Vol 48 issue 4

Page 1

December 22, 2011

1111 S. Dee Road • Park Ridge, Illinois 60068


Vol. 48, No. 4





The National Champion Hawkettes competed in the ABC 7 Dance Team Dance-Off held from Nov.14-18. PAGE 14

Positive Graffiti

The best of Twitter

Motivational quotes appear on stalls Page 3

The must-follow Twitter feeds of 2011 Page 6

No Shave November

The transformation of Mr. McGreevy Page 10

Go Cats— I mean Hawks

Why Maine South lacks school spirit Page 11

December 22, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 4

Constitution Team scores News

Places first in “We the People” State Competition for 18th consecutive year; advances to Nationals in D.C. staff writer

n Dec. 2, the Maine South Constitution Team participated in and won first place in the Illinois State “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” competition, qualifying the team for the National Competition to be held in April in Washington, D.C. The team is comprised of a group of seniors, selected for their historical knowledge, public speaking skills, and interest in government. It will soon start preparing for the national competition, in which each state will be represented by their state victor. The State competition took place at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on Dec. 2 in downtown Chicago. The annual program, part of a nationwide initiative for high school students, is a comprehensive investigation of all aspects of the Constitution. At the state competition, each of the team’s six units (comprised of four to five students per unit) presented their cases to a panel of judges in a simulated congressional hearing. Judges included lawyers, college professors, and law clerks, among others. Each unit presented a prepared speech, then participated in a six minute free-response section wherein judges asked a series of follow-up questions, probing each unit’s depth of knowledge and exploration of the Constitution. Questions ranged from early philosophical and historical foundations of the U.S. Constitution to modern day effects of these principles in current American democracy. “I thought the team did outstanding,” said Coach Trenkle. “They dealt with some things they weren’t expecting, they thought on their feet, they used evidence, they presented themselves well.” Sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, the program was in jeopardy of being shut down due to financial difficulties. However, it was able to continue due to a vital grant from the McCormick Foundation,



Maine South Constitution Team at the US District Courtroom in the Dirksen Federal Building. Top row (from left): Mr. Hansen, Mr. Trenkle, Kyle Richardson, Dan San Gabino, Colton Cannon, Jimmy Loomos, Meredith Machon, Paul Ansani, Pat Wohl, Alex Zaug, Matt Sherbahn, Luke Kapolnek, Tom Lis, Merrill Hester, Austin Bryniarski. Bottom row (from left): Katie Solberg, Michelle Roberts, Lauren Krone, Renee Kumon, Allie Sakowicz, Caroline Unger, Maddy Vogg, Claire Floriano, Ethan Campbell, Caroline Murphy, Jeremy Apolinski, Lindsey Zawila, Sarah Tarabey. which now runs the competition and supplied several judges and a speaker to the Illinois competition. “The funding that [the McCormick Foundation] gave us is a godsend, because it allows the program to move forward,” said Assistant Coach Hansen, who also teaches social science. “I think it’s a quality program, and they’ve made it possible for us to do that. It’s becoming more and more difficult in this climate to do things that most people agree on, like civics...It was a highlight for me, it was a hopeful moment as a teacher.” After the hearings, the team learned that they had won another state title, qualifying them for the National Competition taking place




Natalie Kirchhoff

Unit 6, winner of the Unit Award. From left: Austin Bryniarski, Maddy Vogg, Claire Floriano, and Jimmy Loomos. in Washington, D.C. This year’s State victory is preceded by a long history of success in the competition, stemming from the first state victory in 1994. Since then, teams throughout the years have maintained steady momentum, amassing eighteen consecutive state titles, even winning the entire national competition in 1999. Last year’s team finished ninth in the nation. “State was, I think, pretty typical for us,” said Mr. Hansen. “We were clearly the best-prepared, and the best quality team, by a large margin. I thought the scores were a little high based on what I saw, but I think that also points to a little bit more successful presentation style than we’ve

had in the past.” This year’s scores were the second highest since 2005, and overall, had the largest margin between first and second place. The team will soon begin preparing for the National Competition, which will take place over three days. The top ten ranked teams of the competition will compete on the final day. “National championship-that’s my expectation,” remarked Trenkle. Hansen, taking a more moderate approach, added, “The goal is always top ten, and that should be the primary focus. Certainly what’s expected, I think. It’s a little different this year, so I’m excited to see the differences, too.”

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011


Positive graffiti covers girls’ bathroom stalls Sarah Tarabey & Caroline Murphy


news editors


recent spike in graffiti has permeated stalls of girls’ bathrooms throughout Maine South over the last few months. In past years, there have been problems with explicit or gangrelated graffiti in the bathrooms, but this year’s graffiti has included both positive and negative messages. Due to the vandalistic nature of graffiti, administration and staff have been keeping a tighter watch on the bathrooms, aiming to prevent its appearance. Positive messages began appearing late last year, but estimates from officials and students indicate that the posting of those messages began to accelerate in September. The girls’ bathroom by the library has been one of the most frequently vandalized. “It happens from time to time,” said Dean Thetard, on the prevalence of graffiti in Maine South. “Recently, it seems like the girls are picking up steam.” This graffiti tends to be more emotional and relationship-oriented. Phrases such as “You are beautiful... stay strong for us,” “Never lose hope,” and “There is always a chance for you” have appeared in recent weeks. “A lot of it was very personal stuff about self-injury and hating the world,” added Mr. Thetard. Said one graffiti artist who wished

to remain anonymous, “By posting these messages, we’re hoping to inspire people. We may not be able to solve all their problems, but hopefully we can give girls the inspiration to keep on fighting.” She continued, “It’s absolutely a community. Maybe not everyone’s writing it, but every girl sees it and has an opinion on it and is inspired by it. The community really pulls the movement together. I usually don’t post something original, but I often respond to people. One of my posts was painted over recently, and someone rewrote the same comment where it used to be.” Although graffiti is not a new phenomenon at Maine South, students have taken particular notice. The response has been mixed, but is generally supportive. Others do not take it as seriously. “I think it’s cheesy, but I guess the idea’s nice,” commented senior Christine Murphy. “It’s better than saying mean things.” This year’s trend stands in contrast to last year’s graffiti incident. For a two-week period, a surge of graffiti was found in the A-wing on the first and third floor boys’ washrooms and in the second floor center stairwell. The graffiti included symbols, like crowns and pitchforks, often used to represent certain gangs, along with letters and numbering. It frequently targeted other groups or individuals. The administration has suggested attention-seeking and opposing authority as reasons for the recent girls’ graffiti. “You’re saying to everybody, ‘Hey, I’m here,’” said Mr. Thetard. Other causes may include the

national Operation Beautiful movement or the Dove Campaign for Natural Beauty, or inspiration from seeing the postings in the bathrooms. The Operation Beautiful movement, which has been gaining steam on the national level, describes its mission as posting anonymous positive notes for other women to find. Although this national campaign may be a factor in Maine South’s recent surge in graffiti, it does not appear to be the primary influence. “I saw that someone had written ‘Never lose hope,’” said the same anonymous graffiti artist. “It really touched something in me because it felt like someone cared. Somewhere out there, there was another girl like me who knew how hard high school was. Even though she couldn’t offer me help, it felt very supportive. I felt so grateful for what she did, and I felt compelled to do the same.” Although Operation Beautiful specifically notes that Post-Its-not graffiti-should be used, the vast majority of graffiti has been in the form of carvings or has been written with markers. Said the graffiti artist, “I saw some Post-It notes last year, but not this year. There are still the same messages, but girls have realized that Post-Its are temporary and that permanent marker is less removable.” The administration has responded to reports of graffiti, both the previous gang vandalism and the recent girls’ postings, in a similar fashion: to remove it as quickly as possible. “What you don’t want is the copycat people or people responding to it,” explained Mr. Thetard. “Plus, it’s unsightly...Eventually it just wears

everything away. It just damages the property.” Director of Buildings and Grounds Mr. Beese added, “We see it in all the bathrooms. We’re asked to remove any graffiti so that it doesn’t multiply.” A picture at the scene of the incident is also taken prior to removal. This is documented for potential identification of graffiti artists through handwriting. Graffiti is removed regularly, but some of it remains for extended periods of time because some posters target areas of stalls that are not easily seen-like under or behind the toilet paper rolls, or very high on the stalls. Graffiti is considered vandalism, so those caught writing on stalls or those whose handwriting is identified face the risk of being suspended. They would also be obliged to pay the hourly wage of the custodian who cleans the graffiti. When so-called spates of graffiti occur at Maine South, teachers and security are asked for increased vigilance: monitoring students leaving classes to use washrooms, and taking closer notice of those roaming the halls. Washrooms are also being checked at more frequent intervals, to better pinpoint when the incidents are taking place. As of yet, no one has been caught this year. “Can we prevent it? No, not really,” said Thetard. “It takes a pen, and a couple minutes,” said Thetard. “It’ll run its course, or they’ll figure out that we’re there to get rid of it.” Said the graffiti artist as to the future of the movement, “I see it getting bigger and more girls posting.”


Uplifting messages prompt new trend

A graffiti carving from a stall in the girls bathroom by the library. A marker message, also in the bathroom near the library reading, “Smile and be happy. You’re beautiful,” “Your [sic] perfect just the way you are!!!!” and “You’re gorgeous. Never think differently.”  A phrase alluding to the Epirean victory over the Romans in the third century BC. The devastating number of casualties in this Pyrrhic War lead King Pyrrhus to declare that “one more such victory would utterly undo him,” according to the historian Plutarch.



December 22, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 4


D207 teachers raise money for health center Chris Brendza staff writer


n Dec. 7, Maine South, Maine East, and Maine West participated in “McTeacher’s Night,” a unique fundraiser designed to help benefit District 207’s School-Based Health Center. The total amount collected by the three District 207 schools added up to more than $5,000. With 15 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Health Center, $765 was raised. Adding the $935 of separate donations, a grand total of $1,700 was brought in to the Health Center-a vast achievement, considering this is the first time the event was held for District 207. The event was organized by the teacher’s union and its president, Emma Visee. Teachers volunteered to work at McDonald’s while students who came to purchase food raised money for the center. “This event is actually a small competition between the three

schools,” said Ms. Visee. “The winning school that raises the most money is awarded a breakfast for the teachers.” Visee, who teaches United States History at Maine East and heads the Key Club at Maine South, notes that this competition is a great way to help the Health Center. “Of course, the competition is all in good fun,” she added. Maine South’s staff volunteered at the McDonald’s on Northwest Highway, while the other two schools’ staff worked at McDonald’s locations closer to each of their schools. Although football coaches happened to be the most prevalent group among the staff, art and English teachers also attended. “Most people don’t realize the Health Center offers a great opportunity, an opportunity open to everyone-students and teachers alike,” said Thomas Mendez, a varsity football coach at Maine East who volunteered at the event. To donate money to the Health Center, students were instructed to pick up coupons at their schools and turn them in to the teachers working at each McDonald’s when they purchased their food. Also, coupons were present at the counters if customers wanted to donate but did not have a coupon with them. Customers


‘McTeachers’ lend a hand

Teachers worked behind the register and served food to customers at the McDonald’s on Northwest Highway. Ms. Visee and the teachers’ union were given the opportunity to donate money separately, all of which went helped in organizing and running the event, but the McDonald’s Corto the Health Center Maine East won with a total of poration also played a large role. The $2,244, partly thanks to a $500 spe- food chain’s mascot, Ronald McDoncial donation. Maine East also had ald, made appearances at each of the the most customers, with 275, fol- schools’ restaurants. The Health Center is a comprelowed by Maine West and Maine South, who had 195 and 160 custom- hensive care center that focuses on ers, respectively. The total amount and offers treatment to any and all raised by Maine South was $1,282. students and staff in the district. It is Maine West took second place, beat- located at Maine East and staffed by ing Maine South out by a little under Lutheran General, funded mainly by grants and donations. $300.

New rat traps scattered around campus Dora Bialy assistant news editor



etween Nov. 16 and 23, several rodent bait stations were placed around the exterior of the school. They have been placed on the north and south sides of the A-wing, around the flagpole area in front of the school, and along the outside walls of the cafeteria. The stations are disguised as rocks and are laced with poisoned grains in an effort to diminish the rodent population in and around Maine South. The feeding stations were installed due to several mouse sightings ranging from the A-Wing all


A rat trap near the teachers’ parking lot. the way to the Spec Gym. There have been sightings in A220, A208, the main office, the girls bathroom by the Spec Gym, and in the storeroom by the dance room. There have been about six to eight sightings in the last two months alone. According to the Director of Buildings and Grounds, Mr. Ed Beese, the impending winter weather was the cause of the increase in sight-

A rat trap in the outside area of moving a skunk that had a soft drink lid stuck on its head, another that ran the cafeteria. under one of the school buses, and several skunks that were seen in the trash cans around the perimeter of the school early in the mornings. This year the skunk problem has been worse than ever before. Regular rat traps would not be effective in solving this problem, so after consulting International Extermination Company, it was decided that feeding stations would eliminate the rodents more efficiently. So far the stations have proven to be effective; however, it may take ings. The courtyard by the cafeteria a few months for distinguishable rehas also added to the increase in sults to show. Before the bait stations rodents. Food left behind there and were installed, regular rat traps were even in the building have caused used, but proved to be inefficient in more and more pests to find refuge controlling the problem. In addition in the school. to the stations, the weather stripping In addition, several skunk sight- around the school was replaced in ings were reported which resulted an effort to prevent the rodents from in ABC Wildlife coming in and re- getting in. PHOTOS BY SARAH TARABEY & CAROLINE MURPHY

Rocks are undercover killers... of rats

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011

Twitter’s funniest accounts #who2follow A quick list of feeds to catch up on for a good laugh Nicole Shammo & JoshuaTimm


As a professional, successful comedian, Conan’s tweets are expected to be funny, and they do not disappoint. While a lot of celebrity Twitter accounts seem to be plugs for themselves and/or managed by a staff aide, Conan’s tweets are obviously crafted by him, and nobody else. Some of his jokes are hit or miss, but he posts some undeniably funny stuff.

will have experienced that situation first-hand.

Example Tweets:

“The awkward moment when your rubbish misses the bin in class, and you have to do the walk of shame to pick it up.” “The awkward moment when you Example Tweets: Example Tweets: hear police sirens and become ner“You know its holiday time when lots “I was expelled from school on paja- vous even though you have absoluteof candycane mush is all up in your ma day. Not my fault I sleep naked.” ly no reason to be.” cord.” “I always chase joggers with my car “Who do I have to kick for a Netflix to motivate them. It’s a thankless hook up in here?” job....” @omgthatspunny “My Halo is the light at the end of While many people aren’t this tunnel.” fans of puns, these puns are better than the aver@funnyordie age Popsicle stick jokes. All of the From the same people @s***mydadsays puns are original and will surely who brought you funnyThe owner of this account, make you laugh–yet they are very ordie.com, this Twitter acJustin Halpern, a 29-year-old cheesy. With daily updates, these living with his 74-year-old count is filled with a variety of tweets tweets are highly recommended for father, writes down the ridiculous ranging from simple jokes to links of those of us who thoroughly enjoy things that his father says. Many of funny videos and pictures similar to jokes similar to the ones told by the the tweets are filled with insensitive ones found on their site. While the overzealous family member at every advice and unnecessary profanities– tweets aren’t funny, if you can put family gathering. however, it only adds to the hilarity. the effort into clicking the links they Example Tweets: The account became so popular that post, you won’t regret it. “People who get complimented on there has been a book and TV series Example Tweets: their hair usually let it go to their based on it. “Nobody feels sorry for people who head. #punny” get in jet ski accidents.” Example Tweets: “With everything you read about “You worry too much. Eat some ba- “If you don’t take off your sunglasses spray cans and the ozone layer it’s con... What? No, I got no idea if it’ll when you go inside, at what point do enough to scareosol to death. #punmake you feel better; I just made too you decide to take them off? In bed? ny” In the shower?” much bacon.” “Being able to fit size 14 shoes is quite “Tennessee is nice. The first time I a feet. #punny” vomited was in Tennessee, I think.”



Most of the current students have all been raised (or at least born) in the ‘90s. This Twitter account posts reminscent memories of the ‘90s of which many of us wish were still true. The account has gotten so popular that there are T-shirts and other products with the tweets printed on them.


This is arguably the most hilarious account on Twitter right now. The Onion is a satirical news network with a large staff being paid to be funny. It has a newspaper and a large online component. The Onion is the farthest thing from politically corExample Tweets: rect, so some people may find a few “My favorite Lip Smackers melted posts offensive, but everyone will find in my mom’s minivan. #90sgirlprobsomething they like from The Onion. lems.” “My Furby couldn’t possibly be more Example Tweets: “This Is The Happiest Day Of My annoying. #90sgirlproblems” Life,’ Lies Man Holding Baby” “Peewee Football Player Retires To Spend More Time With His Mom @TheAwkwardTweet And Dad.” The name of this account “Grandmother Classifies 79% Of Evis self-explanatory. Each erything A Shame.” tweet describes situations “Birthday Probably A Safe Password @VeryCleanTweets that most of us encounter. The tweets Considering No One Ever RememThis Twitter account is bring a sense of reassurance and hu- bers It, Mom Sitting At Computer one of the many accounts mor in that more likely than not, you Says Aloud.”

Aimed directly at the North Shore suburbs, this account pokes fun at the “problems” that the privileged teenagers of this area face. Popular tweet topics include Starbucks blunders, forced use of expensive cars, and having an exorbitant amount of Example Tweets: “First my kids stopped believing in money. While Park Ridge is not geoSanta. Then they stopped believing graphically part of the North Shore, many of these tweets are eerily relatin Herman Cain.” “The downside of fame? I can’t walk able. out of a nice restaurant without Example Tweets: immediately getting harassed and “It’s not you.. It’s just that I saw you hounded by a waiter holding the looking through the clearance rack yesterday. #northshoreproblems.” bill.” “Couldn’t figure out how to get my @BeyonceJayFetus own gas #northshoreproblems.” Many of us remember Beyonce’s performance at the VMA’s, mainly due to her big announcement that she

part of “The Funny Networks.” Unlike its counterpart, VeryRudeTweets, all of the tweets are aimed to make the faint-of-heart laugh without the use of profanities or offensive jokes. That being said, when your parents ask why you’re laughing, you have a reason.



entertainment editors

witter has grown in popularity over the last few years because of its wide variety of uses. It has been embraced by media networks, companies, celebrities, comedians, and more recently, Maine South students. There are a lot of reasons to use Twitter, but there is still reasonable reluctance to jump on the bandwagon and start tweeting. Many people dismiss tweeting as arrogant, saying it’s obnoxious to think that the world should know what you’re doing every second of your life. Whether you use Twitter or not, it’s a great medium to find quality humor from celebrities, media companies, comedians, and more. Southwords has assembled a list of some of the funniest Twitter accounts out there, along with some example tweets for a flavor of the type of comedy to expect. Current Twitter users can follow these accounts, but non-Twitter users alike can still search through these accounts for a few laughs.

was pregnant. Immediately after the announcement, someone created a Twitter specifically for the unborn child of Beyonce and Jay-Z. The tweets aren’t necessarily the funniest around, but the thought of a fetus updating a Twitter account periodically throughout the day is the kicker.



December 22, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 4

Holiday treats for the humble baker W

ith the holiday season just around the corner, everyone’s favorite winter treats are sure to be in abundance. But when candy canes, eggnog, and other traditional holiday favorites get old, check out these goodies created by Maine South’s very own students. These cookies, candies, and pastries will make the hectic holiday rush a tasty delight.

Nicole Shammo

entertainment editor

Catherine Lawrin’s Gingerbread


Annie Stimson’s Pizzelle Cookies Ingredients: • 6 eggs • 3 1/2 c. flour • 1 1/2 c. sugar • 1 c. cool melted butter • 4 tsp. baking powder • 2 tbsp. anise extract • 1 tbsp. of vanilla • Powdered sugar

Directions: Preheat pizzelle griddle. Beat eggs, add sugar gradually and beat well. Add butter and anise. Sift flour and baking powder and add to creamed mixture. Dough will be very sticky. Drop a single tablespoonful onto pizzelle griddle sprayed with Pam. Cook until steam stops and cookies are a rich golden color. Cool on wire racks and store in air-tight container. Makes five dozen.

Keenan McKenzie’s Heavenly Hash Candy

Ingredients: Directions: • 1/2 cup sugar Mix sugar, milk and one tablespoon of corn • 1/2 cup evaporated syrup in a two-quart saucepan. Bring to a milk boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. • 1 tbsp. white corn syrup At boiling point, stir for two minutes and • 1 package chocolate remove from heat. Add chocolate chips, chips (6 oz) stirring until completely melted. Let mixture • 1 cup chopped nuts, cool for 15 minutes. Add pecans and walnuts or pecans marshmallows. Using two teaspoons, drop • 1 cup miniature candy onto a large baking sheet lined with marshmellows wax paper. Chill until firm.

Ingredients: • 2 ½ cups flour • 2 tsp. baking powder • 1 tsp. ground ginger • ½ c. shortening • 1 c. brown sugar • 1 c. molasses • ½ tsp. salt • ½ tsp. nutmeg • ½ tsp. cinnamon • 1 c. boiling water • 1 tsp. baking soda • 2 eggs

Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a cake pan and line with cooking paper. Butter the paper. Cream shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add molasses, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Mix well. Add baking soda to boiling water and mix into the molasses mixture. Sift flour, baking powder, and ginger into the batter and fold together gently. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Pour into pan and bake about 50 minutes.

Amanda Peck’s Snowman Sugar Cookies Ingredients: • 1/3 c. cold butter • 1/3 c. shortening • 3/4 c. sugar • Pinch of salt • 1 tsp. baking powder • 1 egg • 1 tsp. vanilla • 2 c. flour • Marshmallows • Brown and orange sprinkles

Directions: Beat butter and shortening with a mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Lightly coat flour on table and place half of the dough on top. Flour a rolling pin and roll out dough. Cut cookie shapes. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375®F until golden brown. Cool on rack and ice with white frosting. Heat one marshmallow (per cookie) in microwave until partially melted. Place the marshmallow on the cookie for the snowman’s head. Add sprinkles for the snowman’s face.

Coldplay rebounds with ‘Mylo Xyloto’ Charlie Vinpoal



he public wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of British Alt-Rock veterans Coldplay when it was announced that they would be releasing their fifth studio album a few months ago. While the band’s first three albums (2000’s “Parachutes,” 2002’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” and 2005’s “X & Y”) were fairly straight-forward, 2008’s “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” was slightly more experimental and artsy. The band’s fifth album, “Mylo Xyloto,” also proved very different from anything released before, while still incorporating some familiar aspects of their previous work. A few songs leaked before the album’s Oct. 24 release, including the dreamy “Paradise” and synth-driven “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” setting the tone for the rest of the CD. Early reviews of the album criticized Coldplay for not being very original with their latest album, and while some songs are certainly reminiscent of tracks from previous albums, songs like “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” and “Princess of China” (featuring Rihanna) are a new venture for the



band. Short instrumentals are placed throughout the CD, like title track, “Mylo Xyloto,” and “A Hopeful Transmission,” so as to break up some of the more lengthy songs on the album. Many of the tracks on the 2008 CD were quite long, with most stretching over five minutes and even one going for more than seven. The deluxe version of “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” is about 75 minutes long, while “Mylo Xyloto” goes for only about 45. While the band certainly did some new things on their most recent album, they incorporated some songs that were evocative of tracks from their debut album “Parachutes” or 2005’s “X & Y” that meshed nicely with the rest of the CD. The unsung heroes for “Mylo Xyloto” would have to be “U.F.O” and “Us Against the World.” “U.F.O” is driven by acoustic guitar and piano, very similar to tracks from 2005’s “X & Y,” while

“Us Against the World” sounds a lot like Coldplay’s biggest hit, “Fix You.” “Princess of China,” in which the British band collaborated with Rihanna, was one track on the album that truly fell short of expectations. While the two artists are both great in their own rights, “Princess of China” simply did not work. It felt as if the two musical forces really didn’t try anything out of the ordinary and an underwhelming collaboration was the result. Other than that one song, Coldplay’s fifth album keeps listeners interested throughout the CD and gets better as one continues to listen to it. Lead singer Chris Martin was quoted as saying that he intended to make “Mylo Xyloto” more “stripped down” and with much less fanfare than their last album. With “Mylo Xyloto,” Coldplay took a more simplified approach and meshed both new sounds and familiar ones to make an enjoyable fifth CD.

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011

A year in review: 2011’s worst and worser apparently outraged by the fact that films taking place in foreign countries which still want to be in English simply resort to British accents, began to steal biscuts, nappies, double-decker busses, and tea. Speaking of tea, American scientists were finally able to construct a supremely effective version of the solar-powered “Archimedes’ Death Ray,” which was achieved by taping the cover of Newsweek Magazine featuring Michelle Bachmann to a stick. This new weapon of mass destruction was tested in combat against Rebecca Black, where Bachmann’s eyes reflected enough sunlight in a concentrated beam to sever the “starlet’s” head from her neck. Disastrously, in a display of hydralike vitality, Black’s head was replaced not by two, but a single, even-worse-sounding one. She was immediately hired by Katy Perry to star in a music Video for her new weekday-themed piece. Fall The passing of Apple Co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs prompted the Westboro Baptist Church, a notoriously kind and accepting institution, to schedule a picketing of his funeral via twitter. The Internet would have simply shaken its collective head and clicked back to the “Facebook” tab (checking for comments on that childhood photograph it recently set as a profile picture), if only the church hadn’t tweeted about this from an iPhone. Halloween was equaly

amusing, with many imitating Lady Gaga’s “meat-dress,” most notably the only daughter of Hans Szhnitzel, a Butcher and owner of “Fine European Deli Goods” in Hoboken, NJ, who mistakenly sold the girl as a sandwich. In more pathetic news, the newest edition of “Twilight” offered boyfriends everywhere the chance to scratch their eyes out while vomiting. Also, Momar Qaddafi died. Winter (part 2) Not much to see here—at least, not yet. Santa’s still holed up at the North Pole monitoring surveillance cameras (don’t kid yourself, they’re EVERYWHERE), Hanukah’s barely got a Dreidel up and spinning. We have to resort to a New Zealandanger, who recently found/adopted an 8-inch grasshopper, said to regularly consume full-sized carrots (read: full-sized babies). The man, along with bug-zilla, mysteriously went “missing” that evening, prompting all 12 NZ police officers (five of which are kangaroos) to “Nab the crikey buggers responsible.” So if last year was a booger stuck between pages of your “pre-owned” history book, what do we do next? I say, let’s wake up in January with a new perspective on life. “The glass of water is half-full? Perfect, my NewYear’s resolution was a diet.” 2012 will be what we make of it, and we can (probably) change. As Herman Cain put it, before ending his presidency bid/unintentionally quoting the film Pokemon 2000, we each “have within us the power of one.”

Maggie Lynch & Joshua Timm staff writer & entertainment editor Christmas vacation is a time of making up for lost sleep, indulging in holiday sweets, and opening presents. However, when all those joyous events are said and done, there are still a plenty of great holiday experiences throughout Chicago. There are so many festive activities and traditions to experience in Chicago during the holidays, it can be a bit dizzying. A great example is the holiday train, which takes tourists and native Chicagoans alike around the city in a beautifullydecorated train with Santa and his elves for some seasonal cheer. You can find this train riding the Red and Purple lines from the 14th to

the 21st (see transitchicago.com for full schedule). Another great holiday tradition are the decorated Macy’s windows on State Street. Each year, the themed windows tell a story. This holiday season, the theme is centered around the heartwarming Christmas movie, “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” Crowds of rosy-cheeked children and young adults stop and adore the windows of Macy’s. The Macy’s windows have been a Chicago tradition for a long time, and although it used to be Marshall Field’s, the Christmas magic is still there. While the windows can be nice to look at, the cold will eventually set in, and the Walnut Room’s warm meals

become incredibly enticing. A staple in any Chicagoan’s holiday diet is the Walnut Room’s Chicken Pot Pie with a side of hot chocolate. While most of the food there is delicious, nothing will warm you up quite like those two will. The Walnut Room also boasts huge, magnificently-decorated trees, twinkling from the ground floor to the high ceiling. Just be aware that the wait time is frequently around an hour and a half. Another great place to visit during the holidays is Christkindlmarkt. It’s a traditional German market decorated festively, with visits from Santa himself. It’s the kind of market where a last minute present, especially a unique one, can be purchased. While it’s better to bring

it, no money has to be spent to enjoy the market—the sights of the handmade gifts and the smell of food made with love are an experience in themselves. The Christkindlmarkt is outdoors, so shoppers should dress for the cold. It’s located at the Daley Plaza on Washington Street, right at the Blue Line stop at Washington and Dearborn. If going downtown is out of reach, a holiday movie screened at the Pickwick with a festive drink from Starbucks is still a good way to spend a holiday. While most families have their own traditions, take some of Southwords’ suggestions into account. Combined with family traditions, this year’s Winter Break is sure to delight.

production head


Let’s face it: this year was worse than the first round auditions of American Idol. Worse than slipping on soap into a bath-tub filled with porcupines. Worse even, perhaps, than the 3rd season of Jersey Shore (the cast of which, proving that earth is undeniably in the process of atoning for its sins, was NOT horribly, horribly murdered by the Italian mafia while filming overseas). Don’t believe me? Alright smartypants, let’s take a look back at what we’ve been through from the very beginning, and then maybe we’ll talk. Winter (2010-11) The frigid months brought Christina Aguilera heinously butchering/apologizing for her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Super Bowl. Audiences, initially outraged, quickly forgave the pop-star, who provided the heartfelt and understandable excuse of “I thought the thing we watched O’er the ramparts was a one-horse open sleigh.” Sadly, even that disaster would pale in comparison to the catastrophe that was Charlie Sheen, who, for some reason, decided America wanted him to go on tour. Several experts claim such a trip was only planned after the “comedian” developed a system of harnessing the energy from boos, something undoubtedly inspired by the 2001 Disney Pixar film “Monsters Inc.” Sheen would halt his crusade only once, for about 25 seconds, to

give birth to Rebecca Black. Spring Internationally, The United States of England had themselves a “fairytale wedding” watched worldwide by a combined 6.3 billion old ladies and their overfed cats. The most obvious sign of the apocalypse followed in May, when Oprah murdered her talk-show. In news your mother didn’t cry about, the long most-wanted leader of Al Qaeda was captured, killed, and promptly thrown in the ocean. This led certain Chicagoland elementary schools to dictate a change in the music-class curriculum, asking children to respond to the line “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” with “Osama Bin Laden.” In June, two millennial boybands, now known collectively as NKOTBSBJKLOLBB QSAUCE, publicized their comeback tour. Rebecca Black was quick to respond, attempting to assault the veteran pop-stars with a razor-sharp calendar, but security was able to distract Black long enough for the man-children to get away by placing two identical seats in front of her. Summer San Diego became the single, twirty-something-male’s Mecca for a few days thanks to Comic-Con, a yearly event during which all the scantily-clad imaginings of Nerdculture materialize in the form of girls who don’t seem to realize their instrumental role in area sales of digital cameras. Then there were the infamous “London Lootings”: Englishonians,

Adrian Adamiec

Holiday hot spots for this winter break



December 22, 2011 Vol. 48, No. 4

Gabby Guerra


guest writer

Finals Schedule


s we’ve all heard time and time again, the holiday season is about giving. We all try to do our part, but sometimes making time to give back is harder than it sounds; that’s why Art Club is doing its part in a quick, easy, but sentimental way. Through Cards for Hospitalized Kids, members of Art Club are giving some holiday joy to children in hospitals all around the country. Cards for Hospitalized Kids is national charitable organization that brings “hope, joy, and magic into the lives of sick children,” through the handmade cards donated by others all around the country, all year round. Anyone, with or without artistic ability, can make a card and give back in a way that is much more personal than just handing over a check. Cards for Hospitalized Kids is known nationally; it even has celebrity and


athlete involvement, including Lauren Conrad from the popular television series, “The Hills,” and Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic All Around champion and nine-time world medalist. Maine South student and founder, Jen Rubino, knows all too well the significance of receiving a card while in the hospital. Her motivation for starting Cards for Hospitalized Kids refers back to her own experiences in the hospital. At 11 years old, Jen was diagnosed with a chronic illness and has had to undergo many painful surgeries and pass a lot of time in the hospital. Jen’s health problems forced her to become home-schooled last school year, but she still remains active at Maine South. “My experience as a patient has shown me how hard it is to be a hospitalized kid. Being hospitalized causes kids to miss out on many of the normal things in life that most people take for granted,” Rubino explains on her website, cardsforhospitalizedkids. com. “My experience as a patient has also shown me how cards can bring hope and joy into the lives of sick kids.” The experience opened her eyes to how difficult it is to be a sick child and still feel like you have a childhood. Receiving a


rd 3 . m . 8a nd 2 . m . a 5 4 9: 6th . m . a 0 3 : 1 1


card can make all the difference in the lives of sick children and their families. Anyone can make a card or hold a card-making event, and Art Club has done just that. The first meeting of December has already been successful resulting in holiday cards that will warm the hearts of recipients. With basic materials like card-stock, construction paper, printer paper, markers and water color paints, Art Club has turned out over 35 cards in less than an hour. Members made things as simple as paper snowflakes and used them to create fun, energetic cards. The 90 members of Art Club hope to give Cards for Hospitalized Kids over 90 cards for this year’s holiday season.

A patient smiles for a photo with his Halloween card from Cards for Hospitalized Kids.


Art club helps local organization to benefit kids during the holidays


“Cards for Hospitalized Kids”

Students pose for a picture with founder and Maine South Student Jen Rubino (bottom center) at a card-making event at the Niles Public Library.


1st . m . a 8 9th . m . a 5 4 : 9 5th . m . a 0 3 : 1 1


7th 8 a.m. 4th 9:45 a.m. th 8 . m . a 0 3 : 11

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011

Maine South students spread holiday cheer Senior Class Council one of several school organizations to give back during the winter season Kathleen Suvada staff writer


t is during the holiday season when we truly realize how lucky we are. This time of year is a particularly hard time for those less fortunate. With the current economic hardships the country is going through, the number of homeless people is rising. According to the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, “On any given night, approximately 750,000 men, women, and children are home-

less in the U.S.” Because of this, many schools have taken up the yearly tradition of doing something nice for these needy families, such as donating to Toys For Tots or Make-A-Wish. That is why each year the Maine South Class Councils decide on certain charity projects in an attempt to make the holiday season a little less troublesome on those less fortunate. The Junior Class Council has decided to give presents to the needy as well as have a food drive. This year, Senior Class Council has decided to sponsor a family—something they have done for several years. “We usually choose two or more families to sponsor,” explains Senior Class President Pat Wohl. “They are usually single mothers who need gifts.” But, these mothers don’t even expect toys or things that we would expect to see under our own tree on Christmas day. Many of these young mothers are grateful for even the littlest things,

such as diapers, baby clothes, and food in general. Over the years, it has been realized how much the mothers actually appreciate the everyday items more such as toothbrushes, blankets, and jackets. Class Council has also begun to give the mothers gift cards, to places such as Jewel and Walgreens, with enough money on them so they can buy enough food for multiple meals for not only them, but their children as well. Hopefully, other schools will begin to see what an impact food drives and family sponsorships have on those less fortunate and maybe they canbegin to do the same. Eventually, this will have a major impact on the homeless population in Chicago. It may only be helping a fraction of the hundreds and hundreds of families out there, but every bit of help makes a difference. The Senior Class Council will wrap their gifts at a meeting prior to Winter Break, and they will have them delievered prior to the holidays.

Christian club brings together students and helps in the community Katherine Szczepanski staff writer


fter years of existence at Maine South, H2O has been named an official club. “We are so grateful to the school board and appreciative that we have been given this amazing opportunity to simply be recognized by the school,” says H2O co-president, senior Sam Read. There are many benefits the club receives now that is an official club. “Now that we are a club we have the ability to use the announcements system, put up some signs and to do so much more to make our club known,” says the club’s other president senior Darragh King. “H2O stands for Humble to One, meaning we are humble and obedient to Jesus Christ,” says Read. “What I really love about H2O is that it’s a place for other Christian teens, or even just teenagers questioning or trying to figure out if faith is something they desire, to feel free to explore and grow in their faith in the Lord.” H2O is Maine South’s Christian Club, which meets every Tuesday in room A313 to give members a sense of refreshment and spiritual growth. At these meetings, students come together to pray, talk, laugh, socialize, and worship with others who strive for a similar sense of fellowship. “We try and structure our weekly meetings around a certain topic or theme,” says Read. “Most

recently we have been going through a series based off of the book called ‘Unchristian.’ This book goes through the six main stereotypes of Christians and what we can do as believers in order to change the negative perceptions that others have of us as believers in Jesus Christ. At our meetings, we will go through some sort of lesson and discuss passages from the Bible and try to make those applicable to our everyday lives. Once a month, we also do a lesson-free day where everyone contributes food, and we just meet, hang out, and eat breakfast together.” H2O allows members to get to know different students and contribute their own insight to each meeting. In addition to their regular meetings, H2O also volunteers throughout the community in many ways. In early November, H2O participated in a service project called Operation Christmas Child. For this charity event, each member brought in toys that children of either gender would enjoy. Once all of the toys were collected, they were put into two separate boxes and shipped off to children in less-fortunate countries. With many children not receiving presents at Christmas, H2O was able to make a few children’s Christmases much better. “Operation Christmas Child is something that I, myself, have been apart of for many years,” says Read. “It is a non-profit Christian organization that was established to give kids all around the world an opportunity to get presents on Christmas who would normally not receive anything. How it works is volunteers from all over the world fill shoeboxes with toys for either a boy or girl from 3 separate age groups: 4-6, 7-9, 10-13. Then you find the nearest drop-off center location, which is usually a local church, and drop off the boxes. Those boxes are then shipped and sent to countries all over the world and are delivered

by volunteers through an organization called Samaritan’s Purse.” The club plans to continue its service efforts. H2O has another service project plan this January when they plan to go to downtown Chicago to deliver coats, hats, gloves, and other cold weather items to the homeless. The group completed this same task last year during one of the coldest days of the year. This event, because it takes place so close, leaves a lasting impact on the students who participate. “It is just great to see how these things can really change the lives of those who live in our own backyard,” says King. In addition to the previously stated winter clothes, they also plan to bring everyday essentials like toothbrushes along. They even hope to pass out gift cards to help those in need. Along with the items they pass out, the group plans to spread the Word of God. “While we are connecting with the homeless downtown we will also try and share the Gospel if they are open to hearing it,” says Read. H2O is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith or trying to increase their own personal faith. “I hope that all who are interested in exploring their faith or learning more feel welcome by everyone apart of H2O,” says Read. The current members are very welcoming and would love to see their club grow in size. “H2O is a very fun and laid-back environment. Anyone is welcome and we would love to have more people come to our meetings,” says King. Through their weekly meetings, community service events, and overall group fellowship, H2O intends to teach students that through hard work and faith anything is possible.



H2O officially recognized as a school club


Vol. 48, No. 4

Before and after: Mr. McGreevy’s

‘No Shave November’ Interesting dare draws teacher into cancer awareness tradition Des Mustafa

features editor



o Shave November,” also known as “Movember” due to the numerous amount of moustaches grown, is a world-wide, month-long event in which men put their razors away and participate in growing their facial hair for prostate cancer awareness. This ritual began in Melbourne, Australia, where only growing a moustache is the usual, and is used to raise awareness not only for prostate cancer, but for the overall health of men. Men from South Africa, North America, Australia, and Europe all partake in No Shave November. Here are the rules of No Shave November according to No-Shave-November.com: 1. You do NOT shave at all in the month of November. 2. If you shave, you are out. 3. No trimming or waxing. At Maine South, one man is known for his legendary scruff: Mr. McGreevy. When asked about why he participates in No Shave November, he

November 9

November 15

tells an unusual story: “Well I first heard of No Shave November about five years ago,” says McGreevy. “Most reasons people participated were altruistic in nature. Not shaving for a Charity or for cancer awareness etc. However, I first started in an effort to get freshmen to do homework about two years ago. A current junior named Christopher Skordilis, who is an excellent hockey player and a huge fan of hockey beards, came up with the idea when he was a freshman in World History. The wager was that if 90% of the students in his class turned in their homework, then I was not allowed to shave. This went on for a long two months that year. I think my dog almost did not recognize me by the end. However, the past two years, it was just for fun, and this year, I was dead set on not participating. However, two outstanding seniors here at Maine South, who are in our first period Sociology class, Ryan Fahey and Cesar Pino, talked me into to doing it again. So, I have been participating for three years and I first started it when I was 30. It is amazing how many comments are made regarding the beard. I also had an extremely long goatee while in college, but I was about 30 lbs thinner then and that was about 12 years ago. I do grow my beard out in the summer (life of a teacher). It feels okay when shaved—dog recognizes me again too, and my nephew and niece always cheer, ‘Uncle Mike finally shaved off his fur!’”

November 29

December 6


Counting down the days...





First semester finals begin Girls’ Choice Dance Winter play, “The Tempest” First day of Spring Break


All juniors take the state-wide ACT


First day of AP testing

10 SouthwordS


Junior Prom at the Maine South cafeteria

162 Senior Prom

Who, in your opinion, has the best beard of all time?

December 22, 2011

“Brad Pitt.”

-Alex Demos ‘15

“Santa Claus.” -Makai DeNeve-Arnam ‘14

“David Bechdolt.” -Steven Mueller ‘13

“Donald Roy Deda.” -Michelle Schneider ‘12

Raising school spirit

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011

With school spirit seeming to be at an all time low, there are plenty of ways it can be increased by the students and staff Austin Bryniarski


managing editor

hen we think of high schools in the movies, we think of cheerleaders, megaphones and pep rallies. At Maine South, however, this school spirit does not exactly permeate the air. Only a few weeks ago, an Internet video called “Glenbrook South High School Lip Dub” went viral. The video featured the stereotypical spirit coming out of Glenbrook South High School: students jumping, dancing, and lip syncing while a videographer followed them through the school. This made me realize that a disparity exists between the pride of other schools and Maine South. While school pride will always lie in the individual student, the student body can establish clubs for raising school spirit, encourage more student involvement, and hold school-wide functions to bring everyone together.

Get Involved One feature of the aforementioned GBS video is that everyone seemed to be involved in a club, no matter what type of club it was. If you can stay at Maine South for even an hour after school, one day a week, spending time doing something you love with people you enjoy, then you would also be showing school spirit. There are so many opportunities for students to get involved—do not hesitate to join something like Anime Club or Chess Team or Metal club. Joining a student organization shows a dedication and involvement in Maine South, which is exemplary of school spirit and pride. School Wide Initiatives While many students are very familiar with each other within their own clubs, we aren’t very familiar with each other outside of those circles, nor have we recently done any “school-wide” fund raiser that was ultimately successful. Ronald McDonald House pop-tab drives, for example, only yield a few pop-tabs. Highland Park High School successfully raises money all the time —just last year they raised $140,000 for a charity researching congenital heart disease. Through their Charity Drive, the school gets all of its clubs to work towards one common goal—usually to raise money for a charity of the students’ choice—and the school gets something to be proud of (as well as the opportunity to give an oversized check to an organization). Dr. Garlasco, Assistant Principal to Students, has organized a “Presidents’ Club” to bring groups together and choose how to raise money for charities. More initiatives like this should be planned to show the potential of the entire school.


Assume Responsibility Hawk Pride is a “character education” program based on five defining traits: purpose, respect, involvement, dignity, and empathy. Hawk Pride lessons are only 25 minutes long, so it’s hard for leaders and students alike to get to everything the lesson covers while maintaining a relaxed pace. Hawk Pride also meets only once a month, and these infrequent meetings can be awkward if you still don’t know the names of people in your advisory room. Extending the lessons and making them more frequent could make Hawk Pride more effective. While Hawk Pride isn’t a “school spirit” organization, the messages it sends are often parallel to ones that can instill a sense of pride in students. Also, the format of Hawk Pride isn’t always ideal—this is partially due to the setup of which leaders are assigned to which classrooms. Hawk Pride leaders stand and talk down to students in the classroom, and while students (literally) “look up” to them, this often leads to resentment. Also, the fact that each leader is assigned to an advisory classroom— which only contains students from one grade level—might be inhibiting Hawk Pride’s full potential as a club that aims to bring the whole school together. What if all students were

split up into classrooms regardless of grade level? Wouldn’t that be more like a real-life social network? Relationships could be built between people who wouldn’t normally talk—students would also be able to get advice from that one junior about a course he took last year, or ask a freshman about how she likes her teacher. Making interpersonal, interclass relationships would bring Maine South together on a grander scale.

SouthwordS 11

December 22, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 4


Finals before break? Worth a try W


hile winter break is intended to be a relaxing two weeks for Maine South students, it can unintentionally become incredibly stressful due to the looming first semester finals. Even though moving first semester finals to before winter break could require the school year to undertake some possible schedule augmentation, the change would be most beneficial for Maine South students. Having finals after break means the first semester does not end until after break and thus some students will also face the prospect of having projects and papers due after the winter holiday. The two-week stretch is filled with stress over impending due dates and tests, and students cannot fully relax and enjoy their time off of school. Though some students tend to focus on their studies over the extended break, many choose to abandon their academic duties and simply relax over the break; this can result in a serious drop in grades for the bulk of Maine South students. If the finals were to be moved to that week before break, there would be no rift in class time and thus students wouldn’t lose what they had learned up to that point. Knowing that the majority of Maine South students tend to neglect

their studies over break, wouldn’t it make more sense to completely eliminate that two-week hiatus before the actual finals? Along with winter break comes fast-approaching college application deadlines for Maine South seniors, with some schools having those deadlines set at the first of the year. Having winter break devoid of any kind of school work would allow for seniors to finish up what they have left of their college applications and make sure that they are polished before they are sent off to schools. Moving first semester finals will not only make regular school work easier, it will greatly simplify the college application process. Some may argue that the amount of information that students will have to buff up on after break is not overwhelming, but when a student’s schedule is closely inspected, one can really see how much work is involved in preparing for finals. An average Maine South student must prepare for finals in five classes, with each class usually having about ten sections of material or more. Winter break should not be devoted to preparing for that material as it is intended to be a time for relaxation and family, not school obligations.

Exercise your voice— write a letter to the editors Deliver signed letters to LRC 1 or e-mail southwords@maine207.org

Attendance policy needs revisions

I have an issue regarding the Maine South High School attendence review board (ARB) policy. For the past three years, I have heard students complain about the ARB policy. This policy has reduced the amount of students who take off random days because they want to, but caused students to come to school while ill. If you have four absences in a class, a letter gets sent home. Six or more absences, and you have a meeting with the ARB coordinator. Any more absences, and the board decides whether you are dropped from that class or not. I believe that this policy can be changed so that the stress of an absence

12 SouthwordS

is reduced. In my eyes, this policy should be changed so that any student with an A or B in the class doesn’t have to worry about their absences. If a student is ill for more than three or four days, they should be required to have a doctor’s note, or have a parent call the nurse. Lastly, if there is a death in the family, there should be no consequence for the student. The focus on absences should be on students that miss school to take a vacation and don’t do their makeup work. This would help students realize that when they are ill, they should stay home so they don’t infect others. Changing this policy would reduce the stress on students who are absent for a valid reason. —Chase Krug, Senior

Perhaps the biggest problem with moving finals would be the augmented schedule as a whole. Changing finals to the week before break would mean that the start of school would have to be at least a week earlier than it already is. This, however, is not the only option for readjustment of the school year. Only a few years ago, Thanksgiving break did not occupy the entire week, but only a few days. If a few unnecessary breaks were eliminated from the schedule before the end of first semester, Maine South students could still have the last week of their summer as well as finals before the winter break. As it is, first and second semester have an unequal number of days. As long as eliminating or extending breaks doesn’t change the final amount of school days, there’s nothing wrong with making the two semesters slightly more unbalanced. While the drastic schedule change could require some time to develop, it would prove to be the best option for Maine South’s first semester finals. The week of winter break would serve as a productive time for Maine South seniors finishing college applications as well as a stress-free time for all students to spend with their family and friends.

Reopening closedcampus issue

[In response to “Open campus closed for discussion,” Vol. 48 No. 3] Students often leave campus to go out to lunch or home. These students are often sent to the dean as punishment, where they usually receive Saturday detentions. I think students that maintain over a B average should be allowed off campus. Students that strive to get good grades are often under a lot of stress. Going off campus for a period can help them relieve stress. I believe if the policy is changed, it will help students a lot. Students will feel more free, and their attitudes about school would improve. The students that need to relieve stress will return to school feeling ready to work. The deans won’t have to worry about punishing students that receive good grades. —James Marbach, Senior

Maine South High School 1111 South Dee Road Park Ridge, IL 60068 Signed letters to the editor should be delivered to LRC1, given to a member of the editorial staff, or e-mailed to southwords@ maine207.org. Southwords reserves the right to edit material for clarity and brevity and to reject obscene/libelous submissions. Editors-in-Chief Jimmy Loomos Charlie Vinopal Managing Editor Austin Bryniarski Production Head Adrian Adamiec News Editors

Dora Bialy Caroline Murphy Sarah Tarabey

Entertainment Editors Nicole Shammo Josh Timm Features Editors Des Mustafa Ally Stevens Commentary Editors Gianna Carrozza Sarah Hands Soren Ramsey Sports Editors Hope Allchin Nicole Johnson Erin Martelll Photography Editor Josie Fioretto Adviser

Mr. Stathakis

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011

Teenage helplessness is okay Jimmy Loomos



or years, I've always considered myself "independent beyond my years." I figured I’d be fine on my own. I mean, who really needs parents? As a slightly awkward junior just a year ago, I would tell college, the world, and anything or anyone else to bring it on. I was ready for adulthood. Late last Sunday night though, I found myself freaking out. I had misplaced my psychology book and had a test the next day. As I scoured my backpack, I noticed my entire gym uniform was also missing. I looked upstairs, downstairs, and everywhere else in my house—no luck. My mom began to help me look

and comfort me when I came to the conclusion that I would fail my Psych test and be the irresponsible gym leader who would have no uniform the rest of the year. She assured me that my gym uniform would turn up and that we'd find my book. A little while later, my dad told me to check on a table in our basement. Sure enough, my book was there. My gym shirt turned up in the lost-andfound, and another student had mistakenly taken my shorts. Yes, this story shows that I'm disorganized. But more importantly, it shows that I’m not the independent, real-world-ready adult I've always seen myself as. I probably fall more along the lines of a naive suburbanite in for a rude awakening come next fall. This Sunday night occurrence made me aware of how much I rely on my parents—for making my lunches, doing my laundry (although I'm learning), and, of course, finding my stuff. Had it not been for my parents that night, I probably would have had a panic attack. Their help

saved my night and probably my Psych grade. I’m pretty confident that I can handle the academics in college, but who will be there to help me look for my stuff? My studying-obsessed roommate? My pet fish, Stanley? Maybe I am alone here, but I believe most high school students, myself included, are a little more helpless than we like to let on. When I began this commentary, I intended to mock the “false independence” of myself and my peers. But what I've realized is that, as high school students, we are allowed to feel inadequate at times. As the saying goes, "we are just small fish in a big pond." For some of us, it is a really, really big pond. The majority of us are between the ages of 13-18, so it is only normal to need our parents for some obstacles that seem insurmountable. Likewise, it’s equally normal that our parents inhibit us at times. However, it is important to note is that this helplessness becomes a problem if it doesn't begin to fade.

This helplessness is important because it allows us to see our weaknesses and grow from them. It makes us aware of these problems before we begin living on our own so that we do not self-destruct. I’ve realized I’m not completely independent, and I do, in fact, need my parents. Now that I recognize that, I can work to ensure that next year, when I’m without my parents, I will be ready, at least somewhat, for whatever comes next. For seniors, next year will be a time of drastic change in our lives. We will move to a new city, meet new friends, and explore new interests; our parents will no longer be in the background to guide our every move. This is precisely why leaving home is so important—it is when we will grow most as individuals. As high school students, life as we know it will come to an end as we move on to the next chapter of our lives. Until then, it's fine to call mommy or daddy when we're lost in the city with no GPS or when our gym uniforms mysteriously vanish.

As a newer and therefore less established sport, the very prospect of paintball is alarming to overprotective parents. Its similarities to war can be startling, which is probably the reason it is labeled an “extreme” sport. Unsurprisingly, due to this first impression, many high schools treat paintball in the same way they would treat the plague. With almost no exceptions, high schools in our area don’t have a paintball club or team. As a leader in the CSL and one of best public schools in the state, one would think Maine South would go out of its way to show how committed it is to staying relevant and embracing new opportunities for its students. However, when the administration was approached with multiple plans for a new paintball club, all proposals were rejected. A sport that uses a marker, more commonly called a paintball gun, to fire small paint filled balls at high speeds towards an opponent should cause school administrators to sus-


staff writer

pect a high/certain degree of risk. However, it is a misconception that paintball is an extremely dangerous sport. In one study done by the American Sports Data Incorporation, paintball was shown to have an injury rate of .2 injuries of every 100 participants. According to American Sports Data the average weekend player would acquire one paintballrelated injury every 500 years of usual play at established, legal paintball

fields. Even in the face of this data it seems the main reason Maine South is reluctant to allow such a club is the potential for a paintball-related injury. The miniscule chance of injury gives the school an excuse to block any attempt to create a sponsored paintball organization. Meanwhile, current activities at Maine South hold a higher degree of risk than paintballing. According to the same

study, an established sport such as football has an incredibly high injury rate of 18.2 players per 100. This is a stunning 9,200% higher injury rate when you compare paintball to football, yet paintball is the sport shunned from our school due to its perceived danger. Even “safe” sports are much more dangerous according to the studies. Soccer has 9.3 injuries per every 100 participants and cheerleading has 9.0 injuries per every 100 participants. These stats are 4,650% and 4,500% higher than paintball, respectively. Having a paintball club would enable Maine South to boast that it offers its students opportunities that are among the most diverse in the state. Having that variety of choices would help give students the best high school experience possible. Dozens of interested students are hard to ignore. It is about time schools stop treating paintball like an ugly duckling and start allowing the student body, in a school club setting, to experience the pulse-raising, adrenaline-spiking sport.


Paintball club deserves a shot at South

Eric Freemon

SouthwordS 13

December 22, 2011

Vol. 48, No. 4

Joe Kozak , Class of ‘08 Knox College (IL) Postition: 6’4” Forward


Many talented athletes continue playing after high school. Here is a look at former Maine South basketball players who compete in college.

Varsity Hawkettes dance squad poses with ABC 7 reporter Tracy Butler on Nov. 16 after their performance for the News This Morning “Dance Team Dance-Off.” Many fans came out to support the girls at 4:45 a.m. in the spectator gym.

Joe Murray, Class of ‘08 St. Mary’s University (MN) Position: 6’7” Point guard

Hawkettes kick for ABC 7 Dance Competition

Pat Maher, Class of ‘10 Grinnell College (IA) Postition: 6’4” Guard

Austin Bryniarski

Justin Wasik, Class of ‘10 Macalester College (MN) Position: 6’2” Guard Kevin Schlitter, Class of ‘10 Augustana College (IL) Postition: 6’8” Center


Matt Palucki, Class of ‘11 Washington University (MO) Position: 6’6” Forward


14 SouthwordS

Maine South dance team shows off live


managing editor

n Wed., Nov. 16, the Maine South Hawkettes performed early in the morning for the ABC7 News This Morning “Dance Team Dance-Off.” The Dance-Off slated four teams—Lake Park High School’s Lancettes, Crystal Lake South High School’s Varsity Poms, Eisenhower High School’s Cardinal Dance Team and the Hawkettes—against each other, where one team was showcased each day throughout the week. The culmination of the contest occured that Friday, where an online vote took place to determine the winner. “ABC contacted our coach regarding the Dance Off after researching the highest-ranked teams who participate in a state dance organization, Team Dance Illinois,” said junior and Hawkettes captain Emily Yagihashi. “For a while, we did not know our competition, so we were very curious,” explained senior Hawkettes captain Michelle Larocca. “We did not find out until a few weeks before we would be taped.”

The spectator gym was crowded with people—the band, Varsity and Junior Varsity Hawkettes, Cheerleaders, student supporters, and parents—that gladly woke up extremely early to support the Hawkettes. “It was really early, but it was cool to see the Hawkettes, and the Hawkettes did great,” said senior and cheerleader Katie Solberg. “It was a great opportunity for them to be seen by the Chicagoland area.” One sign, held by Junior Austin Righeimer, read “Supporting Hawkettes > Getting Sleep.” Siblings of the Hawkettes also held signs of support. “It was very difficult getting up at 2:30 a.m., but every second was definitely worth it,” mentioned senior and Hawkettes captain Chase Krug. Tracy Butler, donned in a redand-black sweater, hosted the event, and spent the morning interviewing Hawkettes, their coach Jackie Graney, and fans. She did so while also tending to her weatherperson duties and giving the weather report. She was very proud of the girls. “As a mother, even I am proud of you, and I don’t even know you,” said Butler, who lauded the team’s efforts and dedication to dance. Butler was moved by the performance and referenced her two young daughters. The online vote started off pretty evenly on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 17, but by the deadline of

After a costume change, the Hawkettes performed their second routine on the ABC 7 morning news. Although the Hawkettes did not win the “Dance Team Dance-Off,” they hope to once again capture a national title.

7 p.m., Maine South and Lake Park were within one percent of each other. The Lancettes ended up winning, but the experience was worthwhile. “We definitely wanted to win, but when this didn’t happen, we focused more on what an amazing opportunity we were given and how great of an experience we had with the dance off,” said Yagihashi. “We were also so thankful to everyone who took their time to vote for us.” Maine South ended up with 41 percent of the vote, while the Lancettes received 43 percent. The showcase was the largest of a series of publicity efforts made by the Hawkettes. “Our first moment of publicity was a special on Comcast Sport Net focusing on the lives of the Chicago Luvabulls,” said senior and Hawkettes captain Mollie Stevens. “Our coach, Jackie, had just made the squad and was chosen to have cameras follow her for a day, which included coming to one of our practices.” “We try to do a lot of charity work for the community; all different kinds of things like packing food for Feed My Starving Children or dancing at the 9-11 Hopefest Memorial,” said Krug. Stevens echoed Tracy Butler’s sentiments. “This publicity has shown some people just how hard we work and how dedicated we all are. Many people don’t realize how much we put into this team and this was a great chance to show them how much potential we truly have.”

Vol. 48, No. 4

December 22, 2011

South student hits it big with hopes for gold training under former bronze OlymNicole Johnson & Hope Allchin pic Medalist Nate Jones at both the sports editors Chicago Fight Club and the Taylor Park Chicago Park District. A typical practice for this 17-yearold fighter is a two-mile run, sessions on the punching bag, jump rope workouts, and mitt drills. With practice for two hours, six days a week, this senior still manages to fit time in for her school work, friends, and family. However difficult this may sound, Gutierrez welcomes the adversity. “I love the great amount of challenge in the sport,” says Gutierrez. “To be a top contender, it needs to be your number one priority.” While Gutierrez has her mother supporting her, not all parents would be comfortable with their child competing in such a physical sport. There are high risks of injury to the head, nose, and ribs which may be a leading factor in the scarcity of high school boxers. However, currently, a big part of training is injury awareness and prevention. “I understand the risks and dangers of boxing but I work very hard on training to protect myself,” says Gutierrez. This 5’4” boxer knows what it

You eat, sleep, and breathe boxing.


Senior Alicia Gutierrez (on left) boxes with her opponent in a match at the Sabre Room in Hickory Hills, Illinois, at a competition on Sept. 15.

takes to compete at such a high level and understands that it is not for everyone. “Not just the average person would be interested in boxing due to the high risk of getting hurt and the need to have self motivation and dedication to the sport,” Gutierrez says. Gutierrez is determined to make a career out of boxing, and earning a spot on the 2016 Olympic Boxing Team could be the next step in this illustrious career. Despite her young age, Gutierrez is prepared for the Alicia Gutierrez warms-up with her cogreat commitment and embraces the trainer before her match. challenge.



oxing is not a sport for everyone,” says Alicia Gutierrez, a five-year participant in the sport and Maine South senior. As a veteran in the ring, Gutierrez first discovered her interest in boxing at the age of 7 but did not begin to train until the age of 12. With support from her mother, Christina Gutierrez, Alicia escalated through the rankings, becoming a local champion and a national competitor. Holding past titles, including a two-year Illinois State Silver Glove Champion award, Gutierrez has set her sights on a higher honor: making the Olympic Boxing team. At the age of only 15, Gutierrez qualified for the 2009 USA Boxing Junior Olympic National Championship and won both state and national meets. Despite her hard-work, she fell short of making the 2012 Olympic Team. Although Gutierrez suffered this shortcoming, her dream of gold is still alive. She is currently training for the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is

Girls’ gymnastics returns with experience Erin Martell

sports editor


his year’s girls’ gymnastic squad hopes to build off last year’s success, where they placed third in conference, second in the Central Suburban League South meet, and made it to Sectionals as a team. The squad’s seven members include senior captains Jackie Angiolette, Lauren Conway, as well as seniors Allegra Miller and April Simpson, juniors Haleigh Sir and Nicole Allegretti, and sophomore Nicole Neider. Aside from Simpson, all the girls are returning varsity members. This year, Sir is a key component to the team. She qualified last year for State and has consistently been a top performer for the Hawks. “[Haleigh’s] an all-arounder,” said head coach Mrs. Robinson. “She went to State last year and I would like to see her there again.” Sir recently was cleared to participate after suffering from a pre-season injury involving a Senior Lauren Conway performs her balance beam rou- fractured bone in her knee. tine at the Hawks home meet on Dec. 13. “She is almost back to full potential and she did



really well [in competition],” Robinson said. Before the season started, the team’s goal was to score at least 130 points in a meet during the season. They have already met that goal, scoring over 130 points in their very first match on Nov. 29 in Deerfield. In fact, several of the girls’ meets so far have totaled scores above 130. On Dec. 1, the team came out of a tight competition with an overall score of 131.6. Similarly on Dec. 8, the girls scored an overall 132 points. Their most recent win, however, was Dec. 6, where the team totaled a score just under 130, at 129.6 points. “A lot of spots need improvement,” said Coach Robinson about the first match. “We are always lacking on bars. [Our gymnasts] work hard, [but] it’s something that’s always behind the other events.” “The girls are motivated and excited for this season,” said Robinson. “Qualifying for Sectionals is definitely a possibility.” The Hawks have already exceeded initial goals for the season, which coaches and players hope will lead to success in Regionals and beyond.

SouthwordS 15

• gymnastics • wrestling • girls’ basketball • boy’s swimming • cheerleading • hockey

Coaches’ outlook on winter season “We have a solid, strong team, and they need to continue to be consistent and continue their work ethic. I foresee these kids continuing to work hard and ending on a high note. My goal is to be in the final eight of the state tournament and go from there. It’s going to be a challenge, but they’re definitely capable. It’s a new beginning. I see a big future.” -Coach Tompkins

“ This year, we are rene w i ng our focus on the details and doing things the right way. We are hoping that this will result in significant improvement and more success throughout the course of the season.” -Coach Kura

“The Hawks finished a two-year run with back-toback 20-win seasons for the first time in 31 years. With two returning starters, the Hawks look to keep the run going. Look out for the perimeter attack of Calabrese, Lahey, and Vey with the inside presence of Solari and Tsichlis.” -Coach Lavorato

“We are off to a great start after beating Wheeling 60-38, Barrington 65-32, and Grayslake Central 55-21. We are ranked fourth in the state by the Sun Times and third by the AP rankings. These are our highest pre-season rankings in over 25 years. We return all five starters and our top six players from our team that finished third in the state last year. Furthermore, it has been a pleasure working with the 10 talented and hard-working girls on this year’s varsity roster. We have high expectations for this group... but [we] play in a very tough conference where every team has improved.” -Coach Smith

“‘Earn it’ is this year’s theme. Our team goals are to win the CSL Title again (this would be 6 in a row and 10 since the year 2000) and to win the IHSA Regional Tournament. We are led by senior captains Tony Mastrolonardo, Nick Schaefer, and Michael White. Our seniors include Mac McGinnis, Vinnie Barone, Aman Kapoor, Kyle Muss, David Sadowicz, and returning to contribute big...Stefan Barac. Dan Brewster is our most outstanding 2012 class member and a returning 30+ match winner from last season. Other standouts are returning state qualifier Terry Calkins and super sophomore Tom Brewster.” -Coach Fallico

“I’m looking forward to my varsity team being able to meet goals set by themselves and as a whole team and, at the end of the season, having a lot of individual girls qualifying for Sectionals and qualifying as a team. They are a strong group and motivated to do well. My main thing is them meeting their own potential.” -Coach Robinson

“The winter season is when the cheerleading program is working their hardest. We must balance our cheer support for the Maine South basketball teams with practices & choreography for the IHSA cheer competitions while exhibiting positive attitudes, teamwork, school pride & academics. One of our varsity team goals is to reach a top 10 placement at every Invitational. Our varsity team has won all three Conference competitions & hopes to capture their fourth title on Jan. 11 at Glenbrook North High School. Hopefully, the Hawks will receive a top-five placement at Sectionals.” -Coach Coy


boys’ basketball

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