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Track Wraps Up pg. 11

Spring Show Fever pg. 4

Photo by Jordan Comparin

Stratford High School

THE Volume 40, Issue 9

O

Photo by Will Klussmann

Limitless pg. 8

Photo by Kali Venable

14555 Fern Drive, Houston TX 77079

RACLE

Friday, April 19, 2013

Girls Soccer Makes History

Team goes to regional finals for the first time

4. 1. 3. 1•

VICTORY • Building Principal Christopher Juntti raises his arms in celebration on Friday, April 12, at the Girls Varsity Soccer game against Tomball. Photo by Jordan Comparin

2.

Forwards Kelly Hewitt and Taylor Troutman try to win the ball from opponents. Photo by Stephen Martinez 2• Defender Jennifer Morris settles a bouncing ball to pass to a teammate. Photo by Gil Sanchez

SPARTAN PRIDE • Junior David Bartell waves his Stratford Spartans flag in support of the girls Varsity soccer team. Photo by Gil Sanchez 3•Forward Kelly Ann Craig dribbles the ball while scanning the field for an open teammate. Photo by Stephen Martinez 4•Midfielder Chandler Callahan wins the ball and saves it from going out of bounds. Photo by Stephen Martinez

Does Experience Affect Empathy?

Many people’s views are influenced directly by events in their own life Kali Venable

It is a given that the events which unfold around you affect your perception of reality. Yet, when the effect they have comes into question, the area seems to darken into a fuzzy gray. Recently, Republican Senator Rob Portman, a former opposer of same-sex marriage came out with a statement about his son being gay. After years of believing that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman, Portman said his son’s sexual orientation has changed his perception of same-sex marriage. While some see Portman’s change of heart as a warming

demonstration of affection for his family, others critique it as a hypocritical stance that says more about his loyalty to the people around him than his loyalty to his country. Regardless of the image one sees when magnifying the situation, Portman’s change in beliefs is without a doubt a result of empathy for his son who came out to him and his wife a few years ago. When we are faced with situations that seem like they only exists in false worlds, created by authors and script writers, we often question the world we live in. Loved ones get life threatening diseases, neighbors get foreclosed on, spouses cheat, felons win

the lottery and suddenly life doesn’t seem as clear as it once was. It is safe to say that tragic events have more of an impact than joyous events because often there are stronger emotions associated with events that have affected us negatively. But what makes us feel for other people, what makes us be able to step in their shoes and see the world from their angle of the glass? Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that a part of the brain called the anterior insular cortex is the activity center of human empathy. This means that the process

of empathizing is not as hard to understand as we may have thought. Yet in our world today, empathizing has become a forgotten trade. While crimes like the Newtown shooting bring about mass hysteria, other events with only a fraction of media coverage are brushed off as just a number on the list of nightly news. The problem with empathy in modern society is that we tend to not pay attention to actions that happen outside of our inner circles.

EMPATHY

continues on page 3

Graphic by Jackie Mask


2

NEWS

Friday, April 19, 2013

Orchestra Rock Concert

The Oracle

World famous electric violinist and orchestra unite Esther Jeon Stratford Orchestra and the Orchestra music probably younger orchestras from Mebrings to mind the likes of morial Middle, Spring ForMozart and Beethoven, who est Middle, Meadow Wood lived during times when a Elementary, Rummel Creek glimpse of feminine ankles Elementary, and Wilchester was considered sacrilege. Elementary in presenting orPropriety dominated the time periods, and despite the passion that permeated the pieces of music the classical composers wrote, the music of the classical period was marked by pleasant tones and harmonious chords. But a new REHEARSAL • Every Thursday during April, revolution of or- convenes to rehearse and prepare for the rock chestral music is Bridget Bibbens. Photo by Christy Zhang working its way into the world, and the be- chestral versions of familiar ginnings of it are happening rock tunes like Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and right here at Stratford. On April 30 at 7 p.m. within Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” However, these renditions the grand walls of the Colewill be from an entirely difman Coliseum, world famous electric violinist Bridget ferent realm of orchestral Bibbens will be joining the music, where students are

given the exciting opportunity to be able to deviate from the orchestral norm with the style of rock the music will be performed in. “I am very excited for the opportunity to play with a world-class musician and try a new genre of music on my instrument!” Junior Jonathan Martinez said. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss out on this opportunity! Both the tickets and more concrete information about the preshow concert and the orchestra silent auction for concert with an electric violin this will take place are on stratfordhsorch.com. Adult tickets are $15 and student tickets are $5. Every parent, student, and friend is invited to join the orchestra in a celebration of rock music and the passing down of music to younger generations.


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Oracle

Getting Active

EMPATHY

Spartans exercise and have fun at the same time Justin Todes

Spartans are not only taking advantage of some of the opportunities available to get fit at school, but are also creating a few additional ones. Participating in 5K run/ walk events is a fun, and sometimes colorful, way to get active. Over the past year, Houston has seen a tremendous increase in the number of 5K races. On March 24, several Spartans ran together in The Color Run downtown. Starting in white clothing, the runners finished the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) race stained from the pink, orange, yellow, and blue colored cornstarch tossed at them during the run. The Color Run is one of many 5K events that turn runners from white to bright. “It’s a lot of fun to run through giant clouds of color and come out totally covered,” senior Oscar Truong said.

The 21st annual Running for the Arts is coming up on May 4. Running for the Arts is a timed 5K race in the Memorial City area, which benefits the Spring Branch Education Foundation. Principal Juntti will be one of the Spartans taking part in the race. This year, Stratford has been working on kicking off Fuel Up To Play 60. Sponsored by the National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Council, Fuel Up To Play 60 is a movement for a more ac-

replace the current pre-packaged salads. The salad bar will feature fresh fruits and vegetables, and offer Upcoming 5K students a lunch that they can customize. Opportunities The second plan is the first annual Green Out -Digital Run - April 20 at 8:30 5K. The Green Out 5K, p.m., Reliant Park planned for the weekend before the Green Out -Color in Action - April 27 at 8 game against Memoa.m., Seven Lakes High School rial High School, will increase Spartan spirit by -Running for the Arts - May 4 at 8 truly “greening out” all participants. a.m., Memorial City Mall “I think it’s a great idea to have a Stratford color -Stratford Green Out 5K - August/ run. It’s a ways for us all September 2013, date / time TBA to get active and show school spirit,” Truong tive generation. said. Stratford, as a Fuel Up To Registration will include a Play 60 school, has received white Green Out 5K T-shirt, grant money to be used to a race info packet with givePhoto by Hannah Bevers make the school a healthier aways from sponsors, and place. entry to the Re-Fuel post run BRIGHTLY COLORED • For next year, two main celebration. Additional event Seniors Hannah Bevers and Melanie Klassen ran in the March 24 plans are in the works. The details to come in the near Color Run, joined by friends. first is a salad bar, which will future.

We have made it habit to living by the motto, “if it doesn’t affect us, then it doesn’t matter,” without even realizing it. In March, two football players at a high school in Ohio were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl at an alcohol infested party. The press has been empathizing with the rapists rather than the victim who was raped and video taped in the backseat of a car and later on a basement floor. The question here is do people like this, people who commit brutal crimes against innocent people, deserve empathy? It is hard to come up with an answer because empathy lies in the brain of the person empathizing. Each person has experienced unique situations therefore has different opinions on situations such as this. Chances are, rape victims will find no way of empa-

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thizing with two high school boys who chose to commit an act that will probably lead to years of therapy and adjustments for the victim. Then again, people who have made choices they regret while under the influence of alcohol (as the boys were), might be able to look at their sentences with some sort of sympathy. Unfortunately today, many advertisements and business manipulate peoples views by bombarding them with overwhelming emotional situations. Ever see a commercial with depressing music featuring a malnourished puppy? That scene was specifically staged to affect your empathy for the abused animals at a specific shelter in hopes you might donate. To develop a more educated look at situations, one that is not bias, it might be useful to try and view events without considering how they relate to personal experiences. Perhaps then you won’t blow money or make bad judgments on things that were altered to affect your view rather than portraying a realistic image. This means that instead of putting yourself in the shoes of those you feel that you can empathize with, try putting yourself in the shoes of those you aren’t immediately drawn too. For Senator Portman this could mean considering what his stance on gay marriage would be if his son was not gay. For those who empathize with the Ohio rapists, this could be looking at the situation without finding connection to the football players and instead stepping into the victim’s shoes and considering what it’d be like to be brutally disrespected as she was. The conclusion here is that the effect empathy has on one’s perception of reality doesn’t really matter—what matters is that it has an effect at all. Empathy is a strong emotion that is almost impossible to control. However, by being more aware of the effects it has on our morals, ethics and beliefs, we can make more thought out and educated judgments or decisions in our daily lives.


4

NEWS

Friday, April 19, 2013

Student Council Convention

16 sophomore, junior, and senior Student Council members attended the Texas Association of Student Councils 77th Annual Convention in Arlington, TX on April 7-9. Over 5,000 people attended the convention. Activities included speakers, table talk discussions, and a private party at Six Flags over Texas. Stratford hosted two table talks, one promoting our Mr. SHS Pageant and the other sharing communication methods, including the Stall Street Journal and the display cases. Photo courtesy of Mary Jackson.

Prom 2013 Hosts VerseCity

Numerous changes have been made to prom this year

Samantha Vanston

Once the down payment and the members were also This year’s senior class is was paid, other decisions amazed. It was settled: the making a change to prom. like color scheme, center committee was going to make For the past four years pieces, possibly a psychic, an offer to the band so they prom has been held at Ho- photo booth, DJ, and a live can perform during prom. tel ZaZa. The class of 2013 band that will perform for Four University of Housis a group of young people a while had to be made. ton students, Micaiah who want to make a change Mrs. Taller went to a con- Walker; Iam Soulo; Daniel and leave a positive im- cert where a band named Rascoe; and Nelson Barapact for the underclassmen. VerseCity was the opening dat, joined forces in JanuLast year, Dr. Ragsdale and act. She raved to Dr. Ragsdale ary 2007 to form a band. Mr. Fore decided that Since then they they wanted to put the have played along students in charge of with several national their prom instead of acts including Lifetheir parents so the house, Gym Class students could do what Heroes, Boys Like they want with the Girls, Cobra Stardance, so they selected ship, and many more. 15 juniors and formed They mainly perform the prom committee. cover albums that are The committee’s first hybrid-rock genre. job was to come up with VerseCity released some ideas of where the their first album, venue was going to be. “Epic Sunrise,” in When the top 5 loca- VERSECITY • Four college students from March 2009, but it tions were decided, Houston started to play music together. It was not was not until July of the committee went to until two years of being together that they realized that year when Verthat they had talent. The senior class is planning on visit them. They fell in having them perform during prom. Photo courtesy of seCity entered Hard love with The House of Samantha Vanston Rock Cafe’s AmBlues and it was a unanibassadors of Rock mous decision that the House about how good they were Battle of the Bands Comof Blues would be the venue and showed a video of them petition that they realized for the 2012-2013 prom. off of Youtube. Dr. Ragsdale they had something special The senior class has been was also so impressed by to share with the people. working hard to fund raise their talent that she talked The boys released a second to reach their goal of hav- to the committee about the album, “Hybrid,” in 2012. ing that venue. The stu- band possibly performing at The committee is hoping dents sold tumblers, wind- prom. She showed a clip of that the band will take the breakers, and towels as a the band performing their offer and the class of 2013 fund raiser towards prom. new single, Tik Tok Rok, will see them perform live.

The Oracle

INFO AND SHORTS

New NHS members pinned

On Wednesday, April 3 the new members of National Honor Society were announced. Based on academic achievement, leadership, and giving back to the community, 140 juniors were congratulated by being pinned by a previous officer. There will be an introduction ceremony to make it the new members official on April 23 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. To read more information about the pinning and the list of the newly inducted members, go to spartanoracle.blogspot.com. Photo by Gil Sanchez

Lights, Camera, Action

Spartanaires have been practicing for the past month before and after school to perfect their dances in time for Spring Show. After all the sweat, blood, and blisters the dancers went through, their hard work paid off on April 11-13. They performed numbers to several different styles of music. The new Spartanaire members and Dance I classes also made an appearance in the show, including two solos by the Colonel Hannah Vinyard and Lt. Colonel Taylor Johnson. Photo by Jordan Comparin


The Oracle

Friday, April 19, 2013

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Friday, April 19, 2013

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Graphic by Bronte Ye and Caroline Suchman


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Oracle

USE

28 days

until... prom

Photo by Jackie Mask

Pizzitola’s: Houston Landmark

43 days

Heights barbecue joint provides classic Southern meals Chandler Callahan

Texas barbecue is famous for its tangy flavor and surprising spice. There are countless barbecue joints in Houston, let alone Texas, but one stands out among the rest. Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue, located in the Heights on Shepherd Drive, has been a landmark for over 70 years. The joint boasts their classic “pit style” barbecue, serving not only traditional barbecue favorites such as slabs of ribs doused in a signature sauce and served with a side of coleslaw, but also options such as brisket and chicken. Whoever is dim witted enough to order a salad at a restaurant specializing in barbecue is unfathomably unadventurous. Having tried the salad before, its usual crunch wasn’t disappointing, but wasn’t satisfying either. The barbecue, on the other hand, did not disappoint. The restaurant is famous for their spare ribs and secret sauce.

The thing that really makes Pizzitola’s such a “diamond in the rough” is the meat. The pork is cooked to absolute perfection. The cooking staff

mouth. It wasn’t tough to chew. Unfortunately, the coleslaw was subpar. Traditionally, coleslaw includes car-

Photo by Chandler Callahan

BBQ • Pizzitola’s famous brisket sandwich consists of either chopped

or sliced meat, a hearty bun, and a dish of signature sauce on the side.

didn’t blacken it, or serve it still bleeding. It was just the right amount warm pink meat that fell right off the bone. And the brisket was cooked just as well. The sandwich wasn’t difficult to chow down, in fact the meat melts in your

rots and a bit of spice mixed in with the mayonnaise. This particular variation of slaw was a tad bland. But, the real crowning jewel of Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue is the sauce. With just the right amount of spice and zest the sauce is what really makes

May 3 2013

Upcoming Movies May 10 2013

Pizzitola’s one of the best barbecue joints in Houston. Still, the decor throughout the restaurant is confusing. A mix of innumerable college flags and family mementos, the decorations provide a comforting atmosphere. But the customer must have to ask who the owners are rooting for. There is some sort of novelty item from almost every division one school in the south. Surrounding each booth is a collection of photos, framed quilts and post cards. Still, the interior has a classic southern feeling. The vinyl booths and wooden chairs are adequate, but the wooden building must be quite stuffy during the warmer months. Besides the unexceptional coleslaw, everything else was great, from the ambience of the restaurant down to the smiling wait staff. All in all, you can’t go wrong with trying out Pizzitola’s for anything barbecue.

When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, Stark starts an

journey encompassing rebuilding and retribution.

A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

June 14 2013

MUSE 7

A young journalist, molded by the morals of his earth parents, discovers that he is gifted with powers beyond his imagination,

until... Graduation

48 days until... summer Graphic by Victoria Shin

Tweets of the Week

Nicholas First @ScrewedUp_Nick Coach wigg- “Kelly and Last(me)” Me- “What’s up?” Coach- “Not your grade point average!” #hegotus @Kellythe_G

Camila Castaneda @CAMillionaire33 Me and Spartacus bout to get turnt up for one last time #spartaforever #mybestfran #passingthetorch Katie Temple @katietempl As the amount of days to graduation decreases the amount of homework I don’t do increases

Kylie Schaper @SCHAPaholic Why in the world is it 46 degrees in April?! and he uses those powers to defend his adopted home from an insidious evil.

Graphic by Bronte Ye

Parker Lund @ParkourLund “Someone pooped in the sink and on the stairs yesterday”-Mr Clayton Graphic by Isabel Deakins and Harrison Vaporciyan Tweets compiled by Jackie Velarde and Sarah Sturgis


8

MUSE

Caitlin Hilton

Cycle of a Track Runner During practice: work as hard as possible because you want to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself. A few practices later: get frustrated by how tired you are after practice, so you don’t try as hard. The night before the meet: you run through the race a thousand times in your mind. Day of the meet: all you can think about is how you’d give anything to never run again in your life At the meet: nerves take over your body as you’re waiting for your race to start.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Picasso Black and White

The famous artist has his works on display in a new exhibit Layla Shahhosseini

Considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso’s work has been featured all over the world. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) has acquired some of his pieces of work in the exhibit, Picasso Black and White. These works consist of a different color tone that is usually overlooked compared to his other colorful pieces. Picasso uses a unique perspective with black, gray, and white colors to create a melodramatic feel. Even though the exhibit fea-

Joaquin Zihuatanejo Poet

In the blocks waiting for the gun to shoot: I quit. During race: absolutely nothing. After race: kneel on ground until you can feel your legs again and look for coach.

Ruby Jane Fiddlest

Find coach after race: get time and become proud because you met your goal Cooling down after race: think about how much you love running and set another goal for yourself to reach. Ride home after meet: ready to work hard at practice on monday

tures paintings, there are also sculp-

tures and works on paper. Many of these works in the exhibit have not yet been seen by the public coming from museums, private collections across Europe and the United States, including works from the Picasso family. Recently discovered under one of the paintings, “Women Ironing” (oil on canvas) is a hidden image Picasso originally painted. A few of the famous works include: “Study for Guernica” , “The Kiss” , and “Women with Outstretched Arms” (painted iron and metal sheeting). Most of the

rious” yet “appealing”. Some people believe that there was something wrong with him while creating his work. The exhibit has been open since Feb. 24 and will close on May 27 and tickets are under $20 that can be purchased in advance online. Very few artists have had as such a wide range of feedback as Picasso, who is widely considered to be the most important artist of the 20th century. Graphics by Bronte Ye

materials used depict Picasso’s intrigue for having the audience see the meaning behind the work of art. Many have claimed his art as “myste-

LIMITLESS

Warming up for the race: start too early in anticipation. Tell all your teammates you quit. Lining up for race: fidgeting and inability to concentrate on anything except the fact you suddenly have to use the restroom. Mouth to coach that you quit.

The Oracle

Peter Stone Computer Science Professor

Kali Venable

Roughly 2000 people of all different ages gathered to take part in the first ever TEDxYouth convention in Austin, Texas on March 30. As a life long fan of TED talks, I was extremely honored and excited to receive an invitation to the event. TED, owned by the non-profit Sapling Foundation, has been holding conferences in more than a hundred countries since 1984, when they first vowed to spread ideas worth sharing. While the conventions remain invite only, more than 1400 TED talks and performances have been uploaded to the internet for the general public. The TEDxYouth convention held in Austin was themed around, “Limitless” meaning many of the speaker’s talks and performances revolved around what it means to live a limitless life despite all of the limits that exist in society. Some highlights included recit-

ings by well-known American poet, Joaquin Zihuatanejo that were so powerful he had the whole room eating out of the palm of his hands in complete silence. Another speaker, Lizzie Velasquez brought myself and the people around me to tears with her heart warming story about a Youtube video she found titled, “The ugliest girl in the world,” that featured pictures of herself. Velasquez has a rare disease, so rare that it doesn’t even have a name and only three people in the world have been diagnosed with it. There were a total of 15 speakers at the event. Some other favorites included a 6th grade piano prodigy, a strategic brand planner from New York City, a famous fiddler who has played with Willie Nelson and a Harvard freshman who won the Global Google Science Fair and was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Amazing Young Women of 2011. During the forty five minute

Check It Out:

Tommy Tunes Pictures are now online at: http://spartanoracle. blogspot.com/

break between the two main sessions, attendees had the opportunity to mingle with a Various dancers from number of the speakers and multiple Austin based high schools performers, along with other guests in the Westlake cafeteria. I spoke with a number of students and adults who applied to attend the event on their own. “I have been obsessed with TED talks since I was twelve. This is my first convention and it has exceeded my expectations in all areas. The energy Volunteer Artist in the room is amazing,” said John Bradburn a North Austin resident. While the speakers are wonderful and provide innovative ideas that get the audience thinking, the real magic of TED conventions lies in the guest who attend. Meant to bring together Technology, Entertainment and Design, guest often come from inHydroflap System teresting backgrounds. created by Dillon To learn more about TED conventions and watch TED talks Samra, Everest Maher, and Evan Trumeter online, visit www.TED.com.


The Oracle

Friday, April 19, 2013

Houstonians Catch the Spring Fever

All Time Low steals the show on Spring Fever Tour Caitlin Hilton

The Spring Fever Tour made it’s way through Houston on Sunday, April 14. Bands of the punk-pop genres included British sensation You Me at Six, Mayday Parade, All Time Low, and Pierce the Veil. All Time Low’s stole the show with their set. The band was intoduced in American boxing uniforms before the normal back drop

stating their catch phrase ‘get low’ dropped to reveal a whole new stage design. The set included an orion light design by set designer Jeff Maker. This whimsical circular design took the set to a whole other level, captivating the audience in a sea of color and movement. Fans dressed as Spiderman and a Banana spotted while crowd surfing were

MUSE 9

even invited on stage, as well as a four year old boy. To appeal to a diverse crowd, All Time Low played songs mainly from their sophomore album, Nothing Personal, and their lastest album, Don’t Panic, both featuring their most popular songs. After the conclusion of the show, band members came outside to meet fans, take pictures, and autograph.

Photos by Michelle Evans

1722 S. Dairy Ashford Houston, TX 77077 (281)-558-1717


10

SPORTS

Friday, April 19, 2013

Baseball and Softball

The Oracle

Tennis 4/29-30 State Championships @ University of Texas 7:30 a.m.

Coach Grochmall

Q: Which sport do you prefer, basketball or softball? A: Definitely softball. The girls are real jokesters this year and really go with the flow with laid back attitudes. Not only are they are a great group, but softball is outdoors so we get our tan on. Q: How long have you been coaching both of these sports? A: Three years for both softball and basketball here at Stratford. Q: What is your past experience in these sports? A: I played both basketball and softball in high school and continued on with softball for my freshman year of college at Blinn College in Brenham. Q: What is your goal for the softball season? A: For Junior Varsity, my goal is for them to continue on to have a undefeated season, and for varsity, I would really like to see them go far in the playoffs this year with their talent. Q: Who will be your toughest competition? A: Ridgepoint. Hands down. The players are all quick and play select softball. They also have good pitching and outfield skills. Q: What has been your favorite memory from coaching softball? A: We have this event called “Water-week” that happens the week before finals where we give the girls a chance to cut the stress out and just have fun. It’s a blast. There is a slip-n-slide and water balloons. I enjoy getting to see the girls come out of their comfort zone. This is when us coaches really get to see the girls’ personalities. Photo by Gil Sanchez

5/4 Bi-District Playoffs 5/11 Area Playoffs 5/18 Regional Quarterfinal Playoffs 5/25 Regional Semifinal Playoffs 6/1 Regional Playoffs 6/5-8 State Tournament Playoffs

Boys and Girls Track & Field 4/19-20 Area Championships 9:00 p.m. 4/26-27 Regional Championships @ SHSU 9:00 a..m. 5/10-11 State Championships @ Univ. of Texas 9:00 a.m.

Newton’s Law Alex Newton It has been a three year drought since the Rockets have gone to the playoffs. Yet with the help of James Harden and company, the hometown squad has finally made it in once again. For the past three years, the Rockets have been the definition of mediocrity sitting at the ninth seed each of those years. Just one seed short of a playoff berth. As the Rockets were unable to secure the sixth seed in the playoffs they will face the second seeded San Antonio Spurs. The Rockets are 1-3 this season against the Spurs this season. It is easy to mistakenly like this match up because of how old the Spurs are and how young the Rockets are, yet even as the Spurs continue to age, they have continued their success. The Spurs were the top seed for most of the season and are looking primed for a playoff run. Winning two games in this series would be a win for the Rockets. This team needs one more big time player to complement James Harden before they can compete with the big dogs of Miami, and OKC. As for now we can only hope these Rockets can soar through the playoffs more so

that Kim Jung Un’s rockets soar through the sky. For those of us without comcast, the playoffs mark the start of the ability to watch the Rockets regularly on TV as all playoff games are nationally broadcast. The Astros however will likely never be seen again on national television after their home opener. The ‘Stros have exceeded expectations so far yet still struggle to find any consistency. However the farm system is doing very well giving Astros fans something to look forward to other than the mid season ticket price cuts. The NFL draft is also approaching and what seems to be a foregone conclusion is that the Texans will draft a receiver. While letting Kevin Walter go may not seem like much, it does make our need for a receiver even more of a necessity. The fact is if the Texans do not drastically increase their receiving core, they cannot compete for a super bowl. They have no consistent weapons outside of “Dre and Owen Daniels. This lack of down field threats will certainly result in more Matt Schuab infamous throws out of bounds.


The Oracle

Soccer Season Commemoration

Friday, April 19, 2013

SPORTS

11

Baseball and Softball Elaine Parizot

Baseball and softball seasons are in full swing and both teams are expected to do well in district play. Baseball finished their first half of district with a record of 6-1, with their only loss against powerhouse Tomball, who is ranked first in all of 4A. The Spartans will most likely finish up their district in second after Tomball, giving them a sure shot at having a strong post-season presence. Softball wrapped up their first half with a 5-2 record, losing only to Tomball Me-

WE DID IT • Seniors Jennifer Morris and Kelly Ann Craig hug after their 1-0 win over Texas City on Friday March 29. Photo by Jordan Comparin

SIGN HERE PLEASE • Senior Franco Timonieri elbows his way to the ball. Photo by Jordan Comparin.

morial and Ridge Point. However when they faced Tomball Memorial for a second time on Tuesday April 4, they defeated the Wildcats 2-1. The team will need to watch out for a dominant Ridge Point as they compete with the Panthers for a high seed as they head into playoffs, starting next week. The Lady Spartans will need to be ready for a vengeful Tomball after the Spartans defeated the Cougars 1-0 with a walk-off home run by Senior Macey Smith in the 9th inning.

IN THE END •Senior Tyler Garcia consoles a player from Baytown Goose Creek Memorial after the Spartans won their first round playoff game 4-1. Photo by Jackie Mask.

GET IT IN •Senior Emma Koydemir leaps up against a Texas City player in attempt to regain possession while junior Maddie Reguera waits on the ground. Photo by Jordan Comparin

FREE KICK • Texas City Sting players line up to get ready for Junior Sydney Sprague’s free kick early in the first half. Photo by Elaine Parizot

800 M Run: 4th-Paul Brastrom 2:01.82 1600 M Run: 1st-Brian Quinlan 4:31.56 3rd-Austin Richard 4:36.68 3200 M Run: 1st-Austin Richard 9:48.53 5th-Ricardo Coria 10:34.32 4x100 Relay: 4th-Will Hachtman, Zach Miller, Andrew Brillon, Terrence Peters 43.16 4x200 Relay: 5th-Zach Miller, Terrence Peters, Jack Brice, Ross Fenton 1:31.30 4x400 Relay: 5th-Andrew Brillon, Justin Woods Christian Lee, Paul Brastrom 3:38.81 High Jump: 6th-Zach Miller and Jack Brice 5’-6”

100 M Dash: 3rd-Alexis Franks 12.78; 4th-Niasia Ruffin 12.98 200 M Dash: 5th-Alexis Franks 26.67 400 M Dash: 1st-Caitlin Hilton 1:01.46 1600 M Dash: 5th-Mackenzie Mayo 5:42.2; 6th-Christina Tirado 5:45.24 3200 M Dash: 4th-Shelby Kallus 12:34.67; 6th-Mackenzie Mayo 13:20.83 4x100 Relay: 3rd-Alexis Franks, Niasia Ruffin, Natasha Reid, Shamaujae Crockett 49.83 4x200 Relay: 4th-Macala Carroll, Niasia Ruffin, Natasha Reid, Jasmyn Brooks 1:49.12 4x400 Relay: 3rd-Caitlin Hilton, Justine Akue, Jessiah Broussard, Shamauja Crockett 4:12.48 Long Jump: 1st-Shamauja Crockett 18’-0” Triple Jump: 3rd-Justine Akue 32’-11 3/4”

GIRLS

3rd Place- 100 points total

BOYS

T R A C K

5th Place- 59 points total

R E S U L T S

DIVING IN • (Top) Junior Brittany Reoh dives safely into second base as drops the ball on Saturday March 9. The Spartans held the Mustangs for 9 long innings but were unable to get the win. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Lori Brown CURVEBALL• (Above) Junior Freddy Price watches his pitch head home during the game against Memorial on April 6 at Constellation Field. Photo by Gil Sanchez BEHIND THE PLATE • (Left) Junior Ross Collins had a walllike presence stopping bouncing pitches behind the plate throughout the game against the Mustangs. Photo by Gil Sanchez


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SPORTS

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Oracle

Back-to-Back Champions

The boys’ swim team wins 4A state for the second year in a row TWO PEAT •

(left) The boys gathered around their 2013 4-A state trophy celebrating their success. They fought until the end, taking a big win over Frisco Wakeland, who was pre-determined to take the title. TEARS FOR CHEERS • (right) Coach Hoskovec gets emotional at the podium when announcing his repeat state win. Hoskovec was awarded last year with the “Coach of the Year” award, and announced that he hopes for another big win for next year. WINNING LINE-UP • (below) Swimmers Michael Miller, Alec Willrodt, Kyle Rathgeb, Cai Rohleder, Sam Cordova, and Taylor Cash were each awarded with state medals. With only one point separating the two top teams, the state title came down to the 400 freestyle relay with starter Willrodt, then Rohleder, then Rathgeb, and the leg being Miller. Stratford won the relay and state with the final tally being 212 points, only 9 points over Wakeland. Captions by Elyse’ Stieber

THE RUNDOWN K E L L Y G R I F F I N Position: Attack Favorite Vacation: Hawaii Number: 7 Best Game: against Fort Bend HS my freshman year when I made my record of 6 goals Favorite TV Show: Phineas and Ferb Best Lax Memory: Pranking people at tournaments with the team Favorite Quote: “Hey”-Anonymous Photo by Will Klussmann

M A C K E N Z I E M A Y O

Best Time: 12:46 Favorite Shoe Brand: Asics Normal Mile Pace: 6 minute Favorite Event: 2 mile Best Running Song: “Eye of the Tiger”-Survivor FavoriteTournament: the Rice meet Favorite Quote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”-Phillipians 4:13 Photo by Jacob Cribbs

CASH

CORDOVA

ROHLEDER

RATHGEB

MILLER

WILLRODT

Photos by Gil Sanchez and Stephen Martinez


The Oracle

THE

ORACLE

Newspaper Staff Editors-in-Chief Sara Boyle Samantha Hicks Caitlin Hilton News Editors Hannah Bevers Samantha Vargas Samantha Vanston Muse Editors Chandler Callahan Layla Shahosseini Kali Venable Sports Editors Alex Newton Elaine Parizot Elyse Stieber Opinions Editors Michelle Evans Lydia Sweet Esther Jeon Reporters Andres Acosta Dua Mazhar Aldo Martinez Photo Editors Katie Gregory Stephen Martinez Katherine Kennedy Photographers Gil Sanchez Emily Copeland Sarah Sturgis Will Klussmann Maggie Vickers Harper Jones Bonnie Slattery Jordan Comparin

Ads Editor Mary Margaret Weaver Ads Staff Emily Brown Jacob Cribbs Kendall Marbach Jacob Pennington Katherine Mavergeorge Allison Rice Design Staff Claire Galbraith Caroline Suchman Harrison Vaporciyan Ben Fairchild Staff Artists Molly Richter Claire Pena Natalie Yoo Victoria Shin Bronte Ye Online Staff Online Editors Janelle Blackwood Isabel Deakins Samantha Stazo Online Photography Editors Jackie Mask Ariyan Almassi Online Photographers Mark Coffman Michael Martin Claire Pena Rebecca Williamson Online Reporters Jackie Velarde Faith Figueroa Building Principal Christopher Juntti Advisor Janice Cummons

The Oracle is a newspaper published every three weeks by the Journalism Department of Stratford High School, 14555 Fern, Houston, Texas 77079, 713-251-3454. The newspaper is a member of Columbia Scholastic Journalism Association, National Scholastic Journalism Association, Texas Association of Journalism Educators, and Interscholastic League Press Conference. The Oracle is open to any and all contributions submitted by the readers. Any material can be submitted by e-mail to thestratfordoracle@gmail.com, brought in person to Room 120, or placed in Janice Cummons’ mailbox. The editorial board reserves the right to determine whether the submitted material will be published depending on the available space. The submitted material may also be edited to remove libelous or defamatory statements. Any material that is submitted must be typewritten and accompanied with the writer’s full name and grade. The opinions expressed are those of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the staff, the administration, or the school district. The Oracle staff strives to produce a newspaper that covers the entire Stratford community. They welcome freelance submissions and are eager to hear from their readers regarding story and photo opportunities. The Oracle is also online at spartanoracle.blogspot.com.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Right to Relief

OPINIONS 13

Students have the right to use the restroom when they please Kali Venable When you have to use the rest room, you have to use the rest room­­—end of story. Tons of students have been complaining about the lack of rest room usage at school, and quite frankly they have a right to be angry with the limitations teachers and staff place on bathrooms. Multiple teachers allow each student to use the rest room during only one class period per six weeks, while others prohibit all rest room usage. This means that for an hour and a half each day, students are forced to “hold it,” which can cause numerous medical problems. According to Dr. Chamandeep Bali, a naturopathic doctor at the Toronto Naturopathic Health Center, “The longer you hold your urine, the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria

to grow.” itself. This bacteria can lead to The fact is that being propainful and dangerous infec- hibited to use the rest room tions, such as urinary track is far more distracting than infections, yeast infections having a student miss five or and even damage to kidneys, ten minutes of a class lecture. causing a number of probEveryone knows that when lems in they way one’s body you need to pee, it is all you functions. can think Some teachabout. ers say that Students s t u d e n t s It is so painful and distract- are sitting should use class ing to sit through a whole in the rest room not focusduring pass- class period when you have ing on the ing periods, to go to the rest room; it’s a l e s s o n s but such a kids worst nightmare. b e i n g notion is im- -Justine White, 11 taught, plausible givbut inen we only have six minutes stead are focusing on how between classes. Six minutes badly they have to use the is not nearly enough time to rest room. use the rest room when lines Many teachers are worried extend four or five people that kids only ask to use the deep in every student rest rest room to wander halls and room and returning to class avoid lessons, but that doesn’t on time is a minute or two in make it okay to ban entire

classes from going when the majority of kids are asking to actually use the rest room, rather than waste time. While students with medical conditions can get a note from the nurse that requires teachers to grant them extra rest room usage, many students prefer to suffer in silence. This may make it seem like the student’s own fault for failing to notify the nurse about their condition, but it is embarrassing for students to admit that they need to use the rest room more than the average person, or that they have a medical condition that affects their excretory system. Regardless of how important classroom lectures may be on a given day, students deserve to have the freedom to use the rest room whenever they please.

No Means No

Society needs to reevaluate their views towards women

Staff Editorial In recent news, the small town of Steubenville, Ohio has been at odds over the case of a young woman and her accusation of rape at a party. People disgustingly argued over things as to whether or not this girl was doing it as an act for attention, or if the rape even happened at all. The storytelling aside, there was one fact that couldn’t be disputed: numerous inappropriate pictures of this girl had been posted online prior to the case’s evolution. As soon as social media became involved, the night’s events took a turn for the horrible. The country began taking opinions on this case. A good portion of people sided with the girl, agreeing with the common view that rape is never okay. However, quite a few people took a different view to the situation: due to the fact that alcohol was involved, people thought that this girl was entirely at fault for what had happened to her. This is just one of many cases in which alcohol allowed for impaired judgement, and for a boy to think that he is entitled to whatever he wants

-- even if it could be considered animalistic behavior. In 2010, an organization by the name of Rape Crisis Scotland released the first TV campaign in history attempting to tackle the typical attitude towards rape. In the thirty second ad, a woman acts as if she is going out with the intention of being raped, and the ad ends with the blunt statement “as if ” and that “no one asks to be raped. Ever.” This ad portrays the most ideal views that society should have. Women should be treated with respect because they are people, not pieces of meat. Men are not animals, but instead are educated people who have ethics and should know better than to force themselves upon any woman who “leads them on.” Women can no longer do normal things such as go to concerts or to the movies without the fear of someone attacking them. The news consistently presents stories that give women reasons to fear for their lives, and it gives people the idea that rape is just a “day-to-day activity.” Pepper spray and rape

whistles should not replace friends as companions and protectors. There was once a time where the idea of rape was a horror story rather than a weekly activity. Women should not have to walk the streets in fear that every lurking shadow is a potential rapist. We believe that society has a warped view of how a woma n ’ s body should b e

treate d . Rather than teaching women “how not to be raped,” we should be teaching men that this despicable act is never justifiable

by any means. We stand up for women and stand by the view that no means no. Women are entitled to their privacy, their safety, and their own bodies and it is never okay for someone to take that away from them. Society needs to change their views to correspond with the 21st century. It is time for change. Graphic by Victoria Shin


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The Oracle

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Fight for Introversion

Introverts struggle in the makings of America’s extrovert-driven society Esther Jeon

There are those who are... well, people-people. They enjoy being around people and thrive in large social gatherings and don’t mind putting themselves out there. Then there’s me and others who, like me, are peoplepeople but only to a certain extent (does that even make any sense?). It doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t enjoy being around people or that I avoid large social gatherings like the plague- it just means that I need a little more alone time. Too much of people will overwhelm me, and I’ll find myself shutting down when I’m around too many people for long periods of time. If I wanted to get technical, I’d say that the former group I spoke of would be called extroverts and the group I was in would be called introverts. Both have their pros and cons, but there have been days when I want nothing more to be extroverted, when I want nothing more to

be able to handle bunches of people for significant periods of time. After all, in the Western culture we live in, being extroverted is celebrated and being introverted is frowned upon. If you’re an introvert, America will try to make you otherwise. Think back to your childhood. I certainly can- teachers were always trying to get students to participate more and join the class discussions. I don’t mean to say that it’s bad to encourage your students to join your class discussionsparticipation is important. In the kind of world we live in today, we need each other to share our ideas and improve upon what we have. But not everyone thrives on joining class discussions; many introverts prefer to just listen (and note that I didn’t say ALL introverts). Introverts will often process information a little differently, and they need the time to listen and take time to reflect upon what the information they have gath-

ered before they speak. But can you imagine telling your

Graphic by Bronte Ye

teacher that? That you need some time to think alone and quietly about this so you prefer not to participate in the

Ideas? Anyone? Bueller?

Hollywood focusing on remakes and out of ideas Claire Galbraith

The Lone Ranger, Carrie, Dirty Dancing, and The Evil Dead are all famous movies that have become known as instant classics in the hearts of thousands of people across the United States. However, recently their names have been coming up again on TV a n d the Internet. Why is this? It is b e c au s e the Hollywood movie industry has decided to remake these classics; in other words, they mean to destroy them. It seems like every movie that has come out lately has either been a remake or a reboot. Sure, it’s nice to see one’s favorite movie in a new light, but what if the remake ruins the classic? For instance, Total Recall, the original 1990 version, was a great movie that had a large following of fans who were excited to see the 2012 remake. In the end

though, expectations didn’t live up to reality and movie fans and critics only had negative feedback in response to the box office flop. It’s tiring for the fans of classic movies to be let down and frustrated at under whelming remakes. Although it’s a slim chance, it is possible for a remake to trump the original. Howe ve r,

Graphic by Molly Richter

because of the loyalty that fans feel towards the original movies, it’s harder for the remakes to compete. Also, just because one remakes an old film in 3-D doesn’t make it new. This comes across to viewers as a cheap way for producers to make a quick $400 million. It isn’t right to scam the fans out of their money by giving out a retired film with a new fancy label. The creativity and imagination of movie production is

discussion at the moment? You’d be, in elementary def-

dying and has been replaced with poorly written secondhand ideas. Has anyone ever heard of the expression “don’t mess with perfection,” or are movie producers bored with thinking of new ideas for movies that they have to make over the good ones? The special thing about those films that made them great was that they were interesting and new to the movie industry and to the people watching them. For movie writers, it must feel as if all the good ideas have already been taken or the ending of movies are now predictable, but there’s no way that the endless well of possible ideas has run dry. Film writers just need to think outside the box and stop romanticizing the glory days. It’s time for change. Hollywood needs to go back to the drawing board and start with fresh ideas instead of reusing and recycling the classics.

inition, a “bad team-player” and unwilling to work with others. Imagine telling your boss

in a job interview that you’re “quiet” and you “prefer to work alone.” Could you imagine the reception you’d get? You’d look antisocial and disagreeable when it’s simply how your mind works. That’s how you take in information and that’s how you do your work best- alone. It doesn’t mean that you’re uncooperative and it doesn’t mean that you dislike being with people and it doesn’t mean you won’t work with people at all; it is what it is. It means you do your best work alone. Parents are always telling children to be a little more social, more outgoing, and make more friends. Teachers are always trying to put students in groups and get students to work together instead of alone. Jobs necessitate being social and extroverted to work with others. Do you still not believe it? America thrives on its extroverted culture, and those who are introverted are left to stand in the dust, being

Friend vs. Foe

Even friends can become bullies Dua Mazhar

make it seem like it isn’t a big deal, and then it feels as if you were being the over sensitive one. Although it takes courage to speak out against injustice, it must be done. When you become a target of friend

Friends can be bullies. It is hard to fathom that your best friend, the one that you have known since kindergarten, becomes the first person to criticize you and put you down. You might become a victim of peer pressure, teasing, back biting, or even physical violence. “Friend hazing” is most common among females, especially girls around the ages of 12-17. Sometimes, even in a normal conversation, a person Graphic by Natalie Yoo can become subject to teasing, and the hazing, it is essential that bully is none other than your you talk to the person who friend. is hurting you. On the other As a victim of “friend hazhand, if you are the bully in ing,” I know that sometimes a your group of friends, stop person doesn’t know what to what you’re doing right now do, or how to respond when and think about the hurt and they become targets. They pain you might be causing feel like they can only laugh your friends. Do you have along. However, if you or the any sense of what you are doperson who has been targeted ing? The friend you might be tries to talk to the bully, they

prodded by the rest of society to follow suit with the extroverts. Since my freshman year, I’ve fought tooth and nail to be a little more like some of my extroverted peers. I try really hard to be more social and I try to put myself out there as much as I can. I am no longer as shy as I used to be and I can manage to speak without stumbling over the simplest of words. But the truth is that I am who I am- I prefer to listen rather than speak. If I’m around people for too long, I’ll feel overwhelmed. I like having a small-knit group of friends. Extroversion is something to be celebrated, and I will forever admire those who are extroverted. But with introversion comes rewards, and until America realizes the shared merits of both extroverts AND introverts, introverts will forever be left to fill the shoes of the socially awkward and difficult to be around kind of person.

taunting may not have the courage to say anything, and may eventually end up leaving you. Yet another aspect of “friend hazing” is backbiting. Instead of confronting the actual person, people often evade the problem and make it worse by telling a complete stranger who is unrelated to the whole situation. The rumor becomes like the telephone game; in the end it has been totally changed and made into something embarrassing and hurtful. What is worse is that the only person who does not know about it is the one who has become the target. If you are teasing someone, or if you feel that you are being bullied by your own friends, talk to that person. DON’T back stab them. Confront them. Fix your error or give your friend the chance to fix theirs. DON’T let your friend become your foe.


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Oracle

Unwarranted Disrespect

Do you want an article in the newspaper without being on staff? Contact any staff member, stop by Room 120, or email thestratfordoracle@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you! Reflections on Rejection

What it’s like to get turned down from colleges Hannah Bevers

I applied to thirteen colleges. The list included the University of Texas (UT), Southern Methodist University (SMU), Boston University (BU), six Ivy League schools, and four more. When I started the application process, my parents sat me down at the kitchen table and told me that because I’d applied to such high-level schools I couldn’t be afraid of rejection. I knew that I would need tough skin to get through rejections and, although I hoped there wouldn’t be any, I knew there would. Boy, was I right. My first acceptance was from UT because I qualified for automatic admission. It was a relief to know that there was a spot for me somewhere at a college, but I hadn’t heard back from the UT engineering school yet, so I still wasn’t completely satisfied. The next letter I received was from SMU. I applied for early admission to SMU, so I got my acceptance early. The letter came in a huge red envelope with stickers and pamphlets included. This time, I had gotten into the Lyle School of Engineering. Finally, an actual acceptance. At this point, I was feeling pretty great about myself. I’d been accepted to two schools

OPINIONS 15

already - I was invincible. What school in their right mind would reject me? Then I got my first rejection. Princeton was my top choice; I applied early decision and I just knew that I was meant to go there. When I visited the campus, I fell in love with it. I wanted Princeton more than anything else. The letter was crisp and thin: a sign of bad news. Princeton’s Dean of Admissions “signed” the bottom of the letter describing how so many eligible students hadn’t made the cut. The rejection was a mix of emotions. I felt inferior and wrongly judged, but I also felt relieved. The stress of waiting to hear back from Princeton had been weighing on me for months and I could officially drop that pressure and focus on all the other schools. Not long after the rejection, I heard back from UT Engineering, where I was accepted. It was the first step to recovery after being wounded - I knew everything would be okay. The rest of my letters wouldn’t come until the end of March. I waited in hope that there would be more acceptances in my future. On March 28 I sat at my home computer with a mug of tea, crisscrossed my legs, and opened all of the admis-

sion websites for the rest of my schools. It didn’t even take thirty minutes. One acceptance, one waiting list, and eight more rejections. I knew I’d have to be able to handle this, and I was prepared. I didn’t cry or outwardly react. I knew that I’d applied to schools that only take five percent of their applicants, and I was okay with being in the ninety-five percent that was sent rejection letters. If I said that I wasn’t upset at all, I would be lying. I was okay with not being accepted, I knew that most of my applications were long shots. I still don’t know why I felt just the least bit upset, but I did. Maybe I was just upset that I’d spent so much time on essays for schools that might not have even given me a glance. A lot of people think I’m certifiably insane for applying to so many schools. In the long run, though, I don’t regret it. I know that I’ll never have ask myself what could have happened if I’d applied to more schools. Sometimes dreams don’t come true and we don’t get what we’ve always wanted. Rejections happen - to a lot of people. Life goes on, though. It doesn’t matter where you go, it matters what you do where you are.

Disrespect toward peers, teachers is unacceptable

Andres Acosta Reports have surfaced that there has been an individual, or a group of people defecating at various locations on campus. The fact of the matter is, this is not very funny. Like at all. Maybe just a little. The first instance was at the Homecoming dance last October where a fellow Oracle staff member actually stepped on someone else’s excrement in the middle of the dance floor. Later it was found within a sink and apparently also on one of the staircases. Maybe the freshmen just aren’t potty trained yet, but I think the problem goes deeper than that. This is just one specific instance of a general attitude that some students seem to have. People seem to have forgotten that students are subordinate to the teachers and faculty at this school. Everyone has to follow the rules that have been set. A high school diploma can be received anywhere, but Stratford America must not forgot how lucky we are to attend such a special school. We have amazing teachers that legitimately care about their students, great facilities, and a friendly, accepting student body. Large, clean classrooms are provided as a learning environment for our studies. In the classrooms are countless pieces of equipment we use to learn about specific subjects. Beakers for the science department, complete sets of calculators in the math department, and even great fields and gyms for the athletics department are examples of ways that the school supports its students. Students tend to take even privileges such as the exemption policy for granted. Interesting fact: the only students allowed to exempt finals at Memorial High School are second semester seniors. Every grade level at Stratford has the opportunity to exempt at least one final in their second semester. Just another reason why all of us are better, cooler, and luckier for attending Stratford and not Memorial. Another example is the trash that is left in the courtyards, the snack bar, and the cafete-

ria. Even after repeated warnings to stop leaving trash by administrators, the practice has lessened but has not disappeared. Trash can still be found after both A and B lunch. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the response that students have when confronted as to why. The majority simply replies that “that is why we have custodians.” The fact of the matter is that custodians are not here to clean up after our messes, they are here to keep the school clean for us. And yes, there is

a difference. As teenagers, most of us feel rebellious; most of us feel like the rules are made to be broken. But these rules give order to our campus, just like laws give order to society. Perhaps the most common complaint heard around the school is about homework. “Do we have to do it?”, “Can we turn it in late?”, or even “can we push the test/quiz back until next class?” ring out nearly every class period. Some students even go as far as to say that some of our teachers are “barely teachers”

and that they “barely even teach” with no evidence or reasons to say it. Learning is a two way street. It is not fair to expect to walk into a classroom expecting to just magically learn everything. Grasping the concepts also takes personal effort and responsible. It takes a student doing his homework and studying for them to excel in a course. It could be that a lack of personal responsibility is what is at the source of it all. Last year, I was walking down the business hallway on the second floor heading towards the locker rooms. Suddenly I heard a lot of yelling behind me and two individuals running behind me in my direction. As they came closer, I moved out of their way and they ran past me. As I continued to walk, I saw those same kids had run into and knocked down Mrs. Jackson. She perhaps hadn’t noticed that these kids were coming right at her or maybe she figured that they would just go around her. But they didn’t and they knocked her down. Even worse, the kids kept running and didn’t even glance back to see if Mrs. Jackson was okay. It is fair to say that those kids had no intention of knocking Mrs. Jackson down. It is not, however, fair to say that they were or had the right to be running down that hallway like they were. To be successful in life we must all be in possession of personal responsibility. That responsibility also extends to knowing that if our actions harm or have the possibility of harming those around us, we don’t do them. To be a little more thoughtful and responsible is hardly too much to ask. One other thing, the perpetrators in both of these instances were identified and held accountable.

Graphic by Claire Pena and Molly Richter


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April 19, 2013