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Volume VII

Issue 4

February 2012

Support the Cavs against The Woodlands Tonight 7:30 p.m. at Home

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Happy Valentine’s Day!




Top 10 Chick Flicks Cavs Crazies!



What’s Inside 8 9 Cannabis: A Chronic Debate


10 College of the Month 11 Sounds of Silence: Cochlear Implants 12 13 Basketball! 14 Wrestling 15 Book Review 16 Teen Book Festival 17 SuperBowl Recap 18 NFL: National Forensic League 19 SOCCER 20 College Dropout Rate Increases 21 S.O.P.A 22 American Idol Make 23 Laptops School Life Easier

Business Hours: Mon-Thurs 10:30-3:30 Fri-Sat 10:30-8:00 Closed Sun


2 [February]

Located in the College Park Shopping Center near shankz

Top Ten Chick Flicks 1. The Notebook 2. Titanic


3. Princess Bride 4. Sweet Home Alabama 5. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days


6. Sleepless in Seattle 7. PS I Love You


8. A Walk to Remember 9. Moulin Rouge


10.The Wedding Planner Future # 1. The Vow (In theaters Feb 10)

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Eat This, Not That Guilt-Free Guide to Valentine’s Day

Sam Morrow Shelby Gregory

Edible Arrangements: these sweet fruits are tasty and healthy. Although some of the fruits are dipped in chocolate, they are nutrient dense. They have less empty calories than milk chocolate.

Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Squares: these delicious, yet deadly-to-the-waistline candies are 73 calories per square. They are utterly delicious, but the weight they will help put on is not worth it.

Gayle’s Miracle Chocolate Truffles: with 30 calories and only one gram of fat in each truffle, these chocolates are a perfect gift.

Lindt-Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles: in only three truffles there are 220 calories. Consumers might want to think twice.

Sweetheart Conversation Hearts:“Cutie Pie” and “Be Mine” are just a few adorable sayings for your sweetheart. The best part? They are only three calories each.

Regular M&M’s: although 34 calories for 10 M&M’s does not sound bad, walking a whole football field just to burn one off does not sound so pleasing....

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Cost of V-Day Rises Alexis Ruble

The Cadbury Brothers were the first chocolate-makers to package chocolate in a heart shaped box. They are famous for their milk chocolate.

Not just for Valentines, Chocolate Uses Vary Rachael Wasaff

Of all the classic gifts on Valentine’s Day, chocolate is a staple on this day dedicated to love. However, chocolate’s role in this holiday is fairly recent, starting in the 1800’s when a man named Richard Cadbury of the Cadbury Brothers packaged these treats in a heart-shaped box. However, the relationship between romance and chocolate goes much farther back. It began about 2,000 years ago in Latin America, the place of its discovery. Chocolate was a luxury in Aztec and Mayan societies, and the wealthy would mix it with chili powder to create rich drinks. The Aztec king Montezuma was convinced that chocolate was an aphrodisiac, or a drug that creates romantic feelings. He was not far off, as chocolate has a chemical called phenylethylamine that does exactly that. The common people of Aztec society were not so lucky. They used it as currency, and when the time called for it, as an expensive gift. Columbus brought the glorified cocoa bean to Europe, and it spread quickly among the rich and powerful. The Europeans put their own spin on it and mixed it with sugar and vanilla to make it sweet instead. Chocolate gained an even more mystical role and was used by a French doctor to heal “broken hearts”. Every year people spend $1,000,000 on Valentine’s Day in the United States. Brands like Godiva and Ghiradelli craft rich desserts just for this day and Hershey’s makes inexpensive options. The foreign luxury brand, Cadbury, is still in business today. This rich candy has kept its hold on this holiday, as it will for years to come.

Money cannot buy love, but it can buy affection. Every year on Feb. 14, couples fork out the cash for meaningful gifts whose only glow lasts for a week. Also, every year more and more Valentine’s Day celebrators are marking the occasion by sending their love in a wide range of gifts to a wide circle of friends and family members. The average U.S. Valentine celebrator is expected to spend $116.21 on gifts, meals and entertainment; which is about 13 percent more than last year. One Valentine’s Day statistics remains constant year after year: men on average spend at least twice as much on the holiday than women. The average man is expected to spend $158, while the typical women will part with only $75. But not everyone needs money to express their love. “I have friends whose relationship with me will probably last longer [than a relationship],” Sophomore Nia Robert said. “I just always want to remind them how much they mean to me and that they don’t need to feel alone if they don’t have anyone to spend Valentine’s Day with.” “My favorite Valentine’s Day gift would just be to spend my day being with the one I love,” Valentine’s Day celebrator Irene Hale said. Money cannot create happiness; people can.

cavs crazies! Vype magazine dubbed Cavalier fans with their new name

Black-out, white-out, yellow-out and even a camo-out, the Cavs are going all out this season. The yellow-out was inspired by the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s freshly-bleached locks at the Oak Ridge game. The Cavalier basketball team won districts and plans to keep their undefeated record strong through playoffs. 7

Cannabis: A Chronic Debate A

s of late, I have been reading articles all over the place concerning cannabis. I have heard many different opinions about why it should be legal, and why it should not be legal. As of now, cannabis use is illegal. Only recently, in a few select states, has it been permitted for medicinal use and research. As time goes on, I have heard more and more people speaking out for legalization of cannabis. People are slowly realizing that this issue is much much bigger than just a bunch of kids getting high. This editorial is being written for the sole purpose of informing people, young and old, about the positive aspects, and the negative aspects of drug prohibition in our country today. The decriminalization of cannabis is an issue that stirs up a lot of controversy. There are more people in our country’s jails and prisons for drug-related offenses than for any other crime. As America’s poorly-waged war on drugs continues (and just south of the border Mexico’s drug cartels continue to wreak havoc and slaughter thousands of people) the need for effective drug laws in this country has never been greater. Supporters are organizing, and more rallies are being carried out across the nation. They cite what they believe are logical reasons for the change. “Since the declaration of the ‘war on drugs’ 40 years ago, we have arrested tens of millions of people in an effort to reduce drug use. The fact that cops had to spend time arresting another 1.6 million of our fellow citizens last year shows that it simply hasn’t worked” a representative from the LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) said.

The Pros

By Dylan Lopenzina

That is why people are starting to think about an alternative solution to a problem that seems to have no solution. People like LEAP are trying to change the way our country looks at the drug problem. LEAP represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the “war on drugs” and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. Instead of treating drug addicts like criminals, they say we should be treating them like sick patients. For example, in the country of Portugal, the drug laws are drastically different from the laws we have here. Portugal has actually decriminalized street drugs like cannabis, cocain, heroin and others. As a result, their economy has gotten better, the rate of drug related deaths has decreased by almost half, and the rate of aids-related deaths has gone down drastically as well. Instead of jailing these people, they help them on the road to recovery. In our country, we are only looking at cannabis decriminalization, which could bring on an economic boom in more than one way. Decriminalization of cannabis could save money in our prison system, and stop taking small time offenders to jail, turning them into real criminals. Since 1992, there have been approximately 6,000,000 Americans incarcerated on cannabis charges and that number is rising. Taking these people out of the equation would save a lot of money and save police a lot of time, allowing them to focus on criminals who actually pose a threat to our society. It could take unprecedented power from the drug cartels who are fueling our nations drug habit and help the Mexican government to end their reign of terror.

Protestors rally against government marijuana polices. Supporters believe the changing the laws holds greater benefits for Americans.

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Lastly, if our country could tax and regulate cannabis it would bring ridiculous amounts of money into the economy over time. If the government would give it a chance, cannabis could become a major cash crop.

The Cons

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the legalization of cannabis could have negative consequences. Government officials have cautioned that we have to think about what other drugs people will be pushing to legalize next. With one drug legalized, it could open the door for a whole new argument about other drugs, like cocaine, heroin or meth. These drugs are extremely dangerous and even though some countries have started to ease their iron grip concerning their drug laws, it does not necessarily mean ours should. Our country is crazy enough with all the other drugs that are illegal, so that issue is best placed on the back burner. Another legitimate concern people have about legalizing cannabis for recreational use is the rising cancer rates in our country. Cigarettes by themselves cause enough cancer as it is, so why would we want to go and legalize yet another smokable plant that can be regulated by the government? Many people forget that tobacco was once nothing more than a plant like cannabis. The Native Americans used to grow and cultivate it, using it for spiritual practices and ceremonies. Quite similarly, ancient civilizations used to use the cannabis plant for similar occasions because they believed it had some spiritual value. But once the cigarette companies started mass producing tobacco as cigarettes and putting additional chemicals into each one, the whole art of smoking tobacco changed and it is now much more harmful than it may have once been. There is a risk that a similar thing may happen in the production of cannabis if it is legalized. Then the act of smoking cannabis would be no different than smoking cigarettes, being just as harmful. As of now that is not the case. A massive study of California HMO members funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that cannabis use caused no significant increase in mortality, whereas tobacco use was associated with increased risk of death. If the same chemicals, or ones similar to them, were eventually put into cannabis, there would be no difference between the two as they would both be causing cancer. Currently, cannabis itself is actually classified as a non-cancer causing substance (unless it is smoked) according to a study conducted by the federal government. Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, into mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in cannabis). What they found when the study was completed was that THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the miceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life spans.

Medicinal Use

The results of the study bring me to my next topic: the legitimacy of cannabis as used for medicinal purposes. This issue is a hard one to combat because there are mixed opinions. Some doctors claim that cannabis is a valid medicinal asset to people suffering from aids or various types of cancers. They say it helps patients cope with the pain, and the hopelessness they feel as most of these patients have been stricken with diseases that will soon claim their lives. Patients who have diseases such as glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/Aids, mental disorders, insomnia, certain types of cancers, ALS, or Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, just to name a few, have reported that cannabis use as prescribed by a doctor has greatly improved their lives and made it easier for them to cope with their afflictions. The doctors who say that cannabis is not in any way medically helpful are adamant in their beliefs. The major criticism is the method of smoking as a means of consumption. Some doctors say there is no way that smoking anything can hold any medicinal-healing value because smoke itself is harmful to the lungs. This made a lot of sense to the fine folks residing at the Institute of Medicine, so they conducted a study and concluded that smoked cannabis is not recommended for the treatment of any disease condition. However, it did conclude that appetite loss, anxiety, pain, and nausea can all be mitigated by cannabis.

The Solution

The ups and downs of cannabis legalization/decriminalization are many, and come from many different points of view. The apparent benefits that cannabis has as a medicine for people suffering from chronic diseases cannot be ignored. But now attention seems to be turning towards decriminalization for recreational use, and here is where the debate grinds to a stand-still. It is now up to the government to decide whether they want to listen to the people who make up our country on an issue that continues to poke fun at them. The war on drugs in our country has failed and there is no doubt that a change does indeed need to come. Will we continue to run blindly forward as we keep heading in the same direction we have been going, making more arrests, putting more and more people away, hoping that people will just stop using drugs because big brother tells us to; or will we turn down a different path, attempting to look at our problem in a whole new light? Only time will tell how this debate will conclude.


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Cochlear Implants Improve Quality of Life for Profoundly Deaf People Anna Rech

People tend to think of conditions like deafness as irrevocable and that someone who is deaf has little hope in a hearing world. But they are wrong. There is a device, called a cochlear implant, that can alter those affected with deafness lives for the better. Cochlear implants give a profoundly or severely deaf child many opportunities in a mostly hearing world. Receiving cochlear implants can and should change the lives of deaf children. Still, many are opposed to cochlear implants and believe that sign language – without access to any sound – is the best way to teach a deaf child to communicate. Of all people, I know how beneficial cochlear implants are. I’m profoundly deaf, but I received cochlear implants, and with a lot of work, I learned to listen, to speak and to read. I am deaf, but I chatter just as much as the next teenager. I listen and take notes in class; and I consider the library a home away from home. I don’t even know any sign language. This is all because I hear, not with my natural ears like you, but with cochlear implants. According to the National Institute of Health, two to three out of every 1000 children born in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. Without hearing aids or cochlear implants, these children will never learn to listen and speak. Instead, they would have no choice but to rely on sign language. But, again according to the National Institute of Health, nine out of every 10 children are born to parents who can hear. How many of you know someone is hearing impaired who is proficient in sign language? The answer is probably very few. Deafness not only means silence, it also means loneliness. Cochlear implants borrow some aspects of how they work from a regular ear, but in a slightly different fashion. Instead of getting sound to the brain by way of the cochlea, the implants carry sound through a series of electrodes, which are surgically implanted into the cochlea. The cochlear implants convert sound waves into electrical signals that are carried along the electrodes to the auditory nerve and then the brain, where it is deciphered. The cochlear implant is an impressive technological feat. Trust me; it works. Cochlear implants provide vast opportunities for the deaf in comparison to the limitations of sign language. “Sign language has done much to help profoundly deaf people live in a hearing world, but the disability remains,” Graeme Clark, the inventor of the cochlear implant said. “As a result, it is harder for them to compete and to obtain jobs in a community which is essentially geared towards those who

can hear and speak the language of the country.” In many cases, a sensory deficiency such as deafness is a detriment when applying for a job, a college, or even certain classes in school. However, cochlear implants allow for such opportunities to remain open. One of the ideas that came to represent America over the years is the ability to do anything, and be anything. So why not implant? There are those that say cochlear implants are not making a change, but this is absolutely not true. According to an article in the January 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine, nearly 200,000 people worldwide have been implanted with cochlear implants over the past 30 years. In fact, cochlear implants have made more of a change in 30 years than sign language, which has been around for more than 200 years. Dan Ling, a pioneer in the field of teaching children to listen and speak, summed it up best when he said, “Sign language teaches deaf people to be deaf.” Cochlear implants allow a deaf child to hear bird song, music, the speech of family and friends – all the things they would miss if their world was blanketed by silence. The benefits of cochlear implants speak for themselves. With cochlear implants, we can conjure sounds from silence.

Cochlear implants allow people who are profoundly deaf to hear clearly, negating using sign language. It allows them lead to full and productive lives.

Blondes really do Have More Fun! Cavs Clinch District Championship Paul Wallin

The Cav’s basketball team is having a season to remember. With the end of district approaching, the Cav’s are firing on all cylinders. They are currently undefeated in district at 10-0. With only two games left, the Cavs have a chance to make school history. This team has been one of the most successful teams to ever come through CP. Last year at this time, the team was fighting for a play-off spot, but were unable to earn one. This season is different because they are leading the district with the best record and are undefeated. When the season started, the Cav’s where overlooked and not expected to experience much success; they were not even ranked in state. Considering they are a team made up of six’ guards and no big men, the team is one of the shortest in district, but are easily the fastest. Led by a squad of primarily veteran guards, players such as Seniors Evan Cooper (averaging 19.4 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.6 reb., 3.2 spg), Zach Wright (averaging 14.6 ppg, 1.7 asp, 6.2 rpg, 2.3spg) and Layton Zinsmister (averaging 9.5 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.8rpg, 2.2spg) are some of the key components to the team. They help in pushing the ball ahead, driving to the lane, as well as pressuring the ball and forcing turnovers. The game against The Woodlands seemed to be what lit the torch for the team. Going into the game, CP had consistently lost to the Highlanders for the past two years, but were on a four-game winning streak. At the time of the game, The Woodlands was ranked in state as one of the better teams and College Park was not ranked.

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That game catapulted the Cav’s to the next level. The student body was there and stronger, crazier and louder than ever before. After the nailbiting win, the Cavs’ student body rushed the court and because of this win, the Cav’s ranked 19th in state. They kept the rhythm rolling and had a little boost from their new team persona, the “Cav’s Crazies.” They kept winning and the crowd kept growing into the mass it is today. After making some noise, the Cavs have started to be noticed. Local magazine, Vype, regarded the “Cav’s Crazies” as one of, if not the best student body, in Texas. With a designated color at every game, the “Cav’s Crazies” paint the bleachers that color with an ocean of fans and yell chants endlessly. They even have “Cav’s Crazies” game day T-shirts and organized fan buses for away games. To top it all off, the Cavs, with all the buzz around them in the community have taken it to the next level with the entire team bleaching their hair blonde. The Cav’s seem to be feeding off all the hype and attention. “We love it, the fans and their excitement,” Wright said. “It really feels great having a student body and community supporting us like this. We have the best fans in Texas.” Wright was awarded Max Prep’s Player of the week for the week of Jan. 29. Tonight the Cav’s face the Highlanders again at 7 pm. Now matter what ending is store for the Cavs, they are now ranked 19th, two games away from being undefeated and have sealed a spot in the playoffs.

Shooting guard Bryon Makel goes for the layup off a fast break. The Cavs claimed bragging rights after they won district Tuesday night against Atascocita.

Driving to the lane, Guard Layton Zinsmister gets into position for a layoup. The Cavs play rival The Woodlands tonight.

Ladies Meet Ambitous Expectations: Team Unification Vital Part of this Year’s Success


ith the season almost wrapped up, the Lady Cav’s have high expectations to finish strong. The girls have traveled a great distance to play tournaments, district games and face The Woodlands. They stand strong with a 13-11 overall season record and 7-3 in district, right behind Atascocita and The Woodlands. This team is ready for play-offs and to keep moving forward. “My expectations for the rest of the season are to continue working hard, to not to lose any more games, to move forward in the play-offs, and to win state,” Forward Leah Breakfield said. “Yes, my expectations are high for the Lady Cavs.” As most upperclassmen know, College Park team seasons almost always end in second place. However, there is a difference between this year and previous years. Head coach Michelle Richardson believes “great chemistry and genuine care for others” separates this year’s team from the rest. Also, with only three returning seniors, this team has to be doing something right to be so successful with a young team. Richardson credits their success to “hard work... and never quitting.” It is no surprise that everyone on the Lady Cav’s wants to win district and advance to the play-offs. Breakfield believes, “the training I do cur-

Timmy Fitzgerald

rently for my success is dribbling drills, shooting, staying in shape, practicing outside of school, staying healthy and praying before every game,” to help the team stay in the win column. “In addition to the training in school daily, I try to shoot around during weekends where I can focus on the fundamental skills and perfect my shot,” Junior Uma Rajagopalan said. This team works great together. Forward Alexia Sanders keeps the team in the hunt by scoring 18 points per game on average. They follow their motto, “Personal Accountability Changes Teams (PACT).” With the official season almost done, there is much in store for the future of theLady Cav’s and many more challenges they can conquer.

Background: Senior Leah Breakfield rushes down the court at the Lufkin game. The Cav’s beat the Panthers 4640. Above: Coach Richardson, the freshman team, JV and Varsity girls bond at the Homecoming Parade.


Larger numbers, Less Forfeits Responsible for Winning Season

Kyle Roberts

The wrestling team finished with individual wins in several- trict,” Junior William Moore said. Off season is where wrestlers enhance their skills and talweight categories and 3-2 in duals against other teams. Sophomore Jake Weingrad and Freshman Chance Robin- ent for next year. There might be few changes in the varsity son,182 and 152 weight classes respectively, earned fourth lineup because in off season wrestlers either come back with place at the district meet while Sophomore Kyle Roberts, 132 weight gain or weight loss. Whoever is going to be the captain next year will play a decisive role. The captain leads the team weight class, finished sixth. and motivates them. It is not only a great After starting the season undefeated honor to be captain, but it also means the in duals, they needed a win against Belperson is responsible for leading the team laire. Unfortunately, the Bellaire dual to victory. With only one senior this year, was canceled. The past duel at Katy the Cavaliers should have most, if not all, Taylor was not the greatest showing of the team back next year. If they keep from the Cavaliers as both Katy Taylor up the good work during off-season, next and St. Johns were challenges for the year promises to be an excellent year for wrestlers. The intensity in the wrestling the wrestlers. room rose each day in preparation for “This year we have won more duels,” the district tournament. Moore said. “We also have more people “The room is full of a dozen or so guys that are working very hard so that they Junior Kyle Nunez wins his duel against his oppo- and the number of forfeits has decreased.” nent at the Conroe tournament. could get better and be ready for dis-

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Fans of Hunger Games, Twilight Rave over Two Suspenseful Books Kimberly Royer

Falling in love was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. But when meeting Patch, the ultimate bad boy that knows more about her than her best friend, falling in love was never so easy. Nora is a good student, a good friend, and a good daughter with a shadowy connection to the supernatural. Patch has that bad boy persona and mysterious allure that has girls swooning… Forced to sit next to Patch in biology, Nora gradually falls for him against her better judgment. Becca Fitzpatrick spins an enjoyable mix of suspense and romance in Hush, Hush from Simon & Schuster. When first reading this book, without a doubt it is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, but with angels. But because of Patch Cipriano, Edward and Jacob have lost their charm. Sappy romance with some darkness thrown in is farthest from the truth. Fitzpatrick developed both characters in such a way that their strengths fill in each others’ weaknesses and their personalities contrast beautifully. Add in their relationship and the rest of the story line and it was enough to get

me hooked. The ending leaves the reader gasping for more. Lucky for me I did not have to wait to gobble up the next book in this delicious fallen angel series. News for Sci-fi fans: if you enjoyed The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins you are going love Matched by Ally Condie. In the society they decide where you work, who you love, when you die. The world is so neat and orderly that their citizens are guaranteed long, healthy, reasonable lives without any hardships, but of course, it is not without its flaws. For Cassia Reyes it was the only life she had known. So when she is matched to her best friend Xander, Cassia is certain that the Society has chosen her ideal mate....until a glitch in the system shows her Ky Markhams’ face before it fades to black. This book is brilliant. Condie created a world so neat and interesting I was tempted to live in it. It is the kind of world that has you doubting what is right from what is wrong. It is gripping right to the last page.


Montgomery County Teen Book Fesitival Mesmerizes Aspiring Young Writers Anna Rech

I had this epiphany at the Montgomery County Teen Book questions about their inspirations, families and lives as auFestival: authors are normal people. thors in general. At the beginning of that session, some techAlong with other students, I volunteered for and assisted the nical difficulties with the mic led to much amusement from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, author of the Heir the audience and authors alike. Chronicles and Seven Realms novels. After the discussion panel, Kristin Cast , co-author of the I think I expected Ms. Chima (and, indeed, the other authors House of Night books with her mom, PC Cast, gave a keynote attending the Teen Book Festival) to be these magical and speech about her life surrounded by books and her experipowerful beings who just happened to have the ability to cap- ence as an author. Apparently, writing is one of those proture the imaginations of us dull orfessions that runs in her family. It dinary folk. It was for this reason was not unusual for Ms. Cast to be that I felt ridiculously jumpy and watching TV as a child and to hear overawed by actually talking with her mom holler for some advice on a New York Times bestselling auher latest project. According to Ms. thor. So, for the first ten minutes Cast, one of the funnier parts of writof the volunteers-and-authorsing is when she writes a character only lunch, I kept quiet, nodding based on someone she knows and in agreement when needed and they read the book and go “Oh my half-hoping conversation would goodness this character is awful!” not turn my way. Insert awkward silence. Finally, being the chatty teenLater in the afternoon, I attended ager that I am, I could stand the Ms. Chima’s session in the LGI in anxious silence no longer. At the which she spoke briefly about her next opportunity, I chimed in on life, gave extensive advice on how the current subject, which was to write and demystified the writwriting. We talked about writing process. She talked about her ing, writer’s block and focusing troubles with finding somebody to on just one project (many of my publish her debut novel, The Warrior fellow volunteers, like me, were Heir. (It took her five years before hobbyist fiction writers and so Discussing the publishing business and the art of writing books, Disney Hyperion finally published sympathized). Ms. Chima and I Author Cinda Williams Chima holds the audience spellbound with it in 2006). The development of the commiserated on how often peo- her insights. cover art of her books was widely ple mispronounce our last names. “oohed”and “ahhed” over by the For a while, discussion revolved around the intricate world audience (in fact, the popular opinion on the cover of The of social networks like Twitter. Ms. Chima told an anecdote Wizard Heir was that the second suggestion was preferable about the time she was told she had an account on Twitter – to the final cover). Finally, Ms. Chima gave us an exclusive and yet she had no memory of signing up. (It turned out, after (and pretty impressive) sneak peek at the cover of her longages of confusion and wrangling with Twitter, that her agent anticipated upcoming novel, The Crimson Crown, which is had reserved it for her.) slated for publication in August. The...enthusiasm...of fans was another subject; Ms. Chima Behind the scenes of such an amazing event as this is a truly told tales of displeased readers. For instance, one particularly magical experience. I got to rub shoulders with some of my memorable email from a disgruntled fan said of her book, favorite authors, speak to them, and best of all, help further The Dragon Heir, “Epic fail, Chima.” the joy of reading. The next Teen Book Festival will be around While lunch was certainly entertaining, much else went on. the same time next year, and I highly encourage joining in and There was a discussion panel after lunch, which consisted helping, or in the very least attending. of all the authors, in the auditorium. The authors answered

16 [February]

Super Bowl XLVI Madonna promoted her new album during the relatively well-received half-time show.

Mario Maningham makes a perfect catch from Eli manning that changed the game entirely.

Patriot fans across the country held their breath as Tom Brady heaved a pass from midfield that determined the fate of Super Bowl XLVI in the last minute.

manninvg celebrates his second Super Bowl win.

Brady’s wife, gisele bundchen was overheard blaming the Receiver’s for the Patriot’s loss.


NFL Takes on Different Meaning: “F” for Forensics; Fun, Hard Work Hallmark of Club Membership C heering erupts from the crowd as lists are unraveled over the sides of the railing, determining the immediate future of the hopeful competitors below. Driven by the hammering of her heart, a girl maneuvers her way through the mob, nervousness weighing down her stride. She tilts her head upwards, anticipation overpowering the anxiety, notices her name on a list – and shrieks. While the NFL is renowned for its exhilarating football games, it is not the only association with that acronym out there. In 1925, merely five years after NFL’s establishment, the National Forensics League (NFL) was founded, and targeted ambitious high school students to develop the confidence and character needed to prosper in a democratic society.

Influence of NFL

Although the NFL is rarely recognized above its sister group, it is no grain of sand. According to, as the oldest and largest interscholastic forensic society, it sports more than 112,000 high school and middle school (junior league) students, from approximately 100 middle schools and 2800 high schools. “College Park has been a member of NFL since the school opened in 2005, but it was only this school year that this chapter was recognized with the highest degree of distinction a school can earn, based on an increase in active participants,” Speech and Debate Coach Kathleen Lyons said. With this level of excellence, members can expect for it to be accompanied by certain advantages and disadvantages. “The club teaches you how to grow intellectually and socially through debate and individual events (speech); teaching you how to think rationally, express yourself fluently and persuade and examine personal beliefs logically,” Coach Lyons said. “It’s also a lot of fun and builds life-long relationships.”

18 [February]

“Being multilingual, speech and debate has helped me monstrously – assuming the monster is the monster of success,” Freshman Dylan Jiang said. “It has made me friends, gained me knowledge, but most importantly taught me how to communicate with the world.” However, forensic skills cannot be attained overnight. Hard work, determination and perpetual perseverance are required to become successful, bringing drawbacks to joining. “Tournaments are long; you miss Fridays (6 and 7 period) and Saturdays,” Director of Administration Aanchal Mitra said. “It’s a time problem – but you want to give the time. Instead of watching movies with your friends, you might as well make new friends at a debate tournament.” “You prepare in terms of how much you want to get out of it, from half an hour to two hours a day,” Director of Competition and Tournament Jahnavi Muppaneni said. “If it’s less than that – well, natural talent only goes to an extent. If you want to succeed it takes effort.” If any club is competitive, that award goes to speech and debate. There is a difference between taking the class and participating in tournaments, which College Park aims to attend at least twice a month. Annually, the school attends a nationally recognized invitational event; while Stanford was selected this year, the team can expect travels to Harvard and Dartmouth in near future. “Going to competitions gives you a real incentive to be competitive and excited by the energy from students of different schools,” Coach Lyons said. “When they do their best, it encourages students to do their personal best.”

Benefits of NFL

Besides the personal gain, entering tournaments is the first way to gain NFL points, and 25 are needed for admission into the league. From thereon, they are used to determine the degree

Julienna Law

of the merit of the individual. The number of points achieved is influenced by the student’s rank in the events of choice; these ranging from LincolnDouglas debate to theatrical events. “For earning a letter in speech and debate, students are required to have 250 NFL points,” Coach Lyons said. “With 300 NFL points, students graduate with honors and a degree seal for their College Park diploma.” It is not a secret that universities smile upon distinguished students – another reason for joining the club. “Anybody can do it,” Director of Development and Sophomore Anastasia Beketskaia said. “You don’t have to be super smart or the best actress – you can be the average Joe. Just come with an open mind.” By staying receptive, students might discover hidden talents and an untapped pool of potential friends. “You can find your niche that you don’t find in high school,” Mitra said. “If you don’t fit in, you end up in debate. Here, you find all sorts of people who work hard, and in turn, motivate you into working hard.” While the coach assists teammates and they encourage each other, the club does not support itself. As an already under-budgeted association, car washes will not make the fund-raising quota – but the use of them will. Saturday, April 21, from 11 to 3 p.m., the Ford Motor Company is bringing out several of their newest models to test drive. They will pay the speech and debate club $20 for each participant (anyone over 18) who completes a test run and $30 for those that steer the Ford Focus. If interested in attending a meeting which is hosted on the first and third Thursday of the month, simply curious, or blatantly disinclined, try to keep this in mind. “Just try it,” Coach Lyons said. “It will be intimidating at first, but if you give it a try, you gain a level of confidence that surpasses all explanation.”

New Additions Strengthen Boy’s Soccer

Emma Lahvis

This year’s 2012 soccer season is just beginning and there are already a few surprises. Athletes have come to play from other sports, such as first year Senior Johnny Orozco, and have fit right into the team as a crucial to the team's success. “It’s pretty rare for [a player] to jump to the starting lineup and contribute as much as Johnny has,” Coach Owens said. “The good surprises are the additions in personnel that we are getting.” On another positive note, the team played a great first game against New Caney and though they did not win, they met their expectations. “Overall, our effort and our energy were very good for that game,” Owens said. Despite being only a few weeks into the season, several plays stand-out. One that comes to mind was executed by Goalie Bryant Botello who has made multiple “world-class saves” during recent games. His twin brother, offen-

sive-player Joel Botello, brings positive energy to the team and also made memorable play by out-running a field of defenders and scoring an unbelievable goal. “They’ve made plays that are not just good for our team; they’ve made plays that are good for anybody’s team,” Owens said. The team’s recent three-day-long tournament at Klein became more of a learning experience for the young team. Although they came away with two losses and a tie, they “played three teams that are all play-off teams,” Owens said. Both Owens and his players also aim to be a play-off team this year. “We are trying to compare ourselves against as many district champions as we can,” said Owens. By playing some of the toughest opponents in the district, the team will be better prepared for play-offs, which makes for a promising season.

“With Coach Owens, I mean he inspires us, so I’m pretty sure we can do well,” Bryant Botello said. “I’m just ready to show ‘em what we got,” Joel Botello said. Owens and his team are eager to dig into district play. “We are getting better every day,” Owens said. “At this point here, I’m looking forward to our district schedule.” “I love pressure; I love when games count, and nothing counts more than district.” And without forgetting the legendary rivalry between The Woodlands, everyone is pumped up and ready to take them on, this time on their home turf. “They think they’re going to dominate us, but I’m pretty sure we can do something about that,” Bryant Botello said. “We really want to get after it,” Owens said. “I’m pretty optimistic as far as, if we come with lots of good energy and play together, we are going to do well.”

Girl’s Soccer Know Value of “Ugly” Goals Will Moessinger

  This year’s soccer season is anticipated to be one of the highest scoring seasons in CP girl’s varsity soccer history.  They have already started off the year with a victory, and will no doubt continue this trend as the season progresses.    Though they have a solid history, the girls should have a completely different experience than before, considering the team is full of new faces.  Of the 18 varsity members, eight are sophomores, three are freshmen, three are juniors, and four are seniors.  Many wonder how this will affect their season.    “We have a young team who are eager to play,” Varsity player Rachel Steinbauer said. Because soccer is generally low scoring, some people say every minute

counts, but others say this realistically is not true.   “The first and last 10 minutes are the most important,” Steinbauer said.  “That’s where most goals are scored, and the last 10 minutes set the mood.” When every goal is so vital, it does not matter when the goal is an “ugly” goal or a “pretty” goal. “Ugly” goals can even be considered better because they are usually the result of a team working together to score, whereas “pretty goals” are usually obtained from an individual. “There is definitely such a thing as an ugly goal”, Head Soccer Coach Owens said. “But it doesn’t matter because they all count the same. I talk to my players all the time about scoring those ugly goals.”

The Lady Cavaliers have a great deal of adversity to face in the future and will have to prepare new teammates to go toe-to-toe with The Woodlands, Kingwood and Atascocita. The team forges ahead with traditional values and principles. “Preparation is the most important factor in a game,” Head Soccer Coach Owens said. “It leads with having a good off season and physically preparing so we can impose our will on the opposing team.”   Despite all the changes, the girls are excited for the future, and are ready to give it their all when going against their opponents.    “We’re different from other teams because of our energy,” Steinbauer said.


Admist Difficult Economic times, Fewer Students Graduate College


Will Moessinger

y the year 2020, 60 percent of jobs in American will flawed.  At two-year colleges in Texas, 51 percent of college require some kind of college degree.  Though opportunities freshmen are required to take remediation, but only 30 perare becoming fewer for non-college graduates, the number cent of those students pass.  Luckily, steps are being taken to of students graduating college is also decreasing.  This is due improve these programs.  to a number of unfor“We’ve been focustunate reasons. ing a lot on reme   “The biggest probdiation classes”, Dr. lem I have seen is Mike Dreith, Presithat there are a lot dent of Western Texless ‘traditional stuas College said. “If dents’”, Dr. William J. you can’t pass those Campion, president initial development of Ranger College of classes, you won’t do Eastland Texas said. well in college. About “These students have three out of four jobs, and therefore, freshmen have to go have to go part-time. to remediation.” Some are parents One of the things that go once they’re WTC does is focus in their 20’s.” more on each individAccording to recent ual student. Instead studies, 75 percent of making everyone of students are “nontake a 16-week class traditional” students in the same amount who balance famiof time, WTC lets a lies, jobs, and school.   student move on to There are many faccollege level courses tors that go into if they demonstrate the probability of they understand graduating. Statistics Above: CP students throw their caps at the 2011 graduation ceremony. High school gradation is al- the material in six ways a celebratory occasion, but just a high school diploma limits job opportunities in the work force. favor students that weeks. Many other go full-time, even colleges are adoptthough they have to take more credits.  College graduation ing this method to make courses more flexible and personal rates are fairly low to begin with, but abysmal for students for each individual student. who go part-time. In Texas 56 percent of full-time students   These kinds of methods save students time, which is a valuseeking a four-year degree receive it within six years. On the able resource when it comes to college. other hand, only 30 percent of students going part-time get “I have no time for a job”, says Eric Martin, 2011 senior and a 4-year of degree within six years. It also hurts a student’s freshmen at California Institute of Technology.  “All of my inchances if they wait to continue their education for more come has come from money I’ve earned the past two sumthan a year after finishing high school. In Texas, 57 percent mers.” of students fresh out of high school get a four-year degree In order to close the skills gap in America, changes will need within six years. However, only 30 percent of college students to be made, both from students and college administrations. over the age of 25 get a four-year degree within six years. To see more detailed statistics visit   Another cause contributing to a low college graduation rate is weak remediation courses.  If a student demonstrates lack of understanding in a course, they are assigned to remediation.  However, many of these remediation programs are


Someone Stop SOPA

By Dylan Lopenzina


he Internet is a worldwide system that can be accessed from almost anywhere by anyone with the means to do so. It is so unimaginably big that the notion of trying to control it seems pretty farfetched. Unfortunately, for the free peoples of the web, that is exactly what the U.S. government is trying to do. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Oct. 26 by House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative Lamar S. Smith (RTX). This bill was introduced in an attempt to control online piracy and the online trafficking of copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. If this law was passed it would enable the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders to seek out court orders against web sites guilty of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.

Pros and Cons of SOPA

People who support this bill claim that SOPA is necessary to protect the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue and is necessary to protect copyright laws. The Internet, after all, does enable a lot of illegal activities, but laws that combat these illegal activities might not be the worst idea. Opponents of this bill argue that SOPA would not even stop these pirate sites. The censorship regulations written into this bill would only cause these pirate sites to change their addresses and continue to operate illegally, while law abiding companies would be suffering high penalties for breaches they could not possibly control. One of the leaders in the opposition of this bill is a web site we all know and love, Google. People at Google are saying that

Congress is doing the right thing going after pirates and counterfeiters, but SOPA is the wrong way to do it. The passage of this law would create a new era of uncertainty for American businesses. That is why AOL, EBay, Facebook, Google, Linkedln, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga wrote a letter to Congress stating these bills “pose a serious risk to our industries continued track record of innovation and job creation.” On top of that, 55 of Americas most successful venture capitalists spoke out against the SOPA bill, claiming that the law would “stifle investment in Internet services, throttle innovation and hurt American competitiveness.” And on top of that, 204 entrepreneurs told Congress that SOPA would “hurt economic growth and chill innovation.” And on top of that, almost every citizen in the country is against this law being passed. If that is not enough of a reason not to pass it, then I am not sure what is.

Alternative Solutions Exist

The fact is that an attempt to censor the Internet would almost be a contradiction to what we value most about it. The Internet is so great because it allows for people to freely share ideas and communicate with each other. The fact that nowadays we use it for advertising and business just as much as we use it for communication and entertainment shows us just how good the internet is. Censoring the Internet would greatly diminish its value. There are other ways to go after Internet pirates and other illegal activities without shutting down the entire freedom of the web. Congress should look into some of those ideas for a change. They do not have to shut down the whole thing just to stop a few crooks, not only will it not work, it will only make things worse for our country.


Dream Big and Go Far

Madison Ray

The hit show, American Idol, premiered Jan. 18 which hilarious and the best so far. This episode gave the audimeans someone’s dream of fulfilling their long time hope of ence five perfect singers and seven bad singers. The othbecoming a celebrity is about to become a reality. er auditions rated more good singers and only a few bad Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and singers. The judges who rarely Randy Jackson are back once again disagreed with each other, disto select America’s next idol. The agreed about seven times. A host, Ryan Seacrest, returns for his disagreement over Cheyenne 11th year. Last year, American Idol James from Conroe had Lopez broke records with the number of wanting more, but Jackson and people voting for their favorite. Tyler taking the opposite view. The show was also ranked as the The last singer of the night number one television show. Week came with a depressing story, after week audiences were surbut a heart to pull him through. prised by whom was staying and Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez return for their second year as Ramiro Garcia of Houston, judges and Randy Jackson stays on for his 11th season. whom was being sent home. In born with no ear lobes, but the end, Scotty McCreery was America’s Idol. Fans had not at the age of four doctors found an ear drum. With partial chosen a country singer as their idol since season four with hearing restored, he was able to hear, and through a miraCarrie Underwood. cle, he sang “Amazing Grace.” The judges took a chance and The show kicked off with auditions in Savannah, Georgia. pushed him through to Hollywood. Many touching stories were shared, whether it was Lauren The auditions keep going and the contestants roll in each Mink who works with adults with disabilities and brings mu- unique and each closer to becoming an American Idol. sic to them in her job; or Amy Brumfield who lives in a tent with her husband because of financial problems. She made it through the auditions with her sweet, raspy voice and her high spirits of accepting how she lives. “I’d rather be happy and live in a tent than be unhappy living in a house,” Brumfield said. Tyler pushed many girls through not only for their voice, H. HARLOQUIN but looks too. The NBA cheerleader had both Jackson and in The Galleria 3 Tyler’s mouths dropping. Mouths were definitely dropped when Tyler admitted to Joe Magrane, retired St. Louis CardiSay YES to the dress! NEW ARRIVALS DAILY! nals pitcher, that his daughter was hot after commenting on Couture dresses by the weather of Beantown. Jovani, Faviana, “Hot, humid and happening, just like your daughter,” Tyler Alyce Designs, said. Clarisse, Scala, Phillip Phillips ended the auditions in Savannah and Dave & Johnny, Jaszy Couture, Sherri Hill, amazed the judges with his voice that combined many past MacDuggal, Tony Bowls, Idol’s. The talent continued on to San Diego where Ashley Dana Mathers, Terani, Robles sang, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston Nina Cannacci and showed off her many octaves. Actor Jim Carrey’s daughSpecial orders and alterations. ter, Jane, showed up to achieve her dream on her own. JaOne stop shopping for shoes, son “Wolf” Hamlin auditioned with a unique blend between jewelry, & purses. Johnny Cash and Elvis. The fifth city of auditions was in Galveston. Although many 713.552.9440 fans said that the auditions American Idol decided to show Located inside the Galleria III, second level by Saks Hair Salon were an embarrassment to Texas, others said they were

22 [February]

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Laptops: Edit, cut textbooks Sam Morrow

The age of reading textbooks is coming to an end. Flipping page after page with books that are torn apart and broken is becoming more of a burden then a necessity. With the world turning into a technological race, turning to laptops in school seems like the perfect way to get ahead and stay ahead.

Text Books Cumberson to Use Everybody has in their classes the student that never has their homework with them. They always make an excuse like they lost it or they pretend that they never got it but they really just wanted to play video games instead of working. Teachers get upset; students get annoyed; and it becomes a gigantic mess that no one wants to deal with. Certain schools in the country and have switched from expensive textbooks with out-dated information to an investment that would make learning more fun and productive.

Laptops Provide Educational Advantage Thierry Karsenti heads the Canada Research Chair in Information and Communication Technology in Education his recent study with over 2,000 students and 200 teachers made the point that students who use the laptops have increased concentration, a reinforced motivation, and an aid to both the development and independence of the students.

“I think the use of laptops in school would be a great convenience to students,” Sophomore Tristan Britt said. “Personally, I think better when I am typing and I go a lot faster than handwriting all of my assignments.” Students also end up carrying 100-pound backpacks filled with textbooks that they have to carry in their bags because some do not have to time to go to their lockers. Laptops are light and less of a hassle to carry around than textbooks. “For generations, school meant books -- lots of books, but not anymore. Around the country, from high school to grad school, textbooks are getting harder to find. Technology has made the library something that can fit into the palm of your hand,” Karsenti said. In a technology driven world, students need to be as prepared as possible. This means letting go of the past nostalgia of books and switching to modern technology. Schools such as The Woodlands Christian Academy have already traded their books for laptops. “The time will come that everyone will have and use a laptop,” Technology consultant Milton Kelly said. “It is the next logical step.”

Positive Effects Greater with Laptops “Students with laptops write more than the average student and seeing as the computer isn’t introduced before grade three, they still know how to use a good old-fashioned pencil,” Karsenti said. Not only is the use of a laptop fun for teachers, it could also be a financial help to teachers and administration. Textbooks are getting more and more expensive each year. The amount of books students receive in their high school career is the same amount as a laptop. Another advantage to this route is that these personal computers provide new and fresh information and never go out of date. Plus, there is plenty of free educational material online.

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Textbooks may someday be a thing of the past as laptops gain popularity. After toting his assignment to class, Senior Cory Sessum finishes his work.

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February Edition  

February edition of College Park's "The Paladin"

February Edition  

February edition of College Park's "The Paladin"