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C r i m s o n Crier

Sparkman High School | 2616 Jeff Road | Harvest, Ala. 35749 | Phone: (256)837-0331 | Fax: (256)837-7673 | |

The Crimson Crier |



Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 Volume XXIII Issue IV

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Tied up

Culture Clash

See a Q&A with a wrestler and look into the wrestling diet.

Learn the ins and outs of tying a scarf.

Diversity brings flavor, challenges and tolerance to student body.

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ne Pill Kills Erin Rountree



took the pill in the middle of class. Nobody asked any questions about the inconspicuous movement Photo by Brandi Whyte. from pocket to mouth I made with my hand, and if anyone had been Painkillers are one of the most abused suspicious, I knew I could play it off like a drugs by teens piece of candy,” junior Josh White* said. But it was not candy. More than a third It was extended-release Adderall, obtained of prescription through a friend. drug abusers are “I did feel smarter, teenagers more articulate and more focused. I was insanely confident. I felt Only about 30% charismatic and in touch of parents talk with my emotions,” White said. to teens about For this teen, all it took prescription drugs was one pill. One capsule handed to him during Prescription drugsophomore year would cause an exhausting game related deaths of tug-of-war between have incread 85% body and mind. over the last No matter when someone decides to pop decade the first pill, the reasons behind that decision can 20% of teens usually be traced back to a feeling of insecurity. have illegally used “It felt like it took prescription drugs away that anxiety and nervousness that I felt in classrooms and around 70% of people my peers. I didn’t feel abusing like I fit in at the time, prescription drugs and once I started taking prescription drugs I felt get them from more comfortable around friends and family people. I felt like I could interact better,” alumnus Information from: Andrew Valentine* said. According to teensoverthecounterdrugabuse. com, “Every day in the U.S., 2,500 youth (12 to 17) “

abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time.” Opioids, such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Demerol, central nervous system depressants, such as Nembutal, Valium and Xanax, and stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Opioid abuse can lead to a decrease in cognitive function, vomiting, mood changes and coma. Abusing stimulants can lead to seizures or heart failure, and taking too much can cause an irregular heartbeat. CNS depressants can cause seizures when stopped abruptly. Taking CNS depressants with other medications such as prescription painkillers can slow a heartbeat and breathing. “Xanax bars often erase a lot of memory during usage and eliminates any fear of anything. That’s pretty dangerous when you really think about it. One time a friend and I took a few Xanax bars and I guess we were feeling good. We were ‘barred out’- meaning high on Xanax bars. We drank that night as well- I remember little to nothing- but somehow I woke up in bed the next morning,” White said. A survey performed by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University showed that, of high school students who know of a drug dealer at school,

prescription drugs are the second most commonly sold drug, right behind marijuana. “Since I’ve been here [since August] there’s been three [prescription drug] cases,” school resource officer Deputy Jerome Heard said. Prescription drugs are more difficult to track because there is little to no obvious evidence, such as smoke. Heard says teachers often report marijuana because they can smell it. One must know a student’s normal demeanor to discern whether he or she is under the influence of prescription drugs. Like Heard stressed, the desire for prescription drugs instead of street drugs often comes from the discretion the pills offer. They are easy to obtain, leave no obvious evidence and users do not necessarily experience immediate consequences. As alumnus Brian Davis realized, using the highly addictive substances for nonmedical purposes quickly turned from being “fun” to “miserable”. In the beginning, there is not an addiction. The user can put the drug down and walk away. However, once a body craves the effects of a particular drug more and more, a line is crossed and a person cannot function without that drug in his or her system. “It starts off okay,

but when you get too far into it you’re gonna start doing crazy things to get your next high. You’re gonna raid your parents’ medicine cabinets like I did plenty of times, take money from them, manipulate them for money and there’s so much worse, like you hear stories of people robbing to get what they need,” Davis said. When a teenager feels the desire to receive professional help for an addiction, he or she has just taken the first step down a path that will test a person’s willpower, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. “I got to a place where I absolutely didn’t see being able to live with

drugs or without drugs, and asked for help and asked my family for help and they ended up bringing me to treatment,” Valentine said. While many teenagers will choose to ignore that little voice in their heads and pop a pill, Valentine gives the following warning to those experimenting with prescription drugs. “I would say it’s gonna definitely get a lot worse. It always gets worse, it never gets better,” Valentine said. *Names changed to protect identities

Pranksters play Hostess on local neighborhoods’ doorsteps Jason Frost Co-Editor


t started with the funeral procession- a Twinkie hauled out of an obviously non-photoshopped church in a casket for the entire Internet to see. Then, the snack cakes sold out. Snowballs remained relatively untouched by the chaos. But there is now yet another reason to mourn the passing of Hostess. Ding-dong ditching took on a whole new meaning this month when a number of sophomores made it their mission to distribute the creamy confections to confused parents around the county, spearheaded by sophomore Ben Bundrum. “My mom gave us the idea when some guys were over and we just went with it… I have no idea what inspired her to do it, but it was hilarious,” Bundrum said. After compiling a short list of names, Bundrum and his friends got together and started visiting houses. After ringing a doorbell, they would cut and run, leaving a box of Hostess Ding Dongs (marked “You’ve Been Ding-Dong Ditched!”) on the porch of

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the unsuspecting victim. The utmost care had been taken by the perpetrators to ensure their work went smoothly. “It was fun. You even had a couple of parents come outside looking for us,” sophomore William Sipes said, “I was head-to-toe in black, and had a face mask on. We’d hide in the bushes, and had a car down the street. It got heart-racing.” Armed to the teeth (almost literally) with around 36 boxes of Ding Dongs, these self-styled candy barons undertook this task in secrecy for nearly two months, every Tuesday and Thursday. They often got four houses a night. “At first, people were confused since they didn’t know what was happening, then they got excited,” Sipes said. Many students had their suspicions about who was behind the heinous deeds. “We knew most of the people who lived in the houses we hit. They [students] kept asking us about it the whole time. We just told them it wasn’t us. After a while, they started guessing rightly it was us, so

Final Exams: Dec. 18-Dec. 21 Christmas Break: Dec. 21-Jan. 2 Return to School: Jan. 3 Report Cards: Jan. 7 Deadline to Order Yearbook: Jan. 10

Ring. Ding Dong ditchers pose around some of their Hostess stash. Photo courtesy of Ben Bundrum.

we just decided to tell them. Plus, we ran out of Ding Dongs,” Bundrum said. Once the supply of Ding Dongs were exhausted, the six boys decided to end the fun. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now,” sophomore Dalton Anderson said, “Go play Xbox, I guess.”

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The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012

Little ballers take rivalry to bigger, high school court Kaitlin Gillespie



n an effort to bring the community together under one roof, varsity basketball coaches Jamie Coggins and Patrick Delay arranged for Sparkman and Monrovia Middle School’s teams to play their rival game on the high school campus. “We wanted the basketball teams to have a chance to experience the high school campus and what it is like and play in our gym where one day they will get to play. I feel that it is important to reach out to the middle schools because we are a community and events like these bring the community together,” Coggins said. This event let the players get a taste of what it is like playing in a different gym. Having a completely different atmosphere with older students watching them play left the middle school players feeling either nervous or excited. “I was very excited and definitely felt the adrenaline knowing I was going to play on the high school court, even though it doesn’t matter because basketball is basketball no matter what court you play on. But I think it was great that everyone, especially the coaches, got to see how we played

because they know what to expect when we become the future ninth grade team,” Monrovia eighth grader McKinley Erves said. Unlike some players who were nervous to play in front of more people, some players felt comfortable and excited that new people were watching them play. In some ways, they said, playing on a high school basketball team is different and similar. “Their gym is much bigger, which allows us more space to dribble a n d p a s s the ball, and the floors aren’t dusty like ours. The high school definitely seems to have a safer facility also” Sparkman eighth grader Terri Smith said. The varsity coaches made the game atmosphere as much like the high school games as possible, using the announcer and music. “I thought it was cool how they called our names and we got to shake hands with the referees and coaches. I felt comfortable, not

nervous, and the people who watched me play somehow encouraged me to want to play hard and score as much as I possibly could,” Monrovia seventh grader Amarius Beasley said. The players were honored to play on a bigger court. Monrovia eighth grader Bailey Childers wishes they could play at the high school more often. The turnout for bringing the middle schools together was a positive one. The seventh grade Monrovia “I feel that it is important to reach out to the middle schools because we are a community and events like these bring the community together.” -- coach Jamie Coggins

boys beat Sparkman 60-40. Sparkman eighth grade girls won 29-14 and the Monrovia eighth grade boys won 51-25. “I think this was a great idea and a tremendous opportunity. We just want our guys coming from the middle school to feel comfortable in their transition to the high school,” Principal Wallace said.

Alumnae dances way into spotlight April Oberman Reporter


ypically, people’s dream careers are put into the shadows because they do not have faith that their goal is attainable. For alumna Caitlin Carver, her passion of wanting to become an actor/dancer gave her the extra push towards her success. Carver’s dream started as a dancing toddler. By the tenth grade, Carver knew that she wanted to be either an actress or a dancer. Later that same year, she was signed by an agency based outside of Atlanta for her acting. “I started auditioning and working professionally outside of school. I think that is when I knew I wanted to pursue this as a career,” Carver said. Carver has leaned more towards an acting career over dancing after it came to her attention two years ago. Since then, Carver has been studying and working on it constantly. “I want to be successful. I would love to be a working actress for the rest of my life, all while staying grounded and true to myself,” Carver said. Carver has most recently appeared in the ABC TV show “Nashville”. She was an extra for the show and had the chance to be a backup dancer. “‘Nashville’ was an incredible experience. I got to work with some

Country Strong. Caitlin Carver (second from left) played an uncredited role as a backup dancer in a recent episode of “Nashville” alongside star Hayden Panettiere. She also does modeling in Hollywood. Photo courtesy of Caitlin Carver.

of my best friends and dance with Hayden Panettiere. I think my favorite part about filming the show was the opportunity to be back in the South and see my family when I had breaks from rehearsal and filming,“ Carver said. Carver is frequently around famous people. It has become routine for her to see celebrities working on projects, since she lives in Hollywood where she is in a professional environment when working with them. “It honestly does not cross my mind that they are celebrities,” Carver said. On Nov. 20, Carver booked a co-star role on the TNT TV show “Southland”. In the same day, she booked 10 episodes of a new scripted series airing 2013. She will begin filming in the upcoming weeks. “That is the cool thing about being an actress.

You always get to live the life of someone other than yourself,” Carver said. Adapting to the life of an actress was not hard for Carver. Although the cost of living is more expensive in Hollywood, Carver says she has adjusted well to the changes. “It is not too bad honestly. I do not like spending money, so that helps. The cost of living out here is just so high that I have learned I have to be very conservative with my money,” Carver said. Carver knew if she did not pursue dancing or acting as her career, she would regret it. Her advice to students interested in acting or dancing include being smart about their choices the student makes. “You have to make so many sacrifices in order to make it in the industry out here. But, if it is what you really love doing, go for it. I fully believe that anyone can make his or her dreams happen,” Carver said.

Welcoming Faces. Members of SGA dress as elves to greet the kindergartners attending their program. During the program, over 630 kindergartners were present. Photo by Lauren Ratliff.

Adorable chaos reigns supreme Sarah Jarnagin



veryone wishes to see Christmas through the eyes of a child after the holiday loses its magical innocence for the elder. Children do not have to stress about buying presents, attending parties and cooking fabulous food for various occasions. All children have to do at Christmas time is wait, which is, perhaps, the hardest job of all. Every year, for as long as anyone can remember, SGA has bussed in kindergarten classes from the nearby Endeavor, Harvest, Legacy, Madison Cross Roads and Monrovia elementary schools for a Christmas program put on by the SGA members themselves. Over the years, the number of students has grown and more schools have started to attend, but SGA continues to faithfully put together a wonderful program that gets the hundreds of five-year-olds even more excited for Christmas− if that is even possible. “We had a story time with Santa, where we chose one boy and one girl from each class to go sit in a circle around Santa’s chair to make it more intimate,” SGA sponsor Katherine Neis said. For Melissa Boothe’s kindergarten class at Legacy Elementary, however, the expectations for the SGA program

were even higher. They ranged from the normal Christmas things like Santa Claus, cookies and Christmas trees to hopes of treasure hunts that ended in ice cream parties. “I think we will see Santa Claus, and I hope he gives us presents. I want a skateboard with a skeleton on it,” Tyler said. Boothe asked her students why they would not get presents on the field trip. “It’s not Christmas yet,” Anthony said. All of the girls and several boys were enthusiastic about seeing the cheerleaders. “Are we seeing the cheerleaders from Alabama?” one little girl asked. The rest of the class was fast to point out they would be seeing Sparkman cheerleaders instead. The majority of the class agreed on what else they expect to see. They expect Santa Claus, Christmas music, elves, gingerbread men and “the music class” to sing Christmas carols. “We will dance to music from the band,” Micah said. Many of their expectations were not disappointed. The SGA Christmas program took place on Tues., Dec. 11, to over 630 kindergarten smiles and an abundance of expectation.

As children filed into the gym by the dozens, SGA members dressed as elves and Santa-hatted dance team members were there to greet them. Several stared at the ground, several more gave them their best high fives and still more danced their way into the gym. Anticipation wafted from the bleachers as they waited for the program to start. As parents, teachers and SGA students helped to seat the masses, a brass ensemble from the band played Christmas carols. The morning passed in a blur as the choir sang, performances were given by the varsity cheerleaders, dance team and the theater program and characters like Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch and Santa and Mrs. Claus visited. Boothe’s kindergarten class got a big surprise near the end of the program. All 18 of Boothe’s kindergarteners were heavily anticipating seeing the basketball team. After learning this, Boothe e-mailed Neis asking if it was possible for the basketball team to make an appearance. Neis pulled some strings and the varsity boys basketball team went out onto the court and shot baskets for their captivated audience. “They [the kids] liked seeing the guys dunk. You can tell they had a good time,” Boothe said.

Principal plans events to help out Bailey Carswell Reporter


n these trying economic times, the administration must come up with creative ways to cover costs. Assistant principal Tandy Shumate, for instance, has decided to put together an ugly walk and a beauty pageant. “You know how your teachers have wishlists for their classrooms? That’s the kind of stuff we’re raising money for here,” Shumate said. The staff and administration are in desperate need of a financial boost. The budget

may cover some costs, but the cost of many supplies comes out of pocket. “It’s real simple stuff,” staff member Alisha Parish said, “but it’s stuff the school doesn’t pay for.” The Ugly Walk will take place Jan. 24 during fourth block. Students will pay $2 to get out of class, and boys will dress as girls. The goal, however, is not to dress as the prettiest woman, but to dress as the most attention-grabbing woman. Shumate indicated a possibility of at least two

male faculty members making appearances. A week later, the ladies will get their own chance to show off. The beauty pageant will take place on Saturday, Feb. 2. Multiple categories will be available, including most photogenic and best dressed. The entry fee will vary depending on the categories selected. Admission is $5. Funds will go toward covering the cost of paper, printer ink, pens, pencils, staples and other basic, vital supplies.

Henry G. Griggs, Jr., DMD, MS Specialist in Orthodontics Athens Orthodontics 256-216-1717

Monrovia Orthodontics 256-489-3065

Dec. 17,2012

The Crimson Crier

Lifestyles 3

Teacher’s daughter still battling heart condition Riley Wallace Spread Editor


wo years is a long enough time for any landscape to become familiar, whether it be home or somewhere otherwise foreign. In two years, the sights, the sounds, the faces might become second nature. For special education teacher Corey Winters and her daughter Bella, the once-alien atmosphere of Vanderbilt hospital has come to command Bella’s childhood. Upon birth, Bella was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, called a double outlet right ventricle, in which one of four crucial valves in her heart failed to develop. In order to save the newborn’s life, the doctors performed a number of surgeries in order to regulate her blood flow, including one at seven weeks to restrict the pulmonary flow to the lungs and keep the infant from suffocating. Another surgery a short time later seemed to confirm to the Winters family that Bella’s first weeks of life would be spent in the hospital. “They can replace a faulty valve, but if there’s no valve at all they can’t put in one where one didn’t exist, because the heart doesn’t know what to do with it. So Bella’s unique in that she has two sets instead of just one, whereas everyone else has one artery and one major vein, she has two,” Corey said.

More Surgery

The family had not yet escaped from the surgical table, however, for Bella went under the knife twice more, once to reroute the blood flow from the bottom half of her body, a surgery

commonly referred to as an extracardiac fontan, and then again to repair a far more startling effect of the surgery: her diminished heart rate. “Unfortunately, when they mess with your heart, it can damage the muscles. Kids need their heart rate to be like, around 100, and minimum average of 70. Bella’s was only 60. So they called me a couple weeks ago on a Friday afternoon and said, ‘She needs a pacemaker. It’s not an emergency. Someone will call you to schedule soon.’ Someone called me an hour later and said, ‘Can you be here Monday morning? We went Monday for preop, she had the surgery Tuesday, went home Wednesday, and I stayed home the rest of the week because she needed her mommy,” Corey said. Long recovery periods for such operations on small children are fairly typical, meaning that Bella might have spent months in the hospital even after her surgeries were complete. However, as she grew older, it became apparent that she was not the typical patient. “With the big surgery she had in June, we did the research on it and most people said their kids were in the hospital a minimum of three weeks. Bella was out in eight days. And they took the chest tubes out and said, ‘You’ll probably be here another few days after this. We’ve got to watch her.’ And the next day they said, ‘She needs to go home. She needs to go home where she’s comfortable because she’s doing too well,’” Corey said.

the surgeries was not the sole post-operation problem, however. Heart defects have been known to cause far more issues besides those of cardiac nature, including developmental difficulties, an outcome Winters frequently found herself braced for. “Over the course of time she grew. I mean she started out and I thought, ‘This child is never going to walk, she’s never going talk.’ It just took her a little extra time to. Last year, in October, like the first of October, she started standing, and by the end of the month she was running. And she has just never stopped. She started talking, saying a few words here and there, and in February of this year, she started saying like five new words a day. So we’ve really been blessed,” Corey said.

Keeping Heart. Bella Winters continues to battle her congenital heart defect. Photo courtesy of Corey Winters.

sincerely appreciates the relationship that the two have fostered despite Bella’s differences. “Abby’s very protective, and when we first went to church after her getting the pacemaker, she said one of the little girls went to hug her, she said, ‘No! You no touch my Belly.’ As soon as we can get them back together, she’ll eat better and recover Bella’s Personality faster because her sister’s Walking and talking around,” Corey said. were only small steps for The Support Bella though. Now two The Winters have years old, she participates also discovered love in average toddler among the hardships, activities, living life to with support coming its fullest despite her from all sides when times rough beginning and the were tough. Friend and hospital stays that have language teacher Sonya peppered her life. Nave’s family cares for “She’s an interesting Abby while her sister is little thing. She’s so much in surgery, and cares for fun, and she’s so full of Bella while their parents life and so vibrant, and are at work. Other she knows where this is friends have offered their coming from. We’ll go to time and effort in tasks church, and she’ll raise her ranging from babysitting hand in worship during to helping sterilize their praise and worship when house for the delicate we’re singing, and she’ll baby Bella. sit at the table when she “When Corey needed thinks no one’s around to be out during Bella’s her listening and she’ll first year, there were cosing ‘Jesus Loves Me,’” workers who donated Corey said. leave to Corey so that she Bella’s relationship would be able to be with with her 4-year-old Bella. There are those sister Abby has been a who have cooked meals. huge factor in her quick Many have said prayers. recoveries, according Some visit in the hospital. Complications Direct recovery from to Winters, and she I think the most important

thing that teachers and students have done is to ask about Bella and empathize. When Bella suffers, we all share that sorrow, and when she does well, we celebrate,” Nave said. Overall, Corey maintains an optimistic view on her daughter’s future, despite the health concerns and hospital visits of her first, short years. Of course, Bella will not be able to participate in all of her peers’ activities, as warm temperatures and heavy exercise make her sick, but her mother hopes that she will not be isolated for what she went through as a toddler and prays that she will live a normal life after all. “People say, ‘Well what about long term?’ I don’t know. I just have faith that she’s going to be fine. You can’t look at her and know that anything’s any different. She was on medication, she’ll be on maintenance medication for the rest of her life. It’s just a part of life. It’s a part of her life. She’s going to have to deal with it. [It’s] stressful, but all in all, she’s such a blessing, I wouldn’t have it any other way, I wouldn’t go back and say, ‘Give me a different one.’ I wouldn’t at all,” Corey said.

Double Outlet Right Ventricle

Glossary Cardiac valves: control the flow of blood through and from the heart Ventricles: two lower chamber of the heart Extracardiac: outside the heart Congenital: existing at or before birth Pulmonary: pertaining to the lungs Artery: vessel in which blood flows away from the heart Vein: vessel in which blood flows toward the heart Pacemaker: natural, or surgically placed; creates the pumping pace of the heart

Student shares his experience of moving to America with teacher Ubrig-veit’s next move was away from Germany, over the Atlantic Ocean and into ehind a cheerful attitude, no one will suspect America, to live with his stepfather. Although he had not been in contact with his a thing. After a writing assignment in Sonya Nave’s stepfather before his mother fell ill, contacting English class, students learned a stunning truth about his stepfather was something that Ubrig-veit appreciated. Moving to America was preferred one of their classmates. “He always smiles and his laugh is infectious. to the alternative. “I was relieved because without it, I would He fits in very well. That makes his story even more remarkable. He has adjusted so well that no one have had to stay in a foster home. It saved me would know he hadn’t lived here all his life,” Nave from that because I didn’t want to live in a foster home,” Ubrig-veit said. said. After he found out America was an option, Senior Jann Ubrig-veit lived in the German state of Hessen for 13 years before he moved to America due it took over a year for Ubrig-veit to actually Talking it out. Senior Jann Ubrig-veit shared his story in English to his biological mother suffering from schizophrenia. move to the United States. class. His teacher, Sonya Nave, felt his story should be told. “It was exciting because I got to leave the His mother was diagnosed when he was 5 or 6 years Photo by Andrea Perrin. old, and Ubrig-veit had trouble dealing with his place I didn’t really like, but there is a lot of paperwork and regulations,” Ubrig-veit said. you could go to the city by yourself. Now I have to mother’s schizophrenia. When he arrived in America, Ubrig-veit did not worry about getting kidnapped. It was a lot safer [in “It was difficult because… I love my mom, and at have a good grasp on English. It was only two weeks Germany], in a way. You didn’t have to worry about first when I was that little I didn’t understand that something was wrong with her. I just tried to get my later before he was able to speak English fluently, but getting harmed or anything like that. Over here you he had some trouble. can’t just go to a random city by yourself at a young mind off of things,” Ubrig-veit said. “I had a really bad accent. In middle school people age,” Ubrig-veit said. Ubrig-veit was taken away from his mother when used to tease me about it. I don’t blame them. It’s How people acted were also a shock to Ubrighe was only 7 years old. For five and a half years, he middle school. People aren’t mature,” Ubrig-veit veit. The attitudes and lack of friendliness towards was in a foster home. neighbors confused him. “I had fun times, but it was not exactly… we said. Upon arriving, Ubrig-veit learned that things he “There was really no racism [in Germany]. Then didn’t have the nicest clothes or anything like that. could do in Germany were not possible in America. In I came here and it was a little bit different. People We basically just got by,” Ubrig-veit said. Germany, he played were still… I didn’t know people lived like that still. handball to distract It [racism] has been directed at me at one point, but himself from his it’s more I see it in the hallways,” Ubrig-veit said. I was relieved because without it, I mother’s illness, and Ubrig-veit’s story “captivated” his classmates and would have had to stay in a fost home. he ended up loving left Nave stunned. The way Ubrig-veit fit in and acted It saved me from that because I didn’t the sport. However, gave no hint to what he had been through. want to live in a foster home. handball is not played “I was amazed and dumbfounded. It was such a -- Jann Ubrig-veit in America. His own remarkable story, and to know that Jann had endured safety was also a new so much and still became a compassionate, open and concern. respectful young man is phenomenal to me. He seems “Back in Germany, to have coped well and not become bitter, and I find even if you were six, that admirable,” Nave said. Rebecca Arnold Co-Editor




4 Opinion

The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012


We are the s t a r t o f t h e e n d o f a d d i c t i o n


estruction measured in milligrams fills the pockets of so many of our fellow classmates. A few tablets the size of dimes can end the life of a teen, not only by killing the body but by also crushing the ambitious dreams teens have. In our own school, drugs circulate like a virus threatening to infect even the “good” kids. The school’s administration does all they can without being invasive, so in the end it comes down to us and our desire to succeed in life– a desire incompatible with drug usage and addiction. Do we really mean it when we ask somebody how he or she is doing and if everything is okay? Do we really listen and take his or her response in? We need to be there for each other as students. We are like a family. If we see something wrong or think something is wrong with someone or a situation, make sure to check. We need to start being there for each other in order to build a safer and healthier Sparkman for years to come.

Artwork by Rebecca Arnold.

The world is not ending just yet Bailey Carswell Reporter


riday, Dec. 21, 2012: the day the Earth will stand still, breath held, eyes on the sky, wondering what sins it has forgotten to atone for. The eve of this fateful day will be the eve of civilization and of society as we know it. We know not what lies in store for us. We know only that it contains horrors we cannot imagine. Repent! Repent! The end is nigh! 2012 conspiracies are as plentiful as the people who believe them. As for 2012 conspiracies that have more than a 0.00 percent chance of happening? Well, how about we run through some, and see for ourselves? The most common one at the moment is, of course, the Mayan Doomsday Prophecyso named because it was not a prophecy, not doomsday and not Mayan. The belief that the Mayans predicted the end of the world stems from the Mayan “Long Count” calendar, which oversees the past and future in b’ak’tuns: units of time that are

equivalent to 394.26 of our years. On Dec. 21, 2012, we will switch to the next b’ak’tun. Dec. 21, 2012, is to the Mayans as Jan. 1, 2000, was to the Western community. It is the end of one era and the beginning of another. The belief that this marks the end of the world is driven by books and movies. Next is the myth of Nibiru, a rogue planet discovered by the ancient Sumerians that theorists say will crash into earth in December of 2012. This one is easy enough to debunk with our own eyes: go outside. Is there a giant planet hurtling towards us? Is everything around us being torn apart by the gravity of another planet? No? Well then. Moving on. Another astronomybased prediction is that on this day, the earth and the sun will align with the center of the galaxy, and a gravitational vortex will tear us from the sun and turn Earth into a pancake. It is physically impossible for us to align with the equator of the galaxy, because galaxies have no equators. If by “equator” these people mean the thickest part of the galaxy, then we

are still light years upon light years away from it, and are actually moving farther from it. Where do we even get these ideas? Other theorists claim that on this day, the magnetic poles will reverse, and this will cause untold damage to our technology-driven world. This one is partway true. The magnetic poles are in fact reversing as we speak. Pole reversal is a natural part of the Earth’s life cycle. It is a slow process that will take thousands of years. So yeah, they will reverse on Dec. 21, 2012. They will also reverse on Dec. 19, 20, 22, 23.... Even if the poles were to completely swap tomorrow, we would barely notice. Reversing the polarity only has the effect of making compasses less accurate. Less common among theorists is the conspiracy that the magnetic field will invert entirely. Unlike reversal, inversion is when Earth’s magnetic field basically turns inside out. Theorists speculate this inversion will tear our planet apart, or at least unleash lethal doses of radiation, killing us all. To be frank, the Earth’s magnetic field

could actually invert. It has before. There is no evidence that inversion caused any extinction, radiation or tearing apart of any planets. Inversion takes thousands of years to happen, anyway, and if it were to start today, we would all be dead for thousands of years before it finished. The final theory is the only plausible theory on the list that is also potentially destructive: a solar storm. A solar storm is the result of a coronal-massejection hitting the Earth. A coronal-mass-ejection is the result of a magnetically charged spot on the sun’s surface, known as the corona, being “ejected”, or launched into space. These clouds of supercharged sun-stuff hurtle through space and usually miss Earth entirely. However, every now and then they can graze the Earth’s atmosphere or even plow directly into us. Most solar storms are harmless, being absorbed entirely by Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, they are the source of some of Earth’s most beautiful natural phenomena: the Auroras. The difference between solar storms in 2012 and the solar storms

of days past? Sheer magnitude. The sun goes through cycles, shifting between solar minimumwhere solar storms are weak and few- and solar maximum- where solar storms are common and powerful. This cycle’s solar peak will fall right in December of 2012. Kinda spooky, really. If a massive solar storm were to hit us head-on, no one can deny that the damage could be catastrophic. First to go would be satellites: outside the protection of the ozone layer, their circuitry would be fried by these superpowered plasma clouds, even if they were dormant. Next would be the atmosphere itself. Sun-stuff would light up the Earth’s atmosphere, and auroras would be visible all over the planet. If the storm were able to survive its passage through the atmosphere, it would then wreak havoc on our electronics. Anything with circuitry would be overloaded with the radiation and electricity. Above-ground telephone wires would catch on fire. Computers- if they did not melt entirely- would have their memories completely wiped.

Fortunately, such a dramatic storm has only happened once in human history: the Solar Storm of 1859. Back then, the only technology it could affect was telegraph wires. The results were minimal: the Aurora Borealis could be seen as far south as Ohio, and telegraph wires burst into flames. If the same thing happened today, it would not mean the end of civilization, but it sure would be unfortunate. So there we are. Now for one last question, the one that, face it, is probably the only reason any one of us is reading: what about the zombie apocalypse? Well, I am happy to inform you that a zombie apocalypse will never happen. There is no disease that can reanimate the dead, no disease that produces zombie-like symptoms and no disease that turns its host into a shuffling, groaning member of the undead. Zombies are not real. Zombies have never been real. They will never be real- fake as the Mayan Doomsday, as Nibiru, as the equator of the Milky Way. It is simply not going to happen.

Secessionists have delusions of revolutionary grandeur Chris Deltorre



fter the recent election resulted in a sound defeat for the Republican Party, many disgruntled Republican supporters, Obama haters in earnest, have decided they hate America. They hate America so much and their ignorance and bigotry is so intense that they would rather succeed than continue to be part of this oppressed, politically enslaved, barren wasteland we call The Crimson Crier The Crimson Crier

the United States. Bill Rummel of the Charleston Voice even went as far as to say, “If we’re going down the tube, let’s go down by keeping corruption local at the state level.” Governors in the seceding states soundly reject the secession petitions, as do other people with common sense and an ounce of respect for their country. The secessionists are a joke, and a bad one at that. Most of the petitions

were printed off using the “We The People” online petition tool, which is the same tool used by many large proponents of marijuana legalization to contact the government. All Washington can do is roll its eyes. The petitioners even have the audacity to compare their very weak, un-American, movement to the American Revolution. Children throwing a written tantrum and threatening to hold their political

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Lifestyles Editor..............Heather Webster

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Sports Editor.....................Kenneth Harris

Policy The Crimson Crier is an open forum for free expression by the Sparkman High School Community. The Crimson Crier is a student-run publication produced in the state of Alabama. All final design, reporting and content decisions are the responsibility of the student journalists of Sparkman High School under the guidance of their adviser. The views articulated in The Crimson Crier do not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff, Sparkman High School or the Madison County school district. Copies are distributed to the faculty, staff and student body free of charge. The Madison County Record prints 1,000 copies, eight times yearly.

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breath until their faces turn blue bears absolutely no resemblance to the great struggle for freedom our country endured and still endures. To think, our soldiers are fighting wars overseas so that people like these can continue their war on everything differing from revolutionist right wing Conservative views. On top of everything, has anyone stopped to consider the education level of these so-called “revolutionists”? The states which have submitted petitions with enough signatures to receive acknowledgement from Washington are from Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. Ironically enough, but not really, these states are the forty-fifth , forty-third, forty-first, thirty-sixth, and twenty-fourth states in education respectively. The smartest of these states is Texas, which is still in the bottom half

ranking of state education according to State Master education statistics. The United States is a beautiful country. All countries go through good and bad times, especially powerful nations like America. It is of

great importance that America stays united because, as Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided cannot stand.”

Artwork by Mikala Buwalda.

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The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012



Alabama immigration law sparks controversy What do you think of the immigration law?

Immigration law protects the taxes of legal Americans Mick Walters

HB-56 echoes discriminatory laws of Alabama’s past Chris Deltorre

Online Editor


hroughout the country states are revising their immigration laws. Alabama is one of the most recent to do so and one of the most controversial. Alabama’s recent immigration reform HammonBeason Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, or HB-56, is well titled. The purpose of the act is to protect the rights of Alabamians and American citizens as a whole. The law is regarded as the strictest immigration law in the United States. The main purpose of the bill is to protect current citizens from having their rights and their hard-earned tax dollars from being used on illegal immigrants. Normal traffic stops and legal stops can now be used to verify the legality of a citizen. The law also denies illegal immigrants the ability to enroll in a public university. Elementary and secondary schools are required to keep track of illegal immigrants enrolled in the school. The local government is not allowed to make transactions with illegal immigrants. All contracts with an illegal immigrant are nullified. What do all these rules have in common? Each and every single one of them is set up to protect tax payers’ money. Tax payers pay for road maintenance and construction. Tax payers pay for schooling. Tax payers also fund the local and state government’s budgets. Lawmakers’ sole motivation is to make citizens’ lives better. With a large sum of citizens’ paychecks going to taxes, why not protect those tax dollars? If a group of individuals do not pay taxes, why should they get the same treatment as taxpayers? The fact is illegal immigrants have had access to almost all of the same rights and products as American citizens. Schools, government welfare and other expensive rights are given to those who do not pay for it. Critics believe the law will lead to a loss of production, but there is still a rather high unemployment rate. Alabama has a lower percentage of immigrants compared to other southern states, meaning the amount of jobs opening up will not be so catastrophic that the jobs will not be filled. Alabama was listed to have an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent according to Google’s public data department. This high unemployment rate can now see a decrease with more jobs opening up for American citizens. In addition to the drop in unemployment, the local and national government will see a slight increase in revenue thanks to newly-paid income tax. Where should tax payers’ money go, into their living expenses or into the education of a parasite who only takes more and more money from hardworking Americans?


“They should keep [the law], because Hispanics take our jobs from people who need them in America.”

“I don’t think we should force them out and away because they’re looking for a better life.”

-junior Carla Grayson

-senior Josh Collier

“There should be an amount of time for them to make their citizenship legal.”

“It [immigration law] can go a little too far with racial profiling.”

-senior Rose McLaughlin

-senior Jesse Westerhouse

“It [immigration law] persecutes the Hispanic population as a whole.”

“I think they [immigration laws] are degrading and should have some limits.”

-sophomore Eli Harris

-senior Alison Tralongo

Decriminalize but do not legalize weed Patrick Fitzgerald



he country is buzzing about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. The debate now is arising: should we legalize marijuana or not at the national level? When discussing legalization, it depends on why one wants to legalize marijuana. Some people claim yes, marijuana is a drug, but legalizing it would lead to economic growth. I used to make this argument. This economic growth would last for a while, maybe one to two years. Then people would realize the difference between beer and weed. Taxing beer and selling it works because it is a difficult and long process to make beer out of one’s garage or house. Even when people succeed in brewing a beer for months in their garage, it usually tastes as bad as a mix of low-grade gasoline and Flaming Hot Cheetos. Weed is another story After a few years of


percent of Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana

being comfortable in the system, people will know why the name for weed is “weed”. It is because it grows like a weed. Potheads will just start growing out of their garages, bathrooms and bedrooms in a matter of weeks after marijuana is legalized, defeating the purpose of taxing it for sale. Another reason people want to legalize is the economic standpoint that there are millions of Americans in jail every year for marijuana, a nonviolent offense. This is making our prisons and states go bankrupt. Some prisons are at 200 percent capacity in Alabama Decriminalizing weed will allow us to free our prisons up for people who commit violent crimes. This will save the taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Instead of spending $36,000 on locking someone up a year for possession of marijuana, we could fine them $50 for being baked and $100 for possession. Nearly 800,000 people

were arrested last year for marijuana charges. Charging them $100 for possession and not locking them up would save us $27 billion a year if they were only one time offenders. Legalizing weed is not the answer. We still need to discourage the usage of it as a government. Sure, it is much less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, as they have been found to have traces of all kinds of ingredients in them from lighter fluid to dog feces. Sure, users cannot overdose from marijuana and die in one sitting like they can drinking alcohol, but it is still a drug and has been proven to have long-term negative affects on users. Decriminalization with a penalty of $50 for usage and $100 for possession would be a great direction to go in. It discourages the usage of marijuana and would cut our federal deficit by nearly 35 percent with the funds saved from freeing non-violent inmates over 20 years.

over seventy

males more likely is the age at which to try people are least likely marijuana to try marijuana

Courtesy of


labama has a notorious reputation for its prejudice laws, and the past portrays us as racist, bigoted and cruel people. The laws in place to “protect citizens” in the 1960s allowed law enforcers to attack peaceful African American protestors with tear gas, fire hoses and clubs. These same laws kept the public ignorant by segregating American citizens because of color. These “protecting” laws not only created hate but fueled it for many years– some would say these same laws continue to fuel racial tension today. This is the state that said “segregation today, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever”. Now this is the same state that preaches the evils of self-deportation and invasive inquiries to illegal Immigrants in modern-day America. Alabama’s farming and agricultural economy is taking a crippling blow from the immigration law, which affects the bulk of Alabama’s laborers negatively. The false claims of lost money and wasted tax dollars fail to articulate the crucial role illegal immigrants play in Alabama’s economy. With the immigrant farm laborers gone, who will take these back-breaking jobs that involve harsh labor such as picking crops in the hot sun? Apparently nobody. Thus far the law has cost the state up to $11 billion according to a cost-benefit analysis by University of Alabama economist Samuel Addy released earlier this month. The crops rot in the fields without laborers to harvest them since the very people who claim Hispanics take their jobs refuse to do the hard farm labor of an illegal immigrant. The immigration law invades the humanity of all immigrants, illegal and legal alike. Police can demand documentation from “suspected illegal immigrants” in routine traffic stops. Who is a “suspected illegal immigrant” in a land that is historically harsh to all minorities? Children attending school in America, utilizing their basic rights as human beings residing in the United States, must now provide proof that they are citizens of this country. The United States Supreme court has soundly rejected certain provisions of the law, such as those concerning schools keeping track of the legal status of students and their families. However, the controversial issue of invasive police traffic stops that could lead to racial profiling has not been blocked by the federal government despite their implications of prejudice toward hard-working Hispanic families. HB-56 is detrimental to the state’s economy and costs the taxpayers dearly. These people are human beings no matter their legal status, and this harsh hatred is not the American way. This law is nothing but a legal demonstration of ignorance further staining the reputation of the beautiful state we call home.

The Final Word Sierra Fridelle Opinion Editor


ig is beautiful. With that one simple statement, the pendulum swung from the side of the small to the side of the large. In our society, we preach body peace. We preach being happy with your body whatever size it is. However, how can we ever attain good self-image when we glorify one size by denigrating another? How can we ever banish self-doubt when we continue to see sizes as definite approximations of character? Just this month, the illustrious “Seventeen” was styling different body types. Instead of labeling the slim body as slender, the labeled the body type “boyish”. This is an affront to what “Seventeen” claims to stand for. From a magazine that tries to “celebrate every type of beauty,” picking a girl with a perfectly fine body type, in this case Lea Michele, and destroying her femininity with the label “boyish” is completely antithetical to what it supposedly stands for. “Seventeen” is not the only example of where our society sidelines those who fail to conform to the conventional standards of beauty. Slender girls are called skinny, a word that evokes an image of unhealthiness and sickliness. In the past, large girls were called fat, another derogatory word. The groups have changed, but the effect and method still remains. Impressionable young girls are being faced with the idea that their bodies are unsatisfactory, an idea that has the dangerous potential to take hold and warp their minds, leaving them with unhappiness and eating disorders. If we continually label ourselves by size and downgrade our identities to nothing more than a number, our society will never evolve past a fixation on outward “beauty”. We will never attain this so-called body peace until we realize that we as a society are more than our appearances. We will never free ourselves from the chains of image distortion and eating disorders. After all, as long as a girl is happy and healthy, who cares what her size is?

6 Lifestyles

The Crimson Crier

Teacher’s neardeath experience serves as lesson for students Heather Webster


Lifestyles Editor

t was Aug. 4, 1987, summertime in Walnut, Calif. Nineteen-year-old Jodi Dorn was driving home from cross-country practice in her 1982 Ford EXP, her running-mate in the car in front of her. They were driving at an incline with another line of traffic driving down, parallel to the road of traffic they were driving on. Her front tire had just blown, and she struggled to maintain control over her car. Glancing at her side mirror, she saw a car approaching on the right, and she swerved to avoid a collision. She overcorrected, hitting the metal divider and sending her airborne toward oncoming traffic. The passenger side of her car smashed into the road. She saw a pair of men in a truck stop, one staring wide-eyed, frozen with an Egg McMuffin near his gaping mouth. But the momentum of the car was too much, and it continued its plummet down the side into the ravine below. Dorn watched as her car sliced through the tops of the trees, the passenger side crumpling in, wondering if she was about to die. She began to question whether or not she had told her parents she loved them. If she told them goodbye. Her car impacted on the forest floor, engine first, the front end of the car crushed all the way up to the windshield. Dorn looked up, and saw the sun shining in her eyes. “Am I dead? Did I die?” she pondered. She flexed her feet, relieved she could still move. The front of the car was smashed in, as well as the passenger side and the rear of the car. She looked over and saw smoke rising from her car. Fearing her car would catch fire, she looked to her window and decided she would pull herself out. She unbuckled her seatbelt and attempted to move, but she stopped, knowing something was wrong with her back. Her running-mate saw Dorn’s car flip and fall through her rear view mirror, and she immediately stopped. Unable to face the fact that her friend was most likely dead, she called in all emergency forces before seeing for herself the reality of Dorn’s situation. The men in the truck, who were painters, trekked down to see if Dorn was alive. Seeing her through the window, they told her they were going to help her get out. “I said, ‘I’m not moving. I can’t move.’ And [they asked], ‘Are you paralyzed?’ and I [said], ‘No, but there’s something wrong. I can’t get out of here,’” history teacher Jodi Blanchette née Dorn said. The police and firefighters arrived on the scene. Their initial plan was to pull her through the window, but upon Dorn’s immediate refute, they asked her for her name. When the name “Dorn” was heard, they froze. “My dad’s Ken Dorn,” she told them. Her father being a fellow Los Angeles County fireman, they briefly bickered over who would break the news to him of his daughter’s almost death. The emergency crew decided their best option was to saw through the roof of her car using the Jaws of Life and remove her from the top. They lifted her up the hill on a metal stretcher and immediately rushed her to the local hospital. When the doctor came in, he explained the wreck to her. “The doctor said, ‘There’s no explanation why you’re even here, considering that wreck, because your [car was] all crumpled up,’” Blanchette said. The doctor made her aware of the fracture in her third lower lumbar. A chip was hanging from it, barely connected by a small sliver of bone. Had she been jostled, pulled through the window of her car, this small piece of bone would have sliced through her spine, paralyzing her forever. But due to her insistence, she was never pulled through her window, never jostled and, thus, never paralyzed− had she been knocked unconscious, this probably would not have been the case. Her lack of paralysis, lack of brain damage, and lack of injury other than a scratch on her face, a small fracture to her spine a n d minor internal bleeding was simply a miracle. “ I

asked the doctor, ‘When can I get better? Because I need to run.’ Because I was on the running team. The hardest thing is that he said, ‘You may never run again,’” Blanchette said. Luckily, she did not have to endure surgery. Her doctor put her in a brace and made her lay flat on her back for the first few nights at the hospital. During her stay, one of the nurses dropped a stack of metal plates outside her room, reminding her of the accident. “I freaked out. When I heard that noise— I had to call my parents,” Blanchette said. For a month, all she was allowed to do was lay flat on her back in her at-home hospital bed. She required assistance to stand and walk to the restroom, and she was fed in bed. After that, she moved on to a walker to support her so she could maneuver around by herself. “They said I couldn’t do anything for a year except walk,” Blanchette said. After a year had passed, her friends, attempting to brighten her mood, cracked jokes about how she would gain weight from not being able to run anymore. But the exact opposite happened. No matter how much food Dorn ate, she kept losing weight. Pound after pound, she became weaker and weaker. Her hair started to fall out in clumps. She had such little strength that she could not even lift her legs. At five-foot-seven, Dorn was only 97 pounds. Her mother took her to another doctor. He told her she was suffering from withdrawals. Distraught, Dorn cried, telling him she had never done drugs. The doctor asked her how much she had exercised before the accident. “I ran every day, all my life. I used to go run to the doughnut shop and run back with a dozen doughnuts. [My friends] would eat like two, and I’d eat the rest,” Blanchette said. Over the years, Dorn’s body had become addicted to endorphins, natural chemicals produced by the body, particularly when exercising. Having ran her whole life and rode horses in competitions, her body had never spent a day without excess endorphins. Being unable to move due to her fractured spine, her body went through the typical symptoms of drug withdrawals. Her doctor told her she needed exercise in slow strides, getting back up to the amount of exercise her body was used to, refuting her other doctor’s previous claim that she would never be able to run again. Slowly but surely, Dorn began to exercise again. For the first year, she was only allowed to walk, mostly with the assistance of a walker. Her body ceased the withdrawals, and she began gaining back the weight that she had lost. “I was able to run again, not like how I used to run. I was able to ride horses again, to compete again with horses. I was able to have children, that was another thing they told me [I probably couldn’t do],” Blanchette said. It took Dorn, now Blanchette, over a year to recuperate from her injuries and her body’s withdrawals from endorphins. She suffered, and the accident was not even her fault. But she lived because she wore her seat belt. Her seat belt prevented her from being ejected from her car during the fall. Those who do not wear seat belts are 30 times more likely to be ejected from their vehicle during a crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Intervention. Had Blanchette not been wearing her seat belt, she would have either been paralyzed or, more likely, killed. She tells her students this story every year to warn of the dangers of not wearing a seat belt. According to Keep the Drive, 4,000 teenagers die in car wrecks each

Driving ( 8% )

Dec. 17, 2012 year, two-thirds of whom were not wearing seatbelts. Automobile wrecks are the number one killer of teenagers, surpassing that of alcohol, drugs, violence and suicide, yet they are not treated nearly as seriously. “Seeing all of that and knowing that I have teenagers—it’s not always your fault. There are people who are just crazy and don’t pay attention, and there’s drunk drivers. That’s what worries me,” Fire Capt. Garnet Jones said. Firefighting Jones roves between Station 15 on Sparkman Drive and Station 5 on University Drive. Her team responds to around three to five automobile wrecks in North Huntsville every week, ranging from entrapments to everyday fender-benders. The majority of fatal accidents involved victims who were ejected from their seats because they failed to buckle up. “Generally, your chances of survival when you’re ejected from your vehicle are slim. There have been people who have been ejected and their car has rolled over on them, and that’s what killed them. Had they have been wearing their seat belt and stayed in the vehicle, you really can’t say how they would have fared, either, but their chances would have been much better, obviously,” Jones said. In 2006, Jones was one of the firefighters who responded to the Lee High School bus incident on Nov. 20, when a school bus full of high school students careened off the side of Interstate 565. The four girls who died on impact were ejected from their seats and thrown outside of the bus. Had the girls been wearing seat belts, which school buses do not provide, Jones says this accident could have ended much differently. “When we got there, there were already bodies on the ground that the ambulance people had determined, ‘These are not viable patients.’ We went into the bus, and there were people trapped in the bus. Those were the ones we worked to get out of the bus. It’s a bus, and it’s different because there are no seat belts. Every one of those girls that died in that bus accident, they were sitting in the front of the bus, and they all got thrown out. They were all outside the door. Of course, nobody was wearing a seat belt, but had there been seat belts on that bus, there might have been a different outcome,” Jones said. A strong advocate of the seat belt, Jones cannot express enough the importance of wearing one. Although Alabama law states that passengers over the age of 15 sitting in the back do not have to wear seat belts, Jones states, “Nobody rides in my vehicle without a seat belt. Because I have seen that your chances of survival are so much greater if you have a seat belt on.” “The seat belt, I mean, I can’t stress enough to you the importance of my seatbelt. You can’t always rely on the airbag,” Blanchette said.


as many teen guys die in wrecks than girls. Speeding causes

40 percent of

all fatal crashes. Every year,

4,000 teens die in car wrecks. Teens crash 4 times more often than any other age group. Car crashes are the #1

killer of all Americans ages 5-24. On Average,

11 teens die each day in car accidents.

Courtesy of

Shotgun ( 21% )

Back seat ( 68% )

Out of 77 polled, students do not wear seat belts when...

The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012



Secrets of Wrestling Wrestlers reveal the art of dieting, the perfect pin

Diet plays large role on the mat

Step One Neutral Position

Step Two Shoot in on both legs for double leg takedown

Step Three Lift and run through

Step Four Drive through and finish to takedown

Daniel Judge Photo Editor

Working out may seem like a hassle to some people, but to sophomore T.J. Edwards and senior Michael Mangrum, it is a necessity in their drive to reach their goals. Mangrum works out to better his physique and help his off-campus wrestling, while Edwards works out to get in a better weight class for when state comes around, further bettering his chances of winning. “I always know there is room for improvement, and I am striving to push myself to another level. Limitations always are within the mind I believe,” Mangrum said. Working out is not the only thing they have to focus on while trying to better themselves. Eating well is a huge part in having success, and they both have to watch their habits to make sure they stay on track. “There is no fast food, no candy or sweets. I have to cut down on all the soft drinks and not drink as much liquid really,” Edwards said. Some would call it a balancing act. With high school, the drama in and around high school and any other curveballs life throws at him, Mangrum keeps at his workout schedule, referring to it as his everyday life. “Just a typical boy trying to bulk up and put size on. I hit the gym after school and work out for about an hour or so, and it leaves me the rest of the evening for school work,” Mangrum said. Sacrifices are made when wrestling is on the mind, as Edwards can testify. “I do not have time to do anything on the weekends. I have to deal with the constant hunger. [I have] no social life really, I just have to stay focused on wrestling and go all in for state,” Edwards said. Edwards and Mangrum do not just focus on one part of their bodies. All muscles are worked on during their daily workouts. “I do a six-day spilt, which incorporates a

Step Five Bases up to referee’s position

Q&A with wrestler Micah McGlathery

Varsity Wrestling Upcoming Tournaments Dec. 22: Battle Fiend Duals Dec. 29: Moody Invitational

Grant Taylor Reporter

CC: When did you start wrestling? MM: I first started wrestling for the school in ninth grade, but before that, I did two years of youth league before that. CC: What prompted you to start wrestling? MM: My dad encouraged me to start it. CC: What do you do to train? MM: I run all the time, that’s what I do most. You also have to do weightlifting, and when you go to practice you have to have a good attitude. CC: How often do you train, and when do you train? MM: In season I try to five days a week, but I occasionally slack up a bit. Out of season though, I only train three days a week. CC: Who is your biggest encouragement? MM: Once again, my

dad would be. CC: Have you had to overcome any obstacles? MM: Being consistent and coming to practice everyday. It’s a tough sport, so it is easy to give up on, and you just have to stick with it. CC: What is your motivation to keep going? MM: I want to accomplish the goals I have set and be successful with them. CC: What does wrestling mean to you? MM: It has been a foundation the last few years. It has really instilled a lot of principles in me like good character, being on time and giving your best effort. CC: How many awards have you won? MM: Quite a few, I can not think of a number off the top of my head.

Jan. 5 : James Clemons Invitational Jan. 8: Athens, Scottsboro

volume style of training, a strength aspect and a crossfit element,” Mangrum said. Others have seen the impact that dedication and hard work has done for Edwards and Mangrum, even wanting to find the same results. Praise is not hard to find when it comes to the two hardworkers. “ T h e y were hell, it is very intense training, and there is no time for slacking,” senior Chris Alexander said. Like everything in the world, there is an easier way out than hard work, like protein or energy supplements, but neither wants to venture down that road just yet. “I do not use supplements right now. They are too expensive, and I think whole foods get better results. Right now, I am not so much on a diet, but I still eat healthy,” Mangrum said. Either way, wrestling means a lot to both individuals, and the sport will always be a big part of their lives. “It is just the toughest sport. It teaches life skills, like in order to achieve something, you have to sacrifice the little things like time, being social, tasty food. All of it to be in a lower weight class and better my chances of winning,” Edwards said.

Step Six Take right arm across bridge of nose and reach for tricep

Step Seven Pull tight and reach for far knee

Step Eight Run towards head and take to knee

Jan. 12: Warrior Duals Jan. 19: Grissom Duals Jan. 21: Dick Clem Invitational

Step Nine Lock up and gently rock back to post out leg

Jan. 26: Border War Feb. 2: Tennessee Valley Duals Feb. 9: Sectionals Feb. 14-16: State Tournament

Step Ten Squeeze tight and wait for ref to slap the mat

8 Sports

The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012

Manager provides team more than water breaks Chandler Shields Reporter


n the sidelines of the basketball court, a vital sixth man sits anxiously to replenish the players as soon as they step off the court. He never fails. Freshman Erik Daneri has been specifically chosen to serve as the manager for the freshman, junior varsity and varsity boys basketball teams. Daneri is thrilled to be a part of the basketball program. Daneri is similar to his peers. He loves sports, excels in school and loves his life. However, there is one specific fact that sets him apart from the student body. Daneri is a student that deals with a complex neurological disorder: autism. Despite this hindrance, it is evident he does not let this barrier hold him back

when daily opportunities arise. “It’s a really good thing for me to do. I get to see my friends play and I see them enjoy basketball a lot,” Daneri said. Autism is the fastestgrowing developmental disability in the U.S., affecting 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys. There is no true diagnosis, but with the help of age and treatments symptoms can improve over time. In Daneri’s case, being part of a team has helped him. “He has gained a tremendous amount of confidence in this short time. I think it is important to recognize that he is not only successful in the classroom but with this social group. Exposure to typical peers is priceless for him. This has given Erik a role that he has never had,” teacher Lori Lipsey said. Lipsey shares Daneri

Words about Erik “Erik is a huge key to our success.” -senior Davey Hargrove “We all love him. He is a big part of our team.” -sophomore Sean Berry

is quite the rule-follower and completes every task to the best of his ability, especially when it comes to his duty on the basketball court. His passion and drive is clear in the midst of close games as he rolls and unrolls his rubber bands that he uses as a comforting tool in stressful situations- he cares. “My favorite thing about basketball is seeing the slam dunks. Once you see a slam dunk, everyone goes crazy,” Daneri said. At the tournaments and games, Daneri plays a vital role. As he proudly wears his Sparkman basketball attire on the sidelines, he gladly assists the coaches with their clipboards. As soon as the boys come off the court, Daneri never fails to retrieve water for the athletes. He stays ready to serve his teammates in any way possible. “I go into the locker room with the team before and after the game. The coach talks, and I stay there just in case he needs to use me as an example,” Daneri said. Head coach Jamie Coggins wants the teams to learn from Daneri’s service. The coaching

Getting Hydrated. Freshman Erik Daneri hands senior Raykia Battle a cup of water during a timeout. Daneri went to coach David Hughes and asked to be the manager of the basketball teams this season. The coaches agreed to it. Photo by Jarvon Pope.

staff’s desire is that the entire basketball program learns tolerance and respect, despite any mental or physical disabilities an individual has. “I hope the guys treat Erik like they treat someone that is on the team. I want them to treat him with the same kindness and respect that they show towards everyone else,” Coggins said. The players are thankful for Daneri’s presence on the court. Senior Jason Russell

sees the enthusiasm and positive spirit Daneri brings to the team. The coaches are also glad to have a few helping hands and a good attitude as they strive to bring the boys to victory. “If a coach is really mad and you feel down, he’s there to show you somebody cares. He always asks if we are okay and if we need water as soon as we step off the court,” Russell said. Daneri’s presence is a learning experience on all sides. The athletes and coaching staff have

Star player credits team for success on court Bria Calhoun Reporter


hile other teenagers were eating the biggest piece of sweet potato pie, junior Alexis Jennings and the varsity girls basketball team were winning the Madison Academy Thanksgiving Tournament. The girls won all three games to clinch the trophy. In one game in particular, Jennings led the score board with 32 points against Columbia. CC: Against Columbia you scored 32 points in a final score of 63-28. How did that make you feel? AJ: I don’t worry about points, I just play my game.

CC: What is your goal for the season? AJ: Of course to win. But also to make it and win in Birmingham, and also to continue to grow as a team. CC: Besides the Columbia game, what has been your best game? AJ: The game against Austin Nov. 27. I had 30 points, 14 rebounds, three steals, three assists and three blocks. But most importantly we got a “W” at their place. CC: Word on the street is that the SEC wants you. What schools are you looking at? AJ: I’m looking at Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, as well as many others.

Sports Editor


t is always good to come home. Alumnus Cedric Austin agrees to this statement. Austin, a former basketball player who graduated in 2005, said his time as a Senator was great. He made it on the locker room’s Hall of Fame and made many memories “I was a two-year varsity letterman and a member of the 2005 Final Four team. My senior year was my most memorable moment at SHS because I made the game-winning layup at the Huntsville Times Classic,” Austin said. After his high school career ended, Austin was awarded a scholarship to Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson,

Tenn., where he was a four-year starter. At Freed, Austin played for the 2006 and 2008 NAIA Division I national teams. “It was an enjoyable experience where I developed friendships that will last a lifetime and received an excellent education. FHU’s Christian atmosphere increased my spiritual growth as well,” Austin said When girls head coach Patrick Delay needed to field a staff, Austin became a candidate because of his success on the court and his connection to Sparkman. “Coach Austin has been around the program for about eight or nine years. He knows the kids real well and knows what is expected in our program,” Delay said. Austin said Delay

The Sports Buzz with Grant Taylor

Rivalries bring out best in sports teams


Teammates. Junior Alexis Jennings talks with her teammates during the Gadsden City game. Jennings credits her teammates in helping her be a success on the court. Photo by Jarvon Pope.

CC: Who is your favorite opponent to play against? AJ: Austin is my favorite because for the past two years we lost to them, and this year we were able to overcome the challenge. CC: Sometimes when being known as the

star player is difficult to handle. How do you handle it? AJ: It’s not difficult because I don’t pay being called a star player any mind. I ignore all the hype and just go out and play my game with my team and for the name on my jersey.

Former player returns to coach junior varsity girls Kenneth Harris

welcomed him with open arms. He has built lasting friendships with the boys, especially with the ones his age on the freshman team, who will step alongside him throughout his high school career. Everyone involved is thankful to be a part of the opportunity to bridge the gap of autism. “He’s just one of the guys. He brings a smile to all of our faces and always has something positive to say. He’s just an allaround positive person,” coach Brian Davis said.

provided him with an opportunity that he could not refuse because it allows him to give back to the community that played a vital role in his life on and off the court. He was given the junior varsity coaching position. “Having worked in the girls program and the relationship I’ve built with Coach Delay over the past 10 years played a major role in my decision,” Austin said Playing together and trusting his teammates is something Austin said he learned from his days as a Senator, and this is something he wants his girls to understand. At press time, the junior varsity team is undefeated and have had some exciting moments, like the game-winning basket in the Covington game.

“Breann Ryce was fouled on a last second three-pointer as time expired. She made the game winning free throw for the win,” Austin said. Catch the junior varsity girls in action tonight against Florence.

n every game of every sport, there is always motivation to push a little harder and give 110 percent effort to win the game. However, there is one opponent that a team plays when they need no extra motivation from the coach or family. This extra motivation comes from the passion and the drive to beat a rival. Every team has a rival they dream of beating when they train during the offseason, and it forces them to train just a little bit harder. For Senator nation, the team that players try to dominate each time is Bob Jones, whether it is soccer, softball or even scholar’s bowl. The players try to hone all their talents and sportsmanship to be the model Senator athlete. No team has yet to exemplify this better than the baseball team of last season when they bounced Bob Jones out of the playoffs with the excitement and drama of a grand slam by a star player. Most recently, the cheerleading team was able to claim first place at the state competition and are now going to Nationals in February. The basketball team is primed to have many chances to cream the Patriots during the coming year, and the desire of every Senator’s heart is for both the girls and guys team to beat the Bob Jones teams in the regional tournament at Wallace State. Ultimately, rivalries are meant to be a time to show sportsmanship to a team athletes intend to beat the bloody snot out of, while also giving their greatest abilities in hope that they will win and claim bragging rights until the next meeting. These are the games the players strive to win throughout the year.

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The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012



Origins of the One Ring Movie stirs up fantasy lovers with first ‘Hobbit’ premiere Kasey Stender

Entertainment Editor

Whether one is a book junkie or not, there is little doubt that he or she knows J.R.R. Tolkien’s name. If one is part of that small group that has not heard of this strange man with a strange name, be enlightened. Tolkien is the author of “The Lord of the Rings”, an epic fantasy trilogy that follows a hoard of young hobbits, focusing mostly on Sam and Frodo, as they traipse across Middle Earth to destroy an evil ring and to defeat Sauron, the maker of the terrible trinket, who is quite a naughty lad. They were first published in the late 1930s and written in stages until 1949.

The trilogy itself was a huge success and was translated and published around the world. In fact, the series is the third best-selling set of novels of all time. While the books were adapted in many different mediums, the Peter Jackson movies are the most well-known. They were nominated for and won multiple awards, becoming a classic destined to be seen in households around the world. Now, here comes a bit of a shocker. There is a prequel to this series, a lone book that is loved by many but not wellknown. This book is named “The Hobbit.” It follows the story of Frodo’s uncle, Bilbo, as he first comes into possession of the dreaded One Ring. Jackson has returned and

is adapting “The Hobbit” into a three-movie series. When it was first rumored that this was to take place, the book no doubt gained some more popularity. As the first premiere has come and gone, that popularity still continues to increase. The hobbit lovers and Middle Earth fanatics are slowly emerging from their holes to bask in the greatness that is Tolkien and his works. He and his books have inspired and influenced most of the fantasy and sci-fi novels today. Much like Truman Capote’s crime novel “In Cold Blood,” “The Lord of the Rings” became the poster books for their genre. Tolkien even had a style named after him. Words “Tolkienian” and “Tolkienesque”

have been recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary. If one has yet to read or see any of the “Lord of the Rings” paraphernalia, now is a good time to start as “The Hobbit” is the beginning of the whole affair. However, there are a few things that one should be aware of, which include knowing what a hobbit is, realizing elves are lifesized— not miniscule— creatures, understanding the One Ring is not the main plot of The Hobbit, knowing dwarves are extremely dangerous at short distances and knowing that a wizard is never late— he arrives precisely when he means to. This information sets up the events that transpire in “Lord of the Rings.”

People who attend premieres such as these have prepared for the massive amount of geekgear. An experienced “Ringer” has nothing to worry about. He or she knows all the lingo and can follow the movie without getting lost. If you are not one of these individuals, then you should be warned. Prepare for a concoction of cosplayers and massive amounts of a strange, fantasy-like aura that surrounds the Tolkien/Jackson works. The costumes range from moderate to extreme. Some of the costumed fans also get really into character. After the initial shock of seeing such a mix of people, one can, and probably will, enjoy the setting and the experience that comes

with attending such a unique type of movie. It is never too late to insert yourself into this fantastical world. A potential fan just has to be careful in the way in which he or she goes about it or he or she might get confused. Reading and watching these books and movies is an enjoyable way to be introduced into the fantasy world. Afterwards, one can see the ripple throughout literature that Tolkien has created and can be inspired to reach out into the forest of knowledge and begin a lifelong love for books. It does not hurt to try something different every now and then.

Scarf Statistics

How to tie a scarf for winter weather Sierra Fridelle


Opinion Editior

s with every winter, the wind has grown chilly, the leaves have fallen and they appear. At first, it was just one, innocently and loosely wrapped. Like gremlins, however, they multiply exponentially in days. The scarves have arrived, and they are here to stay. With simple cotton scarves, it is easy to keep warm. It is less easy, however, to look stylish and not like Frosty the snowman. There are three key ways to tie a scarf this winter that are both beautiful and quick.

There is the traditional layered knot that creates a perfectly classic look. It protects your neck and a tiny strip of chest, which coincides with a blazer or a coat with a tailored neckline. Start by placing the scarf around your neck so both ends are to your back. Then wrap the ends to the opposite side they originally laid on so that the ends are on your front side and you have a coil of cloth around your neck. Use the ends to tie a knot and make sure the top end of scarf is longer than the one hanging beneath. Take the coil you made originally and tug it down so it covers the knot and position the ends so one covers the other. For a retro look, pull the bottom end out to the side of the top end to create a 60s flair.

Then there is the bundled scarf. This method is perfect for when your coat or sweater has a slightly dropped neckline and you need to keep your neck and the top of your chest warm. Start with an extra long scarf and twist it loosely. Next, wind it about your neck, making sure it is loose and voluminous. The final step is to tuck in the loose end and fluff the circle, making sure it is as large as you like it.

The most complicated-looking and perhaps the most chic way to tie a scarf is the braided scarf. Double up your scarf and wrap it around your neck. Take one end of the scarf and wrap it through the loop you have created. Then, rotate the loop and thread the other end through.

Brandi Whyte Copy Editor

Unfortunately, the arrival of the holiday season often means the departure of hard-earned money from your wallet. This year, instead of feverishly cutting coupons and scrounging for extra pennies, make friends and family smile with an inexpensive, homemade gift that sparkles more than Christmas lights. A bird’s nest necklace is stunning, delightfully offbeat and, best of all, easy to make and customizable for each intended recipient. Materials needed: Glass or pearl beads, 24-gauge wire, jewelry pliers, a jump ring and a necklace chain. String three or four different beads onto the wire, then manipulate the wire to arrange them into shape.

Step One

Step Two

Step Three Photos by Brandi Whyte.

Photos by Brandi Whyte.

Wrap the wire around the beads concentrically. Do not worry if it is not perfect or exact– the messier and more imprecise it is, the more the necklace looks like a nest. Attach a jump ring to the wire once desired thickness is achieved.

Wrap wire in between the spaces between each bead to secure the bundle. Attach the completed nest to the chain and top the finished gift with a festive bow.

10 In-depth

The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012

Kenyan-born student chagrined by cultural disrespect from peers

t o be simply “black and white”, but if you peel back the layers you will discover that our school has more to offer. We have an array of cultures to display, as

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something that should be addressed. By viewing the world through another’s perspective, we can elevate ourselves mentally, spiritually and intellectually. John F. Kennedy once said, “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”


rack open your math textbook. Something inside does not add up. Inside you will find pictures that make us all roll our eyesyou know what I am talking about. They have got 99 problems but diversity ain’t one. There is always one African American, a Caucasian, Asian and one brown kid whose nationality cannot be exactly pinpointed. In a school in which diversity is one of the more subtle things on the agenda, how significant is the sign welcoming students in over 27 languages pasted on entrances to the school? In recent efforts, an announcement has been made comparing us all to snowflakes which are all unique, yet we still join together as one to form something beautiful. Though t h e

instrumental in reaching greater awareness of our surroundings and the people we call our friends. After all, the classroom should not be a place where one fears the discrimination. time America has an t o advantage over other nations, one that many take for granted. This country is blessed to be the biggest melting pot of different nationalities, races and religions all living under the umbrella of individual freedom. Think about it. What would America be like if everyone who lived discover in it thought and looked t h e s e identically? There would cultures and be no exchange of ideas, creating a no spread of knowledge. multiculturalEverything would be at a f r i e n d l y standstill. With America’s environment international population can be skyrocketing, diversity is

school, the halls appear culture is not strictly defined by c o l o r . Taking




effort is touching, we are not learning anything about other cultures by making cliché statements. As a foreignborn student in a predominately Caucasian and AfricanAmerican school, diversity is not addressed as much as I would like. Some students make ignorant jabs or attempts at insults, calling me an “African booty scratcher” or something of the sort. Others have asked if sleeping with lions or alligators was part of my daily activities or how I even got here. Often, I reply sarcastically, “I swam here.” Surprisingly enough, people react with wonder as if what I said was true, proving that a majority of people are uneducated about other cultures. At our


Beryl Kessio

A look at how a world of cultures shapes the senator family


Juniors prove love transcends language L


Communication was speak it as well. He is a challenge for them, teaching me Spanish, but it was nothing that too,” Black said. could not be They learned different things about each other. Black

Photo courtsey of Savannah Black.

was not expecting to talk to them. “My parents are still in Mexico, but they were okay with it. When I met Savannah’s family I was really nervous. Her mom was okay with the relationship, but her dad was a little on defense, but I understand because we got in trouble. Now I feel like I am a part of the family,” Maldonado said.

do in Mexico. We still try to mix cultures and we celebrate everything together and go to church together. I have a b i g

relationship has been smooth. They have grown together and have grown individually. “I have grown on my own because of changing cultures and learning who I am as family, I age,” Maldonado but I said. learned her family is small,” Maldonado said. A typical Intercultural day with Black 1. John Lennon and Maldonado and Yoko Ono involves going to 2. David Bowie the mall, going on and Iman walks, going to the 3. Lucille Ball and park, hanging out Desi Arnaz at home or going 4. Cleopatra VII and to the movies. Mark Antony Maldonado likes Black’s personality and the Like what you fact that she is a good see here? person. For more “I like the fact that information on he respects me and he diversity in our is an all-around nice school, visit us guy. I like everything online at www. about him,” Black said. Black and M a l d o n a d o ’ s

overcome. Maldonado had a hard time with English as some words sounded the same but the pronunciation was different to him. “It was hard understanding him sometime, but Jose speaks English well now. He used to not

learned about the Mexican Posada tradition, when one goes to different people’s houses for nine days for Christmas. Maldonado’s culture is more family-orientated, and at family parties there is music. “It’s very different. They don’t celebrate a lot of holidays that we


ove stories are not always told in the same language. Juniors Savannah Black and Jose Maldonado’s story begins when they first met in ninth grade English class. Maldonado was nervous and had a hard time talking to Black, but at lunch he made a breakthrough. “We were standing in line, and he asked me what my name was. I got butterflies inside. After that, every day before we were dating he walked me to my theatre class and gave me a hug,” Black said. The couple has been dating for a year and a half. Despite having different backgrounds, their parents were okay with their relationship. Two cultures soon became one. The first time Black met Maldonado’s parents was on an iPad using FaceTime. Black did not

say much because she was nervous and she


Lauren Noble

The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012



Mexican, Guamanian teachers bring culture to classroom, reflect on effects of growing up far from current homes fast-paced, hectic. Never a dull moment,” Terry said. Food has a special place in Terry’s heart. Her Mexican roots have fueled a true appreciation for Mexican cuisine. She distinguishes most Mexican food in America as Tex-Mex that is toned down in order to accommodate the average American palate. Terry says that one of the main differences between Mexican and American culture is the way the two treat food. “Here in America… we are used to fast food places and microwavable

Beryl Kessio

Mexican culture. Now that Terry teaches, she notices the school schedules are different and she did not have as much homework as students here. Aside from schooling, she describes growing up in Mexico as exciting. “I lived in Mexico all my life until I finished college. Well, [Mexico City] is the second largest city in the world so [it was]

things and things you can prepare in 20 minutes or so. Mexican cuisine, the real Mexican cuisine, takes hours. You would M e x i c a n spend two, three hours traditions alive, even in the kitchen preparing teaching her sons the ways of her motherland. “I try to stay true to


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Guam for a few years, Fernandez was raised to respect authority and live morally in order to honor his family. “As children, we are not allowed to be involved in adult conversations, nor address an adult as you would a

friend. You never question an adult. You do as you are told. Obligation to family is another one [difference between American and Guamanian cultures]. Family in our culture is a structural foundation. We are not to do anything that could shame the family name,” Fernandez said. Though having a much-disciplined upbringing centered on respect, Fernandez notes his family is very close and they love to joke around. The atmosphere at family gatherings is very loving. Because Fernandez is erroneously pegged as a Hispanic, he says

stereotyping affects him on a regular basis. “Almost everyone who I first meet thinks I’m Hispanic. I’ve had people ask me how to say certain words in Spanish. I’ve even h a d Hispanic people get upset with me when they find out that I don’t speak Spanish,” Fernandez said, “When I go to Mexican restaurants, the waiter or waitress always starts speaking to me in Spanish, and I have to tell them that I’m not Mexican.” In retrospect, Fernandez credits diversity as being one of the reasons why he teaches here. “Diversity is very important to me. In fact, part of the reason why I wanted to teach at Sparkman is for its diverse student population. It’s all I know. Growing up as a military dependent has a lot to do with that. I have lived in many places with different cultures, so I just enjoy the differences of peoples’ backgrounds,” Fernandez said.


32% are Black 2% are Asian 3% are Hispanic



Fernandez moved from country to country as his father was stationed throughout the world. Though he only lived in


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forensics teacher is oftmistaken for a Hispanic. He is quick to correct people about where he is from, Guam, a country he describes as beautiful and as having summer all year long. Born into a military family, like many students here,


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my roots. We do a lot of traveling. I do have a lot of friends that are Hispanic, and we do get together. We keep the traditions alive. We have certain festivities during the year, and we get together to celebrate them and to pass on the traditions to the younger generation,” Terry said. Another teacher who is a shining example of diversity in the school is Karl Fernandez. The




panish teacher Carla Terry brings a Latin flair to the school while Karl Fernandez adds a Guamanian touch. These teachers exemplify diversity in the school. Terry had a very different upbringing than her American counterparts. She attended a bilingual private school where she learned both American and Mexican subjects. Every day she was immersed in

the meal because everything is made from scratch,” Terry said. Terry notices many changes to her home country, like the legalization of gambling and the hold that violent drug cartels have over the country, but she still has a wealth of positive things to say about the place she grew up. “Where there is a Hispanic, you will find music and you will find a lot of food and family and friends. You can always see grandma dancing with your best friend and your little sibling dancing with whomever. It’s always very open to parents and family. Everything is very familyoriented,” Terry said Though settled in the Heart of Dixie, Terry s t i l l keeps

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ત 1% are of two or more races તાકા শক্তি Foreign students strive to master English language

Brittany Robertson Reporter


iversity is our Strength.” That quote is the school’s motto and it is very accurate, from the personality of each student to the

uniqueness of welcomed newcomers from other countries. It is a rare opportunity to get to know people who may be from “out of town.” Junior Jose Maldonado moved to the U.S. from Mexico three years ago and has come a long

way, fighting against the language barrier and having a good time in school, with his favorite classes being robotics and art. Maldonado admitted that reading and

writing were hard for him to master at first, but they are getting easier. “Reading and writing were the hardest. The

sound of the words was hard to understand. After learning English and being around Englishspeaking people, it finally became easier for me,” Maldonado said. Maldonado is not the only one

crossing the language barrier with flying colors. Sophomore Romy Delgado has a French background. Learning to read English came easier to Delgado than writing it. When Delgado first came over to the U.S., it was difficult for her to understand anyone, but now it is

3% are American/Alaskan Native

easier for her to talk to people. Junior Xuejiao Chen, from China, overcame the barrier with a small bump with the rules of the

little better,” Chen said. Teacher Rachel Simons knows all three students and enjoys working with them. Simons finds it exceptionally rewarding to be able to

English language, but that is a normal problem even among American teenagers. “Because of the help students, native or language problems it was not, to be able to find hard. Now I am getting a something that they


enjoy doing from what she teaches.

“Due to the size of our school, many of our students are overlooked, who come from a diverse culture. One has to be patient and be willing to work with others for student success,” Simons said.

12 Entertainment

The Crimson Crier

Dec. 17, 2012

Food and Wine’s Top 10 Pies

National Pie Day raises the question: which is tastiest? Mick Walters

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Visit to vote on your favorite pie


A tale of two trees Real Trees leave an ax to grind Lee Robeson News Editor


nce upon a time, in a galaxy not so far away and a time not so long ago, there lived a newlywed husband and wife. One Christmas season they began to feel rather festive. Smelling the newly cut pines peaked their interest in spicing up the living room. So, one day they decided to go out and buy a tree of their own. Shaking eagerly, they rushed home to decorate the tree and light up the whole house with extravagant colors. Little did they know there was a monster waiting in the tree. Days later, the wife was talking on the phone with the husband when she got the feeling she was being watched. The monster was standing directly in front of her, staring directly into her eyes. Then she realized the tree had infested the entire home with mean

green fighting machines called praying mantises. The tree contained a spore that was an egg to dozens of the little bugs. Once the tree was brought into a warm area, the baby insects came to life. The walls began to move with green lines about half an inch long. The wife sprung into action with an envelope and a jar to collect the bugs in. After deciding the praying mantises being hatched was just bad luck, the couple decided to buy another tree the following Christmas. However, this proved to be worse than the first. This tree contained a far more irritating insect that has the one goal in life to buzz around and bother everything in its path. Gnats began to bombard the couple every time they entered the room. It was then and there they decided to purchase a fake tree that would last longer, not bother allergies and not be a

home to creepy crawlies. Since then, the couple has not experienced any unwanted house guests, nor have they had runny noses. The fake tree proved to be the better option in the big scheme of thing because, in the offseason, it is stored in the attic and then dragged back down when the time is right. The moral of the story? If you want to spend your Christmas nights sleeping with creepy crawlies, you can have a real tree. But for my family, I think we will stick with the plastic ones like 17.4 million other people.

Real trees offer warmth, tradition Bria Calhoun Reporter


nce upon a time in a galaxy not so far away and a time not so long ago, there lived a newlywed husband and wife. One Christmas season t h e y began to feel festive. B u t t h e y didn’t have enough money to do much, so they bought an artificial, factory-handled Christmas tree. The couple thought they had done a good job because by getting an artificial tree, they were supposedly saving the environment and money. Little did they know, their money was washed down the drain. Days later, the husband was waiting on the wife who was picking up the Christmas lights when he opened the box and saw

Make the most of Christmas Eve to get true feeling of holiday Drew Schrimsher


Business Manager

ttend church: Many churches hold a Christmas

Eve special on Dec. 24. One does not have to be a “regular” to attend this traditional service. The Lord’s Supper is a guarantee. There is nothing like a candlelight service to make us remember the reason for the season. Last-minute shopping: This is the time when fathers all across America come together in a frantic search to do some last-minute shopping. Stores such as Target and Walmart keep their doors open for most of the day in order to give the shoppers a last-minute break. There is one upside to this scenario. Items that are ‘‘leftover’’ might go on sale, and shoppers can buy a last-minute gift at a cheaper price than purchasing it earlier. Look at Christmas lights: With the Christmas season coming to a close, Christmas lights will soon be taken down. A great way to keep the Christmas spirit alive is by driving through local neighborhoods

Web Editor

s the holiday season gets into full swing, there is one thing people hope to celebrate with- food. Not just any food, but delicious, sweet pie. Jan. 23 is National Pie Day, a day that is sure to be full of happy pie indulgers. Jan. 23 is also National Handwriting Day, but who is going to remember that when there is pie in the room? Apple, mixed berry and pumpkin pie are holiday and American favorites that are sure to arrive on the table at some point during the holiday season. The pure thought of these sweet portals into euphoria brings tears to the eyes of any pie connoisseur. Pumpkin pie with its smooth, heavenly texture and its indescribable flavor, apple pie with its warm feel and its captivating cinnamon and fruit flavor and mixed berry pie with its fruity taste and crunchy crust capture the essence of the holidays. They always seem to find a way to bring smiles and good times to those who devour them. When pie is mentioned today, people think of the sweet, scrumptious pies that are made today, but the first sweet pie was not created until the late 1800s. Pies today are very different from the first pies created by the Greeks and Romans, who filled their pies with meat or seafood and spices. The traditional English pies of the 1600s were filled with beef, lamb, duck or pigeon. The sweet pie became an iconic American dessert in the 1940s. Pies, just like American diets, have come a long way from their origins of healthy nutrition. Pies of all shapes and sizes fill hearts all around the world and soon their stomachs. The comfort and euphoria pies provide are sure to make them a companion for all during this holiday season and seasons to come. Thanksgiving and other holidays will come and go as the year passes, but the love of pie lasts long after the holiday season.

to see the Christmas displays. However, stopping right in front of houses could alert the homeowners, and the last place a person should spend Christmas is in a hospital. Watch a holiday classic: Christmas just is not Christmas until you curl up with a hot cup of hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie. ‘’Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are classics for a reason. Modern-day Christmas movies such as “Fred Claus” and “Elf” also offer a great holiday laugh.


Through Dec. 30 5:30-9 p.m. Passenger Car- $20 up to ten people Vans- $20 for 10 people and $3 per additional person

Tickets must be purchased beforehand. Visit for more information

pieces. The Christmas tree was broken and shattered. As he fixed the tree back together again, he suddenly smelled an awkward and unsatisfying smell of manure. After deciding the fake tree was a bust, the couple decided to buy another tree the following Christmas. However, this proved to be worse than the first. This tree had a piercing smell. The smell began to stink up every room in the house, and every time the couple went into the room and stepped out they smelled as well. It was that moment that they decided to go the traditional way out and

purchase a live tree, which they could throw out when they were done. Since then the only smell that entered the home the next Christmas around was the smell of pine trees, sap and hot chocolate. The real tree proved to be the better option because live trees are traditional and can push buyers into the right spirit of Christmas. The moral of the story? If you want to spend your Christmas nights smelling funky and picking up the pieces of your tree, you can have an artificial tree. But for my family, I think we will stick with tradition and have a live tree.

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December 2012 Edition  

The December 2012 edition of the Crimson Crier.

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