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Letter from the Editors Dear Reader,

This is our magazine veLASAty. Our goal as editors was to give all of our readers a light

and different look of the school than what they are used to seeing from an official standpoint. We interviewed teachers to hear about their lives outside of school, wrote opinionated pieces about implementing changes, and gave people alternate views of students through Pokémon mediums. It is fun, honest, and gives people a look from the student’s perspective about their school. Our hope is that you no longer see LASA as the stiff and up-tight school that many see it to be. We chose to limit the censorship of our magazine in order to give it the honesty that it needs to show you the ‘real Lasa’. If laughs aren’t for you, then all this humor will make you grow a tumor!

Sincerely, veLASAty creators, editors, designers, and authors (all the same)



Avi is quite the strapping young lad. He is by far the most handsome, droll, and respectable gentleman attending The Liberal Arts and Science Academy. He often participates in the most comical activities and is always the center of attention at any informal get-together. Among his many interests and hobbies are drinking warm chamomile tea (he also enjoys the occasional Earl Grey), reading realistic fiction novels (he only reads them if they are longer than 800 pages), and spending time with his intelligent, supermodel, all-around perfect girlfriend (who asked to remain anonymous).

Bailey is an interesting and well-rounded, young man, pretty much the Big Dipper of any group. He goes long and hard in the woods, (you know, running), and asks out juniors to dances. We won’t mention his results. Bailey enjoys skateboarding and having rocking parties at his house, which is by the lake. Unspeakable stuff happens at those. When Bailey’s not busy saving babies from lions and untying women from train tracks, he participates in activities that exude confidence, like watching Mean Girls and grooming. So what does this bull-wrestling, volcano-exploring young man have to say to you? “Hey man, don’t cramp my style.” Words to describe Graham: odd, blonde, musically inclined, and clever. He likes to tell robust jokes full of iconic humorous spin-offs. Graham greatly enjoys a nice chuckle. He is a wily schemer and if you mess with him, he will get his revenge, just ask around about the marshmallow and banana episode. Let’s just say that guffaws ensued. Graham enjoys a feminine scarf from time to time in order to toast his larynx. If you’re lucky, he might just engage you in endearing conversations regarding his reflection in the mirror closest by (i.e. how superfluously striking he looks today). If you mess with the bull, you’ll get the horns. If you mess with Graham, on the other hand…ah well I got nothing.

If I described a drop-dead gorgeous ladies man who makes all A’s and is the quarterback on the football team, who would come to your mind first? No, not Zac Efron. None other than the notoriously eye-catching Aiden (also known by the ladies as Aiden). He can often be seen driving his hot rod red convertible sports car with butterfly doors and sick decals. When he’s not busy having every girl at LASA swoon over him, he enjoys leaning up against walls while crossing his arms, over-gelling his hair, wearing visors slightly tilted to the side, and incorporating the word “bro” into daily conversation. Yeah I know, the perfect, modest, young champion this world demands.


Fall 2009


1 McNiel’s Manifesto 21 Station Identification

17 Youry’s Fury

4 Loewernstern Files


7 A Small Revision

9 Clique It or Ticket

13 The Pastry Prejudice

19 Leggo Your Ego

ASFs 3 Skateboarding Tips

12 Fantasy Newspaper

15 The LASA Alphabet

24 Pokemon of LASA

McNiel’s Manifesto


A Small Revision


Youry’s Fury







“I think because of my reputation, people don’t really want to argue with me as much.”


ou don’t mess with coach. Nobody messes with coach: “I think because of my reputation, people don’t really want to argue with me as much,” he says. And who would? After attending, teaching, and coaching at Lyndon Baines Johnson High School for more than 30 years, Coach Glen McNeil is as big of a staple here as trophies in Science Olympiad. He’s been teaching here for over 25 years, and nothing has changed in that regard since he started. “Proofs have been proofs since Euclid wrote them in 350 B.C.,” McNeil says. But while proofs have remained proofs, nothing else here has stayed the same here for very long, especially since 5 years ago. Factors McNeil describes as two floors, and depriving LBJ kids the opportunity to take magnet classes. Back when McNeil attended LBJ high school, if you didn’t go to the magnet program you were still able to take magnet classes in some subjects, and the same vice versa. Now you either take all magnet classes or you can’t take any. But he doesn’t complain about advantages teaching upstairs gives like trust from administrators, lack of hassling, and support from organizations. “If I want a whiteboard, I GET a whiteboard,” he says. McNeil says when he taught at LBJ the administrators weren’t as trusting of the teachers and didn’t give them lots of the supplies they asked for. Coach McNeil prefers teaching the same curriculum for 26 years over having to learn new systems every couple years as a football coach. “I get to be lazier this way,” McNeil says with a smile on his face. While McNeil might prefer the easier route to things, he has taken few shortcuts throughout his life. Whether it was the prowess of his high school football career, (“I was all-district on both sides of the ball” he says), his brief stint as a football player at the Naval Academy, or going through 2 different majors at the University of Texas. Mid-sophomore year, McNeil was an engineering major at UT. He got a call from the dean of engineering saying his grade point average was too low to remain in the engineering program. At that time he was making all A’s in his math classes and was inspired by his mother, a math major, to follow in her footsteps. “In Kinesiology, I was kickin’ ass,” McNeil says about one of his math courses. He later used this knowledge to get a teaching certificate and has stayed in Austin since graduating. McNeil thinks he made the right choice. “I’m gonna teach forever,” McNeil states. He doesn’t exactly feel the same away about coaching. McNeil says he wants to coach for 3 more years to see his son David through high school and then maybe coach another year to see how much he really likes it. He feels the amount of work he puts in doesn’t always directly affect his players’ efforts anymore, some weeks when he works harder they won’t play as well and sometimes if he doesn’t work as hard they’ll play a lot better. There will still always be the memories though. When McNeil was in his third year at LBJ, they were playing Crockett, and a fight broke out. A Crockett coach ran up and tried to pull one of the LBJ players off of one his and the kid turned around and punched him in the face. “It was one of the most one-sided fights I’ve ever seen,” Coach describes, laughing aloud. The teaching moments don’t come as easy, but there are some experiences he will remember. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30



Tips for Beginning Skateboarders By Bailey Shelton

4. Carry cash and change.

1. Go to a skate shop to buy your first board.

Shops have cashiers that usually are sponsored and this means they are very experienced. They can help you find your size and fit you for shoes and etc. They also have very useful advice if you are willing to ask for it. A good shop is No-Comply on 12th street.

2. Find some more experienced skateboards to chill with.

Older skaters usually know some good spots and know some cool easy tricks for starters and can help you learn them. Pick a crowd you have stuff in common with and you like to be with, its hard to learn if your not having fun and you’re more likely to give up on it.

When skating around you get tired and are going to want something to drink or eat so bring some money. Also incase you snap a board our need some gear on the fly.

5. Get a skate tool.

Have Fun! 8.

Always have fun and experiment with tricks. Mess around a little! Use your hands and put your foot down and see what happens. Keep it simple and fun and its all good.

3. Learn your local bus route.

Buses are a great way to get across town quickly and you can get off if you see a good spot to skate. Buses are stereotyped as being full of weirdos and creepers but this is false. Buses are usually clean and mostly empty so it’d be wise to ride with friends or bring some entertainment. Don’t think, “Man I’m gonna ride my skateboard everywhere!” Sadly the skateboard is not that great of a mode of transportation.

Speaking of snapping boards, getting new gear is useless if you can’t put it on yourself. Get a small portable skate tool, available at every skate shop and cost 20 dollars tops. They are easy to use and very durable.

6. Start small.

Time for tricks, start small and steady. Don’t start off trying to fly over 10 stairs and grinding ledges. Start with flat ground tricks, then start trying them off small drops and over little gaps. Them you can try some grinds, start on little curbs and ledges. Try combining you flip tricks with grinds and you got some sick lines. Then keep moving up and trying bigger stuff.

7. Carry around a camera or have a designated cameraman. Film stuff, even when it’s small. Save the footage and watch your progress over time. You’ll be surprised when you go back.

Follow this tips and you’ll go far and have a good time as well!











N L “Hey Mr. Loewenstern. Can I take a nap in here?” asks a tired teen. “Sure,” chuckles Neil Loewenstern. The student sits at a desk and lays his head down for a snooze. Mr. Loewenstern leans back in his chair and begins to look through papers. This is just another lunch period in the life of the 39-year-old veteran teacher. Loewenstern has been a teacher at LASA for 7 years now and has been teaching for a total of 16 years. He is very enthusiastic when it comes to school spirit and participates in a lot of events involving LASA. He also is the sponsor of a very popular club, the Jew Crew. Even though he is very popular no one seems to know much about him. Neil Loewenstern was born in the year 1970 in Houston, Texas. Here, he spent his childhood there, in what he describes as “a pretty Jewish community.” His father was a businessman, and his mother was a stay-at-home mom that sometimes did some work as a travel agent. Both his parents were Reform Jews in fact, and he was raised a Reform Jew as well. This means he doesn’t strictly follow the rules as much as an Orthodox Jew, this always some freedom. He


had a fairly average upbringing, well average for a Jewish family in the 1970’s and early 80’s. He first came to Austin when he was 18 to go to college at the University of Texas. He joined a Jewish fraternity, which his brother was in, with some friends. During the rest of his college experience he began to drift away from the Jewish ideas he had been brought up with. “I went searching for a more

spiritual congregation,” he says. He said he started his search with eastern religions such as Buddhism. He went searching for awhile, reading books trying to find a religion that fit him best. “A lot of books I read were based on finding spirituality in nature,” he recalls as he types on his laptop. He read a lot about Taoism and teachings from the Buddha. One book he read really got him thinking about Judaism

On Mr. Loewenstern: Jew Crew “Challah Back” T shirt and Jeans

sparked ideas amongst the Jewish student population, one day he was approached with the idea of a Jewish Club devoted to the ideas in the Old Testament. His first thoughts were “sounds fun, great way for Jews to meet up.” Now a day he takes many religious field trips and is the sponsor of the infamous Jewish club at LASA, the Jew Crew. The Jew Crew has greatly developed of course, now

“I went searching for a more spiritual congregation” - Neil Loewenstern once again. A book called The Jew and The Lotus, about a Jewish reporter and the Dali Llama. “I realized that I already had a tradition and an identity with Judaism,” he explains. He got back on track with Judaism towards the end of college and went to Israel in 1992 to teach Israeli children English. “Having kids really made me think about how I was raised,” he

states. He said that his kids really showed him the light, but he was already on track. His kids made him realize that he could interpret Judaism and Eastern religions. He really wanted his kids to have a Jewish identity. When he came to LASA he immediately felt at home. He then let the world know of his proud beliefs in Judaism. This then

many non Jews attend the meetings and it is now more of a social gathering, rather than a religious group. One member of the club and LASA senior comments, “Mr. Loewenstern is a pretty cool guy.” This statement is true, it is a fact that Mr. Loewenstern is a quite cool and interesting fellow. He has had an interesting adventure through life and still has a lot more to go.


A Small Revision “On my honor I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on my work, nor do I tolerate academic dishonesty in others.”

errors of the current one by increasing the severity of the punishment for violating the code, and requiring student’s to sign the contract in blood:

tarting this year, students at LASA were required to write the above sentence on every single piece of work they turn in for school. Sounds like a great idea, right? Well there’s one problem with this seemingly flawless idea- the honor code is only one sentence long! The main problem with the honor code only being one sentence is that it’s just not enough words to really get the point across that any form of cheating is not acceptable at this fine institution. It doesn’t include any of the specific forms of cheating, and it also doesn’t mention any consequences of violating the honor code. This is a big mistake, as scaring the students with threats is a very good tool in preventing cheating. The honor code’s second problem is that students don’t take it seriously. I am sure that many students have written the honor code right after committing some form of cheating, because they don’t think it matters and that it’s no big deal to violate the honor code. There is only one solution to this problem- we must require all students to sign the honor code in their own blood, thus sealing the promise they have made. The third problem is that some teachers either do not require the honor code on every assignment, others do not reprimand the student if they don’t write the honor code, and some leave a space for the honor code on the given assignment. Any of these actions prevent the student from learning the real importance of the honor code, prevent the honor code from being burned into the students’ minds, and are almost as much of a crime as disobeying the honor code itself. All teachers should be required to sign a contract stating that they have not made writing the honor code any easier for any LASA student, and any teacher that does one of the above actions should receive the same punishment as a student that violates the honor code. Since the honor code has been implemented, some students have suggested that it is a pain to write on every assignment turned in, and that it should be shortened or completely thrown out. It is obvious that anyone who supports this idea is nothing but a filthy cheater. I have proposed a new honor code that fixes all of the

“On my honor I solemnly swear in the name of God that I have in no way deceitfully acquired any information or thoughts that have not been formed independently within the confines of my own mind, and have not participated in any of the following acts- cheating, peeking, sharing answers, copying, buying or selling pre-made essays, plagiarizing etc. I also am fully aware that by committing any of these satanic crimes, I am liable to be punished by the removal of the pinky on my right hand by a rusted dagger. The dagger may or may not contain tetanus. Amen.”


“...The dagger may or may not contain tetanus...”

It is imperative that we do something immediately to prevent cheating at LASA, and hopefully the threat of tetanus will do the trick.

Article by Graham Bailey Photographs by Graham Bailey and Avi Webberman




Cliques...a necessity? Maybe so, Will a school adopt the mannerisms of thousands of others, or stick to its own unique, possibly harmful ways?



n unassuming student could stroll into the LASA courtyard and they would be greeted with a strange sight. A cheerleader helping a science enthusiast with her homework? Some jock offering his food to a band geek, odd. It must be a dream; everybody fits in. That is the sad reality of our school; everybody loves each other and is willing to get along, disgusting. What we sacrifice in exclusiveness, we gain in “the tag alongs”. Why aren’t there more loners? Why is the quarterback talking to the valedictorian? LASA needs cliques, as the situation is getting desperate. Some say that cliques are unhealthy, that they lead to jealousy, that they should be abolished. Well why isn’t the same said about fraternities? You think the law schoolers are invited to frat parties? Hell no! Cliques give people an experience of life in the REAL world, the non-LASA one. The world where no man was created equal, where celebrities stay in Beverley Hills, gangs stay in South Central, and accountants stay by their cubicles discussing the latest D&D battles. Some say cliques lead to Columbine, where kids get so fed up with the way their treated that they bring guns to school and target the social hierarchy of the school. But cliques help people have friends, to deal with the knowledge of rejection without ever having to experience it. Would rather have Bernard the chess president ask to hang with the basketball team who are too nice to say no and allow him to tag-along while he sits there clueless and oblivious to the terms “brick” and “broke his ankles,” or stay where he is moving his rook to E4 and laughing with his friends? Cliques put people where they are meant to be, to help them figure out their destiny. The first reason we need more cliques is because the goth to cheerleader ratio is just too low. There are so many Goths because people think that it’s acceptable to wear black every day. Absolutely no sense of style. This protects them from losing out on their promotion because the boss thinks he/she is a freak. Cheerleading teaches you important skills like fashion and hairstyling that will get their boss to notice them. George W. Bush was a cheerleader, Katie Couric was a cheerleader. Have we ever had a goth president? Definitely not. Have we ever had a prominent goth news reporter? NO! Cheerleading equals continual happiness, and gothism equals built up expectations with no return and smashed hopes. The second reason that we need cliques is because it prepares people for what faces them in the real world.


Bosses don’t go golfing with their coffee retrievers posed as “personal assistants,” LeBron James won’t answer fan mail from Herbie Brown in Random Town, Idaho, and after Oprah gives somebody a “free” planet, do you really think she talks to them ever again? Sadly, none of these events is likely to occur, cliques help kids understand from a young age who they’re allowed to talk to and who is WAY out of their league. The third reason we need cliques is because like it or not, it makes everybody happy. Why do you think places like started, cliques, there’s your answer. With cliques people are going to have other people that they are eHarmonized with. If they want to be left alone, then they can be in the loner clique which isn’t even really a clique, but where every member is left alone in their own subcategory so they can be alone. People who are picked on have something to blame it on, and people who are the kings can be in their rightful place. People who spend lunch doing homework shouldn’t laugh with friends; they should be laughed at by winners and THEIR friends, duh! In conclusion, LASA definitely needs cliques because everybody will benefit. Whether it is the Chemistry Club getting good grades because the teachers feel sorry for them or the football players getting hot dates because being seen with them is in. Now everyone is treated the same, and do you think God meant for us all to be the same? No, we are meant to be unique. If you really think about it, being in a clique is like paying your respect to Him. For all you atheists out there, go pray to your invisible X-mas tree. Cliques give people an identity, one that is passed on to the generations after them, a legacy to be fulfilled.

“With cliques people are going to have other people that they are eHarmonized with”

Fantasy Newspaper

Who needs Football when you have Newspaper? “It is a way to have fun, and at the same time, encourage others, including myself, to write stories.� -Jefferson Reese (Creator of Fantasy Newspaper)

How it Works: 1. The draft is during the 2nd week of school. 2. There are 4 players (Jefferson R., David F., Cameron T., Sam M.). 3. Each player has 8 writers on his team. 4. For each week (issue), a staffer must start 2 editors (section editors) and 3 staffers (non-editors). 5. Players also get points for the stories that they write themselves.

Scoring: 6. The length of the story determines the amount of points. 3-6 is the usual consensus, although some things such as constants (Staff Stance, Top 5, etc.) are only worth 2. 7. The front page gives an 8-point bonus and the front page of sports is a 6-point bonus. 8. The points are cut in half if the story is co-written. 9. Bonuses are given after points are cut in half for co-writing stories. 10. Editors get no credit if they don't write stories, but they still do the pages. 11. Writing no stories is minus 4 points for your team, and it is possible to score negative points. 12. First 4 weeks are regular season (everyone plays everyone). 13. Last 2 weeks are playoffs, 4 seeds determined by regular season (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3) 14. The championship game is the 6th issue.

The Players

David F.

Jefferson R.

Sam M.

Cameron T.

2 By Avi Webberman


Where have all the muffins gone?



ASA has a Cake Club, a Gun Club, even a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Club, but one club it doesn’t have….. is a muffin club. I’m not exactly sure why we don’t have one, maybe because all the teachers are too busy, or maybe no one has thought

about it. Some students argue “We have a cake club, why would we need a muffin club?” This ignorance is exactly why we need an individual club, specifically focused on muffins: how they’re made, their history, why they are different and maybe in some ways even better than cakes. The young, innocent, impressionable, youth of LASA have the right to know these important facts before they head off to college and then into the world. Who else is going to teach them? Their teachers educate them on the “basics”, but what about the important things that they need to know, like the difference between a muffin and a cupcake. What if their future boss needs a muffin recipe? Not having been in a Muffin Club, they might give him a recipe for a chocolate cupcake. This, according to Texas Penal Code 183, could result in a corporate layoff. Of course, if they had had a muffin club in high school they would have a great recipe that would allow them keep their job and likely recieve a steady string of promotions. Look at Bernard Madoff, he has been stealing millions for year and didn’t get caught till recently. So as you can see, muffins are more important than stealing. Being a respected muffinologist, I have been getting many letters that say something along the lines of, “Bailey, who the heck would want a muffin club?! It would be a big, stupid waste of time. I hate muffins, I think they are gross and useless, they are like nonyummy cupcakes.” To these statements I replied “no comment”, because I have so many reasons why they are wrong that I would have to take weeks out of my busy schedule to reply to just one of these. Muffins, for one, are delicious. They come in so many flavors, sizes, and textures that you have to at least enjoy one kind of muffin. Two, muffins are good for every occasion, like for breakfast a cashew muffin would be the best choice. For parties, anniversaries, and birthdays, you

“...we don’t need a muffin club because, it would be a waste of time... and that overall, there is no reason we need a muffin club...”

want mini blueberry muffins. Funerals, memorial services, and 9-11, a triple chocolate muffin. An apple muffin for your favorite teacher perhaps. It’s also proper etiquette, says Michelle Buckley, a wedding planner and self proclaimed, Queen of Etiquette. “You should always have a muffin recipe on hand for important events. I have been a wedding planner for awhile and there is nothing more distasteful than not having a good [muffin] recipe prepared” she states. Okay so some people are telling me that we don’t need a muffin club because, it would be a waste of time, that muffins aren’t yummy, it would be useless, and that overall, there is no reason we need a muffin club. These comments greatly depress me, that people are so close minded and not open to trying something new. With a muffin club in place, people who think that muffins aren’t delicious can experiment and create a muffin of their own that think is tasteful. Then maybe people wouldn’t think it’s such a waste of time, or that it’s useless. Is it useless to let people express themselves and show they’re creativity by creating something new? We’re introducing kids to new ideas and hobbies that they might like so much that they just might want to make a career out of. A muffin club at LASA would be a great contribution to the young minds that learn here. I hope that one day people might have a little bit more of an open mind to out of the ordinary and experimental ideas. If a muffin club turns out to be a bad idea then it can always be discontinued. If you agree then join the MCLF (Muffin Club Liberation Front).

Photography and Story By: BAILEY S.




A is for A’s, Straight A’s B is for Band, our (few) football players play for them, not vice-versa C is for Calculus, as a freshman D is for Droll jokes, over tea and crumpets (lunch) E is for Electrophoresis, you know what i mean F is for Football, HAHAHAHAHA just kidding, this is LASA G is for Gates, Bill Gates. There’s one of us hiding here H is for Homecoming, just another night to study on I is for ME, can’t leggo our ego J is for Jocks, who are the losers of your school? K is for Kealing, the careful sculpting commences L is for The Liberator, our thoughts flow freer than yours M is for the Mac Lab, yeah our school has one just for them 2



-Aiden Kahn

S N is for Nerds, stop pretending, you’re here aintcha? O is for Onychotillomania (look it up), GRADES ARE OUR LIFE! P is for Procrastination, the LASA equivalent of cancer. Don’t sink Q is for Quidditch, we sweep the other schools away R is for Robotics, our design designate your detrimental doings S is for Sleep Deprivation, happens regularly here T is for Thesaurus, what’s your favorite dinosaur? U is for Unique, that’s what we keep telling ourselves V is for Vocabulary, don’t test us W is for WikiWars, have a favorite sport? X is for Xenophobia, be gone from us hipsters! Y is for Yes, at our school we don’t take no for an answer! Z is for the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Team, you’ll thank us later 2

Youry’s Fury An undercover look at your favorite Russian genius.

2 Photo by Avi Webberman


oury sits on a stone in the courtyard, gobbling down his sandwich. His w h o l e body enveloped in his blue and grey jacket and long pants, which cover everything but his head. He stares into space, pondering something far beyond anyone’s comprehension. There is definitely something up with this quirky little ‘feller. About ten years ago, Youry made the journey from Pushchino, Russia to the United States, first to Michigan because his dad “got a job there to pay more money”. The change was not welcome. “I was not happy moving here and I am pretty sure that I was correct in not being happy moving here,” Youry explains in his thick Russian accent. The move from Michigan to Austin in first grade was almost as unwelcome as the first change for reasons that many can relate to. “I was against, my mom was against,” Youry describes. “I was upset to be leaving my friends. And bored during the long car ride” he adds. But after being here for years,

the changes have finally started to sinkin.Youry has found hobbies and, while he still doesn’t like it here, is starting to find ways to pass the time. “I like to Surf the in internet slash play Magic: The Gathering even with myself,” Youry says. He has even developed his own animal personality test with it, which many students at Kealing and LASA have taken. “Its based on the magic the gathering colors primarily. It is also correlated to the big five personality traits. And then I just correlate an animal to each color.” Youry reveals. “I’m a squid. But really I should probably consider myself to be an anteater.” One might wonder what this means exactly. What it says about Youry’s personality. “It says that I am not really all that focused on morality. I don’t think about doing the right thing as much as you might think. I mean, I still have morals. They just aren’t the main focus of what I do. I don’t really follow the rules all that I often. Well I mean, I follow rules…I follow laws but, and school rules, but I’m really disorganized. And

then I’m smart and place a big good value in being smart. And I also place value in freedom. I don’t really want power because I find that it’s more likely to get you assassinated because I have a very big focus on survival.” Youry’s blunt views make it possible for him to do something that very few can do: honestly examine and dissect their own personality. But while Youry knows that he doesn’t want power, he still has his goals in life. “I would like to be some kind of scientist slash game designer. Or chemist maybe.” Says Youry. His interest in subjects like math and science will help him reach these goals, while his favorite subjects still rely mainly on his teachers. “Well, I don’t really have a favorite subject. It’s whatever subject has the best teacher.” Youry explains. “Math is somewhat interesting to me. At least remotely.” Youry’s quirkiness and brutal honesty towards himself are what make him unique. Few would describe themselves as “not very nice”, or as “not extroverted” as he returns back to his rock to finish his meal.

“I was not happy moving here and I am pretty sure that I was correct in not being happy moving here.” Youry



Leggo Your Ego A look into the superiority complex of LASA.


ow you’re dumb! How’d you get into LASA?” This ignorant statement has become far too common at LASA. Some people have come to believe that going to LASA is a claim to intelligence. That if you go to LASA, you’re are smart, no question about it. Not just that even. Also, apparently, if don’t go to LASA then you aren’t smart. Because, if you could get in, why in the world wouldn’t you go to LASA? I mean, it’s not like any other high schools have anything else to offer. These ignorant mindsets have become too much of a part of LASA. Many people talk about how LASA’s ego is well supported which makes it okay for its students to boast of it’s “awesomeness”. I have heard the well thought out answer, “But LASA is awesome!” all too many times. However, this shouldn’t diminish the smart students at other high schools either. While having pride in your school is one thing, thinking that going to a magnet school makes you better then other people is another. This attitude had to start somewhere though, and while in part it is because of the students, LASA administrators have also somewhat started this mindset. The majority of presentations to get people to come to LASA start with things like “Unlike McCallum….” Or “Another reason we are better then McCallum is….” To get the respect that we want from other schools, it would be a

good idea to stop insulting them and ac- “For LASA to be knowledge that there can be more then taken seriously by one goode school in a school district. While LASA may have its fancy magnet other schools, it’s stu program other schools have their claims to dents, teachers, and fame as well. Austin High’s Global Stud- administrators need ies, McCallum’s fine arts, Anderson’s to get over themselves IB program, the point is that believe it or not, schools other then LASA do have first.” things to offer. It isn’t purely academics either. Some people may just love the quirky nature of McCallum or the different personalities and atmospheres of the oher high schools. People at LASA also have to stop trying to correlate the word smart with the word supe rior, because they are two completely separate things. Honestly, knowing the 50th digit of pi isn’t going to help anybody get a job, crazy as it seems. You don’t have to make straight A’s to do good things for this world. You could be smart in other ways, or “street smart”. Yes, believe it or not, that Calculus test that you just aced isn’t going to guarantee you a life full of happiness. For LASA to be taken seriously by other schools, it’s students, teachers, and administrators need to get over themselves first. Maybe it will take getting destroyed by some other AISD school in some academic contest, whatever it takes. Until LASA stops seeing itself on a cloud hovering over everybody else, we are just going to be seen as that self-absorbed high school that couldn’t be nearly as good as it thinks. To get respect we have to give it first.

By Avi Webberman - Photograph by Avi Webberman








A slow blues riff begins, followed by a soft chord progression accompanied by a trumpet harmony and the crash of a cymbal. Midway through the song the music stops abruptly, followed by the energetic cry of “We can’t get along!” in a rendition of Cousteau Press’ “Don’t Be Carried Away From Me.” This is Station Identification, an indie folk rock 3 piece made up of three long-time friends, two of which go to The Liberal Arts and Science Academy- Guitarist/singer Matias Pasch, Keyboardist/Trumpeter Noe Mina, and Drummer Henry Kellison. The band started in the summer of 2009 when Pasch’s other band, Cheap Fire, went on a hiatus after their bass player moved to California. “Matias called me and Henry up and asked if we wanted to jam,” says Mina, “We had a good session, and decided we should play together.” Although the band has been around for only a few months, they are no amateurs when it comes to musical ability. “Matias has been playing guitar for about 3 years,” says Mina, “Henry’s been playing the drums for 4 years I think, and I’ve played the trumpet for almost 4 years and the piano for 7 years.” One example of the bands musical skill is the members’ ability to play improvisational songs. They do this regularly at practices, with Pasch making up lyrics on the spot. At one practice for example, the band orchestrated an improv song about Mina smoking marijuana with his girlfriend (a fictional story, of course). This song was very entertaining, to say the least. They also have made quite a bit of progress as a band in the short amount of time they’ve been around, and recently played a gig at The Parlor with other local teenage band Schmillion, and have other opportunities coming in the near future. “We’ll be opening for Ben Kweller at a gig in November,” Mina says, “We’re all pretty excited about that; it’ll be a good opportunity for publicity.” Station Identification has done a few covers, including Don’t Make Me A Target by Spoon, the previously mentioned Cousteau Press song, and an Okkervil River song with guest vocals by LASA sophomore Zoe Yin. In addition to the covers, Station Identification also writes original compositions. “An average songwriting process involves Matias writing the main melody, chord proression, and lyrics, and me and Henry usually build off that,” explains Mina, “I’ll come up with a harmony on the trumpet or a keyboard melody, and then Henry will create a drum beat based off that.” The lyrical subject of the songs varies widely, from a song about Mina’s summer fling at band camp to a song about Pasch’s disagreement with the actions of Prime Minister Alagdor Lieberman of Israel. Despite the band’s short life, the future for Station Identification is uncertain. “The bassist for Cheap Fire is going to be returning in less than a year, and unless we get some kind of break or something, Matias will most likely return to Cheap Fire,” says Mina. Although the future of the band is unsure and possibly non-existent, anything can happen. Maybe the Ben Kweller gig in November will be just the big break that NOE Station Identification needs.

“We had a good session, and decided we should play together”


Article by Graham Bailey Photographs by Tess Hubbeling


Top- Matias Pasch Middle- Noe Mina Bottom- Henry Kellsion

Photographs by Graham Bailey


Continued from Page 7 “The first time I taught calculus downstairs, I taught athletes, cheerleaders, and track stars; you know, the fun kids,” he says. McNeil regards that as an experience because he had a blast doing. Even though there isn’t that one moment that particularly sticks out, the experience will stay with him forever. So this LBJ loyalist, a former student and a coach who has bled purple for the past 3 decades, but what would he do if one of his sons wanted to go to Reagan? “I didn’t let them go to Connally and that’s where they should go, their not dumb enough to want to go THERE.” ‘Nuff said. There are some major differences between the demeanors of McNeil on the field and in the classroom in an almost Jekyll and Hyde sort of way. “Coach is an easy to approach, affable, fun loving guy in the hallways who you can approach and share a good laugh with, but on the field he’s all business,” says Gabriel Kahn, a magnet student and football player who has known McNeil for two years. I don’t think he would have it any other way.


THANK YOU TO... Kendra Young Brandi Richey Amanda Cobb Becky Gdula Glen McNiel Neil Loewenstern Youry Aglyamov David Freed Matias Pasch Noe Mina Henry Kellison Tess Hubbeling




Fred likes to go to the store to buy chocolate milk


Fred likes to go to the store to buy chocolate milk