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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

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Operation Christmas Child


Adviser: Laurie Bender Editor-in-Chief: Zack Julian

News Feature Editor: Natalie Downard Sports Editor: Armando Antonio In-Depth Editor: Zack Julian Opinion Editor: Jordan Garner Entertainment Editor: Jacob Mclain Online E-I-C: Jordan Garner Guest Editor: Noelle Wadlow

Pg. 7 Volleyball finishes strong

Pg. 12

Staff Reporters:

Jackie Arnold, Madison Badgley, Oscar Bautista, Madeline Donley, Natalie Downward, Chloe, Grundmeier, Andy Ha, Morgan Haberlack, Sabrina Heijmans, Taylor Marshall, Isaak Penisten, Maksim Shabak, Haley Softich, Kaylee Zuhlke, Taylor Reavis, Sabryna Savage


We have no retractions. We write too good.

How to save

Pg. 15 Long distance relatsionships can work

Pg. 18 Who’s that Pokémon?

MISSION STATEMENT: The purpose of the Tomatalk to to inform, entertain, and further educate the students at KamiakinHigh School and the surrounding community. PUBLICATION POLICY: Content is determined by the staff. Students are protected and bound by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various court decisions relative to student publications. The Tomatalk has been established as a forum for student expression and as a voice in the free and open discussion of issues. The staff of the Tomatalk is expected to be professional, objective, truthful and accurate. The staff will adhere to Washington State Law (WAC 180-40-215) which prohibits the following material to be published: 1. Potentially libelous material 2. Malicious attacks on an individual’s character 3. Material which is excessively vulgar or obscene 4. Material which encourages illegal activity EDITORIAL POLICY: Editorials are the opinions of the individual members of the Tomatalk staff and are not intended to express the opinions of the administration, staff, students of Kamiakin High School, nor the advertisers in this newspaper. As a forum for student expression, the Tomatalk will publish letters to the editor. All letters are due one week before the next publication date. The staff reserves the right to edit or omit submissions as necessary. All letters must be signed by the student submitting them, However, if a student prefers his/her name not appear in the publication, his/ her name may be withheld. All letters to the editor must be 300 words or less. In cases involving political or controversial issues, staff members are encouraged to solicit all points of view.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk Kamiakin High School

Around theNEWS Campfire & FEATURE

Cassidy Almquist: The strongest of the strong By CHLOE GRUNDMEIER STAFF REPORTER


assidy Almquist, a senior at Southridge High School, was in a terrible accident on July 15, 2013. She was driven away from a popular church camp in an ambulance with a seriously broken elbow along with a broken sternum, pelvis, leg, and a few crushed vertebrae after narrowly surviving a fall of 40-50 feet. Almquist had volunteered to help in the kitchen at a church camp that she’d previously attended. She would be preparing meals and cleaning for the week long camp. She’d been asked by a fellow volunteer to help demonstrate how a rope swing worked. She was strapped in, then raised 40-50 feet in the air. She pulled the rope that was meant to disconnect a second cord that raised her up

so she could swing down. When Almquist said. She says her parshe’d been strapped in, she’d ents have helped the most with been hooked up to the wrong keeping up a good attitude after cord. She dropped the full 40 feet the tragedies they’ve all had to without any ropes attached to her. Almquist spent the next eight weeks moving in and out of Har borview Hospital in Seattle. The worst of her injuries was the few crushed vertebrae, rendering her nearly paralyzed from the waist down. Family and friends have helped the Almquist family greatly while dealing with this hardship. “My best friend, Rachel, has been super supportive. My boyfriend’s been really helpful. It’s Cassidy with her boyfriend, Jantzen Filbrun. great to have their support,” Photo by: Kari Almquist

endure. Almquist said dealing with the accident has been pretty tough, but she’s fairly good at keeping her attitude bright. She said the hardest thing about dealing with all that’s happened is not being able to do normal things. “I can’t go to my boyfriend’s house, I’m missing my senior year, I can’t go to church meetings. My life is so different now,” she explained. The community has also been a great help to the Almquist family. Dutch Bros. has donated days’ worth of proceeds to help Almquists pay for medical expenses. Other members of the community – such as family members, friends, and school mates – have paid very gener-

ous amounts of money for simple items, like movies or books, at garage sales. The Facebook page created for her, “Praying for Cassidy” has been a great help as well. Almquist loves how her situation has helped others come in contact with God. So many people’s lives have been saved because they followed Cassidy’s story through the Facebook page. Some people have realized that they aren’t alone dealing with horrible circumstances. Others have seen how strong she’s been and have been inspired to try to be just as strong. People from all around the country have shown their support to Cassidy through Facebook. Every day, an average of 955 new people are still liking her Facebook page almost five months after it was created. “So many people have shown their support! It’s incredible!” Almquist said.

Forever one among the cheeseheads By KAYLEE ZUHLKE STAFF REPORTER

Twelve years ago, he was a fearless little 4-year-old cutting up his underwear and pretending to be Tarzan. Although maturity has overcome that habit and those days are behind him, Kamiakin junior Connor Christianson has never failed to broadcast himself as an outgoing person. “This summer in Montana, I went spelunking in a cave,” said Christianson.

Spelunking, a word defined by “the act of exploring a cave,” is one of his many hobbies. Some other activities you may also see Christianson involved in are eating, admiring his adored, “awesome” hair, and participating in the allAmerican sport of football. From being introduced to the Packers at age three to playing on Kamiakin’s varsity team present day, football has always played a major role in Christian-

son’s life. On the team, his positions include receiver and safety. He sports jersey number 12. “Winners never quit and quitters never win,” said Christianson, repeating a quote from the both idolized and deceased coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi. Christianson has been a major Green Bay Packers fan all of his life and continues to sport their logo with pride almost every chance that he

gets. “I’m really proud of my Brett Favre card,” said Christianson. Brett Favre is a former quarterback for the Packers (1992-2007). For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Packers fans are frequently nicknamed “Cheeseheads” due to the team’s location in Wisconsin, a state honored for their extraordinary cheese products. “One time, I was running and he (Connor) threw a

pencil at me. The lead stuck into one of my walls,” said fellow junior and friend Dylan Strong. Strong and Christianson met in fifth grade and strengthened their friendship with high school football. With Strong also describing Christianson as both hilarious and fun to be around, it is safe to say that Christianson definitely contributes to the positive atmosphere that envelopes Kamiakin.

Local youth volunteer at Second Harvest


In this season of giving back to others, students can play a huge part. A group of youth took this seriously when they volunteered at the local food bank, Second Harvest. It was harder than they thought. On Oct 3, a group of Kamiakin students: Andre Bungat, Isaiah Hunter, and Natasia Marquez got together and went with other members from Unite Youth Group at City Church to Second Harvest. This group piled into a 15-passenger van while other students got a ride directly there. On the way to the food bank, they blasted music to

pump themselves up for serving the community, even though they didn’t know exactly how they were going to help. When they arrived at Second Harvest, the students piled out one by one, signed in, and got volunteer passes. Then Deborah Bourque, the lady in charge of volunteers, came out and showed them the room they would be working in and what to do. These students had to separate good potatoes and carrots from the moldy ones and then seperate them into smaller boxes. At first everyone thought it was easy, but then they got past the first layer of vegetables and they saw that there was mold. The

mold was white, drippy and the smell of it was horrible. Natasia Marquez said, “It took a week to get the smell of potatoes off of my body.” After a while of sorting through the moldy vegetables, Bourque turned on the fan to help with the smell, but then it started kicking up dust in the air. This was a problem because there were two asthmatics in the group, so they had to leave the room. Luckily they didn’t have to awkwardly sit out in the lobby doing nothing, they went into another room and helped with counting donations that Second Harvest had received from multiple companies. The other people

in the group were getting to the end of the four foot tall wooden boxes. Finally, after three hours of working, Bourque came in and told the students they were finished. Everyone rushed out the door, started signing out, and giving back their volunteer badges. Then Jackson Woodard, the youth pastor, called them back into the smelly, stuffy room to take group pictures. All of these students put a huge amount of effort into this project and were not expecting anything out of it.

Around theNEWS Campfire & FEATURE


Knowing the difference between want and need




ungry, homeless, or haven’t ever had a toy--the amount of needy kids in the Tri-Cities is growing. The giving season is here, signified by the smell of pine trees along with the jingling of the Salvation Army bells. It’s a shame that donation drives and charities are showcased only a portion of the year, but it is up to us to take advantage of all of the opportunities thrown at us to give back to the community this season. Some of us remain oblivious to good deeds that happen around us, so it only seems fair to feature some of the choices that go particularly unrecognized. Operation Christmas Child (O.C.C.) is a choice popularized by both the local churches and teachers at our very own school. Typically, it involves wrapping up and decorating a shoe box filled with candy, small toys, combs, toothbrushes, soap, and other various knick-knacks. Then that box is shipped off to a third world country where a child in need between the ages of 4 and 14 will receive it. “I had my eighth grade Spanish classes send the boxes to Spanish speaking countries. The kids voted on doing it, and we would even get handwritten letters back! I’m just happy to share the wealth with those who need it,” said Spanish teacher Sarah Robinson. Fresh from Desert Hills and new to Kamiakin this year, Robinson also received pictures back from the Philippines that her classes sent shoeboxes to. “It makes me feel good knowing that I’m helping someone,” said algebra teacher Brandee Veitenheimer, a proud supporter of O.C.C. and also a proud sponsor of a child in need. Dec 13 marks the 13th consecutive year of assorted stuffed animals descending to the ice. Each year, the Tri-City Americans have dedicated a home game at the Toyota Center to a drive called the “Teddy Bear Toss.” With the celebration of the Americans’ first goal, spectators are more than encouraged to fling toys onto the ice surface to be collected and donated to charities in the Mid-Columbia. In 2012, the team gathered

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

2,649 stuffed animals. The team’s generosity doesn’t stop there. Every holiday season, the Americans go alongside the regular employees of the Salvation Army to raise funds for families in the Tri-Cities. Spotted at supermarkets such as Fred Meyer, Walmart, and Albertsons, the Salvation Army money drive is benefited by and grateful for even the smallest of donations. This past year, fingers from an individual with a golden heart left imprints on a $20 bill dropped into a donation tin at the Richland Walmart. Unfolded, an already promising bill revealed a sparkling diamond ring left with a note. “This was just gathering dust in my jewelry box as a sad reminder. It will do more good with you. Merry Christmas,” said the paper, a fragment of generosity that contributed to impacting the lives of hundreds of families in our community. Sprinkling hope onto all of us like a snowstorm of a white Christmas, the only expense of volunteers is a portion of their time. These people solemnly believe that another person’s smile is a gift worthy of witnessing and will push themselves to their giving limits to obtain it. After all, there is no better feeling in this world than seeing the look on someone’s face that represents returned hope. Our seemingly small efforts can return joy to someone’s world that abandoned them a long, forgotten time ago.

Shoeboxes ready for sending through the Spanish class at Desert Hills Middle School. Photo by Kristi Jensen.

Bullying. What does it mean to you? We see it occur every day whether it’s verbal, physical, or cyberbullying and it simply won’t go away. Bullying can range from just tiny “meaningless” gossip about someone to something more serious, like threats or even physical harassment. These can eventually cause the victim to become depressed, experience anxiety, and on a more serious level even become suicidal. This should not, in any way, be okay. So what exactly is bullying? “When someone is picking on someone else and they don’t really have a reason, they’re just kind of messing with them and they are making the other person’s life miserable,” Morgan Eckhardt said. Bullying can occur for many different reasons, one of them because of social issues. The person bullying may want social recognition from peers, so they resolve to hurt another person to get that. Some people may feel socially rejected and feel the need to “pass it on” in the hopes of being noticed or to feel better about themselves. The bully may have issues at home where they may not feel loved or cared about so they want others to feel the same way. Although all types of bullying happen every day, the one we see or hear about the most is cyberbullying. In this generation, over 80 percent of teens use a cellphone and the Internet regularly. And you would be lying if you said you haven’t experienced some kind of cyberbullying even if it was the smallest of things. Statistics show that over 25 percent of teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cellphones or the Internet. If you think about it, that’s actually a big percentage when it shouldn’t be. Over half of victims being cyberbullied don’t tell their parents. So why is that? Why do most people choose to bully through cellphones or the Internet? “Because they don’t see them face to face, and they feel like they can say

whatever they want,” Eckhardt said. When people aren’t face to face with someone and s/he is bullying them, that person feels as if they have all the power in the world because the victims are on the other side of the virtual world and can’t really do anything about it except to try and ignore it. So which is worse of the three kinds of bullying? “Cyber because everybody sees it and it’s public, so everybody gets involved and the situation gets messy,” junior Luke Harrison said. Bullying doesn’t have to happen, but it does anyway, and sadly there really isn’t a way to completely end it. However, there are many ways to decrease it. If you are a victim, first and foremost go to a trusted adult and explain your situation to them. “They should stand up for themselves in the most respectful way to make it known that they aren’t going to be messed with,” junior Mikaila Miller said. If you stand up for yourself, bullies will most likely back down because they see that you won’t be easy to pick on and you can defend yourself. If you see something, do something. If you are a bystander, you have the power to help someone out and put a stop the bullying. Bystanders can hold themselves accountable to put a stop to bullying and not encourage it. Bullying is in no way okay and should never be encouraged but should be discouraged. No matter what type of bullying, make it stop.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School


Around theNEWS Campfire & FEATURE

Buddy Club Spotlight: Eser Loya By TAYLOR REAVIS STAFF REPORTER


enior Eser Loya is 20-years-old and loves to sing and dance. During Buddy Club on Mondays, Loya plays his guitar at lunch. He also talks to his friends and plays lots of games. On the weekends Loya’s favorite thing to do is go to the movies and dance with his friends. Some of Loya’s other hobbies outside of school are looking at pictures and magazines about cars. “I love police cars,” said Loya. He also likes the Special Olympics, and his favorite sport is bowling. Loya’s favorite subject is math because he likes to tell time. When Loya grows up, he would like to work at a restaurant so he can cook. “I like fries and chicken,” said Loya. He wants to work at a restaurant so he can make food and share it with others. Junior Lucera Cox is one of Loya’s buddies. “It is great having Eser as a buddy because he is really funny,” said Cox. She loves it when Loya sings and

plays the guitar. “He is so talented,” said Cox. Cox loves talking to Loya, and she enjoys when he shows her all his pictures on his phone. Cox decided to help with Buddy Club because she felt a connection after her unborn sister Isabella, who had Downs Syndrome, died. “Unfortunately she had only two chambers connected to her heart and there was something wrong with her nasal septum,” said Cox. She thought by helping with Buddy Club, she would heal and understand more about special needs. Cox met Loya this year, and she still is trying to get to know him. Every Monday at lunch she eats with him, and she is looking forward to going to different events with him. Katelyn Fullmer and Alexa Vanmeighem are also some of Loya’s buddies. “They know him a little bit more,” said Cox. Every Monday, students have the opportunity to attend Buddy Club during lunch. At Buddy Club, they can be paired with buddies whom they can help during the year. So next Monday during lunch, maybe you can stop by Buddy Club and sit down and visit with all the Buddy Club members. It will make their day, and yours.

So you think you can play? By CHLOE GRUNDMEIER STAFF REPORTER

Music ensembles are full of many different types of instruments. There are woodwinds, brass, those in between, percussion, and the all important strings. Each instrument differs in difficultly; some are fairly simple, others… not so much. The French horn is one of those harder instruments. It has a small mouthpiece, a huge range with only a few keys to change the notes, and many different variables that can cause the pitch to change drastically. Senior Josh Tingey plays the French horn in the Kamiakin wind ensemble. He started on the difficult instrument at the age of 13 after a bit of musical practice on the trumpet. He had two years of private lessons which he said were fairly helpful and gave him a “good insight.” When just learning to play the French horn, Tingey said the difficulty was about an eight out of ten. After about a year of playing, Tingey got a good feel for his instrument. He said teaching someone who was completely new to it would be very difficult. According to Tingey, playing the French horn is so difficult because “you always

have to adjust your lips and just keep listening.” The violin is another extremely hard instrument to play. Each hand is doing completely different things; one is moving horizontally while the other moves vertically.

the piano before learning the violin, learning the difficult instrument wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been. After playing for many years, she says it’s easier but “intonation is always a struggle.” Hopkins says playing violin is so hard

If one finger is just a tiny bit off, the note produced will sound completely wrong. Senior Kiersten Hopkins plays the violin in the Kamiakin string ensemble. She began playing the beautiful string instrument when she was 10-years-old. It took about three to four years for her to get a good feel for the instrument. Hopkins took private lessons and she says, “They are necessary. If you don’t take them, you will die. It’s just that hard.” Because Hopkins played

because “You have to have good coordination because you control everything. If you’re just a tiny bit off, the tone changes.” The flute is easily one of the hardest instruments solely on the fact that so much air is necessary to have the instrument create such beautiful music. Angling the air one way or another too far could severely hurt the pitch. It took senior Kaylin Hampton about six months to learn her way around the flute.

She began playing in the fifth grade. Hampton took private lessons, and while they weren’t the most fun thing, they did help considerably. Hampton said she “took lots of breaks” while learning to play because of how much air was necessary to play the flute. Hampton said, “Learning the notes wasn’t that bad, but after learning two octaves, each note just gets harder. I still can’t play some of the highest notes.” She said teaching someone else to play would be very difficult because “playing the flute isn’t about how you place your lips. You can’t teach someone how to blow air a certain way!” she added. Hampton explained why playing the flute can be so difficult. “Half of your air goes into the flute, and the other half goes over. It’s so hard because you need to use so much air but you only have access to about half as much air as everyone else,” Hampton said. “It might be hard, but it is a pretty cool instrument!”

Left to right; senior Josh Tingey, senior Kaylin Hampton, and senior Kiersten Hopkins.



FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

Tribal Games SPORTS


Fresh snow, beautiful scenery, and amazing ski trails



ver wanted to fall down the side of a mountain with nothing but a piece of wood, and had nowhere to go? Well, winter is finally here and that means ski resorts are opening their doors to the public. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or an expert, here are some resorts that you are sure to enjoy. Located to the east in the Blue mountains, we have Bluewood. This ski resort is about two hours from Kennewick and sits right outside of the town of Dayton. For many people who have never been skiing or snowboarding before, Bluewood is an amazing beginner mountain. This resort is relatively small, with a vertical rise of only 1,125 ft. but don’t let its small size fool you. This mountain is packed full of

trails for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. This mountain also contains many trails that experienced skiers and snowboarders will find interesting, especially the trails that lead through the trees. Due to its location, Bluewood also has some of the best snow in Washington. The snow there is very light and fluffy, perfect for skiing or snowboarding. Bluewood also has the cheapest lift ticket in Washington state, which is only $44*. Bluewood has a current depth of about 5” at the base and 24” at the top, as of Dec. 5. For more current info, go to To the west, we have White Pass ski resort. White Pass ski resort is massive, covering the face of not one, but two mountains. The trails at White Pass are amazing, from beginner to intermediate, to expert trails that range all over both mountains.

Kamiakin Cheer Team Works for Competition By JACKIE ARNOLD STAFF REPORTER

From concussions to broken bones, the cheer team has been working for a successful year of competition. Twelve Kamiakin cheerleaders are on their way to compete all across the state. Practicing a routine they have been working on since summer of 2013, they will compete in 2014. Some people disregard cheerleading and think it is easy. Here it is considered an activity, not a sport. But really is it easy? Think again. Performing stunts, tumbling, dancing, and jumps is a lot of work. “Our team is strong. We all really want this, especially for the seniors,” said junior Kayleen Melior. “We practice five days a week, plus we cheer at games. It basically takes up our whole life!” Melior talks about the struggles the team encounters. “We run into some road blocks, but we always come back together as a team and work through it. We want this not only for us, but for our school as well. We are more than a team. We are a family. I honestly thank our coach. She really cares about us and our school, and we are extremely grateful and blessed to have Dawn.”

Through the blood, sweat, and tears, the team keeps fighting for what they dream of. “We want to win state more than anything. But not only state. We always dream of Nationals. It keeps us motivated at practice,” said sophomore Saige Polanik. Polanik has been a gymnast for 13 years, and 2013-2014 will be her second year on the team. “If my stunt falls, it only makes me want to try harder to perfect it. I love trying new stunts, and I love cheering on the same team with a lot of my best friends.” As a senior on the team, Darby Prickett tells how much this year means to her. “I cheered my freshman year and returned for my senior year. I have cheered for eight years for All Star teams and it is my last year here and I want it to be the best. The senior girls have put a lot of work into the team and really hope for good results. I think we are a good high school team with lots of potential.” The Kamiakin cheer team has not competed since 2011, butwith lots of hard work, the team is hoping for good results returning in 2014 as a competitive team.

Kamiakin’s cheer team making funny faces Photo by Dawn Boehnke

The first mountain contains mostly black diamond (or expert level) trails while the second mountain contains some spectacular intermediate trails. This mountain is very good for intermediate to expert skiers. The snow here is very good, and the staff there is just amazing. The mountain also sits right next to Mt. Rainier, allowing for some stunning views on a clear day. Although the lift ticket is more expensive than other places, $60*, the trip is worth the price. White Pass has a current depth of about 10-26” at the base and 40” at the top as of Dec. 5. Also, White Pass is opening very soon. You can check out skiwhitepass. com for updates and info. If these last two have not caught your ear, then this next mountain may be for you. Mission Ridge is a ski resort full of trails meant for experienced skiers. Located out-

side Wenatchee, this mountain is about a two and a half hour drive from Kennewick. With most of the trails being blue (intermediate), black diamond (expert), or double black diamond (unless you are extremely good or have a death wish, do not go on this trail), this mountain can be challenging for young skiers. Aside from that, this mountain is fantastic. The lift tickets here cost $45*, only slightly more than Bluewood. Mission Ridge has a current depth of 15” at the midway station, and 29” at the top. Also, Mission Ridge is now open! Check out for days of operation, snow depth, news and more!

**Prices based on an adult day pass

Seniors finish their high school experience with more talent and good memories


This year on our volleyball team, we have four seniors, and their manager, who is a foreign exchange student, is also a senior. Senior Katelynn Fullmer is a part of this team. Fullmer said her favorite year was this year. “It’s my senior year and I’m having a blast,” said Fullmer. Her best memory of this season was when she and her team hiked up Badger Mountain at 6 a.m. one Saturday. “It was really early but super fun,” said Fullmer. Fullmer has been playing volleyball for over eight years. Her sophomore year, Fullmer broke her ankle and had to have surgery. After that accident, she wasn’t allowed to play volleyball for that season. “That really sucked,” said Fullmer. She likes volleyball because it’s a competitive sport. “It’s a team sport, so you wouldn’t be successful without your team,” she said. “I have awesome classes that have even better people,” said senior Kaile Akker. Her favorite memory from high school was when the security guard gave her detention for wearing running shorts. “My mom flipped out and measured my shorts to find out they were long enough for dress code and emailed Principal Chelin,” said Akker. Akker started playing volleyball her freshman year. Akker’s worst injury was when she shredded and flipped her meniscus last year. She had to have orthoscopic surgery and she was out for two and a half months. “It really sucked,” she said. Akker doesn’t really know how

to explain why she loves volleyball. She just loves the sport. “I don’t know what I would do without it. Volleyball is literally my love life,” said Akker. Senior Amanda Miller’s favorite year was also this year. She feels the team really clicked and had a chance of going to state. She started doing volleyball camps in the fourth grade and started competing in the fifth grade. Miller’s favorite memory from this season was when they all dressed up for Halloween and one of her team-

mates, junior Andrea Stapleton, wore a diaper the whole practice. “It was awesome,” said Miller. Miller’s worst injury was during her sophomore year. They were playing West Valley and she came down on a girl’s ankle and was out for a couple weeks. “I moved past it by going to every practice and still learning,” said Miller. While she was injured, she would work on serving and hitting on a box so that when she came back, she wouldn’t be rusty.

Amanda Miller hitting the ball with Kaile Akker, Dani Burke, Brianna Esvelt. Photo by Tracie Burke

Tribal SPORTS Games

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School




Cody Prickett boarding down the mountain reaching the end. Photo taken by Darby Prickett.

nowboarding is not known to be an easy sport, and it can be very dangerous. Most people spend most of their time with their faces buried in the snow. It can be an interesting and exciting sport to watch. People go off of jumps, do spins and kicks. There are a lot of tricks and exciting moments to experience in snowboarding. There are a plethora of injuries that happen in the sport, too; a person may land wrong after doing a trick or just fall over. Incidents can also happen if people don’t buy the proper gear or the right size gear. If the gear is too big, many things can go wrong such as people are going to fall over a lot or even worse, experience an injury. They can also have too small of gear which isn’t good either. They are going to be very uncomfortable, and it will make for a grumpy and miserable ride. Senior Darby Prickett has been snow-

boarding since she was 5. She started boarding in Alaska where she grew up. She enters snowboarding competitions regularly, and she has been doing these for three years. “I got interested in this sport from watching my brother,” said Prickett. Buying gear can get pricy. She said, “All of my gear is around $1,000.” Prickett starts getting ready for the boarding season in November. Senior Brad Thompson likes to snowboard with his friends. Thompson has been snowboarding for three years and really enjoys it. What interested Thompson was all of his friends and his dad doing it; they always talked about how fun it was. So he wanted to try it. “Gear can cost up to a couple hundred dollars and up depending on the gear you get,” said Thompson. Thompson doesn’t start the season off at a certain time. “Some places open really early in the year, and some places

don’t open till later, so I don’t go at a certain time,” he said. Freshman Daria Olson has been boarding for eight years and really enjoys it. “I got into doing it because of my parents. They used to go all the time,” said Olson. “I’m not positive how much my gear is. I haven’t used it in a while.” Olson usually starts snowboarding in the month of December when there is powder on the slopes and it is a fun easy ride. Snowboarding can be a dangerous sport, and many injuries can be caused from it. It can also be an interesting and exciting sport to watch. Snowboarding can cost a lot of money. The ride up to the mountain, the gear, season passes, food and housing, all these things can add up and be pricier than it seems. Snowboarding is a cool, cold and fun sport or activity to do with your friends during the winter.

Kamiakin Wrestling Expectations tive years. He’s an outstanding coach, pushing his wrestlers to the max. He has the potential With last year’s disappointing to send many of the wrestlers season for the wrestling team, to state, but it all depends if they have higher expectations they are more than for the season and willing to put in their wrestlers. Not the work. only do they practice At the beginning during regular season of practice, Coach but off season as well. Anderson talks to They had open gym his wrestlers about from 2:45- 4 p.m. and his expectations conditioning from and gives a quote 6-7:30 p.m. for the day, but “We put in too there is one quote much work for us in particular that not to have a better he really likes the record,” said head most, and that is coach Jordan Anderthe one he tells his son. wrestlers every With 30-40 wrespractice: “Successtlers this year, the ful people become coaches have a lot successful by doof work to prepare ing all that is exthem for meets and pected and a little most importantly, bit more.” state. Coach AnderCoach Anderson son wants the team Coach Anderson teaching “Return to matt” drill emphasizes the to place second in the phrase “a little bit more” league, at least above because he wants to do “Successful people become the Chiawana River Hawks, more than what’s expected and they want to place top 10 Successful by doing all and more than what the other that is required and a in state. high schools are doing. The “Discipline, character, and little bit more” Kamiakin wrestling team is hard work,” said Coach Anexcited to kick off the season derson describing the team. with a great start and hopes to Coach Anderson is ready accomplish its goals. to see all the hard work they By ARMANDO ANTONIO SPORTS EDITOR

contributed during the spring, summer, and fall pay off for the wrestlers. Coach Anderson is a contestant state placer placing third for two consecu-

FOOTBALL Photos by Ken Gatherum

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

Can you handle the responsibility of money? By NOELLE WADLOW STAFF REPORTER


et’s face it, guys. We’re teenagers. And teenagers are prone to be a little reckless, a little immature—especially in terms of money (no, don’t you deny it). While a great deal of us have jobs, we are still fairly new and uneducated in terms of finances, not to mention utterly helpless at the call of Dutch Bros. just down the street. But are we really as irresponsible as our parents claim? Firstly, take a look in your wallet. You may find that its contents (or lack of) speak loudly. Secondly, ask yourself the four following questions:

1. Do I have a strong work ethic?

Statistics show that about two million youth between 16 and 24 are employed: but whether you are working at a real job, doing chores around the house, at sports practice or doing homework, how well you work says a lot about your ability to work hard and manage responsibilities. Money does not grow on trees; it has to be earned. If you do not understand what it takes to earn money or are not willing to put forth the work to do so, chances are you are not mature enough to manage it properly.

2. Am I careless with my personal belongings?

How responsible you are with your personal items is a powerful reflection of how responsible you may be with money. If you cannot keep track of your house keys, or maybe have lost a multitude of cellphones to your toilet or your stairs, or cannot be bothered to take close care of the $100 coat you got for your birthday, you probably are not ready to be responsible for a loaded wallet.

3. Do I spend my money wisely?

Sure, an occasional coffee on the way to school or trip to the movies with your friends is great. But when you are blowing all your money the moment it is in your hands, or making silly, immature purchases, then you have a problem. You should not be begging your parents to lend you a few bucks every other week, and you should not be scrambling to make ends meet until your next paycheck rolls along. If this is the case, you may not be ready to have your own money.

4. Can I do the math?

Unfortunately, money requires work—even after it is in your pocket. Balancing a checkbook, managing a bank account, these are all things essential to taking care of your finances—and to be mature enough to handle your finances, you must be capable and willing to do the math involved. Chances are, you asked yourself these questions and the answers were not what you had hoped. Not to worry—there is still hope for you! Keep in mind, you are most likely still new to the world of money, finances, and responsibilities in general, and you are still figuring things out. So, set budgets for yourself. Rather than spending your money at the mall, put it in savings. Open a savings account, and get a debit card. Keep track of what you spend your money on. Set percentages. For example, put 10 percent in savings, 20 percent in a college fund, and only allow yourself to spend about 70 percent. Ask your parents for help. Over time, and through trial and error, you will quickly learn how best to manage your money and grow into a much more mature individual in terms of finances…if nothing else.


Chief Legends In Depth

Are Miss Me jeans worth the money? By TAYLOR REAVIS STAFF REPORTER

Usually when you walk around campus, you see a lot of jeans that have jewels on the pockets. The most common jeans that have jewels are Miss Me jeans. They usually cost $100 or more. So what is so great about these name brand jeans? Senior Sam Booth buys Miss Me jeans, and she said she spends the money on these jeans because they last forever. “I still have some from freshman year I still wear,” said Booth. Booth says the difference between the two types of jeans is that Miss Me jeans are made to last longer. “And of course they are super cute,” said Booth. Booth prefers Miss Me jeans over other name brands because they fit her really well, and she can’t fit into American Eagle and Pacsun jeans. “Buckle jeans fit girls who are twigs and girls with curves,” said Booth. Some of the other jeans Booth wears are colored Bulkhead skinny jeans. Booth thinks Miss Me jeans are so popular because they can fit anybody no matter what size. Senior Chantell Kensey spends money on Miss Me jeans because they last longer

than other jeans. Kensey thinks the only differences about Miss Me jeans are they are more expensive and nicer than others. She prefers Miss Me jeans because they don’t rip as easily. “They are nicer than other jeans,” she said. Another pair of jeans Kensey wears is American Eagle. Kensey thinks they are so popular because they are something different, and everyone’s trying to be different. “Plus they have sparkly pockets,” she said. Senior Shayla Rose says Miss Me jeans last way longer than other name brands. “The money is worth it for how good the jeans are,” said Rose. She prefers Miss Me jeans because they last a long time and don’t wear out as easily. Another store where Rose buys her jeans is Pacsun. “I buy them there because I work there,” said Rose. She thinks Miss Me jeans are so popular because of the jewels they have on them. So are Miss Me jeans worth the money? According to these girls, they are well worth your money. Miss Me jeans don’t rip as easily and last longer than other jeans.

Christmas spending can be fun if controlled


Many people dread Christmas. Why? Because Christmas can be the most expensive time of the year. The average family, in 2012, spent $750 on Christmas. The cost has remained steady over the last few years, only taking a slight dip during the Great Recession. The average family spends $271 per child! Also, gifts are not the only expense during the holidays. People also spend money on decorations, food, travel, and cards. It can become

overwhelming which is why depression can be rampant during this supposedly joyous season. Some families have a strict limit on their spending, but others may not. It is easy for spending to spiral out of control if you are not careful. After all, Christmas isn’t all about money. Teacher Todd Freitag usually spends $500 to $700 on Christmas. “I generally buy one big gift and a bunch of small ones,” said Freitag. He buys for his kids and wife. “I do have a limit, so I usually

try not to go over the limit,” said Freitag. Sophomore Michael Rathbun has a limit of $100 and on Christmas, he spends $50 himself. On this holiday, Rathbun said, “I buy mainly for family, friends, and girlfriends. I mainly buy a couple items for Christmas.” Junior Kaitlyn Doublin spends roughly about $100 to $200 on Christmas. “I get quite a bit of stuff for Christmas,” said Doublin. She buys for her brother, mom and dad. For a limit, she would like to stay around $200 to $250. “If my limit hasn’t

exceeded I get more things for my other family members,” said Doublin. The prices are going up for Christmas items, and that can put a stress on people trying to make this Christmas better than the last. It helps to remember that it is not all about money. It is about the love and joy to spread with the people around. Money is just a small portion of Christmas. Even though Christmas may cost a lot, nothing can compare to being with family, friends and loved ones during the holidays. That is priceless.

Chief IN-DEPTH Legends

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School


HowExtra much do y means expensive 32

Only percent of teens know how credit cards and interest work.



xtra. What a fantastic word. Extra cheese on a burger, extra chocolate on a sundae, extra chips with lunch. Extra does the same thing to the price of each of these items. Extra costs more. Extra means expensive. Extra-curricular activities are not an exception to this rule. Athletic activities are one of Kamiakin’s most beloved extra-curricular activities. Sports are not cheap. To play on a Kamiakin team, a student is required to have ASB – which in itself isn’t cheap. Students pay $35 for a little sticker on an ID badge. This $35 doesn’t just pay for extra space to be filled on the small card. All athletic events are free, school dances cost less, and other Kamiakin social events are less expensive. Also, each athlete has to pay a


percent of teens hold jobs during the school year.

All the teenagers in the world spent an estimated

user fee of $40 for any sport they would like to participate in. This total of $75 does not include prices of personal equipment or damage to school property. The sum of cash for personal equipment can take a great chunk of change from the wallets of the athletes. Many extra music classes take place at Kamiakin. To participate in Symphony Orchestra – an orchestra composed of all sorts of woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion that practices on Tuesday nights – a student must pay a fee that can range anywhere between $75 and $100. This includes a participation fee and the fee of at least one, possibly two, festivals. Jazz Band isn’t inexpensive either. To participate in the zero hour class – consisting of just a few trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitars, a drum set, and a few other percus-

sion instruments – one must pay an amount of $150 for, again, a participation fee and two festivals, one regional and another that takes place at the University of Idaho. Marching Band is a whole different story. The total cost of two trips, food for a few meals, and participation can add up to $250-$300 per season. Just forget about damaging the uniforms, which could add another $350 on top of the other fees. Some activities cost more than others, but cheerleading takes the cake for the most expensive extracurricular by far. All the away games, uniforms, participation, food, everything… it’s not cheap. Without fundraising – which can vary from $10 a year to hundreds – the cheerleaders can pay up to $2,000 to participate in the sport they all love so dearly.

Caffeine craze costing teens

$159 billion in 2005.


All U.S. coins and bills in circulation today are worth

$1.2 trillion.

From Carmelizers to Rebels, Cocomos and Kickers, Dutch Bros. Coffee has tons of delicious drinks. Unfortunately, this yumminess comes with a price, in this case an average of $3.50. That may not seem like a lot of money, but it certainly starts to add up. Junior Johnna Schab goes to Dutch Bros. about once or twice a week. “My drink usually costs about $3-$4,” Schab says. With an average of her drink costing $3.50 and going 1.5 times a week for a year, she will spend approximately $273 on drinks just this year! Lucky for her, this isn’t coming out of her pocket. She usually gets her surprise drink using the “lunch money” her parents give her. “I always get an iced strawberry rebel,” junior Carly Migas says. Last year she would go to Dutch Bros. every day, but this year she has cut back and goes only about twice a week since


A penny costs cents to manufacture.

If you divide the national debt equally among all U.S. taxpayers, each taxpayer would owe approximately


she has realized it’s not the best way to spend her money. Her fruity drink costs $3.50, and she will be spending $364 at Dutch Bros. this year if she keeps it up. Migas also uses her “lunch money” to buy her drinks. Freshman Shailey Rhoads goes to Dutch Bros. seven days a week. Her blended Carmelizer costs $3.50. In a week, she spends $24.50, a month $98, and in a year she will spend $1,274 at Dutch Bros.! When asked if this is a good way to spend her money, Rhoads replied, ”Not necessarily, but it tastes good!” While Dutch Bros. drinks are reasonably priced, the cost adds up when you are going there multiple times a week. Teens could be spending their money in other ways that last longer, like on clothes, shoes, or they could save their money for a car or put it in a savings account for college. Is a yummy drink a day worth $1,274 a year?

The average cost of coffee $3.50



FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School


Chief Legends In Depth

you spend? How much the average American spends on Christmas

The second most requested gift in 2012 was clothes

55 percent of

teens spend less


than dollars per week

$28.66 is

spent on greeting cards and $19.55 is spent on flowers.

The most requested gift in 2012 was gift cards


Only percent of teens have a savings account

40 percent of

teens are currently saving.

$100.76 is the average amount spent on candy

$ 74 9.51

is the a v

$51.99 is spent on decorations

U.S. debt is

10 times

s stma i r h C erage amount spent by each family on

larger than the amount of U.S. money in circulation

The third most requested gift in 2012 was Books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games

$548.56 is the

average amount spent on gifts

The most counterfied bill is the

90 percent of U.S. dollar bills contain traces of cocaine


Chief Legends IN-DEPTH


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School


Money, the one thing you can’t get enough of. If you’re anything like most American teens, you tend to want to buy yourself nice things--maybe a car, a new phone, or some new shoes. But when you get money, it never seems to be the amount you need, or by the time you want to buy something, the money is no longer in sight. Whether you earn cash at home or you work your butt off at McDonalds, you know how hard it is to earn cash and how easy it is to spend it. The issue is not that you cannot afford the item. The problem is that your money isn’t administrated properly. What you have to look at is the solution--a 6 step solution.

1. Create a budget. Figure out how much money you have to spend each month and don’t go over your limit.

4. Consider every purchase made before blowing all your extra cash. Try and make it last. Little things that you 3. Calculate buy really add up quickly. how much of your money 6. Carry little to no goes into your cash with you to prevent savings and you from buying unnechow much you essary items. keep for pocket money (always put at least 60% into savings).

2. Find out how much what you want costs. The best way to buy things is by doing a little research and compare prices online so that you always get the best possible deal.

5. Keep all loose change. Piggy banks always pay back

Photos by Oscar Bautista

Food stamp cut backs will harm families already struggling to survive By JORDAN GARNER OP-ED EDITOR

In 2009, an economic stimulus bill, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, temporarily boosted the federal food stamp program. On Nov. 1, benefits of food stamps were reduced by 5.5 percent, directly affecting the 47.7 million Americans on the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program. In 2012, the average monthly benefit per household for all 50 states was $278. Ac-

cording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a household of three will receive $29 less each month, a household of four will receive $36 less each month, and a household of eight will see benefits reduced as much as $65 a month. In the state of New York more than one million elderly people or those with disabilities will be affected by the cut backs according to the center’s analysis. It is also predicted about 2.3 million children in both California and Texas will be affected. One Kamiakin student,

who wishes to stay anonymous, spoke out on the topic and said, “I live with my mom and we use food stamps. They help her out, and it sucks that now she might have to stress more about feeding me and my sister a little more.” Linda Stone, Food Policy Director at Children’s Alliance in Seattle, said, “Although the cuts were always intended to be temporary, they came too early. There are families that have not bounced back, because our economy is based on part

time work and lower wage jobs.” Even though some people have the impression food stamps are misused daily, some, if not most, people who use food stamps actually need them and use them for the purpose they were intended for, not just for unnutritional junk, and the government’s decision to cut food stamps now will affect millions of Americans. Families in need of help are recommended to seek food bank information.



Tribal Talk


D.A.R.E. – Does the association really educate?




The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) program has been around for 30 years now. It was founded in 1984 by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates. It has been so successful that it is implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and also in more than 43 countries around the world. Tens of thousands of officers and educators around the world contribute to making D.A.R.E. the great program it is. It is an amazing program that teaches students in kindergarten through 12th grade about how to resist peer pressure and live successful, drug and violence-free lives. If you grew up in the Kennewick School District, you probably went through the D.A.R.E program in fifth grade. “D.A.R.E. taught me about the bad effects that drugs and alcohol have on your body,” sophomore Savanah Heinz explained. As 10 and 11-year-olds, we know doing drugs, using tobacco, and abusing alcohol are bad but not why. Heinz remembers learning the effects smoking has on your lungs. “I remember the officer talking about how smoking turned your lungs black and fills them with tar,” Heinz explained. Fifth grade is the perfect time to learn about this and other negative outcomes drugs and alcohol will cause. In middle and high school, kids will unfortunately be exposed to drugs and alcohol, and some will be pressured by peers into trying them. Hopefully, because these students now know what these substances can do to their bodies and how to say no, less will do them. Most fifth graders really enjoy D.A.R.E. “It was fun and interactive, but serious,” junior Timmer Trevis said. The D.A.R.E. curriculum uses real examples and fun activities to get their message across. A highlight for many students


is that policemen teach the information. “The officer was friendly and funny. He was very informative,” sophomore Sierra Wilde said. They use real life situations that you can learn from. “A police officer’s son died in his bed by using inhalants for the first time. When his father went to wake him up, he found him dead. It shocked and scared me,” Wilde said. Heinz remembers the information about secondhand smoke. “Now whenever I walk by a person smoking, I cover my mouth,” Heinz said. “Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives”:


D.A.R.E.’s motto rings true after 30 years of educating students all over the world why drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use are not good choices. The D.A.R.E. program has impacted millions of students’ lives in a very positive way.

Fifth grade: a time often thought to coincide with innocence and naivety. The Drug Abuse Resistance and Education program, or D.A.R.E., was introduced to all of us in the Kennewick School District for the sole purpose of preventing drug use amongst our

generation. In this attempt, I feel as if the organization doesn’t realize that their information flies in and out of the ears of our youth faster than the duration of recess. “I don’t remember a n y t h i n g , nothing except for a lot of lies. One drag of a cigarette will get you addicted, apparently,” said junior Bobby Barnes. “I think they should try to relate it to the age group better. As a fifth grader, I was like, what are drugs?” Evidence from over 30 studies shows that the D.A.R.E. program doesn’t prevent drug use. Both graduates and non-graduates are indistinguishable, yet both groups are individuals who act upon their own decisions and not what was force-fed to them several years back. As I entered fifth grade, I knew nothing about substance

abuse and solemnly believed that life was all about rainbows and puppies. By the last day of my elementary years, I was only offered a peek into reality. In the program, I felt as if they never emphasized the fact that some choices were much more troublesome than others. With all of the world’s substances blended together into one category of supposed “evil”, I lived many years thinking that smoking a cigarette was just as bad for you as snorting a line of cocaine. Not until I was well into middle school was I exposed to the realities of the true world. Between witnessing it firsthand and surfing the Internet, I realized that the education they served me was only a slice of the whole pie that defines drugs and stimulants. I have faith in my opinion that the D.A.R.E. program is targeted at an age too young for such a serious topic. Although KSD chose to introduce it in the fifth grade, other school systems deliver it gradually from K-12. This may be a better approach, but the operation itself still has little proof to support the impact on the decisions of our youth. The organization should consider a new approach that would more efficiently deliver a message, thus changing children’s perspectives for the rest of their lives. “I can’t remember that far back,” said junior Luke McCallister. “Fifth grade is too young. Most kids don’t get into drugs until the eighth grade. Honestly, I never thought about it (D.A.R.E.) after I was done with the program.” “They should have started the program in middle school. It relates to the age group better,” agreed freshman Austin Kirk. Some of my personal suggestions for the program are to introduce it at a more appropriate age level, tie in real-life situations and stories, and reasonably educate the youth without over-sugarcoating it. By learning around the time when peer pressure usually occurs, the message may more successfully be delivered and incorporated.

Tribal Talk

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

14 Should we help others, or help ourselves?




ov. 3 through Nov. 11 mark a dark, dark week in Philippine history. A vicious category 5 typhoon ripped mercilessly across the coast with winds up to 195 miles per hour, making it the fourth most powerful typhoon ever recorded. Well over 14 million lives were affected, as entire communities were flattened and countless homes were reduced to sticks. There are more than 5,700 documented deaths, as well as 1,700 people who remain missing. At least 1.8 million children have been left without homes. In light of this tragedy, Americans have more than risen to the challenge. Our government, military and concerned citizens have teamed up to provide emergency shelters, hygiene kits, water and restored water systems for tens of thousands of people. Yet as our own country struggles with its own issues—a government falling into chaos, a $16.7 trillion debt ceiling that escalates by the day, a rising level of domestic violence, and plenty of natural disasters of our own, people are beginning to wonder whether we are truly investing our finances into the right things. Should our country be investing more in relief efforts around the world, or putting our focus on the struggles we are facing here at home? One can never do “too much” to serve others. Disasters are happening all around us, and as human beings, are we not, in a sense, morally obligated to help those in need? But does that apply first to those around us or those far away? Should we be taking care of the world, or tending to our own? These are not easy questions. Yet when a handful of our fellow Braves were asked for their opinions, they did not disappoint. Here is what a few of your peers had to say:

“I think we should do our best to help others as much as we can, because what is the point of living if you can’t find ways to help other people? Also, when people do good deeds, something good will come in return.” –Victoria Coronado “We’re already millions in debt, and sending money we don’t have to another country seems like a bad idea right now. We already send some relief efforts, so sending even more will only be so helpful. Although I agree, everyone should try to “love thy neighbor”, sometimes saying that we can’t right now is the right thing to do. Even if you want to, you can’t help everyone.” –Lexzi Brever “I think that everyone should give something; it’s our duty to help those who have nothing. Just think, they would do anything to have economic problems like the U.S.” –Spencer Holle “Any help that’s sent to any country other than our own should be private endeavors (Red Cross). We have our own problems like the tornados that have caused a lot of damage that tax money should be spent on since it’s a domestic problem. Also it shouldn’t be a duty to give to charity. The moment you create such duties you alienate people.” –Connor Pestovich “Sometimes, there are times when extra is left, and in those times we should help the people that need it. However, if we ourselves are not stable, then we should see to ourselves first. Otherwise, there might not be an us to help others.” –Anonymous

Editorial: America did not live up to expectations “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”-- The preamble for the United States Constitution. This was written by our founding fathers over 200 years ago. A lot of things have changed since then. Technology has increased dramatically. People’s views and what they believe in have changed. Women can vote, African Americans are no longer subjected to slavery, and in many states gay marriage is now legal. Something else has changed completely since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution so long agothe way our government is run. Back in 1787, when

they were writing the Constitution, they did not have political parties written in. Those evolved over time. The founding fathers thought that political parties would become factions and tear this country apart. John Adams once said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” However, the first American political parties started to form during George Washington’s term, the Federalist Party in particular. Today political parties are nationally organized machines. They are focused on obtaining power through getting candidates elected and completing their plans. This is not what the founding fathers wanted for America when they created this country. Our

government is basically in gridlock right now because the two parties are arguing back and forth with each other and can’t agree on anything. Our country is very different from what our founding fathers imagined it would be. The system that has evolved over time doesn’t work. Our founding fathers warned us about this, and yet it’s what we have, and we have to find a way to make it work. Either the parties need to learn to work together, or we need to create a third party. If we don’t, the government shutdown might not be so temporary next time.

5 out of 5 editors agree with this

Having manners at school may indicate character in later work experience By MADELINE DONLEY STAFF REPORTER

Manners matter. Clean up your plate, say please and thank you--these are some of the sayings your parents taught you growing up. But do you still use them? It’s lunch time, and you’re at a table with your friends eating. You’ve finished and are ready to leave. Do you clean up your plate or do you leave it there and have the custodians get it? Some of you would say you clean up your plate even though you don’t, and you just leave it there for the custodians. If you were home, would your parents be happy about you not cleaning up after yourself? There are garbage cans all around the room close enough to make it quick and easy to throw away your trash and stack your chairs. Junior Lindsey

Berneski said, “I am a mean clean machine!!!!” She cleans up her mess every day after

lunch. Custodian Mike Picicci said, “I guess they believe that we are mom and dad and that we are going to do this for them, and it’s always the same thing. It’s surprising on how many don’t clean up. It’s a job for us every day. We get frustrated with it, but besides that, it’s our job.” Mr. Picicci says that even though it is the custodians’ job to clean up after students, sometimes students make it much more difficult than necessary. Just a little bit of help would be appreciated. “It would be nice if we had the help from the kids stacking the chairs. It’s tough to have to do this every day, and it seems like we have

weeks where it’s just terrible. Some kids will watch us and as soon as we’re not watching them, they will get up from their table and leave even after we’ve told them to pick up their trash. We will have to have security watch them; then they get in trouble. And we don’t want them to. Just pick it up. Respect yourself, and pick up your own school,” he said. Mr. Picicci thinks that students need to have more pride in their school. They should consider themselves as part of a team who will work together with custodians and each other to keep the place nice. It is all a matter of respect. Another place where students can be disrespectful and forget manners has to do with taking their backpacks into the lunchroom. Mr. Picicci says it is not about

stealing food. What can happen is that students can accidentally hit others with their backpacks and knock their food out of their hands. Learning manners and how to treat others is a life lesson that will serve students well if they will learn it now. “All in all, Kamiakin is a really good school. The students are really good students and I have a lot of respect for these kids but when you get out of school it’s going to change… You’re our generation coming up and you’re going to be taking care of this place and this country and other schools,” said Mr. Picicci. So next time you’re in the cafeteria, clean up your mess because the custodians aren’t your maids. Also show them some respect because if you don’t respect them, why should they respect you?

Tribal Talk

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

15 Twerking: If it doesn’t jiggle, don’t wiggle



werking, according to the Oxford Dictionary Online, is where a person dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance. The dance has been around for years with different names to describe the style of it. It was brought to pop culture’s attention earlier this year by pop singer, Miley Cyrus, who posted a YouTube video of herself in a unicorn one piece while twerking to the song “Wop” by Hip Hop artist, J-Dash. Twerking since then has become a huge phenomenon. Guys and girls of all ages have recorded themselves twerking. I am one of those people. Twerking has become the biggest trend in pop culture in 2013, making other trends such as the Harlem Shake simply disappear from society. This trend has caused a lot of controversy and scandals in schools and even on TV. The biggest controversy would be Miley Cyrus’s performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The described “strategic hot mess” of a performance stunned the world. The performance downplayed the fact that NSYNC had reunited for the first time in 10 years that night, and Justin Timberlake won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. But that is not the only scandal to have erupted from this trend. Many other scandals have occurred in schools where they suspend students for conducting the sexually provocative dance on school campus. Schools have reached the point where they’ve banned twerking from all social events such as homecoming and prom and have the students sign a dance contract to prevent anyone from carrying out any sexually explicit dances during the occasion. Many people


seem to have different takes on this dance craze that will forever be stapled to the year 2013. I am not against the dance craze because I, as previously stated, have twerked. I feel as though the craze has made people believe that because they can twerk, they are sexy. I do not think twerking is sexy, but I think it is a social, carefree, and comical dance that just has everybody up on their feet having fun, dancing, and just enjoying themselves. I think there i s a time and place for twerking. For

example, friend’s house, acceptable. formal

at home, a or a party, twerking is In school and any event, it’s unacceptable. With having that said, twerking requires having a butt, and out of all respect, if you don’t have one, you should not be twerking. But others seem to have other ideas. Staff, faculty and students seem to have polar opposite opinions on this trend which is not really a big shocker. Geometry teacher Katrina Kutschka said, “Twerking is over the top and distasteful. People should have more selfrespect than to twerk.” She also believes the reason the trend has become as big as it has is because guys like it and girls want guys to like them. She also thinks that people are just doing it to follow trends and be popular.

Counselor Maria Buxbaum agreed and said, “It is not cute. It makes you look silly and like there is something in your underpants.” Mrs. Buxbaum says the reason it’s so popular is simply because of Miley Cyrus and because some girls don’t know how to dance, so twerking is easier than real dancing. When asked when the trend would go away, Mrs. Kutschkau responded, “When something new comes along, twerking will go away.” Mrs. Buxbaum said, “It will go away when “Miley Cyrus goes away.” The adults here seem to be against this trend whereas some of the students are totally for it. Both students Paxton Anderson and Amy Browning stated that they are into the trend. Anderson said, “Twerking is funny and cool and it’s not a big deal.” Browning said, laughing before answering, “It’s a cool dance, and it works out your butt.” Both state that the reasoning behind the phenomenon is because it’s a cool dance move. Browning said, “It feels cool to do and looks sexy.” Both know how to twerk, and they have experienced twerking. Browning considers herself pretty good and a professional. When questioned when twerking will go away, Anderson believes that it will end next year and Browning thinks it will end when the world stops spinning. No matter what the people say, at the end of the day, 2013 is the year of twerking and will most likely forever be known for it. The polarizing pop culture trend that is either completely loved or totally hated by the people still lives on.

Long distance relationships can last By SABRINA HEIJMANS STAFF REPORTER

Do long distance relationships work as others do? Long distance relationships are becoming more popular now; there are over 14 million people who claim to be in a long distance relationship. The percentage of long distance relationships that actually works is 60 percent. That’s more than half. People think that it’s pointless for people to be in a relationship with someone that they can’t actually be with, but is it? Obviously it’s working for some people. They’re happy. So therefore what’s the issue? Long distance relationships have their benefits. You can have space and independence, value your partner more, and you have other ways of communicating. And of course, long distance relationships have their challenges, too. No relationship is perfect. Senior Nicole Johnson said, “Long distance relationships only work if both people are willing to make it work. Distance shouldn’t matter if both people care about each other. I know of someone who is in a long distance relationship, and I was once in one myself. Mine didn’t work because he went to the Army, but my friend’s relationship is still current, and their relationship is strong.”

Long distance relationships are exactly like any other relationship. You text, call, and flirt. The only thing you can’t do is physically be with one another. But relationships aren’t just about the physical stuff. They need talking, honesty and other important qualities that matter more than the physical stuff in the long run. That is precisely the reason why so many people commit to a long distance relationship. The relationship deals with just the mental attributions and not the physical. Junior Shania Wilson said, “Long distance relationships aren’t worth it. You never know if they’re going behind your back and cheating on you or something, plus it’s hard to get to see them as well.” This is a very good point. Being with someone who lives 100 miles away can cause some uncertainty, but, that doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t worth the fight. Not knowing things keeps you on your feet. The distance is tough in a shorter sense, but it makes it all worth it in the long run. The day you finally see your boyfriend/girlfriend in person is the day your life will turn around. Long distance relationships are the same as any relationship. The bond between both is undeniable. Long distance relationships can be worth it, and they function like any other relationship.



FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School


‘Ender’s Game’ flops right out of orbit By ZACK JULIAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


nder’s Game takes place about 100 years in the future. It is about a boy named Ender who is chosen to go the prestigious battle school to be trained as a commander. Years ago, Earth was attacked by a race called the Formics. The next battle with the Formics is coming, and they need a commander to lead their fleet. The leaders of the Imperial Fleet decide that children have the best minds for command, so they bring Ender to battle school to train him to lead. Ender’s Game did not live up to expectations. It bombed at the box office. Domestically Ender’s Game only made $60,119,715. On Box Office Mojo’s domestically top grossing movies of all-time list, Ender’s Game comes in at number 1,097. To put that into perspective, that is below The Shaggy Dog, which is number 1,074. The movie has some excellent special effects, but the storyline is lacking. They left out many things that are in the books and are needed in the movies, and

they added in some unnecessary special effects. They kept roughly to the plot of the book but they left out entire characters. The characters they left out were minor characters in Ender’s Game but major characters in some of the future books. They also left out the story of Ender’s siblings, Peter and Valentine. They played a much bigger role in the book. About a third of the chapters were from their point of view. The actors did a fairly good job at portraying their characters. Harrison Ford as Hyrum Graff did a wonderful job. One tends to expect that from Indiana Jones. Asa Butterfield as Ender though was a little lacking. From an audience perspective, it felt like he just needed a little something more. He did have one amazing scene that involved an argument with Harrison Ford where Asa really showed off his acting chops. So overall, Ender’s Game was an okay movie. It didn’t really deliver what it promised. It had solid special effects and some good talent, but the plot was disappointing. It gets a 3.5 out of 5.

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ blazes


The sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, blazes on the movie screen. The expression, “The sequel is never better than the first one” does not come into play with Catching Fire. Director Francis Lawrence, known for directing I Am Legend, is a true visionary with this film. He ultimately brings the book to life in this adaptation. The film leaves off where the original ended. The storyline continues with Katniss and Peeta, the star-crossed lovers from District 12, following their victory in the 74th hunger games while having to settle into the new lifestyle that has been thrown at them for being the victors. They continue with their love story to protect their loved ones, including each other. Both are forced back into the games the following year for the 75th hunger games. As the movie states, “May the odds ever be in your favor.” Then, the games begin. The cast gives truly extraordinary performances. The leading woman, Jennifer Lawrence, continues to amaze the world with her spectacular performance as the girl on

fire, Katniss Everdeen. Josh Hutcherson proceeds to charm us with his amazing acting chops as the bread boy, Peeta Mellark. Then for those who are on team Gale, Liam Hemsworth’s character gains more importance in this film and will continue to grow as the franchise continues. The rest of the returning cast which includes Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Elizabeth Banks as the over the top Effie Trinket, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna also give astonishing performances in the film. In the sequel, there are many newcomers joining the film franchise, such as Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. All the newcomers get really into their roles and give astounding performances. The thing that makes this film better than the original is the effects, setting and costumes. All the action and explosions look incredible, and the costumes make the settings look like a reality. The people of the Capitol and the previous victors’ outfits are literally out of this world. The best costume would have to be Katniss’s wedding dress. Overall Catching Fire gets a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School



‘Up the down staircase’ review By BRITT HENDERSON STAFF REPORTER


n Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, the Kamiakin Bravehouse Production Company performed, quite amazingly, Up the Down Staircase, a play dramatized by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Bel

Kaufman. Up the Down Staircase is about a young teacher who gets her first job at Calvin Coolidge High School in New York City. The play takes place in the early 1960s, and displays the teacher, Sylvia Barrett (Victoria Coronado) struggling to be successful in the chaotic school. Throughout the play, you meet many characters with struggles both inside and outside. The plot consisted of displaying Sylvia trying to work with a lot of these problems. Students like Linda Rosen (Kayla Roles), Lennie Neumark (Tanner Jones), and Carrie Blaine (Noelle Wadlow) had a difficult time adjusting to Sylvia’s style of teaching. An unusual student-teacherteacher love triangle was formed with Alice Blake (Jill Faulk), Paul Barringer (Dakota Musick) and Sylvia. A few students dropped out of the school, such as Helen Arbuzzi (Caeleigh Rieger) at the beginning of the play, and Charles Arrons (Branden

Schwartz) at the end of the play. Joe Ferone (Chandler James) had the most mention of any student, as he caused the most trouble of any. The school attempted to be organized, but their unorganized organization was ineffective and caused a lot of issues for Sylvia. Teachers seemed to only do their own things, which overwhelmed Sylvia, as she couldn’t get a handle on how she should teach. Teachers’ tactics ranged from the very strict, like J.J. McHabe (Justin Smith), to the very easy going, like Bea Schachter (Lauryn Meacham). Sylvia struggles with all this throughout the play. Her struggle pushed her to the point of thinking about quitting for another school that had better opportuni-

Up the Down Staircase cast during the play

ties. However, by the end of the play, Sylvia had formed such a connection with the school and its people that she decided to stay. It was a beautiful conclusion to the play, even though the lack of falling action and the sudden dropping out of one of the students made it feel as though more should have been said. The amount of attendance to this play was fair, which, in terms of the performance’s quality, was not fair. Maybe it was because it was the weekend of Halloween, or maybe because it wasn’t publicized enough, but the play should have been seen by more people than just the amount that attended. The performance, although slightly stiff sometimes, was excellently put on. Characters fell into their parts and put on a very convincing act. Few characters, if any, stuttered, broke character, or failed to be astounding. The chaos of the classroom was so impressively well done that it was hard to believe it wasn’t real chaos. Although the humor could have been built upon more, what they did have was well played and happily funny. While watching, it was very entertaining to see how all the characters were represented and presented. The play was truly well done, and worth seeing. If you didn’t see it though, don’t worry; there are always more opportunities to see a production by the Bravehouse Production Company!

Comfy and cozy are ‘in’ this winter By MADISON BADGLEY STAFF REPORTER

Scarves, sweaters, and boots. Yes, winter is here and the frosty weather is perfect for all those warm knit sweaters, beanies, boots, and basically anything fuzzy that has been hiding in your closet all summer. It’s time to bring out those darker winter colors like navy blue, red, gray, and of course (my personal favorite) black! But you really don’t have to follow the colors of fall/winter. You can be bold and bright, too! Always remember to wear what you want and what you feel most comfortable in! “Layers, sweaters, scarves, and leggings is what I like to wear in the winter,” sophomore Ellyn Hamon said. Layers can be fun, trendy, and keep you extra warm in the winter. One way to wear layers is to wear a sheer-like or even jean-collared top under a comfy knit or chunky sweater. Slip on a pair of leggings or a dark pair of skinny jeans and match those with a pair of warm fuzzy booties, and you’re good to go! Another option is instead of fuzzy booties, tie the outfit together with a pair of high top Converse. You can never go wrong with those! You can always make any winter outfit a whole lot better and warmer by adding a simple beanie. What if I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to dress up? Well, it’s very easy to look cute and be comfy without putting any effort into it. “I like to wear skinny jeans, North Face jackets, hoodies, and cardigans,” sophomore Lindsey Lowe

said. A very comfy and casual look is a pair of skinny jeans, fuzzy boots, and a North Face jacket or one like it with a cozy hoodie under the jacket. Another dressier yet simple, easy outfit is a pair of skinny jeans (preferably black) or boyfriend jeans, a graphic tee or knit sweater, paired with a black leather jacket and black boots, and you could even throw in a beanie, too! Even though the weather may be cold, dresses and skirts are never out of the question! You can always pair a dress or skirt with a pair of tights and knit sweater, add in a pair of combat boots and beanie, and you have a stylish yet very comfortable outfit. When wearing a dress in the fall/winter, wear a black one and pair it with a cream knit sweater and black tights and combat boots because both these colors are very versatile and simply nice fall/ winter colors. Never limit yourself to color, though, because basically anything goes. It just all depends on you! Wear what reflects you and what you feel most comfortable in, and have a happy winter!


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School


PokÉmon of the Month

Abomasnow Type: Grass & Ice Height: 7 ft. 3 in. Weight: 298.7 lbs Region: Sinnoh

*Abomasnow is known as the frost tree Pokemon, and prefers to live in the mountains.


In this epic mash up of two of the greatest billionaire superheroes, we will see who is greater. Taking a look at their background stories, personalities and abilities, we will see who is better. After we see who is greater in these three categories, the two super heroes will fight in a final battle between the rich and powerless. Batman and Iron Man are billionaires who use their wealth for their superhero career, but how did they come by that wealth? Batman (a.k.a. Bruce Wayne) was a young boy living with his rich parents when both of them were tragically murdered. He was raised by his trusted butler, Alfred. Young Bruce swore to avenge his parents and to fight crime where ever he found it. Bruce Wayne grew up to become an intelligent and kind person who always tried to do the right thing. After learning martial arts and becoming a skilled fighter, he created the Batman technology and started his life as a superhero.

Ironman, on the other hand, did not consider fighting crime until he was a young man. His father created and sold weapons with Stark Enterprises. While Tony Stark was doing weapons research during the Vietnam War, he was captured by the enemy after setting off one of their mines. He was forced to create weapons for them after he constructed a crude device to keep his heart going after it was pierced by shrapnel. Tony Stark created the first iron man suit to escape the enemy and has since improved upon the old iron man suit. He continued to create and sell weapons, but now he spends a lot of time on his suit and fighting crime. When it comes to background stories, Batman wins because his background was more emotional and complex than Iron Man’s background. Now after seeing who they were in the past, let’s see who they have become. Bruce Wayne grew up to become a billionaire socialist who wastes his parents’ money on parties and alcohol, or at least that is what the public thinks. Behind his mask, Batman is incredibly intelligent and kind-hearted. He cares a lot for the people of Gotham and tries to do what he can to stop evil. He can be very serious, but he enjoys the company of his friends and family. Ironman is the complete opposite. He is almost never serious, unless the situation calls for it. Ironman, unlike many other superheroes, treats his super-suit as a toy sometimes. But don’t let the arrogant, comedic billionaire persona fool you. He does care for people, although he may not seem to. He is kind and does what he can to keep people safe. When it comes to personalities, it is a tie. Bruce Wayne is serious and loves what he does, but Tony Stark takes his job no less seriously, even though he jokes…a lot. For abilities, both of them rely on their money and intellect. Both created all of their own equipment that is superior to almost all other technology on earth. Tony Stark’s Ironman suit gives him incredible strength and

endurance, the ability to fly and a full arsenal of weapons. Ironman’s suit makes him one amazing super hero. But without it, he is only a good fighter and can create weapons, if he can find the technology to build them. Batman, on the other hand, does not have a super suit. He relies on his many weapons, devices, vehicles and physical/mental abilities. Batman is a trained escape artist, detective, computer hacker, martial artist and many more. Without his weapons and devices, Batman is still a formidable foe who can get out of any situation and overcome many obstacles. Finally, the fight. After taking a look at their abilities, we have a winner, sort of. Ironman could easily defeat Batman and all of his gadgets with his amazing suit. Batman, on the other hand, is trained in stealth and martial arts, so if Batman could catch him by surprise, Batman would win.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School




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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 The Tomatalk • Kamiakin High School

2013 2014 issue 2  
2013 2014 issue 2