Page 1

the Sycamore


Ever heard of Woodstock? Turn to page 17 to find out SHS’s connection to this musical and cultural keystone.

Want to know who the 11 new staff members are this year? Flip over to page 4 to find out who they are.

FRIDAY August 28, 2009 Volume LVI Issue 1 | 7400 Cornell Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, 513.686.1770 ext. 3089 |

Homecoming will be a Hawaiian luau, with the theme: “Aviator Island.” The dance will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Spirit week will take place the week prior to the dance, leading up to Friday’s pep rally. Afterwards, the festivities will continue with the Homecoming parade, followed by the traditional tailgate, and finishing up with the Homecoming football game against Lakota West which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Open House

Parents are invited to tour their children’s classes on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. Teachers will be giving overviews of their classes, and parents will be able to follow their children’s schedules from beginning to end. Spirit wear will also be available for purchase during Open House.


Students driving to school through the junction of Snider Road and Cornell Road should be cautious of major construction work being done to the sewage system at the intersection.

Tag Day

Annual Tag Day will be on Saturday, Sept. 12. Band and Orchestra students grades 7-12 will be going door-to-door throughout the community to raise money for various events.

Read a column and want to make a comment on it? Is there something that is not being covered in The Leaf that you think should be? Then email us at WritetoTheLeaf@gmail. com. All comments will be read and considered.

SHS improvements check-it-out list

Resurface track and tennis court

New information system, renovations, Wi-Fi introduced to SHS rashmiborah



& michelatindera editor-in-chief

etween the end of the past year and the first day of this new school year, much has happened behind the scenes at SHS, and hopefully, most of the new changes and updates will be beneficial for students.

Schedule Delays

Usually, students get their schedules by mail in June, but this year, many were disappointed to hear that they would not receive them until late August. But had counselors and administrators decided to send schedules in June, many of last year’s graduates would not have gotten their final transcripts in time for college. “We had a choice between sending out this year’s schedules in June and sending out senior’s transcripts for college,” said Mr. Kevin Mays, assistant principal. This is because the district switched student information databases when the previously used program SASI became outdated. Transferring all of the information from SASI to their new program, DASL, took time, and the district had little time to do so before SASI “shut down” on June 15. Hopefully, there will be no further delays until a new information system is needed.

Schoolwide Wi-Fi

Following the widespread induction of the Smart board to classrooms, as well as the frequent use of blogs, wiki’s and podcasts, the technology department is ready to unveil another aspect of their technological “makeover”: a completely wireless school. With the goal of having a paperless school in mind, the entire building was made wireless to allow students and teachers to bring laptops to school and read documents posted on Blackboard, instead of requiring teachers to print out every classroom document. Even though laptops can now be easily used, students will not be required to have


Replace handrails

Recarpet the commons area Repair and repaint the pool

SEVERAL SHS “TURFS” WERE renovated over the summer. The track and tennis courts were refurbished, and the pool was renovated. In addition, the common’s dull, odorous carpeting was stripped to make room for new, chic carpeting. laptops, and all of the current computers will be remaining in classrooms for now.

Building Renovations

After two months of restoration, new carpet has been laid down in the commons, upper locker bay, and main staircase into the commons. The entire project was completed on Saturday, Aug. 22. Ultimately, the plan is to replace all existing carpet in the school with the new carpet because it is easier to clean and replace. “I think it looks interesting from the hallway above,” said Austin Post, 9. While official plans are still in the works, Mr. Chris Davis has also looked into to revamping the commons even more after the installation of the new carpet. “I’d really like the commons to represent who we are and what we do as a Sycamore community so that it will look more welcoming and less institutional,” said Davis. While nothing has been officially confirmed, possibilities include adding a few televisions to broadcast the news during lunch, or paint-


Q. What will you miss most about teach-

Q. How did the staff react to your ap-

A. Bare: Probably the daily contact with

pointments as assistant principals?


A. Bare: They were happy. We know a lot of

students, and I know I’ll miss the “a-ha” moments, when I give a lesson and the kids get it. But hopefully I can develop new relationships with students from a different perspective.

Q. How has the transition been from be-

Hevia: I also definitely will miss the learning side of things, and dealing with students in that capacity. The “a-ha” moment—there’s nothing like it.

people in the building. I think there was comfort in the fact that [we] weren’t two people from outside and were a part of [the staff ] already.

ing department supervisor to assistant principal?

A. Bare: Well, I got a little taste of it as summer

Q. What has been the easiest part of the job?

school principal…and I would [also] say that my supervisor role did prepare me to transition into this, because the issues you deal with as supervisor have some parallels with [roles] as an assistant principal.

A. Hevia: Probably moving and decorating my

Hevia: For me, packing up my classroom after 24 years of teaching was a big emotional change... [But] being global language supervisor for five years really prepared me for this role.

Bare: I agree, we know the faces [and] have developed the relationships, which has been the easiest part of the job. That’s one less thing we have to do, [because] we know the people.


ing something in the teacher’s lunchroom or the commons that will not only celebrate athletic achievements, but also other outstanding organizations at SHS. Also, the pool has been renovated just in time for newest set of Fit for Life classes. After it showed signs of leaking at the end of last school year, the pool was drained and outfitted with new plumbing, a functional heater, a fresh coat of paint, and new filters. “I didn’t think there was much hope for that pool’s condition, but I came in this summer and was pleasantly surprised...[The water polo team is] really looking forward to breaking it in during that first home game,” said Danny Brook, 11. The tennis courts and track were also resurfaced over the summer to ensure the optimal quality playing surface for athletes this year. There may still be a few updates and changes made after school starts, but students can be assured that everything being done is in the best interest of the students and staff members.

with Ms. Renee Hevia and Mrs. Karen Bare


Wi-Fi available to entire building

photo courtesy of leaf staff


Fresh school year, zesty changes

office, but also…we know our system, we know the staff, we know the Web site. We’re not coming in and learning 180 new names.

Ms. Hevia

Mrs. Bare

photos by ellean zhang

news tweets 8.28-9.25

Q. Do either of you have any further

aspirations to climb up the administrative ladder?

A. Bare: Well, not right now. When I took on

the role of supervisor, I thought that that was what I was going to do. Two years ago, I didn’t see myself sitting here, so who knows what will happen in the future? Right now, I want to focus on the [current] job that I have so that this place continues to run and do the things that it does well. Hevia: I always hate to limit myself, so I would say that I’m open to it, but I know I want to do a good job now.




friday, august 28, 2009


managing editor




wednesday thursday


1 4:00 p.m. Girls Tennis @ Princeton



5:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Kings (home)

History: U.S. Treasury Dept. Established (1789)




Holiday: Labor Day (no school)

4:00 p.m. Girls Tennis vs. Fairfield (at home) 7:00 p.m. Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Mt. Notre Dame (at home)




5 p.m. Girls Varsity Soccer @ Anderson

7:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Football vs. Springboro (at home)

8:30 a.m. Cross Country vs St. Ursula/Ronkers Weird Holiday: National Cheese Pizza Day




7 p.m. Girls Varsity Volleyball @ Seton

SHS Event: 7 p.m. Open House

5:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer @ Walnut Hills

7:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Football @ Roger Bacon




5:00 p.m. Girls Varsity Soccer @ Oak Hills

4:00 p.m. Girls Tennis vs. Middletown (at home)

4:00 p.m. Girls Varsity Golf vs Oak Hills/Mt. Notre Dame

7:00 p.m. Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Oak Hills (at home)

Weird Holiday: National Play-Doh Day





4:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Golf vs Oak Hills

5:00 p.m. Girls Varsity Soccer @ Lakota West 5:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Lakota West(at home)


29 5:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer @ Lakota East 3:30 p.m. Cross Country vs. Kings

10:00 a.m. Cross Country vs. Mason Famous Birthday: Jessie Owens, Olympian (1913)


7:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Football @ Middletown

5:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer @ Princeton

History: The New York Times was first published (1851)

9:00 a.m. Cross Country vs Alliance @ Miami Valley




Spirit week for “Aviator Island�

7:00 p.m. Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Walnut Hills (at home)



4:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Golf vs. St. Xavier

Weird Holiday: National Peanut Butter Day/National Grandparents Day




School event: Pep rally! History: The Supreme Court was established (1789)

7:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Football vs. Lokota West (at home) Homecoming

Famous Birthday: Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) (1774)


20 09

3 news

District prepares for Swine Flu rashmiborah



& michelatindera editor-in-chief

or the majority of the summer, uncertainty about swine flu has been swarming into the minds of students, parents and staff members: how many more people in Hamilton County have gotten swine flu? What about progress on the vaccine? How will swine flu spread once school starts? At SHS, with nearly 2,000 students and staff members, the spread of swine flu would not be difficult, since so many students and teachers are in relatively close quarters for seven hours a day, but with the right precautions, this risk could be minimized. “We were asked to report any cases of swine flu to the Hamilton County Health Department,” said Mr. Chris Davis, principal. “We will most likely be taking it in as a case by case situation depending on the severity of a potential outbreak.”

SHS and the rest of the district are planning to approach and handle the threat of swine flu as they did the threat of MRSA. The Hamilton County Health Department, in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), will be providing much of the information that will be used by the district. “The nurses are expecting to receive information [soon] from the Hamilton County Health Department to determine the role of schools in the prevention of the H1N1 flu,” said Mrs. Susan Murphy, SHS nurse.

Preventing SHS outbreak

So far the custodial department has done all it could to clean and disinfect the school. All handrails were replaced during the summer and a more thorough and frequent disinfecting of school facilities will be implemented during the school year. “We’ve been disinfecting everything we can think of,” said Mr. Brad Walker, custodial department

supervisor. “We have a cleaning product called Virex that kills basically everything.” The Hamilton County Health Department, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been emphasizing two main points: proper hygiene such as washing hands thoroughly after using the restroom and covering one’s mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of the elbow when coughing, and staying home when sick (for at least 24 hours after all symptoms disappear). School closings are a possibility depending on how many students are at risk, but the CDC stated that “there are not many schools where all or most of the students are at high risk,” and the only schools that would fit this category would be schools for “medically fragile or pregnant students.”

Fast Facts:


graphic by jake newton

friday, august 28, 2009


with Rose Mervis, 11

Q. How did you get swine flu? A. I got it from someone else at my

camp [Camp Livingston]. The camp was shut down for a week to clean everything, so that’s when I went home to get better.

Q. How did having swine flu compare to a regular flu?

A. I think I’ve been sicker before. I

really just had a sore throat and then some sinus problems and congestion, but not any stomach issues. Also I had a high fever for a few days. The whole lasted about a week.

Q. How were you treated for swine flu?

A. I was given Tamiflu, which I thought helped. It just shortened how long I was sick for and made it more mild.

Is it contagious?

The CDC has determined that this swine flu is contagious and spreads from human to human.

How is it spread?

Swine flu is spread the same ways a seasonal flu is spread; ways like coughing and sneazing without covering, so make sure to wash hands and cover mouth.

‘Creating a garden of native plants is one of the ‘greenest’ things students can do for their school...the native plants attract the birds and insects in the area, helping balance the ecosystem by providing a source of nutrients -Mr. Ronald Hochstrasser

Environmental Club, AP Class unite, restore indigenous species elleanzhang

news chief

As an AP Environmental teacher, helping students apply classroom knowledge in a way that positively impacts the immediate school surroundings has been a long-time goal of Mr. Ron Hochstrasser’s. In the final weeks of the last school year, he was able to gather environmental enthusiasts from his AP classes and the Environmental Club to join together in collaboration to make a difference. At SHS, contaminated runoff comes from both the parking lot and the building’s roof. This runoff collects in the area of land near the school’s main entrance. The gully that is carved into this land carries all the dirty runoff to the Little Miami River, where it joins the major network of waterways. What SHS students did with Hochstrasser was use their knowledge of soil type, filtration rate, and percolation rate, to determine the way they could

undertake a project and optimize its positive environmental impact. To fund their project, the Ohio River Foundation pitched in about $200,000 to cover everything from the cost of native plants to the cost of equipment that was necessary for the process. “It was very nice because the foundation approached us first, seeking to plant a 400-square-feet rain garden at the high school,” said Annie Xie, 12. “And though they asked us to design the garden for them, they also offered up their own ideas.” Though this project has been completed, Hochstrasser already has an extension to the project that he hopes to undertake this new school year. Ultimately, he aims to have a sort of haven for native Ohioan plants that will anchor their roots into the land surrounding the filtration garden. By sowing the seeds of naturally indigenous plants, the area will become self-sufficient. Able to flou-

ish on its own., it would no longer necessary for lawn mowers to trim the area weekly. “Creating a garden of native plants is one of the ‘greenest’ things students can do for their school because native plants attract native birds and insects in the area, helping balance the ecosystem by providing a source of nutrients,” said Hochstrasser. In addition, the long roots of indigenous plants will help slow the effects of soil erosion, improving soil conditions. To top it off, native gardens require minimal post-planting involvement because they inhabit the environment in the most natural way; they were born to flourish, and that is exactly what they do: no intervention required. The efforts of SHS students have so impressed the Ohio River Foundation that it immediately asked for a second partnership in this coming year in the designig and planting of another filtration garden, but at a different location.

photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniels

AP Environmental students and fellow enthusiasts eagerly helped plant a new filtration garden. The Ohio River Foundation funded the project, providing the plants and equipment used in the gardening process. This year, the foundation again hopes for the cooperation of SHS students in designing and planting another garden.

4 news

friday, august 28, 2009

11 added to SHS family

New faces, new teachers

W Good managing editor

ith a new school year comes the addition of our new staff members. We are welcoming 11 new teachers into our SHS family. Coming from all over the nation, their expertises encompass a variety of subjects. SHS wishes the best to the new staff for the upcoming school year.

Subject: English Past experience: Long term substitute last year Education: University of Cincinnati Favorite celebrity: Matthew Broderick Hero, why: Susan Ford, she was my seventh grade English teacher and she was the reason I fell in love with reading and writing Favorite band: Barenaked Ladies

Mrs. Carly

Ghantous Subject: Spanish Past experience: Two years in Batavia High School Education: Oakland University in MI Hometown: Westland, MI (15 minutes west of Detroit) Hero, why: Jesus and my grandfather, the most loving man and could somehow carry on conversations with others even in other language. Favorite band: Journey and Zack Brown Band

Mr. Michael


Subject: School Counselor Past experience: Production operations management (Miami University). Education: Miami University and Xavier University Hometown: Birmingham, MI Hero, why: My dad, he’s the nicest, smartest, funniest, and most athletic person I know Favorite ice cream flavor: Cherry Cordial

Mrs. Bonnie

Stephenson Subject: Spanish Past experience: Two years teaching English at a bilingual school in Madrid, Spain Education: University of Cincinnati Hometown: Troy, OH Hero, why: Barack Obama because he has shown many people that what seems impossible actually can happen Favorite movie: “Crash”

Miss Meredith


Subject: Math Past experience: One year at McNicholas High School Education: Ohio University [for my] undergraduate and Xavier University [for my] licensure and masters Favorite Celebrity: Kevin Huber Hero, why: My parents because they have been great role models and have given me love and support and to succeed. Favorite movie: “The Notebook”

Subject: English/Aves Academy Past experience: First year teacher Education: University of Cincinnati Favorite celebrity: Kevin James Hero, why: My mom, strong woman, taught me strong values, to be a leader and have good character Favorite movie: “Titanic”

Mrs. Megan


Subject: Math/Aves Academy Past experience: First year teacher Education: University of Dayton (Go Flyers!) Favorite celebrity: Hugh Jackman Hero, why: My mom, my life is amazing because of her Favorite band: Savage Garden

Miss Kendra

Miss Deanna

Subject: Algebra I Standards, Algebra II Honors, Pre-Calc Academic Past experience: Clark Montessori Jr. and Sr. High School Education: Miami University, Oxford, OH (’91 and ’09) Hero, why: Benjamin Banneker, a former slave and accomplished scientist, mathematician, and architect of Washington, D.C. Favorite movie: “What about Bob” and “O, Brother Where Art Thou?”

Subject: Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre-calculus Past experience: Northwest High School and Southwest Edgecombe High School (Greenville, NC.) Education: University of Pittsburg Favorite celebrity: Adam Sandler Hero, why: My father, he was a great role model and an awesome man Favorite movie: “Happy Gilmore”

Miss Fanta

Mr. Greg

Hornschemeier Rosen



Subject: Social Studies Past experience: First year teacher Education: University of Notre Dame Siblings: One brother Favorite celebrity: Denzel Washington Hero, why: Grandma. She went back to college to be a teacher after she had worked to put her own kids through school

Subject: Secretary to Assistant Principals Past experience: Previous job was with the Junior League of Cincinnati. I also had two children go through the Sycamore school system, one of whom was in the class of 2009. Goals for school year: To learn my job and contribute Pet Peeves: People that aren’t on time and don’t do their job

Mr. Steve

Mrs. Karen



photos by staff



Kelsey’s Conservative Corner kelseydrapkin

friday, august 28, 2009


cartoon courtesy of mcihela tindera

forum chief

leafing through the masses

staffeditorial Each new school year brings the possibility for a fresh start. Perhaps it is the piles of new school supplies; those binders not yet soiled with tedious hours of lecture notes, a box of Dixon Ticonderogas, pre-gnawing, over an impossible science test. Or maybe it is that very important “first day of school outfit” or reading through your schedule for the first time, that sets the tone for the upcoming school year. Whatever it is, we all have goals to be accomplished this year and changes that can be made, whether it is making new friends, improving grades, or making that team; starting the school year off right with a positive attitude is the first step to achieving such goals. In order make these adjustments; SHS has gone through several changes of its own for the beginning of school this year. Two new assistant principals,

Wi-Fi access, and renovations to the building are just a few of the changes that have taken place over the summer. Hopefully these improvements will only enhance all of our experiences at school this year. Not only are there new changes that can be implemented into our lives, but it is also never too late to join some clubs or teams, even as an upperclassmen. The important thing is to get your voice out there and be heard at SHS. In a school as large as ours, it is crucially important to make yourself into a unique individual. A great way to be heard is through the true voice of the student body—yours truly, The Leaf. Letters to the Editor and any other comments on columns and articles are always welcome and encouraged. And with that, as you begin your school year and turn over a new “leaf” remember to keep The Leaf in mind.

After reading the leaf for three years now, I can’t wait to read it for a fourth. The schools new gossip is always right at my fingertips and I love the pre-dance

tips that always seem to relieve stress before the big nights! I love the information that is always put into the issues and it is a great conversation and debate starter at lunch time. I always steal an extra one, because my parents like to keep up on news too. They’re all stacked up in order in between my old yearbooks. I love The Leaf! -Kat Pensyl, 12

the Sycamore


Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, OH 45242

Mission Statement: The Leaf, the official newspaper of Sycamore High School, serves as an educational tool in the training of student journalists to provide information and editorial leadership concerning school, national, and world issues, to provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and to give coverage to newsworthy events directly related to the diverse school population. Editorial Policy: Although students work under the guidance of a professional faculty member, the content is ultimately determined by the student staff and should reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent and controversy. Students cannot publish material that is obscene, libelous, or will cause “a substantial disruption of the educational process.” Content that may stimulate heated debate or discussion is not included in this definition.

“ “ “ “ Q:

What change in the new school year are you most excited about?

I’m not necassarily excited for one specific thing, but I am excited to be a high school student!

-Jessica Rabin, 9

I’m pretty pumped for the new carpeting. The old carpeting was pretty disgusting.

-Michael Levy, 10

I think it’s exciting that we have all these new teachers, and that I’m finally an upperclassman!

-Laura Birckhead, 11

It will be really awesome to be able to use our laptops at school because of the new wifi connection.

-Chris Lerner,12

The Leaf operates as an open forum for the healthy, robust exchange of ideas. Opinions expressed in the editorials are those of The Leaf staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged. All letters must be signed. The letters, not to exceed 300 words, may be edited for clarity, spelling, and grammar. Letters may be placed in Mrs. Cheralyn Jardine’s mailbox, dropped off in room 115, or e-mailed to The Leaf reserves the right to decide not to cover a death based on relevance, timeliness, and circumstances decided on by the editorial board. In cases that the editorial board decides not to cover a death, letters to the editor in regard to that death will be printed. The Leaf’s complete editorial policies can be found at For comments about columns, please write to

For comments on this column, please write to

Editors-in-chief: Rashmi Borah, Michela Tindera Associate Editors: Sohini Sameera, Maria Marballi News Ellean Zhang Opinion Kelsey Drapkin Jamie Alemagno Gabe Englander Feature Emma Oh Jimmy Chau Emily Begley A&E S.M. Dipali Emma Rosen Sports Brandon Sosna Paul Pescovitz Calendar Jake Newton Elizabeth Hoopes Spotlight Shivani Parikh Gina Romeo Snapshots Rashmi Borah Webmasters Jacob Katz

“If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to,” posted Macon Phillips on on Aug. 4. Does this sound reminiscent of the Red Scare when, in the early twentieth century, neighbors began tattling on neighbors for fear that they were Communists, resulting in innocent people being jailed for expressing their personal opinions? Or what about “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, where, in an oppressed society where books are illegal, neighbors are used as a snitches to tell the firemen what houses contain books, resulting in the burning of these homes? Does this whole thing seem like a restriction on what people can say or think about the health insurance reform? Two words: First Amendment; our right to the freedom of speech and freedom of press. “Government cannot monitor your thoughts, your words, or your ideas,” said Andrew Napolitano, former New Jersey Superior Court Judge. While this seems like a value that is truly American, time and time again we have seen the government monitor and track what we say and think. The Patriot Act, passed by Congress in 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks, increased the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other personal records in an attempt to put an end to terrorism, globally and domestically. This act went so far as to allow the government to track keystrokes of suspected terrorists. Now the Obama Administration is discussing lifting the ban on the government’s use of ‘cookies.’ ‘Cookies’ allow the ability of tracking what websites you visit and what you buy, eventually creating somewhat of a user profile. The government has been banned from using ‘cookies’ since 2000 for privacy of the common citizen. Recently, White House Office of Management and Budget has stated that the ban needs to be lifted for a “compelling need.” Is this compelling need related to the spam sent out by David Axelrod attempting to sway the American public into supporting the healthcare reform bill? When many of the people emailed have stated they have never affiliated themselves with the White House website in any way, it has to be questioned how they got on “the list,” as described by Robert Gibbs, White house spokesperson. It is unclear what this said “compelling need” is, but one thing can be said; the moment the government gets into our business and starts invading our private lives, that is the moment we need to wake up and realize what is happening here. We are losing our freedom of speech, we are blinded by the pretty words and speeches, and we are in for a big surprise if we don’t stop the government from taking complete control of our lives. “Question with boldness. Hold to the truth. Then you just speak without fear,” said Glenn Beck, news commentator on Fox News.

Mark Rubeo Staff Writers Daniel Bayliss Chad Chessin Emily Cohen Catherine Farist Elise Gelwicks Bennett Kaplan Ben Keefe Moriah Krawec Frank Pan Daniel Rickert Matt Slovin Garrett Steinbuch

Managing Editor: Jake Newton Business Managers: Emily Begley S. M. Dipali, Kelsey Drapkin Photographer Jeremy McDaniel Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: • Columbia Scholastic Press Association • Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association • Journalism Association of Ohio Schools • Journalism Education Association • National Scholastic High School Press Association • Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers) • Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary

6 forum

friday, august 28, 2009

Vaccine disadvantages




forum chief

associate editor

Anti-vaccine argument

Out of the 70,893 total cases of swine flu worldwide, there have been 311 total deaths. Without undermining the tragedy of each individual, we must notice that such a low death ratio should not be resulting in a potentially government enforced vaccination. Many United States citizens are eager for prevention from the swine flu that is being offered by the vaccine in order to keep themselves and their families safe. However, what many of us do not know is that this vaccination could be extremely detrimental to the health of children and adults.

Deadlier than

wine flu has provoked a state of global hysteria; and just as an antidote emerges, false accusations have already swirled that the vaccine will not be safe. What is especially troubling about these allegations is that the vaccine has not even been released yet. In fact, the H1N1 vaccine remains, and will remain for at least two more weeks, in very basic testing stages. The accusations range from pithy comments to outrageous statements; the most extreme of these being that the vaccine will be more harmful than swine flu. To put it plainly, this suggestion is utterly ludicrous. The so called ‘evidence’ is based on past swine flu vaccines, not the 2009 version. If the H1N1 vaccine has not even been released yet, how is it possible that it can already be branded as unsafe? However, it is important to concede some ground to these apocalyptic worriers. In 1976, 25 people, nearly all of them over 75 with preexisting medical conditions, died from the swine flu vaccine out of over 40 million immunized. If you do the math, that is a .0000062 percent fatality rate. That is not a very high percentage when compared with the potential thousands saved. Considering the evolution in medicine and technology available today versus in 1976, the vaccine should be that much more capable “Based on how vaccines are produced and cleared, my assumption is that the vaccine will work and work well,” said Dr. Robert Wallace, a pediatrician at Suburban Pediatrics. Nevertheless, Wallace found it important to note that the vaccine is still being tested, most likely becoming available in mid-October. “It is still being determined by the FDA whether the H1N1 vaccine is both safe and effective. Only once it is deemed acceptable in each of these areas will the masses be immunized,” said Wallace.

Will it be too late?

swine flu?

Vaccine advantages

Common wisdom holds that viruses spread the fastest in densely populated, enclosed areas, and swine flu has proven to be highly contagious. Obviously, the fact that SHS opened before the vaccine is available will not help control swine flu. In fact, it is more than likely that there will be an H1N1 outbreak in early September, similar to what occurred at Camp Livingston this summer. Taking into account that swine flu will spread and that a vaccine will be available, who would not take the vaccine? It is more probable that he or she will laugh themselves to death than die from the H1N1 vaccine. Faced with these odds, who would want to take the chance of getting H1N1? Each student must make their own decision on whether to take the vaccine, but to make the correct, one the facts must be available. And the fact is, not all of the facts are available. So even if you are skeptical of the H1N1 vaccine’s safety, at least wait until it is possible to reach a verdict based on facts, not fear.

Vaccine Manufacturers

There is a current race between vaccine manufacturers to produce the first swine flu vaccine that will be effective beginning on October 15. Baxter Pharmaceuticals has been a leading competitor and has produced a vaccine called Celvapan along with Novartis Pharmaceuticals whose vaccine is near completion. This would be great news, except for the fact that according to the article, “Vaccine may be more dangerous than swine flu” by Dr. Russell Blaylock the Baxter vaccine contains animal tissues from the African green monkey, which transmit a number of viruses. Even worse, Baxter Pharmaceuticals have previously been involved in manufacturing questionable vaccines. As if this is not scary enough, several years later, this same company produced a seasonal flu vaccine containing the bird flu virus which was going to be distributed to eighteen countries, potentially resulting in its own worldwide pandemic. Thankfully, though, the virus was found and removed before anyone could have taken the vaccine. Clearly, the wise decision would be to cut ties with Baxter Pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, the World Health Organization continues to work with them in creating the new swine flu vaccine.

Dangerous ingredients

So hopefully Novartis Pharmaceuticals will be the company that will be creating our vaccine, right? Wrong. It has been found that their vaccination contains a dangerous ingredient called squalene that has been proven deadly in animal studies. Squalene is the main problem. It can trigger autoimmune disorders such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis. This was proven with the outbreak of the Gulf War Syndrome. Do not be fooled: doctors, who claim that these vaccinations are safe, only conducted studies two weeks after consuming the vaccine which is not effective because side effects do not kick in until several months after injection. Although the actual ingredients are currently unknown because it is still under chemical testing, there is reason to believe that the vaccine is unsafe. As Dr. George Smulian, infectious disease specialist, stated, in the 1980s an influenza vaccine was released that caused paralysis in patients which is a major complication but also curable with antibiotics over the course of several months. Of 1,500 readers of Nursing Times Magazine, only 37 percent said that they would definitely take the vaccine. The 53 percent who either said no or maybe, said their main reason was the safety concerns. This vaccine is going to be highly targeted towards students and pregnant women. That includes you. What would you do? Is it worth the risks?

What we missed about school, but now hate jimmychau

feature chief

The old English proverb once said, “All good things must come to an end,” could not be truer about summer break. Lazy days at the pool and summer jobs have come to an end and have been replaced with hours of lectures and hoards of homework. There are fun aspects of school though such as friends you have not seen all summer, extracurricular activities you are dying to get back to, and teachers that you can look up to. “I miss seeing my friends every day because sometimes it’s hard to see them during the summer,” said Katherine Brown, 10.

While we look forward to seeing our friends, what we fail to remember are all the people that we, simply said, find very annoying and intolerable. Getting to see our buddies is great and all, but with the privilege of seeing them, there is the ordeal of coping with some people that we may not get along with very well. While we cannot change the way people act, we must keep in mind that these people are someone’s friends too, and they could be our friends if we put ourselves out there. “I miss having sports after school because it gives me something to look forward to,” said Jessica Buchberger, 10.

Extracurricular activities occupy our time and give us something worth doing. Over the summer, we dream of the days we can stay after school to participate in the activities we love so much. However, when they start, we quickly learn that these activities take a huge commitment. Extracurriculars take us away from our friends and prevent us from going home and relaxing after a long day of school. Even so, it may be hard to believe but there are other teachers that are very difficult to deal with and sometimes can make the school day excruciating. After a little time in hindsight, some teachers may not be as bad as we made them out to be.

I miss seeing my friends every day because sometimes it’s hard to see them during the summer.

-Katherine Brown,10

I miss having sports after school because it gives me something to look forward to.

-Jessica Buchberger,10



Asking Alejandra friday, august 28, 2009

Ali Lopez, 11 discusses Twilight, plans for the future, getting involved ginaromeo

QA spotlight editor

with Ali Lopez, 11

with Ali Lopez, 11

Q. What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

A. Funny, adventurous, and nice. Q. What school activities are you involved in?

A. I’m on the Flyerette Dance Team, Unified 4

UNIFAT, and I’m thinking about joining Spanish and French club this year.

Q. Who are the people closest to you? A. My dad, and probably my friends. I’m really close to my dad.

Q. What would be your superpower of choice?

A. Flying; that would be cool. Q. What do you do in your free time? A. I like hanging out with my friends, and I like to go boating and swim.

Q. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

A. I’m Mexican and people are usually really surprised when they find out.

Q. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

A. Oh man. Hopefully married, and I want three kids, living in California.

Q. What has been your favorite part of high school so far?

A. I’ve really liked meeting a lot of friends. I

also like the dances and the social activities that they have.

Q. What is something you want to do before you die?

A. I probably want to meet my grandchildren and I really want to go bungee jumping.

Q. Do you have any nicknames? A. My best friend [Lina Cardenas, 10] calls me

FLYERETTES DANCE TEAM MEMBERS, Lopez, Shivani Parikh, 11, Mimi Zakem, 11, and Karen Buenavides, 12, attended a dance camp together. The camp was held at Miami University this past summer.

photo by gina romeo

A-Lo, and then people just started calling me that.


Book: “Twilight series,” definitely. Animal: Monkey


TV Show: I like “90210” and

Food: Pasta

Movie:“The Notebook”

“Two and a Half Men.”

Song: “Down” by Jay Sean, I’ve Season: I love summer. been putting it on replay.

Q. Who is your favorite Twilight character?

A. Edward Cullen. Q. Any last words? A. You try, you fail, you try, you fail, but the

only true failure is when you stop trying!

Ali is fun, sweet and outgoing. I was fairly new at Sycamore when I first met her and she was just extremely nice and welcoming... She cares deeply about her family and friends and I’m lucky to be one of them.

-Sonali Jain,11



friday, august 28, 2009

Sarah Rabin, 12 tells all about internship with teen magazine


QA staff writer

with Sara Rabin, 12

Q. What was your role at “Seventeen”? A. I was an intern in the fashion department. Basically I

invoiced clothes, assisted editors on marketing appointments, pulled clothes for the magazine and assisted stylists on shoots.

Q. How did you get the job? A. After I was a finalist in the magazine’s design contest last

this month in


Homecoming tips, rules, answers Everything needed for a great first dance | page 11 Looking to get involved? Read about the clubs and groups SHS has to offer | pages 12, 13

Need more coverage? Visit the feature page at

Q. Are there any upcoming trends SHS should be aware of?

A. Beaded-bib necklaces, sandals with lots of extra thick

straps and caged heels were really popular in New York. And I’m a little nervous, but shoulder pads are making a comeback.

Q. What was the best thing about your internship? A. The coolest part of the internship was going to each

designer’s show room and getting a sneak peak of all the new clothes before they hit the stores. Some showrooms I went to were BCBG, H&M, Topshop, Salt, Betsey Johnson, Shoshannah and Millie.


A. It would be really cool if I could intern there again after

high school. I’m not sure if they would let me unless I’m getting college credit, but I would love to try other magazines or maybe a small design house.

Q. How did this experience change your ideas about fashion?

A. There’s a whole behind the scenes to fashion and maga-

zines I never really knew about until I was able to experience it firsthand. I was able to learn what was real and what was fantasized from shows like “The Hills”, “The City” or “The Devil Wears Prada”. People like Anne Hathaway’s character do exist.

Q. Did you meet anyone famous? A. I saw a lot of famous people. Nina Garcia worked in my

building so I saw her in our food court occasionally. I saw Taylor Momson, Sara Paxton, Jordin Sparks, Alexa Chung, the band Honor Society, Anna Wintour, Miranda [Cynthia Nixon] from “Sex and the City,” and I unexpectedly went to Victorya Hong from “Project Runway’s” apartment to pick up clothes so we talked about college and she gave me some good industry advice…and Kathy Lee Gifford and her daughter were very sweet at a shoot I participated in.

Uganda trip in review


Valerie Hill, 12 discusses experiences, memories with Valerie Hill, 12

mariamarballi associate editor

Q. What is your best memory from the trip? A. There is no way I can pick a best memory because every

part was memorable. However, there was one particular time when something hit me. The whole time, many of the adults had been saying this, but it didn’t really register until the last day when one of the hotel workers (who I became good friends with) said it to me. “Tell your family I love them and that I hope they are well,” or something to that effect. I was stunned that they all loved my family without ever knowing them! It amazed me how loving and trusting they were and that they could love people so much and forgive them so easily. I was so impressed.

Q. How did this experience leave you feeling afterwards? A. I feel so grateful that I was able to go on this trip and have these experiences because it has really changed me. I have learned to be less judgmental and more open to new ideas and new people. I feel proud of myself for going on this trip because it was not easy. I have changed in that I am learning to appreciate things so much more. Whenever I buy something or hear about someone buying something, I think about what that money would mean to a child in Uganda. A little money goes a long way there. It only costs $300 for school tuition and shoes and two uniforms and daily lunch, etc. Here that would pay for a few college textbooks! I have become more environmentally conscious as well because I saw how little is wasted there.

Q. Would you go back again? Why or why not? A. I would go back in a second if I was able to. I want to go

back so much, I was not ready to leave at all! I miss everyone and if I were to go again, I would stay longer. I left feeling like there is so much more that they still need and that we can easily give them, if everyone contributes just a little bit. There is no doubt that the money that Unified for UNIFAT raises is making a difference. Even though I want to do more for them, we are already doing a lot and if we weren’t, these children would be suffering. We are providing them with an education that will help them to get a job and then support

themselves and then help the next generation go to school. Our help has made a tremendous difference with them and the possibilities are endless if we give even more. I feel tremendous hope for their future because everyone in Gulu is working so hard, nobody has given up and with our help, I know they will be able to support themselves at some point. The war really tore them down and they are still trying to recover (although that area of Uganda is somewhat safe, the war with the Lord’s Resistance Army is NOT over) from it but they have not given up!

Q. What do you miss most? A. What I miss most is obviously the people, the kids and the adults, I miss the way that every time you see a friend there, they embrace you as if it’s been months since they last saw you. I miss kids yelling out and calling us “muzungos” (white people), and I miss always having someone holding my hand or rubbing my skin to see if the white comes off. I miss their unique and somehow more friendly handshake. I miss the African culture in general I guess.

Q. If someone else went on this trip, what could they expect to see, feel or experience?

A. If someone were to go on this trip they should expect

to pee in a hole in the ground more than once and never be the same again (in a very good way). They should expect to be shocked and awed by the miracles and horrors all around. They should expect to make lifelong friends and to try new things.

“Over the course of the trip we gave many things to the Ugandans and helped them tremendously but I believe that they gave more to us than we ever thought possible. They inspired me to treat all people, good and bad, with respect and to have patience with others. I now appreciate everything and everybody around me more than ever before!”

photo courtesy of shivani parikh

Ever wonder who works on The Leaf? Meet the staff members | page 14

image courtesy of

year, I became acquainted with the senior marketing editor, Marissa. I asked her if they had an available spot if I wanted to intern and surprisingly she said yes, they have one high school intern position that I could have. I immediately made accommodations to live in the city for the summer.

Q. Do you want to work at “Seventeen” after high

- an excerpt from Valerie’s journal

for more info visit www.unified for

friday, august 28, 2009


How to

fears fretted by freshmen

make the best


staff writer

The night before the first day of school can be rattling to almost any student, but the first day of high school can bring even more anxiety for incoming freshmen. The high school is vast and the inhabitants inside can be up to four years older than the freshmen. Here are some fears that may be on the minds of the class of 2013:

photo by elise gelwicks

of first


1. Getting lost in the building

BRITTANY MORGAN, 12, DEFINES HOW to make a bad impression on the first few days of school. Looking upset and bored will cause a teacher to have low expectations for a student.



staff writer

t is a harsh reality that one can be judged solely based upon their appearance, with little consideration of their personality. A first impression can be as short as three seconds, so it is important to make that time great, especially in these first few days of a new school year. A person’s demeanor shows whether they are friendly, sad, outgoing, etc. When walking into class, it is crucial that one appears enthusiastic and ready for a year of hard work. A student who comes in slumped over and complaining has the potential to be dismissed as mediocre by a teacher. “I think that students who dress nicely and who are upbeat for class make excellent first impressions. However, this does not necessarily mean they will be successful,” said Mrs. Diane Casarda, substitute teacher. Clothing is said to be a creative and emotional outlet, and dressing nice can be quite positive. Although school is casual, stepping up the wardrobe can make someone feel more motivated for school and teachers will take a student more seriously.

“I always try to dress somewhat cute for school because it makes me feel more confident and it shows my teachers that I take academics seriously,” said Lindsey Harris, 12. Being tardy to class does not only earn someone a detention, but it is detrimental to a reputation. Timeliness is a key to success and being late to class makes one look unprepared for school. “I have definitely learned to not be late. It disrupts the class, upsets the teacher, and makes you look bad,” said Liora Bachrach, 11. Taking an interest in a teacher creates a personal connection. For example, if one takes the initiative to ask the teacher about their summer and interests, the teacher will not only remember that student, but also feel a bond. Few people enjoy completing summer homework; however, this time consuming task is part of making a good impression on a new teacher. Walking in with a well developed essay and detailed notes on the required reading will prove academic and motivational merit. First impressions are not three trivial seconds of one’s life; they are the key to showing another person how successful and friendly one can be.

‘...Just keep trying and you eventually adjust...’

Freshman guide for surviving high school jimmychau

feature chief

& emmarosen

a&e chief

As summer winds down and school starts up, the arrival of the eighth graders from SJH means having to confront freshmen fears for these new-comers. Some will embrace the experience while others will barely make it out alive. First experiences are usually difficult. This is especially true of high school. Everyone has heard the rumors: mountains of homework, towering bullies, and freshmen hazing rituals, but does the first year live up to its infamy?

Do’s and do not’s

of SHS

In high school there are many rules. In fact, they can be found in the front of the school plan book. However, no one ever writes down the helpful reminders that help people make it through the day. Here is a list of just that: the do’s and do not’s of Sycamore High School. Keep these in mind as the day progresses.

feature 9

“Freshman year was great,” said Michael Bemmes, 10. “Nothing like I thought it would be. Sure, it was daunting at first, but just keep trying and you eventually adjust.” For many of the freshman out there, the first year will be a great start of their high school career but for others, a multitude of problems will arise. Here are a few things to remember to always have for a smooth freshman year:


Obvious, but arriving to class without a pencil could mean serious trouble; frequently forgetting a pencil could bother the teacher and cause problems for the

student if they have nothing to write with.

Something warm

Even if it is Aug. and over 80 degrees outside, there are some parts of the school that will feel as if they are below freezing. Always having a sweatshirt or a hoodie handy is very convenient when the chill of SHS is felt.


There are many classes in the school where eating is actually allowed. This is a big change from SJH where eating is looked down upon. Eating in class would quell the call of hunger and help the student concentrate on the teacher.


1) Use a backpack, not a bag. A bag causes shoulder and back pain and often rips. 2) Dress comfortably. Five days out of the week, seven hours are spent at school; comfort should be a big priority. 3) Make friends with the upperclassmen.

They offer the wisdom of the ages (and free rides to Chipotle). 4) Take interesting classes. Look at the course list and pick the classes that seem worthwhile. It will make time here more fun. 5) Bring food along. Hunger pangs usually occur around fourth bell.

With so many different staircases and classrooms jumbled in different wings, the high school may appear to be a huge building. To make matters worse, the vast, open areas like the commons and the IMC make the building even more intimidating. Freshmen are always afraid of getting lost in the mishap of the hallways and will almost never be able to get to a class on time. This fear will eventually go away after a few days of walking around and getting a feel for the school.

2. Tougher classes and schedules

The transition from the junior high to the high school will make an impact on one’s grades, especially in the first quarter as the new student is getting used to the demanding workload and new teachers. Do not fret though, because SHS offers many ways of help if one is behind. That includes asking teachers, going to the IMC help center, or simply asking someone who is older to help with homework.

3. Scary upperclassmen

At the high school, the range of the age of students varies from 14 to 18. The four year gap is a big difference in terms of maturity. Though the upperclassmen may appear to be scary, they are people as well. They will usually respond to a person when confronted with questions or comments so do not be afraid. If an underclassman shows them respect and tries to act his or her age, they should be fine in their presence because no senior wants to deal with a “hot shot” freshman.

4. Strict and mean teachers

The teachers at the junior high are always berating students and telling them about how the teachers at the high school will not accept late work and how strict and demanding they are. The truth is, teachers at SHS are not what the rumors are like and most are very lenient and will accommodate a student as long as he or she is willing to put in the time.

5. Finding a place at SHS

There are many ways to get into the SHS community and they can be accomplished. The high school offers numerous after school clubs and social gatherings as well as sports and music that can quickly fill up time and help ‘fit in’ at school. The best way for a freshman to feel welcomed is to join a few clubs and make some new friends that will last throughout their high school career.

Do Not’s

1) Get on the IMC staffs’ bad sides. Use of the IMC computers will be denied.

2) Procrastinate. You will regret it, and it will hurt your grades badly. 3)Be afraid of upperclassmen. They may be bigger and older, but they have been in your shoes.

4) Close yourself off. Be open to new people and things, and your SHS experience will be that much more excellent. 5)Let your schoolwork overwhelm you. Keep your mind clear and balance your schedule.


friday, august 28, 2009

Homecoming mythbusters

Freshman guide to dates, dinner, dancing mariamarballi associate editor


s a freshman, the details of Homecoming can be overwhelming, even nerve-racking. There are dates, dinners, dancing… what is one supposed to do? Do not worry, all of those details will be answered here.

Do I need a date?

The answer is no. As far as Homecoming goes, neither boys nor girls need a date. Not everyone that goes to the dance is in a relationship. In this case, boys and girls can opt to go with a group of only friends. Girls, do not feel embarrassed if you do not get asked. Going without a date is just as fun as going with a date. There will be plenty of boys at the dance without dates as well. But, with that said, having a date is a great way to enjoy an exciting night.

Do I need to go in a group?

Whether one has a date or not, just about everybody goes to the dance in a group. A group can go several different ways. It could be a group of couples, where each person has a date, or just a group of friends. (All boys, all girls, or a mix) Or, you and your date can go alone. Whatever choice you make, it will be appropriate.

What do I do for dinner?

Most groups will make reservations for a restaurant an hour and a half to two hours before the dance. It does not matter how expensive or cheap the restaurant; it simply depends on what everybody is in the mood for. Or, have a home-cooked meal. It is fairly common that one of the group member’s mom or dad will prepare a dinner for the group. Or, all the girls in the group could prepare dinner for the boys. Either way, a group dinner of some sort is most commonly included on that evening.

What do we do with pictures?

Generally all of the group members and their parents will meet at one person’s house before dinner to take pictures. Parents love doing this. They tell you where to stand, how to pose, and so on. This way everyone will have lasting memories and never forget their first school dance. Also, the school offers optional professional pictures in the gymnasium which the girl generally pays for.

Do I need to dance?

Lady Gaga says it best, “just dance.” It may be scary at first, but just about everyone in the school is dancing.

50 graduation

photo by jeremy mcdaniels


The fear of putting yourself out there will eventually subside So ladies, go lock those high heels in your lockers and start dancing. There are also refreshments in the Snack Shack.

How do we get to all these places? If no one in the group can drive, then it is important to have each group member consult their parents about a car pooling system. They will decide which parents are available that night to take the group to dinner, to the dance, and back to their homes.

What happens with the homecoming king and queen?

In every grade, the students will elect a Homecoming Prince and Princess to represent their year. All the elections will be held at lunch. Every grade’s top two representatives will be formally presented at the Homecoming Pep Rally. Then, the final results will be held at half time during the Homecoming football game. They will also be presented at the actual homecoming dance. For further details on “Homecoming Etiquette” look at page 14.

things to do before


25. Win an award for “best costume” at Senior Halloween. 1. Yell “Go Aves”every morning during announcements. 26. Take part in Relay For Life. 2. Attend a football game and color yourself green or gold. 27. Have a graduation party. 3. Find Room 99. 28. Learn the SHS fight song. 4. Take a day to thank every SHS staff member you see. 29. Volunteer at the Blue Ash Air Show. 5. Visit and check out every staff page. 30. Take a course just to learn something new. 31. Wear PJ’s to school. 6. Pull an all-nighter studying for a big test. 32. Attend Battle of the Bands. 7. Order a pizza for lunch at school. 33. Take part in a senior prank. 8. Learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. 34. Read an issue of “The Leaf” cover to cover. 9. Try out for something you know nothing about. 35. Achieve a 4.0 GPA. 10. Go see the spring musical. 36. Go the a SHS Choir, Band, or Orchestra concert. 11. Shower in the gym locker room. 37. Tie-dye a t-shirt with friends. 12. Get an out-to-lunch pass. 38. Start the “wave” at a school assembly. 39. Dance on a table in the commons. 13. Take Lifetime Sports or Outdoor Recreation. 14. Help a freshman. 40. Emcee a pep rally. 41. Bring a teacher an apple. 15. Attend one sporting event every month (no repeats). 42. Have a meaningful conversation with Doc. 16. Attend a High Honors Breakfast. 43. Walk into a random club and join it. 17. Participate in Dart Wars. 44. Sponsor a Unified for UNIFAT child. 18. Find the “Bowling Alley”. 45. Win a spirit week competition for your grade. 19. Take part in “Diversity Day”. 46. Be in the Homecoming Parade. 20. Eat in the courtyard. 21. Get exempt from an exam. 47. Go to Odd Couples and boogie with your parents. 22. Take a Medallion test. 48. Get invited to Prom as an underclassman. 23. Take an AP course. 49. Wear weird socks to school for a week. 24. Fish in the pond. 50. Enjoy every moment. associate editor

photo by jeremy mcdaniels

MEREDITH MURPHY, ‘09 AND STEPHEN Raithel, ‘09 at Senior Recognition Night, each of them having four full years of achievement. Raithel played varsity basketball two years in a row.




jimmychau feature chief & feature chief


ith Homecoming just around the corner, many students at SHS are preparing to ask someone or be asked to the school year’s first dance. Before long, “Homecoming?” will be written all over cars, banners and lockers. Dinner reservations will be made, the countdown in the commons will reach zero, and the potential for a great night will present itself. As the evening begins, remember that it is very important to ensure that everyone you go with has fun. Even if one is just going casually with a friend, it always is important to put the best foot forward and make an effort to create an unforgettable night. Here are some basic, simple ways to make sure that your evening is problem free and enjoyable.

feature 11

tips to have a

crisis free night

1. be a courteous date. 2. be punctual. for guys: contrary to popular belief, chivalry is not dead. Small things like holding the door for her or pulling her chair out for her at dinner will make her feel special and show that you are willing to make it an unforgettable night for the both of you. for girls: say, “Thank you.” Not only does this show your gratitude but these two small words assure your date that he is doing things right and lets him know that you are having a good time.

3. no cell phones. Put aside the phone for the night. Although cell phones are allowed at SHS dances, unlike at SHJ, whipping out a cell phone during dinner or any time during the night is rude. Only use it when someone important, like a family member, is calling. Even checking the time could signal to your date that you are anxious for the night to be over.

4. dress sensibly. 5. plan ahead. Since Homecoming is in the beginning of fall, the weather can be unpredictable. for girls: typical Homecoming attire is a nice, shorter (but not too short) dress, or dress pants and a nice top with heels or sandals. for boys: general homecoming attire is dress pants and a jacket and tie. If this style is not for you, it is always fun to dress to match the theme, too. This year’s theme is Aviator Island.

6. choose an inexpensive restaurant. Although most people choose to eat at a nice restaurant before Homecoming, it is important to make sure that it is not too pricey. If the plan is to eat at a restaurant before the dance, you may want to choose a place like Olive Garden or Iron Chef, both of which are popular on Homecoming night. If those are out of the price range, it is always an option to have a dinner party at someone’s house.

8. order wisely. 9. act appropriately.

It is not recommended to eat your favorite bean dish before Homecoming. Hopefully, reasons for that are already understood. Try to avoid garlic and heavy foods that do not settle well. Keep in mind that you will probably be jumping around and dancing later. If you must eat a dish of this type, keep some mints with you and there is free water at the refreshments table just in case you feel sick.

Being “fashionably late” is not fashionable. Try to leave 15 minutes earlier than you anticipate leaving. There is nothing wrong with showing up a little early. It is better to wait for your date than to keep your date waiting, but be nice about it. Guys, remember that sometimes girls take a little longer to get ready.

Keep in mind that it is still a school dance and school rules still apply. There are also many chaperones around so be sure not to do anything that you would not want your grandmother catching you doing. PDA should be kept to a minimum. Keep the dancing appropriate as well.

Planning ahead is a good idea before any event, especially Homecoming. Establish beforehand who is going to pay for what, what time to meet at, and where to meet. Guys usually make reservations and pay for dinner and the tickets, and girls usually pay for the pictures.

7. go in a group. Going in a group can really ease the awkwardness of a date, especially if it is your first. Although it is important to pay attention to your date, having friends and their dates along can really help. Not only will it relax you, but it will provide additional conversations for you and your date to join in if you run out of things to talk about.

10. have fun. Relax and enjoy the night. Homecoming is the first dance of the year so it is okay if a few mistakes are made here and there. Loosen up and try to make it an unforgettable night. When you relax and have fun, chances arE your date will as well.

images by jake newton

friday, august 28, 2009

12 feature

friday, august 28, 2009

Getting involved: emilybegley & rashmiborah feature chief



HS can be an intimidating place – the differences between junior high and high school are evident from the moment freshmen enter through the doors. However, joining a few clubs and sports can help ease this transition. “Being involved is a great way to get to know your school and other people, especially upperclassmen. It’s really beneficial for your high school career,” said Bailey Dowlin, 11. The high school has hundreds of groups available for students to become a part of. These activities accommodate nearly every interest imaginable – individuals should have no trouble pinpointing one that they will enjoy. The vast majority of students feel that becoming involved gives them a strong sense of purpose and belonging. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet other individuals that share similar interests. “I had lots of fun being involved and getting to know more people,” said Lauren Barrett, 10. For freshmen in particular, participating in an afterschool activity is a great way to make numerous friends early on. It is common for these established relationships to last throughout the rest of high school and for years to come. Because clubs and sports consist of students in all grade levels – getting to know oftentimes daunting upperclassmen will make them appear less intimidating. The beginning of a new school year also presents the chance for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to participate in the activities offered at SHS. For those who wish to make a change, it is never too late to become involved. “Getting involved was a lot of fun,” said Brian Wulker, ‘09. “I wish that I did more of it.”

AVES Theatre

Japanese club

New students needed, welcomed

Many clubs do not just welcome students, they actively look for new members to fill the space of seniors that graduated, or just to bring new faces to the group. The Speech and Debate Club, for example, welcomes new members each year. New members are encouraged to compete in any event they find interesting, and are trained in that event before the first tournament in November, and there are no tryouts to join the team. All of the Global Language clubs are open to new members. For the students who are taking a Global Language at SHS, joining the corresponding club is an easy way to meet new people in a familiar environment, with something in common. Even activities that require tryouts or auditions do not turn away underclassmen. SEE1, the school’s rock orchestra, has had freshmen and sophomores in the group, even with some as soloists. The school’s Science Olympiad team also welcomes freshmen onto the team if they qualify.

Nothing interesting?

In the unlikely event that not a single one of over 70 clubs at SHS is interesting, there is always the option of starting one. Doing so at SHS is relatively common, and while some may fall through, a good number have succeeded and become popular to join. Nearly every club at SHS was student-founded. SHS students continue to actively start their own clubs if they do not find something that is to their interest. During her freshman year, Meghan Marth, 12, started the Unified for UNIFAT club, one of the most active clubs in the school. Jessa Ramsey, ‘08, started the school’s Discussion Club, which still meets every week to discuss both serious and humorous topics. In order to start a club, all that is needed is an adviser and a few friends. Most teachers are willing to be an adviser for a club, and some teachers are advisers for multiple clubs. Even if the club does not become incredibly popular, the founding members and their friends are sure to have fun. At SHS, there is no reason to be wary of trying to get involved; most who do end up glad that they did, and while it takes a while to truly become integrated into the high school environment, getting involved is one of the easiest ways to simplify the process. “Most of the clubs at SHS are really easygoing; it wasn’t formal and you didn’t have to be in an exact place to join and could join at any time as long as you participated and had fun,” said Xiaotian Wang, 12.

Unified forclub UNIFAT Fencing club Fashion



with Xiaotian Wang, 12

As last year’s president of Asian Club, Wang is well aware of how important new members are to club officers. Wang was also a new student

to the school district, and is familiar with the importance of getting involved.

Q. Did you have as many new members as you

Q. You were a new student once, during your sev-


A. Yes. The years before were really really disorganized so

this year advertised the club more. The first meeting had free food and fun activities, so people came.

Q. Do you think the new members felt welcome? A. Yeah, I think the atmosphere in the club was easy going, it wasn’t was just about having fun.

enth grade year. Did you join any clubs?

A. Yeah. I was in ESL then, and the ESL teacher encour-

aged us to join clubs sponsored by ESL, such as International Club., where there were students from different countries and cultures.

Q. Do you think that joining these clubs really

helped you get integrated into the school environment?

Q. Did most of the members stay throughout the

A. It does partially, but it takes time to really become a part

A. Unfortunately , most members kind of dropped out

Q. Overall, do you think it is easy to join clubs at


throughout the year but at least first semester most were maintained, but from second semester attendance started to fade.

Q. Were there other clubs you joined when you came to the high school?

A. I joined Japanese club, where I got a lot of ideas for Asian club, and I joined Computer club.

Q. And did you feel welcome at those clubs? A. I definitely did at Japanese club because the Japanese teacher was hosting it and it was really easygoing.

of the environment. But I think it helps more if you join a club.


A. Yeah, most of the clubs at SHS are really easygoing. They

aren’t formal and you don’t have to be in an exact place at an exact time to join and you can join at any time as long as you participate and had fun. You gain a circle of friends that have similar things to talk about and this helps you get connected with more people.

Q. Do you have any last thoughts on joining clubs at SHS?

A. Just join clubs and have fun. Stay with it and don’t drop out in the middle.

feature 13

friday, august 28, 2009

SHS offers myriad of activities

New members always welcome academic Sycamore Electric Ensemble (SEE1)

Speech and Debate Club

There are tons of benefits to knowing how to argue effectively, and the members of Speech and Debate club are set on getting them. Through club meetings and competitions, the members discuss topics from school policy to foreign policy, from school social life to diplomatic conflicts. In the process learn how to hone their thinking skills to win whatever verbal battle they are engaged in. “Debate club has certainly helped me grow at SHS. As a [freshman] I was very quiet and reserved. Through debate club I met friends with similar interests,” said Annie Xie, 12. Though SHS’s team is small, the Speech and Debate team has done extremely well at tournaments throughout the year, and has had students qualify for the Ohio High School Speech League State Finals during two of the last three years. For those who do not want to compete, the club hosts regular meetings throughout the year to discuss a variety of topics and host special events, including last year’s Sophomore Debate workshop. The club will have its first meeting on Sept. 2 at 2:30 in room 217, and club officers are actively looking for new members. More information can be found from club adviser Mrs. Connie Smith.

Also check out... -Scrabble Club -Leaves of Thought -Student Council -Mock Trial -Science Bowl -Model UN -National Honor Society

Rocking out on electric string instruments, the musicians of the Sycamore Electric Ensemble, or SEE1, have an opportunity few others get. Under the direction of SEE1 director Mr. David Smarelli, the students have played rock arrangements and “modernized” versions of classical tunes. For the past three years, the members of SEE1 have had a tremendous opportunity by performing with former Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) violinist and Emmy award-winning Mark Wood and TSO drummer Jeff Plate. Auditions have not been held yet for this school year, and those interested are encouraged to audition when the music is distributed. Non-musicians can still enjoy the work SEE1 performs by attending their annual concert, which will be held

There is one...

Food is a popular staple of most cultural clubs at SHS, including French Club. Last school year, club members made delicious crepes and held a fondue party, and enjoyed other French delicacies at the Mardi Gras party. Students do not have to take French in order to be involved in French Club at school, and the same goes for any other global language club at SHS. Even though neither global languages nor their clubs are required, most students choose to participate. Some of the other activities French Club participants


-Art Club -AVES Theatre -Fashion Club -Musical (Pit) Orchestra -Sycamore Women’s Ensemble of Excellent Trebles (SWEET)

fine arts

...for everyone Ultimate Frisbee Even for those who are not stellar athletes, there are plenty of opportunities for students to be involved in athletic activities at SHS. One of those is Ultimate Frisbee, which is open to everyone, regardless of ability level. The Ultimate Frisbee team meets year-round on Sundays at Dully Park, but members can join the team at any time. The team competes in various tournaments throughout the winter and spring. At the State tournament last year, the SHS team placed fifth in the consolation bracket. Even at this level, anyone can join the team and share in its victories, since there are no tryouts for the team. For more information, students can contact Mr. Mike Gutekunst, and more information will be provided throughout the school year.

-Rock Climbing Club -Fencing Club -Ski Club -Intramural Basketball

French Club

Also check out...

SHS Clubs

Also check out...

Interact club

this year on Feb. 26, or listen to their lunchtime concerts in May. For more information, contact Smarelli or the music department supervisor, Mr. David Frank.

athletic have done include watching French films, enjoying French baguettes, celebrating National French Week and National Global Language Week, joining with Spanish club to throw a Valentine’s Day dance, and joining the other global languages in the annual Global Language cookout. French Club meets monthly and starts in September. For more information, contact Mrs. Jacqueline Wyatt.

Also check out... -Spanish Club -Latin Club -Japanese Club

-ASL Club -Asian Club

Unified for UNIFAT

service Stepping Out Club

Stepping Out Club, according to the 2008-2009 Activities Guide, is “an organization designed to integrate the special needs population with ‘typical’ students at SHS. The goal of the organization is to develop appropriate socialization skills by providing student role models.” Club meetings are normally held at SHS on a monthly basis. The members of Stepping Out Club participate in a variety of activities, such as arts and crafts, field trips and seasonal parties. “The activities were good, my favorite activity was the Halloween Party,” said Stephen Krawec, 12. However, some other outings are held outside of SHS. Students went to the Newport Aquarium and viewed the animals that were displayed. Members were even allowed to touch the sharks at the Aquarium’s Touch Pool. New members are welcome at all times, and anyone can join just by attending a meeting. “Stepping Out was so fun, and I’m for sure joining this year,” said Whitney Collins, 12.

Also check out... -InterAct club (formerly Key Club) -Random Acts of Kindness Club -Operation Giveback

-Operation Smile -National Honor Society -Unified for UNIFAT

14 feature

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My favorite thing about journalism is the people, including Mrs. Jardine and Mr. J-Rob.

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friday, august 28, 2009

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m Summer While tan lines may fade, friday, august 28, 2009

2009: summer drama lives on s.m.dipali

a&e chief

& emmarosen a&e chief

Michael Jackson


all photos courtesy of

The controversial King of Pop shocked the world by going into cardiac arrest and passing away on June 25. Fans were devastated, and his face was plastered all over the news. His death left people with many lingering questions over things like the custody of his children and his million dollar assets. Even if he was accused of many a dark crime while he was alive, he will always be remembered for his revolutionary music.

this month in


Dumbledore “Harry Potter and the Half-Blooded Prince.” Enough said.

After a long battle with cancer, Fawcett passed away on June 25. Fawcett is known for her luscious hair and her many hits, including the original “Charlie’s Angels.” She was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, and contracted liver cancer in 2007. She will forever be known as a pop culture icon.

Learn more about this years’ Aves Theatre productions| page 16

Time Traveler’s Wife Movie review | page 17 Hidden treasures: Obscure places in Cincinnati| page 19 Need more coverage? Visit the a&e page at

Farrah Fawcett

Billy Mays

Everyone remembers Billy Mays’ infomercials for his trademark loud voice and endless enthusiasm. His death has, however, raised questions about a possible drug addiction. Rumor has it that cocaine was found in his system during the autopsy. Despite these accusations, people will always fondly remember Mays.

Breaking Up

Jon and Kate

These super-parents have long had marital problems, and finally signed the divorce papers. This summer the pages of tabloids were filled with news of their tearful arguments and of Jon’s supposed affairs with multiple women. Jon has vehemently denied straying from Kate during their marriage, but there is no doubt that he started dating after the divorce. The big question most people are asking is, “what will happen to the eight?” There is not yet news of a custody battle, so only time will tell what happens to the loveable eight Gosselin’s children.


Kourtney Kardashian

As one of the sisters on the reality TV show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” her pregnancy came totally out of the blue. She recently released the news that the father is Scott Disick, her ex-boyfriend. She released statements saying she was “so shocked about being pregnant.” She is also planning on getting back together with her ex, for the “sake of the baby.”


ichela’s musings



Some songs are just downright weird. But I do not mean it in that super-indie-chill-weird way that is supposed to be like I am listening to my soul coming out through my iHome speakers. Music like that, I will probably never understand. No, I am talking about those songs that make you wonder what possessed certain—for lack of a better word—artists to create these songs. And not only why these artists make these songs, but why are they so darn catchy? We have heard (and loved) them all: a classic “what were they thinking?” song like “Baby Got Back” to the more recent tune like Eminem’s “Real Slim Shady.” And most definitely the summer of 2009 rose to the occasion to create some of the strangest, but also some of the catchiest beats yet. Five songs in particular stood out to me as the most outrageously weird and/or creepiest songs. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the next five soulful jams of summer ’09. Up first is one of my personal favorites, Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex.” If you have been living under a rock this summer and have not yet heard this, the song title explains it all. Enough said. And do not let Jeremih’s baby voice fool you; this guy certainly has a way with his words. Coming next is Trey Songz: “LOL Smiley Face.” This song is a true testament to the belief that anything can be made into a popular song when Soulja Boy is behind it. I mean really, who would not want to hear “they have a body like a Coke bottle?” Right in the middle of this playlist is one of Lil’ Wayne’s raunchiest songs (to have hit the radio) yet. “Every Girl” is the official testament to Lil’ Wayne’s complete lack of class. Perhaps the best line would be when Mr. Carter coos, “In about three years holla’ at me Miley Cyrus.” Wow. What a gentleman. And the best is that I love every minute of it. And trust me, I need to, it is a really long song. It clocks in at over five minutes. New Boyz’ “You’re a Jerk”…I know, I know. Who can resist listening to a song where it is flat out insulting someone over and over again? But even if the song had absolutely no redeeming quality; the music video has a dance that goes with it. And honestly, who cannot resist a cheesy eight-count routine. Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” anyone? And finally we come to Twista’s “Wetter.” While you might not recognize this song by its name, perhaps the beginning of the chorus will ring a bell, “Will you be my daddy? Come and make it rain down on me…” Honestly I am at a complete loss to how this song’s inspiration came about. But what I do know is I would ask the guy I like to be my daddy any day. All I can ask now is what wacky songs await us for summer 2010? Whatever they are, I am sure they will give us something to “LOL Smiley Face” about.

For comments on this column, please write to

16 a&e

friday, august 28, 2009

Marching band, color guard prepare for gina’s upcoming season with vigorous training ginaromeo

photo courtesy of staff

spotlight editor

MEMBERS OF THE DRUMLINE Kathryn Napierski, 11, Joanna Boutilier, 10, Becca Streeter, 12, Chris Koffel, 9, and Nick Lo, 10 have been practicing very hard over the summer, along with the rest of the marching band, in preparation for their upcoming show. Students can see the drumline perform at pep rallies and football games starting tonight at the home varsity football game versus Glen Este.


M feature chief



calendar chief

any students know the marching band as the group of students that sit in the stadium and play during football games and perform during the halftime show, but few have a full grasp on the amount of time and effort that goes into it. Before summer has even begun, the show’s theme must be decided on, the competitions must be scheduled, and the drill and music must be written. Once summer begins, the marching band practices weekly. The band rehearses and memorizes their music, and the color guard learns their show work. They also participate in the Fourth of July parade held in Montgomery. In addition, new members of the color guard attend two days of “Rookie Camp” at the beginning of June. Coaches work to cover basics including marching, counting, and

important routines. “As soon as I walk onto the field, I just feel so cool,” said Spencer Pike, 9. Then towards the end of summer, there is a week of drumline and guard camp, where each of these groups puts in extra practice time. All of this leads up to band camp – two weeks of intense preparation for the upcoming season. The first week goes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and ends with a canoe trip, and the second week goes from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and ends with a parent preview of the show. “Band camp is really long and can be really hard but we try to make it fun. It helps that we are with our friends and we even have themes for each day that we dress according to,” said Bailey Dowlin, 11. A typical band camp day begins with members of the band bringing all of their equipment to the field. Everyone then gets in a block where they take attendance, stretch, and then take a lap around the field. They then spend time working on march-

ing fundamentals together and then in their separate sections. The rest of the morning is spent learning drill on the field. Band and guard members then get a chance to eat lunch and head to their sectionals, which take up most of the afternoon. After a catered dinner, everyone heads back out to the field to learn more drill until the end of the day. Once band camp is over, the marching band takes up a regular practice schedule where they finish learning their show and practice for any upcoming football games and competitions. The marching band usually attends football games on Fridays and competitions on Saturdays and Sundays. The marching band season can be time consuming and strenuous, but most members will say that it is worth it for the acquired friendships and experiences unlike any others. “You make so many friends in marching band, and sometimes you are really tired and you don’t have a lot of free time because of it, but it is worth it,” said Brynn Sharp, 12.

For more information about marching band, color guard, or orchestra, go to www.

This year in Aves Theatre:


“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Dates: Nov. 6 & 7 and 12-14

Winter Spring

Aves Improv Show Dates: Jan. 15 & 16 “Anon(ymous)” Dates: Feb. 4-6

“The Wedding Singer” Dates: April 23, 24 & 30 and May 1

While most teenage summers are filled with the music of random rapper’s one-hit-wonders, dance songs, and whatever is on the radio, I chose to venture off the well-beaten path and into the indie world. A friend of mine introduced me to Bright Eyes, one of artist Conor Oberst’s many musical projects. Oberst tests a variety of sounds throughout his albums, dipping his feet into a more folk sound on “Cassadaga”, while “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning” is more indie-rock. The compositions of his songs are simple, yet his lyrics are complex and poetic. While Oberst’s voice in known to face criticism and harsh comments, it is the raw emotion his voice holds that makes his music so unique. The first Bright Eyes song that caught my attention was “At the Bottom of Everything”, an upbeat song that sheds light on the idea of death, and gives an optimistic view on accepting that no one is all that important in the grand scheme of things. This song was the first of many that I would soon call my current favorites. Others included “Poison Oak,” “Perfect Sonnet,” “Lover I Don’t Have To Love,” and “Landlocked Blues.” In the song “It’s Cool, We Can Still Be Friends,” Oberst croons of a failed relationship turned friendship. His song “Road To Joy” begins with the melody of Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” and builds into a march with the introduction of trumpets and horns. After my initial introduction to the band, I instantly found myself delving deeper and deeper into Oberst’s musical past. He began making music at the tender age of 13, and has not stopped since. I soon discovered that Oberst was had not one band, but many and that he not only formed Bright Eyes, but also such bands as Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band, Desaparecidos, and his newest collaboration project, Monsters of Folk. Unlike most artists these days, Oberst continues to make songs that stir emotion in his listeners and keep them coming back for more. Speaking out of experience, I still have not gotten my fill of Bright Eyes. After Oberst made it big in the indie music world himself, he became one of the founding members of the record label Saddle Creek Records. He continues to sign indie and folk type groups to his label. Oberst not only is involved in the music world, but also took part in political rallies for president Obama’s campaign, and is an active vegan, working for PETA. Personally, Bright Eyes is just my cup of tea: a refreshing band with meaningful lyrics. Although I am a little late on my discovery (the band has been around since the mid-90’s), I still consider my find a treasure in the sea of generic pop music that overrules the current music scene.

For comments on this column, please write to

a&e 17

friday, august 28, 2009

‘I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm...’

Student discusses family connection to



oes senior, Sophia Yasgur’s last name sound familiar? That is because her grandfather’s cousin, the late Max Yasgur, was the owner of the dairy farm in Bethel, New York where the legendary Woodstock Music and Arts Festival was held in August of 1969. “I was really excited to find out he was such a close relative to my grandpa,” said Sophia Yasgur. As the festival’s fortieth anniversary was celebrated this month, a lot of attention has been given to those who were able to make such a monumental event in history possible. “I wish I had been alive in that time to have gone there,” said Sophia Yasgur. Though Sophia Yasgur has not ever been to Bethel, NY, her family would like to travel there one day. "I wanted to go visit Max's farm before the land was sold again, but I have not gone yet. I have been worried that developers would buy the land from the present owner and build

apartments on that land and that I wouldn't be able to go see it," said Howard Yasgur, Sophia’s father. Though the farm’s ownership has changed hands several times since the festival, it still remains in tact and can be visited today by tourists. Max Yasgur’s farm has come up in pop culture references multiple times since Woodstock took place. First it was in Joni Mitchell’s song, “Woodstock” where she sings, “I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm, I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band, I'm going to get back to the land, And set my soul free...” Most recently is Academy Award winning director Ang Lee’s comedy “Taking Woodstock” that comes out today in theaters. The movie includes a portrayal of Max Yasgur by Eugene Levy. “I definitely want to go see it,” said Sophia Yasgur. Also, Sophia Yasgur’s aunt, Abigail Yasgur and her husband Joey Lipner wrote an illustrated children’s book about Woodstock called, “Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story” that came out earlier this year. “It’s a cute book,” said Sophia Yasgur. “It’s really exciting how involved my family was and is in such an important event.”

image by sam cleary



“The Time Traveler’s Wife” (PG-13) emmarosen

a&e chief

My expectations of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” were set pretty high, seeing as I am always one for the sappy love story. However, throughout the movie I found myself feeling confused and a little detached. This movie was about a man named Henry (Eric Bana) who randomly time travels throughout his life. During his lifetime he meets a girl named Clare (Rachel McAdams) who claims to have known him when she was younger. It turns out that at a later time in his life, Henry time travels back to when Clare was just a small girl and periodically visits her until she reaches the age of 18. That in itself was the first source of my confusion. I had to sit back and think about how this made any sense at all, and by the time I figured it out, Clare and Henry were getting married. At that point I felt like I had missed out on something. It seemed like just moments before that they had gone out on their first date. While the chemistry between McAdams and

all photos courtesy of

Taking on Hollywood Bana was great, you never really got to see it develop. One moment it was not there, and the next they were a couple in love. Another aspect of this movie that did not sit well with me was the fact that I felt emotionally detached from what was going on. It probably had to do with the fact that I was laughing for most of the movie. The reason for my inappropriate laughter was that Henry’s clothes do not time travel with him. So basically he turns up naked in random places. I guess that this was just supposed to be an inconvenient part of time travel, but since I have the maturity of a thirteen year old boy I found it completely hilarious. This made me dislike the movie even more. Despite the confusion and the laughter, I did not totally detest this movie. Bana’s earnest and pure demeanor made the movie slightly more bearable than it would have been if any other actor had been in his shoes. Overall though, I found myself wishing I had gone to see “Ponyo.”

Rating: 2 out of 5

System: The Leaf uses this rating system 1-5 Leaves 1- Don’t Waste Your Money 5- Pre-Order Your Tickets A.S.A.P.


a&e chief

I entered the movie theater prepared for a soppy, romantic story that would tug at my heart. Instead, I got a borderline creepy, downright confusing plot that messed with my brain. Based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” follows the life of Henry, a time traveler who cannot control when he time travels, and his wife Clare. I have never read the book, but maybe the story is a bit more plausible on paper. Or maybe you just have to be a helpless romantic who is willing to shut off the part of your brain that craves logic, to enjoy this. So let us try to get this straight. Henry, despite his random time travels, manages to keep a steady job at a library and maintain an apartment. Whenever he time travels, he shows up naked and looking for something to wear. And just somehow, he is always able to find clothes that fit him. Hunky as Henry may be, he would be frustrating to fall in love with.

From the beginning of the movie, Henry and Clare’s relationship comes from out of nowhere. The movie later goes on to explain their “meet-cute.” More like “meetcreep.” A middle-aged Henry shows up in 6-year-old-Clare’s backyard naked and asking for her picnic blanket. Whatever happened to that “never talk to strangers rule?” As I watched the movie, I spent 99 percent of my time trying to figure out how old Henry and Clare were at any given point. By the time that happened, the movie had already jumped to a new scene. And before I knew it, they were getting married and trying to have a baby, who coincidently enough, time travels. Not to say the actors did not play their roles adequately. Eric Bana was fantastically charming and mysterious as ever, and Rachel McAdams displayed the same talent for romantic movies as she showed in “The Notebook.” While the actors performed admirably, the movie lacked a certian quality that draws you into the film.

18 a&e

elodies, sounds enlighten listeners

friday, august 28, 2009

usic to their ears

What does SHS listen to?



staff writer

usic: from creativity to happiness, from being in a state of deep thinking to trudging through bad times, listening to music inspires numerous emotions and fosters so much in people. But one may wonder how music performed by bands, artists, and composers affects students. Even from a glance, the effect of music on SHS is very obvious. Music players are easily found in the hallways and some classes, and musical taste is expressed everywhere. Teens listen to music for a variety of reasons. A recent survey of 49 SHS students shows 47 percent of students listen to music because it calms and soothes them; it allows them to have fun more easily, and to foster creativity. “It’s great to have a big collage of music for studying, parties, or just general listening,” said Bradley Kirkendall, 9. Teenagers often listen to music similar to that of their friends. About 75 percent of surveyed listen to the same or similar music as their friends. “I’m in the car with my friend, and I hear some of his music, and I go ‘Hey, I want to listen to that!’, said Garret Listo, ‘09.

Diversity’s sounds

(and why)


Q. What is your favorite type of music? A. My favorite type of music is probably technopop.

and bands?

A. Cascada, t.a.T.u., East Clubbers, ATC. image by jake newton

image by jake newton

Q. What are some of your favorite artists

Q. Specifically, why do you listen to it? A. I like techno-pop because it is really upbeat. It has a happy feeling and is fun to dance to.


with Nora Zaenglein, 11

Q. What is your favorite type of music? A. I like alternative British music. Q. What are some of your favorite artists and bands?

fantasies and desires to making them can Music Therapy Association However, despite this, musical taste feel positive or negative emotions (AMTA), is “an established health widely varies at SHS. Although 18 more strongly. profession in which music is used percent of students have no favorite within a therapeutic relationship to musical genre, the two most promiaddress physical, emotional, cogninent genres by far are rock and hiptive, and social needs of individuhop or rap, with 29 percent and 26 als.” Those who percent of students, respectively. Music therapy research music “I generally listen to many types of is on and its psychiatric I’m in the car with my thebased music,” said Kirkendall. evidence effects on people While rock and hip-hop or rap friend, and I hear some that music can know this firstseem to be mosty popular genres one’s hand. Dr. Peter of his music, and I go improve at school, other genres do have a health. AccordOstwald, a leading following. Combined, those who say ‘Hey, I want to listen to ing to the AMTA sound researcher their favorite genre is electronic or music therapy from the Univerthat! techno, country, or classical is just can benefit sity of California, under 10 percent. everything from San Francisco, “I listen to pretty unique things, Alzheimer’s -Garret Listo , ‘09 has called music different things that most people Disease to child“a form of social haven’t heard of before,” said Shaina birth, behavior . . . a Bahler,10. “Simply put, symbolic emotional In addition to listening to music music can heal experience.” that can easily differ from person to people,” said Senate Majority Music also can address the issues person, SHS students often obtain Leader Harry Reid, as quoted by or thoughts of teenagers, allowing for their music in different ways. The the American Music Therapy Asyoung people to associate with the most common method is free downsociation at a Senate panel on music lyrics. For instance, one should conloads. About 45 percent of students therapy in 1991. sider the styles of pop music that are get Although music therapy is a field particularly popular with teen girls. If music for free. that is growing in one considers the muAmongst popularity, the concept of music sic’s lyrical themes of the surveybeing a means of healing the sick love, then it is obvious It’s great to have a big takers, other is nothing new. The ninth century that the music matches means of Muslim scientist and philosopher collage of music for up with the fantasies obtaining al-Farabi wrote an entire treatise on of young teens. studying, parties, or just music are what today would be considered On a similar note, general listening divided fairly music therapy. the overall sound of evenly. About Later, in the seventeenth century, the music can evoke 18 percent the scholar Robert Burton wrote in -Bradley Kirkendall, 9 emotions all on their of students his work “The Anatomy of Melanown. A perky, dancemainly get choly” that music, along with dance, able beat, for example, music from could treat mental illness. could lift one’s spirits paid downPerhaps as the intricate sound reafter a difficult day. loads, about search field has demonstrated, music Another possible ex15 percent and teens are just a natural match. planation is the overall buy CDs in stores amounts to 15 Or maybe the growing field of music difficulty of the teen years, and that percent, and 20 percent of students therapy has shown music’s healing music is able to lift the spirits of get music in ways not listed in the properties that draw stressed teens stressed-out youths. With numerous survey. This likely includes radio to it. But regardless of why, music pressures on them, including grades (online, terrestrial, or satellite) and seems as if it will be a mainstay in and increased social interaction just music playing on websites such as the modern teen’s life for some time. to name a few, many teens will turn MySpace and YouTube. “We listen to it every day and we to music. Music may seem to be a fun phelove it”, said Regan Girten, 12. nomena on the surface, but that is not the whole truth. In fact, it has been Music can be used to calm oneself, proven to have complex effects on the so it is often used by therapists. Mumind that range from reflecting one’s sic therapy, according to the Ameri-

Insights of sound research

with Katie Hamilton, 10

A. Coldplay, U2, Franz Ferdinand, The Arctic Monkeys.

Q. Specifically, why do you listen to it? A. I like alternative British music because it isn’t

as annoying as American music, and the musicians give so much more to their own music. They write their own music, they aren’t given it.


with Mr. Jeff Bieler, music department supervisor

Q. What is your favorite type of music? A. I like all kinds of music depending on styles and my own mood.

Q. What is one of your favorite artists or bands?

A. Chicago. Q. Specifically, why do you listen to it? A. I like to listen to all sorts of music depending on my mood. If I’m feeling energetic, I’ll listen to something different than if I’m feeling sluggish.

What we listen to:


Healing rhythms

*61 total genre selections, respondents could select more than one option

Unearthing Cincinnati’s hidden

treasures s.m.dipali

a&e chief

& emmarosen

a&e chief





Everybody’s Records

Madison Rd. in O’Bryonville

While the local strip mall may be dull and repetitive, the shops in O’Bryonville are fresh, fun, and extremely unique. Highlights include an eclectic accessories shop, Ten Thousand Villages; Hemptations, a store that sells all things hemp; the delectable Coffee Shop on Madison known for their Mango smoothies and Liege waffles; and Kismet a boutique. A word for the wise: visit O’Bryonville in the afternoon, because most of the stores tend to close in the early evening.


Almost any genre to satisfy your musical cravings can be found, from indie to hip hop to bluegrass. Everybody’s is only about a ten minute drive from the Kenwood Towne Center, so it is a great place to hit up for a bargain after spending the day splurging on Auntie Anne’s and Yagöot.

all photos by emma rosen

Is illegally downloading music weighing on your conscience? Then look no further than independently owned Everybody’s Records. From the hundreds of new and used CD’s, vinyl, books, cassettes, and t-shirts, Everybody’s has it all, and for a low price. Some used CD’s cost as little as $3.99.

all graphics by michela tindera

a&e 19

friday, august 28, 2009

Ten Thousand Villages

Empress Chili Walking into Empress Chili, characterized by a startlingly loud bell, one finds that it is not known for its ambiance. It is, however, known for it’s great chili, which some would argue bests Skyline or Goldstar. Founded in 1922, Empress Chili was the first restaurant to serve traditional Cincinnati style chili. Empress’ menu consists of the classic Coney as well as sandwiches, wraps, and some tasty desserts, all for a shockingly low price. One cheese coney is $1.59.


Don’s Creamy Whip

Kismet For more information: Everybody’s Records 6106 Montgomery Rd. (513) 531-4500

all photos by emma rosen

The Coffee Shop on Madsion


Don’s Creamy Whip 19 W. Pleasant St. no number

Empress Chili 8340 Vine St. (513) 761-5599

Hemptations 2034 Madison Rd. (513) 871-4367

Quietly tucked off of Reading Rd., Don’s Creamy Whip is one of the most happening places to be on a summer evening. There is a constant flow of customers that frequent this walk-up, creamy whip stand, and rightly so. Don’s has dozens of options including creamy whips, sundaes, and chocolate covered bananas.

Ten Thousand Villages 2011 Madison Rd (513) 871-5840

Coffee Shop On Madison 2030 Madison Rd (513) 321-3745


‘Yes we will’


friday, august 28, 2009

Kickoff ‘09 brandonsosna


sports chief

photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel

es we will. The words echo throughout Bud Acus Alumni Field at Sycamore Stadium on an early two-a-day morning. With every break of the huddle, the message serves as a reminder of their mission. The slogan is derived from President Barack Obama’s “yes we can” campaign, which he utilized to capture the presidency of the United States. Though the origins are similar, fourth year varsity football coach Scott Dattilo’s message could not be any different. “Can” expresses feelings of uncertainty and leaves room for failure. But the term “will” represents a commitment to excellence and a virtual guarantee of victory.

Youth movement


Varsity football

The 2008 season ended as a disappointment for SHS football. Despite their 8-2 record, postseason play was non-existent. Since Dattilo arrived, the expectations have always been the same – make the playoffs and beyond. But surely no team that loses two offensive weapons, namely Steve Hull, ’09, and Bud Golden, ’09, to the Big Ten Conference can meet such high standards. Dattilo disagrees. “Expectations remain the same. You’re always going to lose good players with our program where it is, but it is still our goal to be the best,” said Dattilo. Much of their “will” to win rests on the arms and legs of first year quarterback Kyle Sess, 10. The 5’7” sophomore will undergo trial by fire as tonight marks his first start at the varsity level. Sess saw reserve action a year ago, but was kept out of JV games in order to fulfill back up duties. The sophomore will not be asked to outperform gunslingers Casey MacClean, ‘09, or Nick Schlie, ’09, but instead to be a “game manager” – a term describing quarterbacks who aim to not lose the game. “We hope he can be a game manager right off the bat. We’re cautious of what we put on his plate, while still finding out what his strengths and weaknesses are,” said Dattilo.

COACH SCOTT DATTILO DESCRIBED DC Smith as having tons of explosiveness. Last year, he ran the ball for the JV team. Tonight, he will look to fill the large void left by Illinois bound running back Bud Golden and pick up the slack in the much needed running game.

First chance, last chance

When the 2008 season came to a close, Golden led the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) in nearly every rushing statistic: carries (200), yards (1,513), yards per game (151.3), touchdowns (19), and even the longest run (76 yards.) - all of that in just 10 games. Lost in the fray was DeCarlos Smith, 12. Smith backed up Golden more than adequately. But running behind Golden can be equated to being a fourth string running back. Playing in nine games, Smith rushed for 234 yards on 37 carries for a five yards per carry average. He even stole four touchdowns away from his Illinois bound predecessor. Starting tonight, his role will be transformed. Instead of waiting on the sidelines for Golden to need a breather, Smith will line up in the backfield with Sess on nearly every snap. “DC [Smith] is expected to

9/4 vs

9/11 @

9/18 @

9/25 vs

10/2 @

10/9 vs

10/16 vs

10/23 vs

10/30 @

*all games at 7:30 p.m.

helmets by

carry the load this year. He is going to get an opportunity and he certainly has the ability to produce,” said Dattilo. In their first live action, the offense failed to score a touchdown during a 38-3 loss during an exhibition game against Centerville.

‘Defense wins championships’ The oft-used football cliché of defense wins championships will be put to the test over the course of the season. The varsity defense, sporting eight senior starters, will have to carry the squad throughout. While the offense figures itself out during the beginning portion of the schedule, the senior laden defense must hold down the fort. And collectively they understand that. “We should be the strength of the team,” said Kevin Carroll, 11, a linebacker. “And after that Centerville scrimmage – it was a wakeup call.” Paul Yanow, 12, anchors the

SHS defense. Last season, he was tied for the team lead in tackles. He, too, understands what is at stake. “We knew last year that a lot of fire power on offense was leaving,” said Yanow. “So if we do our job we’re good enough to shut people down. But we need to play a lot better than we did in our first scrimmage.” Centerville lit up the scoreboard, but as most will note, the preseason-like mentality is much to blame for the let down. Carroll and Yanow, along with fellow junior defensive back Darius Hillary, return as starters in the 3-4 defensive scheme. All three will be looked to as leaders on the already veteran defense. “It feels nice being considered [a leader.] Hopefully I can continue to fulfill that role,” said Carroll. A year ago, the defense finished second in the GMC allowing 14 points per game. However, their run defense finished in the middle of the pack,

as the group allowed nearly 160 rush yards per outing. “We have put our team in position to win and be successful. I’m excited for the season and can’t wait to see how much we improve from week to week,” said Hillary.

‘The answer’

The pundits will declare that the SHS varsity football team cannot make the playoffs. They will say the squad cannot replace the ’09 class. That they cannot match up with other teams in size, speed, or physicality. Most of all, they say the group cannot compete. But the players bellow their response to those naysayers every time they break a huddle or wrap up a team meeting. “We know what we can do, but by saying ‘will’ we make a promise to our teammates and our program that we will do it,” said Dattilo. “No matter the question, the answer is always ‘yes we will.’”

Bud Acus Alumni Field

at Sycamore Stadium


7:30 p.m. Glen Este Trojans

‘08-’09 record: 5-5 Coach: Zac Taylor

Previous meeting: Sycamore W 35-6

Editor predictions Sycamore Aviators Sosna: Sycamore 17-14 Pescovitz: Sycamore 21-13 Slovin: Sycamore 33-10

‘08-’09 record: 8-2 Coach: Scott Dattilo

sports 21

friday, august 28, 2009

Take a



image by garret steinbuch

sports chief

SAMMI KRUGER, 10 SERVES IN a match last year. Kruger, along with fellow returnees Bianca Patel, 12 and Allie Martin, 11 figure to form a strong singles lineup for the team. Expectations are high for the upcoming season, and the girls are anxious to begin play.

gold squad Girls tennis seeks dominance at GMC level: Varsity optimistic for results chadchessin


staff writer or most programs, a 10-6 record and second place finish in the conference would be a dream ending to a

season. But for the SHS girls, there is no time to bask in the glory. After all, there are more accomplishments to achieve. Coach Mike Teets has emphasized a message that nothing should be acceptable but a GMC title, and he will work the team until this goal is reached. This equated to intense summer workouts and less leeway on mile times during the recent tryouts.

The team is returning six of seven players from last season, with the departure of Kavya Reddy, ’09, a fierce doubles player who contributed greatly to the girls’ success. However, with essentially the same team being maintained, there is no time to make excuses. “Our expectations for the upcoming season are at an alltime high considering we only lost one senior. We are all really excited,” said Allie Martin, 11. The girls feel that they know their teammates’ game and are cohesive as a team. “Being able to have mostly the same team helps a lot, because we work well together and know

how to help each other in our strengths and weaknesses,” said Sammi Kruger, 10. Although there was little change in the roster during the offseason, a big change occurred on the SHS tennis domain. The courts which have been weathered and eroded over the past years were renovated, and the cracks that players have come to know and love are gone. Just as the standard of the home-courts has been raised, so, too, has the spirit of the SHS girls. All three dominant singles players from last season -Bianca Patel, 12, Martin, and Kruger-

are returning, along with some strong doubles tandems. “Our team has been working very hard to improve from last year. The one major goal in all of our minds is to bring back the GMC title to SHS Lady Aves Tennis and we'll be working the entire season to achieve that,” said Patel. Clearly the girls are optimistic for outstanding results this season, but rest assured it will be accompanied with hard work, not to mention team dedication that is second to none. These features fused with extensive preparation for matches should lead to a stellar season for SHS in 2010.

Flyerettes bond as team over summer, garner awards at prestigous local dance team camp Senior dancers shine in solo routines michelatindera

photo courtesy of michela tindera


MEMBERS OF THE FLYERETTES dance team line up for a series of “drill downs,” which are a set of military style commands which the dancers must follow, similar to Simon Says. The SHS dancers were very successful at the camp, raking in several awards in both individual and team categories.

While the Flyerettes are known for many things: their high energy pep rally routines, dancing along the sidelines of varsity basketball games, and their wide array of costumes; winning loads of awards is generally not part of what the SHS dance team is known for. However after this year’s UDA (Universal Dance Association) camp at Miami University, held July 21-24, the ‘09-‘10 Flyerettes completely changed that by winning two trophies, two individual awards, and multiple spirit awards. Five other dance teams were at the camp, including local teams from Kings High School and St. Ursula Academy. “I think it’s great that we worked together as a team to be better than we’ve been in the past,” said Nicole Lefton, 12. Each girl had to learn three dances in the first two days of camp and perform them in front of the entire camp as well as getting evaluated by UDA instructors. The dances included a myriad of styles such as hip hop, jazz, and pom. The team as a whole earned enough blue ribbons—the highest rating a dancer can receive— to earn an overall “Superior” rating by UDA standards.

The team also took home a trophy for being “Drill Down Champions.” This award was given to the team at camp that was most successful in completing Drill Downs, a set of military style commands similar to Simon Says that focus on precision and concentration. “Drill downs were tough, but I thought it was really fun bonding with the team,” said Lori Kaufman, 11. Also the team managed to receive a spirit stick every night of camp. These are only given to teams who are demonstrating good sportsmanship and following all UDA camp rules. Not only did the team receive spirit sticks all three nights of camp, but they also received the Super Spirit Stick Award which is presented to a team that exhibits the highest level of spirit throughout the day at camp. This award is passed from one team to another, and the Flyerettes received it from the Athens High School Dance Team of Athens, OH. Not only was the team successful as a whole, but seniors Kathryn Rosenberg and Michela Tindera both earned the All-American Award which was given to girls who performed solo routines in front of the entire camp and were evaluated by UDA instructors. “The team did really well at camp and is off to a great start this season,” said Rosenberg. “I am sure we will be able to achieve a lot this year.” Up next for the team is a car wash at Silver Spring House on Saturday, Sept. 12, a performance to “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 at the Montgomery Women’s Club on Thursday, Sept. 17, and the Homecoming Pep Rally on Friday, Sept. 25.

Since the day Mike Brown took over the organization upon Paul Brown’s death in 1991, the Bengals have garnered a record of 101-187-1 for a .350 win percentage. Reason for such poor performance is evident daily. During the first episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks, Brown made several appearances. In just one hour long edition of the show, viewers witnessed Brown address the entire organization, deeming the NFL a “bottom line business.” The NFL’s bottom line being winning. Brown’s bottom line is money. That’s why he refuses to fire coaches. And why Brown has refused to hire a general manager. Yet, he has no problem paying himself a general manager’s bonus and dishing out over $50 million to the Brown family, at the Bengals expense, over a seven year period. The bleeding never stops. Currently, the Bengals are in an ongoing contract battle with sixth overall draft pick Andre Smith. Sure, one can blame Al Davis giving his seventh overall pick a 22 percent increase in pay over last year. Or the absurd amounts of guaranteed money dished out to rookies who have as much NFL experience as this writer. But if Brown was serious about winning, he would recognize that Smith’s presence on the offensive line could be the answer to his squad’s biggest question. With Brown, there is no accountability. He rarely addresses the media. We don’t know much about the teams’ esteemed owner, but we are certain of one item: the apple fell far from the tree. Just down the street, Reds CEO Bob Castellini has a much different attitude. Castellini wants to win. He has made that perfectly clear. But he has no idea how. “We want to try to build the franchise around Adam [Dunn], Homer [Bailey], Edwin [Encarnacion] and a couple of other guys,” said Castellini in 2006. How did that work out? Dunn and Encarnacion have since been traded and Bailey has struggled in three years as a major leaguer. At the beginning of the 2008 season, Castellini justified the firing of then general manager (hey, at least he pays for one) Wayne Krivsky by stating: “We’ve just come to a point where we’re not going to lose anymore.” Two seasons later, the Reds are in the midst of another losing season. And the faint memory of a 1999 one game playoff rears its ugly head. On July 3, the Reds stood just 2.5 games out of first place with the division leading St. Louis Cardinals . The Cardinals, already having acquired Mark DeRosa, would go on to snag slugging outfielder Matt Holliday and shortstop Julio Lugo. The Reds made a play for DeRosa as well, but would not give up young bullpen arm Josh Roenicke. While the Cardinals surged, the Reds stunk. Yet, unthinkably, on the July 31 trade deadline, the team traded for veteran, soon-to-be 35 year old Scott Rolen. Ironically, the Reds shipped off Roenicke, along with one of the organizations top pitching prospects, and a player Castellini once deemed the future, Encarnacion, in exchange for Rolen. The team was ten games out of first place at the time of the deal, which left many baseball experts dumbfounded and Reds fans asking why? Why not have made the deal three weeks prior? Where is the plan? What is the direction? The story continued the same way it has since Castellini bought the team: more questions, fewer answers. So, where do we stand? We stand ten days away from the kickoff of the Cincinnati Bearcats football season at Rutgers. As for Brown and Castellini, well, I suggest they pull on the boots and go take a hike. For comments on this column, please write to

22 sports

friday, august 28, 2009



photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel



TAKING A GOAL KICK to clear the ball is senior goalie Katie Strickland. After the graduation of two goalies, she has taken over. The varsity girls squad has been training all summer long to compete against the best the GMC has to offer, in hopes of winning the title. With the amount of hardwork and practice the players have contributed, this feat seems quite possible.

arsity girls soccer

ehement to regain lost GMC title

B w


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create an interesting transition for summer workouts, staff writer practices, and results of this fter winning the upcoming season. Greater Miami The new coach is no Conference (GMC) newcomer to soccer. While in three years strait high school, she played soccer, starting from the basketball, and ran track. She 2005-2006 season to the 2007later went on to play soccer for 2008 season, the girls had a bit the Ohio University Bobcats. more challenging road for the After college, she coached her title. The final standings were old school McNicholas High neck and neck to the finish to see School for three years. who would win the GMC title. “I am really excited about Late last season, the team Sycamore. It will be an ironically faced the Mason interesting, and fun season. Comets, who would go on to The girls are thrilled about win the GMC trophy, and the playing the Mason Comets, the hard fought battle would end in reigning GMC Champions,” a 1-1 tie. The SHS varsity squad said Coach Hornschemeier went further than the Comets This experienced squad in the tournament, but would will have to bring the GMC ultimately not go past the final championship trophy back to four of the District Tournament. SHS. With 10 of the 16 players Having 9 wins, 2 losses, and on the varsity team being 5 ties (6-2-1 in the GMC) in seniors, this is a very possible the regular season, the squad task. The new talented coach would get an excellent seed in is working the players to get the post-season tournament. ready for this upcoming season. The team won four more games “I really like our new coach. in the tournament until losing She has a lot of experience to Centerville, the GMC killer with soccer, and I feel like she gave the team 13 total wins. has done a great job preparing SHS is home of the 2008 us for the season through GMC girls soccer Athlete of the training all summer long. I Year Award. Alix Hildal, ’09, think the season will be a lot was the winner alongside her of fun, but challenging,” said counterpart, Ryan Lavigne, Kelsey Pauly, 12. ’09, who won the award on the Some returning players from men’s side. the varsity squad that will After winning the GMC three help lead the team are senior years straight, it was a little captains Emily Elsbrock, disappointing to not bring Pauly, and Allison Setser. home the trophy, but the new There are three scrimmages changes may be exactly what in the preseason against the is needed. New head coach Troy Trojans, Badin Rams, Kendra Hornschemeier, will and Turpin Spartans.



staff writer “Dead On” is back this issue with this month’s winner Kim Clijsters, WTA tennis player. Rewinding to 2006, the Belgian superstar was on top of the world. A US Open singles title followed by a World Number 1 ranking spiraled Clijsters to the top of the tennis totem pole. At this point, she had already collected 34 WTA singles titles, along with a singles Grand Slam title, and two doubles Grand Slam titles. There was nothing in the world that could halt the 23-year-old’s momentum or dethrone her from her number 1 ranking. Well, anything but a pregnancy, but this was unknown to the public at the time. In May 2007, she announced her retirement, citing injury as the cause. “It has been more than fun, but the rackets are being hung up,” said Clijsters. Two months later, Kim stated that one of the main causes of retirement was her dream of starting a family. In Feb. 2008, she gave birth to her first child Jada Ellie Clijsters in her home country of Belgium. The father is Kim’s husband Brian Lynch, an American who plays professional basketball in Belgium. Almost two years later, Clijsters shocked the tennis world by announcing her plans to return to the WTA. Sure, she was a juggernaut among the pack in the past, but could she return to dominance despite her injuries and two years of childcare? Clijsters trained and got herself to a place physically where she could compete against the best. And where better to return than Cincinnati, Ohio? Her second-coming began in Cincinnati this month in the 2009 Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open. This tournament features some of the world’s top-tier players from many nations. In her first match, the twenty-sixyear-old defeated 13 seeded Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3. Next, she proceeded to defeat a tough Svetlana Kuznetsova, ranked sixth in the world, before falling to the current World’s Number 1, Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals. “I was really excited to be out there. It’s been so long that I’ve been practicing for this. There were some events that I was a part of, but this was my main goal. For it to finally be here, it was exciting,” said Clijsters in a post-match interview. Kim Clijsters is not just another feel good story. Her situation is not like other athletes returning from retirement, in a pursuit of cash. SHS athletes should learn from her example. After countless hours of practice, conditioning, and slaving away in the weight-room, it is acceptable for student-athletes to take a break. Instead of dedicating life to a sole cause, it is important to spend time on everything that matters to the individual. In a sports world filled with performing-enhancing drugs, suspensions, violence, and even perjury, Kim Clijsters is an athlete we can all look up to, because she understands that there are, although it is hard to believe, more important things than sports. Congratulations Kim Clijsters, you are “dead on.”

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August 2009 The Sycamore Leaf  
August 2009 The Sycamore Leaf  

The Sycamore Leaf August Issue