation, Dr. Krawitz showed me how much he cares about how I perform as well as how much he cares about the team’s performance. For the past couple years the tennis team hasn’t gotten that much support from the school but Dr. Krawitz changed all of that this year. He goes above and beyond when it comes to supporting not only the tennis team but the other sports teams as well. He really takes the saying, “actions speak louder than words” to heart. Dr. Krawitz gives up half of his weekends to attend tennis tournaments, cross country meets, and football games. Most weekends he drives all across the county going to these events. He doesn’t do this because he has to, he does this because he wants to. By writing me this letter of encouragement, he made me want to win state more than ever. Now I not only want to win for the team, but I want to win as a way of saying thanks. You know someone is a great leader by the way they handle certain situations. And

Dr. Krawitz’s hand-written letters of encouragement show dedication and commitment to athletics

by coming to East in the midst of all the new changes and still having time to sit down and write these motivational letters not only to me but to some senior football players and the cross country team truly shows how great a principal Dr. Krawitz really is. I really respect someone that through all this year’s change and chaos, can be stress free and down to earth. I’m so impressed with the way he carries himself in this environment. Never before has anyone showed so much support for the athletes’ wellbeing as well as letting them know in a hand written letter how much their commitment to East means. “I write these letters with hopes of inspiring my students as well as trying to push them to a higher level.” Dr. Krawitz said. And after writing the letters he doesn’t just forget about them, he thinks about them and the impact they’ll have on his students all the time. He hopes that these letters will give people a

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sense that Dr. Krawitz cares about them and that they can trust his words. Dr. Krawitz has been writing these letters most of his teaching career and will continue to write them . And he’ll end them personally the same way to each person. Thank you for your commitment to tennis and SME. Best of luck. Sincerely, Dr. Karl Krawitz Principal



K // MAC



With Nov. 4 looming, and the stakes are higher for both candidates, The Harbinger will provide you with special election coverage each issue until that date comes. We’ll “work the white-board” so you can decide who can work the White House.

It’s time for you to decide which candidate you stand by ...


1. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION* 2. DO YOU BELIEVE ABORTION SHOULD BE LEGAL? 9. SHOULD WE DRILL FOR OIL IN ALASKA? SHOULD BE ENFORCED BY THE GOVERNMENT? a. Yes. a. No. b. No. b. Yes. a. Yes. b. No. 3. DO YOU SUPPORT “ASSAULT WEAPON 10. SHOULD SOCIAL SECURITY BE PRIVATIZED? *positive steps taken to increase the employment, a. No. education and business of minorities and women. BANS?” b. Yes. a. Yes. b. No. 11. SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATE WITH IRAN? 4. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT GAYS AND LESBIANS a. Yes. SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY AND b. No. RECEIVE MARRIAGE BENEFITS? 12. DO YOU SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY a. Yes. b. No. FOR CRIMINAL PUNISHMENT? a. No. 5. SHOULD THE MILITARY RECEIVE b. Yes. MORE GOVERNMENT FUNDING? 13. SHOULD PRAYER BE ALLOWED IN PUBLIC a. Yes. b. No. SCHOOLS? WHO DOESN’T LIKE A NATIONAL HERO? McCain spent over five years in North Vietnam as a prisoner a. No. of war. During that time he was beaten 2-3 times a week 6. SHOULD WE END THE WAR IN IRAQ? b. Yes. because of his refusal to make anti-American propaganda “confessions.” a. Yes. He was even offered to be released from his imprisonment after just a 14. DO YOU SUPPORT TAX CUTS FOR THE MIDDLE year, but refused to go home unless everyone imprisoned before him was b. No. released, too. CLASS? 7. SHOULD PARENTS BE ABLE TO USE SCHOOL a. No. HE CAN RESPONSIBLY END THE WAR. VOUCHERS TO SEND THEIR KIDS TO PRIVATE With experience as a soldier, McCain has been from the front line to the b. Yes. barracks. He knows a war and has over 20 years of foreign policy experiSCHOOLS? ence. Being committed to staying until the job is done with gradual exits as the time is right, makes McCain’s plan effective. Doing so prevents the a. No. chance of a civil war in Iraq similar to the one in Darfur. -IF YOU ANSWERED MOSTLY A’S: b. Yes. You fit with Democratic candidate IN THIS CASE, OLD = EXPERIENCE. 8. SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT MANDATE Barack Obama. Accused of being too old for the job, McCain has spent 26 years at the Capitol opposed to Barack’s four. His words having evidence to them, opposed to SenHEALTH CARE? -IF YOU ANSWERED MOSTLY B’S: ator Obama’s bank charges for “Change” and “Yes we can” which are similar You fit with Republican candidate a. Yes. to those of an afternoon episode of Dr. Phil. Years and years of interaction with overseas leaders and constant communication with other members of the b. No. John McCain.

3reasons we love JOHN McCAIN

House make Senator McCain the clear choice for the White House.

Stay Tuned for the next issue: Find out if you are a trend voter and our favorite moments and highlights from Obama’s campaign.

PAGE 10 FEATURES// NICKLUCAS / SEPT. 29, 2008 Techno music gets his blood pumping. Adrenaline flows through his veins as the volume increases higher and higher. He feels like he could do anything, like he wants to punch somebody in the face. The beat vibrates through his body and makes him feel so many different emotions. Love, hate or rage. That’s what techno does for sophomore Drake Winn. “Techno isn’t like modern music because modern pop music is more about the lyrics,” Winn said. “Techno is different because it uses sounds and beats to evoke emotion from you.” It’s like how in a painting colors are used to make you feel the work and really connect with it.” Techno is completely different from the pop or electrical music of bands like Imogen Heap. Techno dance music first appeared on the scene in Detroit in the 1980’s and was a curious blend of synthesizerbased music like electro, Chicago funk and electric jazz. However, instead of being created by bands, most techno music is composed by freelance DJs who make their own beats, like Angerfist, DJ Crazy and DJ Mischief. Currently, these artists are very popular in Eastern Europe and Brazil. “When I first started listening to techno, Angerfist really stood out to me,” Winn said. “They make the type of music that makes you want to get up and punch somebody in the face. It’s music unleashed in it’s rawest power.” Winn discovered this relatively new genre when his cousin introduced him to techno at 12-years-old. He has illegally downloaded countless songs from Limewire and listens to his music for hours a day. But now, orders from his parents restrict the volume level of his four feet tall speakers to three out of ten or below. After compiling a respectable techno playlist, Winn introduced this new music to his friends. He brought his iPod stocked full of his beats to parties and they made people go crazy. Winn described these nights as if they were something out of a legendary frat house rager. “Raving (dancing to techno), isn’t like the mixers in seventh grade where it takes skill to dance,” Winn said. “You see those kids on the edges of the dance floor who either don’t know how to dance or just don’t like the music being played. Everybody reacts to techno differently but it always makes people dance like wild animals, flailing their limbs like [Native Americans] around a campfire. That’s what raving is all about.” Eventually, Winn thought he should introduce techno to students outside his group of friends, and organize a giant rave, a dance party of epic proportions. “I thought if it makes 20 people get crazy and jump around why not do it with 250 people?” Winn said. But planning the rave has not been easy. Winn has to find a venue big enough to accommodate the hundreds of people expected to come. Also, that deals with the issue of advertising and convincing fellow students and peers to show up to the rave. He also has to raise enough money to rent out a venue, pay for a DJ, and for things like strobe lights, banners and other party accessories. Winn’s parents aren’t involved in

the planning of the rave, but they are supporting their son fully. Drake’s father Curt Winn works for the Prairie Village Police Department and he thinks Drake can pull it off. “I think it’s a hopeful idea,” Curt said. “He hasn’t really talked to me about it much, except that he is trying to get a party together and it’s going to be big.” Winn has already looked at venues like Yahweh underground, but it’s religious based location won’t mix well with his sometimes inappropriate music. And Mission Theatre costs nearly $2,500 for 250 people and $15 per extra person which would force Winn to charge an admission cost of over $10 per person without the guarantee of 250 students coming. In the next few weeks Winn will have to decide whether to book the Uptown Theatre or the Refuge, and try to get investments or donations to help raise money for the rave. Winn’s friend, sophomore Trevor Collins, and his band the Flight of the Falling have preformed at the Refuge, a converted Tai Kwon Do studio, in previous years. Collins is confident he can book the theatre in exchange for services from his band. Winn and his friends have dedicated much of their time over the last month to make this rave happen. Winn hopes to share his love of techno and have his fellow students to enjoy it as much as he does.

rave all the

Sophomore Drake Winn’s love of techno music inspires him to host a school-wide rave next month tells us how likely certain Rave-o-meter : Winn parts of the rave are to happen 250




50% 375

Number of people that Winn expects: 250



Likelihood that the rave will happen: 90%



Projected entrance cost for the rave: $5-$7


It was time for a change. Officer John Betzer had been working at East for four years and he felt that he just needed something new and exciting in his life. So, when a job opportunity opened up in Canton, Kansas, a small town just outside of Wichita, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to start a new challenge in his life. “I have a lot more flexibility now,” Betzer said. “I like having more authority and more freedom to choose how I want to do this job.” Canton, Kansas is a small town southwest of Kansas City and a three-hour drive from East. With a population of only 797 people, it is smaller than East’s 2,000 students. Officer Betzer worked as a SRO officer at Shawnee Mission East for four years, and from the moment he met the faculty and students at East, he fell in love with the school. “The kids (at East) were great,” Betzer said. “I made many long term relationships at East, but the students made the job fun.” Before East, he was the SRO officer at Blue Valley Northwest, and he had worked for the Kansas City Police Department for 20 years as a patrol officer, and seven years as the SRO for Blue Valley Northwest. But as soon as things changed within the school district, he felt like he was losing a bit of control. His opinions on issues concerning the school were not being addressed, including issues that he felt were important. “The school district changed,” said Betzer, “and when I tried to fix it, or explain to them what I did and didn’t like, they didn’t listen.” Feeling like he wasn’t running his own job

From to



Former SRO officer John Betzer moves to rural Kansas and becomes police chief of Canton

PAGE 11 FEATURES / ISSUE THREE anymore is why officer Betzer left and began searching for a new job. “Officer Pacheco was the one who actually saw the job on the Kansas Police Officer Association web site and told me about it,” Betzer said. “I applied, and the rest is history, they called me up, and I went down for an interview.” Now, the Sheriff, SRO and patrol officer in his new town, officer Betzer is looking at his new job as a new challenge. As the only SRO officer at the only high school in Canton, he has less time to worry about what goes on there and more time that he can focus on his job as the Sheriff. “There are only about 150-200 kids at the high school here,” Betzer said, “so I only have to stop in every once in awhile to check in with the school.” Officer Betzer started the job in early June, just two months before school started, and now feels as if it’s a good fit. He likes knowing that he is in control, and can now run things the way he wants them to. “Right now, were working on getting reserve officers signed up,” Betzer said. “Hopefully we will get some more people in town to chip in.” What’s really taken a toll on Betzer however is being away from his family. He has a daughter who is married, and with two kids that live in Olathe, Kansas. Officer Betzer and his family now switch off traveling back and forth between Canton and Olathe, making the three-hour drive a couple times a month so that they can spend family time together. “I plan on coming back and forth every once in awhile to Olathe, and hopefully one of these days I will make it back up to East to say ‘hi’ to everyone,” Betzer said. Officers Richard Pacheco and Brady Sullivan have worked with officer Betzer for the past two years at East. They feel that he is not only enjoying himself, but that it’s a great fit for him. “I have only talked to him a couple times in the past two or three months,” Pacheco said. “But the excitement and happiness in his voice BETZER shows he’s having a M JOHN TOS FRO O H good time down there.” P //

Shawnee Mission East Lancers!


...with Ted Bartlett the new SRO officer Where are you from? Osawatomie, KS. 30 miles south of Olathe What jobs are you coming from? SRO, patrolman, dog catcher and fireman Why did you come to this area? I lived in Osawatomie, KS my entire life and it was just time for a change. The job started to become stagnant for me. Why did you come to East? I wanted to get back into the School system because down in Osawatomie they would pull me out of the school a lot to cover shifts and I feel like a SRO is important to the program and I wasn’t being left alone. How do you like East so far? Aug. 10 was my first day, when we had orientation, but I’m enjoying it so far. I’m still getting used to the layout of the building in the area, since I had never lived up in this area. Everyone has made me feel so welcome, the administration and the students. I’ll just be glad when the construction is done, as will the students, I know.


Population: 797 Total Area: 0.5 sq miles Fun Fact: -Two water towers labeled HOT and COLD Number of schools: Three. Elementary, Middle and High School






More Texting in

PAGE 12 FEATURES / SEPT. 29, 2008

Study sh


Going from textbook to text message may not be as distracting as some teachers think. According to a study completed in the spring by psychology professors at Central Connecticut State University, text/instant messaging while studying has little effect on students’ performance. Based on the study results, students who send and respond to instant messages while

studying take longer to finish their work, but understand the material as well as students who don’t. Although the study was based on instant messaging, Dr. Laura L. Bowman, a psychology professor at CCSU, says it is likely that text messaging would show similar results. The CCSU professors are currently in the process of collecting survey research to prepare for a study on text messaging while students are doing other activities. The study was based on 59 college students who were monitored in the CCSU library while they read from a psychology textbook on a computer screen and received instant messages on the computer. The messages were designed to be similar in context and frequency to the kind that a student would receive, with messages such as “What classes are you taking this semester?” Students were randomly split into three groups: the first group read the text on screen without interruption, the second answered the

messages first then read their assignment, and the third multi-tasked by responding to messages while they read. After they had finished, the students were given a multiple-choice test to check their understanding of the reading. According to Bowman, the group that responded to messages while reading took about 15 minutes longer than the other two, but all three earned similar scores on the test. Group one averaged 49 percent, group two averaged 47 percent and group three averaged 55 percent. Bowman and her colleagues expected to find that students who messaged would take longer to read. However, the test scores were unexpected. “We expected to find that those who instant messaged during [the study] would do poorly on the comprehension test,” Bowman said. “But we found that performance levels were the same across all three groups, so that was a surprise.” For junior Grace Martin, text messaging is routine and doesn’t affect her grades on homework. Contrary to the study results that suggest she would take longer, Martin says she hardly loses any time on her homework when she sends a text. “Usually if I’m texting I’ll just text somebody a one- or two-word answer without even thinking about it,” Martin said. “I usually can get back onto what I was doing in a couple seconds.” According to Bowman, the group who sent messages

while rea because t to send a Martin cou take extra interrupte Eleven texting sh work, but to believe “I thin gets dispe should rea then go d has been l Ninth with mod students w “I thin Bramley s technolog brains ar generation Althou studying i is only on other activ “There people are all the wa research o kind of int I would be

n More Places


hows that students who text while studying can still retain information


ading may have done as well, but taken longer, they re-read sections of the text after stopping message. If that theory is true, students such as uld be missing out on key information if they don’t a time to retrace where they were before they were ed. nth grade English teacher Bill Boley agrees that hould cause students to take longer with their t finds the comprehension results of the study hard e. nk that while students are multitasking, their focus ersed,” Boley said. “Edgar Allan Poe said that you ad a short story in one sitting. If you read part and do something else and then come back, the focus lost and the story is diminished.” grade English teacher DeBe Bramley feels that dern technological advances, it is inevitable that will text while doing other things. nk [students] have had to be able to multi-task,” said. “The world is moving at such a fast pace, and gy is really leading the way. I think that [students’] re probably more geared to it than previous ns.” ugh CCSU’s research suggests that texting while is okay but takes longer, Bowman stresses that it ne study, and doesn’t mean texting in the middle of vities is always advisable. e is a great deal of research that shows that while e multitasking, basically their performance suffers ay around,” Bowman said. “There has been a lot of on driving and cell phone use that suggests that any terruption will cause detriment in performance. So e very cautious.”

Did you know that your text messages don’t go straight to the recipient? They must first go through a series of steps.

Step One: Your friend types a message and presses send. Step Two: The message flows though the SMSC (short

message service channel) to the cell phone tower of your provider.

Step Three: The tower sends the message to your phone as

a little packet of data, including the length of the message, a time stamp, the destination phone number and the format.

Step Four: The message arrives and triggers your phone to alert you.

Step Five: You read the message, and when you reply the process starts all over again. // http://communication.howstuffworks.comcom/sms.htm


Do you text a lot while doing your homework?

Yes. Freshman Courtney Schenkelberg

Kind of. Sophomore Grant Heinlein

Yes. Junior Taylor Burkhead

Yes. Senior David Spero


When you text while doing your homework, does it affect how you learn the material? In what ways?

Why do you text people instead of calling them?

When else do you text?

Not usually, unless its I text when I’m walking Geometry homework and You can do other things home and when I’m at I’m doing proofs. Then I while you’re [texting], home watching TV or sometimes forget what and it’s easier. on the computer I’m doing.

Yes, you don’t get as good a study session because you’re interrupted so you don’t learn as well.

It’s easier and I don’t like talking on the phone.

I text at the dinner table.

I text at school a I might be a little disIt’s easier and if I don’t lot. Also, I text in the tracted, but I don’t know know someone very shower, but one of my if it actually affects how well, it won’t be awkphones got ruined like I learn. It probably just ward like it could be on that, so I don’t do it as takes me longer because the phone. much. I get distracted a lot. Yeah, it’s such a distraction. Sometimes I can’t focus and I have to turn my phone off. Even if it’s on silent, I can still see it flashing.

Texting for me is like “What are you doing?” or “Wanna go play fris- I text when I’m watching TV, or between bee?” If I want to have classes. an actual conversation, I will call someone.

PAGE 14 FEATURES / SEPT. 29, 2008

herald? so you think you can...

SOPHOMORE Mark Mergen runs with the football team before the football game against South on Sept. 19. Mergen and sophomore Alex Carver are both heralders this year, the first year that the males have been non-seniors. // TYLERROSTE

Two sophomores become the first non-senior male heralders // CAMSMITH

The taste of caffeine breath mints lingered in sophomore Mark Mergen’s mouth and the chorus of Joe Esposito’s “You’re The Best Around” was still cycling in his head. He had just finished a set of jumping jacks and was ready to pump up the crowd at the first pep assembly of the year. He wanted to make a good impression, because it was the first assembly with two male heralders who aren’t seniors. Mergen and sophomore Alex Carver received the position on Sept. 8, and are the first permanent sophomore male heralders since the position was opened to students. Mergen heard the announcements for the heralding position but misunderstood “all East seniors” for “all East students.” He and sophomore Andy Ryan had been planning on trying out, but they realized the job was only eligible for seniors. They decided not to try out at all. When Mergen found out that no one showed up to tryouts he and Ryan went and talked to adviser Kelly Chapman about the open position. “I was disappointed in the seniors this year,” said Chapman. “I couldn’t believe that no seniors had wanted to try out, it’s a great job and I wanted to see a better turn out.” Athletic director Jim Ricker was shocked to find no seniors had tried out. He had gone into senior seminars and informed the students about the position but it didn’t help. First, she had to make sure with Ricker that it was okay for sophomores to take the position. After receiving approval, she gave the position to the duo. Two days after the scheduled day of tryouts and talking to Chapman, Mergen received a text message from Ryan telling him that they were wanted, even though they didn’t try out, and then received a letter from Chapman, which said she wanted them to come and talk to her about the

No school in

one week!

heralding position. “I couldn’t believe that nobody had tried out,” said Mergen. “The seniors must have overlooked this position, it’s a great job.” Mergen had wanted to be a heralder after he talked with Ryan’s brother, Pat. Andy’s brother had told him how much fun the job was and how great it made his high school experience. Mergen’s mind was made up. But the companionship with Ryan was short-lived. Ryan had an interference- playing the cymbals in the band and performing in the halftime shows and playing in the pep band made it virtually impossible to run the flag as well. “I really wish I could have been a heralder,” Ryan said. “It would have been a change of pace for me. Everything at East is so cut and dry, so it would have been fun.” This left Mergen in a hole. He needed a replacementsomeone who shared the same enthusiasm for the school that he did. He found that person in classmate and sophomore football teammate Alex Carver. “There won’t be a conflict between sophomore football team and running the flag for the varsity football team this year because we aren’t suiting up,” Carver said. He and Carver hope to bring a little flavor to the job by dressing up with themes for each game day. For example, they might wear costumes on Halloween or shirt and tie for the homecoming game. They hope that they will do just as good of a job if not better than last year’s heralders Vaughn English and Max Gabel. Last year’s substitue heralder junior Kaevan Tavakolinia decided not to try out this year, because he is involved with so many other extra curriculars, so he didn’t have time for permanently heralding. “I really loved it [heralding], and I was always ‘kid-

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Shawnee Mission East Harbinger

napped’ by the other senior and we would go load up on energy drinks and just go crazy at the game,” Tavakolinia said. “I am for sure trying out next year because there is no way I am going to miss out on an opportunity like that my senior year.” Ricker thinks the heralders adds “something special” to the school spirit. “They bring a fun atmosphere to the games ad the kids really love having them running the flags,” said Ricker. “They are a tradition at East, and we are rich in tradition here.” Chapman has certain expectations she wants met. First, the heralders must attend all home varsity football, boys basketball and girls basketball games. The next is that they must run the flags in an appropriate manner and times, and can’t go over to the other team’s sideline. Mergen and Carver are also expected to have a lot of spirit and be positive representatives of the student body. “We have things that we want done,” Chapman said. “I tell them things I want to get done, and they tell me things that they would like to get done. It’s kind of give-andtake.” Chapman finds that people come up to her in the halls asking her what exactly the heralders do. She hopes that Mergen and Carver can help everyone realize what exactly they do, and to overcome any adversity that might be directed at them. “Anytime you have young men who are participating in something that not everyone does, you are going to get a different reaction,” Chapman said. “I just hope that students get behind these two and we have a very spirited student body.”




the page about the theatre crew


SET CREW CHIEF Senior Alec Hynes has been involved in eight main stage productions as a member of the crew, three main stage productions as an actor along with being involved in several Frequent Fridays. Hynes is no stranger to the set crew. He’s been the assistant crew chief twice and this will be his fourth time being set crew chief. “I know how to construct set pieces and ensure structural soundness,” Alec said. “The experience I’ve had over the years makes me applicable to be set chief.” After high school, Hynes hopes to continue on in the difficult world of professional acting. “I plan on continuing theater for the rest of my life,” Hynes said.


The East theater department knows there’s a lot more to be done besides the simple lights, camera and action. There’s costumes, makeup, sound, set, props and much more. In preparation for the upcoming fall musical, the crew is gearing up to begin with all of the preparation needed to make this production a hit.


For junior Cara Rivers, being involved in theater makeup is more than just a fun after school hobby. It’s something she wants to do for the rest of her life. “I’m passionate about what I do and I would love to continue with it as a profession,” Rivers said. “My plan would be to do special effects makeup for movies.” Rivers has been doing makeup since the beginning of her freshman year and has helped in over seven shows. She says she’s creative, good at drawing up makeup designs and knows her way around stage make-up procedure. For the fall musical, Rivers is in charge of writing up designs for the shows, training her new crew members, getting specialty makeup if needed and doing touch ups during the show. Besides makeup, Rivers has been involved in a few main stage productions as an actress. “Sometimes I miss acting because I love the rush and glory you get from it,” Rivers said. “But creating that character on stage and seeing my work performed completely makes up for it.”



Junior Cole Fevold has been involved in theater since the beginning of middle school. In total, Fevold has acted in four high school productions, done tech for three shows and been crew chief for three shows. For the fall musical, Fevold will be the costumes crew chief for his fourth time. His job includes coordinating with the cast to make sure that all of their costumes come together correctly. He also helps to maintain order backstage while the cast is in and out for costume changes. “ I’m a perfectionist and I just love helping people out with whatever they need,” Fevold said.

Sophomore Ricky Latshaw is among the youngest theater crew chief. Latshaw has worked hard to prove himself capable of being a crew chief. Overall, he spent approximately 500 hours on the four shows combined that he participated in last year. Although that may seem like a lot of time, “It only takes as much time as you are willing to offer,” Latshaw said. As lights crew chief, Latshaw is responsible for setting up the Little Theater for the Frequent Fridays, hanging light fixtures and running cables to power them along with setting up lights in the cafeteria to adequately light the performers for this year’s fall musical.

Junior Jack Hawkins has been involved with theatre since the beginning of his freshman year and has helped in over eight school Junior Jack Hawkins has been involved with theproductions. He has also performed in three atre since the beginning of his freshman year and Frequent Fridays. has helped in over eight school productions. He has Hawkins’ job involves setup of microalso performed in three Frequent Fridays. phones and recordings along with any backup Hawkins’ job involves setup of microphones and tracks used for the fall musical. recordings along with any backup tracks used for the “The main thing that makes me qualified fall musical. for my job is my experience,” Hawkins said. “The main thing that makes me qualified for my “I’ve learned from my mistakes and improved job is my experience,” Hawkins said. “I’ve learned a great deal.” from my mistakes and improved a great deal.” Being Sound Crew Chief involves a large Being Sound Crew Chief involves a large amount of work outside of school. Hawkins is amount of work outside of school. Hawkins is rerequired to be at the theatre workdays, which quired to be at the theatre workdays, which occur occur every Saturday and Tuesday. every Saturday and Tuesday.


Senior Jamie Rees has been involved in theater since November of her freshman year. She has worked on eight main-stages and one Frequent Friday. The last three shows she was a member of the props run crew. As props crew chief for the fall musical Rees will collect props for the show by either making, buying or borrowing them from other theatres. Rees is also in charge of decorating the cafeteria and disguising some of the flats that will section off part of the cafeteria. Being on props requires creativity and art skill. Prop members also must be resourceful because there aren’t always many details to work with. “ I can make pretty much anything out of duct tape and hot glue,” Rees said. Early in the process Rees will have to spend around 12 hours working outside of school and by tech week she will have to spend up to 25 hours.

WORD OF THE ISSUE from The Daily Candy Lexicon: Words That Don’t Exist but Should {mediacracy} n. 1. The news you read online. 2. The celebrity coverage that is now considered news.

PAGE 16 A&E / SEPT. 29, 2008



urban originality to the



You can’t call “Clay” a musical. To me, that immediately brings up thoughts of elaborate costumes, soliloquies and a chorus line. So when Clay starts and one man takes the stage in a loose black hoodie and a microphone, musical is the last thing that comes to mind. This is a fresh hip-hop performance that is geared towards young people in so many ways: the point of view, the hip hop music and the constant energy that comes with a well-performed one-man show all converge to make “Clay” an exciting new musical that could connect with teenagers on a widespread scale. We are thrust into the one-man performance by Matt Sax about a teenager named Clifford, who grows up with a despondent mother and an adulterous father, and finds solace in the bookshop of local rap star Sir John. As he develops a relationship with Sir John, Clifford finds his own voice through rap. To preface now: the music is stellar. The beats are string-laden and drum heavy and they propel the 24-year-old Sax into a lyrical rhythm that draws immediate comparisons to artists like Eminem, both because of his Caucasian background, but more


The story follows Clifford (Matt Sax) , a boy from the suburbs who is trying to escape the dissolve of his family. He then is taken under the wing of Sir John, a Falstaff-like master of the spoken word. As Clifford gains stardom , he adopts his new rap-star name; Clay. But his world is soon turned upside down when his past comes back to haunt him. // info courtsey

importantly because of his control over his words. The language can be stingingly profanity-laced, but with a family situation that makes the Osbournes look like “Leave it to Beaver,” its use to express pentup emotion is justified. In many ways, Clay is a concert with a story line. The lights rise and fall and flash like a concert, not a musical. The music stays firmly in the hip-hop genre and it is always Clifford rapping. Even the show is

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bookended by Clay’s first performance. The energy of these concert elements doesn’t just rub off on Sax during the show, but the audience as well. They energetically returned the back-and-forth banter of hip hop music and even went along with Sax when he, ahem, interacted with some of the female members of the audience. The only difference between Clay and a hip-hop concert, though, is the poignantly powerful storyline that accompanies it. Through his songs, Sax leads the audience through all the aspects of Cliffords’ life. He plays the mother with soft-spoken disparity and the dad with hypocritical rage. Even Sir John is full of superb wordage and guidance. Sax controls the characters like he controls his voice- with craft and care. One-man shows can be difficult in the sense that so many characters can run together or become confusing to follow. Sax has no problem with this, using a few tricks to make sure everyone knows exactly who he is, the most prominent example being the hoodie that he flips down low on his face when speaking as Sir John. And as Sax switches in and out of character, the background flows seamlessly with him. The back wall of the stage is covered with stacks upon stacks of books to represent Sir John’s bookstore. Most intriguing though are the three curtains staggered front to back on the stage. They open and close throughout the show, which gives it a theatre feel, but also very much a concert feel as well. Even the microphone is used as a prop, playing the role of a gun and body parts. In the end, all of these elements point back to Matt and he flourishes with them. This is a show that he created when he was still a college student at Northwestern. Years of performing have helped him reach a level of ease with every character, so that he can slip in and out of each one effortlessly. It’s a musical that only a college student could write and a younger audience will definitely connect with this performance that’s less of a musical and more of a modern experience.

| Rental at best |




The play was developed by Matt Sax when he was only a Junior at Northwestern. The now director, Eric Rosen, first saw the play in 2004 and was drawn in by the day-glo paint all over the schools campus. Rosen contacted Sax immediately after he saw the play, and the two decided to collaberate on the project. So far, ‘Clay’ has won the Joseph Jefferson Award, which is a huge accomplishment for b oth plays and musicals. // info courtsey KCREP.COM



Although he starts as a quiet boy named Clifford, after his parents’ divorce and his mother’s suicide, he finds himself in the bookstore of hip hop artist Sir John. Here he develops a sharp way to deal with his life through rap.


He is conniving and manipulative, convincing Clay to stay with him after the divorce. He grows increasingly irate as Clay gains popularity on the hip hop circuit.


She begins to fall apart after the divorce. After three years of not seeing Clay on his birthday, she kills herself.


After Clay’s father remarries, Clay begins to infatuate over his new stepmom, and she doesn’t refuse his advances. She also provides the content for Clay’s first rap song.


Owns his own bookshop and teaches the reticent Clay how to rap. Sir John serves as a father figure to Clay and offers to let Clay live with him.

|Worth seeing |

|Instant Classic

Two of the modern day’s greatest actors deliver a

‘Righteous’ Buzz-kill // LANDONMcDONALD


A&E Section Editor

Rachel Birkenmier A&E Section Editor

Copy Editor

you go from directorial titans/national treasures like Martin Scorsese (“Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull”) and Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”) to working for an unabashed hack like John Avnet? Anyway, enough griping. The film itself revolves around the interlocking narratives of aging super-cops and longtime friends Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) and their hunt for the aforementioned Poetry Killer, a crazed gunman who knocks off bad guys that slip through the cracks of the judicial system and always leaves a poem explaining why each kill was “righteous.” Eventually the cops uncover clues that seem to suggest that the killer is one of their own. The hotheaded Turk, quick to brutality and tampering with evidence, soon becomes the prime suspect. That leaves Rooster and Turk’s S&M-loving girlfriend Karen (pretty, but wasted Carla Gugino) to uncover the truth, which somehow involves a seedy club owner/drug dealer named Spider (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) and Turk and Rooster’s bitter ex-lieutenant (Barry Primus). Both leads do admirable jobs considering the material they’re given. Pacino, possibly my favorite actor, finally dials down that HOOHA! shtick that he’s been doing since “Any Given Sunday” and reminds us for the first time since Christopher Nolan’s “Insomnia” why he’s one of our most gifted performers when he’s quiet and restrained. He makes Rooster’s obvious idolization of Turk actually make sense, and we share

his pain and concern when he thinks his partner and friend is going off the deep end. He’s also thankfully lost the wild hairstyle and goatee that made him look like a caricature of himself in the embarrassing “88 Minutes.” Robert De Niro looks like he’s having a lot of fun, spouting and savoring the four-letter dialogue he’s been denied during his many years of PG-13 comedy. He remains a consummate actor, managing to turn even the cheesiest of dialogue into memorable, menacing prose. Try making that “most people respect the badge, everybody respects the gun” speech when you’re over sixty-five and see how many people you can scare. 50 Cent is not an actor. Yes, some rappers like Ludacris and Snoop Dogg have successfully found their way into movies like “Crash” and “Training Day,” but they actually had to give some performances of depth and quality. The character of Spider, cardboard cut-out though it was, called for someone with at least an ounce of charisma and power. All in all, “Righteous Kill” is D-grade drivel elevated by its A-list headliners and performances. But that still only rounds out to an average score. De Niro and Pacino are still the undisputed kings of their craft. Nothing can change that. The only ones who need to be reprimanded are their agents. I can only hope that the next clash of these acting titans will be with a director and script more worthy of their unrivaled talents.



We weigh in on what’s happening in the entertainment world

Jeff Rutherford

Sam Kovzan

“Righteous Kill” is a pretty lukewarm affair for the most part, the cinematic equivalent of an average “CSI” season finale. The new crime thriller from director Jon Avnet, whose resume includes mediocre whodunits like “88 Minutes” and TV’s “Conviction,” goes through all the usual motions of a serial killer movie with a by-the-numbers story line that fails to introduce anything new or interesting to the worn-out genre. So why bother reviewing it? Well, it does star Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, possibly the two greatest actors of a generation. Does this admittedly terrific choice of casting, something that would have caused quite a stir about fifteen years ago, make “Righteous Kill” worth your time and hard-earned money? Hard to say. While it is a kick to see two geriatric badasses chew scenery and spit out a barrage of world class f-bombs, the effect wears off quick when you realize the movie itself is almost two hours long and has absolutely nothing going for it other than the names above the title. I don’t really know why Pacino or De Niro, both multiple Oscar winners and cultural mainstays, would agree to appear in any movie featuring a character called the Poetry Killer. Maybe they wanted to work together again for the first time. After all, they were never actually on screen together in “The Godfather Part II” and only shared one scene of dialogue in Michael Mann’s cops and robbers epic “Heat.” Maybe they felt their union was a little overdue. But how do


Movie you can What show do you watch over and over own on DVD? again?

Last album/song that you bought?

Best book you’ve ever read?

Favorite place to shop?

Captain UnderSpiralling by Saved by the Bell. Dumb and Dumber. The internet. I pants. Nothing Keane. The lads AC Slater’s athletic I never get tired of spend a lot of time prowess and strong hearing the most from Battle, England compares to Dav on World Soccer Pilkey’s seven epic come back with a character is my daily annoying sound in Shop and “novels.” real winner. inspiration. the world. Forever 21. It’s Let It Rock by Where the Red Gossip Girl. The A Christmas Story. cheap and the overFern Grows. It’s exciting plot helps I feel bad for those Kevin Rudolf. I’ve whelming amount of listened to it 33 amazing...that’s all I me escape from my kids, they’re such clothes gives me a times on loop. have to say. boring reality. losers. headache Flight of the Conchords. Unfortunately, still no gigs.

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Superbad. I want this movie in and around my DVD player.

| Rental at best |

Grounds for Divorce by Elbow. Lord of the Rings. A solid alt-rock tune I think I have a little that sounds better Hobbit blood in me. each time.

|Worth seeing |

CVS. I’ve never left disappointed.

|Instant Classic

George Clooney


PAGE 18 A&E / SEPT. 29, 2008

Frances McDormand

Tilda Swinton

John Malkovich

Brad Pitt

COMEDY OF THE STARS After rocking the Oscars with “No Country for Old Men,” the Coen brothers return with lighthearted “Burn After Reading” // LANDONMcDONALD

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| Rental at best |

Malkovitch’s egomaniacal Cox also proves to be a performance of note. Ostensibly, the Ivy League-educated CIA analyst should be the smartest guy in the room. But as “Burn After Reading” progresses, the blustery narcissist reveals that beneath his extensive vocabulary and worldweary mannerisms, he’s just another part of what he calls “a league of morons.” The beauty of Malkovich’s performance is that he always plays it straight, making Cox seem perfectly unaware of his inner idiocy. This not only enhances the character’s absurdity, but authenticates him too. “Burn After Reading” earns a lot of its laughs from its soundtrack by renowned composer Carter Burwell, who has worked with the Coens on eleven previous films. The ultraserious score, seemingly created for an entirely different movie, adds to the hilarity and irreverence on screen. As superb as “Burn After Reading” often seems, one can’t help but get the feeling that its creators are running in place, serving up a slightly inferior version of previously brilliant work. The second half is classic stuff, but the setup meanders and the movie sometimes banks too much on the like-ability of its stars. No one seems to know what to do with Clooney, who essentially seems to be playing himself here. I’d like to see the Coens take more chances with their comedy, explore outside their familiar boundaries like they did dramatically with “No Country for Old Men” last year. The brothers have done masterful satire before, like the immortal “The Big Lebowski” and “Raising Arizona,” and they’ll undoubtedly do it again. Here they’re just having fun, catching their breath before their next stroke of mad genius.


“Clooney calls on all his hammy charm to play amorous treasury agent Harry Pfarrer but still manages to come off as criminally under used. Which is odd, considering he’s been the star of two earlier Coen films, “Intolerable Cruelty” and “O Brother Where Art Thou.”

|Worth seeing |


“McDormand, accomplished actress and wife of Joel Coen, has been a regular in the Coen’s movies since their 1984 debut “Blood Simple.” Here she plays Linda, a sunny simpleton with delusions of intellectual grandeur, with such enthusiasm that you almost forget she’s in on the joke.”


“Malkovich capitalizes on his character’s inflated ego and sense of superiority to make his eventual descent into maniacal blood lust all the more darkly hysterical. He does what few in Hollywood can do well: he makes fun of himself without resorting to cheap self- parody.”

Litzke (Frances McDormand from “Fargo”) and clueless, hyperactive Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt, reminding us he can do comedy too). Linda, desperate for expensive procedures to impress online suitors, and the faithful Chad obliviously concoct a scheme to blackmail Cox that eventually draws in an entire confederacy of dunces, including Cox’s cold-hearted wife Katie (Tilda Swinton), her philandering paramour and treasury agent Harry (George Clooney), Linda’s boss and secret admirer Ted (Richard Jenkins from “The Visitor” and “Step Brothers”) and a buffoonish pair of CIA bigwigs (David Rasche and the amazing J.K. Simmons) who serve as Greek chorus to the unfolding chaos. Yes, the film is chaotic, veering wildly from the slapstick to the slaughterhouse. One minute the audience is chuckling at the unveiling of Harry’s bizarre invention or Chad’s spastic dance moves, the next they’re shielding their eyes as a major character is butchered with an axe or brains are splattered on drywall. Anyone who knows the Coen’s work or at least remembers the wood chipper scene in “Fargo” knows the brothers have an unflinching view on screen violence that creeps into even their cheeriest work. You’ve been warned. But acting speaks louder than action here. In a movie full to bursting with performing talent, Brad Pitt manages to steal the show as Chad. Out of all the reckless half-wits on display, he is at once the dumbest and most endearing, full of unearned confidence and always eager to please his “best buddy” Linda. The two hysterical scenes where he tries to intimidate Malkovich, one over the phone and one in the car, are alone worth the price of admission.

Talking the cast with Landon



It’s a testament to the oddball talent of the Coen brothers that they’d choose to follow their Academy Award-winning misanthropic masterpiece “No Country for Old Men” with a film like their new espionage farce “Burn After Reading.” That may not sound like a full compliment, and it isn’t. Although the brothers’ new movie is refreshingly lighthearted and packs their usual wallop of star power, quirky original characters and spurts of sporadic violence so inappropriately graphic that I dare you not to laugh at them; “Burn After Reading” seems almost like an afterthought, like something that was hastily scribbled on a napkin at the Kodak Theater’s wet bar on Oscar night. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad the brothers signed up for a minor screwball comedy to unwind after the rigors of translating the dark and troubling work of Cormac McCarthy. “Burn After Reading” is still a fine film, certainly the most entertaining movie in theaters right now. It definitely deserves attention and praise for the things it does right. I just caught myself occasionally wishing it had more there… at least until the blisteringly funny second half that left all notions of bad reviews behind. The film’s premise shows its promise. Veteran analyst Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich, never funnier) has been fired from his job at the CIA for his drinking problem and the occasional bout of profanity-laden, anti-Mormon rhetoric. The snide, self-righteous Cox decides to get his revenge by penning his memoirs (or in elitist-speak, mem-wahs) about life as a spook. But in his haste, Cox misplaces an apparently top secret disc that eventually turns up in the hands of two Hardbodies Gym employees, plastic-surgery obsessed Linda


“Although he’s too often cast in the mold of Hollywood leading man, Brad Pitt was actually born to be a character actor. His turn as lovable idiot Chad proves to be the highlight of an already crowded acting showcase. I only wish he was in more of it.”

|Instant Classic


Cleaning up the ‘Kings’ New album loses distortion, keeps attention




George Clinton comes back with a cover album that only mildly impresses // GRIFFINBUR

George Clinton is easily one of the most idiosyncratic, entertaining people in music. As singer/director/shaman of ParliamentFunkadelic, he honed the talented instrumentalists into a weird, challenging, and just plain good band. You’d probably call them funk, but, as the cliché goes, they really don’t sound like anyone but P-Funk. For example, Earth, Wind and Fire (don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em) sang about shining stars and September. Funkadelic sang about Little Miss Muffet, smoking weed and referred to EWF as “Earth, Hot Air, and No Fire.” Also, they wore diapers on stage. So what is Clinton gonna sound like playing an album of all covers? Pretty lame. Now, this is not necessarily a terrible album. Things actually start off pretty well with Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar?,” backed by Sly of the Family Stone and El-Debarge. While there are some really irritating talk box effects, it’s a pretty cool interpretation of Gaye’s classic. Unfortunately, the production is not only a problem of unnecessary addition; there’s the issue of the complete lack of power in the sound. Now, I’m not an audiophile- who cares if the drums sound fake, right? Well, then again, no higher authority than Clinton himself attributed P-Funk’s success to their use of gear more suited to a hard rock band. But it’s not only that it doesn’t sound like Maggot Brain, it’s that it sounds like FM radio circa 1987. As staffer Bob Martin noted, even the Cure don’t sound like that anymore. Okay, so the first song is still pretty good anyway. But Clinton is pushing his luck by the second song, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” by…Rick Astley? Yup. By this point, he’s not only sounding like 1987 but covering it

as well. And, even if you like both Astley and Clinton, Clinton’s barely even on the song. Admittedly, his growl almost makes the song sound like straight up soul. With Bootsy Collins on board, this might be good. But by cutting himself out of half the song and mimicking Astley’s production, he gives that idea up pretty quickly, actually. It turns out this isn’t entirely a covers album (well, it mostly is, but I digress.) Right after we get back to the present, Clinton lays down an original, “Mathematics of Love.” Unfortunately, said original sounds a little like Michael Bolton with cajones. While I’m not knocking Clinton’s artistic abilityclearly, the man was going for this type of

“ ” Having bad songs is a pretty major setback for a piece of work composed primarily of, whadda ya know, songs.

sound- I just don’t like it. And I’m not against ballads or anything. But all you gotta do is spin “The Song is Familiar” from “Let’s Take It to the Stage” to realize Clinton can do this slow-soulful thing about 1,000 times better. So are there any flat-out good songs on here? Well…not really. The jam with Red Hot Chili Peppers on Shirley and Lee’s “Let the Good Times Roll” is pretty competent but doesn’t really add anything or even sound much like Clinton or RHCP. I guess I should probably mention that Santana makes an appearance (he’s like a big deal, right?) or that some bozo from System of a Down decides to industrialize a song, with boring and unpleasant results. While the idea of having a (semi) “all star” cast sounds good on paper, the actual sound is pretty boring.

STAR SCALE | |Broken record|

|Borrow at best|

Even an appearance from RZA (pause while the WASPS throw up the Wu-Tang signs) is only okay. The hip-hop beat adds some much needed variety, but it’s nowhere as inventive or interesting as 90 percent of RZA’s other stuff. This could’ve been a really cool collaboration but RZA’s formidable production skills are either nixed or he neglected to use them. It might’ve not gelled, but it would’ve been a lot more interesting. Interestingly, what is probably the most enjoyable song is ostensibly no different than any of the others. “It’s All in the Game,” written by Charles Dawes, essentially has the same formula as the other songs- weak production, Clinton half-absent-but the song is simply well-written and engaging. And that’s the essential problem with this thing. I said earlier this wasn’t as good as Parliament or Funkadelic, right? Well, Belita Woods shows up, and she was in Funkadelic, albeit as a backup singer. But the point I’m making is that, besides the production and playing flaws, these songs just aren’t very good, even with some good musicians. For the most part, they’re pretty unimaginative musically, and the lyrics don’t venture too far outside of trite romanticism. Having bad songs is a pretty major setback for a piece of work composed primarily of, whadda ya know, songs. But hold on there. I still maintain that if these songs had been played with energy or at least have had something new brought to them, this would’ve been at least interesting, if not necessarily my thing. But as it goes, even people who dig this kinda stuff are probably gonna be confused as to what these versions are supposed to be adding to the original song. So if you’re looking for average versions of average ballads, look no further. Otherwise, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

| | |Worth buying |

Kings of Leon’s first album, 2003’s “Youth and Young Manhood,” sounds like it could have been recorded in an unfinished basement. To be exact, a basement straight out of the 1970’s, with the walls covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rolling Stones memorabilia. With the release of their third album, “Because of the Times,” Kings of Leon ditched the basement and moved into a proper recording studio. And on “Only By The Night,” their fourth album, they have officially settled into the recording studio. The garage sound is no longer. As for the 70’s southern rock ornaments that have continued to influence their music? They brought those to the studio. “Only By The Night” is the most textured, most complete and best effort of Kings of Leon to date. “Sex On Fire,” the first single, exemplifies Kings of Leon’s progression as a group, combining their old rawness with their new produced experience. It begins with a classic KOL guitar riff, and then softens when lead singer Caleb Followill’s woeful voice enters with a slight echo at the end of each line. The chorus is chock full of passionate throes of vocals and high-pitched, open-ended lead guitar. The echoes and shimmering effects of “Sex On Fire” add to the overall composition. This one will no doubt be a money-maker. One element of this album’s sound is the repetitive baseline. It stably protects tracks that could get lost or cluttered without solid ground to stand on. “Closer” utilizes a spooky, call-and-response baseline that is reminiscent more of a Lil’ Wayne back beat than of Deep South rock & roll. The added dimension to “Closer” is the fuzzy guitar that is given the freedom to periodically lace the top of the track. Another distinct trait of this album is the airy supporting guitar. Saying this makes Kings of Leon sound like Coldplay is a stretch, but the semi-falsetto guitar on songs like “Manhattan” and “Be Somebody” balances the highs and lows of each instrument. This guitar effect takes away from the intimacy felt in older albums, but adds a peculiar distance that puts the focus less on each individual instrument and more on the big picture of each song. An overall cleaner mix is part of the studio’s influence on the band. It feels more professional than the days of “Molly’s Chambers,” which despite its catchiness, sounds like it could have been recorded in the lobby of a Red Roof Inn. As a whole, the album is a fantastic listen. Even the weakest song on the LP, “17,” is salvaged by a strong vocal performance by Followill. The three brothers and cousin from Tennessee that make up KOL have gotten progressively better. The more polished sound of “Only By The Night” makes it appealing to a broader audience. Haters may call this selling-out, but this is maturity is more of a growing up. And of course moving into your own place.



|Instant Classic

PAGE 20 PHOTO ESSAY / SEPT. 29, 2008


SOUTH The Lancers beat the Raiders 24-19 at their first official home game on Sept. 19

RIGHT: Senior Marcus Webb charges down the field while returning a kick-off. Webb went on to score a touchdown in the third quarter, giving East a chance to get back in the game. // TYLERROSTE BELOW: Seniors Joe Moriarty and Calvin Tidwell take down a Raider running the ball. The defense had a phenomenal second half, holding the Raiders to only a field goal. // PATRICKMAYFEILD

ABOVE: Junior Kevin Hertel celebrates after catching a pass for a Lancer touchdown thrown by sophomore John Schrock. This was Schrock’s first game starting as varsity quarterback. // TYLERROSTE FAR LEFT: Seniors Taylor Twibell and Megan Alley shout with their fellow cheerleaders while a camera man films their school spirit. //TYLERROSTE LEFT: Junior Colin Hoffer plays a tuba during the halftime show. Halftime included a spectacle of marching band members and Lancer Dancers. The show was finished with the drum line playing a few cadences to fire up the fans. // MACKENZIEWYLIE



Country, Same


After coming to the United States from Brazil, “Black” team coach Gil Teixeira has brought his experiences to the soccer program

co m

“It’s not like I don’t like Brazil. It’s just because of my grandfather. I always felt I should come to the United States.” He had tried to go to Canada and Australia, but he was too young and was not yet a full professional in the field of dentistry. Finally, when Teixeira turned 21, his dream came one step closer; he applied for immigration. The United States Embassy was located in downtown Porto Alegre and three years after applying, Teixeira walked into the building to interview to get his visa. He had waited so long because only a limited number of people can immigrate to the United States. “They told me that I was going to get my green card, and I was very emotional,” Teixeira said. “I was very happy. I was telling everyone that I worked with.” The occasion also enabled Teixeira to make good on a promise to his wife, Izabel. Teixeira told her that if she married him, they would not live in Brazil. He promised Izabel that they were going to move to the United States. It was a big change, but it enabled Teixeira to get more involved in the sport he loved. Soccer was his constant. He flew over New York on his way to New Jersey, passing the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of hope for immigrants coming into the United States. “I had always read about [the statue],” Teixeira said. “I was just happy to see it, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to get here. Seeing it for the first time, I just thought, ‘Finally, I’m here.” After living in New Jersey for a year and then Palm Beach, Florida for two years, Teixeira was hired by a dentistry in Prairie Village through a mutual friend in 1969. He coached various soccer clubs in the area until 1990, when a Brazilian friend of his, Eli Durante, was hired as assistant varsity coach at East. Durante suggested that Ermanno Ritschl, boys varsity head coach at the time, should hire Teixeira as the JV head coach. Ritschl said Teixeira was hesitant at first to take the job due to financial issues, as well as the time commitment, but once he heard that Durante would be working with him, he took the job. “He was very knowledgeable about the game, which is one of the criteria that I was looking for,” Ritschl said. “In those days, there were very few people who knew about the game of soccer as well as Gil did.” Both Ritschl and current varsity boys head coach

How t o


Gil Teixeira has had a life full of change. No organized soccer in Brazilian schools, so he played with neighborhood club teams. No green card, so he got a job as a dental technician at 13-years-old. No one filling the JV coaching position at East, so he took the job based on a love for the game. Nineteen years later, through three head varsity coaches and four principals, he remains as the leader of the ‘Black’ soccer team. “It keeps me involved in sports,” Teixeira said. “I grew up with soccer. My kids grew up with soccer. My kids call me and ask how the team is doing. It’s a family thing.” Soccer has been the constant in Teixeira’s life. It was what he turned to when he worked up to 11 hours a day as a Brazilian teen. When Teixeira had arrived in the United States speaking just a few years worth of basic English, a Brazilian-Portuguese country club in New Jersey brought together immigrants just like him. “It was something to do on the weekends,” Teixeira said. “You could meet people and have fun.” The club helped Teixeira get acclimated to his new situation, but he is used to working for a better life. Born to Antonio and Maria Teixeira on Dec. 10, 1951, Teixeira grew up in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The city was made up of many immigrants, including Germans, Italians, and Poles. Teixeira describes Porto Alegre as Kansas City with more people. It is also a breeding ground for soccer talent. The coach of the Brazilian national team, Dunga, grew up in Porto Alegre, and it is also where Brazilian soccer great Ronaldinho was born. Porto Alegre is also one of 14 finalists to host the 2014 World Cup. Teixeira mixed in soccer at neighborhood clubs with his friends in the area, but he was busy with school and work. He would usually get around six hours of sleep each night. His brother, Gepulio, knew someone in the dental industry, and got Gil a job working at COP as a dental technician for 20 real a day, roughly $10, at the age of 13. His main job included putting porcelain crowns onto teeth. Teixeira has been working in dentistry ever since, even coupled with his coaching. He spent his days working, and his nights at school, which included furthering his profession at technical school. His grandfather, Miguel, had lived in New York earlier in his life, and he would tell young Gil all about the country that has provided Teixeira with a better life for his family. “I thought people [in the United States] as having the nice life, the wonderful life,” Teixeira said. “The biggest influence was from the movie ‘Father Knows Best.’ The father would go to work, the mother would stay home and cook and the kids would go to school. It was kind of the old ways.” Teixeira watched these movies and dreamed of one day moving to the United States. “I always wanted to get out [of Brazil],” Teixeira said.


Jamie Kelly agree that Teixeira’s accent can be hard to understand at times. However, that’s not the only thing he has brought with him from his native country. “I think he’s the same old Gil,” Ritschl said. “Overall, he’s done a nice job with the talent that he’s gotten. He’s served East in good capacity, not only as a coach at the JV level, but at the lower levels as well.” Teixeira was moved from JV coach to Black team coach in 2006, with Kelly replacing him. According to Jim Ricker, boys varsity head coach from 1997 to 2006, he was planning on stepping down and he wanted Kelly to get a year of experience at the JV level before he was promoted to head coach. After coaching at East for 19 years, he has settled into his life in Prairie Village. He and Izabel have been married for 36 years now and have two children. Their son, Cristiano, 35, played soccer at West Point for four years, and his daughter, Erika, 26, played soccer at Creighton for two years. “He’s lived the American dream,” Kelly said. “He has been successful as a father, and he’s made a good life for his family.” Teixeira is thrilled with his decision to move to the United States. “The United States is far better for someone to make a living,” Teixeira said. “Brazil is a good place to live, but making a living there is hard. [Here], you can make a good life and take care of your family.”

B r a e z h i T l i a “ n e ” t lp e

This is Gil’s famous warm-up drill, where you start by running sideline to sideline for 3 minutes, and then, within 13 minutes, you must complete the following on each cycle from side to side: 1. High knees 2. Butt-kickers 3. Jog forwards, turning every five steps, while looking at the person behind you 4. Run forwards, clapping your hands over your head every few steps 5. Run forwards, clapping your hands under your legs every few steps 6. “Open and close the gate:” Raise your knee and bring it to the side, then raise your knee and bring it forward. Repeat. 7. Karaoke (criss-cross run) 8. Run forward and touch the ground every five steps 9. Zig-zag line while jogging 10. Backwards jog “Last year, we had a lot of people sit [the Brazilian] out,” sophomore Preston Norman said. “This year, almost no one does. We’re a lot better of a team.” // CCCREIDENBERG


Limited experience and age has the volleyball team developing young players throughout games and practices. // MELISSAMCKITTRICK Freshman LeAnn Dahlgren couldn’t believe how long the walk was from her sister’s black Honda Accord to the gym doors. After waiting two hours at home, trying to pass the time between volleyball tryouts and team postings doing homework, she just wanted to get to the lists. The doors were clean. No postings taped up, no names typed in columns. She had to wait. Waiting during homework. Waiting during the car drive. Waiting during the walk. Waiting by the doors. LeAnn was sick of waiting. Finally, four coaches came with four sheets of identical papers. The lists had the four teams printed on them; there were several so all of the girls weren’t crammed around one list. LeAnn and her sister, junior Alex Dahlgren, crowded forward to check for their names. The sisters made varsity. It was a first for both of them. “We were ecstatic,” LeAnn said. Alex made freshman team her first year and junior varsity her second; she worked over the summer at team camps to get ready for varsity. Alex says that she is happy to share her first year on varsity with her sister. “I was so excited for her – she had been working really hard,” Alex said. “I was really excited to make varsity; that’s just the ultimate goal.” LeAnn texted her mom with the good news. The notes were quick and to-the-point: “Varsity,” she sent. “What about AJ?” mom Tamara Dahlgren replied. “Varsity also.” The girls didn’t call their mom, and they didn’t make a show of the short exchange. They agreed to celebrate when they got home – at the same time the Dahlgren sisters found out they both made varsity, their friends and prior teammates realized their seasons were over before they even started. “It was a little eerie,” LeAnn said. “A lot of girls were really happy, and some were pretty upset.

Freshman LeAnn Dahlgren

// ALL PHOTOS BY CCCREIDENBERG You could tell they [wanted] to cry.” The girls walked up to their coach’s classroom to meet the rest of the girls. After three days of trying out with identifying numbers pinned to their back, they finally got to know exactly who was on the team. Two seniors. Three juniors. One sophomore. Two freshmen. Half of the team had never played on varsity before; a quarter had never been in a high-school game. “It’s a building year,” senior captain Paige Kuklenski said. “It’s not frustrating. Just different.” Last year’s practices skipped over learning the basics. This year, drills focus on team energy, dynamics, and essential skills. The girls get to practice fifteen minutes early to do partner work. “We do partner-passing, setting, and hitting,” Alex said. “We try to get a lot of touches on the ball.” Next come drills. The girls set up in different scenarios with different numbers of players, hitting the tips and passes from their coach to their teammates and over the net. “He tries to create chaos on the court,” Alex said. “There’s a drill with our regular line-up…We have five chances to get every point in a row; if anyone doesn’t we all have to run.” To make the girls work together as a team, their scrimmages aren’t against each other. Instead, after focusing on the basics – passing, serving, and attacking – they play against the JV girls. The teams start off with different scenarios: JV up on points, varsity down. The teams have to work together to rally at the end and make game-saving plays. “It’s pretty competitive,” Alex said. “It’s friendly competition, but we want to win.” All of the Dahlgrens say that both girls are competitive. Tamara sees a difference, though: Alex’s competitiveness is like a light-switch, LeAnn’s lasts even when she’s off the court. “[Alex] skips out onto the court,” Tamara said. “But once she’s there she’s tough. She wants to win that game.” LeAnn, on the other hand, is intense about volleyball almost all of the time. Tamara notices her trying to keep the team’s energy high and spirits up, but she also sees how hard her daughter is on herself. “She’s very self-critical,” Tamara said. “Her expectations for her play are very high. Alex’s are,

too, but LeAnn puts a lot of pressure on herself.” All of the mock games and pressure-situations helped prepare the young team for actual competition. Their first round of games was against teams with no freshman players; one team only had upperclassmen. “It was kind of scary,” LeAnn said. “It was definitely a lot of fun; there was a lot of energy.” Tamara remembers watching her two daughters start their first varsity game together. She tried to take in every moment, not sure when the next time they would play together would be. “I called my husband,” Tamara said, “and said, ‘they’re both on the same court at the same time.’” T h e girls have a lot to live up to. Last year’s t e a m went to State, becoming Sunflower League Champs in the process. This year’s team doesn’t have the experience, but the girls say they have the energy and the commitment. “We’re… kind of inconsistent, but we’re working on it,” Kuklenski said. “We’re trying to work on the style of practice and dedication.” The captains want the girls to realize what it takes to beat other teams: focus, constant hard work, and camaraderie both on and off the court. The younger girls can’t wait to live up to the expectations. “I think that we can go to state,” Alex said, “It will be a struggle, but I think we can make it.”

According to Alex.. Best Attributes Height Speed Intensity Competitiveness Ambition Work Ethic



Junior Alex Dahlgren


pledge of allegiance




The boys soccer team’s leading lunatic gives you what it takes to hold the student section on his back


2. 3. Sidenotes 4.

Knowing the Sport

Columbia Blue Blood

I used to play so I know what’s going on. Some of my best friends are on the team so that gets me going. It’s pretty sweet to have everyone in the entire student section on the same page when something happens.

The key to building a student section is a lot of cheering and definitely school spirit. You can’t get into it if you have no desire to be there so you have to bring all you’ve got and show your heart.

What’s been burning you this fall season?

The inability to heckle. Sure, the administration has loosened up a bit on the previously communistic law. It’s the sports themselves that are the problems. It’s pretty frustrating when those thick football helmets block the sound of my artistic abuse, and golf requires too much clothing effort for the taunting of a single player. In the golden sports, like basketball, I can yell anything I want and there’s a decent chance they’ll turn around, clearly ashamed of whatever I found about them on Facebook. Isn’t that what high school’s all about?

page editor

cam smith

page editor

andrew goble

L- Town football games. Few things grind my gears about the cities of Lawrence and Leavenworth, both are historic and sports-rich. They do get me a little on edge though when three of my football team’s first five games are 45 minutes away. The two cities both sport three respectable Sunflower League high schools, but something about me having to drive to a school with a mascot of the Chesty Lions is befuddling. Coincidence or not, three of five games 45 minutes away makes me fume.

sam logan

sports editor


Lack of band at soccer games. Halftime seems boring without a band performance and drum line show for the students. This would help the students get pumped up for the blow of that second half whistle, and the chants might be higher quality, and less repeated with a background beat. Now, I know that the band has other things that they need to attend and be accountable for, but I think that having the band at a couple games would bring a new flavor to the soccer matches.

5. 6.

Willing to be Weird

A lot of [knowing what chants to do] is being sporadic. Last week we sang “John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt,” and it meant nothing, but sounded really cool. One of the best chants we’ve done all year was “Fear the mullet” for Justin Krivena and his ‘do. Stuff like that is pretty strange but it has worked well.

Fan Entrepreneurship

Me and some of the other guys are getting so into it. We’re selling our ideas....We are making Lancer soccer scarves that should be ready in two weeks or so. Taking it to the next level lets you know you’re a crazed fan... For better or for worse that’s where I’ve gotten.

Widespread Involvement

The most important part of guiding the student section is getting everyone clicking together. I help to tell everyone the chants we’re going to do. Having 100 people all together sounds so much better than 10.

Showing Up and Standing Out

It can be tough when there’s like three games a week sometimes, but soccer games are so much fun it’s worth going to all of them. Being a senior, and with block, it’s a lot easier to make it out there because I don’t have to worry about homework as much. I just have to work it out and make sure I’m there.

PAGE 24 PHOTO ESSAY / SEPT. 29, 2008

Over 70 coalition members march down Mission road in a fight for the...

RIGHT: The coalition members gather to get red X’s placed on their chest. The X’s are the Coalition’s symbol. “We wanted a symbol that was easy to recreate and that would make a bold statement,” junior Anna Petrow said. “ It is on all of the posters around the school, so we thought it would work for the walk.” // ANNAPETROW ABOVE RIGHT: Sophomore Rebecca Callstrom and freshman Patrick Riggins finish the walk before they head up to Colition Sponser Debe Bramley’s room for donuts and juice. // ANDYALLEN ABOVE: Freshman Kiki Sykes, junior Jessie Sykes, freshman Emily Bates and Emily Kulaga make posters on Sept. 11 for the walk that took place on Sept. 18. Around 35 students showed up to make the posters. // ANDYALLEN

LEFT: With more than 70 students behind him, freshman Nathan Are moves into the street trying to capture the attention of oncoming drivers. The theme of the walk was “We walk because they walk.” // ANDYALLEN ABOVE: Freshman Maggie Thomas carefully chooses a donut in Ms. Bramley’s room before heading off to her first hour. // MACKENZIEWYLIE

Issue 3  
Issue 3  

While other districts take great strides to becoming eco-friendly, the Shawnee Mission school district takes small steps ISSUE 3 / SHAWNEE M...