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St. Agnes Academy


9000 Bellaire Boulevard Houston, TX 77036

What’s Inside

The World Today

Taylor Chukwu Features Layout Editor

See page 3.

Fresh Faces

See pages 4 and 5.

Feel the Rythym Find out what music students at St. Agnes have been listening to this summer. See page 6.

Can you

handle the horror?

Abby Varona Sports Layout Editor


rat boys, toga parties, ex-boyfriends and more, the senior class of 2014 did not disappoint in dressing up their freshmen for Fish Week 2013! Welcome Week officially kicked off Tuesday, September 3 with “baby day” for the freshmen. Dressed from head to toe with bibs, pacifiers, and baby bottles, the freshmen walked the halls of St. Agnes Academy while their big sisters watched them secretly. The day ended with the orientation skit, which welcomed the freshmen class to their new home. From falling sophomores, to the revival of Brittany Spears, to improvising Miley Cyrus, the

See if you can handle the scariest movies of all time See page 7.

Ask The Seniors! Need some advice on how to get through St. Agnes? Get the inside scoop from your seniors!

PHOTO CREDIT: ABBY VARONA Dancing the night away: Senior Rachel Snow (middle) smiles with her two freshman while having a good time at the Freshman Orientation Dance.

To advertise with The Columns, contact the staff through our email address:


Swimming the hallways: Freashmen, dressed as whales, are pictured with their Big Sis’ after being paraded through the halls with their fellow classmates.

ten from her I knew she was going to be great! Once she found me, she was so happy to see me and couldn’t stop talking about all the fun we were going to have as a group in the days to come. It made me feel so welcomed at SAA. You could tell that she was so excited about making my fish week an awesome one!” The freshman and seniors were then taken to a prayer service organized by Ms. Sklut and the campus ministry team. This was followed by a lunch put on by the Mother’s Club. Friday morning the freshman were in for a big surprise. It was the annual Big Sis/Lil Sis parade, a day for completely humiliating the freshman. This was the day the seniors dressed their freshman little sisters up and marched them around the school. This year’s seniors were praised for their creativity and variety of costumes. Some standout groups included cowboys vs. aliens, ducks,

whales, Crayola crayons, tacky bridesmaids, Taylor Swift’s exboyfriends, Toy Story characters, Monster’s Inc. characters, a toga party, vampires and even a Southern gospel choir. Freshman were forced to quack, “twerk”, flail on the ground, and sing on a senior’s command. Veteran teachers Mrs. Turney and Ms. Crank called this year’s parade “the best they had seen in many years”. But the highlight and most an-

ticipated event of whole week was the ’80’s themed neon dance. St. Agnes girls geared up in their brightest neon colored clothes and danced the night away, even the mosquito infestation could not dampen the great night. The neon dance seems to be the most beloved experience from the whole week. The dance concluded an unforgettable week for both the freshman and seniors and anticipation for next year’s fish week.

Bettina Darling

Page 2...................Editorial Page 3........................News Page 4-5.......Center Spread Page 6-7................Features Page 8.................Tiger Tail

sophomores, juniors, and seniors all put on a great show to welcome their new sisters. Senior, Rachel Sanchez, loved being able to be a part of something that plays such a big role in bringing the student body together at the beginning of the year. “It meant a lot to me especially because it was my senior year,” Ms. Sanchez commented. Day two of Welcome Week continued with “beach day”, where the fish were decked out in Hawaiian shirts, coconut bras, and hula skirts. “My favorite part of beach day was seeing everyone all dressed up and doing all the funny tasks my big sis had me do,” Freshman, Amber Boettinger, said. Each day the seniors were able to see their little sisters dressed up in whatever outfit they gave them and spoiled them with lots of sweet candy. Whether it was taking selfies with teachers or asking a certain Strake Jesuit senior for their hand in marriage, the freshmen had their fair share of embarrassing but hilarious moments. To conclude it all, the fish were finally able to meet their big sisters on Thursday. Every St. Agnes student remembers what it was like being a freshman and meeting their Big Sis for the very first time. In most cases it’s a time of awkwardness, excitement and even a little worry; this year was no different. Freshman waited patiently in their fourth period class to be picked up by their Big Sis. Julia Ramon recalls her initial meeting of her Big Sis, Ashley Fernandez, “Meeting my big sis for the first time was very exciting! From all the letters I had got-

Girls with Sticks

See page 8.


Volume 63 Issue 1

Diving into Fishweek

Find out what’s happening around you in news.

Find out all about the new teachers walking the halls of St. Agnes Academy.

October 2013

Students Out Layout Editor


hen was the last time you had to live with your sports equipment for a week? Eat with it by your side, sleep with it next to your bed, have conversations with your friends with it in your hand? Well that’s what St. Agnes Field Hockey was instructed to do for the first week of school, with the threat of sprints if ignored! On the official first day of practice, the varsity team was instructed to become “one with their stick,” as their coach, Virginia Hudgins,

would say. The stick was to always be kept in arm’s length of the player day and night! Players complained about teachers refusing to allow the stick in their classrooms, claiming it to be a weapon of mass destruction, but the only reply given to them by their coach was, “If they have a problem, tell them to come talk to me.” Luckily, the players made it through the week with only minor injuries, and maybe a few detentions! Go Tigers!


PHOTO CREDIT: VIVIAN VU Sticking it to the man: Seniors Ana Perez (left) and Monica Bueso (right) pose with Coah Hudgins (middle) after a long afternoon of practicing field hockey.


2013 Quarter 1

the columns

SAA Journalism staff ST. AGNES ACADEMY 9000 Bellaire Boulevard Houston, Texas 77036 713.219.5400

Advisor..........................................................................................Ms. Felicia Miller Editor-in-Chief.............................................................................Kathy Lester Editor-in-Chief.............................................................................Ellen Neiers The Columns: Editorial/News Editor..................................................................Amanda Pope Center Spread Editor....................................................................Reilly Knecht Features Editor..............................................................................Taylor Chukwu Reviews Columnist......................................................................Angela Ott Girl Code Columnist...................................................................Haley Rocha Tiger Tail Editor............................................................................Sara Donovan The SAA Buzz: Sports Editor/Wellness Columnist.............................................Abby Varona Students Out Editor/Entertainment Columnist.......................Bettina Darling Just for Girls Editor.......................................................................Isabel Scott Around the School Editor............................................................Catie Eichler

The Columns is the student newspaper of St. Agnes Academy. Its content, which is the responsibility of The Columns staff, is not subject to direct administrative approval. Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the newspaper, while Opinions columns represent the writer’s perspective. Advertisements do not represent the newspaper’s viewpoint. The Columns, an open forum, welcomes signed letters on pertinent issues from the SAA community. The editors reserve the right to edit and decline to print letters. All writing may be submitted to ADVERTISING POLICY The Columns accepts advertising that does not promote illegal services or immoral products to its readers. The moderator reserves the right to accept or deny advertising with her discretion. Contact the Journalism Staff at for advertising rates and information. Upon approval of the advertisement, The Columns promises to follow through on all contracts. If advertisements are not approved, The Columns promises to refund the fee in full. St. Agnes Academy Mission Statement Rooted in the Dominican tradition, St. Agnes Academy provides a Catholic college preparatory education that encourages young women to develop intellectual curiosity, to work for social justice and to act with integrity and compassion.



-Each bedroom has individual bathroom! -3 reserved parking spots in front of condo and front gate remote controls! -Full size washer and dryer! -Furnished kitchen, living room, and dining rom! -Pre-wired network connections and cable TV (service and TV not included) to all rooms! -Smoke and pet free unit! -Surrounded by a full size pool, BBQ pits, and volleyball court! -A small safe community for your student to live!

Whether you are Aggie alum or a diehard fan, save a bedroom and always have a place for special events!

Pictures, additional information and tours are available upon request to Ed Cuccia, father of Kimberly Cuccia SAA Grad 2010 , at

Vol 63 Issue 1

Traveling with Grant Recipients Kathy Lester Editor-in-Chief


f you had the chance to choose where you wanted to visit, anywhere in the world, where would you go? New York City? How about Spain? Wait! What about Italy? Well if you are a teacher, Mr. George Fleming is the man to help you get there. Since 2009, Mr. Fleming has presented the Fleming Grant for Teaching Excellence to several worthy and outstanding teachers at both St. Agnes and Strake Jesuit. The Fleming Grant was created in honor of Mr. Fleming’s father, who was a school teacher, so he understood the financial circumstances that teachers face today. Because the said truth is that teachers are not paid a lot. So the Fleming Grant “allow[s] teachers an opportunity to do things they couldn’t afford otherwise to enhance their teaching,” says Mrs. Fritsch. Teachers apply for the grant and outline exactly where they wish to go, the budget cost of the trip, and submit the application in October. Meaning seniors are not the only ones going through the application process this time of year! The applicants wait until the December faculty Christmas lunch in, to hear who all received the grant. The results are then repeated in front of the whole school during the Celebrate SAA in May. After teachers receive the grant and use it, they have to give a presentation to the faculty/staff, administration, and the board of directors! Last year’s selected recipients were Coach Sicola, Mr. Wood, Mr. Calais, Mrs. Fritsch, Mr. Sutter, and Mr. Zoch. Each teacher traveled or participated in a different or unique experience. The question for Coach Sicola is where she had not gone with her grant money! She “traveled to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Ellen Neiers Editor-in-Chief


If I were a rich girl: This Rhode Island mansion, called The Breakers, is one of the Vanderbilt family compounds that was one of the many scheduled stops for Mrs. Fritsch on her travels. The 20th Century house is a little girl’s fairy tale dream house!

Pompeii in Italy and to Athens, and Cape Sounio.” Her favorite part of the trip was “Visiting Michelangelo’s house” because “he has always been one of the most inspiring artists to [her due to] his understanding of the human body and his portrayal of it in his art.” When Sicola was not busy traveling and mesmerized by Michelangelo’s work, she enjoyed “eating gelato every day.” Sicola says that “Seeing so many famous art pieces inspired me to start painting again and more often as a way to release and free myself from stress. I will encourage my students to use creativity to de-stress from the everyday rigors of St. Agnes Academy.” On a side note, Sicola mentions that when she was not busy traveling, she enjoyed “eating gelato every day!” Mr. Wood traveled to New York City to participate in a “program for teachers on Broadway, where they [saw] a play[s] and then meet the actors and directors,” says Mrs. Fritsch. Mr. Calais traveled to Italy with his grant money and used his trip to enhance learn more about theology, to bring back to his classroom. When asked Mrs. Fritsch said, she “went throughout the whole south east of the US. We went through Vicksburg, Mississippi to Birmingham, Alabama then Ashville, North Carolina then Charleston, South Carolina and then Orlando, Florida. I went to all the important historical sites from pre-revolutionary war through the space age,

basically.” Mrs. Fritsch commented that from the trip she “learned a lot about history and was able to see like what I had been teaching!” She explains that she is now able to “bring [her] pictures and memories of [the trip] to the class room and better talk about the things [she teaches]” to her students. Mr. Sutter’s trip was postponed and is scheduled for this upcoming summer! Mr. Zoch explained that he did not travel anywhere, but used his grant money to take another history class on Early Modern Europe, focusing on the Protestant Reformation, “towards a MA in History.” The grant helped to fund his “tuition and books” and, if not for the grant, he “couldn’t have taken the class.” Mr. Zoch says while he is a Catholic who he was originally raised a Lutheran, the class gave him the chance to “[read] about Luther and the time-period in depth was quite interesting.” He learned a lot and saw how his subject, Latin, connected with the 16th century because “so much of it was written in Lain (e.g., Sola Scriptura).” Every teacher who is awarded the Fleming Grant has taken advantage of the great opportunity Mr. Fleming has graciously presented. The SAA teachers gain a lot from visiting or going back to school and it shows in the class room, one way or another. Good luck to current applicants for the grant!

Changing the World a Step at a Time

s a long held tradition at St. Agnes Academy, the class of 2014 have been travelling around the world near and far to complete their senior service projects. Though it is required of the seniors, the administration of St. Agnes, especially Sr. Jane, hopes that the girls enjoy serving others and return with an experience that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. St. Agnes provided many service opportunities for the girls such as volunteering in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Africa. Others students looked for local opportunities in the Houston area like Camp Smiles, Camp Blessing as well as volunteering at the Westview School for under privileged children. With so many opportunities, the academy women were able to touch the hearts of the people around the world.



the Batayes located in the Dominican Republic with a group of eight other girls from St. Agnes. There, we met children who lived in houses filled with several families with limited space and no floors. While we were there, we were able to help them build cement floors and trenches for their houses. Along with hard work we were also able to get to know the people and their community, learn their stories and connect with them on a higher level. Though there was a language barrier, our actions seemed to speak louder than words. The things we did will never be forgotten, and they will never be forgotten by me. Service is a key way to grow closer to the communities surrounding us. It is one of the reasons St. Agnes encourages us to serve, not just as seniors, but the time we have and even after we

PHOTO CREDIT: LAURA PENN Working in the Batayes: Seniors from St. Agnes take a break from working in the Batayes to smile for a picture with the kids from the community.

leave. It is our responsibility to accept and care for those around us. We are nothing without each other and the seniors at St. Agnes have definitely learned that over the past four years of growing, learning and serving as a class.

2013 Quarter 1


Vol 63 Issue 1

the columns

Who’s Who in the 2013 Election? Isabel Scott Just for Girls Layout Editor


013 is a big election year for Houston. On November 5th, citizens older than 18 will vote for the next mayor. Needless to say with issues such as the recession, gay marriage and poverty on the front line of the political debate, this year’s election is set to be crucial. The candidates are lined up with Annise Parker, running for reelection, and Ben Hall, running a competitive campaign. Who are Annise Parker and Ben Hall and what is on their agendas? Annise Parker: As Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker led the city to first place in job creation. In addition, under her wing Houston was awarded “America’s Coolest City” (Forbes) and the 7th best place in the world to visit in 2013 (New York Times). One of Parker’s crucial goals is for Houston to become less dependent on loans while still accomplishing more. Establishing new city facilities such as parks and libraries creates a better environment and smaller crime rate. Parker comes from a hard working family. Her father had to work his way out of a business venture gone tragically wrong. This is the inspiration that fuels her drive to ensure economic opportunity and

high quality of life to Houston families. We see this in her payas-you-go comprehensive street and drainage improvement program that will provide more jobs for Houstonians. Parker along with her life partner, Kathy Hubbard are frequent advocates for adoption, adopting two daughters and a son to complete their family. Parker, a long time citizen of Houston who attended Rice and worked for the oil and gas industry before entering politics, plans to use the knowledge of the city she has compiled to serve Houston. Ben Hall: Ben Hall’s graduation from the University of South Carolina in 1977 represents a key character point in his campaign. In order to receive his education, Hall fought against the stereotypes set against African Americans of a poor background. Early in his life, he showed exemplary perseverance. However he did not stop there, he received a PhD from Duke University and went on to attend Harvard Law School. Hall applies his knowledge of the Law and his sense of courage, tenacity and justice to speak up on behalf of those who need help in his community. Inspired, Hall founded the nationally recognized Hall Law Firm in 2000. Hall and his wife, Saundra, have two sons committed to bettering Houston. Hall plans to focus on crime,


Editorial/News Layout Editor

n the 2012 State of the Union address, Obama stated, “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.” The United States holds the second largest technically recoverable shale oil resources globally. However, with this plentiful resource our country has a massive responsibility to its people and to the environment, and it has been called into question whether we are protecting either of them. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layer by blasting a mix of water and chemicals 8,000 feet into the ground, creating great pressure, which breaks apart the rock and frees up the gas. Tony Ingraffea, professor of Engineering Cornell University, claims that “it [fracking] aint your grandmother’s gas well” with “longer wells, higher pressures, higher volumes of frack fluids, more wells per pad, we should expect higher risk and

Angela Ott Review Columnist



On the campaign trail: Candidates Ben Hall and Annise Parker are both competing in Houstons mayoral race.

education, transportation, infrastructure, drainage and diversity. To lower crime rates, Hall campaigns that Houston only imprison those who participated in violent crimes while sentencing those guilty of non-violent crimes to community service type punishments such as mowing over grown lots. Ben Hall plans to help fix our public school system. He will work with the school systems to create a quality education experience that blends in real world business experience; education is a priority for Hall. Also on Hall’s agenda is to address transportation issues through planning and transit options. Utilizing citizens Hall administration will take ad

higher accident rate and that is what we are seeing.” Natural gas from fracking may seem like a silver bullet solution to all of our economic and environmental problems, however, one must take into account the failu-

to do anything due to the 2005 exemption from the Safe Drinking Act, known as the Halliburton loophole. In addition to an exemption from the Safe Drinking Act, the oil and gas industry has an ex-

res that have occurred in several

emption to the Clean Water Act, WWW.OCCUPYDENVER.COM

It’s in the Water: Cracks in the ground and cement covering the pipeline can cause the gas to migrate upwards into the water.

of the wells. In fracking, around the well casing, there is a thick cement layer that prevents gas from migrating up into an open annulus, where it can migrate into an underground drinking source. Multiple studies have shown that 5% of oil and gas wells leak immediately, and that around 50% of them fail within a 30 year time period. However, the oil and gas industry is exempt from having

Houston Restaurant Week (the right way)

vantage of the digital age to allow citizens to self-report road problems and repairs on their computers or cell phones allowing for a smooth and immediate improvement. Similarly, Hall promises to test the current method by employing innovative drainage solutions from the city’s famous engineering specialists. To wrap up his mission, Hall states that the diversity of Houstonians’ ancestry allows for a rich environment that results in a stronger community. Houston is a fortunate city for both of these candidates who show promise of launching the city further into the future.

what does it mean to Frack? Amanda Pope


Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response Conservation and Recovery Act, National Environmental Protection Act, Superfund law and the Toxic Release. What this means is that if the pipeline fails and the gas rises into a underground aquifers and into people’s tap water the oil and gas companies aren’t held account-


able. In several reports, people locate near drilling sites have shown their tap water to be flammable due to methane in their water supply, however gas companies deny any responsibility, claiming that this occurs naturally. However, this flaming faucet occurrence has been reported from Pennsylvania to Texas to Australia, all located near gas drilling sites. Though all of the chemicals that are used in fracking are not known, certain chemicals have been discovered through documentation and flow-back water. These chemicals are known carcinogens that can cause birth defects, nervous system disorders, and cancer. This phenomenon of flammable and deadly water supply has impacted entire towns, such as Dish, Texas and Dimock, Pennsylvania, where corporations are not taking responsibility and states are not protecting their citizens. As one reporter stated, “the line between government and industry has become so blurred, [that] the public bodies are supposed to regulate industry instead of becoming captured by it”. Not only is this contaminating our water supply, but also our democracy.


or those of you who don’t know, Houston Restaurant Week serves as a blissful time (similar to Christmas) for foodies or people who just want to finally visit those ritzy eateries without the heart wrenching check at the end of the meal. In essence, the Houston Food Bank garners a big list of prime Houston restaurants who volunteer to offer a special menu, typically consisting of three choices for three courses all for around thirty dollars. Awesome, right? Not only does this whole month offer great prices, but the selected restaurants have agreed in advance to give a portion of their proceeds to the Houston Food Bank. How can anyone pass up good (cheap-ish) food for a good cause? I obviously can’t. Every year, my sisters and I usually save up what little money we can find and try to squeeze in as many food outings as possible. Luckily, this year I had more than my fair share. For our first stop, my sisters and I chose Haven Restaurant. Known for its seasonal and organic flair, Haven boasts a delicious and wholesome abundance of local flavors. After sharing some amazing shrimp fritters and eating our own respective entrees, we parted ways and each took a nice nap. This meal, which consisted of an appetizer and entrée for each of us, cost twenty dollars per person and was my personal favorite of the week. In comparison to the menu used for the rest of the year at this business, this meal was definitely a steal. A few days later, visions of brunch danced in our heads. After much research, we decided upon Sorrel Urban Bistro. My sisters both got an amazing lobster benedict, while I settled for a simple but delicious frittata. In addition to appetizers, this cost us only twenty dollars each. While I wish I could go on and on about HRW, my limited column space and school-tired brain restrain me from doing so. In all, I highly recommend checking out even one restaurant listed to participate in Houston Restaurant Week. If you don’t come for the prices, at least go for the cause.

Fresh Faces By: Sara Donovan

There are many new faces at St. Agnes this year standing up at the blackboard, teaching Academy women, and preparing them for the future. Here are some fun and interesting facts about the newest members to the St. Agnes community.

Ms. Grisbee

Ms. Jorlando

Subject: Communication Applications State Traveler: Ms. Grisbee has lived in many states, including New York, Vermont, Missouri, and now Texas. Around St. Agnes: She also works as the Assistant Librarian and the Interpretation and Speech coach. If she’s not in the classroom… you can find her walking her dog Stella, filling up on French fries, or prepping the Speech and Debate team for their tournaments.

Subjects: English 1 and 2 OH-IO: Ms. Jorlando is a native Ohioan; she moved to Houston 2 years ago. Potterhead: She is a huge Harry Potter fan- she even named her new puppy Gryffindor! If she’s not in the classroom… you can find her coaching the varsity lacrosse team!

Subjects: Biology and Chemistry 2 Truths and a Lie: He’s snuck up walls and roofs at night in rural Japan, fired an 8 pound Civil Warera cannon and nearly been eaten by a hippo. Can you figure out which of these is not true? (You’ll have to ask him for the answer!) If he’s not in the classroom… you can find him practicing as a martial arts sensei!

Subject: Spanish 2 Familiar Face: Ms. Holbert graduated from St. Agnes in 2000! Spit Blood!: Ms. Holbert graduated from TCU in 2003, so her favorite animal is the horned frog is her favorite color is "obviously purple." If she's not in the classroom… you can find catching a football game or hanging with her bullmastiff Cheyenne and cat Bubba.

Mr. Ferrenz

Ms. Holbert 4

Ms. Polasek

Mr. Nesser

Subjects: Algebra 1 and Geometry Alum Status: Ms. Polasek graduated from St. Agnes in 2009. Hot DOG!: Ms. Polasek cannot wait for Dogs in the Den to roll around. “I used to eat like 5 hotdogs on those nights [...]. It was pretty bad.” If she’s not in the classroom... you can find her helping out with Campus Ministry or rooting for her Alma Mater, A&M.

Subject: English 1 and 3 Crusader Pride: Mr. Nesser graduated from Strake Jesuit in 1993. Good Eats: He loves the food in the cafeteria, but no dairy products- he’s lactose intolerant! If he’s not in his classroom… you can find him coaching his oldest daughter’s softball team or rocking out to Taylor Swift!

Subject: English Globe Trekker: Not only has she lived in Houston, Ms. Murray has spent time in Ohio, England and Japan. Calmed Nerves: She claims to not be nervous about anything at St. Agnes. (Just wait until the International Food Festival rolls around!) If she’s not in the classroom… you can find Ms. Murray riding and showing horses. She’s been doing it for almost 25 years!

Subject: Theology 1 and 3 Words of Wisdom: Mr. Garrett lives by the motto “Live on the other side of the Resurrection”. Growth Spurt: He grew 15 inches in 24 months! If he’s not in the classroom… you can find Mr. Garrett outdoors playing soccer, disc golf, and basketball, kayaking, swimming or biking, or with his dog “Buddy the Great”.

Ms. Murray

Mr. Garrett

Ms. Aydinian

Ms. Hernandez

Subjects: AP World History and US History Present Time: Ms. Aydinian said “[her] Christmas is not made without receiving a Lego of some sort.” Colder Weather: Her favorite season is winter, especially the ones with “the tiney hard dry snowballs.” If she’s not in the classroom... you can find hersponsoring St. Agnes’ Model United Nations club.

Subject: Theology Boys, Boys, Boys :Ms. Hernandez just moved from teaching at an all-boys school in New Orleans. Adventure Time: She once climbed a volcano in 11 hours, and survived with only a sunburn. If she’s not in the classroom... you can find her reading, most likely a Jane Austen novel!



2013 Quarter 1

Girl Code

Race for the Cure: It’s Here!

Catie Eichler Around School Editor

Writing the rules

Taylor Chukwu Features Editor


s a girl there are some things you never want hear about yourself or be asked about yourself. There are also some things you should never, ever say to another girl. If you are unfamiliar with these unwritten rules here are a few examples: 1. “What happened between you and [insert ex-boyfriend name here]? I haven’t seen him around lately.” There’s probably a reason you haven’t seen him lately so it’s probably not the best idea to bring him up! With time your friend will give you all the juicy gossip but only when she’s ready. 2. “Wow you look really tired today.” One of the worst possible things you could ever say to another human being. This is basically acknowledging how bad someone’s face looks. Don’t say this. Ever. 3. “You’re overacting. Calm down.” Do you really think saying this will make the situation better for her? Chances are this will only generate more anger and irritation. 4. “You’re still hungry?” Not only is this a mean and damaging question, it’s incredibly offensive. Most girls are already self-conscious about their body, so commenting on someone’s eating habits can further damage their self-esteem. If you want to be a good friend, uplift don’t shame. 5. “Stop being so emotional.” It’s in a girl’s DNA to be emotional. So don’t tell a girl (or anyone really) to stop being “emotional.” We’re just being human and we can’t stop being human now can we? 6. “You’re like a toothpick. You need to eat something” Another question that can be very insulting to girls struggling with their body image. You may envy someone’s body weight but telling someone to change their body is very impolite even if you’re joking. 7. “What happened to your hair?” You may not trying to be mean but to some girls this can be taken as a negative opinion. If you don’t like the way a friend’s hair looks give a kind hint (“Taylor next time you should….”) not just criticism. These are just a few things you should never say to the femail species. Trust me there are plenty of more examples but I could go on forever and ever...

Vol 63 Issue 1

the columns


nother successful year for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has gone by! The new year began in October 2012 with the end of the race in downtown Houston. A few days after the race ends, fundraisers begin sending out announcements and with a new goal for next year. This year’s race took place on Saturday, October 5th, 2013, where over thirty five thousand people, including over two thousand survivors, gathered together to run, walk or volunteer for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen is one of the most prominent breast cancer foundations known throughout the nation. Since 1982, Komen has played a critical role in the fight against breast cancer. It aims to aid breast cancer research and treatment, as well as to educate others all over the world about the disease. Over the years, the foundation has improved situations dealing with breast cancer from the volunteers who fundraise and participate in the race. Back when this foundation started, the government spent only $30 million on breast cancer research,

treatment and prevention. Today in 2013, the government devotes more than $850 million each year to those elements of breast cancer, all thanks to teams and individuals who fundraise for this cause. The Houston Race for the Cure occurs once a year on the very first Saturday of October, and thousands of people either run or walk the 5k

tutus and even pink light-up bras. Along with creative articles of clothing, you also observe the signs people are holding or the designs on their t-shirts. Teams and individuals usually fundraise and walk or run in the honor of someone they know who is currently fighting breast cancer, or someone who has lost the battle to it.

PHOTO CREDIT: CATIE EICHLER Race for the Cure: Participants demonstrate the amount of pink craziness that people wear during the race

with their friends and families. As soon as you arrive at Sam Houston Park at the break of dawn, the massive array of pink, the common symbol for breast cancer, wakes you up faster than an alarm can. Participants are decked out in everything from pink feather boas to pink knee socks to pink

My family and I have been participating in the Race for the Cure since 2007, and it has always been a tradition we look forward to. My mother started fundraising a few years ago in memory of our neighbor, Patricia Ann Best, who lost her enduring battle with breast cancer. Since my mom has

A Night to Remember Bettina Darling Students Out Editor


he 2013 VMAs, held at Barclay’s Center in New York City, was truly a night to remember. Celebrities like One Direction, Drake, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna were all in attendance for the annual award show. Many unforgettable performances were made including one of the more scandalous we have seen in a while by Miley Cyrus. She performed We Can’t Stop in nothing but a one piece, then stripped to a two piece for a duet with Robin Thicke to his hit single, Blurred Lines. Cyrus later made a statement that she was not ashamed by her perfor-

mance, rather, she was proud of all the attention received from it. Her goal was to make history and that is exactly what she did. In other news, ongoing “Haylor” (Harry Styles and Taylor Swift) drama continued during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for winning “Best Female Video” with I Knew You Were Trouble. Swift remarked, “I also want to thank the person who inspired this song who knows exactly who he is.” The camera instantly shot to Harry Styles face, one plastered with a smirk. As for the rest of the night, the crowd experienced a surprise visit from beloved 2000s pop boyband, NSYNC, as well as other performances from Kanye West, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and the list goes on! It was a memorable night that will definitely go down in the books!

WWW.MTV.COM The 2013 VMAs will defineintely be one to go down in the books with performances from One Direction, Drake, Justin Timberlake, and best of all, Miley Cyrus. It was truly an unforgettable night!


started fundraising, she has raised a total of over sixty thousand dollars for the cause, and last year I decided to take over her fundraising efforts, raising over twelve thousand dollars by myself, and I am currently fundraising to beat my amount from the previous year. Every year I look forward to walking the 5k with our team of neighbors and friends, wearing our “We Race for the Best” t-shirts and other pink accessories, as we did on October 5th. St. Agnes’ Pink Club, who also supports Komen Houston, participated in the race as well. Although the majority of people who cooperate in this enjoyable and beneficial event do it with a different person in mind, it is the fact that everyone unites to fight for the same cause that makes the experience worth doing. Along with walking the race with friends and family, it is also amazing to see the survivors, with their exuberant expressions, walk through the tunnel of pink balloons called the “Survivor Path” at the finish line. If you did not have time to do the race this year or you had no knowledge of it, I highly encourage that you and your group of friends at SAA sign up to do it next year- it will not be regretted!

Wrapped up Alexis Winborne Freelance Writer


ans Warped Tour has traditionally been an outdoor music festival in which bands from around the world compete and play to get noticed by big time record companies. Houston has always been a stop on the nationwide tour since the early 2000s. It has been a dream of mine to attend one since I was ten years old and my dream finally came true at this year’s Vans Warped Tour at Reliant Park. I’ve been to a lot of concerts over the last few years and Warped was nothing like the rest. There were five different stages with various big and small time artists whose genres ranged from dubstep to heavy metal. One of the most unique things about this particular event is that Warped gives you the opportunity to not only get close and intimate with your favorite band, but it even gives you the chance to meet the band after their set. My friends and I arrived at Reliant Park around 11:00 am. We were lucky enough to get AllAccess Passes to meet the bands and even be on stage with them as they were performing. We saw bands like Set It Off, Big Chocolate, Crizzly, Forever The Sickest Kids, Bowling for Soup, The Summer Set, Blessthefall, Never Shout Never, Memphis May Fire, and

many more! The bands that play on the bigger stages tend to draw bigger crowds, and with bigger crowds comes more energy, a.k.a. mosh pits. A mosh pit is typically a circle that forms in the middle of a large crowd where everyone just runs around and goes crazy… literally. One of my favorite moments was getting to take pictures and meet Matty Mullins, the lead singer of Memphis May Fire and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Matty and his wife, Brittany, live in Dallas. The Houston show happened to be the last stop on the Vans Warped Tour and Mrs. Mullins was anxious for her and her rock star husband to get home for some rest and relaxation, “I hate when he goes away for this long, I try to make it out to a few shows in the fall and some in the spring, but I’m really glad this is finally done though, I’m ready to have him home.” Vans Warped Tour was a great experience, despite the sun burn and blisters I got from running around all day going from stage to stage—did I mention it also rained? But that didn’t stop us from having the best day ever. Vans Warped Tour is a one of a kind experience; whether you’re a concert goer or not, it’s a great summer bucket list activity.


2013 Quarter 1

Vol 63 Issue 1

the columns


Catie Eichler


Around School Editor

6. 10.


HALLOWEEN Rosemary’s Baby 1968 - Rosemary and her husband move into an apartment with a bad reputation. They meet some peculiar neighbors and strange deaths of people they know occur. Rosemary becomes pregnant and she experiences odd things.

1978 - A psychotic murderer escapes on Halloween and stalks a teenage girl and her friends.


Poltergist THE SHINING 1980 - Based on the book written by Stephen King. A man named Jack Torrence takes a job as a winter caretaker at an isolated resort in the mountains for the winter with his wife and psychic son. His son has the ability to sense the dead. After living in isolation for five months, Jack goes insane and is driven to kill his family.

1982 - A family’s home is haunted by a crowd of ghosts.

The HAUNTING 1999 - Three people decide to spend the night at a haunted mansion for studying purposes. They soon discover the house has a ghostly past.

3. 1.


Jacob’s Ladder


1990 - Jacob, a retired soldier from Vietnam, returns home after war and has vivid hallucinations of hell.


psycho 1960 - An Alfred Hitchcock “masterpiece.” A secretary is on the run from the police, and hides out in a small motel run by a peculiar man, Norman Bates.

Hayley Rocha Girl Code Column

Reilly Knecht Centerspread Editor


lose your eyes and imagine yourself in the middle of Downtown Houston with the sparkling skyline in the background. You’re squished in between thousands of sweaty people waiting for the next performer to come on to the giant main stage. You can feel the tension in the crowd while everyone is waiting anxiously to see what happens next. Suddenly, all of the lights turn on at once illuminating the incredible festival grounds, the music starts blaring out of the speakers, and the crowd goes insane. That is only a glimpse of what was Free Press Summer Fest 2013. Kelsey Ralph (SAA sophomore) gives her input on the annual two day music festival: “I live about two blocks away and every time I pass the park, I am overcome with joy and excitement from the memories. I feel like it was yesterday.” She was just one of the many St. Agnes students

1976 - An American ambassador learns that his son is the Anti-christ.

The texas chainsaw massacre

tHE EXORCIST 1973 - A twelve year old girl named Reagan starts experiencing odd behaviors. When the behavior becomes severely evil, an exorcism is performed by a priest.

1974 -A murderous clan in Texas kills lost people who are passing by. The leader is a man called “leatherface”, who makes masks out of other people’s skin.

Starting summer off with a bang who attended the stellar music festival. The festival grounds included 6 unique stages, art from local talents, and diverse booths filled with food and merchandise. “It was bliss, like Houston was one big family,” Leigh Frederickson (SAA junior) comments on the thousands of people who attended the festival who were, for the most part, chill, excited to be there and ready have a great start to the summer together. The lineup included major artists such as Passion Pit, Calvin Harris, Alabama Shakes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Arctic Monkeys, Cat Power, 2 Chainz, Borgore and many more talented performers representing a large variety of music genres. From electronic to acoustic and rap to rock. Iggy and the Stooges, TV on the Radio, and Arctic Monkeys are rad examples of bands in the rock genre who got the crowds pumped up. Alabama Shakes and The Head & the Heart are more acoustic bands that were perfect to lay out on a blanket and chill to, while watching the Texas summer sun set in the distance. 2 Chainz and

PHOTO CREDIT: REILLY KNECHT Summerfest Finale: Calvin Harris showers confetti over the crowd during the Saturday night finale at the Mars Main Stage

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis did an amazing job of representing the rap genre. They played while the sun was at its peak so the crowd was basically in an oven, but the energy and excitement remained. The most popular genre that brought in the most enormous crowds is electronic. Calvin Har ris had the best performance due


to his hit songs such as “Feel So Close” and “Sweet Nothing.” The show was complete with an awesome light show, smoke machines, and confetti that was blasted over the crowd. Bassnectar killed it the last day with insane remixes of Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘N Nite” and The Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” with stunning visuals, in

credible light shows, and original mixes such as “The Matrix” and “Bass Head.” Summerfest not only began summer 2013 but was the “highlight” for all who were lucky enough to experience it (Cameron Kic-STH Junior). Check out the recap video! &feature=youtube

Tiger Tail

October 2013

the columns

Angela Ott Reviews Columnist

Vol 63 Issue 1

Ask the Seniors

Q: “What is Veritas Vacation Day like?” -Anonymous A: Veritas Vacation Day, or VVD, is a magical day that comes once a year in reward for our good Academy behavior. The school becomes a wonderful playground of happiness and school is canceled for the day. BUT, no one knows when it will happen so we always have to be on our best behavior.

Q: “Seriously strange question, but I’ve been wondering this since my first day of school. Does Sister Jane have an office here? And if so where is it located?” –Rachel Powel A: Real life: Sister Jane doesn’t have an office here at St. Agnes Academy, she has her whole home here. You know that random door right outside the cafeteria? That’s the entrance to her bedroom. If you’re ever at the Academy late at night and hear footsteps, that’s just Sister Jane tucking herself into bed. True story. (Actual Real Life: Sister Jane does have an office next to Ms. Cox’s office below the chapel; and Sister Jane lives in a convent nearby the school, she does not actually live at school despite her love for the school).

Q: “What if I don’t get asked to homecoming?” -Caroline Fogarty A: While Homecoming may seem like the biggest thing in your life at the moment, it really isn’t! And for some people, it’s really not their forte. I recommend planning a girls’ night on Homecoming night if you don’t happen to find a date, boycott the dance! Rent some good movies (or use Netflix), eat some good food, and just have fun!

Q: “Is there any advice you have for homecoming dates or anything else you wish you knew freshman year?” -Ellen Alley A: When it comes to Homecoming, the best date you can find is a friend! Find someone you can have a good time with and won’t have to worry about all the dance drama. And when it comes to your GPA, one thing I wish I knew was that freshman year does make a difference! Starting off your high school career with hard work and good grades can really help you for the next four years. However, don’t let school consume your entire life!

Check out the NEW St. Agnes Academy Website! 8

Columns October 2013  

Student newspaper for St. Agnes Academy

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