U. City High School 7401 Balson Ave. University City, MO 63130
Inside this issue... Binge Drinking TryPOD Jazz Band Returning Artists
U-Times March 2012 Volume 24 Issue 3
African Americans less likely to marry than whites Asia Garrison and Mandy York Guest Writers
Aída, played by junior Destiny Anderson-Bush, sings about her misfortunes to another captured slave played by junior Grace Deitzler. “Her robes should be golden,” the slaves sing in the song Dance of the Robes. Their princess, Aída, is captured and enslaved. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX BABICH
Broadway musical Aída impresses audiences Caroline Martinez Editor-in-Chief The auditorium was transformed into a wave of emotions during the presentations of Aída on Feb. 23, 24, and 25. The musical’s plot revolves around a captured slave, Aída, and an officer, Radames, who fall in love in Egypt, but must face numerous challenges as they realize their different positions in life make the survival of their affection practically impossible. Aída, played by junior Destiny Anderson-Bush, is torn between her love for Radames, played by senior Luke Babich, and the love for her homeland, which Radames is threatening. Radames is torn between his love for Aída and his
duties as an officer to obey orders and marry Amnerís, played by junior Cammisha Luellen. One of the most powerful aspects of this musical were the duets between Babich and AndersonBush. The audience, especially
MUSICAL REVIEW the Flynn Park audience, who saw the play on Thurs., gasped in awe when Babich and Bush performed a stage kiss. “Was the kiss real?” numerous students asked the lead actors. One senior who attended the musical, Ashley Hughes, said the musical brought her to tears. “It [Aída] made me get butterflies, and Kahlid’s character
[Ramses’ evil father] scared me to death.” Three weeks before the show, the cast lost one of its lead characters, senior Demetrius Clayton, and had to write a character out of a scene. Junior Jordan Davis replaced Clayton and had very little time to learn his lines and songs. “We always wish we could have another week to rehearse, but our actors responded to the pressure,” said Babich. On Monday prior the show, the cast got its costumes, props, microphones, lights, and orchestra for the first time. Babich said this was chaotic because the cast was not accustomed to using props. Continued on page 7
Living without a partner in marriage is much more common for African American women than it is for white women. And so it is for the majority of our student population. According to the book Is Marriage for White People? How the African-American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone by Ralph Richard Banks, educated, middle class black women can solve their ‘marriage-less’ woes by dating outside of their race. This means African American women are less likely to become divorced or end up alone unless they date outside of their race. “There seems to be more divorce amongst white people and more black people who were never married,” said senior Abby Shea. According to Banks, 70 percent of African American women are single, widowed or divorced compared to only 45 percent of white women who fit into this category. African Americans are known for having one of the highest divorce rates of any racial group. Fifty percent of them become divorced within the first 10 years of marriage and whites are only at about one third. One in every ten black men in their twenties and thirties are incarcerated, and this contributes to the lack of consistency in marriage. Another factor that decreases marriage is the unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor, 13.6 percent of African Americans are unemployed, while 7.4 percent of whites are unemployed. “In certain parts of the country it is more common for black people to be married, but it depends on the region and what part of the country you are looking at,” said Ms. Harkins, art teacher. “But from my experience teaching here, it seems like there is a large portion of our population who does not have parents who are still together.” It is notable that many African American students at U. City come from single-parent households. “Although my parents aren’t together, like a lot of people I know, your success and behavior is based more on your socio-economic status rather than on the number of your parents,” said Shea. Mrs. Aboussie-Ashley, social studies teacher, echoes Shea’s sentiments. “I don’t think it [only having one parent] affects student behavior because if students are taught and motivated by doing right, they will behave properly,” said Mrs. Aboussie-Ashley. Science teacher Ms. Connor, who grew up in a single family household, earned straight A’s all through school and didn’t have any problems with her behavior or academics. “I think it depends on how involved in the student’s life the parent or parents are,” said Harkins.
2011-2012 U-Times Staff Editor in Chief Caroline Martínez Web Editor Carl Sechrist Sports Editor William Mitchell Photo Editor Julian Johnson Staff Writers/ Photographers Christopher Andry Leah Booker Lily Lewis-Stump Alice Mutrux Michael Johnson Alexander Phillips Andrew White Reneise White Adviser Mrs. Mary Williams
Philosophy The newspaper’s primary obligation is to inform its readers about events in the school and community and of the issues of national or international importance which directly or indirectly affect the school population. The newspaper, while serving as a training ground for future journalists as part of the school curriculum, recognizes all rights and responsibilities under the First Amendment. While establishing U-Times as a public forum, student editors will apply professional standards and ethics for decision making as they take on the responsibility for content and production of the newspaper. Inasmuch as the student staff encourages constructive criticism of any part of the newspaper, authority for content rests in the hands of the student members of the newspaper staff. Students will not publish material considered to be legally unprotected speech, or libel, obscenity, material disruption of the educational process, copyright infringement, or unwarranted invasion of privacy.
Contact Us We are located in Room 346 at University City High School, 7401 Balson Ave., University City, MO 63130. Our email address is marywilliams@u-city. k12.mo.us.
Policies Opinions expressed on the editorial page do not reflect the viewpoints of the school administration. All editorials (unsigned) represent a majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Signed editorials, columns, editorial cartoons, and reviews reflect the views of the author and not necessarily those of the U-Times Editorial Board. Letters should be limited to 300 words. The U-Times reserves the right to reject, edit, or shorten letters. Submit letters to Mrs. Mary Williams in Room 346, or to any U-Times staff member, or to marywilliams@ ucityschools.org.
Cool and sober
Michael Johnson Editorial Writer
Seniors, take a look around the room. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, one out of every four students you see has been drunk in the last month. Most teenagers wouldn’t consider this a big deal, but therein lies a huge misconception. Alcohol is not only the most commonly used drug by teenagers – 73 percent of us have friends who drink alcohol at least once per week (according to a study by The Partnership at Drugfree. org) – but it is a dangerous one as well. Teen drinking is a major factor in the leading causes of death in teens (motor vehicle accidents, homicide and suicide) and increases the likelihood of alcohol dependence and abuse in adulthood, says the AAP. Alcohol use is also associated with greater risk-taking such as unprotected sex, other drug use, assault and other delinquent behavior. Academic and employment problems are also prominent on the list. Thus drinking and driving is not the only hazard. Even if a teen survives the immediate risks of regular drinking, adverse effects may emerge later to spoil the party. Research by neuroscientist Susan Tapert (published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and reported on npr.
org) has shown that the still developing teen brain is prone to structural damage from alcohol. The white matter in brains of teenagers who binge drink is affected, leading to poor communication between cells. Take heed from someone stuck with some similar disabilities from autism—this is not a plus. Those who drink exhibit reduced memory skills, fewer strategies to learn new information; boys have poor performance on tests of attention and girls show poor performance on tests of spatial functioning. Drinking doesn’t just make you stupid while under the influence; those effects persist. As high school students, we are creatures with tremendous passion that can accomplish great feats in sports, the arts, and academics. When this passion is directed towards alcohol, binge drinking can result. This excessive and rapid intake magnifies the risk of brain injury, motor vehicle accidents, and can even cause death from alcohol poisoning. Dead drunk or just dead— these are sobering realities of alcohol’s potential to nip our promise in the bud. The evidence that alcohol is a problem is clear but the solution is not. The first step is to take our heads out of the sand and recognize drinking is a problem. It’s a cop-out to blame adults for setting a poor example. Our brains and lives are the ones at stake. We must take a stand against the popular idea that drinking is cool. If we can turn the power of peer pressure against drinking, we can save each others’ brains and lives. Let’s make sober the new cool. After all, it should be obvious that U. City doesn’t need alcohol to be cool.
U-Times March 2012
SPEAK OUT! How do you feel about teen drinking?
Mia Bowens, junior
Jean Claude Cubitt, sophomore
“Teen drinking shouldn’t be acceptable, wether legal or not, teens will abuse alcohol.”
“Binge drinking is extremely stupid and unhealthy. It destroys your liver.”
De’Jai Thomas, freshman
Tony Newman, senior
“It is a big problem which causes families to lose relatives who they love sincerely.”
“You shouldn’t drink, it can put you in really bad situations because you don’t think right when you’re drunk.”
PHOTOS BY LEAH BOOKER
Juanita Robinson, senior “It isn’t good to drink, but if you do you should have a certain extent that you go to. What you do now can effect you in the future.”
Tionne Thomas, senior “I think it’s a huge problem with binge drinking because people take advantage of you when you aren’t in your right mind. Everyone should have a limit.”
U-Times March 2012
Award-winning jazz band goes into studio Caroline Martinez Editor in Chief Musicians in jazz band traveled to the western side of the state in early Feb. to compete in a Jazz band Festival held by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, taking home 10 awards. “We had some good instrcutions from professional musicians and preparing for it [music festival]was a good experience because we played a lot of harder music than other people who competed there,” said senior Nathan King. In addition, the jazz band recorded three songs in Jan. for the annual high school competition created by the Lincoln Center in New York City. The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program—a program formed by Jazz at Lincoln Center—receives recordings from students across North America and then selects only the top15 bands. Although U. City did not place, the recording was a learning experience for the musicians. “It’s a really, really big deal so I wanted us to follow with it [recording], especially before everybody graduates,” said Mr. Coleman, jazz band teacher, who has been preparing the jazz band for this competition since January. Coleman has directed these students in the jazz band since they were in middle school. “After hearing it, I thought it was great for a first-time recording,” Coleman said. Coleman has been playing music since he was ten years old and has taught music since he was 21.
“The recording was a good experience for the band,” said senior Sam Katz who has been playing the saxophone for seven years. “It was good that everyone got to listen to the band and how they sound.” Katz has applied to a few music programs such as those in the University of Washington State and DePaul University. “I like that we get the opportunity to play almost every day and that Mr. Coleman is able to get us many gigs,” said Katz. Senior Albert Marshall and Sophomore Eric Strand also plan to continue playing music after they graduate from high school, but they don’t plan to pursue a career in music. “I like jazz; it’s part of my life,” said Marshall. He wants to study engineering. “Mr. Coleman likes to give us three or four songs at a time, not just one,” said bass player Strand who plans to continue playing at home after graduating from high school Others like Katz are not sure what the future holds for them regarding music. . “I want to keep the option open,” said Katz. Coleman constantly challenges his students by giving them songs like A Night in Tunisia by Dizzy Gillespie,which the jazz band played at the music festival in Kansas City. “I feel like I’ve raised them to become professional musicians,” said Coleman. “I hope they keep playing; I’ll miss them [seniors in jazz band].”
“It [recording]was a lot of fun. We got to into a recording studio, played music and listened to it over and over until we got it right,” says freshman Walter Deitzler. “The experience of getting to record music professionally was awesome.” PHOTO BY CAROLINE MARTINEZ
Honors received by jazz band students Outstanding Soloist Zachary Morrow - Drums Samuel Katz - Alto saxophone Terrance Childs - Trombone Outstanding Musicianship, Big Band Zachary Morrow - Drums Benjamin Aronberg - Piano Nathan King - Trumpet
Outstanding Musicianship, Combo Zachary Morrow - Drums Benjamin Aronberg - Piano Samuel Katz - Alto saxophone Albert Marshall - Bass
TryPOD educates students about binge drinking Leah Booker Editorial Writer Every weekend, thousands of young people indulge in what has become known as binge drinking. “I feel like underage drinking is destroying your mind and body, and it’s something you will later regret as you get older,” said junior Radazaih Whittington. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse is an organization that is teaching high school students about the effects of binge drinking on the developing teen brain. “They have come to our school to present a program called TryPOD and that stands for ‘Try Putting Off Drinking,’” said assistant principal Mr. Carter.“I used their services to give some of our students some assistance and they set up a meeting so we would be able to form a group.” The upperclassman in TryPOD are the designated leaders who will educate students on binge drinking. These students have been trained to know what to
talk about and what actually occurs with a body when a person drinks too much.The students were chosen because they are a part of the mentor group and are also part of T.R.E.N.D. “The whole point of us conducting these meetings are to mentor people younger then us and educate them about binge drinking,” said Junior LaTrale Noland. “We just want to educate them so they are aware of the effects and won’t make bad choices that can have an effect on the rest of their lives.” From age 12-25, very important brain development occurs. Binge drinking can significantly hinder and alter this brain development with effects that can last into the early twenties or even longer. “I do think that the students should take advantage of this opportunity to get educated from their peers on binge drinking since young people are the people who are being influenced by the media,” said Junior Trayvia McGhee. Drinking causes all types of problems with the brain, including alcohol use disorder, problems with learning,
and interference with the brain’s ability to form short and long term memories. “Every high school has concerns and we need to have as many resources to support our students and this would be a very good way to support that,” said Carter.
TryPOD group includes sponsor Ms. Quintal, juniors Ethan Farber and Mia Bowens, senior Romyius Gause, junior Charity White, and senior Mone’t Covington. PHOTO BY LEAH BOOKER
Musical is more than final perfo Andrew White Staff Reporter
Senior Luke Babich gives junior Destiny Anderson-Bush one of his prized possessions. “It was my first romantic lead so I’ve never really had to direct so much of my energy on stage towards another actress,” says Babich.
In the early months of the school year, the musical is unveiled, and dozens of students eagerly sign up to act in it. The students’ hard work and dedication combine to help make the musical a success. This year, U. City is performing the musical Aida, written by pop stars Elton John and Tim Rice. Ask a U. City student what they thought the most important part of the musical was, and the most common answers would most likely be the singing, dancing, and acting talent of the cast. Senior Jordan Nerby, one of the musical’s actors, explained how one of Aida’s stars rose above the others: her voice. “She just has a soul voice, you know what I mean?” he said. But there is another crucial element to the musical: the set. While the live performances are important to the musical’s success, the backdrop on which they are shown is the product of months’ toil and planning. In Aida, the set is comprised of several massive pyramids, one of them 13 feet high and 29 feet wide. Mr. Edward Propst, who teaches English and directs the spring and fall plays, is heavily involved in the construction of sets, and he is the man in charge of getting these impressive pyramids together. To do so, he and his crew started work about two months beforehand, gathering materials from various
Juniors Allie Hines and Rachel Aiken work their magic on junior Camisha Luellen, “There was always someone needing to either get their makeup or hair done,” says Hines. “I already knew that behind the scenes was hectic...I have a new ound respect for musical participants.”
sources. “The budget [for the set] has, in the past, been as high as $2,000,” Propst explained. “But in recent years, it’s gone down.” Propst reduces the budget by recycling resources. “I’m a Dumpster diver,” he confessed. “During all the [school] construction, they’d be throwing the wood and stuff outside, and my students would be running out and bringing it back in.” He also has a variety of old furniture for use in set construction, but that was not particularly helpful for Aída. “There aren’t any couches in ancient Egypt.” Aída is a “modern” musical, which typically require little from a set; modern musicals focus on highlighting the actors and costumes, according to Propst. To this end, Propst and his crew constructed a “unit set.” Aída has one main set that can be used for a variety of different scenes, unlike past musicals such as Cinderella, which require very specific sets for different scenes. “You just can’t do Cinderella without the big staircase,” Propst said. “You need it for the ball, when she comes down it, and you need it so she can run up it and lose the glass slipper.” Much of the action actually takes place on top of the sloped platform of the main pyramid, which is why the pyramid is very sturdy, constructed of 2-by-8 wood planks with plywood on top. “It’s built like a house, because at any one point there could be ten, fifteen dancers on top of it,” said Propst. Some of the students aren’t quite so appreciative
of it, said 30-de As set w Prop Karlo McM “B on th three Wi abou Senio yet p repla Th of de “T perfo Ma danc prese “W seme theat Ac mem “Y “I’ve it’s fo play fresh
The slaves, including sophomore Molly Paterson, junior Grace Deitzler, sophomores Haley Clemons-L celebrate the arrival of Aida in Egypt. “There’s a lot of love and energy on stage,” says Deitzler. “Some were a lot of distractions.”
though. “We have to dance on that thing,” sophomore Andrea DiCarlo. “That’s like a egree slope!” s opposed to past years, all the work on Aída’s was done by just a handful of people: Mr. pst, senior Dan Eagen, and sophomore Abby ovsky, with some help from freshman Michael Mahon. Before, I’d have, say, 20 to 30 people working he set,” Propst recalled. “And now it’s just e people!” ith a shortage of students, Propst is worried ut who will man the lights for next year. or Dan Eagen graduates in May and has not passed on his knowledge to a new recruit. A acement must be found. he musical can’t soar without a healthy backing edicated students. There’s a strong tradition [at U City] … in arts, ormance, and theater,” said Propst. any careers can stem from acting, singing, cing, building, planning, and the other activities ent in the musical. We had one freshman come in, second ester, and now he’s pursuing a degree in ter,” Propst said. ccording to Propst, the entire experience is a morable and momentous occasion. You never forget being in a play,” Propst said. e been out getting supplies; people ask me what or, and I tell them, and they go ‘Oh, I was in a back in...’ Even I remember being in a play my hman year, The Sandbox. It never leaves you.”
Landre and Claire Tschample, and junior Alexis Jones, etimes it was difficult to get everyone to focus; there
Running the lights requires senior Dan Egan to stay on task. “I like working with my hands and set crew gives me the freedom and opportunity to do that,” says Egan. “Set crew is great because we’re always looking for new members and are willing to teach people how to do things.”
Junior Camisha Luellen starred as Amnerís, a jealous princess who is engaged to Captain Radames, played by Luke Babich.
Juniors Jordan Davis lifts Charity White, also a junior. “I’m glad Jordan was my dance partner because we both have a lot of dance experience and are good friends,” says White. PHOTOS BY ALEX BABICH, JULIAN JOHNSON, AND CAROLINE MARTINEZ
U-Times March 2012
Alumni return to share their talents and advice Caroline Martinez and Leah Booker Editor-in-Chief and Staff Reporter The Returning Artists Series, funded by the University City Commission on Arts and Letters, has been active since 1994 and is a venue for students to learn about careers in the arts from U. City alumni. Darwin Harris, class of 1980, and Sally DuMaine, class of 1980, teamed up to share their artistic experiences with students at U. City, Brittany Woods, Jackson Park, Barbara C. Jordan and Christ the King School for the 2012 Returning Artists Series.
Sally DuMaine teaches students to find their passion and follow their dreams.
Darwin Harris Darwin Harris was born and raised in U. City and discovered he loved acting after playing a part in a West Side Story production in U. City High. Harris says that after being in this play he had a feeling that he never had while playing the trumpet and piano or singing. Harris was part of U. City’s jazz band and was very successful as a musician, but he preferred acting. “There was a time when I started questioning it [acting],” said Harris. ”There are things that have nothing to do with our talents.” Harris emphasized that in the acting industry a person might not get a job because she or he is too tale, dark, or has too much facial hair. Sometimes a company will reject an actor or actress not because they are not talented, but because they don’t fit a certain type. “He’s [Harris] very into what he does; he’s very determined,” said senior Lisa Parker. “I learned that when you put forth the most effort you can become something in life.” Harris has always been inspired by Denzel Washington. “He [Denzel Washington] doesn’t do stereotypical roles,” said Harris. “There’s this charisma but attention to detail; he’s just so good.” Although Washington and Harris have similar
stories, Harris claims that one of the mistakes he did in his acting career was having the desire to be the next Denzel Washington instead of the next Darwin Harris. “Not knowing who I am [was one of my mistakes],” said Harris. Harris’ parents did not always support his acting career, but Harris still graduated with a B.A. in Theatre in Truman State University and his parents accepted his decision in part by paying for his tuition. “Being an actor was as farfetched as saying I’m going to take a bus to the moon,” said Harris. “My parents were raised in the South and the safe thing was to be a teacher.” One of Harris’ favorite movies was Home Alone 3, which also helped his parents view him as a successful actor. “It [Home Alone 3] was a really small role, but it introduced me to doing film,” said Harris. Harris wants to “live a normal life style while having what’s considered an abnormal life.” He’s guest starred in Crossing Jordan, Haunted, and Cold Case, but does not want too much fame to disturb his life. “I have friends who can’t go to a grocery store,” said Harris. Although Harris enjoys acting, ideally he’d like to direct. He is currently an actor and director of Creative Cove, an educational show. “It’s [Creative Cove] really rewarding because you’re contributing to society and the kids of the future,” said Harris. In his visit to U. City High Harris encouraged students to take every opportunity they can and also mentioned that when he graduated he didn’t have the available resources, like the internet, that student today have. “Stay in school. Go to college, seriously,” said Harris. “Take advantage of every opportunity you have outside the classroom.” “You don’t feel things are gonna go right but you keep going and end up stronger,” said Harris. “As a PK [priest kid] I know that faith is huge and everyone goes through stuff; when you go through your stuff you feel like it’s the worst.”
like having an “extra support system.” “I think that it’s is great for her to come back and want to tell her story,” said Senior Alex Henry. “It’s really refreshing to know that you can actually reach your dreams one day and love the outcome of it.” Some advice DuMaine would like to give to young adults would be to “go for your dreams no matter what.” When DuMaine was a child she did not have a lot of support from her family. Her father, she said, was extremely sexist. “You’re a girl you should be seen and not heard,” DuMaine’s father would say. “By the time my father realized my full potential as an artist it no longer mattered because I was no longer seeking his approval,” said DuMaine. Despite her father’s negative attitude towards women DuMaine became a successful artist and did not let anyone hold her back. DuMaine has been the musical director for plays like Kiss Me Kate, Company, Oh Coward, and Carousel. Although being in charge of more than 100 kids in a musical would intimidate some, DuMaine finds these experiences exhilarating. “That’s my niche, my thing; directing,” said DuMaine. Although DuMaine’s main passion is directing she also enjoys dancing and acting. DuMaine often dances in her free time with all the lights off so she won’t have any distractions.
Sally DuMaine is a writer and musician who graduated from U. City in 1980. She is currently a Co-Minister of Music at St. Matthew of the Apostle Catholic Church and also works at Girls Inc. in St. Louis, which offers educational and cultural programs for girls. DuMaine has been playing the piano since she was seven years old and has won prestigious awards for her musical direction. Last year she was nominated for Best Musical Direction by the Kelvin Kline Awards and Arts for Life. “I had to get over the negative messages and go through the challenges,” said Du Maine. “I had to realize that these are the gifts God has given me. I got to use everything I have. “ DuMaine would like to give back inspiration to U. City by telling her story. When she was younger the people who were most inspirational to her were her teachers who encouraged her and other students to shoot for their dream. DuMaine said her teachers were
Darwin Harris draws on his acting abilities to teach students about words and word play. PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIANE DAVENPORT
“I think that it’s great to find out that a female artist loves what she does but when it all comes down to it she gives all her respect back to her religion,” said senior Aarica Doyle. “It’s even better to find out that she is a co-minister at a church.” DuMaine grew up in a Catholic family who was very musically oriented. Three of her siblings are also musicians, and when DuMaine was young, she took piano lessons. At her house, not taking piano was not an option. Most of the music DuMaine writes today is gospel. “We were religious but not spiritual,” said DuMaine.
U-Times March 2012
Government clamps down on internet file sharing Alice Mutrux Staff Reporter In January, some of the most viewed internet websites were “blacked out” or censored. The reason for this dramatic demonstration: a protest against two of the most controversial federal legislation bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). Several popular sites, such as Google, Wikipedia, and BoingBoing, which reach millions everyday, raised awareness on Wed., Jan. 18 on this potential internet censoring legislation that would prevent the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials online. Since then, several movie watching and file-sharing sites, such as Megavideo and Megaupload have been shut down by the FBI. Many of the IP addresses
affiliated with the websites are also in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, causing fear among those in the internet community who have uploaded or downloaded from these sites. “I would be kind of terrified knowing that the FBI could come knocking at my door any day,” said senior Joshua Thames. “People must be disappointed [that Megaupload and Megavideo have been taken down] but there are other ways to watch videos. It’s a sad day when popular websites have to come to an end.” The potential arrests of hundreds of unknowing downloaders takes us back to 2007, when 30-year old Jammie Thomas-Rasset was fined over $1 million for downloading and sharing 24 songs from an illegal file-sharing website. Do people really deserve to be thrown in
jail for downloading a couple of songs or videos? According to the Recording Industry Association of America, they do. However, students at U. City disagree. “I believe that illegally downloading music, books, and movies is no different from borrowing such things from a lending library,” said freshmen Sophia Kenyon. “Half of the things that I download I have gone on to buy and share with my friends. Downloading is merely a device for sharing media and expanding the circle of interest in such media.” The goal of the SOPA and PIPA bills is to prevent illegal distribution of copyrighted materials on the internet, but along with taking down illegal file-sharing websites, these bills would remove thousands of YouTube videos that contain copyrighted movies, TV shows, and music. Any website that contains a
link to copyrighted material without due process could potentially be removed from the internet by The U.S. Department of Justice. Many internet enthusiasts believe that the SOPA and PIPA bills could lead to further internet censoring in the U.S. and possibly to the government highly moderating the internet, much like what occurs in China, Burma, and Vietnam. Since January, the SOPA and PIPA legislations have been tabled. In other words, they have been set aside for later consideration, but this doesn’t mean that the bills are dead. “It’s wrong for the government to take away our freedom,” said freshmen Angel Kinnel. “The internet is there for us to explore, connect with people, and have fun. Why would they try to take this away from us?”
Students tune in to diverse tastes in music Reneise White Staff Reporter Something to understand about music is that it is relatable, a concept which is not something new to sophomore, Devonye Clerk. Clerk mainly identifies with rap, hip hop, pop-rock, and R&B. In particular, she likes the band, Paramore, and also the artists Wiz Khalifa, Drake and Nicki Minaj. “It depends on what songs I listen to, they can either hype me up when I feel good, or get me down when I feel sad,” said Clerk. There are people who listen to specific genres such as Clerk but some people listen to a variety of genres. On the other hand, junior Madeline Lewis shows her specific style by listening to everything. “My music is so diverse,” said Lewis. “My music is different because it soothes each mood I’m in.” In Lewis’ world, there is no such thing as a genre, but there is such a man
named Drake. This Drake-crazy fan is always singing his lyrics and wearing her official Drake bracelet. “Drake is my favorite because he’s come so far from being wheelchair Jimmy on ‘Degrassi’ and now he’s rapping on stage with all the big-time performers,” said Lewis. Some people acquire their musical taste from their families. Isaac LeVan, freshmen, enjoys listening to rock with his family. “I grew up listening to rock music,” said LeVan. “My parents listen to it, also.” LeVan feels as though music is supposed to calm a person down and is something that should be shared with everybody. “We spend a majority of our time listening to bands such as Mastodon and Smashing Pumpkins,” said LeVan. Walking up and down the halls of U.City, it’s not easy to miss the blasting beats of someone’s music. Senior Josh Dallas is one of those people. Dallas
listens to two different genres which include R&B and screamo. “In particular, I listen to 30 Seconds to Mars, John Legend, Drake and Paramore,” said Dallas. “Their music is amazing. All of their songs explain why I’m always in my feelings. I listen to the songs that I do because the lyrics explain my life.” Music can explain who a person is, and it can also create excitement. There are people in the universe who love everything about music. They don’t care about genre, tempo, artists, and who listens to it with them. Sophomore Olivia Fazio loves everything. “I like country, pop, and rock, like anything. I even listen to screamo.” said Fazio. “My music is fun to listen to. It also excites me; it literally makes me want to dance.” At this moment in time, Fazio favors the band, Theory of a Dead Man. “The band’s songs sound like other bands, it’s like screamo-rock, and I like it,” said Fazio.
Junior Martez Reed is plugged into his favorite music. PHOTO BY RENEISE WHITE
Dedication of faculty and students made the difference in musical From page one On one occasion Babich accidentally kicked a goblet, which fell on a person from the orchestra. “It was a huge stress on Ms. I. because of the pregnancy, but she was amazing,” said Babich. “She has the most incredible dedication.” Ms. Ibnabdeljali, also known as Ms. I., was the music and acting director for
Aída. She started directing the chorus at the beginning of December, a week after auditions. Ms. Morgan, dance teacher, along with others, also had a crucial role in the creation of this musical. She was in charge of creating all the choreographies for Aída and polishing the dances. Although U. City’s thespians have a tradition of doing pranks on the last show of a play or musical, this year they
decided to save the pranks for curtain call. Senior Dan Egan, who’s been in charge of set crew and lighting since his sophomore year, said all the cast was much more serious for Aída than for previous U. City musicals. Instead of doing pranks the last night of the show the cast decided to save those for the curtain call. After Aída did her final
bow as the lead actress, Amnerís, who was engaged to Radames and was very jealous and materialistic, moved Aída out of the way and gave Radames a stage kiss. Aída then retaliated by slapping Radames. “There are moments when it’s not about how pretty it is but about how much emotion there is,” said Babich. See center fold for more on the musical.
U-Times March 2012
Rugby club sets sights on improved second season William Mitchell Sports Editor As the blooming months of spring approach, with it brings calfburning sprints, vigorous tackling drills, and passes for the U. City rugby club. With a record of 3-9 for their inaugural season last year, this year comes with a craving for a championship title. The team returns with the founder of the club, social studies teacher Mr. Perkowski, sharing coaching duties with professional rugby players from the St. Louis Ramblers. “Mr. P is a great coach and I’m thrilled that he found two more great coaches who know the sport extremely well,” said senior
Mykal Rogers. “They are working tirelessly to improve the team.” As professional athletes with at least eight or more years coaching experience than Perkowski, they have much to teach their adolescent charges. At the top of the agenda for these coaches is the
SEASON PREVIEW collaboration of the athletes on the field. “I’d like to teach these guys about teamwork, and coming together as a group, but at the same time win some games,” said Coach Leo. Keeping the common task in mind, the athletes have been training diligently in their off-season
as the mandatory practices draw near. “I keep my preseason routine simple, hit the weight room and run as much as possible to condition,” said senior Yuseif Brown. Last year’s voyage to districts ended with a loss to SLU High School. “With the newness of the team, last year our losses during the season didn’t break us but helped make us stronger,” said junior Mikael Armstead-McCants. The team reckons this season will be very promising and beneficial for its supporters. “I’m hopeful for this season,” said senior Jaylon Dunlap-Thomson. “We are going to state this year.”
Raheem Mason, former student, helps out by practicing tackles with senior Kaylan Galloway, junior Alex Phillips and senior Adrian Ming. “We have so much potential,” says senior Adrian Ming. “Our season will go nice if no one gives up and we maintain consistency.” PHOTO BY CANDICE ROBINSON
Influx of freshmen contributed to success of girls’ swim team Lilian Lewis-Stump Staff Reporter The girls’ swim team experienced a difficult year with few victories, but the new freshman added to the team have been particularly successful. Emily Looby has been exceptional in the individual medley, which consists of an array of different strokes in one event. Sophia Kenyon, who is considered one of the best swimmers on the team, dropped 15 seconds in her 500 freestyle. She specializes in breast stroke and endurance swimming. “I didn’t have a specific record to beat, but I continuously PR’d [made a new personal record] in my swims throughout the season,” said Kenyon. Another freshman swimmer, Kayla
Holmes, has taken her swimming to the next level this year. In the beginning of the season she didn’t know how to swim; since then, she has become a promising asset to the team. As for the team’s veterans, the captain of the team, senior Joi Miller, who has been swimming since freshman year, has improved her time in breast stroke by six
SEASON REVIEW minutes. “I try my hardest,” said Miller. “If I keep working, I can drop my time even more.” In addition to Miller, Jordan Kennedy, junior, is also one of the top swimmers.
Standing out in conference at the end of the season, she had one of the best times in the 100 backstroke relay. Throughout the year, the team won against McCluer-South Berkley, Hazelwood East, and Normandy, and at conference ended the season with over half the team beating their times by at least 3 seconds. “We had a fabulous season with tons of positive energy, which was a change from all the years of dormant swimmers,” said Coach Mary Lhotak. Although the season was somewhat disappointing, it allowed some of the girls to reach their personal best. “We grew as a family, not just a team,” said junior, Paris Billups. “We will do really good next year so I’m excited,”
“Our season could have went better, but I’m proud of all the PR’s we made,” says junior Jordan Kennedy. PHOTO BY ALICE MUTRUX
Boys’ basketball senior night loss set stage for district championship title Chris Andry Staff Reporter Senior night is a memorable and emotional night for senior athletes because this is the day they realize they are playing their last game at their beloved school. On Fri., Feb. 17, the U. City boys’ basketball team repeated this ritual. “I’m going to miss this school,” said senior Avion Ashford, starting center. “I’m going to miss the team,” Even though they lost their last game against Parkway North, the team is glad to end its regular season overall record of 17-8 and a district title.
“I feel bad that we lost our last home game because we had the lead the whole game but we just gave it away at the most important time in the game,” said Ashford.
The seniors will leave an impressive legacy behind. Travon Williams, the 13th leading scorer in the St. Louis metro area contributed 20 points per game (ppg) with Alex Henry putting in 10.6 ppg and Jeffrey McGhee 7.8. Williams was also chosen for Suburban South First Team All Conference.
Even though U. City lost their senior night game against Parkway North, they peaked at just the right time. Their regular season record helped them get a first round bye in districts and go straight to the semi- finals. In the semi- finals, they faced MICDS and edged out a win with a score of 51-49. Williams contributed 15 points, 2 steals, and 3 assists. After they barely beat MICDS, they moved to the district title game against the Westminster Wildcats. Williams’ three-point buzzer beater with 5.9 seconds left in the game sealed the win of 73-72, and a district title for U. City boys for the first time since 1986.
According to story by David Kvidahl at stl.today.com, Williams said, “We lost in the first round my first two years. We lost in the district championship last year. I told my teammates we can’t lose the district championship game twice.” With that win U. City made it to sectionals where they faced Soldan. The final score came out to be 56-45, ending U. City’s season and a memorable last season for the seniors. Although the seniors have finished their basketball career at U. City, this opens the door for juniors. “I’m ready to be a senior so I can have the chance to lead the basketball team,” said Darnell Tillman, a 6’5 ft. junior.