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March 27, 2009

Contest Winner Irmo’s “Biggest Loser” competition drew to a close this month. Hear what the trainer had to say.

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New Pre- IB program is in the works for fresmen and sophomores

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Features

the student voice of Irmo High School

Planning for field day has commenced malloryMACGARGLE business manager Field day is the one day a year when our school can come together as a team. With its warm and sunny weather to spend the whole day together. Field day is scheduled to be on May 29. Sibela Nye, Spanish teacher, presented the idea of field day in 2001. “When I first presented the idea of field day some people thought it would be a lot of work, and it is, but when you see smiles on everyone’s faces, it’s all worth it,” Nye said. “Anything for the kids.” The field day staff includes both student council members and also students who are not on student council. Sometimes parents even help out as well. The staff usually starts planning in January and doesn’t stop until field day. A lot of work, money, and coordination are required to make it all happen but it all turns out in the end. “It is a lot of work,” Nye said. “But it is fun. The support is amazing.” The first few years of field day, there were about 40 different games and activities, but this year there will be about 50. The class of 2009 have won the field day trophy every year since they were freshman. “There are competitions and we all work together and get closer as a school.” Nye said. “It is not predetermined who wins so it is more fun, and the support is amazing. If you are passionate about something, you can always do well.” Some activities planned for this year include “You Won’t Eat It,” based off of the show “Fear Factor,” the “Lip-Sync” competition, basketball and soccer, “Battle of the Bands,” “Eating Contest”, and dancing competitions. There is going to be great food like the usual hamburgers and hot dogs, and great activities throughout field day.

Results of Distrct 5 budget cuts

Students can sign up for these events in the cafeteria about three weeks before field day. There are also t-shirts that are sold for field day. Each year, students can get a different type of field day shirt, with each class with a different color. Yellow for freshman, green for sophomores, blue for juniors, and red for seniors. The field day staff has their own color, orange. T-shirts go on sale closer to field day. Taylor Bates, senior, part of the field day committee, says that field day is one of her favorite days of the whole school year. “I love field day,” Bates said. “I love to be a part of the games and see everyone support their class.”

FIELD DAY continued on page 2 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Field Day Events: Battle of the Bands Co-Ed Football Eating Contest Soccer Lip-Sync Contest Basketball Ultimate Frisbee Tug of War Rock Climbing Holy Bucket Obstacle Course Volleyball Kickball Breakdancing

To participate in these events, sign up in advance in the cafeteria.

Samantha Edwards

RALLY: During a stimulus rally at the state house on April 1, 2009, educators urged Govenor Mark Sanford to “take the money.” They were referring to the federal stimulus package that would benefit education.

jeannaCAMPBELL editor in chief Due to the fact that South Carolina is currently in a prerecession, Lexington Richland District Five has been forced to cut their budget. The pre recession, affects the school budget because schools no longer get funded through property tax. (Now they are funded through sales tax). In this case, the people within the community are spending less, giving the state less money, and the schools less money. According to Buddy Price, Director of Community Services for the district, schools within the district each need to cut back 10 percent of their supply budgets. “[The supply budget cut is] to help offset any

additional cuts that may be made by the state before the end of the year.” Price said. The amount that the district needs to save is 6.6 million dollars, but no final decisions are going to be made until the school board approves the recommendations made by Eddie Walker, principal. “The final plan I have requested is that 11.33 teachers to get cut, Walker said. The problem is that we are not sure how much money the district will get [from the state]. The department chairs and Walker

BUDGET, continued on page 2

German club members travel to Germany rileyMCCULLOUGH enter tainment editor German club members are about to embark on a cultural adventure to Germany on Saturday. The group departs March 28 and is to return April 6. Helga Hulett, German teacher, has only made this trip two times before and says it has been successful in many ways. The students will learn about a different culture and experience new and exciting things. Johnny Wenzell, senior, Lauren Sheally, junior, Adam Keller, sophomore, Austin Vaught, sophomore, Madeline Hazett, freshman, and Justin Neifert, sophomore, are the six students who are going on the trip. While there, they will stay with a host family for a week and in a youth hostile for a couple of nights while in Munich.

“[A youth hostile] is a hotel for a young person that is a lot less expensive,” Hulett said. “You can get breakfast and dinner for probably about one third of the price you would pay if you stayed in a hotel.” A few students are going to Germany because they became friends with the German exchange students that visited Irmo in October. Sheally says she is very excited about seeing her friend again because her birthday is coming up and Sheally is even bringing her a present. “It is not about Germany,” Sheally said. “It is about getting to go see my friend.” Wenzell says he is just really excited about trying something new and understanding German better. “It’s my senior year and I wanted to go on a senior trip,” Wenzell said. “[The trip] will also help me speak the language better. I just want to get out of the country, see how other people live, get new experiences, have

fun and add some excitement to my life.” According to Hulett, the students will be able to see many historical and interesting places. “We are arriving in Munich and we are going to stay a couple of days there,” Hulett said. “Munich is the capital of Bavaria. We will visit their Olympic stadium because Munich had the Olympic Games twice. Then we go to some of the big parks. One is the English garden, which is famous for art.” Hulett says Germany is full of historical sites to see. The group of students will visit many old places that are full of history. “Then we go to the old part of town of Munich,” Hulett said. “We are going to see the famous Hofbräuhaus, one of the famous restaurants there; it’s over 300 years old. Then we are going to the Dutch Museum and the German museum. Then the next day we leave for Lindou. Lindou is

on Lake Constance and we will stay to April 6. We will leave, then, on the morning, but in between we will go to school with the students and we will do side trips. We will go to the castle Newschwanstein. So we will be very busy.” Hulett says she believes this trip will be a huge life experience for the students because of all the wonderful things they will experience and learn about. “They will learn the different customs, how the people eat, what the people eat, how the people interact,” Hulett said. “It will give them an idea that just about everyone over there speaks at least a little bit of English because that is a requirement in there schools and it is not just an elective, it’s a core subject that they have to take. They will also see all the beautiful sights that are available because Germany definitely is an old country and there some really beautiful and interesting sites to see.”

irmo high school . 6671 st. andre ws rd . columbia sc, 29212


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02 FIELD DAY, from page 1

BUDGET, from page 1

Rachel Fogle, senior, also part of the field day committee, says she agrees with Bates. “It is good to see everyone’s school spirit.” Fogle said. Nye believes that field day is the one day of the school year where the school comes together and works as a team to become closer as a family, as well as a student body. “I love to see the variety of talent at our school, and I love watching everything fall into place and people having fun,” Nye said. “You reach so many in one day and you can still have fun in high school.” Sign up for your events and t-shirts in advance and enjoy a day of exciting fun for everyone. Nye and the whole field day staff pu in a lot of effort for field day and it all pays off in the end. “I take a lot of pride into field day,” Nye said. “But it is not my field day, it is our field day.”

Courtesy of Student Council

FIELD DAY: The 2007-2008 field day committee takes a nap on Sibela Nye’s classroom floor after weeks of preparation.

Possible Pre-IB program priyaPUROHIT opinions editor Irmo High School may have a PreAdvanced Placement/International Baccalaureate program starting in the 2009-2010 school year. The presence of this program depends on whether or not Irmo has the International Baccalaureate program next year. As of right now, it will be called the Pre-AP/IB Academy; however, in the fall there will be a contest for a different name. The intended purpose of the Pre-AP/ IB Academy is to help and encourage students to get accustomed to the fast pace and heavy workload of AP and IB classes for the future. Students would get used to feeling comfortable around their peers and work in groups better, the way they will have to do in both AP and IB environments. Olivia Peach, freshman, say she thinks a Pre-AP/IB Academy could help students significantly with AP and IB courses later on. “I personally think [the program] would be great,” Peach said, “I would do it because it can prepare me for the harder work ahead in 11th and 12th grade. Instead of getting slammed into AP/ IB courses, you can sort of ease into it.” Over the summer, a few teachers will get together to work out the guidelines and coursework students will be required to complete during the school year if they choose to participate in the program. Ideally,English classes for the new program would be held responsible for writing a miniresearch paper much like the AP and IB

students during their junior and senior years. Also, a large part of the curriculum will focus on poetry. The English classes will be similar to the History classes in the sense that both of them will consist of many class discussions and Socratic seminars to help teach lessons and help students understand better. History classes will also have to complete research papers and major projects. As for math and science, most of the class would be spent learning how to collect and use statistical data and apply it to real life situations. This goal will be accomplished with handson assignments and projects as well as special assignments throughout the school year. In classes preparing students for AP and IB, it is necessary that these kids learn to be bilingual and have a solid understanding about a second language as well as different cultures and backgrounds. As an addition, though students will only be in ninth and 10th grade, they will be allowed two trips to universities or colleges during the year as well as one day where guests come in and discuss their jobs and careers. Community service is greatly encouraged; if a student decides to go into IB he or she will have to complete 150 hours by the end of their last two years of high school. Students who wish to join should hold a “B” average their second semester of whichever grade they are in and have appropriate PSAT scores. If anyone is interested in joining the Pre-AP/IB Academy, they should contact Nora Whitley who will run the program at Irmo High School given that it is finalized.

have to decide which teachers will be cut. “I met with the department chairs to look at people in letters of agreement (contract agreeing for one year) and induction contracts (first two year teachers), followed by continuing contracts (annual contract). We look and see how many positions we need to eliminate in each category. For example, I couldn’t take all positions from math; I had to take 1.5 from science, two from English, and two from social studies and so on.” Walker said. According to Price, the budget cuts and cuts of staff are results from the recession we are in, as well as the fact that District Five is overstaffed. “Other districts are making the same kinds of cuts and hundreds of teachers and other employees are being affected,” Price said. The Budget cuts are expected to help the Bond Referendum passed this past year. “The recession will probably make it possible to do all of our referendum projects at a lower cost than expected, Price said. “The need for facilities is still very much there.” Another major cut that is being made, that has been recommended, is the chorus program. “.67 [of chorus] is being cut, so there will basically be no chorus. Nothing has been approved yet, I had to come up with 11.33 cuts and I just had no choice, I had to cut. I had to take a little from everywhere and the interest in chorus is decreasing. After school we have a Gospel Choir that is completely voluntary and it is doing great, and band is increasing every year, but chorus is decreasing.” Walker said. The empty classrooms that will be left the following year will be used for the current “floating” teachers this year. These are teachers who do not have a personalized room. “There will be a few more kids in each class next year as well, ” Walker said. Both Price and Walker believe this is a tough time for everyone, and the decisions they have made are required and tough. “This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in 30 years,” Walker said. “Before this the hardest thing I had to do was when I was hiring, I had to call people back and say they didn’t get the job. Now, the people I have hired, and have gotten on our team, these are people I know and appreciate, and I have to tell them they

Miss Yellow Jacket 2009 Winning Contestants: • • • • • • • • • •

Miss Yellow Jacket 2009 - Aubriaunna Guinyard Miss Freshman - Sydney Adams Miss Sophomore - Kelly Plemmons Miss Junior - Leigh Anna McKie Miss Senior - Morgan Adams Miss Congeniality - Sydney Adams Best Casual Wear - Victoria Jones Best Formal Wear - Ciara Robinson Most Talented - Meredith Melven People’s Choice Award - Ciara Robinson

03. 27 .09 Miss Yellow Jacket

BEHIND THE SASH:

Courtesy of Sherrel Mars

britniSLONE

Natalie Kaufman, Miss Yellow Jacket 2008 crowns Aubriaunna Guinyard, Miss Yellow Jacket 2009.

photographer

The annual Miss Yellow Jacket Pageant was held the evening of Mar. 21 in the auditorium at Irmo Elementary School. The pageant has been held for more than 20 years. “It’s one of the traditions the school has,” Sherrel Mars, pageant director, said. “I’ve brought the format back that used to be in place, which includes individual talent and community service.” With over three months of preparation, including a minimum of 50 hours of community service, fundraising, hair and makeup, dance classes and public speaking, the girls in the pageant did their fair share of hard work to participate. “The girls practice every Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m.,” Natalie Kaufman, senior said. “They work on walking and the opening number dance.” Kaufman was the winner of the pageant last year. The stereotype of “pageant girls” isn’t always completely correct. In addition to the preparation for the pageant, the girls do a lot of community and charity work for the benefit of others. “It’s not just about looking pretty,” Kaufman said. “A lot of work goes into being in Miss Yellow Jacket. You have to put your personal life on hold for three months to participate in community service and many other things because you want to.” Other than Miss Yellow Jacket, there are other titles to win. The titles include Miss Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior, in addition to Miss Congeniality, Miss Most Improved, Best Talent, Best Formal Wear and Best Casual Wear. “I believe to be Miss Yellow Jacket, you must have confidence as well as poise and elegance,” Kaufman said. “Also, just be yourself throughout the whole pageant and always wear a smile on your face and most importantly, have fun!” The winners of the pageant are determined by a panel of three judges, all of which are from out of town and unknown to the participants. “The girls were being judged on all aspects of the pageant—talent, casual wear, formal wear, the community service they complete, [and] their one-on-one interview,” Mars said. Leigh Anna McKie, sophomore thinks she would take more from the pageant than just a crown would offer her. “To me, winning Miss Yellow Jacket would mean a lot,” McKie said. “It would mean that I can influence people because of my status and it’d make me happy to know I got a crown. I’ve never done a pageant before and I’m doing it because I think it’s fun not just so I can win. I can use these skills later in life.” Mars says b ecoming comfortable in their own skin is one of the most beneficial things the girls that participated learned. “Those with low self-esteem, their esteem is lifted up,” Mars said. “Girls develop a sisterly bond and friendship that lasts throughout high school. Through training, they learn to conduct themselves as proper young ladies to go forth into the future.”


Features

03. 27 .09

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One man’s lifetime of wisdom stayed there for 34 years. After retiring from the company, he worked a custodial position at the former Campus I of Irmo kristenPOLINSKI Middle School. As Lorick aged, he had to cope with the loss of his family circulation manager members, often wondering why he is still here. “For all he did to me, the Lord must have got me here for something and I don’t know what it is,” Lorick said. If wisdom truely does come with age, then Nathanial Lorick has several children and even more grandchildren. Lorick’s 86 years have given him plenty of down-to-earth He is even a great-grandfather with a couple of great knowledge. After talking with him, his lined face and peppered grandchildren. hair soon reveal the many lessons we can learn from him. After his position at Campus I, Lorick took up a custodial Lorick was born into tough times, especially for African position at Seven Oaks Elementary in 1984 and stayed there Americans in the South. Growing up on a farm on Kinnerly until he retired. He says he would always talk to the children Road with 10 brothers and when he was there. sisters, Lorick’s father decided Years after Lorick had left that school wasn’t an option. Seven Oaks, a former student Instead Lorick’s childhood approached him at the grocery and teenage years were spent store. doing chores around the home “He said, ‘Mr. Lorick, I’m and farm. As Lorick puts it, going to tell you something. All he “had everything to do,” that talking you had done to such as feeding and watering me, I sure appreciate it. I can see the mules and cutting wood. what you’re talking about now,’” As Lorick hit his late teens Lorick said. he worked at a CC Camp for Lorick says he was glad four years. he was able to share his life “I got a little training experiences with the student. there,” Lorick said. “I used to He later came out of make butcher knives from the retirement and was employed metal of old cross-cut saws.” at his current job in the District He had to run his age up a Office delivering packages. year to get the job at the CC Often times when Lorick would Camp, but he loved working supervise some of the younger there because he was able to temporary labor, he would find earn some money to support himself out-working them. his mother. Steve Kane, Lorick’s In 1945 he was drafted supervisor says that Lorick into World War II and served has always given more than on the Pacific front. Lorick an honest day’s work. His was in the engineering core philosophies have always been to and built bases, docks and give 10 to 15 percent more than roads made of coral for other what is expected. troops. The officers would He always leaves his house Emma McWilliams DELIVERIES: Nathanial Lorick brings packages watch and admire Lorick’s work an hour early just in case his car ethic and wanted him to continue from the District Office to Irmo. This is only one of breaks down so he will arrive on his career in the military. time to his work place. Lorick says his many jobs. They would ask Lorick where he disapproves of those who come he got his work ethic and in to the job “with hands in their reply, Lorick would say “When you ask me to do something I’ll pockets.” He doesn’t believe in going into a job half-heartedly. tell you, ‘I try.’” After years of experiencing all that life can throw at a Lorick says he sometimes wishes he had stayed in the person, Lorick has gained a lot of wisdom. military, but nevertheless, he says he knows that he has done “Out there in the world you can find all kinds of people – a lot of good, whether it was his military service or his jobs in good people, bad people but you’ve got to go through life and South Carolina. ignore that and look ahead for yourself because you don’t want When Lorick turned 23 he went to work for SCE&G and any marks on you,” Lorick said. “Do the best you can and if

Timeline of a Few Major Events in Lorick’s Lifetime: 1922 Lorick was born

1941 Pearl Harbor attack

1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott began

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Civ 1929 Stock Market Crash

1945 Lorick served on the Pacific Front

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FCA meetings wi ll be on Thursday mor nings at 7:35 in the Stud y Hall Room. Bowling club ha s its last meeting of the year on April 29 at A nchor Lanes. The Spring Bloo d Drive that Student Cou ncil arranges will be he ld April 29 in the auxila ry gym.

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Compiled by Priya Purohit

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1975 Vietnam War ended

1969 First man on the moon

IRMO

1991 WWW went public

1985 LIVE AID Concert

2001 Terrorist attacks


Features

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03. 27 .09

Irmo High School hosts its first Biggest Loser contest anniePARHAM copy editor This year, Irmo High School hosted its first Biggest Loser contest. Twelve students competed in four teams for a chance to win a free membership to Pivotal Fitness on Saint Andrews Road. Senior Tiana Harmon was named the winner of this contest on Mar. 18. She found out she was the winner after Eddie Walker, principal, came to her second-block class to tell her the news. “My purpose in staging the Biggest Loser contest was to show kids how beneficial it is to set a goal and then take incremental steps to achieve that goal,” Walker said. The idea for this contest was brought to Walker by Pablo Heredia, a former Irmo student, after filming an episode of “Alive in the Hive” with David Brailsford, senior. Brailsford lost over 100 pounds after extensive diet and exercise. Walker says he believes Brailsford was the inspiration for this contest. Walker, who was in charge of this contest, got involved because he feels that fitness is a very important subject. He says he believes that everybody should be educated about how to keep healthy because health affects everyone. “Things that I don’t know about health and fitness can kill me or take years off of my life,” Walker said. “By David losing 100 pounds, he’s changed his entire life. Research will tell us now that he will live much longer, he won’t get sick as much, his quality of life will be better. … You can look at him and see the change in his appearance, and he’s doing better in school than he’s ever done.” The Biggest Loser contest began in December and ended in early March. To participate, students were first required to have their parents sign a form. Then, the students were separated into four groups of three—one group for each grade. The senior and freshman teams worked together and were assigned personal trainer Anthony Frederick of Pivotal Fitness. The junior and sophomore teams worked together with trainer Elizabeth LeBeau. “[Frederick] was tough, but it was good,” Harmon said. The workouts Frederick designed for the students included running on treadmills, lifting

9 10 graphics by Annie Parham

weights, sit-ups, and abdominal work with a training ball. “He just wanted us to come into the gym at least four times a week, and if we came five or more then it’s great,” Harmon said. In addition to the exercises Frederick taught the contestants, he also counseled them about changes to make in their diets. “I told them that they definitely need to eat breakfast … and they need to eat about five or six small meals a day … to keep their metabolism going,” Frederick said. “[I also told them] to not eat foods that are high in fat.” One of the reasons Hasita Patel, sophomore, joined this contest was so that she could begin eating healthier. “We made a goal with our trainer that we couldn’t eat fries every week,” Patel said. “We had to eat them every other week and compromise.” Harmon says that initially, making the changes in her diet was difficult, but says that “once you train your body how to eat and what to eat, it’s easy.” Making lifestyle changes8 wasn’t as easy for other students. Several obstacles came up that prevented them from altering their diets, a lot of which had to do with their parents. Frederick said that because some students were not in control of the groceries coming into their house, there were not a lot of healthy food choices for them at home. “I actually had one student tell me that her parents would actually bring bad foods into their house just to tempt the girl … to eat wrong,” Frederick said. Some students couldn’t drive, so they couldn’t come to the gym as often as they may have wanted to. Harmon says her job interfered with her going to the gym. “If I had to work, I’d come in early that morning like at 5,” Harmon said. “I’d be up at 4 and be at the gym by 5 and work out for at least an hour.” Having friends participate in the contest helped some students push themselves to continue. “As a team, we supported each other,” Harmon said. “When we thought we couldn’t do it

Anbria Garrick Taneeisha Hammett Dariel Williams Hasita Patel K-Shawn Louis Lexus Dickson

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anymore or we wanted to quit, we motivated each other.” Both Patel and Harmon enjoyed this contest because of the time they got to spend with the people on their teams. Patel, who entered the contest with her friends, says her favorite part of the contest was the time she got to spend working out with them. Harmon says she didn’t know the people on her team before this contest, but she enjoyed getting to know them. Patel and Harmon agree that the worst part of this contest was the strenuousness of the exercises, and Harmon says the running aspect of the contest was the most difficult for her. Harmon says she found out she won the Biggest Loser contest when Walker came into her 6B class on Mar. 18. She says she was really excited, but completely shocked because Frederick had told her that she hadn’t lost the most weight. “I chose Tiana as the winner because she did work the hardest,” Frederick said. “There were some days that she came in before she even went to school. … She started doing well toward the end. Nobody did well for the first half, but she did well toward the end. I think if the program would’ve continued, she would’ve definitely started seeing some pretty good results just because of her commitment to it. She got more committed toward the end, and that’s why we chose her.” Frederick says that no one “lost a very significant amount,” but he chose Harmon because of his pride in her dedication to working out. Harmon says that she hasn’t lost as much weight as she would like to yet but will continue working so she can meet her weight loss goal for prom. Harmon says she will definitely use her prize of six months of free membership to Pivotal Fitness to help accomplish this goal. Despite the fact that no one lost very much, Frederick says he thinks that this contest still benefitted those who participated in that they learned new things about health and fitness. “They learned how to accomplish what they want to accomplish,” Frederick said. Harmon and Patel agree that there are many benefits to participating in this contest. They both say that they learned a lot from participating, and Harmon says that because of this program, she has a lot more energy than she used to. Walker says at this time, it’s unknown whether the Biggest Loser contest will continue in future years. “If the kids want to have a Biggest Loser contest, we’ll have one in some way, shape or form,” Walker said. “If the teachers want to do it among teachers or among staff, then we’ll do it.” Frederick says he thinks if this contest were to ever come back, “there would need to be a lot more participation on the parents’ part.” Despite the difficulty of some aspects of the contest, Harmon and Patel both say they would do it again and recommend it to other students who are looking to live healthier lifestyles. “It’s not an easy task,” Patel said. “It takes a lot of giving up and compromising, but you can do it if you really put your mind to it.” Harmon has a similar opinion and thinks that this contest would help other students who want to get healthier. “Don’t be afraid to try,” Harmon said. “Walk or run or whatever. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.”

Jade Woolley Alivia Binyard Terrence Morgan

Tiana Harmon Shandrica Bennett Brittany Adams


03. 27 .09

Opinions

05

Cutting teachers shouldn’t be an option Always standing in someone else’s shoes kaylaGROFF production manager

Why are teachers being cut from District 5? This bothers me just a tad bit. According to the school board, the schools are overcrowded, yet we must let go of some of the best teachers we have due to budget cuts. Ok. So, how come we can build new schools but can’t keep the teachers we have already? Well, hold on now. If we let go of these teachers and build new schools couldn’t they be rehired at the new schools that will be built out in the Chapin / Ballentine area? According to Brock Heron, a

school board member, the board is hoping that more teachers will retire next year, this way they won’t have to let as many go. Basically the answer is probably not. I attended the last school board meeting that was held at the District Office, right after the rumor went around that 28 teachers were going to be let go from Irmo High School alone next school year. What concerned me when I attended the meeting was the greatest concern some of the board members had: how the new technology building was going to be built, and if it would be to their standards. Um hello? It was almost as if building new schools was more important than over 100 teachers losing their jobs. I have a little suggestion about the new technology school the board is planning to have built. First of all, the technology school is being built so students from Irmo, Chapin, and Dutch Fork can all take classes like Culinary Arts, Cosmetology and Auto courses. These sound a bit familiar. Maybe that’s because Irmo High School put in a new Cosmetology classroom this year that took up three classrooms and part of the carpentry shop. If the board is going to build a separate school for these types of courses, we should get rid of the technology classes we have here

Black ones, blue ones, long ones, short ones! kristenPOLINSKI circulation manager

Finding the perfect prom dress can either be a breeze or a stressful experience. My junior year, I went to First Impressions, and, after trying on a couple dresses, I found “the one.” The moment I tried “the one” on, I began thinking of how I could ever top this off next year! Could I wear the same dress again? No, I couldn’t, but to me my royal blue, empire-waisted, halter dress was the symbol of prom dress perfection. This year, I found myself back in First Impressions to find my senior year prom dress. I tried on just about everything in my size and a couple sizes up, and with the exception of finding one “maybe,” nothing I put on felt like “the one.” A week later I went to Greenville and visited a couple of the stores there. Disappointingly, I had the same experience. Why would finding a prom dress be such a challenge? All the store owners told me that the economy caused them to buy less dresses than normal, but if I found a dress I liked

in a catalog I would be able to order it through their store. I started to browse dresses online to see what could top “the one” from last year. I stumbled across an article about a dress building website, www. cbslimited.com, by the Rock Hill Herald. CB’s Limited is a Lancaster prom dress store, but the neat thing is that instead of clicking through thousands of dress styles, I could build my own dress using their Dress Builder feature. I chose the color, type, top style and back style and the dress results that matched my criteria popped up. Even though I did not find my senior prom dress on the site, I still got plenty ideas of what I wanted in this year’s dress. I ordered my long, black, and bejeweled-topped dress through First Impressions, despite the fact that I had never tried it on. I was nervous, but as soon as my dress came in, well let’s just say, its excellence was definitely worth my time and efforts. As to whether I will love it more than last year’s dress, well, I will make that decision April 18.

and put them in that school. This way, there will be more room for teachers to teach in classrooms instead of filling up the rest of the student parking lot with portables. While we’re on the subject of notso-wise budget decisions, the board is planning to cut the supply budget. This means that teachers won’t be able to run off all of those copies for tests and homework and things like that. We should be jumping for joy right? Wrong. This would mean that teachers would need to use more technology like overheads, Smart Boards, etc. That would be great, if the schools had the money to get these things for all of the teachers. I don’t think I’m the only one who has noticed that the overheads teachers do have at Irmo don’t always work either. I don’t know how many teachers I have had who have had to keep getting their overheads fixed, only for them to break again. I really hope the school board takes another look on how their decision to cut teachers is going to affect our schools. They should really be dealing with the issues of what the schools need to keep going (i.e. overheads, books and other materials) rather than cutting teachers.

emmaMcWILLIAMS features editor

My definition of “being fake” is when someone acts like they are someone they are not. This can come in many different forms, but in the end, the person is playing a part. Sometimes I feel I live and breathe this term. Not because of my personality, but because I become someone else’s personality. This sounds a little sketch, but let me explain. I play a part, and I feel for me to be an actress I have to step completely out of the shoes of Emma McWilliams, and into the shoes of a character in a play. Recently I have transformed into another person. My name was Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez in the play “Charley’s Aunt.” It takes lots of effort and time to change what makes you, you, to gain another person’s edge about them. I was a 40 year old woman, with an adopted niece. I was very rich, and very wise. ( Just so you know, I have none of those characteristics currently.) But why do people enjoy calling others “fake,” in a bad connotation when actors really are the most “fake” of all? But people adore them and go see all the movies just to get a glimpse of knowing what it’s like to be a person like them. They really aren’t like that in real life, but all professionals succeed in “being fake.” From this standpoint, getting lots of money and having your face plastered all over the world sounds like a grand idea. If being fake is the only way to get that, then I would be completely willing to do so. Changing who I am for a part is really fun. While I was on stage, I was completely different. I had a different personality, different posture, and different attitude towards many things. I knew things no one else knew, and in real life, I’m always the last one to know anything. The saying,“try standing in another person’s shoes” is the core to being an actor, I believe. While I was off stage, I was being myself, doing things my character never would do. Like dancing, for example. Dancing helped me calm my nerves. It almost set me back to who I really was for a short moment of time. Even though I know I’m not really Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez, I hope my part was believable. I wanted people to believe I was someone I wasn’t. To me, “being fake” is exactly what I was trying to do. Sure, in some ways “being fake” can be a bad thing when you are with friends and trying to make an impression on someone. But really, when I think about it, a good actor is someone who can be completely fake on stage.And that’s all I want to be,is a good actor.


Opinions

06

03. 27 .09

We are the only hope Darfur has left morganEDWARDS features editor

Darfur: we hear the name a lot. Some people get involved, some people truly don’t care at all, and some people are curious but not curious enough to research it. Up until recently I was one of the people who was simply curious. That is, until I read an article about a man who went through the horrors of the genocide in Darfur. Oddly enough, my first exposure to Darfur was through the eyes of one of the Sudanese soldiers who tortured the men and women. The soldier told the CNN reporter about how he was ordered by his government to kill and rape and how if he didn’t obey, he would be killed. The man being interviewed was called “Adam,” a fake name created for his protection. He explained how he was lied to; he was told he would only be gone for six months, and it was supposed to be in the service of his country. Reality set in quickly as Adam was handed a rifle and basically told to join others in and burning and killing people. Unfortunately, this was not even the most horrible thing I learned from Adam. He continued his story, telling all of the most gruesome details, including how they were instructed to rape the young girls of the villages. These girls, some only 12 years old, were raped in an attempt to scare the families away from the villages forever. Disobeying these instructions meant he would be killed. Still, Adam admitted

to CNN that he couldn’t do it, he’d just lie there. The girls would scream, and other men would hold them down, but he couldn’t make himself rape anyone. No government order could change Adam’s conscience. As I read his words, I couldn’t help but cry for the girls that couldn’t be helped. I don’t know how I could live in a world where these horrors occur every day and so many do not even realize it. After awhile,it became too much for Adam, and he tried to run away. He was caught and tortured; the scars left from where burning rubber was dripped on his body remain as the proof. In time, Adam tried to run away again, and this time he was successful. Nearly seven years later, this man sat in a roomful of TV cameras and tried to tell his story to the world. Personally, I’m glad that this was the way I was introduced to what’s going on in Darfur. Naturally, I wanted to learn more. When I started learning more details, like the cause of the war and some more of the effects, I was even more horrified than before. The Sudan government is secretly supporting the Janjaweed, a group of camelherding nomads, in order to crush the rebellion that was caused by issues over land. It is hard to comprehend how such an archaic, tribal conflict could turn into this horrible war. Certainly, tribes of Africa have fought over land before. Then you realize, tribes of Africa didn’t used to have guns. When even the simplest of men have the

AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH: lisaTOWE guest columnist

I dedicate this to my little brother, Nick; without him I would not be the person I am today. By writing this, I hope to give people a better insight on just what autism is and how it not only affects the ones who are diagnosed with it, but all of those surrounding them. So here’s to you, Nick. Always remember that I will love you forever and always with all of my heart. I cannot narrow it down to the exact day, week, or month. I am not entirely sure I can even narrow it down to the precise year. I was still very young. As I grew and matured, the impact slowly began to sink in. Year by year I began to see the effects this would have on my future, my parents’ future and his future. I began to understand how different he was, how different it made me. As more time passed, the feelings of confusion and even anger faded. In their place grew a new level of acceptance and tolerance to those things considered different. I also learned to love him in many ways other people could not. I learned to love in a completely different way than most.

power to kill, what protection is there for anyone? Usually a government is there to regulate the sale of guns and to make killings illegal, but in this case the government is the one handing out the weapons. America may be a trillion dollars in debt, but at least every girl in our nation isn’t in danger of rape, we don’t live on reservation camps to stay safe, and we don’t worry that our government will hire people to start killing us off. I fear for Darfur, and I remember a movie I once saw in my history class. The movie was called “Hotel Rwanda” and, in some ways, it was very similar to what is going on in Darfur today. A man in the movie said, “I think if people see this footage they’ll say, ‘oh my God that’s horrible,’ and then go on eating their dinners.” I hope that when you read this article, you won’t just say, “that’s horrible” and

never give another thought to Darfur. These people need our help. They’re being raped, killed, burned and tortured. They have been abandoned by their government, and there is no one left to protect them but outside help. We are the only hope they have left.

Growing up with his autism

From day one, I somehow sensed that our relationship was unlike most siblings. However, it was not until about three years later that I finally knew why. When I first met him, I did not know what it was that was different about him. When I first looked into his wide, curious eyes and held his tiny hand, everything seemed to be OK. What I did not know was that I would never have a conversation with him, but that does not mean we do not communicate. I did not know we would never have an argument, but that does not mean we never disagree. I did not know I would never hear him say, “I love you,” with the sound of true meaning, true depth that is apparent when others say it, but that does not mean he does not love me with all he has. Time went on and I began to understand that it was the unspoken words that I should be listening to. Simply because he never spoke me did not mean he did not have anything to say. I became aware that those words left unspoken were the ones that meant the most. As we grew up, I was able to appreciate how truly extraordinary he was in his own exceptional way. I recognized he

was a gift from God. I realized that he was not just my little brother; he was my hero. I realized that no matter what happened, no matter how different he was, I would always love him with all of my heart. I realized what it meant to have a little brother with autism. Eventually I came to terms with the fact that I was the normal child of the family and therefore had to go to a normal school. At times, realizing I was the normal child, I felt pressured to make up for the things he could not do. I felt I had to not only be the perfect daughter, but the perfect son as well. I wanted more than anything to please my parents and make them proud. Of course now, looking back on these thoughts, they seem absurd. Because of my brother, my parents had the amazing and increasingly unique capability of loving someone exactly the way he or she is. In their eyes, I was already the perfect daughter. I always had been. I cannot even begin to think of the effects that my brother’s diagnosis has had on my parents. I am truly inspired by my parents and have great respect for them. They have always managed to keep this family afloat and provided what is best for him, as well

as everyone else, even in rough times. I greatly admire them and their will to push forward even though they had to jump over a few hurdles, even though they hit a few bumps along the way. They have done an exceptional job at raising both my brother and me. I could not imagine what things would be like if we were a normal family. I would not change anything for the world. After twelve years and many life lessons later, I find myself about to enter what will most likely be one of the most challenging times of my life. I find myself finally prying up deeply embedded roots and beginning to spread my wings. Leaving my family behind will be especially difficult. The bonds between my brother and I were strengthened, and will continue to be strengthened, by his disability. Despite the difficult times I know I will face, I believe that in the end, growing up with a brother with autism has made me a more mature, better rounded person. Having a brother with autism has changed me and given me opportunities that many never get to experience. Like my parents, my brother’s diagnosis has enabled me to see people for who they really are.


Opinions

03. 27 .09

Texting takes over the world priyaPUROHIT

opinions editor

Cell phones are taking over our lives. People use them for everything: texting their friends, calling their families, surfing the web, checking they’re e-mail and playing games. Which is fine. But then there are those times where they aren’t used even if they are completely necessary. We can take for example, the 13-yearold boy who disappeared earlier in February. He was out when it was very cold outside, and he wasn’t wearing appropriate clothes. He was alone, and it was very late at night. Of course, the kid didn’t carry his cell phone with him, probably something he uses all the time. But the one day he really needed

it, it wasn’t with him. That’s not the smartest move, but it unfortunately is not uncommon. I also cannot stand when people are constantly on their cell phones texting their friends. It’s not only completely pointless, but it makes the person come off as being very rude and unapproachable. I get the vibe of, “I’m standing next to people, but they bore me so much that I am going to have to resort to the friends in my phone.” Honestly, just try to start conversation with the person you’re sitting with. It won’t kill you. What do people talk about? I understand having serious texting conversations. I mean, yeah, I may have some important news to tell my friends that can’t wait. However, when I’m surrounded by people who expect me to take part in their discussion, I’m not about to whip out my phone and ignore the rest of the world. We survived perfectly fine without the obsession, so why is it all of a sudden one thing we can’t live without? There should be some kind of name for it. We could call it “textaholism”. One of my good friends is very wrapped up in her cell phone all the time. It gets pretty old fairly fast. Her and her boyfriend will say goodbye to each other and then twenty seconds later she’s on her phone. I’ll ask her who she’s talking to, because she’ll stop talking halfway through a somewhat interesting conversation we’re having. She’ll

Invasion of the galaxy garbage anniePARHAM

copy editor

Last month, we were almost killed by a rude asteroid invading Earth’s personal space. The asteroid came within 38,000 miles of Earth, which really doesn’t seem that close, until you think about it. It’s about three times the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole or the distance from Irmo High School to Chick-fil-a 38,000

STAFF

editors in chief

produc tion manager business manager circulation manager copy editor news editor enter tainment editor f eatures editors opinions editor spor ts editor photography editor photographers adviser

jeannaCAMPBELL samanthaEDWARDS kaylaGROFF malloryMACGARGLE kristenPOLINSKI anniePARHAM jeannaCAMPBELL rileyMCCULLOUGH morganEDWARDS emmaMCWILLIAMS priyaPUROHIT margoGOODALE vanessaLINDOWER joshBUTLER britniSLONE shannonJAINDL

respond with, “Oh, it’s [boyfriend].” And I’m thinking, you two saw each other less than a minute ago... literally! On Channel One the other day, there was a report that researchers were starting to study the effects of texting and if it can cause tendinitis later on. When we text, our thumbs are the ones doing all the typing.The more we text, the more it strains our thumbs. This could lead to some minor problems in the future. People who text frequently may also experience something rather odd; it is possible that a texting-obsessed person will start to think they felt their phone vibrate in their pocket even if it didn’t. That seems like it could be an issue to me. I think texting is a quick and easy way to talk to someone or ask a short question. But texting is only great to a certain extent. People set their statuses on Facebook to things like, “Such a bad day... text me!” I’m sorry, but why would someone who’s not your close friend want to text you when you’re in a grumpy mood? Personally, I’d want to be left alone. Texting is an awesome thing, but how about next time we’re with people, let’s all put that little four-inch piece of technology down and interact with the friends out of the tiny g l a s s screen.

“”

find on ®

If I am told to evacuate North America on short notice, I shall be very put out.

times. See? Scary. Robert McNaught of the Austrailan National University, who spends his time with his telescope, scoping out asteroids, says it’s “not something to worry about” and that it happens all of the time—100 possibly dangerous asteroids have been found in the past couple of years. Thanks, Rob. That’s comforting. I don’t know about you, but I’m still a little freaked. McNaught-so-comforting assures us that if the asteroid can be discovered in advance, people “can evacuate the area of impact” to save themselves. Evacuate what? Earth? I might worry a little less if this was the only threat coming from outer space, and no, I’m not talking about aliens. Space junk is just lurking out there, able to fall on us when we least expect it. CNN.com recently released a picture of all of the space garbage orbiting Earth. It makes Earth look like Saturn. There’s a giant ring surrounding the planet, containing about The purpose of the Stinger is to inform the student body of Irmo High School about events affecting them, influence readers through responsible editorials, to entertain through features and to provide a medium for advertisers and consumers. These goals will be achieved through fair and accurate reporting. The Stinger is published eight times a year, including a prom supplement published in February and March and a senior supplement, to commemorate the graduating class, in May, by Journalism II-IV newspaper students at Irmo High School. Unbylined editorials reflect the view of a majority of the Stinger senior editorial board. All bylined editorials, cartoons, and personal columns reflect the opinion of the writer or artist. The Stinger encourages letters to the editor as they constitute a constructive avenue for opinion. Letters to the editor must be signed by the writer to be considered for publication. Letters may be brought to the Stinger room (room 149) or sent by e-mail.

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18,000 pieces o f debris that could fall down at any moment. T a k e Texas, for example, or Utah or New Jersey; these are all places where space crap has fallen. Who’s to say that that Irmo won’t be next? Nuts, bolts, broken satellite pieces, flecks of paint, a fridge-sized tank full of ammonia—these are some of the things that are floating aimlessly around our planet. A fridge full of ammonia could soon be landing in your front yard. It could happen. I’m not happy about this garbage, and I’m not sure that Mr. McNaught-sosmarty-pants understands the gravity of the situation. McNutty says that “potentially harmful asteroids” are “potentially preventable,” but I would rather hear him admit the asteroids are, in fact, harmful, but they are absolutely avoidable. If I am told to evacuate North America on short notice, I shall be very put out.

The authenticity of the writer will be verified before publication and letters may be edited for poor taste, libel, grammar, space, and style. Irmo High School 6671 St. Andrews Rd. Special requests to withCola, SC 29212 hold a name may be submitted (803) 476-3071 if the topic is sensitive enough to warrant anonymity. For advertising information or to request a subscription, please call (803) 476-3071. School District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, or handicap in admission to, or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. Inquires should be directed to the Chief Officer of Human Resource Services (Title IX Coordinator) and the Director of Special Services (504/ ADACoordinator) at P.O. Box 938, Ballentine, SC 29002, (803) 476-8110 www.lex5.k12.sc.us

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The Stinger encourages letters to the editor as they constitute a constructive avenue for opinion. Letters to the editor must be signed by the writer to be considered for publication. Special requests to withhold a name may be submitted if the topic is sensitive enough to warrant

anonymity. The authenticity of the writer will be verified before publication and letters may be edited for poor taste, libel, grammar, space, and style. Letters should be no longer than 350 words. Longer submissions will be considered for publication as guest columns.


08

Sports

Hi-steppers dance to top Team places silver in regional competition involves. “Being a Hi-stepper entails a lot of commitment,” Railey said. “From dance camp in the summer to band season starting in July going all the way through the end of November to dance season starting in December until the end of March, plus the

being a Hi-stepper to anyone that’s interested. “I would definitely recommend being a features editor Hi-stepper to other girls,” Perrine said. “It’s Irmo’s Hi-steppers have taken the spotlight a great way to become part of something with their recent trip to the Universal Dance bigger than yourself and dance on a team Association’s regional competition. Placing that’s way more like family. It’s super fun.” second out of six Railey had a teams, the Hilist of traits that steppers are very any potential Hiproud of their steppers need. accomplishments. “To be a C a s s i d y Hi-stepper you Perrine, freshman, definitely need says she loves to be able to get being a hi-stepper. along with others, Perrine had the because there are opportunity to end 15 other girls her rookie year on the team and with the UDA another sevencompetition. ish people in the “To go to band and pit and UDA regionals, you’re with them we had to do a lot everyday,” Railey of practicing and said. “I would also cleaning routines, say to be a Hiand learn this stepper, you need really awesome to be committed. new dance,” Your team and Perrine said. “We band are counting had to give up a on you to keep lot of after school trying and stick Vanessa Lindower time for practices.” with it. You also Meredith need to have a STEP TO THE TOP: The Hi-Steppers pose at the UDA regional for a team Melven, junior, is thick skin to be a co-captain of the picture. Ten girls worked hard to bring home the silver at this competition. a Hi-stepper Hi-steppers team. because if you Before the competition, she said the team tryouts in April. It’s basically all year long.” mess up, instructors will call you out to fix it gathers together for a little ritual. The team members truly love what they and you can’t take it personally, they are just “‘Confidence and energy’—that’s what do, and they enjoy the people they dance doing it for the better of the team.” we all tell each other before we perform,” with. Some of the perks of being a Hi-stepper Melven said. “It’s a tradition. We also say the “My favorite part about being a Hi- include getting into basketball and football Lord’s prayer in a circle before we perform.” stepper is getting to do what I love, dancing, games for free, going on trips and performing Going to UDA was an exciting experience with the people I love, my teammates,” in competitions, seeing other teams and for a team that often doesn’t get much Melven said. “Who could ask for more?” bands perform, and being a part of a team recognition. Hi-steppers put a lot of time Melven even said it was the best thing for that has been around for years. and energy into what they do. Paige Railey, her since she started high school. All three “But more importantly, you make friends junior, tells exactly what being a Hi-stepper girls agreed that they would recommend to last a lifetime,” Melven said.

morgan edwards

03. 27 .09

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Make prom a night to remember ea ste rn el egan ce

There is a lot to be done before the Irmo High School Junior Board’s vision is brought to life for the Junior / Senior prom on April 18, 2009. Girls are buying that perfect dress while their dates are finding a matching tux. Plans for dinner, pictures, groups and transportation are being made. All of this leading up to a night of Eastern Elegance, the Asian theme for this year. After the dinner is finished and the last slow dance is over, students want to keep the energy they have from getting all dressed up for this big event going. They leave prom for the rest of

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

the night’s plans. The question is, what is there to do after midnight when the prom ends? If plans haven’t been made to keep the party moving with all of your friends after prom, don’t worry. Check out these six ideas to keep making memories long after you leave. Your night of Eastern Elegance can turn into a themed party, bowling in evening wear (at least the dress is getting more than one use), or even just a movie night with friends. Keep the fun going and make this year’s prom a night to remember.

Go Bowling! AMF bowling lanes on Bush River Rd. is doing a prom special for groups. Lights, music and bowling from 12pm-2am for $10 per person

Get 99 of your closest friends and rent out a theatre at Columbiana Grande Cinemas. Call 1-800-792-8244 to make reservations.

After prom is a great time for pictures. Go to Waffle House or a diner that is open late to goof off and make even more fun memories.

Have a themed party! Anything from poker night (fake money) to a rave in your living room. Be as creative as you want to keep the night going.

Have a Rave! Get all of your friends together, put on some techno music and dance the night away.

Make a weekend out of prom and go camping with your friends. Go to trails. com to find a place around Columbia or go up to the mountains.


The Stinger - March 2009