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Oak Park High School | Issue 5, Vol. 49 | January 2014

The Northmen’s Log Oak Park’s primary news source.

>>Winter Guard braces for battle >>Stress affects students, how to manage

Letter from the editor


Holding this paper in your hands feels a little heftier than last semester’s doesn’t it? Our staff gave 110 percent every day from the moment winter break was over until late night to create this 24-page paper. It was definitely an obstacle, but this newsmagazine is the best yet. Inside, you’ll find plenty of stories to read during that boring class or study hall. There’s a sophomore flowing on ice at the Line Creek Community Center and a senior who excels at basketball. There’s a story showcasing the bilingual community of our student body. Wondering how Winter Guard is doing this year? That’s stuffed into this 24-page masterpiece as well. It was difficult for our staff to come back from winter break

and be completely motivated. But, as editor, I am incredibly proud of the hard work we have done together as a team to achieve deadlines and set interview dates. We’ve all come so far from that first September issue and, don’t worry, we definitely aren’t done yet. If you have any questions or concerns about any articles in this paper, remember to send a letter to the editor to either or; and we’ll be sure to read your feedback. Keep on keepin’ on, Oak Park and don’t forget to look for another awesome issue out in March.

hannah williams>>editor-in-chief

Our staff and our policies “The Northmen’s Log” will publish eight times during the school year. “Log” staff strongly supports the First Amendment and opposes censorship. Freedom of expression and press are fundamental values in a democratic society. Therefore, “Log” encourages readers to participate in the discussion by submitting Letters to the Editor in room E134, by email to Letters cannot exceed 350 words and must be signed. “Log” will not run letters that are libelous, obscene or that may cause a verifiable disruption of the education process of Oak Park.

Advertisers may contact the business manager at 413.5352,, or 825 N.E. 79th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64118. Subscriptions are available, $20 for a mailed copy, $10 for an emailed pdf version, or $25 for both. Opinions expressed in “Log” do not reflect student, staff or school district endorsements of that opinion, product, or service. “Log” is a member of NSPA, MIPA and Quill and Scroll. “Log” is affiliated with JEA and JEMKC.

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>>Choir contest season >>Meet the Sadie King nominees >>Advice from seniors to juniors >>Science Olympiad updates >>Department budgets

opinion 20 Freshman Meghan Allen starts the varsity game on Friday, Jan. 31 by jumping to get the ball first. Allen jumped higher than the Northtown opponent and tipped the ball to OP’s side of the court. maggie nolan >>managing editor


>>Super cold weather >>Confessing the truth >>Couples tolerance >>Sadie Hawkins-- is there a point? >>Preparing for August in January



>>Winter Guard prepares to compete >>How to survive the weather >>Janay Orange: basketball player



>>Biggest high school stresses



>>McKayla Adams: ice skater >>Bilingual student challenges >>Sociology: Complaint free world

recreation 16 3 Seniors Bailey Wilkerson, Mariah Studebaker, and Taylor Welch practice with Oak Street on Thursday, Jan. 23. The choir prepares for its spring contest season against area show choirs. kelsey shannon>>photographer

On the cover:

>>StuCo plans Sadie >>Staff list of 2013 >>Cheap Valentines Day dates >>Concerts to see in 2014

photo essay 20 >>Girls basketball

Senior Amanda Byrum practices with Winter Guard for its February competition, on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

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Sadie Hawkins kings Meet your 2014 candidates Bret Bussinger Extra curricular activities: NHS, A+, JA, StuCo vice president, Math Club, Veggie Club and soccer Plans after high school: “Go to Mizzou, get a bio-chem major, then go to med school.”

Kyle Williams Extra curricular activities: StuCo, baseball, baseball and softball manager Plans after high school: “Enlist in the military.”

David Paffenroth Extra curricular activities: NHS, Science Olympiad, Ping Pong Club, debate, baseball, basketball and football Plans after high school: “Play baseball, get a job, get married and have kids.”

Landon Thomas Extra curricular activities: NHS, StuCo, Key Club, table tennis, soccer and tennis Plans after high school: “Go to Missouri State and major in business.”

Darren Head Extra curricular activities: NHS, StuCo, baseball, basketball and football Plans after high school: “Attend MO State.”

Rashid Davenport Extra curricular activities: basketball Plans after high school: “Go to college, graduate, and I don’t know after that.”

Grant Parks Extra curricular activities: NHS, JA, StuCo, Relay for Life, Young Life, leadership, baseball and debate Plans after high school: “Go to Mizzou, marry the most beautiful woman in my world, and live the happiest life a guy can have.”

Rashid Davenport was crowned Sadie Hawkins King on Friday, Jan. 31.

Getting a head start

Seniors give advice to juniors olivia eissler >>writer

Senior Casey Newton: “Get it done early. The longer you wait to apply for college, the less of an opportunity you get scholarship wise.” Senior Bret Bussinger: “Apply for every single scholarship that Oak Park counseling has to offer. Don’t procrastinate.”

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Senior Katie Leimkuehler: “Take AP classes, visit colleges in fall, decide where to go, take one ACT your junior year so you have room for improvement and don’t stress about college because you still have a while.” Senior Margarita Araiza: “Get help from your parents and counselor. It is good to investigate about college. If you do know what you want to do, then go talk to people who are in that profession.” J a nua r y 2014 | T he Nor t hme n’s Lo g

Choir prepares to compete kelsey shannon >>writer You think you sweat while you play basketball or soccer? Try show choir. Everyone tends to forget the endurance and stamina one has to have to be able to compete at a national level, such as Oak Street does. They prepare all year for competition season, which is during second semester. “We have rehearsals every single day after school and before school,” said junior Kaleb Murray. Although time consuming and quite stressful, it is rumored that it is totally worth it in the end. “It’s been a little stressful just because we just really want to do well. I think as a group we are handling it all well. We just tell each other to calm down and breathe,” said junior Crysta Collingsworth. Working as a unified group is one of the biggest obstacles that a choir has to overcome. They all have to be in sync and completely trust each other if they want to get anywhere in the competition world. “I think they’re prepared, and I think they know what to do, it’s just a matter of if they are going to put it into action or not,” said choir director Chris Droegemueller. The competition was scheduled to take place on Saturday, Feb. 1, but was canceled due to icy weather. It has been rescheduled to

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Oak Street practices after school on Wed. Jan. 22.

kelsey shannon>>photographer take place on Feb. 8 and 9. Oak Street has another competition at Pleasant Hill on Saturday, Feb. 22. The show choir will continue to practice daily until the competition dates arrive.

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Science Olympiad or Science Club:

FCCLA cares, prepares

Is there a difference? gabie kreutzjans >>writer Have you ever wondered if Science Club and Science Olympiad were the same thing? Were you ever curious what the clubs do behind closed doors? Well look no further: When Science Olympiad, which is the only science club at OP, isn’t out competing in science tournaments, they are practicing and perfecting all the skills necessary to win their competitions. “Right now, we are studying how to build towers and preparing for the competitions,” said senior Jessica Pham. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the team competed in the Northland Classic which was hosted by Northtown, and the team had a lot of students do really well, placing in the top eight of many of the events. Overall, the OP Science Olympiad team won 11th over all out of 22 teams. When they are not practicing for their competitions, Science Olympiad is also using the skills they gain

during practice, for their actual science classes. “It kinda extends on what we are doing in science classes.” Pham said. Not to mention how students work on specifying on the type of sciences they enjoy. For each student it’s different. After all, there are so many different types of sciences that students can work on. “I’ve been working on chemistry and the study of bugs, entomology,” Pham said. Science Olympiad was making advances in science, working towards competitions and each student’s own individual science classes. Not to mention, working on personal goals, each student has in their own science experiences. For some members, science can be something that the student continues for the rest of their life, maybe even as a career. Science Olympiad coach and scienc teacher Chris Goll has been helping the group work on its goals.

Follow all your Oak Park News through these sources:

* daily AXE shows * weekly updates * monthly The Northmen’s Log newsmagazine issues

for future brenen stansbury >>writer

The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, FCCLA, is a small group of students who make a positive difference in the community. They meet once or twice a month and come up with some ideas. “Students are excelling and are very committed to our project,” said FCCLA sponsor Sarah Lorenson. One of the projects they did was sewing quilts for hospitals in the area. They only met once a month while they were making these quilts. For teacher appreciation day FCCLA is going to bake cookies for the teachers. FCCLA concerns themselves with creating a good name and preparing for life after school. When a person plans and cares about their future, they are more likely to succeed. The individual determination of everyone in FCCLA shows responsibility and makes a positive impact on the community.

* annual Cambia yearbook

And on social media:

* NorthmenNews on Facebook * @NorthmenNews on Twitter * NorthmenNews on Instagram

SENIORS: It’s not too late to have your parents send in senior ad tributes to the yearbook, email EVERYONE: There’s only days left to buy a yearbook at the $70 price online at the district web store, in the main office or online at 4 news

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Tessa McGinnis >>cartoonist

Stay warm in the winter Store away the shorts sam rogers >>writer December through the middle of February is the time for snow, negative weather, warm fires and hot chocolate. So what’s with everyone wearing shorts and tank tops? To keep warm in the blistering cold you have to wear a heavy jacket –not many people want to wear them because they don’t want to carry them around school - they might keep you from getting sick. Before going anywhere, in a car especially, go out 10 to 15 min-

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utes before leaving and start your car. It’ll be warm, and your windows will be well on their way to being defrosted. Just pack the summer clothes away. Tanks, shorts, flip flops, sandals. All of it. You don’t need it in the snow, unless you want to go swimming in some ice. Dig out your winter gear. Your fuzzy hats, colorful scarves, warm gloves and carhart or fuzzy jackets. The things that actually keep your body heat next to you or keep you warm.

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Confessing the truth:

Stop the cyberbullying over Twitter hannah williams >>editor-in-chief There is one thing that we’ve all been told from early elementary school: bullying is wrong. And with a new age of social media outlets to cyberbully people, the bullying can be anonymous and even more vicious. A bullying concept that has been around for a while is one in which there are Twitter accounts called “Confessions.” For our student body, the account is @ OPHSConfession. In my opinion, this account is a form of bullying and that is completely wrong and unacceptable for high school students. The account is run by an anonymous person, but the tweets come from a different account made on, a site that has been critically reviewed on various newscasts due to the occasional negative nature of the questions and answers. Students can go to the Ask page, post their thoughts, and supposedly a user tweets the comments to the Confession page. But the account isn’t completely fair in their choice of comments from Ask. I tried to post something positive on the Ask page that didn’t make it to the Twitter feed. Yet, someone calling someone else “weird” by their full name did. What I ask you: how is this okay, OP? What if someone were to commit suicide from your post on the Twitter page? What actions would you take? Would it still be funny? On Saturday, Jan. 25, our Principal, Mark Maus, tweeted about the Confession pages saying, “Thank you OP and RB [Rockbridge, the last school Maus was principal at] for being great. #confessions feeds tend to be shallow and we should be proud of our schools.” I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. We should not

only be proud of our schools but of the students who attend the hallways as well. I have also overheard a few students in class laughing at the tweets from Confession and agreeing with some of the posts, justifying the comments as “funny” and “entertaining.” Those students can say they wouldn’t care all they want, but when it comes down to it as humans, we can all be at least little hurt by harsh words. So, do not tell me that you would brush it off if someone wrote a negative comment about you. More than likely, they don’t know your story. I don’t. And I can’t judge you for things I don’t know or understand. I will admit I’m not the most positive person in the world. But obviously, for students participating in this page, it doesn’t look like we’re a very happy or accepting school. It makes OP, in my opinion, look like a divided building, made of the people who get positive feedback from Confession and the people who receive negativity from their peers. In conclusion, before posting that rude comment about how so-and-so is “trashy” or about how the girl in your English class always has a lot of boyfriends, or even how awesome that guy in the flowered shirt is, just think from a different perspective. Take the time to really get to know a person, to really hear their story, from their mouths, not anyone else’s. We should be focusing on the positive facets of our lives. If you still have something negative to say after all of that critical thinking, keep the cynical judgment to yourself. Posting it publicly can ruin someone’s life or, at the very least, scar them for a very long time. This is not who we are, OP. We are better, more mature than this.

Cell phones aren’t a crime maggie nolan >>managing editor It’s a known rule around the school that students aren’t supposed to use their cellphone in class, but sometimes it’s an emergency. Contrary to teacher’s beliefs, there are emergencies that students go through that aren’t life or death, but still very important. A parent might text their child reminding them to talk to a teacher, pick something up, or remind them to do something. That child might also text their parent telling them they need lunch money or they need to stay after school for something. Although none of those situations are life or death, or do not involve having the child called out of class to talk about it, it is still information that needs to be

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relayed. On the other hand, there are some situations that might be life or death for a family member or friend, but still does not involve being called out of class. In the spring, my step-dad had a severe case of pneumonia, and while he was in the hospital, was diagnosed with heart failure. Almost every day after school I would go and visit him, but I didn’t need to be called out of school to receive information about how he was doing. My mom would text me updates throughout the day if he needed to do more testing, what the results were, or how simply how he was doing that day. Most of my teachers got onto me for using my cellphone in class, but I know

some teachers who specifically leave their cellphones on loud throughout the day in case of a family member has an emergency. Why is a teacher allowed to use their cellphone in class but their student isn’t? In the world my generation was raised and lives in, multi-tasking is easy. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can text a person while another person is talking to me, and be able to repeat back what he or she said to me. I don’t think having cell phones in class should be as big of a deal as it is currently. I agree that it should not be a constant thing, and I am guilty of sometimes doing that, but a few text messages every now and then is not a crime.

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The stresses of making decisions so soon brenen stansbury >>writer At the beginning of the semester, we are already signing up for classes. I think that the beginning of second semester is way too early to make decisions for the next school year. There are a lot of things that could go wrong within the whole semester for anyone that could affect their classes. People fail classes for whatever reasons they have, which will change a schedule dramatically. Someone could have to go to the hospital for an extended period of time. There are a lot of scenarios that could have a big effect on your classes. I think you should wait until the end of the semester to enroll, because you could just change your mind half way through the semester and decide that you don’t want to take that class you signed up for anymore. I know you could go through the coun-

seling center to change your classes, but that seems like a hassle for both you and the counselor, and it would be logical to just put enrollment at the end of the semester so you have time to think about the classes you want to take. I think that enrolling for classes already stresses people out too, because I know it stresses me out. I think that it is a lot of stress for someone in the beginning of the semester to plan out your whole next school year. Especially for sophomores because that is a lot to think about because of all the new opportunities open to us, and we need to have a lot of time to think about it. I am worried about next year’s classes because I’m not too sure how this semester is going to go for me. I have a busy life and it is hard to think about everything next year too.

Sadie Hawkins

Couples in high school:

kelsey shannon >>writer

maddie russell >>writer

As the end of the year approaches and we are plowing through homework and dealing with annoying teachers, we have to endure the consequences that the middle of the year brings, such as the infamous dance Sadie Hawkins. This attempt at an old tradition of the girl asking the boy to a dance is cute, but after years of the dance itself being unsuccessful, I think it’s time to draw it to a close. Since only underclassmen and the few upperclassmen who have nothing better to do actually attend this dance, it’s bound to go downhill. Maybe if it had a better reputation of being enjoyable, like prom, then more people would attend. No one goes only because of what they’ve heard has happened in the past years, of which I’ve experienced. Yes, I attended. Yes, I had fun. But that was only because I can have fun even when the people around me aren’t. Everyone around me just stood around and talked to their friends, while annoying, terrible music was droning on in the background “interrupting” their conversations. This only happens at Sadie, and I don’t know why. So I say just end it and get it over with. I can’t say that it will be missed.

Relationships are sometimes known to be the highlight of a high schooler’s life. Finally meeting that one person who actually understands you and accepts your quirks changes you completely. Dating could play a major roll in your high school life, or for some it doesn’t even make a dent. Every so often I see couple after couple in the hallway and outside of school seeming to be having the time of their lives with each other, but honestly, is what we see on the outside really the big picture? How can anyone stand to have another person walk into his or her personal life for a long period of time? Relationships aren’t a bad thing, but it’s pretty hard to just open your life to a stranger who knows nothing about you, or what exactly it is you do with your existence. Being myself isn’t hard, but some of us tend to hold back a bit when we’re with a certain special someone. When you’re by yourself, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Strange, flirty, gross, hilarious, goofy, you name it, but with the love of your life sitting next to you? I tend not to be as weird as I usually am, but I’d rather be that strange person than someone I’m not. I know for certain that I couldn’t handle someone else’s strange habits or qualities. If my future boyfriend had a love for

Full of flaw

Is it worth your time?

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pickles dipped in ketchup that couldn’t be denied, the relationship would be over the minute I found out about his bizarre cravings. Or what if he was one of those men who could never let their childhood go and still played with action figures? Or was best friends with his mom even though he was 35? Strange quirks like these I couldn’t bring myself to accept. Getting along with other people who are stranger than you is too much to handle in a relationship. Every couple I know has fought at some point, whether the issue was big or small, stupid or important. I know for certain I’d end up fighting with my boyfriend all the time about stupid stuff like, why doesn’t he remember any of my favorite things or why he got a donut for himself but not me. It’s hard to fully trust a person with everything you have, whether that is personal secrets or even yourself. That’s maybe what excites most people about relationships, being able to share those joys and concerns with someone else who enjoys hearing about them as much as you enjoy talking about them. In the end, maybe the only way you’ll ever be able to trust another person is giving the relationship a chance. You never know what may lie ahead.

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Surviving the cold maddie russell >>writer You rub your hands together, breathing hot air against them to thaw them out, but it doesn’t do any good. You pull your jacket tighter around you, tug your hood over your ears, but it seems that the January weather has finally gotten the best of you. One day of the week the temperature may be up into the high 50s, but then the next day the temperature plummets down to below zero, but we hardly get any snowfall or other precipitation. “There is an irregular form in the jet stream,” senior Spencer Rollins said, “it either causes the low pressures to track south or north of us so we don’t get as much precipitation as a result. This can cause drought in certain areas whenever we have weird pressures building up in the Atlantic Ocean like that high-pressure ridge.” Rollins, who studies weather for fun and a potential career, explained this high pressure usually brings calm weather to this area, which is why we haven’t been getting as much snow, but why we’ve still been getting cold weather. Multiple people still wear short sleeves and even shorts to school even though it

is below freezing out. Is it really safe to be wearing so little clothing? “You can get frostbite,” says school nurse Gini Stratton. “Your extremities freeze which are the tips of your toes and fingers. Even the tip of your nose and ears, and anything else that is exposed freezes faster.” It isn’t safe. However, there are ways to prevent you from getting sick. “Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, and just try to stay away from family members or other people that are sick. I encourage you to get a flu shot if you haven’t already,” Stratton said. The Midwest has no idea what other types of weather could be coming for them in the next few months. “Texas is having record rainfall for January and then Minnesota is having their normal snows because it’s normal for them to get a lot of snow, and then we’ve seen maybe three inch snows each,” Rollins said. “Typically we have on average 24 inches of snow a year, this year I don’t think we’ll get up to that, we’ll be closer to 14 to 15 so we’ll be well below the snowfalls on average.”

photo illustration by hannah williams

Winter Guard braces for competition hannah williams>>editor-in-chief For Winter Guard, flags aren’t simply for representing a state or country. They’re for twirling, dancing and winning awards by practicing new routines in hundred-dollar dresses. This season, the girls who make up the competitive team outnumber girls in past years, making it a bit of a challenge, according to senior Amanda Byrum, who has participated in Winter Guard for three years prior to the 2014 season. “We have a relatively new routine and a lot more people than we’re used to. The team is almost double our size from last year,” Byrum said. “A lot of them are new, so we have to teach them all new moves and the new routines.” Despite this, head coach Stacey Stowers-Devitt notes the season is still going well. “It’s going great,” Stowers-Devitt said. “We’ve got a good, large squad this year with great talent. We had a choreographer come in and we’ve got a fantastic routine. We’re working really hard to make it as good and as clean as we can make it for our first competition.” Sophomore Emma Leeds, who is performing for her second year in the guard, says that with so many people on the team, it poses a challenge. “One challenge with Winter Guard is with however many girls are on the team, you have to get them to look exactly the same in the way they do everything,” Leeds said. “It’s sort of challenging to get everyone to do it in the right timing together.”

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Practicing three times a week, Leeds says the team also works on polishing its moves and routine. “We just finished learning our routine and at practice we just do run-throughs and find different things where we’re always messing up over and over,” Leeds said. “We work on those parts to clean them up.” In addition to practices, the team is working on team-building activities to become closer as a group. “We’re trying to do a variety of things. One of the things we do is perform barefoot, which, being that it’s winter, and that sometimes when we’re travelling to our performance area, the girls are in costume,” Stowers-Devitt said. “Sometimes we have to travel outside and come around so, what a lot of teams do, is they wear flip-flops. The girls are going to get together and they’re going to have a team-building activity where they’re going to decorate their flip-flops. That way, when they go on to perform, I can just stuff them in a bag and have them for when they get done.” Accompanying the team are a few goals for the rest of the season, according to Stowers-Devitt. “I would say our goal is to grow in our skills, to learn as much as we possibly can, and to work together as a team,” Stowers-Devitt said, “one part that is particularly important and to just have fun.”

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Basketball through the eyes of a player: Meet Janay Orange maggie nolan >>managing editor When you think of basketball, what do you envision? Squeaking shoes running up and down the court, coaches and teammates shouting feedback, cheering on the sidelines, and a marvelous “swoosh” every now and then. But how does the basketball player see the game? “I work to keep the team motivated,” said senior Janay Orange. “I love getting the team hyped up which brings out all the intensity, especially during home games.” Orange stays motivated by always looking at the game positively. This outlook is the main focus of the team’s inspiration. “[It is] especially [important to keep the team motivated] during home games, we can’t forget the reason we’re here. We came to win,” Orange said. Orange emphasises the importance of basketball on her life. “[Basketball] has given me something to look forward to. I’ve played basketball my whole life and basketball season is my happy season,” Orange said. Orange focuses on the teammates working hard just as much as herself. “Janay is a positive player,” said head coach Anthony Abbott. “I would describe her as the ultimate teammate. She is definitely one of the hardest workers; she leads by example and is pretty consistent.” Working hard in the classroom is just as important to Orange as working on the court. Leading by example means all aspects of being a student to Orange. “She adds to the team by performance in the classroom as well,” Abbott said. “She is a very good student as well as athlete.” Motivation to always improve is something that comes naturally to Orange. “Even through the intensity, we never forget the reason we’re here; we came to win,” Orange said. “It’s my senior year so I’m giving it my all.”

Playing a sport isn’t always happiness and hard work; sometimes there are struggles. “At practices sometimes we argue and get mad but that’s what family does and I consider the team a family,” Orange said. Orange has played basketball since she could walk. She has played at OP her freshman, sophomore, and now senior year. “Janay didn’t play last year, so this year she tried out not even knowing if she would make the team, and still gave it her all,” Abbott said. “As a coach, we look for the level of hustle and we definitely saw that with her.” Orange was undecided about furthering her basketball career. “I plan to maybe go for a smaller division,” Orange said. “I’m going to a D2 school so I probably will try out, but if I don’t make it, it won’t make or break me.”

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Students under Major stressors in life

Does homework stress you out? 85% said yes 15% said no

Do grades stress you out? 89% said yes 11% said no

Do sports stress you out? 49% said yes 51% said no

Does your family stress you out? 56% said yes 44% said no

Does thinking about your future stress you out? 74% said yes 26% said no

Do jobs stress you out? 47% said yes 53% said no

poll collected by maddie russell from 100 random students graphic by hannah williams

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pressure, stress School stresses stress students out maggie nolan>>managing editor Being involved in multiple extra-curricular activities is generally promoted to high school students. It’s a good idea to expand your horizons, meet new people, and find yourself as much as possible. Senior Jake Boeding was the perfect example of over-working yourself. Boeding was the producer of the Axe, drum major for marching band, first chair for symphonic band, in three Advanced Placement classes, Oak Street, A Capella, musical, TFAC, and crew for the winter play. “The difference between honors and AP classes are

the AP classes are specifically designed to prepare students for the AP exam,” said AP statistics teacher Phil Gegen. “In general, AP classes probably have a bit more homework because of the amount of material that needs to be covered.” “I just kind of learned how to deal with [everything going on],” Boeding said. Although having a daily significant workload, Boeding was doing everything he can to prepare himself for college. “The silver lining to the stress of taking multiple AP classes is preparation for taking college classes,” Gegen said. “Students who have dealt

Managing stress • Manage your time better • Do things that are productive but fun to do in your free time • Know your limits of what you can do so you don’t over extend yourself. • Take control of your life and make sure you always know all the things you are in charge of doing. • Focus on the positive, rather than the negative. • Have a more positive lifestyle by working on you and your health.

with that stress in high school are generally more prepared when they go off to college.” Boeding, along with being so involved, is a perfectionist with everything he does. “I wanna please everybody,” Boeding said. “I try to give 110 percent to everything. As cliché as it sounds, I try to do the best I can for each activity.” Being so involved and striving for perfection leaves little time to hang out with friends, or even get enough sleep. “On weeknights I almost never hang out with people; I mean at practices for my activities, I consider that as hanging out because my

friends are there, too,” Boeding said. “On both weeknights and weekends, there is rarely a night that I’m going to bed for 11 [p.m.], most likely midnight. My body just got used to it, so even when I have the opportunity to go to bed early, my body just stays awake until around that time.” Doing his best in everything he does, Boeding sometimes finds it hard to stay awake. “There are a couple of days I find myself dozing off in class, but it’s not hindering my ability to learn; it’s not hindering my output of work ethic,” Boeding said.

Stress Quiz • Do you often become agitated, frustrated or moody? • Has the feeling of being overwhelmed become a somewhat constant in your life? • Do you feel extremely bad about yourself, or have extremely low self-esteem? • Do you avoid stressful situations more then you confront them and deal with them? • Do you often have low energy, headaches, upset stomachs, chest pain, insomnia, and frequent “colds”? • Do you have frequent changes in appetite, or just general lack of appeal to eat?

Ways to learn how to deal with stress, can be found in the managing stress box on this page. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be under severe stress or pressure. *all information found on

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*all information found on

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cartoon by hannah williams

Students speak variety of languages hannah williams >>editor-in-chief At home, some students are used to speaking the same language they talk to their friends with. Most students speak English, write English and read English, much like you’re doing right now. But for other students, being bilingual and speaking a different language at home than at school, can be a challenge. “Having to translate certain things and having it make sense in my head from English to Spanish. or the other way around is challenge,” said senior Vianney Zubia-Chavez, who primarily speaks Spanish at home and English at school. “I think in English. but it’s necessary sometimes to also think in Spanish, like when I’m around family.” Spanish teacher Sandy Woolen notes that with some students who take Spanish classes at school and speak Spanish at home, there could be difficulties. “We have quite a few students that are in my Spanish classes that also speak Spanish at home,” Woolen said. “For a lot of them, they speak Spanish at home because their parents have always spoken Spanish to them. The challenge they sometimes face is knowing what the word is, but not really having seen it or know how to spell it, or those types of things.” Zubia-Chavez took a Spanish class because she thought, “it would be easy,” but ran into a few obstacles. “I am better at writing in English than I am in Spanish,” ZubiaChavez said. “The classes actually teach different Spanish than the kind I speak at home so they weren’t as easy as I thought they’d be. I just speak it differently.” Before coming to high school, Zubia-Chavez remembers when she had trouble translating a word from Spanish to English in elementary school. “It hasn’t happened recently,” Zubia-Chavez said, “but I remember in elementary school, a teacher was asking me about a color and I kept repeating, ‘rosa,’ for pink and she didn’t know what that meant and I didn’t catch myself. Everyone around me was like, ‘What are you saying? What are you saying?’ and they kept asking it and then I started to say it again but I stopped mid-word and I was like, ‘Oh. Pink.’ They were like, ‘Oh, she’s saying pink.’” Woolen says that another problem bilingual students run into in her classes is applying correct grammar. “They do very well in vocabulary, because they know the words already,” Woolen said, “but they struggle, often times, with the grammatical structures.” Also, it’s very important for students to be able to speak Spanish in a broad range of varieties, according to Woolen.

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“At OP, we think it’s very important to speak Spanish wherever you go,” Woolen said. “So, if a student is from Latin America, there is an additional verb-form that they don’t speak with in Latin America. So, there’s again, another thing that they have to learn. They usually haven’t even ever heard that verb-form, which is the ‘you’ form that comes from Spain.” Not all bilingual students speak Spanish at home, like junior Ana Grinik, who speaks Russian to her parents. With these two languages, Grinik also has difficulties. “Sometimes, at school, I say some Russian words and I don’t mean to,” Grinik said. “Then, at home, I say some English words and I don’t mean to. It’s hard to translate at school sometimes. I’m better at English than Russian, just because I use it at school.” Grinik’s parents don’t speak much English, having come from Russia. “I was born in Europe,” Grinik said, “in a little country called Latvia, but I’m not Latvian. I’m Russian because my parents are Russian.” Some students, like senior Nearie Vorngsam, don’t speak a different language at home, but hear it from family members. Because Vorngsam only knows a few words in Cambodian, it’s difficult to understand her parents, who speak both Cambodian and English. “Most of the time, my dad will be talking to me [in English],” Vorngsam said, “and he would just start speaking in Cambodian and I have to say, ‘Dad, I can’t understand what you’re saying. Speak English.’” For Vorngsam, her grandmother speaks in Cambodian primarily and only speaks a little English. “It’s hard to understand her, so I just ignore her most of the time,” Vorngsam said. “She and my parents speak khmer, a form of Cambodian. It’s kind of like in Asia, where you talk differently to your elders than you would to people who are your age. You have to use a more respectful tone, especially when greeting them. Every time I’m at my grandma’s, I have to greet her differently.” In all languages, English included, Woolen agrees there are different forms of the same language. “Where there’s kind of an old-fashioned term for refrigerator, it might be an ice box, or something like that, you won’t hear that in Missouri, but you might hear it in Tennessee or Texas,” Woolen said. “We also have differences between English here in the United States and English in Australia or in England. Definitely pronunciation, word choices, all of those differences.”

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Students stop complaining gabie kreutzjans >>writer When was the last time you really thought about how much you complained? Social studies teacher Sarah Reynolds’s sociology class is about to figure out. With their latest project, they started by putting bracelets on one hand, and each time a student complained, he or she had to switch the bracelet to the other hand. By doing this, the students would figure out just how much they truly complained. “I complain less. I’m more aware because of the habit of switching the bracelet,” said senior Ashley Campbell. However, some students just couldn’t complete the project. For some students, complaining is just expressing anger and other emotions. “I honestly gave up. Complaining helps me ex-

press myself. But I probably will pick it up again after sports season,” said senior Sammy Mann. All in all, these bracelets could possibly help a lot of people regarding complaining and making good choices. “The bracelets could open people’s eyes about how much they complain. It’s a change for the positive. And getting all the negative out of your life,” Mann said. With the possibility to positively change a life, why wouldn’t someone take the shot? “This is something that could change our culture. By allowing you to realize not to complain at whatever life throws at you,” Campbell said.

photo illustration by maggie nolan

Is senioritis setting in? Seniors are asked if they are motivated

graphic by hannah williams >>editor-in-chief information colelcted by gabie kreutzjans >>writer 100 seniors were randomly polled for this information

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Flowing on ice olivia eissler >>writer Many people play your typical sports like basketball, soccer and football, but not sophomore Mikayla Adams. Adams is an ice skater on the Kansas City Illusion Intermediate Synchronized Skating Team. “I practice for nine and a half hours a week, every day right after school except for on Friday and Saturday,” Adams said. Adams competes with her team, and she also competes individually. “I like synchronized skating because it’s fun to be with my friends,” Adams said. “I’m not as nervous when I compete when I am with my group on the ice at competitions.” Adams competes in many competitions and has won more than 100 awards. Recently Adams and two of her teammates got third place in Illusion Intermediate. To prepare, Adams practices everyday for three weeks before she goes to competition. She drills her elements as many times as it takes, until she gets them perfectly on point. “My aunt and grandparents first took me ice-skating and that’s how I started,” Adams said. Adams says it is hard to balance both homework and ice skating practice. She works hard on getting her homework done as soon as she gets home from school, before she heads off to practice. It was especially hard for Adams when she was also involved with the tennis team. She had to juggle tennis, homework and ice skating practice. “Mikayla has a positive attitude and a good work ethic,” said ice skating coach Amy Fankhauser. Fankhauser started ice skating when she was a little girl and after that, that is all she ever wanted to do. “We go to Minnesota, Michigan, Nashville and Chicago,” Fankhauser said. Two years ago the ice skating team won almost

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all of its competitions and because of its success, skaters moved up to a higher level. It has been a rough start in the higher level because all of the opponents are more skilled. Fankhauser said it will take a little bit, but she plans on working from the bottom to the top in this new level of competition. “We have a camp in the summer, where a coach from Detroit comes. We have sleepovers, car washes, and when we stay out of town, the girls get lots of team bonding from staying together in hotel rooms,” Fankhauser said. Fankhauser said picking the songs for the dances is the hardest part. She listens to lots of music, and when she hears a song that interests her, she listens to it a lot. Once she has picked a song, she takes it to the other coaches. A dress designer picks and creates different designs for costumes, and then the coaches decide which costume works the best. For Mikayla, who does individual competition too, she has to pick out her own costumes. The team skates six or seven competitions a season. For one competition, if you are in the top four, you move on to qualifications. Mikayla skates three or four individual competitions a season. Frankhauser said the judging at competitions is complex. There is a panel of 12 to 14 people and it is judged by a point system. They judge on their elements and how well they do. “The team practices for two to three hours on ice and has one hour of conditioning,” Fankhauser said. “The girls have to practice three extra hours on the ice outside of team practices.” For Mikayla, who also does individuals, she practices even more than what is required. “I like ice skating because it makes me work hard, and I feel like I have accomplished something,” Adams said.

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On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Mikayla Adams practices at Line Creek Community Center. Adams has been ice skating for 11 years and recently competed in a synchronized ice skating competition in Chicago, Ill. “We didn’t do so well because it’s only our first year in the intermediate level, but there’s always next year,” Adams said. hannah williams>>editor-in-chief

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Going for the music: A list of KC concerts in 2014 Sprint Center events Lady Antebellum-Feb. 15 Kings of Leon-March 5 Miley Cyrus-April 15 Cher-May 31 Justin Timberlake-July 30 & 31 Katy Perry- Aug. 19

Other venue events

Flogging Molly-Uptown Theater-March 12 Lorde-The Midland-March 21 Buzz Under The Stars-Cricket Wireless Ampitheater-April 30 Rockfest-Liberty Memorial-May 31 Vans Warped Tour-Cricket Wireless Ampitheater-July 31

check back on,, and for updated shows all pictures found on

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Staff picks favorites of 2013 Last year’s hots and nots Somo

Street Outlaws

Duck Dynasty

New age muscle cars

Jennifer Lawrence Hashtagging everything

Arctic Monkeys


Government shutdown

Galaxy leggings

What does the fox say?

Harlem Shake


Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty

Expensive stuff

Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Miley Cyrus Twerking

Candy Crush Saga

As if you couldn’t tell... the next to each person represents what they liked about 2013, and the represents what they think should fade away in 2014. compiled by maggie nolan >>managing editor

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Taking the cheap date: Valentine’s Day dates without breaking the bank compiled by maddie russell >>writer graphics by hannah williams >>editor-in-chief

“I’ll probably bring my boyfriend breakfast that morning and give him his presents, which are like some pictures of us and a note I wrote and some shoes he wanted. Then that night we would go out to dinner and have a movie night.” -junior Summer Caudillo

“Make the entire day full of his favorites: The breakfast of his dreams, the dinner of his dreams, TV that is his favorite, his music, etc. Don’t say anything about it, surprise him all day long.”

“Purchase some clear red balloons. Before blowing them up, place either wrapped candies, small gifts, and/or love poems inside each one, and the give them to your loved one as a “Create an at-home spa bouquet.” for your mate. Deliver the gift in a basket filled with inexpensive candles, bubble bath, rose petals, facial mask and scrub. Then give your mate time to enjoy it. When he/she is done, heat up towels in the dryer for drying off.”

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“Watch an old movie together at home, with popcorn and soft drinks, and candy movie-theater style.” “Make a mixed CD of all of your favorite songs, or create a compilation of love songs that remind you of your mate.”

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Dancing, prepping in the rain olivia eissler>>writer As February rolled around the corner, so did the Sadie dance. Sadie is a themed dance that students could dress up to. This year’s theme was “Dancing In The Rain.” “We pick a lot of random themes for Sadie and then we vote them down and then we take it to StuCo to vote,” said junior Kelly Andrews. Andrews said that preparing for any dance was stressful, but with only one week left, the nerves were fluttering. “We are calling for a dj, ordering tickets and making decorations,” Andrews said. Andrews said there was a lot of behind the scenes work that a lot of people don’t think about. There was figuring out what kind of food to serve and how to advertise for the dance. “Starting from a blank gym and making it pretty with decorations takes a lot of time,” said junior Rebecca Saari. Sarri said that it was very stressful getting everything together and making and buying all the decorations for the dance.

“You have a small time limit and so much to do,” said Saari. “You always have to have a back up plan incase something goes wrong.” Andrews said picking a theme was hard to do, because you have a huge book in front of you with tons of themes, and you have to pick out just one theme that everyone will like. “You get whatever you can find that matches the theme and looks good,” said Saari. Sarri and Andrews said it was always helpful when lots of people from StuCo would show up on pizza and pomp late nights to help get ready. Pizza and pomp is when all of StuCo’s members come up to the school around seven at night to make all the decorations for the dance and help make the back and side drops. “You see this vision in your head of what that dance will look like and when you set it up it doesn’t look right, but when you shut off the lights, it doesn’t look like a gym anymore,” Andrews said.

‘Lend Me A Tenor’ brings laughs kelsey shannon>>writer If you are currently thinking that preparing for a show is quite easy and stress-free, you might want to think again. It takes a large amount of time and hard work to create and perform a flawless show, which is what the “Lend Me a Tenor” cast has been doing for the past two months. “We started having rehearsal everyday after schools, but we only had five weeks to get everything done, plus we had to deal with winter break, injuries, sickness, and snow days,” says junior Paige Bliss.

Although it may be fun and worthwhile at the end, the days leading up to the show are the most stressful. “It was stressful in the beginning, but I’ve done this enough to where it’s not,” says junior Shannon Jordan. Being experienced can help a lot when it comes to acting and to memorizing lines. The show itself has humourous and romantic, and was a must-see. “I think it’s going to come together really well,” says senior Madeline Walter-McCrary.

On Sunday Jan. 22, Chris Durrant and Shannon Jordan sit on the couch and talk. kelsey shannon>>photographer Actors play in “Lend Me a Tenor,” the winter play. kelsey shannon>>photographer Senior Melina Vorwald and junior Shannon Jordan sit and discuss. “It was kind of stressful in the beginning, but I’ve done this enough to where it’s not,” Jordan said. He has been in four shows, including OP 5. kelsey shannon>>photographer

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Girls basketball shoots, scores Freshman Jordan White dribbles the ball, blocking William Chrisman on Tuesday, Jan. 28. hannah williams >>editor-in-chief

Senior Ky’Isha Whitley shoots from the freethrow line after being fouled by a Northtown player during the junior varsity game on Friday, Jan. 31. Whitely played on both junior varsity and varsity that night. maggie nolan >>managing editor Freshman Jordan White rebounds the ball on Tuesday Jan. 28. hannah williams >>editor-in-chief

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Freshman Meghan Allen starts the varsity game on Friday, Jan. 31 by jumping to get the ball first. Allen jumped higher than the Northtown opponent and tipped the ball to OP’s side of the court. maggie nolan >>managing editor

Freshman Desiree Byas makes a Freshman Tya Stigger dribbles the ball down the court on Tues- freethrow shot on Tuesday, Jan. day Jan. 28. 28 during the freshman game hannah williams >>editor-in-chief against William Chrisman. hannah williams >>editor-in-chief

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Issue 5 February 2014