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Gorczyca breaks gender stereotype by playing on a boys’ pg. 4 hockey team


The new PE waiver sparks controversy

pg. 7


Truc Tran speaks up about his unique style

pg. 5


New English tools make citing sources easy

pg. 3

Oracle The

Issue 8 Volume 38 9 February 2010

Student Newspaper

Columbus East High School 230 S. Marr Rd. Columbus, IN 47201 Phone: (812) 376-4335 E-Mail:


Oracle Staff: Co Editors in Chief: Tristen Dull Lydia Vieth

Staff Writers:

Ben Brown Evie Shultz Ali Sullivan Shelby Woodard

Photographers: Annie Chapman Courtney Cozad Betsy Myers Natalie Pegram

Ads Staff:

Colton Lewis


Megan Whitehead




Upgrades provide learning opportunities

A new wave of technology is sweeping through the English department. Enter Criterion and Noodle Tools. Criterion’s service offers a web-based resource that allows students to plan out essays in addition to Photo from NoodleTools website. revising. After a student submits their work, it is immediately scored and students can begin editing and revising. Teachers also have access to the Criterion system and see the scoring reports from students’ submitted work. Student work is graded based on two forms of analysis; holistic scores and trait feedback. Holistic scores compare work against national standards where as trait feedback looks at the individual parts of the writing such as grammar, style, organization, and development. The end product is a score sheet that gives the student a deep analysis of their errors and shows them where to rework parts of the writing that need the most attention. Noodle tools is also an addition to the English department. Most teachers will require a work cited, or a bibliography and

as well as in-text citations. It’s an up- to- date MLA citation tool that organizes and saves the information you decide to use in your writing. “We hope that Noodle Tools will encourage independent learning for students. Additionally, they will be able to avoid getting frustrated with the particulars of citing their sources. They can move on to the big ideas of their writing,” Whited said. These two programs were stumbled upon in a demo that both English Department Chair Robin Whited and Vice Principal Charles Edwards. “We shares the idea with the teachers and decided as a department to try it as an attempt to help students focus on writing improvement supported with a 21st Century approach,” Whited said. The hope is that students will be able to work on their own but still receive feedback, and teachers in turn students bring forth more questions about their writing. “Students will be able to work independently with the benefit of almost immediate feedback about their writing. Teachers hope students will ask more questions about their writing based on the feedback they receive from Criterion,” Whited said. Currently, every student has access to Noodle tools while juniors and seniors are the only students with Criterion access. After more teacher and student access, the school will consider expanding the two programs. n Ali Sullivan

Ashleigh Schneckenberger, left, and NAHS President Ellen Henderson, right, work on their art projects. (Photo by Betsy Myers)

National Art Honor Society as senior project Senior Ellen Henderson is the girl who always looked forward to arts and crafts time. “I have never been exceptionally good at art, but it has given me so much enjoyment that I keep sticking with it,” Henderson said. So it comes as no surprise that when it came to deciding on a senior project, she chose to create National Art Honors Society. “Mr.Ponsford, Mrs.Kocur and I are very excited about this being the starting year of the National Art Honors Society.” For several years now, 3D art teacher Jim Ponsford has wanted a National Art Honors Society. “I know Mr. Ponsford has been wanting to do this for a couple of years and we are very excited to have found something like this,” Henderson said. All three hope to lay a solid foundation this starting year that will allow the club to flourish and be successful. For those who join National Art Honors Society, Henderson hopes that members gain pride in their work and create strong bonds that allow the group to have fun. “I hope members get a sense of pride in their work, in our school and in our community,” Henderson said. She says she doesn’t want art students to feel obligated to attend, but that it still has a fun atmosphere. “I hope bonds are created

and for members to enjoy themselves.” One goal of the NAHS is to reach out to the community. “We have a lot of school and community-oriented ideas in mind that we would like to see realized,” Henderson said. So far, only named officials of the honors society are Henderson herself as president and Chelsie Liberati as vice president. There is still one position to be voted on, and that is the secretary/treasurer.

n Ali Sullivan

Gorczyca sets the ice on fire


Senior Anastasia Gorczyca has been playing hockey since she was two years

old, and both of her brothers play hockey. Gorczyca said, “My family is from New York and we spend a lot of time up there. It was just natural for me to pick up a stick.” Gorczyca’s position is defense. Her favorite player on the other hand, Alexander Ovechkin, is one of the best left wings in hockey today. For Gorczyca, where hockey stops on the ice, it starts back up again on the TV. She enjoys watching Ovechkin’s team, the Washington Capitals. She also enjoys watching the Buffalo Sabers. Gorczyca plays on both an all girls team and on a team with both boys and girls. She played with the Columbus boys travel hockey team, in Columbus, up until eighth grade. She then switched over to the Ohio Phantom Flames, a team out of Cleveland. Gorczyca has played with the Cleveland team for the past three years. This year, she is playing for the high school Icemen and a team in Pittsburgh. Gorczyca’s inspirations are her brothers and her dad. Gorczyca said, “I have always idolized them and they have been my mentors throughout my hockey career.” Gorczyca said, “Playing on two teams is never easy, but playing on two from different cities is even harder.” The dedication to hockey is evident though, driving six hours to Pittsburgh just for practice. The games on the other, hand take the Gorczyca’s all kinds of places. “Southern Minnesota, Southern New Hampshire, and everywhere in between. There is even games/tournaments that take place in Canada.” The dedication is followed up by a lot of support as her parents drive to watch her play every game. Gorczyca’s high school team travels mostly in state. They occasionally travel to bordering states for games. Fifth year hockey coach Eric Gordon said, “The youth programs travel more, but it is still mostly limited to the Midwest and states bordering Indiana.” Gordon has been the Icemen head coach for three years now, and is one of Gorczyca’s coaches. Gordon became interested in hockey because his father and uncles played. He started skating at the young age of four and began playing hockey when he was five. Gordon has his own unique coaching style. “I try to pick up bits and pieces from other coaches that I have either played for or have been exposed to that are successful,” Gordon said, “With that said, you have to be yourself and learn from your mistakes and not get caught trying to emulate someone else. It should be an ongoing learning process.” Gordon, disappointed in the lack of girls’ teams in Indiana said, “There are simply just not enough girls playing hockey in Indiana. This is not the case in many other


states. Indiana just has some catching up to do.” Almost all athletes have their superstitions and games, Gorczyca always tapes her stick, only bl equipment right to left. She also has a pair of lucky team, all the girls eat Swedish fish before the games. G we do on the girls’ team is really weird. There is this so we all listen to her sing before we play.” On her gu different. Her pre-game with them involves warmin A gu pe wa bee do wa no de kin wa sai diff gir an she tea tea G for fem for T tha try to tell you it is just a sport, but seriously it is a w Hockey is a pretty rough sport. Gorczyca said, “I have had two dislocated jaws from playing, but noth For the guys on the team, playing with a girl doe Gordon said, “A hockey player is a hockey player.” “Playing with boys was really awkward at first,” knew most of them, but I did not talk to them and th went on though, it became less and less awkward, a

Gordon said, “The guys on the team just see teammate.” Gordon thinks hockey has everything. “It allow develop skills such as teamwork, leadership, disci to name a few,” Gordon said, “The skill set and developed and required in order to be successful on those required to be successful in life off the ice.” Gorczyca said, “The greatest thing about hock have made playing. When I played in Ohio, the frie team were like my second home for about two yea Gorczyca agree that hockey is a great sport. “The ho has its own community,” Gorczyca said, “Hockey p all follow the unwritten rules of the game and lifestyl To many, hockey is a lot more than a game.” n Ben Brown


d their pre-game rituals. Before lack tape, and she puts on her y socks she wears. On her all girls Gorczyca said, “One of the things girl on the team that sings opera, uys team though, things are a little ng up and listening to music. A lot of people think of hockey as a uys’ sport. Gorczyca likes to prove eople wrong, telling them to come atch her play. Now that she has en playing so long, the statement oes not really bother her. “If you ant to try something, you should ot let other people or stereotypes ecide for you. People put down all nds of women’s sports because it as a guys’ sport first,” Gorczyca id, “In reality, hockey is totally fferent from other sports, because rls can play with guys at any level nd age group.” To prove this point, e also mentioned that her girls’ am was a lot better than her boys’ am. Gordon said, “Hockey is a sport r everyone: old, young, male male, and there is even hockey r the disabled.” To Gorczyca, hockey is a lot more an just a sport. “Many people will whole lifestyle.” I have broken my collar bone and hing too serious.” es not change things for anyone.

” Gorczyca laughingly said, “I hey did not talk to me. As time and now I am one of them.”

e any girl as just another

ws you to learn about and ipline and dedication just character traits that are n the ice are the same as

key is all the friends I ends I made from the ars.” Gordon and ockey world players le.


Bring out the hair spray What do Mr. T, David Beckham and junior Truc

Junior Truc Tran sports the liberty spike style mowhawk. (Photos by Annie Chapman)

Tran all have in common? Hint: It’s not gold chains or a killer bicycle kick. They all sport Mohawks, the classic hairstyle of punk rockers and those looking to make a statement. The Mohawk, which is named after the Mohawk Native Americans, has recently become more popular in mainstream fashion. Tran cut his hair into a Mohawk at the beginning of the summer. “My friend Windel [wanted me to do it.] ‘Cause he has one, too.” Tran didn’t give it a second thought. His brother helped him cut and style it. “We tied it up to form it, and then he cut it,” he explained. The Mohawk may not seem like a very versatile hairstyle, but Tran insisted there’s more to it than meets the eye. “There are two or three ways you can wear it. The regular Mohawk, [which is called] the fan, liberty spikes, and down.” It takes a lot of styling products to maintain such a trendy hairstyle. Tran explained that he uses hair glue and hair spray to get the lift and hold that he needs. He estimated that since the beginning of the summer, he had used about four cans of hairspray. He also dyes the tips of his hair “to spice it up a little.” “It’s freaking sweet!” junior Alec Watson said about Tran’s style. Sophomore Lexus Hardesty added, “It’s unique.” Students may find his Mohawk “freaking sweet,” but Tran said his parents think otherwise. “They hate it and want me to get rid of it,” he said. Though his Mohawk certainly is distinctive and garners a lot of attention, Tran isn’t sure if he’ll sport it when he is older. “Probably not,” he said. Until that time comes, students can admire Tran’s stylish and artistic Mohawk as he struts his stuff through the hallways of East. n Evie Schultz



Physical education to become optional for many

Earning physical education credit no longer means suffering through a rough game of dodgeball for some East students. BCSC is offering a new alternative: the physical education waiver program. Students who participate in sports or activities that require physical fitness can now earn PE credit without actually taking the class. Although this PE credit will not count toward a student’s GPA, this program offers other benefits. According to athletic director, Bob Gaddis, the reason for the waiver was because the state superintendent publicly announced he was in favor of it. The waiver became an option for the technical schools around the state, such as CSA, who wanted students to gain physical education credit without taking a traditional class. There are no state standards on how to grant this credit, but BCSC stepped up and created guidelines so that the program would not be taken advantage of. The purpose of the waiver is to provide an alternative to busy, motivated students who have extracurricular activities outside of their school day. It provides an alternative for “students who are on academic honors, or those who take AP classes and are busy,” Gaddis said. The waiver program, however, is not a way to get out of taking a PE course. “We do not want to de-emphasize the importance of fitness,” Gaddis said. Instead, the emphasis should be achieving “physical fitness and [completing] the state standards.” With that in mind, a committee was put together to research, study and develop a waiver that helps students who want to receive credit without the traditional two semesters of PE, but also a waiver that promotes physical fitness. For those who might think they can “do something else and not take PE, that’s not going to happen,” Gaddis explained. As stated in the physical education waiver guidelines, there are four categories that allow students to enter this program. For the student athletes who participate in school sponsored athletic activities, they must complete one full season of a sport to receive one semester of credit. Category two states that a student may take alternative PE courses in substitution for a second semester of general PE. East students must receive an “A” or “A-” in general PE to qualify for an alternative class such as weight training. Students who also engage in performing arts courses such as marching band or the dance class for 10 hours a week may utilize the waiver, too. Lastly, students who are individual athletes that engage in Olympic development training may also use the waiver. The process begins when the student applies for the program by completing the packet and taking it to their counselor when scheduling a PE class. The packet will then be given to Gaddis to review and make sure a student meets the criteria. If a student does meet criteria, a virtual classroom will be assigned. That is, an instructor who will monitor the student’s fitness schedule and help create an electronic portfolio to keep track of activities so the state standards will be achieved. Although a student will receive credit, a conventional grade will not be given for the PE waiver. It also will not affect a student’s GPA in any way. Credit is the only thing given. Despite the somewhat strict guidelines, the waiver is beneficial to some. “It’s very good for students who have a jam packed schedule,” Gaddis said. He also mentioned summer school may not be offered in the future as schools cut programs, so the waiver offers another option. It also works for students who are in band especially. “They can be in band and get PE credit at the same time,” Gaddis explained. If any students are interested they can pick up a packet in the athletic office or check the BCSC web site for more information. The waiver will be put into action once official scheduling for next year starts. n Shelby Woodard

“For most athletes, that’s not an important [option] because they usually do weight training anyway.” Steve Brunes, English teacher

“I think it’s silly. PE is not that hard so it doesn’t matter if they do a sport and take PE.” Dilon Richter, senior

“It’s good [because] we spend hours playing a sport. I swim seven hours a day and I don’t feel like I need to take PE.” Kayla Ferrell, freshman

“It’s going to help the kids who don’t do sports because the gym teacher will focus on those kids.” Elizabeth Tinsley, sophomore

“I think the waiver guidelines should be changed because I can’t use the waiver as a dancer outside school. I work just as hard as people who do sports and put in more hours.” Hayley Tompkins, sophomore


Editorial Policy

Opinions expressed in columns or editorials may or may not be those of The Oracle staff or faculty of the Columbus school community. Letters to the editor are encouraged. However, any letter submitted must be verifiable and the name will be published. The editors reserve the right to edit the letters for length, grammar, invasion of privacy, obscenity or potential libel. Letters or ideas may be sent by E-mail to either Lydia Vieth or Tristen Dull at 10viethl@ or 10dullt@bcsc., respectively.

Engelbert’s take:

n Obama should not have set an arbitrary withdrawal date for the troops in Afghanistan because it tells the enemy that all he must do is fight a defensive war. n When the U.S. troops leave in 2011, “the region will once again fall back into a safe haven for terrorists from which new acts of terrorism will be conceived and carried out against the U.S.” n Obama is sending the message that we are “losing a war that could not have been won.” n Obama is thinking of his own political stability before the peoples’ best interests when he makes his “Afghanistan decision” n The United States is winning the war in Afghanistan, contrary to popular belief. n The United States was winning in Iraq before Obama lost faith n “Our presence in the Middle East is of the uttermost importance for the security of our country and the world.” n The Republicans are fighting to keep the old American values alive while the Democrats are leaving the values behind and making up their own. n “The radical left wing progressives of this country are increasing the national deficit, butchering health care reform, surrendering American forces in the Middle East, apologizing for our country’s action overseas, opening our borders to illegal immigrants, and destroying the very fabric of our nation.” n The liberals should not be left in charge. n “Hopefully, in 2012, America will wise up and elect a man not only worthy, but strong enough for the presidency of the United States of America.”

Response to Engelbert’s Issue 7 opinion


As a response to Alex Engelbert’s biased remark of “President Barack Obama and his band of radical left wing socialists,” I thought it would be enlightening to give a definition of socialism as a way to disprove this outrageous claim. Socialism, according to Merriam-Webster, is: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state (i.e. the economy is a planned economy, controlled by the government.) Now, with that out there, I’d love for those who cry socialism to show me the uncontested similarities between socialism and the present administration of government. Despite the reforms to health care and our economy which place more restrictions on the systems, our economy is still guided by the basic law of capitalism: supply and demand. Thus, our nation is far from the claim that we are becoming socialist in form. On December 1, 2009, President Obama gave a speech at West Point Military Academy illustrating his plan for Afghanistan in which he is going to send an additional 30,000 troops, a plan mirrored off of the troop surge that worked well in Iraq. However, this speech is not how Alex would like you to perceive it. He portrayed it as “one of the most academic, nonenlightening war time speeches ever given by a U.S. president.” I completely disagree for a number of reasons. First, I would suggest that the “Mission Accomplished” speech delivered by former president George Bush 3 months into the Iraq War is one of the most non-enlightening speeches ever given by a president, a war that has yet to end today. Second, he cited the fact that President Obama gave an arbitrary withdrawal date of the summer of 2011. The fact that this date is arbitrary or not is inconsequential. The date serves as a timetable for the Afghan government to take over its own national defense. True, this sends a message to the Taliban and Al Qaeda that all they have to do is fight a defensive war, but that’s what they’ve been doing this entire war, it’s not news to them. This deadline is by no means a fixed date, either. If the people see that when the time comes and Afganistan is still not cleansed of all the safe havens of terrorism, our withdrawal date can be extended. Contrary to what “The Destruction of America” article would like to incite you with, President Obama is irrefutably not sending the message that we are losing the war. With such a comment like that, I truly wonder if Alex read the speech text. This is a quote from his speech at West Point. “There’s no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the Taliban has gained momentum.” Clearly, the president wants to shift national attention to the more important war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has received so much less attention and far fewer troops despite it being the true reason behind our involvement in the Middle East. Afghanistan has received a mere 32,000 compared to Iraq’s 160,000 troops at the peak of its conflict. Furthermore, critics would like to raise the point that President Obama is sending troops only so he can get more political support. I think this completely untrue for a couple of reasons. First, extending wars tends to diminish support for presidents and congressmen and often proves disastrous to their reelection bids. Second, if it does garner him political support, it sounds to me like that’s what the majority of the people want, and if it’s a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, then you ought to go along with what is in the best interest of the people. Alex has his opinion on the war. He believes we are winning the war, and he’s entitled to his opinion. However, I don’t want others to blindly fall victim to this same opinion without knowing the facts. The country is not winning and was not winning the war in Afghnistan. After all, the top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal said we would lose the war if he didn’t get 40,000 more troops. In fact, even the conservative Secretary of Defense, head of the Department of Defense, agreed with Gen. McChrystal. If we were winning, then why would we need such a vast increase in troops? However, to say we are not winning does not mean to say we are losing. They are vastly different and there is much in between. As we travel though the twenty-first century, we will be subject to an unprecedented level of danger. This is not because liberals are in charge as Alex would claim; it’s because as our technology has advanced, we have become capable of so much, whether it be bad or good. We are capable of blowing the world up several times over or achieving world peace. I hope in 2012, America won’t let simple term names like “liberal” and “conservative” which have been associated with so many negative connotations decide how they vote. I hope they look at the issues seriously again, look at what is at stake and decide responsibly. Apparently, last year the majority of the people thought Obama was qualified and worthy of our highest office. n Greg Nelson, Guest Writer



Movie Review: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones, based on the novel by Alice Sebold, became hauntingly real in its big screen adaptation directed by Peter Jackson. Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is fourteen years old at the time of her murder. She has yet to have her first kiss, she is deprived of a future career in photography and most importantly taken from a family that loves her. On her way home from school she unknowingly walks into a trap. By trusting her neighboor, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), she has placed herself into the hands of a murderer. The police are not able to link the murder to Mr. Harvey and Susie’s father Jack (Mark Wahlberg) is continuously trying to solve his daughter’s murder. Unfortunately, his unwaivering determination causes his wife (Rachel Weisz) to leave him and the police to get sick of him. Though dead, Susie is not completely gone. She is in the “Inbetween,” the place in the middle of heaven and Earth. The inbe-

tween is whatever Susie wants or needs it to be. It can be a place for her to escape the traumatic events of her past life and have fun or a place where she can see her family and try and will them to find the clues. She becomes a sort of guiding light for her father and sister who are not willing to set her murder aside. The movie always has an eerie tension between Mr. Harvey and the essential good feeling that Susie and her family let off. Though Mr. Harvey is one of the creepiest movie villians out there, his character is very well played. He is always strange and akward enough to know that no good can come of him, yet he is personable to the people that matter which help keep the police off of his tail. The story that Susie tells is frightning and real at all times yet the feeling of hope that Susie always has makes the film bearable to watch without becoming too afraid.

Movie Review: To Save a Life Jake Taylor (Randy Wayne) and Roger Dawson (Robert Bailey Jr.) grew up together as the best of friends. Both behaved as typical children and seemed to lead normal lives. One day while riding bikes through the street, Jake fails to notice a car coming their way. Without a moment’s hesitation,

Roger rushes over to the scene and pushes Jake out of the way, resulting in his own injury. Now, Roger has a bad limp that will remain with him the rest of his life. Jake and Roger remain best friends until their freshman year in high school. Jake joins the basketball team, and after a big game where he makes the winning basket, he gets invited to a party by the most coveted girl in school. Jake breaks the news to Roger that he is not popular enough to come. Roger goes home alone, hurt that Jake had cancelled their plans to hang out with the popular kids. After a taste of the high school spotlight, Jake doesn’t go back to his former life. Roger and Jake never speak again, something that is common among high school friends. The difference in this situation is that Jake watches Roger get tormented by other students because of his limp. Roger doesn’t appear to have any friends, and he is constantly being laughed and stared at. One day, Roger comes to school with a gun and shoots himself in front of several students, including Jake. After that day, Jake’s superficial outlook on life changes completely. He starts going to church and becomes spiritual . Most of the people he meets in church accept him


Lydia Vieth, Co Editor in Chief

immediately as a new friend. While Jake is busy making friends in church, his popular friends get fed up and no longer accept him. However, this is on the back of Jake’s mind because he now has a mission for himself. In order to prevent what happened to Roger from happening to another outcasted student, he befriends a kid he had seen being ridiculed in the same way Roger had. At first, the student, Jonny Garcia (Sean Michael) was standoffish and afraid, but in time, he warmed up to Jake and found one of his first friends. Jake helps Jonny out tremendously, and eventually learns that Jonny had been planning a suicide just like Roger did. He knew he had made a difference in someone’s life; he had saved it. Though To Save a Life is a touching story, there are several sub-plots that need not have been there. I found myself checking the time and wondering how much longer it would be until the end of the movie. The conflict involving Jake, Roger and Jonny was probably only half of the movie’s focus. There were entirely too many seperate conflicts which took away from the moral of the story. n Tristen Dull, Co Editor in Chief

Issue 8  

The Oracle issue 8