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Guidology Tis the Season

Furiously scrolling through pages and pages and pages of endless items. Ignoring my unopened backpack, the homework that awaits my attention. Having searched every single store in the area and finding nothing remotely meaningful enough, I have resorted to internet shopping. Let me back up a bit. I am completely neurotic when it comes to gift buying (shopping in general actually). The first major issue is my indecisiveness. How am I supposed to know if I won’t find a better gift the second I leave this store and walk into the next? Even within that store, what if the recipient of said gift prefers orange over red or the fit of a small over a medium? But actually, the overarching or underlying (whichever you prefer) issue is how to convey the weight of a relationship through a purchased item - on a student’s budget. How am I to signify to my parents, grandparents, brother, and friends in the very least an entire year’s worth of experiences, emotions, and growth in an at best (though highly doubtfully) elegantly wrapped package? I try to pay attention all year long, listen to their needs and wants, but of course, me being me, I always end up over-thinking. I also kind of have this condition where I wait until last minute to actually start shopping. There’s no cure yet, but they have named it I believe. So after that unnecessarily long introduction, this year I said enough was enough and after deciding that anything I would find in a local store would be much too commonplace, I turned to the one place where you can find just about anything (including your very own Death Star cookie jar) if you’re willing to search: the internet. Being in close proximity during my free period to other editors in my same situation, I was luckily made aware of the aptly named website I don’t know if you, the reader, have ever visited, but you can certainly waste hours. The website is basically a huge online catalog for the oddest stuff you can find on the internet; imagine ThinkGeek (another website I discovered through this process) on mega steroids. Everything from bacon-flavored “protection” to personal aircraft and anything in between can be found - perfect for anyone on any budget. Needless to say, I spent hours scrolling through this site, which in turn links you to other sites through which I then spent more time scrolling. Granted there are items that are really cool (like your own private island or an F1 experience) that I would love to gift but simply cannot afford; however, not to worry, the next item on the site is exponentially less expensive and only marginally less cool. Don’t get me wrong; I am incredibly aware of the dangers of internet shopping: receiving items not fitting their description, highly overpriced, improperly sized, or just poorly made in general. That’s why reviews were invented. After choosing approximately what I wanted to get each person, I then turned to another lovely aspect of the internet: freedom of speech. I read reviews on each site that had the desired item to determine which had the highest customer satisfaction, on blogs and forums to make sure the item was not blasphemous to purchase for a fan of that video game, particular branch of science, or sport, and even turned to YouTube to watch people talk about/show off the item. Then of course when it came down to the wire I had to compare shipping costs and cost in general. It was Hell for the indecisive, but Heaven for those of us who love control. The amount of control I had, having endless tabs open on my computer, being fully aware of all of my options rather than going back and forth between stores and hoping I was getting the best deal was addicting (even as we speak - or rather I type - I have countless tabs open on my computer and am shopping for a new Christmas dress and maybe shoes, and maybe my brother would like this circuit board patterned tie...). Anyway, it’s two weeks before Christmas, and I have some pretty decent gifts in the process of being shipped to my house (hopefully having arrived and are wrapped by the time you’re reading this and hopefully yours are wrapped as well - though there’s something exhilarating about shopping on Christmas Eve day). Well, here’s to a Merry Christmas (or enjoyable winter break if you so prefer) and a Happy New Year.

Editor-in-chief Katrina Guido @Kitty_Guido

Managing Editor of News Destiny Nagle Managing Editor of Opinion Savannah Pukanecz @SavannahPukes Managing Editor of Feature Justine Coleman Managing Editor of Culture Emma Wang @ECaroline7 Managing Editor of Sports Steve Gudonis @_SteveG_ Online Editor Kevin Rodgers Section Editor of News Colleen Grablick @collllsss Section Editor of Opinion Dave Heiney Section Editor of Feature Christine Carlson Section Editor of Culture Eamon Dreisbach Section Editor of Sports John Lang @JohnLang05 Photo Editor Maura Benner Copy Editors Shaun Baillie Olivia Riccio Angeline Stein Adviser Denise Reaman

Editorial Policy The Stinger is a student-run newspaper published six times per year. Its content, which is the responsibility of the student staff, is not subject to direct administrative approval. The newspaper, which is designed as an open forum, serves to inform and entertain its readers as well as students interested in print media studies. Visit our website If you are interested in writing or taking photos for The Stinger, stop by Room 559 for more information. If you’d like to publish a letter to the editor or have a story idea, drop us a line at 2013 Keysone Press Awards Second Place and Honorable Mention Column Writing First Place Public Service Package Second Place Feature Story First Place Ongoing News Coverage

@StingerEHS First Place @Cassiswimz

Runner-up Snowball Fight Gone Wrong @Heff19

The story of English teacher Diane DiDona’s obsession

Shoe of the day: Doc Martens

The Stinger Shoeography

People ask me all the time how many pairs of shoes I have. I always tell them I don’t know. Honestly, I haven’t counted. I know the answer is a lot. Too many. Enough to get me to this very day without repeating a pair of shoes. Enough to get me a few weeks beyond Christmas, most likely. I do not know where this shoe obsession came from, but when in doubt, I blame my mother. After all, this is the woman who a few months ago presented me with a tiny, rubber-banded, orange box with my first pair of shoes in it. (For the record, they were flat and white, your bog-standard 60s baby shoe. I did not don heels at 10 months.) Now I know why I do not part with any shoes gladly. I remember a favorite pair of navy blue MIA flats with white bows that I wore, literally, to death during high school. They lay in the bottom of my closet for years although completely unwearable. I threw them away very begrudgingly when I moved into my own house, only because moving space was at a premium. My current focus on shoes began one day as I walked through Sage and eyed up their clearance corner. There they were, what were to become my very first pair of Donald J. Pliner shoes. They were bronze in hue, recalling the 80s metallic trend, which I loved. They were also very pointy, with tiny tassels and kitten heels. I debated about those tassels, but eventually talked myself into liking them. I had long since given up wearing anything remotely fashionable and relied on the “comfort shoes” I thought I needed for teaching. My collection at that point consisted of variations of sturdy, black shoes with sensible heels, queued in my closet like a morbid line of hearses ready to ferry me off to my doom every morning. Considering what constituted my shoe fashion, I bought that pair of Pliners and haven’t looked back since. I tried to add as much color and variety to my world as possible (although I still love black). Shoes guide my weekly wardrobe, as I always pick shoes before clothing. I try to plan for weather and for how much I’m going to have to walk in a given day. During warm weather, pedicures are de rigueur. If I’m not feeling good about the shoes I’m wearing, I’m probably not in a very good mood. Honestly, I was rather confounded when The Stinger editor asked me to write about my shoe collection. However, I must say my shoes garner a lot of attention. People constantly comment on them. One memorable night I strolled out in my United Nude fold-over shoes in black and orange stripes (these have not yet made their debut at the time of this writing). As I crossed the intersection, a woman rolled down her car window and yelled, “I love your shoes!” I had stopped traffic! Shoes can also be conversation starters. Today, two girls and I were wearing almost the same Dr. Marten’s boots. I suppose they are back in fashion. Mine are twenty years old—one of seven pairs of Dr. Marten’s I own. My mom always called them clod hoppers and could never understand why I loved them so. They are just one of many brand obsessions I have, although I have not added any Docs in quite a long time. Last year, at the urging of some friends, I decided to start a Facebook page dedicated to my shoes. At first I wasn’t sure about the idea. After all, it seemed a bit ridiculous and, well, vain. However, it served as a sort of fun break in the monotony of the nine-period cycle. Day after day my trusty photographer documented my shoes, and I posted the picture. We even added “exotic locales,” special guests, and theme weeks. I took the occasional shoe selfie when times got desperate. I was surprised when people I didn’t even know started liking the page. Inevitably, people wonder where I keep all these shoes. Yes, I do have a room that is mostly devoted to my shoes. But the room also contains a double bed, two bookshelves, and two dressers, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. Okay, it probably is. I keep the boxes, so pretty much anywhere you look in that room you will see a stack of boxes. I sort them into categories such as boots, closed-toe shoes, opentoe shoes, sandals, and sneakers. I also have stacks of worn shoes vs. unworn shoes so I don’t repeat them until I’ve worn them all. I have not completely abandoned the dowdy, old, black standbys. They come in handy for “ugly pilgrim shoe week,” which I celebrate the three days before Thanksgiving break. I’ll wear just about any style of shoe, with two exceptions: Birkenstocks and Crocs. I don’t want to offend anybody, but those shoes are just ugly. If I’m wearing either of those brands, I have become seriously deranged. Notify the authorities. I’m probably spiraling out of control with each step.

December 2013

A Dose of Destiny

Fighting the Angst

Destiny Nagle


Thump-thump...thump-thump...thumpthump... I am calm and serene. Happy or content, as one might say. This feeling is what I enjoy most in life, what makes me want to wake up and go through with the day. It’s so peaceful even though my life is anything but. Then out of the seemingly clear blue sky, a strike of lightning and downpour hit. In symmetry to my life, my mind becomes this sudden storm. Thoughts rush. Worries flourish. My mind is racing at 100 mph. I can’t seem to get the thoughts to stop. They’re not bad, nor good. Every detail that would seem to be so slight and trifling is now the biggest, most important detail. Thump-thump…thump-thump...thumpthump...thump-thump…My heart is beating faster and faster. My legs are whipping back and forth with each step as I pace from place to place. My eyes are bugging and my mouth is running. I can’t keep up with my mind. Work. Oh God, work. I don’t want to go. It’s going to be busy. I NEED to go. Thum-thump...thum-thump...thumthump... College. I don’t know where I’m going, how I’m going to pay for it. My grades have to be amazing. I just don’t know how I’m going to do it. What if I don’t find anyone to relate to and I end up alone? SATs. I didn’t do well on them the first time. How am I going to learn all this information and do better? I need this for college. Thu-thump...thu-thump...thu-thump thump. Tears are welling up in my eyes and I’m finding it hard to control anything that I’m saying or doing. The pacing becomes more sloppy and frantic. My sister stares petrified at me, trying to talk to me, but I don’t hear a thing she’s saying. Thump thump thump thump thump thump. Myheartandmindaregoingatonce. Ican’tcontrolit. I have to do chores and finish homework and thought of all that has to be done becomes just too much. CRASH. I wake up an hour later spread out on the couch in a pool of my own sweat. The TV blasting. I lay there for a while enjoying the peace that seemed to be so unattainable a few hours ago. My whole body is drained of energy and I am hungry but all I can do is lay there. The tranquility is present in my composure once again and I am yet again at happiness. This feeling is what I yearn for when I live my life day to day. Nearly 90 percent of my life is spent in this happiness. Days go by and I am in my state of being. I happily go on to working after school, hanging out with friends and enjoying the beauty of each day doing what I want and what I love. Thump-thump…thump-thump… thump-thump… Listening to the melody of my own heartbeat, surrounding myself with the music of my natural euphoria. I am fine. I am at equinamity. Then again out of the clear sky comes a tornado swiftly gyrating, scooping up all my emotions and peace of mind only leaving me with the worry and chaos I so loath. Thump-thump…thump-thump...thumpthump…thump-thump… It’s beating rapidly. Thoughts are shooting. My mouth is spitting out words Thum-thump...thum-thump...thumthump... Shorter, faster beats taking over my body. My legs start to pouncing from step to step. Ungovernable, out of control. Circles, and ovals of step after step are created creating a rift in the ground. Thu-thump thu-thump thu-thump. The feeling seems so familiar. Panic is taking over my mind and I am not myself. Thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump. Racingfromthoughtothought. Ican’tkeepup.I’mloosingcontrol. Ican’tfindthatpeace. It’sgone. CRASH. And again I find myself struggling with my anxiety.




Chorale sings at Carnegie Hall before 1,000 people Olivia Riccio News Contributor

MidAmerica’s New York City festivals. most famous venues in the world? Chorale performed as a “fill in” choir, Sophomore Rania Draklellis, who was which means they one of the sewere invited because “I actually thought it wasn’t real.” lected members Last month, the Emmaus High School of their reputation -Rita Cortez of Chorale, Chorale had the once in a lifetime oppor- and did not have to couldn’t even tunity to sing on stage at one of the most pay for being able to perform. begin to explain how she felt about having well-known venues in the world; Carnegie Cortez couldn’t believe that they were the honor to sing on stage. Hall. invited to sing at Carnegie Hall. “About 10 minutes into the performance Carnegie Hall, located in New York “I actually thought it wasn’t real,” Cor- I just looked up and thought, I’m singing City, opened in 1891 and is one of the most tez said about the invitation. at Carnegie Hall,” Draklellis said. “It was famous venues in the world. Many distincAbout 50 Chorale member, selected by so surreal and such an achieving moment. tive artists whose genres range from classi- Cortez, attended the event. Such a small percentage of people can say cal to popular music perform on its stage. Cortez chose the Carnegie singers based they’ve been to Carnegie Hall, but who can EHS Chorale traveled to New York on their participation and how much effort say they’ve performed there?” City on Nov. 15 and 16 for two separate they contributed to the group, ability level, “We’re so blessed to be able to perform four-hour rehearsals at at one of the most prestigious music venues the Barclay InterConin the world,” she said. “I’m so lucky to tinental Hotel. Their have gone and I’ll never forget the experiperformance took place ence.” on Sunday, Nov. 17, in Victoria Reichelderfer, also a sophomore front of nearly 1,000 and member of Chorale, felt fortunate for people, including famthe opportunity. ily members. The group “Being able to sing at Carnegie was was invited to perform amazing in general,” Reichelderfer said. at Carnegie Hall by the “To perform on one of the world’s most company MidAmerica prestigious venues was absolutely incredProductions, which runs ible,” she said. “There are no words.” a concert series in which Emmaus Chorale showcasing their skills in Carnegie Hall A major highlight from the performance performing groups are Photo courtesy of Rania Draklellis was that Chorale was directed by the great selected by their audimusician, Dr. John Ratledge. tion CDs. The groups Ratledge, a well-known musician, conthen perform in music festivals in New seniority, and voice part. ductor, and artist, is currently in his eighth York City. Twelve singers were selected for each year as Conductor of University Singers, In 2009 MidAmerica contacted Em- voice part. Area Coordinator of Graduate Choral Conmaus choir director Rita Cortez after hearThe group performed Lux Aeterna, a ducting, and Director of Choral Activities ing good reviews about EHS’s choral pro- 25-minute five-movement piece by Morten at the University of Alabama. gram. This was the sixth year in a row that Lauridsen. Emmaus has been invited to sing at one of So what is it like to perform at one of the

Three Emmaus musicians perform at Nationals Colleen Grablick News Editor

Cortez feels immense pride in her outstanding musicians. “They are always attentive Three Emmaus High School and singing out as section musicians showcased their talents leaders,” said Cortez of Sharp at the national level this October and Trinkle. “They take what in Nashville, where they were they do seriously and make among 340 students selected from every effort to sing with a high across the nation. level of musicianship.” From left to right: Anthony Sharp, Mason Trinkle, Ferguson Vocalists Anthony Sharp, According to Cortez, this senior, and Mason Trinkle, junior, Watkins year marks the first time that performed as a part of the AllEmmaus choral students said Watkins. “Sadly I did not get to see National Honor Ensembles, hosted by the reached Nationals. them perform as they were in a different National Federation for Music Education. “It is a tremendous honor, especially ensemble.” Violist Fergus Watkins performed as a when you think that they only selected Despite the scheduling conflicts part of an All-National Honors Orchestra, 350 singers from across the United between Watkins and the singers, also hosted by the NFME. The entire States,” Cortez said. “There were students according to Trinkle, the Nationals conference took place at the Gaylord there from almost every state, including experienced strengthened the friendship Opryland Resort from Oct. 27-30. Alaska.” between Sharp and himself. In order to reach the national level, However, the musicians’ success did not “Because of all the time we spent the elite group of musicians first sang come easily. Countless hours of practice together in the middle of a group of people allowed the students to reach their full and strummed their way through a we didn’t know, Tony and I became a lot series of district, region, and statewide potential as musicians. closer because of this experience,” said competitions. “I practice for an hour every day,” said Trinkle. Last October, Sharp and Trinkle Watkins. “It was a lot of cramming before Sharp and Trinkle also met many new performed in District Choir, while Watkins the audition tape was due.” musicians from around the country and performed in District Orchestra. Once at Watkins played the violin for roughly learned from an elite conductor. Districts, the three boys then auditioned nine years before switching to the viola in “The choir was composed of about 300 for Regionals. Their talents shone forth freshman year. singers, all led by the guest conductor as they successfully made to the PA State Trinkle and Sharp, both members Rollo Dilworth, who is a professor from Choir and Orchestra. Being in the stateof EHS Chorale, Fermata Nowhere, Temple University and is very famous and Chorisma, and Select Choir, practice level ensembles qualified the boys for respected in the singing community,” said Nationals. Each sent in a video audition, regularly as well. Trinkle. which consisted of various pieces of “Every day I practiced the music chosen Watkins felt similarly about his challenging music. by the nationals conductor,” said Sharp. experience with the All-National Honor Once at Nationals, the three spent The music never seems to cease for Orchestra. countless hours a day practicing for their these students, as this year’s district “All the musicians that were there performance. Since Watkins participated performances occurred this past October. were fantastic and the conductor of the in the orchestra, while Sharp and Trinkle “We have already started preparing for orchestra was world class and one of the participated in the choir, the two rarely this year’s District Festival in January,” best I’ve ever worked with,” said Watkins. said Trinkle. “For someone going in to the crossed paths with Watkins. Department chair for music at Emmaus “Mason and Tony are both great choir world, the auditions never stop.” High School and choir director Rita singers and I love listening to them,”



December 2013

Eyer chili cook-off raises $1,000 for Turning Point


Ashley Rivera Colleen Grablick News Contributors Last month, Eyer Middle School held its annual chili cook-off, where students, parents, and staff alike helped to raise $1,000 for people in need. Organized by Eyer’s Junior Kid to Kid, the cook-off sought to raise $3,000 for the Turning Point organization in the Lehigh Valley. Turning Point provides services for victims of abuse, and helps 5,000 victims in the Lehigh and Northampton communities alone. The money given to Turning Point is used towards gift cards for grocery stores, so the victims can spend it on much needed items. In addition to the money raised by the event, Junior Kid to Kid also collected 800 items on the Turning Point wish list. Organizer of the event and Eyer Spanish teacher Kimberly Kannenburg believes the event teaches the students many important lessons about community service. “This is such an important event because it helps the kids learn about the importance and the impact that service to the community can have,” said Kannenburg. Kannenberg is glad to raise money for Turning Point. Right: John Ferris, winner of the chili portion of the contest, and children Left: Clown school gradute who attended cook off “Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley Photos by Ashley Rivera serves so many people, from all socio economic statues, from all areas of the Lehigh One particular spicy chili, Dan Krepa- Ferris took home the trophy provided by handicrafts. Valley,” said Kannenberg. “Most people ny’s Dante’s Nine Circles of Chili Mad- Crown Trophy of Emmaus with their chili Karen Kennedy took home the first think it only helps women in crisis, but ness, had people running to the water called “Ferris Inferno”. Joe Hadfield came place pize in the bake-off with her chocothey help entire families and individuals fountains all afternoon. in second place, while Derek and Molly late peanut butter cheesecake. Jen Najarbreak the cycle of abuse and violence and According to Krepany, he uses a variety Lawerence followed in third. ian came in second, while Josh Will and a form healthy relationships.” of homegrown peppers in his fiery concocThis year, Junior Kid to Kid added a few friends came in third. As for the chili, 29 different chilis en- tion. He began participating in the event bake-off and craft fair to the event, which Not only did this event have great food tered, according to Kannenand handmade trinkets, but a clown also burg. More than 510 people stopped by for a fun afternoon. “This is such an important event because it helps the kids learn came out to the event, which A former Spanish instructor at Eyer blew away Kannenburg’s ex- about the importance and the impact that service to the community Middle School recently graduated from pectations. clown-college and put her skills to the test “We had such a fantastic can have,” by making animals and flowers for the turnout,” said Kannenburg. children. Various restaurants such -Kimberly Kannenburg This being her first year organizing the as Volpe’s, The Limeport chili cook-off, Kannenburg does not know Inn, and the 1760 Tavern all of any long term contestants but looks forcooked chili for the event. From vegetar- simply because of his love for making turned out to be a great success. Fourteen ward to the next cook-off. ian to hot and spicy, the chili cook-off had chili. bakers participated in the event and 30 dif“I’m excited to do it again next year!” it all. As for the chili winners, John and Justin ferent craft and vendor tables sold their said Kannenburg.

Emmaus graduate cracks up on Conan

Matthew Frank News Contributor

Emmaus graduate Adam Yenser showcased his comedic genius last month on an episode of the popular late night show Conan. In 2012 Yenser won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Writing. He was also nominated for another Emmy in Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment. This year, he has gone on to win his second Emmy. Yenser found himself drawn to comedy at a young age. “I’ve loved comedy since I was a kid and would beg my parents to stay up to

watch Johnny Carson’s monologues,” said Yenser. “Growing up I watched a lot of sketch comedy shows and stand up specials.” Although an obvious comedian, he abstained from becoming the class clown. Yenser stayed reserved and “normal” when in his classes. Instead of participating in the school’s extracurricular activities, he decided to immerse himself into his newfound love for philosophy. Yenser sticks to his roots and returns home whenever possible. “I like coming back to the area to perform to see friends that still live there,” said Yenser. Yenser’s family still resides in the

Yenser performing on Conan. Photo by

Lehigh Valley, which often brings Yenser back to area. During his visits, Yenser “You’re going to answer phones and get remembers his childhood in the valley; people’s coffee for a few years first,” said most notably, his job at Yocco’s. Yenser. “And you better do it happily and “I also miss Yocco’s a lot,” said Yenser. do it well even though the pay is going “I worked to be barely “You’re going to answer phones and enough to at the one in Emmaus for survive on.” get people’s coffee for a few years first.” Yenser did seven years (still the lonwhatever it gest time I’ve took to make -Adam Yenser ever spent his dream at one job). come true. Whenever I’m “When I home over Christmas break or over the was first hired as an assistant at Conan, I summer, I eat lunch there every day.” would commute two hours every mornAccording to Yenser, the close proximing and night by Bieber Bus until I could ity of New York and Penn State afford to move to New York City,” said draw him back to the Lehigh Valley Yenser. “Then I would take writing classes as well. Yenser, a Penn State grad at the UCB Theatre on weekends and himself, double majored in Film started going out to do stand up open mics and Video, and Philosophy. at night.” Throughout his time at Penn Yenser says he continues to sharpen State, Yenser gained an internship his comedic strategy by going to comedy at Late Night with Conan. This clubs and watching other stand up and internship landed Yenser a job as an improv acts on the weekends when he assistant. He remained at this job isn’t busy. for six years. Yenser believes that the key to being a “As far as television writing great comedian and successful writer is to goes, be aware that you’re probably evenly blend one’s personal and profesnot going to get hired as an SNL sional life into a career that will bring cast member or wind up writing for happiness for years to come. the Tonight Show right out of colAs for the future, Yenser says he will lege,” said Yenser. continue to progress through his comedic Life as a comedian won’t be as career. easy as coming up with a one“Years down the line I would like to liner. Hopefuls could expect to get write for a late night show, and I think it chewed out and gain little respect in would be fun to do a half-hour or hour your first years as a comedian. long stand up special,” said Yenser.

THE STINGER l December 2013

Emmaus celebrates computer science week Will Newbegin Jacob Puleo News Contributors


ence education at the high school level, they’re much more inclined to consider computer science as a major at the college level,” Blackstone said. Many EHS students share Blackstone’s view of computer science, as evidenced by the numerous students who attended the showcase. Several students gained the opportunity to present at the showcase, including freshman Ian Bowler. Bowler presented as a representative of the EHS Robotics Team, showing off the code for the team’s robot. Through its coding, the team’s robot is able to complete a game where it places blocks on a balance. “Computer science is fascinating to me because of its various applications and because you can create a specific program to meet a specific need,” said Bowler. “It is interesting because it is a major part of our everyday lives.” Other students, including junior Daniel Amankwatia, agree with Bowler. “You can manipulate code to accomplish anything you want.” Amankwatia said. “Computers have become more prominent in Emmaus’s educational system throughout the past ten years, and are now commonly used in all classes.”

Computer science student Chinmany Muttur enjoys the opportunities that computer science gives him. “Computer science gives me the opportunity to use logic, math, and problem solving skills to creat original programs that serve a real purpose,” said Muttur. Principal David Piperato thinks highly of computers’ role in the classroom. “Computers obviously are an

outstanding tool for students to use with the learning process, so we ask teachers to incorporate them more in their curriculum,” said Piperato. “They open the world to students in a way that didn’t exist more than ten years ago.” Be it typing papers, doing research, or studying, computers have found their niche in the educational system, and the future will show us how computer science plays its role.

“[Computer science] is our future in every way due to advancements in technology. Someone with computer science skills has the potential for greatness,” said Amankwatia. Mutter gave similar insight on the future of computer science. “Computer science is a growing field,” said Mutter. “No matter what field you enter, computer science experience can give you a unique edge.”

increase from 2011), about 1 in 4 teens own a tablet, and a whopping 93 percent of teens have a computer or access to one, This winter, math classes according to the Pew Reasearch across Emmaus High School are Center. getting a tech upgrade with a Just by looking around, it’s Bring Your Own Device pilot. easy to see that the new genIt’s no mystery to average high school kids that a lot has changed eration is incredibly hooked, perhaps even dependent, on from Generation X to Y. Back in personal technology. Even when the old days, there weren’t any portable flip-open computers that they aren’t using it, teenagers and young adults are always talkweighed 3 pounds, or iPhones ing about what they saw, read, that could text, tweet, blog, surf, or watched on their gadgets. game, and more. And where do they talk about it Nowadays, 95 percent of the most? Obviously, the place teens use the internet regularly, where they spend 7 hours per and the amount of teens with day, surrounded by hundreds of devices of their own continues their kind, and separated, for the to increase. As of this year, 37 percent of Americans aged 12-17 most part, from their personal devices. own a smartphone (a 23 percent Indeed, while tech consumes nearly every aspect of the modern teen’s life, school is one area that has remained relatively old-fashioned in terms of technological advancement. While schools have made some development, such as online assignments, classwork, tests, and homework calendars, students are ways away from electronic use all day, every day. Unless it’s a computer class, good old paper and pencil is the go-to for a majority of academic courses. Teens can chat all they want about the web at school, but they aren’t about to chat on the web anytime soon. Starting this winter, a Bring Your Own Student Olivia Riccio uses the Device (BYOD) pilot calculator function on an iPad is ready to take off in Photo by math classes across the school. The experiment Colleen Grablick will allow students to

bring and use their own phones, laptops, and tablets in the classroom for instructional use. By allowing the students to bring in devices they are familiar with and use them as learning tools, the experiment hopes to provide a more modern and efficient type of learning. One class who will be participating is math teacher Beth Stoudt’s BC Calculus class. Stoudt’s students are excited about their upcoming privileges and new responsibilities. Senior Roberet Bishop believes technology in the classroom is very helpful. “[Devices will be] helpful for utilizing online resources and adding multimedia education to better educate students,” said Bishop. “[Learning will be] easier and faster, as we don’t have to wait for Mrs. Stoudt to pull things up on her computer.” Senior Mike Kashuba agreed with the sentiment. “I think it will help with the class’s learning,” he said. He is also optimistic about the future of technology in schools. “[Devices] will eventually replace textbooks. Kids will just download what they need onto their device; it will save money.” Senior Anna Overholts agrees. “I think there are a lot of applications for technology in other classes,” said Overholts. “In the same way that SmartBoards have been incorporated, I think eventually other technology such as phones will be incorporated as well.” Principal David Piperato, one force behind the experiment, also holds high hopes. “My personal philosophy is that we can and should be doing [BYOD] throughout the entire school,” he said. “As long as students have devices, they should be able to use those devices for instructional purposes.”

With such benefits weighed on the BYOD concept, if proven successful, there’s no doubt that it will continue to expand throughout EHS. Piperato said that the entire building could have a permanent BYOD policy eventually. “That is absolutely the goal and hope, that we’re able to demonstrate that students benefit from the use of their devices and that students can handle the responsibility,” Piperato said. Superintendent Dr. Thomas Seidenberg may be the most enthusiastic of all. “There’s such good things going on in the world of technology, so kids should be able to use devices they are comfortable with,” he said. “Kids are ready to move on, teachers are ready to move on.” Not only students and teachers, but the school itself could benefit from BYOD. “[Money is] going to be invested in other things,” said Seidenberger. “At some point, maybe we won’t have to spend so much money on technology, and we can shift [the budget].” Seidenberger agrees with Piperato about the advancement of tech in schools. “[Technology is] so powerful,” he said. “This is what [students] need to do to become leaders of the future. If we can work with families, if we can have BYOD, that’s a way we can keep things current... It’s the way the world is going. I’m excited to see some enterprising teachers and students ready to meet this challenge.” However, steps need to be taken to ensure the success of a BYOD policy. It remains to be seen whether old fashioned methods and new devices will get locked in a power struggle. “Both have their places in the classroom, and certainly we don’t sacrifice the old methods in

order to infuse the new methods,” said Piperato. “We need to find balance.” In addition, the current restrictions on personal devices are there for a reason, and it’s hard to tell where the line should be drawn. “Kids would use their phones for class, and who cares if they’re out at lunch or in the halls, it wouldn’t hurt anything,” Kashuba said. Overholts, however, is cautious about device use going overboard. “There seems to be a large opportunity for kids to abuse [BYOD],” she said. Seidenberger realizes the students must be trusted with the technology. “Trust, that’s a big issue,” Seidenberger said. “Number one, we’re gonna be trusting students to bring [devices], so that suggests we wanna treat you as adults… this is your workplace, and your devices are for work purposes.” Piperato agrees with Seidenberger. “If students are going to have access to the network, they need to handle that responsibility in a way that will cause no harm,” Piperato said. “Obviously, we have what’s called an acceptable use policy and they need to abide by that as well.” Will BYOD succeed or fail, help or hinder, spread or shut down? Only time will tell. For now, students and staff remain optimistic about EHS’s first steps toward electronic elevation. Endless resources, new and improved lessons, and better, faster learning may be just one click away.

Earlier this month, computer science students at Emmaus High School showed off their skills in a coding showcase in preparation for Computer Science Education Week. Computer science teacher Carlen Blackstone organized the event on Dec. 5, which gave her students a chance to display their programming prowess. It took place after parentteacher conferences, giving parents, teachers, and students alike a chance to browse the various projects. Started five years ago, Computer Science Education Week is a national initiative that encourages students to gain an interest in computer science. It was launched in honor of late computer scientist and naval admiral Grace Hopper. Hopper was an innovator in her coding of computers, and is often accredited with the invention of code. December 9, Hopper’s birthday, marks the beginning of the week. Blackstone believes that this national effort is beneficial to students interested in computer science. “We know statistically that if students study computer sci-

Participants in the programming session include: Left: Darsh Patel, Zhuohong He Above: Patel, He, Shaan Badlu Right: Riley Foster, Luke Fairhurst

Piloting technology in the classroom Angeline Stein News Contributor


Colleen’s Corner I don’t think my heart has ever felt as heavy as it did when I entered Cedarbrook Nursing Home on that mild October afternoon. As my family pulled into the parking lot, I could already feel the tears stinging my eyes. I just didn’t want to see her like that. The building’s outward appearance seemed to mimic the mood of the patients within its confines. Small windows cluttered the outside, looking only big enough to let a few rays of afternoon sun shine through its glass. I pictured patients upon patients, each sitting in their tiny, metal, hospital beds, staring longingly through their little 10 inch by 10 inch window, wondering what it’s like to be free from the restraints of old age. We entered the automatic doors as a few nurses filed out, ready to go home and enjoy their Sunday evenings. Whilst waiting for the elevator, I soaked in the atmosphere. Fall decorations and posters regarding information on different activities ornamented the walls, looking like vain attempts to conceal the real atmosphere of the building. When we reached the 2nd floor, my mother led my father, my brother, and me to a room. I put on a fake smile for my uncle who had come to visit, for on the inside, I was making desperate attempts at keeping my tear ducts dry. The nurse emerged from the room, giving us the okay to enter. As I followed my family into the cramped room, I could feel my heart drop to what felt like the basement of the Cedarbrook Nursing Home. There she was. My grandma laid in a hospital gown, with a look of such sadness and despair that would make anyone feel empathetic. The week leading up to this particular Sunday night had been stressful. My grandmother had spent a few days in the hospital before moving into the nursing home, and to put it simply, it had taken quite the toll on the family. Most notably my mother. For as long as I can remember, my mother has always held the responsibility of taking care of my grandparents. Not that her four other siblings don’t assist in the care too, but with all of them living at least an hour away, the heaviest portion of the burden always seems to fall back onto my mother. I have seen my mom cry over dozens of movies, television shows, and even commercials, but something differentiated the tears she shed that week from the water that pooled in her eyes during a moving episode of the Young and Restless. After the day when she first moved my grandmother into the hospital, my mother returned home late and immediately asked me how my day went. As I babbled away about my latest geometry test, I couldn’t help but notice the faint tint of red that surrounded her hazel eyes, a trait that I’d always wished she’d given me. I couldn’t help but see the smeared mascara reaching across her face to her hairline. I knew she had been crying, but I also knew she would make her best attempt at hiding it. For all of the times I’ve come home with a face soaked in tears, only wanting her to dry my eyes, I felt I should return the favor in that moment, but I just didn’t know how. I hope that maybe one day I can be half the daughter to her as my she is to my grandma. As we stood there that Sunday, a little over a week after the transfer from the house to the hospital to the nursing home, I wondered how my mother did it. Then I saw it. I saw it in the way my mother tried to joke around with my grandma, the way she asked questions about my grandmother’s day, and I heard it in the tone with which she spoke to my grandmother. She wasn’t staying strong for me, or my dad, or my brother. It was for grandma. So as the weeks go on, and my mother comes home with more good news from “The Brook” as we as a family have come to call it, it appears that this move was for the best. Life goes on, and change is never easy. But with loving family and friends, home really is where is the heart is.


Stolz out, Vinovskis in

Katrina Guido Editor in Chief

On Nov. 11, after placing his bid to fill the vacant East Penn School Board position, Rev. Waldemar “Wally” Vinovskis took the oath and sat in on his first board meeting. Father of four and pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church, Vinovskis was chosen over 13 other candidates which, according to Lehigh Valley Live, included former board members, employees of other school districts, and local and state politicians. Each of the candidates had to go through a public interview held during a 90 minute meeting before that night’s board meeting. Vinovskis feels his qualification for the position derives from his interest in his children’s education, as well as his experience on other not-for profit boards. “I love my kids and I want to see them have a great educational experience as they are growing up,” said Vinovskis. “Over the years, I have worked with many teachers and administrators in East Penn. I


D e c e m b e r, 2 0 1 3

see their passion for education lieves that the circumstances and the success of the kids in surrounding Stolz’s resignatheir schools and classrooms. tion were fitting. “There has to be back and I want to support them and forth discusstrengthen sion and deour schools bate in order for my kids for the politiand the cal process to next genwork at its eration to best,” said come.” Vinovskis. T h e Reelected board polast year, Stolz sition was position on the left vacant board was to after Julast until 2015. lian Stolz Vi n o v s k i s ’s resigned term will now amid preslast until then sure from when he will parents afhave the opter it was tion to run for revealed that while Rev. Waldemar Vinovskis, Julian another term. The most on the board Stolz’ replacement, joins the East important ishe had rela- Penn school board sue for the tions with a Photo my EPSD to high school student and maintained an handle in Vinovskis’s eyes is account on a teenage social the search for a new superinnetworking site. Stolz and tendent. “The superintendent sets the student have gotten back the educational direction and together within the past year. Seeing Stolz’s term as “sad tone for the school district,” and pathetic,” Vinovskis be- said Vinovskis. “They have a

huge responsibility in managing the the budget and finances of a district the size of East Penn, as well as balancing the needs of a growing school district like ours.” According to the Patch, Vinovskis won the necessary five votes for appointment on the fourth round of voting by the board. Board President Charles Ballard who was out of town for the meeting maintained a virtual presence at the meeting via Skype and voted via text message. Heading the meeting in his absence was Board Vice President Alan Earnshaw. Stolz hopes that Vinovskis will continue his fight against the teacher’s union as he finishes out the remainder of Stolz’s term. “I wish Rev. Vinovskis all the best,” said Stolz. “It is my hope that he will serve as an independent voice for the common citizens of the East Penn School District and not be a rubber stamp for the administration and teacher’s union. The board has quite enough of those already.”

East Penn welcomes new school board

plishments of our students across a broad spectrum of fields in academics, the arts, and athletics,” said Earnshaw. Coming in the lead with “I feel that I have had a posi6,835 votes, Rebecca Heid tive impact on the district and took the first seat on the its direction, and it has been school board. Following was very gratifying to serve my Alan Earnshaw with 6,797 community in this way.” votes, Francee Fuller with Coming in as an underdog, 4,884 votes and Ziad Munson Munson is taking his seat for 4,842 votes. the first time . All election runners were “I would like my role to returning from previous be that of an attentive listener, terms, with the exceplearner, and careful decisiontion of Munson, who maker,” said Munson. “I is a new addition to the would like to help orient the school board. board toward inclusive deHeid, who was the cisionmaking that takes into front runner in the elecaccount many different voices tion, said she was asleep and points of view.” when the results of the Munson, who originally election came out. registered as an Independent, “I didn’t even realize recently reregistered as a Rethe results until the next publican. day,” said Heid. “I will work very hard to Heid says she plans keep my political views comto keep an open ear and pletely out of school board make her decision based decision making,” said Munon belief. son. “I like to listen to all He sees this as an imporaspects and really stay in tant time in order to make a the middle,” said Heid. change. “I feel everyone has a “We are at a critically special interest and I just important crossroads in our have to vote for what I history, both in terms of the feel is the best decision.” school district and public Although registered education generally in the as a Republican, Heid United States,” said Munson. wishes to be a registered “I want the East Penn School Independent. District to be a leader in em“I’d love to be a bracing our changing world registered Independent, and serving as a model for the but it doesn’t assist you future.” in the primaries,” says Munson is also an active Top: Ziad Munson, Alan Earnshaw Bottom: Francee Fuller, Rebecca Heid Heid. “I feel that I look participant in the commuat the issue, not the Four East Penn School board election winners now possessing seats nity. source. I vote with my “I help out in my younghead and heart.” seat on the LCTI board. his personal church. est son’s elementary school, Aside from holding a seat “Volunteering is one thing “They [his children] are Lincoln,” said Munson. “I on the school board, Heid also that I find very important in the main reason I chose to run am on the board of trustees of participates in many commu- ou society,” said Heid. and continue to serve,” says the Emmaus Public Library, nity activities. Alan Earnshaw, another Earnshaw. and I help coach youth soccer “I volunteer in the sum- seat holder, begins his twelfth Earnshaw sees the posi- teams. “ mer for Peaceable Kingdom. year as a part of the School tives outweighing the negaForth term democratic I participate in their Spay/ Board. tives to being on the school runner, Francee Fuller, was Neuter Release program for “I am not planning to run board. unavailable for comment. feral cats,” says Heid. “ I ba- for re-election in 2017,” said “I have found it very resically trap cats, take them Earnshaw. “but I will make a warding to see the accom-

Destiny Nagle News Editor

to PK and get them neutered and their shots. Then I release them back to who were feeding them outside. Our main goal is to control the population and to make sure the cats have their rabies shot.” Heid is also on the Stewardship committee for the Emmaus Moravian Church, is an advisor for the Hospitality Club at Northampton Community College, and holds a

final decision toward the end of 2016.” Earnshaw was also voted by his fellow board members as the new president. “…so I will be conducting meetings and acting as the spokesman of the board,” said Earnshaw. Father of four, Earnshaw is also a merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts, and is active in the lay leadership of




December 2013



So Savvy

By Savannah Pukanecz

Lost in Foundation

Stroke by stroke, it goes on. Some mascara, some blush and a lot of lipstick. I watch a girl as she puts on her makeup. She stares straight back at me in the mirror. I don’t know this girl, to me, she is a stranger. She has big bright eyes and red lips. She’s smiling. I stand in her shadow throughout the day, and I watch her. She looks happy; she laughs and floats around with seamless ease. But when I look more carefully at her face, I can see little cracks in the mask she worked so hard to put on. They start at her smile and travel up to her eyes; her foundation isn’t as strong as she thought it was. She notices them too and quickly plasters up the fractures before anyone can see. Good as new. At the end of the day she comes home. She starts to wash her face. As the red, brown, and black mix with the water and swirl down the drain, I finally recognize this girl. It’s me, but the smile, the red lips and the rosy cheeks are gone. It’s just me. Plain. Simple. Real. I never questioned why I wear makeup every day. For me, it was always just something that I accepted, just a part of my daily routine, a part of who I am. Until I realized that it’s not. With every stroke of the makeup brush, I watch myself slowly disappear. Every layer is another wall. With every coat of mascara I find more closure. But by the time I’m finished, there is someone else in my place. I don’t cake makeup on my face because I’m insecure about how I look, it’s because I’m insecure about who I am and how I feel. I’d rather someone know the facade I put on, than know the girl behind the mask. I’m intimidated by the world and all the judgements that come along with it. My makeup is my camoflauge, my disguise. It allows me to temporarily be someone I’m not. But sometimes I get sucked into the illusion. It becomes difficult to find the defining lines between the person that I am, the person I am pretending to be, and the person that I’m trying to become. I often lose myself somewhere in the translation- or the foundation if you’d rather. However, recently I have come to the realization that I’m not alone. I’m not the only one hiding from the world, and I’m not the only one trying to find myself. We all wish we could be something we’re not, and that’s the mask that we wear. However, some masks are a lot less obvious than makeup. Your mask could be your impeccable GPA, your undying devotion to sports, or maybe even the way you dress, but regardless it’s how you shield yourself from the world. We’re all hiding from different things. But regardless, that’s the one thing that we have in common. The fact that we’re hiding. The fact that we’re all stumbling around in the dark trying to grasp on to something- trying to find the thread that will lead us to the person that we are. Because truth be told, we don’t know who we are. We do stupid things like look our names up in dictionary and read our horoscopes every day because we’re just trying to figure out our place in this world. But we’re so complex that we cannot easily be summed up in a few words. As a result of relentless searching without any promise of an answer, we give up. We crawl back into our shells and dissolve into the fake smiles and facades that we put on. But what we never actually realize is that finding ourselves can be as simple as washing our faces, or taking a weekend off of school work, or putting on our favorite pair of ugly sweat pants. Finding ourselves can be as simple as looking in the mirror and saying, “This is who I am, and this is who I am going to be.”

Hannah Maehrer Opinion Contributor

My Boundless Blessings

In my earliest memories of my cousin Sean, he’s always smiling. I remember our family vacations to the Finger Lakes in New York, where we’d play on a wooden swing tied to an oak tree, and then rock the rickety hammock as if it were a boat. Sean always kept me guessing in the best possible ways. When I babysat him a few summers ago; he went to his room for five minutes and came out dressed in shorts, a robe, and some shiny rain boots. With the most serious expression on his face, he looked at me and said, “Let’s be spies.” So we were. We spent our time together peeking around corners of the house, chasing bad guys, and always saving the day. He’s always so full of love, laughter and smiles. When I was little, I never saw Sean as anything but a fun loving kid who loved to dream. My parents never sat me down to tell me about Sean. I had always known, but it didn’t affect me at all, Sean had always been Sean. It wasn’t something I questioned, it’s just something I always knew, like the grass is green, the sky is blue, and Sean has Down syndrome. Webster’s Dictionary defines Down syndrome as a genetic disorder, associated with the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21, characterized by mild to severe mental impairment, weak muscle tone, shorter stature, and a flattened facial profile. But it’s not possible to define a human being in a dictionary. It annoys me when people try to lump Sean and other people with Down syndrome into one single category. Sean is different, like everyone else. He’s an individual. Someone who has blue eyes isn’t exactly like everyone else with blue eyes:.Sean

is incomparable. He is a very unique 14-year-old boy. When my aunt had Sean, my parents were handling me in my terrible twos, so I didn’t know or understand the effect it had on my aunt and uncle. But Sean couldn’t have had better parents, they raised him to rise above stereotypes that say people with Down syndrome don’t have the correct social skills, or even worse, their learning has limits. Individuals diagnosed with Down syndrome have the capability to keep learning for their entire lives

Shortly after Sinead came into the world, they delivered the news. Sinead has Down syndrome. I didn’t get upset. That would’ve been wrong. It makes me sick to my stomach when doctors deliver the news of Down syndrome like it’s something to be upset about. Knowing Sean, who is one of the best people I know, how could Down syndrome be a negative? I was right. Now almost three years old, Sinead is the sassiest toddler I’ve ever seen. She loves to dance and is even slightly boy crazy.

that owns his own restaurant. Why don’t doctors tell you these stories when they deliver the Down syndrome diagnosis? Instead they deliver statistics about the odds that are stacked against you. They don’t bother to mention that so many people can overcome these odds with the right support system. To comfort her, the doctor told my cousin about a man who worked at the hospital. He also has Down syndrome. He was the best dishwasher they ever had. As if that’s all her little girl could ever amount to. I know Sinead can be whomever she wants because she is surrounded by people who believe in her abilities. I’ll forever be grateful for all the laughs, and the summer nights dancing with Sinead on the back porch, and family vacations to the lake with Sean. Those very special moments I spent with them where time seemed to move a little slower and the world seemed just a little further away (are so memorable.)They are both nothing short of a bright spot in a very dark place and I wish everybody knew two such wonderful people. Cousins Sinead Fitzgerald, Hannah Maehrer and Sean Maehrer. To say they’re always Photo Courtesy of Hannah Maehrer happy is a stereotype. No normal human being is with the proper training and She has the biggest personal- always happy. They get fruseducation. ity in the world. I’m not betrated and mad. They cry and As I got older I could ing biased when I say she is feel just like everybody else. understand more about Down the cutest thing you will ever Sean and Sinead are not syndrome. My perspective see in your entire life, totally Down syndrome. on Sean changed in only one not biased. They have Down synway. I had found new respect The fact that she has Down drome. for him. syndrome makes her and It doesn’t define them and I’m thankful for Sean Sean just that much more it’s not all they are. for many reasons. He is the miraculous to me. It’s such a small insigreason I already knew what All the circumstances nificant part of who they are it was like to have a close predict that they won’t have as individuals, and I’m so family member with Down normal social skills, they thankful to have two people syndrome. It was knowledge can’t comprehend everything who own a huge part of I would need in the future. you say, that their learning my heart to help me see the Later, during my last year is limited, and that they will world in the way it deserves. of middle school, my cousin never be able to live indepen- I’m thankful for the amazing AJ became pregnant with dently, but these statements memories and the clarity they her third child. With two are false. I saw a special on have given me. boys at home, she had been TV that showed a man with overjoyed with the news of a Down syndrome climbing baby girl, Sinead Fitzgerald. Mount Everest, and another

By The Numbers (Holiday Edition)


# of Christmas ornaments on the main office tree


# of reindeer on Mrs. Nassry’s door


# of broken lights in the tutoring information box

Courtesy of Cole Reece



December 2013

Obamacare not so “Affordable”

Obamacare... what does it mean to a 15-year-old girl who lives in Wescosville? It probably doesn’t mean a lot to most kids my age, but to me, it means a lot. Obamacare focuses on health care funding, which increases coverage for Americans. It is the unofficial name for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010. It requires people to have health insurance by March 31, 2014. If an individual does not have coverage by the deadline and they need medical care, they will be fined by the government. The goal for Obamacare is to give Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance and to reduce the growth in health care costs in the U.S. If you like your health care plan now, you can keep it, but Americans can only keep it up till 2015. Untill then, all other health plans must meet the requirements of The Affordable Care Act. Obamacare offers new benefits, rights, and protection. It also includes letting young adults stay on their parents plan until they are 26. This year, the penalty is minimal, but in the upcoming years, the cost of fines will be much bigger. My family currently has health care coverage. We have never been without health care

Christine Carlson Opinion Columnist

100 Emmaus Students were asked what they thought about Obamacare they said...

Cups of Kindness coffee and drink them or say to the cashier “Three cups for us, two pending.” Then later on, a less fortunate patron might enter, they may have come across some bad times or have had a bad day and they need a hot cup o’ joe to cheer them up. They would go to the cashier and ask if any pending coffee was available. That cup of coffee would then be theirs, no charge. People paid in anticipation

that is based on the principle of pending coffee. During the holidays, when some people have no reason to be cheerful, a simple cup of pending coffee could make their day. Sadly, the US has not yet adopted this tradition, though the country definitely should. Not only would it spread the holiday spirit but it would also help out the less fortunate. In the world’s wealthiest nation, 14.5 percent of households (around 49 million people) struggle to put food on the table. Out of every five children, one is at risk of hunger while one in seven people live below the poverty line. Half of all Americans will live in poverty sometime before the age of 65. Based on these numbers, I would definitely say that the US needs something as simple as pending coffee. It may not sound like a big Photo Courtesy of

Christmas. A time when lights illuminate store windows, Christmas songs play on every radio station, and people once again start to plan their annual family traditions. These moments of Christmas magic become memories for children everywhere. I remember when I was younger, Christmas was my favorite time of year. Who am I kidding, Christmas is STILL my favorite time of year. Not because of the presents under the tree, the classic carols, the black and white movies, or the delicious holiday treats, but for the essence of the “catching holiday spirit.” Every year I get more and more excited to plan new traditions and buy creative gifts for friends and family. On Christmas morning, I am probably just as excited as my four- and five-year-old niece and nephew.

I love seeing their faces as they indulgently pore over every one of their gifts, big or small. I love the laughter that ensues as they play with every toy. I look forward to seeing the emergence of the Salvation Army bell ringers and the feeling that comes with each coin that drops into the bucket, a feeling that there is something so much bigger than you. For me, these are the memories that I will always cherish. However, not all families are this fortunate. For them, the holiday season may bring times of sadness and financial trouble. Families may not even have enough money for a simple cup of coffee and a hot meal, much less be able to development magical Christmas memories. Around 100 years ago in Naples, Italy, a restaurant helped provide just a simple cup of coffee to people who could not afford it. Customers would come in and buy, let’s say, five cups of coffee. They could then either take all five cups of

President Obama thinks that we as a country, need a health care reform when some people don’t. Normally, this wouldn’t really affect me, but it has. Since we don’t have as much money anymore, we can’t just spend our money on whatever. Also, I don’t enjoy seeing my parents stress over something like this. The new Obamacare wasn’t really necessary. If people were fine with their original health care coverage, they shouldn’t have to change that. If people didn’t have coverage and they didn’t want it, that shouldn’t have to change either.

Makenna Shafer Opinion Columnist

coverage, but now with the new laws that have been passed, the cost of my mother’s health care plan has skyrocketed. I’m not just talking about a few dollars a week or $20 a month. I’m talking about thousands and thousands of dollars a year. My father is currently unemployed. That means that we don’t have as much money as we used to. Also, my mom has to pay a lot more out of her paycheck every week since he is not working. If my dad was employed, I don’t think it would be as big of a problem. It still would be, but not as much as it is now. My mother is currently trying to switch my sister and me to an insurance that doesn’t cost as much and covers a lot more than our normal health care coverage, such as dental, vision, and regular doctor visits. This will seriously affect our family in more ways than it should. I can see why this new reform was necessary, but why does it have to affect people who already have health care coverage in the first place? If people never did have health care, they’re going to be paying so much more money now than they would have if they had it before Obamacare. We are a middle-class family. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. We have heat, electricity, cable TV, and many more unnecessary daily luxury items that other families find unnecessary or do not want. I like the lifestyle that we live in and I have become accustomed to this way of life. I guess you could say I’m being selfish for continuing to want these things, but I think it is just absurd to have to live without some of these things just because


for the coffee and meals that others may not be able to afford. This became especially popular during the holiday season. Over time, this tradition spread throughout Europe. This past year, the UK Starbucks chain signed up for a charity

deal or by any means a solution to the poverty problem, but imagine if every person that has come across hard times could at least get a hot cup of coffee every day. Especially during the winter, when temperatures reach below freezing, a cup of coffee could do more than just provide some much-needed comfort. It may briefly improve someone’s outlook on life. Everyone should have the opportunity to be happy and carefree at least one day a year. Christmas is usually considered the most wonderful time of the year because of the memories. It breaks my heart when I think of people who may not be able to have that kind of holiday season. They might be struggling to survive, not even having a full meal in their stomachs. So I challenge you: Make a difference this holiday season. Whether it’s helping at a soup kitchen or buying a stranger a meal at McDonalds, you never know what the impact of your actions will have on another person’s life. After all, everyone needs a miracle.





December 2013


Questions or concerns?

Dave Heiney Section Editor of Opinion

Talk to someone else. It’s not my problem, and I don’t really care.

Yearly dose of holiday cheer Salutations, conscientious humanitarians of Emmaus High School, and welcome to the Heiney Hotspot. I imagine that the extra month without me to compose this righteous beacon of hope in your life must have driven you to the brink of insanity. In an attempt to quench the universal thirst for Heiney and keep you satisfied until February’s dosage, I’m jam-packing this issue full of sweet and savory Hotspot flavors for your anxious and scholarly taste buds. I would first like to investigate the life of one of Mother Earth’s most complex and fascinating creatures: the teenager. Specifically, I shall dissect the day-today affairs of the average EHS. Normally I would oppose the generalization of a group as diverse as the student body, but, in this case, I choose to misrepresent a handful of students in order to put the lives of many into perspective. Pressing onward, let us examine the morning routine of the typical sap bound to EHS. The average Joe awakens from a semi-decent slumber and proceeds to bathe, don a fresh assortment of clothes, eat a mediocre breakfast, and safely transport himself to his establishment of learning. After staggering through a humdrum

slew of classes in a tragically WiFi-less compound that can never seem to be the right temperature, the individual freely chooses how to occupy the remainder of his or her day-- whether it be to sleep the afternoon away, hang with some homies, go to a job for meager pay, or play with the surety of his future in some naive hooliganistic affairs. If life were like Monopoly, the typical teen of Emmaus would be furiously attempting to erect the third house of Baltic Avenue. Secretly he dreams of leading bigger, more glamorous ventures in Marvin Gardens or, maybe, just maybe, Park Place. Rarely does the resident of this podunk town consider the truly fortunate conditions in which he lives. Whilst cursing his existence over begrudgingly slow WiFi reception and unsatisfactory television programming, the average Emmausian maintains a blissful ignorance/merciless apathy regarding the global majority’s constant state of turmoil. In an effort to peak your intrigue on the horrific magnitude of international poverty, I have a tool in my arsenal that has been known to stupendously influence the opinions of most high school

Fruit-Flavored Candy Canes

Every year these abominations desecrate the stockings of children everywhere.

Barack Obama

President or not, Nelson Mandela’s funeral is not the appropriate place to take selfies.

EHS Staff

Seniors deserve lunchtimed Santa that represents the people.

students: mildly credible statistics. Approximately 21,000 children die every day around the world due to circumstances of poverty. 21,000 children. Every day. Let’s get real. That’s as if the total estimated death toll of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti would occur every 10 days, and all of those 210,000(ish) individuals were children. Somewhere close to 640 million children live without adequate shelter; that’s double the population of the United States living a life in dirty squalor. I realize that merely presenting these statistics does little to strike a substantial emotional chord within you, my readers, but fear not, for I’ve held the most shocking figure for last. Prepare yourselves. Throughout the globe, 270 million children live without any access to healthcare. So, if a child living in constant fear of contracting some atrocious flesh-eating disease were to contract one of those atrocious flesh-eating diseases, he would have no option but to die a slow and painful death. “That really sucks, Dave,” you may say, “But why should I care?”

Well, young Hotspotter, know that approximately 440,000 Americans die of smoking-related illness every year. As a comparison, if one accumulates the total American death tolls from the Revolutionary War, Vietnam War, World War I, the Korean War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, double that number, it comes out to nearly 410,000 More Americans die by willingly breathing cancer into their body every year than the amount of Americans that died so valiantly to protect our country. The tobacco industry is also one of the most financially successful industries in America. Furthermore, patient readers, American fast-food companies spend $4 billion dollars annually on advertising. $4 billion spent every year on grossly fattening the citizens of America. While 270 million children cannot defend themselves from the common cold, we Americans spend billions of dollars promoting obesity and lung cancer (and cardiac cancer, oral cancer, esophageal cancer… Don’t smoke, kids.) Now, dear Hotspotters, I’m not a expert of finance, but I am fairly certain that the money spent promoting overweight children and respiratory disorders may be better used on other, much more pertinent endeavors. America utilizes its vast wealth to poison its citizens instead of aiding dying children around the world. So, my beloved fans, next time you go bananas when Netflix spazzes out and you can’t finish an episode of Breaking Bad, remember all of the sick children who just want a bed to sleep in.

Nelson Mandela

May his name remain eternally on the nice list.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Not even a skilled pilot could land a sled carrying billions of gifts guided only by a single red incandescent bulb.

Families that celebrate Christmas

Never have they questioned bizarre traditions like putting a tree in your house or hanging socks on the fireplace.

T H E S T I N G E R D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 3





Justine Coleman

“Happy” Grad inspires next gen

Only one person in the entire world can cheer me up no matter how low I get: my sister. When I first found out that I would have another brother or a sister, I became a little hesitant because I didn’t know how much would change. It didn’t matter, though. From the first moment I held her, I knew that we’d be close. She appeared so young, innocent, and pure. I could tell she would observe the world in such a positive way. She used to be so tiny and still. I would hold her, and she would fall asleep in my arms. Or she’d just look up at me. She’d cross her eyes, too. Even back then, we could see her silliness shine through. She couldn’t really move at all. That isn’t the case anymore. She loves to move, climb, and explore. Her curiosity gives her a different perspective of the world. She tries new things every day like food, toys, or basically anything. Her openness toward the world inspires me to become less closedminded. I hope she will teach me how to have that kind of optimism. I feel in a way babies have a higher level of intelligence than adults. My sister has no fear of the world and life. Fear disables humans. We don’t function at our full potential with fear in mind. Without this fear that the world brings upon people, she is so happy. In fact, she loves to sing, “Happy. Happy. Happy.” She has changed so much in a year and a half. Before she acted just like any other baby, but now, she is developing her own personality. She laughs after she thinks she says something funny even she just says gibberish. Even though the age difference seems huge, we are still sisters. She makes me laugh, and I make her laugh, just like all other sisters. However, I don’t always know what she’s saying. In a way, though, I feel like I understand her. We do both love music, although our favorite kinds of music differ extremely. She prefers Elmo and “Mo” (Mickey Mouse) songs, and I guess you could say I don’t appreciate those artists as much as she does. But she sings and dances to basically any song I put on, so I tend to put up with listening to Sesame Street or Disney, at least for a little bit. She will repeat words I say, notes I sing, or anything I do. She has unbelievable intelligence. Because she has seen me so many times with earbuds in my ears, one day she got a hold of my earbuds and put them in her ear. The repetition can backfire, though. We used to play the song “Mama, I’m A Big Girl Now” from the musical “Hairspray” in the car. The song repeats the words “no” and “stop” over and over. Unfortunately, in time, my sister began to say those words when someone would tell her something. It didn’t even make sense sometimes. I walked past her once not doing anything, and she told me to “stop”. Luckily, that phase ended pretty quickly. I watch her a lot when my step-mom needs a break. She touches every little object in my room and moves it around. One time she even spilled water from my water bottle in my room. I started to get angry at her, but something stopped me. I looked at my floor, and there was a heart stain from the water. I couldn’t remain mad at her for reminding me that she loves me. I didn’t have a sister for 15 years of my life, and I honestly don’t know how I made it without her. She makes every day so much better. Her smile will make me smile. It doesn’t even matter if I’m sobbing. I always smile. On the worst of days, I come home, and my sister gives me tons of hugs. She just knows when I feel upset. Once, I came out of the doctor’s office feeling just plain exhausted. My little sister immediately picked up that it had been a very long day for me. She grabbed my hand and walked out of the building with me. I knew it would all be okay. She’ll sit in my lap and clap my hands together. It’s almost like she says, “I’m proud of you.” How can my baby sister tell me that without words? Priceless. Although she looks up to me to the point where she wants to eat whatever I eat, I admire her just as much. She is so loving and caring. She never judges people at all. I want to be more like her. She will teach me though. I know it. She has already taught me. I have become more forgiving. Sometimes my sister will get frustrated with me but never for long. She lets it go. And she has shown me how to do that too. I can tell she transforms other people’s outlooks on life. When people see her, their eyes just brighten. They smile and compliment her every time. She really proves that if you give out love, you will get love in return. She definitely does. I wonder if the world will change her. Probably not. At least I hope not. Either way she’ll be my baby sister, and no matter what, I will always love her.

Maura Benner Features Contributor

When he was a student at Em- and their supporters.” speaking. maus, Michael Marsteller often Marsteller said the experience “I remember him being quiet and wished he had someone to connect was “really cool” and allowed him shy, and he was not the most talkwith during a time in his to reflect on ative student,” DiDona said. life when he was trying all the people She also described Marsteller as to find himself. and challenges a “very nice, respectful, polite stuThe 2001 graduate that brought dent.” grew up without a fahim to the Today’s teens face many forms ther, who died when point he is at of stress, whether they come from Marsteller was one. today. school, society, or family, and His mother raised him As a motiva- Marsteller said that it’s times like and his brother on her tional speaker, these that give people the opportuown. Growing up in a M a r s t e l l e r nity to grow. single-parent household said he likes “Sometimes when we feel presin Upper Milford creto center on sure, overwhelmed, challenged, or ated some hurdles for youth because like we are spinning our wheels, it Marsteller and his famhe wants to can hold us back,” Marsteller said. ily. But these experiencbe that person “The crazy thing is that these are es also shaped him into who could some of the most crucial times in who he is today: have connect- our life because they are opportuniMotivational speaker. ed with him ties for us to lean forward a little, Author. when he was grow, learn, and unleash our stronNon-profit president. younger. gest qualities.” Ironman. “I like foTeens who face these hurdles Graduate Marsteller longs to inspire youth through his motavational speaking. Coach. cusing my should find people who will support Photo courtesy of Mike Marsteller Mentor. m e s s a g e them, he said. It is his career now as a motiva- with young people because I wish “So when you feel like the weight tional speaker to help young people when I was growing up in middle of the world is on your shoulders, who may need help finding direc- school and high school that some- look at it as that opportunity- as a tion in life, just as he did as a teen. one would have connected with me gift of growth for yourself as a perHis motivational speaking largely at that point, and gave me insight on son,” Marsteller said. “Embrace grew from his work through HCM something that would really reso- what you believe in. Figure out Foundation, a nonprofit company nate with me,” Marsteller said. what it is that you really want to do that he founded. As he began public Marsteller said that growing up, he and who it is that you really want to speaking through his nonprofit orga- struggled with the loss of his father be. And go do it - go be that person. nization, he discovered that he had a and in finding who he was, and that Other people are going to tell you all talent for connecting to an audience he wants “to be a great resource for kinds of things throughout life. And and felt as though he was helping to youth and young people while they for that reason the world is a huge make an impact in their lives. are on their journey of ‘figuring it all place, but there is only one of you.” “I enjoyed crafting messages out.’” Next spring, Marsteller’s book that are intended to provoke cer“I love the potential and the drive Breaking Through, which he cotain emotions in people and leave that young people have,” Marsteller authored with Dr. Nido Qubein, a them wanting to take some type of said. “Specifically, my favorite thing well known motivational speaker, action,” said Marsteller, 31, who about speaking to youth is after the as well as other contributors, will be is currently co-authoring a book, presentation. When they come up to released. Breaking Through, while juggling me or email me and tell me about Outside of motivational speaking another job as a certified triathlon their story and what they really and running a foundation, Marstellcoach. Marsteller himself finished want to do er, a graduate of four Ironman triathlons. in life.” Slippery Rock Uni“People were telling me I was Wellness versity with a major pretty good at [public speaking] and fitness of athletic training, and so I decided to commit to it and t e a c h e r coaches runners and figure out how to make it more of a Lisa Wells triathletes throughout career,” he said. had the the year, including The HCM Foundation, which he o p p o r t u some who compete started in 2009, works to help fami- nity to hear in Ironman events, lies affected by cancer. He named Marsteller a race that involves it in honor of his father Harvey C. speak two a 2.4-mile swim, a Marsteller, who lost his battle with years ago 112-mile bicycle ride colon cancer in 1983. Marsteller when he Marsteller’s not only a speaker. He also and a 26.2-mile run. participates in Ironman events. uses his experiences growing up to came to speak Marsteller said that trainPhoto courtesy of Mike Marsteller sympathize with families in situa- to Emmaus’ ing for an Ironman and tions similar to his. Key Club. racing is intense and demanding, “My real motivation for it came “He was very inspirational when but rewarding. from a real strong connection and he spoke because when he talked, he As for the future, Marsteller hopes empathetic viewpoint towards oth- talked a lot about his personal expe- to commit himself 100 percent er families who were fighting that riences,” Wells said. “He inspired to helping others and valuing his battle,” Marsteller said. “I was for- them (Key Club members) to be friendships, relationships, and contunate early on to find a few people leaders.” nections, and to make good deciwho really embraced the idea and Wells said Marsteller spread the sions along the way. He also hopes helped me get it off the ground.” message that “if you have the pas- to be “a part of some great and exThe work of his foundation has not sion and desire to do something, you traordinary things in the coming gone unrecognized. can accomplish it.” years.” The Fox Chase Cancer Center reHis words were “a great testimo“And of course, I would absolutecently honored HCM with its 2013 nial on how to live life,” she said. ly love to come into Emmaus and CHASE award, an accolade given English teacher Diane DiDona had speak at a huge student assembly,” to one organization a year that rec- Marsteller as a student her first year Marsteller said. ognizes “those who go above and of teaching. DiDona remembered “That would be an incredible exbeyond in their commitment to im- being surprised that her former stu- perience to have. I would be over prove the lives of cancer survivors dent had taken a career in public the moon with that.”

December 2013


Girls who hunt, the dears behind the deer Makenna Shafer Features Contributor Although, men still dominate for the majority of hunters in the United States, in recent years, women have been more spending more time in the woods, sitting in a tree stand and putting fresh food on the table. Every year 12.5 million Americans go out and set up at their favorite spot to shoot animals of their choice. But statistics show that the percentage of hunters behind the trigger or the bow are women. Generally, most people might assume that hunting is more of a masculine sport than a feminine one. Still, that’s not the case. Freshman Deena Stoudt started hunting at the age of 10. She goes out with her dad on the first day of hunting season because there are more deer in the fields. “I think hunting is more popular between men than women because girls squeal at the sight of blood and are afraid of guns,” said Stoudt. She likes hunting because it is a quiet and solitary hobby. She shoots duck and doe. “My best skill is using a bow and I think they are the easiest to use. The most exciting thing about hunting is the kill because it makes me get this rush of excitement,” said Stoudt. “Last year I got three doe.” The first day of hunting season was Dec. 1 in Pennsylvania this year. In

other states, hunting season can start as soon as September in Florida and can go all the way until February, such as in Texas. The most common animal to hunt are mainly deer, duck, migratory birds, raccoon and woodchuck. Hunting expenditures totaled to be $22.9 billion nationally, according to statistics. Sophomore Jordan Wanamaker started hunting at age 12. Her best skill is her aim with a rifle for deer hunting. She and her family go to a cabin near the Poconos. “What I like most about hunting is that it is very peaceful being out in the woods,” said Wanamaker. “Shooting at targets and clay birds is also entertaining.” Wanamaker also uses BB guns to shoot chipmunks. She hunts turkey and when she gets one, she takes it to her grandfather’s house in New Tripoli to butcher it. “I think hunting is more popular [for] men because they are more aggressive. They like beating each other up and killing things while girls are usually more interested in their dolls,” said Wanamaker. “Back in the old days, women were never allowed to hunt,” she said. “They cleaned.” The total number of women hunters increased in population in 2011 by 25 percent. Both men and women say that their hobby of hunting is not about the food, it is about the suspense

and intimacy for the animals and the habitat. Sophomore Hayley Sicher started hunting during rifle season when she was about 12. “I hunt on the first day of hunting season because it’s your best chance since the deer are moving due to the gun shots,” said Sicher. “After the first couple days, the deer figure out where it is safe and you won’t see them.” The most common deer you will see in North America, east of the Rocky Mountains is the whitetailed deer and west of the Rockies is mule deer. In Canada and Alaska, caribou, also known as Jordon Wanamaker, who began at age 12, goes deer hunting reindeer, are hunted extenwith her family at a cabin in the Poconos. sively. Photo courtesy of Jordan Wanamaker. The length of hunting filled with food, drinks, ammo, hand season depends on the health warmers, etc,” said Sicher. “You sit in and population of the deer herd. your stand quietly until you see a deer “I think hunting is more popular or when it is lunch time, which you among men because men are more eat quietly. Then, you go home and egotistical about it since they can compare deer sizes,” said Sicher. “But nap until two hours before sunset, if you don’t get anything, go home and with females, they tend to not care as much and find it gross to hunt because go out again.” What most people likes most about of the blood.” hunting is that it a quiet hobby. Also, Sicher explains a day of hunting. being out in the woods and seeing “First, you get up before first light animals in the wild up close is an and make it to your tree stand (spot) exciting feeling. before sunrise. You have a backpack

EHS students find ticket to success two classes of students who contributed to the house have since graduated. Initially a group of 16 students In 2010, technology education teacher designed and posed as architects as they Scott Didra offered an idea to his archipresented their project ideas to a jury of tecture class: design and build a small students and faculty. The jury selected scale house. a plan largely designed by Erin Urffer, His vision for the project was that it who graduated in June. would provide a real-world experience “I refer this whole project as a for his students, giving them ownership design-to-build project,” Didra said. “I of a product of which they could be wanted my students to not just design proud. After nearly three years, district something but to experience the whole and school officials last month dediprocess and actually build it in real-life cated the structure--complete with vinyl application.” siding, a ramp and a deck--on Memorial Students in the class of 2011 designed Field where it now serves as a ticket and built the basic structure and roof. booth. The 2012 students finished the outside Since Didra first suggested the idea, of the house, adding the vinyl siding and building the ADAapproved deck and ramp. Urffer said that once the plan was selected, students split into groups to work on sections of the booth. She and her group partner, Casey Williams, worked on the front half of the booth. “About 70 percent of my architecture class was spent working on the ticket booth,” Urffer said. Sometimes, the building process would get delayed, but eventually everything worked out. “I have always enjoyed building things. I like to keep my hands busy so this project was great not only building upon my knowledge of working with tools but it also showed me the scale to which I can build,” Urffer said. Urffer said working on the booth means that the classes left “a legacy” at the school. Students broke into groups to work on different parts of the “It gives me pride knowing that booth. something I helped create will Photo courtesy of Didra. serve the school,” said Urffer.

Jordan Robertson Features Contributor

Graduate Erin Urffer’s design for the ticket booth was chosen out of 16 designs proposed by students. Photo courtesy of Didra.

Senior Anthony Gallucci said a lot of precise work and planning--both as an individual and as teams--went into the project. “If you were off by an eighth of an inch, it was all going to be off,” Gallucci said. Gallucci, who plans to study architecture in college, has done a lot of wood work. In fact, he’s built electric guitars and sold them. So being a part of technical project put him right at home. “It’s cool to see it all come together,” he said. Throughout the endeavor, Didra watched as students collaborated to solve problems in order to achieve a common goal. “It’s an incredible learning experience for everyone involved,” Didra said. “The buzz to build was in the air, and the kids were already talking about what they were going to build next

year.” Urffer said building the ticket booth helped her realize that she enjoys designing conceptual ideas as well as the construction itself. With the knowledge and skill of building things, this was the perfect project for her. “In my current college design course, I have always enjoyed the construction aspects of assignments and with the help of my father as well as Mr. Didra’s class, I have been able to use my knowledge of tools to make quality projects which my design professor says have a fine craft to them,” says Urffer. Didra’s support of his students did not go unnoticed. “Mr. Didra is a great guy, and everything he teaches us is very useful,” Gallucci said. Several area business helped support the project by providing supplies, according to district officials.


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Life With The Voice Cole Reece Features Contributor

Whenever I go for a training ride on my bike, I’m usually on my own. No one else riding with me. No cars going by. No music playing from my phone. The only noise is the voice in my head. Some days, the voice is nice. It talks about how good the day was, how nice the weather is. Basically, it’s the happy-go-lucky, relaxed, usual me. But then other days, out of nowhere and for no apparent reason, the voice changes. It’s not happy anymore. It doesn’t care about how nice it is outside, or how good the day might’ve been. All it cares about is hating me. Over and over, it reminds me of my failures. The things I’ve done wrong. The opportunities I’ve missed. The people that’ve left me. And then once it’s done going over everything bad that has already happened, it starts a new monologue. One about the future, and what might happen. How it’s not going to work. How I won’t be anyone. How all my plans will crash and burn in a Hindenburg-esque fashion. How everyone will leave me. How I’ll be alone. This has gone on for a while now. Recently I found the voice has a name, which is clinical depression. People usually think depression has a cause to it. And that’s usually true. The few other people I know that have depression have legitimate reasons for it. I have no idea why I have it. When the voice changes, it just happens. There’s no warning signs, nothing that really sets it off. It’ll just suddenly happen. Perhaps the best description I’ve heard of it is from a former pro cyclist, Tyler Hamilton. “The closest I can come to describing it is to say that it’s a darkness that lives on the edge of my mind, a painful heaviness that comes and goes unexpectedly. When it comes on it’s like a black wave, pushing on me until it feels like I’m a thousand feet down at the bottom of a cold dark ocean.” Often times, when people hear that someone is depressed they’ll just say, “Why don’t they just do something that makes them happy and get over it already?’ The problem with that is depression makes things that you usually enjoy doing into utterly miserable tasks that you have no energy to perform. Everything seems so dull and useless that all you can manage to do is curl

up under a bunch of blankets, hiding from the world. Furthermore, you can’t just “get over it already.” Saying that is the same as going to someone with a broken arm and telling them to “get over it already.” It takes time and incredible amounts of effort to even begin to try to get rid of depression. Most people figure you go to sleep and the next day you wake up and your depression is gone. If it worked that way, then life would be far easier for a lot of people. I wish I could wake up after a day of the voice talking to me and it would have disappeared. Instead, I get up and the voice starts talking again. Over and over. The same things. Always. Then it’ll stop. All of a sudden it’ll go away and I feel like I can breathe again. Depression currently affects 298 million people as of 2010. Most of those people won’t say anything about it to anyone. Instead they drown their sorrows in substance abuse, creating a rapid downward spiral. There are plenty of people you know or have heard of that suffer (or suffered) from it. Christian Bale, Bon Jovi, Jim Carrey, Winston Churchill, Johnny Depp, David Letterman, Brad Pitt and Abraham Lincoln (that really tall president) all had clinical depression. The thing is, it’s not necessarily easy to tell when someone has it. They don’t wear all black and become completely mute. Usually they hide it under layers and layers of lies. Faking their smile. Laughing to make it seem like they’re fine when in reality they’re anything but. Hoping that maybe if they smile they’ll feel better. But it never works. Well, sometimes it does. It’ll distract me for a time, make me feel a little better (especially cat videos because those are amazing). But it’ll never solve the problem, whatever it may be. The worst part about it is how alone you feel. It doesn’t seem like anyone else is real. They’re just shadows in a dark, dark world. You can’t connect with anyone or explain what you’re going through. You’re lost in an endless maze with no guiding light to find an exit. One day I want to find that exit. I want to live my life without the voice. I want to be free.

Feeling Blue? Yo With the holiday season approaching, many students become more and more excited for time off of school and fun activities with family and friends. However, it may not be the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. The holidays are the hardest time of the year for some people. A number of reasons could contribute to this feeling of dread such as losing a loved one, having problems with family, and having health issues. Nevertheless, all of these reasons have one characteristic in common: they all leave the people affected feeling sad, lonely, lost, and depressed. Depression continues to become more common, according to Some symptoms of depression include isolation from others, a decline in academic performance, irritableness, loss of appetite, pessimistic thoughts, self-injurious behavior, sleep disturbance, and not wanting to complete routine actions. In order to help students in Emmaus who suffer from depression, the school offers them with flexibile due dates for assignments and tests. School psychologist Kate Davenport teaches these students coping skills. When fighting depression, the importance of grow-

Justine Coleman and C

ing aware of it could not be coping skills consist of get ties and determining the pe pessimism that cause their to develop. Finally, these i fight negative thoughts. Davenport believes that t present struggles for those the pressure put on them to and the fact that the world for longer than any other ti “Their thinking is so neg pressed,” said Davenport. sion is almost like a downw up in a giant pit and they ju to get themselves out.” Senior Nick Peterson, wh since age 11, agrees that th emotions. “...I’ve noticed that I ge Christmas,” Peterson said. hardest time of the year.” Senior Savanna Siegfried der, also known as manic d ness of the winter sky can d

December 2013


You’re Not Alone

Christine Carlson

e stressed enough. Other tting involved in activierson’s behaviors and feeling of hopelessness individuals learn how to

this time of year could feeling depressed due to o spend time with family becomes dark earlier and ime during the year. gative when they’re de“I would say that depresward spiral where you end ust have to figure out how

ho has had depression his time of year affects his

et more depressed around “I think that this is the

d, who has bipolar disordepression, feels the blackdisturb people’s mood.

“When it gets to be winter, it’s harder to stay positive,” she said. When trying to help friends who may suffer from depression, students should talk to an adult. Additionally, the Student Assistance Program, or SAP, can help in the situation once someone informs the organization. School and community members make up the SAP team in every middle and high school and some elementary schools in Pennsylvania. To recommend SAP involvement in an Emmaus student’s life, anyone can fill out a referral form located in the library, counseling offices, or in the SAP room, 519. Teacher Jeannine Martini feels fortunate to serve as a SAP team member for nine years. “SAP allows students to work through barriers and enables them to be successful,” Martini said, “not only in the present but in preparing for their futures.” Peterson suggests that teens with depression should not allow it to control their life. “If you feel depressed, talk to a friend, or talk to your parents or your siblings,” Peterson said. “You need someone to vent to, and having someone to vent to makes the entire difference.”

Survival Guide to the Holidays Checklist Maintain Modest Expectations Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Give Yourself a Break Don’t Stress About things Out of Your Control Find a Positive Way to Remember Lost Loved Ones Eat Sensibly Exercise

Helpful Programs SAP- The Student Assistant Program is a program at school to help students overcome whatever issues they are facing and become successful National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 Drawing by Alexa Grazio


27 months in a coma

One accident transforms emmaus grad’s life forever. Christine Carlson and Justine Coleman

One Emmaus High School graduate. “I’m glad he’s alive,” Jack said. “His One man’s dreams and life goals. One acmother and I will be there for him until we cident on Aug. 4, 2011, changed everything can’t be anymore. Until the end, we’ll be for Zach Miller. there for him.” Miller graduated from Emmaus in 2006 They do realize, though, that they will before heading to the University of Pittsnever have the same Zachary back as they burgh where he hoped to begin his journey knew him. to fulfill his dream: follow in his family “Zachary will never be Zachary again,” doctor’s footsteps and become a physician. Jack said. “He will always be my son.” Before he graduated Pitt in 2010 with a Immediately after the accident, Susan degree in biochemistry, he worked hard moved out to Pittsburgh where she has to transform his body into one of physical stayed day after day by Zach’s side. For perfection at Pittsburgh CrossFit, which he two years, she’s spent about 8 hours every founded. With the nickname of Thor, stayday at the nursing home where Zach stays. ing in shape meant the world to him. “I’ve never been home,” Susan said. But that fateful day in August halted that “I left my life. I’m not going to leave him dream. until he’s well.” While heading to his gym, Zach talked Every morning she comes in and makes to his mom, Susan Miller, on the phone as Zach comfortable. She brushes his teeth, he drove in a borrowed SUV. His own car cleans his face, combs his hair, and reads needed tires, so he used someone else’s to him. Around noon, in nice weather, she vehicle. takes him outside in a special wheelchair. Zach started to say, “I love you, mom,” Around 4 p.m., she kisses him goodbye and when Susan heard a strange noise. heads back to a small apartment, only to do In a split second, all the Miller family it all over again the next day. had ever known By the time his was lost. mother leaves, As Zach tried Zach --who at to merge, he hit one time could a car. The SUV do 50 consecutive flipped. But the pull-ups--becomes details followtired. While he ing are unknown. once could train Zach could have for several hours gone through the a day, listening windshield or an to audiobooks or open door, since music can drain he didn’t wear his him. seatbelt. No one Once in a while, else was hurt. Zach will experi“Zachary never ence a seizure, but Jack makes a moving speech on behalf of his son. wore his seatbelt,” overall, he remains Photo courtesy of Maura Benner said his dad, Jack. stable. “I guess he thought he was indestructible.” Jack calls Susan throughout the day to On that day, Susan didn’t know what check in; it comforts him to know someone had happened, so she texted Zach to call is present to support his son. her when he got the chance. Instead, a “She assures me he’s going to get betphone call came from Zach’s number. ter,” Jack said. Only, it wasn’t Zach. It was a state trooper. Both Susan and Jack agree that the staff Susan immediately informed the rest of at St. Barnabas, the facility where he curZach’s family, and they headed for Pittsrently lives, loves Zach like family. burgh, arriving seven hours later. “They treat him like one of the family,” Zach’s head was extremely swolJack said. len, causing doctors to later remove bone Jack makes the 10-hour trip to Pittsburgh flaps and skull portions, so his brain could and back every two weeks, sometimes expand. every weekend. He has never missed every A doctor told the family that in 72 hours two weeks. they would know whether Zach would live Zach’s younger sister Caitlyn Miller has or die. visited Zach several times. He had a 10 percent survival rate. He “It’s important for him to see me and me beat the odds. to see him,” Caitlyn said. Now, 27 months later, Zach remains During this difficult time, the East in a coma. He can open his eyes, stretch, Penn community as well as others breathe, yawn. have helped the Millers. At the time However, no one knows what Zach hears of the accident, Zach did not have or sees. health insurance, so the Miller family “They call it a coma, but he opens his has had to pay extremely expensive eyes and looks and sees you,” Jack said. bills. “He looks in your eyes, and you know that During the filming of one movie, he sees you. We’re just looking for that Anne Hathaway’s security force one word like ‘Dad’, ‘Mom’, that knows donated their first day’s salary to help that he’s back.” Zach. Stand-up comedian Eddie Ifft Sometimes when Jack visits, Zach starts set up a program called Laughs for to cry, but that is a good thing. That means Zach and gave all proceeds to the that Zach can tell that his dad is there with family. An online donation fund was him, his family said. established, and people from around “It breaks my heart,” Jack said. “But it’s the world have provided money to better than nothing at all.” support Zach. (Anyone can still Recently, Jack found out that Zach will donate money for Zach on www. never walk again, but he is more concerned about getting Zach’s brain back. zach-miller-s). Zach’s family tries to keep focused on The Miller family remains grateful the big picture. for the community’s assistance.

“The community has been really, really helpful,” Caitlyn said. One of the many fundraisers included Zumba for Zach, organized by Zach’s former Spanish teacher at Emmaus, Claudia Risi, and fellow teacher Stephanie Ardito. On The Zumba for Zach event took place on Dec. 7 Photo courtesy of Maura Benner Dec. 7, about 60 students and 50 Susan believes that if Zach wore his other community members gathered at the seatbelt, the condition would not be as seschool to Zumba as a tribute to Zach and to vere. She begs people, especially teenagers, raise funds for his medical needs through to always wear their seatbelts. ticket sales, basket raffles, and bandana Risi still maintains faith that he will sales, since Zach always worked out with wake up one day, returning the Zachary a do-rag. In the end, the event raised more that they all know and love. than expected. “I am hopeful that he will come out of “I really enjoyed seeing so many of my his coma and be able to function and to students there to help a family they didn’t overcome any brain damage he may have even know,” Risi said. and join his family again,” Risi said. Risi came up with the idea to do Zumba Jack wishes the same. for Zach because of his love of physical “We always have hope that he’s going to fitness. Zach longed to win the CrossFit get better,” Jack said. competition to earn the title of fittest man Not only has the coma changed Zach’s in the world. life; it’s altered the rest of the family’s lives “I really think a lot of Zach and I was as well. devastated to hear the “It’s changed my life news, and I wanted to forever,” Jack said. “I do something to make almost feel like I don’t sure he was going to have a life without my continue to get the agson.” gressive treatment he Susan agrees. needs to come out of “In a flash, our his coma,” Risi said. family was changed Zach left a lasting forever,” Susan said. impact on Emmaus Caitlyn has taken teachers. Risi had lessons away from the Zach his sophomore tragedy that her brother year. She felt that he has suffered. was a smart, respect“I don’t take things Zach, a strong believer in the importance of fitness, ful kid. for granted anymore,” participated in CrossFit “He’s an all-around Caitlyn said. “Family Photo courtesy of Claudia Risi really cool guy,” Risi means a lot more to said. me. We’re a lot closer now.” Susan has many memories of Zach. The last song played at the Zumba event “He always made me laugh,” Susan said. was “Overcomer” by Mandisa. The song “I know he could crack me up with a stupid fittingly expresses overcoming obstacles joke.” thrown in one’s way. As the song played, Zach’s dad, Jack, recalls Zach as a bright the Zumba instructor pointed to her shirt child. with Zach on it and shouts and whistles “He was just a typical boy,” Jack said. filled the room. “He was my only son, and I adored him.” That’s because Zach is an overcomer.

High school and community members raise funds via fitness. Photo courtesy of Maura Benner


THE STINGER | December 2013



Dilemmas: Lincoln, Mandela, and You

Photo courtesy of

By: Emma Wang

Fandom alert:


By Emma Wang

Hobbit fans anxiously awaited last week’s release of The Desolation of Smaug, the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy. The Hobbit is part of a larger fandom called the Lord of the Rings. The fandom is quite active; numerous people love the land of Middle Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien. He penned many books, but the four most prominent ones are The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2001, Peter Jackson brought the classic tale of Frodo Baggins to life with the first of three movies in the Lord of the Rings. Jackson continued his journey through the story of the Ring of Power and produced the second and third movies, The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003). Today, Jackson strives to complete the tale by breaking The Hobbit into three separate movies: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and There and Back Again (2014). The Hobbit is a timeless story about growing up and discovering what you can do if you go outside of your comfort zone. It is meant to be a children’s story and has been a classic since its publication. Mathematics teacher Jason Geist first read the book when he was 12 years old. “I have read the book at least five times,” Geist said. “It is my favorite book and I will probably read it again after I see this film over winter break.” Geist read the book to his son, causing The Hobbit to become a father and son mutual interest. “I was able to read The Hobbit to [my son] about 3 years ago when the movies were announced,” Geist said. “We decided then that we had to see the films together.” Economics teacher Tom Warnke has read the book a few times and also enjoys the Lord of the Rings series. “I read the whole series when I was about 13-14, and [they are] still the only book[s] I’ve read that I immediately re-read again,” Warnke said. “I’ve read them a couple times since then,” he said.

Though one might suppose the breaking of The Hobbit nto three parts would annoy fans, senior Anna Overholts supports the decision. “I like it,” Overholts said. “It’s allowing them to actually show every part of the book and not skip important plot points like most movies do.” However, Geist and Warnke each have had mixed feelings about making The Hobbit into a trilogy. “[Splitting The Hobbit into three movies] might be a little overkill,” Warnke said. “I understand why they did it with Lord of the Rings. That was a trilogy. The Hobbit is just one book.” Geist agrees that it might be a lot for such a short book when compared to the Lord of the Rings. “At first I was not happy about it,” Geist said. “I didn’t know how they could turn that book into three full length films. I have read interviews with Peter Jackson where he said that the studio wanted him to do more of a prequel of the Lord of the Rings than just the story of TheHobbit.” Yet, the content of The Hobbit does not seem like enough material to produce three movies. Geist has an idea of what Jackson plans to do. “I am assuming that we will see some stories from the Unfinished Tales incorporated into the next two films similar to what was done in the first film,” Geist said. Certain parts of the first installment of The Hobbit were not included in the original book, and this bothers some fans, but the changes were not significant enough to upset Geist. “I was pleased with how the first film turned out so I am going to give Peter Jackson some slack,” Geist said. The trailer for The Desolation of Smaug shows an elf woman, portrayed by Evangeline Lily, who was not included in the original story. “I am interested to see Evangeline Lilly’s role in the film since her character is not in the book,” Geist said. The rest of the cast features many of the actors from the Lord

of the Rings films produced in the early 2000s. The continuation of the actors playing these roles and the ability to smoothly add The Hobbit movies into the Lord of the Rings trilogy pleases Geist. “I was happy to see them act out the scene in Bag End in [An Unexpected Journey] and I thought they did a great job,” Geist said. “And who else could play Gandalf but Sir Ian McKellen?” The cast performed well in An Unexpected Journey, according to Geist. “I thought Martin Freeman did a great job as Bilbo, and Richard Armitage was excellent as Thorin,” Geist said. “As for all of the other dwarves, they did a great job.” Overholts believes the cast is solid, especially Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. “I think Martin Freeman plays Bilbo’s bumbling cluelessness with a bit of hidden courage well,” Overholts said. Warnke also thinks the cast performs well together. “From what I’ve seen so far, the actors are terrific,” Warnke said. Thrilling scenes filled with action and acts of bravery color the pages of The Hobbit fans anticipate the transformation of these scenes from page to screen. Geist is excited to see the classic escape scene from the book. “[I am most excited for the scene where] Bilbo helps the Dwarves escape from the Elf King,” Geist said. “It is one of my favorite parts in the book, and I am hoping Peter Jackson is able to transition it well to the film.” Overholts cannot wait for the entire movie, but especially the portrayal of the dragon Smaug. Despite their desire to see the movie neither Overholts, nor Geist plans to dress up or see the midnight premiere of The Desolation of Smaug. “I am not doing either,” Geist said. “Although I am a huge fan and would love to go to the midnight opening, I have promised my 8-year-old son that we will go see the movie together just as we did for the first film,” he said.


History tells the story of who we were and how we came to be who we are today. It’s a reflection upon the values and dreams we once had. It also tracks the progression of the human race since the beginning of time and we can use it to see how we have emerged into the modern age. History isn’t beautiful. Actually, it’s just plain ugly. Wars, dictators, and other mistakes scar the pages of our history books. Those things all brought pain to the world and little good came from them. Believe me, I don’t expect the world to be perfect, but I wish we didn’t do the things we do. Wars can be necessary in certain instances, but dictators are not necessary. Mistakes, well, they happen, and they aren’t a problem unless they aren’t corrected. Mistakes are painful for everyone, but help us learn what we should do in difficult situations. What happens when these mistakes are not corrected? Even more pain. Destruction. Death. Horrors. But the world ignores them when they believe they’ve already dealt with the problem sufficiently. It takes strong individuals who are passionate about their beliefs to make the change a second time, and everytime after that. Nelson Mandela was one of these individuals. He cared about his race and wanted equality for it. As a young man, Mandela worked to fight apartheid, racial discrimination in South Africa. He joined a group of other young men who then created the African National Congress Youth League. This group of men continued to fight for what they believed in: equality for all. Mistakes are only bad if they aren’t fixed, or if no one listens to what they learned. Apartheid in Africa is a horrific mistake. Did the world not see the Jim Crow laws and Black Codes that existed in America? There was a war over the issue of slavery and other issues that two sides could not agree on, the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, but it did not fix the issue of racial inequality. The battle for equality for African Americans in America began long before the Civil War. So in the late 1800s, we had Americans fighting for equality for all despite long existing social norms that said whites are superior to African Americans. The affairs of one country are not solely known by that country; other countries knew what America was up to and what the big issues within “the land of the free and home of the brave” were. Maybe the anti-apartheid movement in Africa began partly because of the racial equality movement in America. Maybe that’s why Nelson Mandela got involved and became the man we knew him to be. Mandela believed in using non-violent means to prove his point to those who were against his beliefs. In 1961, he conducted a three-day workers’ strike to make a statement; however, this action lead to his imprisonment, originally for three years, but after another trial, Mandela’s sentence read life imprisonment. Mandela would not allow his imprisonment to stop him from achieving his dream of freedom for his people from the restrictive social system of South Africa. While in prison, he earned a law degree, thanks to the University of London. Prison did not stop him from serving as a symbol for his followers. They fought for his freedom, and eventually the government relented to free him if the armed struggle in his name ended. Mandela refused to stop the armed struggle because he believed that it would make more of a change than his freedom would. Frederik Williem de Klerk took over the South African government when the former president suffered a stroke. De Klerk freed Mandela from prison and allowed the African National Congress (ANC) to exist legally. These actions did not appease Mandela, and he continued to fight for equality. Eventually, in 1991, Mandela became the president of the ANC. Two years later de Klerk and Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize for their steps towards ending apartheid. The following year the ANC won the struggle and South Africa held its first democratic election. They elected Nelson Mandela as the president. The man who rose from humble beginnings rose to president of his country because of his dream. His strong belief in racial equality caused him to take the steps necessary to make the change he believed in. He stuck with it even though he spent nearly 30 years imprisoned. His stubborn refusal to go along with the way things always were in South Africa led to the freedoms we know South Africa has today. I wish I could say that this healed the mistake world wide, but it hasn’t. Today racial inequality still exists across the world. What can you do about it? You don’t have to devote your life to fighting for equality to make a difference; you can take some baby steps to make a change. You can stand up for those who are bullied or picked on for their race. Besides making their day, you are also showing others that racial inequality is a silly thing for your life to be defined by. Break the cultural norm and befriend someone whose skin is a different color, likes different food, and offers an outlook on the world that you’ve never seen before. You just might discover that you have more in common than you expect.


THE STINGER December 2013


Music Reviews Tim Hecker - Virgins

Tim Hecker is an electronic and ambient music artist from Montreal. He has been steadily releasing albums since 2001 but gained a lot of attention from his 2011

By Kevin Gigler

album Ravedeath, 1972. He also gained some buzz last year by collaborating on an album with like-minded, ambient producer Daniel Lopatin. Over the years, Hecker has dabbled with many styles of music including electronica, ambient, and drone. On this new album, Hecker is sticking to his usual style of lush, ambient music that flows together in what feels like one continuous piece. He’s changed it up on this project, however, by adding a lot of acoustic instrumentation such as pianos, woodwinds, and strings. This opposes his usual electronic instrumentation style. This change brings new life to the songs by adding a slight touch of character and a human quality to these seemingly alien and ethereal tracks. You get a lot of nice piano sounds on tracks like “Live Room” and “Stigmata I.” There’s sounds of bassoon or bass clarinet on “Virginal I”, which adds a strange texture to the heavy electronic noise. Hecker knows how to keep a song interesting, whether it is by boggling your mind with wild sound play on a track like “Stab Variation” or by keeping a song structure varied like on “Virginal II”. His experimental

One Direction - Midnight Memories

One Direction, arguably one of today’s most popular boy bands, recently released their third album, and the disc reveals an obvious change in-- well, at the risk of being cliche-- direction. The British sensation, which formed for the UK’s version of The X Factor in 2010, dropped Midnight Memories last month, giving fans a welcome change in style. It is, in fact, an album that relies more on rock than pop to explore the theme of honesty. Rock? Imagine that.

Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik released albums in 2011 and 2012. Their first album, Up All Night, went number one on the Billboard top 200 in the U.S. The album sold 176,00 copies the first week it hit the streets. Their second, Take Me Home, featured the hits “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing”. Take Me Home secured fourth in best-selling LPs that year, topping the charts in more than 35 countries and selling 4.4 million copies. But One Direction has now topped both of their previous albums with Midnight Memories, breaking their own records and hitting number one. More than 145,000 copies of the LP sold within the first three days. It is expected to be fastest selling album of the year. Midnight Memories clearly stands out from 1D’s earlier albums. The five boy-wonders (although legally, they are now all men) open up more than they have in the past, revealing emotions not heard before. Still, the singers throw in several pop songs that work that simply serve as fun singles to keep fans happy, such as their first release, “Best Song Ever”. “Best Song Ever”, an upbeat piece about going out and having fun, works as a rather catchy tune that sticks in your head long after the song has ended. Even Rolling Stone called it “pretty irresistible, a corporate megahit

production keeps songs like “Radiance” and “Amps, Drugs, Harmonium” engaging throughout. Some songs, however, get a touch long-winded. Songs like “Prism” and “Black Refraction” don’t stay very engaging and seem to drag on. Another problem I had with this album may be childish and superficial, but it was a problem all the same. This album demands an extreme amount of patience from its listener and at points it was easy to tune it out and focus on other things. If you’re looking for a nice song with the typical “versechorus-verse-chorus” structure, STAY AWAY FROM THIS ALBUM. These tracks are extremely dense and experimental, and after listening to it you may feel very run-down from how bleak and challenging it is. Even I was craving a sugarcoated, pop hook to cheer me back up after finishing this record. These complaints aside, I still enjoyed this album very much.

Rating (out of 10): Light 8 By Alex Kugler about dancing all night that actually makes you want to.” The song’s video features each performer playing themselves as well as an additional character. It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s classic 1D. One of the songs where One Direction really opens up in is “Don’t Forget Where You Belong”. Seriously, this is one of the best songs on the album. “Don’t Forget” offers a calming melody and gives fans a better understanding of their crazy, changing lives. Fame obviously has brought that on: moving around from place to place on tour before getting home only to pack up and leave again. But the song’s main purpose is to tell the listener that no matter how far away they are away, they never forget where they belong, back home in England. By far, Midnight Memories is their best album. The album-- produced by Julian Bunetta (who helped produce Take Me Home) and John Ryan-- shows their dedication to 1D. The band invested a lot more of themselves and who they are and what they feel. Of course, 1D can never ignore the pop songs that catapulted them into teen stardom. But One Direction worked hard on this album, blending its pop base with a rock twist, and fans appreciate that.

Rating (Out of 10): Strong 8

The Head and the Heart - Let’s Be Still

The Head and The Heart is an indie-folk group from Seattle. They formed in 2009 and released their debut self-titled album in 2011. Showcasing their knack for making sweet and catchy music tinged with influences of folk, rock, and Americana, they made a splash in the indie world. With songs like “Lost in My Mind” and “Down In The Valley”, they garnered a mild amount of mainstream attention. They also gained attention by opening for some bigger groups such as Dave Matthews Band, Dr. Dog, Vampire Weekend, The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, and Death Cab For Cutie. On their new album, Let’s Be Still, they stick to their usual blend of indie folk and rock with success on a

handful of tracks. You can come to expect a similar instrumental lineup throughout most songs on the album: guitar, bass, drums, piano, and violin. That being said, The Head and The Heart showcase new instrumentation on some other tracks to great success. You can hear banjo on tracks like “Gone” and “Josh McBride”, and 80s-esque keyboards on “Springtime” and “Fire/Fear.” Another aspect that drew me into the band was the vocals from frontmen Jonathon Russell and Josiah Johnson. Russell’s gruff yet dynamic voice conjures the spirit of Van Morrison with a touch of Ray LaMontagne while Johnson has a much sweeter tone. Violinist Charity Rose Thielen fronts a few songs on the album as well, which is a nice change of pace. As far songwriting goes, the band has also has a knack for crafting catchy songs with sweet instrumentations. One song that impressed me lyrically was the title track “Let’s Be Still”. It speaks on the fast-paced nature of society and how sometimes you just need to be still and let life just happen around you, a “stop a smell the flowers” type message. The most impressive part of this album for me was the instrumentation from some of these songs. It’s great how the band can take such a simple instrumental aesthetic and vary it throughout the album. My favorite track on the album is “Josh McBride” because it’s instrumentation is so simple but the plucking banjos and strings make it so hypnotic. Also, the track “Fire/Fear” offers a major change in The Head and The Heart’s sound by adding synthesizers to the mix, which is refreshing. It doesn’t feel out of place with the folk vibe in this instance. Other

By Kevin Gigler

tracks like “Another Story” and “10,000 Weight in Gold”, while not as varied in style, are still enjoyable. However, there was a handful of problems I had with this album. Some of the tracks tried to stray into new genres. Although this idea sounds good on paper, the results didn’t come out as tastefully as planned. The song that pops to my mind right away is “Summertime”. It opens up with a danceable groove, which interests me at first, but then these cheesy synths come in playing a simple pattern, which repeats for most of the song. This and the over-the-top vocals from Charity Rose Thielen make this song a major turn off for me. Other songs that I couldn’t really warm up to were the country-tinger “Cruel” and the folk rocker “Shake”, which was the lead single for this album. Both the tracks take obvious stylistic paths of folk rock and country that I couldn’t get behind. The re-hashed guitar riff on “Shake” was taken straight from of a multitude of country-flavored rock that came before it, and the classic tear-in-your-beer country chord progression on “Cruel” is unoriginal. While we’re on the topic of songs I disliked, I must bring up the tracks “My Friends” and “Homecoming Heroes.” “My Friends” sounds like a track that didn’t make it onto the bands first album, and “Homecoming Heroes” just didn’t do anything for me as an opener to this album. Overall, the album had a few potholes but contained a good amount of solid tracks as well.

Rating (out of 10): Light 7


Farewell, Lou

THE STINGER | December 2013

Photo By

how Reed could blend these dark topics with an infectious melody. Aside from the impact of his work with Velvet Underground, Lou also boasted an impressive solo career. He released 26 albums from 1972 to 2011, further solidifying his place in music history and making him a prime choice for one of the hardest working musicians of all time. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, he received praise from critics and fellow musicians alike. The Velvet Underground’s debut album was added to the National Recording Registry in 2006, and The Rolling Stone crowned the project the 13th greatest album of all time. Artists hailing from various genres across the music scene have cited Lou as an influence, including musical giants such as Nirvana, R.E.M., and U2. Even in his final years, Lou continued to push musical boundaries and diversify his signature sound. His 2011 collaborative effort with Metallica, titled “Lulu,” is often harshly criticized by critics and fans alike. Although I’m not a fan of the album myself, I believe that the album is a testament to Lou’s passion for innovation and music alike. Through his music and cultural influence, Lou managed to accomplish more in one lifetime than most can only dream of attaining in several. And although Lou Reed may no longer be walking among us physically, his spirit and passion for music will forever live on through his family, friends, fans, and the thralls of musicians he influenced. Rest in peace Lou, and may you continue to walk on the wild side and strum along in the afterlife.


Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2 By Eamon Dreisbach

By Eamon Dreisbach

As the final leaves fell from the trees and the first signs of winter began to appear this year, music fans of all kinds said a tearful farewell to one of rock music’s most forward-thinking and influential figures. Lou Reed spent his final days surrounded by the things he loved the most: his wife, nature, and tai chi. He passed away peacefully on Oct. 27 at his home in Southampton, NY, leaving behind one of music’s most impressive discographies as well as an undeniable impact on several genres of music. As an avid fan of Lou myself, I have been constantly floored by the amount of creativity and musical direction the man put into his music. Reed’s use of simple, hypnotic rhythms always blended beautifully with his straightforward, yet meaningful lyrics to create songs that came across as a kind of bizarre spoken word poetry. And with a musical career spanning five decades, there’s no question about the man’s devotion to his craft. In light of the man’s recent passing, I feel that there is no better time to reflect on just how much Lou managed to accomplish during his 71 years on earth. Looking back at Lou’s career in the music industry, it’s clear to see that he was never one to conform to the popular sounds of whatever time period he happened to be performing in. As one of the true pioneers of alternative rock, Lou was constantly pushing musical boundaries with every project he released. His choice to recruit Andy Warhol as the cover artist for the Velvet Underground’s 1967 album “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (more popularly known as “the banana album”) is widely considered to be one of the most important collaborative efforts in American pop culture history. Using his expertise as the leader of the pop art movement, Warhol created one of the most widely recognized album covers of all time, a painting which would serve as the wrapping paper for a musical endeavor that in turn would serve as a turning point in music history, as well as help establish alternative rock as a genre. Although it saw almost no commercial success in its own time, “The Velvet Underground & Nico” is seen today as one of the most unique and influential albums of the 60’s, despite selling a mere 30,000 copies during its initial release. On the record, Lou Reed pulled no punches in terms of lyrical content as he shed light on the darker side of life in New York. Even while tackling macabre topics like drug addiction or prostitution, Lou’s vocals managed to provide a sort of lighthearted atmosphere that could have you singing along at first listen. “Heroin” (a personal favorite of mine) is a fine example of

Few people in the rap music scene have managed to establish a career as lengthy and successful as Eminem’s. Despite battling with hoards of pitchfork-wielding parents upset over his controversial lyrics, as well as jokes about his lack of pigmentation, the Detroit MC has managed to become one of the biggest names in the hip-hop industry since his musical debut in 1999. Although his last few releases are arguably the weakest of his career, Eminem has finally managed to recapture the energy and head-turning lyricism of his earliest works with his latest project, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Despite the hype leading up to this album’s release, the singles Em dropped prior to release day felt very lackluster to me. “Bezerk” seemed like a lazy attempt to knockoff the Beastie Boys signature sound, while “The Monster” felt like it could have easily been a throwaway radio track from Recovery. The only single I did enjoy was the six minute, flow-driv-

en behemoth “Rap God”, largely flipped on the track “Rhyme or Readue to its fast-paced producson”, and Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been tion and Eminem’s rapid-fire Good” is thrown around playfully on delivery. “So Far.” Due to the lack of consisMy main gripes with this project tency throughout these prelie in its guest features: fun. Lead release songs, I found it difficult singer Nate Ruess, singer/songwriter to enter The Marshall Mathers Skylar Grey, and even hip-hop goliLP 2 without some degree of ath Kendrick Lamar feel out of place skepticism. on their respective songs. I also felt And just when I had started to that this LP could have been trimmed worry that Shady’s alleged final down a bit; its 118-minute run time album might be another cashcaused it to drag at points and made grabbing flop, Eminem blew me some songs on the latter half of the away. album feel like filler. The album kicks off with Regardless of your opinion of “Bad Guy”, a continuation of a hit Mather’s music, his prominence is from Eminem’s early career, “Stan”. undeniable. Just two weeks after its The song is written from the perspec- release, the album managed to reach tive of Stan’s younger brother, and platinum status and launched the endetails the lone sibling’s revenge on tirety of Eminem’s discography back Eminem for causing the untimely de- into the Billboard 200 list. mise of his older brother. The “ParkOverall, The Marshall Mathers ing Lot” skit is another follow up LP 2 was a well-crafted return to track, acting as a sequel to the song the early days of Slim Shady and is “Criminal” off the original Marshall Eminem’s most solid project since Mathers LP. Aside from these two the 2004 release of Encore. And, examples, the album is packed with aside from a few minor flaws, the hordes of other references to Emialbum is sure to please returning fans nem’s earlier releases that are sure to as well as offer new fans a look into please long time fans. Other standout the twisted and exciting world of tracks for me included the vocally Marshall Mathers. distorted introspective joyride that was “Legacy” and the raw, teeth gritting madness of “Brainless.” Bringing Def Jam founder Rick Rubin on-board for production on Rating (out of 10): Strong 7 this release paid off in a big way, as almost all the beats on this album are engaging and fit Em’s flow well. The sampling throughout this album is on-point on all fronts; The Zombies “Time of the Season” is brilliantly

Lady Gaga - ARTPOP

In the past few years, the pop music scene has begun to shy away from the traditional formula and family friendly nature of most mainstream artists, giving a number of bizarre and unique musicians a chance to break into the top of the charts. Artists who would have otherwise gone unnoticed due to their unconventional sound have been given the ability to find success in the music industry with the rise in popularity of independent and non-traditional music. And at the forefront of this drastic shift in popular music stands the flamboyantly eccentric character that is Lady Gaga. Since her 2008 debut The Fame, Gaga has amassed a massive fanbase and released a number of hit singles. Songs like “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi” showcased her quirky and fashion-conscious nature as well as a knack for writing catchy hooks. On her next few projects, she continued to build on her over-the-top, wacky, high fashion image as well as establish herself as one of the biggest names in popular music.

By Eamon Dreisbach

On her latest LP, the ambiect. “Fashion” throws together a tiously titled ARTPOP, Gaga constantly pulsating bass drum and continues to convey her a funky bass line in a unique way, signature image over spacey, while “Manicure” mixes handclaps bass-heavy production. and short bursts of electric guitar The album kicks off with to establish a head-nodding sound“Aura”, a track which features scape. Def Jam founder Rick Rubin some lightly picked acoustic even steps in to produce on the song guitar that gradually builds up “Dope”, a love anguished power to an earth rattling beat-drop. ballad. Despite the more electronicWhile the production throughout based elements of the song, the project is often consistent, Lady the acoustic manages to mold Gaga brings more than a few lacklusitself well with the rest of the ter features onto this project, which sounds on the track. After cause otherwise decent songs to fall “Aura” has faded out, we flat. “Jewels N’ Drugs” comes across are introduced to “Venus”, as a straight hip-hop banger, and an awkward blend of sexual features guest verses from T.I., Too innuendos and references to outer$hort, and Twista. This song feels space (Gaga actually begins naming completely out of place and sonically the planets toward the end of the different from the rest of the album song). This track highlights one of (although Twista does manage to spit the biggest gripes I have with his ala killer verse before the track is out). bum: the overuse of sexual lyricism. And, despite my love for his music, While libido-based songwriting pays even R&B goliath R. Kelly feels off well for most pop artists, Gaga alien on the spaced out “Do What U uses it in such a bland and derivative Want”. way that the songs quickly become At the end of the day, Gaga has redundant. These sexual references created an album that is more about produce some particularly uncomimage and a message than the music fortable and cringe-worthy one-liners itself. While “ARTPOP” is anything throughout the project (“Uranus/ but subtle and has its flaws, I encourDon’t you know my a** is famous,” age fans of Gaga’s music to give it a or “Just ask your gay friends their shot. For those who prefer traditional advice before you get a spray tan”). pop-music or who feel uncomfortDespite the oversaturation of lustable listening to songs that revolve ful lyrics, this album does deliver a around sex, you may want to stay number of memorable and infectious away from this LP. tracks as well. The lead single, “Applause”, features a fantastic synth line partnered with deep, swelling bass to create an easily danceable beat. “G.U.Y. (Girl Under You)” Rating (out of 10): Strong 5 makes good use of a synthesizer along with some lofty piano, and is another high point on the proj-


THE STINGER December2013

Photo By Maura Benner

A Man and His Walkman

Hart sports his signature Walkman outside the auditorium. So you’re walking down the street with your headphones in and listening to Twenty One Pilots, or whatever it is you listen to. You don’t really think about the significance of this action, or how just 35 years ago someone couldn’t just put in headphones and listen to music wherever they wanted to. It’s July of 1979. Carter is president, and Sony just released the Walkman in Japan, changing the realm of music and a way of living forever. Why was this 14-ounce, clunky, blue and silver cassette tape player such a huge deal? Well, for the first time ever, people could listen to and experience music anywhere. The Walkman’s portability and privacy made this the perfect product for people who didn’t feel like lugging around a giant stereo- which was everyone.

Technology and music have come a long way since then, but that doesn’t seem to phase junior Austin Hart, 17. You have probably seen Hart walking around the halls sporting his giant plastic rimmed glasses, a nice sweater, and a tin lunch box- preferably his Rambo lunch box. He looks like he just stepped out of the ‘80s. Walkman and all, Hart lives a life of simplicity, including vintage cassettes, records, and even game systems. Hart does not deal with all the new technological riff raff going on around him. Hart’s first game system was the Nintendo Entertainment System, and he grew up playing games like Pacman and Centipede. He has never owned or played with a PlayStation. “These games are simple and classics,” says Hart. “It’s nostalgic. I never got into complex games.” Hart’s favorite games include Breakout, an arcade game introduced in 1976, and Tempest, which was released in 1981. Both games were developed by Atari, Inc. While most of society depends on iPhones and iTunes for the latest news in music, Hart does not. “I don’t see the point on spending $1 for one single song on iTunes that I can’t hold,” says Hart. “When you have a record, you have the entire album and the original artwork.” Hart received his second WMF1 Walkman as an early birthday gift a few years ago from his father after his first Walkman broke.

Living in the Present As the 2013 holiday season approaches, we all compose a list filled with our deepest desires for a jolly man clothed in a red suit to read and make our wishes come true. As fun as it may be to receive gifts from others, we must remember that gifting is better than getting. If you’re having trouble picking a gift for that special person to show your appreciation, we’re available to help. Here’s your very own Christmas gift guide based on gifts for teen girls, teen boys, and parents or adults. The first step in finding the perfect gift for a teenage girl is to know what type she is. If your particular female is what we call a “makeup lover”, also known as a “girly girl”, there are a variety of options for you. A few nail polishes placed inside a stocking would also make a quick and easy gift. Sophomore Kelley Finley, who is well-versed in beauty products, gives her insight on her preferred makeup brand. “Benefit is one of my all-time favorite makeup brands, which can be found at stores such as Ulta and Sephora,” says Finley. “It can be a bit expensive, but it’s definitely worth the price.” For the sportier girl, athletic gear is always a good choice. Affordable running shorts make a great gift and can be found at Target. Yoga pants from Victoria’s Secret

Photo courtesy of


By Rania Draklellis

Along with his expansive collection of vintage records and cassettes, Hart owns a boom box with dual cassette players and an Akai stereo system, which was the first company to have a VCR with an on-screen display in the ‘80s. “I listen to anything pre-1990,” says Hart. “Anything from AC/DC to the Thompson Twins.” Hart’s favorite album is Rio by the British rock band Duran Duran, released in 1982. Some of Hart’s vinyls and cassettes were given to him by his parents as a child. Now, he acquires most of them from yard sales, record shops, and some antiquing. “Just last week I went to the Black Rose at the South Mall and got a couple of records and cassettes all for under $10,” says Hart. Mind you that the average cost of a single CD at Target is $11.99, and a new CD costs somewhere around $15.99. It doesn’t stop with his different taste in music, choice in video games, and his ‘80s style wardrobe. Along with all this, Hart dapples in graphic designs. “I have learned how to program a basic Commodore 64,” says Hart. A Commodore 64, also known as a C64, was a home computer that was released in August of 1982 and sold for $595, which today would be $1,439. About 15 million units were sold until it was discontinued 12 years later in 1994. When asked if he feels like a regular fish out of water, Hart said, “Not really, no. I just do my own thing.”

By Tori Delhagen & Zoie Kassis

can be slightly overpriced, but are well made and wearable in the winter. To keep hydrated, most local sporting good stores carry insulated water bottles, a good choice to keep cool. Sophomore EHS soccer player Shannon Myrick is a fan of said sporty items. “Nike is one of my favorite athletic brands,” says Myrick. “Their running shorts are one of my favorites and would definitely make a great gift for any athlete.” Choosing presents for teenage boys can be a bit more challenging. The guys that are interested in video games might enjoy some of the following gifts. The Playstation 4, a new gaming system, is an expensive new gadget that hit the market November 15. Although the PS4 is priced at $400, the system has great reviews and is known for its spectacular graphics. Following the PS4 the popular video game Grand Theft Auto V was released, a game which mixes high crime action with a compelling story. Sophomore Jordan London is a proud player of Grand Theft Auto V. “GTA 5 is so fun I feel like I should arrest myself,” says London. For the music lovers, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones come in many colors and styles with extremely high speaker quality. A less expensive option could simply be an iTunes gift card.

Plus-Sized Drama

Every year, high-fashion magazine Elle releases their “Women in Hollywood” issue, dedicated to the most remarkable actresses of the year. With this year’s front-cover lineup including Reese Witherspoon in a figure-hugging black dress, Penelope Cruz in a stunning close-up shot, and Melissa McCarthy modeling a film noir-esque coat and hairdo, the issue doesn’t disappoint. Or at least, it wasn’t supposed to. “I think she’s great. A good actress, very funny,” said Emmaus High School library aide Charlotte Moser on Melissa McCarthy, a plus-size comedian and actress. As one of America’s most prominent female comedians, who won raves in Bridesmaids, The Heat, and other comedies, McCarthy was an optimal choice for Elle’s prestigious

issue. However, while many critics agreed that she deserved it, they called fat-shaming at her decidedly unrevealing cover, especially compared to the other skinbaring actresses. “You see [fat-shaming] everywhere,” said Moser. “I think people make comments and plus-size people are targeted. I think it’s wrong.” Indeed, while Elle’s cover may be in the grey at the moment, McCarthy has received much shaming in the past. One reviewer of her movie Identity Thief called her by names such as “female hippo” and “tractor-sized,” though it arguably had little to do with her performance. In addition, several critics claimed that McCarthy’s face had been Photoshopped to look thinner in the poster for The Heat. As comedy-fashion blog Go Fug Yourself noted, “Next to these other covers - Shailene Woodley is in underwear; [Marion] Cotillard, a sports bra - I kind of can’t believe they put the plus-size actress on their cover BURIED INSIDE A GIANT COAT.” Considering the other actresses’ covers as well as past shaming, it’s easy to see why critics jumped to McCarthy’s defense. But does she actually need defending? While McCarthy was showing the least skin out of all the actresses, she herself picked out the cashmere coat and loved how she looked on the cover. In addition, she has a reputation of being comfortable with her weight and looks. “What I found so bizarre is I picked the coat,” said McCarthy at the Elle Women in Hollywood gala. “...I had a great black dress on but I thought, it comes out in November. I was so sick of summer... I was like, ‘Give me a big coat to wear. Give the girl some cashmere!’” Elle also claims that they chose outfits all the actresses would be comfortable in. “God forbid you don’t wear the ‘right’ clothes. Someone has something to say about it,” hall monitor Michelle Magargal said of plus-size models in the media. “But if she picked out the coat, that’s what she was comfortable with.” Elle released a statement

Although we all love the thought of Santa slipping down our chimneys, the true givers that make Christmas possible are the parents or guardians. For the adults in our life, a simple, well-thought-out gift is sure to please. A mug with hot cocoa mix or a gift card to their favorite store is a great and affordable gift for a loved one. If they love to read, you can never go wrong with giving them a great book. Sophomore Jenny Leader shared what she’s planning on giving her parents this Christmas. “For my mom and other adult relatives I usually make something, this year I’m making them a peppermint body scrub,” says Leader. “As for my Dad, he’s really hard to shop for and I usually just get him something Penn State related, because you can never have too much PSU.” For women, a sweet gift is a scented candle from Bath and Body Works that will fill their home with a warm and cozy scent. For the adults that are tech-savvy, the iPhone 5S is a good decision. As you run down the stairs practically falling over in excitement on Christmas Day to see all of the presents waiting to be unwrapped, appreciate the thought behind the gifts.

By Angeline Stein about the controversy in a similar vein: “On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover. We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year.” However, many critics became suspicious due to the fact that Elle has cropped and covered other plus-size women in the past, including singer Adele and actress Octavia Spencer. “[It happens] because basically they think a big person looks like they’re unhealthy, so they want to show skinny people,” Magargal said. “It’s always a really thin girl. It’s a beautiful person but unfortunately it’s always such a skinny person.” Others agreed with the statement. “[I picture] pretty much a living Barbie doll,” Rafay Sheikh, a freshman, said of typical supermodels. In addition, Elle’s photographers and stylists were criticized. “Perhaps photographer Thomas Whiteside only knows how to photograph the usual stick insect models, because he clearly has no clue how to highlight McCarthy’s curves,” wrote Slate’s June Thomas. “They can get criticized for having a fat person,” Sheikh said. “Even if it’s not the production company’s fault.” “If the actresses wanted to [show skin], it’s fine,” freshman Elizabeth Bennett said. “If Melissa McCarthy liked her outfit, it’s all good.” However, the matter may be more than simply “like or dislike.” “Of course, we all know that this issue isn’t just about McCarthy or Elle…” said Mattie Kahn of Man Repeller. “It’s about whether fashion can figure out how to celebrate curvier women in a way that neither disguises nor makes a point of their size.” Considering this situation and others in the past, Elle and other fashion media had better learn quickly.

THE STINGER l December 2013




Homage to McGloin

Steve Gudonis

Stevie G Space

Everyone loves an underdog. As a sports journalist, I love to profile underdogs. I love to tell their stories using awesome clichés like “overcome adversity,” “blood, sweat, and tears,” and “started from the bottom.” However, right now there is an underdog who isn’t get enough credit, an underdog who should be showered in ting these clichés by sports media. But, this particular man simply isn’t receiving enough credit for being an underdog, and for representing so much more. Allow me to tell his story. Matthew James “Matt” McGloin was born on Dec. 2, 1989, in Scranton. He was a three-sport standout athlete at West Scranton High School, where he threw 58 touchdowns on the football field, scored 1,300 points on the basketball court, and hit .400 and registered a 7-0 record on the mound in his senior year on the baseball field. It’s safe to say, things were looking up for young Matt. After legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno gave McGloin the opportunity to walk-on and become a Nittany Lion, he didn’t know what he was in for. As a freshman in 2009, he was the third-string quarterback for the Nittany Lions. In 2010 the zero-star walk-on was once again the third-string quarterback, as four-star recruits Rob Bolden and Kevin Newsome passed him on the depth chart. Matt was in the shadows, that is, until Oct. 23. McGloin moved to second-sting on Paterno’s depth chart, as backup Newsome was out with the flu. Starter Bolden took a concussion, and into the game waltzed this red-haired mystery man. That was the start of it all. McGloin took advantage of the given situation, throwing two touchdowns, defeating Minnesota, and leading PSU to their first conference victory that year. The next week, he made his first start, defeating Michigan. Then he was benched, and then named the starter for the rest of the year. In 2011, Matt began his season in similar territory, not as the starter. He began the season sharing time at the quarterback position with Bolden. In the middle of the season, the two were still sharing playing time, but McGloin outshined Bolden. But in the Lion’s eighth contest, McGloin started, and took all the snaps. He had done it. He was the starter; nothing stood in his way. Two weeks later, Joe Paterno was fired due to the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. McGloin would go onto start a few more games, get injured, and ultimately not play in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl. That following offseason was surrounded by turmoil. This distraction overwhelmingly shadowed the fact that Matt McGloin, who was once a zero-star walk-on, was named the Penn State’s starting quarterback in 2012. McGloin was now the leader of a prestigious program that was clouded by controversy. On top of that, he lost his coach, he lost a handful of his teammates who decided they could no longer represent the football program, and he had to adjust to a new coach. His work was cut out for him. McGloin ended up leading the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record. However, all the wins he earned during his tenure at Penn State were vacated. On paper, they were worth nothing. After all he went through, winning the starting job multiple times, losing his coach, and ultimately breaking Penn State passing records, none of it counted. According to the NCAA, every single game Penn State played, even if they did come out on top, was considered a loss. McGloin graduated, and entered the 2013 NFL draft. He was not drafted. However, McGloin was signed as an undrafted freeagent by the Oakland Raiders. He entered training camp as the 4th string quarterback, behind Tyler Wilson, a fourth-round draft pick who experts predicted would be the first overall pick a year prior. He continued to defy the odds. McGloin beat out Wilson for the third-string quarterback roster spot. He would then go on to work his way up, and what do you know. McGloin, a zero-star recruit, a walk-on, a backup, an afterthought, an undrafted free agent, is now a starting quarterback in the NFL. Matt McGloin is the quintessential underdog, but to me, he is also so much more. As a Penn State fan, the Sandusky scandal, Paterno’s death, and everything that came with it was completely devastating. The program was, and still is, in a dark, dark tunnel. Yet, Matt McGloin represents a beacon of light in an otherwise dark tunnel. So thank you, Matt McGloin, for being so much more than an underdog.


Senior gymnast Coates commits to PSU Steve Gudonis Sports Editor

Colin Coates was introduced to the world of gymnastics at the age of three. Little did he know that giving gymnastics a try at such a young age would become a decision that Coates will cherish for the rest of his life. Coates, who is currently a senior at Emmaus, recently signed his letter of intent to compete in gymnastics at Penn State University. Coates was introduced to the sport by his parents, Budd Coates and Ellen Dashe, who are both accomplished runners. “Growing up, I saw my sister competing, and I eventually decided to give [gymnastics] Coates, after being recruited by multiple universities, signed his letter of intent to a try,” said Coates. “My parents attend and compete for Penn State. introduced me to the sport, but they Photo courtesy never made me do it, I just enjoyed it.” year. In fact, they lost contact at one influenced his college decision, as Part of the reason Coates enpoint. he competed at Penn State as well. joyed gymnastics was due to the Fortunately, Coates and Penn Coates is currently sidelined training facility where he was first State recuiters reconnected, and he after going through a minor hernia introduced to the sport: Parkettes in made his decision to become a Nitsurgery this October. Allentown. For about eight years, tany Lion rather quickly. Despite his surgery, Coates has Coates attended Parkettes mostly as “I didn’t talk to Penn State for stayed very healthy in an injurya hobby. But at the age of 11, Coates a while, and I wasn’t sure if they filled sport. decided to begin competing at the were interested in me or not,” said “I’ve actually been pretty lucky,” world-renowned facility, which has Coates. said Coates. “Most people at [Par142 students who have received “I think I made my visit three kettes] get injured at least one or gymnastic scholarships in its 45weeks after talking to them again, two times a year.” year history. and that’s where I’m going,” he Stallone and other members of Coates admits he had his work said. “It was really quick.” the Parkettes staff have also played cut out for him when he began For Coates, Penn State was an a critical role in Coates’ health. competing. “When I was at the younger levels, I wasn’t always the best,” said Coates. Coates first began competing in “class competitions” at Parkettes, where he went head-tohead against his fellow classmates at the gym. In just two years, Coates displayed unbelievable improvement. From the age of 13, he went on to compete in states, regionals, and nationals. Despite his accomplishments, Coates didn’t know if he had what it took to reach the next level. “I was having success, but I didn’t know how far it could take me,” said Coates. “It didn’t hit Coates was introduced to gymnastics at age 3 and began competing at 11. me until ninth or tenth grade that I Photo courtesy might have the opportunity to compete in college.” It wasn’t until this year that easy choice. “My coaches tell me what’s Coates knew he would definitely be “I think Penn State’s campus was safe to do, and when to stop,” said competing in college. the nicest,” said Coates. “I really Coates. “They have me ice a lot, and This year, Coates received his liked the coaches and the team in use a lot of preventative medicine.” first call from the University of general.” Coates’ most memorable moIllinois. A ment as a gymnast came month later, “It didn’t hit me until ninth or tenth grade that I just this year. he received might have the opportunity to compete in college.” “I feel like just getting his next the call that I would be - Colin Coates call from getting a scholarship was Temple the most memorable moUniversity. Joe Stallone, men’s program ment,” he said. However, these weren’t the director at Parkettes, has coached Coates plans on majoring in schools that Coates had his eye on. and mentored Coates for many mechanical engineering at State Coates had contact with Penn years. Stallone has not only played a College. State on and off throughout the huge role in Coates’ success, he also



Dec. 2013

Feiertag and Nicolini to lead new-look Hornets Austin Flaugh Sports Contributor

The Emmaus boys’ basketball team comes into this season hoping to live up to high expectations. The Hornets, lead by six-year head coach Steve Yoder, are coming off an 11-12 season. Yoder and his squad lost three key players to graduation: Derek Tannous (11.8 ppg), Gabe Shankweiler (7.6 ppg), and Dan Brndjar (7.6 ppg). Yoder relied heavily on perimeter shooting from players like Tannous and Brndjar during the past few years, but the coach enters this year with a new offensive mindset. “We relied more on perimeter shooting these last couple of years,” said Yoder. “This year our strength is our inside game. We will be a very different team.” Despite losing key players to graduation, Yoder’s squad still features players with experience. Yoder believes that experience will primarily come through seniors Nate Feiertag and Joey Nicolini. “I think both Nate and Joey give us that veteran experience that we need,” said Yoder. “They will have a good influence on the younger kids.” Feiertag--who is 6-foot-4--has established himself as a key asset for Hornets, scoring 15.4 ppg, and receiving LVC All-Star honors last year. Standing at 6-foot-5, Nicolini

scored 8.9 ppg last year, and hopes to play a key role in establishing the new inside-game mindset for the Hornets. Nicolini said he’s ready for another great season, as he hopes to help lead his time to win another LVC championship. “I think personally we’re going to do fantastic, we have great chemistry and all get along very well with each other,” said Nicolini. “We have talented juniors in Claude [Bradshaw] and Tyler [Prescott] and a lot of young talent with 13 sophomores and two freshmen spread out through the JV and Varsity.” Nicolini works hard outside of the season to better prepare for the challenges he’ll face in the LVC. “Well, I try to get in about 100-200 shots each day at specific spots to better my effectiveness on the court,” said Nicolini. “I also do crunches, squats and toe and knee raises to keep my legs in shape. Also, before each game I try to break a sweat and stretch.” Nicolini said his playing style complements Feiertag’s. “[We have] a similar skill set,” said Nicolini. “He can dribble better and shoot better but I am more effective in the post box, I think we have a better feel for each others playing style than in previous years. “Considering this being the

best to help them out, and get them ready to win.” Feiertag has put forth certain leadership qualities while maintaining positive relationships with his teammates. “We all get along with each other really well, but we criticize each other,” said Feiertag. “It’s friendly criticism, we all push each other to try to be the best we can be.” Feiertag and his team have their eyes set on the LVCs, districts, and winning in front of their home fans. “As a team we want to 2013-2014 Emmaus Varsity Boys Basketball (left to right) Front Row: David Kachelries, Tyler Prescott, Matt Kachelries, Mic- make the LVCs and districts,” aiah Fraction, Kevin Wambold, Greg Jaindl; Back row: Jacob Feiertag, Brandon said Feiertag. “We want to Rapose, Nate Feiertag, Jacob Scarnulis, Joey Polczynski, Joey Nicolini, Claude have a winning record at Bradshaw, Cameron Widdoss Photo: Scott Johnston, home, hopefully we win all our home games.” fourth year in [playing basket- care of his team, and he’s ready One of Feiertag’s personal ball], but we’re both big guys for the task. goals is to receive all-conference and both go after the boards, so “...As a senior leader, it’s my honors, but he keeps his primary trying to box out the both of us job to make them feel comfort- goal simple. along with some other big guys able and [accept] mistakes which “Personally, I want to be the on the team is to be a problem for comes along in the games and best I can be,” he said. [opponents].” practice, and when they make Feiertag believes he and Nicolini feels more confident those mistakes I will be there for Nicolini have been groomed to than ever going into this year’s them to give them positive en- be leaders throughout their high season with the team around him. couragement and tell them what school career, and are prepared “ I believe I will perform even they did wrong and make them to play the part. better than last year, in the off- better,” said Nicolini. “We’ve been playing together season I worked on my game a Feiertag is new to the leader for a long time,” said Feiertag. lot with my mid-range and three role, but has embraced it. “It’s kind of our moment, we’re point shooting,” said Nicolini. “[Being the leader] is new to the only two seniors.” As a senior this year, Nicolini me,” said Feiertag. “My teamneeds to step up, take charge and mates look up to me, and I do my

Lady Hornets expect to “compete for gold medal” Katie Mest Sports Contributor

With winter sports in full swing, the Emmaus girls’ basketball team has set high expectations for the upcoming season. “Our goal each year is to compete for a gold medal, and we have this as our goal for this upcoming season as well,” said head coach Billy Dunn. Dunn, entering his third year coaching at Emmaus, has plenty of coaching experience. His past experiences include coaching at Liberty and Central Catholic high schools as well as overseas in Africa, South America, and Europe. The team’s strength rests in its seniors: Beth Wiseley, Ivy Forstater, Miryah Palko, and Drea Watkins. They do, however, have quite a few underclassmen that are expected to play exceptionally well, such as Kiyae White, a freshman who is starting this year. Senior Ivy Forstater said some of the underclassmen on the team have a lot of determination to play hard. “Our younger girls have really stepped up,” said Forsater. Dunn says that he has a number of players who really dedicate themselves to improving. The team hopes to far exceed the previous year’s record of 9-11. “I think we have the talent to

qualify for the district playoffs,” said Dunn. Beth Wiseley, a senior, starts this year on varsity for her fourth year. Wiseley is a three-year varsity captain. From a team captain’s perspective, she expects the team to work well together. “We gained leadership on the floor, and since we’re a younger team, the role of being a leader becomes even more important,” said Wiseley. “Knowing that we all want to achieve the same goals this year brings us together. We all want a spot in the LVC playoffs to compete for a gold medal.” The last time the Lady Hornets won the District Championship was in 2004. The last Lehigh Valley Conference win for the Emmaus girls took place in 2007. Some of the girls’ strengths include defensive presence and rebounding. The team faced some problems last year that they hope to improve on this year. “We’ve got the tools to run, so we’re determined to push the ball and control the pace of the game,” said Wiseley. “If we can push the ball and be aggressive on offense, I think we will be successful. We have defense pretty well locked down.” Chemistry between the players, an essential element to any

team, also translates onto the court. “Chemistry is always a critical part of a team, and this year we have four of the finest seniors you could ask for,” said Dunn. “They have done a great job of leading this team.” Ashley Petre, a junior, also noticed the need for improvement in some areas. “We need to improve our foul shots, and we can’t miss wide open layups,” said Petre. The girls will have to stack up to some skilled teams in the league such as Bethlehem Catholic, Parkland, and Central Catholic. Becahi is runner-up state champion in the league. Their inside presence and strong guard play, along with their skilled players, make them tough competition. They wrapped up the 2012-13 season with a 7-12 record. Wiseley embraces the competition the conference has to offer. “I hate when people avoid the strongest competition,” said Wiseley. “If you want to be the best, you might as well play the best.”

Despite a strong 18-point outing from Wiseley, the Hornets dropped their regular season opener to Liberty 49-63.

2013-2014 Emmaus Varsity Girls Basketball (left to right) Front Row: Vanessa Huber, Miryah Palko, Destanee Watkins, Ivy Forstater, Jenna Reid, Drea Watkins; Back row: Jeff Williams (assistant coach), Beth Wiseley, Jenna Lessel, Kiyae White, Ashley Petre, Billy Dunn (head coach) Photo: Scott Johnston,

“I hate when people avoid the strongest competition. If you want to be the best, you might as well play the best.” - Beth Wiseley


“He’s got a personality that can bring up the whole team” -Jordan Frank on Andrew Bond


Natalie Schaeffer

FAST FACTS Height: 5’7” Movie: Harry Potter Series Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Color: Purple

Since her freshman year, swimmer Natalie Schaeffer has witnessed improvements both in the pool and beyond the deck. In fact, the standout senior credits her involvement with the team to helping her find success in practically all aspects of her life. “Being on the team has given me the chance to make many great friends, to learn how to work hard at something,” Schaeffer said. Before joining the high school team, Schaeffer spent nearly eight years swimming for summer and winter leagues. Basically, she’s been logging miles in the pool for most of her life. Schaeffer swims distance freestyle and freestyle relays for the Hornets. Since her freshman year, she has consistently placed in the top ranks for her events, qualifying for states, sectionals, and super sectionals. Next year, she will head to Marist College where she compete at the Division 1 level. It’s a far cry from logging laps at Lower Macungie Township pool where she first started as a young girl. She said she began in “the summer league from about

fourth to 11th grade for the Lower Macungie Lazers.” Part of her training lead her to also sign on with the Emmaus Aquatic Club, swimming competitively year-round for five years with EMAC. Schaeffer chalks up her success in the water to grueling practice schedule that takes up a considerable amount of time. So how often is she in the water? “Nine times a week,” she said. “Morning practices [are] three times a week, every day after school, and Saturdays,” she said. “Almost all year-round.” Swim coach Tim O’Connor said Schaeffer bring a positive vibe to the team. “Natalie is a great teammate,” O’Connor said. “She enjoys her teammates and friends on the team. She listens to them when they need to talk, and they do the same. “She is always at practice and on time,” he said, “and [she] tries to have a good time in the sport.” Senior Shanna Carwell has been on the Hornets’ swim team with Schaeffer since ninth grade. “Natalie makes a great teammate because she always cheers you on,” Carwell said.

“Even when she has a bad race, she keeps encouraging you to swim your best.” Kaitlin Hur, a freshman, has known Schaeffer for six years. “Competing with Schaeffer is a lot of fun and I enjoy having her support and energy make the team work hard in practice every day,” Hur said. Carwell said she values her time with Schaeffer. “Competing with Natalie is a great experience, and I wouldn’t pick anyone else to train with,” she said. Schaeffer, she said, believes in the team: “We all work together. We support each other.” Hur feels her teammate shows great qualities that make her an important asset to the team. As a senior, Schaeffer remains focused on excelling in her final year on the team. “Every day is a chance to get to my goals,” she said. “So I know that every day and every practice, I have to stay focused and try harder than the day before.” Even with the tough practices, she finds the experience worth the effort. “I really enjoy it, so that makes me want to continue,”

she said. “Also, I want to continue to strive for my goals.” As her coach, O’Connor remains proud of his athlete. “She has improved much in her times from first year to this year,” O’Connor said. “She is a [consistent] hard worker.” And that work ethic has carried over to other areas, she said. “It’s also helped me to learn time management, communication, and many other skills that will help me in almost every aspect of life in the future,” she said. Schaeffer is not only successful in the pool. She performs well academically. She has made honor roll every quarter in high school and is in the Latin Honors Society.

By Sydney Buck

Andrew Bond


Height: 6’3” Color Vans: Faded Red Memorable High School Year: Freshman Biggest Flaw: Poor Texter

With 12 years of experience in the pool, Andrew Bond has established himself as a key asset for the Emmaus swimming program. Bond began swimming as a hobby. He quickly recognized his natural ability and began competing. Bond experienced continued improvement, and is still succeeding. Over the years he has worked to earn numerous District XII honors, among those being a 200 Medley Relay and 200 IM champion. Going into his final year swimming at Emmaus, Bond is striving to continue to succeed. “I hope to finish this season with as much team and individual success as possible,” said Bond. Bond values his individual goals and accomplishments, but the success of his team and the goals of his teammates are just as important to him. “From spending so much time with my team, we have all become very close,” said Bond. “We’ve been swimming together so long that we’ve been there through the successes and failures.”

Emmaus varsity swim team head coach Tim O’Connor praises Bond’s leadership. “Andrew has learned to be a leader,” said O’Connor, who has witnessed Bond’s progression since meeting him seventh grade. “He is on the cusp of doing some pretty incredible training, which can only happen with hard-working teammates willing to work together to push each other to the limit, and Andrew has great teammates.” One of those teammates,

can rally behind when things aren’t going well,” said Frank, who now works as the team manager. “He’s a true team leader.” Bond’s coaches and teammates also praise Bond’s personality, as it has a positive impact on the team as a whole. “He has a great sense of humor, but knows when to work as well,” said O’Connor. “That balance makes an athlete like Andrew fun to work with.” “He’s “He has a drive for success that got a perthat rubs off on other swimmers that sonality can bring up helps the team move forward as a the whole team,” whole.” said Frank. “I’ve seen - Matt Kline on Andrew Bond many times senior Matt Kline, also where the praises Bond’s leadership. team’s attitude is very dull, “He has a very good and Andrew said or did work ethic and helps to mo- something that brought the tivate others,” said Kline. atmosphere alive.” “He has a drive for success Despite his tremendous that rubs off on other swim- success and accolades at mers that helps the team Emmaus, this year will move forward as a whole.” most likely represent the Former teammate senior culmination of Bond’s comJordan Frank also respects petitive swimming career. Bond as a leader. Bond does not plan to “He’s someone the team continue swimming in colSenior portraits courtesy of R.J. Harwick

lege. “I have put so much into swimming throughout the years that I am ready to move on and try new things,” said Bond. “Since swimming has taken up such a large portion of my life, I’m excited to fill that excess time with other things to get involved with.” In the spring, Bond will attend West Virginia University where he will major in mechanical engineering.

By Hanna Brosky



“Beth will be looked upon as one of the great players in the Emmaus girls basketball program” -Billy Dunn on Beth Wiseley.

Beth Wiseley

Senior Beth Wiseley, a three-year varsity captain on the girl’s basketball team, has been active in the sport for 12 years and has continuously been a valuable asset to her teammates and her sport. Wiseley’s teammate, sophomore Jenna Lessel, commended Wiseley for her takecharge attitude. “She constantly leads by example and never gets frazzled by obstacles in games,” Lessel said. Last season, Wiseley became a LVC all-star as a junior, being recognized as one of the Top 10 players in the league. “Beth brings a dynamic to our team that is hard to describe in words,” coach Billy Dunn said. “She is everything you could ask for in a player and a great role model for

younger players.” Senior guard Drea Watkins said that Wiseley is renowned for her ability to make three pointers, but her abilities extend far beyond that. “The attitude she brings to the court is always positive,” Watkins said. “What she always does for the school community is a great trait of hers.” Wiseley’s accomplishments extend further than being team captain. She also acts as Student Government President, a NHS member, LVC Student Athlete Leadership and Character Council representative, World Language Honor Society member, and a Pediatric Cancer Club Officer. Dunn praises Wiseley for her preparation and dedication towards her basketball career, specifically for her senior year. “Beth’s preparation for the game started eight months ago at the end of our last season,” said Dunn. “She works out faithfully and is really well prepared for each game. She is an excellent example of being in great shape and prepared to compete at the highest level.” Wiseley makes the most of her time on the court and pre-

pares herself right before the games by giving herself some down time. “I don’t like to stress out much before a game,” Wiseley said. “I just try to remember why I love playing the game, just relax and enjoy it; the season only lasts so long.” Lessel has fond memories of Wiseley’s kindness, constant encouragement, and support in her time on the team. “My very first varsity minutes on the court were with her,” Lessel said. “I was a nervous freshman scared to mess up, and she passed me the ball until I got a good look, scoring my first varsity career points.” Watkins also commended Wiseley’s attitude, as it set standard for the team. “Beth motivates me to work hard in practice,” Watkins said. “When I see her working hard as a senior I feel the need to match her intensity.” Wiseley doesn’t plan to end her basketball career with the Hornets and although unsure of her college plans, she knows they will include basketball along with a major in nursing. “I couldn’t imagine stopping my basketball career in high school,” Wiseley said. “I

would love to compete at the next level and grow stronger matching up against stronger competition.” “I genuinely love being part of a team, knowing I have teammates to depend on and a specific role for which I must work hard is a such a nice thing to be a part of,” Wiseley said. Aside from all the honors and awards she has received, Wiseley appreciates the impact that being a part of the team has made on her life. “Being on the team is something I’ll always remember,” Wiseley said. “The long nights in the gym, the loud bus rides to games, and the memories in the locker rooms will always bring back good memories.” Dunn is proud of Wiseley and all she has accomplished at Emmaus. “She is a hard worker, is always positive with those around her and plays hard every second,” Dunn said. “Beth will be looked upon as one of the great players in the Emmaus girls basketball program.”

By Hannah Maehrer

FAST FACTS Height: 5’10” Color: Blue Artist : Beyoncé Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Taylor Schaf

Taylor Schaf has been wrestling since he was only five years old. Since then, he has achieved success in the sport, and has established himself as a vital part of the Emmaus wrestling team. Schaf has made the varsity team all four years of his high school career. “Being on varsity four years is one of my greatest achievements,” said Schaf. In those four years, Schaf went through the grueling process all wrestlers must go through to not only be eligible to compete, but also be successful. On top of that, Schaf has fought through injuries every year of his high school career, and strives to stay healthy in his final year. “Wrestling is the most grue-

some sport there is because you get the crap beat out of you,” said Schaf. “One thing that I want to do this year is not get hurt again. I get hurt a lot.” Senior Mac Lawrence believes a healthy Schaf has a tremendous impact on the team. “He gets hurt a lot, our team needs him to stay healthy,” said Lawrence. Another teammate, senior Michael Montgomery, also puts emphasis on Schaf staying healthy. “If Taylor can stay healthy, he can go farther than anyone on this team,” said Montgomery. Schaf has a personal record of 11 wins and 10 losses in he 138-pound class. There is a lot of pressure on the team this year. Finishing with an overall record of 13-8 last season, the expectations are high for the team to bounce back. “We would like to at least place in districts,” said Lawrence. With a team full of seniors, Lawrence identifies Schaf as a key role. “Taylor will definitely be a leader,” said Lawrence. “He wants to win and pushes ev-

erybody to get better”. Junior teammate Thomas Alcaro adds that Schaf was voted by the team to be a captain. “He’s really stepped up to fufull that role for the team by pushing everybody to perform their best at all times when it counts,” said Alcaro. Alcaro also said, “He has great leadership skills in and out of the wrestling room.” Another teammate, David Bucha, a senior, describes Schaf as a hard worker and great teammate. “He works hard in the practice room to get better every day,” said Bucha. “He gets along with all of his teammates. We always have good team-bonding sessions.” Montgomery agrees. “He works very, very hard,” said Montgomery. Alcaro identifies Schaf as a key asset to the team. “Taylor is an aggressive, hard-working wrestler, who is a key part of the Hornet’s success,” said Alcaro. Schaf has developed friendships with his teammates throughout the years, which has left him with memories he will never forget. “My favorite memories as a wrestler at Emmaus are defi-

nitely going to South Carolina and Delaware and chilling with the team,” said Schaf. “It was a blast.” Lawrence recognizes how highly the team thinks of Schaf. “He’s probably the most popular kid on the team,” said Lawrence. Bucha describes Schaf as a hard-worker who is both lovable but grumpy at times. He says Schaf is grumpy when he’s losing weight. Admittedly, Schaf is extremely talkative. Montgomery admits that Schaf stays true to this trait. “He is extremely wellliked,” said Montgomery. “But sometimes he doesn’t know when to shut up.” Schaf plans to attend Penn State University next fall, but will not continue wrestling.

FAST FACTS Height: 5’8” Hobby: Snowboarding

By: Josh LeMaster

Senior portraits courtesy of R.J. Harwick

Musical Group: Florida Georgia Line Food: Burgers and Ice Cream

December 2013  
December 2013  

Volume 39 Issue 3