Page 1

vol. 43 | issue 10 | april 27, 2012


illustration byfreyermuth david freyermuth photophoto illustration by david


THE IMPORTANCE OF APPEARANCE As the media constantly bombards them with images of so-called perfect men and women, high school students often struggle with how to view their own bodies. on page 13


The summer is a great time to visit colleges and begin planning for the future.


Several students and staff have come together to create a rugby team — a sport never played at Northwest before.

Driver Education at Johnson County Community College

Drive Safe, Drive Smart • Kansas Board of Education certified instructors providing comprehensive training • 6 hours of driving • 6 hours of observation • 30 hours of classroom instruction • Optional at-home pick-up/drop-off service for driving portion of training • Automobile fleet includes a Toyota Prius hybrid car, which lessens the program's carbon footprint while promoting sustainability

Course fee: $349. Enroll for summer classes today! For class dates and times visit or call 913-469-4446 Johnson County Community College 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66210

FUNERAL HOME CREMATORY MEMORIAL CHAPELS 10901 Johnson Drive Shawnee, KS 66203 913-631-5555



Issue 10 | Vol. 43 | April 27, 2012 Shawnee Mission Northwest 12701 West 67th St., Shawnee, Kan., 66216

NEWS in brief




Updates about happenings at Northwest Pop culture and news from around the world





the importance of appearance As the media constantly bombards them with images of perfect bodies, high school students often struggle with how to view themselves.


my college road trip

OPINIONS hung up over facebook


closer to home


Too many people focus on helping third-world countries while ignoring the problems in their backyards.

dating: old-fashioned?


tackling negative body image


Romantic relationships in Finland are nothing like those in the United States.

Low self-esteem in high school students could be solved through healthy habits and positive affirmation.

Meg Cabot’s Abandon,, HBO’s Girls and A Reckless Disregard for Gravity

FEATURES photo by mikala compton

If you want to get over your ex, stop looking at their profile.


The summer is a great time to get a head start on college visits.



photo by nate compton


starting from scratch


head fakes and brick walls

Students come together to play a sport that has never been played at school before — rugby. The lessons learned in sports can also be applied to life.


EDITOR’S NOTE: [ staff ]

Co-editors-in-chief | Ashlee Crane, Maria Davison + David Freyermuth

Copy Editor | Brianna Leyden Design Editor | Bailey Kopp Web Managing Editor | Edelawit Hussein Photo Editors | Mikala Compton + David Freyermuth

Ads Editor | Paige Waltman News Editor | Hayley Battenberg Opinions Editors | Maria Davison + David Freyermuth

Entertainment Editor | Ashlee Crane Sports Editors | Brady Klein Assistant Designer | Brooke Golladay Graphic Artist | Mitch Feyerherm Staff Writers | Kirk Bado, Sam Bellmyer, Rachel Ferencz, Julie Kurbjeweit, Davis Millard, Anna Moilanen, Evan Shinn, Connor Thompson + Paige Waltman

Contributors | Marlee Bell, Brooke Courtney, Grace Freeman + Edelawit Hussien

In elementary and middle school, I was the skinny kid. I was the one that everyone was concerned would blow away if the wind picked up. I was always worried looking ghostly and skeleton-like, hoping I would gain weight in all the right places. Unfortunately, that is not always what happens. In high school, I started to pack on the pounds. I was no longer the 85 pound eighth grader: fat pooled around my stomach and thighs, and let’s just say, I wasn’t happy about it. Even though I know I am a healthy weight for my height — my BMI of 23.9 says so (for more information on BMI, see page 16) — I still feel like there is always something I have to prove as far as appearances go. When watching shows like America’s Next Top Model (it’s my guilty pleasure), I feel the pressure that is put on models to be as skinny and flawless as possible. I remember the confusion and outrage I felt at the fact that Cycle 10 winner, Whitney Thompson, (with a dress size of 12-14, just a few sizes bigger than what I wear) was considered a plus size model. Thompson was what society should probably consider average, but she was given a title that occasionally has a negative connotation. It just wasn’t fair. In a recent PLUS Model Magazine photo shoot, size 12 model Katya Zharkova poses next to a thinner “straight size” model, accentuating the differences between what is normal and what is perceived as “perfection.” In the fashion world, a model that is a size 6-14 is considered plus sized. However, according to a statistic from the magazines campaign, “50 percent of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.” The stigma of being overweight has gone overboard, and that perceived disgrace of being a few pounds heavier than your favorite fashion model is just preposterous. While being part of the overweight or obese percentage of society can be harmful to your health, there’s nothing wrong with being normal. Thin is no longer in; average is what we need to be striving for.

Ashlee Crane Editor-in-Chief

Do you have something to contribute to the Northwest Passage?


We would love to hear your opinion about anything we’ve published or other things going on around Northwest. Letters can be brought to Room 151. Only signed letters will be published.

Adviser | Susan Massy The purpose of the Northwest Passage is to relay important and interesting information to the community, administration and students of the Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. As a newsmagazine, the Northwest Passage will cater to the interests and concerns of the student body. Outside concerns and activities will only be covered if they somehow affect the school or students. the Northwest Passage is a 24page newsmagazine. The paper will be distributed every three weeks during fifth hour. Subscriptions will be available to the community for $25. the Northwest Passage firmly supports the First Amendment and opposes censorship. The content of the newspaper will be determined and created by the entire staff. When questions concerning word choice, legal problems or ethics arise the editorial board and adviser will discuss the problem to find a solution. In these cases, the co-editors-in-chief will the have final say in all decisions. Letters to the editor will be accepted and encouraged, but will only be published if signed. The staff reserves the right to edit for grammatical mistakes, length and good taste. Letters may attack policy but not people. In no way will ideas or viewpoints be changed. The co-editors-in-chief reserves the right to refuse any letter.


April 27, 2012

IN BRIEF Earth day art show on display

The “Cardboard Thinker,” is featured in the art gallery on April 23. The art piece is made up of cardboard and hot glue and is based on Rodin’s “The Thinker.” photo by aaron messick

The fifth annual Earth Day Recycled Art Show will be remain open during school hours today for students to get a last look at the pieces before the show closes after school today. The showcase opened a little more than a week ago. Students can view the pieces made of repurposed materials in the student gallery adjacent to the office. The theme of the show, according to art teacher David Hunt, is Earth Day, art and global consciousness. “This is certainly one of my favorite events of the school year,” Hunt said. “I love seeing the creativity and inventiveness of students when honoring ecology and our beautiful world.” This is a juried art show which will be judged after the date of publication The first place winner will receive a Coby Android tablet, donated by Hunt. Entries will be judged on their originality, connection to the earth day theme of ecology and recycling and on the level of creativity. Other prizes will consist of cash, theater tickets and gift certificates provided by H.E.L.P.E.R. Club. Students use plastic bottles, aluminum cans, pop top lids, cardboard and other recycled materials in their art entries. These supplies are not be provided, so students collect their own recycled items. “It’s an opportunity to let your creativity shine,” Hunt said, “[and a way to] get the student population to stop trashing the mall during lunches.”

Sleep-in-a-Box raises $4,200 Students from CCC, Student Council, Varsity Drill Team, NHS, Interact and other community service clubs slept on the track April 16 in order to experience the conditions many homeless individuals endure every night. More than 100 students and 30 adults volunteered their Monday night to raise over $4,200 and awareness for Shalom House, a men’s homeless shelter. “It was nice to raise so much money for the Shalom House,” sophomore Connor Johnson said. This was all part of StuCo’s annual Sleep-in-aBox event. Students paid $40 to participate after attending a mandatory informational meeting. On the night of the event, they began setting up boxes at 8 p.m. on the track, and then slept in the boxes. The next morning, they were not allowed to shower as that would detract from the experience. They were fed breakfast in the cafeteria and then attended all their classes on April 17. Students said it was an eye-opening experience, especially the hardships. “Sleeping the cold showed me how hard it would be to be homeless,” Johnson said. “I am blessed to be able to live in a nice home.”

by grace freeman

by brooke courtney

Repertory theater class to perform The Fantasticks A fake family feud, two friends that become lovers and a planned abduction are just some of the situations encountered in the Repertory Theater musical The Fantasticks, which opened last night and continues through tomorrow. The musical, written by Tom Jones, includes many types of characters. Senior Trey Edwards will be performing the lead role of El Gallo. “El Gallo is a very theatrical character so it’s great to go overboard with his movements and voice and have it still make sense for the character,” Edwards said. Because El Gallo is Spanish, Edwards had to learn how to master this role, accent and moves included. “To prepare, I did what I thought was Spanish dancing: moving around with hips and all,” Edwards said. “It’s just fun and gets me excited to get into character.” Junior Emily Maddox’s character, Mute #1, was

another challenging role. “You have to concentrate and really think about your facial expressions and what are the appropriate reactions to certain things,” Maddox said. “[It’s hard to do this] without showing bias.” The show doesn’t have a set time period, and no exact set, except a couple of scaffolding structures. In The Fantasticks, students may even recognize some familiar plot developments. “Expect a Romeo and Juliet story with a scenic twist,” Maddox said. Students from previous productions, such as seniors Tanner Rose and Karen Baltzley, and juniors Gabby Rehor and Brooke Golladay, will also be acting in The Fantasticks. The play will be presented at 7 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night in the Greg Parker Auditorium. Tickets will be available for $8 or free with an activity pass.

by marlee bell

Junior Mitch Nolan spars with senior Tanner Rose during rehearsal on April 23 in the Greg Parker Auditorium. Nolan was asked to play the part of Mortimer the Friday before the show. “I immediately felt pressure to learn my part as soon as possible,” Nolan said. photo by nate compton

Pop culture and news from around the world.

compiled by Edalawit Hussein

12-25 South Carolina Department of Mental Health


rugby players will be injured during the season



- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram acquisition NY Times

The search for Etan Patz, a 6-year-old New York boy who disappeared more than three decades ago, has resumed. Etan disappeared May 25, 1979, as he was walking alone to his school bus stop for the first time. FBI investigators are giving the Patz case, which is on the verge of being closed, a last-ditch effort. NY Times


April 27, 2012


Facebook Press Statistics

National Alliance to End Homelessness

1.972 MILLION Facebook friend requests are accepted.


1 in 4

In 20 minutes,


New research from Weill Cornell Medical School suggests that even people with a healthy body mass index (BMI), a commonly used scale to measure body fat, could actually be obese and at risk for a host of complications. MSNBC





Shawnee Mission Parkway & Lackman Shawnee, KS



Evan really ought to write a real subhead or we’re going to publish it like this and that would be embarrassing. messages and whatever else the social-networking site is used for, and that’s when you see it: photos from last night. It looks like your ex had a little get-together, and you weren’t there. I bet she had a lot of fun, too. Oh, and look at all your friends; they were there as well. All of a sudden, you’re feeling left out, forgotten and frustrated, and you can’t explain why. It’s because she’s moving on, bud, and you’re not OK with that. Over the course of the next few weeks, you’re a wreck. Let’s be honest, you’re constantly checking her Facebook page, noting her tweets and reading into her terribly cliché statuses about love, thinking that, for some reason, they’re directed toward you. And you do this because it’s the only way of keeping in touch with her without texting, calling or saying ‘hi’ in the halls. You don’t mean to do this, but because the geniuses at Facebook programmed some crazy algorithm to remember your most frequently visited pages so they can be flaunted on your


newsfeed, you have no other choice. It’s not your fault, and you’re probably not the only one. But that’s not my point. My point is this: You desperately need space from this person because it is essential for your healing process, as lame as that sounds (gag me). But because of all of the social networking of the 21st century, you’re constantly being reminded that he or she still exists. And what’s more interesting is the outcome of this type of behavior. I can’t really prove all this, but prior to the 21st century, keeping in contact with someone was a choice, whether through a phone call or a letter. Now, with resources such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s almost like you don’t have a choice. You’re constantly being updated with information of those, like your first love, who are no longer a part of your life, and unfortunately, your only solution to the problem is one deemed socially awkward by this generation: defriend, block or unfollow.



recently met up with one of my friends at KU, and our conversation turned into this long analysis on teenage relationships. I asked her if any of her college friends were experiencing problems in the dating field, and unsurprisingly, she told me exactly what I wanted to hear: although, she notes, her friends have dated new people during college, the majority of them are still, for lack of better words, hung up on their first loves. That got me thinking. Why is this such an epidemic? And then it hit me — social networking. Imagine you and your high school sweetheart finally call it quits. Whether the breakup is mutual, it doesn’t really matter. It’s over — that’s what you tell your friends, your family and, most importantly, that’s what you tell yourself. You’ve probably had time to wallow and accept the fact that it’s over, but I wouldn’t be too sure. Facebook might make you think otherwise. Let’s say, for the sake of this column, a few weeks have passed since your breakup. One day, you log onto Facebook to check for new notifications,

It is great that people with money want to help the less fortunate, but recently it seems that they’ve forgotten that Africa is not the only place that needs help.


have a problem. Why is it that people who are well-off financially always donate their money and resources to impoverished people in developing countries, but they ignore impoverished people who live just miles away from them? Far too frequently I will be driving with my family, friends or even my church group when we come across a homeless person holding a sign begging for food or money, and end up just passing them by. We notice them and their apparent needs, but we don’t care enough to stop the car and give them food. Ever since grade school, we have been shown multiple documentaries about starving children in Africa that all follow the same formula: a boring speaker, statistics about death tolls and pictures of emaciated children with despair written all over their faces. Then as the film concludes, you are given a list of ways that you can help save the lives of these children. These filmmakers are surely trying to do some good in the world, in places like Somalia or Bangladesh, but what about here in the United

08 April 27, 2012

States? There are all sorts of problems in the streets of Chicago, the inner city of Los Angeles and the broken homes in Kansas City. Yes, just a 15-minute drive out to the heart of Wyandotte County would show you how poverty-stricken parts of our own community really are. Despite this realization, we continue to ignore it. We ignore the single parents who are forced to work three jobs to provide for their four kids. We ignore the homeless men, women and children who are literally begging for food to stay alive just for another day. We ignore all those children and teenagers who are being cheated out of an education because their schools don’t have money or accreditation. According to the Kansas City, Mo. poverty data webpage, as of 2009 14.6 percent of Kansas’ residents are below the poverty level. In Kansas City 16.7 percent of all its residents are below the poverty line. This proves that we have the resources. We live in the great state of Kansas, where the entire state has fewer impoverished people by percentage than one city. We can make

a difference in these people’s lives and change this figure, but instead we continue to focus all our resources towards national charities we don’t even know anything about. Does this make any sense at all? Can we really be that oblivious? Just because it is called the “land of opportunity” does not mean that everyone has been given a fair one. There is good news, however. We have the opportunity to help. Simply being from Johnson County gives us greater access to future success, as well as more ways in which we can help others. Now, I am not trying to convince you to just ignore issues in other countries. I myself sponsor a child in Bangladesh, by paying for his food and school supplies. I know it is great to help these people, but you cannot just focus your philanthropy on them. It simply would not be right. I always think of an analogy I was told once: You have to clean your front yard before you go cleaning your neighbors’ yards. People here are desperate for assistance, and it would be a shame if we continue to ignore them any longer.





In Finland, dating habits are not as formal as in the United States. Boys paying for girls and dating itself are both considered things of the past.


don’t like when a guy opens a door for me — I can open it myself. I don’t understand why, here, guys pay for girls — I can pay my own bills perfectly well. I feel weird if a guy says something like, “You look pretty today” — I’m more used to discussing fashion with my guy friends, not hearing compliments. If you ask me, a relationship that starts at this age won’t lead to marriage, or at least it couldn’t for me. And I’m not the only one who thinks this way: In Finland, this is how all young people approach relationships. I always thought that guys paying for girls was an urban legend. That never happens in Finland, unless we are talking about married couples or something like that. I don’t know what I would do if a guy offered to pay for me at home. Punch him in the face? Seriously, I would be offended. Even though I am a girl, it doesn’t mean I can’t pay for myself. In fact, women’s rights are a big thing in Finland. In 1906, Finnish women became the first women in the world to gain the right to vote and to stand for parliament. About a year ago, our president and prime minister were both women. A powerful woman is not a scary thing to us. Another thing — we don’t even have the word “dating” in our language. When I translate it on Google, I get a word I have never heard before that sounds like it would actually mean “to become old” or “to become oldfashioned.” Maybe that’s how we see dating: It’s old-fashioned. Old people do that. Young people are just having fun, and that’s how you meet and get to know people. Even when you are alone with a guy, it’s not a date; it’s still just hanging out somewhere. It’s nothing official and, most importantly, nothing serious. I don’t think that I would marry a guy I met at this age. Ever. I can’t even date a guy for a long period of time. When someone says here that they have been together two years, the reaction is positive. In Finland, it’s negative. We wonder how people could be in such a long relationship at this age. That is a general idea in Finland: We don’t want anything serious yet. Maybe in 10 years. Until then, we are just “hanging out” with guys or girls and having fun. I see men and women as more equal in Finland. We share the same hobbies, same interests and same habits. If a guy pays for a girl, it would seem like he sees himself as a better and more powerful person. Opening a door is just unnecessary. But the thing is, I don’t know if our situation in Finland is better. Have we gone too far in equalizing men and women when in reality, we are not equal? Women’s bodies are built in another way and men — sadly — are paid more. Then again, I don’t want to be treated in a different way because of that. It would remind me of that fact that we are not equal every single day. The good thing about the dating system here is how simple it is. If someone asks you on a date, it’s kind of obvious you are not just friends. We don’t have that, and you never know if you are friends or something more. It is also nice to hear compliments sometimes, even though I still want to open the doors myself and pay my own bills. It would be nice, though, if guys would pay for girls in Finland — just think of how much money I would save.


Low self-esteem among high school students due to view themselves can be decreased through positive affirmation and healthy eating and exercise habits.


mericans have a serious body-image problem. Eighty-one percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of becoming “fat.” According to a study by the National Institute on Media and the Family, 78 percent of 17-year-old girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” The statistics aren’t as grave for men, but they do show an increasing number of men who are dissatisfied with their appearance. Almost the same number of men and women suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, an obsession with a perceived physical flaw. Approximately 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder, and contrary to popular belief, they aren’t all women. Between 10 and 15 percent of those people with eating disorders are male, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). And the portrayal of perfect men and women in the media plays a huge role in statistics like these. Americans, especially high school students, are obsessed with possessing the so-called “perfect body.” Yet, at the same time, a staggering 17 percent of American children (ages 2–19) are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). And in general, obese and overweight children have lower self-esteem than their average-weight counterparts. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is attempting to tackle negative body image by using real women in their advertisements. But Dove ads are maybe one of the 5,000 advertisements the average person views daily. “We all may have our days when we feel awkward or uncomfortable in our bodies, but the key to developing positive body image is to recognize and respect our natural shape and learn to overpower those negative thoughts and feelings with positive, affirming and accepting ones,” an article on the National Eating Disorders Association’s (NEDA) website stated. There’s a ring of truth in that for sure. But a healthy body image is also about being healthy — eating right and exercising enough. If you really feel good healthwise, there’s a better chance that will be reflected in your attitude toward your appearance. A January update of school lunch standards by the United States Department of Agriculture attempts to tackle the unbalanced diets among school-age children that can lead to obesity. According to the USDA, the new standards will improve the health of 32 million children, and lead to a decrease in childhood obesity statistics. All high school students struggle with body image at some point, but it is hoped that measures like these will help decrease the negative impact they have. Because in the end, positive body image should be feeling comfortable in your body, as opposed to having chiseled muscles and wearing size 2 dresses.








• The Five Year Engagement — April 27 • The Raven — April 27 • The Avengers — May 4

• The Serpent’s Shadow — Rick Riordan — April 30 • One Direction — One Direction — May 21

• B.O.B — Strange Clouds — May 1 • Norah Jones — Little Broken Hearts — May 1

• Max Payne 3 — Xbox 360, PS3 & PC • Battleship — various platforms — May 15

ABANDON Teenagers are bored with the vampires, werewolves and various other monsters that have taken over young adult bookshelves across America. The Dewey Decimal System has been overrun with supernatural romances, and the same stock characters keep getting recycled. In the real world, reducing

LENGTH: 320 pages

and reusing are great concepts, but when it comes to literature, we’re tired of seeing Edward Cullen in every novel. Readers knew Meg Cabot understood this when she published Abandon in 2011. The YA book is essentially a modernized Hades and Persephone tale, only this time Hades isn’t so evil, and Persephone isn’t so pathetic. John Hayden, the Hades character, and Pierce Oliviera, Persephone, obviously fall into some sort of relationship. But the cool part isn’t that they like each other; it’s the mystery surrounding Pierce’s death-turned-life again, and all the strange occurrences that follow her near-death experience. What really makes Abandon a great novel is how un-seriously Cabot takes her characters. They all

10 April 27, 2012

Meg Cabot

are dynamic (or as dynamic as YA characters can be), dramatic and over-the-top sarcastic. The reader knows they’re not reading the next great American novel, and Cabot willingly admits she’s no Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway. Abandon is only the first in a series, and the next installment, Underworld, is set to hit stores May 8. I, for one, am extremely excited to see what happens with John and Pierce and their bizarre situation. Maybe it is just trashy romance for teenage girls. But you know what? I am a teenage girl.

by hayley battenberg

College is scary. As a junior, the impending doom is setting in, and I’m trying to figure everything out. Sometimes counselors and teachers can only do so much to help you set up your post-secondary life, and the Internet is just so available. So when a friend referred me to, figuring out my plan was just that much easier. After signing up and answering a few questions, Acceptly provides users with a checklist for each year of their high school career. For example, as a freshman, the checklist suggests that you get involved in school activities and participate in a service project. Links on the checklist take the user to advice columns written by Acceptly staff and other places on the Internet to get involved. It can’t get much easier. As a user completes each of the tasks, they can be checked off. A brief look at the list might be a bit easier to swallow than sitting down with a counselor with a seemingly endless list of things you need to accomplish before walking across the stage.

The advice section of the website offers endless tips pertaining to the best options for after high school. If you’re contemplating whether to go where your friends are going, wondering how to stand out among the thousands of other applicants or how to get the most out of college visits, is the place to go. I have major concerns about how I am ever going to be able to pay for college, so’s help with scholarships and financial aid is one of the best features of the website. It offers insider secrets to winning


scholarships and gives tips on how to find scholarships to apply for. The help I got from Acceptly I’m sure I never would have gotten from the high school counselor. I couldn’t have asked for a better aggregator of information than Acceptly’s database. This easy-touse college prep site is a high-school student’s dream.

by ashlee crane

HBO’s Girls With all of the hype surrounding HBO’s latest show Girls, I found it to be overrated and disappointing. The comedy series follows a group of 20-something young adults navigating their lives in New York City. Although it’s been compared to the legendary Sex and the City, the show fails to be even close to as glamorous or as entertaining. The success and failure of Girls lies in the realness of the show itself. Nothing is exaggerated; the actresses look like everyday women, and the conversations are realistic. This may seem appealing in the “celebrities are just like us” way, but TV should be an escape from the realness of life. Personally, I’d rather have a show overdramatize situations than be like the average scenarios of life. The show received many complaints after the first airdate, ranging from the lack of diversity and

the fact that many of the plotlines seem to belong on the Twitter page entitled “White Girl Problems.” The first scene displays Lena Dunham, the main character, being told she is being cut off by her parents. The pilot episode supports

AIRTIME: Sundays, 10:30 pm

the stereotype of this generation: spoiled, ignorant people obsessed with social media. The series focused on late-teen and early-twenties issues, which managed to kept me interested. After the ambiguous feelings I had about the premiere episode, I am still willing to give the second episode a chance.

by edelawit hussien





A Reckless Disregard for Gravity It took a while for me to finally decide to purchase AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!: A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, from Dejobaan games, but when I did, I found a game that I absolutely adored. It was shockingly enjoyable — the perfect, casual, non-phone-based game. The subject of A Reckless Disregard for Gravity is base jumping, a sport of leaping from the highest structure you can find and not dying. The game is built on this, and an incredibly charming, albeit impenetrably weird, aesthetic. You see, while what you plunge into are sprawling set pieces, the way the game is played is incredibly peculiar. You buy new levels using teeth collected during falls, and the way players

shuddering of your camera, sound design and first-person view make the entire game intensely immersive. Your blood pumps faster and faster as you speed down a mountain, knowing your legs are mere feet away from obliteration on the ground. There are so many levels, however, that not all of them are as memorable as gliding down a cliffside or spinning through spiraling walkways. While you can often stumble upon something

Favorite video game Mario Kart: Double Dash GameCube

Brianna Leyden

LENGTH: 42:20

Dynasty Warriors 4 Playstation 2

can earn additional points on the way down by are: giving hugs and kisses, spray painting buildings or giving a thumbs up or an obscene gesture. People like to call Zooey Deschanel quirky, but these people have never played A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. In a stark contrast to this strange interface and gameplay, the backdrops you jump through are breathtaking. They range from floating, urbanized cities and walkways to mountains. The

incredible, most of the levels are filled with same-old-same-old type of design. The game itself is a fantastic experience, but it’s really nothing more than that. If you have a computer and nothing to do, it’s a phenomenal time-waster, better than most other games, but it requires a bit more depth of land and gameplay to truly reach its full potential.

Brady Klein

Super Stickman Golf iPhone

by sam bellmyer

what’s new on

Kirk Bado

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Nintendo 64

Cake concert Even after seeing this band perform three times in the past, their latest concert still gave me something memorable to talk about. by daniel magwire

To visit, scan these codes with your smart phone. Davis Millard

Deus Ex Xbox 360

Boyband Invasion

Staff members battle it out to decide who is the superior British boyband: The Wanted or One Direction.

Sam Bellmyer

by hayley battenberg and brianna leyden





with Entertainment Editor Sam Bellmyer

photos by david freyermuth and mikala compton

Kids In The Hall

With a lack of references to the culture that it grew around, making it a very lasting show, and memorable characters, Kids in the Hall survives as incredibly funny, and progressive even to this day. With characters like The Axe Murderer, Gavin and the purveyors of the Pit of Ultimate Darkness, this is the essential ‘90s comedy show. $38.45,

I Fight Dragons, KABOOM! Pretzel M&M’s

Simply put, ambrosia. As quite possibly the most delicious thing sold in the candy aisle, the only one that could challenge it would be the Watermelons candy produced by Sour Patch Kids. These M&M’s can only be called amazing. I tear through bags in a way that makes ravenous lions look like sissies; it’s true love. $1.19 at Hy-vee

Jet Grind Radio

Chrono Cross

Another 2000 game release that I was lucky enough to get my hands on a by way of a generous friend who shared my love of the series. The game has a look to it that is completely its own, a total exaggeration of the street brats that it features. The music is inspired by Japanese Electronica, not surprising considering its country of origin, but they work so well with the aesthetic that their repetitive nature doesn’t bother me. The game is good enough to that it actually make me retrieve my Dreamcast. $39.95,

By video game standards, dinosaurs might as well have walked the earth when this came out, however strikingly appropriate that is for the stequel to Squaresoft’s masterpiece Chrono Trigger. It’s a tad aged, since it was released in 2000. This one stars Serge, completely unrelated to the previous games events. The battle system isn’t quite as fun, but the story and characters are incredibly deep and offer hours of thought and enjoyment. If you liked its predecessor, you’ll love Chrono Cross. $15.99 on Amazon

MP3 Players I understand how much of a hipster I seem like when I use this, but I love my 2005 MP3 Pearl, because I hate, and I can’t tell you how much I hate, iTunes. One day I was simply completely tired of the annoyance I had to go through to retrieve music I’d bought from iTunes after I lost my harddrive to a virus. I love this MP3 player because it’s just so remarkably simple. $39.00


April 27, 2012

A little bit of pop, a little bit of rock, a lot of nerd — and there you have “I Fight Dragons.” I discovered the band through “I Fight Ganon,” an a capella version of the Zelda theme. I discovered a two-EP library and, lucky for me, a year later, they released their phenomenal first real album, KABOOM! Songs like “KABOOM!,” “Save World Get Girl” and “Suburban Doxology” make it a great album to listen to. CD and Digital Album; $10.00

Caspian Bistro I had never really enjoyed Iranian food until the day I was forcibly dragged to this little restaurant on Metcalf. Here I found one of the most unfairly empty restaurants in Kansas. At this miniscule Iranian place, I found a phenomenon where my orders are wrong, but everything they give me is magically delicious. I have a theory that every waiter is actually psychic and knows what I want when even I don’t. 8973 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66212



APPEARANCE As the media constantly bombards them with images of so-called perfect men and women, high school students often struggle with how they view their own bodies.

BY ASHLEE CRANE, MARIA DAVISON AND JULIE KURBJEWEIT photo illustration by david freyermuth and bailey kopp


t started last year during spring break,” junior McKenzie Iverson said. “I had always thought about my weight, but I started becoming obsessed with it.” Losing weight, the varsity track and cross country runner thought, would make her a better runner. “It didn’t,” Iverson said. But it was more than a faster mile time that motivated her to lose weight. “All throughout my years, girls would get compliments on their hair or how pretty they are,” Iverson said, “but the only compliment that I ever got was that I was so skinny. So I thought, ‘If that’s going to be my only positive trait, I’m going to take it to the extreme, and I’m going to be the skinniest one.’” To teach her body to not eat, one pro-eating disorder website (see sidebar) recommended staying busy. People tend to eat when they’re bored, and if they’re doing something, they wouldn’t feel hungry. Iverson took that advice to heart as she spent the spring break of her sophomore year in California with her family. “When I went back, I knew how not to eat,” Iverson said. “I was an expert at it. The whole week I was barely eating because I was at the beach or shopping. And my mom didn’t notice because she was busy, too, so she couldn’t really stop it when it started.” Pro-eating disorder websites also provided Iverson with other ways to trick her mind into believing that she wasn’t hungry. “In the beginning, I looked it up,” Iverson said. “I actually have a shoe box, and it has quotes from that site that would inspire me not to eat. One of the websites said that if you were hungry, to roll up in a ball and look at your rolls. You wouldn’t be


April 27, 2012

hungry anymore because you would more,” freshman Rachael Carney relate what they talk about back to see that you’re fat. The first time I said. body image. did it, I thought I was so fat, and I Though negative body image is “Somebody will say something think I was 108 pounds.” often viewed as a problem among about what they’re eating or their In a society dictated by the quick women, male students also shared weight. And they feel horrible. If judgment of bloggers and a media their opinions about their body they’re overweight visibly, they’ll talk landscape designed to convince image. Junior Alex Dang said that he about having people say comments people that there is a perfect form, is uncomfortable in his body. all through elementary and middle and they don’t have it, high school “[I’m not comfortable], even school, and even high school. And a and post-secondary life can result in though I should be. Peer pressure lot of times, they’ll just mention that more than just skipping breakfast. and teenage expectations have made they look at other girls or they’ll look “In a perfect world, we would me feel inferior at times,” Dang said. at those TV images and just think accept our flaws and base our selfIn an effort to help students with that they are fat,” Hartman said. worth on our inner beauty,” senior body image issues, Hartman does Hartman believes that the media Katrina Nelson said. one-on-one counseling sessions as plays a large part in how girls and Unfortunately, a perfect world is well as group sessions. In the group boys alike see themselves. A study unfeasible. sessions, Hartman has noticed that from the National Institute on Media Iverson is one of an estimated many students who attend somehow and Family reports that by age 13, 53 24 million Americans living percent of American girls are with an eating disorder. "unhappy with their bodies” MORE THAN “Appearance is really — a percentage which grows 50 PERCENT OF important to people,” to nearly 80 percent by the 10-YEAR-OLD Iverson said, “and it’s really time the girl reaches 17 years GIRLS WANT TO important right now. I can’t old. of children are BE THINNER think for every girl, but I “We see these tiny skinny afraid of being fat ( know that I’m like, ‘I need to girls in the media, and most look good or something.’” girls think they have to look Counselor Susan Hartman like that to be pretty, which believes that the standards isn’t true,” sophomore Kelsie for what a person should Thomann said. look like have caused a According to the NW body widespread problem for image survey, male teens teenagers, and that eating also feel the influence that disorders and other body media can have on their self image-related issues are confidence. common at Northwest. “Everyone sees these media “I think that a lot of the examples, and they can’t girls that I see who are help but mimic them,” junior depressed or are having Clayton Henderson said. other issues, their body According to Hartman, image is the main thing. teens’ level of confidence and THE AVERAGE THE AVERAGE Even girls who most people self-worth are also determined would look at and think, ‘Oh, by their family and peers. AMERICAN AMERICAN they’re perfect,’ or ‘That’s the simple, but five WOMAN IS 5’4” MODEL IS 5’ 11” days“It asounds way they should be,’ have week, seven hours problems with the way they a day, you are in here with AND WEIGHS AND WEIGHS look.” all these other teenagers — 140 POUNDS 117 POUNDS In a survey of NW you know, their bodies are students, many respondents changing, and they’re coming reported that if they could MOST FASHION MODELS ARE into their sexuality — this is change their body, they THINNER THAN 98 PERCENT when they’re getting judged, would. and they’re very aware of it,” OF AMERICAN WOMEN “I’ll admit I would want Hartman said. “Also, you’re ( to lose weight and exercise just not that confident about


FEATURES yourself because you’re still growing; you’re still a pretty good work in progress, so you’re just the most sensitive.” However, friends and family can also have a positive impact on how a teen views himself/herself. “I don’t have too much selfconfidence, but the confidence I do have is from my family,” freshman Lili Gray said. Hartman sees no solution to body image issues that will work for everyone, but her advice to teens struggling to cope with body image is to “always lead with your strengths.” “I say look around, usually at the difference between what you see in the media and what you see in real life and to what value is [media image],” Hartman said. “If [the problem] is deeper than just [being confident], if somebody really has issues with eating or whatever, then they need to probably get help outside of school. And we’ll make resources available for that kind of stuff.” A major step that a struggling teen can take toward gaining selfconfidence is to spend time with friends who don’t make them feel insecure, and to look within, Hartman said. “Certainly, if a girl has a strong family and good friends, you’re not going to pay that much attention to [the media]; you’ll be less vulnerable. If you have some strengths, if you have something you are proud of, if you are really good athlete, or real bright at math or excel at something else: Those kinds of things make us feel good about ourselves, so it kind of balances out some of the negative stereotypes.” In a survey response, senior Logan Unrein said that acceptance is an important part of being satisfied with

your body. “What’s the point in being uncomfortable?” he said. “Accepting yourself is key to happiness.” Over the course of the next few months, Iverson’s weight dropped to about 100 pounds, frighteningly low for the 5-foot 8-inch runner. “For the first couple of months, I was really good at manipulating [my mom],” Iverson said. “I would lie to her about what I ate, and she would believe me.” When Iverson’s doctor told her she had to give up running due to the state of her health, Iverson began eating again. Running was the only reason she ate. “I had an awful track season last year,” Iverson said. “I really wanted to be a good runner, and I had to have energy to run, and I had to eat.” Like many recovering anorexics, Iverson was assigned a meal plan. The plan outlined exactly what she needed to eat every day to recover effectively. “The meal plan really helps because it keeps you on track,” Iverson said. “Your mind can play all the tricks that it wants, but as long as you’re eating what’s on your meal plan, you’re good. You can’t eat less than what’s on the meal plan or you’re not good, and you’re letting your mind win over your health.” But, Iverson said, she doesn’t think she will ever fully recover. She will always think about what she eats and how it will affect her body. “Before, I could eat an entire row of oreos and literally not gain any weight,” Iverson said. “That was just how I was. Now, I would never be able to do that without my mind getting really mad at myself or having to take an eight-mile run to work that off. Now, I’m working on


Vogue Italia launched a blog campaign in an effort to curb the effect these proeating disorder websites have on young people. The blog’s opening message encourages people who care about the campaign against pro-mia and pro-ana causes to create awareness about the dangers of eating disorders and why websites encouraging them are only harming youth. Websites such as Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest have made it easier to promote unhealthy eating habits. According to a study by the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, 51 percent of responders said that Facebook makes them more self-conscious about their weight and appearance. In response to the apparent danger of these sites, in February, Tumblr updated their “no self-harm policy.” The update stated that the website intends to shut down sites that promote eating disorders. Pinterest then did the same in March when founders updated their terms of services to ban material that "creates a risk of harm, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement or physical or mental illness to any person." However, none of these policies can prevent every website from posting potentially harmful material. Pro-ana and -mia sites still exist either because the sites were created recently and have not been shut down or because banned users have created different accounts to hide from website authorities.

not letting my mind control my life and what I eat.” Iverson said she regrets obsessing over her weight to such an extreme. Her hair was so damaged from lack of nutrition that she was forced to cut it. Although she is learning to love food again, she will never be able to just eat and enjoy her food. “It’s not worth it,” Iverson said.

Women between ages 15–24 are nearly 12 TIMES more likely to die from anorexia nervosa than any other cause.

“Don’t ever think it’s worth it. I thought as long as I was skinny, it was OK, but it’s not. And once you go down that road — it’s been over a year, and I’m still not recovered. I have thoughts racing around my mind every second of my day, and that’s not a way to live.”


of people who suffer from anorexia will die prematurely from complications, including suicide and heart problems, resulting from their eating disorder.




Despite the high level of anorexia sufferers and the apparent danger eating disorders cause, only one in 10 sufferers receive treatment for their disorder.




looks do matter According to, it’s a good idea to leave photos out of job resumes. Looks are irrelevant when being hired, and potential employers tend to avoid or disregard these resumes. In a Social Science Research Network study, good-looking females who sent photos with their resumes received 6 percent less job callbacks than normal-looking women and 23 percent less than women without pictures in their resume. However, attractive-looking men received a significantly larger amount of callbacks than plain-looking men and men without photos because they are believed to be “happier, healthier, more intelligent, lucky in marriage,” according to a Business Insider article. In the article, it is believed that when employers review candidates for a job, attractive women who include photos of themselves are seemingly trying too hard to market themselves and can be considered less serious than other candidates.

BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) According to the Mayo Clinic website, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a chronic illness in which the sufferer constantly sees flaws in their appearance, whether they are minor or imagined. BDD is caused by chemical and structural differences in the brain, genetics or the cultural environment in which one lives. Symptoms of this disorder are extreme selfconsciousness, frequent examination using or avoidance of mirrors, refusal to appear in pictures, excessive grooming and general preoccupation with physical appearance, among other behaviors.

BMI info As part of a new law enacted in Israel last month, any model with a BMI (body mass index) lower than 18.5 is ineligible to work in the fashion industry. This means that models who are six feet tall must weigh at least


April 27, 2012



Looking good is a matter of what makes you happy, not anyone else. I realized I wasn’t cute somewhere around 8 or 9 years old. From the ages of 3 to 7, I was the center of attention at family gatherings, but then, as it always goes, another younger kid came into the limelight and I was old news. It’s just the family dynamic. I don’t mean to sound bitter about it, though, because that letdown was exactly what I needed — I had to figure out a way to deal with not being wanted fairly quickly. My happiness wasn’t based on my looks, but simply a matter of doing what I enjoyed and realizing that I enjoyed it without other people. Years went on and I found that I began to develop a distaste for more attractive people — not out of jealousy, but simply out of anger. I thought they were all conceited and self-absorbed. I leapt from one extreme to another, simply because I could. I always thought in black and white, until one day I sat down with a really beautiful girl in my eighth grade English class. We were forced to work together, and I had one of the most fascinating conversations of my life. I realized that looks and intelligence were not mutually exclusive. You see, the thing about how you look, your body image, everything about you, is that it doesn’t matter. People have this idea in their heads that being attractive,

136.5 pounds, and a model who is five-feet, eight inches tall is required to weigh at least 119 pounds. The law is also expected to cut down on fashion magazines’ use of Photoshop to make models appear thinner because any advertisement in which the model appears ‘underweight’

is not allowed to be run. According to, these requirements are intended to break the illusion that the body figures that models have are real. BMI is a weight-to-height ratio determined by the World Health Organization (WHO). The measurement is defined as a person’s weight (in kilograms)

unattractive, average or anything in between actually matters. I’m not here to tell you to be comfortable with yourself and stop wearing makeup, or stop working out. If you want to work out, do it. But don’t work out because you want people to notice you; don’t put on makeup because you think it will make you more appealing to others. The difference between making yourself happy or sad is who you’re trying to look good for. Looking good is your own business, and that’s all that matters. If you need to look good to feel better about yourself, nobody can blame you. If it helps you be yourself, then you have all the right in the world to work out and put on makeup. Some people, however, don’t feel the need to spend their time attempting to look their best every day, and they can’t be blamed for that. There are people who don’t think they should care, and that decision needs to be respected. A situation like this is a two-way street; neither party feels completely comfortable — the attractive people feel that pretension might rule them, and the unattractive, that they won’t be taken seriously because of their sub-par visages. In the end all, you need to do is be whatever you’re happy with, and let everyone else be happy, too.

by sam belmyer

divided by their height squared (in meters). According to this measurement, any BMI under 18.5 is underweight; the normal range of BMI is 18.5–24.99; a BMI between 25 and 30 is overweight; and any BMI measuring over 30 is classified as obese.



In a survey of NW students about body image, the following questions were asked. Here is what students had to say about the importance of appearances and what influences their body image.

Are you comfortable in your body? “I know I’m weird and I have some physical oddities, but everyone does.” — sophomore Steven Skells “For the most part, confidence has come with age. I am consistently becoming more sure of myself and proud of my appearance.” — senior Katrina Nelson “Everyone has flaws, but they have to be ignored. I’m beautiful the way God made me.” — freshman Olivia Payne “I honestly don’t care if I’m “supposed” to look like something. I am the way I am and if someone has a problem with that then I could care less.” — junior Tara Chase “I’m OK with my body, but there is room for improvement. Being healthy is not a bad thing.” — senior Elimar Roxas “I’m very comfortable in my body. Some people may think I’m ‘too skinny,’ but I love my body.” — junior Kaitlyn Nguyen “I am comfortable because I am a healthy individual, both in mind and body.” — junior Clayton Henderson

Explain the changes, if any, you would make to body?

our flaws and base our self-worth on our inner beauty.” — senior Katrina Nelson

“I don’t think I’d change anything because I’d probably end up finding something new to fixate on or critique.” — junior Mallory Neufeld

“Teens should base their body image on what they know (not think) is healthy.” — senior Brett Christianson

“I’ll change my body with hard work and dedication.” — sophomore Matthew Macek “Probably gaining some weight, but that’s about all.” — freshman Aaron Crews “A six pack would be nice, but overall I’m pretty happy.” — junior Sophia Spencer

On what should teens base their self-worth and body image? “Personally, I believe personality and skill sets are more important than physical beauty.” — junior Tess McCann “On their accomplishments and goals.” — junior Logan Ragsdale “Do not strive to be beautiful — strive to be healthy, because healthy is beautiful.” — sophomore Kris Gies “A healthy body image is free of selfobjectification and body shame.” — senior Erin Nugent “In a perfect world, we would accept

“On the fact that they are unique and there will never be another person like them.” — freshman Hannah Palmer

Does media (Facebook, Tumblr, TV shows, magazines) influence your body image? “The media does a good job of showing flawless, skinny girls who aren’t actually that flawless in real life.” — senior Abby Hoelting “I try not to let it, but obviously if I see how the public reacts to the way something looks, I keep it in mind.” — junior Joey Kendrick “I think media influences my style more than my body image, because if I see people wearing cute clothes, I want to dress like them.” — freshman Lily Manning “Teens can’t help but want what they don’t have, and media really portrays that.” — freshman Olivia Payne “I’ll see a pretty girl’s profile picture with a lot of good comments and likes, and I get jealous.” — junior Elizabeth Jackson

“Any form of social media can influence self-objectification; it is how you deal with it that matters.” — senior Erin Nugent “There is so much pressure to fit in, but I don’t like to follow the trend because that’s boring.” — junior Hanna Meigs

How does your family influence your body image and confidence? “I don’t have too much self confidence, but the confidence I do have is from my family.” — freshman Lili Gray “Family influences me a lot. My parents straight up tell me if they don’t like something I wear.” — junior Emily Babcock “Seeing as my mom and dad have opposite body shapes, it is definitely hard to see my sisters and older brother take the tall, skinny body shape of my mom, where as my younger brother and I are more shapely, like my dad.” — senior Toni Britt “My mom usually gets angry if I say something detrimental about myself, even if I’m joking.” — freshman Anna Modig “I come from a pretty confident family. I was raised to always keep my head up.” — junior Crystal Osei






ttention all juniors: It’s about to be the summer before senior year, for those of you who have not quite realized it yet. For most, that means making classic “last summer before high school ends” memories, spending time at the pool and, in general, lazing around. However, there’s something important to add to that hectic schedule: college visits. “In your junior year, you have to start thinking about narrowing down where you think you’d like to go to college and go visit some campuses,” counselor Jim Mowry said. “That way in the fall of your senior year, you’re ready to start narrowing down and thinking about applications.” Many juniors delay looking at colleges until their senior year has already started. This plan has its flaws, however. If you’re already sure of where you’re going, applications are easy. On the other hand, deadlines roll by quickly if you have no idea where you’re going

to end up — most of them are in the fall/early winter of senior year. Basic application fees can add up when you apply to places you haven’t even visited and may not end up liking. “That’s one of the biggest things about junior year that a lot of kids forget about: If possible, you want to go visit some campuses because until you’re actually on the campus, and asking some questions, and

LOCATION: Madison, Wis. DISTANCE: 137 miles, 2 hours, 54 minutes

Attend every informational session possible, because a far-away college will be hard to get back to. At UW-Madison, I attended the admissions information presentation as well as the guided tour around the campus. Attending these tours will also hook you up with coupons and freebies from the admissions office, like food, T-shirts and memorabilia.

For places closer to home, find a friend who attends the college to show you around. Tours from friendly students, especially ones you know, offer a more personal view of the campus. Their tours also tend to include not just the school-oriented locations, but the popular restaurants and things to do.


nd so I returned home, with possibly more decisions to make than before. I ended up applying to every university I visited, with the exception of Saint Louis. It just didn’t have the vibe that I was looking for — and it’s totally fine to rely on your instincts like that.


April 27, 2012

LOCATION: Evanston, Ill. DISTANCE: 313 miles, 5 hours, 29 minutes


LOCATION: Lawrence, Kan. DISTANCE: 36.5 miles, 44 minutes

After wading through a bucket of college brochures, narrowing down options and making tour reservations as a junior last year, I set aside a week in the middle of my senior summer to head out on my college road trip. Here’s an example of the places I visited and the most important lessons I learned from each one.





seeing some stuff, you’re not actually [involved in the process],” counselor Angelo Giacalone said. “Everybody can make their campus look good on the brochure or on a website, but until you’re actually there, you don’t get the feel of it.”



5 4

Especially at larger universities, it is important not only to attend informational sessions that provide a general overview of the entire campus, but to look at each individual college that you could be interested in and tour their facilities. The differences even among the various subsections of the university I attended (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Bienen School of Music, Medill School of Journalism) were vast.



LOCATION: St. Louis DISTANCE: 256 miles, 4 hours, 25 minutes


Washington was the first college I visited that was farther away from my home than an hour and, to me, it seemed perfect. It can be difficult to not become set on the first university you visit, but it is necessary to have a completely open mind for the rest of the road trip, otherwise it becomes pointless.

If it doesn’t feel right when you’re visiting, it probably won’t feel right for the four years that you would be committing yourself to by applying and enrolling. And after I got back the acceptance letters, I had to

LOCATION: St. Louis DISTANCE: .08 miles, 4 minutes


It’s OK not to be in love with every college you visit. I had never even considered SLU before I visited, but because it was so close to Washington, it just made sense. Visiting as many schools as possible gives you more idea of what you’re actually looking for, even if you don’t end up falling in love with the university.

take another factor into consideration — financial aid. Even if your dream school accepts you, sometimes it’s just not possible to attend a $55,000+ tuition/room and board university with limited to no financial

aid. After a long thought process, I decided to attend the University of Kansas with the generous help of their National Merit scholarship. In the end, whether your decision comes down to distance, dollars or whatever else, it should be yours to make. by brianna leyden


“Emily EmilyMendenhall” is trained in: Hair Cutting & Styling/Hair Coloring/Texture services/ Special occasion styles/Up do’s/ 913-649-0800 11520 Ash , Leawood,KS Brazilian Blowout Hair Treatments/ Waxing/ 66211 (Park Place) www. facebook



Students come together to play a sport the school has never seen before. by davis millard + photos by nate compton


mixture of anxiety, nerves and pain runs through sophomore John Cumming’s body as he runs down the field. After taking a heavy hit to the face and hearing the crack of bone, blood begins to run down his chin. With the metallic taste filling his mouth, Cummings goes to the sideline where coach, and paraprofessional, Kevin Kelley puts a piece of tape on the shattered nose to stanch the wound. A sight like this is nothing out of the ordinary in a rugby game and Cummings has had his fair share of pain so far this season. “So far I’ve suffered a concussion, a broken eardrum and a broken nose,” Cummings said. Cummings, like several others on the team, participates in rugby to condition for football. His family has been involved with the sport for years now and his brother convinced him


April 27, 2012

to try it out, a decision Cummings is happy he made. The basic goal of rugby is to score points. Points can be scored by several methods including tries, conversions, penalty kicks and drop-goals. The game is played in two 40-minute periods with a break in between the two halves. Players are allowed to throw the ball across the field or backwards, but not forward. They can also kick the ball any direction at any time, but that doesn’t happen very often. If a player is tackled to the ground, he must immediately hand the ball to a teammate or risk losing possession. The game might look confusing to a first-time player, but senior Will Smith thinks it’s a fairly simple combination of sports. “The best way I can describe it would be that it’s a cross between soccer and football,” Smith said.

Smith joined the team when students in his weights class started talking about it; he thought it would help him as an athlete. “It is a lot of fun and is a great way to stay in shape. Unlike football, the play never stops. You’re constantly moving to make tackles or get the ball,” Smith said. While rugby isn’t a KSHSAA sponsored sport, a team of NW students was started by the two captains, seniors Adam Hisle and Stuart Rowell. Each captain is assigned half of the team when they are out on the field. Hisle is in charge of the fly half, which is for the smaller and quicker players, and Rowell is in charge of the scrum half, which is for the bigger and harder-hitting players. “My position, which is called the fly half, is basically rugby’s equivalent of a quarterback. I make

sure all the players know the play and are in the right position,” Hisle said. Hisle started playing two years ago, and immediately fell in love with the sport. “I went out and played [rugby] and I was hooked. It’s an addicting sport; you get into it and there’s no looking back,” Hisle said. Kelley never expected to be a coach, but is excited to have the chance to do so. Kelley spends his day in the special education department, but he started playing rugby as a about two years ago for fun. “A handful of kids asked me if I’d coach a team. I said that if they could get enough kids together that I would go grab one of my teammates to help me coach, and it kind of just took off from there,” Kelley said. The team practices up to four

SPORTS (dominant) Senior Adam Hisle pushes away a Libery player during the game on April 19 at Hodge Park. Hisle was not tackled and kept possession of the ball. (far left) Sophomore John Cummings has his nose taped up after taking an elbow to the face during a tackle. Cummings went back into the game immediately after. (left) The NW Cougars rugby team cam together in a huddle after winning their game against Liberty. The final score was 15-5. times a week and usually meets near Old Shawnee Town. Practices range anywhere from half an hour to nearly three hours — it all depends on what the coaches have planned to work on that specific day. “We do a lot of drills for catching and passing and stuff like that. We don’t have enough guys on the team to ever scrimmage, so a lot of the times we will simulate game situations to get the kids prepared for when they happen in an actual game,” Kelley said. Not every rugby player here plays for the NW team. Junior Carlos Castaneda plays for the team at St. Thomas Aquinas, but shares his passion for the game with the NW players. Hisle was actually the one who encouraged him to try the game out. Castaneda has been playing for about two years and has bounced around trying to find the right team for him. “I started out playing with Mill Valley and, just two months ago, I went to St. Thomas Aquinas, and it’s been real fun,” he said. The rugby played at St. Thomas Aquinas is just as rough as it is at Northwest. Castaneda said he always laughs when he hears somebody say that rugby isn’t a very dangerous sport.

“Basically anything goes; there’s no helmets or anything,” Castaneda said. “Just a mouthpiece and cleats, that’s it. No protection, no nothing. I recently got injured. I

Anybody can join at any time and there are no tryouts. Coach Kelley believes that rugby is a game that anyone can play, no matter what sports they’ve previously played. “There’s a position for everybody,” he said. “It’s amazing how many different sports translate to rugby. Basketball, football and soccer players make fantastic rugby players.” The team is always looking for new members. “If you’re interested in trying out rugby, you should come out to one of our games first and watch, and just see what it’s like,” Rowell said. “After that, come to a practice and try it out. We’d love to have you.” Coach Kelley and the underclassmen are hoping to continue with the program for many years to come. The team has been very successful in their first year and believes they have nowhere to go but up. The team will have plenty of returning players, which will add an element of experience, something the program was missing in their first year. “Next year we’ll have a group of kids who already know what they’re doing,” Kelley said. “Just bring yourself and three friends. Chances are one of you will like it.”

“Basically anything goes; there’s no helmets or anything. Just a mouthpiece and cleats, that’s it. No protection, no nothing. I recently got injured. I got kneed in the head and blacked out for 10 seconds. I could not feel the right side of my face.” — Junior Carlos Castaneda got kneed in the head and blacked out for 10 seconds. I could not feel the right side of my face.” The team at Aquinas is directly linked to the school and considered a sport there, but the team at Northwest isn’t recognized by the school, which means it’s treated more like a club than a team.

RUGBY FACTS There are 88,000 registered players in the United States According to the International Rugby Board, 35,000 players are high school students.

Rugby started in England in the 1800s players make up the NW rugby team.




HEAD FAKES AND BRICK WALLS As I turn the corner and begin my kick into the final lap of my high school athletic career, I’m learning that in life too, you get out what you put in. by Kirk Bado

Distance thrown by senior Eric Pinkelman in the JCCC Invitational, which is a 10 foot improvement from his previous personal best.


April 6, 2012



or hug you after a race never goes away. But the athlete must be prepared for those same fans to turns on him Those same people who talked about you in whispers of awe want you to feel shame and defeat, and the greatest revenge the athlete can achieve is success. I felt that last cross country season. After a disastrous track season, I felt all eyes turn to me to see what how I would recover. After months of training, I came back and finished fourth at state, with a smile on my face. People attribute success to luck, saying that it is just pure chance the shot went in or that he was able to pass that guy in the last 100 meters. And they are right — to an extent. Luck is nothing more than opportunity meeting preparation. The only way to truly appreciate the opportunity and recognize it is by doing the prep work. Too often in the pursuit of excellence, brick walls spring up. These “walls” can be the coach who benches you in favor of a young upstart or, more recently in my sports life, a pain that shoots through your leg with every stride. Too often, athletes see these brick walls as excuses to quit, not tests to see how badly you want something. Brick walls are the equalizers. Injuries and setbacks are what separate champions from those who participate in a sport. Pain is to be expected. The trick is knowing your own limits and when to call it quits. One idea has gnawed at me for the last several weeks and has become the dominant lesson from my sports career: I must savor every moment, because I never know when it’s going to end. Every time you step onto the field, onto the court or the course, you need to leave it all out there. You never know when that next brick wall will pop up. And I’ve learned to appreciate



The number of the most consecutive wins to start the season for a MLS team, until Sporting KC broke that with seven wins to open the season.

the moment. For all the anxiety and pain, I try to remember to breathe and love where I am. The second I start doing that, I begin to feel the real payoff for my hard work: the feeling of absolute satisfaction. I had to learn this the hard way last year, as a knee injury all but put me on hiatus for most of the track season. I had to learn to love the good times and appreciate them for all they are worth. To not dread the challenge of racing or putting myself out there, but instead relishing it. You want to know what my biggest head fake has been these last four years? This column. If you have made it this far, you probably think that it is all about my sports experience, when in reality this is all about life. Every time you read the word “athletics” or “sports,” replace that with “life”. Yes, this is a shameless send up to Randy Pausch of the Last Lecture who wrote a book about living while dying from cancer. If you have not shut the paper, reread this story, and see just how to live if you want to truly excel, and reach life’s maximum potential. I have another injury right now. My hip sends a shockwave of pain through my entire left leg whenever I run, and I do not know when that will stop. Doctors have told me just to do a stretch that pops my hip back into place whenever it really hurts, but how do Band-Aids help with broken bones? So as one man who does not know when his next good moment will be, please, make sure you love your moments, because you truly never know when they are gone.




arly in my athletic career, I learned the value of a “head fake.” Head fakes are a quick movement in one direction, followed by a move in the opposite direction. This move is applicable to football and basketball and even in cross country the head fake has come in handy. I tasted success early in my athletic career. My sophomore year the cross country team won the state championship. From Coach Van Rose and my teammates, I learned what was needed to reach a certain level of excellence.They made it look easy, but only because I was a passenger and not steering the ship myself. I had to find my own path to excellence for the first time in my life, instead of piggybacking on the coattails of others. This path is one many see in their mind’s eye, but few actually end up on it — and for good reason. It is a winding, uphill path riddled with potholes. And if it’s paved anywhere, the pavement consists of the blood, sweat and tears of those who have come before. Those who make it down this path are the ones who break school records and qualify for state competitions; those who are so exhausted they can hardly lift the trophy above their heads; those who sacrifice so much more than some people could even imagine just for that moment of glory. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.” I have seen excellence year after year in the cross country team. With the atmosphere that coach Van Rose creates, excellence is not the goal, but the standard.l. Athletes live life in the arena. The pressure to perform is constant, and the desire to have the crowds make a tunnel for you after a win,


The number of events that the girls swimmers have state consideration times for.

what’s new on v

photo by aaron messick

Earth Day recycled art show held in student gallery

The fifth annual Earth Day Recycled Art show opened last Friday, stirring up global consciousness and offering a unique, creative opportunity for students. by Brooke Courtney

StuCo elections decide new representatives

A few surprising changes were made to Student Council elections this year, which were held on April 12 during seminar. by Guin Ragan and Karli McClusky

the lucky one

The newest chick flick, The Lucky One, has hit theaters, and the raw emotion and stellar performances by the lead actors makes this the perfect movie. by Brooke Courtney

Out of her league

Junior Katt Cooper is the No. 1 softball pitcher in the Sunflower league, with more than a 50 strikeout advantage over any other competitor. by ashlee crane

sudoku difficulty: 3

2 5 8

7 9 2

We would love to hear your opinion about anything we’ve published or other things going on around Northwest. Letters can be brought to Room 151. Only signed letters will be published.

8 4 1

1 7

3 4 6

6 4






4 7


9 2




“As seniors, we knew we wanted to go out with a bang, so nothing was held back.” — senior Austin Tyler Tyler dances along with several other seniors during the senior skit at the Prom assembly April 20. As this was their last assembly, the seniors were the only class to perform a skit.

photo by nate compton

the Northwest Passage — Issue 10  

Issue 10 — April 27, 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you