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The Sycamore Leaf Fri. Nov. 16, 2012|Volume LIX Issue 4|7400 Cornell Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45242|513.686.1770 ext. 3089|


Climate change >> New calculations on global warming predict catastrophic results

web editor-in-chief

Kathryn Tenbarge



Senior Halloween >> Photos from 2012 Senior Halloween



Acting techniques >> ‘You Can’t Take it With You’ actors discuss how they prepare for shows


Sandy’s destruction hits home Kelcie Grega

Is college worth it? >> Staff members discuss whether college is worth the cost, time


‘People were literally fighting over loaves of bread’ More than just


Water polo >> Girls and boys win second place in state competition


spotlight chief

wo weeks ago, S.M. Dipali, ‘12, had never seen people fight over bread. But when her New York University campus was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, this was only one of her many new and shocking experiences. Although SHS is seemingly distanced from the storm, for family members and alumni, the damage literally hit home.

Affected graduates

“I went to the grocery store and people were literally fighting over loaves of bread,” said Dipali. Her school also felt the pangs of a city-wide food shortage. “Only two of the dining halls in NYU were open so there were literally two-mile-long lines just to get sandwiches,” said Dipali. Tired of waiting in line, she walked from 4th to 30th street in the pitch black just to get a wood-fired pizza. “When I say blackout, I mean you couldn’t even make out your hand in front of your face,” said Dipali. Her classes were cancelled, like those of other colleges along the East Coast. The thought of having no class may have been exciting at first, but the excitement was short lived when students were told to evacuate their school. “People were very frustrated with NYU’s lack of housing for those who were evacuated,” said Dipali. “It was kind of ridiculous because they basically just told them to get out.” Students with no other options slept on the floor of the library.

Photo courtesy of M25:M

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Harris



Affected families

Many current SHS students have spent the last weeks worrying about their family members living in the storm’s path. When Claire Koellhoffer, 11, heard about the storm, she immediately thought of her 89-year-old grandfather living in New Jersey. “He’s had pneumonia three times so we knew we had to bring him here. My dad drove twelve hours there and twelve hours back within two days to pick him up,” she said. Koellhoffer’s dad returned not only with her grandfather, but also with his Chihuahua-

>>Sandy continued p.2

William Gawin

managing editor

On Nov. 6, not only did America re-elect its first black president, but a number of other significant choices were made by voters across the nation. A new generation of voters took to the polls and brought with them a new attitude toward underrepresented groups. The newly elected 113th Congress will have more women and Latino members than at any other point in our nation’s history. Supporters of marriage equality also made historic gains. Wisconsin elected the first openly gay member of the Senate and pro same-sex marriage ballot issues were passed in Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota. Young voter support was also credited to the passage of promarijuana use laws in Washington, Colorado, and Massachusetts.

Electoral votes

Photo courtesy of staff


HURRICANE SANDY HAS AFFECTED millions of Americans up and down the East Coast, with widespread power outages and food shortages. 1. A Matthew:25 Ministries advance team in the East Coast. They have been working actively to ensure residents’ recovery. 2-4. These pictures were taken in New Jersey and Massachusetts, with fallen trees being only a small part of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

270 needed to win I am happy with the results because I know that Obama will serve the country as best as he can. Alison Kerry, 11

I was rather disappointed with Obama winning, but neither candidate was perfect. 4

John Eifert, 12 Image By William Gawin

206 Romney

Photo courtesy of staff

Other former SHS students attending East Coast schools were also forced to adapt to the changes caused by the storm. Many were sent scrambling, attempting to escape the devastation. “Our power flickered, but we did not have to evacuate. We had classes cancelled, though, because public transportation was stopped,” said Charlotte Harris, ’12, freshman at Wellesley College. “I saw a tree go down right outside my dorm,” said Harris. Not all students could safely stay on campus, however. “I go to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, about an hour from New Jersey,” said Katie Mac, ’12. “My school announced classes would be cancelled for the next two days, and we could leave campus.” Mac went to her friend’s house in New Jersey which was ironically safer than her school, despite being so close to the storm. “We had no power, so we sat in total darkness listening to it howl all night,” said Mac.

‘four more years’

332 Obama



Index NEWS 2-3 EVENTS 4 FORUM 5-9 FUN & GAMES 10 FEATURE 11-13 A&E 14-15 SPORTS 16-19 SPOTLIGHT 20


>>the sycamore leaf >>



Isaac Harmon

TWO YEARS HAVE PASSED since the tragic death of Jose Cerda. British Olympic team swimmers joined SHS for an annual swim clinic dedicated to Cerda. A swim meet is being held in his memory at St. Xavier High School Nov. 16-18.

Swimmers commemorate

Photos courtesy of Samantha Wolkoff

associate editor

International athletes help SHS honor lost teammate



he Jose Cerda Aquatic Foundation (JCAF) hosted its second annual swim clinic on Oct. 27, just one day after the two year anniversary of Jose Cerda’s death. “It definitely made the event more meaningful as it was only one day after the anniversary,” said Samantha Wolkoff, 12, intern at JCAF. Like others who knew Cerda, Wolkoff remembers well the day he passed away. He was swimming his warm up laps, like usual, when he suddenly began to clutch the wall and seize. His heart stopped beating

just hours later due to cardiac irregularity. It was his eighteenth birthday. 
 Mrs. Luisa Cerda, Jose’s mother, started the JCAF shortly thereafter with the goal of fostering unity and competitiveness among Ohio water polo and swim teams in memory of Jose. In addition to annual galas, water polo tournaments, and swim meets, the swim clinic is a principle way in which the JCAF reaches out to the local aquatic community. “The clinic was extremely successful, even more so than last year,” said Wolkoff, citing increased participation and a new venue—the University of

>>Sandy continued p.1 -dachshund mix. “It’s a cute dog, but not at my house when it pees on everything and yaps all the time.” Koellhoffer’s aunt was also affected, currently housing the 35-foot yacht that parked in her kitchen. Still, Koellhoffer said she and her family were lucky. “Our houses are not destroyed for the most part. Our friends who live there have nothing. They live in shelters now… The boardwalks, I’ve walked all those boardwalks. I’ve been on all those beaches. They’re not there anymore. They’re not the same beaches I grew up with,” she said. Other students have relatives who are in dire situations because of their proximity to the shoreline. Leah Brod, 10, thought of her aunt, who was trapped in her sixth-floor Hoboken, NJ apartment. “The streets near [my aunt’s] home were flooded so she could not escape,” said Brod.

SHS reaches out

The relief efforts are estimated to be the most expensive in US history, after Hurricane Katrina. Students who feel the urge to assist victims can do the most good by making a donation. All donations are accepted, but money is preferred. Some organizations with clout include Matthew 25 Ministries, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Blood banks are experiencing shortages, and greatly appreciate willing donors. The challenge now is to restore interrupted lives to normal. Though physically removed from the tumult itself, students remain personally touched.

Cincinnati’s Keating Aquatic Center. Wolkoff’s role in organizing the clinic was to recruit world class swimmers to participate. She succeeded with David Mosko, Josh Schneider, and Whitney Myers Burnett, as well as Simon Burnett, member of the British Olympic Team for the past three consecutive Olympics. These top tier athletes instructed swimmers on their stroke technique and participated in a Q&A session. They also raced participants at the end of the clinic. “[Everyone] was so excited,” said Wolkoff. “I hope they will listen to the advice given by swimmers who have made it


that far in their careers and follow their dreams.” All clinic participants were given t-shirts and swim caps displaying the phrase “Point Zero One.” The slogan traces back to when Cerda missed the USA Swimming Sectional time standard by only one onehundredth of a second. “The goal of the clinic is to help swimmers in the Cincinnati area achieve that .01. There are so many improvements that you can make to cut that time down,” said Wolkoff. The Cincinnati Marlins will host a swim meet in honor of Cerda’s memory Nov. 16-18 at St. Xavier High School’s Keating Natatorium.

NYC students lock up phones during school

Atiya Dosani

news chief

In all public schools in New York City, cell phones and other electronic gadgets are banned. This has caused students to rely on leaving their devices in a truck that is parked nearby. The cost of leaving their phones in a truck during school hours is one dollar each day, resulting in paying as much as 180 dollars every year. But for many, the price is worth it. “My whole four years I’ve been putting my phone in this truck, and it’s been great. Only a dollar. It’s not bad,” said Melquan Thompson, a student at the High School for Language and Diplomacy, to The New York Times. At the same time, many students disapprove of not being allowed to bring phones to school. Parents also do not agree with this rule because phones are a major way of communicating with their kids before, during, and after school. “In this day and age, it’s ridiculous that the Department of Education doesn’t allow us to store them on site [at school],” said Robin Klueber, PTA president at Frank McCourt High School, to The Huffington Post. Since the U.S. Department of Education has no intention of lifting the ban, New York City public school students will have to continue to use the device trucks. “I’m so glad SHS allows cell phones and iPods at school. I don’t know what I would do if I had to leave mine at home, or pay to leave it somewhere every day,” said Megan Sulfsted, 10.

Image by Lila Englander

Sarah May

WITH STUDENTS COMMUTING LONG distances or staying after school for extracurricular activities, cell phones are necessary to stay in contact with parents or family members. Unlike the SHS policy, New York City public schools do not allow such devices at school. Trucks are offered as an alternative option for storing devices during the day, costing up to 180 dollars per year.

American spirit

Four years ago, on the eve of the victory of President Barack Obama in the 2008 election, many attempted to define what America is. It is renewal, the place where impossible stories are written. It is the overcoming of history, the leaving behind of war and barriers, in the name of a future freed from the vengeful clamp of memory. It is reinvention, the absorption of one identity into something larger. The notion that out of many, we are truly one. They’re interested in who you are, not where you came from. At the close of this endless campaign, it is worth recalling that America, alone among nations, is an idea; and that idea dies when hope and possibility disappear. It has been a hard, uneven road from 2008. The idealism vested in America’s first black president was also vested in an introverted man, whose talent for the deal-making that oils the wheels of politics proved limited. The United States is as divided today as it was four years ago; over economic policy, of course, but more deeply over social policy: the whole regressive God-invoking push of the Republican right against a woman’s right to abortion, gay rights, marriage equality and so on. One nation sometimes feels like two. But even with its debt and division and uneven recovery, the United States has come a long way from the abyss of 2008. Obama is a man more likely than not to make smart decisions. He’s also lucky. Sandy blew in a week before the election and by the time it blew out Mittmentum was dented, Bloomberg was on board and New Jersey’s Republican governor was cooing. There have been big achievements: the winding down of the wars, health reform, getting Osama bin Laden, and restoring the battered American idea. By allowing gays to serve openly in the military and by signing legislation to back equal pay for equal work for women, Obama has strived to make the United States more inclusive. Romney has led a campaign that has said everything and the contrary, embracing war then peace, changing positions on Obamacare, refusing to reveal how he will offset tax cuts. He wants to deny women the right to abortion. His America, it seems, would be more unequal and divided. For comments on this column, please write to


news >>the sycamore leaf



news chief

news chief

SHS student voice: climate change

In 2009, 167 countries signed the Copenhagen Accord, which established that in order to keep the earth in livable condition, the average global temperature must not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Until now, the average global temperature has risen 0.8 degrees Celsius, according to, an international environmental organization. Even if all carbon emissions stopped now, the temperature would still increase an additional 0.8 degrees, because of previously released carbon continuing to overheat the atmosphere. “Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon

Myth Busters

THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE change are already being felt around the world. If Superstorm Sandy and Colorado’s wildfires went unnoticed by Americans, higher air conditioning bills and food prices are further results of the climate crisis. New math shows that in order to keep the planet in livable condition, action must be taken to curb climate change within the next five to seven years. If the current rate of carbon emissions continues, it will only be 16 years until global temperatures pass the point that is considered habitable.

Lila Englander

uman dependence on fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas has resulted in rapidly increasing global temperatures over the last century. This “global warming,” or climate change, occurs because burning fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which warm the earth. But increasing temperatures are not the only consequences—massive flooding in Thailand, larger and more frequent hurricanes like Superstorm Sandy, droughts and wildfires across the United States, and mass extinctions, are some of the effects being felt around the world. “Global warming is receiving renewed attention with the recent Hurricane Sandy. We have to wake up,” said Ms. Marilyn Ray, history teacher. Carbon emissions have been growing all around the world, from the Maldives, where rising sea levels will make the island uninhabitable within the decade, to the Midwestern United States, where drought destroyed the 2012 corn harvest.

New math


Climate crisis calculations yield catastrophic results


Atiya Dosani


dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees,” wrote Bill McKibben, environmental activist and head of, in an article in the Rolling Stone. At the current rate, an annual increase of 3 percent in carbon emissions, the 565-gigaton mark will be passed in 16 years. These next five years are the world’s only chance to prevent the two degree catastrophe.

Fossil fuel affliction

Unfortunately, the fossil fuel supply identified and available for consumption today is approximately 2,795 gigatons. That is five times more than the 565 that can be consumed. Significantly, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. To prevent the earth’s temperature from exceeding two degrees, 80 percent of those reserves would have to be kept in the ground and not consumed. This would mean denying fossil fuel companies the ability to monetize $20 trillion in assets. “It is of utmost importance that governments and industries take measures to fight climate change, but that will never happen unless we set aside personal greed

Thinking about the long term damages and effects of global warming gives me the chills. Of course we are doing what we can: recycling, energy conservation, driving better cars. I wouldn’t lose hope yet.

Austen Lum Kin, 11 I think that it’s really important that we take care of the world we live in. Even if we won’t live to see the effects of our actions on the planet, it will affect our kids.

Alexis Rile, 9 The people we need to convince are the industrial companies, not necessarily the general public. Overall, I firmly believe that the effects of global warming are being blown out of proportion.

Jonathan Weng, 10

Climate change MYTH: Scientists do not

agree that global warming is occurring.

FACT: 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming exists.

MYTH: The ecosystem can adapt to the earth’s rising temperatures.

FACT: Global warming causes different organisms to react at different rates, throwing off the balance of the ecosystem, leading to mass extinction of many species.

MYTH: Clean coal is an

environmentally friendly alternative.

FACT: Coal is the dirtiest of

and political strife in favor of action,” said Katherine Steinberg, 10.

Economical solutions

Carbon emissions cost people money, but fossil fuel companies do not pay for the monetary damage caused by those emissions. If a high enough costs were placed on carbon, it could keep those reserves in the ground. This strategy would utilize market advantages in the fight against climate change. Fossil fuel companies would be charged for carbon emissions and carbon fuel prices would rise. The economic playing field would now be a level one for nonpolluting energy sources. Charging individuals for their added costs of carbon would give consumers an economic incentive to switch to cleaner energy sources. The stakes of making policy changes are no less than whether our world will be livable in a few decades. Explaining these stakes to enough people to create public commitment to change could be essential to the survival of the planet.

fossil fuels and cannot be clean. Clean coal refers to slightly cutting coal’s carbon emissions.

MYTH: Decreasing carbon emissions would hurt the economy.

FACT: Implementing a carbon

tax and cap and trade system would increase economic incentives for cutting down on carbon emissions.

MYTH: Climate change will

not have a significant impact during this life time.

FACT: The effects of climate

change such as natural disasters and mass species’ extinction are already being seen and will continue to affect the earth’s land and water.

Environmental issues around the world Canada - drills oil 14 to 20 percent higher in carbon emissions than normal oil, disregarding 2009 promise to cut emissions

U.S.A. - second highest in carbon emissions; lack long-term energy plan; investments in fracking and nonexistent clean coal

Germany - amount of electricity produced from renewable resources went from 6.3 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2012

Honduras - 41 percent is forested; from 1990 to 2010, 37 percent of its forests were lost, decreasing carbon intake

Arctic - one third of summer sea ice has melted; the U.S. plans to let Shell begin drilling

Venezuela - recently passed Saudi Arabia as country with largest oil reserves


Russia - largest producer of crude oil in 2011 and largest natural gas reserves in the world

China - despite heavy investing in alternative energy, is the world’s leader in carbon emissions

India - carbon emissions rose 58 percent from 1994 to 2010, relying on coal for most of its energy Oceans - 30 percent more acidic since global temperature increased

Source: All images by Atiya Dosani and Lila Englander




“For me, Senior Halloween went much better than it has in past years. Teachers gave me some feedback saying it was not total chaos, and the day was manageable.” Principal Chris Davis Lauren Glynn

*see article below

events chief

SHS & District Improv Show

What: Students illustrate their ability to think off the top of their heads onstage Date: Today, Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Main Auditorium

Winter Band Concert

What: A recital to demonstrate the work of the band Date: Dec. 19 Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Main Auditorium

Winter Break

What: School is off for the entire district due to the holidays Date: Dec. 24 - Jan. 4

Band & Orchestra Craft Show

What: 13th annual Sycamore Arts and Crafts Show to support the Band and Orchestra. There will be performances by SHS band and orchestra students througout the day Date: Nov. 17 Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Location: Commons

Thanksgiving Break

What: Days off to celebrate Thanksgiving Date: Nov. 21-25

Interim Reports Distributed

What: Progress report cards halfway through second quarter Date: Dec. 4

Community Girls High School Shootout

What: A battle between schools to see which one is the loudest and which constructed the best anti-bullying message *see article below Date: Nov. 24 Time: Sycamore vs Ursuline is 7:15 p.m. Location: Cincinnati State

Photos with Santa

What: The opportunity to pose for a great holiday card with Santa Date: Nov. 15 - Dec. 24 Location: Kenwood Mall

Festival of Lights

Battle of the Bands

What: A friendly combat to appreciate bands within SHS Date: Dec. 14 Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Main Auditorium *Audition Tapes due Nov. 27 @ 2:30 p.m.

What: Magical light displays to celebrate the holidays with the zoo animals Date: Nov. 23-Jan. 1 Time: Open Sunday through Thursday from 5:00p.m. - 9:00p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:00p.m. - 10:00p.m. Location: Cincinnati Zoo *Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

News in Brief Lauren Glynn

events chief

Senior Halloween: Taking more of a planned approach to the seniors’ most memorable day of the year, extra rules and regulations were put into action. “I thought it went much better this year. We [the staff] did a lot less chasing around than we have had to in the past,” said Principal Chris Davis. All seniors were to be in third lunch so there would be no commotion in any of the other lunches. Also, the whole point of the day for the students was to be with other seniors who dressed up with them. Underclassmen seemed to worry about the current seniors ruining Senior Halloween for them and the administration not wanting the tradition to continue. “I don’t think anyone ruined it for next year. If there is ever going to be a time when a class ruins it, it should really just ruin something for their class later on in the year,” said Davis. The administration always waits a few weeks after the week of Senior Halloween to discuss whether the tradition should be in affect the following year.

>>the sycamore leaf >>

Lauren Saxon

Holiday Craft Show

What: Sponsored by the Blue Ash Women’s Club, displays local artists Date: Dec. 1 Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Location: Blue Ash Square

Benefits Playhouse Fundraiser

What: Supports the Cincinnati Parks Foundation operating budget. This year will feature performances of “Hank Williams, Lost Highway” Date: Dec. 5 Time: 5:30 p.m. Location: The Playhouse in the Park *Go to to order tickets

Community Holiday Store

What: Operation Give Back created this event so people could donate items for families in need Date: Dec. 14 Time: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Location: Operation Give back youth center * Call (513) 489-2023 or 469-0141 between the hours of 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. to pre-register

Breakfast with Santa

What: All you can eat breakfast with Santa that will benefit El-Bethel’s Youth Ministry Date: Dec. 15 Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Location: El-Bethel Baptist Church - John E. McMullen Fellowship Hall *Purchase tickets at

To submit a story tip for this section, contact The Leaf at SHSstudentvoice@ Please include your name, grade, story tip and any additional details or contact information that can be provided.

staff writer

Girls’ High School Shootout: Cheer battles between schools for bragging rights and the chance to have a free anit-bullying school assembly will take place on Nov. 24 at Cincinnati State. Come cheer and watch girls from SHS compete against Ursuline in a game of basketball. The event runs all day starting at 11 a.m. and the last game, Sycamore vs Ursuline, will be at 7:15 p.m. This occasion is sponsored by Cincinnati Sports Medicine. They have created this program to also get the crowd extremely involved. There will be one school winner from all of the battles throughout the day. The first game is between Lakota East and McAuley, followed by the game between Oak Hills and Seton, and so on. The school that exemplifies the most school spirit in support of their high school basketball team at the shootout will be entered for a chance to win the entire day. The schools will be judged on the loudest and largest student section that has their school colors on. Also, each

school will have constructed an anti-bullying message such as a poster, commercial, or a PSA. Submissions must be sent to by Nov. 21.

Young Women’s Scholars:

Created just last year, the Young Women’s Scholars group is fairly new to SHS. Young Women’s Scholars (YWS) was made to expose African American young ladies to different careers and college options, and to help its members gain community service hours. Although the group has only been in existence for one year, YWS has already opened many doors for its members. Last year the group members welcomed guest speaker Doctor Bradley Jackson from Premiere Pediatrics, who spoke to the members about the steps to becoming a doctor. YWS also traveled to St. Johns in Over the Rhine to pass out food to the homeless. This year, YWS accomplished its goal of going on a college field trip, and traveled to Miami University in Oxford on Oct. 17. The group spent half the day

touring the campus, experiencing college life. YWS was given an orientation and discussed Miami’s admission process and requirements. YWS has also completed a second community service activity this year, traveling to the Operation Giveback (OGB) Youth Center on Nov. 1 after school. At OGB the group participated in their After School Assistance Program, tutoring kids in grades one through eight. Later this month YWS will have another meeting to discuss other volunteer opportunities and possible guest speaker options in an effort to prepare its members for the future.

School Bookstore: The convenience store located by the commons has revolutionized to adjust to students’ needs. Instead of only being open before school, the store is operating every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school until 3 p.m. The store also now offers special items such as cliff bars, candy bars, and peanut butter crackers, but only after school.

Along with these new items the store still has notebooks, pencils and other school supplies. Also, they sell books students need to purchase to read for English classes.

Get involved in The Leaf

Any student who is not a staff member for The Leaf can still get involved in the school paper in multiple ways. Letters to the editors and guest columns are welcomed. We encourage students to broadcast their opinions to over 1700 students and faculty. The Events page also takes suggestions on timely and important events that are relevant to the SHS student body. Another way to get involved in The Leaf is by submitting games, comics, or poems, for possible publication on the Fun and Games page. Provide The Leaf with feedback by submitting work to, and make the student body be heard. We are always looking for new ways to get students involved, and to keep them interested.

Forum >>the sycamore leaf >>

Affirmative action 4 Opinion >> SHS students do

not appreciate goals of Affirmative Action


Going green >> Developing economic systems to combat climate change


US education 4 Opinion >> Status of American education system witnesses decline in global rankings

Editors-in-chief: Sarah May, Ellie Goldman Associate Editors: Sanika Vaidya, Rachael Sun, Isaac Harmon Managing Editors: Aditi Sharma, Ana Barros, Will Gawin Business Managers: Shea Lothrop, Atiya Dosani, Lila Englander Editor: Kelcie Grega Broadcast Editors: Tori Swart, Kelsey King News Atiya Dosani Lila Englander Opinion Alexis Corcoran Isaac Harmon Feature Rachael Sun Sanika Vaidya Joseph Ahn A&E Krittika Chatterjee Sports Michael Saxon Nakul Narendran Spotlight Aditi Sharma Kathryn Tenbarge Fun and Games Taylor Evans Ellen Martinson Events Lauren Glynn Cartoonist Lilly Lefton Web Masters Ruochen Tang Eli Seidman-Deutsch Enterprise Editors Allie Oh Lauren Saxon Staff Writers Michelle Bartlett Romina Belez Sarah Birckhead Hope Bundy Emma Burge Katie Busch Astrid Cabello Andres Cardenes Camila Cardenes Michael DeMaio Max Fritzhand Zachary Fritzhand Caroline Gao Andrea Goldstein Isaac Goldstein

Melissa Goodman Jenny Ham Britton Kemp Brooke Landrum Jacqueline Lazar Madeline Marsh Julia Mattis Ethan May Anna Moreno Jacie Ray Casey Rayburn Elizabeth Rickert Ali Richter Lyndsey Roth Orion Schosser Zoe Schlosser Lauren Shassere Megan Shindler Brenda Shen Joseph Slovin Scott Stefani Peter Tosh Gian Carlo Valli Alex Wittenbaum Ben Young Eli Zawatsky Anna Zhou Photographer Jeremy McDaniel Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: • Columbia Scholastic Press Association • Journalism Education Association • National Scholastic High School Press Association • Ohio Scholastic Media Association • Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers) • Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary


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The Sycamore Sycamore High School Leaf 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 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.


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Republicans in pain, Democrats gain William Gawin

managing editor

Cartoon by Lilly Lefton

Staff Editorial A light dusting of snow was the extent of what Cincinnati saw from Hurricane Sandy. Meanwhile, New York City subways were flooded, cars went underwater, and homes were lost forever. SHS students remember Hurricane Katrina well. Every day, media was swiftly flooded with a stream of advertisements for relief efforts and constant updates on the state of New Orleans and the welfare with victims. In 2005, “how can we help?” was a prominent question on people’s minds. This year, at least for Cincinnati, it seems to have fallen through the cracks. Sandy’s death toll doesn’t begin to approach Katrina’s. It seems that in response, America has been quick to underestimate the decimation to one of the country’s most famous cities. One of the most recent internet sensations has been Hurricane Sandy Twitter accounts. Most people would

agree that the tweets are funny. However, one of the world’s epicenters consumed by a food, water, shelter, and gas crises is anything but a joke. By this time, one would think America’s knee-jerk reaction to natural disaster would be a response to a cry for help. Instead, we have tried desperately to lighten the mood. Certainly, we as a population have learned some lessons from Katrina, yet it seems some have faded. Hurricane Sandy’s casualties to date do not even total one-fourteth of those caused in total by Katrina. No one was willing to take the chance – especially in the midst of a presidential election. It was as though once we accomplished that, our duty was done. That is just not the case. Recovery is still crucial, and perhaps even more so for a major city. We have waited long enough. It’s time to fix the mess, and this country has waited far too long.

leafing through the masses

What is your opinion on Hurricane Sandy? My cousins got to miss school for two days, and one came home. They were barely affected other than missing school. Sabrina Kaul, 9

My prayers go out to the families affected. I hope the recovery comes as quickly and easily as possible. Julia Temple, 10 My thoughts go out to the victims of SuperStorm Sandy and their families. I was not affected by this directly, but I am happy to see so many people joining together to help the recovery effort. Bryan Waterhouse, 11

President Barack Obama, on Nov. 6, secured his place in history as a part of only a handful of presidents to be given a second term during a period of economic stagnation. Right now the unemployment rate sits at 7.9 percent and the party in control of the majority of Washington not only secured four more years for Obama, but also won significant gains in both the House and Senate. I never thought Republicans were going to coast to victory in 2012, but I would have never predicted such a huge loss. It was only months ago that Republicans were on their way to flipping four Senate seats (MO, MT, NE, ND) red, maintaining all their current seats, including one held by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), and giving Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) the fight of his political career. However, one by one the wheels on the Republican victory bus have fallen off. Sen. Claire McCaskill (DMO) was able to keep her seat because of her challenger’s, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), extreme views on social issues. The same story is true in Indiana where the Democrats were able to take a seat away from the Republicans because their candidate, Richard Mourdock, claimed pregnancy from rape is “something God intended to happen.” Here in Ohio, Republicans lost to Sen. Brown by nominating Josh Mandel. Mandel proved to be an extremely weak candidate despite millions of dollars being spent by outside groups on his behalf. In fact, by running such an ugly “slash and burn” campaign, Mandel was not even able to secure the endorsement of the conservative-leaning Cincinnati Enquirer. Nationally, the Republicans have an image problem. If they want to win big they must not only nominate stronger, more appealing candidates, but moderate their stance on a variety of issues in order to appeal to minority groups. 2012 was going to be a ripe year for Republicans. However, the results they blew an extraordinary opportunity to take control of Washington. For comments and suggestions on this column, please write to


>>the sycamore leaf >>



‘Not everything is

black and white’ Diverse opinions on benefits of Affirmative Action Alexis Corcoran


opinion chief

ometime during senior year, high schoolers transform from students to “applicants,” and everything changes. Students are bombarded with emails and pamphlets from colleges to which they have dreamed of going since elementary school, but there is a chance that the same school could reject the applicant less than a year later. “When looking at colleges, it is really hard to find one you fall in love with, because there is always that lingering worry that you may be rejected,” said Lauren Thompson, 11. Students at SHS are lucky to have opportunities for everyone, so when we hear about colleges giving special preference to minorities who are already succeeding at SHS, we automatically oppose it. When I began this article, I was decidedly against special treatment for minorities. As a white, middle-class female, the largest group applying to schools right now, I was aware of the negative effects Affirmative Action would have on me. However, as I read, I began to see the necessity for legislation that ensures diverse collegiate populations. Despite thorough research, I still struggle to secure a position on the case of special preference, but I feel that SHS students have not considered all of the benefits Affirmative Action offers its recipients.

Court case

In October, the Supreme Court addressed a case known as Affirmative Action, dealing with Abigail Fisher, a white student who was rejected from The University of Texas at

Austin (UT) in 2008. in classes with students from Fisher claims that the reason many backgrounds, but the she was denied admission was majority of American high her skin color. The Supreme school students are not this Court formally viewed the case, fortunate. but no decision has been made Other students need to to end Affirmative Action. experience the diversity that Affirmative Action allows they will see in the real world colleges to consider race as workplace while they are in they review applications. The college because most will not legislation passed in the 1960s experience it in high school. was seen Affirmative as a step Action also Affirmative Action: Policy toward offers a college more open- favoring those who suffer from education to minded discrimination especially in regard someone who higher might not to employment or education education. go to college Many otherwise. opponents Many to Affirmative Action claim that students at SHS take for it is actually making the college granted that they can go to the acceptance process unfair by best school they get into. If it giving spots to less qualified were not for Affirmative Action, candidates because of their some students would not be background. attending a university at all. If students of color from No student who wants a modest socioeconomic college education should backgrounds are accepted go without one, and many into schools for which they opponents of Affirmative are unprepared and underAction claim that the students qualified, it may cause them to in question can simply attend take easier classes or drop out lower ranked schools, but that is not a luxury that all students altogether. have. “When Affirmative Action was made, it was definitely More than race necessary, but now the playing In the literal definition, field is leveling out and it is Affirmative Action means becoming more obsolete,” said actively reaching out to Adam Darwiche, 12. groups of people based on Seven states already have special grounds; however, it laws that prohibit universities has taken on a connotation of from using race as a factor antidiscrimination since the in college admission. Other Civil Rights Act was passed. states, such as Oklahoma, are The media and the courts currently considering similar tend to stereotype Affirmative legislation. Action as only race. Not only is

Taking a stance

Most SHS students do not fully appreciate the goals of Affirmative Action; I believe that our familiarity with diversity may be a cause. The purpose of college is to prepare us for our future workplaces. At SHS, we sit

this not the case, it plays down the significance of the subject. Legacy is an example of an overlooked form of Affirmative Action. Harvard University has a legacy acceptance rate of 30 percent compared to its regular admission rate of

Diversity, ethnicity outside of Sycamore Community Guest columnist Kristen population) were stuck with Diaz, 11, & Kathryn Diaz, 11 barely any funding, teachers were paid a lot less, and school discuss Cuban heritage Ethnicity does not mean skin color; race does. When people think we don’t look Hispanic and that it’s not fair we get advantages because we’re ‘white,’ we don’t exactly think it’s fair that someone who is similar to us in background but a few shades darker can get away with being more ‘diverse’ in people’s eyes. I had a math teacher once who talked about how he hated that most schools in Ohio got funding from their surrounding property values. Areas with poor income (usually a large minority

supplies were inadequate. In rich school districts (usually a white majority) they seem to have a lot of higher-educated teachers with top of the line computers and textbooks. Students at schools with less diversity, unlike SHS - and that’s most schools in the U.S. - are used to people acting the same way and not as open minded toward those who don’t act like them. What incentives mean for minorities People don’t understand that a lot of Hispanic families have different values: higher education

isn’t a priority, family is. If a family member needs help, the priority of those old enough is to aid them. By giving minorities more incentives to go to college, they are trying to close percentage gaps in the ethnic economy, but also trying to help inspire others. There are just not as many minority role-models, and when there are, they become extremely praised, like the first Latino on the Supreme Court. They also give these incentives to minorities to help get the attention of teenagers who think they can’t go to college because their family can’t afford it, or because no one in their family has gone to college.




1. PRESIDENT LYNDON B. Johnson meets with Martin Luther King Jr. and Whitney M. Young Jr. to discuss the possible Affirmative Action legislature in 1965. 2. A women rallies in favor of Affirmative action. 3. Abigail Fisher, University of Texas graduate, speaks to the press on her support for anti-Affirmative Action legislation.

seven percent according to The Crimson, the Harvard student newspaper. Harvard even admits to looking at legacy in the application process. Those receiving legacy benefits are no less qualified than other applicants, by definition, they have parents who went to college, but they are still receiving Affirmative Action benefits. Affirmative Action also applies to first generation college students. Those whose parents did not finish college are less likely to have great opportunities for attending college themselves. This issue touches every high school student. Before taking a stance, consider the implications a court decision may have on students who have never seen the diversity that we see every day in the hallways of SHS.

70 8

The state of Texas has

percent of white high school graduates immediately enrolled in college


Compared to percent of African American high school graduates immediately enrolled in college

schools in the top 50 most diverse universities

37.2 estimated percentage of college students in 2015 who will be racially diverse Affirmative Action was enacted in

65 35 19


of students at UT who are racially diverse

UT is the


most diverse school in the country

All images by Alexis Corcoran


1. Affirmative action leads to reverse discrimination, not equal opportunity. 2. Students admitted because of factors may be under-qualified. 3. Repealing it may help create a truly color-blind society. 4. Some minority success is labeled as result of Affirmative Action rather than hard work and ability. 5. There are many factors that reduce opportunity for success, and putting emphasis on race is not fair. 6. Affirmative Action remedies racial inequality; socioeconomic equality is the issue that needs to be addressed.


1. Diversity is desirable and will not always occur if left to chance. 2. Affirmative Action draws people to areas of study and work they may never consider otherwise. 3. Students starting at a disadvantage need a boost. 4. Some stereotypes may never be broken without Affirmative Action. 5. Affirmative Action encourages minority success. 6. It grants college educations to people who otherwise would not have one.


Sea to shining


>>the sycamore leaf >>


American education sees decline Isaac Harmon

associate editor


Nakul Narendran sports chief

f you had to explain America’s economic success with one word, it would be “education.” In the 19th century, America led the way in universal basic education. Then, as other nations followed suit, the “high school revolution” of the early 20th century took us to a whole new level. In the years after World War II, America established a commanding position in higher education.

Where we are today

governments, which are in dire fiscal straits. For example, Ohio’s local funds, which make up the bulk of school funding, are supplemented by state funding. Gov. John Kasich has significantly reduced those funds. Schools that already needed to propose levies to raise their property taxes now have to propose even higher tax rates to make up for the decrease in state funding. While the economy remains in a recession, Ohio voters are not likely to pass higher levies. SHS students are fortunate enough to live in a district where generous school levies usually pass. However, it is important to remember that most schools are not so lucky. But while some aid has been provided,

At the local level

Education is mainly the responsibility of state and local

83% 78%


68% 59%
















Future implications

As a result, education is on the chopping block. And laid-off teachers are only part of the story. Even more important is the way that we are shutting off opportunities. For example, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on the plight of California’s community college students. For generations, talented students from less affluent families have used those colleges as a stepping stone to the state’s public universities. But in the face of the state’s budget crisis those universities have been forced to slam the

81% 68%



Images by Nakul Narendran

76% 74% 67%

door on this year’s potential transfer students. One result, almost surely, will be lifetime damage to many students’ prospects, and a large, gratuitous waste of human potential. There are many steps that need to be taken. First of all, Congress needs to approve another big round of aid to state governments. We do not have to call it a stimulus, but it would be a very effective way to create or save thousands of jobs. And it would, at the same time, be an investment in our future. Beyond that, we need to wake up and realize that one of the keys to our nation’s historic success is now a wasting asset. Education made America great; neglect of education can reverse the process.

78% 71% 84%



THIS GRAPH DISPLAYS THE percentage of high school students who graduated last year. According to the Civic Report by the Manhattan Institute, Iowa had the highest percentage of high school graduates. Not represented here, Oregon had a graduation rate of 67 percent, Washington had a graduation rate of 70 percent, Alaska had a graduation rate of 67 percent, and Hawaii had a graduation rate of 69 percent.

540 530 520 510 500 490 480 470 460 450 440 430 420 410



it has made up only a fraction of the shortfall. In part, that is because centrist senators insisted on stripping much of that aid from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus bill.



Top 15 international literacy test scores:



But that was then. The rise of American education was, overwhelmingly, the rise of public education, and for the past 30 years our political scene has been dominated by the view that all government spending is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Education, as one of the largest components of public spending, has inevitably suffered. Until now, the results of educational neglect have been gradual; a slow-motion erosion of America’s relative position. But things are about to get much worse, as the economic crisis, its effects exacerbated by the penny-wise, pound-foolish behavior that passes for “fiscal responsibility” in Washington, deals a severe blow to education across the board. There has been a flurry of reporting recently about threats to the dominance of America’s elite universities. What has not been reported to the same extent is our relative decline in more mundane measures. America, which used to take the lead in educating its

young, has been gradually falling behind other advanced countries. The U.S. college graduation rate is slightly below the average across all advanced economies. Regardless of the economic crisis, the weak social safety net and limited student aid in the U.S. means students are far more likely than their counterparts in, say, France to hold part-time jobs while still attending classes. Education is one area that should, and normally does, keep growing, even during a recession.

93% 78% 75% 72%

74% 75% 82% 77% 71% 60%

70% 82% 74% 63%

75% 72% 75% 75% 73% 75%

62% 62% 54%

62% 69%


Image by Will Gawin and Nakul Narendran

Nations with most adults with college degrees CANADA






UNITED STATES According to a Time NEW ZEALAND Magazine SOUTH KOREA article released in October, the graph UK on the right shows the top 10 countries with the FINLAND highest percentage of adults AUSTRALIA with college degrees. Canada is the only country where over half of the IRELAND adults have college degrees. To the left, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted an international literacy test that measured reading skills. These are the top 20 scores that countries earned as a whole, with the U.S. placing 14th.

4 5 6 7 8 9 10


>>the sycamore leaf >>



In ve n t Meant To

Economics give new meaning to ‘going green’

‘It’s your call(ege)’

College no longer only post - high school option Choosing college Ana Barros


managing editor

he increasing price of tuition used to furnish seemingly unnecessary facilities in universities across the country has left more than one high school senior doubtful about the true value of going to college. However, I disagree. In the past years, the value of education has been increasingly correlated with the ability to get a “good job” – one that will comfortably provide for a family and maybe even leave some cushion for travel. High school. College. Job. House in the suburbs with children and a barbecue. However, simply attending the institution and getting a diploma is not enough. The idea of “getting through college” is one that many eighteen-year-olds share, but graduating with job offers takes more than just making it to the finish line. Students need to take full advantage of the resources given to them in order to make going to college worth it. By majoring in Spanish and minoring in agriculture, students are not only making themselves less competitive in the job market, but also


missing the point of pursuing secondary education in the first place. Students need to choose majors that will award them with enhanced critical thinking skills and tools that will make them attractive to prospective employers. By pursuing an education that will give them these benefits, graduates gain freedom – the freedom to create their own future. It is true that technical degrees have become more attractive to employers and require less time commitment and money, but they do not offer the freedom that college graduates have after four or more years of holistic education. In the end, it is not about who has the best facilities or who has the best employment rate one year after graduation; it’s about which college will be able to offer the courses and the opportunities that will give students more freedom after they graduate. So the question is not whether college itself is worth it; it’s whether the student is able to make the most of his or her tuition and look for new skills and tools, rather than only a job. It’s your call.

Alternatives to college


Katie Bush

staff writer

t is very well possible that college graduates with a four year degree are not having as many job opportunities compared to graduates of non-traditional colleges. Non-traditional schools in Ohio such as Cincinnati State Technical and Community College are graduating students who go out and find jobs in the fields that they studied. Within one year of graduation, 90 percent of Cincinnati State graduates are employed. Technical and Community Colleges are special because they are less expensive and it takes less time to graduate. Most trade schools have strong relationships with their surrounding business community, which helps nontraditional college graduates find jobs after graduating. Classes are more practically oriented toward the students’ career choices. Many nontraditional collages rely heavily on their co-op programs. Co-op pragrams allow handson experiments and learn with other students interested in the same exact thing. Cooperative

education increases the chance of a successful career. Also, trade schools have more flexible schedules so that students with part time jobs can still attend. Cincinnati State offers classes in mornings, afternoons, evenings, and Saturdays so that students with part time jobs can pay off some of their tuition throughout the school year. Non-traditional schools usually have smaller classes with better student to teacher relationships and encourage more participation in class. Cincinnati State says their classes have an average of 16 people so that students can have more individualized attention and help. Compare that to the Ohio State University, where there can be anywhere from 20 to 400 students in one class. Technical and community colleges are not for everyone, but they serve a very important role in efficiently training high school graduates in a wide range of career skills. For those who plan on professional degrees, a four year college is for you. But if you are planning on pursuing the career of a chef, nurse, or an auto repair man, technical and community college could be the right fit for you.

ome with a game-plan ollege visits make applying more enjoyable

staff writer

No matter the amount of information a student may read, he or she will never have the same experience unless they visit a college firsthand. Amidst the whirl of stress, college visits can make the process more enjoyable. With all the commitment, time, and money spent on the college process, students should try and make the most of it. “I think college visits are a great way for students to find out more information on their perspective choices, and it helps in determining whether or not a college is truly right for them,” said Anan Lu, 11. Some may doubt the authenticity of a college tour and whether it will actually depict a student’s real college experience, but in reality a school will most likely want a student who they think will match their school as well. In making the most out of a college tour, one of the most important traits to have is to be observational. This includes trying to

notice the environment, the other students, and the general atmosphere. “I think they are worth attending simply because it gives you a feel for the vibe of the school. Life on campus is going to constitute a huge part of college life, and visiting definitely shows you more of that aspect than just simply reading brochures or emails you get at home, said Joonhyuk Lee, 12. If students do not happen to enjoy their college visit, that makes the

process just as beneficial. “Even if you think the campus is dull or the programs there aren’t really for you, this is the purpose of the trip. It tells you that you and that school don’t really fit,” said Lee. Common tips on college tours include talking to students, taking notes and pictures, and trying to network with college employees. Students should try and keep in mind whether this college is where they will want to spend several years of their life.

All images by Alexis Corcoran

Brenda Shen

Lila Englander

news chief

One year ago I became a vegetarian, decided to ride my bike to school, and began bringing my lunch in reusable tupperware instead of plastic bags. I have been mocked for these small personal changes, and maybe rightly so. While my conscience may be cleared, the overall impact of these switches is insignificant compared to the 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted globally each year. Across the board, human decisions are universally driven by one thing—money. Environmentalists have begun taking advantage of this truth, developing economic systems that employ market forces in combating climate change. One of these systems is called an Emissions Trading Scheme, more commonly known as the “cap and trade.” In this system, the government puts a limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that businesses can emit each year, and then auctions off permits that represent specific quantities of emissions. For instance, if one permit represents one ton of CO2, and Proctor and Gamble (P&G) emits ten tons of CO2 a year, then they buy 10 permits. The cost of permits give P&G an incentive to reduce its CO2 emissions. Without a price on CO2 and other greenhouse gases, P&G would have no reason not to emit extra CO2, because it costs them nothing to do so. Each year, the total allowed emissions is lowered, decreasing total emissions for the area. If P&G can decrease its emissions cost-effectively, it will have extra CO2 permits. So P&G trades those extra permits to Johnson & Johnson, who has a harder time cutting emissions. It’s a win-win-win: P&G makes money, Johnson & Johnson saves money by buying permits at a price lower than what it would cost them to reduce its own emissions, and total emissions do not increase. Because of the external costs of CO2 emissions—worse air quality, climate change— companies should pay a price to emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Using a cap and trade system is one way to make businesses consider those costs. The benefits of cap and trade are already being proven in Western Europe and Australia, nine northeastern states since 2009, and California next year. Even China is experimenting with cap and trade. In his acceptance speech, President Barack Obama acknowledged the ‘destructive power of a warming planet.’ Cap and trade legislation stalled in the Senate in 2009, but let’s hope that Congress and Obama try again in his second term. For comments and suggestions on this column, please write to


>>the sycamore leaf >>



Your last twenty four What would you do if there were no tomorrow? Jacqueline Lazar staff writer


reams. Six simple letters that build inside of our minds, bringing the deepest of our desires and wishes to the surface, in hope that one day the entire world will know them. They spring up at the most random of times. We find them in our late night reading or during short walks with long thoughts. They tug at the back of our minds and leave our stomachs jittery with a feeling of uncertain excitement. Our mind wanders to them when the day’s dust has settled and we are comfortable in our beds, but not with ourselves. They are what we hope to be, and hope to do. Sadly though, they stay inside those closed off pockets of our minds not because we fear what we cannot be, but because we fear what we can be. Behind every action, the potential to be great is ready and waiting, but few take the time to harness what they already have.


To many, the word involves increasing our possessions but decreasing our moral values. So why does this knowledge of living everyday like it is our last only touch a few of us? Why do we make a living but not a life? Why are we comfortable replicating


others yet afraid of being ourselves? The frontal lobe of the brain does not fully develop until the early twenties. This is where most of the decision making takes place. Apart from the biological lesson, no one really likes to think about what bad things could happen as a result of their actions. Teenagers are starting to gain their independence, and this time frame between being a child and an adult is our most rebellious time. “Often, teens do things just because they can and when they are influenced by pop culture (YOLO), it only fuels their invincibility,” said Myra Saeed, 12. Most of us don’t take in the consideration that we will one day die. Yes, we understand that we will die, but only imagine it as when we are old and in a rocker, peacefully falling asleep to our death. See how we think ourselves to be invincible to the obvious facts that we will all face one day? What if your last day were tomorrow? Of course, one cannot live by “what if” statements. However, it is predictable that we would want to live our last day to the fullest. No, we are not invincible. Young or old, anyone of us could die tomorrow. What would you do today if there were no tomorrow?

ways to live

Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Lazar

WE ARE NEVER SURE of our futures, but they can be seen by the light of our dreams. “I sometimes get confused about what I want because of all the influences of others, but when I think about my dreams, I know what I want,” said Cassidy Harris, 9. Dreams are not made in a day. They are molded and shaped by what we can see, the future.

What would you do if there were no tomorrow? Get a passport and take it somewhere Lydia Scott, 12 Wrestle with alligators Jay Simha,9

1. Go to

McDonald’s and ask for a Happy Meal with extra happy

6. Make

explosion noises when anyone says “Life” and hand presses a button out lemons in an elevator 3. Get a walk-in7. Dance in closet and design it the rain to look like Narnia

4. Superglue a coin 8. Watch T.V. to the ground and watch people try to pick it up

Go to Paris Alan Zou, 10

5. Dress up as

Superman and commit random acts of kindness

Graduate college Martina Oroz, 11 Windsurf in a hurricane Nicholas Schaefer, 10

shows from when you were little

9. Write out a

plan to conquer the world

Image by Ana Barros

Eat as much food as I can Oksana Schornak, 9

How did you feel when you first heard the news? Well it wasn’t like a straight up ‘you have cancer’. At first it was like ‘we think you have a nodule attached to your thyroid’. Then they realized the nodule was cancer so I had to have another surgery. I was really upset but it never hit me until after. Did you think that this would ever happen to you? Never ever. I didn’t think things like this happen to normal girls like me. It kind of brought me down to a different level, one I had never been on.

Skydive Alex Keller, 11

2. Wear a shirt that

Q&A with SHS student* on cancer scare

How did it change your train of thought? Before I was having so much fun. I was so carefree. I kind of thought I was bullet proof. But now I’m more careful. I have to take medications every day and can’t forget it or else I feel terrible. So that’s annoying. If you were going to only see somebody one time in your life, what would you say to them? Live your dreams. The rest is uncertain, literally. Don’t take your health and life for granted because in a split second it can be long gone. *The identity of the interviewed student is withheld to protect the student’s privacy.

10 11.16.2012 Taylor Evans

Riddle of the Month

Ellen Martinson

What has hands but no feet, a face but no eyes, tells but does not talk?

fun & games chief

fun & games chief

Have a comic, game, or poem you want to appear in the next issue? Contact The Leaf at

Answer: A Clock

Word Search: Thanksgiving








Mayflower Harvest Turkey

Fun & Games

>>the sycamore leaf >>

Where in the school is this?







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


Mind Game 1.



Cincinnati Weather... By Allison Rogge, 10


Lost 5.


Word Word Word Word

DIAL often often often


1. ice cube 2. for once and for all 3. growing economy 4. lost for words 5. laid back 6. more often than not

Fill in numbers such that every row, column, and square, has exactly one of each number, one through nine.





All All All All

Once Once Once Once


Difficulty: Expert



Feature >>the sycamore leaf >>

Scan here with a smartphone for more feature stories

‘It’s a girl’: Joseph Ahn


feature chief

n, Oct. 12, the indoor stalls of the Cincinnati Zoo echoed with the clatter of four small hooves of a newborn giraffe. Six feet tall and weighing 150 pounds, the calf learned to walk in less than an 30 minutes and was up and about for the rest of the day, exploring her new frontiers. Today, she, her mother, Tessa, and father, Kimba, are spending bonding time together off-exhibit. Unlike many species, there is no true breeding season for the Maasai Giraffe, and females can become pregnant beginning at just four years of age. And because giraffes usually give birth standing up, newborns start their lives off with a jolt, falling from up to seven feet. “The zoo is buzzing with excitement and incredibly, so is the community… most importantly, the calf is doing well and she and her mom are bonding,” said Thane Maynard, executive director of the Cincinnati Zoo. The week following the calf’s birth, thousands of enthusiastic devotees cast their votes on the zoo’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The name Lulu, meaning ‘precious’ in Swahili, was the overwhelmingly popular choice. Visitors were able to get their first glimpse of Lulu on Oct. 15. She and her parents were able to be viewed from a window outside of the “Giraffe Ridge” exhibit. “My little brother loves giraffes, and goes to the zoo a lot,” said Daniel Henderson, 10. “He likes to feel the giraffe’s tongue when he feeds it.” “I have to supervise so that the giraffe doesn’t eat him. I haven’t been getting in touch with my inner giraffe lately, but now that there is a new baby, I think we’ll be seeing this mammal specimen a lot.”

Senior halloween 4 Opinion >>See snapshots of costumes from the day and parade

Freegans speak >>Read about the practice of eating recycled food


Cincinnati Zoo welcomes newest member of family

The successful birth of the new giraffe is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on came as a huge relief and a significant Christmas day, throughout the fall and rebound for the zoo’s past tragedy. In 2011, winter. So come to Giraffe Ridge and crane Tessa’s first calf, Zuri, fractured her leg and your neck to catch a glimpse at Lulu and after months of rehabilitation attempts, was her family. euthanized at the age of three months. The Cincinnati Zoo has a strong history with giraffes. In 1889, it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to have a giraffe born in captivity. Lulu was Although their born on Oct. numbers have decreased 12. The new in the past century, baby giraffe giraffes are not currently has drawn on the endangered together the community species list, but are and zoo staff, documented as “lower receiving risk” with a stable thousands of population. In the followers on wild, approximately Facebook and 73 percent of calves Twitter. Fans die within the first few will continue months after being born. to watch “I haven’t been to the Lulu grow zoo in a really long time. throughout I used to go five days a the year. All images by Joseph Ahn week as a kid. I’ve been hearing a lot about this giraffe though, and hopefully I get -In Atlanta, Georgia, it is illegal to tie a giraffe to a to go and see it in telephone pole or street lamp. the near future,” said Anan Lu, 11. -Giraffes are able to sleep both standing up and sitting In the past few down, but it is difficult to observe a sleeping giraffe. weeks, Tessa and These vigilant creatures sleep only a few minutes at a Lulu have been taken inside due to the time and average about 30 minutes of sleep a day. weather. Currently, Zoo visitors can view -New-born giraffe calves begin their lives by falling six the family through feet to the ground. windows as well as a live-feed color -Giraffes live for 10-15 years in the wild, but average 25 monitor set up on the years in captivity. viewing deck. The Cincinnati Zoo

Know your giraffe

College candidates commit early Shea Lothrop

business manager

Logically, with more students applying to college more students are also receiving rejection letters from what could be a dream school. Without the option to change ethnicity or go back in time to take more qualifying classes, it stumps many students on how to make themselves appealing to colleges. Though writing an amazing essay and having high SAT or ACT scores do help, applying for early admission increases chances of acceptance the most. Early decision applications are sent in during the fall and acceptance or rejection letters return mid-December. In contrast, applications are sent in at the beginning of January and come back in April. When a student applies for early decision it is a way of communicating to the college that it is their top choice, which, in essence, is a promise for money. Once accepted into the school through early admittance the applicant must attend. The rate of admittance is also higher due to the fact that applicants and transcripts are sent in during the fall of senior year, meaning only the first three years of grades can be included. Or at least that applies to those who contract the deadly illness of “senioritis”.

It works out that students usually only apply early to schools that they have been striving to get into. They know the qualifications from the start and have worked to make sure that all of them have been achieved. Many athletes chose this route in order to dedicate themselves to a certain school’s sports team. With this being said, early decision is not something to participate in for students who are still on the verge between colleges. Besides being accepted or rejected, an applicant may also be deferred. These people are asked to reapply at a later time either with the second round of early decision or with the regular application pool. With the recent crisis of Hurricane Sandy many universities across the nation have decided to postpone their early decision date to ensure everyone is able to send their applications. Not surprisingly, the major turn off for early decision is the idea of binding a student to a college. For applicants who are not willing to tie themselves down, there is also the similar option of applying early action. There is one important difference between early

decision and early action. When applying early action students do not automatically have to attend the college. In fact, they usually have until the beginning of May to reply - the same time that regular application responses are due. Since students make no promise to attend the institution over early action the admittance is not quite as high as it is in early decision. Another type of admittance is rolling admission, a large gap of time in which students can apply early to a certain college program. This lessens the pressure to have applications in right away, however those who wait until right before the deadline are taking the chance of missing out on housing or financial aid. Regardless if seniors apply early decision, early action, rolling admission, or regularly there is no right or wrong. Making the decision to attend college is life changing and will increase chances of success in the future.


12 13 SHS students acknowledge veterans Katie Bush

staff writer

Kelcie Grega

web editor-in-chief

Many Americans tend to mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is a day to set aside to honor American soldiers who died in combat. That is not entirely true. It is in fact Memorial Day where Americans are supposed to honor dead soldiers. Of course, Veterans Day is a day that should call forth a somber theme in that life. But it also honors all American Veterans, dead or alive. It is intended to thank all living soldiers who served our country and continue to serve today. We owe all our servicemen and women ultimate gratitude for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf. Like President Barack Obama noted in his official proclamation of Veterans Day, “Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country still stands strong, our founding principles still shine, and nations around the world know the blessings of freedom.” It is easy to overlook the true meaning of Veterans Day. This year, students should make sure to take time to honor all soldiers who did or did not return home safely.

Q&A with Denis Bush, Air force Veteran from World War II How long did you train before going overseas? It took 14 months, first was primary training where we learned to march and salute. The training was in Bennettsville, South Carolina. Then was basic training, basic flying things with PT 17s. That was at Bush field, North Carolina for 90 days. Last we advanced training for 90 days in Sumpter, South Carolina.

When were you deployed and where were you sent?

I was deployed in December of 1944 to Orleans, France which was 90 miles south of Paris. In two years of service I served nine months active and the other non-combat.

What was your job in the war? I flew C47s, which are non-bullet planes. We carried cargo, supplies, and parachutes. We were the truck driver of the air force. We had no guns on the plane only the ones we had on us but were often shot at.

Do you think that veterans receive a decent amount of recognition for what they do for our country? I think that the amount of good respect veterans get is sufficient.


>>the sycamore leaf >>


Rock, paper, scissors, BOO!


Senior Halloween 2012 Sarah Birckhead staff writer

Aditi Sharma

managing editor



1. Seniors Aditi Jain, Nanki Hura, and Aditi Sharma played the roles of rock, paper and scissors. 2. Brett Osborn and Cole Tameris accurately portrayed the characters Shrek and Donkey. 3. Twins Madeline and Fiona Shaw won an award for their version of siamese twins. 4. Stephen Ioas took swimming to the next level with his complete scuba diving outfit. 5. Stephanie Adamec swept the stage with a precise representation of a favorite pageant contestant. Pictures of other seniors from Halloween can be found online at goaves. com.




All images by Aditi Sharma


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>>the sycamore leaf >>

FREEGANISM INVOLVES THE COLLECTION and reuse of food that has been thrown away. In large cities especially, groups of freegans will meet and go dumpster diving together, splitting the spoils at the end of the day. A rising controversy over such practices, however, is the impact of what freegans are trying to tell others.

Waste want


NOT Image by Rachael Sun

student beliefs. In many ways, however, Su has summed up the idea of freeganism. The majority of freegans, while having mostly sufficient incomes, choose to ‘boycott’ the market economy ‘Dumpster diving is a reflection of how glutinous and wasteful our society is’ in order to prove their point. On the other hand, there dumpster dives for meals. eclectic group may just have a Rachael Sun is also a gray area in the Followers of freeganism are point to prove. associate editor demographic of freegan unique in that they voluntarily For years, larger cities populations. Some freegans Freeganism: the choose to live this way. They have been home to many search for leftover food because a conscious decision freegan communities, and it practice of reclaiming make they do need to cut down on to “embrace community, is not uncommon to find back costs. These people, however, and eating food that generosity, social concern, alleyways filled with mealwalk the fine line between freedom, [and] cooperation,” seekers. In fact, certain internet following the lifestyle and has been discarded according to, a sites allow users to connect following the actual beliefs of website focusing on the freegan with others interested in hile some freeganism. lifestyle. freeganism. students may “I think it is not necessary. Far from most of the action, firmly believe Additionally, another There are tons of people out however, SHS students are one that school factor that unites the freegan there who actually rely on of the first groups to consider cafeterias are the worst sources community is a “sharing in the food in the dumpsters. the appeal of such practices. of culinary confinement, opposition to a society based If freegans don’t need to “Dumpsters are gross! members of a growing on materialism, moral apathy, dumpster dive, they shouldn’t [Freeganism] is unnecessary underground scene consistently competition, conformity, and do it,” said Pinar Inanli, 12. because they can always get find their meals in even more greed.” better food somewhere else. questionable places. Impact of freeganism Why they do it In terms of the message they A freegan is a person who Considering the message With society wasting up spread, I don’t think it’s worth survives through minimal that the freegan movement to $43 billion a year from it,” said JoAnn Su, 10. participation in a market embodies, how much of an household food alone, and one The unpopularity of the economy, getting their source impact does the group have on cafeteria procedure of recycling today’s society? of sustenance from the leftovers in every five of the children in it are at risk of hunger, this unwanted food testifies to these of others. In short, he or she “If they’re trying to prove a


Photo courtesy of Watch My Food Grow

OSCAR THE GROUCH FROM the 1900s children’s show Sesame Street stands testament to parts of city society. Although he no longer appears in episodes, the well recognized trashcan and puppet persona brings out an underground vibe. Oscar’s grungy lifestyle and eating habits, while not the most healthy or commonly acceptable as those of other characters, hint at alternative lifestyles that have been tried and done.

To celebrate a very successful SEE1 season, Aaron Pang, 11, Justin van Wagenen, 11, Konnor Montchai, 12, and Collin Myers, ‘12, headed off on a late night trip to McDonald’s earlier this year. With the $44 they had on hand, the group walked up to the cashier and ordered a whopping 44 McDouble burgers. “We did it because we were bored and wanted to put a picture of us with the burgers into the next SEE1 concert program,” said Montchai. To their credit, the group finished most

Fast food frenzy

Bygone era makes comeback


point or something then I think it’s an acceptable and good way to show that,” said Michael Heyn, 9. Naturally, the recycling of food is discreet and rarely a nuisance to parties involved. Most of the dumpster diving that occurs under the freegan practice goes unnoticed, mostly during late night hours. In the media and in the news, however, individuals have recently been singled out and spotlighted for being freegans. Take, for example, Fabio Costa from the most recent run of Lifetime’s “Project Runway”. Because of such exposure, freeganism has begun to hit the mainstream, slowly overtaking previous stigmas against ‘dirty’ activities like dumpster diving. “Dumpster diving is a reflection of how glutinous and wasteful our society is. You never know what you might find in a dumpster, and what [freegans are] doing is a form of expression and what the U.S. stands for shouldn’t suppress that,” said Hope Wang, 11. Freeganism exists as an escape from a material world. By embracing a uniquely simpler lifestyle, freegans as a group are able to take a solid stand against issues in today’s society.

of the burgers, packing the rest for the car ride home. “The cashier refused to take the order until we showed her the money. Then she sort of went on about how crazy we were, and it took the whole McDonald’s crew to finish the order,” said Montchai. Evidently, consumption can indeed be used to prove a point, regardless of what point that may be exactly. Covering an entire table with wrapped burgers, the SEE1 troop caught many intrigued, if not alarmed, glances. STACKED ONE ON TOP of the other, the 44 burger order was approximately three feet high. By taking a common fast food stop and turning it into a unique event, the group was able to prove that attitudes towards food usage and consumption do catch the attention of others.



Wintry mix >> Get ready for the cold weather by finding out the right mix of music

Craft Show Opinion >> The bands and


orchestra will perform alongside art vendors



Curtains fall: W Megan Shindler staff writer

hen an actor steps on stage, they have a special mindset that governs their performance. Performers temporarily alter their lives to accommodate the roles they take on. SHS students delivered their hilarious rendition of the 1920s comedy “You Can’t Take it With You” on Nov. 1, 2, and 3. The show centers around a very unconventional family learning to let go of their daughter as she plans to marry a wealthy, powerful man. Alice Sycamore, played by Zoe Bochner, 12, and Tony Kirby, played by Gabriel Schenker, 11, must prove that love will overcome the odds. Hilarity ensues when these two unlikely families are forced to accept each other. Bochner is unique in the way she prepares. “I answer two important questions: What is my character’s biggest fear? And, what does my character love the most?” said Bochner. To portray a character three times the actor’s actual age or from a different country is extremely challenging to a high school student which makes tryin get into character even more important. “I’ve played about nine

Read about Bella Voce

eastern European characters. What really helps me get into these roles is doing research on foreign culture,” said Carmel Rechnitzer, 12. Making clear character choices is imperative in a comedic drama, as the audience will have a hard time understanding the plot and the humor the character does not come across clearly. However, developing an “onstage mindset” is a method utilized by many performers, especially in the movie business. “I had to change my everyday ‘Emily’ personality into the ‘mean freshman girl’ mindset,” said Emily Callaway, 11, actress in “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” This spring, SHS will set out to perform “Pippin.” When high schools venture to accomplish these “big name shows,” they are challenged to portray the well-known characters in unique ways. “I’ve been watching as many versions of Fastrada’s role as possible. I pick and choose character choices to form my own opinions on the lyrical subtext and physical decisions,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, 11, playing Pippin’s cruel stepmother. None of the dramas or musicals they produce are successful without meticulous preparation.

Music necessary to opening up Krittika Chatterjee a&e chief

Photo courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography ZOE BOCHNER,12, AND Gabriel Schenker, 11, act in “You Can’t Take it With You.” Their characters are in love and must prove that their love will trump all obstacles. The fall play is laced with comical scenes as Bochner and Schenker capture the attention of the audience.

The marching band would not be complete if it did not appeal to both the ears and the eyes. On top of the choreographed instrumentalists, the group depends on the dedicated marchers who favor flags over flutes. The Color Guard is an ensemble that adds visual flair to marching band performances by tossing colorful flags in precisely choreographed routines. “We are a separate entity, like the drum line, and we do different things, but at the same time we’re still included,” said Michelle Ewert, 12, veteran guardsman. So it marches with band but focuses on color and movement. Is it a sport or an art form? “We perform on a football field, and that’s why a lot of people think of it as a sport,” said Larry Rebillot, instructor. “Also because it’s competitive. The art form comes in with the design and artistry of what we do, the complexity of the drill, music, props and flag colors.”

The artists were initially attracted to try Color Guard for various reasons. Kristen Revely, 10, found out through a choir presentation. Sophomore Annie Schoen got hooked “because [her] sister was in Guard, and [she] went to a lot of competitions and saw what they were doing.” Freshman Dahlia Rapoport, also had a role model who guarded, her older sister’s friend. “She was in Color Guard many years ago,” said Rapoport. “She spun the flag and threw the rifle and caught it… I thought it was really cool and I admired her.” Though the eight member group ended the season at Colerain on Oct. 28, Guard is not over. Winter Guard is similar to the fall Color Guard, though this group is entirely autonomous and performs on its own. “It’s an indoor form of Color Guard, and it’s much more dance-y,” said Abigail Kaluba, 12. She adds that there is more liberty to design routines since they choose their songs, and

that winter is more focused on rifle routines that the flagcentric fall. The members stress that first time marchers are encouraged to try out. The date of an informational meeting will be announced in the next few weeks. The group cultivates a friendly environment and welcomes beginners. This year’s squad was almost half new members, including Rapoport, Mira Prabhakar, 9, and Kristen Diaz, 10, though the team agreed that all had expertly risen to the occasion. Of course, if athletics, visual art, winning competitions and camaraderie are not enough to sway a stickler to try it out, there is the Disney trip. This perk is a highlight for members. “We get to lead the Disney parade actually, it’s incredible,” said Ewert. They then spend three days at the Florida parks with other band, choir and orchestra members. Those who are intrigued by the crazy moves they have seen on the football field are encouraged to give flag spinning a try.

Image by Brenda Shen

Color Guard’s choreography captures crowd editor-in-chief

>>the sycamore leaf >>

Actors, actresses become characters

‘The complexity of the drill, music, props, and flag colors’ Ellie Goldman


One consensus among the teens of today is that a sad mood merits listening to even more sad songs. I do not see a thing wrong with torturing yourself. It is when we are in a position to identify with the music we listen to that we take the time to experience it fully. I worried before writing my column that discussing “personal feelings” would be some sort of taboo. Really, though, we hear more often than not that we neglect to share our feelings. For so many, music provides the necessary outlet to open themselves up. Certain songs do just that for me. wSo many songs have more depth than we ever have the chance to realize. I have had this feeling enough times that hearing those songs has the inverse effect, and can bring back the same emotions. “Some Nights” by Fun. is all over the radio, and the song deserves the airplay. There is no reason to gloss over the meaning in it. The song is a story of battle and loss, and is painfully relatable to a personal struggle. Often we’re too quick to let a bright melody mask meaning, almost the same way that a happy face hides the way we feel. “Raining in Baltimore” by Counting Crows is the perfect example of the emotions when the floodgates finally break. No other song describes longing so innately. It’s a cry for simple needs: a phone call, a raincoat. In that time of desperation, those simple things feel like all we need. Besides music, maybe. But no other artists hides their moving lyrics like Passion Pit. Their second single, “The Reeling,” is an outcry of pure pain. Hidden behind a heavy synth, lead singer Michael Angelakos tells of the deepest hurt of self-loathing. “Look at me, is this the way I’ll always be,” he sings, juxtaposing the subject matter with such a bright tone. The honesty is clear, but almost a struggle for Angelakos to impart. His tangle of perspectives rubs a listener raw. A sad song feels like fresh heartbreak every time. But in a time of pain, we feel numb, and the right music can set us free. For comments and suggestions on this column, please write to

C a&e

>>the sycamore leaf >>

ommunity creativity


raft Show funds music programs

Gian Carlo Valli



Cold weather, wintry mix

staff writer

Michael DeMaio

ver the years, the Craft Show has always been a huge attraction for students and parents. Dozens of local craftsmen set up stands in the commons and the gyms, where they sell hundreds of unique gifts and toys. The bands and orchestra will be at the Craft Show as well, providing entertainment for all who come. “All of them [the songs] are difficult because with the rehearsal schedule, we only get two days a week to work on them,” said Mr. Daniel Frank, Sycamore Wind Symphony instructor. The Sycamore Wind Symphony will be performing a variety of songs, from ‘Go West’ to ‘The Genius of Ray Charles’ to ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ They will also be playing pieces such as ‘American Overture for Band’ and ‘Orpheus Overture.’ “I think that ‘American Overture for Band’ is the most difficult because it has a lot of rhythms that students aren’t used to playing,” said Mr. David Swift, Sycamore Wind’s instructor. When band members were asked which song they favored most, they responded with a variety of choices. “I like ‘American Overture for Band’ because it has a good horn part and the clarinet part is sweet,” said Jose Palacios, 10, clarinet. “‘Ride,’ because it’s pretty awesome, fun, and exciting,” said Katherine Dunn, 9, oboe. In addition, the orchestra, jazz band, and big band will each be performing in their own one hour time slots. After meandering through the many craft stalls, students and parents can relax and enjoy the music in the commons. This is always a great event to attend with the family or with a group of friends. Scheduled for Nov. 17 in the commons and gyms, the members of the band and orchestra hope to attract many listeners.

staff writer

NOT ONLY IS THE Craft Show beneficial for local vendors and craftsmen, but it is also a major source of funding for the orchestra and bands. Craft vendors pay for the space to set up their stalls; that money and a portion of their earnings will go to the orchestra and bands. The music and crafts will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 17.

Photos courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography

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With Sandy on the east coast, heavy rain, light snow, and cold weather finally here, I can again bring out the sounds of winter. To keep yourself company over the next few months, fill your ears with cool noise and your stomachs with Vitamin D. I have been listening to a range of artists to welcome the best time of year and want to pass on some favorites to you. I highly recommend the newest addition to the Holy Other’s catalogue of musical ventures. His deep layers and melodic vocals create a dark, wintry LP, not to be missed. While they may be old, Gold Panda’s Lucky Shiner, Bath’s Cerulean, and Teebs’ Collections 01 are wonderful, creating soothing soundscapes. I also suggest the self-titled EP from the New York folk group, and personal friends, Little Sur. The music’s sound is unique, somewhere in between Beach House and Bob Dylan. In addition, The Jacobins, and the producer Placeholder will both be releasing new music that will be worth the time. If you do not like those, listen to Gymnopedies by Erik Satie, best consumed next to an open window with tea or coffee. Enjoy the next months of this beautiful season. If nothing here is what you are looking for, feel free to find me, I am glad to make suggestions. Happy winter! For comments and suggestions on this column, please write to

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Water polo Opinion

Winter track 4 Opinion

>> Teams place second in State, ready for next year



Cross country 4 4 Opinion

>> Runners take opportunity to prepare for spring season


>> Samantha Siler, 12, places fifth at State meet


‘My heart went out to them’ Michael Saxon

sports chief

Fans forget faithfulness Fan loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. The Miami Heat bandwagon is getting ridiculously large. I’m starting to see all of these Falcons jerseys start to pop up. And since when did people like the Bears? Really? At least I have some decency and stick with the same team. I practically breath green for the Philadelphia Eagles. And as you all may know, the Eagles haven’t had such a great season. But, I still watch their games every Sunday in hopes of a different result. It’s awful. There is another team though, that I’ve always supported. Another team that (hopefully I don’t jinx them) has stayed pretty consistent throughout the years. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the San Antonio Spurs. Last year, the Spurs finished first in the Southwest Division and went all the way to the Western Conference Finals, losing to a very good Oklahoma City team. But, what’s even more impressive is the fact that some of the Spurs players were old enough to be in nursing homes. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli have all been around in the league forever. They’re proving a point – having an “old” team isn’t always a bad thing. Usually, getting older in the NBA either means you’re injured all the time, you’re close to retiring, or both. But of course, there’s always that e-word that definitely counts for something: experience. The Spurs won their first three games of the season by an average of six points. I have no doubt that the fact that they’ve been in so many close games before allowed the Spurs to close easily close things out. That is why I’m picking San Antonio to go back to the Western Conference Finals. It’s a toss-up between Oklahoma City and Houston for the other spot. Now that the Rockets are getting some help from the bearded man (no, I’m not talking about Santa Clause) and Linsanity, I might just go with them. And, unfortunately, the Miami Heat will go back to the Finals. I’m sorry, but there’s no one in the Eastern Conference that can stop them. And they’ve got Ray Allen? Shoot – it’s a done deal. I’d close this with the cliché “It’s a long season – anything can happen” type of thing, but I’d be lying to you. The Heat will win it again. We might as well just put it in the books now. I still hate LeBron though. And that loyalty will never change. For comments on this column, please email to

Football team falls to Elder Alexander Wittenbaum


>>the sycamore leaf >>

Upcoming SHS Sporting Events Nov. 27 Boys bowling @ Fairfield 3:30 p.m.

staff writer

tarting in late August, the Varsity football team battled under the Friday night lights of Bud Acus Alumni Field. The Aves finished the season with a 9 – 2 record, making the playoffs for only the second time in six years. Their season came to an end when the team battled Elder High School at “The Pit” on Nov. 3. An offensive explosion came from both teams, as the Aves lost by a mere touchdown, 49-42. “I felt bad that their season had to end in a game that we did not play our best,” said Scott Dattilo, head coach.

Nov. 28 Girls bowling vs. Hamilton 3:30 p.m. Nov. 29 Swimming vs. St. X/Seton 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 29 Girls basketball vs. Princeton 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 29 Chess vs. Princeton 4:00 p.m.

Team effort

The team was lead this season by quarterback Greg Simpson, 11. In the season, he completed 53 percent of his passes thrown for 1,024 yards and 13 touchdowns. Simpson also led the team in rushing. He carried the ball 231 times, for 1,915 yards. His longest rush was for 70 yards in the playoff game against Elder. He scored 28 rushing touchdowns and only fumbled the ball three times. He led the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) in rushing yards and has the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in the last five years at SHS. “Greg had a great season and did a tremendous job leading our team. He is a unique talent,” said Dattilo. Caleb Coletts, 12, lead the team in receiving for the year. He caught for 648 yards and accounted for nine touchdowns. He also averaged 28.2 yards per catch. The defense was also strong. Joshua Hunter, 12, Donnie Stewart, 12, and Ryan Gaffney, 12, led the defense, with a total of 17 sacks.

Image by Michael Saxon

QUARTERBACK GREG SIMPSON, 11, carries the ball forward. Simpson led the GMC in rushing yards this season and scored 28 rushing touchdowns. “Greg had a great season and did a tremendous job leading the team,” said Scott Dattilo, head coach.

This type of play from the team earned them second place in the GMC, only behind Colerain High School. One of the most memorable games of the year came against Colerain, who is predicted by experts to win the Ohio State Football Championship. The Cardinals barely edged SHS by a score of 28-21. This game showed that SHS was a serious contender for the GMC and beyond. SHS beat Lakota East by a score of 28-7, ruining their homecoming night. The game against Mason for the Battle of the Skies Trophy was dominated by SHS. Huge numbers from Simpson and

Image by Michael Saxon

Hunter helped the team take the rivalry game and secure a spot in the playoffs. The 2012 season marked only the fourth time in ten seasons that SHS had finished second in the GMC standings. They led the conference in rushing yards for the second year in a row.

Nov. 30 Boys basketball @ Milford 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 6 Swimming vs. Notre Dame 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 7 Boys basketball vs. Mason 7:30 p.m.

Moving forward

SHS will lose 20 seniors due to graduation. The team will still be lead by Simpson and many current juniors. Intense practice will start up after school ends in June, for the team to get ready for next year. After a rough end to this season, Dattilo had one last thing to add. “I want to thank the administration, faculty, and especially the student body for their support throughout the year. It is so encouraging that so many individuals support our program in such a positive manner. The pressure is on next year’s members of the Ave Cave to match this season’s,” said Dattilo. HEAD COACH SCOTT DATTILO looks on during a game this season. After finishing the season with a 9 - 2 record, Dattilo’s plans for next year have not changed. “My goals are the same - to maximize our talent and get the players to compete at the highest level,” said Dattilo.

Dec. 10 AQT @ Oak Hills 4:00 p.m.

Dec. 11 Boys bowling @ Oak Hills 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 12 Girls basketball vs. Mason 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 Boys basketball @ L. West 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 Swimming vs. St. Charles 5:15 p.m. Events according to GMC Sports site or respective online schedules

sports >>the sycamore leaf >>



Water polo swims to state

Successful season for second place teams Ethan May



staff writer

or the first time since 1988, the boys and girls water polo teams both made it to the state tournament and each accomplished an incredible feat by placing second.


A major change for the boys water polo team was announced back in the 2011-2012 school year. It was revealed that Paul Split would be the new assistant coach to head coach Nick Hellwig. The water polo team was able to achieve many successes during the season. Neither team lost to another Cincinnati team all year. “It feels good to see all of the hard work my team and I have put in this season to finally pay off. All those summer lifting sessions and hard swim sets have shown that they were important this year,” said Adam Ioas, 10. At Ohio Cup the boys took second place, losing only to Upper Arlington (UA) in the championship game. This was a good indication of the team’s standing mid season; things were looking quite good. With State in their sights, the boys were pumped up heading into post season play. SHS won their first two games at Regionals, beating St. Xavier 14-6 and Mason 8-5. They went into finals against UA, playing for the number one seed in the South. SHS was able to keep it close the first quarter, but it eventually got out of hand and UA won 12-2, taking the number one seed in the South. Now the team would have to play Mason for the number two seed in the South Region. They went in with confidence that they had beaten Mason once before in regionals. Mason was playing top polo that game, but so was Sycamore. At the end of the first three quarters the score was tied. In the fourth quarter, Mason was able to gain a one goal lead on the boys. With under 20 seconds left, Mason had the ball and all they needed to do to win was to hold on to the ball for the remainder of the clock. With little time left, Mark Hancher, 10, was able to steal the ball off a bad pass and draw a foul. With only a second and a half to go, Hancher picked the ball up and made a pass to Logan Mather, 11, who scored with no time left on the clock. The boys headed into overtime with momentum on their side. The team was able to fend off the Comets in overtime and take the game 11-9. They entered the state tournament as the number two seed in the South, behind UA. In the first round of the state tournament, the team faced the number one seed in the North: St. Francis. However, the boys had already beaten them earlier in the season, so they knew that they would be able to win. The team came out hot and took a huge lead at the end of the first quarter. St. Francis fought back, but the boys ended up victorious with a 9-7 win. That is when they entered the state championship game against UA. SHS had never beaten UA in the regular season. UA came out to play, shutting the boys down. UA won the game 17-2, and the team took second place in the state. This was an achievement, having not been accomplished in 24 years. Although graduating seven seniors, the boys water polo team looks to have a bright future with its several young, talented players who were crucial to this season’s success.





All photos courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography

1. VARSITY CO-CAPTAIN Anna Condron, 11 was a difference maker on the girls water polo team this year. Her incredible performance at State earned her a spot on the First Team Ohio Water Polo state team. 2. Boys water polo Varsity co-captain Stephen Ioas, 12 was the leading scorer on the team in the 2012 season, scoring 103 goals and made 43 percent of his shots. 3. Co-captain to Ioas Charlie Fry, 12 was injured late in the regular season and was out for the rest of the season. Up until he was knocked out, Fry led the team in steals racking up 54. 4. Katie Caldwell, 12 was the only senior on the team and co-captain to Condron. Caldwell was a factor on the defensive and offensive side of the ball leading the girls team in assists and steals.

Water Polo by the numbers


The amount of combined blocks by goalies Adam Darwiche, 12, and Anna Condron, 11.


The percentage of shots the girls Varsity water polo team made during the course of the season.

Number of steals the Varsity boys water polo team had. 124 of those came from Aaron Abraham, 12.



Amount of combined goals by the girls and boys Varsity water polo teams.

Like the boys, the girls team had a fantastic regular season. The girls only lost to two opponents, finishing the season with a final record of 32 – 6. “Improvement was consistent throughout the season. Our defense was outstanding and kept getting better. 32 wins is not an easy feat to accomplish. The more our girls worked the better they got,” said Mr. Gary Tameris, head coach. Leading the team was Katie Caldwell, 12, the only senior on the team. “It was weird [being the only senior] at first. I felt enough pressure being a captain, but being the one senior added to the pressure,” said Caldwell. “But, I ended up really liking it. I enjoy having leadership roles and the team was like one big happy family.” Caldwell’s season earned her a spot on the First Team on the Ohio Water Polo state team. Goalie Anna Condron, 11, also earned a spot. Before the post season tournament, SHS played Upper Arlington numerous times. They only managed to beat them once, but showed improvement each time they played them. “Our first game was actually against UA and we got absolutely demolished. Then, the next few times we played them we got progressively better,” said Caldwell. The girls finally managed to beat Upper Arlington at UA’s home pool with a score of 5 – 4. “It felt amazing to beat UA. That was the first time we played them at their home pool and its great that we beat them,” said Caldwell. The girls team advanced all the way to the State Finals, beating out teams such as Mason, Thomas Worthington, and Milford along the way. The team has not been able to advance to the State Finals in numerous years. This set them up for yet another rematch against Upper Arlington. SHS did not come out on top, losing to UA once again. “Its frustrating – UA has always been our big rival. Unfortunately we didn’t beat them when it mattered,” said Anna Mondro, 11. However, there is still a lot to be accomplished next year. The fact that the team is only losing one senior will make them a lot more experienced next season. Mondro, Condron, Erin Glass, Morgan Grzegorzewski, Lindsay Grzegorzewski, and Gina Schwegmann, all juniors, played a significant role on the team’s success this season and will return as seniors to carry the team next year. “I’m so excited for our girls. We had such great chemistry this year, and with the team consisting of pretty much the same players next year. We had not only such strong juniors, but also sophomores and freshmen who contributed. I’m confident that next year they’ll be one of the best team in Sycamore history,” said Caldwell. The girls will go into next year with experience and high hopes of a state title. Coach Tameris says it is up to them to dictate the success of the program. “These girls coming back have to decide how good they want the program to be. It takes the desire to get better in the game of water polo. Everyone has to set the example and make the commitment to be better. It’s not an easy job to be number one,” said Tameris. The girls will look to have another fantastic season next year during the 2013 season. With only one senior graduating, a lot of talent will be left for Coach Tameris to work with.

18 11.16.2012

Getting chills: Victoria Swart

broadcast editor-in-chief


any schools have a preseason conditioning program for their spring track runners. What many don’t have, however, is a winter track team like that of SHS. “It gives us an advantage over those schools that don’t get started until the spring,” said Lisa Ruffin, 10. The winter track team acts as a recognized sport of the OHSAA, with organized practices and meets on the weekends. These meets are on college campuses that contain an indoor track, and teams from all over Ohio come to compete. “Winter track helps get us in shape, and we get to be with the people who we will run with during the spring season. It also helps us get mentally prepared for competition,” said Chelsey Wade, 12. The team will compete in only five to six meets this year. This is because the main focus of winter track is preparation for spring track, not the actual competition itself. “This year, we are starting two weeks earlier for the winter track season. This is because I want to win the league for the spring season. I want SHS’s runners to be as prepared as possible for the competition they will face in the spring,” said Mr. Hank Ray, head coach. The runners had their first meeting on Nov. 1 to meet the faces they would be competing with for possibly two full

Flyerettes given opportunity to perform at UC

>>the sycamore leaf >> sports

Winter track meets, plans for season

seasons. This meeting also gave Ray a way to communicate his plans for the spring season. “We are going to be going to meets this spring that are actually going to challenge us and help us to improve. By doing this, no one will know our skill level when we get to the more decisive competitions,” said Ray. One of the reasons winter track exists is not just for preparation and conditioning, but for improvement of the track program as a whole. “We need their expertise in their specific events, no matter what event that may be,” said Ray. That improvement is achieved through teams that work together. In order to work together, a team has to be able to have a trusting bond from the many experiences they share together. “It’s hard to be at meets all day with someone you don’t get along with. One of the great things about our program is that our runners are friends with one another,” said Ray. The first winter track meet will take place in Jan. of 2013. Until then, the runners will be working to prepare their minds and bodies for the obstacles of competition.

Nakul Narendran sports chief

Photo courtesy of McDaniel’s photography

For a video on winter track, visit:

year was so great, UC required a video submission of the team. The Flyerettes were chosen to dance at a game again based on our video submission,” said McNamara. However, based on the number of applicants, UC was forced to require each team to sell 50 tickets in order to be able to appear. This may seem a bit of a hassle, but the girls did not think once about Kathryn Tenbarge denying the opportunity. spotlight chief “Despite having to sell so many tickets, I’m so excited! Last year, the SHS The experience of dancing dance team was given the in front of a new crowd in opportunity to perform at a new environment will be the University of Cincinnati awesome,” said Emily Spry, during a men and women’s 10. This is Spry’s first year basketball game. being a part of the Flyerettes. Flyerettes coach Ashley The cheerleaders at SHS also McNamara received an email performed at UC last year, and invitation and jumped at the may possibly dance again this chance to year. participate All of the during The experience of dancing in teams cheered halftime. front of a new crowd in a new together, “For the displaying a UC games, enviornment will be awesome. mash-up of I have songs and always Emily Spry, 10 dances from past had the performances. team dance their best dances, “I thought it was a great, which are generally upbeat, fun opportunity for us. It hip hop dances. The girls was really special because have more fun with these the UC cheerleaders were the types of dances, and it shows instructors at camp,” said in their performances,” said Clara Chuey, 10. McNamara. All in all, the experiences The team enjoyed the change were impactful for coaches and in scenery presented at last students alike. year’s performance. “The experience for me as “It is great that we got to a coach has been remarkable. be the first Flyerette team to Last year at the UC games, perform at UC!” said Lauren the girls performed like a Altemuehle, 11. college team. I look forward This year, the Flyerettes were to this year’s performance, as invited again to show off their I feel like it is going to be even skills. better than last year!” said “Because the response last McNamara.

Bengals take deep slide

ROSIE MENYHART, 10, RUNS after school as a part of winter track. Those who participate in winter track gain an edge over runners who do not. “I want SHS’s runners to be as prepared as possible for the competition they will face in the spring,” said Mr. Hank Ray, head coach.

Reality Check

If you had to pick one quarterback from the NFL to lead your team, who would it be and why? Michael Saxon

sports chief

As much as I would love to pick Michael Vick, he has let me down way too much this season. So, I’ll go with Peyton Manning. Maybe he needs to have neck surgery more often, because I can’t remember a time he’s looked this good. Peyton has made a definite statement to everyone who had the nerve to doubt his ability to play and I’ll admit, even I was a bit hesitant to believe he would ever be 100 percent. But, he’s proved us all wrong, and has the Broncos playing better than ever.

Isaac Harmon

associate editor

He was the NFL’s 2011 Offensive Player of the Year. He broke Peyton Manning’s NFL record for most completions. He broke his own record for completion percentage. He has a touchdown in 51 straight games. Oh, and he broke Dan Marino’s 27-year-old, singleseason passing record, passing for 5,476 yards. He also threw for 46 touchdowns. Drew Brees is a threat to opposing defenses every time he drops back. If you look at what he has done the past few seasons with New Orleans, he has been a machine.

Nakul Narendran

Casey Rayburn

I would definitely take Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback. Although many people, such as the reporters on ESPN, claim that Eli Manning is the best fourth quarter quarterback, I would want an experienced, winning quarterback who can play intelligently throughout the entire game. Although Tom Brady has his three Super Bowl rings, I think that Rodgers will win at least three himself. He has a strong arm, a strong mind, and a strong sense of the word “team.” He passes to the first receiver that’s open, not his favorite.

Even if your favorite team is the Giants, Eli Manning will still be overlooked by Peyton. Even when he won his second Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP, Peyton still overshadowed him with the question of what team to sign to. Eli doesn’t get the credit of what he has earned. Eli Manning is the guy to pick as your quarterback. He has the highest fourth quarter rating out of any quarterback in the NFL. Last year, he led a team that could barely make the playoffs to win the Super Bowl. You can’t spell elite without Eli.

sports chief

staff writer

For suggestions on what should be debated in the next Reality Check, please email

“Who dey think gonna beat them Bengals?” Well I guess we know now. The Bengals have lost four games in a row to the Dolphins, the Steelers, the Browns, and the Broncos. Now sitting at 3-5, the Bengals are going to have dig themselves out of a major hole if they have any hope of reaching the playoffs. Not to mention that they are playing the defending Super Bowl champions next week, the Giants. At this point, I have no confidence in the Bengals. If I had to make a prediction for the Bengals and Giants game, it would be a complete blowout, courtesy of Eli Manning and the Giants. And to make matters worse, our division rivals, the Steelers, just beat the Giants. So at this point, it looks like the division is going to be won by either the Ravens or the Steelers, and the other team will come in second. So we’re not making the playoffs. The Bengals will always be my favorite team, and I will always have that little sliver of hope, even if we start out 0-8. But this year, we’re 3-5, and I feel like it’s just not there. I’ve already begun to start thinking about next year. On a positive note, we will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs in week 11, which is an extremely winnable game. If the Bengals don’t win that one, I don’t even know what to think. We’re so talented and young, but we can’t seem to pull out any of the clutch games. If those games go as I think, we’ll be at 4-6. At that point, we need to win the next two games as well against two teams that are not over .500. If we win those, sitting at .500 is not a horrible position. We may have a chance for a wildcard, but for that to be true, we need Pittsburgh and Baltimore to start losing games as well. Out of the four games that would be remaining, we need to win at least two of them. And one of those wins needs to be a division win. So I think if we play a good rest of the season, we could end with an 8-8 record. Not too bad. But of course, this is just my hope. The Bengals have let me down too much, so in my honest opinion, I don’t think we’re gonna make it to .500. I think it’s time for Marvin Lewis to go; he’s a great guy and all, but he has done nothing to impress me. If we can’t find anyone else, I think it’s Jay Gruden’s time. Cincinnati needs this; the Bengals need to step up. Just like the Reds did. For comments on this column, please write to

sports >>the sycamore leaf >>

‘Finally, I believed in myself’ Siler reaches career goal in final race



Joey Slovin staff writer

Ellen Martinson

chance to break 18 minutes, which has been my goal since freshman year. I had the confidence coming in from last track ince her freshman year, one season, and finally, I believed in myself” runner has been working said Siler. endlessly to break the 18 minute Along with the fastest time in the school’s mark for a 5k (approximately 3.1 history, Siler placed an impressive 5th at miles). Samantha Siler, 12, has finally the meet, making her the highest place achieved that goal in her final race of her finisher in the history of SHS. She can high school cross country career. consider herself the 5th fastest girl in Ohio. Siler competed at the OHSAA State “One of my biggest rivals Sydney Leiher Championships at the National Trail from Beavercreek, kept trying to pass me. Raceway in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 3. However, I thought that if I let her pass With the support of her teammates, Siler me now, I won’t have the nerve to pass her ran a 17:56 for a 5k, and finished 5th again, ” said Siler. overall. Siler beat Leiher, along with another “This year, more people than ever came one of her rivals, Kristen Seiler, 12, from to support me at State. I feel really close Colerain. They finished in 7th and 6th to all the girls, and that’s something I can’t place, respectively. say about the previous years. It was so Siler also earned First Team All-Ohio, an motivating having everyone there,” said award given to the top runners in the state, Siler. and Academic All-Ohio for her superior Siler broke two of the school’s records. grades. First, she ran the fastest time in school With record breaking times and the history, beating her previous record by 13 smarts to go along with it, it seems as seconds. The school record before Siler though Siler’s ambition and perseverance came along was 18:24. will produce a bright future. “I came in knowing it was my last


fun & games chief

SHS golfer makes history

Image by Sarah May

Marybeth Reinhold, 12, has finished the season with the second best average in the twenty year history of SHS girls golf. Because of her achievement, Reinhold was nominated for theLaRosa’s MVP of the Week.

Images by Sarah May


Girls soccer looks to freshmen players for future success Allison Oh

staff writer

ACT-SAT Prep Essentials ACT gains of 2-6 composite points & up to 11 subtest points!

Small group classes & individual tutoring Affordable rates Convenient Mason location


With nine seniors graduating from the SHS girls varsity soccer team, the team is excited to see the new talent brought in from the underclassmen. Farrah Brown, 9, managed to make the Varsity squad as a freshmen, but how exactly did she do it? Most people would say to impress a coach you would have to have the talent and skill to prove yourself. However, applying more than just talent, like a strong work, ethic will show coaches what you are really capable of doing. As a freshman, Brown had to show more than talent and skill to prove that she could handle the intensity of playing at the Varsity level. “I always try to work as hard as I can and I think it definitely contributed to making the team,” said Brown. Through things like pre-season conditioning, Brown was able to prepare herself for the obstacles ahead of her. “The conditioning really helps and it’s a good build up to playing a whole game,” said Brown.

The conditioning sessions are three days a week for the majority of the summer. However, these activities are not required, but Brown pushed herself, went to all of the conditioning sessions, attended three camps, and participated in one tournament. “Farrah always put forth her best effort,” said Katie Oh, 10. However, Brown was one among many girls that tried out. How did she manage to make herself stand out in a crowd of older opponents? With advice and tips from upperclassmen, Brown was able to reach her full potential. “I worked hard and practiced a lot. I also had the drive to become better as an individual,” said Brown. With players like Grace Louis, 9, who made the Varsity team as well, the upperclassmen are satisfied with their young talent. Also within the team of young talent are freshmen Eva Thorn, Julia Diersing, and Marissa Koster who all managed to play and practice with the Varsity squad this year.

High School Hysteria

What makes a good high school? Is it the academics, the amount of clubs, or the number of students that attend the school? Unfortunately, in today’s society, the status of a high school is determined by the athletic ability of the students in the school. It’s as simple as that. If your high school has good sports teams, then congratulations, you go to a outstanding school. But wait, what about the schools that don’t have the budget money to spend on important equipment, or a big stadium for the football team to play on Friday nights? Here at SHS, we are lucky enough to attend a school with an excellent balance of academics and athletics. We are also lucky enough to have over-the-top athletic facilities. Bud Acus Alumni Field, our home field located at Sycamore Stadium, is the site of football, lacrosse, and the occasional soccer game. On Autumn Friday nights, you can find Sycamore Stadium packed full up to the capacity of 4,500 students and adults, cheering on the Aviators. Renovated in 2006, Sycamore Stadium added features such as an artificial turf playing surface. The money that went towards paying for this was donated entirely from both alumni donations and athletic boosters. Needless to say, this was money well spent. Of course, we may not have a stadium that can compare to some other teams in the city, like Colerain, or especially Elder, in which the Aves recently faced their season’s demise in what the Elder Panthers refer to as “The Pit.” The Pit is a 3/4 bowl stadium set, seating about 10,000 people. While Sycamore may not have such a fancy stadium, we do have the Ave Cave, which is certainly a factor at every home game. However, where would our athletes be without an unbelievable workout facility that could fit in at a small college? Yes, I’m talking about the Gregory Center, given to SHS via a generous donation from Ted and Matula Gregory. The Gregory Center (which students refer to as the “Greg”) included a diverse sample of cardiovascular machines, strength training, and free weights. Placed conveniently next to the Gregory Center is the Aves soccer stadium. Built in 1972, the stadium holds an occupancy of 950 soccer fans. The team plays on a pure grass surface, which is kept short to make the ball and the game move at a faster pace. Take one look around Sycamore, and you’ll agree that our athletic facilities and our academics are in a perfect balance, something that we can’t say about every school in Cincinnati. For comments on this column, please write to

20 11.16.2012

Spotlight ‘The four the merrier’ Pruitt quadruplets rule basketball court >>the sycamore leaf >>

Kathryn Tenbarge


spotlight chief

wins are common. Triplets are less so. But how do people react when they meet, for the first time, quadruplets? “They are surprised because they never expect it and they don’t comprehend the idea that four kids were born at one time,” said Justin Pruitt, 11. Such is the life of the Pruitt quadruplets: Justin, Eric, Connor, and Katie. “I honestly love it. They are my best friends. I would not have it any other way,” said Katie. However, there are some drawbacks to having a crowd of siblings. “You always have someone with you and you know a lot of people, but sometimes you are not always treated like an individual,” said Eric.


Shooting, scoring, dancing

The Pruitt quadruplets share one more thing other than a birthday: Basketball. While Eric, Justin, and Connor all have played on SHS teams, Katie dances on the sidelines with the Flyerettes at games. “I am interested in different kinds of sports and statistics. I like basketball because I play it, and I know more about it,” said Justin. While Katie performs kick line, hip-hop, jazz, and pom styles of dance with the Flyerettes, she favors classical dance. “I prefer ballet. It is beautiful and challenging. It is a true art and I enjoy it,” said Katie.


CONNOR, JUSTIN, AND ERIC all played basketball for SHS’s Junior Varsity team during the 2011-12 season. Katie and the SHS Flyerettes typically perform in the annual Variety Show. Below, Katie strikes a pose in a jazz dance during last year’s Variety Show.

Music to their ears

Connor and Eric both like creating music. “I enjoy making music with my family and getting down on the dance floor with Justin. I also like human beat boxing,” said Connor, who prefers the music of decades past. “I like 80s pop because I feel like I am more in sync with the prior generations,” he said. Eric also embraces his artistic side. “I enjoy singing and playing basketball. I like to bust a move once in a while,” said Eric. All in all, the Pruitt quadruplets have unique qualities, but they work together as a family. “Arguments are inevitable but for the most part we get along,” said Connor.


Eric All images by Kathryn Tenbarge

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November 2012 Issue of The Sycamore Leaf  

November 2012 Issue of The Sycamore Leaf

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