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DECEMBER 19, 2008

1111 S. DEE ROAD • PARK RIDGE, ILLINOIS 60068

VOL. 45, NO. 4

Best Ever State

Champs

M.S. 52, Schaumburg 20

M.S. 55, New Trier 24

M.S. 35, Warren 21

M.S. 52, Niles West 0

M.S. 42, G.B.N. 0

M.S. 63, Stevenson 29

M.S. 65, Maine East 7

M.S. 26, Loyola 7

M.S. 56, Evanston 8

M.S. 42, Barrington 0

M.S. 48, Waukegan 0

M.S. 23, Bartlett 6

M.S. 30, G.B.S. 27

M.S. 41, Hinsdale Central 21

The varsity football team celebrates after winning the 2008 State Championship.

NEWS

FEATURES

photo by Chris Anderson

Graphic by Matt Eller

ENTERTAINMENT COMMENTARY SPORTS

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Get the scoop on Maine South’s Hawk Honor Cards

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Constitution Team wins state.

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Two perspectives on Twilight, the book and the movie.

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Is Christmas mu- Varsity football sic on the radio wins State too early? Championship

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NEWS DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

“Need-to-Knows” about the Hawk Honor Card by Jackie Hazlett-Morris and Ashley Kozubal For juniors and seniors, there’s a reward for demonstrating good behavior and consistent attendance. The Hawk Honor card is a privilege given to students by the deans of Maine South. The application process for the Hawk Honor card is rather simple. You must fill out an application listing your photo by Jackie Hazlett-Morris photo name, counselor, and identification number. Next, it is submitted to New Junior Hawk Honor card recipients gather for a photo. (above the Attendance office and below) to have a portion filled out regarding number of absences and tardies for the previous years. Lastly, the form goes to the Dean’s office to be filled out concerning all disciplinary actions after freshman year. Providing the application meets all requirements, the application is approved photo by Jackie Hazlett-Morris and a Hawk Honor card is issued. Though the basic idea of the Hawk Honor card is the same for juniors and seniors, the privileges for each are a bit different. For juniors, they automatically receive a Hawk ID card that acts as a hallway pass during non-passing periods. They are also reimbursed for the eightdollar activity fee. They receive a certificate of recognition and are photo by Jackie Hazlett-Morris invited to a congratulatory breakfast with the Maine Senior Hawk Honor card recipients gather with Mr. Claypool, South administration. Mr. Degres, Mrs. Kendrick, Mr. Thetard, and Mrs. Beringer. During the year the administration raffles to purchase a parking permit, a reduced off free Junior Prom tickets and a monthly parking permit fee (from $100 to $80), and they become a candidate for the Goodwill parking permit. For seniors, the card also acts as a hallway Award. During the year, the deans raffle off pass and an activity pass reimbursement. a free parking permit, tickets to the reserved Additionally, they receive automatic eligibility prom table, free prom tickets, and free senior

breakfast tickets. According to Mr. Dagres, a seven-year veteran of the Hawk Honor program, the purpose of the Hawk Honor Card is to recognize kids with good behavior and an overall good attitude towards others. This year the deans received 99 applications from juniors, of which they accepted 83, and they welcomed 20 new senior members. There is always room for improvement, however, says Mr. Dagres. He says that he would like to add more incentives to the program, and begin talking to students about the card freshman year so they can begin working towards being accepted. A new privilege that Mr. Dagres would like to add to the program would be to have students write an explanation about why they feel they deserve a Hawk Honor card and turn it in with their applications. Senior Jenny O’Neil said the best part about having a Hawk Honor card is “the freedom of being able to walk around the school without having to get a pass from a teacher.” The Hawk Honor card gives every student at Maine South the opportunity to gain incentives for being an overall good person. The card is available to everyone who wants to work hard and maintain a good attitude towards others.

Our ‘Maine’ Man Retiring by Bess Featherstone On June 30, 2009, District 207’s Superintendent, Dr. Joel Morris, will retire. This will be Dr. Morris’s third year as Superintendent and his retirement will bookend his career at Maine South. As a 1969 Maine South graduate, a former Maine South teacher, and administrator, Dr. Morris’ retirement is a significant event for the school. Dr. Morris is most proud of the district’s development technology-wise while he has been Superintendent but looks forward to the free time he will have after retirement. “I am looking forward to spending time with my wife, Debbie, and my daughter, Jackie, who is a sophomore at Maine South. We will be spending time at a house we have in South Carolina and are planning to volunteer to work for Habitat for Humanity and various tutoring services,” said Dr. Morris. The Board of Education will soon begin their search for someone to fill Dr. Morris’s role as Superintendent on July 1, 2009.


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DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

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America’s Recession affects teens by Hope Tone America is now in an “official” recession. Most teens, however, do not realize how they are affected, or that they will be affected by the current financial crisis at all. To a highschool-aged student, problems on Wall Street may mean not as many Christmas presents under the tree or going to Florida instead of to the Bahamas on spring break. But the truth is, teenagers will be seeing and feeling these affects more prominently then they might believe. Initially, it may be simple things like seeing prices increase, noticing your parents not eating out as much, or getting your allowance a little later each month. But these hikes in prices will add up over time, making the average t e e n a g e r ’s budget even tighter then before. Spending an extra twenty cents on a hamburger may seem like no big deal, but the added cost of buying one every week for the entire year would have you spending $61.89, instead of the former price of $52. This would mean that you, the consumer is paying 16% more. Such a large percentage would not stay unnoticed for long. Going to see a new movie every weekend will also soon become a thing of the past. With steep increase in ticket prices along with concessions, a night at the movies could end up costing you $15 for the ticket alone. This summer, you may also find yourself hard-pressed to find a job. With the economic problems, companies and businesses are laying off workers. They are also trying to

improve how productive their current workers are, which could mean giving the easier, “no training required” tasks usually given to the teenagers, to their year-round employees. Those teens that make their money off baby-sitting may see their opportunities to make extra cash drying up. With higher prices, many families (and parents) may choose to stay in on a Saturday night, or take

more vacations with the family, eliminating the need for a baby-sitter. After-school sitters may find themselves with a lot of free time as families decide they cannot afford the luxury. The fewer jobs available to adolescents, the less money they have to circulate. This year’s seniors may feel these economic pressures more heavily next year in college. Those frequent, and seemingly inexpensive, stops at the pizza or sub place down the street may end up adding up quicker then before. And once students are ready to move into their own apartment, they may find it harder to locate a place to stay that does not have a rent cost through the roof. College tuition creates another financial strain placed on parents and kids. On average,

college tuition doubles every nine years, increasing by a rate of 8% each year. College tuition is sure to increase in these trying times and students may find themselves looking for more financial aid or scholarships. FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a government sponsored attempt to relieve financial hardships regarding college tuition. Students may be interested in newer programs such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant, or the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), as a way of addressing the financial issues of the time. Many students may also turn to the already popular trend of attending community college for general education classes and then transferring to the college of their choosing, in order to get a more professional education and save some money along the way. The one positive thing college students have to look forward to is the lower gas prices, which means that more students would be able to take their car to college, although some may choose to continue without a vehicle in an attempt to save a little more money, or use public transportation. As these issues creep up, remember that this financial fiasco is hitting the world hard. Don’t be astonished if someone suggests renting a movie from Blockbuster instead of heading out to the movie theatre, or making a sandwich instead of heading to the food court. There are plenty of ways to save money, and still have fun. In these times everyone can appreciate the saving of a little cash.


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NEWS DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

Possible Calendar changes for the 2009-2010 Year by Asha Kirchhof The voices of District 207 have been heard as the results from the October online calendar survey have been tallied and calendars formed. Responded to by over 1,600 people, the 14-question survey aimed to find how satisfactorily students, parents, staff, and others viewed the current District 207 calendar. Questions were posed about collaboration days, vacation and holiday breaks, faculty institution days, and the time of finals. In each of these areas, the survey offered alternatives to the current schedule. These were based off the comments from the principals’ student and staff advisory committees, although it was the Calendar Committee that ultimately wrote the survey. The Committee, which consists of district teachers, administered the questionnaire. Despite being given a wide range of options, the overwhelming result of the survey was that constituents wished to maintain the current calendar. In accordance with this, the Calendar

Committee created calendars for the upcoming school years from 2009 to 2012 that largely remain true to the status quo. On December 8, the potential calendars were presented to the Board of Educators for revision. These further revised calendars will then be officially approved by the Board in January. Though many others were involved with the survey, it will ultimately impact the students. One area of the survey in which there was a departure from the current schedule was winter finals. 45.3% of all who responded to the survey “would rather have first semester exams scheduled prior to Winter Break.” Maine South students and staff mostly agreed with this. “I would have like finals before Christmas,” Sophomore, Hope Tone said. “It’s hard to remember things over winter break,” Freshman Allie Sakowicz agreed. Even teachers agreed with this viewpoint. History teacher Mr. MacArthur called the situation “silly.” Spanish teacher and wrestling coach, Mr. Fallico agreed saying, “I think it’s difficult

Technology Makeover in the LRC by Keely Patt

“‘Dream Weaver’ would just take up too much memory on the laptops,” said Retrum, On Tuesday, December 2, the LRC received when asked about the issue. The process of a shipment of 30 using the laptops new Eee PC laptops is really quite through Maine South’s easy. Students technology plan. can check them “The laptops are out by placing part of a pilot program their ID’s in a for drop-in students numbered slot, from study hall,” said corresponding head librarian, Rose with the number Retrum. of the laptop, on “We frequently the circulation run out of stationary desk. The laptops computers since are located on they are often used a cart, beside for classes, so dropPhoto byJackie Hazlett-Morris ins are often denied A student works hard during his study on the brand t h e c o p i e r , across from the access.” new laptops in the library. circulation desk. The computers were These laptops, however, aren’t the only bought for $400 a piece and may also be purchased through Amazon.com, according to renovation the library has anticipated for this Retrum. The laptops are fully equipped with year. “We’ve ordered 17 soft reading chairs, wireless internet and are convenient, as they are small in size (10 inches in length, 7 in but unfortunately, they haven’t arrived yet,” width). With the exception of “Dream Weaver” revealed Retrum. “It’s our vision that the technology, these new additions to the LRC students will use the new laptops in the comfy have all of the software that regular computers chairs. We hope to have them for when the students return for second semester.” in the school do.

to have a final after a long break.” On the other hand, some, like sophomore Kevin Morrisroe thought that finals should be kept after break to give students an opportunity to study. However, the survey also showed that given three other options regarding winter finals, the current schedule was preferred. This may have been because according to the survey, it may mean “starting earlier in August or shortening winter and/or Thanksgiving breaks.” Math teacher Ms. Rizzi said, “A lot of teachers don’t want to start school August 1st.” Mr. Fallico said that he preferred school, “Real hard September to May.” Given these opinions, the proposed calendars keep finals after winter break. Though the desire for more options was commonly expressed, overall the survey was seen, as stated by Mr. MacArthur, “A really nice idea.”

SOUTHWORDS Maine South High School 1111 South Dee Road Park Ridge, IL 60068 Signed letters to the editor should be delivered to room V-131 or given to a member of the editorial staff. SOUTHWORDS reserves the right to edit material for clarity and brevity and to reject obscene/libelous submis-

Editors-in-Chief

News Editors

Features Editors

Entertainment Editors

Commentary Editors

Sports Editors

Production Editors Photography Editor Staff Artists Adviser

Bess Featherstone Erin Klein Courtney Vinopal Ashley Kozubal Keely Patt Jonathan Stevens Joanna Madej Tom Bielawiec Sarah Geraci Lydia Ramsey Tom Berg Steven Wear Xander Tapling Anne Wave Marissa Duric Patrick Mirski Caileen Bazarek Lesia Witkowsky Ted Sherbin Matt Eller Jackie HazlettMorris Leah Artwick Mr. Stathakis


FEATURES DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

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On the road to finding that perfect mountain by Tom Bielawiec of the slopes is a terrain park. The daily slope With the cold weather leaving nothing but price is $21, which is cheaper than most other snow and ice on the streets and winter break places. Villa Olivia, located in Bartlett, Illinois about to commence, one can easily agree that is about the same distance away. This location the winter season is just a few days away. is actually part of a country club, and therefore Winter is remembered in many ways; some some consider rates to be too high. The daily associate it with holidays, others with hats and slope ticket for a weekend or holiday is $37, and gloves. But for many, the winter season means lasts the whole day, while weekdays (4:30p.m.skiing and snowboarding. close), Saturday nights (5:00-11:00p.m.), Skiing and snowboarding have become as and Sunday nights (5:00-10:00p.m.) are $29. common as taking summer trips to the beach. However, if one is looking for challenge, these Even walking around Maine South there is two places are not recommended. constant talk of the various mountains students Advanced skiers and snowboarders will have visited and the experiences they had at benefit more by traveling up north to the skiing these places. But, before deciding to take part areas in Wisconsin. The closest reasonable in this growing trend, it might be wise to look resort in Wisconsin is Wilmot, located just over into what the Midwest has to offer. an hour from Park Ridge in the town of Twin Illinois itself isn’t exactly known for its Lakes. Advanced, intermediate and beginner skiing resorts; on most road trips around the skiers/snowboarders might find some of the state, flat land is definitely abundant— but that 25 slopes to their liking. However, the area doesn’t mean that ski and snowboard fans are seems to be no competition to what lays even unsatisfied. farther North. One of the most visited skiing areas in Alpine Valley is a common destination for Illinois is the Chestnut Mountain Resort. Chicagoland skiers and snowboarders because Located right alongside the Mississippi River, of its large resort and a reasonable distance near the town of Galena, the site sets a superb of only an hour and forty minutes away. atmosphere for enjoying the outdoors. Located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Alpine Valley Junior Martin Marchela has traveled to is appreciated for its high speed lifts and long Chestnut before; he stated, “I really enjoyed the slopes. terrain park and the scenery, but the mountain Wisconsin is also the home of the Devil’s was pretty small in exchange for the two and a Head Resort in Merrimac, about three hours half hour car drive.” from Park Ridge. This skiing area is known A fantastic opportunity to ski in Chestnut for its well-groomed g snow,, different runs comes every December, when the resort for skiers of all different levels, and ecial which sets the price of beautiful introduces a special forest settings. the ticket equal to the date all the way until Junior Alex Bolin, who takes gin. This means on December numerous the holidays begin. trips to Devil’s Head he ski 1, the price of the lift ticket is only $1. each year, describes the ns a v a r i e t y o f resort Chestnut contains types of skiers, slopes for alll well-kept but despite the y skiers mountain, many complain that thee w. lifts are too slow. as “…a ose For all those pretty decent individuals who sized resort, photo courtesy of kied haven’t ever skied with a snowboarder.net or snowboardedd and variety of would rather first try slopes to re near by, it out somewhere choose akes Village either Four Lakes f r o m or Villa Olivia would be the ur Lakes Village places to go. Four le, Illinois, about is located in Lisle, rive from Park a 30-minute drive Ridge. The areaa consists of four slopes and four lifts, where one

ranging from beginner to advanced.” When asked about any downsides the place might have he continued to say, “the only problem is that it gets crowded on weekends and holidays.” Many skiers also complain that lifts can be a bit slow, but still the site remains a popular destination. Cascade Mountain is a destination about three hours away in Portage, Wisconsin. The mountain provides slopes for individuals of many skill levels, and the snow is said to be kept in terrific shape. Junior Johann Sniezek stated, “Cascade is great for both beginners and the experienced. The large size of its hills give riders more breathing room while going down and compared to Devil’s Head, Chestnut, and Alpine, one doesn’t have to worry as much about watching out for fallen riders.” The only complaint that riders have is that the advanced runs are too short. One of the most common problems with planning skiing trips is finding rides up to the different mountains. That’s where Maine South’s very own Ski Club comes into play. Ski Club has existed at Maine South since the beginning of the school and is well known for their exhilarating trips to mountain resorts all around the region. Mr. Thieme, who has been the Ski Club sponsor for around 10 nonconsecutive years, states, “I’ve always coached common sports, and ski club is another great way to get involved. It’s is aan excellent opportunity for students to partake partak in an enjoyable activity as an extracurricular extracurricular.” This year, Ski Club is different from past years because it oonly plans to take two trips, in contrast to its prior years when the club too took up to eight. However, these tw two trips are both to the Upper Peninsula Michigan, which is known Peninsul as one of th the best skiing territories in the Midwest. Bot Both trips this year will take 40 students for three days and two nights up to Indianhead Reso Resort and PowderHorn. These trips fill up fast, and an even though it is probably too late to join th the trips this year, if skiing or snowboarding are of interest, it might be wise to look into the oopportunities Ski Club offers next year. Mr. Krause, a cco-sponsor of ski club, states, “the main advanta advantage of joining ski club is going on trips to new places pl with fellow people who snowboard and sski. This club is open to all grades and all leve levels of skill.” Maybe this winter season, give skiin skiing or snowboarding a try.


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FEATURES DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

Is green the new black?

By Ayana Takizawa

Trend Alert: Living Green These days, “green” is the face of retail for everything from furniture, food, home building, automobiles, even fashion, and everybody seems to be looking for the eco-friendly label. Back in 2006, Al Gore presented to the world “An Inconvenient Truth,” ushering in an impetuous era of environmental awareness. Suddenly major magazines of the world, like “Vogue,” “Vanity Fair,” and “The Economist,” were publishing annual “Green Issue,” while The Sundance Channel produced TV’s first “Green Channel.”Since then, Hollywood celebrities began poetically preaching about carbon emission reductions and calling themselves “environmental activists,” and prominent musicians rocked out about global warming at the “Live Earth” performance. The fashion runways of New York featured eco-chic designs by Moschino and Diane von Furstenberg, and companies such as Chipotle and Bare Escentuals vowed to use only organic ingredients. Today, even a simple Google search of the term “eco-friendly” brings up 14,600,000 results. Undeniably, a cliché that belongs on the glossy covers of glamour magazines has become an observation for the general public: Green is the new black.

average person is better at reciting that list than actually taking it into action. Many people promote the green lifestyle on their t-shirts with cutesy phrases that ever-so-cleverly stick in our minds and hearts, but are they really the devoted “Green Warriors” they avow to be? Don’t be fooled, as some of these posers may not even know the real facts and statistics that matter. For example, they don’t know that the single most effective thing one can do to reduce their carbon footprint is to refuse eating meat, because livestock adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than motorized transportation (according to U.N.’s “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report). They seem to see this push for the “greener good” as a fad. History tells a tale of how causes have been embraced by popular culture, only to be forgotten soon after. This is not the first time that “going green” was a vogue statement. The first Earth Day back in 1970 sparked genuine concern for the environment, which then began to fade away. So when modern industry decides that today’s “green” trend no longer produces tangible results, it may disappear from tomorrow, and the Earth will continue to deteriorate. However, if this green movement is more than a fad, and is here to stay as hoped, the heavy coverage and fascination that is occurring now could make “going green” an intrinsic part of society. Living “green” would be so completely absorbed into our daily lives that it would no longer be a trendy novelty, but instead ingrained seamlessly into everything people do. But this would be possible only if the public maintains genuine concern and realizes that the best way to survive the climate change is to prevent it. Inconvenient or not, the truth is that reducing, reusing, and recycling is the winning formula for environmental protection, as it always has been, and despite all the new trendy purchasing or discarding these days, it is always worth considering this basic mantra.

“While 57% of people are interested in eco-friendly products, only a mere 19% believe that they actually make a positive difference.”

The Greener Good: Fact or Fad? However, despite its entrenchment in popular culture, the depth of this widely spread LetsSave-The-Earth picture is questionable. Will this new “green” impulse actually help reduce the human footprints all over the world? Or is this just a wide and shallow ideal that will die out as a fad propelled by profit-minded market that will be discarded along with the heaps of used plastic bags and rusting batteries? According to NPD Group Data, while 57% of people are interested in eco-friendly products, only a mere 19% believe that they actually make a positive difference. And though most people can ramble off a list of things they should be doing to help the Earth, it seems the

by Lesia Witkowsky

With the holidays around the corner, no one wants to sit on a cold, dirty train for hours. That is why the next location along the blue line ends at Harlem, just one stop after Cumberland. Because this stop is so close, some may even find it easier drive over there. No matter how you get there you will be sure to enjoy Sally’s Waffle Shoppe located right outside to blue line entrance (5454 N. Harlem Ave). This is a perfect place to enjoy the company of your family, along with warm delicious breakfast treats. Sally’s opened thirty-six years ago and has been a family favorite ever since. Serving breakfast from open to close, you can enjoy Sally’s Original Golden Crisp Apple Pancake at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. I’ve had many versions of apple pancakes, and I’ll have to admit that Sally’s is the best. It actually tastes more like a warm apple cake than pancake, with its soft dough and appetizing cinnamon. It has commonly been said that good things come to those who wait, and it’s true. The apple pancake takes nearly a half hour to prepare. Your family can share the company of each other as you share the oversized portion. Other delicious items on the menu include Sally’s Famous Eggs Benedict and Sally’s Super Fluffy German Pancakes. However, my personal favorite from Sally’s Waffle Shoppe is the Snow Cone Waffles. Imagine desert for breakfast. The Snow Cone Waffle is one large, delicious waffle topped with ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate, and even sprinkles if you so choose. I’d order this meal at any time of day. Also, if you get chilly this winter, you can snuggle up to sally’s Hot Chocolate or enjoy a cup of coffee with nonstop refills. And, if you aren’t in the breakfast mood, Sally’s makes great sandwiches and burgers on the side. According to the waitresses, “Everything is really popular.” The friendly setting of Sally’s, along with the warm Holiday spirit, music, and decorations will really heighten your Holiday spirit this year.


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Constitution Team Wins State second in their own district competition. The free response questions from their judges. By Erin Klein . teams that competed at the state meet were The team members consist of Megan The Maine South Constitution Team Clemente, Elgin High School, Illiana Christian, Auld, Erin Klein, Michael San Gabino and coached by Mr. Trenkle and Mr. Hansen took Reavis High School, Waukegan and Maine South. Tim Warnock on Unit 1; Stefan Burke, Dora first place Friday, December 5 in the State Meet The Maine South team is compromised Korpar, Xander Tapling, and Laura Walsh on at the Dirksen Federal Building. Their victory of six separate units of four students each Unit 2; Katie Rose Brosnan, Meagan Maher, qualified them for the national competition in which specialize in certain areas of the Brian Wagner, and Steven Wear on Unit April in Washington, D.C.. 3; Rob Juckett, Summy Lao, “I thought for state Melaine Mendez, and Tommy they all did a great job of Rucker on Unit 4; Elizabeth being poised and dealing Clarke, Kyle Hannon, Terry with the stress of making O’Neil, and Brittany Wisnieski it through this first major on Unit 5; and Chloe Hawkins, competition,” said Coach Joe Jose, Anthony Petrokas, and Trenkle. “I was really Lesia Witkowsky on Unit 6. proud that every group The team has their sights set had equal teamwork on a national title this spring. “As and there weren’t any for nationals, the sky is the limit, conceptual gaffes. but everyone will have to elevate There was not one time their performance,” Trenkle where someone looked stated. “It is really competitive photo by Erin Klein like they didn’t know against some private schools what was being asked.” The Maine South Constitution Team, above, took first place in the state and magnet schools from around In order to qualify for meet, and looks to continue their success at nationals. the country. If they all think state, the team had to first win the district Constitution. The competition involved each they can and want to do it, the team will competition held October 31. The other team presentation of a four-minute response have the ability to be national champions.” qualifying teams had to either place first or to a prepared question and six minutes of

New Year brings change at Maine South By Lisa Francis With the presidential campaigns over and the slogan “Change We Can Believe In” fresh in the minds of Americans, it’s safe to assume that change is definitely on the horizon. From the farthest corners of the earth, to the hallways of Maine South, 2009 is appearing to be a highly anticipated year of modifications and alterations. Many changes will be made to our environment here at Maine South. The library is said to undergo a transformation that will leave it feeling cozy and quaint like Panera, or Starbucks. Our athletic teams will be pleased to know that Wilson Field may undergo some renovations, too. “Our school board is currently considering the installation of synthetic turf in our stadium, which will greatly expand the use of that part of our facility, should the board approve it,”said Principal Claypool. Mr. Steve Adams, Maine South’s director of athletics, says, “The turf

requires minimal upkeep and is multi-purpose, so every athletic team can use it. All of the athletes are just dying to get one installed. “I like the idea of getting turf. A lot of the

surprised if every single student at South has a laptop at school within the next few years,” stated Principal Claypool. Theoretically, each student would be issued a laptop at the beginning of their freshman year, keeping it until they graduate. There has been talk of a possible trial for the 2009 school year in some classes. Maine South students agree that this change would be very beneficial. “I think it’s really cool. Without books we would be able to get around the school easier,” junior Erica Richards stated. Also, many think that this system should have been implemented before. “I think it’s a good idea and that it would be more efficient. They should have done it for us,” junior Maggie Rubeo stated. The possible idea of laptops has been becoming more seriously considered within the past year. “The ideas are gaining momentum, but there are many hurdles to overcome,” said Mr. Kevin Hurley, Staff Technology Coach and math teacher. Some of these obstacles include financing the laptops as well as convincing teachers that the new system will be beneficial for students.

“‘I would not be surprised if every single student at South has a laptop at school within the next few years,” stated Principal Claypool.

teams we play have turf, and we have had to go visit schools to check it out,” sophomore football player Connor Klein stated. Niles North, Mount Carmel, and Evanston all have turf. While installation of the turf is rather costly, it should last about 10-12 years. Technology may also continue to change in the future at Maine South. “While it will not take place next school year, I would not be


8 Still a timeless holiday classic ENTERTAINMENT

DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is one of the most popular Christmas stories. decorations. I won’t say more for those who aren’t familiar with it, but let’s just say that it has a good payoff. Mr. Carrey, you stand accused of butchering the work of beloved children’s author Dr. Suess. And, can you blame the fans? Your film not only ruins the reasoning for why the Grinch hates Christmas, but it also destroys the notion that the Whos always knew the real meaning of Christmas.

Let’s look over some of the aspects of the original Grinch production, in order to determine if it paid good enough respect for Dr. Suess’ original book. For one, it’s an almost word-for-word translation of the text, and that’s very good. Adding original songs to the film is also great, and keeping with the Dr. Suess vibe, the songs were written by the man himself, which is excellent. The animation was done by Chuck Jones and his crew, who were also behind some of the most successful runs of the Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, which is always good to have on your resume’. Voice work by Chuck Jones, June Foray, and the legendary Boris Karlof solidified a perfect cast, meaning this animated short features one of the most prolific groups of voice actors in our generation. This one’s got a lot going for it. Finally, last, but most certainly not least, the feature was co-directed by Theodore Geisel, AKA Dr. Suess. Due to the strong evidence proving that there was no need for a live-action Grinch movie in the first place, this court finds you, Mr. Jim Carrey, guilty of all charges. We hereby sentence you to sit through fifty-seven consecutive screenings of “Ishtar” with no companionship and no bathroom breaks. Also due to this evidence, the court finds the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” a true classic, and sentences it to receive a rating of five stars.

by Mary Ann Bennett If you are looking for a Scrooge take on celebrating the holidays, look no further than “Four Christmases,” directed by Seth Gordon and written by Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson. A couple, Kate (Reese Witherspoon) and Brad (Vince Vaughn), are forced to celebrate Christmas after their annual trip to Fiji is cancelled due to a fogbank keeping all planes grounded. Since both their families are divorced, this means this anti-Christmas couple had to celebrate their hated holiday four times. Each house has its own secrets to reveal and their own special ways of showing their holiday spirit. It starts off at Brad’s dad’s house with his two brothers, Dallas and Denver, Dallas’s kids and Denver’s wife. Immediately Brad is greeted MMA wrestling style and the first secret, about his real name, Orlando, is revealed. The Christmas ensues in the drunken dad household

with the opening of presents, which also results in a surprise. Eventually, this disaster ends with a baby hitting his head against a cabinet and a living room set on fire. Kate’s mom is next, where she is shocked to see a statue of Jesus on her supposedly nonreligious family’s lawn. The inside of the house isn’t any better, with the family showing their true colors (even Grandma) during the sharing of the gift of verbal promises. Here Kate is forced to endure scarring childhood memories and forced to overcome her fear of moon bounces. Brad ends up learning facts about Kate and her friends that make up for the “Orlando” incident. The visit ends with a trip to Pastor Pete’s church, who is Kate’s mom’s new boyfriend. The church puts on a production of the birth of Jesus, which Kate and Brad get volunteered for, and ends up with an interesting dialogue. Next up is Brad’s mom, where he becomes

uncomfortable with his new stepdad, aka his former best friend. Kate tries to relieve the tension between the house by playing the board game Taboo, but this ends up backfiring on her. Kate and Brad endure a serious moment of discussion on what their relationship means and how it will be in the future. Kate ends up going to her dad’s house by herself, while Brad goes back to his dad’s house. Once separated, the couple realizes their true feelings for the other. After their reunion, they discuss all of the uncomfortable topics of love, marriage, and babies. That isn’t the end of the movie, or the comedy though. The movie is tied together by the end scene, which brings back the comedy from the scenes in the beginning. This movie was successful at keeping a humorous tone throughout, except for the dramatic scene towards the end. A great movie to see with friends that will keep you entertained for the full 82 minutes. Rated PG-13.

photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

By Michael Loiacono There’s a reason Dr. Suess fans hate Jim Carrey. Back in 1966, cartoonist Chuck Jones in collaboration with Theodore Geisel created a near note-for-note faithful adaptation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Suess. For nearly 40 years, fans of Dr. Suess’ books could literally read along with the animated special. Then, in 2001, Universal studios thought it would be a good idea to produce a live action “Grinch” movie. Obviously, to pad the running time, they had to add scenes, and while trying to give the Grinch a back story was an interesting idea, it didn’t really work with how the original story was set up. For those who don’t know the story of the Grinch, there is this town called Whoville, filled with small human-like creatures called Whos. Now, all these Whos seem to really be into Christmas, but there’s also this creature known as the Grinch, who lives on Mount Crumpet, just north of Whoville. Now, for reasons not completely clear, the Grinch hates Christmas, some explanations include that his footwear have a constricting effect on his ankles, or that his cranium is insufficiently attached. The prevailing theory says that “his heart was two sizes too small.” One Christmas, the Grinch can’t take it any more, so he decides to steal Christmas. He dresses up as Santa Claus and goes around taking all of the Whos’ presents, food, and

Is ‘Four X-mases’ too much?


ENTERTAINMENT DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

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‘Chinese Democracy’ a reality Gift ideas for the techie in you guitar seems to rip in without warning, and it By Max Mielecki If you’re one of those people who doesn’t all melds in that style that resembles a little lift a finger for Guns ‘n Roses, unless they bit of the “Appetite for Destruction” days. have Slash on guitar or Izzy on rhythm, you Then it goes into “Street of Dreams,” a can stop reading now. “Chinese Democracy” sort of boring track where the guitar again won’t sway your opinion that Guns ‘n Roses fades into the background and Axl’s vocals isn’t any good without Slash or Izzy, nor will take center stage, behind an ominous piano. it satisfy you if The lyrics aren’t they are the sound anything special, you seek. Howeveither. It might be er, a new sound for the worst track on the band has de“Chinese Democveloped and it will racy.” The next two fill the gap nicely, tracks, “Better” for those who are and “If the World,” more open to it. have not a lot to be Although Axl said about them. Rose is the only They maintain a remaining origitenuous balance benal member of tween Axl and the the band, he has guitar, with drums done some good having a little more work in arranging leeway on “If the their new lineup. World.” “There It may also interest Was a Time” has a photo courtesy of wikipedia.org you that guitarist nice guitar line that The cover art for Guns ‘N Roses sixth and latest album, works well with Buckethead plays on a few tracks,‘Chinese Democracy.’ The album is banned in China Axl’s singing, and which are easilydue to the political themes of the titular song. the lyrics are indistinguishable from the tracks where their teresting, making it a pretty good piece. The new lineup guitarist, Robin Finck, plays. This same can be said for “Catcher in the Rye,” handful of Buckethead tracks can quench your which is another Buckethead track that has Solo thirst, if a three-minute heavy prog ex- a pretty nice solo in it. “Scraped” is also a ploration is your cup of tea, which it happens Buckethead track, with a good beat to it. to be mine. Anyway, if you’re a fan of Guns ‘n “Riad ‘N the Bedouins” has a lot less Roses as a whole, Axl Rose, or Buckethead, vocals, and features a great guitar part by continue reading and see how this new offer- Buckethead, mixing classic GNR with a little ing by GNR fares. bit of Prog and Hard Rock. “Sorry” is probThe album’s title track, “Chinese Democ- ably where new guitarist Robin Finck shines racy,” was the most-downloaded song last the most. “I.R.S.” and “Madagascar” both month on iTunes, hitting around two million have fair guitar parts in them, and on these downloads after it was released, although the tracks the new lineup seems to come together question of ‘Why?’ still remains. It begins the best. Finally, “This I Love” and “Prostiwith several voices talking about “Is there no tute” are both fair tracks with nice endings, other way?” and things along those lines, then although the voices you hear at the begindrops into Axl’s trademark screech. But the ning of the album come back and say similar guitar doesn’t chime in with Axl—in fact; it things, which made it confusing to tell if this barely is heard at all. was a concept album or not. The band quickly redeemed themselves All in all, there have definitely been worse with the next track, “Shackler’s Revenge,” albums after a 15-year hiatus. Really, if you which stands as the best on the album. It begins don’t want to cough up the $10.00 for it, just with a nice guitar burst from Buckethead, and download “Shackler’s Revenge” and you then Axl comes in with a deep, raspy sort of won’t be missing that much. Hardcore fans, chant, similar to what David Lee Roth sounds however, will want this album. But in the like on Van Halen’s “Me Wise Magic.” Then eyes of someone who enjoys them on occaAxl breaks free in the refrain, bringing his sion, it’s an average piece. Not bad, but nothvoice to the level we all know. Buckethead’s ing to write home about.

By Steve Wear Although hippopotami and two front teeth are ideal gifts for Christmas, gadgets are more reasonable things to expect underneath the tree. Here are some ideas for those of you who are looking for things to ask your relatives for Christmas. One piece of technological beauty is the new 15-inch MacBook Pro. Crafted out of one solid piece of aluminum, with a smooth glass touch pad and an ultra-thin profile, the new MacBook Pro sets the standards for what laptops should be. For those of you who have high hopes of attending college, the MacBook Pro is perfect for a new student in a strange land, to spoon for comfort at night. Over break, while your relatives are engaged in mortal combat, also known as family bonding, you can tune out what sounds like a Jerry Springer episode with Monster Beats Headphones. Dr. Dre, the engineers of Monster Cable, and the industrial designer Robert Brunner, got together and created these iPhone compatible, noise canceling, melodious audio devices. The Monster Beats are the big guns in the headphone industry; they dish out music so loud people would swear they’re playing your death metal over the intercom between 5A and 5B. When it’s Christmas Eve and you want to take a quick gander at what lies beneath the tree, the Torch Flashlight by Wicked Lasers can easily light the whole room, and even burn down your tree and house. No joke. The Torch Flashlight can light things on fire and fry eggs. Watch where you point this baby because you don’t want to send your relatives home with their retinas etched clean off. While you set the town ablaze with your Wicked Lasers Torch Flashlight, you can keep the children occupied with the “WallE” Three-Disk Special-Edition Blue-ray. “Wall-E” makes post-apocalyptic Earth fun, with chirps and squeals and little T-Rex-like arms. The Three-Disk Edition contains a lot of behind-the-scenes footage, and some things about “Wall-E” you didn’t know. This list is not for all, of course. If you don’t enjoy new technology, or you have a tendency to break everything you touch, this list is definitely not for you. Then again, that would explain why you want a new pair of front teeth. You should still stay far, far away from the hippopotamus, however.


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ENTERTAINMENT DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO.4

Ready... or not... for ‘Twilight’ mania

photo courtesy of twilightguide.com

by Lydia Ramsey and Agnes Pletnia an endearing character and, it might be more Vampires, vampires, vampires. Everyone interesting to hear about Jasper and Alice’s reis talking about them these days. It seems that lationship instead of that between Edward and the world just has a case of ‘Twilight’ ma- Bella. It seems much more interesting and benia. This extremely popular book series/now lievable, whereas the latter relationship is two movie series crafted by Stephenie Meyer has dimensional and unrealistic. As if it wasn’t changed the lives of millions of enough to hear about teenagers looking for love. The how perfect and beaumovie “Twilight” hit theatres tiful Edward is every on November 21. This day other page without any was marked by legions of flusactual description about tered females who absolutely him, we get a conflictcouldn’t wait for it to come out. ing love interest in the “Twilight” is the story of Bella form of werewolf JaSwan, a teenage girl who moves cob, who acts as a catafrom Phoenix to live with her lyst to the pointless love father in Forks, Washington triangle that develops while her mother runs off to during the second novel Florida with her baseball player of the series. boyfriend. As soon as Bella ar“The Twilight” rives, she immediately notices books aren’t total garthe mysterious and beautiful bage, but they don’t Cullens, who turn out to be a deserve all the success “family” of vampires. Now, these The best-selling novel“Twilight” and love they have revampires are very different from has engrossed readers from around ceived. They are about the world. most people’s established idea of as poorly written as any what a vampire is. The Cullens do not drink other teen romance novel, with less memothe blood of humans. The only single Cullen, rable characters and a questionable, pot-hole Edward, finds himself drawn to Bella for both filled story behind them. her appetizing scent and other, more romantic As many know, the movies never live up reasons. The two fall in love and thus begins to the books, and with a book this weak, the the “Twilight” saga. film was a guaranteed dud. Not in the box As with any book or movie, there are many office sales, but in the quality. This speculadifferent opinions regarding how amazing the tion proved to be a truth as the movie was work was. Some love it, some loath it, and extremely awkward and failed to deliver the some think there left some to be desired. Only very romance that Twilight, the book, was so an individual can be the judge of their own popular for. Also, the effects were terrible. The opinions. But here are two Twilighters opin- shockingly small budget the film had been ions on the subject. given was apparent in the production quality. For a movie that millions of people were dyDidn’t like the books, hated the movie ing to see and the obscene amount of publicity by Agnes Pletnia the series was getting, you’d think the studio Although the books seem to have captured would care a little more. the hearts of millions of teenage girls and their While the acting and direction were lackmothers, they’re not very good. The plot is ex- ing, the setting and scenery was beautiful, tremely weak and the situations the characters and took advantage of the lush forestry of find themselves in are ridiculous and a little the Washington landscape, the bright greens creepy. For example, one of the many “swoon- only enhanced by the impeccable lighting of worthy” attributes of the beloved Edward is the film, which gave everything else a bluish that at night, since vampires cannot sleep, he tint that was very pleasant to look at. The bits runs over to Bella’s house to watch her snooze. of humor sprinkled in are not tragic and the It gets better. Bella is willing to give up all her famous baseball scene seemed to salvage the ties to the human world and her mortality in movie slightly, delivering all the whimsy, fun, order to ensure an eternity with her beau. Who and creativity that it was meant to. Muse’s Sudoes that? permassive Black Hole blasting in the backThe books are not total tripe though. Al- ground didn’t hurt either. For a movie based ice, another member of the Cullen family, is off of a series of mediocre books, it was pass-

able and maybe even enjoyable. Loved the books, disappointed by the movie by Lydia Ramsey The entire “Twilight” saga is an absolute work of genius. Stephenie Meyer has such an amazing way of writing, that she is able to get every single emotion across to the reader. The amount of detail put into these books is the key to Meyer’s success. By describing certain parts in a lot of detail, like the descriptions of what Edward and Bella go through, and by leaving out details, like in the description of Bella, Meyer made it easy for romantic adolescents to picture themselves in this amazing love story. This book has almost as much hype as the Harry Potter series, but it some ways, the actual construction of the plot line is easier to comprehend than any long and boring description of dragons and potions. These books are mainly geared towards girl readers, but guys might want to try and take a leaf out of Edward Cullen’s perfect book. The movie in many ways was not worth all the hype. The casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward, and Kristen Stewart as Bella was not at all a good decision. The dialogues looked forced, and there was absolutely no chemistry conveyed onto the film between Pattinson and Stewart. In the books, Edward Cullen is perceived as an almost perfect being, with a voice that sounds like velvet, and perfect self-confidence. The movie showed him having a rather choppy, nervous-sounding voice, and the majority of the movie, Pattinson looked as if he was in front of his worst nightmare, not his lover. The roles of the other Cullens were portrayed well enough, and the role of Alice Cullen (played by Ashley Greene) was spot on. The movie put in a lot of details that most other screenwriters would have probably disregarded as not being crucial to the plot line. However, the focus on the villain vampires in the movie was a bit annoying, as in the book they only appeared at the end. “Twilight” doesn’t have that much drama in it, but that is what made it such a standout book. Adding in so much tension was probably a way to conform it to the Hollywood ideal, but it made the story rushed, and a little bit worse than it would have been if the focus had been solely on the relationship between Edward and Bella. The movie was extremely awkward to watch, and viewers found themselves laughing at the corny lines written by a screenwriter that added nothing to the plot line.


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COMMENTARY DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

Portal: A necessary evil? encouraged to check their portal often, which The main purpose of the Parent-Student is often anywhere from monthly to every five Portal is to allow parents and students to see minutes. Some students complain that teachers grades. It was instituted by the school board now use the portal as an excuse to not pass because the parents nearly demanded it. The back assignments. It is assumed that students main question about the Portal is this: do the are on the portal and using it. The school board and the faculty may positives outweigh the negatives? Ask the parents and you will hear a unanimous “Yes” have heard a lot of positive feedback from the (among those who care), but when you ask the parents, but this system should be about the students and how it affects them. Some students students, the situation changes entirely. On the pro-Portal side, the parents are now are less affected than others. Some students do allowed to have a more active input in their not feel the extra stress of their parents, as their parents do not have a portal. Some students student’s school affairs. “At parent/teacher conferences, the first are not affected by it at all, as they do not have a portal question was and neither do always, ‘What is their parents. my kid getting?’ However, this Now the parents portion of the are able to focus student body more on the is small. student and the The school class,” says Mrs. board is now Linda Rutschke, working at Assistant Principal extending the of Instruction. portal. The Students say that plan is to add the portal is a great more student way to be able to activities on the keep up with their portal. Also, grades and scores. those white They are able to Above is a snap shot of the Parent Portal home screen. registration check test scores The Portal was set up to help students keep track of forms from the the minute they are their grades. beginning of on the portal. On the negative side, the parents are now the school year may be handled on the portal allowed to be more actively involved in their soon. Alerts may be sent to the parents through student’s school affairs. About 1,800 parents the portal if it detects that the student has currently have accounts on the Parent/Student skipped a class. It is possible that registering Portal, not necessarily from different families. for classes may become more of an online The interference of parents in students’ affairs is experience through the portal. Students will sometimes necessary, but often superfluous. As be able to view and choose their classes on the if students do not have enough stress between portal, with their counselor’s assistance. These grades, extracurriculars, and social life, they changes would not be implemented until the now have the added stress of their parents next school year. The staff knows that there are issues. always checking their grades and commenting. Society has put more and more stress on grades They have said that they must educate the and transcripts. Now that parents are able to see parents and the students as to how the portal their grades, some parents check it constantly. is supposed to be used. Hopefully, this Some teachers have even had problems where strategy will work. First of all, the portal is not students would take a test, and the next day a something to be checked much more than once parent would call in wondering why the grade a week. Second, one grade can greatly affect the grade at the beginning of a semester, so one was not on the portal yet. In addition to this, 91 percent of the active needs to give it some time for more grades to student body has an account on the portal. be put in. Finally, parents must trust that the Students have begun to put extra stress on student knows how to get their grades up, as themselves over grades. Students are often the students very often know the system better worse than parents with the portal. Students are than the parents.

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2009?

by Ted Sherbin

“To promote world peace” -Garrett Pluhar-Schaeffer ‘10

“To watch “Gossip Girl” every Monday.” -Devon Williams‘09

“To become a rapper.” -Lizzy Kowalski ‘11

“To study for a test.” -Emma Briars ‘09


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COMMENTARY DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

WLIT Christmas: Students face off by Anthony Eugenis In late October, 93.9 FM WLIT posted a poll on their website. The question asked was, “When should we begin playing wall-to-wall Christmas music?” The voting options were: “Now!,” “Beginning of November,” “Mid-November,” “Thanksgiving,” “Mid-December, and “Never.” Mid-November was chosen, and so started the seasonal music. Tradition follows tradition here, as critics of WLIT’s Christmas music once again voiced their opinions “on air,” in newspapers, in blogs and on websites. The question each year remains the same: when is it the right time to play Christmas music? Some may say that the Christmas music played early diverts attention away from Thanksgiving. In fact, there’s a holiday that’s been stealing Thanksgiving’s show, and it’s not Christmas. No, it’s Black Friday. What better way to tear a family apart from the dinner table by throwing out “super deals” on all items? Those stories about people waiting in line for days can make one wonder if Thanksgiving is just a typical dinner now, and not a special celebration with the family. Playing Christmas music early isn’t stealing Thanksgiving’s show; it’s the Black Friday phenomena that is. One segment on the WLIT station that they have is granting holiday wishes. The host picks a caller and that individual tells their struggles for the holidays. Their stories are quite sad; from money being tight because of high medical bills, to relatives in the military not being home for the holidays. After they share their story, the host grants them their wish, which is usually money to pay for Christmas gifts or a donation to a hospital that took care of their loved one. For people barely living on their paychecks, this provides them with a positive outlook on their situation. Nobody is forced to listen to the music. One can control those tunes by Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr. by turning the radio dial off. As for when one is shopping, it’s a different thing than radio. Only people who work in a store can control what is being sold or what is being played around you. There should not be holiday items out before Thanksgiving. An alternate option would be for stores to have their employees participate in overnight renovations, quite like in the holiday comedy “Elf.” To those regular listeners of WLIT who resent Christmas music being played early, just turn that dial. If the ratings continue to drop each year, the station will learn and adjust for the next year. So, was WLIT wrong in playing the music before Thanksgiving? No. They followed what the people voted for. They are just a radio station getting into the “Christmas spirit” of making money.

by Stephanie Bergren Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. I love seeing family, sharing food, opening presents, even enjoy the music and people pretending to get along with one another. It is all part of the magic of the holidays. But one thing that is not magical is the WLIT Christmas conundrum: how does this bring joy to people’s ears? Every year the music starts sooner and the variety of Christmas music is severely lacking. I used to be able to listen to WLIT during the holidays, but every year, I find myself turning it off sooner. Novelty songs, like “Dominick the Donkey,” should be played at most once a year. Maybe I’m in the minority, but the Holiday Lite makes me want to strangle a reindeer. This saccharine holiday joy is just too much for me to handle. WLIT claims to have 198 Christmas songs, which seems like a lot. If they played each set of 198 songs without any repetition, it would last 594 minutes, assuming each was 3 minutes long (this is kind of generous). Seeing as there are 1440 minutes in a day, each song is played at least twice. So in theory, WLIT has variety on a daily basis. Then, why, whenever I turn on WLIT, is it playing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You?” I actually like Christmas songs, but anything repeated ad nauseum is bound to get annoying. I don’t constantly listen to WLIT, so according to their statistics, I shouldn’t hear the same three songs all the time. Also, I don’t necessarily love all the songs they play. I’m sure there is a generation gap, however playing Perry Como and other so- called “classics,” on a daily basis does not appeal to me. Something that also gives WLIT more opportunity to repeat songs is the fact that they start so early. This year, WLIT started their Holiday Lite on November 14. It’s simply too early. It ruins the Christmas feeling because it is no longer one month long; it’s one and a half months long. Part of the holiday cheer is the fact that it is rare. It brings a warm feeling that only comes after Thanksgiving. It signals a joyous, maybe even merry, time where I get two weeks off to do all the holiday clichéd things. What makes the holidays so wonderful is the contrast to the other eleven months. If you are like me and dislike WLIT, there is still a way for us to experience our holiday cheer. Pandora.com offers a free radio service online where you can just insert a song you like and it will play more like it. You can control what kind of Christmas music you like. It’s a nice alternative to the mind-numbing repetition that our local radio stations offer.


COMMENTARY DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

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Blagojevich: No more sunshine that it is no one’s fault but their own for the situations that they are in. However, the problem actually rests in the hands of the people of Illinois. That’s right, every cent that

echelons of Illinois’ state government, U.S. Attorney General Patrick Fiztgerald and other prosecutors fear that the Governor might still be On the morning of Tuesday, December 9, defendable, since there was no direct evidence Governor Rod Blagojevich managed to that any money traded hands. Without keep up the lasting and proud tradition this key bit of evidence, the defense may of Illinois politics: indictments on be able to dodge the charges entirely. corruption charges, varying from Just because it’s a state government trying to sell off president-elect doesn’t mean it works any differently Obama’s Senate seat to trying to from one at the national level: the people extort money from the executive of put pressure on their representatives, and Children’s Memorial Hospital. the government, in turn, responds. If One “Chicago Tribune” report voters had taken action back before the states that, when the federal agents days of Rod Blagojevich to counteract arrived at the Governor’s Ravenwood corrupt politicians and “pay-to-play” Manor home to place him in custody, politics, then Illinois wouldn’t have Blagojevich balked, asking “Is this a been regarded as one of the most corrupt joke?” Using their typical swift-andstates in the Union. What’s more, the stealthy approach, the FBI descended Governor still holds the power to select on Blagojevich and, without so much as Illinois’ replacement for Obama’s seat. making his daughters stir in their sleep, Thankfully, since the voters wouldn’t took the Governor into custody. step up to the challenge, legislators in While the claim that Illinois is Springfield have begun talks to try to Image courtesy of NECN.com change the law to take this power from “proud” of this tradition is a drastic exaggeration, it has definitely become Governor Blagojevich at the press conference following his first the obviously corrupt Governor. a lasting one, seeing as three Illinois court appearance. At the conference, the Governor claimed that Maybe this time Illinois was rescued governors in 35 years all either served there’s “nothing but sunshine hanging over me.” by the FBI, but what’s to happen when a time in jail on charges of corruption or, more devious, corrupt breed of politician in the case of ex-Governor George Ryan, are Blagojevich laundered, every threat made and emerges? Either the voters will rise to protest, still serving their time. If the charges against every bargain struck was the fault of passive whether they Barack’d the vote or went for the Blagojevich are enough to indict him, then four voters who have let this corruption fester and mavericks, or Illinois will be lost in a maelstrom of Illinois’ last eight governors will have been take hold in state politics. of corruption spreading through every facet of sentenced for crimes while in office. Unfortunately, despite the various wire- public service, leaving the people with nothing Some may claim that these men were all tap recordings and undoubtedly illegitimate but a disgraceful husk of a state to call the “land corrupted out of poor moral character, and dealings going on within the upper-most of Lincoln.”

by Xander Tapling

by Courtney Vinopal “I believe, I believe, it’s silly, but I believe.” These are the words repeated by the young character Susan in the holiday classic “Miracle on 34th Street.” The quote has become my mantra around the holidays, as I encounter more and more people every year who lose faith in the season—particularly Santa Claus himself. I can understand why people don’t always feel cheerful during the holidays: crazy department store shoppers, delayed flights, and uncomfortable family parties can all put a damper on the otherwise delightful time of

year. But to stop believing in the man who has done nothing but bring joy to children the world over—well, that’s just awful. I can’t say I blame people for losing their belief in Santa Claus as they grow up. A kid can get confused with all of the imposters out there. There’s the “department store Santa Claus,” who frequents the local shopping malls around Christmas time, taking pictures with children while his not-so-tiny elves look on. There’s the “parade Santa Claus,” who often has an authentic-looking beard, but falls short on connecting with children, as he really doesn’t have to talk with them on a one-onone basis. Then, there’s always the “Santa Claus who’s really my uncle.” One relative always thinks that he can fool everyone at family gettogethers on Christmas Eve.

When kids figure out that the man behind the beard isn’t really Santa Claus after all, they begin to wonder if Santa really exists at all. The real Santa Claus is out there…I know he is. He’s probably sitting in the North Pole right now, wondering where all his believers have gone. There’s no doubt that the plethora of fake Santas out there have led many to conclude that there couldn’t possibly a genuine Santa Claus. However, the bigger reason may be that fewer and fewer people are willing to trust anything that can’t be proven or seen. Sure, Santa Claus may fly to houses of children the world over in one short night—but just because you don’t believe it could happen doesn’t mean you should give up your belief in at least the spirit of Santa Claus. So, whatever holiday you’ll be celebrating this year, have faith in the impossible. It may just slide down your chimney on Christmas Eve.


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SPORTS DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 3

Girls’ basketball still going strong by Kate Hurley

Last year, the girls’ basketball season ended with a strong, exciting finish in the Elite Eight of the state tournament. Though four of those five starters were seniors, this year’s team is continuing the Maine South Girl’s basketball legacy. On Saturday, December 6, our girls’ basketball team headed down to face St. Charles North, a formidable opponent ranked 11 in Illinois, boasting some very talented players. However, our team started off strong, still feeding off of the momentum after winning a close game against conference rival Niles West, with a buzzer shot by Jackie Rieger, the day before. The Hawks took the lead at the North Star’s home court. In fact, they held the lead for much of the game. However, by the fourth quarter, St. Charles North picked up their game and closed the gap so that they were only losing 36 to the Hawks’ 40, and they had possession of the ball. However, there were only 12 seconds left on the clock.

For those not familiar with basketball, there are no such things as four-point shots. Therefore, as long as the Hawks didn’t give up a shooting foul, the game is theirs. Keeping with Maine South custom, the Hawks played smart, didn’t foul, and allowed a three-pointer that was good, but with less than five seconds remaining on the clock, the score 40-39, the Hawks remained the lead. The Hawks had 5 seconds to throw the ball inbound, so all they had to do was hold the ball out-of-bounds and let the clock run. So there, at the edge of an upset and victory, one of our players got the ball after St. Charles threepointer and tossed it to her teammate to take it out-of-bounds. Yet, in a flash, a St. Charles North girl snatched the ball, made a lay-up, and then the buzzer sounded. In a surreal moment, no one was quite sure what happened, as the St. Charles player stole a ball that wasn’t yet in play, since we had never taken it in from out-of-bounds. However, though the players, fans, coaches, and film all affirm that the ball was never in play, the referees missed that fact and the basket was

counted good. St. Charles North won 41-40. While such an incomprehensible loss is frustrating, the fact that Coach Smith’s team was such tough competition, and almost beat the opposing team is very impressive. In fact, despite a tough start losing their first three games, the girls’ basketball team is doing well and is improving. They’ve won four of their last six games. This year’s varsity roster consists of seniors Claire Ristau, Nellie Maher, Jackie Rieger, Dora Korpar, Kimmy Kohlndorfer, Mia Pappalardo, Suzana Bjelopetrovich, juniors Amanda Brait, Annie Reda, Whitney Mann, Marissa Duric, Anna Wolf, Becca Hoffman, and freshman Michelle Maher Also, freshman Nina Duric and Kaitlin Mullarkey will be dressing with the team for some tournaments. Coach Smith, who has been coaching at Maine South for twelve years, says that the keys to success this year will be “consistency, playing with heart and hustle, and staying out of foul trouble.” “Making a few shots wouldn’t hurt,” he adds.

Boys’ basketball is off to a great start by Olivia Leiby Over Thanksgiving break, the Maine South Boys’ Varsity Basketball team started off their season with the Downers Grove North Thanksgiving Tournament. Starting the tournament off on November 24, the Hawks beat the host of the tournament, Downers Grover North, 57-44. Some key players that contributed greatly to the Hawks win were Kevin Schlitter, Justin Wasik, Matt Palucki, and Pat Maher. Kevin Schlitter helped the team at the game by scoring 15 points, and having 11 rebounds. Justin Wasik also contributed by scoring 14 points, alongside teammate Matt Palucki, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. Pat Maher had eight assists at the game which helped his team beat Downers Grove North by 13 points. The next night at the tournament the Hawks beat Benet Academy. Kevin Schlitter led the Hawks by scoring 21 points and got seven rebounds. Also performing well at the game was Pat Maher who had 8 points and 8 assists. Strahinja Nikolic scored 8 points as well. The final score was Maine South, 46, and Benet, 38.

Photo by Chris Anderson

Senior Kevin Karrasch sets up for his shot at the Toys for Tots game on December 9.

The final night of the tournament the Hawks played Chicago Sullivan winning 63-44, everyone having another great night. On December 2, the Hawks had an away game in Streamwood which turned out to be very close, beating Streamwood only by four points. The final score was 67-63. December 9, the Hawks teamed up with Maine South’s Brotherhood Club to support and promote Toys for Tots. Everyone who came out to support the the Hawks at their first home game that brought a toy got into the game for free. This year’s Pack the Place game will take place on December 19 at 8 p.m. at Maine South, where they will take on the New Trier Trevians. “The journey is the most enjoyable part,” said varsity basketball Coach Mr. Lavorato, proud of the Hawks accomplishments at the Downers Grove North Thanksgiving Tournament. So far our boys’ varsity Hawks Basketball team is off to a great start, so come out and support the team at the upcoming York Jack Tosh tournament taking place on December 26, 27, 29, and 30. Time and place to be announced.


SPORTS DECEMBER 19, 2008 • VOL. 45, NO. 4

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Girls’ gymnastics springs into season by Sarah Russell This year, the Maine South Varsity Girls’ gymnastics team continues to improve as they progress into their season. The team has had two meets so far: one against Niles North and the other against Niles West, at both of which they did very well. The Varsity team has also attended an invitational meet that took place at Rolling Meadows High School. At their first meet, the Hawks competed against Niles North and finished with a score of 120. At their second meet versus Niles West, the varsity team improved their The Hawks patiently previous score by 23 points and ended with an overall score of 123. As a team, the Hawks placed 14 out of 22 schools at their first invitational. Junior, and third year varsity member, Jamie Brocker placed fourth on floor at the invitational with a total score of 9.05.

The captains this year are Seniors Nicole Williams and Tess Chapel. They are expected to do very well this season. Other members who are anticipated to contribute this year are

total of 130 in one of them by the end of the season. The team is very happy with the ways things have been going so far, and they hope to keep up the good work. “We have good solid teams on each level this year. Even though we lost some people from last year, out team is looking pretty strong. Everyone encourages each other to get better and, with the way we have been working lately, we believe we can accomplish our goals,” said photo by Lesia Witkowsky sophomore varsity member Kalyna await their scores at their home meet on Monday versus Niles West. Witkowsky when juniors Sandy Burke and Casey Hinds, along asked about this year’s season. It is early in the season for the gymnastics girls, and with with freshman Allegra Miller. Overall, the team has been working very many more meets coming up, they continue to hard and has set a lot of goals to reach this do the best. The Hawks work hard everyday season. The varsity team has stated that their in hopes of reaching their goals before the main goal is to improve each meet and score a season ends.

Wrestlers take down competition by Jimmy Loomos The Maine South Wrestling Team is off to another great start. They are hoping to be as successful as last year’s team, which sent one member to state, were the Central Suburban League Conference Champions, made the regional finals, and had a final record of 17-7. The team has had wins over St. Ignatius, Kelly, and Waukegan. They also took perennial powerhouse Mundelein down to the wire in a very close match 38-25. The Hawks’ losses, although tough, are looked at as a positive. Head Coach, Coach Fallico regarding the losses said, “It is early and we always learn from our mistakes. I look at it as a positive…a chance to get better.” Their 6-2 record will be put on the line against Streamwood, Homewood-Flossmoor, and Rolling Meadows all coming up in the month of December. The team’s current achievements are due to their efforts put forth during practice. Weekly off-season workouts and vigorous practices have led to the extreme discipline, and mind-set of all the wrestlers.

The Maine South Wrestling Team team follows the mentality, “If what you did yesterday still looks good to you today, then you haven’t done much today.” The Hawks hope that top wrestlers and captains, Seniors Colin Baer and Chris Brassel and Junior Joe Brewster, can lead them to a state title. Last year, Brewster and Brassel were both named All-Americans. This season, Brewster, Baer, and Brassel are all strongly representing Maine South. All three have been posting undefeated records, leading the Hawks toward victory. The seniors, many of them being four-year wrestlers, are really something special, not only in the ring, but also as respected individuals. This is evident to Head Coach Craig Fallico, who, when asked about their returning seniors stated, “We are really fortunate because these guys always go out of their way to help the underclassmen. They are members of the most selfless group that we have ever had.” In addition to the returning upperclassmen on the team, there is sophomore standout and rising star: Alex Gutierrez. Gutierrez, off to a 4-3 start,

says, “Both our coaches and seniors push us to have constant improvement no matter how big or small it is.” This year’s team looks to make a deep run this season. According to Fallico, “This season we have good depth. In the past, when our starter went out for any reason, we had a pretty big hole in the line up. This time we can put a tough, competitive, and ready individual right in. The Hawks were able to capture the Central Suburban League Crown last season, and hope to do this same this season. However, doing so will not be an easy task, having to defeat previous rivals of New Trier, Evanston, and Niles West. Along with the Central Suburban Title, the Hawks also hope to win the IHSA Regional, and qualify for the State Championships. Screaming and yelling fans, loud music, and some great matches always add to the hype of a wrestling match. With this year’s team, the wrestlers are expected to do very well. As the team progresses into multiple matches throughout December, this season is looking like it will be one to remember.


BOYS’ BASKETBALL • GIRLS’ BASKETBALL • INDOOR TRACK • BOYS’ SWIMMING • GIRLS’ GYMNASTICS • WRESTLING

We believe we’re best in state by Patrick Mirski intercepting a pass and returning it 36 yards. On the night of November 29 the Hawks On the ensuing play Charlie Goro scrambled 37 took their undefeated, 14-0, record to Memorial yards for a touchdown, putting the score at 21-7 Stadium for the Class 8A state championship Maine South. The quarter then came to an end game. The only thing in the way of their perfect as Maine South made a goal line stand with key season was Hinsdale Central. defensive plays by seniors Corby Ryan, Nick Senior Zach Timm commented, “We were Catino, and Mike Cooney. really confident entering the game. We felt The second half opened with more stellar that we were extremely well prepared after defense by the Hawks. The Hawk defense practice and watching so much film. We knew continued to hold the Hinsdale Central offense that the only way we could lose is if we beat and with 5:30 left in the third quarter, Corby ourselves.” Ryan forced a fumble and senior Joey Orlando Unlike previous years, the team took picked it up and ran 78 yards the other way to a different approach going into this state put Maine South up 28-7. Hinsdale Central championship game. The team traveled down continued to battle back and got the score to Bloomington and went on the field at Illinois to 28-14 at the end of the third quarter. The State University the day prior to the game. Hawks offense continued to chip away and the “We had a very nice team meeting and some final dagger was a 22-yard touchdown pass of our senior captains spoke,” commented head from Goro to John Alviti, moving the score to Coach Dave Inserra. “Then a few members 34-14. Hinsdale Central tacked on one more of the 2000 State Championship team came touchdown, and continued to fight, but the photo by Chris Anderson and talked to the guys. We really instilled the Joe Orlando returns a fumble for a touchdown. Hawks never let up. Perez added one more magnitude of the game to the players and told touchdown early in the second quarter. Goro touchdown, this coming off of a one-yard run. them that they had the opportunity to be the then orchestrated an eight-play, 71-yard drive, The score moved to 41-21, and the clock read best team ever from Maine South.” capped off by a seven-yard touchdown run by 0:16. The entire stadium waited out the last Hinsdale Central was making its first Perez. sixteen seconds and then the Hawks and their appearance at a state game, while the Hawks Later in the quarter, junior safety Ronnie fans began to celebrate. were making their fourth appearance under Muck interrupted a Hinsdale Central drive by Regarding the celebration, Perez commented, Head Coach Inserra. After “I was just running around screaming three straight seasons of my loudest. I was thinking about all the finishing in second in ‘03, hard work that we put in and it finally ‘04, and ‘05, this year’s team paying off. It was pure joy.” was set on finishing off their The state title is Maine South’s first perfect season. since the year 2000, and the first for the The Hawks went into team under coach Inserra. Champaign known for their “I was very impressed with the high powered offense led by passion that the players had and the senior quarterback Charlie teamwork the guys have always Goro. Goro, who has thrown maintained. They really played well for over 5,800 yards in his together and we had great senior two seasons as the starting leadership during this game and quarterback, used his speed throughout the whole season,” Inserra to pick apart the Hinsdale commented. Central defense. The Hawks Timm commented, “We really scored first after Matt Perez wanted to win this one for the coaches, broke a 41-yard touchdown for all the classes that came so close, run giving the Hawks an early for all the fans, for all the future lead with 3:57 left in the first generations at Maine South, and for photo by Chris Anderson quarter. The score remained 7-0 until everybody in the Maine South family and Hinsdale Central answered with a Senior captain Nick Catino hoists the championship trophy. community.”

Vol 45 issue 4