Page 1

Harbinger the

ISSUE 7 / SHAWNEE MISSION EAST / PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS

NOV. 24, 2008

reach

// MAXSTITT

within

Despite losing key seniors, the boys’ swim team works to win a fifth consecutive state title // SAMLOGAN

He’s got four rings for five fingers. Silver bands of state championship success grace coach Wiley Wright’s knuckles like the boys’ swim teams he’s coached the last 24 years— always standing out and looking good. “Nice tan, Mazzoni,” he called out to one of his senior swimmers, as he looked at the swim team poster of shirtless swimmers on

the Plaza. “It’s my lifeguard tan,” the coach got in response. Wright refers to his swimmers as kids, and even though he’s all business, he likes to joke with them as if they were. “Just like last year,” he rebutted. They’re four words he’s had to use plenty in his last four seasons of coaching at East. Just like last year.

Just like last year, when they won the state championship. Just like the three seasons before that. They’ve called it a “fourpeat,” but never have the expectations been as high as what’s being put on his team this winter. Not from him, though, from people who don’t see this team like he does, like a family.

“Individually, I want every kid to do well and as a result of that, hopefully, collectively the team as a whole will do really well,” Wright said. “If it happens that we’re not successful this year in repeating it’s not going to be a disappointment — it will be a disappointment if the kids don’t perform to their capabilities.”

Continued on page 20

NEWS: Attendance rejects excuses >PAGE 2 FEATURES: Sophomore races in BMX >PAGE 9 A&E: Review of The Postmarks >PAGE 17


PAGE 2 NEWS / NOV. 24, 2008

briefs

Turning down

EXCUSES

There will be no school Wednesday through Friday for Thanksgiving Break. The schedule for this week is seven block days both Monday and Tuesday. There will be an early dismissal Dec. 3 at 1:45 p.m. Students will have half of a seminar period in which they can travel. If you wish to purchase a SHARE Package forms need to be retuned to the SHARE office with $10 cash or check (payable to SME SHARE) by Dec. 5. Forms are available outside the SHARE office and packages can be picked up Dec. 9-12. The fall production The Servant of Two Masters will be presented Dec. 10-13 in the Little Theater at 7 p.m. Students will receive a free ticket with their student IDs, otherwise tickets can be purchased for $7. Seminar Update: The winter sports pep assembly will be Nov. 5 during seminar periods. Students will have half a seminar period in which they can travel Due to the early dismissal Dec. 3, students will only have half a seminar period in which they are permitted to travel The Franklin Center Christmas parties will be Dec. 12 during seminar periods. Students will remain in their seminar classes for the entire period in order for participating seminars to throw their parties. The NAHS winter auction will be Nov. 6 from 4-6 p.m. in the cafeteria. NAHS members will exhibit their artwork to be sold in silent auction. Want to be on the heart beat of all things affecting East? The Harbinger is now offering a text message service to help keep students in touch with events happening around East and local communities. To subscribe to this service create an account at www.twitter.com, register your cell phone and “follow” the SME_Harbinger service. The holiday choir concert will be held on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Village Presbyterian Church.

// ANNIESGROI The chairs that line the nurse’s office wall are empty. There’s no row of sickly students waiting to call their parents after finding out they have a low-grade fever. The normally hectic room is quiet; instead, it’s the attendance office that’s dealing with the crowd. At the beginning of each school year East students sign a paper torn out from their planners. One of the guidelines they agree to is that students who are ill are required to see the nurse before checking out. Despite this agreement nurse Susan Varner says there is a growing problem this year with students going around the nurse’s office. Students are texting their parents to pick them up when they’re sick and not coming to see her first. “We have anywhere from two to five [kids go straight to attendance] a week,” Varner said. “It rarely happened before.” When Principal Dr. Krawitz worked in schools in the past, texting wasn’t an issue. Although he doesn’t have a reference to compare this year to or any hard numbers to display the issue he says that it has become quite a concern. “It’s not just a small thing. . . What’s happening is that parents are arriving unbeknownst to us and asking to take their son or daughter out of school,” Krawitz said. “The problem with that is that it violates a guideline in our student handbook, that is that a student has to go through the nurse before they go home.” According to Jody Gustafson, attendance office, this year’s new cell phone policy, which allows students to text during passing period and lunch may be causing more students to leave without going to the nurse’s office. She says that texting a parent to leave is becoming a daily habit for some students. Gustafson and Varner agree that because the new policy gives students a quicker way to leave than going to the nurse they will take advantage of that opportunity, despite the consequence of an unexcused absence. Freshman Paige DiCarlo says there are many reasons she and her friends would avoid the nurse’s office and just text or call their parents instead. “The nurse sometimes doesn’t let you go home,” DiCarlo said. “Your parents will understand and come pick you up. The nurse isn’t always nice.” Varner says she and her assistants are understanding and listen to all the concerns of students. “We listen to what they say and they have to call their parents,” Varner said. “It’s a parent decision, I give my input but that’s it.” Varner says students may avoid her office because it’s faster or because they don’t know the procedure. She believes the way to leave promptly when you’re sick and avoid getting an unexcused absence is actually simple. “If they leave without a pass they’re going to be unexcused,” Varner said. “So they need to go though the nurse, then we’ll give you a pass to leave.” Gustafson says parents have a hand in the new problem too. They should teach their children to pay attention in class, a lesson the ‘no texting in class’ policy was created to reinforce. “ [Students] shouldn’t be texting their parents anyway, during class and parents shouldn’t be texting their kids either,” Gustafson said. Junior Britini Argeropoulos has texted her mom before when she was sick and then gone to see Varner to ask to leave, but has never

// Photo Illustration by: MICHAEL STOLLE and CC CREIDENBERG

Meet the Coach Night for winter sports will be tonight at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Parents are invited to come and hear from Athletic Director Jim Ricker and then from student’s respective coaches.

After recent violations of school policy, the attendance center has adopted a practice of...

skipped going to the nurse all together. “My mom texted me, I was in class and my mom knew that I was sick, but I was trying not to miss any more school,” Argeropoulos said. “She asked if I was sick and I told her all my symptoms and she said, ‘Go to the nurse and see if Dad can pick you up.” Although school policy allows parents to take students out of school in case of appointments or emergencies without having students receive unexcused absences, in matters of health the nurse must be involved. The reason behind the rule that students must see the nurse before going home sick is to ensure all of the students’ safety. “[Krawitz’s] concern was that it might be a safety issue if they have some sort of illness that might be contagious then the nurse should probably be aware of that,” associate principal John McKinney said. “It’s not meant to be this punitive ‘we don’t believe you so you have to go through the nurse’ thing, but from Dr. Krawitz’s perspective it’s more of a safety concern.” Dr. Krawitz says that the issue of safety goes back to accountability. He says it’s the administration’s responsibility to help protect the wellness of both students and teachers. If a student has been at school when they have a contagious illness, then an administrator must report the case to the Kansas Board of Health. Then all parents can be notified about what their children have been exposed to and necessary precautions can be taken. Although McKinney hasn’t personally seen a rise in students going around the nurse’s office since the new cell phone policies were instated, he sees why it might happen. “Sometimes if you’re not feeling well and you don’t have that opportunity then you’ll think ‘I’ll just try to make it through the day,” McKinney said. “But if you can text them next hour and say ‘get me out of here’ sometimes people will probably do it.” Office assistant Jody Evert says it really comes down to parents teaching their children good habits for the future, like being focused at school. “It’s work ethic, this is your job right now. Going to school is your job,” Evert said. Argeropoulos mom Kimberly Argeropoulos thinks it’s important for the nurse to see students so she can assess whether a students is actually sick before they go home and so she can explain to parents why their child needs to miss school. “If you have a child with mental or emotional disturbances and they’re really struggling in a class and trying to get out of it, they don’t want to be embarrassed, so they don’t want to go to the nurse,” Kimberly said. Argeropoulos says that no matter what trouble a student is having communication is important. She believes there should be more conversations between parents, counselors and the nurse so everything possible is done to help students be happy at school and succeed. Krawitz agrees that communication between parents, students and the administration is crucial. He says that following the guideline that students see the nurse before leaving is a part of strengthening the communication about health. “It’s vital that the nurse see every student before she signs them out,” Krawitz said. “And so we hope to in our upcoming newsletter emphasize that again so that we can have that happen.”

It’s a parent decision, I give my input but that’s it. -Nurse Susan Varner


PAGE 3 NEWS / ISSUE SEVEN

With block scheduling drastically affecting the time requirements of the Theory of Knowledge class, IB students are

in need of more

TIME // CAMSMITH

Seminar can be a place for time to catch up on sleep, listen to an iPod or work on class work. But for junior International Baccalaureate students, seminar is once a week for the course Theory of Knowledge. But with this change comes the possible issue of failing to meet requirements. The class has been pressed for time as assemblies, presentations, early releases and late starts occupy seminar. If it doesn’t meet the International Baccalaureate Organization requirements for the class the students will not receive an IB diploma, according to IB coordinator Rebecca Murphy who has been monitoring the class closely to make sure they meet those requirements. “If push comes to shove we will have students miss assemblies to meet the requirements,” Murphy said. “Class time comes first, there’s no exceptions.” Murphy has found that right now she only has about two days to spare for a pep assembly or some other change until they will have to rework the master schedule. “We monitor the schedule all the time making sure that they will get the amount of hours needed,” Murphy said. “They will meet the requirement, there is no way around that.” This year the Theory of Knowledge class taught for IB students occurs during seminar. It is now taught once a week, and will be taught both junior and senior year instead of just junior year before school. The IBO changed their curriculum requirements so the course will be conducted over two years. The new program covers Theory of Knowledge, time for the extended essay and creativity, action and service hours. East’s IB program decided to make the change to the schedule because there are now enough school hours in the day so the students won’t have to come in early. “I hope that the change makes IB a more viable options for all students,” Murphy said.

IB only classes Other courses only students enrolled in IB can take and how they differ from the AP classes

Source- IB students

“I would hope it will encourage more students into enrolling in IB if there isn’t that before school class.” The IBO requires the students to have 90 seat hours in the class. This will give them a half a year of credit. The students will receive half of the credit as a junior and the other half as a senior. The class must meet these requirements to graduate with an IB diploma. The faculty committee also met to give some direction with seminar and to evaluate how the school is using it. Murphy said she doesn’t want the students to miss out on the opportunities to work with teachers or to finish up homework to alleviate the students’ workload. That was the reason for extending the class over a two year period and why the students take the class once a week. “I’m glad for the kids who carry the workload of an IB schedule to have the opportunity to get some work done during school hours,” Murphy said. “If we are going to stick to this way of teaching Theory of Knowledge, we need to do it right.” Theory of Knowledge teacher Nick Paris has had to change up his way of teaching the class since he now has to teach during a 90 minute period instead of 40 minutes before school. “I have had to change up my way of teaching, but I feel it is for the better,” Paris said. “We are still in the process of adjusting but I think it’s going good.” The class explores all subjects taught in school and also looks into the limitations of knowledge. The class doesn’t have a set curriculum because it teaches what is current in each subject. Having the class during school also makes for better discussions, more enthusiastic

Psychology IB

- IB students plan and carry out an experiment, which includes researching, collecting data, evaluating data, and writing a full assessment.

Chem II IB

// CHLOEFISHGRUND

presentations and a class that isn’t half asleep. “I think that kids appreciate not having to get up so early,” Paris said. “The early hour was rough and having the class during seminar is easier to work into schedules.” Senior Andrea Webber found the change to be a year too late. She took the class before school and in some cases can’t even remember what they studied. But, being able to work on homework, see teachers to clarify things that were misunderstood or retake tests during seminar really helps her out. “I think students get more out of it later in the day because they are actually awake, especially in a class where you need to think,” Webber said. “It is a different opportunity to study things that aren’t normally covered in regular classes so it’s good to get everything out of it.” Junior Tara Raghuveer enjoys having the class during seminar. Although she misses out on the academic support of seminar once a week, she wouldn’t want the class before school. “It would be awful to have the class that early,” Raghuveer said. “It wouldn’t be as fun or have as good of discussions and group projects. Theory of Knowledge is great because it gets all of the IB kids together and we know each other better now because of it.”

- students join together from all different science departments to design and execute an experiment.

Biology II IB

- there are only two AP students in the predominantly IB class and they have different textbooks from the IB students

IB Requirements

Requirements IB students need to achieve to receive an IB diploma + Extended Essay

Students write an essay on the topic of their choice with a limit of 4,000 words. Prepares students for expectations and researching skills expected at college.

+ Theory of Knowledge

Course where students explore nature of knowledge across multiple subjects.

+ Community, Action, Service Hours

Encourages students to get involved in sports, art and community service and help them appreciate other parts of life outside academic area. Source- IB Web site

Theory of Knowledge Requirements

Requirements IB students need to get through TOK to receive an IB diploma

+ Total Hours Needed- 180 hours + 180 hours = one full year credit + 1 Hour = 50 minute class + 90 hours completed as a junior + 90 hours completed as a senior

// NICKPARIS


PAGE 4 NEWS / NOV. 24, 2008 // DANSTEWA

RT

a

literary

launch

The Freelancer, the new student-run magazine, works to increase publicity and submissions

// BOBMARTIN Creative writing is nothing new to East students, but having an open format to submit and show their work to the public definitely is. The latest attempt at a student-run literary magazine is titled The Freelancer. The one-time release will be a notebook-sized publication featuring poems, short stories, and a new addition for literary magazines at East, artwork. Work can be all submitted by students. “We’re looking for people with real vision, something to say about our school, the times we live in, whatever,” Freelancer editor-in-chief Landon McDonald said. With the Dec. 1 submission deadline approaching, advertisements for The Freelancer are everywhere. On them are specific instructions telling how to submit work. Some fliers are in the hallways and others taped to lunch tables. Its main sponsor, writer’s workshop teacher Laura Beachy is making all of her students submit two pieces. “It’s darn-well organized,” Beachy said, referring to the new process of only allowing e-mail submissions to save time. Sophomore Grace Boehm is one of the writ-

Come to the

Farm to Market Cafe 7921 Santa Fe Drive Overland Park, KS 66204 913-642-9090

er’s workshop students that submitted. “I just sent in a couple poems [about] teenage stuff I guess,” Boehm said. “There are a lot of things that go into it, and they look for variety. I think if you submit something, you have a pretty good shot of getting it in”. While it is garnering a lot of attention and submissions, nearly 50 and counting, The Freelancer isn’t East’s first go at a literary magazine. Last year, work was put into a similar project, The Voice, which Beachy also encouraged many students to write for, but after a small amount of submissions, the only people who received copies were those who had contributed. This left the magazine relatively unheard of. McDonald hopes to change that this year though. “For the first time, it’ll be a school wide distribution, where even people who didn’t submit anything will get a copy”, McDonald said. The Freelancer staff plans to release the publication around late April or early May depending on one large factor, money. With a cost around $2000, distributing The Freelancer will be a pricey ordeal. There is no school budget for the project,

so a lot of work will need to be done to actually bring the magazine to life. Several methods are already in place to save money. These include using the district printer, who charges cheap rates for materials. Not too much thought has been put into the cost yet, as the publication is in its initial phase, but in coming months the staff will be hard at work to make money. Beachy and her editors are counting on ad sales, a possible East fund grant and more as the base of their funds. As a senior, McDonald is laying the groundwork for what The Freelancer will become in the future. “As time goes on it will hopefully cause more people to get into writing,” Landon said. The project is entirely student run, besides Beachy’s assistance, so a lot of people are counting on him. McDonald’s ultimate goal is just the publication’s survival and prosperity, so that maybe in a few years it will be recognized as a legitimate magazine where East can display many of its untapped talents.

submit to the Freelancer • • • • •

poems short stories photography comics artwork

send work to: smefreelancer@gmail.com

due Dec. 1 (Not all submissions will be selected for the publication. You will be notified if your work is selected.)


After this year’s divisive presidential election, it’s time for the country to put our differences aside and There wasn’t a buzzword bigger than “change” in this year’s presidential election. Change this, change that. Change, we are led to believe, is coming. However, it will take more then a catch phrase for President-elect Barack Obama to make the political inroads that he has so adamantly advocated over the past two years. For Americans to truly change, we must be led by example. That example should be Democrats and Republicans striving to share a civil union that presents real solutions for the betterment of the nation. This does not come with the belief that both parties will drop their ideology and join hands in a moment of political Kum Bay Ah; rather, with a nation in so desperate need of leadership, a strong showing by both parties to set aside their binding platforms and to evaluate the greatest common good. That will be the true change that America is looking forward to. Change isn’t trademarked to one party or another. Change transcends both the Republicans and Democrats. Although the Democrats may have been the big winners this election, they must have the levelheadedness to remember that although their candidate won 53 percent of the popular vote, that still leaves 47 percent of the voting population yearning for someone else’s idea of change. The estimated number of voters under 30 in the 2008 election was 23 million, according to exit polls by CIRCLE, a nonpartisan statistics group. That’s three million more since the 2004 election. An increase of that proportion shows that the youth are starting to take a more vested interest in their government. Now is the time for the government to introduce legislation that will begin to take on some of our toughest problems because, if they squander the enthusiasm that went into this election, especially the youth, they may never get it back. No way 23 million, whatever their age, will completely agree on anything, but it demonstrates that as young voters (or young engaged citizens) we share a stake in doing our part to put the results of the elections behind us and focus on the future.

COME TOGETHER

PAGE 5 EDITORIAL / ISSUE SEVEN

Obama has millions of supporters and with them he has ambitious plans to reshape the nation; however, his success in the White House will not come from the supporters that he already has, but the supporters that he must earn. It will be a true test of leadership not solely for Obama, but the Democratic majority as a whole. An agenda that leans too far to the left will leave the nation reminiscent of when a young President Clinton came into office pushing for several pieces of legislation that were met with strong resistance from Congress. This created a political backlash, giving the Republicans the majority in both houses in 1994. This is not to argue that a Democratic congress will be more effective then a Republican congress, or visa versa. Rather it is a call for a middle-of-the-road governing style that will not completely shake up the legislative branch just two years into Obama’s presidency. We, as a nation, cannot afford to come to a standstill. An honest attempt at bipartisanship needs to be accepted now more than ever. The first true example of this bipartisanship came on a personal level from a man who was had his share of ups and downs the past eight years. President Bush graciously welcomed Obama and his wife into the White House for a tour and a talk. It was expected. It was inevitable. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Transitions haven’t always gone this smoothly. For example, after his election in 1932 Franklin Roosevelt referred to his predecessor, Herbert Hoover, when he said, “there is nothing inside the man but jelly!” Our nation does not need that type of name calling right now. With the problems that we face today: a two-front war, an economic nightmare and a slew of other dilemmas, Obama (and Americans) can not waste time with petty arguments. Which is why the meeting between Obama and Bush was a promising first step for a president-elect who will be shoved onto the world stage in less than two months. It is commendable that Bush did not harbor a grudge from the repeated times Obama ripped McCain for sharing a voting

SEN. JOHN McCAIN

Two parties, one message Both candidates stressed the need for unity in their election night speeches

// TAYLORHAVILAND

Harbinger the

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

nov.24, 2008 issue 7, 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.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/ STEPHENNICHOLS

ASSISTANT EDITORS/

NEWS PAGE EDITORS/ SARAHMCKITTRICK MADDYBAILEY

BERNADETTEMYERS PAIGECORNWELL

OPINION SECTION EDITOR/

ART AND DESIGN EDITOR/

OPINION PAGE EDITOR/

MEGSHACKELFORD

HEAD COPY EDITOR/ TIMSHEDOR

NEWS SECTION EDITOR/ MICHAELSTOLLE

MACTAMBLYN JOESERNETT

EDITORIAL EDITOR/ ANNIESGROI

FEATURES SECTION EDITOR/ MELISSAMCKITTRICK

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited. // NY Times

FEATURES PAGE EDITORS/ CONORTWIBELL DAVIDHENDERSON

PRESIDENT- ELECT BARACK OBAMA

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection...And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too. // CNN

SPREAD SECTION EDITOR/

MACKENZIEWYLIE SARAHLUBY

ASSISTANT SPREAD EDITOR/

TAYLORHAVILAND

PHOEBEUNTERMAN

DUNCANMCHENRY

A&E EDITOR/

JEFFRUTHERFORD

A&E PAGE EDITOR/ RACHELBIRKENMEIER

MIXED PAGE EDITOR/ AUBREYLEITER

SPORTS SECTION EDITOR/ SAMLOGAN

SPORTS PAGE EDITORS/ CAMSMITH ANDREWGOBLE

FREELANCE PAGE EDITOR/ ONLINE EDITOR/

ASSISTANT ONLINE EDITOR/ ELIZABETHMCGRANAHAN

ONLINE SECTION EDITOR/ CAMILLEKARRO

PHOTO EDITOR/ TYLERROSTE

ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR/ MACKENZIEWYLIE

PHOTOGRAPHERS/ CHLOEFISCHGRUND MAXSTITT

record so similar to his. Instead, he held a conversation that was “constructive, relaxed and friendly,” according to White House press secretary Dana Perino. That meeting should be the road map for our next president, his opposition and every single American. The election is over now and we all know the results. What’s inspiring is that both candidates seem ready to move forward together. Last Monday, Obama and McCain met in Chicago to discuss issues such as immigration, Guantanamo Bay and climate change. “At this defining moment in history, we believe that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington so that we can solve the common and urgent challenges of our time,” Obama and McCain said in a joint statement. If both men keep their word, an increased effort for bipartisanship could become a reality. McCain replied “Obviously” when asked if he planned to help Obama and his administration, which is a sentiment he has echoed since election night. Although he lost, McCain has displayed a powerful example for the rest of his party: not necessarily to follow Obama blindly, but to be genuinely cooperative “I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together,” McCain said in his concession speech. This should speak to everyone. Not just liberals or conservatives, old or young or black or white. This is a call for the change that both candidates called for to become a reality. The question is what type of change will we make? An important example comes from the top. We should wait with patience and hold our judgment to see where Obama, our new Congress and the judicial branch will take our nation, If Obama and Democrats can work with Republicans and other view points that they don’t completely agree with, then we as nation should be able to follow that lead and start to make the “change,” that was so adamantly called for, a reality.

0 10 0 ABSENT AGAINST FOR ote

The majority opinion of the Harbinger Editorial Board

Want to have your opinion heard? write a letter to the Harbinger Editorial Board

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Letters may be edited for clarity, libel, length and mechanics. They may also be accepted or rejected at the editor’s discretion.

KATIEEAST PATRICKMAYFIELD DANIELSTEWART CCCREIDENBERG ANDYALLEN

COPY EDITORS/ SAMKOVZAN KEVINSIMPSON ANNIESGROI

EDITORIAL BOARD/ STEPHENNICHOLS BERNADETTEMYERS PAIGECORNWELL MACTAMBLYN ANNIESGROI SAMLOGAN GRIFFINBUR MICHAELSTOLLE MELISSAMCKITTRICK TIMSHEDOR

STAFF WRITERS/ LOGANHELEY KATHLEENIRELAND LANDONMCDONALD GRIFFINBUR BOBMARTIN JORDANPFEIFFER

STAFF ARTISTS/ DANIELSTEWART TAYLORHAVILAND NICKLUCAS

ADS/BUSINESS MANAGER/ ANNABERNARD

ASSISTANT ADS/BUSINESS MANAGER/ KATHLEENIRELAND

CIRCULATION MANAGER/ SARAHMCKITTRICK

ADVISER/ DOWTATE


Direct

Hold on... I’m getting a text...

connections Obama draws unnecessary criticism for pledging talks with radical foreign leaders an opinion of

/ LOGANHELEY

He’s been called un-American, a socialist and even a terrorist. Angry bloggers have professed their disapproval of PresidentElect Barack Obama’s foreign policy, one that calls for direct diplomacy with all foreign leaders. But really, Obama’s plan will lead to restoration of America’s respect throughout the world. Despite his success in the election and across the world, Obama has been criticized on websites across the internet for supportive comments made by the leaders of Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. Right Pundit, a political blogging site, has “Obama’s Marxist Support Grows” blazoned across an article because countries like Cuba are congratulating Obama on his victory. Support from radical leaders won’t destroy our country like some seem to think; it will only allow for a more peaceful and beneficial relationship with them. Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has been quoted as saying Iran would prefer an Obama White House because, “he is more flexible and rational.” This does not mean Obama will submit to Iranian demands. It means that he will be willing to find a solution to problems using diplomacy first and military options as a last resort. Direct diplomacy will only allow for both

sides to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. For example, we could assist Iran in developing an economy not reliant on oil if they agree to not build nuclear weapons. With Cuba, we could pledge to increase trade with them if they agree to give more freedoms to its citizens. We will not be terrorist-supporting hypocrites because we talk to radical foreign leaders. In Cuba, former President Fidel Castro described Obama as “the most-advanced candidate” in the Presidential election. This refers to Obama’s willingness to discuss difficult issues directly with foreign leaders. Some people shun endorsements from radical leaders like Castro, but being endorsed by someone doesn’t mean you have similar views. Nations with leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Raul Castro don’t need to hate us. Listening to world leaders like Chavez and Castro won’t destroy the American foundation. The Constitution has been around for over 220 years and isn’t going away anytime soon. Instead of annihilating our core principles, a solid economic and diplomatic relationship will be established. It is impossible to constructively interact with others if you fail to hear them out. President Bush has been opposed to Obama’s form of direct diplomacy. "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said in a recent press conference. But Bush’s diplomatic policy has failed and he has yet to admit it. A change to open talks is necessary in this nuclear age.

ugo To: Hvez k Cha : Barac m o Fr ma Oba it’s

To: Barack Obama From: Hugo Chavez

k I thine we tim ed... talk

Chavez called Bush “the devil” in front of the UN, but Bush never manned up enough to call him out on it personally. Leaders like Chavez could be declared mentally unstable if they lived in America, so he and Obama won’t see eye to eye on everything. But it is better to attempt at diplomacy first, than to seek war from the start. I’m not saying direct diplomacy will work all the time sometimes military options will have to be used. But if we don’t try, we’ll never know how many brave American lives could have been saved if we had talked and listened first and fought later. The people of Cuba want to change, and they are becoming increasingly capitalistic. According to Kansas State University economist Barry Flinchbaugh, open trade with the United States would help boost the standard of living in Cuba and it would also benefit American farmers because Cuba is viewed as a potential wheat market. Flinchbaugh believes that the policy of not trading with Cuba has not worked. “For 42 years we’ve had this policy of isolation.” Flinchbaugh said. “After 42 years, you’d think it would be clear that our policy hasn’t worked and that we should try something different.” The State Department describes America’s relations with Venezuela as “tense.” Being in a “tense” relationship with a country that supplies you with about 11 percent of your crude oil is not a good thing. But Bush has decided holding a grudge is more important than national security and our economy. Obama is changing that priority by creating a policy that makes America a diplomatic leader once again.

// TAYLORHAVILAND

PAGE 6 OPINION / NOV. 24, 2008

Agreed.

Iran is also welcoming the idea of direct diplomacy with America. America cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in 1979, but Obama has said he would open up talks between himself and Iranian leaders. Iran’s potential of being a nuclear power has become an increasingly large foreign policy issue and direct talks will only help resolve the problem. Positive relations with Iran will benefit America as well, because Iran is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ second largest oil exporter. If we do not talk to leaders like Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Castro then our economy and security could be in grave danger. Ignoring the problems we have with foreign nations will not make them go away. We need direct diplomacy because it allows us to hit international problems head on by going to the source, the leaders. Different viewpoints cannot prevent diplomacy if we plan on rebuilding alliances and constructing new ones. What makes our country so great is our tolerance. What we need to do now is tolerate the different viewpoints of foreign leaders because being stubborn won’t work. Former President Ronald Reagan didn’t agree with the communist ways of the Soviet Union, but that didn’t prevent him from discussing the issue directly with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Direct diplomacy has worked in the past and is the only way for the future. Those fearing Obama’s open-mindedness are overreacting. Direct diplomacy won’t destroy America. Lack of communication will.

Come to the

National Art Honors Society

Winter Art Auction Saturday, Dec. 6 4p.m.-6p.m. in the cafeteria help raise money from an assortment of student made artwork


A SITE TO SEE UPDATED LAYOUT

Easy to read and easy to access, the new Harbinger online keeps its old web address (www.smeharbinger.net), but brings an updated, reader-friendly layout. The most important stories are displayed in a photo slide show at the top of the page. Other new layout features include a redesigned tab bar at the top of the page. Stories are posted chronologically with pictures and at least a paragraph of the story on the front page.

WEB-ONLY CONTENT Working to establish a bond between the online version with the print version, the new web site offers connection to the biweekly paper, while also offering web specific content. Breaking news is posted directly to the web site. To supplement breaking news, picture slide shows are also included when possible. Look for special links in future issues of paper to read additional information, stories and bonus coverage on the web site. Look for a men’s fashion section online in addition to the mixed page’s coverage of women’s winter styles.

PAGE 7 ONLINE / ISSUE SEVEN Although just launched this year, the new Harbinger Online has already established itself as one of the premiere high school web sites

INTERACTIVE New polls are up in the web site. With questions updated every week, East students can vote on issues that matter to them. Other cool features include a completely online version of the current issue of The Harbinger, so even if you miss school on Monday, you can still see the front page and more. Soundslides is another web program that weaves in pictures slideshows with sounds and comments to tell stories in a new way.

TAGS

Check out the most popular subjects on the web site by checking the tag cloud. The size of the words shows how often they are mentioned.

BECOME A MEMBER

With the new web site, anyone can sign up to be a member. After registering, members have access to special members-only polls, receive e-mail updates and have the ability to post comments on stories.

KEY FEATURES


PAGE 8 FEATURES / NOV. 24, 2008

Stackingup the success

After losing key debaters and coaching changes, this year’s team is ranked number two in the state // MACTAMBLYN

WYLIE

// MACKENZIE

Amid the endless piles of evidence cards, boxes of communal Cheez-Its and strategically-placed penguin paraphernalia of the debate room, there is an aura of modest confidence. Considering the great amount of personnel overhaul that has swept through the room the past few years, one thing, aside from the debate’s room typical, homely mess, has remained constant: success. East has the number two ranked debate team in Kansas. “I knew we wouldn’t do badly [this year],” junior debater Will Penner said. “I thought it would be a little bit of a drawback because we had really good people [leave] last year.” The loss of these “really good people” made expectations lower this year. Former seniors Danny Mapes, Michael Perbeck, Brad Crist, Danielle Lipsman, Ross Ringer and Patrick Kennedy were a major factor in the success of the 2007-08 team. Mapes and Perbeck earned three bids to the Tournament of Champions, Crist and Ringer got eighth at Nationals and Lipsman and Kennedy placed second in the state tournament. The loss of these six students, along with coaching changes over the past two years, led first-year head coach Trey Witt to establish a regular regimen for this year’s team. “Most of my expectations were, for the most part, just to get a sense of normalcy and repetition back to the squad,” Witt said. “Things have been so unpredictable the past couple of years.” The last few years have not been only about debater transition. Coaches have changed frequently also. Two years ago, during the 2006-07 season, novice debate teacher Jennifer Hunter and Paulette Manville were the head coaches. After Manville’s departure, Hunter took over for 200708, but then went on maternity leave. English and debate teacher Yolande Mountjoy and Witt, in his fifth year of assistant coaching, helped guide the team. Finally in 2008-09, Witt has settled in as the head coach. Witt said that it is difficult to compare last year’s squad with this year’s squad, but gender ratios have changed. “When you’re around them for that much traveling, you get to know them,” Witt said. “We had lots of boys last year. This year we have a lot more girls. A lot more estrogen this year.” Senior Edie Cao and junior Tara Raghuveer are paving the way for the team as the number two ranked pairing in the state. Juniors Elizabeth McGranahan and Olivia Sullivan are also ranked highly within the state of Kansas. Raghuveer attributes having a consistent partner to this year’s success. As a sophomore, she had five different partners and had trouble finding a rhythm. The pair also spent four weeks at a debate camp at Gonzaga University in Washington state, honing their speed-reading skills and knowledge of worldly phrases like “friendly congressional amendment” that are used commonly in debate. “Now that we’ve gotten used to working to-

gether, we do really well,” Raghuveer said. After debate camp, Cao and Raghuveer decided to pair up because they had the same goals and commitments this year. “We don’t hang out on the weekends, but it’s fun debating with her,” Raghuveer said. “It’s a good partnership because we don’t blame each other or argue.” The individual and team rankings in the state are based off the number of Debate Coaches’ Invitational (DCI) bids earned. DCI bids are earned when debaters make it past preliminary rounds in tournaments. East currently has 11 DCI bids. Cao and Raghuveer have earned five. Last year, the squad went to more out-of-state tournaments, where they could not earn DCI bids. Cao said that the amount of effort one puts into debate directly pays off in terms of how well a team does. “The people who cut the most cards, they know the topics the best,” Cao said. “And thus, they know logically which arguments to run.” After last year’s focus on individual success, Witt has put the spotlight on the team as a whole. He did not expect much from the team competitively, which has relaxed some of the pressure. “Because, as coaches, we haven’t been focusing on two kids or three kids, we’ve been focusing on a lot of the kids,” Witt said. “I think it’s allowed us to be deeper as a squad this year.” Cao stressed that skill development has been magnified this year. To her, the skills developed through debate are more important than individual accolades at tournaments. “We don’t go to as many out-of-state tournaments anymore,” Cao said. “Our mentality needs to change. We need to build up our skills on both sides of the spectrum of debate. The fact that we’re trying to round ourselves out is really good. Along with the continuing success, the squad has grown closer this year. They recently had the “Dolympics,” where the team played small debate games. An upcoming squad dinner at California Pizza Kitchen is in the cards. Junior Sarah Sears hosted 12 debaters at her house for a sleepover a few weekends ago. Older debaters have begun writing letters to the novice debaters before tournaments again, a tradition that was broken last year because of the hectic coaching mash-up. Witt is optimistic about how far the squad can stretch their success. He thinks that many of the tournaments are dependent on chance, especially in tournaments where judges experience levels vary. “One thing that helps them not pressure themselves is not thinking that there’s any guaranteed teams that are for sure going to place a certain way at the tournament,” Witt said. To finish out this year as a success, East hopes to do well in the Maize High School tournament on Dec. 5 and 6, the National Forensics League tournament on Dec. 12 and 13, and the Debate Coaches’ Invitational on Jan. 9 and 10. “I feel like a lot of people have worked really hard this season and have really shown that the East legacy isn’t over,” Raghuveer said.

Top 10 Debate teams in Kansas

1 2 3

Washburn Rural

4 5 6

Shawnee Mission East Blue Valley North

Blue Valley Garden City Blue Valley West

// as of Nov. 19 // COURTESY OFWWW.CROSS-X.COM Rankings

7 8 Shawnee Mission 9 West 10 Manhattan

Olathe North

Saint Thomas Aquainas


PAGE 9 FEATURES / ISSUE SEVEN

BMX the

factor

Despite recent injury, sophomore becomes one of the top girl riders in a male-dominated sport // RACHELBIRKENMEIER

the handlebars as do you speak 2.fartionsTwisting as they will go in both direc(without removing your

BMX?

hands) is a: A. George W. B. X-Up C. Y-Not D. Dragonball Z So you think you know the 3. When the front peg of the grinds with the back tire terms for eXtreme bike- bike on top of an obstacle, it’s a: racing? Test your lingo A. Smith Jones with this BMX quiz from B.C. Wilson D. Johnson ChannelOne.com . 1. When a rider poses in a ‘fly- 4. When the BMX rider rides ing’ motion during a jump, it’s the bike on its front wheel only (with the back wheel in the air), called a: he’s doing a: A. Flying Squirrel A. Frontal Lobotomy B. Flying Dutchman B. Nose Wheelie C. Superman C. Head-Over-Heels D. Rocketeer D. Dipsy-D ANSWERS: 1C, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6D, 7B, 8D, 9A, 10D

JUNIOR Kaitlyn Stewart races her bike at Blue Springs BMX. Kaitlyn qualified for Race of Champions (ROC), but due to her injury cannot race for the rest of the year. // COURTESY OF STEWART FAMILY

5. If a BMX rider faces backwards--with one foot on the peg and the other foot scuffing the tire-- he’s performing a: A. Dump truck B. Bulldozer C. Forklift D. Steamroller

8. When a rider grabs the handlebars during a jump and spins the rest of the bike all the way around, it’s a: A. Corkscrew B. All Around the World C. Revolution No. 9 D. Tailspin

6. When a BMX rider spins the handlebars all the way around while in the air, it’s called a: A. Twister B. Hurricane C. Funnel Cloud D. Bar Spin

9. A jump ramp is also known as a: A. Kicker B. Flipper C. Tosser D. Flyer

10. As a safety precaution, 7. When a rider rotates to do a when riding your BMX bike, back flip with a twist off a jump, always wear a: it’s a: A. Helmet A. Bucking Bronco B. Brain Bucket B. Rodeo Twist C. Lid C. Calgary Stampede D. All of the above D. Hog-tie // http://www.channelone.com/life/sports/2004/08/17/bmx_lingo/

Sophomore Kaitlyn Stewart shot out of the gate at the Blue Springs BMX track, just like any normal day of practicing. But she wasn’t expecting what came next. What happened in a matter of seconds became a blur to Stewart. A BMX bike was flung across the track, colliding with her, swiftly knocking her off her bike. Unlike other accidents she had been in, this one was serious. “I didn’t really remember what happened, because it all happened so fast,” Stewart said. “It turned out that a 25 year old rider had broken a pedal on his bike, and thought it would be funny to throw his bike at his friend.” After the initial shock and pain had worn off, Stewart was consulted by the on-site doctor. “He said that I was okay to go home,” Stewart said. “But on the way back [home], my hand turned all cold and I couldn’t feel my fingers.” Immediately, Stewart’s father rushed her to St. Luke’s hospital. The doctor told Stewart that her shoulder had been dislocated. To fix it, Stewart was put under conscious sedation and her shoulder was popped back into place. Prior to the major accident that took Stewart out for the season, she had entered multiple competitions and broken the sterotype of BMX as a male dominant sport. Not only is she a girl racing but she is one of the few girls from the Kansas City area that participates in BMX. Once Stewart’s interest was sparked by her younger brother, who also rides BMX, she began training at the Blue Springs and Raytown BMX Tracks. “Sometimes I have to race against guys if there aren’t enough girls for an all girls race,” Stewart said. “They [the guys] always go their hardest, but they never look down on me and they always respect me.” But to gear up for her first race, Stewart had to start practicing. Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, she would practice at the track. “I trained by myself by running up stairs and stuff,” Stewart said. “At the

track there were random parents helping and telling you what you can do better.” Every other day at her house, Stewart would use her trainer, a machine that hooks up to the bike to build up leg strength while pedaling. After weeks of practicing, Stewart’s first competition came around, where she ended up taking third. “For my first race that wasn’t really bad, but it wasn’t really good either,” Stewart said. “I qualified for Nationals anyways because there were only three girls racing so they took all three of us.” Unlike the five girls that practice at the local tracks with Stewart, there are many more girls at Nationals, which takes place about once a month. During her first Nationals race, Stewart could hardly contain her nerves. “I was really anxious, and I was shaking,” Stewart said. “The track is big and I was just really scared I’d crash and get hurt.” Stewart ended up taking fifth place out of eight. Since her first race, she has competed in roughly 25 National Competitions, and won ten of them. After competing at Nationals in 2007, Stewart was approached by Revolution Bike to be sponsored. “I wasn’t really expecting it, but it was really nice,” Stewart said. “My parents were exciting and relieved because they didn’t have to pay for anything.” As a sponsored racer, the cost of a bike, any parts needed to fix it and the cost for Nationals are taken care of. But recently, the team that sponsored Stewart broke up and will start looking for a new sponsor next season. “[Nationals] can be really intense, it just depends on how serious you are,” Stewart said. “For me, it’s both. I want to do well but have fun too.” But along with Stewart’s success came risk and danger. Although she has been in a few minor accidents her most recent injury was by far her worst. Her sling was recently removed and she will begin practicing again for next season.


PAGE 10 FEATURES / NOV. 24, 2008

// KATHLEENIRELAND

Friends know sophomore Andrea Wickstrom first as the Greek Orthodox Church; she started singing at 12-yearscrazy Greek when she starts bouncing around and singing. old. When Andrea was little all she wanted to do was copy Her energy and claim that the Romans stole a lot of stuff her mother. from the Greeks reflect her Greek background. For Wick“I can’t explain how much joy it brings me being up strom, the Greek Orthodox Church isn’t just her religion, it’s there singing beside them,” Elizabeth said. her life. Although Wickstrom feels pressure to fulfill her mothAfter leaving her extra studies of nearly 10 years at the er’s high expectations, she enjoys the time with her mom KC Greek School, she kept the religion alive through her and she has the backup of her 12-year-old sister, Elena, Greek singing. who also sings soprano and alto. She says her mother is “I didn’t miss the school that much, because I knew I’d always saying how good it is having two very strong voices still get to learn the language and see supporting the soprano and alto sections. the same people every week at Sunday Another bonus of having a family member school,” Wickstrom said. as a teacher is not having to worry as much One of her hobbies is the Greek choir. about missing practice, whether she’s going It’s different than a regular choir because to a party or visiting someone else’s church. everyone is considered family. They sing Because most of the time when she misses a the entire Divine Literacy, and Wickstrom practice, her mother has been involved. even learned how to sing in Greek before “My mom lets me visit other churches beshe was able to speak the language. cause she wants me make to be able to make She learned most of her Greek vocabmy own decisions,” Wickstrom said. ulary through singing. The books they But even though the sisters feel the high read from were in Greek but also had a expectations, they are treated no differently corresponding English version to help than the other members of the choir. translate. She would watch her mother “We’re all family, even if we’re not related,” and Nuna or godmother, Linda Mackel- AT service last Sunday at St. Dionysios Greek Wickstrom said. roy, to learn the pronunciations of the Orthodox Church, Wickstrom expresses On Sundays the group of three tenors, frustration when she forgets the words to a two bases, three altos and five sopranos does words. “It was helpful to be able to learn from song sung in both Greek and English. congressional singing, where everyone in the them since they’re both fluent in Greek,” church is welcome to join in, as opposed to Wickstrom said. apolitico and contagion which are strictly for the choir. PARISHIONERS participate in communion conducted by Father Nicholas Papedo. The Practices are on Wednesday nights, and the choir pracWickstrom likes worshipping in a different way than priest stands in the center of the church while people line up to receive the Body and Blood tices hymns, apolitico and contagion. On Sunday the choir just reading along like the others. She says she wouldn’t feel of Christ. members gather together, put on their choir robes and nearly as involved without the choir. She loves being a part crosses and head to the choir loft to begin singing for the of such an ancient culture where she can see someone from altar boy when he became old enough. A daughter would join her in the choir. church. a different state and consider them cousins. “I just couldn’t imagine growing up any other way than Wickstrom’s mother, Elizabeth, is also the choir direcShe plans to be a part of the Greek Orthodox Church her being so immersed in this culture,” Wickstrom said. tor. Since she was born, her mother has been a part of the entire life. If she were to have a son he would become an AT practice on a Wednesday night, Wickstrom (third from the left) sings ”O Katharotatos Naos,” which means “an example of the faith.” The choir group, which consists of only 13 people, performs every Sunday.

// ALL PHOTOS BY DANSTEWART

Singing in the

family

Sophomore Andrea Wickstrom connects with fellow parishioners and her faith through participation in a Greek Orthodox choir


I

// SARAHLUBY

n March 2007 sophomore Kaiha Harris didn’t even know there was a country called Singapore. But when her parents told her that their family would be moving there for her freshman year, she immediately went on the internet to learn more about it. Singapore is a small island country that is roughly the size of Kansas City with a population around five million people. “When I saw it on a map,” Kaiha said. “My the first thought that came to my head was ‘It’s so small.’” Her father, David Harris, who is a mechanical engineer, was transferred there to train employees for the company he works for, Black and Veatch. When her brother, senior Shane Harris, first learned that he was going to miss his junior year and move to a foreign country that he knew nothing about, he was a little anxious. “I had no clue about anything in Singapore,” Shane said. “I was kind of nervous about going over there and meeting new people.” Kaiha felt the same way. “I didn’t want to go,” Kaiha said. “It was half way around the world and I just didn’t want to leave my friends behind.” When Kaiha stepped off the plane in August 2007, she knew her initial thoughts were completely wrong. People were everywhere. And they were all from many different ethnic backgrounds. The influence from all of the unique cultures could be seen throughout the city through the diverse restaurants and shops. People also drove on the opposite side of the road. And there were skyscrapers everywhere. “Everything in general was just faster paced,” Kaiha said. The only thing that she was with familiar

was the language spoken: English. The Harris’ knew there were going to be a lot of people there, but when they were driving to their hotel, they came to realize just how crowded Singapore really was. Even at 3 a.m. there were wall-to-wall people shoving their way through the crowded sidewalks. Their taxi cut in and out of the crammed streets and took them to what they would be calling home for the next year. It was a threebedroom and two-bath apartment. Kaiha even filled an entire wall in her bedroom of pictures that reminded her of her home and her friends. On the first day of school, Shane and Kaiha each spent the day in their homeroom class. Here they got the chance to meet new people and learn more about the school, which enrolled students from all different ethnic backgrounds. “The people at school were so nice to us,” Kaiha said. “Unlike the locals, who would rudely push past you on the street, the kids at school were friendly and didn’t judge us.” On his first day at lunch, Shane met his two best friends: Anton Kabisch from Germany and Faisal Alsahban from Saudi Arabia. Faisal helped introduce Shane to a lot of new people and from there Shane had no problem making new friends. As the school year progressed, Shane and Kaiha came to realize that there were some major differences between school at Shawnee Mission East and the international school in Singapore. The school in Singapore was more disciplined and it had more time allotted for detention. “It was mainly IB work,” Shane said. “And they’re a lot stricter about everything. If you don’t do your homework then you’re forced to do homework club- after school you sit and do your homework in front of a

PAGE 11 FEATURES / ISSUE SEVEN

teacher.” But the one major difference that Shane really liked between the two schools was that in Singapore they got off a great deal more for holiday breaks, because the school contained so many different ethnicities, and they had to have breaks to accommodate all of the religious holidays. They traveled to eight different countries including Borneo, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. Shane’s favorite trip was to Borneo. The family went in mid-November for about four days. They were about two-and-a-half hours out into the jungle, away from all civilization, when they saw monkeys, snakes, mouse deer, sanbold deer as well as other wildlife creatures. In Borneo, the family had their own tour guide and stayed in nice cabins that had running water and electricity. Shane and Anton also played soccer with the locals that lived in the jungle. They had made their own field and invited them to play. “My favorite experience was hiking through the jungle and up a mountain that overlooked the entire valley,” Shane said.” “Even though it was a year ago I can still remember it vividly.” In Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, the Harris’ stayed up in the mountains in the guesthouse of a Thai family that brought them breakfast every morning. The house was so cramped that there was little moving room for a family of four, but the experience was laid back and relaxing. While in Thailand they drove up to the Mekong River and went to the Golden Triangle. But Shane’s favorite part of Thailand was four-wheeling through the jungle and up to

the top of a foggy mountain peak where he could see nothing but green Thai farmland for miles. They also had the opportunity to ride elephants through the forest. “It was weird and cool at the same time,” Shane said. “It was scary at first because you’re swaying, but then I relaxed and we got to walk around through the forest for about 45 minutes.” Kaiha enjoyed it as well. “It’s something that you would never do in Kansas,” Kaiha said. “It’s cool to say that I’ve done that.” When Shane and his family weren’t traveling around to exotic and exciting new places, he hung out with his friends. On weekends in about a group of 10 or 15 people, they would go clubbing. And occasionally on Wednesday nights, which was ladies’ night, they would go out too. In Singapore there was one major clubbing district made up of about 30 clubs. Out of these clubs, Shane and his friends liked to stick to their four favorites: China One, The Arena, Zouk and Ministry of Sound (MOS). “They had better music to dance to there,” Shane said. “And they had better atmospheres too.” Shane and Kaiha became really close with their friends in Singapore, and after getting back of early August of this year, they still keep in touch through Facebook. Since it costs one dollar to send or receive a text message, Facebook is the primary way they communicate. Shane’s friends even started a campaign called “Save the Shane” to raise money for him to come back and visit. “There’s not one thing that I miss the most,” Shane said. “Because I miss everything. I miss my friends, I miss the food and I miss clubbing.”

face place same

Family returns from

new

year abroad.

SENIOR Shane Harris models his T-shirts from different places that he’s visited. Harris and his family have travelled to Borneo, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. // C.C.CREIDENBERG


PAGE 12 SPREAD / NOV. 24, 2008

COLORFUL BATTLE

For several serious East paintballers, Sunday afternoons are a...

UBHEADSUBHEADBUBHEAD

// PHOEBEUNTERMAN

THE BATTLEFIELD The Snake The Can The Tombstone

This is a diagram of a typical paintball playing field. Each object, or bunker, serves a strategical purpose in the game, such as cover from oncoming fire.

The Carwash The Dorito

LAND

HAVI

LOR //TAY

There are seven men to a team and two teams on the field. They’re on opposite ends, clad in bulky black pants with pods full of paintballs strapped to belts around their waists. The last few players walk to the field. “Make sure to haul up to the fifty,” one player tells another. Cleats tied, gun stocked, masks adjusted—they’re ready to go. They shoot a couple of practice shots, and go over their strategies one last time. Colorful paintballs litter the ground around the field, some soft and bloated from the rain. One corner of the field is a swamp, but these paintballers aren’t daunted by a little bit of mud. They have more important things to worry about, like being pelted with capsules of paint flying at over 200 miles per hour. The ref takes the field. “Both teams ready?” he yells. Both teams yell back. Their shouts sound militant—the mood is serious. This may just be a practice scrimmage, but it’s still paintball and everyone’s taking it seriously. “Paintball in 5!” Senior Dalton Winn crouch down, gun pointed at the dead box, waiting for breakout. If they’re going to shoot, their finger’s already on the trigger. If they’re planning to make a run for it, they’re already looking at their bunker. They’ve drilled this time and time again, but there’s always that rush of adrenaline right when the ref says it’s time. They can’t break concentration—everything in paintball moves quickly. One second gone and you could get hit, and then you’re out. Just make it to the bunker. Just to the bunker. “GO! GO! GO!” ***** Paintball was invented in 1981, and since then the extreme sport’s popularity has skyrocketed. The Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association estimated that more then 5.4 million people in the United States played paintball last year. Several East students play on paintball teams, travel to tournaments and spend Sundays on the field. Sophomores Jeff Tate, Graham Redelsheimer and Joe Lowry, as well as Rockhurst sophomore Jack Dunn, play on a team called Undecided. They have an alliance with another team, called Undecided Sinister, which consists of sophomores Austin Miller, Kyle Engleken and Tony Christensen. Senior Dalton Winn, the only paintballer from East on his team, competes in a Division 2 team called the Midwest Militia.

All three teams com There are four division most tournament expe semi-pro division two pete in level two, the lea the top-ranked amateu with some tournament to compete in Division little or no experience competes in Division 1 The point of the ga all the players on the o more complicated and ments. There are many ty mainstream are speed players start playing w move up to speedball, w pumping version of pai Tate and his teamm tournaments last summ They placed twelfth ou the Midwest. One tour the other was in Harris couple times a month, a trash cans as bunkers. Winn’s team tries to c and practices every Su one since June 26. At p mix of teams and paint friends who play on na but most of the time the “It’s my team verse t run out of paint,” Winn out and buy more pain Gear is a major comp field, the contents of Win ble a safe distance from Epiphany, Ion XE, ETEK2 There are duffel bags gear. The American Pai wear knee, shin, elbow p ment play, but when scrim A mask, however, must philosophy is that they p Boxes and boxes of p around the table. Green a balls come in all differen and his team buy a case paintballs, which will las day. The expenses of paint field fees, gas money to at Westlake Hardware du saving money so that he They do it because it’s Winn posted on his Faceb cause its in our blood…w ball…we are paintball.” One of Winn’s teamm more Chris Eveler, has a quarter. “It’s a hickey from my Eveler said. He explains to have girlfriends becau naments and all their mo They love the sport. F “You get a feeling in th sport,” Tate said. Winn never really pla ball and baseball, but o sixth grade, the sport rea “There’s a point where doing it so long that I’ve g If they can get sponso the Midwest Militia can always been one of his g Promotions World Cup. the team Viscious placed ment. Quitting is not an opti


mpete in the Midwest Paintball Series. ns. Division 1 is for players with the erience-those that have competed in or better. Winn and his team comague for lower ranked semi-pros and urs. Division 2 is mostly beginners t experience who aren’t good enough 2, while Division 1 is for teams with e in tournaments. Team Undecided 1. ame is to be the first team to shoot other team, though scoring becomes differs in higher leagues and tourna-

ypes of paintballing, but the most dball, recball and woodsball. Most woodsball and recball and eventually which is the faster, more adrenalineintball. mates played their first two speedball mer in the Midwest Paintball Series. ut of twenty five teams from all over rnament was outside Lawrence and sonville. Tate’s team tries to go play a and also runs plays in his yard using

compete in one tournament a month, unday. He’s played every Sunday but practice, he and his team play with a tballers from all other levels. He has ationally ranked professional teams, ey play a team that’s semi-pro. their team for the entire day until we n said. “If we have money left, we go nt and play some more.” ponent of the sport. At the paintball nn’s trunk are piled on a wooden tathe field. The guns—a Smart Parts 2 and Diablo Wrath, among others. s full of cleats, masks and padded intball League requires that players pads and neck protectors in tournammaging the rules are more lenient. be worn at all times. Winn’s team’s practice in the gear they compete in. paintballs are stacked on the ground and gold, yellow, red and gray; paintnt colors. They’re expensive—Tate for about $35. That’s two thousand st them a couple of hours on a good

“I’ve put way too much money into [the sport] now to stop,” Winn said. “I work through the entire week just to get to Sunday.” Now that he and his friends are serious paintball players, they can’t go laser tagging anymore. They’ve got to have the real thing. A gun in their hands, flying bullets, the welts that bloom the next day. ***** Immediately, the paintballs start flying. It sounds more like 1,000 guns are shooting rather than fourteen. The players seek shelter behind large inflatable bunkers, each with distinct names and shapes. Tombstone, car wash, dorito, wedge, spike, can, snake. People run, slide in and army crawl to specific bunkers. Boom boom boom, thwack, boom boom boom boom. There’s a continuous rhythm of gunfire. When a paintball hits a bunker, it breaks with a thwack. Someone makes a break for it. He runs while throwing a rope, a constant stream of paint. He slides in behind the large red spike near the center of the field. Safe. “Back right! Back right!” “S1!” Communication is key. Players call out where their teammates should shoot. Someone else runs. Not so lucky. He jogs off the field, head hanging, hand raised, pink splatter on his chest to prove it. Bullets are still flying and the player behind the car wash holds his gun in one hand, grabs a pod off his back, and reloads, pouring the entire contents of the pod through the speed feed attached to his gun’s hopper. He tosses the empty pod over his shoulder and keeps shooting. The numbers on the field are dwindling. Two left on each team. Then a player comes out of nowhere, shooting so fast it sends two on the opposing team cowering behind their bunkers. The runner comes up close and shoots one opponent from about five feet away. That’s called bunkering. Then he gets the next one the same way. It was a risky move, but he pulled it off. It’s game over in four minutes or less. The paintballers walk off the field, discussing what went right and wrong. They’ve got five or ten minutes to catch their breath and load up their pods before the next round starts. And so it goes for the rest of the afternoon.

PAGE 13 SPREAD / ISSUE SEVEN

PAINTBALL PRINCIPLES BASIC RULES BASIC GEAR

A player is considered hit if a paintball leaves a solid mark anywhere on the body or equipment. If a player isn’t sure of a hit, they can call a paint check, and a brief pause is allowed. When a player is hit, they must raise their gun, shout and quickly exit to the dead area. During play, masks must be worn, no blind is firing allowed and surrenders must be allowed. Players may not wipe paint from themselves after they’ve been hit.

Mask Gun, hopper and air tank Paintballs Pants Cleats Slider skin Gloves Neckguard Pod Pack Blood, sweat and tears

WHERE TO PLAY

Jaeger’s Paintball Complex 9300 NE Underground Dr. Kansas City, MO 64161 816-452-6600

Jaeger’s features indoor and outdoor playing areas year round, at prices from $15 for one field to $48 for a field with equipment.

High Performance Paintball 1500 Sandy Links Lane Harrisonville, MO 64701 816-868-5675

High Performance Paintball offers one airball and one woods field, at $10 for the field fee only and $15 for rental with equipment.

Dropzone Xtreme Sports 811 E 23rd St. Suite E Lawrence, KS 66046 785-841-1884

Dropzone Xtreme Sports has eight different kinds of fields, with prices ranging from $21 to $208 for various party packages.

The Rules of Play:

tball add up. Guns, paintballs, gear, drive to tournaments. Winn works uring the week and all day Saturday can go play paintball on Sundays. s become their lifestyle. One status book profile sums it up: “We do it bewe breathe paintball…we live paint-

mates, Kansas City Christian sophoa welt on his neck about the size of a

y vicious girlfriend that I don’t have,” that it’s hard for serious paintballers use they spend so much time at touroney on paint. The other boys nod. For Tate, it’s like an addiction. hat sport that I don’t get in any other

ayed the traditional sports like footonce he started playing paintball in ally grew on him. e kids play to have fun, but I’ve been gotten past that,” Winn said. ored next season, Winn believes that go semi-pro next season. It’s also goals to play in the Paintball Sports Last month, friends that played for d first in the Division 1 X-Ball Tourna-

ion for Winn.

Where to Play:

SOPHOMORES Jeff Tate and Graham Redelsheimer, and Rockhurst sophomore Jack Dunn, play for their team “Undecided” in a paintball tournament. // PHOTO COURTESY OF GRAHAM REDELSHEIMER


PAGE 14 FEATURES / NOV. 24, 2008

// CHLOEFISCHGRUND

A FAMILY AFFAIR East students discuss working with siblings in the family business // KATHLEENIRELAND

Sophomore Emily Morris is used to the restaurant business. She is used to her parents being gone at work long hours of the day. And she has been used to left-over restaurant food for the past 15 years. Morris and other East students like juniors Kelly Sabates and Doni Eilenberger have been involved in family businesses their whole lives. Ever since she was born, Morris has been a part of Adrian’s Café. Her father, Guy, had always had a love for cooking. He worked in a bakery during college and had treasured the experience ever since. “He was always cooking,” Morris said. He got the idea to start a restaurant in 1992, the year before Morris was born, after becoming bored with his current job. Guy bought a restaurant from a woman with his credit card and didn’t have enough money left over to change the name on the sign, so he decided to keep the name. Sabates has had previous experience with business in the family. Sabates Eye is the most well known of the various businesses in her family, and they are associated with a dentistry business. State Line Eye Care is the one Sabates is most involved with. Her father Manuel has worked at State Line Eye Care ever since his brother Roland Sabates established it about 18 years ago. Sabates’ grandfather sold jewelry while in Cuba, and jewelry was considered the same as eyewear because of what the two were made of. His sons studied optometry, creating an ideal setup for an eye business. Eilenberger’s father Paul created Eilenberger Automotive in 1996 with no previous business experience. His grandfather Leo had taught him a lot about cars when he was younger. Though Leo has passed away, Eilenberger feels that her father is reminded of him through the business. She would like to own her own business someday and values

the skills she has learned from her father. Unlike Eilenberger, Morris has had the opportunity to work along with her other siblings, which can sometimes be hard to deal with. All of Morris’s older brothers have helped out, at the restaurant including senior Grant. Though he works less consistently than Morris, Grant does basically the same work; except Morris says she complains less. They might help clean

the

These co are Cho okies from Ad ria co Chocola late Chip and n’s Cafe te Chip Sugar. T a coup le of th and Sugar co he okies a e most on sale r popula at Adria r cookie e n’s. s

up at the end of the day or even work the cash register and make sandwiches. “We get the easier jobs,” Morris said. She doesn’t work with her brothers often, but she said it can get pretty annoying being around them so often. The family has still formed a strong bond through working together. Most of Sabates’ family is involved in the eye care business. Everyone from her aunts,

SENIOR Grant Morris and his sister, sophomore Emily Morris, eat sandwiches they made at their restaurant owned by their family. Adrian’s is a cafe-style restaurant with two locations in Overland Park and Lenexa.

uncles and cousins work in the business, whether it is Sabates Eye or State Line Eye Care. Recently her sister, Rebecca, also announced her decision to study ophthalmology. She even feels the people who work at State Line Eye Care are a part of her family. They have known her since she was little and have watched her grow up. Eilenberger doesn’t spend as much time at the busiND

menu

ILA

//TAYLORHAV

orrises The M o say d t are prou ir soup that the en dehas be “legas scribed It is one endary.” Morris’s of the menu favorite their t items a n e d w o f a m il y t. restauran

ness as Sabates does, but she is currently enrolled in Auto Tech. She is not only interested in it because of her father but has developed a likeness for it herself. Her father would love for her to be a mechanic someday. “But the chances of that happening are pretty slim,” Eilenberger said. Morris has learned a lot of skills as well while working for her family. She’s learned business skills on how things are run, and

how to deal with unhappy customers like when they run out of items, a problem usually solved with a free cookie. She thinks having a family owned restaurant is much more interesting than working somewhere else because it’s such a large part of her life. Sabates has also had her hand in business help. If she ends up in the eye business she would like to be an Optician like her father. He has taught her some skills using machines, and she’s even made glasses before. But her father doesn’t necessarily go easy on her. He wants her to do her best and will make her redo something if he is convinced otherwise. He says she can succeed at anything if she works hard. And with a family owned business, come perks. In Sabates’ case, she gets free eye care whenever she needs it, though she does have to wait to go last if it’s not important. But she also enjoys the sense of family she gets whenever she visits. Morris’s favorite perks are working in such a relaxed, easy going atmosphere, and of course the free food though she’s gotten a little sick of eating the same food for 15 years. Friends also benefit from that part of the job, Morris said. But sometimes working for her parents can backfire. “I guess they have more of a right to get angry and bossy since I’m their daughter,” Morris said. Eilenberger enjoys getting free service on her Jeep whenever it’s needed, which is often. But whether it be free eye care, free car service, or even left over sandwiches, they all appreciate whatever they get out of being involved in a business. To them it’s about more than the perks. It’s about family.


T H A N K S G I V I N G I N

SAVE THE DATE!! The Shawnee Mission East Educational Excellence Fund

Want to advertise in the Harbinger? Contact us at smeharbinger@gmail.com or call us at 913-933-6688 for more information.

presents

FIESTA for EAST JANUARY 31, 2009 Milburn Country Club 7 PM to 11 PM

SME Parents, Staff, Teachers, Coaches and Friends Are Invited For A Casual Evening of Food and Fun!

3 D A Y S Go to our awardwinning website for more Harbinger exclusives! www.smeharbinger.net

Great Auction Items! Performances by SME Jazz Bands, The Blue Notes and The Blue Knights For more information, please contact:

Melissa Anthony mvanthony@sbcglobal.net 913-901-0110 Pam Olander pamolander@kc.rr.com 913-649-6388

Invitations will be mailed in January

GO EAST! For Sale Shawnee Mission East 50th Anniversary Cookbook 50 years of food & friendship

$20 Perfect For Holiday Giving

!! 950 Recipes !! Contact: Sharon Goble 913-722-0192 or jeffgoble@aol.com


To learn what’s in-style this winter for men, visit theHarbinger’s web site at www. smeharbinger.net

{MIXED

{

PAGE 16 MIXED / NOV. 24, 2008

the page about winter fashion

// ELIZABETHMCGRANAHAN

SCARVES

SIX WAYS TO WEAR SCARVES

This look is formal and classy. The scarf can be thrown over an evening outfit as a nice shawl, or it can cover the shoulders at a formal dance.

To get this double criss-cross look, take the scarf and wrap it around the back of your neck, then wrap it towards the front. Adjust it so it’s loose around your neck. It looks best with a shirt that doesn’t have a busy print.

JACKETS

Pea coats are always in fashion but can be pricey. This cropped pea coat at Old Navy is just as fashionable without the insane price tag. It costs $59.50 and comes in blue, red, black and gray. Cropping just below the waist, the coat comes fitted to flatter any figure. If you’re looking to stay fashionable on a budget, this is the coat for you.

SHOES

Drape the scarf around your neck and double-knot it at the middle. This looks best with a long jersey or cotton dress.

EMU Australia suede boots are a cheap alternative to the pricier Ugg brand. The boots are $69 at Macy’s and come in tan, blue or pink. They come complete with Australian Merino wool lining and stitched detail. Although these boots are cheaper, they will keep your feet just as cozy this winter. These boots are perfect if you want to look trendy but stay on a budget.

Double knot the scarf around the handles of your purse. It adds flare to your bag and prepares you for a cold breeze. Make sure the scarf matches with your outfit. //PATRICKMAYFIELD

// TYLERROSTE

‘Ugg’ly or Cute?

Simply drape the scarf evenly around your neck. It looks best when paired with a pea coat of some sort, since it is a simpler look.

COLORS

OF THE WINTER

Scarves are becoming more than an outdoors-only item. Lightweight scarves come in several patterns and styles at American Eagle for $19.50. They are so stylish and comfortable that they are actually meant to be worn inside as an accessory. The scarves are each 80 inches long, making them long enough to be worn in several ways. You’ll never run out of new ways to wear it!

BROWN

Students have mixed feelings over Ugg boots.

SOPHMORE PETER FRAZELL

JUNIOR MADDY RICH

SOPHMORE JENNA KAUFMAN

“Uggs are absolutly an eye-sore and I know that they absolutly reek.”

“I think Uggs are really comfortable, but I dont think they are an attractive shoe at all.”

“I love Uggs because their comfortable and they are fun to wear.”

This criss cross is a favorite. Fold the scarf in half, then stick the unfolded end of the scarf through the hole of the fold, and adjust. It looks best with all clothes as long as the colors match. GRAY

(Light, Medium and Dark)

//PATRICKMAYFIELD

BRIGHT BLUE

BLACK WITH WHITE

WORD OF THE ISSUE from The Daily Candy Lexicon: Words That Don’t Exist but Should {phony call} n.The call you make when you pray you’ll get someone’s voicemail. (I’ll phony call in sick when the boss is in a meeting.)

PURPLE


PAGE 17 A&E / ISSUE SEVEN

// starpulse.com

Rainy day remake

The Postmarks’ second album is full of covers that fail to make an impact and leave the listener thinking of a stormy day inside // DUNCANMcHENRY

Smiths are solid

Veteran band from the ’80s releases a worthwhile compilation // GRIFFINBUR

Listening to the Smiths is a little like going to the opera. Sometimes it’s enjoyable in spite of its melodrama. Sometimes it’s a little too much. Either way it feels like no one is listening to it. Their obscurity only half justifies the fact that “The Sound of the Smiths” is their third best of CD. But on the other hand, since few people have heard of them, it’s a good buy for new listeners. For those who haven’t heard them, the Smiths are one of the progenitors of indie rock. This isn’t an entirely good or bad thing. Both the best and worst of the genre can be found in the Smiths’ catalogue. For every innovative sound, there’s a failed experiment. For every cathartic piece of pop, there’s a maudlin misstep. Fortunately, they have enough successes to make at least one solid CD, namely this one. Johnny Marr’s guitar playing takes the best parts of ’60s jangle and transforms them into a distinctive sound. It echoes and reverberates but still drives the grandiose pop songs along. Bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce provide a spry, often dancey backing. Lead singer Morrissey is another yin-yang in the Smiths’ camp. He can be both their best and worst feature. While he has an undeniable wit, his penchant for melodrama and self-pity is occasionally inappropriate. More often, though, it fits but is just obnoxious. However, the man isn’t entirely one-dimensional. Songs like “Girlfriend in a Coma” prove that, even if it’s dark, he is capable of humor in songs. And while his vocals sometimes grate the way his words do, there’s no denying he has a heck of a voice. Most of all, though, he makes the Smiths sound the way they do. The disc starts off with “Hand in Glove.” Marr’s playing immediately jumps out with a great arpeggio riff. Joyce taps along while Rourke fluidly moves up and down the scale. Morrissey’s vocals showcase his occasionally odd style. He repeats certain phrases and sings in an almost operatic baritone but manages to make it work. It’s as good an introduction to the Smiths as any. “This Charming Man” is next, likely the band’s bestknown song. From the chiming guitar to the bouncing bass and drums, the backing is about as good as it gets. Morrissey’s voice, too, has rarely worked better than it does here. It’s hard to tell whether questioning lyrics like “Will nature make a man of me yet?” are sincere or overthe-top. But, the song’s frank appeal makes the question irrelevant. Despite a great five song start, the sixth, “William, It Was Really Nothing,” drags the album down. It’s a perfect

STAR SCALE | |Broken record|

example of when the Smiths don’t work- the backing is passable but Morrissey’s voice is bombastic. He’s moved from the pathetic boy of “Charming Man” to someone that’s hard to sympathize with. This song makes clear the fine line the Smiths tread between the schmaltz and the sublime. The next song, too, is unsuccessful. “How Soon is Now?” has an interesting echoing guitar part but the drums and bass get a little too hip for their own good. The dance aesthetic melds uncomfortably with some C&Wish guitar parts. By the time Morrissey comes in, it’s a messy, mediocre song. Fortunately, the disc picks back up with the soul inflected “Nowhere Fast.” Then, starting with “The Headmaster Ritual,” they hit their stride with six great songs. “Bigmouth Strikes Again” manages a bit of humor atop a great melody. “Panic” shows the Smiths being anthemic for once, with a happy-go-lucky “Hang the DJ” refrain. “Ask” takes a positive look at things for once. Morrissey’s voice is fairly reserved, giving the song an appealing sing-along quality. The disc’s ending leaves a little to be desired. “Shoplifters of the World Unite” and “Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me” could use shorter titles and play times. However, the inclusion of the concise, catchy “Girlfriend in a Coma” adds variety. Overall, “The Sound of the Smiths” provides a glimpse into an oft great band. Though their faults are displayed on the CD as well, the good outweighs the bad. Anyone with an interest in slightly off-the-wall pop would do well to pick up a copy.

|

WHO ARE...|

THE POSTMARKS Together with fellow multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Wilkins and singer/lyricist Tim Yehezkely, Christopher Moll crafts meticulously arranged, richly cinematic music with subtle nods to Bacharach, Brian Wilson, classic British indie and vintage French pop. Had The Sundays, and English alt-pop group, embraced a Baroque aesthetic, or Van Dyke Parks orchestrated an especially autumnal-sounding Françoise Hardy album, it might have sounded something like The Postmarks’ self-titled debut. // askmeaskmeaskme.com

// postmarks.com THE SMITHS The Smiths are made up of Mike Joyce, Johnny Marr, Steven Morrissey and Andy Rourke. In an intense five years between 1983 and 1987, The Smiths released almost 20 singles and seven albums, and are recognized by the critics as one of the most significant bands of the 1980s. It is difficult to believe that lead singer Morrissey has been a solo artist longer than two lifetimes of The Smiths, but his impact on the music industry declined significantly after 1987. “The Sound of the Smiths” is their third “Best of” album.

|Borrow at best|

Listening to the newest album from the Miami group The Postmarks entitled “By The Numbers,” I’m consistently reminded of one thing: a rainy day. By that I don’t mean the good kind, free of responsibility and full of indoor relaxation, but the kind where you’re stuck inside on spring break while your friends soak up the sun in Florida. Nearly every song conveys a feeling of loneliness and separation. On the album, the Postmarks attempt to cover a wide variety of genres and bands, from the Ramones to Bob Marley. By attempt, I actually mean fail. With few exceptions, the second album following their self-titled debut floats along with little inspiration or purpose in its somber, grey-skied tones. The band members sound tired or even depressed, at times seeming like the drummer and the guitarists are in a contest to see who can be quieter. Nearly every song features a repetitive mixture of ambience, and the high-pitched breathiness of front woman-with-a guy’s-name Tim Yehezkely. Along with Yehezkely, the group is comprised of all-around musician Jonathan Wilkins and composer/arranger Christopher Moll, who doesn’t seem to know the difference between composing a ballet score and an alternative rock album. On their first album, they sound like a simmered down version of the Shins with a female vocalist. On “By the Numbers,” however, the trio’s delicate indie sound just doesn’t work with the songs they cover. Instead of repeating the fresh and rhythmic sound of their first album, they manage to make even The Ramones sound boring. The worst offense comes with the remake of Marley’s song “Three Little Birds.” A background of two electric guitar chords is repeated throughout, over a monotone baseline. Yehezkely whines along in raspy tones, instantly giving hope-infused lyrics such as “Rise up this morning, smiled with the rising sun” a connotation of “I’d rather stay in bed, wake me when the sun goes down.” After listening, I felt something like anger mixed with disbelief at hearing such a masterpiece reduced to something unfit for elevator music. I can only hope that the Postmarks’ record label doesn’t ship to the Caribbean. The bore-fest doesn’t end there though. On the album’s last song “Pinball Number Count,” originally made popular by Sesame Street, Yehezkely lackadaisically counts from one to 12 for a whole minute and 53 seconds over a strummed guitar and pinball sound effects. Yes, you read that right. She counts for almost two minutes. I can’t think of any reason for the song, unless it is a nod to the fact that the album has 12 songs. It comes across as more of a lazy “Learn to Count” tape for pre-schoolers. In fact, lazy is a perfect word to describe the entire album. On each song, the band seems to pull at least one instrument from the original rendition, replacing it with a floaty synthesizer effect. Perfect for anyone who needs to get psyched for their next poetry club meeting, or who just feels like taking their self-pity to the next level. The sole bright spot to be found on the album is the tenth song originally by the surfer band The Ventures, “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue.” It’s the only song with no singing, and utilizes a reedy synthesizer melody over surf guitar chords. The song is definitely the odd one out in the bunch of dreamy, lethargic mishaps. It’s unclear to me why the Postmarks chose to do an album of cover songs for their second offering. I respect them for trying to make the songs their own, but anyone covering songs by such respected artists as Bob Marley, The Ramones and The Cure is better off not messing with them too much. If Metallica were to do a metal rendition of “Could You be Loved,” it would be destined to fail too.

|Worth buying |

| |

|Instant Classic


PAGE 18 A&E / NOV. 24, 2008

BRINGING BOND BACK ‘Quantum of Solace’ returns the series to classic form while delivering a great flick

// CELEBRITYWONDER.COM

// LANDONMCDONALD

STAR SCALE | |Stay home |

| Rental at best |

ALL

007OF THEM

// NICKLUCAS

“Quantum of Solace,” the newest 007 adventure, is everything a Bond movie should be. Beautiful girls, exotic locales and heart-stopping action are usually the only requirements for a successful rendezvous with the world’s best secret agent. But like its celebrated predecessor “Casino Royale,” this Bond dares to go for something more. It dares to imagine 007 as a person rather than a superhero wearing a tux, a real human being that feels love and loss and revenge. Every generation gets the Bond it deserves. This one gets Daniel Craig, possibly the best 007 since the great Sean Connery departed the franchise in 1971. Picking up about an hour after “Casino Royale” left off, the film follows Bond as he struggles to unravel the secrets of an evil organization known only as QUANTUM and their sinister link to the death of his beloved Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). His often brutal interrogations lead him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almaric), a faux environmentalist and QUANTUM underling who’s trying to stage a regime change in Bolivia in order to control the country’s valuable supply of fresh water. Is there a girl? There’s always a girl. Bond wastes no time in hooking up with the ravishing Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a dark-eyed beauty who uses her status as Greene’s mistress to get close to deposed dictator General Medrano (Joaquín Cosio), the sadistic butcher that murdered her entire family years earlier. Unlike most Bond girls, Camille is actually allowed a compelling story line and a few genuinely wellacted scenes, especially at the film’s fiery climax. Since she’s motivated by the same cold vengeance that fuels Bond, the two make for an ideal pairing. Like Eva Green’s Vesper in “Casino Royale,” Camille is more than just another pretty face. In fact, she gives the movie its broken heart. The movie’s only real flaws stem from director Marc Forster. All his previous films, like the poignant Will Ferrell dramedy “Stranger Than Fiction,” have been small-scale human dramas with little to offer in the way of car chases or gunplay. Simply put, Forster is not an action director. He can coax great performances out of his gifted cast but has far greater difficulty with his special effects. He’s way out of his depth here. Although “Quantum of Solace” boasts blistering bouts of hard-core action scenes, like the thrilling rock quarry chase at the film’s opening or the impressive aerial dogfight midway through, it’s often hard to tell what exactly is going on. This is mostly due to Forster’s obsession with kinetic quick-cuts, shaky-cams and other frenzied editing courtesy of “Bourne Supremacy” choreographer Dan Bradley, a man who must have the world’s worst case of ADHD. Thankfully the camera work finds its equilibrium soon after the half-hour mark and the film mercifully stabilizes.

While “Casino Royale” did a far better job at showcasing Craig’s acting ability and his character’s inner turmoil, this movie has a lot more fun with traditional Bond staples like the playful banter between Bond and his cold but maternal boss M (played once again by the outstanding Judi Dench) and a killer reference to the most famous scene in “Goldfinger.” The film also includes the welcome return of the original 007 theme music, something that had been sorely missed in the last outing. As a lifelong Bond fan, I can say with great certainty that Daniel Craig is without a doubt the closest we’ll ever get to 007 creator Ian Fleming’s original vision. If Bond was a real person in the real modern world, this is what he’d look like. Craig’s Bond is ruthless, even borderline psychotic in his quest for payback. If that seems odd, consider this: beyond all the charisma and witty one-liners, James Bond is a killer, an assassin for hire, a smooth-talking sociopath who just happens to work for the government. The main reason the audience still roots for him to succeed is the humanity Craig manages to retain within the character. You can see it in his eyes. They seem haunted and damaged, hardly words one would associate with James Bond. But it works here because Craig makes it work. I look forward to seeing where he takes the character in future installments. But what’s a good Bond movie without a good Bond villain? French performer Mathieu Almaric, a little guy known for playing shy and agreeable characters in art house fare like last year’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” gets in touch with his inner Dr. Evil here and clearly has a blast doing it. His sleazy tycoon Dominic Greene doesn’t get the benefit of a white cat or a cool scar, so Almaric must summon all his mirth and malice from within. He does an admirable job in the finest bug-eyed performance I’ve seen since the heady days of Peter Lorre (“Casablanca” and “M”). All in all, “Quantum of Solace” may not top the incredible franchise reboot that was “Casino Royale,” but it does an admirable job of adding new depth and dimension to one of the most familiar characters in pop culture. Critics, in all their trademark flippancy, are panning the film, calling it an unworthy follow-up that tries too hard to be like the “Bourne” trilogy. This simply isn’t true. It was Bourne that tried to be Bond, but all that series could come up with were three cool car chases and the amazing ability to beat somebody with a rolled-up magazine. Big whoop. 007 has endured for five decades and counting because there’s something about him that’s timeless and profound, something that every generation has tapped into and celebrated. Nobody does it better.

BARRY NELSON

The first-ever American James Bond on television. MOVIES: The made-for-TV “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

SEAN CONNERY

The first man to play James Bond in the movies, also said to be the best. MOVIES: ”Dr. No,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “You Only Live Twice,” “Thunderball,” “Goldfinger,” “From Russia With Love,” “Never Say Never Again.”

GEORGE LAZENBY

One-time Bond who had no acting experience prior to the movie and took Connery’s place. MOVIES: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

ROGER MOORE

Longest lasting Bond, who brought a more comical look to the character in the 1970’s. MOVIES: “A View To A Kill,” “Octopussy,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Moonraker,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “The Man With The Golden Gun,” “Live And Let Die.”

TIMOTHY DALTON

Broke Bond away from the comical era of Moore, and turned him into what we know today. MOVIES: “The Living Daylights,” “Licence To Kill.”

PIERCE BROSNAN

After being on the list for the next Bond since 1984, he finally landed the role in 1995. MOVIES: “Die Another Day,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “GoldenEye.”

DANIEL CRAIG

The current James Bond has won critical accolades for injecting the series with emotion and often brutal realism. MOVIES: “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace.”

| | |Worth seeing |

// BONDMOVIES.COM & CINAMATICAL.COM

|Instant Classic


PAGE 19 A&E / ISSUE SEVEN

OM

// MOVIEWEB.C

Comedic favorites Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd cast in new movie ‘Role Models’ prove the delivering of

Likeable and Laughable ‘Roles’ // LANDONMCDONALD

As bro-mantic comedies go, “Role Models” is about as good as it gets. In a year that has seen comedic mainstays like Seth Rogan and Mike Myers crash and burn in overindulgent garbage like “The Love Guru” and “Pineapple Express,” the world needs fresh laughter. Enter Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott, two extremely talented comedians who have been forced to play second banana for far too long. “Role Models” could be their ticket to long-awaited leading man status. “Role Models” features life-long slackers Wheeler (Scott) and Danny (Rudd), two overgrown adolescents that forgot to grow up after graduation. They talk like vulgar junior high kids and seem about as evolved. Wheeler and Danny spend their days hawking Minotaur energy drinks to unimpressed school children in a lame corporate attempt to get kids hooked

so you’re a fan of PAUL RUDD? A graduate of Shawnee Mission West, he’s taken to Hollywood but stays close to home with his love for the Chiefs. Check out some of the Kansas City native’s most prominent accomplishments out west:

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (CHUCK) OVER HER DEAD BODY (HENRY) WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY (JOHN LENNON) KNOCKED UP (PETE) VARIOUS ROLES IN EPISODES OF RENO 911! 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (DAVID) NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (DON) ANCHORMAN (BRIAN FANTANA) CLUELESS (JOSH)

STAR SCALE | |Stay home |

on something more toxic than most drugs. The jovial Wheeler loves the gig, especially the Minotaur suit he gets to wear during the presentations. But the cynical malcontent Danny dreams of something different. After one of his juvenile temper tantrums results in property damage and a defiled school mascot, Danny gets his wish when he and Wheeler are sentenced to 150 hours of community service. To avoid a nasty stint of jail time, the two dudes are instructed by Danny’s lawyer girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks, seemingly everywhere these days) to volunteer at a Big Brothers and Sisters-type organization called Sturdy Wings, a youth outreach group headed by the unbalanced Gayle Sweeney (the uproarious Jane Lynch), a perpetually recovering heroin addict. Sweeney assigns Wheeler to a motor-mouthed youngster by the name of Ronnie (Kansas City native Bobb’e J. Thompson), a petulant pain who knows more curse words than Danny and Wheeler combined. If you don’t find the concept of a nine year old using expletives funny, maybe this isn’t the movie for you. I personally found him exceedingly entertaining. Danny gets stuck with Augie Farks (Christopher MintzPlasse in a role that makes his McLovin character look normal by comparison), an uber-nerd who fancies himself a medieval warrior and dreams of noble conquest in the realm of LAIRE, a group of costumed geeks that battle each other with plastic swords in what looks like a more violent version of the KC Renaissance Festival. “Role Models” follows a path blazed years ago by Adam Sandler in movies like “Big Daddy” and “Eight Crazy Nights.” It goes a little something like this: slacker gets in trouble and gets stuck with oddball kid, slacker resents kid for a while, kid teaches slacker a life lesson, slacker and kid both emerge better for the experience. “Role Models” sticks to this formula to a fault but still manages to feel fun and original because of the strength of its

| Rental at best |

script and the talent of the cast performing it. The screenplay, co-written by Rudd and David Wain, isn’t perfect. It goes for cheap laughs and has no qualms about substituting the offensive for the inventive. But more often then not, the gags work and the jokes hit home. After years of stealing scenes in movies like “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “Knocked Up,” former SME student Paul Rudd is finally coming into his own as a comedic star. He endows Danny with the perfect amount of self-loathing and a buried sense of decency for the audience to revel in his dirty-minded audacity without scoffing too much at his predictable third-act redemption. Rudd has a sense of earnestness about him, an adaptable eagerness to entertain his audience that makes him very unlikely to ever get typecast in the hackneyed roles that currently hold back other funnymen like Will Ferrell (“Semi-Pro”) and Jim Carrey (the upcoming “Yes Man”). Rudd’s more of an everyman comic, someone who knows how to use subtle, situational humor to great effect. The other performance of note here comes not from Scott or Mintz-Plasse. They both rely way too much on retreating back into the roles that made them famous. I already know that Stifler from the “American Pie” movies and McLovin from “Superbad” are funny. I wish both these actors would show me something new instead of rehashing their greatest hits over and over again. No, the real reason to see this movie is Ken Jeong, who plays Augie’s mortal enemy on the LAIRE battlefront, the villainous King Argotron. Jeong steals every scene as a despotic mouth-breather who dispenses mindless insults and hysterical threats from his throne at the nearby Burger Hole restaurant. God bless this man. He is probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen in years. “Role Models” works primarily because Rudd and company are such extremely likable and accessible performers, people who obviously take a real joy in delivering quality work. There’s nothing ground-breaking here. Just serviceable, solid comedy delivered by people who know the medium well.

|Worth seeing |

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|Instant Classic


PAGE 20 SPORTS / NOV. 24, 2008

// Photo Illustration by: PAIGE CORNWELL

Having proven themselves the last four years, the swim team faces a deficit and plans to answer a burning question:

// CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE

Last season, ’08 graduate Levi Mische failed to win a single event at the Sunflower League meet. He went on to win four at the state meet. Mische performed to his capabilities. Graduate Brad Crist, despite having an International Baccalaureate workload put in multiple hours a day to practice and occasionally stick around afterwards to help teammates with their breaststroke technique. Crist finished first in that event when in counted. Crist performed to his capabilities. Now a swimmer at Depauw University, graduate Brogan Runion took the top of the podium for the butterfly heat in Topeka when he was a clear-cut favorite to do so. Runion, too, performed to his capabilities. Collectively, the three racked up All-American honors and individual titles. Without their teammates it wouldn’t have happened. Together, the team performed to its capabilities. But Mische, Crist and Runion are now gone. This is a different group of guys with different leaders. It’s seniors Spencer Sherard, Chad Allen, John Hart, Kyle Sitomer— the whole team’s turn and they will have to perform the way guys ahead of them have done. “I want to focus on that the team has realistic expectations. It’s their team,” Wright said. “It’s not the ’08 team, it’s not the ’07, it’s not the ’06. This is the ’09 and they don’t have the same expectations as those teams did, this is their opportunity.” No one knows that opportunity better than Sherard. His mom coaches the Homestead Country Club swim team, his father has served tours of duty in Africa and his sophomore sister, Dana, manages the team he leads. Swimming and staying strong are in his blood— this year is cut out for Sherard. Sherard didn’t want to swim in high school, he was a football player. His freshman year he qualified for state and didn’t receive a ring because of what year he was. Sherard was now a swimmer, and only having two doesn’t cut it for the kid who has won three. He needs another. “Once summer ended I started training a lot harder, like 5 practices a week,” Sherard said. “Now that high school season has started I’m back to normal practices.”

When he wasn’t in season, Sherard “I just wanted to get one point and that’s trained with the club team Kansas City Blaz- what 16th place got you. I threw it all into ers. Out of season meant long distance sets, gear at State so I wasn’t on the radar,” Allen and long distance sets can get to a kid who said. “I don’t think any of us will have that stresses over a race so much you’d think he advantage this year.” couldn’t dive. Some of his teammates call him Jet. Re“I hate when people talk to me before a gardless of his speed, his endurance kicked race because there’s so much stress. I can in and he hung even with the top freestylers think through a race maybe 20 times to men- in Kansas at the state meet in Topeka. This tally prepare myself, but it’s not the same year he plans on pulling ahead. thing,” Sherard said. “I am not looking forward to [practicing Not being the same thing can be good harder to get ahead]. It’s going to be horrible,” though. Since the high school season has Allen said with a laugh. “A lot, a lot of yards. started, Sherard is back to practicing more Swimming a lot of yards at practice.” Swimming all those yards at practice sprint-based sets with Wright. He says it’s an adjustment, but one that everyone has to starts with repetition. Repetition starts when you’re a freshman. For the guys who are now make. It’s nothing new, though. Adjusting is seniors, it was the likes of Brandon Barnds and John Cook they what has made I’m a firm believer that watched— two Allhim mentally tough for those times he tomorrow’s going to be better. If some- Americans who set the pace for the guys folstresses. thing bad happens, tomorrow’s going to lowing behind them. “When my dad “I think a lot of time was still in the act of be better. kids looked over at duty [my mom and -Coach Wiley Wright them and maybe they I] were separated a lot because she would go overseas,” Sherard weren’t feeling the greatest or weren’t doing said of growing up in a military family. “My well on a set,” Wright said. “Those guys, they parents, they don’t pamper very much. If we were watching were always, always giving get ourselves into a situation it’s our respon- 100 percent and they weren’t leaving early, they didn’t have excuses and they were just sibility to take care of it.” This coming from the swimmer who has great role models.” They showed the young guys what it won it all three times. It’d be tough to fail on meant to win, what it meant to have your the last try. graduation year hanging on a state champiAllen almost did. At the state meet last season, Allen was onship banner. Four years later, they’re now the last swimmer to qualify for finals in the in the position to do just that. “Seeing their passion for the sport made 500 freestyle race. Shaving 13 seconds off his time in preliminaries, he placed in a posi- us realize you can’t just lollygag your way tion that gave the boys enough points to put through it,” Hart said. His family has been a part of the swim team for six years and had a them over the top. One good heat can equal a 4-peat and it swimmer on each of the last four state chamwas arguably because of Allen stepping up pionship teams. “Kids realize that since we’re in that long distance bout that won the meet not guaranteed a state victory like we were in for the Lancers. It’s going to take all of that the past, we still need to try harder than we and more from Allen and his teammates to ever have.” So long as their opponents don’t get in make it five.

“”

Key Contributors Key Losses • Jack Walker • Jon Reene Seniors’ Performance at State:

• • • • •

Brogan Runion (1st 100 Butterfly, 6th 100 Backstroke) Jack Stalder (11th 50 Freestyle, 12th 100 Butterfly) Levi Mische (1st 100 Freestyle, 1st 50 Freestyle) Brad Crist (1st 100 Breaststroke, 3rd 100 Freestyle) Chris Hause (4th place, 1 meter diving)

• • • • •

Hunter Stevenson Chad Allen John Hart Peter Frazell Spencer Sherard

• • • • •

Jack Logan Clay Finley Collin Enger Kyle Sitomer Alex Bublitz

the way. The Lancers’ first test is on Dec. 6 against Olathe East— second place finishers in ‘08, first place favorites this year. “Depending on how we perform it will set the bar for our whole season,” senior Alex Bublitz said. “It’s going to build confidence in us, win or lose, because it will allow us to improve and build on what we have.” What they have so far is a group of seniors dedicated to winning, pushing themselves and the younger guys and upstanding a dynasty started when they were still in middle school. They’re not afraid to admit it’s going to be a longer race this year, but they still know they have it in them. “We don’t have captains and I always delegate that to the seniors because this is their opportunity. We’ve seen the seniors step up in the past and because it’s their last year, they’re the ones that rally the kids together,” Wright said. “They show a great example of what’s expected of them and I don’t see any drop-off in that leadership compared to some of the seniors of the past.” The whole team, not just the seniors, has put in the time, yards, wet towels and leaky goggles to get here. All they have to do is perform to their capabilities. “I think this year at the beginning of the season we don’t say ‘Oh we’re going to win state.’ Everyone is thinking that but we know Wiley says as long as you swim your best times and do your personal best we’re better off,” Sherard said. “If we win, we win. If we don’t, we don’t, but we know what we have to do to get it done.” They want to get it done just like last year. Just like the last 23 for Coach Wright. He began discussing his first day as coach when a voice came over the intercom. “Jenny Yemm please call 36601, Jenny Yemm please call 36601,” it babbled over his voice. “I’m a firm believer that tomorrow’s going to be better,” he continued after the interruption. “If something bad happens, tomorrow’s going to be better.” Nothing can penetrate the passion and devotion he instills in his swimmers. They have taken his words and guidance to heart. They have won it all. It’s what happens when you perform to your capabilities. Nothing gets in the way of four state championship rings.


PAGE 21 SPORTS / ISSUE SEVEN

STRIKINGHIS WAY TO STATE Deceased uncle inspires senior to qualify for bowling state this year // MELISSAMCKITTRICK

The ball looks simple enough. It’s green and dark blue tie-dye. Sixteen solid pounds, weighted so that it gently curves when thrown. The finger holes are drilled to fit the length of his fingers and the width of his hand. The white rubber finger grips hand-glued inside of the holes, contour to the shape of his fingers. Bought after last season, it’s a fairly new bowling ball with barely any scratches. Still, something’s not right. Senior Curtis Wells walks over to the ball rack and rotates his bowling ball until he can see the initials: C.L. for Curtis Lindeman Wells. R.L. for Rob Lindeman, Wells’ uncle. The writing’s in sight. Everything is perfect. He’s ready to bowl. “[Before I bowl], I kind of think about my uncle, who taught me everything about how to bowl,” Wells said. “We would…go bowling every weekend.” When Wells was in grade-school, his uncle was middle-aged and selfemployed. Bowling was the glue that bound them, the common thread that kept them coming back to the same worn-out alley, day after day, month after month, year after year. When his uncle died at 43, Wells took a break from bowling – it brought up too many memories. Now, his senior year, Wells wants to qualify for and place at state by remembering his uncle and everything he taught him. Bowling, then school. That’s always been the order. For Wells and his uncle, school just didn’t cut it when there were scores to be taken and pins to be toppled. “Basically, it was the idea of the dedication of bowling,” Wells said. “Bowling came before school.” ‘Before school’ didn’t mean pre-dawn practices. It meant prioritizing. Praying for snow-days. Calling in to miss work. Skipping grade-school classes or rushing out afterwards. All for the love of the lane. Wells and his uncle would play weatherman, predicting if it would snow enough to cancel classes. They would guess in secret, planning bowling trips before they even saw a cloud or felt the air. Wells’ mother, Kathy, describes her brother as a big kid who loved having fun with his nephew. “When I heard it was a snow-day, I’d call him in the morning.” Wells said. “He’d be awake.” The pair would go to McDonald’s for biscuits and scrambled eggs then head over to the caddy-corner Ranchmart Lanes. The lanes opened at 10 a.m.; they would bowl from then until noon. It was at Ranchmart that Wells ribbed his uncle about gutter balls and low scores. It was there that Wells threw countless strikes, spares and gutter-balls. It was there, on a Saturday morning, that Wells won the jackpot. “It was one of the machines where

you put a quarter in and it shoots in the holes,” Wells said. “I remember hitting the jackpot, and it shot out like 500 tickets.” Immediately after, Wells hit a jackpot of an entirely different sort. After hearing his uncle talk about goals for 200 games and 600 series, Wells bowled his first 200 game. He stepped onto the wood, his 500 jackpot tickets still crisp at his side, and swung the ball. Spares followed spares, and strikes followed strikes – the marks formed a wonderful pattern across the score chart. “I guess it’s like if you’re 16 and you get a new car,” Wells said. “We were pretty excited that day.” It was the first time Wells beat his uncle. The next year, Ranchmart closed. When his uncle died several months later in an “untimely death,” Wells stopped bowling. He needed a break, so he avoided the lanes for several years. “I’m sure every time he was in the bowling alley it reminded him of Uncle Rob,” Kathy said. When he heard that East was starting a bowling team, Wells couldn’t stay away. His freshman and sophomore years he averaged mid 100’s – acceptable, but nowhere close to state-qualifying scores, which Wells estimates are low 200’s. “I kind of took a couple of years off and lost everything, so I had to gain it back,” Wells said. “It was like starting over: trying to figure out how to throw a strike ball, how to find my mark.” Then, he hit 200 towards the end of sophomore year. Six years after hitting that jackpot, Wells had all his skills back. He had something else, too: the memory of his uncle. “I knew that my uncle believed in me,” Wells said. “If my uncle believed in me, then I believed in him. Whenever I thought about him I bowled really well, so I started thinking about him every time that I bowled.” During junior-year tryouts, Wells started averaging 180s. That was when it clicked: he started to take the sport seriously again and look towards the future. He knew he had a career bowling at East, but that wasn’t all that he wanted. Six years after that first 200 game, Wells has a new goal in mind: He wants to go to State. An off-game at Regionals last year kept him out, but this year he knows he’s ready. He’s in a bowling league with sophomore Ali Dees, an individual qualifier from last year. Dees explained that to make it to State, you have to place in the top eight or ten at Regionals. Wells’ goal is an average of 205 points throughout the year. His average right now is in the 190’s – so close. With SME bowling-coach Patti Kennedy focusing on individual technique and practice time,

Well s will have the lane time and the skills to get there. “Since every bowler is unique in their style, we like to work with each individual separately in order to improve their game,” Kennedy said. Wells talked with Kennedy after last year, telling her that he was training in the off-season. Kennedy says that Wells told her point-blank he’s going to state. She believes him. He’s got the approach down and the swing. He knows how to make his ball react and curve where he wants it to go. He rarely throws gutter balls. And he’s had years of Ranchmart training to get the tricky footwork down. Senior Whitney Kraft has also been on the team all four years. She said that, for many bowlers, footwork is the most important part of bowling. “Your approach is kind of the backbone to how you throw [the ball],” Kraft said. Wells also has a backbone of an entirely different sort. He has years of practice and technique learned at the now-vacant Ranchmart Lanes. He has memories of bowling with his uncle, laughing and competing, to get him through rough matches. And, just maybe, he has something else on his side. It all comes back to that ball with the initials. The green and dark blue tie-dye with white finger grips. The ball weighted to curve, yet designed so that it won’t hook at sharp angles. It’s supposed to go

SENIOR Curtis Wells practices for bowling tryouts Jan. 1,2 and 3. He tries to bowl every weekend to stay on top of his game.

// CCCREIDENBERG

straight or gently arc. But sometimes, it just doesn’t. “It’s apparently not supposed to hook,” Wells said. “But out of the blue I can get it to hook at a 90 degree angle. It comes back at a hard, hard hook.” If he stands on the far left of the lane and throws to the far right, the ball returns. It’s like the right angle of a square, or a boomerang thrown far away but always making it home. For Wells, bowling just keeps on coming back.


PAGE 22 SPORTS / NOV. 10, 2008

LASTING

After expulsion from Bishop Miege, senior Michael Perez plans on developing a

// CCCREIDENBERG

IMPRESSION // JEFFRUTHERFORD

It was wrestling legend Dan Gable that said, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” Those words are close to the heart of senior Michael Perez. They’re words he has practically lived by, words that truly apply to his story. Father is in out of jail through early childhood, making him man of the house at just 13. Expelled from the high school at which he dreamed of doing something great. Piecing his future back together in a new environment. And using his talent on the mat to drive and motivate him the whole way. Perez first stepped onto a wrestling mat over ten years ago. He was at Bishop Miege watching wrestling when his older brother came up to him and told them that there was a kid’s practice going on downstairs. “I went downstairs to watch and that’s all it took,” Perez said. “Ever since then, I’ve been wrestling. And growing up through the sport without a father has made me who I am.” Growing up with four other siblings, Perez’s father was in and out of prison. The only father figure he had was his older brother Louis, but he left home when Perez was a young teen. “When I was 13 he joined the Marines,” Perez said. “So at that point I became the man of the house. Wrestling made me strong enough to be able to do that.” He was also trying to be a good model for his fouryear-old nephew. It was a tough thing for him to do, and he knows he should have done a better job. “Having people look up to you at a young age was really hard,” Perez said. “My nephew still says ‘I wanna be just like my uncle Michael.’ Using drugs when I was young wasn’t being a good role model.” Perez’s character wasn’t the only thing that grew during his youth wrestling career. His trophy collection did as well. He won the first tournament he ever wrestled in, and after only wrestling for a year, took sixth place at state in the 8-Under 70 lb. division. At 14, Perez was a kid’s state champion at 130 lbs. “I went in ranked fourth and wasn’t expected to win it at all,” Perez said. “I beat the number one kid in the state, Ryan Holden, who’s now a high school state champ, so it was just a shock after I won, almost unreal.” Perez proceeded to become a two-time letterman at Miege, qualified for high school state and, after his sophomore year, placed fourth in kid’s state in the 16-Under 145 pound division. Everything was going great as Perez entered his junior year. He planned on placing in high school state, gaining him recognition from colleges all across the country, and doing it all as a Miege Stag. But on one fall day, part of that dream seemed to fall to pieces. “I got called out of class with a friend,” Perez said. “I was talking to him on the way down to the office and I

said ‘it’s always scary getting called to the office you don’t know if you’re getting busted.’ This time I was.” Perez was asked to sit down in the SRO’s office. He thought of the little bit of pot he had in his car. Homecoming was the weekend before, and he remembered he had left it in there. It wasn’t that much though, so he stayed cool and was prepared to hear what ever was coming. But as Perez sat down in front of his principal he was told that they had searched his car and had found the marijuana. Perez knew exactly was going to happen. He waited by himself as he thought about wrestling practice after school until the Roeland Park police arrived, handcuffed him and escorted him out of the school. “Ms. Kenniston, the attendance clerk, was crying when they took me away,” Perez said. “She was really close to our family and she knew all my older siblings that had gone to Miege.” While all of this was going on, one thing was in the back of Perez’s mind: his wrestling career at Miege. “It was the first day of open mats and all I wanted to do was go wrestle and act like nothing happened,” Perez said. “Miege was a big part of my life. All I wanted to do was wrestle for Miege since I was little.” But that part of Perez’s dream was slowly disappearing. He didn’t go to practice that night. And he was never going to put on a Miege singlet again. He knew he had really let his teammates down, but he felt that he had especially disappointed his coaches. Junior Patrick Cervantes, Bishop Miege wrestler and close friend of Perez, remembers the day Perez was kicked out. He was shocked. “Mike was one of our best wrestlers,” Cervantes said. “When I heard, I felt like all the other wrestlers and coaches did. It was a mixture of being sad, mad and disappointed.” It was over a month before the school board actually made their ruling on his case. Perez was kicked out. He was out of school the entire time, during which point he focused on his family and tried to come to terms with having to change schools. Walt Woofter, Perez’s youth coach and close family friend, spoke with his mother a lot during his hiatus from school. “Walt talked my mom into having me go to East,” Perez said. “Plus, I couldn’t get into any other schools until second semester.” But soon after, he had new classes and was walking the halls of East. He had to do his best to put his mistakes behind him. “My first day at East was all right,” Perez said. “Going from an average sized Catholic school, knowing everyone to a big public school and knowing a few people was hard… the only people I knew were some of the wrestlers.” Once again, Perez turned to wrestling. He was ready to use it was an outlet, as he had done many times before. It was still a very important year for him, a year to prove himself to college scouts and the rest of his new teammates. But Perez was set back once again when he

met with athletic director Gary Howard. “He said I couldn’t wrestle varsity but I could wrestle JV,” Perez said. “I thought to myself ‘there goes any chance at scholarships.’ I was going to place at state. There was no one to stop me, but I stopped myself.” Coach Ufford remembers checking into Perez’s eligibility as he made his switch to East. But because of the way in which he transferred, Ufford knew this season may not work out. “I was excited to have him at the school because he did great as a sophomore,” Ufford said, “but when we learned he wasn’t eligible, we both agreed that his grades and getting his life back together was what he needed to focus on.” Perez still showed up to practice the next day. He didn’t want to lose his touch and was ready to help the JV wrestlers improve. But the difficulty with grades soon caught up with him. He chose to stop going to practice and focus on school, to make sure that he was eligible for this year. He just didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize his senior season. In February, Perez returned to the sport, and he came back like a true champion. With nothing more than a few practices under him and his competitive spirit he placed sixth at Liberty Nationals, earning him All-American status and starting the next 12 months of his life. “I felt like I was back,” Perez said. “It was right around the time as high school state, and so I kind of felt like it was state.” Perez continued to keep himself on the mat through the spring, and in the summer, for the first time, he felt like a Lancer wrestler, attending camps as he furthered his relationship with the team. “I went to the Mizzou team camp and did real well,” Perez said. “I was already good friends with a few guys, but the trip really made me feel like a big part of the team. I was ready for the winter.” But Perez isn’t ready to think about anything past this year’s state tournament. He wants to focus on this season, maintain his trademark confidence and do it all his way. “I am going to place at state this year, you best believe that,” Perez said with a laugh. “And I’m gonna push my teammates to do the same. But after that I don’t know. I just wanna do my best this year…wrestling and my girl are all I think about.” He shares his confidence with the rest of the team. He believes this year’s team can be just as good as last year’s, if not better. “A lot of people say this is a rebuilding year after losing the seniors and state placers,” Perez said, “but I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it again. I know we’re going to shock some people this year.” Perez said he had a story to tell. One that shows the events that have made him who he is. He wants to accomplish some big things. “I look back at all the things I’ve been through,” Perez said, “and it just makes me know that whatever I gotta do, I can get it done. I’m the only one that can stop me.”


>> a winter wonderland

PAGE 23 SPORTS / ISSUE SEVEN

Senior Curtis Wells is as determined as ever to do well after a tough performance at Regionals last year kept him from going to the state competition. Averaging a score of around 200, Wells highlights a solid group of bowlers that includes senior Whitney Kraft and sophomore Ali Dees who qualified for state last season. Wells and Dees are in the same bowling league and have put in many hours at the lanes in the off-season. Bowling tryouts start Dec. 6 at AMF West. Biggest competitions of the regular season: Baker Invitational, SM East Tri

// SALLYDRAP

>> bowling

E

Following the success of fall teams, a new season is on the horizon as East slowly turns into...

// SAMKOVZAN

>> boys’ swimming

// EMILYBRANDMEYER

The quest for a fifth straight state championship will be the hardest yet for East. They will get a pretty good idea of whether a fifth straight state title is reachable when they visit Olathe East for the first meet of the season. Having consistently fallen short against the Lancers in the state competition, Olathe East will be eager to knock off a team that has handled them the last four seasons. An experienced group of seniors including Spencer Sherard and Chad Allen will assume the responsibilities of leading the squad to another highly successful season. Although this may not be coach Wiley Wright’s most talented team, expect East to remain at or near the top of Kansas 6A by the time state competition rolls around. Biggest meets of the regular season: at Olathe East (Dec. 6), SM East Invitational (Dec. 15), at Topeka Invitational (Jan. 27).

>> wrestling

In the span of three seasons as head coach, Chip Ufford has transformed East’s wrestling program into a legitimate state contender. After the team became regional champions and placed fourth at state last year, Ufford was named Sunflower League and Regional Coach of the Year. Michael Perez, a senior who transferred from Bishop Miege last year, is ranked second in the state at 145 pounds and will push for an individual state title. His varsity experience at Miege helps strengthen a squad that also includes junior Tanner Johnson, a two-time state qualifier. Johnson is fifth in the preseason state rankings at 140 pounds. Biggest meets of the regular season: Johnson County Classic (Dec. 19-20 at Blue Valley), Bobcat Invitational (Jan. 16-17 at Basehor), SM District meet (Feb. 6 at SM West).

// KARENBOOMER

>> girls’ basketball >> boys’ basketball

Sports panel the

Losing the 2008 Sunflower League Player of the Year isn’t easy, but a strong senior class will look to make up for the absence of Michael McRoberts and keep the basketball team very competitive in Kansas 6A. Returning starters Winn Clark, Marcus Webb and Charlie Ludington highlight a senior-laden team that also includes forwards Jack Slaughter and Curran Darling. Having accumulated 36 wins the last two seasons, head coach Shawn Hair no longer has a go-to star like he did in the past with McRoberts and J.D. Christie. But what he does have is well-balanced team with many experienced players capable of stepping up. This could be just what it takes for post-season success. Biggest games of the regular season: vs. SM South (Dec. 5), vs. Lee’s Summit West (Dec. 20- HyVee Shootout at Avila), at Rockhurst (Jan. 30).

// ANNALEEK

The aggressive trap-defense implemented by head coach Rick Rhoades paid dividends last season as the girls’ basketball team completed their most successful season in a decade. Falling just short of a state tournament appearance last year, East still has a portion of last year’s team returning. Junior Janna Graf was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder as a sophomore and is sure to impress again in 2008-09. Graf- along with returning seniors Libby Jandl, Christina Davis and Natalie Parsons- will hope to finally take the Lady Lancers beyond the sub-state final, a game that has been a thorn in the side of East in recent years. Biggest games of the regular season: vs. SM South (Dec. 15), vs. Liberty (Dec.19- HyVee Shootout at Avila), at Shawnee Mission West (Feb. 3).

// KARENBOOMER

// SALLYDRAPE

Giving you the heads up on the sporting down low Boys’Basketball vs. SM South

Boys’ Swim Team @ Olathe East

College Football: Kansas vs. Missouri

Over/Under: Three Chiefs’ victories

2008 Winter Sports Stud

SM East

SM East

Missouri

Under

Spencer Sherrard

sam logan

SM East

SM East

Kansas

Push

Charlie Ludington

SM East

SM East

Kansas

Under

Winn Clark

andrew goble cam smith


PAGE 24 PHOTO ESSAY / NOV. 24, 2008

DODGING for

DONATIONS

A school dodgeball tournament was held earlier this month in the East gym to help donate canned goods to the Village Food Pantry

ABOVE: Seniors Matt Moedritzer and Gordon Smith rush to be the first to grab dodgeballs for the their team, Ball Knocking Anigavs. Each team had its own designated name and some teams wore home made jerseys and T-shirts. // TYLERROSTE LEFT: Seniors Grant Morris and Aaron Kauffman dispute a call, while watching from the sidelines. // TYLERROSTE

FAR ABOVE: After winning the tournament, the teachers pose for a group picture after their victory over the team, Lock for the Rock. The final two student teams battled it out and the winner had the opportunity to play the teachers for the ultimate title. // MACKENZIEWYLIE ABOVE: Freshman Jack Kovarik throws a ball down court. The dodgeball tournament started out with a bracket of 40 teams in which each team advanced through its wins, but was knocked out with a loss. // TYLERROSTE RIGHT: Seniors Cara Heneger and Amy Esselman sit off on the sidelines in the middle of a match. “Ref-ing was really fun this year,” Esselman said. “We ordered nice jerseys that made everything seem more official, and plus, it was really fun to just be able to hang out with everyone.” In addition to all the fun, over 12 boxes full of canned green beans and other assorted canned goods (two cans were required for entry per player) were collected and donated. // MACKENZIEWYLIE

Issue 7  

NOV. 24, 2008 Continued on page 20 SAMLOGAN // Just like last year, when they won the state championship. Just like the three sea- sons befo...

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