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northwest

passage Volume 41

Issue 13

April 16, 2010

throwing all over the world Senior Erica Brand has become one of the top throwers in the country 20

passion for piercings

Three students talk about their different gauges and piercings 16

becoming a slampion The fifth annual

poetry slam concludes today, crowning a new winner. 12


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 

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Days A Week

1947-2006 1948-2008 1994-2008 City Counter Pickup 15450 W.108th Street Lenexa, KS 66219


Shawnee Mission Northwest 12701 West 67th St., Shawnee, Kan., 66216

_________________________________ 04 / news briefs

04

news

See what’s going on around the school and in the community.

06 / schmix page

______________________________ 10 / chatroulette: the virtual STD

Monique Ware

Get informed with quick news, numbers, facts and more.

opinions

A staff member finds more than she was looking for on the video chat website.

10/ bullied to death Excessive bullying can have fatal endings.

20

scene

12 / becoming a slampion The fifth annual NW Poetry Slam is this week.

14 / scene static Apps of the Issue, Live Noise, Sudoku and the Student Shuffle.

____________________________

16 / passion for piercings

features

sports

19 / ruining a masterpiece Changing the format of the NCAA Tournament is motivated solely by greed.

20 / throwing the distance Senior Erica Brand is headed to Duke University to compete in track and field.

16

Daniel Bauer

For three students, piercings are a way of self-expression.

Top: Senior Keyaira Hunter performs during a rehearsal of the spring musical “Big River.� Bottom: Junior John Anderson shows off his size 0 gauges.

23 / the boss Best sports picture and athlete questionnaire.

staff

co-editors-in-chief / maria davison, stephanie spicer copy editor / lauren komer assistant copy editors / wyatt anderson, brianna leyden

/ Brittany Bonsignore backpage photo /Brittany Bonsignore

cover photo

design editors / bailey kopp photo editors / david freyermuth, hanna meigs graphics editor / tyler absher news editor /rachel ferencz opinions editors / maria davison, stephanie spicer

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 24-page newsmagazine. The paper will be distributed every two weeks during third 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.

co-features editors / morgan jones, brianna leyden scene editor / wyatt anderson ads editors /kelsey gasser web technical / andrew keith web managing editor / mary salazar web master / stephanie rupp staff writers / rachel alvey, kelsey gasser, claire gordon, tyler gilliam, brady klein, maddie niemackl, cj reliford, madi watts


northwest passage/smnw.com

Orchestra prepares

Juniors Ryan Frost and Morgan Terrill dance with a Special Education student at the Special Education Prom on April 10.

for trip to Chicago

hanna meigs

Memories created at second

annual SPED dance Special Education students had a night to remember on April 10 with their “Jammin’ in the Jungle” themed prom. For the second year in a row, Student Council collaborated with the Special Education program for the Special Education Prom. Functional curriculum Special Education students from all five high schools in the district attended the dance, along with their StuCo and Cadet peers, and parent and teacher chaperones. “It’s a nice mix of everybody, and I can’t even describe it,” StuCo sponsor Sarah Dent said. “Everyone was up and dancing, parents saw their children interacting and having a good time. We had so many positive comments from Special Education teachers. It’s really awesome that we could provide something that everyone can enjoy.” Balloon animals, cardboard cut-outs of safari animals and green crepe paper transformed half of the cafeteria into the jungle. Students congregated on the dance floor most of the time, dancing to popular songs like “Cha-Cha Slide,” “Hoedown Throwdown” by Miley Cyrus and “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. “I liked seeing how much fun everyone was having. It wasn’t just the Special Education kids; it was the volunteers and every-

04/april 16

one,” sophomore Aaron Terrill said. Students also had the opportunity to play games and could win door prizes, including teddy bears and photo frames. StuCo consulted with the Special Education teachers and Cadet students to find out what type of music the students liked to listen to, as well as topics, like telling time and the cardinal directions, that could be used in conversation. Because of the talent show StuCo sponsored, planners had a budget of over $1000, which was huge compared to the nonexistent budget last year, according to Dent. “We’re not even spending that much on the dance. We’re only using somewhere between $500-700 on the dance,” Dent said. “We’re going to build on the money we raised this year to put into the dance next year.” This allows the prom to have a DJ and a photographer. PTSA brings food and decorations. They even crowned a King and Queen. “Almost everything is the same between this prom and the regular one,” Dent said. “It’s just a really positive experience. The StuCo students and SPED students... really everyone benefited from being part of it.” Brianna Leyden

Seventy-nine orchestra students are currently in Chicago April 15 through 18 to participate in the Heritage Music Festival. Heritage Music Festivals are held in cities all around the country every spring and allow band, choir and orchestra groups to perform. “It’s a way that if you want to take your orchestra or band or choir on a trip, you could justify it educationally,” orchestra teacher Jeffrey Bishop said. “We need to go and have a quality musical experience.” In the past, the orchestra has participated in festivals in Dallas, St. Louis, Anaheim and Orlando. This is the first time they have gone to Chicago. At the festival, the orchestra will perform three pieces, “Bailes para Orquesta” by Richard Meyer, “Elegy” by Dwight Beckham and “American Reel” by Kirt Mosier. “The music I selected was designed to showcase the depth of our orchestra program. We have a really strong cello and viola section that is featured in ‘Bailes,’” Bishop said. “I really wanted to do music that the kids would like, that they wouldn’t get sick of after preparing it for a month.” In addition to performing, the students will visit the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry. While touring the city and during the performance, Bishop has high expectations for his students. “We represent Northwest,” Bishop said. “We play our best. We are our best.” Maria Davison

10th Sleep-in-a-Box collects

money for Shalom House There’s only one night when pizza, s’mores and cardboard boxes all come together: Student Council’s 10th annual Sleep-in-a-Box fundraiser. The event will take place April 19 on the track. Students needed to contribute a minimum of $40 to the Shalom House, a local homeless shelter, by April 9th in order to participate. Members of StuCo, CCC, varsity drill team, Amnesty International, Interact Club, IB, Key Club, Coalition and NHS sleep in homemade, cardboard boxes as a reminder of the struggle the homeless endure to find shelter. “It’s a way for students to have a better understanding of what it’s like to sleep on the ground in a box, not in a bed, with no shower to wake up to,” senior Emily Ferbezar said. “It puts them in the mind set of not having the normal luxuries of the every day life we experience.” Evan Shinn


Drama department to present spring comedy “Leaving Iowa” The spring comedy “Leaving Iowa” is opening April 29 after only three weeks of rehearsal. The schedule put the spring musical “Big River” and “Leaving Iowa” only two weeks apart. About a month ago, the show was cast and they had a week of rehearsals. “We’re doing it because I have two weeks before it’s supposed to open,” drama teacher Keli Rogers said. “We can’t seem to get our schedules straight in order to have a decent length of time to do a show.” “Leaving Iowa” is about a man from Iowa who moved to New York and is going home to Iowa for his nephew’s christening. Two or three years previous, his father had died and was cremated. The man was supposed to spread his father’s ashes on the farm where he grew up. “The son takes the urn of ashes and sets it out. It’s a couple of hours to get to grandpa’s farm. When he gets there he discovers that the farm is now a Wal-Mart. He doesn’t really feel like he can scatter his father’s ashes at Wal-Mart,” Rogers said. The man then sets out to find another place to scatter his father’s ashes and, in the course of doing so, remembers several of the vacations his family took when he was a child. “There were several incidences that happened during vacations that are really funny,” Rogers said. In the show, Julia Stanislav is the mother; Joe Uhl plays the father; Luke Meyer is the son; and Cassie Jones is the sister. There are also four other male roles and three other female roles. “Leaving Iowa” will run April 29, 30 and May 1. Tickets are $7 or $3 with an activity pass.

Prom candidates

The Prom King and Queen candidates are as follows. The winners will be announced at the dance on April 24.

Girls: Kelsi Horner Misha Modiri Christine Nelson Bailie Phelan Jenni Pinkelman Jennifer Sommerfeld Christina Strauss Sandy Tickles Sierra Trussell Hannah Williams Rachael Zdeb

Boys: Abdul Ankrah Mickey Baltzley Matt Broll Christian Buller Adam Giacalone Vik Govindarajan Jon Kankam Kevin Krumme Kyle McGahee Cody Parks Ed Spaunhorst

Maria Davison

The annual Plant Sale opened to the public on Wednesday. It will be open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday until May 2. “I’m excited to be able to raise money for the Environmental Ed room,” junior Chandler Durkee said. “We’ve been working on getting the plants ready all year, so it’s cool to see the final product.” Although the sale officially began Wedneday, it was open for sale to Environmental Education students and their parents on Tuesday, April 13. “[Environmental Education teacher Stacy] Robins thought of that last year as a way to let parents

see what their students have been doing all year, and kind of a way to say thanks,” Environmental Education teacher Mike Pisani said. The Plant Sale has been a tradition for over 25 years. Pisani and Robins not only teach their students about plants in the classroom, but allow them a hands-on experience by planting them. “What I really like is going from September, when there are no plants, and seeing the progress the students have made,” Pisani said. “Seeing the greenhouse full and colorful is a neat transformation.” Ed Spaunhorst

peter kang

Green tradition continues

The Plant Sale is the biggest fundraiser for the Environmental Education classes. It started April 14th and runs through May 2.

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6:30pm Meet the coaches night Sleep-in-a-box

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9:15am Prom Assembly 7pm District Quill and Scroll

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8:30pm Junior and Senior Prom 11:30pm SMNW After-prom

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Chatroulette: the virtual STD With a few clicks of the button, I went from my comfortable Johnson County home to a potentially dangerous, absolute freak show. thing T hisI’ve iseverthe creepiest done. As the website loads, I wonder what I’m doing on here. For months, I’ve been hearing about ‘chatroulette’, a website that randomly matches people for a webbased chat using video, audio and instant messaging. The website is accessible to anyone with a computer and a webcam, so you can chat with people worldwide. You can press “next” at any point in the conversation to be matched with another random person. Although you can disconnect from the person you are talking to, they can also do the same. I am able to see myself on the lower picture and, within a few seconds, a face pops up above mine. I click the next button almost immediately. Finally, I let it stop on one. The screen remained black. A message popped up on the text screen: “HAIL SATAN. DO YOU HAIL SATAN?”

He promptly moved on. Two young girls in dark, heavy eyeliner and low-cut tank tops popped up on the screen. As soon as they saw that I was a girl and not a 20-something male from Amsterdam or Germany flashing for the screen, they scrunched their faces and the word “loser” appeared in the text box. They disconnected. It’s a Monday night. These two girls are on Chatroulette looking like raccoons, and I’m the loser? What is this world coming to? I click the next button a few more times, and, at this point, I’m completely grossed out. The website states that clothes should be kept on at all times, but many users seem to have issues abiding by that rule. For the guys whose egos are big enough to think the whole world needs to see their body over Chatroulette, they sure didn’t have a lot to show for it. There were enough notes posted

over webcams stating what people wanted to see, and they clicked next if you did not show them. Let’s just say most of the guys on Chatroulette aren’t interested in what your face looks like. Calling them pathetic would be the understatement of the year. This website is a poor excuse for men and women to hide behind instead of exploring the real world and meeting people. Although this site is filled with creepy, old men and desperate teenage boys, I found myself easily entertained by messing with people. My mom has a fake zombie that she puts out in our yard every year for Halloween. Because it’s extremely realistic and scary, I put it in front of the camera, so I could watch the other person’s reaction. I hit the next button and a man in his 30’s appeared in the opposite box. As he looked at the screen, his face went from calm

nRACHEL FERENCZ to petrified as he saw the zombie and jumped back from the screen, screaming. He held his chest as he realized it was fake. I took time out of my fit of laughter to step into the screen and laugh in his face, and hit the next button a few more times. Although I got some good laughs out of it, this website is the definition of a virtual STD. Your safety can be put into jeopardy when giving out personal information, such as where you live or where you go to school. The cite is filled with nasty people who are approaching the title of mentally disturbed. You may think you’re meeting new people, but really you’re launching yourself into a world where your safety is at risk and the content is highly unsuitable. If you ever think about getting on Chatroulette, maybe you should mentally just go ahead and click “next”.

Bullied to death

Every day, students across the world are bullied, abused and ridiculed by fellow classmates. It can result in innocent people taking their own lives.

E

veryone knows about it. It’s been occurring since the first time a caveman was able to use grunts to tell another that he was ugly or stupid and that nobody liked him. Now bullying victims are looking for a new escape: suicide. Victims are pushed so far by their tormentors that they are willing to go home and kill themselves, leaving loved ones devastated and confused in the wake of the tragedy. Where they once had the safety of their home, new online and technological advancements have made people prey to the hurtful comments at any time and place through texting, e-mail and networking websites like Facebook and MySpace. Two weeks ago, the quiet town of

10/april 16

South Hadley, Mass., was rocked by the suicide of a 15-year-old girl, who was allegedly physically and verbally attacked by a group of nine students. She was just like one of us. Imagine you know the boy sitting in the corner in class or the girl at the lunch table by herself is being bullied. You don’t tell anyone, you don’t try to stop it. You even throw in a lighthearted joke or two at the student’s expense. Now imagine if he eventually grew so used to the abuse that he believed the insults and thought he was worthless to everyone. Imagine if that girl thought the world would be better off without her. Who is responsible? Is it the victim? Is it the main tormentor? Is it the bystanders, the administration, the school itself?

Many of the parents and families of the bullied blame the school for not stepping in, especially when faculty members know what is happening. Parents in South Hadley are so outraged that they are asking for resignations by the administration. What could have been done? Remember in middle school when we had the seminar on the first day of school that showed the signs of bullying? Most people blew it off. By high school, we were expected to be stronger, wiser and able to stand up for ourselves to ignore the insults, rumors and attacks. But some people can’t handle it. For me, every March 1, I remember someone close to me who couldn’t handle it and committed suicide.

nBRIANNA LEYDEN After a tragedy, the people left behind question what they could have done to prevent it, especially in the case of suicide. Instead of just standing by, we could go up to the bully and say something. And if one person says something, maybe that will inspire others to step up. If you see bullying, or are being bullied, tell someone who can help (preferably someone in a position of authority). Although people might condemn you for ratting them out, it could save a life. If you have a loved one exhibiting signs of suicidal behavior, call the local Kansas City Suicide Hotline at (913)-281-2299.


northwest passage/smnw.com

becoming a slampion

The Poetry Slam has become one of the most anticipated annual events. Now in its fifth year, the biggest field ever will try to take home the title of the school’s best poet.

This year marks the fifth annual NW Poetry Slam. The first slam was held in 2006, as a collaboration between librarian Carolyn LaFever and English teacher Lindsay Kincaid in honor of National Library Week and the National Poetry Month in April. The first year, 14 people participated. “Nobody really knew what they were signing up for,” Kincaid said. “It was mainly a poetry reading, with an exception of a few people. That first year, we crowned Will Harris the slampion.” Each year the slam grew, with more than 30 participating in 2007 increasing to more than 50 in 2008. Seventy-two students participated in 2009. Kincaid thinks bringing in guest performers helped spur the growth. She first learned about spoken-word poetry from her friend, Brendan McLeod, now a world-

renowned poet. She watched him compete in the 2005 National Poetry Slam in St. Louis. “Prior to that, I hadn’t been exposed to it. They have more of a spoken-word vibe up in bigger cities,” Kincaid said. “When I came to St. Louis, I thought, ‘this is something that students can really get behind.’ For me, it was inspired by Brendan. That’s where I’d seen it. I thought let’s see what we can do with that here.” Kincaid also teaches performance poetry in class. Last year, 35 of the 72 participants were from her 10th grade honors English class. “We roll out the same poetry style year after year. I think English teachers all agree we teach poetry more literally, and I wanted to bring in something more contemporary, something students could relate to. It’s just like hip-hop, it’s just like stand-up comedy,

it’s just like everything you go and look up on YouTube,” Kincaid said. “For me as a teacher, the coolest thing is seeing the kids who never show their face in class find the confidence to get up and perform on stage. This is probably the most rewarding thing I do with my job.” All of the rules of the school Poetry Slam follow the same guidelines as a national Poetry Slam. For example, the judges for the slam are randomly selected from the audience. “It is set up in a way where the points are not the point. It’s about students performing and interacting with the audience,” Kincaid said. “The best poet does not always win; the best poem does not always win. It’s about the performance. That’s how a national Poetry Slam works, and we’re not going to differ from it.” Lauren Komer

how to win the poetry slam according to ann manly, excerpts from her winning 2009 poem Here I am and it’s my last poetry slam, So I figure now I’ll tell you how I got where I am. A poem that’s right, you need a poem that’s tight. Now listen and I’ll tell you it’s not that hard to write. First of all you gotta make it rhyme. If you can’t do that then don’t waste your time. The more rhymes you add, the greater the creation More cause for celebration

previous slam

winners

2009 - Ann Manly (Sr.) “How to Win the Poetry Slam” 2008 - Tim Hunt (Jr.) "Fanny Pack" 2007 - Tim Hunt (Soph.) “Facebook” 12/april 16

it’ll be a sensation. So add more rhymes into the rotations Without hesitation and no frustration. See it don’t even have to make sense, But drop rhymes in your poem to make the beat intense. It’s also important to make the crowd laugh, So I’m gonna speak now on the judges’ behalf. “It doesn’t matter if it’s meaningful or deep,

If your poem isn’t funny, it will put us to sleep.” See even if your poems are kind of crummy It doesn’t matter, as long as they’re funny. Another easy trick is the sound effect. Take a look at Alex Nurn for the form that’s correct. Now here’s another thing, you gotta make your poems long. If it’s under three minutes then your doing it wrong.

Ann Manly won the 2009 Poetry Slam, wowing the crowd with her lyrics and prom dress.

popular slam poets on YouTube:

Anis Mojgani - won the National Individual Poetry Slam in 2005 and 2006 Taylor Mali - appeared in Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Brendan McLeod - English teacher Lindsay Kincaid’s friend. He placed second in World Poetry Slam Robert Brown-local poet, helped Lindsay Kincaid’s students with their performance poetry


to all the people who need help with their math homework: it’s not that hard. To all the people who are trying to find what to be: It’s not that hard. to all the people who can’t decide: it’s not that hard. to all the people who can’t get over it: it’s not that hard. To all the people who are pouring their guts out, second after futile second, to get the person who they like to like them back: It’s not That Hard. because no matter what answer you put in that blank, the sun is 93 million miles away burning like crazy, its rays stretching like fingers at a speed of 186,000 miles Per second and the moon is 238,000 miles off in the blackness, glowing like crazy glowing all hazy these things are unattainable to us these things these things are amazing and your heart beats 100,000 times a day, whether you like it or not whether you’re healthy as a horse or your nose is stuffed with snot let’s hope not but still your heart beats and that’s the end of it it’s not that hard. so take 2/4 and make a half and put life in simplest terms. because the world doesn’t need us to do anything incredible it’s pretty okay on its own. so just let it go and just let it flow like the only thing you know is that tomorrow will be a yesterday someday and that today is always quick to fade away and that no matter what happens,

isabel zacharias

When Sophomore Isabel Zacharias steps up to the microphone, everyone in the room becomes silent. Her presence fills the stage, and her voice has a musical quality that catches the attention of the audience without demanding it. To all the people who are trying to find what to be: / It’s not that hard. / To all the people who can’t decide: / it’s not that hard. / To all the people who can’t get over it: / it’s not that hard. Zacharias made a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of 2008 to write a poem every day and so far, she has kept it. Zacharias writes about everyday things and how they affect people or how she feels life should be.  “I don’t usually write sad poetry, but it’s not really happygo-lucky either,” Zacharias said. “There’s a really broad range.” At the NW Poetry Slam last year, Zacharias performed her poem “Simplest Terms,” reflecting on math and “how nothing really adds up.” “Simplest Terms,” along with the poem she plans to

perform at this year’s Poetry Slam are her two favorite  poems she has written. “‘Simplest Terms is one of my favorites because it’s about the simplicity of life, which is something that I really believe in.” Zacharias said. Even when she was younger, Zacharias knew she wanted to write. She began in fifth grade but didn’t like anything she wrote until middle school. “I’ve always kind of been interested in writing, but what really got me started was the creative writing classes. At first I just took creative writing because I was like ‘oh it would be an easy ‘A.’ Then it just exploded and I got to write,” Zacharias said. As she speaks, her words catch the imagination of her audience.  “I think Isabel’s strength is not only that she is a fantastic writer, but she also has the confidence to share with her class when not everyone is willing to get up and share their writing. She blows everybody away with the performance,” Eng-

lish teacher Lindsay Kincaid said. “She can read anything and make it sound poetic. With dry textbook material or short stories, she just has the voice of presence that makes any text entertaining.” Zacharias began writing performance poetry as an eighth grade creative writing assignment. “The assignment was to write a poem and perform it for the class,” Zacharias said, “After that, I started doing things on my own.” Last year, Zacharias partnered with 2009 Poetry Slam “slampion” Ann Manly to write.  “Isabel looks to other poets for inspiration, not to copy them, but to challenge herself and to experiment with taking different approaches and looking at poetry from alternate perspectives,” Manly said. “She and I really enjoy sitting down and creating poetry together. We have different writing styles, but we both respect each other’s techniques.”  On the second Friday of every other month, Zacharias organizes Black Dog poetry night. This

event was originally inspired by her middle school creative writing teachers who were both interested in performance poetry. Most of the regulars are NW students and graduates.       “It’s been very successful; people can do any poetry or music,” Zacharias said. “It’s just a great way for everyone to get up there and do something. Then I started going to this thing downtown in the Blue Room called Jazz Poetry Jams. That’s part of what really got me into it too. I don’t know, I just caught the bug,” Zacharias also writes songs in addition to her poetry. “When I’m writing a song, it’s basically words that I’ve already written that I’ve just put some music with,” Zacharias said. Zacharias can finds inspiration in almost everything. “I feel like poetry is about making things inspiring that wouldn’t normally be,” Zacharias said. “Just like friends, just like my day-today life.” Claire Gordon

scene\13


northwest passage/smnw.com

STUDENT SHUFFLE difficulty: EASY

6 1 6 7 9

5 7 6 3 4

3

8

Cameron Ford Freshman

1 5 2 8

9 7 8

4

9

1 4 2 2

5

9

Tardy for the Party by Kim Zolciak

6 3

“It puts me in a good mood and I listen to it before a party.”

4

Rude Boy by Rihanna

8 5 65 5 3 3 1 2

5 4 2 1

4

“I like Rihanna and it’s a really good song.”

You Give Me Something by James Morrison “I like the way his voice sounds. It makes me feel good and relaxed.”

2

Apps of the ISSUE Lupe Fiasco at The Midland by AMC 8 p.m. April 18

The Flaming Lips at Capitol Federal Park 5 p.m. April 23

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Kansas City Music Hall 8 p.m. April 25

Street Fighter IV

The legendary Street Fighter series has finally come to the least likely game system on the planet. With only half of the console version’s characters and no online multiplayer, it’s not perfect, but even so, SFIV is the best portable Street Fighter experience to date. $9.99

It’s like Google Earth, but for the sky! Point your phone to the stars and see a dynamic map of constellation and star names. Trust us, you will amaze people. This app only works on Android phones. Google Sky Map FREE

Nickelback at the Sprint Center 6:30 p.m April 26

Smarter Than A 5th Grader 2010

14/april 16

Are you smarter than a fifth grader? More importantly, are you willing to pay five bucks to find out? If you lose, you are a testament to America’s failing education system. If you win, congrats—you’re smarter than a fifth grader. $4.99


northwest passage/smnw.com

passion for piercings For three NW students, body piercings serve as an outlet of self-expression.

Sitting at his desk, senior Bryan Hunt copies down the notes from the board as several students stare and whisper from across the room. They can’t get past the one-inch gauges in his ears. Finally, one student decides to make her voice known. “It looks like you belong on National Geographic.” Another girl rises from her desk, walks over to Hunt, takes his gauge out and inspects his ear. Contrary to the others, she doesn’t find his gauges disgusting, but interesting. Disgusted or intrigued, Hunt doesn’t care. He gauges because he wants to, because he likes them, not because of what other people think. “People look at me weird sometimes; other times they’re really interested in how you do it and will ask me to take them out.”

he said. Hunt is not alone in his self-expression. Juniors John Anderson and Stacey Hester gauge their ears as well. They face judgement from others but, in the end, they don’t care; it’s a personal choice. “A lot of parents and older people look down on it. Especially when I went to private school, people tried to say God frowned upon it because I was ruining my ‘temple,’” Hester said. Before gauging your ears, be aware that there are some conflicts that may occur, including infection, blow outs or the question of whether or not your gauging will heal. At a certain point, a gauge may not fully close; although, it is difficult to decide what is the size of no return because switching

sizes is a very individual process. Many factors affect whether gauging will heal such as age, time taken to stretch the ear, time fully healed at a particular size, skin elasticity and scar tissue formation. If stretching is done improperly, damage can occur, resulting in the inability to heal. In this case, minor surgery would be needed to repair the ear. Blow outs are also common with gauging. A blow out is when the hole of the ear starts to get pushed back out in the back of the piercing and occurs when switching sizes. “The first time I had a blow out was when I had a [size zero gauge] for the first time, and I used a gauge made out of bone. It got infected and it stung. My earlobes swelled up to the size of a grape,” Hester admitted. Maddie Niemackl and Madi Watts

STACY HESTER JUNIOR 13 PIERCINGS 5/8 INCH GAUGES Junior Stacey Hester started gauging her ears in eighth grade, and started at a size eight (see graphic below). “I just slowly shoved it in; I skipped a few sizes.” For Hester, it hasn’t always been easy having gauges. When she started, she was in private school where it was against the rules. “I had to wear my hair down to hide them. They caught me, put me in ISS and made me take them out.” When she began her freshman year at Northwest, she started increasing gauge sizes. Despite the reactions of others, Hester gauges her ears because she finds it unique and likes the way it looks. “When I had normal earrings, I thought it looked boring.”

PIERCING SIZES 18 gauge

1.0 mm - 5/128 in

16 gauge

1.2 mm - 3/36 in

standard size standard size for earlobe & for cartilage, nose piercings eyebrow & lip piercings

16/april 16

14 gauge

1.6 mm - 1/16 in

standard size for navel piercings

12 gauge

2 mm - 5/64 in

10 gauge

2 .4mm - 3/32 in

8 gauge

3.2mm - 1/8 in

6

gauge

4mm - 5/32in

4

gauge

5mm - 3/16in

0

gauge

8mm - 1/3in


JOHN ANDERSON JUNIOR SIZE 0 GAUGES

PLACES TO GET

PIERCED

Junior John Anderson started gauging in eighth grade. “I had just gotten my right ear pierced five weeks before and, stupidly enough, gauged it anyway,” Anderson said. A normal ear piercing is an 18 gauge, but Anderson skipped size 16 and went straight to 14. “I got the left one in, but the right wouldn’t go through the back. My sister had to come in and push the gauge through my ear. About a week later, it got so infected that the earring wouldn’t come out,” Anderson said. “A lot of people stare. Some people try to lecture me about my ‘nails in my ears’ and try to tell me they won’t close up, while others think they’re sweet,” Anderson said. “But I like them. They fit my personality.”

freaks on broadway 4039 Broadway Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 531-5825

hours: Mon-Sat 11-10 Sun 12-7

irezumi body art

BRYAN HUNT

8441 Wornall Kansas City, MO 64114 (816) 363-6396

SENIOR 1 INCH GAUGES Senior Bryan Hunt became interested in gauging his ears in eighth grade. “I saw this kid with [size] zeros in and thought they were the coolest thing ever. I didn’t expect to get this big, but the longer you have them, the more used to them you get. It’s really addicting; you just keep getting [them] bigger and bigger.” Currently Hunt doesn’t plan to increase gauge sizes. “I might after graduation, but right now, no. They’re an inch and my mom hates them.”

2

gauge

6mm - 1/4in

00 gauge

8mm - 1/3in

000 gauge

8mm - 1/3in

skin illustrations 9954 West 87th Overland Park, KS 66212 (913) 642-7464

12mm -1/2in

14mm -9/16in 16mm -6/8in

19mm -3/4in

22mm -7/8in

25mm -1 in

scene\17


upcoming games Girls’ Soccer: Tues. April 20, at Lawrence Free State 6 p.m. Fri. April 23, vs. St. James Academy at SMAC, 7 p.m. Tues. April 27 at Washburn Rural 6:15 p.m. Thurs. April 29, at SM East, at SMAC 7 p.m. Girls’ Swimming and Diving: Tues. April 20, at SM North, 4 p.m. Fri. April 23, at SM East Prelims, 4:30 p.m. Sat. April 24 at SM East Prelims, 10 a.m. Tues. April 27 at SM West, 4 p.m. Baseball: Tues. April 20, at Olathe East, at CBAC, 5:30 p.m. Thurs. April 22, vs. Olathe North, at 3&2, 4:30 p.m. Sat. April 24, at BV Northwest, at DAC-Switzer, 11 a.m. Tues. April 27, vs. SM East, at 3&2, 7 p.m. Softball: Tues. April 20, vs. Lawrence at SMSD Softball Complex, 4:15 p.m. Tues. April 20, vs. Lawrence Free State at SMSD Softball Complex, 6:15 p.m. Thurs. April 22, vs. SM North at SMSD Softball Complex, 4:15 p.m. Thurs. April 22, vs. SM North at SMSD Softball Complex, 6:15 p.m. Track and Field: Sat. April 17, Kansas Relays, 8 a.m. Fri. April 23, Olathe South Quad, at ODAC, 3:30 p.m. Fri. April 30, Topeka Seaman Invitational, 3 p.m. Fri. May 7, SM North Relays, 3 p.m. Boys’ Tennis: Mon. April 19, vs. SM South, 3:30 p.m. Tues. April 20 vs. Barstow, 4 p.m. Wed. April 21, at SM East, 3:30 p.m. Boys’ Golf: Mon. April 19, at Falcon Ridge, 3 p.m. Thurs. April 22, at Shawnee Country Club, 1 p.m. Tues. April 27, at Heritage Park, 3 p.m. Wed. April 28, SMNW Ryder Cup, at Tomahawk Hills, 1 p.m.

Ruining a masterpiece The new NCAA Tournament expansion is great for television companies and corporate executives but disheartening for everyone else. We may soon be living in a world where the University of North Carolina is selected into the NCAA Basketball Tournament finishing 16-16 in the regular season and 5-11 in their conference. During the week preceding this season’s Final Four, NCAA executives unveiled a proposed plan to increase the size of the tournament field. If the new expansion is passed, 96 teams similar to the under-achieving Tarheels would have a surprisingly good chance of making it to the tourney, despite their disappointing seasons. The new plan idea released by Greg Shaheen, senior Vice President of NCAA Basketball and Business Strategies, states that the tournament will include 68, 72, or 96 teams instead of the traditional 65. The top eight seeds from each bracket will receive a first-round bye. The committee wants to avoid forcing the student-athletes to miss extra school, so they are adding three games a week instead of two. This system will only be for the teams who do not receive byes. Everyone else who plays after the first round will play the regular 64-seed schedule. March Madness is the best postseason in all of sports because it involves a bunch of great teams going out and showing the country what they’re made of. In college basketball there are 347 teams in Division 1. To make the

13

Returning seniors on the baseball team. Eight out of nine starters are seniors. The team is currently 5-1 as of Tuesday.

tournament, a team needs to be chance of going far, which will in the top 18th percentile in the make the first round just like the country. If there is an expansion, NIT but with no trophy. Once that will be increased by nearly these feeble teams hit the fresh 10%. This isn’t an outstanding juggernauts in the later rounds, increase, but it does re-draw the they’ll get destroyed, unless they line of the true best teams in the have a close relationship with league. In short, it will be less of God himself. And even then a an elite core of teams because victory is unlikely. So far a decision teams with 17-15 re has not been made cords might get in. By the end of this either way; a vote will season’s tournament, likely happen within next couple of CBS had earned $37 the months. If passed, million in advertising. It’s a relatively small the plan may not go profit, but it increased into effect next season. In fact, it could by nearly 20 percent be up to five years from last year. And it br a d y k l e i n or more for the plan was a profit nonetheless. They made money so why to go into action. Even though I change anything? Why does the am completely against this idea, tournament need to expand? It’s I have little hope that it will not obviously to make more cash, be passed. It really doesn’t seem fair. but it isn’t necessary or fair. Is the NCAA really so greedy that they The majority of all the fans want just want more and more money the tournament to stay the same. while the players, coaches and Some of the athletes have even fans suffer? If anything, the play- made their statements about ers should even be paid. It would why it should stay the same. never happen, but without these In fact, around our area, many hardworking young kids, CBS people have given personal reawould have made nothing at all. sons on why nothing should The fact of the matter is that be changed. I could not agree everyone in the television world more. This tournament seems is just after money, so they are perfect, so why mess it up. It is willing to exploit athletes for like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa; it really makes their own pleasure. The teams playing in the first no sense. Although it all comes round will be completely drained down to who the committee will of their energy if they advance listen to: the fans or their own onto the next round. They will wallets. have almost a zero percent

12

Year contract that Butler University’s basketball coach Brad Stevens was signed to. Stevens is only 34 years old.

by the numbers

291

The winning score of the boys’ golf team at Monday’s tournament. Four of the five golfers on the team placed in the Top 10 at the tournament.

20

Weeks of Major League Baseball that are still left to play. They have only been playing for three weeks at this point.

sports\19


northwest passage/smnw.com

CAITLYN MASSY

left: Senior Erica Brand prepares to throw a discus at track and field practice. Right: At a competition April 9, Brand winds up to throw the discus. Far right: Brand admires her toss at a practice.

20/april 16


the

distance

“I definitely want to compete at the post-collegiate level, you know, like Worlds (World Championships). If the Olympics are an option, then I would definitely want to try-out.” There are very few high school athletes in the entire country who utter the words “compete” and “Olympics” in the same sentence. One of those few athletes happens to be a NW student. Erica Brand, a three-sport varsity athlete, was a state champion last year in the discus and placed second in the shot put. She was named to the 2007 and 2009 All-metro track and field teams and was a state finalist in 2007 and 2008. Brand’s award recognition does not stop at the state or regional levels. She is also a two-time AAU Junior Olympic champion in the discus, and she has placed second and first at the USATF Junior Olympics in the discus. Last year she travelled to Bressanone, Italy to represent the USA at the IAAF World Youth Championships, where she placed 14th. Brand said her passion for the sport started the summer before sixth grade. “I actually started throwing because one of my neighbor’s parents were former throwers, so when they wanted to get their daughter started into throwing, they just kind of invited me along,” Brand said. The neighbor turned out to be SM South thrower Alix Richards, who is the same age as Brand, and took a close second to Brand at the Kansas State Championships last spring. Yet, surprisingly, Brand has managed to keep a reasonably low profile, most likely because she possesses a sense of quiet humility that great athletes seldom have. “She holds all of the NW records in the discus and shot-put, and she is likely to

break the Kansas state record this year in the discus. But you wouldn’t know it if you talked to her,” senior thrower Kent Hollingsworth said of Brand. “Erica is a quiet leader. She leads with her actions, not with her words,” said NW throwing coach Jessica Barger. Few high-school athletes that have signed letters of intent to Division 1 level schools such as Duke, where Brand is headed next fall, can discuss their own successes in such a low-key manner. “I am very excited to go to Duke and compete for them. It was kind of weird, the recruiting process I had with them [Duke], though. They had contacted me a long time ago, but then their coach left and he took all of his recruiting stuff. So that left the new coach kind of in the dark as far as recruiting goes. I didn’t hear back from him again until last year,” Brand said. The new Duke coach, B.J. Linnenbrink, is from Lee’s Summit, which may have helped him establish a connection to the KC metro area. Before his successful twoyear stint throwing at Florida State, Linnenbrink dominated at the junior college level, earning two NJCAA All-America honors at Johnson County Community College. “Erica has long levers and a great height advantage on most other throwers in the country. That, coupled with her athletic ability, will make her a fantastic thrower at the collegiate level,” Linnenbrink said. “Erica has the ability to come in as freshman and make an immediate impact in the ACC in the discus and shot put and be an NCAA national qualifier in the discus. She will also learn how to throw the 20lb indoor weight and the hammer.” Brand has similar intentions. “I would like to make it to the NCAA

KEVIN BUIE

MICHELLE STUESSI

She can sing, play the piano, figure statistics, read Shakespeare, and she’s going to Duke. Oh, by the way, she is a national champion in Discus, too.

Championships, maybe not freshman year, but I think I definitely have a chance of making it to the championships,” Brand said. At the SM South relays, the first real meet for the Cougar varsity athletes, Brand threw 149’7.5” in the discus, winning both discus and shot put. Her first throw currently puts her at no. 4 nationally for the discus, according to Kansasrunners.com. She out-threw the second place competitor, her old friend Richards, by nearly twenty feet, and she outthrew the farthest boy’s throw of 148’. Last year, she won the Kansas State championship with a throw of 151’, so her first meet success should be a good indicator that she can repeat as state champion. “I think I can win state this year. I won it last year, so I should have a pretty good shot at the championship again,” Brand said. Throwing is but one of Brand’s athletic interests. She was a two-year letterman on the volleyball team and a three-year letter earner for the girls’ basketball team. She was also named to the 2009 Sunflower League Honorable Mention team for basketball. But Brand is more than an athlete though. She carries her competitive nature with her wherever she goes, whether it be the classroom or the court. On any given day, she wakes up with weights first hour. Then during third hour, she can be found sitting at the piano singing with the acappella choir. And then she goes to one of her four AP classes. And then she goes to practice for three hours. “One of Erica’s best qualities is that she is so coachable. Erica is a perfectionist, in school, volleyball and track and field. When I give her constructive criticism, she takes it and works her butt off to fix it,” Barger said As an athlete, she has proven that she can more than hold her own, whether it be at a high school meet or a world championship. As a student, and as a leader, she has pushed herself to succeed. And if her career stays on the same trajectory it is on now, it would be smart to have cable in 2016. There could be a Cougar at the Olympic Games. n Clay Coffman

sports\21


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upcoming games Girls’ Soccer: Tues. April 20, at Lawrence Free State 6 p.m. Fri. April 23, vs. St. James Academy at SMAC, 7 p.m. Tues. April 27 at Washburn Rural 6:15 p.m. Thurs. April 29, at SM East, at SMAC 7 p.m. Girls’ Swimming and Diving: Tues. April 20, at SM North, 4 p.m. Fri. April 23, at SM East Prelims, 4:30 p.m. Sat. April 24 at SM East Prelims, 10 a.m. Tues. April 27 at SM West, 4 p.m. Baseball: Tues. April 20, at Olathe East, at CBAC, 5:30 p.m. Thurs. April 22, vs. Olathe North, at 3&2, 4:30 p.m. Sat. April 24, at BV Northwest, at DAC-Switzer, 11 a.m. Tues. April 27, vs. SM East, at 3&2, 7 p.m. Softball: Tues. April 20, vs. Lawrence at SMSD Softball Complex, 4:15 p.m. Tues. April 20, vs. Lawrence Free State at SMSD Softball Complex, 6:15 p.m. Thurs. April 22, vs. SM North at SMSD Softball Complex, 4:15 p.m. Thurs. April 22, vs. SM North at SMSD Softball Complex, 6:15 p.m. Track and Field: Sat. April 17, Kansas Relays, 8 a.m. Fri. April 23, Olathe South Quad, at ODAC, 3:30 p.m. Fri. April 30, Topeka Seaman Invitational, 3 p.m. Fri. May 7, SM North Relays, 3 p.m. Boys’ Tennis: Mon. April 19, vs. SM South, 3:30 p.m. Tues. April 20 vs. Barstow, 4 p.m. Wed. April 21, at SM East, 3:30 p.m. Boys’ Golf: Mon. April 19, at Falcon Ridge, 3 p.m. Thurs. April 22, at Shawnee Country Club, 1 p.m. Tues. April 27, at Heritage Park, 3 p.m. Wed. April 28, SMNW Ryder Cup, at Tomahawk Hills, 1 p.m.

Ruining a masterpiece The new NCAA Tournament expansion is great for television companies and corporate executives but disheartening for everyone else. We may soon be living in a world where the University of North Carolina is selected into the NCAA Basketball Tournament finishing 16-16 in the regular season and 5-11 in their conference. During the week preceding this season’s Final Four, NCAA executives unveiled a proposed plan to increase the size of the tournament field. If the new expansion is passed, 96 teams similar to the under-achieving Tarheels would have a surprisingly good chance of making it to the tourney, despite their disappointing seasons. The new plan idea released by Greg Shaheen, senior Vice President of NCAA Basketball and Business Strategies, states that the tournament will include 68, 72, or 96 teams instead of the traditional 65. The top eight seeds from each bracket will receive a first-round bye. The committee wants to avoid forcing the student-athletes to miss extra school, so they are adding three games a week instead of two. This system will only be for the teams who do not receive byes. Everyone else who plays after the first round will play the regular 64-seed schedule. March Madness is the best postseason in all of sports because it involves a bunch of great teams going out and showing the country what they’re made of. In college basketball there are 347 teams in Division 1. To make the

13

Returning seniors on the baseball team. Eight out of nine starters are seniors. The team is currently 5-1 as of Tuesday.

tournament, a team needs to be chance of going far, which will in the top 18th percentile in the make the first round just like the country. If there is an expansion, NIT but with no trophy. Once that will be increased by nearly these feeble teams hit the fresh 10%. This isn’t an outstanding juggernauts in the later rounds, increase, but it does re-draw the they’ll get destroyed, unless they line of the true best teams in the have a close relationship with league. In short, it will be less of God himself. And even then a an elite core of teams because victory is unlikely. So far a decision teams with 17-15 re has not been made cords might get in. By the end of this either way; a vote will season’s tournament, likely happen within next couple of CBS had earned $37 the months. If passed, million in advertising. It’s a relatively small the plan may not go profit, but it increased into effect next season. In fact, it could by nearly 20 percent be up to five years from last year. And it br a d y k l e i n or more for the plan was a profit nonetheless. They made money so why to go into action. Even though I change anything? Why does the am completely against this idea, tournament need to expand? It’s I have little hope that it will not obviously to make more cash, be passed. It really doesn’t seem fair. but it isn’t necessary or fair. Is the NCAA really so greedy that they The majority of all the fans want just want more and more money the tournament to stay the same. while the players, coaches and Some of the athletes have even fans suffer? If anything, the play- made their statements about ers should even be paid. It would why it should stay the same. never happen, but without these In fact, around our area, many hardworking young kids, CBS people have given personal reawould have made nothing at all. sons on why nothing should The fact of the matter is that be changed. I could not agree everyone in the television world more. This tournament seems is just after money, so they are perfect, so why mess it up. It is willing to exploit athletes for like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa; it really makes their own pleasure. The teams playing in the first no sense. Although it all comes round will be completely drained down to who the committee will of their energy if they advance listen to: the fans or their own onto the next round. They will wallets. have almost a zero percent

12

Year contract that Butler University’s basketball coach Brad Stevens was signed to. Stevens is only 34 years old.

by the numbers

291

The winning score of the boys’ golf team at Monday’s tournament. Four of the five golfers on the team placed in the Top 10 at the tournament.

20

Weeks of Major League Baseball that are still left to play. They have only been playing for three weeks at this point.

sports\19


IN focus

“It felt great to get the Athlete of the Week Award and I was also surprised because there are a lot of players on our team, and other teams that deserve the award as well. I was nervous when I got interviewed on camera. I just didn’t want to mess up.” -Senior Adam Giacolone


Northwest Passage Volume 41 Issue 13