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the

Roar pressure perform

Check out this year's talent show winners on page 27

A&M Consolidated High School

1801 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy. S., College Station, Texas 77840

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vol. 17 No. 5

to

by dana branham, features editor

Students face pressures from society, family, school

We want to be well-rounded. We strive to be the person who can do it all. But when that means being on top of schoolwork, getting good grades to keep parents happy, staying involved in extracurricular activities, as well as working to save up and prepare for college, well-roundedness can turn to

sleep-deprivation and

overwhelming stress. see "pressure" on page 3

tolook

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AMY ZHANG

where News Viewpoints Snapshots Student Life

pages 2-6 People

pages 7-11 Health and Rec page 13 Sports

pages 12, 16-18 pages 19-20 pages 21-24

pages 14-15 Entertainment/Etc. pages 25-28

nthis ssue

As March 23 grew closer, the phenomenon of "The Hunger Games" spread across Consol. PAGE 28

Playing video games is a timeconsuming activity, but one that many students enjoy. PAGE 19


n the news

2 | news | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

A qu ck view

Senior receives Ag scholarship

Landscape team places at Rodeo

Senior David Rooney won first place in the San Antonio Livestock Show’s Agriscience Zoology contest. For his efforts he received a $10,000 scholarship. Kayla Hanson also placed third in the botany division, and sophomore Travis Rooney placed fifth in the microbiology/food science division.

The Landscape Design Team, composed of Nicole Albrect, Paige Littlefield, Brianna Hubbard and Kristen Kasper, placed fourth at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The students planned a landscape around the theme “Texas Heritage” using plants from the Gulf Coast region.

Band earns superior ratings More than 100 band students earned first division medals recently at the University Interscholastic League Solo and Ensemble Contest hosted at Consol on Feb. 18. Of the 120 medals earned, 55 students have been certified to move on to the State Solo and Ensemble Contest at the University of Texas Austin on May 26.

Skills USA competes at state Many students traveled to Corpus Christi on March 21 for the Skills USA Competition. Ten students qualified for the National State Skills USA Championships hosted in Kansas City this June. Hunter Rhodes and Mark Ebbole will move on for 3D Animation Team. Tyler Tesch placed second in Computer Programming, Michael Giedraitis, Alec Lindner, Wanda Lipps, Wes Cox, and Caleb Vandevanter will move on for Quiz Bowl. Kyle Brown placed first in Video Production Development, and Madeline Packard and Kent Juliff placed first in Video Production Development.

Senior Kade Massey plays the keyboard with junior Phil Bruxvoort on drums at Consolopalooza on Saturday, March 31. Consolopalooza is a Student Council-run event to raise money for the Save the Music foundation. Seniors Kate Williams, Sofia Rojo del Busto and teacher Jason Pratt organized the event. PHOTO BY AMY ZHANG

Orchestra wins regional awards All three orchestras won the “Sweepstakes” award at the UIL Orchestra Concert and SightReading Contest held at Consol on Feb. 23. It marks the first time that all three orchestras have won the highest regional honor in the same year.

HOSA students qualify for nationals Austin Beltrand, Rebecca Stark and Lisa Hsiao each qualified for the national Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) state competition by placing at the Area II HOSA Spring Leadership Conference in Missouri City, Texas. Beltrand placed third in prepared speaking, Stark finished third in researched persuasive speaking and Hsiao qualified via her score on the Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Issues Exam. The State HOSA Competition was held in San Antonio on March 29-30.

Belles receive champion award On Feb. 21 the Bengal Belles competed in a Regional competition in Austin and came home with the award for large high school overall champions.

Com ng up April 6:

Good Friday holiday

April 12:

Meeting with Dual Credit students in advocate

April 13:

Last day of 5th Six Weeks

April 21:

Sophomore student council Ultimate Frisbee Tournament fundraiser at practice soccer fields

April 24:

10th Grade Math TAKS

April 25:

11th Grade Math TAKS

April 25:

Senior Wellness day

April 26:

10th & 11th Grade Science TAKS

April 27:

10th & 11th Grade Social Studies TAKS

April 28:

Bengal Belles Spring Show, 4:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.

Friend Roar Newspaper on Facebook for the latest news, photos and polls!

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the roar | news | 3

thursday, april 5, 2012

“pressure” continued from page 1

Pressure to achieve bright future motivates students Pressure works in different ways for each student. Some students are worn down from stress, while others channel the pressure they feel into ambition and motivation to succeed. However, most feel a combination of the two.

“Knowing that she can [handle pressure] as a single parent and going to college, I just think to myself that I can overcome anything because I don’t have to deal with the hardships that she deals with,” Camarillo said.

FINANCIAL PRESSURE

FAMILIAL/PARENTAL PRESSURE

Senior Ashley Camarillo exemplifies both ambition and the effects of stress in her pursuit of college education. Since the summer before her junior year, Camarillo has worked 36 to 40 hour work weeks at Chicken Express in an effort to save money for college. “I’m striving to build myself a better future financially,” Camarillo said. “It’s a lot of pressure as far as keeping up with education and saving up money. I work a lot—as much as I can—and I try to balance everything out.” While senior Paige Blomstedt does not work a job, she too feels similar pressures to Camarillo in regards to posthigh school education. “Throughout high school, I’ve been working just to get into a good school, Blomstedt said. “I didn’t know where I wanted to go, so I just thought I would do the best that I could and see where that took me.” Though she said that her parents have pushed her in education before, Blomstedt has now been occupied with scholarship applications after her parents told her that financially, college without scholarships was not an option for her. “I would say that my parents pressure me to do well in school, but now they’re pressuring me to fill out scholarship applications,” Blomstedt said. Through the pressures they face, Blomstedt and her family rely heavily on their faith and each other. “The best thing for [my family] is that we can pray and ask God to follow through,” Blomstedt said. “He wouldn’t call us to something and not provide, so that’s what we’re focusing on right now—not only filling out scholarship applications, but also praying.” Camarillo said that her mother helps her through times when work and school become overwhelming, finding the challenges her mother has faced as a single parent as motivation to pave the way for a better future for herself.

Senior Cesia Sanchez also finds motivation to push herself in education because of her parents’ experiences. Her parents, immigrants from El Salvador, finished school with little more than an elementary school education, and “that has motivated [her] to pursue a higher degree,” she said. “I want to have a life where I can actually support myself, and past events in my family have motivated me,” Sanchez said. “[My family] lost our house when I was in sixth grade. That just motivated me and told me that education is the key.” While her parents motivate her, Sanchez feels pressure from other members of her family. When Sanchez’s older sister is working or in school, she helps take care of her sister’s three children. Though it is stressful at times, Sanchez does not see this as a burden, but an opportunity to be a role model for her niece and nephews. “It’s time consuming, and I don’t sleep a lot, but it’s okay,” Sanchez said. “It impacts me in a positive way because I want to show them that even though your circumstances may be hard, you can still succeed in life.” Senior Lisa Hsiao, however, has felt pressure from her parents to succeed since she was young. “My parents always stressed learning and the importance of education, so I’ve always felt pressured to get good grades and to succeed in school,” Hsiao said. “My parents still pressure me, but also I push myself because I want to make my parents happy.” Though the pressure from her parents created stress in her life, she said that she now values how it has shaped her character. “I definitely appreciate [the pressure], because I think it’s made me who I am, and I’m really appreciative of my parents stressing [education] because it’s helped me to succeed,” Hsiao said.

SELF PRESSURE

Similarly, sophomore Emily Miaou said she was pre-

ssured heavily by her parents when she was younger, but now has learned to push herself to excel in her various AP classes and otherwise. “After 12 years of my parents pushing me, it’s now like a mindset,” Miaou said. “It’s become a personal thing—I would feel bad if I didn’t do well.” However, sophomore Rebecca McDonald said that she has never been pressured by her parents, only that they are “supportive and always there for [her].” Her drive to excel in school comes from no one but herself, she said, and allows her to excel in other ways. “Working hard in school pushes me to work harder in other aspects of my life, like with relationships with friends and family and extracurricular activities,” McDonald said. “That drive to do well—it applies to my whole life. It’s just my personality.” Many students like McDonald, according to dean of students Christi Cheshire, actually don’t feel pressure from themselves, but rather have learned to maintain a self-driven attitude. “The parents have raised [their students], pressing them to do well,” Cheshire said. “Then, it’s not so much selfpressure as it is ingrained in [the students] that they do what they need to do to get where they need to go.” McDonald also strives to work hard because of her faith, where she also finds consolation from stress. “Doing my best used to be a lot for myself, just so I could feel good about myself, but now, since I’ve matured and gotten older, it’s more focused on [my faith],” McDonald said. “God gave his only son for me, for you, so that we could live. He sacrificed so that I could do this, so I should give it back to Him.” Be it self pressure, parental pressure, or financial pressure, these factors shape students’ personalities and in many cases prove to be beneficial for their future. Hsiao relates to this, as she said that the pressure she felt from herself as well as her parents was emotionally strenuous, but she realizes the good it has done for her outlook. “I’m certainly happy and thankful that I grew up in the culture that I grew up in and had that sort of pressure, because it wouldn’t make me who I am today without it,” Hsiao said. “It is solely the reason why I am the way I am.”

for sure ways to

Talk to someone.

for sure ways to

Speaking to someone else about your problems will make you feel better and can give you a fresh perspective on how to solve them. Just remember, the advice is free, the minutes are not. for sure ways to

Light a candle.

Forget chilling. A lit candle symbolizes hope and calm. Simple details such as these can create a more peaceful environment that makes getting through work easier.

Move and keep moving. 4

5

3

6

2

1

7

8 9 0

*

#

Run away from your problemson the treadmill! Doing exercise on a regular basis not only gives you a fitter body and stronger confidence, but also provides a time to clear your mind.

Seek a small animal.

Pets have always been a source of comfort for humans. With their eagerness to cuddle and inability to talk, spending time with some domesticated animals is sure to calm you down. Source: http://www.thedivineheart.com/10_best_ways_to_relieve_stress.htm


4 | news | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Pro-life club focuses on importance of human life BY ELENA EDWARDS

opinions editor

A controversial topic, the pro-life movement has swept through cities, towns and schools worldwide, spreading its fundamental message that all human life is valuable to as many as possible. Here at Consol, this movement and belief is supplemented through the Pro-life club. “I joined the Pro-life Club its first year running, which was my freshman year in 2009,” junior Anthony Macha said. “At that time we had a pretty good sized club, but the next year we dropped off and only had five people. I was one of those five, so I ended up being president of the club. We didn’t really know what to do, but we kept it going, and this year we have 66 members.”

“As the Pro-life club, we want people to know that there are other options other than abortion...” junior ANTHONY MACHA

In an effort to keep the club effective and interesting, Macha strived to have at least two speakers come talk to Pro-life Club members. With the help of his father and by calling these individuals, Macha says he met his goal. Karen Perez from the Silent No More Campaign and Dr. Robinson, a former abortionist, spoke to the Pro-life Club in 2010. Freshman Evan Bendiksen joined the club because he felt that it would be an effective way to spread his beliefs to both the student body and the community through service hours. “I joined the Pro-life Club because I knew that some of my friends were in it, and I thought it would be fun and a good way to display my beliefs,” Bendiksen said. “So far this year, the Pro-life Club has given out little baby feet pins to show how babies are formed early on. Also, we participated in Christmas caroling to a retirement home and by the fountain in-between Boston’s and Mugwalls, and we

have also participated in the community by publicly, but peacefully, protesting outside of Planned Parenthood.” Macha credits his pro-life stance and his reasons for joining the club to both his faith and his parents. “I joined the Pro-life club because each life is sacred. Abortion is a bad issue of our time, and my parents have always raised me to believe in the prolife movement, Macha said. When they first moved to College Station, Planned Parenthood was just getting started in this town, but my dad actually felt that the end of abortion in the nation would be here in Bryan College Station, and sure enough 40 Days for Life started here.” Macha says that 40 Days for Life focuses on ending abortion completely throughout the nation, and ultimately, the world. During this campaign, at least one member stands outside of every abortion clinic in town, 24 hours a day, for 40 days. Members pray for the victims whose lives have been lost, the mothers who are hurt by the abortion, and the workers at the clinics. 40 Days for Life is also a community outreach program that strives to inform people what abortion is and how it affects our nation, he said. “A lot of people thought that the first 40 Days for Life Campaign would only take place here, and it would be the only one ever, but other communities saw what it had done here, and since then it’s spread to other cities, and now there are over 300 cities around the world and internationally that support 40 Days for Life,” Macha said. “The main message of 40 days for life is that we can’t end abortion on our own. We need God to help us, and it’s through God, prayers and sacrifices that we’re going to end abortion.” Macha feels that the Pro-life club is important to Consol because it has the ability to inform students of the importance of all human life and possibly prevent teenagers from getting an abortion now or later. “High school is a place where a lot of people learn about the world,” Macha said. “Sometimes teenagers consider abortions, and as the Pro-life club, we want these people to know that there are other options other than abortion, such as adoption, and that people really do care about them and want to save them from the [emotional and physical] pain that so often accompanies abortion.” Bendiksen agrees that the Pro-life Club is an important addition to Consol and believes that the club gives students

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the courage to stand up for what they believe. “I think Pro-life Club is important because it gives students a chance to talk to other people who think the same way that they do, and it raises awareness about abortion,” he said. “Also, I think that without the Pro-life Club, people would be less willing to [spread their beliefs to others] since they wouldn’t have others to stand by them.” The pro-life message is not only geared towards the elimination of abortions, but towards the idea that all human life, no matter how young or old, is valuable, Macha said. “Pro-life isn’t just about abortion. It’s about all people. Like if there’s somebody whose life is threatened or whose dignity is undervalued, the Pro-life Club’s job is to stand up for them,” Macha said. With the clubs growing popularity, Macha has big hopes for the Pro-life Club in the future. “When the new high school comes, we hope to start a club there and possibly join with St. Joseph’s club to make one big Pro-life Club,” Macha said. “Ultimately, my goals for the Pro-life Club are that we do whatever we can to promote a culture of life in this school and throughout the world. Each human life is precious, unique and a gift from God.” Freshman Amber Macha, Macha’s sister and fellow Prolife Club member, relates the issue of prolife to a familiar movie phrase. “Best said in Horton Hears a Who, ‘a person is a person, no matter how small,’” she said.

Pro-life Club Information • • • •

Jacqueline Vizquerra is the sponsor The club meets every Monday after school at 4-4:30 p.m. The president is Anthony Macha Prolife has participated in passing out baby feet pins to students, caroled at a retirement home and by Boston’s Restaurant as well as They have protested outside of Planned Parenthood


the roar | news | 5

thursday, april 5, 2012

Younglife helps students come together in Christian environment BY DEVIN DAKOTA

assistant editor

While most students are at home Monday nights, studying for a test or catching up on their favorite TV show, a group of students are coming together for an hour of craziness, friendship and ministry at Younglife. “In a world where high school students are being drowned with so many voices and really trying to figure out what life is about, I think Younglife is a great tool to enter a kid’s world and help them navigate life,” said JP Harris, Area Director of Younglife in the Brazos Valley. Younglife is a non-denominational Christian organization with outreach purposes that focuses on regional areas like the high school. They meet from 8:009:00 p.m. on Monday nights at Grace Bible Church Southwood Campus across from the high school. “We want to provide a welcoming environment without judgment, an environment where they feel like they matter and that they’re loved,” Younglife leader Erin Legan said. “We want a kid to come in and not leave without talking to a leader. That’s our goal.” Younglife leaders continue to be the driving force that keeps students involved. “Primarily, I think the leaders have become a new set of mentors in my life,” junior C.J. Pye said. “They’re people I know that are a couple steps ahead of me, and people there to serve us, and there is a level of trust there.” Monday night Younglife club brings many different students together with one common interest. “No where else can I be in the same room with some of the people that go to

club,” Pye said. “It’s definitely a mixture [of students], and it’s offered me a chance to expand beyond my comfort zone and get to know new people.” Younglife attracts a wide range of students from all different backgrounds. “Younglife really meets you where you are in life,” senior Morgan Smith said. “You don’t have to be at a certain place.” During club, students are exposed to music, games and a short lesson from the Bible. “The approach of Younglife is more simplified,” Legan said. “We cater to the farthest kid out there. We want to reach the kid who doesn’t know anything about God, and has no expectations. Some kids might think it’s simple, but that’s why we do it, so any kind of kid can grasp what we do.” With an audience of high school students, Younglife is forced to stay current, and be relatable to teenagers. “Younglife is really good at staying current,” Harris said. “We’re a little edgy. That’s sometimes what gets us in trouble, but that’s what makes us attractive.” Though Younglife activities are focused mainly around the weekly club, events with leaders and members can stretch throughout the week or even through the summer. “Club is just one part of what we do,” Harris said. “We want to live life with [students].” A select group of students attend Younglife Camp in Colorado during summer break. “Camp gives high school students a chance to get out of their world and really experience life on their own, maybe for the first time,” Harris said. Younglife camp provides a unique environment that offers lessons and meaning through everything they do. “Witnessing how intentional every

The Younglife banner hangs where Younglife is held at Grace Bible Church, across from the high school. Younglife was created to inspire Christian fellowship among students. PHOTO BY DEVIN DAKOTA

single activity was and that everything has a message behind it was the coolest thing ever,” Legan said. “Everything they do is done with excellence.” Younglife offers something different to every person involved. “I want to raise up the next generation of leaders to go serve and love people,” Harris said. “I feel so privileged to be leading these people, and seeing how much people give and care about kids in the community blows me away.” Younglife can have an enormous impact on students that participate. “Younglife has taught me how to be myself around people,” Smith said. “I want other people’s lives to change like mine has.” Younglife gives people an opportunity to change lives and do what they love. “I love being a part of a group of Christians, a group of people striving toward a common goal,” Pye said. “Bringing glory to God and bringing high school age kids to know Christ, that’s the goal of the ministry.”

Upcoming Events in Younglife: Club Meetings- every

Monday 7:57-8:57 p.m. (last club is April 30)

Camp Profit Share – April 5, 5-8 p.m. at ChickfilA

Camp Profit Share - April 17, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., at Casa Ole

Tacky Prom themed clubApril 30

Camp – June 16-24 in Frontier, Colorado

Compiled by Devin Dakota


6 | news | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Teens find purpose in joining military after high school by Isabel Drukker, Assistant Opinions Editor features editor

“…One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Every student at Consol recites the pledge before school starts. Every student faces the flag and gives a moment of silent. Some students do more. “I’m going to be a navy pilot,” senior Parth Kikani said. “I’m going to serve my country.” After graduation, Kikani will go through six years of training in which he will learn what is required for working as a pilot. His fellow classmate, senior and future UAV operator, Travis Black will ship out on July 30th to Arizona for training, leaving the familiarity of home behind. “It’s going to be hard separating myself from my family,” Black said. “They’ve always been there, and [now I’m going to] leave them for six years.” Factors such as the long-term absence from home often make for families to accept a student’s decision. Other times, parents oppose the entire career altogether. “[My parents] wanted me to be something businesslike or become a doctor,” Kikani said. “But I don’t want to be that. I really wanted to join the navy.” In contrast, senior and future aviation instructor mechanic Joyce White’s family not only support her decision, but inspired it, considering her stepmother, father, two uncles, aunt, and both of her grandfathers all had military occupations. “I want to be able to have the same affect on my brothers and sister as my dad had with me,” White said. “I saw how it shaped him as a person and that’s what I wanted for myself.” Though White mainly works to serve her country, make an impression on her family, and mature as a whole, she realizes that her joining the military will promote another cause as well. “[There are] a lot of downsides about being a female in the military,” White said. “A lot of people don’t expect us to do very well in it, and that’s something I want to

Basic Routine

[end], I want to break that gender boundary.” Regardless of the different troubles each student will face in his or her experience, the meaning is the same; and there is always the chance that a student will not get to enjoy the benefits that originally made the job so appealing. Still, Black says he feels comfortable with his plans for the future. “I’ve just always respected military service and I’ve always considered the army,” Black said. “[It’s just that] I finally made up my decision and went in.” Not only does White also see this as an honorable

“[My parents] wanted me to be something businesslike or become a doctor, but I don’t want to be that. I really wanted to join the navy.” senior PARTH KIKANI

option, but she partially considers her service as a response to an obligation. “The navy doesn’t have that many casualties, and I hope I’m not one of them,” White said. “But if I am, it’s just that I did what I was supposed to.” So, it is not fear, but love for one’s country, that the future alumni of Consol will take with them as they depart to boot camp and beyond. “I’m not scared at all,” Kikani said. “If I die for this country, then I die for this country.”

Each branch of the military requires that incoming members participate in boot camp, all of which involve BMT, or Basic Military Training. An average day in Basic Military Training: 0445:

Reveille

0500:

Formation

0500-0600:

Running, or aerobic

exercises

0600-0615:

Breakfast

0630-0745:

Dorm setup

0800-1130:

Drilling classes,

records

checks, shots and

uniforms

1130-1230:

Lunch

1300-1700:

Classroom instruction

1700-1800:

Dinner

1900-2045:

Set up dorm for

nighttime

2100:

Lights out Compiled By Isabel Drukker

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the roar | viewpoints | 7

thursday, april 5, 2012

Flashback on music brings sweet memories to the ears

Once upon a time, there was a world in which people actually played instruments and sang rather than used generated beats and auto tune. During that time, music touched people with meaningful lyrics with important messages. Now, people prefer “their beats fast and their bass down low,” rather than lyrics that actually have some sort of meaning. Most songs, of many different genres, pertain to women, sex and drugs. Many of the songs we hear on the radio and see children singing along to are pretty horrific if we consider the lyrics. Not that much of the song can be heard past the expletives, anyway. Obviously there is a problem when every other word of a song needs to be censored for it to play on the radio. Of course, a lot of this is overgeneralizing, and I’m not trying to bash anyone’s music. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, and I can’t lie – I do like a lot of the music today. However, there is no denying the extreme changes throughout the decades, many of which were for the worse. In 1970, on April 5, the number one song was “Let it Be” by the Beatles. On the same day in 2010, the

To listen to the writer read his editorial, go to http://www.theroarnewspaper. blogspot.com for the podcast

Artwork by Joy Cope

number one song was “Rude Boy” by Rihanna. Take a look at songs from the seventies, such as “Let it Be.” I sincerely hope that a majority of the newer music has The Roar 2011-2012 Staff

Editor-in-Chief: Amy Zhang Managing Editor: Alina Dattagupta Senior Editor: Kate Williams Executive Editor: Kendra Spaw Photography Editor: Laura Everett Opinions Editor: Elena Edwards Features Editor: Dana Branham Sports Editor: Rachel Kagle News Editor: Abigayle English Assistant Sports Editor: Kimmie Cessna Assistant News Editor: Kelsey Gaines Assistant Opinions Editor: Isabel Drukker Assistant Editors: Anne Finch, Devin Dakota, Janet Ni Staff Reporters: Leah Crisman, Nicole Farrell, Michelle Liu, Shilpa Saravanan Faculty Adviser: Courtney Wellmann Assistant Adviser: Michael Williams

The Roar Editorial The Roar Editorial BoardBoard Amy Zhang, Editor-in-Chief Alina Dattagupta, Managing Editor Elena Edwards, Opinions Editor

rearrange your plans on a Friday night, stay in with some friends, and listen to an album on vinyl. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Rachel is the sports editor for The Roar. If you would like to listen to music with her, contact

her by email at the.roar.kagle@gmail.com.

The Advanced Journalism class at A&M Consolidated High School, 1801 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South, College Station, Texas, 77840. The opinions expressed are those of the writers and are not reflective of the administrators, faculty or staff of the College Station Independent School District. Submissions to the editors are welcomed but must be signed and should not exceed 300 words. The editor reserves the right to edit submissions in the interest of clarity and length or to not print a letter at all. Letters containing obscene or libelous material will not be considered. The Editorial Board consists of the editor-in-chief, managing editor and opinions editor. The Roar is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC), the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). The Roar is a winner of the CSPA Gold Crown, the 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 ILPC Award of Distinguished Merit, the CSPA Gold Medal Award, the NSPA All-American distinction and 2005 ILPC Bronze Star and 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Silver Star. College Station Independent School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex or handicap in providing education services. Glynn Walker, Director of Human Resources, 1812 Welsh, College Station, Texas 77840 (979-764-5412) has been designated to coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of Title IX. Catherine George, Director of Special Services, 1812 Welsh, Suite 120, College Station, Texas 77840 (979-764-5433) has been designated to coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination. requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Students should protest, get involved in defending education Many of us are aware of the recent budget cuts made by the district because of reduced education funding from the state. Many of us have complained about the funding at our school, but have we ever done anything to prevent it? Can we as students say that we truly put every effort into stopping the cuts from occurring? The answer is no. Students should speak up and let the state legislature know that funding of schools is important to us. In response to this inadequate funding, our district along with other districts is suing the state for the inability to adequately fund education. Dr. Coulson, the district’s superintendent, explained this at a community meeting on Thursday, March 29 to inform the community about district finances. Our district has cut everything we can without hurting students. The reason we students have not yet witnessed the cuts is because so far it has only affected the teachers and administration. Soon, however, it will begin to harm us in large proportions unless something is done. Not only will classes be larger and teachers will be teaching more classes, budgets for extracurricular activities will be reduced. If you think about it, each extracurricular at the school is important to someone. Whether it is FFA, newspaper, yearbook, or Student Council, they are all influential to someone’s life. If any of them are cut, a large group will be greatly affected. Our education is important and what we do with our free time contributes greatly to it. We must fight for our sake. We are the next generation and the future lies in our hands. Contact legislators and tell them to fund education. If you are old enough to vote, vote for candidates who support education. Get involved and defend education.

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completely disappeared forty years from now. I like to think that people in 2050 won’t be singing “Rude Boy” or “I’m in Love with a Stripper.” Of course, not all older songs are golden and the same applies for music today. Music that is genuinely good still exists, though we occasionally have to look past the Weekend Top 40 to find enough songs to compare to those of the later 1900s. However, content is not the only part of music that has changed. The style is significantly different. In the seventies, the music behind the lyrics was 100% real. The instruments were not machine generated, and the beats were not from a synthesizer. The bands contributed more to their songs than bands of today do. Today, even many of the vocals are generated through auto tuning. The beats behind rap songs are often created with a synthesizer, the drum solo in a rock song can be borrowed, added or somehow altered. Technology has not only changed music, but it has also detracted from the visible talent of musicians. An obvious flaw arises when someone incredibly famous goes up to perform a song, and people are thrown into shock as they learn that their favorite “artist” can’t sing worth anything without auto tune. People used to go up on stage sounding exactly as they did in their album. Now, the performer and the recorded artist seem to be two completely different people. Lastly, playback has changed immensely. My iPod is a lifeline, but the sound is just different. Compare the sound of an iPod’s playback to the sound of a record. While we all need our iPods because we obviously can’t carry records and a record player everywhere we go, it is still nice to listen to the quality of playback on vinyl. As surprising as it may sound, record players have not become extinct, and many pands still produce albums on vinyl. If you manage to get your hands o n a record and record player, listen to it. Call me lame if you want, but

If you would like for your opinions to be read, contact the editorial board by sending your letter to the editor. Review our policy for letters before submitting. E-MAIL the.roar@ymail.com


8 | viewpoints | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Decline in correct grammar usage arouses concern, frustration

devindakota We hear it every day from our teachers, parents, grandparents – our generation is lazy. And though I hate to admit it, I can’t help but agree when I look on my busy newsfeed and watch all the grammatically incorrect Facebook statuses pop up. It has become obvious students our age have lost the ability to spell, put spaces between their words and complete thoughts with punctuation. I seem to remember a time in second grade when we all learned that every word must have a vowel in it and that a sentence always ends with some sort of punctuation. Perhaps our teenage minds have gotten so advanced that we’ve actually moved past the need for punctuation – but we’re probably just lazy.

Punctuation is key to any piece of writing. Let us not forget the “Let’s eat, Grandma!” vs. “Let’s eat Grandma!” example. We’re already considered a generation with shrinking intelligence, so let’s not prove that point spelling simple words wrong. This entire text lingo is coming back to harm us in the end. I’ve actually witnessed a classmate write a note to a friend, without apostrophes in her contractions and Z’s instead of S’s. Have I missed the development of a new language? Or has my entire generation completely stopped caring about how others view their intelligence? There are thousands of words in the English language. Get out of your comfort zone and use a word with more than seven letters (Hahahaha doesn’t count). Use every status update as an opportunity to practice those much needed SAT vocabulary words. Take that millisecond to add a comma to your complex sentence, and don’t forget to use the right form of “there”. Exercise your pinky finger and capitalize proper nouns. They’re what counts. And by all means don’t forget that ever-so-important apostrophe. I understand – there is no eliminating Facebook, Twitter or texting. In fact, they’re excellent additions to society, providing enormous amounts of useless information about people who we don’t really know or care about. However, when you log in to tell the world that you ate bacon for breakfast, try spelling out the words next time. Cuz txtng 2 sum1 like tht makez U look stupd. Devin is an assistant editor for the Roar. If you would lyk 2 tlk 2 her more about 2days grammar usage, email her at the.roar.dakota@ gmail.com.

Artwork by Maurice Vellas

[insert creativity]

W hat’s you embarrassir most moment? ng “In kindergarten, my belt was too tight, so I peed myself because I couldn’t get it undone.”

-Kenneth Morgan, freshman

“The first day of school in the third grade I farted when the teacher called my name on the rolL.” - Ankur Annapareddy sophomore

“I got my pinky toe stuck in the A/C vent of a car. My parents spent 30 minutes trying to get it out.” -Caitlynne Hollis, junior

By Maurice Vellas

“Back to School”

“My boyfriend’s mom accidently walked in on me changing… twice.”

From whom do you feel the most pressure to succeed? Yourself

55%

Parents

35%

Teachers

4%

Work

4%

= 45 students

6% 579 students surveyed

- Sara Landreneau, senior “I sang Crocodile Rock dressed as Elton John on a Carnival Cruise Ship. No one sang along.”” -Mike Williams, English teacher


the roar | viewpoints | 9

thursday, april 5, 2012

Perfectionist tendencies create appreciation of minor details

michelleliu Sharpened pencil, bright lights, fresh air, the texture of your clothes, the sky. Hold still, sit tight, the ride’s about to start. Just pay attention, won’t you? The sharpness, the vitality that I sense in my surroundings--my obsession with detail is terrible to begin with, the cliche double-edged sword. I constantly nag myself to drop the little things--that test grade, my class rank--and focus on the minuscule instead. Yes, like the Circle of Life, I’m trying to convince myself that the smaller something is, the bigger it becomes, to where a drop of water equates to the ocean. And the smallest things, that leaf, the pages of a book, the way a wrist curves out ever so slightly before it curves back in-those are what get to me, what remind me that hey, nothing is quite as awful as it seems. Though, as a little girl, I had to make sure my socks lined up exactly straight and my colors perfectly matched, that’s not so cute now that I’m not so young. In fact, my devotion to perfection--in the form of studying too long and caring too much--has become tiresome, irritating and makes me want to kick myself. So, in taking the time to think, I’ve decided to revel in imperfection, and let tiny chaos and microcosmic disorder become an appreciation, not a hatred. And thus, I can let my bad test grades and ruined laundry (fie, you favorite-sweater-shrinking dryer) fall to the wayside--or, even better, right next to my love of freshly sharpened pencils and new socks. All those minute details add up into one tangled, complicated knot of downs and ups,

Paper Clips By Joy Cope

“Melting...”

where if I step back and actually look, I’ll see it like the whole of a million brushstrokes compiled into an Impressionist painting, or maybe a novel’s worth of plot details that I can map into an arc of exposition, conflict, climax and resolution. Maybe the plot structure repeats itself in these details, my hourly, daily and monthly tragedies and comedies graphing a sine curve that trails off into infinity, limits unknown. (We won’t talk about calculus here.) So, after all that meditation, I’m learning to breathe and to appreciate all the happiness that sits under a hefty layer of teenage angst. I’m going to ruthlessly make fun of my own tears and mishaps and misfortunes and let embarrassment slide off my

shoulders. Because let’s face it: whether it’s falling down the stairs or having a conversation with the guy next to you in the elevator only to realize that he’s actually on the phone with someone else, it’s only a minor detail, which makes it all the better. Michelle is a staff reporter for The Roar. It may seem minor to share your thoughts with her at the. roar.liu@gmail.com, but she sure would appreciate it!

Artwork by Joy Cope

speak out Discussion Board Each issue, students can submit responses to The Roar’s Speak Out forum. These questions will be posted on Facebook.

Question: Should the school have a sex education class? Sarah Morgan, senior If sex education was taught in school, I feel not everyone would take it seriously, but it could be helpful. The only thing most people are exposed to is abstinence. That doesnt fly with most high school students, so maybe learning about having safe sex would be a better place to start. Keith Kennedy, senior Definitely yes. If we can’t stop people from having sex, then why not educate them so they don’t cause any unwanted issues popping up, because they didn’t know what they were doing. Courtnie Sample, senior No. Not everyone in high school is having sex. They don’t need [sex ed]. The people that are involved in it though can go talk to someone if they have questions. Add your opinion and see more responses: Friend Roar Newspaper on Facebook. it’s fridayyyy fridayyy gotta get down on fridayyy


10 | viewpoints | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Local humor shuns sarcasm, stifles opportunities to laugh

shilpasaravanan There’s no kind of humor quite so polarizing as sarcasm. Some laugh at its every use; others frown in disapproval or shake their heads sadly. And then there are those people who just don’t get it. I’ve always relied on sarcastic comments for laughs. Toilet humor has always been too juvenile for me, slapstick too simplistic, puns too maligned by society—but sarcasm’s perfect. Not only does sarcasm elicit general amusement in a crowd, it’s also a useful defense mechanism—especially when used against itself. I can’t count the number of times I’ve fought vile sarcasm with viler sarcasm, and come off the victor. I may not have taken the moral high ground, but I felt fantastic. I learned the art of snark from my dad and my friends in Boulder, Colorado, a town that feels much more Northeast or West Coast than Midwest. There, I studied well and practiced often. However, upon moving to Texas, I realized that nobody laughed at anything I said. Anything. Puzzled, I began to observe the forms of humor in this strange new habitat of mine. I found many juvenile incidents, people knocking on doors, and confused foreigners with ridiculous accents, but nothing approaching sarcasm.

Granted, I was only in elementary school. Such things were to be expected, I told myself. However, nothing improved. I’d respond to my friends with sarcasm, my comments made with only the best intentions, and get hurt looks or angry words instead of raucous laughter. I felt a misunderstood victim of lesser humor and decided to search for the reason why. After years of this, I’ve come to a conclusion that most people I talk to simply don’t appreciate my preferred sense of humor. Se-

Artwork by Maurice Vellas

veral people have said that it’s just a regional thing. Now, I have acquired some sarcastic friends over the years, but none hail from the South. Many are from the Northeast, where people tend not to care about others’ feelings quite as much, and so have an easier time laughing at themselves. The famous Southern hospitality, which I’ve begun to take for granted, doesn’t really condone that sort of blunt meanness; therefore, no sarcasm. Since I won’t be moving out of here for at least another few years, I’ve decided to take another look at the way I use sarcasm. The only person it really pleases, in most cases, is me. I’ve always thought the ability to laugh at oneself to be a fantastic one, but I don’t think it means laughing at one’s own jokes. So, I’ll take a break from that, and perhaps learn to branch out a bit. Punning? I’m new to this, so you’ll have to humor me, I’m afraid. Shilpa is a staff reporter for The Roar. If you’d rather share a bit of sarcastic wit than a pun, or you just have something uber important to tell her, you can contact her at the.roar.saravanan@gmail.com, and she’ll be sure to respond.

Changing dynamics of offensive language result in inner conflict to the presumptive retort, “no one here is gay anyway!” or the always prevalent, “Laura, you’re not even gay. You don’t even have a reason to be offended.”

considered censorship, comparable to those who attempt to inflict their religious views on others. I was taken aback, under the previous impression that it was okay – or even

begs to differ). Or, perhaps I have failed to recognize that language develops and changes continuously and the meanings behind words evolve over t i m e .

commendable – to be adamant about a cause that promoted equality. A couple weeks later, a close friend of mine explained that, “some things are dumb; some things are stupid; and some things are just gaaaaay.” While I am overlyfamiliar with this argument, I was surprised to hear it from someone whom I had assumed should take offense due to his sexual orientation. Perhaps I have overestimated the effect that these words had on people (yet the homophobic bullying related suicide rate

Regardless, everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome (especially in a school or public environment) and should not feel demeaned or degraded based on an uncontrollable characteristic. Ultimately, there are kinder, more intelligent ways to express your distaste for a situation that won’t result in frowns of disapproval. Laura is the photography editor for The Roar. If you’d like to debate the meaning of words in today’s language, you can contact her at the.roar.everett@gmail.com. Let’s keep the hate words to a minimum.

lauraeverett “That’s so gay.” It is a seemingly popular phrase that so easily spills from many high school students’ mouths to critize the severity of a situation or an inanimate object that indeed has no inclination towards any sexual orientation. Not only does the phrase make little sense, but it is riddled with the misguided implication that one’s sexual orientation renders them in anyway inferior to others. A close friend of mine has created an extensive repertoire of comebacks, ranging from sarcastically commending the offender’s keen “gaydar” and observational skills to exclaiming, “that’s so straight!” Most of the time, explaining that the word “gay” does not mean “stupid” suffices. However, my personal employment of any oppositional remark usually lends itself

Artwork by Maurice Vellas

Am I not justified in being offended when a group faces demeaning remarks over an uncontrollable characteristic? I don’t have to be a member of a discriminated against group to recognize the value in their humanity. Were there not white abolitionists? While my firm stance against homophobia seemed justified and stable, my views on the phrase became somewhat unstable during a particular conversation, where my opposition to the phrase was


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thursday, april 5, 2012

opposing viewpoints

YES

the roar | viewpoints | 11

Do standardized tests aptly test students’ skills?

NO

by Dana Branham, Features Editor

As students, our natural reaction to standardized testing is something along the lines of “ew.” However, it does what it’s supposed to do—holds us all to the same standard and in a way, forces us to pay attention in school. I hate sitting in the stuffy TAKS room just as much as anyone else, but to me, it makes sense. Since elementary school, our education has been guided towards a good TAKS score. Even then, a good test score on it meant that you had paid attention all year and absorbed the information your teachers worked so hard to permanently drive into your brain. Now, TAKS and other standardized tests like the SAT or even AP tests do the same thing. They are simply an indicator of whether or not you’ve been properly prepared for this test—a reflection of your work, yes, but also of your teachers’ ability to effectively teach and of the school’s success as a whole. Sure, a standardized test may not be able to distinguish a creative genius from a kid with a photographic memory who can soak up the tiniest bits of information, but what test really could? Really, I get it. TAKS tests, SATs and the like—they’re just not fun. That aside, these tests are still a way to show what you’ve learned. If you’re writing them off as boring and useless, bubbling your answers half-heartedly, then it’s no wonder that you don’t feel like they accurately measure your intelligence. Standardized tests only can measure what effort you put towards them. Granted, intelligence isn’t always a huge factor when it comes to standardized testing, but without a doubt I believe that a student’s scores on a standardized test mirror the effort put into studying for and working through the test. For example, the student who spends hours at SAT prep classes and can define any SAT word thrown at him is almost sure to score higher than the lazy student who was only dragged to the SAT test because of a pushy parent. I think I speak for most of the school when I say that standardized tests are a bore. Still, given the right attitude towards it, a standardized test can be an accurate measurement of the effort you put forth in school.

by Kate Williams, Senior Editor

Sitting in a quiet room for five hours bubbling in answers on timed sections of a standardized test is not my idea of academic performance. These standardized, uniform tests are too general to the average population‘s intelligence rather than customized to the individual. For example, I am personally a verbal learner and find that I come away with a better understanding of a topic if I can say it out loud to myself once I have heard it, but this style does not coincide or calculate with the SAT or ACT exams. Instead, I sit in silence taking a test that I was given no preparation for during school. If the SAT and ACT are such vital scores that determine an individual’s intelligence, then why aren’t we given any training with this particular type of timed testing? Those who rock the SAT and ACT would disagree that standardized testing isn’t ideal, but perfect scores are few and far between with these tests and not everyone thinks and processes information the same way. Yes, I do think we need some form of testing for colleges to consider and to see what a student has learned. However, I believe that these tests should cater to the student, not the opposite. I also think that there should be suggested training courses, classes or material added to the high school’s curriculum for these tests so that students are more informed and prepared for the exam that carries a lot of weight for college admissions. This way, the test wouldn’t need to be taken multiple times or keep a bright student from attending the college of their dreams. I think there are many variations of intelligence and I don’t believe combined tallies of numbers are enough to determine an individual’s worth.

student responses. The Roar surveyed 56 students to find out their opinions on standardized testing. Do you think it is fair that college acceptance relies so much on standardized test scores?

43%

Tests can only portray knowledge over a particular subject. Colleges should look more at essays, community

57%

service and interviews. Leonel Drukker, senior

“ No

Yes

I think tests can definitely measure mastery over certain subjects and skills.

Michelle McCreary, senior

Yes 52%

No 48%

Have you ever studied for standardized tests (for example, the ACT or the SAT)?

How much time do you study for standardized tests?

39% None

4% 1/2 an hour

18% 1-2 hours

39% More than 2 hours


12 | people | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Changes in family situations evoke new friendships

by Anne Finch, assistant editor

Some students may be pleased or embarrassed to notice their siblings passing by them in the hallways. For others, the connection may be the same, although the relationship is not strictly biological. Seniors Victoria Quintana and Cole Tatge have been stepsiblings since 2007, when Quintana’s father married Tatge’s mother. “I saw it coming,” Quintana said. “We knew before that, because our parents were really good friends for a while, and I actually knew him before we went to the same school. He went to Bryan schools.” Tatge also mentioned that the marriage had not been a surprise, because it entailed a move from Bryan to College Station. He also said that he and Quintana had known each other prior to this arrangement. “I moved to College Station schools for seventh grade, so we knew each other from school from the seventh grade year,” he said. “Our parents had worked together before that, so we knew each other through our parents already.” Quintana noted that although she and Tatge had known each other previously, they had been little more than acquaintances. Tatge concurred. “We weren’t very close at all, before,” he said. “I guess we were acquaintances, but I wouldn’t really say we were friends.” This dynamic is echoed with the relationship of stepbrothers and juniors Cameron Marquardt and Cody Green. Both noted that they had barely known each other prior to becoming stepbrothers. “He swam, but I didn’t know him,” Marquardt said. “I didn’t meet him until [my father and his mother] started dating, and then I was like ‘oh.’” He added that his own feelings after their parents’ marriage presented a slight roadblock in their becoming closer in their relationship. “We got there eventually,” he said. “In the very beginning I was kind of antisocial, so I had to talk to people first. It was weird. I was kind of nervous with everything. I didn’t know what to do. I had to get to the point where I was comfortable with it first.” However, Marquardt said, he would describe his relationship with Green as that of brothers instead of a friendship. “I would say brothers, because friends don’t really have the same kind of relationship,” he said. “It’s not like a superbly close bond, but it’s not just like ‘oh yeah, he’s my buddy.’” Green agreed with his statement, adding that extracurricular activities have also helped their relationship develop into that of siblings. “[I would describe our relationship as that of] siblings,” he said. “I’m with Cameron more than I’m with my siblings because of swimming.” Quintana and Tatge both also described their relationship as that of both friends and siblings, owing both to their parents’ marriage and extracurricular activities. “We’re good friends,” Quintana said. “Because of Media Tech and stuff, we’re pretty close. We don’t really hang out outside of school that much, but we’re still pretty close.” Tatge’s description of the relationship was similar to Quintana’s. “I would say first and foremost [she’s] my sister, but also my friend,” he said. “We’re in Media Tech together, and we spend a lot of time together during school and we hang out sometimes, but [she’s] definitely my sister as well.” He added that his brotherly affection towards Quintana was due partially to his appreciation of her personality. “[Victoria’s] just very helpful and always really positive, and she also is a really loving family member,” he said. “She really loves her dad, and she’s really been great and accepting to my side of the family. [She] and my little sister have become really close, and she’s really nice in that way.” Although slightly less touchy-feely, Green had good things to say about his stepsibling as well. “He’s crazy,” Green said, when asked his favorite thing about Marquardt. “He’s never boring. There’s always something he’s doing.”

Victoria & Cole

Stepsiblings Cole Tatge and Victoria Quintana set up a camera together during their fourth period Media Tech class. Quintana’s father married Tatge’s mother in 2007. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT

Cody & Cameron

Stepbrothers Cody Green and Cameron Marquardt share a laugh after swim practice at the CSMS natatorium. The two knew each other before Green’s mom married Marquardt’s dad because the boys swim together on Consol’s swim team, practicing almost daily. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT


the roar | snapshots | 13

thursday, april 5, 2012

READY... SET... TEACH

Future teachers gain on-site educational experience through class by Leah Crisman s t a ff r ep o r t e r hatting amongst themselves, the juniors and seniors of the Ready, Set, Teach! class ��������������������� distribute cin� namon rolls and take their seats around a circle of desks. The projector whirrs to life above them and displays a slide titled “Mar� velous Monday.” The noise level drops as the teacher quiets them with the phrase “alright amazing people!” For many in the room, the start of class marks not only the beginning of a new week, but also the be� ginning of their careers as educators. “I’ve always wanted to become a teacher,” senior Katie Cantrell said. “I got to know some of [my sister’s special

C

Senior Annie Steiner reads a book to a class of first graders at Rock Prairie Elementary on March 27. “I like helping kids and seeing them grow,” Steiner said. “I feel like I’m doing something that will make a difference.” PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT

education] teachers and I really liked what they did. I realized that’s what I wanted to be so I joined Ready, Set, Teach! to get some intern opportunities and classroom experience.” Ready, Set, Teach!, in its second year at Consol, allows students interested in teaching to observe, interact with, and even teach a class at a CSISD school. Each student has several six-week internships in the classroom of their preferred age level. “[At first] I didn’t know what to expect,” senior Katie Emerson said. “Now I’ve been in the classroom; I’ve taught a lesson; I’ve helped out the teacher; I know what they go through.” Revolving around the internships are activities such as weekly reports, journal articles, lesson plans, and observations. In

addition, students complete community service hours and many mentor disadvantaged students at elementary schools. “The internships are an essential element of the class,” Ready, Set, Teach! teacher Janet Peterson said. “[The] fall se� mester focuses on observations and class work to prepare the students for the world of education, and in the spring semester, the students apply all [their] knowledge and skills to their internship setting.” For many Ready, Set, Teach! students, the internships are an opportunity to explore their career of choice outside the bounds of a normal class. “I’m ready to be in a classroom now,” junior Shelby Winder said. “I’m ready to get out there and be a part of it!”      

Senior Paige Clouston assists with a writing assignment on March 27. Clouston has completed one placement and is currently working with kindergarteners at Forest Ridge Elementary. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT Senior Jaime Smith takes attendance with a kindergartner at College Hills Elementary on March 27. As a student in Ready, Set, Teach 2, Smith’s placement will contribute to a research project on socio-emotional development. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT

Senior Paige Clouston observes kindergarten teacher Kristin Busa give a lesson on the use of ellipses during her first day at Forest Ridge Elementary on March 27. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT

Senior Katie Cantrell works with a student at College Hills Elementary on March 27. Cantrell joined Ready, Set, Teach! to gain internship opportunities in the education field, she said. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT


14 | student

life | the roar

the roar | student

thursday, april 5, 2012

Not another excuse. Stop the abuse. BY Alina Dattagupta Managing Editor

and Laura Everett Photography Editor *Names of the three victims involved in abusive relationships have been changed to protect their identities He was angry. She could tell by the way he slammed the front door shut and irefully screamed her name. As he entered the room, she was mentally preparing herself for the hurtful words and accusations about to be yelled at her. Tears streamed down her face as she quietly accepted, with minimal protest, the verbal lashings coming from her boyfriend of many months. Despite the mental anguish and carefully concealed bruises that confirmed the escalation to physical violence, she was dependent

on him. Ignoring her friends’ repeated acknowledgments of concern, she remained convinced that he truly loved her. She thought that without him, she was nothing. She did not understand that she was trapped in an abusive relationship. “[He] was the first person that had ever said he cared for me, and I just fell for it,” Ruth Jones* said. “I just thought he was perfect, and if I [wanted] the perfect, I [had] to put up with all of this.”

The definition

While the definition of an abusive relationship often varies, psychology teacher Lindsay Zahn said that if a relationship involves an intimidation factor, it is abusive. “Anything that entails any sort of physical or emotional [harm], that is going to be hurtful, tear someone down, cause mental or physical anguish to a person [is abusive],” she said. There are many different reasons as to why someone might become abusive. The behavior can be attributed to family life, brain composition or hardships. “[As far as the abusers go,] they need help,” Zahn said. “[No matter if their behavior is because of] abuse they are facing in their lives, they have insecurities and low self-esteem or some chemical imbalance in the brain, there needs to be someone as a support for that person as well. They need to get help whether it’s through counseling or through their actual doctor.” Zahn said that there is no specific type of person who becomes an abuser. “If someone is an aggressive person, has angry outbursts a lot and has trouble controlling their anger, they could maybe become abusive,” she said. “However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes the people that are abusive at home know how to cover it up really well and know how to play the role in front of everyone else so that people never know by looking at them.” An abusive relationship can take form in any way or situation. “Unfortunately abuse does not have a particular gender or race or socioeconomic status,” Zahn said. “It’s found everywhere.”

In an Abusive relationship

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AMY ZHANG

Many abusive relationships begin as healthy, happy “normal” relationships that may gradually become a toxic environment. “I’d say the first two months were fine and after that, I have no idea,” Ruth Jones said. “At first, it was just verbal things, like, ‘oh, well, you’re fat,’ or ‘you’re not good enough,’ or ‘you’re not this,’ and then it got to the point where it all built up.” The relationship that Susan Evans*, a teacher at this school, found herself in during her freshman year of college suddenly turned from having an unhealthy dependency to physical violence dur-

ing the course of one argument. “For months it had been emotionally unhealthy,” Susan Evans said. “We were weirdly dependent on each other, but we fought constantly. We had these huge blow-up fights where I’d give him back everything he ever gave me and then two hours later, we’d make up and everything would be fine.” Although the arguments were frequent, one particular disagreement drastically changed Susan Evans’s perception on relationships forever. “He called me a nasty name, and I made it clear that I didn’t appreciate being called that,” Susan Evans said. “I’m not proud of it, but I actually slapped him because I felt wronged in what he called me. I saw something in his eyes snap, like he wasn’t himself any more. He came at me, and I ended up ducking and covering in a chair as he pounded on my back for a while. When I finally got away, there happened to be another guy who got in between the two of us and held him back. That was when I [realized] there’s not going to be a make-up after this because it’s not worth it.” In contrast, for Tina Smith*, the relationship she was in progressively grew caustic over time. “I was verbally abused and would be pressured into doing things,” Tina Smith said. “I felt like I had to do things to please him and make him happy, and the only way to make him happy was if I obeyed him.” In addition to feeling confined to pleasing her boyfriend, Tina Smith wanted to avoid his wrath. “I was afraid of the way he got mad,” Tina Smith said. “It was scary, and so I just didn’t want him mad. [Because of this,] I tried to always make him happy, but that was impossible.” Meanwhile, what began as verbal abuse for Ruth Jones quickly spiralled into a series of violent outbursts. “He hit me quite a few times,” Ruth Jones said. “There was one time he pushed me down a flight of stairs because I wouldn’t do his homework. If I didn’t do anything he wanted, he would take it out on me, and then he wouldn’t talk to me for a week or two.” Soon, the effects of this physical mistreatment became visible. “I’ve come home with welts and bruises all over me, and I make up some story to tell my mom,” Ruth Jones said. “I’m really independent, and I feel like I don’t need other people to help me or anything. If I would’ve told [my mom], she would’ve taken it upon herself to go behind my back and talk to his parents or talk to him, and I feel like that would’ve made things a lot worse for me.” Despite attempts to conceal the bruising from physical violence or the emotional ramifications of verbal abuse, Ruth Jones’s close friends noticed the detrimental effect that this relationship had. “I didn’t really tell my friends,” Ruth Jones said. “They saw that while I was around him I was quiet and to myself and I didn’t talk to anybody

or say anything. They noticed that I wasn’t myself, and I wasn’t me at all.” However, not all who noticed were keen to offer aid or support. “Two of [my boyfriend’s] really close friends would always ask me questions, and I kind of lied to them,” Ruth Jones said. “But at the same time, they kind of knew what was going on and didn’t care or say anything about it.” Fortunately, this disinterest is not always the case. In contrast, Tina Smith found herself surrounded by the support of friends. “My friends noticed [the abuse] immediately, and they tried to tell me about it,” Tina Smith said. “I refused to listen because I was already trapped.” This feeling of entrapment is shared by other victims of abuse. “I was terrified to leave because I thought if I left, he would find me, and he would do something,” Ruth Jones said. “He had already threatened to ruin my high school reputation, and I was terrified of that. I don’t want a bad name for something I haven’t even done.” While many remain in abusive relationships due to fear, others may find a sense of obligation towards caring for the abuser, despite the treatment. For Susan Evans, the decision to leave the relationship was complicated by her boyfriend’s diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome. “I didn’t want to be the girl who broke up with a guy because he had a mental issue,” Susan Evans said. “I wanted to do everything I could to make it work. Every time it didn’t work, I felt like it was my fault. In the end, it became a physical thing, and that’s when I ended it because I wasn’t okay with it.” Zahn attributes many of the causes for remaining in unhealthy relationships to manipulation. “A lot of times you will find people who say that ‘I love them’ and they think that it is their fault,” Zahn said. “A lot of times the abuser knows how to manipulate the situation. Sometimes it gets to the point where they are scared to leave and so they stay.”

Seeking Guidance

Frequently a person will not admit that they are in a harmful relationship. “[Often times] it’s so hard for people to come forward and say that [abuse] is happening because they are [too attached],” Zahn said. Counselor Paul Hord recently put together a presentation about dating violence that was shown to every advocate class about taking the proper steps when in a hurtful relationship. “If you are a student and you think someone is in an abusive relationship and you’ve seen the signs and they’ve confided in you, even though you don’t want to break the trust of your friends, you should turn to someone at this school- a teacher, a counselor, a principal, or the school resource officer,” he said. When someone is in such a situation, Zahn

Victims convey effects of abusive relationships

feels the best thing to do is to show them support. “I think you should always let somebody know that you care, so they know that they can come to you,” she said. “If you don’t voice your concern, they stay in the relationship. You may not get the response you want, but at least they know that you care and then you can take it to someone else.” When in an abusive relationship, the most important thing to do is leave it, Hord said. “We as counselors can provide emotional support, but we are going to do the best we can to try to help [someone] take the steps to get out of the relationship because most of the time, it’s not going to improve if they stay in the relationship,” Hord said.

Effects and Advice

While the physical bruises will fade over time, abusive relationships often carry long term effects that may last years after the relationship has ended and the abuse has subsided. For some victims of abuse, the fear remains. “After dating him, I was afraid of guys,” Susan Evans said. “It made me believe that every guy has that breaking point. How can you trust that they’re not going to hit you? I couldn’t see myself opening up and being safe with anybody else. Every time I went on a blind date or someone tried to set me up, I was always thinking, ‘if he attacks me, how could I get out?’” For victims of abuse, fear of mistreatment may develop in the long run. “I have serious trust issues with anyone,” Ruth Jones said. “I haven’t had another boyfriend since, so when it comes to dating other guys, I’m real scared to go out there. I keep to myself, and I don’t really do anything anymore.” However, according to Zahn, victims of abusive relationships may also overcome the resulting insecurities. “There’s definitely trust issues that may arise in the long term, but it depends on the person,” Zahn said. “You’ll find some people who step up from it and become advocates and motivational speakers because that’s the way they deal with it, and then some people have adverse effects for the rest of their lives and there’s always a support group available.” Support is often found with family, friends and others who have undergone similar experiences. “It has made me a lot more protective of my friends,” Susan Evans said. “I want [my students] to know that it is never okay.” Tina Smith advises removing oneself from an unhealthy relationship before strong ties of emotional attachment are formed. “If you feel the relationship is starting to get abusive, get out before you get too emotionally attached,” Tina Smith said. “By the time you real-

ize what you are in, you are too emotionally connected, and if it’s noticeable and you are feeling bad about yourself, all you can do is get out. You just have to face the time period where you are depressed from the breakup, but once that time is over, it’s totally worth it.” Zahn concurs, adding the importance of being surrounded by people who make you happy. “You should always be with someone who makes you laugh more than they make you cry,” Zahn said. “If they are making you cry all of the time, then you should get out. You are too precious, and nobody deserves it.”

life | 15

The truth on ABUSE

1 3 in

high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship

Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.

40%

of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. In 1995,

7% of all murder

victims were young

women who were killed by their boyfriends.

1:5

dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship. Source: Bureau of Justice Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2000


14 | student

life | the roar

the roar | student

thursday, april 5, 2012

Not another excuse. Stop the abuse. BY Alina Dattagupta Managing Editor

and Laura Everett Photography Editor *Names of the three victims involved in abusive relationships have been changed to protect their identities He was angry. She could tell by the way he slammed the front door shut and irefully screamed her name. As he entered the room, she was mentally preparing herself for the hurtful words and accusations about to be yelled at her. Tears streamed down her face as she quietly accepted, with minimal protest, the verbal lashings coming from her boyfriend of many months. Despite the mental anguish and carefully concealed bruises that confirmed the escalation to physical violence, she was dependent

on him. Ignoring her friends’ repeated acknowledgments of concern, she remained convinced that he truly loved her. She thought that without him, she was nothing. She did not understand that she was trapped in an abusive relationship. “[He] was the first person that had ever said he cared for me, and I just fell for it,” Ruth Jones* said. “I just thought he was perfect, and if I [wanted] the perfect, I [had] to put up with all of this.”

The definition

While the definition of an abusive relationship often varies, psychology teacher Lindsay Zahn said that if a relationship involves an intimidation factor, it is abusive. “Anything that entails any sort of physical or emotional [harm], that is going to be hurtful, tear someone down, cause mental or physical anguish to a person [is abusive],” she said. There are many different reasons as to why someone might become abusive. The behavior can be attributed to family life, brain composition or hardships. “[As far as the abusers go,] they need help,” Zahn said. “[No matter if their behavior is because of] abuse they are facing in their lives, they have insecurities and low self-esteem or some chemical imbalance in the brain, there needs to be someone as a support for that person as well. They need to get help whether it’s through counseling or through their actual doctor.” Zahn said that there is no specific type of person who becomes an abuser. “If someone is an aggressive person, has angry outbursts a lot and has trouble controlling their anger, they could maybe become abusive,” she said. “However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes the people that are abusive at home know how to cover it up really well and know how to play the role in front of everyone else so that people never know by looking at them.” An abusive relationship can take form in any way or situation. “Unfortunately abuse does not have a particular gender or race or socioeconomic status,” Zahn said. “It’s found everywhere.”

In an Abusive relationship

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AMY ZHANG

Many abusive relationships begin as healthy, happy “normal” relationships that may gradually become a toxic environment. “I’d say the first two months were fine and after that, I have no idea,” Ruth Jones said. “At first, it was just verbal things, like, ‘oh, well, you’re fat,’ or ‘you’re not good enough,’ or ‘you’re not this,’ and then it got to the point where it all built up.” The relationship that Susan Evans*, a teacher at this school, found herself in during her freshman year of college suddenly turned from having an unhealthy dependency to physical violence dur-

ing the course of one argument. “For months it had been emotionally unhealthy,” Susan Evans said. “We were weirdly dependent on each other, but we fought constantly. We had these huge blow-up fights where I’d give him back everything he ever gave me and then two hours later, we’d make up and everything would be fine.” Although the arguments were frequent, one particular disagreement drastically changed Susan Evans’s perception on relationships forever. “He called me a nasty name, and I made it clear that I didn’t appreciate being called that,” Susan Evans said. “I’m not proud of it, but I actually slapped him because I felt wronged in what he called me. I saw something in his eyes snap, like he wasn’t himself any more. He came at me, and I ended up ducking and covering in a chair as he pounded on my back for a while. When I finally got away, there happened to be another guy who got in between the two of us and held him back. That was when I [realized] there’s not going to be a make-up after this because it’s not worth it.” In contrast, for Tina Smith*, the relationship she was in progressively grew caustic over time. “I was verbally abused and would be pressured into doing things,” Tina Smith said. “I felt like I had to do things to please him and make him happy, and the only way to make him happy was if I obeyed him.” In addition to feeling confined to pleasing her boyfriend, Tina Smith wanted to avoid his wrath. “I was afraid of the way he got mad,” Tina Smith said. “It was scary, and so I just didn’t want him mad. [Because of this,] I tried to always make him happy, but that was impossible.” Meanwhile, what began as verbal abuse for Ruth Jones quickly spiralled into a series of violent outbursts. “He hit me quite a few times,” Ruth Jones said. “There was one time he pushed me down a flight of stairs because I wouldn’t do his homework. If I didn’t do anything he wanted, he would take it out on me, and then he wouldn’t talk to me for a week or two.” Soon, the effects of this physical mistreatment became visible. “I’ve come home with welts and bruises all over me, and I make up some story to tell my mom,” Ruth Jones said. “I’m really independent, and I feel like I don’t need other people to help me or anything. If I would’ve told [my mom], she would’ve taken it upon herself to go behind my back and talk to his parents or talk to him, and I feel like that would’ve made things a lot worse for me.” Despite attempts to conceal the bruising from physical violence or the emotional ramifications of verbal abuse, Ruth Jones’s close friends noticed the detrimental effect that this relationship had. “I didn’t really tell my friends,” Ruth Jones said. “They saw that while I was around him I was quiet and to myself and I didn’t talk to anybody

or say anything. They noticed that I wasn’t myself, and I wasn’t me at all.” However, not all who noticed were keen to offer aid or support. “Two of [my boyfriend’s] really close friends would always ask me questions, and I kind of lied to them,” Ruth Jones said. “But at the same time, they kind of knew what was going on and didn’t care or say anything about it.” Fortunately, this disinterest is not always the case. In contrast, Tina Smith found herself surrounded by the support of friends. “My friends noticed [the abuse] immediately, and they tried to tell me about it,” Tina Smith said. “I refused to listen because I was already trapped.” This feeling of entrapment is shared by other victims of abuse. “I was terrified to leave because I thought if I left, he would find me, and he would do something,” Ruth Jones said. “He had already threatened to ruin my high school reputation, and I was terrified of that. I don’t want a bad name for something I haven’t even done.” While many remain in abusive relationships due to fear, others may find a sense of obligation towards caring for the abuser, despite the treatment. For Susan Evans, the decision to leave the relationship was complicated by her boyfriend’s diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome. “I didn’t want to be the girl who broke up with a guy because he had a mental issue,” Susan Evans said. “I wanted to do everything I could to make it work. Every time it didn’t work, I felt like it was my fault. In the end, it became a physical thing, and that’s when I ended it because I wasn’t okay with it.” Zahn attributes many of the causes for remaining in unhealthy relationships to manipulation. “A lot of times you will find people who say that ‘I love them’ and they think that it is their fault,” Zahn said. “A lot of times the abuser knows how to manipulate the situation. Sometimes it gets to the point where they are scared to leave and so they stay.”

Seeking Guidance

Frequently a person will not admit that they are in a harmful relationship. “[Often times] it’s so hard for people to come forward and say that [abuse] is happening because they are [too attached],” Zahn said. Counselor Paul Hord recently put together a presentation about dating violence that was shown to every advocate class about taking the proper steps when in a hurtful relationship. “If you are a student and you think someone is in an abusive relationship and you’ve seen the signs and they’ve confided in you, even though you don’t want to break the trust of your friends, you should turn to someone at this school- a teacher, a counselor, a principal, or the school resource officer,” he said. When someone is in such a situation, Zahn

Victims convey effects of abusive relationships

feels the best thing to do is to show them support. “I think you should always let somebody know that you care, so they know that they can come to you,” she said. “If you don’t voice your concern, they stay in the relationship. You may not get the response you want, but at least they know that you care and then you can take it to someone else.” When in an abusive relationship, the most important thing to do is leave it, Hord said. “We as counselors can provide emotional support, but we are going to do the best we can to try to help [someone] take the steps to get out of the relationship because most of the time, it’s not going to improve if they stay in the relationship,” Hord said.

Effects and Advice

While the physical bruises will fade over time, abusive relationships often carry long term effects that may last years after the relationship has ended and the abuse has subsided. For some victims of abuse, the fear remains. “After dating him, I was afraid of guys,” Susan Evans said. “It made me believe that every guy has that breaking point. How can you trust that they’re not going to hit you? I couldn’t see myself opening up and being safe with anybody else. Every time I went on a blind date or someone tried to set me up, I was always thinking, ‘if he attacks me, how could I get out?’” For victims of abuse, fear of mistreatment may develop in the long run. “I have serious trust issues with anyone,” Ruth Jones said. “I haven’t had another boyfriend since, so when it comes to dating other guys, I’m real scared to go out there. I keep to myself, and I don’t really do anything anymore.” However, according to Zahn, victims of abusive relationships may also overcome the resulting insecurities. “There’s definitely trust issues that may arise in the long term, but it depends on the person,” Zahn said. “You’ll find some people who step up from it and become advocates and motivational speakers because that’s the way they deal with it, and then some people have adverse effects for the rest of their lives and there’s always a support group available.” Support is often found with family, friends and others who have undergone similar experiences. “It has made me a lot more protective of my friends,” Susan Evans said. “I want [my students] to know that it is never okay.” Tina Smith advises removing oneself from an unhealthy relationship before strong ties of emotional attachment are formed. “If you feel the relationship is starting to get abusive, get out before you get too emotionally attached,” Tina Smith said. “By the time you real-

ize what you are in, you are too emotionally connected, and if it’s noticeable and you are feeling bad about yourself, all you can do is get out. You just have to face the time period where you are depressed from the breakup, but once that time is over, it’s totally worth it.” Zahn concurs, adding the importance of being surrounded by people who make you happy. “You should always be with someone who makes you laugh more than they make you cry,” Zahn said. “If they are making you cry all of the time, then you should get out. You are too precious, and nobody deserves it.”

life | 15

The truth on ABUSE

1 3 in

high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship

Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.

40%

of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. In 1995,

7% of all murder

victims were young

women who were killed by their boyfriends.

1:5

dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship. Source: Bureau of Justice Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2000


16 | people | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

alexa cepeda

Musician stands as leader in community, finds personal passion in theater by janet ni, assistant editor Some might say that dedicating hours each day to memorizing lines from plays is too much of a time commitment. Most would shy away from putting in the effort to lead a gay activist organization in a conservative town. Writing original songs and taking voice lessons along with all of this seems nearly impossible. For senior Alexa Cepeda, this is all in a day’s work. “I’m really just about forever moving forward and taking life one breath at a time, spreading as much love as I can while I do so,” Cepeda said. Cepeda is the president of the Gay Straight Alliance, or GSA, at Consol this year. “As president I have to coordinate and lead meetings and keep everyone involved and up to date and make sure we’re being proactive,” Cepeda said. English teacher and GSA adviser Jacquelyn Shoemake commented on Cepeda’s leadership abilities. “She’s organized and always prepared for each meeting. She is very dedicated to what GSA stands for and very passionate about LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) rights. She’s able to speak on behalf of people who can’t speak for themselves,” Shoemake said. Cepeda has also been playing the violin in orchestra for eight years. “I enjoy making music with other people and the collaborative effort of having a really amazing finished product that we all make together,” Cepeda said. “I also really enjoy the laughs.” Cepeda also plays the guitar and takes voice lessons, harnessing her musical talent to write songs in her spare time. “I get [my inspiration for my songs] from my personal life experiences and emotions, but also the people around me and those that influence me the most,” Cepeda said.

Voice teacher Molly Cepeda’s talent and “[Alexa] is a talented and mature I have never before teenager so capable of both her strengths

Gasbarrini commended courage. tremendously young woman. seen a readily owning a n d

acknowledging her areas for growth without allowing either to cloud her perception of the other,” Gasbarrini said. “Alexa has taught me about being one’s true self, about communicating emotion through the voice, and about trust and goodness.” Cepeda has additionally been involved in musical theater for about six years. Cepeda said that she enjoys theater because of the emotions and meaning behind each play. “There’s always a story to be told, and to have the opportunity to tell that story and to interpret it and get a message across is an honor and a blessing,” Cepeda said. “I feel like I have this chance to connect with other human beings and to celebrate humanity and what life is.” Cepeda also expressed great appreciation for her family for being her support system. “[My parents] have so much patience and are always very enthusiastic about any projects that I’m working on or any shows that I’m in. They’re always there,” Cepeda said. “[My siblings and I] are each other’s biggest fans. We’re always ready to be each other’s silver lining through the tough moments in life.” Cepeda is additionally thankful for the bonds she has formed with her friends. “It’s fun to have a bunch of friends that have a curiosity about themselves and about life because that’s what I have,” Cepeda said. Cepeda has applied to several out of state colleges, all for a theater arts major. Since the summer before her junior year, Cepeda has known that working with musical theater is her passion and aspired occupation. “I feel alive whenever I perform. I am exactly where I need to be and there is no question about whether I am doing the right thing or not,” Cepeda said. “I know it’s something that I can do for the rest of my life and enjoy.”

interesting facts about alexa

1. When she was eight, she could name

3. She is obsessed with Pocahontas and listens

almost every breed of dog.

to the soundtrack every morning.

2.She travels to Spain with her siblings and

4. She likes to watch old home videos. 5. Her Youtube channel is called Alexamusica.

parents every other summer to visit her family. Information compiled by Janet Ni

PHOTO BY JANET NI

PHOTO BY JANET NI


the roar | people | 17

thursday, april 5, 2012

M A L S poetry

Slam poets express social comments through emotional performances BY KATE WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR Climbing the stairs to bright lights in the eyes, wet, shaking palms, an audible heartbeat, silence screaming, a solitary microphone standing and all time sits comfortably still before a deep breath is taken. Words flow, the body moves, passion overwhelms and impact consumes the audience. This is the art of slam poetry. Slam poetry is defined as spoken literature performed to a live audience. “Slam poetry is not what people think when they think of poetry,” senior Devin Lokke said. “It’s a lot of social commentary and strong passionate views on issues, it’s more like acting than anything else.” English teacher Chauncey Lindner compares the different effects of written poetry versus slam poetry among students. “Over my years of teaching, I feel as though there is a growing frustration with poetry among my students,” Lindner said. “But slam poetry is a lot more immediate and accessible to readers. The emotion is easy to identify with. A lot of slam poets vent joy, anger, frustration or sorrow that students are accustomed to dealing with all the time.” Lindner’s theory behind why he receives a strong reaction from students has much to do with modern day music and culture. “The matter by which slam poets perform is influenced by hip hop and very rhythmic,” Lindner said. “As more and more of my students are listening to this music, they find it easier to connect with the sounds of slam poetry.” In addition to studying poetry, Lindner often has local renowned poets come and visit the English classes so that students can experience it firsthand. “Some years we just have a couple of poets perform in the classroom,” Lindner said. “This year we were in the auditorium with four or five poets including the Grand Slam Champion, Kevin Burk. It really hits home most when the students get to see the poets [perform live] in class and see accomplished poets taking the stage.” The school offers opportunities to participate in UIL poetry contests that allow students to use their skills of oral interpretation and compete with others around the state. “UIL sets categories for poetry,” debate coach Roy Rodriguez said. “The first category is performing a poem by poets born after 1960, the second is creating your own collection by two or more [published] authors.”

Rodriguez explains the audiences’ feedback of a poem based on the environment in which it is performed. The reaction differs from a club compared to a competition. “There is an untold rule of slam,” Rodriguez said. “[The poets] want you to make noise, you get snapping, you get some banging and some people get really into it, but at a competition there is normally just applause at the end.” The judges rate the performance based on specific criteria. “They look for characterization, rate of delivery, articulation and the overall performance,” Rodriguez said. As a coach and teacher, Rodriguez aims to improve his students ability and help aid them in mastering the technique of the work. “I want them to look past what the words say and figure out what the true meaning of the poem is to help them interpret the poem,” Rodriguez said. “Slam poetry is a full body experience; it takes a lot of time and effort to perfect.” Junior Ian Ray competed in several debate tournaments in this event and has won 9th at the state level out of 107 entries. “I forget that I am performing,” Ray said. “Once I have the poem memorized, I feel the poem and I forget the other people out there. I get to the point where I stop turning pages because I am not reading it out of the binder anymore.” Ray explains how he effectively uses his emotions and body language to portray his understanding of the author’s work and gives advice to those interested in furthering their oral interpretation skills. “I put stress on certain words and phrases in the way that I understand them so that [the audience] will feel the way I felt when I first read the poem,” Ray said. “Feel free to write what you want and practice what you want and have your own style, because there are many different types and ways people perform, but no one way is better than the other.” Senior Nick Smith recites his own original work at downtown Bryan at Revolution’s open mic night called “Mic Check”. “Most people at the school may know me but they may know me as the ghost,” Smith said. “But slam poetry and writing are a way for me to get my voice heard and put down the emotions and feelings that I have. When I step up to the mike and I am the only one up there I can be real and speak for myself and the other people like me that want to speak and want to have a voice but don’t know how.”

Smith attempts to empathize with those listening and reach them on a personal level. “If one or two members of the audience can relate to what I am saying then they can form a connection and realize that we aren’t that different,” Smith said. “I want to let them know that they can make it through the hard times like I did, and find a bit of them in me.” Smith uses his experiences in his past, to give hope to others with his poetry. “I talk about thoughts of suicide because I have been to that point so that I can encourage those that have dealt with those emotions,” Smith said. “The message that I put at the end of all my poems is that it gets better and what you may think is the end, is only the beginning for you and moving on.” Smith describes performing on stage as an out of body experience. “It’s sort of like a drug or an adrenaline rush,” Smith said. “But when I get up there and I see everyone it’s comforting, it’s a relief.”

RISE

By Nick Smith

Light after light I drifted into the left lane, the speed changed but the Destination remained the same The only thing that pushed me to right my path back on the right lane Was cuz I couldn’t, I wouldn’t let you drive me insane Two things you can’t take from me, my intelligence and my anger each Feeds the other unlike my ex-step-mother You aren’t worth the price of my heart ridin’ on empty, and now I can’t Stand the thought of takin’ others down with me You took my voice outta my throat, my pride outta my stride, I choked But through it all I’ve strived and like the dust the more you beat your fists and feet At me the more I’ll rise Like the dust I’ll rise I’ll rise I’ll rise… PHOTO OF IAN RAY BY LAURA EVERETT


18 | people | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Yearbook staff works together for May delivery of book by nicole farrell, staff reporter

things coming out.” But with the new changes comes hard work. “It comes down to every staff member having around “HAGS”, “LYLAS”, and the slightly apathetic “c u ten pages. They are in charge of that page, start to finish. nxt yr” may seem like vague ciphers from the now hazy We need each other and I’m glad we have a big staff this days of middle school, but these classic yearbook signatures year because it’s a big task we’re undertaking,” Alison meaning “have a great summer,” “love you like a sister,” Garlick explains. and “see you next year,” are back in a big way. New, stricter deadlines have been set, as well as Humongous, in fact. grading requirements. This year, Tigerland Yearbook will be released by the “[The earlier deadline] definitely made it more intense. end of the school year, just in time for those beloved phrases, We’ve all realized the importance of getting our work done and it will implement the theme ‘Humongous’ to emphasize on time and trying to stay on time and focusing and working the importance of the last year College Station will have as hard as we can,” Makell Garlick said. a single high school. Additionally, the word ‘us’ will be The staff’s class is during fourth period, and the two highlighted to show the hours are filled with interviews, unity at Consol. photography, computer design, “We’re busting at editing and caption writing, as the seams, it’s the last well as lunch. year we’ll be this big. “I’m working nonstop on It’s really cool to focus yearbook stuff. I’m usually on how many students working on my pages, or helping we have, our school as others work on their pages, or a whole, and strengths doing something on the board, coming in numbers,” yearbook adviser FREDA CARRAWAY to teach people how to do junior staffer Makell something,” Alison Garlick said. Garlick said. The work may be stressful, The early publication of the yearbook requires a but the staff still finds time to relax with a weekly circle deadline of all pages at the end of March, but any worries time, which involves a fun opportunity to share about their about missed events and blank pages can be dismissed. lives and bond as a working team, with a temporary relief QR codes will be present throughout the book, which from the hustle and bustle. individuals can scan it with their smart phones or type in a “[The circle time is] great and makes us stop the URL on a website. The link will connect to a slideshow of craziness and just visit with each other on a personal basis,” pictures that were taken after the final deadline. Videos will Carraway said. be an added benefit as well. The relationships on yearbook are close, and both “It will be a more interactive yearbook,” senior editorCarraway and Alison Garlick commended the staff on their in-chief Alison Garlick said. cooperation and teamwork. Sponsor Freda Carraway adds that access to the codes “We all get along with each other and have a really is guaranteed for thirty years and will be available through good time goofing off but getting stuff done at the same any developments in technology. time,” Hudson said. “[Readers are] going to be on the cusp of technological Not only will students be able to interactively enjoy advancement,” Carraway said. “Technology [in yearbook] the early yearbook with signatures, QR codes, and links is going to continue to move in that direction, where things to an upload website, but seniors will also have the unique are communicated digitally and with digital options.” opportunity to receive their yearbooks before leaving Senior clubs editor Cassidy Hudson describes the 2011Consol, instead of having to return in October for pick-up. 12 yearbook as having “more color, [and] bright popping All staffers will be able to admire their work before

“This book is going to come out while this staff is still on this campus, so the staff has ownership of their pages.”

Sneak Peek of 2011-2012 Yearbook the end of the school year, and Carraway said this adds incentive for excellence. “This book is going to come out while this staff is still on this campus, at this school, so the staff has ownership of their pages,” Carraway said. “Their name is on every single page that they created and I feel like they are more aware that their work is going to be scrutinized by the student body.” The yearbook might be earlier and different than usual, but with the changes comes creative alterations. “Our last book was more traditional, classic, but with this book we learned to have fun with it,” Hudson said. Consol may be humongous this year, but this yearbook exemplifies the relationships and positive experiences that brings students together in new ways. “There’s diversity among the student body, but we still feel like a big family,” Carraway said.

Meet the Yearbook Section Editors: Senior Alison Garlick, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Holland Knapp, Sports Editor

Senior Cassidy Hudson, Clubs Editor

Senior Kayley Smith, People/Senior Editor

“I love being editorin-chief because I get to teach and work with a whole staff of 16 other girls doing something I love!”

“Looking over each page can be tedious, but it is a great learning experience because it has taught me to be a better leader.”

“[This section] shows a bunch of activities that many people don’t know about.”

“I get to pick the senior limelights categories and what goes on all the mugs pages.”

Junior Payton Grisham, Student Life/Academics Editor

Junior Kristen Schocke, Business/Senior Ads Editor

“I love having the life section because I feel like it’s the section that relates most personally with the students at school.”

“I love my section because I got to meet a lot of new people from the business ads, and I got to see really cute pictures of senior ads.”

Compiled by Nicole Farrell


the roar | health

thursday, april 5, 2012

& rec | 19

PHOTOS BY KELSEY GAINES

Addiction to video games relaxes, distracts gamers

by Kelsey Gaines, assistant news editor hat one person may view as an obsession, another might see as just another part of his life. Gaming, to the passionate players, is not viewed as simply a leisure time activity, but as a hobby that they not only put a large amount of their time in, but also a large amount of themselves. Senior Jeff Steines who claims to have been “gaming since he was born” wishes that Skyrim, the more recently released popular Xbox game, was his real life. Senior Cody Hamilton who also has similar views of the game claims that his obsession is as intense as it is because he is “in love [with Skyrim.]” Whatever the reason, gaming among high school students has a large amount of students escaping the real world and putting themselves into the gaming world for hours at a time. Senior David Lee, who unlike his friends, plays World of Warcraft, has over 72 days worth of him playing recorded on his computer. However, Lee is not the only one who spends large amounts of time in a digital world. Senior Riley Ferrell once played Skyrim for nine hours straight, skipping breakfast and lunch, only eating dinner because his mother made him take a break. When asked how Ferrell manages his school time, he said that managing school and Skyrim isn’t a problem for him because he simply doesn’t do his school work anymore. With all this time invested toward their personal time gaming, friendships have been threatened. “Friends will get mad at you if you go to game instead of hanging out with them,” Steines said. Senior and non-gamer David Levias added that “gaming consumes people’s lives and makes them nerdy.” English teacher Michael Williams is also a gamer, but understands the importance of playing in moderation. “I play only sparingly during the school year because family and grading take priority for me. It’s why my elven thief in Skyrim is only level 5,” Williams said. “The problem I’ve seen my students run into is when

W

they prioritize a game - leveling in Skyrim, reaching achievements in multiplayer Modern Warfare, for example - over school, family, even sleep. I’ve had students come in talking about how far they’ve advanced in a game the previous night, and of course be completely unprepared for class; I’ve had students fail my class (or come darn close to failing) specifically because of their devotion to a game.” The baseball team brings an Xbox to tournaments to play in their hotel rooms at night. Since Skyrim is a one-player game, the rest of the team watches while one person plays. Senior Alec Paradowski complained Skyrim is extremely boring to watch for hours on end. “People who don’t play Skyrim don’t understand,” senior Ford Moore said. When it comes to girls who game, the guys take a stance. “I’ve had girls tell me that they want me to teach them how to play Skyrim, but it’s too complex,” Hamilton said. Senior Marshall Strain does not mind girl gamers, but he believes that they need to be able to back up what they claim. “Guys hate it when girls think they’re good at video games, when they actually [are horrible],” Strain said. The guys are aware that playing videogames as often as they do have made them more violent in their mind, but they claim that it has no outward affect. Steines also said that playing video games has increased his imagination and has made him more of a man. Still the intensity and level of addiction varies with each person. “I’m not going to lie,” Ferrell said. “I have a bond with this game, but if it came down to losing somebody and Skyrim, I’d [give up Skyrim.]” Strain, like Ferrell, understands that gaming is simply for enjoyment, but like most groups of fans, there are always a few whose intensity and passion for their interest outweighs others. “When I’m gaming, that is my reality,” Steines said. “That’s when I’m really alive.”

Seniors Jeff Steines and Marshall Strain engage in an intense gaming session. Their group of friends gathers regularly after school to hang out and play video games. PHOTO BY KELSEY GAINES

popular video games What is

Skyrim?

What is

World of Warcraft?

What is

Call of Duty?

Skyrim’s main story revolves around the player character’s efforts to defeat Alduin, a Dragon god who is prophesied to destroy the world. The game takes place in the fictional province of Skyrim, upon the continent of Tamriel, and the planet of Nirn. The player can explore the land at will and ignore or postpone the main quest indefinitely playing in the war and doing what they please. In World of Warcraft, players control a character avatar within a game world in third- or first-person view, exploring the landscape, fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with non-player characters (NPCs) or other players. Call of Duty is a first-person and third-person shooter video game series franchise. The earlier games in the series are set primarily in World War II; the Modern Warfare games are set (as the name suggest) in modern times. compiled by Kelsey Gaines


20 | health

& rec | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Diving in the Deep End Divers learn dedication from adrenaline-filled sport by Kimmie Cessna assistant sports editor

The platform towers over the water and the diver takes his or her place. The diver jumps and twists gracefully through the air, managing to make a dive into the water within seconds. “What I like about diving is the adrenaline rush and the thrill of it all,” senior Niki Reich said. Reich dives with her stepsister, sophomore Shelby Lerew and they are coached by their parents. “I decided to get involved with diving because it was the family business,” L e r e w said. “Most of my family did diving, so I chose to pursue diving as well.” Right before a dive some might get nervous, but usually that is not the case, Lerew said. “What makes me calm before a dive is to have faith in myself,” Lerew said. Diving is just like other sports where practice is a necessity to achieve success. “I try to practice five days a week for about three and a half hours per day,” Reich said.

PHOTO OF NIKI REICH BY JANET NI

Diving has helped Reich gain an athletic scholarship to Florida Atlantic University. “When I received the scholarship, I was shocked at first because I took some time off, but I am excited to get back to my home state,” Reich said. Someone that helps Reich stay motivated in diving is her mother. “My mom keeps me motivated because she has so much experience,” Reich said. “She has done it all and can help me in my diving.” The diving team at Consol is made up of four people and competes alongside the swimming team. “I like how diving is paired with swimming because the team is awesome,” Reich said. The Consol diving team includes three people who won district 12-5A to move onto regionals: Reich, David Deng and Ashton Green. Reich also was named second-team all-state. Something Lerew is taking away from diving in high school is the dedication and the memories, Reich said. “My favorite memory in diving is when I ranked second in the nation in 2010 on the 10 meter dive because it was a big accomplishment,” Lerew said.

Types of Dives Front 1 1/2 pike face forward, execute a hurdle (a skip to gain momentum), launch up and do one full back flip in a pike position (touch your toes midair) and then finish with a dive

Front 2 1/2 tuck face forward, do a hurdle, launch up and do two full flips in a tuck position (bend your legs and touch your knees to your chest) and then finish with a dive

Back dive pike face backwards, jump off of the board and do a pike, then looking backwards finish with a dive

Inward 1 1/2 tuck face backwards, jump off the board and execute one forward flip in a tuck position then finish with a dive Source: Niki Reich and http://diving.about.com/od/ dives/tp/diveTypes.htm


the roar | sports | 21

thursday, april 5, 2012

Consol gymnasts perfect abilities in pursuit of regionals BY KENDRA SPAW

executive editor

Yes, they have a team. Yes, they can do a standing back flip on a four-inch piece of wood. Consol Gymnastics is back this year to win it all, and they are ready to be recognized. All members of the gymnastics team practice three hours a day, five days a week after school. Because Consol does not have the proper equipment for the athletes to practice, they must train at Brazos Valley Gym with coach Julie Fought. “[Coach Fought] pushes me to my limits,” senior Alison Garlick said. “She has helped me develop confidence in myself and to become stronger in areas I have been weak.” Consol Gymnastics has a total of three talented male gymnasts that have preformed well this year. Junior Ben Guzman individually qualified for state in 2010. “Ben is awesome,”senior Maddie Street said. “He is probably one of the strongest on the team, and he leads the group well.” The girls and guys have been training extra hard this year and are currently undefeated. They hope to continue this streak until regionals where they have placed second each year and plan to win first this season. “For the seniors, this is our last hurrah,” Street said, “so we are training really hard to get first in regionals and maybe place in the top three in state.” Regionals will be held at Consol this year on April 11th-12th, and students are welcome to watch during the school day. “Gymnastics is not just athletic ability but getting your body to do something that doesn’t seem possible,” senior Debra Roussel said. Gymnastics is unlike other sports in that it is extremely particular. “The goal in gymnastics is not just can you do this,” Roussel said. “it’s can you do this perfectly. It is a sport of perfection, which is great because I’m quite the perfectionist.” The team has trained very hard this year to perfect their techniques and win the highest honors for the team. “Flipping around all day is really fun,” Street said. “[Gymnastics] teaches me hard work and discipline and what it means to work hard to achieve your goals.”

Senior Maddie Street preforms a backbend on Jan. 27. Street has been in gymnastics for 11 years. PHOTO BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH

Junior Ben Guzman trains on the rings at the Brazos Valley Gym on March 26. In 2010, Guzman represented Consol at state as an individual. PHOTO BY KENDRA SPAW

Junior Maggie Drummond practices jumping on the balance beam on Jan. 27. Drummond has been on the Tiger gymnastics team since her freshman year. PHOTO BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH

Senior Alison Garlick practices beam on Jan. 27. Garlick was elected co-captain this year. PHOTO BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH


22 | sports | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

Girls, boys powerlifting teams work to maintain eligibility

Sophomore Dakota Young helps junior Shamara Lewis prepare to squat during practice on March 26. Both Lewis and Young placed at state. PHOTO BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH

Sophomore Dakota Young prepares to lift the bar during practice on March 26. Young has been on the girls powerlifting team since her freshman year. PHOTO BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH

“Next year I will miss making friends and joking around,” Smith said, “but mainly the starving yourself before a meet and pigging out afterwards.” Lollar also enjoyed the eating but said he will miss friends he has made and the strength he has gained. “I’ll miss the rush you get after you get a big lift,” Lollar said. “We are all brothers, and most of us were really close even before we started lifting.” Unfortunately Lollar’s season was cut shorter than expected when he was recently diagnosed with Eales disease. “Basically the blood vessels in my eye are leaking the blood into my retina causing me to lose vision and go blind,” Lollar said. Lollar had set goals to win state and squat 805 pounds which would have broken the state record. “They aren’t completely sure on how to fix it,” Lollar said, “Everything is up in the air at this moment in time.” The girls have similar goals that they hope to accomplish at the state meet on March 16 in Corpus Christi. “Eight out of thirteen girls are going to state so we just want to remain undefeated and hopefully win state,” Smith said. “At Regionals we would use our iPhones to make videos of the other teams,” Smith said. “Then we would watch the video and use a button to send bombs on the person competing.”

BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH

news editor

Powerlifting is a sport where the boys often are going on diets and sleeping in trash bags to make a certain weight class. “Most of the team stays the night at my house the night before, and my mom cooks us chicken salads,” senior J.J Lollar said. Athletes compete against other members who weigh the same, so the less they weigh the easier the competition. The girls team, on the other hand, enjoy the weight gaining aspect of the sport. “My favorite part about powerlifting, besides being in shape, would be eating at the big buffets after the meets,” senior Daricia Henson said. At times the girls have to drop a couple pounds before lifting to qualify for a certain weight class. “Before meets if I need to drop some weight, I usually ride the bike or dance it out so that I make it into the smaller weight class,” Henson said. Senior Kayley Smith, who has been competing for three years, also says she enjoys the post-meet consumption of food.

Junior Madison Becker bench presses during practice on March 26. Becker advanced all the way to the state meet. PHOTO BY ABIGAYLE ENGLISH

While the team works hard to improve in practice, they spend time in between lifts to crack some jokes. “The girls get along great and always enjoy joking around with each other,” Henson said. “We are always either pumping iron or laughing.” One main contributor to the laughing is the person in charge, Coach Knapek. “Our coach is really motivating and fun to be around,” Smith said. “She fits in really well with the rest of us.” The friendships made and muscle forms might soon fade, but the laughs will not be quickly forgotten. “Next year I’m just going to miss that feeling of accomplishment after a lift,” Henson said. “And I’m going to miss the practices and meets we spent together entertaining each other.”

Boys

powerlifting

Girls

State Meet Results:

State Meet Results:

Zerrick Merchant- 3rd Marcus Orzabal- 12th Joe Waithaka- 8th DJ Levias- 7th Luis Garcia- 15th

Hanna Polen- 4th Ashley Troutman- 3rd Jessi Ball places- 5th Dakota Young- 6th Shamara Lewis- 4th Bri Holtkamp- 6th

Senior Zerrick Merchant: “Some things I will miss about powerlifting are getting up early, coaches, traveling, my teammates and winning.”

Senior Kendall Pye: “Powerlifting taught me dedication because you have to come in early and try your hardest.”


the roar | sports | 23

thursday, april 5, 2012

PHOTO OF SOFIA ROJO DEL BUSTO BY LAURA EVERETT

1 Lady tiger soccer captains lead team toward playoffs BY RACHEL KAGLE

sports editor

Quick thinking, fast moving and strong, the Lady Tiger soccer team successfully protects their goal. To the three captains of the team, soccer is more than just a pastime in high school. It is an activity that they have put their heart and souls into for a majority of their lives. Seniors Sofia Rojo Del Busto, Blake Martin, and Christina Salas have been playing soccer for more than twelve years. Martin and Salas have both signed to continue playing the sport throughout college. “We know the game,” Martin said. “So we’re able to help lead the team and prevent anything too bad from happening.” Their complete knowledge of the game and their leadership qualities have led them all to the position of captain they have today. “We’ve just tried to show leadership and how our team can have faith in us and how if they have problems, they can look to us,” Salas said. “Basically, in

our example and leadership, we’ve been voted by our team as captains.” After an extremely successful season last year, breaking records, success in district and advancing to playoffs, the Lady Tigers intend to improve further and continue to uphold their love for the sport. “Last year we broke the school shutout record. It was 13, and we made it 20,” Salas said. “One of my big goals this year is breaking it again.” Personally, Rojo Del Busto feels her success is from her love for the game. “I [enjoy] defending, and I like soccer,” Rojo Del Busto said. “I guess my passion for it [is a strong point].” However, the girls have a passion for more than just the sport. Playing for the team at Consol itself is important as well. “It’s awesome just to be a part of Consol Tiger soccer,” Salas said. “There are other schools that the soccer program is not nearly as good, and we’ve really been blessed with having such great coaches.” Martin agrees and sacrificed graduating early to play one last season with the Tigers.

“There’s no way I could miss high school season,” Martin said. “It’s the best part of every year so far.” Through incredibly strong bonds and a family-like connection, the closeknit team of Tigers not only works well together on the field, but off as well. “I think we have a really good team dynamic,” Rojo Del Busto said. “We’re all really close, and we’ve all really bonded and we love each other, so when we play it’s for each other.” Any disputes throughout the team are quickly solved. “A lot of people, when they’re on the field, they get mad at each other and aggravated, and I feel like at times we’ll get aggravated at each other, but it’s mainly just we want them to do something or we feel like they could do better at this,” Salas said. “But at the end of the day, we’re really close to them.” Martin agrees. “Once you step off the field, most of it is forgotten,” Martin said. “There are no real big grudges or anything. We’re a family.”

Boys

Girls

soccer

Varsity Record 16-5-1

Varsity Record 15-5-3

Junior Varsity Record 15-3-3

Junior Varsity Record 10-0-1

Playoff Games: Won 1-0 against North Mesquite on Monday, April 2

2

3 1. Senior Christina Salas protects the goal in the game against Harker Heights on March 23. PHOTO BY RACHEL KAGLE 2. Junior Carolina Orsi plays offense in the game against Harker Heights on March 23. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT 3. Senior Kalli Krivdo tries to steal the ball in the game against Harker Heights on March 23. PHOTO BY RACHEL KAGLE

First Playoff Game: Tyler Lee at Tyler Lee at 7 p.m. on April 3

Junior Dillon Moore:

“Soccer has taught me all about teamwork, being more vocal and cooperating with others.”


24 | sports | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

to play Juniors improve skills, motivate each other through participating on doubles team

acing the swing tennis

BY MICHELLE LIU

“always been a doubles person.” Both Miller and Gore appreciate

staff reporter the support they receive from each other.

The tennis ball flies from one end of the court to the other, a rally played out like a swift, unerring dance of well-choreographed teamwork. For juniors Amy Gore and Katherine Miller, this teamwork comes naturally as a doubles team. “Katherine and I, we have a great chemistry. We talk all the time,” Gore said. “We’re really good friends.” Gore, who has been playing tennis for five years, began playing girls doubles with Miller this year. The players are currently the top two girls doubles players at Consol. “The two of them, I felt like were the best combination,” coach Stephen Mercer said. “I felt like they had a good chance to win district, and so I’ve left them together pretty much most of the year.” Mercer said that Gore was “very coachable, tried to do everything I asked as far as working on doubles and learning how to play doubles.” Likewise, Mercer commends Miller on her perseverance. “She has always worked hard,” Mercer said. “[She] has been a good person for the other girls to model after.” Both girls have improved over the year, Mercer said. He emphasizes that both players’ strengths lie in playing doubles, and that they are a “good combination” together. Miller appreciates the extra support playing doubles provides. “I like that I have a teammate with me,” she said. “You have someone to depend on.” Like Miller, Gore enjoys playing doubles, as she said she has

“We never get mad at each other,” Miller said. “If one of us messes up, we try to motivate each other.” Gore agrees. “I think Katherine and I can both get pretty worked up pretty quickly, so we calm each other down,” she said. “Whenever Katherine and I play together, we can tell when the other one starts to get a little upset, and so we’ll just say, ‘Hey, it’s okay. We got this.’” The duo’s goal this year is to win district and reach regionals, Miller said. They strive to achieve their goals, as both are “pretty self-motivated,” Gore said. “We just want to be the best we can be,” she said. “We try to just do what we can.” The pair provides inspiration to the team as well, Mercer said. “They’re both good role models, they’re both girls that the rest of the team can look up to, and [they] both have a great attitude and work hard,” he said. Overall, Mercer notes the pair’s positive attributes. “They have a good time on the court. They enjoy each other,” he said. “Sometimes, doubles teams can be kind of hard on each other. The two of them, [however], try to help each other become better, but they don’t tear each other down. They pump each other up and encourage each other to continue to do well, which I think is a neat combination that you don’t always get when you play doubles. I think that’s one of the reasons why they have had as many successes as they’ve had.”

Sophomore Zavier Habib practices on March 28. “I would like to get to state,” Habib said. “It’s something that I try to accomplish everyday when I put on my uniform.” PHOTO BY DEVIN DAKOTA

Top Varsity Singles Players: Zavier Habib Kristina Raphael Upcoming Events: Varsity district tournament - April 4 & 5 in Temple JV & Freshmen district tournament - April 13 at Texas A&M

Juniors Katherine Miller and Amy Gore warm up during practice on March 28. The girls began playing doubles with each other this year. PHOTO BY DEVIN DAKOTA

Junior Amy Gore practices her swing on March 28. Gore has been playing tennis for five years. PHOTO BY DEVIN DAKOTA


the roar | entertainment | 25

thursday, april 5, 2012

Blogs convey student interests, provide entertainment Entertainment: Alec and Nathan's Incredible Pop-Culture Weblog reviewed by Isabel Drukker

In “Alec and Nathan’s Incredible Pop Culture Weblog: What you need, when you need it” two juniors, Alec Lindner and Nathan Smith, provide readers with a tasteful variety of options on what to watch and what to avoid. A regular segment, “What We Watched” consists of literally whatever the kiddos happened to watch, along with well-written descriptions of the movies strengths and flaws, followed by the question “Recommended?” which may be

answered with anything, from “YES” to “I mean, I guess you should probably see it if you haven’t, but it won’t kill you if you don’t.” This laid back style of writing combined with the two bloggers’ sense of humor makes searching for a movie to watch easy instead of a chore, though some of the subjects may be more sophisticated themselves. The movies included are more often than not indie films or movies unknown to the mainstream populace, a welcome contrast to more popular review sites. A few movies discussed include “The Man Who Shot Liberty,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Young Frankenstein,” as well as the television shows “Parks and Recreation,” “Freaks and

Geeks,” and “30 Rock.” Along with films, Alec and Nathan’s Incredible Pop Culture critiques other forms of entertainment, and Alec himself once declared his “Pick of the Week” a graphic novel. The fun weblog also includes more opinion oriented pieces over dire issues, such as Zooey Deschanel’s being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and on how Michael Scott’s leaving The Office has resulted in the show’s downfall. With a myriad of different films, from older Westerns to the latest Oscar destined flicks, Alec and Nathan’s Incredible Pop Culture Weblog delivers as promised, through enjoyable humor and a tasteful choice of words. The blog can be found at alecandnathan.wordpress.com.

Fashion: My Wares and Where I Wear Them reviewed by Janet Ni

Lauren Hodges’ fashion blog, “My Wares and Where I Wear Them,” can be found on Tumblr, a popular site in which people can post photos or text and follow one another. Each of Hodges’ blog posts consists of a few pictures of a fashionable look she decides to share with the world, as well as a body of text elaborating on the cost of the outfit, or to where it was worn. The photos are very simple: their central purpose is to showcase the clothing, and they do so quite effectively. The

writing on the blog is also superb. Hodges’ eloquence and witty humor becomes evident as she discusses the contents of her closet. Not only does she establish her main point, but she also gets a few chuckles in the process. Furthermore, Hodges makes sure to include a variety of apparel on her blog. She incorporates many different types of clothing that all branch off from her own central style. When Hodges posts a new look, she seems to keep in mind the variety of viewers her blog could potentially attract. On “My Wares and Where I Wear Them,” there really is something for everyone. Hodges additionally shares her innovative ideas on the

versatility of garments and miscellaneous fashion tips. Her blog is filled with fresh ideas and practical advice on topics such as how to accessorize or mixing prints. My Wares and Where I Wear them would be a useful and entertaining guide for anyone looking to update their wardrobe. Overall, I found Hodges’ blog fun, colorful, informative, and of course, stylish. This trendy blog can be found at the URL warewherewear.tumblr.com. The helpful tips and fantastic writing make this blog exceptionally well-rounded and worth taking a look at.

Music: B.Z. Life of an Aspiring Rapper reviewed by Nicole Farrell

Senior Ben Zimmer’s blog titled “B.Z. Life of an Aspiring Rapper” is inspirational and offers a unique perspective of a high school student who is serious about writing, performing and producing his own music. The blog features a fun background, clean interface, and easy navigation. I also appreciate his careful attribution and commitment to staying within copyright boundaries.

Each post features information concerning work and updates or an embedded Youtube video of an original song. Zimmer uses pre-produced background rhythms from hipstrumentals.com and then overlaps them with his own lyrics. His voice is raspy and monotone (which is good for rap), and his lyrics offer a new perspective. I’ll admit rap is not my favorite, but I didn’t mind listening. I definitely appreciate his hard work and effort put into making his dream a reality. It was really interesting and inspiring to see the steps of producing one’s music. I never realized all that goes into being a “real musician” and it was interesting to get a glimpse

of the bare bones of a project that could easily turn into a full fledged career. I would love to see more information about him and maybe some photos (the opportunities for fresh, swag-filled profile pictures are endless!) and maybe a link for lyrics (he writes his own!), but his blog is acceptable for getting his music to the public. I would recommend his blog at bzmusic.blogspot.com to anyone with an appreciation for dedication and decent beats.

The AMCHS Science department would like to give a special thanks to Shipley's Doughnuts for donating to TAKS tutorials.


@CONSOL 26 | entertainment | the roar

Seeing Double?

Senior Rebecca Chester & Teacher Ms. Swann

thursday, april 5, 2012

compiled by Abigayle English, News Editor

Doppelgangers at the school have students, teachers and faculty doing double takes. These students are often called the wrong names and mistaken for one another. Kendall Pye’s mom actually started talking to her doppelganger, mistaking Merritt for Kendall.

Senior Kendall Pye & Sophomore Brandon Jackson Junior Emily Sloan & Junior Garrett Luedtke & Junior Kohl Anderson Sophomore Heather Blanton & Junior Jay Bernheim Junior Merritt Nolte-Roth

Foolishness

Teachers share their best April Fool’s Day pranks and practical jokes. (Warning: Do not attempt at home)

“I told my students one year that I left a folder of tests on my car and drove away and lost them. Another year I told them my car got stolen with their projects in them.” -history teacher Samantha Krinhop “I handed out a piece in Polish to my choir. I gave them the first pitch and said, “See you at the end!” I started conducting and heard a few mumbles from the girls, but most just sat in silence, staring at the foreign print.” -choir director, Andrea Welty-Peachey “One year, as my freshmen were finishing up our unit study on Romeo and Juliet, I announced (on April 1) that a traveling theater company was going to be coming to Rudder Auditorium to perform Romeo and Juliet, and that Mr. Reed had approved of it as a class field trip. I even created permission slips for them to turn in by a certain due date and convinced other teachers to go in on it with me.” -English teacher, Caleb

Philips

“Last year on our State SkillsUSA Competition trip to Corpus Christi, Mr. Faulk and I played a prank on some of our students. When everyone was on the bus, I quickly became angry, and I started telling of a story about how the hotel was complaining about their behavior, noise and dirty rooms. I sat down and told the bus driver to roll out, and waited just a few more seconds. Then I jumped up and screamed April Fool’s! It was a pretty epic moment in computer tech history.” -technology teacher, Bart Taylor

What’s that noise? Consol Students explain their interest in some unusual musical instruments

“I play the bagpipes because I’m part Irish, and I’m trying to embrace my culture,” senior Bridgette Bird said. “I’ve always admired the ethereal, almost heavenly sound of the harp. Peoples’ reactions when they discover that I play the harp is priceless,” senior Lisa Hsiao said. “I enjoy the ukelele because it’s easier than the guitar and it has such a fun sound to it,” senior Courtney Peters said.


the roar | entertainment | 27

thursday, april 5, 2012

asian invasion First, there’s the sound of a heavy drumset. The sparse beats continue alone for a while. Then, layered on top, comes the singing. And finally, a shadowy shape emerges from the background and begins to dance. This is no alien ritual—this is Asian Invasion, the musical group that won last month’s talent show. “Basically, we’re just a bunch of Korean guys who got together to make music,” said senior Byung Kim, a member of the group. The group started a mere two weeks before the talent show, when senior Yechan Moon approached junior Moses Youn about putting together an act. They never found a “proper” place to practice, so Asian Invasion first started right outside of the public library, Moon said. Kim became a part of Asian Invasion some time later. “Byung came to some of our practices, and he started dancing around. It was pretty cool, so we asked him to join the group,” Youn said. The three originally named themselves “Asian Persuasion,” but while registering for the talent show, the judges heard them wrong, and they were then rechristened Asian Invasion. “We actually like it better,” Youn said, “because an ‘Asian Invasion’ is sort of a thing in this culture.” Each member has a specific role in the group: Kim and Youn said they both look to Moon as the founder and leader. Moon has been beatboxing seriously for the past five years, and his ability is such that he can reproduce the noise of a bird or a water fountain in addition to a drum set. He listens to songs and sound files and tries to imitate the sounds in them. Moon started a beatboxing club at school, with bandmate Youn as vice president. “We just play around, dancing,

beatboxing,” Moon said. “It’s fun.” Moon is so dedicated to this that he performed the entire routine for the talent show with a sore, blistered throat. The audience had no clue, which left the other two members quite impressed. Kim, the main dancer, is similarly selftaught. He said he started out by learning his moves from Korean music videos on YouTube and gradually progressed from simple dances to more and more complex ones. The senior class took notice of Kim’s dancing skills and voted him “Most Likely to Win So You Think You Can Dance.” Kim shrugs off this honor. “I mean, it’s cool I won it, but I don’t really plan to do that,” he said. Youn also got started early. He began singing in his Korean church’s talent shows and various Christmas concerts from a young age. He was most recently in the choir’s musical, Bye Bye Birdie. All three members are involved in additional musical activities: Kim is in orchestra, Youn is in choir, and Moon plays the piano. They maintain that, despite their success at the talent show, their group is “nothing much.” Nevertheless, they do plan to take it a few steps further, starting with a possible performance at Showtime, a choir-associated show at the end of the year. Although the trio tends to downplay their act as “fooling around,” their audience at the talent show thinks otherwise. “The whole act, it’s not like anything I’ve ever seen before,” said social studies teacher Jason Pratt. “Who would’ve thought to beatbox to dubstep? That’s amazing.” Being different is one thing that the group admits to. “We don’t use instruments. We’re totally acappella. We’re unique,” Kim said.

Talent show winners present display of beatboxing, dancing by Shilpa Saravanan, staff reporter PHOTO BY AMY ZHANG

Seniors Yechan Moon and Byung Kim and junior Moses Youn execute one of the ending sequences to their talent show performance on March 28. Kim said that “it took some choreographing, but turned out well.” PHOTO BY AMY ZHANG

Senior Yechan Moon beatboxes the first few chords of Justin Timberlake’s song “Sexy Back” on March 28. Moon took five weeks to learn the beats for the popular song. PHOTO BY AMY ZHANG Senior Byung Kim (left) and junior Moses Youn practice “tutting,” a synchronized dance. The two performed tutting at the talent show to massive applause. PHOTO BY AMY ZHANG


28 | etcetera | the roar

thursday, april 5, 2012

The HUNGER GAMEs

Teens find passion in series, identify with characters in book by Amy Zhang Editor-in-Chief Loyal novel fans clutched their boxed sets, pouring over each detail and adjective within the renowned series. Movie fanatics stormed retail stores such as Hot Topic and Ulta that stocked paraphernalia, with dreams of midnight premieres and laid-out outfits flitting through their minds. Some people might complain of clogged Facebook newsfeeds or Twitter dashboards or overplayed television commercials. Regardless, the popularity of “The Hunger Games” is undeniable, and the series has captivated viewers to the point of addiction. “You have this world that [is filled with] adventure,” senior Kyle Campbell said of the series. “The games, the Capitol—it’s all fantastic. It’s like our world times a million. The whole thing is really exciting. The premise of the games itself is unique, and I’ve never read anything like it.” “The Hunger Games,” and its companions, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” are set in the fictional land of Panem, where the Capitol, a totalitarian government, rules over twelve districts, still marred by the remnants of past rebellion, where District 13 was destroyed. To pay the price for this rebellion, one boy and one girl tribute are selected from each of the 12 districts every year from a lottery to compete in a fight to the death. “I think that it’s not like any other love story that anyone’s ever written,” freshman Kathleen Finch said. “Instead of just someone being in love with someone else, the whole star-crossed lovers idea [adds] a whole new level of suspense.” For senior Anikka Lekven, the strength seen in Everdeen as the female protagonist endeared her to the books. “Katniss is a really strong female character, and I appreciate that in anything that I read,” Lekven said. “It’s also really entertaining. It’s easy to read, and the plot is so interesting.” “The Hunger Games” has become more than just an entertainment series in several schools, with some English classes adapting lessons and themes from the novels. Last year, the sophomore on-level English classes read “The Hunger Games” and will do so once again this year.With the movie premiering, students this year will have additional elements of the novel to discuss. “We didn’t foresee that the movie was going to come out, so I think it’s going to be interesting this year, as we’ll be able to discuss similarities and differences between the film and the novel,” English teacher Chauncey Lindner said. Even though many of the novel’s fans have appeared within the last six months, several fans, such as Finch and junior Kendall Vittrup, have been faithful from the initial release of “The Hunger Games.”

Vittrup anxiously awaited each book’s release and even made annotations within her copies of the novels. “The thing I loved most was that it was super action packed and had a love story, but it wasn’t about the love story. It was about so much more,” Vittrup said. “Coming off of a series like “Twilight,” the last big series I read before [“The Hunger Games”], which was all about a love story, I wanted something a little more deep, and that’s what I found.” The series has found comparisons to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” novels, with both franchises finding popularity among teenage readers. Some fans scorn the comparisons that have resulted, such as the idea of “Team Peeta” and “Team Gale,” the two sides for Everdeen’s potential love interests. “I hate [the comparison], as they’re two completely different stories,” Finch said. Vittrup agreed, but said the comparison was inevitable. “I think naturally every time you have a story that’s kind of a love triangle, you’re always going to have people split off into teams,” Vittrup said. “I hope it doesn’t get like “Twilight,” as I think that when the [Twilight] movies came out, the novels were kind of ruined.” Senior Nevin Blum, who read the series over this last winter break, agrees with Vittrup’s sentiments. “I think the comparison is fair, as they’re kind of on the same sphere [as far as audiences],” Blum said. “They’re both stories with popular franchises. Series like “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” [have become] unbeatable, timeless classics. “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” are more teen-focused novels, so I get the comparison.” The majority of the series’ recent popularity has developed as a result from “The Hunger Games” movie, released by Lionsgate on March 23. The movie was highly anticipated (as it was first announced in 2009) and accounted for 83% of movie-ticket-outlet Fandango’s online sales on Feb. 22, the first day consumers could purchase tickets for the movie’s premiere. For Finch, the movie experience was incomparable to anything she had previously experienced as a movie fan. “I never realized how big the fandom actually was until I saw a packed theater full of people all wearing various memorabilia who looked just as excited as I was to see the movie,” Finch said. “I felt like I was among some of the happiest people on earth.”

The movie certainly drew a large audience, with the midnight premiere at the local Cinemark theater selling out before 7:00 a.m. on Feb. 22. While the movie experience has enchanted some, others find Liongate’s blatant use of marketing to be excessive, and unnecessary for the novel. Lionsgate spent $45 million to market the movie in its biggest-ever marketing campaign. “I am glad it’s being made into a movie, but I’m kind of upset that they’ve come out with tribute guides, action figures and stuff like that,” Finch said. “I’m still excited, but the fact that everyone’s only reading it now because there’s a movie coming out is kind of frustrating.” Lekven has a different perspective in examining the marketing strategy. “I love all the marketing, because people like me are going to go buy all these things, no matter how expensive they are,” Lekven said. “It’s incredibly intelligent that they’re doing all of this, because they’re going to make so much money off of this.” Fans were united in a common fear of what the movie would turn out to be, since movie adaptations of novels tend to follow a trend of being unlike the book. “A bunch of people get caught up with the idea that it has to be just like the book, but it’s inevitable that it won’t-it’s just not going to be like that,” Vittrup said. “You’re not necessarily going to get the same feelings out of their interpretation. I’m excited to see how they go with it, because I’m going to look at it from a movie standpoint.” Some fans found flaws within the movie, but the majority seemed pleased with the end result. “The movie followed the book better than I could ever imagine,” Finch said. “Jennifer Lawrence, who, I admit, I had doubts about when she was first cast as Katniss, was absolutely amazing. Everyone was perfect in their roles, and truly embodied everything that the H u n g e r Games is about. The movie was suspenseful, heartbreaking, hilarious, and terrifying, and I absolutely loved it.”.

The Roar Vol. 17 No. 5  
The Roar Vol. 17 No. 5  

The fifth issue of the year.

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