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the gift of giving

stoughton high school the norse star december 2016

table of contents

The Norse Star takes a look at the conflicts of poverty during the holiday season. (Cover Photo Illustration by Nadia Dedie and Collin Ace) TOC by Joshua Bausch, Entertainment Editor


te n e





rtainmen t







Editorial Policy: The Norse Star strives to present the news in a fair and unbiased manner. Any column, editorial, or letter to the editor expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the entire staff. The staff editorial does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire staff. The Norse Star is a public forum written and produced by the students of Stoughton High School, and they are soley responsible for its content. Students, staff, faculty, and members of the community are welcome to submit letters to the editor of 300 words or less. Letters may be edited due to space limitation, obscenities, or libel concerns. Norse Star will verify the authenticity of any letters sent on the behalf of school organizations or groups. All letters must be signed and placed in the Norse Star mailbox, mailed to The Norse Star, 600 Lincoln Ave, Stoughton WI, 53589, or emailed to The Norse Star Staff: Adviser: Laura Streyle Editor-in-Chief: Isabelle Genter Assistant Editor: Seren Pellett

Graphics Editor: Joshua Bausch Head Artists: Joshua Bausch, Sarah Hanson Opinions Editor: Kira Fields In-Depth Editor: Raya Kate Castronovo

News Editor: Garrett Kluever Entertainment Editor: Joshua Bausch Features Editor: Bergen Gardner Sports Editors: Isabelle Genter, Seren Pellett

Staff Writers: Collin Ace, Ian Bormett, Nadia Dedie, Sarah Hanson, Charrley Hudson, Quinn Link, Mitch Osterhaus, Julia Pope, Kirsten Sanford, Aubrey Schleppenbach, Aly Solberg, Natalie Zientek


The Stoughton Conservation Club is hosting an ice fishing contest along with other outdoor activities on Jan. 28 with a home base at Springers.

Visit the Fitchburg Farmers Market and check out the fresh produce, cheese curds, breads, baked goods and more. Open every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fitchburg Community Center.

Celebrate “National Dress Up Your Pet Day” on Jan. 14 by forcing your dog into wearing a cute sweater.

Jan. 13 is the first of two Friday the 13th’s in 2017, the second will be in October.

norse notes By Kirsten Sanford Staff Writer

Start the new year off with a healthy mindset and run the Fleet Take a drive up to Olin Park Feet New Year’s Day in Madison to cruise through Dash 5k on Jan. 1 in “Holiday Fantasy in Lights” (open Middleton, WI. until Jan. 2). Lights turn on every night at 4 p.m. Free admission.

Acknowledge your favorite teachers at Teacher Appreciation Night at the Mandt Center during the boys’ varsity hockey game on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.

Show off your skating skills at open skate at the Mandt Center every Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Admission is $2 for those under 18, and $3 for those 18 and up. Skate rental is an additional $3 fee. art by sarah hanson

the norse star, december 2016



veterans memorial park

dog daycare opens

photo by aubrey schleppenbach

By Aubrey Schleppenbach Staff Writer

Snow covers the the new veterans memorial park, but the hard work put into it shows.


hat started as an idea between American Legion members in July 2014, has now became a reality. Opening May 1 until Nov.11 each year, Stoughton honors its veterans with the Veterans Memorial Park. There will be over 5,200 names of Stoughton’s Veterans on granite walls that angle towards a centerpiece containing 170 names of Stoughtonites who were killed in action. “This Park allows [family members] to visit, commemorate, and contemplate the memory of their lost family member,” steering committee member, Duane Broughton, stated. The park has many

autumn pearl salon

hopes for the future, such as opening the doors to schools. “We consider [the memorial] to be a destination point. We expect a lot of visitors. One of the features of the park is the education pillars. They’re 6 feet high 16 inches wide, and on theses pillars there is stuff from Gettysburg, the Spanish American War, the charge of San Juan Hill, World War I,World War II, and Korean war,” co-chair of the publicity committee, Bud Erickson, said. This will not only be a source for education for students, but also allow the people of Stoughton to honor its veterans.

photo by natalie zientek

By Natalie Zientek StaffWriter

Autumn Pearl Salon getting ready to open for business.


he Autumn Pearl Salon has opened shop they offer trims, they also offer hair coloring in downtown Stoughton at 175 E Main and waxing. Autumn Pearl Salon provides Street. The building was purchased last deals, like a $26 women’s haircut, that make Nov. and opened in June of 2016. Owner the trip to the salon even more reasonable. Katie Herbst, a Watertown native and In addition to the many choices for new past employee at Silverado Spa & Salon hairdos, the nail business is also a quality of Stoughton, took initiative to build a contributor to the success of the salon. new business while pursuing a more flex- There is a large amount of possibilities when ible work schedule for herself and other it comes to nail design and treatments, employees. whether you like classic manicures or pearl Autumn Pearl Salon is open 10 a.m. to pedicures. 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mauriana Hughes, an employee at the Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 salon, commented on the success and the p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on growth of the business. “We definitely have Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and built up a clientele -- it has definitely grown Mondays. a lot since June,” Hughes stated. The rustic Hair styling prices vary from $5 for a salon makes a great addition to the variety beard trim, to $76 for a Brazilian Blowout of small businesses we have in Stoughton. (a hair smoothing treatment.) Not only do


By Ian Bormett Staff Writer


he first doggy daycare business in Stoughton, Pups Unleashed, opened on June 13. It is located at 1115 W. Main Street, across from the Sunrise restaurant. Currently, Pups Unleashed is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the evening, most owners will drop off their dogs before work and pick them up after. Pricing is $20 per day for one dog and $15 for each additional dog. Beyond daycare, puppy photography and parties are offered. “[Pups Unleashed has] grooming, baths, nail clippings, hair trimmings, all that kind of fun stuff. We also have a trainer that does puppy level, rescue dog, obedience classes, and advanced tricks,” added Jordan Tilleson, co-owner. He explained that the business is great for all breeds, ages, and personalities of dogs that need exercise or have social time during the day. “We have different dogs that like different types of games. Usually some puppy wrestling is how the morning goes, and then they’ll have games of chase. [Some dogs] are obsessed with tennis balls. They will [retrieve] a tennis ball all day until your arm falls off. And some just like to sit in a hammock or lounge around,” Tilleson said. “We have about 3,000 square feet of indoor space and another 6,000 square feet of outdoor space.” This provides lots of space for the dogs inside and out, which includes all kinds of toys, a play set, hammocks, a movable wall, and several cages for time-outs. Safety is a priority for the staff at Pups. All dogs are required to have up-to-date vaccinations and take part in an observation day to see how they interact with other dogs. This provides assurance to owners that their dog is having a safe and fun time at the facility. Pups Unleashed provides a new option for Stoughton owners of energetic and social dogs.

art by sarah hanson

the norse star, december 2016


holiday horror stories By Aubrey Schleppenbach Staff Writer


he holiday season has arrived, filled with Christmas carols and candy canes. But that doesn’t always mean a festive time is guaranteed. Hear from these SHS students and staff about their holiday horror stories. art by sarah hanson

“Me, my dad, and a group of friends were ice fishing, and I stepped back, and my whole leg fell into the ice water, and I lost my boot, and I was sad.” -Jasmine Gryttenholm (11)

“A few Christmases ago, I was driving with my mom and my brother down the street, and we had just left our house, and we were driving, and it was pretty slippery . . . A car was pulling out of a driveway and didn’t see us. We tried to stop and swerve, but they slid and we slid and we got in a car accident on Christmas morning.” - Alyssa Guzman (12)

“I didn’t know that Santa Claus wasn’t real at this time. So at our house, we have this bag that is full of our presents our uncle would put there. I looked outside and there wasn’t a bag, so I was walking around the house and there wasn’t a bag. So I was devastated because Santa Claus didn’t come that year.” - Hunter Olson (9) the norse star, december 2016

“This last New Year’s Eve, we had some family from Colorado over, and they have the most annoying children ever. They’re so rambunctious. They don’t know how to speak when they’re crying, and it’s stressful. So I had to sleep in the closet under the stairs because they slept in my room, and they broke my bed. When I slept in the closet, their youngest was screaming her head off the entire night, so I got no sleep.” - Paige Sager (11)

“Christmas Eve is when my family always gets together and my entire family was at my mom’s house. My mom has a pristine, very nice house, and my sister was talking crap about my dog. I have a miniature schnauzer, and she was just saying these really negative things about him, when her dog is really the jerk in the family. And I threw a Christmas cookie at her out of anger and hit her in the head.” - Mrs. Robb

“So my little cousin, she was six or seven, went up to my uncle at Christmas and told him her friend didn’t believe in Santa, and he said, ‘your friend’s an a**hole.’ She asked ‘what does that mean?’ And she got all sad, and he said, ‘Oh I just mean she’s not very nice.” -Jenna Stokes (10) “My cousin’s husband didn’t know there was dark meat in a turkey, so he threw the entire turkey away.” - Ms. Mullen “When I was five, we bought my mom a Christmas present. We got her a box of chocolates. And we all went to school and put it under the tree. When my mom got home, the dog had eaten all of it, and the paper was everywhere and she thought that the dog was going to die. Before we came home, she bought another [box of chocolates] because she didn’t want us to cry. When she opened it at Christmas she acted surprised. And then she told us later, and we cried.” - Hannah Wirag (10)

Norse Star’s Top 10 Holiday Songs & Films: By Sarah Hanson Staff Writer 1. “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) 2. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Hall & Oates 3. “Elf ” (2003) 4. “Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler 5. “The Polar Express” (2004)

“I was staying over at a friend’s house, and we had to walk somewhere, and it was already snowing. We knew that the blizzard was coming. But we had to get there because there were things we needed from that place, and I was forced to walk with him. It was the middle of the night, and all of a sudden it starts to get worse and worse and worse. And the snow is coming down so hard, even though you have snow covering your face and everything it still gets in somehow. By the time we got home, it felt like I had frostbite all over my body.” -Tai Davis (11)

6. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey 7. “Love Actually” (2003) 8. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin 9. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966) 10. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Pentatonix



ter Gen e l l e hief sab By I itor-in-C Ed

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


ecently announced to be the first of five prequel movies to the Harry Potter series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” definitely had some big shoes to fill. Although it was almost entirely unrelated to the Harry Potter movies we know, minus a few references here and there, it was still thoroughly entertaining. The movie takes place in 1920s New York City where there are different wizarding laws, Muggles are referred to as No-Majes, and oddly, people don’t talk with British accents. The main character, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is a curious, diffident, former Hufflepuff who collects magical creatures and carries them around in his briefcase that contains a world infinitely bigger than what it would seem. Originally from Britain, Newt travels to America to do some research for the Magizoology book he is writing, but when a few of his creatures escape and begin to wreak havoc on New York City, people start blaming him for problems that are much deeper and darker. An unknown force is terrorizing the city and risks the exposure of the entire Wizarding World. Newt and his companions must find the lost creatures, avoid the Magical Congress, and tame whatever the dark force is in order to prevent the destruction of the entire city. Going into this movie, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I knew that it was bound to be good if it was affiliated with the beloved Harry Potter series. It did not disappoint. It kept you engaged with a series of twists and turns, enchanting magical creatures, and hints of love stories that we never get to see play out . . . not yet, anyways. The acting, animation, and plotline were all phenomenal. However, I do think that the introductions of so many new characters, creatures, concepts, etc. made it a bit confusing. Nonetheless, I am excited for the four prequels to come and am interested to see how Rowling will tie this storyline into the rest of the Harry Potter universe.

? ? ? ? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Released in Nov. of 2001, this cinematic masterpiece is where all the magic began. We get our first taste of the Wizarding World right along with Harry as he battles trolls, the evil Professor Snape, and Lord Voldemort. Everything is new, innocent, and magical, which is what makes it one of the best Harry Potter movies.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets The fresh magicalness has not yet worn off in the second movie of the series. The mysterious Chamber of Secrets is opened, allowing an unknown monster to terrorize the Muggle-born students. Things look bleak until the most heroic trio of tweens--Harry, Ron, and Hermione--come to the rescue.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A difficult book to read and follow, the fifth in the series is much more engaging in movie form. Voldemort is on the rise and many people are in denial. However, a secret society called the Order of the Phoenix is well aware and ready to fight.

Daringly dangerous tasks and attractive foreign students make this one of the more popular Harry Potter films. A few fateful twists at the end are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and have you asking yourself, “How the heck is Harry still alive?”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This movie marks the beginning of the search for the seven Horcruxes: the keys to Voldemort’s immortality. A special potions book, old rivalries, and the ultimate “betrayal” make it more than riveting. 6

The first part of the seventh edition has Harry, Ron, and Hermione still hunting Horcruxes with the Death Eaters (Voldemort’s supporters) in hot pursuit. Although not one of the most memorable films, it still contains a lot of important events. Huge sacrifices are made by many trying to prevent the Dark Lord from taking over.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Much to the dismay of Harry Potter fans, this film experiences a change in the actors that play Dumbledore, as well as a change in directors. It loses a bit of the twinkly-eyed magic, but is phenomenal nonetheless. Harry can’t seem to catch a break as he is pursued by a supposed Voldemort follower, Sirius Black.

art by sarah hanson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The eighth and final movie of the series holds the epic magical battle between good and evil that all of the previous movies have been leading up to. Countless beloved characters become casualties. Harry must find it in himself to end the fight as the fate of both the Wizarding and Muggle Worlds rest in his hands. the norse star, december 2016


stoughton in 2016

love it or leave it . . .

Great New Places To Eat Paco’s Tacos, China King, and the Nauti Norske all opened in Stoughton in 2016. Representing a wide range of cultures and food types, many residents are loving

By Ian Bormett Staff Writer

Veterans Memorial Park On Nov. 11 and 12 the Stoughton Area

these tasty new restaurants that are worth checking out.

Veterans Memorial Park held an open house before its official opening next year.

Love it

Honoring veterans is something we all can spend more time with, and this memorial shines a light on servicemen and women of

New Retake Policy


SHS unveiled a new summative retake

SHS Athletic Success Stoughton High School’s sports teams have performed phenomenally well in

policy for the 2016-2017 school year,

2016, with 30 individuals and three teams

which decreases the highest test retake

qualifying for WIAA state tournaments.

grade to 80 percent. This makes bringing

Additionally, eight teams were Badger

up low grades far more difficult, which is

Road Frustration

why we’re hoping to leave it in 2016.

South Conference champions.

Road work on and near Highway 138, Van Buren Street, and Wilson Street

Leave it

made traffic difficult in certain parts of Stoughton. It was also completed over a month after the planned completion date. Let’s leave that in 2016.

Stabbing Over Lawn Inflatable The Stoughton owner of a Minnesota Vikings lawn inflatable was stabbed with a box cutter after

What’s coming in 2017?

* Jan. 20 - Donald Trump will be inaugurated as America’s 45th president.

* Aug. 21 - A total solar eclipse

confronting a Madison man who was vandalizing

will occur when the moon passes

it. Wisconsin may be Packer fan territory, but this

between the earth and sun.

is something we can definitely leave in 2016.

* Dec. 15 - Highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released.

the norse star, december 2016



in-depth photo by garrett kluever

the gift of giving

By Seren Pellett and Garrett Kluever Assistant-Editor-In-Chief and News Editor

The holiday season is a time of giving, receiving, and spending quality time with the ones we love. The ideas of warmth, security, and joy go hand in hand with our typical concept of home. But for many, these feelings associated with late December are goals rather than realities. This month, the Norse Star takes a look at what it means to volunteer time to your friends and neighbors in need, and how it’s possible for people with so little to give so much in return.

Andy Czerkas, director of the River Food Pantry, smiles during distribution to those in need.


here is a vulnerability, passion, and light that can penetrate even the coldest and most fragile shards of a person, making them glow and shine even in their darkest corners, healing and warming them from the inside out. Humanity and compassion are the most powerful forces within an individual. The luminosity of deeply caring offers new perspective. Sharing these

the norse star, december 2016

emotions with another can change a life. In this world, we have opportunities to empathize with our fellow human beings, but most of us would rather protect ourselves against the harsh truth of how many of our friends and neighbors struggle to make ends meet. We hide in fear that we could fall into the same patterns and be labeled with the same cruel assumptions we make about

people who live our nightmares. People living in poverty rely on the few but the gracious, the abundance not only of material, but of tenderness. This season is the time of giving. Generosity pumps and flows through our veins as much as the sugar we get from overconsumption of Christmas cookies. But generosity isn’t always gift-wrapped. Often the best forms of it come from person-to-person

contact, helping out someone not because you were their secret santa, but out of pure kindness and willingness. Volunteering, especially with people less fortunate than most, has many negative connotations: sterile rooms and thankless interactions. However, there is a much brighter light to be shown on the reality of people volunteering at shelters or pantries: kindred and 9


photo by garrett kluever

At the River Food Pantry, patrons are given carts to go through and pick their food, a rarity at pantries. compassionate people coming together to help others affected by poverty. Giving is important because it can make others feel less like a statistic and more like humans. In this story, step behind the counter to see people giving back to their community by helping those who need it the most. Read about not only the efforts, but the true stories and the people behind them. Because during this season, those who face hardship not only need assistance more than ever, but they can teach and give the kind of gift that is as invaluable as a child’s first laugh, and equally unforgettable. Here, we offer a humble experience with the culture of giving that we witnessed this holiday season. A food pantry is not a place where one expects to find exuberant laughter, joy, and cheer. On this dark, cold winter evening in early December, there was an

atmosphere of generosity, acceptance and honest kindness, refreshing and inspiring after the bite of icy wind we dodged on our way inside. The River Food Pantry has a uniquely warm-hearted and raw love of people and food. Patrons line up in an eager and energized fashion, as though waiting to enter a church on Easter Sunday or a concert venue. There is a buzz about the place, not of greed or desperation to receive the services offered, but of community and friendship. Walking down the aisles and around corners of grocery shelves, one thing that stands out is the cultural and individual diversity unparallelled when combined with the feeling of family. Patrons are given colored tickets based on the number of people in their family, and this gives them a weight limit of food they can receive. The pantry’s model mimics a grocery

store. People are given carts and are organized into a line, which enters shelving that is layered by different types of food: perishables, non-perishables, canned goods, dry goods. They are allowed to pick, given actual freedom in the types of food they can have, and only their judgement and the selection of the foods available can dictate what they eat. “They get to pick out their own stuff. It’s like shopping, and that’s dignified,” explained Andy Czerkas, the director of The River Food Pantry. He feels this model humanizes this form of charity, a rarity for today’s food pantries. “Everybody thinks they’re doing someone a service by giving them a bag of things they may or may not eat, and they may or may not like it, and they may be allergic to something and none of that is [taken] into consideration,” Czerkas pointed out. This food pantry is unlike most, its generosity and freedom when it comes to giving is second to none. People are given a choice, and for most people in poverty, that’s rare. It is the atmosphere of the building, however, that delivers joy. In 2005, Andy Czerkas founded The River Food Pantry in Madison, but he has been feeding the hungry for much longer than that. He describes a time when he and his wife hosted parties of up to 500 people once a month in the lower income neighborhoods of Northport Drive. They provided a meal that people knew they

would be receiving on that date each month, and this stability and fraternity have both been the basis of River’s philosophy from the beginning. Entire neighborhoods of people, most unsure of where their meals would be coming from if not for these feasts, come together to cook and laugh and bask in the simple fact that today is certain and today there will certainly be enough food. And so, eventually, even feeding 500 felt like too few to Czerkas and his wife. They set out to begin doing bigger things. The building that The River Food Pantry is now located in was completely flipped by the couple along

“They get to pick out their own stuff. It’s like shopping, and that’s dignified.” -Andy Czerkas with an army of volunteers and friends, including an electrician and plumber who insisted on working free of charge. Five months later, it was functional and open to the public. The poverty in neighborhoods such as Northport Drive can be debilitating to the people and families it affects, especially during the holiday season. An often overlooked aspect of people dealing with

photo by isabelle genter


the norse star, december 2016

in-depth poverty is the impact of commercialism and materialism. The same commercials that are broadcast to each of us that encourage our shopping habits, especially during Christmas, are forced upon those who can’t afford that luxury. If a budget is stretched thin for basic needs such as water, food, and shelter, it does not have wiggle room for doorbusters and mark-downs. According to a study done by the American Research Group, Inc., the average American spent $882 on holiday gifts in 2015. This is more than a frivolous trend--this is influence, and it shows how much pressure is stressed on Americans that the more you spend, the more you care. Many impoverished people aren’t financially capable of this. Their children do not wake up to the same Christmas tree as many of us do, if even a tree at all. “There’s a lot of pressure around Thanksgiving and Christmas because, as a parent,

photo by garrett kluever

William Berkan, cook at the River Food Pantry, cleans dishes in between serving to the average 200 patrons per night. all of a sudden you have one or two little kids at home, but you may only have enough money to pay rent, pay the MG&E bill and put gas in your car to and from work,” says William Berkan, cook and one of a handful of paid employees at The River Food Pantry. Berkan understands the position that families are put in during the holidays. If you would like to

give something to these families during this harsh season, something more special than a present is your time. Volunteers, however, are not put on a pedestal that assumes their position as being “better” or “more perfect.” Often, even though they are giving their time, they too are going through their own personal struggles.

We witnessed this compassion in the simple form of a man handing out frozen meat in the long, shuffling line in the pantry. Whilst working the frozen section of a food pantry line, a volunteer was stirring the atmosphere by cracking jokes, being very exuberant and causing quite a few patrons to wheeze with laughter. In a setting, usually of solidarity, where people less fortunate than most come for help, the volunteer ignored the circumstance and reached out a kind heart. In those moments, he was no longer just a volunteer. He was a friend. In getting to know him, he opened up, and struggling to hold back tears, he told of his daughter who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis very suddenly. This man was open and vulnerable to nearly complete strangers. He was accepted and supported by those who heard his story. It was an unquestioning, unassuming, genuine

Wisconsin Hourly Value of Volunteer Time The monetary value of volunteer time is calculated yearly based on hourly earnings and payroll averages for national and state level benfits. Source: the norse star, december 2016




$13.78 $14.72 $15.14 2006



$16.12 $16.58 $17.28 2011





$15.41 $15.63 2009


$17.85 $18.20 2014


$18.50 $21.09 $21.78 $22.24 $22.48 11

in-depth concern which seemed to be a consistent response to this kind of situation. The humanity in which people told of their experiences and the lessons they learned from life while volunteering was astounding. Strangers

“Regardless of your past, now is now, and you have to move forward and make a different decision.” -Tom Izydor motivating strangers simply by sharing stories. It really boils down to an exchange of several different kinds of love, almost all between strangers. As put by Czerkas, “People who often don’t have a lot of money often have a lot of inner resources that we don’t notice so much with people who have a lot of material wealth, because they depend more on their material wealth for satisfaction, so it’s really nice to know those people.” Volunteering also offers a

new perspective on the services offered at homeless shelters and food pantries. Many people do benefit from the services these organizations provide. Berkan explains however, that there is often a thin line drawn between the idea of helping generously and enabling: “On the one hand I think volunteers are helping and they are enough, but we’re also enabling our clients. I see a lot of the same people coming in here, and sometimes it’s really easy to fall into the rut.” There is no doubt that for some, organizations and pantries are absolutely critical for providing a direct source of food in the face of starvation. But for a few, this extended reach might be becoming more of a crutch. “Well I don’t have to get another better job because I can always go the River and get my food,” Berkan hypothetically states the problem of reliance he sometimes witnesses among frequent visitors to the pantry. For some patrons using these aides, there is a potential problem of dependency forming. Tom Izydore, a Milwaukee Mission Job Training Volunteer, believes one of the root causes is lack of motivation. He inquires, “Do most of them have a sense of accountability for themselves?

Three food line volunteers pause for a photo mid-serving. Yes. But regardless of your past, now is now, and you have to move forward and make a different decision.” Enabling comes with the territory of helping the less fortunate. However, when that crutch becomes a permanent fixture, it’s hard to motivate people towards self-reliance, especially during this time of year, when giving and the idea of generosity are so frequent. The task falls heavily on the volunteer’s shoulders. While it is the volunteer’s responsibility to make others feel welcome and friendly, they also have to seem motivated not just in helping them but

photos by garrett kluever

Volunteers serve warm homemade food in a friendly manner to patorns attending the pantry. Often those in poverty do not have access to hot meals everyday. 12

fostering their drive. Learning is as much a part of volunteering as helping. People volunteer as much to get help as to give it. It’s emotional, whether you’re crying, laughing, giving, receiving, or just talking. Feelings of volunteering are often seen as someone stepping down to be on a less fortunate person’s level, when in fact there is an equal trade off between strangers in much more than a can of food, and not just from the needy to the giver, but between all people. Volunteering to help lower income people and families is the kind of rewarding experience that not only improves the situation they’re in, but is gratifying for both parties. The people you have the privilege of interacting with in places of public generosity are unlike any people you are likely to fall into casual conversation with at your local Starbucks, and they are willing to help you grow as a person as well. You are capable of making them feel human, loved, and seen, and you get to feel these things yourself. When the majority of the population has turned their back on these folks, you have the power to extend your hand and provide dignified assistance. Being a source of joy to those around you is a skill that will benefit you throughout the rest of your life, and it’s something that only people forced to make the best out of a bad situation can truly teach you. We do not have to put something in gift wrap to show our compassion for others because the greatest gift we can give, is our humanity. the norse star, december 2016



shs celly section:

it’s lit

By Quinn Link and Julia Pope Staff Writers


nyone who has ever attended a popular high school sporting event is always, without fail, greeted by the electric atmosphere of loud, passionate cheers. This excitement is created by none other than the famed Celly Section. The only people who could possibly be more invested in the game would be the players themselves. The Student Section was nicknamed the Celly Section (with “Celly” being short for celebration) for obvious reasons.

“I think it just makes a good atmosphere, makes it more fun for the players.” - Troy Slaby (12)

encouragement and constant reminders of the fact that the other team is losing. Though the Celly Section leaders acknowledge that it may be annoying to some spectators, it is an absolute necessity at games. Over the years, the Celly Section has become the ultimate trademark for high school sporting events, and its leaders plan to keep it that way. This rowdy group of students shouting chant after chant isn’t just a random gathering; a fair amount of planning and coordination among

students is needed to run the Celly Section. Three seniors, Mitch Fuller, Troy Slaby, and Jakob Eigenberger, have taken responsibility of running the Student Section. This responsibility includes alerting peers of upcoming games and dress-up themes for games via Twitter (@Celly_ Section), as well as choosing which cheers to do and when via a whiteboard during the game. They lead the crowd of enthusiastic students to rile up players on the court with their cheers, chants, and “chirps.” Slaby says,

“I think it just makes a good atmosphere, makes it more fun for the players.” These three seniors have turned a small section of bleachers for students into a wild jungle of excitement. That overflowing enthusiasm can be a real game changer. When spirits get low and the players clearly need some extra motivation, the Celly Section will undoubtedly be there to cheer a little louder and provide the hype. Eigenberger reflected, “I remember when we were in middle school, the Student Section was really good. We

Every pass, play, and point generates a wave of boisterous cheers, which are always sure to hype up the players and students. The animated crowd has always been a place of pandemonium and somewhat controlled chaos. The atmosphere at high school basketball games would not be the same if it wasn’t for the frequent 14

the norse star, december 2016


photos by quinn link

kept going to sectional finals and state . . . I feel like if we have a good student section, the team plays better and we go farther because momentum carries and actually makes a difference.”

“It’s a great way to keep school spirit and bring everybody together.” - Mitch Fuller (12) Captain of the girls basketball team, senior, Marissa Robson, appreciates the support generated by the section.

Robson stated, “[The Student Section] just gets you excited knowing that people are caring about your team.” Feeling your peers supporting you and your team is not only encouraging, but it gives the school a sense of community. From one cheer spelling out “Stoughton” to another chanting “purple power” back and forth, the Student Section radiates school spirit. Fuller noted,“It’s just a good way to give back to everybody. It’s a great way to keep school spirit and bring everybody together.” The students of the Celly Section are always the most engaged. To the Celly Section, the bright, neon score on the

scoreboard only matters if our Vikings are in the lead. You can bet on the Celly Section having it be known if the Vikings are winning throughout the event. Celly Section students are always proud of their players. The Student Section joins a random group of students, from freshmen to seniors, into one body of overpowering school spirit. All high school students should be a part of the promotion of their high school’s athletics at least once during their four years. Partaking in the Celly Section creates a memorable, rowdy night. The Celly Section is a great opportunity for Stoughton

High School students. Not only can you help the players find more motivation, but it also can make the games more enjoyable. Winning or losing, the Celly Section always offers an exciting way to have fun. Whether they are retaliating the other Student Section’s cheers with louder chants, or being so unpredictable as to call out how our Quiz Bowl team is superior to theirs, the Celly Section is sure to bring a smile to your face and to the faces of all in attendance. When asked to describe the beloved Celly Section, the wise words of Troy Slaby perfectly sum it up in it’s entirety: “It’s lit!”

meet your varsity celly squad

Mitch Fuller Senior the norse star, december 2016

Troy Slaby Senior

Jakob Eigenberger Senior 15


By Bergen Gardner Features Editor and Business Manager

art by joshua bausch and sarah hanson


n an endless Wisconsin winter, there is plenty of time to sit on the couch in front of the television with a huge mug of luke-warm hot chocolate, sweating buckets in your fleece pajamas and wool socks. But what about an activity so fun that it beats hibernation? Ice skating is that activity. It requires basic coordination and average sized feet; if you meet those two requirements you will glide on the ice with ease. The first thing to do when you get to the rink is to find the snack bar. Ice skating can occasionally include falling on your butt in front of lots of people and a snack of crappy concessions or a sugar rush can lessen the blow of that embarrassment a little. The second thing to do is locate the closest bathroom. All the fun you are having with your friends is going to lead to laughing which will fill your bladder faster than you can say “accident.” Considering that the majority of people aren’t professional ice skaters, you know you probably won’t be the worst one on the ice. However, when people are practiced and dedicated to this activity-gone-sport, they are phenomenal to the naked eye. Here are two SHS students who competitively figure skate and make everyone else look bad at the local rink.

Devan Luebke (9)

Megan Adams (10)

How long have you been figure skating? I have been skating for five years - - since I was nine.

How long have you been figure skating? I’ve been skating since second grade. I’m in the pre-juvenile level. In each level you are required to do different jumps and spin combinations, so that’s, like, in the middle.

What made you want to figure skate? I was always at the rink, and whenever we went to open skate and I would watch people figure skating, I wanted to join. What is your favorite part about figure skating? The competitions and the rush . . . and learning new things. What’s your favorite trick? My flying camel. What’s the hardest trick you have ever done? My hardest jump is my double souy and my hardest spin is a flying camel. I jump in the air from a three turn and then I spin twice while I’m in the air [double souy] and for the flying camel, I go into a regular camel spin, which is where I look like a T, and I jump from one leg to the other and spin. How many competitions have you placed in? I’ve placed in all of my competitions and I have been at 20-25. Who is your biggest supporter? My grandma and my coach.

photos courtesy of devan luebke and megan adams


Hartmeyer Ice Arena (Madison WI). Adult: $5 Student/Youth/Senior Citizen:$3 Skate Rental: $3 Verona Ice Arena (Verona WI) K-12/Senior Citizen: $3 Adults: $5 Pre-K: free, Skate Rental: $3 McFarland Community Ice Arena (McFarland WI) Children 12 and under: $4 Teens 13-17 years: $5 Adults: $6 Skate rentals: $3 Mandt Center (Stoughton WI) Adult: $3 Kids: $2 Skate Rental: $3

What is your favorite part about figure skating? My favorite part would have to be landing new jumps. That is always exciting. What made you want to figure skate? I think we were at open skate once at the Stoughton rink and my mom saw a flier for Learn To Skate, so she signed me and my brother up for lessons and I just continued getting private lessons, as well. What’s your favorite trick? It’s called a builmen spin. So you take your foot and you bring it above your head with your other hand and it kind of looks like a teardrop. What’s the hardest trick you have every done? The hardest jump I have ever done is a double lutz. So, you are going backwards and you pick with your foot and you spin vertically in the air and land on one foot. You spin around two times. How many competitions have you placed in? I have over 60 medals and I probably have, like, 20 trophies, too. So a lot. Who is your biggest supporter? My biggest supporter is probably my mom because she always says, “Oh if you can’t do this, try something else. It’s okay if you can’t get it right away, just work for it.” the norse star, december 2016

opinions - editor’s column

i want to be a disney princess By Seren Pellett Assistant Editor-in-Chief

hildhood is a glittering colC lection of bright colors and pleasant feelings for me. The

memories I hold of my earliest years have a charmingly sweet quality, similar to the warm fuzzies one might experience at the happy ending of a Disney film. In fact, Disney is a large part of what gave me such satisfying memories of my childhood. I have always wanted to be a princess. I loved watching Snow White sing to all of her little animal friends, dreamed of twirling in a ballgown like Cinderella, and longed to find a handsome prince of my own one day. As a child, I saw nothing wrong with the idealized femininity in these films, and neither did most of the rest of the world at the time. Little girls were supposed to want to be princesses waiting to be rescued by a noble and mysterious young man. Recently our society has begun to notice the faults in this way of teaching young girls what they should be. Sure, Snow White was pretty. But what did she do? She sang with the birdies, twirled around in the woods, and took care of seven strangers, tirelessly slaving away to cook, clean, and dress them all while hoping she wouldn’t be murdered by the henchman of her Evil Stepmother. And yet, knowing that she had people who wanted her dead, she had no problem taking a big, juicy bite out of that apple. But don’t worry, silly girl, you’ll be rescued! It’s only expected of girls to be able to do so much on their own, you know. A similar message is taught in “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, and “Hercules” (along with countless others), pausing while Mulan saves China which provides a new perspective on what a girl can achieve if she ignores her society’s definition of an honorable woman. Then the feminine ideals and need for rescue continue with “The Princess and the Frog” (with the first African American princess) and “Tangled”. Whereupon the the norse star, december 2016

onslaught of oppressively idealized feminine ideals ceases, finally, with Brave, Frozen, and, just last month, Moana. Now, through Moana and her story, we understand what we’ve been telling our daughters all this time--be feminine and submissive or you will not be wanted--and now we understand that this is not what a girl should want to be. So our princesses have been adjusted accordingly. Modern Disney took a 180 degree turn from the classic 1937 original princess, Snow White. From the first to the most recent, we see a stark contrast of characters. Where Snow sits patiently waiting for rescue, Moana goes out and takes action for herself. Where Snow desires only to be loved by royalty, Moana wants to save the entirety of her civilization. Where Snow White is meek, docile, soft, and dainty, Moana commands respect, stands up for what she believes in, and understands that hard work and determination are admirable qualities. And get this: she’s not white, snow or otherwise. Princesses can now not only be an ethnicity other than Caucasian, but they can be independent, strong-willed and brave (no pun intended). So today more than ever, I want to be a Disney princess. The young girls that have been described with so much character development, self-esteem, strength, and kindness inspire me to find this within myself. I strive to be successful, make my own way in the world, be strong, independent and progressive. With these role models, I can only imagine the dreams and aspirations of young women who grow up with these princesses will go in their lives. Girls who see what Disney believes they can do will change the world simply becuse they are told they can.. No longer are our princesses expected to sit and wait to be rescued. Glass slippers will not be the only glass thing young girls will see broken in their lifetimes.

1937 Snow White

art by joshua bausch

1950 Cinderella

1959 Aurora 1989 Ariel

1991 Belle

1992 Jasmine

2009 Tiana

1995 Pocahontas

2010 Repunzel

2012 Merida 2016 Moana


opinions - staff editorial

the silent minority S

hy. A word used to describe the quiet kids. The withdrawn ones. The “loners.” These stereotypes follow introverts their entire lives. In a society like ours, the introverts are often looked down upon while the extroverts are prized for their social nature. You’ve probably heard a teacher say, “Well, why can’t you just try?” or, “You have to participate.” This shows a fundamental flaw in the very fabric of our society. A flaw that needs to be fixed. Between one-third and one-half of the general population is introverted, according to one study by Cornell University. But what exactly does being introverted entail? First, let’s draw a distinction between simply being shy and being introverted. Being shy is about fear or aversion of social judgement and interaction, while introversion is a reaction to social stimuli. Essentially, being shy a response to what’s happening around you. Introversion is a personality trait. Despite this, they’re lumped together in the eyes of

society, parents, and teachers. They say that if you’re not working as a team, you’re shy, and that needs to be fixed. Introverts have trouble in over-stimulating social situations, like a loud conversation or a big crowd. In a socially driven world like ours, this is seen as a negative. If you can’t work well with a team or meet new people easily, you’re pegged as less important or less useful than an extrovert that excels in such situations. Because of this, the countless benefits of being introverted are ignored. For example, introverts are shown to be better at thinking critically and problem solving. That being said, being extroverted has countless benefits too. Each is positive in its own way. Introversion comes in varying degrees as well. While some people are shy in almost every situation, the vast majority of introverts are shy in one situation and outgoing in another. For

instance, someone may be extroverted around their friends, but shy in class. No one is ever 100 percent introverted, and the same goes for extroverts. Someone can be mostly introverted and a little bit extroverted, or vice versa. Everyone’s a mixture of the two, but the amount of each varies from person to person. Just by looking at or talking to someone, you may never know they are introverted. Many force themselves to act more extroverted because of the pressure society puts on them to act that way. They change themselves to fit society’s idea of the perfect personality, or the more desirable trait, instead of society being accepting enough to accept them as they are. We as students know the most about the struggle between introversion and extroversion. Math class, history, even writing courses put the emphasis on group work, despite the fact that introverts usually work better in a solitary environment rather than with people they probably didn’t choose and don’t like. Teens are in a stage where their education is of the utmost importance, and being placed in a situation where their education is impaired is hugely damaging. While it may be easy for some to adapt,

others have extreme difficulty doing so. Though adapting is good to a certain degree, someone shouldn’t have to suppress a vital part of their personality. So let’s stop prizing extraversion. Stop throwing kids in groups, stop assigning group projects, don’t make the introverts suffer because of the way we were raised. Let people grow the way they feel is best for them. When we were early humans it might have been important, so that a group could follow the “alpha” and stay safe, but in our modern day, there’s no such necessity. There’s no primal voice telling us to be loud and outgoing. In today’s times, introversion is just as important as extraversion. Introverts are so much more than the “shy kids” or the “quiet ones.” They’re dreamers, thinkers, philosophers. But above all, they’re still people. It can sometimes be easy for extroverts to forget that and write them off as the loners or the antisocial. We have difficulty understanding people who function differently than ourselves. But we need to try. We need to be a society where all sorts of different people come together, each on equal footing and each positive in its own way. We need to listen closely to the silent minority.

art by sarah hanson


the norse star, december 2016

opinions - point counterpoint

we can’t save everyone By Nadia Dedie

Staff Writer


t is predicted that in 2100, our world will reach a population of around ten billion people. With such a large population, our natural resources will be greatly diminished, if not completely used. This is occurring because humans do not face natural selection anymore. People used to die from a common cold, and now, just a quick trip to Walgreens and a warm environment is all you need to convalesce. We have to ask ourselves if Earth is capable of holding the amount of people we produce on a daily basis. We cannot continue at this rate of consumption and population growth or the human race will not survive. As morbid as it sounds, we need to let people who aren’t really living anymore, die. Living can be defined in countless ways, whether it be as

don’t go yet

art by sarah hanson

simple as having a beating heart, or leading a more fullfilled life, adventuring around the world. However, some may have a beating heart, only because a hospital machine is pumping it for them. Some may only be able to open their eyes, while they live in a vegetative state for years. This is not living anymore. Yes, a patient may have a family that deeply cares about them and wants to keep them around, but at what cost? Is being hooked up to machines and constantly prodded with needles really worth a month more of suffering? Of constant visiting hours that end with depressing goodbyes each time? Fluorescent lights and beeping hospital machines should not be constant variables in a person’s last days. Conjointly to the emotional aspects, we can’t forget the amount spent on keeping the incurable, alive.

We can’t put all of our effort and money into trying to keep someone alive who cannot function, respond, and stay alive without the help of numerous machines. So the question is, does spending more really improve the state of the patient? The cost of keeping a patient alive via life support is averaged at around $2,000 to $4,000 per day. It is not wrong to try to help someone who is in an immense amount of pain, however, it is wrong that our hospitals and institutions are keeping people alive who cannot be cured, constantly filling them with new medications every few days so that they can survive a few more weeks. I’m not saying we should give up on them, but I am trying to stress that after a certain point of painful, failing, expensive procedures, with no improvement, there needs to be a stopping

point. The money our nation spends on keeping the irremediable alive could easily ensure food for starving people around the world, putting people out of poverty and giving them a fair shot at survival. Yes, it is important to keep those who you love alive and happy, but at what point does it go too far? Is it worth $20,000 so a person can live for a few more days, when children around the world are hoping to find loose change on the ground so they can buy a needed meal? It’s disturbing that we would rather keep people alive in pain, than let them go in peace. There are better ways to spend the time, money, and resources. Sometimes we want to let go and that’s understandable, but at some point, we are just fighting the inevitable.

To save or not to save?

By Kira Fields

Opinions editor


t’s no surprise that eight billion people are predicted to live on the Earth by the year 2024. It is frightening, however, as there doesn’t seem to be much we can do to prevent the catastrophe of overcrowding from happening. We could slow down the process if we told everyone to stop having children and kill off the sick. Unfortunately though, the United States has the constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and this a right for everyone, including our recently birthed and our fragile elders. As of 2016, the life expectancy of a person in the United States is 79 years, an improvement from the year 1916 when people were only supposed to live to be 49 years old. This is thanks to the elimination of many diseases and an increase of cures and medication, which allows citizens to have more options than just accepting the norse star, december 2016

their fate. People can extend their stay on Earth for longer, and while they are at it, they can bring more humans into the world. The downside to this is that this adds to our accumulation towards eight billion people here on Earth. Right now, there are over 350,000 births per day, compared to the mere 154,000 deaths per day, meaning that there are more people coming into the world than leaving it. While this will lead us to an even greater lack of resources than we already have, it could also push everyone to help each other, even those who are incapable of working and being an active member of society anymore. The older folks in hospitals are using the medicatio that the younger generation invented because they are allowed to. Even if one has been in the hospital their whole life, until they say they are ready to let go, it

is not our right to make them. We cannot just stop treatment for the elders just like we cannot just tell someone to kill their child to make space on the already overpopulated planet. Some may think a solution is to “dispose” of members of society that are no longer deemed “useful,” until that person becomes your friend, grandparent or even your sibling. We as humans make personal connections to everyone around us, whether we know each others, names or not. If we killed off the people who weren’t “useful,” it would have the same negative connotation as genocide. If we lived in that kind of world, we wouldn’t really be living, would we? When we’re young, we are expected to live our lives to the fullest. Whether we live to be five or 120, we have the right to spend our energy and money on whatever medication, magic pill or treatment we choose.

One more year, one more month, or even one moment longer to say goodbye to everything we have built for ourselves in this life will be worth it. This is a wonderful time to live. We should be grateful that you can live in such a world where people are searching for the cures to get us better faster. We can simply go to the pharmacist to get medication for a simple cold or easily see a doctor for a checkup. Just because we are running out of space on Earth doesn’t mean that there aren’t still morals that should be abided by. Life is the only thing we can call our own, and it is not anyone else’s right to take that away. When a person wishes to hold on, that is their right. Until one can no longer make their own decisions, respect the wishes of the individual.



being present for your parents By Joshua Bausch Entertainment Editor


hen a German company brought families to the camera for a commercial and asked the kids what kinds of things they wanted, their responses were to be expected. They wanted toys, games, and a dog. One starry-eyed, red haired boy said “Porsche” through a big smile. But then, as the kids kept thinking more about what they wanted, their answers started to stray from materialistic things. One boy wanted to go to a concert and sit front row with his parents, while another wanted his divorced parents to live together again. All of the kids’ more thoughtful responses had

one thing in common: they all wanted to spend time with their parents. Although this was from a German company, the idea of spending some nice, quality time with our parents is (hopefully) appealing to us, as well. Christmas is not bought in a store, and our parents understand we are young and with little money. People, more often than not, ask for things, simply because it has been set as the norm. With the holiday season encasing us in its glory and Christmas coming for many of us, the thought of presents is undoubtedly attached to those

thoughts. An unnecessary pressure to give and get the best gifts possible has been pressed onto the walls of our brains, and apparently these ideal gifts are always material. Banish those thoughts, and prove that wrong by showing that the non-material can be worth so much more. However, it is important to not limit family time to the holidays, because, after all, they are our family. Although this is the time of giving, and that is always good, spread out the love to the rest of the year. There are definitely days in the summer, or even time within regular days, that I get bored,

and I know I’m not the only one. A good way to fill that time is with your parents. A cool video game or new lipstick will inevitably get old, but a strong connection with family will carry throughout life. So give them time. The gift of going to a movie, out to dinner, or simply playing a board game should surprise parents. The sentiment of time is often overlooked, and parents will not ask for a receipt to return this gift. Spending a night with the ones who are the reason for your existence will not ruin your social life or make you lose friends, I promise.

are you assuming my religion?!? M

ariah Carey’s rendition of “All I want for Christmas” is playing loudly over the sound system in the local convenience store. The checkout worker quickly swipes the seven items from your basket and leaves you with a cheerful “Happy Holidays!” They do not say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or “Happy Kwanzaa.” Instead, they leave you with a generic holiday greeting, and you don’t think about it that much. You send your well wishes back and get on with the rest of your life. Now, imagine that the checkout worker said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays!” Would you suddenly be offended that this checkout worker is assuming your religion and trying to pressure you into celebrating the more prevalent religion during the winter season? Or would you just send a holiday greeting back to them, without looking too much into them saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays?” Someone saying “Merry Christmas” to a stranger has turned into this taboo sort of thing that people don’t say 20

By Natalie Zientek Staff Writer because it is “politically incor- it is really unnecessary. The rect.” Instead, we say “Happy people that celebrate holidays Holidays” so we stay “politi- other than Christmas are not cally correct” and do not offend close-minded towards holiday anyone. The holiday season is greetings like we are making not about being politically cor- them out to be. If someone rect when your friend greets tells me “Happy Hanukkah,” I you with a “Merry Christmas.” am not going to get offended The holiday season is about and say, “Hey now! I am not sharing love and joy with your Jewish, so don’t assume that I family and community, no am!” I am just going to thank matter what specific religious that person and return the or non religious holiday you polite holiday greeting, whether celebrate. You shouldn’t have I celebrate Hanukkah or not. to think about offending the Being oversensitive about a amount of people that celebrate simple greeting is about as prothe less prevalent holidays while ductive as complaining about greeting a friendly neighbor marshmallows. with a specific holiday. People If Christmas was seen are isolating and singling out more as a religious holiday minorities when they assume to a majority of people that that saying “Merry Christmas” celebrate it, it would be to them, if they are non-Chris- understandable for people to tian, is extremely offensive and be uber-careful about saying world ending. It is highly odd generic, non-specific greetings. to assume that people that are But Christmas has become not celebrators of Christmas a commercial holiday that is will get suddenly offended by heavily advertised by the media. the mention of Christmas. We To the people that celebrate are creating this idea that over- it, Christmas is more about sensitivity is the way to go when celebrating the winter season, taking into consideration what snow, and family. Many people other people celebrate. We are that are not religious still celheavily attempting to cater to ebrate Christmas without the needs of the minority when really celebrating Christ, and

that is not a bad thing. It only gives Christmas a less religious title to modern day media and society. Being thoughtful and caring towards other people’s freedom to celebrate whatever religion they want is not a bad thing. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the Tickle Monster, saying “Merry Christmas” is not some holy greeting that is meant to convert you into a Christian religion. Being overly sensitive towards people that do not celebrate Christmas and assuming that they are easily offended and close-minded about the word itself is not going to accomplish anything. The point is, when someone says “Merry Christmas” to you, make sure that you do not look too far into the holiday that they mention. Be glad that someone is thinking about wishing you and your family well during the majestical holiday season and festivities! In the end, is that really a bad thing? art by joshua bausch

the norse star, december 2016


divided we stand W

ith the inauguration of our President-elect fast approaching, strongly polarized positions are sweeping the nation. Donald Trump has sparked controversy from the birth of his campaign, and now the reality of his presidency has struck a chord with the masses. While half of the population mourns the end of an era, the other half rejoices at the prospect of a new one. In light of this glaring divide, seniors Colena Sankbeil and Cody Offord gave their opposing opinions on our President-elect and their predictions for his next four years in office. By Aly Solberg a n k b eil dy O ff ord (12) na S (12 o e l Staff Writer C o )


Democrat Q. How do you feel about Donald Trump? A. To say the least, unhappy. My initial reaction to [the election] was disgust and horror. I feel like this has even pushed me farther into wanting to stand for what I believe in. Q. Why do you dislike him? A. He really doesn’t have that many good plans . . . Also the things he says, the things he tweets, [and] the way he holds himself makes it ten times worse. Q. What is your biggest concern with the Trump administration? A. I think a lot of stuff will be put back to the states. There are a lot of states, especially in the South, that do not have that progressive future ideal that I feel, and many people feel. We are going to be moving backwards. Q. What are you looking forward to in terms of his next four years in office? A. I am hoping that people like me and [people] that share the same views as me will be more unified. Q. How do you feel about anti-Trump protests? A. There’s one thing to protest, and there’s one thing to riot. A lot of people are getting them confused . . . I just think when they get out of hand is when it’s a problem. Q. What is something that you wish Trump supporters understood? A. I wish that they understood what his plan is, and the fact that he doesn’t really have a plan. [Many people] have never really felt like someone has represented them . . . They’re not realizing the potential of what could actually happen. Q. How do you think the United States will be different after Donald Trump takes office? A. He says a lot of things, and a lot of it won’t get done, but it is going to change the mindset of a lot of people in Washington. Q. What does “Make America Great Again” mean to you? A. [It’s] just another slogan to make everyone unite that supports him . . . I think it is interpreted differently by every single person. the norse star, december 2016

Republican Q. How do you feel about Donald Trump? A. I feel good. Obviously I wanted him since I’m a Republican. Q. Why do you like him? A. I agree with his policies. I think that if he does what he says he is going to do, it will make this country a lot better. Q. What is your biggest concern with the Trump administration? I don’t like Mike Pence. I’m not really a big fan of him. A couple of his policies I don’t agree with, so that would kind of be an issue. Q. What are you looking forward to in terms of his next four years in office? A. This country being better all around. Q. How do you feel about anti-Trump protests? A. I think people need to grow up to be honest. Even if they’re going to protest, nothing is going to change . . . I think it’s stupid that they’re doing it. They’re destroying things that don’t belong to them and have nothing to do with the election in the first place. They can find better ways to protest. Q. What is something that you wish anti-Trump individuals understood? A. Give him a chance. They’re not giving him a chance to do anything. He’s not president, so they’re not going to see whether he’s bad or good. Q. How do you think the United States will be different after Donald Trump takes office? A. Other countries will probably see us as a lot weaker I would say because not a lot of people like Trump. He really can’t change a lot unless Congress passes it. Q. What does “Make America Great Again” mean to you? A. [It means] that this country is going to be better. We are going to be well set with the debt. [There will be] more jobs. People will be happy. photos by aly solberg



By Charrley Hudson Staff Writer


emember being a child on Christmas? The scent of pine, the half-eaten cookies on the table, the gifts from Santa that magically materialized under the tree while we slept. Many of us made milehigh Christmas lists each year, which Santa—and our parents—tried their best to fulfill for us. But what happens when the lists can’t be satisfied? What happens when you are a parent who loves their child with all of their being, but you can’t afford to have presents for them to unwrap on Christmas morning? This is an annual problem throughout the world, and also in our own community. Enter Shop with a Cop, a community outreach program inviting kids in need to buy gifts for themselves and their families. December of 2016 marks the third year of Stoughton’s Shop with a Cop program. Children that are in need can sign up for no cost, thanks to donations from Walmart and local businesses. Each

photos by aubrey schleppenbach

kid is paired up with a police officer to go to Walmart to pick presents for their families and themselves. Before they embark on their shopping-sprees, the children get to have fun at the Emergency 22

Medical Services Center. They eat a delicious breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, candy, and cookies. This year, one police officer, who wore a reindeer headband, and whom the children fondly called “Officer Antlers,” told the kids jokes and stories. After that, they were taken to meet Santa, a retired officer in the next room who gave

the children pick out gifts for their family members (pets included), wrap presents, and we even got to have a lengthy discussion with one boy about our favorite 7thgen Pokémon (his favorite is Rowlet)! The officers were all fun, energetic, and gentle with the children. But why does everyone partake in this event? What prompts our community and its policemen to pour in the tremendous amount of effort and funds that make this happen? In the words of Officer Hector Covarrubias, “All we want to do is help people . . . We really love the children and that’s what we’re trying to do here. That’s what we love about Stoughton. Everyone here is willing to give. Everyone here is happy to support our cause.”

Officer Covarrubias goofs off with two

the kids candy and stockings packed with toys, movie tickets, and other goodies. Each child sat on his lap and was asked the same question: “What do you want for Christmas?” One girl asked for LEGOs. A young boy asked for a videogame. Another girl requested just one simple commodity: a pair of socks. The entire program is a stunning example of holiday virtue. Getting to tag along with the cops and kids was an amazing and humbling experience. The laughter between the officers and the children was incredibly wholesome. It was a sound that inspired you to make a difference in the world. We were able to help

children on the bus.

Many people fear the police authority. Sometimes, it’s unfortunately for good reason. I’ll admit that visiting with the officers was intimidating at first. 6’2” men with pistols at their waists can be a little scary to interview. But after spending hours experiencing the camaraderie between the police and the children, I can say with certainty that these Stoughton Polic officers aim to protect, not oppress. “You can’t beat that smile,” explained Officer Covarrubias with a grin, when asked what his favorite part of the event was. “I mean, there’s nothing like it. Everybody’s happy. It’s just contagious.” the norse star, december 2016


a craving for coffee Back to the Bean


By Kira Fields Opinions Editor art by sarah hanson

riving on a bitter afternoon is one of the worst things D about winter. The thought of reaching for the car door handle and being exposed to the sharp frost is the last thing

you want. Well, at Back to the Bean, we didn’t have to worry. We could just roll up to the drive through window and simply order. The barista, as well as the owner, Melanie Leclear, took our order and rang us up quickly. The prices were lowered during the cafe’s move into Silverado Spa, making it more affordable to get a cup of joe for just $1.50 a cup. Inside, Back to to the Bean is currently remodeling their new space, bringing their iconic rustic theme with old fashioned wooden tables and simple brewing tools in this new space. Though it is a cafe, it specializes in its coffee beans specifically, which are shipped from Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Honduras. They are very particular in their roasting process, which only a dedicated coffee lover will appreciate. Back to the Bean is less of a cafe and more of a mix between a cabin in the woods and a hipster hotspot. The French toast muffin,was simply divine. The widebrimmed carby goodness has a sugary cinnamon crunch throughout the muffin. The fluffy cinnamon and sugarfilled dough makes it worth the whole two bucks.

We tried their mocha latte. The handmade chocolate syrup made the first taste very rich and delicious. Unfortunately, as we sipped it, all that was left was the coffee grounds, which left a dissatisfying, gritty taste in our mouths. the norse star, december 2016

photos by kira fields photos by kira fields


e entered the doors to Malabar Coast Coffee and Tea cafe to find a fire in the middle of the cafe, surrounded by fluffy don’t-wanna-get-up couches and plenty of table seating. It’s pretty safe to say that you would sleep here if you could. Entering into a heartwarming atmosphere of Malabar, we forgot that we were in Stoughton and not some dreamy Hallmark movie. The little coffee shop by the SWAC is truly a keepsake of the town. It was very accommodating between the warm atmosphere and the full menu of pastries, lunch sandwiches, smoothies and speciality drinks in nearly every flavor. When we went to the counter, there was a list of drinks which were all reasonably priced. The baristas were very friendly and easy to talk to, especially when we didn’t know what to order. The newly expanded hours makes it easy to come here at any point in the day, making it a hotspot in Stoughton, especially with free wifi. We felt right at home. We decided to give their Peppermint Bark Latte a try. The crisp chocolate melted in nicely, but after the peppermint candies were gone and sunk to the bottom, there was much disappointment without the sweet mint to balance out the heavy chocolate

There was so much comfortable seating it was hard to choose the best place to sit. There was also a lot of squishy couches to relax in. 23


the marvelous madrigals By Mitch Osterhaus Staff Writer


n an early December weekend, a palpable feeling of excitement fills the air in and around Stoughton. Residents wear mittens, hats, and holiday sweaters as they make their way through the festivities. Twinkling lights and wreaths line both sides of Main Street, and scores of chilly people tote around foam cups filled to the brim with hot cocoa. The Victorian Holiday Weekend is in full swing, and few groups are more synonymous with the annual event than Stoughton High School’s Madrigal Singers. The Madrigals are a group focused around performing Renaissance-style music, customarily during the holiday season. To enhance the Renaissance-esque aura of the group, each Madrigal singer dons a unique and ornately crafted costume. Costumes are comprised of an opulently

decorated hat or headpiece, along with a colorful dress or shirt. As a result of the vivid apparel choices, their performances become truly remarkable to the eye as well. Performances include three separate productions of the Madrigal Dinner, a concert for all choir students,complete with a sevencourse meal.

“My favorite part is bringing joy to people in an unexpected way.” -Emalyn Bauer (12) Head table Madrigals also caroled around Stoughton during the Victorian Holiday Weekend, as well as performing various gigs around the Madison area. Between their satisfyingly harmonious crooning, eye-catching garb, and one-of-a-kind performances,

it isn’t hard to see why the Madrigals have become such a fixture of the SHS Music Department. For SHS senior Emalyn Bauer, it was a momentous performance when she was in middle school that got her hooked on the idea of being a part of the Madrigals. “When I was in seventh grade, I was in a group called the Valhalla Singers, at the middle school,” Bauer explains. “We were able to sing one song at the Madrigal Dinner, and ever since then, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Madrigals.” Bauer, who has been a member of the head table Madrigals (the group that is most predominantly featured over the course of the Madrigal dinner) for two years, feels a sense of excitement for this year’s group to take the stage. “It is my senior year, so that makes it a special time,” Bauer said. “Getting to spend time with other talented musicians and create memories, it’s really nice.”

Bauer realizes that Madrigals has a ripple effect beyond her own life, it also has one throughout the community as a whole. Throughout the duration of the Madrigals’ events, passersby take notice in an enthusiastic fashion; they take pictures, record videos, and impart words of wisdom as the singers go on their merry way. For Bauer, this particular aspect of Madrigals is one she absolutely treasures. “My favorite part is bringing joy to people in an unexpected way,” Bauer said. “[I enjoy] going out, seeing the smiles on people’s faces, and just being able to show the power of music.” For Bauer and the rest of the Madrigals, the end goal is to encapsulate the holiday spirit and spread it to all who watch their performances. Based on the recurrent stream of eager onlookers year after year, they are continuing to fulfill the expectations of making the holiday season a truly memorable time.

photos by mitch osterhaus

Above from left to right, Sara Triggs (9), Brianna Drafall (11), and Mary Schilz (12) sing for Chorale. (At close right) Abi Cline (10) serves soup during the Madrigal Dinner. Soup is just one of seven courses distributed throughout the dinner. (At far right) SHS Director of Vocal Music, Ryan Casey, conducts Chorale through a performance. 24

The Head Table Madrigals, a group consisting of 16 members, perform during the Madrigal Dinner. Madrigals by the Numbers

16 Head Table Madrigals 3 Madrigal Dinners, all of which sold out.

144 bottles of sparkling grape juice, or “wassail” bought.

the norse star, december 2016

The Norse Star - December 2016  
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