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Volume 84 Issue 4


Contents 3


Boys in Choir


Student Life

Amnesty International Concert Amnesty International Concert Photo Spread Antioch College Social Anxiety in Teenagers Teachers’ Opinions in the Classroom Technology and Relationships Kent Schools Levy



Perks of the Family Table Old v. New Cartoons Excessive Spending


Arts & Culture

“Spring Breakers” Film Review Philosophy of Humor AWOLNATION: All I Need Interviews With Artists



Vintage Yearbook Goes to Kent Historical Society Railroad History



Genetics Behind Athleticism Age and Athletics

STAFF Editors-in-Chief - Marc Blanc & Sandra Creech Content Editors - Allison Kridelbaugh & Daniel McIlduff Copy Editors - Aundrea Bishop & Maddie Otterdaughter Layout Editors - Sydnie Barnette & Maddie Otterdaughter Photo Editor- Maddie Otterdaughter Photographer Maddie Otterdaughter Writers Alex Ledet Matthew Sunthimer Kyra Walker LaTessa Gray Guest Writer Rachel Favetta Advisor David Massucci



Boys in Choir story | Sandra Creech photo | Maddie Otterdaughter


hen the 2013-’14 school year rolls around, Roosevelt’s amount of male participants in choir will be severely depleted. Once the seniors that walk our halls now have switched the tassel on their caps, our competition choirs will be dented by a major disadvantage. Unless, of course, more men up and join our wonderful music program (and let’s not forget, ladies love a man who can sing). Senior Tanner Dionne is ready to pass on the torch to new coming choir members, but first, of course, we [the school choirs] need new choir members, and he is ready to elaborate on his theory as to why: “I think a big problem is that people hear the music [we sing] and think, like, ‘Oh, that’s not for me.’ [But] I listen to all types of music. I listen to dubstep and classical. What we sing, no, it’s not my favorite, but it’s challenging music.” Some may still question, “Well, what can I gain

from joining choir?” but Tanner has an answer to this as well. “I’ve been in choir for 14 years. I feel as though I can sing, and if it wasn’t for me sticking with it for 14 years, I wouldn’t have the skill that I have today. Like, I have a better ear for things, and I’ve made long lasting friendships in this, just like any sports team. By now it’s just like another subject to me, like math or English.” “But really, you just have to look at professional singers,” Dionne adds, addressing an issue many young men associate with being in choir. “Usher, Justin Timberlake, Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, but they’re not all flaming homosexuals and they sing. It’s not a gay activity. There are gays in everything, from football teams to mathletes. Pretty much every male performer Men’s Chorus was in choir at some point in their life. And choir is like the blueprints to being a performer.” Mr. Fowler, the new choir director here at Roosevelt, always has his doors open. Audition, give it a try. It can be a challenge, but one well worth the effort.

On the Cover: Junior Michelle Clark models for a photo representing social anxiety. Article on social anxiety on page eight. Send press releases, guest columns and letters to the editor to:

The Colonel c/o Theodore Roosevelt High School 1400 N. Mantua St. Kent, OH 44240 All published material is protected speech adhering to the legal definitions of libel, obscenity and invasion of privacy. May 2013

Volume 84 Issue 4 April 2013 The Colonel is an open forum of student expression. It is not reviewed or censored by school officials prior to publication. Published material does not necessarily reflect the views of the Kent City School District or the publication as a whole. The Colonel is a member of the Ohio Scholastic Media Association and a 2010 All-Ohio Award winner.

on. rior



Student Life


Amnesty International Benefit Concert story | Sydnie Barnette photos | Maddie Otterdaughter


he Roosevelt High School Amnesty International club hosted its annual benefit concert on March 8, 2013. This year, the club chose to give half of their proceeds to Destiny Rescue, a group dedicated to rescuing women and girls from sexual slavery and providing them with jobs making jewelry. The show featured four Roosevelt bands and musicians including Three Mile Island, Noah Gfell, Stuff It!alian and Dead End Job. Perception provided poetry in between sets. Attendance at the show was somewhat sparse, but everyone there undeniably enjoyed a fun-filled night of music. Kicking off the event was friend duo, Three Mile Island. Roosevelt sophomore Andrei Christian and his friend from Stow, Gabe Francis, a junior, played a few covers on their electric guitars, singing in a pop-punk inspired way. The two received mixed reception, however as the set progressed, they gained more and more confidence. Noah Gfell performed next, with heartfelt original songs played on his acoustic guitar. His calming voice paired with seasoned guitar playing evoked much swaying and smiles from everyone in the crowd. All in attendance were quiet and respectful, probably thinking about their own significant others as Gfell dreamily sang of his. Next up was Stuff It!alian, featuring Aaron Leclerc on rhythm guitar and lead vocals; Rachel Favetta on saxophone, melodica, snare drum and backup vocals; and Vailey Dennis on lead guitar. The trio gave the most diverse set, with Favetta playing a plethora of instruments. The band played both original and cover songs. The crowd danced and cheered throughout the whole set as these seasoned performers provided upbeat indie rock songs fit to shake booties to. Finishing up the night was Dead End Job, featuring Danny Rickard on guitar and lead vocals, Aidan Printy on bass and backup vocals and Marc Blanc on drums. This punk trio got the whole house rocking, and I’m sure there wasn’t a still foot in the Roosevelt cafeteria. The band played original songs as well as covers of older

songs. The 80s punk aesthetic was prominent in Dead End Job’s set and it was well received. A t the end of the night, Gabe of Three Mile Island unexpectedly went back up to the stage to play a few more songs, all covers, on Leclerc’s guitar. This feat was probably an attempt at redeeming his band’s earlier Dead End Job plays at the Amnesty Concert. show. Most people were a bit confused as Gabe messed up words to the songs, but overall I believe all students and alumni at the concert had a great time. Following up with Amnesty International copresident Phoeby Trask, I asked her opinions on the outcome of the concert. “I was really happy with the concert and I thought everyone did a great job,” she said. She went on to express some disappointment in the lack of attendance, but gratitude for the energy of those who were there. Overall, the Amnesty International Benefit concert was a success, and students of RHS should look forward to the concert of 2014.

On the following pages: Dead End Job, Noah Gfell of Summit, members of the crowd, Stuff It!alian, and Gabe Francis of Three Mile Island

May 2013

7 Student Life

A Small College With an Even Smaller Price Tag

Yellow Springs, OH school waives all tuition for accepted students

story | Marc Blanc photo | via Antioch College,


ellow Springs, Ohio was founded educating young students again in fall of 2011. as a utopian settlement in 1825. In January of 2012, Antioch announced that all students Although the communitarian who begin class in the 2012-’13, 2013-’14 and 2014-’15 school efforts were abandoned shortly years would be getting a four-year liberal arts education free of afterward, some students have charge. 2,500 people found this offer irresistible (even though begun calling the southwest Ohio village the cost of room and board was and still is about $8,980 a year), “utopia” once again. Yellow Springs’ Antioch as the Antioch admissions office flooded with applications. College is waiving the four-year tuition of all “We don’t want economics to be an impediment to a admitted students for the next two years, high-quality liberal arts education,” Antioch President an opportunity that, to many young Mark Roosevelt said. academics, only sounds possible in a According to, only about 85 students socialist dreamland. currently attend Antioch. The college’s The almost clinically acceptance rate for the 2012-2013 school year insane sounding offer is an attempt was six percent and most of those admitted by Antioch to regain its once students took rigorous high school courses while distinguished reputation and brilliant maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA. Clearly the college student body. From 1852 to the late thinks highly of its progressive education program, 20th century, Antioch College was which includes using narrative evaluations in place a revered private institution famous of letter grades and sending students all over the for racial equity and political world for volunteer and vocational activism. In its heyday, the training in “co-op programs,” and it school produced such has its sights set on producing more successes as Coretta Nobel Prize winners. Scott King, They Might Despite the academic rigor, some Be Giants guitarist/multiconservative students have criticized instrumentalist John Antioch for being “cult-like” and Flansburgh, “Star Trek” intolerant of students who do not hold actor Leonard Nimoy and a “liberal” worldview, and attending two Nobel Prize winners the school in the near future is a risk as in politician/humanitarian Jose there will not be a graduating class showing where Antioch College’s logo Ramos-Horta and geneticist Mario a revitalized Antioch education can get students Cappecchi. until 2015. Antioch is certainly not the place for scholars who do After over a century of success, not feel comfortable attending a school with 84 other students in Antioch sputtered into a difficult an isolated village of 3,000 residents, either. transition to the New Millennium. However, in 2010 (after the school’s closing), Antioch Terrible management decisions, a drop in College was recognized on Huffington Post’s list of “Top Nonenrollment and negative media coverage of Traditional Colleges in the United States” alongside Brown students engaging in seemingly aggressive and Wesleyan University, and the “Colleges That Change Lives political demonstrations brought the college Guidebook” said that “there is no college or university in the to its grave in 2008, when it was laid to rest country that makes a more profound difference in a young with a tarnished reputation and a maxedperson’s life or creates more effective adults.” out credit card. After a year of bearing the This along with the free four-year tuition makes Antioch sight of grandiose Antioch Hall standing College worth applying to for many high schoolers, including abandoned, a group of alumni formed the myself. At the risk of giving myself more competition, I highly Antioch College Continuing Corporation suggest students (especially current juniors and seniors) with to raise money and support in hopes of a taste for progress, free education and adventure look into someday reopening Antioch’s doors. The Antioch College. corporation reached its goal two years and $17 million later. Antioch College started May 2013

Student Life

Social Anxiety in Teenagers


story | LaTessa Gray photo | Maddie Otterdaughter


ocial anxiety is one of the most common “Making the situation more difficult is that social anxiety mental disorders in the world. It is the does not come and go like some other physical and psychological third largest psychological problem in problems. If you have social anxiety one day, you have it every the United States today, after depression day for the rest of your life, unless you receive the appropriate and alcohol dependence. It is estimated therapy from an experienced therapist,” Dr. Thomas A. Richards, that 19.2 million Americans have social anxiety Ph.D., psychologist and director, says. The sad truth of the matter d i s ord e r. is that actually Every day we getting over social interact with anxiety can be people, having next to impossible, absolutely no especially if you’re idea of the inner a teenager unaware turmoil going on of your disorder. in their heads. Dr. Richards Some may call it continues, “You a growing trend can be extremely that is overly diligent about used as an excuse helping them, but for the common it truly is a self nerves, but it’s problem.” still extremely There isn’t prominent much you can do everywhere, to help a teen that including our has social anxiety, school. but that doesn’t The effects that stop what most of social anxiety us feel when you has on education see it. The telltale are pretty signs of blushing transparent and fidgeting are for the most enough to see that part. The fear someone isn’t okay of raising talking to you, your hand in and teachers can class, picking a feel awful about partner to work letting someone on something who clearly isn’t with, presenting comfortable a project or present to a class. reading an H o w e v e r essay aloud; the ultimately, as sad possibilities are as it is, we really nearly endless. can’t help. It can Every aspect of sometimes even those grueling be difficult to eight hours deal Junior Michelle Clark models for a photo representing social anxiety. decipher who with so many different actually has the disorder and social encounters that who is just shy. Most of what’s could make someone with this disorder go insane. assigned in classrooms are projects that do lead up to something One of the most crucial goals of any important, so dropping the task isn’t going to help, either. educational facility is to make the students feel What we can do as a high school with many people suffering as at home and comfortable as possible. Given from this disorder is to be understanding and knowledgeable about the attributes of social anxiety, that task isn’t it. By at least being conscious of the symptoms, we can know how possible. Teachers deal with different students to interact with them and be aware of what we’re saying and doing. all throughout the course of a day, and changing Though it still might not make them comfortable, it’s enough to assignments to meet one person’s needs isn’t very make their already stressful school life more bearable. feasible. May 2013

9 Student Life Teachers Share Personal Opinions in the Classroom What are teachers allowed to say to their students? story | LaTessa Gray photos | Maddie Otterdaughter


e’ve all been in a class where the conversations shift to what some teachers call “uncharted territory.” Whether it is evolution or religion, politics or government, most teachers don’t disclose their personal opinions in the classroom. There have been many rumors flown around the world about what teachers are allowed to say. Most people think that if the instructors broadcast any opinion on non-school related topics, they’d get fired. That’s really not the case. “It’s definitely a personal choice,” Christina Dreher-Rodesheim, psychology and U.S. history teacher says. “You want to keep an air of professionalism [in the classroom].” While she confesses that she doesn’t share her opinions in front of the class as a whole, she does with individual students. “It depends on the relationship between student and teacher, I think,” she explains. “There are cases where you can be more open with one

Mrs. Dreher-Rodesheim administers a quiz in her history class.

student than another.” One of the reasons why many people presume teachers will be fired for sharing that kind of information is because of the potential perception that the students and their parents could have of the educators and their opinions. Dreher adds, “I don’t think that anybody should be judged by their opinions, but is that reality? No.” Sophomore student Mitchell Roman felt the May 2013

same. “I think it would happen [teachers being judged,” he said. “Personally, I like peoples’ opinions and I’m very interested in what people have to say.” When asked about his parents’ opinions on the matter, he was very confident in them sharing his same beliefs. In contrast, geometry a n d algebra teacher Mr. Knopick teaches using technology such as laptops and Moodle.

Shawn Kiss says he enjoys giving his opinion to his classes. “Sometimes just to help students relate. It definitely keeps the student-teacher relationship strong because it’s important for students to know who you are.” He maintains that it is a personal choice and a good technique for learning. However, algebra teacher Eric Hughes is on the fence. He says that he “rarely” shows his opinion, but when he does it’s for a good reason. “It’s a personal choice. I just don’t want to push my opinions on anyone.” When asked about what he thought about the judgment that may or may not occur, he affirmed that it’s just simply a fact of life. Only in a “perfect world” would anyone be able to share their opinions without some kind of judgment. Chemistry teacher Chris Knopick claims he shares his opinion all the time. “Kids are really impressionable,” he states, “As long as you present both sides and you’re not trying to sell your side, then just telling them is okay.” It’s all really a matter of choice and trust. Teachers are definitely more open with the students they think are mature enough to handle it, which is certainly viable and understandable. Is it right that anyone should be cautious about what they should say? No, but it is a sad fact of life. It is ironic, however, that rumors suggested that the administration keeps teachers from what they say, but in reality it’s us. As Mrs. Dreher-Rodesheim said, “There is no handbook saying what we’re allowed to say.” Everything teachers share is solely their choice.



Student Life

Technology and Relationships Kyra Walker takes a look into the impacts of technology on relationships story | Kyra Walker photo | Maddie Otterdaughter


oday, nearly everyone has a cell phone and courtship to see if these people are really who they say about 500 million people use some kind of they are. In some cases they are telling the truth and social media website, whether it be Facebook, these couples work out but in most cases they don’t. Twitter, Instagram or a combination of these Someone is just playing a prank, doing it for their own and others. Although these sites are all good ways satisfaction or pretending to be someone else. In many to stay in touch and communicate, they have cases people are unhappy with who they are. This may undoubtedly changed our generation and the way include body issues or even how they see themselves. we form relationships. People have a need to be Pretending to be someone else takes that away from on the go all the time and want themselves, for just a little bit. things instantly. It has been said that 1 It’s more common to in 5 relationships start online. hear about someone adding a I never really understood how friend on Facebook than it is to people could do this until I met listen to people talking about a student who did this herself. physically meeting someone. For her, meeting people online Which, when you think about was a lot easier. In person she it, should be the other way was very shy and in some cases around. When just talking to had a mild case of social anxiety. people online it may be easier, Not physically being in front of but you don’t necessarily have someone took all that pressure off to be yourself. You have time to of her. She was able to get close to think about what you want to people while still being in her own say. But you can’t really have a comfort zone. relationship just based online When she first started without physically meeting the doing this, she would talk to a few person. There are only so many different people at once, with no things you can know about intent to even meet them. Which someone without physically in a way is playing with people’s meeting them. emotions and can cause hurt Meeting people online feelings. But she did this anyway. can also be dangerous. A few This went on for years. It wasn’t years ago, a movie called “The until recently she started talking Craigslist Killer” came out on to someone she actually intended Lifetime and it was based on the on meeting. For her, this was never true case. The now-convicted dangerous, because these people “Craigslist Killer” infamously were never complete strangers. lured his victims in with an ad Junior Corey Shimensky checks his phone while hugging They might have never met but had his girlfriend, junior Jessica Gordon. on Craigslist about potential multiple mutual friends who already work on a farm. When talking knew each other. For now she has to people online you never know who they really stopped doing this, since her current relationship status are. You could think they’re someone, and when has changed. Regret is not something she has. Since you finally meet, they could turn around and be this has led her to meeting her current boyfriend of 8 someone else. Which in many cases where this months now. happens, you never really know who you could It is sad just how many members of our be talking to online unless you already know the generation do this and consider it normal. There person. is nothing normal about this. The fact that people Recently, MTV aired a show called would rather text, talk on the phone or video chat with “Catfish.” It is essentially about people who date their lovers instead of having face to face, or “real” online without even meeting in person. The relationships is unbelievable and, quite frankly, woeful. show’s mission is to get the couples to finally meet in the flesh after months or even years of online May 2013

11 Student Life

Kent Schools Levy

Voters will decide on district’s funding in May story | LaTessa Gray photo | Maddie Otterdaughter


Excellence with Distinction mixed with the school already espite popular belief, the school cutting back on many expenses, a lot of Kent’s citizens consider doesn’t have an abundance of the levy unnecessary. However, the levy doesn’t just impact our money to afford some of our school. luxuries here at Roosevelt. For “Kent Schools are facing a significant cash deficit, and those of you who don’t know what a levy is, increases in costs such as energy, transportation, classroom it’s what funds our schools here in Ohio and materials and others add to the problem. Because of the Ohio is a very controversial topic roaming around House Bill 920, our local tax income does not increase according Kent this time of year. An $8.9-mill levy was to inflation. This new levy will keep our schools solvent until placed on the ballot for this upcoming May, 2019,” Bialik continues. He also tells us that in the past two years and though we’ve never lost a school levy, only, the states support of our schools has decreased by around the current economic troubles have some $2.3 million. fearing that this may be the year. For those assuming that the levy won’t affect them, A person with a especially if they don’t have a child house of a value of $100,000 enrolled in our school system, they would pay $272.56 per year should think again. extra in taxes; that amounts “The quality of our schools has a to $0.75 a day. Admittedly, direct and positive influence on property those numbers are pretty values. Realtors tell us that our excellent intimidating, so you can reputation is one of the top reasons see why so many people are people buy homes in Kent. Passing hesitant to pay the price. school levies is an important part of So how will their hesitancy the continuing promise responsible affect us? citizens must make to educate the next According to our generation,” Bialik continues. superintendent Dr. Giancola, “ order to continue to Kent City School District Board of Education Despite the commotion around the topic, a lot of students are unsure of educate our students in the just what the levy is, and what it means as far as our education way our community expects, school districts goes. Only few who are informed through relatives actually in Ohio have no other viable alternative than know how the levy could affect them. asking local taxpayers for operating funds.” “If it doesn’t pass, teachers could get fired or laid off, or With the levy in place, we can guarantee even forced to retire early. They’ll cancel a lot of programs. My that the clubs and programs we currently parents are supporters,” sophomore Christopher Hoskin says. have continue to have a spot in our school With most of us being teens under the age of 18, there isn’t system, along with using and updating the much that we can do to ensure that the levy is passed. However, technology that we have. getting information, formulating an opinion and sharing that “With the passage of the levy, we will knowledge with our community can hopefully sway us to make maintain our commitment to excellent the right decision for our schools here in Kent. According to classroom instruction, technology, and extra Bialik, the most important thing that we can do is share what we curricular opportunities for students, as well know. as our current bus transportation system. “We need your help to get our message out. In order to In addition, we want to increase safety and give our children the excellent education they security measures and resources in our need in today’s high-tech, competitive world, we need to support schools,” Brian Bialik, treasurer, states. the Kent Schools.” Because of our recent rating of

May 2013



Excessive Spending How much money is too much? story | Kyra Walker photos | Maddie Otterdaughter


f you earn your money, feeling guilty about how you choose to spend it shouldn’t happen. You work hard to make it, so why should someone tell you what to do with it or how much is the right amount to spend on a certain item? Some may try to make you feel guilty when there is truly no reason for that. Different people see the importance in buying different things. Everyone is different, which means they like different things. $50 for a pair of shoes is not an outrageous amount. Even spending $300 on a purse is not a crazy purchase. If you have the money to spend then what’s the harm? I don’t really see one. If that’s what you like to spend your money on, then do it. If you feel it’s necessary to pay $200 for a pair of jeans that fit better you shouldn’t feel bad about doing it. It’s your money to spend on whatever you wish. As long as you have the money to spend on something, it really shouldn’t matter how you spend or save it. People may think if you would spend that money on helping others it would be well spent. They may see an importance in this, so to them they are able to justify why they spent so much. But those who think like this may not even donate their own money. Some people are willing to spend $50$150 on a video game, which in my opinion is no different. You may be fine with spending $7 on a tee shirt and $10 on a pair of pants. Either way, nothing is wrong with whichever way you like to spend your money. Different people like different things and see the importance of spending it on different things, even if that means they are supporting big businesses like Walmart and Coach. Some people may have a big problem supporting these places. Walmart is such a huge company, actually one of the world’s biggest. You can get basically anything you need there. If you boycott Walmart just because of this, you would have to boycott every company that does this, which in some cases you won’t know. There always will be people in poverty and people who have less than others. Donating to special causes is always a great thing to do. You could only buy clothes when they get too small or when you absolutely need

them. Only about three quarters of American families donate money, and if that statistic includes you, that’s great, but trying to push people into donating because they’re big spenders isn’t right.




Charlotte Russe


May 2013



Perks of the Family Table story | Aundrea Bishop


ormally, especially with our generation, when dinner is ready, everyone takes their food and either disperses or clumps together in front of the television despite the fact that there is a table in the dining room. Sometimes the family wants to eat together, but it becomes too hard when you count out of home activities such as sports, study groups and the like. According to The Food Marketing Institute only 40 percent of American families dined together in the year 2002, and they only did so around three of seven days a week. Only a generation ago, that number was in the 80 percent range, and the number is continuing to decrease. We’ve all grown up hearing the phrase “the family table brings loved ones closer together.” When you were younger, you probably laughed and shrugged it off like it was no big deal. If you think about it, sitting down with your family to eat can do so much more than you think. We will start at square one. Your family may eat together in front of the television, and that is what you consider the family table. You’re all in the same room and eating together, so it’s basically the same thing, right? Wrong. Eating with your family while the television is on does not have the same effect as sitting down and talking together. The television is a distraction, and it takes your mind away from the conversation at hand. Getting the same communication sitting in front of the television as one would seated at a table without background distractions is unlikely. Communication is a key concept of the family table. When families talk together, each member is given the opportunity to express his or her concerns. It lets the family know what is going on in the life of each member and makes sure that he or she is doing alright.

May 2013

Manners are something else which can be communicated through dining with the family. If you’re eating alone, you may be curled up on your bed, leaning over a keyboard or video game controller. In the privacy of your own room, you can belch when you feel the need without worrying about anyone hearing you. Sitting at the family table, your manners can be corrected. Manners say a lot about a person and they can hold a long-term effect. The family table can also be a learning experience for some. Spaghetti and hamburgers are some typical American meals, but they can always be replaced with a foreign dish. Expanding the choice of dinner meals can help teach different cultures to those eating the food. It may take eight to ten exposures of the food before it is accepted, but it just might be worth it. A family doesn’t even have to go so far as to try food from another culture. By simply trading in the same old corn for broccoli or green beans, a person’s choice in food can be greatly influenced. Another perk of this is that it may increase the nourishment the family is receiving in their food. They wouldn’t be consuming the same four or five foods all the time. More health factors than nourishment can fluctuate depending on how many times a week the family eats together. Each year, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University conducts a survey which focuses on how teens behave. It has shown that teens who eat with their families are more likely to perform well in school. The same students reported to be less stressed and were less likely to smoke, drink or expose themselves to harmful substances or illegal drugs. Finally, two of the biggest concerns when it comes to mealtime are time and cost. It may take longer to prepare a meal than to take a trip down the road to McDonalds’ or Taco Bell, but it is much more cost efficient. A family of around five people can spend anywhere from $600 to $700 or more on groceries a month. That same family of five could also spend up to $100 or more if each person orders a steak dinner while eating out. If that family were to eat out every day that week, they could’ve purchased a week’s worth of groceries for the same price. The family table has many more benefits than you may think. It could put a little extra spending money in your pocket and even bring the family closer to set out on a better future. It isn’t difficult to do. Just have a seat and eat.

Arts & Culture



Old v. New Cartoons

Modern toons can’t compare to clever shows of yesterday story | Aundrea Bishop photo | via CN


et me start out by saying that I don’t watch a whole lot of television. Don’t get me wrong, I did when I was a kid. As I grew up, I began to realize something about cartoons: they just weren’t the same anymore! I grew up watching cartoons from my parents’ generation (Generation X as I’ve heard it referred to), as I’m sure many of us did. “Scooby-Doo,” “The Flintstones” and “Tom and Jerry” are the most recallable of my childhood cartoons. I’m guessing you’ve heard of them. Then, the most tragic event of my childhood took place. Cartoon Network became known as “CN.” All of the shows I grew up with began to disappear or they were moved to Boomerang, a channel which, at first, you had to purchase to view. I pushed my bitter resentment aside and got over the fall of Cartoon Network, letting CN enter my life. Then, the second tragedy struck. Nickelodeon became known as “Nick.” All of the same shows were there, but they progressively became less and less interesting to me. The same thing happened with shows on CN and Disney Channel. I continued to lose interest in the shows I either once loved or had recently begun to consume my time with to the point where I gave up on television and stopped watching it all together (I’m not sure which came first, but that’s the order in which I recall them changing). I’ve recently sat down with my brothers to watch some television for the first time in a while. I’ve noticed three things. One, there appears to be no reoccurring conflict in any of these new cartoons. Two, all of the new cartoons look like something that I drew in kindergarten. Three, they all suck.

They’re terrible and completely uninteresting. Normally in the cartoons I grew up with, it was the same thing in all of them. Either two people (or in a lot of cases, animals) were conflicting or there was a family problem which was sorted out in the end with some comical relief. Now, I watch these new cartoons and can’t help but think of how vulgar they are! If this is what we are exposing our future generations to, we really need to seriously sit down and rethink it. The subtle and/or disguised cursing along with the sexual references found in most new cartoons is enough to suck the innocence out of any child. I find myself a little shocked when I hear elementary school children quoting characters such as Mordecai and Rigby. “Don’t look at our crotches while we synchronize our watches!” Who comes up with this stuff? A better question would be, “Who includes quotes like this in a children’s cartoon?” I don’t have much appreciation for the fact that my younger brothers run around screaming things like this in public. I go into stores now and all I can see is merchandise for shows such as “Adventure Time,” “Regular Show” and “The Amazing World of Gumball.” Not to mention that every time I ask someone what time it is, he or she feels the need to scream, “Adventure Time,” at the top of his or her lungs. It’s just not funny. You may think it’s funny, but it’s really not. These shows are just so immature, vulgar and completely unintelligent that they merely seem funny. The only time I laugh when watching them is in a sarcastic manner to ward off the pain when I realize that I’m actually watching this nonsense. Our generation has already earned the titles of “lazy” and “under appreciative.” We don’t need “unintelligible” to be added to the list, but the fact that we advertise these cartoons on our person isn’t going to keep that label away. In fact, it’s quite counterproductive. We fuel the future, and at this rate, we’re not doing too well of a job. Limiting our exposure to these new cartoons is a simple enough task to manage. We may even gain a few extra brain cells Scooby Doo in the process. You never know.

April 2013 May 2013

15 “Spring Breakers” Review Arts & Culture

story | LaTessa Gray


ost everyone wanted to see some of the Disney girls go wild in the movie “Spring Breakers.”

Even I can’t lie that the idea of seeing stars such as Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens show a more mature side to their acting was intriguing. I didn’t have a lot of faith, thinking they couldn’t pull off a role so different from their other ones, but their acting capabilities were the least of the movie’s problems.The movie was not worth the five minutes it took to get to the theater. The basis of the movie revolves around the four girls played by Ashley Benson from “Pretty Little Liars,” Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and Rachel Korine. The only distinct character was Faith, Gomez’s character, who was an innocent

character development throughout the entire movie. While in court, the judge said that they could either stay in jail or pay their bail. There was no way that four broke college girls could come up with that kind of money, but a rapper and gangster named Alien, played by James Franco, bails them all out. If you want to see James Franco’s pretty face, “Oz” is your best bet. His character is physically revolting in this film, which bodes well for his personality. He shows the best acting, playing the role as a creepy stranger extremely well. His voice makes even the audience uneasy, an almost southern twang with a bit of just plain eeriness. While he doesn’t seem at all appealing to us, threefourths of the girls cannot see past his money. Faith calls out Cottie, Korine’s character, for jumping in the car with him, but follows, having no other choice. When he brings the girls back to his place, Alien hits on a hysterical Faith, who abruptly leaves, telling her friends she wants to go home. Her friends are only slightly sympathetic. When Faith shares her troubling thoughts of what could potentially happen if the girls were to stay, they write it off as Faith not being as rebellious as they are. So instead of following their friend home, they send her off in a melodramatic group hug. The movie is an hour and forty-five minutes, and after the first fifteen, Selena’s character is gone. She was an obvious advertising ploy to attract more watchers as she truly was more of a guest star rather than a main character. It’s also after that fifteen minutes that the movie goes completely downhill. Having no substance, the next hour is sex, drugs, crime and partying. The movie had a foreshadowing effect, where scenes from the future would play quickly in the beginning, so you would see each scene more than once. It was almost like they filmed maybe ten good scenes and then switched them around over and over with an audio of James Franco saying, “Spring break.” The three girls left (Cottie, Candy and Brit) become almost like Alien’s “Charlie’s Angels” in a very warped way. They essentially build up a dependent relationship upon him, craving his safety in money and gain it by committing crimes. The only conflict we run into is that of Gucci Mane’s character, Archie, who is an old friend turned rival to Alien.

“The movie was not worth the five minutes it took to get to the theater.” church girl with a few rebellious friends she’d known since kindergarten. Looking for some adventure, she agrees to go on vacation with those friends, and is the only character to actually experience any development. We begin to be clued in to her regret when Brit, Benson’s character, admits that she and Vanessa Hudgen’s character, Candy, robbed a diner using squirt guns to get the needed money for the vacation. The horror is pretty evident on Faith’s face as they confide in her, but the situation is quickly forgotten as they resume their short experience of nonstop drugs, partying and sex. In the midst of the fun, the cops end up at one of the parties the girls are at and [the girls] are arrested. While the other girls are upset, Faith is terrified. She tells her friends about her fears and how being in jail was not what she wanted out of her vacation. As her friends attempt to console her, we see the tide change in Faith’s character. There’s a small but definite change in her views on her once boring life, and that is the only May 2013

Arts & Culture


There’s one single confrontation between them before it turns ugly and they’re side by side in two cars, Archie with a girl and Alien with his girls. They threaten each other, but the end

have been much better and had more substance than it did. Instead, they used the name of Selena Gomez to lure people in and executed a halfhearted plot line that left us unsatisfied. The movie overall was like one big Gucci Mane music video. Sadly enough, the director Harmony Korine had a fairly good reputation for writing the movie “Kids” in 1995. Usually, his work comes across as tasteful, even in his direction of “Gummo.” However, with “Spring Breakers,” he took a turn for the worst that nobody should have to witness. After Faith goes home, the girls get close to Alien.

all is that Archie’s girl shoots Cottie in the arm. Distressed and ready to go home, Cottie turns to her friends. She cries about how spring break is over and everyone is going back to their lives, so she has to, too. They listen to her, showing more compassion than they did with their last friend, but return to the ritual of sending her home with a big hug. That leaves Candy and Brit, who were the craziest to begin with. They both posses a liking for guns, and they’re both equally attracted to Alien. Alien, angry with Archie for shooting Cottie, plots to kill him. You can tell that her being shot was just an irrelevant and spur of the moment lead into any type of problem because the story was desperately lacking one. Alien had no prior interest in Cottie. He had only shown affections toward Faith, Candy and Brit. The only insight we get is when he breaks into song and sings about his four “chickies.” Had the filmmakers tapped more into the minds of Candy or Brit, the film would

Candy, Brit, Cottie and Faith get arrested in “Spring Breakers”

May 2013


Arts & Culture

Philosophy of Humor Why do we laugh? story photos | Maddie Otterdaughter


umor is often blindly accepted as one of we are literally laughing at one’s pain. There exist a world of those natural human behaviors that “we jokes that resemble the same nature of humor that we fit into just do,” but when observed closely one categories: dead baby jokes, “your mom” jokes, women jokes, may find it is a bit more intricate and Helen Keller jokes, Holocaust jokes and racist jokes. All of interesting than we initially think. Some which are prime examples of jokes that ordinary people laugh of you may find yourselves one day thinking, “Why do we laugh?” or, “Why do we laugh at the things we do laugh at?” or simply, “What makes something funny?” The objective of this article is to delve into the complex nature of humor and hopefully come to a better, more philosophical understanding of human nature and the development of laughter. Let it be clear that this at that all have Juniors Dwight Chen and Stan Zalewski laugh at jokes told during lunch. is a mere digression to do with the of philosophical suffering of other thought, not necessarily the answer to these very people. Dead baby jokes and Holocaust jokes may seem rather intricate questions. In an attempt to establish a starting point to offensive, and many of us think that those who laugh at such this very complicated discussion the first question matters are unkind, but many of those who think it takes a that will be addressed is, “What kind of things hurtful mind to laugh at such things would be surprised to do people laugh at?” So, what kinds of things do find that a great deal of the population will slip a chuckle we laugh at? It has been observed by comedian to this kind of humor. In nature, Holocaust jokes resemble after comedian, philosopher after philosopher, the same fundamental basis as pranks. However awful this that a majority of jokes stem from a very simple may seem on surface level, in philosophical argument, one idea: suffering. It seems that most jokes intend for cannot ignore the mass majority of individuals that find someone or something at some point in time to these particular kinds of jokes funny. We don’t just laugh at horrid atrocities either; we be made fun of, hurt or in some way be put down. also tend to laugh at the fact that some things are simply One example is a prank. When we laugh at a prank May 2013

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cute, adorable or just plain silly. Meaning, the function of humor is to stimulate happiness. When many of us see something cute or silly, we laugh because it makes us experience the silliness with a greater sense of pleasure. Be mindful of the fact that humor can be diverse; obviously what one person finds funny, another may not. The fundamental ideas behind jokes are the discussion, not any particular joke. The single most important question is, “Why?” It must be understood that each of the following perspectives assume a certain degree of information. The first perspective assumes the following criteria: human beings are innately good, compassionate and loving. Human beings also seek companionship and are compelled to be with others. Humor, as a natural human behavior, is perceived to be a defense mechanism to situations that we find ourselves uncomfortable with. Laughter makes us feel good; it is delightful and it makes us happy. The stimulus is pain and suffering, so the response is laughter. We laugh because it makes us feel better. We use humor to stimulate laughter and in turn, we are coping and combating the negative suffering of other human beings. In other words, considering this particular stance on humor, those who truly understand humor and can laugh at anything are not sadistic in nature. Rather, they are the most compassionate individuals because they realize that they are upset that others are suffering. Understanding the following perspective also assumes a set of criteria: human beings are innately evil, self-centered and selfindulgent. Humans also seek to gain from Junior Clay Shannon is brought to tears over a joke told by a classmate. other’s suffering. Humor can often make others angry, offended and even hurt. It can feelings of hurt. Whether it is money, violence or be used to directly put others down and harm each simply humor, we use these tools as a source of power other. It can be used as a tool to more comfortably over other human beings. despise groups of people. We laugh because it acts as An alternative understanding would be that a source of power over other human beings. Fact is, it is a combination of both perspectives. Much of us humor can hurt others because we are attacking that naturally laugh at jokes in accordance with the first individual, and often times belittling that individual perspective. Others create jokes and laugh at others who is suffering. Many of us find it disrespectful to to maintain power or put down others intentionally joke about particular topics that are sensitive to select for the sake of suffering. Many of us do both and groups. Due to this taboo that comes about in certain sometimes we are completely unaware of the fact that groups, it can be speculated that these individuals feel we are doing so. Those who understand the intricacies they are not being taken seriously and are hurt over of humor understand that humor behavior is flexible, the fact that some would not consider the others’ complicated and often times unclear. May 2013


Arts & Culture

All I Need

A review of AWOLNATION’s concert at the House of Blues in Cleveland story | Rachel Favetta photos | via Alyssa Nilsen


magine standing in a crowd of sweaty strangers for just over three hours, all waiting for the same thing. All buzzing with greater levels of excitement as the time draws near. Finally, after an hour and a half of some awful deejay, fortyfive minutes of a decent set by the opener, Mother Mother and half an hour of nothing, Aaron Bruno, the lead singer of AWOLNATON, walks onto the stage. AWOLNATION is an electronic rock band most widely known for their song “Sail.” The combination of Aaron’s raspy screams and the intense synth backbone makes this song simple yet genius. Needless to say, it was the most anticipated song of the night. It was the penultimate song, which I found strange. By the time you get to the end of a set as crazy as theirs, you have no energy left, not that that hindered any enjoyment of the music. They opened with a pumpin’ number called “Guilty Filthy Soul.” The crowd went insane, as it’s another one of their most popular songs. Everyone was jumping and pulsating together as one body. That’s my favorite thing about music: its ability to break through barriers. Did I know Brandon, the kid standing next to me, before that concert? No, and I still don’t, but it doesn’t matter because we didn’t have to know anything about each other to share an amazing night. We were sweating on each other and our shoulders were touching. When you go to Applebee’s, people will leave an entire seat between themselves and strangers. Even though they’re all just waiting for the same thing, no one makes conversation or even eye contact. It really makes you wonder how we’re progressing as a species, and if music will always have the amazing unifying ability it has today. Would you trust one hundred randomly May 2013

selected people to lift you up over their heads without dropping you? At the beginning of the show, the venue strictly prohibited any and all moshing, crowd surfing or stage diving, but by the end of the third song, after Aaron had challenged us to see “how many people we could get to crowd surf on this next one,” the bouncers were at the front of the stage helping people off the sea of hands, and even hugging them. The only person that was dropped before making it to the front was a rather large thirty-something guy, who never should’ve asked anyone to pick him up anyway. Music creates a trust between audience members. Everyone there suddenly has a connection. You won’t be given those sideways looks for describing how impactful a certain song was on your day or even your life, because everyone there appreciates it just as much as you do. The band pours its heart out on stage, giving you the

The crowd goes wild for AWOLNATION.

unspoken permission to do the same in the audience, but you don’t do it with words; you do it by dancing. You do it by letting go of your inhibitions and jumping around like a crazy person. No one cares that you look ridiculous, because they do too. In the middle of the set, AWOL “took it up a notch” with “Soul Wars.” Another one of their fast-paced, powerful, passionate songs. This is my personal favorite, and arguably the best song of the night. With this newfound

Arts & Culture


energy instilled in the crowd, the band seizes the enough to make life seem like a flipbook. The end of opportunity to whip out another fast one, advocating the concert feels like a dream; the last two songs were an excellently compiled setlist. Now that everyone is surreal. coated in a new layer of sweat, which is not just their Aaron is thanking everyone for coming, saying own, Aaron asks them to put their arms around the two typical end-of-concert stuff about how the fans are the people next to them. He says it doesn’t matter if you “true fuel” and how he “couldn’t have gotten where he know them or not. Some people are a little wary, but is today without you.” The lights go out, and everyone is within a minute everyone quiet for a split second. Then is linked. The band starts the chanting starts. It only playing “All I Need,” takes about thirty seconds for a calmer, slower song the band to get back onstage about how all one needs for their encores. Their first is “you smiling at me,” encore is selfishly a new song life and love. The whole that no one knows, just to audience is swaying, like prove that they are writing tall grass in the wind, and new music and that it is that atmosphere of trust still amazing. Their second returns. You can almost encore is another one off feel the hearts swelling. their only album, “Megalithic It’s getting toward Symphony;” something that the end of the concert the crowd recognizes and can now, and the first strains sing along to but still leaves of “Sail” hit the crowd. them wanting more. Just to, You can’t hear anything once again, attest to their skill over the yelling and at organizing a set list. applause for a good thirty AWOLNATION is a seconds. Once the initial very talented group who excitement dies down, is also, in my mind, very everyone sings along. underrated. As Max Bemis, Aaron could literally stop the lead singer of alternative singing and it wouldn’t rock band Say Anything, matter. So he does. He once said, “I’d rather have our leaves the stage twice considerable but not huge during the song, and the conglomeration of brilliant people are just left floating individuals than a million in the moment. The people who only like one instrumentation, as I said single.” AWOLNATION is earlier, is simply genius. Kenny Carkeet (left) on guitar and lead singer Aaron Bruno (right) essentially famous for Sail. It Although the bassist looks is not their best song, but it is a incredibly bored with his one note every four beats, great one. It’s unfortunate that a large pool of their fan the audience is quite the opposite. base only knows them for that one single and doesn’t The sound floods in as if it’s coming from all appreciate their even greater works. Max Bemis gets to directions, and the people are going nuts. Everyone have a more personal and powerful effect on his fans is screaming “sail!” on the downbeats, even with the because of the nature of the relationship. It’s quicker to lead singer off stage. When he finally comes back on teach a class of two than it is a class of twenty-two. for good, everyone cheers again, and the song winds If you’ve never heard of AWOLNATION, I down. AWOL ended the concert with “Burn It Down,” encourage you to give them a listen. They write and their fastest, most pumped-up song. It’s hard to tell perform powerful music together. It’s something what’s actually going on, because everyone is jumping everyone should get a chance to appreciate. all over the place and the strobes are going just fast May 2013


Arts & Culture

Portrait of the Artists as Young Adults Interviews with art and photography students at RHS story | Daniel McIllduff photos | via interviewees


ur school has students that excel in all forms of life, from sports to academics and from acting to writing. Two talents that are very prevalent at Roosevelt that don’t always get the attention they deserve are art and photography. With the help of A.P. Art teacher Mrs. Atkins and Photo 3 teacher Mr. McClure, the Colonel had the opportunity to interview and showcase three dedicated and talented art and photography students. Interviewee: D.J. Best C: When did you become interested in photography? DB: At the end of sophomore year, actually. I was looking for another semester-long class to take and figured, “Hey, why not? Could be fun.” C: What got you interested in photography? DB: Well, after I got into Photo 1 I fell in love with it. It was different and fun, so I stuck with it. C: What is your favorite part about photography? DB: My favorite part about photo is either the stories behind the pictures, as in why did you take it, what were you doing/thinking, etc., or after, when you get to step back and look at a finished piece and go, “Now I like that.” C: What are your favorite subjects in photography? DB: My favorite subject is nature. I love nature photography, but another thing I love is anything close up. Close up shots just add such a different perspective and generally end up looking really cool. Interviewee: Evan Paino C: When/why did you start making art? EP: I started making art way back when I was a toddler just like everyone else and kind of always kept with it. C: What has been your favorite subject, medium or piece? EP: My favorite medium to use is graphite and I am currently working on my A.P. concentration of graphite drawings of buildings in Kent. C: What is your favorite part of art? EP: I’d have to say my favorite part about art is the May 2013

A drawing done by Evan Paino

fact that it’s so relaxing. It’s a good way to relax but also be productive at the same time. C: How long do you plan on continuing your career in art? EP: I don’t plan on taking art classes in college but I think making art will always be a hobby, and I might take some classes when I’m older because I want to get into clay and ceramics. C: Do you have any advice for beginning artists? EP: I would suggest experimenting with different mediums until you find one that you really like and that you’re really good at. Interviewee: Erin Cline C: When did you become interested in photography? EC: Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to help my mom take pictures of everything. In sixth grade I got my first digital camera and ever since then I’ve been in love. I would walk around just looking for a different way to look at ordinary things. C: What got you interested in photography?

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EC: I always looked for ways to be expressive, but I’m not the greatest drawer or painter. So, I picked up a camera. It allowed me to be creative and artistic without needing a special talent in drawing. C: What is your favorite part about photography? EC: Every time I take photos, it turns into an adventure. Whether I’m hanging a bit out of my window in sixdegree weather trying to get the perfect icicle photo or laying on the sidewalk trying to catch the perfect angle of the puddle, I’m always challenging myself to find a different perspective. I could take photos for hours and not even notice. C: What are your favorite subjects in photography? EC: I love taking photos of things that are happening in real life. Sometimes setting up people or objects doesn’t give me as much emotion in my photos. There’s nothing like capturing raw emotion in a photo. C: What are your plans for photography in the future? EC: I am planning on attending Kent State University to get my BFA(Bachelor of Fine Arts) in photojournalism. One day I would like to work my way up to becoming a photographer for National Geographic. That would be my dream job.


A photo taken by D.J. Best

A photo taken by Erin Cline

May 2013



The Kernel

Colonel staff sends vintage yearbook to the Kent Historical Society story | Marc Blanc photos | Maddie Otterdaughter


sit behind glass for all eternity; this is where the Kent Historical treasure has been hiding from Society came into play. The Society, located on generations unknown East Main Street, has a room where visitors just under the noses can flip through vintage publications looking of students who for relatives or simply the thrill of glimpsing have had class in into the lives of Kentites of times past. room 523. Social studies teacher and Kent Historical Underneath the sink, Society member Mr. Amhrein gladly at the bottom of a cardboard delivered the Kernel to the Society, where it box filled with past issues is now on display and can be read by anyone, of the Colonel lay a book and by anyone, I mean everyone. Every published in 1923, covered in person can find subjects of fascination in smooth, undisturbed leather. the 1923 Kernel, whether it be the period The only art on the cover is a artwork, the elegant writing of the students title in gold lettering: “THE or the obscure clubs that Roosevelt once KERNEL.” had. “The Kernel” is It is unclear when the Kernel not an issue of a monthly became the Colonel, or when it switched news magazine, but a formats from yearbook to news magazine, yearbook commemorating as the next oldest issue of the Colonel the inaugural year of in the archive box is from the 40s, and it Theodore Roosevelt High features the titular spelling we use today. The cover of the 1923 Kernel School, when it was housed What is clear, however, is the Class of 1923 wanted in what is now Davey Elementary. their Kernel to be preserved and read by generations Names and faces lost to history reside to come, and we have a responsibility to honor their will. within its pages, and although many of This yearbook is truly extraordinary, and not in the empty the yearbook’s students and teachers’ modern sense of the word. It is extraordinary and amazing and family trees have uprooted from Kent, the incredible in the purest and strongest sense of language. The 1923 Roosvelt student body and faculty feeling one gets while reading the Kernel is impossible to put into have lived in our city for the past 90 years, words; it is something that can only be experienced when holding spending at least some of that time at the the 90 year old work of students in one’s own hands. bottom of a box hidden in room 523. Extra-curriculars such as the mandolin and glee clubs, the football team (leather helmets and all) and popular sayings from the Roaring Twenties (“the cat’s meow” was their version of “swag”) are all immortalized on flawless, shining pages. The only damage to the Kernel is the peeling binding, and it was decided at the beginning of April that this piece of history should not be kept in a box in the damp cupboard beneath the sink. At the same time, we wanted the entire school to be able to experience the leatherA junior class poem (left) and art depicting the sophomore class (right) bound artifact, so we had to make sure it wouldn’t end up someplace where it would May 2013


History of the Kent Railroad


The rich past of the steel track running through our backyards story | Alex Ledet photo | Maddie Otterdaughter


ent, Ohio is a town known for its large university and top rated public school system. But many people don’t know it for what it really is, or used to be: a railroad town. A wealthy businessman and the town’s namesake, Marvin Kent, brought Kent to its current place on the map. He believed that his businesses and the businesses of others in the area could and should be serviced by a railroad. The planning for a railroad that was to link the western United States to the Erie Railroad in western New York began in October of 1852 and Marvin Kent worked his way to obtain a few charters allowing him to construct a railroad linking western Ohio to the southern tip of the Erie Railroad in New York. At first the Kent railroad Charter was called the Coal Hill Railroad, and along with his father and brother, Marvin Kent raised the $900,000 in stock subscriptions to build his part of the track. Construction started on Independence Day of 1853, and it wasn’t until ten years later that the first train would enter the town. In the process, the Coal Hill Railroad became the Franklin and Warren Railroad, but this was mostly just a name since there was no actual track yet. Shortly after that it became the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. During the Panic of 1857, Marvin Kent and his allies had to sell their railroad bonds in Europe, but once their financial situation settled, they were able to regain their bonds and continue building with the help of the Erie Railroad company. On March 7, 1863, Marvin Kent and other officials traveling by train arrived in Franklin Mills. These men were the first to enter the town after ten years of construction. The Erie Railroad was an underdog for its time. After the Civil War, the nation’s economy was growing and so were the railroads and the

competition between them. Huge railroad companies were competing for control of shipping and passengers. Some of these companies were the New York Central Railroad, mostly run by the Vanderbilts, or the Pennsylvania Railroad. These were both well-oiled machines as far as railroads go. On the other hand the Erie Railroad was stricken with frauds and scandals. In 1868 the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad was officially leased to the Erie Railroad. After 15 years of hard work and investments, Marvin Kent retired as the president of the company. In 1864 the grateful citizens of Franklin Mills changed the town’s name to Kent in honor of Marvin Kent. After Kent left the railroad, the company went through many hardships including legal problems, bankruptcies and name changes. Between 1864 and 1914 the company had nine different names, but everyone called it the Erie. As said by Bruce Dzeda, “No matter its name, it was Kent’s hometown railroad.” The construction of the depot, which we all know today as the Pufferbelly, was a big to-do. The original depot was a cheap one-story building, described as being something “a railroad would build when new and without money.” To build a new depot the estimated cost was going to be $10,000 and the town would have to pay $4,000 of it. They raised the money and the depot was opened in June of 1875. The original set was as follows: on the ground floor there was a telegraph, the dispatcher’s office, a ticket counter, a waiting room, a restaurant, bathrooms and a large space for freight shipments. In the north tower of the depot there was a small library of books for railroad employees maintained by a station manager. Later on, the company told the station manager that he could not have his library taking up space in the depot so he moved it across the river and it became the Kent Free Library. Today all that remains of the Kent Railroad is one track and some old car depots. The railroad still runs trains on it, mostly servicing the grain mill downtown, but it has long since stopped being a passenger train system. Even though many people don’t know about Kent’s beginning, the city will always be a railroad town.

The Pufferbelly

May 2013



Genetics Behind Athleticism story | Allison Kridelbaugh photo


hether or not athletic ability is genetic has always been a question often asked. In a sample family, Son A is an incredible athlete playing baseball, basketball and even football, while Son B can barely run a mile under ten minutes. Why is this? Is it simply because Son A is in better shape than Son B, or is it because their parents’ athletic ability was passed on to only one of the sons? Some ways to have a higher potential in excelling in human performance is by training, eating properly and exercising on a regular basis. Yet, for each individual, his/her genetics may limit him/her to what he/she are physically able to do, affecting his/her athletic performance. says that “genetics are the fundamental code that gives people their eye color, limb length, height, bodily proportions, reaction time, hair color, lung capacity, weight distribution and everything else that the body tends to lean towards naturally.” Your genes also determine how your body responds to training. Some people respond to training better than others, this is where more advanced athletes come from. Training increases your genetic efficiency, but the overall extent of the training does, however, depend on your genetics. According to, “genetics have a large influence over strength, muscle size and muscle fiber composition (fast or slow twitch), anaerobic threshold (AT), lung capacity, flexibility, and…endurance.” What this means is that an individual’s body make up does come from his/her parents’ genetics. This is determined by the genes the parents have and what the child will inherit. May 2013

There are some certain aspects to athleticism that do not depend on your genetic makeup; this would include balance, agility, accuracy and reaction time. However, these things can be improved with the appropriate training. The more time spent on these aspects of athleticism, the better athlete one can become. The answer to this frequently asked question is still unknown, even with research in progress. Princeton geneticist and molecular biologist, Dr. Lee Silver, has performed genetic testing research on this very issue. What Dr. Silver found is that “what most people don’t realize is the incredible power of the information that lies within the Human Genome Project. It’s absolutely going to happen that during the next decade we’re going to identify the genes that give individuals different athletic abilities.” In the case for Son A and Son B, chances are both of them have rather similar genetics, but Son A has trained more than Son B, hence his superior athleticism. Son A has prepared for his game and worked on his balance, agility etc., while Son B has only on occasion focused on his health. Whether it has to do with his genetic makeup or not cannot be determined.

A strand of DNA


Age and Athleticism


story | Alex Ledet photo


He describes this sabbatical as “pure bliss.” While in the height here are many factors that could of his training Lagat only runs about 65 miles a week. A steep determine the end of an athlete’s contrast compared to Cam Levins, one of Lagat’s opponents in career, such as a major injury, the Milrose two-mile, who is famous for running 190 miles in doping or even quitting. These can one week of training. Lagat believes that the key to training is be avoided, but there is one factor intensity, not volume. He trains that will take out every once a day for six days a week. athlete: age. The peak On Monday he has an easy age of an elite athlete has run, then on Tuesday a hard always been debated and workout usually 500 meter it is different for every repeats, then on Wednesday sport, but the meaning of another hard workout—usually a “peak” is still the same: hills, then on Thursday another once you reach the top, easy run, followed by a five mile its only downhill from tempo run on Friday, and to there. But there are some wrap up the week, Saturday is a outliers: athletes that long run. seem to defy their age Another thing that keeps and continue to achieve Lagat in shape and injury free even against younger is his form; it’s almost perfect. competition. Injuries are something that Take for example can lead to a shorter athletic Bernard Lagat, an career. It takes time to recover American middle from injuries and in some distance runner. He is cases injuries can lead to more 38 years old and has the injuries. He keeps his arms American record for the loose and swings them through 3,000 meter run (7:29), the his hips, while kicking his two-mile run (8:09) and heels back the right amount the 5,000 (12:53) meter and lifting his knees enough run. He set the two-mile Bernard Lagat is still successful at athletics at the age of 38. to cycle his legs through each record in February of this stride. Through all of this his year at the Milrose Games in back is straight and his head is level and steady, even on the last New York City. The next three competitors lap of a 5,000 meter race. after him were 24 years old and two were The main reason for decline in a runner’s performance is 26. Lagat also competed in the Olympics in related to something called the VO2 max. This is how fast your 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. body can get oxygen to your blood for maximum performance. Lagat does things a bit differently In adults who don’t get a lot of exercise, their VO2 max decreases from younger runners to keep his body in at about ten percent a decade beginning at age 30, but constant good condition. His training is unique and training, like Lagat’s, can slow the decline. to some other runners, ridiculous. He takes What can be taken from Bernard Lagat’s example is a lots of rest, a good thing considering that long successful athletic career requires strength, moderation, running is a high impact sport. Every fall knowledge and the desire to win. he takes a month off from running. In this time he will gain weight which gives him something to burn once his training resumes. May 2013


Volume 84 Issue 4  
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