The Bell | 2
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Sophomore Hannah Knapp volunteers for Student Council with children from Kelleybrook on Saturday, December 11. [photo by Lily Riehl]
Discover the true meaning behind the holiday season with Nick Herndon. Tour Liberty’s most decorative houses with Shelby Curtis.
ONLINE Take a look at why we cannot “Move it, Move it,”every Seminar with Chris Mohr on www.lhsnews.net
The Bell Staff Editor In Chief Holly Sanders Editor In Chief Lily Riehl Design Editor Cory Thomason Bulletin Editor Nick Herndon FYI Editor Chris Mohr Life Editor Jordan Tanner In Focus Editor Ashley McGee Speak Up Editor Amanda Fisher Buzz Editor Patricia Okonta Sports Editor Cody Clawson Graphic Designer Nathan Ellermeier Graphic Designer Shiloh Moreno Photographer Jamila St. Ann Convergence Connor Hickox Ads Manager Patrick McDowell Adviser Lori Oyler
Reporters: Haley Sheriff Shelby Curtis MacKenzie Sackett Sam Sutton Jacob Bland JaeJae Shaw Kelley Rowe Annie Ruckman Mat George
Our Mission Contact Us Our Mission for the 2010-2011 school year is to inform, entertain, and educate our readers; to provide opportunity for the community to express attitudes and opinions; to provide an educational opportunity for both the students who produce The Bell and those who read it; and to provide a medium for commercial messages. The Bell student newspaper is a public forum of student expression.
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Cover Shot: Seniors Danny Murdock and Jenna Wiles show their charitable spirit when caroling in front of JCPenney. [photo by Lily Riehl]
Pictured Below: Junior Abby Donaldson works hard to shave seconds off her time before swim meets. [photo by Jamila St.Ann]
CLOSE UP photo essay by Nick Herndon
With the reputation of being faster than a speeding bullet during meets, the girls swim team share a little secret on how they are so skillful in the water. “Usually we do not shave for a while until a meet and when we do it [shave] it is to help us shave seconds off of our time,” junior Abby Donaldson said. The girls do not shave their legs during the swim season to create resistance during practice, and then shave the hair off for big swim meets, to improve their times.
Find Frosty the Snowman Dear ol’ Frosty got lost on his way to make a cameo in the newspaper. First person to find him and bring him to Room 101 during passing period before sixth hour wins a prize.
Walking down the halls, students with tattoos are becoming more common and possibly risky.
Even some teachers agree that tattoos are a great form of freedom expression. “Creative expression trumps all risks [when getting a tottoo],” French teacher Laura Snead said. [photos by Jordan Tanner]
The Bell LIFE 5
SCARRED FOR LIFE
by JaeJae Shaw Tattooing: a form of creative expression that teenagers use to standout in the world. Many teenagers in Liberty High School get tattoos to express themselves and to keep a special bond with something that once was. Tattooing has increased in popularity among teenagers, with many walking the halls with tattoos that have a more sentimental value, rather than getting one for the attention. The inspiration may come from anything from a lost loved one or a dedication to a quote said by an inspiring person. “I got the tattoo in memory of my father who died when I was eight,” junior Mariah Teasley said. Most tattoos are ways to memorialize a special bond once had with a loved one, whether it be a tattoo of a place their parent once worked, or even one idolizing a bad situation turned good. “One is for my grandpa who passed away,” senior Andrew Niemi said, “He worked on a train yard, so it is a train riding on clouds.” There is pain to come before the pleasure of having a tattoo. The feeling of having a needle repeatedly going in and out of ones skin may or may not be worth it in the end. Holding a hand, screaming or crying are just some of the ways teenagers cope with the feeling when they get a tattoo. “It took six minutes and it hurt so bad that I could not cry. I was yelling at the guy and eating my shoe because I was in so much pain,” junior Sarah Akright said, Local places around town allow teenagers to receive tattoos, though they need approval from their legal guardian if under the age of 18. Places such as Dark Lotus, Illustrated Man Tattoo Studio and many more are places where 16-year-olds and above can receive tattoos. Though there is no official law on the age limit for tattoos, there is usually an age range where artist will not allow anyone to get a tattoo. “Actually, legally, there is no age limit,” Dark Lotus tattoo artist Jeremy Latta said. “We usually cut them off around 15 or 16 years old.” Unfortunately, many students find there is a certain “social stigma” against student tattoos. In the business world, many employers find tattoos unprofessional and they are unwelcome. For future possible jobs, many people get tattoos that can be covered up and that will not be seen. “As long as the teenagers can get it somewhere where they can cover it up from the visible world, then it’s no big deal. It is really important to not have any visible tattoos for the working world,” Latta said. With getting a tattoo, there are some risks, most importantly with one’s health. Tattoos are naturally frowned upon because of the risk of contracting a disease, whether it comes from a dirty needle or just not taking care of a tattoo after receiving it. “Us nurses had to use antibiotics on a tattoo once,” nurse Michelle Kist said. “[One girl] received the tattoo on Saturday and came back to school on Monday with an infection. It got
The Bell LIFE 6
HOLIDAYS: KANSAS CITY EDITION
[photo by Jordan Tanner]
Each year as the holidays roll around, Kansas City offers special events for the season. by Annie Ruckman The holiday spirit is in the air, from the music to the cold brisk air. Whether one chooses to face it or not, the undeniable is upon students: it is Christmas time. Students at the high school are getting involved in activities to get them revved up for the upcoming holiday season. On Tuesday, December 14 and Thursday, December 16 at Second Baptist Church, the Chamber Choir, the selective singing group at the high school, performed a winter concert. On Tuesday, the sophomore Chamber Choir sang “Prelude to Peace” and “Carol of the Bells”. On Thursday, the junior and senior Chamber Choir sang their winter concert as well. “My favorite piece is Carol of the Bells, because it’s a Christmas song everyone knows but it can be sang in so many different ways,” sophomore Taylor Nelson said. However, many students find the ice under their skates gets them in the spirit. Crown Center is notoriously famous for shopping, theater and seasonal ice-skating. Open from November until to the end of March, the Ice Terrace is open for its 38th season. Ice-skating is available for kids, teens and adults of all ages, located directly
across from Crown Center Shopping Center. Regular admission costs six dollars and an additional three dollars for skate rental. “My favorite part is skating backwards and having fun making a fool of myself,” junior Kristin Filardo said. Another way to get in the holiday spirit is to attend the Kansas City’s ballet performance of the Nutcracker, running from December 11-24 at the Music Hall in downtown Kansas City. Senior Jessica Sapenaro danced in the show, playing the starring role of the Nutcracker in the famous holiday story. Company members and students from the community, such as Sapenaro, participate in the ballet school run by the Kansas City Ballet Company. “My favorite part was probably working with the company members because they were professional; they are inspiring,” Sapenaro said. As the holiday season draws nearer, many people find that the most unexpected moments relay a sense of spirit. “I remember when I was sitting up in my dressing room and it was snowing outside. I would just watch it snowing and it would get you in the spirit of the holiday,” Sapenaro said.
Sophomore Kathrine Kuhlmann
Junior Troy Hart
Senior Jared Mellema
“[My friends and I] normally bake cookies and do a gift exchange.”
“Me and my friends go snowboarding like every single day.”
“We go ice skating every year over winter break.”
Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:
Why do you play three sports?
“I play three sports because I love to stay active and I guess you could say I’m a pretty competitive person. I’ve been involved in some kind of sport since I could remember so without it, I don’t know what I’d do with my free time without sports.”
How do you keep yourself going? “I try and eat healthy, even though that doesn’t work out a lot of the time, and keeping a positive attitude is just the main thing just because with a negative attitude you aren’t going to be successful.”
Who is your motivation? “My parents really motivate me because they want to see me be successful, along with my coaches and teammates, because they motivate me to do the best for the team and make me push myself to contribute to my teammates.”
Do you ever wish you had more breaks?
“There does come a time when I do get a break. It usually comes in the summer when I get a two week break just because I choose to. I guess you could say everyone wishes they had “For anybody who is a varsity letter winner in three different a few more breaks, but I just love it sports is pretty much unheard of in today’s high school and it keeps me busy.” athletics, just because most of our sports now have become year round sports with off-season training and winter and summer conditioning. For her to do three different types of sports it’s pretty unheard of obviously. She’s one of a few kids who have done it here in a long time, we had one last year and she is the only one this year.”
- Athletic Director Jason Cahill [photo by Jordan Tanner]
The Bell LIFE 7
What do you get out of playing sports?
“The best thing I get from sports is just the feeling after practice or a good workout or even the feeling after a game. Just that winning attitude is the best.”
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The financial stress of college for students weighs heavier with each passing year. by Haley Sheriff Universities have certainly latched their claws on the wallets of prospective students. Already burdened with meeting the academic qualifications for their preferred colleges, students are now faced with the inflating prices of tuition, classroom materials, room and board and even applications. Many sources claim that tuition has and will continue to increase at double, possibly even triple, the rate of economic inflation. The Scholarship Workshop has estimated the average cost of in-state tuition for public universities in the 20112012 school year to be $23,760 and out of state $27,960. Ivy League colleges have prices hovering close to $40,000. “On average, college tuition increases at around eight percent per year, which means the cost of college doubles every nine years,” an article posted on nakedlaw.avvo.com said. “If this continues, a college degree will soon cost as much as a house.” Textbooks have also become a ma jor concern for college students.
As reported by the Washington Post, between $700 to $1,100 will be spent annually on textbooks alone. The sale of used, rather than new, classroom textbooks has become a popular trend for thrifty students. “I don’t understand why you would buy a book you’re going to use for maybe four years, or a semester at that,” senior Ari Drew said. “It’s more efficient to buy used textbooks rather than brand new ones in that case.” Application fees have been on the rise as well; the average cost is about $25-$35, but applications to Ivy League schools can reach almost $75. “I honestly don’t see the point in having to pay an application fee if they might deny you anyway,” junior Jackie Lewis said. “That money could have been used somewhere else, perhaps towards a college I’d actually be attending.” The need for more financial aid has made scholarships and loans more sought out; luckily, having good credit can get almost anyone a bank loan and
The Bell| FYI | 9
AN ACADEMIC PANDEMIC
there are many academic, athletic and even ethnic scholarships available. The A+ Program, which offers a two-year free ride to a community college, has seen an increase in membership over the entire state, helping over 106,500 students to graduate since 1997. “I’m doing [the A+ Program] to get two years of college for free, and then all I’ll have to pay for is books,” junior Josh Coday said. With the drastic contrast in prices and popularity among colleges, it has been speculated that the more expensive colleges, which tend to be more exclusive, provide a better education than that of a lower-priced, less competitive, and overall more convenient colleges. “Besides the different ma jors offered at colleges, I don’t see how they’re any better from one another,” Lewis said. “I think it all depends on how much you want your degree, how hard you’re going to work and how much you want to learn.”
‘TIS THE SEASON
A look at Liberty’s own philanthropists.
by Nick Herndon When many think of charities, they often think of a big organization that gives to poor, defenseless children in a third world country. While people all over the world deserve a full stomach, roofs over their heads and all other necessities, people should not turn a blind eye to those in need right here in Liberty. Some peers seek help from charities such as Love Inc., In As Much Ministries and the Freedom House, with many students taking part in contributions. “I am involved with The Youth Volunteer Corp of Kansas City, which is a group that helps with a lot of different local charities, like Love Inc. and Synergy. They donate to Harvesters, sorting cans and just a lot of stuff, like soup kitchens,” sophomore Hannah Knapp said.
For Knapp, this charitable spirit began at an early age. “I started [giving to charities] when I was in sixth grade because my school required service hours, but I just really enjoyed the work and so I kept doing it,” Knapp said. Though the act of giving is encouraged year round, the holiday season has been inversely dubbed the season for philanthropy. “Well, I do most of my charities around Christmas time because there are a lot of Christmas charities. I also give during the summer because I have a lot of free time then,” senior Will Quarles said. Due to the current economic conditions, the number of people in need of donations has spread to a wider
spectrum. Love Inc., which provides over $500,000 in goods and services, aims to help an unlimited number of families reach the goal of having basic necessities this holiday season. “In As Much and Love Inc. focus just on Liberty. I have worked with Hill Crest Ministries who have more focus on the Kansas City area,” senior Stewart Duncan said. Students’ motivation behind such generous feelings came from the season for giving. “I’m a Boy Scout so that is when I started giving to charities, and my dad also pushes me because a lot of the time I give to hospitals, which is also good for my career because I want to be a doctor,” Quarles said.
The Bell | FYI | 10
Driving during the winter months can be pretty tricky if not being careful. “Pay close attention to your surroundings and don’t speed. Also, don’t follow closely behind cars when driving because you might not be able to stop,” senior Austin Wilt said. [photo by Jamila St. Ann]
DRIVING IN A WINTER (ACCIDENT) LAND by Chris Mohr With Jack Frost dumping well over 40 inches of snow last winter season, making it the longest lasting snowfall ever recorded in Kansas City history, students have taken extreme precautions to prepare themselves for what he has in store this winter. Although only around 10 to 15 inches of snow are being predicted this year, one ma jor ice storm is being predicted to occur sometime in January. Ice and snow are both inevitably unavoidable while driving during the winter months, even when it looks like the roads are safe. “Last year during winter break, my brother and I were on the entrance ramp about to get onto the highway and we hit a patch of black ice and slid off of the road,” junior Payton White said. “Once we hit the snow on the side of the road, the car flipped over and we slid about 20 feet on the roof of our car.” Even though the roads may look free of ice, there may always be that area of black ice, which is almost invisible to the eye. While driving on poor road conditions, reaction time is the key when needing to come to a sudden halt, or even something simple, like a stoplight. Stopping on snow and ice can require up to 12 times the distance to stop. “It was New Year’s Eve last year and I was driving down a neighborhood street
around midnight,” senior Emily Halvorsen said. “The streets were extremely icy and a dog ran out in front of me so I slammed on my brakes and slid into a parked truck. The truck didn’t receive any damage, but my passenger door was completely smashed and wouldn’t open. Luckily, no one was hurt, even the dog.” There are plenty of safety tips to prevent getting in a car accident, as well as general tips to keep in mind while on the road during the winter. “Clean off your car completely before leaving anywhere and leave before the last minute when you must rush to get somewhere,” senior Austin Miller said. “Stop a long ways before you think you need to and don’t speed. If possible, drive five miles an hour under the speed limit and go slow around corners.” If an accident does occur while on the road, make sure that the proper steps are being followed to prevent any issues. “Private property accidents are now handled by those involved in the accident,” Officer Jeanice Corum said. “Insurance companies want parties involved to exchange driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company with policy number and agent phone number and the damage to the vehicles.” A policy form can be obtained in Officer Corum’s office.
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Ice Scraper Sand Bags Full Tank of Gas Cell Phone Food and Water
TOP 5 winter essentials
With cold temperatures in the air, the only thing left is the ice and the snow.
Out of the 150 students surveyed...
of students have been in at least one winter related car accident
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The Bell | INFOCUS |12
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Differing decorations spice up the holiday time mood after the sun goes down
by Shelby Curtis Lights sparkle against the night time sky and decorations fill up the usually desolate lawns. From decorative wreaths and wrapped garland to plastic figurines and light-up lawn ornaments, the look of houses as the holiday season draws near is completely redone. During the holiday season, it is tradition for some families to spend time together exploring the city for Christmas lights. Many people put up various decorations to show that they are in the holiday spirit. Some go above and beyond covering their yard from head to toe with string after string of lights, plastic Santas and light up reindeer. These houses, the ones that put their heart and soul into their Christmas decorating, are the ones that students remember the most and look forward to admiring every year.
[photos by Jamila St. Ann]
2010 Graduate, Chris Odehnalâ€™s House on Dartmouth Drive
“We never have to go anywhere to look at Christmas lights because we have a neighbor in Clay Woods that goes all out every year.” - Debate teacher Stacy Johnson
“Every Christmas Eve, my family goes and looks at all the lights. I love the houses that go all out. They are much cooler that way. Blow up things in the yard, tons of lights and a bunch of decorations make the houses look all out.” - junior Shelby Foster
“Clay Woods is a great place to go to see Christmas lights. Around the elementary school Manor Hill is a good area too. They always have a wide variety and a nice selection.” - junior Joel Malinski
“The lights are fun to look at because everyone has different tastes in how they decorate their houses and it’s just fun to see the different variety from everyone.” - sophomore Tyler Hannsz
Light-up Lawn Ornaments
Decorative Wreaths “I like to compare other houses to my own and see how much they don’t measure up to it [when it comes to Christmas time decorations.] We have the whole nativity scene at my house and they all move along with a bunch of lights around all of our trees.” - sophomore Ryan Ingram “I would definitely have to say that lights are my absolute favorite decoration around this time of year and that’s just because I like driving around with my friends and looking at some the different lights, especially around The Plaza. It’s kind of a tradition we have.” - senior Chad Bowers Information compiled by Shelby Curtis, Chris Mohr, Holly Sanders and Ashley McGee
The Bell | INFOCUS |13
“There’s people that go all out with inflatables and make it look like a garage sale because it covers the entire yard and you can’t even see their grass. They go crazy. Like last year, I saw a huge Santa inflatable on a chimney.” - senior Emily Loethen
“Christmas lights that simply border the roof are fine, but they don’t catch anybody’s eye. Creative Christmas lights are the ones that people tend to remember. When it comes to my family, we don’t really decorate that much, but one creative thing we do put out is a bike with Christmas lights spread over it because we ride bikes a lot.” - senior Brendon Woody
The Bell | SPEAK UP |14
BEWARE OF THE PLASTICS I love Christmas time: snow, beautiful lights on houses, endless amounts of Christmas carols on the radio and jingling of bells every time I walk into a store. Along with all of those things comes beautifully decorated real Christmas trees. That is right, real, not fake Christmas trees. In my family, we have always had a real Christmas tree. The best way to kick off the holidays and get in the Christmas spirit is to go with your family to a Christmas tree farm, pick out a tree and then go home, drink eggnog and decorate the whole house. It may come as a surprise to some that artificial trees are not as ecofriendly as they seem. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, they are actually less “green” than cutting down a live tree. Artificial trees are made from non-renewable plastics and, while you can reuse these trees, you can never recycle them. They will most likely end up in landfills when you
decide to ditch your artificial tree and get a different one. Real trees are also renewable and absorb carbon dioxide and other gases while providing fresh oxygen. Not to mention that, they are biodegradable and can be recycled into mulch or used as a fish reef after the holidays are over. What is also amazing about getting real Christmas trees is that you can chose from hundreds of different shapes and sizes, whereas fake Christmas trees can only be chosen from the few different varieties and colors that are offered at the store. Not to mention, real Christmas trees smell fabulous, unlike fake plastic. For all you fake Christmas tree users out there, when Christmas 2011 rolls around, consider the options: do you want a pathetic, cheap-looking fake tree that could harm the environment or a gorgeous real tree from a Christmas tree farm?
CHRISTMAS TREES NOTHIN’ WRONG WITH PLASTIC To buy real or fake trees, that is the real question. Around Christmas time, most families have to make the decision on which to choose. To me, fake trees have much more benefits than real. Maintenance is a hassle with real trees. They drop needles everywhere, causing constant vacuuming. But with fake trees, there is no problem at all. Also, no matter where you place a real tree, it must be watered, pruned and cared for to remain healthy. If not cared for, real trees can rot inside your house, even though it is rare. These days, people stress about environmental protection. Real trees are horrible for the environment. According to healthyreader.com, most Christmas tree farmers spray the trees with heavy pesticides several times throughout their growth cycle. Now, those pesticides do not just magically fly away to Neverland; they leach into groundwater, poison the air and you.
Real trees can also hurt you. They release thousands of mold spores into your home. The spore count can release up to 5,000 spores after day four. It is recommended that people with mold allergies have a live Christmas tree no longer than seven days. Personally, I would like to have my beautifully decorated Christmas tree longer than a week. Choosing a fake tree removes the hassle of having to pick a tree from the lot at a Christmas tree farm in the freezing cold weather. When choosing a fake tree, all you need is to find one that will fit in the room where it will be set up. Also, fake trees are more cost effective than real ones. Rather than spending $40 to $50 each year, buying a fake tree for $200 will last at least five or six years. So the answer to that important question is to go out and buy a fake tree. You will not be disappointed.
[photo by Lily Riehl] Tattoos are not just for sailors and bikers anymore, or adults for that matter. The curiosity and the interest about tattoos have fallen into the hands of teenagers. Although tattoos may be frowned upon for students under the age of 18, they are really not that big of a deal once you think about it. As you grow up, the stigma towards it changes. You really do not see people yelling at 30-year-olds for having a tattoo, so why yell at a teenager? The acceptance towards a tattoo should be the same for a student as it is for an adult. Tattoos are a great form of self-expression. They tell a story and are a great conversation starter. The person who is getting the tattoo can even design it themselves. Some people express themselves through what they wear as others do through their hair. If a student can express themselves with a Mohawk or piercings all over their face, then what is so bad about getting a tattoo? We are not saying that you should get a tattoo just to get one, but it is understandable to get one that means something to you. If the commitment seems worthwhile, take the time to decide
what tattoo you want and where you want it. On the health side, yes, there is a possibility of getting an infection and you are also putting yourself at risk for HIV and Hepititis B or C. If you go to a sanitary, professional place, however, there is no need to worry. The artist will provide you with all of the facts and information you need to know how to take care of your tattoo. You can also talk to the artist before you get one if you have any other concerns. If the place feels unwelcoming to you, search for a different one. In the professional world, some jobs let you expose your tattoo. Careers in the liberal arts, such as actors, singers and artists, are allowed to reveal them. But even if your job does not, just cover them up with ace bandages or clothing. It really is not that big of a deal. Most jobs will be accepting of them as long as they are covered up in some manner. So amidst the complication involved in getting a tattoo, The Bell staff believes that they are worth the risk. One thing to keep in mind is the law of gravity and how aging affects your body. “Think before you ink.”
The Bell| SPEAK UP |15
are in favor of tattoos and the risks that may occur
are opposed to tattoos and the risks that may occur
My First Christmas...In Retail
Typically, one’s first Christmas is joyous, oneof-a-kind and, sometimes, truly unforgettable. The same can be said for my first Christmas… in retail. In about the middle of November, we associates were warned that Christmas is the most hectic time for our store and that we must be prepared. We were told that we would have to stay later due to the messiness of the store and because of our new store hours. I shook it off and thought it was no big deal because I had been there since February and I knew what I was doing. I was dead wrong. Never before in my life have I listened to a million different versions of “Let It Snow,” not to mention a rap version of “He’ll Be Coming Down the Chimney.” Never before in my life have I been on my feet for so long and had to move so quickly. Never before in my life have I been asked the most ridiculous questions such as, “Whatever’s left on the gift card, can I have in cash?” Never before in my life have I wanted to scream more at a customer when they ask, “Hi, excuse me, ma’am, I grabbed
these items and don’t want them, can you put them back for me?” Never before in my life have I seen dog accessories in the bath and body section of the store. Before this job, Christmas was my favorite time of the year. Actually, December was my favorite month; it was full of late-night hot chocolate, watching “Christmas Vacation” over and over and my birthday. Thanks to my job, it is now the most difficult month ever. Do not get me wrong, although sometimes I want to take a hanger and stab myself in the face when I walk out of work at 11:45 p.m., I would never give up on this job. I absolutely love what I do. Working in retail is a great experience, the paycheck is pretty nice if you ask me, and, most importantly, the people I work with make my job so much fun. In fact, it is said that about 80 percent of students will eventually hold down a job some time throughout high school. I think it is safe to say that the 80 percent and I cannot wait for Christmas to be over with.
Speak Up Editor
The Bell|SPEAK UP|16
Editor In Chief Growing Pains
The school year is halfway over. Just stop and think about it. Take these past four months, repeat them, and then the year is over. Done. Finito. I spent all of last year talking about this one. To be honest, I could not picture myself staying in the school another year. I was done with the classes, the homework, the catty seniors and missing all of the good fights in the lunchroom. It is safe to say that my junior year was one of the longest I have ever experienced. The weird thing is, this year has been the opposite. Never before have I felt a school year pass more quickly. It feels like I am moving in slow motion, only to find when I look back that months have gone by. In a short space of time, I have applied and been accepted to college. I have actually gone to a football game, which is a little short of a miracle, if you ask me. I have realized that I always manage to get stuck in the long line at lunch and that when I attempt Chinese, I sound like a valley girl. I have figured out, most importantly, that I am not ready to leave high school. Do not get me wrong, I am ridiculously excited for college and all of the changes it brings. I just do not know if I am ready to let go of everything I grew up with. I will not know a single person where I go to school next year. It is weird to think that I will most likely never see the people I pass in the hallways after May 21. I will have to Skype my friends when I want to see them, but to be honest, that probably will not even happen that often. It seems that you go through your whole high school career wishing you were graduated, but when it is May and you are walking across the stage, what will you really feel? The truth is, I do not know.
Design Editor Cartoon-ity Service Deep down, I think every person in the world wants to help somebody else. Whether it be going to a foreign country or serving in a soup kitchen, people will go to great lengths to give back to the community. Recently, I have seen people take to Facebook to scratch this itch of community service. I watched as each of my friends slowly changed their profile picture and I wondered, why they were doing it? I kept seeing, “Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood,” as the status of my friends. After roughly the 15th status update, I finally noticed that this was supposed to be ‘combating’ child abuse and the profile pictures were to raise awareness for the plights of abused children. I am positive that whoever created this idea had good intentions, but I am also positive that its purpose had been altered by the time I saw it. The very nature of Facebook makes things like this nearly impossible to succeed. Everything eventually becomes a fad. A person seeing their friends change their picture to Patrick inspires the decision to imitate Spongebob for a week, not end child abuse. What good does making a few clicks on the computer to become a Facebook cartoon character do anyway? It seems to me that people just want to come away from the computer with all the benefits of serving without any of the work. They want to identify with a cause instead of actually having to make a difference. The desire to help somebody is a start. Now get off Facebook and carry it out.
The articles on these pages do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the entire Bell staff. Please feel free to comment, criticize, or condemn anything you see on this page in a Letter to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor In Chief All Work and No Play Now that finals week has approached, the epitome of stress has set in. Since the administration now requires each class to include a final, there is no doubt in my mind that finals will be a living hell to almost any student. Though most students experience stress at one point or another in their high school career, the side effects are a little more serious than some would think. Researchers say the direct results of stress include headaches, tense muscles, anxiety, compulsive behaviors and “night terrors.” Though I am the victim of the endless headaches (thank goodness for Tylenol), the purpose of finals week seems more of the issue at hand. I promise you, teachers, I did not cheat on any of those papers or tests and that I did, in fact, earn the grade you gave me. I promise the grades students have gotten all year are an adequate enough way to determine what they have learned. Students have put in enough effort throughout the semester in classes and when these finals make up a big percentage of our final grade, worry and stress consume our lives. One bad grade can ruin a GPA and there is no way for a student to get his or her grade back up. It is final. And when those grades show up in PowerSchool over break, it will be like those undies at Christmas you never wanted. So these past few days as I have spent hours on end studying the same information over and over again for almost all my classes while balancing a job, I know the stress and worry of finals week will continue on into break because the grades I have kept all four years of high school could all be destroyed with one test. Say hello to headaches and anxiety Christmas morning.
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The Bell | BUZZ | 18
THEY STRIVE F O R
S U C C E S S
Michael Zenk and Nick Stacy break the mold as they set out on the path of their dreams.
story by Nathan Ellermeier The dream of being the next Fall Out Boy fades from a little boy’s mind as he grows into a mature, reasonable adult who knows better than to dream big. The idea of starting a band in high school can mean a broad number of things. Typically, students start bands because they like playing music and need some buds to do it with. Most attempts at measurable success in the studio or on the stage lead high school bands nowhere and bands tend to break up with very little accomplished. Seniors Michael Zenk and Nick Stacy have both experienced this; several times, in fact. However, the current band they play in, The Strive, is one for Liberty High School to take note of. Zenk and Stacy met junior year and had two classes together. Through those two classes, they discovered something special within the other: a passion for music, and especially passion for a certain type of music- the type that buzzes, thumps, kicks and screams.
“Music is the only thing I can imagine myself doing for a career,” Zenk said. Zenk and Stacy began playing together, Nick on the drums and Michael on the guitar. They displayed similar styles of playing, and soon entered into a high school “band” situation. “When I started playing with them, I was really nervous to play with them,” Zenk said. “Nick’s band only had about three songs done. And honestly, they weren’t very good. But it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.” The band did not hold together for long and soon separated. Shortly after, Stacy began working on music with a local high school band success story, The Understudy. The band had a considerable following, but had also begun to fall apart, fitting the stereotypical mold. But two boys with such musical talent could not have crossed paths for such little time, not when both of them had dreamed for so long. Near the beginning of November, 2010, the two talents met up again.
Seniors Michael Zenk and Nick Stacy practice with members of their band, The Strive. Top Left: Band Members Michael Zenk, Luke Davis and Kyle Ward. Top Center: Nick Stacy. Top Right: Kyle Ward. Bottom Right: Michael Zenk. The Strive will be playing a gig at the Main Street Café starting at 7 p.m. on New Years Eve. Support the band by attending their show. [photos by Nathan Ellermeier and Lily Riehl]
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is that we have promo pics being taken of us on December 10 by Snakebit Photography,” Stacy said . Other upcoming opportunities include a chance to tour with bands The After Party or Lydia over the summer, placing an ad for themselves in the popular music magazine, AP magazine, and also being prime competitors in a contest to tour with the band We Came as Romans. The Strive has definitely found success in a niche where failure is often the result. However, despite the concerts, magazine coverage and potential of stardom, the most intriguing aspect of the band is the attitudes and relationships of its members. “[The Strive] is just comprised of people that are fun to hang out with,” Zenk said. While being interviewed, Zenk and Stacy spoke together like best friends. Their confidence was shown through everything they said. “We’re gonna do this!” they jokingly said back and forth. But it was not completely a joke. Stacy provided an adequate metaphor: “Most high school bands are like high school dating relationships. You aren’t exactly dating to marry the person, but you’re just getting good practice and figuring out what qualities you like or dislike in girls. But this band is like the sexy diva that you plan on marrying!”
The Bell | BUZZ |19
“Six weeks ago, Nick texted me and we just started reminiscing on old times,” Zenk said, “Nick was desperate for a guitarist, and so we started playing together again.” Soon, the boys contacted the best singers and guitarists they had played with to ask to come join them and before long, The Strive was formed from vocalists Kyle Ward and Brendan Stevens, guitarists Luke Davis and Zach Hord, drummer Nick Stacy and bass guitarist Michael Zenk. Within four weeks of collaborating, the six began to realize a notable amount of success. By taking material that Stacy had written with previous bands, The Strive recorded a song in his home’s recording studio. Stacy then turned to several connections that he had at a popular Kansas City concert venue, the Main Street Café. “I showed them a couple of our songs, and we are now booked to play there on New Year’s Eve,” Stacy said. Possibly even more exciting than the anticipated concert is the networking done by The Strive’s front-man and vocalist, Kyle Ward. “He’s the perfect front-man,” Zenk and Stacy said. Aside from having a voice that reaches the upper limits of a man’s range, Ward has exposed the band to numerous opportunities, a key that many bands lack (save for talent). “The most exciting thing happening right now
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
The Strive will perform on December 31, 2010 (New Years Eve) at 12 a.m. at the Main Street Cafe. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
Liberty High School’s play “Black Comedy” will be performed February 10 - 12. The play was given its name because the ma jority of the scenes take place when the actors think they are in the dark.
Visit lhsnews.net for in depth, late-breaking stories including stories on non-movement seminars and freshman moving into the high school.
The Bell | BUZZ | 20
HOLIDAY EDITION The smell of freshly baked cookies, candy canes, and light fluffy snow can only mean one ting: the holidays. Whether it is food recipes and baking or traditions shared with family and friends, each of us has something special during the holiday season. The 2010-2011 Liberty High School newspaper staff shares their holiday favorites:
“I really like putting up the Christmas tree because I feel like it’s a sense of history because we have ornaments from the past,” -senior Cory Thomason
My favorite destination would have to be Winter Park, Colorado because I get to go skiing with my whole entire family on my mom’s side and it’s a lot of fun, -senior Holly Sanders
“I like apple pie because my dad made it for my great grandma and after she died it just made it more meaningful to make,” -sophomore Annie Ruckman
Giving “I am going to give a stick of gum to people in this school, because they have dragon breath,” -senior Nick Herndon
“Joy to the World”
apple cider Salvation Army
My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears is my favorite because Britney Spears brings me so much joy, especially when she’s singing a Christmas song, -junior MacKenzie Sackett
iced sugar cookies
“I hope to get a pocket full of cash. Most people think it’s not from the heart, but you can get whatever the heart desires,” -senior Patricia Okonta
COFFEE TEACHES LIFE LESSONS
Pictured Above: Michael Daughtery and Amanda Plachecki making and delivering coffee to yearbook adviser Rhonda Dempsey. [photos by Shiloh Moreno]
Special Services’ students deliever hot drinks every morning, practicing work ethics and social skills. by Shiloh Moreno Special Services students are making teachers at LHS feel like rock-stars. It’s as simple as serving a daily morning cup o’joe. Every morning the special services students deliver coffee to all the teachers who pay for service. “They really enjoy meeting different teachers and having ownership over the coffee delivery,” one of the special services teachers, Jessica King said. Before the first hour bell rings, the special services students make the coffee and count the creamers to put on the different carts. Once they finish and the bell rings, they roll out their carts and transport the coffee. “They really do benefit from this. They need to know what to do when a sub is there and have responsibility over the coffee like counting the creamers,” King said. The students learn and understand what to do when certain situations occur, such as when there is a sub in for a teacher,
they know what to say and do for that type of situation. Since these students have a wide range of different abilities they learn what are the basic things to do on a daily basis. They are basically preparing themselves for their future. And one way of practicing this is serving coffee each school day. “It’s like a fairytale because I’ve never had this luxury before,” yearbook adviser Mrs. Dempsey said. Teachers enjoy this because it gives them a chance to interact with the special services students and allows them to get to know the students more. “It’s a huge load of pressure off me because I don’t have to worry about the small things such as the creamer or the sugar,” Dempsey said. It greatly benefits teachers because they don’t have another thing to worry about in their morning schedules. “I feel like a rock-star because they call me by my name when they walk in and deliver my coffee,” Dempsey said.
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The Bell SPORTS 22
Jack Smith has made impact in peoples lives for many years. by Jacob Bland “JACK, JACK, JACK!” the crowd shouts and cheers. This is the kind of attention Jack Smith gets during every halftime when he shoots free throws to entertain the crowd. Smith’s determination and Blue Jay pride has earned him the lifetime achievement award, from the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association. A person who benefits from Smith’s work is basketball coach Roger Stirtz. “Without a doubt, Jack keeps the mood loose, he’s always smiling and laughing. I think that type of personality rubs off on people,” Stirtz said. Where the team goes, Jack goes, his relationship with the high school is something special, almost as if Liberty needs him as much as he needs Liberty. “When he can, he travels, he definitely comes with us. He is what we call a program assistant, he’s a jack-of-all-trades,” Stirtz said. Smith graduated from Liberty High School in 1967 and he started out as the manager of the football team in 1966 and has been here ever since. Since Smith has been team manager, he has experienced a lot of success. “[In] ‘98 when we won state, we went 31-0, and in 2001 we got another one,” Smith said. Smith interacts with the players and is like family to them. “I shoot around with them and I make some of the shots,” Smith said. Smith not only interacts with the team he looks after them, and has their best interest at heart. “When I’m tired he brings me water,” senior Isaiah Norfleet said. A player that Smith has been with every step of the way is senior Ben Hansen. “I’ve known him since I was in elementary school, when he was the ball boy for the football team. I’ve gotten to know him better through basketball,” Hansen said. Smith shows leadership and also sets a good example for many sports players, no matter his health. Just this summer, Smith underwent openheart surgery and recently Smith had a heart defibrillator put in, but that has not stopped him from getting out there and supporting the team. “No matter his health, he is always there to support the team and always looks out for the best of the team,” Hansen said.
JACK: IMPACT MAN
Jack Smith is currently in his 44th year as the Liberty team manager, “I like helping out the team and the coaches,” Smith said. [photo by Jamila St. Ann]
On December 7, 2010 senior Matt Armstrong went for a run after school, “Besides the temperatures, there really is not that big of a difference between running in the winter and running in the summer,” Armstrong said. [photo by Jamila St.Ann]
by Cody Clawson At 5:30 a.m., the average high school student is fast asleep and dreaming. They dream about college, a career and their future. For the dedicated runners at our school, however, they are already up and running, dreaming about being number one. No matter the weather conditions, this group of runners is looking to get ahead of the other schools in track and cross country. “Running in the winter months just keeps us ahead of the game. Anything we do that another runner does not just puts us one step ahead of the game,” senior Matt Armstrong said. Mother Nature often creates problems for athletes. Rain, snow and even temperatures have the ability to make teams cancel games or practices. However, these runners will practice in any condition. “Although it is not very much fun running in the snow and everything, you know you just have to go out and do it to make yourself that much better,” junior Kyle Bremer said. These runners often find themselves running in not just snow but in below freezing temperatures. “The coldest temperature I have ever run in was negative three,” sophomore Ty Cogdill said. With these cold temperatures, staying warm is vital. However, every runner is different when it comes to staying warm. Some runners can function in a long sleeve shirt and shorts, but others need as many clothes as they can possibly wear. “When I run in the cold I do everything I can to stay warm. I wear a lot of under armor, like pants and long sleeves, and that really helps me stay warm,” junior Nick Gardner said. No matter how cold it may be, mentally preparing to go out and just run is something these runners are forced to do. “Mentally, it is a lot tougher to run in the cold weather because you know it hurts more and is going to be tougher,” Cogdill said. Although running in these conditions may be physically and mentally draining, these runners know they are only making themselves better and getting closer to that dream of being number one.
The Bell SPORTS 23
No matter the temperature, runners are out trying to achieve their goals.
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