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Wrestling team members push through the season despite various injuries they have suffered p. 17

Rock Bridge High School » 4303 S. Providence Rd. - Columbia MO, 65203 » Vol. 40, Issue 4 » Jan. 31, 2013 »



In response to the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a New Orleans federal judge approved a four billion dollar plea agreement on Monday, Jan. 28. This marks the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. The oil company pled guilty to 14 criminal accounts last November. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Apple will release their new iPad with 128 gigabytes of storage. This is double the storage of their largest-storage iPad to date. the

State photo by Christiana Prestigiacomo

The Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services opened a memorial on Monday, Jan. 28 to honor fallen veterans from Missouri. The “Remembering Our Fallen” tribute is sponsored by Veterans United and Patriotic Productions, and it will be open through Friday, Feb. 8. Don Walsworth presented a gift of 8.3 million dollars to the University of Missouri Columbia athletics program on Tuesday, Jan. 29.



A “How To” True/False Film session will be held in the Daniel Boone Regional Library on Feb. 2, to teach first-time film festival goers how to best enjoy their weekend. Passes are also now available on the T/F website. ‘Shrek, the Musical’ will be performed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Jesse Auditorium. Tickets and information are at



The Show Choir Benefit Concert takes place today in the PAC. Tickets are 5 dollars. The Golden Cow lip-syncing competition will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the PAC. Proceeds benefit the “Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis” charity. the


Community 5 Features 6 Profiles 9 In-Depths 10 Commentary 12 Editorials 14 Sports 16 A&E 19

Shaking off the nerves: City Lights show choir members, including senior Rebecca Burke-Aguero and junior Megan Kelly, rehearse their opening number to prepare for the competition season. The choir will compete through March in venues ranging from high school gyms to the Grand Ol’ Oprey in Nashville, Tenn.

Extracurriculars gear up for state, national competitions nomin-erdene » Jagdagdorj


» Scholar Bowl

» Show Choir

his Saturday will be the Scholar Team’s second chance at competition this season, after hosting a tournament of their own on Jan. 19. Before that, on the first of December, the Scholar Bowl members competed for the first time, but they struggled a bit, senior Jacob Freyermuth said. Freyermuth, who is on the A team, said the competition at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will be challenging, but the teams have prepared well. Junior Salah Daghlas, member of the A team and Scholar Bowl veteran of two years, said Hickman High School and Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. are the hardest competitions this year. Teams as difficult as these will be at this weekend’s tournament, he said, which increases the challenge. “I think we’ll make it into the playoffs,” Daghlas said. “We might place, but I’m a little skeptical because there are a lot of good teams out there.” Scholar Bowl coach and social studies teacher Greg Irwin boasts several second place trophies from state competitions, but he said he displays them “mostly as a recruiting tool.” He is more focused on personal improvement and enjoyment. “We’re getting better all the time, so I think we have a shot at making state again, but our big goal is nationals,” Irwin said. “As long as we have a good show and we play our best game, that’s what’s most important to me.” In the coming months, match ups will increase to around two per month, culminating at the state competition on May 3 and the national competition in Atlanta, Ga. on Memorial Day weekend.

» Model UN

Today marks the third week since the two RBHS show choirs performed their shows in front of an audience for the first time. Since then, the choirs successfully competed in the Battle of the Best Competition in Pleasant Hill, Mo. on Jan. 19. Satin N’ Lace earned first place in their division, as well as caption awards like Best Stage Crew and Best Closer, in preliminary competition and placed fifth in finals. City Lights also received several caption awards, including Best Show Design and Best Opening Number, and First Runner Up in final competition. The show choirs will compete Saturday, Feb. 9 at Troy Buchanan Show Choir Invitational in Troy, Mo. Leading up to Pleasant Hill, the two choirs rehearsed every other morning at 7 a.m., as well as Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Choir Director Mike Pierson hopes the choirs’ performance so far is reflective of success to come. “I was thrilled with the results at our first festival,” Pierson said, “but honestly I was not surprised based on the focused and energetic efforts put in by the students leading up to it.” Sophomore Sarah Freyermuth, who is in Satin N’ Lace, just began show choir. Freyermuth said the first competition was “the perfect start” to the season and the best she has performed yet. Freyermuth said she looks forward to memorable competitions to come. “[Competitions] are such a great experience, not just because of the performance aspect,” Freyermuth said, “but also because it gives everyone in show choir to spend time together.” Both RBHS show choirs will be holding a Benefit Concert tonight at 7 p.m.

Two weeks from today, the RBHS Model United Nations team will be in Washington D.C. to participate in the Model UN convention, which is a studentrun event at the University of Georgetown. Sponsor Jim Meyer said he is excited for the students to see “the reality of convention” after several months of preparation. Students are “thrown into” committees with people from across the nation, Meyer said. “There will ... be a lot of celebration involved, and that is regardless of whether we win any awards or distinctions,” Meyer said. “There’s something about the individual sense of accomplishment from finding your voice and having it heard.” Junior Katy Shi is on the political and security committee with junior Adrian Siefkas, representing Italy. Meetings usually consist of practice simulations, Shi said, as well as sharing independent research found by students. Meyer believes the effectiveness of preparation “does come down ultimately to the individual participant,” though members do develop certain skills participating in committees and writing resolutions, which they believe are the “ultimate product.” However, Meyer said Model UN members learn to celebrate smaller victories at convention. If a few students are recognized for their work in committee, that’s a “huge deal,” Meyer said. “We tell our students that winning really is going into your committee,” Meyer said, “and being part of a collaborative effort that hopefully brings about progress.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Puckett

Additional reporting by Urmila Kutikkad

Possible bill change looks to standardize attendance maddie » Magruder


chools around the state may have different school schedules, but one thing remains the same: the number of total days attended. A bill, sponsored by District 155 Mo. Representative Lyle Rowland, proposes to make attendance based on hours rather than days. This would allow school districts to make their own schedules with as many days as they want as long as they fill a certain number of hours. For instance, a district could have eight hour school days and therefore a shorter school year. Rowland said the bill is simple and would give school districts more freedom to make their calendars based on the community’s needs. He said the bill originated with the Administrators Association, a national organization that, according to their website, aims to “advance the goals of public education and champion children’s causes in their districts and nationwide.” Rowland said the bill changes the way at-

tendance is counted. “Right now we have 174 days and 1,044 hours in statute the school district has to be in session in the year,” Rowland said. “All this bill is doing is it’s taking the days out and increasing the number of hours up to 1,073.” Rowland said especially with inclement weather resulting in missed days, being on a district’s handmade calendar would be beneficial. “We were always fighting to get our days in,” said Rowland, who was a school superintendent in Taneyville for 20 years. “We had plenty of hours. ... Sometimes we had those day limits, 174 days, when we had inclement weather, we had to schedule make up days. And with the hours you go per day, sometimes you wouldn’t have to do that.” Part of the “freedom” the bill would give school districts is the length of the school days and school year. It would be left up to the district to find what best fits the needs of the area. In Columbia Public Schools, the dis-

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trict’s attendance is calculated in minutes, but the schools still have to be in session for 172 to 174 days, RBHS the latter. With the bill, this wouldn’t have to be true, but Maus said it won’t have much of an effect on CPS. “We’ve already adopted the calendar as a district for next year,” Maus said. “I know the calendar committee’s meeting next month to look at even a 14-15 calendar, and I don’t think this would affect us at all.” Rowland said as of now, there has not been any opposition to the bill, but that’s not to say it will be easily passed. It could be an omnibus bill, in which it is grouped with several other education-related bills. Its chances of passing would then rely on the other topics of the bill as well. It could also be a consent bill, in which it would stand on its own, but last year almost all consent bills were filibustered by the senate. “We had a senator the last session that killed all consent bills,” Rowland said. “He didn’t like them, so he killed them. … So hopefully the senate will


Keeping the fans full and happy

Don’t talk about fight club photo by Maria Kalaitzandonakes

The MU possibility

Prospective college students deciding on a higher education wrestle with the difficult choice of whether to stay local or leave.


allow those consent bills, when they have no physical ‘no’ and no opposition, to allow the bills to go on through. So we hope that the senate will prevail this time and have cooler heads. This is one that will probably go consent if there’s no opposition to it.” Even though CPS won’t see much change with its attendance systems, Maus said it could be helpful to other districts around the state. A “school district could absolutely change the length of their days,” Maus said. “Some school districts already have, with special permission by Missouri ... legislators, to go to four days a week, so this looks like it would allow even more freedom.” Chief Academic Officer Susan Lyon said the bill could bring change to the CPS calendar because of the flexibility it allows, such as part-time seniors being able to more work during school, but nothing will change immediately. “You can imagine,” Lyon said, “that that flexibility would give us a chance to at least consider some changes.”

In a world filled with wars and violence, fighting has become a part of everyday culture. While school policies provide strict consequences for physical assault, students find themselves still throwing punches in the heat of the moment, or intrigued by the fights happening right before their eyes.


SKITTLES, grilled hot dogs and freshly popped popcorn – this mixture of smells and tastes are what concession stand workers photo by Patrick Smith enjoy, while other fans are watching the game. They AFTER the Advanced Placement work hard to keep the and Honors Chemistry teacher got players, families and fans into a car accident, Tyler McSparin full and excited about the took on the challenge of subbing. game.

New teacher tackles AP




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January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

News » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013


School, state respond to Sandy Hook

Security policies change following school shooting urmila » Kutikkad


he Columbia Area Career Center implemented a new locked-door policy which requires teachers to lock CACC classroom doors at any time that isn’t a passing period. This change is the first of many potential ones, Randall Gooch, assistant director at the CACC, said. Because the locked-doors policy is cost-free and relatively simple to implement, the CACC decided to enforce the policy at a building level, but the district as a whole is discussing other, larger safety reforms, Gooch said. The timing of this change wasn’t a coincidence. The renewed interest in school safety is a consequence of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Dec. 14 when shooter Adam Lanza killed 26. “[The shooting] got everybody’s attention,” Gooch said. “Every time a tragedy like this occurs, it heightens awareness, so it definitely got us focusing in on school safety again, not that we try to neglect it, but it definitely threw attention to the fact that we might be a little safer [at the Career Center].” Though the policy is a simple, minor

change, it is affecting students’ day-to-day activities at the CACC. “I’m a Teacher’s Assistant in the lab,” junior Alex Komes said, “so it’s really difficult getting around the Career Center because of the locked doors. I print stuff off in the workroom a lot, and it’s difficult getting back into the classroom.” Though students like Komes may experience inconveniences because of the lockeddoor policy and other future safety changes, Gooch said the changes are worth it. “Yes, it may be a bit of an inconvenience,” Gooch said. “But when we weighed convenience versus what we thought the additional safety would be, we really felt that the safety [the new policy] brought was worth that little bit of inconvenience.” Safety changes aren’t, however, only occurring at the CACC. Students at RBHS may also notice differences within the next couple of weeks, said Assistant Principal Tim Baker. He said these safety changes were going to be implemented anyway and just happen to coincide with the increased demand for school safety following the Connecticut school shooting. Baker said because RBHS’s safety procedures serve as a loose template for the rest of the district, the changes RBHS

will experiece are minor. During the lockdown on Friday, for example, Rock Bridge’s changes in lockdown procedure were subtle compared to those around the district. “The changes really are coming into play because most schools are doing their safety procedures differently from one another,” Baker said. “We are trying to get everybody’s procedures to be similar so that no matter which building you go to, whether you’re a police officer or a parent or a substitute, you know what the safety procedures are.” Though the upcoming changes at RBHS aren’t an effect of the Connecticut shooting, Baker believes the shooting has dramatically affected the way people look at school safety, which will greatly impact the effectiveness of future school safety policies. “Since the Connecticut shooting happened, now people want more,” Baker said. “Now everybody wants to know what the plans are, now everybody’s interested in updating them, interested in practicing, interested in who’s supposed to go where and when, and that’s got to be a good thing. If anything good came out of the Connecticut shooting, sadly enough, it’s that it has raised awareness nationwide.”

Bill allows teachers to conceal and carry firearms jake » Alden


source:, infographic by Yasmeen El-Jayyousi

issouri House of Representatives member Mike Kelly introduced House Bill 70 to the 97th ses-

sion floor on Jan. 19. HB 70 would make it legal for Missouri teachers with conceal and carry permits to bring their firearms with them onto school premises.

“Currently, the law does not allow teachers to have the right we bestowed to other citizens in the state and allow them to carry concealed [firearms],” Representative Caleb Jones, a cosponsor of the bill, said. “This will allow them, if they do the proper training, to get a concealed carry license attached, to carry [a concealed firearm] with them.” Jones said the bill’s sponsors first conceived it during a series of discussions about school safety between house members in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. The bill won the support of several Columbia community members, including local firearm outlet Target Masters’ firearms instructor Jim Hill. “Statistically, nationwide, anybody that’s been properly trained and has a concealed carry permit has never been a problem anywhere,” Hill said. “And if that saves a child’s life, I think that would be a win.” Hill and several other employees at Columbia firearm suppliers noticed an increase in sales over the past month. Hill said he attributes this to the current climate of federal politics. “Let’s put it this way — this store’s 23 years old. We broke its previous sales history five times, last Saturday being the highest in history,” Hill said. “I’m going to have to blame it solely, 100 percent on the political wing. Right now the government is so adamantly wanting to ban everything they can possibly legitimize

that people are scared of them.” Some of Columbia’s community members don’t share Hill’s confidence in the proposed bill’s safety. Sophomore Jesse Faurot said he is concerned that firearms in the school might be misplaced, presenting a danger to the well-being of students. “[The bill] does give some cover if something were to happen,” Faurot said. “But at the same time, if [a firearm] gets put down, it could fall into the wrong hands.” Faurot said a better solution would be hiring additional security officials like the Columbia Public School resource officers trained to deal with shootings. “Maybe we could have more cameras around the outside of the school,” Faurot said. “We could also have someone always sitting there watching all the cameras to keep an eye on everything.” If passed, the bill won’t supply all RBHS teachers with firearms. Some teachers, such as math teacher Amanda Dablemont, said they won’t choose to carry a gun even if it passes. Although Dablemont is reluctant to carry a weapon herself, she said she supports the passing of HB 70. “I would not personally bring a gun to school, but I would not personally choose to conceal and carry outside of school,” Dablemont said. “But I feel like if [some teachers] want the right to conceal and carry then they should have that right.” Dablemont, whose

husband works at outdoors outfitter and firearms retailer Midway USA, is skeptical of criticisms of the bill’s possible risks. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the total concealed carry permits on file issued to Boone County residents number 3,983. “How many misfires have you heard of happening in our town from the people who are carrying guns?” Dablemont said. “When’s the last time you heard of someone in our town dying from conceal and carry? Or getting hurt from conceal and carry?” HB 70 has also won the support of RBHS sophomore Clarissa Curry. Many of Curry’s family members possess concealed carry permits, and Curry herself said she has occasionally fired weapons at shooting ranges. “I definitely think [the bill] is a good idea,” Curry said. “As much as there is opposition to it, the mass shootings have happened in many of the states with some of the strictest gun control laws.” The House hasn’t scheduled the next hearing for HB 70, but Missouri representatives will likely vote on the bill before the end of the 97th session. If voted through, the bill is proposed to be effective by Aug. 28, 2013. “There’s quite a few bills out there that are helping promote school safety,” Jones said. “I want to make sure to continue that discussion and to make sure that our children are safe so that they can go to school.”

photo used with permission from Associated Press

Nightclub fire kills hundreds


arly on Sunday, Jan. 27, a fire ravaged a popular nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, killing at least 233 and hospitalizing 90 more. The Kiss nightclub held 2,000 people when the fire broke out, double the maximum capacity. The club also held an expired license. “The Brazilian people are the ones who need me today,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said. “I want to tell the people of Santa Maria in this time of sadness that we are all together.” The club featured a pyrotechnic show that night. After acoustic insulation in the nightclub caught fire on stage, guards prevented patrons from escaping so they would pay their bills from the club, believing there was merely a fight. Junior Cameron Warder believes the incident, while horrible, could serve some purpose. He thinks the fire can set an example of the importance of safety regulations. “It’s tragic,” Warder said. Clubs should “have safety regulations ... to prevent such a tragedy ... [and have] more safety exits and not lock the doors, trapping people inside.”

photo used with permission from Associated Press

Coalition seizes Malian airport


onday, Jan. 28, French troops seized a Timbuktu airport and started to fight their way into the city against Islamist extremists. The French and Malian forces are campaigning to oust the militants from the northern parts of the country. The U.S. has helped by providing intelligence and aircraft support. The extremists embedded themselves in the territory during last year’s military coup, which resulted in chaos in the north. The group banned music, smoking, drinking and watching sporting events on TV, and they destroyed historical sites. Human rights groups have decried the actions of the Malian soldiers as well. The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has denounced unruly behavior from the soldiers. “I urge the Malian authorities to put an immediate stop to the alleged abuses,” Bensouda said, and “to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the alleged crimes.” Although the exact nature of the situation is unknown, senior Vikram Arun said the U.S. is making the right choice to help Timbuktu. “I think the government’s doing the right thing,” Arun said. “The United Nations should get involved, too, because it’s a peace issue as well.”

art by Richard Sapp sources: stories by Atreyo Ghosh


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Community » » The ROCK » January 31, 2012

Staying in town for school

Which fits the bill?


Students encounter influx of college options brittany » Cornelison photo by Asa Lory

Stephens College

“I chose to go to Stephens, ... [because] I feel like it will potentially help me with my career outside of colleges, not just giving me a college experience.” –Gracie Strawn, senior

photo by Laurel Critchfield

Columbia College “I realized that their scholarship programs were really good so I wouldn’t have to go in debt when I start off my first year of college.” –Makayla Baker, senior

photo by Blake Becker

Moberly Area Community College “I wasn’t exactly ready for a big college, so what my guidance counselor advised was that I go to a junior college such as Moberly.” –Erik Miller, senior

photo by Aniqa Rahman

University of Missouri - Columbia

RBHS teachers, MU grads, give advice

“I’m interested in computer engineering as a profession, and they have one of the best engineering schools in the country. They also have an extremely reasonable tution for in-state applicants.” –Ricky Shinkle, senior

The Question: How can local college-bound students have an out-of-state experience?

to Mizzou.’ We just want you to be prepared with more information.” The rate of in-state applications he decision to go to college in-state or may be attributed to the difference travel away always poses a dilemma to in the price of tuition for in-state seniors. The University of Missouri-Coapplicants versus the price for nonlumbia is the No. 1 choice in college for residents. Missouri high school graduates, and one-third At MU, the price of tuition for a of these college-bound seniors choose to attend resident is $269.40 per credit, but for outthe University, according to Howof-state applicants $470.30 is added to the ever, many seniors argue that going to MU in-state tuition price. Even though MU may could require students to sacrifice the benefits be a more financially secure place for Misthat other colleges may have to offer them. souri students, many seniors choose to go Senior Maggie Washer faces such compliaway just to get the feel for a new town. cations. She said it is important to think about “I just feel like I’ve already done the Mizwhere the money will come from in advance. zou thing, like I’ve gone to the sporting events, Washer’s father works for the University of Misand I’ve been to all the restaurants so I already souri and she will receive a 50 percent discount know the scene and I sort of want to do someon tuition in addition to various scholarships thing else for my college experience,” Washer she has already applied for. If Washer chooses said. “I feel like I’ve put in the work to get to go out-of-state, her parents will fund her up the grades and get the scores that I could go to the amount that her tuition would be at MU. somewhere else.” “I have four younger siblings so [my parBeing able to talk about their college expeents] are going to have to fork out some money rience doesn’t mean students have to move for all of us. It’s expensive, and it would just be away, Lauren Breen, Boone County’s admiseasier if we all just went to Mizzou,” Washer sions representative, said. She explains that said. “They’ve been pretty encouraging for me having a well-rounded college experience to apply [to] other places and sort of get a sense is dependent on the attitude of the students. of what I want, but they’ve also stressed the fi“As far as making it an “out-of-state” experinancial aspect and making good decisions.” ence, I think students find campus becomes its The choices made about money for college own community and doesn’t feel like the same are some of the most crucial ones, Rock Bridge town they grew up in,” Breen said in an email inHigh School senior counselor Jane Piester said. terview. “When you have over 30,000 students She aids students in their college selection on campus, you see different faces every process on a daily basis. Because this is one day and find there opportunities to particof the biggest decisions to be made by teenipate in new activities and experiences.” agers, Piester said RBHS is doing everything But not all students are looking at they can to prepare them for their futures. college as a way to escape their home“I think there are some students that are town. Senior Dalton Maggard said even thinking about the cost and I think there are though he’s lived in Columbia for a while, he other students who rewouldn’t mind stayally don’t think about it ing a little longer. that much,” Piester said. I think just the names of “I’m not opposed “I do think that the perto MU at all, I think the universities, being sonal finance class has it would offer a lot. A how popular they are and really helped students lot of people just want be more aware of debt how talked about they to get out of the state and how that’s going and that’s their reaare among students and to affect them once they son for leaving, but get out of school, too.” teachers, kind of pressures I don’t think that’s Guidance counselors kids to go to them. ” the reason at all [for aren’t the only people me],” Maggard said. looking to help students “I’ve grown up in Coin choosing a college. Dalton Maggard lumbia and lived here Extended Educational » senior almost all my life so it Experience teacher Marwould be a big jump ilyn Toalson said the going from living here and going through EEE department is doing all they can to give school here to leaving … and I think both my students an idea of what college they would be parents don’t want me to leave quickly and get most compatible with. About 180 seniors from out. They want me to stay in Columbia.” RBHS will go to Mizzou, Toalson said, which Since this decision is so daunting to many makes scheduling college visits and meetings seniors, guidance counselors try to make it easwith counselors even more important. ier for them by providing them options. Piester “Kids are having to make real economic said she wants to help guide students in the decisions so ... we need to give them informaright direction, but doesn’t want to limit their tion, so if it’s right for them, they’ll know it and opportunities. they’re not just going to Mizzou because they “I’m really careful just to kind of listen and think they have to,” Toalson said. “I don’t think provide just general information. I wouldn’t rewe have any more emphasis on ‘You should go ally encourage a student one way or another,”


“ I think that MU is a fantastic school. I’m still going to MU and am working on my specialist degree and starting a Ph.D. I think that you get to work with great professors who aren’t only good practitioners, but there are also great researchers, so they have some different interests you might get at other schools.” –Kathryn FishmanWeaver

“Don’t go home. Stay on campus. Make new friends. Live in the residence halls. Don’t live off campus. Involve yourself [with] as many things as you can possibly get involved in on campus. It’ll be completely different than living in Columbia.” –David Graham

art by Paige Martin

Piester said. “I encourage them to do their research, I encourage them to do college visits, whether they’re in-state or out-of-state and just try and find the school that’s the best fit for them.” There are many pressures when it comes to choosing the right college. Whether it’s money, location or parents that pushes students toward one school over another, it’s important that the students have a say. “I think just the names of the universities, being how popular they are and how talked about they are among students and teachers, kind of pressures kids to go to them,” Maggard said. “Because my dad works at the University I’ve really taken into consideration what he’s said and I really appreciate it a lot. I feel like I can trust his advice.” Though Mizzou has its credentials, it’s important for students to make educated decisions. Grades and GPA are often stressed in the high school environment, but the financial aspect is an overarching deciding factor. “MU is a good school; it has a lot to offer and since I don’t really know what I want to do, going to a big school that has a lot of options would be nice,” Washer said. “I mean it also boils down to the money; at the end of the day that’s the biggest deal.”

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with staying at home and keeping your same group of friends. You’ll meet a few people from your major or from your other classes, but it is a pretty categorically different experience to go somewhere completely new and only know a handful of people or less.” –Greg Irwin

art by Paige Martin


« Features

January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

Roommates add stress to college life afsah » Khan


long with many collegebound students across the nation, senior Rachel Kiehne debates which school to attend next year, weighing the pros and cons of each school. However, the topic of residence halls is one she will face regardless of where she ends up. For Kiehne, going off to college and living in a residence hall next fall leads to questions about roommates and the strong possibility that she will have to live with someone she has never met before. “None of my close friends are going to ... the school I’m going to, but I think if I had a choice, I’d like to stay with a friend just because I knew that we would get along, and we kind of have similar tastes,” Kiehne said. “But, I’m going to be [rooming] with a random person. ” Kiehne worries she won’t be able to adapt to a picky roommate. She recognizes some people are very selective about their living conditions, and sometimes roommate expectations and needs collide. “I’m kind of concerned that when I go to sleep, I always have to have a TV on, and if I’m roomed with somebody that’s like, ‘I have to sleep in complete silence and complete dark,’ then that might be an issue,” Kiehne said. “I know I’m also a heavy sleeper, so I don’t always wake up to my alarm, so that also might make the person mad at me.” While Kiehne prepares to leave for college next year, 2008 RBHS alumna Shannon Kiehl has already been through situations in which she had to deal with roommates. After living in a dorm, Kiehl switched to living in an apartment with three other girls. Through the process, Kiehl saw the issues that came with dorm life. “One of the problems with the dorms is if you get a random roommate, sharing can be an issue,” Kiehl said, along with “people that are getting into your personal stuff.”

Along with Kiehl, Kiehne accepts the potential conflicts that come with roommates. She knows it’s possible to end up with a roommate who is hard to deal with. Her sister, a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, faced a similar problem in a residence hall. The suite-style rooms, made for two people and connected to another room by a bathroom, caused an issue for her sister. “My sister made really good friends with one of the girls from the other suite, and the girl from the other suite didn’t get along with her roommate at all so the girl moved into my sister’s room,” Kiehne said. “There were three people living in one room and one person living in the other. Apparently the room was pretty much a big mess because there were three beds in there that shouldn’t have been there.” Problems among roommates can occur for students at any college. Frankie Minor, the Director of Residential Life at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said residence halls are a big jump from the life many of the students led before college. “Having a roommate is a relatively new experience for most of

our students,” Minor said. “We offer some tips ... about things you can talk about, what makes for a good roommate relationship.” The roommate selection process occurs online, with students choosing a certain space out of many choices. Minor looks at certain factors to pair students but often allows students to pick their own roommates. “When a student chooses a room, the only criteria that they look at is if that person is a smoker or not,” Minor said. “We don’t allow smoking in the residence halls, but we do recognize that some students are smokers and that some students have a sensitivity to that. ... So our process won’t allow a student who has indicated that they are a smoker to live with a student who has indicated that they would prefer not to live with a smoker.” This arranging of roommates is done exclusively for residence halls, so problems can occur in apartments as well, where the lifestyle is more independent than in a residence hall. Kiehl saw a difference between living in an apartment versus on campus, especially with multiple roommates. “[In] an apartment, usually one person kind of takes over … and

another one kind of chips in,” Kiehl said. “I had issues with a roommate who didn’t pay for three or four months, and I had to ask her. Doing housework [is an issue] too, like pitching in to clean.” The change in lifestyle was abrupt for Kiehl, she said, because of a lack of mental preparation on her part. This led her to have some issues with one of her roommates. “I actually didn’t [prepare myself] because I roomed with a lot of my really close friends. The only problem I ever had [in the apartment] was with my random roommate,” Kiehl said. “She was the only person I ever had an issue with. But even if we did … have issues sometimes, we always got past them.” Minor aims to avoid such conflicts that might happen between roommates during their stay in the residence halls. However, if two students have an argument over their living arrangement, Minor vies for peace. “College students are young adults, and part of that is beginning to make some independent decisions on their own, so typically we will not require students to move apart,” Minor said. “If you and your roommate

really aren’t getting along, we go through a series of processes where we talk about what’s the source of the issue.” If the problem cannot be resolved through private conversation between the students, the next step is to talk to “peer advisors” who can often facilitate a difficult conversation. While preparing for any problems that may arise from living arrangements in college, Kiehne is still optimistic that she will be able to deal with whatever is thrown her way. “I think I can get along with people pretty well,” Kiehne said. “I don’t think I will have problems being friends with someone unless it’s a picky living situation that they got mad at me [for].” Kiehl believes independent living caters to the skill of cooperation. She says her own experience helped her learn how to deal with others in many circumstances. “You definitely grow up ... because you learn to take on more responsibility and really learn to live on your own,” Kiehl said. “Sometimes it can be kind of hard, but it’s really fun and really exciting because you’re finally growing up to be an adult.”

art by Hyelee Won source:, as reposted by the Huffington Post

Asian countries reevaluate separation, political differences daphne » Yu


ess than 150 years ago, politics and culture divided the U.S. into the two factions of the Civil War. Today, a nation still firmly divided by politics and culture, in addition to its demilitarized zone across the 38th parallel, is Korea. After a rough start to the 20th century, where constant wars with other military powers in Asia left the Koreans no peace, the last straw on the buckling country came in 1948, when the Cold War bred the establishment of two governments in Korea: democracy, aided by the U.S. in the south and communism in the north, supported by the Soviet Union. While hopes of reuniting the country rose and fell during the Korean War, they have now been re-invigorated with the election of South Korea’s Park Geun-Hye, who will take office in February. Her for-


elee Won y Hy tb

eign policy includes reaching out to North Korea with what she calls “trustpolitik,” which will renew humanitarian aid to build social and cultural exchanges. Hyoeun Kang, a South Korean junior at RBHS, has always known of the existence of the split. After meeting two North Koreans during her time in South Korea, Kang’s sympathy goes out to them not because of their restrictions, but their financial deprivations and their limited development of opinions. “I was really surprised and shocked that they needed to do everything all about Kim Jeong Il,” Kang said. “They need to listen to music and watch movies about Kim Jeong Il, and the citizens cannot watch [or listen to] foreign movies or music.” A hot topic in her education in South Korea, she remembers learning about the vast differences between the two nations. While she had never feared the other side, that all changed one November afternoon when the North Korean artillery let loose on the South Korean Yeonpyeong Island in 2010. With the event plastered all over the news, Kang could not escape the reality of the attack. “When I first heard that, I was freaking out because many people were dying, and it was such a big thing that happened,” Kang said. “My parents were surprised too, and they were sad [that] people ­— so many people — were dying with no reason.” Kang still sees the countries as populated by the same people, though she’s not sure unity is the best thing. The South Korean Ministry of Unification estimates the unification of the Korean Peninsula

would mean South Korea paying seven percent of its Gross Domestic Product for the next ten years, but it would allow for expansion of economic growth. Kang says politics, however, is the main divide. “In my opinion, it is good to help them make good living conditions,” Kang said. However, “I think it’s hard for unity because we have totally different living conditions and policies.” Differences in governing styles also resulted in a debate between the Republic of China, known as just China today, and the People’s Republic of China, also known as Taiwan. China calls Taiwan its province, but Taiwan has its own government and economy. The ambiguity over territorial claims came at the end of the Chinese Civil war in 1949 when the Kuomintang and Communist parties fought for control. Now, China operates under a communist government and Taiwan under a democracy, but the two survive on peaceful terms. Briana Marsh, 2010 RBHS alumna, is a Chinese major at the University of Central Missouri studying abroad in Beijing, China and recently visited Taiwan. She says there is no noticeable difference in the standard of living between the two nations, though a “huge” one lies in internet censorship. In China, Marsh said communist colors only showed during the Chinese presidential elections. “They were especially strict on internet use and shut down a bunch of sites. You couldn’t even use Google. It was a tough time,” Marsh said. “In terms of the Internet, there’s definitely a lack of freedom. But ... that’s the only area that I’m able to tell I’m in a communist country.” While the two countries are on relatively

good terms, Marsh said, there is no need or possibility of reuniting. Social studies teacher David Graham said there’s also more than one dividing factor keeping two “sides” apart in any country, and for countries that are divided longer, it is harder for them to reunite. “Taiwan and China seem so different, not only politically, but economically and socially, and the same can be said for North and South Korea,” Graham said. “When they stayed split up ... it seemed that they really went different ways [in terms of the] westernization of Taiwan and North Korea.” However, Marsh said the political obstacle in the way of unification and separation of China and Taiwan is complex. During her time in China and visit to Taiwan, she talked to the people there about their views on the separation issue. While “Taiwan is basically their own country with their own government, their own currency, and they do everything independent[ly], China can’t say Taiwan is independent because all the other provinces and areas in China would want to be independent from China,” Marsh said. “It’s a delicate situation where [Taiwan] is technically independent, but [China] can’t admit it.” No matter how strenuous the relationship between the two factions are, the people of North and South Korea and Taiwan and China come from the same roots. “You can’t convince me that there aren’t relatives from each side of North and South Korea and China and Taiwan that are ... generations that ... remember being in the other country,” Graham said. “It seems like no one is willing to give in and say the other side is right, so ideologically, I think is the biggest divide.”




taste what

started it all © 2013 McDonald’s Corporation.

Features » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013


when hotter heads prevail Fisticuffs shatter old perceptions jacqueline » LeBlanc


Then a freshman at Jefferson Junior High School, sophomore Larrell Green walked into his locker room ready to prepare for the last two football games of the year against West Junior High School and Oakland Junior High School. He was upset and it had been a bad week, but football offered an escape. But the sport that Green loved so much wouldn’t be able to provide him solace after learning from a fellow teammate that he had been kicked off the team.  After talking to his coaches, Green handed in his equipment and left the facility.   Prior to arriving at JJHS for football practice that morning, Green sat in a bleak room in front of the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education.  He was on trial for hitting his principal during a fit of rage.   On the day of the incident, Green was sitting in the JJHS cafeteria in study hall at the end of the day.  He had gotten into an argument with another student earlier in the day and was looking forward to going home. When the bell finally rang, instead of gathering books and catching the bus like he had planned, Green was exchanging blows to the head with the other student. “Me and someone else had gotten into an argument.   He was talking about me and stuff, and I just got mad about it, and I tried to walk away from it, but he just kept like pushing me around,” Green said. “He came up to me [at the end of class], and I turned around, and we just started fighting.” When Green and the other student began to swing, administrators rushed to halt the fight.   “We started going at it, and the principal was like pulling me off.” Green said. “I was so mad that I just accidentally swung at the principal, and when I did that, it just made it worse. I didn’t know what to do, so I was just fighting.” Green was sent to the office and immediately sentenced to 10 days of out of school suspension in a program called ACE, which is an alternative program sponsored by the University of Missouri-Columbia, located in West Junior High School. While in the alternative program, Green awaited his hearing in front of the CPS school board to hear whether or not he would be expelled or sent to a detention center since it was not his first fighting incident. Green ended up spending 15 days of suspension in the program before he was able to have his hearing.   “They brought the principal that I had hit into [the hearing], and I apologized to him,” Green said. “Him and the judge were talking back and forth about what they were going to do about [the situation] and in the middle of it I apologized to him for what I did, and he understood where I was coming from. He knew I didn’t mean to hit him. He knew that I was just super mad, and that’s why I did it.” If a student in CPS physically fights another, and it is that student’s first offense, he or she is given a five day suspension.  On the student’s second offense the he or she is given a ten day suspension. School Resource Officer Keisha Edwards said if a student fights at all it is considered a crime and he or she can be charged with peace disturbance or assault and consequences vary with age. If the fight is mutual, it’s considered a peace disturbance, but without consent of both parties, it’s considered assault, Edwards said. Because fights are considered a crime, the fighters are arrested and the police handle the case. Students 16 and under are juveniles, while 17 and older are considered adults. If the student is considered an adult, there is a possibility that he or she could be released on summons. Edwards fills out a form and then the student is released and promises to appear in court or be transported to the police department where the police will have to post a bond for either the assault or peace disturbance. In 2011 the Centers for Disease Control surveyed a nationally represented sample of youth. Twelve percent of students in grades 9 to 12 reported being in a physical fight on school grounds preceding the survey, while 16 percent of male students and 7.8 percent of female students reported being in a physical fight on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey. Off school grounds, 32.8 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported being in a physical fight in the 12 months preceding the survey; the prevalence was higher among males (40.7 percent) than females (24.4 percent). At RBHS there were four physical fights between students first semester according to Edwards, and only one fight last year.   Elizabeth Johnson, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Liberty, Mo., said the drive to fight depends on the situation; however, most of the time it stems from natural survival instincts. “We all have a survival instinct of fight, flight or freeze, which says if you’re in danger or there’s a threat to a person, you’re either going to fight, you’re going to freeze or you’re going to run.” Johnson said. “You know animals get aggressive when they’re under attack, and we’re no different. There are times when they view a perceived threat and that’s the thing with humans is that it doesn’t have to be a physical threat, it can be an emotional threat. Say they’re being bullied, say they’re being made fun of or say they’ve got triggers on their self esteem that are bad, sometimes they’re going to want to fight.” Johnson said the urge to fight can also be caused by stress, trauma and self-esteem issues. This year at RBHS, Edwards said the majority of fights could be attributed to social media sites. While Johnson said fighting is mainly contributed to self-protective in-

stincts, the need to observe a fight can be caused by culture. “We live in a culture that we are adrenaline junkies. If you look at the movies today versus even the movies from the ‘80s, you are seeing ... more fascination with fighting and violence in general, so it’s kind of this culture thread. This culture that says, ‘Hey, that’s a big deal,’” Johnson said. “When you’re scanning the crowd and something violent is happening, it’s kind of like seeing a trainwreck. If a trainwreck is happening in front of you are you going to look away? No, you’re going to look, and that’s part of nature. And part of that response is knowledge and curiosity. And curiosity can protect you because if you know what is going on, then you might feel safer or you might be able to protect yourself.” Junior Riley Johnson believes there is nothing wrong with watching a fight as a bystander, and that fighting is just a natural way of dealing with problems. Although he has never been in a fight himself, he holds the philosophy of “duking it out until one gives up.” “Especially in high school, diplomacy between students gets you nowhere. To actually get something done, you have to knuckle up,” Riley Johnson said. “I enjoy watching fights because it gives me the opportunity to see who is all talk and to see who is a better fighter so I know not to mess with them. I find it interesting to know the reason behind the fight. Usually it’s about something ridiculous.” Riley Johnson once recorded a video of two people fighting in junior high, and while he hasn’t recorded one recently, he said that it’s only fair for bystanders to videotape a fight. “I think it is perfectly fine to videotape them. People need to see what happened exactly so there [are] no rumors.” Johnson said, “I don›t think that the videos should be posted to YouTube unless consent is given by both parties. It’s fine if it is posted only if no names are associated with the video.” Edwards said there are no consequences for watching or recording. However, bystanders could play a larger role in the outcome of the fight, Edwards said. “Here’s the thing about a bystander, ... they could be the instigator to keep the people fighting ... or they could be participants in fights,” Edwards said. “They could be bystanders one moment and then the fight ends up on the ground and now they are participants in the fight because they have chosen to get in and kick.” Instead of being expelled, the police department charged Green with peace disturbance and assault, and he was sentenced to 20 hours of community service. He also had the choice of which junior high school he would attend for the remainder of the school year. He decided to attend WJHS, in order to give himself a fresh start and change his ways. Although he would attend WJHS instead of JJHS, Green believed he would be allowed to finish the rest of the football season with his team at JJHS. However, when he became aware of the fact  that he wouldn’t be allowed on the team anymore, he learned the intensity of the consequences for his actions. “I thought I was still on the team, but I [wasn’t]. I got real mad,” Green said. “I couldn’t do football anymore, and I wasn’t allowed on school grounds. ... I just gave up on sports ... and I was so hurt that [I couldn’t play]. [I was going to be on the RBHS football team] this year. I started going to the practices in the summer,  but I was going through all that stuff so I had to stop.” Ultimately, Edwards believes the consequences for people who do engage in a fight are usually greater than just the disciplinary aspect. She said every student who speaks with her after a fight claims to have regretted the decision. “I just don’t think that it’s worth it after the fight is over...I wish they would consider all consequences involved ... You just never know what can happen in a fight,” Edwards said. “People think that it’s one of those things where there’s only bumps or bruises, [but] there could be the element of ‘I hit this person in the head and they passed out and never got back up.’ If you lose and all of the bystanders have now videotaped this fight and it’s on YouTube and everyone gets to see how you lost and it’s embarrassing and ... other people are teasing you about it. There’s so many elements that come into play about why you should not put yourself in that situation to begin with.” Green believes his experience has changed him for the better. While he upholds his decision to stand up for himself and had fought on other occasions before this last incident, he believes that it is better to ignore what people say about him and keep to himself.   “I’ve been in other fights before but nothing as big. I did care [about getting in trouble] but at the same time I didn’t,” Green said. “I don’t regret the accident. I regret hitting the teacher.  If that didn’t happen I probably wouldn’t be who I am today, and if that accident didn’t happen I would probably still be hanging with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble, but I haven’t gotten into trouble. ” While winning a fight brought Green satisfaction before the incident, he’s learned that fighting is not an appropriate way to handle a situation, and he believes the concept of winning or losing a fight is irrelevant.   “Basically I don’t even know why people say [whether you win or lose a fight] because at the same time, if you did win, you still lost,” Green said. “It doesn’t even matter who won or who lost because at the end both people are getting hurt. Its just a pride thing.  I don’t believe in it.”

famous f ights throughout history 1400 B.C. Mayan Ball Game: The na-

496 B.C. The Art of War: Manual writ-

ten by ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu for all-out combat that became a cultural touchstone for thousands of years. Even today, it’s mandatory reading for many businessmen for its philosophical applications about defeating the enemy.

1599 A.D. St. Crispin’s Day: One

of the most famous speeches of all time and one of the first pump-up speeches. Given by King Henry in Shakespeare’s, Henry V, before the Battle of Agincourt. It’s well known not only for its wonderful prose but for its imagery.

1798 A.D. The Rising of the Moon: An

Irish folk song about the failed rebellion of 1798 that led to some of the many atrocities in the Ireland/ England conflict. It’s famous for its melancholy tone of hope and excitement for the rebels before they were overcome and killed.

1979 A.D. Apocalypse Now: Consid-

ered one of the crowning achievements of Western cinema, the intense Apocalypse Now is a monument to violence and war set in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Based on the novel Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now is not only famous for Marlon Brando’s stunning performance, but also for its frank and frightening portrayal of war.

tional sport of the Mayans. Similar to a mash-up of modern day basketball and racquetball, except for the lack of contact penalties, use of tournaments as a proxy for actual wars and the ritualistic postgame sacrifices.

70-80 A.D. Colosseum: A colos-

sal (hence the name) stadium used in ancient Italy to put the ripping of flesh for others’ amusement on the center stage of Roman high culture. The arena remains a popular tourist attraction to this day.

1701 A.D. 47 Ronin: Described by

one scholar as Japan’s ‘national legend,’ the story of these masterless samurai avenging their master’s death is well known for its example of loyalty. The 47 soldiers plotted for two years to kill the lord Akira. After succeeding in their revenge, 46 committed ritual suicide, while one traveled to inform the master’s family that they had avenged him.

1847-82 A.D. Jesse James: A famous outlaw and murderer native to the 19th-century American Southwest. So famous, in fact, that during his lifetime he was considered a modern Robin Hood. In death he was immortalized in the loquaciously titled ‘The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.’

infographic by Adam Schoelz and Jake Alden photo illustration by Aniqa Rahman


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January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

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Personality Profiles » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013

Name:Harry Stretz Job:Mentor

Name:John “Man Hands” Sabath Job:Control Systems Engineering

Name:Tim George Job:Hardware


Name: John Gillis Job: Control Systems Engineering

Engineering Name:Morgan Berk Job: Marketing

Name:Justin Parker Job: Marketing

Name:Nishant Sinha Job:Control Systems Engineering

Name: Jacob Blackmore Job: Hardware Engineering

feature photo by Maria Kalaitzandonakes

Robotics team gears up for next project, combines skills maria » Kalaitzandonakes


n just a few short months, a group of teenagers must design, assemble, code and run a robot powerful enough to complete a set of tasks. This year the Army Ants, RBHS’s robotics team, have to create a robot that must first shoot large frisbees into different level goals, then climb a jungle gym structure and hang there. Senior Theo Choma, one of the engineers, said after watching the video challenge, a group of about 30 to 40 high school engineers sat in a room and hammered out their ideas. “Design is the hardest [part of my job],” Choma said. Everyone has “got their own ideas, and everyone’s idea is the ‘best idea ever,’ and it’s trying to figure out which one is actually

the best. It’s getting the emotional detachment that you need there and being able to overcome the obstacles in the course.” But the challenge is much more than just creating the robot. The marketing sub-team must raise upwards of $10,000 for the equipment and materials used to make the creation. The programming sub-team has to write the code, the words that put life into the machine. Choma said the team meets every day after school from about three to six p.m., and they often work over the weekend, as well. However, Choma said their dedication has the possibility of really paying off. If they make it through regionals, they proceed to internationals. Choma got his own taste of internationals the Army Ants’ first year when they

received the Rookie Award for creating a fully functional, and not just defensive, robot their first year in competition. This meant their robot could compete and finish the tasks, an impressive feat for a first-year team. “It was the coolest experience ever because … during internationals there were four or five [games] going [on] at once,” Choma said. “There are teams everywhere and … one guy had a boom box, and they were all dancing and singing and just having a good time, and it was just so cool.” But the competition isn’t all fun and games, Choma said. Although it’s his time to take a rest to watch the show, there is another part of the team that has to kick it into gear. “There are two distinct atmospheres [at regionals]. And if you’re on the team, you’ll experience one

Substitute exceeds expectations nomin-erdene » Jagdagdorj


or the last five years, now-substitute teacher Tyler McSparin was a college football coach, first at Lindenwood University, then at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before that, he was a high school, then college, football player, devoted to the sport since grade three. Last year, after 14 years of football, McSparin decided to return to high school — as a teacher, rather than as a student. Now, one month since his first day of teaching, McSparin stands before the eager eyes of honors and Advanced Placement chemistry students each day. Since the start of second semester, McSparin has been substituting for AP and honors chemistry teacher Gregory Kirchhofer after his car accident on New Year’s Eve. In the beginning of the month, McSparin devoted time each night to reviewing the AP chemistry textbook, he said, as well as lesson plans. Initially, McSparin was to sub for AP physics and honors chemistry teacher Stephanie Harman when she plans to go on maternity leave over Spring break. “He’s amazing,” Harman said. “He’s a math guy, and math and science, especially chemistry, go pretty hand-in-hand sometimes, so I think it’s not a stretch for him. ... He’s been phenomenal.” Senior and AP chemistry student Megan Schulte said class with McSparin has not been too much of a change from the past. Each block consists of a lecture period, followed by independent practice, which is consistent with how Kirchhofer teaches. “I feel like [McSparin] probably had a lot of pressure because it was going to be an extended sub position, so he would actually have to teach, as opposed to most subs,” Schulte said. “I think he’s doing the best he can, and that’ll be good enough.” McSparin’s subject of choice, though, is math, which he was always good at, he said. He said he likes math because the “answer is always the answer.”

photo by Patrick Smith

Enlightening methods: Substitute teacher Tyler McSparin demonstrates the glowing effect of gas in a chemistry classroom.

“I was always good at math. I couldn’t see myself teaching anything else,” McSparin said. “Math just seemed like the one thing I could remember from high school [that] just made sense to me, and I felt like I could help make sense of it to high school students.” The decision to get certified in math came as easily as the switch to teaching. Coaching college football taught him a lot about his priorities, McSparin said. When he started the job, he didn’t realize how much strain football season and traveling to recruit could put on relationships at home, he said. After he was married, though, he realized he couldn’t be the father and husband he wanted to be if he stayed in such a time-consuming job. Becoming a high school football coach and teacher would give him the same thrill of the sport with much more time for family and more opportunities to connect with kids. College coaching did give him, however, a determination he hopes to carry into the classroom. “If there was somebody in class that was trying to understand a concept, and they just couldn’t get it, and I said, ‘Well ... I’m just gonna stop,’ that’s like failure to me,” McSparin said. “I’m not going to be in anything to fail. I didn’t become a football coach to lose. You want to win. You want that kid to understand it. So you just keep trying it different ways.” This perseverance is one of the traits Jamie McSparin likes best about her husband. Jamie McSparin, who teaches honors biology, astronomy and environmental science, has been telling him about her classes for the last two years. Now, the two know some of the same students and have more relatable experiences. Her husband now has “a lot more empathy” for her fatigue at the end of the day, Jamie McSparin said. Each evening, after the couple drives home together, Tyler McSparin prepares for the next day. Jamie McSparin said she can already tell her husband will succeed as a teacher. “He’s very confident, and he’s very personable. And, one of my favorite things about him, he’s very good at explaining things,” Jamie McSparin said. “If you don’t get it, he’ll explain it a completely different way until you do get it. While Tyler McSparin is confident in his ability to teach, he fears seeming boring to the uneager. After one month of teaching, Tyler McSparin has noticed that sometimes, when he can tell his class is not engaged, he can feel his voice growing louder and his speech faster. He said he looks forward to seeing what his students do in the future, but, on a smaller scale, he hopes to celebrate smaller feats. “There’s a moment when it clicks,” Tyler McSparin said. “That’s really rewarding to me, like to think, ‘I did my job today. Not everybody ... could teach that concept, but I managed to get it through their thick skull.’” Between keeping Kirchhofer’s students up to par in chemistry until spring break, when Kirchhofer plans to return, and preparing for a child of his own, who is due May 30, Tyler McSparin also has another person to advise. “I have a little brother; he is 22,” Tyler McSparin said. “He’s currently working as a college football coach and getting his master’s in education at the same time. So yeah, I’m going to try and talk him out of being a college football coach, and hey, maybe he’ll be a high school teacher some day.”

–– but not both. And the dichotomy I’m talking about here is being in the stands versus being in the pit,” Choma said. “When you’re in the stands, there’s music playing, it’s a good time, everyone’s dancing and singing and cheering. ... It’s always fun and relaxing in the stands. But when you are in the pit, it is crunch time. You are stressed like you have never been stressed before. … You have to fix your robot, go through a checklist, make sure everything is ready, and it’s got to be able to do just as well the last game. It’s that kind of pressure.” Senior John Sabath drove the robot at last year’s competition and felt that stress. But his main job is working on “the software side of things” during build season. He said he is excited for his second chance on the robot as well. He first was interested in robot-

ics as a kid, when he was fascinated with the work that NASA did. “I didn’t necessarily want to be an astronaut, but I thought it would be really cool to design the robots that were going out there and doing the things that humans can’t do,” Sabbath said. “That kind of sparked the interest in me.” Sabath said there is a lot of talent on the robotics team this year and a lot of great resources at their disposal. He believes the team has a very good chance this year, as with two years of experience under their belt, they know how to manage their time and robot better. “When students are allowed to use their own initiative and creativeness,” chief mentor Karl Christopher said, “they exceed anyone’s expectations at the high school level.”

It’s all in the eyes: RBHS alumna Bess Goodfellow stands next to a tree in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The objects hanging from the branches are locally known as “Nazar,” or “evil eyes”, and are said to protect against bad luck. photo provided by Bess Goodfellow

Year in Turkey provides unique experience alyssa » Sykuta


hen the bell rings to begin first hour, alumna Bess Goodfellow is already out of school. It is 3:52 p.m. in Izmir, Turkey, and Goodfellow has a culture to immerse herself in. Having completed the 24 credit requirements to leave RBHS, Goodfellow graduated one year early with the class of 2012. But instead of going to college like 64 percent of alumni in the United States, Goodfellow took hold of a chance to study abroad. In September 2012 she left for Turkey through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, hosted by a family in Izmir. “I figured going abroad would be an interesting experience,” Goodfellow said in an email interview. “I wanted to see new parts of the world and learn more about myself and other cultures. I was able to graduate early, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.” Goodfellow intends to stay in Turkey for 10 months, arriving last September and leaving this July. While there, she attends a Turkish school but also travels around the country. She takes the most delight in the “small moments” when it “really sinks in that I’m in Turkey.” Such moments include hearing the call to prayer echo from the imams around Izmir, exploring caves and sitting by the sea eating breakfast with friends. However, immersion in a radically different culture also comes with its shocks and disappointments. “The whole holiday season was pretty awful, because Turkey is a Muslim country.

They don’t do Christmas, but they go all out for New Year’s and do a lot of our Christmas stuff for New Year’s Eve. They have Christmas trees, give presents, sing Christmas songs and put up lights,” Goodfellow said. “And all of that would be awesome if it were done for Christmas, but the week between Christmas and New Year’s was just bizarre since Christmas was over for me, but I was still surrounded by all this Christmas stuff. Also, I ended up spending Christmas going to a Turkish bazaar in 60 degree weather, so it didn’t exactly feel like a real Christmas.” The difference in culture has already come as a bit of a shock to Goodfellow. However, social studies teacher David Graham, who had Goodfellow in Advanced Placement World Studies, said the chance to experience new societies is a great opportunity. As she was a “very smart,” and “caring and compassionate” student in AP World, Graham said he expects Goodfellow to be successful and is excited for her to expand her education. “I think that [studying abroad] helps you do what we try to get people to understand in AP World, which is that there’s a whole big world out there with a whole lot of different ideas, and it’s good to constantly be challenging your own ideas so that you can come to a more wellreasoned, more thought out conclusion,” Graham said. “I think that Bess always has done that in class, so I think it’s exciting to see what she’ll come up with when she goes out and kind of challenges

everything in the world out there.” While her travels abroad have challenged Goodfellow with learning a new language and growing accustomed to a new country, maintaining contact with friends back home has proven difficult. However, Goodfellow said her relationship with her family has, in fact, grown stronger. Even with an eight hour time difference the Goodfellows make time to talk. “Being far away has actually made me closer to my family somehow,” Goodfellow said. “It’s weird, and I’m not entirely sure why, but we’ve kept in touch really well. We don’t talk too often ... but our conversations are more meaningful and we make sure to send each other small messages to keep in touch. … Other than that, my relationships [with friends] have unfortunately dropped off.” Goodfellow still has a solid six months left to go, but she already has an idea of where life will take her next year. She has yet to make plans for the summer, but she intends to attend the University of Chicago next year. For now, though, Goodfellow still looks forward to learning more about Turkey and discovering more about herself at the same time. “I’m hoping to figure out a little more about myself and what I want to do with my life this year,” Goodfellow said. “I’m also learning a lot about Turkish culture and about the world in general, which is great. Also, I’m hoping to be really good at Turkish by the time I come back.”


« In-Depths January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

Search for the money tree proves fruitless alyssa » Piecko


fter turning in more than a dozen applications to various businesses around Columbia, junior Phoebe Johanningmeier was excited to hear back from her prospective employers — after all, a traditional rite of passage for teenagers is a first job. When no one replied after some time, Johanningmeier said the rejection was a tough pill to swallow. “I applied for 13 jobs. I didn’t get a call back. I didn’t get anything,” Johanningmeier said. “It’s kind of like, ‘Wow, 13 times I’ve tried,’ and it f e e l s like you’re like a failure. You’ve tried 13 times to get a minimum paying job, and no one wants you. It’s kind of depressing.” Getting a job in high school is becoming more of a struggle. Businesses aren’t allowing as many students into the workforce because of their lack of experience and limited availability. For high school students, many of whom are applying for their first job, the chances of employment are at a low 16 percent, compared to the 32 percent of high school students with jobs in 1990, according to an article in the Washington Times. Junior Marissa Soumokil said the reason jobs for high school students are scarce is because they are the alternative choice. “I think it’s especially hard living in a college town because first off [employers are] going to want to hire adults who just got laid off, so they can work because they know they can be more responsible than [high school students] would,” Soumokil said. “And then they want to get the college students because they’re older and have had more experience than we have. So then we’re at the third tier getting a job after all the other people have gotten the pickings.” English department chair Katie Glover, who manages Southwest Swim Association in the summer, said that Soumokil was on the right track — high schoolers face stiff competition from college students who have trouble finding a job. She said that while in the past, lifeguards have usually moved on by their freshman year of college, it would be unusual for someone to stop coming back to the pool. “They used to leave a lot more frequently, and normally when they were younger they would find jobs during the school year and so then they wouldn’t return to the pool, they would find jobs interning, job shadowing, and so then they wouldn’t return to the pool,” Glover said. “Throughout the years that I’ve been there, there have been a lot of people that said they weren’t going to come back and then they come back because they don’t find jobs where they go to school — Kirksville or Springfield, so then they end up coming back to the pool unexpectedly.” As the last choice for most employers, most high school applicants won’t get the job when up against older, more experienced competition. And laws against children working too long and in dangerous conditions

p u t a limit on what jobs high schoolers can work. Johanningmeier said these restrictions put the nail in the coffin for high schoolers going up against unfettered college kids. “We can’t do very many jobs because we’re 16. You know, you can’t do fryer, you can’t work the oven, and a lot of places you can’t do till or the cash register until you’re 18. It is impossible to get a job because of all the ridiculous laws that are against child labor,” Johanningmeier said. “If you have a 21-year-old college student or 20-year-old college student versus a 16-year-old high school student, they’ll choose the college student because they know that college student is allowed to do all the jobs that are offered at the employer.” Junior Elena Franck said the feeling of denial is never pleasant, but it can encourage people to keep moving forward and put a ‘fire in their belly’. People, she said, can use rejection as a tool to improve. “Obviously [rejection] is going to drop your self esteem a little bit,” Franck said, “but some people use that, and it fuels them to try to get the next job and be a better person.” To Glover, rejection didn’t seem to be the worst thing — students could use it like any other mistake, she reasoned, as a learning experience. She said many high school students think of themselves as more

art by Richard Sapp

qualified t h a n they are, and some have to learn the truth the hard way. “It can motiv a t e them to be more successful. They can attempt to figu r e out why they’re being rejected and alleviate those gaps and the reasoning,” Glover said. “Some of the kids that I know of complain because they want to be waitresses, because you actually make a lot of money as a waitress. But they don’t understand that you have to be a hostess for a while and prove yourself, or work at a drive-thru, prove yourself first. So they are applying for jobs where the

e m ployers can be somewhat selective and they have to prove themselves, and they don’t always want to do that.” Johanningmeier said the key for her was to not give up, and her mistake was being a passive searcher. She said she took the application process as a platform that allowed her to push to get the job. “I wasn’t being aggressive enough. You have to go in and pester the people to hire you. You have to be like, ‘Hey, my name’s Phoebe. Hire me, I really want this job,’” Johanningmeier said. “You have to continue to go in and ask to talk to the manager and be like, ‘Hey, I wanna work here. And I’m going to be one of those workers you can trust.’ You just have to basically get your name out there, so when they do run through the applications, if your name is on the résumé , they’ll be like, ‘We’ll keep her in mind.’” Because the job search is a personal experience, Johanningmeier said the application process plays a large part in whether a student will be accepted or not. She said being able to meet and talk to a manager could play a large difference in hiring decisions. “Either [applying online or in person] is fine. I personally like to see the manager so they see my face because if you’re applying for like a waitress job, they’ll hire you if you’re more attractive because you bring in more business,” Johanningmeier said. “So if they see you face-to-face, they might be more likely to hire you than if you’re online. It seems like online is kind of like you can’t see the person’s emotions; you can’t see what they look like. I mean, it’s kind of a first

impression that you haven’t gotten yet if you apply online versus if you turn in an application in person.” Glover said she watches her students for possible employees, and that responsibility and personality are the most important qualities she looks for. With a limited number of spots to fill because of returning guards, Glover said she can afford to be choosy. “Some [students] automatically expect to get a job because I like them, but I find them to be somewhat irresponsible and so I wouldn’t hire them. So I have the benefit of seeing a variety of characteristics and work ethic in students and then seeing whether or not I want to hire them,” Glover said. “If a student has shown both a positive attitude and personable and they’re responsible, then I’m more likely to hire them. But I can be pretty selective.” Even when faced with continual denial, Soumokil cautioned her peers against giving up. She said colleges love students that demonstrate responsibility, and a job is a large part of that. “I think colleges like to see wellrounded students, and they don’t just mean clubs,” Soumokil said. “They also want to see that you’re working and that you’re responsible enough for your boss and co-workers to trust you.” Rejection is never easy to deal with, but for high school students trying to find jobs it is a common occurrence, Johanningmeier said. But as long as students persevere, they can gain experience that will help them through life. “As a high school student, you have to realize our chances are a lot lower and that you have to go in and basically pester the people until they hire you,” Johanningmeier said. “You just have to keep out there. It’s competitive but it’s like the real world.” additional reporting by Adam Schoelz

Rejection of:

Various facets of teenage life alters perspective, lifestyle choices

1. Body Image

2. Religion

3. Sexual Preference

4. Food

5. Relationships

“All this pressure to be a specific size, shape or look is ludicrous because not only do everyone’s genes code for something unique, but ‘healthy’ is different for everyone because of it. It is impossible to all be the same, so it makes no sense to worship one person’s idea of what’s best for everyone else.”

“The only thing is maybe sometimes you’ll feel out of the loop because everyone else will have this general assumption that, you know, everyone else believes in God. But other than that I don’t think there’s that much of a bias against people of other religions. “

“I’ve always been open to people and their sexualities, but in high school [people] still reject different sexualities, just not in the same sense as in junior high. In high school it’s more of a joke because they tear down posters for [Gay-Straight Alliance] and things like that.”

“In some ways I feel my intolerance is for the better because I can’t eat so many of the foods that are unhealthy. Other times I get frustrated when everyone around me is enjoying something I can’t have.”

Rebecca Burke-Aguero, senior

Ian Gibbs, senior

Mary Arnold, junior

“Getting rejected [in relationships] helps people grow. They get sad and develop a way to get over the sadness. In that respect I feel like it’s very healthy. Doesn’t everyone say high school sucks? It’s just called growing up. Rejection is definitely a big part of growing up.”

Paige Martin, senior

Libby Snethen, senior

In-Depths » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013



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Pursuit of higher education ends in disappointment manal » Salim


n top of three Advanced Placement classes, three honors courses and extracurricular activities, including debate and student coalition, junior Whitney Cravens feels a bit overwhelmed. She admitted all the frustration and sleepless nights have been for a sole purpose: college admission. However, the looming question of college rejection remains dreadfully lodged in the back of Cravens’ mind. Cravens’ motivation to obtain a college education sprouts from reminders from her parents and mentors. Not getting a college education has never been an option for Cravens, and the fact that she will be attending a college like the University of Pennsylvania or Harvard has been inevitable since her birth. Although Cravens admits the possibility for acceptance to an Ivy League school is slim, her lifelong aspiration has been to attend such noble and prestigious academies. “I’ve always wanted to go [to Harvard]. I don’t know what it is about Ivy League schools,” Cravens said. “Maybe it’s the fact that they are the top colleges in the nation, and the best of the best go there, or maybe it’s the title, but anyone that knows me knows that I’m a very ambitious person, and I’m shooting for the best when it comes to colleges.” The best colleges are similarly shooting for the best and most-capable students. In 2011, Harvard College accepted a record low 6.2 percent of the applicants that year, according to And in 2011, Duke University similarly accepted a mere 13 percent of a record 29,689 applicants. The remaining majority of students were faced with rejection, and Cravens admits she would not find the news easy to swallow. “I would beat myself up [if I got rejected]. It would be devastating. It would probably be one of the most disappointing moments of my life, and I don’t want to face it, but I know I might,” Cravens said. “With colleges you can’t dwell on the fact that you didn’t get accepted but rather focus on the benefits of not going there and the benefits of going somewhere else instead.” There are advantages to pursuing another college following the rejection of an initial choice, according to Margo McCoy Howe, a school counselor who used to work for College

Board’s National Office for School Counselors major in in college, to completing counselor recrefused students should remember “that the ex- ommendation forms and talking to admissions perience they get at a different college that’s a representatives.” good fit may end up offering better opportuniAs a product of what the RBHS counselors ties.” strive to provide for students, Cravens already That said, regardless of how many benefits has in mind what colleges she will attend if one is reminded of that may come out of a re- rejected by her dream colleges. Cravens’ backjection, students such as Cravens may have to up colleges include the University of Missouri analyze and work with their personal feelings -Columbia and other schools with higher accepfollowing the experience. tance rates than Ivy League academies because “I would really have to tell myself that it is she believes it is important for students to keep OK and there are other places that would love their hopes high, but to be realistic at the same to have me,” Cravens said. “I would look at the time. numbers and try to console myself with the fact “[Back-up colleges] are tremendously imthat a very small, minportant because aliscule percent of people though it’s ideal to go get into [the] school and A college is a college... to the college of your that everything happens dreams, it isn’t always Your college experience going to happen,” Crafor a reason.” Rather than merely vens said, “and what will be what you make it.” shooting for an Ivy are you going to do League education, senior if it doesn’t pan out? Katie Phillips is keeping Katie Phillips Because sometimes it her options open with won’t, and as positive » senior as you are that you will deciding which colleges to attend. get accepted, you just Phillips applied to 15 never know.” different schools with Phillips isn’t set on a the hope of being accepted to at least a few. particular college that she wants to attend. She However, even if a college denied her accep- applied to such a long list of colleges she admits tance, Phillips would be content with herself for that she would be excited to go to any one of trying. them. But even if the college denied her admis“I’d rather be rejected from 14 schools than sion, Phillips admits that the blow wouldn’t be have only applied to one and spend the next all that bad. four years wondering if I could have gotten in. “A college is a college. Either way, you’ll I’m bound to get rejected from most of them, walk out with a college degree. Your college and hopefully not all of them, but I’ll be fine,” experience will be what you make it,” Phillips Phillips said. “So what if I was rejected; it’s just said. “Even though you didn’t get into Harvard, a school, and I can still get a great education and only got into your safe school, there are somewhere else.” countless students who worked really hard to There are, in fact, other institutions for stu- get into that safe school.” dents to obtain a college education. RBHS seAnd indeed, there are numerous students nior counselor Rachel Reed explains the role applying to colleges which often reject students of the guidance department in the application because of a lack of the means to provide for process. Counselors such as Reed are available their needs. to assure students that they will always have According to www.professionals.collegeboard. back-up colleges if faced with a rejection. com, when students are aware that decisions are “Our job during the application process var- based mainly on numbers during a competitive ies,” Reed said. “We do everything from help- year and not completely on the merits of the aping students figure out what they are interested plication, it makes the decision impersonal for in career wise, so they know what training they the students, which in turn helps them feel betwill need after high school, or what they should ter about their rejection.

“I think it’s a practicality thing. I don’t think colleges reject students to be mean. It’s absolutely necessary; they can’t have everyone that applies be at their university. I would say to some degree I agree with the rejection process, as disheartening as it is,” Cravens said. “Unfortunately, colleges have a capacity and not everyone can be admitted, and I understand that.” Even if not everyone can be admitted to a certain college, there is always one out there for students to rebound on, which is most probably a better fit for the student, according to Reed. In discovering these colleges to pursue after refusal from an initial choice, counselors such as Reed are available to assist students with discovering colleges that may provide a better fit for the student. They “help [students] get a better idea of some careers that may be a good fit for them and then we determine what kind of postsecondary training those careers require, and then what types of institutions they would be interested in attending to receive that training,” Reed said. “I’ve also provided students with information on how to find schools that have the major they are interested in pursuing, how to find and apply for scholarships.” For Phillips, college rejection is merely the inevitable, and she has already prepared for the experience by reminding herself that the denial, to her, is simply not that big of a deal. “High rejection rates make it harder for me to get in, sure, but it is what it is, and I can’t change that,” Phillips said. “For some people, college wasn’t ever an option, but you’re getting an opportunity millions of people aren’t — and how you did in college will matter more than where you went.” Besides remembering that there is more than just one college out there for students to attend, if faced with refusal from a college, Cravens suggests remembering to keep one’s hopes up for the better opportunities to come. “The most important thing to remember is that if that college rejects you, they know you are not a proper fit for their institution, and they are helping you,” Cravens said. “Rejections may be obstacles and devastating and difficult to overcome, but ultimately, they are just one thing that helps you get on the right path towards your future, and don’t let anything stop you.”


« Commentary January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

infographic by Yasmeen El-Jayyousi

Seniors sacrifice friends for future afsah » Khan


e’re friends now, but in five years, we’ll be busy with our own lives, living in different corners of the world.” When I first heard this line in “Rang De Basanti,” one of the many movies I watched over winter break, I dismissed it as just another emotional part of the tear-jerking script. It wasn’t until my dad pointed out the reality hidden behind it that I realized how true the statement was. Ever since then, I haven’t been able to shake off a feeling of sadness, knowing that my friends will soon be far away and not as important to me. I’ve always suppressed any thoughts related to this subject. Whenever my parents start talking about the friends they left behind, I tell myself, “I won’t end up like them. My friends and I will grow old together.” But as senior year approaches, the inevitable truth slowly comes out of hiding from the far corners of my mind. Sooner or later, I will have to face the question — after high school, will my friends still be by my side? My parents frequently talk about their own friends from grade school and college and tell me about a long-lost friend they recently reconnected with. They comment on how much life has changed since their school years. Seeing my parents disconnected from their childhood friends makes me question my own future and if I will end up like them, wondering whatever happened to my closest friends. Our parents’ lives often justify the impending reality of losing friends. After my parents graduated and moved to the U.S., they moved on with their lives, working to build a family and establish themselves in a

new country. They left behind many of their dear friends from school and didn’t look back. The ordeal my parents went through showed me how life after high school and college can break even the strongest bond. People often sacrifice friendships for other goals and opportunities that they deem to be more important. Having friends has meant everything to me. They’ve perked me up on bad days and are ready to offer a smile and a joke, just to make me laugh. They’ve shared my joy on happy days, and they’ve lessened my pain on depressing days. Every moment I spend with my friends is precious. But the bitter reality is that these moments will eventually pass. Although some may point out that losing high school friends is not necessarily a traumatic experience and is just another transition in our ever-changing lives, disconnecting with friends isn’t as simple a concept as it may seem. It’s the meaning behind this transition that hurts the most. Leaving behind high school friends means leaving behind all the memories of being a kid. After saying goodbye to close friends, my childhood will be over, and I will prepare to start a new chapter of my life in the real world, without the shelter and care I had when I was young. I won’t have my parents’ hands to guide me or their supervision when I make my own decisions. This big change from being a child to an adult will start to unfold in just a few short years. As a junior, I still have more than a year before worrying about college. However, all my friends who graduate at the end of this year won’t be with me next year. Soon, I won’t even be a part of their new lives, or, at

least, that’s how it will feel. As for my friends who are also juniors, senior year is going to be hard on all of us. Knowing I will never again be able to spend an AUT laughing my head off or stay at school late into the night finishing lastminute projects already puts me in a dismal mood. With each passing day, I will be closer to saying goodbye to the people I have known and loved for years. Before college, we live and thrive in our schools as our own community. In high school, I often forget about the real world. To me, the activities and classes I spend most of my time on make up my world. It isn’t until the idea of college becomes a reality that we think of life after high school. For me, one year before I launch myself into the real world isn’t ample time to prepare myself for what lies ahead. While everyone tells me to brace myself for the hard work and independence that lie ahead, nobody seems ready to leave high school friends. The stress of transitioning to college is hard to handle by itself, so saying goodbye to classmates is usually the last priority on everyone’s list. In today’s technologically advanced world, this shock is made tolerable by the widespread use of social media. I could easily find any of my old friends through Facebook or Twitter, but using technology to preserve friendships from afar cannot compare to face-to-face interaction. For this reason, many people choose to avoid social media. In a study done by Rebtel, a mobile VoIP provider, and Harris Interactive, a research firm, only 18 percent of women and 12 percent of men choose Facebook as a means of communication. Even with the chance of staying in touch through technology, there is no guaran-

Time in foreign country teaches new values manal » Salim


trolling down a cobblestone path in downtown Istanbul, my family and I were enjoying an afternoon of our summer vacation with ice cream cones. Scarfing down our scrumptious desserts as quickly as possible was no easy task in competition with the melting power of the blazing summer sun. To my dismay, I watched a dollop of chocolate slide off my cone toward the ground below. My eyes couldn’t help but stray away from the mess I’d made to a lonely iPhone 4 amidst the green grass. After I had drawn the attention of the rest of my family to the discovery I made, my “good American citizen” instincts kicked in. I’m not going to lie; I wanted to show off. I yearned to prove that being from America, I was ethical and had been raised properly enough to return a valuable item in a foreign country. Simply because the Turks were a different nation of people, I naïvely expected that they wouldn’t act as morally as I in this situation. I picked up the phone and planned to return it to a nearby police officer coincidentally patrolling the area. Swelling with pride, I handed the officer the phone and explained the situation in the best Turkish-English combination I could muster. The officer’s face contorted to a sort of mocking state, then he grinned, and the next words he uttered left me without any. “Just put the phone back where you found it,” the officer said. “No one takes anything that’s not theirs around here.” I returned to my waiting family, incredibly stunned by the answer I had received. Istanbul is a large city and had a population of more than 13 million people in 2011. How could the officer be so calm and certain in trusting that the majority of these individuals would choose to do the righteous thing? Humans are humans. In my experience, even a police officer in the U.S. would confiscate the merchandise to ensure security. I’ve always loved growing up in Columbia. But, even in such a lovely town, there are thefts, crimes and not-so-kind

individuals. In fact, according to, 45 percent of all crimes in Columbia are a sort of theft. But I always looked past all that here. I usually expected that these crimes and evils are inclinations of some people in life that society is obligated to put up with. That said, I didn’t expect that I would find such honesty in a country separate from the life I was normally accustomed to. This was all just because Istanbul wasn’t Columbia, Mo., and just because the Turkish people spoke a different language and practiced a different culture. On top of that, the people were definitely nothing like most strangers I came across back home, but I should have realized that wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing. The Turks displayed integrity not only with the iPhone incident, but also after our purchases in either shops or restaurants my family and I visited on our trip. We were never, not once, cheated or scammed of our money. Big cities are famous for their conartists and scammers, but every individual my family and I encountered treated us as equals. We weren’t alienated, and no one looked down on us for being the “typical American tourists.” I found thousands of long-lost family members in Istanbul — people I never knew existed – but treated my family and I with such exemplary compassion that we could have fit right in with everyone else. The Turks engulfed us in their warm embrace, as they displayed hospitality and honesty to others that I never dreamed of finding somewhere foreign to my normal experiences. However, my trip this past summer taught me several important things. One, flying on airplanes is just not my thing. Two, Turkish food is absolutely phenomenal. And three, I learned to not always expect the worst in people or places outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes, I just have to let my pride go a little, and accept that there are places and people in the world that are better than what I am used to. A fresh experience somewhere different, with someone new, taught me that if what I am accustomed to is seemingly ‘perfect,’ it doesn’t mean that somewhere out there, I couldn’t uncover something so much better.

tee that life will unfold according to what’s best for our friendships. I will always have doubts about being with friends in the future because of the different paths each of us plans to take. The more I imagine myself at class reunions, with my high school years nothing but distant memories, the more I realize how harsh reality seems. I don’t want to let go of my friends. I don’t want things to change. Even though some might disagree with me, I can safely say that these have been the best years of my life. But life will go on. Moving on is hard, but the possibilities of the future are equally intriguing. There is a sense of excitement in growing up. It’s possible to be happier in the future. I realize I learned a valuable lesson from my parents — everything happens for the better. There will be better years. The more I think about my future, the more I start accepting the fact that friends might not be by my side. Maybe I don’t need friends to be happy. They might seem to be a vital part of my existence now, but perhaps it’s better that we don’t always stick to the same friends throughout our lives. Adults such as my parents are disconnected from childhood friends now, but they gradually made new ones. They accepted the reality of growing up and are happy with how things turned out. They turned their attention to new priorities. This is how things should be. I should be accepting of the future, where newer, happier memories will replace the old. There will be new opportunities to make. It will be hard, but moving on is possible. After all, my parents moved on, and so did their friends. So maybe, just maybe, the future isn’t such a dismal place.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt


Most Dangerous Cities

Buenos Aires, Argentina Moscow, Russia

Tokyo, Japan Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Safest Cities

Dubrovnik, Croatia Zurich, Switzerland Vienna, Austria


infographic by Jennifer Stanley

Commentary » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013


Optimism creates new perspective tyler » Dunlap


Unexpected loss leads to insights lauren » Puckett


e was an athlete. His short-cropped brown hair would be matted with sweat when he returned home on Saturday evenings, fresh from the football field. That’s how she remembers him, with a jersey number on his back. Eight years old and already a pro. He was her neighbor. With no concept of boundaries, he frequently trespassed onto her jungle gym, climbing the rope swing to perch among the wood beams. She would protest, for the sake of his safety, but only momentarily. She liked to laugh, and he was a funny boy. She was young herself, six or seven, with blonde hair clipped in a messy bob. It made her cheeks look wide and her smile look wider. Big blue eyes and batting eyelashes accented her already feminine face. Yet, despite this, she seemed desperate to prove she was not, in fact, a girl. She rarely touched her Barbie dolls; the shopping mall was a bore. She combed her hair only when forced. In place of nail polish and stud earrings, she liked Yu-Gi-Oh cards and the North Carolina Tar Heels. The two took to each other immediately. He became her teacher. A few years and several inches her senior, Ryan could reach the crevices she couldn’t. He showed her the tadpoles in the creek and compared them to the sound of the toads in the evening hours. He helped her climb into the neighbor’s willow trees, swinging from the branches and screaming like

Tarzan. He raced down the hallways of his home, beckoning her to follow, to sprint, to push her short legs forward. Ryan taught her how to do the monkey bars. Before his guiding hand, she was terrified. Her eyes refused to blink and her hair kept sticking to her sweaty forehead. He was grinning, moving back and forth among the bars as if he were made of air. “Just hold a bar and swing,” he promised. “It’ll carry you forward.” And it did. Her hands clenching the bars, white-knuckled, she completed her first jungle gym obstacle course. Then he taught her to do a backflip off a trapeze. She remembers. She remembers the feel of his hand against her wrist, she remembers that pulsing adrenaline, falling backwards, flailing, soaring, dying, then nothing. Landing. Tennis shoes sunken in mud. He blessed her with energy, strength and daredevil confidence. Ryan was a wordless existence, in her simple mind. She didn’t run home to her mother, to talk about her eight-year-old “boyfriend.” In fact, she hardly talked about Ryan at all. She didn’t think about him much. She played with him on the weekends and smiled at him in the afternoons. He was not the “boy next door” or the “football player.” He was Ryan. He just was. She walked into Schnucks one morning with her mother. There was a message board on one wall, and the little girl scanned it while her mother picked out bananas and romaine. That day there was a picture

of Ryan in the newspaper, tacked to the board. He was in his football jersey; a helmet rested in the crook of his elbow. A handsome smile was painted on his face. He looked so blissfully, innocently happy. “Mama, look. Ryan’s in the paper,” she remembers saying. Her mother was hoping to break the news slowly. But fate has its own way, and it was time for the little girl to know. Ryan had passed away in a car crash. On a trip with his grandparents, a car had struck, and Ryan was gone. Disappeared, as if plucked right out of continuity. He was dead. The young girl doesn’t remember feeling sad. She remembers feeling confused and a little unsure. She spent the rest of the drive home with her arms hugging her knees. She grew up. Her hair fell longer; she lost the messy bangs and started wearing dresses instead of basketball shorts and overalls. She picked up a journal and pen and moved across town, away from the jungle gym and the weeping willow trees. Her backyard — my backyard — changed. Her world — my world — changed. Her life slowly, steadily changed. I moved on without Ryan, but I never, ever forgot him. When the first pictures of Sandy Hook Elementary covered glossy magazines, I couldn’t help but see Ryan’s face reflected in every image. I saw little gap-toothed girls and small brown-haired boys, and I saw death, I saw evil and I saw the friend I still remember. I saw the young and pure, snatched away from lives that

were rightfully theirs. I saw the destruction of human life and human sin. I viewed images of crying parents and devastated teachers, and I imagined Ryan’s mother. I imagined her just as she was years ago, after the accident, when I glimpsed her standing outside her beautiful home. She was staring into the distance, and looking utterly hopeless. Anger and sadness filled every television screen across the nation for weeks, when Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults. I watched President Barack Obama cry. I witnessed heated arguments over gun control and mental health. And yet I couldn’t quite understand. I felt their pain; I knew their pain. But I couldn’t comprehend their hatred, their complete loss of faith. I wanted to hear their happy stories; I wanted to hear celebration of lives short-lived but welllived. There was more to this than assault rifles and psychopaths, new laws and old institutions. These were children, who had indeed died, but who had changed lives. They had not died with empty hands. I’ve never thought of Ryan with anything but gratitude. I never cried over his death. I never felt lost without him. I never felt hopeless, because he’s never left me. I still visit the monkey bars sometimes. I’m almost 18 years old, and yet I still need his guiding hand. I see him swinging before me even now with a football jersey and handsome smile. He’s there. He never left me. photo by Maddy Jones

inding inspiration isn’t usually something that we plan on doing. Most of the time it just happens, and it hits us. We are inspired. This summer I decided I needed some good karma and something to spice up my college resume, so I decided it would benefit me to volunteer. The Boys and Girls Club of Columbia would be an easy place to show up, do the time and be done with it. I expected to walk in, play a few video games, eat a mediocre lunch with the kids and walk out feeling like I had done a good deed. On my first day of volunteering, I went in determined to make the best of the experience. I sat down and started to make conversation with some of the kids, learning about their interests and hobbies and trying to connect. After an hour, I developed a sort of bond with an outgoing kid named Jayden. Jayden, a 4 feet 6 inches tall 12-yearold kid from St. Louis, wore basketball shorts and a cutoff sleeve T-shirt. We discovered we shared similar interests, such as sports and music. Jayden was a little shy at first, but I was five years older than him. Who wouldn’t be a little intimidated? As I kept making conversation and made jokes, he became much more comfortable and started to be himself. He started telling me about his personal situation at home and within a few minutes I had a good idea of what his life was like. He was an only child who lived with his single mother; she worked two jobs to make ends meet. I knew right away this kid had no easy life. What amazed me about Jayden was his optimism and desire to make the best of everything he did. He made it his responsibility to talk to everyone and ensure everybody was getting along. Just about everyone seemed to like him. He was always laughing, cracking jokes and smiling, which for some reason, made me grin a little myself, as if I was proud of him. In a way, I looked up to him for being so charismatic and optimistic. As soon as I left, I knew I would be coming back the next day and went home with a lot on my mind. The positive energy and optimism coming from these little kids, despite the hardships moved me. If Jayden and these kids could have this much zest for life despite being put through physical and emotional struggles, I should do it with no problem. Before I left that day, Jayden and I were doing the handshake we had been working on earlier. We were laughing and joking when Jayden told me he wished I could be his big brother. It suddenly hit me. I had been inspired to change my entire outlook on life. Aside from having my own great time at the Boys and Girls Club that day, Jayden taught me lessons that I will never forget, the first one being: take everyone as they are, not as who they could be. Everybody has something to contribute that no one else can offer. The second one is: be determined to be positive. This is understanding that the greater part of your happiness depends not upon your circumstances, but by your attitude. He taught me to know that things will be different in the future. We all have problems and hardships we have to deal with in life, but compared to the rest of life it is merely a moment. Knowing that bad times will get better and good times won’t always be good is a difficult thing to grasp, but doing so keeps us humble.

Discomforting moment causes guilt, realizations anna » Wright


t was 1:20 p.m. on a Friday. I was on AUT, and all I could think about was getting home. Exhausted, I was more than ready to change into sweatpants, collapse onto the couch with a bag of Gardettos and allow Netflix to lure me, once again, into a semi-conscious state of laziness. Just as I was leaving the girls’ bathroom, moments before I planned on going home, I saw a former friend standing in front of the mirror with tears streaming down her face. She was trembling and visibly distressed, and her red, swollen eyes avoided mine as she tried to hide the anguish that she had clearly not intended for me to witness. As I stood at the sink awkwardly washing my hands, a battle raged in my head while I tried to decide whether I should say something. On one hand, I wanted to be kind. I wanted to do the right thing and ask her if she was OK. After all, it was only two years earlier that we were close friends, hanging out and sharing secrets. Only two years ago, I would have been the one she was crying to, relaying her inner turmoils as I counseled her. But we were no longer friends. Our relationship faded with age and separation, leaving us

in that delicate state of never knowing whether or not to wave in the halls or acknowledge one another’s presence in a public encounter. If I said something, I might be overstepping boundaries. It might make things awkward and would certainly postpone my much-needed Netflix and snacking marathon. It would mean stepping out of my comfort zone and risking an uncomfortable situation for the sake of another human’s feelings. In the end, I did nothing. I hastily dried my hands and hurried out the door, as if I didn’t notice her sobbing three feet away. Rushing to my car, I quickly began to rationalize my actions in my head, telling myself I had made the right decision and that it would have been weird and inappropriate to stick my nose into her life when I was no longer a part of it. I figured that my saying something could have irritated her and portrayed me as being intrusive. But this rationalization didn’t keep the guilt from creeping in. I had put myself first in an extremely selfish manner by choosing to bypass an awkward encounter instead of sacrificing two minutes of my Netflix marathon in order to make sure this girl was OK. Dozens of memories ran through my mind of instances when I was in a position similar to that of this girl.

Instances where someone could have reached We are emotionally insecure and could alout a hand and offered their help or support to most always use a little reassurance from our me, but chose not to. Being kind to others is a peers. philosophy which I wholeheartedly agree with I wish I would have said something to her. I and try my best to follow, so I couldn’t help but wish I would have at least offered up a smile of feel overwhelmcompassion and ingly guilty for asked if there was surpassing an opanything I could portunity to do do to help. The I figured that my saying exactly that. world would be something could have irritated In high school, an infinitely better events such as place if we would her and portrayed me as being this occur far too put the feelings of intrusive. But this rationalization others before our often. It seems didn’t keep the guilt from that everyone is own petty comtoo concerned fort zones and creeping in. with others’ perchoose to do what ception of them we know is ultito always do the mately the right right thing. But thing to do. the self-conscious So we need nature of teento swallow our agers shouldn’t pride, circumvent keep us from looking out for one another, even our fear of being perceived as nosy or overly if it means putting ourselves out there and al- bold and seize every opportunity we have to lowing the possibility of embarrassing our- display a gesture of kindness towards another. selves. If any age group needs the occasional These small but amicable expressions of hureminder that they aren’t alone or that someone manity and kindness can often mean more than cares, it is high schoolers. we realize.


« Editorials January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

photo illustration by Asa Lory

More guns in schools will decrease safety, have countereffect House Bill 70 poses significant emotional, physical threat to school atmospheres


ollowing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., defenders of the Second Amendment of the Constitution have been up in arms, fighting to maintain their rights as citizens to legally own guns. As of Jan. 19, members of the Missouri House of Representatives have been working to pass a bill that would allow teachers to bring firearms onto school grounds with a concealed carry permit. While Missouri House representatives proposed this bill with safety in mind, the House will pass it with danger in hand. Aside from the obvious hazards that come with the legalization of firearms anywhere, especially on school premises, the concept of weapons in a school zone is far more dangerous. The arming of teachers has the potential not only to be physically hazardous, but also hazardous to the environment teachers and administrators have worked so hard to build for school systems. Teachers are role models of sorts and should display in their actions and morals the qualities they wish to instill in their students. By passing this bill, the Missouri legislatures are supporting the notion that violence should be one of these taught qualities. There are also emotional predicaments teachers would have to contemplate. The obvious question: “If I deny my right to concealed carry in my classroom, am I denying my students

their fundamental recourse for safety in the face of a tragedy?” If legislatures are so certain that this bill will be successful in providing teachers a chance to defend their students, they should at least address the potential safety imbalance that the bill allows for. Since it is the teacher’s choice as to whether or not there will be a gun present in the wake of tragedy, this means that some classes will be “more safe” than others. It is unjust to provide one classroom a “safe opportunity” that is not available in another classroom, and it is immoral to put teachers in the position of choosing between their legal right to exercise restraint at the expense of their students’ safety. Civil rights activist Jesse James once stated that “a man who cannot be … intimidated by the threat of jail or death has two of the strongest weapons that anyone has to offer.” In a study done by the Chicago-Sun Times, they discovered the Secret Service of the United States even believed this was an emotional problem that required psychological attention, as opposed to physical. They had said that, “If every parent went away from this, not worrying that their boy is going to kill someone, but listening and paying attention to depression, we’d be better off.” Equipping our teachers with the right to bear arms in schools is a weak strategy to a problematic reality that has unfortunately struck the in-

nocent once again. While this bill is admirable posed to rash decisions and a strong potential in the fact that it is timely attempting to address for more violence and more pain. the violent issue at hand, it is wrong in its apInstead of spending time and resources tryproach. This, however, is not to say that the ing to find teachers who will be willing to access problem doesn’t still need a serious and imme- their newfound right to bring lethal weapons diate solution that does not involve ill-planned into school buildings, it would be more benefidecisions and a touchy nation. Instead of react- cial, safe and realistic to double up on security ing with the quickest solumeasures on school grounds. tion that comes to mind, it Better than arming relatively Should HB 70 be would be safer and more inexperienced and hesitant teachpractical to react with our passed by the House? ers, a more stable solution would minds, not our wounded involve an increased number of and fearful consciences. If The Rock Staff Voted: security guards and police officers safety and protection are on duty in a school district. The Yes- 6 the priorities of this bill, it same study done by the Chicago would be contradictory to Times showed that the shooters No-19 arm scared citizens. typically didn’t snap. Their acts of In situations where mass murder and destruction are the violence at a school premeditated. Just like any suicidhas the nation fired up, al teen, these vulnerable yet sick it is important to keep in individuals are crying out for help. mind the distinct contexts So arm teachers with knowlamong the much too plentiful school mass mur- edge: with the ability to distinguish between ders. Linking them, trying to jump to quick an attention-hog and the seriously troubled, conclusions and hurling blame will continue with the sense to defend not only their victimto prove ineffective and elusive. Every second- ized students after the fact, but their depressed grade student is taught that an eye for an eye and disturbed students before it. And in the doesn’t make it even. Fighting back with weap- case that the shooter is not a student, equip soons works under that same, simple logic. This ciety and parents with this same weapon. The is the time to band heads together and to fight true weapon in defense of such tragic events is a common enemy with logic and the law, as op- knowledge, not armory.

College not the sole determining factor in post-high school successes trisha » Chaudhary


ill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs. Michael Dell. These incredibly successful entrepreneurs all dropped out of college. Their unorthodox schooling embodies the fact that the business world now has a different face from the past. Fewer people are taking the traditional path of going to college for four to eight years, finding jobs and spending their lives working their way up. Of course there are many who take the traditional path, but that was a trademark of the last generation. The modern job market has become almost unrecognizable compared to that of the last generation. With the opportunity to just create a résumé and be set for life, many people find the college option less appealing. People are increasingly creating their own jobs because the old promise of “go to college, get a job” isn’t true anymore. According to the Small Business Administration website,, there are 23 million small businesses in the United States. Many of these business owners became successful without degrees. According to the Associated Press, in April 2012, 53 percent of college graduates were unemployed or working a job that didn’t require a bachelor’s degree. A college degree can’t guarantee a job anymore. The option of not going looks pretty nice from here, but seems to completely contradict everything I’ve been working for. It seems like we spend our high school

careers preparing for college. We try to keep up good GPAs, do extracurriculars and take Advanced Placement classes for credit. We’re taught that college is the next step. In fact, 79 percent of the 2012 RBHS graduating class planned on attending a four-year college. I know for many it’s pretty crazy to think about not going to college. I’ve never considered the other option. Thinking of it seems preposterous to me. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t gone to college and been successful. But when I actually consider what comes with college, it doesn’t seem as preposterous. Let’s stop and think about the cons of college. One of the deciding factors in choosing a college is always money. Currently, there is $1 trillion in outstanding student debt, with $117 billion added last year alone, according to calculations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. College tuition levels quadrupled since the early 1980s, according to the Student Body Scholarship Association. All of this would be fine if I knew I was spending my money wisely, that when I graduated I could find a job. But there is no guarantee of that. This is by no means saying, “Forget college! Just create a website and you’ll be famous!” Let’s be realistic. We can’t all create the next big thing and be the next Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams (Twitter) or David Karp (Tumblr). But it’s not just the self-made entrepreneurs that create websites and applications who make it big. Groups offering

college alternatives have become increasingly popular. UnCollege, which “shows you how to gain the passion, hustle and contrarianism requisite for success — all without setting foot inside a classroom,” Enstitute, which offers two-year apprenticeships with entrepreneurs in lieu of college and Zero Tuition College, an online support network for students looking for alternatives, are finding themselves with more university-age heretics pledging allegiance. People no longer want the cookie-cutter route. I think the number one misconception is that college equals success. According to the National Center for Education Statistics,, in 2010, males with bachelor’s degrees earned an average of $17,000 more than those with only high school diplomas, and females with bachelor’s degrees earned an average of $15,000 more. Though it seems that college graduated individuals earn more, males with only high school diplomas earn an average of $32,800 a year and females $25,000 a year. The world is changing. Post-high school training is becoming a viable route into well-paying jobs. We judge those who don’t follow conventional paths and who challenge the norm, and non-college-goers do just that. We need to stop putting so much stock in a college education. College is important, but it’s not everything. Judging people because they try to find success somewhere else is never justifiable. No matter what we choose, hard work is what matters, not whether we go to college.

»the ROCK Rock Bridge High School 4303 S. Providence Rd., Columbia, Mo. 65203 Vol. 40, Issue 4

The Journalistic Production and Honors Seminar classes produce The Rock, Bearing News and Southpaw. Call us with any comments, concerns or questions at 573-214-3141, or email us at The paper’s purpose is to inform, educate and enlighten readers fairly and accurately in an open forum. The Rock is a member of the National Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Quill and Scroll. Advertising is $55 for a quarter page, $95 for a half page and $135 for a whole page. Editors-in-Chief: NominErdene Jagdagdorj, Maria Kalaitzandonakes, Adam Schoelz, Daphne Yu Production Manager: Maddie Magruder Arts and Entertainment Editors: Lauren Puckett, Ashleigh Atasoy Commentary Editors:

Anna Wright, Jacqueline LeBlanc Community Editor: Blake Becker Copy Editor: Atreyo Ghosh Design Editor: Afsah Khan News Editors: Alyssa Sykuta, Maria Kalaitzandonakes Features Editors: Manal Salim, Trisha Chaudhary Editorials Editor: Jake Alden In-Depths Editor: Ipsa Chaudhary Multimedia Editor: Urmila Kutikkad Photography Editor: Asa Lory Personality Profiles Editor: Luke Wyrick Sports Editor: Kaitlyn Marsh Staff Writers: Alyssa Piecko, Brittany Cornelison, Carleigh Thrower, Rajesh Satpathy, Julia Schaller, Tyler Dunlap, Sam Mitchell, George Sarafianos, Hagar Gov-Ari Artists: Richard Sapp, Jennifer Stanley, Hyelee Won, Yasmeen El-Jayyousi, Michelle Zhuang, Paige Martin Photographers: Aniqa Rahman, Paige Kiehl, Patrick Smith, Maddy Jones Webmaster: John Gillis Adviser: Robin Stover

Editorials » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013

Death penalty unfair retribution

Capital punishment proves immoral, costly and outdated urmila » Kutikkad


t’s easy in the United States to watch the world around us and judge it. We look at conflicts such as the ongoing genocide in Syria and feel proud that we’re not like that, that our hands aren’t blood-stained, that we know the value of a human life. And yet. The deplorable institution called the “death penalty,” or “capital punishment” for those gentler souls who can’t handle the former term, exists within our borders. Our government, a body we trust to prevent those things we believe to be wrong, murders people. Why, that’s a crime punishable by the death penalty. But instead of killing the death penalty like we kill all those criminals, we instead condone it, applaud it even. A staggering 1,321 executions occurred in the United States since 1976, according to People can’t murder, but our government, incidentally a body of people trusted to enforce the law, can. We shouldn’t be in the business of making drastic exceptions for the government. The United States is not among the 141 countries around the world that have already abolished the death penalty. In fact, the United States holds a place in the top five nations responsible for death by capital punishment, only behind China, Iran, North Korea and Yemen, according to Our nation holds fifth place with what I hope is deepest shame. The issue at hand is one simply of morality. These are human lives we’re toying with, not some formulaic machines, and the murder of a human life is fundamentally wrong. Killing someone who has done something very bad is no different from murdering someone who has done nothing wrong. Murder is murder, and there is no justification for it. It is no more complex than that, no messier. There are no shades of gray to be found here. People often parrot Mohandas Gandhi’s famous quote, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” a concept that condemns revenge. Yet, according to a recent poll on, American approval of capital punishment is at a strong 63 percent. This popular opinion on vengeful murder fun-

damentally contradicts Gandhi’s belief of turning the other cheek. While murdering murderers may seem like a sort of justice, it is simply revenge by another name, and lowers our entire society to the level of criminals and corrupts our standards. But if morality isn’t enough, there is a logical arsenal of arguments against the death penalty. The cost of a death penalty case is exaggeratedly large when compared to that of a non-death-penalty case. A 2008 California study by the California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice showed that the current system costs a whopping $137 million per year in California alone, whereas a non-death penalty system would cost only $11.5 million.

The money wasted on government-endorsed murder could instead go toward more valid measures of crime control such as rehabilitation and education, better and more comprehensive mental health treatment and more secure jails. Mistakes are made unforgivably frequently when convicting people to death. Since 1973 in the United States, 140 people have been released from the death row because of wrongful conviction, and in that same time span, the government executed more than 1,200 individuals, according to There’s no room for error when we’re playing with human lives, and if there is some, we shouldn’t be playing. The courts released the 140 because the evidence proving their in-

nocence was able to show up just in time to save them. There’s no way to know how many other cases there must have been where the evidence simply didn’t show up in time, how many times the United States government carelessly murdered innocent lives with utterly no repercussions. It seems, at times, that we’re scared to deny those who were close to the victims of murder the justice they want. They’ve been through so much horror and pain, and what sort of monsters would we be to deny them the little relief they can get? But the justice that the friends and families of murder victims want is murder in return. They want this horrific person who caused them so much pain to be gone, to understand a little of their suffer-

ing. They want revenge, and that is OK. But, what isn’t OK is the government satisfying that need for revenge. Murder is awful, but the government doesn’t exist to sate our most base desires. A lifetime of incarceration is no escape from justice, in any case, and anyone who says otherwise is simply succumbing to their own base desires, something that has no place in government. We must abolish the death penalty. It is outdated, tragic and fundamentally flawed. Contact your representatives, and ensure that your voice is heard. We’ll never be able to bring back all those lives that we’ve taken, but killing the despicable institution that is the death penalty is the best apology we’ve got.

art by Michelle Zhuang


Physical Education credits system unfair adam » Schoelz


t is generally agreed upon that vomiting from physical exhaustion is a sign of a hard workout. For that matter, beaded sweat, a heart rate elevated to 200 beats per minute and the loss of enough salt to make a lick are also signs of improving physical fitness. Yet the school system declares that after school workouts of student athletes in Missouri simply don’t count. Students are required to take Physical Education classes despite years of athletic training. To be sure, this editorial is not a dig against P.E. classes. For students not engaged in sports or other physical activities, they can educate students about the importance of consistent exercise, the value of team play and the procedures to avoid injury. The problem arises when students who already consistently participate on sports teams must take P.E. instead of another class. Athletes already know how to stretch, exercise and push themselves. Instead of putting them in a class where they’ll simply be bored, why not allow them to expand academically? Take for example, the contrast between cross country, in which complete exhaustion is routine, and fitness walking, which is exactly what it sounds like. Both last a semester; in XC, students work out roughly 90 minutes a day, comparable to fitness walking. But in XC, students run, which burns roughly double the calories according to Inexplicably, the one that burns less calories is worth a credit. The easiest reason to deny this credit is logistics; one could argue that keeping track of classes for athletes is difficult, as practices occur outside school. But we already have a template for more open-ended classes: independent studies. A student could sign up for a physical education independent study with a P.E. teacher. At the end of the season, the teacher could contact students’ coaches about performance, attendance, grade and effort. Teachers aren’t compensated for independent study, so P.E. teachers might be reluctant to embrace change. However, class sizes would stay pretty large, as many students don’t engage in sports and many who do still take weight lifting; the school wouldn’t have to drop any P.E. teachers from payroll. There isn’t a clear reason why Missouri doesn’t allow this. When contacted, a Communications Office spokesperson for DESE, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said the department doesn’t have a stance on whether these classes could be used for P.E. credit. Our administration has a chance to spearhead a new type of physical education, the type that sports provides; fitness for a lifetime. Our society needs to emphasize physical education ­­— with almost a third of our youth obese, according to the National Council of State Legislatures, that is clear. But athletes know the importance of staying in shape, and they’re also students who would leap at the extra hour to take another class or study. Students can roughly simulate this extra hour with online P.E. However, the problem is that it’s unclear where RBHS comes in; working with another school can lead to uncertainty about the validity of grades, not to mention the potential for cheating. The trick comes at where to draw the line. Do club sports count? What about show choir? Dancers are pretty sweaty at the end of a set. For now, I’d say a full season of one MSHAA-recognized sport should count as a half-credit P.E. class since a season is roughly analogous to a semester. It’s inefficient for students to take another semester of a class they have, in effect, already taken. Student athletes should have the option of using their sport as not only a tool to improve physically, but also academically. Administrators should work with district and state officials to make this a reality, and students should demand their hard work be rewarded.

Flipping the bird puts First Amendment freedom to the test rajesh »Satpathy


very single citizen in the United States should be aware of our “inalienable rights.” The supreme law of the land, the Constitution, guarantees certain privileges to everybody in the United States, regardless of race, religion, gender or creed. Most will agree that we have to fight to protect these rights, but John Swartz of upstate New York did this in an extremely unusual manner: flipping off a police officer. I guess sometimes, you just have to let go. Emotions run high. Your temper flares, and you just have to let that bird fly. It’s never the best idea, but, hey, eventually, it happens. That being said, depending on where you let loose, you might be facing some seriously unpleasant consequences. Swartz discovered this seven years ago, when a cop arrested him for raising his middle finger towards the officer after realizing the cop was using his radar gun on Swartz’s car. On Jan. 3, the Federal Court of Appeals overturned

Swartz’ arrest, freeing him of liabilities or guilt. Officer Richard Insogna’s reason for arresting Swartz was he believed the man might pose a threat to his own wife, who was driving the car. “I just wanted to ensure the safety of the passengers,” Insogna said. “I was concerned for the female driver, if there was a domestic dispute.” That is an excuse that smacks of an abuse of power. The Court also believed so, as it ruled that it wasn’t legal for Insogna to arrest Swartz. It’s ludicrous that a simple middle finger could be legitimately construed as a threat of violence. The disrespect that Swartz exhibited towards Officer Insogna incensed the cop, but a simple reprimanding by the officer would have sufficed. If Insogna deemed that insufficient, then at the very most, he could issue a ticket for disturbing the peace, but even that would be a reach. The middle finger is undeniably a rude gesture. But what Officer Insogna didn’t take into account was the highest law of the land: the Constitution.

The First Amendment guarantees free speech. Now, while “free speech” technically only applies to spoken word, the implied meaning of the First Amendment is a guaranteed “freedom of expression.” In other words, we are free to say and do whatever we want within the realm of reason — nobody can infringe upon our right to do so. Such a protection does not fold over everything one can do. There are some regulations, but as long as one is not infringing on anybody else’s rights, it’s usually in the clear. The law even protects hate speech, for the most part. That’s why organizations such as the Westboro Baptist Church can protest. To test if something is not protected, the “clear and present danger” test can be used, established by Schenck v. U.S. in 1919. Does the speech incite panic or violence? If it doesn’t, and if it isn’t instigating rebellion in a threatening manner, then it’s in the clear. Swartz’s flaunting of his middle finger at Office Insogna was distasteful, but the action violated no laws. In fact, it was the officer

who was ultimately in the wrong. Though Swartz v. Insogna never made it to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals could have drawn upon several precedents set by the highest court in the country. Chief amongst them is Tinker v. Des Moines, a landmark case that highlighted the once tacit existence of freedom of expression. Texas v. Johnson further enumerated the right to express oneself as wanted without retribution. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, wouldn’t it protect a relatively simple gesture of defiance? The entire situation was a waste of time, insofar as Swartz is concerned. However, it has given something to the nation as a whole: a reminder that our rights are inalienable, but that they are also ours to protect. It may be a vulgar right he protected, but Swartz has guaranteed us a greater modicum of liberty than we ever enjoyed before. Swartz v. Insogna is only a symptom of the disease that envelopes the nation. We cannot sit back and expect all of our rights to be upheld. Though the system of “checks and

balances” is meant to protect our rights, it is only a form of balance within government. Should the government attempt to infringe upon our rights, it is up to the people to ensure that no such thing happens. In an ideal world, there would be no need to protect ourselves, but unfortunately, this isn’t one. Infringements upon our rights will happen. Just look at the Stop Online Piracy Act, or the indefinite detention clause in the National Defense Authorization Act — these are things that we need to fight back against. There has to be greater public education on our individual rights, and people need to stand up against any and all acts of injustice. As President Abraham Lincoln said, this nation is “of the people, for the people, by the people.” It is our duty as citizens of these United States to involve ourselves. Whether that be through suing a police officer for arresting you or by running for public office or through something as simple as voting, we are obligated to keep this nation as we want it; as unfettered, beautiful and full of promise as a soaring bird. art by Michelle Zhuang


« Sports

January 31, 2013 « The Rock «

Loss of dancers creates motivation, improvement maddie » Magruder


photo by Paige Kiehl

Kickline time: Senior Katherine Odom, junior Erin Concannon and freshman Caitlynn Noltie practice their kickline for the upcoming state competition on Feb. 23.

he competition dances performed by the Bruin Girls haven’t changed just once. They haven’t even changed twice. They’ve changed more times than the team can count. The loss of team members was a result of two dancers moving away and several injuries. This caused formations and steps of the dances to change continuously to make the routines look sharper and ready for competition season. Senior Leia Tarbox said every year the team loses girls during competition season, but this year more dropped than she has ever seen. Tarbox said it takes hard work to keep the dances strong as girls leave the team. It takes more practice, Tarbox said. “Same dances, we change the choreography sometimes, and the formations and everything, a lot of that has been changed around. When we first learned the dances, it was completely different than now.” Tarbox, one of the team’s original four captains, had to get surgery for a shoulder injury, taking her out for the rest of the season. “It’s gonna be sad for me because I have done it since [sophomore year],” Tarbox said. “It’s my second year as captain. I’m so attached to the team ... and we’re also going to nationals this year, so it’s gonna be a lot different. My sister’s on the team, so I’ll still have a tie to it that way, and I’ll still be around cause I’m still a captain.” Sophomore Hannah Harper said Tarbox is a significant part of the team. Even though she’ll still be around for practices and competitions, the team will miss her dancing presence. “[Tarbox] was a big part of our team and really … propelled our team,” Harper said. “We’re just going to have to learn to get stronger without her.” With practices three days a week, as well as a four hour practice on the weekends, the team spends its time getting stronger and improving their techniques. So far, the team has gone to the regional competition where they placed fourth for one dance and

didn’t place for the other. Coach Shanon McDaniel said they went to the competition, nearly two months earlier than it is held normally, so they did well for where they were thus far in the season. Two girls dropped out of the dance days before the competition, causing last minutes changes and rearranging. A severe allergic reaction caused senior Morgan Neutzmann to be unable to perform in the regional competition on Dec. 1. Although she knew this would be tough on her team and they would have to re-configure their articulately choreographed dances, she disappointedly contacted her coach with the bad news. “[Neutzmann] called me from the bus and said ‘I can’t go’,” McDaniel said, “so we kind of figured things out on the way to St. Louis and went with it. Someone else we decided on Thursday wasn’t going to dance, so we redid everything Friday night then again on Saturday.” Despite the setbacks, the Bruin Girls plan to attend the state competition in February and national competition in March in Florida. The team is competing in nationals for the first time in several years, and McDaniel said preparing for nationals is the main focus of the team. “The last time Rock Bridge went to nationals, they came back with a national title,” McDaniel said. “So we don’t want to go with the hopes of just a first place trophy because obviously to go and make finals and end up in the top three is amazing. That’s what we’re hoping to do.” McDaniel said even though the team has dealt with lots of injuries, losing girls and changes, they have a positive outlook for the rest of the season. McDaniel is excited to see what will come from the season, particularly at nationals. Nationals “is one of those things that when you go to talk to girls who’ve been on this trip before on previous teams, it’s always their favorite part of what they’ve done,” McDaniel said. “We don’t know what to expect about what other teams will be there or really what other teams will look like, but [we are looking forward to] just going and doing the best we can and having a good time.”

Concession stands provide funds for sports, PTSA atreyo » Ghosh


porting events require different types of players to be successful. There are the actual players in the game, the loyal fans and the doting parents. Behind the scenes, each game requires not only administration for organization and scheduling, but also a handful of volunteers to man concession stands. After all, someone has to supply the food for fans to nervously gnaw on when a tied game enters its last seconds. These mainly parent volunteers provide and sell tasty treats to those attending games. Without them, there would be no concession stand, and fans would be without food. Thus, when volunteers are unavailable, parents may ask their children to accompany them for help. And while the job seems easy, senior Mackoy Staloch said things change constantly, forcing workers to quickly react. “You’re not just sitting back there and handing out food,” Staloch said. “You have to be running around all

the time. You have to be realizing that there’s shortages and that stuff changes just all the time and really quickly, too. You have to learn to react to those problems.” Two different groups work the concession stand and solve problems: either parents of the players or PTSA volunteers. Who mans the stand depends on which sport is playing. “Every sport is a little bit different,” athletics director Jennifer Mast said. “Varsity football [concessions] is [manned by the] PTSA. Junior varsity football and freshman football are football parents. The soccer teams are parents. Baseball [and] softball [are] parents. Volleyball, wrestling and the basketball teams are PTSA.” The school decides how to partition the games on a historical basis. Soccer parents, for example, worked the concession stands in the 1990s and 2000s, Mast said, when the matches took place at Cosmo Park. After the games started taking place at RBHS, the parents continued their work. On the other hand, the PTSA stakes a claim to varsity football and

boys and girls basketball, as well as wrestling and volleyball, because they served at these games in recent memory, Mast said. However, the PTSA is open to letting parents take over the stands for a given sport. “As long as PTSA has enough forewarning on what’s going to happen,” Mast said, “they’re fine if a sport wants to take it over. … If there is a sport that is not major revenue … and the teams want to take that over, they’re fine to give that up, but they’re also fine to take it back, and they’ve always said [they] see that as more a service to the school.” To keep concession stands open during games, the PTSA relies on parent workers, who, according to PTSA member Melanie Staloch, can be hard to convince to volunteer. Melanie Staloch and Monica Widhalm are the co-chairs of the winter sports concession stands. When help is in short supply, Mackoy Staloch will sometimes go to the stands with his mom, earning National Honors Society points in the process. “Beforehand, I just volunteered

because my mom said she needed some help,” Mackoy Staloch said. “It’s usually not very well-advertised that the concession stand needs help, especially to students.” Because students and other parents do not widely know of the concession stand’s need for workers, the stand is typically understaffed and relies on dedicated workers. Although athletes’ parents and the PTSA both rely on volunteers for concession stands, they differ in where their revenue goes. While the parents of teammates usually use the funds for end-of-the-year banquets or team supplies, Mast said, the PTSA uses the money to help the whole school in general. “They use [the funds] for general school support. And we all benefit from PTSA support,” Mast said, “so it’s not a direct back to athletics for sure, but they have helped out with athletics in the past, so we see it as a win-win.” The PTSA used these funds for a number of projects. Melanie Staloch said the PTSA put benches in the

main commons and paid for the landscaping in front of the main entrance. The PTSA also handles Bruin Grants every year, which allow teachers to request money. This year, the PTSA gave classrooms approximately $3,600 in grants. “We help the nurse’s office for different supplies [and] all sorts of items used in classrooms that they don’t get money for,” Melanie Staloch said. Teachers “just submit a form to us, tell us [what] their need is. ... For PTSA, it doesn’t go to just sports; we cover everything in the school.” While few students help out at the concession stands, those who do help give back to sports and the school. By volunteering at the stands, Mackoy Staloch has not only given back, but has also socialized more and learned a few things in the process, including how to problem solve. “It really does help with other skills besides socializing,” Mackoy Staloch said. Volunteering at the concession stand “really [does] teach you some good stuff about business and how to talk to people.”

Swim team dives into competition brittany » Cornelison


fter an intense season last year ending with their first ever state championship, the girls swimming team is working even harder for the upcoming state championship preliminaries on Feb. 15. However, competing is proving to be difficult because of recent changes to the organization of the team. With the new year came a big change in the coaching staff, bringing in math teacher Peter Willett as the girls’ head coach. On top of this, allegedly seven of the former swimmers chose to continue their swimming career elsewhere. Many girls now swim on the private team at Columbia Swim Club. Junior Madeline Simon is one of these girls who made the transfer. Last year Simon swam for RBHS, but she decided to commit this year solely to CSC, where she competed for seven years. She explained the main difference between the two teams is intensity. “It was more about where I was with swimming and where I wanted to be, and with my goals, the training is just a little bit different [at CSC], and there’s more yardage with CSC than there is with high school usually,” Simon said. “I’ve been swimming with them for so long [that] it’s just like the culture I’ve grown into, and high school is just a completely different culture.” Though many swimmers decided to leave the team for CSC, several made the opposite decision. Senior Clara Phillips swam with CSC for two years before she joined RBHS. She decided that staying with the high school team would be the most beneficial for her and her interests. Phillips said the seriousness of the private team would be too much for her to manage. “I’m not that intense about swimming, and I like RBHS because I like the friends that I have

photo by Asa Lory

Talent pool becomes shallow: Sophomore Kristi Seyer daily trains to attempt to compensate for the loss of several teammates. Underclassmen, freshman and sophomore, now make up the majority of the RBHS swimming and diving team and will lead them to state Feb. 15 and 16. on the team.” Phillips said. “I also run cross country in the fall and track in the spring, so I don’t really have time to do anything else.” Simon said CSC practices some days for two and a half hours in the morning and two and a half hours in the evening. When compared to the RBHS team, who only practice an hour and a half per day, the CSC team members seem to have more dedication to the sport and the practices, Phillips said. “CSC, for me, it felt like less of a family as high school swimming. It’s definitely more intense because when I was there they had eight practices a week,” Phillips said. “Last year when we had a lot of girls from CSC, our team was really good because they were all really serious swimmers and have been swimming since they were really young.” However, Phillips is not the only swimmer

who remained at RBHS for this season. The team still has a strong 20 swimmers: eight freshman, six sophomores, two juniors and four seniors. “[This year is] a lot younger team. ... Way more than half of our girls are freshman and sophomores. It’s a less experienced group of girls, but it’s a fun group to coach,” Willett said. “Those girls, it’s not like they left Rock Bridge to go swim for CSC. It’s that they’ve been swimming CSC since they were eight or nine.” Alongside the tough loss of many talented swimmers, the remaining girls keep a positive outlook, which Willett said allows the team to keep pressing forward. Simon said she felt like the RBHS swimming team didn’t offer her goals tailored to what she was interested in improving. Though she appreciated her time with the RBHS team, but the high standards of the pri-

vate team intrigued her. “At RBHS our goal was basically to go to state and then to win state once we’re there. ... So it was based on the meets that we had, and with CSC, it’s different meets so there’s different goals,” Simon said. “I mean, it was a great experience to do high school, it’s just more like a one-time thing.” This season, the team placed third in the Independence Invite Dec. 15 and won its two duals against North Kansas City High School Dec. 24 and Jan. 1. The team qualifies for two relays at the state competition Feb. 15 and 16. Willett expects several to qualify individually in many competitions as well as dropping times. “The girls are having fun. No season goes perfectly, but I think the girls have a lot of potential and I think we’re learning,” Willett said. “It’s not over yet. … This is a rebuilding year.”

Sports » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013

photo by Patrick Smith


Leave it all on the mat: Junior Sabien Cook lifts his opponent and proceeds to fall back and pin him against the mat with an illegal move. Although Cook was penalized, he ended up winning by major decision at the Hickman tournament, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18 and 19. In the tournament, Cook strained his obliques and is unable to participate in competitions for the next three weeks. As part of the varsity squad, Cook’s absence will affect the team’s prospects for the district tournament. Cook said three of the other six wrestlers anticipated to make it to state are suffering from injuries at this time of competition.

Wrestlers suffer injuries, prepare for districts kaitlyn » Marsh


he body of a wrestler is that of great intensity. The sport itself being founded purely on human stamina and strength, these athletes must endure a rigorous process to keep up with the competition as well as staying in it. With the anxiety of the district meet looming in the first days of February, the Bruin wrestling team prepared and experienced many trials throughout the season. As a result, these past several weeks have not been all this lineup hoped for, Assistant Coach Joe Collier said. “We are a little underachieving just because the wrestlers expect so much of themselves coming in [to the season],” Collier said. “One of our guys in particular, [junior] Sam Crane, won state, so although he is having a great season, due to injuries, the other guys are not performing or have not liked the way they performed so far.” Unfortunately, these injuries have not been few. Wrestlers commonly experience sprains

and strains because of fatigue or strenuous positions on the mat, but this year has been unusual in the number and severity of injuries, senior Kyle Johnston said. “We really haven’t lived up to what we did last year yet because of injuries and just not performing when we needed to,” Johnston said. Junior “Quinn Smith [was] out … because he burst his bursa sac in his right knee and Cody Maly who is also a junior had labrum surgery on his shoulders last year, and those have been problematic for him.” Despite the setbacks that might have restricted performances for some, the rest of the team has taken on the responsibility to work harder with the absence of a few varsity members. As a result, making weight and participating in matches was that much more imperative. In order to stay in designated classes, these athletes have to constantly monitor food and liquid consumption as well as staying physically fit. If wrestlers don’t make their weight class, they have to forfeit a match and sit out of a meet. “Keeping our weight down is really hard be-

cause over the summer all you do is try to bulk up and during the season you have to cut down ... a lot just so you can make weight,” Johnston said. “In wrestling, the point is to get the biggest frame into the smallest weight so you can be the strongest guy at that weight, and that usually translates into skill and being better.” If wrestlers do not make weight or are not within a pound of their categorized weight class the day of competitions, the consequences can be torturous for the team members, Johnston said. In addition to depriving their bodies of food and liquids all day, some even have to dress in layers and run laps to sweat the excess weight off in the hours before weigh-ins at matches. “Eating really isn’t that bad, it’s the drinking water,” Johnston said. “It’s really hard because ...when you drink [water] you gain a lot more weight than if you would eat something and you’re really thirsty because you have drained your body of all of its liquids. [Wrestlers are] usually always dehydrated.” Although the Bruins have been through quite

a process to continue the season, the wrestlers are ready to take on the postseason with continued practice and intensity, sophomore Graham Ratterman said. “We’ve worked on making ourselves hard to score on, staying in good position and focused on winning close matches,” Ratterman said. “Having a lot of solid guys in the room who are all good training partners really pushes everyone ... everyone just keeps improving.” After a satisfactory eighth place finish at last year’s state competition, the varsity lineup has established their own goals for the 2013 season, Collier said. With hopes for a promising outcome, the team prepares for the state championships, Feb. 14 and 15 at the Hearnes Center. “This is the best time to get healthy, and we are getting healthy right now [in] January and February,” Collier said. “Our goal this year is to place at state and place at districts. It’s an attainable goal but we have some good wrestlers that are just now starting to get healthy. ... I think they can do it. They work hard enough for it and they deserve it.”

Athletes train in off-season to better performance blake » Becker


t was a frigid winter morning as senior David Plain walked onto the RBHS baseball field with the rest of the baseball team. For the players, the chill and fewer hours of sleep are an essential sacrifice to prepare for the season. Many student athletes take part in offseason practice to keep their skills sharpened. Plain said off-season practice is a necessity affecting how players will perform in the coming season and is key to their success. “[Practice] is huge. We had a really good team last year, and we’ve got a whole bunch of new kids that are going to have to step it up this year,” he said. “It also gives us time to get our heads on straight because the season starts real soon, and we’ve got to be prepared for it, so anything we can get done now we need to do.” During the preseason, the baseball team practices before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and after school Monday through Thursday. Head Coach Justin Towe said for the players to stay on top of their game, they must be working on and off the field. “You can’t just walk out and play, so if these guys want to play at a high level then they’re gonna have to put in more work,”

Towe said, “which is unfortunately why we don’t see a lot of kids playing multiple sports anymore.” However, because team practices are often legally restricted in the off-season, junior Harry Stanton of the boys swim team finds ways to stay in shape on his own. Stanton said he pushed himself and gained muscle by joining the wrestling team. “[Wrestling is] a great workout. It strengthens muscles that you need for swimming [and] it’s also great cardio which keeps your lungs strong. … Pretty much every aspect of it helps in relation to swimming,” Stanton said. “I’m not really one of those guys that can just do great no matter what; I need to always try and work out all the kinks ... and wrestling helps me do that when swimming isn’t in session.” RBHS Athletic Trainer Greg Nagel said he finds it mentally and physically beneficial for student athletes to participate in multiple sports, but sometimes encounters athletes who can hurt their bodies and well-being by overloading their schedules. “I think there’s a way that you can do multiple sports and train a lot and be healthy,” Nagel said, “but when you start to see those small injuries occur over shorter periods of time ... I think those are the athletes that need to be concerned with overtraining.”

Such overtraining made senior Olivia Mends pull her Achilles tendon and sprain an ankle during her junior year while participating in club soccer and the RBHS cross country team, an injury Greg typically sees from hurt athletes. Mends said that while the 60 miles a week she ran took its toll, the off-time she acquired with her injury had its repercussions along with its benefits. “It kinda slow[ed] things down, and sometimes it’s for the better because I couldn’t do as long of practices ... but at the same time it was stressful because I had to get back to running to get back in shape,” Mends said. “It was always frustrating because you had to go to physical therapy every day to make sure you were getting better and so it’s got its plus and minuses.” However, for the baseball team these off-season practices are beneficial and supported by a strong atmosphere along with players knowing what is to be expected if they are to perform well. “Rarely will we not have guys show up, they know that it’s a commitment, and that’s just something that they know to do and know to expect. We’ll go all the way till the end of school,” Towe said. “They know when they sign up for it what they’ve been getting into.” Additional reporting by George Sarafianos

photo by Paige Kiehl

Going the distance: Senior Jordyn Kendall and junior Joanna Zhang keep up a light jog around the RBHS track at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Runners like Kendall and Zhang work through the cold to prepare for track season.


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Arts & Entertainment » » The ROCK » January 31, 2013


Fashion trends re-emerge from decades of the past trisha » Chaudhary


very decade in the 1900s had a trademark fashion style. The 1920s had flapper-like, loose dresses and long strings of pearls, the 1950s had high-waisted skirts with button-downs and the 1980s had baggy printed pants and oversized sweatshirts. Though there are similarities throughout the years, fashion is an everchanging phenomenon. But if one were to take a look at the current fashion trends, it would be hard to decipher a trademark. It seems that the 2010s have a sprinkle of everything. Though items such as high-waisted jeans, loose sweatshirts and oversized glasses are currently penetrating the fashion world, they found their origins in a different era. Levi’s originally created high-waisted jeans in the 1940s so that women could work outside while maintaining an appropriate amount of modesty. The trend caught on in the 1950s and later returned in the 1980s, and now society once again finds high-waisted bottoms a popular fashion trend. Levi’s currently carries 296 different types of women’s high-waisted jeans, and the same history can be applied to nearly all fashion trends throughout the years. Senior Kayla Doolady is an avid user of, a fashion inspiration website, and is always looking for new ways to dress. Doolady won the 2013 Year of Dresses contest hosted by the store ModCloth. She attributes the repetition of fashion to those who desire uniqueness. “I think a lot of times people just get sick of what’s current,” Doolady said. “I guess if you want to look different and if you want something that’s not current and you want to stand out, you’ll look to the past and see kind of what trends they have.” Doolady links much of the mixed trends in the 2010s directly to the Internet. Because the Internet gained so much popularity, it has become increasingly hard for individuals to stand out, so they retreat back to past trends. Blue Bird Apparel is a St. Louis, Mo. based company that puts modern spins on old-fashioned styles, such as high-waisted skirts and dresses, and likes to mix “edgy with classic,” according to its website. The company sells women’s apparel not only to small boutiques but has also sold to chain stores such as J.C. Penney and Sears. Blue Bird Apparel will also be participating in the Kansas City Fashion Week this spring. Anna Friss founded the company and is also the primary designer. Friss believes the recurring fashion trends can be attributed to the fascination and sentimentality that people hold with former eras. “I think it’s a nostalgic thing,” Friss said in an email interview. “We romanticize time periods, and in a way ... style lets us live in that time. Also, there’s only so many different hemlines, collars, pant rises, etc. that [trends are] bound to come back out of pure necessity.” Wearing vintage clothing has become a renewed fashion trend as the sentimentality associated with former eras becomes increasingly appealing. Katy Seibel, creator of the fashion blog Kansas Couture, defines her style as vintage and loves experimenting with old-fashioned apparel. Though it started as a creative outlet, the blog gained fame, and in 2010, Lucky Magazine featured Seibel and Kansas Couture in a spring trends spread. Seibel agrees that old trends seem to come back in style, but she thinks they always return with a modern edge. “Fashion is definitely cyclical,” Seibel said in an email interview. “I think artists of all kinds look to examples from the past for inspiration or as a creative starting point on which to build. I think it’s important to note that while trends definitely come in and out of style, they almost always re-emerge with a new spin, a reinvention of something that’s been done before.” Penny loafers have recently become a popular fashion trend; however, they were originally intended for Norwegian farmers in the 1930s. According to, in 1936, when loafers began exporting to the U.S., a man named G.H. Bass added a leather strip with a diamond-shaped cutout across the top of the shoe, where children would often place pennies to make phone calls. Thus was born the penny loafer. Promoted by Esquire magazine, penny loafers have once again found themselves on the shelves of stores such as DSW, which currently houses more than 350 types of loafers for men and women. With the contrasting fashion trends that are present in this era, Seibel believes it would be nearly impossible to see the future of fashion; however, she is confident fashion will continually be influenced by the past. “I never know exactly what the next big thing is going to be or what I’m going to latch onto personally,” Seibel said, “and that’s one thing I find so inspiring about fashion — it’s dynamic.”

Use accessories to transform a basic outfit from day to night.




2. 8. 6.










1. Macy’s; 2. Urban Outfitters; 3. Coach; 4. Steve Madden; 5. Winter Silks; 6. Forever 21; 7. Givenchy for Dillards; 8. Marshalls; 9. Target; 10. Urban Outfitters; 11. L.L. Bean; 12. Hanes; 13. H&M; 14. Express; 15. Vans photos by Asa Lory, art by Jennifer Stanley, outfit selection by Ashleigh Atasoy and Trisha Chaudhary

Teen explores unconventional yoga studios around Columbia sured at Sumit’s that their mats are properly cleaned. After about five minutes of the class, everyot yoga is for the courageous. one in the room was sweating profusely in the Flow yoga is for the flexible. stifling 100 to 105 degree temperature of the air. Our yoga instructor even sloshed through the Sunrise yoga is for the stressed. To get a feel for the different yoga studios accumulated puddles of sweat as she walked around us. This torture around Columbia’s lasted the whole 80 mincommunity, I decided ute class. to stretch myself and I’ve realized I have a better Safe to say, hot yoga plunge into the yoga world by participating end result with classes that was for someone with immense endurance and in classes from Sumit’s are geared more toward tolerance of humidity, Hot Yoga, Element Yoga and Health Stustretching and relieving but not me. My purpose of doing yoga is to relax, dio and alleyCat Yoga. tension in my body.” yet I felt no relief of tenNow, I’m not a regular sion during my session. yoga participant, but I wouldn’t do this class I’ve done several yoga again, but I’d recomclasses throughout the mend it to someone with years. I started my yoga journey at Sumit’s Hot more experience. I do have to admit, though; I was very Yoga. It is a local venue at 103 505 East Nifong Blvd. that allows its participants to sweat off pleased to find out that Sumit’s Hot Yoga cleans their stress while strengthening their bodies yoga mats, towels and floors well. Sumit’s Hot Yoga said they use tea tree oil on the yoga mats and focusing on balance. When I arrived, the extra $4 I had to pay for a to help prevent the spread of diseases. Tea tree towel and a mat appalled me. In the past when oil is said to be effective against bacteria, virusI’ve done yoga, I got those sorts of items for es, fungal infections, mites and lice. They also free. I am always a little skeptical of using mats clean down the floors with floor cleaners, and that yoga places provide because of the risk of the towels are put into a washer. Continuing on with my adventures in Cospreadable diseases, but I was adamantly reas-

julia » Schaller


lumbia’s yoga, I took “flow” yoga at Element Yoga and Health Studio located at 1506 Chapel Hill Road, STE E. The flow class means the yoga poses should improve strength, cardiovascular health and flexibility. As I entered, the instructor welcomed me and the room’s atmosphere immediately soothed me. There were about eight participants in the class, a perfect number for the size of the room, and this time I got to use a mat for free. The class challenged my flexibility and upper body strength as I twisted my core and worked my abs. The poses included holding a stretch and doing a curl-up type motion, which felt rewarding. I could tell the instructor was quite experienced because for every pose we did, she said the yoga name and then translated it, which was impressive. The instructor put me at ease and even quickly massaged our legs as we stretched out on our mats. This allowed me to completely let go, and a massage on freshly stretched muscles is always amazing. The class was a real treat for my body, mind and soul, and I would recommend it to anyone. During the session, the instructor had us focus on peace of mind by having us connect our thoughts and mindset with how we felt and the depth of our hearts. She used phrases such as “breathe deeply,” “find your inner peace” and “smile and think positive thoughts.” The last place I ventured to was alleyCat Yoga at 23 South 4th Street for a Sunrise Yoga

class. Waking up at 4:50 a.m. to get there at 6 a.m. was no easy feat, but when I got there and walked into the dimly lit, carpeted room, I was at ease and knew the early rise was worth it. The spirit of the room was warm, and there was an Indian shrine in the front of the room, as well as many decorated elephant statues in the hallways. There was even a small running fountain display in the front of the studio. The instructor gave genuine smiles and asked about my day and a bit about my personal life. There was only one other person who took the class with me, I suspect because of the early bird hour. The class included stretching our legs with a strap, and improving our balance by either sitting on a cushion or sitting half on it. The mat, strap and cushion were all free. The class went by smoothly. Everything we did focused around breathing, letting go of tension and stretching our muscles for the day ahead. The intensity of the poses was not too laborious. I am certain I will go to Sunrise Yoga again. I am even considering buying a pass so I can go for multiple weeks. The class is perfect to loosen up in the morning. Through my experience, I realized I have a better end result with classes that are geared more toward stretching and relieving tension in my body. If you’re looking for a great yoga spot in Columbia, I would stop into alleyCat Yoga, Element Yoga or Sumit’s Hot Yoga, if you’re looking for something a little bit more intense.


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January 31, 2013 « The Rock «


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49ers 47%

Who is going to win? The Rock surveyed 180 students

Ravens 53%

Check out Bearing News on Sunday for a student-run live chat at 5 p.m.! jacqueline » LeBlanc


What would you say is the best aspect of Super Bowl Sunday?

t this time last year, any hopes of a Harbaugh Bowl – a matchup between head coaches and brothers John and Jim Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers – were put to an end when both Harbaughs’ seasons ended after crushing defeats to the New England Patriots and New York Giants in the American Football Conference and National Football Conference championship games. This year, however, the football gods must have decided that the pairing of brother against brother in the biggest game of the year was too good to miss and elevated the Harbaughs to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Not only is it the first Super Bowl that two brothers have coached against each other, but it will also be future Hall-of-Famer Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ final game. Factor in 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started midway through the season in favor of Alex Smith and started one of the greatest quarterback controversies, and the Super Bowl is guaranteed to be memorable. The 49ers started their season 6-2 with quarterback Alex Smith. Yet, after Smith’s concussion midway through a game against the St. Louis Rams in week 10, Kaepernick took over and ended the game in a rare tie, 24-24. With Smith still recovering the next week, Kaepernick started against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football and won 32-7, completing 16

of 23 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Even when Smith was cleared to return, Coach Jim Harbaugh started Kaepernick over Smith, even though Smith was ranked third overall in passer rating, led the league in completion percentage and was 19-5-1 as a starter. The 49ers finished their season 11-4-1 and a No. 2 seed in the NFC. Kaepernick continued to impress with his first win in the post-season over the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round, 45-31. Kaepernick and the 49ers came from behind against the Atlanta Falcons in the conference championship game Jan. 20, winning 28-24 and advancing to the Super Bowl. On the other hand, the Baltimore Ravens began their year 10-2, but went on a losing streak in December, winning only one out of five games. The Ravens slipped from being the No. 1 seed to the No. 4, and their dismal December, as well as the loss of Ray Lewis to a torn tricep, led many to believe that the Ravens’ chances for a run to the Super Bowl were limited. Yet, the Ravens stunned many when they traveled to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the No. 1 seeded Denver Broncos in the Mile High Stadium. With Ray Lewis’ announcement of his return to the season and retirement at the end of the year, the possibility of his last game made for an emotional event for Baltimore and their fans. After a thrilling game, Baltimore was able to force overtime and come out on top, 38–35. With their victory, the Ravens traveled to Fox-

photo by Paige Kiehl

“The commercials are really funny and ... are usually only played once. ... They are funnier than the other commercials shown throughout the year.”

–Madeline Harl, sophomore

photo by Asa Lory

“The excitement built up by the fact that everyone around the nation is watching it. ... It is a great day for millions of Americans ... to get together friends and family and just have fun.” –Joe Szucs, junior

boro, Mass., to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game. Although the Ravens came close to beating the Patriots last year, the Patriots were eightpoint favorites going into the game. New England was up 13-7 at the end of the first half; however, the Patriots failed to score any points during the second half, shockingly losing 28-13 to the Ravens. Both teams stand equally qualified for the title, but the 49ers have a little more experience in the category of Super Bowl performance. The last time the 49ers made a Super Bowl appearance was in 1995, when they beat the San Diego Chargers for their fifth win out of five Super Bowl games. If the 49ers were to win, they would become the only franchise to be 6-0 in the Super Bowl and would be tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl titles. The Ravens made their first Super Bowl appearance in 2000 as the “new Baltimore Ravens.” Baltimore easily defeated the New York Giants 34-7. If the Ravens win, one of the most iconic defensive backs to ever play the game would end his career with another Super Bowl victory. However, Kaepernick’s ability to be an effective passer, along with his on-point mobility in the pocket, is what makes him such an impressive starter and may have changed Jim Harbaugh’s mind about him in the first half of the season. With targets such as Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss all in the air

and Frank Gore on the ground, San Francisco’s offense has the potential to be explosive. If Kaepernick is able to put up impressive numbers in the air and on the ground, it will be difficult for the aging Baltimore defense to keep up. The 49ers’ defense, led by Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, will be a match for Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense, as well. The offensive line will be key in protecting Flacco and giving him the time needed to throw accurate deep passes. Flacco has been criticized for not being consistent, but in Flacco’s defense, the plays that the Ravens utilize are not always the easiest. Flacco makes dangerous, deep throws if given enough protection and time. If the offensive line can hold off against the 49ers, Flacco can have enough time to execute big plays on offense with targets such as Anquan Bolden and Torrey Smith, as well as allow holes for running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to run through. Although both teams house spectacular defenses, the offense will be the deciding factor in this game. Many have scrutinized Flacco throughout his career, and many believe Kaepernick is either underrated or overrated, so it only makes sense that these two young quarterbacks prove how talented they are in the most important game of their lives. The most highly anticipated game of year will definitely be one of the most exciting. I predict the 49ers win a close one, 27-24.

photo by Asa Lory

“My favorite part about Super Bowl Sunday is commentating the game with my family.” –Eryn Wanyonyi, senior

photo by Patrick Smith

“I don’t really follow the NFL, so my favorite thing about the Super Bowl is the funny commercials. The actual game is just kind of an annoyance; I don’t care that much.”

–Clark Gribble, senior

January 2013  

The print edition of Rock Bridge High School's school newspaper in January 2013

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