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The Tech Times Students Aren’t Ready for Life After High School By Carmelle Wasch, Edtor-In-Chief According to a recent survey of high school graduates who took the ACT, only a quarter of them have the skills they need to be successful in a college or career environment. More than 1.6 million students took the ACT last year, and only one out of every four students reportedly has the skills in math, reading, writing, and science necessary to master basic college freshmen courses such as English 101 and algebra, without being put in remedial courses.

The numbers are even worse for African American students, with only five percent of students wholly ready to take on life after high school. Minority students seem to have the most need for improvement according to the survey. The ACT’s definition of readiness is “a young adult is ready to start college or trade school if he or she has the knowledge to succeed without taking remedial courses.” Success is defined as “the student’s having a 75 percent chance of

earning a C grade and a 50 percent chance of earning a B, based on results on each of the four ACT subject areas, which are measured on a scale from 1 to 36 points.” The english benchmark for success in English was 18 points, and in reading and math the benchmark is 22 points. Science has the highest threshold, indicating that students are ready for a college-level biology course, at 23 points. continued on page 2 Photo Credit: Carmelle Wasch

Deadly Typhoon Hits Philippines

By Chaz Fernandez, Reporter

Photo Credit: Santana, W

The Cafe from Days Past By Hannah Stein, Reporter Sunrise Coffee is the local, independent coffee shop that looks like it was pulled straight out of an old movie. Patrons can be found lounged on loveseats or curled up in corners, tapping away at laptop keys or reading any of a selection of worn paperbacks available on an antique bookshelf. Orders are placed based on a colorful chalkboard menu announcing specials; vintage artwork adorns the walls amidst the shades of coffee brown and cream.

The music that everyone’s parents love plays from overhead, above the chatter of voices and clinking mugs. The place smells like your grandma’s home on a holiday morning, seeming out of place in the city smog. Since 2008, Sunrise Coffee has been a sanctuary for organic, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan food-eaters from across the Las Vegas valley. Being successful almost entirely because of word of mouth, Sunrise’s location on Google Maps has an average

rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. One patron says that Sunrise Coffee’s “friendly, welcoming staff” is a huge plus. The same regulars and employees can usually be seen there—easily identified by either an eccentric fashion sense or the way they dance around tables—an old-fashioned comfort. “I like that they have free WiFi and are patient with people who stay for long periods of time,” says the same patron. Continued on Page 3

A massive typhoon struck the southern Philippines in early November, causing extensive damage and casualties. The confirmed death count from Super Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, is over 5,000 people, with the number of injured higher. It has caused widespread destruction and necessitated a huge international response. The humanitarian situation continues to be critical. The Category 5 storm, which reached the country on the 8th of November, was the strongest ever recorded at landfall. Ten-minute sustained winds were around 160 mph and speeds of around 200 mph were reached. Massive waves and winds pummelled coastal areas. Entire blocks were leveled in some areas and ships thrown ashore. The city of Tacloban in the east of the nation was one that was especially affected. Tacloban’s 200,000 residents suffered a third of the total deaths from the storm. Citizens were left in a state of helplessness and civil disorder. Hundreds of thousands were displaced and lost their homes due to Typhoon Haiyan and over ten million people, which is more than one in ten Filipinos, were affected. The region hit by the typhoon continues to cope with huge damages. Filipino government economist Arsenio Balisacan told Reuters that the rebuilding costs could be up to $5.8 billion. The international community has donated large amounts of resources and substantial funds to assist in the crisis. Dozens of nations have pledged assistance and many millions of dollars. To donate, you can visit the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross at http://www. icrc.org/eng/donations/?o=420013.

Photo Credit: Tony T.

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News 2 High Rates of Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents

National Merit Scholarship

By Haddar Ben-Shimon, Assistant Editor

By Victoria Hardy, Reporter

As of November 18, 2013, Clark County has seen 94 pedestrian deaths caused by motor-vehicles for this year. While many of these accidents could have easily been avoided, some are calling this a “pedestrian accident epidemic.” Last year in the United States, there were over 4,000 motor-vehicle pedestrian accidents. There are some actions you can take to help keep you and other people safer on the roads. If you think safely, you can drive more safely. You should be focused on driving 100% when in the driver’s seat. “To stay safe on the road, I steer clear of student drivers,” jokes teacher Mrs. Schmidt. “I don’t like to drive, so I drive as little as possible because I have high anxiety when driving. My husband drives when we go out, but unfortunately, I have to drive for work.”

With college tuition skyrocketing, most people find it hard to be able to pay for their freshman year, let alone their entire college experience. Scholarships for excelling students, or students who play sports are available, but none are as recognized and as highly sought after as the National Merit Scholarship. The National Merit Scholarship is broken up into three scholarships: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships, and College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships. The National Merit Scholarships help pay only for your freshman year of college. The Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships are chosen if a student is dedicated to a certain career and has lots of options as a prize. The College Sponsored scholarships pay for your entire college career. Each one is different, with different rewards, but they all have the same requirements for people to enter the contests. You must be a U.S. citizen, a full-time high school student, and you must take the PSAT in October of your junior year, in an attempt to get a high grade. Other factors contribute such as your PSAT and SAT scores, your citizenship grade, and your extracurricular activities. Other things can influence your entry like where you go to school, teacher recommendations, which college you wish to go to, and your future career choice. Many students compete for the scholarship, and only half of the 15,000 finalists are able to win. Even if you become a finalist, colleges love seeing that on applications. Many universities pride themselves on having many students who had successfully managed to become finalists for any one of the scholarships. Even semifinalists receive some kind of recognition as being good students. This can often lead to other available scholarships. Winning the scholarships is easier said than done. It require dedication and hard work towards the pursuit of knowledge, citizenship, and carrying through with responsibilities and duties to yourself and your education.

Photo Credit: Haddar Ben-Shimon One of the things you can do to be safer when driving is to use defensive driving techniques. Be aware of what others around you are doing and expect the unexpected. Don’t use a cell phone or any other electronic device while driving. The use of electronic devices have become the cause of many accidents and deaths on the road. Don’t speed − it gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident. Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free. Driving impaired has caused thousands of deaths each year. You should never drive if you are exhausted or did not get a lot of sleep. A study showed that driving tired is more dangerous than driving drunk. “I always have my eyes on the road and check my mirrors frequently,” said teacher Mrs. Cummins. Emotions also affect anyone’s driving greatly. If you are angry or upset, take a few minutes before getting into the driver’s seat to relax. Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes, and ask yourself if you are able to drive safely. If negative emotions still bother you, it is best not to be the one driving. By just taking the steps above into consideration and following all traffic rules, laws, and regulations, you can make yourself and others a whole lot safer. Continued from front page Only 26 percent of students have reached all the benchmarks for the ACT sections. The survey that was taken only reported 54 percent of test takers. Aundrea Brown, a senior here at WCTA, thinks that the reason only 25 percent of students are ready for college is that “so many kids fall into the whole ‘senioritis’ thing and just stop caring so much about school because they think they’re seniors and school is almost done so they don’t take the proper steps to prepare for college like they should be.” It has been shown over the last half decade that math and science scores are slowly increasing, while reading and writing scores remain essentially unchanged. Jordyn Hoffman, another senior here at WCTA, comments that “kids are stupid and they don’t value education. A lot of them have a carefree attitude and they just don’t care for school.” Despite rising educational standards around the world, the United States is actually decreasing and falling far behind the leading countries. Trends in ACT scores indicate that kids are studying less and less and not learning as much. “Schools should provide seniors with a college prep class,” said Brown. The purpose of college and high school is to ready young adults for the workforce and working in a business environment. Businesses are having problems with the availability of young, energetic, skilled workers who will be an asset to the company. High schools and colleges are currently researching what can be done to better ready kids for the workforce in the future. Mission Statement: The purpose of the WCTA Newspaper is to keep students, faculty, and staff at WCTA updated on current events that are happen ing around the school, community, country, and world. The goal is to promote academic and extracurricular activities, stduent achievements, and the experience of going to WCTA. A key part of the Tech Times news is upholding and exemplifying the West CTA core vlues. It is important that the Tech Times sets an example for the entire student body of WCTA and the community of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo Credit: PVA school Editorial Statement: The WCTA Newspaper is a student-run newspaper. Students research, collect information, and write the stories that are published. All opinions and views published in the newspaper are based on the writer’s own personal opinions. These opinions are not of the staff, student body, school, or community. If you have any complaints please email Carmelle Wasch, Editor-In-Chief, at carmllew828@westcta.ccsd.net or Lindsey Chamberlin, advisor, at lchamberlin@westcta.ccsd.net. If you would like to submit a comment, suggestion, question, or inquire about placing an advertisement in the paper you can email carmellew828@westcta.ccsd.net, or lchamberlin@westcta.ccsd.net. Your input is greatly appreciated and valued.

Staff: Carmelle Wasch Haddar BenShimon Tess Harms Chaz Fernandez Danielle Bolender Marissa Brown Rachel DelaCruz Kacie Fromhart Eli Epstein

Editor-In-Chief Assistant Editor Layout Editor Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter

Victoria Hardy George Karvounidis Megan McArthur Nicole McGill Jade Munson Hannah Stein SydneyAlexi Moral

Reporter Reporter

Lindsey Chamberlin

Advisor

Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter Reporter


Opinion 3

New site, same scrutiny By Jade Munson, Reporter

Photo Credit: Jade Munson

The increase in popularity of the newly appeared social media website, ask.fm, has enabled users to send anonymous questions to others, positive or negative. The website’s spike in use has caused severe misuse, escalating to brutal bullying and subsequent acts of self harm by those victimized. Many teens turn towards social media sites in order to detail their social lives, their challenges at school and home, and all without a parent looking over their shoulder. However, the website has been the highlight of a major controversy after ten teenagers committed suicide due to serious harassment that occurred on the website. Numerous other users have publicly threatened to harm themselves, or others. Due to the website’s lack of security and privacy measures, there is no way for users to block the receiving of such negative comments; rather, they are bombarded with pages of hurtful comments and slander. When polled, the majority of West CTA students said that the website was a source of entertainment, a place where teens can communicate with one another, causing no real harm nor posing a threat. Opposite that, a great deal of students believe that the site is nothing more than bothersome and malicious. At West CTA alone, over ten percent of students polled openly admitted to sending anonymous hateful comments, or aggressive remarks, to others using the website. Based on typical teenage behavior, it can be inferred that the number of students that have sent hate comments is much higher than what is admitted. Additionally, roughly half of the students noted that they had been bullied, or knew someone who had, on the website. As a consequence of the sudden rise in suicides and acts of self-harm by users of the website, the site owners have announced that there will be an increase in safety measures, as well as more access to blocking options and privacy settings. The site’s managers and designers also intend to enable users to disable the receiving of anonymous questions, in order to prevent as much cyberbullying as possible. Many parents, counselors, and support hotlines believe that the site needs to just be shut down for good, as nothing positive can stem from vicious tongues of teenagers and access to anonymity. Yet, due to the website’s overwhelming usage, the operators have no intentions to close it down anytime soon.

Dreaded Dress Code By Nicole McGill, Reporter

Going to school involves many aspects in addition to education, including dress code. 57 percent of students that attend West Tech think that dress code should not be enforced in our school while a surprisingly close 43 percent believe that there should be a dress code present. Dress code is meant to be set to show students how to dress in the real world and to provide an appropriate atmosphere. Many students feel differently. According to an anonymous survey, a

student stated, “Children should know what looking decent is like without a dress code. Maybe instead of having girls dress more conservatively, you should train boys to stop oversexualizing basic feminine body parts.” By having a strict dress code, students are not able to express themselves as much as they would like. However, compared to certain other high schools West Tech is considered to have a more lenient dress code,

but an astonishing 71 percent of students believe that the dress code is too strictly enforced. When asked what they thought about dress code and how it applies to their future one anonymous student wrote, “We are not in the middle ages, and the term inappropriate is highly subjective. There should be no requirement of clothing or any certain type of clothing it is literally something I feel should be the right of the individual to choose.” What do you think about our school dress code? Photo by Nicole McGill

Cellular outrage

WCTA TALKS

By Danielle Bolender, Reporter

There have been recent cases in which the act of suspending one’s phone has turned into an invasion of privacy scandal. It is no secret students use their phones during instructional time at school and even the slyest of these rebels get caught. When surveyed, 10 out of 10 kids say they have used their phone at least once during the school year and seven out of those 10 students admit to having their phone taken away at some point in the duration of the school year. Even though temporarily disbanding the cellular device from a student is a reasonable penalty, seven out of 10 students agree that teachers who take it upon themselves to rummage through the student’s phone are violating their privacy rights and the other three think if the delinquents are going to violate the teacher’s rules they should automatically lose their rights. So, what action is taken to prevent this invasion of privacy again? Five out of 10 kids who have experienced this invasion of privacy have complied to not using their phone in that class. Three out of 10 admit to having their parent or guardian calling or emailing the teacher complaining of which only one of those three teachers ended up apologizing. After examining all the statistics and numbers we have come to a conclusion: It’s fair to say that teachers who rummage through a student’s phone during the act of suspending it are taking advantage of their right as a superior. To avoid this intrusion of your personal belongings, you should take it upon yourself to be aware of all your teacher’s cellular device policies and abide by those rules. Photo by Danielle Bolender


Sports 4

Cheer Life at WCTA by Kacie Fromhart, Reporter Despite what many may think, cheerleading has evolved into something much more than just cheering on sports teams. There are now stunts, dances, and complicated cheers. The cheerleading squad here at West definitely does more than just lead cheers. Jakki Cannata, Reilly Barth, and Lauren Moore, the captains of the squad, and Rena Lee work hard to create routines that will blow away the competition. It takes, on average, 12 hours of practice to perfect each two and a half minute routine. Each routine is a combination of tumbling, dance, stunts, and cheer. Right now they are preparing for their first competition of the 2013-2014 school year, the Clark County Schools Spirit Championship. There are promises of growth for this team, as well. Many of the squad members have different goals, ranging from stunts to tumbling. Ashley Hong, a freshman, hopes to achieve her liberty and back hand spring this season. Another member of the squad is striving to master her double back hand spring. Practicing five Photo Credits: Kacie Fromhart hours a week can get overwhelming, though. Maisie Drew-Flanagan, also a freshman, says she changes, goes straight to cheer practice, and usually gets home around five o’clock, leaving little time for the loads of homework, to which most West Tech students can relate. Many of the cheerleaders feel the same way but feel that the reward is worth the struggle. If you watched one of their practices, you would see that the squad resembles a big family. When the squad practices a piece of a routine, someone will always say: “Who got lost?” or “Who needs help?” after each run through to make sure that no one gets left behind. They are willing to take the time to help each other get the routines. down and succeed. When the squad perfects the routine, you can hear cries of “yes!” and laughter. There’s no doubt that they have a lot of fun at their practices every week. We can expect to see great things from this cheerleading squad and hopefully these talented girls will perform wonderfully at the Clark County Schools Spirit Championship.

Photo Credit: Chaz Fernandez

Marathon Runners Invade the Strip

by Chaz Fernandez, Reporter

Tens of thousands of people converged on the Las Vegas Strip on the afternoon of November 17th to run the Las Vegas Rock’n’Roll Marathon and Half-marathon. With music, fun, and a festive mood, the event did not disappoint the many who had trained diligently for the occasion. The enormous crowd of runners waiting for the marathon to start stretched an impressive distance. They began to take off at 4:30 pm following the National Anthem, with masses departing in waves after having been separated into corrals. The route started at the Mandalay Bay and took racers past places like Fremont Street, the Mirage, and the Luxor. Twenty-five live bands played to entertain the runners and keep their spirits up while plenty of aid stations offered water and Gatorade. Photographers snapped pictures while spectators held signs of encouragement like “Run like you stole something” or “You’re running better than obamacare.gov.” Runners of all shapes, sizes, and ages participated in the run. Some ran in teams, like the Panda Express or Chile teams. Others ran alone. There were locals and those from out of town, including some who had run a San Antonio marathon earlier that day. A number of couples married on site. The runners themselves were as much entertainment as the music and scenery. Among the many participants were those in wheelchairs and runners dressed as superheroes, Elvis, and even a banana. The winner of the race was Coloradan Jason Brosseau, finishing in a little over two and a half hours. Having practiced in the heat of the Arabian Peninsula during a deployment with the Air Force, he was well-prepared. The commitment of the gathered competitors can be exemplified not only by the winner but by the words on the shirt of one participant: “If found on road please drag me to finish line.”

The History of the BCS Archery Avengers by Eli Epstein, reporter by Haddar Ben-Shimon, co-editor When the national championship game ends on January 7th, the Bowl College Series will be but a distant memory. The National Collegiate Association of America finally decided to create a four team playoff that will be used to determine the champion of college football. The BCS was introduced to the college football world in 1996. Up until that moment in 1996, the champion of college football had been decided by the Associated Press. This enraged many people because often the top teams never got to play each other. The BCS was enacted so that there would be a legitimate system of determining who was the best collegiate football team in America. The BCS is made up of five bowl games: the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, The Sugar Bowl, The Orange Bowl, and the National Championship game. Only the top teams in America are invited to Photo Credit: AP compete in these games. The participants in these games are usually teams from the power six conferences, which are the Pac 12, The Big Ten, The Big Twelve, the SEC, The ACC, and The Big East. The winner of each conference is given an automatic invitation to one of the five bowl games due to the how tough the competition is in their respective conference. The other participants in these five games are determined by a computer-based system. This has often led to chaos in the past, which is the reason; the BCS was replaced with the four-team playoff. The BCS has led to many unforgettable moments in college football and has been a huge step in the progression and popularity of the sport.

West CTA’s archery team says goodbye to some old members and welcomes some new ones for the 2013-2014 school year, hoping to make it to nationals again and finally win first place. Archery is the art and skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow. Used for hunting and combat, its main use is sports and has become a recreational activity. Archery first became a modern sport in the 1840s, when people realized that bows and arrows could be used for more than just hunting and killing. “When I pull back the bowstring, I’m focused on nothing but that tiny little yellow circle, and the whole world sort of just melts away as I release and the arrow just sails through the air and goes exactly where I wanted it to. And then the world comes back into focus,” said junior Sabrina Close. She, along with several other students at West CTA are part of the amazing archery team at our school. Our school’s team last year made it to nationals, and are hoping to do the same this season. “I found archery really exciting in PE freshman year and thought I’d give it a chance,” said junior Megan Palmquist. “It’s really exciting seeing all my friends and getting better and better every year.” The archery team meets every Monday and Wednesday after school in the gym for practice. “At the meetings, we shoot 3 rounds at 10 and 15 meters. We’re also encouraged to shoot outside of school at places like Pacific Archery, my Photo credit : Sabrina Close personal favorite place,” said junior Weston Bennett. “I love shooting with the team. We’ve developed a special bond over time and everyone’s like family to me now.” T here are 50 points per round possible. There are 10 rings each worth a different amount of points. The outer ring it worth one, the next one is two, and so on. The small yellow circle in the center is worth 10 points, which is what everyone aims for.“I like improving my skills and watching the arrows go in the center,” said junior Andrew Arballo. West CTA’s archery team is made up of many different students of all grades and ages. “I honestly thought archery was a pretty cool concept, so I tried out and somewhere along the road I fell in love with it,” said Close. “I shoot in my backyard every so often and I’m so grateful to be part of this team. It’s changed my life in so many ways.”


Features 5 Fluttering for Change

The Chair Games

Photo Credit: Rachel DelaCruz

By Rachel DelaCruz, Reporter

West Tech has its many perks, but one of the disadvantages most students complain about is not having a seat to sit down in during lunch. Sophomore Clarice Ho said, “My friends and I gave up on trying to get chairs at lunch because it’s such a hassle.” During lunch, many students result in standing because of the lack of chairs provided. Some students prefer to eat outside, but with the winter season coming, they will more likely want to eat in the cafeteria. Students often have to gather as many chairs as they can for all their friends to have a seat. “I think we should be provided more seats during lunch, but at the same time it doesn’t really bother me or my friends,” said Ho. Many students tweet and talk about how much it frustrates them that our school doesn’t have enough chairs at lunch. “Friday’s lunch is really crazy because so many people are grabbing chairs like it will save their life,” Ho said. Lunch on Friday’s becomes so hectic because many students struggle to find as many chairs as they need. Some tables are left abandoned with no chairs or people. Being that there are way more students who attend West than previous years, this issue has only risen in this school year. But all in all, most of the students settle with the chairs they have or don’t have.

Ho ho ho-w much is too much?

By Jade Munson, Reporter

Photo Credit: Jade Munson Christmas time is here, time for joy and time for sticker shock. With the pressure to buy the perfect gift for friends and family, the holiday season has always been a time of stress. The biggest question of the holiday season, the question that everyone is asked from friends and family: “What do you want this year?” This question is often daunting to answer, as we all want to refrain from asking for highly expensive gifts, just as much as we want to avoid purchasing excessively expensive gifts for others. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers spend about $70 on a gift for a friend, and over $400 on gifts for family members, on average. Many West Tech students participate in Secret Santa gift giving groups, but because each person has varying access to finances to fund gifts for others, setting a price limit is often challenging. Many students have taken it upon themselves to disband the purchasing of material gifts, rather exchanging hand-crafted gifts. Senior Kayla Locascio said,“The holiday season is about cherishing our loved ones, and buying expensive gifts aren’t needed to do that. Usually materialistic gifts aren’t as heartfelt and don’t mean as much to the person receiving them.” The previous year, a group of Locascio’s friends exchanged Secret Santa gifts; she gave her lucky recipient a handcrafted painting and frame. This holiday season doesn’t have to be expensive; rather than buying an expensive gift, it may mean more to make something yourself. Common do-it-yourself holiday gifts include personalized candles, painted pottery (which can be done at various pottery shops around town), baked goods, knitted clothing--anything a person can create or add something to in order to make it their own. Search for inspiration and DIY gift ideas on websites such as Pinterest, in magazines, and by visiting a local craft store. So during this holiday season, ditch the common gifts that cost all too much, and opt in for a personalized, sincere present that will surely bring a smile to your recipient’s face.

WCTA’s Own Hour of Code

By Sydney Moral, Reporter Computer science is a program that not many schools teach. Out of ten free public schools, West is one of the only ones that teaches computer science. On December 11,2013, our school held the hour of code. Like the name of the event, students spent a total of one hour learning how to program codes. Before they were sent to do a total of two tutorials for computer programing, they watched a video with different celebrities trying to program with different codes. This was to show WCTA students that programming isn’t as hard as many people think it is. The first tutorial is Codeacademy. This tutorial taught the students the basics of CS through JavaScript that tens millions of other students around the world use today. The second tutorial is building your own game. The students did exactly what the tutorial said; they build a game. With a total of eight fun activities, this program made programming seem simple. This event was also broadcasted live, and even has a few interviews from students. In all, hour of code was created to show people that computer programming is simple enough for anyone to do.

Photo Credit: Sydney Moral

By Marissa Brown, Reporter At the young age of 16, sophomore Molly Marais has fluttered her way to change people’s lives through her charity. The name of the charity is The Butterfly Project. In 2010 Marias began her Bat Mitzvah project, which most Jewish kids in her temple do to celebrate good deeds. Molly’s mother and Aunt are BRCA positive, which means they both carry a hereditary cancer gene. When Marais was young her grandmother passed away due to both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Due to her family being so affected by the hereditary gene, Marais decided that for her Mitzvah project she would do would do something to help people with cancer. When speaking about why she wants to raise awareness to her charity Marias said, “We are trying to raise money for a scholarship fund in my grandmothers name. The money for this fund enables women who are BRCA positive to attend the annual FORCE conference.” The reasoning behind The Butterfly Project is to raise money to support the Brenda L. Caplan Memorial Fund for FORCE . Through the charity Marias hope to be able to send women who carry the gene to conferences throughout the year. If you would like to help out with the charity or would like more information you can go to www.helpbutterflyproject. com

Photo Credit: Marisa Brown

Happy and safe holidays to WCTA from the journalism staff! This paper could not be possible without the support of our advisor, Mrs. Chamberlin, all of the writers in our class, and everybody in the school.


Features 6 After Romeo not Before Juliet [kar-uh-muhl, -mel] or [kahr-muhl]? By Sydney Moral, Reporter Up and coming boyband, After Romeo, is starting to sweep the nation. After Romeo- consisting of band members Jayk Purdy, Drew Ryan Scott, Blake English, TC Carter, and Devin Fox- have starting doing a mall tour for their anti-bullying campaign. For their “Bully Proof” tour, they wanted to help with the case of bullying since they went through bullying themselves. The band has told us, “We used to be the kids who loved music and were in choir, and we were made fun of for it.” According to band member, Drew Ryan Scott, he says, “We get [our fans] Juliets and Bromeos who tell us their stories through social media.” During Thanksgiving week, After Romeo stayed the week visiting and performing at certain middle and high schools. They didn’t just go to share their music though, they went in hopes that the students will talk to them about being bullied. According to the band, it worked. Once the date of their concert at Fashion Show Mall was up, they were ready to perform and meet their Juliets and Bromeos for almost three hours. After their hour long concert, they had a meet and greet where their fans would be able to take pictures with them. Some of them even talked to them about their how they’ve been bullied. What they are hoping to accomplish as they finish their tour is to help students take a stand and stop bullying. By teaming up with Defeat the Label, they hope that everyone will stand together and be bullyproof.

Like A Seed

By Miranda Barrie The courage to love and love without limits is a gift parallel to none. To love without prejudice and without expectations can raise one up to new heights allowing them to break barriers and grasp truths only known to a lucky few. I find love to be like a small seed, whose roots rest in infinity. When breaking the earth the sapling’s first duty is to create an inseparable bond with the sun above. The relationship they share is a sacred one. The sapling’s strength lies in it’s undying trust in that magnificent celestial body. The after effects of that bond allow the sapling to grow and flourish. As a leader, I often find myself pondering over others ideas and asking myself how I can incorporate them into the master plan. It is easy to get lost in the day to day shuffle that comes along with every journey in life. The bonds of trust that are so essential to our survival seem to find their way out a back door that manages to go unnoticed and unattended for months on end. To reinstate those bonds one must gather up the courage to trust freely. We are stronger as a whole, and part of becoming a well-rounded leader is learning how to trust in the individuals you choose to

By Kacie Fromhart, Reporter The pronunciation of caramel is a highly controversial subject. Some say “carmel”, some say “carra-mel”, but which one is right? Well, technically there is no right way to say caramel. Even the dictionary lists two different ways to pronounce it: [kar-uh-muhl, -mel, kahr-muhl]. The pronunciation of caramel varies in opposite ends of America. Most people who say “car-mel” live in the Middle West to the West Coast. Those who pronounce it as “carra-mel” generally live on the East Coast. Many of the aspiring chefs on Cheftalk.com regard the different pronunciations of caramel as the result of different upbringings. They say, however, that there are no food related differences between the two. Others say that the difference is caused by regional influence. Whatever the reason, this sticky topic will not be silenced anytime soon, as Americans migrate and take their pronunciations with them. Here at West Tech we also have a divided population of people who say caramel differently. 29% of people surveyed said that they pronounce caramel as [kar-uh-muhl, -mel]; 11% pronounce it both ways; 60% say [kahr-muhl]. This goes to say, the next time you are having an argument over the pronunciation of caramel, remember that there really is no right way to say it.

surround yourself with and understanding that they are strong enough to guide you and give you the strength you need to deepen your roots and open your heart. I am a firm believer that what you give to the world is what it keeps of you. Even the most humble farm boy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings. They understand that that the tree stood the course and continued to thrive in the harsh surroundings that come with roots planted firmly above the tree line. As leaders we must plant our seeds and establish ourselves on the highest of mountain tops. We have to trust in the younger generations that fall behind to bring us the strength we need to dig our roots further into the ground. A successful leader is only Photo Credit: Nevada FBLA as powerful as the people that follow in their wake. The innate desire to be a part of something bigger than oneself is a universal one. By putting your faith in your peers you show that you have the power to burn brighter than the stars that surround us. You become part of the iron rod that leaders of all walks of life have formed. The living and beating heart of leadership is coated in a thick layer of trust and understanding, and I challenge each and every one of you to climb the highest ridges and plant your seeds with

Fans Fired up by Frozen

By Marissa Brown, Reporter Disney strikes again with their whimsical new tale “Frozen”. Frozen is the tale of two sisters, Anna being the young bright-eyed optimistic one, and Elsa who has a secret magical power that she can turn things to ice. One day after accidently turning the kingdom to ice Elsa runs away out of embarrassment and Anna makes it her mission to get her sister back. Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, is a Norwegian princess who discovers at a young age her power to create snow and ice. After nearly killing her sister Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Elsa and her parents become terrified of her growing power and they erase Anna’s memory of her sister’s powers. At once the castle gates are shut, staff is cut, and Elsa is placed in solitary away from her sister. “Frozen” is a big departure from Disney’s most recent animated films. It has a refreshing childlike quality from beginning to end. Another unique quality is that ‘Frozen” is the first Disney Princess movie where finding true love isn’t the main objective. This film is more about the love of family instead of romantic love. It is a sharp right turn for Disney. No one is waiting for prince charming. It is about loving your family ferociously. Another theme is sibling rivalry, but if anyone tries to fight with your family good luck. It is being call “an epic comedy adventure.” It falls in line with what you know for Disney to release which are jokes that are contemporary and timeless, also funny moments both kids and adults will enjoy. The music adds a great deal to the surprising edginess to “Frozen”.

love and care. Miranda Barrie is a senior here at WCTA. She is in the Business Management program and plans on taking a gap year and traveling the world. During the gap year she plans on volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Eastern Europe with her mom. Her college plans extend to going to either Emerson University or University of Michigan for mass media and communications. Barrie is currently an intern with the press department for the congressman of District 4. According to Barrie, “it’s been a really great experience to work with local media sources,” and has only affirmed her liking for communications and media. As for her well-known, tasteful sense of style, “I interned for this clothing company in Los Angeles... to sort of experience that culture and lifestyle that they all live in in Los Angeles.” The piece featured in this paper was written for a leadership conference that she has attended.

Magically Drawn to the Forest By Rachel DelaCruz, Reporter

Opportunity Village holds the annual Magical Forest event to kick of the holiday season on November 22. Magical Forest is filled with several different Christmas themed activities such as slides, a merry-go-round, mini-golf, raceways, and much more! It is a family-friendly environment and gives the vibes of a winter wonderland. Right as you enter, you are struck with such bright lights. The amount of lights being lit is indescribable. Every single inch of this forest is filled with color. The main attractions families go to see is the beautiful lights and the ever most famous... Santa Clause! You have the chance to take a photo with Santa in his workshop with his elves working along with him. Although the lines may take a while to get through, most of these activities are worth the wait. Many families and friends were taking photos in front of the main Christmas tree. The scenic atmosphere and sights are a must to capture on camera. Not only were families taking photos with the tree, but also with the beautiful sights. General admission for an adult is $11 and for a child is $9. For the full experience a passport ticket will get you admission to almost all the activities. $20 for adult and $18 for a child. Going on the weekends is more hectic than going on weekdays. It is still very busy, but definitely worth the trip. The best part about this whole adventure is that parking is absolutely free! Magical Forest is a place to be to get into the holiday spirit!


Entertainment 7 The Nutcracker Returns Its Magic to the Smith Center By: Hannah Stein

Photo Credit: cinemavine.com.

Every Revolution...Begins With a Spark

By Hannah Stein, Reporter The odds were in the Hunger Games fans’ favors this November, with the global premiere of the long-awaited blockbuster sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, it’s an action-packed film set in a disturbingly relatable dystopian future. In the nation of Panem, there are twelve industrial districts, and a cruel, ruling city called the Capitol. Every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from every district are selected in a drawing called the Reaping to compete in the Hunger Games. The twenty-four children—called tributes—are locked in an inhumane arena, where there is only one rule: the last person alive wins. In the seventy-fourth Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are the tributes from District Twelve, and by a rule change, are both crowned victors after threatening to commit double suicide. Six months later, they are kicking off the Victory Tour through the nation celebrating their winning, when President Snow comes to tell Katniss that she must convince the districts that the suicide threat was a genuine act of her love for Peeta, not of defiance towards the Capitol, due to the rebellious spark threatening to burn in the districts. This starts off discouragingly when they first visit District Eleven, the home of Rue, the sweet twelveyear-old girl Katniss tried to save in the Games. An old man gives the three-finger salute that Katniss gave Rue in death and whistles the four-note melody that they used to communicate in the Games, through mockingjays—a songbird on Katniss’ token pin, and the growing symbol of the revolution. The crowd begins to follow him, but he is soon killed. Katniss and Peeta move on, trying to tame the districts, becoming engaged before returning home, where conditions are worse than ever and the rebellion appears imminent. The lowest point is hit when Gale, a friend of Katniss’, is brutally, publicly whipped. Meanwhile, the next Hunger Games approach, a special Quarter Quell, celebrated every twenty-five years with an exciting—and often cruel—change to the Games. President Snow announces the special twist, targeting Katniss and those she holds dear: this year, all of the competitors will be selected from the pool of past Hunger Games victors. Straight from the start, the high stakes are established by the characters. You can feel Katniss’ fiery determination to seek freedom, Peeta’s passionate love for Katniss, the desperate hope of her little sister, Prim, and the unmatchable fury of the victors and the masses. Everyone in the audience recoils at the characters’ agonies, screams at their shocks and cries at their emotional turmoils. Even the supporting characters are given sympathetic or terrifying roles—you can become emotional at the deaths of or get an abrupt chill from characters who aren’t even given a real name. The new cast members are perfectly integrated, with fan favorites including Sam Claflin as the stunning Finnick Odair, and Jena Malone as the snarky Johanna Mason, both popular Hunger Games victors. The movie adaptation does an astounding job of not just portraying the book in a different media form, but actually expanding on it. In the third book of the series, Mockingjay, it is mentioned in a throwaway line that President Snow has a granddaughter. In the movie, we see several conversations between Snow and this girl never actually present in the book, suddenly given a face and personality. Behind-the-scenes explanations of the roles of several characters are brought to light, notably for Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker who oversees the Hunger Games. Even several of the most devout fans agree that everything important and more is included, (and several also say that this was a vast improvement on the first movie, especially in the loss of the shaky-cam.) Vague notions of settings are brought to life in vivid detail, unimaginable horrors in incredibly fine picture. Catching Fire is quickly becoming a worldwide sensation, breaking box office records in its opening weeks. (It brought in 110.1 million dollars over Thanksgiving weekend, shattering the record set by the Harry Potter franchise.) Experiencing the movie with other fans in theaters (especially the terrifyingly in-your-face IMAX) is highly recommended for any action-lover, though perhaps not for the faint of heart.

The rising, excited voices of people filling up the auditorium blend with the attendants yelling, “Straight up the stairs and to your right!”, the smell of show time snacks wafting up to the highest balconies, everyone donning t-shirts for their favorite production that they’re about to see—it’s just another classic opening night at the Smith Center. This December, everyone will get the chance to see The Nutcracker, returning for its second year with new ideas. It’s the first production of its kind, playing in the same Reynolds Hall as other classics such as Mamma Mia, Wicked, Les Miserables, The Wizard of Oz, and War Horse. The Nutcracker is the two-act ballet adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”. The plot features around a young girl who receives a toy nutcracker on Christmas Eve, which comes to life, defeats a Mouse King, and introduces her to a magical land of toys and sweets. … But is it real? The answer will be revealed when the show opens on December fourteenth and continues on the fifteenth, then takes a break and comes back for the eighteenth to twenty-second. This Nevada Ballet Theatre’s production is built specifically for the Reynolds Hall stage, and features a customized set, with classic costumes, and choreography by Artistic Director James Canfield. Tickets are being sold now for fifty-two to one-hundred and seventy-eight dollars. The theater’s policy states that children under the age of three are not allowed; but, the older students here at West CTA should take advantage of the opportunity to see this classic production. According to one survey, many West students have not been able to see the Nutcracker show, but would want to see it at the Smith Center, which eighty-two percent of students have heard of. As another musical that played in Reynolds Hall says, “The time is now! The day is here!” Those who have seen performances at the Smith Center have nothing but raving reviews. Students called the shows “amazing”, “one of the best I’ve been to”, and “fabulous”. What could be better than this high-quality, local entertainment? (One Wrangler says they might be interested if they are “accompanied by good friends and holiday cheer”.) This holiday season will definitely bring plenty of cheer with a production like this.

Continued from front page You don’t even have to be a coffee-chugger to enjoy Sunrise: their rich, foamy hot chocolate is a common favorite on the menu. They’ve also recently put more of a focus on including teas in their selection. More than anything, Sunrise Coffee is most definitely alive. In the outdoor seating area, a whole table bursts out laughing all at once; inside, a group of writers yell across the room to each other about word counts, as waiters start to sing along to a song that just came on the radio (“Don’t You Want Me”, an amusing duet taking place while they spin coffee mugs onto tables). To see it for yourself, you can go to 3130 East Sunset Road, six in the morning to eight at night on weekdays, and seven a.m. to eight p.m. on weekends (they close at six on Sundays). Sunrise Coffee is bringing back the days of spending an afternoon with fellow locals and sipping a hot beverage, while looking out on the rain and reading an old book. Who knows—maybe the trend will catch on and teens will have a new popular study group meeting place.


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