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tigertimes

volume 52 no. 5 • april 18, 2013

What’s inside In the Know 2 VIewpoint 5-7 Sports 15-16 Entertainment 17-19

texas high school • 4001 summerhill rd • texarkana, tx 75503 • www.tigertimesonline.com

TOTAL NERD

DOMINATION

With success the primary goal of the majority of the world, the degradation of nerds is no longer commonplace. Page 10 >> drawing by p. reed


in the know

2 4/19 Early Release

the

ist Pull out your calenders, sharpen your pencils, write down the dates you need for the upcoming month.

4/24 Rosebuds Senior

4/24 Drill Team Officer

TISD will be having a half day for students while teacher have staff development. School will dismiss at noon.

5/4 Prom

The annual Texas High Senior Prom will be held at the Truman Arnold Center on the Texarkana College campus. It will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

tiger times april 18, 2013

Tryouts

The Texas Highsteppers will hold officer tryouts for the 201314 school year. Any sophomore or junior in drill team can try out.

5/5 Project

Celebration

This is a time for seniors to come and have a great time playing games with friends after prom.

Dinner

This traditional dinner will be held at Texarkana Country Club. This will be a time for the girls to reflect on the past year.

5/9 R.E.A.C.H

Celebration Dinner R.E.A.C.H will have its dinner to celebrating the year in the Dan Haskins Student Center.

4/28 NHS Induction

Teacher: a word, for most, that evokes a negative feeling, an overwhelming sense of dread, or doom. Classroom scenarios that consist of tight spaces, a heavy workload, and the absence of patience typically promote pessimism from students and teachers. Learning and positivity aren’t generally synonymous. However, those who are the exception to this innate rule represent the silver lining in a valley of Tigers. Each year, the faculty nominates and then votes on teachers that they believe have exemplified what every

teacher should strive to be with their students. This year, English teacher Monica Washington was recognized as Teacher of the Year. “Everyday I put my all into it, and I try to plan things, that even though they’re about AP things, I try to make them exciting and fun,” Washington said. “And it does feel good to be recognized.” As a teacher, Washington does her best to treat her students how she feels they should be treated. “I was told that students don’t have to like you and that I shouldn’t smile,” Washington said. “I broke that rule the first week of school. I run each class like its own little family with its own little person-

Awards

Texas High will have an acedemic awards cermony for student in all grades.

Texas High will have their annual induction into the National Honor Society for new members.

5/16 Senior Awards

5/20 STEM Open

This awards Ceremony is taken place every year. Seniors will receive academic and other awards.

Washington named teacher of year by mackenzie phillips feature editor

5/2Academic

House

STEM will host an open house for parents to come see what projects their student has done over the school year.

TEACHER OF THE YEAR English teacher Monica Washington sits in the traditional Teacher of the Year chair after being notified that she received the honor. As a teacher, Washington feels that her reward is when she sees her work reflected in her students. “Many of my ‘wow’ moments come when I see obvious growth in my students,” Washington said. “When they come back and visit me after years and they are productive, mature, intelligent citizens, I am overwhelmed with great emotions. I still keep in contact with my first group of students who are now almost 30.” photo by c. clem

ality. By the end of the year, we always have a strong bond. We grow together, laugh together, fuss at each other, but most of all we learn as much as we can.” Washington developed her love for teaching at an early age. “For some reason, I have always known I would be a teacher,” Washington said. “When I was little, I taught my teddy bears in my room. Then, I started asking my teachers for the worksheets they were going to recycle at the end of the year. I took them and made my friends in the neighborhood sit on my porch in the summer time to have class. Looking back, I don’t think they wanted to be there.”

Popular pizza place reopens by amanda hackleman staff writer

NEW LOCATION Joe’s Pizza & Pasta recently opened in their new location, 125 Arkansas Street, across from the downtown post office. photo by c. norton

Many people missed Joe’s Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant when it unexpectedly closed its doors. The restaurant had become popular in a short amount of time, with some saying it had the best pizza in town. It’s now reopened in downtown Texarkana at 125 Arkansas Street, across the street from the post office. People were angered and confused when the restaurant shut down without warning. “[Joe’s Pizza] was so good and

close to our house,” junior Ben Norton said. “My family and I were absolutely devastated when Joe’s Pizza closed.” According to the manager, Joe’s was forced to relocated after they lost the lease on their building. The building was sold and torn down so Healthcare Express could be built in its place. “I’m so ecstatic about the reopening,” sophomore Nikita Marin said. “I’m going to be eating pizza like no other. I’m happy because it’s the only pizza that really tastes good to me.”

GO ONLINE

Want to read more in the Tiger Times? Visit us online.Download a QR Code scanner on your cell phone. Then use it to scan this code. It will direct you to additional content on our online site, www. tigertimesonline.com


tiger times april 18, 2013

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news

Art student wins school’s first Gold Seal by josh klein viewpoint editor

Sophomore Ginger Moore holds a special place in her heart for animals. Animal abuse is sickening to the selfproclaimed animal lover. The young artist expressed her feelings in her Gold Seal winning piece titled “Chained Off,” accomplishing what no other student from Texas High has ever done. Moore was one of only 150 artists receiving the Gold Seal award in the state’s Visual Arts Scholastic Event held in Bryan, Texas. It is the highest honor

a student artist can receive in the state. Judges base their decision on the artist’s technique and message of the piece itself. “They see how you use the different mediums,” Moore said. “They actually go over how you actually present the piece as well.” The road to state began when Moore’s teacher, Angela Melde, began brainstorming for her piece. “I really wanted to do a social issue,”Moore said. “I’m really close with animals. I’ve raised many, and I’ve been around a lot. I wanted to do something over animal abuse because it’s something

the media doesn’t cover very well. I really wanted to show people that this could be very intense, and I hope my piece spoke for itself.” Moore’s art features a charcoal drawing of a dog along with plywood and found objects reflecting abuse to animals. “I ended up supplying most of the materials for it, like the wood and stuff I got from my dad, but the bones, I had no idea where I’d get those,” Moore said. “After talking to Mrs. Melde, I came home and my dogs had dragged up some from the forest. So, I guess it took care of itself.”

GOLD SEAL Holding her artwork titled “Chained Off,” sophomore Ginger Moore received the school’s first Gold Seal award at the state VASE competition. photo by a. mccoy

datesfor prom Apr. 19 If you are interested in bringing a date who does not attend Texas High, guest forms are available for pick up in Tishua Gatewood’s office or from Brenda George in the front office. These forms are due Friday.

May 1 The last day to pay for your prom ticket is May 1. This is kind of a big one. No ticket means no dance. And no dance means spending the night with a tub of Blue Bell, watching SNL while your friends dance the night away. Don’t forget the ticket.

May 4 Prom. You have been preparing for this all your high school career, girls and guys; appreciate the effort of your date. It has been hectic to plan. Have a great night and get your groove on starting at 7 p.m. until midnight.

May 5 Project Celebration will be held immediately following prom to provide a safe after prom environment. Students, enjoy games, prizes, good food, and good friends until 5 a.m. Enjoy the night into morning.


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tiger times april 18, 2013

Busy work promotes cheating among students by davis payne entertainment editor Every student who has been through middle school has had to do their hefty share of busy work. I am sure most can remember all those long fill-in-the-blank worksheets, all those pointless times where all you had to do was look the answer up in the book over and over again. Students everyday are still forced to do these assignments until one student decides he has had enough. This student works with his fellow classmates so they can all get this useless work done in half the time. There is only one problem: these students are just copying off each other and are now doing what is classified as “cheating.” As each class of students goes through school, the majority of individuals will acquire one habit or another in dealing with school work that constitutes cheating. Some students are more honorable than most and are seemingly always able to resist the temptation. However, many of their peers are students who are looking to get a good grade one way or another, and while they might not cheat on a big project or test, that useless insignificant worksheet is often irresistible.

TOO MUCH COLLABORATION Students who are assigned busy work are more likely to cheat on the assignment. photo illustration by a. mccoy

So one must ask, “Is this where it all starts?”All the students who are punished with zeros, all the students who are thrown out of college for plagiarism. One can correctly assume a great deal of it is laziness, but is it possible that a class that ordinarily utilizes busy work could push a student, or even a group of students, to the habit of cheating?

When doing studies on cheating, researchers found that many students admitted to cheating just because they saw no point in the work they were doing. Now, on the surface that is an easy thing to dismiss. The students just don’t realize the angle their teacher is taking on their instruction. Cheating in school is commonly defined as “a breach of

academic integrity.” That basically means a breach in ethical code relating to one’s school and education. This can range from the common plagiarism to falsifying research to finding out the questions for a test ahead of time. I think anyone will agree that these examples definitely represent a breach of academic integrity. Apply the same definition to the situation of busy work, and the water becomes slightly muddled. If there is no academic value in the work a group of students are performing, is it really a breach of academic integrity? If a worksheet a student is filling out will not better their education, has nothing to be learned from it, and is only there to be graded, it seems slightly hard to classify it under educational. This leads to a gray area of schooling, one that a good deal of students find themselves at odds with. Whether busy work is a cause of cheating or not arguably depends on the student. One would have to say that the student could always resist the temptation. Still, it seems that the implementation of constant busy work in a class could be a driving factor in students habitually cheating on assignments.


tiger times april 18, 2013

viewpoint

5 tiger times Texas High School 4001 Summerhill Rd. Texarkana TX, 75503 ( 903 ) 794 - 3891 F ( 903 ) 792 - 8971 The Tiger Times is a student-run publication. The contents and views are produced solely by the staff and do not represent the opinions of the faculty, administration or TISD board of trustees. editors in chief Brianna Sellers & Wynne Tidwell online editors in chief John David Goins & Autumn Sehy managing editor Jacob Hill advertising Adam Graves news editor Shelby Kelley viewpoint editor Josh Klein, Riley Rogers & Sydney Schoen

Although allowing cell phones can be seen as a double-edged sword, Texas High is ready for a comprehensive cell phone policy reform. cartoon by Preston Reed EDITORIAL

[Digital dilemma]

It’s time for school to update BYOD policy

O

ver recent years, high schools have progressively integrated newer technology into their academic programs. Devices that would normally be used recreationally, such as laptops, iPads and iPods, have found their way into the classroom. Some Texarkana-area schools have taken this a bit further with the use of a Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, policy. Under this, students are able to use their personal devices, even cell phones, during lunch and between classes. Texas High should embrace student accessibility to technology by creating a handbook policy that allows for the use of private devices, including cell phones, during lunch and between classes, as well as for educational purposes in the classroom. The current code of conduct states that cell phones that are turned on or displayed during the school day will be confiscated. The academic program at Texas High is nothing to laugh at. We boast of excellent teachers, intelligent students and a modern curriculum. But as of late, we’ve lost a step. We are still stuck in the outdated mindset of treating cell phone use as an act of villainy. Granted, some teachers allow the use of cell phones for educational purposes; however, this practice is not necessarily supported by

the actual policy. Not endorsing their use is a waste of a perfect learning tool. The majority of our students have an all-inone learning device at their fingertips, but our policy suppresses its use. It’s time for us to catch back up with other schools and claim technological supremacy, in both practice and policy. Students are allowed one break a day––lunch. It’s the time for students to socialize and relax before going back to the harsh reality of high school. Yet in this brief moment of freedom, the use of cell phones is still forbidden. Instead of enjoying the moment, students are forced to spend their mealtime peeking under the table and avoiding the glares of on-duty administrators, even if they’re only reading an analysis of Hamlet for an upcoming class. The policy-setters overestimate the dangers of allowing technology during lunch. It’s taking away a freedom out of fear of what students could do. A thought in the back of the minds of administrators and teachers is the possibility of students abusing the policy to cheat. The schools that have BYOD or a similar policy set severe punishments for any student who violates the rules. At Arkansas High, if a student uses a phone during class without permission,

they contact the student’s parents or guardians on the first offense. Repeating this violation will result in suspension. School officials overdramatize the fear of giving students freedom. It’s simple: more freedoms must be countered with harsher punishments. If ultimate freedom is too heavy a demand, a solution might be to enact a similar rule set forth by Pleasant Grove. In order for students to access the wireless internet, they must fill out a form and undergo a confirmation process. It may also be beneficial to keep some of the more basic security measures in place to prevent student access to inappropriate websites. As for classroom use, leave it up to the teacher. If a teacher is in favor of a gung-ho anti-technology policy, let it be, but give those teachers who accept the role technology plays in the lives of teenagers something that officially supports the use. Texas High students have a lot to brag about, but right now, our cell phone policy is outdated. It’s time for us to stop reminiscing over the days of chalkboards and the abacus, and start acting like a school of the 21st-century by creating a handbook policy that officially endorses the use of cell phones during lunch, between classes and in the classroom.

feature editor Mary Claire Boudreaux & Mackenzie Phillips sports editor Taylor Potter entertainment editors Abigail O’Gorman & Davis Payne photo editor Amy McCoy staff writers Zac Baker Maggie Coleman Katherine Doan Ben Gladney Amanda Hackleman Casey Hitchcock Robert Hoover Madeline Hunley Dwight Mack Baylee McBride Caroline Purtle Annie Tarwater Ashley Tyson photographers Katie Black Carlie Clem Ndidi Duru Casey Hitchcock Sabrina Larson Riley Madlock Claire Norton Mackenzie Phillips Caroline Prieskorn Josh Rostek Haley Rushing Sydney Steed Annie Tarwater Hailey Woods Bailey Vaughan advisers Rebecca Potter & Clint Smith principal Brad Bailey members ILPC, NSPA, CSPA The Tiger Times is the official student publication of Texas High School. The primary purpose of the Tiger Times is to inform the students of the school, while practicing the ethical canons of journalism. Letters to the editor may be dropped off in Room 50. Each letter must be signed and include the student’s grade. Letters are subject to editing. The Tiger Times also accepts advertising. Advertising is sold for $5 a column inch. All ads must be received at least two weeks prior to publication.


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tiger times april 18, 1013

Ramblings from the sheltered Sheltered. The state of being covered or protected. Synonymous with asylum, hidden, isolated. Unaware of the dangers of the outside world. Oblivious. I’m not sure when I realized how sheltered I was. It may have been when I entered Texas Middle School sporting pigtails, a polo button up, and navy pants with whales embroidered on them. It may have been when I witnessed my first drug bust and didn’t understand why I couldn’t pet the officer’s dog. It may have been when, after being told that someone sold weed, I made the comment that I would rather sell flowers, such as tulips. I don’t regret my sheltered past (and present), but it did cause some repercussions that I am still faced with everyday. Sheltered Chapter One: St. James I enjoyed my time at the small private day school. Mandatory uniforms prevented popularity based on appearance. I was praised for my Rapunzel-like hair, and the only association I had with makeup was dance recitals and physical torture. Although I was mildly abusive, I had a loud personality and a great group of buddies. Sheltered Chapter Two: Morriss Elementary Although I was only a student there for a year, it was crucial for my sheltered development. It was here I was freed from the hold of uniforms and my true (awkward

MY AWKWARD LIFE yet adorable) personality began to shine through my clothing. I made friends with kids my age that were unlike any that I had met in my years of private school. I also saw a much stricter side to the educational system, instead of the more lax, learn-atyour-own-pace curriculum I had grown accustomed to. I began to enjoy school and developed a love for knowledge that previous years of education had failed to instill in me. Sheltered Chapter Three: Texas Middle School This may be the darkest chapter of my sheltered journey. I didn’t make the cheerleading team. I didn’t fit in with the petty popular crowd everyone else worshipped. I had emergency surgery and was hospitalized for a week. I was exceedingly self conscious and my self esteem plummeted. I was repeatedly accused of being Pentecostal because of my long hair, and I was so painfully shy I avoided making eye contact with anyone I hadn’t known since preschool. The only outlet that was open for success was school, and I became mildly obsessed with achieving perfection. Sheltered Chapter Four: Texas High and beyond It was in this sheltered and slightly

KATHERINE DOAN

WORDon theSTREET

STAFF WRITER

awkward state that I entered high school. Drill team, newspaper, and student council made up for all the misery of middle school, and I began to become the average shy nerd who avoided any type of social interaction outside of school functions and study parties. My sheltered past has made me quiet and reserved, but my exposure to public schooling has made me very aware of my surroundings. I listen more, speak less, and I am sincerely trying to understand the nature of the average high schooler. Despite our differences in music preferences and life goals, I am beginning to connect with my peers. My small group of friends have tried to bring me out of my introverted shell and show me the wonders of the outside world. And I, in turn, have tried brought them into my sheltered sphere of late night Scrabble competitions and Phantom of the Opera marathons. It’s in this awkward balance that I currently reside. In between knowing how to recite the Greek alphabet and not knowing how to begin a conversation. I hope that as I continue to observe and learn from my peers, I will become less socially awkward and, in a case of extreme need, willingly social.

The perks of being considered a nerd I am a self-proclaimed nerd. I love learning, obscure poets, and actually reading for history. The definition of nerd changes from person to person. Some people think a nerd is someone who actually does their homework (oh, the horror!). Others think a nerd is anybody who wears glasses and is in Calculus. My definition of a nerd is somebody who doesn’t care about the social norms. So what if you’ve read the Lord of the Rings series 10 times and can hold an intense discussion about the friendship between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S Lewis. Their writing holds more insight than gossip about who said what about Jane Doe on Twitter last night. I am a nerd because I want to understand the world. I want to be challenged. The Dalai Llama said it perfectly: “Where ignorance is our master, there will be no possibility of real peace.” He could have meant it on both global and personal levels. It fits me personally. That empty feeling goes away when I’m challenged. When I’m interested. When I’m learning how to clone bacteria in biology or

I RUN FAST

“I am a nerd because I want to understand the world. I want to be challenged.” when I finally solve that Calculus problem. When I leave class understanding how to do something that I didn’t know was even possible (Ahem, CALCULUS). Being nerdy doesn’t automatically mean social boob. It doesn’t mean a teacher’s pet, or somebody who loves every class they’ve ever been in. It doesn’t mean somebody who spends 18.2 hours a day on their homework. A nerd is somebody who likes learning for the sake of learning. Somebody who wants to actually understand the causes of the French Revolution or the theories of Socrates or the limits of space or whatever fills their empty void of ignorance. A nerd is somebody who doesn’t listen to the social pressure that learning is stupid. That

AUTUMN SEHY

What makes you nerdy?

“That I hate being normal. The way I see it, there’s no rule book that says I have to be normal, so I choose not to be.” Samantha Fincher, 12

“It’s kind of embarrassing, but when I was younger I used to play with Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards. So, in the morning when it comes on, I still watch at 7:30.” Miles Coleman, 11

“I’m an officer on the robotics team and I have parties at my house–and we all play video games.” Matthew Crawford, 10

“I really love math and biology and chemistry. I like numbers and I just find it really easy, and in chemistry I’m always experimenting and finding new things.” Krysten Dansby, 10

ONLINE EDITOR

learning is wasteful. There is no pitfall to being a nerd and no reason to feel uncomfortable with it. For a long time I was uncomfortable with the fact that I was a nerd; I didn’t understand why everybody else wasn’t. Throughout high school I realized it was pointless to be uncomfortable with myself. If I felt like reading some Ayn Rand on the weekend, then so be it. I am comfortable with myself. I know that there is no such thing as a stereotype of a nerd, even though I claim to be one. It’s a part of my personality, such as my need to be athletic, or my strange Northern ways. This has lead me to think that everybody should be comfortable with themselves, whether they are a nerd or not. Everybody should take a chill pill and stop caring what others think and be themselves. It doesn’t matter if what you like is considered “strange.” Be yourself.

“I read my history book until I fall asleep, and then I dream about what I just read.” Katelyn Markham, 11

“I have a homework chart with my KnoMi grades on the back for each class.”

Lindsey Gore, 11


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viewpoint

tiger times april 18, 2013

Ode to the school day hero: teacher’s pet Before I begin, I would like to wish all of my fellow students a good day. I hope that you are all faring well as you go from class to class, working so diligently in your studies. It is a hard life that we currently live, struggling to show off in a constant competition that pits us against each other in a test of temperament and intelligence. To all you that bear this everyday burden, you have my acknowledgement and admiration. With that being said, we do have so many students and I can only give extended recognition to individual groups of students at a time. As such, I have decided to bestow this article’s honor on the particular cluster of students that comprise the Teacher’s Pets. I address this group with the utmost appreciation. You honorable citizens go above and beyond the duties required of the “average” everyday student. For in addition to attending to your schoolwork, you also work hard to make a good impression on your mentors. Now this is not an outstanding thing in itself, for most students

MY APOLOGIES will look to be cordial to their teachers as a matter of course. You, however, decide to surpass the expectations on this matter. You seek to outshine your fellow competitors by always addressing the instructors of our education in a way that extends past the line of respect and enters an area that could best be described as flattering and fawning. Always working so hard to lavish these educators with praise so as to not only maintain a good impression, but as to strive towards gaining favor from said educators. I must say that it is inspiring to hear this group of students always being the first to bestow compliments on the teacher, compliments which seem to be delivered with the utmost honesty and sincerity. Furthermore, you Teacher’s Pets continue to with your charitable gestures by

DAVIS PAYNE

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR making sure that our mentors never go unattended for long. You are the everyday heroes who slave over the ever-so-essential duties such as fetching a teacher some water, passing out any and all papers, or the absolute necessity of helping to take attendance. I can only speculate as to how you brave souls are able to complete these daunting tasks repeatedly. I suppose that your incredible minds cannot bear the prospect of not stepping up to carry out a teacher’s needs. Yes, you lot are indeed the most noble of any servants. Unbelievably, even in a group of such humble beings, there stands an elite group of students so magnificent that it strains reality. These are the persons that we can never hope to emulate, for they bestow gifts on their teachers. They deliver these offerings to their mentors in the forms

of food, supplies, or the always appreciated gift basket, laying these tributes on the great altar that is the teacher’s desk, showing that they have an unwavering allegiance to their professor. One would surely think that this level of modesty is unabtainable to all, but a miniscue amount of human race. To these noble beings, I can only convey to you how amazingly stunning your actions are; that you would venture to such lengths to achieve some sense of stature in your mentors eyes. Well, as you toil so wearily at your objective, I am sure that your fellow students, the peers that you seek so strongly to outdo, will not hold these actions against you. No, it’s such an astounding feat that you work towards, this striving for attention, that they must feel that you deserve a certain amount of praise. A soupçon of recognition. In fact, I would venture to say that your fellow students would join me in the telling you how much of a role model you are to all of us. I mean, wouldn’t you think so?


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tiger times april 18, 2013

His final note

Band director retires after 33 years of service, will miss working with students by ashley tyson staff writer

There’s a final squeak of music stands as they’re adjusted, and then an apprehensive silence. All eyes are trained on band director Buddy Deese, waiting for a single movement to start the B flat scale. Each morning starts in this fashion, but come August, someone else will be filling the directing role as Deese recently announced his retirement. “It was time,” Deese said. “Thirtythree years was plenty of time to get your teaching career in.” Throughout his 33 years of teaching, 30 have been spent here as the director of the Tiger Band, where he said he has enjoyed working and interacting with students. “The best part of being a band director is getting a chance to work with the students and be able to go and have performance opportunities,” Deese said.

The band students have developed a fond relationship with Deese. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” sophomore Elisa Bridges said. “But, I’m also a little concerned about us, but he knows what’s best for us, so I know he’ll take care of us.” Many will be sad to see him leave. “I’ve been here for three years, and I’ve had Deese all three years, so it’s going to feel weird having a new person,” junior Dustin Briley said. “It won’t feel the same without Deese.” With the announcement of his departure, rumors began to circulate that Deese applied for a position at Southern Arkansas University, but Deese says that’s not true. He’s not looking for any new position. “If somebody approaches me about work, and I feel like working, I’ll work,” Deese said. “But, if I don’t, I won’t.” As for finding his replacement, a job opening has been posted on the TISD website. Students are apprehensive

AL NIENTE Leading the band during class, longtime director Buddy Deese announced that he will retire in June. photo by h. rushing

about who will replace him. “I’m really hoping for somebody who is a little intimidating, you know, somebody who can snap their fingers and keep us in line,” sophomore Nick Rose said. “But, at the same time, I want somebody that’s cool and will listen to our suggestions.” Sophomore Morgan Williams said she hopes the new director will push them as much as Deese did. “I hope that they hire a new

director that will be as hard on us as Deese was since next year we have the opportunity to advance in marching competitions. Even though his retirement will begin in June, Deese plans on keeping in touch. “I’m excited and apprehensive about retirement,” Deese said. “It hasn’t soaked in all the way, but I know I’m going to keep very close tabs on the Tiger band.”


tiger times april 18, 2013

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in-depth

H

SELWIN GEORGE,

ey, Sydney, how many licks does it take to get the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” I don’t know, oh wise one. “It takes 238. It’s the calculated average from the trials.” Typically, most would be off-put by such spontaneous remarks, but random intellectual ramblings have become commonplace with junior JR Portwood. They’re his nerdisms. “A lot of people will tell you that I will jump in on any conversation,” Portwood said. “It’s just because I think I have something worthwhile to say. It may not always be the best plan of action to just jump in, but I have an innate desire for knowing everything. It’s not just thinking that I know everything; it’s wanting to know everything.” His indoctrinated desire for knowledge relates to the recent changes made to curriculum à la him. Following multiple discussions with Mark Schroeder, associate principal for student advancement, Portwood helped institute Calculus BC. “Since I had already taken the highest level math offered here, I had been pushing all year to try and get the next level implemented,” Portwood said. ���So that not only I could have it, [but everyone could]. I kept talking to Mr. Schroeder about it, and I had to convince kids to go for it, which was the most difficult part because it is a difficult class. I just had to have a lot of conversations with a lot of different people to try and convince them to take it.”

The Pied Piper Of Saxophones

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JR PORTWOOD, The ACADEMIC Advocator Portwood also helped speed up the activation of Orchestra; the essence of nerdom in his eyes. “I think that was in motion already; I just sped it up by a year,” Portwood said. “I play the cello, piano, saxophone, violin, and viola. There’s people like me who play these instruments, and if it wasn’t enacted next year, I wouldn’t have been able to participate.. A lot of nerds are into music as well. Scientific studies will show that the same part of your brain that deals with science and math does the music. Those instruments, all the patterns, and your rhythm, it’s all from the same portion of your brain. The people that are in the math and science field are usually good at music.” Overall, the responsive student reaction to the added curriculum perfectly epitomizes the leap from praised athletic ability to praised academic excellence. For in a nation whose students now boast about their latest ‘A’ and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Portwood knew the change was only a matter of time. “As a society, we’ve changed,” Portwood said. “We actually value intelligence a lot more than we used to. The move towards more intelligence is because we’ve come up with so many new things that it’s an exponential graph of inventions. There’s so much [intelligence] there. You want to surround yourself by it. Because once it’s a larger group, as our society’s always been, you want to be in the majority.” Extracurricularly, his likes relate back to his classroom loves: science and math. “A lot of people would classify nerds as the people who like the sci-fi stuff,” Portwood said. “Which is true. If they want to know everything and want to have all of these advances in engineering, watching sci-fi, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! I want to invent that.’ I like the scientific genre, not necessarily so much the action. I’m there watching for the inventions. I’m in it for science. Frankenstein? Creating life? I mean, c’mon. Scientifically creating life? Awesome.”

Ramsey Anderson, THE SHIELD OF KNOWLEDGE

stories by DJ Mack, Sydney Schoen & Wynne Tidwell Drawings by Preston Reed

Evolving from the age where athletic excellence is becoming overshadowed by academic prowess, the nerd stereotype is no longer. We are now entering the dawn of the rise of the nerds.

I

’ve learned that Sonic the Hedgehog’s real name is Ogilvie Maurice. The Flash can run at speeds faster than light and make villains explode upon contact. Starfire and Robin from Teen Titans were originally supposed to be together, but they were not able to be because of some cosmic event, which is why Robin became Nightwing. Teenagers who openly express a sense of abnormality in high school, such as making straight A’s in a class or revealing a vast imagination, are often classified as being nerds. Though this title once brought much shame to an individual, the new generation of aspiring freaks n’ geeks, such as senior Ramsey Anderson, have began transforming the former insult into a badge of honor. Known throughout the school for being knowledgeable on random subjects, it was not a surprise for Ramsey when he learned that he was, in fact, a nerd. “When I was a lot younger, I was not very talkative with people in conversations, so I would walk up to them and say a random fact,” Ramsey said. “Like the first superhero who was American themed was a character called The Shield. A lot of people believe that it was Captain America, though. That is the reason why DC Comics and Marvel sort of make me mad because

a lot of their characters were made from heroes that had previously existed. Even Batman is a combination of the characters The Shadow and The Bat.” Being able to recite various information is not Ramsey’s only talent. His remarkable ability to alter his voice is also a beloved trait. “I did announcements once at the StuCo Saturday Night Live,” Anderson said. “They handed me the script 10 minutes before it started, so I had to just improvise during the entire thing. It’s interesting and kind of fun. It’s not too hard when you’re doing announcements, you just have to make your voice sound weird or at least shout the Saturday Night Live introduction. I have seen so many cartoons and heard so many actors many times over and over in my head that I was able to teach myself how to mimic them. I can even sound like the mice from the cartoon Pinky and the Brain.” Even though the term nerd was originally an insult, Ramsey now finds the term to be uplifting. “Recently, I think that people have reversed the nerd stereotype as being cool,” Anderson said. “Smart people become wealthy and successful in the future, so now everyone wants to be smart. Everyone wants to be a nerd.”

e reminds me of Baljeet off of “Phineas and Ferb.” It’s all fun and games. Until he pulls out his sax. He’s deadly with that. The fact that he wears a gold chain with an “S” on it... That’s pretty cool. He’s like a little button. I just wanna put him in my pocket. That’s what people have to say about that kid who plays the sax. Formally known as sophomore Selwin George. Selwin made his public debut with boy band The Zierre Spencer Project at Tigers Got Talent. Though they didn’t win the competition, the band amazed the crowd with their “modern age, jazz fusion.” And Selwin, jamming with his saxophone, stole the show. “Well, anything with Zierre in it brings a new meaning to my life,” junior Kristen Hall said. “I love Zierre and Selwin. Selwin is really groovy when he plays the saxophone.” A star arose from that show, and Selwin was made legend. But Selwin is more than just a musician; he’s an academic. And to cut to the chase, he’s kind of a nerd. “When people say that word it could mean so many different things, and have like good connotations and bad connotations,” Selwin said. “If a person who is selfmotivated and trying to do good for themselves is a nerd, then yeah, I’m a nerd.” Music and homework take up a lot of Selwin’s time. The load of AP classes, jazz band, marching band, and UIL keep him busy. And, well... they add to his geek streak. So, next time you see Selwin, you can call him just that: Geek. Nerd. Dweeb. Whichever, he won’t care. Nerd is nerd. And nerd is cool. “To me, a nerd is kind of associated with someone smart and outgoing,” Selwin said. “And those don’t sound like bad things.”

If intelligence and beauty had a child, it would be senior Gabriella Bermea. To read more about her nerdom, visit tigertimesonline.com.


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community

tiger times april 18, 2013


feature

tiger times april 18, 2013

Queen of travel

A

Sophomore describes Argentinian heritage, dispels princess rumor

with senior Andrew Chirwa by maggie coleman staff writer

Q: How did you get injured?

A: Well, I hurt my leg powerlifting, but I should be back next week. I should be fine after physical therapy.

by madeline hunley staff writer The little square symbol indicating the “pilot has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign” lights up. She adjusts her neck pillow and turns her phone off because she knows the flight attendant is about to tell her to do so anyway. Like clockwork: “The pilot asks that all phones be turned off now, you can check which items are allowed during flight in the guide in your front seat pocket.” The plane gains speed and slowly lifts off the ground. She leans her head back and closes her eyes. She knows this flight all too well. Sophomore Emma Edwards may not be an Argentinian princess, but she is the Queen of Travel. Eleven hour flights to and from the United States might be a drag for some, but after stepping off the jet and onto the soil of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and seeing smiles from her family everywhere, the jet lag quickly vanishes. “I’m excited whenever I see my family,” Edwards said, “The feeling is the same every time I get to be around them.”

& Q

13

COMMUNICATION Sophomore Emma Edwards communicates with her family in Argentina via Skype. Only getting to visit once a year, Skype has been the host for birthdays, holidays and every day conversation. photo by c. prieskorn

Due to the small amount of time she gets to spend with her family, it has become a priority for Emma to participate in activities her Argentinian heritage encourages. Whether she is attending mass, playing golf, or snacking on some cultural food, Edwards is constantly engaged in fun, food and family. “I spend time with my grandmother and grandfather while I am there,” Edwards said. “We learn about the many cultures and travel around the country. South America is very family oriented and has more European culture to it. Also, the weather is always really nice and sunny.” Rumors fly, especially in high school. Most high school girls deal with rumors of cheating boyfriends and backstabbing best friends. But, Emma deals with a much more original rumor. A rumor that she is an Argentinian princess. “Argentina is a democracy,” Edwards said “They are not a monarchy. It’s not true at all. My family is just a regular family, and I’m just a regular

person.” Since she was only a few months old, Emma has learned to love traveling around the world. In a few years, she plans on visiting other countries to learn about her heritage. “I would like to go to Europe, especially Italy to see the culture and the home of my religion,” Emma said. “Also, I want to see the place my family came from, Florence, Italy.” Whether it be Italy, Argentina, or any other travel hot-spot, Emma plans to continue her travel to learn and to visit her family. Although, at the end of the day, she makes her way back to Texarkana with a heavy heart and a head full of memories. “Leaving Buenos Aires is sad,” Edwards said. “I feel like I’m leaving my home and family.” She walks to her gate and sits down on her throne. A throne equipped with a seat recliner and a built in seat back tray table. She comes and goes to Argentina as a normal teenage girl, but sits as royalty on a plane as the Queen of Travel.

Q: What happened to your leg?

A: I was squatting 575 lbs., and I think my leg just hyper-extended. My knee twisted, I tore my ACL, and my MCL ripped off my shin bone.

Q: How has your injury stopped your life?

A: I’m comfortable. I took time from school to heal so being at home is okay. I still go out to eat and hang out with my family. The only thing missing in my life is school.

Q: We heard you’re going to Brown. Is that true?

A: Well, I don’t know if Brown has accepted me yet. I don’t care about prestige. I just want as much of a free education as possible, so I’ll go to the highest bidder.

Q: If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be?

A: If I could, I would make the human race get along, so the world can move forward without everything that is holding us back now. Q: What sets you apart from everyone else? A: I am the only me in the whole entire world. I feel that sets me apart.


feature

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tiger times april 18, 2013

Finding something to smile about

Freshman keeps positive outlook on condition by mary claire boudreaux feature editor The cold office, the white walls, the tile floor. In comes a somber looking doctor, but he doesn’t hesitate when he looks up at freshman Kee’lecia Gipson and says, “We will have to get your legs cut off.” It started in seventh grade. She developed sores on her legs, much like other wheelchair-bound people with spina bifida, but hers were only on her right leg. The sores wouldn’t heal. They got infected and soon they started to spread. “I had legs last year, but I had to get them cut off,” Gipson said. “I had a sore and because of my condition, they could never heal.” Spina bifida is is where the spinal canal does not form correctly. She was also born with hydrocephalus, a condition where too much spinal fluid builds up, putting pressure on the brain. Spina bifida can cause paralysis, and people who are paralyzed are more prone to skin breakdown and ulcers. They don’t heal as well and get infected. If the cut or sore cannot heal it has to be cut off to keep the infection from spreading. “I’ve never been able to walk like normal people, so I’ve been on crutches or in a wheelchair my whole life,” Gipson said. “So, getting my legs amputated didn’t change my abilities or routine, just the stares of ‘woah she doesn’t have legs.’ But come Easter I’m getting prosthetics.” She has always had the wheelchair ramp. She was always able to get around her house in a chair, but she

also had legs to move about.The difference was balance. Balance waking up in the morning, balance moving from chair to wheelchair; balance in everything. “I have to remember I can’t walk at all yet,” said Gipson. “Like when I’m sitting in a chair and have to transfer from a wheelchair. The weirdest thing is that it sometimes feels like my foot itches and then I’m like ‘wait I don’t have a foot.’” The fifth grade Gipson looked up at her mom and asked why everyone stared at her. The answer was simple and short, simple and sad, simple but true: You are different. They are scared because they don’t understand. “I started to research my condition and find the best way to explain it to people to make them more comfortable,” Gipson said. “Some people stare at me but I’ll just ask, ‘Do you wanna know what happened?’ You don’t have to feel sorry or say things like ‘Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” I don’t have real legs, big deal. I can still do what y’all do. I draw and I sing, just as good as everyone else.” Some people look at Gipson and think “poor girl” or “bless her heart.” But, Gipson looks at her condition in a positive outlook. She isn’t much different anyway, she recently received prosthetics. She will still be the same girl. Same girl wheelchair bound, same girl without legs, same girl with her prosthetics. “Really, I’m just happy I’m alive,” Gipson said. “People always ask what happened to me, and I explain. They always say, ‘Well, you’re still smiling.’ Yeah, I got to. I’m still alive.”

NEW LEGS Kee’lecia Gipson before she received her prosthetics on March 30. Gipson, who has Spina Bifida, is excited to spend the rest of her high school career with legs. photo by n. duru


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sports

tiger times april 18, 2013

season of

Boys’ golf Senior Stephen Vaughan analyzes the green before making his putt.

CHAMPIONSHIPS

c. hitchcock

by caroline purtle & madeline hunley staff writers

for the Tigers. With Nichols blazing the path to victory, others joined in by swinging their clubs closer toward the win. “I felt pressured because coach said he would put me in the No. 5 spot,” Nichols said. “I needed to shoot under an 80.” The chance of winning was high as the boys gradually climbed to the top spot. Thoughts of not playing well were gone once the scorecards were turned in and they slid by Sulphur Springs with three shots to win the title. “This is what we’ve been working for all year,” freshman Grayson Jones said. “To go down there and win the tournament topped off the experience.” On the girls’ side, a 46-stroke lead led them to their second consecutive district championship.

D

isappointment was no barrier, rather it was motivation to pull off a 14-shot comeback on the final day of the boy’s golf district tournament. Freshman Reese Nichols supplied the team with a score of 74, the best game he’s played all season. Winning the district title was not an easy task after finishing the first round behind Hallsville and Sulphur Springs. Tough shots were made and gentle putts tediously rolled into their holes. “It was a very disappointing and frustrating day on the course,” sophomore Garrett May said. “No one was happy with the way they played.” Day two of the competition was a turning point

“I was just hoping that whatever I shot would help get the team to regionals,” sophomore Camryn Parsons said. The girls were able to maintain their confidence. “The first day we were ahead 21 shots and practically had the title in our hands,” sophomore Madeline Hunley said. Even though the first day for the boys did not go so smooth, their triumph to the title was made even more glorious with the huge comeback. “We were all pretty stoked for the huge comeback,” sophomore Tyler Duncan said. “It just shows how determined we were.” The players were glad to see the win put the coach in good spirits. “That was the first day I’ve ever seen coach smile after a tournament,” Jones said.

teams with district titles

Ladies’ golf

submitted

Sophomore Madeline Hunley follows through with her swing as her team goes on to win their district.

Girls’ soccer

s. steed

Dribbling down the field, senior Makenzie Sangalli avoids the defensive players of the opposing team.

Tennis

s. steed

During a singles match, junior Kyle Kennedy receives an opponent’s serve.

Swim

h. rushing

Junior Madeline Pellegrin comes up for air during the Tigersharks’ victory at the district meet.

Boys’ track

c. prieskorn

Freshman Chaz Davis fires off the block as the Tiger boys proved they were the fastest in the district.

Volleyball

c. clem

Senior Rachel Lassitter goes to serve during one of the Lady Tiger’s many victories during their district domination.

Girls’ cross country

c. norton

With her eyes focused ahead, junior Lindsey Gore leads the pack en route to a district victory.

Girls’ basketball

c. prieskorn

The Lady Tigers basketball team shows their enthusiasm during their historic district-winning season.

Losers should always remember to be good sports Losing. It’s a horrible feeling, but it happens. Athletes in all sports practice for hours at a time to avoid it, but no team is perfect. Some losses are going to hurt more than others. But this is high school sports. No one will remember, or even care about the loss in a couple of days. Unless you give them a reason to. It’s astounding to see the public displays of aggression that follow high school sporting events. Take the soccer

TIGHT COVERAGE TAYLOR POTTER SPORTS EDITOR

girls’ loss to Pleasant Grove. I understand that it’s a rivalry, but following that game Twitter blew up with multitudes of threatening tweets. I don’t pretend to know who starts all these postgame conflicts, but things got taken too far. I understand that the players

and fans were crushed from the loss, but trying to pick fights is kinda lame. Athletes that try to prove their dominance over opponents outside the realm of friendly competition have completely missed the purpose of high school athletics. LSU football legend Scooter Purgis simplified the aim of athletics by saying, “It’s not so important whether you achieve the goal. It’s wonderful if you do, but the important thing is to focus on what you have become in pursuit of that goal.”

Winning is a great feat, but it’s better to know that you’ve succeeded in becoming a good person, as opposed to a good athlete. The trophies and medals will rust over, but the principles of hard work and leadership may just be a bit more important. So, when it comes to sports, let’s just calm down. Losing stinks, but it doesn’t last. The best course of action is to lose with honor and not give anyone a reason to remember it.


sports

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tiger times april 18, 2013

Local dance teacher takes over drill team program by katherine doan staff writer

Great Expectations Baseball starts off slow, looks to get hot soon photo by c. norton

by baylee mcbride staff writer The crack of the bat has been heard all throughout Texarkana as baseball season is well underway. From fractured hands to minor concussions, this year has been a little more interesting than others. Although injury is not something wished upon the players, it seems as though the boys can’t keep away from it. Hurt or not, the baseball team has learned to deal with these difficulties and push through the season strong. The junior varsity baseball team has had an impressive outcome of wins so far this season. There has been a great improvement from the beginning of the season until now. Junior Josh Bewley is pleased with how the team has come together as one. “We’ve improved as a team by playing to-

gether more and learning to rely on each other,” Bewley said. “We get better and better every game, so I feel that we should do pretty well in district.” The varsity baseball team seems to have the same outlook on the season. Pleased with their outcome so far, the varsity boys hope to make the season memorable by showing up in the playoffs. Junior Ryan Fant has set his standards high for the rest of the year. “I think I’ve done well, but there’s still things I could work on,” Fant said. “I’m just trying to do what I can. I’m never satisfied.” Although Fant plans on perfecting his skills as best as he can, he thinks that the team as a whole will work well together in District. “Right now I think we are off to a slow start, but I think we can get hot at the right time,” Fant said. “We may not win, but we can make some noise in the playoffs.”

Kick high, smile big, and wear red lipstick. A mantra enforced under the guidance of drill team sponsor Gigi Still has been instilled to the ladies with the cowgirl garb. Still has led the Highsteppers for the past 17 years. Under her direction, the team has grown in size, skill and strength. However, this fall, Still announced that she would retire at the end of the year. “I have so many great memories,” Still said. “But I’m going to miss the girls the most. I’m proud of what they’ve become; people admire the drill team. They’re the high point of my day.” With a need for a new drill team sponsor, dance teacher Kristi Robinson was chosen to fill the large cowgirl boots. “I have known Kristi for years,” Still said. “She’s such a talented person. She’s had her own studio, done shows. I can’t think of anybody who could do a better job taking over the Highsteppers. I’m very proud that we could find someone of her caliber to take over for me.” Dance has continuously been rooted in Robinson’s life. Her use of money made from teaching

New drill team sponsor Kristi Robinson. photo by c. clem

drill team camps to finance her education and wedding, combined with her experience as an NCA dance instructor, gives merit to her ability to the lead the team. “I’m very excited to be working with the girls,” Robinson said. “I have a lot of drill team experience from my studio and teaching drill team camps all through college. I’m not going to come in and change everything [they’re] used to. I want to follow all the traditions.” Although new to the team, Robinson isn’t new to all of the girls, including junior officer Riley Madlock, who’s been a student of Robinson’s. “I know Kristi personally,” Madlock said. “She was my dance teacher and going from Mrs. Still to Kristi will definitely be a change. It will be difficult to be seniors and transitioning. But we will explain all of our old traditions and help her make new traditions.”


17

entertainment

tiger times april 18, 2013

hugging SORORITY POSE

gentle hands on cheeks

BEST FRIEND

nuzzling

BEING GROSS

with a celebrity

artsy sleeping pic

GROUPIES

THE INSTAGRAM #LIFE

EXOTIC LOCATION

on a boat

beach

fishing jogging YOU ONLY DID IT

scuba diving

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cell phone

samurai sword

TOUGH GUY

shirtless

red solo cup

makes you feel like a man holding a gun

fish larger than 10 oz

flash-back friday

“starbucks to start the day”

random field: cowgirl boots white lace dress

flexing

scrawny arms of steel AKA: stop taking pictures with your shirt off.

railroad tracks

typical downtown

MIRROR PIC

MUSCLE REVEAL

woman-crush wednesday

selfie sunday

eyes halfway closed

blinding flash

guitar

motorcyclye

pointing to t-shirt

throw-back thursday

THEMED DAYS

SELFIE

VISIBLE PROPS

EXPENSIVE

transformation tuesday

PROFESSIONALLY TAKEN

parasailing

sports car

SPORTING EVENT

“it’s a beautiful evening sunset”

driving

ONCE

rock climbing

SELF PORTRAIT

ACTIVITY

screaming

throwing team sign

man-crush monday

halloween

school dance

PICTURES WE ALL HATE

photoshopped

spring break

PARTY

THREE OR MORE family portrait

lake house europe

“caught me while I was sleeping”

graduation

“date night with my boo”

carressing faces

“road trip with my sweet boy”

holding hands

playing in the snow

with security pushing you away

cat-scratch fever

BEING GROSS

“KODAK” MOMENTS

PAIR

unwanted

nuzzling

kissing

SIGNIFICANT OTHER

jumping in the air

YOU AND YOUR PET

full on embrace

school dances

THE fake laughter

licking your face

sharing icecream

embarrass your best friend day

hands on knees

DECEPTIVE

looking into distance

artsy angle

exaggerated make-up

#OOTD

IN BATHROOM

(outfit of the day) booty front and center

partially clothed stomach reveal

swimsuit model pic

tory burch swag

“i’m so hipster”


entertainment

18

tiger times april 18, 2013

The manly guide to manliness for men Follow these tips to achieve 3 the pinnacle of masculinity Enjoy the hunt

Going hand-in-hand with the aforementioned quality, is a man’s desire to hunt. If a man cannot provide for himself, he is nothing but a sniveling Girl Scout. A real man will not go to the grocery store, but climb a tree with nothing but a knife and wait for an unsuspecting creature to wander below. This will is not exclusive to hunting and killing. A man needs killer instincts to survive in the modern world. The take-noprisoners-attitude will ensure a man’s rise to the top. Remember, sympathy is for the weak. If you feel an ounce of sympathy, the best remedy is to stare at a picture of a bare-knuckled boxer until the manliness rubs off on you.

by josh klein viewpoint editor Throughout the analogs of history, many great leaders and icons have debated a simple question: ‘What makes a man manly?” The notion that men must possess certain qualities to define their masculinity, and what qualifies as such, is easily the most important argument since Moses debated Stalin on the future of sliced bread. For men are prideful creatures, and any affront to one’s manliness is the beginning of a good brawl. To hopefully end the bloodshed and the grievous insults to the virility of men everywhere, a guide has been composed to help achieve the hard-to-master art of manliness.

4

Sophistication

Additionally, a man is sophisticated if nothing else. Men must be able to carry a conversation and dress impeccably fancily. This is necessary in one’s journey to ultimate manliness. If used correctly, a man will stir up a frenzy from the masses of women attracted to him. WARNING: Wearing a fedora and a vest over a T-shirt does not count as sophistication, it only constitutes a savage beating by people who can actually dress themselves.

1

Facial Hair

First and foremost is facial hair. A well maintained mustache or beard is essential in one’s quest for manly dominance. A beard sends the message of authority and wisdom to the hairless weaklings. However, one must take this with a grain of salt, for the dreaded underdeveloped “molest-stache” screams desperation. If you can only muster some peach fuzz, it is best to remain cleanshaven.

2

Physicality

If the beard isn’t growing, next in the line of manliness is one’s physical capability. A true man is physically fit. The upcoming, sure to be bestselling book, Josh Klein’s Manly Guide to Manliness for

5

Conviction

CreativeCommons.wikipedia

Men describes how a real man is able to bench press two African lions while doused in steak sauce. However, one might want to start out small. Try a few bear cubs in place of the lions and work your way up. This is imperative because a man needs to be able to defend himself and others from any threat, be it African lions or a slightly agitated woman.

Finally, a real man will never admit pain or defeat. To show pain is to show weakness. This opens yourself up to rivals, who will surely take the opportunity to attack and steal your wealth and prestige. And by the off chance you make a mistake, never ever admit it, for a man is never wrong. The admission of defeat is the last thing a man should do, especially when it comes to directions, even if it does take you into the backwoods where banjo-playing hillbillies are lurking. You meant to do that.


tiger times april 18, 2013

19

abigail’s corner

T

he James Bond franchise is one of the most successful film series in history. Almost everyone has seen at least one Bond film, and most people have a favorite Bond, whether it’s the suave and charismatic Sean Connery, the intense and gritty Daniel Craig or, er... Roger Moore. Since each generation gets a new batch of Bond movies, the series is something many people fondly remember as a hallmark of childhood, like Saturday morning cartoons or crushed dreams. However, the Bond franchise is far from a masterpiece: when you think about, a bunch of the movies are really, really bad. The more I pondered this issue, the more I realized that there was much about the Bond films that I had subconsciously blotted out of my memory. I decided to do something about that. Because I have far too much time on my hands, I took it upon myself to undertake the ponderous task of subjecting myself to a nonstop James Bond marathon. That’s right: all 24 movies in one sitting. I got all my affairs in order and wrote some farewell notes to my family in case I didn’t survive, then prepared to launch myself into an endless gauntlet of pain. Day One The day began on a positive note, as I enjoyed the ‘60s nostalgia as well some of the more memorable moments of the early Bond films. However, I felt my resolve begin to crumble as the hours dragged on. I know it was the ‘60s, but did Connery really have spend a solid one third of his screentime wearing shorts that are so tiny they’re practically undetectable to the human eye? And I’m also pretty sure that the people who wrote these movies were contractually obliged to insert at least enough racist and misogynistic undertones to make Gloria Steinem cry. I started to find it difficult to focus as Bond bedded one voluptuous foreign lady after another and killed countless bad guys while casually making puns about it. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. I found myself unable to do anything but repeatedly chant the words “The name’s Bond- James Bond” while slowly rocking back and forth in the fetal position. Perhaps I had overestimated my ability to withstand the implausible antics of smarmy British guys. As I crawled on all fours to my

Bonding with James Bond (terrible pun intended)

bedroom and drifted into an uneasy sleep, I wondered dejectedly what I had gotten myself into. My ordeal would continue the next day, only this time I would face the likes of George Lazenby and Roger Moore. My last conscious thought was a silent prayer for mercy, and also for somebody to please buy Sean Connery a less tiny pair of shorts. Day Two My sanity was starting to slip. After what seemed like eons spent sprawled on the couch watching Roger Moore awkwardly “romance” various femme fatales and attempt to convince the audience (and himself ) that he is in fact a Cool Secret Agent Guy, I felt my will to live draining away. For the thousandth time, I wondered why I was doing this to myself as the unfortunate product of the Star Wars craze that is Moonraker unfolded upon my TV screen. At one point it became unclear to me wheth-

er James Bond was actually traipsing about in a space suit or whether I was just hallucinating from lack of sleep. Unfortunately, that particular episode was all too real. At some point in the day, I completely lost my grip on reality and found myself enveloped in a bizarre fog of existentialist reverie. Who is James Bond, really? Does he represent some sort of cultural archetype buried deep within our collective unconscious? What if I’m James Bond? What if we’re all James Bond? The mind boggles. As a result of this period of feverish introspection, I have no recollection of the period of time that elapsed approximately between the middle of Octopussy and the start of A View to a Kill. You know what, maybe that’s a good thing. After what seemed like eons, Day Two came to an end. One more day remained. Jesus, take the wheel. Day Three If I could somehow weather the onslaught of

Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan that awaited me, my fortitude would be rewarded with Daniel Craig, who at least refrains from making puns after killing someone. I grimly prepared myself for the ordeal and dove headfirst into the black pit of cheesy ‘80s espionage. About midway through The World Is Not Enough, I felt the world begin to dissolve around me as my vision faded to blackness. Was this the end? Suddenly, a light appeared to me from the depths of the void. The light grew steadily brighter until I found myself bathed in its sunlike brilliance. Perhaps I was in heaven, my torment finally over. As I looked around dazedly, a figure clad in white appeared to me. It was Ian Fleming, wearing an expression of perfect serenity. “Ian... Am I dead? Is this a dream?” I asked. “No, my child,” he replied, smiling at me benevolently. “Now is not yet your time. You must return to the world of the living and finish what you started. If you think the James Bond films are far-fetched and silly, just remember that I wrote the books for the sole purpose of creating a secret agent self-insert to live out my slightly ridiculous Cold War spy fantasies. How ‘bout that?” “Well... when you put it that way,” I mused, “I guess I can stand to sit through a few more hours of action movie nonsense.” “That’s the spirit, homegirl,” said Ian, shooting me a thumbs-up. “Now, go make me proud.” With that, my eyes snapped open. I was lying face-down on my couch, countless empty soda cans and Cheez-It boxes scattered around me. On the screen, Pierce Brosnan was still messing around with that stupid invisible car. However, my nerves were steeled with fresh resolve. In the name of Ian Fleming, I swore to complete my quest. Nothing could stop me now. Not even the invisible car. Sure enough, I made it through the remaining movies. I didn’t falter as I watched Daniel Craig kill a bunch of dudes and totally not feel bad about it. Though I survived, the only thing I’m sure of anymore is that if I ever hear “shaken, not stirred” again, I’ll kill someone. After having subjected myself to three days of movie purgatory, I think it’s safe to say that I’m never, ever doing anything like that ever again.

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20

community

tiger times april 18, 2013


Tiger times 4-18-13