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the epic vol. 48 | issue 1

shawnee mission west | 8800 w. 85th st. overland park, ks 66212 | september 18, 2009

who is this man?

{ } find out! page 12

Myth Busting: West Way The administration is striving to create a better environment by persuading students to follow the West Way | 11

High Above the Rest One junior steps beyond ROTC and gets closer to life in the military by joining the Civil Air Patrol | 14


{news}

snapshot

weird news

A robbery suspect was arrested when he returned to the scene of the crime to ask the victim out on a date. Three men robbed a couple late last Sunday afternoon when one of the men felt bad about his decision and decided to return and ask for the female victims phone number. The police showed up at the scene shortly after to arrest the man. New York police recieved a call late on Saturday night reporting a jeep had been crashed throught the second story of a house. Police say that the driver was highly intoxicated and after running a stop sign his vehicle hit a large earthen mound sending him airborn crashing into the second story of the house. Maryland police arrested a man for trying to pay for gasoline with marijuana. A 52-year-old man offered store clerks a large sum of marijuana after discovering that he had no money to pay for gasoline. The mans vehicle was searched and more illegal drugs were found. A French court has fined a preschool teacher $1,450 for biting the cheek of an unruly 4-year-old. During an ordinary bathroom break at Normandy Preschool Academy in France, a student was bitten by his teacher for throwing a fit. The teacher was sued and lost her job.

{sept. - oct.} 9.18.09 - 10.15.09

22 25 29 30 1 5 8 10 13 14

2:00 p.m. - StuCo Meeting No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences 1:45 p.m. - FMP meeting 6:30 p.m. - College Planning Night 1:45 p.m. - NHS meeting No School - Improvement Day

ALEX BURNETT During the football game vs Olathe East on Friday, September 11, Michael Garrett, junior, asked Taryn Vanderpool, senior, to the Homecoming Dance. Dressed as the school mascot, Garrett unveiled a large sign that said “Taryn, homecoming?� from the stands. Garrett then got down on one knee and presented a yellow rose to Vanderpool and popped the question. She said yes.

news in brief by scott holm

Faculty and staff have started out the 2009 school year striding to insert a new trend for students to follow called the West Way. The West Way has been put into effect to try to achieve a more respectful and caring school as a whole. The rules of West Way are listed thoroughly in the student planner where it is easy to find and hopefully frequently reviewed.

The attendance at the varsity football games have been at a significant high level so far this year. The football attendance has always been large at the games but this year staff has noticed a ignificant growth in the fan population. Faculty has cracked down on tardeeness throughout students by setting up tardee tables throughut the school. Tables with tardee slips and detention notices have been set up in the world languages hallway and also in the new wing near the auxiliary gymnasium. The faculty hopes that the tables will encourage students to be on time to class.

1:30 p.m. - Homecoming Parade 8:00 p.m. - Homecoming dance Marching Band Festival 6:30 p.m. - College clinic

2 THE EPIC ISSUE 1

The new cell phone policy has proven to be popular among students this year already but there are more critical punishments if the policy is violated. Cell phones are now aloud to be used in the hallways during passing period and also during lunch but if used during class it is taken to the office and a parent must get the phone from school.

Mi Ranchito Mexican Restaurant was shut down after over twenty customers were rushed to the hospital with the same symptoms. The customers were suffering from a raw case of food poisoning which seemed to be from the drinking water at the restaurant. Health officials said they found a large backup in the carbonated water copper pipes which inserted a toxic effect into the water. An Overland Park family was robbed at gunpoint late last wednesday night. A 16-year-old girl was walking out to get something from her car when two men stopped her, one holding a gun at her head, and demanded to lead her to her apartment. When they were inside the apartment they stole a large sum of money that the family had recently recieved from their income tax return check. With test scores proving that the Hickman Hills school district is behind administrators have made it a priority to improve grades and study skills. The district has invested in after school tutors and new technology systems in hope of seeing improvement in students grades Police have made an effort to crack down on traffic violations after a woman was killed earlier this summer by a man who ran s top light. Streets from 99th terrace to 87th street have all been watched closely by police to keep the community safe.


Recent staff cuts have required some teachers to find new jobs elsewhere or work part-time by whitney knightly

As students walk the halls this school year, some may notice (or have already noticed) that a number of once-familiar faces have disappeared. Others are seen much less. These faces belong to the staff members who were recently cut or assigned part-time duties as a result of the economic downturn. According to the principal, Dr. McLean, when the economy goes bad, the taxes decrease, and the state, in turn, has less money to work with. Since education is a big part of the state budget, most of the cuts are going to happen through the schools. About $10 million was lost in the Shawnee Mission School District alone. With such a big loss, schools “have to reduce the number of [workers],” McLean said. Since last year, the school has had to cut seven teachers and reduce work hours for four. “We just didn’t have the money,” McLean said. “[Cutting teachers] is one of my least favorite parts of the job. When people are doing a good job, it isn’t pleasant; that’s real painful.” One of the most noticeable absences has been of former college counselor Dr. Leonard. The situation has proved difficult for students and counselors alike. “It’s been difficult for two reasons,” Cindy Neely, head of the counseling department, said. “One, we lost a valued colleague and two, we all have an increased workload.” Students, such as Andrea Wilson, senior, can no longer make quick visits to Leonard’s office. They must research colleges and scholarships on their own time. “I was really looking forward to having the help,” Wilson said. However, Abby Glauser, senior, believes the

remaining counselors will compensate well. “I think the counselors [will] be able to help. It’s not a big deal for me.” Other teachers, such as Dylan Carter, English 12 and Writer’s Workshop teacher, had the unfortunate experience of almost losing their job. “I was really surprised because I thought I had enough time with the district to be safe, but I realized that was not the only requirement,” Carter said. Involvement in sports and activities, along with seniority, are the deciding factors on which staff members can be cut or saved. “If you’re a teacher and a coach, you have more protection,” McLean said. Amidst the negativity regarding cuts, there’s also an understanding that it’s something nobody wants to happen, especially in education. “Our society’s in a tough economic situation; cuts are going to have to be made,” Carter said. “It’s unfortunate it has to hit public education.”

faces in the hall by courtney lichtenberger photos by cord powell

What animated character would you date?

What is one thing you could eat forever?

In addition to losing several other staff members for economic reasons, Ryan Flurry, associate principal, was reassigned to Shawnee Mission South.

What sound do you love?

What t.v. show do you wish was still produced?

Road Runner and Coyote

senior

Mater from Cars

Panzons

Quietness

junior

Cinderella

Chinese food

Waves on the beach

Drake and Josh

Dory from Finding Nemo

Mongolian Barbeque

2:40 bell

Friends

Superman

Ice cream

Rain

shelby briney

canaan coker

sophomore

samuel lawrence

freshman

alison harlow

That 70’s Show ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 3

{news}

Economic Troubles Hit Education


{FEATURE}

a change in scenery

Students have enrolled in West’s signature program, biotechnology, for a variety of reasons by terri harvey

Biotechnology is West’s signature program where students learn how to use equipment for research facilities and gain the skills necessary to land a job in any lab. Students come from all over Shawnee Mission to join it, but they aren’t all joining for the class. This year six new students transferred to West for biotech. Some enrolled into biotech because they thought it was interesting and are looking for a scientific career. Others transferred just to leave their previous school; many of them prefer West. Danny Sumrall, a senior who transferred from East, said he feels he belongs more to West than he ever did at East because there is a more welcoming environment here. “There is more variety and people are more accepted for their differences,” Sumrall said. Students that transferred because they were actually interested in biotech really enjoy the class and think it was worth the transfer. “Class is awesome. We have lab everyday,

and never have homework,” Sumrall said. Students who enrolled in biotech only for the ability to transfer mostly still enjoy the class. “I transferred because I didn’t like Northwest, but in order to transfer I had to take biotech. I really didn’t know what it was, but it turned out to be a fun class,” Phillip Myers, sophomore, said. Students might have transferred for different reasons, but they agree the move was good. Not only do the transfers like their fellow students, but they even appreciate the staff. “This principal is more active and the teachers are here if you need help,” Myers said. Myers also said the block scheduling is helpful. He has more time to get work done and to ask questions. Overall, most of the new students feel welcome here and are happy about transferring.

preson felgate

Senior Danny Sumrall uses a micropipette to prepare a sample for his Biotechnology 2 class.

acclimated to america

Every year Shawnee Mission West is host to many foreign exchange students by alex leininger | photos by sally carmichael

Moritz Bauer Germany

How is Germany different than the U.S.? Everything is closer together and we ride more on bikes instead of in cars What activities do you participate in at West? I’m on the football team What do you miss most about Germany? My best friend What is your favorite American food? Chipotle Is it ever hard to talk to people here? Not really. Only when they use slang. 4 THE EPIC ISSUE 1

Lorena Erke Germany

What activities do you participate in at West? I’m in tennis What do you like most about the U.S.? People treat me nicely What do you miss most about Germany? My family What is your favorite American food? Hamburgers and cheeseburgers Why did you decide to become an exchange student? I wanted to improve my English and learn more about the culture.

Johannes Harzmann-Deis

Germany

How is Germany different from the U.S.? The teachers switch classes instead of the kids. What activities do you participate in at West? Cross Country What is your favorite American food? I like Mexican food a lot; I don’t really eat American food What do you want people to know about you? I’m very social and talk to a lot of people because I want to have many friends What do you miss most about Germany? Free time

Christine Braun Germany

How is Germany different than the U.S.? The people are more outgoing What do you like most about the U.S.? The people are friendlier and they talk first Why did you become an exchange student? I wanted to learn the language, have new experiences and meet new people What do you want people to know about you? I am kind of shy, but when people talk to me first I can talk to them What activities do you participate in at West? Career Club

Mookmanee Kiokaew Thailand Is it ever hard to talk to people here? Yes, my language is very different, but people here help me a lot What activities do you participate in at West? Marching Band What is your favorite American food? Chocolate chip cookies Why did you decide to become an exchange student? My mom thought it would be a good idea What do you like most about the U.S.? I like how you can choose your subjects in school.


1 2 4

3 5 6

7

down:

8

1. The King of Pop 9

10

across:

1. Former late night shot host with new show 4. Chiefs QB (last name) 7.Football team’s opponent tonight 8. XC coach, pre-calc teacher (last name) 9. Rapper outraged at the MTV VMA’s 10. “Cloudy with a Chance of ______”

(last name) 2. “Transformers” dream girl 3. Tennis player outraged at U.S. Open (last name) 5. Big political issue 6. Month HC is in

The Epic

Next Issue: October 15 ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 5

{ADS}

crossword puzzle


{EDITORIAL}

Epic Staff editor-in-chief alex burnett photo editor sally carmichael design editor stuti desai copy editor jessie hardesty business manager cameron volker asst. business manager noah haden features editors lana fanous michael higgins sports editors danny neely dan prem opinion editor dani la londe a&e editor elizabeth stephan backpage editor katie prather

Green is the New Black and Gold

West is going green. Unless this is your first day here, you’ve probab ly figured this out by now. Teachers have been repeating a shocking piece of information: last year, our school used over 4.2 million sheets of paper. That’s approximately 2,250 per student. This huge number is costing our school a lot of money and aiding the destruction of forests, so we are making an effort to cut back. Teachers have been asked not to print studen t copies of their syllabi, and many are using Web Backpack to distribute informa tion. Even the teachers more familiar with card catalogues than comput ers are making an effort to learn the ropes of Web Backpack. In the past year, the Viking Voice newsletter has made the transition online. Other efforts to go green include the wind turbine and solar panels installe d on the roof of the school thanks to the work of students and staff over the past few years. However, these efforts towards saving the planet are not enough. Students must do our part to reclaim the rainforests and save the polar bears. Next time you’re washing your hands, notice how many paper towels you use. Do you really need all five of those? Keep your paws a little wet and use your pants to dry them. Don’t forget to turn off the water when you’re done, either. Remember, we’re talking about the end of the world here. Use your printing power wisely – don’t print entire pages of information straight off the web. Copy and paste the information you need onto a Word document. And, if you’re really into keeping the world around for your grandkids to enjoy, use both the front and back sides of the paper. We’ve given you ways to help; now it’s up to you to do your part. Here’s a suggestion: when you’re done with the Epic, toss it in the recycling bin (now available in all classes) rather than the trash. No need to burn after reading. Thank you.

staff writers alison bailes chris brown brayden clark timothy dodderidge terri harvey andrew hoskins whitney knightly alex leininger courtney lichtenberger mitch mansour katherine mcgowan taylor neff connor oberkrom matt smith photographers preston felgate david howell raine mcguire cord powell cartoonist earvin chinchilla adviser amy morgan The “Epic” is the newsmagazine of Shawnee Mission West, 8800 W. 85th St., Overland Park, KS 66212. It is produced by a staff of high school journalists dedicated to the principles of journalism: to present facts and occurrences truthfully and without bias. Articles of opinion or analysis are labeled and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff and/or the publication. In accordance with Kansas law, the “Epic” staff is entitled to freedom of the press. Neither the West administration nor the SMSD are responsible for any article, advertisement, photograph,, illustration or opinion piece in the “Epic”. The “Epic” encourages letters to the editor, but they must be signed and submitted to room 11. The “Epic” is published bimonthly. It is printed by the SMSD and is distributed free of charge to students. For advertising information call (913) 993-7911.

6 THE EPIC ISSUE 1


by earvin chinchilla

IMPORTANT THINGS with

dani lalonde by dani la londe

Tree Hugger’s Anthem

a thirddegree

burn

by alex burnett Best Year EVER

In an effort to finally fulfill one of my New Years resolutions, I’ve become an optimist. Coupled with my second resolution of trying to make more gutsy forecasts, my sudden surge of optimism has led me to go ahead and make a bold prediction: this will be the best year of school: EVER. “But Alex!” you say. “How ever will this year of school reach such levels of excellence as you forsee!?” Well sir/ma’am, my first advice to you is to calm down and ask simpler questions. But regardless, I will tell you why in a series of courageous prophecies: 1. Atleast one sports team will win state this year. I’m keeping this prediction broad because there are many teams that have the potential to go to the state championship this year. Our teams may not be as talented as some of the state-contenders in years past — so call this a hunch ­— but I’m feeling it this year. Also, in an effort to self promote, I’m predicting that the cross country team will have a good chance of winning the state championship, with me and Garrett McPherson finishing first and second in the state (respectively, of course). And if we don’t end up “Running Towards State” as the headline in Danny’s section will undoubtably read, I will continue to dream it true. 2. The West Way will be a success. This prediction is highly conditional, because it is dependent upon the faculty devising an effective method of giving out the “West Way Rewards”, and making the whole thing worth

everyone’s while. Unlike a lot of upperclassmen that find the system too juvenile, I believe that the new system of postiive reinforcement will be good for some of the more “behaviorally challenged” students *cough cough* that kid from a few years ago that punched through the window by the courtyard and had to get rushed to the hospital from severe blood loss. I can safely say that it will be beneficial to some people because I have seen the other side of this school. During my freshman year I took a class that was literally littered with kids that could’ve used the West Way system. There’s one kid in specific from this class that stands out in my mind as someone that could’ve used the West Way. Maybe it was because of his spotty attendance record, love of mouthing off to the teacher, or his tendency to stroll into class from lunch — late of course — with a lit cigarette in his mouth and try to hide from our teacher for as long as possible (record time: 15 minutes). Come on now, that’s not the West Way! Although he couldn’t help it, back then we didn’t get to do the widely popular paper heart activity. 3. Seniors will band together and be strong leaders of the school. This can really be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. Sure, it’s a positive for the school, the underclassmen and the faculty, but it will be purely out of spite. for those that remember my column from last year “Prove Me Wrong, ‘OH TEN’,” I dared all incoming seniors to make this school a better place and to rub it in my face when they do. Look for lots of face-rubbing to go on later this year. 4. The Epic will win a Pacemaker Award The Pacemaker is the top award for high school journalism, and we’re going to win and rub it in East’s face to increase the amount of face-rubbing. And there you have it: the best year ever. But I’ve run out of space to type. The end. BOOM!

What exactly are important things? What is important to me may not be important to you. Anything I say in my column is merely my personal opinion and if you don’t like it please don’t form and angry mob and chase me through the school. I will risk my life and inform you anyway. This week’s important subject is trees. There are many wonderful qualities about trees. If you let them stand, they provide oxygen and a nice thing for tree huggers to chain themselves to. If you cut them down, and make firewood, they create a warm house for your family in the winter and you give loggers a job. Tables are another positive outcome of chopping trees down. Tables in any form are useful. Coffee tables, kitchen tables, card tables, and the list goes on and on. If you own a table or are considering buying one, you run the risk of a hippie tree hugger jumping through your window and attacking you. Tables also hold other important things, such as paper that, coincidentally, is made of trees. Homework, which is printed on paper, is another important thing. Homework is important because if you complete it correctly you get a good grade (and perhaps a gold star). Good grades are important because they can possibly allow you to get into a good college, so you don’t become a bum. It’s important not to become a bum because bums live in cardboard boxes, which are made from trees. Now, I know it was fun to play house in a box when you were younger, but come on, you don’t want that to become your permanent place of residence. So in conclusion, wood is good. Trees are sacred. To all hippie tree huggers, keep up the good work. ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 7

{OPINION}

the drawing board:


{OPINION}

Sunny Side

Up

by stuti desai Slow Things Down Welcome back students! There. I’ve warmly greeted you (and done my part of the West Way). I know it’s a little late, being the fourth or fifth week of school already, or maybe I’ve been back so long that I’ve already lost count. Either way, I’ve been very busy. I never realized how complicated senior year was going to be until I went home with a trigonometry packet in Calculus (which I thoroughly enjoyed doing, by the way Mrs. Konczal), Spanish homework, a rough draft essay due for English, and a quiz over an entire chapter of Bio 2 (I am now an expert on the science of mark and recapture) during the first week of school. Not to mention the myriad of activities that decided to fly up all at the same time. Don’t even get me started on college applications because I can’t give you a complete list of colleges that I want to apply to yet, nor tell you what I want to do with my life. What if I decide I don’t want to go to dentistry school and choose to become an eye doctor instead (for the poor soul who will get a paper cut in their eyeball as mentioned by Katie Prather), or even a clown? Lord knows I’ve got the nose. WHAT THEN? I know, kind of feels like getting hit by a bus, doesn’t it? But my point was not to dump my problems on you, or remind you of your own. I want to remind you all to take some time out and do something that you want. Whether that be reading, painting, seeing how many grapes you can fit into your mouth, or taking a sleeping bag down the stairs with your best friends. Cliché as this sounds, it is a necessity. Just last week I sat down one evening, didn’t touch my homework, got a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watched an old Bond movie. And might I tell you being unproductive never tasted so sweet. Just do it, otherwise you’re going to get so involved your head will explode. That…or you could just marry rich.

8 THE EPIC ISSUE 1

ALEX BURNETT

that’s what

shesaid.

by katie prather The West Way?

Warning: This column is my opinion and my opinion only. I mean no disrespect to administrators, teachers, or anyone who could give a detention/suspension by this column. (That just wouldn’t be the West Way…) As a senior I feel it is my duty to be a bright and shining example and follow the West Way in every way, shape, and/or form possible. Oh, and excuse me for not saying, “Welcome back to West!” that was not respectful and therefore not the West Way. I apologize. Now that greetings are out of the way, let me guide you through an enlightening activity to help show you the importance of the West Way. First, draw a heart on a sheet of paper and write 3 mean, rude, or nasty phrases on each corner of the heart. As you write said nasty sayings crinkle the corners of the heart as you go until it’s a small ball. Now say something nice to the person sitting next to you and uncrinkle the heart with every sweet saying, until its completely unfolded… But oh! Look, the heart is still wrinkled; the pain of the insults will never go away! Meditate on this thought for a few minutes, but remember to recycle the paper heart, but don’t throw it. That could lead to a paper cut in someone’s eye. Not to mention it is neither safe nor responsible to throw paper, which is definitely not the West Way. Anyway, I’m sure that after doing that little activity you will never say another mean word to or about another student ever again.

Yeah right. I’m sorry, but the first 20 minutes of the first 2 days of school were even more pointless than they usually are. I’m not saying that the West Way is a bad theory or idea, I’m just saying that it is absolutely ridiculous to believe that some cutesy saying followed by 2 days beginning with mind numbing speeches and activities will have any effect of how students will choose to act. Every day I still see students running, kicking, and punching each other, and then yelling, “that’s not the West Way!” in a mocking voice. In fact most high school students will rebel or make fun of any rules they are given, (This column… hint, hint.) Especially if they make them feel like they’re in 1st grade again. The West Way is obviously not working the way it’s supposed to. I was told by a teacher (who will remain anonymous) that it was created to be guidelines for student’s to act, but really most of the statements are common sense, and I see no need for them to be written down and hung in every room. I mean, honestly, look at some of the rules the West Way provides: “Don’t run in the halls.” Well duh. “Be on time for your bus.” Again…Duh. “Be considerate to others.” Duh, Duh, DUH. These guidelines are clearly something every student has heard since kindergarten, why spend time on something we already know? So even though I won’t be here next year, I’m going to beg the administration to put less pressure on drilling the West Way into the minds of students the first few days, it may save you some teasing, and students won’t act out anymore than they do now. Take it or leave it this is my opinion, sorry if I crinkled any hearts along the way.


Everyone has a story. This is the belief behind the series “300 words”. Each issue, a student is chosen at random and their story is told. In a short 300 words, the essence of a person is captured. by alex burnett

Rolling with the Punches October 17, 2007. The day that his life changed forever. Five years ago, he found a purpose in his life: something to look forward to, to call his own, to get him out of bed in the morning. He always had a drive toward success: to improve himself, to learn discipline, to fight. His goal never faltered. He wanted it for as long as he could remember… But then everything changed. It was an ordinary day, as far as he knew, until he overheard it happening. As Andrew McKee, senior, entered the room on October 17, he heard the word that, until then, was not even remotely on his radar: Divorce. Everything seemed normal, but then everything changed. Suddenly his world was thrown into turmoil. He was overwhelmed with a mixture of sorrow and anger as the life he knew

with his mother Yvonne, brother Nick, and stepfather of 12 years, Ken, was suddenly in jeopardy. Fortunately, he had a back up. After the divorce, his purpose became a lifeline. In sixth grade he discovered religion. It helped fill the void left in him by the divorce and gave him a lifeline of support. “Before going to church I would ask myself: ‘What is the purpose of life? – It gave me a purpose.” After the divorce, his drive became an outlet. Sparring had taught him discipline and increased his desire to strive for more. His favorite styles, tai chi and salat, were a way for him to relieve stress – an escape. After the divorce, his goal became a focus. For years he wanted to join the Special Forces. His interest in the military started in elementary school. This only sharpened his desire to join. Moving on with his life, McKee has overcome this obstacle and looks to a bright future.

sally carmichael

ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 9

{FEATURE}

300

words.


{ADS}

crossword answers across 1. Jay Leno 5. Croyle 7. Leavenworth 8. Tennant 8. Kanye West 9. Meatballs

10 THE EPIC ISSUE 1

down 1. Jackson 2. Megan Fox 3. Williams 5. Health Care 6. October

From Page 5


The administration is striving to create a better environment by persuading students to act the West Way by alison bailes | katherine mcgowan

What you can do to earn rewards: No tardies, picking up trash, holding open doors, saying something nice, holding a high GPA, being respectful to substitute teachers. MYTH

{FEATURE}

mythbusting: the west way rewards

CONFIRMED

“If a teacher sees you doing something the ‘West Way’ they can give you a special parking permit for a few weeks.”

-Canaan Coker, junior

MYTH

Every few weeks, faculty from each department will submit the name of a student who has been exhibiting the West Way. These students will recieve one of the 11 reserved spots at the front of the Antioch parking lot.

BUSTED

“I heard the lunch ladies are hiding golden tickets in our hot pockets. If you find one you get a lunch with Dr. McLean.”

-Taylor Zingg. senior

MYTH

While there are no golden tickets or special lunches with the principal, there are other benefits in the cafeteria: free desserts from the snack bar and passes to the front of the lunch line.

CONFIRMED

“Upperclassmen can get open lunch on certain days if they use the West Way in the cafeteria.”

- Tori Wilkinson, sophomore

Sometime second semester, the administration is aiming to give quailified seniors the opportunity for open lunch. “We have a good group of seniors this year. I’d like to try it, I owe it to the kids,” Dr. Charles McLean, principal, said.

BUSTED

MYTH “I heard you can get free prom or homecoming tickets.”

-Sarah Mulholland, junior MYTH

No free tickets or discounts will be given to students for formal school dances, but look forward to free admission to after parties.

CONFIRMED

“I heard that if you show the West Way in seminar everyday, you can leave early after FMP time.”

-Ashton Tevault, freshman

With a parent consent, selected students will be able to leave seminar early. Students may also be selected to participate in a recreational game in the gym during seminar.

Extra Incentives There are plenty of extra perks that come with following the West Way: Longer lunch times, free west goods, gift cards (Sonic, Lenny’s, Quik Trip, Best Buy), picking minute music, announcement praise, movie passes, free concessions at home sporting events, special seating at school productions ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 11


w e N e l o h W A

d l or

Making the transition from sandy deserts to wheat fields, Mr. Mohammad Mahmoud brings his culture and traditions to teach students at West by dani la londe | lana fanous

W

Ahlanwa Sahlan. You probably don’t know what that means, unless you are enrolled in the Arabic 1 class taught by Mohamed Mahmoud. This is the first year students have the opportunity to take Arabic at their own school. Mahmoud, an English teacher from Fayum, Egypt, is an exchange teacher in the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP). TCLP is a program sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Teachers from China, Jordan and Egypt are placed within American schools to teach their language and culture in various places in the U.S. to grades K-12. Along with nine other Arabic and Chinese teachers in TCLP, Mahmoud applied to teach Arabic in the United States. Mahmoud has been teaching in since 1992 when he taught at the Information Technology Training Center and at the Nasser Technical Secondary School in 2003, both in Fayum, Egypt. Last year it was decided that West would offer an Arabic class, rather than the other option, which was Chinese. Mahmoud was assigned to teach at West as well as South, where he teaches alongside Emad Rawy. “We were each assigned to a place where we fit best,” Mahmoud said. Mahmoud arrived in Washington D.C. August 1st to attend orientation along with other TCLP teachers. “I was coming here inexperienced, afraid and confused,” Mahmoud said. In this two-week period, exchange teachers attended nearly 70 workshops and seminars, set up by 45 different specialists from American councils, to ready themselves for the upcoming school year. Fabiola Herdoiza, Spanish teacher, and Connie Springfield, administrator, met Mahmoud in Washington as his teacher mentor and administrator mentor. Mahmoud will be staying with a different family each month to learn different approaches to American living. In the month of September he will stay with Ron Walker, U.S. History teacher. According to Walker Mahmoud is a quiet man but thinks he will talk a little more as his stay progresses. After returning from Washington Mahmoud took the driver’s license exam in order to make his transportation more convenient during his stay. This year Mahmoud is teaching one Arabic class here with 11

students, and two classes at SM South. “I like West very much, it is very organized and the students are nice and clever,” Mahmoud said. The class teaches Arabic traditions and culture as well as the language. He is hoping that the class will help students understand the culture and familiarize themselves in general. Mahmoud will continue to teach in Kansas for one year and then go back to Egypt where he will transfer his experiences from America to teaching his English students, who are unfamiliar with American customs, language and traditions. “It’s good to make a bridge of understanding,” Mahmoud said. Although there are only 11 students in the Arabic 1 class, each has a different reason for taking the course. “I think the students are enjoying the class because it is a new language [to them],” Mahmoud said. He also said the students learn very fast. According to David Mathok, junior, it’s fairly difficult to learn a new language. “I took the class because my parents speak Arabic,” Mathok said. Senior Katie Barrett, also in Spanish 6, chose to take Arabic1 because of her curiosity for a new language. “I love languages. I think the different ways people communicate is fascinating,” Barrett said. “ I want to learn as many [languages] as possible.” Mahmoud didn’t always dream of being a teacher. He once wanted to become a broker in investments and learn about the stock market. After watching and enjoying American movies as a child, he decided to be an English teacher. “I wanted to be a teacher in my country,” Mahmoud said. After his year here he will return home to his wife and two boys, who he won’t see at all over the year. “I Ahlanwa respect the kids Sahlan - h [taking Arabic]… ello Maasalam it’s not the a - goodb ye average SpanAywa - ye ish, German or s French. They Laa - no have courage to step up Izayak - h ow are yo and do someu (man) thing new,” Izayik - h o w are you (w Dr. Charles oman) Shokran McLean, thanks Principal, Afwan - y said. ou

Simple Ar abic Saying s:

’re welcom

e

(left) Teaching his second block class, Mahmoud translates words on the white board. (Above) Mahmoud’s class listens intently during a lecture. This is the first year Arabic has been offered as a class at West and is currently home to 11 students during second block.


{FEATURE}

high above the rest

One junior steps out of ROTC to get closer to life in the military by joining the Civil Air Patrol by michael higgins | timothy dodderidge

For most people the thought of flying is just a dream, but for junior Jonathan James, this dream has already become reality. James is a member of the Civil Air Patrol, which is an auxiliary organization of the United States Air Force and is completely funded and governed by the Air Force. “The three main missions of the Civil Air Patrol are to teach flying to youth, educate about aerospace and do search and rescue,” James said. The Civil Air Patrol also has a cadet program of which James is a member. Here James learns the qualities of leadership, commanding, discipline, as well as improving his manners. “John is a great leader because he can take charge and handle situations well under pressure,” Andrew Flood, sophomore, said. James’ interest in the military started up at the beginning of his fresh-

14 THE EPIC ISSUE 1

man year, and at the same time he enrolled Air Patrol, his father signed up. He is the in the Civil Air Patrol. deputy commander of the squadron, and Some people are recruited from the James is the deputy of cadets. ROTC program. To be a cadet, one must be Besides the ranking system of the cadet between 12 and 21 years of age. Adults can program there are four phases cadets can become sponsors of the cadets. go through while in the program. The first James decided to join the Civil Air one is the Learning Phase, followed by the Patrol because he wants to be in the Leadership Phase. The Air Force, and he said, third phase is the Com“If you gain the rank manding Phase, which Climbing the Ranks of Cadet Colonel in the James is a member. In st) he hig to (from lowest Civil Air Patrol, the Air this phase cadets are Force Academy practiput in control of other airmen basic cally invites you to come cadets in their squadron. airmen to their school.” This is The final phase is the senior airmen all very convenient since Executive Phase, where staff sergeant his cadet program will a cadet is put in control nt technical sergea wrap up about the same of the entire unit. After time he graduates. each phase completed master sergeant Over the summer, cadets are eligible for senior sergeant James flew by himself for an award if they meet chief seargant t the very first time at the the requirements. The an en ut lie nd co se National Flying Academy award James is on first lieutenant in Nebraska. track to recieve is the captain “It’s not scary at all, Eaker Award. major when I am up there I feel One thing that inl lieutenant colone free,” James said. fluences many peoples’ colonel According to James, decision to steer away each cadet flies 10 from the military is times, five of which the tough training, are with glider planes, and the other but according to James the training at the five using empowered planes. Civil Air Patrol is no sweat. James and Flood are members of the “The training is really easy; we learn Kansas City Composite Squadron. They drill movements, train for both basic and help make up the 60 members of their local advanced flight as well as learn discipline,” squadron. Meetings include guest speakJames said. ers and visits from bomb squads and drug According to Flood, the Civil Air Patrol dogs, as well as army recruiters. is really fun and they do a lot of hanging Throughout the United States there are out. 1,600 local units with 57,000 senior and “The program strives to be well-rounded cadet members of the Civil Air Patrol. and to meet all the cadets’ goals, as well as Captain Catherine Metcalf, who has having a fun time,” Captain Metcalf said. already attained the status of cadet James was also part of the school ROTC colonel, leads their squadron. program for two years until this fall. He “My commander is quit to free up his schedule. one of my biggest “He really influenced me in ROTC, he influences when pushed to keep going,” Flood said. it comes to the When not involved in the Civil Air military. She is a Patrol, James enjoys biking and propelling, great leader, she’s as well as any type of flying. the one who made From now until graduation his Tuesday me a great leader,” nights will be full, heading to Civil Air James said. Patrol meetings for two and a half hours. Civil Air Patrol With every meeting and training session, is also a way for he gets a little bit closer to his dream of James and his serving in the United States Air Force, father to connect. to turn his love of flying into a life-long At about the same career. time he signed SALLY CARMICHAEL up for the Civil


sudoku 1

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ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 15

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Letters to the Editors are accepted and encouraged. We will print any signed letter. They may be edited for length and clarity.


{sports}

freeze frame

the best

dan sports column period

by danny neely

they should know better

Athletes and trouble: the two seem to go hand in hand. The underlying causes of this disastrous duo still puzzle fans and journalists alike. “They should know better.” “They’re supposed to be role models.” That’s what we say, but is it really that simple? This is in no way an attempt to justify the shortcomings of athletes, merely to explore them. We expect more of athletes, but why is that? Because they’re highlighted by the media? Because they’re put in a position of power? These are the exact reasons that athletes get into trouble. When a kid two to three years removed from high school suddenly has millions of dollars, lots of free time and is left to his own devices, not much good can come from the situation. Athletes have a multitude of people telling them what to do and asking them for favors. If you were the guy from high school that made it big, wouldn’t your friends expect you to give a little something back? The newfound sense of importance and expectations can inflate an athlete’s perception of himself. After a while, he starts to listen to all those people telling him he’s the man, and pretty soon he begins to think he can get away with anything (including shooting himself in the leg). It’s the same reason high school kids (especially seniors) seem to think they’re invincible. The instances of this are numerous in professional sports. Names like Michael Vick and Sean Merriman come to mind. It’s easy to see why this would happen to pro athletes, but is the same true in the lower levels of sports? The accusations of college athletes skipping class and having assignments turned in for them or overlooked are all too frequent. Was it an emboldened sense of power that led former Vikings runningback Darron Harvey to suspended for off-the-field actions? We, the fans, see these actions as selfish. “How could he do that?” Getting suspended isn’t smart, but I’m guessing Harvey wasn’t thinking about missing the first playoff game after finishing an undefeated regular season. Sure people were disappointed to hear that he was in trouble, but weren’t they only really mad after we lost? If having Harvey on the the field was what it took to win that game, wouldn’t everyone have just accepted his presence, regardless of any unsavory actions off the field? Fans set a double standard for athletes. We’re disappointed when they fail us morally. We wag our fingers when we hear they’ve been arrested, but we worship the ground they walk on when they’re scoring the winning touchdown. It’s unfair to the athletes, and someone should feel sorry for them, but then again, they’re the ones with $60 million contracts. They should know better. 16 THE EPIC ISSUE 1

RAINE MCGUIRE

Kayci Lineberger, sophomore, takes a swing while practicing golf at Shawnee Mission Park. Girls golf looks forward to a promising season with an increase in participation.

going the distance

Conditioning workouts in and out of season help senior runner excel by matt smith

Garrett McPherson, senior cross“Garrett is a very hard worker. No country runner, has found that through one ran as many miles as he did this hard work he can be successful. Some off season,” Jeff Onnen, head coach, runners on the team have the natural said. ability to post great times. McPherson A true testament to McPherson’s has become the number one runner conditioning was apparent on Sept. 5 on the team, but it hasn’t come from at the Greg Wilson Classic held at St. natural talent alone. Thomas Aquinas. McPherson medaled “I believe that almost all of my and finished the five-kilometer race in ability has come from hard work a time of 17 minutes and 42 seconds. alone,” McPherson said. McPherson has a signature postMcPherson and the cross-country workout tradition. He puts newspaper team typically go through one of two into his running shoes to dry them different workouts. These workouts out. He does this because putting focus on either speed or distance. The running shoes in the dryer will cause distance workout is a seven to 10 mile the materials to become un-glued. distance run. A speed workout consists “The newspaper does an equally of a warm-up of four 200-meter good job soaking up the wetness sprints, followed by five one-mile without damaging the shoe,” intervals or other track workouts. McPherson said. “I have 5:40 to run the mile and McPherson has only about 1:20 to rest in between,” struggled with injuries McPherson said. these last four years. Preparation for the season During his tenure here started two weeks into summer. at West, he has strained Summer workouts were not major tendons in his so different from in-season knees, strained his IT practices; however, distance band, and had two was the main focus, not stress fractures. speed. The team ran at 7:30 Despite these a.m. every morning, and setbacks, concluded the summer McPherson with an ultimate continues Frisbee practice. to work and In addition to what is improve. asked of him, McPherson “A lot of goes above and beyond. people would During the off-season, say (my injuries) are McPherson logged over 500 a good reason to quit, miles of distance. McPherbut I’ve worked too son’s work ethic distinguishes hard for this. I love himself from most runners. it.” PRESON FELGATE


A brief look at the opening to the fall sports season for two teams by mitch mansour

boys soccer The varsity soccer team lost their first two games, but rebounded recently by defeating Kearney and Shawnee Mission East in the KAMO Tournament. The JV team got off to a slow start as well, winning one game out of the first three. “They were tough losses including one in overtime, but we’ve been able to bounce back,” Kyle Neely, senior, said. Neely and the rest of the soccer team are optimistic about the remainder of the season, and feel that strategy and smart

play will give them an advantage in upcoming games. “The key to victory is capitalizing on the opponents’ mistakes,” Neely said. 11 seniors return to the varsity squad this year, with nine returning letter winners. This year’s three team captains include Neely, Tyler Wright and Cameron Volker. The team’s next game is Tuesday against Shawnee Mission Northwest.

volleyball

PRESTON FELGATE Will Noonen, junior approaches his bench after exiting the game. Noonen, a forward, is starting his first year on varsity. The boys soccer team is beginning to rebound after finishing third in the KAMO Tournament.

Most of the seniors from this year’s squad attended camp and summer weights during the off-season, and are training for a winning record this year. Last year’s team finished with a 17-17 record, sixth in the Sunflower League. “This year, penetration in our offense will be key to victory,” Blair Konzcal, senior, said. The team returns seven seniors, all of which were letter winners last season. Nikki Harms and Laura Murphy are the two varsity captains. “Our biggest challenge this year will be consistency in the passing and hitting elements of our game,” Konczal said. The team’s next quad match is this Thursday the 17th against at Shawnee Mission North.

big game guarantees

The Epic’s panel of experts predict the Viking football team’s final record for the season

Brayden Clark staff writer

Scott Holm news editor

“We are going to run the table in league.”

“Our Strong defense and attacking offense will bring us a title.”

9-0

8-1

Dan Prem asst. sports editor

7-2

“Cordi hold on to that pigskin baby.”

Cameron Volker business manager

Danny Neely sports editor

“Being the number one team in the league is tough but it’s all downhill from here.”

“We’ve already played our toughest game. We’ll only improve from here on out.”

9-0

8-1

ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 17

{Sports}

the sports report


{SPORTS}

good to be on top

Football has become a mainstay of American culture; although other sports may try to compete, none of them can hold the fans’ attention quite like the game on the gridiron by chris brown | graphic by earvin chinchilla

Friday night lights, Saturday night campouts, the best of the best on Sundays. From September to February, American sports are dominated by football. But why? Why did these rich traditions and pastimes become a mainstay of the American weekend? How did football become the most popular sport to watch in America? First, lets go over some numbers. Over 98,732,000 people viewed the 2009 Superbowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. The next largest American sport in terms of viewers: Game 4 of the 2009 NBA finals between the Las Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic at just over 15,960,000 viewers. This is a dramatically lower amount than the Superbowl. Second, football stadiums countrywide fill up weekly with over 70,000 fans while other sports are lucky to manage 10,000 to 15,000 people. To put this all in perspective, the Kansas City Chiefs’ average attendance at Arrowhead Stadium was 76,327 people. The Wizards and Royals combined managed to only average about 30,000 people per game. At high school this same trend is visible. Football games draw a majority of the student body, while the other fall sports seem to have nothing more than a small cult following. Many people attribute football’s popularity to the atmosphere that surrounds a game. Patrick Connell, junior and avid football fan, agrees. “The atmosphere of the game and the anticipation makes going to the games so much fun,” Connell said. “I love tailgating and going to football parties with my family and I think that is what makes the games so popular.” Another theory involves the varying schedules, or number of games in a season. With only 16 weeks in a professional season, every game becomes more important for that team and their success for the rest of the season. Not including the playoffs, Major League Baseball has 162 games, Major League Soccer has 32 games, and the NBA has 82 games. In these sports, each game is not nearly as important. Also, in football there is a full week of preparation time and build up before the game. Garrett Arner, junior and current varsity football player, thinks the longer period of time helps. “We get a whole week to prepare for our opponent and at the end of the week we are ready to play,” Arner said. Football does not only affect those on the professional stage however. Even locally, football is a pastime enjoyed by many. Friday nights are famous for competitive football games between high schools, where masses of fans always turn out to watch the games. Shawnee Mission West is famous for its enthusiastic fans. Head Football Coach Tim Callaghan agrees. “The fans bring so much energy to the game,” Callaghan said. “Some schools get loud, but our fans really know how to bring excitement every game.” Regardless of the stage, football is a pastime enjoyed by the passionate American fan across the country.

18 THE EPIC ISSUE 1


by dan prem

let’s recognize the good

There are over 380,000 student athletes competing in college or university sports. There are about 4 million professional athletes in the United States to this day. So if one athlete steals or gets caught drinking and driving, does the world stop? I understand that the media needs something to write about in the papers and talk about on Sportscenter, but look at the players’ stand point, would you want all the viewPRESTON FELGATE ers in the sports world and even people outside of the sports world to know you Freshman student begins rehab after sustaining traumatic knee in- shot yourself on accident? Plaxico Burress probably didn’t want to see his face jury only weeks into girls tennis season all over the television the next day. by danny neely And not everything athletes do in the media is negative. They have given back Pop! She heard the noise—or did emergency response for the paramedics. she? She could see the horror on her team“The ambulance didn’t use the sirens or millions of dollars to charities through mates’ faces as she fell to the court. She let anything,” Brown said. “They took it very out the years. Since 1992 the Atlanta out a scream; not so much of pain, but of slow because I would feel pain at the slight- Braves organization has raised nearly $3 million a year for charity through events. panic. Shock filled her mind along with the est movements.” only image she could focus on: her kneecap, Now, Brown can only watch tennis prac- One of the Braves, Brian McCann, who or rather, where her kneecap used to be. tice for the next four to six weeks while she also supported events for the Homeless Pets Foundation, said, “We play the Kacey Brown, freshman, has had knee attends physical therapy. problems in the past, but nothing quite like “It hurts to walk round, and it’s frustrat- game of baseball for a living, we’re very the ligament tear she suffered when she dising having to sit out during practice,” Brown blessed. It’s our duty to give back.” NBA star Chris Paul not only is a star located her kneecap at a recent tennis pracsaid. on the court, but he has a special weektice. For Brown, physical therapy consists end every year called the Winston-Salem “I was jumping rope, and my kneecap just of basic activities such as leg lifts and bike Weekend in which he works with people swung around work, which in the community to assemble care packto the side of I was jumping rope, and my kneecap just help strengthen ages for American troops overseas. His my leg,” Brown swung around to the side of my leg the muscles in “Day of Service” this year will be Septemsaid. her damaged —Kacey Brown, freshman right knee. ber 25th. Other than that, he participates This type of in youth sports charity tournaments, and injury is not uncommon, but it is unexpect“When I dislocated my knee, it strained a community church service. These are ed for an activity such as jumping rope. Mea lot of the muscles in my leg because they just two of many examples of how athgan Hampel, trainer, said Brown’s history of were pulled so much,” Brown said. “So letes give back. knee problems most likely contributed to now I have to rebuild them with simple Giving back doesn’t just have to be by this incident. exercises.” professional athletes or even college ath“I’ve never seen this kind of injury susOnce Brown’s injury heals she will letes, and doesn’t have to even involve tained while jumping rope,” Hampel said. return to life as normal, but there is a money. Last winter the school’s boys bas“It’s actually the first tennis injury I’ve seen good chance a similar injury could occur ketball team did volunteer work at the Spein my two years here.” again cial Olympics. I’m sure not too many people Hampel hurried to the tennis courts af“The doctor said it was likely I could knew about this but if one of those players ter hearing about the injury. dislocate my knee again, and if that got in trouble with law, the whole school “I got there and braced her knee, mostly happens I’ll have to have surgery,” would know in an instance. The point is, for comfort,” Hampel said. “It was hard, beBrown said. good doesn’t impact people as much as much cause it was one of those situations where I Brown isn’t concerned by this as bad does. Maybe if people recognized the couldn’t do much to help.” seemingly inevitable forecast. She positive actions of athletes we would see Paige Salveter, girls tennis head coach, plans on making a full recovery, them more often. was in a similar position. and playing softball—her primary Love your athletes or hate them, it’s your “I was shocked and scared when I saw sport—in the spring. choice. For the fans, don’t let it dwindle on Kacey’s knee,” Salveter said. “The screaming “I’m going to be wearing braces your conscious, and as for the press, find someis what frightened me the most.” on my knee to help hold it in place, thing more positive to write about; it’s heartBrown was eventually taken away in an but I’m not really worried about breaking waking up to see heroes walking into a ambulance; however, it was not a typical dislocating it again,” Brown said. court room. ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 19

{SPORTS}

the road to recovery

that’s debatable


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Thank You

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2 5 8 9 1 6 7 4 3

3 6 9 7 4 5 8 2 1

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answers

ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 20

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{A&E}

homecoming top picks Have no fear, the Epic is here to solve all of your homecoming dilemmas

story by katie prather | pictures by raine mcguire

the photos Shawnee Mission Park is full of picture perfect places such as the docks for larger groups, or the tower for smaller groups of 2-3.

how to ask

The gazebo at Sarco-par Park is the best place for a single couple to take pictures, as well as groups of 4-5.

Food is the way to anyone’s heart, so simply bake a cake and write: homecoming? in their favorite frosting.

The Docks Sar-co-par Park is a classic park to take pictures. The bridge connecting the island is ideal for groups ranging from 4-6 couples.

The Bridge

Get the date’s locker partner to open their locker and put a rose with a note asking them to homecoming inside. If you have a friend in computer class, get them to make a slide with your prey’s name asking: Homecoming?

The Gazebo

the restaurants Chinese:

Italian:

Cinzetti’s

Bo Ling’s

$14.99 dinner buffet (913) 642-0101 7201 W. 91st Street, Overland Park

Garrozo’s

$13.00-29.00 dinner for one (913) 491-8300 9950 College Blvd., Overland Park

Sunset Grill

$7.75-21.00 American style for one (913) 681-1722 14577 Metcalf, Overland Park

$8.75-17.95 dinner for one (913)341-1718 9055 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park

Bucca Di Beppo

$7.99-27.99 dinner for one to family style (816) 931-6548 310 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO

Misc:

Stix

$12.95-21.95 hibatchi style meal (913) 299-3788 1847 Village W. Pkwy, Kansas City, KS

Hikari

(913) 341-2622 $12.95-21.95 hibatchi style meal 9058 Metcalf, Overland Park

Kababesh Grill

$9.99- 14.99 authentic Indian for one (913) 696-111 10140 W. 119th St, Overland Park

Hereford House

$12.95-29.00 dinner for one (913) 268-8000 17244 Midland Drive, Shawnee

ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 21


{A&E}

T O P

T E N

movies of the summer

#1 District 9

In a summer of mediocrity, this movie stood out at the top of the list. Although I debated whether “District” or “Inglourious” deserved the number one spot, “District” prevailed with its spectacular original plot. This was the first alien movie I recalled that didn’t involve the alien’s coming to earth and immediately trying to destroy mankind. The originality is complemented by superior acting from Copley and directing from Blomkamp. Even more impressive is the fact that this was both men’s first movie. I’ll be counting down the days for “District 10” to arrive.

#2 Inglourious Bastards

Before seeing “Inglourious”, there were some negative reviews aside from the good reviews saying the movie moves too slow and is very boring. False. Sure, the film seemed to drag its feet from one scene to another at times, but these scenes were filled with excellent dialogue that keeps you interested, which Tarantino is very skilled at. He tops the movie off with a mind-blowing ending scene, the most intense five minutes in a movie I have scene in a long time. “Inglourious” was well worthy of good ratings with its standout acting, picture, and twists.

#3 The Hangover

One word-classic. As a big fan of the comedy genre, I know absolutely hilarious comedies come just a few times a year. I enjoyed this side-splinting, tear crying, rolling-on-the-floor-laughing movie so much I made sure to see it three times. Best investment of the summer. You simply can’t resist the trio of actors with all their adventures to find their groomsmen. Although some people think it was better than “Anchorman”, I have to disagree to that. However, “Hangover” is easily in my top five favorite comedies of all time.

#4 Star Trek

Going into this movie knowing nearly nothing of Star Trek, I was concerned I would be sitting there for two hours extremely confused. Not the case at all. Abrams does a very good job of re-introducing the main characters and providing a story anyone can follow. It’s a lot of pressure to make a movie about a legendary series will millions of fans, but Abrams does it with no sweat. I walked out of the theater in amazement, very impressed with the picture quality and special effects. “Live long, and prosper.”

#5 Up

Pixar has been known to create animated movies adored by people of all ages. They certainly repeated their trend with “Up.” The movie not only strikes your imagination, but also provides reality that an older audience can connect with. You find yourself on the edge of the seat wondering where the cranky old man and energetic young boy scout will go next. This film mocks its title, soaring high in the approval ratings.

# 6 Public Enemies

It’s always a pleasure to watch what role Johnny Depp will play next. Although it was neither Mann’s or Depp’s best work, the movie was still a rollercoaster. Mann’s unique camera shots (similar to the type in “Cloverfield”), was unique and creative. This movie fell short of the type five just like it fell short of being a great film.

# 7 Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen I thoroughly enjoy watching gigantic alien robots battle to the death. However, I didn’t particularly enjoy sitting there for two hours, wondering why Bay was showing me an extra half hour of footage not essential to the story. Bay did, however, do a fantastic job at recognizing how attractive Fox was and have the plot take place in exotic places. Although it pains me to say, I have to admit “Transformers” was a disappointment.

# 8 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I know some Potter fans might be outraged that “HP6” was bust on my list. They also might be outraged that I haven’t read the series. Apparently, I would have been more disappointed had I read the books. After talking with loyal fans, I learned the best scenes of the story were left out. As a movie critic, I’m glad I didn’t read the book and saw the movie for what it was: the movie, not the book. There were good shots that impressed and good directing decisions, but at the end of the night I walked out of the theater very disappointed.

#9 Funny People

Judd Apatow, the director, intended on “Funny People” being more of a serious movie than a comedy, For that reason, people were deceived and complained how the movie wasn’t funny enough. I thought the plot was a great serious movie, however, I wanted more of the Rogen and Hill cracks. When Sandler would make a joke, they were very dirty and rather disturbing. Okay, Apatow, you got by with this one.

# 10 The Taking of Pelham 123

“Pehlam” was a great thriller and suspense with two great actors starring. As Travolta boards the subway, you feel your heart rate increasing. The film felt short of being greater than mediocre, maybe because of the lack of character development. “Pehlam” just sneaks into the list, still worthy of my money.

22 THE EPIC ISSUE 1


get the scoop

Which is better, chain or locally owned ice cream? by elizabeth stephan

Dairy Queen

Aunt Jean’s 11210 Johnson Drive

11904 West 63rd Street

The actual shop is relatively small. It only had a table and four chairs inside and a few tables outside. I loved the area, though. It had more of a downtown Kansas City feel.

You can find a Dairy Queen in just about every town in the United States, though. Knowing that you can only find this place in one city in the world adds to the appeal.

Stepping inside of Aunt Jean’s, feels like stepping into a small town ice cream shop. It even has striped umbrellas outside and a mural of a 1900’s ice cream shop inside. And, for all you animal lovers, Aunt Jean’s donates all tips to Animal Haven. They offer flavors like kiwi, green tea, tropical tango, and malango, but there is chocolate and vanilla for the more cautious people. I got kiwi sorbet and was surprised by how much it tasted like real kiwis. There was only one person working, but he was very friendly and put up with my “umm”s and “I don’t know what I want!”s. They offer samples, which is nice for anyone who can’t decide.

Location

Atmosphere

It was very crowded when I was in there. It seemed like everyone and their mother was going to get ice cream at this particular Dairy Queen. I could barely hear myself think and had to squeeze around everyone to sit down. It was very clean, which is always a plus. I got the Fudge Brownie Temptation Waffle Bowl. The brownies were rather old and little more chewy than one would expect, but the ice cream and hot fudge was enjoyable.

Taste

The staff was nice but seemed to be a little flustered and irritated- obviously because the multitude of small children screaming for ice cream.

Service

And the winner is...

Aunt Jean’s - The ice cream was of higher quality and seemed to have more time put into it

A&E IN KC the best of local arts and entertainment in the kansas city metro area

by sally carmichael

CONCERT WATCH AC/DC - 10/8 @ 8pm Sprint Center in KCMO, $80 Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, Sybris - 10/7 @ 7:30pm Uptown Theatre in KCMO, $25 Citizen Cope - 9/29 @ 7pm Crossroads in KCMO, $20 Dave Matthews Band - 9/30 @ 7pm Sprint Center in KCMO, $45 Hanson, Hellogoodbye, Steel Train, Sherwood - 10/2 @ 7pm Beaumont Club in KCMO, $26 Insane Clown Posse - 10/3 @8pm The Granada in Lawrence, $27 Kings of Leon, White Lies - 10/13 @ 8pm

Sprint Center in KCMO, $43 Ladyhawke, Ida Maria - 9/23 @ 8pm Beaumont Club in KCMO, $20 Owl City, Passion Pit - 10/1 @ 7pm Beaumont Club in KCMO, $5 Paramore, Paper Route - 10/6 @ 7pm Uptown Theatre, $30 Ra Ra Riot - 9/21 @ pm The Bottleneck in Lawrence, $13

shorts with socks and flip flops Relient K, Copeland - 10/15 @ 7pm -sydney harvey, junior Beaumont Club in KCMO, $17 school The Republic Tigers - 9/25 @ 8pm -mark mccologan, junior Beaumont Club in KCMO, $10 loitering students -philip lofflin

west yell leaders -chloe weck, junior socks with sandals -dj balazs, senior wearing things that stand out -robert rice, freshman

She Wants Revenge - 10/3 @ 8pm The Bottleneck in Lawrence, $36

Snow Patrol, Plain White T’s - 9/29 @ 7pm

double take

Uptown Theatre in KCMO, $30 Thursday, Fall of Troy - 10/1 @ 7pm The Granada in Lawrence, $17 The Used, The Almost - 10/14 @ 8pm Beaumont Club in KCMO, $28

le o n g ra n g e soph omore

r

mario chalmers NBA player

Wilco, Liam Finn - 10/6 @ 7pm Crossroads in KCMO, $31 ISSUE 1 THE EPIC 23


meet the

authors

poetry corner

Students in writer’s workshop express themselves through words by katie prather

Choking

By Taylor Gomez, junior

Taylor Gomez, junior Inspiration: “Going through things in life that make you sad.” Favorite place to write: “Laying on my couch or outside.” Favorite poem book: “Blackbird, by Paul McCartney

Choking on these words You can leave now Oh haven’t you heard You can leave now We stand there like statues From different cities Both warrior of the same war Both victors of our territories Why do I feel so small? Oh you’ve got it all figured out What will be will be

Kara Kennedy

Fine work from a sailor’s hand Who’s always running away In between all your complex ideas Found out how love should be When you get the time to feel anything Anything real for me Oh you’ve got it all figured out What will be will be

Inspiration: “basically a bad memory with and old best friend.” Favorite place to write: “out at the park” Favorite poem: “Fire & Ice, by Robert Frost”

Fine words from a sailor’s son Who’s always running away I don’t want your sympathy Don’t quote me another phrase I understand all your philosophies But it hurts me all the same

Untitled

by Kara Kennedy, junior Words will spew like garbage As you vomit out your lies Think your so much better Yet you still avoid the eyes Walking down the halls With your head up in the clouds Think your so much better Than everyone around The ones that crowd around You think they are your friends Without the common knowledge Your burning all your ends Yet still you walk alone With nobody by your side Thinking about the nights You stayed up and you cried Words will spew like garbage As they turn the other way Rumors must be toxic All alone you spend your days

Choking on these words You can leave now Oh haven’t you heard You can leave now

Liberation Cody Miller Inspiration: “no real motivation, i just put pencil to paper.” Favorite place to write: “a very cold room.” How often do you write: “when I’m not playing guitar.”

By Cody Miller, junior I have nothing left inside me Nothing to pretend to be Emptiness prevails in a world of stone Watch the skin rip and reveal the bone Consume the machine with slkfjs finesse The rest of the world is a total mess

KATIE PRATHER


Issue 1