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THURSDAY October 25, 2007 Volume LVII Issue III 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 513 686.12 1770 ext. 3089

newsbytes NHS Induction

New junior and senior members of National Honor Society will be inducted into the organization on November 8. The new members will be tapped and notified during school sometime at the end of this month. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre.

Little Sibs’ Day

Seniors, bring in a little sibling in grades 5-8 to school on November 8 for a fun-filled day of pizza, dodgeball, a scavenger hunt, and experiencing high school classes. Ask your homeroom teacher for a sign up sheet.

*Student Handbook on seemingly pointless school policies

picture by electra chornis


have to say

Discover students’ and teachers’ pet peeves in this month’s mini-mag. Rants include issues concerning open campus and internet access.

Local haunted houses provide big scares at reasonable prices. The Dent Schoolhouse , the Land of Illusion, and the USS Nightmare offer plenty of thrills and chills. Even the brave should think twice before visiting the haunts showcased on page 14.

Students anticipate Senior Halloween dress-up day JENNIFER LEE editor-in-chief

Pac-man characters. Monopoly pieces. Giant fruit. For the past three years, the seniors of 2008 witnessed the high school transform on senior Halloween as the classes before them packed the halls with the funniest, scariest, and strangest costumes. They watched as Ghostbusters, armed with Nerf guns, hunted down ghosts during class. They ogled at the sloth hanging in the Commons. They stared as Edward Scissorhands staggered through the halls. On October 31, they will finally get their chance to show off their creativity, outshine the past three classes, and maybe even

frighten a few underclassmen. “I’ve been looking forward to this my entire high school career,” said Lindsay Hill, 12. While seniors are allowed-- and even encouraged-- to get as creative and imaginative as possible, they are still expected to abide by normal school rules. This means no revealing garments or offensive costumes. If in doubt, seniors, think of another idea. Those who try to bend the rules on Halloween will be sent home-- and who would want to miss this special day?

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

Congresswoman visits high school ALEXA FOGLER associate editor

Senior Spotlight Concert

The orchestra Senior Spotlight concert will be held tonight at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium. The concert will feature all senior solists, who each chose a piece to perform, accompanied by the orchestra. Seniors Melodie Jeng, Adam Merz, Bill Pan, Jessa Ramsey, Lizzy Wei, Wenjun Zhang, and Adam Merz will be performing.

Senior Pictures, Baby Ads Seniors must turn in their senior pictures to room 115, or Mrs. Jardine’s mailbox, by November 1. Portraits should be wallet-sized headshots without sunglasses, cars, animals, or any inappropriate materials. Put your first and last name on the back, and if you want it returned, then place an address label on the back as well. The deadline for baby ad orders is also November 1. Forms can be accessed on

Yearbook Deadlines

Order forms for The 2008 Log are now available online at and at the front office. Yearbooks can now be purchased with a credit card. The deadline for yearbook orders is February 28.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

JEFF KETCHUM, MELANIE McLoughlin, and Alden Olverson are three seniors from the fall sports season who are being recruited by colleges. McLoughlin, who played on the varsity women’s soccer team, has already signed with Xavier University.

Sports recruits:

Fall senior athletes sought out by colleges



sports chief

his high school is not traditionally known for being an athletic powerhouse. More often, one would associate the school with academic excellence and cultural diversity. However, due to the football renaissance led by second-year head coach Scott Datillo and the ascension of the girl’s soccer program to national prominence,

this perception is changing. Numerous seniors from several fall teams are being recruited by colleges, including Division I programs and some extremely prodigious academic institutions. Most notably, players from the aforementioned football and girls soccer programs have been contacted by universities. The varsity football team seems to be well represented on

college recruiting radars. Several players have already gotten word from universities, and football recruiting has barely even begun. “The whole process will pick up when the college season is out. December will be a busy,” said Dattilo. Offensive lineman Jeff Ketchum, 12, has received


For one day, the high school felt a little more like Washington D.C. On October 16, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt came to speak to about 200 seniors in government classes about life as a representative and her political viewpoints. After the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Hamilton County came in as a guest speaker, Mr. Kevin Wittman, AP Government teacher, looked for someone from the Republican party of Hamilton County to come to his classes. When he called into Schmidt’s office to get contact information for a party leader, she said that she wanted to come in herself. Students expected her to talk about her life as a Congresswoman, but the majority of her lecture ended up focusing on her political ideals. “Jean Schmidt was interesting and entertaining,” said Christy Miller, 12. “But I wish she would have focused more on her duties as a Congress member instead of preaching her ideas to our student body.” Despite some disappointments, Schmidt still had many interesting anecdotes and points. “Now students have a better idea of who this person is and know some of her views,” said Wittman.

District denies additional bus driver inspections

Employees maintain clean records on existing state, county background checks KATE MOORE

managing editor

2-4 5-8 diversity 9 fun&games 10 feature 11-18 19-28 a&e sports 29-34 calendar 35 36 spotlight


news opinion

One in four bus drivers at Cincinnati Public Schools has been arrested in the past 16 years. During the decade that Ms. Melissa Horning has been Director of Transportation at Sycamore, not a single bus driver has received a positive drug or alcohol test. “Our policy is driven by the state of Ohio and by the Ohio Department of Education,” said Horning. Potential drivers must pass a number of tests and background checks in order to even be considered for hiring. Anyone who applies for the job submits a driving abstract, which describes the individual’s current driving history. There can be no more than eight points total and/or no six point convictions within the last two years. He/she must undergo two rounds of

fingerprinting; one for the Ohio state background check for misdemeanors and felonies, and another at the police station for the FBI. The latter went into effect on August 15, 2007. Now, an employee cannot begin driving until he has passed the FBI check. Bus drivers must also pass physical examinations and drug and alcohol tests. In addition, Senate Bill 38 clearly defines what transgressions and convictions cannot be found on a personal record. Even after a driver is hired, the restrictions of the Commercial Drivers License require that a certain percent of the drivers be randomly selected to undergo drug and alcohol tests. These checks usually occur four times per year. Despite these extensive precautions, Mr.

Greg Hartmann, the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, has newly offered to instantly notify public and private high schools in the event that a bus driver is arrested. Sycamore has not signed up for this service. “I’m just not sure how useful it would be, with already having the state and county background checks,” said Horning. Horning argues that the program will not help in hiring employees, as the database is limited to Hamilton County records. Only five schools have signed up for the service, but it proved beneficial for Cincinnati Public Schools, which was first to enroll. Other schools taking advantage of the program are Winton Woods, Southwest Local Schools, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, and Loveland City Schools.



Jill Cole


Julie Brook

Ken Richter

photos courtesy of candidates

School board candidates share platforms Hopefuls for board spot discuss goals, help district can cast educated votes on Nov. 6 JILL COHEN a&e chief

Jill Cole

District experience: • Five sons spent 20 years in district’s schools • PTO President, four years at two schools • President of the district’s PTO Presidents Council • PTO Secretary • Led and served on numerous other committees involved in fund raising, networking, planning events, and more Goals (if elected): Focus on the ABC’… ACADEMICS, BUDGETS, and COMMUNICATION • We need to maintain ACADEMIC achievement and excellence while guiding us into the future. • We must manage BUDGETS and address financial challenges with fiscal responsibility. • We must improve COMMUNICATION emphasizing strong community involvement. Why vote for me? If elected to the Board of Education, with the proven leadership experience and trust I have earned over years of volunteering in Sycamore Schools, I will strengthen the team that serves our children. I am committed to maintaining integrity, building trust and improving teamwork through sound leadership.

Julie Brook

District experience: • Participated in PTO/PTA, Room Mother, Sports Mother (Flyerettes, Hockey) • Substitute teacher • Worked for two years to prevent a course from being eliminated and to find a viable replacement (dual credit option) • Three board memberships (appointed) Goals (if elected): Plan and prepare for the future • Ensure an “Excellent” education for every student • Respect taxpayer dollars • Support the administration, teachers and staff Methodology to plan and prepare for the future: • More accountability/onus on those vested • Fiscally tight, proper investment • Increase fundraising, gratis/pro bono assistance • Ensure students are future-oriented: co-oping, dual credit options, foreign language requirements • Differentiate instruction to help all accelerate • Actively augment cultural/diversity competence • Technology adaptable for upgrades Why vote for me? I am a very hard worker and prepared to take on the role of a board member. This includes research into finances, tax laws, amendments to the Ohio Constitution, personnel, and education. My education in planning, my knowledge of finance and personnel, my tenure as a substitute teacher, plus my experience on three boards will lend itself to ensuring that we will be prepared for the future.

Ken Richter

District experience: • Current Vice President of Board (elected 2003) • Board Representative to Great Oaks • Completed numerous leadership courses from OSBA (Ohio School Boards Association) • Served the district on several committees, including Executive Advisory Council Goals (if elected): Continue to • Build and enhance relationships throughout district • Transfer good business practices to our district • Focus on academic and financial objectives • Ensure we serve the whole community and its children by maintaining a competitive advantage • Provide value to the community through the achievement of superior educational results in the most cost effective and efficient method Why vote for me? My personal success in business uniquely prepared me to transfer applicable team building approaches to my current board work, and over the past four years my expertise has been enhanced. Our district will stay on course with strong and effective board leadership. This comes about by setting high expectations, understanding the Board is responsible and holding the staff accountable for the execution of agreed upon goals. I will continue to seek improvement while maintaining impeccable trust, honesty and integrity throughout the community.

Hey, want to go to Germany?

Opportunity avaliable to participate in foreign exchange program ELLEAN ZHANG staff writer

When opportunity knocks, going for the gold is more tempting than a double-chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. During the week of September 24, 2007, a most fortuitous offer was made, involving a trip, bound for departure that very Friday. Ms. Marilyn Ray, AP European history teacher, though she brings history students to Europe annually, had never been to Germany. Thrilled to take part in meeting those in Blue Ash’s sister city of Ilmenau, Germany, she promptly packed her bags. Not only were Blue Ash’s teachers (mostly in language/ history departments) involved in the trip, but so was the police chief, city manager, other city leaders, and business representatives. Their mission: continue a peaceful acquaintance and maintain a healthy exchange. Ilmenau, being a progressive community balanced in residential and business development, is very much like

Blue Ash. As a compatible sister city, Ilmenau provides great prospects for businesses, economic development, as well as a cultural and social exchange. For Ms. Ray, the trip was quite the learning experience. “There was so much information learned from Germany that I could apply back in my classroom, for sure,” said Ray. Though her students will surely benefit from the first-hand knowledge Ms. Ray now has to share, she will always have those few “you just had to be there” experiences. For instance, emotions evoked by clinging onto a toboggan for dear life, zipping down an Olympic training run like a rocket, are hard to nail down exactly. Equally unforgettable was October 3rd: the seventeenth anniversary of German reunification. “To see all the Germans in the room standing and to

hear them all singing their national anthem…wow,” said Ray. Teachers and city officials are not the only ones who have been able to experience the foreign pleasures of Germany. Previous years have also brought students. Local schools like Ursuline Academy have been involved in summer exchanges already, as well as a Sycamore alumnus who visited in 2001, as the first high school student from Blue Ash. This upcoming school year, Blue Ash plans to continue the student swap, seeking to recruit roughly 12 local students to participate in a short-term (one month tops) exchange program. Since the extraordinary chance of a lifetime is now welcome to more people, those who are interested: jump on it—doors open up for a reason.




POLICE MONITOR PROTESTS against the sentencing of the ‘Jena 6’. The teens, who are black, were arrested for the beating of Justin Barker, a white student at their high school. The boys say that Barker provoked the attack by directing racial slurs at them.


from the University of Richmond, Bucknell, Princeton, and Harvard. Ketchum is uncertain of which school he will attend. “I don’t care, as long as it’s a good school,” said Ketchum. Standout corner/running back Alden Olverson, 12, is another who has been the recipient of attention from universities. Those in the running for his versatile skills are Robert Morris, Ohio University, Holy Cross, Bowling Greene, and Kent State. “As of right now I haven’t decided what I’m going to do. I will wait until December when coaches can talk to you. I feel about 90% sure I will play college football, and about 10% leaning towards going to college as a regular student,” said Olverson. In addition, linebacker Daniel Bauder, 12, is being recruited by a list of schools that would make any student jealous. The schools who have contacted Bauder include Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Dayton, and Washington University in St. Louis. Like the others, he has not yet decided on any university. “I just get a lot of mail,” said Bauder. “It [the recruiting process] hasn’t really started yet.” Football players, though, are not the only athletes who are being looked at to play at the next level. Defender Melanie McLaughlin, 12, of the varsity girls soccer team was recruited by several colleges; she ultimately signed with local Xavier University. Several others players on the team are reportedly being considered by colleges, but no others have yet signed with a school. Though it is only the fall season, the high school already has a solid list of athletes who could play at the college level. With such successful programs already in place and others on the rise, one can expect Aviator athletics to continue to draw the notice of college coaches across the nation.

Celebrating 50th anniversary of Sputnik JANE CHERNYAK

staff writer

October 13 was the anniversary of one of the greatest technologically advanced creations. Sputnik has transformed our lives; its effects laid the foundations for satellites and technology today. While Sputnik may be familiar to scientists and researchers, it may not be well-known to some. In 1957, Sputnik became the first artificial satellite to be launched from Earth. The Soviet Union was responsible for the successful launch. Literally, Sputnik means “cotraveler”. The size of a basketball, Sputnik took about 98 minutes to orbit the earth on its elliptical path, and weighed 183.9 pounds, much less than today’s satellites. “I knew that Sputnik was important, but I never realized that it led to the creation of NASA,” said Sonya Lipkina, 12. The building of Sputnik was a surprise to the U.S. Its creation meant that the Soviet Union now had the technology to build and send satellites long range distances. Thus, the launching of Sputnik began the space race. In order to commemorate the special anniversary, Europe will launch two ultra small satellites, known as Nanosats. “I think its great that the anniversary of Sputnik will be celebrated,” said Debra Lipson, 12.

Fast Facts about Sputnik Date of launch


End of mission


Weight Orbital period

183.9 pounds 98 minutes

photo courtesy of

Community, nation continue to rally around Jena 6 trials

Racism blamed for 18-month sentence KORTNI SCOTT


staff writer

ack in the day, racism had an enormous effect on the way African-Americans had to live their lives. Looking back in the past and even through a history book, one can see the separation and the mistreatment of blacks. In both the north and south, blacks and whites had separate bathrooms, restaurants, and even drinking fountains. Although they were supposed to be “separate but equal”, white facilities were always of better quality. All of the racism and the misjudgment should have been left in the past. Today, one would think that everyone is treated the same. However, for six black teenage males in Jena, Louisiana, history is being repeated. After a white classmate decided to hang some nooses from a tree in the school yard, the boys retaliated. They were arrested for the beating of a white classmate. Known as the Jena 6, these boys, Robert Bailey, 17, Theo Shaw, 17, Carwin Jones, 18, Bryant Purvis, 17, Jesse Beard, 15, and Mychal Bell, 17, are being charged with attempted murder. Bell is being charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy; if he receives the highest possible sentence, it would possible for him to serve up to 22 years in prison. The parents of the Jena 6 feel that this is an unjust result of racism, and Louisiana Governer Kathleen

Blanco has been encouraged to take action. “My son was not involved in this fight. This is pure racism,” said Tina Jones, mother of Purvis. “This town has always had a history of racism towards the Black man,” said Marcus Jones, father of Bell, in an interview with Final Call. “I am going to continue to fight for justice for my son.” “We had to put up property to bail out my son,” said Caseptla Bailey, mother of Bailey. “My son is innocent. This is a disgrace and it only manifested the racism that has always existed in this town and this country. They are attacking our young Black males so we have to fight.” “Our mission to Jena made clear to me that the “old south” is not so old that it is not without a pulse and heartbeat,” said Deric Muhammad, Houston Ministry of Justice Spokesman. “The U.S. congress and Black America [don’t] have to strain [their] eyes toward Darfur or South Africa to see apartheid and/or genocide. We need look no further than Jena, Louisiana.” The black residents have been mobilizing the last few months. They have organized protests and meetings, developed a NAACP branch headed by Secretary Catrina Wallace and created the Jena 6 Defense Fund Committee. The demonstrators are planning a major protest on the steps of the Jena courthouse on the day of Bell’s sentencing and are calling on everyone for support.

Tension builds Timeline of Jena 6 September 2006

After receiving permission from their principal, black students sit under a “whites only” tree at school. The next day, several nooses are found hanging from the tree. Three white students are suspended.

November 2006

A main building at the school is burned to the ground. Although authorities suspect arson, the crime is still unsolved.

December 2006

A white man attacks a black teen at a party; the man is charged with battery and put on probation. In another incident, a white student confronts three black students with a gun in a parking lot. The black teens manage to get the gun away from him.

December 4, 2006

A white student, Justin Barker, is attacked by a group of black students, who claim that Barker provoked the incident. Six black students are later charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Three inviduals are reduced to aggravated battery charges.

June 2007

Mychal Bell is convicted of aggravated battery and faces up to 22 years in prison. He remains in jail until he is sentenced.

September 2007

A judge clears Bell of the first charge, stating that he should have been tried in a juvenile court. The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton Plan a rally for September 20, the date scheduled for Bell’s sentencing after being convicted of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and second-degree battery charges.

September 20, 2007

Nearly 20,000 protesters turn out to fight against the unfair circumstances facing the Jena 6.

September 21, 2007

A judge in a juvenile court refuses to release Bell while awaiting the results of his appeal. In a different hearing, a judge refuses to remove Judge J.P Mauffray Jr. from the case, though attorneys argued that he had set Bell’s bail unusually high, at $90,000, and tried him as an adult.

September 27, 2007

Bell is released after his bond is lowered to $45,000 by a juvenile court judge.

October 2007

Bell is sentenced to 18 months at the Renaissance Home for Youth for violating probation based on previous convictions. His attorneys say there will be an appeal.





image by meena thatikunta

When getting rid of old electronics, individuals have two choices. If the electronic is thrown away, valuable resources will be wasted, guerilla warfare will be fueled in Africa, and levels of disease and pollution, especially in third-world countries, will continue to rise. If the electronic is recycled, reusable electronic components will be salvaged, and therefore help to stop pollution, African warfare, and needless electronic waste. Make the right choice, like Sycastud, and help save the earth.

Electronic recycling program comes to high school, helps environment, resolves global conflicts LEAH BURGIN


staff writer

n today’s fast-paced society, technology becomes outdated almost the instant it is put on the market. Basements, attics, and Mt. Rumpke can become cluttered with old electronics, and however benign this storage and trash may seem, certain electronics contain toxic substances that can pollute groundwater and soil. According to INFORM, Inc., over 65 million cell phones are currently stored within American households – a potential 30,000 tons of hazardous waste. These toxins, including arsenic, cadmium, and lead not only pollute the environment, but are also associated with causing certain types of cancer and reproductive, neurological, and developmental disorders.

Problem penetrates Africa

Harmful repercussions continue in the form of coltan, a mineral which is used to make capacitors in cell phones and fuels political insurgents in central Africa. The situation is similar to the story exposed in Blood Diamond: Congolese militias sell mined coltan to electronic companies for a cheaper price than coltan is sold for in Australia, the only other known location with a natural supply of coltan. “These political insurgents then use the money received from coltan sales to fund their army and intimidate those who live in the region,” said Mr. Ron Hochstrasser, Environmental Club advisor, “the situation becomes similar to that in Uganda concerning the Invisible Children.” By recycling the coltan used in the electronics, the reusable mineral will compete with the militia’s coltan market, thereby limiting the insurgents’ ability to purchase weapons and terrorize the Congo region.

A plausible solution

To decrease the environmental, health, and political repercussions of stockpiled electronics, an electronic recycling program, dubbed EcoPhones, has made an effort to collect and safely destroy or reconfigure electronics. Depending on the model and type of electronic, EcoPhones pays schools and organizations for their donations that are sent in.

Bringing the program home

Meena Thatikunta, 11, and Leah Burgin, 11, decided that EcoPhones was a great opportunity to preserve the environment and raise money for the high school. “We decided to call the program Green Brings Gold because we’re trying to introduce the school to green concepts, and earn money at the same time,” said Thatikunta. “Hopefully we’ll raise enough money to implement an environmentally friendly program for the high school.” Green Brings Gold will be executed through Environmental Club – as both institutions promote similar concerns for environmental awareness. “We care enough to do our part to help live a life-style that will hopefully help to discontinue the destruction and damage that we humans have done so far to the world we live on,” said Rebecca Kartal, 11. Green Brings Gold is scheduled to begin on November 1. Listen for announcements detailing drop-off information and program updates. Most students have at least one electronic that can be donated to the school - an old cell phone, an outdated gaming system, etc. “I think Green Brings Gold is a great way to get involved, help the school, and do my share in the environment,” said Will Kiley, 11. “It’s a win-win-win situation.”

Acceptable electronics for recycling: digital video recorders

cellular phones

DVD video games

DVD movies

video game consoles

MP3 players

portable DVD players

GPS devices

ink jet printer cartridges digital picture frames

laptops digital cameras

image by leah burgin






Jean Schmidt speaks to government classes Few seniors realize why DAVID DANNENBERG opinion chief

Students often hear about the importance of voting, whether it is from MTV, teachers, or the news. But rarely, if ever, do they get the notion that they are the subject of interest in Washington. This notion was instilled in over 200 seniors on October 15th, when Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) visited Sycamore High School and spoke to seniors who are taking a government course during the first semester. The most interesting part of Congresswoman Schmidt’s visit was undoubtedly her gracious question-and-answer session, which lasted for over an hour. Many students, however, were unenthused with her responses to their questions. The most common criticism I heard was that Schmidt rarely answered a question directly. Instead, she would veer off on all sorts of tangents, attempting to incorporate seemingly unrelated topics into her explanations. The problem with this critique, however, is that students do not understand the reason why Schmidt visited in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, her objective was not simply to gain support for her party, in which case it would have undoubtedly been a resounding failure. Granted, it is unlikely that Congresswoman Schmidt won many new admirers by visiting Sycamore. And it is similarly unlikely that she garnered many votes by answering most questions indirectly. But if gaining supporters and getting votes were her reasons for visiting, why did she seemingly fail in both regards? If one stops to use his brain for a minute, and thinks beyond the comical characterizations that could be made of Congresswoman Schmidt, they might remember that voter turnout in America is embarrassingly low (41.3 percent of the eligible population in 2006), and even lower for voters ages 18-29 (24 percent of eligible voters ages 18-29 in 2006). It seems unlikely that a member of Congress would visit a school and fail to meet her objectives for visiting, especially with such a diverse, impressionable audience. Perhaps Congresswoman Schmidt’s true objective, then, was not necessarily to recruit support for herself or her party, but to stimulate controversy and discussion. By answering questions obliquely, Schmidt made students think critically about a wide variety of topics. In other words, Congresswoman Schmidt’s visit was intended to cause controversy, because discussion stems from controversy, and people express their opinions in discussion. And, of course, opinionated people are more likely to vote than those who are politically apathetic. Voting, not recruiting, was the reason for Schmidt’s visit. The more people who disagree with her; the better. The more people who agree with her; the better. Because either way, she encouraged listeners to vote, and that was her objective. It is up to us to fulfill that objective.



staff editorial

October 29, 2004: the class of 2008 had its first taste of the perfection that is Senior Halloween. Seriously, the idea is flawless; when else in our lives will we not only be allowed to spend the entire day flaunting our creative genius in the form of elaborate costumes, but be expected to do so? Since that wondrous Friday, we have appreciated three classes’ efforts and imagination. “Remember the Miss America pageant?” we said to our friends. “Remember the brick wall?” Those few words are reminders of the lively chaos that is Halloween. However, a few of these seniors have also given us the opportunity to disparage their less-than-noble efforts. For girls this means wearing revealing clothing and either librarian glasses, a nurse’s hat, or animal ears; guys who are sent home have often gone the chauvinistic pig route. With these guides in mind, most of us have no doubt engaged in more than one brainstorming session over the last three years, trying to come up with an idea more unique, more eye-catching, and more hilarious than anything done before. Inevitably the question arises: will those students who view Senior Halloween as a rule-bending opportunity ruin it for the rest of us? The answer will depend, but it does not necessarily have to be yes. After all, most of us realize that the point of Senior Halloween is not to dress more inappropriately than usual, nor is it to waste time worrying about those who will. We know that the entire allure of the holiday (for yes, it is a holiday, perhaps even more sacred to seniors than Dave and Busters [but nowhere near the sanctity of OGT week]) comes from laughing with friends in the wee hours of the morning before the big day. It comes from presenting the fruits of our labor to the entire school. It comes from admiring the even more inventive works of our peers (while silently noting that our costume is obviously the best in the parade). And thanks to the policies of our administrators, those who do not choose to observe this holiday as whole-heartedly as others will not ruin it for everyone; they will only be asked to change into something more modest. As to those who simply do not want to put effort into a costume and are planning to skip Wednesday, we urge you to reconsider. This will be one of the best days of high school ever. And who knows, in three years it could be that very costume which this year’s freshmen recall when they are seniors, telling underclassmen, “You should have been there…”

discussion is not included in this definition. The Sycamore Leaf operates as an open forum for the healthy, robust exchange of ideas. Opinions expressed in the editorials are those of the Sycamore 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. Jardine’s mailbox, dropped off in Room 115, or e-mailed to: sycamoreleaf@ The Sycamore 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 Sycamore Leaf’s complete editorial policies can be found at http://goaves.

What do you think about Senior Halloween?

I hope that the costumes this year are not the same as last year. - Justin Butler, 12 I think it is fun, it is a senior tradition, and I especially encourage groups to be creative... group themes always seem to be the most impressive. - Mr. Christopher Kloesz, English teacher I am very excited to see the costumes that the seniors come up with. - Stephanie Post, 11

Editor-in-chief: Jennifer Lee Associate editor: Alexa Fogler Managing editor: Kate Moore Business managers: Mary Ann Jiang & Gabirose Keeton

Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, OH 45242

Mission Statement: The Sycamore 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

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leafing through the masses

News Wenjun Zhang Sanya Dosani Opinion David Dannenberg Melodie Jeng Humor Rob Friedman Feature Libby Henning Sharon Wagner Diversity Bobby Jungerwirth Rashmi Borah A&E Casey Manning Jill Cohen Sports Nadia Khan Will Johnston Spotlight Jacy Cagle Michela Tindera

Staff Writers Tyler Albl Brittanny Argyriou Noa Bellilti Kim Bernie Karen Buenavides Leah Burgin Jacy Cagle Jane Chernyak Electra Chronis Sam Cleary Ben Dhiman Ben Estes Alex Gennett Amanda Goldner Samantha Grubbs Elizabeth Henning Elizabeth Hoopes Daphne Hsu Kye Isaac Molly Johnson Jared Kamrass Jacob Katz Mandi Kipner

Ashleigh Louderback Maria Marballi J.D. Macejko Matthew Mendelsohn Adam Merz Emily Mondroe Liz Naugher Jake Newton Frank Pan David Pyles Kavya Reddy Vanessa Roland Evan Romansky Mark Rubio Matthew Scheer Kortini Scott Brynn Sharp Matthew Slovin Brandon Sosna Jeremy Spiegel Amy Streeter Garrett Steinbuch Michela Tindera Jack Wang

Hong Liang Yu Ellean Zhang Mini-Mag Marissa Gunnarsson Jack Liu Photographer Jeremy McDaniel Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: •Columbia Scholastic Press Association. •Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association. •Journalism Association of Ohio Schools. • Journalism Education Association. •National Scholastic High School Press Association. •Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers). •Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary.






diversity chief

ust because Harvard got rid of its early action opportunity does not mean the entire concept is corrupt. While there have been many arguments saying that early decision puts low-income students at a disadvantage, the fact of the matter is that early decision is an optional process. For some students, early admission is a beneficial opportunity to gain acceptance to their top-choice university. Since a lower number of students apply through early admission, chances of acceptance to that university rise. This does not, however, mean that universities lower their standards during early admission. A study done by the University of Tokyo found that in a majority of cases, the applications of students applying earlier were stronger, and therefore a greater number of students were accepted. Admission letters are mailed out by December 1, and upon acceptance, seniors need not worry about applications. If a student is not accepted into his top-choice college, he still has one month to apply elsewhere. The early admissions process also has numerous advantages for the university. It can reduce stress for admissions officers by having a fraction of the upcoming class selected ahead of time. In terms of financial aid, arguments stating that the students accepted through early admission are wealthier are not entirely correct. Across the board, the number of students applying for financial aid during early and regular admissions is about the same. At Stanford University, 36-40 percent of students applying early apply for financial aid, and the number of students applying for aid during regular admissions is 40-44 percent. With newer institutions of early admissions, such as early action and multiple early action, students who require financial aid can compare the aid from different universities. Without early admissions, the admission officers would have to spend a shorter amount of time reviewing more applications, sometimes as much as 30,000 applications within three months. This would limit how much time could be spent per application. And for those arguing that Harvard and Princeton got rid of their early admissions opportunities, keep in mind that the other five Ivy League universities kept theirs.

College admission puts stress on students

Early decision provides answer?

PRO&CON Things to do BEFORE November 1

1. Get elected as president of underwater basket weaving club 2. Send in scores for ACT, SAT, SAT II, AP, LMNOPQRSTUV 3. Withdraw money from college fund to book plane tickets to tour the entire East and West coasts 4. Iron dad’s college sweatshirt for admissions officer’s school visit 5. Build shack by mailbox for letter-awaiting in December Students applying for early decision must complete all the normal college application requirements weeks before most students even begin. This can cause students to become very stressed out, but if accepted, early decision can eliminate anxiety for the rest of the senior year.

image by sanya dosani


managing editor

The mere concept of binding Early Decision is proof of the evil in this world. Senior year revolves around the college process, from applications to acceptance. The idea of giving up my choice in exchange for a greater chance at getting in to the perfect college is incomprehensible. The charlatans in admissions do their best to scare prospective students into applying early decision by insinuating that the standards are lower. If a student thinks he has a low chance of getting in, he should apply early to increase his chances. After all, everyone knows that getting into college is just one big game. Every college or university wants to boast that its acceptance rate matches its attendance. It is to the institution’s advantage to play the early decision card. If everyone is willing to accept the binding factor, it is a win-win situation. The college gets to add the student to its percentages, and the student might actually get to attend. Early decision should only be considered by those who have grown up wearing Perfect U’s sweatshirts and will be the fifth generation to attend. Even then, it is dangerous to block out all other options. The best way to decide if any institution is worthy of the binding pledge is to visit the campus, sit in on a class, take a campus tour, and possibly spend the night in a dorm. The problem with this is not everyone can afford to fly out to California for a weekend. Early decision is not an agreement among friends; it basically signs one’s life away. Think about it: what teenager is ready to let someone else decide where she will be living for the next four years? In the end, it should be the student’s decision, not the school’s. Colleges already demand enough from prospective students. We all drag ourselves out of bed at six a.m. on Saturdays to take the SAT or ACT, some of us multiple times. Then we take the SAT II Subject tests. We max out on AP classes during our senior year. We accept more responsibility in sports, clubs, and the workplace, just in case that job at Kroger turns out to be the determining factor for getting into Yale. It is a sad day when the leaders of higher education attempt to bribe today’s youth with promises of nearly probable acceptance. 18 is too young to be selling out.

Final showdown: Starbucks or Caribou?

Enthusiasts continue debate over best coffee JANE CHERNYAK


staff writer

How many times do you get coffee a week—five, 10? The gourmet coffee industry has transformed over the past few years, and people have become more coffee-crazed than ever. With so many options in locations and caffeine-filled treats, it is no wonder that this onetime-indulgence-for-the-few, has become a ritual habit for many. “I love Starbucks--all the drinks they have there are so good!” said Sabira Sadat, 12. The well known coffee giant, Starbucks, has practically become a household name. The familiar menu is enticing, and most customers have their favorite drink memorized. Trying to get a quick coffee in the morning is anything but quick; there is usually a long line of sleepy people waiting for their morning caffeine. People are willing to go to such extreme measures because Starbucks offers a wide variety of gourmet coffee creations that appeal to everyone. “I’m not a big fan of coffee, but I can always find something I like,” said Debra Lipson, 12. Starbucks has its own unique appeal with its beverage choices,

staff writer

cozy and relaxing atmosphere, and popular meeting and study areas. Many people choose Starbucks over other coffee places, such as Caribou Coffee, because of its variety of drink options and familiarity. Now, even grocery stores carry Starbucks products because of the demand for coffee at all hours. Each coffee cup offers “The Way I See It” on it, which is a collection of quotes by famous and nationally recognized people. Many people enjoy this and are influenced to purchase Starbucks coffee over another brand. “I don’t really like the taste of regular Starbucks coffee, but all their drink choices are great,” said Sonya Lipkina, 12. Whether one loves caramel lattes or tea, Starbucks has something to please. Some say coffee is just coffee, but many disagree and say that they will only drink Starbucks—it is not just coffee to them, it is a part of life. With all the coffee places around one may wonder why Starbucks is so popular. Perhaps the easy accessibility of this coffee place makes it so appealing.

vs. photo by

As one of the largest specialty coffee companies in the United States, second only to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee has a bit of a reputation to uphold, which they seem to be doing just fine. There are many reasons to like a coffee shop. One may like it for the coffee, other drinks, the food offered, or just for the place itself. “One time, Caribou Coffee was more convenient, so I went there and I ended up really liking the atmosphere and the coffee,” said Michelle Tom, 12. “After that I went back a lot.” Despite the inherent popularity of Starbucks’ coffee and its taste, some still prefer the flavors and the pleasant aftertaste of many of the coffees from the somewhatlesser-known Caribou Coffee. “Their coffee has a bolder, richer flavor. It has a really fullbodied taste. Starbucks has more of a watery taste,” said Bryan Bader, 11. Caribou’s coffee is some of the best coffee in the world, as they assert on their website, using only the best ingredients and doing everything possible to preserve the natural flavor of the coffee.

Their decaf coffee is naturally decaffeinated by steaming the coffee to open the pores of the coffee beans. Water is then added to bring the caffeine out of the coffee. It is then dried and rebagged for sale and use. If one is not a big fan of coffee, Caribou also offers a variety of other drinks, ranging from hot chocolate to different teas, to several varieties of fruit smoothies. They also have many tasty treats, including muffins, cookies and scones, as well as bagels, snack bars, popovers, breads, and even sandwiches. “Caribou Coffee just feels a bit less stuffy to me, and I have many good memories there,” said Kimiya Kaluba, 11. Another reason to like a coffee shop is for the atmosphere inside. Caribou Coffee seems to be a little brighter and less serious than Starbucks. With a fireplace and comfy couches, Caribou allows customers to relax, read, and drink their coffee. “The atmosphere is way more laid back,” said Bader. “And they get you your drink faster.”




Teens struggle with high gas prices DAVID PYLES

staff writer

Teens these days are suffering from the ludicrous prices for fuel. Gas prices in the past four years have significantly risen and the government is now taxing up to 30 cents per dollar. Unfortunately, this affects many teens to the point where they cannot afford gasoline. Teens who buy gas may be spending up to $30 or $40 for just one tank of gas, which is absolutely horrendous. My reasoning for this is because I spend most of my paycheck from my part time job on gas. Also, I drive quite frequently, so I constantly have to buy gasoline. My solution for teens spending large portions of money is to simply drive less or perhaps get a job to make up for gas expenses. Also, driving less aggressively uses less gas. Make sure to take good care of the car, too. Tuning up a car, putting air in the tires, or getting a new clean air filter are all solutions that can help save a little bit of extra gasoline. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, whenever a person drives over 60 mph, he or she spends about an extra 15 cents per gallon every five miles. Thus, driving slower can save a lot of money. Some people may say that an alternative to cheaper fuel would be ethanol. However, ethanol costs twice as much to produce than gasoline and it takes twice as much energy to make it. So in reality, ethanol can be just as expensive as gas is today. Teens can beat gas prices by driving only when necessary, driving slowly, and less aggressively. In the long run this may help to save a lot of money in the future.

Students No Child Left Behind: Good idea gone wrong exercise their MARK RUBEO rights: staff writer

All-rap lineup at homecoming dance irritates some students TYLER ALBL

staff writer

During the homecoming dance this month, a faction of students rose in protest of the all rap and pop music on the play list. Headed by two seniors, some of the students planned a Homecoming “rave.” This “rave” was a movement to bring Electronica, Techno, and glow sticks back and in protest of the rap music that monopolized the play list of the dance. Over thirty people attended, yet the movement was halted by chaperons after just ten minutes. Their statement was made nonetheless. Why should dance music not be played at dances? There is not a reason. Beats and rhythms that were made for such occasions as Homecoming are being neglected. Maybe it is because of the current trend. Rap is popular, but a balance needs to be maintained. Favorites and traditions like The Cha Cha Slide (DJ Casper), Every Time We Touch (Cascada), or even the cult favorite Dragostea Din Tei/Numa Numa (O-zone) went M.I.A. Instead, we got rap, and the occasional pop song only thrown in “to provide sanity,” a staff member is quoted saying. Some say that there are reasons for the all-rap music lineup. The point is that dance music should be played at dances. That is why it was invented. Is that not obvious?

When the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2001, it promised to bring schools with lowering standards up to speed. Not only has it failed in that goal, but some would say it has actually made the situation worse. While the idea behind NCLB was sound, the execution was horrible. Poor funding and a lack of foresight caused the bill to do more harm than good. Under NCLB, states are required to test students periodically to make sure they are “up to speed” in required subjects. Standardized tests, like the OGT, are used to do this. However, because states are free to

make their own standardized tests, it is very easy for states to lower standards to improve test scores. Missouri has openly admitted to doing just that. National standards could easily solve this problem, but they have not been implemented. As if that is not enough, the requirement of standardized testing has encouraged schools to make curriculums more narrow. Suppose the only problems on the math OGT were simple addition (i.e. 1 + 2 = 3). A school could focus on teaching simple addition, while ignoring everything else. Students would do well on the OGT, but may not even know how to subtract.

Back-to-basics test taking skills

Careless mistakes on SAT ruin score KIM BERNIE

staff writer

Every test taker’s worst nightmare is marking answers in the wrong section. Typically, students can only imagine such a dreaded experience. But for me, this nightmare is all too real. I was fully prepared for the SAT: number two pencils, calculator, glasses, good night’s sleep, and a hearty breakfast. However, one aspect I forgot to cover was the simple concept of making sure I was copying my answers to the correct section. It all started when I saw the test proctor standing in front of my desk. All I could think was “get away from me, I’m trying to concentrate.” She then explained how I was not allowed to work ahead. I thought that the lady was crazy. But then, my SAT horror story came to life. Tears started to flow from my eyes. My college future was potentially ruined. Filling in circles is an easy task. However, if by chance a bubble is accidentally skipped, most likely a student does not realize what they have done. So, my advice to students: be careful. Sure, classes and tutoring help to get higher scores, but make sure to think beyond vocabulary words and algebraic equations. Use common sense, and take the time to make sure the answer is in the correct section. In order to avoid reliving my nightmare, I recommend looking at the section on the test, and then putting a mark of some sort on that same section on the answer sheet. This helps immensely, especially when other sections are blank below. Skipping answers is almost inevitable. However, to make certain that you do not mix up answers with questions that are skipped, make a dash next to the question. This helps to remind not to fill in a bubble of a skipped problem. One last word of advice: do not worry if other people are on different sections. I became nervous when other students were punching numbers in their calculators. The SAT is much different than the ACT. Not everyone is on the same section, so do not worry when other people are not using a calculator and you are. It is meant to be that way.

In addition to these problems, NCLB has some hidden “add-ons” which have little to do with education. For example, the law requires that schools give the military whatever they send to colleges, and allows the military to request personal information on any student. While there is an opt-out option, it is not well-known and often not used. While this should not have been in the bill, the opt-out should at least be more accessible. In short, NCLB was a good idea gone horribly wrong.




Risk factors for

Halloween candy



staff writer

et your sweet tooth sing on Halloween with princesses and beasts on every street. When masks of goblins and tales come to life, swing your bag up high and be proud of your success. Go home, watch TV, and eat the night away, for you have indeed enjoyed your Halloween. Then, take off your mask and costumes and go to sleep with an upset stomach. For most children and teenagers, this is indeed the way we enjoy our Halloween. It is a night to remember with adrenaline pulsating as we run to every house. Then we are comforted by our candy as the night slowly starts to drift away.

Nutritional facts

photo by melodie jeng

THE SUGAR IN candy causes tooth decay and excess acids. Two bars of Twix have 28 grams of sugar while one pack of Sour Patch Kids has 29 grams of sugar. Fortunately, not all teenagers still trick-or-treat. For benefits or disadvantages on trick-or-treating, read below.

Some known and common candy distributed on Halloween are Sour Patch Kids, Twix, Smarties, and Snickers. Although these candies are delicious, they can be bad for your teeth and waistline. The major ingredient in each of these candies that contribute to their high calorie content is sugar. In 16 pieces of Sour Patch Kids, you could be eating up to 29 grams of sugar. By eating two bars of Twix you consume 28 grams of sugar. Smarties will give you 6.3 grams of sugar in one roll. And Snickers has 28.1 grams of sugar in only one bar.

Risking it

Not only is sugar bad for you, but refined sugar is even worse. Refined sugar contains nothing that is valuable to the body. While you are eating refined sugar, your body borrows nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Many times, so much calcium is taken that the sugar weakens the bones due to the lack of calcium. Refined sugar is also bad for the teeth, as they slowly lose their enamel. If sugar intake is continued, an over-acid condition will result. More minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues.

Breaking the habit

Breaking the habit may be hard, because as addictive candy and sugar is, it comes at a price. Take notice that it takes 11 times to make something a habit. Whether you are going trick or treating or just out to eat, do not be fooled by titles that say “diet” or “light,” because in truth, these things could be as bad or just as worse as regular drinks or food. And remember, your body is one of the most important things you own, so treat it well.

Trick-or-treating teens at Halloween


‘One word: candy’ Alternative activities


Why teens are never too old to trick-or-treat

Parties, festivals, volunteering offer fun too



spotlight chief

For some very odd reason many teenagers find the idea of running around in a Harry Potter costume at night with friends while cramming as many Reese’s Cups, Snickers, and Skittles into a pillow case as humanly possible an incredibly repulsive idea. I am not one of those teenagers. For me, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And the event of trick-or-treating, the epitome of all things Halloween, is what I pretty much base the month of October off of. There are just so many fun activities that go along with trickor-treating; the frantic running from house to house, the candy trading. It seems more questionable as to why someone would choose not go. “I go trick-or-treating because you get to dress up and act stupid for a night,” said Angela Messina, 10. For those teens that do go trickor-treating, the dressing up part seems to be almost more important than the candy. For one night, teens can become virtually anyone or anything that they want to, ranging from the classic pirate or nerd all the way to a ketchup bottle or a cow. For many teens there are more important parts of trick-or-treat never grow too old for.

BRYNN SHARP staff writer

news chief

“One word: candy,” said Alex Dimasso, 10. To be given the chance for at least a pound of free candy that can be enjoyed for weeks to come and not take that opportunity is pure insanity in my opinion. Despite all the positive aspects trick-or-treating has to offer, many high-school age students feel that they are too old or too cool to go. When in reality, they are the ones missing out. Trick-or-treating gives teens the opportunity to feel like little kids again for one night without looking completely idiotic. Imagine the look you would get from those unsuspecting parents passing out candy if you went trick-or-treating at age 40. “Once you get older you’ll regret that you spent your time as a kid running around in silly costumes, pigging out on candy rather than thinking you’re too cool to go trick-or-treating,” Georgia Ottoni, 10. Just be sure that if you do decide to trick-or-treat (which is the best choice), that you particpate in the full spirit of Halloween and have some kind of costume on. It is more fun that way, and parents are usually willing to give out more candy.

Of all the demon-worshipping holidays, Halloween is definitely my favorite. I love the jack-o-lanterns, the haunted houses, and of course, trick-or-treating. The door-to-door candy pilgrimage is without a doubt one of the finer points of this holiday—or at least it used to be. Now, after over a decade of trick-or-treating, it might be time to move on to bigger and better things. There is no reason to let this holiday slip by unnoticed; there are other ways to make Halloween sweet and spooky. To avoid missing out on the tricks and the treats of Halloween, throw or attend a party. This is a triple win situation: one can still get the “thrill” of becoming someone else for a day, eat candy (and other Halloween-themed treats), and interact with people who are bigger than their trickor-treating bags. Try playing Halloween games, watching scary movies, or just hanging out in costumes—whatever the activity, candy is guaranteed (which is more than I can say for a 16-year-old trick-or-treater). For those who are really desperate to walk the streets on Halloween night check out King’s Island’s Halloween Haunt, formerly known as Fear Fest. This almost guarantees encounters

What is the best candy?

with scarier things than an appledistributing neighbor. Promised to be even more frightening than in past years, Halloween Haunt is a must for scare enthusiasts. Finally, if arises the uncontrollable urge to trudge through a suburban development in the dark, make it for a good cause. Through its Trick or Treat for charity program, UNICEPT has been enlisting youth volunteers to go door to door on Halloween night and collect monetary donations for children in developing countries. Ask a local non-profit organization about existing trickor-treat for charity programs or organize one with some friends. After years of enjoying countless pieces of Double Bubble and Snickers bars, perhaps it is time to give someone else a chance to enjoy…clean drinking water…or immunizations. I personally have nothing against trick-or-treating—anyone who chooses to treat among the Power Rangers and Caspers of the neighborhood (or be one of them), should be allowed to do so. Keep in mind, however, that there comes a point where a pirate outfit stops looking like a costume and starts looking like a lifestyle.

19% Snickers 16% 3 Musketeers 15% Starburst 13% Twix 12% Milky Way 10% Kit Kat 8% Sour Patch Kids 5% Reeses Cup 2% Crunch Bar Based on a random survey of 100 people




Soccer feud pushes on French Club victorious over German Club after last year’s defeat



diversity editor

fter last year’s defeat, the French Club challenged the German Club to a rematch of their annual soccer game. Internationally, Germany and France are long-time soccer rivals, which acted as an incentive for the German Club-French Club soccer rivalry. “This match was really fun for both clubs,” said Mrs. Tara Martin, German teacher. On October 9th, club members from both global language departments met on the girl’s practice soccer field to play out their game. The German team came prepared with flags and face paint, while the French Club dominated in numbers. Both teams had people cheering them on from both sides. The game began with a swift 2-0 lead from the German team, led by Christine Cocoran, 11 and Frank Bakes, 12. Josef Kisor, 12, had a number of saves in the goal. After this lead, however, the French team made a swift comeback. Ahmed Saleh, 11 immediately stood out as a leader on the French team. By halftime, the score was tied 2-2, with the French team scoring two goals. After halftime, the tension in the game grew, and goals were becoming harder to score. As the German team lost members, French players substituted in for the German team. The French team’s offense strengthened, taxing the German offense players. Both teams’ defensive sides faced considerable competition, as offensive players of the teams more or less charged. In the end, the German team struggled against the agility of the French offensive players, and the French team came out with a 4-3 victory. Overall, the game was fun for all team members, and the club members look forward to next year’s face-off. TIM FENSTERMAKER, 12 RACES with a French Club student to get to the soccer ball during the GermanFrench Club soccer game. Fenstermaker was one of the key players on the German team, and assisted with the first two goals scored by the German team. Despite the efforts of the German team, the French club emerged with a 4-3 victory after being down 0-2.

photo by casey manning


with Romy Darbitz, 12

Q. How do you like Sycamore so far? What is your favorite part of it?

A. Yes, I like it a lot, because the school system in Germany is entirely different. In Germany, I was in school with 300 people; it is exciting for me to have this experience. I love how there are so many after-school activities and big football games, since there are not any football games in Germany. I also like how Sycamore has a lot of technologies, materials, [and instruments] available for students. Everything is so different; foods, people, culture, pretty much everything. If I was to name one, it would be the diversity America holds.

Q. When did you arrive in the United States? A. I was in Boston for two weeks and came here with two

others to Cincinnati with an organization called Education First,. I live with a house mom with no house siblings but my house mother has two dogs. I have a brother in Germany

Q. What are you planning to accomplish while you are at Sycamore?

A. To improve my English, because it is such a global

language and it is very important [for creating career opportunities] in Germany


ibling rivalry causes problems

tudent, twin attend different schools

KAVYA REDDY calendar chief

Homework, social life, and stress are three items that make a teenagers life a living nightmare, but to one student, sibling rivalry was a rising problem. It was so much of a problem that they had to attend different schools. Sarah Perlman, 11, and her twin sister Rebecca now attend different high schools because of problems that they had encountered through middle school. The duo attended Yavanah School until the sixth grade, when her sister transferred to Seven Hills School. The parents had decided Seven Hills would be a better fit and the smaller environment would fit Rebecca’s learning style. “We don’t get along, and if we did go to the same school now, we would kill each other,” said Sarah. While many kids are lucky enough to become best friends with their siblings, studies illustrate that it

is very common for brothers and sisters to fight. Sibling rivalry often starts before the second child is born, but as the kids grow older, they may tend to compete for everything, including toys and attention. At different stages, different children can have evolving needs that can drastically affect they way they interact with one another. “Siblings really influence each other a ton in positive ways. In my case, my brother became more sensitive and mature and I became more communicative and analytical,” said Samy Sekar, 12. It may be frustrating for parents to watch and hear, as it consequently makes a stressful household for everyone. Yet, many times parents do not know how to stop the fighting coupled with the fact that many parents get involved at the wrong times.

photo by nadia khan

SARAH PERLMAN, 11, AND her twin sister Rebecca now attend different high schools. It is a result of their learning styles as well as their conflicting personalities.

“Rebecca and I never hang out really, not even on vacation. We are involved in totally different things... she is into volleyball and acting. I get along way better with my sister who is two years younger than with her. Now that we don’t even share a room anymore, I don’t talk to her as much,” said Sarah.





JILL COHEN a&e chief

Unscramble the letters, then write one in each box to form six common words.



ll co

he n



Now, take each circled letter and rearrange to answer this question:

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? “


1 9

ROB FRIEDMAN fun&games chief

Have a funny story or poem about Thanksgiving?


Submit your humorous piece of writing and it will be published next issue!!!


4 7




Fun in grid form

Contact Mrs. Cheralyn Jardine or Rob Friedman in Room 115!


6 9

3 8

4 1

7 6 Fill in each


8 2 7 3 2

8 4 2 9 3 4 2 7 3

1 1 2 7 4

box so that every row, column, and box has the numbers 1-9. Make sure that there are no repeats!





BOA finals

page 18

Weekend with Dr. Seuss


associate editor


From left to right: Two students break it down at the dance on Saturday night. Terrence White, 11 and friends perform to “Crank Dat” by Soulja Boy at the pep rally on Friday afternoon. For weeks, student council worked on decorations for the Dr. Seuss themed dance.

Navigating Goaves

page 18

Depression and anxiety

page 17

Above: The football team prepares for the game against Princeton. Mary Plona, 12 and Jeff Ketchum, 12 (Trevor Lothrop, 12 stood in for Ketchum) were named homecoming queen and king. Right: Alden Overson, 12 scores a touchdown at Friday night’s game.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

‘07 Fall fashion arrives WINNING BRITTANNY ARGYRIOU


staff writer

ramatic eye shadows, dulled colors, simple shirts and dresses. These are a few of the fall fashion trends. Simple colors like dark browns, oranges, reds, royal purples, and black, are very common colors of fall trends. Wearing a simple v-neck shirt with a pair of dark jeans and a dramatic large belt is the simplest outfit to wear this fall. Long earrings with dull colors can dress up a shirt. Wearing multiple necklaces can show of the personality of the wearer. Along with v-neck and dress shirts, sweaters and turtle necks have become the most popular thing to wear. Wearing jackets over turtle necks or a v-neck shirt gives off that sophisticated classy look that some people strive for. Other accessories such as knitted hats, leggings, or high socks have become trendy to wear with dresses, shorts, and skirts.

Not only are they fashionable, they are also comfortable. Do not over-do the accessories; sometimes it might just be too much to wear. Scarves have become well known for being versatile. They can go from an evening look to becoming an everyday look for outfits. Just like clothing, shoes change with the seasons. High heels have become a popular trend to wear with sweater dresses or a simple shirt and jeans. Ballerina slippers are a simple solution as fashionable shoes to wear with jeans skirts, dresses, or every day outfits. “I think high heels will never go out of style, and I think ballet flats are awesome, cute, and casual but can still work for a formal casual look,” said Tamar Wiener, 11. The continuous pattern used this fall is plaid. Plaid can be found on scarves, dresses, skirts, and headbands in several combinations of colors. Animal prints like zebra and cheetah have also become popular.

With all of these fashionable looks comes another important detail: make-up. This season’s trend is proving to consist of simple colors such as pale pinks, deep reds, chocolate browns, tans, and gray. Lately, showcasing the eyes has become an important part of the daily routine. Starting with deep colors and evening them out with lighter shades highlight depth of the eyes and makes them more dramatic. The popular colors for lipstick and lip glosses are deep reds and pinks. This has become the “simple beauty” look. If the dramatic Marilynn Monroe look is not desirable, light pinks and pastels are another option. All these trends are showing up at wellknown stores such as Hollister, Abercrombie, and American Eagle. It will be interesting to see these fashions show up around school this fall.

HEARTS page 15 Six degrees page 16

Plaid, animal prints, high heels, accessories rule trends




When traveling through Cornell Road, keep going JD MACEJKO & ADAM MERZ staff writer


staff writer

very morning rarely differs for the high school student. It could start with a cell phone alarm clock waking them up with a grainy, 11 second clip of the Top 20 hit of the week. It is usually followed by a stumble to the bathroom, then a stumble to the closet. After downing a hearty helping of Pop-Tarts and Coca-Cola, the student starts his or her somewhat hectic morning commute. Out of all the events that are put on to bring a feeling of pride in the high school, of brotherhood and sisterhood, a feeling of “we all went through this together,” nothing brings a connection from the upperclassmen to the freshmen than the absolute circus that is the daily 7 a.m. Cornell Road traffic jam. Surviving this daily insanity requires good planning, a deep understanding of traffic physics, and knowledge behavioral patterns of the all-powerful traffic cop. There are too many times when a student leaves his house expecting to arrive at school within a reasonable amount of commute time. But he or she

Police officers are our only hope when it comes to controlling Cornell Road traffic in the morning and afternoon. Although it is still backed up, we thank them for doing their best.

did not take into account the fact that Cornell Road was specifically designed to prevent students from arriving at school on time. It’s true the roads around Cornell where the high school is located are not designed to handle its daily volume of traffic effectively. Because this is not really seen as a problem by the state government who maintain the roads, students are told to leave with this traffic jam in mind. There probably shall not be any cure for the traffic catastrophe. Students must learn to adapt to his or her environment. The daily challenges that students face while attempting to arrive at school on time are not unlike that

“ “ “ “

I time it just right to get past the traffic cop, but it takes years of practice and training.

David Tromblay, 11

image courtesy of

The morning traffic is horrible. Ben Rosenberg, 12

My magic is no use against the force that is traffic. Josh Samuels, 11

photo by jennifer merz

I hate the traffic jams, they make me feel lonely.

Adam Samuels, 11

of a guerrilla warrior in the sense that they are almost completely self sufficient in a treacherous and somewhat deadly environment. Boredom, hunger, dehydration, paranoia, dementia, fear, and rage can enmesh a student to the point of near insanity. According to an article written on WebMd. com, “Many mental health problems begin when emotional stress triggers chemical changes in your brain.” The Cornell Road situation is essentially a cesspool for mental anguish. Accordingly, if the reader finds themself in a bind of sorts, they can refer to this article as a reference.

I want to be a traffic cop when I grow up. Ashleigh Karnell, 10

Essential survival necessities for any traffic jam 1. Tent

2. Bisquick

Useful for creating a personal sanctuary for oneself amidst the chaos that goes hand in hand with any traffic jam . Pre-mixed baking product manufactured by General Mills consisting of flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder. To cook said Bisquick.

3. Waffle Iron 4. Racquet Ball Racquet Why Not? Once you pop, well... stuff happens 5. Pringles

Having a musical instrument can be an 6. Accoustic Guitar important tool used to alleviate boredom caused by the notorius doldrums of traffic.

7. Textbooks 8. Bottled Water photo by adam merz

A good thing to store in any place where that is occupied for any sustained period of time, because what could possibly be more fun than learning? Water is the most important resource to have available to one self during any national, civil, or natural disaster. Plus, it’s $1.25 at school.




Top ten things to do in traffic image by adam merz

1 2 3

Pay attention to the road

Do your makeup Do homework

4 5 6




7 8 9

Call your mom


Picture yourself arriving at your destination

Pretend as though the traffic could move at any moment

To the right is an action shot of the autocratic traffic orchestrator. Nearly every morning he is out there, rain or shine, sleet or snow and working hard. Countless cars obey the wave of his colored wand which behaves completely on his impulses.

photo by jennifer merz

Make a mental list of all the things you could put into a salad photo by jennifer merz

Above is an example of the madness. Hundreds of vehicles anxiously wait to move another 6 and a half feet. There is obviously a problem.

image by jd macejko

A highly unprepared student suffers needlessly amongst the chaotic traffic that occurs nearly every morning. In troubled times, one must ask the ever present question : Why must we suffer?

Essential survival necessities for any traffic jam (cont) 9. Boom Box

For pumping your phat-jamz.

10. Telescope

10 9

When traffic seems boundless, the telescope brings hope closer through the use of an optic lense.


11. Pitchfork

Universal sign for anger .

12. Grill Guard


In times of utter desperation and extreme fury, nothing, absolutely nothing, can guide the front end of a car through brush, fences, trees, small bison, gnomes or any other lawn ornament with such sweet, powerful precision than this. Ever.

Traffic Jam Playlist 1. “Sitting Waiting Wishing”Jack Johnson 2. “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)”Tom Waits 3. “Don’t Wait”Dashboard Confessional 4. “Drive My Car”The Beatles 5. “Just What I Needed”The Cars 6. “Drive”Incubus 7. “Slow Ride”Foghat 8. “Time is Running Out”Muse 9. “Waiting On The World To Change”John Mayer 10. “Make a Move”lostprophets 11. “Chasing Cars”Snow Patrol 12. “Learn to Fly”Foo Fighters 13. “Its Been a While”Staind 14. “Twenty Hour Drive”The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus image by jd macejko

photo by adam merz




alloween horrors aunted houses offer fun, excitement 10.25.07



staff writer

iercing screams and the smell of caramel apples fill the air. This means only one thing— Halloween season. As teens get older, Halloween becomes a “childish” holiday for some, and others look to it as a time to hang out with friends and get free candy. There is, however, one thing for people to do that is sure to be entertaining, thrilling, and frightening for all who enter: visiting haunted houses. “I like going to haunted houses because it is a great way to hang out with friends and afterwards there is always something to laugh about because at least one person always gets really scared at some point,” said Leah Reis, 10. Haunted houses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are scarier than others, and some are meant to be more for the fun of going. Besides the typical haunted house, there are also haunted hay rides, haunted trails, and others. Be warned, some haunted houses can get pretty creepy, they are not meant for the fainthearted.

Be afraid, be very afraid

Middletown’s Land of Illusion is the site of four bonechilling attractions. The one-mile-long haunted trail is sure to scare with its many horrors such as chain saws, madmen, and bloodthirsty vampires. “I thought the Land of Illusion was pretty funny. Haunted houses don’t really scare me, so while my friends were screaming I was laughing away. There were parts that got kind of creepy though,” said Catie Viox, 10. The Killer Klowns attraction brings its visitors into a “maze of madness,” where they should be sure to look out for the creepy things lurking in every dark corner. The Temple of Terror is one cave that visitors will not want to explore alone. The pitch black passageways hide bats, skeletons, snakes, and maybe even a coffin or two along with other daunting items. Finally, visitors can make a visit to Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate, the home of Dr. Carver. This is no ordinary doctor, however. This psycho specializes in the field of torture. The Land of Illusion may be pretty expensive to visit, but is guaranteed to be a great time.

Floating frights

The USS Nightmare is a popular Halloween attraction in the Cincinnati area. Located in Newport, Kentucky, this frightening ship is filled with many freaky scenes. Although the actors are intimidating, the ship is especially known for its terrifying set. Popular points of the tour of the ship are the infamous rat lady and the look into the river filled with body parts. “My favorite part was when the clowns in one section of the boat started saying my brother’s name because it was on his soccer jersey that he had worn that night,” said Kayla Murray, 11.

The Land of Illusion

Dates: September 7- November 3 Times: Friday and Saturday: Dark to 2:30a.m. Sunday: Dark to 11p.m. Cost: $10- $30 depending on number of terrors $2 parking per carload Website:

LEAH REIS, 10 waits in line at The Dent Schoolhouse with Charlie the Janitor. The line for the haunted house goes quickly and there is entertainment along the way. Charlie and other characters scare the visitors while they wait, and a movie with gory music and scenes plays in the background.

The tour of the USS Nightmare has become longer and more exciting each year, and lasts around 30-40 minutes.

Scariest school around

The Dent Schoolhouse takes on the setting of an old schoolhouse that was once the site of the murders of many children. The suspect of the murders is Charlie the Janitor, who, after being accused, disappeared and now haunts the school. “It was really fun just to wait in line because the janitor kept trying to scare us and they would get right up in your face to do it,” said Reis. The 25 minute tour of the Dent Schoolhouse is filled with action and gore. This haunted school is known for leaving out no small detail. The characteristics of the

The USS Nightmare

Dates: September 28 to November 3 Times: Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday: 7p.m. to 11p.m. Friday and Saturday: 7p.m. to 1a.m. Cost: Regular ticket: $15 Fast Pass: $20 Website:

school are believable and make it even creepier. The Dent Schoolhouse has even been rated one of the area’s top haunted houses by many reviewers and is a great price for its quality.

Cincinnati’s scary sites

Although the Land of Illusion, the USS Nightmare, and the Dent Schoolhouse are said to be some of the scariest haunted houses in the area, there are many others to choose from. St. Rita’s is a well-known haunted house, and the Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall is also a great place to go to support charity. For most of Cincinnati’s haunted houses, the visitor will look to spend $10-$15 dollars. No matter which haunted house one goes to, it sure to be a great time with friends or family. Even visitors who do not easily get scared can have fun laughing at their friends.

The Dent Schoolhouse

Dates: All weekends in October and Halloween Times: Friday and Saturday: 7:30p.m. to 12p.m. Sunday and Halloween: 7:30p.m. to 10p.m. Cost: Regular Ticket: $12 Fast Pass Ticket: $18 Website:

all images by elizabeth hoopes


10 Do’s & Don’ts 10.25.07

Winning Hearts

Guys’ guide to getting girls

MARY ANN JIANG business manager

Do’s: 1. Surprise her with sentimentality or attention 2. Act as corny as possible by dancing without dignity, singing a cheesy song, and sparingly using clichés 3. Recognize that “You don’t have to...” really means “absolutely yes.” 4. Listen often; interject silly pick-me-up anecdotes or wise aphorisms when appropriate 5. Manliness is good. i.e.: responsibility, an ability to get along with other male friends, passion for an interest, willingness to be humbled, respect from adults and peers.

Don’ts: 1. Give her no attention 2. Frequently (or only) talk about some greater interest (ex-girlfriends are a no-no) 3. Have a history of heartbreaking 4. Forget memorable events, important occasions, or things she may say (which are generally always important to her), and then forget to care 5. Show excessive emotion or lose a grasp on privacy and personal space (“stalker”).


How well do they know each other? Two social studies teachers test their friendship LEAH BURGIN staff writer

Mr. Wittman on Mr. Miller

Can he rub his tummy and pat his head at the same time? Yes, he is very coordinated Real answer: Yes...with one hand Is he an optimist or pessimist? Optimist…he wants to swim the English Channel Real answer: Optimist

x x x x x x x x

What is his greatest phobia? Airborne pathogens Real answer: Kid Germs If he wasn’t a teacher, what would he be? Something that carries a gun Real answer: police officer What instruments does he play (if any)? Indigenous instruments of Australia Real answer: The sitar and the Digeridoo What is his favorite sports team? New England jets Real answer: New England Patriots Has he ever broken a bone? No Real answer: Yes, several bones in several places What is the worst book he’s ever read? The Pythagorean Theorem Real answer: Every math book I have ever seen How many foreign countries has he been to (Alabama does not count)? One – New Orleans Real answer: nine Who’s his most influential role model? Napoleon Bonaparte Real answer: Every man that has overcome vertical challenges

Score: 20%

Mr. Miller on Mr. Wittman Can he rub his tummy and pat his head at the same time?


No, he can’t reach the top of his hair Real answer: Yes Is he an optimist or pessimist? Pessimist at the beginning of the week Real answer: Optimist on Fridays, pessimist Monday thru Wednesday What is his greatest phobia? Hair loss Real answer: Hair loss

x x

If he wasn’t a teacher, what would he be? A Brady Kid Real answer: Farmer What instruments does he play (if any)? Ukulele and that thing snoopy plays Real answer: Mandolin and mouth harp What is his favorite sports team? Anything Ohio State Real answer: Anything Ohio State Has he ever broken a bone? Yes, either his knee cap or his elbow Real answer: Knee cap


What is the worst book he’s ever read? To my knowledge, he’s never read one Real answer: What color is my Parachute? How many foreign countries has he been to (Alabama does not count)? 15 Real answer: 15 Who’s his most influential role model? David Hasselhoff Real answer: The head lifegaurd on Baywatch

Score: 60%

Former Fear fest patrons will enjoy its new-andimproved sucessor, the Halloween Haunt. While the name sounds lame, the guest reviews are great. images courtesy of

Prepare for fear, fun at King’s Island

New Halloween Haunt opens LIZ NAUGHER

staff writer

The time has come for Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt. Now, encounter twice the number of monsters for longer--until 1 a.m. The new version of Fearfest features new highly-intense attractions to thrill daring victims. “Way better than last year. Scarezones are beefed up and mazes have more monsters,” said Whitney Osborne, 10. The night-time event includes Club Blood where anyone can enter but not many can see the light of day again. Red Beard’s Revenge is the dreaded pirate’s haunted ship. Keep in mind that it might not be possible to make it back to shore alive. Enter with caution into the dark world of CarnEVIL and pass by demented clowns and 3-D passages in this circus-gone-mad.

“Torture” assumes an all-new meaning on Death Row. Travel through the haunted woods of the Trail of Terror and discern the rumors of Massacre Manor’s strange inhabitants. “The scariest fearzone was by far CornSTALKERS. They would separate you from your group, surround you, follow you, and jump out of nowhere! The fog also made it pretty creepy,” said Steve Froh, 9. The highlight is the entertainment lineup, including the Torture Chamber of the Great Baldini’s amazing, terrifying stunts. See him walk on glass, lay on a bed of nails, and hang weights from his eyelids. Also check out the Dead Awakening show. For anyone with strange dreams of death or worries of those dreams materializing, this show is one of Kings Island’s best. “Halloween Haunt will make you incredibly tense. With sliders and other monsters lurking, you will not know who or what’s watching you,” said Brandon Gardner, 9.

friends of the Leaf The Leaf would like to thank its contributors for their support

Lamplighter educational resource center







a&e chief

degrees n o i t ra

a p e s f o


degrees of sycamore

e m i t a t a e l p o e p x i s , d l r o w g n i t Connec

the bus


Jason Robke, 9

Jon San Miguel, 9

ey, do you know what’s-his-face?” “No, I don’t think so…but is he that kid who’s in Math class with the kid who rides the bus with the kid who’s in band with the kid who’s in Math class with the kid who’s in German class with the kid who’s in SHWAC with the kid who’s in A.P. Government?” Why, yes. He is. Welcome to the world of Six Degrees of Separation. The theory of Six Degrees asserts that six people (degrees) or less connects any two people in the United States. Stanley Milgram, a former Harvard professor, tested the theory of six degrees of separation in what he called his “small world experiement.” With consideration to social and geographical differences, Milgram chose people living in Omaha, Nebraska and Wichita, Kansas to be his starting points, while picking people in Boston, Massachusetts to be his ending points. He sent packets of information to the starting people that detailed the purpose of the experiment as well as the name of a target person (one of those living in Boston) who they were to somehow get that packet to. The point was that these people had no idea who their target persons were, and thus they were forced to send the packets to people who they thought would be “closer” to their target. Maybe their college roommate now lived in Massachusetts, or their coworker had a younger sister who attends Boston University. Even if the person they sent it to does not know the target person, they then can send it to someone who they believe would be closer to the target. Milgram and his associates collected all of the data, and the average number of people it took to get from one person to the other, rounded, was six. Thus, the theory of six degrees of separation was proven. Yeah, yeah, yeah, numbers and figures are fine and dandy, but does it really work? That is what this journalist set out to prove. Six Degrees of Sycamore, as it was so aptly titled, attempted to prove exactly what the real experiment did- that anyone within the high school could be connected by six people (or less). It began with fifteen freshmen who received a packet of information with the details of how to conduct the experiment, and the name of their target person, who was a senior. The only rule was that they had to be in a class or an activity with a person to be able to pass it on to them. After factoring in the packets that never made it to the target person as well as the people who did not follow the rule, the average number of degrees it took between the initial person and the target was five, with none going over the magic number six. Thus, six degrees of separation does actually work. So the next time someone asks if you know a person, do not reply with a firm “no” so quickly. Take a second to think about it. Is that the person in whose sister is in that class with the person who rides the bus with that kid who takes karate with your cousin? It just might be.


Neil Krisnan, 10 Gabe de Vela, 11


Anjali Alm-Basu, 12

Sara Sadat, 12


Emily Peter, 12


Blake Dewey, 11

German all images by casey manning




‘I would hate to see someone in our school hurt themselves because they didn’t know someone else was out there for them ... Those doors are always open.’

Student speaks of near-death experience, recovery MELODIE JENG


OLD MAN WITH his Head in his Hands (At Eternity’s Gate) is a Vincent Van Gogh painting. The famous artist is one of many throughout the ages who has struggled with depression, anxiety, or other mental health illnesses. He portrays his turbulent emotional state through this portrait.

opinion chief

egs covered in blood, she was rushed to the hospital, where the doctor asked her, “Is this really what you want to do? That was Anna Smith, 12, three years ago. At age 13, Smith began seeing a psychologist for depression, which provided little improvement. By freshman year, she began her cutting and suicidal phase. She was found by her parents one night, violently cutting herself in her room. Smith’s parents called her doctor and then took her to Children’s Hospital Emergency Room. After speaking with the doctor for five hours about her suicide intentions and the weaknesses associated, Smith was released. “If I could thank that doctor, I would. He’s probably the reason why I’m alive. He made me realize that I had gone too far. I had to connect back with myself,” said Smith. After the suicide attempt, Smith began seeing a psychiatrist and taking Lexapro, an antidepressant. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder. After many years, depression is still a reoccurring battle. Fortunately, Smith has not picked up a razor since. The healing process has not been easy. It took Smith multiple medications to find what worked best for her mental health. Smith’s depression will recur throughout her life. “What makes the treatment of depression so hard is that it’s not like a cold or flu, where everyone gets the same medicine. Everyone’s different,” said Smith. When Smith feels depressed, she looks at the scars on her leg for a symbol of support. The words etched in her leg will remain there for the rest of her life and serve as a reminder of what

she should not do. Depression has left her scars, emotionally and physically. “I would hate to see someone in our school hurt themselves because they didn’t know someone else was out there for them,” said Smith. “Those doors are always open.” Globally, many teenagers and young adults growing up become depressed due to pressure from society and misinformed views of themselves and their situation. Smith’s story is not uncommon. Her mental disorder can be attributed to her troubled childhood and parents’ divorce when she was eight. In addition, depression is a genetic trait in her family. Often times, Smith may be inhibited in social situations due to her anxiety. She functions in a way to constantly protect herself. She is fearful of others breaking her trust, and this fear has accumulated with the stresses of high school. “It’s hard for me to be warm with everybody because I get afraid that someone’s going to attack me. I have these barriers that I always have to have up,” said Smith. “Over the past year, as I’ve matured, I’ve begun to open up to people.” The fight against depression and anxiety is a challenge Smith will have to face throughout her life. But through her acceptance, help from psychologists, healthy intake of medication, and peer support, she has now exited the self-mutilating stage of her life and is looking up step-by-step. “If I could give any advice to someone: it’s a long road. I think the minute you’re finally honest with yourself and say, ‘Hey, I have this. I’m not going to deny it.’ That’s when the healing process can begin,” said Smith.

It is important to

p l e h Get

TALKThe first step to healing depression

is the acknowledgement. Try writing a letter to a friend, teacher, or parent if talking is difficult.

JOINThe guidance department offers

eight-ten member Student Assistance Support Groups that meet once a week during school. Groups have already started and may be full. For more information, contact Mrs. Susan Warm or Mrs. Brenda

CALLThe National Suicide Hotline pro-

vides anonymous assistance 24/7. 1 800 SUICIDE 513 281 CARE (2273)

image courtesy of

Looking closer at Depression Depression is a mood disorder, sometimes labeled as a disease. Caused by the lack of serotonin, it is a chemical imbalance. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps the nervous system control aggression, appetite, body temperature, sexuality, and more. Depression goes beyond the typical “blues” feelings. Common signs of depression include loss of interest in everyday activities, changes in weight, feelings of lethargy and worthless, and thoughts of death. There are many forms and other disorders similar to depression: Dysthymia is a shorter period of less disabling depression with fatigue and low self-esteem. Major Depressive Disorder is a sudden deep unhappiness and lethargy for a longer period of time, and for no apparent reason. Then, one returns to normal. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is also known as “winter depression.” With less light intake, people more likely feel depressed. Depression can be treated with a balance of antidepressants and therapy. Medications should first be prescribed by a doctor, after the diagnosis of depression. It often takes experimentation with medication before finding a healthy fit. Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a common type of antidepressant. Types of therapy include electroconvulsive, psychoanalytic, and interpersonal.

& Social Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response to stress. However, when one’s anxiety interferes with everyday life, it becomes an anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder is also referred to as “social phobia.” It is typically characterized nervousness in public situation such as difficulty talking, sweating, and nausea. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs after one experiences a life-threating or traumatic event such as military combat or vehicle crash. The result is repeated thoughts or nightmares about the event, trouble sleeping, or personal detachment. Panic Disorder is the habitual, but sudden and unexpected fear of a situation. Physical symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and more. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D.) involves repetitive behavior, obsessions, such as hand washing or specific numbering due to recurring and unwanted thoughts. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the constant worry or fear for no apparent reason. It is accompanied by trembling, headaches, and muscle tension. Anxiety disorders can be treated similarly to depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing ones negative thinking patterns and attitudes, as well as exposing their fears in a controlled environment. Lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety include eliminating caffeine, exercising regularly, and meditating.




Marching band, color guard travel to Youngstown


R photo by jeremy mcdaniel

eport to school at six a.m. and ride a bus for four hours. This is what marching band and color guard went through on Saturday, October 6, the day of the Bands of America competition. “It was tiring but it was an amazing experience,” said Lauren Barrett, 9. BOA is one of the band’s biggest competitions during the season. The group travels to Youngstown, Ohio each year to perform. There are usually around 28 bands at the competition, coming from several different states around Ohio.

The band goes with one thought in mind: to make finals. Last year was the first time in school history that the marching band met this goal. They had hoped that this year they could continue on and make a tradition out of advancing into the finals. As the announcer recited the winners, they held their breath waiting for the tenth and final qualifying band when the announcer called out “Sycamore.” “It’s awesome to be a two-time BOA finalist and to know that we are truly a band to recon with,” said Dana Reinhart, 11. Later the marching band

This icon links to the school newspaper, The Leaf. Read the paper and past issues online!

Learn to use, decipher icons, vast resources JAKE NEWTON

You Said It...

staff writer

discovered that they had won eighth place at the preliminary competition. However, they were unable to retain this position. After all the bands performed in finals, every band lined up on the field for the award ceremony The band then learned that they had received tenth place at finals. Many members were disappointed since it meant that they had moved down two spots. Still, they were still glad to have made finals and hope to do even better next year. “[Performing at finals] was the most amazing feeling in the world because all of the people stood up and cheered,” said Kaitlyn Whisman, 10. begins with a banner including the school information and the name of the website.



MARCHING BAND AND Color guard brought their show “Ropes” to the annual Bands of America competition in Youngstown, Ohio. After following a record-breaking year, they repeated their success by placing in the final top ten. They were ecstatic to prove their hard work and hope to further their success next year.

staff writer

The “Aves Teacher Spotlight” links to a page with a teacher and their interview with a staff member.

This box displays the school’s information featured beneath the logo. The box displayed here is a mp3 clip of the school fight song. Choose to pause, remind, fast-forward and control volume.

Athletics, Aviator Nation and The Hangar are located along the sides of the website and are headings to a group of navigational bars. Aviator Nation will lead you to places like clubs and student spotlight, the Hangar will lead you to different faculty member’s websites.

Aviator Nation is located towards the middle of the website. This is where short, informative articles written by newspaper students are located and updated.

If you were a crayon, what crayon color would you be and what would you draw? LEAH BURGIN & DAPHNE HSU staff writer

staff writer

I would be wisteria just because I never heard of it as a color before, and I think it sounds cool. Plus, purple is my favorite color. I would draw the way little kids scribble all over the paper just to see what color the crayon is. -Liz King, 11

I would be macaroni I would be a panda yellow... because I like and eat the crayons. macaroni. Peach fuzz. -Matt Teegarden, 12 -Joe Duran, 11 I would be ‘mauvelous’ because that kind of lame pun pretty much sums up my personality. And yes, there’s actually a crayon called ‘mauvelous’. -Sukhada Kulkarni, 10

I’d be the color purple because it’s my favorite color. I would draw a liger because it’s an endangered species. -Michael Walling, 9

I would be a gold crayon because the Sacagewea dollar coin is gold and I’m money. I would be sunset -Mr. Breen Reardon orange because orange is my favorite I would be yellow so I color, and sunsets are could make everything pretty. I like crayons. brighter. -Rosalie Wei, 10 -Sarah Brown, 11



popular CULTURE Infinite abyss

of celebrity obsession

SHARON WAGNER feature chief

The excess in our society has never been better indicated than by our obsession with celebrities. For some reason, none of us can stop ourselves from reading up on the latest ditzy comments, fashion faux pas, and leaked sex tapes of people with more glamorous lives. One has to wonder how much the editors of Us Weekly get paid to publish all the latest trash of high society. Considering how well it sells, I would not mind working there myself. So, just what is it about the entertainment gods and goddesses that is so darn facinating? Do we not have enough to worry about in our own lives as it is? Is it just the fact that these people have more money? Live in higher penthouses? Have prettier faces? What exactly are the benefits of knowing how badly they can mess up their perfect lives? Why do people want to see all the vices of our idols? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that their scandalous lives reveal that they are, in fact, human. The fact is that no matter how useless it is to worry about the life of someone that we do not even know, wigging out on celebrity news is crucial to the stress relief of Americans today. Looking at all the weight that a famous person gained adds points to our own self-esteem. However demeaning that is, we have to admit that it is often true. It is not the new American dream to have the life of Britney Spears, but recounting all the mistakes she has made makes us feel better about our own lives. These celebrity screw-ups are the perfect way to console us that money doesn’t buy happiness. And I have only barely mentioned the main reason that I do not care about the Hollywood scene—I do not have the time to. I spend enough time worrying about my own life as it is. No one needs to flip out over how contagious anorexia seems to be among teenage stars. I worry much more about my friends becoming anorexic--each time a new issue of People magazine appears. The closest answer that I can find to this is that it is part of the trend of detachment. Faced with so many issues and problems, Americans have developed a tendency to just turn the other cheek and find something more enjoyable to do. And who does not enjoy a little gossip once in a while, especially knowing that the subject thereof will never hear it from you? I hope that we can look at these people and not idolize them, but take a few notes about how to live our own lives. For example, do not confuse tuna with chicken. Do not wear wardrobe-malfunction-prone clothing. And if you make a sex tape, it will get out.

arts and entertainment


‘I will have something to remember things by...

I’ll be able to isolate a certain image from

the rest of the world’

“SMILE FOR THE camera!” Erin Kincaid, 12, steadies her camera as she focuses in on the perfect shot. Kincaid is an avid photographer who hopes to pursue it in college.


with Erin Kincaid, 12

photo by eve petticrew

Student places first in Montgomery Photo Contest JACY CAGLE

spotlight chief

Q. When did you start photography? A. I started Photo 1 my freshman year with Ms. Marsh. I had a camera before then, but freshman year was my first time in the darkroom.

Q. Do you have a favorite picture that you have taken?


My favorite picture really just changes with my mood. I’d have to say that right now, I like one that I took of my cousin Bruno.


Do you have any plans to continue photography once out of high school?

Q. Do you have a certain place where you enjoy taking pictures the most?

A. I love getting out of Cincinnati to take pictures. I’ve taken

them in Yellow Springs (OH), Olympia (WA), and Spain; Clifton is also a cool place for pictures.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Montgomery Art Show? A. I really don’t think the art show is that big of a deal, I just

entered for something to do, not for the competition. I didn’t win the entire thing. (that honor went to Anna ZabagIio, 12) I just got a ribbon, that’s all.

A. I might continue taking classes in college. Photography might Q. Do you have an inspiration that you look to for your photos? be my minor. A. My inspiration would be that I will have something to remember things by—that I can isolate a certain image from Q. What` photography classes have you taken? the rest of the world. A. Photo 1, Experimental, Documentary, AP this year

‘One Acts’ awes audience Featuring over 50 students in about 90 minutes, the three one-act plays were a huge success. While two plays were directed by Mr. John Whapam, one was independently directed by senior Camile Lesar. Pursuing a career in acting, Lesar gained valuable experience from this project. Congratulations to Lesar and all the other participating students for a great show! photos by jeremy mcdaniel

look ahead

Wondering how the new Fall TV season is faring? Check out p. 25 for the scoop on the favorite returning series.

Looking for an authentic American restaurant? Flip to p. 24 to read about a nearby barbeque joint.

Indie rocker or pop princess? Hardcore punk or coffeehouse intellectual? Turn to p. 26-27 to learn more about musical stereotypes.

20 Which side of New York are you? We all know that New York is a very complex woman with many sides to her personality. Which side of New York are you? Take this quiz and find out. Adapted from 1. A friend tells you about a secret crush she has. You: a. Never tell a soul. You wouldn’t betray her confidence b. Tell the crush immediately. He deserves to know. c. Tell your best friend. You always share juicy secrets d. Forget her! You’re going after him too. Let’s see who gets him first.

2. While you and your man are out on a date, some girl tries to press up on him. You:

a. Kill her with kindness, then send her packing b. Assume she’s competition and take her down c. Prove your superiority by questioning her intelligence and using lots of big, intimidating words d. Zero in on her insecurities and suggest she gets a hot oil treatment for that wack weave of hers.

3. What’s your idea of the perfect date?

a. Whatever your man wants to do is all right with you b. Being the center of attention, showered with presents and treated like a princess c. A double date with your parents d. Going to a place where the girls are ugly, so you look hot

4. You’re dating a guy and mom doesn’t like him, so you:

a. Scream and cry. Mom never understands you b. Get in her face and threaten to never let her see her grandchildren c. Dump him. Mom knows best d. Lie to her and say it’s over.

5. If you wanted to seduce your man, what would you do? a. Cook him his favorite meal b. Nothing! He should be seducing you c. Talk about the future and gettin’ married d. Put on something sexy for him

6. Most women:

a. Are intimidated by you b. Want to be you c. Are haters d. All of the above

7. You’re out on a Saturday night and see a man you find attractive. You:

a. Lock eyes with him from across the room and lick your lips. Men like to be seduced. b. Have a waiter pass him a note and wait for him to come to you. He better recognize who he’s dealing with. c. Sit next to him, but ignore him and flip your hair in his face. Men like a challenge. d. Plop yourself down on his lap and tell him you find him attractive. Men like a woman who takes charge.


‘Do you have love


Love her or hate her, this in second installment of



spotlight chief

& MARISSA GUNNARSSON mini-mag editor

he is the arch nemesis of every girl within a five mile radius. She has a booty equal to a five mile radius. And every man in America; well, at least forty guys who want to be on television, want her. Who could this woman of mystery possibly be? Tiffany Pollard, a.k.a New York of course! “New York equals crazy,” said Maddie Williams, 10. Pollard was made famous by the vh1 reality series, The Flavor of Love in which she competed to win the heart of rap mogul Flavor Flav (who also gave Pollard the nickname of New York), along with twenty other women. New York fought, yes fought, her way to the final round of eliminations. She was so determined to win she ended up having a cat fight with fellow contestant Pumkin right in front of Flav! See below to learn what happens when the spit hits the fan. Despite her adamant attempts to win Flav’s love (and wallet) he chose Hoopz, the sanest of the three final contestants. Though New York was rejected by Flav she returned again for the second season of the show, bringing with her more drama than before. “I admire her determination,” said Aeliya Mohsin, 11. She made her way to the final round of eliminations once again only to be beaten out by the delicious Deelishis. After being publicly humiliated on national television twice in one year, Pollard decided to make her own show, I Love New York. But poor Tiffany. She was, sadly, dumped by Tango, the man she chose in season one. Most people would assume New York would have crawled away into a hole with her Maltese, Gucci, never to be heard form again. But then again, this is New York we are talking about.

A woman who calls herself the HBIC (head b**** in charge). “I have love for New York because she always says what’s on her mind,” said Neha Tandon, 10. If there is one woman on reality television who is crazier than New York it would have to be her mother, Sister Patterson. She is loud, she is tough, she is an avid church-goer, and she thinks she knows exactly what New York needs in a man. And yes, Sister Patterson is back again, in the new season of I Love New York, to help her daughter find the love she deserves, after tragically being dumped by season one winner, Tango. In the new season, I Love New York Two, which began on Monday, October 1, New York has been provided with twenty young bachelors. All of them are looking for love, or her recently augmented breasts. Highlights of the new season include the disappearance of Chamo, New York’s gay assistant. There have been no reports as to where Chamo has gone. And also one of the contestants, known as Midget Mac has become a celebrity all on his own accord. Standing tall at four feet, he seems to have won New York over-despite her mother’s pleadings to eliminate him--with his charm and inability to understand what he is saying at any given time. “Midget Mac is amazing,” said Christine McLaughlin, 10. A new show, a new love; season two is expected to be a thrill. Be sure to watch it Mondays at 10 p.m. on vh1. We love New York!

8. On a fun night out, you wear:

a. Who needs a night out when you could be at home with your man? b. Nice jeans and high heels c. A gown. You only go out in style d. Something that barely covers your lovely lady lumps

9. Your favorite sexy scent is:

a. Fruity and flirty. b. Men’s cologne. You’re woman enough to handle it c. Au Natural. You don’t need help attracting a man d. A classic musk that makes him go wild.

10. The one thing you have in common with a superhero is: a. B*&%!es are always plotting against you! b. You never lose c. You’ve always been told you have special talents d. You look hot in spandex.

NEW YORK RELAXES on the ground, looking her finest, as usual. This bootylicious diva is notorious for speaking her mind and never holding back. With her spunky carefree attitude, and some help from her moms, New York hopes to find the man of her dreams this season on I Love New York 2.


When you don’t get your way, it upsets you to the core. Although you sometimes think the world is out to get you, you still make and effort to empathize with others and give them a shoulder to cry on.


New York + Pumkin=


You command attention—and you get it. Guys want to be with you and girls want to be you. You’re a princess and expect to be treated as such. But watch out—sometimes the green-eyed monster can get the best of you.

mostly c’s: MOMMA’S GIRL

Nobody knows better than dear old mom. She raised you with old-fashioned values that you use, when necessary, in your relationships. But remember: at a certain point, it’s time to have a mind of your own.

mostly d’s: HBIC; Head B*&%# in Charge

You’re a born leader. You call the shots with friends, family, and lovers. People tend to kiss up to you and follow the trends you set. Sometimes you can be sneaky in order to get what you want—‘cause nothing’s gonna get in your way

so THIS is what happens when the spit hits the fan.

legendary battle of brains, brawn , & spit Tiffany Pollard, a.k.a. New York, became a household name when she made her reality-TV debut on the Flavor of Love with Flava Flav. Whether the viewers at home loved to hate her or hated to love her, the girls in the house competing for Flav’s love just seemed to generally dislike her (but we all know they were just haters). This dislike was especially evident in the Season 1 episode right before the season finale. With three girls left at the elimination—Hoopz, New York, and Pumkin—the tension was mounting. In the end, Pumkin was eliminated, but she did not go out without a fight. After a verbal brawl with New York, Pumkin leaned back and hocked some spit at our girl. It escalated into an all-out cat fight that had to be broken up by Flav’s body guard Big Rick. The scene was quite entertaining, and clips of the incident can be found on the internet.




for New York?’

reality TV diva breaks hearts her infamous dating show

New Y rk’s Top 12 Suitors* Here are some things not many people know about the men of I Love New York 2 (as of October 15*) Meet Buddha...he is a model, “life coach”, and personal trainer. He considers himself to be spiritual--something we all know Sister Patterson loves in a man. Meet Cheezy...a man with many attributes. He is intimidated by his parents, and once walked around a club naked.




Meet It... he enjoys freestyle rapping, works at a day care center, and showing off his ninja moves. What could New York not love about him?

Meet Wolf... he has twelve brothers and sisters, likes to roller blade, and thinks he talks too much.

Man Man

Meet Man Man...he believes he is two men in one, hence the fitting nickname.

Meet The Entertainer...voted number one in the online competition of who should win and currently lives in his parents basement. He truly is the total package.




Meet Pretty... this sharp southern gentleman prides himself on wearing a tie everyday.

Meet Tailor Made...though he considers himself not to be religious he does have a firm belief in the importance of good skin care. Lotion up New York!

all images by marissa gunnarsson

Fell in L VE with New York? What you did not know about Here are some shows comparable to I Love New York 2 that are also enjoyable

I Love New York: Season 1 Check it out on

The Flavor of Love: Seasons 1 & 2 Check it out on

Rock of Love with Brett Michaels Check it out on

The Bachelor

Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC

A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila Catch it on MTV

America’s Most Smartest Model Check it out on

NEW YORK Here are some fun fact about the girl everyone loves to hate. -She admits she has had some breast implants recently -Four girls were expelled from the Flavor of Love Reunion for repeated attempts to attack Tiffany -“Tiffany” was named after the famous TIFFANY & COMPANY, one of the world’s finest jewelry companies -She cannot swim -Her favorite foods are; Asian & Italian foods, her mother and father’s “famous” lasagna and gumbo, respectively -She has a tattoo that says Princess -She owns over 2000 Black Barbie dolls -She was a cheerleader in high school

Midget Mac

Meet Midget Mac...despite the fact that he is four feet tall he thinks he can do anything a tall person can-- but better.

Meet 20 bod, sexy smile, and a liscense in cosmetology? Now New York can have her man and a new weave.


Tailor Made

20 Pack

Meet Punk...he is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is a self-proclaimed bodybuilder.

Meet Mr. Wise...he has been said to resemble White Boy from season one and is a poet.

Mr. Wise




Movies to watch on Halloween Frightening, intriguing, intelligent, fun

LIBBY HENNING feature chief

Practical Magic (1998) Rated PG-13

Sally and Gillian Owen live with their aunts, who are their primary teachers. They learn to use practical magic. This hereditary supernatural gift comes with a price: the men that the Owen women fall in love with face a premature death. They must use their magical gifts to fight against their family curse and other obstacles in their way.

The Shining (1980) Rated R

The Ring (2002) Rated PG-13

When Jack Torrance becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, he brings his wife and son Danny along with him. Danny begins to see disturbing memories of the hotel’s past due to his gift, “the shining.” The hotel’s past haunts Jack, and he begins to go insane. When Jack turns to aggression, the story begins to take a turn for the worse.

Journalist Rachel Keller decides to investigate the mysterious death of her niece and three others, who died on the same day at the same time—exactly one week after watching a murderous video. As she delves deeper into these unusual deaths, she discovers that once someone watches this strange video, they are given one week to live. Now Keller must find a way to outsmart the video and find its maker before her week is up.

all images by daphne hsu

The Sixth Sense (1999) Rated PG-13

Spotlighting students’ creativity

Poetry corner

Malcom Crowe is a child psychologist who is visited one night by a very unhappy patient that he was unable to help: a 9-year old boy named Cole. The boy seeks help for his unnatural ability to see dead people who are unaware that they are dead. At first, Crowe is unsure that he can help this young boy. But after spending time with Cole, Crowe begins to believe the troubled child.

Sleepy Hollow (1999) Rated R

The scientific constable Ichabod Crane travels to Sleepy Hollow to unravel the mystery behind a series of murders, all involving decapitation. The locals believe the murderer is a headless horseman, who steals the heads of others until his is returned to its rightful owner. Of course Crane is skeptical, but when heY learns more the MAKE OUR H OME of COMING Hessian horseman and witnesses the murder of one of the RESERVATIONS TODAY ! locals, he begins to question his belief.

Halloween (1978) Rated R

On Halloween night, six-year-old Michael Myers stabs and murders his older sister after trick-or-treating. He finds himself unable to speak, and stares blankly, holding the knife in his hand. He is sent to a mental institution for 15 years until he breaks out the day before Halloween to repeat the crime, stalking three teenage girls, one of whom is his younger sister. The town sheriff and Myers’ psychiatrist set out to stop him before it is too late.

Come In. Relax. Enjoy


Three Cheers For Lauren

staff writer

My compass broke, can I use Mapquest?

12110 Montgomery Rd. • Cincinnati, Oh 45249 • (513)583-0583 •

Every issue of The Leaf will feature a poem from the pen of a student. If you, or anyone you know, would like their poem to be published, please drop the piece off in either Mrs. Jardine’s room (Rm. 115) or into her mail box located in the main office.

She didn’t lie or slander us She merely saw through our masks We are geeks and jerks and jocks And all those things Lauren wrote about Even if we never admitted it to ourselves Don’t be embarrassed That we saw who we were Be embarrassed That we never really saw her

Higher Scores Give yourself an edge!

SAT/ACT Test Prep Clinics Get ready for the SAT on Dec. 1 and the ACT on Dec. 8 Verbal/Writing: 4 Tuesdays Oct. 30; Nov. 6, 13, 27: 6:30 - 9:30 PM Math: 4 Wednesdays Oct. 31; Nov. 7, 14, 28: 6:30 - 9:30 PM

$140 each or take both clinics for just $260 E-Mail: Call the JCC to register in advance: 513.761.7500

The river sways and shakes to the tune of the current. You wait on the shore for a ferry to take you by. You want to be sure that you’ll travel safely. Well safe is what you make of it. Time is standing still Waiting for you to break the shackles. Are you the one? You know which way the needle goes.

A troubled boy trying to find the way to the treasure. He journeys thru the caverns and up upon the mountains. But what has he done? He’s losing every one.

- Lauren Froh

Untitled Haikus are stupid They don’t give you enough space To get your point acc...

A battered girl who keeps his mind in check. So much hardship, yet so much for the better. She uses everything that should have killed her. And makes it for the better. It’s all just for the better.

- J.D. Macejko, 11

- Danny Samet, 9


Music industry experiments with new scheme to boost sales


The next big thing, as proclaimed by major news organizations, is the “ringle.” Need a definition? The sound made by an especially small bell, maybe? The name of one of Santa’s elves, possibly? The generic brand of those canned potato chips, perhaps? Try the music industry’s next big ploy to make up for the ever-present loss of revenue from internet music downloads. As record executives try to think of ways to compensate for another disappointing summer of record sales, major labels are preparing to introduce what they

hope will revive an industry that is being out shadowed by texting teens. The “ringle” is set to replace the almost defunct single that artists used to release with one or two of their songs before their entire CD came out. On the market, the “ringle” will be a combination of the single, plus possibly a remix of the song and an older song by the artist, all combined with a ringtone of that artist’s single. With retail price set at $5.98, skeptics are not sure whether the demographic in question will be willing to shell out the six

bucks for a product (minus the unnecessary extras) that could be purchased for 99 cents (if not free if the phone allows the user to upload their own music as a ringtone). And why make a trip to a brickand-mortar enterprise when the capability to purchase such an entity is a few clicks (and a few less bucks) away? As Nate Anderson from the technology news website Ars Technica said, “[The ringle] sounds strangely reminiscent of the French decision to sign off on the Louisiana Purchase: it’s a bad deal.”




MICHAEL SCOTT, PLAYED by Steve Carell is the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin. Season four will bring many memorable tonguein-cheek moments from The Office cast. The fourth season will also bring answers to questions that have been percolating in viewer’s heads since season one. all images by jake newton

‘This is going to be a very good year’

The Office launches fourth season SAM CLEARY

Q staff writer

uestions will be answered. Speculations will be made. Yes, there will be laughter. And yes, there will be tears. The Office is back and better than ever. Starting September 27, NBC kicked off its critically acclaimed comedy with a one-hour special premier. In following weeks of the long-awaited premier will be an additional three one-hour episodes that are sure to be filled with pranks, drama, and laughter. What better way to kick off the season than with Michael abruptly hitting Meredith with his company car within the first ten seconds of the show? “Yeah, it’s only Meredith, thank God. But did you see the way they looked at me? Like I was a murderer or something,” said Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

It seemed as though throughout last season, and the ones before it, producer B.J. Novak always kept something from the audience, be it Jan and Michael, Dwight and Angela, or Jim and Pam. “I sat down to watch the premier thinking that nothing was going to change. I didn’t expect Jim and Pam to just admit they were together,” said Kaitlin Burt, 10. This season, however, it appears as though no questions have gone unanswered. Yes, Jim and Pam have openly admitted that they are dating, and Dwight and Angela have officially “broken up,” seeing as he killed her cat. In the first episode of the season, appropriately labeled “Fun Run,” Michael hits Meredith with his car while pulling into the parking lot at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton. Meredith is then driven to the emergency room, where

The Poe Shadow

Shedding light on mysterious death LIBBY HENNING feature chief

I first picked up The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl at a local book store, as the cover and title caught my eye. I have enjoyed many of Edgar Allen Poe’s poems and short stories, so I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding his death. The international and New York Times bestseller begins in Baltimore in 1849 and is loosely based on the events leading up to Poe’s death. Quentin Clark witnesses Poe’s funeral from afar and is struck by the fact that only a few men attended. He becomes enthralled by the rumors that alcohol had caused Poe’s death, so Clark sets out to clear the writer’s name and reputation, while putting his own life on the line. Preoccupied with this puzzle, Clark’s reputation as a succesful lawyer is slowly being destroyed, and his engagement to an enchanting Hattie Blum is crumbling as well.

He cannot escape the curiosity gnawing at him, so Clark travels to Paris to find the man who was supposedly the inspiration for one of his most legendary detectives, Chevalier Auguste Dupin. Clarck hopesto enlist him Dupin his hunt for the truth, and together they discover the many different theories about Poe’s death. As they delve deeper into this mystery, the plot takes many interesting twists and turns involving assassins, undercover political agents, and unjust slave trading. Most of the novel consisted their search for answers, which can get a little boring, but after that small portion the rest was full of thrilling twists and turns. Full of action and suspense, The Poe Shadow is a must read for all fans of Poe, mystery, or historical fiction. Fans of this book may also be interested in reading Pearl’s other novel, The Dante Club.

she is treated for a fractured pelvis. Adding more humor to the scenario, Creed enters the scene, stealing Meredith’s heavy pain medications, and reasserting himself as the office creep. While in the hospital, Meredith is diagnosed with rabies, said to have been obtained from a bat that Dwight “bagged” on her head in season three. As a result of this diagnosis, Michael sponsors a “Run for the Cure of Rabies” out of guilt and denial from hitting Meredith, and so, as usual, the plot unfolds. “The beginning of this season really surprised me. It was hilarious. I couldn’t believe the first episode would be that funny, they better keep up the good work,” said Samantha Hunter, 12. Watch The Office on Thursdays at nine o’clock on NBC.

Pa ific Moon Outlet for groups and individuals SAM GRUBBS staff writer

THE POE SHADOW uses a combination of suspense and mystery to engauge it’s readers. Once reading one is very likely to not be able to put it down. The front cover of this book alone draws the attention of many.

Looking for great oriental food? Try Pacific Moon. It is located in Kentucky at Newport on the Levee. They offer amazing Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai food. “I could eat there any day,” Ariel Grubbs, 10. One of the many great things about eating at Pacific Moon is that the atmosphere is different than many other Chinese restaurants. Prompt seating is ultimately a stand out feature of this restaurant along with their outstanding capacity of serving to people of all ages and even to hefty groups. Some cons for eating at Pacific moon is that the service, unlike the seating, is not always prompt with orders and sometimes get mixed up. “It gets pretty expensive,” Jessica Brown, 11. This is true; the prices at Pacific Moon can be pretty bulky. In a group prices can get very expen-

sive, higher then the usual Chinese food, but service is a great deal better then most places. “Sometimes I just go there to meet friends,” Billy Symons, 11. Pacific Moon also hosts masses of events, such as Monday nights, they host a live jazz concert. Pacific Moon is a great place to relax, have a meal, or just meet friends. The atmosphere is enjoyable, and the location is pretty easy to find. And best of all, the food is delicious and has many choices for vegetarians and carnivores alike.


Newport on the Levee


Fri through Sat 11am-11 pm Sun through Thur 11 am-10pm

Food Style Vietnamese Chinese Thai



Cincinnati hotspots:


Tandoor India Restaurant offers unique, spice-filled dishes

Midwest meets ‘real’ barbecue


staff writer

Tucked away in a corner of Sharonville is a laid-back Memphis-style barbecue joint with quite a history, atmosphere, and menu to rival Montgomery Inn. Burbank’s Real Barbeque & Ribs is the product of Gary -Gary Burbank, founder Burbank’s mission to bring real barbecue to northerners. On its website Burbank writes, “When I visited to the north, I was shocked to find no real barbecue joints. Sure there were rib restaurants, but they served counterfeit barbecue… and then I was hit with an epiphany... Yankees needed real barbecue!” Not being a big meat fan myself, I cannot tell whether or not Burbank succeeded in introducing “real barbecue” to Cincinnati, but I can say that their pulled pork sandwich is juicy and satisfying. Their menu is filled with other American culinary favorites, including corn bread, catfish, the restaurant’s famous derby pie, a variety of potato dishes, various soups and salads, and lots of meat, including a full slab of baby back ribs for $20.95. Burbank’s stands out among barbecue restaurants with their selection of sauces for customers to choose. For example, those who like their meat sweet can douse their order with Yankee Sweet, while fans of Southern Tang, a mustard vinegar based sauce, can choose between mild and hot, the latter reserved for more adventurous customers. The ambiance at Burbank’s is relaxed and homey, almost what the atmosphere at Cheers (as in TV’s version of the bar) would

Yankees needed real barbecue!

photo courtesy of

Sonny Moorman hosts Burbank’s weekly open mic night. The barbecue resturant prides itself on both authentic atmosphere and authentic food.

feel like, but with a southern twist. Large holiday lights line the walls, lighting up a gallery of pictures of pigs, the owners of Burbank’s, blues musicians, and local newspaper clippings. Service is friendly and quick, even when the restaurant is packed. On Thursdays Burbank’s holds an open mic night, and on Friday and Saturday nights it hosts lives blues music. For good food and fun, spend an evening at Burbank’s Real Barbeque & Ribs, located at 11167 Dowlin Drive.

MARY ANN JIANG business manager

A quaint restaurant sits in the hidden Market Place across from Montgomery Square at 8702 Montgomery Road. Tandoor India Restaurant serves a variety of fine-tasting Indian food in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere to offer unique taste and a relaxed experience. Low-lighting, amiable service and a wide variety of unique, mild to spicy tastes quickly satiate one’s appetite. The restaurant offers a lunch buffet or dinner menu with vegetable dishes, desserts, curries, an assortment of meat, rice and warm bread all ready to be refilled. The cost is moderate; the food is filling and light. One bowl of curry should satisfy one hungry customer or two average-sized girls. Although the menu does not specify its dishes as curry, the majority of the specialties are those classic sauces great with bread and rice. The all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is filled with an array of different foods which change everyday. It can include Samosa (crispy vegetable or meat-filled triangles), Naan (warm, soft bread), Chutney (sweet dipping sauce), and Saffron Rice. As frequently as the food is brought out, it may chill rather quickly, so aim for an opportune moment to refill. After the lunch buffet is served (between 11:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.), Tandoor reopens at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. There is seating at the bar and little waiting in the dining room. The servers are helpful in advising portion sizes and which dish accompanies which.

Especially delicious is Murgh Tikka (red chicken legs sprinkled with a one-of-a-kind spice), Chicken Curry, Lamb Tikka Massala, and Lamb Vindaloo which can be eaten for the meat or just the rice-topping sauce. In the way of vegetarian dishes, Palak Paneer is mixture of thick and flavorful spinach. (Yes, it is possible.) Malai Kofta are vegetable balls, which have a nice texture and taste, especially for the kind of food that mothers may commonly require before devouring dessert. Desserts have many different flavors. While Raita is a very tangy white yogurt, Ras Malai is a sweet, cold pudding that contains small bits of soft rice adding a nice texture to a very appetizing pudding. These desserts are inexpensive and offer an enticing taste of traditional Indian cuisine. Tandoor India is a nice restaurant to visit if one savors flavor, variety, and something off the beaten path (save for students who are accustomed to Indian food). Accolades include “Restaurant of the year” by the National Academy of Restaurant Evaluation, “Best Indian Restaurant” by Zaget Review, and “Award of Excellence” from Taste of Cincinnati. Comfortable for a meal, comfortable for all wallets, and widely satisfying, Tandoor India Restaurant brings enjoyable Indian food to all who step inside. It closes at 9:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and closes at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; it is not open on Sunday.







bring life to laughter

staff writer

onday, September 24, was known around the nation as the start of premiere week, as old and new TV shows returned for the new fall season. It seems as if every day of the week had its own subject, and for CBS, Monday was comedy night. This two hour block consisted of four shows, three of which were on last year: How I Met Your Mother (8:00), Two and a Half Men (9:00), and Rules of Engagement (9:30). This fall, a new show entered the 8:30 block formerly held by The Class. The Big Bang Theory, from the same directors as Two and a Half Men, made its debut on the 24th, and already looks to have the same humorous effect that the previous three shows already offer. How I Met Your Mother is a show that follows five friends and their lives, as a flashback from the time when Ted (Josh Radnor) met his wife. After good friends of his marry each other [Marshall (Jason Segal) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan)], Ted decides he must go on with his life and finally professes his love for his good friend Robin (Cobie Smulders), though the love did not seem to last with their breakup at the end of last season. Lastly, there is the womanizer (Neil Patrick Harris), who provides comedic effect for audiences everywhere, and helps lead Ted in his quest for true love. Two and a Half Men, starring Charlie Sheen

and Jon Cryer, deals with the lives of two brothers. Alan, played by Cryer, has been divorced by his wife and lives with Charlie, his well-known brother who has a thing for ladies and drinking. Together, they go about attempting to help raise Alan’s son Jake (Angus T. Jones), avoiding their mother (Holland Taylor), and meeting as many women as possible in this hilarious, #1 ranked comedy. Rules of Engagement debuted last fall, and more then enough people felt that this show was comical enough to return for an encore season. This show is about different male and female relationships: The long-time married couple, Jeff (Patrick Warburton) and Audrey (Megyn Price), the newly-weds, Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich), and as always in these comedies, there is Russell (David Spade), the single guy out for an adventure. The newest arrival is The Big Bang Theory. Starring Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), these two friends have enormous IQs and specialize in quantum physics. However, when pretty girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves in as their new neighbor, they begin to learn that it takes a lot more then huge amounts of brainpower to understand women. All four of these shows create a hilarious, fun-filled Monday night for all families, a direct contrast from the more action-packed Monday nights of rival TV stations.

photo courtesy

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS plays Barney in CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. The show follows the lives of five friends as a flashback from when Ted, played by Josh Radnor, met his wife. The comedy is a favorite--even among those who are not married.

Heroes returns, second season attracts viewers

JEREMY SPIEGEL staff writer

“I watched Heroes a lot last year,” said Kevin Sheff, 11. “It was very interesting, and it kept me entertained.” Heroes is about a group of people who thought they were normal until they learned that they had incredible abilities. These abilities include telepathy, time travel, and flight. The series has many large story arcs, as well as several minor ones. The start of the second season was greeted by anticipation by many viewers and critics. After last season’s exciting finish, watchers wanted to know how the second season would compare.

It used to be that Monday nights were for football and comedies. With the continued success of Monday Night Football, as well as the widely popular CBS comedy block, audiences did not watch many other shows. However, all is different this year. The widely popular Heroes, entering its second season, was an unexpected success last year. Not only did the show receive the highest rating of any NBC show of the last five years, it became Monday’s most watched show for 18-49 year-old demographic. Many students at the high school also tuned in with interest.

“I’m excited for the new season of Heroes,” said Gus Klofta, 11. “Last season was amazing, and the ending had me ready for this year.” Although only a few episodes into season two, there are many already exciting story lines that exhibit potential for an entertaining season. So far, producers promise that the new season will feature the characters trying to lead normal lives while dealing with their powers. Whatever the season holds, it is clear that Heroes has already won one battle. It has overtaken football and comedies for the top spot on teenagers’ busy Mondays.

Lead Sails Paper Anchor

Atreyu fails to satisfy fans with new album release MATT SCHEER staff writer

Atreyu’s fifth album has disappointed once-avid fans. Many feel that the band has strayed too far from its original sound in order to become more mainstream. Now, Atreyu joins the ranks of bands who have “sold out.”

Fans of Atreyu can recognize their sound anywhere. It is distinctive, noticeable and has gained worldwide recognition. The band released their fifth full-length album, Lead Sails Paper Anchor, on September 28 with Hollywood Records, a major label which also works with Queen and Plain White T’s. Their previous four CDs were released on Victory Records, a smaller yet major record label the produces such bands as Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein and Taking Back Sunday. The new album Lead Sails Paper Anchor is very different from their original sound. Their 2004 release, The Curse, and their 2006 release, A Death-Grip on Yesterday, included much heavier vocals and music, giving them the title of a metal/hardcore band.

After their release of Lead Sails Paper Anchor earlier this year, many fans of the genre and of the band are yelling “sellout”. The band has slowly transformed, getting lighter and further away from the metal genre with every release. They were hoping to be allowed to play on the radio after the release of A Death Grip on Yesterday, but were still deemed “too heavy” for the radio. Many fans are upset with the album because of their transformation from being a band hitting #1 on the metal charts, and becoming a band hitting #8 on the Billboard 200. Once-loyal fans have turned the other cheek saying the band has become too mainstream and should have stayed within the confines of the genre they started out in.

images by sam cleary

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emo kid Tight jeans. Thick black eyeliner. Dyed black hair. It could only be an Emo Kid. The Emo Kids are probably the most stereotyped of all music listeners because of their characteristically different styles, appearances, and not-so-happy attitudes. Emo Kids live, breathe, and sleep their music, and are extremely proud of the fact that their alternative music is very much a part of who they are. They truly are what they are called: emotional.

a&e hip-hop 10.25.07

radio-head Playlist

Excuse the pun; we couldn’t resist. Radio-heads are those who actually enjoy listening to the radio in their cars. On their iPods, one will find mainstream mayhem, with all of today’s FM hits. They are what one would call ‘normal’ in appearance, lacking any distinct characteristics that make them a radio-head. When asked what kind of music they like, they tend to answer in one word: “Everything.”


Fergie Gwen Stefani Daughtry Akon Beyonce Justin Timberlake Rihanna Timbaland Nelly Furtado T-Pain Pink Nickelback

50 Cent Kanye West Lil Wayne Ludacris T.I. Mos Def Talib Kweli Yung Joc The Game Youngbloodz Three 6 Mafia Juelz Santana

Playlist Hawthorne Heights Taking Back Sunday Brand New The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Senses Fail Paramore Saves the Day Matchbook Romance Dashboard Confessional Bright Eyes My Chemical Romance The Used


The Indie Rocker is always on the prowl for an interesting new band. Frowning upon all mainstream productions, they refuse to listen to the radio and tend to spend most of their time on MySpace Music adding as many bands as possible to their friend list. They also proudly display their “advanced” musical tastes through artsy t-shirts of their favorite bands.


indie rocker u

o y , is c

Playlist The Shins Arctic Monkeys Bloc Party Death Cab for Cutie The Fratellis The Decemberists

pop princess Blue eye shadow, bubblegum pink lip gloss, bleach blonde hair. The pop princess can be heard singing along happily to her favorite 90s songs and current mass-produced pop hits, having never grown out of her middle school ways. Jeered at by her more musically cultured acquaintances, the pop princess just does not seem to understand why her musical taste is an object of mockery.

Arcade Fire Peter Bjorn and John The Strokes Copeland The Postal Service Stars

Playlist Aly & AJ Hilary Duff The Veronicas Jesse McCartney Avril Lavigne Ashlee Simpson

Kelly Clarkson Jessica Simpson Vanessa Hudgens Jonas Brothers Click 5 Jojo

? NADIA KHAN sports chief


very kind of music listener co Like race or even gender, mu by looking at someone’s app Pop princess, indie rocker, c punk ,experimental junkie, c which stereotype are you? We have attempted to create a comp could possibly get) so that you can cla In this guide, we have included a list might find on his/her iPod. So plug in your headphones, turn up

a&e gangsta



The hip-hop gangsta is always pop-lock-and-dropping it to the freshest beats and coolest rhythyms in hip hop and rap. Known for their hot -- and at times, very smooth-dance moves, the hip hop gangsta enjoys his/her music with the bass turned up full-blast in order to rock the car to the rhythym. A hip-hop gangsta does not hide his/her taste in music and would never turn the volume down. To hip-hop gangstas, music is a lifestyle, visible in the way they dress, they way they move, and the way they roll.


LEE & JENNIFER editor-in-chief

omes with a stereotype and a label. usic stereotypes are often apparent just pearance. country gal/guy, hip-hop gangsta, coffeehouse intellectual, or emo kid:

Country music: you either love it or you hate it. The ones who love it are usually the All-American guys and girls with at least a little bit of Southern blood. Cowboy boots, braids, and torn jeans epitomize the garb of a typical Country Chick; cowboy hats, crew cuts, wife-beaters and pick-up trucks characterize the makings of a Country Boy.



Playlist Boy Sets Fire Halifax Sum 41 Rise Against Blink-182/+44 Green Day The Misfits Good Charlotte Dead Kennedys Alkaline Trio AFI Death By Stereo

experimental junkie

r eo

our st country e gal/guy

Not to be confused with the Emo Kid, a punk has a distinctly different taste in music and style. Known for their spiked and often multi-colored hair, hardcore punks usually go for multiple body piercings and even tattoos. Where the Emo Kids tend to be sad and emotional, the punks are angry and confrontational in their outlook on life. They are highly conspicuous everywhere they go and always attract much attention, as their loud appearances make a statement--like their music. Indeed, you do not need to look long and hard to find a punk.


Rascal Flatts Keith Urban Dixie Chicks Martina McBride Brooks & Dunn Leann Rimes Taylor Swift Gretchen Wilson Carrie Underwood Kenny Chesney Brad Paisley Sara Evans

You never know what an experimental junkie’s going to look like, but he/she’s bound to be one thing: different. Experimental junkies are the girls and guys who like to take risks, live on the edge, and experiment. Mainstream music is not even in the question. Like the indie rocker, the experimental junkie likes to spend a lot of time on MySpace scoping out new sounds. The experimental junkie, however, is not satisfied with just indie. They search for the weird, the eccentric, the different.

Playlist Massive Attack Propellerheads Air Daft Punk The Chemical Brothers TV on the Radio Thievery Corporation Fatboy Slim Above & Beyond AphexTwin The Microphones Grizzly Bears



Curled up in a sofa with a Steinbeck in one hand and a grande cappuccino in the other, the Coffeehouse Intellectual likes to keep things simple. Opting for slow-jam acoustic melodies over ear-busting cacophony, Coffeehouse Intellectuals make sure their volume is turned low enough to hear themselves think. They are, naturally, spotted most often inside or within walking distance of Starbucks, where they meet with others of their kind to discuss everything from love to politics to the meaning of life.


prehensive guide (or as close as we assify yourself-- and each other. of artists each stereotypical listener

Amos Lee Ben Harper Sufjan Stevens Damien Rice

p your music, and stereotype away. all images by nadia khan and jennifer lee

Fiona Apple Iron & Wine Jeff Buckley Michael Buble

Colbie Caillat Jack Johnson Mat Kearney Tristan Prettyman


Rockin’: The Classics:

all images by

ben dhiman

“Paint it Black” -The Rolling Stones “Reptillia” -The Strokes “Paranoid” -Black Sabbath “Rock and Roll All Nite” -Kiss

GUITAR HERO 3 prepares to make a grand entrance, and adds to the video game phenomenon of playing a simple instrument on a T.V. screen, with a few colored buttons and a switch, playing the songs of the greats. The game, newly out for the Wii enables gamers to match their musical idols in every strum of the strings.

HALO 3 HITS market with a bang, and sells 2.48 million copies in one day. The game carries loads of new features and upgrades itself from the previous sequels, Halo and Halo 2. The campaign continues as the story comes to an abrupt climax. Online play reaches millions across the globe. The game sets new records in the virtual world of video games and obtains a new height. The long anticipated game meets all expectations of gamers, and is able to boost the already high reputation.


guitar hero three Legends of rock



New Hits:

staff writer

“Miss Murder” -AFI “The Metal” -Tenacious D

s the sequel to the critically acclaimed megahit Guitar Hero 2, Legends of Rock has high expectations to live up to. Fortunately, the track list alone seems to suggest it will more than meet expectations. Whether you want to rock out to Slayer’s “Raining Blood” or are more interested in something like Heart’s “Barracuda,” the track list is sure to satisfy. Artists whose songs appear in the game this time include The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Black Sabbath, DragonForce, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Who, Atreyu, Velvet Revolver, Slipknot and many more. In addition, more tracks than ever are performed by their original artists, which will give the game a more authentic feel. The track selection alone would be reason enough for many fans to buy the game, but that wasn’t enough for developer Neversoft. Additions like the new online multiplayer option promise to bring the game beyond just “the next guitar hero.” Another noteworthy addition is the new “battle” multiplayer mode, where players fight to survive while launching attacks against opposing players. These attacks will do various things to make your opponent mess up, such as forcing them to play on a higher difficulty. If both players make it to the end of the round, a sudden death segment occurs. Also new is the cooperative campaign mode, where players team up to play through a modified version of the main campaign.


“Even Flow” -Pearl Jam “My Name is Jonas” -Weezer “Sabotage” -Beastie Boys


ddiction to Halo 3

ffects thousands


staff writer

From a new brand of Mountain Dew to pre-orders reaching deep into 2005, Halo 3 enters a category of video games all by itself. Managing to be one of the most dominant video games in recent history, Halo 3 meets and surpasses high expectations form Halo fanatics across the world. The main grab is the games unlimited new features, which vary from vehicles, weapons, equipment, maps, and creative play. Online gaming has new features, which include different game types, screenshots, and films of recent online play. “Playing Live is the most fun, but I like to play campaign sometimes,” said Ivan Cornell, 10. These awesome aspects to the game create an experience, which can become an addiction. With an online population always over one hundred thousand and jumping well over a million, even at four in the morning, the game reaches all ages and genders. People who play all day; skip school, stay up all night, and spend any extra time playing the game are all Halo gamers addicted to its experience. Although this seems completely unreasonable it is a truth and is denied by many users. The fact that people are willing to miss a test, a date, or a game, simply for a team slayer death match, exhibits the game’s overwhelming attractiveness. It can make gamers subjects to its limitless entertainment. When logged onto Xbox Live, viewers can see which areas of the country and hemisphere are logged on with small lights placed across the map representing amounts of people logged on and where they are located. Getting on after schools witnesses a rush of east coast players, while later in the evening the west coast is lit up almost like a Christmas tree, but there is always lights up weather it is three in the morning or noon time. “I have played at like five in the morning, and there is still tons of people on,” said Chapman Bundy, 10. Overall, Halo 3 has struck the world with a force never been scene in the video game realm. For anyone who has the game, Halo 3 is more than an experience it is a new form of entertainment, and for those who do not, I suggest that it be purchased. This game exceeds Halo 2, and ties spine-tingling new features to generate a video game experience like no other.




STARS OF THE fall sports teams play their respective sport. All the teams have performed well this season. They have used this talent to get ahead in the GMC All Sports Trophy Race and are second to only Mason.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

Fall sports teams prove their worth in GMCs

Currently in second place for All-Sports Trophy behind Mason JEREMY SPIEGEL


staff writer

wo months into the new school year, the sports teams have given the school a reason to cheer come June. With the success of many of the fall sports teams, the students and staff believe that the high school has a good chance of winning the acclaimed GMC All-Sports Trophy. They have surpassed Lakota East for a second place in the standings, with 63 points. League newcomer Mason tops the standings with 73. “Our fall sports teams have had outstanding seasons, and that should give us an early edge in the standings,” said John Stucker, 11, a member of the boys cross country team which received seven points for a fourth-place finish at the GMC meet on October 13. So far, the boys and girls varsity golf teams have both received high scores for their performances in the conference meets. The boys team received nine points for a second place finish, while the girls received seven points for their fourth place finish.

The varsity girls tennis team also received a high score for their performances. The team received eight points for their 8-1 GMC conference record, good for second place in the league, right behind Mason. The boys varsity soccer team received six points for a fifth place in the GMC. The team finished the season with a 5-3-1 record in the GMC after a rough start to the season. “Earlier this season, we knew we had to play better in our conference. We have played very well lately, but we couldn’t finish with a win,” said Ahmad Saleh, 11. Both the boys and girls cross country teams have also performed well this year. Ben Foley, 12, and Hank Geer, 11 both rank in the top five GMC times for boys, while Allanah Sonntag, 11 has posted the third best time of any girl in the GMC. After a 7-2 conference record, suffering defeats by Oak Hills and Mason, the girls volleyball team finished with a third place slot in the GMC. They received eight total

points towards the All Sports Trophy for their winning record. The varsity football team has had a great season, with a 6-1 record overall and 3-1 conference record. The Aves could still win the conference by winning out and hoping for losses by both Colerain and Princeton, who are the only two undefeated teams in the GMC. The fall team with the most success would have to be the varsity girls soccer team. Despite their first and only loss to Mason, they remain number one in the GMC. Though they lost their number one ranking in the nation because of the loss, the girls still have a hopeful attitude towards postseason play. “We picked up our play after the loss, so hopefully we can play together as a team and get to Columbus,” said Deena Schwen, 12. All of the fall sports teams have had great seasons. The early successes of these teams provide a reason to cheer for a great year for the athletic department.

Girls varsity golf team breaks school record by 12 strokes

Still fall short of sectional qualifiers


managing editor

coming up in sports.

Take a look at what is

on deck

Breaking a school record by 12 strokes was not enough for a dedicated team to advance to the sectionals this year. Despite an exceptional round, the varsity girls golf team finished fourth at the competition, where only the top three teams advance. The ladies came in just four strokes behind. The sectional qualifier took place October 4. St. Ursula placed third with a 323, barely ahead of our 327. “327 is easily the lowest sectional score that has ever failed to advance to the district

meet. However, the quality of girls golf has improved rapidly in Southwest Ohio,” said Dr. Keith Brackenridge, varsity coach. Shooting 40, 40, 37, and 35 on the back nine, the players set a new school record of 152 and advanced one teammate on to the district meet. Adrienne Wessinger, 10, shot a 35, tying the nine hold individual round record set by Darcy Isaac, ’94. Despite the devastating loss, the team has every reason to be pleased with its achievements. “[The loss] was tough for us to take since

we played well but it just wasn’t good enough on that particular day,” said Brackenridge. Wessinger moved on to play in the district tournament at Weatherwax on October 10. “It’s been a great season, and we will continue to improve each year,” said Brackenridge. Wessinger shot a 96 at the district meet, so she did not advance to state. “This season stands out in my mind for the way the team bonded,” said Brackenridge.

Check out page 30 to get the football roundup on how the different football teams have been doing this season.

Jump ahead to page 31 and find out how the girls and boys varsity soccer teams have performed post-season.



See what kinds of spalshes the water polo teams have been making this season on page 32.


ALY MAZZEI, 12 tees up for a shot. The girls varsity golf team had a bittersweet loss when they broke the school record, but fell short of the sectional qualifiers.

Page 33 holds all the answers about boys and girls cross country and their performances in the GMC.




Varsity 8/24 Withrow W 28-21 8/31 Springboro W 28-3 9/7 Harrison W 17-14 9/14 Fairfield W 16-10 9/20 Lakota East W 28-9 9/28 Princeton L 14-24 10/5 Oak Hills W 31-10 10/12 Middletown W 48-27 10/19 Lakota West TBP* 10/26 Mason TBP


Playoffs in sight for varsity football Team could make postseason twice in two years under Dattilo WILL JOHNSTON sports chief



8/25 Withrow L 0-12 9/1 Springboro L 14-17 (OT) 9/8 Harrison W 20-14 (OT) 9/15 Fairfield L 19-25 (OT) 9/21 Lakota East L 13-21 9/29 Princeton L 6-14 10/6 Oak Hills L 12-13 10/13 Middletown L 0-28 10/20 Lakota West TBP* 10/27 Mason TBP

Freshmen 8/23 Withrow L 0-26 9/1 Springboro L 8-29 9/5 Harrison L 32-38 9/12 Fairfield W 14-13 9/19 Lakota East L 6-25 9/27 Princeton L 48-32 10/4 Oak Hills L 6-7 10/11 Middletown L 48-16 10/18 Lakota West TBP* 10/25 Mason TBP

*Game has been played by publication date, visit for scores

QUARTERBACK CASEY MACLEAN, 11, drops back to pass against Middletown. The Aves blasted the Middies 48-27, the team’s second straight win after losing to Princeton. This season could be the second consectuive year that Varsity makes the Ohio state playoffs.

or the second year in a row, the Varsity football team has a strong chance of making the Ohio state playoffs. While last year the team made it on the back of a 9-1 regular season record, there are now several ways that this year’s team can make the playoffs. “If we win out, than we will be as high as a three seed. But if we are beaten, than we could be anywhere from a six seed, to out of the playoffs. I know that if we win out we will play at home in the first round,” said head coach Scott Dattilo. Varsity’s playoff seeding depends not only upon their own record, but the results of other teams throughout southwest Ohio as well. The final playoff picture will not be determined until the end of the regular season. While getting into the playoffs is one thing, winning is another. Last season, Varsity beat visiting opponent Wayne 24-19 before losing in the second round 28-0 by Colerain. “To win in the playoffs, we just have to play well that particular night. When you’re in the postseason, you’re playing one of the best teams in the state. It all comes down to execution,” said Dattilo. The atmosphere of the playoffs differs from that of the regular season as well. “The biggest difference is the excitement and attention. When you are only one of few teams still playing, everyone is much more

alert to what you are doing,” said Dattilo. If Varsity were to play in the postseason for the second year in the row, it would further complete the revival of the football program under Dattilo. In two short years, the coach has taken the team from a perennial dormat to a GMC title competitor. However, one cannot write-in the team to the postseason at this point. The Ohio state playoffs are done by region. The state is divided up into four regions; Varsity is in region four, the southwest region. In each region eight teams are selected to participate in the playoffs based upon the Harbin Rankings, a computer ranking system similar to the BCS formula used in college football. These eight teans play a single elimination tournament, the seedings of which are also based on the Harbin Rankings. The winner of each region goes on to play in a final four style playoff to determine the state champion. Going into week nine of the regular season, the top three teams in the southwest division rankings are as follows: St. Xavier, Colerain, Sycamore. By the time this issue is published, Varsity will have one game remining in its regular season schedule, on the road against Mason. Losing either this game or at Lakota West would hurt the team’s chances, while winning out would all but ensure that Varsity would be in.

JV falls to Oak Hills, Middletown

Team’s record drops to 1-7 with end of season looming MATT SLOVIN

staff writer

On a scorching hot October Saturday at Coach Bud Acus Alumni Field, the Oak Hills Highlanders were able to fight off a 12-0 fourth quarter deficit to rally to beat the Junior Varsity football squad. Mistakes led to a 13-12 Oak Hills win. The first points of the game were scored on a touchdown run by Paul Yanow, 10. On that drive, the offense made the Highlander defense seem nonexistent. “I went to both the JV game and the varsity game. I was hoping that the JV team could have the same success that varsity saw,” said Brian Koesters, 11. When Mike Reese, 10, scored a touchdown to put the team up 12-0, it was looking like JV would secure just its second win of the season. Oak Hills responded easily to the pressure, scoring two touchdowns leading to a GMC victory.

“It seemed like the JV team would hang out for the win. Oak Hills really turned it on in the last few minutes,” said Justin Kirschner, 10. It has been a very frustrating season thus far for the JV team. All of the last four defeats have been by just one possession. The lone win came against Harrison in an overtime thriller. Despite this victory, the JV Aves have achieved a 1-7 record, following up the Oak Hills loss with an 0-28 defeat at Middletown. By the time this issue is released, JV will have played at home against Lakota West, the team’s 9th game of the season. The lone remaining game of the season for JV is at home versus Mason on October 27th. “I hope we can finish the season strong,” said Michael Sussman, 10.

RUNNING BACK DECARLOS Smith, 10, breaks away for a touchdown run against Lakokta East. However, the JV Aves ended up losing to the Thunderhawks the 13-21. This game was one game in what has become a disappointing season for jayvee.

Season of disappointment for freshmen football DAVID PYLES

staff writer

It has been a season of ups and downs for the freshmen Aviators. Their record stands at 1-7 as the season nears an end. They have struggled for the most part but seemed to have become a stronger team as the season progressed. The only win of the season so far was against the Fairfield Indians. A 14-13 win for the Aviators was unfortunately the only high they have yet to have this season. “We will hopefully finish strong for the end of the season,” said Samuel Pyles, 9. The offense, which averages about 16 points per game, is led by key players such as Danny Berghoff, 9 and Lionel Hill, 9.

Players such as this will be the future of the Sycamore Aviators. Although the offense has struggled slightly this season, they seemed to be a solid and strong unit. The defense has looked quite impressive in the Aviators past few games. Against Oak Hills the Aves only gave up 7 points. Unfortunately the offense could not pull through to get the victory. Also despite the 48-32 loss against Princeton the Aviators defense has improved through out the course of the season. The defense is led by key players such as Colin Murray, 9, Chase Spicer, 9, and Ben Rader, 9. “Our defense has improved drastically over

the past few weeks,” said Spicer. The Aviators played a quite exceptional season. Although their record is 1-7 they have had some unfortunate turn outs in their games. Their opponents have barely pulled away in a portion of their games. Even though the team is very solid and will hopefully show what they are capable of, it will be very unfortunate that they will finish under .500 this season, as they have two games left. Hopefully they will pull through and have a strong end of season. “The season is not over yet and they can still prove what they are capable of,” said Kyle Templeman, 10.




Girls soccer team claims GMC crown

Question of the Month

Loss to Mason does not damper playoff outlook NADIA KHAN

DEENA SCHWEN, 12, prepares to kick the ball in action form earlier this season. Schwen was third in the GMC in total points scored this season at time of press. She and her fellow seniors will attempt to lead the team to the state championship.


sports chief


Jared Kamrass

Who is the best team in college football?

LSU. If the Tigers were to play anyone else on a neutral field, I would put my money on them. Teams progress over the course of the season and by the time January comes around, I can see OSU, Oklahoma, or BC beating LSU in a championship game. Even though the Tigers are currently better, OSU still deserves its number one ranking because of the fact that they have gone unbeaten.

LSU. In a college football season which has seen a multitude of crazy upsets, it is hard to mark down the Tigers because of a hard-fought loss to a good Kentucky team on the road, when they have also beaten teams like South Carolina and Florida. The way the year is going, it is perfectly reasonable that a team with a loss is the best in the country, and LSU has played like it.

Boys soccer season ends with playoff loss to Moeller

Rob Friedman


We ask sports writers a question of the month about a controversial or current issue in the world of sports.

Ben Estes

he girls varsity soccer team has seen it all. It was obvious that they had seen victory after victory, but recently they tasted defeat—handed to them on a silver platter by Mason, who has quickly become an archrival of theirs after recently joining the GMC. However, the loss came at the best possible time that it could have, though the time for a loss is neither good, nor happy. What can sometimes happen with undefeated teams is that they begin to act a little overconfident, as with the Ohio State Buckeyes football team last year. But that will not be the case with the girls soccer team because they have learned how to lose and walk away with their heads held high. Overconfidence will not be an issue. “Yeah, I was sad that we lost, but at the same time I think we needed it almost, so it was sort of like a wake up call, and it showed us that anything is possible—even losing,” said Deena Schwen, 12. That being said, the girls came out with something to prove Thursday, October 11 against Lakota East, playing a rescheduled match. They defeated the Thunderhawks 4-1, looking like their old selves. “Mason was a devastating loss, but we had to find a way to overcome,” said Ali Shewmon, 12. For a third straight year in a row, the girls soccer team has claimed the GMC title, having only lost one game in the GMC and overall, to Mason. “Winning the GMC was a great way for us to gain much needed momentum especially heading into tournament time,” said Shewmon. The team also competed in the district semifinals against Western Hills, and they proved that they had truly overcome the stumble when the defeated Western Hills 9-0 on Monday, October 15. Last year, after an amazing season, the girls delved deep into the post-season, only to fall short of reaching the state championship game. They reached the state semis, or the final four of the playoff schedule, where they lost before reaching the finals in Columbus. “We all really want to win state, especially now since we lost our chance at a perfect season after Mason beat us,” said Roxanne Demarest, 11. With high hopes and great talent, the team hopes to go even further than last year’s team and grab the state title to call their own.

staff writer

finished out their last high school soccer game. The difficult defeat hit the team and coach hard. The season had been a roller coaster and this loss meant the train fell off the tracks. A well deserved win fell just short, and the Aves have nothing left but their pride. Looking to next year, the team is expected to become a dominant force in the GMC and

throughout the city. With approximately nine starting seniors next year, the team is bound to accomplish a lot. The Aves can reflect upon the leadership of captains Donny Herrington, 12, and Ryan Lavigne, 11, who finished second and seventh respectively in points in the GMC. They managed to hold the team together and supply great offense through the season.

LSU. An upset in triple-overtime on the road to a very good Kentucky team cannot be enough to eliminate them as a #1 team. Even with one loss, LSU still has the potential to make the BCS Championship and win. LSU will recover swiftly and fiercely, winning the rest of their games.

Wow guys, way to be diverse. So in my mind this is how it works: Kentucky beat LSU. No one beat Ohio State. So, that could only mean one thing: OSU is once again the best team in college football. But we all learned last season that rankings don’t even matter-January 8, anyone?

Will Johnston

-otout that cut the team’s high spirits. The loss concluded the season at 8-7-2, fifth place in the GMC. The team was able to start up a strong win streak towards the end of the season and was selected to play the lower seed Moeller in the tournament. The game ended the season and did all but capture the Aves strong senior leaders as they

Nadia Khan

Failing to defeat Moeller high school in the play-off opener ended a season which witnessed ups and downs for varsity soccer. The game ended in sudden death penalty kicks after being tied 3-3 after regulation play and overtime. The finale of the game saw a shoot-out that emotionally crushed the Aves. The game had seen complete domination by the team, but ended in a penalty sho-

HOLDING OFF AN opponent is Matt Moler, 11. The varsity boys soccer team struggled early on in the season, and ended the regular season placing fifth in the GMC. They suffered a disappointing loss in a nailbiter to Moeller in their first post-season game.

For the sake of having some disparity in these responses, I argue that South Florida is the best team in college football. The Bulls are undefeated, and have have two wins as good as anyone: at Auburn and home versus West Virginia. I would love to say OSU is the best team in the land, however they haven’t played anybody. For now, the nod goes to USF.




View from the Stands

Losing ways leave Lewis on the hot seat BEN ESTES sports editor

Remember 2005? The Cincinnati Bengals went 11-5, winning the AFC North Division and making the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Head coach Marvin Lewis had gone 8-8 in 2003 and 2004, his first two years at the helm, and in doing so changed the entire culture of the Bengals’ organization. Fast forward to October 1, 2007. The Bengals are thoroughly embarrassed by the New England Patriots in a 34-13 loss, bringing their season record to 1-3 and exposing the team that once was thought as a playoff contender to be a fraud. The Bengals came in with only four active linebackers and had two become injured during the game, leaving them to play with only two, one short of the three required to start in a game. The two linebackers left manning the middle of the Bengals’ defense for the most important game of the year? Anthony Schlegel and Dhani Jones, both of whom were cut by other teams and had been with the Bengals for less than a month. The game also featured a sideline spat between self-glorifying wide receiver Chad Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer, as well as eight penalties and two turnovers. So, in only two years, the coach’s tenets of a winning attitude, team-first approach, and smart, disciplined football have completely dissipated. Who is to blame? Marvin Lewis. Coach Lewis has allowed the slow destruction of his team. He has stood by and let Johnson and others pursue their own interests, eroding away the team attitude. He has refused to go after the players after poor performances, only explaining to the media that they simply have to fix some things. For example, after the equally embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on October 14, he praised his team’s effort and togetherness in the second half Lewis, who has a strong say in personnel decisions, helped to draft all the players with character issues who have haunted the organization. And not having enough linebackers going into a game is ridiculous and inexcusable. Those blaming defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan are misguided. How is the muchmaligned defense supposed to be a solid unit when the talent and depth levels are so low? It is up to the head coach to ensure talent is sufficient. Only two significant additions were made over to the off-season to a defense that was ranked near the bottom of the league. How can this be justified? The bottom line: Marvin Lewis is slowly losing control of the Bengals. If it continues, then his job should be lost as well.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

BEN KEEFE, 10, swims back on defense. The water polo team has taken significant steps towards having an excellent season. The team, admittedly, still has strides to make before the Ohio state tournament starts.

Making waves:

Water polo team looks to get past turbulence in hopes of successful post-season



staff writer

fter last year’s hard season, the mens water polo team seems to have put many of those disastrous games behind them, and managed to have a solid season with only three weeks left before regionals. “This has been a much improved team compared to last year,” said Scott Wright, 11. This year the squad has a record of 11-12, a vast improvement over their four win season of last year, and a three win season the year before that. In fact, the team reached their win total from all of last year in just the second tournament of the season, and jumped out to a fast start with an early 6-4 record. Though they seem to have hit a small bump in the road, they plan on getting back on track in a hurry,

with that October 19 date for regionals at Mason in sight. The biggest difference this year has been much better defense led by goalie Ian Campbell, 12, which has led to fewer opposition fast breaks and fewer goals. As a result, this allows for leading scorers such as Mike Yellig, 12, and Chris Culin, 10, to have more opportunities to score, and a much improved chance for the Aves to stay in the game. After several more games, the Aves record stood at 9-7, with the chance to make a statement at the Larry Packer Classic at Princeton, where the team would be facing three of the top four teams in the state. “This was our chance to make a statement!” said Matt Weber, 11. Unfortunately for the team, they fell in all

four games, and their chance to make a huge statement in Ohio water polo flew right past them. However, some good points were salvaged from the tournament as the team discovered that they could swim and keep up with the best teams in Ohio, and play them competitively enough to give them a chance to win. With the Aves’ season dwindling to a close, they are only several opportunities left to finish the season strong, though the team does have there first double-digit victory in several years. Of course, with the state tournament coming closer and closer, the Aves, having already earned the number four seed in the region, will have to keep practicing hard to make this final stretch a season to remember.

SOPHIE WALL, 10, AND Lindsay Fishcer, 11, get ready for shots on goal. The girls team has enjoyed a tremendous season so far. The team will soon be moving on to regionals in hopes of making another strong advancement in the Ohio State water polo tournament, which always provides difficult competition from the best teams in the state.

Gains hope for success in state tournament

irls water polo pushes for successful season

EMILY MONDRO staff writer

Girls water polo has been doing very well this season. They have two weeks left until regionals. The season began at the close of summer and will end in three weeks. The girls’ team consists of a JV team and a Varsity team. The team has been practicing everyday after school until five thirty and twice a week in the morning before school at 5:15. Each practice consists of swimming laps for an hour and a half, and practicing drills and ball handling for an hour and a half. “Practices are tough but the hard work pays of in games” said

Anna James, 9. Each day that they have morning practice instead of working on drills and scrimmaging, they go to the weight room and lift or workout in the gym. Morning practices are usually twice a week except when they have games the day before. The team has games very often. They usually have a JV and varsity game on Tuesdays. On the weekends they have tournaments at schools around the state that they travel to together and sometimes stay overnight. So far this season, the team has

played very good games and have won most of them. The hardest teams to beat this year have been Upper Arlington and Kilbourne. “Senior night was really fun because it was the one game we have been waiting for and working up to for all four years.” said Anne Fiorenza, 12 They have been tapering to get ready for Regionals and State. The practices have been a little different because of this. They are now not swimming as much and have been working on skills and plays more.

The team has many bonding activities which include pasta parties in Thursdays before big tournaments. The pasta parties are a very good way to help the team to get to know each other better and make new friends. “Its nice to make new friends and become closer to your teammates as well as learn a new sport.”said James. The gatherings are hosted at each of the senior’s house a different time and sometimes include activities. They have made t-shirts for senior night and have decorated floats for the parade.

sports Full



Court Cincinnati in midst of turf war JARED KAMRASS sports editor

For decades Ohio State owned this town before the UC basketball program turned itself around with Oscar Robertson and then Bob Huggins. Now it’s football’s turn. UC finds itself ranked in the top 15 for the first time in most of our lifetimes and Ohio State has retained its usual spot atop the polls. Let the arguing begin: who owns this town? UC puts the city’s name on its chest and plays in Clifton. But the Cincinnati Enquirer has recently sent reporters to Columbus for Buckeye games and often has given more coverage in the Saturday edition to Ohio State. The quiet debate erupted to the forefront on October 6, when the Fountain Square LED screen showed the Ohio State vs. Purdue game as opposed to the UC vs. Rutgers game. I understand the frustration with UC fans. You want to see your hometown team’s game in the heart of downtown but this without a doubt your fault. That’s right, when asked why they chose to play the OSU game, 3CDC (the body charged with making such decisions) said that “we had many requests from OSU fans.” Are you kidding me? How can UC fans flood the airwaves and editorials complaining when they were out-requested by Ohio State fans? I don’t blame 3CDC at all. It’s about making money and OSU sells in this town. The Bearcats’ resurgence has certainly led to UC fans coming out of the woodwork. Last year, there would be no complaining about the Buckeye game being shown in Fountain Square. Forget the pride; any city with bandwagon fans has no right to proclaim itself Bearcat Territory in the midst of a successful season. This town is full of Buckeye alumni. The OSU/Purdue game got more than a 8.53 rating while the UC/Rutgers contest got a mere 6.97. Is there any question that this is a Buckeye town? Even during UC’s historical run, the majority of football fans in this town turn their eyes to Columbus for the college game. The Enquirer did not send a single representative to the Big East media day but sent one of its most prestigious writers (Reds beat writer John Fay) to cover the OSU vs. Northwestern game. Bandwagon Bearcat fans can complain all they want. They can complain that this is UC Country from now until basketball season. None of it will matter. I personally guarantee that if a similar situation arises on Fountain Square again ten times, you will see the Ohio State game ten times.

all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

The Varsity Girls Cross-Country team lines up for the GMC Meet. After a long season, the squad went to the 9 team meet and finished in 4th place, but had several top finishers. Those include Alanah Sontag, 11, and Alison Kirgis, 12, among others, who finished 2nd and 12th respectively and will be among the top runners at the district meet on October 20.

Girls Cross Country paces to finish line Team learns life lessons with racing KIM BERNIE


staff writer

he girls cross country team started off the season with successful races at Fairfield, Lakota, and Mason. Day after day, these runners have had to deal with heat, tough workouts, and grueling 5K courses. The tight knit group of girls encouraged each other throughout the season. Their team work especially showed throughout their first meets. “Most people think of cross country as an individual sport, but once you join and you realize how much teammates help you to succeed,” said Lydia Popp, 11. With only a handful of freshman who decided to join, many of the girls are used to the difficult workouts planned by Mr. Scott Popoff, head coac­h.

Each day consists of a new challenge that each runner has to conquer. “We have hard distance days and speed workout days to help prepare us physically and mentally for the challenges of racing,” said Emily Kosel, 12. So far, the girls have done just that. Each race has proven to be another accomplishment for the team. Alanah Sonntag, 11, came in first at the Fairfield Invitational, the toughest meet of the season. Alison Kirgis, 12, placed ninth at the Lakota Invitational. Not far behind were fellow varsity runners Meg Simon, 11, and Melissa French, 10. A two-mile race was also held at Lakota, with Elizabeth Young, 11, placing first with a time of

15:09. Rebekah Pittman, 11, and Dallas Burris, 10, were close behind, and helped to clinch the first place finish overall. The JV runners placed second at the Mason Invitational. Leading were Dara Burris, 12, who came in eighth place with a time of 22:34. Viona Zhang, 12, came in 10th followed by Taylor Young, 10 who finished 11th. Tough competition at the Centerville Invitational proved to not intimidate the team. The varsity finished sixth out of 21 teams, while JV finished fifth out of 15 teams. Although the race was one of the hottest of the season, it did not interfere with their success However, hard work means hard play. Each Thursday the girls run to McDonalds for a

“cone day.” Cone days are meant to be an easy run for the team. If the runner achieved their goal time, Popoff buys them ice cream. “Cone day is a great reward for running cross country,” said Marybeth Stucker, 12. Although the girls cross country team has had to run many hard miles, the teamwork and friendship has led them to a successful season. The bonds formed, and challenges conquered have led them to the confidence needed to possibly help them make regionals. “What the runners learn to overcome when their racing helps them to tackle any challenge that is hiding in their future, and find out what they’re made of,” said Popoff.

Runners compete hard at GMC meet Wrap up race with fourth place finish JEREMY SPIEGEL

staff writer

Last year, seniors Taylor Williams and Alphonse Harris carried the varsity cross country team to a win in the conference meet, finishing first and second, respectively, in the individual competition. This year, the team hopes to repeat as champions, this time without Williams and Harris. “We knew at the beginning of the year that it would be hard to replace Taylor and Alphonse,” said John Stucker, 11. “However, I think that we have a good enough team to repeat.” Ben Foley, 12, and Hank Geer, 11, give the team reason to believe it can succeed in the post-season. Both have led the team all season. Foley’s time of 16:05 on October 6 ranks second in the GMC this year, and was a personal record.

“Ben has had an outstanding year and is one of the big reasons we are so confident heading into the GMC’s this weekend,” said Gus Klofta, 11. Geer has also had a great year for the Aves. At the Alliance Invitational, he finished with a time of 16:34, the fifth best time in the GMC this year. “I’m just trying the finish the best I can, and hopefully it will result in a good finish for the team,” said Geer. Stucker, Kubilay Inanli, 9, and Klofta have also had good years, each finishing the Alliance Invitational in under 18 minutes. The boys ran hard, but the GMC meet ended with a fourth-place finish with a score of 109.

BEN FOLEY, 12, RUNS at a cross country meet. Foley is the leading runner of the team. Overall, he is currently ranked second in the GMC.




image courtesy of

Quaterback Ben mauk avoids a sack by Oregon State. Mauk has had a big part in UC’s offensive success, completing 65% percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns. The Bearcats are ranked in the top 25 for

the first time since 1976, and the explosive offense is a major reason for that success. UC has several tough games in the coming weeks, including a key matchup with South Florida.

Bearcats seek Big East title

Explosive offense, clutch defense lead team to hot start DAVID PYLES


staff writer

college football. UC quarterback Ben Mauk had a strong performance and truly showed his talent against Rutgers. Mauk completed 20 of his 37 passes for 257 yards for three touchdowns. A variety of receivers contributed to with touchdowns, including Dominick Goodman, Marcus Barnett, and Marshwan Gilyard. “Ben Mauk has really impressed me this season,” said Josh Samuels, 11. Offensively this season the Bearcats have held true to head coach Brian Kelly’s mentality. The offense averages about 43 points per game. They are led by Mauk and Barnett. This high scoring offense has helped them in many of their victories. This season the Bearcats have averaged about 185 rushing yards per game. This has been achieved through

Bearcat football returns to spotlight

Kelly knows how to win


staff writer

If the city of Cincinnati was buzzing about a nationally ranked team five years ago, no one would have mentioned the University of Cincinnati football team. And Brian Kelly would not have been the coach they were thinking of. Maybe Bob Huggins’ basketball team would have been the talk of the town. However, now the Bearcat football team is surprisingly the ranked squad. The football team is now in the top 25, despite their first loss of the season to Louisville, for the first time since 1976. Their 6-0 start was the first of its kind since the Cats started with the same record in 1954. Some may say the talent is the reason for the Cats’ success, but others who look deep into the story can see that Kelly is the reason for the team’s revamp. Kelly is a winner. Whether it is his two division II championships at Grand Valley St., or his complete turnaround of Central Michigan, leading them to a MAC Championship, Kelly has an astounding overall record of 138-51-2. Now, a Big East Championship is not that hard to fathom.

“I think that we come in everyday and work hard with the mind set that if we do everything right we can win the Big East. If we work hard and do everything right, why shouldn’t we have a shot?” said Kelly. It is the attitude of Kelly that has turned this former bottom dweller to a bottom feeder. He came to the university with a demeanor and confidence level that the players immediately bought into. With the accomplishments so far, Kelly no longer has to do any selling to anyone: the players, the fans, the media, or the university. To many, the achievements of this team has been a surprise, but to the coaches in the locker room and the players on the field, anything less would have been a disappointment. Brian Kelly reeks of arrogance. A good arrogance, not a bad one. He looks like a man of confidence. When he walks, he walks with a swagger. Now his team has the same “cattitude” he does. If one were to look closely inside Kelly, they would see the simple idea he has been harping on all along that is the drive behind the triumph: mediocrity is not acceptable.

a wide spread of four key running backs: Butler Benton, Bradley Glaathaar, Greg Moore, and Jacob Ramsey all have added to the running game. For the Bearcats to continue their success, these tailbacks will have to continue to be exceptional. A great defense always provides a nice compliment to a great offense. The defense has contributed to a big portion to the Bearcat’s success, forcing key interceptions throughout the games. Right now UC leads the NCAA in interceptions. The Bearcats have scored over 100 points off of opponent’s turnovers. “The defense is quick to their feet and have made some incredible stops,” said Corbin Hom, 11. Overall the Bearcats have shown quite an impressive first half of their season and will hopefully do so in the future.

Sycamore grad breaks into NFL

Hometown Matthews prepares to fly

he UC Bearcat football program has already taken the next step this season. Now, they have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with in the Big East. They are 6-1 this season, their best record since 1976. The Bearcats are now ranked as the #23- team in the nation. “I can’t believe how much they have improved in one year,” said Andy Crusham, 11. So far their biggest test was against Rutgers on the road. For the second straight year, the Bearcats defeated the Scarlet Knights. The final score on Saturday, October 6 was 28-23. This was a big win for the Bearcats, and has impacted many college football fans. Right now the program is on the rise. Sell-outs to the games and the great entertainment that these games provide are getting UC’s name out to the city, as well as

JARED KAMRASS sports editor

When walking through the halls of Sycamore High School, there are no portraits of all the famous NFL or MLB players to have attended this school. Sycamore broke down the baseball barrier when Kevin Youkilis, ’97, made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 season. Now, the Aviators can call themselves the alma mater of an NFL starter. TE Mike Matthews, ’01, cracked the starting lineup of the New York Giants and made his debut against bitter rival Dallas on Sunday Night Football on NBC, September 9. The rookie signed with the Giants after being undrafted out of Georgia Tech. Matthews’ meteoric rise from Aviator to Giant has been undoubtedly met with hardships and obstacles. It has not been easy or flashy, but his exceptional work ethic and perseverance has led him to become a media darling in the nation’s largest city. Matthews’ propensity for

blocking has made him a devastating force on New York’s front line. Matthews was not high on many draft boards in April, as 12 tight ends were picked before him. He received a call from the Giants shortly thereafter and has since made the improbable jump from undrafted rookie to starting TE in five months. One could argue that Matthews started at a disadvantage. In the late 90’s and early 00’s, Sycamore was not an Ohio high school powerhouse that attracted recruiters from far and wide. Even at Tech, he was overshadowed by offensive stalwarts WRs Calvin and James Johnson, and RB Tashard Choice. Matthews exhibits the character traits in which the Sycamore community places great value. He might not talk trash, he might not light up for your fantasy team, but the NFL needs more guys like Mike Matthews and Sycamore High School should be proud to call him an alumnus.


10.25.07 Sunday



Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday



Men’s Cross Country State Meet - Scioto Downs 2:45


28 First Quarter Report Cards Distributed





Fall Sports Awards 7 pm - 8:30 pm Panera Bread’s Pink Ribbon Bagel Campaign Ends


1 Little Sibs Day National Honor Society Induction 7 - 8:30 pm



2 So You Think You Can Dance 8 pm US Bank Arena


Cincinnati Bearcats Football Game vs. Conneticut Huskies


“Romeo and Juliet” Musical 7:30 pm

Blue Blue Man Man Group Group at at US US Bank Bank Arena Arena 77 pm pm


Cincinnati Bearcats Football Game vs. Virgina Mountaineers











24 all photos by jeremy mcdaniel

Early Release Day



No School - Thanksgiving Break

“Romeo and Juliet” Musical 2 pm










allin’ with Bryan Summerlin orn in Baltimore, bred in Blue Ash


spotlight chief

& MICHELA TINDERA spotlight chief

Q&A with Bryan Summerlin, 10

Q. If someone went into your room Q. What are three words you would right now, what would they find that best portrays your personality?

use to describe yourself?

A. Sports memorabilia, music, or


trinkets from different countries.

Q. What is your favorite aspect about high school, so far?

A. Drama, haha no. The teachers are generally enjoyable.

Q. Have you always lived in Cincin-

nati? If not, where else have you lived?

A. No, I was born in Baltimore. Q. What was your most embarrassing moment?

A. When I was five, I was given the

wrong piece of music at my piano recital, and attempted to play it anyway.

A. Determined, resourceful, and per-

Q. If you could be any character in Harry Potter, who would you be and why?

A. Not a big fan, but any of them as long as I have the accent.

Q. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

A. Flying. I have always been fascinated with flying and I want to be in the Airforce.

Q. What activities are you involved in, Q. What are your best and worst qualities? in school and out of school? Q. Who is your favorite teacher and A. Worst would be I am a perfectionist why? A. Band, Boy Scouts, baseball, and and best would be I am a perfectionist. general fun having. A. Well, young people (said with a Q. What are some of your favorite bands? southern draw), it is between Ms. Ray, Q. If you could be any animal, what because she is hilarious, Mrs. Klefas, would you be and why? A. Sublime and Red Hot Chili Peppers. because she is the nicest person I have ever met, and Mr. Miller because he is, A. An eagle because they can fly and Q. Who are the people closest to you? well, interesting. are generally awesome. Q. Any last words? Q. What is something about you that A. My family. others do not know? Q. Do you have any pet peeves? A. Umm, commitment in the face of conflict produces character. A. I like to cook. A. Bad drivers (love ya mom) and lazy people.


Food Steamed blue crab Movie Gladiator or Zoolander Book Band of Brothers CLOCKWISE FROM TOP left: Summerlin performs with the saxophone section at a football game. Taking a mug shot for the camera in the sophomore locker bay. Anders Miller, 10 and Summerlin participate in an Invisible Children activity. Summerlin poses with fellow saxophone section members at the junior high.

Color Sort of a cerulean-ish,

ultramarine-ish, indigo-ish, midnight-ish blue

TV Show


all images by jacy cagle and michela tindera

October 2007 issue  

9 spotlight diversity Yearbook Deadlines Senior Spotlight Concert Senior Pictures, Baby Ads T E AC H E R S >> RECRUITING: PAGE 3 Littl...