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teen moms: the reality behind the reality shows

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the norse star november 2016



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The Norse Star investigates the true reality of teenage pregnancy. (Cover Photo by Charrley Hudson, Kirsten Sanford, Julia Pope and Nadia Dedie) TOC by: Kira Fields, Opinions Editor



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pg. 18 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: 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 Freelance Writer: Mya Lonnebotn

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 thenorse norsestar, star, november 2016

Wacky News


By Joshua Bausch Entertainment and Graphics Editor


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art by joshua bausch and bergen gardner

1.Tree blocks the road Ah America, the land of the free. Traffic was obstructed in Portland, Maine, when a 30 year old man stood in the street dressed as a tree. His body was covered in tree limbs and twigs as he set place in the middle of the street, and was soon given a warning by officers to leave. However, our beloved nature-hero returned to the street, prompting the police to arrest him and all his tree glory. To top it all off, the man’s name was Asher Woodworth…how fitting.

the norse star, november 2016

2. Clown Craze The weird fad of clown fanatics running about and terrorizing the peace is showing no signs of slowing; clown sightings have reached to both Sweden and the Netherlands as of this past month. At least two reports have popped up in Sweden, both involving these red nosed maniacs going after kids. One group of clowns encircled a group of youth, threatening them with fake chainsaws, while another incident took a more violent turn when a clown stabbed another kid in the shoulder. The kids from both incidents are okay, and the stabbing victim has only minor injuries, but I’m sure both parties are still thoroughly spooked. Halloween comes once a year clowns, it’s time for you all to go back to your circus tents.


3. Bear Wedding

4. Deathly Bowells

5. Koala-ty Arrest

As times change, more and more weddings are breaking away from the traditional man-wifein-a-nice-church ways. A Russian couple broke barriers of how to make this special day all the more special so they decided to have a ring bear. No, not a typo. Dennis and Neyla (the newlyweds) hired actual 7 foot tall, 300 pound bear, Stepan to accompany them during the ceremony. The 23 year old bear not only was the ring bearer, but he also took pictures with the happy couple and posed as their officiant. To top it all off, Stepan sported a nice black bowtie right around his massive neck.

Silent but deadly holds true to this day. When a woman in her 30’s was having a form of laser surgery at the Tokyo Medical University Hospital, a ghastly mistake soon followed. She let one rip, perhaps hoping no one would notice, or just not caring at all. The fart reacted with the laser, which lead to her getting burns down her back. Let this be a lesson to all of us about passing gas in public.

A normal Sunday night arrest in the land down under turned out to be more than the cops anticipated. When the police in Brisbane, Australia arrested a wanted 50-year-old woman one Sunday night, they confiscated her handbag, which, like your favorite cereal boxes, had a surprise inside. However, this lady had no toy in her purse, she had a real, living koala. It was about six months old, and the arrested claimed she found it on the road the night before and cared for it since.


onsager travels to sister city news

By Mya Lonnebotn Staff Writer


estled in the mountains of Norway, and 3,991 miles from Stoughton, lies its sister city of Gjorvik, Norway. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Bryant

Foundation, SASD administrator Dr. Tim Onsager accompanied Jerry Gryttenholm (founder) to this Scandinavian city from Oct.25-Oct.30. Onsager explained that the purpose of the trip was to “establish a relationship with their

photo courtesy of tim onsager

The International School in Gjorvik is one of the buildings that Dr. Onsager visited on the trip.

adult fablab classes

By Quinn Link Staff Writer


tarting this November, the high school has once again begun to offer adult Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) classes. The classes will be at the high school on Saturday mornings, and are available to any resident of the Stoughton Area School District that is 18 or older. The hope is to sew the seeds of community outreach. As Brad Seehafer, one of the three high school course teachers, puts it, “Businesses and the Community have been very supportive of FabLab, so we’re going to open that [The FabLab] back up to them.” The classes were offered in the spring of last year and were taught by Mr. Seehafer. He will continue to teach the classes with the help of student volunteers. The classes will be offered on one Saturday each month 4

9 a.m. to noon from December through March. No prior knowledge is necessary to participate. The classes dive into the uses of all the available equipment in the lab. From the 3D-printers to the laser cutters, everything will be covered. In addition, the propor use of the programs necessary to run the machines, will also be taught. Throughout the course of the classes, community members taking this class will embark on many projects similar to the ones in the class for high schoolers. However, it is also possible to bring in ideas that could be pursued further. The classes typically consist of six to 12 participants. The small class size is prefered, but there is no official limit to the amount of attendees. The small size guarantees availability of the equipment. Seehafer shared the long term goal of these classes: “Our goal for the future is to have some kind of open lab.” This would mean community members that have the aptitude in order to pursue personal projects, would have the place and resources to do so. This is a step that the high school is taking in order to bring more community members into the building.

school district, to start exploring possible ways that we can partner, and to look at exchanges with our students, staff, and families.” For six days Onsager observed all levels of Gjorvik’s schooling, including Primary, Upper Primary, High School, the University, and the International school: a school in place for students who don’t speak Norwegian as their first language. The distinctions between Gjorvik’s schools in comparison to those in Stoughton were very evident. In Gjorvik, the city runs all the schools below the high school, which is a completely separate entity run by the county. The country of Norway is about the size of Wisconsin, and all students are taught a national curriculum, which includes the requirement of an English class in the third grade. Onsager also observed the lack of technology in the schools, and he recalls that, “The high school students are excited to have just received smartboards in all their classrooms.” The city is just beginning to integrate students with disabilities into regular classrooms, an element Stoughton

accomplished years ago. Gjorvik schools have a strict academic focus, and they do not offer any schoolrun sports or clubs, a shocking contrast to Stoughton schools, which are teeming with involvement opportunities. In response to his observations, Onsager claimed, “I think we offer more opportunities to our students, which I wouldn’t take away.” After viewing Gjorvik’s educational system, Onsager is “intrigued about some partnerships.” He is interested in connecting students and thinks that the pairing of two classes of the same grade level would be an interesting and culturally-enriching experience. When questioned whether Onsager thinks Gjorvik’s school system is ahead or behind that of Stoughton, he responded, “There are lots of things we’re doing here that are considered ahead, but there are different cultural norms that exist in both communities.” Onsager is extremely grateful for his travel experience and, in regards to the connection with Stoughton’s sister city, he says, “We want to start out small, we want to start crawling before we walk, walking before we run.”

photo by quinn link

Dates To Remember



December 10

3D Printing

February 11


March 11

Twist Tab

April 8

(Unavailible) the norse star, november 2016

back to the bean opens new location

By Kirsten Sanford Staff Writer


ne of Stoughton’s coffee shops, Back to the Bean, opened its new location at 101 Silverado Drive for business on Oct 18. Previously, Point Java Coffee House occupied this space, which includes both a dine-in seating area and a drive up window for faster, more efficient service. For now, Back to the Bean is open at its new location Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and

yahara river trail progresses By Mitch Osterhaus Staff Writer


sers of the Yahara River Trail will soon be in for a pleasant surprise, for several improvements to the trail are in the works. Since its inception in 1997, the trail has been part of the lives of recreationally-minded people around the Stoughton area. With scenic trails that skirt both sides of the Yahara River, it isn’t hard to see why people return time and time again to get their fix of the outdoors. For users, one of the most significant changes to the trail will appear in the vicinity of Stoughton Hospital, where the city is planning to construct a new path that will link two pre-existing trails that surround the East and West sides of the river. “We are very close to an agreement with Skaalen Home the norse star, november 2016

news Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The new Back to the Bean location is only offering service through the drive up window at this time, but they look to open the dining area in the near future following renovations. After opening the dine-in area, they will consider adding more hours. In regards to renovations, Back to the Bean is in the process of searching for tables and chairs to put in the dining area. “We’ll hopefully have [the dine-in area] open by the end of the year,” shop owner, Melanie LeClear said. Back to the Bean’s coffee will still be available for purchase at its previous location, 120 E Main Street, which remains open as Main Street Kitchen Sub Shop and Catering. At this downtown Stoughton location, employees will serve Back to the Bean’s coffee, cold brew, chai tea, and hot chocolate. Main Street Kitchen Sub Shop and Catering is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since relocating, Back to the Bean has adjusted some of their prices and added some new things to their menu. Lattes are now $4 compared to $4.50, and mochas are now $4.50 compared to $5. If you’re running through the drive-through during your lunch break, you can pick up a “lunch box,” which is a box containing a sub from Main Street Kitchen Sub Shop and Catering, chips, and a

to extend a trail segment from Amundson Park along the river to Stoughton Hospital,” City of Stoughton Parks and Recreation Director Tom Lynch explained. “This will help keep the trail off of city streets as we work closer to the pedestrian bridge at Cooper’s Causeway,” he said. Lynch expects construction on this particular segment to take root in the Spring. However, this connector path is not the only recreational progress Lynch foresees in Stoughton’s future. In fact, plans are developing for a loop that will encircle the majority of Stoughton. “We would like trails to surround the city,” Lynch said. This loop is contingent on sections of trail being established in three new developments around the Stoughton area, including the controversial Kettle Park West addition. Segments would also be completed in the Norse View Heights addition (along Page Street) and the Nordic Ridge addition (on the South side of the city). In an effort to expand the loop’s regional impact, spur trails are also planned to extend towards Oregon, Edgerton, Cottage Grove, and Madison.

Although the city has a solid plan for the entire trail system going forward, it was not without adversity on various fronts. Lynch described several instances in which the city had to jump through hoops, especially when working with landowners and developers. “There are challenges in every part of this,” Lynch said. “We need to work with the developer and the Council to agree on and obtain the land in the right places to keep the connections to other sections [of trail].” Lynch also explained that routing the trail through Stoughton Hospital and

cookie, all for the cost of $8.00. Back to the Bean will continue to offer a variety of homemade bakery goods at the new location after settling in. The full menu will be available at the drive-up window at the new location, with the dine-in area opening soon. “I’m most excited about the new location bringing in new customers,” LeClear stated.

photo by kirsten sanford

The drive up window at Back to the Bean’s new location at 101 Silverado Drive. Skaalen Retirement Services land garnered resistance from some involved parties. “Selling the idea on the Vennevoll residents took a lot of time but it was worth it,” Lynch expressed. “Not everyone wants a trail in their backyard, and I get that.” Even with instances of adverse opinions to the expansion of the trail, Lynch sees a largely positive vibe surrounding the whole situation. “The homeowners that live next to trails like having them there and don’t see any problems,” he stated. “We need to do a better job of getting that out there.”

graphic courtesy of tom lynch



sorcerer supreme of the screen


at war and weaponless

By Collin Ace Staff Writer

By Bergen Gardner Features Editor, Business Manager

By Kira Fields Opinions Editor


arvel: the unstoppable masterminds behind all of your favorite movies. With box office-dominating films like “The Avengers” and “Captain America: Civil War,” it’s been a while since Marvel released a strong stand-alone superhero movie. And boy did they come back swinging. Doctor Strange was a pleasure to watch, through and through. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the titular character, Dr. Stephen Strange, an arrogant neurosurgeon who’s living the high life in New York City. That all changes one day when he gets into a car crash, leaving his hands crippled and broken. Unable to work, he seeks out any medical treatment he can get his hands on, going broke in the process. He pushes away those close to him, including his once lover, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Eventually he finds a sanctuary in Nepal where he gains mastery over sorcery. From there, you’re whisked away on a fantastical journey through the multiverse, and every minute of it is stunning. While the movie shines as a jewel in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), it wasn’t perfect. It suffered the age-old Marvel curse of a bland villain. Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen, who had little to no depth and lacked clear focus, seemed to be there only to drive the plot forward with his menacing presence. His lackeys had even less depth or character, but that tends to happen in superhero movies. On the other hand, characters like The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) were fantastic. Overall, I’d give “Doctor Strange” four out of five stars. The beautiful visuals and character-driven plot are what made this movie for me, and they far outshine the few flaws that can be seen. I look forward to seeing Doctor Strange appear in future Marvel films, bringing that infectious charm that is exuded in every moment of this beautiful cinematic experience. If you haven’t seen “Doctor Strange,” you’re missing out on a truly magical experience.


hen you think of trolls, especially when you are from a Norwegian town, you would expect ugly, stinky things that probably live under a bridge. But in the most recent Dreamworks movie, trolls are the cutest and happiest things in the world. These trolls sing, dance, and hug - that’s it. Well, except for the other thing they do. These trolls also dodge being eaten by . . . the Bergens. The Bergens are the most unhappy and ugly beings. The only way the Bergens know true happiness is by eating a troll. But remember this is a kids’ movie, so it really can’t be that bad, unless you hate the good side winning. Then it is that bad. In this movie, you will encounter music, glitter spewing butts, and happiness-hungry Bergens. Right off the bat you know this movie is going to make you want to move. My butt was wiggling in my seat the whole time, and I had to try hard to keep it under control against the catchy tunes. The kids in the theater agreed because many of them were dancing in their seats right along with me. Even if you don’t like musicals, this movie mixes today’s popular tunes with original songs so everyone will find something they enjoy. “Trolls” is labeled as a kids’ movie, but don’t let the PG rating fool you. This movie is for everyone and will make you belly laugh until you cry. How can you not laugh at an overly sparkly troll that farts glitter? “Trolls” is the perfect cinematic mix of hilarious and heartfelt. Not only will you laugh, but you will leave the theater with a heart full of happiness. “Trolls” is hands down one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. This movie truly has no downsides, except the length, which is far too short. You leave the theater wanting more songs, more dance routines and many more ‘hugging hours’ (go see the movie to understand this warm embrace reference).


ord, help me get one more. Just one more.” These are the words of Desmond T. Doss, a WWII combat medic and conscientious objector. The movie “Hacksaw Ridge” illustrates the mental battles of Doss, portrayed by Andrew Garfield, and the criticism from his fellow soldiers for his refusal to carry a weapon based on his Christian religious beliefs.

The film is directed by Mel Gibson, who is making his reappearance in Hollywood after ten years. His gruesome, albeit obviously staged, war scenes feature furious blood spatters, bullet casings, and grenade explosions clouded in ash and gunpowder, all while incorporating a subtle controversial stance of Doss and his refusal to bear arms in war. The plot travels with Doss to the battlefield of Hacksaw Ridge in Okinawa, Japan, without a weapon and only his God by his side. (Spoiler ahead!) The Japanese troops creep up on the US soldiers, forcing them to fall back. Only Doss stays behind, managing to retrieve 75 wounded men from the battleground. For this act of bravery, Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945. The movie can make you laugh, cry, and question life, all within the roughly two hour time span. There were some sly comical moments to relieve some of the tension you didn’t realize was building up as you were sitting straight up in your seat, such as Doss’s date with his love interest, Dorothy. Everything from the dramatic soundtrack to the vibrant color of blood to the visual closeups, there was never a dull moment. However, the battle scenes were too predictable, unlike actual war. War, by its nature, is chaotic and crazy, with no clear plot. Nonetheless, the experience made it seem like days had passed by once the credits rolled up, when in reality it was only mere hours. I left the theater satisfied with a piece of history ingrained in my thoughts. This movie is not for the weak minded, but will tug at your heartstrings.

art by sarah hanson


the norse star, november 2016



By Sarah Hanson Staff Writer


Follow us on Twitter @Norse_Starz Slide your tweets in our DMs for a chance to be featured in the next

art by sarah hanson

the norse star, november 2016



ecember usually consists of a to-buy list a mile long, an extreme D desire to please, and a battle between your heart and wallet. It’s just a whirlwind month of spending money on Secret Santa gifts. Half the

time you are paired with someone that you don’t know well enough to give a meaningful gift to. However, these gifts could be the start to a new friendship or the strengthening of an old one. Here are some fool proof gifts to give to anyone, even the person who doesn’t want anything at all.

easy peasy gift giving guide By Bergen Gardner Features Editor and Business Manager

Hydration Such a practical gift like a water bottle might seem lame and impersonal at first, but don’t be fooled! Water bottles are a great gift. They will use it every day and they can personalize it with stickers and dents as the years go by. Water bottles also come in many different shapes and sizes, so you can find your partner’s perfect fit. A water bottle truly can become a person’s perfect companion.

For The Crafty art by sarah hanson

If you love to make gifts, try a movie box. Pack a personally designed box with candy, popcorn, and movies from the five dollar bin at Walmart. Or, if you know their favorite movie, splurge on it! This gift will really show that you care about the wellbeing of your friend. It’s personal and unique, too.

Toasty Toes When in doubt, socks are the best gift to give. Especially sassy socks! Sassy socks are great because they can have silly sayings or things that just reflect someone’s sense of humor. It isn’t difficult to look at your partner’s feet and notice the type of socks they seriously dig. Wool, silly, or graphic, you truly can’t go wrong!


Happy Belly Whether your partner is a lover of coffee and tea or loves heavy carbs, a gift card to a restaurant or coffee shop is a great gift to give to a friend that may not be your best friend. This shows them that you care about the happiness of their stomachs, and it is a great hang out opportunity. You aren’t just giving the gift of a full and bloated stomach, but also the gift of experience.

the norse star, november 2016



photo by nadia dedie


een pregnancy: a term we as high schoolers often hear floating in and out of whispered conversations. Silent, judgemental stares dig into the backs of our pregnant classmates as they walk the halls. The same kids who are invested in shows like “16 and Pregnant,” look down upon and scoff at their peers who are living the reality of their beloved reality show. Atop the mountain of responsibilities, challenges, and stresses of being a high school student lies the apex of the young mothers’ world: their babies. These young girls are forced to grow up fast, changing their entire lifestyles. They battle through tight budgets with long shopping lists, 4 a.m. diaper changes on school nights, and abandoning fathers, transforming into mothers along the way. Students fail to recognize the strenuous task these girls are managing to tackle. All they see is a girl with a kid, never bothering to ask anything beyond, “Do you think she even used a condom?” the norse star, november 2016




t’s incredibly easy to just scratch the surface of an individual without ever realizing the true reality of who they really are. We know someone as “the athlete” or “the stoner” or, in this case, “the pregnant girl.” Who is she, this pregnant girl? Did it ever occur to us that “the pregnant girl” is now a mother who somehow manages to still go to school despite the numerous disapproving looks and terrible remarks? A mother who was once looking down at a small white stick, terrified and not knowing what her future held. Petrified that her whole world had been turned upside down in a matter of seconds. How can a teenager, who is still growing up herself, take on the incredibly difficult task of raising a child? We may often hear about “that one girl who was bound to get pregnant anyways” and brush it off as gossip to discuss later, but the heartbreaking reality of these girls’ actual situations can never truly be understood. It is immensely important to look at these situations with an open mind, considering the United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world.

“I was terrified. I didn’t believe it.” -Devan Gilbertson (11) Devan Gilbertson, a junior at Stoughton High, is the mother to five-month-old Alexis. “I was terrified. I didn’t believe it. I had to take three tests by myself, one with a doctor, one with my mom, and then an ultrasound just to get my head wrapped around it,” recalls Gilbertson, who became a mother at the age of 15. Gilbertson, like many, was in disbelief and shock when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter. In most cases, pregnancy is considered a wonderful thing-a gift and a chance to create a new life. However, when a 15 year old finds out she’s pregnant, it doesn’t exactly seem like a blessing. At 15, a student is trying to map out her future and enjoy just being a kid. 10

High school is continually draining; a multitude of assignments and extracurriculars endlessly await each sleep deprived student leaving barely enough time to take care of themselves, let alone a newborn child. Another junior attending SHS, Rebecca (Becky) Symes, recalls the moment that changed her life. “I was so scared, and I didn’t know what to do. I was 14.” At the time, Symes was still attending middle school, preparing for her first year at high school, not preparing to raise her son, Marquise. Symes and Gilbertson are not alone. According to teen pregnancy statistics, around 750,000 teenagers in the United States become pregnant each year. These teenage mothers across the country must face an array of difficult decisions, sometimes with help, although frequently alone. While most teenagers deal with decisions such as picking a new Netflix show to binge watch, pregnant teenagers must decide the future of their child. There are three main options for a pregnant teenager. The first option is to keep their child. While this may seem like the obvious option for mothers who aren’t teens, it cannot be stressed enough that this will deeply affect the mother and her child’s life. Future plans, such as college, will be immensely difficult to achieve due to the newborn’s demanding need for the mother’s care and attention. If the mother decides to keep her baby, she must further decide on how she will continue her own education, pay for new expenses, and accommodate for her baby’s arrival. Shulterior (Shay) Peeples, a pregnant junior at SHS, is deciding to raise her child herself. “I have to take the responsibilities. I don’t agree with abortions because I don’t want to put my child’s life in jeopardy because of the choices I chose to make,” declared Peeples. Peeples, who is currently five months pregnant, decided to remain at SHS rather than go to an alternative high school for teenage mothers. Located in Madison, School Age Parent Program (SAPAR) is a high

school designated for teenage mothers. SAPAR not only teaches the students curriculum needed for graduating, but also parenting skills. Peeples plans to graduate early through the GEDO program offered at SHS in order to be prepared for her child arriving in March.

“I don’t agree with abortions because I don’t want to put my child’s life in jeopardy because of the choices I chose to make.” -Shay Peeples (11) The second option teen moms have is abortion. Abortion may seem like an easy way out of a difficult situation, but it comes with never-ending questions such as, “What if I kept my baby?” or, “What if I’ll regret this forever?” According to Choices Pregnancy Care Center, every year, 35 percent of pregnant teenagers choose to have an abortion. Abortion in the United States is legal, however, certain states’ laws vary and can be extremely strict, making it difficult and even shameful for a teenager to abort her child. However, abortion is the only option teen mothers have to completely eliminate birth. In some cases this is the safest option for a growing girl, whose body may not be ready to take on the physical demands of labor. The third and final option teenage mothers have is to give their child up for adoption. Considering giving up your own child to a stranger, or in some cases a relative, can

be intensely painful. Carrying their child for nine months and then suddenly having to let them go tugs on a strong emotional bond the mother has already formed with her child. Although it is difficult, this option can be exceptionally helpful for both the mother and the child, especially since it is taking the responsibility of raising a child off the mother’s hands. In the United States, only two to five percent of pregnant teens will give up their babies for adoption. “My mom was willing to adopt her, so we would have grown up like sisters,” Gilbertson accounts. Although ultimately, like most pregnant teenagers, Gilbertson decided to raise her child herself.

photo by nadia dedie

the norse star, november 2016

in-depth After coming to a decision, teen mothers must face their next dreaded objective. . . telling their peers, friends, and family about their pregnancy. Many teenage mothers will try to keep their new “surprise” a secret for as long as possible, but eventually, physical changes will catch up with them.

“The principals and the teachers would try to get me to give my son up for adoption. They’d give me all this paperwork.” -Becky Symes (11) Gilbertson explains the struggle of trying to keep her pregnancy a secret. “I tried to hide it for as long as possible; I was just ashamed. She was born in May, so people knew because of rumors and talk. It wasn’t confirmed until I started getting big. You know how some classrooms have desks with the chairs connected? I sat sideways because I couldn’t even fit. It was bad.” In the relentless world of high school, rumors and assumptions dictate what most students think of each other. When a teenage girl finds out her whole world has been turned around, the last thing she needs are cruel remarks from her fellow classmates, and in some cases, teachers. The average high school student will spend approximately seven hours a day sitting in a classroom listening to a qualified individual educate them on a certain subject. Many high schoolers trust that their teachers want to help them in any way possible, but not dictate their own opinions and life choices. Unfortunatley, while pregnant with her son, Symes experienced this type of dictation from the teachers at her old school. “The principals and the teachers would try to get me to give my son up for adoption. They’d give me all this paperwork,” she recalls. the norse star, november 2016

This action of other people imposing their own ideas on these young girls is all too common. Luckily, not all teachers will try to control the lives of their students. Some will offer a helping hand in the stressful reality that becomes a teenage mother’s life. “When I brought it up to one teacher, she didn’t even know I was pregnant; she was so shocked. My very last day there, [my teacher] went and bought me a bunch of diapers and outfits. She made a bunch of bibs for [Alexis]. I also had another teacher who was pregnant, and we always just talked about it together. So they were really supportive,” Gilbertson remembers. Teen moms also have to apprehensively tell their family. While some feel safe telling their family, many do not. It’s inevitable that the mother’s family will find out, whether she wants it to happen or not.

Gilbertson explains the moment she told her family. “[My mom] would try to corner me every chance she got and yell at me. She didn’t want my family members to know. My grandma’s really religious, and she was for adoption. My brother found out through rumors, and was just like, whatever.” Luckily for Gilbertson, her family was supportive enough to help her raise her daughter. Many teenage mothers do not receive this same type of welcome. Peeples remembers her tough experience when she told her family: “My whole family thought I was lying. My mom was like, ‘That’s crazy. You’re going to have to deal with that on your own’.” While these are just two outcomes of teen mothers, many across the country receive varying amounts of help-sometimes none at all. In the story of teen pregnancy, a crucial character is often left out of the plot: the father. While the fathers play an equal part in creating the baby, they have the option to leave, which teen mothers do not have They aren’t pregnant. They don’t have to give birth, making it incredibly easy to shove the thought of their child’s existence out of their minds. This is the choice teen dads make far too often, leaving the young girls feeling abandoned, isolated, and most of all, terrified.

In such a difficult and complicated situation as teen pregnancy, every ounce of love and support these first-time moms can get is extremely valuable. Symes, Gilbertson, and Peeples have all unfortunately been abandoned by the fathers to their children.

“I grew up without a father figure, and I don’t want her to feel how I felt, lacking love from her dad.” -Shay Peeples (11)

Peeples is concerned for her daughter’s future without a father, being as fatherly love was a foreign concept in her own childhood: “I grew up without a father figure, and I don’t want her to feel how I felt, lacking love from her dad.” Her concerns are founded, being that the absence of a second parent can confuse and permanently affect a child. “[Marquise] knows that he has a dad, but he doesn’t understand what a dad is,” Symes explained. Without a father, these children miss out on the extra love, support, and guidance that a father can art by sarah hanson provide. 11

in-depth Peeples believes that once a hospital bills, and doctors’ visits,” simply giving birth to a child; father abandons his child, he she explains. Health insurance becoming a mother is a much no longer deserves to even be alone is pricey enough, not to deeper, and personal sensation. called a dad. “I don’t really nec- mention the other costs of child Motherhood is setting aside essarily claim he’s a dad because care. your own priorities to focus he made her. To me, honestly, Gilbertson must pay for on your child and giving them that’s not what a dad is. A dad is items like formula, diapers, and unconditional love through somebody who’s here, can love clothes, along with $500 in thick and thin. This selflessyour child and you uncondi- rent every month to her mother. ness runs through the veins of tionally, and that’s always there Such an intense amount of mothers, and being a teenager for your child. If you can’t be debt dropped onto a teenager is doesn’t lessen the effects of here for her, you’re not a dad,” overwhelming, yet Gilbertson motherhood on a person. explained Peeples. She echoes manages to get by. the sentiments of thousands of It’s an ongoing joke among “As a mother, you teen mothers everywhere. teenagers of how perpetuRaising a child as a teenager ally broke we all are. However, change. You’re more is hard enough, but doing it teens are typically referring to alone is exponentially harder. the amount of extra cash they understanding and A child puts an immense have to spend on a burger at amount of pressure on the McDonald’s or on a new pair patient.” mother both emotionally and of Converse, not whether they financially, and being a mom have money for formula and -Devan Gilbertson certainly does not come cheap. diapers. In 2013, the average cost of The young moms now have (11) raising a child from birth to age to set aside money for items 18 was approximately $245,340. they never knew would be a Gilbertson felt that This type of money is extremely necessity in their tight, teenage becoming a mother changed challenging to come up with, budget. “[Marquise] is obsessed her as a person, commenting even for adults with full-time, with applesauce pouches and that, “As a mother, you change. well-paying jobs. they are so expensive,” says You’re more understanding Being as teen moms are Symes. “He has to have apple- and patient.” Peeples, whose already juggling school, home- sauce and he has it twice a daughter has not even been work, and a child, there is day.” Many fail to realize that born yet, already feels this transtypically little time to maintain teen mothers don’t simply buy formation in herself. “I changed or even find a job to help pay just the essential necessities for a lot,” Peeples described, “I see for all of the extra expenses. their baby (such as diapers and things differently.” The girls Gilbertson, however, has formula); kids require more become different people over managed to squeeze in time personalized items like toys or the course of this journey while for a job to try and satisfy her a favorite brand of apple sauce. they learn and grow right along numerous financial concerns. All these minor expenses add with their babies. Motherhood “I’m still trying to pay [my up quickly, and minimum wage is a long, difficult journey, but daughter’s] hospital bills, my can only do so much for such an it’s just as rewarding. extensive shopping list. While these girls are Having a child of your own becoming moms, many forget while still being a child yourself that they are still teenagers who is a life-changing experience. are learning and growing just These young girls were forced to the same as the rest of us. They grow up quicker than they may still make mistakes and are have anticipated, however this maturing. The fact that they are newfound maturity isn’t neces- teen moms doesn’t give others sarily a bad thing. a free pass to criticize every Becoming a mother cannot hiccup in their lives. be explicitly At the end of the day, they defined as aren’t just “the pregnant girl” or “the girl with a kid,” they are people. They are sisters, friends, daughters, and above all, they are still kids themselves. High schoolers are quick to judge their peers while only glimpsing at the surface. The young girls who deal with the same everyday challenges that every other high schooler faces, are also working incredibly hard to make a future for not only themselves, but for their beloved child, as photo by nadia dedie well. 12

art by sarah hanson

Things you didn’t know about teen pregnancy - 3 in 10 American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20 ( - In America alone, there are nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year ( - 1 in 3 teen dads are younger than 18 when their child is born ( - Teen pregnancy rates are at an all time low ( - Roughly 82 percent of teen pregnancies are not planned ( the norse star, november 2016


sports briefs

winter sports preview

By Ian Bormett Staff Writer

“[I’m excited for] having a good year and hopefully winning our sixth straight conference title, getting a lot of people out to our games, and just having a good time.”

Troy Slaby Boys Basketball photos by ian bormett

Troy’s season prediction: “Undefeated state champs.”

Best games for fans to attend: Oregon and Monona Grove at home, photo courtesy of troy slaby

@ Waunakee.

“I’m looking forward to team state. We have come close [to winning] multiple times and I truly believe that this year will definitely be our year.”

Aodan Marshall Wrestling photo courtesy of aodan marshall

Aodan’s season prediction: “We won’t lose a single dual meet.” Best meets for fans to attend: Dual @ Milton and Team State.

“[I’m looking forward to] having fun, making new friends with the new swimmers, doing good, and getting better. Just swimming in general.”

Luke McLaury photo courtesy of luke mclaury

Boys Swimming

Luke’s season prediction: “We’ll win three or four meets.” Best meets for fans to attend: Sectionals at home, Senior night at home vs. Oregon.


the norse star, november 2016

sports briefs

What are you looking forward to this season? What’s your prediction for your team’s record? What are the best meets/games for fans to attend? “I’m most looking forward to game days with the girls I’ve been playing basketball with for as long as I can remember! Also having new girls on the team and bonding with them.”

Kendra Halverson Girls Basketball Kendra’s season prediction: 20-4. Best games for fans to attend: “All of our conference games!”

photo courtesy of kendra halverson

“[I’m ready for] just getting together with the guys again. We don’t have as many seniors as last year so it will be fun to see what we can do.”

Chad Clark Boys Hockey Chad’s season prediction: “We’ll have a couple wins.” Best games for fans to attend: Home vs. Milton.

photo courtesy of chad clark

“I’m always looking forward to meeting new people. We have a new coach and a lot of new players. Also improving the team and myself.”

Mckenzie Nisius Icebergs - Girls Hockey

photo courtesy of mckenzie nisius

Mckenzie’s season prediction: “Our record will be better because we have a new group of people.” Best game for fans to attend: Pink the Rink at home vs. Beloit Fury. the norse star, november 2016



going against the grain By Aubrey Schleppenbach


here is this old, silent law that some sports are just for girls and some sports are just for boys. There are boundaries that some people are afraid to cross, even though these boundaries are old and cracked. It is as if society is too scared to break away from the way things are, that they keep the same unspoken rules. However sports aren’t defined by gender, but by ability and it’s time to update the rules of the game. Hear from two Stoughton students that go against the ‘norm’ of the athletic world.


ou walk into the wrestling meet, and you’re hit with the excited energy. A powerhouse walks across the mat glaring down her next opponent, ready to battle. Everyone watches on the edge of their seats, as the two spare off. Everyone is cheering and screaming, as she flips her opponent to the ground.

art by sarah hanson

Staff Writer


t’s Friday night, you’re seated in the student section to watch the game, and everyone around you is buzzing. The cheerleaders come out to pump up the crowd, but one stands out. Along the line of cheerleaders, the only male cheerleader breaks out into back flips and the crowd goes wild.

Rose Ann Marshall (8) Wrestler

Evan Ouk (11) Cheerleader

Q. What got you into wrestling? A. My parents thought I was aggressive and mean, so they signed me up for wrestling and I loved it.

Q. What made you want to go out for cheerleading? A. Well I saw on ESPN that they had cheer competitions and I thought, “Why not give it a chance?” And I saw Gianna Dyer posted on instagram that they were holding a tryout and I thought why not give it a shot.

Q. How long have you been doing it? A. I’ve been wrestling for five years.

photo by aubrey schleppenbach

Q. Have you ever been treated differently from your opponents? A. When I wrestle boys I know they think that this would be an easy match since I’m a girl. And I think personally, girls are just as equal as guys in wrestling. And you shouldn’t judge anybody by the way they look. Q. What is the hardest thing about wrestling to you? A. The hardest thing for me is achieving my goal because, for example, I wanted to get first place in state wrestling and to do that I have to work hard and go to wrestling practice everyday and just learn new techniques. And for me, I also have to cut weight which is really hard for me because I love food. Q. Is there anything that you want people to know about wrestling? A. Even though you’re a girl, you can still sign up for any sport that you are passionate about. Even if guys mostly do that sport, girls can still do it.

photo by aubrey schleppenbach

Q. How are you treated differently on the team from the others? A. There is a difference because I’m a guy, so if they’re changing or doing something, they will tell me to turn around. Or if there is something really girly or feminine, they will make me not do that, and I thought that was cool. Q. What is your favorite thing about this cheerleading? A. I think that it was that I got to be the mascot and I was with girls the whole time. Q. What do you think about the stereotyping that a boy cheerleader has? A. Everyone probably thought guy cheerleaders are gay but I’m not. Q. Is there anything else you would like to add? A. You shouldn’t judge a sport if you havent been in their shoes.

photos printed with permission from evan ouk and jim marshall


the norse star, november 2016


opinions -- editor’s editor’s column column opinions

brainwashed since birth By Isabelle Genter



anta Claus for adults. That’s a of their religion. Or the fact phrase I’ve heard to describe that ISIS has slaughtered thouthe wise, all-knowing being sands of “non-believers” and that who lives up in the clouds that the Ku Klux Klan, a Christiansome people refer to as God. based group, has left burning But whether you call him/her/ crosses to instill fear in the it God, Allah, Adonai, or cheese minds of minorities. Even just sandwich, it’s all a big load of recently, in our very own state of crap. Wisconsin, a Saudi student was The fact is, since the day we beaten to death at UW-Stout came into this world, most of us because he was Muslim. have been systematically brainPeople have taken a wellwashed to believe that if we pray intentioned concept—a thing enough, if we abide by the rules meant to give hope, teach disof some 2,000 year old book, cipline, and help you be a good and basically, if we live our person—and turned it against life as a slave to these fantasies, its own initiative, making it a that we will be rewarded with competition of whose religion is eternal life in a utopian land “right,” whose religion is “best.” where everyone is happy and They’ve used religion as an excuse everything is perfect. And if we to hate and to resist change. don’t fulfill these Earthly duties, we will earn a one-way ticket to Hell where a big, scary, red guy with horns and a pitchfork will torture us forever. Seems a bit far fetched to me. Nonetheless, minus the big, scary, red guy and the neverending torture, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t wish it was all true. The entirety of me wants to believe that it’s true. How nice it would be to believe that there is something after death, that the people I’ve lost are still out there somewhere, that we will all one day be reunited and live happily ever after in a land of endless joy, and mainly that I won’t just vanish into oblivion after my heart stops beating. But alas, the little devil that is my inner reason forces me This to realize that religion is just has also another fairytale made up led them to completely by and for humans use extremism so that we don’t have to accept as a weapon of mass the finality of death. destruction. Although the likelihood of Even within the sheltered any of this actually existing is little community of Stoughton, slim to none, that’s not really I’ve seen and experienced my problem with religion. My firsthand the hatred and ignoproblem is that the very thing rance surrounding religion. I that claims to promote love and was raised in a Jewish home, acceptance has historically been which is about as common a leading cause of war, hatred, in Stoughton, Wisconsin as and divisiveness. a flying pig. I spent the first Take the Holocaust for 13 years of my life attending example, in which over six Sunday school, Hebrew school, million Jews were brutally and holiday services; I even got and mercilessly killed because Bat Mitzvahed, which is no 18 18

small feat. Yet, after all these years, I don’t really feel any ties to my religion, and I haven’t returned to my synagogue in nearly four years. Despite barely being religious at all, I’ve still been harassed and ridiculed for being Jewish, a religion that I did not choose. I’ve been called names such as “f**king jew,” “dirty jew,” and been told I won’t go to heaven unless I accept Jesus. All of these comments have come, not from fellow human beings, but from mindless robots who have been corrupted and brainwashed by religion. They spew out the same fantastical ideas that have been pounded into their on a cause of ns ha h hate and conflict. a r a ys Prove to me that it b t ar is not used to shun

and alienate people. Do this by being kind and accepting, by brains like mil- believing what you do lions of people before without forcing it on them, believing blindly and others, by just being accepting without questioning. a good person, not But who’s to say that what you a robot. It may were told to believe from the not give me faith, moment you could talk is the but at least it same as what you would truly will restore believe if you heard it for the my faith in first time now? You may believe the ambithe same thing, or you may not. tion of The important thing is that you religion. question things and think for yourself. For those who would still choose to believe, I now direct my words towards you. I beg you to prove me wrong. Prove to me that religion is not

the norse star, november 2016 the norse star, november 2016

opinions - staff editorial

the land of the lucky


o those of you with enough to eat each night, a safe community, a public education, and a loving family, you’ve won a game of chance. In comparison to the billions of other participants, you were granted a pretty nice life. Rather than scavenging for food or clean water or fighting for your right to a basic education, you are bundling up in your favorite cozy sweater as you drive to a public school in one of the most developed countries in the world. It’s a privilege many of us take for granted. From something as basic as our access to food and water to the continual support of our closest friends and family, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on the things we too often take for granted. on ns ha h a sar by t r a

Most of us come home each day to a continuous supply of fresh, drinkable water, and we’ve never feared where our next meal would come from. Considering the fact that we’ve had access to these basic necessities for our entire lives, most of us don’t think twice about them. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. According to a statistic from Feeding America, a hunger the norse star, november 2016

relief organization based in the United States, one in eight people in Wisconsin struggle with not having enough to eat. The sad truth is that there are kids that come to this very school hungry on a day to day basis. If you account for the lucky seven out of eight people, it is imperative that you take a little time to be grateful for your privilege. There are plenty of people that would give anything to have what you have. In the same right, our safety and security are basic necessities that often go undervalued. While our little community of Stoughton has often been criticized for its lack of excitement, there are undeniable benefits to living in a small town. How many times have you ventured onto Main Street free of the fear of being mugged or shot? There are plenty of teenagers living in urban areas that could not begin to imagine a world in which they are not in fear for their own safety. For them, walking into school each morning is not as simple as parking in the back lot and walking through Exhibition Hall. Not far from here, teenagers just like us have to walk past

security guards and through metal detectors to reduce the likelihood of another stabbing or shooting at their school. It’s an indisputable advantage we have as Stoughton High School students that must not be taken for granted. The next time you walk into school with ease, we hope you take a minute to appreciate just how lucky you are to live in a community where your safety and security aren’t constantly at stake. Coming to school each day has grown seemingly more and more taxing as we inch closer to winter break. It’s a natural tendency around this time of year to want to blow off our school work. However, true enthusiasm at any point in the year about coming to school has become a rarity. Murmurs of, “I honestly hate school,” or, “I wish I wouldn’t have come to school today,” can be heard throughout the halls. While our frustrations may seem legitimate, the ability to attend a public high school and receive any form of free education is truly a privilege. There are teenagers in the United States with school buildings that are crumbling at the seams, and there are children in Pakistan that have faced death in pursuit of their right to a similar education. In comparison, writing a two-page essay or finishing your algebra homework is more of a privilege to be appreciated than a burden to be suffered. It is vital to value your ability to attend school because with education comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes power. We are handed the insight to recognize the flaws in our society and the tools to mend them. Through education, the world is at our fingertips.

All good things are based upon a solid foundation. It is very difficult to make a difference in this world without a strong system of support from family and friends to rally behind you. These individuals are always in your corner. No matter the situation, they stick by your side, unwavering in their love and loyalty. Too often we take these people for granted. We unload our frustrations on them, never stopping to acknowledge the burden they carry on our behalf. Unfortunately, not everyone has a shoulder to lean on in their most desperate of times. There are families that are not unconditionally supportive, leaving some to face the trials and tribulations of their lives alone. That being said, it’s important to take a little time to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. It makes all the difference. There are around 7.5 billion people in this world, 3 billion of whom are impoverished. They struggle on a day to day basis to make ends meet. Some have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Countless others are in constant fear for their own safety and security. For them, something as simple as walking into school invokes trepidation and fear. 65 million of these people are adolescents denied the right to an education. They may never know the enlightenment and power that comes with knowledge. Chances are, you do not account for any of these statistics. In this game of chance, you were dealt the winning hand. People often fantasize about how grateful they would be to win the lottery. The truth is, you already have. 19


an appropriation of ideals By Collin Ace Staff Writer


hinese food, reggae music, and even the very letters I’m using to write these words. All of these things were appropriated from different cultures. Wait! Don’t shoot! Yes, I said the words culture and appropriated in the same sentence. so we can all be better educated, let’s take a look into the world of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation can be described as the adoption or use of elements of one culture by another. Basically, it’s using something from another culture. Cultural appropriation can be seen as the peanut butter to racism’s jelly (only way less delicious). It’s true, we have our Chief Wahoo’s and minstrel shows, but those are far more serious than cultural appropriation. They’re what’s known as cultural mis-appropriation, or the misuse of elements from another culture, and this can take many forms. Granted, some forms are a lot easier to spot than others, and it’s not always easy to tell one from

the other. The intricacies of cultural appropriation are tricky, and they can open up a can of worms America really doesn’t want to deal with. Common sense can be misleading, and there’s no real guide to cultural appropriation. If you ask me, cultural appropriation is a good thing for the most part. Many of the wonderful things we enjoy on a daily basis came from other cultures. But the mis-appropriative stuff can confound even the best versed in the world of racism. Let’s take a look at Halloween costumes (only a few weeks late). Lots of Halloween costumes are tagged as culturally mis-appropriative and insensitive. Lots of costumes seem harmless, but it’s incredibly difficult to determine what is mis-appropriative and what is just playful expression. For example, what’s the difference between dressing up as something as innocent as a mummy and dressing up in something as obviously racist as blackface? Both of these are examples of cultural appropriation, so what sets them apart from each other? Many would say: “Well, one is offensive and the

“have kids, get married” By Charrley Hudson Staff Writer he holiday season is coming up, which means awkward family gatherings. Whether at Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Thanksgiving, you’re bombarded with the same old questions. “What are you going to do with your future?” “Ever gonna get married?” “Are you planning on having kids?” These sorts of questions are often received from family throughout the course of one’s life, from infancy until adulthood. Your answers will vary, depending on who you are and your age. Despite the question mark at the end of the sentence and the genuine tone, though, those who ask the questions seldom want to hear your actual answer. You’re not allowed to say, “I don’t really know what I want to do,” or, “I’m not sure I want to get married,” or, “I don’t really want to have kids.” These answers are wrong. You’re always meant to say you’re going to study at Harvard to become a doctor, that you’re going to marry a



millionaire and have an extravagant, tropical wedding on the beaches of Costa Rica, which the asker will be invited to, all expenses paid, and that you plan on having two twin daughters named McKhynleigh and Lakynn. Youth don’t view marriage or child rearing as necessary goals in life. They’re viewed as choices, and for several good reasons. According to the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, 25% of millennials are likely to never get married. Adults—Baby Boomers in particular—often have trouble understanding why youth don’t want to get married. Many blame money as the reason, which has its truths. The average wedding in the US costs 26k—difficult to come up with while drowning in student debt. A big, unwritten reason, however, is simply personal preference. Some people love the feeling and commitment of a relationship, while others find the single life more appealing. Only in recent years have more rights and acceptance for individual women and men been granted, which is one reason why an increase in single mothers

other isn’t.” This is the issue though: it’s nearly impossible to quantify what’s offensive and what’s not. Sure, maybe dressing up as a mummy isn’t racist in nature, but then again, other seemingly innocent costumes can be hidden expressions of misappropriation. Who’s to say wearing a kimono won’t offend Japanese people? Intent is the best way to help determine if it’s okay. Going in with good intentions is the best way of going about it. Except… in cases where it’s very obvious your costume of choice is racist or appropriative. Even if you do the best of research and preparation, you still run the risk of offending someone. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s considered offensive by the majority of that culture or race, then it’s probably too far. For a little idea of how not to go about fighting cultural misappropriation, look to Oberlin College in Ohio. About a year and a half ago, students at the school were in an uproar about the culturally appropriative nature of the dining hall’s food, which was, according to the students, “absolutely appropriative and uninformed.” They took special interest in the poor imitations

of Asian foods offered in the lunch line. Bahn Mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, and sushi took the brunt of the blame. The issue was that the intent wasn’t there. The school didn’t make the sushi thinking, “Hey, let’s misrepresent these Asian cultures with our food.” Yes, it’s cultural appropriation, but the complaint that it was misappropriation is just a little unnecessary to many, myself included. In the end, the school ignored the complaint, dismissing it with the apathy it deserved. In the end, I understand the need for a closer look at the things we borrow from other cultures. Especially considering our country’s less than stellar history of adopting other cultures. Yes, it’s an issue. But where do we draw the line? The misuse and overuse of the term “cultural appropriation” can spread misinformation across the world, but on the flip side, ignoring what is such an obvious issue is even more crippling to a global culture. Either one of these ultimately leads to the very thing we fear: an isolated world where cultures can’t mix and we as a people can’t grow to become more accepting. art by sarah hanson

and fathers can be observed. Both lifestyles are perfectly acceptable. Not only can marriage be incredibly expensive, but it can restrict the freedoms of individuals and cause stress. Marriage can turn a private, intimate relationship into a formal government-mandated, religious practice. Really, though, it should purely be the bond that matters. Marriage isn’t only difficult, but it can be dangerous. Between 2001 and 2012, more women have been killed by abusive spouses or ex-partners than the number of US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Divorce rates are some of the highest they’ve ever been. The pressure to have children is also placed on many young adults. According to Huffington Post, recent years mark the highest percentages of childless women. Why? There are several reasons not to have children. First of all, there are nearly eight billion people on the earth. Sure, kids are nice, but there is no need for everyone to reproduce anymore. There are also 140 million children worldwide who are without a loving family. Adoption, though, is sometimes frowned upon by family members, who claim it “doesn’t carry down the

family genes.” Additionally, there are the facts that adoption can cost upwards of $40k, that the process of adoption can take more than a year, and that specific and sometimes discriminatory requirements must be met to adopt. There are several cases of doctors violently refusing young people sterilization surgeries because they might “change their mind” in the future. There are even more cases of doctors refusing to perform abortions. Reports of doctors requiring an ultrasound and forcing women to listen to their fetus’s heartbeat before operations have been made. If someone doesn’t want to have children, though, who are you to tell them that they’re wrong? Having a child is an extremely personal choice that changes your life forever. Doctor’s shouldn’t try to decide for women what they want. When it comes down to it, people deserve to be happy. If the thoughts of marriage or having children make someone unhappy, why should you try to pressure them into it? Telling someone that they’ll “change their mind someday” won’t alter anything—it’ll only add more weight to the alreadycrushing pressure of the future. the norse star, november 2016


zach scheel and his wheel

Pots by Zach Scheel

By Natalie Zientek Staff Writer


lay is spewing from the wheels and sprinkling the white walls. Students are sinking down in their seats, plugging in their headphones, and getting ready to mold yet another work of pottery. SHS art teacher, Jason Brabender, gives the class a short two minute instruction and then proceeds to go off and throw his own pottery. There is little student interaction, and everyone is nose deep in their work. A class that is this individualistic might seem intimidating to your typical student, but that was not the case for SHS senior, Zach Scheel.

“Every piece that I make, I strive to make it better than the last one.” - Zach Scheel (12) “I didn’t think that I’d ever enjoy it as much as I do now,” Scheel said. He first found his love for pottery when he joined a ceramics class his sophomore year, only attempting to test the waters of art and pottery. Although he did not expect to find his passion in a high school art room, he did. Since he began,

photo by natalie zientek

the norse star, november 2016

he has created somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 pots, throwing five to six times a week. That includes throwing in his own home on his own wheel. Whether you are a selfproclaimed pottery lover or not, Scheel’s pots are a sight to see.

“He would be a great addition as an art teacher.” - Jason Brabender The improvement in Scheel’s pots from the time he started throwing to now is a major contributor to the passion he has for ceramics. Most people enjoy the actual throwing, but he immensely enjoys the outcome of the pots. The variation and possibilities of shapes and sizes has given him enough room to continuously enhance every pot that he throws. “I enjoy being able to create new things, and every piece that I make, I strive to make it better than the last one,” Scheel said. His improvement is not only seen by himself, but it is also seen by Brabender. “His skills get better every semester,” Brabender added, mentioning Scheel’s improving confidence and artistic

developmental experience. Like many high school seniors, Scheel has already strategized his higher education goals. His passion for ceramic work has paved the way for his career path as he plans to attend UW-Milwaukee for art education next fall. “I’m really excited for my future. Not only to further my education of ceramics, but to further other people’s knowledge of ceramics,” he stated. When asked about his teaching style, he explained that he was instantly inspired by Bradender’s teachings. Also excited for Scheel’s future, Brabender commented that, “[Scheel] would be a great addition as an art teacher.”

Art has an intense ability to influence people all around the globe, whether they are enticed by art or not. Scheel’s ceramic work is no exception to this. Looking at the artwork of Scheel can truly brighten one’s day and make them wish they were in a ceramics class, too. His pottery can be a great gift to a friend, a family member, or any other person that is currently existing in the world. “The mug that Zach made is a 10/10 piece that cannot be replaced,”said Maddie Briggs, recent SHS graduate, who commented on the special gift of receiving his ceramic works. Ceramics class may seem like an easy A to most students, but to Zach Scheel, ceramics is a passion, hobby, future career, and lifestyle.

Zach Scheel (12) shapes a slab of clay to create a new pot in his advance ceramics class.

photos used with permission from zach scheel



The minivan clan art by seren pellett and sarah hanson

By Mitch Osterhaus Staff Writer

We see them everywhere we turn. They dot the garages and driveways of our suburban village, and they are built to get any job done. Sadly, they don’t get the street cred they deserve. For owners of minivans, gaining respect for their versatile vehicles is an uphill battle, as scores of people see them as nothing more than grocery-carrying automobiles. Au contraire, my minivan-loathing friends. Minivans are back and bigger than ever, and I sought out three members of the SHS minivan clan who are prime examples of that claim.


hen asked to give a general description of his minivan, all that SHS senior, Jackson Hampton needed was a three-letter word. “Lit” was his chosen adjective, and it directly illustrates his allegiance towards his vehicle. He has even gone so far to create a catchphrase: #vansquadordie. For those who have never seen Hampton’s 2009 Toyota Sienna, they may be surprised at his steadfast love for it. With a relatively standard-looking body and a light beige paint job that screams “manilla envelope,” some automotive aficionados may turn their nose up at it. However, Hampton sees much more value in his minivan than the average bear, and he is a ceaseless fan of its practicality. “It’s great for transportation,” Hampton stated. “If you have a lot of friends, you can take them to places like Madison. It makes it easy.” With room for seven, it isn’t hard to envision the Sienna rolling around Dane County with a load of eager passengers, allowing for lots of social fulfillment en route to his destination. Although the memories made in Hampton’s Sienna usually come about at a leisurely and laid-back pace, his time in the driver’s seat hasn’t always been a walk in the park. “One time this summer, I was in Madison with Augustyna Brestar and Collin Maloney. It was pouring rain, and I couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of me,” Hampton reminisced. “It was hectic, but I got through it.” Maybe it’s the high capacity of passengers, maybe it’s the khaki-colored exterior, maybe it’s something else entirely, but one thing is apparent: This kid loves his minivan. Jackson Hampton


Sophie Fjelstad


s unique as Hampton’s ride is, some people may prefer a minivan with a pop of paint-job pizazz. Those seeking out a uniquely colorful ride should look no further than SHS junior, Sophia Fjelstad, and her Plymouth Voyager. The Voyager, which was a family car before the keys were handed to Fjelstad, is adorned with a deep and glistening purple that she claims is somewhat exclusive. “There’s only two purple minivans in town,” she asserted. “I’ve got one of them!” However, the charm of the Voyager extends far beyond the exterior. Inside, a multicolored seat cover is draped across the driver’s seat, with a matching cover adorning both shotgun and the outer rim of the steering wheel. In an effort to spruce up the interior aura of the Voyager, a compact air freshener is affixed to the front console’s air conditioner vent. In addition to the superficial qualities of her whip, Fjelstad also values the van’s dependability after racking up what she describes as “a lot” of miles. “She’s reliable,” Fjelstad said, referring to the Voyager. All things considered, Fjelstad really digs her van. However, like Hampton expressed, a vehicle’s true worth lies in the memories made. Fjelstad recalls lively experiences from her youth that happened inside the Voyager. “All my life, my Mom’s done daycare,” Fjelstad remembers. “When I was little, we used to go on drives to a park or McDonald’s, and we’d get so many kids in that car.” Luckily, Fjelstad feels that the experience of driving a mommobile won’t subside anytime soon. “She’s been running for a long time, and she just keeps going.”


att Tormey is known by most as the kind-hearted and lovably exuberant math teacher in Room 422, but he may be deserving of another claim to fame: living proof that grown men can rock a minivan. Tormey’s 2007 Nissan Quest, which is lovingly referred to as “Ol’ Blue” for the shade of navy that cloaks the vehicle, was purchased out of necessity in 2008. “We needed room,” Tormey stated. “We had two littles, so we had lots of car seats and Pack ‘n Plays.” With flat-folding back seats and space for up to seven, Ol’ Blue has been pragmatic for Tormey and his family. In addition to the practical facets of the van, Tormey is able to see the more casual side of things, as well. He loves the experience of driving Ol’ Blue, and he has a particularly soft spot in his heart for the van’s sound system. “They’re boomin’, those Nissan Quest speakers,” Tormey said. Even though Tormey feels that Ol’ Blue is a phenomenal vehicle, there is one major drawback: the gas mileage. “We’re lucky if we can get 20 MPG’s,” Tormey stated. Fuel efficiency notwithstanding, Ol’ Blue has been a trooper for Tormey and his family. The van has seen its share of sticky situations, as is expected when an auto racks up roughly 140,000 miles. Tormey recalled a particular instance which left a permanent impression on Ol’ Blue. “One Thanksgiving, my younger brother was [. . .] trying to lift the back latch,” Tormey explained. “But it wasn’t the latch, it was the decorative plastic. So that just kind of ripped off.” With a persistence that shows his true devotion for Ol’ Blue, Tormey made efforts to repair the blemish. “I tried to glue it back on for a while with some Gorilla Glue, but it needed a little bit more than that.” Because of the memories made in it, Ol’ Blue has become a meaningful part of Tormey’s life. Matt Tormey

photos by mitch osterhaus

the norse star, november 2016


‘ol skool By Seren Pellett Assistant-Editor-in-Chief

Music is in every nook and cranny of both Watters’ life and his shop. photos by seren pellett


owntown Stoughton is a place full of interesting, eclectic people with a wide variety of fascinating and unique passions. New to this colorful scene is Ol’ Skool, a shop that sells items described by owner Tony Watters as, “Retro, vintage, second-hand, home-made, and resurrected.” These treasures have been accumulated through a lifetime of collecting. Watters expresses his passion for collectables in a proud, accomplished tone. His experience with old things and his interest in them originated when he was very young--a mere 14 years old--and it goes beyond the thrill of finding a rare item. “I see value in this stuff,” he elaborated. In a world where the next big thing is all people want, Watters understands that there are wonderful things from every era. His dedication to collecting has taken him everywhere from Goodwill to Savers, St. Vincent de Paul, and even out of state for a particular collectable item.

Tony Watters and his furry friend Vinny.

Among collectable toys, the 80’s classics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, Shera, Care Bears, Rainbow Bright, and Ghostbusters, you’ll also find an array of musical instruments which Watters has hand crafted from second-hand parts. “I made the cigar box guitar and the lap slide myself from scratch,” declared Watters proudly. Watters also has a diverse background in music, including a one-man-band which he created the set up for himself. When asked how he got started, he explained, “Well, I used to play in a whole bunch of bands, and you know, you gotta mesh with people, and I just got sick of not meshing with people.” His set was hand-made from recycled instruments and features a bass drum, tambourines, a high-hat, cymbals, and jingle bells. His background in music gave him the knowledge to successfully create and fix instruments. “I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 11. . .I play everything with strings. Banjo,

getcho, upright bass, regular bass, mandolin, ukulele. . .” Watters said. There is a certain quirky, fun, retro atmosphere about the shop which includes a welcoming committee of a dog named Vinny and a colorfully dressed mannequin. The combination of the musical prowess, individuality and humor expressed in ‘Ol Skool as a whole, makes the shop a must-visit and a hidden gem in Stoughton’s diversely creative downtown area.

A variety of quirky and unique toys line the shelves in ‘Ol skool.

The mannequin found at the front of the store features retro style and spunky personality (left) while one of Watters’ home made instruments poses in a window display (right).

The colorfully displayed store hours reflect its relaxed nature. art by seren pellett and sarah hanson


the norse star, november 2016


By Garrett Kluever News Editor, Distribution Manager


Animal Cracker



Chocolate Mint Oreo

Plain donut covered in vanilla frosting, sprinkles and Animal Crackers.

Chocolate donut with chocolate frosting and Snickers bits.

Chocolate donut with vanilla frosting, coated with crumbled and softened Butterfinger.

Mint frosting covered in chunks of Oreo cookie.

e had been warned. Hurts Donut Co., a collegetown donut franchise, opened its first Wisconsin location in Middleton in mid-October, and from all accounts was consistently packed during most of its 24/7 open hours. Attempting to outsmart the masses, we arrived collectively at the exalted donut shop at 10 p.m. sharp; we were greeted by big, bold, neon purple lettering, the waft of promising donuts, and a line out the door. The wait took roughly an hour from entering, waiting, ordering, and sitting down to eat. Some may say that wait is ridiculous, but honestly, goofing off and giggling with friends in the extended line was half of the fun. I would recommend this method if planning a trip to Hurts. We opted for two ‘Dirty Dozen’ boxes, this option allows you to pick your own donuts but is three extra dollars. The selling point of Hurts is their large portions that are topped with mounds of sugary frosting and a large assortment of zany toppings with donuts ranging from Mint-Oreo to Fruity Pebble to Bacon Covered Longjohns, because bacon goes well with everything. These are donuts drenched in frosting and possible diabetes that are fueled from the fire of creativity. The dough itself was okay. It

was flaky and soft, but a little dense. The killers were in the toppings. Varied assortments of candies and frosting provided little fireworks of rich and thick that exploded in our mouths. Each bite was a scrumptious gob of sweetness that you equally wanted to devour yet savor at the same time. Surprisingly the taste and texture of the dense donuts and coverings work very well. Hurts donuts aren’t your typical donut, but something just feels right about chomping down on this meal: a mix of Butterfinger or Animal Crackers piled on heaped dough. I say meal because there’s no way you’re eating anything else with this donut, except maybe a glass of milk. These fill you up and they don’t ask for forgiveness. Some staff members couldn’t even finish one. I get why they call themselves ‘Hurts’ Donuts, because these babies sit like a brick in your stomach. While your tongue recovers from an intense sugar high, your stomach attempts to digest the insurmountable mass. Overall, Hurts Donut did live up to its quickly gained reputation and, according to opinions across staff, it was certainly worth the wait. You go to for the novelty of it, for the unique experience, anticipation and exclusively crazy donuts that make up the Hurts ideal. rest. These donuts were definietly worth the wait.


Donuts (Top & Middle Left): Our ‘Dirty Dozen’ Hurts Donut selection (Bottom Left): Hurts worker making donutsw (Middle): Neon entrance to Hurts (Bottom Right): The line inside Hurts Donut Co.

art by sara hanson photos by garrett kluever


the norse star, november 2016

The Norse Star - November 2016  
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