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newsbriefs Homecoming week

The themes for each day of Homecoming week, Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, are as follows: Monday: Music Jamboree Day (wear a band t-shirt) Tuesday: Ten Gallon Hat Day (wear a hat) Wednesday: New Frontiers Day (wear a college shirt) Thursday: Dress like a cowboy or cowgirl day Friday: Green and Gold Rush On Friday, Oct. 3, a pep rally will be held during sixth bell.

Homecoming weekend

In the evening, the Homecoming parade will begin at 4:39 p.m. and lead to the Junior High. The tailgate will then kick off between 5:15 and 5:30. The game against Lakota East starts at 7:30. The dance will begin at 9 p.m. on Saturday at SHS.

Art show winners

At the Montgomery Art Show, seven students received honors and one even won a 500$ scholarship. Ana Maria Martinez, 12, won “Best in Show” and was awarded first prize. Seniors Claire Rickards and Melanie Schwartz were both first place finalists. Honorable mention included Ane Elwing, 12, Maria Martinez, 11, Jenny Miller, 12, and Leigh Anne Whitmore, 12. For the second year in a row, SHS took first place.



Storm season swept the region as a taste of Hurricane Ike closed school for three days. Read stories, reactions, and more on page 2.


TUESDAY September 30, 2008 | Volume LV Issue II |7400 Cornell Road | Cincinnati, OH 45242 | (513) 686-1770 ext. 3089 |

ifteen seniors named Semi-Finalists inancial, scholastic opportunity awaits scholars

mary ann JIANG



repidation passed, triumph declared. For 15 scholars, performances on the PSAT bring prestigious recognition and an entryway to earning large sums of scholarship money. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation revealed that their scores reflect a constituent less than the top 1% of all students’ results. The 15 seniors from SHS include: Nate Eckman, Hilary Egan, Ben Estes, Abby Evans, Lauren Kley, Evan Lind, Tara Lucian, Evan Lind, Meredith Murphy, Dana Reinhart, Meg Simon, Terence Southard, Jeremy Spiegel, Dan Tang, Erica Wittkugel, and Esther Wu. “I was excited to be given the opportunity to be a National Merit Semifinalist and I was excited to represent the school,” said Evans. From among more than 1.5 million students and more than 21,000 high schools, about 16,000 of these students now contend for about 8,200 scholarships to be awarded between April and July 2009. Students selected as semifinalists are required to write personal essays and submit academic information for review by the Corporation. The Program is designed to distinguish and reward students with consistently strong academic performance, rather than success on just the PSAT. “It will really help with scholarships,” said Wittkugel. In February, the NMSC notifies schools and students if they have advanced as finalists. In March and April, students begin receiving scholarship offers from corporate sponsors and participating colleges. NMSC offers a $2500 scholarship as well. “It’s rewarding to finally get recognized for scholastic achievements,” said Eckman. Typically, awards for study are hard to come by, accolades either honor a wide range of students, or honor a very small selection. For the 15 from SHS, the titles and competition distinguish with exceptional prestige, exceptional continued performances.

A life remembered: Sue Koehler honored

Senior Halloween nearing

This year’s Senior Halloween is little over a month away, scheduled for October 31. Accordingly, seniors have been advised to plan their costumes appropriately. “The costumes should be tasteful, and students should be respectful of cultures, race, religion, and sensitive current events,” said Mr. Antonio Shelton. Students will be asked to remove distasteful costumes and are subject to discipline if deemed distasteful. In addition, disruptions to class will not be tolerated.

PSAT registration, testing

Sophomores and juniors can register at lunch until Friday, Oct. 3. The PSAT will be administered on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Sophomores shold report to the commons for the test. Juniors will take the test in the Gregory Center.


2-6 7-12 opinion fun&games 13 14-18 feature 19-20 a&e sports 21-25 calendar 26 spotlight 28 news

Homecoming events are in full swing this week. Theme days, and pep rallies all lead up to the game on Friday, Oct. 3. The dance will take place at SHS on Saturday evening. Read more on page 14.

photo by staff

AFTER PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCING the lives of a countless number of students, Mrs. Sue Koehler, (left) Student Assistance counselor, passed away on Friday, Sept. 5. She had battled Ovarian Cancer for 15 months. Those who witnessed her passion for others were inspired and moved by how she listened and uplifted, dedicating her time and passion for any whone with a need. She and Mrs. Karen Warm, (right) worked together in the department. >> Pg. 4: KOEHLER

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

THE FIFTEEN SENIORS named National Merit Semi-Finalists are as follow (from left to right): Row One: Esther Wu, Hilary Egan, Tara Lucian, and Dana Reinhart. Row two: Abby Evans, Erica Wittkugel, and Lauren Simon. Row Three: Meredith Murphy, Jeremy Spiegel, and Lauren Kley. Row four: Dan Tang, Evan Lind, and Terence Southard. Row five: Nate Eckman and Ben Estes.

Friday festivities not limited to football Pre-game bash to follow parade, precede game will JOHNSTON associate editor

For many students, the thought of homecoming may evoke a few choice events. The dance. The game. The pep-rally. Such are some of the main attractions. However, the festivities for this weekend are hardly limited to just these. One of the most popular events of the entire weekend, a pre-game bash is planned for this Friday afternoon. It is scheduled to take place at approximately 5:15-5:30 p.m., directly after the conclusion of the parade. Tickets are required for both the pre-game bash and the game itself, and will be sold in advance for $6 for both events; prices will be higher at the door. The pre-game bash is highly attended every year, and students, parents, and any others are cautioned to buy their tickets early. “We definitely encourage all students to come out and have fun, but to buy their tickets in advance,” said Mrs. Kate Korchok. A variety of different events have been planned for attendees’ enjoyment. The band Tapped Out, featuring Mr. Kevin Mays and Mr. Paul Alexander, will be in performance. The entre to be served is a clever shot at the opposing Lakota East Thunderhawks- chicken sandwiches. In addition, a number of other typical pre-game activities will be available. Corn-hole, volleyball, face painting, as well as other family-oriented festivities will be able to be enjoyed. As in past years, Vitamin Water will also be available. All are supported to attend, though bringing ones own seating and arriving early has also been recommended. The pre-game bash and all of its encompassing activities were orchestrated by a dedicated group of student-council members. Headed by Danielle Linz, 11, they include Aaron Natarus, 10, Dominic Miller, 9, Roxanne Demarest, 12, and Shelby Gilgoff, 12. The group worked hard to plan the event, and likewise hope that many attend the pre-game bash. “Last year was a blast,” said Linz. “But this year will be even better.”

Money matters: Personal Finance now mandatory for graduation kavya REDDY calendar editor

Starting with the incoming freshman in 2010, Ohio high school students will be required to take an economics and financial literacy class to graduate. Kids today are bombarded with credit card offers the day they enter college, but most college students do not have much experience in dealing with personal finances and depend on their parents for advice. Such factors were motivation for the change. This class will teach students responsibility for their own financial well-being and how to do their

homework before making financial decisions. Students will learn practical applications, like how to manage their money by keeping their checkbooks balanced and how to avoid credit card traps. “The class will really broaden the students view on the real world,” said Mr. Greg Cole, economics teacher. “It will teach them to maximize their incomes and save better for the future.” As a semester class integrated with the current economics class, this course will be taught under the busi-

ness and social studies departments. To prepare for the course load, various teachers will attend the Economics Center for Education and Research at the University of Cincinnati. The center created a Money Matters Financial Education Initiative, a network consisting of the economics center, the local business community, and schools. The initiative will offer training for teachers to certify them and provide resources to integrate content to classes. In 2006, high school students failed

a quiz from the JumpStart Coalition, correctly answering an average of only 52.4% of the questions about credit cards, insurance, retirement and savings. Educators are hopeful that financial education will play an important role in the students’ future. “I took the [economics] class last year and it really helped me,” said Eve Petticrew, 12. “I learned a lot of useful things such as managing my money, writing checks, and college tuition. It is a really good idea that they are making it mandatory.”


news TUESDAY September 30, 2008

all photos by staff

Hurricane-force winds shut school doors, stir rumors

Administrators debunk school closure myths daphne HSU

associate editor


or three days after hurricane-force winds hit Cincinnati, the high school remained closed. Superintendant Dr. Adrienne James, principal Mr. Chris Davis, and child nutrition services manager Mrs. Barbara Duncan, separate the myths from the facts regarding the causes and effects of the days off. Myth or fact? The high school was closed an extra day because there was no food. Myth. The high school was closed Wednesday because its power had not been restored. All the other buildings in the district had power. Myth or fact? The days off are considered “calamity days,” and will subsequently be counted towards the district’s five allotted calamity days. Fact. The high school now has three calamity days, while the other schools have two – calamity days are a school-by-school issue. Unless the state grants a waiver because it was affected by a natural disaster, which will not be decided until spring, then if the high school has more than two calamity days this winter, students will have to make up those days off. These make-up days are already built into the calendar: Presi-

dents’ Day on Feb. 16 and more days in June. Myth or fact? If there are any more calamity days, seniors will have to make them up, too. Unsure as of Sept. 23. “All students are required to make up days should we exceed our allotment of calamity days,” said James. But Davis said seniors most likely will not have to. “We will have to wait and see what the winter holds and how the State Department of Education decides to handle the power outages of last week,” said Davis. “Several thousand people are still without power so it is not completely over yet.” Myth or fact? The food stored in the cafeterias freezers had to be thrown away. Fact. Child nutrition supervisors at each school checked on refrigerated food items on the second calamity day. They emptied all refrigerators, but the freezers at the high school stayed cool enough that only a few ice cream items needed to be thrown out. As of Sept. 22, total food losses added up to $4,315.32. “All food served when the students and adults returned to school was fresh and safe,” said Duncan. “The potentially hazardous foods because of temperatures had been discarded. Monday is our normal delivery day and all those deliveries had been kept on hold until we were ready to receive them.”

” ” ” ” ” ” ” ”

I was one of the lucky ones to get power back on Monday. I thought it was interesting that residential areas got power restored before schools.

-Matthew Kirkendall, 11

-Rebecca Pollak, 10

After the power outage, our freezer food started to go bad, so we resorted to storing it in a church freezer.

My house got power back really quickly, so we pretty much always had people over using our Internet or charging electronics.

-Eric Rubeo, 9


staff writer

What exactly happened?

I was in my room right after my baseball game and all of a sudden a large branch came crashing through my ceiling and was three feet from my head.

What was your immediate reaction? I ran out of my room as fast as I could.

How much inconvenience did it cause?

-Brian Wulker, 12

>>read more stories at


Total people tragically killed by remnants of Hurricane Ike


School districts obligated to call off school

1999 tornado • 6 total people killed; 4 in the Greater Cincinnati region • 400 homes damaged by April 10 • 54 tornadoes swept through the Midwest region • $82 million in damage Remnants of Hurricane Ike in Ohio • 5 total people killed, 3 in Ohio • 23 Duke Energy customers left without power one week later • 76 mph wind speed • $7 million requested by the state for federal disaster assistance for local governments, total amount of damage unknown as of Sept. 23 Hurricane Katrina • 1,836 total people killed; 705 missing • 1 million people displaced • 175 mph maximum wind speed • $110 billion in damage

Senior nearly skewered by errant branch Q&A with David Pyles, 12

leafing through the masses I went over to someone’s house to work on a computer assignment and stayed for dinner because there would be no food [at home].

of Hurricane Ike Numbers: Comparison damage to other calamities

BRANCHES AND TREES all over Cincinnati were blown down by the 75 mph winds, falling on houses, power lines, and cars. See for a staff member’s account about having a tree crash into her house.

I just started to sleep in my room again. I had to sleep in my sister’s old room for a week but all my stuff was still in my room, so I was living in two rooms.


Duke utility workers at locations around the state

Did anything else happen to you from the storm?

A small tree landed on my car. It didn’t do a whole lot of damage but now it’s covered with a whole bunch of scratches and a couple dents.

What is your final thought on what happened?

I still can’t believe it happened. It really freaked me out and was a really big nuisance. I had no clue the storm would be that bad. And a huge branch coming through my ceiling and nearly impaling me was the last thing I expected.


Total Duke customers without electricity immediately after image by jake newton


TUESDAY September 30, 2008

She left us an attitude that we can reach, an attitude of acceptance, an attitude of working for the underdog, and an attitude that everyone is worthy no matter who they are or what they are, because we are all in this together. -Dr. Maria Sarasua, guidance counselor

She’s been there for anybody who’s needed her, may it be students, faculty, or families. Her demeanor and her spirit have inspired many teachers.

-Mrs.Valerie Nimeskern, who was encouraged by Koehler to get her master’s degree in counseling

If you met her or even if you didn’t meet her, her memory will live on in the programs she established and the relationships she had with people. -Mr. Antonio Shelton, who worked closely with Koehler and the administration

-Mr.Vincent Ranfeld, who worked with Koehler in SAC

photo by staff


She took the Student Assistance Program and really made it a banner program for the state. She not only allowed it to grow but stood by it as other schools allowed their programs to fall by the wayside.”

I admired her passion for helping students. She was a world of support for so many students who were hurting. She not only gave her personal attention to the students who needed help, but she also developed programs to ensure that each student had a venue in which healing could take place.

-Mrs. Beth LeBlanc, English teacher


MRS. SUE KOEHLER, left, was an inspiration to all who met her. She worked at SHS for 27 years, first as an English teacher, then as the creator of the Student Assistance Program. Last summer, despite being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Koehler proved her dedication to this school by continuing to meet with students who still needed her.

Remembering Mrs. Sue Koehler How her life has changed this school daphne HSU

associate editor

nspiring, passionate, and warmhearted – all words used to describe Mrs. Sue Koehler, who died Sept. 5 at age 58. Although she was best known as a Student Assistance Counselor, she was much more than that to countless numbers of staff and students. Koehler graduated from Wittenberg University as an English major. During her time there, she traveled to Greece as an exchange student and became a student ambassador to Africa. Upon graduating, Koehler and her husband served in Iran with the Peace Corps. All of these experiences abroad taught her to value diversity – an appreciation which would later show up in her work as a Student Assistance Counselor. Initially, Koehler started at SHS 27 years ago as an English teacher. She worked with students who had difficulty reading, but soon found out that they also had personal problems that affected their performance in school. So, in addition to academics, Koehler helped her students with their personal problems, which inspired her to become a counselor. Koehler became further moved to

become a counselor after her fellow English teacher and close friend, Mrs. Pat Martin, died from breast cancer. Deciding that it would be too painful to continue teaching, Koehler went back to college to get her second masters degree—this time in guidance and counseling. About 18 years ago, Koehler started the Student Assistance Program, creating support groups and a safe haven for students. She gathered a group of teachers to set up Core Team, a program in which teachers would mentor small groups of students and has since evolved into Fast Track. From there, Koehler also closely collaborated with the administration and worked with Officer Paul Payne in counseling students with legal issues. But Koehler did not stop at the high school: she aided Mrs. Liz Gonda and Mrs. Lisa Dunster in setting up Huddle, a group of high school students who would teach elementary school fourth graders good lifestyle choices; she set up parent-toparent nights where parents would come together to discuss alcohol and drug issues; she became involved

with Xavier University's guidance program. To quantify Koehler's impact on the school and on the community would be difficult, but her influence still resonates through her actions. In the early and mid-90s, it seemed as if the school lost students to suicide each year. Koehler educated the staff so they knew what to watch for and would go to her if they felt something was wrong. By intervening and counseling, Koehler was able to save some students' lives. In June 2007, Koehler was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Always in and out of the hospital, she was unable to be at school, and eventually, she was in and out of hospice, too. But during the summer, she still met with students who needed her. The SHS staff held a memorial on Sept. 11 after school to celebrate Koehler's life. On Sept. 20, a memorial service was held at the First Unitarian Church. In lieu of flowers, people were asked to donate to the Sycamore Education Association, which offers scholarships to students who plan to become teachers, or funding for ovarian cancer research.

All things are possible when we Live with integrity Treat others with dignity Take pride in diversity As students and staff at Sycamore High School, We can make a difference. quote on the commons wall and the SAC’s motto that Koehler wrote and lived by

” ”” ” ” ” ” ”” She was one of the loveliest people. Her heart was warm. Her intelligence was just immense. -Mrs. Judy Klefas, English teacher

What I can take away from having known her is: if you care for kids first, everything will follow. She made me a better teacher and she never was in a classroom with me. -Mrs. Lisa Dunster, worked with Koehler in SAC She radiated an inner peace and sense of well being that made you feel better immediately if you were having a bad day. I am a better person for having had the great fortune to have known her. The world needs more people like her.

-Ms. Julie Haverkos, who worked with Koehler in Core Team I never left her office without feeling safe or prepared to do what I had to do.

-Mrs. Liz Gonda, worked with Koehler in Core Team and SAC



‘Techno Tile’ gym floor installed:


TUESDAY September 30, 2008

30 Hole-filled but sanitary, money-saving but durable This day

in history

michela TINDERA

business manager


hen a number of athletic teams and physical education classes entered the auxiliary gym for the first time since its closing in January, many were surprised to find a brand new floor, seeming to resemble plastic Legos, in place of the old wooden floor. “I’m really glad that they finally completed construction on the new floor,” said Jordan Edelheit, 11. After many years of water damage to gym’s wooden floor due to leaks from the pool and rain, the deci-

sion was made to find a new floor that was more resistant to excessive damage. The solution to this was discovered by Mr. Jim Stoll and Dr. Keith Kelley after a visit to a gym at the University of Miami of Ohio. There, they found a product known as “Techno Tile” and has been used in gyms all over the world including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the University of Montana. An important benefit of this floor is the cost. Whereas a wooden floor would have cost tax payers $120,000 to replace, this one only cost $23,800.

It is also proven to be much more durable. “This floor, according to the manufacturer, is ambivalent to any weather condition,” said Stoll. “It seems as if it would be really difficult to keep a floor with holes in it clean,” said Nicole Lefton, 11.

While several students have shown concern for cleanliness of the floor, as it does have holes which open up to the concrete surface below – prime area for dust and dirt to build up – it can actually be cleaned just as a wooden floor would be: with vacuuming, soap, and water.

leah BURGIN feature chief

1791 The last opera composed by Mozart, “The Magic Flute,” premiered in Vienna, Austra. This opera is the story of two young lovers – Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina, and their association with the misunderstood, magical wise man Sarastro.

1882 hela

mic o by phot



The auxiliary gym’s new floor is roughly $100,000 cheaper than the former wooden floor. Wheras the wooden floor was more susceptible to damage from rainwater and pool water that leaked in, the new “Techno Tile” floor is much more resistant. Despite having holes, the floor is actually quite easily cleaned.

Appleton, Wisconsin becomes the host of the world’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant.

1888 The anonymous serial killer nicknamed “Jack the Ripper” kills his third victim (Elizabeth Stride) and fourth victim (Catherine Eddowes).

Effects of Jarod’s Law become more apparent 1927 Revisions yet to be released

While playing for the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs in a season. Ruth was the first player to do so.

ellean ZHANG news chief

Having officially taken a foothold in March of last year, House Bill 203 (also known as “Jarod’s Law”) are still keeping students and teachers alike from eating in art and science rooms. Not only is food still banned, but a myriad of other regulations are also being set into place—regulations of this set of safety laws that does not seem likely to blow over any time soon. Most students are familiar with safety rules affecting the academic realm, including a list of banned chemical substances that are no longer allowed in Ohio schools. Over the summer, the ODH (Ohio Department of Health) convened a meeting, whose ultimate goal was to reach a consensus on that list of chemicals that are now prohibited based on an assessment of whether a chemical’s hazardous nature outweighed its academic utility. With so many potentially dangerous substances being banned, art and chemistry classes will never provide quite the same educational experience they did for students who took those classes a mere two years ago. Students will be able to make neither the much-anticipated chemistry tie-dye t-shirts due to the ban on the powdered dyes involved, nor the scintillating glass bottles, coated with

the now-banned silver nitrate. “I’m so disappointed by the restrictions made in the classroom by this law,” said Gracia Ng, 11. “Chemistry will never be the same again, especially since there is no more snacking allowed.” However, the bans on substances found in art and science rooms are barely scratching the surface of these new school safety laws. Mainly, demands made by the ODH require the control of overall safety in Ohio schools, being that the driving force in this legislation involved the death of a first-grader by means of a collapsible cafeteria table. The safety of Ohio schools will be evaluated annually, based criteria such as the safety of lunch tables, bleachers, and the school building itself—if they are securely fastened, as well as sanitary issues involving the edible properties of cafeteria food and availability of toilet paper. Other rules ban certain brands of sanitary wipes, as well as air fresheners. “Jarod’s Law aims to improve the safety of Ohio schools, but maybe some of the measures taken are more over-protective than anything—not necessarily the best move for a high school environment,” said Anu Kaushik, 11.

1954 Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady in the hit television sitcom “The Brady Bunch” was born.

1984 Rapper and singer T-Pain was born in Tallahassee, Florida.

2004 photos by rashmi borah

THE CHEMISTRY MINILAB follows the safety measures set by Jarod’s Law and other legislation as carefully as possible. All chemicals are locked in cabinets above the scales, and are carefully stored so that nothing leaks over time. When necessary, chemicals that need to be heated overnight are kept in closed ovens in doors that prevent heat from escaping.

600 miles south of Tokyo, the first pictures of a live giant squid are taken in the creature’s natural habitat.



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Volley for the Cure goes nationwide High school fundraiser explodes into unprecedented phenomenon mary ann JIANG editor-in-chief


ithin two years, 15,000 Ohio high expectations in its first year. school players, 150,000 fans, “We kind of expected it to grow in the Cincinand nearly half a million dollars nati area and the fact that it’s grown in all of have amassed as a result of the Ohio and even the Kentucky area is amazing,” ever-growing program Volley for the Cure. High said Gaby Gray, 11. schools, colleges, and tournaments all across the Nation sweep country now host the fundraising event. The unanticipated accomplishment of the “It’s just cool that we can do what we do every inaugural game drew the attention of the Ohio day and have a cause behind it,” said Abby CosHigh School Volleyball Coaches Association. In tello, 11, “and we know that we’re helping people 2007, the association proposed that every team in by just playing volleyball.” Participating schools independently work on the Ohio host a game. The new pink t-shirts reading annual event that strives to promote breast cancer “800 teams –vs- breast cancer” flooded hundreds of schools. prevention awareNow, schools from at least 14 ness. states have shown interest in Through transformIt’s definitely really excitadopting the program. Some ing ordinary games colleges and states have their ing that we are able to into large-scale fundvariation, like Georgia’s Play raisers, rivals, audimake such a good cause for the Cure hosted by softball ences, and teams all teams. However, the purpose stand united against spread across the U.S. remains universal: to educate, the universal pangs of to support, and come together. cancer. The impact of breast cancer, “I am proud and I so pervasive, so painful physifeel obligated to withcally and emotionally in its hold the tradition. physical development and Our girls take it really seriously,” said Coach Greg emotional consequences, affects nearly everyUlland, who came to SHS in 2007. one. At one school, everyone in the stands stood Intimate origins up when asked if they knew someone with the The year before, SHS’s Sarah McGrath, ’07, and disease. Loveland’s Carolyn Gagliardi, ’07, arranged for a Every three minutes one more woman in match between the two schools to honor friends the U.S. is diagnosed, and one in eight women suffering from breast cancer. In promoting the develops it. event, selling shirts at a low cost and thereby Volley for the Cure’s power comes from the promising free entry to the game, the event redeuniversal hope that the cases can be diminished, fined the word, “success.” and friends and families affected will not feel The stands were “packed with pink” as more than alone. 1,000 guests came fighting for a cause, and over Indeed, one can not feel alone when surround$4,000 was donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast ed by a mass of a thousand pink-shirted supportCancer Foundation. ers, hollering for much more than game point. Typically, the girls’ volleyball games were at“It’s definitely really exciting that we are able to tended by about 75 spectators, and brought $100 make such a good cause spread over the whole in sales, not $700. Volley for the Cure defied all U.S,” said Gray.

-Gaby Gray, 11

AN EXPLOSION OF pink volleyballs, shirts, and beads sprang from SHS two years ago. The inaugural game began a precedent of fervent fundraising and participation in the event. Hundreds of schools throughout Ohio caught on in 2007. Hundreds more are now introducing the game to their own states.

photos courtesy of

Overseas education:

‘we get to just hang out and have fun at the parks’ Marching band anticipates trip to Disney World

Hayden travels to Japan

elizabeth HOOPES

staff writer

moriah KRAWEC

staff writer

Over the summer, A.J. Hayden, 12, traveled to Japan as an exchange student. When looking back on his experience in Japan, recalls it quite positively. “It was very fun to be an exchange student,” he said. “They [the people] were very polite and very kind.” Mrs. Chikako Pierson, Hayden’s Japanese teacher, organized the exchange. “He learned new things by learning from native speakers,” she said. This is one advantage of student exchange programs and a reason why many decide to go to on exchange trips. The cultural absorption and learning that exchange students experience can be very beneficial, especially for those studying another language. Hayden’s own experience as an exchange student echoes this statement. “My comfortability with speaking increased a lot and my listening got better, too,” said Hayden. Pierson is also quite pleased with Hayden’s personal growth. “It is a very valuable experience that may change his direction for the future,” said Pierson. Immersing in a completely foreign culture is essential in opening one’s eyes to a world previously only in books. “There are a lot of things that you can learn about a group of people that you can’t learn from a book,” said Hayden. With this experience behind him, Hayden should know the joys and benefits of learning abroad.

photo by staff

THE 31 NATIONAL Merit Scholarship commended seniors are as follows (from left to right): Row one: Caitlin Camfield, Gina Gordon, Meredith Troy, Negin Fallahi, and Lydia Griffith. Row two: Danielle Ebstein, Elizabeth King, Mary Ann Jiang, and Deepthi Nalluri. Row three: Melissa Wang, Kelsey Beck, Emily Johnstal, and Jessica Walling. Row four: Charlie Moody, John Stucker, Aliza Weinberger, and Rachel Barr. Row five: David Chen, Gautam Nagendra, Daniel Garfield, and Paolo Gabriel. Row six: Jared Kamrass, Michael Rollins, Daniel Bobier, and Joe Duran. Row seven: Danny Seymour, Kevin Sheff, Stephen Raithel, and Eric Schwartz. Not in picture: Daphne Hsu.These students scored a minimum of 200 points on the PSAT/NMSQT they took during junior year, scoring among the top 50,000 students who took the test. As over 1.5 million students took the 2007 PSAT/NMSQT, these commended scholars have proved that they take their education seriously and have incredible perseverance. The students received a letter of commendation with a congratulatory message from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Marching band is on their way to a very successful season. On Sept. 6, the marching band went to their first competition at Kings High School. There, they won first place in their division and overall grand champion. “The first competition was really exhilarating,” said Faith Koehne, 10. “You get such an adrenaline rush when you are performing.” The band also won the best visual, auxiliary, general effect, percussion, music, The aspect of this season that students are most looking forward to is not competition, however. Every other year, the marching band and orchestra travel to Disney World. This year, the trip will take place Nov. 12 to 16. “I am most excited about spending time with the band because they are just like family,” said Maddie Pope, 9. As soon as they arrive in Disney, the trip members will head straight to the parks. This year, they will be visiting Animal Kingdom, Epcot, MGM, Magic Kingdom, and Downtown Disney. Students also get to attend special Disney workshops with their section. The orchestra then has the opportunity to perform for Disney guests in Downtown Disney. The marching band then gets to perform in one of the major Magic Kingdom parades in front of hundreds of people. “I love the Disney trip because there isn’t a lot of stress on us because all we have to worry about is one performance,” said Brynn Sharp, 11. “It’s awesome because we get to just hang out and have fun at the parks.”


news TUESDAY September 30, 2008

‘Hey, class of ... we have a busy year ahead...’

Student Council shares plans, invitations mary ann JIANG editor-in-chief

Class officers


Hey Seniors!

-Student Council Class of 2009

Sarah Brown Daniella Cos Roxanne Demarest Shelby Gilgoff Nicki Hasselbeck Kari Hellman Katelyn Hutson Nick Schlie

Hey Junior Class!

Class officers

We have a busy year ahead of us! Some of the things that we will be working on during the year are Prom and fundraisers, which will include selling hot chocolate, doughnuts, and apple cider in the mornings starting around Halloween. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at

Jamie Alemagno Adrian Amrine Courtney Bernard Danielle Linz Josie McKinnon Whitney Osborne Rachel Howard Larry Shockley


It’s your last year of high school! Right now, we’re in the process of planning Winter Formal, Lil’ Sibs Day, the senior slideshow, the senior t-shirt, and graduation. If you’ve got any questions or ideas for us, please let one of us know. We’ve got a ton to look forward to, so let’s make it a great year!

Sincerely, Class of 2010 Dear Class of 2011,

Class officers

We would like you to know what your representatives are working on. We are in the process of planning a class t-shirt, lollipops will be sold during lunch again, and we plan to have a bake sale. We will also provide you with the annual ice cream social. We have more fundraisers planned to make the year more exciting. Those are our ideas so far; if you have any and would like to share, that would be wonderful. Let's have a great year!

Brian Boyle Aamna Dosani Allie Engelhart Jon San Miguel Aaron Natarus Michael Pelfrey Amy Poliner Jeff Wolkoff

Sincerely, StuCo 2011


Hey Freshmen, CLASS OF 2012! We hope your year is going well so far. As your representatives we would like to include you in activities planned by us, so if you have any suggestions or questions, please contact one of us. We look forward to your input and a great year! GO CLASS OF 2012! Your Student Council representatives

Class officers Charlotte Harris Drew Gelwicks Tess Plona Dominic Miller Jonah Bettman Carly Edelheit Nick Henkel Katie MacLachlin Tori Smith

all images by sarah brown

higher German levels Global languages phased out: Hebrew, discontinuing in curriculum libby HENNING


feature chief


n the 1999-2000 school year, district records showed a decline of enrollment in German and Hebrew language classes. Four years later, district officials decided that the German and Hebrew language courses in the district would be phased out, according to Mrs. Jennifer Manoukian, the assistant director of curriculum and instruction for grades 6-12. District officials based their decision on the courses students selected for the next year and the cost to the district to continue with these languages, said Ms. Renee Hevia, global language supervisor. "They’re getting rid of all these languages and it’s basically making Sycamore like all the other schools and taking away our advantages over other schools,” said Candice Nemoff, 12, a former Hebrew student.

The kids were upset, the parents were upset.

When the district was looking at the retirement situation of the German teacher at the time, they decided to begin the process. The Hebrew teacher had also retired.

Policy dictates change

The district had dealt with fewer people in classes before, especially with some of the AP language classes and even some of the advanced ceramics classes. In the case of too few students per class, the solution is combining one class with another. For example, Advanced Ceramics would be combined with another art class during the same bell. In the past several years, Intermediate German IV and AP German and Hebrew IV and V (there is no AP Hebrew) have been in the same classroom. For those who had followed the course since their Intro to

-Ms. Renee Hevia, department supervisor

German class beginning withthe seventh grade it was difficult to accept the change. "The kids were upset, the parents were upset," said Hevia. She went on to say that the comments and parental feedback helped the district recognize the need for the language to be phased out rather than ended abruptly. "We want to, if we can, provide that opportunity [to finish the language]," said Manoukian. This school year is the final year for both the language classes in the district, but both German and Hebrew are available for high school and college credit at Raymond Walters College. Although rumors have circulated of Mandarin Chinese and Arabic being introduced into the curriculum, the school has not begun introducing these new languages. Community members have not brought forth a formal request for German and Hebrew to be replaced by either language. "It's up to the community and [school] board to decide if they want to have another language come in," said Hevia.



PoliticalDIS Service

TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Does religion fit in politics? mark RUBEO

staff writer

Religion is a touchy subject in today’s world. With extremist terrorism so much a part of the public mind, interest in the religious views of those on presidential tickets is understandable. However, the controversies that arise do more harm to the democratic process than good. Early during his campaign for the Democratic nomination, Illinois senator Barack Obama was criticized for attending the church where Rev. Jeremiah Wright delivered his many controversial sermons. Later in the season, Sen. John McCain had his own pastor problems; a leader he called a “spiritual guide” declared that the Islamic faith is “an antiChrist religion that intends through violence to conquer the world.” More recently, Gov. Sarah Palin was the center of a controversy involving her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. In June, she delivered a speech at this church in which she suggested the Iraq war is mission from God. While these views are offensive, do any of them really have a place in a presidential race? With the exception of Palin, these controversies involve people who can be tied in some way to the candidate, not the candidate themselves Attack dogs on both sides can argue that the candidates might share the same views or should have done more to denounce the remarks, but any intelligent observer will see these for the dishonest arguments they are. Everyone has ties to people who have said some nasty things at some point. The fact that these candidates are no different should be mentioned, but should not dominate headlines. While the mainstream media must take some of the blame for over-covering these stories, we as consumers must also take some responsibility. Like it or not, until the public shows interest in the issues, fluff like this will continue to dominate mainstream media, and politics will continue to be more about marketing than substance. That, unfortunately, is reality.



image by charlie manion


There is no doubt that September’s wind storm shocked all in the Cincinnati community. Never before had such an event taken place in the city. The area truly experienced hurricanelevel winds, with gusts equaling Category 1 status. Yet perhaps more shocking (and disturbing) was the way residents reacted to the massive power failures and tree/house damage. Instead of keeping their composure and steadfastly waiting out the blackouts (considering how easy the affected areas had it compared to Galveston or New Orleans in 2005, this seems like a reasonable request), some broke down. According to reports, people in Claremont County verbally and physically assaulted workers for Duke Energy, the company which supplies power to greater Cincinnati, who were working to restore power. The upset residents were angry that their neighborhood was not being made a priority. Their reasoning is flawless: attack the only people who have the ability to restore their power. Maybe they were hoping the local jails had electricity back. It is a sad reflection on the way our society is going. One widespread power failure and within a few days, people are already losing all sense of civilized behavior? It is embarrassing how quickly man can devolve when the circumstances are, quite honestly, not overbearing. The storm also showed how dependent we have become on electricity and its applied products. The lives of many nearly collapsed when their cell phone batteries died, or there was no hot water to take a shower, or they were forced to go eat at a restaurant because their food was spoiling. In reality, this is an unavoidable characteristic of technological progress; there is no way to not become over dependent on new technologies as they develop. The alternative is to stop creating things which make life easier, which would be foolish. Nevertheless, it is still depressing. It was not all bad, however; countless neighbors helped each other out, whether it was offering the services of a generator, helping to clear debris, or helping to fix damage from fallen branches and trees. In this way, the city showed its good side. In all others, unfortunately, the ugly one was more evident.


The varsity boy’s soccer team score versus Elder was incorrectly reported and was a 1-1 tie in “Men’s soccer season starts with surprise finish.” The calendar in the Sept. 5 issue incorrectly reported the varsity boy’s soccer game vs. Hamilton. It was on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7:00 p.m. There are several corrections in “Teachers continue without contracts.” Contracts are negotiated every three years or upon expiration of the current contract, not frequently. The school board negotiates the terms with the SEA, not the high school administration. All teachers in the district are currently without contracts, not just high school teachers. Mr. Kevin Wittman

is also the SEA president. The entire district has been in negotiations for a new contract, not just the high school. The SEA negotiating team has been meeting with the school board negotiators to work out the terms of a new contract. The teachers are operating under the terms of the old contract, not a new one. Missing from teachers who served on past negotiating committees were Mrs. Susan Sauer, from Maple Dale Elementary, and Mrs. Ann Bayou, of OEA. Missing from teachers who currently serve on the negotiating committee was Mr. Jesse Maxwell, from Montgomery Elementary.

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 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: 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

leafing through the masses


“ “ “ “

Yes, because we did not lose power for that long and most gas stations were open, compared to Hurricane Katrina. -Zim Zimmer, 9

” ” ” ”

I don’t think they overreacted because it was pretty serious and the lines that were down made it dangerous to drive.

-Sandra Smith, 10

No, because people lost so much food and were not used to life without power, so it made it difficult to adapt to the surroundings.

-Elana Pentelnik, 11

Yes. Compared to the experience the people of Texas went through, being without power for two days feels really insignificant.

Editor-in-chief: Mary Ann Jiang Associate editor: Daphne Hsu Associate editor: Will Johnston Managing editor: Libby Henning News Noa Belillti Ellean Zhang Opinion Matt Mendelsohn Jeremy Spiegel Fun & Games Brittanny Argyriou Feature Leah Burgin Rashmi Borah Libby Henning A&E Gabirose Keeton Michela Tindera Sports Ben Estes Jared Kamrass Calendar Jake Newton Kavya Reddy Spotlight Maria Marballi Webmaster J.D. Macejko Mini-Mag Editors Ben Dhiman

Did the people of Cincinnati overreact to the problems caused by the hurricane?

Sam Cleary Staff Writers Jamie Alemagno Daniel Bayliss Emily Begley Matt Boyce Jimmy Chau Chad Chessin Emily Cohen Daniella Cos S.M. Dipali Kelsey Drapkins Gabe Englander Catherine Farist Jane Finocharo Elise Gelwicks Evan Gildenblatt Alyssa Hoeper Elizabeth Hoopes Tyler Itrich Molly Johnson Bennett Kaplan Jacob Katz Ben Keefe Mandi Kipner Moriah Krawec Charlie Manion

-Brian Koesters, 12

Managing editor: Gabirose Keeton Business Manager: Michela Tindera Business Manager: Rashmi Borah

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opinion Tuesday September 30, 2008

class of


Senior Corner Early Admission provides choice for students will JOHNSTON associate editor

image by jeremy mcdaniel

STUDENTS ENJOY LAST year’s Winter Formal Dance. Although many students look forward to the school dances, some students boycott the dance, making other plans instead. These students cite the music selection and high prices as reasons to skip the dances.


chool dances not popular to all ome students form alternative plans



staff writer

ot all Sycamore students see high school dances as exciting and romantic. In recent years there have been multiple instances where students have decided to “boycott” a dance. “My boyfriend and I don’t think homecoming is worth the hassle. We are probably going to

go paintballing or mini golfing with friends instead,” said Amy Isaacs, 11. Why do certain students not attend the dances? Some say that it is too expensive; others do not like the music choice. At a dance last year, there was an instance where students at the dance went into the locker bays and played their own music.

Some other options for students who do not wish to attend a dance would be a bonfire or movie night. If you are inclined to stay home because you do not like the music choice, you could always get some friends together and have your own dance party! This is a fun alternative that can be made into a special night custom to your

budget and music preference. Although a minority do not attend the dances and do other fun activities instead, many SHS students look forward to them. “I feel like going to school dances is a huge part of the ‘high school experience,’” said Roddy Irwin, 11.

Candidates argue over experience Age overshadows issues, position jeremy SPIEGEL opinion chief

Barack Obama says that he is the change America needs. Republicans say he is too inexperienced to lead the country. Democrats say that Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, has no familiarity with government. She counters by arguing that she has the most executive experience of any candidate on either ticket. All of these counterpoints lead to one question: just how much does experience really matter in determining the leader of the United States? More than in any other election in recent memory, the candidate’s political experience is being called into question in each party’s campaign. Obama got everything started when he adopted the campaign slogan “change

we can believe in.” Obama worked to convince Americans that his lack of political experience was a breath of fresh air from past governments. ‘Obama is the president we need to lead this country through these difficult times, even if he may be less experienced,” said Riley Able, 12. Originally, Obama’s opponents mocked him for his lack of experience. However, after Obama built up a solid lead in early polls, McCain switched his strategy and chose Palin, the two-term governor of Alaska, as his vice President over political bigwig Mitt Romney. “At first, I was a little hesitant about Palin as the Vice President pick. But when I heard her speech at the Republican convention, I

realized that she was the perfect choice,” said John Stucker, 12. With the selection of Palin, it was the Democrats’ turn to criticize a candidate with so little experience. Palin fought back by saying that she has more executive experience that either Obama or Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential candidate. However, to the majority of voters, a candidate’s understanding is secondary to his or her position on important issues. To these voters, it does not matter so much what a candidate has done in the past as what he or she plans to do in the future. As for me? When I enter the voting booth on November 3, I will be thinking of many aspects as I make my choice, but experience will be the least among those.

Henry provides more challenges for team

Troubled bengals searching for identity evan ROMANSKY

staff writer

Five arrests, three convictions, two days in jail, 12 games worth of suspensions, and a release later, Chris Henry was brought back to the Bengals. Even after dozens of reports speculated that coach Marvin Lewis had no interest in bringing back the troublesome receiver, in the end it came down to what team president Mike Brown wanted: to win. The Bengals gave Henry countless number of opportunities to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and start anew. However, he constantly wandered aimlessly down the same road of temptation leading to arrest after arrest and suspension after suspension. Yet every year, every game that he was not suspended, he was on the field. After every performance Henry gave, he was awarded with “another chance”. It soon became evident that Brown did not care about the ridicule his team already faced from the Bengals’ off the field issues. It was obvious that winning football games became more important than sustaining the moral values in which we live by. But as long as we win, right? It almost seems like Brown is trying to play himself off as some sort of hero. Thinking he is playing the role of a good Samaritan, lending out second and third chances like he’s serving soup at a homeless shelter. Brown is hoping to reap the benefits of his personal decision to keep bringing back the player that is easily the biggest distraction to the

team. The only problem is that so far Brown is 0-5. Five chances and no improvements, just months of frustration and two years of efforts down the drain. Five chances. You would think that a professional football player could learn after his first mistake. Most do, but Henry is not most. He seems like he is completely oblivious to the fact that his life was nearing rock-bottom. But every time he is tumbling, the Bengals are there to catch him by the collar, but finger by finger losing their grasp on yet another wasted talent. The fact of the matter is that the Bengals are sending the absolute wrong message. Crime does not pay, unless you are on the Bengals. It is truly a shame because they were headed in the right direction. They released troubled linebacker Odell Thurman, releasing Henry (briefly), and not succumbing to Chad Ocho Cinco’s threats of sitting out for the year. The Bengals were almost over the hill. But one misstep and they are slowly backsliding down the summit. What is next for this organization? Are they going to bring back Thurman now and cause this city more distress? Maybe I am wrong. Scratch that, I hope I am wrong. Because nobody wants to see this team succeed more than I do. The Bengals have to figure out their identity, who they are, or else they will be lost all season and we will be the ones witnessing it.

Have a number one school you would choose above all others? That dream college, the one you fantasize about? If so, there is an option that will provide admission status earlier and can potentially increase chances of getting in: early admission. For those that are unfamiliar with the term, early admission simply means you turn in the application several months earlier as a part of a smaller pool of students. The deadline is November 1 for most schools; you receive your letter of acceptance or rejection earlier (usually at some point in mid-December, though this will vary highly by college). There are two types of early admission: early action and early decision. Each operates on the aforementioned early application date; however, the key difference is that early decision is binding, while early action is not. One cannot apply to more than one school that uses early decision. Aside from learning of your admission status earlier, there are several benefits to applying early. Usually, it is a great way of improving your chances of admission. From the college’s standpoint, through early decision it can actively shape what the class will look like for the upcoming year, and of course acquire a group of students excited to attend. Perhaps the most important benefit is the fact that the competition is reduced. Think about it. The most outstanding, well-rounded, prodigiously academically gifted students will generally not want to limit themselves to one school by applying early decision. Knowing that they will likely be accepted by the majority of the schools they apply to, most will opt to apply to a multitude of schools and later decide which to attend based on a number of things, including who gives them the best scholarship offerings. So, just by competing against a theoretically weaker field of competition, your chances of getting in would be raised. Admission statistics back this generalization up, even at the Ivy League. For example, in the class of 2012 at Dartmouth, the school accepted only 11.8% of its regular admission applicants, but the acceptance rate balloons to 28% for early decision applicants. At Cornell, it increases from 18.7% to a relatively high (for the Ivies, that is) 36.8%. Yale’s more than triples from 5.6% to 18.1%. So if you do have that one collegeyou-would-kill-to-go-to in mind, then applying early decision is your best option. But be warned, if you are accepted through early decision, you are absolutely committed to that school. There is no backing out then. For those not applying early admission, then you still have plenty of time. The regular admissions deadlines at practically every school is around early to mid January, extending to February in some cases. By this point, you should finalize your list of schools to apply to and begin your applications.




ebate suggests new ‘16’ TUESDAY September 30, 2008

rivers-to-be disappointed over new driving age proposal

kavya REDDY calendar editor


weet sixteen. That age when you get to whip out that license and drive on your own. That age when teens do not have to be chauffeured to every football game and school dance by their parents. Does it not seem like the perfect age to start out of your driveway and into the real world on your own? Legislators and lobbyists seems to think differently. Training wheels should stay on, they say. Many advocates these days are calling on states to raise their driving age to 17 or higher. They believe that by changing these standards, they can save many lives caused by teen accidents. Students who are not yet of age feel cheated and upset. The coveted license held so tauntingly within reach, may require more patience to acquire than youngers teenags are willing to display. “I am super mad. I have

image by

waited for so long to drive and now they might be changing the laws,” said Niki Charriez, 9.

Depriving growth experience

Children need that driving age to stay at 16 because these last few years of high school instills in them more responsibility. It is bad enough that college students have to do their own laundry and sometimes even cook their own food, but do we really want place learning how to drive on top of all this? “Driving has helped me become more responsible. It has helped me manage my money so that I will have enough for all of my needs, and learning not to waste what little I have,” said Srebrina Tanova, 12. 18 is a whole new age. It should come after learning how to drive and leaving high school. It signals the privilege of voting and serving one’s country. Although reckless teen driving is no uncommon event,

michela ti


STATE LEGISLATURES ARE being pressured by lobbyists and activities to raise the driving age by at least a year. This proposal, if enacted, would is aimed at reducing the number of teen car accidents. Students, have differing opinions regarding the effects of the proposal.

most teens demonstrate the maturity and knowledge of safety on the road. Driving displays the ability for many teenagers to be independent. Being able to fulfill one’s own need for transportation everywhere paves the way for leading partly self-sufficient lives. Students with licenses while in high school have heavy appreciation for the ability. Further, teenagers have met the government half way already by obliging to the many guidelines that precede getting a license. This includes abiding by the increased number of hours required for drivers to have parents present. Laws have also been enacted that toughen restrictions on teenagers who have earned their freedom.

Misplaced priorities

For their part, the state government should crack down on teenage drinking, the bigger threat. According to Karen Sternheimer, a University of Southern California sociologist, drivers ages 25 to 34 as well as those ages 45 to 64 were nearly twice as likely to be involved in alcoholrelated fatalities as 16 to 20 year-old drivers. “Teenage drinking is more of a problem.” said Jeffrey Kaplan, 10. But why are we worrying so much about teen drivers, are there not thousands of other drivers on the road that cause serious problems? Drunk driving occurs at all ages and speeding is a problem for everyone, not just the teenage group. If the driving age is raised there would still be problems with drivers and inexperience. Raising the driving age would just make inexperienced drivers older and would not solve anything.

Students make exchange of wisdom, experiences:

Upperclassmen dish advice Smooth beginnings molly JOHNSON

staff writer

High school is a great place to make new friends (or to deepen older friendships), and new memories. It is a great place to try new things. It is also a great place to further academic interests. However, high school is not necessarily a place where you

can just waltz on in on day one and expect everything to be just as it was in middle school, being successful here requires some helpful advice. Several upperclassmen share some of their advice gathered from personal experience and passed-on knowledge.

Try to get involved in a clup or sport if you are worried about maybe not fitting in-find a niche. It is a great way to meet people and to do what you like. The school has many clubs and sports, so finding something perfect is fairly easy. “Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers-or other students- for help,” said Dana Reinhart, 12. Do not get too caught up in the little things, they do not always matter as much as you think. Things like a bad hair day are much less important than a bad grade you got because you could not concentrate on anything but your hair. “Don’t ever trust an upperclassman if they tell you that your room is on the 3rd floor, or that you are meeting outside for your class this bell,” said Ahbi Singh, 12. “Don’t stand in the middle of the hallway, talking to your friends and thinking you’re all that because you will get pushed,” Tara Lucian, 12. Do not stress out too much about everything that is going on, it only make things worse, make sure to take time to relax. Your guidance counselor, and the Student Assistance staff are always there if you cannot handle something on your own. “Try to get to know your teachers really well and they can help you through almost anything,” said Annie Seiple, 10. Try not to be late; sometimes tardiness is inevitable, but when it happens every day it can lead to some problems with your teachers and the attendance office. Make sure to leave your group of friends when the warning bell rings to get to class on time. “Walk on the right side of the hallway! And if you treat the upperclassmen with respect, they’ll treat you with respect. We aren’t as mean as people make us out to be! Have fun and don’t be afraid to make new friends with everyone,” said Alex DiMasso, 11.

for newest class emma OH

staff writer

For the class of 2012, the beginning of the school year has started off great. The start of freshman year is almost always filled with excitement, fear and anxiety. A new and bigger school, classes with upper classmen, and hallways filled with unfamiliar faces can be scary. Constantly, freshmen are reminded that the ingredients for a good high school career are: being an accountable student, getting involved, and simultaneously balancing social life and academics.

Already enjoying, excelling

These constituents have helped some freshmen feel content and comfortable, but others are finding new ways to do well. No matter how they find their place in high school, each student has a different way and reason for making the beginning of the year worthwhile. “High school has been interesting, it’s a lot different than the junior high, there’s so much more freedom,” said Stefanie Zimerman, 9. Starting school is scary for some. Often times, being part of a team or a club can help freshmen get to know other freshmen and upperclassmen despite not sharing classes with each other. “I’ve felt really welcomed in high school because I’m involved in extra-curricular activities,” said Ashley Cooper, 9. Whatever the reason: independence, involvement, or new friendships, the newest class is generally enjoying the beginning of the year. High school is a time to make memories, explore different interests, and have fun (while still getting good grades). So far, freshmen have proven they understand this concept well. “High school has been delicious. Everyone, including the upper classmen, has been so nice,” said Jeremy Mapes, 9. image by charlie manion


opinion TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Legal age for alcoholic consumption Do three years hold significance? alyssa HOEPER


staff writer

sports chief


n the surface, I will admit that lowering the drinking age to 18 seems reckless and danger-provoking. However, when one digs deeper into the issue, it is easy to see that this is the best option. First, let us get this out of the way: underage drinking exists—in high school, and especially in college, and it will continue to exist for eternity as we know it. As long as there are people under 21, there will be people who drink illegally; it is a fact of life. These underage drinkers sometimes drink in a way which is greatly harmful to themselves, possibly even life-threatening; however, because they are so scared of legal ramifications, they refuse to seek medical attention. As a result, they will suffer, and possibly even die. With a lowered drinking age, these people (who drink regardless of the age requirement) will be put at much less of a risk. Also, drinking becomes much less attractive if it is a legal thing to do. Psychologically, teens currently get more of a rush out of drinking because it is against the law; it is more fun to be “bad,” whether they are conscious of it or not. If the age is set to 18, the appeal of drinking for 18-20-year-olds will be much lower than before. The activity will seem much more boring since, theoretically, everyone else will be doing it or be able to do it, too. Lastly, while it is almost a cliché argument at this point, how can

one go off and legally kill another person in the name of his country and come back unable to have an alcoholic drink? It is almost silly. Twenty-one is an incredibly arbitrary number for the drinking age. When one turns 18, basically every adult privilege is bestowed upon them— except the right to consume alcohol. Why is this the exception? Studies have shown that the brain is not fully developed until age 25, so the current age is no more protection against alcohol than the new age would be. I understand readers may be skeptical, as I am only a 17-yearold kid. But, about 100 college presidents S are spearO heading this L movement O as a part of a group called the Amethyst Initiative. Who knows about issues relating to alcohol more than they?

Lowering the drinking age to 18… seems kind of dangerous. Underage drinking is bound to happen whether it is legal at 21 or 18; but, doing so would also lower the underage drinking age. So potentially, if the legal age is 18 then more children from 15-17 are going to start consuming alcohol as opposed to 18-19 like they are now. This action will introduce legal drinking to the high school atmosphere, while it is now more based on college campuses. This could encourage high school parties to include binge drinking, and teenage bodies are not yet ready for alcohol consumption. aqua Drinking can be extremely harmful to the minds of those whose brains are not fully developed yet. By decreasing the drinking age, there is an greater chance of

risk to ourselves. Statistics from the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) state that those who drink before age 15 are four times more likely to develop habits like alcoholism, than are those who begin drinking at 21. Is this country ready to risk this with a lower drinking age? IDEA also states that one-third of those who lose their virginity before the age of 15, do so under the influence of alcohol. For a community that wishes to practice abstinence, lowering the drinking age to 18 is not going to help. The likelihood of inappropriate behavior and spontaneous activity escalates with binge drinking. Can you imagine the number of OUI’s or DUI’s that would come with lowering the drinking age? Fortyfour children die from car accidents each day; it is almost too hard to bear, thinking about how many of us that will die by simply allowing youth to drink 3 years younger than they are currently allowed now. Roads are already life-threatening as is. Why make things worse? The allure of drinking exists in many youth, more so in those a few years short of 21; allowing them to drink is only going to entice them to seek rebellious substances elsewhere. So, do we really want to encourage drugs as well as alcohol? In almost every aspect changing this law would introduce more hazards to our society. Therefore, the law should remain as it is and not give in to those wishing to “party hearty” with alcohol at a younger age.

image by ellean zhang

Private schools or public: debate rages on s.m. DIPALI

shelby SMITH

staff writer

The daunting task of coming to a decision about whether or not to go to a private school is one that concerns many, especially freshman. Many opt to attend private school but a large number stick with their current public school. Public schools generally have a higher diversity rate than private schools do. The high school’s diversity ranges more greatly than most schools in the city, with students connected to over forty different countries. Public schools are also coed, which to some may be a negative. However, remember that life is not just one gender or one type of person, but a variety of people with different races and ideas. “Sycamore is more diverse and you get just as good of an education as if at one of the nearest private schools,” said Izy Martin, 9. Freshman Natasha Warikoo had the opportunity to go to a fine private school in the city, but turned it down for Sycamore. “Public schools are better in

staff writer

my opinion because there are no religious limitations that I have to comply with,” said Warikoo. A major issue with private schools, which most try to deny, is the one concerning religion. Most private schools are religious schools (mainly Catholic) which make many feel uncomfortable if they are not of that particular faith. Religious classes are taught at most private schools and oftentimes students feel obliged to participate. The financial demands of attending a private school are often a problem, too. Many people cannot afford the tuition for private schools and therefore are not able to attend. Also, many make the point that if parents have to pay for a college tuition, why make them pay more for a high school tuition that would give the same education as a public school would? “Public schools are better because there are no uniforms, no high admission fees, no religious boundaries, and you get to meet more people,” said Sonali Jain, 10.


Over the years private schools have been getting more and more popular. “Single-sex schools are good because the students are more focused on their schoolwork, grades, and clubs,” said Carol Obert, an Ursuline staff member. Students that go to private elementary school typically pick to stay with the private school because that is what they know and feel comfortable with. On the other hand, students that have gone to public elementary schools have the choice of whether to stay with public schools or go to a private single-sex or co-ed school. “Private school students form a better relationship with their teachers, as well as other students because of the smaller number of students,” said Ashley Holbrook, 12, of Ursuline Academy. At private schools, because of the lower number of students, all of the students seem to form a better relationship with each other as well as with the staff than students at a larger high school. These bonds they form are kept for the rest of their lives.

With this smaller number of students at private schools, the students feel like they can go to their teachers for anything. At a larger school with the larger classes, not all students can get to be as close to their teachers. “Uniforms are better than getting to wear whatever you want, especially at an all girl’s school. We don’t feel like we have anyone to impress, especially the boys,” said Brooke Dennis, 9, of Mount Notre Dame. When you are at an all girls’ or all boys’ school, the students seem to be able to focus better and do better in their academics. But there are still private schools that are not single-sex schools. Also with the uniforms, students don’t feel like they have to go through the trouble of picking out what to wear in the morning. They don’t have to take time to get ready. For example, girls do not feel the need to have to put makeup on and get all “glammed up” to impress anyone. Girls also feel like at a singlesex school, they feel more comfortable to express who they are.



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Debating which vice presidential pick is better:

Joe Biden vs. Sarah Palin gabe ENGLANDER

staff writer

photo courtesy of

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN gives two thumbs-up to the crowd at one of his campaign rallies. The Arizona senator was once a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. He is now the Republican presidential candidate.

John McCain: Defining leadership, perseverance brandon SOSNA


staff writer

ead•er•ship (noun): the capacity to lead* Also can be referred to as a vital trait needed to be president of the United States, one thing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is still searching for. Sen. John McCain’s cries for change rang through the room at the Republican National Convention. His call for Americans to stand up and fight reverberated throughout the crowd. The 72-years young president hopeful from Arizona ended his speech at the convention with conviction in front of hundreds of supporters in St. Paul, Minn. McCain encouraged with irrefutable persistence that Americans should fight with him for what is right for the United States. “Fight with me. Fight with me. Fight for what’s right for our country. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people. Fight for our children’s future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all. Stand up to defend our country from its enemies,” said McCain, as his faithful roared in agreement. For years, McCain fought for his country. And for the years after that, he fought for his life. Now, he is fighting for his country, to lead his country, as President of the United States of America. He would not be where he is today, however, had it not been for his heroics during the Vietnam War. During his 22 years of service in the Navy, McCain was faced with many challenges and even more near death experiences.

He fractured both his arms and one leg, and nearly drowned as his parachute touched down on one of his many military missions. McCain was knocked unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, he found himself in the possession of a crew of North Vietnamese soldiers who brutally beat the already busted soldier. They denied him the medical care he desperately needed, but instead interrogated and continued to thrash him. During his six weeks in the hospital, McCain had lost 50 pounds, was dressed in a chest cast, and his hair had become totally white. He was then sent to another prison, where he was put in a cell with two other POWs, who did not expect McCain to survive another week. But as usual, he fought, and never gave up. Not only would he show off his tremendous perseverance, but he would also exemplify his undeniably priceless experience. In an attempt to appear merciful for propaganda purposes and show that POWs would accept preferential treatment for their own benefit, the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release. He refused, immediately. He would leave no man behind. Following his refusal, the North Vietnamese took their torture of McCain to the next level. He was the subject to beatings and rope bindings every two hours. It became so bad that the man who had been so

strong through it all, attempted to commit suicide. He had reached his breaking point, but as water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, McCain was at 211. McCain continued to be an active resister against the camp authorities until he was finally liberated in March of 1973, five and a half years after he was captured in 1967. The enemy took away McCain’s ability to raise his arms above his shoulders. They stole his life from him, for a time, and transformed him into a human punching bag. But something that could not be taken was his pride and love for his country. And no matter how hard they tried, no matter what they did, McCain would not break. He would not disrespect the country he loved. “Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history,” said McCain as he closed his speech. And unlike any others, including his opponent Obama, when McCain says Americans fight, when McCain says Americans never give up, when McCain says Americans never quit, he does not just say it, he knows it. Because he is living proof. *Definition from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary

Republican Party gives politics, presidential election new face Why vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is good pick gabirose KEETON managing editor

The once unknown governor of Alaska has now become the fresh face of American politics. Her nomination for Republican vice president stunned many, but her zeal and ambition has bewitched more. There has been much debate on whether or not Sen. John McCain made a wise choice in choosing Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, and the debate has been equally ardent on both sides. I think Palin was a wise choice because not only did she add a new zeal to the Republican Party, but she has added new perspectives and contributed to the game of politics.

As governor of Alaska, Palin is known for her cut of government waste and for her extensive knowledge of energy options and desire to drill for oil. As potential Republican vice president, she has solidified the conservative base of the party and added the perspective of a feminine voice to political issues. The hope of the Republican Party is that having Palin on the ticket will not only aggregate some Hillary Clinton supporters, but also energize Republican women to get involved in the election. McCain has described Palin as “the

running mate who can best help me shake up Washington,” and that is exactly what Palin intends to do. Her pro-life view on abortion, believing every baby is created with a future and potential, and her support of ending D.C.’s 32-year-old ban on handguns, has been intermixed with her image of a socially involved hockey mom. This image appeals to those who think politics have begun to ignore the true problems of the middle class, and Palin is emphasizing the idea that she knows what needs to be done because she was just “one of us.” Already in her vice presidential

run, Palin has excited women, solidified the Republican Party’s conservative base, and augmented the competition of this election. Palin may not be the ideal vice president, but in choosing her, McCain certainly brought a new light to the Republican Party that was otherwise dimming in comparison to the increasing popularity of the Democratic Party. Like McCain has said, “She’s got the grit, integrity, good sense and fierce devotion to the common good that is exactly what we need in Washington today.”

In six short weeks, voters from across the country will choose the next president and vice president of the United States. One key question is how the vice presidential picks, announced during Democratic and Republic National Conventions, will affect the general election. On Aug. 23, Sen. Barack Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware to serve as his running mate. Biden is the current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and was a presidential candidate this year. “Biden is a senator with a ton of foreign policy experience,” said Adam Reinhart, 10. “He should help to quiet the criticism that Obama has little foreign policy experience.” Six days later, Sen. John McCain surprised the nation by picking Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. As the governor of Alaska, she is a selfdescribed “hockey mom” with five kids. Before being elected governor, Palin served as the mayor of Wassilia, Ala., a town of 6,000. “The selection of Palin as VP has really gotten me excited about the upcoming election,” said Joey Crusham, 10. “She has really shaken up this race.” Both candidates chose a running mate that could balance out their perceived vulnerabilities. Obama, who has been portrayed as young and inexperienced, chose a running mate who is older and more experienced. McCain, an older senator who religious conservatives were not very excited about, chose a running mate who appealed to the conservative base. What role will these vice presidential candidates play in the coming weeks? Traditionally, running mates spend most of their time during the campaign attacking the other presidential candidate, which each did in their convention speeches. According to CNN, Biden said in his speech at the DNC, “America cannot afford four more years of this... Again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama was proven right.” Palin also increased the attacks on Obama in her acceptance speech for the vice presidential nomination. According to the Associated Press, she said, “Victory in Iraq is finally in sight... he wants to forfeit.” Biden and Palin differ on virtually every policy they would bring to the next administration. While Biden “strongly” supports Roe vs. Wade, Palin would try to overturn the court decision Biden opposes drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supports a $50 billion plan to discover and purse alternative resources. Palin has pushed for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as governor in contrast to McCain’s position. He supports drilling in Alaska, but not in protected areas. Brandon Buka, 10, summed it up: “Joe Biden and Sarah Palin have dramatically changed the dynamics of this election and certainly will continue to shape this historic race to the White House.”



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

‘The choice of Biden was not a surprise’

VP Democratic candidate has merit jacob KATZ

staff writer

Many were surprised by Barack Obama’s August announcement concerning his choice of running mate. He elected, instead of going with a candidate from his short list, to run with Joe Biden. The choice of Biden in many respects was not a surprise, as he undisputedly has an extensive political background. He first ran for senator in 1972, at the constitutional minimum age of 30, from the state of Delaware. He won, and has served in the senate to this date. In 1988 he made an unsuccessful bid for the democratic presidential nomination, losing to Michael Dukakis. He also ran for the 2008 nomination, but withdrew after coming in 5th in the Iowa Caucus. He typically is re-elected to the senate fairly easily, often gaining more than 60% of the vote. Things have not always been easy for Biden. On December 18, 1972, just a short time after winning his first term to the senate, his wife and children were involved in a serious car crash which resulted in the death of his wife and only daughter, and serious injury of his sons. Biden, resolved to remain with his sons during their extensive hospital-


ization, was sworn into office by one of their bedsides. He has overcome these setbacks, remarrying in 1977 and fathering another daughter in 1981. He was the center of some political controversy in his 1988 bid for democratic presidential nomination, when he was accused of plagiarism. Biden is known for strongly supporting abortion rights, and his belief that action must be taken concerning global warming. To this effect, he co-sponsored the senate resolution requesting the United States to participate in the United Nations climate negotiations and the Boxer-Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, the most stringent climate bill in the Senate. Biden cites energy and high health care costs as two major threats to American businesses, and believes that addressing these issues will improve American economic competitiveness. He also has a heavily pro-union voting record, and is opposed to the privatization of Social Security. As for how the choice of Biden may affect the election… we’ll have to wait until November and see.

pressing issues this election

1 2 3 7

The economic situation

The war in Iraq

Health care Gay marriage

4 5 6 8


Illegal Immigration Abortion procedures Education reform

photo courtesy of

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D-IL) gives a speech in New York City on April 21, 2007. Obama has consistently worked to prove himself capable to lead the nation, despite having less experience than rival John McCain (R-AZ). He has been attacked so far on issues such as foreign policy and military expertise, but is fast covering ground by advocating a change from the previous administration.

Barack Obama: Can nation change under Democratic candidate? evan GILDENBLATT


staff writer

he word “change” is often used in quite a few different contexts. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to change something is to make it different. Well, there is no argument that America will stay remotely the same under the leadership of a “President Obama,” however the real question remains in the minds of ordinary Americans: Will our great nation make tangible advancements under Barack Obama if he is elected President? Obama can bring about much needed change: Change in the American political culture that has, of late, been plagued by corruption and

dominated by the special interests. Change in a society that would give no second glance to working-class students who can no longer afford their college tuition. Change in an economy that seems to be lowering its standards day by day as American jobs are being outsourced overseas and American families are forced into the depths of poverty. Our leaders in Washington are falling out of favor with their respective constituencies –regardless of party lines- because our government is slowly, but surely, becoming ineffective and unproductive. In this dire situation, however, Obama bestows

upon us a fresh face of hope. This is particularly true with students and the rest of the younger generations. His promises to bring about a peaceful and diplomatic end the genocide in Darfur along with his pledges to grant affordable healthcare to every American allow us to once again set our sights on great accomplishments. History has shown that students can make a momentous difference in politics, and societal concerns in our time are too grave for American youth to lay idle. Our country is in desperate need of change, and Barack Obama can provide that change with our help.

Edwards returns to political arena

Career, party image at stake after scandal rashmi BORAH

business manager

For weeks after a confession that shocked the nation, former vice presidential nominee John Edwards went into seclusion. Having denied his affair with former campaign worker Rielle Hunter for months, many supporters were appalled at the revelation. Now beginning to make his first public appearances since the event, Edwards is starting to build up his reputation again, beginning with speeches at universities in New York City. Although he cancelled a few of his speeches, he has begun to speak out about his experiences as a vice presidential nominee, as well as his experiences on campaign trail for his own presidency. The question that has arisen now is what will happen to Edwards’ reputation, after this particular scandal?

Amongst political figures, scandals are quite common, unfortunately; however, many are shocked that Edwards had lied about his affair for months. No one knows how much time it will take Edwards to rebuild his reputation; perhaps, it may not be possible at all. After former New York governor Eliot Spitzer was discovered to be involved in a prostitution ring, especially after he strove to reduce this problem in the state, many saw his political career to be over. However many believe that former president Bill Clinton, who was impeached for lying under oath about an affair, has earned back his reputation, at least as much to his ability as is possible, after assisting and supporting his wife, senator Hillary

Clinton, on the campaign trail, even speaking at the Democratic National Convention. For Edwards, what will happen to him is unclear; certainly, his political career is not over for sure, but for him to rebuild his image will take a considerable amount of time. His actions were heightened by the fact that his wife is currently suffering from cancer, and his retreat from the public eye did not go unnoticed. As he begins his return into the political realm, every action of his will certainly be scrutinized; already, the Republican party has begun to use this action against the Democrats. There is no doubt that Edwards will make every effort possible to maintain his image and that of the party, but given that the event was recent, it will certainly be a long journey.

SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC) has begun to make public appearances after a month long retreat from the public eye after his scandal with a campaign worker. Many are not sure about what will happen to Edwards’ reputation after this action that he denied for months while on the presidential campaign trail last year. During these next few weeks, he will attempt to repair his reputation photo by


TUESDAY September 30, 2008


image by charlie manion


brittany ARGYRIOU fun&games chief

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


brittanny ARGYRIOU fun&games chief

What goes around the world and stays in a corner?


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

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

1. mail man 2. envelope 3. post office 4. packages Answer: postage stamp




HIGHLIGHTS this month in feature

TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Poetry Corner Students share their English talents through poetry

Page 15

images by libby henning

AFTER THE LAST years parade students gathered to watch cheer their team on. These students gave their support by wearing green and gold and participating in spirit week. This years spirit week has a western theme. The schedule of daily themes can be found at

Students get ready for Homecoming

Parade kicks off game, dance will JOHNSTON


associate editor

Students backpack loads cause problems

Page 16

o begin the weekend’s festivities, the homecoming parade is scheduled for this Friday afternoon. The parade will begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the high school, and is planned to arrive at the Junior High at about 5:15-5:30. The parade will follow a route through several back roads leading towards the Junior High, including passing through the Winds and Shadow Hill neighborhoods. However, the route is subject to change without notice due to a variety of reasons, such as traffic or other delays. There will be a variety of displays

in the parade this year. It will include floats from a number of clubs and sports, as well as fire trucks and ambulances from Blue Ash, Symmes, Montgomery, and others. Those wishing to observe the parade are encouraged to do so. Aside from watching the parade itself, observers may be able to snag some candy from a passing float. “I would encourage the Sycamore community to come out, wear their green and gold, and have some good family fun,” said Mrs. Kate Korchok. The parade was organized by a dedicated committee of both faculty and student council members, though faculty admits that the students were

“They aren’t films that you would see in most theaters.”

Film club gets ready for new year leah BURGIN feature chief

Shoppers rejoice, more people running to thrift stores Page 17 Salads may not be a healthy option after all, find out why on

Page 18

Where can free food, a relaxing atmosphere, and avant garde films be found? Film Club. Most Fridays, a group of movie-lovers get together after school to watch classic films and indie flicks. “The movies we watch are really interesting,” said Kevin Sheff, 12. “They aren’t films that you would see in most theaters.” Some of their most notable viewings are “A Requiem for a Dream,” “City of God,” “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” “Children of Men,” La Heine” and “It's All Gone Pete Tong.” "I like the movies that Film Club shows because the movies make you think," said Negin Fallahi, 12. Srebrina Tanova, 12 is the founder and president of Film Club. Tanova stresses how the film club she started last year is different from S.A.M.E., the new film club. "The original Film Club is hands down better than the old one. It's free and we watch movies from many time periods and countries (some that haven't even been in theaters). No driving is necessary to come. We're senior-run, so that automatically qualifies us as superior," said Tanova. "Also, all of our officers have PhD’s in filmatography from Harvard University. And we have free food." If interested in joining the original Film Club, have a parent sign the official Film Club permission slip. A slip must be turned in for any viewer under 18, as Film Club shows R-rated movies. “It may seem like a hassle to turn in the permission slips, but it’s worth it,” said Fallahi. Look and listen for announcements concerning the next film that the club will be showing. Meetings usually take place in sponser Mr. Peiter Griga’s room.

responsible for the majority of the planning. The student council members involved were a committee of largely underclassmen lead by Aamna Dosani, 10, who were aided by student council sponsors Korchok and Mr. Chris Kloesz. In addition, Mr. Paul Payne will play a crucial role in directing the parade itself, directing traffic and ensuring it remains in order. Once the parade arrives at the Junior High around 5:15 to 5:30, immediately following it will be the pre-game bash, leading up to the game itself against Lakota East.


Students become movie critics jamie ALEMAGNO staff writer

“S.A.M.E. is a club where you watch movies with your friends and critique the film. Honestly, I don’t know who wouldn’t want to be in it!” said Andrew Jensen, 11. Sycamore Aves Movie Elite (S.A.M.E.) is the new film club where students get to be the movie critic. High school students are the best judge of what movies their peers like. “We plan to see films that are artistic in how they are made, edgy in their content, or perhaps that make the unexplainable abyss of the teenage mind expand their horizons,” Ben Marsh, 12. S.A.M.E. will be going to see movies as unique as the school itself. Meetings are held either on a Friday or Saturday. Students will go to see a movie at Regal’s Deerfield Towne Center Stadium 16 or Showcase’s Springdale Cinemas de Lux 18. “Our immediate goal is to gather as many students as possible. Anyone is welcome.” said Jeff Silverstein, 10. Like all school clubs, S.A.M.E. is free to join, but going to the actual theater is not. Each movie ticket is about eight dollars. Every meeting is not mandatory but is subjected so one can be a part of the club’s critique. Potential movies that may be reviewed in October are Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, City of Ember, and The Express. This club meets only once a month to watch movies with friends, which can be a fun activity for anyone. S.A.M.E also plans to get their critiques of the films they see in the Leaf, so keep an eye out for them, or contact Marsh, Jensen or Silverstein for more information.

feature TUESDAY September 30, 2008

“And then there was Light” With a soft tilt of his head, He delicately reached down and tugged At the peaks of the Andes Making the incisors of the “beast” Then Leagues away in opposition He made Vesuvius growl dauntingly Spewing heated hatred To kill with its innate nature


Equidistant from the poles He anchored perishable palm trees Fickle and submissive to the winds Who games traded sovereignty or whistled tunes of traitors


Corner molly JOHNSON & casey YORK staff writer staff writer

He curled his back over his work Slaving diligently Stopping for nary a daydream Pounding his unearthly last

“And then there was Light” (Continued)

He looked where life would spark And cast a duo of rivers One an easy stream, loyal to its path, The other a raging current with a vengeance Lovers yet enemies Competing Eternally His next task was one of vaunt Subduing his children to appreciate The Journey of Creation And built an uninviting staircase Tainted by none, unsurpassable, Unconquerable To An Ant Yet he did compensate And evoked waterfalls with purposeful pinches of his fingers He makes them mourn forever Mourn the deaths of the innocent Weep for the fate of the humans Sob for the clashing of cultures Lament the sins of Pandora and man

And pray for mercy from all inequities This last task was the hardest Salt-staining his cheeks As his means were complete All he could do now Was

15 Terror They run and scream, But that won’t help, They try to hide, But can’t find help.


I’ve lost them in the chaos Terror overcomes me, And then I stop and wonder, TUESDAY September How can this be happening to me? 30, 2008 It’s something so unusual, You think it isn’t real, But then when it comes into your life, It’s hard to swallow a meal. I can’t see much around me, Because the power’s out, But maybe if I close my eyes, The terror will not find me. I wish people will stop fighting, And not hate so much, But now it seems inevitable, The Nuclear bomb is descending.

- Sarah Janning, 10

“Let it Work”

-Jenni Williamson, 11

If you, or anyone you know, would like a poem to be published, please drop them off in either Mrs. Jardine’s room (Rm. 115) or into her mail box located in the main office.

Quiet All is hushed, in the dusty blush of a November morn. As the slowly dying world heaves one last labored breath And a slowly dying soul basks in the glowing amber chill the bite of air and a crisp glass of autumn The brush of wooden sills against hardened fingertips The rough blind warmth of wool, cotton Stiff and starch and soft and wrinkled And for a moment brief he is but a man And the dawn bell rings, and there is quiet.

- Kathryn Tolley, 11

16 feature to: Weighed down by books How Carve TUESDAY September 30, 2008

backpacks, work load hard on students


daniel RICKERT


ost freshmen wonder how much homework they will receive in high school. The average amount of homework for a student is an hour or two per night, as well as another hour of studying. Backpack weight is an issue for students with a large load of homework, because it can cause chronic back pains which can eventually create serious back problems. According to the University of Southern California, student’s backpacks should only weigh 10-15 percent of their body weight. According to Dr. Gloria Rudisch over 7,000 students suffered back and neck injuries due to overloaded backpacks in 2007. This is due to that fact that an estimated 50% of students are using backpacks 20-40% of their body weight. At the high school, with the number of students taking AP and accelerated classes, backpacks can weigh as much as 40 or 50 pounds. If stress of this amount is placed regularly on the back, health detriments are all but guaranteed. While it is possible for students to rearrange their books and binders to keep stress off the back and shoulders, not doing so could result in the spine curving or damage to the disks in the spine. It is not too late for students to adjust their school materials. Early detection and prevention can delay bone problems that result from heavy backpacks.

It is finally the season of pumpkins, scarecrows, and falling leaves. What better way to celebrate the season than to get together with family and friends and participate in one of America’s oldest traditions- pumpkin carving.? Here are some simple steps: 1. Pick out your pumpkin. Once you have the design you want on your pumpkin in mind, think about what kind of shape it would go best on. If you want to do something complicated, like an American flag, go for a large, round pumpkin. If your plan is a simple face, any shape would be appropriate. Of course, pumpkins come in every size imaginable but if using a stencil, any medium sized pumpkin would be best. As for the color, choose pumpkins that are relatively ripe and orange, and try to find one that is free of bruises, cuts, or nicks. 2. Find the right equipment. Tools that are most commonly used are an X-Acto knife, a long, thin-bladed knife, a poker tool, a large spoon, and some kind of writing utensil for making the design of your choice. They are sold in most arts and craft stores. If you are doing a free hand design, it is best to use a grease pencil to pre-mark your pattern before cutting it out. You will also need some newspaper to sit the pumpkin on. 3. Cut the top off the pumpkin. This requires the long thin bladed knife. So cut around the top of the pumpkin- around the stem. The bigger the hole, the easier it will be to scoop out the guts. Usually the hole is two thirds the diameter of the pumpkin. To prevent the lid from falling inside the pumpkin, cut the hole at an angle towards the inside of the pumpkin. 4. Take your large spoon or ice cream scooper and dig through the pumpkin removing all of its insides. If you want, save the seeds and roast them later for a tasty treat. 5. Decide where exactly you want your design to be placed. You can either use a stencil or begin to draw freehand. There is also the option of transferring a design from paper using the poker tool. Simply poke around the edge of the drawing onto the pumpkin as guidelines. Once the desired patter is on the pumpkin, use your X-Acto knife for clean cut results and cut out the shapes. Then carefully stick your hand in the top of the pumpkin and push the pieces out. 6. Find a candle, light it, and place it inside your new pumpkin to create a glowing affect. Also, do not hold the pumpkin by its stem. They are not as sturdy as you may think. There is the possibility that the stem will fall off. If this happens you can always cut your hole in the bottom of the pumpkin to easily add and remove the light source. “Every year my family and I carve pumpkins together. Usually I do it freehand, but my sisters like to use stencils and poker tools,” said Ashley Locke, 10. Whatever method you use this fall, remember as you are carving your pumpkin, you are participating in one of America’s most classic traditions.


spotlight editor

staff writer



maximum percent of body weight that should be carried on one’s back.


number of students that suffered neck and back injuries from backpacks in 2007

“I have gone door-to-door telling people to register to vote”

Students get involved in election emma ROSEN staff writer

With the 2009 presidential election quickly approaching, the candidates have been campaigning harder than ever. Luckily, handfuls of students are willing to get involved. “The upcoming election is a really important one. I’ve watched all the speeches and learned about the candidates. It’s really exciting to be a part of something this big., said Stefanie Zimerman, 9. Some students and their families have even donated money to their candidate of choice. “My family and I gave money to the Mitt Romney campaign, but then switched our support to John McCain after Romney lost the primaries,” said James Perryman, 9. Also, the fact that more than three-fourths of the student body will not be able to even vote in the election has not hindered their activities whatsoever. “I like to keep up with the election because, although I can't vote, I am going to the inauguration and I want to see a political candidate I support being sworn in,” said Emma Burgin, 10. Since the election uproar started last year, students have done all they can to keep in touch. By participating in debates with peers, watching

speeches, and formulating their own opinions on issues, they have gotten involved more than their respective generations in the past. News corporations have done a significant amount to try to get the younger community members involved, as was seen particularly in the YouTube debates that occured last year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 48 percent of voting-aged citizens voted in the 2006 presidential election. Although this is a slight increase over the 46 percent that voted in 2002, it is still not even half. Some students are trying to change that. “I have gone door to door telling people to register to vote. It is crucial that everyone gets a say in this election,” said Riley Able, 12. Students so The passion that these students and many others are showing for the election goes to show that our teens are not just interested in T.V. and their friends. Students at the high school have shown that they are willing to participate and get involved. Although most are not old enough to vote, they are still voicing their opinion and getting involved.

The presidential debate season started with the faceoff between Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain on September 26th at the University of Mississippi, moderated by PBS’s Jim Lehrer. Here are the dates for the upcoming debates and other major events:

presidential debates


pounds of textbooks and binders students have carried on their back every day

photo by rashmi borah

WEIGHED DOWN BY a number of textbooks and binders, Chris Culin, 11, is just one of many students that are under the stress of too many textbooks. It is recommended that students carry only about 10 percent of their body weight on their back to prevent back injuries. With the number of textbooks some students have to carry with certain course loads, particularly AP courses, students have carried up to 40 pounds on their back.

October 2nd:

Vice presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin. Moderated by PBS’s Gwen Ifill.

October 7th:

town hall-style debate; questions from audience members or via the internet; moderated by NBC’s Tim Brokaw.

October 15th:

final presidential debate over economic and domestic policy issues; moderated by BCS’s Bob Schieffer. source: CNN News Election Center



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

‘it gives me energy for the day’ Study shows health benefits of eating breakfast libby HENNING

feature chief

Most students wake up early, roll over and turn their alarm clocks off or hit the snooze button and go back to bed. Others get up later and run out the door. Either way, about 12 to 24 percent of adolescents and children skip breakfast, according to Science Daily Web site. Many have seen commercials for certain cereals or breakfast foods that taste good or are easy to eat on the go, telling all viewers that breakfast helps control weight. The study, “Breakfast Eating and Weight Change in a 5-year Prospective Analysis of Adolescents: Project EAT (Eating Among Teens)” found that teens who eat breakfast have a lower body mass index. A person’s BMI relates their weight to their height. “Eating a healthy breakfast may help adolescents avoid overeating later in the day and disrupt unhealthy eating patterns, such as not eating early in the day and eating a lot late in the evening," said Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Ph.D., principal investigator of Project EAT to the Science Daily Web site. For high school students it is especially important to eat a healthy breakfast to help start their cognitive facilities. It could be very distracting if a student is trying to take a test or quiz and their stomach will not stop growling. “If you’re really hungry then you’ll not necessarily be focused on school but on your hunger or you being hungry,” said Jared Farber, 10, while eating breakfast in the cafeteria. If students try to get up early, but still find it too difficult to grab a healthy breakfast and eat it before school, they could try to pack a breakfast and eat it at school. “When I eat breakfast I eat healthy. I think it’s beneficial because it gets your metabolism going and it feels good and if it tastes good, why not?” said Michelle Grosser, 11. Students could even ask their first bell teacher if they could eat a little something during class or get to school a little earlier to grab breakfast in the cafeteria. “Eating breakfast is important because it gives me energy for the day,” said Nate Eckman, 12. Either way, many studies continue to show evidence that eating breakfast is very important. It seems that it would be beneficial to students, both for their health and minds if they ate breakfast before school.




breakfast suggestions


fruit smoothie

bagel and cream cheese


dry cereal

cheese and fruit slices



photo courtesy of jessica walling

JESSICA WALLING, 12 trys on a pair of overalls at Valley Thrift. As a member of the Aves Theater costume department, Walling uses thrift stores to find cheap alternatives to professionally or hand-constructed costumes. Other students shop at thrift stores for their personal wardrobes, or refuse to shop at such establishments because they do not like the quality of the goods sold there.

Virtues, vices of thrift stores Resale shops experience increase in sales nationwide kelsey DRAPKIN


staff writer

ately, it seems like high-price purchasing is a thing of the past. There has been a surge of shopping being done at thrift stores rather than at high-end department stores. The Salvation Army, which has 1,300 stores nationwide, has seen a 5-15 percent jump in sales in recent months. Goodwill, which has 2,200 stores nationwide, has seen a 6 percent jump in sales in recent months. “After working there for almost two years, I've seen my fair share of just about anything and everything come through the store,” said Claire Rickards, 12, an employee at the Montgomery Goodwill. “From brand new Coach purses and neverbeen-worn True Religion jeans to inflatable sumo-wrestling suits and someone's used Band Aid collection. We get a lot of great stuff, but don’t get me wrong; we still get plenty of junky junk,” said Rickards. Stores such as Goodwill and Valley Thrift receive donated items from the general public. These items are sold, and the proceeds are used for charitable purposes such as job training programs. “Though thrift stores are cheap, but you have to search for things for an extended time, making it

not worth it,” said Artur Meller, 9. Locations such as TJ Maxx, Once Upon a Child, Plato’s Closet, and Gabriel Brother’s also sell merchandise at discounted prices. These stores, however, are not affiliated with charities. Seven Hills Schools has their own thrift shop to help fundraise for their school. “I always enjoy thrift store shopping because I always find something unique that fits my style and is always a one of a kind piece. I know that no one else will have it. You have to search for the uniqueness,” said Eryn Kipner, 10. Walking through the halls, there are many differing opinions about thrift stores. “They’re trash. They don’t compare to any other stores around. The key word is trash,” said Austin Hoard, 10. “Normally you have to hunt for it. It takes a while to actually find what

you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something bizarre, you’re bound to find it,” said Peiter Griga, photography teacher. Griga brings up a valid point. Thrift stores could quite possibly be filled to the brim with items but in order to find the “right item,” it will take searching and dedication. At many store locations, workers and managers work to decide if items are “worthy” of being put out on the floor. The selectively chosen items usually end up being good deals and are mostly good quality commodities. “It depends on where you go. I believe there are ‘treasures’ in the store, mostly because people donate valuable, useful items,” said Nia CampinhaBacote, 10. “But you won’t find the same store every time you walk into any given location. You have to keep returning,” said Campinha-Bacote. Whether one is searching for a new outfit or a new set of iPod headphones, thrift stores are a good place to get them on a budget. But remember the thrift store rule of thumb: if it is broken to the point of disuse, no matter how cheap it is, it is not worth it. Shop wisely.

it is,” said Ryan Kast, 10. Also, VitaminWater is causes a raise in one’s blood sugar levels and forces the body to send out extra insulin to try and balance out everything in the system. The increase of insulin in the body’s system causes the disruption in the body’s metabolism, which suppresses the immune system, making it easier to get sick or develop diseases, such as diabetes. “The way that TalkingRain and other nutrient enhanced water beverages are marketed and positioned, they are made to look more healthful than other sugary beverages, but it’s not – it’s still just another soft drink,” said Margo G. Wootan, Director of

Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, on While, nutrient enhanced water does actually contain vitamins that the body does need to sustain life (such as vitamin C and B), most Americans are not at all vitamin-deficient, according to Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University, on “I enjoy drinking nutrient enhanced drinks because they give me the energy I need to get through the day and because I am not a big soda drinker it is a nice alternative,” said Brynn Sharp, 11. The bottom line is that while VitaminWater and other “healthy” drinks may taste good and catch consumers’ attention, the actual health benefits are debatable and the nutrients are also found in more natural, healthier foods.

Enriched water? Students skeptical of beverage’s nutritional benefits catherine FARIST

staff writer

The tasty vitamin-enriched brand of water that many students drink comes in bright colors and displays a witty anecdote on the label promoting a healthy choice drink when in reality, those advertising, marketing geniuses are just selling another soft-drink. What these advertising companies are not publicizing is that one bottle of these beverages contains up to 32.5 grams of sugar or crystalline fructose and the crystalline fructose in these drinks is produced from cornstarch, not from fruit or any natural sugars. In addition, the calories found in Vitamin Water often are more than what most consumers burn off. Whatever vitamins are added into the product are easily found in other sources. “I like drinking VitaminWater, as opposed to normal water because I like the flavor it adds, but I don’t actually think it’s as healthy as they try to say


energy bars photo courtesy of


feature TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Not always safe with salads

Nutrition facts: what chain restaurants do not want people to know maria MARBALLI


spotlight editor

t has taken years for restaurant chains to reveal the nutrition facts of their meals. The country has pushed and pushed for the answers, and restaurants finally gave in. “It is the law now that all restaurants have to have nutrition facts available to all customers,” said Ashley Locke, 10. Why was it so hard for restaurant owners to admit their facts? It is simple. The numbers are way bigger than what people would expect- especially for salads. Far too often, customers who are looking to cut calories order salads in order to make the healthy choice. This is not always the “healthy” choice. The American public is led to believe that salads are always healthy but one must think about all the other ingredients that the restaurants are adding. It can make a 100 calorie salad go to 1000 calories with one dump of extra ingredients. A number of restaurants boast “healthy” food options that in fact quite the opposite. For example, Don Pablos’s Caesar Steak Salad has 222 percent of the daily value of fat people are supposed to have in one day. “Those numbers are ridiculous. That is like suicide on a plate,” said Aamna Dosani, 10. Although chain restaurants such as McDonalds have gotten better about improving their nutrition, others are still struggling and adding huge amounts of fat in their salads. Applebees’s numbers are also shocking. The amount of saturated fat in their salads gets up to about 70 percent of the suggested daily value. In fact, some states are thinking about banning saturated fat in public restaurants because of how damaging it is for one’s body. “I think that they should make it illegal in Ohio too because restaurants are really overdoing it,” said Serina Saleh, 9. Although the numbers are so large for some meals, there are always other options for salads as shown in the chart below. It is also helpful to ask for dressing on the side so that one can put a reasonable amount of dressing on their salad rather than the amounts that restaurants put- which adds a lot of fat and calories. Not all salads are bad, of course; however, one should not fall under the mistake that just because a dish has vegetables as a component, the item is completely healthy.

What you eat

photo by maria marballi

THIS FRESH BOWL of salad may seem apetizing to anyone looking to cut calories. But, unfortunatley, restaurants take this bowl of salad and add their ingredients that can triple the calories and fat content of a simple salad.

What it contains

How to work it off

Better option

Chilis Bar and Grill Caesar Salad with Lime Grilled Shrimp

980 Calories 77 Grams of fat

270 minutes of walking or Chilis Dinner House Salad with dressing on the side 111 minutes of jogging

Applebees Grilled Steak Salad

1191 Calories 75.5 Grams of fat

328 minutes of walking or 135 minutes jogging

Applebees Low Fat Asian Chicken Salad

Don Pablos Caesar Steak Salad

1792 Calories 144 Grams of fat

493 minutes walking of or 204 minutes of jogging

Side Salad with cheese, tomatoes, and tortilla strips

Macaroni Grill Seared Sea Scallops Salad

1320 Calories 91 Grams of fat

363 minutes of walking or 150 minutes of jogging

Macaroni Grill Garden Della Casa

1142 Calories 64 Grams of fat

314 minutes of walking or 130 minutes of jogging

Bob Evan’s Savor-size Heritage Chef Salad

Bob Evan’s Farm Fresh Cranberry Pecan Chicken with sweet Italian dressing




TUESDAY September 30, 2008

this month in a&e...

ichela’s musings

No-school boredom transforms into epic film experience michela TINDERA a&e chief

During our “Hurricane Days” I spent a great deal of my time, as I am sure many others did, lamenting the loss of my internet, cable, and telephone, basically my lifeline to the outside world. Though our power returned less than 24 hours after it went off, for some reason much to my dismay our Time Warner Cable “bundle package” failed to follow suit. So there I sat, in a well-lit living room, staring at the television that I believed to have no other purpose but to play static, mocking my futile hopes that MTV, Bravo, and VH1 would finally reappear to me; I had the awesome revelation that I could still, in fact, watch DVD’s upon this great black box. Considering I had nothing else to fill my time with, I made a quick stop at the public library, which faithfully opened soon after the storm, to pick up several of my favorite determined-by-me-classic-moviesthat-everyone-must-see-if-theywant-to-have-a-complete-existence movies. And so I began… Possibly the best movie ever created is 1989’s Say Anything starring John Cusack and Ione Skye. It holds all of the ingredients a movie needs to create the most delectable film imaginable. The main plot follows two Seattle natives who fall in love the summer after their high school graduation. However it also contains an FBI investigation, a cute little kid, and musical score that is worthy of an Oscar nod. Watch it. Secondly, 1984’s The Outsiders directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring a myriad of the 80’s rising celebrities: Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, and Diane Lane among others. One of the few movies that will actually make me cry, it portrays the tensions between two 1960s teen gangs: The Socs and The Greasers after Johnny, a greaser, kills Bob, a soc. Of course I could not forget to watch the 1996 version of Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, that after first viewing it in Mrs. Beth LeBlanc’s English class freshman year, my life has forever been altered in awe of this wonderful film. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio-- enough said about that. However, the most remarkable part is that the original Shakespearean language is spoken by all the actors within a modern setting. The style of filming is also impeccable using unique camera angles, having an almost documentary feel to them. Perhaps I have more obscure taste than most when it comes to finding a great movie, considering I have not seen a movie in theaters in over a year. But why look to the future when delving into Hollywood’s past manifests an equally rewarding experience?

photo by michela tindera

Dawn those cloaks, fake British accents

Check out the newest movies hitting the silver screen on page 20.

Harry Potter is back meena THATIKUNTA


photo by michela tindera

staff writer

arry marries Ginny. Check. Ron marries Hermione. Check. They livehappily ever after. Check. The Tales of the Beetle Bard. Che—wait… “What? I thought it was done,” said Haruka Maeno, 10. Just when the world thought J.K. Rowling was out of the job, she is back with more. In the last Harry Potter installment, Dumbledore leaves Hermione a book called the The Tales of the Beetle Bard. Well, Rowling actually wrote it. And the book will be arriving in stores on December 4. “I’m so excited she's continuing to write. I love her books!” said Teresa Sandoval, 10. In The Tales of the Beetle Bard there are major clues as to how to destroy You Know Who. ‘Beetle Bard’ tells the tale of three brothers who try to master death. It is told in five tales: The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babbitty, Rabbitty and her

Hit book Twilight set to become movie Release date planned for November 21 mandi KIPNER

staff writer

A new wave of obsession has developed, All across America readers are becoming more attracted to the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers. Meyers started to write the first book of the series on June 2, 2003, After the publication booksellers chose Meyer as one of the "most promising new authors of 2005" (Publishers Weekly). Bella Swan is the type of teenage girl that is ahead of her years. She is a very intriguing and deep person who is quit independent. When she felt a need for change Bella moved in with her father, who lives in Forks, Washington. While living in Forks she meets the Cullen family. Realizing there is something eerie about the family she becomes more and more attracted, especially to one of the youngest of the bunch, Edward.

While dating Edward she finds out the family’s secret: he and his family are all vampires. Along with this secret Bella finds herself to be the center of many other problems. Twilight the series has been so successful and popular that it is now being turned into a movie. “I’m very excited for this movie because the book was great. It is hard to keep my attention and this really keeps me wanting to read more” said Kaylin Doulen, 12. The movie is directed by Catherine Hardwicke. The movie was written by Melissa Rosenberg who did the screen play. The movie is based off of Meyer’s first book, Twilight. The movie is to be released November 21with Kristen Stewart and Robert Patterson as leads, Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.

Cackling Stump and The Tale of the Three Brothers. Rowling has released seven copies already. These are hand-written, hand-drawn, and embellished with silver and moonstones by Rowling herself. One has been has been auctioned at £1,950,000 (about $1.1 million) for the charity Children’s Voice Campaign. “I'm so excited that she's releasing it to the public, but I liked the idea better when it was just auctioned for charity,” said Annie Xie, 11. The Children’s Voice Campaign fights for children’s rights in Europe. The public editions will be released in two editions, the collector’s edition ($100) and the hard copy edition ($8). “’The Tales of Beedle Bard’ is really a distillation of the themes found in the Harry Potter books, and writing it has been the mist wonderful way to say goodbye to a world I have loved and lived in for 17 years,” said Rowling in a statement.

Want to know what makes Mr. Damien Payne tick? Turn to page 20 for this month’s Artist Spotlight

Check out the most popular books of this past year on page 20.

Seniors prepare for November orchestra Spotlight Concert frank PAN

staff writer

The annual Senior Spotlight orchestra concert is set once again for Thursday October, 23 at 7:30 p.m. This annual concert is eagerly anticipated as the level of performance by the seniors seems to increase every year. And with less than a month left before the concert, the seniors in this year’s performance have been diligently practicing for their solo spotlight.

Seniors set to play in concert: Dan Tang he is set to play Vivaldi’s “Spring”

Kelsey Beck Mitch Garner Joe Macheret David Chen he is set to play “Concerto No. 9 in A Minor” by Deberiog

photo by jeremy mccdaniel

ANOTHER ORCHESTRA MEMBER Jordan Chen, 11 plays cello in a concert last year.



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Art teacher brings new perspective daphneHSU

associate editor

all photos courtesy of google

STUDENTS ANXIOUSLY READ their hearts out this summer. The most popular books seemed to be Harry Potter, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,

and the Twilight series. Each of these novels, that all came out this past year, was the last installation of their wildly popular series.

2008 must reads reach bookstores

emily BEGLEY


staff writer

rom the lightning-paced action of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to the unfolding drama in the Twilight series, this year proved to be anything but uneventful for bestselling authors and their fans. In October 2007, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows went on sale, marking the end of J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular series. Readers raced to bookstores worldwide to discover the result of the highly-anticipated final encounter between Harry and Lord Voldemort. “I went to Barnes & Noble to get it as soon as it came out,” said Gracia Ng, 11. “Then I stayed up all night reading it!” The series’ conclusion did not stay on store shelves for long. According to the Herald Tribune, 8.3 million copies of the book were sold in the U.S. in its first day of release, making

it the fastest-selling book in history. Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood also captivated readers beginning January of ’07. This book concluded Ann Brashares’ touching series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The procession tells the tale of four friends and the magical pair of jeans that fit each of them perfectly, despite their various shapes and sizes. “This book was a great end to a great series,” Ragini Chatterjee, 10. Students became mesmerized by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, captivating them with the tale of the drastic changes that take place in the life of Bella Swan after falling in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen. The final installment of the series, Breaking Dawn, was recently distributed in August 2008.

Fans eagerly waited for the conclusion’s release, lining up in bookstores to be the first to purchase the book the day it went on sale. After purchasing thier copy, readers had a hard time putting it down. “I read all four books in two weeks!” said Lainey Paul, 10, referring as well to the previous installments in the series,. According to USA Today, an estimated 1.3 million copies of Breaking Dawn were sold in the first 24 hours of its release, claiming the book the second-highest sales-record next to Deathly Hallows. With the recent distribution of enthralling conclusions to treasured series, fans have not been left disappointed. Readers now eagerly anticipate the revealing of what the coming year has to offer in the world of literature.

Mr. Damien Payne first became interested in art in elementary school when he saw how good of an artist his friend was. Payne would practice at his own art whenever he could. He practiced his drawing technique and used inspiration from the many comic books he collected (his favorite was X-men), to reach the same level as his friend. His practice paid off in high school: his first work of art in a show, a mixed media collage of a church roof and steeple and a photograph of a skateboarder juxtaposed to look like he is jumping off the roof, placed in the top rankings. Now, Payne is an art teacher, teaching Foundations of Art, Ceramics, and 2D/3D Art. He said he chose to work at this school for its good reputation and the fact that there was a job opening. Not only is this his first year here, this is also his first year as a teacher, besides working as a student teacher at Fairfield. One of the ideas Payne hopes to get across to his students is that art is everywhere. To him, art is a form of entertainment: not only can art be created, but art is also in the anime and manga he reads, in the video games he plays, in the music he listens to. "It is a really, really big part of what keeps me going," said Payne. Before coming to work here, Payne attended Hampton University in Virginia to get a change of pace from growing up in Ohio. There, Payne majored in graphic design, which was much more hands-on than it is now – every

sketch was done by hand and not computer processed until the very end. For a semester after graduating, Payne took a job as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in Virginia. For the next seven years, he worked as a technician on arcade games for Dave & Buster's and GameWorks. But Payne did not plan on making this his career. So he moved back to Cincinnati and enrolled in graduate school at Xavier University. At first, he studied English because he loves reading and poetry. But after a semester, he chose art education instead, taking classes in almost every art form but drawing. Payne learned the most about art in college than he did in his youth. "Graduate school was more like the ah-ha moment," said Payne. Although Payne has not been able to find the space or time to work on his own art since he started teaching, he hopes that will change as the school year progresses. He works in nearly every form of art, from sketching to painting, from work on the computer to metal work. One of the personal projects he has been working on for a while is a comic. Payne also does commission work for friends, but instead of money, he often barters. Perhaps he will create a drawing for a tattoo in exchange for a few CDs. As for his favorite artists, Payne lists comic book artists. But as for his favorite works of art, he said "There's so much art out there that's it's hard to say that one's my favorite."

New movies hit silver screen: all stories relay idea of self discovery jacob NEWTON calendar editor

Secret Life of Bees

photo courtesy of

Set in the early 60’s in South Carolina, 14 year old Lilly Owens (Dakota Fanning) is plagued with the memory of her mother’s death. As if that were not enough for a teenage girl to deal with, she has a violently aggressive father. In order to deal with this all, she flees home, with her only an empty honey jar and her maid, Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson). Along with Fanning and Hudson stars Queen Latifah as a woman who takes in Lilly and Rosaleen. This film is truly a fantastic story, although, by the trailer, this film looks like it may be boring. However, it has gotten fantastic reviews. Also, the book on which the film, is based on was on the freshman summer reading list.

Max Payne

W. Based on the 2001 video game of the same name, Max Payne tells the story of a maverick DEA agent who is out to find the man responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner in cold, dark New York City. Payne (Mark Walberg) ventures into a nightmare journey where he must battle unimaginable enemies. This film is sure to be a success with a huge fan drawl of hard-hitting action movies.

Oliver Stone, a director known for his expository films and documentaries, brings a film uncovering the story behind George W. Bush (Josh Brolin). Stone, who uses political inaccuracies and strong biases to create his stories, plans to cover Bush’s whole life. “I’ll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from. It includes his belief that God personally chose him to be president of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, preemptive attack on Iraq. It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors,” said Stone in regards to how much of Bush’s life the film will cover.



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Full Court Meddlesome owners ruin sports jared KAMRASS sports chief

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

COACH SCOTT DATTILO looks on as his varsity football squad takes on Hamilton on September 12. The Big Blue handed the team their first loss since being defeated by Moeller in the firs week of the 2007 Division I State Playoffs. The team was downed by Colerain 35-14 the following week.

Varsity football falls to Hamilton, Colerain

Team looks to regain spot atop GMC standings after losses will JOHNSTON

associate editor


fter a blistering 3-0 start, the varsity football team has cooled off of late. The team lost two tough GMC games, falling to Hamilton 21-14 and Colerain 35-14. The game against the Big Blue was back and forth, but in the end Hamilton’s tough defense was able to stop varsity’s offense in crucial situations, while their offense was able to find success running the ball. Against Colerain, the final score was not indicative of how close of a contest it really was. Varsity tied the game at 14 on an 11-yard Casey MacLean, 12, run late in the third

quarter, shocking the home fans so used to seeing the Cardinal juggernaut pulverize GMC opponents. Until late in the game, it seemed permissible that Colerain could lose its first GMC game since 1999. However, a series of crucial mistakes doomed varsity’s chances of upsetting the Cardinals. After varsity evened the score at 14, Colerain came back and scored on a 28-yard run. On the ensuing possession, a pass intended for Lamar Passmore, 12, was picked off and returned for a touchdown. In the fourth, the Cardinals scored on a 66-yard run,

effectively ending varsity’s comeback attempt. With both losses, the team was dropped to a tie for last place in the GMC standings. But, there is good news for the team: the hardest part of the schedule is over. The toughest remaining game is against Princeton, while varsity will likely be favored in each of the other remaining contests. Next on deck for the team is the homecoming game against Lakota East. Last year, varsity pounded the Thunderhawks 28-9 at their home stadium. Bud Golden, 12, rushed 141 yards

and three touchdowns in that game, and could post similar numbers this week. Overcoming ineffective lapses, the defense has looked tough in the second half against Hamilton and until late in the game against Colerain; expect a homecoming victory this weekend. Following this weekend’s game, varsity has a ways to climb if it still wishes to have a shot at winning the GMC championship. A third consecutive place in the Ohio state playoffs is also at stake. Following the homecoming game, the team plays at Princeton.

Women’s soccer falls in standings

Team looks to rebound as season winds down emily COHEN staff writer

The women’s varsity soccer team fell to eleventh in the soccer Division I coaches’ poll, after suffering two losses to Lakota East and Oak Hills. The Greater Miami Conference (GMC) is an extremely tough division; six of the ten teams are currently ranked in the top ten. Lakota East and Oak Hills are two of them. All the games have been challenging. In fact, there hasn’t been a game decided by over two goals. There are no easy games; every team has the capability to upset the other. The team beat undefeated Colerain 1-0 on September 16. It was a physical game, possession shifted back and forth with good passing on both

this month in sports

on deck

As the Reds end another irrelevant season, we fans envy our counterparts in Milwaukee, who are on the cusp of a playoff berth. Instead of a celebratory GM with a supportive owner, manager Ned Yost was unceremoniously dumped by GM Doug Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio after a three game slide. Despite being two games out of the Wild Card at the time, Attanasio was not satisfied and felt it was in his team’s best interest to change managers with a few games left in the year. Maybe this will work. Probably it won’t. Either way it is reflective of a disturbing new trend in professional sports. In Oakland, Lane Kiffin is working week-to-week, if not day-to-day, after a rift developed with quixotic owner Al Davis. Instead of handling the situation like a professional, Davis has left his coach to twist in the wind while his team is affected negatively. Good owners would be more concerned about keeping his team in the best position to contend, or at least keeping the matter in-house. Suffice it to say that Davis isn’t a good owner. Right here at home, Mike Brown has taken considerable flak for the recent (and not so recent) floundering of the organization started by his father. It was well documented that the re-signing of WR Chris Henry was a decision from Brown, who has become increasingly more involved in personnel decisions. Coach Marvin Lewis has had his legs taken out from above by Brown, whose only football credentials come from milking his father’s success. Instead of letting the football people make decisions, the nepotistic and incompetent owner has left this franchise in a quagmire of irrelevance. It’s like “Major League” all over again. Owners everywhere are trying their hand in day-to-day operations with varying degrees of failure. Credit goes to owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks who has gotten his teams into the playoffs many times, but has received criticism from fans all the way to the commissioner. Ensuing distractions and conflicts leave these teams the laughingstocks of their leagues. Successful teams often have behind the scenes owners. Show of hands, what’s the name of the Patriots owner? The Red Sox? The San Antonio Spurs? Exactly. Owners can’t be fired, which is a sad reality. The only angle the fans of these teams, including Bengals fans, can take is that one day their owner might get it. Or sell the team. Or leave his office for other reasons. Until that day these fans should expect more of the same: disappointing failures with embarrassing faux pas.

sides. Great defense stopped Colerain in their tracks and kept the squad in the game. The Colerain defenders were persistent and made countless stops, but in the end, varsity came through and scored the only goal and became victorious. This not only broke Colerain’s streak but, it showed that the team can compete with anyone. “It was a big win since we had just lost a couple of games,” said Erin McLean, 11. Many counted them out after multiple injuries in the beginning of the season, but they are showing that they are still a serious threat in the GMC. Offense has been a problem for the team this

Get up to date on the current Girls Volleyball season and results Page 26

year, averaging only one goal per game. Alix Hildal, 12, leads the team in goals and assists with three goals and two assists. “We are just not finishing on our opportunities” said McLean. Scoring is a key element in soccer. If a team cannot score than they cannot win, no matter how good they play. The varsity soccer team has some tough games coming up. They play at home against Fairfield on October 2 and away at Mason on October 7. Both of these teams are very talented and will put the team to the test. They are both currently tied for sixth in the coaches’ poll.

Check up on the Boys Varsity Soccer Team’s progress. Page 27

See what Jared and Ben think about the current college football season and more. Page 29



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

ALANAH SONNTAG, 12, LEADS the girls cross country squad. She came in first in their latest meet at Mason. Melissa French, 11, finished second behind Sonntag.

Striving for success: Hard work paying off for girl’s cross country sohini SAMEERA staff writer

JUNIORS ABBY COSTELLO (left) and Meghan Marth (center) are looking to play major roles in the varsity girl’s volleyball success. Sam Schlie, 10, is one of the leaders of the junior varsity squad. Both teams have struggled out of the gate, but remain optimistic.

Youthful varsity squad struggles Girl’s Volleyball:while JV looks for improvement josh SAMUELS & chad CHESSIN staff writer staff writer The varsity girl’s volleyball team has not had the success they would have liked so far this season. After twelve games, the team has earned a 4-8 record, and is 1-3 in conference play. The team looked to be off to a good start, as they opened the season with a five set win over Milford, but since then the team has lost seven out of their last ten games. Many of these, however, have come against tough opponents from the Girls’ Greater Cincinnati League, a volleyball powerhouse. “At the beginning of the season we had a lot of tough competitors in the GGCL. Hopefully we can take that experience to our GMC competitors and take us to the top,” said Angie Sylvester, 12. This is one of the youngest varsity teams in the athletic program, with only four seniors on the roster. The team is mainly led by juniors and sophomores. The stars of the team so far this

season are setter/outside hitter Gaby Gray, 11, outside hitter Sariah Suryadevara, 10, setter Annie Ramstetter, 11, and setter/outside hitter Jessica Wolfe, 10. Although the Varsity team has not had the success they would have liked, many of the athletes individually are atop the Greater Miami Conference leader board in multiple statistical categories. Ramstetter is currently 9th in assists, Gray is looking for her second consecutive 1st team all-GMC nomination. Gray is in the top ten of the GMC in kills (3rd), digs (10th), and assists (10th). With a difficult out of conference schedule, Coach Greg Ulland hopes that the experience gained throughout that tough stretch will help them in GMC play. “They have maintained focus throughout our difficult preseason and opening schedule. We have made consistent improvement and I

see this team being problematic for other teams in the state tournament,” said Ulland. As long as the team keeps improving, watch for the team to be very competitive this season, and for seasons to come. “As long as we keep playing consistently and play our game, we can compete in the GMC,” said Meghan Marth, 11.

JV Girl’s Volleyball

As the halfway point of the volleyball season approaches, the JV girls are seeking rapid improvement. The team has suffered some heartbreaking losses and currently stands at 2-8, but remain optimistic. “As a team, we stay motivated by giving it our all whenever we step on the court. This way, even if we lose, we have no regrets,” said Sam Schlie, 10. The girls pride themselves on how well they cooperate. The team stresses camaraderie on the court, and every girl is ready to lend a help-

ing hand to a teammate. “Our team is really close. We get along well, and show great team chemistry.” said Grace Hulett, 10. Despite their recent troubles, the girls are going all out in practice, and are exhibiting perseverance. But not all is bleak. In their match against Princeton, the team had an amazing performance, thrashing the Vikings 25-13, 25-12, and gaining their first victory of the year. “Our victory over Princeton really raised our spirits, now we feel like we’re on the right track,” said Woods. The performance against Princeton spurred the team forward as they collected their second victory against Loveland. “I expect my girls to stay focused and look long term. I want them to play the game and enjoy it,” said coach Ms. Claire Mill. “Winning will come when the girls begin to pay attention to the details.”

After running at Fairfield, Lakota, Mason, and Alliance, the Girl’s Cross Country is well into their season. The team had a meet at CorwinNixon Park on Sept. 6, where they ran against Mason. The team also ran against Alliance at Miami Valley on Sept. 13. When the girls ran against Lakota East, Alanah Sonntag, 12, came first on the team with a total run time of 18:59. “The best part about cross country is racing and trying to improve each week you race,” said Sonntag. Melissa French, 11, was not far behind. French ran the 5K in 19:59. She placed second in the team. Taylor Young, 11, placed third. For the 5K, her time was 20:58 but at this meet, the team ranked fourth. At Fairfield, the Varsity runners were Sonntag, French, Young, Danni Flemming, 11, Meg Simon, 12, Erin Kosel, 11, and Lydia Popp, 12. The runners were ranked from first to seventh in the one mile and 5K race. The total times taken to run the 5K by the first three rank holders were 19:30, 20:07, and 21:07. During the two mile race, Amanda Malone, 10, placed first followed by Kelsey Beck, 12, who placed second. Malone’s time was 13:37 and Beck’s 14:23. Coming in third was Amy Gordon, 11, with a total time of 14:27. On Oct. 4, the team’s opponent will be Centerville. The team remains optimistic for the season. “For the next couple meets I am hoping we’ll do pretty well, since we’re running flat courses,” said Ragini Chatterjee, 10.

Boy’s water polo struggles at Ohio Cup, looks to rebound After disappointing showing, team looks to finish season strong with senior night looming matt MENDELSOHN opinion chief

THE BOY’S WATER Polo team has had a strong season. Jon Hancher, 12, has been a big part of their success. Hancher is one of eight seniors on the squad.

With senior night rapidly approaching, the boy’s water polo team looked to continue their early season success. With tournaments at Mason and the all-important Ohio Cup, the team had an opportunity to reach that goal. Following a victory over Princeton in the first home game of the season, the squad traveled to Mason, to take part in the three game tournament. Despite facing an early challenge from Columbus St. Charles, the squad finished victorious in all three games, with wins versus Napoleon and Canton Glen Oak, in addition to the St. Charles game.

With a dominating 14-6 win over Mason the next week, the team was on a seven game winning streak heading to Columbus for the Ohio Cup, momentum seemingly in hand. Arriving early for the top water polo tournament in Ohio, the boys beat defending state champion Worthington Kilbourne 11-8, setting up a 2nd round matchup with Toledo St. Francis. A high-scoring, back and forth game ensued, and it took overtime for the game to be decided. Unfortunately for the team, St. Francis scored with 8 seconds remaining in the final overtime period to take the lead and the game 16-15,

just the second loss for the team this season. With their 8 game winning streak snapped, the squad looked to rebound against Upper Arlington, but played their worst game of the season, falling 14-6. The tournament was becoming a nightmare, and the team looked to salvage the last game against Napoleon. It was unfortunate for Napoleon, as the team took out all their frustration and anger in their final game of the competition, jumping out to a six goal lead early, and winning 14-5. The team has compiled an 11-3 record and has had yet another suc-

cessful season so far. The boys received a reprieve in their schedule, with no tournament upcoming until September 26th. They still have the Princeton Invitational and Mason Invitational left on their schedule before the state playoffs begin. They also get to look forward to Senior Night on October 7, at the school, as seniors Chris Lo, Jon Hancher, Kam Keeling, Matt Mendelsohn, Matt Weber, and Scott Wright, will be honored before their final home game against a tough Milford squad.



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

View from the Stands

Ryder Cup victory entertains, inspires ben ESTES sports chief

The weekend of September 19-21 had the usual sports entertainment: college football on Saturday, NFL football and NASCAR racing on Sunday, and pennant-race baseball the whole three-day period. While most sports aficionados were likely focusing on these typical events, I was paying attention to something else, something rarer: the biannual Ryder Cup. The golf competition, alternately hosted by the U.S. and opponent Europe, was held in America this year, just down I-71 at Valhalla in Louisville. The Europeans have dominated as of late, winning all 3 Cups from 2000-2007 (even the U.S.’ last victory in 1999 was marred by the overzealous, unsportsmanlike celebrations by the team). Those who know the competition say it is the most pressure-filled event in golf-even more than the four majors. Clearly, our home-country squad has been wilting in the face of it the past seven years. Not in 2008. In inspiring fashion, the U.S. –led by team captain Paul Azingeremerged with the Ryder Cup in hand, defeating Europe 16.5-11.5. Why is this a special victory, you may ask? Because, for one of the few times in our age of commercialization of sports and pro athletes playing simply to get their check, these men played for their country, and with an intense desire to win. What makes it even more remarkable was that the Americans were without the best golfer in the world: Tiger Woods. His absence doubtlessly galvanized the team, for no matter how amicable Woods is, it’s impossible to look upon him as “one of the guys.” This was truly a unified team. You had golfers like the goofy Boo Weekley, whose southern drawl and attitude kept his teammates (and the fans) loose and laughing. You had Kenny Perry, who dedicated himself this year to winning the cup and finally, gloriously succeeded. You had Perry and J.B. Holmes, Kentucky natives who were playing for their country and their state. You had the youngest American, whiz kid Anthony Kim, a 23-year-old whippersnapper who, despite his youth, refused to buckle to the overwhelming stress. The tone was set early on when the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, a Louisville native, made a surprise visit to the Cup and spoke to both teams. Ali, whose dogged battle with Parkinson ’s disease provides encouragement to others who suffer such debilitating ailments, no doubt provided great inspiration to these Americans who desperately sought to reclaim golf glory. In the end, as several U.S. players broke down in tears following the victory, it was them who inspired us.

all images by brandon sosna

THE GIRL’S VARSITY tennis team has excelled this season, due to their outstanding play on the courts. Led by Allie Martin, 10 (left), Bianca Patel, 11 (center) and Sheena Patel, 11, the squad is looking to capture the program’s seventeenth Greater Miami Conference championship.


uccessful season for girl’s tennis

quad still looking to improve

matt SLOVIN staff writer


his season has been outstanding for the girls’ varsity A tennis team, but in the eyes of the players, and Mr. Mike Teets, head coach, there is still much work left to be done. “I have been very pleased with the girls this season,” said Teets. Playing singles for the team, most frequently, have been Bianca Patel, 11, Allie Martin, 10, and Sammi Kruger, 9. The doubles teams have had more than their fair share of tri-

umphs as well for the young squad. “Bianca, Sammi and Allie have all done a great job in singles this year,” said Teets. Also, if any members of the tennis program are asked, it is likely that they will tell you that each of the team’s seven victories thus far was achieved by hard work over the offseason. “(Conditioning) is very valuable in keeping the players in good shape throughout the year. Because the

optional workouts are at 6:00 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you definitely find out who is passionate about being a part of the program,” said Teets. With that kind of dedication, it should come as no surprise that the tennis program, both men and women, is consistently one of the best in the state. The girls’ team boasts an impressive 16 GMC titles. Equally impressive, the 16 titles came in a row from 1989-2004.

On the men’s side of, 17 GMC championships have been won. This includes the past five titles, dating back to the 2003-04 school year. “Our team goal is to win the remaining GMC dual matches in order to finish 2nd in the regular season, and then to spring a surprise on Lakota West in the GMC tournament,” said Teets. It should be an exciting finish to the season for the players and their teams.

Boy’s varsity soccer defining team work, dedication Squad’s cohesiveness, talent has them second in the GMC ben DHIMAN minimag editor


AHMAD SALEH, 12, PREPARES to boot the ball into the offensive zone. Saleh is one of many veterans on the squad.

he dynamics of a great sports team not only included a group of highly talented individuals, but also their cohesiveness and dedication towards success. The fusion of determination and talent is what the boys’s varsity team represents. “We play fast, we play smart, and will play simple,” said coach Mr. Scott Sievering, teacher at Loveland Middle School. With a press time record of five wins, one loss, and three ties, the team is ranked second in the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) behind Mason. With hopes of bringing home a GMC title, the team has several must win games against Fairfield on October second at Fairfield High School, and senior night against Mason on October seventh. With aspirations of achieving greater prestige than a GMC title the team is setting their sights on a state title. Great leadership coming from the senior class, and captains; Omar Refaei, Ryan Lavigne, and Matt Moler, has led the team through tough situations so far, and has hopes to carry them through the tournament. “We put a lot of effort into our summer workouts, and it has really paid off. We will hopefully keep winning,” said Refaei, 12. A great soccer team does not revolve around two or three players, but the team as a whole. The

group’s defense has given up three goals through nine games, in combination with an offense that has explosive counter attack and possession capabilities scoring over twenty goals, the potential is off the charts. The team has the ability to achieve greatness, if a consistency is maintained, and players keep a strong mentality, there is no telling the extent of greatness in which they will achieve. “Our defense is really good this year, as long as our offense scores we can beat anyone,” said Alex Grzegorzewski, 11. The depending factor on the outcome of a season full of potential will come down to leadership from the senior class in assistance to a junior and sophomore class. The season has a sense of optimism to it and it will hopefully be fulfilled.

We put a lot of effort into our summer workouts, and it has really paid off. We will hopefully keep winning.

-Omar Refaei, 12



TUESDAY September 30, 2008

JV girls golf off to impressive start

Team thinking big after 10-1 start to season danny BAYLISE


staff writer

lready off to an amazing 10-1 start, the JV girls’ golf team is eager to finish the rest of the season undefeated. “I think we have a great chance of finishing the rest of the season without another loss”, said S.M. Dipali, 9, who placed a medalist score of 26 on a par 31 front nine against Milford at their season opener on August 12.

The result was a 159-247 win at Meadow Links. Their lone defeat was against Centerville where they only lost by three strokes 192-195. Erin Soller, 9, kept it close with a Medalist score of 43 on a par 36 course. “With the pace we’re on, I think it will be hard to stop us”, said Cassidy Thomas, 9. Others that have placed Medalist scores have been Jackie Weber, 10,

(36, 37), Miranda Goldshot, 9, (42), Soller (40, 46), and Katie Bitzer, 11, (40, 40). On September 4, at par 32 course The Bruin, the JV girls beat out Lakota West, Kings, and Lakota East with a score of 159 to the scores 166, 184, and 221 in that order. The team has some tough opponents ahead of them, including a rematch with Centerville at Meadow

Links on Thursday, September 18. They have also been scheduled as one of 11 teams to compete in the Sycamore Junior Varsity Invitational that’s at 2 p.m. at Meadow Links on the September 28. “Our JV team is having a very successful season. We have a large number of girls playing on the varsity team and a few who play both varsity and JV. Our varsity team is currently

11-3, and the future looks bright for that team as well with our JV doing as well as they are,” said JV and Varsity coach Mr. Keith Brackenridge. He, along with coaches Mrs. Julie Haverkos and Mrs. Gayle Denny are determined to keep their JV squad with a one-loss record and bring a win home at the invitational. Such a victory would cap what has already been an outstanding season.

JV Football slowed by losses, seeks strong end to season paul PESCOVITZ


photo by jeremy mcdaniel

A RECEIVER FOR the JV team snags a ball by his fingertips in action last season. The team has had a rough start to their season so far, opening up with 1-4 record.

staff writer

fter a long, difficult summer of conditioning and practice, the junior varsity football team is back on the field once again. This season, the team looks to build on past successes and a strong group of talented players to put together a winning season. The team got off to just the start the members had worked for all summer, beginning the 2008 season with a 22-12 win over Glen Este at home. “It’s always nice to open the season with a victory. Practice becomes more enjoyable knowing we have a good chance on Saturday morning,” said Jonathan Coddington, 11, the team’s quarterback. Unfortunately, the team could not find the same success in the next few weeks to come, losing a 30-12 decision to the Springboro Panthers and 10-7 to the Roger Bacon Spartans. As with any loss, disappointment was evident. But as the team knows, they cannot linger in the past. “All you want to do after a loss is get to practice and work harder to make sure the game result does not repeat itself the next week,” said Michael Streicher, 10. Even after another week of practice, the team could not come out on top in their next game, suffering a 28-7 loss after traveling to play the Hamilton Big Blue. Throughout the upcoming weeks, the team will look to its offensive line, consisting of mostly sophomores mixed with a few juniors as a base for a strong running game, which should lead to increased offensive success. The defense is also a crucial part of the team’s success. Although relatively strong through the first few weeks, the unit knows that there is always room for improvement. “We definitely could improve finishing our tackles and our pass coverage,” said defensive back Andrew Goldfarb, 10. The team closed out the first half of its season with a home loss to the Colerain Cardinals, 21-6. Through the first half of the schedule, the team’s record stands at one win and four losses. Even after a minor losing streak, the team is still confident that the season can be turned around. “We’ve worked hard in practice and before that in the offseason, we realize that we can still achieve success and most of our goals with a strong end to the season,” said Daniel McCarthy, 11, one of the team’s veterans. The JV football team still has two home games remaining, September 27 against Fairfield and October 11 against Princeton. Both games are at home at 10 a.m.

Boy’s cross country excels early, eyes state competition bennett KAPLAN staff writer

After not placing in the state cross country meet in over the past eight years, the boys cross country team is hungry for success, especially the senior class, whose last chance to reach state is this year. “Our team is determined to end our long drought of missing the state meet this season,” said John Stucker, 12. The team placed second at Mason in their last meet on Saturday, September 6. The team was led by senior Hank Geer, 12, who finished second overall. This hopefully will set a tone for a strong rest of the season and hopefully a state tournament birth. Contributing to their success, the team has six runners in the top 30

times in the GMC so far this season, including Geer at fourth overall with an outstanding 16:21 at Lakota. The others include Nick Fry, 11, at #16, with a 17:22 at Fairfield, Gus Klofta, 12, with a 17:32 at Lakota, Mike McMillen, 12, at # 23 with a 17:47 at Mason, Kubilay Inanli, 10, at # 24 with a 17:50 at Fairfield, and Stucker at # 27 with a 17:55 at Lakota. The JV team has also run well this season. Four freshmen have top 100 times this year in the GMC. “I think that we will do really well, we’re top 5 in the city, and I think we have the potential to be a top 3 team,” said Noah Yasgur, 9. Ryan Hall, 9, leads the freshmen with a 19:12 at Lakota that gives him

the 58th best time in the GMC this year. Blake Wilhelm, 9, has the 75th best time this year with a 19:51 at Lakota. Cory Chisholm, 9, is #97 with a 20:55 at Mason, and Yasgur was #99 with a 21:02. The JV team has performed well so far this season, and has a bright outlook for the rest of the year. “We have run well, but we still have room to improve. I think we will finish top two in the GMC, top 3 at Districts, we will be top 6 at regional, and possibly go to state,” said coach Mr. Mike Gutekunst. If the boy’s varsity and junior varsity cross country teams keep running the way they are, a GMC championship and perhaps a visit to state could be in the near future.


Hank Geer, 12 Nick Fry, 11 Gus Klofta, 12 Mike McMillen, 12 Kubilay Innali, 10 John Stucker, 12 Ryan Ebstein, 11 Devon Choudhury, 10 Misha McCormick, 12 Ryan Hall, 9 Johnny Hill, 9 Sam Sohlden, 9 Ryan Thompson, 9 Dae-Hyuc Yim, 11 Dan Garfield, 12

Time 16:21 17:22 17:32 17:47 17:50 17:55 18:34 18:56 19:08 19:12 19:22 19:30 19:36 19:37 19:46

Location Lakota Fairfield Lakota Mason Fairfield Lakota Mason Lakota Mason Lakota Mason Mason Mason Mason Mason


TUESDAY September 30, 2008


Pardon the Interruption Jared and Ben discuss some of sports’ most controversial topics

Jared Kamrass

Who is your early Heisman Trophy winner?

Ben Estes

Michigan State may have gotten off to an early stumble against Cal in Week 2, but RB Javon Ringer has put the team on his back and has single-handedly made Sparty a Big Ten contender. The real accomplishment would be if he doesn’t break down. Ringer gets roughly 40 carries a game: definitely a tough load for anyone week in and week out.

Matt Mendelsohn

Chase Daniel is gonna be taking home the trophy this year. There is no doubt he’ll get the necessary numbers while piloting Missouri’s high-powered offense, and I see the Tigers winning the Big 12, so his team will be good enough to warrant his selection. It could come down to him and Knowshon Moreno.

Evan Romansky

He is a darkhorse, but QB Max Hall of BYU has been outstanding. Though he plays in a non-BCS conference, the numbers he has put up speak for themselves, and they have been against very solid competition. A weak conference may be the only thing stopping Hall, but it won’t stop him from putting up huge stats.

Kavya Reddy

Chase Daniel of Missouri. He’s already thrown for over 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns in 4 games. With his team expected to be in National Title contention throughout the season, it only bolsters his resume as one of the top tier quarterbacks in the nation. He will walk away with the prestigious award in New York City come December.

Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. The Sooners’ QB will win the Heisman because he is leading a good team that has helped him stand out as one of the best. He’s proven himself against good competition and he was even last year’s leader in passing efficiency. They are 4-0 and are favorites to win the Big 12.



Cincinnati Bengals College Football JK: Two disappointing losses followed by a heartbreaking loss to start 0-3. What are your thoughts?

BE: Well, we are five weeks into the best sports season out there. What has stood out to you so far?

BE: I’m not totally surprised based on how they looked in the preseason with all of the issues surrounding them.

JK: The storylines. BYU, ECU, and Utah all have shown their mettle as non-BCS teams. Also, the performance from some unheralded players has been exciting to watch.

JK: I agree on some accounts. The issues moving the ball have reared their ugly heads, but the run defense has played shockingly well. There are some bright spots, even if they are not evident.

BE: The rise of the Mountain West Conference. The aforementioned Cougars and Utes have stood out, especially compared to their west coast brethren in the Pac-10.

BE: That’s true. However, for several years, the team always has had on key area breakdown no matter how well it has been performing. Color me unconvinced.

JK: Agreed. Much like in basketball, the talent gap in college football has narrowed tremendously in the past years, making more crazy seasons like last year.

JK: That’s fair. The team has 12 games to prove you right.

BE: Certainly does make for an exciting year.

Terrelle Pryor The uber-prospect became the first true freshman quarterback to start at Ohio State since Art Schlichter over 30 years ago. The debut was certainly noticeable as he threw for four touchdowns against Troy. The hopes of Buckeye faithful are now on the shouders of the 6’6’’ athlete who was the MVP of the Army All-American Bowl. If Pryor does signify the beginnig of a new era at OSU, his debut against Troy a good way to start it.

Pennant Races JK: With the 2008 campaign just about in the books, the playoff teams this year feature some teams that no one expected nine months ago. BE: Very true, most notably the Rays who have already secured a playoff spot and have a shot at dethroning the Sawx in the AL East. JK: This season signals a changing of the guard. The Yankees fall to third in their own division and miss the playoffs while the Cardinals, Braves, and A’s will be watching from home. BE: I’m all for it. I hate all those teams and like watching fresh squads compete for October glory. JK: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Thumbs up, Thumbs down NASCAR

Yankee Stadium

The Chase for the Sprint Cup is underway. If anyone knows what this means, raise your hand. NASCAR added this playoff in 2004 to increase interest in their “sport.” The traditional fans are still loving the action, but racing has yet to fully catch on in the mainstream. Why people enjoy watching cars go around in a circle is beyond us.

Take a

letter If you would like to send an opinion to ‘Take a Letter’ about anything you have read or heard about at Sycamore or in the world sports community, please e-mail Jared Kamrass and Ben Estes at

We get it, we get it. The stadium is closing. Boo-hoo. Yes, there is lots of history in the building but the national media cowtowing to the meaning of its final game is sickening. Why aren’t more people calling out owner George Steinbrenner, who chose to make an entirely new stadium over renovation of the current one simply because he could make more money? The stadium’s ending is sad, but the reaction is over the top.

Dear Sports Opinion Czars, With the 2008 Ryder Cup in the books, we are all very proud of the American team for finally recapturing the title from the Europeans this year. However, many people (including yours truly) don’t fully understand how the Ryder Cup works. Having the event just 100 miles away in Louisville this year has brought the event to our immediate attention and now is a perfect time for us to learn about the event. My question for you two is this: how exactly does the Ryder Cup work? And why is winning it such a big deal? I appreciate you shedding light on a topic that deserves attention, especially now and congratulations to the entire American team on this year. Sincerely, Chelsea Manning, 12


Boys’ Scocer Some people could not care less about soccer in this country, but the varsity men’s soccer team has quietly risen to second place in the Greater Miami Conference standings. With just a few games remaining, the squad has a chance to finish the season first in the GMC standings, in hopes of bringing home the hardware. Led by senior captains Ryan Lavigne, Matt Moler, and Omar Rafei, the team is on their way to the top. Varsity soccer is legit.

Dear Chelsea, Having closely followed the Ryder Cup this year and thus having become a self-declared expert on the matter, I would be glad to enlighten you. The Ryder Cup is a team-golf competition between respresentatives from the United States and representatives from Europe. The first one was in 1927 and they have been held biennially ever since, except for a gap during the WWII years and a cancellation in 2001 due to the terrorist attacks (the Cup was bumped to 2002). Originally, the Americans only competed against a British sqaud, and dominated the early years of the Cup. With the inclusion of other Europeans in 1979, however, it has been much more even, with Europe winning 8 of 15 Cups. The two 12-member teams compete from Friday to Sunday in a variety of different events. Each match results in either a full point of one team or a half point for each team. Defending champions need 14 points to retain the cup, while a squad trying to reclaim it need 14.5. For participants, this is the only time that they can represent their country/continent in competition. As such, it is almost always extremely competitive and pressure-filled. Golfers often express how they want to win the Cup more than any other golf event. The fact that the U.S. had lost the last three made this year’s even more significant. Sincerely, The Sports Opinion Czars


calendar october 2008 TUESDAY September 30, 2008

kavya REDDY calendar editor





Presidential Birthday: Chester Arthur, turning 179



19 Sports: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati

28 26




Event: Early Release Day


Music Jamboree Day


Sports: Men’s Varsity Soccer vs. Mason at 7 p.m.

Ten Gallon Hat Day


Sports: Volleyball vs. Mason at 7 p.m.

Music: Bob Dylan releases Tell Tale Signs, the eighth installment in the best-selling “Bootleg” series


Holiday: Columbus Day

20 Music: AC/DC releases “Black Ice,” their first studio album in eight years



Music: Against Me! with special guests Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Future Of The Left at Bogarts

21 Music: Anberlin with special guests Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Straylight Run, There For Tomorrow at Bogarts

28 28

Music: Pink releases her fifth studio album titled “Funhouse” Fast Fact: Harvard College was founded in 1636

New Frontiers Day


Presidential Birthday: Theodore Roosevelt (1857)


Fun Fact: “I Love Lucy” debued on CBS-TV in 1951

Fast Fact: The first horshoe tossing contest was held in 1915













Dress like a cowboy/cowgirl Day

Music: Relient K with special guests Ludo, The Providence, House of Heroes at Bogarts

Sports: Varsity Football vs. Oak Hills at 7 p.m.

Event: Early Release Day



calendar editor


Music: Alanis Morissette at Taft Theater

Fast Fact: The Beatle’s released their first U.K. hit (“Love Me Do”) in 1962



jacob NEWTON

Event: End of first quarter


Music: UnderOath with special guests Saosin, The Devil Wears Prada at Bogarts

Presidential Brithday: John Adams (1735)

Sports: Varsity Football vs. Lakota East Movie: “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings releases Green and Gold Rush

Movie: “Body of Lies” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russel Crowe releases

Movie: “The Secret Life of Bees” starring Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson releases. (See page 23 for more information)

Event: Teachers Records Day


Event: Senior Halloween Movie: “The Haunting of Molly Hartley” starring Haley Bennett and Chace Crawford releases

Event: Homecoming Dance at 9 p.m. Fast Fact: Peanuts comic strip debuted in 1950

Comedy: Robin Williams at Taft Theater

Music: TV on the Radio with special guests The Dirtbombs at Bogarts

Event: Montgomery Pumpkin Walk


photos by jake newton

advertisement 27 TUESDAY September 30, 2008


spotlight TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Andrew Katz serves up love Sports fan shares passion for staying active maria MARBALLI spotlight editor

Q& A

with Andrew Katz, 10

What are the first words that come to mind that you would you use to describe yourself? Friendly, fun, athletic. What do you do in your free time? I love tennis. I try to stay in shape by running and conditioning. I go dirt biking sometimes and I am a big fan of skiing. I try and stay active. What is your proudest sports moment? Winning the backdraw of the GMC last year. What is on your night stand? A lamp, football magazine, a picture of my friends, and a clock.

Favorites Song: “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey Person: Will Ferrell Show: “The Simpsons” Pro football team: Bengals Teacher: Mrs. Kate Korchok, Spanish teacher

What boosts your ego? The fact that I win fantasy football every year. What is most important in life? Having good friendships and achieving your goals. What do you tell yourself when playing a tough opponent? That I will win and if I don’t it’s not the end of the world. It takes the pressure off. Who are your closest friends? The ones I can talk to when I need to and the ones that support me in all I do- you know who you are. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Hopefully a real estate entrepreneur, a decent golfer, and married. Where do you want to attend college, and what do you want to study? The Ohio State University. What did you learn in kindergarten that still helps you today? Look both ways before you cross the street. If you could go anywhere to visit, where would you go and why? Florence, Italy. What advice would you give to an incoming high school student? Find a senior to take you to school. Any last words? Go Aves!

DURING THE SPRING sports season, Katz plays tennis for the varsity team. “I love tennis,” said Katz. As a freshman, he won the backdraw in the GMC and recalls

KATZ PLAYS IN tennis tournaments throughout the year. He won 6-0 against one of his hardest opponents. He was on the junior varsity tennis team last year and will be on varsity this year.

image by maria marballi

the achievement as his proudest sports moment. While not conditioning or playing, the Ski Club member enjoys hitting the slopes. The skier traversing Vail, Colorado while

photos by andrew katz

on vacation. For warmer climates, Katz dirt bikes, as shown here on a farm in Indiana. He enjoys taking these trips with friends and families.

september 2008 issue  

2-6 calendar spotlight Homecoming weekend Homecoming week Senior Halloween nearing worked together in the department. >> Pg. 4: KOEHLE...