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MALALA YOUSAFZAI The 16-year-old became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and her story about fighting against The Taliban to secure the rights for girls to attend school continues to educate and inspire through her memoir, “I am Malala.” Page 3

180 S. Livernois Rochester Hills, MI 48307 A comprehensive break down of hot beverages from coffee shops all throughout Rochester.

The Rochester Alliance of Theatrical Students prepares for the upcoming 2009 TonyAward winning musical ‘In The Heights.”

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Volume 76

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Issue 2

October 2013

The injury-prone RHS boys varsity soccer team unexpectadly falls short to Lake Orion in their first district battle.

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As the end of the calendar year and potential change in health care costs looms, RCS teachers are getting more impatient with the Board of Education to settle a contract. “Many [teachers] are being forced to take second jobs, make hard decisions on which payments to skip each month, and even eye careers outside of the education field because they see a profession under attack from all angles, including a Board of Education they are beginning to believe is slow-playing negotiations intentionally,” Rochester Education Association president Doug Hill said in a statement at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 14. School board president Beth Talbert says this is incorrect. “The negotiation teams have met consistently since May; specifically, 18 meetings have been held and at least three more are scheduled in the near future,” Mrs. Talbert said. “These meetings are mutually agreed upon by both negotiating teams and there has been no intentional delay in reaching a contract. It is in everyone’s best interest to have a contract in place. The Board recognizes that a critical factor in the success of our district is the quality of our teachers. Their dedication and commitment to our students is exceptional.”

The RHS Critical Incident Team (CIT), led by assistant principal Pasquale Cusumano, met on Wednesday, Oct. 9, to discuss their purpose: figuring out strategies for how to prevent, manage and deal with trauma or emergencies that surface at school. “Drills can’t prevent things from happening,” Mr. Cusumano said. “But [the CIT] is going to decide how to handle it.” The team consists of: police liaison Deputy John Ashley; Burr Security staff member Zach Fletcher; athletic director Luke Beach; teachers Laura Matthews and Julia Satterthwaite; counselor Kelly Messing-Mirabito; support staff Lorna Adams, Nancy Cox, Donna Vinson and Lauren Greve; secretaries Karen Garr, Donna Dembinski and Theresa Kimble; paraprofessional Carol Butorac; and maintenance staff member John Bruner. Meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 26; Wednesday, Dec. 18; Tuesday, Jan. 18; Tuesday, Feb. 25; Wednesday, March 26; and Tuesday, April 29 during second hour. At these meetings, the CIT will receive potential scenarios, such as a suicide or shooter in the building, and discuss how they’d handle it.


On Friday, Oct. 11, state treasurer Andy Dillon announced his resignation, this amid speculation about misuse of campaign funds as well as his dealing with a muddled divorce. “It has become clear to me — as it likely is to most — that it is unfair to my family and the residents of Michigan, to allow issues related to my recent divorce and the unfortunate acrimony associated with it to be a continued source of media attention and scrutiny,” Dillon said in a statement. Dillon’s wife charged him with assault in August; however, the charges were dismissed. Also, Dillon’s secretary is currently charging Dillon’s ex-wife of false accusation about her and Dillon committing adultery. Snyder has accepted his resignation, although he displayed feelings of remorse. “I believe he is being [selfless],” junior Caitlyn Skelcy said. “He's dealing with a tough personal issue and has the courage to admit that to fellow Michiganders and politicians. He doesn't want his personal life to have any persuasion on political topics and decisions.”


U.S. An unexpected blizzard coupled with 70-mile-an-hour winds hit South Dakota Oct. 3-5, resulting in the loss of 15,000 to 30,000 cattle, according to estimates from State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven in an interview with The Weather Channel. The cattle were still grazing on summer pastures, and had not yet grown their protective winter coats. The cattle died in many ways, ranging from suffocating on snow lodged in their lungs to hypothermia. "I've been in this business 50 years and I've never seen anything like this," cattle rancher Kathy Jobgen, who estimated her family lost nearly half of its herd of 350, said in an interview with "The vision of seeing all these cattle dead is something you can't wipe out of our eyes." The 16-day government shutdown impacted cattle ranchers because the federal agency tasked with tallying livestock losses after a disaster is closed during the partial government shutdown, according to a story by National Public Radio. “I think it’s extremely disappointing to let the government get to this point,” history teacher Mr. Chad Zwolinski said. “The government is making a big deal out of what seems to be a political argument opposed to what actually should be a problem. I’m pretty disappointed in our politicians.”


The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons,” according to nobelprize. org. To read about another one of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize nominees, check out the story about 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai on Page 4. The OPCW recently trained 25 inspectors from 17 nations in a variety of skills ranging from field medic responsibilities to monitoring the destruction of chemical weapons. Even though Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has allowed the inspectors to enter the country, there is a risk of rebel groups trying to intervene. The OPCW is sanctioned by the United Nations and, according to Voice of America, the mission target is to finish the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by Nov. 1. Students at RHS hope the chemical weapons inspectors are successful, especially if it saves the U.S. from getting involved in a military conflict. “I think it’s good for the United Nations to look deeper into the use of chemical weapons on citizens,” sophomore Rachel Butala said. “However, I think it’s good that we don’t necessarily have to personally get involved as the United States.”





16-year-old Malala Yousafzai is youngest person nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize


necessarily linked to age, and Malala is a perfect example of this,” Ms. Burke said. “When you read her story and hear her speak, I think she definitely has wisd om well beyond her years.” Yousafzai did not end up winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which ended up going to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW ) for its efforts to eliminate chemical weapons, but some say the prize is not what matters most. “In the end it’s just a title,” junior Pau l Lee said. “The message though will go unaffected and it will still have a pos itive impact.” Yousafzai’s story is now widelypublicized with the distribution of her memoir “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.” “I love Malala’s book; I would strongly recommend it,” Ms. Burke said. “I am going to recommend it to all my AP language students as well because we do a lot of studying about different cultures and people in different part s of the world. I would highly recommend her book to anyone of any age, but particularly teenagers; I think they would be very moved by her story. It’s a beautiful story from what I have read so far.” Students have expressed some

old Malala On Oct. 9, 2012, 15-yearad by a he Yousafzai was shot in the e home rid s Taliban member on a bu being for tan from her school in Pakis ation uc ed of e an outspoken advocat gh ou thr led for girls. The bullet trave ar ne ed pp sto her head and neck and to d cte pe ex t no her shoulder; she was e viv sur did i fza survive. However, Yousa the s wa she d, and now, at 16-years-ol Nobel Peace youngest nominee for the Prize. ed July 12, The United Nations dubb alala Day,” “M ay, 2013 Yousafzai’s birthd rds to wo ing and she had the follow share at the event. they would “The terrorists thought ambitions, my p sto change my aims and except life my in but nothing changed sness les pe ho d this: weakness, fear an wer po , gth ren died,” Yousafzai said. “St t no am I … and courage was born am I here to against anyone, neither l revenge na speak in terms of perso other terrorist y an against the Taliban or for the right up k ea group. I’m here to sp I want . ild ch of education for every ughters da d an s education for the son and s ist ror ter of the Taliban and all extremists.” Burke is English teacher Ms. Erin ry. sto ai’s captivated by Youzafz t no is ge “I think that coura

interest in reading “I am Malala.” “Any story of a person sticking up for what they believe in and putting it into action is a story worth reading,” Lee said. Yousafzai has met with previous Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama, and has appeared on numerous talk shows. The video of Jon Stewart rendered speechless with Yousafzai’s responses to questions has gone viral. “I think Malala being in the media will change some people’s views in Islam because it shows that there are definitely people who are peaceoriented Muslims and not terrorists,” sophomore Chelly Rose* said. “This is contrary to what is commonly portrayed in media with the Taliban and other Muslim extremist groups.” Youzafzai says she will continue to fight for access to education for young ladies, something many RHS students may have thought of as a given. “Her story will show people the freedoms that I think we take for granted every day in this country,” Ms. Burke said. “I think that it’s amazing that she is so young and already accomplished so much and shown so much courage and bravery. Her story is a story that other students should know as an inspiration.”

ALICE MUNRO Candadian, Alice Munro, won the Nobel Preace Prize for literature this year. The 82-year-old was honored for her 14 short story collections where she examines human nature. She is the 13th woman to win the prize.


OPCW The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize this year “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”. The organization has recently been working in Syria to locate and dispose of chemical weapons.



On July 1, 1997, Malala Yousafzai is born in in Mingora, Pakistan to a Pashtun family.


Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah highlights his power in the Swat Valley through his FM radio station in which he preaches Islamic Law.


After a military campaign to take over Swat Valley, the Taliban create a campaign in which they forbid girls from going to school because they believe it conflicts with Islamic teaching.


Malala’s father takes her, at 11-years-old, to the providence captial where she conducts a speech titled “How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Basic Right to an Education.”


The Taliban agree to a permanent ceasefire with the Pakistani government if Sharia law is imposed.


Malala and other Pakistanis flee the Swat Valley because of a second military offensive. Malala’s family is separated while in exile. The family receives threats after it is revealed that she is the BBC blogger.




Mo Yan Born into a poor family in China, Mo Yan covered his life in a variety of formats, including short stories, novels and essays. He won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for the magical realism that he puts into his stories.


Barack H. Obama In 2009, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Malala becomes a celebrity in Pakistan after being nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Later that year she wins a separate award, the Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize .


Malala gets shot in the head by a masked member of the Taliban, part of a group that infilitrated her bus home from school. She is treated in Pakistan and then Birmingham, England.


Malala becomes a symbol for women’s rights and education around the world. She becomes runner-up as “Time” Magazine’s Person of the Year. Sources: “Time” Magazine (http://poy.time. com/2012/12/19/interactive-timeline-malala-yousafzai/) & nobel_prizes/lists/year/




A flag in every classroom is one of the changes seen after Governor Rick Snyder signed a mandate that provides students the choice to say the pledge everyday. Some see this as a chance to show their patriotism while others think it’s a waste of time. BY MAURA LOSH On October 5, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a mandate for public schools to provide an opportunity for students in high school to say the Pledge of Allegiance daily. Recently, the administration had flags installed in classrooms, and senior Mackenzie Van Vleck invites those who wish to participate to stand and repeat the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of announcements each morning. “[Snyder] feels that students need to have the opportunity to [say the pledge] in public schools. Whether they want to or not is another question,” principal Mr. Charles Rowland III said. “The flexibility in the law is that students are not required to say it. So for those students who want to recite the pledge, they have an opportunity every morning during announcements, and those who don’t want to, that’s fine as well.” Freshman Derek Kepczynski appreciates the opportunity to recite the Pledge and uses the time to reflect on his feelings about his country. “I feel proud to be an American,” Kepczynski said.

“I feel like by reciting the to recite and which ones they pledge, we are reminding don’t. ourselves of what we have and “When I listen to people the freedom others have fought saying the pledge, I pay so hard for.” attention during that part Other students are not because I know that some particularly fond of the new people don’t like to say it mandate and feel that taking because they don’t believe in the time to say the pledge is a God,” Yousif said. “But when waste. we recite it in my class I hear “Well, because I have AP everyone say it; I don’t hear Biology third hour I feel like it anyone stop at that part in is a waste particular.” of thirty seconds, Administration I feel proud to be an but I don’t and staff make American. I feel like by mind sure that no reciting the pledge, we are saying student is reminding ourselves of what it,” senior teased because we have and the freedom Danielle of his or her others have fought so hard Yousif said. decision to for. “It just kind participate or of feels like DEREK KEPCZYNSKI, 9 not participate something in reciting the we do in pledge. elementary “I believe that we have school and not like something the quality of students here we do in high school. I’m just that are going to be respectful not used to it, I guess.” of whatever an individual’s One of the things that choice is, so I don’t see students feel uncomfortable bullying being a problem,” with and argue over is the 1954 Mr. Rowland said. “Again, modification of adding in the it’s our Pledge of Allegiance; line “under God”. While some you should be entitled to students believe everyone participating in that on a daily should recite the pledge as basis without ridicule or vice adopted by Congress, others versa. It’s your right to make feel that they should be able to your own choice and I’m sure choose what lines they want people will be respectful to

the right to make a choice on that.” The purpose of the mandate was to increase patriotism in the high schools. Along these same lines, it has been suggested that students learn and recite the mission statement: Rochester High School focuses on the total development of the child, creating a challenging learning environment that encourages students to be motivated, respectful, and driven to help achieve their full potential. Because of the wordiness of this statement, it seems the administration and staff are comfortable with the well-known tagline: “Every day is a great day to be a Falcon.” Students don’t seem to mind this phrase being added to the end of announcements. “It sounds like a cool idea to me,” Kepczynski said. “I don’t see a reason not to. It does not offend anyone.” Yousif also agrees. “I think it will have people get more involved with the school and feel more welcome,” Yousif said. “Maybe more people will believe it and feel it in their hearts.”

fast facts


The original pledge did not have the words ‘under God’ included. Since 1943, Americans cannot be required to recite the pledge.

The original pledge was published on September 8, 1892.

The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, an editor of a children’s magazine.

Senior David Mackens is pictured reciting the pledge. Photo by Ambika Vohra








Art students work on both creating wonderful images and learning how to work as a team Mrs. Susan Bentley’s project: creating a mural for the hallways of RHS. BY ERIN EYLER 2D, Paint and Draw art students have taken up a new challenge in the past month: creating a new, interesting and creative school mural. In charge of the project is art teacher Mrs. Susan Bentley, who hopes that the mural will be enjoyed by Falcons walking the halls for many years to come. “I attended a Visual Arts conference this summer and one of the presenters shared their experience of making a similar mural,” Mrs. Bentley said. “It was a great addition to their school while the creation process was a fun collaborative effort. It was very inspiring to see all the pieces to come into one.” Mrs. Bentley had the students looking for themes for the mural, and is hoping to see the theme come out as a representation of the community. “I asked our class to come up with ideas and pictures that represent our community and/ or what makes our community unique,” Mrs. Bentley said. “The discussion involved possibly all the beautiful natural areas like the parks and trails and a few of the yummy cider mills we have in our area. What was decided is still under wraps and I am not at liberty to reveal the subject matter. I can say we are very fortunate to live in such a remarkable community.” The main purpose of the mural is to show artists working together to create lasting art. “We have 16 artists working on the mural with some people possibly doing two sections because the mural is compiled of 20 pieces all together,” Mrs. Bentley said. “It could be considered a mosaic mural, actually.” Sophomore Rachael Meldonado is hoping to



Above: Junior Justine Naj and art teacher Mrs. Susan Bentley examine a portion of the mural in the making. Top left: Junior Kennedy Williams works on her part of the puzzle. Bottom left: 2D Draw and Paint students arrange their pieces into order to see how everyone is progressing on his or her part of the mural, including sophomores Megan Godell, Alaine Apostol and Ayanna Wyatt.

positively contribute to the mural. “I’m really excited to be able to put it all together and seeing everyone’s work as one,” Maldonado said. Junior Kennedy Williams is hoping to get people to think when they see the mural. “Being able to create something that is a part of our community and making something we can relate to is the most exciting part,” Williams said. Other RHS art pieces are unique, but Mrs. Bentley hopes that this project will portray something more than a normal drawing. “There are other large painted murals in the halls

of RHS, but nothing like this project, which makes it even more special,” Mrs. Bentley said. “This mural is an excellent chance for students to collaborate.” The 2D drawing and painting students can only complete the project by connecting with their peers to make an accurate picture. “I don’t really know what I’m hoping to show,” sophomore Henry Hibelin said. “I’m just really excited to have it be seen by other people.” Teamwork is the largest concept of the mural, according to Mrs. Bentley. “On one art piece, they have to be successful together. These artists have a unique

opportunity to leave behind a wonderful legacy of their time here at RHS,” Mrs. Bentley said. “Plus, we get to show off our unique talents while decorating the school with even more community pride. I am thrilled to be a part of this unrivaled piece of work.” Mrs. Bentley hopes the mural gets hung before winter break. The location of the mural has not been decided yet. “This mural is a fine example of all the different opportunities that take place in RHS’s art classrooms,” Mrs. Bentley said. “I trust this mural will inspire others to what to become a part of this creative, fun and rewarding department.”

It is not possible for me to know every person within the junior class, so I’ll admit that my argument against some of you may be falsely placed. However, I am fairly confident that the majority of the people in the junior locker bank do not belong there. And yet, I have yet to experience a passing time which I did not have to elbow past a herd of hyperactive juniors to get to my locker. I get shoved by the beastly population who decided that those seven short minutes were the ideal time frame to mock combat with each other, and I get trapped within a crowd of students who make no effort to move when you ask. I don’t understand—when did it become ideal for a sea of stinky, sweaty students to cram into the smallest area possible? When did it become okay to unabashedly disregard the presence of your peers? When did our class decide that it was appropriate to turn fetching a book into a rat race? Our school is crowded; we can’t avoid that. There are just a lot of students that happen to attend classes here. I am not dismissing this fact, I’m really not. However, I do not hesitate when blaming you, Class of 2015. All of the other areas with lockers are perfectly accessible, almost completely clear. This clot of students only occurs in one section of the junior locker bank. All of the other students seem to have figured out that there are more convenient places to accumulate. It isn’t a difficult concept, really. Go to the locker bank when you need access to your locker, find a better place to chat with your friends, and leave room for another student to go about his or her day. I’m not saying that the locker bank should be a completely abandoned, silent area. Not one bit. All I’m asking is that you make it possible for other students to go about the school day, uninterrupted by you blocking the path to their locker and refusing to move. There are plenty of places that are adequate for your meetings—the mall, the cafeteria, the balcony above the mall. I’m aware that it’s an unimaginable burden, but stay out of locker banks unless you need to, meet with your friends in a more appropriate environment and space, and don’t blatantly disregard the existence of other students. If you cannot avid blocking someone’s way, acknowledge that you’re the one at fault. And remember, when in doubt, something simple as an apology or mumbling an “excuse me” is never bad idea. Students would really appreciate it.



‘In the


The fall musical will be performed on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 and 8 p.m. in the RHS auditorium. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 6 before/after school and during all three lunches.


Since the second week of school, the Rochester Alliance of Theatrical Students (R.A.T.S.) has been perfecting their moves, vocals and even the set itself before their opening performance of “In the Heights” on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Director and English teacher Mr. Frank Gollon gives a more in-depth explanation on how the selection of the fall musical was made. “What we do each year, and by we, I am referring to myself, Mr. and Mrs. Miesch, Mrs. Plotzke, and Mr. Nadeau, is that we will actually meet and start talking about potential shows,” Mr. Gollon said. “Whenever we are selecting a show we will always have to take into consideration, first and foremost, our audience and community standards, meaning what would be acceptable. We have to think in terms of our talent that we have, and in terms of what we will be able to put on casting wise. We like to be able to draw from some of the newer pieces that are out there just to give students an exposure to a whole variety of works in terms of what we have.” Set over a course of three days, “In the Heights” is a musical that follows ambitious major character Usnavi, played by senior Gabe Bustamante, and his friends while living in the largely DominicanAmerican neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. The story focuses on the group of neighbors as they meet new friends, encounter love, struggle with poverty and discrimination, and follow their ambitions.

Senior and male lead Gabe Bustamante and the cast dance to the upbeat opening song, “In the Heights,” an upbeat song. Photo by Camille Douglas

The star that shines behind main character Usnavi, Bustamante, describes what attracted him to one of the lead roles in the first place. “I fell that I really have a good rap narrative ability, and I like the Hispanic aspect of the play,”Bustamante said. “I felt like I could make it work, seeing that I am slightly Hispanic, and I have taken a few years of Spanish.” In addition, senior Vanessa Rodriguez is excited to be playing the role of Nina. “It’s cool because for, like, all my four years here, I have

been waiting to be this role,” Rodriguez said. Much like the process of selecting the musical, the method for choosing the main lead roles for the play is also quite challenging. “The audition process for everybody is a three-part process,” Mr. Gollon said. “Meaning, we have them sing, dance and act for us. So, there are quite a few things we have to take into consideration as we are casting and that is why casting is one of the most challenging things we have to do.”

Senior and female lead Vanessa Rodriguez performs the ballad “Breathe,” about her character’s preparations to return home to tell her family that she wasn’t about to achieve success at Stanford University. Photo by Camille Douglas




According to Mr. Gollon, one of the things that is making this particular musical so successful is the casting of new members. “What we liked about when we did ‘Hairspray’ a few years back was it allowed us to bring in those students who normally didn’t come out for musicals,” Mr. Gollon said. “And with [‘In the Heights’] its whole Latin feel, it has brought in a lot of new faces as well, and we have been able to encourage some of the kids out of the ESL program to get involved.” One of the new faces that the audience will see come opening night is freshman Jessie Carl who is part of the feature ensemble. “The musical is really fun,” Carl said. “You make so many friends in theatre, and its just a really good place to meet really nice people. Its time consuming, but its totally worth it.” In addition, there are others, like senior William Harriston, who joined the play in order to gain some exposure. “I’m doing this play to gain some experience and to have a good time,”


The cast of “In The Heights” practices the choreography for the first number of the show at one of many rehearsals. Photo by Camille Douglas

Harriston said. “My dream is to be a when it comes to musicals.” big actor one day.” To accompany the Latino music, Not only are Mr. Gollon additions to the emphasizes the crew a new change style of dancing that There is nothing like the for the R.A.T.S., will be incorporated anticipation of the crowd but also the Latino into the show. filing in, and you know the style of music gives “The dancing lights are ready, the costumes style is very students a chance are ready, the sound is ready, to experience different from something different. and the cast is all ready. shows we have Music director and done in the past, MR. GOLLON, DIRECTOR because it has that choir instructor Mrs. Jolene Plotzke ‘Latin kind of explains. feel,’” Mr. Gollon “I have never seen anything, said. “There is also that street dancing other than ‘West Side Story’ that too. We’ve got some break dancers in had anything Hispanic. It’s like a some of the numbers.” culture that is lost in As the date of the opening night music approaches, the cast and crew, including junior Abbey Troeger who plays Vanessa, grows eager to

show off their talents on stage. “[Performing is] an exhilarating feeling,” Troeger said. “We feed of the energy of the crowd, so like when the crowd is going wild for you, it is so amazing.” Similar to the cast, Mr. Gollon is also excited for the student body of RHS to see the R.A.T.S.’s production of “In the Heights.” “There is nothing like the anticipation of the crowd filing in, and you know the lights are ready, the costumes are ready, the sound is ready and the cast is all ready,” Mr. Gollon said. “After the shows, I always just like to stand out here and listen to the crowd as they come out and it is always pretty neat to hear what they have to say.”



‘Sunshine’ is crowned Homecoming Queen BY COLETTE CLOUTIER Senior Emily Jacobs was named RHS homecoming queen. Jacobs has Down’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder associated with growth delay, a specific set of facial characteristics and intellectual challenges. After spending four years working side by side with Jacobs, special education teacher Mrs. Amy Cosentino could not be happier with her crowning. “Emily is an amazing young lady; she just gives so much back to Rochester High School,” Mrs. Cosentino said. “She’s involved in so many activities, she works really hard, she’s always upbeat, and she always comes in every day and is so cheerful and happy.” Although #GetEmilyOnHomecomingCourt had been trending on Twitter for days, Jacobs first found out about her nomination when she saw her name on the scantron of senior court choices in homeroom. “I couldn’t believe it,” Jacobs said. “I just couldn’t believe it.” If this initial excitement wasn’t enough, a few days later Jacobs was then pulled out of class towards the end of the day and told by childhood friend and student council member, Sam Monica that she was on homecoming court. Jacobs reports that she was, “jumping up and down” and that the whole situation was “very exciting.” Jacobs leads a very active lifestyle and one of her many after school activities includes participating in this year’s musical, “In the Heights.” That same day she was told she was on court, the cast and crew of the musical were given their scripts, and the excitement from that almost caused her to forget about her nomination. Jacobs’s mother, Cheryl and Emily’s family were some of the last people to find out about her nomination. “I went and picked her up from theatre, from the play, and someone had said they told everybody in class and I said well, for sure she would have called me, or somebody would have called, but I didn’t get a call, so I said I don’t really think she made the court,” Mrs. Jacobs said. “So then I came to pick her up from theatre and she goes ‘Mom, guess what! And she showed me her book from In the Heights, that they had gotten their scripts. She said ‘Look! I got my script!’ and I was like oh … did anything else happen? And she goes ‘OH YEAH! I’m on Homecoming Court!’ And I was like What?! So that was pretty neat, how it was, like, the second thing she told me.” After Jacobs was selected to be on court, Mrs. Cosentino emailed


all of the local newspapers and news stations to share Jacobs’ story. “I sat down and wrote a nice little paragraph explaining how amazing Emily is, so I’m really glad that not only Emily, but our school got such positive PR from it,” Mrs. Cosentino said. “It was great because people look at Emily and say ‘Aw, that’s so awesome for Emily; she’s so deserving,’ but then they look at RHS and they see that it is a great place because they have great students.” After the word got out, Flirty Fashions, a dress shop in Rochester Hills, offered to donate a dress and tailoring for Jacobs. Mrs. Cosentino and business teacher Mrs. Karen Malsbury accompanied Jacobs and her mom to select a dress. “Mrs. Malsbury was already [at Flirty Fashions] when we got there and she came up and said ‘this dress is the one,’ and I tried it on and then I said Mrs. Malsbury won again,” Jacobs said. Mrs. Jacobs added that even though Jacobs tried on tons of dresses, Jacobs and all of her supporters kept going back to the original dress Mrs. Malsbury picked out and knew that it was “the one.” On the night of the football game, the Jacobs family (including sisters 22-year-old Chelsea and 19-year-old Ashley), was in attendance, and they describe their feelings when Jacobs was announced Queen as “unbelievable” and as if it were a “dream.” During the interview, Mrs. Jacobs reminded Emily how the entire student section and SOF began chanting her name, and Jacobs couldn’t keep the genuine, giddy smile off her face. The icing on the cake was when Ludovic Clavette-Lashapelle was named king. Jacobs has been friends with Clavette-Lashapelle since first grade and has enjoyed working with his mother, paraprofessional Manon Clavette. “It’s wonderful!” Mrs. Clavette said. “Since we moved here, Emily was in Ludi’s first grade classroom at UHills and they’ve been friends since then.” Mrs. Clavette enjoyed hearing Emily’s and Ludovic’s names announced. “To be honest with you, it couldn’t happen to two better people,” Mrs. Clavette said. “That was a nice way to end the homecoming week, like a fairytale.” Jacobs and her story were given lots of publicity locally, but her story also made it to several different states, AOL News and the National Down’s Syndrome site. “It just shows that there is so much more acceptance,” Mrs. Jacobs said. “She has truly been embraced.”



The 2013 homecoming queen Emily Jacobs is accompanied by king Ludovic Clavette-Lashapelle, as the student section chants “Emily! Emily! Emily!” Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Jacobs

RHS senior Emily Jacobs attended homecoming with her boyfriend, Stoney Creek High School senior Michael Davis. Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Jacobs

Senior Shane Shadaia escorts Jacobs to the dance floor at the Homecoming dance. Photo by Melody Zhang





Photos by Sarah Walwema

MR. KEVIN BRISKI BY SARAH WALWEMA Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A TEACHER? A: This is my first official year, but I’ve taught for a full school year at Adams as well. Q: WHY DID YOU BECOME A TEACHER? A: In high school, I really really liked U.S. History and I wanted to study it in college. I thought the only way to use it was to teach. After getting involved in college and doing some observations with kids, I thought to myself that I really liked teaching and working with young people, building relationships and being in people’s lives. Q: WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? A: I grew up in Clinton Township for most of my life, but I was born in East Detroit. I’ve also lived in a couple areas in Metro Detroit. I graduated from Chippewa Valley High School. Q: WHAT KIND OF PERSON WERE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL? A: Academically, I did pretty well in school. I graduated cum laude. I took a lot of AP classes that I really enjoyed. I was a good student who was pretty involved. I was in student council for all four years, I was on the Varsity swim team for three years, and I played in the band for most of high school, including the Jazz Band. I was also in a band with friends. I did a little bit of everything. Socially, I was an “inbetweener.” I wasn’t popular, but I still have good high school friends. Q: WHAT MOTIVATED YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL? A: A lot of things were interesting to me. I had a lot of really good influences who encouraged me to do all of those things. My family was really encouraging to get me involved in the right things. They wanted to keep me involved so I would be too busy to get in trouble. So my family was great, I had a lot of great teachers and leaders that were involved in those that inspired me to stick with it. The right people led me in the right direction. Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING? A: I get to spend an hour a day with a group of people for an entire school year. During the week, I’m seeing a lot of these people more than their parents –and even some of their friends—get to. It’s a pretty awesome opportunity to be a good influence and do something to make a change.


Q: IF YOU WEREN’T TEACHING, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? A: I really like woodworking, so I would like to either be a carpenter or if, it was possible, I would like to play in a rock and roll band full time. Q: HAS CARPENTRY ALWAYS BEEN A HOBBY? WHAT DO YOU MAKE? A: It’s something that my dad is really good at, so I learned how to do a couple things from him. I built a bed, and I’m working on a cider press right now. I’ve done smaller things like easels and palettes. I’ve done a couple little odd things. When I was in a band we used to make little logos, and I would cut them out wood and we would burn symbols on them and make things out of them. I really like making furniture. Q: WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO YOU PLAY? HOW ARE YOU INVOLVED IN MUSIC NOW? A: I play the electric guitar. My wife is an orchestra teacher, so we play a lot of music together. We both play music at our church, and I’m in a band with some friends right now. Q: HOW IS ROCHESTER DIFFERENT THAN ADAMS? A: I would say the biggest difference is overall school spirit. I’ve never seen anything like that in a student body. It’s very raw. Everyone is glad to be here and they show it. That’s something that’s really unique. Even compared to other really good schools.

Mr. Briski did a year-long sub position at Adams last year.

Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CLASS TO TEACH? A: I’ve taught a lot of classes, and I like all of them for different reasons. Right now I’m teaching World History and U.S. History. I like them both a lot. I love World History and APUSH since that was the class that inspired me to become a teacher. I’ve also taught AP Government which was fun. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR? A: I want to establish myself as a solid part of this team that is RHS.I like to be here early, and I like to be here late. I keep the lights on and the door open. It’s kind of my philosophy for life: always being open and not being too busy that I can’t sit down and talk to them. It’s nice to have someone walk into my classroom, address them and just say good morning. It’s something that I encourage my students to do, to just get off their phones and say hello.

“Those Who Worked” is an album by Mr. Briski’s Band The Bends.


10 & 11 I FEATURE




It was October 1st. Unless one was a member of Congress—or the president of these United States— throwing a New Year’s Party would have seemed extremely out of place. The fiscal year, a term given to the year that government officials make a budget for, begins in October. Congress and the president have systemically signed appropriation bills (bills that deal with money) that generally don’t get much media coverage because of how regulatory they are.The shutdown means that this year, Congress and President Barack Obama couldn’t come to an agreement on a bill. Any program that is funded by the government that isn’t deemed necessary for the country to function is shut down until funding is agreed upon. WHO’S MAKING THESE DECISIONS The government consists of three branches that divide duties necessary to run a country. The judicial branch interprets laws and settles disputes. This is the one branch that didn’t have any power in the shutdown. The legislative branch’s job is







We’ve been respecting our government less and less, and our faith in the government’s ability to properly function is further shattered when the government shuts down simply because it will not function. MEGAN TACK , 12

to make laws. Congress is split up into two houses. The House of Representatives is the house that’s closer to their voters since each state gets a number of representatives proportionate to that state’s population. In contrast, the Senate is the house where each state gets equal representation with two representatives. The last branch of the government is the executive branch,which enforces the law. The president is the last piece of the puzzle when searching for a fiscal solution to end the shutdown. Elected by a majority of the people nation-wide, the president can be seen as the most recognizable face when it comes to government officials. The American way of writing legislation is quite different than other countries. The legislative and the executive are combined in a Prime Minister in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. According to reporting by “The Oakland Press,” the recent government shutdown was the first since two took place in 1995 and 1996, when President Bill Clinton

The shutdown of the government has left a bad impression on its people. The fact that elected government officials can’t compromise on a budget for the sake of its citizens is really sad. Personally, I think this is going to make people doubt our government’s ability to serve its citizens.

and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich battled over Medicaid, tax cuts and the budget deficit. The shutdowns lasted for six and 21 days respectively. In comparison, the Obama era shutdown lasted 17 days.

PASSING AN APPROPRIATIONS BILL Since the House of Representatives is closer to the people, they were appointed the task of making the budget and appropriating where money goes. The budget consists of two kinds of spending: mandatory and discretionary. Programs like Social Security, Medicare and national defense are considered mandatory spending, meaning the shutdown doesn’t affect them. Discretionary spending is funding for government programs that changes from fiscal year to fiscal year. These include money for NASA, education and national parks. After writing the bill, the House of Representatives votes to pass the

bill. If


passed, the bill makes its way to the Senate. The Senate does the same and votes to either pass or turn down the bill. The appropriations bill then makes its way to the president, who signs it into law or vetoes it. WHY THE APPROPRIATIONS BILL DIDN’T PASS While the appropriations bill usually passes without conflict, there was one aspect that both parties, Democrats or Republicans, didn’t compromise on: the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nicknamed Obamacare,the ACA requires every American to have access to affordable healthcare. A small faction of Republicans, known as the Tea Party is adamantly against the federal mandate and attempted to hold up the budget process until inaction of the ACA individual mandate requiring people to get care

was either delayed or completely defunded. “This group of politicians are working to block and de-fund the ACA,” AP Government teacher Mrs. Laura Matthews said. “They want to do this because the Tea Party views Obamacare as a government takeover of healthcare. The Republican Party leadership should work to get the Tea Party Caucus to compromise or be silenced – it is dividing and hurting their party – and giving them bad press attention” In order for everyone to have healthcare, the government does have to grow in size in order to create health care exchanges where those currently without health care can purchase a plan that fits their need and budget. For some, especially those already with health coverage, this potentially could mean an increase in taxes or higher health care premiums, two things that contradict the principles of the Republican Party. Members of the Tea Party wing of the GOP, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, were strongly against the mandate and,

along with a lack of compromise between Democrats and more moderate Republicans, many blame the shutdown on Congress’ inaction. “Congress is to blame,” senior Megan Birleson said. “More specifically the Republicans in congress who refused to pass the budget with Obamacare.” Others think that both parties are at fault. “They are committed to blocking anything that will defund or limit the carrying out of Obamacare,” Mrs. Matthews said. “They are refusing to cut spending.” LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE At the same time of the government shutdown, America approached its debt ceiling, or the limit on the amount of money the government can borrow to pay the bills that were racked up. On Oct. 17, America hit the limit, and had a compromise not been made earlier that day, the consequences could have been drastic. “We will not have money/

funding to pay bills and debt to other nations – we will face a downgrade in our credit rating,” Matthews said. “We faced one last year as well – first time in US history.” While raising the debt ceiling has generally been a routine event in Congress, lately members on both sides, despite citing bipartisanship, or compromise between the two parties, have used it as a bargaining chip in the hopes of advancing their agenda. Some feel the time had come for President Obama to put his foot down and attempt to overcome Congress’ internal debate. Through help of his Democratic allies and majority in the Senate, President Obama held the line, forcing Republicans and Speaker of the House John Boehner to concede. “His Democratic-controlled Senate is doing right by him,” Matthews said. “He promises to veto anything that defunds or limits Obamacare being carried out this year. He also must focus on the Oct 17. debt ceiling.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

I think all governments have their ups and downs. Americans have to keep faith in the fact that things will improve; supporting one’s government is part of being a united nation.


It [the shutdown] makes us look weak because we cannot run a government at this point, it just looks like our system is failing


12 I NEWS THE AMERICAN IMAGE Since the Vietnam War, the general trend has been that Americans don’t trust their country like they used to. In the age of technology, information about anything—including the government—is more readily available. “The shutdown of the government has left a bad impression on its people,” senior Jasmine Kim said. “The fact that elected government officials can’t compromise on a budget for the sake of its citizens is really sad. Personally, I think this is going to make people doubt our government’s ability to serve its citizens.” Even though this “bad impression” will likely be remembered come election time for Congress, some don’t feel that it will change anything. Incumbents, or candidates who are running for reelection, have an easier time winning an election. Michigan representative Carl Levin has served 34 years in Congress, and has only now decided not to run for reelection. “Not many know or care about the government furloughs during the summer because it does not directly affect them,” senior Megan Tack said. “Until the government completely breaks down, faith will continue to diminish when things get bad, but then increase again when people forget and move on.” Others think voters won’t let the shutdown go unnoticed. “The low approval ratings show Congress that they need to change or else the public is less likely to re-elect them during the next election,” junior Katie Whitfield said. “Many of the congressmen and congresswomen will not be elected next term because the people are demanding a change and Congress is not following up on the changes many people want to occur.” Activism could be the way that Americans get in touch with their legislators. “The people in Congress are smart enough to know that if the government shuts down because of their inability to do their job that will not be reflected well in the approval ratings,” Tack said. “I think actual letters and messages from the people they are representing would mean much more than just predictable





government shutdown BY THE


500, 000 postal workers + 1.4 million military members + 3.1 million



1995 (lasted 21 days) HOW MANY WERE FURLOUGHED (temporary leave without pay)?



800, 000 workers




ratings.” Amidst the shutdown and a stalemate between American legislators, others remember that the world is still watching. “We pride ourselves in the fact that we run on a Democratic system, a system that was intended to be run by and represent the American people, but the conflicting political parties are too stubborn to run a functioning government,” Kim said. “Throughout history, we

have gone to great lengths to combat communism and preserve democracy (Korean War), but we can’t even get democracy to work in our own country right now.” The world might be watching in dismay, seeing as America’s shutdown approach isn’t typical in other contries. “In other nations what we are going through right now is unfathomable,” Matthews said. “In most countries, a shutdown means a revolt or civil war is

occurring –we are nowhere near that magnitude; we have had now 18 shutdowns.” Through the quarreling and the finger pointing, some think that Uncle Sam still stands a chance at its former glory. “I am optimistic – and one can only hope. Our nation is extremely apathetic right now – which to me is extremely sad and unfortunate; however, I do understanding why that feeling exists,” Matthews said.

“Most Americans feel that the government is no longer working for them, their voice and their interests. If you want to restore faith in government, then get out and vote, and elect your official. We have this amazing right, to elect our leaders who act at the voice of their constituents; it’s the basis of our republic. If you did not vote, then you gave up the right to complain about the path of our government.”






With the arrival of Fall, the scent of pumpkin is omnipresent. Around this time of the year, stores are reviving their most popular pumpkin products of the season and whipping out some new additions to the collection. Here are five gift ideas for that special pumpkin lover.

CINNAMON PUMPKIN 1 SWEET BODY LOTION Bath and Body Works: The combination of cinnamon and savory pumpkin is mouth-watering on its own, but blended into a body lotion makes this mixture even more delectable. Take it anywhere and always smell like the enticing scent of autumn.



Target: The craving for something chocolaty mixed with a hint of pumpkin can be fulfilled with M&M’s newest tasty treat. The richness from the chocolate combined with the flavor of spiced pumpkin will satisfy any sweet tooth. These chocolate candies are great for baking or snacking on any fall day.

PUMPKIN SCENTED 3 SPICED CANDLE Yankee Candle: Light up the evening with this incandescent candle while also relishing its aromatic scent. The slightly sweet and spicy aroma this product elicits is intoxicating as its scent freshens up any room.



Macy’s: This three-in-one pumpkin product provides the essentials for a soothing shower/bath. Its cleansing and fragrant features are what make this item an alluring purchase.

PUMPKIN HAND 5 CREAMY SOAP Bath & Body Works: The smooth, luscious smell of this hand soap is an incentive to wash those hands even more. It sanitizes skin and gives off a scrumptious scent after every rinse.






PANCREATIC CANCER On Septemeber 29, the Purple Stride took place at the Detroit Zoo to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer research. Many RHS staff and students participated in the event after losing Spanish teacher Ms. Leslie Rosenblatt to the disease.

BY AUBREY RITZ Uniting people for one cause across the United States, the Purple Stride walk at the Detroit Zoo serves to raise over $300,000 and awareness for pancreatic cancer. This year, the RHS community was impacted by the disease with the passing of Spanish teacher of 16 years, Ms. Leslie Rosenblatt. In honor of her, eight RHS teachers participated in the walk along with her friends and family, including: business teachers Laurie Gambaro and Karen Malsbury English teacher Kelley Cusmano, math teacher Stephanie Shooks, retired learning center consultant Marcia Hart, science teacher Erin Slomka, and Spanish teachers Beth East and Kathy Porembiak. “When Ms. Rosenblatt got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she told us about [the walk] and started participating in it that year,” Spanish teacher Ms. Beth East said. “Then I found out about it and actually a lot of us from Rochester High and her friends and family started participating in the Purple Stride each year at the zoo.” Ms. Rosenblatt contributed raising awareness about the often the fatal disease by not only walking in the Purple Stride since finding out, but also speaking at the rally one year. Business teacher Karen Malsbury says that in 2011 she set up the team Leslie’s Soulmates and made it her mission to raise money for pancreatic cancer. “I knew that Leslie was adamant that the disease could be treated if more research was done.” Mrs. Malsbury said. “It was important to her so it was then important to me to support her. “ What made the experience emotionally difficult was the evident absence of Ms. Rosenblatt when they all participated in the walk this year. Ms. East says she was a very compassionate and loyal friend. “She had a big heart,” Ms. East said. “I think she was hard to get to know for some people she came across as a very serious person, but once you got to know her, you realized she was so warm and so funny. Once she was your friend, she would do anything for you.” Pancreatic cancer has also affected students at RHS in other ways. Senior Lilia Prasatek participated in the walk in memory of her grandfather who passed away from pancreatic cancer and to support her aunt, who has gone through

The RHS Spanish department in 2008 at a Day of the Dead party consisted of Mrs. Maria Lanares, Ms. Leslie Rosenblatt, Ms. Beth East and Mr. John Kelly. Mrs. Lanares passed away from colon cancer in 2010, Ms. Rosenblatt passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013, Ms. East currently teachers Spanish at RHS, and Mr. Kelly is an assistant principal at Stoney Creek High School. Photo Courtesy of John Kelly

She made the class an enjoyable experience; from that point on I deciced I wanted to study Spanish.

I only had Ms. Rosenblatt for a few weeks. That was plenty of time for her to leave an impact.



significant surgery and chemotherapy and has become a survivor of the deadly cancer. “My aunt is good,” Prasatek said. “She is frail, lost a ton of weight and can’t walk very far, but is doing wonderfully.” Doing the walk with family members, it was Prasatek’s first year being a part of the Purple Stride. She recommends others to take part in it too, even if not directly affected. “The walk was incredibly emotional,” Prasatek said. “Although we all cried at least once, it was an incredibly uplifting experience.” According to Prasatek, the support of everyone can be seen from all the friends and family affected by the disease who participated in trying to raise money to find a cure for the disease that has affected their lives. “This was my first year and it was amazing.”

Prasatek said. “It was so nice to be surrounded by people who understand what you feel, and are there to simply be supportive of their family and friends.” Despite who is or is not affected by this disease, anyone can take part in helping raise money for this illness. Ms. Rosenblatt passed away four years after her diagnosis at the young age of 44. Ms. East says she even asked her brother to promise to continue doing the walk yearly after Miss Rosenblatt’s passing to continue to support her. “It’s a good cause and it’s such a deadly cancer, and there are so many people out there. When they are diagnosed, many do not survive,” Ms. East said. “So it’s something they need to put money in the research and hopefully find a cure. I’ll continue to do it.”



TEA&COFFEE TEA&COFFEE It’s sweater weather again, and with it irrevocably comes the season of hot beverages. Throughout the last century, enough caffeine-sippers have sprung up in America to form a complete coffee culture. Statistics from Live Science show that 54% of adults need at least one cup of coffee a day. It is the most consumed beverage in the United States, estimating a number of 400 billion cups consumed per year. The nation’s imports alone add up to $4 billion for coffee annually. Despite the alarming rates of coffee growth, there is no concrete evidence as to whether it is detrimental enough to cause serious harm to the body when consumed in moderation. According to Wiley Online, a limit of three cups a day is suggested, as caffeine is addictive and has a strong effect on mood and health effects. Tea, on the other hand, is much less consumed by the American population, and for an understandable reason: it only takes 10 minutes for caffeine to take effect, whereas tea can take up to hours to kick in. However, there are clear benefits of drinking tea as opposed to coffee. If one is looking to lose weight or to boost the mood, the obvious choice is tea. Studies of numerous varieties of tea have found that tea’s health benefits are much more clear-cut than coffee’s, ranging from reducing cancer possibility to regulating blood flow. Regardless of the benefits and detriments that are inevitable for either, the infinite number of variations for coffees and teas make experimentation with both a rewarding experience.




COFFEE INGREDIENTS KEY: espresso steamed milk chocolate milk foam


Its origins date back to the 17th century by the Viennese. Their vision of the cappuccino included whipped cream, which modern day Italians felt was too heavy. In the 1990’s, with the help of the invented espresso machine, it was integrated into American coffee culture. Because it is made with espresso and milk, which are both not sweet in nature, cappuccinos could be an acquired taste. Cappuccino lovers appreciate the frothy and silky texture. Beginners may enjoy the iced cappuccino that is mixed with black syrup and cream.


In Italy, this beverage is almost always prepared in the morning at home. In American culture, however, numerous variations of lattes and macchiatos are seen in coffee chains.


The cafe latte has a stronger coffee flavor than a typical latte macchiato, which is simply espresso and milk foam. It is said that the cafe latte tastes very much like simply coffee and milk. Because of the bitterness compared to a cafe mocha, it goes well with

This is a variation on the simple cafe latte, first inspired by a hot drink in Italy called Bicerin. Like bicerin, it is made with espresso, chocolate, and milk. The cafe mocha is favored frequently by newbies because of its sweet chocolate taste. It is at times even thought of as hot chocolate with added espresso. Usually, the chocolate is served in the form of cocoa powder, but chocolate syrup is also commonly used.


The standard term for this is “Masala chai”, of Indian origin. The word “Chai” is often mistakenly thought of as the spices that are in the tea, which included cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon.


This tea is one of the fastest growing in the market; it is full of flavor and creamy in taste, with a bit of spice and generally a layer of frothiness on top. If it is made right, the fusion of flavors can be made apparent. Experienced tasters may try identifying each of the individual flavors that go into the chai.

This tea originated from the Darjeeling District in India in the 1800’s. A civil surgeon in the Indian Medical Service experimented with the healing abilities of seeds stolen from China, and it eventually led to the creation of the Darjeeling Company. Known as the Champagne of all teas, the taste is simple, floral, and fruity. The tea is linked to help with dental health and obesity prevention. Darjeeling tea is best paired with lemon juice or fruit.


Made from Indian and Sri Lanka leaves, this exquisite tea is culture-full. The story goes that Earl Grey, once a prime minister, sent his troops on a diplomatic mission to China. One of the men that they saved brewed a special tea in thanks to Grey, and it soon became popular in Britain.


Earl Grey has a slight citrus tang and its scent hints of orange. Adding sugar and honey, or even milk, on the side may enhance the experience. It is often paired with cookies or desserts because of its complementary taste.

The first green tea was brewed around 2000 BC in China. First used as a medicine, the healing benefits of this tea are widespread, ranging from bleeding control to promoting digestion. A 2012 systematic review stated that it may play a role in reducing several types of cancer. The taste of green tea is strongly acquired. While many teas are sweet, light, and friendly, this type of tea is known for its grassy and down-to-earth taste. Brewed normally, the astringent flavor of its leaves is quite strong. The standard green tea is slightly bitter, but less so compared to its black tea counterparts.





As middle school students, Bret Miller and Alex Rosenau were discovering the joys of film as a part of the West Middle School Morning News Team. This discovery included Bret eating his script on screen with Alex egging him on and subsequently both of them getting kicked off. In 2011, Bret Miller and Alex Rosenau, both RHS graduates began their own video production company called Rumor Productions situated in Michigan. Since then, they’ve been pursuing their passion by building their video portfolio through different projects and working on their most difficult yet - an entire feature film titled “Some Are Born.” “Every day is a new challenge,” Rosenau said. “I’ve never produced a movie, so the hardest part was learning how to do something for the first time every time something new came up.” Rosenau and Miller, who have been friends since middle school, first got serious about film making while in Mr. Chris Guyor’s video productions classes. “They had a natural enthusiasm for the classes-that makes for some really interesting projects,” Mr. Guyor said. “They were always trying new stuff out - trying to figure out a different way to say and show things.” In terms of Rumor Productions, Miller and Rosenau each have different roles. Rosenau handles business and Miller handles the filming and visual aspects. For Rosenau, juggling a full-time job and working late into the night for Rumor Productions is worth it. “I get to use my passion for finance and entrepreneurial drive to create something that’s unbelievably cool,” Rosenau said. “My goal was always to own my own business, but to have one up and running before I graduated college wasn’t an expectation by any means.” Miller, who spends a lot of time on set working with the actors and oversees a large portion of film production, finds that the most stressful part of film making is the physical exhaustion-especially the one that occurred during the 30-day filming of “Some Are Born.” “Many of the days [for “Some Are Born” filming] were 15-hour days, back to back to back,” Miller said. “Sometimes it was hard to get your body to listen to your brain and just keep moving.” According to Rosenau, the decision to keep their Rumor Productions in Michigan has benefited their business and creativity greatly. “In other states, there’s so much red tape and a defined way on how you have to make movies. Not here,” Rosenau said. “People don’t think of it as a job with rules. It’s something to be excited about.” According to Mr. Guyor, who keeps in touch with Miller and Rosenau through Facebook, they have the talent to experience success with their video productions company. “I think they’re going to do some pretty amazing things,” Mr. Guyor said. “And if I had anything to do with it, that’s just a great feeling.” For both, the creation of “Some Are Born” has allowed them to continue fulfilling their lifelong dreams. “I work with a great group of people who are in a position to share ideas and to express themselves artistically,” Miller said. “When a set is working as a cohesive unit, there is nothing more satisfying. We work together to see our passions come to life on the big screen.” Currently their movie “Some Are Born,” is going through its editing process and is set to release at different Emagine Theaters in Michigan at the beginning of 2014. Both are very excited for the finished product. “I think it is a story that people are going to be very excited about, and I think that we have a unique opportunity to make an amazing film,” Miller said. “And with that, Rumor Productions will only continue to grow.” Check out for more information about the movie.


by Miley Cyrus

After her infamous VMA twerkfest performance and provocative new music videos, Miley continues her quest to erase all memories of being sweet little Hannah Montana with her new album Bangerz. She opts for more of a heavy hip-hop sound than innocent pop, and thanks to the work of star rap producer Mike Will Made It, many beats hit their mark. It’s up to the listener to decide if they can tolerate Miley’s new, mature lyrics. Her sexual subject matter in some parts comes across forced, as if just for



the purpose of reinforcing the provocative new image she’s built, but in other songs, like the smash-hit “Wrecking Ball,” she sounds perfectly at home. Though a little too long at 16 tracks, there’s plenty of variety for everybody, from radio jams (“Do My Thang”), to breakup songs (“My Darling”). Hannah Montana may be gone, but Miley Cyrus has made herself into a pop culture icon that no one can ignore. “Bangerz,” despite being inconsistent, justifies her new position.


Graduates Bret Miller and Alex Rosenau are making their first feature-length film, slotted to release in early 2014.


In the past three years, this cheesysounding AMC show about a zombie apocalypse has improbably became one of the most popular TV shows in America. After a sensational third season, “The Walking Dead” picks right back up where it left off in the premiere of season four. Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) and the group of surviving people have been forced to make a home in an abandoned prison, with the deadly zombies roaming just beyond the fenced perimeter. In fact, everything has been quite peaceful and quiet ... until

they need to make a run to the store for supplies. The makers of the show know exactly what gives it its appeal, and that’s the scares and thrills that come from the interactions between the survivors and the grotesque creatures. Unlike other dumb zombie movies and horror flicks, we actually are attached to these characters and root for them to survive. It’s what makes “The Walking Dead” one of the most thrilling TV shows on right now. Season four shows no signs of slowing down.





STAFF EDITORIAL: KEY TO SUCCESS IS TO ENJOY LEARNING From the moment we step foot in high school, students in the U.S. are brainwashed to think that the key to succeeding in life is based upon the following criteria: a high grade point average and ACT score, a rigorous class schedule and lots of extracurricular involvement and community service. We are so busy trying to juggle all of these things that we’re missing out on one key ingredient: the enjoyment of learning. Often we are told that we are lucky and should stop complaining - and, frankly, we are and we should. Public education is an opportunity not offered to everyone around the world, and most have no power to control this. When 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai stood up for her right to be educated, she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban, a group of people who don’t believe that girls should be educated. Reality check. In Pakistan, girls like Malala are often told that they don’t deserve the right to learn because they are female. The Taliban, which holds a strong grip in many Islamic nations, believes that women don’t deserve the right to their own lives -- to education, or a career they are passionate about, to have a say in who they marry or the clothing they wear, or even to leave their homes without the accompaniment of a husband or male relative. It sure makes the 50 math problems many of us complain about seem like small potatoes. But perhaps the way to honor Malala and her cause isn’t to simply feel grateful that we

The Talon Staff Mrs. Julia Satterthwaite, Adviser

Camille Douglas, Editor-in-Chief Danielle Kullmann, Web/Design Editor Sydney Bammel, News Editor Sarah Walwema, Feature Editor Olivia Bennett, Lifestyles Editor A.J. Prisciandaro, Entertainment Editor Melody Zhang, Opinion/Photo Editor Zach Libby, Sports Editor

As somebody living in a country where education is free, it’s easy to forget that there are kids out there who would want nothing more than to be in our position.

Students in Rochester can and should be proactive about the quality of their education on a daily basis.

I just think you don’t enjoy yourself in high school if you take a ton of AP classes. You spend all your time doing homework and let stress run your life.




don’t have to face the burden or fear of being shot in the head on the bus ride home, or even throwing money at a fundraiser and forgetting about the issue (although there is no downside in doing these things); perhaps we should channel this issue into inspiration to take initiative in fighting for our love of learning back. We do not face the threat of their lives, but rather that of letting apathy, distractions, college-application resume building or ridiculous state requirements wear us down and take the joy out of education. Instead we should pursue our own passions. Forget packing your schedule with AP classes to get into the best college or, on the flip side, taking an elective because you heard it was a blow-off. Instead, think for yourself about what you love and find a way to infuse it into your high school curriculum. Forget about joining clubs and sports teams you don’t care about. Stop freaking out about grades, standardized test scores and “college”

preparation and just try to learn something for personal enjoyment for a change. Prioritizing standardized testing over student learning is irresponsible and demeaning. No Child Left Behind, an act passed during the Bush administration sought to help disadvantaged students by administering measurable goals. However, this simply made it more difficult for schools to focus on anything other than students doing well on standardized tests in order to receive enough funding to function. It also disregards things such as progress in students and defines success and learning as being able to pass tests where we bubble in answers to questions that can be seen as anything but straightforward. Learning is long-term understanding and application of concepts and ideas. It is not memorization. It is not taking notes. It is not learning the process of elimination. Our future should not rely on how well we can guess which

of the four bubbles is MOST correct. Malala shows that students can and should fight for a great education. We need to take a stand against the “education” of today and learn and explore what we are passionate about. Being afraid of our future being “ruined” because we aren’t getting all As and a 30 on our ACT is our version of Malala’s lack of access to education. It’s killing us. We need to stop thinking about college and start thinking about now; who cares what college we get into if we hate what we are learning? We need to stop playing the game, find our passions and take control of our future. Malala never let anyone take away her spirit, and students, parents, teachers, counselors and administrators in Michigan should need to know that we don’t want to spend 15 years of being trained to take the same classes, join the same clubs or teams, and spit out the same answers on standardized tests. We’re going to be ourselves. Our lives depends on it.


Matt Byron, Staff Reporter Colette Cloutier, Staff Reporter Paige Farnsworth, Staff Reporter Kailie Fowler, Staff Reporter Erin Eyler, Staff Reporter Maura Losh, Staff Reporter Grant McPherson, Staff Reporter Aubrey Ritz, Staff Reporter Bilqees Salie, Staff Reporter Sam Sheppard, Staff Reporter Emberly Skaggs, Staff Reporter Edgar Sokoli, Business Manager Ambika Vohra, Staff Reporter Melanie Wong, Staff Reporter

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Comic by Erin Eyler



their SEASON

Senior Jason Lee goes in for a tackle. Photo Courtesy of Evan Asuncion

cut SHORT Sophomore Matt Benediti tries to hold up other player. Photo Courtesy of Evan Asuncion

Senior Evan Asuncion runs down the field. Photo Courtesy of Evan Asuncion.

The boys Varsity soccer team started the season with high hopes, but they didn’t make playoffs, in part because of injuries BY OLIVIA BENNETT Closing their season with an (8-4-3) record, the Rochester boys varsity soccer team headed towards playoffs with big obstacles to overcome. At the beginning of the season, senior captain Evan Asuncion said that their team had plenty of potential to compete with many top-ranked teams in the state, but just couldn’t finish the way that they had originally hoped. “If we all play together as one, we’re a huge beast to outrun,” Asuncion said. “Sometimes we make mistakes and let that run the game, but when we all focus I truly think we can beat any team in the state. It’s a shame our season had to end early because we really had a lot of potential.” Throughout the season, however, senior Jimmy Stathakios says that risky injuries are what truly held them at a disadvantage. “We have a 24-man roster and we’re still struggling to find healthy bodies to put in the game,” senior Jimmy Stathakios said. “We didn’t play a single game this year at full strength.” Captains, junior Tyler Schedlbauer and senior Spiro Pliakos, along with many other players on the team, were faced with injuries that players saw as a huge drawback for the team. “Every year injuries seems to be our number one obstacle, same with last year,” Schedlbauer said. “I really hoped we could’ve gotten over the problem this year.” Although the injuries are a huge difficulty that the team must take on, the boys truly believed that playing together was their


greatest asset.

Junior Johnny Stathakios and other playter battle for possesion. Photo Courtesy Evan Asuncion

“Unity. As talented as we were, Junior Ben Catlin looks to strike a long ball during preseason game. Photo individuals Courtesy of Evan Asuncion alone can’t win the game,” Stathakios said. “Unless we truly embrace the concept of a team on and off the field, we will never play to our full potential.” Asuncion says that was one of the biggest problems that lead to some of the losses this year. Senior Evan Asuncion flies by Hamtramick “In some games this season, I didn’t soccer player. Photo Courtesy of Evan Auncion understand how we even lost them when we truly The Falcons truly had the advantage,” Asuncion said. “It all means to their lost to Lake Orion comes down to how you play each and every team. 4-1 in regular time, ending their game.” “We have to understand the importance season abruptly. The Falcons had their first playoff game of the situation and remember that this could “I felt like I was letting the team down and against Lake Orion on October 14th at Lake be the last time a lot of us ever play soccer it was really dissapointing,” Pliakos said. “I Orion. Stathakios stated before playoffs that he again,” Stathakios said. ‘We’ve worked too wish I could’ve done something for the other thinks it all comes down to remembering what hard all season for it to end now.” seasons because we deserved the win.”



RHS football team following the “ROC Tough” motto

BY EDGAR SOKOLI AND ZACH LIBBY It’s that day of the week: Friday. The weekend has just started and people cannot wait to relax and savor every moment of the weekend until Monday comes around once again. Some will go see a movie, some will hang out with friends, but some will choose to go cheer on the football team under the “Friday night lights.” “All I can think about all week is about the football game,” junior Zane D’ Souza said. “I get really excited.” Many join the RHS student cheering section “Soldiers of Fortune.” “We love the SOF; they pump us up and they make the games 10 times more fun,” junior running back Blake Fetterhoff said. This season, there has been a rising star: wide receiver Demetrius Magee. Magee, a senior, already broke the single season receiving touchdown record, as well as the career receiving touchdown record. Magee also won “player of the week,” from MiPrepZone, during week five vs. Pontiac High School. Magee is slowly becoming a possible future candidate for induction in the RHS Hall of Fame and is a fan favorite because of his knack for going up top to catch the long ball. “Demetrius is really exciting to watch because he’s so explosive and can make a big play at any time,” junior Jake Stout said. Behind the Magee highlights, the revamped SOF, and the nifty tunnel which dons the blue and white Falcon logo that the team runs through before every home game, the team has faced some adversities. Due to complicated circumstances, the Falcons lost their starting quarterback, Kevin Byrd, forcing junior Mike Halsey to step in as first team quarter back. Halsey, now in charge of running the team’s offense, was a starting wide receiver for the Falcons and is now playing a position he is not as familiar with. Such adversity spawned the motto “ROC Tough,” coined by the football team itself. “ROC Tough” originated with the arrival of head coach Erik Vernon. In five years as head coach, Vernon has a combined record of 20-27. “When I hear ‘ROC Tough,’ I think of


Seniors Gustavo Hernandez, Kyle Hillstead, and Max Bazinski line up to protect the punter during the game against Stoney Creek on Oct. 18. Photo Courtesy of Bruce Byron

Senior Demetreus Mcgee looks for the reverse on a trick play. Photo Courtesy of Bruce Byron

Sophomore Alex Grabowski attempts to throw the ball for a touchdown. Photo Courtesy of Bruce Byron

Rochester overcoming any adversities that are thrown our way,” junior Danny Sokolaj said. “For example, when we played Troy Athens week seven on their homecoming. Even though they were missing key players, including their starting quarterback, they worked really hard and won and overcame adversity.” The motto is special to the players as well. “Roc Tough’ isn’t just a saying, it is

a mindset,” Fetterhoff said. “Being ‘Roc Tough’ defines playing for Rochester, playing your heart out and never giving up.” The team finished out the season with two loses to district rivals: to Stoney Creek on Friday, Oct. 18 36-14, and to Adams on Friday, Oct. 25 34-13. Next year, the team hopes to carry on the “ROC Tough” motto and experience success on and off the field.


Kentucky Basketball: James Young

BY ZACH LIBBY In October 2012, one of the highest rated recruits of the class of 2013 from Rochester, James Young, announced his decision of playing college basketball on ESPNU while holding a shirt that read “Kentucky Bound.” Young chose Kentucky over some of the top college basketball programs, which included Michigan State and Kansas. According to, Young is the #3 shooting guard and the #11 player overall of the class of 2013. He is listed on Rivals as a small forward, but can easily play the shooting guard position when needed. Young was also invited to play in last season’s McDonald’s All-American game. He was one of many Kentucky bound recruits that played in the game, which was held in the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The 6’6, 200 pound recruit was mention by the Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari, who described Young as a long, athletic and skilled wing. “He’s a lefty who can shoot it and can get in transition,” Calipari said. “You can throw it ahead to him and he can make basketball plays. He rebounds the ball for his position as well as anyone in the class.” According to writer James Streble, Young is being looked at as the X-Factor to the 2013-2014 Kentucky team. “[Young is] a player that will come off the bench and bring a multitude of skills onto the court that will make opposing coaches pull out their hair,” Streble wrote. A weakness that could play in factor for James Young, Streble wrote, was his strength. Lacking strength, according to Streble, is something that most high school players transitioning to the college game have issues with. Young is currently projected to go fourteenth in the 2014 NBA draft, according to, due to his size and skills necessary to compete at a high level. Young will have a role in the starting lineup, whether it may be shooting guard or small forward. He may also very well become a key player coming off the bench once the season begins November 8th when Kentucky takes on UNC-Ashville. According to Young, the program of Kentucky was a front runner all along during the recruiting process and was his dream school to play basketball. “Once I went up there to visit, I just fell in love with the place,” Young said. “I’m not just looking for the NBA, I’m looking for an education and a national championship and that’s about it.”


T H G I N & E P Y Hhomecoming week



In many ways, this year’s Homecoming Week was just like any other: laughter and color filled the hallways, countless pictures were taken, and students exemplified the spirit that RHS has always been known for. But the difference between this year and those in the past was the student body’s choice to crown one of the most deserving students at Rochester: senior Emily Jacobs.









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The homecoming court is prepped and ready for show at the pep assembly. Seniors Ludovic Clavette-Lachapelle and Emily Jacobs are crowned as Homecoming King and Queen at the game. This year’s German foreign exchange students Ellen Link and Jesse Wiedmann are honored at the pep assembly. SOF leaders David Mackens and Conner Pacella lead the cheer for RHS as the game grows more intense. The senior stands are in an uproar after winning the Lipsync competition once again. Members of the Varsity football team celebrate after successfully completing a pass.


October Issue  
October Issue