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THE HARBINGER Shawnee Mission East l 7500 Mission Road, PV KS, 66208 l April 1, 2013 l Issue 13 l www.smeharbinger.net

H G U O R H T G N I T CUT

The Harbinger addresses the issue of self-harming at East written by Katie Knight

photo illustration by Stefano Byer

Junior Reagan Woods* was prepared. She knew Pascal’s triangle. She’d memorized the equation of a circle. She knew how to find the conjugate. This Algebra 2 test would be the easiest thing she’d done all week. But, for some unknown reason, once she sat down and began her test, she froze. Her heart pounded. She broke out in sweat. What is this? She thought. No. Okay, I know this. Wait, is that a circle or an ellipse? S---, I know this stuff, what the hell am I doing? As her test anxiety grows, thoughts of everything that had ever caused her anxiety flooded her head as well — starving people, dying animals. And in the midst of all the chaos, she gave up. Her mind went blank; she had failed. Disappointed in herself, Woods skipped her next class,

headed home and went straight for the bathroom. She closed the door, pulled out the Xacto knife blade hidden in her phone case and began. She starts at her rib cage — nobody will check there. Then, she switches to her hip right below her bone. She presses until she draws blood and continues down her leg. She digs the blade in, farther than she’s ever gone before. Tomorrow, she will hide the fresh cuts under a new shirt. And though it may feel like it, she’s not the only student at East hiding scars. * * * According to East counselor and social worker Becky Wiseman, students come into her office about self harming issues often enough to know that it is a prevalent problem. Wiseman says there are countless reasons for teenagers to

harm themselves; some students face underlying family problems at home or issues with self image that cause depression. Others constantly feel stress and anxiety because of the increasingly high expectations for teenagers. All in all, there is no universal diagnosis or treatment, and that is what Wiseman thinks makes it a tricky issue to treat. “There is no straight shot when it comes to self harm; I do think [the motivation to harm] is truly different for every person,” Wiseman said. “Sometimes there’s some self punishment in it. Sometimes there’s some relief if someone is feeling incredibly anxious or upset with themselves, or frustrated with a situation.”

continued on page 19

*Name changed to protect identity


2 | NEWS

DO YOU KNOW THE NEWS?

THE WEEK IN PHOTOS

Take this quiz and find out.

1. Which celebrity was accused of battery and threats by his neighbor?

THE NEWS BRIEFS

A. Justin Bieber B. Charlie Sheen C. Channing Tatum

April 1, 2013

written by Maggie McGannon

art by Miranda Gibbs

Above: Senior Emma Meara plays guitar and sings at Coalition’s annual Love146 benefit concert.

photo by AnnaMarie Oakley

KNEE HOCKEY CLUB FOUNDED If ecology or comic book club aren’t quite your calling, one of the newest East additions may be right for you. Knee Hockey Club was started this semester by two brothers, freshman Bhavish and sophomore Akshay Dinakar. The club meets after school every Wednesday in room 509 until 3:40 p.m. “There is a junior in my Precalc and physics class who knew that my brother and I had a knee hockey set at home, he would always ask me if we could play,” Akshay said. “[We] decided one day to turn the club into a reality. We probably started thinking seriously about starting the club

right after winter break.” Within the upcoming weeks the club members are planning on increasing their publicity in hopes of raising the number of members. The club is sponsored by Spanish teacher Jennifer Holder and has been a great success. They have had three meetings and nearly 1520 students have joined in. Club meetings consist of knee hockey games and snacks. The brothers see the club as a great way to meet other students and get more involved in East activities. They hope other schools will start their own knee hockey clubs, allowing for the different clubs to compete against each other.

Above: Sophomore Breanna Rowe helps Briarwood Elementary students make rain sticks with National Art Honors Society.

MUNICH MADRID HAMBURG CAYMAN ISL BRINGELAND SEVILLA WELLINGTON ON N

JFK JKK DLH LGI FDE IBE BAW LGI LH

06 18 32 14 09 27 20 34

13:54 14:01 13:55 13:55 14:00 14:10 14:10 14:20 14:12

the pain we feel,” Luke’s father, Ryan Bresette, wrote Saturday on Facebook. The incident happened in a new part of the airport that opened March 13. The opening followed a $201 million modernization effort. Albert Osorio, a witness, told the local Birmingham newspaper that the sign appeared to have been attached to the wall “only with liquid nails.” In an interview with the Kansas City Star,“The whole thing flipped down on those kids,” Osorio said. “It took all of us here to stand it back up. Everybody started screaming.”

SUPREME COURT GAY-RIGHTS DEBATE The Supreme Court began their debate over whether gay couples have the constitutional right to marry on March 26. The case was brought up as a result of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Justices may choose to rule widely by overruling Proposition 8, resulting in the removal of any gay marriage laws in the other 50 states. The justices also may decide that their decision over Proposition 8 will not affect anyone other than California citizens. For instance, justices may come to the conclusion that Proposition 8 will withstand in California and continue to leave the decision up to

other individual states. A major topic examines the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of benefits that straight married couples receive. Undoubtedly, supporters on both sides of the subject are emotionally stirred by the decisions being made. Large crowds gathered outside the Supreme Court waving signs and shouting to support their beliefs. If justices feel a decision is coming about too quickly, they may vote to dismiss the case. According to the Washington Post, the Supreme Court is aware of the sensitive issue they are debating.

A. North Korea B. Cuba C. Iran 4. Which golfer won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, returning to the number one ranking? A.Josh Teater B. Tiger Woods C. Jordan Spieth 5. What was the name given to the latest snow snorm that hit the Kansas City.

OVERLAND PARK BOY DIES IN ACCIDENT

Traveling home from Destin in the Alab a m a Birmingham- Shuttlesworth International Airport, a heavy display board crashed down fatally injuring an Overland Park family. Ten-year-old Luke Bresette was killed when the 300 to 400 pound sign fell on top of him on Friday, March 22. Three other family members were injured during the accident. Luke’s mother was still in critical conditions multiple days after the accident. Luke’s two younger brothers did not sustain threatening injuries. “Words cannot describe

A. 4 B. 5 C. 6 3. Which country issued new threats to American military bases last week?

photo by Leah O’Connor

BIRMINGHAM INTERNATIONAL 14:20 14:20 14:25 14:25 14:30 :30

2. How many JJ’s employees filed lawsuits in reaction to the fatal explosion that occured in March?

Above: Freshman Ashley Ritchie and sophomore Tyler Armer perform during senior Hannah Dahlor’s frequent friday, “Theory of the Mind.”

photo by Katie Sgroi

photo by Kathryn Jones

A. Winter Storm Titan B. Winter Storm Helen C. Winter Storm Virgil 6. Which East team will have a new coach next year? A. Girl’s Basketball B. Boy’s Swim and Dive C. Boy’s Basketball Answers

Above: Junior Brian Phillips consults with seniors Hannah Bautz and Polly Haun at a Categories compeition.

For the answers scan this QR code.

photo by Marisa Walton

THIS WEEK’S TOP THREE TRENDS EQUAL SIGNS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY Scroll down your Facebook news feed and you will most likely see that a handful of your friends have changed their profile picture to equal signs in support of marriage equality.

MARCH MADNESS Better check your bracket pool, the majority of students’ brackets are not doing too hot with all the upsets during the NCAA tournament this year.

LILY PULITZER DRESSES FOR EASTER Yesterday several East girls donned their best Lily Pulitzer dresses in celebration of Easter.


NEW CHALLENGES, NEW SUPERINTENDENT written by Matt Hanson

Shawnee Mission School District’s new superintendent has only one thing on his agenda: to wait, observe and listen until he feels comfortable setting a specific agenda for his new job. “I have an agenda and my agenda is engaging the community in this process of me asking questions and listening to them,” Dr. Jim Hinson said. “They’re helping me guide this school district.” Dr. Hinson, who will replace retiring superintendent Dr. Gene Johnson, will make an effort to engage constituents, employees and other members of the SMSD community to help him get an understanding of his new district and the problems it faces. He has already been made aware of some key issues. “I’ve heard a lot of different things from folks already,” Dr. Hinson said. “Certainly we’re going to have to address school finance and what’s going on with the budget. I’m aware in parts of the school district there are some changes in demographics and that’s something that we need to look into.” Dr. Hinson’s first area of concern has plagued the district and most public school districts in the state for several years. Declining enrollment and state debt have forced SMSD to make extensive budget cuts in the past three years, cutting more than $28 million and 356.5 full-time equivalent positions (FTE) from the district. The cuts could get worse. According to East teacher and

National Education Association Executive Board representative Linda Sieck, the financial future of Kansas schools is still uncertain while the state budget is still being debated. “School finance will be huge,” Sieck said. “I can’t say for sure that schools are safe [from budget cuts] until the new budget passes.” Dr. Hinson has dealt with difficult fiscal times in eduI think the right thing to do cation before. In his is to question and listen time in Indepento anyone who wants to dence, he ushered his provide their input. district from similar financial struggles to Dr. Jim Hinson fiscal stability. “I had the opportunity to go through a school budget where I’ve had to make significant cuts in expenditures and look for ways to generate revenue,” Dr. Hinson said. “I’ve unfortunately had to make some very difficult decisions in the past to right the ship if you will financially for a school district, so I know how that process works.” While Dr. Hinson didn’t give a specific course of action for tackling SMSD’s fiscal problems, he does have a general idea of where to start. For now, his first actions will involve analysis

“ ”

NEWS | 3 With the school district facing problems, new superintendent plans to listen to constituents before taking action

and investigation. “I’m assuming that the SMSD is efficient now but I’m gonna be looking at them very carefully to make sure that we’re spending every penny that we have efficiently,” he said. “At the same time, looking into tapping different revenue streams is a possibility. And then ultimately, you have to look into the state of funding in Kansas and see how much that impacts what’s going on in the Shawnee Mission School District.” Dr. Hinson will also have to face changing demographics in his new district, specifically, declining enrollment. Since 2008, the district has lost 529 high school students. That may not sound like much, but to building administrators like East associate principal John McKinney, that’s cause enough for concern. “The biggest concern in the district right now... it’s enrollment,” McKinney said. “Enrollment equals jobs. We’ve got to sell the district.” But Dr. Hinson insists that he has no set agenda to address these problems yet. His only objective is to listen and learn. “I think it’s a leadership mistake for a young leader to come in and say ‘We’re gonna change a lot of things right away. These things are wrong,’” he said. “I think the right thing to do is to question and listen to anyone who wants to provide their input.”


4| NEWS

none of that

AZZ

As the band program loses funding, the jazz section will be cut

written by Mike Thibodeau and Megan McAlister Juniors and members of the Blue Notes Jazz Band, Ross Commerford and Mary Grekstas walk in front of the crowd like they do for every concert. Tonight, though, it is different. This isn’t a concert — it’s a school board meeting. They don’t have their instruments — they have speeches. But they’re not playing for Jazz fans — they’re fighting for East’s band program, which is under the threat of budget cuts next year. The Shawnee Mission School board is considering a number of proposals which would cut funding to East’s Jazz bands. At the school board meeting on March 11, students and parents argued against the proposed cuts which have been introduced due to a projected decrease in enrollment in the Jazz band for the 2013-14 school year. However band members and their parents are arguing that the projected numbers do not reflect the actual enrollment for next year as it does not include the statistically high band enrollment in middle schools in the district. Associate Principal John McKinney and other faculty have refused to comment. The cuts will directly affect the Band director’s position by taking it from full-time down to part-time. The band members have immediately recognized the importance of having a full time band director. This would leave the Jazz band with two options. The first would be to completely cut the lower ensemble, the Blue Notes. “It’s like a football team, if their JV team got cut,” Junior and member of the Blue Knights Noah Eidemiller said. “Their [varsity] team would suffer immensely.” The second option would be to combine the two ensembles into one hour, taught by the same teacher. “You can’t cover all of your material in 20 minutes,” Eidemiller said. “ You can maybe cover one song or two. For most concerts we do four or five songs. We could do four or five songs but they wouldn’t be to the level that we’re used to and they wouldn’t be very good.” “We do so much throughout the season, and a lot of this isn’t scheduled at the beginning of the year,” Grekstas said in her speech to the school board. “Sometimes, like our basketball team going to state, we have two days to get that ready. The director is necessary throughout the days to see that we have a good successful band there to rep-

TIMELINE OF JAZZ COMPETITIONS

resent our school and our district wherever we go.” Above: Senior Claire Tracy stands Kim Harrison, the with fellow band members to current band director protest at the board meeting. at East, was not able to comment on the phonic or classical band. issue due to his employment through the district. “Even though it’s two different styles of music, Jazz and In their attempts to save the band, members have start- classical, playing either one helps you with both,” Dannov ed a petition hoping to gather 1,000 signatures. said. “Playing classical helps you with Jazz, and Jazz helps “The main goal of the petition was just to show [the you with classical. Two of our best players in [symphonic school board] that other people are interested in this,” band] are also in Jazz Band. Not having that would make Commerford said. “We reached our goal of 1,000 signa- those players worse in future years, which would bring tures, and we’ve actually surpassed that.” down the rest of the band.” Members have also started a Facebook group called Plus, Harrison works with more than just the Jazz and “Save the Shawnee Mission East Jazz Band” with current symphonic bands. and former Jazz band members with the same goal in The cuts in the band would not only affect the band’s mind: to preserve the band program for present and future quality, but also the people in the band. It’s much more members. than just music, Commerford believes, the music is a way “What Harrison has taught me with Jazz has helped to connect them to the school and to the history of Kansas me so much,” Noah Eidemiller said. “I just want to see the City. younger generations get to experience the same things “[Jazz], in many cases, has been called a language,” that I did and everyone else here did.” Commerford said. “It’s a big part of our culture today. KanBoth the Blue Knights and the Blue Notes have been sas City and the surrounding area is a Mecca for Jazz and recognized for their superior musical skill. The Blue Notes music. We’re one of the musical capitals in the country recently won their division at the Drury Jazz Festival in and the world honestly. The music program at East and Springfield, Mo. The Blue Knights have also been able to the fine arts program at East is something the district achieve higher success, being invited to the Duke Elling- prides in. It’s a very big part of the school and the district, ton Festival in New York. The Duke Ellington Festival and we would just hate to see that go away.” hosts a very small handful of schools from both America A huge community is backing the Jazz band, including and Canada. The Blue Knights are the only school in Kan- multiple alumni. A few of them have become professional sas to ever be invited to it. Many band members believe musicians, but for all of them the Jazz band was a huge that with the cuts, this success would stop. part of their high school experience. “Taking it down to only one class would be very det“After that first year playing with the Blue Notes Jazz rimental,” sophomore and member of the Blue Notes Band, I knew that I fell in love with it, that it was going Michael Dannov said. “You’d see fading quality of all of to be a part of my life, for the rest of my life,” said former the bands, especially of the Jazz band. After a few years, band member and current junior at K-State Cameron Roit wouldn’t be nearly as good as it used to be because bles at the district meeting. “So I just wanted to say thank people wouldn’t be able to get experience before they got you and please don’t destroy the Jazz band.” launched into [the Blue Knights].” Cuts to the band director, would affect more than just the Jazz band. These cuts will also be felt by East’s sym-

BAKER JAZZ FEST Superior | 2013

UMKC JAZZ FEST 1st place | 2012 DUKE ELLINGTON FEST nearly accepted | 2012

DRURY JAZZ FEST 1st and 2nd | 2013


6 | EDITORIAL

E

very student in the Shawnee Mission School district is required to have at least two physical education classes in order to graduate. At East, 957 of these students participate in an after school sport, but are still required to take two gym classes. If a student is putting time and effort into a sport, then it should be considered the same as physical education class. Students should be given the option to waive a gym credit if they are an active participant in a high school sport. Regular and vigorous participation in physical activity and the ability to understand tactics and concepts of sports are part of the curriculum for physical education classes. Along with the physical aspect, participation, appropriate behavior and appropriate actions during activities are included in the curriculum. All of these skills and concepts are easily taught and learned by playing any of the sports offered at East. Any sport at East requires both social and physical participation. This includes good sportsmanship, the ability to follow rules and guidelines, and the skills required to play that sport. If parents or administrators are worried about the level or amount of physical activity a student is receiving, then a gym class is not the answer. A study over the nutrition and physical activity of Kansas public schools by the Kansas Health Institute showed that high school students are active for less than three quarters of a physical education class period. The participation in a high school physical education class drops from the elementary and middle school level. Also the exposure to and interest in taking a gym class drops once a student reaches high school. The amount of time committed to an after school sport is greater than in gym class. A majority of sports practice about five days a week

for at least an hour and half, and then compete in one to two games throughout the week. An athlete at East puts in roughly 10 hours a week, whereas a physical education class is about four hours a week, only if the full 50 minute class period is used for activities. A policy like this would require certain guidelines and requirements to make sure that a student is participating in a sport to their full capability. A coach or supervisor would have to sign off in order for a student to use that season as a physical education credit. T F CRESDEIS L An after school sport is an A H W NE YM COUR extracurricular activity that G a student is not required to parfootbaletbal bask ming ticipate in to graduate. If a student swim l decides that they wanted or needed softba to take a physical education class, the school should still offer a selection of gym classes. But schools would not need the same number of classes or teachers, which would save East money and other resources. More than half of East is involved in an after school sport, but all of these student-athletes have to set aside time in their schedule to take a class that has similar skills and concepts to the sport or sports they play. This is a waste of not only time but also resources for the student and the school. The option of using a high school sport as a physical education credit is a more logical and effective way to involve East students in daily physical activity but also teach important skills to live a healthy life.

DoingD uble THE HARBINGER a publication of Shawnee Mission East high school 7500 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208

Editors-in-Chief Anne Willman Chloe Stradinger Assistant Editors Andrew McKittrick Katie Knight Art & Design Editor Paige Hess Managing Editor Jennifer Rorie Head Copy Editor Matt Hanson Assistant Head Copy Editor Sarah Berger Copy Editors Anne Willman Chloe Stradinger Andrew McKittrick Katie Knight Erin Reilly Morgan Twibell Sarah Berger Matt Hanson Julia Poe Jennifer Rorie Sophie Tulp Grace Heitmann Morgan Krakow Ads Manager Sophie Tulp Circulation Manager Greta Nepstad

STAFF 2012-2013

Editorial Section Editor Jennifer Rorie Editorial Board Chloe Stradinger Andrew McKittrick Anne Willman Jennifer Rorie Katie Knight Grace Heitmann Matt Hanson Julia Poe Kim Hoedel Duncan MacLachlan Sarah Berger Sami Walter Morgan Krakow Staff Writers Mike Thibodeau Emily Perkins Rock Caroline Kohring Michael Kraske Susannah Mitchell Taylor Bell Tommy Sherk New Section Editor Sarah Berger News Page Designer Julia Seiden Opinion Section Editor Kim Hoedel Opinion Page Designers Greta Nepstad Morgan Krakow

Shawnee Mission should start to accept participation in sports for gym credits because the same principles are taught

SME

EDITORIAL BOARD VOTES

FOR AGAINST ABSENT

13 0 0

art by Miranda Gibbs

The Harbinger is a student run publication. The contents and views are produced solely by the staff and do not represent the Shawnee Mission School DIstrict, East faculty or school administration.

Feature Section Editor Hannah Ratliff Feature Page Editors Maddie Hise Pauline Werner Will Oakley Caroline Kohring A&E Section Editor Tiernan Shank A&E Page Designer Megan McAlister Sports Section Editor Mitch Kaskie Sports Page Designers G.J. Melia Sam Pottenger Grace Heitmann Co-Spread Editors Morgan Twibell Leah Pack Freelance Page Editors Phoebe Aguiar Sophie Tulp Alex Goldman Maggie McGannon James Simmons Audrey Danciger Business and Circulation Manager Greta Nepstad Social Media Director Mattie German

Staff Artists Emily Perkins Rock Hailey Hughes Paloma Gustafson-ika Photo Editors Jake Crandall Caroline Creidenberg Assistant Photo Editor Maddie Schoemann Staff Photographers Erin Reilly Neely Atha Taylor Anderson Stefano Byer Tessa Polaschek Alexa Young Molly Gasal Annie Savage Leah O’connor Kathryn Jones Connor Woodson Hayden Roste Meghan Shirling Katie Sgroi Hailey Hughes Online Editors-in-Chief Sami Walter Duncan MacLachlan Assistant Online Editors Julia Poe Zoe Brian Head Online Copy Editors Jennifer Rorie

Vanessa Daves Multimedia Editor Dalton Boehm Convergence Editor Erin Reilly News Editor Pauline Werner Online Photo Editors Marisa Walton McKenzie Swanson Assistant Online Photo Editors AnnaMarie Oakley Paloma Garcia Video Editor Nathan Walker Live Broadcast Editors Andrew McKittrick Jack Stevens Homegrown Editor Maxx Lamb Opinion Editor Taylor Bell A&E Editor Morgan Krakow Sports Section Editors Alex Goldman Mitch Kaskie Blogs Editor Taylor Bell Podcast and Radio Editor Thomas Allen

Eastipedia Editor Susannah Mitchell Interactive Designers James Simmons Will Oakley Anchors Kyle Winston Joe Bahr Morgan Twibell G.J. Melia Tessa Polaschek Mitch Kaskie Annie Foster Webmasters Chris Denniston Jack Stevens Multimedia Staff Dalton Boehm Chris Denniston Maxx Lamb Kathryn Jones Nick Miriani Jack Stevens Mattie Germann Emily Perkins Rock AnnaMarie Oakley Tessa Polaschek Will Brownlee Sophie Mitchell Annie Foster Adviser Dow Tate

Letters to the editor may be sent to room 521 or smeharbinger@gmail.com. Letters may be edited for clarity, length, libel and mechanics and accepted or rejected at the editors’ discretion.


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Tune in to hear Lancer News, entertainment, opinions and more.


OPINION | 8

STAFF PRANKSTER GIVES TIPS FOR APRIL FOOLS DAY ON WAYS TO:

PR ANK LIKE A PRO written by Morgan Twibell

photo by Jake Crandall

SALT ON THE TOOTHBRUSH Really, this prank is self-explanatory and is one of the simplest pranks out there. Just put salt on the prankee’s toothbrush and wait for them to start brushing. If you can’t be in the room to see their reaction, I suggest putting a recording device in the corner of the room so you can get the footage after the prank is pulled and re-watch the persons gnarly expression over and over. Let’s just say it won’t be pretty.

THE MOVING DOLLAR BILL This is one of the oldest pranks in the book: the magical moving dollar bill. This trick works best outdoors. Subtly attach a dollar bill to the end of a little string or fishing line. Wait behind a wall or bush for someone to try and grab the dollar off the ground. As soon as they are reaching for it, move it just an inch away from them, and keep doing this as they try to capture the dollar bill. This prank is sure to drive the prankee berzerk.

RUBBERBAND FAUCET The good ole rubberband on the faucet trick: a classic. Before someone in your family goes to wash their hands or do the dishes, try this one out. Put a rubber band around the nozzle of the sink. This will cause the water to sporadically spray the next unlucky person who turns on the sink.

BUCKET OF MARBLES This is one of the more advanced pranks on my list — you have to be a true prankster to go to the lengths required to pull this one off. First, find a bucket and some marbles. Any sized bucket will do. Once you’ve filled the bucket up, set it on top of one of the blades of the ceiling fans in your living room or common family area. Make sure you put a shirt over the bucket to disguise it and right as your family member goes to turn the fan on — BOOM! Marbles go flying everywhere.

PRANK CALL The prank call is essential at all slumber parties. I believe that everyone has pulled a prank call once or twice in their life. Prank calling is the most lenient prank out there, ranging from the “is your refrigerator running? Well you better go get it!” to the “hello, your 40 barrels of mustard are ready for pickup.” Prank calling will allow you to do the prank and keep your identity secret — just don’t forget to dial *67 first.

MISSING PHONE We teenagers now-a-days are always glued to our phones, so it’s a stomach-dropping moment when you realize your phone is missing. Steal your friend’s phone and tape it underneath a table or chair, but make sure the ringer is turned on. Then start calling them while keeping your phone hidden. This will drive them nuts when they realize that it is their phone ringing and it is nowhere to be found.

MAYO OR LOTION? For some odd reason that I will never understand, most people hate mayonnaise. I, for one, think it’s fantastic, but that’s beside the point. This prank is pretty self explanatory and always has people freaking out. All you have to do is take a bottle of lotion, empty it out and fill it with mayo. I suggest you tell the person you are pranking that their face is looking dry to prompt them to lather up. Much to their surprise, they will not be smelling lavender, lotion-y goodness, but like rich, creamy mayonnaise. Mmm.

SARAN WRAP TOILET This prank is one of the more “dirty” pranks — and I mean that literally. To successfully pull off this prank all you need is a toilet, some saran wrap and a person who you have been dying to prank. If you are wanting to do this prank at school, make sure no one is around in the bathroom when you are executing it or else they will know it was you. Go into the stalls, lift up the toilet seat and securely place saran wrap around the bowl. Once you have done this, wait around in the bathroom for your victim to come in. When they sit down to do their business, they’ll be — well, let’s leave that to your imagination.


OPINION | 9

remember the

SENIORS

Sociology teacher weighs in on senior class reputation

VICKI ARNDT-HELGESEN

sociology teacher

2013

2013

STATE

CHAMPIONS

GIRLS’ TENNIS

DRILL TEAM NATIONALS

1

STATE

CHAMPIONS GIRLS’ GOLF

QUALIFIED

13

STATE

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

SENIOR

S

REGIONAL CHAMPIONS

2ND PLACE

SENIO

4TH PLACE

20

STATE

9 RS

TO NATIONALS

ST

FOOTBALL

FORENSICS

BOYS’ SWIMMING

WRESTLING 14 STATE QUALIFIERS

BOYS’ SOCCER

PLAYOFFS ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12

In terms of engaging with ideas, the students that I taught as juniors, the seniors that I have are among the best in terms of discussion, wanting to explore ideas and wanting to extend. My classes last year became very good learning communities that helped one another

Senior expresses his feelings about the positive legacy the senior class will leave behind

an opinion of Mitch Kaskie It seems like every Monday morning I’ve walked into school, hearing another story about how the seniors... I’ll stop there. You know this story. You’ve heard it from your parents, your teachers and the administration. It’s been in this publication and it’s been chanted at us by other schools. Just to remind you, it goes something like this: With 28 drug and alcohol contracts broken this year, the seniors have embarrassed our school, tainted their legacy as the class of ‘13 and lost trust with our administrators. They’ve had the the Marketing 2 New York Trip, Drill Team/Cheer Ball and basic trust taken away from the underclassmen. Overall they’ve embarrassed East. That’s what has been labeled on us. That’s our story, isn’t it? I disagree. There are 456 students in the class of 2013 — 456 kids who have been committed to their athletics, academics and extracurriculars. Twenty-eight students are just a fraction of that, and their mistakes shouldn’t be a permanent reputation for our class. But that’s what the administration and the community has made it. Since the year began, the administration has put their hammer down harder than before, making even more controversy over

Minor in Possessions (MIPs). And when there’s controversy, the community loves to take it to heart. The tweets begin to fly, the talk goes around and eventually a stereotype is made for a group of people. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve made mistakes -- a lot of the mistakes. Sometimes we take advantage of our privileges and get out of control. We still have to take responsibility for our actions and breaking the law. At SME I’ve made some of my best memories and created friendships that will forever. We’ve accomplished more than any class I can think of. But the community, our classmates and our peers have forgotten all of that in the fog of the MIP. Well, before you tell me that our class sucks, let me remind you what the seniors of 2013 have done for this school. I might as well recap since we will be gone in just a couple of months. We will start with athletics. The boys’ soccer team had 20 seniors on the team this year. The team recorded the most wins in East history, became two time KAMO Tournament champions, won regionals and finished fourth at state. The East football team made playoffs all four years that our class has been here. We won the Sunflower League Championship in 2011 and completed a sweep of the Olathe schools for the first time in school history this season. Our girls’ golf team won state for the first time in 25 years behind the leadership of senior Anne Willman. Our girls’ tennis team also won state. The boys’ basketball team won the most games ever in school history be-

hind nine seniors, also known as the ‘the fine nine.’ The team made a journey to state and finished fourth. The wrestling team qualified all 14 wrestlers for state for this first time in school history, the Lancer Dancers won the national tournament for their jazz dance and the swim team took second at state. And we haven’t even begun spring sports yet. But athletics isn’t the only area in which we excel. The Forensics team won first in sweepstakes out of over 20 schools and qualified 13 students to National Catholic Forensics League Nationals in Philadelphia. Just a couple of weeks ago the categories team took 3rd in the area. Our band and orchestra have multiple state members. And never forget, we gave you Sports Pics. Most of all, I saw an entire community come together with the death of our classmate Tyler Rathbun. I saw the senior class open their hearts in comfort for each other. The support continues today. Everyday I wake up wanting to come to this school just to see my fellow seniors. Our class is welcoming and warm to others. I’ve made so memories here and as a class we’ve accomplished so much. Forgive the seniors for the mistakes which most of you have likely made, and remember them for the good. Not something as small in the course of life as an MIP.

Whether we talk drill team, cheerleaders, journalism, all those places, these are people who are visible. With that there is a certain type of responsibility. You hear pro athletes not wanting to do role-modeling, but you are by your very nature: you represent the whole. They become the arbiters of what is correct and good and what is the way east students are perceived. They are visible.

I hate that word, being “popular”, but people who are perceived to have that -- do we see people getting away with it? People walking in late, people who have the perception of ‘hey, this is my place.’ I’m sounding pejorative and I say that loving this place dearly but understanding, that in the long run, it belittles us.

The willingness to take ideas and even to just throw things out and extend that. I find that a real strength of the students that I have taught in your class; that engagement and ‘what if’ thinking. I think the classroom leadership has been great. My classes last year became very good learning communities that helped one another.


James T. Hise

Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Private Wealth Advisor Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

444 W. 47th Street, Suite 500 Kansas City, MO 64112 816-932-9908 Direct 816-359-3166 Fax

james_hise@ml.com http://pwa.mil.com/HOWEHISELOWRY


OPINION | 11

the

Google GENERATION finds a

voice

on Twitter on Facebook on Instagram

an opinion of Morgan Krakow

Staffer explains the power of social media and the impact it can make

I’m growing up in a different world. It’s different from my parents’ world, vastly different from my grandparents’ world. I get my news from Twitter. I keep up with old friends on Facebook. My phone, with a bunch of apps to make life easier, is always at my side. I am a member of the tech generation. I am a member of the iPod, Skype, Instagram, UrbanSpoon Generation. We’re growing up in a generation that has more access to the world than any other group of people in history. One moment a man in Tunisia has set himself on fire in front of the capitol building. His story goes viral. Photos captured on mobile phones, and reactions to the event, swarm the internet. The next minute, the Arab world explodes with protest, with revolution. Change is at our fingertips. The rapid-fire revolution of the Arab Spring is proof of that. We are the most globally connected group of young people to ever walk this earth. Suddenly, everything is moving at lightspeed. Celebrities get famous faster, news spreads quicker. Now it’s seconds, not minutes. Hours not days. Just last week, as the marriage rights of gay and lesbian couples were debated in the Supreme Court, social media lit up with support for the gay rights movement. The youth of our country have been overwhelmingly supportive of marriage equality for all, an idea that 15 years ago was thought to be outrageous and impossible. It used to take decades for changes in society to fully catch on. Nowadays, progressive ideas like marriage equality explode in popularity overnight. Last year a war crimi-

Web

Images

nal in Uganda, Joseph Kony, was virtually unheard of, along with all the victims he had kidnapped and murdered, until a half-hour video made by the organization Invisible Children went viral overnight. As a teenager growing up in a world bursting at the seams with technological innovation, I’m almost a little intimidated by the power I have. Suddenly we all have voices that can actually be heard. A 140 character tweet can be retweeted an infinite number of times. Our two to three sentence ideas can be read by thousands of people. Social media has become one of the most effective ways of reaching people. And guess who is so fluent in it that we could probably Facebook someone blindfolded? That’s right, Generation Google. Us. But we have to be careful not to abuse it. Too many kids don’t take it seriously. Immaturity, and the ability to be anonymous make our parents doubt the power of the internet. I frequently get the cliche speech about social media from adults. It’s a waste of time. What’s the point? It is our responsibility to show the importance of social media and technology by using it appropriately. We’re slated as the helpless, needy generation. Our eyes are glued to our phones. We’re draining our brains on Bike Race and Temple Run. We don’t get outside as much. We text instead of calling people. We’re losing human interactions. I beg to differ. Not only are we getting things faster, learning information at a rate unheard before computers. We’re

Maps

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developing our voices. We’re bouncing ideas off each other. We are plugged into a network of critics, cynics, optimists. We are plugged into the network of everyone, and we’re learning. We’re learning about the world, and we’re doing it quickly. We aren’t so bad at this whole tech thing either. Just two weeks ago Yahoo! bought an app from a teenager for millions of dollars. This tech explosion is so woven into our basic framework of life, that crazy as it sounds, our phone addictions might be working for the better. Although I will always advocate to set down the devices and take a nice stroll every once in awhile, I disagree that technology is doing us harm. But for me to be right, we just have to use it right. The change we wish to see in the world can suddenly be illustrated to others. We have a voice. So keep on tweeting. We are learning the effectiveness of our words, what people respond to, what they don’t. Since we now have the power, we need to go out of our ways to use it. Don’t be silent. Don’t be irrelevant. Voice your passions, and gain feedback. We are ourselves behind a screen, just as we should be at all times. Follow new and interesting people on Twitter to gain perspective. Take a few minutes and read something interesting. Read things you agree with, things you disagree with. If we take advantage of this technological gift the universe has given us, we will be an unstoppable force.

Search tools

A few ways to broaden your technological horizons:

Who to Follow: @HuffPostImpact www.twitter.com/HuffPostImpact

Follow this account to get news on a more impactful level. Learn about change makers and stories that will inspire you to do better.

Who to Look Up: END IT Movement www.enditmovement.com

Take the pledge to help end slavery around the world. END IT Movement shows you ways to effectively illustrate your cause through social media.

What to Download: The CNN App www.CNN.com

Get notifications for breaking news. Watch news programs live. Download to stay up to date on the world.


PROUDLY SUPPORTING SME LANCERS

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brothers in HARMONY

14|FEATURES

Akshay and Bhavish Dinakar share a common bond in their love of classical music

photo illustrations by AnnaMarie Oakley

BHAVISH AND AKSHAY’S

MUSICAL STATS

• favorite songs to play include Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and “Dance of the Goblins” • also plays jazz piano • favorite composer is Tchaikovsky

written by Sarah Berger

Sophomore Akshay Dinakar breaths a sigh of relief as he turns in his Chemistry 2 test. After sitting back down in his seat and smoothing down his ruffled up hair, the girl next to him congratulates him. At first he is confused, not knowing what she is talking about. “Congratulations on making the National Youth Orchestra!” That’s when it hits him. Out of hundreds of other violinists around the country, he has been selected for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra. Making the orchestra isn’t just an honor; it’s an opportunity. As the prestigious Carnegie Hall brags through its website: these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world and serve as dynamic musical ambassadors. Akshay sprints out of Mr. Ogdon’s class, running down the fourth floor hallway, unable to process all the thoughts racing around his head ranging from joy to panic. He made the age cut off date for the symphony by two days, and he was one of 30 chosen. What am I going to do? I’m going somewhere, I’m traveling the world! Thoughts are still swirling through his head as he runs to his dad waiting in his gold Honda Odyssey at the front circle drive to pick him. He climbs into the car and can’t find any words, all he can do is look at his dad who is trying to hide the grin on his face. Knowing exactly what his dad is thinking, Akshay’s thoughts sink in and his smile just gets larger, not leaving his face the entire car ride home. * * * Music has been a part of Akshay and his younger brother, Bhavish’s lives since before they were born. The brothers heard classical music for the first time when their dad, Deendayal Dinakarpandian, played it for them while they were still in the womb. The brothers started playing the violin when Akshay was four-years-old and Bhavish was three and a half. Dinakarpandian grew up in India and started learning about Indian classical music when he was 20-years-old while he still lived in the country. He also plays the violin

• favorite song to play is “Autumn Leaves” • also plays the clarinet • favorite composers are Astor Piazzolla and Antonio Carlos Jobim along with several other instruments. Dinakarpandian decided to get his sons involved in music as well because he believed it would benefit the development of their minds. “[Music is] almost a core skill or talent you need to handle stress in life,” Dinakarpandian said.

I want to go to London. That just seems like a cool place and there is a lot of interesting architecture there.

Sophomore Akshay Dinakar

In their 12 years of playing, Akshay and Bhavish have performed styles ranging from country to rock. They enjoy playing the violin because it is one of the few instruments they can play several different styles on. They also have the ability to play several pieces by different composers ranging from the melodies Mozart to the numerous sounds of Coldplay’s music. They can play classic pieces by Bartok to the twangy notes of Garth Brooks songs. Their ears are so used to processing music they can pick up on almost any song just by listening to it once on YouTube. Both of the brothers enjoy playing jazz, one of their favorite pieces being Autumn Leaves with a piano in the background. After hearing him play at a jazz camp a few years ago, local jazz artist Bobby Watson took a special interest in Akshay because according to Knight, it is rare to see a violinist playing jazz. Watson came to the Dinakar house a couple times, giving Akshay and Bhavish lessons in jazz and helping them find venues they can play at. “[Watson] really liked me and he’s a great person with a wonderful personality,” Akshay said. “He’s just a really cool guy.” The brothers practice the violin every day. Their practices last for half an hour to an hour. According to Dinakar-

pandian, a short practice for an hour is much better than an unfocused four-hour practice. During these short practices Akshay and Bhavish make sure to focus on one or two pieces rather than just playing freely. According to Bhavish this can get very repetitive. “Sometimes it gets really annoying because it’s playing the same thing over and over again by some guy that’s dead,” Bhavish said. Akshay and Bhavish usually start practicing a piece about six months before they ever perform it. All the practice is a way to ensure that everything from timing to pitch will be perfect during their performance, but even then the Dinakar brothers are never guaranteed a perfect performance. Factors like pitch are often unpredictable. This happened to Akshay a few years ago at the Topeka Symphony Competition, one of the only competitions he has ever competed in. He had been practicing his piece every day for two or three months, he was ready to perform. He had put in the preparation but as soon as he stepped on stage, his violin went out of tune, ruining his performance. “It was just a big mess,” Akshay said. The Topeka Symphony performance might not have been Akshay’s best performance, but he did not let it hold him back from performing again. He still continues to practice every day along with Bhavish. Both of the brothers try to make every performance the best it can be despite unpredictable elements. They also rely heavily on their parents’ support. Their dad’s education in Indian classical music helps Akshay and Bhavish learn new pieces. In addition to knowing the music, Dinakarpandian’s doctoral degree and knowledge of the human body helps him give tips on playing posture and projection to his sons in order to improve their performances. “[My dad] kind of knows everything,” Akshay said. Their mom, Chrita Dinakar, also helps them by playing the role of general manager. Although she does not teach her sons any music, she makes sure everything from competition performances to communication with their violin teacher is running smoothly. “She’s as important as any actual music teacher would be,” Akshay said. Akshay and Bhavish also believe that their parents are the not the stereotypical “tiger parents” that some people would assume them to be. Although they do help their sons play the violin, they do not pressure them about grades or push them into too many academic activities. “They want to me practice a lot of stuff [on the violin], but they say its really not about winning, its about the journey,” Bhavish explained. Bhavish even uses his knowledge of violin and other aspects of music that his parents taught him to help him with his hardest class, Honors Pre-Calculus. He uses the same rhythms and counting beats in his head to change fractions and bases in his math homework. Akshay also believes that violin helps him with one of his key interests, architecture. He uses the structures of musical forms and streams of melodies to understand how buildings are constructed and how they fit together. He hopes to build on that interest this summer as a member of the Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra. Along with playing the violin in cities all over the world accompanied by 30 of the nation’s best violinists, Akshay is looking forward to seeing famous buildings and landmarks. He is specifically looking forward to traveling to London. “I want to go to London. That just seems like a cool place and there is a lot of interesting architecture there,” Akshay said. Those three weeks this summer will just be another step in Akshay and Bhavish’s journey with music. Although they do not want pursue music as a career, they know it will always be a part of theirs lives, acting as a common bond.


written by Susannah Mitchell

Debate was never sophomore Ali Dastjerdi’s first choice. When he was an incoming freshman, he had signed up for a programming class at East. His counselor told him that wouldn’t work with his schedule, so he signed up for his first alternative: Beginning Debate. At first, Ali hated it. Public speaking was hard, and he thought he would fail. He was even afraid of debate until he finished his first tournament, where he took first place. That first win gave him confidence, and from then on he loved it. He loves the competition and developing new ideas. Debate connects him with what he’s passionate about: politics, argumentation and foreign policy. And through debating about foreign policy, debate also connects with him his heritage. To win a debate, debaters argue about what matters. In a debate, what matters is the impact. Impacts usually involve different scenarios and problems, and it’s what debaters argue about. An impact can be anything. “Iran first strike on Isreal.” “Israel first strike Iran retaliation.” “Proliferation causes Iran nuke war.” Ali’s family is from Iran. His parents, Mohammad Dastjerdi and Arezou Heshmati were both born in Tehran, Iran’s capital. When Mohammad and Arezou were children in Iran, the country was in the midst of a grand Westernization. In the early 19th century, Iran was becoming more Westernized and adapting more aspects of European and American cultures. “It was very much like a normal Western childhood,” Arezou said. “After the revolution, the country was a mess, but I eventually, along with all other people, adapted.” During its Westernization, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi led Iran. After he was overthrown in the revolution of 1979, Islamist leader Ayatollah Khomeini became the Supreme Leader. In 1996, Mohammad and Arezou moved to Michigan to get their degrees in cornea and sleep specialties. The family moved back to Iran with Ali in 2003, having never intended on staying in the US. Ali was six. * * * Ali’s family owns a bookshelf; it’s where they keep a collection of ethnic art and souvenirs from around the world -- Ali’s favorite part of the shelf is a collection of light blue plates. Porcelain and handpainted from Iran. The plates bring him back to the time he spent in Iran as a child. To the Iranian bazaars, dark and crowded and filled with art. They were damp and unpleasant, but Ali didn’t mind. He loved it. He remembers going to the Shrine of Hafez in Shiraz, a historical city in Iran. He remembers eating polludeh, a Shiraz dessert with tapioca noodles and rose water syrup. He remembers the orange trees and the gardens around the poet Hafez’s tomb, and the fortune tellers there with birds that were trained to pick out a poem of Hafez’s that would be a fortune. Of course, the birds never listened to the fortune tellers. And that was part of the fun. * * * Life in Iran was basically the same for Ali as it is in America: he would wake up in the morning and Arezou would drive him to school. Half of his day was spent learning in Farsi, and the other half in English. Then he would go home, play and watch TV before doing his homework. He lived like any typical American child would, only in another country. When Ali’s family moved back to America, he

FEATURE | 15 was in the third grade. While the other students in his class studied English grammar, it was problematic for Ali. Sentence structures were foreign. After two years of Western schooling in Iran, even remembering the words for “fire alarm” were difficult. School was a struggle. The only thing Ali excelled at was math; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Math is universal, and Ali is a logical thinker. Ali’s family had settled in Boston at first so that Mohammad could do research for Harvard University. After four years, the family moved to Kansas so that his dad could work for the University of Kansas Medical Center and his mom for Children’s Mercy. Ali enrolled at Mission Valley Middle School and then at East. Life went on. * * * For Ali, discrimination has never really been an issue. People never directly insulted him, and if they did, they were joking. But kids could be cruel. Words can hurt. And for Ali, there were plenty of times he was called a terrorist. He got used to it. In Boston, he was treated the same as he is in Kansas. He’s always considered himself a normal kid; but he still has to deal with ignorance. “Iran is misunderstood,” Ali said. “People look toward Iran and its current leadership and assume certain things. It’s always been a more affluent place. A lot of people used to think I lived in a warzone. [That’s] not true.” With both of his parents being doctors, Ali’s family was considered middle class back in Iran. In America, his family is still considered middle class, or upper middle class. Mohammad and Arezou don’t have any other children, but Ali has his cousin Sina. Both Ali and Sina’s families moved here from Iran to study, originally intending to go back to Iran. But both families decided to stay in America. Ali and Sina have always been close. They grew up in Boston together, they go on vacation together. Ali and Sina joke around and make fun of people in Farsi. They hang out and watch Iranian comedians. When they’re together is when Ali really feels connected to his heritage. And even though hundreds of miles separate them, they’re still great friends. * * * Debating is Ali’s strong suit. He’s good at what he does, and good enough to be invited to national tournaments. He’s placed 1st at various in-state tournaments and competed alongside the team that won 1st place in the 4-speaker division in the state championship. Argumentation comes naturally to him. He’s never lost a debate when someone tries to win on the Iran impact. His heritage isn’t something he takes lightly; it’s important to him. Even so, Ali’s heritage is not a focal point in his life. He plays the saxophone. He was on the JV swim team. He debates. The fact that he’s Iranian-American doesn’t dominate his life, but it helped to make him the person he is today. Arezou cooks Iranian food on a regular basis and Ali watches “The Daily Show” with Mohammad. Ali is enrolled in French 4, but also speaks Farsi and English fluently. He has a green and brown sofa in his living room, with a traditional piece of khatamkari art on the bookshelf across from it. Iranian and American culture are intertwined for Ali. “I feel like I’m not defined by either,” Ali said. “But I am a product of a far more integrated 21st century world.”

Left: Ali’s collection of light blue plates, souvenirs from Iran. Below: Ali and his family pose in Shiraz, Iran.

photos courtesy of The Dastjerdi family

Far Below: Ali and his family went on a tour of Iran in the summer of 2010 and found this building on a mountainside.

IMPACT OF HERITAGE


SPREAD| 17

16 |SPREAD

the book ofideas

E C I O V e th nd the s behi

e o r he

written by Anne Willman

I

EAST PARAPROFESSIONAL HAS SECOND CAREER AS A WRITER

Image Comics, a company that publishes a creator’s material without copyrighting it. For the next five years, he continued to have short stories and other forms of work published. And in 2011, he submitted his work to a Marvel editor. He later received a job as a writer for a couple of their mini series. Recently, he wrote and self-published a 200-page hardcover comics, prose and art collection entitled “Bad Karma Volume One” with three other writers. All of this success started as a child, after his parents got a divorce. He spent more time with his grandparents and at that time, his love for comic books began. “My grandpa brought me a sack of comics from a garage sale and it was very much a product of kind of loneliness and probably why I have such an attachment to them,” Peck said. “They were really important to me during a time when I didn’t have anything else to do.” Peck is still attached. He picks up copies every Wednesday, comic book distribution day, at Elite Comics, his friend’s store where he occasionally does signings. He knows the writers, the artists and editors of these books -- all on a personal level. He understands their culture and grasps the amount of talent it takes to get there. When Peck submitted his work to Marvel for review, he knew what they wanted: someone with experience. He sent in a copy of “76,” an eight-issue comic book limited series, “Sorrow”, and a couple collections of short work and other writings. “[Marvel and DC Comics] want to see that you have done other work,” Peck said. “So it’s kind of a catch-22, that they want somebody with experience, but you’ve got to get the experience somewhere, too.” But his experience was enough. Peck was contacted a few short months after submitting his work for a job with a “Wolverine” mini series. The series included one of Marvel’s main characters and for a first job, Peck was more than satisfied with the opportunity. Since then, Peck has continued to get steady work. Working on “Bad Karma Volume One” has also kept him busy. The book is creator-owned, meaning that no company owns the right of the work. Peck and three other writers started a campaign on kickstarter.com, a site that helps launch people’s creative projects. The campaign ran for a duration of a month and $36,262 was donated to cover publishing costs by people — people from across the world, from the U.S. to Dubai, India. “[The book] has been about a year-long process between discussions, planning and about how much money we need to do this,” Peck said. “Comics is kind of a small pond, so a lot of my good friends are guys that write “Iron Man” and [other comics], so we have a lot of connections and we were able to talk to a lot of our friends that are artists.”

n room 416, Seth Peck, paraprofessional for special education, sits with junior Mitchell Earley at 7:40 a.m. Peck reads to Earley and as they continue their lesson in Practical English, ideas begin to flow. And in second hour, Peck continues to generate ideas as he stands behind the register, overlooking seniors as they refill coffee canisters in the coffee shop. And in third and fourth, he guides some of the students in the special education program to their jobs in the community — to places like Mr. Goodcents and Brighton Gardens. As he does this, his ideas are scribbled down in blue, black, red ink. They progress throughout the day as he moves to other areas in the building — in the art wing, in the hallways. They never stop. “I am very paranoid about being anywhere without being able to write [my ideas] down,” Peck said. “I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t jot down something. Some days it may be something that I never end up using. Some days I may have a ton of stuff that I think is great.” But some of these ideas will be transported from these pages. They will no longer remain in his constant companion — his brown notebook. The ideas will become concrete and some will even come to life in a short story or a comic strip. Because Peck is not just a special education para; he has a second career, one that has landed him jobs for top companies like Marvel Comics. And this is the same career that gives Peck an opportunity to publish his own material. It was only in 2004 when it morphed from a hobby to career. That’s when Peck knew that he wanted to take his writing to the next level. “It was only in the last year or two that I tried to have steady [work],” Peck said. “It was very much just a hobby.” In 2005, Peck had his DAREDEVIL, MY NEW first piece published when “PARTNER”, AND I WERE EASY ENOUGH TO he did a seven page backup QUICKLY ABLE TO LOCATE DO FOR A story for

ARMITAGE’S HQ USING A TRACKING DEVICE ON ONE OF ARMITAGE’S SHIPPING CONTAINERS FULL OF SUPER VILLAIN TECH.

YOU KNOW HOW IT IS, ONE MINUTE YOU’RE TAKING DOWN A CORRUPT CASINO, AND THE NEXT YOU’VE PICKED UP A STRAY AVENGER, TAGGING ALONG ON YOUR GLOBAL MANHUNT FOR THE CASINO’S OWNER WHO GOES BY THE NAME “ARMITAGE”.

“I carry around a notebook with me all of the time, so I’m always jotting down ideas, story things, snippets of dialogue, a news story that I think is interesting.”

MASTER SPY AND MERCENARY LIKE ME

OF COURSE, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT TRACING THE SIGNAL MIGHT ALSO ALERT ARMITAGE THAT WE WERE COMING.

Peck is able to do this work because his job as a paraprofessional allows him the time and flexibility. Before coming to East, Peck was an office manager for Cintas, a uniform distribution company. After his branch was closed and absorbed by another office in Saint Joseph, Mo., he didn’t want to move. At that point, he was tired of his job. “For so long, I did spreadsheets and it was always making money for some other guy and you were kind of one small cog in such a big machine,” Peck said. So, just before the spring of 2012, Peck interviewed for his current position at East. With a degree in psychology and the experience of having five kids, Peck was selected. “This is the first job that I’ve had where I really felt like the work I was doing felt satisfying to me as a person,”Peck said. “It is the first time outside of being creative that I’ve felt like I was using something that I was geared towards.” Peck enjoys his job, as it gives him the flexibility to work on his writing. But flexibility isn’t the only reason he thinks it’s “the best job that he’s ever had”. He can touch the lives of students and share his guidance. As he walks through the fourth floor hallway, he is inspired when he overhears a conversation about teenage problems. As he watches one of his students in Lifetime Sports interact with kids during a game of ultimate, he understands his significance. “I really like working with kids. I like the relationships I’ve formed,” Peck said. “I like feeling like I’m making a difference in somebody’s day which sounds kind of corny, but it’s true.”

Some of Peck’s writing from the Marvel comic book X-MEN #39 ARMITAGE BEING AN ARMS DEALER WHO WAS USING AN UNDERGROUND CASINO TO ACQUIRE HIGH-TECH WEAPONRY FOR MANUFACTURE AND RESALE.

an inside look

I KNEW HE MIGHT DETECT US WHEN WE REVERSED HIS SIGNAL, BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE MY LUCK WOULD HOLD AND WE COULD REACH THE ISLAND UNNOTICED. GOOD LUCK IS KIND OF MY SPECIALTY.

photo by Annie Savage

The history of some of the most popular Marvel characters

meet the heroes

or. an M his suit of arm t u n o h o it w r g I ss nothin it, is powerle an would be e su Iron M n beneath th a m rs Tony e th , rk fiction write e c Tony Sta n ie c s y n e. . To ma and machin n a m f without it on o re borg, a mixtu Stark is a cy

durance and n e le ib d re c as in of Asgard, h ing the Odin Thor, the lord ist injury. After possess ers by res all of his pow e c n the ability to a h n e s. as able to stical energie y m d n a ic force, Thor w osm sources of c using the re

Thor

-Man erage Spidearn made his debut in 1962 as abny aavspider

was bit Spider-M Parker, who r ses his te e P , y o b pider-Man u S . teenage rs e w o rp him supe which gave me. s to fight cri e s n e s re id sp after taking lk u H e th to rned in al r instantly tu Hulk’s physic e h T . d n o b Bruce Banne ma es as t from a gam ngth increas e tr s is h a direct blas e s u o limits beca s. ability has n ess level rise tr s l a n o ti o his em

Hulk


SPREAD| 17

16 |SPREAD

the book ofideas

E C I O V e th nd the s behi

e o r he

written by Anne Willman

I

EAST PARAPROFESSIONAL HAS SECOND CAREER AS A WRITER

Image Comics, a company that publishes a creator’s material without copyrighting it. For the next five years, he continued to have short stories and other forms of work published. And in 2011, he submitted his work to a Marvel editor. He later received a job as a writer for a couple of their mini series. Recently, he wrote and self-published a 200-page hardcover comics, prose and art collection entitled “Bad Karma Volume One” with three other writers. All of this success started as a child, after his parents got a divorce. He spent more time with his grandparents and at that time, his love for comic books began. “My grandpa brought me a sack of comics from a garage sale and it was very much a product of kind of loneliness and probably why I have such an attachment to them,” Peck said. “They were really important to me during a time when I didn’t have anything else to do.” Peck is still attached. He picks up copies every Wednesday, comic book distribution day, at Elite Comics, his friend’s store where he occasionally does signings. He knows the writers, the artists and editors of these books -- all on a personal level. He understands their culture and grasps the amount of talent it takes to get there. When Peck submitted his work to Marvel for review, he knew what they wanted: someone with experience. He sent in a copy of “76,” an eight-issue comic book limited series, “Sorrow”, and a couple collections of short work and other writings. “[Marvel and DC Comics] want to see that you have done other work,” Peck said. “So it’s kind of a catch-22, that they want somebody with experience, but you’ve got to get the experience somewhere, too.” But his experience was enough. Peck was contacted a few short months after submitting his work for a job with a “Wolverine” mini series. The series included one of Marvel’s main characters and for a first job, Peck was more than satisfied with the opportunity. Since then, Peck has continued to get steady work. Working on “Bad Karma Volume One” has also kept him busy. The book is creator-owned, meaning that no company owns the right of the work. Peck and three other writers started a campaign on kickstarter.com, a site that helps launch people’s creative projects. The campaign ran for a duration of a month and $36,262 was donated to cover publishing costs by people — people from across the world, from the U.S. to Dubai, India. “[The book] has been about a year-long process between discussions, planning and about how much money we need to do this,” Peck said. “Comics is kind of a small pond, so a lot of my good friends are guys that write “Iron Man” and [other comics], so we have a lot of connections and we were able to talk to a lot of our friends that are artists.”

n room 416, Seth Peck, paraprofessional for special education, sits with junior Mitchell Earley at 7:40 a.m. Peck reads to Earley and as they continue their lesson in Practical English, ideas begin to flow. And in second hour, Peck continues to generate ideas as he stands behind the register, overlooking seniors as they refill coffee canisters in the coffee shop. And in third and fourth, he guides some of the students in the special education program to their jobs in the community — to places like Mr. Goodcents and Brighton Gardens. As he does this, his ideas are scribbled down in blue, black, red ink. They progress throughout the day as he moves to other areas in the building — in the art wing, in the hallways. They never stop. “I am very paranoid about being anywhere without being able to write [my ideas] down,” Peck said. “I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t jot down something. Some days it may be something that I never end up using. Some days I may have a ton of stuff that I think is great.” But some of these ideas will be transported from these pages. They will no longer remain in his constant companion — his brown notebook. The ideas will become concrete and some will even come to life in a short story or a comic strip. Because Peck is not just a special education para; he has a second career, one that has landed him jobs for top companies like Marvel Comics. And this is the same career that gives Peck an opportunity to publish his own material. It was only in 2004 when it morphed from a hobby to career. That’s when Peck knew that he wanted to take his writing to the next level. “It was only in the last year or two that I tried to have steady [work],” Peck said. “It was very much just a hobby.” In 2005, Peck had his DAREDEVIL, MY NEW first piece published when “PARTNER”, AND I WERE EASY ENOUGH TO he did a seven page backup QUICKLY ABLE TO LOCATE DO FOR A story for

ARMITAGE’S HQ USING A TRACKING DEVICE ON ONE OF ARMITAGE’S SHIPPING CONTAINERS FULL OF SUPER VILLAIN TECH.

YOU KNOW HOW IT IS, ONE MINUTE YOU’RE TAKING DOWN A CORRUPT CASINO, AND THE NEXT YOU’VE PICKED UP A STRAY AVENGER, TAGGING ALONG ON YOUR GLOBAL MANHUNT FOR THE CASINO’S OWNER WHO GOES BY THE NAME “ARMITAGE”.

“I carry around a notebook with me all of the time, so I’m always jotting down ideas, story things, snippets of dialogue, a news story that I think is interesting.”

MASTER SPY AND MERCENARY LIKE ME

OF COURSE, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT TRACING THE SIGNAL MIGHT ALSO ALERT ARMITAGE THAT WE WERE COMING.

Peck is able to do this work because his job as a paraprofessional allows him the time and flexibility. Before coming to East, Peck was an office manager for Cintas, a uniform distribution company. After his branch was closed and absorbed by another office in Saint Joseph, Mo., he didn’t want to move. At that point, he was tired of his job. “For so long, I did spreadsheets and it was always making money for some other guy and you were kind of one small cog in such a big machine,” Peck said. So, just before the spring of 2012, Peck interviewed for his current position at East. With a degree in psychology and the experience of having five kids, Peck was selected. “This is the first job that I’ve had where I really felt like the work I was doing felt satisfying to me as a person,”Peck said. “It is the first time outside of being creative that I’ve felt like I was using something that I was geared towards.” Peck enjoys his job, as it gives him the flexibility to work on his writing. But flexibility isn’t the only reason he thinks it’s “the best job that he’s ever had”. He can touch the lives of students and share his guidance. As he walks through the fourth floor hallway, he is inspired when he overhears a conversation about teenage problems. As he watches one of his students in Lifetime Sports interact with kids during a game of ultimate, he understands his significance. “I really like working with kids. I like the relationships I’ve formed,” Peck said. “I like feeling like I’m making a difference in somebody’s day which sounds kind of corny, but it’s true.”

Some of Peck’s writing from the Marvel comic book X-MEN #39 ARMITAGE BEING AN ARMS DEALER WHO WAS USING AN UNDERGROUND CASINO TO ACQUIRE HIGH-TECH WEAPONRY FOR MANUFACTURE AND RESALE.

an inside look

I KNEW HE MIGHT DETECT US WHEN WE REVERSED HIS SIGNAL, BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE MY LUCK WOULD HOLD AND WE COULD REACH THE ISLAND UNNOTICED. GOOD LUCK IS KIND OF MY SPECIALTY.

photo by Annie Savage

The history of some of the most popular Marvel characters

meet the heroes

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durance and n e le ib d re c as in of Asgard, h ing the Odin Thor, the lord ist injury. After possess ers by res all of his pow e c n the ability to a h n e s. as able to stical energie y m d n a ic force, Thor w osm sources of c using the re

Thor

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Hulk


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continued from cover Jen Alimagno, a clinical social worker for the Lilac Cen- enough to require a doctor’s visit, Drake finally stopped it. ter — an institution for patients struggling with self harm “When I looked in the mirror one day I was like ‘gosh, and/or suicidal behaviors — also has a theory: in addition I’m just destroying my body,’ and I had cuts all over,” Drake to teenagers’ increasing responsibilities, the prevalence said. “And I didn’t wanna have to explain my scars to people. of social media in today’s society also has an effect on self I just realized enough’s enough.” harming and suicidal behaviors. Woods thinks that most people place an incorrect ste“I think [self harm rates have increased] just because the reotype on people who self harm -- thinking that they are different pressures on kids today,” Alimagno said. “I think “emo”. She believes that with people’s lack of understandsocial media has a lot to do with it. Half the kids I see are self ing in the area of self harming behaviors, they try to norharming or doing something bad to themselves because of malize it with a common stereotype. Junior Jacob Pillman Facebook or Twitter or just rumors being spread.” dealt with a similar problem after he started to lose friends One example of underlying family issues is Woods’ situ- because of his cutting habit. ation — she was raped at an early age by a family member, “I didn’t see anything wrong with it, but eventually my which led to self loathing and severe anxiety later in life, social circle became smaller because of my problem and so I both of which led to depression. decided to cut it off,” Pillman said. “Once I realized that a lot “When you are that depressed, you just hate yourself so of people didn’t want to hang around with me and interact much sometimes,” Woods said. “It’s like there’s this voice in with me because of my problem, I just decided to stop.” your head telling you awful things about yourself and the When Drake finally told his parents about his cutting isonly way to quiet it is to hurt it.” sue, all sharp objects were removed from the house, and was Alimagno thinks that some teens who self harm often watched like a hawk from then on. do it as a cry for attention in a neglected relationship. Oth“It’s pretty humbling when you’re a 17-year-old kid who ers try it to change their emotions, whether that’s attempt- has to sleep in the same room as your mom for your own ing to stifle them or trying to feel something after they’ve safety reasons,” Drake said. gone numb. Ultimately, when people self harm, their bodies According to Amiglano, the most effective way to rerelease endorphins, making it almost a pleasurable experi- cover is by using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), someence. After awhile, the process can become addicting. thing the Lilac Center specializes in. DBT is a structured “It sounds really silly, but when I have a kid who self form of treatment specifically targeting self destructive and harms, it’s appealing and is almost addicting because noth- suicidal behaviors. DBT teaches self harm patients distracing else has worked,” Alimagno said. “I think it is appealing tion methods, self-soothing methods and other ways to because it gets rid of the pain. It gives them that high in that keep them from focusing on their urges to harm. Amiglano moment.” considers it so effective because of the hard evidence of imOne thing that both Wiseman and Alimagno agree on provement that nearly always follows. Almost always, after is people’s misunderstanding of self harm and the different DBT treatment, visits with psychiatric doctors decrease and ways those behaviors can manifest. self-harm behaviors and suicidal thoughts become much “Self harm can be lots of different things whether it be less prevalent, if not gone all together. cutting, burning, binging, purging, restricting, running The first step, Alimagno believes, is recognizing that self away,” Alimagno said. “There are lots of different forms of harm is a problem. Once recognition is achieved, she will self harm. Drinking, doing drugs, promiscuity. Self harm is immediately start with DBT methods. Many of her patients not just cutting and burning. People don’t understand that there’s a lot of SELF-HARM FACTS different self harm behaviors in that category.” Know how to talk about * * * self-harm: tell what you Former East student and feel, communicate in a way junior May Branit willingly transferred to SM South that makes you feel comafter struggling with self fortable, let what you say harm because of friend issink in. sues and depression. For her, harming gave not only a sense of relief, but a feeling of power in a seemingly powerless world. “It was the one kind of thing I could have control over,” Branit said. “So if a friend or someone in my family had hurt me, this Self-harm may provide was one of the ways I could short term relief, but control how I felt. It was a can be addictive and way to get rid of the other dangerous in the long thoughts.” run. Senior Sam Drake*, who recently has gotten Self-harm can be anything over his cutting habit, refrom cutting, burning, abusalized it was time to quit when it finally dawned on ing drugs, drinking exceshim how many scars he had sively or being promiscugiven himself. When one ous. of them got infected badly

photo by Stefano Byer

FEATURES | 19 use diary cards in which they track their urges to self harm on a day to day basis, and whether or not they acted upon them. She also teaches them a series of distraction skills when those urges come about, and suggests other methods to feel the same effect that self harm has. “Sometimes holding a piece of ice and squeezing it is painful, but it gives them the same shock that self harming would,” Alimagno said. “For kids who like to see blood I sometimes say to take a red felt marker to write on themselves where they would self harm. And also for kids who like to see blood, I actually recommended a kid to take a water bottle filled with red food coloring and drop water on where they would self harm.” In addition to teaching her patients a whole new skill set, even more importantly, she has to teach parents those skills and more. “I really, really work closely with the parents on being their coaches on how to deal with those situations,” Alimagno said. “[The parents are] in a crisis, you know. They freak out, and of course that will just freak out the kid even more. So they have to try to keep their cool.” Besides the support of his friends and family, the one thing that keeps Drake from returning to his old habits is his fear of returning back to the state he was in prior to his recovery. “I don’t want to return to that dark hole,” Drake said. “And if I ever do feel the urge, I just surround myself by people, because I won’t do it around other people.” And whenever he feels himself falling back into that hole, Drake finds things to remind him of the good things in life to lighten his spirits. “A lot of times I just sit outside, look around and just be present,” Drake said. “I’ll realize it’s pretty beautiful outside. Sometimes you get so enclosed with everything that’s happening to you, and you need to realize that you’re in a beautiful world. Every day alive is a good day.” *names have been changed to protect identity

Between 2-3 million people exhibit some kind of selfabusive behavior in the U.S. Call the S.A.F.E. Alternatives hotline for help at (800) 366-8288 Know the warning signs to determine if your friend needs help: unexplained wounds, blood stains, posession of sharp object, wearing long-sleeves, isolation Reasons people cut: to express pain/intense emotion, to soothe, to feel disconnected, to release anger.


20| FEATURES

Marked by His Father Senior finds strength to cope with the loss of his father

written by Paige Hess

photo by Jake Crandall

Senior Jesse Willeford doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t cry. Doesn’t even move. When sorrow finally hits him, he runs upstairs to find an escape from the pain, a way to understand. His cousin Josh once told him that music could help ease the pain. Jesse listens intently in the hopes of finding understanding or connection in the lyrics of “Guardian Angel,” a song his cousin wrote about grief. He sits on his couch, confused and hurt while the song plays on repeat. * * * Jesse shared many memories at the lake with his dad, Wayne, but this past summer one incident changed everything for their family. Wayne had again been drinking. He was irritable and an argument sprouted between him and Jesse. It grew more and more heated until they started to get into each other’s faces. But Jesse wouldn’t let it become physical. He was too scared to even touch his dad. So Jesse backed down. Jesse refused to fight his aggressive father, and in that moment, Wayne realized what he had become -- and what he needed to be. This was Wayne’s last chance. His family couldn’t deal with his destructive habits anymore -- the drinking, the fighting. His son couldn’t be afraid of him. “After that he completely changed,” Jesse said. “He wanted to go to church. He was praying every day. He drank one time and said he would never do it again because it made him feel sick. He was exercising every day. He was just a different, happy person.” Wayne wanted to make more memories with Jesse -- good ones, healthy ones. Fishing with him during the summer. Mushroom hunting every spring. Taking Jesse out in the woods to go shooting. * * * Jesse’s hands still shake when he thinks of the way his father died. It was close to 5 a.m. on Oct. 6. Wayne

was on his way to work. At the intersection of 103rd and Nall, he ran a red light. A compact car drove straight under his truck, flipping Wayne’s truck onto its side; the truck hit the nearest telephone pole. The police said it was an instant death. Three hours later, Jesse was woken up by his weeping mother, Jenny. She told the police to wait in the living room while she ran next door to get his brother. She wanted them to be told together. And while the police delivered the news, she couldn’t stop crying. Being in the home where all his dad’s memories lie is unsettling to Jesse at times. This has caused a disconnect between him and his four brothers -- Shane, Chris, Keith and Justin. “At my house, all those memories are there so it’s harder for my brothers to come by,” Jesse said. “At the beginning, they were always at the house but now they don’t come around much. There [are] times when I want to talk to them, but I’m not mad at them. I know they are always there [for me]. It’s not bad.” * * * Standing in Body Art Inc., Jesse is surrounded by frames of past tattoo artwork on every wall. People are browsing, looking for the right one for them -- but Jesse doesn’t need to. His father, Wayne, had been known as “The Legend” wherever he went. At work, he was the fastest bricklayer and foreman. At home, Wayne was the family man -- always keeping his kitchen over-stocked with food and organizing family trips every weekend to Tanglewood Lake. “Legends Never Die” Josh wrote those words in a song dedicated to Wayne called “Romp Stomp,” and Jesse immediately knew they were perfect for his tattoo. He isn’t scared. He’s excited and ready to be marked by his father, inside and out, for the rest of his life. Multiple friends stand around, hoping to catch a video of tough-guy Jesse crying

from the needle. But Jesse is too busy thinking of memories to worry about the tender spots on his chest. Only 17, he had to get consent from Jenny for him to receive the tattoo, but she was more than willing to do so. “I didn’t object to it, if he wanted to get that in remembrance of his dad then I was not going to object to it,” Jenny said. “I think its cool, I like it.” Wayne’s legend truly lives on across Jesse’s chest, and through the greatest lesson he taught him. Wayne made sure to instill the work ethic of always being busy in Jesse. Even when Wayne was laid off from work for a week, he would spend that time doing jobs around the house. He didn’t want to be sitting around -- especially after he began transforming. To keep from drinking, he always had to have a project. “He would always say, ‘If you aren’t doing anything, something should get done,’” Jesse said. “When you were around him, you were always doing something. Now it seems like I’m always looking for something to do.” Surrounded by his dad’s belongings, it is easier to become sad. But whenever he feels this way, he sits in Wayne’s recliners, where he would often relax after returning from work, exhausted. Today, it soothes him to sit where his dad once sat. Although Jesse and Wayne had their rough times, Jesse remembers his dad for the good ones. That’s why he likes to sit in his recliner. That’s why he tattooed “Legends Never Die” to his chest. Because he wants to be more like his dad now. Because looking back on his life, Wayne was a good man with much to admire -- like how we always believed in the good in people. “He still took care of us,” Jesse said. “So that’s what I remember when I think about him. The times we had together. The fact that someone like that who was so stubborn could change the way he did, gives me faith in everyone.”

ROMP STOMP A LOOK INTO THE RAP IN REMEMBERENCE OF JESSE’S DAD By Josh (Ghost) Valentine

Life comes as a gift. You gotta cherish every moment cus’ you never know what gon’ happen. Keep your loved ones close. Remember. The love will never dim. You gon’ see him again. He was your best friend. Protection. The one that you would turn to. When nobody understood, he would. And it’s true, you can never be forgotten. Legends never die. You gon’ thrive in our eyes. To see you again, that’s the prize at the end of the road. The good die young. That’s what the stories show. Now you on the glory road lookin’ down, hoping that you stay strong. Jesse gotta keep your mom in safe arms. Remember, it don’t matter if you really wanna give up. Your guardian angel’s gon’ be yellin’ at you to get up. He’s still with you. Just from another angel. Not only your loved one, but your guardian angel. (the rap continues...)


THE SUMMER CO L L EG E CHALLENGE UMKC offers a Summer Scholars program to students interested in medicine. This four week program offers classes in chemistry and anatomy as well as hands-on introduction to the field of medicine and career exploration in medicine. Girls’ and Boys’ State is a program for high school students to explore government. The girls’ at Washburn University in Topeka, the boys at KSU, are thrown into a made-up government where they run an imaginary city for a week.

E H W

Fashion Camp Kansas City is a camp for aspiring models and designers in Kansas City. It provides real experience and knowledge about the industry. Also, a West 18th Street Fashion show occurs this summer. Although designer sign up has passed, there is still a chance to volunteer and if you can get ahold of the designers, there is a chance to model in it. *The NACAC is a board of counselors from all over the country from colleges and high schools that work together through the admissions process.

mixed. Everyone wants that letter. You know the one: “Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to attend (insert dream college here).” It’s never too late to start boosting the resume to get you that letter, and though you hate to think about it, a great time to do this is in the summer. Here are some ideas of the things you can do this summer to help you get into your dream school!

MIXED | 21

U

written by Maddie Hise

Volunteering is about getting involved in community. The NACAC recommends volunteering in one or a couple activities and being deeply involved in them. “Colleges look for The summer offers a great chance to take students who are involved in some activities,” classes to pursue your interests. The Price said. “But it doesn’t have to be several. National Association for College AdThey look more for depth, meaning a student mission Counseling (NACAC)* says who has done an activity for a couple colleges like to see that you took iniyears or is a leader in it.” St. Luke’s tiatives to do a summer program. You Hospital offers a program to can expand your knowledge. It gives work once a week accordyou a step up in having background ing to your schedule to information in an area before college and help patients and work meet other people who have the same around the hospital. The interests as you. Most programs are Youth Volunteer Corps of HELLO MY N short so you can see whether you truly AME IS Greater Kansas City has enjoy a subject, this way, you can programs, with many difknow if it would be something worth ferent lengths and dates, to pursuing in college. learn about issues going on in Kansas City and do something about them.

TAKE A CLASS.

VOLUNTEER

VOLUNTEER.

3 TAKE A TEST.

? E R

GET A JOB!

4

PREP

The NACAC puts an emphasis on your ACT/SAT score. There are benefits to both tests; however, the NACAC recommends it is better to pick one to put all your effort into studying for because most colleges accept either. The ACT is considered an achievement test by the college board, meaning it tests what you’ve learned in school. The SAT is an aptitude test and challenges your reasoning and verbal abilities. After choosing one to take, you can invest in a prep book or start a study group with some friends. You may choose to study with a tutor specifically for one of the tests; however, East offers an ACT/SAT prep classes to all students. Within the class, you go from teacher to teacher to practice each section of the test, according to the teacher’s department.

Get a summer job. This shows colleges you are responsible, and have experience working with others. Also, it is a source of income to help fund college. Try to get a job in the career path you are hoping to pursue. An internship can give you contacts and experience in the field you want to pursue, as well as references for colleges and future jobs. Also, there are jobs for things you enjoy. For example, refereeing pays well and you can pick a sport you like. Lifeguarding allows you to be around the water. With nannying, you get to be around children.


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A&E |23

APRIL MARCH

APRIL

5-7

MOST ACTIVE

STOMP

KAUFFMAN CENTER For any musical theater fans looking for a little more music and a little less theater, Stomp is the show for you. The eight-member cast uses everyday objects such as brooms, matchboxes and metal trash cans to create a wide variety of rhythmic beats that will have you tapping your foot along in no time. Stomp is an international musical show that started in the UK in 1992. Today, different casts travel across the globe, performing for audiences from Hong Kong to Barcelona. They have even been featured on shows such as “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Rather than cheesy songs and long, monotonous dialogue, Stomp provides an exhilarating show of both music and emotion that never leaves the audience with a dull moment. Tickets are starting at $26 and can be purchased at tickets. thekauffmancenter.org. Head out to the Kauffman Center on Apr. 5 through 7 to see what all the noise is about.

APRIL

MOST DRAMATIC

19

AMERICAN BUFFALO KC REPERTORY THEATER

The Kansas City Repertory Theater will be putting on the award-winning classic, “American Buffalo” from April 19 through May 19. The story tells of three men -- Don, Teach and Bob, who contrive to recover an oh-so-valuable buffalo nickel which the men accidentally sold, not realizing its worth. The story follows them through a twisted scheme to get back the coin in which they learn about business, ethics and how greed often fuels the desire for the American Dream. Originally written by David Mamet in 1975, director Jerry Genochio works hard to fill this theatrical event with hints of his own style. The show will be performed as a preview for the first week until opening night on April 26. Tickets for a seat at the Copaken Stage in downtown Kansas City range from $20-$55. While all ages are welcome, the KC Rep. advises parental caution for younger audience members due to foul language used throughout the show.

SP RING

A&E

CALENDAR written by Audre y Dancinger photos courtesy of mctcampus.com

MAY

11

JUNE

MOST

ANTICIPATED

28-29

KANROCKSAS KANSAS SPEEDWAY

On Friday March 1, the Kanrocksas Music Festival announced the highly anticipated lineup for their summer show. After a years break due to venue construction, one of the largest music festivals in the Midwest is back to fulfill all of the surrounding Kansas City areas’ musical wishes. Spanning over two days, June 28 and 29, the show is located out at the Kansas Speedway where over 60,000 music lovers are estimated to attend. The show provides a little something for everyone with a lineup chock full of a wide variety of artists from Kendrick Lamar to Passion Pit and T-Pain to the Avett Brothers. Other headliners include MGMT, Sublime, fun., Imagine Dragons and Tiësto. Advanced sale tickets are selling now at $175 and General Sale tickets will be on sale at a date closer to the event at $190. For more information about “the best party in the Midwest” visit www.kanrocksas.com.

MOST CULTURAL

SECOND SATURDAYS NORTH KANSAS CITY TOWN SQUARE We all know and love First Fridays in the Crossroads where regulars and newcomers alike are taken on a journey through a display of the best food, music and art Kansas City has to offer. But if you can’t get your artsy fill from just the first Friday of every month, why not go the Second Saturday as well? Second Saturdays takes place on the second Saturday of each month in the North Kansas City Town Square. Admission is free and all ages are welcome to this all day showcase of some of KC’s finest artists’ work. Take time to enjoy the many different pieces while listening to live music performed by local musicians . And later, stop by the classic car show at 3p.m. to get a glimpse of the coolest vintage wheels in town. With so many booths and tents set up you will never be bored, making this the most satisfying Saturday in anyone’s month.

MAY

19

VAMPIRE WEEKEND MIDLAND THEATER

With their new album “Modern Vampires of the City” set to release on May 14, Vampire Weekend has announced their 15 tour dates, and Kansas City has made the cut. Along with L.A. based band of three sisters, Haim, Vampire Weekend will be making its way to the Midland theater on May 19 to serenade our city with tracks from their new record. This is the first album the indie-rock band from New York City has put out in three years and their third album overall. Two songs, “Step” and “Diane Young”, have already been released and can be found on the bands’ website, iTunes and YouTube. To show off their latest masterpiece the band will be doing a country wide tour starting in Austin, TX and ending in Portland, INDIEST Ore. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Sunday and all ages are welcome. Tickets start at $36 but are selling fast so all you hipsters out there: get ‘em before they’re mainstream!


24| A&E

GO-CHICKEN-GO TOWN TOPIC KANSAS CITY’S

FOODMANIA

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The Go-Chicken-Go combo box comes with three pieces of chicken, two sides and G-Sauce.

HOLES IN THE WALL

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Johnny’s BBQ Chicken combined with Beans, fries and coleslaw.

written by Will Oakley Four weeks ago, I hadn’t heard the names of any of these restaurants. Now, my world of cuisine has been rocked. Each of these four places were the best of their respective genres of food I’ve tasted. The best part about it is that I can eat them whenever I want -- each restaurant is less than 10 miles away from my house. They’re all practically in my backyard. And each time I go back to these places, the food and the atmosphere never cease to surprise me. So my challenge to you: pick two of these holein-the-wall places, and fit time to take a walk on the wild side. It could be tomorrow. It could be five months from now. It could be a Sunday afternoon or a Wednesday evening. But I can guarantee it, you won’t be disappointed.

photos by Caroline Creidenberg, Jake Crandall & Connor Woodson

JOHNNY’S BBQ

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Classic Dinner Burger from Town Topic with your choice of onion rings or french fries.

MAD JACKS

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Fried catfish and frog legs smothered in Mad Jack’s secret sauce, “Jack’s Sauce”.


Go and discover the best chicken in Kansas City. Go-Chicken-Go’s fried chicken is cooked the same as it was in 1970. The Go-ChickenGo specialty... is chicken. Who would’ve guessed? It’s a fan favorite of chicken eaters all across Kansas City. In order to enjoy GoChicken-Go’s masterpiece, you can’t get carried away with what you order, or waste your time by going inside. My directions are simple. Order a nine piece combo chicken, a medium Dr. Pepper, and G-Sauce (we’ll get to that later). Open up your red and white cardboard box with the famous Go-Chicken-Go symbol, the running chicken, on the front. Next, simply take a whiff of the fried goodness welcoming you to devour crispy, golden brown, tender chicken. The skin is coated in perfect crusting, and fried to perfection to leave a smoky, crispy feel. But wait -- you still have your G-Sauce to try. Go-Chicken-Go has possibly the best

sauce on the planet. It’s spicy, but yet still twangy, and is similar to a cocktail sauce with a twist. If you play it right, every other bite dipped in G-Sauce, Go-Chicken-Go’s combo chicken will melt your tastebuds. I have two knocks against Go-Chicken-Go. Other than their regular chicken and G-Sauce, you’re not going to find anything special on the menu. I tried their famous gizzards and never will again. They’re chewy, black, not all the way crusted and just the fact that they’re gizzards doesn’t help. Everything else in the store simply can’t compete with their classic. Go-Chicken-Go is strictly for their chicken combo box. Next, the atmosphere is not great. The glorious chicken resides in a shack-like, fastfood looking restaurant with a wooden looking roof over it. You have to order through red metal bars that are constricting and are verging on creepy. There are plastic tables in the eating area which, to be honest, usually aren’t very clean. The kitchen is clean, which helps, but the service is subpar as well. The workers are usually helpful, but aren’t willing to assist any farther than either cooking chicken, typing in your order or taking your box of chicken at your table. My suggestion is to drive through and skip Drive-thru is a must at Gogoing in. It’s just much easier Chicken-Go’s shack-like and less stressful to get to atmosphere. their fantastic chicken.

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Town Topic comes straight from the early 1900’s. You order off a tin counter, an oldtimey menu rests above the counter, mini jukeboxes hang on the walls, the sign outside the joint simply has “Town Topic” written in black and the floors are checkered red and white. The list could go on and on. This place is classic. Heck, it’s been around longer than my parents. It’s known as one of the best greasy snacks you’re gonna find in Kansas City. You can compare the burgers to that of a better Winstead’s: thin patties, oozing of grease, lots of cheese and thick buns. The burgers aren’t culinary masterpieces but do a great job of filling your greasy food needs. Trust me and order the onion rings with your burger. The outsides of the onion are crunchy enough to fall apart in your mouth, and the onion inside is easy to bite off, instead of having to slurp out the onion like most onion rings. The same two ladies are there working every day. I can guarantee that you’ll be called either sweetie, honey, baby or child anytime Jukeboxes line the walls of this old school diner.

you need to ask something of them. Right when you hear your first slurp of depleting liquid through your straw, one of them is suddenly there to ask you, “Honey, can I refill your drink?” The fact that the joint is small with only around 15 tables and a bar around the outsides just makes it that much better -- it gives Town Topic the old timey feel that urges you to want to stay the whole day and night. If you need a good place to eat brunch, the chef makes a mean pancake for eight bucks with breakfast potatoes as a side. Or if you’re ever awake craving a greasy burger at 3am, Town Topic is open 24/7, and is even better in the late hours. An anonymous review on the website “Yelp,” stated, “If I had 10 minutes to teach a foreign person about America, I’d read them the Declaration of Independence. If I had 15 minutes, I’d take them to Town Topic.” I couldn’t agree more. I have a better time eating at Town Topic each time I visit.

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Town Topic has two locations. The original in downtown and the other in Mission.

Guy Fieri got it right by coming here on his hit Food Network show, “Diners, DriveIns and Dives.” Johnny’s BBQ competes for some of the best barbecue in Kansas City. They have all kinds of BBQ from barbecue chicken to burnt ends. Every order will live up to your expectations, and beyond. Walking in, barbecue sauces and license plates from all over Kansas City cover the walls. You can catch a slight glimpse of the magic being made in the kitchen before walking through the line to order and watch the hoards of people who already have their barbecue in envy. The workers at Johnny’s are always helpful, and will help you decide what to order in case you can’t decide between their abundant different options of barbeque. Once you’ve ordered, just go find a table and your food will magically come find you. I never understand how the workers get the correct order to the correct table when they don’t take numbers or yell anything out. Another plus is that it is so close to East. An awesome barbeque joint is seemingly in our backyard. Before I reflect on the brilliance of

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Johnny’s barbecue, I have one complaint...don’t try the beans. They suck. You’ll be disappointed on the first bite. They’re flat, rubbery, and the sauce surrounding them is horrible. Now on to their unmitigated selection of excellence. Johnny’s prize product is their barbeque chicken. The outside is crisp with the secret Johnny’s rub plastered on the skin of the chicken. Biting in, the chicken is moist, smoky and fills your mouth with flavor. But, Johnny’s BBQ chicken isn’t the only great thing on the menu. Their ribs are fantastic. The meat barely hangs onto the bone and is the easiest meat to bite off of any ribs I’ve tried. Their burnt ends, the prized meat of every cook, are eccentric as well. Perfect softness, and tender meat seems to be the only way I can describe them. Everything they have seems to live up to my expectations... other than their beans. Johnny’s is up there for my favorite barbecue joint of all-time when you combine the service and their delectable, seemingly perfect barbecue.

Johnny’s BBQ uses hickory wood to smoke their meat including the Chicken that they smoke whole.

This place has got it on lock. I rarely ever go past Wornall Road so I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t slightly uncomfortable pulling up to a restaurant on 65th and Troost. But when I found myself inside, I was right at home. This place has oysters, crab, catfish, tuna, shrimp, frog legs and other fresh seafood in a glass counter to your right. Fishing poles hang on the walls and nets hang from the ceiling. There is a large menu above the register with red writing that looks like it came straight from a fish market. Everything about the joint is clean. I ordered a half-pound of fried catfish and frog legs -- something you don’t order everyday in Kansas City. Along with the seafood, I spotted a “Vess Whistle” orange soda. I’d never heard of “Vess” in my life, but this thing was the most sugary soda I’ve ever tasted. I’m talking eighty-five grams of sugary soda- the amount of sugar in five cans of coca cola. The fried frog legs and catfish both came out in separate Styrofoam containers on a large red tray. The awesome thing about this place is that the cook comes and brings you your food then literally watches you take your first bite to make sure you like it. The chef watched as the catfish blew my socks off. The catfish had a perfect fry, falling apart in your mouth. It was utterly delicious. It looks like a row of fish, with a thinner, but yet crunchier crust than that of a Filet-OFish. The frog legs were interesting. I’ve never had them before but they were surprisingly

good. I’m glad I went on the wild side. I kid you not, I finished all of the food in around 10 minutes. After I finished, the chef came back out and brought me their “secret sauce” and a box of free catfish nuggets. He said it was called “Jack’s Sauce.” I don’t know if the chef gives it to every person who walks through the door or not, because he seemed like this is his prized possession. This chef was THE man, and his sauce was THE sauce. It was musty red, on the spicy side, cajony and worked in harmony with the catfish. I was blown away. I thanked the chef, tipped him well and left a happy boy. I’ve gone back twice since, and am glad I go each time.

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The Nautical theme of Mad Jacks gets you in the mood for fresh Seafood.


26|A&E

SUMMON a new

SOUND

written by Hannah Ratliff

Since my older brother was kind enough to open up his iTunes library for me to fill my iPod shuffle in the seventh grade, I’ve acquired some of his musical tastes. It made sense that some of his favorite bands would rub off on me, but one has really stuck since the exciting days of my first preteen musical discoveries: The Strokes. The Strokes changed my musical world. I remember being baffled by how cool music could sound. How cool it could make me feel. Their mind-blowing guitar solos, their laidback vocals and their general New-York-Cityrock-band-who-doesn’t-care attitude were like nothing I’d ever heard before. I remember actually forcing my friends to listen to the unbelievable guitar solo in “Vision of Division”. “You Only Live Once” (yeah, I know, but it came out in 2006, long before the birth of YOLO) was constantly on repeat and I could never listen to “Automatic Stop” enough. I even became interested in the band members’ many side projects, like guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo work, as well as drummer Fabrizio Moretti’s band, Little Joy.

And five years later, I still love them. So you would think that I would be ecstatic to review their latest album, Comedown Machine. But truthfully, I went into this review with concerns that I would be hugely disappointed. Since the group’s previous album, Angles, their sound has completely changed from the stuff that I fell in love with. It’s changed from the downtown, alternative rock ‘n roll of “Someday” and “Reptilia” that left me listening again and again to a weirdly dancy (yet still angsty), extremely 80s sound that I was less than thrilled about. But since I have been a fan for so long, I decided it was worth a shot to give their new album a chance. Now, if you, unlike me, live for 80s music, then you should probably just go out and get this album immediately. But if you’re not into The Strokes and think a little synthesizer goes a long way, then I would steer clear. But as a devoted fan, I’ll do my best to defend this album a little. So let me tell you about the little ways that “Comedown Machine” redeems itself. Upon my first listen, I was not exactly happy — I was so focused on the elements of their new style (like the synthesizer and extreme falsetto that made the track “Chances” perfect for a slow dance in an 80’s prom movie) that I completely overlooked the little glimmers of the old Strokes that I knew and loved. After closer listening, though, I noticed

“Admission” w

Going into “Admission”, I had very high hopes for Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. Tina Fey ruled the small screen while writing the script and starring in “30 Rock”. I fell in love with Paul Rudd in “Clueless” and haven’t really let go of that since. Sadly, their performances fell short in their new movie. “Admission” follows the story of Portia Newman (Fey), an uptight admissions officer at Princeton. When Princeton falls to number two in the US News and World Report list of best colleges, Portia goes off to recruit applicants. She finds herself at New Quest, an alternative school run by a former classmate of hers, the free-spirited good Samaritan John Pressman (Rudd). There, Pressman introduces her to teenage prodigy, Jeremiah, whom she becomes suspicious is her son that she gave up for adoption. Then, Portia’s strictly normal life starts to come apart when she gets dumped by longterm boyfriend Mark (Michael Sheen) and she starts to think more and more about the baby boy that she gave up in her youth. “Admission” was an original, interesting

that nearly every track’s intro and verses were disappointingly 80s, but had a chorus and guitar solos (like the guitar parts in “One Way Trigger” and “All the Time”) that left me thinking of the old Strokes sound. Maybe the fact that I always loved the guitar riffs and solos so much means that their guitarist isn’t really into the new sound, either. Another issue I had with this album was it’s lack of unity. I realize that seems like the most obnoxious complaint an album reviewer could make, but as I was listening, it really bothered me how few of the tracks sounded like they belonged on the same album. Tracks like “Call it Fate, Call it Karma”, which was so unusually different I could hardly tell it was The Strokes at all, and “80’s Comedown Machine”, which was actually one of my favorites from the album thanks to its great guitar and slightly mellower sound, were nothing like the rest of the album. This was probably because of influence from bandmates’ side projects, like Albert Hammond, Jr.’s solo work, which was evident in “80’s Comedown Machine”. The most unusual influence, though, was that of drummer Fabrizio Moretti’s other band, Little Joy, in the final track, “Call it Fate, Call it Karma”. The slow, 1940’s influenced guitar and piano immediately made me think of Moretti’s other band, but the song felt so disjointed with The Strokes’ sound, not to mention the rest of

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idea that had a lot of promise. But it could h a v e had a much less appealing pretext and I still would have jumped at the chance to pay $6 to see it. Because that’s how much I love Tina Fey. The first half had me contentedly sitting in my plush chair in the theater, amused by Fey’s antics on screen and the movie’s not-sohidden jabs at the college admission process. Then I watched the second half morph into a drama. Kind of. It seemed to teeter on the line between the two, and I was never sure about what exactly director Paul Weitz was aiming at with this movie. Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are two of the best comedic actors working today and are incredibly likable to boot. But even they couldn’t pick up the slack left by the less-than-impressive script. The story seemed forced at some points and was seriously lacking in the comedy department. To say the love story was

Senior Hannah Ratliff discusses her thoughts of the new Strokes album “Comedown Machine” and reminisces on their old sound. the album, that I was actually confused by the way to chose to end the album. Especially if it could be their last. Yep, that’s right. I have my suspicions that this is the end of the line for The Strokes. Remember that older brother that made me fall in love with The Strokes in the first place? He’s an even bigger fan than I am, and he expects that one of our favorite bands might be close to breaking up. His theory is based on couple of things: first off, their music video for “All the Time” is a retrospective of their career, comprised of a bunch of old footage from when the band was getting famous. Another clue is that one of this album’s tracks is called “Happy Ending,” which could be not-so-subtly hinting that this is their final album. Though the idea of one of my all time favorite bands calling it quits certainly makes me sad (though they have been around for over a decade), more than anything it makes me wonder why on earth they would choose to become an ‘80s and deny me the sound I love before they end their career. So if you’re a die hard Strokes fan like myself, “Comedown Machine” probably won’t be what you’re hoping for, but it’s worth trying. Who knows, maybe I’ll grow to love the new 80s side of The Strokes. You’ll know I’ve accepted the 80s once I break out my leg warmers.

New movie “Admission” starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd is lessthan impressive.

predictable would be an understatement, but I’m ashamed to say that I ate it all up. Because that’s just how much of a sap I am. I wanted to like it. I really did. It was a cute movie that would make a fine date movie, or something fun to go see one night if there’s not much to do. It just wasn’t memorable. I don’t think I’d be able to tell you very much about the plot two weeks from now. And I can still recite whole scenes from “Mean Girls”. It had compelling characters and an interesting idea. There was a definite struggle that held on to me all the way until a pretty unsatisfactory end. I liked all the characters, but characters and good actors can’t make a good movie by themselves. Some of the best scenes in the whole movie belong to Lily Tomlin, who plays Susannah, Portia’s tough and fiercely feminist mother. Her feistiness contrasted wonder-

fully with Portia’s uptightness. Tina Fey was amazing, as she always is, and Paul Rudd was just as great as ever, but it was a waste their talents. So, what gives? I blame the script. It was a comedy, but then it wasn’t. A weak script kept me from really getting into the story. It had a love story that surprised no one and an interesting storyline that was, unfortunately, not very well executed.

photo courtesy of MCT Campus


SPORTS | 27

Left: Freshman Sarah Allegri Above: Freshman Mary Booton Above Right: Freshman Taylor Sawalich

MEN

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A ‘FRESH’ SET OF FACES Kline says she likes getting to play with her role models. She’s always looked up to seniors Anna Colby and Addison Steiner, because they’ve been playing varsity since they were freshmen too. Kline is looking forward to her junior and senior seasons when other players will look up to her just like she looks up to Colby and Steiner. Because Colby has been in their position, she sees it as her responsibility to make the freshmen feel welcome. “I feel more responsible to try to reach out to them because I know what it is like to be in their position,” Colby said. “And I think I can give them helpful advice for the same reason.” For the swimmers, their role model is Stanley. Most of them know her from Swim Academy, and her understanding of what it’s like to be in their position has made it easy for them to relate to her. Specifically, Sawalich looks up to seniors Tiernan Shank and Elizabeth Bittiker because they are fast freestylers, and Booton looks up to senior Sarah Freshnock because she specializes in breaststroke. Sawalich says she tries to swim in her role models’ lane, so that she can work with them to improve her stroke. “This group [of freshmen] is really, really fun,” Stanley said. “They aren’t afraid to be weird and goofy which is awesome because as a team we love being weird. The team loves getting to know the new freshmen and it’s fun that they are excited to get to know us.” Both the swimmers and soccer players believe they have a good chance at state. Stanford says winning state would be a cool experience, especially as a freshman. And she’s looking forward to team bonding and getting to know her teammates. But most importantly, Stanford and the other girls are excited for team T-shirts. Lots and lots of cute T-shirts.

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photos by Kathryn Jones had to try harder. I just had to act like I was going to get cut.” Sawalich said she made a point to try hard and prove to everyone that she actually deserved to be on the team, even though she knew she was going to be on varsity. “I tried to show everyone that I was good enough,” Sawalich said. “I wanted to earn my spot on the team.” Even after making the team, the girls were still nervous. They wanted the older girls to be nice to them. Booton didn’t go to swim tryouts, so she was worried that the upperclassmen wouldn’t like her. But coach Cole reassured her that it wouldn’t be like that. Booton and the other swimmers agree that their team is close and it’s because everyone is so welcoming towards the freshmen. Senior Meg Stanley has been swimming on varsity since she was a freshman as well. Because of this, she is able to relate to these girls, which has strengthened their bond. “We had about the same number of freshmen on varsity our freshman year,” Stanley said. “So as senior captains it helps us understand what it’s like to be a large freshmen group. It’s really the senior’s job to make sure that the freshmen feel welcomed, not intimidated, and since we were welcomed as freshmen it is really important to us to make sure the freshmen feel part of the team from the start.” Kline, Harrington and Weigel were worried too, but for different reasons. Because the varsity soccer team had been playing together for so long, they didn’t want to mess it up. They wanted to be able to fit in. “They’ve all played together for so long and are really close,” Harrington said. “So we have to figure out how they play with each other, because it’s kind of different than our club teams.” Even though it’s nerve-racking,

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HEART & PASSION LANCERS 12

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On the first day of swim tryouts, freshman Sarah Allegri swam at the back of the lane. She is a year-round, competitive swimmer. She feels comfortable in the water. But she didn’t want to go to the front. She was afraid to be “that” freshman who’s too full of herself. So she swam behind all of the upperclassmen, until the team did an aerobic swim test consisting of constant sprints, where Allegri managed to be the last one swimming. After out-sprinting everyone, the freshman from the back of the lane moved up to the front of the lane and easily made varsity. Five other freshmen joined Allegri on the varsity team: Taylor Sawalich, Chloe Stanford, Mary Booton and Maddie Mann. And it’s not just the swim team; varsity girls’ soccer awarded positions to three freshmen: Adalaide Kline, Chloe Harrington and Georgia Weigle. Most of these freshmen knew that they were going to make varsity coming into tryouts. Allegri, Sawalich, Stanford and Booton all swim for head swim coach Rob Cole at Kansas City Swim Academy. Stanford said he knew their team before they even tried out, so he used to joke around with the girls and say, “two more years until you come swim with us.” Kline and Weigle have played together on their club team, Sporting Blue Valley, for two years and Harrington has been playing with them for a year. Their team wasn’t a typical team — it belonged to the Elite Clubs National League (ENCL). Sporting Blue Valley defines ENCL as, “the top youth female league in the United States”. According to Kline, it’s the best girls’ team you can be on, and requires intensive commitment and travel. Going into tryouts, these three girls were confident. “I knew for sure that we weren’t going to make C-team,” Kline said. “But I just really wanted to make varsity so I

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Promising freshmen make varsity swimming and soccer teams

written by Caroline Kohring

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“[It takes] a lot of hard work and practice. [It’s also about] knowing how to control your body and many hours of swimming and a lot of laps.” -FRESHMAN MADDIE MANN, SWIMMER “I don’t really mind [that seniors joke with me]. They always call us “freshman” when we do something wrong or are a little late but I don’t think the other girls mind.” -FRESHMAN GEORGIA WEIGLE, SOCCER “The thing that I think is crucial is that one puts the team above themselves. [It’s] like when you want to swim a specific event but your coach wants you to swim another event for the overall benefit of the team.” - FRESHMAN MARY BOOTON, SWIMMER 12

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“On ENCL (Elite Clubs National League) [my team] traveled about two weeks out of every month then we’d practice as a team twice a week.” -CHLOE HARRINGTON, SOCCER


28 | SPORTS

MEXICAN

strategy. Villanova it is. After an hour of scratching my head in stress and finding different techniques to decide match ups that I have absolutely no clue about, I have finally finished my 2013 NCAA bracket. Twenty four hours later, my bracket was in shambles. About a fourth of the teams I picked are out and I am feeling the bracket blues. I go to the restaurant to eat my pain away where I meet a couple from Minnesota. Instinctively, my first question is how the Minnesota Gophers are doing. It turns out that these two lovebirds are actually hard core an opinion of Alex Goldman Marquette fans, and it art by Paloma Gustafson-Ika just so happened that There a many great things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. You the Golden Eagles were playing can lay on the powdery flour like Davidson with a minute and a half sand as you soak in the sun, go left in the game down by seven. parasailing in the crystal clear blue Like any other true Marquette fans waters of the Pacific Ocean or just they still kept faith. I decided to make things enjoy a cold beverage in a rooftop pool as you watch a beautiful interesting put down a little bit of pesos on Davidson. sunset. One thing Mexico is not is Unfortunately, Stephen Curry was a prime destination for would not on this Wildcat team. After be attempting to keep up with two miraculous three pointers, March Madness and watch all of Marquette’s guard Vander Blue its magical drama. Being an avid banks in a layup to win the game. basketball fan, I was determined The entire bar goes nuts except to keep my yearly basketball me as I stare into the screen in traditions going as I donned my complete shock. Two-hundred pesos down the toilet. Syracuse jersey and a sombrero. Day two showed some The first challenge was Selection Sunday. After four hours improvement with Ole Miss of flying I hoped to at least find a upsetting Wisconsin and my channel to watch the unveiling Syracuse Orange putting on a show of the 68-team basketball against Montana. Things abruptly tournament. It turned out that the turned sour after Georgetown, resort didn’t have any channels who I had going to the Elite Eight, that would televise Selection lose to Florida Gulf Coast. Yeah, Sunday so ended up at a internet not Florida or Florida State. Not cafe a few blocks away from the even Florida A&M. Freakin’ Florida Gulf Coast. Out of nowhere these hotel. Once I got my hands on a guys are making this gimme game bracket it was time to make what look more like a dunk contest I like to call every March “most against the Hoyas. Even the important decisions of the year.” Mexican waiters have to pause I needed to find a quiet place to and look in awe as Georgetown make my picks and a resort bar is internationally embarrassed. with a throng of Spring Breakers Part of me hates to see my bracket was not it. A couple other college nearing closer to death, but the basketball fanatics and I escaped to other half is loving this epic upset. The next few days, I needed my room where we brainstormed and figured out our Elite Eights, a vacation from bracket. I wish Final Fours and champions of the I could say I kept up with the tournament but the enticing Big Dance, or El Baile Grande. Alright. Mizzou will take care Pacific Ocean kept pulling me to of Colorado State no doubt. Now the beaches and I finally caved we got North Carolina versus in. I traded in my jersey for swim Villanova. Two very decent teams trunks, put down the TV remote from solid conferences. I’m leaving and picked up a Piña Colada as I this one to the ole heads and tales headed for my tropical escape from

MADNESS

MEXICAN MADNESS VS. KANSAS KRAZE Goldman chooses his favorite parts of watching March Madness form Mexico and Kansas Calamari Calamari Watching Basketball in Kaskie’s Hotel Room

MEXICO

Piña Colada

Piña Colada

Piña Colada Laying on the Beach Piña Colada Johnny’s Tavern Fries Johnny’s Tavern Fries Watching Basketball at Hanson’s

Dr. Pepper

KANSAS

Driveway Basketball

Driveway Basketball

Johnny’s Tavern Fries

basketball blunders. Even on the calming beach, I still felt the temptations to find a flat screen, Volleyballs reminded me of basketballs, clouds began to look like Blue Devils and, it may of been the sugar from my drinks getting to my head but I thought I saw Ben Mclemore swimming in the ocean. I was mad from March Madness. The sun began to set and I resorted back to the tube to catch the rest of the second round, just in time to see the Jayhawks nearly give my friends’ a heart attack. Luckily for the resort’s paramedic, Kansas pulled away with the W. After a week filled with buzzerbeaters, mojitos and seafood I was ready to start selling keychains on the beach and live in this paradise for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I had to return to Kansas so I could finish this story and complete high school. My eyes began to tear up as I boarded the flight and said good bye to the last Mexican sunset I’d see. As I began to turn off my phone for the flight I opened an ESPN text alert. “Florida Gulf Coasts cruises past San Diego State” Well, that does it. Any chance of winning my bracket pool passed away quicker than my week inter a week filled with buzzer-beaters, mojitos and seafood I was ready to start selling keychains on the beach and live in this paradise for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I had to return to Kansas so I could finish this story and complete high school. My eyes began to tear up as I boarded the flight and said good bye to the last Mexican sunset I’d see. As I began to turn off my phone for the flight I opened an ESPN text alert. “Florida Gulf Coasts cruises past San Diego State” Well, that does it. Any chance of winning my bracket pool passed away quicker than my week in Mexico. After a week filled with buzzer-beaters, mojitos and seafood I was ready to start selling keychains on the beach and live in this paradise for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I had to return to Kansas so I could finish this story and complete high school. My eyes began to tear up as I boarded the flight and said good bye to the last Mexican sunset I’d see. As I began to turn off my phone for the flight I opened an ESPN text alert. “Florida Gulf Coasts cruises past San Diego State” Well, that does it. Any chance of winning my bracket pool passed away quicker than my week in Mexico. Mexico.


SPORTS |29

STILL

SWINGIN’ Despite obstacles, senior looks to pursue softball in college photos by Marisa Walton written by Vanessa Daves

Senior Kassey Hughes has moved to five different states and played on seven different traveling teams. She’s made lifelong friends, sisters, all over the country because of it. She’s had to get surgery because of two tears in her lateral meniscus, leaving her on crutches for weeks. She’s become stronger and more fit than she ever thought she would be. She’s lost a contract to play softball in college, and as a result, lost confidence in herself. She’s learned more life lessons from softball than she has from the rest of her life put together. For Kassey, softball comes with obstacles. But more importantly, Kassey feels she approaches softball season with the audacity to overcome those obstacles * * * When Kassey was in second grade and all her friends signed up to play softball, she wanted to do the same. When her parents didn’t let her for financial reasons, she wanted to do it even more. The next year, when she was in third grade, they finally let her play. She lived in Waco, Texas at the time, a place renowned for the softball players it breeds. According to maxpreps.com, 13 of the top 50 softball girls recruits are from Texas. When Kassey was in fifth grade, her dad’s job took her family to Murfreesboro, Tenn. Softball is what made the transition bearable. Through softball she was able to relate to six other girls with the same interests as her — like softball, and country music and reading. Tennessee really started to feel like home, even more than Texas did. When she was in eighth grade, her parents started up a game of Hangman with Kassey and her younger siblings. They told them what they never wanted to imagine: they were moving again. This time, they were going to the middle of the country, what seemed like the middle of nowhere – Kansas. Kassey was beyond angry — she was furious. She had low expectations for life in

Kansas. * * * With every fiber of her being, she hates it. She hates the team. The coach, Mike Keener. His weird lingo. Her dad, Tim, got her involved in this summer team before her freshman year of high school. She tries to be positive about it, but she just can’t find it in her. She’s still mad at her parents for making her move. She doesn’t even want to give softball a chance here. After practice ends, Kassey goes home with her mind set. She can’t handle Keener again, and she knows he is the JV coach at East. “If I make JV, I’m not playing,” Kassey tells Tim. “I can’t stand that man.” She ended up making varsity, but looking back on how she acted, she laughs at herself — her immaturity. “When I first met him, I thought, ‘I know everything there is to know about softball and I’m doing everything right because I can get the ball there and I can hit the ball, so what else is there to the game?’” Kassey said. “Oh, and there’s so much more.” As the season starts, Keener slows the game down, starts from the beginning. He carries his knowledge over to softball, teaching the girls the fundamentals of the game. Even this season, the first few weeks have been talking about the basics, getting through that necessary information that makes the game what it is. Kassey attributes the team’s prior success, such as going to state last year, to Keener’s knowledge of the sport. “Last year, we won as many games as we did and got as far as we did because he taught us the fundamentals and that’s what makes the game,” Kassey said. “It’s crazy, one little detail, like how you step or how you position your hand before you throw the ball, how that’s going to affect a play.” As the school season started, Kassey eventually started to like the girls on the team. She got over being the new girl —being the girl that nobody reached out to because they thought she went to the other school. Mis-

sion Valley students thought she was from Indian Hills, and vice versa. But it all changed for Kassey when she started as a third baseman on varsity her freshman year. Softball helped her make friends, and as the only freshman on varsity, Kassey became well integrated into the team. During games, her teammates would cheer her on when she went up to bat. “She’s our freshman!” Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. Softball became her family. The girls that she used to think were weird became her best friends, and that weirdness that repelled her from them in the beginning became how she acted on a regular basis. It felt good. It felt right. She’d finally found her niche, her calling, her passion. And she felt right in place. * * * All those years of playing softball didn’t come without injury. Going into her senior year, Kassey learned that she had developed two tears in her lateral meniscus. Because of this, she had to get knee surgery in December — something Kassey did with less than welcoming arms. “I didn’t want a problem for the rest of my life so I knew I had to get it done,” Kassey said. “I wasn’t freaked out until I was sitting in the room and they prepped me and put in the needle for anesthesia. I got nervous, but I knew I had to do it. In the days after the operation, Kassey was left on the couch for days, unable to move. She hated being forced to be immobile, and counted down the seconds to when she could be herself again. It was nothing too serious — it called for physical therapy and crutches for six weeks. But approaching the season, Kassey’s greatest fear was that she wouldn’t be able to play. * * * It’s a spur of the moment decision. It’s July, the summer before her senior year, and after one of her tournament games, a coach from Colorado School of Mines approaches her, tells her she has talent and she should check out the school. Kassey doesn’t even know what that school is. So she goes to see it, and she loves it. She loves the rustic setting. The academic focus of the school. The small, intimate group of students that attend. The location, in beautiful, scenic Colorado. “It’s a sign!” her mom Kristine says. “It’s a sign that you’re supposed to play softball next year!” Kassey had gotten in touch with other schools, but when it came down to it, Mines was where she decided to go. Although she hadn’t received her acceptance letter, the coach from Mines told her to go ahead and sign with them in November. But when the letter still hadn’t come by the New Year, Kassey started to get a little nervous. Kristine was worried. It had happened before — where an athlete who had

already committed to a school ended up not being accepted – but Kristine shot down those ideas. There was no way that would happen to Kassey. Never. Those were simply horror stories, things that they heard about that would never actually happen to them. So when it did, it came with shock. And questions. Was it me? Kassey thought. Am I not good enough? “It’s a sign that you’re supposed to go somewhere else,” Kristine told Kassey. Kassey was sick of signs. Sick of this whole college thing. Sick of her parents telling everyone. “It’s just so sad!” Kristine would say when Kassey chastised her for telling people about her loss. Olympic softball player Christie Ambrosi is a family friend of the Hughes’ — her son is in the same grade as Kassey’s younger brother. She played for the Australian team and won gold in 2000. When Ambrosi found out about what happened, she told Kassey she would be her manager. “You are college material,” Ambrosi would tell Kassey. Kassey remained unsure of herself. “Whatever you say,” Kassey would respond. It was mid-January by then. Kassey started wondering if softball was really what she was meant to do, and as the season got closer and closer, she dreaded it more and more. She would be the only returning senior varsity player, unsure of how her knee would be by the time the season started and she was nervous to be what felt like the only leader on the team. “I thought softball had burned me out,” Kassey said. “But the second it started, it’s like I’m ready to go.” Although the season got to a slow start because of all the snow, it didn’t put out Kassey’s fire for the sport. Starting this season, she remembered everything she loved about softball – and it made her realize that trying to play in college was worth it. “Maybe there’s a reason I’m not meant to got there because maybe I’m meant to do better things,” Kassey said. “That was going to be a very academic school and then I couldn’t focus on softball as much so I think to myself, maybe I’m meant to do something else.” Now, Kassey is working with Christie to try and walk on to a team next year. She has applied to both KU and Ole Miss. Currently she’s leaning toward Ole Miss, although she has not made a final decision. “[Christie told me if] you go and play a sport in college, you can always opt out and decide not to,” Kassey said. “But if you go to college and don’t play, you can’t go back and say, ‘What if?’” So she’ll do what she can. Because for Kassey, softball is something worth fighting for. It’s something worth overcoming obstacles for.


30 | SPORTS

written by Michael Kraske

photos by Maddie Schoemann

Seniors Chase Hanna and Connor Knabe have done goofy things with each other since they were in elementary school. They have all sorts of inside jokes, like making llama calls or saying words like “chicken strips” in funny voices. They took sophomore Lucas Jones to Hooters for his birthday and got the Hooters girls to sing happy birthday and call him “Big money”. Once, when playing golf together, Hanna fell backwards into a pond after getting distracted talking to Knabe and both boys laughed so hard they cried. The boys have always been linked together. But it’s not just because they’re both D1 golf commits. It’s not because they were both starters on varsity basketball. People tend to group Knabe and Hanna together because through their sports, they’ve become best friends. The boys spend hours nearly every day together yearround. Whether it’s basketball in the winter or golf the rest of the year, or all the times in between rounds and games, Hanna and Knabe are practically always together. The boys are used to spending so much time together. Growing up at Brookwood elementary, they became close friends fast, and in middle school they became best friends. This is primarily due to the fact that they spend so much time together playing sports like baseball, basketball and golf. Through sports, their relationship has blossomed. East head basketball coach Shawn Hair first noticed the boys when they would come to his basketball camps growing up. He noticed they would always flock towards each other even when they were in different groups, and see how each other were doing. “(At camps) I could tell they were pretty close,” Hair said. “From the get-go I could tell they were pretty good friends.” Along with coach Hair, golf coach Ermanno Ritschl noticed that at high school golf practice the boys would flock together even when in different hitting groups to see how each other were doing. Their sports aren’t the only thing they have in common. Senior Kyle Winston, who has known the boys since middle school, says both the boys are very comical. “They’re both just really silly and laid back,” Winston said. “They’re always making noises, and doing goofy stuff.” Coach Ritschl agrees with Winston. “I always enjoy being around them,” Ritschl said. “It’s just fun to be around them, they have a great sense of humor.” After having very high expectations for the basketball season and placing fourth at state, the boys want to use that disappointment as motivation to do well this golf season. “It was a tough end,” Knabe said. “But it was really successful, also. So it would be good to continue how well we did in basketball to golf.”

Last golf season, seniors Henry Simpson and Conner Shrock were two of the leaders of the golf team. They now play for K-state, to where Knabe is following in their footsteps. Both Knabe and Hanna found Simpson and Shrock to be role models. They hope they can bring success to the East name with a league and a state title this year. “It’s a great opportunity,” Hanna said. “Us two are definitely going to need to step up. Losing them will be hard, but I think we’ll be able to step up for sure.” Both boys started in basketball for the majority of the season. Although this is true, they both consider golf to be their main sport. Next year, Knabe and Hanna will both be going to college on golf scholarships. Hanna will be going to KU while Knabe will be going to rival school K-State, but the boys are excited to be on a different team for the first time.

MAKING IT

BIG

“It’ll be fun,” Knabe said. “We will get to play each other, which will be a cool experience. This golf season marks the boys’ last high school sport, and the last team they will ever play on together. Although they will be sad to leave each other and all the memories, they are ready to move onto college and a bigger stage for golf. They will keep in touch and see each other when playing as rivals for the first time in their lives next season.

Seniors Chase Hanna and Connor Knabe grow their freindship through golf and basketball

ON THE COURT

Knabe and Hanna dominate in basketball

Hanna made Knabe ended the season with 54 rebounds:

13

offensive

31 defensive

27 three-pointers this year, the second most on the team.

Knabe and Hanna played the same amount of total quarters this year:

97


THE SPORTS ROUND UP

SPORTS | 31 written by Tiernan Shank

SPRINGSPORTSPREVIEW

GIRLS’ SWIMMING With the gain of eight freshman: Bonnie Longan, Sarah Allegri, Mary Booton, Chloe Stanford, Taylor Sawalich, Maddie Mann and Katie Vahle, the varsity girls’ swim team is in a good place for the state meet in May. Seniors Sarah Freshnock and Meg Stanley will lead the season in point value especially with their school record breaking 400 freestyle relay with fellow senior Tiernan Shank and junior Emily Minick. After their first place state title, the swimmers and divers are hard at work. Their main competition this year will be Lawrence Freestate, a team that also gained 5 freshmen, and the state runner up Washburn-Rural. With 10 divers this year, 6 returning, senior Katherine Higdon and junior Sarah Gillaspie will carry the team to state.

GIRLS’ SOCCER After losing to Blue Valley Northwest in the quarterfinals last year, the girls’ soccer team is gearing up for a successful season. Not having won in the quarterfinals three years in a row, senior Anna Colby hopes to break the streak. Colby, with fellow seniors Alex Hilliard and Addison Steiner are this year’s varsity captains. “The preparation will be every day in practice, maintaining focus,” Colby said. “When it comes to the actual game or any postseason games our main goal will be to finish our chances [to score] because in the last three years we haven’t scored in the quarter final game.” The varsity team also gained three new freshman -Georgia Weigel, Adalaide Kline and Chloe Herrington. Their biggest competitors are Shawnee Mission West, St. Teresa’s, and last year’s state champions, Olathe East. “I think our team is really close and it will be fun to play every game with each other,” junior Jessica Young said. “The seniors are really good leaders this year so it should be a good year.”

photo by Emily Bruyere

photo by Afton Apodaca

TRACK & FIELD Track was off to a slow start this season due to snow on the track, but after the team shoveled the snow off they were able to get a few time trials underway before spring break. “[Shoveling] was a unique team bonding experience,” junior Annie Kuklenski said. “I thought it was going to be long and tiring, but it actually went by really quickly, and I ended up having a fun time with my teammates. We also got a good arm workout.” So far, sophomores Stephanie Wilcox and Will Moore have placed first in the mile time trials, followed closely behind seniors Mitch Kaskie and Carter Olander, junior Annie Kuklenski and sophomore Hannah Arnspiger. Returning from spring break, East hosted the Shawnee Mission East Quad meet with the four other Shawnee Mission Schools and St. Thomas Aquinas. Only the top two people in each event were able to run in the Quad meet and it was run by the JV team members.

photo by Gracie Guignon

SOFTBALL Last year, Lady Lancers softball became the first East softball team to win regionals and go to state. They lost their first game to Maize High School, but senior Kassey Hughes wants to go further this year. “We want to have a winning record and especially since we have built up the program so much that we really want to keep it going,” Hughes said. This year the team spent the first three weeks of spring sports working on fundamentals and teaching everyone the basics of the sport since they have a younger, newer team. As for competition, the girls are preparing for the Olathe schools and Shawnee Mission Northwest.

photo by Logan Hanaway

BASEBALL Like many spring sports, the baseball team go off to a slow start because of the snow. After shoveling the field the boys were able to get in a full week of practice and the 100 Inning Varsity vs. JV fundraiser game on March 14. Despite only having three seniors — Stephen Brophy, Kalvin Murphy and Michael Steinbacher — the juniors and sophomores are giving the team depth. In particular, juniors Trey Austin and Gunnar Troutwine, and sophomores Charlie White and Max Sanborn. After losing to Shawnee Mission North in regionals last year, the boys are facing hard competition against Lawrence High and Blue Valley West.

BOYS’ GOLF With four senior golfers — Chase Hanna, Connor Knabe, Connor Richardson and Evan Bloom — the boys’ golf team will have strong senior leadership. After placing third in last year’s state tournament behind Blue Valley North and Blue Valley West, the Lancers hope to take back the state title, last won in 2011. SME will be hosting this year’s state tournament at Meadowbrook Country Club. Since the snow has prevented the boys from getting out on the course, the team has been going to Robin Nigros Golf Academy, an outdoor driving range with heated stalls, to practice. “Once the snow melts and we can go outside we’ll become more focused,” Richardson said. “Our coach really wants the team to improve our overall short game because that’s where you can gain the most strokes on the competition.”

BOYS’ TENNIS The boys’ tennis team was off to a slow start due to the snow accumulation. A young Lancer lineup is looking forward to another winning season and a shot at the state championship. Senior Jake Glazer, juniors Brooks Kendall, Jamie McDonald and Spencer Jones, sophomore Reese Goulding and freshman Jack Santilly hope to take the state title for the second year in a row. The team’s main competition will be Blue Valley North who were second in state last year. Along with BVN, the boys hope to beat Rockhurst for the third year in a row. The nine seniors on the team are missing one of their fellow peers, Tyler Rathbun, who passed away earlier this year. Rathbun was apart of the tennis team his freshman and sophomore year. To honor his memory, seniors Collin Jones, Will Cray, Parker Johnson, Henry LeGard, Alex Goldman and junior Spencer Jones made tennis jerseys with the initials TR on the front and the number 14 on the back. “We wanted to show that he had not been forgotten and that we miss him a lot,” Collin said. “He was my doubles partner a lot of the time and he was just a great kid to have on the team.”


32 |PHOTO ESSAY

SME BREAK

From beaches to mountains to cities, the East student body showed The Harbinger love via Twitter photos

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1 Spanish teacher Linda Sieck and junior daughter Eileen at Six Flags 2 Seniors AJ Orth, Hannah Dahlor; Juniors Alec and Justin Armer; Sophomores Abby Cramer, Austin Dalgleish; and freshman Tyler Armer at Musical Theatre for Young People 3 Choir teacher Ken Foley and daughter Bria at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 4 Freshman Leah O’Connor in Copper Mountain, Colorado. 5 Juniors Annie Foster and Mary Grace Poskin in Vail, Colorado 6 Freshmen Hailey Hughes and Halle Connelly in Sea Grove, Florida 7 Seniors Joe Simmons and Sam Bihuniak in the Dominican Republic 8 Sophomores Morgan Krakow, Harrison Stewart, SamHuffman, Will Reimer, Will Kaiser, Nic Bailey and James Wooldridge in Snow Mass, Colorado


Issue 13 of the 2013-2014 Harbinger