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gazine nt News Ma e d tu S l o o igh Sch Sycamore H mber 2013 me 1 | Septe lu o V | 2 e su Is

THE REAL HEROES OF HOMECOMING

[ALSO INSIDE]

technology builds brighter future p. 4

cross country uses yoga to prevent injuries p. 14

celebrities abuse fame p. 19


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THE LEAF Being the leaders of a group that works extraordinarily hard each month to produce something which seems to only matter for a day, we like to think we understand how the ‘superheroes of homecoming’ feel. Honestly, doesn’t everyone sometimes feel that his or her relentless effort has gone unrewarded? This is why we felt that it was about time Student Council, the custodians, and anyone who puts hours and hours of time into making Homecoming extraordinary deserves coverage in something that we, in turn, spend hours and hours making extraordinary. Of course, Student Council and The Leaf staff aren’t the only groups who deserve admirations and thanks. The yearbook staff spends hours every day of the school year on what results in a spectacular 400-page memento of the entire year. And the technical theater crew works incredibly hard to make the Aves Theater productions unforgettable. Bottom line, all of us deserve a little recognition for something. We decided it was Student Council’s turn.

-Sanika Vaidya, Shea Lothrop, Ana Barros

Inside this issue: PHOTO COURTESY OF MCDANIEL’S PHOTOGRAPHY

Editors’ Note

Vol. I | Issue II | 09.27.13

Nathaniel LeRoy and Margaret Jordan, both 11, and Miss Renee Hevia, assistant principal, enjoy Homecoming as the result of Student Council’s meticulous planning. Each year, the members of StuCo handle the extraordinary decorations, the pep rally games, the parade, the door competitions, and much more. This year, the parade will take place on Oct. 3 at 7:00 p.m. and the dance will be on Oct. 4 at 8:30 p.m.

NEWS

3 | Syria Q&A with a student who has lived on the Syrian border

FEATURE

4 | BYOD Technology opens doors for future 6 | National Merit High achievers excel on PSAT 8 | “Endangered” Author visits SHS

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

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

Feature Joseph Ahn Caroline Gao Isaac Goldstein Sports Lauren Saxon A&E Krittika Chatterjee Ethan May Forum Alexis Corcoran Elizabeth Rickert Spotlight Camila Cardenas Brooke Landrum

9 | Superheroes Discover the school heroes

SPORTS

13 | Twins Siblings dominate sports 14 | Cross Country Runners explore injury prevention 15 | Water Polo Team advancing to State

Kathryn Tenbarge Cartoonist Joseph Ahn Web Master Ruochen Tang Staff Writers Abbey Baker Jordan Baker Sarah Birckhead Anais Cabello Shivain Chopra Benjamin Cohen William Coleman Tim Den Boer Amy Deng

Cameron Foy Hannah Frey Max Fritzhand Zachary Fritzhand Jenny Ham Benjamin Hammer Sarah Home Rujula Kapoor Lauren Kurtzer Beverly Liu Jack Loon Madeline Marsh Julia Mattis Hannah May Alexis Outt

FORUM

19 | Apple Newer technology disappoints fans 20| Miley, Amanda, & Lindsay Stars spiral downwards

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

21 | “Insidious 2” Scary movie excites fans

SPOTLIGHT

22| Football Rachel Cogen, 10, Varsity player Joshua Patterson Benjamin Ruskin Orion Schlosser Zoe Schlosser Matthew Schneider Lauren Shassere Joseph Slovin Emily Tyler Jennifer Weber David Wertherim Alex Wittenbaum Jessica Wocks Eli Zawatsky

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

THE LEAF | TABLE OF CONTENTS

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WORLD

SEPT. 27, 2013

News briefs

Students are in the Variety Show to showcase their talents and present their abilities. The show is usually run by Mr. Kenneth Holdt and Mr. John Whapham who decided to use the show as a fundraiser for the music department. It will be on Oct. 11.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the country. It will start Sept. 20 at midnight. It features seven stages showcasing continuous live German music and more than 30 food vendors serving close to 200 dishes.

“Sycamore 360” was founded this year by Gabriela Godinez,12 and is geared towards promoting kindness and acceptance in order to inspire positive interactions among students and their peers while preventing bullying. The club will meet every Wednesday.

Unified for Uganda (U4U) held an assembly during 2nd bell for freshmen and 3rd bell for other grades on Sept. 23. Will Tardio and Opwonya Innocent, guest speakers, are touring Cincinnati area schools introducing themselves to students.

The Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, traveled beyond the solar system into space on Sept. 12. The ship carries a calling card. Its purpose is to introduce Earth to extraterrestrial beings through recordings of languages, pictures, and music.

Organizing For Action (OFA) supports an action for stricter gun control. The political advocacy group originally grew out of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. OFA asks supporters to first sign a petition and then donate to the organization. The shooting in Navy Yard constituted the worst loss of life in a single incident in the Washington D.C. region since 9/11. Aaron Alexis, 34, the identified shooter was previously diagnosed with insomnia but never sought help for mental illness before his death.

2

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112 age of former oldest man alive, who died on Sept. 13

85

percentage of sarin* found in blood of dead Syrians

*sarin-toxic chemical weapon used in attack

5.3

magnitude of earthquake in Japan’s Fukushima

NATIONAL

15

number of suspects arrested for acid attacks in Tanzania Nina Davuluri wins Miss America 2013. Davuluri became the first IndianAmerican winner. Her win spurred a spiral of controversies regarding who represents the United States. She experienced a similar situation after winning Miss New York.

100+ number of deaths in Mexico due to flood

Sources: CBS.com, CNN.com all statistics as of press time

ALL IMAGES BY BRENDA SHEN

LOCAL

by the numbers


NEWS

‘No Good Can Come Out of a Civil War’ BEN HAMMER

STAFF WRITER

You stayed in Lebanon this summer. Explain the details of your travels; when, how, why? I bought my ticket in February 2013. At the time, my family had a couple of weeks to decide if it was safe for us to travel with an all-out war right across the border. Our main reason for traveling to Lebanon was to visit our family, aunts, cousins, grandparents; most of my extended family lives there. It has been an annual trip we take every summer. In the end we decided that it was worth the risk. Family is a huge priority in our culture. What were some effects of the Syrian conflict that you may have noticed in Lebanon? Over the two months, we stayed in the small Armenian village of Anjar, located in the mountains that border Syria. Being so close to Damascus, the capital of Syria, we met and saw many Syrian refugees looking for work and shelter in our community. Some residents would even rent out their homes to the wealthier families. We lived life as normally as possible. All tourism had declined, hurting businesses and companies in the area. In fact, my uncle’s restaurant has seen a big decline in customers from previous years. It had a depressing vibe to it all;

people hanging outside the shops and waiting all day for not even a single customer. In the middle of my vacation, or July 16, I heard an explosion. Over in the distance I could see smoke rising. Outside of Anjar you could tell that there was some sort of blast. The metal vaulted roof over my uncle’s outdoor complex shook violently as my cousin and I were eating lunch. We weren’t afraid because there was no reason to attack our Armenian Village, but we were still curious to see what had happened. Later on the news we read that a bomb hit a Hezbollah convoy traveling toward the Lebanese border crossing with Syria, wounding two people. Obviously the Lebanese are feeling the effects of the war. What would you say is the Lebanese perspective on the conflict? From talking to people in Lebanon, there is only one thing that they want: peace. The Lebanese people are tired of war. After the Lebanese civil war most people still have a bad taste in their mouth. War hurts the economy, pushing many of the more educated people to places like The United Arab Emirates, Europe, and the United States for jobs such as what happened in the case of my family.

What is your take on how the Syrian people feel about the situation? I could not personally tell you what the Syrian perspective is since I have not gone through the struggles of living in Syria or being a refugee. Many of my uncle’s workers this year were Syrian and I had a chance to talk to many of them about the situation. A lot of them simply want it to go back to how it was three years ago. One of them told me that they don’t care who wins the war. They just want it to go back to being peaceful. It was interesting because these workers came from distinct sects, Sunni and Shiite. Thinking about them, the first guy who pops into my mind is Zeki. He’s been working at my uncle’s restaurant for some 20 years now. I remember my mom asking him what he wanted to happen in Syria. He basically said that he doesn’t care for [Bashar al-] Assad, but more importantly, he wants peace for his children and relatives across the border. What do you personally think is best for the Syrian people? For the war to end — maybe some kind of a peace agreement or a sharing of power. The Syrian people want to have a word in their government, but at the same time they want peace. No good can come out of a civil war.

IMAGE BY BENJAMIN HAMMER AND ELI ZAWATSKY

Q&A with Gary Bouajram, 12, on LIVING near the Syrian border

10,000 people 5,000 people 1,000 people 10 people

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Lebanon THE LEAF | NEWS

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BYOD:

Photo courtesy of Sanika Vaidya

FEATURE

Benefit or detriment? KRITTIKA CHATTERJEE

MANAGING EDITOR

LAUREN GLYNN

MANAGING EDITOR

HANNAH MAY

STAFF WRITER

T

echnology has altered our lives in extreme ways that are difficult to perceive. Taking a look at the medical field, technological advances have given doctors 4

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benefits and opportunities to treat diseases and illnesses that were, at one time, tremendously fatal. This is just one example of how the inventions that have come about in the past decade can truly assist an individual in a real-life situation. From a young age, people are naturally interested with technology such as iPhones, laptops, and other personal devices. Thus, the administration has come to

the conclusion that the only way to prepare us for the technology-based future is to incorporate more of these inventions in our everyday life as students. “Aviator Launch is the product of an engagement process with staff and students that started at Sycamore Junior High School two years ago. Our original goal was to determine how to increase high school and college readiness, and increase

the amount of current technology to our students,” said Mrs. Karen Naber, director of academic affairs. To provide more student access to technology and to aid students in utilizing digital tools for dependable, pertinent, and pleasing learning, SHS approved Aviator Launch Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) this past February.

Getting started

To be able to participate

in the program, students must log on to Blackboard and click the link under the section My Classes that is named BYOD Boarding Pass. Each student must pass a series of certain tests to be able to obtain a Boarding Pass and then a BYOD sticker is placed on the device (provided by the IMC) to let teachers know what devices have been approved. “Students have to do six online modules that include


FEATURE

Running into problems

The idea of the program is to let students use their own personal devices at the school under specific school rules. Students are hesitant to bring their own laptop to school when they can use the school provided ones. Bringing a device to school comes along with the possibility of it getting stolen, lost or broken. “I haven’t gotten BYOD yet because the school is not providing insurance if your device is stolen or broken, and none of my teachers are requiring it so what's the

point?” said Olivia Salach, 10. However, this does not seem to be the big issue. Many people are bringing and using laptops, iPads, and other devices in school even though they do not have them registered. Some of the faculty members are allowing students to use devices that are not registered with BYOD. “I have BYOD but honestly I didn’t really need to get it because the teachers let you use your device anyways,” said Hannah Kast, 10. If and when the administration steps in and cracks down on this new policy, people will start to get the boarding pass. Until then it seems that the little yellow sticker is just for decoration. “About 20% of the junior high and about 10% of the high school have done the modules. This is slightly lower than we anticipated but we believe it will increase the more teachers start to increase their use of digital resources/ tools in the classroom,” said Naber.

Technology’s effect on education Up until now, high school students everywhere have been using technology for

educational purposes, whether it be for a research paper or simply to look up assignments on Blackboard. Ideally, BYOD will complement these normal practices. However, recent studies have suggested that in the long run, it could have adverse effects. In The Atlantic in 2008, Nicholas Carr caused more than a few double takes with his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The headline may have been a stretch, but its basis is alarming. A study of online habits conducted by University College London indicated that “users are not reading in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of reading are emerging as users ‘power browse.’” That is to say, kids today are approaching reading with a staccatolike mindset, bouncing through keywords. In some respects, this is almost more beneficial, making skimming overbearing material a more convenient process. But for students relegated back to libraries, the search has become much more difficult. For Jacquelyn Rudich, 12, using books to research for her AP American

History paper proved harder than she expected. “Looking for books as a source of information is an entirely different process. We can look things up on computers, but my mom said that when she was in high school, there was no search engine for this kind of thing,” said Rudich. For her, the dependence on the Internet was retrospectively disabling. “It cut me off from an entire source of knowledge, which was kind of a hindrance, but most of the information can be found somewhere on the web anyway.” However, BYOD might be bringing us into the future. Books are taking on technology by the thousands through devices like the Kindle and Nook, even textbooks. Colleges continue to maintain higher and higher expectations, as well as job positions. In an era where proficiency in higher-level technology is becoming the norm, BYOD seems to be a step in the right direction toward the real world for SHS.

What are students saying? I THINK IT WAS A GOOD CONCEPT, BUT PRACTICALLY, IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO PULL OFF. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TIME TO TAKE THE QUIZZES AND LAPTOPS ARE EXPENSIVE. Bryan Scardicchio, 10

WE ALREADY USE THE INTERNET ON OUR PHONES. WHY DO WE NEED TO BRING OUR BACKPACKS TOO? I THINK IT’S KIND OF STUPID.

I HAVE MY STICKER. THE QUIZZES ONLINE WERE REALLY EASY, I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO WATCH THE VIDEOS BECAUSE I ALREADY KNEW THE INFORMATION.

Elizabeth Gibson, 11

Reed Bie, 11

10

percent of students have registered at the JHS

20

percent of students have registered at the SHS

IMAGE BY LAUREN GLYNN

a short message from Dr. Adrienne James, care of their device, cyber safety, digital citizenship, online integrity, and Blackboard and Google tools. This takes about 60-90 minutes to complete,” said Naber. The assessments test you on material such as internet safety and usage. “I have not gotten the BYOD boarding pass yet because I have my own computer at home so I don’t think it is necessary to buy a laptop when the school provides you with one” said Jory Gould, 10.

The process: -Log onto Blackboard -Under the header “My Classes” is a link named “BYOD Boarding Pass” -Take the tests to be able to get your passport -Go to the IMC to get your approved sticker

THE LEAF | FEATURE

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P S A

IMAGE COURTESY OF MCDANIEL’S PHOTOGRAPHY

FEATURE

T

Performance Success on Academic Tests RACHAEL SUN

WEB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

SANIKA VAIDYA

A

PRINT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

new laptop can cost $1000. So can a pair of One Direction concert tickets. With $1000, a student may also enroll in the Princeton Review’s SAT Ultimate 30-hour Course. For some of SHS’s 17 Semifinalists in this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program, this is what brought them to success on the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). On Wednesday, Sept. 11, seniors Jacob 6 SHSLEAF.COM | THE LEAF

Belcher, Taylor Combs, Benjamin Goldschneider, Azante Griffith, Leah Grinshpun, Nicolas Hershey, Sarah Li, Wendy Lu, Karin Oh, Shyam Parikh, Elizabeth Reece, Mark Reinhart, Rachael Sun, Ruochen Tang, Sanika Vaidya, Nathan Whitney, and Chun Wong were recognized as National Merit Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of high school students nationwide.

PSAT/NMSQT

Each October, the College Board administers the PSAT/NMSQT, which both provides a practice for the SAT, which many colleges require for admission, and offers

juniors a chance to win scholarships should they score above a certain cutoff and meet other requirements. However, it is almost equally important for students in earlier grades to take the exam. Younger students have the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT each year at the same time as the juniors, though they are not considered for scholarships. “People were always talking up the big standardized tests and making them seem so very important. Once I took the PSAT sophomore year, I realized the PSAT, SAT, and ACT were just like any other standardized tests we had taken,” said Lu. “I was a lot less uptight about the junior

215

To be a National Merit Semifinalist, students had to score above this on the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT. The score varies by state and changes every year.


FEATURE year PSAT, even though that was when it counted.” Some students find it even more beneficial to take the PSAT both their freshman and sophomore years. Sneha Rajagopal, 11, was one such student. “It’s just easier when you have a feel for it and there aren’t any surprises. I just felt more and more prepared every year,” said Rajagopal. All of this preparation and practice is invaluable in the effort to eventually reach the score necessary to be a National Merit Semifinalist. “Being a National Merit Semifinalist means a lot, especially with the credibility and the congratulations that it brings. It’s a good feeling,” said Goldschneider.

Legacy at SHS

The 2013 National Merit program recognized 17 SHS students as Semifinalists, compared to 19 at William Mason High School and six at Lakota East the previous year. “I’m amazed at the longevity of our standings with National Merit Semifinalists. Although it’s never a competition, you see some schools who come and go. What’s great is seeing our student body sustain its performance each year,” said Principal Chris Davis. Many juniors have been preparing for the upcoming PSAT, which will be administered Oct. 16, since the beginning of June. Whether it be through self-study, classes, or peer review groups, there seems to be a sense of urgency in the test takers.

Millions of students who take the test each year with the hope of getting National Merit Scholarships

Opening doors

This year’s Semifinalists now have a long journey ahead of them in becoming Finalists, which includes a variety of essays and applications to be submitted by next year. In becoming Finalists, they will have access to scholarship money, an important factor in the college decision process. However, it remains unseen whether their status will significantly impact their chances during college admissions.

Number of Semifinalists nationwide who are named as Finalists

15,000

Perhaps this uncertainty originates from the uneven playing ground created by different score cutoffs for each state, or the costrelated accessibility to preparation each student faces. “National Merit is a nice thing to have and put on your resume when you apply to college. It might help your chances, it might not. But whether or not you get National Merit shouldn’t dictate what schools you apply to,” said Nikita Thomas, ‘13 Finalist. “As for admissions, I honestly don’t know if it’ll help. But it probably won’t be a make-or-break decision factor.” That being said, the selected students still have much to be proud of for their achievements. “This is really, really huge for you,” said Superintendent Adrienne James during the announcement and recognition of the Semifinalists.

16,000 Number of students nationwide who are named as Semifinalists

The most important thing you can do is go in to the whole process calmly. Stress can only hurt you.

Number of students from SHS who are National Merit Semifinalists

17

BY THE NUMBERS

1.5

“To me, the PSAT is a good way to determine how well I will do on the actual SAT as well as a very good chance for scholarships. I’ve prepared by studying vocabulary and taking study tips from those who have taken the PSAT,” said Max Schwarzer, 11. Goldschneider has been sharing some recently validated advice with Schwarzer. “For future PSAT takers, I believe that the most important thing you can do is go into the whole process calmly. Do what all the guidebooks and test prep pages say. Get good sleep, have a good breakfast, and go into things calmly. Stress can only hurt you,” said Goldschneider. It is perhaps this spirit of camaraderie and traditionally high scoring students that has been upholding SHS standings through the years. “When I was little I always looked up to and was inspired by Sycamore National Merit Semifinalists, so that makes me hope that we can serve as role models for our younger peers,” said Oh, another Semifinalist.

THE LEAF | FEATURE

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FEATURE

“Endangered” synopsis

Awardwinning author set to visit SHS S

Which one of Eliot Schrefer’s books best fits you? If you enjoy action or animals...

“Endangered”

If you enjoy conspiracies and plot twists...

“The School for Dangerous Girls”

If you enjoy murder mysteries...

“The Deadly Sister”

If you enjoy themes of family and love...

“The New Kid”

If you are preparing for college...

“Glamorous Disasters”

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EMILY TYLER

STAFF WRITER

HS is getting ready for its first author visit in almost 20 years. On Oct. 15, highly acclaimed author Eliot Schrefer, who has written two adult as well as two young adult novels, is coming to visit those involved heavily in the English department. His most current novel, “Endangered,” is a finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. This experience will be unique for the high school, not only because there has not been a visit from a published author in 20 years, but because this author is involved in the fields of both adult and young adult fiction, and is also a former journalist. While Schrefer is here, he will be discussing what has inspired him to write, in hopes that he will inspire the students as well. Inspiration is the most important part of the writing process for novelists, as well as teachers and students. For Schrefer, his inspiration to begin writing was the trials of being an SAT tutor fresh out of college. “…I will say my real students are a lot sweeter than the ones in the book,” Schrefer said in an interview on his

website. “Glamorous Disasters” was Schrefer’s debut novel. Author and Scholastic editor David Levithan approached Schrefer with a title and asked him to write the story behind “The School for Dangerous Girls,” which was his first young adult novel. Perhaps his most popular book, “Endangered” was driven by a love for bonobos, a creature native to the Congo and resembling a small chimpanzee. However, inspiration for a novelist is much different than that for a teacher or student. “My passion for helping students: being able to show there is a great writer inside them, and that they just have to work hard to see its potential,” said Mrs. Emily Sweeney, freshmen English teacher. When students are asked inspires what them to write, responses range from pain to joy. “An idea is like a flower bud, but inspiration is what helps the idea blossom into better things. Writing is a way to put your stamp on the world, and to show who you really are…writing is a way to express yourself in a different, more detailed way,” said Olivia Shuholm.

A bonobo sanctuary in the heart of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to several small apes, a single mother, and her unenthusiastic daughter, Sophie. Sophie is unchanged by the Congo until she meets Otto, a young bonobo. When she meets Otto, she begins to feel an affection and responsibility for a creature other than herself. However, a revolt breaks out in the wartorn nation, and Sophie has no choice but to flee into an unfamiliar jungle with only Otto by her side. Sophie must sacrifice more than she bargained for, and take drastic measures in order to eat, and to survive.

bonobo: noun

- an anthropoid ape of central Africa, similar to the chimpanzee but much smaller and having a black face


SEPT. 27, 2013

A behind-the-scenes look at Homecoming and its hidden heroes Story by KATHRYN TENBARGE, Associate Editor and ELIZABETH RICKERt, Opinion Chief

IMAGE BY LAUREN GLYNN

Cover story


COVER STORY

L

ast Homecoming, the main decoration in the entry way was a giant, gold star covered in lights. It was beautiful, it was eye-catching, and it was way too big to fit into the hallway. “We had to take out the ceiling tiles to get the star to fit. We also couldn’t fit it in the elevator and it had to be carried up the stairs. Along with screwing in all the light bulbs, the whole process took about three hours,” said Sara Constand, 12. A complicated, stressful occurrence like this all just part of an average day for

the StuCo Homecoming planning committee. “Homecoming is definitely the most stressful time of the year because it’s so sudden. We have to put a bunch of work in early in the year,” said Adam Lucken, 11, Spirit Committee Head. Every year is a learning experience for student representatives. “Last year we learned that the tailgate wasn’t a profitable venture. So this year, we are doing a mini pep rally after the parade, which is changed up,” said Madeline Driscoll, 10.

Work in progress

Planning for the week

starts in May when StuCo meets for an ice cream social event at Sycamore Junior High School with the upcoming freshman members to decide the theme of the dance. “I usually spend a lot of time over the summer looking for ideas for decorations. Last year was the most stressful time for me because we hand made all the decorations. We were afraid we wouldn’t have everything done on time, because our biggest concern is having enough stuff,” said Carly Lefton, 12. On the first day of school, they are divided into

committees who handle the pep rally, parade, decorations, spirit, coronations and door decorations, and business aspects of Homecoming. Over the next two months, StuCo makes all sorts of arrangements for the big weekend. “Last year, everything was going well with the parade until about 4 p.m., when people were about to arrive at the tailgate. The company that agreed to give us the hamburgers never showed up. We ended up going to like five places to buy enough hamburgers,” said Constand. On top of ordering food and decorations, the student

government has to handle the physical aspects of entertaining 1,200 people. “Student Council does so many different things throughout the first two months such as making decorations, deciding games for the pep rally, and contacting people to be in the parade,” said Andrew Schneider, 9. Planning makes perfect Generally, there are no consequences for not participating during the annual dress-up day week. But for StuCo, if you forget, you have to do push-ups in front of the entire group during seventh bell.

It feels so good to look around and see all the things we visualized come together - Jonathan Lucken, 11

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COVER STORY

Push to the finish

The student advisors stay up at the school decorating until as late or early as 2 a.m. Then, they return at 8 a.m. to finish the job, which

could take as long as six hours. “The weekend’s the best because it’s crazy. We are constantly decorating after the game, the next morning, and the morning after the dance. I didn’t know what I was getting into but I like it,” said Samantha Weiss, 12. The school custodians prove extremely helpful at navigating equipment during the night and the next day. “We use the lifts to hang up pretty much everything that needs to be hung. There’s usually a lot, including the gossamer and decorations that go along the balcony of the Commons. It’s a lot of hard work, but the Student Council kids enjoy it and we do too,” said James Dudley, SHS janitorial head. Parent and student volunteers have also proven invaluable in the decorating process, as they help with both big and small lastminute jobs. Before StuCo even finishes Homecoming, they are already transitioning to future dances and events for the rest of the year; the work never truly ends. “I am very proud of the work that Student Council members have done into creating a very memorable Homecoming experience,” said Mrs. Kathryn Korchok, StuCo advisor. As the experience comes to a close, the committees record contacts, and helpful tips and tricks for later years, to keep up the tradition of a student-run Homecoming for generations to come.

STUCO COMMITTEE HEADS

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHAEL SAXON

“It feels so good to look around during the week and see people wearing the day’s theme, and see all the things we visualized coming together,” said Jonathan Lucken, 11. Friday is when things get truly stressful for StuCo and the volunteers. It starts with ticket sales, followed by the parade. “We are super excited to get more community involvement this year in the parade. Since we have a higher participation than in the past, there will be candy. We encourage all students to come out and watch,” said Elisa Berry, 12, head of Parade Committee. The next step is the pep rally, which the student representatives creates and cleans up. That night, the football game involves coronations and more cleaning up. Then, when everyone goes home, StuCo gets to start putting up decorations. Lefton is the head of the Decorations Committee, and has been managing the decorative aspect of the dance for months. In fact, until the few days before the dance, she does not allow anyone touch her main masterpiece, which will be unveiled that night. “I’m stressed on the day of Homecoming, about the details including everything about Student Council and the dance itself,” said Amy Bitzer, 10.

Head of Decorations Carly Lefton, 12

Heads of Parade Max Weiss, 10 and Elisa Berry, 12

Head of pep rally sara constand, 12

heads of spirit week adam lucken*, 11 and amy bitzer, 10

heads of coronations samantha weiss, 12 and anna mondro, 12

Head of business relations elizabeth rickert, 10 *NOT PICTURED

>> Event details on next page

THE LEAF | COVER STORY

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GUIDE H OMECOMING GIRLS

COVER STORY

BOYS

criteria: school spirit, theme, creativity, “wow” factor prizes: first place class receives a breakfast or lunch. the department with the highest participation gets a teacher breakfast.

- Pay for pictures - Wear a short, formal dress - Buy your date a boutonnière

THURSDAY: AVE-VENGERS

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We want at least 75% of doors decorated, 75% of students participating, and 75% of all staff taking part in spirit week. - SHS Student Council

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SHSLEAF.COM | THE LEAF

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Swaim Park Cooper R

SYCAMORE JUNIOR HIGH

PARADE ROUTE

ZIG ZAG RD

We are issuing a 75% challenge:

This year’s parade will be a walking parade; vehicles will be allowed, but at a walking speed.

FRIDAY: GREEN AND GOLD

REM

ING

TON

RD

Mon tgo mer y

WEDNESDAY: COLLEGE

d

MONTGOMERY CITY LOT

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START

LN

TUESDAY: Think Pink

LLY

MONDAY: RED, WHITE, BLUE

- Pay for tICKETS ($30) AND dINNER - Wear a nice shirt and tie - Buy your date a corsage

SHE

S PIRIT WEEK

DOOR DECORATION

Oct. 3 @ 7PM


SPORTS

Water polo shoots for state ETHAN MAY PHOTO BY MCDANIEL’S PHOTOGRAPHY

A&E CHIEF

LAUREN SHASSERE

O STAFF WRITER

nly half way through the season, the boys water polo team has accomplished numerous achievements. Already, the boys were able to take third place in the Ohio Cup tournament, losing only to Mason and Huron Ann Arbor, a team from Michigan. Although the team lost to Mason at the Ohio Cup, the boys were able to beat them at home 17-10 the next time they faced each other. Coach Nick Hellwig received his 100th win on the same night. “It was really a great moment for the team as well Anna Condron, 12, clears the ball in a water polo game last season. As a captain and goalie, Condron as the coach. He had been plays a vital role in the team’s success. Gary Tameris, head Varsity coach, earned his 300th win of his waiting for that one a long career, and the team continues to work toward their ultimate goal of winning State. time,” said Adam Ioas, 11. The team has many Hancher, 11, Jonathon strong, winning their coach, games and won two games upcoming goals for the Quantz, 12, and Aaron Pang, Gary Tameris, his 300th against Mason. They will face second half of the season, 12, the team looks to have a win. this team many more times in including winning State. The good year. Both teams are looking the upcoming season. idea does not seem far off “This year I think we have a forward to the remainder “We have had a great rivalry at all considering the midgreat shot at State. It will be of the season, and hope to with Mason this year, I think season rankings that came out extremely good competition,” accomplish this year’s goal of everyone is excited to see on Sept. 13 and placed the said Hancher. being the number one team what happens,” said Grant team second behind Mason. The girls water polo players in Ohio. Girten, 12. So far the boys have lost two also started their season Led by captains Mark

3

1

Ingredients for a winning team

set goals constantly work hard

stay positive inside and outside the pool

-Gina Schwegmann, 10

2

Captain’s Corner “We are focusing on each game as we go through the season, but no matter if we win or lose a game, we know that working hard in practice and getting comfortable with the uncomfortable will help us grow and improve as we need to.”

- Anna Condron, 12

Column: MICHAEL SAXON

EXECUTIVE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Friendly reminder

This will not be a critical column. I will not be ridiculing a professional athlete. I will not be presenting any of you with a grand moral challenge. Rather, I merely hope you see this column for what it’s intended to be: a friendly reminder. Why do you play sports? To stay in shape, so you don’t feel guilty smashing on a double chicken Chipotle burrito? Or maybe it’s for colleges, to show them you’re a “well-rounded individual that would be a perfect fit for their campus.” Or maybe, you just play for yourself because you enjoy the competition and being able to say “I beat Mason” (hopefully). While these reasons might be what partially drives you to play a sport, there is a more important one that shouldn’t be overlooked. You play for your teammates and the relationships you form while playing. While the long bus rides to Hamilton are a pain, you love them because you’re surrounded by some of your best friends. Even though that coach makes you condition incessantly during the off season, you put up with it because your teammates are right there with you. You love the inside jokes. You love wearing the matching jerseys to school. You love the pregame meals. Personally, I don’t play soccer because of some romantic reason like “I love the way my cleats feel on the perfectly trimmed grass” or “I love connecting perfectly with that ball that was hanging in the air.” Absolutely not. I play soccer because I love the fact that every day, for at least two hours after school, I’m surrounded by people who I’ve grown incredibly close to over the years. Ten years from now, it will be hard for me to recall our team’s record at the end of the season. I doubt I’ll remember any specific statistics, or any specific games for that matter. What I’ll take with me will be more intangible: the memories of the time I spent with my team. So, for all the athletes out there, especially seniors, I challenge you (looks like I lied) to remember the real reason you’re playing this season or in upcoming seasons: for those who are, or will be, right beside you. THE LEAF | SPORTS 15


SEPT. 27, 2013

Fun & Games

Hannah May

STAFF WRITER

Rujula Kapoor

STAFF WRITER

111

Where in the school is this?

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

The first person to submit the right answer to SHSleaf@gmail.com will win an out-to-lunch pass

A P P L E S S K V E G D Q W C C O S Z F A Z H F K Z A B I C

Cider Leaves Pumpkin Rake Apples Pie

Sudoku 2 8

3

3

1

9

7

5 7

3

1

2 3

5

8 6 3

Homecoming Word Scramble

8

4

8

8

9

2

1

6

6 3 7

5

Fill in numbers such that every row, column, and square has exactly one of each number, one through nine. 16

SHSLEAF.COM | THE LEAF

1. ghncimoeom _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2. engre _ _ _ _ _ 3. rsativao _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4. dlgo _ _ _ _ 5. lfobolat _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 6. adecn _ _ _ _ _ 7. gkni _ _ _ _ 8. ueqne _ _ _ _ _ 9. hwondtuco _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 10. derapa _ _ _ _ _ _

1. Homecoming; 2. green; 3. festival 4. gold; 5. football; 6. dance; 7. king; 8. queen; 9. touchdown; 10. parade


SEPT. 27, 2013

Opinion

Staff Editorial People we can support A hero is defined as someone who has courage and nobility, and is regarded as a model or ideal. We usually envision them as wearing capes and tights and having double lives. But members of Student Council the true heroes - do not lead double lives; their days are all dedicated to creating everyday miracles. As we began writing our cover story, we realized that what is important about Homecoming is not the what, when, where, and why - it is the who and how. As attendees, it is easy for us to look at the event and take it for granted. But those who build it from the ground up know that it takes so much more than putting up decorations the morning of the dance. Every day for the last six months, our class reps and officers have been

Leafing through the masses: What do you think about the amount of time Student Council puts in for Homecoming?

planning and creating an event that is ultimately not for them, but for the community. But that still begs the question of why we decided to cover Homecoming. We did so because we know what it is like to have a month’s work hang on the outcome of one day. We know what it is like to have to make something look easy when it makes us want to rip our hair out. But most of all, we know what it is like to be proud of what we do. Student Council does so much for our school, but they are always behind the scenes, always in the “before,” but never the “during.” They are our hidden heroes and we should feel lucky and thankful for having a group of peers so dedicated to making every year unforgettable.

I have friends in student council so I know what they put into it and i greatly appreciate it.

I am definitely excited for my first homecoming as a Freshman. Nonso Okonji, 9

Rachel Klein , 12 I see that they put in a lot of work but IT IS not for everyone. I will go, but I am not the dancing type. Nitya Sunil,10

The work they put into homecoming shows how strong of a work ethic sycamore has. Mr. Ben Lozar, Student Teacher THE LEAF | OPINION

17


OPINION

What’s new with the iPhone 5s?

iPhone

iPhone

iPhone

iPhone

Fingerprint scanning added to deter theft and hacking

iPhone

Newer, faster processor that is supposedly twice as fast as the iPhone 5

Another anticlimactic Apple reveal

Three colors rather than the traditional black and white; there is now a gold iPhone Sources: Apple, About.com

iPhone 5s, 5c lack innovation, disappoint consumers SHEA LOTHROP

A

PRINT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

s America continues to face the biggest modern technological revolution in history, Apple is struggling to keep up with rivals such as Microsoft and HTC. Apple has been on the leaderboard for years, always collecting buzz for its next big reveal, such as the one that took place on Sept. 10. However, this time the aftermath of the announcement seemed less important, less impactful. Apple products have appealed to me, as well as millions of others, for years. However the 5s and 5c reveals were huge disappointments. Besides faster speed, which every phone they make seems to have an ‘improvement’ on, nothing is outstanding. These phones are ordinary. Finger print passcodes are useful, but so was Siri, who got old after a couple of weeks. A cheaper iPhone means saving money. Cheaper also means downgrade. The transformation from glass to plastic surely aids 18

SHSLEAF.COM | THE LEAF

the price reduction on the 5c, but the system built inside it impacts the cost as well. I was hoping for something big to remember why I love Apple, and love its products. And after Apple’s chief executive announced ‘amazing products’ were in the works excitement easily flooded through tech lovers’ minds. The only question now is this: When will these so called amazing products be released? I’m baffled that after all of the scrutiny Apple has endured about falling behind competitors, the company chose to play it safe. If there is any company that should know about creating a breakthrough device in society it is them. Thankfully, iOS 7 and the dramatic software redesign take away from the painfully dull new phones, but this only removes a fraction of my dissatisfaction. I love technology, and I love my iPhone even more, so I hope they are planning an innovation that will shock us equally as much as their original devices once did.

ALL IMAGES BY ALEXIS CORCORAN

New camera with bigger pixels with “true tone” flash for better color balance

by the numbers

2007

over

500 million Number of total apple products sold at the beginning of 2013

year that the first iPhone came out

10

number of iOS devices sold every second during the last quarter of 2012

900,000 83%

number of apps available in the iTunes store

Percent of iPhone 5 buyers who upgraded from a previous iPhone

iPhones 1, 2, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S


OPINION 6’2”

6’2”

6’0”

6’0”

Guilty: Abusing fame

5’10”

5’10”

childhood celebrities can’t keep it classy

5’8” 5’6” 5’4”

5’8” 5’6” 5’4”

5’2”

5’2”

5’0”

5’0”

been making headlines for some not so positive reasons.

LAUREN SAXON

SPORTS CHIEF

I

couldn’t help but laugh as I imagined the faces of 13-yearold Miley Cyrus fans watching her appalling performance on the 2013 VMAs. With her tongue stuck out and half of her clothes off, one cannot argue that her behavior was far from appropriate. Cyrus is only one example of a celebrity gone awry with fame. Lindsay Lohan, Cyrus, and Amanda Bynes used to be at the top of their game. As the stars of popular children’s shows and movies, these female artists quickly became favorites on Disney and Nickelodeon channels. Their productions like “Hannah Montana,” “The Amanda Show,” and “The Parent Trap” focused on sending positive messages to a youthful audience. “I watched Amanda Bynes on her TV show all the time,” said Taylor Gardner, 11. However, lately these celebs have

As I watched the careers of my favorite childhood celebrities deteriorate in front of my eyes, I constantly found myself asking the question: “what happened?” A common theme that I found with Cyrus, Bynes, and Lohan, is that they each were thrown into the spotlight at a very young age. It is possible that this lack of regularity in their childhoods helped turn them into the flighty adults they are today. Each of the women has displayed childish actions in her adult life. Lohan turned to drugs and drinking, Bynes was arrested and forced to undergo psychiatric evaluation, and Miley has begun twerking on grown men and women. “Miley is disappointing a lot of people with her actions,” said Benjamin Grossheim, 9. Growing up in Hollywood exposes celebrities to an entirely different world. The juvenile actions committed

Lohan stars in her first movie “The Parent Trap”

Bynes first appears on TV in Nestle Buncha Crunch commercial

1993

What Caused the Fall?

1998

Fall from fame 21

SHSLEAF.COM | THE LEAF

2002

Bynes stars in film “Big Fat Liar”

Sending the Wrong Message

by Lohan, Cyrus, and Bynes may be a direct result of an extremely abnormal childhood.

Damaging Public Opinion

Between the scandalous dancing, drugs, and mental illnesses, I think it is safe to say that these three careers are currently in a downward spiral. Lohan, Cyrus and Bynes have tainted not only their careers, but their reputations as well. Already, Miley’s raunchy performance on the VMAs has cost her the cover of Vogue Magazine after appearing “distasteful” to the magazine’s editor. An undesirable connotation is now associated with the names of each of these celebrities. The irresponsible actions have altered the opinions of many members of the public, including our own SHS staff. “It’s devastating that today’s youth are so negatively influenced by superficial celebrities whose destructive behavior speaks volumes. It’s better to emulate those who exhibit honor, like those who serve in the military,” said Mrs. Christine Allen.

2004

Cyrus lands role in “Hannah Montana”

Lohan stars in movie “Mean Girls”

2006

I am sad to see the folding careers of some of my favorite celebrities I watched as a kid, but what bothers me most is the harmful message these celebs are sending to kids younger than me. The possibility of 10-year-old Miley Cyrus fans thinking it is ‘cool’ to twerk and wear revealing clothing is disappointing, and only one example of the negative impact celebrities abusing fame may have.

Will it stop?

I desperately hope that the recent actions of Lohan, Cyrus, and Bynes are just phases. With luck, they will quickly realize the destructive paths they are on and work to repair their damaged careers and reputation. Regardless of mine or anyone else’s thoughts on the radical behavior changes in these celebrities, Lohan, Bynes, and Cyrus simply “Can’t Be Tamed.”

2006

Bynes stars in film “She’s the Man”

Lohan arrested with cocaine in her possession after crashing car into a tree

May 2007


Amanda Bynes, known for her acting films like “She’s The Man,” “Big Fat Liar,” and “Hairspray,” has taken a detrimental turn. She has recently been arrested and taken for psychiatric evaluation because of her actions this past year.

Born Destiny Hope Cyrus, this talented actress and singer beat out over 1000 hopefuls to land the role of Miley Stewart on the Disney show “Hannah Montana.” Cyrus has reached the top of the Pop charts, but is now trying to seperate herself from her Hannah Montana persona.

12 7

At which age did these celebrities step into the spotlight?

“I think that they have all made a lot of mistakes.” Noah Stern, 9 “A lot of fake rumors have been spreading about why Miley is acting the way she does. I don’t really believe them; and I actually don’t think she’s that bad.” Maya Outlaw, 10

Performer Lindsay Lohan is famous for her films “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls,” but has shattered her once positive image after being arrested twice, involved in car chases, and spending time in rehabilitation centers.

Lohan is senten ced to one day in jail and te n hours of community serv ice hours, and rehab

Aug. 2007

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Source: Biography.com

ALL IMAGES BY LAUREN SAXON

Total Transformation

Bynes Cyrus Lohan

OPINION

May 2013

Bynes taken into custody after smoking m arijuana in an appartment and throwing a bon g out of the wind ow

Bynes is detained in mental care facility for 72 hours and unde rgoes psychiatric evalutation after star ting a fire in a neighborhood drivew ay

July 2013

“I still love Miley Cyrus even though she’s changed so much since she started out in Hannah Montana.” Haley Rayburn, 10 “They are easily one of the best examples of how one’s exposure and environment can change them negatively.” Nakul Narendran, 11 “It makes me kind of sad to see these celebrities who used to be good role bodels for kids, turn into the people who you don’t want to look up to.” Emily Callaway, 12

SHS Live Twitter Feed on Cyrus, Lohan and Bynes

Aug. 2013

Cyrus releases o fficial music video to “Wreck ing Ball”

Cyrus performs “We Can’t Stop” VMA performance with Ro bin Thicke

Sept. 2013 THE LEAF | OPINION

22


Insidious

chapter

2

ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT

BENJAMIN COHEN

STAFF WRITER

“Insidious Chapter 2” picks up immediately after the first film ends and tells the story of Renee (Rose Byrne, “Bridesmaids”) looking into the past to figure out the reason for the evil spirits that have been haunting her son, and now her husband, Josh (Patrick Wilson, “The Conjuring”). hat is the simple synopsis. There is literally so much going on in this film that it cannot be explained in a single sentence. But not everything going on is necessarily original. The film seems to draw large inspiration from “Psycho,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” and mainly “The Shining,” so much so that as Josh descends into madness you keep expecting him to shout, "Here's Johnny!" The film also seems to use many classic horror movie tropes. Mommy problems, rundown hospitals, and the recently overused creepy child toys. However, just because it has been overused does not mean it is not effective. Never before have tin can telephones been used to such a chilling extent. Another chilling aspect of the film was the cinematography. While most of the dialogue was bland, the cinematography made up for it by forcing the audience, and the top notch actors, to peer around every corner and occasionally be greeted with a terrifying consequence. I cannot stress enough, though, how much you need to see, or re-watch, the first film before seeing this one. This way you will be able to catch all of the plot twists and revelations made concerning the first movie, many of which make this such a great sequel. It may not be a perfect film, or near the greatness of the first, but it will scare and entertain you, even if it is not always as original as it wants you to believe. Source: www.imdb.com

Top 6

2013 horror movies

1. You’re Next 2. The Conjuring 3. Dark Skies 4. Dark Circles 5. No Ones Lives 6. Insidious: Chapter 2

ALL Images by Brenda Shen

inside

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THE LEAF |ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT

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‘If he can do it...

SEPT. 27, 2013

Spotlight

...SO CAN I’

KATHRYN TENBARGE

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

A IMAGE BY SANIKA VAIDYA

strictly male football team is almost always the norm in high school. But for Rachel Cogen, 10, that was not an

option. “My brother was the kicker for the high school team before me. It wasn’t that I was really interested in football when I was a kid, it was more like ‘If he can do it, so can I,’” said Cogen, who is a kicker on the Varsity football team. As a kicker, she trains solo a lot with the kicking instructor, Coach Mark Porter. But Cogen stills spends a lot of time with the rest of the team, warming up with them, conditioning, and watching play-by-play films. “I’m like the little sister who gets picked on in a light-hearted way,” said Cogen. Being the female kicker is not always easy. “I used to think football was an easy sport, but it’s actually really hard. The coaches are all really

nice though, like with the boys they’ll yell at them when they mess up, to make them better, but Coach Porter understands that I don’t like being yelled at,” said Cogen. On the sidelines, Cogen’s brother has proven to be a huge source of support. “He’s in college now, but he’ll watch the film after the games and call me and say ‘This is how you can improve,’” said Cogen. Besides being a crucial member of the football team, Cogen is also a source of inspiration for other girls interested in football. “When I first say I play on a football team, people don’t get it. They’ll be like, ‘Woah, but you’re a girl!’ But I have had people come up to me saying I was inspirational, which is really cool,” said Cogen. Cogen’s plan is to stay on the team for the next two years. “I think this year’s team is really good. I feel like we have a great season ahead,” said Cogen.

10/30/13

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Sept Final Issue