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Sycamore High School Student News Magazine Issue 3 | Volume 1 | October Issue 2013

Is fright only a state of mind? [ALSO INSIDE] Drake’s third album impresses fans p. 5 How to stay in style while wearing scarves p. 8 Athletic Association monitors handshakes after sports matches p. 19


THE LEAF Vol. I | Issue III | 10.24.13

The Leaf that comes to you each month is only one third of the production from room 115. We take pride in all three platforms of our program: print, broadcast, and web. Oct. 14 marked the day our new website,, launched. Created by Ruochen Tang, 11, webmaster, and Wordpress, the web team dedicated its first quarter to designing and putting final touches on the new masterpiece. A giant step up from what we’ve seen in the past- this website updates daily and offers news about SHS that hasn’t been featured anywhere else. also offers a photo of the day, photo galleries of sports teams and activities, videos, sound slides, and weekly blogs. Archives of each past issue of The Leaf are available in case you’ve missed any or would like to glance back upon one. Our staff works to provide the public with breaking news, features, and in depth profiles on students. On days when we don’t distribute, be sure to check out

-Sanika Vaidya, Shea Lothrop, Ana Barros


Editors’ Note



2 | Athlete Handshakes Post-game feelings of companionship on decline 2 | Inside Central Office 3 | Iran Nations negotiate over nuclear arms


4 | Video Games Too much virtual play may be bad for your GPA 4 | Miley’s Genius 5 | Drake New album shocks critics 5 | Movie Sequels

The Leaf Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, OH 45242

Executive Editor-in-Chief: Michael Saxon Print Editors-in-Chief: Ana Barros, Shea Lothrop, Sanika Vaidya Associate Editors: Alexis Corcoran, Taylor Evans, Ellen Martinson, Kathryn Tenbarge, Anna Zhou Managing Editors: Krittika Chatterjee, Lauren Glynn, Brenda Shen Business Manager: Atiya Dosani Web Masters: Ruochen Tang, Eli Seidman- Deutsch Web Editors-in-Chief: Alexis Corcoran, Rachael Sun Broadcast Editors-in-Chief: Victoria Swart, Benjamin Young

Feature Joseph Ahn Caroline Gao Isaac Goldstein Sports Lauren Saxon A&E Krittika Chatterjee Ethan May Forum Alexis Corcoran Elizabeth Rickert Cartoonist Joseph Ahn

7 | Dominican Republic Junior visits Central America 8 | Fashion Fasion for the Cure supports battle with cancer 8 | Scarves 9 | Halloween Students love candy and fear


13| Volleyball Team overcomes injuries 14| Golf Varsity proceeds to state 15 | Learning from Violence Handshake teaches lessons

Spotlight Camila Cardenas Brooke Landrum Kathryn Tenbarge Web Master Ruochen Tang Staff Writers Abbey Baker Jordan Baker Sarah Birckhead Anais Cabello Benjamin Cohen William Coleman Amy Deng

Cameron Foy Hannah Frey Max Fritzhand Zachary Fritzhand Jenny Ham Benjamin Hammer Sarah Horne Rujula Kapoor Lauren Kurtzer Beverly Liu Jack Loon Madeline Marsh Hannah May Joshua Patterson

15 | Flyerettes & Cheerleaders 16 | Michael Masset, 12 Senior attends every event


18 | Teenage Mistakes Junior unimpressed by peers 19| Black Widow Female superheroes constantly overshadowed 19 | Athletes lack role models 20 | ACE bell New period disappoints 20 | Driver’s Ed


21| Rising Star Henry Sun, 9

Benjamin Ruskin Orion Schlosser Zoe Schlosser Matthew Schneider Lauren Shassere Joseph Slovin Emily Tyler Jennifer Weber David Wertherim Alex Wittenbaum Jessica Wocks Eli Zawatsky

Photographer McDaniel’s Photography Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: • Columbia Scholastic Press Association • Journalism Education Association • National Scholastic High School Press Association • Ohio Scholastic Media Association • Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers) • Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary

National Merit

OCT. 24, 2013

News briefs

National Hispanic Recognition & National Achievement Scholars


National Hispanic Recognition and National Achievement Scholars are from left to right starting in the top row: Rachel Gore, Michael Saxon, Robert Scott, bottom row: Kathryn Diaz, Ana Barros, Azante Griffith, all seniors. “I think it is an important milestone in recognizing myself. I feel really proud because I can let people know that I am doing well at school and this school is preparing me. Also, it helped me build confidence,” said Griffith. *Bryan Waterhouse not pictured

Black Friday, Nov. 22, is one of the busiest days of the year. Thousands of shoppers flood into stores looking for sales and bargains during the early hours of the morning. “I don’t usually go shopping but last year I got a really cute purse for $10,” said Grace Hertlin, 11.

Kathryn Roth, 12 and Laurel Taylor, 11 entered into the statewide exhibit. This provides an arena for students to be recognized for their hard work. All medias of art can be submitted by their art teacher. Art teacher, Mrs. Kathy Ferguson said, “I think we have one of the strongest art programs in the state and Laurel and Katie represented us very well.”

The city flea in downtown Cincinnati is a monthly event. The next flea is on Nov. 17 at 21c Museum Hotel. There is a wide array of vendors at the market selling unique, repurposed items. Food trucks line the street outside and other attractions include a clothing boutique in a truck.

Images courtesy of Elizabeth Rickert

National Merit Commended Scholars Photos courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography


The National Merit Commended Scholars are: Ana Barros, Rajat Bhageria, Krittika Chatterjee, Jason Darpel, Michael Goldenburg, Jackson Hughes, Nicolas Kumar, Alexandra Logsdon, Anan Lu, Michael Masset, Logan Mather, Evan Moeller, Brandon Peck, Nicholas Pinkerton, Jacquelyn Rudich, Allison Salach, Lauren Thompson, Jackson Thurnquist, Bryan Waterhouse, Emily Winchell; all seniors. Each of these students were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Competition for their scores on the 2012 the Prelimary SAT/ National Merit Scolarship Qualifying Test. To receive this honor, students had to receive scores of 202 or higher.

Several weeks ago, due to Congress not agreeing on a national budget, the government shut down. All functions run by the government ceased, affecting multiple SHS students. However, the government finally reopened on Oct. 16.

The famous NFL team, Washington Redskins, has been facing a lot of controversy lately over its name. The Oneida Indian Nation claimed that the name was a hateful, racist epithet that should be changed. The team owner refused do this. However, the Oneida’s and the NFL are still meeting to discuss a name change.

On Oct. 16, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of late President John F. Kennedy, was confirmed as the United States’ ambassador to Japan. She is the last surviving member of the immediate family relating to former President Kennedy. She was nominated in July for this position by President Barack Obama to replace John Roos. THE LEAF | NEWS



Kentucky athletes banned from shaking hands RACHAEL SUN



he Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) issued a directive restricting post-game handshakes on Oct. 8. Across the state, students and coaches exploded in protest at the newly updated rules and regulations, many of which were interpreted as a ban prohibiting players from shaking hands at the end of a game, match, or competition. After receiving strong criticism, the commission revised their initial statement. As of Oct. 15, its opening line reads: “For those that may choose to read only the first few lines, it is worth reiteration. THERE IS NO BAN OR PROHIBITION ON POSTGAME HANDSHAKES. Has not been considered, contemplated or reviewed as an option.” When the press release was first posted, it appeared to mandate that all schools in Kentucky stop their

For an opinion on the Kentucky handshake ban, see

p. 19


players from shaking hands at the end of a game, a tradition amongst athletes dating back to the early Olympics. “Shaking hands is just showing WILLIAM COLEMAN that you had a good game, and STAFF WRITER showing respect to the other DAVID WERTHEIM STAFF WRITER players,” said Won Choi, 11. The commission cited “more than two dozen Q: Why was the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) launch [incidents] in the last unsuccessful at the high school? three years” as the rationale behind the new We anticipated students would take a ‘wait and see’ approach, determining advantages legislation. to having their own devices as teachers started to use technology more for classroom However, Nathan instruction, small group work, and projects. I believe the numbers will grow gradually as the Gregg, 12, disagrees. school year progresses. “Having fights is unavoidable. Not much Q: Is there anything that could have been done that would can be done,” said Gregg. have made the launch more successful? State representative Steve Riggs Based on our research, the response has been similar in other districts that provided options (D-Louisville) has even for students to bring their own devices. To help students who felt the modules were going to gone so far as to file a take too long to get through, we have shortened the course to about 30 minutes. bill that would disable the We are also offering extended use of district-owned devices. We have a limited number KHSAA from enforcing its of laptops that can be checked out of the media center on a monthly basis (just like a library rules. book). We will also be offering Amended from its initial terms, refurbished devices for under $100 the directive now proposes that in the near future. schools be fined for each new incident.


Mrs. Karen Naber,

Director Academic Affairs

On our ‘cold’ school


with Mr. Chad Lewis, Director of Business Operations

Is there anything that has been done in the past or that could be done to fix the issue?

Our team policy is to always shake hands with the other team, but we’re not always required to do it with the referees if we don’t agree with their calls. I think having fights is unavoidable after the game because people will be agressive, and they will have conflict during play. It’s unavoidable that sometimes this carries over to the handshake at the end. Not much can be done; it’s part of the game.”

Nathan Gregg, 12





Mechanical equipment and thermostats in SHS are set to keep the building at a comfortable range, but it can be difficult to manage the temperature of a building the size of SHS (360,000 sq ft. In comparison, a typical house is 2,0003,000 sq. ft.) One thing that is important in managing the temperate is allowing the mechanical equipment to control the environment without outside influences; opening windows and doors to outside air is counterproductive to keeping the temperature consistent.


Are the people at Central Office aware of this problem? The staff in the District Offices always works to address concerns that are brought to our attention as it is our goal to provide the best learning environment for our students and staff.


Why does the temperature vary so much in different areas of the high school?



We have communicated the need for consistently keeping windows and doors closed to provide for a better temperaturecontrolled environment. But it is also important to remember that what indicates a comfortable temperature is different to every person.


Hope for Middle East relations Iran, US approach negotiations over nuclear development BENJAMIN HAMMER



ran’s recently elected President, Hassan Rouhani, ran on a much more moderate platform than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Recently, he has been trying to revive U.S.-Iran relations and the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. Iran and world powers are expected to meet in Geneva mid-October to restart nuclear negotiations, with Tehran seeking to lift harsh U.S. and E.U. economic sanctions. Historically, the U.S. and Iran have had a tumultuous relationship. The CIA had a hand in the overthrow of Iran’s government in 1953. The coup strengthened the rule of the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, an autocratic dictator who became a close U.S. ally. The shah was toppled in 1979 by Islamic fundamentalists who made hostility to the U.S. a keystone of Iranian foreign policy. Iran was then subjected to harsh sanctions which have taken a serious toll on Iran’s economy and people. Naturally, the Iranian people have a deep seated mistrust of U.S. involvement. On the other hand, the American perspective sees an Iranian government that has declared the United States an enemy, taken Americans hostage, killed U.S. troops and civilians, and threatened its ally Israel with destruction. This has and will be an obstacle to negotiations.




However, Rouhani has begun reaching out to the West. On Sept. 27 President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with Rouhani, marking the first communication between leaders of the two countries since 1979. The ice cold relations have slightly thawed. At the same time, it is difficult to assess Obama’s true intentions. The Obama administration has imposed the toughest sanctions Iran has ever faced. The sanctions aim to further isolate Iran from the global economy by targeting its energy and media sectors, most notably their nuclear program. However, Iran currently does not have nuclear weapons and has repeatedly stated its uranium enrichment program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. What is not conclusive is whether or not it is actively pursuing the bomb. Even so, the Iranian government has a justified motive to pursue nuclear weapons, not for aggressive purposes but as a sort of deterrence strategy against attack. Iran sits in a difficult neighborhood surrounded by nuclear armed Israel, India, and Pakistan. In the coming months, it will be crucial for both sides to not only compromise, but leave past difficulties behind.

Qom Natanz Isfahan


Bushehr Bushehr

Saudi Arabia


Denotes key nuclear test site Denotes US military base

Q&A Mr. Kevin Wittman, U.S. Government teacher, on the Ilmenau exchange program Q: How did this program start? A: We were asked to participate in the Sister City program in February of 2001. Sycamore offered German then, so the teacher organized a group of teachers and students to go to Ilmenau and stay with German students and teachers. We shadowed students and teachers and lived with our hosts for ten days. The next year the German students came to Sycamore and stayed with us. Q: What kind of background in schooling do German students have in the English language or American culture? A: German students begin studying English in the first grade. They study American history and culture throughout their schooling. Sometimes they know more about America than Americans. At graduation, most German students are bi- or even tri-lingual. It is one sure way to excel in Germany. Q: When you speak to the German exchange students, what is typically their reaction to America? A: Ilmenau is an older town with very traditional architecture. They like downtown Cincinnati with its new buildings and high rises. They see so much of the American culture in Germany that they really just want to know what is life really like in the U.S. It is pretty cool to see how similar our cultures are and how close everyone gets to one another in such a short time. The beauty of this program is it builds on some of the other travel experiences we offer at SHS. The global language trips and history department trips let you see many places over a short amount of time. The exchange is over the same time frame, but allows you to get close and personal to students your own age. It is a great chance to connect with another culture and look at the world from a different perspective.

For more information on the Ilmenau, Germany exchange program, visit




OCT. 24, 2013


The end of open letters KRITTIKA CHATTERJEE


New video games can be detrimental to health, academics CAMERON FOY





he “Call of Duty” franchise is the most successful gaming agency in history, selling upwards of 150 million units in the last decade. “Call of Duty: Ghosts” is predicted to be the next billion dollar game. “I have been anticipating the release [of “Call of Duty: Ghosts”] for the last three months. I even have a countdown on my phone,” said Martin Gonzalez, 10. Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) made $8 million in its first day on the market and $1 billion in its first three days, making it the fastest selling entertainment product in history. FIFA 14 is projected to topple the record set by its predecessor, FIFA 13, which is 2.6 million copies sold in the UK alone. It would be naïve to think that none of these numbers are representative of high school students, especially considering that the target audiences for these games are mainly teenagers. Another new game is Battlefield 4, which is set to be released for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on Oct. 29. “I’m saving up my money for the release of Battlefield 4,” said Stephen Mills, 11. Although many students use video games as a stress relieving tool, it can also be very time consuming and can affect things such as sleep and study times. For instance, it takes an average of 35 hours to complete the main story line for GTA V. “I’ve already completed the main story and still need to 4


complete the side missions,” said Matthew Schipper, 10. According to, a research study in Singapore found that nine percent of the middle school students are addicted to gaming and this addiction was linked to both depression and bad grades. In fact, a study done by a team at Berea Collage found that access to gaming results in an average GPA drop of .24 points. “I will put studying before gaming unless I don’t feel like studying because in GTA I can release my inner emotions. I love Grand Theft Auto. I honestly considered staying home from Homecoming just so I could play some more,” said Mason Davies, 10. Although these effects are negative, gamers have on average increased hand eye I honestly coordination and improved considered critical thinking skills. What does this mean for staying us as students? Some believe home from that video games should be homecoming completely cut out of our lives. just so I could Others have a different opinion. play some more “Goodbye school, hello FIFA,” said Hadis Palic, 12. [GTA]

Mason Davies, 10

After Miley Cyrus cited Sinead O’Connor as an inspiration for her debut album, “#BANGERZ,” O’Connor addressed her in an open letter, claiming that Cyrus needed to stop letting the media control her. Since then, a slew of “open letters” have hit the Internet. All of them denounce Cyrus for being a product of her genre. Yet, they ignore the possibility that Miley Cyrus might be the smartest celebrity of this century. It’s old news that Cyrus has taken a wrecking ball (pun intended) to her squeaky clean “Hannah Montana” image. Since her golden tweenager days, Cyrus has been in showbiz. The problem is, people have forgotten the “biz” part of the word. Entertainment is business. It’s all about strategy and tactics. We know what makes people buzz. After the likes of Lady Gaga and Ke$ha stripped away pop music conventions, not much else could shake the industry. However, the rise of these stars has proven that not only does sex sell, but so does shock. So, Cyrus made a business decision. She gyrated on a 40-year-old man. While twisted, it was an effective combination. I’m not surprised. She has to compete with some of the weirdest figures in music. Miley solidified her overnight success with that award show, couching fame in scandal. America was tantalized. What would its former sweetheart do next? That’s when Cyrus dropped “Wrecking Ball.” Her plan was a masterpiece. She paved the way for her own fame, leading the public on a leash so that everyone would have their eyes wide open when she unveiled her true talent. “Wrecking Ball” is the end to Cyrus’ wayward means. Her “Saturday Night Live” performance of the number one single was jaw-dropping, and her stripped down rendition of “We Can’t Stop” ensured that the crude nature of the song didn’t detract from her talent. She may still be living in the wake of her “twerking” episode, but it’s incredible that the mere mention of that word points us to her name alone. Miley Cyrus has the whole world right where she wants us. So, Miley, this is my open letter to you. Whatever it took to get here, you’re the queen of entertainment. Enjoy it while it lasts.


Nothing will be the same

New, better tracks dropped on Drake’s latest work LAUREN SAXON



nly seconds after its release, rap fans all around the country raced to computers and iTunes to download Drake’s latest album, “Nothing Was the Same.” I was one of them. After two long years of waiting, the new album dropped on Sept. 24, 2013, and it did not disappoint. How Drake managed to follow up his 2010 Grammy Award winning album “Take Care,” remains a mystery to me, but it took less than four songs for me to fall in love with “Nothing Was The Same.” Some critics, however, have voiced different opinions when

comparing the two albums. Although “Take Care” is superior in length, I find that Drake’s new album is superior in content. In a CRWN interview with Elliot Wilson, Drake explained that his mentor and close friend limited him to 13 songs, challenging him to produce a shorter album that’s content can still have a lasting impact. This is the very aspect that I love most about “Nothing Was the Same.” In each of the 13 songs, listeners find out something new about Drake’s life. His religion, friendships, and family relations are all alluded to throughout the album. ‘Worst Behavior’ refers to Drake’s rise to fame on the TV

show “Degrassi,” while ‘Tuscan Leather’ references Drake’s turbulent relationship with female rapper Nicki Minaj. Drake is often scrutinized for being ‘soft’ or ‘overemotional’ in his songs, but I feel that Drake is the rapper who best reflects this generation. A common attribute that Drake is attacked for is his combination of R&B melodies and rap. Many critics find his albums contain too many R&B songs for a rapper. However, I find that this is not the case in “Nothing Was the Same,” as the multifaceted rapper found the perfect balance. “I tried to blur the lines

between rapping and singing,” said Drake in the CRWN interview. His new album contains a variety of slow melodies, fast rap songs, and some hybrids, allowing fans of all types to find a new favorite. At age 26, Drake’s latest album shows that he has no sign of slowing down. His songs ‘Started From the Bottom’ and ‘Hold on We’re Going Home’ have already climbed the charts, and there are still several songs on the album the public has yet to discover. In the CRWN interview Drake said, “People need something new to love,” and his album “Nothing Was The Same” is exactly that.

November promises high-action movie sequels ALL IMAGES BY BEN COHEN AND KATHRYN TENBARGE

Nov. 8, rated PG-13

Nov. 22, rated PG-13 The sequel to the 2011 hit “Thor” will follow Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as he embarks on a journey to save Earth, all while working with his mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

The movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling sequel follows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as she copes with the aftermath of the 74th annual Hunger Games, which have left her in a state of power and grave danger. THE LEAF | SPORTS


9 2 8 1 7 6

Rujula Kapoor


8 3


6 7

4 7 9 4 9 1 8 2 2 1 6 4 8 4 3 1 2 6 8

1 4 3 6

9 2 7

Where in the school is this?

The first person to submit the right answer to will receive an out-to-lunch pass.



Word Scramble: Halloween 1. uknppim 2. ellhwonea 3. cdyna

Answers: neon light, sandbox, generation gap, man overboard, growing old, scrambled eggs


Hannah May


4. mtscueo 5. ksloetne 6. deirsp Answers: 1.Pumpkin 2.Halloween 3.Candy 4.Costume 5.Skeleton 6.Spider

OCT. 24, 2013

Wordles knee LIGHT MAN BOARD






Word Search: Fall N G O Y H Y R R Z W L S O A E E D E R U N E Y P B L G T O Y C J A O I L K A V F Y F T V L O H E G D S C X N E W E W D X O N E F R S P S G L E A O R A N G E O Y N R P F U X H F R S T O Y D X A W V W I Hay Leaves

Orange October

Sweater Yellow

OCT. 24, 2013


Dominican republic

“We can do nothing to change a life in just one week; but, what we can do is plant a seed in their hearts, and pray that it grows, so that their lives will be changed forever” “The reason we want you to go and gather the children is because when they see the beat-up sign made of what used to be a missionaries, when they touch the missionaries, cardboard box reads, “Bienvenida. Dio they get happiness and they want to come te vendiga.” Welcome. God bless you. to church,” said Christopher Alvarez, our This marks the beginning of a large town in translator. the Dominican Republic; however, it is not the I hated this “gathering time” at first. The type of town you would picture in your head. children would come running out and grab me, This town has houses made out of logs and tear at my clothes, and even fight amongst each slabs of tin - streets of dirt other over the right to hold my hand. Fact paved with trash and mud. However, as the week went on, this More than one On my first trip to million children moment - where we would walk down the Hispaniola, I visited several in the Dominican streets hand in hand to bring the people towns in Haiti, and I thought Republic live to the house of God- was what I looked to myself, ‘It can’t get any in poverty and forward to every day. worse than this.’ That is why, roughly 578,000 This was the time when I felt the closest even as I walked through the children under to the children that we were caring for. We airport in Santiago, Dominican the age of 15 are would sing songs for them, pray with them, Republic, I was not expecting without parental and dance with them, but this was the only care. Around 20 to see anything as devastating percent of them time that I felt like I was one of them. as Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Once again, I was struck by the happiness are orphans. But on the second day and hope that the kids were glowing with. after our arrival, when the The smiles on their faces as they sang songs, or mission team was sent out to walk around the played baseball with a stick and a bottle cap, neighborhood screaming, “Vamanos a la escuela made all of the people on the mission team bibilica de verano!” to gather the children at smile as well. church for Vacation Bible School, I realized I “They don’t know what they don’t have, so had been wrong. they are just as happy, if not happier, than you In Haiti, I never once walked through the and I,” said Amos D. Jun, senior pastor of the streets of Port-au-Prince. In fact, we were only missionary church. able to catch glimpses of the neighborhood In reality, with each blessing that I gave to the through the tinted windows of our car as we children – each smile I gave, each prayer I lifted drove to a church location. up, each guitar chord I played– it was me who This was completely different in the was blessed tenfold. Dominican Republic. I will miss my kids; that goes without saying. Every day, we would walk through the I will miss all of the people I met. But we will streets and call out to the people in the town see them again one day. Even if that day does to come to the church and see the “misioneros not come in this world, we will walk together koreanos,” and I would witness first hand again hand in hand. exactly what kind of devastation that these people thought of as the norm.







1. Doctor Hyo Sang Kim of the denstistry team pulls out a decaying tooth. The dentistry team was able to treat over 65 people in four days. 2. The mission team circles up to pray before ‘compania,’a night performance in the local village. 3. David Kim helps a group of children with their craft activity during Vacation Bible School. To have enough crafts for the children in Dominican Republic, the team brought three 50 pound bags full of stickers, crayons, pictureframes, and handbags. ALL IMAGES BY JOSEPH AHN 48

WAGE per day Wage needed to live healthily by UN standards in DR

15 5

DR sweatshop worker US farmer





t takes a certain group of people and a special type of charity to put on the highest raising fundraiser this school has to offer. The Fashion for the Cure (FFTC) Committee has officially chosen its beneficiary, The Dragonfly Foundation, for the spring show. Before the planning and fundraising can start, the senior cochairs must select a non-profit charity or organization. “We researched many charities, and narrowed it down to a few, but the Dragonfly Foundation stood out to us in many ways. Not only is it local, but it has so many heartwarming stories behind it that the entire community, or anyone affected by cancer can relate to,” said Deborah Klemt, FFTC advisor. The Dragonfly Foundation is a local non-profit organization in Cincinnati that provides comfort and joy for children and young adults battling cancer and various other blood diseases. It was founded in 2010 after Christine Neitzke and her husband Jim Neitzke received the biggest shock of their lives; their youngest son, Matt Neitzke, was diagnosed with Stage 3A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February. The Neitzke family’s life changed drastically during the six months of Matt’s intensive treatments and chemotherapy. Fortunately, he went into remission in February 2010. Christine and her family’s journey inspired her to start the Dragonfly Foundation. Best friend and co-founder of the non-profit, Ria Davidson, was alongside helping out the entire time, seeing first-hand the devastation. “Our non-profit is so unique. It’s so easy to donate and help the Dragonfly community, because I don’t need a million dollar donation. Something as simple as a new DVD, or Play-Dough is more than enough,” said Neitzke. Three co-chairs are in charge this year, and will oversee that the committee is 8


Fashion for the Cure 2014 Proudly Benefits...



The Turtleneck


DRAGONFLY FOUNDATION “The dragonfly symbol represents strength and courage,” said Christine Neitzke, founder of the Dragonfly Foundation. The committee has accumulated more members than past years, so there will be more people to assist in making this event incredible. Mar. 19 is a day that allows students to give back to the commitment around.

doing everything they possibly can to efficiently fundraise for the spring event. Morgan Winnestaffer, Elizabeth Swofford, and Sarah Birckhead, all seniors, have inherited the position through hard work and dedication. “We are a great team. If we don’t agree on something, we will hash it out until we come to a solution that will be best for the organization and charity. We are together so much that we get closer every day without even noticing it, and it’s cool because we all are so passionate about Dragonfly,” said Winnestaffer. The committee has meetings frequently, and will work to fundraise for the Dragonfly Foundation up until the day of the event, Mar. 19, until they have exhausted all resources and means of public relations throughout the SHS community. It may be the early stages of the fundraising and planning process, but one thing is certain: this is not the last that will be heard regarding the FFTC 2014 journey.

The Infinity ALL PHOTOS By Lauren Glynn SCARVES MODELED BY Marissa Wyrick



Atiya Dosani Image by Image Sarahby Birckhead

FASHION FOR THE CURE flies into fundraising with Dragonfly Foundation

A turtleneck is a good way to keep your neck warm during the cold seasons. Place one end of the scarf on your neck and wrap it around until you reach the end. Tuck the ends of the scarf under the wrap.

The Celebrity

Grab one end of the scarf and loop it around your neck two times, then tuck in that end into the front of the scarf and pull it through the loop you just made Grab the other end and tuck that into the front of the scarf.

Place the scarf around your neck so the ends hang down. Then wrap one end of the scarf around your neck three times, and with the remaining part of that end, tuck it into the back of the scarf.

The Modern Loop

Wrap one end of the scarf around your neck and even both sides. There should be a loop in the middle and two sides of equal length hanging down.

OCT. 24, 2013

Cover story



eyebrows raised and 1 pulled together





raised upper eyelids


tensed lower eyelids

lips slightly stretched 4 horizontally back to ears PHOTO BY LAUREN GLYNN AND KRITTIKA CHATTERJEE

be Y AFRAID; AFRAID What happens inside your body when you get scared?



When a thrill seeker leaves the ALEXIS CORCORAN theater, their stress hormones linger ASSOCIATE EDITOR and all of his or her emotions become heightened. When ou turnindividuals the cornerare in more alert, they are more likelyyou to a haunted house, find something humorous or feel villain anticipate a masked happiness. This meansout thatatifyou. we laugh jumping Your with our friends after apressure horror movie, heart rate and blood increase; those emotions are also your positive breathing quickens. heightened. “Our bodies have a natural ‘fight or By thereaction same logic, for those who do flight’ triggered by our nervous not like horror movies, typical feelings systems. Fear is an instinct humans ofhave fearin areorder stronger afterdanger,” watching. to avoid said Mr. “I don’t mind the fear part, but when James Smanik, biology teacher. IFaces leave theof theater, it is always worse fear than when has I ameven actually there,” said Science found reasoning Belcher. behind the typical horror movie victim Thrill seekers differare from others on raise a face. When people scared, they biological level. Levels of dopamine, their eyebrows and eyelids, which opens the chemical in the brain makes up the nasal passage for athat fuller breath. someone feel pleasure, are higher in In contrast, when someone is disgusted,

Paranormal Activity



Movies ranked by fright factor SHSLEAF.COM | THE LEAF

a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, which in conditions of stress, increases rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism, and prepares muscles for exertion


sweetest 1998 Cortisol: cor-ti-sol a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex and used medicinally to treat inflammation resulting from eczema and rheumatism

The Exorcist 10

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Adrenaline: a-dren-al-ine

The brain initiates the body’s response by simultaneously activating both the sympathetic nervous system (which triggers the nerves) and the adrenal-cortical system (which dumps hormones into the bloodstream). The body then pumps adrenaline to our muscles when it feels scared or frightened. Then, the body releases the hormone cortisol to calm itself back to normal. The entire cycle is part of a defense mechanism that has developed over thousands of years.

Scare scale:

people who enjoy taking risks. he or she scrunches his or her nose and Hormone confusion mouth to block sensory passages. Horror movies involve high levels of Early psychologist William adrenaline, and there is a reason that discovered this James provides a perfectthat datecertain setting.facial expressions change the blood Misattribution of arousal has beenflow to the brain, impacting the way you feel. studied repeatedly in psychology. This is why smiling actually does help The gist of misattribution of arousal to make happy. is that when people someone is watching a When people anticipate fright horror movie their pupils dilate, theirtheir eyes widen, mouth opens, often blood pressures rise, and their and hearts become afraid. beat faster, subconsciously attributing it toWhy being attracted their datemovies rather we loveto horror than the scariness of the movie. Whether hanging out with friends, This causes those watching the horror going on a date, or seeing a movie movie to find their significant other alone, teenagers love watching horror more attractive. movies. “Insidious: Chapter Two” has With over 50 million horror movie already grossed over $79 million in tickets sold in 2013 alone, the positive ticket sales since its release, and many psychological effect of these movies is of the most classic movies from the evident. IMAGE BY KRITTIKA CHATTERJEE

be very

Why students love getting scared


earlier days of film are horror. We enjoy horror movies in large part not because of how we feel during the movie, but afterwards, according to Glenn Sparks from Purdue University The stress reaction that horror movies cause is similar to that of other high adrenaline activities. Those who enjoy horror movies are the thrill seeker types, while those who dislike horror movies dislike other high risk activities. “I do not love horror movies but I can handle watching them. I think being in the real situation and watching it on a screen are completely different because I am terrified of heights and cannot even climb a ladder without hesitating,” said Abigail Belcher, 11. The difference between thrill seekers and their counterparts is biological and typically hereditary.






The Shining

When a thrill seeker leaves the theater, their stress hormones linger and all of his or her emotions become heightened. When individuals are more alert, they are more likely to find something humorous or feel happiness. This means that if we laugh with our friends after a horror movie, those positive emotions are also heightened. By the same logic, for those who do not like horror movies, typical feelings of fear are stronger after watching. “I don’t mind the fear part, but when I leave the theater, it is always worse than when I am actually there,” said Belcher. Thrill seekers differ from others on a biological level. Levels of dopamine, the chemical in the brain that makes someone feel pleasure, are higher in

Paranormal Activity


people who enjoy taking risks.

Hormone confusion

Horror movies involve high levels of adrenaline, and there is a reason that this provides a perfect date setting. Misattribution of arousal has been studied repeatedly in psychology. The gist of misattribution of arousal is that when someone is watching a horror movie their pupils dilate, their blood pressures rise, and their hearts beat faster, subconsciously attributing it to being attracted to their date rather than the scariness of the movie. This causes those watching the horror movie to find their significant other more attractive. With over 50 million horror movie tickets sold in 2013 alone, the positive psychological effect of these movies is evident.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown




Scare scale:


earlier days of film are horror. We enjoy horror movies in large part not because of how we feel during the movie, but afterwards, according to Glenn Sparks from Purdue University The stress reaction that horror movies cause is similar to that of other high adrenaline activities. Those who enjoy horror movies are the thrill seeker types, while those who dislike horror movies dislike other high risk activities. “I do not love horror movies but I can handle watching them. I think being in the real situation and watching it on a screen are completely different because I am terrified of heights and cannot even climb a ladder without hesitating,” said Abigail Belcher, 11. The difference between thrill seekers and their counterparts is biological and typically hereditary.

sweetest 1973


Movies ranked by fright factor

The Exorcist

Halloweentown THE LEAF | COVER STORY






alloween. A day that is known for the monsters, vampires, tricking and, of course, treating. Late nights, frightful sights, and the delicious sugary candies attract young children. However, they have a way of enticing high school students as well. What makes trick-ortreating on Halloween so irresistible? Even for the older crowd? Perhaps it is the thrill that one senses from being scared, the sentimental qualities, or maybe it is the sugar rush received after eating a pound of sweet candy. Whatever the reasons may be, there is no denying that Oct. 31 has a way of filling the streets with creatures of variety and costumes of all sorts worn by toddlers, tweeners and teenagers. Some would suggest that trick-or-treating is for a more youthful age group. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that each Halloween there are approximately 41 million trick-or-treaters ages five to 14 that parade around in costumes. “Honestly, I think that Halloween is meant for younger kids. I guess it’s your decision as a high school student whether or

not you want to trick-ortreat, but it just seems like a childish holiday not meant for teenagers,” said Wessel Bleesing, 10. Adolescents have a reputation on Halloween that leaves little to be desired. Premonitions of vandalizing, reckless behavior and more overshadow what the real reason for teens’ trick-ortreating potentially could be. “If Halloween is during the week then it can be very disruptive because the door bell rings nonstop, making it hard to concentrate on homework. But if it’s on the weekend, I say go all out… just make good decisions,” said Serena Kaul, 10. It is common for parents to feel apprehensive about high school teenagers pleading for sweets right alongside of their five year olds. However, is it wrong for teenagers to participate in the tradition of trick-or-treating? Many students, even parents, would agree that there is no harm in teens simply reminiscing and taking part in something harmless and fun like collecting candy. “If high school students are polite and responsible, I don’t think it’s a problem for them to go out trick-or-treating,” said Mrs. Kathy Ferguson, art teacher. A recurring motive that high school students have

when it comes to trick-ortreating is a sense of revival of the inner child from inside. Halloween can be tied together with fun memories as children with family, friends, and delicious candy. “I went trick-or-treating last year, and I’m all for it,” said Julia Henkel, 12. Many teens refuse to lose that tradition. The ability to let go and feel like a kid again shows to be a primary reason as to why trick-or-treating appeals to an older age group as well as younger. “I’ve gone trick-or-treating with my younger sister, and some of my friends for a few years and it is fun to see how much she enjoys it. It reminds me of how much fun I had when I trick-or-treated every Halloween,” said Melissa Goodman, 10. When it all comes down to the costumes, the treats, and the tricks, the ultimate decision of whether or not to trick-or-treat as a high school student relies on the people themselves. So how old is too old for trick-or-treating? Though some may disagree, there is not a true limit in regard to age. As long as each candy-retriever is disguised in costume and respectful, anyone may hunt for treats, as long as they are accompanied with an entertaining trick.


1 2 3 4 5 6

Rules for Senior Halloween

Costumes must be in good taste and follow Student Code of Conduct

No masks that cover the face, seethrough garments, exposed midriffs, strapless tops, or clothing that exposes undergarments.

No weapons

Swords, guns, or any other weapon can not be used as a part of your costume. This includes facsimiles of weapons of any kind. Items will be confiscated.

No wheeled modes of transportation

No rollerblades, skates, skateboards, bicycles, or shopping carts will be allowed in the building, even if it is an essential part of your costume.

No fighting or offensive content

No obstruction of the hallway or blocking students from getting to class on time. Costumes must not infringe on cultural sensitivities.

Students may not bring props that are designed to throw away or distribute

No confetti, food items, stickers, aerosol cans, or flyers. No latex balloons as any part of costumes.

No drug, alcohol or tobacco references

This includes facsimiles of such items. Also, bottles, wine or drink glasses, and SOLO cups.


Is it for the trick or the treat?

One grade can have an impact on future years. This is how rule changes have occurred over time. We want each Senior class to respect the classes that follow, and thus far students have met the expectations established by their grade level principal. - Mrs. Karen Bare,

Assistant Principal

All information credited to Brooke Landrum

Sweet, sweet Halloween: Top five treats 1


Reese’s Cups








Kit Kats


Wonka Nerds

Working w unded: TAYLOR EVANS



SENIOR Spotlight

one of the fall sports can say that they had a former Marine run their summer workouts; however, there is one sport that can say this: volleyball. Only three weeks after semester exams, girls volleyball met after school for an hour and a half to start working on agility, strength, and endurance. Conditioning continued two days a week up until school let out in May. That is when the real summer conditioning began. For two and a half hours, three days a week, the girls worked harder than ever before, determined to make this season one that they, and their peers, would never forget. images by taylor evans The desire to do well in the Kara Marth, 12, prepares to pass the ball to GMC conference and even the setter. The first contact the most important touch on the ball because it sets up the rest of better in the state tournament is what drove and still drives the play. Some of the best volleyball players are not necessarily the strongest or the tallest, the girls today. But like everything, obstacles stood but their ball control surpasses the rest.

Team digs deep to overcome injuries

in their way. Unfortunately, these challenges are not easily overcome. Injuries. They are any athlete’s worst fear and they are what is plaguing the girls team. From sprained ankles to shin splints to torn muscles, one can see how it is becoming increasingly difficult for the team to cope. “It seems like we’re dropping like flies. It definitely makes playing and practicing harder when half the team needs to sit out and ice to prevent further injury,” said Elizabeth Gibson, 11. Although these injuries are hindrances to the team, they will not stop them from pursuing their goal. Seniors Kara Marth, Laura Cole, Julia Cole, and Julia Henkel, stay positive and keep their team focused on what they set out to do since February. “We all have something that’s hurting us, but the thing is, we all love this sport enough

to play through any pain. It’d have to take a multiple broken bones to get any of us to stop playing. But even then, I’m sure we’d still be trying to pass the ball, despite the fact that we were in a full body cast,” said Courtney Cron, 11. The girls remain dedicated and after a successful Senior Night, the team is excited for the postseason tournament: a competition for teams to claim their title as “State Champions.” The Varsity girls are striving to achieve a goal that in previous years has been a dream, but the girls’ hard work and relentless effort has, unfortunately, come at a high price. “We do sacrifice so much time and our health sometimes for this game, but when you’re doing it for something you love, it’s not really a sacrifice. I think any of the girls would agree with me,” said Henkel.

Being unable to play has taught me how to utilize my leadership both on and off the court. Our team has grown in only positive ways. I would do anything for any of these girls. They are my second family.

I feel more confident, now that I’m a senior, but I don’t feel as if I am above anyone on our team. All of us need to improve individually so that we can come together as a unit and as a team.

The pressure honestly hasn’t changed much because I have always strived to be a leader on this team. I’m excited for the long push in the state tournament. I really believe we can win it all.

We really have come far, both individually and as a group. Every person on our team has improved so much, and I think we work better as a team than we ever have since I’ve been here.

Julia Cole

Kara Marth

Laura Cole

OCT. 24, 2013



Are athletes running on the wrong fuel? JENNY HAM


It is important to prepare and recuperate from a sporting event with the proper nutrient rich foods. Before many cross country meets, teams stock up with carbohydrates at their infamous pasta parties. “The main purposes of these pasta parties is carboloading and team bonding,” said Robby Lucian, 12, cross country runner. But is this ‘carbo-loading’ actually effective? “The intent is that before a meet, you are at maximum energy potential,” said Mr. James Smanik, biology teacher and retired cross country coach. However, studies have shown that this excessive consumption of carbohydrates could possibly slow runners down. According to a study by Colorado State University Extension, a petite meal a few hours before consisting of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain, is the best. These carbs will break down easily, while providing necessary proteins and energy.

Julia Henkel THE LEAF | SPORTS



Landing on the green


Teachable moments MICHAEL SAXON

Girls, boys golf putt their way through season

Photos courtesy of McDaniel’s




he Varsity golf team has had a successful season. They placed second in districts only losing to Mason. Their next event is the state tournament on Oct. 18 and 19, in which five of the girls will participate in. “It’s been a great year and we’ve overcome a lot of injuries to get to the state championship. The team has worked hard to qualify and each player will give her best effort,” said Keith Brackenridge, Varsity coach. This is Brackenridge’s third time qualifying for state in his 21 years of coaching, but their second place finish in district is the best he has ever experienced. This was partly because of Hannah Lee’s, 12, finish. Lee finished as a medalist at the tournament with a score of 70. JV girls golf has been driving and putting their way through a semi-successful season. With a record of 4-10 they have had an eventful fall. Their season came to an end on Sept. 29 with the Sycamore Invitational, where the team competed against Mason, St.

Scan here for more sports articles on 14



Mark Reinhart, 12 follows through a shot on a hole this season. The boys golf players have been sinking shots all season, and members of the team have also formed close bonds. “We came together over the course of the season by doing team-based competitions during practice. We also just joked around a lot in the van and at practice and got pretty comfortable with each other,” said Reinhart.

Ursuline, St. Ursula, and Oak Hills. The season has been a new experience for many of the team members since four of the six people on the team are freshman. Players have noticed a difference from SJHS golf to SHS golf. The increase in not only in the amount of games scheduled, but the intensity it takes to compete. “Playing high school golf is much more intense and you make more friends plus it’s more competitive. Also,you play against people who actually know how to play.” said Alexandra Meckes, 9. Reading the green, Hannah Brown, 11, lines up a putt. Brown and the Varsity girls golf team placed second in the Districts, sending five girls to the state tournament.

While soccer is undoubtedly known as one of the world’s most beautiful games, this game in particular was rather ugly. Last year, Princeton’s soccer team felt the need to make up for their lack of talent by being extra physical. We ended up winning 3 – 1, but only after enduring unnecessary elbow jabs, shoves, and cleat marks along the way. The referee, of course, was oblivious to these blatant acts of frustration. Going in to the postgame handshake, players on both teams felt cheated – Princeton with the loss, and us with the beating we were forced to endure. So, tempers flared. The coaches were able to settle it before anything serious happened, but the message had been sent: forget sportsmanship. What had just occurred was personal and would not be forgotten. Scenes like these are what the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) is trying to prevent. Their directive, which at first seemed to ban post-game handshakes, now seeks to monitor them to ensure no fights break out at the end of games. Handshakes are now voluntary. The fact that Kentucky felt the need to implement something like this shows how childish we as athletes can be. Can we not control our tempers for just a couple minutes after the game? What’s more appalling, however, is Kentucky’s belief that their high school athletics can continue without these handshakes. They mean more than just the repeating of “Good game.” Postgame handshakes represent sportsmanship, and the old cliché: it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. Getting rid of handshakes or making them voluntary is a mistake. What are we teaching our athletes, especially the younger ones? That winning is everything? That your actions during the game don’t matter? The postgame handshakes also offer this: teachable moments. Maybe, just maybe, those fights that Kentucky is trying so hard to prevent are necessary. Maybe those fights enforce the lesson of sportsmanship more than monotonous, insincere handshakes ever will. I’m not saying high schools should encourage fights after games. However, the handshakes need to continue. Should an altercation arise during one of these postgame rituals, coaches should squash it, then proceed to demonstrate to the athletes involved why their actions were not acceptable. After all, don’t you need to experience the bad, before you really know what’s good?


Sports with Spirit :






ftentimes, people regard cheerleading as an activity, not as a sport. However, cheerleading shares common aspects with all the other sports at SHS. Just like sports such as football and basketball, cheerleading teams have to pay an athletic fee, participate in tryouts with cuts, and practice for hours after school. Although the Flyerettes and cheerleaders may appear similar, there are distinct differences between the two. “For one, high school cheerleaders aren’t allowed to do any lifts like the flyerettes can,” said Taylor Gardner, 11, Varsity cheerleader. After two deaths related to cheerleading, Ohio ruled that cheerleaders are only permitted to tumble. The tryout process for cheerleading is also different. “Cheerleaders have to try out for two separate seasons, football in the fall and basketball in the winter,” said Gardner. The Flyerettes is more of a year long team, and only one tryout is required for the fall and winter seasons. Practicing almost everyday, the cheerleaders are excited to make thier voices heard at games and pep rallys.

Same steps: Similarities between teams Poms

Fight song routine

Flyerette Faith Kaufman, 12, and cheerleader Sydney Stewart, 9, compete on their respective teams. Although the flyerettes and cheerleaders are often grouped together, each sport has distinctive traits. Regardless of their differences, the flyerettes and cheerleaders work year after year to bring spirit to our school.


2-hour practices Cuts at tryouts

I’m proud to call myself both a cheerleader and flyerette.

All images by Lauren Saxon

nlike the cheerleaders, the Flyerettes dance team does not communicate as much with their audience. There are no cheers, and most of their moves are visual, rather than audible. But that does not mean the Flyerettes work any less. Their dances are more intensive, as they combine multiple styles: jazz, hip hop, and pop, which are derived from cheer motions. Flyerettes is also more of a yearlong team. They condition during the summer through biweekly practices that continue into the school year. Technically, dance team is a winter sport, but the Flyerettes perform at football games, basketball games, pep rallies, the Variety show, and more. “Being on both the Flyerettes and cheer, you have to remember a lot of cheers, sideline dances, and halftime dances,” said Lindsay Altemuehle, 9. Both Altemuehle and Hannah Young, 9, participate on both teams. “I’ve made a lot of new friends from being in these sports. I love both teams equally but in different ways,” said Altemuehle. Together, Altemuehle and Young are bridging the gap between cheer and dance, the school’s most spirited teams.

Team unity


An inside look at our cheerleaders and flyerettes

- Lindsay Altemuehle, 9 THE LEAF | SPORTS



‘My goal is to go see all of the sports that SHS has to offer’

Most Valuable Fan supports all sports teams JOSEPH AHN



rom football to chess, SHS has a total of over 70 different sports teams. Some of these sports come with huge crowds and packed stands, while others have notso-rowdy student sections. “Sometimes a couple of our friends come, but otherwise we aren’t really expecting people to come,” said Divyesh Balimurali, 10, member of the chess team. But one student, Michael Masset, 12, has decided Image by Alex Wittenbaum Cheering on his SHS classmates, Michael Masset,12, to embrace a challenging undertaking. has a unique goal for his senior year: to go see at “My goal is to go see all of least one game of every sport offered at SHS. Even if it means attending a sport he has never seen the sports that SHS has to before, Masset feels it is important to support all the offer. I think it’s important to school’s sports.

give all the different sports and teams the same support that some specific sports get. So, I’m trying see at least one of all of the sports,” said Masset. Masset has already started on his mission, attending water polo, football, and crosscountry games, as well as his first ever girls golf match. “I’m on my way, but there are a ton of sports” said Masset. Although Masset considers himself someone with adequate knowledge of the basics behind the majority of sports, he says that he is sometimes uncomfortable when he attends a sport he has not experienced before. “Sometimes I just don’t know what’s going on. I

went to golf, and you know, I had a basic idea of what was happening, but I guess it was just a very different environment than any other sport that I had been to. There’s no rowdiness,” said Masset. Masset encourages other students to try and support sports teams and activities as well, even if it is not through attending all 70+. “It’s just really important to support the school and all of the sports it has. Not just football or basketball,” said Masset.



Percentage of SHS students who participate in sports


Number of sports teams that SHS has to offer. (Varsity and JV)


SHS sits in second place behind Mason in the race for the All Sports Trohpy

Alexandra Abele, 10, and Margaret Skwara, 10, took first place at both the District and Sectional Championships. The two will now move on to the state tournament to try and help SHS bring home its first state title since 1990. In the team championships, the girls were knocked off by the Mason Comets l in a three hour match. The whole team will travel up to Columbus to support the sophomores.

On senior night, SHS defeated Middletown 9 – 0, which is fitting considering the team has nine seniors, and the win was the ninth of the season. After the win, the team met in the commons to celebrate with the seniors. The entire program enjoyed Jersey Mikes, and Scott Sievering, head coach, said something about each individual senior. Girls Soccer

Cross Country Jacob Belcher, 12, and Ray Berling, 10, were both named to the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) first team. Kyria Graves,10, William Schrantz, 11, Kevin Lawson, and Myles Menyhert, both 9, also made the GMC All Conference team. In team competition, they finished second, only behind Mason at the GMC Tournament.



Grace Louis, 10, and Ashley Thiss , 11, battle for possession of the ball at midfield. Throughout the season, the team was forced to overcome injuries including a concussion and an ACL tear. Desipte the diappointing 2 -1 loss to Seton on their Senior Night, the Varisty girls soccer team finished the season ranked sixth in the GMC with a winning GMC record of 4-3-2.

Seasons in Review

All photos courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography

Girls Tennis

Boys Soccer

OCT. 24, 2013


Staff Editorial Fear we can’t support In our younger years, fear meant something more akin to what we see in scary movies and television shows: monsters in the closets, ghosts under the beds, and poisoned-apple wielding witches with long hooked noses. However, years later, fear has come to mean something far less tangible but infinitely more intimidating. We’ve learned to fear the faceless authority figures who have the power to grant or deny our dreams for the future; we fear failure in the eyes of those who we respect the most. We fear being alone and being uncertain, and we fear the world around us. We fear that we don’t have the skills necessary to succeed in this world, a world that adults tell

Leafing through the masses: What is your biggest fear?

us we won’t survive in unless we are constantly adapting. We fear ignorance, because we have been taught of the hatred, the ostracism, and the pain that can come as the result of this particular evil. Still, it’s important not to be overwhelmed by the anxiety we hold inside of us. Fear shouldn’t make us feel powerless. Let it make us take action. Let it inspire change. As human beings, we can endeavor to conquer our fears. We can learn from the things we fear and prevent them from happening again. Our fears have rapidly grown, but so have we.

I fear the crunch of chips because it’s the sound of calories being added to my body. Omar Khan, 12

I have a fear of knives...they’re so sharp. but I’m not scared of butter knives. Emily Misali, 10 My greatest fear is definitely stage fright. It is ironic because I am in a band and we do perform but I still hesitate when I get on stage. Nathaniel LeRoy, 11

I’m afraid of swimming things with big teeth like crocodiles and sharks. You can’t see them and they can eat you. Mrs. Holly Hodel, Social Studies Teacher THE LEAF | OPINION




pread too thin

tress pushes high achievers to breaking point




espect. Responsibility. Opportunity. The slogan hangs in our halls, is put into our planners, and is discussed periodically throughout the year. However, no one discusses what can happen when we take the “opportunity” aspect too far. As recent research has shown, presentday high school students sustain the same amount of stress as mental asylum patients in the 1950s. Now, think of the type of person who would be admitted into a 1950s mental ward: those with anxiety, delusion, and personality disorders, people deemed unable to live with the rest of “civilized society.” Such a comparison is hard and scary to consider, which begs the question: why are we so stressed? One of the main reasons is college. Even at the beginning of a student’s sophomore

year, our staff gives a college prep presentation. Our school encourages getting involved in multiple different school activities, not just to get acquainted with our peers, but to “look good” on a college resume. From there, it all becomes a peoplepleasing game. There arises the pressure of being the best, not for the sake of competition, but so that college representatives will take notice. For that matter, students may not necessarily enjoy the activity in which they are participating. The passion for the sport, club, activity, or academic subject ends up lost in the college checklist. The lack of sleep also takes a toll on stress levels. Scientifically, high schoolers are supposed to get the most amount of sleep as we go through a phase of change in our

minds and bodies, but, the average teen gets between five and seven hours of sleep per night. Yet the high school days start the earliest, and we receive the most homework out of all grade school levels. This is not to say that all students do not need the preparation. For some, the idea of college is a massive wake-up call, the necessary stimulant to begin moving toward maturity. But for the high achieving student who is fully involved in oranizations and production classes, the push may not be needed. While college may cause one student to begin working toward the future, it can wear another to a standstill, a paralysis with how much they “have” to do. So, to my peers, I say to keep perspective.

Instead of pushing to do every activity offered at SHS, consider what you love to do. Narrow your focus as you move toward your senior year. If you have no idea what you want to do after college, I encourage you to try new things, but keep your activities within the confines of time, money, and sleep. Simply consider what is necessary. Finally, know your limits. If you have pushed your body to the point of sickness because of stress, that is probably a sign that you need rest. The mind works better when it is fresh, not after studying for hours on end. We pride ourselves with the opportunities our school provides for us. If we allow ourselves to work within the confines of our bodies and minds, the mental asylum comparison may not be such a big statistic.

‘Fun’ teen activities jeopardize promising future STAFF WRITER

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with some friends and the topic of partying came up. I sat there and listened to their stories, laughing and having a good time. But on the inside, I couldn’t stop saying, “what on earth were these people thinking?” One of them was talking about how they were at this party and the host was so drunk that he was getting sick inside. There was beer and other alcoholic drinks present and the kids there were clearly making the most of it. Another one began telling a story about wanting to go to a foreign country so they could get alcohol legally and just have a good time without any worries or regrets. I was speechless but forced to laugh to make it seem like what 18


they were saying was socially acceptable. I didn’t want to speak up and say anything because that would only draw out backlash, but I was terrified for my friends. They were doing stupid things; things that get people killed or make them end up on commercials, begging others not to follow in their footsteps. What was most shocking to me, though, was that they all thought that the things they were talking about and planning on doing was fine. They didn’t look beyond the fun and being with friends and having a good time. They were failing to see how much they could ruin their already extremely bright futures. They weren’t seeing how some pictures could earn them a rejection letter, or

how one dumb decision after the other could earn them a funeral. It finally hit me that this mentality was common among so many of my friends and other people I pass in the hall. This idea of living while we’re young is of course a positive outlook on life, but some people clearly take it to the extreme. It’s saddening to think that so many people have a blatant disregard about what the choices they make could mean in a few years. They either don’t realize it or don’t care, but either way it terrifies me to know that there’s nothing stopping them. So I sat there thinking about this and wanting

to speak up and say that they were all crazy and jeopardizing so much, but who was I to say something. I hadn’t experienced any of these things. I’ve only seen the ads

and heard the warnings. I’m just really afraid that they’re going to come to understand everything I see wrong in what they’re doing at their funeral. PHOTO COURTESY OF STAFF


WHERE’S THE WIDOW? Female superheroine missing from fan merchandise KATHRYN TENBARGE



All images by Sanika Vaidya

s a fan of “The Avengers,” I was very excited to walk into Target and find a row of backpacks picturing various characters from the movie. However, upon further inspection of the selection, I was extremely disappointed to see that the characters pictured were only The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and Hawk-Eye. The artwork was beautifully detailed, but missing one key element: The Black Widow, the only female super heroine in the film franchise, who is played by Scarlett Johansson. Throughout the Avengers movie, which the products were obviously based on, Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a The Black Widow) plays a key role. In “The Avengers,” the character Hawk-Eye receives 12 minutes and 44 seconds of screen time. Thor has 25 minutes and 52 seconds. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Hulk) appears for 28 minutes and 3 seconds. The Black Widow, however, appears for 33 minutes and 35 seconds, more than any other superhero besides Captain America and Iron Man. She also has the longest unbroken

strings of dialogue, more than any other character in the film. This data proves that The Black Widow is a main character, more so than many of the characters on the backpacks. Natasha Romanoff could easily have been pictured in the spaces given without compromising the other designs, so there must be another reason that the only female Avenger was left out. Maybe it was because these backpacks were targeted toward young males, and it is a common belief that the young male demographic would have no interest in wearing a product that pictured a female heroine. “The Avengers” is one of the top-grossing movies of all time. It appeals to a wide variety of demographics, from a 7-year-old boy to a 16-yearold girl, such as me. Beyond that, I question whether a young boy would be bothered with having Scarlett Johansson’s character pictured on his backpack, as long as she was surrounded by her male counterparts. I have yet to find an Avengers product that fulfills my needs. I am desperate to find one that pictures my favorite female heroine. I believe there would be a great benefit in picturing The Black Widow on Avengers merchandise. Not only would she be represented fairly, but it would show young girls -and boys!that anyone, regardless of gender, can be a hero.

Handing off good sportsmanship SARAH BIRCKHEAD


Recently, the state of Kentucky has come to the conclusion that athletes shaking hands at the end of games is dangerous due to “several” breakouts of fights among the Kentucky student athletes. This pressing topic has stirred up discussions, opinions, and possible ‘solutions’ that, in my opinion, are absurd. Talk of completely eliminating the shaking of hands among athletes has been brought up, as well as policemen regulating the fields to ensure that no athletes try to stir up a fight. Also, the idea of the school administrators and coaches walking off the field as quickly as possible is an idea which makes absolutely no sense to me. If any of these ideas go into action, it would be the fault of the adults that these athletes look up to. If this many fights are breaking out after games, is it not the mistake of coaches and administrators, who are supposed to guide, mentor, and be role models for these athletes? I think they are the ones to blame, for they are the ones who should teach their players about sportsmanship. The whole concept of being an athlete is not only playing the game, but also playing it with sportsmanship and a good attitude. The elimination of the handshake, which is a tradition recognized internationally among sports teams, symbolizes closure of any tensions on the field and is a sort of peace treaty between the opposing teams. If young athletes do not learn the value of shaking hands at the endings of games, they may never develop a sense of sportsmanship and it could really damage the future of sports. Running away from this problem is not a solution; it needs to be evaluated and fixed without eliminating the concept all together, because in the long run it is not an efficient solution. It is a necessity that demonstrates respect for the other team, which all athletes should be able to grasp.

For the news story on the Kentucky handshake ban, see p. 2





New drivers dread lengthy lessons

with Ms. Karen Bare, Assistant Principal, on ACE

Q: What goals did or do

Ellen Martinson

Associate Editor

you have for ACE?

A: To help students

establish connections at Sycamore High School, support academic success, and learn and practice important life skills.

ACE developed?

A: ACE was developed

because the administrative team saw a need to bring students together for many purposes. The class meetings were not effective in delivering important information. mandated from the state.

Q: Do you think ACE will

continue into next school year?

A: It is our hope that ACE

will become a delivery model that we can use over time to deliver valuable information. That does not mean we will not evaluate the process and tweak what we are doing. We see this as a long term program.



Ms. Lesley Chapman, French teacher, leads her ACE students in the first meeting of the year. SHS has gotten through two test runs, and the feedback has been varied. However, most students can attest to the fact that ACE can often yield awkward situations, making it hard to follow the curriculum. In August, Aditya Roy-Chaudhury, 12, said, “You need people wanting to contribute to the conversation. But frankly, there just are not enough of those types of kids.” So far, his words have seemed prophetic.

Q: How was the idea of


Awkward Classroom Experiences Jack Loon



CE was developed to create a good classroom environment within small groups all through high school. It is an attempt to make a big school smaller, and to encourage interaction within a small group. The idea is for students to build relationships and learn new things with new people. In theory, ACE is a good idea with good intentions. However, it has proven that it does more harm than good. Students are already faced with many disruptions to their daily schedules due to assemblies, early dismissal, pep rallies and other reasons. These disruptions are preventing teachers from completing learning units on time. We would benefit from more classroom

time and less extra activities during the school day. Another problem with ACE is the topics. While some are important like bullying, others such as note-taking and awkward ice breaker games are already known or pointless. In a survey of 49 students, three students said they liked ACE, 27 students said that they did not mind ACE, and 19 students said that they did not like ACE. According to the survey, most kids that do not like ACE think it is awkward. For most people, the bells are very quiet. “ACE should just stand for Awkward Classroom Experiences with classmates,” said Morgan Hamel, 11. Many people do not feel comfortable talking about certain topics with a group of people that they have never met. One student who reported liking ACE does so because her bell gets donuts. Most people who said they didn’t mind ACE started their reasoning with “I like it because I get out of class.” As mentioned above, ACE has good intentions but based on current findings, it is in the best interests of students if the program were discontinued.

As I look around the dull, grey classroom, I observe 25 other teenagers. Some are eating, sleeping, or braiding their hair. Maybe five are legitimately processing the information that the driving instructor who stands before us is spewing out. From my experience, and from many others whom I have talked to, this is what the typical driving school atmosphere is. Nearly every individual has found a way to zone out the lengthy, four hour class. I had to take six, four-hour classes. To every class I brought five things: my phone, a pack of markers, at least five magazines, an entire meal, and a sweatshirt to sleep on. I found that no matter how hard you try and pay attention, there is no way to fully listen to any of the information. The outdated videos and monotone voice of the instructor do not help either. There is definitely a flaw in the driving school system. I dreaded going to the four-hour class and listening to the instructor talk about things I already knew. “Red means stop. Don’t text and drive. Drive carefully in snow.” Although I did learn some useful information, I feel as though ¾ of the material is common sense. The small portion of information that I did not already know I probably could have learned in 30 minutes. After all of the classes you must take a test to receive your certificate. Without studying for more than two minutes, I was able to pass with flying colors. Does this not show the faults of the system? I barely listened and I am definitely no driving genius. It is scary to think that you can show up to driving school and disregard the information, and easily pass the test. I do not doubt the necessity of driving school. In-cars are an effective, hands-on way to learn, and they improved my knowledge of the roads. However, regarding classroom time, is sitting for four hours really the best way to learn the skills that could possibly save our lives?

Sun rises early

OCT. 24, 2013

Chinese language opens student up to new opportunities CAMILA CARDENAS





or most students, the first morning of freshman year is full of new experiences and nerves. For Henry Sun, 9, however, the morning started off like any morning the year before. Every day of his eighth grade year, Sun was one of three students who came from the junior high to SHS to take a level three language. Now a freshman, Sun is in his fourth year of Chinese. Living in China for two years forced him to learn Chinese quickly. This knowledge of the language and a system for quick learning put Sun far ahead of the rest of his classmates when he returned to the U.S. “I went to a really crowded international school, so it was just like an American school. The classes were taught in English but I still

took Chinese,” said Sun. While it may have given him an advantage in the classroom, he does not feel it gave him the navigational advantage he was hoping for. “I felt I had bragging rights coming up a year early, but I really only knew where the language classes were,” said Sun. Sun says one of the only problems so far with his year is that all of his classes are far from his locker, making him run from class to class. “I don’t get to take any locker breaks during the day. All of my classes are so far away from each other and my locker that there’s just no chance,” said Sun. This could be due to his schedule, which consists of all-accelerated courses. With such a rigorous schedule, Sun finds himself procrastinating much of his homework. “A lot of smart people like to procrastinate; either way, they should be able to get their work done on time,” said Sun. In the future, Sun hopes to be a video game producer because of his passion for music,


I felt I had bragging rights coming up a year early - Henry Sun, 9


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The Varsity football team defeated Hamilton 42-20.

Drew Schneider, 9, and Sydney Klein, 9, riding in parade hosted on the Thursday before Homecoming. They were announced Freshmen Prince and Princess at the game.

Jenna Celek, 12, and Chris Schipper, ‘13, join friends at the dance to finish off thier evening of festivities. Crowned Homecoming Queen and King, Krittika Chatterjee,12, and Aditya Roy-Chaudhury, 12, radiate winning smiles. “I feel like this is as, if not more, important as winning Miss America,” said Roy-Chaudhury.

The cheerleaders performed with the cheer squad from the junior high and underclassmen. “There was a lot of high energy because we were excited to win,” said Taylor Gardner, 11.

Scott Datilo, Varsity Football coach, addresses the crowd after the Homecoming Parade. He also participated in the Pep Rally held after seventh bell on Oct. 4.