Issuu on Google+

C

Community High february, 12 2012 Volume 28 • Edition 4

the communicator

;)

block schedules 4 sexting 16 fairy doors 24


letter from the editor Now that everyone’s stopped talking about the end of the world, it’s finally time to start talking about new beginnings. Here we are in our new year (although I’m still in the stage where I write 2012 on my papers) and now our new semester, and it seems appropriate to focus our attention on everything new under the sun. Take the new local restaurants. The owner of recently opened Ann Arbor favorite Mani has opened a Mexican restaurant, Isalita, next door (p. 9). And in the unofficial “dessert district” on Liberty, already the home of Cherry Republic and the Cupcake Statioin, a new tasty treat is in town: the wafel. Yes, wafel (p. 11). It’s not a typo, but it is a unique, luxurious dessert idea, and part of the inspiration comes from a CHS alum. Sometimes, though, new beginnings don’t just mean restaurants sprouting up, or getting a new class schedule. New beginnings can happen on a personal basis. This especially applies to having sex for the first time. Teens who lose their virginity share different stories, and come to their decision at different times, based on different reasoning (p 18). Still, other times a new beginning is on a global level: something we must face together. In the last few years, this has been the case with technology, as humans wrestle with the healthy ways to fit it into our lives. This is uncharted territory: there’s a lot of confusion, and sometimes we make decisions that we’ll regret later. A prime example is sexting (p. 16), which shows how technology can blur normally clear lines about privacy and risk. In other ways, too, we react to technology and social media differently than we do to reallife situations (p 22). As you go forth into your second semester, pay attention to the new beginnings and first-time events in your life and around the world. You’ll likely have experience with personal and global beginnings during the next year, and it’s interesting to think about how you might handle them. It’ll probably be even more interesting if you think about it while eating wafels. Happy February, Mari Cohen

the communicator staff Editor-In-Chief Mari Cohen

Managing Editors Cooper DePriest Abby Kleinheksel Brienne O’ Donnell Eliza Stein

Copy Editor Kelly Arnold

Staff Seamus Cares Jack Douglass Cameron Fortune Isaac Fremuth

TOC

CONTENTS

Dear Readers,

Ruthilah Graff Madeline Halpert Colin Jones Jett Jones Hannah King Lauren Lacca Casey MacDonald Sarah O’Connor Jeffrey Ohl Merrick Perpich Leon Pescador Caroline Phillips Nate Porter Anna Rosenfeld Daniel Sagher Marcelo Salas Isabel Sandweiss Tyler Schmader Jill Stemmer

Jean-Luc Thompson-Bert Hannah Tschirhart Eliza Upton Joris Von Moltke Alexander Wood Sarah Zimmerman

Adviser Tracy Anderson

Cover Art Cooper DePriest and Brienne O’Donnell

mani and isalita

4

8

6 the wafel shop

10 finals and adderall

16 18 20

14 fairy doors

24

26 28

building blocks The district analyzes the cost of block scheduling at CHS, which inspired debate when first implemented.

the chopping block Concerns regarding the 2014-2014 budget overshadow the 2012-2013 cuts already in effect.

click Teens can face serious emotional and legal repercussions from sending nude potos.

virginity lost High school students share their personal experiences and regrets about having sex for the first time.

all about business CHS Junior Noah Hirschl uses his passion for business to create iPhone applications.

applying to music school CHS staff and students discuss how to apply to art and music school.

bro code CHS basketball team surprises everyone (including themselves) in narrow loss.


news briefs luck of the draw The Community lottery will happen Tuesday Feb. 12. Eighth grade students from all of the AAPS middle schools will find out if they have the opportunity to attend CHS. The school accepts 114 new students each year, and the counseling office received an enormous amount of applications from hopeful eighth graders this year. The last mandatory parent and student orientation was held Thursday, Feb. 7 and the deadline for applications was the following day, Feb. 8.

lock down The Ann Arbor Public Schools Safety Protocols were updated Jan. 7. In the wake of the Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Community has locked down its security. All exterior doors, other than the Northwest entrance, will remain locked as well as all classroom doors. Teachers are also required to wear their identification badges at all times during the school day.

water hill date announced Paul Tinkerhess recently announced the date for the 2013 Water Hill Music Fest. It is set for Sunday, May 5 from, 2 to 6 pm. This “one-of-a-kind event” features dozens of households in the Water Hill neighborhood playing music on their porches According to Tinkerhess, “All Water Hill neighbors, of every age and musical ability, are encouraged to sign up for a performance time slot. The only rule is that at least one member of each band has to live in the house where they perform.” To sign up to perform, to volunteer, or to learn more and see pictures from previous festivals, visit www.waterhill.org.

mme prep workshop On Wednesday Feb. 13 from 6-8pm, 826Michigan, located downtown at 115 E. Liberty St., will host an MME-prep workshop for high school students aged 16-18. The workshop will consist of a single two-hour session, which will walk students through the sections of the exam and help them know what to expect. Students will go over practice problems and will be able to get their questions answered. The workshop is taught by Will Purves, a local educator and an experienced test and essay coach. In addition to a comprehensive review, a variety of M&M’s will be provided. For more information and to register, visit www.826michigan.org/workshops, email 826michiganworkshops@gmail.com, or call (734) 761-3463.

hegemonic Oliver Kiley, husband of CHS science teacher Courtney Kiley, designed a galactic takeover board game called “Hegemonic”. The game is a fight of dominance between houses in the universe. Each player takes the role of a “house leader” to gain power over the other houses. After three or four years of designing, Oliver found a publishing company to produce his board game. They needed to raise $30,000 for kick start money, so they made an online fundraising site where people pledge money to support the project. The people that give their money receive things in return like a signed board game. The online fundraiser ended up making $88,000. The extra money will be used to make more board games with better quality game components. With her husband earning 25 percent of the profit, Courtney is expecting to be a thousandaire. Courtney and Oliver plan on attending the release party in Germany. The publishing company expects to start selling this game in July.


the chopping block Concerns Regarding the 2013-2014 Budget Overshadow the Cuts Already in Effect marcelo salas hazel o’neil illustration marcelo salas infographic

A It is estimated that the statewide education budget actually increased by more than 1 percent from last year

04

small crowd sits and listens as the Board of Education discusses a variety of topics, headlined by a lengthy discussion on the district’s 8-step strategic plan for educational success. The Slauson Middle School media center is relatively unfilled, other than the board itself and a number of construction service representatives from all around Michigan. Although many educational strategies and shortcomings are addressed during the meeting, many in the local community are struggling with the state of the Ann Arbor Public Schools district. The reality is that district educational budget cuts are being piled on year-by-year. Avery Pieronek, a sophomore at Community High School, is one of the concerned individuals in the district. She has found that budget cuts greatly restrict her ability to commute from school to home. As a freshman, Pieronek was able to take a late shuttle bus home, but now that there are less transportation options, the once simple process becomes a struggle. “Now my mom’s spending two bucks everyday to pick me up [from school],” said Pieronek. However, transportation was just the beginning of her concerns. With the rumor that block scheduling might be cut at Community in circulation, Pieronek has become increasingly worried. “I was freaking out,” said

the communicator

Pieronek,“We need block scheduling. That’s one of the biggest things I came to Community for.” Although the rumor has been well spread, there is no official proposal to cut block scheduling, as confirmed by the Superintendent, Dr. Green, and the Deputy Superintendent for Operations, Robert Allen. In fact, there have been no budget cut proposals for the 20132014 fiscal year at all, but, in the future,

ting anything more for it,” said Root, “[Budget cuts] just make it hard to teach, even if you have a class of 35 awesome kids.” Rising class sizes have not been beneficial when it comes to the amount of personal and financial focus on individual students. Student funds for individuals have been dropping as of late. “The per pupil allocation remain-

[Budget cuts] just make it hard to teach, even if you have a class of 35 awesome kids.

there will be. By June 30th, the board must approve the budget for the 20132014 fiscal year. Nonetheless, it is all these rumored cuts that are overshadowing the budget cuts that are already being felt across the district. For CHS social studies teacher Chloe Root, budget cuts have not only hindered her ability to teach, but in the past she has even been pink-slipped due to lack of funding. She has also taken pay cuts and changes to her benefits like other teachers in the district. However, it is the increasing class sizes that are proving to be very difficult for her to deal with. “Everything requires a little bit more time, and we’re not necessarily get-

feature

ing consistent with the increasing cost to run a school district means we are actually losing ground from a financial perspective,” said Allen. Even with all the economic turmoil the district is facing, there were measures used to prevent even deeper budget cuts. “$6.5 million came from the Fund Equity to balance the budget in lieu of the deeper cuts that would have impacted the 2012-2013 current budget when [the board] developed it last year,” said Green. Even with the preventive measures that were used, Root believes that there are some other areas that could possibly receive cuts, specifically at the

administrative level. The board of education, the executive, and the office of principal school administrations all saw a slight budget increase this fiscal year, based off the approved budget. On the flipside, the majority of different grade level instruction and guidance counselor funding has seen cuts this fiscal year. “Honestly, I don’t understand why we’re getting less and less money for education. I mean, aren’t we the future?” said Pieronek. As for Root, she believes that Governor Snyder, the man behind the statewide educational budget, favors the establishment of private and charter schools over the traditional public school system. In 2011, Snyder signed a bill that would remove the limit on the number of charter schools in Michigan by 2015. Synder’s budget for next year includes a two percent increase in K-12 funding, but this still won’t fully offset the cuts in the past few years. In the end, it was the vote that took place on June 13, 2012 at the downtown public library to approve the 2012-2013 district budget that has sparked debate after debate. Throughout all the disagreement, one thing still holds true in the eyes of many. “I think [we are being asked] to do a lot more with a lot less,” said Root, “Obviously [the district] is headed in a negative direction in that [sense].” C


709836421570983642157

By

N

The

um83r5

098364215709836421570

1.

a look at the numbers regarding the school district’s budget over the years

nts

e stud

per pupil allocation amount per student

$9,750

fiscal year

93-94

2.

the distribution

3.

instructional services pupil support instruction staff general administration school administration operations custodial/maintenance student transportation central services employee benefits/other athletics/community services *percentages are rounded up

$7,550 11-12

who’s affected

diane grant, counselor at community

80%

60%

last year this year percent of her job as a counselor

GET CONNECTED voice your opinion by tweeting with the hashtag: #aapsbudgetcuts1213

feature

the communicator

05


building blocks

the district analyzes the cost of block scheduling, which inspired impassioned debate when first implemented at chs mari cohen hazel o’neil illustration

W

ho knew that a simple ballot box placed in the main office would cause such an uproar? Former Community High School Dean Judy Conger didn’t, until one spring day in 1995. At the time, CHS operated on a traditional schedule, with 50-minute classes that met daily. When students saw a ballot box in the office, they assumed that the official vote on whether to switch CHS to block scheduling was already underway. In fact, the students were mistaken. The staff, ever divided on the issue, had decided to first vote on whether to even hold a vote over block scheduling. Hence the ballot box. But the students didn’t know this, and, Conger said, there was a “tremendous amount of uproar.” Upset over not having been involved in the decision process, students began flooding Conger with petitions, marching into her office to talk, and showing up at Town Meetings (open forums that allowed students to express themselves) in huge numbers. The students, however, weren’t the first to invest heavily in the issue of block scheduling, a system in which classes are longer but don’t meet every day. For several years, since the conversation about block scheduling started under Dean Bob Galardi, teachers had

been professing their arguments for or against block scheduling. Many were passionately devoted to one side of the debate or another. “People get emotional about things, and I was surprised to see everyone get so emotional about a schedule,” said Conger. “The schedule is hugely important—the schedule drives everything in the school.” Now, over 15 years after block scheduling was implemented, teachers’ and

orientation presentations for current eighth graders, CHS counselors would mention both block scheduling and traditional scheduling as possibilities for next year, just in case CHS must change its schedule. According to AAPS Deputy Superintendent of Operations Robert Allen, the number of students at Community was compared with an appropriate number at Huron and Pioneer High Schools, which use traditional schedul-

Other costcutting schedule changes on the table are eliminating the 7th hour option at Huron and Pioneer and shifting Skyline from trimesters to semesters.

The schedule is hugely important—the schedule drives everything in the day.

students’ opinions on it are once again relevant topics of conversation. CHS classes now meet for 95-100 minutes every other day, with a full schedule of 55 minute classes on Fridays. But, as the Ann Arbor Public Schools prepares to discuss this year’s round of budget cuts, it’s possible that CHS’s scheduling system could again change. On Jan. 7, current CHS Dean Jen Hein said in her weekly announcement email that the district is analyzing the costs of block scheduling. As a result, Hein explained in the email, during

ing. Community’s block scheduling was found to require three more teaching positions, which equates to $300,000. However, although “Eliminate Block Scheduling” was listed in the AAPS report on “Cost Estimates of Potential Budget Reductions,” this report only lists possible budget reductions, and the board has not yet made any official recommendations or cuts. The official budget is required by law to be passed June 30, and likely will not be announced until April or later. Block scheduling is just one item among many

options for cuts. And if it is discussed further, the district would do more analysis to find a more exact figure. Still, the cost analysis of the block scheduling left CHS students and staff to imagine the implications of moving back to a traditional schedule, the opposite of what teachers were considering back in the 90s under deans Galardi and Conger. Galardi, dean from 1988-1994, said that the original decision to consider block scheduling was in part due to a “national craze” for alternate scheduling options in the 90s and early 2000s. “It was kind of the wave of things at the time,” said Conger, dean from 1994-2006. “It was a recommended method to improve achievement, to increase social connections, to not waste time—you’re not having passing time all the time.” However, Galardi said that CHS was always looking at different options, even before the national discussion. But the school remained on traditional scheduling, partly to make it easier for students split-enrolling to Huron and Pioneer High Schools by matching those schools’ schedule. During Galardi’s tenure, staff worked on increasing CHS enrollment, which had been low, and the school building was renovated. In an atmosphere

What do current chs teachers have to say about block scheduling?

social studies

06

spanish

“[Without block scheduling] it would be tempting to move away from the model of hands-on stuff to more short mini-lectures and shorter activities,” said Chloe Root.

the communicator

Laurel Landrum likes Spanish teaching with block scheduling for all levels except level one. It gives her a chance to do longer activities and finish more in a day. “I would probably not like going back because Friday schedules I don’t really enjoy and I can’t imagine doing that every day,” she said. “ For world languages here...all of us—Jason [McKnight], and Danelle [Mosher] and I,—have to teach all the levels, so if we had it every single day I’d be teaching levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 every single day.”

feature

“Block scheduling is critical to the way we do Personal Fitness,” said Robbie Stapleton, “It allows us to get a complete workout every class.”

art Steve Coron said tblock scheduling works well for studio art, because students have a longer time to work and classes aren’t taken up by the setup

P.E

and cleanup. “Artists prefer to have a longer time to work,” he said. “I think people are less productive if it’s chopped up into short sequences.”


focused on school improvement and change, new scheduling options also became part of the discussion. “To me, it was part of a normal development of the school,” he said. “Once people started to see what we could do, there was a real demand to come. Then you have to up your game, because people are expecting something unique, and so I think it was in some ways driven by a couple of departments that said, ‘We could really use more time with the kids.’” The discussion of block scheduling gradually evolved and became a hotter issue. But this meant that teachers, even some in the same department, came down on different sides of the debate. “Any structural change like that in any organization, but certainly in education, becomes a divisive topic when you have a bunch of professionals because they all have very strong ideas and opinions about what you can and should be doing,” said Galardi. Conger said that block scheduling appealed to teachers who were interested in project-based learning, especially teachers in the Foundations of Science (FOS) program, which was just starting at the time, and the art department. Longer periods meant less time taking out and putting away materials and more time to work on labs or projects. Other teachers in departments that placed value on daily practice and instruction, like jazz band and world language, worried about block scheduling. English and social studies were split, between teachers interested in trying project-based learning and those who had already established a curriculum that fit well into 50 minute segments. “Some people thought, ‘Oh, this will be the death of my program,’” said

CHS FOS teacher Liz Stern, who has been at the school since before block scheduling. When Conger became interim dean and then permanent dean after Galardi, she encountered the “big fight” over block scheduling, and soon decided it was time to act. The school had already been working on block scheduling for a while, and originally Conger took a more laid-back approach. She attended some conferences and agreed to continue study on the schedule, until she realized that this was a stalling tactic. “It could be really beneficial but after you’ve studied it a certain amount of time you move on or you drop it,” she said. “Let’s do it or not do it, but you can’t just keep talking about it.” Conger and the staff spent time that year looking at block scheduling “really purposefully.” They invited people from schools with block scheduling to talk about it, and held professional development sessions focused on how to fill up a 90-minute class. Neither Conger or Galardi remember cost analysis of block scheduling having a large role in the process. Though Galardi said the costs were likely analyzed during the discussion of block scheduling, it didn’t play much of a role because the district wasn’t in a budget crisis as it is currently. Conger’s boss, administrator for secondary education Jane Johnson, was a strong supporter of block scheduling, and gave Conger the go-ahead. By the spring, it was time for a decision. Not all teachers wanted to vote on block scheduling, and so they decided to vote on whether to vote, which comes back to the ballot-box that caused students’ fiery response. Despite the commotion, Conger emerged with

science “We could not do the FOS [Foundations of Science] program without block scheduling,” said Courtney Kiley. The program, at all levels, is built around big labs and projects that take multiple days. FOS 1 needs block scheduling for its first semester unit, called “Is Traver Creek Healthy?” Students walk to Traver Creek and make observations and do experiments. Without block scheduling, students wouldn’t have time in a class period to go to Traver Creek, and the unit would have to go.

a stronger connection to students. “That was a great initiation because I realized they loved their school, they wanted to be part of every decision, they wanted to be part of the bell schedule,” she said. “I think they came to realize I would talk to them, I wasn’t just trying to slam something down their throats, and so that was a really good outcome for me personally.” In the end, the teachers did elect to have a vote on block scheduling. Students, parents, and all staff members, including custodians and secretaries, were able to cast a ballot. “People would lobby for votes,” said Conger, laughing. “Jackie [the custodian] was getting her ear talked off by one group or another, and the same with the secretaries.” Conger herself participated in the lobby for block scheduling, making her pitch to the secretaries. “I think it’ll be quieter, the building will be quieter, there won’t be as much changing, as much passing time,” she told them. In the end—after another debate about who would count the votes and watch the counters—block scheduling won out and was implemented the next fall. Stern said that professional development, research, and time over the summer to reorganize curriculums helped teachers adjust to the new schedule. “It’s a big change,” she said. “You can’t just take your curriculum that you teach on a five days a week basis, a 50 minute class, and say, ‘Well, I’ll just plunk those two together.’ It was a lot of hard work.” Still, Stern, who was in favor of block scheduling because of opportunities for the FOS programs, supports the

Moe El-Husseiny loves the longer class periods for math because he believes that students learn best while they actually work out problems, and many students’ questions don’t arise until they begin the work. “I think block scheduling is perfect for a class like math because it gives both the time to go over a topic in depth and practice the topic. Then you get a sense of how to do that topic before you leave,” he said.

math

jazz

innovation. “I think a lot of people felt, we’re Community High School, we’re supposed to be an alternative,” she said. “What’s alternative about us if we don’t try new things?” Conger said that after the adjustment to block scheduling, most teachers became accustomed to it, and even many who had opposed it originally began to like it. Still, she said, some hard feelings remained among the staff, because people had defended their arguments so fiercely. Eventually, though, teachers moved past it. Now, block scheduling is the norm at CHS, and many teachers can’t imagine going back, especially new teachers who have only experienced block scheduling. If Community does have to move back to a traditional schedule in the future, Stern is concerned about the challenges of switching again. “So to go back, just like ‘snap’ okay now go back…well it doesn’t work that way,” she said. “Just like you can’t stick two 50 minute classes together, you can’t pull it apart either.” Changing schedules requires professional development and an adjustment period. Stern thinks this is an important aspect of the conversation over cuts to block scheduling. “A discussion of block scheduling should only be held in the terms of ‘Does it help us?’ and ‘If they were to take it tomorrow what would we lose and could we make up for it?’” said Galardi. “We’re all losing things that we don’t want to lose in education because of money, and there’s just not a blank check out there.” C

“You can accomplish more in a given day,” said Quinn Strassel. “You can have a discussion, you can do some writing, and you can actually get through a little bit of reading aloud...which is really helpful.”

English

“I love it,” said Jack Wagner. “I love that it gives me so much time to get in-depth with the students.”

feature

the communicator

07


mani& isalita LEFT Seasonal Cauliflower Soup CENTER Porkbelly RIGHT Buratta Salad

adam baru manages two successful restaurants downtown on liberty street eliza upton cooper depriest photos

Baru first got managing experience from being the twelfth employee at an ad agency in chicago

08

O

ne roof, one owner, two very different restaurants. Both venues are crowded with families, couples, and parties of people. Customers wait in line hoping for a table to open. In one of the restaurants, pizzas and pastas are being delivered to relaxed patrons who are waiting for their food. In the smaller restaurant to the left, tables are full of laughing guests whose feet can be spotted under the tables tapping their shoes softly to the festive music playing in the background. These two places have different vibes and menus, but the same strong sense of hospitality and a good time. If you were hoping for a casual, nice night out on the town where you could sit with friends and loved ones and laugh while eating delicious, unique food, then you have arrived at your destination. Welcome to Mani and Isalita. In May of 2011, Adam Baru, a Grenhills High School alum, opened up his first restaurant, Mani, in downtown Ann Arbor. Baru could never have imagined this growing up as a child the communicator

here in Ann Arbor. In fact, growing up, Baru did not know what he wanted to do with his life. After graduating from Skidmore College with a degree in Political Science and French, Baru spent some time in Europe. After about eight years back in the states working at a small advertis-

cious pizzas but also their pastas, salads and antipasti. “It changes a lot [the restaurant] from the day you start thinking about it and put it on paper, to when you actually open the doors.” Baru said. Baru wears a simple crew neck sweater that has a casual, yet still professional

Both restaurants were built to just be friendly to everybody.

ing agency in Chicago, Baru knew he wanted to do something else. “It was at that point that I took a step back and said, what do I want to do? What’s going to make me happy?” Baru said. “So I ended up going back to school, to Cornell, [which] has a program in Hospitality management. I ended up doing that and then getting a job with a restaurant crew.” Originally Baru envisioned Mani as a pizzeria, but after some consideration and input from friends and colleagues, Mani is now not just known for delifeature

air about it, and his dark brown hair is speckled with grey. As he roams both restaurants, he stops by tables, having genuine chats with the guests about how they are, and more importantly, seeing how they liked the food.He yearns for critique and a review of the guests’ experiences. You can’t help but smile as he lets out a deep bellowing laugh. After observing him for all of twenty minutes, one conclusion is easily made: this is a man who cares about his job, and genuinely cares about the customer’s experience.

He smiles as he talks about how he usually responds to negative feedback. “I have a pretty thin skin,” Baru said. “But I love to get feedback, I love constructive feedback. I try and elicit as much constructive feedback as I possibly can. And often times we will listen to it and often make a change. If someone wants more tortillas with their fundido, then I’m going to listen to that because it makes a lot of sense to me. If you’re complaining to me, that’s great because I feel like you really care about our success. It’s the people who don’t do it constructively, or creatively, or don’t tell me directly, like what we can do, or work on what can be better. That makes me crazy, because I don’t have a chance to respond to it or react to it. So I appreciate feedback. It’s really important to listen to your guests, and I try and take it in stride.” Baru opened up his second restaurant, Isalita, a Mexican styled restaurant, in December of 2012. Much of his inspiration for both restaurants comes from what he has seen and eaten before, including time spent traveling


LEFT Pickled tomatoes with ricotta cheese and tapenade CENTER Arancini RIGHT Margherita pizza * All food shown is served at Mani

and experiencing different cultures and foods. “A lot of it just comes from living and working in cities that have a really strong culinary culture,” Baru said. “Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, all three cities have tremendous chefs, tremendous restaurants and it really opened my eyes and ideas on what I would want to do if I ever owned my own restaurant.” When opening Isalita, Baru relied on his many trips to Mexico with his wife (who is from Mexico) and his experience running a Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia to help him with inspiration. He also channeled what he envisioned as the perfect Mexican restaurant. “My creative ideas of what I wanted a mexican restaurant to be, which is sort of the non-Mexican Mexican restaurant. You know a space that has spirit, that to me feels very Mexican,” Baru said. Baru strives to make both restaurants as close to perfect as possible. “Obviously I would like to see it perfect, but I also want the experience

to be perfect,” Baru said. “I want the guest to come to this restaurant [Isalita], to come to Mani, and I just want them to feel when they leave that it was just a great memorable experience.” His two restaurants are not supposed to be fancy or casual, but what the customers want to make of them. “Both restaurants were built to just be friendly to everybody,” Baru said. “It’s not a fancy restaurant. It’s just a place that you can come on a Monday, or a Saturday. You can be dressed up. You can be casual. You can bring your kids, and that’s great. I love seeing families come in, and kids getting exposed to really good food. Not you know, frozen pizzas or bad Mexican food, but just high quality, well executed food.” The executive chef behind the counter is Brendan McCall. McCall and Baru met just by chance through a mutual friend, and they launched into business together. Baru feels that the partnership between the two of them has worked out perfectly. “It’s a really good partnership. We collaborate on a lot, from design, marketing, menus, and beverages,” he said.

“We sort of share a lot of information back and forth, and I think that’s one of the reasons, one of the main reasons actually on why the restaurant is as good as it is, is that you have both a culinary and a business component to all decisions. That makes it much more strategic in the end.” Baru has many people to be thankful for, but in the end he is most thankful for the guests. “You know, at the end of the day you can open up a restaurant, but if people don’t support you then you really don’t have a restaurant anymore.” Baru said. Mani has fans of all ages including CHS sophomore, Elle Gallagher. Gallagher has been to Isalita just once, but Mani many times. She really loves both restaurants “They are really good,” Gallagher said. “I like Mani’s pizza, and Isalita has super good guacamole!” Despite the success of Mani and Isalita, Baru still has his fears. “Everyday, and I continue to be [doubtful] everyday,” Baru said. “I’m sort of driven by the fear of it not being great. That’s what drives me, is

that it has to be excellent. It has got to be perfect and everyday I come in, and I’ll tell myself it’s not perfect. So I’m always looking for ways to make it better.” Baru might not feel that either venue is perfect yet, but many would argue that both venues are pretty darn close. The food at both restaurants is juicy and bursting with flavor, with a variety of dishes for all palettes and ages. From flavorful pork tacos, to classic pepperoni pizza, to a tangy sweet ceasar salad that has its dressing enclosed in a soft egg, you cannot go wrong with what you order. These two places are gems in Ann Arbor’s restaurant scene. These restaurants could be remembered as classics along with Blimpy Burger and Zingermans. When thinking about the future, Baru would absolutely open up another restaurant, but for now he just has Mani and Isalita to worry about. “I have no regrets,” Baru said. “I doubt it will ever be perfect, but you always try and strive for that.” C

feature

the communicator

When living in europe for a short period of time, Baru tried working in a kitchen

09


There is nothing to be mistaken about Ann Arbor’s newest treat

isabel sandweiss isabel sandweiss & cooper depriest photos

Both types of waffle start at $5. Toppings are $1-2. Butter and sugar are free

T

he Pantone color wheel contains 2058 different color options, but on it the eye-catching “Wafel Shop Red-Orange” can’t be found. This color was created by careful consideration and is entirely unique – just like the shop it advertises. Noah Goldsmith had his waffle epiphany while studying abroad in England. On a vacation to the Netherlands he tasted a waffle like no other he had ever had before. It turned out to be a liege waffle, which is one of the two

The Wafel Shop was originally supposed to open on Fourth Avenue. However, electrical issues forced Goldsmith to find a new location. During this time period he found not only the shop’s new home at 113 East Liberty Street—previously Cafe Japon—but also his business partner, Tia Hoffman. “We met through a mutual friend over some dinner,” Hoffman said. “My background is specialty coffee. I’ve owned a couple cafes and a roastery; I’ve consulted all over the world. Noah and I happened to find each other…it’s

We’re definitely a waffle shop that serves coffee and not a coffee shop that serves waffles

The waffle shop has its own mascot– A golden retriever named daisy

10

waffles that make up The Wafel Shop’s menu. Goldsmith’s first job was at Zingerman’s Delicatessen, starting when he was a junior at Community High School. He graduated in 1998. Zingerman’s dedication to good service- and the high expectations for food- stayed with him as he went on to acting school in New York, worked as a producer for Broadway plays, and worked as a trader on Wall Street. Now, he is a co-business partner of the Wafel Shop. “It’s not the traditional path, but I never forgot about the waffles,” he said. the communicator

a really, really good fit.” Hoffman’s coffee expertise is highlighted on the Wafel Shop’s beverage menu. Cappuccinos, lattes, and espresso based drinks, as well as decaf coffee and tea, will be served. Still, the emphasis will always be on the waffle. “We’re definitely a waffle shop that serves coffee and not a coffee shop that serves waffles,” Goldsmith said. Hoffman and Goldsmith plan on serving waffles all day long. The shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and they hope that consumers will see the Wafel Shop as more than just a breakfast option. feature

“I think a lot of people will forgo dessert at some of the great restaurants on Main Street and the surrounding area to come over and finish the evening with us,” Goldsmith said. “It’s a dessert district, if you think about it,” Hoffman said. “You look across and you have The Cupcake Station, The Cherry Republic…a really eclectic mix of dessert options for either a morning crowd, afternoon, or after everything closes downtown.” The Wafel Shop technically joined this dessert district when they signed the lease in the beginning of November. Since then, the space has gone through incredible renovations. The dazzling “Wafel shop original” color blasts from the walls, creating an electric, yet inviting vibe. Both tables and bar seating are planned to be installed. When finished, the shop will be able to occupy 14-16 people. But this transformation doesn’t come easy. “A lot of it has just been Noah and I down here for endless hours,” Hoffman said. “Hours and hours of picking away, hours on our laptop, hours at my house or his house. You don’t stop, you think about it 24/7, you wake up in the middle of the night and think, ‘Oh god, I’ve got to add that to the list.’” Goldsmith and Hoffman both admit that dealing with permitting, contracts, and preparation can get very draining. Yet the recent arrival of the waffle iron and espresso machine to the shop

has given them all the encouragement they need to keep trudging through the details. “We want everyone to come in here and have fun and love eating what Noah’s developed and what I’ve had a chance to come into,” Hoffman said. “We’ve got great music in rotation, we’ve got some beautiful wall art we’re gonna put up. He and I are both just fun people and we just want everyone who comes in to have a great time... We’re gonna have fun doing this.” Customers won’t just be happy; they will be fully satisfied. Set up in a simple, “create-it-yourself ” style, the Wafel Shop offers two types of traditional Belgian waffle. One is the Brussels’s waffle. This crisped-edged, soft-centered delight is what most people know as the Belgian waffle. Then there is the liege wafel, the “other” waffle. The one that started it all. After careful consideration- and lots of spreadsheets- Goldsmith perfected this unique treat. “The liege waffle is like the crown of our menu,” Hoffman said. “It’s got that beautiful sugar pearl, so when you incorporate that into the batter and you griddle that it creates these little delicious pockets of melted sugar- almost caramelizing it. When you slice into it, it is ooey and gooey and chewy and delicious.” Toppings range from strawberries to peanut butter, Lemon curd to Nutella, and almonds to locally sourced bacon. Chocolate dipped waffles are also avail-


able. The Wafel Shop will also offer a gluten-free waffle option. And if a costumer’s stomach is grumbling. he or she need not worry; each waffle is made to order and only takes about 3 minutes to cook. Perhaps even more exciting than the variety is the Wafel Shop’s commitment to high quality food. Inspired by Zingermans, Goldsmith and Hoffman have spent much energy seeking out produce that is as organic and locally sourced as possible. “Noah and I are not ones to skimp on anything,” Hoffman said. “We want the best. We eat the best. We source the best. When we go to different cafes or restaurants he and I have an elevated set of expectations and we want our customers to enjoy that also.” The Wafel Shop will also be using environmentally friendly silverware, which Hoffman and Goldsmith see as an expectation of the average, informed Ann Arbor consumer. As Hoffman and Goldsmith begin to put on finishing touches and start to interview for 4-6 employee positions, they continue to get the word out about their much-anticipated treats. Social networking sites like Facebook, Craigslist, and Instagram have been especially helpful with advertising through the use of pictures. In addition, the shop’s fans­—whom Goldsmith jokingly calls “Wafel Groupies”— continue to spread the

word and lend a helping hand. Hoffman is looking forward to introducing themselves to surrounding businesses with “a basket of waffles” in hand once the irons are fired up and everything is approved. And exactly how will this budding business blossom? Well, it’s all in the name. “There’s no disguising what we’re doing or what we’re selling here,” Goldsmith said. Just like the shop itself, The Wafel Shop’s name is a little bit different. It uses the Dutch spelling of “wafel” instead of the English “waffle”; the same way it was spelled when Goldsmith had that fateful liege back in college. No matter which way you spell it, Hoffman and Goldsmith are overjoyed to be so close to completing their dream. “We’re just excited to be here. I mean we love what we do. Separately, we love both the fields we came out of. Combine it together and we just do really well. We have opposite skill sets that complement each other very well. And we’re just ready to get this thing moving. To be open. We can’t wait to start some waffles.” Hoffman said. Environmentally friendly, fun, and full of waffles. Now just add some syrup—or locally sourced bacon. C

ABOVE LEFT Co-owner Tia Hoffman poses with employees on the Wafel Shop’s second day open to the public ABOVE CENTER A liege waffle topped with fresh fruit and syrup ABOVE RIGHT Community freshman Frances MacKercher enjoys a waffle during her open block

ABOVE LEFT The Wafel Shop offers a selection of toppings. ABOVE A waffle maker prepares a Brussels waffle. BOTTOM LEFT Hoffman prepares a waffle for a customer.

The Wafel Shop is located at 113 E. Liberty Street, near the corner of Liberty and Main. feature

the communicator

11


the art of matchmaking

Ann Arbor students find joy and success in pairing up their friends in relationships kelly arnold lauren lacca photo

Dating sites use algorithms and formulas to predict compatibility.

eHarmony claims to be responsible for 5% of all U.S. marriages.

12

I

n the hit musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” the main character Teyve has five daughters, all who he assumes will be matched by the matchmaker Yente, according to tradition. Despite the fact that his oldest daughter Tzeitel begs in song for a perfect match, Yente matches her with a man older than her own father. By intermission, Tzeitel dumps the idea of being with the older man and marries her true love. While Tzeitel found no use for her, the character Yente represents a common figure who, throughout history and even today, was and is an important part of society: a matchmaker. In places like Eastern Europe, India and Russia, a matchmaker continues to be a crucial, philanthropic part of a community, almost as illustrious as a doctor. Here in the United States, matchmaking is a thriving profession. Whether in the form of face-to-face consultation or over a dating website such as eHarmony.com, modern-day matchmaking vastly differs from the original. In today’s world, rather than forcing two individuals to marry, it is more common to leave the decision in the couples’ hands; upon first meeting, a marriage license has been replaced with dinner and a movie. Dailani Young, a sophomore at Huron High School, has been matchmaking her friends as a hobby since

elementary school. “I have always been interested in giving relationship advice, but I officially started matchmaking in fifth grade, [even though] I wasn’t really successful until the start of seventh grade,” said Young. High school matchmakers who take their work seriously are sometimes ridiculed when it comes to finding students to match together. “When I first tell people I call myself ‘The Love Doctor,’ they laugh at me at first, especially if I don’t know them,” said Young. “Guys in general don’t like asking me for help because they feel like they should be able to do it themselves. Most girls will take me up on my offer, but later get embarrassed or just ignore me.” Throughout the halls of Community High, both matchmakers and paired couples alike are easily found. Katie Taub, a Community High junior, has similarly found success in her time matchmaking, even though that’s not how she describes what she does. “It’s more like ‘I think these people should hangout more often/if you wanna take it farther you can,’ but I’m not gonna pressure you into doing more than you would like to do,” said Taub. “I have matched together three couples,” said Taub. “One started at the end of last school year, and the other two [began] around September. They are all still together. I wouldn’t

the communicator

feature

say [I’m a] professional, because I don’t really get paid for it, but I am for some reason not bad at it.” Raven Eaddy is a Community High sophomore. “I kinda matched up two of my friends,” said Eaddy. “I was like ‘Oh yeah, you guys should go out, you’d be so cute together,’ and then they did, but then they broke up in two weeks. [Matchmaking]’s fun, just to see what happens between the two people that you match up.” Community High junior Preston Horvath was half of a paired couple. “A friend approached me and informed me that he had a friend that he thought I should get to know better,” said Horvath. “He gave me her phone number, and we began talking that way. “It was awkward [being matched] at first, but having a mutual friend helped. We were able to find conversation topics that way. Some of our early interactions were somewhat awkward, because we didn’t know a lot about each other. [But] after we got to know each other better, it wasn’t awkward at all. It worked for a little while, but we weren’t a good fit for each other. We probably wouldn’t have even crossed paths if it wasn’t for the matchup.” One issue considered with matchmaking is the idea that matchmaking is no longer cool, possibly out-of-style and old-fashioned. Community High sophomore Alona Henig feels this way.

“I don’t know anyone my age who would do it; I think it’s for old people,” said Henig. “I think it’s for people who aren’t willing to go out of their comfort zone in person. My uncle actually met his partner on a website, and that was great, so I guess it works for some people, but I personally think it’s a little old-fashioned and kinda weird.” Taub said, “Couples won’t happen a lot of times because people are too shy or too awkward to actually get out there to make something happen, but that’s never gonna go away for the human race. I don’t think it’s old-fashioned, but I also don’t think it’s the first thing that you think of.” Julie Spira is an online and mobile dating expert, and has been featured in the likes of the New York Times, USA Today, Psychology Today, along with many others. “It feels like matchmakers have been around since the beginning of time,” said Spira. “There will always be a place for traditional matchmakers, as long as people are still desiring to fall in love. What has changed is that singles looking for love don’t put all their eggs in one basket.” Horvath understands matchmaking is “certainly not for everyone. I don’t think it is old-fashioned at all. I know of some adults who met their spouses through mutual friends or matchmaking, and I think that the same thing can work today in high school.” C


love stats

based on a survey of 150 Chs students ruthie graff research hazel o’neil llustrations

infographic

the communicator

13


where there’s a pill, there’s a way Some students turn to adderall during the most stressful week of school jeff ohl cooper depriest photo

I

Ritalin and Concerta are other commonly abused ADD/ADHD drugs

14

t ’s 7:56 a.m. at Community High School, and the students of Marci Tuzinsky’s sixth block geometry class are gradually filling her first-floor classroom. Some have deep bags under their eyes from a sleepless night, some are frantically studying and some are just nervously waiting. All of these students are about to take their semester final, a cumulative exam that will make up 20 percentof their semester grade. While some students study to prepare for finals, for other students this isn’t enough. John Carter* is a CHS student who has been using Adderall during finals week since his freshman year. According to a 2005 study conducted by the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Center, over 25 percent of students at the college level were illegally abusing stimulants like Adderall. While there are no reliable studies for high school abuse, doctors and students from 15 schools with hard-to-meet academic standards estimate the prevalence to be from 15-40 percent. “I only take ADD medicine when I really need it, which is during finals week,” Carter said. “I generally have a hard time focusing and I procrastinate a lot so it helps me to focus and be very productive.” John has not been diagnosed with ADD and does not have a pre-

the communicator

scription for Adderall, so he obtains it through a friend who has a legal prescription for the drug. From John’s experience, this is the most common way the drug is obtained. “It’s not too hard to get,” Carter said. “It’s widely available and it’s cheap . . . four dollars or so. It’s much cheaper than marijuana or cocaine.” According to Alan DeSantis, a researcher who is a professor at the University of Kentucky, about 30 percent of students at the university, at sometime or another, had illegally used a stimulant such as Adderall, Concerta or Ritalin. Despite its prevalence, the penalty for illegally using or possessing drugs like Adderall is steep. In the United States, it is a Schedule II drug (as is cocaine). In Michigan, possession of illegally acquired Adderall is a misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1000. In addition to the legal implications, drug counselors say that for some kids, the drug may act as a gateway drug to painkillers or sleep aids. “I do not [know the legal consequences of using illegal Adderall],” Carter said. “I know it’s illegal to sell.” Adderall and other ADD drugs would show up as amphetamines on drug test. While Carter knew that employers tested for Adderall, he didn’t know what would happen if he ever got caught.

feature

John noticed other downsides to Adderall. “When I take Adderall I get . . . super thorough, I double and triple check my answers.” John said. “You waste a lot of time. In freshman year, I took a math test and...I ended up running out of time at the end because I spent so much time being thorough.” John also took the ACT while on Adderall, but felt better and even did better—by one point—when he took it clean. John also doesn’t like the way Adderall makes him feel physically. “I really hate the effects that it gives me,” he said. “It makes me feel weird and bad and uncomfortable.” CHS counselor Diane Grant has experience dealing with students who have abused Adderall. “Just like anything, it’s not the healthiest thing for somebody who’s growing and changing,” she said. “It’s a very powerful drug.” Grant also was worried about the circumstances that could lead to Adderall use. “What’s going on for somebody that they would feel like they would need to use [a stimulant]?” she said. Grant also talked about the procedure when a student is prescribed for Adderall. “Even when people get it prescribed to them, it’s a big deal,” she said. “We have a school nurse

and she often will talk to kids whenever they need to just about what to look for when starting a medication.” Thus, Adderall, even when taken in the prescribed dosage, can have unintended consequences. Grant said that she sometimes would talk with families when it was found out that their kid was using Adderall without a prescription. The conversations would usually include what warning signs to look for and resources that the families could utilize. “Because experimenting is one thing, long term use is another thing, and covering up what’s really going on is another thing,” she said. Despite these drawbacks, Carter still believes that Adderall is the best option for him. “I could probably drink a lot of coffee but that’s probably worse for my body than taking one pill of Adderall,” he said. While this may be John’s opinion, coffee is much different than Adderall. There are health risks associated with taking a prescription drug that hasn’t been prescribed to you. Withdrawal can lead to heart problems and psychosis, while prolonged use can lead to addiction, or even more tragically, overdosage. C

*name has been changed


words from the wise CHS seniors share their best advice for the underclassmen

“Get to know people who aren’t like you.”

anna rosenfeld & alex wood anna rosenfeld photos

“Don’t trash Sweetwaters, and buy someting, because it’s not a freakin’ cafeteria.”

Becca Amidei

Amber Ung “Get your requirements out of the way early.”

Mishka Repaska

“Get a lot of sleep and don’t post college acceptances on your Facebook page.”

“Don’t slack off your first few years.”

Obinna Ugwuegbu

Galen Burrell

“Don’t steal from Kerrytown.”

“Don’t be Dan Donut.”

Dan “Dan Donut”Chapman

Dan Sagher

“Even though teachers tell you not to, alway use Wikipedia.”

Gabby Thompson

“Get on Kevin’s goodside... whichever Kevin that may be.”

“Don’t get lazy.”

Stefan Wanczyk

Rianna Johnson-Levy feature

the communicator

15


16

the communicator

center spread

nd de a al g nu n tio din o m sen e us om o r i er ns f s io ce fa uss an rec c ns rep e te gal s le oto ph

What draws teens to send these photos in the first place? For one student at Community High School, her committed relationship is the motivation. “It

The motivation

Anna Smith* awoke, startled by the resounding vibration of her phone. Upon reading the text, a million scenarios raced through her mind. “Anna please call me ASAP.” A voice rang clear through the speaker, delivering some of the most unexpected, reputation-altering news that she had ever heard. It had been two months since she sent it. Smith, a high school student, thought that the contents of her nude photo had disappeared and the only one to lay eyes on it was the one intended recipient, but in fact, he had decided to pass the photo onto several of his friends. “I immediately started crying. I was so scared to go to school the next day,” said Smith. More teenagers have started to send nude photos, unaware that they could reach far more people than the recipient. According to guardchild.com, 20 percent of teens have sent or posted a nude or semi-nude photo. What teens may not be considering is that the spreading of these photos can result in serious emotional and legal ramifications. “Girls feel like it has really ruined their lives,” said Dr. Roni CohenSandler, a clinical psychologist who has been featured in Psychology Today, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. “They lose friends, they’re humiliated, and they feel terrible about themselves.”

A picture is worth a thousand words

brienne o’donnell illustration

madeline halpert

Teens can get into serious trouble for sending explicit photos, due to its consideration as child pornography. “Exploitation of a minor is a state and federal crime,” DeWoskin said. He explains that the legal penalties could be much more damaging if the transmission of the photo is between a minor and a person over 17. “It is a felony and [the offender] will likely carry the sex offender stigma for a long time,” he said. The electronic paths that these photos follow and who comes across them in the process aren’t always so clear, either. “The big concern is that you [can not] develop a road map. You don’t know who else potentially is involved in the transmission of that information,” he said. DeWoskin adds that there is a large variance in the amount of privacy that users presume they are protected by and the levels of privacy they are actually receiving. He says that the resulting legal issues of a leaked photo could be permanent and life changing. “If you are transmitting that information, there’s a very good chance that even as a teenager, you could get into a great deal of trouble, a kind of trouble that you never get rid of. It sits with you forever.”

Legal problems

students are taught the risks, but don’t quite understand how it can affect them. “A lot of times, people don’t think that the [recipient] will send it on; there’s a certain trust, but I think it’s naive,” she said. However, there is more than a social backlash that teenagers that sext could face. There are also potential legal ramifications when sending a nude image of a minor.


center spread

the communicator

17

While sexting can be appealing, there may be compelling reasons not to hit the send button. For some students, the emotional aftermath of a leaked photo is the most unfortunate consequence. Smith says that the humiliation was the worst part. While she admits that it was her mistake, she never thought the photo would be distributed. “It was also embarrassing because I know that people have seen me naked,” she said. Dr. Cohen-Sandler reasons why teenagers take these risks, despite the apparent repercussions. “I think part of it is that when you’re a teen, you think, ‘oh those kind of things happen to other people, they’re not really going to happen to me,’” she said. “ You’re kind of in denial until it does happen to you.” A student at Community High School shares this same view. She believes that

Understanding the risks

makes him happy,” she said. To some, it is purely for the exhilaration. “It was kind of exciting,” another anonymous high school student said. “It was like breaking the rules, and I knew it was bad.” Dr. Cohen-Sandler speculates there may be other reasons for this behavior, though. “I think that people do it because they’re very impulsive and they don’t think through the consequences,” she said. She adds that insecurity or pressure from a relationship could also be a cause. Jacob DeWoskin, an information technology consultant at KDV in St. Cloud, Minnesota, sees a societal norm suggesting that a person’s popularity is largely linked to how popular they are online. “In order to gain popularity, teenagers will do things that might not be in their best interest,” he said.

*name has been changed

DeWoskin says that if you wouldn’t hang it in your high school hallway, you probably shouldn’t send it. “Everything is permanent on the internet. Everything you do online, whether it be a tweet, or a Facebook post or a picture that you have sent, it leaves an indelible mark,” he said. For many, transmitting explicit photos into a technology where the image’s path and viewers are unknown is something to take into serious consideration. Smith says that in the end, her impulsive decision was not worth the embarrassment she faced. Her advice is to think about whether you have a good enough reason to send a photo. “Ask yourself if it’s worth that risk, which I can tell you, it isn’t,” she said. C

A lasting impression

Some suspect that the reaction of peers contrasts greatly based on which gender is sexting, and it seems that women may be taking the bigger hit. Dylan Brown,* a senior at Pioneer High School, sees an apparent change in attitude. “If a guy [receives] a naked picture, it’s like, ‘Oh you’re sweet!’ But if a girl sends one, it’s like, ‘you’re a whore.’ [Sexting is] definitely different for each gender,” he said. Dr. Cohen-Sandler stands behind these opinions. She says that “the old double standard” is ever present in society’s prevalence of sexting. “The repercussions are so much worse [for girls],” she said. While guys continued to “strut around school like big shots,” females faced a much more drastic and emotional wrath, such as humiliation, vulgar labels and sometimes even an absence from school.

Women as the targets


virginity lost

students share experiences and regrets about their first time having sex eliza stein & sarah zimmerman

According to a study done by Planned parenthood 55% of teens ages 1519 wish they had waited longer to have sex

18

WILLIAMS The date was 10/10/10. She was a freshman girl “hanging out” in her sweetheart’s bedroom at a house void of parents. They had started dating six months before in middle school. “We had talked about doing it but it wasn’t supposed to happen until we had dated for at least a year, but one thing led to another and well, it just happened,” said Julia Williams*. Williams was scared. As she walked downstairs from her boyfriend’s room, Williams felt sick to her stomach. She couldn’t stop questioning pregnancy and felt that everyone would know that they just had sex. “I remember every bit of it. I remember his face. We were both just so freaked out,” she said. Williams felt she had lost her innocence. “Immediately, I didn’t feel like a kid anymore because I did something bad. In terms of myself, I cried about it…this is what adults do,” she said. The fear blew over quickly though. The next week Williams and her boyfriend had sex again. “As I warmed up to it and continued to have sex, I started feeling more like a badass. I was one of the first in my grade to have it,” she said. Williams, now a junior in high school, has had 16 different sexual partners. “I think because I started so early, in my opinion, and especially with my personality being so bold, I might put myself a little too out there sometimes,” she said. Williams feels she would rather “have fun” and get “judged” than not have sex. She has found sex to be a subject she can laugh about with her parents. Her mother took her to the doctor to get birth control pills six months after her first sexual encounter. She was tested once for STIs, which was negative. Her father wasn’t pleased with the idea of her having sex at

what he considers to be an early age but continues to make jokes about it. “They are like, ‘Next time we want to meet the guy.’ I went on a date with this guy one time and my dad was like ‘The hunt is better than the kill, make him work for it,’” said Williams. After so much “kill,” Williams admits that she enjoys sex more when it is with someone she truly cares about. “There is such a difference when I have feelings for the guys but when I don’t, I just do it for fun. A lot of times, I am hopeful that something will spark from it. It is better when it is consistent with the same guy.” Williams is happy with her current sex life but expresses regrets. “I wish I didn’t have as high of hopes going into [having sex for the first time],” she said. “I am glad though that I did it with someone that I was close to because I know that if it was a stranger, it would have been very uncomfortable because it was such a new experience.”

the communicator

center spread

BARNES A hot tub, an eighth-grade boy, an eighth-grade girl, and no contraception. Scared of what had just happened, Josh Barnes* biked home after a night he soon regretted. That night Barnes had lost his virginity to a girl he had known for the past four years. They were what Barnes described as friends. “[I decided to do it because] I was a horny teenage boy and I wasn’t really thinking with my head as to what it might entail in the future,” he said. On his way home from the girl’s house, Barnes started thinking about everything that could have gone wrong. While he was “freaking out” he called his best friend at the time, who was “all boy about it,” by telling Barnes “it was sweet.” Barnes did not use protection when he had sex, and so he was worried about STIs and pregnancy.

“That was the first and last time that I did that [didn’t use protection] because I just didn’t want to have to go through that emotional stress again,” he said. “It taught me a valuable lesson.” First he scheduled a blood test to be tested for STI’s; then he had to make sure he had not gotten his partner pregnant. In order to schedule his blood test, he felt he had to tell his parents. “Even though we haven’t always had the best relationship I’ve always been able to tell them things. So I just brought it up,” he said. First, he talked to his mom. After the initial “five seconds of awkwardness,” Barnes felt comfortable talking to his parents about the situation and although he did not tell them that he didn’t use protection, he figured they knew anyway. Barnes regrets more than the lack of contraception. “I later met someone who was my second who I wish I could have lost it [my virginity] to because I cared about her and I was with her for a long time,” he said. Barnes told his girlfriend about when he lost his virginity, so she would know that she wouldn’t be his first. She was understanding. For Barnes, taking someone else’s virginity was much different than losing his own. “You have to be careful and often you aren’t careful. It can get you in trouble. It’s never gotten me in trouble, but sex is a very delicate thing. Virginity is a very delicate thing and there are a lot of emotions and hormones attached to them. You have to be conscious of the other person’s feelings and too often the feelings are not taken into account,” he said. He made sure that he wasn’t pressuring her in any way. It was her choice, not his. Barnes made a point to receive a sober yes from her. Finally, he made sure he took the necessary precautions to prevent against STIs and pregnancy. “I think it’s really important to lose your virginity to someone who you really love because it strengthens that

feeling and when you don’t share it with someone you love, you don’t really get to experience that,” he said. Although the girl he was in a relationship with wasn’t his first, he likes to think about her as his first, because the sex had more meaning. JENSON It was the end of his freshman year and his ex-boyfriend was moving away. Joe Jenson’s* dad was home. Jenson, openly gay, lost his virginity at his house, in his room, on the floor. This moment came as no surprise to Jenson. “I knew he was going away and then we obviously knew what was gonna go down,” he said. When Jenson told his friends that he had lost his virginity he received many gasps, but for Jenson “it wasn’t anything life changing.” Yet, he does feel that it may have changed his relationship with his ex-boyfriend in the future. “I didn’t feel different after it happened but I guess the connection between me and him afterwards. If he was still here I’m sure... it would have changed,” he said. For Jenson hookups and relationships are very different. He believes that in an intimate relationship sex makes a couple feel different afterwards, but a hookup is just sex—it doesn’t phase him in any way. “You can lose your virginity more than once,” he said. But Jenson regrets the first time he had sex. “I feel like in a lot people’s minds, sex is supposed to mean something, but it didn’t really mean anything,” he said. For Jenson losing his virginity was “no big deal.” BELL The calendar marked their six-month anniversary. Then-sophomore Susie Bell* had started taking birth control pills a week prior, a condom was in hand and she felt she was ready.


“I just had really strong feelings for him and things were progressing sexually anyways,” she said. “I was curious just to see what it was like.” The condom broke. Bell took Plan B the following morning. After having sex for the first time, Bell began to feel that there was an expectation to do it all the time. “It wasn’t like I would do it when I didn’t want to but there was just more stress over it especially when my parents found out. So it sparked a lot of arguments and it was very stressful because my parents didn’t trust [my boyfriend and me] anymore,” she said. Bell’s parents found out four months after her first sexual encounter and immediately took her to the doctors to get her off birth control. They told her it was due to health reasons but Bell believed they just didn’t want her to have sex and felt this would stop her. It didn’t. Bell and her boyfriend continued to have sex weekly using condoms for protection and Plan B as needed. Bell said she learned her lesson on how to interact with her parents after they took her off birth control. “They never really gained my trust back to talk to them about anything. I eventually gained their trust back but I still lie to them all the time, obviously,” she said. Bell’s parents called her boyfriend’s parents to discuss the situation and agreed on stricter rules. Bell said her boyfriend’s parents never thought they were condoning sex but just never asked about it. Bell’s boyfriend’s parents were more open about the idea of sex at a young age. “They weren’t openly telling me ‘Oh yeah it’s fine’ but we would always do stuff at his house, because his parents would back off just as long as we were being safe. They said, ‘You can tell us anything but we just don’t want to be around when you do it,’” said Bell. The relationship ended in November of her junior year after a little over a year. The following spring, she had sex again with a different boy. “I wasn’t in a relationship with him, but we had been hooking up for a while. Then I felt like since I had done it once, not that it wasn’t a big deal with the next person, but I was just more comfortable with it,” she said. “I wasn’t as scared, I wasn’t drunk or anything, it’s just something we wanted to do.” Bell, now a senior in high school, has been dating him for over six months. She feels more comfortable talking about sex with him to avoid conflict than her previous partner because now she has the experience behind her. Bell feels that sex is just a “bonus” in their relationship.

“I’m emotionally attached to him and I could do without it but it’s something that’s nice to share with him. It’s really intimate. It’s not necessary, but it’s nice,” said Bell. After having sex with two partners, Bell only regrets one thing. “I wish that I had more people supporting me. It’s just harder because it’s not that my friends didn’t support it, they were just kind of skeptical, and they felt like I was pressured into it and I didn’t have my parents so it was basically just like me and him,” said Bell. STAPLETON Community High Health teacher Robbie Stapleton is required by the state to teach a comprehensive sexual health unit. Stapleton thinks that learning about anatomy, safe sex, STI testing, and the “nuts and bolts” of losing one’s virginity are all equally important. “I am troubled by how difficult it is to be mentally healthy, practicing safer sex, and coming to grips with all that means in today’s society,” said Stapleton. Each year, Stapleton assigns her students to write a letter to their hypothetical child. In the letter they are to write about their decision-making about having sex. Stapleton found that this year, almost 100 percent of her students, directly or indirectly, said that great sex involves feelings and doing it with someone you respect and care for and sometimes even love. However, Stapleton knows that is not the reality for everyone. “I am told, sort of frequently, that people are not having sex under those circumstances and I think that creates a cognitive distance that is really hard to walk in the world with and that bothers me. What are you [students] supposed to do? Every message you get culturally is act like, dress like, want sex like, a whore or a racy person and yet if you do, you’re a slut. And I bet that the road students can walk is pretty narrow and a scary one.” Stapleton believes it is a “scary road” due to technology today. “The way girls treat other girls is inconceivable to me. Girls are the hardest on each other. We need to be embracing each other and allowing each other to make mistakes and do do-overs. I got to [do do-overs] because there was no Internet then.” “The fact that half of high schoolers leave high school losing their viriginity and half don’t, has not changed much,” said Stapleton. Though the statistic hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years, Stapleton thinks her students are part of a gen-

eration of immediate gratification. “If you are not with someone, you want to immediately text them,” she said. “There is no just wait and consider it. If people get horny, people think they need to act on it. No, you don’t. It is one thing to practice safer sex physically but it’s a whole other thing to practice it mentally. I think it is the harder way.” Stapleton is troubled by the way our society characterizes sex. “For my money I would like everyone to wait until their frontal cortex is fully developed [to have sex] because you don’t have do everything at once but no, our culture says you do,” she said. BICKNELL Bicknell Planned Parenthood Peer Education Coordinator Ricky Bicknell supervises and instructs a group of high school students who act as resources pertaining to sexual health for their peers. When Bicknell first began his job, he was surprised about the number of women in the classrooms who felt “jaded” by the idea of having sex. “I think it comes from the idea of being used. It may be more common than I ever thought to have sex for the first time without thinking about it from a holistic, long term standpoint,” he said. Bicknell understands why losing your virginity is important but also believes our culture and society puts a lot of emphasis on it. “Ultimately, it’s important because after that point, you are going to have [sex] on and off for the rest of your life and it is the beginning of exploring your sexuality,” said Bicknell. Like Stapleton, Bicknell thinks it is important to be with someone you can trust. Bicknell believes the term “losing your virginity” is not a positive way to think about the experience. “I think it implies that you only have something special to give your partner the first time you have sex and that something is being taken from you,” he said. Bicknell thinks the idea of virginity is mixed up with heteronormative ideas of what it means to have sex. “Like how do we even define virginity for [gay partners] if they are not having penetrated sex but it is still their first sexual experience. It still might be as meaningful as having vaginal sex for a heterosexual couple.” Regardless of your sexual identity and if you are both virgins or not, Bicknell believes sex should be fulfilling and a positive experience. C

SEXUAL HEALTH RESOURCES Planned Parenthood 3100 Professional Drive and 2370 Staduium Blvd CALL 1-800-230-PLAN Robbie Stapleton CHS Health Teacher CHS Planned Parenthood Educators Sarah Zimmerman, Eliza Upton, Fernando Rojo, Isabel Sandweiss, and Mishka Repaska Washtenaw County Health Department 555 Tower Street

EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION A hormonal method of birth control to be taken after unprotected sex or when a regualr form of birth contrl fails. The sooner it is used after unprotected sex, the more likely it will prevent pregnancy. It can be taken up to five days after. Anyone age 17 + can get over the counter and under 17 must have a prescription from a health provider

STI TESTING If sexually active, one should be tested every six months

*name has been changed feautre

the communicator

19


all about business CHS Junior Noah hirschl uses his passion for business to create iphone apps

nate porter marcelo salas photo illustation

A

s technology progresses, the business world finds new ways to adapt to the changes. Marketing in areas of business that didn’t even exist five or ten years ago is simply following the trend of progression. Ever since CHS junior Noah Hirschl started receiving emails with videos about business and how to benefit from the rapid technological development, he has had a lingering curiosity for that area of business. Now, Hirschl is following that trend. After developing three iPhone applications, which will all soon be available on the App Store (“Bugs on Bugs” will be released in a few weeks), Hirschl is now an established “appreneur,” one who has a business involving the creation and sale of iPhone apps. His three games, built for the iOS software in iPhones, iPads and iPods, are called “Rooftop Runner,” “Rooftop Rocker” and “Bugs on Bugs.” Hirschl has had passion for business ever since he started selling people’s old items on eBay in the 7th grade. “Ever since then, I have been intrigued and inspired by business. I also have a strong interest in technology, so creating an app company allowed me to combine both of my passions,” he explained. The idea of developing his own app to sell came to him halfway through his sophomore year. “I realized that apps are getting enormous, and only getting more popular. ‘Apps are the new gold rush,’ I thought when I first started researching app development,” said Hirschl. It took Hirschl about four months to develop and market his first app, “Rooftop Runner.” First, he had to come up with an idea of what he wanted his app to be. “I wanted to create a simple game through which I could learn about the iOS app development space, and to try out different marketing strategies, as well as improve my management skills,” said Hirschl. The concepts of his game are simple, which helped give it an ad-

dictive edge. The two dimensional game allows one to control a stick figure who is running along the rooftops of different buildings. When there is a new rooftop approaching, one must tap the screen to make the stick figure jump forward and avoid the gap between the two buildings. As the game progresses, the running pace of the stick figure will increase, making it harder to hit the jumps. Once one misses a jump, the score is calculated based on how long the stick figure ran without falling, and the game automatically restarts. “Even though the game is super simple, I gotta admit it’s actually really addictive,” said CHS junior Kevin Turnbull after trying the game. The second step was finding a programmer to develop the game. This ended up becoming the biggest challenge for Hirschl. “My biggest obstacle in the development of Rooftop Runner was finding a solid and reliable programmer. I had no prior experience in managing employees, so having to stay on top of things with several people on the other side of the world was a large challenge. The people I worked with had no idea they were hired by a 16 year old, and I made sure that my professionalism would not make them guess,” Hirschl said. After only a few interviews, Hirschl had ended up hiring a man from India. “I hired him to program the game based off of my ideas. He ended up being very unreliable. I learned that I need to take my time interviewing people to make sure I find the right person,” he explained. Since the game was pretty basic, the developer only charged Hirschl $200. By communicating through email, Hirschl was able to tell the employee exactly how he wanted the game to be. “I would write out a list of specifications for each individual aspect of the game, whether it was the menu interface, or how the buildings in the actual game play should look,” he said. The third step of the process was

18

the communicator

feature

20

the communicator

feature

The average price of an app in the app store is $1.50. The total number of apps for sale in the app store falls at 780,147 total.

to test the game. “Beta testing is extremely important in software, like apps, to make sure the app has no bugs and runs smoothly. After implementing my notes, my programmer would send me a build that I would upload onto my phone. I would test it, then send back notes, and repeat this process until I was satisfied with the game,” said Hirschl. Once testing was finished and the game was everything Hirschl had envisioned, he sent in the game to Apple for approval. Once Apple agreed that the game met their rules, standards, and expectations, (which are mainly that the game is glitch-free and that there are no inappropriate images or profanity present) they approved the game. “Rooftop Runner” was priced at $0.99 on the App Store. Hirschl advertised “Rooftop Runner” through social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and even grabbed the attention of a few app review websites. After the first week, “Rooftop Runner” had 100 downloads; after six months, Hirschl broke even financially. After a while, he decided that his game was too simple to be sold, so he made it free. Now, Hirschl is receiving around 800 downloads per day. “I definitely improved my management skills and achieved my goals of learning about the iOS app development space and trying out different marketing strategies through being in charge of the development and release of the game, and I am proud of where I am now,” he said. “Even though I have not really began to go all out with my business. I also wanted to begin to grow a network of users to market my new games too, and with the 70,000 downloads I now have, I believe this has been achieved as well.” Hirschl’s most current app project is a game called “Bugs on Bugs.” He has high hopes for this game, and believes that it will quickly take “Rooftop Runner’s” spot as his most popular app. “The main objective of the game is going to be a surprise,

but it’s pretty much an endless style game that is unlike any other game I have seen. It is fast, fun, and most of all, extremely addicting.” Hirschl plans on releasing the game to the App Store in a matter of weeks, priced at $0.99 per download. “‘Bugs on Bugs’ is a much higher quality game than ‘Rooftop Runner,’” he said. “Though I worked extremely hard on ‘Rooftop Runner,’ I feel way more proud of ‘Bugs on Bugs.’ The images are nicer, the idea of the game is much more unique and exciting, and it’s overall a well made and entertaining game.” The cost to develop this app was significantly higher than the cost of “Rooftop Runner.” However, the cost to develop “Bugs on Bugs” was not the only thing that increased with this new app. Now, Hirschl’s expectations for this game are higher than ever before. “Based on my personal opinions as well as the feedback I’ve gotten from friends who have played the beta version, I really think Bugs on Bugs could go viral and sell thousands, if not millions, of copies,” he said. Hirschl is planning on advertising the game through social networks, advertising companies, word of mouth, blogs, press releases, and app review websites. He also plans to spend $500 on marketing. The young “appreneur” truly has a passion for business, and is more hungry for success than anything else. “Ever since I was a kid, I always liked making money. Not until I created an app did I experience the feeling of creating something that thousands of people worldwide would enjoy.” said Hirschl. “I plan on chasing this feeling and going as far as I can with business my entire life. And though I do enjoy making money, I wouldn’t say it is the goal. Success is the goal, but success just happens to bring in the big bucks as well. I am a firm believer that if you do what you love, the money will follow.” C


hear to there

85-year-old joan meza hasn’t let being hearing impaired since birth hold her back caroline phillips meza family photo courtesy

T

he year was 1928. In Webster City Iowa, tiny Joan Meza (Jo) was born. Barely able to survive, weighing just under three pounds, no more than your average cantaloupe. She survived, but was left with a substantial impairment that would present a lifetime of challenges–—Meza was hearing impaired. She had less than 50 percent of her hearing compared to a normal baby. Doctors say Jo’s congenital hearing impairment was the result of a medical X-ray treatment her mother received in the early stages of pregnancy. For some, this amount of hearing loss would be limiting, but Meza was determined to never let her impairment hold her back. Mesa has traveled the world, has an advanced college degree and has accomplished more in her 85 years than most. Today, she lives in Ann Arbor where she can enjoy the company of her son and two grandsons who live nearby. Community High freshman Max Meza is one of the grandsons. “We’ve always been close. She’s silly sometimes, but I love her a lot,” he said. Students of Tracy Anderson’s third block Introduction to Literature class enjoyed a recent visit from Meza when

she and other student’s grandmothers shared their specialty foods. During the class period, no one seemed to notice her hearing loss. “Woah! She was deaf? I had no idea at all,” said freshman Tyler Schmader. In Webster, there were no available educational hearing services to kids and Jo was at risk for serious academic delays. Meza’s father, a practicing lawyer, was able to persuade a teacher from a deaf school miles away, in Des Moines, to teach Meza. “I don’t know what would have happened to me if my father hadn’t done all that he has for me,” said Meza. “My parents tried very hard to never let my hearing get me behind, I learned everything from [my teacher].” Meza stayed with her teacher for three years before transitioning to mainstream schooling. As a student, Meza learned the priceless skill of lip reading. This is how she can communicate so well without using any hearing devices. And it is what she uses today. Studies show that with hard practice and focus on lipreading, improvements up to 30 percent improvement in comprehension can be gained. 65 percent of kids with hearing impairment graduate from high school.

Meza did graduate high school and went on to Colorado University in Boulder, CO, where she earned an advanced degree in Sociology. She then she went to graduate school in Hawaii. “Don’t ask me why I chose Hawaii! I just thought it would be an adventure,” she said. Nearly finished with school, Meza decided to drop out of school because of complications with her thesis. She then got a job as proof reader for the Honolulu Star bulletin, a local newspaper. “I over compensated my whole life really, trying to learn as much as I could about the English language and improving my vocabulary,” said Meza. After working five years in San Francisco, she then got married to Alex Meza, an exciting young man who loved to travel, as did Meza, lucky for him. They moved to South America, where she would be for 20 years, and where she had her two sons, Alex and Randy, both born in Guayaquil, Equator. When she was 30 years old, Jo got her first hearing aid. Meza received hearing aids later in life and, although they did not improve her hearing drastically, they provided reassurance and opportunities for her. “I don’t think I would have been

married or had children if not for the hearing aids. It gave me the confidence I needed to support a family,” said Meza. They then moved to Brazil, and Columbia but had to return to the “Old Country,” as Meza says, after her divorce. In 1980 Jo and her boys settled in Philadelphia to be close to Alex, as he was in military school. One day, Jo came across an ad in the newspaper for an editor for TV Guide. “I hadn’t had many jobs besides some social work and working in the chamber of commerce in Buenos Aires, but that was just for fun,” said Meza. Joan then got the job and was one of four editors for TV Guide. Once her boys were done with school and she had finished her 14th year at TV Guide, Meza traveled with Randy’s family and came to Ann Arbor, where she now resides. She loves listening to Max play his bass in Community’s own jazz band and chatting with her close friends. “It’s been a fascinating life. I have never really looked at myself as handicapped, heck!” she said. “I always thought I was one of the lucky

feature

the communicator

Approximately 3 in 1,000 babies are born with permanent hearing loss, making hearing loss one of the most common birth defects in America

ones.”C

21


opinion staff editorial: we should act on social media how we act in person Once upon a time, there was social etiquette. There still is, of course. But now, there’s another kind of etiquette, too— social media etiquette. Relationships and social circles are now complicated by our use of Facebook and Twitter. There are no age-old societal rules of conduct for social media, so we are left to make up our own as we go along. Ideally, there might not be a disparity between our conduct online and in person. We’d strive for kindness, personal privacy, and humility in both spheres. But scroll through any Facebook or Twitter news feed and you’ll see that this isn’t usually the case. It’s common for posts to cross into the territory of bragging, or for teens to present personal information to their entire audience of friends or followers. Based on human nature, it’s not surprising that social media has become an avenue to talk a lot about our own lives. According to a study published in May 2012 by Harvard neuroscientists, talking about ourselves stimulates the same reward pathways that are activated by things like food or sex. We devote 30 or 40 percent of conversation time to self-disclosure. However, in the real world, social norms tend to keep this from getting out of hand. Usually, you wouldn’t

stand up in the middle of math class and announce to everyone how hurt your feel since your boyfriend broke up with you. You wouldn’t go into the third floor hallway at lunch and start shouting about the important award you just won. But on social media, you might post about these things without a second thought, even though it will likely reach an audience much larger than the 30 students in your math class. This might be because over the Internet, you don’t see the people you’re talking to. In an October 2012 interview for Fresh Air on NPR, Sherry Turkle, a clinical psychologist and founder of MIT’s initiative on technology, discussed the implications of interacting with others without seeing them face-to-face. She presented this as an explanation for cyberbullying. “When we are face to face, we are inhibited by the presence of the other,” said Turkle. “We’re aware that we’re with a human being. On the Internet we are disinhibited from taking into full account that we are in the presence of another human being.” The “faceless Facebook” effect of social media can often have negative consequences. You might send an inappropriate photo to someone without thinking about what will happen when an actual person receives it. You might

end a friendship by tweeting something mean about your friend during an argument. Plus, on a daily basis, you might diminish your own image in the eyes of friends and acquaintances if you shower them with excessively personal or boastful posts. Therefore, each time you post to Facebook or Twitter, you should picture all the people who might see your words. Don’t limit this to your list of friends or followers—if it’s on the Internet, someone can screenshot it and send it on in a flash. If you’re going to tweet something mean about someone, imagine how his face might look when he reads it. If you’re going to brag about your perfect ACT score, think about how it comes across to the person who has been struggling for months with the math section. If you’re going to post about your own personal life, think of all those acquaintances who might feel uncomfortable knowing stuff about you they’d prefer not to know, and that you probably don’t really want them to know either. It is essential that we strive to act online with the same thought and care that we use in person. Just because there’s a screen between you and the next person doesn’t mean that it no longer matters to be humble, respectful, and reasonably private.. C

letter to the editor To the editor, I realize my comments in the Communicator Poetry Club article about not loving Shakespearean poetry as a high school student may seem unnecessarily negative—coming from the advisory of Poetry Club. Let me explain myself. My dad was an English teacher, the kind of guy who walked around quoting Shakespeare. (He addressed his brothers as “Sirrah,” for instance.) Dad helped advise theater productions at our high school, watched Shakespeare on PBS, and treated Elizabethan English as his second language. As his teenage daughter, I tended to ignore my dad and his love for Shakespeare. I wanted to find my own way. So, I was not given to sonnets and ballads as an adolescent. However, now that I teach Intro to Lit with Ken McGraw, reading Shakespeare is like finding that favorite old coat that still fits. His poetry is fresh, vibrant, and full of love and humor. I hope all of us find the time to sink into Shakespeare sometime in our lives. If now is not the time, don’t fear. You will love Shakespeare sometime in your life, if you give him a chance. Plan to see Julius Caesar at Community later this semester. You won’t be sorry! Sincerely, Ellen Stone

editorial cartoon: please check your clocks

communicator policy

22

the communicator

opinion

The Communicator, being committed to the free exchange of ideas, is an open forum for expression of opinions. It is student-run; students make all content decisions. Letters to the editor are encouraged and can be sent to thecommunicator@ googlegroups.com. Signed articles will be accepted with no prior administrative review as space is available. The Communicator reserves the right to edit submissions. Furthermore, opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and not of this newspaper, Community High School, or Ann Arbor Public Schools. For our complete policy, please see www. the-communicator.org.


metrication for our nation joris von moltke

The United States is the only major industrialized country in the world not using the metric system, which measures in units such as meters, grams, and liters instead of inches, pounds and gallons. As a nation, we still use the antiquated customary system based on the British Imperial System of Weights and Measures. The American System is convoluted and complex and the benefits of switching to the metric system far outweigh the setbacks that might result from the switch. So why are we still using the old customary system? During the late 1800s, 17 countries met to discuss an international standard of weights and measures. They created the metric system, which was based on simple conversions and measurements found in nature. For example, one meter was based on one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to either pole. Soon after the French adopted the system, all the remaining member countries followed, save one: The United States of America. The European countries wanted a unified way of measurements to insure easy and fair trade between nations. Since the United States didn’t trade much with Europe they didn’t feel the need to switch. Today that is no longer the case. The U.S now has the most powerful economy in the world and trades goods with all of the metric world. To facilitate trade, and eliminate the possibility of conversion errors, the U.S need to adopt the same measurements as the rest of the world. That way there would not be room for error in converting from one system to the next. Many ancient empires attempted to

standardize weights and measures but none did it successfully until 1824, when the British consolidated the many different systems in use throughout their Empire. The United States quickly adopted a modified version of the British system that has remained mostly unchanged for the past 200 years. In the 1960s the British stopped using their own antiquated system and transitioned to the metric system. If they could do it, through government help, why can’t we? At the heart of the issue lies the fact that we have been using this system for 200 years. It has become an essential part of our everyday lives. But it’s not impossible to change. Opponents cite confusion, a steep learning curve and high costs as reasons against metrication. As with all new systems, there will be a steep learning curve but thanks to the simplicity of the metric system, this curve will be overcome rather quickly. The high costs of metrication in the industry will be paid for many times over by the increased ease of trade with every other nation in the world other than Myanmar and Liberia, the two lone holdouts for the Imperial System along with the United States. Another reason for the opposition by some government agencies lies in their belief that this is a decision for the states and not the federal government. This conservative notion of “states rights” is just a hindrance in metrication. The decision to change as well as the enforcement has to come from the top. If the states had the right to choose on this matter, then it would

make things even more confusing than they already are. Travel within the US would be like traveling to a different country. Conversions within the American System are arbitrary. They are rife with strange conversion factors such as multiplying by 1,760 to get from yards to miles. The metric system, on the other hand is in base ten. The decimal system is the most widely used system for counting in modern civilizations. Why? Because it is simple and counting in base ten is natural for humans. We have been counting in base ten since we’ve had ten fingers. What is easier than adding a zero to the end of a number? This is the basis and result of the metric system: simple conversions. We learn these conversions in our science classes because they are taught in the metric system, even in the US. If we all had one system, students wouldn’t have to learn two completely different systems. CHS science teacher Courtney Kiley thinks we should start converting to the metric system and stop teaching the old system if we require students to take classes, such as Physics, which are based on the modernized metric system of SI units. She says it might just be American rebellion, “we are trying to be different or we were trying to be different when we came up with it. But either way,” she adds, “it’s stupid.” Community High math teacher Anne Thomas agreed. “I would love for us all globally to be on the metric system!” she said. But Thomas doesn’t think it will happen anytime soon because, “people in this country have a hard

time with change.” Though we aren’t aware of it in our daily lives, the United States already has switched many things to metric. Consider that we buy liters of soda, or check the “Nutrition Facts” on any food container you purchase: it will measure fats and carbs in grams and not ounces or cups (though the serving size will still be listed in tablespoons, cups, or pints: how confusing is that?!). The United States Government has even declared the metric system as the nation’s “preferred measurement system.” Indeed, we are already officially metricated as all of our measurements are tied to the metric system, much as the value of money used to be tied to gold. For example, one inch is defined as equal to 2.54 centimeters rather than being based on a prototype housed in France. It is time that we take this extra conversion out of the equation, stop teaching superfluous information and stop being so xenophobic by fearing a proven system simply because it is foreign or because we as a nation are scared of change. We need to see the potential of this change to facilitate trade and simplify many aspects of our life. There is hope though: over 30,000 people have already signed a white house petition to make the metric system the standard in the United States. The times have changed since we first implemented the American Customary System 200 years ago, and as President Barack Obama said in his Inaugural Address this January, “When time changes so must we!” C

I’ve personally uncovered some rare items at our Salvation Army. This summer, when my cousin Alisha was in town, I decided to show her around the city, which included a stop at the Salvation Army. As we took our time looking around the store, we finally came across the accessories department, and found our diamonds in the rough: Vera Bradley bags, wallets and lunch boxes, all for sale for much less than retail value. We were in heaven; we each chose our favorite item and rushed to the checkout. This instance represents one of the main reasons I suggest stopping by Salvation Army. You never know what you’ll find there, because there are new

items being donated daily. My last push for shopping at the Salvation Army is the fact that they provide aid for the community in a plethora of ways. Local Salvation Army’s around the country gave help to 30 million people in need. Through running youth camps and bringing disaster relief, the Salvation Army truly puts merit behind their mission statement “Doing the Most Good.” By purchasing items from Salvation Army, not only are you getting a good deal on a secondhand item, but you are also supporting a company who is a vital part of communities around the country. C

1 calorie (a metric unit) is the amount of energy needed to heat one gram of water one degree celsius

in the neighborhood: salvation army kelly arnold

If you’ve got only $20 in your pocket, you can count on Salvation Army for a good deal. They’ve got lots of gently used items, from sunglasses to television sets. The same bargains that many college students have come to love are now being recognized by high school students, both locally and on a more national level. A recent hit song that’s currently on the top of the charts, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, portrays thrift shops as fun and thrifty atmospheres rather than in a negative light. Boasting of deals on keyboards, kneeboards, and the occasional sweater once owned by a grandfather, these

two artists placed a catchy beat behind a subject familiar to the common teenager. During its first days of popularity, the words of “Thrift Shop” could be heard all around Community, whether sung, rapped or spoken. One walk into our local Salvation Army proves these stereotypes to be true. The building is the size of a large warehouse, and racks of clothing make up the left and middle aisles. The far right aisle consists of children’s products, clothing and toys alike. In the far back are miscellaneous items, gathered together by type: televisions, furniture, books, shoes, accessories, dishes, and baskets, among other things.

opinion

the communicator

23


the magic inside for years, Urban fairies have been building homes in ann arbor brienne o’donnell & abby kleinheksel cooper depriest photo jean-luc thompson-bert illustration

jonathan wright is having a book signing and story time at nicola’s books in the westgate shopping center on february 16th starting at 11:30

visit jonathan wright’s website at http://urbanfairies.com/

24

F

irst there was one. Then two. Then three. The doors descended in a line: one for adults, one for kids, and finally, a miniature mystery door. It was 1993 when the first fairy door appeared under the stairs at Jonathan Wright’s house. Wright and his wife, Kathleen, both loved fairies. Combining their interest in children’s stories and Irish culture, the fairies came to be a part of their lives. The year that their first daughter was born, they put an addition on the house. The door was discovered during the construction. Soon, there were more fairy doors that appeared around the house. At first, there was much speculation as to what actually lived inside the door. At the time, Kathleen Wright ran a preschool program, and the kids were not familiar with the same “little people” that Wright grew up with

such as the Littles, the Borrowers, and Stuart Little. “One of the first speculations was that there was a lion-mouse in there which was a new breed that I am not familiar with but eventually they settled on fairies,” said Wright. Currently, Wright is still working to piece together the mythology of these “urban fairies.” More traditional Irish fairies are human sized. They were “mischievous at best and downright evil at other times.” It wasn’t until the Victorian Era that the small fairies with wings appeared. “The mythology that I’m uncovering is I think a transitional period for fairies. It’s a new mythology. Urban fairies are kind of a woodland fairy that may have discovered the human environment and liked it and may have wanted to participate in it for whatever reason,” he said. In 2005, the door at Sweetwaters on

the communicator

feature

Washington was the first of its kind to be discovered downtown. “Initially, it was outside of the building, but that disappeared about a week later and subsequently reappeared inside of the wall,” said Wright. According to Wright, fairies are attracted to interesting buildings. Sweetwaters’ building is one of the oldest in Ann Arbor, so the fairies were intrigued. But, the doors can also be found for other reasons. “For instance, a coffee shop, I mean shoot, they’ve got cookies and stuff, who wouldn’t want to live [there]?” said Wright. The Sweetwaters fairy door was designed specifically to fit in with its surroundings. It has a similar paint scheme and matches the intricate plinths that are on the outside of the actual door. At Sweetwaters, it is not uncommon to see people come in solely to see the fairy door. “Girls usually wear tutus and stuff in the summer and come all

excited,” said employee Matt Passanante, “You can tell that those people are really here just to see the fairy door.” At Peaceable Kingdom, they have found a similar situation. “People will come by if they’re having a birthday party, they’ll go on a fairy tour,” said employee Sarah Foley, “It’s really fun when people start asking and they say ‘what can you tell me?’” Peaceable Kingdom was the second fairy door to be uncovered downtown. The door first appeared in 2005 after the Sweetwater’s door. “We started seeing little piles of sawdust on the counter and things and then all of a sudden there was a door and then a few months later there were windows,” said Foley. The Peaceable Kingdom door is especially intriguing because of its delicate interior. The Peaceable Kingdom door has an annex as well as a store. Wright is not as familiar with some other doors that have appeared around


Ann Arbor. “There is actually a whole industry that has popped up since this, and people who are selling fairy doors,” said Wright. Wright speculates that these have appeared mainly to attract fairies. As of 2012, there are 19 fairy doors related to the Urban Fairy Operations. “I think there are some that are more hospitable or accepting of something like a fairy,” said Wright. There are also certain people who are more hospitable and accepting of fairies. A tradition that has no documented beginnings is to leave the fairies different gifts, such as pennies or other small items. Over the years, Wright has collected up to ten pounds of coins from all the fairy doors. “I end up getting a box with a little note from the fairies saying to get rid of it because it’s cluttering up the house,” said Wright. “It’s not my money, so I donate it to Food Gather-

ers every year.” Although in 2005 Wright was working full time on the fairy doors, he currently spends about half his work time with the project in between his work as a graphic designer and illustrator. He spends time trying to illustrate what he thinks fairies might look like and how they live. As many children have claimed to have seen the fairies, Wright decided to leave fairy guest books for children to document these sightings. With these journals, Wright published a fairy book called “Who’s Behind the Fairy Doors.” In the book, Wright uses the children’s drawings to expand his knowledge of fairies. He is now working on other books. “And if I had my way, [fairy doors would] be all over the place, but you just have to wait for them, fairies work in a different time so, just got to be patient.” C

feature

the communicator

25


a& e

going all out: chs seniors apply to music schools dan sagher & lukas trierweiler

hannah king photo

CURTIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC AND JULLIARD SCHOOL HAD THE TOP TWO LOWEST ACCEPTANCE RATES IN THE COUNTRY.

Erez Levin hasn’t even graduated high school and he has recorded a full-length album, played in front of audiences of 1000+ and embarked on an interstate tour. But for him, the journey has just started. Everyone likes music. But like Levin, some are fated to take it further than jamming out while doing homework. Ever since their immersion into the world of music, it has become their academic interest and life blood, so much so that they are pursuing it through college. Levin has been surrounded by music ever since he was born. His parents played music around the house, sang him bedtime songs and gave him a guitar for his second birthday. Ever since then, he has been dedicated to furthering himself musically. Especially with the drums, which he chose to be his main instrument. “I’m going all out,” Levin said. As most of the CHS seniors know, applying to regular college is a long and grueling process filled with essays and

short answers. But music school is not the same. Getting to know a student musically, opposed to academically, is an entirely different game. Instead of just writing essays based on various prompts in what are known as supplements, music school applicants must also undergo a series of pre-screenings and auditions. Applicants send pre-screenings, recordings and/or videos of selected songs to their school of choice, and then the schools determine if the student is worthy of an audition. An audition consists of the applicant playing one or more selected songs for the school’s faculty. They get judged based on style, technique, etc. The prestigious Berklee School of Music will require the applicant to sight read in front of the faculty. “It is looking like it is going to be the most complicated,” Levin said about the Berklee audition. Starting off as a blues guitarist in 5th grade, CHS senior Alex Meingast has lived with a passion for guitar and jazz.

He was 10 years old when he started taking lessons with a private teacher. Now, Meingast loves guitar so much, he plays it literally whenever he has any free time. As a member of multiple bands, including Community High’s very own advanced jazz band, Meingast plays a big role in the local music scene. By no means does he want his musical career to stop after high school. Meingast’s top choice for college is Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, where he hopes to be able to learn from some of the top music professors in the world. “Indiana’s faculty are some of the most down to earth people and are amazingly talented,” said Meingast. Unlike Levin, Meingast has already undergone the application process and auditioned. He found the process to be fairly simple and straightforward. “It was pretty relaxed,” he said. Unfortunately, he will have to wait a stressful couple of months before he hears any word from the school(s). But that is not the only nerve-rack-

ing thing going through his head. Even though Meingast’s love for music is strong, he is worried about the lack of potential job opportunities in the field. Meingast is also applying to engineering schools as well in hopes of getting a dual degree. “It’s taxing,” Meingast said. “I basically have to apply to twice as many schools for each university.” Although taking classes in two very different programs within the same university is a daunting concept, Meingast is willing to work hard to continue his passion for jazz guitar while also trying to land a lucrative job. Like applying to any college, applying to music schools is definitely not for the faint hearted. Like Meingast and Levin, one must have a deep passion for music and be willing to work extremely hard. The application process is rigorous and it effectively tests the musician’s abilities, but with well over two hours of practicing every day, Meingast and Levin are up for the challenge. C

art smart: teacher and student advice for applying to art school

steve says:

students say:

Be ready to not like the college you go to.

To [get into] a good school you should be good at drawing realistic things. -james mackin

Have a really strong portfolio. Be willing to change; be flexible. Before [you apply] seek as much help and input as you can. 26

the communicator

arts & entertainment

Before you apply you should search for the schools that are good for your major. -jenny wang


check this out!

art throb BOOK: GONE GIRL “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn takes the term dysfunctional marriage to a whole new level. The book tells the story, from both spouses’ perspectives, of a romance that begins too good to be true, and turns out not to be. When Nick and Amy Dunne both lose their jobs as writers, they move back to North Carthage, Missouri to take care of his ailing mother. One day, Amy disappears. It looks like a murder, and all signs point to Nick. Gone Girl is so well-written and exciting, it’s hard to put down. Between unreliable narrators, flashbacks, and journal excerpts, there is no predicting the next plot twist in the story, and the reader quickly learns to expect only the unexpected. Flynn artfully creates sympathetic characters before turning 180 degrees, leaving the reader unsure what to think or feel. Though not for the faint of heart, Gone Girl is a fantastic addition to anyone’s library. ­—Anna Rosenfeld

Music: the rolling stones—”Sticky Fingers” While The Beatles took the image of a clean, trimmed and tucked band, The Rolling Stones took another direction. With the majority of their songs encompassing the idea of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, many people consider The Rolling Stones to be one of the best bands of all time. The Rolling Stones 1971 release “Sticky Fingers” incorporates this idea wholeheartedly, serving up a steaming hot plate of dirty rock ‘n roll. This album has a distinctive, heavy blues and soul influenced sound that The Rolling Stones have become known for. Three music picks off the album I’d recommend are the hit single “Brown Sugar,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” and the final track, “Moonlight Mile.” If you are a fan of good old school rock music, then do yourself a favor and give “Sticky Fingers” a listen.—David Gissiner

Television show: Walking Dead “The Walking Dead” is an amazing drama filled with action and zombies. Yes, zombies. You will probably see the word drama and not immediately think of zombies, but this show utilizes these two things masterfully. The show is about a group of ordinary people who band together and try to survive the zombie apocalypse. The main plot follows the adventures of Rick Grimes, the main character. He was a police officer who was shot and fell into a coma, only to awake to the zombie apocalypse alone and confused. It was adapted by AMC, from the graphic novel, also called “The Walking Dead.” This show is very addicting, and has a huge following all over the country. It is already into its third season, and is still going strong. If you have not seen the show, it is definitely worth checking out, and it has something for everybody. Be sure not to miss this show that is on every Sunday on AMC.—Jack Douglass

Video game: Black Ops 2 The sequel to the video game Call of Duty Black Ops was released Nov. 13 2012. With in the first 24 hours, “Call of Duty Black Ops 2” made $500 million. The game is split up into three main sections: the campaign, multiplayer, and zombies. The campaign is based around this evil villain named Raul Menendez who is trying to take over the world by taking control of the U.S. Military. One of the biggest selling points for people was the zombies section of this game, where you and other people play together to kill zombies. The graphics in this game seem to exceed its first version, giving it a more lively feel. Other things like new guns and new multiplayer features all account for why this game, although very similar to the original version, proved itself different and interesting enough to buy and play. —Jett Jones

arts & entertainment

james mackin senior This piece of Mackin’s received a Gold Medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. about the piece “The piece is called Declan and is of one of my little cousins and I drew him as if he was a type of sphinx for fun.” inspiration “I have three little cousins who are all fun to hang out with. He is the oldest so I decided to make him out of stone. Also my grandma said that she would pay me $200 for each portrait I did of my cousins. but I ended up not doing that deal and just had fun with it.” favorite medium “I really like using pencils.” favorite part of chs art “I like the capability to take CRs at community. For example, on Saturdays I go to U of M to draw models.” The Communicator wants to feature student art work on the A & E page. If you’re an “art throb” or you know one, send an email to thecommunicator2012@gmail.com the communicator

27


bro code CHS basketball team surprises everyone (including themselves) in narrow loss alex wood stewart wood photo courtesy hazel o’neil illustration

W

junior noah moorehouse scored 22 points against Team caillou

28

ith only seconds left, the ball finds its way to Nick Partin. The guard calmly steps back, as nonchalant as one can be when the game is on the line, and nets a threepointer. There’s a moment of silence and shock before the five players in green and the other two on the bench erupt in a joyous surprise. “Let’s go!” shouts a fired-up Partin. The game against Team Caillou is tied at 53-53, but there’s still time for the opposition to make a quick run down the court and end the game. The defense holds out. The Rainbow Zebros, Community High School’s Rec & Ed basketball team, is going into overtime. “When I got the ball I knew this was my moment, so I stepped back behind the three-point line and took the shot,” said Partin. “My heart stopped as I watched the ball travel through the air and hit nothing but net.” A lot was at stake for the CHS team. Team Caillou was the team that most of the players wanted to beat. Banter was exchanged on Twitter, Partin being the main perpetrator. While the Rainbow Zebros is comprised only of CHS students, Team Caillou was made up of students from all the Ann Arbor high schools, including CHS students Danny Langa, Emre Babbitt and Casey MacDonald. The game had started with blistering pace and the Rainbow Zebros had a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter—more than they had scored in their entire first game of the season. The players walked out onto the court for the second quarter with smiles on their faces. They never thought that

they’d be a match for this team. The game slowed down a bit in the second quarter, but the Zebros’ defense stood firm and brought a lead into halftime. “[Leading at halftime] was exhilarating,” said junior Preston Horvath. “It was a dream come true.” Nobody expected them to win. No one expected them to even come close. Yet here they were, beating Team Caillou. Both teams’ spectators were shocked at the score. The team’s strength started to disappear in the second half. Forward Joris von Moltke fouled out in the third

the communicator

sports

quarter, leaving a big hole in the team’s offense. The team started to move more sluggishly and by the fourth quarter, the Rainbow Zebros had given up the lead that the team had maintained for the whole game and needed some luck if they wanted a way back into the game. CHS senior and player-coach Carlos Jackson gathered the players around him to discuss strategy for the upcoming four minutes of overtime. Jackson was in charge of organizing the CHS team this year. “I started the team because I want to play basketball, but not for Skyline,” said Jackson. He gathered a group of seven friends, many of whom played on the CHS team last year, when it was aptly named #Airball. In 2013, the team is looking to improve on an abysmal 2-8 record (one of the two wins was by default because of a forfeit). Many of the other players also joined because they didn’t want to play for their high school team. “There’s no pressure [un]like real high school sports,” said Partin. “Psych. I can’t play high school sports.” Some of the players had never played competitive basketball before joining the Rainbow Zebros. “I like learning a new sport by playing it with friends, rather than at a high school,” said Cody Zeisler, the Rainbow Zebros’ big man. “High school sports aren’t as fun as Rec & Ed.” In its first game of the season, the ‘Bros were thrashed 59-19 by The Trap-

pers, a team made up of Skyline kids. Rec & Ed automatically enacts “mercy” and ends a game if a team is winning by 40 points or more in the fourth quarter. At the game against Team Caillou, he buzzer sounded and the Rainbow Zebros put their hands into the middle of their huddle as they prepared for overtime. The players once again took their places on the court, with von Moltke still on the side, forced to watch his team’s lead wither away, unable to contribute. The Zebros were sluggish once again. The players are unable to connect and fell behind. The defense kept committing fouls and led to the team’s ultimate demise. The final buzzer sounded and the Jan. 20 game ended 63-58. “They had their moments,” said opponent Emre Babbitt. “They’re good competition.” Not all of the Zebros were distraught over the close loss. “I didn’t mind [losing] because I thought we were going to get destroyed going into the game,” said Noah Moorehouse, the team’s point guard. “I count it as a victory.” Despite the heartbreaking loss in overtime, the Rainbow Zebros are hopeful and anticipate making a similar effort in the upcoming games. “So far we have had a slow start to the season,” said Jackson. “But you can see by the scores of our first two games that we have improved and I know that if we get some good practice in we can win a few games this season.” C


casey vs food casey macdonald takes on his Second food challenge for the communicator casey macdonald jack kozick photos

I

f you’ve met me before, you know that I am small, skinny, and hate Brussels sprouts. What you wouldn’t know from just looking at my surface is that I’m a wiener. Ehem, excuse my German. I meant to say that I’m a winner. I can’t stand losing, so you can understand how emotionally depressed I was after losing the Blimpy Burger challenge. I am in an elite group of winners. Like Lance Armstrong, I will do anything to win. Now am I saying that I would take digestive enhancing drugs? No. But if they existed, I would be curious. So after crying myself to sleep every night since my disastrous attempt at the Blimpy Burger challenge, I knew that I needed a game changer. Something that would get me off the couch eating ice cream and get me back to what I was best at: culinary consumption. At the end of my last article, I promised readers that I would try to eat five pounds of nachos in under an hour. I lied. Two things kept me from attempting this challenge. First, five pounds is half the weight of my dog, Jack, and that scared me. And secondly, I have a motto that I always live by: NEVER EAT MORE THAN I CAN LIFT. I decided to drop the five-pound nacho challenge out of my idea book…for now. I decided to go with what I thought was the smart choice. I took on the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazing Wings Challenge. Eighteen traditional blazing wings, thirty minutes, no water. At first I was skeptical. 18 blazing wings? Psh please, if I can train my dog to go #2 in the kitty litter box, then I can eat 18 wings in under thirty minutes. I regretted these words later. If I’m being honest, I was cocky. I underestimated the chicken. But the funny thing is I believe that the chicken underestimated me just as much. With the thought of the chicken wings doing a victory dance over my crumpled, defeated form, I dropped my cocky

attitude and headed over to buffalo wild wings. “Can I take your order?” said Emily, my waitress. “Yes, I would like 18 blazing wings, with ranch please,” I said determinedly. I wasn’t scared at all until I looked up and saw Emily’s face. Her eyes were full moons, her face parchment pale, mouth open as her gum slowly slipped out of her mouth and fell quietly to the floor. Twenty minutes later my food arrived. The wings looked harmless and innocent. Just a slight orange color. I bent my head and inhaled the pungent smell. I pulled back hard coughing and almost falling from my chair. I might be imagining things, but I could swear I heard the sizzle of my nose hair and eyebrows as the burn of the wing’s smell torched them. These wings were spicy...REAL spicy. So that’s where I found myself on a brisk evening in February. Sitting at Buffalo Wild Wings preparing to risk the death of my taste buds over 18 chicken wings. Now I would like you all to take a moment of silence to honor my taste buds that died in battle. Shawnika, Shawndra, Shawnte, Ja’Quaelah, Jimarcus, Trey Burke III and Tim you will not be forgotten. Trying not to inhale the wings again, I quickly raised a wing to my mouth and cautiously took a bite. My first impression was, “Not bad!” I had another, and another, until there were only twelve left. “ Hey Emily there not that ba-,” I started to say, but I was cut short by a sudden burning sensation in my cheeks and mouth. Traditional wings, although delicious, are very hard to eat without getting sauce all over your face. Now this might seem random, but has anyone ever stuck their head in a bucket of gasoline and then lit up a cigarette? Yeah me neither, but I expect having blazing wings sauce soak into the pores of my face will be the closest thing I come to it. As the forest fire in my mouth grew

stronger, it spread to my nose and cheeks until I was sweating, and tears were rolling off my face. I knew speed was key. The longer I took with the wings, the longer it would feel like Mount Vesuvius had erupted in my mouth (shout out to Jason McKnight). I quickly downed 6 more wings. With only two thirds of the wings eaten, I was at my breaking point. My whole head felt like a Thanksgiving turkey that had been left in the oven three hours too long. But out of the darkness of failure, I remembered some advice that my brother told me: “When you need a lover or companion, or your mouth is on fire because you ate too many blazing wings, man the heck up and take a shot of ranch.” I wanted the sweet dew of victory on my tongue so badly that I did exactly what was echoing throughout my head. I downed the side of ranch. It instantly cooled my burning throat. With the help of the ranch dressing, I managed to choke down the last six wings, sealing my victory against food. After an hour of crying and running my face under the tap in the Buffalo Wild Wings bathroom, I came out a champion. This victory was sweeter than the American Lit pies that are all too common when you walk into Judith’s classroom. I had tears in my eyes as Emily and the other employees at Buffalo Wild Wings applauded me. Of course these tears were more related to the holes that the blazing sauce had seared in my stomach, but it was still a very emotional moment. It was over, and all I could hope was that my digestive system would handle the wings better than my mouth did. Elated, I prayed to the blazing wings god that these wings would not come out with as much fire as they came in. Stay tuned for next edition as I take on a thirty-inch pizza. In this epic battle between Casey and food, CASEY WON! C

Take these chicken wings and learn to fly.

The Before #Swerve

The After #Swerve sports

the communicator

29


shorts styleprofile

ROSE HENKIN

SALMON UPDATE

favorite art charcoal sketches favorite movie into the wild favorite tv show house favorite accessories rings and earrings favorite store anthropologie necessary extravagance wearing a different perfume every day of the week

would never be caught wearing neon how long does it take you to get ready in the morning 1 hour and 15 minutes hairstyle growing it out, keeping it simple for now nail polish only dark colors when I have nice nails go to outfit jeans, boots, and a sweater cats or dogs cats

simon says

wise words from CHS senior Jeremy Simon

The two-headed salmon is still alive, although quarantined. Courtney Kiley calls the phenomenon “a miracle.”

approximately 2% of community high school students and faculty anonymously answer the thought provoking question, “what is your ideal date?”

“wendy’s after a canoeing trip” “going on a dog walk and picking up poo” “anything Involving hank miller”

“Dogs enjoy pee breaks every two hours.”

“coffee at the fleetwood diner after a JS4 concert ” “playing strip FIFA” “going to the YMCA” “watching lord of the rings in the attic” “watching a sunset on the beach while isaac scobeythal plays the guitar”

30

the communicator

shorts


think local & shop local Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery

/PEN -ONDAY 3ATURDAY AM PM 3UNDAY AM PM Downtown Ann Arbor • near the Farmer’s Market   .&OURTH!VE!NN!RBOR -) WWWPEOPLESFOODCOOP

www.gratefuldreadsannarbor.com

C

Advertise here.

The Communicator

We write our stories. We create our paper. We inform our community. We need your financial support.

For more information contact Tracy Anderson at andersont@aaps.k12.mi.us

advertisements

the communicator

31


c

thecommunicatoronline

a student voice

community high school ann arbor, michigan

we have a new website! visit www.chscommunicator.com

new content poetry by eric bayless-hall and amelia diehl john boshoven neopapalis pizza robbie stephens dancing at MLK celebration a life story: irene butter sports

macky alston and talking to the media

“Before we start can you just remind me, who’s the audience for this? Where’s it’s going to appear? And what would you most like your readers to get from this?” said Macky Alston before the interview began. Alston is an expert media trainer...

The communicator 401 N. Division ST. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

jazz musician backgrounds


The Communicator Vol. 28 Ed. 4