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A3: Latin ballet performs A10: Alumni in military B6: Swim, dive team members work hard to break long-standing school records


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Harrisonburg High School • 1001 Garbers Church Road • Harrisonburg, VA 22801 • 540.433.2651 • Volume XIC • Issue 6• January 31, 2013

Kareem makes pilgrimage to Mecca on Hajj Celia Ehrenpreis Editor-in-chief

Four million people from all over the world flock to the city of Mecca during the fall months of the year to complete the fifth pillar of Islam, the sacred hajj. This past Oct., Muhamed Kareem the home school liaison at HHS, made the monumental trip. “It is the duty of every able bodied Muslim to make the pilgrim-

age. I went for three weeks with my wife, it was life changing,” Kareem said. Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, is the center for all Islamic faith. While praying, Muslims face Mecca, and the Kaaba or ‘the house of God’. Muslims pray five times a day, at dawn, noon, afternoon, and night. Every prayer said while in Mecca is worth 100,000 normal prayers.

See HAJJ on page A2

Five Pillars of Islam Shahada- Faith in God Salah- Daily prayers Zakāt- Charity to the needy Sawam- Fasting during Ramadan Hajj- The pilgrimage to Mecca


DUTY FULFILLED. Home school liaison Muhamed Kareem poses in Medina, Saudi Arabia, during his hajj, a pilgrimage to the holy city. Kareem described the trip as “life-changing, and amazing.”

NAHS creating nursery mural After ceramic tile mosaic last year, group will explore another medium Mary McMahan News editor Opening up students and the school to the fine arts is one of the major goals of the National Art Honor Society. Just recently, the group of high school artists was asked to paint a mural in the nursery wing of the high school. The Honor society completed a mural last year located in the hallway outside of the art rooms. A guest artist was invited in to not only help the students with the project itself, but to also teach them the art of ceramic tile murals. The nursery project, which will begin soon, is going to be one of the society’s main projects of the year. Senior Cameron Ritcher is excited about the project. “[The mural] is probably going to be a family tree, and the [nursery] kids can bring in pictures of their family to put on it,” Ritcher said. Ritcher, who has been a member of the society for the past three years, also assisted with the sunset mural in from of the art classrooms, last year. “Unlike last year, we’re going to be making the mural out of acrylic paint instead of mosaic tiles,” Ritcher said. If any NAHS members still have ideas that they think would work well with the nursery theme, the society is still accepting suggestions from its members. Interested students should see art teacher, Jauan Brooks to submit their ideas. They don’t plan on actually creating the art until late February. “Because of the musical season coming up, I think it would be best to start working on the mural towards the end of February,” Brooks said. The NAHS does at least one huge project each year. They are most well known for their soup night which showcases handmade bowls and soup.

THE HOUSE OF GOD. In the fall months of the year, Mecca is filled with devoted Muslims. The Kabaa or “the House of God” is the large black stone, commonly associated with Islam.

Yearbook reaches out to Kenyan orphans Anna Wyatt Staff reporter Barefoot children kicking around a soccer ball in an empty field is customary for a group of children living in Cura, Kenya, at an orphanage designated for children who lost their parents to AIDS. Recently, yearbook advisor Mary Strickler and her second block English 11 class have become very familiar with Cura Orphanage. Strickler, influenced by her son, Ty’s visit to the orphanage, assigned each of her second block English students a pen pal from the residents of Cura orphanage. “I knew it would make my kids better writers, and I thought that they would be more motivated to write if it was for the


See YEARBOOK on page A2

HANDS IN. The yearbook staff raised money for Kenyan orphans by selling bracelets. The oprhans lost their parents to AIDS, and the staff worked to give them their own yearbook.

STEM Academy helping freshmen grow Brenna Cowardin Style editor STEM students and teachers are experiencing a very unusual type of learning this year. In English, they’re reading a book about Galileo that ties into Physics, and their Algebra II and Physics classes are taught simultaneously. STEM teacher Andrew Jackson is excited that the program has finally lifted off the ground. “It has been a dream of mine to have an integrated curriculum for advanced science students. As we built this, [those classes] were sort of a natural fit for me to help teach,” Jackson said. “We [the STEM teachers] are learning to integrate our topics with each other, which is not something high school teachers normally get a chance to do. We’re also basing more of our teaching on project based learning.” Jackson, an HHS alumni and HCPS Science Curriculum Coordinator, has been a physics teacher for 25 years, but teaching in the STEM academy has been presented

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“It has been a dream of mine to have an integrated curriculum for advanced science students,” Andy Jackson, STEM teacher some challenges. “My big adjustment was going from teaching seniors to teaching freshmen. I’ve been teaching physics to seniors for 25 years, it’s hard to figure out what freshmen can still understand,” Jackson said. “We [the teachers] are learning a lot about what we want to do with the program.” Teachers in the STEM program have to put in extra time, but Jackson doesn’t think of it as a chore, in fact he enjoys it. “It’s something we’re interested in doing, so it doesn’t seem like extra work, more like something fun and exciting to be a part of,” Jackson said.

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Freshmen Noah Heie and Michelle Eckstein find STEM different than they had originally expected. Both of them were surprised by the lack of field trips. “We haven’t gone on as many field trips as I thought we would, but I don’t think that detracts from the program, it’s pretty strong,” Eckstein said. STEM academy students regularly take part in science competitions. Right now, the students are preparing for two main challenges; Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) and eCyberMission. TARC is a national competition where teams of 10 students have to build a rocket that will safely carry an egg up to 750 feet and bring it back to the ground with a flight time of 48 to 50 seconds. Students will get graded on how close they get to 750 feet and the two-second interval. To introduce the program, the JMU rocket team came to HHS to launch rockets for the students. “One of the parachutes didn’t work, and the rocket just fell out of the sky,” Heie

See STEM on page A2

Coming Up Spring Showcase set for Parent/Teacher conference Day Winter sports take on the post-season Girls and Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Indoor Track, Swimming Spring sports previews Kids and their cars Second semester kicks off Behind the scenes with the musical Cool classroom activities in spotlight

January 31, 2013


News Briefs RED SEA GEAR AVAILABLE Red Sea T-shirts and sweatshirts are available in room 444. T-shirts are $10 and sweatshirts are $20. New this year is the embroidered Red Sea hoodie. Hoodies are $10. CLASS WARS GOING STRONG Class Wars are in full swing. Students will receive class chips for attending different events. Drop off your chips in your class jar located in room 444. Updated thermometers on the bulletin board outside room 444 provide students with the totals for each class. PARENT/STUDENT PORTAL The new grade portal is now up and running. Parents should have received the registration code in the mail. Students use their lunch number for their username and their MAC username as the password to enter their grade portal. FINANCIAL AID FAIR The Super Saturday Financial Aid event will be held on Feb. 9, 2013. Students and parents can attend this event in order to get assistance on filling out the FAFSA forms. NEW GUIDANCE COUNSELOR The Guidance Department welcomes Emily Barnes, the new counselor for students with last names M-R. This is Barnes’ first year working at HHS. Barnes is replacing David Hoover who recently moved back to his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. SAT DATE The next upcoming SAT date will be March 9. For more information on how to register, visit the counseling center, or visit: The deadling for registering is Feb. 8.



Sease plays role in Oscar-nominated Lincoln Mia Karr Managing editor Since Drew Sease graduated in 2008, he’s gone from the humble stage of the high school auditorium to working under the direction of Steven Spielberg. The aspiring actor recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career, and had a speaking part in Spielberg’s latest movie, Lincoln. Between his time in the very different locales of Harrisonburg and L.A, Sease continued his education earning a M.F.A in Theater Performance at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received training in live theater, musical theater, and minimal training in film acting. “[VCU had] a great community with people in the theater department [and] lots of creative options,” Sease said. “My junior year was especially challengingpersonally, creatively, and emotionally. I was very challenged and grew a lot.” Sease would participate in an average of one to two shows a year while at VCU. His favorite role from that time, and first professional role, was “Jack” in a Henley Street Theater production of Lord of the Flies. Through a series of connections, Sease was able to get an audition for Lincoln, a historical drama about the sixteenth president and was cast as David Homer Bates. Bates, an actual historical character, was one of the first military telegraphers. Sease filmed for two long days in Richmond, with five days of rehearsal prior. This gave him the opportunity to brush shoulders with Daniel Day-Lewis (who played Abraham Lincoln) and Adam Driver, as well as receive notes from Spielberg. “It was definitely a work environment,” Sease said, describing the filming. “Daniel Day- Lewis and Spielberg really helped set the tone for what they wanted on set. [Day-Lewis] was very in character.” Sease also was able to have a one-onone meeting with screenwriter Tony Cushman to discuss his scene and the script. “They [Bates and Lincoln] definitely

had a very important relationship,” Sease said. “The scene is so beautifully written. It was cool to see the scene come together.” The culmination of Sease’s first major film acting experience was a private screening of the movie in L.A “I think I learned... how important it is to be focused when you’re in that work environment. [Also], not to be intimidated by people who are a little further along on their journey than you. Treat them as regular people.” Sease started his own journey starring in HHS musicals as “Fagin” in Oliver, “Gaston” in Beauty and the Beast, and “The Cat in the Hat” in Seussical the Musical. “Mr. Swartz was great at creating an environment where we were free to make choices. He encouraged a sense of creativity and a sense of play,” Sease said. However, during school hours, you were more likely PHOTO COURTESY OF DREW SEASE to find him in an art class MAKING IT BIG. HHS Graduate, Drew Sease played the than the drama room. Dur- roll of David Homer Bates in Steven Spielberg’s Oscaring his junior year of high nominated film Lincoln. school, Sease made the dealso recommends making sure they want to cision to pursue theater as his primary career, but has remained pas- do theater as a profession, not just a hobby. “If you know of any other profession sionate about the visual arts and recently that compares to theater, you should finished his first commissioned work. pick that one,” Sease said. “You reAs far as theater work, Sease has been transitioning to his new life in L.A., working ally have to love it.” He chose to travel in a restaurant, and auditioning for roles. He across the country to follow his passion. “At this point [my goals] have been is represented by the CESD talent agency. shifting some, but I would love to be in “It’s definitely not easy. You hear ‘no’ a lot,” Sease said. For young actors who stories that are meaningful and powerwould love to fill his shoes, Sease suggests ful, feature films, and straight theater.” exploring different areas of theater to find Sease said. “[I want to] be asked to do where their strengths and passions lie. He work and give of my time and resources.”

Fine Arts Academy to start in fall Opportunities available for gifted Ellie Plass Staff reporter School is stereotyped as not being fun. Sure, maybe once in a while, a class does a dissection or reads an amazing book, but most of the time it’s work, work, and more work. One thinks of school as a place where you learn writing, or science, or history. It’s a place where one can get basic knowledge so that they can go to college, or get a job. J.R. Snow, the Director of Fine Arts, and the rest of the fine arts teachers are hoping to add to this. The fine arts academy will be a program for students with a talent in an art field. The fine arts teachers hope to use the program to enhance the abundant talent at HHS. Snow has loved the idea of a fine arts academy throughout his entire career. “This particular project has been in discussion, through the leadership of the superintendent and the school board since April of last year,” Snow said. The academy will be open to this year’s incoming and current freshman, or the classes of 2016 and 2017. The application process will include a 500 word essay about why the applicant thinks he

or she should be accepted, as well as a one-on-one interview with the fine arts teachers and an audition for their particular strand of art. The process will vary for each individual form of art. The specialty programs offered will be Choral Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, Creative Writing, Drama, and Visual Art. While students will focus on a specific strand, they will also have opportunity to experience other fine arts aspects in a group setting. Even if students don’t think they want to pursue a career in fine arts, the fine arts teachers think everyone would still benefit from the academy. “We believe that some students will go on to major in their field of art, while others will gain creative and analytical thinking skills that will make them a stronger member of society in their chosen field of work, philanthropy, and social enjoyment,” Snow said. The main goal of the program is to increase talent and skill in fine arts. They want to offer a unique and diverse curriculum to challenge students. The applications will start being available in January and will be due sometime in February.

Summer governor’s school applications now due Faith Runnells Staff reporter Summer Residential Governor’s School is a four-week program in the summer for students with a specific interest in engineering, math, life or marine science, medicine, agriculture, or humanities, and with exceptional grades and honors. There are seven different schools students can attend, each focusing on one of the above areas of interest. During the month, students live in the dorms of a college and work in classroom and laboratory environments with qualified professors and scientists. Students can be nominated for this opportunity by their teachers or they can nominate themselves. Nominations are taken into consideration for their academic achievements, extra curricular activities, honors, awards, and test scores. A school division committee then takes a few applicants and for-

Kareem enjoys unbelievable trip to Mecca HAJJ from A1

Because of this outstanding ratio, every day of Kareem’s trip was filled with hours of spiritual commune. There are many religious traditions to uphold while on the hajj. “[During the trip] we prayed nonstop for hours and hours, I was only able to sleep two hours each night. I tried to con-

nect with God when I was praying in Mecca, I didn’t think about money, my family, or my job,” Kareem said. The total cost of the trip was no small fee, Kareem and his wife each paid $6,800 for the pilgrimage. While in Saudi Arabia, they also visited the grave of the first prophet Muhammad, in Medina. “[The trip] was life changing. When I returned I felt reborn, I was so much happier,

I felt uplifted. I was grateful for all of God’s creations. I felt so much more respect for everyone,” Kareem said. His new outlook on life not only improved his daily behavior, but also increased his spiritual beliefs. “[After the hajj] I felt closer to God and heaven. I feel as if I will go to heaven in my next life. I would love to visit Mecca for a second time,” Kareem said.

Yearbook staff members partner with African kids YEARBOOK from A1

kids instead of writing for me,” Strickler said. Strickler explained how in many cases, a common problem students have when writing for the SAT is not being able to elaborate. Strickler believes that, in the long run, writing letters to the kids in Cura will help her students to develop this crucial skill. “Also, I knew they would fall in love with the kids so it was a win-win situation,” Strickler said. Junior Jesus Vasquez, a student in Strickler’s second block, was assigned to exchange letters with a boy named Maxwell. “We’ve been exchanging letters for a while now and I recently sent him a video of me dribbling a soccer ball,” Vasquez said. Vasquez says he enjoyed reaching out to people less fortunate than him. “It brought me a large amount of happiness, it was heartwarming and I had a lot of fun while doing it,” Vasquez said. HHS students also participated in selling bracelets hoping to provide the kids at Cura, with an obvious passion for soccer, with new goal posts, nets, and soccer balls. They were able to raise $710. Besides her English 11 students, Strickler has also provided her advanced yearbook students with a chance to reach out


SMILE BIG. The orphans get really excited about having their picture taken. The yearbook staff worked to help provide these kids, whose parents were victims of AIDS, with a yearbook of their own. to Cura. The yearbook students recently finished helping Strickler put together a yearbook for the kids in Cura. They used template from last year’s yearbook, giving them the opportunity to offer one to each child free of charge. On top of creating a Cura yearbook and setting her students up with Cura pen

pals, Strickler, in previous years, has also reached out to the Cura community by holding a tennis shoe collection in order to provide the kids with shoes in which they can play soccer in. She’s also sent them things like soccer jerseys and water bottles. “I just think that it’s really important to make a global connection,” Strickler said.

wards them to a state committee, who makes the final decision of who will be able to attend the school. Junior Larkin O’Hara is going to apply for the agriculture school hosted by Virginia Tech in the summer. “I’ve never done the camp before, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about it from former campers and there are programs that could help me determine along the lines of what I want to major in in college,” O’Hara said. “I’m applying for the agriculture school to mainly study the environmental and sustainability procedures.” Summer Residential Governor’s School offers many opportunities for students, such as meeting with professionals and learning in non-traditional ways. The schools stress a different type of learning, from hands-on laboratory research to artistic productions. “Over the course of the month of the camp I hope to get a clearer idea of my future and obtain more knowledge in the science field,” O’Hara said.

STEM Academy off to fabulous start

STEM from A1

said. eCyberMission is a challenge that involves a group of three to four students choosing a community issue and either researching it or suggesting a solution. “December through May will be pretty busy,” Jackson said. Because of the STEM class schedule, many students in the STEM program spend the whole day together. “I have classes with the same people because of the schedule we’re on for STEM,” Eckstein said. Every student has been issued a computer to be used for writing and graphing, but the STEM program also purchased a three dimensional printer and a computer controlled lathe for the students to use in the tech room. One of the highlights so far this year has been the styrofoam boat challenge. Students built boats completely out of styrofoam that not only had to float, but also had to use rubber band propellers to race the boats down the river. However, neither Eckstein or Heie know if they’ll continue the program next year. “There’s going to be a performing arts academy next year, so I guess we’ll see how it [STEM] goes,” Heie said. The performing arts academy will have a similar application process. “I think that’s [continuing in the STEM program] still up in the air. I do enjoy it, but I was also thinking about doing the fine arts program. I don’t know; that’s another decision I’ll have to make,” Eckstein said. Eckstein sees a big future for the program. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity for the STEM program to expand. Not just in the field trips, but in the integration of subjects and all the projects that we’d be doing,” Eckstein said.

January 31, 2013




Latin ballet offers unique experience for student body Maggie Siciliano Online Editor-in-chief This has become the year of trying new things when it comes to school assemblies. On Dec. 14, HHS welcomed a Latin Ballet Company to perform as an assembly for the first time. HHS had never had a ballet come for a performance for the students and staff, so this was a sort of experiment to test the waters. The assembly was met with many different reactions from those in attendance. “My favorite part was when the little, little girl came out and did a little shake and walked on her tiptoes for everyone,” senior Sarah Rose said. Juniors Blake Long and Jacob Byrd also thought the little girls’ dances were the most entertaining. “The youngest dancer was very interesting to watch because she was cute, and I was surprised she could dance,” Long said. “I loved how colorful the entire performance was. Also, at the end, I liked how people got the chance to on the stage and learn the dances,” sophomore Camille Cummings said. “My favorite part was the little girl, and the solo with the woman in the golden skirt. I’m definitely glad that they came,” senior Emma Peifer said.

The Latin Ballet was an excellent opportunity for the students of HHS to experience a different kind of ballet that might not have been what they were used to. It also gave them a chance to see a different culture and the stories behind it. “It was nice to see the heritage and dances of other cultures,” Byrd said. “It was very entertaining, it gave a good sense of culture to the school,” Cummings said. “I think that we should have more assemblies like them because we actually used them for educational purposes in art,” Peifer said. Certain performers also extended an invitation to those in this years’ musical to attend a dance workshop between their two shows during the school day. Here, HHS students got to learn Hawaiian luau dance, as well as do some role playing. The students also got the chance to receive insight on Latin culture. “The exposure to the culture was very enlightening, and being able to experience that through the art form of dance was spectacular. I absolutely think that HHS should offer more workshops like this,” senior Kaelyn Warne said. “It was awesome. I learned Hawaiian dancing that was really cool. I think HHS should totally do it again,” junior Abe Nouri said.


TWIRL. Members of the Latin Ballet Company break down various salsa, merengue and bachata routines for the volunteers from the HHS student body who fill up the stage area behind them and follow the moves.

NAHS members learn art of glass blowing

Streaks lend hand in local food drive

Kendall Bailey Sports editor Twirl, spin, blow! Members of the National Art Honor Society participated in a hands-on glass blowing workshop on Dec 18. The group of ladies ventured down to Carousel’s Stained Glass and Gifts to learn how to make homemade glass Christmas ornaments. This is an annual opportunity for the society, planned by art teacher Jauan Brooks. “[The workshop] is a simplified version of what the professionals do. Each student gets a glass tube and puts frit inside of it, heats it over a torch, and then blows into the tube to expand the glass into the ornament shape,” Brooks said. The group of girls were given a brief list of instructions, and then immediately began experimenting. They were each given a long glass tube with a blob of hardened glass sprinkled with frit (small colored shards of glass). The girls then had to submerge their glass blob into a torch’s flame until it pulsed bright orange, and then blew into the opposite end of the tube until the molten glass morphed into a speckled globe. Blowing the glass into the proper shape took deliberate care and caution, especially for junior Chloe Scanlan. “I didn’t know how hard I was supposed to breathe, and apparently I blew it up to two or three times bigger than what it was supposed

DECA spearheads school effort Sam Imeson Staff reporter


WATCH YOUR FINGERS! Art teacher Jauan Brooks watches over junior Chloe Scanlan during the glass blowing workshop. National Art Honors Society members were invited on Dec. 18 to Carousel’s Stained Glass and Gifts to learn the art of glass blowing. Participants got to take home the ornaments for Christmas presents.


FINISHED PRODUCT. Workshop members crafted Christmas tree ornaments when they participated in the National Art Honor Society event. to be, because it busted everywhere, and hardened into shards of broken glass a few minutes later,” Scanlan said. The sponsor of the workshop, owner Kay Rodgers, has been offering the

workshop for years to all high schools around the area. “[The workshop] is my way of giving back to my community for the students that need experience for artforms that can’t be

taught in the classroom. For the students, it’s a lot of fun and a whole different array of things to do with glass besides just staining; like glass blowing, making ornaments, and beads,” Rodgers said.

Each year around the middle of December, Bucky Berry holds the annual Brent Berry food drive to help those who are in need around the holidays. Bucky Berry is the father of Brent Berry, a special needs student in sixth grade at Thomas Harrison Middle School. Brent was born very premature, and because he was so small, he later developed problems with his eyes and vision. Brent grew up watching his father dedicating his time volunteering for the Salvation Army. His dad would ring bells and gather food during the holidays and Brent aspired to be like him. Brent wanting to emulate his dad served as inspiration for the Brent Berry food drive. Bucky heads the food drive, but many people around Harrisonburg volunteer their time to the drive. Although efforts are focused mainly on food, volunteers around the city also collect non-food items such as diapers, laundry detergent, toilet paper and toothbrushes. Many schools around the city, including Harrisonburg

High, one of the biggest school contributors, participate in the food drive. “HHS has always been involved, it’s a great way to help the community” principal Tracy Shaver said. “Individual classes help out by bringing in cans and other items, but Mallory Cromer, the DECA advisor here at HHS really spearheads the drive for the school.” “Each year DECA holds a schoolwide food drive, from the middle of Nov. until Dec. 3,” Mallory Cromer said. “Kids will bring in canned peaches, pears and Ramen noodles.” On Dec. 13, the HHS band played at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the food drive. People were able to bring cans and the band collected them for the high school. Rodney Eagle, owner of Eagle Carpet, is in charge of collecting the cans all across the city. “Rodney, or one of his volunteers, will come by with a big truck and collect all of the cans and other items we have collected here at the school,” Shaver said. “It is a wonderful organization and I hope they continue it in years to come,” Cromer said.

FIRST Robotics team, ‘Big Blue Botics’, begins build season Mark Duda Editor-in-chief Another year, another problem to solve. Such is the task of HHS’s F.I.R.S.T. Robotics team, nicknamed “Big Blue Botics”. The team, a collection of students with a variety of

technical backgrounds and skill sets, will begin competition this spring. This is the fourth year that HHS has hosted a team, and they hope to improve upon their finish at last year’s regional competition, in which they placed 19th out of 64 teams. During the actual com-

petitions, each team’s robot must perform a series of tasks to score points, such as getting a ball through a hoop. Seniors Amin Kraimeche and Jordan Leaman joined the team last year, and hope to contribute to the team’s continued success

this year. “I mostly work on design,” Kraimeche said, discussing the different roles each team member fills. “A couple people are ‘drivers’, the ones who actually are around the robot [during the competition],” Kraimeche said.

This year’s competition requires the teams to design a robot that, according to Kraimeche and Leaman, climb a ‘pyramid-like’ structure and throw a disc. “It’s sort of like pyramid climbing and Ultimate Frisbee mixed together,” Leaman said. The official








name of this year’s competition is “Ultimate Ascent”. The competition, however, does not only involve collaboration within the teams, but between them as well. Teams are sorted into “alliances”, whom with they must collaborate to score points.





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Newsstreak Newsstreak

January21, 31,2012 2013 August The Harrisonburg High School Newsstreak

HHS alumni making impact in world

The Policy


The Newsstreak is published by the students of Harrisonburg High School every month. Reproduction of any material from the newspaper is prohibited without the written permission from the editorial board. Advertising rates are available upon request. It is the policy of the Harrisonburg City Public School Board to comply with all applicable state and federal laws regarding non-discrimination in employment and educational programs and services. The Harrisonburg High School City Public Schools will not discriminate illegally on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, disability or age as to employment or educational programs and activities. Editorials appearing without a byline represent the majority opinion of the staff, but not necessarily the opinion of the adviser, school administration, or the school system. Signed editorials are accepted from people on the staff, but are subject to editing according to published guidelines and policies. Editorials may be edited for special reasons. Letters to the editor are encouraged and must be signed and a telephone number must be given. Names may be withheld if the editorial staff feels there is a just cause. The Newsstreak reserves the right to edit and may refuse to publish ads or letters deemed inappropriate, libelous, or obscene. Please drop your letter by room 444 or give them to any staff member. Letters may also be sent to the high school.

On a day to day basis, it is easy to take the opportunities presented by HHS for granted. The litany of routine and the sometimes maddening bureaucracy of daily school life can cause even the most motivated of students to grow disenchanted with the ideals of public education. Graduates of HHS, however, show that the opportunities presented by HHS are truly sufficient to reaching any goal. Whether it be in the world of business, the arts, media, science, or almost anything else the mind can imagine, HHS graduates are competing and succeeding. Take 2008 alumnus Drew Sease, for example, who recently had a speaking role in the acclaimed movie Lincoln. Or Ty Strickler, now the director of a summer program at the University of Southern California, who returned to Har-

The editors and staff Editors-in-Chief: Print - Mark Duda, Celia Ehrenpreis Online - Maggie Siciliano, Ben DiNapoli Managing Editor: Mia Karr Advertising Managers : Austin Coffey and Bryndal Fulginiti Photographers: Ana Hunter Nickels, Sukriti Adhikari Staff Reporters: Mark Duda, Maggie Siciliano, Ben DiNapoli, Mia Karr, Katrina Sokolyuk, Anthony Duong, John Earle, Max Johnson, Isabelle Burden, Julexus Cappell, Bryndal Fulginiti, Victoria Giron, Ana Hunter-Nickels, Gypsy Torgerson, Gina Muan, Kerri Hofacker, Kendall Bailey, Josh Byrd, Austin Swift, Valerio Aleman, TJ Kirkland, Jr., Ellie Plass, Felicia Tran, Brenna Cowardin, Luke Gibson, Isaac Falk, Sukriti Adhikari, Chelsea Arnott, Lindsay Plume, Karim Rawls, Josh Storella, Lybeth Vega-Lopez, Anthony Walton, Sydney Knupp, Alexis Dickerson, Nishat Jamil, Paul Hairston, Sam Imeson, Anna Wyatt, Faith Runnells and Mary McMahan. Professional Affiliations The Newsstreak participates as a member of several journalistic evaluation services including the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA-2010 Gold Evaluation and 2005 & 2009 Silver Crown Winner), Quill&Scroll Journalism Honor Society (2012 Gallup Award), National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) All-American, the Virginia High School League, Inc. Trophy Class Award, and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association All Southern Ranking and 2010 Scroggins Award winner. opt out notice: If you do NOT want to allow your student’s full name or image to appear on the school newspaper site, please send an email to vkibler@harrisonburg. stating: I understand that the school newspaper, newsstreak. com, now has an online version of the publication. I DO NOT want my son/daughter (place student’s name here) to have his or her name or image published on this online venue.

Op/Ed--A5 A5 NEWS

The The

risonburg in Dec. to direct the film Check Out, along with fellow alumnus Sing Howe Yam (for more details on Sease’s work on Lincoln, or Strickler’s and Yam’s work on Check Out, see pages A2 and B3, respectively). Many of our former students have found successful careers in the military (see page A10), while others have stayed in our community and have opened small businesses or work for large companies. Of course, these people represent a small proportion of the thousands of souls who have walked HHS’s hallways over the decades. However, they are examples of an undeniable truth: even though HHS may not be the greatest school in the nation, or even the region, the resources available here are sufficient enough that, with some work, any graduate can reach his or her goals.

WHAT IS THE STAFF EDITORIAL? The unsigned staff editorial appears in each issue and reflects the majority opinion of the Newsstreak Staff Editorial Board. The Editorial Board is comprised of all editorsin-chief, page editors, advertising managers, photographers and selected freshman journalism students. In no way does our opinion reflect that of the school system or the administration.

THE ACTUAL VOTE The editorial board decided that the success of our alumni in professional fields proved that HHS provides ample opportunity for its students to meet their goals. It’s our opinion that, with the ability to fully utilize the available resources, any student can overcome HHS’s geographic and resource limitations and find success.

Where are they now?

Just a sampling of former HHS students who have been successful Adam Packett, Financial Planner Akeem Jordon, Pro Football Player Ben Alvis, FBI Agent Bill Mimms, Former State Senator and Virginia Supreme Court Justice, Bobbi Camden, MD Bobby Scott, Rockingham Co Administrator Brian Saunders, Dental School Bruce Witman MD Chris Eckstein, Financial Planner Colin Wilson, Virginia State Trooper David Witman MD Don Shlens, Athletic Director, Luray High School Drew Sease, Actor, Lincoln Ed Amos, MD Frank Gordon MD George Floros, Jess’ Lunch owner Hanley Chiang, PhD, social policy researcher Jack Eggleston, College Professor Jeff Ashby MD Jillian Reynolds, Dentist Jimmy Rodriguez, Broadway Actor Jimmy Stickley, Marketing Instructor Joe Fleming, USMC, VA State Police Joe Myers, Principal John Glick, Acupuncturist John Gordon, MD

John Marsh, Secretary of Navy John Wade, Professional Football Player Josh Sundquist, Motivational Speaker Julie Kramer, Med Specialist, RMH Kim Warren, West Point, Packaging Corp of America   Kristie Toliver, WNBA Laurie Roller, Nurse, RMH Leema Madden- Two-time NCAA Division III 100 meter champion Major Clayton Justice, Rockingham Co. Sheriff’s Office Mary Van Dyke Kreis, PhD Mike Arehart, Kline’s owner Nancy Shank, Sunny Side Nursing Executive Paul Kline, Kline Energy Preston Green, MD, Ralph Sampson, Pro Basketball Player Robert Frazier, Frazier Quarries Scott Bowman, Electric and Plumbing Scott Hillard, Business owner Stephanie Howard, Parks and Rec Steve Albrite, Frito Lay Executive Steve Keeler, Attorney Steven Hashiguchi, MD Todd Wisman, trains military special forces Whitney Hodgen, ER head nurse, RMH

Congress needs to work harder for bipartisanship


Isaac Falk Opinion editor As the crystal ball dropped in Times Square, people rejoiced at the new year. But for some, the night was tense as negotiations over how to reduce the U.S. deficit continued past the deadline set by Congress. The worst had come, the U.S. had officially gone over the fiscal cliff. Luckily, there were no immediate effects as Jan. 1 is a U.S. holiday and all public services are on vacation. After the New Year’s celebrations had ended, the policy makers in Congress buckled down,

and pumped out legislation that ended up passing both chambers of Congress, meaning the U.S. had avoided the fiscal cliff. But what brought us so close to the cliff in the first place? The fiscal cliff fiasco seemed to follow a trend that is reflected in the debt ceiling debacle back in August of 2011. Congress raised the U.S. debt ceiling with little time to spare. Why is it that it seems our politicians in Congress are procrastinating until the very last minute to pass legislation, whose passage avoids major economic pitfalls. Typically, people tend to point towards increased partisanship within recent years. They argue that today’s politicians are too divided over party lines. And while there is merit in that statement, the fact is partisanship has been part of the U.S. political climate since John Adam’s presidency. There has always been partisanship within the U.S. government, but how it has manifested itself has varied. In the colonial government, the divisiveness was

over the role of U.S. citizens in government. In the 1860’s it was over slavery. Today it is over fiscal matters. The only period where there was no hostility between parties was when there was only one party, and that “Era of Good Feelings” ended when the U.S. economy entered a recession in the Panic of 1819. Hostility between parties is normal for Congress. So why is it that it seems Congress is unable to pass any legislation in a timely manner? Part of the reason lies within the nature of Congress itself. The way Congress is set up, any piece of legislation must pass through both chambers of Congress to make its way to the President’s desk. Getting a piece of legislation to appease both chambers of Congress is a timely process, and that timeliness ensures no legislation is passed too quickly, to prevent poorly designed bills from being enacted. That being said, Congress recently has been procrastinating a seemingly unhealthy amount.

What they don’t seem to realize is; even if they pass legislation by a certain point in time, if they set a deadline and come too close to the deadline, there will be consequences. If you look at the stock market, there are noticeable dips in stocks as Congress failed to pass legislation in the days leading up to a deadline. There was a dip in August 2011 and there was a dip in December 2012. However, because the deadline fell during a U.S. holiday, the damage was mitigated. Ultimately, Congress needs to pass legislation more rapidly. Partisanship is understandable, and even critical for the success of our system of government, but there is a point where American citizens and their welfare are caught in the crossfire between the two parties. I am not saying they need to reconcile their differences and sing together around a campfire, but they need to at least agree on one thing; If you set a deadline, get legislation passed a week before that point.

How should we measure our self worth?


Mia Karr Feature editor

For this issue, I had the pleasure of getting to interview alumnus and movie star (sort of) Drew Sease. He said something really interesting about working with Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg: “[It’s important] not to

be intimidated by people who are a little further along in their journey.” This really resonated with me, because, for some reason or another, I think about this idea a lot. Something about the cult of celebrity worship has always confused and bothered me. I am not saying that I really care if someone is obsessed with One Direction or has posters of Justin Bieber plastered up all over their roompeople can do whatever they want. However, it seems like this kind of goes to say that whatever movie star/singer/hearthrob that is being worshipped is better than us mere mortals. I strongly disagree with this. I don’t think that anyone is fundamentally better than anyone else. Just because someone is

better at something than you or has a higher IQ or is more rich or more famous doesn’t make them a better person, and I think we tend to forget that. How about instead of dreaming of marrying Mr. Hot Celebrity, thinking that, hey, he would be lucky to marry me? I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend a lot of time glorifying people who are just luckier than the rest of us regular folks. This worshipful attitude doesn’t just apply to celebrities, but to people in our real, actual lives. It can be easier to look at someone who’s older or smarter or more talented and feel small; especially when they are better at something that you like to do. However, as Sease said, they are just further along in their journey. Some people probably look at you

and feel the same way. I kind of feel like a cheesy kindergarten teacher telling her students that “everyone is special”, and I know this idea has been beaten to death in our culture. That’s not really what I’m going for- some people are undeniably better at things than others and some people are a lot more likely to succeed. What I’m saying is that success isn’t a measure of anything other than success. I wish we would stop using an unbelievable athletic talent or perfect test scores, and especially, a large amount of celebrity, as a measure of how much someone is worth. How do you measure someone’s self worth? Trick question, you can’t. If you find an accurate way to do it, I’ll be really impressed.

Start out new year with better understanding


Mary McMahan News editor It’s a new year; time to start actually following through with our new year’s resolutions. We all set different goals for ourselves, whether they are to do better in school or to work more on our relationships with friends and family. The resolutions list is endless, but the accomplishments and

successes are not. Go on ahead and try to actually stick with your new year’s promise... I highly doubt that you’ll accomplish it to the standards that you expected. Instead of focusing on one specific goal that you want to accomplish, focus on the whole picture. Change your life around, and if you already say that your life is perfect, you need a reality check. No one has a perfect life, but they can come pretty close to it with an attention to personal morals and aspirations. Start off by evaluating your life last year: 1. You probably didn’t accomplish everything that you wanted to do. Did you accomplish everything that you wanted to? Did you make all of the grades that

you aimed for? Did you do something totally outrageous like bungee jumping or paragliding (I know, a little bit out-there)? To summarize, do you feel like you had an eventful and meaningful year? 2. Analyze your emotional state. Were you stressed out or overwhelmed with the amount of school work that teachers pile on us? Was it possibly a hard year friendship and relationship wise? 3. Self-Satisfaction We all know that an extremely common new year resolution is to lose weight...well, did you accomplish that last year? Or maybe you wanted to run a mile in less than eight minutes...did that happen? 4. Maybe you had an awesome year and you want that joy to carry through to the new year.

All of these points aren’t intended to make you disappointed in yourself, but are instead geared towards making next year even better than the last. Wherever you fall in the spectrum in terms of how you felt about this past year, use your self-analysis to shape your new year. Make this the year that you run a mile in not just under eight minutes but in under seven minutes. Go bungee jumping, work on your time management skills, construct new study habits, make new friends or mend broken friendships... do something new, because this is the new year. It’s time to start out fresh and make this year a year filled with accomplishments and just down-right fun. It’s a new year, it’s a new life, and most importantly, it’s a new start.

January 31, 2013


HOT Congratulations to the HHS One Act Team for their victory, and special congrats to those who won top acting awards.

HHS responds to fear of world ending.


WARM WEATHER Even though it’s the dead of winter, we are experiencing spring temperatures, which is an improvement over the winter cold.

COSTA RICAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM Once again, HHS is hosting Costa Rican students in the program designed to educated both HHS and Costa Rican students.

GOLDEN GLOBES This year’s Golden Globe award ceremony was as eventful as always, with teary eyed speeches and ungracious victors.

EARLY ACCEPTANCE For some, January was a month of celebrations, as colleges made decisions on applications submitted early. For those who got into the college they hoped for, congratulations!

NEW CLASSES For those of us with semester classes, the new semester adds fresh courses to the schedule, and gives us a break.

END OF HOLIDAY SEASON Now that Christmas and New Years are over, we have time to relax and collect ourselves after the stress of the holiday season.


LOCKDOWN DRILLS With all the stress students are facing now, lockdown drills only compound the stress further.

EXAMS Exams are a stressful time for all. For some it will make or break a grade. For others, it’s a formality to be dealt with.

SPOOF MOVIES I thought this genre of movie had long since died with the Scary Movie franchise. But lo and behold A Haunted House is now in theatres.

BUCKWILD After their success with Jersey Shore, MTV is trying to follow-up on their success by documenting the story of young West Virginians.

FLU EPIDEMIC The U.S. is facing a huge flu epidemic, and HHS is not excused from the pestilence. Wash your hands and avoid contact with the ill.

The Mayans were an ancient Central American civilization known for their technological, agricultural, and cosmological advancements. And like all civilizations, the Mayans wanted to create a calendar to keep track of time and historical events. So, on August 11, 3114 BC, the Mayans developed a long term cyclic calendar. The Mayans set up a date system based relative to the date of the calendar’s creation. The intervals set from the original date were kin (one day),

NEW YEAR”S RESOLUTION FAILURES Even though it hasn’t been a month since New Year’s, many of us have succumbed to desire and broken our resolutions.

MANTI T’EO SCANDAL The scandal surrounding Notre Dame player Manti T’eo has generated many questions. Did T’eo really know the girl? Was he tricked? Only time will tell.

MAKING UP SCHOOL DAY ALREADY Making up school on Martin Luther King Day and now having to go a full day on the Jan. half-day. What happened to our built-in snow days? Will we get these back if we don’t see snow?

uinal (20 days), tun (360 days), K’atun (7,200 days), and Baktun (144,000). A date utilized all five numeric values. So a date that was 500 years from the creation of the calendar would be listed (Baktun, K’atun, Tun, Uinal, kin). The Mayans believed time moved in Great Cycles, and one Great Cycle was equal to 13 baktuns. 13 baktuns from August 11, 3114 BC put the first Great Cycle ending on December 11, 2012. What exactly the Mayans

believed would follow the end of the first Great Cycle is unknown. However, doomsayers in modern times believed that its correspondence to the winter solstice indicated some cosmological cataclysm. However, the Mayans were not known for predicting the future, as is evident by their civilization’s apparent demise. In addition, the Mayans did not have leap years, so after adjustment, the actual end to the first great cycle was a few months ago. *information from

Mayan apocalypse eclipsed by actual threat Katrina Sokolyuk Staff reporter For the past year or so, rumors concerning the end of the world have been circling the media, press, and social networking sites. A Mayan prophecy predicted that the world as we know it would come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012, and the people of the earth were scrambling. People from all over the globe took extreme measures, such as stocking up on supplies, migrating to “sacred” mountains in Rome, and building high-tech disaster-proof arks, to ensure that nothing would happen to them or their loved ones on Doomsday. But while the idea that the Earth could be shattered into a

billion pieces by some sort of interplanetary cataclysm has worried millions of people around the world, many people also view the end of the world as a giant hoax. “It’s all baloney,” physics teacher Seth Berkley said. “There really is no logical scientific explanation as to why and how the earth could end so abruptly. If we were to be hit by an asteroid or something, we would be seeing it in our sky for weeks before it actually hit us.” “You should always assume that the world is not going to end,” senior Erin Goodstein said. “Because if it does, then no one is going to be there to tell you you’re wrong.” However, another rumor circling HHS about a possible

shooting in the school on Dec. 21 captured more attention than the end of the world. “I think people are more worried about the shooting on Friday than they are about the end of the world,” freshman Rachel Rohrer said. “People seem to have forgotten about [the end of the world],” freshman Hollyn Slykhuis added. After a bullet was found in a boy’s bathroom of the school on Wednesday, Dec. 19, very few people attended school that Friday. “I’m not coming to school on Friday. No way,” senior Lidija Barisic said. “People need to be able to feel safe in their own school and right now, I don’t think anybody feels safe.”

Mayan fever spreads worldwide Isabelle Burden Staff reporter December 21st, the last day before we were set free from school for holiday break, was supposed to be the “end of the world”. The Mayan calendar was reportedly supposed to end (along with the world) on this day, although it may be hard for some to believe the world would end. One of the non- believers was junior, Larkin O’Hara. “It was a bit weird how people were obsessing over it, I mean, the Mayan calendar just recycles and people were freaking out,” O’Hara said. Popular TV show, “Glee” dedi-

cated a whole episode to the concept, spreading the word to younger audiences. A lot of teenagers adopted the term “YOLO” in 2012, meaning “(Y)ou (O) nly (L)ive (O)nce”. Even though most people didn’t believe in the end of the world craze, they still used it as an excuse to use the term YOLO and do stupid things that they wouldn’t do normally. “People can think whatever they want, I just don’t believe in it at all,” O’Hara said, “ We really had nothing to worry about.” Sophomore Victoria Giron traveled to Guatemala over winter break and noticed a lot of tourists visiting the Mayan temples.

“I was there because I’m from Guatemala, but a lot of tourists wanted to visit the temples before the world was supposed to end,” Giron explained, “I think most of those people actually believed that the Mayans were in control of the fate of the world, which I think is kind of ridiculous.” Shannon Richard agreed with both O’Hara and Giron, saying, “I knew the world wasn’t going to end, and I thought it was kind of silly that people were getting shaken by the rumors.” Obviously the world did not end on December 21st, but it did shake some people. In the words of Larkin O’Hara, “I’m glad we’re still alive, and happy 2013!”

“End of world” largely ignored Julexus Cappell Staff reporter

WAITING FOR COLLEGE DECISIONS While there are few who already heard from their top choice college, the rest have to wait until April to hear back from colleges they applied to.


Doomsday (did not) approacheth!


Tarantino wins again with the spaghetti western Django Unchained. The writing is crisp and the soundtrack is spectacular.


Here we are, in January 2013. The world DID NOT end, clearly. To the people who actually believed in such nonsense, I wonder how it must feel now that we are in the New Year? As for myself, I never feared that the planet would miraculously break down into pieces. I need some type of proof, or physical evidence to even consider the idea. Since there was no evidence, I went on like any other day. I went to work, as usual, and listened to the radio. Our local radio station was holding “Doomsday” door prizes. The “world ending” was a joke and mockery. The students at HHS had plenty to say about Dec. 21. For the majority of us, it is safe to say that no one really feared for their lives because of the Mayan’s unfinished calendar. But what did some of you all do on Doomsday? Did you hide in your basement

Good News in the World

with canned food, water, flashlights, and other supplies you would need to survive an apocalypse? Or did you go to school, come home and do whatever it is you do on a regular day? Sophomore Linda Rich felt it was just a normal day. “Just do what I do every day I guess. I don’t believe anything will happen,” Rich said. Another Sophomore Hope Carr saw it from a different angle, explaining that she thought it was just ridiculous. “I’m coming to school laughing because I know it won’t end,” Carr said. Junior Blake Long also felt it was unbelievable, and treated Dec. 21 like a regular, average day. “I will do the same things I always do because it’s not ending. It is idiotic. There’s just no way the world is going to end,” Long said. It is obvious that most people in the world felt no reason to stop their daily routine over a myth or unsubstantiated theory. Had we had had concrete proof the world would end things probably would

have been very different. Since not, it was comforting to know that just about everyone continued with their day and not freaking out like maniacs. But what about the people who seriously believed and prepared for Dec. 21? “I feel like it is nonsense. It is not going to happen, the world is not going to end on a random day,” Carr said. In my opinion, I feel like that was a waste of their time. There was no real factual proof the world would end, other than an unfinished calendar. Maybe the Mayans were busy, decided to finish it up later, and never went back to it. There are PLENTY of people, and you can probably think of a few, who get started on a new project and never finish it. I am one of those people. So if I don’t finish knitting a scarf, or reading a book, does that mean that that certain project is over forever? No. People in this world sure know how to jump to some wild conclusions.

Bad News in the World

United States avoids the fiscal cliff: The U.S. Congress managed to pass legislation in an effort to reduce the U.S. deficit. If Congress failed to pass legislation, spending cuts would have ensued, causing a recession.

Sandy Hook tragedy: On Dec. 14, a lone gunman entered a Connecticut Elementary School and then shot and killed 26 people. Of those lives lost, 20 were children ages six or seven.

U.S. to remove military from Afghanistan: President Obama recently announced intentions to pull troops out from Afghanistan and focus on helping the Afghani military regain control.

Indian woman raped: In December, an Indian woman was raped on a bus by a group of men. She was badly injured and flown to a foreign hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Progress in HIV Treatment: Studies indicate that early treatment of HIV with immune boosting drugs, slows the virus’s attack on the immune system.

Assad remains defiant: As the Syrian Civil War nears its two year anniversary, current Syrian president Bashar AlAssad gave a speech condemning the rebels and the West.

Read, Write, and True

Don’t blame the many for actions of the few Joshua Byrd Staff reporter

April 20th 1999, April 16th 2007, and December 14th 2012; all these dates have something something in common. These are the dates of mass shootings in schools in the U.S. in the past 20 years. Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Sandy Hook Elementary School. All of the shooters involved with the massacres at each scool had mental health issues and all of them were cowards and took their own lives after taking so many innocent lives. After the latest, and maybe the most disturbing shooting because of the victims age, it appears Sandy Hook has changed the U.S. forever. Now, after the shooting, people are demanding changes in gun policy. With the renewed focus on gun control, celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, are coming out and telling people to demand more from their lawmakers. On the opposing side, advocates for the right to bear arms made a commercial showing the celebrities who are now calling for greater gun control, in movies with guns. (CBS news) Sometimes the celebrities who are calling for greater gun control are using the guns in self defense or hunting in the films they starred in, other times it was to kill. See the hypocrisy? The debate has been going on for years, but the debate is based around the 2nd amendment. The 2nd amendment goes as follows. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”(U.S. Constitution) People against greater gun regulation use the second clause, while those for greater gun control say the second clause applies only for a well regulated militia. The debate has gone on for years and will likely continue, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the NRA and gun right groups. On News Year’s Eve in 2011, a woman was tending to her infant child. She heard something and looked out the window. The noise belonged to people who she believed were armed, dangerous and outside her home. She called 911 and gave her child a bottle to make the child calm. She then grabbed a shotgun and aimed her sights at the door, while still speaking to emergency responders over the phone. The operator told the woman to do what was necessary to protect herself and her child. The men knocked down the door, and on his first step into the home he was killed by the woman. The man’s accomplice attempted to retreat, but was also fired upon and wounded. The police arrived shortly thereafter. Because she legally owned the firearm, she was not charged with any crimes. This was in part due to a law common to Republican dominated states where homeowners have the right to use lethal force if anyone is threatening the owner. It is sometimes referred to as the castle doctrine. (ABC news) Not everyone who has guns is bad. Really, everyone who owns guns legally, usually has them for hunting, their protection and/ or the protection of others.

January 31, 2013




The Hobbit meets expectations despite criticism Luke Gibson Feature editor Like almost all other viewers of arguably 2012’s most anticipated film release, I had already compiled a reasonable amount of expectations prior to my rather belated trip the movie theater. Whether it was because of a childhood reading of the comparatively short 280-page book, or viewing the Lord of the Rings trilogy a decade ago, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrived ironically and entirely expected by its Middle-Earth starved audience. And although The Hobbit is the natural setup for its more legendary sequels, the story is of an entirely different nature. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself unfamiliar with Tolkien’s first tale, I will briefly summarize: Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit of Hobbiton is tricked by the wizard Gandalf the Grey into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of Dwarves, which doubles as Bilbo's recruitment as the Dwarves' "burglar" to help them steal their treasure and home back from Smaug, a dragon drawn by the amount of gold that the Dwarves of Erebor had amassed in the previous era. Bilbo is reluctant to join the group on their journey to the Lonely Mountain, but naturally begins to settle into his Hollywoodhero role. In this third (yes, it’s going to be a trilogy) of director Peter Jackson’s envisioned

storyline, the band of unlikely fighters encounter obstacles such as hungry Trolls, Orcs on Wargs, Goblins and a few other inconveniences that hinder their progress and stretch out the storyline in a way that makes it almost seem acceptable for so little progress to be made in the first movie. Those who enjoyed the multitude of epic battles featured in the LOTR may leave a little disappointed, as occurrences such as these appear scarce in this film. Instead, the simple-to-follow narrative focuses on the modest troop and the fortunate outcome of their encounters. One may still be surprised that there is not as much focus on characters as the 13 unique dwarves on the poster may suggest. In fact, I left the theater only remembering a few of the Dwarves’ names, and not even able to match up which one was meant to be Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur or Bombur. It seems Jackson has chosen to direct attention on the notable protagonists (Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin), and foreshadow the events of the LOTR trilogy. Despite its pre-

quel appearance, I would certainly recommend that a viewer familiarize himself with the events of Middle-Earth that are set to happen 60 years later, in order to enhance the viewing experience (Jackson rightly assumes that most of the audience are returning with adequate experience of the LOTR franchise.) The Hobbit has received a fair amount of criticism, from various reviews, fans and even the Tolkien purists who appear upset by some of Jackson’s changes to the original story, such as including characters who were never even mentioned. Some may have forgotten that Jackson is entitled to an amount of creative freedom in order to better connect his new trilogy to the previous. It does seem odd that a book which is but a mere sliver in size compared to its sequels is being made into a set of three films, equally long. Jackson plans to make this possible by including informa-

tion found in the appendices of the LOTR books, which I really cannot argue with, provided that the final product is a well executed piece. It is difficult to pass up on two more opportunities to absorb the beautiful landscape of Middle-Earth, which becomes rather fascinating when one forgets that it is likely to be saturated with CGI. It is hard to deny that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows a simple narrative, quite literally intended as a children’s tale, but the experience is ‘fun’ nonetheless. The movie adaptation holds true to the lighthearted, fun spirit of the original book, while simultaneously adding elements that enhance the viewing experience. Of course, the plot may drag at points and actually takes around 45 minutes to initially get into motion, but this is mostly excusable. We’re able to see the return of some original favorites, such as Andy Serkis’ superbly bizarre portrayal of Gollum. While The Hobbit ideally should not be compared to The Lord of the Rings, Jackson makes this very hard to do with his numerous moments of foreshadowing, almost setting himself up for criticism. However, it is undoubtedly a worthwhile experience for those who are open enough for enjoyment without grumbling about the alterations to the original storyline. It is difficult to pass up on another opportunity to see Tolkien’s universe after a wait this long.

Parental Guidance entertaining for kids Austin Swift Staff Reporter

Bruno Mars releases Unorthodox Jukebox

Nishat Jamil Editorial cartoonist Bruno Mars’s new album, Unorthodox Jukebox, was released on Dec. 10, 2012. It has been out for more than a month, and is already receiving positive reviews, getting four out of five stars from Rolling Stone. Mars’s new album contains the songs “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I was Your Man”. “Locked Out of Heaven” has been playing on the radio for a while because of its catchy melody. I have finally gotten a chance to listen to it and it seems to be a very good song. The beat is bouncy it retains a smoothness, though it can be hard to understand the lyrics at points. Still, the song is rather classy and I unconsciously tap my foot to it. The next song that I listened to was “When I was Your Man”, which is sadder compared to his other songs that I heard. The lyrics are full of regret and heartache about a lost love, tastefully accompanied by just a piano. I like how Mars presents no ill-will to the girl in his song. Instead, Mars gives encouragement in her new relationship with another man. The song showcases an interesting story which makes it all the more relatable and nice to hear. The other tracks are more upbeat and rambunctious in comparison, but still fun to listen to. After listening carefully to the album, I have decided that my two favorite songs are “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I was Your Man” because of how different they were compared to Mars’s previous singles.

Parental Guidance is a comedic film released on Dec. 25, 2012. The film features actors and actresses Billy Crystal, Tom Everett Scott, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei. The idea for the movie actually came from real life experiences Crystal had when caring for his two granddaughters. The story revolves around a pair of controlling grandparents who take on the tough task of babysitting their three grandchildren while the parents are away at work for the day. They come across prob-

lems that their old-fashioned methods of parenting are unable to solve. Surprisingly, this actually brought the family together. Unfortunately, the majority of the reviews were negative. The Chicago Tribune gave the film a harsh review saying it’s “not much fun for any age”. A writer for the Wall Street Journal stated that, “The end result should appeal to audiences, including bonding parents and grandkids, looking for a little undemanding holiday cheer”. However, people should keep in mind that these reviews were written by grown, professional film critics. After seeing the movie, I believe if a nine-year-old were to

review the movie, their opinion would be much different. There were moviegoers of all ages at the theater and their reactions were all mixed. Throughout the movie, almost everyone in the theater was laughing-- especially the adults with children with them. It seemed as though the teenagers were the age group that was least amused. I could say I was among them, since I understood the jokes but did not find them as funny as the rest of the moviegoers did. I have concluded that this movie would be an excellent choice to take your younger brother or sister to. Your parents might enjoy it as well.

Les Miserables packs theaters nationwide Isabelle Burden Staff reporter Forty- three countries, 300 cities, 10,000 performances; Les Miserables, originally a novel written by Frenchman Victor Hugo, has become one of the most well- known musicals of all time. The musical has been translated into 21 different languages since it was first set to music. The operatic style of constant singing has captured millions around the world. The plot follows Jean Valjean, a former prisoner, through his daily struggle during the student’s revolt in France. On Christmas day, Les Miserables once again hit the big screen. Valjean was played by Hugh Jackman, yet he is not the only recognizable name. The cast includes Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and English theater sweetheart,

Samantha Barks. “I [was] most excited to see how Samantha Barks plays Eponine in the movie,” senior Nancy Carrie Logan said. Logan played Eponine in the HHS production of Les Mis in 2012. Tickets went on sale and very quickly sold out. Logan saw the movie the day after Christmas. “I definitely think Les Mis was one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year,” Logan said. Many say that Les Mis is one of those musicals that people of all ages can enjoy. “I [was going to go] in my costume from our Les Mis production,”

Logan said. This is the type of excitement that Les Miserables can cause. My opinion of the movie was that it was a bit upsetting. I thought Anne Hathaway was amazing and totally worthy of her Best Supporting Actress win at the Golden Globes, but everything else was kind of sub- par. Don’t get me wrong, it was great, I just expected a lot more from it. I was a little disappointed, mainly because it is my favorite musical. Regal Cinemas was very packed with Les Mis lovers, and was very successful at the Golden Globes, nominated for Best Film of 2012.

Buckwild following nine West Virginia teens Kerri Hofacker Sports editor MTV introduced a new television show recently that was an instant hit with high school students; Buckwild. The show is based in West Virginia and follows nine teenagers who have known each other for years and are trying to find different ways to entertain themselves with the simple

things in their lives. Sophomore Brayden Smith and senior Keyana Whitley-Duncan watch the show every week, tweet about it while watching, and then talk about it with friends the next day. “It’s like Jersey Shore, but the country version,” Smith said. The teens in the show are proud of where they come from and are not afraid to be themselves.

They go out mudding in their trucks, or create a human sling shot. They may not have all the money in the world, but they know how to have a good time with each other. The show is worth tuning into, according to Whitley-Duncan. “[The show] is kind of stupid, but really funny at the same time. They do some really weird stuff,” Whitley-Duncan said. Buckwild is on Thursdays at 10 p.m. on MTV.

‘Some Nights’ proves to be disappointment for Indie rock fan

Celia Ehrenpreis Editor-in-chief I was so excited to receive Fun.’s new album Some Nights for Christmas, they are one of my favorite new bands. I am a self proclaimed Indie rock lover, so I thought it would be just my cup of tea: however, I was mistaken and let down by the album. The album starts off on a good note. The “Some Nights Intro”, is melodic, and sets

the tone for the rest of the album. It is only about a minute in length, before segwaying into the actual song “Some Nights”. This song along with “We are Young”, are definitely the two most popular, well known, Fun. songs. They are played excessively on the radio and every teenager knows all of the lyrics. I can’t help but sing along to “Some Nights”, as well as “We Are Young”, which plays directly after. I find it strange that the band decided to put it’s best songs

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at the very front of the album, with no buffer in between the two. In my opinion, it would have been better to place the songs interspersed throughout the album, to keep listeners interested. “Carry On” follows the two chart topping songs.This somewhat whiney ballad is the band’s next most popular song. Again, why frontload the whole album? It starts to go downhill after the first four songs, the tunes all start to sound the

same, and lead vocalist, Jack Antonoff’s voice becomes less and less appealing. By the last song of the album, “Stars”, I have completely lost all interest, and I turn off the CD mid-song. If you are looking for a more accurate representation of the band Fun. I recommend the album, Aim and Ignite. This album has the better songs of “All the Pretty Girls”, “Light a Roman Candle with Me” and “At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)”.

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January 31, 2013




Friendship strengthened through years of service Mia Karr Managing editor When Robert Frazier Jr. and Todd Wisman graduated from HHS in 2002, they left with a close friendship, a legacy of success on the football team, and a common goal: to join the military. Ten years serving, education at separate military academies, the start of two families, three deployments overseas, and the birth of two (soon to be three) children later, Frazier and Wisman are still as close as in the days when their school colors were navy and white. “Todd and Joe [Liskey, a fellow HHS alumnus that went into the army] and I were best friends and we still are,” Frazier said. Frazier and Wisman were both involved students- Frazier wrote for the Newsstreak and was student council president, Wisman was a two time regional champion wrestler, and both participated on the track team. They also co-captained the 2001 state champion football team. “I still think about that. I still tell people about that all the time,” Frazier said. “We knew we wanted to win states as freshmen,” Wisman said. “It solidified in my mind that if you work hard to achieve a goal, and you prepare you can do any-

thing you want.” Wisman also participated in JROTC for four years. “I enjoyed JROTC. It gave me an avenue to learn more about the military.” It was through JROTC that he was able to go to West Point to start his military career (in the army) and major in nuclear engineering. Frazier attended Virginia Military Institute (in the Marine Corps) and earned a dual degree in history and international relations. By the time Wisman graduated, about 20% of his class had dropped out. Both Wisman and Frazier described the lifestyle at VMI and West Point as “Spartan”; however, the lack of comfort had advantages. “For me, the one word that comes to mind [about West Point] is camaraderie. The friendships that you make through hardship you just can’t replace,” Wisman said. “All those things help you focus on just learning about someone as... what their convictions are as a person. When you have nothing else, you don’t have parties to go to, you don’t have a great room to hang out’s just you in the same uniform as the guy next to you learning about him and the values he stands for, that’s when you really drill down and make great friendships.” After graduating from West Point, Wisman entered into the army as a Second Lieutenant. After 60 days of leave,


COMPLETE FOCUS. One of Frazier’s commrades snapped a picture while Frazier watched Taliban forces while in Nar-Saraj District, Afganistan 2011.

he entered into a year of initial training to be an infantry officer. He then moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he remains stationed. Frazier followed a similar trajectory, leaving VMI as an entry level officer in the Marine Corps, training to be an infantry officer, and then reporting to his “home station” in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. “If you’re in the the military, your day is not spent... in the woods with a gun playing soldiers,” Frazier said. “You would be surprised how many meetings [there are] and how much paper work you do.” The standard cycle for marines is about 18 months: the first six months are spent preparing for deployment, the next eight months are deployment (going somewhere such as Iraq or Afghanistan or offering humanitarian aid), and the last four months are a “stand down” period meant to allow the marine to reintegrate into normal life. Frazier was deployed to Iraq from late 2004-2005 and the horn of Africa and Afghanistan from 2010-2011. He left the service last March as a Company Commander (in charge of about 260 marines) and had a daughter, Claire, with his wife ( they married in 2008) in April. Wisman is still in the Army and has risen to the rank of Detachment Commander,meaning he is in control of a special forces Operational DetachmentAlpha (ODA.) He has been deployed once, in Afghanistan from 2007-2008, where he served as a Platoon Leader. Wisman was also married in 2008 and has an eight month old son. His wife is pregnant with their second child.

“My favorite part [of being in the military] is the feeling of serving something greater than yourself...I think if there were more people who did it, our country would be a better place,” Wisman said. “One of the unspoken objectives of our military is they...receive these young men and women in their care to train and, for lack of a better term, use as a tool, but they want to return them in a better state than they found them. They will one day return to civilian life and there’s a 99.9% chance they will return a better human being,” Frazier said. Throughout their military careers, Frazier and Wisman have maintained a long-distance, sometimes cross-continental friendship. “Forever and ever and ever, as long as I can remember Todd, Todd was the kid that you knew was going to join the military and he was going to do well at whatever he did because in high school we called him ‘the stud.’...The best memory I have of being in the military is when Todd commissioned in the army, when he finished West Point. Joey and I went up to see the commissioning... and we got to give him his first salute. One day he’ll be the guy on TV, and it’ll be like ‘I know that guy!’” At this point, Frazier turned to Wisman. “I was so proud of you,” he said. “That’s what made me want to finish mine.”

SERENDITPIDOUS MEETING. Joey Liskey and Robert Frazier, both 2002 graduates of HHS, ran into each other by chance after fighting a battle on the Syrian border in Iraq in 2005.

CHRISTMAS WITH FRIENDS. On Christmas day Robert Frazier, Joey Liskey and Todd Wisman get together to share a meal. Eleven years after high school are still close friends.

Army recruiter seeking strong students

Austin Coffey Advertising manager William Southers, a local Harrisonburg Recruiter who works through the U.S. Army focuses mainly on recruiting high school students. “Being a recruiter for the Armed Forces is one of the most important jobs there is. As an Army Recruiter, my job is to find highly motivated individuals who are intelligent, qualified, and want to serve in the Army.

So it is my job to fill the Army with individuals who are going to not only represent their country with honor, but be the best soldier they can be,” Southers said. Taking on this responsibility, Southers has brought many to the call of duty from not only HHS, but schools all over the area. “I recruit for the Army because I love helping young people pursue their ambitions in the Army. I didn’t see myself in the

Army until after my third year at Ferrum College. I love helping young people who are not really sure what they want to do in life. You can use the military as a stepping stone. Either for college money (up to $85,000), free medical benefits, free dental, 30 days paid vacation... a lot of people use the military for the free training. Let’s say you want to go into the medical field, well the Army is going to train you in the job you choose for free,

then you can go out into the civilian world after the Army already having that training the Army gave you for free,” Southers said. Alumni Trey Hatcher, Andrew Deutsch, Nicole Westfall, and Severiano Sosa-Hernandez were recruited last year, and seniors Paywand Sofy and Justin Bricker have been recruited this year. “I want to join the army to provide for my future

See ARMY on page B3

Turner works on avionic systems in Navy Josh Byrd Staff reporter Patrick Turner graduated from HHS in the class of 2011. He attended Coastal Carolina University, but after a year, dropped out for several reasons. “Mostly I felt like I was wasting my time and money on something that I saw very little reward in,”

Turner said. Turner decided to join the Navy. “I’ve always wanted to serve in the military so it just fell into place,” Turner said. Turner chose the Navy because of the long “heritage” of the Navy and the huge number of career options. Right now he is serving as an airman of an

e-3. “I haven’t decided if it will be a career, but it’s looking that way,” Turner said. As an airman, Turner is an aviation electrician’s mate, so he does various diagnostics. Also, he makes repairs on avionics systems of various airframes. The avionic system includes the tools that

help the pilot fly and control the plane. One of Turner’s most vivid memories was when he was attending boot camp and he was sprayed with pepper spray. He said the pain lasted ten minutes. Right now Turner is stationed in Pensacola, Florida.

English teacher learns from boot camp Ellie Plass Staff reporter AP English teacher Melody Wilson graduated from high school at age fifteen. “Education was more competitive then,” Wilson said. She went to college, but didn’t do very well in her first year. She thinks that the biggest disadvantage of early graduation was that she was so far behind everyone else emotionally.

As a second option, and to get her life back on track, Wilson decided to join the military in the Marine Corps. She went in as an enlisted individual. Wilson said that her military career was not full of intense war battle. She was an “active” member for three years and then went into the reserves. She chose one of the less active duty stations. For her, the experience that stood out was boot camp. She describes it as

a stark reality because it’s the first time she was thrown into close quarters with people she didn’t have much in common with. “It was like shock therapy. There are always people that maybe don’t like you, and some people had never spent time with a black person before,” Wilson said. She said that she learned a lot from boot camp, especially how to be a team player and to compromise. She is also a people person now.

“Your time isn’t your own. Everything was monitored and a lot was thrown at you,” Wilson said. She said that while people often talk about the physical aspect of a boot camp, there are also classes that you are expected to show up to and do well in. “It was a good experience. I needed it,” Wilson said. Her time in the Marine Corps added a lot to her personality and helped her become the person she is today.

Mederios prepares for military future Gina Muan News editor Benching a telephone pole or shimmying across a rope bridge while wearing a fifty pound backpack aren’t scenarios familiar to the average student. But for senior Maxi Medeiros, these grueling activities have become just another part of life as he prepares to enter the military after completing high school. Medeiros, currently in his fourth year of JROTC, is one of the few students who have stuck with the program since freshman year. “The classes get smaller each year,” Medeiros said. In a position of authority as a commander, he strives to constantly improve the HHS Battalion through supervision and difficult decision making. “[ROTC] is almost a lifestyle,” Medeiros said. “It’s taught me really useful things.” Although ROTC members have to learn specialized skills including how to pitch tents, execute the ‘perfect pushup,’ light a fire without matches, cook their own chicken over a spit, or arrange their uniform collars to align within a fourth of an inch, the program instills broader concepts. “We learn about

teamwork, success, leadership and even dining etiquette and how to ballroom dance,” Medeiros said. The first in his family with plans to enter the military, Medeiros’ main motive involves achieving the means to attend college. “They pay for all your expenses,” Medeiros said of the SMP. The Simultaneous Membership Program, as its name conveys, is a two-year course which allows one to participate in both the National Guard and his college’s ROTC at the same time. “I want to make it a career,” Medeiros said. He sees himself eventually becoming a technician or sniper. “What people don’t realize is that JROTC [comprises] so many different topics,” Medeiros said. “It’s a lot of fun.” Once he became accustomed, Medeiros found it simple to balance grades and ROTC. Colonel Roy McCutcheon is the Senior Army Instructor of the HHS JROTC. He understands the importance of JROTC for high school students. “It’s a brotherhood kind of thing,” McCutcheon said of the program. “We’re probably the biggest family in HHS,” Medeiros said. “We look after and understand each other.”

January 31, 2013




Strickler comes home to direct film Celia Ehrenpreis Editor-in-chief


y Strickler has met Morgan Freeman. He has worked on the set of Evan Almighty, the most expensive comedy ever made. Now, Strickler is on to his next big project. He is directing a dark film about suicide called CheckOut. The short film was made in Harrisonburg during late December. Strickler was inspired to take on this colossal project when one of his close friends committed suicide after high school. Strickler graduated from HHS, where he enjoyed history classes and yearbook where his mother, Mary Strickler, was the yearbook advisor. “I loved learning about a wide array of subjects; high school offers an opportunity to try everything, [having my mother as a teacher] was difficult because she knew when I wasn’t doing the assignment to my full potential,” Strickler said. After graduating

from JMU a year early with a degree from the School of Media Arts and Desgin, Strickler worked on the film Evan Almighty. After the movie wrapped in California, Strickler decided to stay in L.A. He enrolled at University of Southern California, where he studied directing/producing. Strickler worked on documentaries in Kenya, East Africabefore Check Out “Check Out is my biggest project; it is a lot of pressure [because] the rest of my work is mostly docs. Our crew is a professional team. The equipment is worth thousands of dollars. We are even using one of the cameras from the James Bond film, Skyfall,” Strickler said. Check Out is about a young man, Sam, who walks into a grocery to buy rat poison to commit suicide. The grocery store cashier, January, gets wind of his plan and tries in vain to intervene. “My good friend, Tim Estep brought me this script back in 2009. I was immediately drawn


-$100.00 per working day per actor - Housing/meals provided -If flying, the cast must be flown in equal or higher class to the rest of the crew (i.e - If anyone flies first class, all SAG actors must fly first class as well) - Copy of work given to the actors regardless of whether or not they make the movie.


-Typically an hourly rate. Usually minimum wage, and meals must be provided. PHOTO BY MARY STRICKLER

LOOK OF EXPERIENCE. Director Ty Strickler has studied in California, worked onthe set of Evan Almighty, and filmed in Kenya. to it,” Strickler said. Sing Howe Yam, another HHS alum is cinematographer on the project. “I’ve only worked with Sing one other time. It was our senior year of high school and we did a mock car commercial together.

Sing is a genius. He is a great addition to the team,” Strickler said. The entertainment industry is not all easy though. The lack of consistent work presents a huge obstacle.

See STRICKLER on page B3

Movie making requires Yam brings cinematography skills to project Gibson hours of background Luke Feature editor work Kendall Bailey Sports editor

Since filming is such a rare event to occur in Harrisonburg, word spread fast and many became eager to join into the movie-making magic. All of the excitement made it extremely easy for Ty Stricker and Sing Howe Yam to find extras. “Getting extras is always hard, especially when you don’t have money to pay people, and they make the scenes completely important. As soon as [the news of the film] got on Q101, people were sending me messages asking to be extras or crew members,” Strickler said. The challenging part of the movie-making process was acquiring permission to shut down Grace Street to record one of the first scenes of the piece as well as procuring a transit bus to film in. “We had to get a lot of permissions to shut Grace Street down; we talked to the fire department, city transportation, the police captain, the fire marshall, and JMU so we could use their parking space, and the entire city council,” Strickler said. “We hired off-duty officers to patrol the intersecting streets.” Reggie Smith at the Department of Transportation worked with Strickler to procure a transit bus. “Reggie was such a pleasure to work with. It’s not what I’m used to in LA.

See SETS on page B3


ising Director of Photography Sing Howe Yam is familiar with the comfortable setting of Harrisonburg. After all, he is a former student of HHS. He is presently based in Los Angeles, working on the sets of fairly big productions. But like many here with similar ambitions, Yam started in Harrisonburg. Yam’s passion for film led him to the North Carolina School of the Arts to study filmmaking with a concentration in cinematography. He graduated from the con in 2008, and after meeting a director in Virginia Beach, Yam become involved in big-name music videos as the Director of

Photography. “I’m in charge of telling the story through camera movement and lighting. I help [the director] bring his story to life visually,” Yam said, describing his role on set. While still in Virginia, Yam also worked on two feature films during his year spent after college in Virginia, but decided it was necessary for him to move to a larger community of filmmakers. “I needed to go to the life of [filmmaking]. I moved out to LA after saving up enough money,” Yam said. As Yam explains it, when one is still an up and coming filmmaker, the main goal is to meet new people in order to get your name out there. Three years later, Yam is returning to

See YAM on page B3

Make Up Artist

-If it’s a union film shoot, there are tiers in which these roles are paid. For low indie films, it’s usually a day rate of around $100-150 per day plus a “kit fee,” which replaces materials used on the film.

Production Manager - Completely negotiable.

Cinematographer -Completely negotiable. Big

movies, salaries can be $1 million to $1.5 million. Indie movies can be a set rate for the movie to working for free. There really isnt a set scale.


- Negotiable


- For features, this is the sale of the script. On the low end, the scripts sell for around $60,000.00. They can go up to several million depending on if there is a bidding war or if it’s a notable writer.

Film Crew

- On a short, you usually pay a “per diem.” This isn’t a salary, but more of a “thank you” to help cover costs. Typically around $25 to $35 per person. - On a big movie, there are set rates depending on the crew.


- On a short, nothing. On a big movie, it’s negotiable.

Sound person

- On a short, nothing. On a big movie, it’s negotiable.

Sets location -get permission


FAMILIAR GROUND. Director of Photography Sing Howe Yam (left) studied filmmaking at the North Carolina School of the Arts after graduating from HHS.

Future film maker volunteers on local project Brenna Cowardin Feature editor

- negotiable. it all depends on how long, what you wish to do, will there be environmental hazzards, etc. - For us, we had to pay $300 to rent the hotel for the week. They gave us a weekly rate. - The grocery store was free, but we had to pay a monitor (store representative) to be with us during production. This is very common, especially during after hours. - Other locations were free. - We had to pay Harrisonburg Police Dept to shut down the road and maintain public safety during the shoot. This was an hourly rate for the officer.

How much to build the set? paint/furniture/objects to make it look realistic for the scene


enior Paul Hairston has been filming movies since he was five with his sister. “My grandfather would give me their digital camera and tell me to go buck wild,” Hairston said. Characters in his early videos included Bennie Bluff, a rogue restaurant manager, and Thelma Tarp, a waitress. “There are literally hour-long tapes of us doing little skits and me running around with the camera,” Hairston said. Since then, Hairston has jumped into sub-freezing waters while filming to get an underwater shot. He’s seen his actors get (purposefully and safely) hit by cars on multiple occasions. He’s caught the attention of security guards after filming on top of a parking deck, and he’s filmed in D.C. during the Occupy Movement. “Those are the upper echelons of interesting,” Hairston said. In college, he’s looking at majoring in cinematography, directing, or just film production to cover his bases. After school, he wants to start his own production company or get hired to produce narrative work. “It’s doesn’t have to be nationally renowned or anything, just telling stories one way or another,” Hairston said. “My dream is to write, direct and produce my own material. This is an exclusive dream, it’s hard to make tangible, but I guess I’d be comfortable doing anything while telling stories through film.” Hairston’s mentor, Tim Estep, is the one who introduced him to Ty Strickler and Sing Howe Yam’s short film, Check Out. Estep is producing the script for Strickler and Yam. Estep contacted Strickler about Hairston’s specialty in film, and it turned out that the

Typical Costs of Making a Film

- This is scene by scene dependent. If you’re starting from scratch or coming in to an existing location, the cost will reflect. - For us, we redressed / modified the hotel room to appear out of the 70’s. The cost was around $1,000.00 in materials, prop rentals, set decorations, etc., once it was all said and done.

- Travelling cost

- flights ($150 - $400) - Gas ($80 / tank) - Housing (hotel rates)

- Renting the cameras/ electronics necessary for certain scenes/ greenscreens

- This depends on the type of production, what you need, what type of camera you’re shooting with, what type of lenses you’re using, etc. - We received deals on everything, but typically our camera package would have been around $9,000/ day - Our grip and electric would have been around $7,000 / day

- Legal fees to film in certain places such as the shopping center, hotel, etc.

paid...through Tim Estep for both weddings and a time when he needed a lighting grip. It’s very rare that I’m not getting paid,” Hairston said. “It’s more or less for the experience for me at this point.”

- Fortunately, I know film contracts, so we had no legal fees. I was able to write the contracts necessary for production. - If you needed an entertainment lawyer for contracts, it would be the normal hourly rate of a lawyer. - We did have to purchase a $1 million liability gear replacement insurance policy for the equipment we were renting. The camera package alone is valued at $500,000.

See HAIRSTON on page B3



LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION. Setting up the half-million dollar camera at Red Front Supermarket, North Carolina School for the Arts alum Chase Schultz, First Asst. Camera, was responsible for pulling focus. crew needed someone who knew how to work with lighting and audio. Hairston originally knew Estep through “Health Bites,” public service announcements for the Virginia Health Department. “I acted as a french chef [in Health Bites], the first time we

filmed, he had me do a thick french accent, but they had me redo it because my accent was too racist,” Hairston said. Hairston is not getting paid for his work as a production assistant, which is unusual. “I do get paid for the acting stuff [“Health Bites”]. I have been

January 31, 2013




T p names from all ver the w rld


ALL AROUND THE WORLD! The infographic shows the two most popular male and female names from various countries and continents sampled from the year 2011- 2012. The information was collected from several reliable sources.

Complex names challenge students

Sukriti Adhikari Staff Photographer People with unique names are not only given the pleasure of having an exotic namesake, but also the burden of making sure that other people are able to pronounce it correctly. Sophomore Binita Pokhrel was plagued by the mispronunciation of her name since she moved to the U.S. from Nepal in 2012. She soon gave up trying to make everyone else say it right. “It doesn’t even matter anymore. I tried to teach them, but people still couldn’t pronounce it properly. I don’t even mind what they call me nowadays,” Pokhrel said. Although it is supposed to be pronounced as Beenee-ta Pok-rail, Pokhrel is commonly called “Behnita” or “Bonita”, much to her annoyance. Pokhrel’s original name was Suruchi but it was later changed to Binita, which comes from an Indian word

meaning modest. “My parents wanted to have a similar name as my brother Bijaya, so they named me Binita. I have been calling myself Binita ever since,” Pokhrel said. Senior Brandon Sychampanakhone has had the longest last name throughout his years in elementary, middle and high school. “I couldn’t even spell it until I was in fourth grade because it was 15 letters long and I couldn’t memorize it. It was embarrassing. So one day, when I went back home and told my dad that it wasn’t right how I couldn’t write my name, and I made him teach me how to write it properly,” Sychampanakhone said. Pronounced as SeeCham-Pana-Konay, people rarely spell his name right. “Everytime I go somewhere new, it is hard for everyone to get my name right. Fortunately, no one has mispronounced it at any of my elementary or middle school graduations yet. I just hope that they won’t mess up my name

on graduation,” Sychampanakhone said. Although this last name is rarely heard of in the US, it is a rather popular name in Laos. “My dad is traditional so he wanted me to keep his name. I also didn’t want to keep my mother’s last name, which is Albright, a common name. I have family all over the country but it is cool when we all meet up because they are all more tanned than me and I feel different,” Sychampanakhone said. Senior Hard Patel also had a twist on his name when he first moved to America five years ago. “My name is pronounce as Harda but everyone calls me Hard, so I stick with it,” Patel said. This name originated from Gujarat, a western Indian town that means ‘heart’ itself. “It was weird when people first called me Hard, but even if I had a chance to name myself again, I wouldn’t change it,” Patel said.


From mispronunciations to family history: What’s your name all about? “During elementary school, the principal called my brothers and I ‘The Nuggets’. It is funny how [Nguyen] is a common Vietnamese name but no one can pronounce it properly. It can be difficult but my mom told me that I should be proud of it.” - Jessica Nguyen, 10 “My friends have called me things like poop in a pot and party pooper, but it is more fun than annoying. My name comes from Laos descent and it is pronounced as po-ti-boo-pa.” -Michael Photiboupha, 11

“My parents lived near Washington DC and they loved the Cherry Blossom. By the time I was born, they still had not came up with a name so my father suggested Cherry-Blossom. My mom didn’t like my name so now I am just called Blossom, but I prefer Cherry Blossom.” - Blossom Bratton, 9 “I named my younger sister, Kali, when I was six. She didn’t have an official name for a few years and I had always liked the name of a girl in my school, so I told her she should answer to it and the name stuck.” -Thomas Abebe, 12

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“The funniest way my last name has been pronounced was ‘About-a-table’. My first name means worshipper of God. It’s long and usually gets shortened to Abdul but I wouldn’t change it.” - Abdulrahman Aboutabl, 11

“My parents named me JuanDe-Dios Hernandez. De Dios means of god. I like my name but it is too long so I just tell everyone to call me Juan.” -Juan-De-Dios Hernandez, 9

“Whenever I have a new teacher, they always ask me to pronounce my last name but they never really say it themselves. By now, I don’t even care that people can’t say it properly.” -Daniel Chanthachachaem, 9

“People mispronounce my name all the time. I remember (a teacher) calling me Karthoon the first time he called me for attendance. I didn’t speak at all.” -Krutarth Patel, 12 INFOGRAPHIC BY LUKE GIBSON AND SUKRITI ADHIKARI

January 31, 2013




Set choices integral to shooting of short film Austin Coffey Advertising manager


ith plenty of cars in the parking lot and people buzzing inside, it may have appeared to passers-by as a typical business day at Bar-B-Q Ranch, located on Route 11 just north of the city. However, today was anything but normal as a movie crew made a short film about suicide. The director, Ty Strickler, and producer Tim Estep scrambled to ensure that everything was in place for the next scene. People from all over Rockingham County who came to volunteer as extras waited in anticipation for the director’s next command. “There was a lot of conversation about what we could do. Everything was a choice when it came to the set, and it is my job as the director to take all of these extremely artistic people’s ideas and create the vision of this project,” HHS alumni and film director Ty Strickler said. Employees at the Bar-B-Que Ranch, including owner Faye Bland (middle school math teacher Faye Obenschain’s mother) and Til Heatwole a waitress of 62 years gave extras in the short

film the drink of their choice and a their famous secret-recipe BBQ sandwich as a prop. Each crew member carried out a specific task including laying down an actual rail track for the camera dolly to roll on, in order to make smooth transitions across the room. Equipment for the film was rented from New York City, NY, Charlotte, NC, Nashville, TN, Springfield, MD, and Woodland Hills, CA. “People can’t believe all this work and money goes into 12-15 minutes of film until they set it. This gives everyone a new appreciation of a narrative story told in short form,” Ty Strickler said. Area businesses, such as Kaye Early Katering, donated food for the eighteen member crew. “My Mom [Mary Strickler} and Sing’s aunt [Amy Yam] were the hardest working people in this process; they catered meals on set, even at 2am when we filmed all-nighters. Also, Mikey Reidenberg provided a hand-made catered meal on set for the crew as well,” Ty Strickler said. The sets were a vital component to the film. It will be seen all over the United States, so Strickler wanted to make sure it was perfect.

Local locations for this film created the right look with a help of set designer and local artist April Sedeen. “April [Sedeen] was the most amazing set designer I have ever worked with. We have been in the planning stages since August. We followed her set design vision and brought it to life. When brainstorming for this film we based a lot of our lens work off of Punched-Drunk Love,” Ty Strickler said. “We are not a slave to the actor, the camera man, or even the set. We are a slave to the story, and if what we are doing is not helping the story, it doesn’t need to be there. It’s hard when scenes you love hit the cutting room floor, but it’s necessary to be true to the story,” Ty Strickler said. The entire cast took part in the creative collaboration to produce this short film. “Everyone contributed his or her time and talents to this film. Most, if not everyone, went out of pocket for the love of the project to make this film a reality,” Ty Strickler said. Strickler, Yam and Estep were pleased with the outcome and looked forward to sharing the final product with the generous people of the Valley.


SET UP. The film crew of Check Out assemble everything they need for a scene in aisle 10 of Red Front Supermarket.

Budget Inn rooms get makeover for film set SETS from B1


MAKEOVER. The set crew repainted this room at the Budget Inn to use it as one of the sets for the movie Check Out.

It’s the reason that working in the ‘Burg is so appealling,” said Director Ty Strickler.. The majority of the short film takes place at the Budget Inn on East Market Street, where the crew made drastic changes to the room to match the feel of the film. “[The Budget Inn] gave us three rooms, and we completely redressed them, repainted one entire room for the shoot. We had two other rooms, one for the storage, and the other for food,” Strickler said. The original sea-foam green and eggshell colored walls were

Yam’s passion for film drives him resources to make it happen,”

YAM from B1 Yam said. Once the film is comhis hometown to film CheckOut, a collaborative short film with Ty Strickler. The two are former classmates (2000), and have remained in contact ever since Strickler first sent Yam the script over two years ago. Being alumni of HHS, they felt it necessary to bring the filming of this project to Harrisonburg. “Ever since he gave me that script, we always thought about how it had to be shot here, so now it’s actually coming to life,” Yam said. Yam and Strickler have been eager to colloborate on a project, but they also feel there’s never been a better time to bring this script to life. “I was still out there, getting my start. We didn’t have the same connections we have now. Now we’ve been able to pool our

pleted, it is planned on being submitted to multiple festivals. Yam expressed his interest in working again with Strickler in the future. “I really liked this script and his directing style, so I’m sure I’ll like his next project,” Yam said. He personally hopes to move away from his music video work and get involved in more commercial work, such as features. Despite his frequent work in another state, Yam is glad to visit during his return. “A lot has changed [in Harrisonburg], but it’s nice to bring [my work] back home. This is where I started, so it’s great to show Mr. Nipe, my former film teacher at HHS and all of Harrisonburg what we’ve learned,” Yam said. Even during his time at HHS,

Yam had a passion for filmmaking. He speculates that his creativity was able to flourish with the influence of a film studies class he took his junior and senior year taught by retired teacher Jim Nipe. Yam was also a member of the Newsstreak staff and produced videos for other subjects such as English. “I also grew up skateboarding. We used to make a lot of skate videos back in the day. That sparked my interest, then after taking Nipe’s class it really solidified,” Yam said. Check Out will be made available for viewing after it has been through the festival circuit. It must be chosen by festivals before any outside screening can happen, but Yam and Strickler are looking forward to sharing their creation.

transformed to a dark green, and antique furniture replaced the modern appliances. “Our contract states that if [the owners of Budget Inn] don’t like it, then we have to repaint and return it to ground zero. That’s exactly what we did - back to sea-foam green,” Strickler said. Stricker also got permission

to shoot at Bar-B-Que Ranch on Route 11 North and two 12-hours days at Red Front Supermarket. “We couldn’t make this film without their generosity. It’s kind of like hometown pride, and the fact that this doesn’t happen too often makes everyone excited to be part of it,” Strickler said.

HHS grad directs short film deal in the world of film; they

STRICKLER from B1 preview lots of new films, espe“There isn’t a steady flow of money, no one is salaried. You never know when your next job will come,” Strickler said. After the filming and editing portion of Check Out is over, Strickler plans to submit the narrative to a number of film festivals. The Cannes Film Festival in France, as well as the Toronto Film Festival are on the list. These festivals are a big

cially documentaries. Strickler hopes to be recognized for his work at these venues. Strickler advises young students who are interested in going into film to do three things: work hard, don’t be afraid to dream big, and never mistreat someone to advance your own career. “Being mean to people never accomplishes anything. Your assistant today could be your

Hairston gets practical experience HAIRSTON from B1 “I didn’t get to do anything really important because of insurance issues with the camera, but I got to set up lighting, and I ran a lot of errands for them. Things like purchasing lighting, food and gaffing equipment,” Hairston said. Hairston owns a 5D Mark ii, a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR), and has multiple lenses to film with. Although his camera is technically a photography camera, Hairston enjoys using the 5D Mark ii. “[The DSLR cameras] are coming around, more mainstream, adaptive to the film industry. They are these full-frame, very beatiful cameras. They were made without knowledge that they would be used to film. Camcorders have smaller sensors, terrible zoom, bad audio. These are high quality,” Hairston said. Rehearsals ran from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. most days, and Hairston attended most of them. “[The rehearsals] were all about five miles from my house,”

Hairston said. Right now, this experience is only the starting point. “I am marketing [film] as much as possible. I do wedding cinematography. I’m very cheap because I’m just starting off. I’m doing ads for local companies, including EMU’s intensive English program, and small downtown businesses,” Hairston said. However, his real love is narratives. “I’m open to the idea of documentaries, but I consider myself more of a literary person than a journalistic person,” Hairston said. “I’m constantly writing, I’m constantly trying to put that into film.” Hairston is the winner of the Waynesboro Film Festival and he received an honorable mention in the National Young Youth Film Festival. While he was still young, Hairston liked to control the filming process, an omen for a future is now coming true. “It’s really funny. There are films of me squealing in a really high voice, ‘Cut! Action!’” Hairston said.


ACTION! Rising Director of Photography and HHS alumni Sing Howe Yam checks lighting and frames for a scene of Check Out.

Recruits must meet requirements to join Army ARMY from A10

family,” senior Justin Bricker said. Applying for the full 20 years of service, Bricker has high intentions and hopes to start college the day after his return. “I want to specialize in Signal Support Specialist, which is basically working with communications, networking, and satellites,” Bricker said. “When I am looking for both men and women to fill the ranks of the Army, I have to look for

certain things. They must posses a high school diploma or be a senior in high school who is passing all the required classes and are on track to graduate on time. They must also pass the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test) with a 32 or higher. They must meet the required height and weight requirement that the Army has set for their age bracket. They must meet certain medical requirements and not have any unpaid law violations. They must also have a birth certificate, social security card,

driver’s license or valid ID. If they are not a U.S. citizen, they must have an I-551 card also known as a green card,” Southers said. Even if students meet those requirements, there’s still more work ahead of them. “I mostly sit in the cafeteria once a week talking to the students who are interested or have questions about the Army or Army Reserves. But I also work with the JROTC and things they may need assistance with,” Southers said.


ARRI ALEXA! Senior Paul Hairston’s dream camera, worth half a million dollars, is being used to film Check Out.

January 31, 2013



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January 31, 2013



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January 31, 2013





FLYING. Senior Sam Strickler catches a breath of air as he comes up from the water while swimming the butterfly.

Swimmers striving for personal best performances Katrina Sokolyuk Style editor Five men and nine women return to the pool this year with seven freshmen in tow. Seniors Sam Stricker and Emma Peifer have taken the responsibility of being senior captains this year. According to swimming coach Richard Morrell, they are responsible for setting the standard at practices of what is expected and how hard a swimmer needs to work in order to achieve success in the pool. Key returning swimmers this year are juniors

Jacob Byrd and Sydney Little. “Jacob is our most successful swimmer at two of the alternate strokes (Backstroke and Butterfly), and Sydney is our current record holder in multiple strokes and capable of swimming any position in the medley relay,” Morrell said. Several first and secondyear swimmers are showing immense promise. Sophomore Tim Zepp and freshman Abner Johnson will have immediate impacts because they are divers, and the team had no divers last season. “Both came in with some

tumbling background, and are fearless in what they are asked to attempt,” Morrell said. “They will be able to master 11 competitive dives for the season-ending tournaments more easily than the previous divers I’ve worked with.” Junior Ashley Riley is developing as a distance swimmer for the Streaks, and freshman Allison Kasch and Lettie Rose have positioned themselves to be key alternate swimmers for the A-relay teams. Freshman Aaron Gusler has already earned points for the team, and has also earned a spot as a key alternate to the “A”

relay teams. He is also pushing Austin Bell for the top breaststroke swimmer on the men’s team, which Morrell said will be good for both of them. Spotswood and Turner Ashby are currently the Streaks’ toughest competition, but Morrell believes that the team has the ability to do well against them. “As a team, our greatest strength is that we give our best effort every night we compete. Our team members have established seasonal goals, and they are working to achieve them,” Morrell said. “Our last meet saw 17 of the 21 swimmers post lifetime

personal bests in their events, and one individual competed in an event for the first time.” Willingness to grow in ability and try new strokes or distances is also a strength of the team. “Last season, I told Sam Strickler his best shot at making it to state might be switching from his backstroke event to the 500-yard freestyle event. So with two meets left prior to the tournament, he tried the longest event in the competition and did very well. He ended up finishing seventh at regionals, seconds away from qualifying for states. He

wouldn’t have been able to see that success without a willingness to trust me and try something new, not to mention incredibly demanding,” Morrell said. The team will continue to work on fine-tuning their techniques at each stroke, as Morrell claims that it is the little things in swimming that make the biggest difference. But until the end of the season, swimmers will work on possibly knocking off some of the tough school records and bond through team dinners, which are a “major celebration” according to Morrell.

Nishat Jamil Staff reporter

ously paying off as Strickler has improved his time from the beginning of the season by 45 seconds. His personal record now stands at 5:58. There are also members on the team who are solely concerned with beating their own personal record. Jacob Byrd, for instance, is trying to break his butterfly record which is 1:08. He practices just as hard as his fellow swimmers but explains that trying to break the butterfly school record, which is 58.07 seconds, is too difficult to beat. “[I want] to show that hard work pays off,” Byrd said. Junior Sydney Little actually set a couple of records her freshman year and broke them again during her sophomore year. She has the 200 yard individual medley record at 2:27, the 100-yard backstroke at 1:08, and the 100yard breaststroke at 1:17. “At first it was exciting [that I broke a record],” Little said. “Though the second time wasn’t as exciting.” She is trying to break her backstroke record once again, but is just four second shy of that feat. Little hopes to get back that time at districts or regionals.

Multiple swimming records could fall this season

HARD WORK. Junior Sara Franco hopes to break records at HHS after transfering from Union City HS in New Jersey.

Franco transfers to HHS, joins swim team Bryndal Fulginiti Staff reporter Goggles on.. check. Ready position.. check. Take a last deep breath... check. BOOM! The gun explodes, starting the race. Brand new to HHS this year, junior Sara Franco has joined the swim team and done everything she can to prove that she can get a win, as well as break new records. Franco transferred from

Union City High School in New Jersey. At Franco’s old school she broke three records, the 100 back free, 100 free, and the 100 Relay. This year, she’s trying to break the one-minute record for the 100 free and the 27 second record for the 50. Franco has her own unique way of pushing herself. “When I’m swimming, I look for someone who has about the same speed as

me and I try to compete with them and make sure I do better,” Franco said. When the time comes for a race, many thoughts are running through her head. It can be overwhelming at times, but the big thing is focusing on getting the best time possible. “When I’m swimming, everything is running through my mind. I tell myself to swim fast, make a fast turn, kick harder and harder, and I make sure my technique is perfect so

I don’t mess up,” Franco said. Everything Franco does is not easy, but it’s always worth it in the end. Franco has her hardest race to face whether she’s ready for it or not. “My hardest race is the 100 free. I keep trying to break the record and I want to so badly,” Franco said. Franco is doing everything she can to make a good first impression as a swimmer. She’s in it to win it.

At the start of each swimming season, students come up with goals to achieve. Many swimmers are attempting to break school records, some that haven’t been broken since 2001. Richard Morrell, the coach of the swim team, has faith in his swimmers, and believes they have what it takes to break these records. “[They have to] set the goal mentally,” Coach Morrell said. “They have to have the drive from within.” Junior Derrick Crites is hoping to break the 50 yard freestyle record. The current record is 23.53, which was set in 2002 by Nathan Medley. Crites’ time is 24.7 seconds, although his best still stands at 23.35 which he received while swimming summer league. Senior Sam Strickler, is attempting to break the 500 meter freestyle that still stands at 5:06, another record set by Nathan Medley also set in 2002. The swim teams trains by attending regular swim practices, doing interval training (swimming a certain distance under a time limit) and distance practice. The hard work is obvi-

Young stars accelerating diving team Faith Runnells Staff reporter The HHS dive team has had many new divers start their first year diving with the team and so far they are doing pretty well. Freshman Abner Johnson and sophomore Tim Zepp have had an impressive impact on the team, placing high in the first couple of meets and the first invitational. “I started diving when I was about five, because we had a pool in our backyard. My older brothers mostly

were the ones who taught me how to dive. Even though they weren’t divers themselves, they still knew basically everything about it,” Johnson said. The point system in diving is based on a dive’s difficulty and the way it is executed multiplied together. Three judges give you a score based on your performance, and the level of difficulty is what they multiply those scores by to get your final score of a dive, so the more difficult a dive is, the more points you’re able to get for it. The hardest difficulty

dive Johnson does is a 2.2 difficulty. It is also Zepp’s first year of being on the dive team, although he was a swimmer on the team during his freshman year. “Coach Morrell has been pretty helpful. He’s taught me the main steps and technique. Before that, I just kind of messed around on my own,” Zepp said. “I like diving because it’s an individual sport and you can kind of create your own dives.” “My favorite dive is probably the inward one and a half, because it’s a

hard one to do and I feel pretty proud of myself when I do it well,” Johnson said. Being so young, Johnson and Zepp have a couple years to improve their dives, even though they are already placing regularly in meets. They are both looking forward to continuing their diving through their senior years. Johnson may even continue diving in college. “I like it a lot, and it’d be cool to do [diving] in college if I’m good enough,” Johnson said.

DIVING IN. The HHS diving team works hard in practice and has a bright future as their young stars arise

January 31, 2013




Zimmerman trains for triathlon

Cross country, track athlete pushes himself to compete at higher level Anthony Duong Sports Editor

The grueling and demanding training for a triathlon consists of running, swimming, and cycling. A triathlon is a multiple-stage competition that requires the completion of three continuous endurance disciplines. Athletes compete for the fastest overall course completion time, but for others, it can just be a goal and accomplishment waiting to be completed. Senior Jonas Zimmermann is one of the few students in the school who compete in triathlon events. With the assistance of indoor track and cross country, Zimmermann believes that preparation is vital before participating in a triathlon. “Preparation is important before going into a triathlon. You need to make sure you train and bring extra supplies in case you need them,” Zimmermann said. Zimmermann’s most recent adventure with triathlons was with XTERRA, a running company which is best known for their off-road triathlon races. The event is one of the most popular in the sport of running. Mountain biking, trail running, and swimming endurance are tested at the event. “Competing in these type of events are fun and gives me a goal to reach. I like to push myself to work towards the accomplishment,” Zimmermann said. Through the indoor track and cross country seasons, Zimmermann keeps himself active. Zimmermann’s enthusiasm for mountain biking and running motivated him to enter a triathlon, and he encourages others to take part in a triathlon and make it a goal for 2013.

This past summer, senior Erin Goodstein and two of her fellow senior runners, Caitlin Kelley and Jenny Kniss, decided to turn themselves into human canvasses covered with abstract images characteristic of modern artists. Except they did it while running a 5k. Goodstein, a member of the HHS Girls’ XC team, has been running competitively since middle school. She and her friends decided to drive to Richmond to take part in a color run, or a five kilometer race interspersed by large flurries and jets of colored cornstarch powder. A private organization holds runs around the country. The profit from each event goes to aid local charities. “The money from our run went to fund the local Special Olympics,” Goodstein said.

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PUMPING IRON. Senior Jonas Zimmermann lifts weights in preparation for an indoor track meet.

Runners preparing for 5K Color Run at JMU in April Gina Muan News editor

Schedule of events:

Every stop is a different color. “Sometimes they just throw it; other times they liquefy the cornstarch and spray it all over you,” Kniss said. Runners in the race are required to wear a white shirt so the colors will show up. “We’d sort of stop and spin around/ dance through the cornstarch,” Goodstein said. “It was exciting to look down and see that my hands were blue. Every inch of you is literally covered by the end. I had to take two hour long baths to get [the color] all off.” People of all ages participate in color runs; one doesn’t have to be a seasoned runner either. “[There were] probably the most people I’ve ever seen in one area,” Goodstein said. The second annual color run held by The Morrison-Bruce Center is taking place on April 6 on the JMU campus. For freshmen Maria Cardoso-Martinez and Abby Westfall, it will be their first year running the

event. “I’ve heard that it is a lot of fun and plus I get a credit for P.E.,” Westfall said. She has been running since sixth grade and started training for the event at the beginning of the school year. “I have to run this event to get class credit for my female fitness class. I’ve been training since the beginning of the school year with the class and I believe I start training more seriously a month before the event begins,” Cardoso-Martinez said. “Since the whole female fitness class is training for this event, we train by running something called intervals. So, we run for about three minutes, walk for two minutes, and rest for a little bit. I’m excited to be in the color run because running helps me clear my mind and makes me feel good,” Westfall said. “I feel like I’m kind of unprepared for this run but I just want to go and get sprayed with a bunch of different colors,” Cardoso-Martinez.

ALL SPRING SPORTS TRYOUTS BEGIN FEBRUARY 18. Before athletes tryout for a spring sports team, they must have a VHSL physical on file with the athletic department. Forms are available in the athletic office and main office.


COLORFUL FUN. Above: Seniors Erin Goodstein, Caitlin Kelley and Jenny Kniss completed a Color Run last summer. Left: Runners participating in the Color Run 5K are doused with colored powder paint and water while they are running. Runners are required to wear white shirts.

Berkeley runs half-marathons to push himself Sydney Little Feature editor

Physics teacher Seth Berkeley trains for marathons in his free time. “So far I’ve only run half marathons, but my goal is to run at least two marathons in the next five years,” Berkeley said. Although he works at the school five days a week for about eight hours, somehow he still fits time into his schedule to go on runs. “I run four days a week. Three of those days I run for 30-45 minutes just making sure that I’m consistently running for be-

tween 30 and 45 minutes. On Sundays, I take my long run. For the long run I run for however long it takes to get to the target distance. I build up the long runs as I train until right before the race I’m running 13 miles [the length of a half marathon],” Berkeley said. With these weekly runs, his average adds up to be about 25 miles a week, depending on what other things are going on at work. “In general, I run because it makes me feel good. I run long distances to prove to myself that I can push myself beyond what my mind says I can,” Berkeley said. Berkeley started running in high school,

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when he was on the Jefferson Forest High School soccer team, to keep in shape for games. “My motivation to start running long distance didn’t come until college. I started back up and then it was just my competitive nature taking over and me wanting to keep outdoing myself. Once I got to where I was happy with my 5K times, I decided it was too easy and bumped up to 10Ks and so on until I eventually got into marathons,” Berkeley said. To intensify his training, Berkeley also sticks to a specific diet regiment, along with swimming, biking and lifting weights to help keep his body healthy.

“Other than running I’m just looking for full body workouts that keep my heart rate going in it’s optimal range for a prolonged period of time. I also focus on eating lots of chicken and vegetables, the goal is protein and vitamins,” Berkeley said. So far, Berkeley has only run two half marathons, the last one being this past year in the Marine Corps Half Marathon, but he’s planning on running his next half marathon in March. “In March, I’m running the Marine Corps Half in Lexington, which makes at least a 6-month gap to a bit longer between my last one and my next,” Berkeley said.

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January 31, 2013





Wheeler, Ferek develop pedometer project

Isaac Falk Op-Ed editor Physical education teachers Amy Wheeler and Rockingham County teacher Cindy Ferek have been collaborating for the last few years on a pedometer based project. “My goal is to find a motivator to remove the mind from the exercising part of [physical activity] and give it another purpose,” Wheeler said. Wheeler and Ferek have been implementing their project Pedometers Makes Cents into their class, and have been finetuning the program. But recently, the two have decided to expand, and try to bring their projects to other classrooms. And in order to that, they needed funding.

The two found a grant that was offered by the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance for pedometer based ideas. “We were already working on our project, so this was right up our alley,” Ferek said. “Our project was selected out of all the applicants in the state of Virginia.” Ferek and Wheeler were encouraged to spend a portion of that grant on attending a national physical education conference in San Diego, CA. Wheeler was unable to attend, but Ferek made the trip to California. At that conference, Ferek met with the head of Walk for Life, and he recommended she present the project at the conference. Ferek presented the project, and attracted attention, most notably the attention of the fitness publi-

cation Sport Time. Sport Time expressed interest in their project, and offered to help distribute the team’s work. “For the past two years, we have been working on a user-friendly kit that any teacher, any grade level could use,” Wheeler said. They completed the work on the kit last summer, and Sport Time is now distributing the kit. In exchange, Wheeler and Ferek get royalties for each kit sold. At the end of the day, Wheeler and Ferek sought to bring their project to the world, so teens in other schools may learn to better equate fitness and exercise with a healthier way of life. With the grant, and the distribution of their kits, the two are much closer to diffusing their project.

Project hits ground running

Sports Briefs

Mary McMahan News editor

LADY STREAKS HANDLE KNIGHTS The girls’ varsity basketball team traveled to Bridgewater on Jan 4 to take on the Knights of Turner Ashby. The ladies went up 8-0 in the first quarter and didn’t look back. The final was 48-32.

Give a student a pedometer, and the possibilities for success are endless. This, and creating active and health-motivated students is the main goal of the Pedometers Make Cents project created by Amy Wheeler and Cindy Ferek, physical education teachers at Harrisonburg and Rockingham county respectively. Wheeler has been working on the pedometer project for eight years. She got her inspiration from Ferek, who she did her student teaching with while at James Madison University. Ferek used the pedometers in her physical education classes and had students track their steps in Microsoft Excel. The main purpose of the pedometer wasn’t only to track student participation, but to increase the activity level of students. “I was amazed at how fascinated the students were after learning how many steps and miles they had accumulated over the semesters,” Wheeler said. “Watching all the ways pedometers were incorporated into [Ferek’s] curriculum showed me how useful the little tool could be and got my wheels turning on how I could use them in my own teaching.” The pedometer project is put into effect every day in physical education class. Students wear their assigned pedometers each day, and then record their number of steps at the end of each class period on a spreadsheet. Every nine weeks, students go to the computer lab to enter their numbers into an Excel program and calculate their total distance. Students also learn to use math equations to convert their steps

WRESTLERS WIN BIG On Jan 12 the wrestling team traveled to Strasburg for a mini tournament. The boys were led by senior Trent Sosa who went undefeated and the team brought home the first place trophy. BOYS BATTLE GOBBLERS On Jan 8 the Gobblers of Broadway High School came to Harrisonburg to play the boys’ basketball team. After a close first quarter, the Streaks took the lead for the rest of the game. Senior Seth Kardos led the boys to a 63-53 victory. STREAKS DOWN LEEMEN On Jan 11 the boys’ varsity basketball team traveled to Staunton to take on the R.E. Lee Fighting Leemen. The team lost 67-74 with seniors Brian Rodriguez and Seth Kardos leading in scoring. STREAKS PUT OUT FLAMES The boys’ varsity basketball team hosted the Flames of Eastern Mennonite on Jan 17. The boys won 6936. Senior Seth Kardos led the team with 29 points.

to miles, steps to minutes, and minutes to hours. The reward for completing a certain distance is not an actual physical reward. “I’m not sure there are any rewards other than intrinsically,” Wheeler said. The idea that students will become intrinsically motivated to become healthier and more active is the main goal of this program. However, students can convert their steps earned into “cents”, which they in turn can use to pay for everyday expenses in their “careers”. At the beginning of the year, students begin these careers, that is, careers to become healthier and more fit. Their distance totals are then applied to everyday scenarios in which students have to distinguish between their wants and needs under the pressure of bills and money constraints. For example, students will have to deal with the costs of groceries and gas. Students use their success in their physical health to learn how to tackle the problems and scenarios of everyday life. The publication of Pedometers Make Cents, a pamphlet describing the main aspects of the project, is the next big step in Wheeler and Ferek’s program. “[We] were approached by a company interested in getting the idea out there,” Wheeler said. “We plan to present our idea at future conferences in hopes that more teachers will implement some form of pedometer use in to their classes.” So far, the project is still in the stages of being proposed to school boards and organizations. However, this isn’t the last contribution that Wheeler intends to make to the physical education society. “My wheels will always be turning,” Wheeler said.

Pedometers included many P.E. classes Kinesiology, Female Fitness, Sports & Games classes all using advancements

Sydney Knupp Staff reporter There are numerous physical education classes offered at HHS, but a few in particular stand out to students. Freshmen and sophomores are required to take P.E., but for junior and senior years, P.E. is an optional course. Paul Rath and Amy Wheeler co-teach the Dual Enrollment Personal Wellness class through Blue Ridge Community College. The students who complete this course will earn three credit hours for college. This Dual Enrollment class is a combination of basic Kinesiology (the study of human movement), nutrition, diseases, and goal-setting. The class has a dual experience where half of the class is lecture and the other half is activity lab. The labs directly correlate to the lecture material. Students are able to apply and experience what they have learned in the first lecture during the labs. Students taking this class have the opportunity to find out tons of information about their personal fitness levels as well

as track those levels throughout the course with the use of heart rate monitors and other assessment tools. Tenth grade physical education is a requirement for graduation in Virginia. Driver’s education is the curriculum component taught in lieu of tenth grade health. Students are required to complete 36 hours of classroom instruction before they can get their learner’s permit. This is the first year HHS has offered Female Fitness. The main idea for this elective is to provide opportunities that expand and enrich a female’s sense of wellbeing by promoting and practicing healthy behaviors. The female students in this class are introduced to a variety of lifetime activities that promote the five components of fitness; cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. The ladies wear pedometers and heart rate monitors daily to gauge and analyze their activity levels. The students are introduced to a “new” piece of fitness equipment each month, and after the introduction, they spend time learning all the ways it can be used. There are guests from the JMU PROMOTIONS program who visit at least twice per quarter to lead the students in a variety of group fitness classes. In addition, the class will go through the R.A.D. system’s self-defense curriculum during the spring. Ninth grade sports and games is also a new elective course this year designed for those students who want to continue to

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explore sports, aerobic, and anaerobic activities. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide a venue where students can take a deeper look into sports and wellness with others who share the same passion. Pedometers are used in each of the classes above to engage students in the activities during class time. The pedometers are used daily to manage the class, measure activity levels, as well as offer competition and motivation. Every day the goal is to get as many steps as possible. Some days Wheeler makes the students pay close attention to their steps throughout different activities and other days they are forgotten about until the end of class. The pedometers are worn on the waistband so it generally does not get in the way or cause a distraction, but it sits there and quietly keeps track of the students’ movement for them. At the end of class, students always like to compare to see who got the most steps. There are also class discussions of why certain activities don’t provide as many steps as others; like the weight room versus basketball for example. Some times Wheeler bases the length of an activity on the step counts. For example students might have to get 500 steps at the beginning of class before they can start the warm-up or the game. It can also be used as a cool down after running the mile. The pedometers have proven to be a great tool in the classroom for motivating students to do their best in class and to stay healthy by measuring their steps.


District gets competitive The Valley District has already started their last season of being the Valley District until they move up and split divisions next season. So the chase for a district championship is very important to every team. Competition is high for this season. Let’s take a look at what the district looks like this season, these previews will be in the order I think the district will finish up, from first to last. 1. Spotswood Spotswood is without a doubt the Valley favorite for the district title, and the district tournament, too. They return the district’s leading scorer, Tucker McCoy (21.3 ppg), and return everyone. Senior Hyrum Wilier has also produced close to 18 points per game this season, and is giving Spotswood that little extra spark that makes them the district’s fiercest competitor. 2. Harrisonburg Harrisonburg is always in the category for most athletic team in the area, but it takes more than just athleticism to be a good basketball team. Along with a senior heavy team, HHS has a new coach with a stellar flex offense. If the Streaks can put it together, they have the potential to win the district. The Streaks return five seniors: Seth Kardos, Brian Rodriguez, Noah Royer, Nitahji Alford, and Max Johnson. 3. Turner Ashby TA only had one senior which means that this season the Knights will be very talented, and more importantly, experienced. With the return of Shane Brown and Justin Layman, who both averaged close to 12 points per game last season, they should be a powerful scoring duo. They also return sophomore Angel Bravo, who is a strong defensive threat. 4. R.E Lee Most people would have Lee in their top three, and that is based on their previous track record. Based on what I have seen and heard so far, Lee isn’t the Lee people are used to seeing. They have the returning runner up for Valley District Player of the Year in Shai Matthews (16.5 ppg), and key rebounder Chad Whitelow. However, Lee is lacking in the depth that they usually have. 5. Fort Defiance Fort returns 3 starters and have a deep bench. Clay Harris takes over at point guard and so far has proven that he can do exceptionally well. FDHS also has sharp shooter Trevor Lam. Most importantly, the Indians play hard nose D the whole game. 6. Waynesboro Waynesboro lost five seniors, four of which were starters. Shy Washington, Skylar Phillips, and Alex Graves were huge parts of the team, and all of their leadership. Now someone has to step up, and it looks to be the only returning starter - Stowe Graham. Graham is the Little Giants only returning player who had significant playing time. 7. Broadway Their last three years have been filled with winning seasons, success, and a group that has been doing that since they were in diapers. This season is a completely different story. The Gobblers had 11 players last season and return just one. Dane Spitzer is the only person on the Gobbler’s roster who was on the team last year. This means that Broadway has to start over and find a new everything. This is a rebuilding year for the Gobblers.

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January 31, 2013








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January 31, 2013




Lights, Camera...

Aspiring filmmaker Hairston works as assistant on set of Check Out Paul Hairston Staff Videographer I adore filmmaking. I have found a perpetual passion in doing so for the last decade and a half of my life. I’ve made short comedic films for an online partnership with YouTube for over five years, and have produces lengthier and more serious dramatic films for a plethora of festivals around the state. Still being in high school and making most of my income through a series of minimum wage food service jobs and a struggling wedding and commercial cinematography business, the viability of having a high-end budget and acquiring the equipment, props, locations and rights to produce the magic of West coast feature films is slim to none. I wouldn’t dream of seeing, much less touching, the tools of the trade and experience the process, passions and multitudes of talent used to do so until the far reaches of life in film school. So, when I was invited to be a P.A.(production assistant), for the production of Check Out, a film written by both my mentor and friend Tim Estep, and co-written by the film’s director Ty Strickler, I immediately took every idling moment of my waking time to volunteer without pay. Check Out’s story is summarized on their Indigogo website, an online vehicle used to raise funds for any independent projects that raise proficient interest. It reads: “January, a young, perceptive grocery store cashier, confronts Sam, a customer who has entered the store on a mission to kill himself.” The film had a concise film schedule, spanning the brief duration of four days. The production began in front of Greenberry’s coffee shop on Dec. 19 and concluded on the last day inside Red Front Supermarket on Dec. 22. Each day was a massive 12-hour shift, the last two running from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The crew mostly consisted of graduates from University North Carolina School of the Arts, a school I narrowly missed applying to. I was assigned, per my skillset and interest, to the camera, or cinematography, department. I worked alongside Chase Smith, first assistant camera, doing such humbling tasks as wrangling cords, downloading and backing up footage, fetching drinks and food for my team from the immaculately expansive craft table, aiding in setting up lighting and even at one point collecting recently sheared human hair in a

DAILY ROUTINE. “Sides”, given out among the crew, were small script excerpts highlighting the day’s scenes to be filmed.


INDUSTRY BEST. First assistant camera Chase Smith attaches a 40mm anamorphic lens to the Arri Alexa. cup during a scene involving a breakdown and preserving it for later use. The first rung on the ladder to filmmaking success is a low one, folks. “The name of the film is Check Out, and kind of the overall theme is about suicide,” Estep said. Check Out is by far one of the highest budget films to be produced in Harrisonburg, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t intimidate the lesser funded and more independent filmmaking community, including myself. “I think the budget is between ten and twenty thousands dollars,” Estep said, “But I think there’s a lot of people making films in Harrisonburg right now, short films and stuff, but this is probably one of the bigger short films that have been around here as far as budgetary and the types of equipment we’re using. With the kind of whole digital renaissance, a lot of people have access to really high quality cameras.” This is accurate as the film was shot on what could be argued is the most quality industry level digital camera, the Arri Alexa. I myself, in the midst of expensive celluloid film cameras losing popularity and use, own a 5d Mkii DSLR - a digital camera used to shoot scenes in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. The price range of industry level cameras varies per the aesthetic interest involved. The Alexa is expensive, and makes my camera look like a disposable; once its anamorphic lenses are attached, the system is worth around $500,000. The Alexa is Arri’s first digital camera, and was used to shoot both Skyfall and Drive, while the

CAMERA AND LENS. Hand Held Films supplied both the lenses and the Arri Alexa for the production of Checkout.

lenses were the exact physical pieces of glass used to shoot on Training Day with Denzel Washington. “Yup, Arri Alexa, shot a bunch of movies like Drive and Skyfall, were using lenses which they shot Training Day on,” Chase Smith, my temporary supervisor, said. While I wasn’t allowed to handle the camera much, because of insurance reasons, watching the workflow involved, especially using high end anamorphic lenses, was wildly fascinating. “I’m based in The School of the Arts in Winston [Salem], pretty much the whole school is from there,” Smith said. Indeed they were, and I met and conversed with people who were either just back from gaffing an unnamed and unreleased film starring Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, or completing a newly released music video for the band “The Killers”, like the cinematographer Sing Howe Yam. There was an impressive bunch present. After my last 7- hour shift ended, as I left Red Front watching the sun rise through weary and exhausted eyes, I revelled in the opportunity I had just been given. I was thoroughly involved in the thick of a legitimate film set, a setting that is exactly the dynamic I’d someday like to direct. Check Out is planned to complete post production in around six months, and I eagerly await the release of my first major involvement in a high budget short film shot in the very city where I live.

SETTING UP. The director, Ty Strickler, and the producer, Tim Estep, scrutinize an establishing shot’s composition as props are prepared.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE. The camera department’s go to mini-tool box, a necessity for such a complicated camera set up.

SHIFT AT THE OFFICE. Actress Spike Leffke is prepared for another 7-hour film shift at Red Front Grocery on Chicago Ave. The film crew spent two nights shooting in the store.

MIC CHECK. Brent Finnegan, who’s investigative film, Gang Signs, won the Virginia Association of Broadcasters award for Best Documentary of 2006, ran audio for the film.

CRYSTAL CLEAR. The beauty of industry level anamorphic lenses are portrayed across “video village”, a live feed from the camera’s filming.

SCRUTINIZING EYE. Lighting department head Matt Verschelde approves the eyelight for actress Spike Leffke’s in “video village”.

DOUBLE CHECK. Ty Strickler patiently awaits the set up of the next scene as he reviews the script, checks the actor’s microphones and approves the camera’s framing.

PLANNING AHEAD. Art Department head April Sedeen Estep discusses the day’s aesthetic plans with a crew member.

BREAK TIME. Extensive craft table set ups were established every day of filming to ensure the impossibility of a crew member going hungry.

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