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Why you should keep up with current events, news

How to give your significant other a perfect day



Friday, January 27 , 2012 | Volume LIX Issue 6 | 7400 Cornell Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, 513.686.1770 ext. 3089 |



A P O S t ’ ion t n i s i o p a p t ve o i i s s a y m arks Sa

Odd Couples

The annual Odd Couples dance will be held on Mar. 12 at 6 pm. Students who want to attend should ask parents or another older relative as their date. This year’s theme is “Seussical;” attendees can dress in theme or in formalwear. Tickets are $50, and include the cost of dinner and live entertainment courtesy of the Re- Bobs, a band made up of retired SHS teachers.



Science Fair

The school district’s annual science fair will be held on Jan. 28 at 10:45 a.m. in the IMC. Judges will evaluate experiments based on use of the scientific method, clarity of expression, originality, creativity, and knowledge achieved. The fair will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to noon with awards to be presented at 11:30 a.m. Students who earn a superior rating at the district fair will be eligible to participate in the University of Cincinnati Science and Engineering fair on Mar. 10.

Car Control Training

An accidence avoidance training program will be offered at SHS on May 17, 19 and 20. 85 percent of crashes caused by 16 and 17 years old are due to driver error, and this training is said to reduce crash chances by 77 percent. The cost is $179 per parent – student team; a parent is required at all sessions. Registration is available online at and is limited.


ill sp b l a i s r e Controv The Sycamore Leaf

Went to Sycamore High School Lives in Cincinnati, Ohio From Cincinnati, Ohio



Piracy Act (SOPA) currently being debated in Congress, this is a very real possibility for the future. Internet piracy, or the act of sharing copyrighted content with others freely without the permission of the copyright holder, has been a major concern for the entertainment industry in recent years. To prevent internet surfers STUDENTS from using their twitter #SOPA REACT products without @SopaBill paying for them, the What’s your opinion on this controversial bill? entertainment industry 27 Jan Favorite Retweet Reply has lobbied for the @TinoDArpa9 controversial SOPA I feel like this bill is a bit too extreme. bill, which will be voted Web sites shouldn’t be shut down [it’s] freedom of speech. on in Congress this Favorite Retweet Reply February. Most Web sites that @GabeSchenker10 I’m against this bill, because it will give access to pirated cause a major decrease in the artistic material are based expression of America. Favorite Retweet Reply outside the United States, meaning that the @DominicMiller12 I think the music industry needs help, US government cannot so anything the government can do to prosecute them, because revitalize it would be beneficial. they lie outside US Favorite Retweet Reply jurisdiction. Infographic by Michael Saxon




Now December 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 Born


39 Mutual

Carmel Rechnitzer Staff Writer

hat would life be like if access to YouTube got blocked across the US? What if Facebook would not let people speak their mind without their posts being reviewed by a legal team before they go public? What if Twitter was inaccessible to everyday users? Thanks to the Stop Online



Friends 135


On Feb. 1, teachers will recommend students for their classes for the 2012- 2013 school year. Students should begin thinking about what classes they wish to take before this date, and should begin the online scheduling process as soon as possible afterward. Throughout third quarter, conselors will call students to the office to discuss their planned schedule.

The Sycamore Leaf



Photos 2

Map 1

SOPA would give the government and the entertainment industry two powers to deal with these “foreign thieves.” First, SOPA would let the government and entertainment industry force internet providers within the US to block all access to Web sites containing any copyrighted material – or even a link to copyrighted material. Second, SOPA gives the entertainment industry the right to sue any Web site with infringing content. While the bill was expected to pass through the House of Representatives quickly, many internet communities have been combating it with unexpected strength. However, the backlash against the bill is not coming from pirates as one would expect. Those fighting against SOPA claim that it infringes on the right to free speech and on internet security. Several sites have published their arguments

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as to how SOPA would do that. For example,, a site plagued by videos with copyrighted material, would be a foremost target of SOPA. All over YouTube, one can peruse the many videos that infringe on copyrighted material – from music videos uploaded by someone other than the recording artist to covers of the most popular songs. These videos alone, not to mention the endless TV and movie clips available on the site, are all copyrighted material posted without consent. SOPA would have the power to block access to YouTube nationwide. If someone were to post a link to a song with copyrighted material on their Facebook page, the entire site runs the risk of getting blocked. This risk extends to any Web site one where a user posts something illegal. Even if the entertainment industry does not shutdown

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A&E 13-15

Continued on page 2 >> Image by Jimmy Chau

SPORTS 16-19



>> SOPA cont. from pg. 1

YouTube or Facebook, these Web sites will be forced to censor and control everything their users post because they become financially and legally liable for all uploaded content. The prevailing concern is clear: American citizens will no longer be able to express themselves freely on the net. Web sites do not want to risk getting attacked through SOPA. Founders of the internet have stated that the bill would be largely ineffective and incredibly dangerous. Vint Cerf, Paul Vixie, Tony Li, Steven Bellovin and several of the other men who built the foundations of the internet have already published an open letter against SOPA. The letter claims that SOPA will stop technological innovation and that it would block content and make the internet unstable and unsafe. Several Web sites have already discussed and published several ways to get around SOPA’s blockade, which does not shut down the Web site but simply attempts to keep internet users from accessing it. Additionally, several congressmen have also come under fire due to their speeches and behavior during the SOPA hearing – some opened their speeches by saying that they do not really understand the bill but have been told it is a good idea. Ironically,’s Jamie Lee Curtis Taete has found that SOPA author Lamar Smith posted images on his Web site without giving credit to or getting the consent of the photographer. However, the entertainment industry is cautioning Americans from overreacting. SOPA and PIPA, according to writers, will mainly target foreign companies that are stealing copyrighted material and intellectual property. Yet the ambiguity of both bills has left many alarmed, even outraged. When asked about SOPA, several SHS students who have researched the topic admitted their distaste for it. “SOPA is a tyrannical bill that would severely hinder our rights. Our goal should be to stop piracy, not liberty,” said Anirudha Vaddadi, 12. Many fear that SOPA is far too blunt a weapon to combat but several petitions and protest groups have sprung up across the internet. Those opposing the bill can email or send a letter to their Representative in Congress detailing their complaints.

DECA dominates On Dec. 9, the 10th Annual Great Oaks DECA Mini Spring Competition was held at Scarlet Oaks Career and Development Campus. Over 160 marketing students from seven schools participated, competing in the 14 different marketing events. The following Sycamore Marketing students took first place in their event:

Amelia Rogers, 11 - Automotive Services Lindsey Neville, 11 - Human Resources Austin Post, 11 - Hotel Management Patrick Aguilar, 11 - Marketing Management Ryan Gaffney, 11 & Conor Baas, 11 - Buying and Merchandising Macalister Auciello, 11 & Nikhil Grandhi, 11 - Sports & Entertainment Marketing Hannah Wise, 11 & Stephanie Cianciolo, 11 - Travel & Tourism Marketing

Image by Emma Oh


Testing teachers: Staff to be evaluated on students’ growth SM Dipali editor-in-chief


t seems that the twin of concerns. Senate Bill 5 lives on in Kasich’s While primary schools administer proposed teacher evaluation tests on an annual basis to deterframework. Lesser known than SB5, mine yearly student growth in core the infamous anti-union legislation subjects, SHS currently only has that was eventually defeated, the the Ohio Graduation Test – which new framework entails substantial only shows if a student has maschanges for the future of Ohio’s tered content areas well enough to education system. graduate. Currently, teachers at SHS are “Right now, we don’t have in place evaluated every five years, with a a test or a way to measure whether self-evaluation taking place during or not a student made a year’s worth the third year. The new evaluation of growth,” said Bare. system, which is largely perforIn addition to this testing, the mance-based, would be conducted determination of a student’s anannually. nual growth is likely to include a Half of the evaluation would be performance piece. Aware of the based on the teacher’s “in-classroom” prevalence of test taking anxiety, performance. A formal “in-class” the ODE introduced a portfolio teacher evaluation would include as a way for “bad test-takers” to a peer evaluation, an administrator demonstrate that they have met the evaluation, a third party evaluation – minimum requirements in a course. whether that be done by a member Yearly student growth can also of the Central Office or a Ohio De- be hindered by factors outside of partment of Education representa- school control. tive has yet to be determined – and “As a teacher, I don’t get to control parent/student surveys. who comes into my classroom. I This multi-step evaluation has can’t control the variables of my some administrators worrying – students,” said Mr. Kevin Wittman, evaluating every teacher, every year President of the SEA and governwould be incredibly time consum- ment teacher. ing. As a public school, SHS educates “If I don’t give good feedback, then students from all walks of life – I haven’t done my job. Teacher eval- some of whom face daily obstacles uation shouldn’t be a hoop teachers at home. These are factors that can have to jump through. It needs to be undeniably impact the student’s meaningful,” said Mrs. Karen Bare, growth in the classroom, but often assistant principal. cannot be controlled by the school. The other half of the evaluation “If a student goes home every would include a completely new day and their primary concern is attribute: yearly student growth. whether or not they have someIntroduction of the “annual student thing to eat for dinner, school is a growth” component of the teacher secondary priority. And that’s not evaluation has brought with it many something a school can control,”

said Bare. The new system will unarguably have an incredible impact on teachers at SHS – and teachers throughout the state. The proposed evaluation framework would essentially bring an end to the longstanding, union-protected tradition of tenure-based pay. “What we’re seeing is that we may get to the point when pay is directly linked to this yearly evaluation,” said Bare. This new form of merit-based pay is a drastic change from the current system, which attracted many teachers because of its sense of security. “Our mindset has never been very risk taking, and that’s why so many teachers chose this career. And now, all of a sudden, everything is thrown on its head. Everything becomes unknown,” said Wittman. The new framework will be used to evaluate teachers of all levels of education: from kindergarten to high school. Districts have until July 1, 2013 to be in compliance with evaluation tools. However, currently, schools merely have the recommendations that may or may not be put in place – so much still remains unknown. Despite the evaluations supposed shortcomings, Bare believes that the new evaluation framework takes a step in the right direction. “There are changes in teacher evaluation that need to occur. Historically, teachers have been largely evaluated on their ‘in-classroom’ performance. This new teacher evaluation does show some progress in that it focuses more on student learning – and that’s really why we’re all here,” said Bare. Image by Sarah May

‘End of the world as we know it’

Students question Mayan calendar Kelcie Grega associate editor &

Liam Reis staff writer

In less than a year a catastrophe beyond supernatural propor- phone calls and e-mails asking what should be done for protections is said to take place. The world, supposedly, could end. tion on this date, and whether or not they should kill themselves December 2012 marks the conclusion of a b'ak'tun, a Mein advance. soAmerican long count calendar associated with the Mayan “I think it is really sad that people are so scared of nothing and civilization, though it was more likely wasting their money on emergency kits and guides for invented by the Olmec. an event that is a complete hoax,” said Ethan Smilg, 9. I think the calendar The long count calendar is more Only time will tell what may actually happen on ends because the linear than the round calendar. 394 this fateful date. It is not the first time the ‘end of years make up a b'ak'tun. the world’ has been predicted. Mayans had more The calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012, important things to do. Mayan wisdom causing much concern and debate. While many worry about what may occur on “I think the calendar ends because Dec. 21, 2012, few care to learn about the culture Latoya Pitts, that predicted it: the Mayan. the Mayans had important things to do and did not think they had to English Teacher Many people are generally aware of that infamous worry about thousands of years in ball game in which the losers were sacrificed. the future,” said Ms. Latoya Pitts, Based on this, many people often conclude that English teacher. the Mayans were savage, and thus, that their calendar is inaccurate. Influences on popular culture In actuality, their calendar was very acurate, with 365 days in The 2012 phenomenon has been the subject of hundreds of a year, based on the sun’s movements around the Earth. Mayan books and thousands of webpages. priests devoted their time to the movements of the stars and what In 2009, the film, ‘2012’ was inspired by the ending of the Ma- they meant. Their observations are similar, if not more accurate, to yan calendar. Apocalyptic events such as intense earth quakes and the likes of the Hebrew tribes of the Masonic era and the ancient tsunamis took place. Many viewers of this film believed the events astrologist, Nostradamus. to be a real possiblity and contacted astrologers in panic. The Mayans had much knowledge to share and teach, and it is NASA and other astrologers say they have received numerous no suprise that they are still heard today.

the Sycamore




Dipal-Oh-tics SOPA ignites debate

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. 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

Editors-in-chief: Emma Oh, SM Dipali Associate Editors: Jane Finocharo, Moriah Krawec, Kelcie Grega Managing Editors: Jimmy Chau, Aditi Sharma Business Managers: Ana Barros, Ellie Goldman Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. News Sarah May Opinion Kelcie Grega Rishi Choubey Feature Aditi Sharma Shea Lothrop A&E Michael DeMaio Shayna Siegel Sports Bennett Kaplan Danny Bayliss Michael Saxon Spotlight Aditi Sharma Cartoonist Lilly Lefton Web Masters Ruochen Tang Ross Johnstal Staff Writers Joseph Ahn Lauren Altemuele MacKenzie Boyd Kayla Cantwell Lina Cardenas John Carroll Krittika Chatterjee Alexis Corcoran Gariauna Daniels Atiya Dosani Lila Englander Taylor Evans Zachary Fritzhand

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Cartoon by Lilly Lefton

STAFF EDITORIAL If you’ve been to Google in the past couple of days, you’ve probably noticed something a little strange. Instead of their usual multi- colored logo, a black, ominous rectangle stands in its place. Google is taking a stand against the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, two bills before Congress that would censor the web and impose harmful regulations, making it difficult for new businesses to start up on the web. If the bills pass, it would mean that any site containing any sort of copyrighted material would be taken down. It would also crack down on people who upload illegal media to the web. While this might not sound like that big of a deal, imagine a Youtube video featuring a teenager singing a popular song. Under Protect IP, the girl could be sued, fined, and jailed. And the bills wouldn’t even protect against illegal downloading; the walls could simply be bypassed by entering

a proxy code, similar to a web address. As teenagers in the 21st century, the internet is a central part of our lives, more so than in previous generations. Currently, the internet is a sort of free market - uncensored, nondiscriminating, and unlimited. It is difficult to imagine it any other way. There is no telling of how exactly the bills would affect our lives, but our lives, most certainly, would be affected. And perhaps even more importantly, the lives of other people around the world, not just in the United States, would be affected. We all know of the revolutions that took place, or are still taking place, all over the globe last year. As new governments are set up, they will look to ours in implementing democratic ideals. Even if you trust our government to utilize the right to censor the internet responsibly, it is unlikely that these new governments will. It is our responsibility, to ourselves and to our future, to take a stand especially for those issues that affect not only our lives, but the lives of others around the world.

leafing through the masses

What do you think about SOPA? If Congress were to pass this bill, it would drastically change the world of electronic communication. Ryan Dunn, 11

If the issue is with media and their revenue, deal with the boot-leggers. Restricting everyone is going too far. Rakel Ferguson, Art Teacher

I don’t think most people understand it. I looked at what it is going to do and I don’t think it would do that much. Ryan Rasulis, 12

Emma Oh editor-in-chief

House Bill 3261, also known as The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has recently sent the tech industry and its avid users into a frenzy of anger, protest and fear. The bill proposes to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to crack down on infringement by restricting access to websites that host pirated content. Although both sides agree that protecting content is a worthy goal, opponents of SOPA believe the way it is written promotes censorship and is full of potential unintended consequences. Major websites like Google and Wikipedia have already participated in a blackout of their internet services in objection to the bill.

E: The problem with SOPA is

not the intention – stealing is stealing, even if it’s from topnotch producers who probably don’t actually need your money. The real issue lies in the extreme power the proposed bill would give content creators over the internet. Think of it this way, if a website in England is providing an illegal way for internet users to download a copy of Sherlock Holmes, Warner Bros. could demand that Google remove that site from its search results, that ad services pull all ads off, and that PayPal stop all transactions, etc. To make matters worse, these actions could go completely unchecked. The bill contains overly broad language and expansive definitions, which could allow content creators to get away with more than what it intends to. This could seriously hinder innovation and growth online. People trying to start up new websites could never afford to defend themselves against possible violations. Think about what the internet would be like if SOPA went into action before the creation of Facebook or Twitter, websites that students use on a daily basis. Is that really what we want in America?


At the risk of souding like an ultra-conservative, my first thought about SOPA is this: how far is this going to go? To use a legal term, it seems like a slipperly slope. If the governemnt is willing to bend to the interests of the entertainment industry at the the expense of everyday citizens, this could be just the first step in censoring the Internet. The ambiguity of both SOPA and PIPA leaves too much flexibility for wealthy corporations, like the Warner Bros., to take advantage of small, newly-developed websites. Although they argue that they will have to get a court order to shut a website down, they still have a considerable advantage over those companies they may sue. To put it bluntly: they have the money for the lawsuit, small businesses do not.

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In January, EgyptianPresident Hosni Mubarak stepped down after more than two weeks of protests.

The NBA and NFL lockouts had fans all sorts of worried.

Of course, the REAL hero is the internet.

The human population of Earth reached seven billion-we’re really crowded now, aren’t we?

The NASA shuttle program ended in July.

Just in time for the tenth anniversary of 9/11! If that’s not good timing, I don’t know WHAT is. There was the Occupy Wall Street protest.

Yeah, but we’re still trying to make things bigger and better... And so, the year draws to a close-into 2012, with the London Olympics, a total solar eclipse, another presidential election, and the Mayan Calendar scare.

I’ll bet royal bachelor parties are way better than regular ones.

I guess they couldn’t stay on the ball! Ahaha...ha... ...ahem...

We finally got Osama Bin Laden!

Lilly Lefton cartoonist

There was the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William.

We also got Lybian dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

I wonder which of the three-million ways to spell his name was used in his obituary.

Aww, I hope they bring it back-I’ll bet the people on the international space station are lonely.

Stop, in the name of the law!

And finally, back at SHS, we’ve had to change the fall play from Peter Pan to Seussical.


...where police have arrested several people for posession of large, angrily worded signs. And while we cannot guarantee that the world won’t end next year, we CAN guarantee that it will definitely be action-packed. Sally Sparrow and Flyboy signing off!

We had towe lacked the insurance to let people ‘fly’. It would’ve looked like this:




Transit system stuck in neutral:

Metro buses put Cincinnati at disadvantage William Gawin staff writer


GUEST COLUMN Colin Marth guest columnist


hat bus?” is what most SHS students would likely say if asked about Cincinnati’s bus network, Metro. Metro is operated by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transportation Agency or SORTA and owned by the City of Cincinnati. Metro’s green, white, and blue transit buses crisscross our region, providing commuters with safe and efficient transportation. However, it is likely that you have never stepped on one of Metro’s buses because of its limited schedule and route network. In fact, one of Metro’s bus routes, the 3x, comes within a short walk of SHS, but it only operates during the morning and evening weekday rush hour. This limited service is indicative of Metro’s service outside the city of Cincinnati. Limited bus service in our area restricts transit’s use to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. downtown commuters. There is no question that expanded transit options would be beneficial to residents and businesses in Northeast Hamilton County. Public transit reduces highway congestion, gives residents without cars greater access to jobs, saves commuters thousands in transportation related expenses, and stimulates economic development. A major factor in the poor structure of Greater Cincinnati’s transit system is the lack of funding. Right now, Metro receives the majority of its funding from the city of Cincinnati, which has little justification to

Image by SM Dipali

fund bus routes outside the city limits. Suburb and county governments would have to contribute if the rest of Hamilton County was to see improved transit service. Currently, the only major transit project in our area being seriously discussed is a streetcar connecting the riverfront to Over-the-Rhine and Uptown. Building rails to the suburbs would be far more costly than the streetcar project, but it would likely serve more passengers and it could also have an impact on reducing highway congestion. However, it would take multiple years to put together such a complex and expensive project. So, in the short term the only way to effectively expand and improve transit service would be to begin making incremental investments in the bus service industry. Only then will Hamilton County see improved transit service. The benefits of better transit are obvious: alleviated highway congestion, increased job access, and decreased pollution. Local and county leaders need to seriously consider increasing investments in regional bus and rail service beyond the city limits of Cincinnati.

‘ would be devastating for this to occur at SHS’

Principal Davis talks about abuse preparedness Bennett Kaplan sports chief

When news of the Penn State sex abuse scandal broke last month, many around the country wondered how something so terrible could happen in such a controlled, professional environment. With Jerry Sandusky currently going through court proceedings, those questions will eventually be answered, but what about here at the high school? Are our coaches and teachers sufficiently trained and prepared to handle such a situation? Are they informed of the correct protocols to follow in case they witness something illegal or wrong? At any high school, the majority of the students are minors, making sexual abuse a very serious issue. Students and teachers alike, need to be prepared to handle a sexual abuse situation and must know what to do if such a situation arises. “What and how the system failed at Penn State and who was culpable remains to be seen,” said Mr. Chris Davis, principal. “Ironically, I think high school and elementary schools are more equipped and better trained to spot abuse and to report it because children (minors) are involved. As high school administrators, we’ve had classes and seminars on what to do in case of suspected child abuse whereas my guess is that a college football coach may not have had this type of training.” As one precaution to sexual abuse, teachers, before being hired, go through extensive background checks to

determine if they have any prior history that may conflict with the responsibilities expected of a teacher. In a perfect world, the bad guys are sniffed out, but in many cases, sexual predators can work their way through the system into jobs that surround themselves with children. “The district does take steps in the hiring and training of their staff,” said Davis. “Every employee working with our kids undergoes a fingerprint background check which can help identify some problem areas.” Unfortunately, sexual abuse happens every day. It is an undeniable horror that exists in our culture and can never be fully stopped. The only way for it to be tamed is for citizens to be aware and alert of the danger that exists, and do their best job to stop it. “Students and parents, not just at Sycamore, but at any institution should be concerned and alert to these types of situations,” said Davis. “They can occur in any walk of society and hopefully people will realize that the potential for harm such as this can occur anywhere at any time and to always be alert and aware of what is going on with you and around you.” While sexual abuse exists as an issue in our culture, Principal Davis seeks to make it clear that SHS does not take sexual abuse lightly, and that the safety of students is a top priority of not only the high school, but the district. “As an educator, nothing is more important than the safety of your students and athletes and it would be devastating for this to occur at SHS,” said Davis.

Whoever thought it was a great idea to swap out all of the desktops for teeny, tiny netbooks was sadly mistaken. Last year I was able to quickly sign in to the IMC, log on to a computer, and print something within a few minutes. Now, I have to check out a netbook, turn on the infinitesimal piece of equipment, and wait forever for it to finally be operable. Not only are these netbooks slow, but I can barely even type on such a miniscule hunk of junk. If I was in kindergarten, then I would love to have one of these netbooks because it would be the perfect size, but I’m not. The screen size only makes it worse. With the absence of a mouse and the tiny screen that doesn’t fit any document correctly, users are forced to scroll up and down repeatedly. This wastes valuable time – time that would not be wasted if the desktops were reinstated. Getting a netbook is a feat in itself. You are required to present your school I.D. to the IMC supervisors. I haven’t used my school identification in quite some time, and I don’t often carry it with me, adding to the hassle of using the IMC netbooks. As an underclassman, the computers in the IMC were incredibly helpful for a fair amount of my classes. We would use the desktops to complete projects and papers; but now, that isn’t an option. While netbooks have been distributed in many of the classrooms, all of the problems I encounter in the IMC still persist. Just the other week, half of the netbooks were not working in my psychology class when we tried to use them. The malfunction put our class back a whole day because we were not able to do our internet project. These netbooks are truly keeping me from reaching my maximum potential. Additionally, I was under the impression that all of the wasted space in the IMC that was originally set up for the desktops would have been converted to something useful, but it hasn’t. I can say with certainty that I have never seen someone sit at those desks. I understand that going to wireless devices can be very beneficial, but it has truly put students at a disadvantage. To alleviate the problem, I suggest buying full-size laptops or opening up the desktop computer labs to more students. I am confident that this would help all students at SHS. Truly, my only wish is to see the desktops returned to the IMC. That way, it can return to a productive and effective environment for everyone.


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Know news or no news Young adults, teens oblivious to world affairs


t is becoming all too clear that young people today do not in fact ‘rock the vote.’ The reason is simple; young people no longer care. It is not our parents or teachers job to instill in us a concern for politics. It is our own fault that we are not educated about our world. When the news of Muammar Gadhafi’s death was announced, the responses such as, “Who is that?” echoed through the classroom. Gadhafi is arguably the most talked about man in US foreign policy and students at SHS could not even recognize the name. Of those who had heard the name, few people really seemed to have an opinion or reaction to the news. Most shrugged and said they did not see politics as a main concern. It was evident they did not care. “With school and sports, I do not see current events as a priority. I do not see how it is worth my time,” said Abigail Belcher, 9. Similar sentiments are shared by many students at SHS. Young adults fail to see how news affects their daily lives.

Millennial generation

Teenagers have always avoided the word “politics” in print, but newspaper readership among young adults today is less than half what it was for the same age group in 1965, and this includes online newspapers. Some attribute the surprising statistics to the Modern America Youth Crisis. The Modern America Youth Crisis is said to have resulted from the country’s diverse and relatively new history causing a generation gap between the primarily white elderly and the diverse youth today. Many things could be

BRENDAN CORCORAN, 12, voting on election day 2011. Corcoran is part of the mere 26% of eligible young adults ages 1829 who did so.

contributing to this loss of interest but the truth is, today’s teenagers just do not have the interest of those from the past. “There is only a small group of people at SHS who read the newspaper and watch the news every day,” said Olivia Smith, 12. Only 27 percent of first-year university students reported feeling that keeping up with public affairs was very important, a decrease from 59 percent in 1966. Some students at SHS have even reached an age allowing them to vote, but teens fail to take advantage of it. In Nov. 2010, only 47 percent of people ages 18-24 in the Midwest were registered to vote, and only 20.4 percent were reported to have actually voted, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Affecting you

The foundation of our democracy has always been the American dream. The phrase, ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ has long been worn out by history teachers everywhere, but its origins remain the same. We worked hard for our voice. am so excited to vote next year So why waste it? In 2002, only in not only the presidential but a quarter of eligible people ages City Council and School Board 18-24 voted, and only 13 percent of We will make important non-college decisions about this 18-24 year olds did. world some day; we Voting may need to start taking seem like a distant future intiative now. to underclassmen, but look at it this 12 way: many will be able to vote in the next presidential election. elections too,” said Stephanie “I think it is so important Adamec, 11. for students to be involved in “We are the future and we politics- not just on a national need to be proactive in our level, but on a local level too. I

Charlotte Harris,

Image by Alexis Corcoran

communities,” said Adamec. Your sports programs could have their budgets cut due to educational board decisions. Our school system could have changed completely if Governor John Kasich’s Senate Bill 5 passed. “It is important for us to pay attention to the news because we are affected by it. The things that are happening in the world today will affect the colleges we attend, what jobs we will have, all of it. We will make important decisions about this world some day; we need to start taking intiative now,” said Charlotte Harris, 12. International news affects us too, as much as- if not more than

Voting statistics based on age and education Percent of Youth Who Voted (18-24) Percent of people who voted 25+ 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Citizen voter turnout

50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Non-college citizens (18-24)

College citizens (18-24)

‘74 ‘78 ‘82 ‘86 ‘90 ‘94 ‘98 ‘02

‘74 ‘78 ‘82 ‘86 ’90 ‘94 ‘98 ‘02

Image by Alexis Corcoran Source: CPS November Voting and Registration Supplements

-local events. The recent earthquake in Japan caused one of their nuclear reactors to fail. This led to a uranium spill that traveled all the way across the Pacific Ocean and reached the U.S. This spill could have had catastrophic effects. First of all, when radioactive material gets into the human body, it causes thyroid cancer. “Being aware of what is going on the world offers for me a counter-perspective to high school. When our issues seem so major, it is refreshing to take a step back and look at the greater picture,” said Hayley Huge, 10. As the famous proverb states, “If we do not learn history, we are doomed to repeat it.”

Only ten percent of Americans can answer all four correctly. Can you name...? 1. Our current vice president 2. Ohio’s governor 3. Current president of Russia 4. Current party controlling House of Representatives Answers: 1. Joseph Biden 2. John Kasich 3. Dmitry Medvedev 4. Republican Party

Alexis Corcoran staff writer

Source:Pew Research Center


Sarah May & news chief

Shayna Siegel a&e chief


: Privacy questionable for popular page

ith 800 million users, Facebook is the world’s largest social network. It drives the social-technological era and, with that, it drives the discussion of internet

privacy. Between status updates and relationship changes, Facebook has literally become the virtual manifestation of a teenage social life. While the media has made the risk of social drama and bullying obvious, users often overlook many other issues concerning personal safety. Member or not, if an individual simply visits Facebook, it tracks what they are doing on the internet. By using tracking cookies, Facebook is able to keep a log of all the web pages people have visited in the past 90 days. The tracking process begins when an individual visits the Facebook site. Upon entering for the first time, the websites inserts a ‘browser cookie’ into the visitor’s computer. If the visitor chooses not to sign up for Facebook, then that is all that is inserted. From this point on, every time that same person goes to another third-party webpage containing a Facebook Like button or other Facebook plug-in, the plug-in works with the cookie to alert Facebook of the date, time, and web address that the person visited. In addition to this, the unique characteristics of their PC and browser are also recorded. If the individual chooses to make an account, a second cookie is inserted, called a ‘session cookie.’ If an individual is browsing the web while signed into their Facebook account, the ‘session cookie’ conducts this logging. Along with recording information from the ‘browser cookie,’ it additionally records e-mail addresses, friends, and information associated with a

163.3 Million

person’s Facebook profile. Many users are also not aware that they have signed a contract with Facebook, agreeing to abide by its rules and regulations. When signing up for most websites, users are required to check a box stating that they understand and agree to the terms and conditions. Facebook, on the other hand, simply assumes users are already aware. In reality, many people fail to take the time necessary to read through contracts, even when the contracts are right in front of them. But because Facebook does not present its regulations up front, it is even more unlikely that people actually go through the trouble to search for and read them. This is important because Facebook is a database harboring millions of people’s personal information. The fact that many people blindly feed the site their personal information without stopping to question the site’s reliablity is sad. “I think Facebook is an excellent tool but I feel like it can be bad because people can be ignorant about the privacy policy. People shouldn’t be putting up personal information on a site that is so easily accessible to other people,” said Sarah Inskeep, 12. Over the past few years, this expanding social network has been involved in more than one privacy-related scandal, which should have made users question the site’s safety. Starting in 2009, Facebook did not warn its users or ask their permission when implementing a new change. This change moved information, such as likes and geographic location, from private to public, even when some individuals previously had


it set as private. We all remember the obsession and craze over third-party applications such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, but did you know your privacy was once again put on the line? Facebook stated these applications would only access the information they needed. But, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said these apps, “could access nearly all of users’ personal data — data the apps did not need.” These mishaps have recently led the FTC to accuse Facebook of engaging in “unfair and deceptive” practices. The FTC states that this network has misled its users, as far as what private information they were sharing and with whom they were sharing it with. On Nov. 29, 2011, the FTC reached a settlement with Facebook. The commission listed eight complaints, but they did not levy any fines, nor did they accuse Facebook of intentionally breaking the law. However, if Facebook violates the new settlement in the future, it will be required to pay a fine of $16,000 a day for each count. This new order requires Facebook to attain its users’ ‘affirmative express consent’ before overriding their privacy settings. They are also obligated to participate in an independent privacy audit every two years for the next 20 years. Clearly Facebook is much safer now than it was previously. But that doesn’t mean that people should not continue to question its safety, or the safety of any other site they visit. The information that people post on the internet does not dissappear and may be accessible to more people than just their “friends.”

161.7 Million 152.5 Million

596,371,760 users worldwide

57.3 Million

22.1 Million 11.3 Million

Over the summer I went to Israel, and I really developed a lot of strong friendships with a lot of the people there. Its great that we are able to all keep in touch through social networking sites like Facebook and Skype.

It’s a great way to keep in touch with my friends from Lebanon and new people who live all over the world.

Rachel Willis, 11

Serina Saleh, 12

I use facebook to keep in touch with my friends in France. Sometimes we talk in French, but most of the time we just talk in English. Its a way we can communicate in both of our languages.

Alex Southward, 11



The art of huggingpage 9

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. - page 10

Poverty rate increasing in America - page 10


month in


Valentine’s Day: Two heads are not better than one F Kelsey King staff writer


Kristen Wessinger staff writer

eb. 14 can be the best and worst day of the year depending on one’s perspective. This day holds a large array of people: the overly romantic people who make others sick, thoughtful couples who each exchange gifts but avoid overly public displays of affection, the “friends” that go on a date but refuse to admit they are together, and finally the single people. Singles are typically the ones spending the day sitting at home with a box of chocolates and tissues in hand, as they cry about their feelings to the latest chick flick. In fact, depending on their perspective, they may be reaping the benefits more than expected.

Avoid tacky, predictable presents

Singles do not have to pretend to like the cheap chocolates, flowers, or jewelry that their other half buys. They can enjoy not having to endure the feeling, the ones that leave them with a weird feeling in the pit of their stomach, as they realize that this person really does not know them at all. Instead, they get to save their hard earned cash for something they like.

Time saver

Single girls do not have to spend hours walking around the mall trying to find the perfect gift for their significant others, when they just end up getting them food anyway. And guys? We all know they prefer grabbing some Chipotle and going back home to play video games, instead of spending two hours at a fancy dinner with their girlfriend. “It so much less work and less stressful being single. The only person I have to worry about is myself, go single people!” said Gil Kaplan, 10. So as these relationships enjoy frantically searching for a gift and spending 30 bucks on a meal, the so called “loners” will sit back and enjoy doing exactly what others cannot. “It’s fun to be single on Valentine’s Day because then I can focus on how much I love my family and friends,” said Jenny Rissover, 12.

Origin of Valentine’s Day

It is said that Valentine was a priest who lived during third century Rome. There was an emperor at that time named Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers than those that were married. With that in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in his empire in hopes of building a stronger military. Allegedly, Valentine decided this law was not fair and decided to marry young couples in secret. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine’s actions he had him put to death. Before he was put to death he sent the first ‘valentine;’ when he wrote her a letter and signed it ‘Your Valentine.” “I never knew why we celebrate Valentine’s Day but either way it’s just a way to show your love for the people around you,” said Rachel Handkins, 11. So singles out there should remember that they are not alone, there are only about 96 million others just like you in America. So, happy Valentine’s Day.

There are many legends as to how Valentine’s Day started. Here is one:

VALENTINE’S DAY FOR SINGLES can be more exciting than expected. These singles embrace their titles, and enjoy spending the day loving friends and family.

Winter formidable:

guide to asking and rejecting Lauren Altemuehle staff writer

At the beginning of a new semester, relief is felt from all the pressure from exams, final grades, and last minute tests being lifted. After all this chaos, one might forget what events are coming up in SHS. Winter Formal is the first week in February, only two weeks after exams. Winter Formal is SHS’s version of a Sadie Hawkins dance. A Sadie Hawkins dance is where girls ask their boyfriends, or just boy “friends”, to the school dance. “Last year I asked someone to Winter Formal by spelling “winter?” on cupcakes,” said Tess Plona, 12. To those who skip Homecoming because of the large crowd, Winter is a calmer dance with fewer students, so feeling less invisible and lost within almost 2,000 students is certainly possible.

Images by Kelsey King

WARNING: Not for the faint-hearted

John Carroll’s Winter Formal Tips John Carroll staff writer

Here are a series of clever ways to ask someone to “Winter.” To keep it simple, the following techniques are all based upon popular films:

Despite the fact that you may never again have an opportunity like this, you do not wish to go with her. So what do you do? Here are effective ways of gently crushing her heart:

1. Alien Explode out of his chest cavity and ask him to the dance. Bonus points if you use his own heart as a creative metaphor for your feelings for him.

1. Frighten her Bare your teeth and lick your own eyeballs. It only works if she runs away, so continue to do so until she leaves. Bonus points if she screams.

2. Close Encounters Sneak into your target’s house during his evening meal. Sculpt his mash potatoes into the shape of a statue of you asking him to the dance. Escape from his house without being seen. Spell “Winter?” with his peas for bonus points.

2. Distract Scream loudly! While her ears are still ringing, refuse. She will see your lips form the word “no” without hearing the words. The blow will be less painful for her.

3. Jaws Wait for your target to enter a large body of water. Sneak up on him and forcefully drag him under water. Hold him there until he is close to fainting. Bring him to the surface and ask him to the dance.

3. Take flight Run swiftly from her.



HUG LIFE: Hugs are a way of showing affection and friendship. Through them, one can express the feelings and thoughts that cannot be shown through words. Joseph Ahn staff writer



Jimmy Chau managing editor

ove is in the air. Couples are busy doing everything they can to prepare for the biggest day of the year for any relationship: Valentine’s Day. But something as simple as a hug is surely more meaningful than any material thing that one person could give another. And it is the optimal time for hugs. As winter gets into full swing, warm embraces that reduce the weather’s chill are becoming the popular greeting.

With so much time spent with others in this happiest of seasons, one must learn to master the delicate art of hugging. Hugging is easy and fast, and different hugs work in various

Perfecting art of embraces in time for Valentine’s Day

ways depending on how the hugger wants their receiver to feel. Each person has their unique hug, be it friendly and warm, cold and rigid, or just plain awkward. “Hugs tell you a lot about a person. The boring [huggers] just stand there,” said Clara Chuey, 9. Just like a handshake, a bow, or any other type of greeting, there are social standards for hugging. No one likes hugging someone who is completely limp. Squeeze too hard and bodily harm may occur; too light and they will not feel the love - or worse yet, take it as a sarcastic gesture. All of these factors add up to importance of knowing which hug to use, and how to pull them off successfully.

Which hug should you use? Are you sick? Yes

No Has it been a long time since you last saw them?



Are you good friends?



Are you in public? Yes

No What are you?

A male hugging a male

Different types of hugs

THE NOTORIOUS LOTSO HUGGIN’ Bear of Toy Story 3 may have been evil in his breakout role, but in a past life, he was a cuddly, comforting teddy bear who was always open for a hug if one was ever needed. As his name suggests, he is an expert hugger who understands the subtle art that is hugging.

A male hugging a female

A female hugging a male

A female hugging a female

Are you “bros”?


All Images by Joseph Ahn


Regular hug


The Bro-Tap

The Jump-and-Squeal

The Jump-and-Squeal

The Hand Hug

The Bro-Tap

A hug generally used by the fairer sex to express joy after encountering somebody they have not seen in a long time. It is often seen at the beginning of the school year.

An unconventional hug that involves two people putting their hands together as if high-fiving and then wrapping their thumbs around each other’s hands.

A friendly hug where two “bros” put their arms around each other in an X formation and tap each other twice on the back with their fists, keeping body contact to a minimum.

The Teepee

The Side Hug

The Bear Hug

The Vibrating Hug

An awkward hug where the hugger only uses one side of their body. This is usually a sign that the hugger is only doing it because they feel obligated by social conventions.

A loving and enthusiastic hug where the hugger wraps their arms around the huggees arms and squeezes until the receiver is gasping for breath. Best if done by surprise.

An enthusiastic and slightly painful hug where the hugger embraces the huggee and starts to vibrate their body. If done right, both parties should leave fairly satisfied.

A joyous and casual hug between friends where both huggers keep their lower halves stationary and lean inwards to embrace, forming a teepee.

The Voldemort

From Deathly Hallows, Pt. II, an awkward hug where the hugger slowly approaches the unwilling huggee, embraces them, and lets out a strange moan.





MLK: leaving lasting legacy Lauren Saxon staff writer


very year on the third Monday of January, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. On this national holiday, work is limited by the closing of some businesses and, of course, students get a day off school. Unfortunately, over time many people have forgotten why we celebrate this holiday, as well as how significant it really is. On Jan. 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born. A doctor and a reverend, King was one of the most active civil rights leaders.

It was during this march that he delivered his most popular speech, ‘I Have a Dream’. Using words not violence, King protested segregation during this televised

event that reached millions. Another one of Dr. King’s most notable accomplishments was the Accomplishments Montgomery Alabama Bus King battled racial discriminaBoycott. tion with He once dignity and again received the “When I think of all the used Nobel Peace things he did to help nonprize in violent 1964. African Americans like means to “When myself I am amazed. I integrate I hear the the have so much respect name Martin MontLuther King for him.” gomery I think of Trey Gentry, 9 bus line, his ‘I Have although a Dream’ he and speech,” sevsaid Nancie eral others were arrested in the Hunter, 9. process. King is remembered for many “Martin Luther King Jr. was different things, but one event legendary. When I think of all that no one will ever forget is the things he did to help African the March on Washington. This peaceful protest brought together Americans like myself I am over 250,000 people, a quarter of amazed. I have so much respect whom were white. for him,” said Trey Gentry, 9.

Commemorating his Dream

“SHS is a pretty diverse school,” said Mr. Mike Romer, science teacher. “I think it’s great that students here can encounter different types of people.” Without the help of Martin Luther King Jr., none of this diversity would be possible. He devoted his life and often put himself in perilous situations for the benefit of others.

“I have a lot of friends that are of different races,” said Spencer Pike, 11. “I think it’s great that there’s no real dominant race now.” I know lots of students are thrilled to sleep in on Monday morning, but it’s important to reflect on why the day is so important. King made his dream a reality, helping the world in the process. On Apr. 4, 1988, King was assassinated by a sniper as he stood on the balcony of his hotel room. Although King is no longer with us, the legacy and message he left behind will stay with us forever. On the third Monday of every January, take the time

Words from King’s ‘I Have a Dream’

to remember that you are celebrating the birth, life, and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

All images by: Lauren Saxon

PICTURED ABOVE, MARTIN LUTHER King Jr. adresses the large crowd before him on the steps of the Washington Monument on Aug. 28, 1963. It was there where he delivered his most famous speech, ‘I Have A Dream.’ Pictured left, is the new centerpiece to the MLK monument in Washington, DC. This 30-foot statue was a recent addition and was carved out of 159 granite blocks. “I think it’s a great way to honor him. The statue is very well deserved.” said Brianna Bell, 10. Lately, there has been controversy over a quote on the side of the monument. The quote reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” This is only half of what King actually said, and several people complain that the quote makes him seem arrogant. The quote inscribed is scheduled to be changed in the following months, because it is unfair for the quote to be edited out of the original context. The monument opened to the public on Aug. 22, 2011 and it cost almost $122 million to complete the ‘Building the Dream’ project. In addition to the statue, there is a 450-foot incription with 14 excerpts from King’s sermons and public adressess.



Grips of poverty grasp America Isaac Harmon staff writer


ne in seven people in the United States are living in poverty. But, most Americans are still operating under the delusion that the United States will always be the wealthiest nation. “America has really hit a rough spot. We think that the more we modernize the better we’ll do, but we’re at a point where families are really being hit hard,” said Daniel Henderson, 9. Already millions of Americans are slipping out of the middle class and into the devastating grip of poverty. The Census Bureau has found that the number of Americans living below the official poverty line is the highest in 52 years. This most recent census,

conducted in Sept. 2011, has Median household income for not to be any better. shown that 46.2 million people the bottom tenth of the income Stimulus money has largely are living below the poverty line. spectrum fell by 12%, while the ended, and state and local That number has obviously top 90th percentile dropped by governments have made deep increased in the past year due just 1.5%, and this year is likely cuts to staff and to budgets, both to unfortunate likely to move economic events. economically Several economists fragile families have pointed to a closer to poverty. very telling statistic. Minorities It is the first time have been hit the since the Great hardest. AfricanDepression that Americans median household experienced the income has not highest poverty risen in such a long rate, at 27%, up period of time. from 25 %, and The past decade Hispanics rose was also marked to 26% from Image by Krittika Chatterjee by a growing gap 25%. For whites, between the very top THE OCCUPY CINCINNATI MOVEMENT marches at Platt Park. 9.9% are living and very bottom of Among many other issues, the Occupy campaign combats poverty in poverty, up the income ladder. within the middle class. from 9.4%, while

Asians were unchanged at 12%. Joblessness has been the main culprit pushing more Americans into poverty. “Once you’ve been out of work for a long time, it’s very difficult to come back,” said Nimit Desai, 10. In 2010, about 48 million people, ages 18 to 64, did not work even one week out of the year. Of that group, nearly half were living below the poverty line, when their parents’ incomes were excluded. The recent recession has and immensely affected families across the United States in the past months. More people are falling below the poverty line, and families are paying the consequences with more than just their wallet.

Optimism: seemingly impractical, undeniably beneficial

country. Moreover, 56 percent say they plan to raise wages for all or some of their employees in 2012. One To some, the year ahead looks unbearably gloomy, with in five companies also plan to seek funding to help the dreary economy looming overhead. Still, to others, them grow in the year ahead, according to the analysis, 2012 appears a fresh, clean slate, and a chance to make with many planning to invest in marketing, technology changes, hopefully improvements. and improved facilities,” wrote J.D. Harrison of the It is entirely understandable that the conflicts of this Washington Post. year are difficult to forget. Record unemployment, the Coupled with this hopeful economy turn-around, health mortgage crisis, and riots around the globe are only and technology innovations are sure to blossom as well. several of 2011’s negative events, each with profound “Many aspects of health care and disease management effects. will become cheaper and more effective as our mobile However, isn’t viewing the glass half-empty one of the phones and other, similar technology platforms become worst possible things one can do? Truly, wallowing in smaller, Web-enabled and interconnected. In essence, despair and self-pity will not get anything accomplished. these smartphones will become health platforms,” said Americans need to pick themselves up, brush themselves Vivek Wadhwa, Washington Post columnist. off and clear their heads. After all, who is to say 2012 Wadhwa also sees a future in the newly discovered isn’t a wonderful year to look forward to? induced pluripotent stem cells. Only months from now, Americans will be electing “IPS cells can replace embryonic stem cells for some their 45th President of the United States. It may seem applications and are, for example, being used to develop daunting and impractical, but the next President could neurons from patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease in potentially begin to turn things around, and if in fact he order to better understand the disease and develop new fails, we must simply try, and try again. therapies,” said Wadhwa. Of course, some executives can already see the economy Big changes are sure to come with 2012 and they turning right side up. need not be entirely political or economic. This may be Half of small business owners intend to hire in the the year of new, unique fashion, art, music, literature, or coming year, according to the latest SurePayoll Small theatre. Perhaps, Prince William and Kate Middleton Business Scorecard, which is generated from payroll will have a royal heir or the Kardashians will do data for more than 35,000 small businesses across the something even more outrageous to make headlines. Hailey Gilman staff writer

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Maybe Apple will create yet another brilliant iProduct that will be at the top of everyone’s birthday wish lists. Though pop culture may not make large-scale news, no one has any idea of the events that 2012 will be remembered for. Occasionally pessimism pervades, but even science seems to praise optimism for its jolly, hopeful mannerisms. “Optimists in general work longer hours and tend to earn more. And although they are not less likely to divorce, they are more likely to remarry — an act that is, as Samuel Johnson wrote, the triumph of hope over experience,” wrote Tali Sharot of Time Magazine. Wrote Sharot, “You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient.” Even at SHS, it seems students are taking an optimistic approach to the new year. Faith Kaufman, 10 said, “The glass is always half full,” adding her goal for 2012, “I hope to become more involved in the community through volunteering.” Tom Treta, 12, shares in Kaufman’s attitude. “I try to look at the future as an opportunity to make up for the past and start a new chapter,” said Treta, “I am extremely looking forward to college. It’s the beginning of a part of your life that determines how you spend the rest of it. 2012 is going to be an awesome year.”



Carmakers race toward green future the effect of gas prices on daily life to the cars that rely less and less on oil. Winners role of oil in setting the stage for our recent and losers in that race are starting to appear. war in Iraq. or most high school students, getFrontrunners include Chevrolet, While governments often focus on how to Better Place, Toyota, and ting a drivers license is one of the drill for more oil, many are beginning to remost important rites of passage. Smart. n. alize that as oil becomes increasingly scarce But the kind of cars we will be well ive. Ru y l g s we need to focus on how to replace oil with driving may depend on a global race for the risin pon er surp and res s the us the e most innovative and energy-efficient vehicle. clean, renewable energy resources. n ’s t o a l h t n d o g o a d V s Car companies in different Behind the race for a new generation of The ility ha irly smo , so lon ly four w n b a relia car is f very lo s seat o countries are racing cars is the unpleasant reality that during the it is r e e e r a l i h a c dit, hT e s m e r t to develop lifetime of SHS students the world’s oil will h s c 5 it 1 x .T co al ta hat is w ing s often small. ha3 r t n i e become increasingly scarce and eventually d w t fe ge d re ine, , char seats a $7,500 00 -- an tation. ent eng run out. ited e m i a s i 5 k n l , i l s bac n with -- $33 arging el-effic ive i t with a d Even today, we see evidence gaso r e e u d p h s f v v c i u e k c t E s e g ri ckpen ndatory he mos ile it ran t lect ny outl rechar of extreme dependence x e e a ba . l ’s t l l t i lly e st ol oa ma . 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S H te ce ut ar r ble anc ooth art C nd S gh loca Mer dist Smart C e availa 2012, b rice. arou nati is at the The Sm and sm Althou n i p b Lila Englander staff writer


t e l o vr e h C Volt

r e t t Be e c a l P

g u l P a t o Toy us ri P n i

rt a m S ic r t c Ele e v i r D


Which car is for you?

1. Size:

EVs are often small and not practical for family schlepping or lengthy commutes. a) average four-seater sedan b) compact four-seater c) dome shaped ceiling, four-seater roomy d) compact two-seater

2. Style:

Buying a car is one way of expressing a feeling or building an image. a) Classic Sedan b)Simple, undistinguished design c) Recognized as the face of fuel efficiency. d) Small spunky car

3. Fuel Efficiency:

EVs are all about getting the most miles in the shortest charge time. a) 35 miles on a 3 hour charge, back-up gasoline engine b) 100 miles on 4-8 hour charge, no gasoline engine c) 15 miles on a 3 hour electric charge, gasoline back up engine d) 3.5 hour charge, no gasoline backup engine

4. Cost:

Price is a key factor. a) 33,500 with a $7,500 federal tax credit b) $5,000 less than the average gasoline car in America c) Ranging from $32,000 $40,285 d) lease cost close to $29,000

Results: if you got mostly:

a) Chevrolet Volt b) Better Place c) Toyota Plug-in Prius d) Smart Electric Drive

1.27.2012 Anticipated play attracts students page 14

Video game faceoff - page 15


Students hungry for new film - page 14

Future Picassos display art pieces

month in


Mike’s Music

Districtwide art show draws attention of community

exhibit,” said Mrs. Kat RakelFerguson, art and photography hroughout the semester, teacher. the fine arts department The rest of the weekend has been preparing for belongs to the visual arts, with one important weekend: many artwork displays filling the the Fine Arts Fair. Taking place gym for family and friends to from March 3-4 this show allows come see. the students to present their The displays themselves are set artwork to the school district. up on Fri., March 2, and left up “Fine all weekend, Arts only taken I don’t think Art’s about Festival is down during contest. I think it’s about a weekend Monday’s to self-expression, and putting lunch. showcase The pieces out what you can do without the are then worrying about competition. wonderful returned to talents and teachers Margaret Copfer, the art by the to give to the art teacher students. students in Sycamore Not only do the high Community Schools,” said Mrs. school students participate - the Lynn Stubblebine, art teacher. junior high and elementary The weekend starts with students contribute also. This Pancake Day, on Sat., March combination provides for a large 3. During this time, the range of artwork to be presented. music department has a huge “I’m more excited about the fundraiser, selling pancakes and young ones coming from the providing music for their guests. elementary and junior high to “It’s a fine arts fair, where not only see their work but to the music department has a see what happens at the high fundraiser- that’s where the school,” said Rakel-Ferguson. pancakes come in. The visual Some of the biggest exhibits in arts complement that with an the art show are the AP students’ Victoria Swart staff writer



Mike DeMaio a&e chief

Photo by Victoria Swart

ALI DANIELS, 12, PREPARES a piece for the Fine Arts Fair. This event takes place from March 3 - 4. Students from all ages in the school district have an opportunity to display their atwork at this showcase.

displays. “Each of the students in AP will have their own display. It is two panels of display board that’s four by eight feet. We have 19 studio art AP students and about the same amount in photo. “The show this year should be a little smaller in the AP end,” said Mrs. Margaret Copfer, AP art teacher. Even though there are smaller classes, the AP students are still excited to have the opportunity to show the district their artistic

skills. “I’m excited because this is my last year and I get to show off my work,” said Sarah Wasniewski, 12. Though Fine Arts Weekend is an art show, it is not an art contest. “I don’t think art is about contest. I think it’s about selfexpression, and putting out what you can do without worrying about competition,” said Copfer.

Ave Games: Compete, chill, Chipotle Lina Cardenas feature chief

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On Jan. 27, students at SHS will participate in a brand new event sponsored by Student Council. The first-ever Ave Games consist of two halves with three rounds each, and the winners of each half will battle in the championship round for the top prize. “The top prize will most likely be two $20 gift cards to Chipotle,” said Dominic Miller, 12, the chair of the event. This event is open to any SHS student and a partner. Participants will be picked the night of the event, so guests will not know who they will be competing against until moments prior to the competition. In all, 36 students will participate at the event. Participants will be chosen from a random raffle, and any SHS student in attendance is eligible to compete in the Ave Games. “By picking students on the spot, we tried to create a game show atmosphere, hopefully making it more entertaining for the students,” said Miller. The Ave Games will include events loosely based off popular game shows such as “Survivor”, “Family Feud”, “Jeopardy”, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and “Minute to Win it”. “Everyone should go to the event. It will be a lot of fun and every pairing has a chance to be on stage to compete. Plus, all the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald house,” said Miller. Like with any new event, students seem eager to participate in the competition. “I definitely think this is a very cool event and I would consider going because I love Chipotle and I have loved all the other competitions student council has put together,” said Amanda Frey, 12. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets will be sold for $5.


Image by Lina Cardenas

At this Student Council sponsored event, contestants will be selected at random on Jan. 27 to compete for two $20 Chipotle gift cards as well as to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house.

Ready or not here comes the cold. Maybe you like the winter. Maybe you do not. Regardless, all of us are looking for something fresh, new, and exciting to help pass the time between Winter Break and Spring Break: a time that everyone is so eagerly awaiting. If you are running short on ideas to pass the time, here is some wonderful new music and top notch concert film that is sure to help you through these next few months before the holiday. Florence and the Machine have released a new album titled “Ceremonials.” The combination of Florence Welche’s airy voice and fullbodied backing by her band creates an uplifting sound that will truly bring a listener out of any pre-break gloom. Sigur Ros has just released a new concert film entitled “Inni” that really depicts their music in a great light and gives devoted listeners a glimpse of the band live. Additionally it takes place in a setting that most do not have the ability to experience due to the band’s Icelandic location. While “Inni” may not cheer you up, it will undoubtedly cause you to view this winter gloom in a much different, more contemplative light. If you aren’t in to relaxed contemplative music, then the hard hitting rapping of Yelawolf on his new album “Radioactive”, co-produced by Eminem, may be the the perfect way to jumpstart yourself into break. For those of you that are more into rap with a slight rock twist, Kid Cudi will release a new album titled “WZRD”. In this new project, Cudi experiments into the rock genre after receiving success for previous rock tracks such as “Erase Me” from his last studio album. Cudi also announced in Aug. 2011 that he plans to release another Man on the Moon album, titled “Man on the Moon III”. Whether you need a kickstart, a look back, or some relaxation to get through these next couple of weeks these recent releases are definitely for you. They can be picked up now at a local record shop or listened to online. Enjoy!



Outsiders? Outstanding!

‘The Outsiders is awesome. It combines action, comedy and romance into one amazing show’

The idea of being so close to the audience, to have so much potential to really make a connection with the people watching, has the cast thrilled. This is a rare treat for most high school actors. In fact, when told that “The Outsiders” would be performed on a black box stage, lead actor Brandon Ramos, 12, exclaimed “dreams do come true!” By performing this close to the audience,

Carmel Rechnitzer staff writer


lass warfare, heartbreak, burning churches and murder; is there anything Aves Theatre’s upcoming show does not have? “The Outsiders” is an intense thriller that revolves around the violence between the social elite and the outcast greasers of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “‘The Outsiders’ is awesome,” said cast member Griffin Levy, 11. “It combines action, comedy and romance into one amazing show.” His feelings reflect those of the rest of the cast. Even John Carroll, 10, an unnamed goon in the show, has been posting about “The Outsiders” on Facebook for weeks. The actors are hyped because this is Sycamore’s first time using a black box PONYBOY, DALLAS, AND JOHNNY from “The stage in over four years. Outsiders” motion picture. Brandon Ramos, 12, For those unfamiliar Elliot Handkins, 11, and Garrett Douthitt, 12, with theatre, a black are portraying these characters in SHS’s play. box theater means that Rehearsals began in first semester and the cast the audience is seated is preparing for the upcoming show. Perforonstage, in arm’s reach mances begin in early February. of the action.

the experience becomes much more intimate. This piece will be especially poignant to those who loved the book and now have a chance to see their favorite characters come to life in a much more personal fashion than seeing the movie on a TV screen. Those who are excited to see the play, however, must act fast. One of the drawbacks of such a unique experience is that there are a very limited number of seats; instead of the usual 600 seats, the audience will be limited to 150. Due to this, there has been some discussion among the cast about adding an additional show night, though no conclusive decision has yet to be made. “The Outsiders” will be opening Feb. 2, so those wishing to attend should mark their calendars and purchase their tickets in advance during lunch the week before the show.

Aves Theatre presents

The Outsiders Feb. 2-4 Fri. & Sat. @ 7:30pm Sun. @ 2:30 & 7:30pm

big theater black box style $8 in advance* $10 at the door *to purchase tickets: - visit - call 513-686-1778

image by S.M. Dipali

Joseph Ahn staff writer

From a book that was called “brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced...a futuristic novel every bit as good and as allegorically rich as Scott Westerfeld’s ‘Uglies’ books,” by The New York Times, people can expect nothing less than an equally powerful movie. On May 18, 2011, Entertainment Weekly released the first picture of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, causing much excitement to Hunger Games fans around the world. “Usually I find it hard to enjoy books that I read as schoolwork, but The Hunger Games was an exception,” said Austin Schafer, 9. Schafer, along with many others, is looking forward

to the highly anticipated adaption of Suzanne Collins’ book, which is to be released on Mar. 23 by Lionsgate Entertainment. “I thought that this would be pretty dumb, but I saw the trailer and it is going to be epic,” said Elliot Levy, 9. The trailer, which was released in November, revealed many accurate scenes from the book. Effie Trinket with her outrageous outfits, little Rue peeking around a corner, and Haymitch’ s ominous “make sure they remember you.” “I think that the casting is really interesting, and I’m very excited to see how the characters play out,” said Emily Sweeney, English teacher. The world eagerly awaits this epic film as the countdown begins.

image by S.M. Dipali

Students hungry for ‘Hunger Games’ movie

‘THE HUNGER GAMES’ MOVIE based the first book of Suzanne Collin’s famous series will be released on Mar. 23. Due to the popularity of Collin’s books, there is much excitement linked to the release of this movie.

D. William Lange, DMD, Inc D. William Lange, DMD, MSD David W. Lange, DDS, MS

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DAVID MONTES (LEFT), FROM Battlefield 3, takes aim at Sandman from Modern Warfare 3. Both are prominent characters in their respective games. Both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 came out in the fall of 2011, providing video gamers with the dilemma of determing which is best.

Duty calls on Battlefield:

All Images by Ethan May

MW3 squares off with BW3 Ethan May staff writer


his is a very interesting time for video gamers due to the fact that two power house games have just come out, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3(MW3) and Battlefield 3(BF3). So who will win when these two fantastic games go in a head to head battle? Call of Duty MW3 and Battlefield 3 are both first person shooting games set during a war. MW3 is based on a hypothetical World War 3 with Russia as the “enemy.” You fight in various places around the world such as France and the U.S. BF3 is based on the Cold War as were most of the company’s previous games. Both games offer a single player campaign mode and a multiplayer online mode. The difference is that MW3 has many more online features, including numerous game types to choose from and a survival and special ops mode. Survival mode is where you are put into a situation where it is you and endless enemy waves. You must fight off the enemy waves and survive as many rounds as possible. Special ops is when you must complete specific missions assigned to you. MW3 sold 6.5 million copies in the first 24 hours of release in the U.K and the U.S. Battlefield 3 only sold an estimated 5 million copies in the first week of release.

including a wide selection of game play lists and highly advanced custom class system. It also offers survival mode and Special Ops missions. BF3 features large in game maps but only two types of game play. Also their custom class system does not have as many features as it does in MW3. In BF3 the online play mode takes a lot more teamwork to win the game where as in MW3 is just whoever has the best players will generally win. Also BF3 is a one player per console game. Which means it does not have a split screen mode where two people can play on the same console, where as MW3 does. MW3 also features a theater mode where players can record amazing clips they got during a game without setting up a camera or recording system.

“Hands down BF3 is the better game. It has better graphics better game play and just out does MW3 in every aspect.”


The campaigns in first person shooter video games are often what sells the games. In MW3 the campaign is action packed, fast paced playing but not to realistic where as in Battlefield 3 the campaign is a bit slow at parts but really gives a sense of realism to the game. They both contain great missions to complete.


BF3 may have MW3 in the campaign mode but the highlight of all Call of Duty games is the online multiplayer. MW3 multiplayer has many features

Allan Zou, 9


Everyone wants good graphics, so many think: why not get the game with the better graphics? In BF3 the graphics have a very realistic sense, where as in MW3 the graphics could be called more ‘cartoonish’ than realistic. In both games you do have a very clear view.

BF3 shoots down MW3 in popularity MW3 22%

BF3 78%


Gamers’ Glossary MW3- Modern Warefare 3

Overall game

Overall MW3 offers a great multiplayer but is lacking Campaign features and realistic graphics. Where as BF3 has a pretty close multiplayer, but has a better campaign and graphics. Many people also believe that MW3 was not improved enough and is almost the exact same thing as Infinity Ward’s previous game, MW2. “I own both of the games and honestly, I strongly believe MW3 is the better game,” said Rick Niu, 9. Niu is in the minority though as a huge 4:1 ratio of people enjoy BF3 over MW3. Allan Zou, 9 has also played both of the games and said, “hands down BF3 is the better game. It has better graphics better game play and just out does MW3 in every aspect.” Overall it really depends on what you buy the game for. One game is not just flat out better than the other.

BF3- Battlefield 3 Campaign- A game mode where you are given missions to comeplete. Survival- A game mode where you are put in a destination and told to survive. Spec Ops- Special Operations



Winter track braving weather outside, rejoicing over indoor runs - page 17

Varsity boys’ basketball hurdling season’s obstacles- page 18

Freshman basketball’s record does not reflect team’s talent - page 19


month in

sports ‘We are playing pretty good ball... We are trying to keep improving.’

Hayden’s heroines Danny Bayliss sports chief


s. Paula Hayden knows just how hard her team works to be flawless. As the esteemed coach of the SHS Varsity girls’ basketball team, she has had enough experience to know when motivation is or is not necessary. “After the Princeton loss I did not have to rally my players. They left the court frustrated with the loss because they are all competitors, but also left the floor with the knowledge that if each one of them worked on improvement in a couple areas we would be the victors when we play them on Wednesday Jan. 25th at Princeton,” said Hayden. Hayden’s girls have certainly bounced back from their 70-63 loss to Princeton, where guard Chloe Pavlech, 12, matched Princeton’s highly-touted Kelsey Mitchell, 10, shot for shot. They ended up with 27 and 29 points, respectively.

Style points

Photo courtesy of McDaniels Photography

ASSUMING HER USUAL SEAT on the bench, Ms. Paula Hayden looks on as her team plays a home game against Middletown on Wednesday, Dec. 21. SHS won 77-34. Senior guards Chloe Pavlech and Alexis Newbolt led in scoring with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

SHS Varsity girls’ basketball statistics Name


ppg, apg, & rpg

Alexis Newbolt


13.8, 3.1, & 2.5

Chloe Pavlech


12.9, 3.7, & 5.8

Keri Kleist


9.2, 1.0, & 5.2

Imani Outlaw


7.2, 1.9, & 3.2

Lauren Hancher


6.0, 1.2, & 2.3

Hannah Locke


4.8, 0.9, & 5.2

Kelly McDonald


3.4, 1.2, & 2.5

Nancy Hunter


2.8, 0.5, & 0.3

Adrian Burns


2.7, 0.4, & 2.2

Liz Bitzer


0.9, 0.1, & 0.3

Brianna Brooks


0.7, 0.5, & 0.4

*sorted by points; statistics are as of press time: Jan. 19; source:

Since the defeat, SHS has rattled off 10 straight wins (as of press time) – with seven of those wins by double digits. Hayden’s squad is now 12-1 overall and 7-1 in the Greater Miami Conference, trailing only the undefeated Vikings in the conference standings. During their winning streak, the team has faced some extremely gifted players, none more notable than Fairfield’s Raeshaun Gaffney, 12. Gaffney, the GMC’s leading scorer with 26.7 points per game, lit up SHS for 34 points. Despite her efforts, SHS prevailed in dominant fashion, winning 82-57. “Rae is a very talented player. She does a great job drawing fouls and using her body to provide opportunities to score,” said Hayden. While Hayden admits to Gaffney’s terrific ability, she has no doubt in her mind that the right defense can stall her. “I am not sure that you can stop Rae, but I feel we could definitely hold her under 34 points by playing a box-andone on her and doubling her with whomever is in that area. If we had to win that game by stopping her we would change to that defense,” said Hayden.

Dynamic duo

To execute such a plan, Hayden has two very talented guards that are capable of shutting down an opposing ball-handler in Pavlech and Alexis Newbolt, 12. “Chloe is not our leading scorer. Lex Newbolt passed her

in that stat with strong games over the past week. It’s hard to talk about one and not the other. They both have the ability to score from the three and also take their players hard to the basket. They both are extremely unselfish and epitomize a true team player,” said Hayden. The tandem certainly put up enough points, but their contributions reach far beyond scoring. “They complement each other on both offense and defense and provide leadership in both practice and games. They are fun to watch,” said Hayden.

Deep three-fishing

While Pavlech and Newbolt deserve special attention, Hayden is ecstatic about the overall depth of the team. “I am absolutely blessed I feel like I have eight starters. All eight players have the ability to score in double digits or lead our team on any given night. [Along with Pavlech and Newbolt] they are seniors Keri Kleist and Lauren Hancher, and juniors Kelly McDonald, Adrian Burns, Imani Outlaw, and Hannah Locke,” said Hayden. Despite having one of the deepest and most talented SHS squads in recent memory, Hayden knows that sometimes she has to find a way to keep the team humble – and most importantly focused. The rest of the regular season is daunting, with a rematch at Princeton among other games looming. “As coaches we are trying to keep the players grounded. Yes, we are playing pretty good ball but there are so many areas in basketball that can be worked on throughout a season. We are trying to keep improving,” said Hayden.” While a strong finish will be crucial to postseason seeding, Hayden is not worried one bit. “The girls have some big goals this year so the tough games are only going to help us peak at the right time. Liz Bitzer, 12, is one of my captains and has provided consistent leadership. She is injured at this point but should be back soon,” said Hayden. Hayden will surely have mixed emotions as the season ends. After the season she will be graduating five of her top players; Pavlech, Newbolt, Hancher, Bitzer, and Kleist. She surely wants them to go out with a bang. “Senior Night is Wednesday Feb. 1 at 7:30. We would love to see you all there,” said Hayden.

Danny Bayliss sports chief

Why LSU’s Bayou Bengals Will Be Better in 2012 The state of Louisiana’s history is prominently rich. The same can be said for all that it inhabits. For example, you’ve got your good ole’ home cookin’—rich in flavor and aroma. Then there’s the kind of music that is euphoric to one’s ears and soul. The long list also includes topnotch athletics. But instead of harping on the past they are all about the future. Case in point: the Louisiana State Tigers. Les Miles’ was on the verge of leading his LSU Tigers to an undefeated championship season. The majority of their undefeated regular season was in blowout fashion. After a 9-6 overtime victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide had some wondering if they’ve already earned a share of the title, regardless of what would happen in the rematch. But, clearly, Alabama proved that their close loss to LSU was a fluke, as they dominated an ugly game all the way to a 21-0 victory. The Tigers played more like kitties, only crossing the 50-yard line once. Fans booed their own quarterback. Who does that in the title game? The Mad Hatter has a roster chalk full of top-tier talent and depth, an elite coaching staff and a huge fan base at his disposal. For a while the 2011 season seemed too perfect. That must have been a onetime gig, right? Wrong. There is much reason to believe that LSU could be even better next year. The scary thing about Miles’ roster is that it is dominated by underclassmen. And at the positions where the starters will leave after this season, it’s simple Next Man Up. Quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee will be gone, leaving behind erratic careers that ended on low notes. But their replacement leaves little drop off. Sophomore Zach Mettenberger comes in with his fair share of hype. What’s ironic is that LSU is lucky to even have him on their roster. Mettenberger committed to Georgia in the 2009 class, but left because fellow ESPNU 150 recruit Aaron Murray took hold of Mark Richt’s reigns. After a community college stop at Butler County he signed with LSU in 2010. Mettenberger, unlike Jefferson, is more of a pure pocket passer. To read the extended column, please go to:

For comments on this column, please write to



Ice in their veins Cold weather training prepares runners for extreme conditions

team plans to travel. Because of the distance, the athletes had to meet at a much earlier time of 5 am instead of the regular 8 am or 9 am. Not only that, but sometimes the bus rides can be very uncomfortable to the teammates. “The bus rides are really hard because most people want to sleep, so people arrange it so that one person is on the cushion and one person is on the floor, which is really painful,” said Stoneberger. There are many differences between outdoor and indoor track, including the shortened track. An outdoor track is 400 meters around, while and indoor track can range from 133 meters to 300 meters around. “Most of the races are double the distance. For instance, since an outdoor 400 meter race is one lap around the outdoor track, an indoor race would be two laps,” said Ray. The first meet sets the standards for the rest of the year, from which the athletes improve. There are no specific qualifications for this particular meet. “The first meet is pretty much to get our feet wet, enjoy it, and try to get as many people as we can competing,” said Ray. And enjoy it they will. Many freshmen have only experienced racing on an outdoor track. This will be their first meet indoors. “I’m excited. It’s going to be great because it’s going to be our first meet in high school,” said Ashley Thiss, 9.

Victoria Swart staff writer


he winter track season began on Thursday, Nov. 17. Athletes of all track aspects, from long distance, to sprinters, to hurdlers, gathered in the Commons for their first experiences of this season. During practices, the athletes are split into two main groupsthe long distance runners, and the shorter distances runners. Both must endure the runs through the cold weather, but Photo courtesy of McDaniels Photography each participates in different STARTING ON NOV. 17, track athletes began their winter training. Runners activities that focus on their endured the cold weather to better prepare themselves for the spring track particular area. season. During winter track, the runners will participate in several meets, “For those who had been including a meet that was ran at Kent State on Jan. 21. Results from the meet part of the program, nothing’s were not available at press time. changed. For those who were new to the program, this will be Mr. Hank Ray, winter track head coach, on the season something that they will enjoy,” said Mr. Hank Ray, head track How long have you been working with SHS? coach. I’ve been at SHS now since 1998. I’ve been a part of our Meanwhile, the junior and technology department. I coached freshmen wrestling my first sophomore classes seem to few years. I’ve been a part of Black Student Union in a past group dominate the team. and several peer mediation groups. “There are only four or five seniors, while there is a heavy What sports have you been involved with? junior and sophomore class. In college, I was on the football team with a football scholarship They’re really stepping it up,” said and ran track. Pretty much as far as athletics, I’m part of a national Ben Wulker, 12. championship flag football team that competed in Orlando, The freshmen class is also causing excitement. Florida a few years back. I still golf- I like to golf. “With the new freshmen, it What is the season of winter track used for? seems that we’re going to have a Winter track will be a time when we can get in shape, get really good team, with how fast stronger, get faster, and learn a little bit of the intricacies of indoor and smart we are,” said Ryan track. Stoneberger, 10. Now, the winter track team How many meets will you be going to this season? has started training for their first Last year, we went to three meets, and this year, we plan on going meet on Jan. 21. The meet was to five or six. Last year we just went to random meets. This year, held at Kent State University, the we’re focusing on qualifying kids to the indoor state meet. farthest away from SHS that the




we extend our thanks to these

Friends of The Leaf The Cardenas family

Quick Hits: SHS takes home Sycamore Invitational title

On Martin Luther King day weekend, SHS wrestlers took to the mats at SHS, and took home first place in the Sycamore Invitational. Caleb Whitcomb-Dixon, 12, Ryan Gaffney, 11, Ben Mather, 12, and Tinashe Bere, 10, all finished in first place for their weight categories. Aaron Frankel, 11, John Lynch, 11, and Brad Huber, 11, were runners up.

SHS chess not able to follow up perfect season

The Carroll family

Mason has snapped Sycamore’s five year winning streak by capturing this year’s chess championship. The team was perfect for the first half of the season (18-0) and the players had a 44-1 individual-game record in the second round.*

The Chau family

The Gilman family

All-Sports trophy within reach for SHS


Robert Smolin

After the completion of the fall sports season, SHS currently sits in fourth place of the coveted All Sports Trophy, 6.5 points behind Lakota West. The All Sports Trophy is a school year long competition, in which all school sports are tallied based on their results. Mason High School leads the All Sports Trophy standings with 81 points. Lakota East sits in second with 72.5 points, and Lakota West has 68 points.

The Swart family

SHS grad named new voice of Freedom

The Rechnitzer family

Anonymous For information on supporting the mission of this newspaper by becoming a Friend of The Leaf see room 115, call (513) 686-1770 ext. 3089, or email

2002 SHS grad Steve Jarnicki was recently announced as the new voice for the 2012 Florence Freedom baseball team. Since graduating from SHS, Jarnicki has held multiple sports broadcasting jobs all around the country but is back near his hometown, where he will provide radio listeners with play-byplay broadcasting of every game for the Freedom in 2012.


sports KAPITOL Tebow’s timeline

Bennett Kaplan sports chief

Tebow lost. The exciting run is over. I think it is high time that we stand up from our Tebow stances and do our best Tom Brady impressions, because the line ended in Foxborough for Tim Tebow in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday. I could give you 316 reasons why Tebow lost. To make a long story short, the Patriots were the better team. Although it has been several years since a Patriots championship, it always seems as though they come alive during the playoffs, whether they are the top story or not (sorry, Green Bay). Somewhere in the world, Adam Vinatieri’s leg twitches. Brady is a good quarterback because he wins games. Flat out. It may not be the most exciting football out there, but Brady gets the job done year in and year out without question. I think we can all agree that Tebow is not your traditional NFL quarterback. I think most of you will agree that he is not really that good. Tebow, who replaced Kyle Orton in the middle of the season for the Broncos, has actually completed a lower percentage of passes Orton. Tebow is not a great passer, and (obviously) he will never be the passer that Bronco great John Elway was. He came back to win in three games this season, and has done so six times in his two-year NFL career. If you’re putting your team in a situation where games come down to the wire, are you really doing your job as a QB? Sure he is making for an exciting finish, but does that make him good? The answer is: WHO CARES? Nobody -- besides Broncos’ fans -- cares if Tebow wins or loses games. They just want to see him thank God after the game. They just want to see him in his famous stance on the sideline. They just want to see him jump up like a kid every time he scores a touchdown, and point to the heavens like Charles Barkley points to cheesecake on the desert tray. Why? Because it is exciting. Tebow garnered more media attention this season than Drew Brees, who both set NFL passing records. Tebow, who barely made the playoffs,has been dubbed by some to be the second coming of...well, you know who. Tebow breaks the convention of what it means to be a quarterback. He defies his doubters, is able to pull last minute victories out of his back pocket. His religious openness separates him from most other athletes in the league. Tebow sells. It is as simple as that. Everybody wants to root for Tebow, because he is the underdog. He is David, and the rest of the NFL is Goliath. Every time Tebow wins a game, he is proving somebody wrong, and fans love to see the small guy finish first. While Tebow will not be winning a championship anytime soon, I can guarantee you have not heard the last of him (especially if Thom Brenneman has something to say about it). He’s got 316 problems but being clutch ain’t one.



Stage set for Varsity boys’ basketball

Young team must finish season strong end of the game, I think we can really get it around,” said Zach Farquhar, 10. ith half of the After a shaky start, the team’s season completed, current record is 5 – 6, with the boys Varsity wins against Milford, Colerain, basketball team is Anderson, Fairmont, and on track for ten wins. And while Loveland. Moss says several that may not sound like much, players have played well this year. SHS has not had a season with “Isaiah, Joey, and Zach have double-digit wins since 2007. all done a good job and our post And head coach, Mr. David guys Mike, Mason, and AJ have Moss, only expects his team to also been solid,” said Moss. get better. Isaiah Brown, 11, has been the When asked how he felt the biggest surprise this year. Because team will finish the remainder of his athleticism, Brown is of the season, Moss replied, difficult to defend and is a big “Strong….we have all GMC scoring threat for SHS. In a win games left. We will have to over Colerain High battle each night to even have School, Brown a chance, but I think we are a scored 21 points lot better now than we were on 8 for 13 at the beginning of the season shooting. and I expect us to continue to “I didn’t realize improve.” my performance until Moss is right. The road the end. I’ve had 20 ahead will not be easy, with point games before, games against only two teams but it felt great doing with records below .500. SHS’ it for my first time on schedule includes powerhouses Varsity,” said Brown. such as Middletown, Mason, and AJ Williams, 12, Fairfield High School, the top capped off the game with the three teams in the GMC. winning shot. Williams is SHS’ One of the obstacles for this leading scorer and has been a year’s dominant team is force in its youth. I’ve had 20 point games the middle, While going up before, but it felt great a young against team now doing it for my first time huge usually GMC on Varsity. means opponents. a better After team in Isaiah Brown, 11 squeezing the future, past a the team’s mediocre lack of Colerain experience team, and has already been costly this losing to an average Lakota season. East team, how can SHS expect “We feel like we've given a to compete with top GMC few games away. We had an opponents such as Mason? inexperienced team coming into “I think what has to happen the year so part of this is just is that we need to communicate growing pains,” said Moss. better and play with a sense of At the beginning of the season purpose,” said Moss. Moss said he expected this year Hopefully, this sense of to be “interesting”. Well, our purpose will translate to a more Varsity basketball team has given vibrant home crowd. During us nothing less, with six games the course of the season, the decided by six points or less. ‘Ave Cave’ attendance and “It’s pretty frustrating, but if we enthusiasm for games has can limit the mistakes toward the dwindled. Michael Saxon staff writer


“I have to admit, the home crowd increases my intensity and my drive to win, so it really helps me play better,” said Joey Gruden, 11. If SHS wants to get to the next level, a number of things need to be done, including a better home game attendance. The team has all the skills, it is just a matter of putting them together. “It’s been a challenging year so far but our staff really likes our team. They play hard and together and continue to improve. We are looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in the second half of our season,” said Moss. The stage is set for the SHS Varsity basketball team. The question is, will they step up?

by the numbers



Meyer’s recruiting trail goes through SHS Danny Bayliss sports chief

Ohio has been known as a hot bed for high school football recruits. SHS witnessed that first-hand when Ohio State Buckeyes’ coaches Urban Meyer (back turned) and Luke Fickell (left) stopped by SHS to watch their game against Middletown. Meyer, the head coach, and Fickell, the interim coach last year and currently the co-defensive coordinator, were there to check out Middletown’s Jalin Marshall, 11. He is considered Ohio’s top junior offensive player Marshall is a five-star recruit for the class of 2013, and has a bevy of offers including ones from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, among others. As Middletown’s starting quarterback, Marshall led his team to a 21-3 victory of SHS this past season. While his talent is immense, many scouts see him as a wide receiver or a running back at the next level.

TOTING THE ROCK, FORWARD Isaiah Brown, 11, looks to make a move to the basket. In a game against Colerain, Brown scored 21 points on 8 for 13 shooting.

Photo courtesy of McDaniels Photography

Varsity basketball Best finish in the past seven years in the Greater Miami Conference

Photo courtesy of Bennett Kaplan

For coverage on basketball visit:


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FRESHMEN BASKETBALL PLAYERS (left to right) Ethan Beck, Matthew Green, and Will Lawrence fly up for lay-ups. A majority of the team’s losses have come in the last quarter of play, where the boys struggle to finish games. They have much improvement to do if they want to have a better second half of the season. Images by Michael Saxon

Freshman basketball team takes flight Ryan Wessinger staff writer

“We were down seven going into half, but we finally decided we wanted to play, and came back and won in the he freshman basketball team is off to a good third and fourth quarter,” said Ryan Jones, 9. start to their season. The boys’ record stands at 3-7, but They have had their they have had three games where ups and downs, but they have lost by five or less. During The guys are staring have given everything they have their game against Colerain High to understand what it all year. School, they were winning by one takes to play in a tough The team started off a little with five seconds left to go after shaky. After beating Indian Hill Mathew Green, 9, made a free conference like the by a large margin in their first throw to put them up one. Colerain GMC. game, they lost to Milford by inbounded the ball and stole the 10 and Princeton by 15. In the game on a buzzer beating running Ross Sferra, Milford game, they went into bank shot. Freshmen basketball head coach the fourth quarter, down by 12, During the week of Jan. 2, and got into to within 3 points, the freshman team had three but couldn’t pull out the win. games. They faced Lakota East, But after losing two games, they came back and won a Middletown, and Loveland High School. GMC conference game against Lakota West. The boys were unable to get a win, but showed steps


of improvement, losing to Middletown by two, and Loveland by five. In both games, they were winning with one minute left to go, but once again showed the inability to close games. Green had a big game, with 17 points, including a half-court shot at the end of the second quarter. “Halfway through the season, our team continues to bring the effort we need to compete at the high school level. A few losses late in games highlights the need to improve in the second half of the season,” said Ross Sferra, head coach. The boys average 39.7 points a game and allow an average of 42.4 points per game. The team’s leading scorer is Junn Cabrera, 9, averaging 7.5 points per game. The freshman team is 1-4 in the GMC. “The guys are staring to understand what it takes to play in a tough conference like the GMC. Every possession matters, and we are continuing to learn how to value the basketball,” said Sferra.

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Singer spills about fears, dreams

Q&A with Megan Sulfsted, 9 Aditi Sharma managing editor

How did you get started in playing guitar? I started guitar at age 11. It was during Hurricane Ike, and since I had nothing else to do I started playing guitar. I picked it up pretty quick from the book that I had to teach me. After playing for a year, I got my first guitar, instead of the toy one I had, and I started taking lessons at age 12. What was the first song you learned? The first real song I learned was ‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor Swift, and that got me into learning other songs from websites. Is it scary to know that everyone in the world has access to your videos? I was definitely nervous at first, but I am more confident now. It really helps that teachers let me play songs at school. Mrs. Linda Gartner at the Junior High let me play songs to the class when we had free time; I had a lot of positive feedback so I began to upload songs to YouTube, my first one being Bubbly by Colbie Caillat. I like to cover songs at school because teachers let me play for my classes with my guitar. What do you think about SOPA? The purpose of SOPA is to better protect the copyright laws. I’m not an expert on SOPA, but I do know a lot about it. On January 18th, websites like Wikipedia and Google directed their users to a petition they could sign against SOPA. Although this bill will stop copyright infringement, it will ban American Internet users from using websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Wikipedia, and Google. I am against SOPA for as long as it shuts down those websites. The intention of the bill is positive, but I think we need a better way to stop piracy.

How have you spread you talent at school? I did the variety show this year with some of my friends. It was different because at first the amplifier was not working, so we did the whole act a capella, but then it started working during the second act so we got a chance to perform again. It was a great experience. How did you get to meet Adam Lambert? In July of 2010 I was coming home from cross country practice, when my whole family ran outside the house to tell me about the meet and greet tickets my mom had won to meet Adam Lambert! And on August 30, 2010, I met him through Q102. There are videos on YouTube of this day. Adam Lambert’s musical style has had a pretty big impact on me. He talks about Hendrix and Muse as some of his favorite artists, and so they have also had an impact on me. Where else have you performed? I have also performed at Bethesda North Hospital. I played my guitar and sang for all of the patients and the employees. Everyone was very supportive and appreciative; I really had a great time.

In your videos make sure you: 1. Do not use any concert videos for big artists. 2. Do not have any copyrighted music playing in the background while filming. 3. If for some reason you do use a song, be sure to give credit to the artist, and name the song and album title. All images by Aditi Sharma

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