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the epic vol. 48 | issue 6

shawnee mission west | 8800 w. 85th st.

overland park, ks 66212 | january 29, 2010

seeing double?

Several faculty members choose to have another job that is very different from their one at school. | 12-13 photo illustration by raine mcguire

Q&A

TOPIC TOSS-UP The epic sits down with students and faculty to discuss some of the most controversial issues of today | 11

300 WORDS: TAKING IT ALL IN After travelling all over the world, sophomore Cole Karsten has developed a unique perspective | 9


{news}

snapshot

weird news A woman was arrested for damaging a McDonalds restaurant after being unhappy with the way her meal was made. The woman broke three registers in her rampage and threw caution signs at the employees. Nobody was hurt in the incident, but the woman will serve one year in prison and pay a $1,000 fine. Moscow residents watched in disbelief as a pornograhic video was being aired on the highway billboard. Instead of the usual ads that come across the board everyday, a two-minute pornographic video was shown. The video was supposedly put on as a joke from a man who was fired from his job a week earlier. A 59-year-old woman changed her name from Dorothy Lola Killingworth to Jesus Christ. The lady was called upon for jury duty but asked to leave because she was so disruptive. The members of the court and spectators were offended by her innapropriate comments towards her name and the case at hand. A San Diego middle school was evacuated when a boy’s science project was mistaken for a bomb. Police were called along with a bomb squad all for a misunderstanding. School was cancelled for the day and the project was issued harmless and not a bomb.

JENNA HARWELL

Seniors Eric Morris, Keegan Rice, and Jeff Dilley rehearse for the upcoming musical Les Misérables. Morris plays lead Jean Valjean, a reformed convict who lives an honest life as a mayor. Rice plays opposite Morris as Javert, a police officer who obsesses over catching Valjean. Dilley plays Feuilly, part of a group of revolutionary students. The entire cast rehearses 3p.m. to 6p.m. Monday through Friday in order to prepare for the show, which will run Feb. 18 through Feb. 20 at 7p.m. Les Misérables is one of the biggest productions ever undertaken by the theatre department, with a cast comprised of 65 people and a budget of over $10,000.

news in brief by scott holm

The Kansas Department of Transportation has taken a different approach to show the consequences of drinking and driving. Drunk Tank is a quiz show that the department feels students can learn from and hopefully think before they get behind the wheel while intoxicated. After a scary statistic of 12,000 people dieing due to a drunk driving accidents, the Department felt something needed to be done.

{january-february} 1.29.10 - 2.26.10

2 4 5 6 8 12 15 17 18 24

2:00 p.m. - StuCo meeting

Students Connor Bowman, Ashley Pratt, Beth Stewart, Chris Colvin, Danny Sumrall, David Howell, and Erica Lindstrom were selected for All-State Band or Orchestra. They be traveling to Wichita in late February to rehearse and perform with the AllState Band and Orchestra at the Kansas Music Educators Association Convention. The West Wind Ensemble will also be performing.

1:45 p.m. - NHS meeting 7:45 a.m. - Pep assembly 8:00 p.m. - WPA dance Heart of the West Week begins

The Mr. Viking pageant on January 22 raised $3,000 to benefit Senior Sizzle. Kendall Law was awarded the crown and a free rental tuxedo for the prom in May. Second place, Kyle Neely, was awarded a fun filled night at Power Play with ten friends.

No School - Conferences No School - President’s Day 3:00 p.m. - Rock for Hope audi tions 7:00 p.m. - Les Misérables musical opening night 7:00 p.m. - Booster club meeting

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Aileen McDaniel was awarded the BOTAR Presidents’ Scholarship. She recieved $2,500 in scholarship money, renewable every year. McDaniel plans to attend Kansas State University to study Milling Sciences and Managment. This is only one of many scholarships that have been awarded to McDaniel.

First National Bank is holding a business plan competition in which Shawnee Mission students can earn up to $5,000 in scholarship money. The competition is for any junior or senior in the Shawnee Mission School District who is looking for some financial help towards college. The student who comes up with the best business plan politically or for the economy will be awarded the scholarship money to their desired school. The competition begins February 12 and ends March 26.

“Students Helping Haiti” is a coordinated group effort to send financial relief to Haiti after the earthquake. The Shawnee Mission School District has been collecting money for this organizatioin. Money will be used for bandages, the building process of new homes, and medicine to help with treatment of wounds and disease prevention. Cory Newman and Leigha Empson were awarded third place at the Kansas 6A State Debate Tournament. They prepared with long hours of studying and practice before and after school. The award was one of many that has been earned by the debate and forensics team. Lane Viets, Nick Clow, Brendan Hockla, and Megan Smith all recieved awards at the Academic Decathalon. Megan Smith was the team’s overall top scorer and got second place in the mathematics category. Economics, speech, essay, and interview are all topics for which West recieved awards.


{news}

sizzling sensation

by courtney lichtenberger | photos courtesy of alyssa parsons

T

he Mr. Viking Pageant makes West hopeful for starting new traditions to fundraise the annual Senior Sizzle. The pageant, January 22, was an idea from Denise Dobson, a parent on the Senior Sizzle committee. Dobson came up with the idea through a family member. “We are really considering it to be a spoof on the Miss America/ Miss USA pageants,” Dobson said. “We want this to be fun; creativity will be the real factor in each of the areas of competition.” The pageant consisted of 12 senior boys, all of whom volunteered themselves. “One of my friends was asked to do the pageant and instead of him he volunteered me to do it,” Kendall Law, contestant said. “I did the best in the talent portion because I dressed up as Tiger Woods and sang confessions to Elin.” The show started off with the contestants performing a dance, then it was the beachwear competition and the boys and their escorts came out in their beach attire.

Next, the talent portion, which included humorous singing and dancing numbers. Then the boys and their escorts dressed up in their nicest clothing for the “GQ,” portion, then last but not least were the interview questions. “Once I heard about the pageant I immediately wanted to get involved,” Sydney Harvey, the emcee of the pageant, said. “I was basically the Donald Trump of the evening; I just have way more hair.” Harvey came up with the bio sheets and some interview questions. She introduced all of the boys, interviewed them and provided humor throughout the show. The judges included the principals from Rising Star, Sunflower and Westridge, one Westridge teacher, the Sr. account executive of Centriq Training, and the owner of Coffman insurance. “I decided to do the pageant to help raise money for the senior class to have a better Senior Sizzle and better prizes,” Christian LeRoy, contestant said. “I had some help from Alyssa Cleland, a Chiefs

faces in the hall by terri harvey photos by david howell

What is your favorite mythological creature?

When is the best time to wear a striped sweater?

when isn’t the best time to wear a striped sweater?

senior

phoenix

junior

abominable snowman

11 at night

frida lara

six-headed bunny rabbit

faculty

pegasus

garrett mcpherson

sam stewart

sophomore

sarah gonzalez

cheerleader. She helped choreograph my talent portion, Evolution of Dance, which was s bunch of different dances put together.” With performances by the Overland Express jazz band, the Drumline, the varsity cheerleaders and Jessica Loschke helped add a nice touch to keep the crowd entertained. “The show went well. I hope they ask me to be the host next year, I love the stage,” Harvey said. The 1st runner up was Kyle Neely, and the 2nd runner up was Danny Sanchez. Kendall Law was crowned Mr. Viking. Law received a free tux rental, and got his name put on an oar, which will be kept in the office. Gift certificates and other small prizes were given to the contestants The show helped raise an enormous amount of money for the senior class. The Mr. Viking Pageant, now proven to be a hit amongst students and parents alike, seems to be a new tradition that will be carried on for years to come.

Finish the lyric: “I like to eat eat eat ______”

apples and bananas

???

Do you prefer spray cheese or real cheese?

real cheese

spaghetti and meatballs

spray cheese

when I’m feeling special

sushi and popcorn

real cheese

holiday time

pepperoni pizza

real cheese ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 3


{Feature}

ahead of the curve

As seniors finish up their four years of high school, two juniors take a step forward to graduate with them by timothy dodderidge

Most students spend four years going through high school, but juniors Jasmine Brison and Natalie VanMaanen will be graduating a full year early. Nearly ten students graduate at least a semester early, and a few students like Brison and VanMaanen graduate a year early. “I wanted to get a jump start in my career,” VanMaanen said. Both students are planning on going into careers that require extra years of school. VanMaanen is planning to become a lawyer and Brison is planning to study medicine. “My aunt and my mom both graduated a semester early, so I thought I would be able to do it also,” Brison said, “At first I was going to graduate a semester early, but I thought it was possible for me to graduate an entire year early.” There are numerous steps to graduating early. First, the student and parents are required to write a letter to Dr. McLean. Many questions are asked, like “What’s the plan for the future?”,“Why early?”, and if early, “What comes next?” After speaking with Dr. McLean, the student talks to their counselor about shifting their schedule so they can attain the credits

they need to graduate. Brison was able to change her schedule to attain her credits needed to graduate. She is planning on attending a junior college next year, followed by the University of Kansas, and eventually medical school. Along with Brison, VanMaanen is also planning on attending the University of Kansas, but she is also planning on attending law school, possibly at Harvard. “If they can do it, then more power to the people,” Kelly Gill, Radio and TV teacher, said, “It gets them out sooner to college and their careers.” Counselors are the best people to consult on making the decision to leave high school early. “I help make sure the students’ schedules are okay,” Pam Baughman, counselor, said, “The students have to make sacrifices, and I make them ask themselves ‘is it worth it to graduate early?’” Both students had to prepare for college by earning their credits outside of their regular school day. “I had to take night school and summer school for English, and American Government online,” VanMaanen said. Jasmine Brison, junior, works on an upcoming project for Radio and TV, as she prepares to graduate early this spring.

david howell

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Brison also is taking extra classes to get caught up in her credits, such as being a lab assistant and taking summer school classes to prepare for college. Online courses are a new and easy way for students to take classes outside of their regular schedule without actually coming to school. Both students feel that they can handle college life at a younger age. “I think I’m mature enough that I can handle college life, I’ve always been a good student and worked hard,” Brison said. “My parents support me on this decision because I’m smart enough to make my own decisions,” VanMaanen said. Brison will miss the Radio and TV class, taught by Gill, the most. VanMaanen also feels different graduating as a junior. “I’ll definitely miss not experiencing seniority,” VanMaanen said, “and not graduating with my own class.” Brison and VanMaanen will both graduate in May as juniors, rather than seniors, and both will strive to make it in their career fields.


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Please be eco-friendly and recycle the Epic.

Thank You ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 5


{EDITORIAL}

Epic Staff

The Golden Rule

Remember the one universal rule that dominated our years as innocent elementary school children? No, we don’t mean “no sharing food at lunch.” We’re talking about the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Give respect to get respect. Since our time of walking in lines to lunch, the cubby system and cut and paste projects, it seems this rule has slowly disappeared, especia lly in regards to the staff at our school. Everyday as we walk through the hallways, we hear terrible things about various teachers, spoken in language that belongs in an R-rated movie. We have all stepped on open ketchup packets and empty chicken baskets that have been left on the bridge for the custodial staff to pick up. And there have been times when substitutes have been treated so rudely that it makes it seem like they’re guards in a prison, not teachers in a high school. No wonder planners need to be signed to go to the bathroo m and things like tardy tables have been instated. Teaching is not an easy profession, and most of that is becaus e of the disrespect teachers face everyday. The fact that they return to work time and time again is testament that they really do care about helping studen ts achieve. Teachers don’t even get the worst of the disrespect. Do you really want to upset the janitors? Who would help you open your locker when it gets stuck if they decided their work wasn’t worth the disrespect they get? Without them, the bathrooms would be indescribably gross, and the locker rooms would always smell like sweat and stinky socks. No matter how much you feel they’re out to get you, adults have life experience. Some of them may even have experience in areas you never knew about (see the centerspread, “Seeing Double”). If we treat them with respect and value their opinions, we may learn something. They don’t give assignments to make you miserable, they do it to challenge you and help you grow. So before you dump your empty chicken basket on the floor or call your math teacher a bad name for making the test so hard it seemed designed to make you fail, remember all of the good things they do for you. Remember that they’re just doing their job – preparing you for the real world, where people don’t care whether you succeed or not. Maybe they’ll seem a little nicer if you remember that Golden Rule we learned back in kindergarten. Give respect to get respect. Everyo ne is a little happier when we do that.

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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 news editor scott holm features editors lana fanous michael higgins sports editors danny neely dan prem opinion editor dani la londe a&e editor elizabeth stephan 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.


earvin chinchilla

IMPORTANT THINGS with

dani la londe

by dani la londe stop the madness!

a thirddegree

burn

by alex burnett how to change the world

Over the weekend, a few of my friends and I were talking about some things that we didn’t like or generally disapproved of — namely the BCS system, the horrendous over-acting of the cowboy waiter in the Golden Corral commercial and we ended at a 50-50 split on the highly explosive Snuggie debate — I personally love them. With all of the negativity around the room, my optimistic instincts kicked in, and I brought up things we could do to change these problems for the better. This led to a brief tangent about how we could track down the cowboy waiter, spread some horrible rumor about him to guarantee that he never, EVER gets a job in show biz ever again and deciding that the only peaceful resolution to the civil war that may erupt over the merits of the Snuggie is to declare it to be no more than a backwards fleece robe — which we will never do, so back off anti-Snuggists­­. Getting back on topic, we began to talk in more general terms of changing the entire world. How can we change the world? As an 18-year-old in high school, this seems like a daunting task, but it’s been done. I mean, Louis Braille invented Braille in 1824 when he was 15, so why shouldn’t I be able to something equally amazing with three years on him? Ever since composing my bucket list this past summer, the words have been staring

back up at me: Change the World. But since someone has already developed a system for the blind to be able to read, I’ll have to think of something else to change the world with. Of course there are the obvious feats such as curing cancer, inventing the hover car, and ending world hunger, but it seems like getting the resources to do any of these things would be difficult. So my plan is to start small. I think the best way for someone like me to better the world that we all live in is to better the world for those around me. And I’m going to make this happen through sincere compliments, random acts of kindness and being polite to people that I don’t know — not that I’m some huge jerk right now or anything, but whatever. If I can make just one person have a better day, or cheer one person up from being in a bad mood, then it will all be worth it. And in this crazy Pay-It-Forward world that we live in, hopefully that one person will go on to change the world in their own way. Over the rest of the school year, I plan on changing the world, and I want everyone to join me. I encourage everyone to try to find a way to change the world for the better. I’m not saying you have to be nice to everyone and pick up some random squirrelly freshman’s books when he or she trips and drops them in the hall, but rather find some way for you to make a difference — big or small. You may be asking what makes me qualified to encourage something so big to other people my own age. What makes me different from any other Johnny Backsinto-his-boss’-car-and-never-tells-him? Well, not much, but I do have an occasional good thought and the perfect medium to announce it to the entire student body. So there ya go. Let’s change the world.

Are you kidding me? The world has decided to upgrade from huge plasma screen TVs to wait for it… 3D television! Whatever happened to the common little box with fake wood paneling on the side sitting on a table in the corner? I thought it was bad enough they made them big screen, then plasma and wall mounted! And what about the little remote with 15 buttons? I counted 63 buttons on my remote, 46 of which we don’t use and never will. I’m not against TV, my most beloved time-waster, but I am against the unnecessary evolution of it. It’s robots. You know I used to think they were cool and interesting until they became such a big part of our life. They’re going to take over! You’ve seen “I, Robot” we are not that far away. It started with Eli Whitney and his cotton gin, just trying to make farming a little easier but look how it’s progressed. When we first saw the iPhone and the HP touch screen computer we were like “Cool, touch screen!” Now touch screens aren’t good enough. We have to have everything popping out at us. I miss the simple days of walking around with a bright yellow Walkman, a new compact disc and some pogs. Now no one buys CDs! Everyone flocks to iTunes for a 99-cent song (If you like all the songs just buy the CD, it’s the same price.) I, however, am a loyal CD buyer. On occasion I buy from iTunes but I don’t trust computers so I like to have a backup in case. This summer, I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that Best Buy has devoted a shelf to vinyl LPs. Maybe there is some hope rising amidst the muck of digital music. I guess our addiction to technology comes from a fast food society. Everyone is always going somewhere, driving, working, etc. so it’s easier just to do everything online: shop, read, communicate. I guess I just want simplicity. I want 15 buttons on my remote and I want CD sales to go up. I want everyone to just slow down, sit down and watch nonhigh definition television. ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 7

{OPINION}

the drawing board: by


{opinion}

etcetera, etcetera,

etc.

by katherine mcgowan

rules of the road

Picture this: It’s the middle of fourth block and you get that feeling that if you don’t get up soon, you might self-destruct. After insensitively asking your teacher to use the restroom, you step outside the classroom. Ah, an empty hallway. You begin walking, enjoying the abnormal silence, then shortly turn a corner to enter the hall of your destination. Alas, all comfort in your break is no more. Another person has also entered the hallway from the opposite end leaving a span of five to twenty seconds for you to awkwardly hang your head and cement your eyes to the floor, as if you actually hadn’t noticed the other person. Now, depending on your connection to this particular individual, the situation can only go from bad to worse. We’ll start small, for the sake of your neck muscles. Let’s say the person was an old friend. Perhaps a fight or other means of separation split you two apart, and has put you on avoidance terms ever since. Yikes, no avoiding this one. Should you wave now? No, too far away. That’d leave at least 20 feet for you to stare straight at them. What about now? No, you won’t do it. Instead you will hang your head low and glance up the second you know you’re safe. OK, situation two. You turn that god-forsaken corner and see an ex-teacher who not only took away your cell phone, but gave you detention freshman year for “overly voicing your opinion.” Needless to say, your relationship with this particular teacher did not end well. That lecture on sentence patterns isn’t looking so bad now, is it? Luckily for you, teachers are just as bad as the average under-confident teenager. Once again, you bow your head until your chin’s digging into your chest and swiftly walk past. And finally, situation three. Now you might ask, “What is possibly worse than situations one and two?!” Oh, I’ll tell you what’s worse. An ex-romance. And not one you actually took the time to grow close to; we’re talking a middle school relationship, when third base implied hugging during passing periods and holding hands at the movie theatre on Friday nights. (Because let’s face it⎯ you’re in middle school and it’s Friday night… you’re at the movies.) So what do you do now? Stop and reminisce of the days that once were? No, you clinch your fists and continue walking forward. If you’re really brave, maybe a half smirk to ease the tension. Hallway encounters merely imply an uncomfortable amount of time to regret letting your boredom get the best of you and ever leave that safe, warm classroom. Next time you think a break is vital, think of the situations you might have to abide leaving and seriously contemplate the pain and agony you will have to endure. Or, I suppose you could be a bit more personable and actually say hello to the oncoming hallway traffic… either way. 8 THE EPIC ISSUE 6

call me

cynical

by connor oberkrom

Steroid Stutter The steroid controversy has hindered people’s view of America’s Game. Over the years, baseball’s respect has depreciated. Now, when you take a glance at a baseball star one question comes to mind -- Is he juiced? Every game has become like a CSI episode, you survey each body and eventually come to a conclusion regarding his steroid use. I wouldn’t say the steroid issue is an irreparable problem, but baseball needs to identify this era as the Steroid Era, if it wants to move on, and have no records tainted. But something happened recently that is unequivocally misconceived. A few weeks ago, Mark McGwire confirmed his steroid use to Bob Costas of the MLB Network, as if we didn’t already know by his gargantuan arms. McGwire tried to justify his use, which was absurd. I thought I must be delusional hearing these words come out of someone’s mouth, but kept on yakking, failing to find the brakes to stop this train wreck. If McGwire really would’ve told the truth it would’ve sounded like this: “I took PED’s, knew it was wrong, but I’d do it all over again.” Obviously contrition is a perquisite for any carefully orchestrated apology, but no athlete including McGwire is ever going to say that. We don’t want to hear the ugly truth and neither do they. So what do we get? Sugarcoated repentance and lapses in judgment.

One thing athletes do seem to regret about doing PED’s is throwing themselves to the mercy of the court of the public opinion, getting harassed by a public that can’t comprehend what it’s like to be a professional athlete and the severities that come with it. True remorse is whether you would do it again if you were placed in the same situation? Could McGwire really deny that? But don’t think twice that McGwire would be admitting his steroid use, if he was continuing his life seclusion; this is the sole fact that he is becoming the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. The pressure in sports to perform and to perform adequately is immense and something a majority will never conceive or be able to grasp. You don’t reach the pinnacle of pro sports, without being extremely talented and inveterately competitive. Athletes are always searching for that edge, notably one that ensures success. The window of opportunity is so brief that it’s tempting for professional athletes to keep the door ajar, for longest duration possible no matter the repercussions. McGwire told Costas that his ability to hit home runs was a gift from God. That may be, but his 70 homers in ’98 was a gift from modern chemistry. We’ll never hear the real truth from any of these enhanced athletes. No athlete will ever come out and say, “I took a performance-enhancing drug. It did exactly what I hoped it would do for me. I knew it was wrong, but I did it any way.” That would be a true steroid admission and something everyone could accept.


300

words.

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

TAKING IT ALL IN

As of today, there are exactly forty-two days until spring break. Forty-two days until the more fortunate of us get to leave town for some exotic vacation destination. Forty-two days until we’re all free from the pressures of high school. For one man, those forty-two days are all that stand between him and a tradition of world travel. Since entering the public school system, sophomore Cole Karsten has never spent a spring break at home. Karsten has visited the Buddhist temples of Thailand, the Mayan ruins of Mexico, the Taj Mahal of India and Stonehenge of England. In all, Karsten has been in over seven different countries and fifteen different states in sixteen years. Throughout all of his travels and experiences, Karsten has gained a lot of insight into different aspects of the world outside of the United States that typical students may not. “I think it’s important for a person to become a worldly citizen,” Karsten said. “It’s important to be aware of things and to understand what is going on around you.” Karsten now possesses a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around him. He has gained an advantage over the typical student because he has seen how different people live, he has seen historical monuments and he has seen the varying cultures of the world with his own eyes, rather than on the pages of a textbook. Most importantly, though, Karsten has developed a unique and diversified perspective on worldly affairs, and hopes to apply that toward excelling academically and in categories, in which he is the team’s leading scorer. So after these forty-two days have passed and spring break has begun, other students may be on a beach or lounging around at home, but Karsten will be out seeing the world— taking it all in.

Sally carmichael

ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 9


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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.

10 THE EPIC ISSUE 6

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{FEATURE}

topic toss-up

A look into some student’s thoughts on the controversial topics defining this decade by alex leininger | photo by raine mcguire

Q: Where do you stand on the topic of abortion? Seth Gordon, junior: I don’t support abortion because it is basically just killing a life. I really don’t see any scenarios where I feel it would be okay to get an abortion.

Q: What are your thoughts about the recently imposed driving laws? SG: I think that they are appropriate because 16 is the rebellious age and it is wise to keep their rights limited.

Grant Gottschalk, sophomore: I think it should continue being legal, because it is a safety for women. Even if it were illegal, women would still get them, just underground.

GG: They are really inconvenient for teenagers, and they are really impractical.

Layne Viets, sophomore: I think that women should be able to choose for themselves, but I personally would not decide to get one.

LV: I agree with the wireless device rule, and the passengers rule too because a lot of crashes occur from that. At the same time, the hours seem restricting.

Jennifer Nicklas, art teacher: I am for abortion, and I don’t want anybody telling me what I can and can’t do with my body. So I am pro-choice, but I don’t think that it is okay for women to use abortion as a form of birth control.

JN: I think they are perfectly fine. When I grew up, that’s how it was.

Q: What is your stance on the laws on marijuana? Do you think it should be legalized? SG: The current laws on marijuana are fine the way they are because I think that all drugs should be illegal. GG: I think that marijuana should be legalized only because society has a double standard on drugs. People are going to get intoxicated whether it is legal or not. Also, it’s less harmful than alcohol. LV: Marijuana usage would be difficult to regulate if it were legalized. And it’s obviously banned for a reason; it’s bad for you. JN: I think that habitual drug usage is problematic, but we shouldn’t just assume that all users are criminals. It makes no sense to me why alcohol is legal and marijuana isn’t.

Q: What are your opinions on the drinking age? SG: I think that the current laws are okay. I just think that by the age of 21, people are mature enough to make the right decisions when it comes to drinking. GG: I would keep the drinking age where it is right now. Although it would be ideal to keep it young, it is at the right age for mind development. LV: I think that the status quo is good, because if the drinking age were lowered, people would take advantage of it and act like complete idiots. JN: I think it should be open for evaluation. If you’re old enough to vote, you should be old enough to make decisions for yourself.

DAVIS HOWELL The current drinking age in Kansas is 21 years old. Although most of us here at school are under this age, the opinions on the driking issue may surprise you

ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 11


of the American Teacher The e f i L Secret Everything you never knew about four teachers’ additional jobs outside of teaching

by alison bailes | whitney knightly photos by raine mcguire

Daycare Teacher at Child Development Center - involved since 16 years old - works 6 days per week - teaching takes priority

Real Estate Agent - works for Platinum Reality - flexible work schedule - teaching and coaching take priority

Jennifer Hudson (Far Right) By morning, Jennifer Hudson assists students with their design/commercial art projects. By afternoon, she is surrounded by children at Dandelions and Mud Puddles Child Development Center. “I relieve other teachers for lunch breaks during naptime and in the afternoon I work in the infant room – changing, feeding, rocking, playing, burping – you name it, I probably do it,” Hudson said. She has been involved in the business since she was 16 years old and currently works six days per week, even though teaching takes priority.

Tim Callaghan (Center Right) Many know him as the weights teacher and Varsity football coach who “wrestles bears.” Big, tall, intimidating? Yes. But look closer…beneath the tough exterior and coaching uniform lies a certified real estate agent. Callaghan balances both jobs with ease by bringing his coaching skills into the world of real estate. His commanding leadership allows football players to learn how to play their best game, and off the gridiron helps clients to get everything they want in a house. “One of the best things is helping people accomplish their goal and buy something they really like,” Callaghan said.

Jessica Hale (Center Left) For five days a week from August to May, Jessica Hale is your average paraprofessional. Patient and understanding, she dedicates her time to helping special-needs students at school. But every Saturday, she travels to the Kansas City Zoo for her second job as an assistant manager in the gift shop. “[People] always ask if I work with the animals,” Hale said, “but I work more on the human resources side.” According to Hale, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the zoo. To recognize the milestone, polar bears are arriving this summer. So, while you’re there seeing the bears, buy an awesome elephant painting from the gift shop.

Assistant Manager of KC Zoo Giftshop - 7 years working at the zoo - 5 days a week at the zoo in the summer - Trains new employees

Bruce Adams (Far Left) Technology these days seems to change at the drop of a hat, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the new gadgets. So who should you go to for the low-down on it all? Why, Bruce Adams, of course! Not only does he teach sophomore English, he works at the Apple Store on the Plaza. During the school year he works one shift on the weekends, but he works more during the summer. He uses his gift of explaining complicated matters in both jobs. In class, he clarifies the books that often seem like they are written in a foreign language, while at the Apple Store he enlightens customers about the new and latest technologies. “I like learning new tricks, techniques, and tips for using [the Apple products] at home and school,” Adams said.

Retail Sales at Apple on the Plaza - Gets discount on products - Once a week on weekends - Trains new employees


{feature}

10 epic staff resolutions for 2010 The Epic staff shares their ideas on how they are going to make 2010 a successful year by lana fanous|michael higgins

1

“I resolve to be less cynical. No one ever knows if I’m actually sincere or I’m being sarcastic. If I said everything sincerely people wouldn’t have to ask me if I’m joking or atleast not everytime I open my mouth. It’s going to be hard because I tend to see the bad in everything instead of the good.” -Dani La Londe, opinion editor

“I resolve to be a harder worker. My work ethic near the end of 2009 was nothing short of miserable. This year I plan on studying early and often. This just could be the decision that helps me get straight A’s this semester.” -Michael Higgins co-feature editor

3

“I promise to be patient with the crowd of people at the gym trying to fulfill their “lose weight” resolutions who won’t get off the treadmills. It won’t last long, I should atleast humor them. Besides that i’ll try to actually respond to text messages.” -Alison Bailes staff writer

2 6

to come “My reign of notoriety needs e been hav I and ai Des ti Stu . end to an that ize real I pranking each other and aimm an to n dow me t she has brough been I’ve ti, Stu to ing ord Acc l. ture leve crazy), but a menace on the loose (she’s need to either change and now I’m almost a senior ti.” my ways or stay away from Stu ter wri ff sta tly, igh -Whitney Kn

7

“My new years resolution is to get more sleep. That may sound dumb, but I average about four hours of sleep a night and it really does take a toll. On weekends I try to make it up, but I should really just get more all the time” -Sally Carmichael photo editor

“When I get bored I eat chocolate. There is no particular reason why, I just do. I need to find something more productive to do with my spare time.” -Chris Brown staff writer

8

14 THE EPIC ISSUE 6

“This year my new year’s resolution is to be less nit picky and to just go with the flow. Kicking back my habit of procrastination would be nice too!” -Lana Fanous cofeature editor

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“I resolve to fin ish ever ything I start (including my senior paper).” - Danny Neely sports editor

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“I have made my resolution to be more like Davis Howell. He is all that is man, from the way he plays the drums to his skills at making a sandwich, he always seems to amaze me.” -Scott Holm news editor

10

“I resolve to not let Senioritis (or the newly discovered, equally deadly, Seniorosis) take control of my life. It has gotten pretty bad lately, as reflected in my attitude toward my fourth block AP Stats class (just kidding, Chris), and if the disease continues to spread as it has since my initial self-diagnosis on January 4th, it get out of control and I might not make it to May 19th (thats 16 weeks/111 days/2668 hours away, if you were wondering). However, if I do become deathly ill with the disease, don’t be surprised if future issues of the Epic include: the coloring book edition, the blank pages edition, or throwback issue, which is just a reprinting of the issue before it. Enjoy the rest of the year.” -Alex Burnett editor in chief


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ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 15


{sports}

freeze frame

the best

dan sports column period

by danny neely

what we want

If there’s one thing all Kansas City sports fans know, it’s that our professional teams are not very good. This column is not a tirade against the Chiefs and Royals, (I’ve pretty much run that into the ground) but a proposal to help better the local squads. The second thing that Kansas City sports fans know, is that the state raises good college players. Kansas University has produced numerous winning baseball teams in recent years and has begun pecking at the national spotlight with its football program. Kansas State has put itself in a similar position, especially with the rehiring of Bill Snyder. The problem with college sports (other than players getting free houses) is that you get to watch the players for a max of four years. If you fall in love with any one player, you’re forced to watch him leave the school, and in many cases, end his career in a short matter of time. Here’s where a lesson in geography could benefit sports fans and franchises alike. What is Kansas, more specifically Western Kansas, known for? Farming! The pro sports franchises need to work on the lost art of developing players in the farm system. It’s become clear that the farm system of the Royals and lack thereof for the Chiefs has caused the teams to fall behind. We’re not great, and we’re not looking to get that much better. Here’s where it all comes together. I’m proposing that the major league teams in Kansas City use the money they’re spending on over-paid free agents (sorry to all the Jose Guillen fans) and use it to finance a direct farm system from college to the pros. That way, the professional teams could wrap up any blossoming talent from the local universities. With the expected caps on rookie salaries to come in most professional sports, highly coveted talents wouldn’t have a drastic need to get out of KC. By using this system, Kansas City could even wrap up an NBA expansion team. Love the Jayhawks’ starting five? Well prepare to see them all playing together in a couple of years at the pro level (Kansas City Fight’n Swine anyone? I’m imagining a Pig with a surgical mask and barbeque tongs.) with a couple of K-State’s finest and a few reserves from Missouri. Who here isn’t dying to have an NBA team? Ticket prices could be held down; we’re not paying for a new stadium, players salaries are low because they’re rookies, and it’s a small market that’s known for its modest pricing. Plus, by creating these farm systems in leagues like the NBA and NFL, Kansas City could pioneer a new system of developing players. It could bolster the franchises to long-term prosperity, maybe even a playoff birth. And in the end, isn’t that really what we all want? 16 THE EPIC ISSUE 6

RAINE MCGUIRE

Dave Kissack, head boys swim coach, goes over techniques and agenda updates while the members of the team stretch in the pool. The swim team, which holds practices in conjunction with the dive team, is working on the back half of its season.

the workout

Cutting weight is a trying but common practice among wrestlers by matt smith

Wrestling requires blood, sweat, and tears as well as true dedication. Wrestlers go through tough practices, and in addition they have to work hard on their own to lose weight. Junior Joey Stinson has been doing it for a long time. “I’ve been wrestling for seven years, and cutting weight has always been one of the toughest things I’ve had to do,” Stinson said. Cutting weight is important to wrestlers because they can then be a stronger wrestlers at lower weight classes. Sometimes wrestlers cut weight for other reasons as well. For example, if two similarly skilled wrestlers are at about the same weight, one will cut weight so they can each wrestle at the varsity level. “While not in season, I weigh about 135 pounds,” Stinson said, “but I wrestle in the 125 pound weight class. I have to cut 10 pounds, which is not an easy task.” To cut the weight, wrestlers have to push themselves to the limit. They typically have to change their diet completely. This includes eating smaller portions or sometimes skipping meals completely. They also put themselves through tough conditioning exercises to sweat out the weight. Wrestlers often run in the mornings to condition. “Sometimes after practice some guys go to the gym and workout,” Stinson said.

The wrestling team typically has meets on Fridays or Saturdays. Wrestlers have to make weight by Friday morning if they want to be eligible for the meet. It takes total commitment during the week to make weight. “Joey never has time to hang out. Whenever he isn’t at practice, he’s still trying to make weight,” Mack Valentine, a friend of Stinson, said. Cutting weight makes this sport unique because it adds extra sacrifice that other sports don’t have. Although it may not be the most fun part of sports, or the most recognized, it is sacrifice that truly shows an athlete’s determination. “Cutting the weight isn’t easy, but I know it is work to become a successful wrestler,” Stinson said.

CORD POWELL

Joey Stinson, junior, has to make watching his weight a priority during wrestling season.


Club soccer players around the metro, improve their skills with this fast paced game. by brayden clark

F

utsal is a sport that started in the 1930’s in Uruguay. It is played on a basketball court, which makes the field smaller than normal regulation size soccer fields, because of the field size the game is played five- on-five instead of eleven-on-eleven. While futsal is a variation from soccer, there are many differences. “The game is fast pace and there is a lot of movement, beacuse of this, the game is cut in half, the halves are 24 minutes,” Joshua Strasser, junior, said. The size of the field and

the ball affect the game more than just the obvious reasons. These changes also affect the style of the game. “In futsal there is a lot of transition, it’s almost like you do everything faster in futsal than you do in soccer. You really have to focus on your touch and foot speed,” Carly Cassady, junior, said. Because of the dimensions of the court, the goal is smaller too. “I play goalie and having a player shoot from five feet out instead of ten to fifteen is a lot tougher to stop,” Strasser said. “You really have to have

good reaction time, but keep in mind the goal is smaller so it is tough to score.” Futsal comes in time where soccer is not in season. Futsal is played in the winter, while outdoor soccer is played in the spring, summer, and fall. Athletes are able to hone there skills in the off-season by playing futsal. “Futsal is a alternative from soccer. Because we can’t play soccer in the winter due to the weather, many clubs enter futsal leagues,” Cassady said. “I play through my club team in a competitive league, but there are recreational leagues too.”

for love or the game?

Who knows senior basketball player Brad Foss better, his teammate or his girlfriend? by dan prem

Taylor Zingg

Senior

favorite food

noodles

greatest fear

dogs

favorite movie middle name shoe size boxers or briefs total

the hangover

Matt Kieffer

Brad Foss

Senior

Senior

mac’n cheese

mac’n cheese

dogs

dogs

the hangover

the hangover

andrew

matthew

andrew

13

12

13

boxers

boxers

boxers Sorry Matt, but it looks like the girlfriend wins this time. ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 17

{Sports}

futsal frenzy


{sports}

it’s all about the game

A recreational basketball league provides a way to play basketball for fun without the pressures of competitive basketball. by chris brown

T

en seconds left, 4th quarter, down by two. Another epic day on the hardwood. However, this isn’t your average everyday game in a storied college arena, or even an overcrowded high

school field house. This game takes place in front of only handfuls of people, in an empty gym on a weekend afternoon. Its GABL time. GABL stands for the

GABL is a recreational basketball league that usually caters to younger players as a way to develop their skills for the future. Children often play in the league to prepare for high school play. However, more and more, high school students use the league as a way to play basketball without the strains of a typical high school sport.

18 THE EPIC ISSUE 6

Great American Basketball League. Founded in 1974 to provide youth athletes aged 6 to 18 a chance to play basketball, the league’s popularity has caught fire with students here at school. Students who are involved in basketball at West however, are not allowed to play. This year, there are 8 teams representing West who are actively competing in the local league. One such team is The Flash. Led by junior Patrick Connell, The Flash is looking to balance success with having fun. “I really like GABL because it’s so relaxed and everyone is in it to have fun,” Connell said. “It makes it more fun to have an atmosphere without any pressure, and I think that’s what has made the league so popular.” Prior to the season, each team gets to choose what division or level of competition they will be facing throughout the season. There are many divisions available for new teams. Ranging from recreational to competitive, it is the team and coach’s choice to pick a division to compete in “We made a mistake and signed up for the competitive league,” Jason Crow, junior, and member of the Scorpions said. “The other teams take it really seriously and have plays and specific defenses. We basically just run around, pass a few times, and then shoot. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it’s not effective at all.” On the other hand, the recreational leagues offer more of a relaxed feel and are less competitive. “We are in the lowest league possible,” JJ Higgins, junior, and member of the Narwhals said. “The games are pretty low quality and nobody is all that great, but we still have a lot of fun playing.” Even though each team competes at different levels, there is still a certain level of seriousness and com-

petitive spirit. Some teams choose to develop, practice, and preform plays. Although running an offense is completely optional, some teams have found success incorporating an offense into their game plan. “We have a basic offense and a zone defense that we try and play each game,” Connell said. “Whether or not we use is a different story, but most of the time it is very fairly successful” GABL games are played on weekends at Shawnee Mission schools, but the games are not the only time spent during the season. Practices, although optional, are a fun way to get better and build team chemistry “We usually get the team together and find a gym to go shoot baskets at,” Crow said. “Sometimes we actually do drills and try to get better, but the majority of the time is spent messing around and having fun playing with our friends.” Another key part to the GABL experience is the creation of the team name. This gives teams a chance to add their own creativity and identity to their team. Names must be kept appropriate, but creativity is encouraged. “The Narwhal name comes from the movie Elf,” Higgins said. “One of the characters in the movie is named Mr. Narwhal, and we all thought that it was a good name for the team. We found out later that it was a whale that lived in Alaska.” “The Flash describes our overall team attitude and mindset before the game,” Connell said. “We try to play fast, and our name is perfect for that style.” Many times, however, a name is chosen for no particular reason. “We chose the Scorpions because we thought it would scare people.” JJ Shara, junior, said. “We figured we should at least have a good name that was intimidating to our opponents. From competitive to recreational leagues, GABL is a fun way to spend time on the weekends playing basketball with friends.


taking aim

by dan prem

A Big Ranking

At the beginning of the College basketball season every fan brags about their favorite team and secondly they brag about what conference they belong to. So I’m here to set the record straight— my rankings of the top conferences in college basketball. A lot has been going on since day JENNA HARWELL one: there have been injuries, upsets, and toby andrew hoskins and taylor neff tal busts. The way I see it, the best conference is the one with the toughest, most talented, Sophomore bowler looks to build off success as a freshman consistent teams. Here are the top five conAs the one of the top bowlers at their game. Beeghly practices in the offferences in the NCAA right now: Big East, Big school, sophomore Matt Beeghly looks season by joining local Saturday leagues 10, Big 12, SEC, ACC. Remember I’m probably to improve even further from his high and has attended several elite camps in correct on this subject, but feel free to write placement at state last year. Beeghly Kansas. me a letter if you disagree. has a promising future in the Sunflower “I attended a elite camp at Wichita First on the list is the Big East. With three League. As a freshman he won district State where I learned new techniques teams in the top ten how could they not be and was the only male bowler from West and skills that really allowed me to exthis high on the list? The only thing is, there that qualified for state, placing 13th. pand my game,” Beeghly said. are 16 teams in the Big East; they’re bound He holds the school record with a He plans to take his unique talent to find some talented teams in there somescore of 763 in a three game series. His to the college level depending on how where. You’ll definitely find some final four single game record is 279, a score that the next three years go. Going D1 is candidates in this conference. would drop the jaws of most casual bowldefinitely a challenge but both Stevens Next we have the Big Ten, one of the best ers. and Beeghly conferences in college basketball. Why, you Head Coach believe he has ask? They have the three things that all conHis drive, competitiveness and the the potential Renee Stevens ferences need. Toughness being number one. has high ex- fact that he is a very supportive to do so. The Big Ten has been known for years as the pectations for team player allows him to be one of “Matt is toughest, physically and mentally. They have Beeghly this a great comthe talent too, with four teams in the top 25, the top bowlers in the state. year. She bepetitor and and every one of the teams in the Big Ten lieves his stellar a consistent brings it every time they step onto the court — Renee Stevens freshman seascorer,” fellow (Iowa, an unranked team almost beat the son and hard work in the off-season will bowler Joey Parrack said. “He never number six Michigan State Spartans on the slingshot him toward success. lets himself get frustrated which is a road). “His freshman season went really key in bowling. The Big 12 finds itself number three on the well and he bowls at a very high level,” College bowling is a gigantic step list. I’m sure they’re a lot of people who disStevens said. “His drive, competitiveness up from the high school level. Deagree with this but if we didn’t live in Kansas and the fact that he is a very supportive tailed oil patterns on the lanes and a lot of those opinions would change. They are team player allow him to be one of the certain types of equipment become very talented, but I think the lack of strength top bowlers in the state.’’ a factor in being a successful bowler. of schedule should place them at number three Beeghly began bowling at age three The different oil patterns vary from on the list. and took his talent to a competitive level bowling alley to bowling alley. Many With only two real powerhouses in the SEC around age 12. He credits his father as besmall colleges have official bowling I will place them number four on the list. John ing the one who got him into the sport. teams, while larger universities have Wall of Kentucky is the most skilled freshman “My dad was a very strong bowler and bowling clubs. Full scholarships are in college hoops. Tennessee has a solid program he’s the one who first put a ball in my very rare, but most colleges offer even after losing one of their better players, Tyler hand. You can say bowling runs in my some kind of small scholarship. Smith. Other than that though, the SEC is looking family,” Beeghly said. “His good grades, ability to a little weaker after previous, positive seasons. Becoming a strong bowler requires make spares and adjustment to Lastly, the most overrated conference, the ACC. more work than one might think. Beeghlane conditions give him a good Even with the upset of Duke by NC State, Duke is ly practices constantly to keep his game chance to take it beyond high one of the more talented teams in the nation this up. Every day after school the team goes school,” Stevens said. “The fact year, but flukes like North Carolina are a part of why to Park Lanes and practices by bowling that he works so hard in the off I have them at the bottom of the rankings. games, working on splits and spares, season and is so dedicated conThere is still a lot of basketball to play this year. and doing drills. Timing and targeting vinces me that he will be able to Maybe some things will change, but the debate of coldrills are run to perfect each aspect of take it to college.” lege basketball will always be here.

{SPORTS}

that’s debatable

ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 19


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{A&E}

history in the making

A revolutionary motion picture, Avatar, is still in theaters and breaking box office records

by cameron volker and michael higgins

Y

ou can get a lot done in 15 years: go to school, develop a career, the list goes on and on. James Cameron spent it making a movie. “Avatar” came out December 18, and achieved worldwide success and critical acclaim. The story revolves around the world of Pandora, where this incredibly beautiful planet is being used as the home of a major mining corporation. Pandora is the home of the Na’vi, a blue-skinned people who are very strong and tranquil. The scientists stationed there assemble an “avatar” which are Na’vi bodies modified with human DNA to improve relations with the Zoe Saldana, who plays the character Neytiri, wore special motion capture equipment to Na’vi. Marines defend this mining capture her movements and expressions as she was working on James Cameron’s “Avatar” corporation, and one of them by the name of Jake Sully, takes on the role of becoming an “avatar.” What makes humans. He is told if he can succeed he will space, or change my perspective, I can.” Sully special is the be helped in obtaining surgery to restore Another impressive aspect was how he fact that he has no usage of his legs. attached skull caps to actors fitted with a He is told by his leader to try and nego- function to his legs. I’m not going to give away the ending, tiny cameras on them allowing Cameron to tiate for control of Hometree, the home of but as you guessed, there is a war over transfer 95 percent of the actor’s perforthe Na’vi and also home to huge deposits the control of the Hometree between the mances to their digital counterparts, giving of unobtanium, much to the delight of the humans and the Na’vi. great ability to capture facial expressions. What makes These images that one can create with this movie great CGI have been in previous movies, so don’t is not just the go thinking “Avatar” was the first. Memorastoryline, but how ble movies like “Toy Story,” “Jurassic Park,” Cameron made the and “Beauty and the Beast,” all have used movie, and a lot of less advanced versions of what “Avatar” has that had to do with done. his use of CGI. CGI Half the reason that it took so long was (computer generated the fact that the technology according to Alice in WonderlandMarch 5 imagery) is the apCameron was just not available to portray plication of the field his vision of the film. The idea popped in Hubble 3D- March 19 of computer graphics his head in 1994, and he had to wait a total to special affects of 12 years and three movies before he in films and other could start writing the script and developHow to Train Your Dr things. CGI allows ing the unique universe. agon- March 26 a director to make Another thing that made this movie images and physical so unique was Cameron going above and Shrek Forever AfterMay 21 things like beyond to create a language for the Na’vi. the Na’vi in Avatar. It He enlisted the help of Dr. Paul Frommer Toy Story 3- June 18 can allow a single perof USC where they created a 1000 word son to produce language. things without the use All in all “Avatar” is a sign of what’s to The Smurfs 3D- Dec. 17 of actors, expensive set come, a sneak peek of the future. It also pieces or props. doesn’t hurt knowing that it would be a “It’s like a big, great movie even if this technology wasn’t Tron Legacy- Dec. 17 powerful game engine,” used. In short, Cameron proves he is a Cameron told The New master of the film world, capable of capturYork Times in 2007. “If ing our emotion with “Titanic” and our I want to fly through imagination with “Avatar.”

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ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 21


{A&E}

what to watch 2010 The epic’s picks for the must-see movies and TV of the new year

by dani la londe, elizabeth stephan and cameron volker

Movies

alice in wonderland (march 5) Alice, now a 19 year old, runs from privileged Victorian society and follows the White Rabbit into Wonderland. Brought to you by the unique eye of director Tim Burton. why we are watching- This version is a twist to the classic tale; Alice becomes an empowered heroine and saves Wonderland. she’s out of my league (march 12) Kirk is a regular guy trying to make a living until he meets Molly, a perfect ten who is way out of his league. But when his lack of confidence and ridiculous family and friends threaten to ruin his relationship, Kirk must find a way to continue wooing Molly. why we are watching- It seems to follow in the footsteps of other screwball comedies such as Knocked Up, The Hangover and Pineapple Express. clash of the titans (march 26) A remake of the 1981 film based off the Greek myth Perseus. Perseus, the son of Zeus, volunteers for a treacherous mission to restore power back to Zeus and faces the legions of the under world to defeat Hades. why we are watching- We are both suckers for action flicks, but when you add Greek mythology, awesome CGI, and the Kraken you have got us hooked. inception (july 16) In a world where entering dreams is possible, a single idea from the human mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset. why we are watching- With “Dark Knight” director Chris Nolan and highprofile actor Leonardo DiCaprio, this is sure to be a mind-twisting film certainly worthy of Oscar nominations. The mysterious tagline, “your mind is the scene of the crime”, and trailer have actracted much attention on the internet

under the radar red riding (february 5) Originally a television adaptation of David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet. Follows the investigations of the Yorkshire Ripper, an English Serial killer guilty of killing 13 women. If you are a fan of the Zodiac film, this is the movie to go see. why we are watching- It appears to be a more engaging horror film that is driven by the actors and script, not on the blood and gore. the middle (ABC) wednesdays @ 7:30 Frankie is a middle class mom in Orson, Indiana who deals with her bumbling husband (the janitor from Scrubs) and three difficult children- Axl, Sue and Brick. Axl is a typical portrayal of teen angst, Sue is the awkward middle child who is just trying fit in and Brick is the strange youngest child. The Middle highlights average, middle class family problems in a funny light. why we are watching- The Middle is an over exaggeration of everyday life. There is an Axl, Sue and Brick in every family. 22 THE EPIC ISSUE 6

Television shows glee (FOX) wednesdays @ 8 The hit show is back for a second season in April. Glee follows the stories of the show choir kids as they struggle to fit in to a high school all about football and cheerleading. Filled with new song s, drama and unbelievable characters, Glee won’t disappoint. why we are watching- Charming, catchy and unique, Glee keeps us wanting more. psych (USA) wednesdays @ 9 Shawn Spencer has convinced the Santa Barbara Police Department that he is psychic, when really he just has an uncanny ability to notice the smallest details. Along with his reluctant best friend Gus, they assist the police in solving crimes, to the disdain of Carlton Lassiter, head detective. But don’t be fooled, this is no ordinary cop show, it is chock full of references to obscure 80s movies, music and keep you laughing to the end. why we are watching- James Roday (Shawn Spencer) is hilarious. Even held at gunpoint he keeps his cool and makes jokes to the gunman. the big bang theory (CBS) mondays @ 8:30 Ready to geek out? Big Bang is about four nerdy friends, Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj, who pass their time playing Klingon Boggle, going to ComiCon, talking about Physics and trying to hit on strange women. why we are watching- No other show on TV can show the humerous and lovable side of the nerdiest people. 30 rock (NBC) thursdays @ 8:30 Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch comedy show “TGS with Tracy Jordan”, must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful TV show without losing her mind. why we are watching- Former SNL cast members Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan combine perfectly with infamous actor Alec Baldwin to guarentee laughs every episode. Fey is not only the very talented leading actress of the show, but also its creator and head writer. The six-time Golden Globe winning program is currently in its fourth season and will be back for a fifth in October.


by lana fanous

A drama, suspense and a fantasy all in one, “The Lovely Bones” created a lot of hype with both the movie and the book. Having read the book first I was anxious for the movie to be released in theaters, but wasn’t sure if it could live up to the expectations author Alice Sebold created. Susie Salmon (played by Saoirse Ronan), a 14-year-old girl, narrates the story of her death and the people she left behind. “The Lovely Bones” book offered more detail and depth than the movie. The book focused on Susie’s family’s attempt to move on with their lives and told stories of the past that were most memorable to Susie. It’s no secret that the murderer of Susie Salmon was the Salmon’s neighbor, George Harvey. Harvey is a 36-year-old supposed widower who was weird and awkward, but knew how to cover up his tracks. In both the book and movie Susie’s dad, Jack Salmon (played by Mark Wahlberg), had the most difficult time accepting his oldest daughters death. Without any suspects from the police, Mr. Salmon took it opon himself to solve Susie’s murder. Throughout the story Jack gradually loses touch with reality. He goes from a fun loving family man, to a psychotic dad who will do anything to get justice for his daughter.

My favorite parts of the movie were the scenes with special effects. Imagine mountain-sized bouncy balls and ships enclosed in glass bottles crashing into shore rock. Picture mountains parting and seasons changing within seconds and abilities to walk on water. With several holes in the plot, it was easy to focus on the special effects. With that said, the plot had its weaknesses and strengths. As for the drama, I think an ordinary 14-year-old girl being murdered is enough, but the movie didn’t come close to telling Susie Salmon’s story as the book did. Had the movie focused more on plot instead of little parts pieced together, it would have had at least some competition with the book. However I will give credit to the actors and actresses in the film. Saoirse Ronan in particular did an outstanding job in portraying the character of Susie Salmon. She was nominated for seven critics choice awards and won an award for Best Young Actress and Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role. If you have yet to read the book, there is no doubt you will enjoy the movie. On the other hand if you have read the book, prepare to be disappointed.

moccasins -rachel mahoney, sophomore

yellow walls -evan payne, senior

ed hardy -jacob young, freshman

rozlyn from the bachelor -jazmine davis, junior

snowboarding -john summers, sophomore

leggings as jeans -felicia gilliland, senior

double take

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

by sally carmichael

ARTS & THEATRE Broke-ology | Feb. 19 - Mar. 29 Kansas playwright Nathan Jackson brings his dramatic Broke-ology to the Rep this spring. Set in present day Kansas City, Kansas, is focuses on two young boys from a broken family. Their father is diagnosed with a serious illness, and the boys must decide wheter to stay or go. KC Rep Theatre - Copaken Stage, $20 Grey Gardens | Now - Feb. 28 The title Grey Gardens comes from the actual 28-room mansion in the Hamptons owned by Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, aunt and first cousin of Jacquline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Based on the 1975 documentary, it follows the two as they go from riches to rags in a series of musical numbers. Unicorn Theatre in KCMO, $13

CONCERT WATCH Truckstop Honeymoon - 1/30 @ 9pm Granada in Lawrence, $12 Cross Canadian Ragweed - 2/13 @ 9pm Granada in Lawrence, $23 Badfish - 2/18 @ 9pm Granada in Lawrence, $16 Casting Crowns - 2/4 @ 6pm Sprint Center in KCMO, $15 Rascal Flatts - 2/19 @ 7pm Sprint Center in KCMO, $52 OK Go, Company of Thieves, Crash Kings, Paper Tongues - 2/13 @ 8pm Midland Theatre in KCMO (18+), $FREE B.B. King, Buddy Guy - 2/19 @ 6pm Midland Theatre in KCMO, $57 Alice in Chains - 2/21 @ 8pm Midland Theatre in KCMO, $38 Tech N9ne - 1/29 @ 7pm Beaumont Club in KCMO, $30 Jack’s Mannequin - 2/19 @ 6pm Beaumont Club in KCMO, $25

sam clarke sophomor

bruce lee action star

Bowling for Soup - 2/13 @ 10pm Record Bar in KCMO, $15 ISSUE 6 THE EPIC 23

{A&E}

not so lovely bones

The Lovely Bones as a movie paled in comparison to the book


breakfast for 窶話ots

The Vikings Robotics Team hosted their third annual pancake breakfast on January 16th. The breakfast included a silent auction , demonstration of the student-built robots and fun activities for kids. This year, the team raised over $2,100 during their fundraiser. The Robotics Team competes against other high school teams from across the state. One of their robots, a t-shirt laucher, has been used at various sporting events this year. This gives the students an opportunity to show off their hard work and ingenuity to the rest of the West community.

(clockwise from top left) Visitors browse through items up for auction. Tables had a vast array of items from robotic bugs to tshirts. Parents and siblings volunteered to bake pancakes for the Shawnee Mission West community. Brendon Hockla, senior, shows how one of their robots works. Jan Evans was among on of the many teachers that came out to support the Robotics Team. photos by jenna harwell

Epic 09-10 Issue 6  

Shawnee Mission West Newspaper

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