Page 1



A&M Consolidated High School

Cultural pride shines through on pages 12 and 13.

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

Friday, Dec. 14, 2012

Vol. 18 No. 3

“My mind's racing. I honestly think about


all the time.

But when a teacher's talking, if I really want to

focus in on him,

I literally just look over and listen to him,

and it's like he's the

only person I can hear.� This ability, however, comes at a cost. See "abuse" on page 3.



where News Viewpoints Snapshots Student Life

pages 2-6 pages 7-10 page 11 pages 12-13

pages 14-16 People pages 17-18 Health & Rec pages 19-21 Sports Entertainment/Etc. pages 22-24

nthis ssue

Hockey players Mark Torres and Jordan Brown explain their passion for Hockey. PAGE 11

Don't fall asleep just yet! Students discuss implications of sleep loss. PAGE 17

n the news

2 | news | the roar

Musician selected to perform in national marching band

Senior saxophonist Eugene Ryoo was selected to perform as part of the U.S. Army AllAmerican Marching Band in the halftime show of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The band consists of the top 125 high school marching band and color guard members in the nation. The bowl game, will be televised on NBC at noon on January 5.

Tiger Robotics wins third place at tri-state competition The A&M Consolidated robotics team placed third overall out of sixty competing teams from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico at the tri-state BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) meet on November 10 at the University of Dallas. Tiger Robotics won first place in the following categories: team website, team spirit and sportsmanship, team presentation and team promotional display booth. Additionally, the team placed 20th in robot performance. The overall award, called the BEST award, is the most prestigious award a team can earn.

Three orchestra students selected for All-State Orchestra Seniors Tiffany Wu and Joshua Ho and sophomore James Wu qualified for the AllState orchestra after recording auditions on October 27. This will be Tiffany Wu’s fourth appearance at All-State and Ho’s third.

friday, dec. 14, 2012

A qu ck view

Senior named National Achievement Scholar

Concertgoers dance to live music at the Invisible Children Benefit Concert on December 1. All proceeds from the concert went to Invisible Children, which works to stop the deployment of child soldiers in Africa. PHOTO BY JANET NI

Senior Shani Hayes was recently selected by the National Merit Scholar Corporation as one of 4700 National Achievement Scholars in the nation. The National Achievement Program recognizes academically outstanding AfricanAmerican students whose PSAT scores fall into the top three percent of the 160,000 scores received by the program.

Tiger Forensics members qualify for state tournament

Junior Patrick Lynch and sophomore Karna Venkatraj won enough points to qualify for the state speech and debate tournament. Lynch, qualifying at a November 13 debate tournament at South Houston High School in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, becoming the first Consol student this year to earn enough points to travel to the state tournament. Venkatraj became the second when he qualified in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking at a December 1 tournament at Bay City High School, and the first to qualify in two events when he qualified for state Congressional Debate.

Dec. 14:

Warped Improv Troupe, 7pm

Dec. 19:

Finals (5th, 1st, 7th)

Dec. 20:

Finals (4th, 6th, 2nd)

Dec. 21:

Finals (3rd)

34 band members selected for All-Region Band

Jan. 7:

School resumes

Jan 14:

MLK Day; no school

Jan 26: Jan 31:

FFA Tractor Supply petting zoo

Thirty-four members of the A&M Consolidated band auditioned and were selected for the AllRegion band on December 1. The selected students will perform at the All-Region concert in January. Of these thirty-four, twenty-one earned an area distinction and the opportunity to audition for the All-State band in January.

College Station’s newest entertainment activity! Visit us online for details, parties, & daily classes. Visit: 1643 Texas Avenue South Call: 979.485.9838

Com ng up

Dec. 24 - Jan. 4: Winter Break

Choir performances of Beauty & the Beast begin; continue until Feb. 10

the roar | news | 3

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Misuse of ADD medication leads to greater detriments than benefits “abuse” continued from page 1

habits and uses

*names have been changed to protect student identities Senior Henry James* is one of a growing number of high school and college-age students who use medication intended for the treatment of ADD/ADHD disorders to help them focus on everyday matters such as classes, schoolwork and standardized tests. Having been diagnosed with ADD at an earlier age, he does not have to obtain the drugs illegally, but instead has a standard prescription for 40 milligrams of Vyvanse and 20 milligrams of Adderall. Both are stimulant drugs commonly used to treat attention-deficit disorders. James says that 20 milligrams of Adderall is considered “a low dose” and that he takes up to three times the prescribed amount per day. “When I got on the pill, my grades went straight up,” James said. “I’m talking all A’s.” He describes how he failed a class while not on ADD medication, then returned to the same class a semester later while on the pills and got an A—thus achieving a complete turnaround with only, he says, the help of these drugs. Sophomore Allison Black* also has a prescription for ADD medication—Vyvanse, like James—but she does not overdose on a regular basis, nor does she use her medication to help her focus. Rather, she takes just one more pill than she needs to on occasions on which she needs to pull an allnighter to complete homework or projects. “I can’t sleep until my meds wear off, or at least it’s very difficult for me to,” Black said. “Like tomorrow, since I will not be able to work on [a project] over the weekend, I am going to take my meds in the morning as usual, and then when they start to wear off, I’m going to take another Vyvanse and stay up the entire night working on my project.” Black’s medication lasts her roughly twelve hours by her estimate, so two doses would be sufficient to keep her entirely awake and hyper-focused for a whole day if not for the nature of the medication. “My meds make sort of a graph of activity,” Black said. “When they kick in, the ‘potency’ increases to a peak, and then throughout the day, this gradually wears off.”

getting the drugs

James does not find any difficulty in obtaining the amount of drugs that he needs to keep up his three-pill-aday regimen. He says he skips pills on weekends so he dad doesn’t find out. “You can go to the doctor. You can give them some forms,” he said. “You can say whatever you want.” Dr. Elizabeth Berigan has heard all sorts of excuses from patients who ask her for more medicine than their prescription calls for. “One guy told me that he left all his drugs up in Dallas and he needed more,” she said. “That wasn’t going to fly.” She refuses to accept such excuses—in this case, she told the patient to “call [his] mom in Dallas and ask her to FedEx them to you.” But this does not guarantee that patients will not “doctor shop,” as Berigan calls it—simply ask another, more pliable doctor for the medicine they want.

side effects

Black experiences no side effects from the occasional pill popped to aid in an all-nighter, but James feels that the pills have changed him fundamentally as a person. “[The meds] make me feel really jittery all the time— really socially awkward. [The immediate effects] aren’t bad, but side effects over time [can] get pretty bad,” James said.

The long term side effects James has experienced include “[a] racing mind, constantly thinking about anything, [and] a loss of appetite,” he said. The side effects of abusing these drugs, which mirror some of the symptoms of the very disorder that they are supposed to treat, expose their true nature as stimulants. Caffeine, for example, is a common stimulant: it makes people jittery in mind and body, and extreme cases of addiction can lead to a loss of appetite for anything else and withdrawal symptoms. “For some reason, these ADD and ADHD stimulants work backwards in young people,” Berigan said. “Stimulants generally make you more alert, hyperactive, but in these cases, they are used to treat hyperactivity in children.” She believes that some diagnoses may be incorrect because a child’s brain is often not fully developed at diagnosis, so there is no way to tell if the supposed ADD/ ADHD is just a phase the child is going through, or an actual disorder. James, diagnosed with the disorder, does not believe that he needs the pills for that specifically—he says that he “doesn’t even have ADD that much,” further corroborating Berigan’s idea that attention-deficit diagnoses are not always appropriate until the brain has developed fully. Berigan compares the abuse of stimulants in school to the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports—but also to perfectly legal forms of mental stimulation, such as energy drinks. “It’s all about the rush,” Berigan said. “It’s the ‘in thing’ at this point. This is the drug of this generation’s choice.”

outside effects

Sophomore Stacia Roberts has taken medicine for her attention-deficit disorder since the first grade, when her principal requested that she be diagnosed with ADHD after a series of incidents in which Roberts acted outrageously just to get put in the time-out room so that she could work on her coloring without any distractions. On the day immediately after she began taking the medicine, Roberts’s mother received a phone call from her teacher. “She totally flipped out,” Roberts said. “For once I was actually doing my work and raising my hand.” The medication makes a significant difference in her life, and she knows that she needs them. However, Roberts will soon face a nationwide shortage in her specific brand of ADHD drug, and for this reason, she is completely against the use of the medication by those who don’t have a prescription for it, or overuse by those who do. “It makes me mad that they abuse it,” Roberts said. “It’s a lot harder for me to get my meds from the pharmacy because of the demand. I don’t think people who abuse ADD/ADHD medication are harming themselves, but they are harming the people around them who actually need the medication.” James does not encourage other people to take the pills recreationally because of the side effects he has experienced. “I would say that grades improve, focus improves, [the ability] to complete tasks improves, but [the pills] make you angry,” James said. James has smashed holes in doors and walls and generally been very destructive while on the pills, he said. However, he feels that the benefits, for him, ultimately outweigh the side effects of taking the drugs. “I took three [pills] when I took the SAT,” he said. “You’ve got to sit there and take a three hour test. I would do it even if I wasn’t prescribed.”

taking a count: stats • An estimated 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. • The journal Addiction surveyed 119 American institutions and found that 25 percent of those enrolled at highly competitive universities had used Adderall as a resource to help them study. • 40% of teens think it’s OK to abuse prescription drugs because they’re “much safer” than the street equivalent. • This is despite the fact that Adderall, when used outside of a carefully controlled environment, is basically the exact same thing as the street equivalent. • 29% believe that, because of its prescription status, addiction is impossible. • 39% think that, because of this, it’s acceptable to abuse without using a doctor as an intermediary.

source: Partnership for a Drug-Free America PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MICHELLE LIU

4 | news | the roar

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Passionate programmer wins national contest, prestigious scholarship michelle liu | features editor Senior Kensen Shi isn’t letting the recent string of events change his routine. He isn’t thrown off by the fifty posts of wellwishes on his Facebook timeline in the month of December (and none of them are wishing him a happy birthday) or by the constant stream of people congratulating him in person. And you can still find him in the practice room in the band hall, playing the piano. Deftly practicing an etude by Liszt, his determination is evident--he’s got it down from memory, but he hasn’t taken a lesson in two years. That same determination enabled Shi to win the 2012 national Siemens Competition and a $100,000 scholarship on December 4 for his project, titled Lazy Toggle PRM: A Single-Query Approach to Motion Planning. “When I realized [that I had won], I didn’t really know what to think,” Shi said. “I had too much adrenaline running through my mind, but then later on, it sunk in, so I was pretty happy.” Shi entered the Siemens Competition, run by the Siemens Foundation and the College Board, by submitting a project on motion planning and robotics. The competition screens through science research conducted and submitted by high school students, with competitors advancing from the regional level to the national competition. Over this recent summer, Shi began working in Texas A&M University’s Parasol Laboratory, run by Dr. Nancy Amato. The lab, which focuses on motion planning, provided a backdrop for Shi’s research as he worked on the Motion Planning Problem, Shi said.

“The Motion Planning Problem is basically [when] we have a robot, or really any kind of movable object, and we have an environment of movable obstacles. We want to get this movable object from some point to some other point,” Shi said. “We need to do so with a valid path, where valid usually means collision-free--the object isn’t going through walls; it isn’t colliding with itself, either.” Shi’s two mentors, Amato and one of her Ph.D. students, Jory Denny, guided Shi through the process, beginning with a “crash course” on the topic at the beginning of Shi’s summer at the lab, Denny said. Shi started his research with a brainstorming session with his mentors, and he eventually decided to combine two algorithms that “would have good potential,” Shi said. Amato described Shi’s new algorithm as a “lazy version.” “The non-lazy version of the algorithm would go ahead and map the entire space in advance, even when you might only need to work in a small portion of that space, so it’d end up potentially doing a lot more work than was needed to solve the problem you actually cared about,” Amato said. “The lazy version of the algorithm that Kensen worked on only spends the effort to refine the map of the space in the region that’s needed for a particular [problem], so it’s much more efficient.” Both Amato and Denny stress the impact Shi’s algorithm has on real-world applications, enabling the navigation of difficult environments by robots with far less work involved. The algorithm could be applied to video games, factories, or even home settings. Shi, who started learning computer programming in middle school,

Senior Kensen Shi holds up the medal he received from the Siemens foundation. Shi PHOTO BY MICHELLE LIU

found both his experience in the lab and during the competition process enriching and educational. “I thought the project was very inspiring. When I first joined the lab, I didn’t really know what science research was going to be like, and now I know,” Shi said. “Going to the competition has expanded my view of science and my appreciation for it, because I saw the other great projects that other people have done in diverse fields of science.” Receiving support from both his mentors and his parents, Shi put both time and effort into his project. “I think at one point I estimated [putting] 400 hours [into this],” Shi said. “Let’s bump that up to 500 because that estimate was a long time ago.” Eventually, the work paid off for all in-

volved. “We are thrilled, completely thrilled,” Amato said. “There were maybe ten students or so crammed into my office to watch [a webcast of the awards ceremony] altogether; it was so exciting.” But with all the achievements and honors, Shi enjoys the calm back in College Station and plans to continue on the path he’s chosen. “I definitely want to continue research in college,” Shi said. “Before I started this project, I had already decided I want to major in computer science. I guess this reinforces that.” Others see Shi’s potential as well. “He’ll change the world,” Denny said. “I really have no doubt that he’ll reach every one of his goals.”


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the roar | news | 5

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Charity begins at home, continues at Consol eva araujo | assistant editor Several clubs help promote the importance of serving others by giving back to the community this holiday season. Leo Club and Student Council get involved in charity work to make the season jolly for the needy. President of Leo Club senior Jeana Nam says the club does its part in spreading holiday cheer for children in the Grimes County Lions club located in Navasota by donating toys. “These kids qualify for free lunches at their schools and don’t usually get to receive presents at Christmas,” Nam said. “They really appreciate the toys that we give.”            Nam says the club has had a successful toy count every year since they began the toy drive in 2009. She says the drive has improved greatly with each year. “Every time we drop off the toys, the lady who collects them from us bursts into tears,”

Nam said. “She always tells us how much it means to the kids and how much they love getting Christmas presents they wouldn’t otherwise receive. It’s very touching.” In previous years, Leo Club has mostly taken donations from people within the club and faculty members. However, this year toy drive donations are encouraged school wide. The Leo Club, of course, isn’t the only school organization that will be serving this holiday season. Junior Kathleen Dill says Student Council takes its part in charity work with the community wide service project Little Big Event. “This year we are helping out at various nursing homes, and Hope Pregnancy center. As a whole we make fleece tie blankets which we donate them to the center at the end of Little Big Event week,” Dill said. “We also are cleaning up Central Park, and spending an afternoon with the kids at St. Joseph’s. This is all just to help give back to the community.” Little Big Event began on December 3rd and will ended on the 7th. Student Council

will also be participating in the Tiny Tim fundraiser on December 17th. All of the funds will go directly to an organization called Project Sunshine that benefits kids in need at the school. “We just carol around and go to different neighborhoods asking for donations,” Dill said. “Everyone in Student Council is involved and encouraged to come out and help. It’s a tradition.” Interact Club will also contribute a helping hand by selling lollipops for the Still Creek Ranch orphanage. Interact Vice President senior Nafis Deen says the club will sell the candy until the end of finals week and encourages students to help them raise the money needed to impact the orphanage. “I think as social beings we have a duty to making the community better,” Deen said. “Especially during Christmas time because not everyone gets the opportunities we do and it’s very important for us to make sure everyone has a chance.”

GIVING BACK: • Donations to Leo Club benefit the Grimes County Lions club in Navasota. Toys will be given to kids who qualify for free lunches. • Proceeds from Student Council’s Tiny Tim caroling fundraiser go to Project Sunshine to help Consol students in need. • The Little Big Event, hosted by Student Council, provided Hope Pregnancy Center with blankets. Nursing home volunteer work and cleaning Central Park also took place. • Profits from the lollipops sold by Interact will help the Still Creek Ranch orphanage.

December graduation offers seniors early admission to college shilpa saravanan | news editor When Consol’s graduating seniors walk the stage and receive their diploma at the big ceremony in June, a few select students who began the year with that class will not be present. They’re not dropouts, and they weren’t behind—in fact, they will be far ahead, already on their way to a degree. Senior Kourtney Brooks plans to graduate in December to take advantage of the opportunity to

start her freshman year of college early. “I didn’t want to stay at Consol when I could be in college,” Brooks said. Brooks took English IV in the summer in order to fulfill her English requirement, but she met all other graduation requirements during her time in high school. She will begin her freshman year of college at Texas A&M in January and will complete it over the summer. To put Brooks’s situation

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in perspective: when the class of 2013, her would-be graduating class, enters its freshman year of college, Brooks will start her sophomore year as a business major. Fellow early graduate senior Serena Concepcion will graduate with the same number of credits as Brooks, but with less extra work on her part. She transferred to Consol from California, and when the school processed her credits, it found that she had earned high school credits from some of the

courses she had taken in middle school in California. Thus, she spent most of her classes with people a year ahead of her and formed close friendships with them. “I wanted to be able to be with them,” Concepcion said. “I didn’t want to be left alone without any of my close friends in senior year.” She did not know that the extra credits she had earned in California enabled her to graduate early until her counselor informed her of the option.

“When [my counselor] told me that, I became really determined,” Concepcion said. “I wanted to work for it.” Concepcion only had to take one extra class in night school to fulfill her elective requirement for December graduation. She will follow a similar path to Brooks, beginning her freshman year of college in January and completing it in the summer.

Tiger Theatre presents:

Warped Improv Troupe

you bring the party, we’ve got the quirks.

Friday, December 14 Saturday, December 15 AMCHS Auditiorium $5.00

The Roar welcomes our newest staff members

Tiffany Hammond, Lisa Liu, Rojas Oliva, Aaron Ross, Channing Young & Annie Zhang


6 | news | the roar

friday, dec. 14, 2012

New schoolwide food closet relieves hunger, unites community eva araujo | assistant editor AVID teacher Grace Stanford decided to start a school food pantry that will benefit impoverished families and end hunger at Consol. “The Brazos Valley Food Bank was interested in starting a food pantry at the school,” Stanford said. “They have known that there are needs and were just looking for somebody and some way to get it going.” Stanford gives out approximately 100 packages of peanut butter crackers a week due to hunger in her classrooms and recognizes that something needs to be done. “There are kids who eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the school because they get free reduced lunch and there is no food at home,” Stanford said. “Last year a group of teachers fed a family all year. So this was a solution to that problem.” Stanford says the food pantry is a work in progress and will begin January of this year. The only issue is

money. “So far no group has given us money,” Stanford said. “But I know that a few teachers have indicated that they are going to make donations. I think we have about three hundred dollars right now.” Stanford says that Leo Club has offered to be the service organization that will bag the food. Because of privacy issues, teachers will be the ones providing the service of handing out the food to the students. The food closet will be available to students after school on Thursdays and also before and after school on Fridays once a month. Stanford says the food will be given out until it is gone. “We are going to focus mainly on dry foods that have easily accessible proteins,” Stanford said. “We are not going to keep anything that has to be refrigerated. All the food has to be boxed, bagged or canned.” Stanford encourages every student to get involved in helping fight hunger at

Consol. “I would just love for it to be a completely student based and run organization,” Stanford said. “Any student who wants to volunteer can. I really hope for all the clubs in the school to get involved as well.” The Brazos Valley Food Bank contributes a helping hand to make the food closet possible. Shannon Avila, program manager of the food bank, believes in Consol’s effort to eliminate hunger. “There is so much enthusiasm from Consol for this project,” Avila said. “The mission of the Brazos Valley Food Bank is to alleviate hunger in the Brazos Valley by distributing food to our neighbors in need through a network of hunger relief efforts.” Avila expresses her happiness for Consol’s movement towards hunger elmination. “Helping with Consol’s efforts is a perfect fit,” Avila said. “It’s exciting to watch it come together with the ef-

Students prepare bags of food at the Brazos Valley Food Bank on Dec. 7. The Brazos Valley Food Bank has been in business since 1985. PHOTO BY RACHEL KAGLE

forts of Ms. Stanford, Consol staff and CSISD administration.” Principal Gwen Elder believes the food pantry will benefit anyone who becomes involved with the project. “I think it would serve as another positive entity on our campus,” Elder said. “It is difficult to learn when you are hungry and do not know where your next meal will come from. A majority

of our student organizations serve those outside of our school community. However, the food closet will allow these organizations to directly impact students on our campus.” The school is aware of the privacy guidelines that must be followed by the FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) while running the food pantry. Elder says the school will

try its best to make sure no information concerning the families who will be receiving the food be made public. “Approximately 35% of our students are on free and reduced lunch and some of these students do not receive adequate nutrition and/or go hungry when they are not at school,” Elder said. “The food closet would serve as a resource and provide food to students that are in need.”

Sexual education remains limited, abstinence policies continue anne finch | assistant editor Consol recently removed from its list of required course credits the basic health class, the curriculum of which contained lessons on personal and emotional health, including sex education. Coach and health teacher Cydryce McMillian, however, still teaches the class, with a decreased focus on the sex education aspect. “We don’t really cover [sex education] in health education because it’s such a touchy subject,” McMillian said. “In the educational field, if we do touch on it, I speak primarily about abstinence.” Child development teacher Monica Smith agreed that abstinence has become Consol’s primary method in dealing with sex education in personal health classes. “State law has really tied our hands on what we can teach and what we cannot teach,” Smith said.

“In Child Development we talk more about decision-making [with] responsibility.” Smith is also the teacher and district coordinator for the Parenting Ed class, part of a district-wide program geared specifically towards the teen parents in College Station. Smith said that unlike in the Child Development classes, the ten to twelve Parenting Ed students from various schools in the district are taught basic forms of birth control. “[We] have two different clientele. For child development we talk about abstinence, abstinence, abstinence,” Smith said. “In teen development you’re talking to moms who already have children. There’s two different needs there. Two different classes there. There are these girls who already have a child. Have they already been sexually active? Yes, they have been.” McMillian, however, said that with the exception of student ques-

tions she prefers the school’s method of promoting abstinence. “[Abstinence] is 100% effective, 100% of the time,” McMillian said. “We talk about that, but the kids and I get pretty close, we have good relationships and they’ll bring up questions but I keep preaching about abstinence which is the safest way to go all the time.” Teen Living teacher Erin Stutts also fields various student questions based on the Teen Living curriculum’s basic coverage of sex education. Although Teen Living teaches much of the information taught in a middle school health class, along with additional information on life skills such as cooking and financial management, Stutts said that students often show interest in sex education. “In Teen Living, sometimes they get the giggles...but they’re usually very interested, and curious,” Stutts said. “They realize ini-

tially that ‘we already learned this in seventh grade!’ but then they realize that they don’t know it. Once we start talking more about it they realize ‘oh, I don’t know this stuff,’ and a lot of times students will come ask me questions in private or write down questions that they have, and

“We focus on how to live a healthy life and we talk about doing that from head to toe.”

Cydryce McMillian their questions that they have are so interesting, because it’s very clear that they don’t understand how babies are made and that they want to know, and we can guide them to other sources.” Stutts said that the information

on sex education given to students is limited due in part to the cultural and religious diversity at Consol. “We have to be very careful about recognizing that everybody comes from a different family background and different families have different views on what they want their child to learn,” Stutts said. “We teach [Teen Living] in a respectful way…We’ve never had a parent say ‘I don’t want my kid to learn it’, but if they did that’d be fine. We’d come up with an alternate assignment. But generally, students are just really curious and want to know.” McMillian stated that classes such as Health and Teen Living do not have to focus on the sex education aspect of teenage life to benefit students at Consol. “We don’t focus a lot on sex in my class,” McMillian said. “We focus on how to live a healthy life and we talk about doing that from head to toe.”

the roar | viewpoints | 7

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Surplus of exclusivity puts damper on holidays

Every year around Thanksgiving, the “bah humbugs” begin as everyone complains about Christmas coming too early. Admittedly, it is hard to sing Frosty the Snowman when it is still 80 degrees outside, but it is the months of advertising and sales that seem to really grind those Grinches’ gears. Working for a large corporation that receives Christmas merchandise with the Halloween shipment, I am no stranger to the long, drawn-out holiday season. According to the critics, Christmas has evolved into this commercialized holiday centering on gifts, a fleet of reindeer and a redcoated beardy fellow. Every year, without fail, I’ll hear a continuous stream of complaints that “the reason for the season” Cope has been forgotten as Artwork by Joy Christmas has transformed. As a kid, we’d always attend my dad’s Christmas work parties. Every year, I’d sit on my dad’s coworker’s lap, convinced by the red suit and beard, telling him all about the ponies and whatever else my five-year-old heart desired. That is, until Santa was banished from the parties in favor of renaming the gatherings to a more politically-correct title of “winter solstice party.” And let me just say from a rather oblivious seven year old’s perspective: What is a “winter solstice” and why did we kick out Santa? The Roar 2012-2013 Staff Editor-in-Chief: Laura Everett Managing Editor: Dana Branham Senior Editor: Devin Dakota Executive Editor: Rachel Kagle Photography Editor: Janet Ni Opinions Editor: Isabel Drukker Features Editor: Michelle Liu Sports Editor: Nicole Farrell News Editor: Shilpa Saravanan Assistant Editor: Anne Finch Staff Reporter: Eva Araujo Faculty Adviser: Michael Williams

Assistant Adviser: Teresa Laffin

The Roar Editorial BoardBoard The Roar Editorial Laura Everett, Editor-in-Chief

Dana Branham, Managing Editor Isabel Drukker, Opinions Editor

The Advanced Journalism class is 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, 2011 and 2012 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.

Absence of sex-ed causes concern With no required sexual education class, or even a mandatory health class, A&M Consolidated offers its students only an encouragement to remain abstinent. While there is nothing wrong or harmful about abstaining from sex, there is potential danger in abstaining from learning about it. In previous years, students entering high school would take a health class, which educated students about self-hygiene, fitness, how to manage sickness and the health related effects of having sex. However, this class has recently been eliminated from requirements for graduating. The ultimate results of this action could greatly impact the lives of many young prospective students. Informing students would have no negative affect on the school as a whole, or the individuals who make it up. Teaching a student of the consequences of sex could, actually, create a stronger motivation for him or her to stay abstinent. Even if a student does choose to become sexually active, the class would only better the chances that he or she takes the proper steps to avoid pregnancy or contracting an STD. As for now, students are passing through high school without valuable information that, in truth, could actually save lives. However, this should not stand as an excuse for obliviousness over the subject. Even students who do not foresee themselves becoming sexually active in the near future should research the subject. Staying abstinent is an understandable choice. Staying ignorant is not.


laura everett editor-in-chief

Santa’s banishment caused my first major qualm with Christmas: it was exclusive. You had to be a Christian to celebrate. You were expected to know what “nativity” meant or you were damned to a mere “happy holidays” instead. This idea expanded a few years later when I saw a news broadcast on the “Keep Christ in Christmas” campaign. The angry Christmas-goers spoke out against the use of the word “Xmas” while endorsing the holiday’s emphasis on the religious context. And this is fair, considering it is a religious holiday, after all. But the whole idea had a rather adverse effect on me. Amongst all of the banners promoting “the real meaning of Christmas,” I found my own, much different meaning – a meaning so different that I actually make a point of calling the holiday “Chrissmas” or “Xmas” to avoid confusion. The purpose of Christmas, in my mind at least, is about bringing people together, promoting communal charity and taking a break to relive the childhood holiday magic that we so easily abandon the other eleven months of the year. It’s about putting money in the red bins despite the obnoxious bell-ringing of the Salvation Army. It’s about tacky sweaters and mittens and penguin socks and earmuffs, for whoever still owns some of those. It’s about finding the perfect this or that for your best friend and shaking a wrapped parcel before you open it. It’s about coveting your neighbor’s elaborate light decorations. It’s the lamb and the roast potatoes and your grandma’s gravy. It’s long distance phone calls and sending out cards with Mom photoshopped in because she took the only decent shot of the rest of the family that year. So, with all due respect to the origin of the holiday, I am a firm believer in letting the holiday serve whatever purposes best suit you without confining your heart to being two sizes too small. Laura Everett is Editor-In-Chief of The Roar newspaper. If you have any opinions regarding Christmas or Xmas, email her at

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

8 | viewpoints | the roar

Service projects contain meaning besides obligation when Sunday came around, which is the day Hall House takes place every week, I started getting the same text messages: “Um... I have A LOT of homework so...” or “Well, I’m really tired so...”. Discouraged, I realized that a lot of my eva araujo friends would “talk the talk” but wouldn’t “walk the walk” assistant editor which is really cheesy, but true. I feel like a lot of people do that. In the summertime or around Christmas most people dive into service projects because those are the seasons to give back. Then There it is, that old decrepit structure. There it is, with it fades. The motivation is no longer there, and why its white paint peeling off the walls, while the wind blows not? People need help just as much as they did the making it shiver and creak in the cold air. There it is, month before or even more so now because waiting right by the blank-faced old man who sits so many have forgotten them outside the in his faded white plastic chair outside of the giving season. I hear people say, “This is cemetery. There it is. Hall House. the year I get involved in helping To most, this would sound like the out the community” but then opening scene of some creepy horror they remember that English movie, but this is no place for ghosts essay they have been putting and ghouls. Instead it is a place for off until the last minute or hope and new beginnings. It is Hall that history project and House. A place where people can service gets put on the list of turn something sad into something procrastination. happy. A place where others can It shouldn’t be like change the life of a child whose this. Why should we let dad left when he was just born, something so important and or a child who has nothing to eat necessary be a once-a-year when she gets home. A place where thing? Instead of being too individuals can make a difference. busy playing video games I began helping at Hall House or even sleeping, be too busy this past summer after becoming making the world a better place Artwork by Merritt Nolte-Roth extremely motivated by a few camp to play video games and sleep. counselors I met on a mission trip to Mississippi Start by joining a club, like this past July. They encouraged me to get involved in some kind of local mission work. I couldn’t just Habitat for Humanity or Leo. Trust me, helping out here and sit around anymore pretending that there was nothing to there around the community could change a person’s life be done in this town, that there was no one in need of help. and will definitely change yours. Being part of something That’s when I heard about Hall House, which I can honestly more than yourself and seeing a world where you are not at say has changed my life. The fact that I, a teenager, can help the center will only add to the value you find in yourself and the lives of other people that need it is such a blessing to me. the value you add to the world. Eva is an assistant editor for The Roar. Share your opinOf course I had to share this incredible gift with my ions on community service with her at the.roar.araujo@ friends, who said they had been wanting to get involved with helping the community ever since this summer. But


friday, dec. 14, 2012



What is the worst gift you have ever received?


“I broke my leg, and then got a bike.” Harrison Curtis, freshman

“A bag of soggy popcorn at a swimming white elephant party and it was really nicely wrapped but really soggy.” Shreya Shankar, sophomore

“I got a dog chew toy. They thought it was a plush doll.” Sabrina Hernandez, junior

by merritt nolte-roth “A teddy bear wearing a Justin Bieber shirt. If you pressed its hand, it sang.”

“Resolutions” What is your top priority? A+

grades 43% 45%

sleep 31%

Ryan Lawrence, senior


social life 24% 320 students surveyed

“A portrait of me drawn by my grandmother. It didn’t even look like me.” Mrs. Morris, English teacher

the roar | viewpoints | 9

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Opinions form outside religious, familial, traditional influence devin dakota senior editor

We are our parents. Daughters become their mothers and sons become their fathers. Teenagers refuse to admit it, but the older we get, the more our gestures, speech, and reactions start to mimic those of our parents’. But one thing that we don’t have to grow into are their beliefs. The recent political election has taught me one thing: our generation doesn’t think for itself. For months, I watched candidates make speeches about their stance on issue after issue. It wasn’t a surprise when students starting talking about these topics at school. Class discussions about anything controversial would turn hostile and ridiculous when students started expressing opinions they obviously didn’t form themselves. Students were limited in their intelligent conversations due to the lack of passion for arguments and the constant repetition of singular points. Students today rely on their parents for information; they don’t seek it out themselves. This “laziness” that our generation is defined by is only reinforced when we refuse to think for ourselves. Too often, we stand up for our parents’ arguments before we realize what they really mean, or how they relate to us. We base our beliefs off of everything that is already pre-determined for us. Religion is another tool that shapes our beliefs. Though religion is a beautiful thing, it can be harmful when people start to use it as a platform for all their beliefs. Faith and religion guide us on the way we view things, but when we rely wholly on our religious background, we immediately limit ourselves from forming new ideas. Growing up, we

believe what our parents tell us as the truth. As we age and we have to know what is going on in the world around us. mature, we need to develop our own stances. We need to be As teenagers, our brains are still maturing, and sure to branch out and become individuals. Opinions the more we know the more our brains that our parents have are not transferred to shape and transform our different opinus. It is our job to become well-rounded ions. Experience guides us into our views individuals and know that what we on everything. As young adults with little stand for is what we actually experience in the “real world,” we need to be believe. open-minded and accepting to new It’s easy to ideas and beliefs. Parents have become wrapped already formed their opinions up in the opinions about issues due to their life expressed in your experience and maturity. household. Kids Most of us have yet to have trust their parents had life-changing moments when it comes to that determine our beliefs everything else, so and morals. Our views can it seems to make change in one session of Philsense to agree osophical Chairs, and with them when it that’s a good thing. comes to political and Experimenting controversial issues. with different The platforms prestances and determined for us like learning the religion or economic good and status are hard to bad sides resist. In preparation for to any arour futures, we need to be gument is able to accept new things something that we aren’t used to. young adults Learning and forming our need to do to own opinions is a step in the become well-rounded individuArtwork by Merritt Nolte-Roth direction we have to go. als. It’s easy to be assigned an opinion, We need to get out but it’s smart to form one. and educate ourselves. Knowledge Devin is the Senior Editor of The Roar. won’t happen automatically. If we want to be Share your opinions on your opinions with her knowledgeable and make educated decisions, at

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: How is abuse of prescription medicine a problem at Consol? Matthew Tipton, junior: I have never heard of such a problem.

Alex Coopersmith, sophomore: I have heard that abuse of ADD and ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall have caused students who have used themt to score significantly higher on the SAT and ACT than they would have without them. Lucas Cadle, junior: I’ve seen a lot of kids use them to help them study.

Add your opinion and see more responses: Friend Roar Newspaper on Facebook.

Paper Clips By Joy Cope

“Finals Week”

10 | viewpoints | the roar

{opposing viewpoints} YES

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Should tradition be altered to benefit the environment?


by Janet Ni, photography editor

by Michelle Liu, features editor

With the snap of cold weather comes the click of winter holidays, festive green and red popping out onto driveways and mantles like clockwork. But, with the holiday spirit comes a low chant from behind your back, watching you at Target and Wal-Mart: environmentalism. The protesters, these “go-green” promoters, aren’t putting up with any of this.Don’t buy that toy. Don’t get that tree. Don’t do this, don’t do that. Step a toe out of the line, and all the polar bears die, all the penguins flounder, all the glaciers melt. Increasingly, amid the larger picture of global warming and other environmental controversy and concern, a new fight against holiday consumerism has emerged. We shouldn’t substitute familiarity and tradition for environmental trendiness. Why aggressively target the holidays, when there are eleven other perfectly good months of the year? To focus on the consumerism of one specific time frame is commendable, but what about thinking of the rest of the year? What masks itself as saving the planet is often more deceptive than it seems. For example, buying fake Christmas trees is actually more detrimental to the environment than going to the local tree yard and picking out a real tree. The real trees are renewable and biodegradable--you can’t say that about most plastic trees. And, of course, trees and wreaths are easily recyclable--many cities have curbside pickup programs. Making fake trees involves, of course, factories (and then follows pollution, carcinogens and the like). Real trees leave less of a carbon footprint than their plastic cousins. Blindly following the environmental trend serves only to hinder the cause. Simply put, subjugating tradition by not doing research might not always turn out well. Yes, holiday shopping and travel tax our environment, but our role is to pay attention, not to blindly go along with the shouts and murmurs on whatever’s got “eco-” tagged in front of it. Although the holidays can be commercialized, the tradition of giving isn’t going anywhere, and with moderation, no harm is done. So, sit by that fire (it’s okay that it isn’t that efficient) and breathe in the smell of that piney, real Christmas tree.

I love Christmas. I know everyone says that, but I really mean it. I started listening to my Michael Buble Christmas album in September this year, and that’s late for me. As a firm advocate of any and all things Christmas, I adore decorating the tree. I anticipate uncovering ornaments that my family has collected from Christmas break trips and chuckling at clumsily glued popsicle stick ornaments from elementary school. Amidst the family bonding and whatnot, no one in my family really notices, nor cares that the tree is plastic. Nothing puts a downer on my Christmas cheer more than seeing discarded conifers lying on curbs the days following the twenty fifth, ready to be sent to a tree graveyard. Don’t get me wrong; I am all about tradition. I think it’s awesome and important to our culture that we continue to participate in historical customs. And I’m sure people had a dandy time in the eighteenth century picking out a tree and not having to worry about pollution from pesticides or deforestation. Unfortunately, we presently have reason to be concerned with both. Not only is Christmas tree production essentially growing trees just to kill them, but the pesticides are harmful to surrounding organisms such as beneficial insects and fish. Lastly, perhaps this is me being my frugal self, but even I’m not Christmas-crazy enough to spend twenty to forty dollars on a basically dead tree every year. Moreover, plastic trees fulfill the same purpose as real conifers; there are setbacks, but those can be easily fixed. Doesn’t smell like a real tree? That’s what Glade Plug-ins are for. Just bothers you that it doesn’t feel real? Well, go buy the Michael Buble Christmas album with some of the money you have saved; it’ll cheer you right back up! In the end, whether the tree is plastic or not really shouldn’t matter; a fake tree isn’t going to spoil the Christmas spirit. If you decide to skip going to the tree farm this year, Christmas lights aren’t all going to go dead, ABC Family isn’t going to stop airing those creepy clay-mations of Rudolph, and your whole family isn’t going to refuse to come to your house because of your faux conifer. I think we should all do the environment a favor and put it over tradition for once, because we’ll all have our two weeks of bliss regardless.

student responses. The Roar surveyed 84 students to learn their opinions on tradition. Do you value tradition around the holidays?

87% 13%

Do you believe tradition should have priority over progress?

“ “

To an extent. It depends on what the “progress” is.

No 35% Yes 65%

Justin Hyatt, freshman

No, I think if there is a better way to

Do you believe tradition can be altered and still have the same meaning?

How strict are you about preserving tradition?

do something, than we should adopt and adjust to it and get over the tradition. Progress helps us more than



the “comfort” of tradition. Colin Wells, sophomore

73% are flexible

20% are strict

7% do not have any traditions


the roar | snapshots | 11

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Unique sport teaches responsibility, alleviates aggression devin dakota | senior editor Racing across the ice and nimbly sliding past opponents, ice hockey players have one thing in mind: the goal. However, ice hockey isn’t all about the scoreboard. The requirements exceed those of many other sports. “You use everything to play the sport,” senior Jordan Brown said. “You have to be talented in all aspects.” Ice hockey requires a unique combination of skills and a good amount of physical effort.

Senior Jordan Brown races a teammate for possession of the puck. Brown has been playing hockey for about eight years. PHOTO BY JANET NI The lack of attention creates less competition for ice hockey players in Texas. “It’s more competitive to get on better teams because there are [fewer] teams,” Torres said. That lack of players can increase expenses for the already costly sport. “It’s a pretty expensive sport,” Brown said. “[Everything like] skates, sticks, pads, being [in the league], traveling and extra ice time all costs money. Each piece of equipment is towards the hundred dollar range.” Despite the complications, playing ice hockey presents many benefits. “Hitting [is my favorite part]; I love it,” Brown said. “It’s the biggest aggression reliever I have.” Ice hockey shares the same traits with other team sports that provide the teammates with life lessons.

“It’s taught me to take responsibility for my own actions and focus on improving myself as opposed to what other people should do,” Torres said. “When I started I was always worried about how good people thought I was, and it was a combination of growing up and getting better that helped me realize that I should just play for myself.” Though neither plans to go professional, Torres and Brown both admire their favorite teams. “[Hockey is] so much harder than [players] makes it look,” Brown said. “The NHL players make it look so easy.” The challenges of the sport have not discouraged Brown. “I’ll probably play for the rest of my life [recreationally],” Brown said. “It’s the best sport there is.”


Senior Mark Torres passes the puck at hockey practice. Torres said that hockey has taught him to focus on improving himself. PHOTO BY JANET NI “You have to have a specific skill set,” senior Mark Torres said. “It’s like having a skill set that you would have in baseball or golf, and then adding the physical [impact] of it like football.” The physical requirements for hockey players are very specific. “You can’t just be huge, you have to go down to every end of the ice, you can’t be slow [and] you have to have good hand-eye-coordination. It combines all the skills you need,” Brown said. Aside from the physical aspects, ice hockey players have to deal with certain obstacles. “It’s not as popular as football. Especially here in Texas, it’s off a lot of people’s radar,” Torres said. The conflicting temperatures also present some difficulties. “Sometimes there are a lot of complications with equipment and with the ice,” Torres said. “If you leave the door opened too long, the ice will start to melt.”

Senior Mark Torres executes a drill at the Arctic Wolf Ice Center. Torres said that he plays hockey in two leagues, one in College Station and one in Houston. PHOTO BY JANET NI

12 | student

life | the roar

friday, dec. 14, 20

Bharatanatyamstyle what you need to know:

the dress 1. Blouse (upper part) 2. Pyjama (lower part) 3. Small fan (waist) 4. Pallu (drape over bosom) the jewelry 1. Jumka (earring with upward extension) 2. Oddiyanam (waist band) 3. Nose ring 4. Long necklace 5. Choker 6. 2 arm bands) 7. Colored bangles 8. Ghungroo (musical anklet with metallic bells) 10. Moon shaped hair ornament 11. Sun shaped hair ornament 12. 1 Red stick-on Bindi The bindi is a red or maroon ornamental mark worn in between the eyebrows by girls and women alike.

The ghungroo is a musical anklet, adorned with metallic bells that serve to accentuate the rhythmic nature of Bharatanyam dancing.


Students embrace cultural background, heri janet ni | photography editor

The gentle thrum of a mridangam fills the stage. Murmurs amongst

the crowd quickly fade away. The lights ease on, slowly revealing a dancer, clothed in a bright ensemble and intricate jewelry. And then, a thump. The bells on her anklets make a jingling sound as her heel strikes the floor. Thump. She begins to move her arms and body with the ease of someone who had rehearsed the routine for hours on end. Thump. There is no doubt that sophomore Anisha Datta is a sight to see as she performs a Shiva Padam on November 17. “I enjoy dancing because it makes me unique,” Datta said. Datta is part of the first generation in her family born the in United States, as her parents were born in India and moved here, she said. She began taking lessons in traditional Indian dancing at the age of seven. “My sister had started three years before me and that made me interested too,” Datta said. “I would go to all of the classes and watch.” Dance lessons require quite the commitment, since Datta attends classes every other week in Austin and practices each weekend on her own time. Datta believes traditional dancing has brought her closer to her cultural roots in India. “I know more about my religion because [dancing is] devotional and through dance I have met many people that I can relate to,” Datta said. A couple thousand miles west of India lies sophomore Nora Ebert’s home country, Germany. Ebert is a foreign exchange student with the ASSE international student exchange program and currently lives here with a host family, she said. Along with the new experiences come challenges from being in a totally new environment. “I’m so far away from home and everything is different,” Ebert said. “I miss my family and my friends the most.” Despite the difficulties she faces, Ebert has gained independence from her time here. “I love my family, but I wanted to do something on my own,” Ebert said. Ebert has observed differences in religion, customs, food and schooling between the United States and Germany, she said. This cultural gap will allow Ebert to bring new knowledge back home with her next year. “I will have many new experiences I can

share with everyone else,” Ebert said. “After a year in America, I will have met new people and [experienced] a new culture.” Ebert’s time with the exchange program has also impacted her future. “I realized that there are many things that I like very much about Germany and I’ve never realized, but on the other hand I realized that there are many things that are not that good in Germany,” Ebert said. “I actually want to move to America.” Junior Maryshe Zietsman moved to America from Benoni, South Africa at the age of two, when her father decided to finish his PhD at Texas A&M University.

“Seeing the myriad of opportunities that I have in America reminds me that we moved out of South Africa because I would not have been given those opportunities.” junior Maryshe Zietsman People often express surprise when Zietsman tells them of her heritage. “They’re always like ‘why are you white?’” Zietsman said. “There is definitely a very stereotypical view of what Africans should look like but the truth is South Africa is very much populated by white people [because] it’s a European settlement.” At home, Zietsman and her family speak Afrikaans, a language that is a mixture between German and Dutch, she said. She also commented on the state of living in her home country. “[People] are also shocked about the conditions that we live in there,” Zietsman said. “They think that [we live in] shacks of huts, but we live in houses. It’s very city like over there.” Zietsman misses her family and the food in South Africa the most, she said. However, Zietsman also remembers why her family decided to move to America. “Living in America has definitely pointed out some of the flaws in South Africa,” Zietsman said. “Seeing the myriad of opportunities that I have in America reminds me that we moved out of South Africa because I would not have been given those opportunities.”

Given the chance, Zi want to be the majority race in A “I love speaking another la proud to be South African ev Africa] is going through some now,” Zietsman said. Senior Alex Arreola-Gar pride for his heritage. He is in t of his family to be born in A parents moved here from Mexic Arreola-Garcia has found Mexico that the lifestyle there ap “I enjoy [Mexico] more b tends to be happier, in my o Garcia said. “It feels more at eas Arreola-Garcia noted that United States is not especial traditional Mexican holidays. “There are Mexican hol celebrate, but my parents just a Arreola-Garcia said. However, Arreola-Garcia’s does speak Spanish at home a food on occasion, he said. Arreola-Garcia is noth appreciative of the opportuniti given him. “That’s what I like most: t [go] out of the country and feel Garcia said. Senior Samantha Wang’s the United States from Taiwan part of the first generation born Although Taiwan is technic Wang continues to defend the st “[Taiwanese and Chinese follow the same traditions, bu is [its own] country,” Wang sa their cultures are really sim different.” Though Wang’s family doe Taiwanese/Chinese holidays, W that her family wasn’t parti traditional cultural customs. “My parents are a lot mo than a lot of people who have Wang said. However, Wang’s family language at home, as Wang is fl Chinese and Taiwanese, she said Overall, Wang enjoys being “I wouldn’t like it if [I] co everyone,” Wang said. “I like different.”

the roar | student life | 13

ay, dec. 14, 2012

, heritage

he chance, Zietsman would not jority race in America, she said. ing another language...and I am th African even though [South hrough some rough times right id. Arreola-Garcia also expresses age. He is in the first generation be born in America since his re from Mexico, he said. ia has found from his visits to estyle there appeals to him more. xico] more because everything pier, in my opinion,” Arreolals more at ease there.” ia noted that his family in the not especially festive around an holidays. Mexican holidays we should parents just aren’t really into it,” id. reola-Garcia’s immediate family sh at home and cook Mexican he said. ia is nothing less than he opportunities his culture has


I like most: the fact that I can untry and feel at home,” Arreola-

ntha Wang’s parents moved to from Taiwan, also making her neration born here, she said. wan is technically not a country, o defend the status of the island. and Chinese people] mostly traditions, but I think Taiwan try,” Wang said. “Even though re really similar, [they are]

g’s family does celebrate major e holidays, Wang commented wasn’t particularly strict on al customs. are a lot more Americanized ple who have immigrated here,”

ang’s family still speaks the , as Wang is fluent in Mandarin anese, she said. g enjoys being a minority race. ike it if [I] could identify with said. “I like being unique and



1. Sophomore Anisha Datta practices traditional Indian dancing (called Bharatanatyam dance) on November 29, 2012. Datta began dancing at the age of seven, after watching her sister participate in traditional dancing for three years prior. PHOTO BY JANET NI 2. Junior Maryshe Zietsman displays a krugerrand, a South African gold coin. Zietsman said that the coin, passed down through many generations, was especially important to her mother as her great-great-grandfather was the first president of South Africa. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM 3. Spicy fish-flavored eggplant, a traditional Chinese dish, is plated during a meal at Samantha Wang’s house. Wang’s mother prepared the food. PHOTO BY JANET NI

14 | people | the roar





friday, dec. 14, 2012


Adoption provides loving families, new cultures

isabel drukker | opinions editor Senior Garrett Luedtke has an eighteen-year-old letter he has never read. “[My birthparents] left me this really long letter,” Luedtke said. “I’ll probably read it eventually, [but I haven’t yet because] then it gets real.” Adopted as a baby, Luedtke can only imagine life with a family his current parents, his current grandparents, and his current (also adopted) little brother. This life is enough, however, to keep Luedtke’s letter stowed away somewhere, unopened, though its meaning is something Luedtke carries with him everywhere. “We’re very open about it,” Karen Jacks, Luedtke’s adopted mother, said. Jacks had adopted Luedkte at the age of 27. Through an adoption agency, she had found Luedtke’s parents and understood they wanted a closed adoption. “The day [Luedtke] was born, the answer machine had the little red light blinking, and I pushed the button to hear the message, and it was the adoption agency, and I still remember exactly what Barb [the caller] said,” Jacks said. “She said ‘Your baby was born today… And I just started jumping up and screaming and crying and just freaking out.” Like Luedtke carries the letter, sophomore Megan Rogers of adoptees carries the sense that her adoption left something askew. “You have a lot of questions about your past,” Rogers said. “For some adoptees, they don’t really feel as if they’re different, and then others, like myself, feel like we’re in really awkward situations, many a times.” Rogers explains that this discomfort arises from personal

New mother Karen Jacks shows off her baby boy, Garrett Luedkte, hours after he was born. Jacks arranged a closed adoption for Luedtke, which means that he has virtually no contact with his biological parents. PHOTO PROVIDED BY KAREN JACKS

curiosity about one’s origins, as well as external factors. “I feel like people do look at us when we walk into stores together,” said junior Zoe Phelps, who was also adopted in China and then brought to the States. “But I feel like it helps broaden their perspective.” Phelps also says that when alone with her family, she often forgets the differences in their outward appearances, and that she has many of the same personality traits as her parents. More than anything, Phelps feels like an average American teenager. Still though, appearances may sometimes serve as a reminder of one’s origins. “[For some adoptees], you’re not quite part of one culture, but you’re not quite part of another. You can only be one and not the other, or have a little of both, but still not feel entirely whole,” Rogers said. “It’s a hole that’s really hard to fill up, the emptiness of not having your other culture.” Rogers explains that strangers occasionally expect a certain depth of understanding of Chinese culture from her, though she feels more familiar with American ways of living. To help aid this, Rogers’ parents have always encouraged her to learn about Chinese culture. Likewise, Phelps’ parents encourage her to express any emotions she has about the adoption process in general. “My mom gave me a spiral diary to help me express my feelings about it when I was younger, because it was harder to talk about it when you didn’t know much,” Phelps said. Phelps says that when she was younger, she would often write about what she thought her biological parents looked like, what they were doing, and ultimately, her wanting to meet them. Not all adoptions are similar however. One main difference is that between a closed adoption, in which the child does not know the exact whereabouts of his or her parents, and an open adoption, in which the parents and the child communicate together. Luedtke himself has a closed adoption, but his thirteen-yearold brother, who is in an open adoption, often receives letters and pictures from his birth parents. Still, the two feel comfortable enough to joke around about “yo birth mama.” “I’m cool with being adopted,” Luedtke said. “I’ve never really known anything else.” Phelps agrees to the extent where she is currently unsure if she will ever look for her biological parents. “I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to China and if I do, I’ll go to the orphanage in the town, Wu-hu, that I was born in and I’ll check it out, but I don’t have any urge to look for [my birthparents] or find out who they are,” Phelps said. While organizations exist to help reconnect children with their birth parents, Luedtke has refrained from using one, as well as using Facebook, as has Rogers, who also comments that it may be more difficult to track down her parents, as China’s adoptee program has not been established as long as those of other countries. “Even if I did try to go back and find my [birth] parents, I know that the parents I have now would still love me, and I would feel like they are the parents I’ve always known and loved,” Rogers said. Like the love Rogers feels for her parents, Jacks says that she feels no less like Luedtke’s mother because she adopted him, as from the first day, she has felt the connection between the two. “[The first day I had him] I just really held him a lot,” Jacks said. “I was madly in love with him and still am. He was beautiful and precious and such a blessing from God.”

South African


Freshman Sam McKenzie was adopted recently at the age of 14. Although he likes his new life in College Station, he had a rather long journey from his previous home in South Africa.

“I’m trying to fit in,” McKenzie said. “I’m black and my family is white.” Although blending in with his new family and Consol’s vast population is, understandably, a challenge, McKenzie admits that he does not particularly miss living in South Africa.

“I’m still getting used to it,” McKenzie said. “American schools are amazing.”

16 | people | the roar

friday, dec. 14, 2012

She was a normal third grader. But after getting diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome and becoming paralyzed, Kyndall Foust was forced to find her true strength. PHOTO BY LAURA EVERETT

Overcoming physical, emotional obstacles increases confidence devin dakota | senior editor As a third grader, she slowly began feeling the effects of Guillain–Barré syndrome. Foust’s inability to move the left side of her body increased every day, and with time, became impossible. “I started walking slower, and then I couldn’t run, and then I couldn’t go upstairs, then one day I couldn’t move my arm or open my eye on the left side,” Foust said. “They told me that if they would have found it one day later, I would have died.” Foust traveled to many different doctors before being admitted into Children’s Hospital in Dallas. “Everyone was crying in the hospital when I was admitted into Children’s,” she said. “It was hard seeing my family cry; I knew something was really wrong.” The ten-year-old Foust spent a year and a half living in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, which left her with memorable experiences. “I remember one time I [wanted] to take a shower [by myself]. I fell and cut my head open but nobody came in for two hours. They had to give me stitches,” she said. “That was the hardest [challenge] when I had to do things on my own, and I didn’t know if I was going to get better or if this was how [it was going to be] forever.” Aside from several traumatic experiences, Foust says her stay in the hospital was somewhat enjoyable. “They were so nice; Children’s Hospital is one of the best hospitals in Texas. They had museums and game rooms,” she said. “I got kicked out of bingo because I won every time.” Doctors began to tell Foust that she would never walk again, and mentioned amputation for her non-functioning legs. However, that pushed Foust to work harder, even when nobody knew. “When my parents were away, I wasn’t allowed to get up and walk by myself, but I would anyway,” Foust said. “It hurt really bad, I [kept asking] myself, ‘Why? Why can’t I do this anymore?’ I just kept trying.” Returning to school in the fourth grade created serious complications. “I remember getting so sick because everybody would push me back and forth really hard,” Foust said. “Some peo-

ple would make fun of me, but I didn’t think about it, it just pushed me more to work harder.” Her condition forced her out of generally easy parts of school like Physical Education. She laughs and said, “I juggled a lot.” Her father’s career in construction forced the family to move often, 21 times in Foust’s life. “It was hard moving to different schools because everyone would ask why I was in a wheelchair,” Foust said. Classmates and family members started behaving differently around Foust because of her illness. “Some people were nicer to me. People would offer to carry my books, sometimes I took advantage of it more than I should,” she said. “I got mad when people were just feeling sorry for me.” Her condition also created a separation between her and her siblings. “My siblings kind of treated me differently. They’d ask me if I wanted to go outside and play and I couldn’t. My brother and I started to drift because he would go off and do things and I would be at home,” Foust said. “It was just hard because I couldn’t do stuff with my family anymore.” After years of challenges, the ten year old started to get her life back, step by step. “I knew my family was getting stronger, I started to have more friends, I was always looking at the future and thinking about what I could do later on,” Foust said. “I remember I would keep a chart and see how many steps I could take each day.” Foust began improving at a quick pace. “I remember one day, I walked [myself] into school,” she said. “After that, I had to have my chair, but it made me really happy.” Her progress led her back into the life of sports that she used to be so involved with. “What I loved the most was skiing. In the sixth grade, I got on them again. I was about to cry. I was so scared that I would fall and not be able to hold myself up, but I did,” Foust said. “That was amazing.” Her unexpected recovery was just the beginning for Foust. After getting back on her feet, she became just as active as ever. She has involved herself with Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, Softball, Student Council and Ger-

man Club throughout high school. “My planner helps a lot,” she said. “After one season I go to the next one, so I never have a day off.” Foust’s drive to be involved is the effect of her past experiences. When asked why she involves herself with so much, she said “I have the opportunity to; I do it [because I can].” Foust’s responsibilities and expectations don’t stop when she walks out of the school building. “I’m the mom,” she said, speaking about her home-life. “I make everybody’s lunch, I clean everyone’s room, do laundry, and go grocery shopping,” she said. “I try to make sure everyone’s okay.” Her parental responsibilities haven’t stopped her from looking towards her father for inspiration and guidance. “My dad has always been our motivator; he’s one of the best people in our lives,” she said. “I trust him with everything, if he said jump, I’d probably jump.” Her motivation to succeed doesn’t come only from her father, but from the experiences in her past. “When I was younger, [kids] would be mean to me. Lots of people would say that I would work the McDonalds’ drive thru, and that I wouldn’t have a life,” she said. “I want to prove people wrong about what they thought about me.” Foust has a 30% chance of getting Guillain–Barré back, a number that scares her each time she begins to feel pain. “When it first started, I had super bad migraines. I’ve never felt that type of pain,” she said. “Every time I have a headache, it still scares me.” Though she still worries about it occasionally, Foust tries to stay positive. “I think I’m a more positive person now. A lot of people tell me that I’m motivating,” she said. “I like being happy. It makes everyone feel better.” Foust looks back at her experiences in a positive light. “I’m thankful for it. It made my relationship with God stronger,” she said. “I’m just really appreciative now.” She now knows the challenges faced in her past created a strength she did not anticipate. “[I know now that] I have great endurance. I didn’t think I could push through, I didn’t think I’d be as strong as I was,” she said. “I know now that if I face another challenge, I’ll be even stronger.”

friday, dec. 14, 2012

the roar | people | 15

Students cope with hardships pancreatic disorder presents rachel kagle | executive editor According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes has two categories, type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes, caused by insulin resistance, is more common in adults. Seniors Conneley Sears and Jessi Ball both suffer from type 1, often called juvenile diabetes. “It most often occurs in childhood and you’re born with the potential to have it. It’s genetic predisposition,” Ball said. “At some point, it’s activated by a virus and your beta cells attack your pancreas and it no longer produces insulin.” Type 1 diabetes differs from type 2 in that there is no cure or way of prevention. “It never goes away,” Sears said. “No matter how hard you try [to] look on the bright side, it’s going to be there.” In order to deal with type 1 diabetes, one must either take insulin injections or use an insulin pump. Both Sears and Ball have insulin pumps, allowing them to easily add insulin to their body when necessary. “There’s so much technology now-a-

days that helps,” Sears said. “I just press a few buttons before I eat and I’m good.” The pump makes up for inability of the pancreas to produce insulin by adding the required amount. “It’s a little machine that has insulin and you have to program how much you want [the machine] to give,” Ball said. “It

or not be able to do something because of it and I have to,” Ball said. “You can control [whether you study] for that test or you can control [whether you stay in shape], but if suddenly [your blood sugar drops], there’s nothing you can do about it.” Her involvement in sports increases her struggles with diabetes.

“[Diabetes has] definitely influenced the kind of person I am. It’s made me have to work for things and it’s shaped my character. It’s just sometimes a vicious cycle.”

senior Jessi Ball automatically gives a set amount that your pancreas would produce. When you eat, your pancreas would automatically release the sugar so you have to tell it to do that.” Ball feels that the worst part of having diabetes is the inability to control it. “When I’m playing sports or about to take a test and my blood sugar gets low, I don’t want to be the person to have to stop

• In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.

“Volleyball is hard and our coach is very tough. There’s a high expectation and it’s hard when you have to be the one to quit and sit out,” Ball said. “I know that my teammates understand, but at the same time, I’m sure it kind of frustrates them, too.” The physical side effects are just another difficulty to cope with, she said.

“I get a little lightheaded and I’ll get hungry or dizzy and I get kind of shaky and I know [my blood sugar is] dropping. I can go check and if it’s low, I just have to have something with sugar in it like Gatorade,” Ball said. “When it’s high, I have to go get more insulin. I’ll put my pump back on and press buttons and I’m good.” Outside of physical health issues, people with diabetes face obvious expenses. “My health insurance is very expensive,” Sears said. “The supplies [are] as well.” However, despite expenses and struggles, diabetes has become an addition to daily routines. “It’s definitely influenced the kind of person I am. It’s made me have to work for things and it’s shaped my character,” Ball said. “It’s just sometimes a vicious circle.” In spite of the obvious restrictions diabetes imposes, diabetics can still have a sweet tooth. “I really can eat cake,” Sears said. “I promise.”

• In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.

• Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 condition and live long, healthy, happy lives. diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. • Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.

• Type 2 diabetes is most common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and the aged population. source:

losing Z

the roar | health & rec | 17

friday, dec. 14, 2012

r s fo




Sleep deprivation for academic reasons disrupts student life anne finch| assistant editor


student sits at his desk, struggling to finish a round of homework for his Advanced Placement classes. He pauses briefly to send a message to his friend, who is also up studying for the next day’s test. His alarm clock (set to ring at 7 AM) shows the current time: 3 AM. This late night schoolwork is rapidly becoming routine for more Consol students who struggle to balance social lives, extracurricular activities and homework. Senior JD Rockwell is very familiar with this style of low-sleep schedule. Due to both a busy schedule and a natural aversion to sleeping, he said he averages between three and four hours of sleep a night, although the times vary depending on how much work he needs to do. “It differs from week,” Rockwell said. “There could be a week where I get twelve hours of sleep the whole week, or it could be a week where I get more than twenty-four hours of sleep.” He added that he spends anywhere from one to seven hours studying every night for various Advanced Placement classes. Senior Macon Heath, who also said he sleeps an average of four hours a night, also places a full night’s sleep low on his list of academic and social priorities.

“I have a really tough schedule,” Heath said. “I dedicate so much of my time to school [that] I want to have time to myself, and the only time I can have that time is at nighttime when I don’t have other stuff to do.” Heath said years of adherence have allowed him to adjust to this schedule, and that he actually functions better academically with a minimum amount of sleep than with a full night of rest. “When I get more sleep, it’s like I’m more tired the next day,” Heath said. “When I get a decent amount of sleep, it’s weird. My body doesn’t function as well. But whenever I’m functioning on almost no sleep at all, I’m doing great. I’m happy and peppy all day.” Rockwell also said he has adapted to the little sleep he manages to obtain. At first it was really difficult, but now it’s gotten to the point where I’m used to being tired all the time,” Rockwell said. Senior Kaley Brauer admitted that, like Heath, she functioned on an average of four hours a sleep a night in her junior year. Brauer said that with an improved work ethic and a more lenient schedule she is currently able to get at least six hours of sleep a night. “I’d be busy constantly throughout the day,” Brauer said. “A lot of times it was my

own fault, but I’d wait until late at night to start my work, and we had a lot of work to do and consequently I wouldn’t get much sleep. I’m in not as many classes this year and I don’t do as much work, but I’m also trying to do the work earlier.” Unlike the legions of achieving students at Consol who choose to forego sleep to accomplish tasks, junior Sophia Woodward, naturally an early riser, has been going to bed early and completing her classwork early in the morning since her sophomore

“The only time I can have [to myself] is at nighttime when I don’t have other stuff to do.” senior Macon Heath year. “I feel like I’m much more well-rested than my peers,” Woodward said. “I [get] a good eight hours of sleep. It’s very hard for some people to change their sleep schedule, but I’m just so used to it that it doesn’t really seem very different.”

Woodward mentioned that, unlike Heath, a full night’s rest is essential to the maintenance of quality academic work. “Sleep is extremely important,” Woodward said. “I don’t know what I would do without sleep. I need my eight hours of sleep or I will crash and burn, so it’s very important. If I don’t get a good rest, I won’t put out the right work. So if I’m really tired and I have to stay up to do work I’m going to know that’s not the best work I can do. But if I wake up at five and I do it then I know I’ll put out a better product.” Brauer agreed that a full night’s sleep is both healthier than and preferable to many students’ sleep schedules, but also said that many students push themselves to maintain unhealthy sleep routines because it works for them. “Last year I was able to get away with not sleeping that much, staying up late at night and pulling all nighters and still being able to do well on tests and still being able to hang out with my friends,” Brauer said. “It bred into this cycle that I could just keep getting away with it.” Heath said his lack of sleep does not bother him, as finishing his work always takes precedence over rest. “When it comes down to it, I always get my stuff done on time,” Heath said. “That’s a big thing for me.”

sleeping healthily: a how-to Teens need about 9¼ hours of sleep each night to function best (for some, 8 ½ hours is enough).

One study found that only 15% of surveyed teens reported sleeping 8 ½ hours on school nights.

Less sleep heightens the effects of alcohol and can possibly increase use of caffeine and nicotine.

Not getting enough sleep can limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. Source:

18 | health

& rec | the roar

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twist and shout

Sports injuries require recovery, allow for growth michelle liu | features editor

For senior Nicole Kash, one fateful day of doing what she loved left her with numerous visits to doctors, an inability to compete in gymnastics and one seriously messed-up ankle. “There’s no way I can compete, because I won’t ever be allowed to tumble, I won’t ever be allowed to vault, I won’t be able to get up on [the balance beam], because I [might] fall off again and twist [my ankle],” Kash said. “Bars, I could do, but you need to dismount to compete, and there’s no way [I can do that]. So it’s done. It’s done.” In August, Kash fell off a balance beam during a full turn and “ended up rolling [her] ankle and popping three fourths of the ligaments,” she said. Kash said that, after consulting with a orthopedic surgeon, she began physical therapy, following the instructions of her therapist. However, she found discrepancies between the advice and instructions from her therapist and her orthopedic surgeon, the latter of which told her that, through her physical therapy, her ankle had only worsened. “The most difficult thing was definitely being told by my

physical therapist [that] I [would] be back 100% for sure and then being told a couple weeks later by the orthopedic surgeon that no, it’s not even close to true,” Kash said. Like Kash, senior Fran Escalon had to abandon competing in her sport after an injury. In October of her sophomore year, she sustained a concussion while playing soccer for Consol when she collided with another player and fell backwards. As doctors were unable to tell her precisely when she would recover, Escalon was forced to miss four months of school; she had to quit playing soccer due to the dangers of suffering another concussion. Escalon expresses regret, but time has given her a more comprehensive view on her injury and her feelings towards it. “I kind of got over [the incident] because I understand that I can’t play anymore, but it was frustrating,” Escalon said. “I miss [soccer].” Boys cross country and track coach Michael Skinner feels similarly. After competing in the Olympic Trials in 1992 as a marathoner, he developed plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the foot. Skinner made the decision not to pursue surgery and chose instead to “hang ‘em up and not continue to run anymore,” he said.

“Really, the only things I would’ve liked to have accomplished from running were that I would have liked to have broken four minutes in the mile (I ran 4:06), and the other thing would [have been] to make the Olympic team,” Skinner said. However, Skinner felt ready to move on. “I’d been running for a large portion of my life, so it was something that I was kind of ready for to be over, and to just kind of start a new chapter of my life,” Skinner said. For Kash and Escalon, remaining in touch with the sports they once played is still important; they are managers for Consol’s gymnastics and soccer teams, respectively. Kash coaches preschool gymnastics as well, while Escalon keeps tabs on her sport as a fan. Skinner, too, has maintained his love for running in the form of coaching. “I don’t really have any regrets. I feel like I’ve translated that in my passion for coaching,” Skinner said. “I feel like I can still have a lot to give back to the sport; I feel like I can help younger athletes achieve their goals, not just with running but with other aspects of the lives, like the building discipline, focus and drive.”

the numbers on blunders In the United States, about 30 million children and teens participate in organized sports, and about 3.5 million injuries occur each year. The majority of head injuries occur during bicycling,

skateboarding, or skating incidents.


60% of organized


20% of children and

sports-related injuries occur

adolescents participating in

during practice.

sports activities are injured each year, and one in four injuries is considered serious.

Many injuries occur as a result of

falls, being struck by an object, collisions and overexertion during unorganized or informal sports activities. Source:

the roar | sports | 19

friday, dec. 14, 2012

Senior Justin Miller defends against Stony Point on Dec. 4. The Tigers won the game 81-37. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM

Sophomore Derrick Dick leaps for the basket against Stony Point on Dec. 4. Dick scored 11 points for the Tigers in this game. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM

Varsity members’ absence gives junior varsity players confidence, experience dana branham | managing editor Just three varsity basketball players played in the first game of the season. Five of those who were missing were finishing varsity football playoffs, leaving the team significantly short in terms of size as well as experience. Luckily, the junior varsity team was able to sub in and gain experience as they played against highly skilled teams from other schools. Junior Jelani Drummond was one of these JV players who jumped in to help out the varsity team, and believed the experience helped him grow as a player. “The experience for me was slightly difficult, but it was also a great way to work on any weakness that I had,” Drummond said. Coach Richard German said that the situation--JV players playing against varsity teams--was “not ideal,” as

the sub-varsity players were less experienced with the challenges that come with playing difficult teams in a fairly competitive schedule. Players like senior shooting guard Josh Stewart were busy on the football field during the basketball season’s beginnings. Stewart had watched a few of the games in which the JV team filled in--being a leader on the team, he made a point of helping the sub-varsity players. “I always will go up to [other players] and tell them little things that I see that they need to work on,” Stewart said. “I tell them what they need to work on at practice, or at the games.” Despite missing the beginning, Stewart has high hopes for the season. “We expect to go out there and play hard,” Stewart said. “We’re going to practice hard and try to compete for the state championship.” As football season has come to a close after success

in the playoffs, basketball season can truly begin with full force. German plans to make the game atmosphere more exciting in an effort to increase student attendance. “We’ll be throwing t-shirts out and we’ll be throwing towels out at the games,” German said. “We’ve got the choir involved, the drill team—a pep band, too. I would love it if the student body would come out of the rafters when we play and show up.” Furthermore, German commends his veteran players, who are leaders on the team. “In practice, you have to have communication. The guys who’ve been in the program—Jimmie Gilbert, Josh Stewart—played for me for two years,” German said. “They bring their leadership by being vocal in practice.” Stewart agrees that communication is key, but is confident in the power and skill that the current team possesses. “We have to work on our communication as a whole, but I think that this season, we’ll be great,” Stewart said.

Top Varsity Players and Statistics

boys basketball

Jimmie Gilbert:

Josh Stewart:

Josh Kipp:

13 pt. goal average

5 pt. goal average

6 pt. goal average

Field Goal: 60%

Field Goal: 40%

Field Goal: 50%

Free Throw: 40%

Free Throw: 50%

Free Throw: 40%

8 Rebounds

6 Rebounds

6 Rebounds

1.5 Steals

2 Steals

2 Turnovers

2 Turnovers

2.5 Turnovers

1.22 Blocks

1 Block

3 Assists

Sophomore Alvin Carr: “I just moved down here and it’s different. There, everybody wants to be the best player. But here, we’re like family.”

20 | sports | the roar

friday, dec. 14, 2012


in the

Champion tennis player prioritizes school over athletics


laura everett & dana branham editor-in-chief & managing editor

TEAM RECORDS Varsity: Overall: 7-9

District: 5-2

Junior Varsity: Overall: 7-6

District: 5-2

Freshman: Overall: 5-6 laura everett & dana branham editor-in-chief & managing editor

UPCOMING TOURNEYS & MATCHES JV vs CSHS @ Consol - Jan 10 Freshmen vs Groesbeck @ Consol-Jan 17 A&M Consolidated High Tiger Varsity Winter Classic @ Consol- Jan 18th & 19th

Senior Frankie Colunga:

It’s sad [it’s my last season], but I’m glad I did it. It was fun. [My team] taught me to have fun and not take things too seriously.

Zavier Habib delivers a forehand volley back to his opponent. Habib frequents the courts at Pebble Creek Country Club. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM

As a freshman and avid tennis player, Zavier Habib was ranked 30th in the state after being named a USTA Super Champ. During his sophomore year, he was the number one player on the varsity tennis team. He advanced to region for two consecutive semesters. Singles and doubles were and are a focal point in his life. The only difference between then and now is that currently, Habib does not play on the school tennis team—and won’t, for the rest of the year. “Playing high school tennis, I didn’t really get much time to play outside of school,” junior Zavier

Habib said. “I was spending too much time doing high school tennis because they travel so much. This year, I am in way harder classes, so I wouldn’t be able to manage both things and playing outside of school. It was just too much.” Balancing school tennis and USTA (United States Tennis Association) tennis proved to be excellent for Habib’s practice, but both had their strengths and weaknesses. “I was always practicing with the team, which was good practice,” Habib said. “But, when I played outside of school, I was getting professional coaching, so it’s different.” Habib decided to pursue this increased intensity in coaching in order to up his game for state qualifying

tournaments, as he plans to return to the school tennis team for his senior year. “When I join back, I’m going to have hopes of qualifying for state,” Habib said. “I’m training now and I’ll be at a training academy in the summer to build my game up so when I join back, I’ll be at the top.” However, the academy Habib plans to attend would give him the opportunity to practice with competitive tennis players that he would face in tournaments. This, combined with the professional level of coaching, will be helpful in securing his dreams of State, Habib said. “He knew that it was my decision to make, so he wasn’t too upset,” Habib said. “But, he knew that it was a loss for the team.”

Zavier Habib swings at an incoming ball. He often palys with a personal instructor. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM

Zavier Habib takes a jump for the backhand at his Dec. 4 practice. He keeps tennis an important part of his life. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM Zavier Habib walks to re-serve at a practice on Dec. 4. He continues to play on his own time four to five times a week. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM


friday, dec. 14, 2012

the roar | sports| 21

Sisters swim together, bond through shared sport by nicole farrell | sports editor Every morning at 6:00 a.m., two personalities, two swimmers and two sisters dive into the pool to start another workout with the A&M Consolidated swim team. “It’s always been like I have this teammate I’ve known all my life,” said freshman Danielle Scott, about her sister, junior Rachel Scott. The two sisters started swimming at the same time, around six years ago, beginning in a Red Cross program, briefly participating in the College Station Tsunamis summer recreational team then transitioning to the local competitive team Ags. Swimming is a family event, with trips to Houston for meets that sometimes include shopping trips and donut excursions. The sisters started swimming with the prompting of their mom. “There was a pool at our house, and my mom didn’t want us to drown, so she signed us up for swimming lessons,” Danielle Scott said jokingly. The sisters have far progressed from recreational swimmers paddling to survive. Rachel Scott has been on the team for all three years and Danielle Scott has had tremendous success in her freshman season. “Rachel was even skeptical if she was even going to try to swim in high school,” said Coach Ryan Goodwyn, who has known the family since both girls were young. “[Rachel] wasn’t really sure if she was going to make the team and I had to kind of talk her into it. She ended up being a regional qualifier.” Danielle Scott has been contributing to the team as well, earning points consistently in meets. “We’re really looking forward to what she’ll do in the years to come,” said Coach Goodwyn. Rachel Scott not only shines in the

breaststroke, her best event, but also as a leader. “[She is a] quiet leader,” Coach Goodwyn said. “She’s not a vocal or outspoken leader, [but rather] by the way she works really hard and keeps her grades up. She models that idea of a student athlete, keeping her grades up while still working really hard in the pool every day.” Coach Goodwyn adds that both siblings come to practice almost more than anyone else on the team, often swimming for school in the morning and club in the evening. Danielle Scott said that it helps having an older sister on the team to help her with expectations and team dynamics, but having a sibling adds no extra pressure to succeed. Both sisters admit to their strengths and weaknesses. Goodwyn adds that Danielle started in a naturally faster place, but Rachel has greatly improved the past three years. “In the breaststroke, I don’t even try to beat [Rachel] anymore, because it’s a lost race already,” Danielle Scott said lightheartedly. Rachel Scott added that when her sister gets better times in events, it makes her “want to do better.” Both sisters appreciate their sibling experience and said that having someone even closer than a teammate helps. “Having a sibling helps you get integrated into the high school team because you already have that aspect of team and relating to people,” Rachel said. Coach Goodwyn said he’s enjoyed getting to see Rachel “come out of her shell” and grow in her confidence as a person and a swimmer. “I’m hoping to see some of that in Danielle as well,” he said. Both sisters enjoy swimming alongside, or even against, each other. “I definitely push myself more when I see her next to me,” Rachel Scott said. PHOTO BY DANA BRANHAM

Upcoming Meets: Dec. 15th Belton Invitational @ Belton Swim Center


Jan. 10th Crosstown “Splashdown” w/ Bryan @ TAMU Rec Center

District Championships: Jan. 26 @ Conroe ISD Natatorium

Junior Resa Gates:

“Having siblings on the team is motivation. [It doesn’t matter] if I had a sibling on the team or not, the swim team has a family atmosphere to it.”

22 | entertainment | the roar

friday, dec. 14, 2012

what we’re roarin’ about { {

MOVIES & HOLIDAY APPS Staffers critique current motion pictures and applications Life of Pi rated pg

reviewed by Isabel Drukker

Playing for Keeps rated pg-13 reviewed by Laura Everett

Red Dawn rated pg-13

reviewed by Shilpa Saravanan

Plot Summary

Piscine Molitor, self-named Pi to avoid teasing from his peers, is a religiously curious, intelligent boy who finds himself alone in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger known as “Richard Parker.” The story is told by middleaged Pi, as requested by a young writer who heard Pi had a story that would “make [him] believe in God.” As Pi survives through storms, lack of food, carnivorous islands, and his dangerous proximity to Richard Parker, the story ultimately becomes one of a test of faith.

Plot Summary

Gerard Butler plays a pro soccer player turned unreliable divorcee who can’t pay for his guest house rent. After becoming frustrated at his son’s absent-minded soccer coach’s constant talking on the phone and suggestions to the kids to kick the ball with their toes, Butler takes over. The kids soon learn how to kick the ball; Butler is asked to become the primary coach; and, believe it or not, the kids start winning games. Amidst all this, the soccer moms flock to But-

Parts of this movie were quite charming. The visual details allowed the movie to become more family oriented than the actual book, which on its own, is more serious than anything else. The plot of the movie, having mostly stuck with the novel, was compelling throughout the entire film.

What I Didn’t Like

As visually appealing as the movie was, it took being beautiful to the point of being unnecessary. Parts of the film seemed to

ler and a few manage to get into his bed (and then there’s the one who ends up in his landlord’s bed). Meanwhile, Butler can’t get over his almostremarried ex-wife and continuously struggles to be a “better father.” Ultimately, Butler is faced with a new ESPN job opportunity that forces him to make a decision that you should be able to predict.

What I Liked

Overall, I appreciated the movie. That is, I appreciated that it was a near-exact duplicate of at least a dozen other mov-

Plot Summary

A remake of the 1984 film of the same name, with a different foreign threat: varyingly melodramatic teenagers band together to fight the Communist North Korean occupation of America.

What I Liked

I liked Chris Hemsworth’s dazzlingly white smile, Chris Hemsworth’s incredible ability to work with a incredibly terrible script and that’s about it.

What I Didn’t Like

What I Liked

The dialogue. It’s cheesier than Wisconsin and more forgettable than Canada. There’s a reason that the IMDb listing only con-

simply show off good effects that made no contribution towards the plot of overall theme. For example, when Pi was stranded in the ocean one night, it was unnecessary for him to stare into the depths of the water and see his late mother’s face formed out of a school of fish. I left the theater sad but I was expecting that based off of the book and knowing that the film medium would only concentrate on Pi’s reactions to his parents’ death and the initial violence he faces when he’s on the boat.

ies I’ve seen on airplanes or what-have-you. I will admit that there were a few moments that I found to warrant a laugh-out-loud reaction. However, the rest of the theatre did not share my sentiments. This movie is perfect for watching alone in an empty theatre at the brink of despair because you’ll soon cheer up knowing you can, at the very least, figure out the “plot twists” in this movie, even if the rest of your life is a jumbled up mess.

What I Didn’t Like

I was surprised to see

tains three “memorable quotes” where other movies have fifty. The iffy premise. It’s pretty awkward to show a real country bombing another real country. Additionally, did you know that the villains were originally supposed to be Chinese, but the studio made them North Korean out of fear of losing the Chinese market? The lack of characterization. Everyone just kind of showed up and hung around and nothing differentiated one from the other. The female and minority characters especially were completely one-dimensional. The ending. You’ll understand

Gerard Butler rocking my dad’s 1985 wedding photo hair cut. I was also surprised at how the soccer moms were portrayed, as back in my day they used to be much more concerned with orange slices than the attractiveness of the coach -- bit too much cheese and not enough citrus, if you ask me. The majority of the dialog, such as... yeah, there were no memorable quotes.

I left the theater cheerful, despite losing $4 and an hour and a half of my life.

if you choose to see it. But don’t. This is further evidence that Hollywood should just stay away from remakes. It’d be five stars if the studio marketed it as a comedy instead of a hardcore ‘MURICA film—try renting a DVD of 2011’s Captain America if you need a real one of those I left the theater laughing my head off. I recommended the movie to at least three friends… as a joke. Red Dawn is hilarious only because it is very, very bad. Thankfully, I didn’t pay money to see it (I went to an advance showing at our journalism convention), and I certainly wouldn’t pay to see it again.

apps worth tappin’

this season

reviewed by Dana Branham

Toca Hair Salon: Christmas Gift FREE Charmed by the adorable icon, I couldn’t help downloading this free app. With the Christmas version of the full Hair Salon app, you can cut, style, and dye Santa’s hair (and a Christmas tree, too!) as he responds to your expert styling with laughter or surprise. Overall, it’s stupidly fun, and an excellent time-waster.

Christmas Soduku $0.99

Between the god-awful music, the bright icons (rather than numbers, like regular Sudoku), and the fact that I was supposed to solve a Sudoku puzzle, this app was a headache. However, the app does boast 30 levels--each available in easy, medium, or hard-as well as a “Quick Game” mode. If you have better concentration than I do, I’m sure this app could be great for the inevitable long car rides to visit family over the holidays.

More touch-screen treats: The Christmas List $0.99

Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift FREE Images from Apple & Flickr


the roar | @consol | 23

friday, dec. 14, 2012

final things we’repolicy


jolly about

“There are special cases when you can’t make it to school. If you can still make at least a B, I don’t think the absenses should apply.” -junior John Carpenter

keepin’ it Use the nice weather as an opportunity to put up those holiday decorations in your yard or on your roof.

Take the day to go shopping and make sure you’ve gotten all the gifts you need. No need for AC in your car!

street signs

“I don’t hate them, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for high school. It’s patronizing, and very elementary.” -senior Aiden Riley

book check

“At the end of the year, we have to turn them in anyway. There are no benefits for having them chekced at the end of the semester.” -sophomore Karly Waguespack

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0


How much do Consol students spend on holiday gifts? The Roar surveyed 185 students to find out.

cool in texas heat

Reap the benefits of the sunny temperatures and pick out your Christmas tree from any Christmas tree farm.

Stay cozy in the car and ride through Santa’s Wonderland.

less than $50



Use the crisp winds as an opportunity to bundle up and take a walk in your neighborhood to look at Christmas lights with friends.

Handle the chilly temperatures by sipping hot chocolate and watching classic holiday cartoons.


S R E T F I G s y a Y d i l T o F h r o A f s t R f i g C e d a m e m o h t f a students cr




Marit Yosko, For junior tivity has never spelling out crea ing personalized been easier mak necklaces. and ornaments mplimented me “Someone co s wearing], so on [the one I wa e some for my I thought I’d mak as,” Yosko said. friends for Christm



g knows how Junior Patricia Zhan She began knitting to knit up a storm. about a year and a scarves for others half ago. lly brainless,” “It’s fun and genera Zhang said.



lkmar makes Senior Jocelyn Vo , ssories—like satin jewelry and acce , ds en fri r for he oversized bows— . m do re bo eviate partially to all y m th wi ings “I like doing th get a lot, so fid “I . id sa hands,” she a purpose to it.” it’s nice to have


Are you done reading your copy of The Roar? Reuse it by wrapping your holiday gifts in an environmentally-friendly (or just last-minute) way! You can find instructions on how to make a gift bow at




etcetera |the roar

reaching new heights


friday, dec. 14, 2012

Students take off in unique hobby, discover freedom laura everett | editor-in-chief After almost seven years behind the yoke, more than 40 hours in the air and over $5,500 spent on flight lessons, junior Scott Reed has just a few weeks before he will officially get his pilot’s license. Inspired by his grandfather’s pilot license, Reed took his first “discovery” flight at Coulter Field at the mere age of 10. “It’s actually easier than a car,” Reed said. “With a car, you have to think about the five hundred other cars around [you]. In an airplane, it’s a whole lot easier because there’s only maybe one or two airplanes in the air at a time. You have to think whether they’re below you or above you, so midair collisions are not likely.” Like cars, the planes that Reed flies have a steering wheel, or “yoke,” and two pedals for break and gas that control the rudder in the back. Despite the similarities, airplanes obviously go much faster, with a minimum speed of 75 mph. “One weird thing would be flying too slow,” Reed said. “You start to stall and that’s really scary when you kind of start dropping.” Although falling from the sky would presumably be a fear, Reed feels safe in the plane, he said. “They’re rebuilt every year or every so-many hours [of flight,]” Reed said. “If you lose the engine, all you have to do is push forward a bit to even out for the torque and you can just glide all the way down. It’s probably the safest thing to do.” While Reed is far from intimidated with these crises, he admits that contacting the control tower is one of the most challenging aspects of flight. “I have a bit of stage fright, so I don’t really like calling into the tower,” Reed said. “[The hardest thing after that is] take off, because whenever you start picking up speed, it is hard to control the plane on the landing strip.” Reed himself has had difficulties with this. “I was flying at night one time at Coulter. I was a bit younger and I wasn’t too comfortable flying at night,” Reed said. “We had to turn on the lights and I hit the button a little late. The runway was a lot closer than I thought it was and that was kind of scary.” Junior Ricardo Gonzales says that his flight journey began around the age of nine or ten when his cousin’s boyfriend flew him to Houston. “I thought it was so cool that he could decide to go wherever he wanted at any moment and actually be able to do it,” Gonzales said. The idea stuck with Gonzales, he said, until one day he found himself in the co-pilot seat. After being offered to take control, Gonzales was guided through the landing process. Once back on the ground, Gonzales contacted the Easterwood Airport to inquire about flight school. An appointment was set up to meet a recruiter and check that he would be able to physically handle the height and pressure. As of the end of this summer, he was soaring. Gonzales has now flown over thirty times and has half of the hours needed to earn a license. Senior Michael Bettati is another student hoping to earn his pilot’s license. “I come from a family that is really inspired by this kind of thing,” Bettati said. “My mom has been a flight attendant for 30 years. I’ve probably flown

at least 18 times around the world [on commercial flights].” Bettati primarily joins his father in flight lessons and utilizing his father’s license to take short 3045 minute flights to Houston, which costs roughly

$250 or more. With these high costs, Bettati has saved money to be able to take a few lessons back-to-back in the spring. “Flying is the ultimate freedom,” Bettati said.

Junior Scott Reed gazes out the window of his plane at an early point in his flying career. Reed has rented planes from Easterwood Airport since age ten. PHOTO PROVIDED BY SCOTT REED

Junior Scott Reed prepares for flight at a young age. Reed acquired his flying inspiration from his grandfather. PHOTO PROVIDED BY SCOTT REED

Vol. 18 No. 3  

The third issue of 2012-2013.

Vol. 18 No. 3  

The third issue of 2012-2013.