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Motocross Ma nia - p age 21

Rock Bridge High School • 4303 S. Providence Rd. - Columbia, MO 65203 • Volume 38, Issue 6 • March 24 , 2011

Joint classes produce books


number of students from Kathryn Fishman-Weaver’s third hour AP Language and Composition class partnered with the Community Skills classes to make books and raise funds. The AP Language class received an opportunity to gain extra credit and turned the project into a huge success. They bonded with the students, and after they were done with their books, they did other activities, like playing Uno. The two classes held a celebration together for the books they created March 18.

Spring may bring Wi-Fi WALTER WANG


espite assurances from CPS Instructional and Information Technologies that it would be up this month, Wi-Fi is still not here. The original plan was to install Wi-Fi by the end of January; the late arrival of some

components delayed the engineer’s installation. However, March has nearly passed without a sign of Wi-Fi. “At this point spring break is the most likely time to get [Wi-Fi] installed and adjusted,” said David Kessler, manager of network infrastructure and operations. “We had three issues to work through to deploy the access

photo by Kylee Fuchs

points. First one is complete; that was editing the configuration to remove a pop-up timer that would have prevented smart phones from connecting. The other two are not completed yet. We need to get some replacement code to remove the required authentication key on the log-in so that just entering your ID and accepting

the AUP will connect the users. The other is waiting on a response from HP on a setting that will need to be set on each of our core switches at each building.” Wi-Fi will provide students with easier Internet access and availability to use the Internet from homebrought laptops, media specialist Dennis Murphy said.

“There are going to be fewer restrictions for the Wi-Fi system, so that will improve the speed,” Murphy said. “We have to have some restrictions to comply with the law, but it’ll be less than what we have now. A big thing will also be that students can bring their own laptops.” story continued on page 2

HHS may adopt block scheduling

Read on page 2



photo by Savannah Viles

AP U.S. test, curriculum to face revamp


tudents planning to take the Advanced Placement U.S. history test will face a new curriculum starting in the 2013’14 school year. The College Board is planning to institute more information analysis than factual memorization, hoping to instill life-long skills in the students. The College Board hopes these changes will help raise the students’ understanding of both the material and general concepts.

Read on page 3

Prom closet gives girls chance to exchange dresses


he Prom Closet will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 9 at 3215 South Providence Dr. Currently, the Prom Closet is collecting dresses so that all students will have an opportunity to pick out dresses they desire and take them home free of cost. The event is accepting donations and all proceeds will go to the Rainbow House. Students can also enter a raffle to win a free make-up session courtesy of local beauty stores and restaurants.

Read on page 3

photo by Kylee Fuchs


News Features In-Depths Editorials Sports Arts & Entertainment

photo illustration by Kylee Fuchs

Countries save power together TESSA VELLEK


record 128 countries participated in Earth Hour last year in hopes of decreasing global energy consumption. In the city of Columbia alone, this 2010 Earth Hour lessened the electrical load by an average of 62 homes on an average day, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Earth day, as people will turn off all lights for an hour at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26. Although biology teacher April Sulze thinks Earth Hour is a good idea to raise awareness for the cause

of lessening energy consumption, she realizes people must pursue more drastic changes than turning off electricity for one hour to make any sort of significant change on the planet. “I think it would give [people] some sort of perception on how much energy really is used in an hour ... but one hour isn’t going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things,” Sulze said. “There might be a few people that maybe choose to do things differently, but no, an hour is not going to take back the years and years of dilemma that we have created.” Likewise, junior Maddie Hicks suggested people around the globe

need to extend this mindset to their everyday lives instead of just one day per year. “We shouldn’t just do it for 60 minutes that one day a year. We should do it every day,” Hicks said. “Even little things like turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or turning off the lights when you leave the room are helpful. Also, things like switching to LED or fluorescent bulbs help to greatly reduce our energy consumption.” The concept of Earth Hour originated in Sydney, Australia where 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses turned off their lights for an hour in 2007. story continued on page 3

ickman High School is considering switching its current scheduling format — seven classes per day — to a block schedule format. The Kewpies may adopt a fourhour A/B schedule. Unlike RBHS, though, HHS would only have the block schedule four days of the week with an eight-class day Friday. “This would guarantee each teacher would see their students at least three times a week,” HHS Principal Dr. Tracy Conrad said. “I think the success the students at Rock Bridge have experienced or demonstrated with a block schedule may alleviate a lot of the concerns parents might have with changing to a block schedule.” As the new Battle High School prepares to open, Conrad said the district needs to sync the schedules in order to “alleviate some of the requests for transfers.” “I also think it is important to take into consideration what [type of scheduling] will be utilized by the new high school,” Conrad said. “I feel closely aligning our high school schedules will provide more standardized educational offerings across the entire district, regardless of which school one may be assigned.” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Wanda Brown said the type of scheduling a school provides is the main reason for students to transfer from one high school to the other. “The reason cited by Hickman district students to transfer to RBHS is usually a preference for block, and the reason cited by RBHS students to transfer to Hickman is usually traditional scheduling,” Brown said. story continued on page 3

Bill aims to switch teacher tenure to contracts AVANTIKA KHATRI


irst introduced to the education committee Feb. 22, House Bill 628 suggests an end to teacher tenure. The legislation could take effect July 2012, and it proposes a continuing contract for teachers, the length of which the district has yet to determine but would be no longer than three years. The bill that Rep. Scott Dieckhaus sponsors states the district would evaluate all teachers annually, which would determine the length of contract. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would develop models on which to judge student performances as a part of teacher evaluations across all classrooms. Dieckhaus sponsored the bill because he said Missouri education needs reforming. “I think that removing teacher tenure is something that we can do and probably should do in the state of Missouri … not to say that we’re

going to ignore due process,” Dieckhaus said. But “we’ll get rid of those in favor of having multiyear contracts offered by the school board.” The Missouri State Teacher’s Association opposes the bill. MSTA spokesperson Todd Fuller said a common misconception about tenure in Missouri is that it is similar to tenure in places like New York City, where teachers who acquire tenure maintain it across the state. “It gives the teacher the ability to have a hearing to determine their ability to teach,” Fuller said. Teacher tenure is simply “a process that the school district has to go through to determine whether to renew or not renew a contract.” Part of this process requires school districts to go through an evaluation process when they want to fire an employee. Administrators have the ability to remove a teacher from the classroom regardless of tenure, Fuller said. Due process allows teachers to respond to unfair evaluations. Principal Mark Maus said teachers may feel restricted if due process is eliminated

because if a teacher disagrees with his evaluation currently, a hearing ensues. However, Maus is concerned with more than just tenure. “What’s most important to me [than tenure] is that, as a principal, is to hire good people to teach the students,” Maus said. “And whether or not they’re a second-year teacher who’s not tenured but doing a great job or a 25-year teacher who is tenured.” Although English teacher Patti Price said she realizes the difficulty in removing a longtime teacher and wishes policy-makers better understood the difficulties teachers go through, she thinks the proposed bill is headed in the right direction. “I’d say we would have some input, [rather] than some state regulator who’s never taught in the classroom coming down and telling us what’s going to happen,” Price said. “It’d probably be a more democratic system [because the district allows input from teachers] for us to get our voice in to what we want.”

Upcoming events

pg. 1 pg. 5 pg. 11 pg. 15 pg. 17 pg. 22

RBHS cheer will receive a service award at 6 p.m. March 26 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Capers, the annual RBHS talent show, will be held 7 p.m. April 21 in the PAC. Admission is $5.

Cleanup Columbia will be held April 9. Citizens will strive to keep Columbia clean and healthy.

all art by Dan Hainsworth

2 · News

March 24, 2011


Disasters in Japan cause nuclear reactor meltdown


he repercussions of the earthquake in Japan March 11 that reached a magnitude of 8.9-9.0 on the Richter scale appears far-reaching. Radioactive contamination in crops and livestock reach more than 90 miles from the quake’s epicenter. After finding several cases of milk and vegetables with abnormal amounts of radiation, the Japanese government halted all shipments of milk from Fukushima Prefecture and spinach from Ibaraki Prefecture. On March 16 the American embassy in Tokyo told Americans to evacuate a radius of “approximately 50 miles,” on the advice of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The next day, the American embassy in Toyko began offering seats aboard chartered flights to Americans hoping to evacuate from the potentially dangerous Japan. Military officials sprayed the nuclear rods with water, hoping to cool them right after the power outage, but western engineers say the release of mox into the atmosphere would produce a more harmful radioactive plume than the absorbance of uranium. Firefighters sprayed water on the nuclear rods at Unit No. 3 for 13 hours March 19, and the rods at Unit No. 2 were cooled with 40 tons of water the next day. The disaster has spread to other parts of the world, as seven-foot Tsunami waves hit the beaches of Maui and the big island of Hawaii, while smaller waves hit as far east as California and the Pacific northwest. One California man died when he was swept out to sea while taking photographs.

Destruction in Libya drives international intervention


he Pent a g o n and French and English NATO forces proposed a United Nations sanctioned-no-fly zone over Libya March 19. But American and European forces expanded their hold over Libya March 20 by movphoto used with permission from AP ing in on Col. M u a m m a r Tripoli, Libya: U.S. Navy al-Q a d d a f i ’s launches a Tomahawk ground space, missile on Tripoli. as well. Benghazi, the rebel capital, became a field of burned wreckage after allied warplanes destroyed dozens of government armored vehicles. The rebels retreated 40 miles back west to Ajdabiya, and they plan to consolidate control of Benghazi. The capital, Tripoli, was also under attack, as witnesses heard recurring bursts of anti-aircraft guns and saw a prolonged shower of tracers arc over Tripoli. American forces fired Tomahawk missiles, which targeted missile, communications and radar centers. — sources:, —Tessa Vellek

photo by Savannah Viles

Working together: Nicholas Llornes reads the book he wrote with junior Kelly Preston March 18. Community skills students partnered with AP Language students to create a book and learn about language arts.

Book project connects classes JOANNE LEE


n English class it is typical for a student to listen to lectures, read classic novels or drill vocabulary. However, students in Kathryn FishmanWeaver’s AP Language and Composition class are unique in creating their own books. The collaboration of AP Language and Community Skills classes took place Jan. 31 - March 18. Fishman-Weaver’s class had an extra credit opportunity to create a polished book with text, photographs and pictures with community skills students. “It was a collaboration … with

three objectives,” Weaver said. “First to get better acquaintance between the classes because neither classes really knew much about each other, second to create books in various genres and third to learn about language arts in a real application. Using this knowledge in real situations is an incredible opportunity.” The AP Language students had to pre-write about their hopes and fears to acquire academic benefits from the collaboration. Afterward, during the students’ AUTs, they worked one-on-one with a student from learning specialists Amy Switzer, Rachel Victor or Dean Ray’s class for at least three hours.

“I asked my [partner] about what she liked, and she was in choir, and I was in band, so music eventually became the topic,” junior Jeanne Quinn said. “I was more concerned [with] how I would react to whether or not she’d like me. I remember after our first meeting was over, she asked when I would come back, and I said next week, and she was sad it wasn’t sooner.” After each pair of students finished collaborating on their book for three hours, some joined together more on their free time and played games like Uno or did more lessons. “At school, more often than not, we tend to focus only on ac-

ademics [and] hang out with our own little group of friends, so it’s hard to broaden your scope,” junior Riaz Helfer said. The book project is “a really good experience.” Once students finished the post-writing they reflected “on themselves, the community skills [students] and language,” Weaver said. Students came together once more for a book celebration March 18. “Usually when I volunteer, I do it mainly with myself in mind, like, going to hospitals, labs,” Quinn said. “But from this experience, I really felt like I helped someone.“

Plans for Wi-Fi installation stall story continued from page 1 The Wi-Fi system, which cost $20,412 for both RBHS and HHS, will be available in the library, main hallway, commons areas and some classrooms, Murphy said. Despite this, teachers say they are not worried about increased instances of cheating. “The people who are already cheating already have it on their phones, or even on their calculators,” social studies teacher Greg Irwin said. “So it won’t really matter.” Some students already have been bringing their laptops to school and are looking forward to the Internet access. “Instead of waiting forever to get onto the school computers,” sophomore Matthew Starcher said, “I can use my laptop, which is much faster, which will allow me

to be more productive.” Plans for the Wi-Fi system at RBHS have been in progress for about half a decade. Delays have prolonged the date of installation, like what happened this month. “We’ve been trying to get [WiFi] for Rock Bridge for five years,” Nieuwenhuizen said. “If you have a file here [at school], you should be able to access it anywhere. You shouldn’t have to save on flash drives. Everyone in this building is for [WiFi]. You can imagine our frustration.”

Proposed Wi-Fi Coverage

art by Laura Ge Song

Columbia motorists encounter continuing winter threat College Board ALYSSA MULLIGAN


n her way to school on a snowy morning, junior Brooke Eaton noticed her car pulling to the right from the resistance of the icy road. As she headed down Nifong Blvd., her tire rolled over a pothole. After she pulled over and stepped out of her car, Eaton realized her tire was deflating and falling off the wheel. “I heard this terrible scraping noise, so I immediately pulled over,” Eaton said. “I got out, and my tire was popped and had partly fallen off, so I called my mom. I just had

to wait until she got there for like 20 minutes, and I had barely any gas and no spare tire with me. Only one person stopped to see if I was O.K., a sweet old man who actually turned around and came back when he noticed no one else was stopping. ” Because of thawing ice from winter storms, motorists may have noticed additional potholes in the roads. Columbia Public Works Department spokeswoman Jill Stedem said compared to past years, the snow fall was high this year, forming more potholes on the roads. “This happens every year and is part of our normal annual maintenance,” Stedem said. “It happens

photo by Parker Solomon

Hole-in-one: After the ice storm Feb. 2, Columbia drivers suffered car damage from holes, like those on West Blvd.

with the change in temperatures when water from both snow and rain gets down into the pavement and freezes and thaws. It all depends on weather. Street Division has a budget of $6.4 million this year, and repairs are always included in that.” Columbia Public Works Department received a notification of the potholes and ordered the staff to insert “cold patches,” temporary repairs to the road in their places, Stedem said. “When our crews are there working on the potholes, we set out cones for their safety,” Stedem said. “It only takes a few minutes to fill the holes with the cold patch. Once the weather warms up and the asphalt plant opens in the spring, we will be able to get hot asphalt and do permanent fixes of the potholes.” Custom Complete Automotive service manager Jim Robertson said his company has dealt with numerous car repairs regarding rear-ends and tire damage. Running over potholes can contribute to the same car accidents if motorists are not careful when driving on the roads. “You are going to have substantial tire damage if you hit it hard enough or wrong,” Robertson said. Hitting a pothole has “probably contributed to a little more than our sales of tires because you will have tire damage, suspension damage, front ends. It takes a toll on the whole vehicle.” As junior Harry Stretz drove his moped to school, he encountered a huge pothole in front of him. To avoid plunging the front tire into the

hole, Stretz quickly swerved around the gap. Nevertheless, he was not as fortunate on the way back home. “The front wheel of the moped dipped and swerved out of control, [and] the rear tire soon followed suit,” Stretz said. “A few seconds of speed wobble later, I found myself at a complete loss of control, and I hit the curb, flipped over and cracked my close-to-brand-new motorcycle helmet. Not only that, but the impact that the front forks took caused them to bend. Now I need to replace them, and they will cost around $200.” The city supports about 500 miles of roadways. Missouri Department of Transportation maintains state roads, Boone County takes care of county roads and the university redeems a few on campus, Stedmen said. Eaton is more cautious after her experience with potholes. Whenever a motorist runs over a pothole, the risk of a flat tire increases, Eaton said. “I see potholes all the time on the roads,” Eaton said. “I think just a build-up of hitting potholes too hard makes my tires really low in general, and I’ve popped two tires because of it, but now I am really careful about checking the air in my tires.” Columbia residents can call the Street Division or go online to fill out the “Report a Pothole” form to notify locations for the service, Stedem said “We rely on the public to report information,” Stedem said, “as we have over 500 miles of roads to monitor and repair.”

renovates AP



y 2013 any students taking the Advanced Placement U.S. History course may experience an altered curriculum. The College Board, which administers AP tests, recently decided to reinstate a new curriculum for the AP U.S. classes that will focus more on analysis of material and less on memorization of facts. The College Board speculates the change will begin at the start of the 2013-’14 school year. It also announced course curricula and tests will involve more questions that require comprehension of general material. “As of right now, we honestly don’t know how our curriculum will change,” AP U.S. History teacher Bill Priest said. “There have been some delays on the implementation by the College Board. The College Board is trying to rationalize the material and cut down on the amount of discrete information. There’s a lot of arm-wrestling going on in the College Board.” Also, the College Board stated its change includes a definite lesson plan that will exclude several chapters and minute details in order to focus on broader ideas. These changes have come from many high schools dropping their AP courses for other higher-level classes.

News · 3

March 24, 2011


Block scheduling may come to HHS

photo by Kylee Fuchs

Save the date: RBHS students have donated 80 to 100 dresses for Prom Closet. The event will be April 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3215 South Providence Drive. The dresses will be in order by size.

Prom closet opens doors wide CARALINE TRECHA


irls have approximately eight more weeks until the magical night of prom, and if they are looking for a dress, the chance to find one is April 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at RBHS’ Prom Closet. Three years ago RBHS graduate Lauren McDonald started the organization for students to donate gently used dresses for the purpose of community. Junior leaders Sami Kanago, Brooke Eaton, Whitney Wipfler and Alex Hutchinson are collecting and running the closet for 2011. They chose to participate based on their relationships with former officers. “The leaders last year picked girls who

they thought would want to carry it on for the upcoming year,” Kanago said. “When Brooke asked me if I wanted to help organize the event, I said yes right away.” Not only did these girls choose to be the leaders for the experience but also because it is a good way for them to give to the community as a whole. “It’s nice to know that we are able to make a girl happy because she was able to find a pretty dress for prom,” Wipfler said. For three years, Mike and Cheryl Kelly have been generously donating a space for the Prom Closet “store” at 3215 South Providence Dr. where they separate dresses by size in order to help organize them. “Our friends can come and try them on,” Kanago said. “It is literally for anyone and everyone.”

Earth hour creates worldwide effects story continued from page 1 Ever since, Earth hour has been a global event run through the World Wildlife Fund to take a stand against climate change. Although this global display could potentially cause a reduction of “global warming,” junior Parker Sutherland thinks global warming is just a political movement for limiting the United States’ dependence on oil. “I feel like it’s just an atmospheric shift that happens every period of time because we have different statistical events that have happened, like the ice age and the European ice age that happened in the medieval ages,” Sutherland said. “I agree that pollution and that kind of stuff has deteriorated the atmosphere a little bit, but I think that global warming is a climate shift.” Although some claim to not believe in global warming, Sulze said evidence suggests the climate changes because of humans’ overuse of natural resources. “There’s evidence and data showing that the water temper-

ature [and] the air temperature is increasing, and they know that the greenhouse gases are getting trapped in the atmosphere and the accumulated carbon dioxide traps in heat,” Sulze said. “People associate that ‘It’s been the coldest winter’ [with global temperature change]. It’s not just where you’re living.” Sulze attributes this climate change not to the world population increase but to “firstworld countries,” which are depleting the majority of the natural resources and need to focus on energy conservation. “One American uses as much energy as — it’s an astronomical numbers — like as much as 300 Haitians in a year,” Sulze said. “So the amount of energy and the amount of resources that Americans and Europeans use outweighs most of the rest of the world. Where those countries are extremely populated, they’re not causing as much strain on the environment as Americans, where we might have smaller families, but we’re using 10 times the amount that they do in terms of energy consumption.”

After picking a dress, customers can enter a raffle to have a chance to win various prizes. Donations from local beauty stores and restaurants offer a chance for the winners to get their hair and nails done or enjoy a nice dinner on the town. Last year senior Carrie Levy shopped at the Prom Closet in hopes of finding a dress for any occasion. “It was really cool to be able to look for whatever kind of dress I was looking for,” Levy said. “I can’t wait to shop for my prom dress this year.” Prom Closet is a way for girls to enjoy the luxury of a new dress, while not having to worry about the price. “I think it’s a great way for anyone to find a dress,” Wipfler said, “Because the dresses are of no cost and they are just like new.”

Election ’11

story continued from page 1 “This year, to date, there are 41 Hickman students who want to transfer to RBHS and 29 RBHS students who want to transfer to Hickman,” Dr. Brown said. HHS may be looking to other schools for a scheduling model, but they haven’t yet implemented RBHS ideas, such as AUT. “We are currently looking at incorporating some sort of flexible time for upperclassmen and students who do not need additional support during the day. But, honestly, at this point in the process, we haven’t developed a detailed plan,” Conrad said. “I can tell you that in recent conversations with our student leaders, having flexible time within the day has been identified as a need or desire.” The school has acknowledged a need for a flexible schedule like other schools in the district. With their schedule, HHS students taking a study hall or Columbia Area Career Center class only achieve a maximum of six credits per year. This situation does not leave much “wiggle room” when one needs 24 credits to graduate, Conrad said. “Going to a schedule [that] offers eight credits per year would provide some needed flexibility. Additionally, we were looking for ways to build in a time when students could access support and enrichment  during the school day,” Conrad said. “One of the concerns we have is our students seem somewhat limited in flexibility with our current schedule. We are examining a variety of schedules to see if there is a way to better meet the needs of our students.” Despite the idea of extended flexibility, some students worry that a block schedule will be harder on students and teachers. Block scheduling “will be really boring,” HHS junior Grahm Meyer said. “Right now it’s already hard for teachers to maintain students for 45 [minutes], and now we’d have to keep that attention span for an hour and a half.” Whether HHS is trying to be in sync with the new high school or CACC, the school’s main goal is to make sure the students are allowed the best environment for learning. “We should all be unified in some sort,” Meyer said. “In reality, you want to make it easier for the students, not the district.” infographic by Sawyer Wade and Walter Wang

3 school board positions are on the April 5 ballot

“CPS is assessing where it is and where it needs to go and making plans on how to get there. It’s this type of envisioning that makes improvements possible in the district.”

“We are facing tough economic times. We must ensure transparency and effective communication with citizens as each decision is made.”

“I want to be a part of defining policies that improve the health and achievement of Columbia’s students, including my own children who are/will be students in the district.”

“My goals for the district are to ensure that we continue to provide a high quality education for all students, narrow the achievement gap ... increase efficient use of facilities ... and maintain a high quality and satisfied staff.”

— Jonathan Sessions

— Elizabeth Peterson

“I want no more kids ‘falling out’ of the schools. I want every kid to graduate literate in the broadest sense of the word - that they read and write and have complete thoughts about the world.”

— David Raithel

—Sara Dickson

— Tom Rose

“I think that the district must demonstrate wise spending and must critically examine any proposed cuts. I also think that our board has the responsibility to ... protect the quality of education throughout CPS.”

— Helen Wade

photos courtesy of Columbia Daily Tribune

4 · Ads

March 24, 2011


914 West Blvd. S. Columbia, MO 65203 (573) 449-5674


Features · 5

March 24, 2011


Fate overpowers ability 63% of students said they have gambled.


46% 57% of those who have gambled are male.

of students who have gambled have an annual household income of $75,000 or more.



of students said they have bet on March Madness.

84% of students who have bet on March Madness have spent less than $25.

- 90% of students who have gambled and have a household income of over $75,000 have spent less than $100. - 40% of students who have gambled and have a household income of under $30,000 have spent less than $5. - 43% of students who have bet on March Madness and have a household income between $30,000 and $75,000 have spent less than $5.

The Rock surveyed 180 students March 16 and 18

March Madness encourages gambling SHANNON FREESE


hen he was 12 years old, junior Ryan Phillips rose from a poker table with a bundle of cash. After making $40 in 60 minutes, Phillips believed he had found a route to fast money. For the next five years, Phillips immersed himself in a treacherous obsession with gambling. During those five years, he earned about $500 from gambling. “My thought behind putting money down was that I could either get a lot more money than I had or I could lose some,” Phillips said. “I thought the risk was worth the reward. And the time I bet, I won. That first win kind of made me greedy.” Although gambling with cards is no longer his forte, Phillips still tries his luck betting on sports games. Every year since he began gambling, Phillips puts at least $10 in hopes of earning $300-400 in the annual NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. “I’ve won $420 in a March Madness pool,” Phillips said. “Everyone filled [their bracket] out and put $10 into the pot, and the person who had the best bracket won the money. I do it every year because it’s a tradition for me, and it’s just 10 bucks to win an upwards of $300 to $400.” Despite the cash he may receive from his bets, Phillips said the primary reason he gambles is for the thrill. Gambling “is different. I look at gambling as an essential future of healthy hopeful living that takes us beyond the routine. It’s also

Instructors, policymakers evaluate testing methods

a challenge, as well. It gets your adrenaline going because you know what’s on the line for you,” Phillips said. “I’m not addicted to it at all. It’s not really a hobby, either. I just do it for the rush and mostly to have some fun. Because if I win, then I get money and I look like I know my sports.” Phillips may have been able to predict March Madness in 2010, but he experienced his biggest pitfall while testing the probability of this year’s Super bowl, losing $350. “The people who I sent the money to were the leaders of each pool. That leader then keeps the money and gives it to the winner — or winners — of that pool,” Phillips said. “But I never really worry about sending them money because I know exactly where I’m sending the money, so if they keep it I can hunt them down … until they give me my money back.” As the money slipped through his fingers, Phillips didn’t blame his loss on gambling. Instead, he felt he was the only one to blame. “What was going through my mind wasn’t so much, ‘Damn, I just lost all that money.’ It was more like ‘Well, damn, I knew what I was getting myself into, so I can’t be mad because I did it to myself,’” Phillips said. “But now I really try to stay away from bigger bets because the majority of gambling is based straight on luck, and I’m not a person who has a whole lot of that.” But junior Chris Sovich, who is determined to keep testing his luck, put money on a pool, which he has been doing since 2003. Because of his previous successes, Sovich made his biggest bet yet. Instead of entering his usual five pools, he entered 10 pools for

the tournament. “The good news is that I get all that back because I do so well. For the past three years, I have gotten no more than 12 games wrong. I had a perfect bracket in 2008,” Sovich said. “I would believe that I would be close to putting in $100 … $80 to $90.” Unfortunately, sophomore Kreagan Carbone’s largest bet did not pan out as well as she expected. Carbone, like Phillips, put money on the Super Bowl this year, expecting Pittsburgh to emerge victorious over the Packers. “They wore their white jerseys, and they’ve won their last three Super Bowls in their white jerseys,” Carbone said. “I bet $80 ... $40 to one person and other bets of $10-15 to other people.” The Steelers lost to Green Bay, and Carbone was forced to pay back her debts to the people whom she’d promised money. After they lost “I felt pretty dumb putting that much money on a team that didn’t win,” Carbone said. “I just felt dumb because everyone made fun of me. Everyone knew I was a Steelers fan, and everybody knew that as soon as they lost, I would be completely defeated. If they ever make it to the Super Bowl again, I’ll probably still bet on them.” When the tournament started, Sovich planned to spend countless afternoons and evenings filling out his bracket. “Past years I went through 13 sheets of brackets,” Sovich said. “That’s all I do during school. From Sunday when the teams are announced until Thursday when the first game is played I [was] looking at a bracket. It’s the best week of sports.” infographic by Brandon McGonigle

cross the country teachers are under attack by state legislatures. Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio are just a few states passing bills to eliminate ineffective teachers. Such studies as the one by the Program for International Student Assessment that show United States’ students slipping behind other countries academically put even more pressure on teachers to find new ways to convey information to their students. This has opened up a new area of debate: whether or not to teach to standardized tests. English department chair Matt Webel said using standardized tests to judge how well educators teach students a curriculum is not always accurate. Webel said too many variables impact student learning, preventing any conclusions based solely on test scores. “It would be unfortunate if we started using standardized test scores as some sort of measurement of teacher performance,” Webel said. “I think there are a lot of factors that go into student performance: what teacher, what school, what class may not be the only factors that influence anything.” As an AP teacher, Webel believes courses should go beyond what standardized tests assess and should teach students skills applicable in more useful ways outside of the classroom. “We always try to shoot higher than the test and prepare our kids for even more extensive critical thinking than the test itself because I don’t want the test to be the end-all, be-all of our course,” Webel said. “I think if you prepare for the kind of thinking and the kind of creativity they’re going to need to use in future courses and actually in life and in college, then the test itself becomes something easier.” However, such factors as scholarships and college admissions place pressure on students to perform well on tests like the ACT, or American College Testing. Junior Jeanne Quinn did not want to take the test several times in order to get her goal score, so she maximized her first ACT score in high school by hiring a tutor, who essentially taught Quinn the test. “My teacher really helped me figure out what order I should tackle things,” Quinn said. “She showed me a lot of patterns that had been on the ACTs beforehand, so in case I was rushed to figure things out, she had some tips to make sure my chances of getting a good score or getting an answer right increased.” Quinn scored a 35 out of a possible 36 on the test. She said in a world where students have multiple resources available to study and prepare for a test, hiring a tutor helped her level the playing field. “I think that it was a fair way for me to practice for the ACT because you could find out a lot of the information they gave me in the test prep books and online,” Quinn said. “My teachers just helped me stay motivated and helped me have access to a lot of practice tests, so I think it was fair, just expedited.” Media specialist Gwen Struchtemeyer tutors students for the ACT English and reading tests during her spare time. She said she has seen students raise the composite scores on a section of the ACT by as many as nine points with only a few tutoring sessions. She believes the ACT English test adequately tests a student’s knowledge and that teachers should incorporate ACTaligned lessons into their curriculum. “I usually don’t see students for more than three or four 30-minute sessions,” Struchtemeyer said. “That’s two hours, and they can often increase their scores three to five points or more. How is that putting a lot on classrooms when we can raise scores so much with so little time spent?” However, teachers like Webel said the ACT tests students for the most important content they need to have learned in high school, especially since many students enter high school already able to get high scores on standardized tests. He said this can hurt many students. “If I was going to focus on [teaching to the test], then I would think that I wouldn’t really be finding a way to reach that kid [who has a high score] and move him along the path to skill development,” Webel said. “And so it would really hurt us to focus solely on the test, and it would hurt a lot of kids. I don’t think the ACT is the end-all, be-all definition of a test, and it would be a shame to stop there as a teacher or as an educator.”

Living alone in Turkey provides valuable experience, amplifies cultural values HALLEY HOLLIS


hen junior Scott Geyer entered the gym, he knew something was wrong. As usual, the area was packed with huge equipment and sweaty people, just like in America; however, everyone seemed to be staring at him. As he looked around, he noticed formal attire: people dressed in Polos and collared shirts. That was the last time Geyer would ever wear his run down, cut-off T-shirt in Turkey. “I wasn’t really too shocked at first,” Geyer said. “People usually stare for a little while as blond hair is a bit of a rarity here, but after people started whispering to each other and pointing, I knew it had to be something else. A few months later, after my Turkish improved, I was able to

read that sleeveless shirts were forbidden.” Geyer’s decision to study abroad wasn’t random but something that he had wanted to do for three years. “Back in seventh grade, I was attending a private school in Columbia just after I moved from Michigan. I had always loved to read, especially about history, so my mom signed me up for a high school Non-Western Studies class. It was the most interesting class I have ever taken to this day,” Geyer said. “The teacher, Mr. Lindaman, had lived and traveled in the Middle East and Asia for quite some time and had the most unbelievable stories and lessons about his experiences there. That captured me and planted the idea in mind to go.” Three years later, as Geyer walked the hallways of RBHS, the posters advertising the year-long Rotary Youth

Exchange Program caught his eye, and he decided to apply. After going through the interview and application process and being accepted, he knew exactly where he wanted to go: Turkey. “Turkey is a truly amazing place. There is so much more here than people will ever realize,” Geyer said. “I wanted to experience it and Islamic culture first-hand and share with others not only what a truly incredible place it is, but also how amazing it is to take an exchange year as well.” Geyer said the Turkish culture is on a different planet from the United States. Geyer enjoyed cross country, wrestling, swimming and rock climbing when he lived in the States; in Turkey the only school-sponsored extracurricular activity is soccer. “Students have no freedom of AUT here. You also can’t express free-

dom of dress, as everyone is forced lesson in one way or another. to wear the same school uniform in “So many new things were introan effort to make duced to me here at once, all students equal. but the language was defi“Turkey is a truly There is no picknitely the biggest. It was amazing place. ing your classes kind of sink or swim with There is so much each year. Instead, that, as not very many in 10th grade you people know English here. more here than pick a math, sciEvery day you’re able to people will ever ence or language see the results of your hard realize.” arts track and stick work pay off when able to with it for all three communicate that much years of senior more with the people Scott Geyer high,” Geyer said. around you, which really junior “This also means motivates you,” Geyer said. that you stay in the “All of these changes have same classroom with the same group really taught me, though, to appreof kids, all sitting on wooden benches, ciate what I have because you never while the teachers come to you all day. know what you have until it’s gone. And to top it off, my school doesn’t When I come back, I’ll bring so many have air conditioning or heat.“ things with me: a new language, a According to Geyer, everything knowledge of Islamic culture and during his exchange year has been a many incredible friendships.”

6 · Features

March 24, 2011



F p r o s v t i s d i

or juniors Rachael Starr, Ryan Phillips and Scott Coffelt, having a bucket list means more than crossing a few items off. The majority of the tasks on the list remain unaccomplished, and the three have only crossed off a few goals. Some of these tasks are simple, like Phillips wanting to learn to drive a stick shift. Yet others are more significant, like Starr’s, who wanted to save someone’s life. During the summer at Starr’s lifeguarding job, she rescued a young girl from drowning in the 12-foot deep end and can now say she is one step closer to completing her bucket list. “I saw the girl floating to the bottom of the pool, so I thought, ‘I need to get in there and save her,’” Starr said. “I pulled her out and said, ‘Are you O.K.?’ And then I poked her stomach to make the water come out. In all honesty, saving her was awesome, but being able to cross it off [my bucket list] made it better.” Starr, Coffelt and Phillips made their list after watching the MTV show “The Buried Life,” in which a group of friends attempt to accomplish their list of 100 things to do before they die. Like the TV show, their list also consists of 100 items


a ls go

Bu c k et


varying from common lifelong ambitions like skydiving and competing in marathons to witnessing true love and taking the road less traveled. Phillips, Coffelt and Starr combined their own lists and then came up with items that were team-oriented, like swimming the English Channel and getting a picture with the cast of “The Buried Life.” “We each have our own tasks, but it’s also about coming together,” Coffelt said. “We want to go deeper than the surface and cross things off that mean more than just doing something. This is about going after what we want.” Much like her fellow classmates, senior Rachel Rice made her own list when she was in seventh grade. For Rice, visiting the Harry Potter Theme Park in the summer of 2010 was more than just taking a vacation to Orlando. It was a chance to cross off her number one item on her bucket list. “I made the list after I saw the movie ‘Bucket List’ because I realized there are so many things that I want to do before I die,” Rice said. “Going to the theme park was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. My heart started racing, and my head was pounding. The whole time I was just thinking, ‘Wow, I’ll be able to cross this off my list.’” Rice also has climbed the side of the Grand Canyon. This feat signifies her desire to try new things. Despite only crossing off two, Rice hopes to see the Seven Wonders of the World, skydive and go on a mission trip. “I have a lot of things on there that are about more than just doing them,” Rice said. “I want to have goals in my life and accomplish them because it will only help me become a more well-rounded person.” Unlike others, some bucket lists came out of boredom and the chance to have bragging rights. Senior Brig Clark formed his list with friends junior Kathleen Oglesby and senior CJ Ross in an attempt to say he has ac-

complished all that he wants to. “I was at my friend’s lake house, and I knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to jump off a cliff,” Clark said. “We were all in the boat and saw a cliff. The girls [on the boat] jumped off first and were all screaming that [the guys] had to do it now. Of course we, as guys, wanted to go up higher, so we climbed, and then as I was looking over the edge, I started to get excited. My adrenaline was pumping, and I was like, ‘I have to do this.’ When I finally jumped, I felt incredibly free.” Clark was able to cross cliff jumping off his list while gaining not only bragging rights, but also bruises. Despite the water’s smack, Clark said the feeling afterward was euphoric. “After I jumped I was just ecstatic because not only was it a great experience, but it was [also] a goal of mine,” Clark said. “That’s what makes things great — knowing that I accomplished goals after they were set.” Bucket lists provide more than just direct experiences, but also lessons and the ability to grow as a person. The goals are lifelong for most as a way to make the most of chances. “It’s more of the journey that we take to get there rather than just the task,” Coffelt said. “When we’re older it’s going to be awesome to say we’ve done it, but actually doing these things is beyond that. It’s about going after what we want and achieving that.” However long the list or difficulty of various tasks, the goals give hope for an interesting life to accomplish everything they ever wanted. Inspiring to travel the world or to undertake life-changing risks, bucket lists can be different for everyone. “This bucket list is a promise that we won’t sit around and be bored with our lives,” Starr said. “We want something to look forward to after high school. It will help us grow as people.”

typography by Brandon McGonigle

Divergent cultures meet AVANTIKA KHATRI

nam whatever your parents say is what you’ll do. Here I have more say in things because [my parents] adapt[ed] to the he phrase “melting pot” came into American way. … If there’s something I popularity at the turn of the cen- want to do, I’ll do it [unless] they tell me tury to describe the integration of not to. ... But in Vietnam it was strictly like, cultures in America. At the time, tides of ‘You can’t date,’ or, ‘You can’t date until European immigrants were arriving in this age.’ … Here you would argue that … America. Today another wave of immigra- like, ‘Why can’t I date’ or, ‘Why can’t I go tion brings foreigners from all walks of past midnight?’ I noticed that in Vietnam it life to America. With more cultures pres- was more strictly rules. I noticed that my ent in America, some students agree with parents are more lenient. They don’t care the “melting pot” theory, while others lean as much.” toward another theory, known as the “moSenior Noha Yahya emigrated from saic” or “salad bowl” view. Yemen in December 2008. Unlike Tran, Because America is so vast, some find she was not exposed to American culture both theories applicable in different parts when she was young. Her first six months of the United States. Senior David Maddox were difficult. Differences in people, dress found differences even between Evanston, and speech pervaded her life. But soon she Ill., where he lived until about age 15, and acclimated to her new environment. Columbia. “At the beginning it was hard to deal “I would say Illinois was more of a with people, and, you know, we dress up melting pot, and here [it is] somewhat differently and stuff, and we have this aclike a salad. Like, I just don’t see everyone cent. It was hard the first six months, but coming together that well here as much as then after a year I became used to people it was in Illinois,” Maddox said. “I’d say and [began] talk[ing] in class,” Yahya said. [it seems] like more people don’t want to “I moved because the education system come up and say something to you. In Il- is better here … and the lifestyle and evlinois it was pretty easy to have a conversa- erything. There, it’s difficult. You have to tion with someone — not so much here.” have money or you have to have a lot of The “salad bowl” theory describes things to live good. I think here all people America as a nation with many diverse cul- are at the same level. But there it’s difficult. tures that may be interspersed throughout You have to have a lot to be good social the country while still remaining separate. classes.” The “melting pot” theory defines America Although Yahya crossed more than as multicultural but with the cultures in- 6,000 miles of land and ocean, the cultural tegrating with one another. Senior Nadiah differences she observed were similar to Drenton, who lived in the San Diego area those senior John Kalogeris found in the of California before moving to Columbia, move up from New Orleans. believes in the “melting “It wasn’t a small pot.” town we came from. It “I moved because America is “defiwas actually much largnitely a melting pot. than the one we live the education sys- er There [are] so many in. But the state of mind tem is better here... that people have from different cultures here and so many different the south to Missouri There [in Yemen], people just from all is 100 percent 360 turnover the world. I saw it around. Nobody thinks it’s difficult. ” more in California than the same down there; here,” Drenton said. everybody is so closed“Of course, in Califorminded down there. Evnia, we’re right next to eryone is so open-mindMexico, so there’s a lot ed up here, except when of Mexican people. And you get in the school so we were around that San Diego area, system because then you’re an outcast. It and then we come here, and there are a lot was hard for me,” Kalogeris said. “Because of white people and a lot of just country.” the styles were different, the way we acted Although Missouri may appear homo- down there made it a little difficult for me geneous, Columbia has a greater percent- to get in with people here.” age of foreign-born individuals than the Yahya’s views of America changed after average city in Missouri. According to the coming to the United States. From watch2000 U.S. Census Bureau, 2.7 percent of ing the news in Yemen, she, like many Missouri residents are foreign-born while other Yemenites, came to believe that those in Columbia comprise 6.4 percent. Americans were to blame for the actions Nationally, 11.1 percent of the population performed by the government. She disconsists of foreigners. Sophomore Duyen covered some people “don’t agree with the Tran, one of the many foreigners residing government.” in Columbia, moved here from Vietnam “People should not believe whatever at a young age. She was raised here “the they hear. Everybody is not bad. You canAmerican way,” but she still maintains not judge someone because of what somesome of her former Vietnamese culture. body else did. It’s the same thing. That’s “At home I have a different background. the biggest thing I can see now, to not In school I act different, and at home I act judge people, whatever I heard,” Yahya different, but I don’t really bring it up at said. “They have to experience people first. school,” Tran said. “I noticed that in Viet- They have to know them to judge them.”


photo illustration by Savannah Viles

Teens try living alone KIRSTEN BUCHANAN


hen senior Priscilla Guzman arrives home from school, she does not hear her parents telling her to clean her room or take out the trash, nor does she listen to the squabbles of younger siblings as they fight over what to watch on television. Guzman hears nothing but the simple peace and quiet of her empty duplex. “My mom moved to Michigan, and I didn’t want to,” Guzman said. “This was right after my sister got back from basic training for the National Guard, and she needed an apartment, so we got an apartment together for a year.” Guzman now lives on her own — without her parents or her sister. Although she faces some problems, such as whom she should get to sign permission slips for school, she said she loves the openness and freedom of her life. “I don’t need permission for anything. I basically have no authority figure besides the police,” Guzman said. “It’s awesome that the duplex is mine. I can do whatever I want. I still have to be responsible, but I love the freedom.” While Guzman enjoys living on her own, University of Missouri—Columbia psychologist Nicole Campione-Barr, Ph.D., believes such independence too soon is not necessarily the best idea. Teenagers’ brains are not yet developed enough for an adolescent to handle the responsibility of living on their own. “Our brains are still maturing

well into our middle 20s,” Campione-Barr said. “In particular, the areas of the brain that develop last have to do with decision-making about risky behaviors. This means that teenagers and young adults may know that a behavior isn’t a good idea, but they don’t fully understand the potential consequences of their actions, and/ or they don’t believe those negative consequences will happen to them.” By living with a family, Campione-Barr said, teenagers are more likely to make healthy decisions, not only during their teenager years, but also later in life. “Parents are particularly important early on for teaching us about what it means to be in a warm, loving relationship and that there are people we can depend on,” Campione-Barr said. “As we get older, parents begin to serve more as barometers for appropriate and inappropriate behavior and help us make decisions that are less risky. Teens who are living on their own do not have that barometer to help decide when a particular choice or behavior is too risky — and given their immature brain development.” Guzman said she does sometimes have trouble making decisions without her parent’s influence, especially when it comes to school. “I maintain the same grades [as] I did before. The only difference is that I have trouble waking up in the morning,” Guzman said. “So I am often tardy or absent to first hour.” Senior Jake Walthall enjoys living on his own and taking care of himself. He left one day after becoming tired of his family and

then realized he enjoyed living by himself more than he did in his own home. “I was just looking for a change. I wasn’t really happy where I was at. I just felt like I was already fending for myself, so I decided to just start doing that,” Walthall said. “I never really said, ‘Hey, I’m moving out’; I just left and then started gradually taking my clothes away, and that was that.” Walthall moves from house to house often and does not worry about expenses, such as electricity and water; he pays for all of his other costs, such as food and gas, with his job. Paying for his expenses is not a problem for Walthall, although dealing with his loneliness is sometimes a chore. “You can get kind of bored living on your own, but I try to deal with that by hanging out with friends,” Walthall said. “Other than that, there aren’t really any bad things about living on my own. I love it.” Even though many teenagers become sick of living with their parents, Campione-Barr recommends staying in the same house until graduation. In some situations, such as the lack of a supportive adult in the household, she suggests moving out as an option, but for most teenagers, living at home is simply the best choice. “Even most college students are still dependent on parents in many ways despite living physically separated from them,” Campione-Barr said. “As much as teenagers would like to think that they are mature enough to handle any situation that comes their way, they just do not have the cognitive maturity to be able to live completely independently.”

Noha Yahya senior

Features · 7

March 24, 2011


Adderall affects health adversely ASHLEY HONG


ne wintry morning, senior Judy Simmons* went to Six Flags with three friends. Because she knew Adderall made her hyper, Simmons and two of her friends each consumed one of the colorful pills. Thirty minutes later the three were in tears in the back of the car, hugging each other and reflecting about how graduating would require them to grow up and leave everyone behind. What Simmons experienced that day was one of the side effects of her addiction to Adderall: caring and homesick attitude. When she takes it, she feels “happy inside, like extremely happy, but it doesn’t show on the outside,” Simmons said. “I feel like I want to have a long, deep conversation with someone, and I like to clean my room or my girlfriend’s house when I’m on it.” Simmons discovered the drug while dealing with anorexia nervosa. She had a friend who was prescribed to Adderall, so Simmons bought 14 pills from her, thinking that Adderall would make her less hungry and more focused. Indeed, the drug did what she expected. “It made me not hungry. I didn’t

feel O.K. without [Adderall]. I needed it to be O.K. with myself,” Simmons said. So “I took them every day last year for maybe half a month, and I took them once a day.” Adderall made multitasking easier; she could get tasks she wanted finished on time. However, as soon as she ran out of the drug, she felt desperate. “I was desperate to find a way to not be hungry,” Simmons said. When she didn’t have it, she “was just tired and slept sometimes during class because I didn’t have the energy to stay awake.” Despite the effects of Simmons’ Adderall withdrawal, she said she still buys Adderall when it’s available. She doesn’t think it’s bad to take the drug once in a while because it does help convey emotions unexpectedly. “One night last year, my best friend and I took Adderall and ended up staying up all night, listening to music, talking, cooking a cake for his grandma’s birthday in the morning and eventually crying, holding each other because we realized just how lucky we were to have each other,” Simmons said. “Later that morning we went out to a field to watch the sun rise together, making it home just in time to tell his grandma happy birthday and watch her cry reading the letters we wrote her the night.”

Dept. Chief of Child Psychiatry Laine Young-Walker said Adderall is safe to take with a prescription. But when a teenager takes Adderall just for fun, it becomes dangerous. Adderall “taken inappropriately without monitoring of a physician can result in larger than recommended doses being consumed. This could result in an increased risk of side effects,” Young-Walker said. “It is an unsafe practice to take any medication not prescribed to you.” Sophomore Jaynell Lardizabal didn’t get as emotional as Simmons when on Adderall, but she did got the drug illegally from a friend after she couldn’t focus in school. All the drug gave her, though, was an extremely fast heart beat and worse academic performance. “It just felt like the really racy feeling in my head. I didn’t really feel focused,” Lardizabal said. “And I felt like whenever I talked, whenever I thought, [my thoughts] were always overlapping. Everything was just in a really fast pace; I don’t think it really improved my focus on anything.” Lardizabal said when she looked over her notes from when she was taking Adderall, she couldn’t understand anything she wrote. She would start writing one thing, and the next moment she would start something completely different from the previous segment.

“That’s when I realized I should stop taking it,” Lardizabal said. “I realized this isn’t good for my body and I should probably get to sleep more and probably start to focus on my own. And it gave me a really bad headache every time I used it. I looked really drained; [my] face was hollowed, [and I was] not eating anything.” Senior Katie Huddlestonsmith took Adderall, though her dosage was prescribed by a doctor. She said it made her focus on everything she didn’t want to focus on, such as cleaning instead of homework. “I [was] noticing everything. It was really weird,” Huddlestonsmith said. “I had to vacuum the house, and I noticed the vacuum cleaner was dirty; I [would] spend half an hour cleaning it before I realized that I didn’t really need to, and I felt really distracted when [I] got focused on something [I] wasn’t trying to focus on.” A doctor prescribed Huddlestonsmith Adderall to help rid her of her migraine and help her

focus during headaches. Situations like these are when Adderall can be effective. “A stimulant medication used to treat ADHD increases ability to focus, decreases hyperactivity and decreases impulsivity,” Young-Walker said. “When used inappropriately it can produce effects that these people seek out. They will struggle more with focusing [and] sitting still and be more impulsive. They will have more challenges in school settings and may not achieve to their full potential.” *name withheld upon request

art by Dan Hainsworth

Artificial light exposure not so ‘tanfastic’ Tanning beds cause unhealthy, undesired side effects TESSA VELLEK


ecause soaking sunlight may seem impossible to achieve trendy bronze skin in the winter months, students turn to indoor tanning beds, unaware or dismissive of the medical warnings, like those of the World Health Organization, for minors. Senior Lexie Hollinger has tanned for three or four years, and she said tanning facilities never warned her of the possible harmful effects. Although she realizes skin cancer is a possibility, she de-emphasized personal risks. “I know that it’s really not good for you and you have a higher chance of getting skin cancer because of it, but I think I’ve realized that I’m not a person who uses it all the time,” Hollinger said. “So I think I’m at lower risk than other people, but I still have a chance of having skin cancer.” A study by Vogel Lazovich published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomar Prev. showed that people who use tanning beds are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma skin cancer than those who never tan indoors. Melanoma is a “life-threatening form of skin cancer,” said John DeSpain, M.D., a dermatologist at DeSpain Cayce Dermatology Center and Medical Spa. It appears as an atypical mole, but grows thicker and more lethal. “All melanoma always potentially kill if they aren’t removed in time,” DeSpain said. “Unfortunately, melanoma is not a disease [just] in old people. It’s actually the second most common form of cancer in women between the ages of 25 and 50.” DeSpain attributed the higher risk of skin cancer in those tanning indoors to tanning beds’ increased intensity and wavelengths narrower than the sun’s. “The tanning bed is [almost] all [ultraviolet light], probably 95 to 98 percent,” DeSpain said. “Tanning beds are much stronger than the sun — between 20 and 50 times as strong, meaning if you’re out in the sunlight, it would

take you 15 to 20 times longer to get as much energy as UVA in the same amount of time.” To try to provide a safe and comfortable tanning facility, customer service representative Bryan Altizer said Body F/X encourages customers to use moderate measures to accomplish the desired skin tone. “We tell them about our options for tanning with emphasis on using the bed that limits UVB exposure and the use of accelerators and moisturizers,” Altizer said. “We also discuss their goals and recommend a moderate tanning schedule to achieve those goals.” Although Altizer said all customers are warned of the harmful effects of tanning, DeSpain is less certain that tanning bed operators are “trustworthy.” “As an example, many [tanning bed operators] are not strict about the use of goggles in tanning beds, [considering] tanning beds are known to cause cataracts,” DeSpain said. “Also some of our patients are on medication such as doxycycline for acne, which might cause photosensitivity. The patients are not being asked what drugs they might be on, which might cause severe burns.” Altizer said Body F/X requires parental permission for minors and the use of goggles and recommends indoor tanning lotion, but students find many tanning bed operators, like Hollinger’s, are not strict with goggle usage. By not informing customers of possible side effects and providing comforts like music, the indoor tanning facilities create a relax-

ing atmosphere. For the first time, “I went to Tiger Tans, and it was good because I didn’t really know what to do, but I figured it out,” Hollinger said. “I was in a stand-up bed, like the ones where you hold the rails. It was actually really kind of fun because you tan and listen to music at the same time and kind of, like, dance while you’re waiting. So it was fun. I liked to stand because I was more comfortable with it.” Hollinger doesn’t tan frequently because of her generally dark skin tone, but with dance competitions in the winter, she tans indoors so she doesn’t “look like a ghost on stage.” However, she has noticed adverse effects from the tanning this January. “I told the girl I didn’t burn the last time, so I could go in a stronger bed next time,” Hollinger said. “So I went in there and asked her what bed I should go in, and she told me I should go in the same bed but for a longer time. And I think I went for too long, and I got super burnt. It hurt too, like, [to] take a shower afterwards and, like, anything: to put on clothes, especially pants. It hurt a lot just from it being so red and burnt.” Like Hollinger, who tans primarily for dance competitions, senior Josh Braselton uses indoor tanning to look “darker,” “more muscular” and “more intimidating” for wrestling. These tanning beds burned Braselton as well. “I [tanned] in the morning before school, and I had practice, and I burnt myself really, really bad. It wasn’t very fun at all,” Braselton said. “I didn’t practice very well. The coaches

“I [tanned] in the morning before school, and I had practice, and I burnt myself really really bad.” Josh Braselton senior

weren’t very happy; they were pretty mad.” Although DeSpain said a spray tan is an “excellent alternative” to natural or indoor tanning because it avoids the painful burns both Hollinger and Braselton experienced. There are no proven toxic consequences except occasional fragrance allergies, but Hollinger finds tanning beds more efficient. “I think tanning beds are a lot faster and easier,” Hollinger said. “Usually with sprayon tans you have to set up an appointment or have a lot more time. I only got spray-tanned once, and someone spray-tanned me [instead of a machine]. But I’ve been tanning more, so I’m more comfortable with it.” However, ultraviolet light can cause more than just burns and skin cancer. Some other effects vary from visually apparent brown spots, wrinkles and broken blood vessels to the internal genetic damage of cross-linking, DeSpain said. Some students, including Braselton, are unaware of the multitude of harmful effects from UV light and, instead, believe it could decrease one’s chances of getting burned later in the natural sun. However, a study DeSpain read a few weeks ago debunks this myth. In the study the researchers took people out into the sun and monitored them to see how quickly they burned and did skin biopsies to look for skin damage. There were three groups: the first stayed inside all winter and then spent time in the sun, the second went to tanning beds and then out into the sun, and the third built up sun exposure in various intervals. “The group that went right outside without any tan didn’t use tanning bed or tan previously had a pretty high incidence of sunburns and genetic mutations as you might expect,” DeSpain said. “The incidence of sunburns and genetic mutations that had a natural tan was lower. The group that went to tanning beds beforehand was identical to the group that was inside all winter and didn’t do any tanning.”

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Features · 9

March 24, 2011


Amish find freedom DAVID DUFFECK


t age 17, after years of milking cows, plowing fields and working construction every day, Amos Miller had enough. Without alerting anyone in his family, he left his Amish community in Wisconsin and joined the largest ex-Amish gathering in the United States: Columbia, MO. “For me, the hardest part was just once you leave, you’re cut,” Miller said. “You can’t really go back and see your family much. That was the biggest problem for me was just cutting every tie I had. [I see my parents] now and then but not a whole lot. They don’t like me to go out and see them because of the little kids. They are afraid that if the kids see me out of the community and still getting to see my parents, then they’ll leave the Amish, too.” Miller’s decision to leave the only life he had known was difficult. What he did not realize, though, was that staying out of the church would be just as hard. “The biggest thing was education. In today’s world you pretty much got to have your diploma or GED. I got up into eighth grade, and then I couldn’t go to school anymore,” Miller said. “I’m going to school to get my GED right now because I’m past high school age, and that was the big thing for me. I always wanted to go to high school, and I still want to go to college someday. If any of my nephews ever leave, and I’m hoping they will, I’m going to put them in high school as soon as they leave.” Many ex-Amish face similar issues after leaving the community. With only an eighth grade education and, sometimes, no form of identification, they have a difficult time assimilating into regular society. But when the circumstances seem especially poor, these teenagers can find refuge with Mose Gingerich, who, at 32, takes in ex-Amish kids and provides them a home and, sometimes, a start-up job. Gingerich is aware of the problems ex-Amish face because he is one himself; Gingerich abandoned the church at the age of 22 and left his community and family in Wisconsin. “For all your life, your parents and the church control every aspect of your life. You get to that age when the fear no longer controls you — the fear of getting your butt whooped or getting kicked out of church. Usually, it is the strong ones that finally stand up and say, ‘I do not have to take this anymore,’” Gingerich said. “I’d like to say it’s the adventure of what is in the outside world, but nine times out of 10 it’s just some kid wanting to prove his dad wrong, and that’s a very vulnerable way to leave. That comes into play, why I take these kids in, because they leave, and they are very vulnerable. They are willing to do anything to get back at whoever, so a lot of them get into serious drugs or steal or drink.” Those in the Amish church have a different opinion on why people leave the community. Because of cultural values, the Amish do not ordinarily speak to the press but under conditions of anonymity, an elder member of the church said God is the reason people leave the Amish community. “Most that leave leave their way of believing. They don’t believe in God anymore,” the elder

photo by Savannah Viles

Amish in the City: Working at his job as a car salesman, Mose Gingerich checks on a client from the comfort of his desk. Since cutting ties with the Amish community at 22, Gingerich has welcomed ex-Amish teens from all over the country into his Columbia home. In his spare time, he blogs under the name “AmishInTheCityMose.” said. “We feel that [religion] is very important to us. We spend more time with religion and the family and keeping us closer knit. We try to trust more in God than in people. For instance, I know a lot of people depend on their modern technology, which we try to stay away from.” Gingerich recalls his struggles dealing with the Amish lifestyle, which he said was both difficult and tedious. “The way we made our living was dairy farming,” Gingerich said. “It takes about three hours for the whole family to milk 50 cows, but then there are all the other chores of feeding the cows, fielding the horses, hauling manure out the barn. You may go in the barn at 5:30 in the morning and not get out of there till 9 and then run in the house eat a quick breakfast. Then we would head off to school. At 3 p.m. we came home for school. We had about 15 [minutes until] we had to be in the saw mill, and then we had to work the saw mill till 9 at night, and after 9, we would go do chores. This went day in and day out. It was the most monotonous thing. I rebelled against it. I resented it. I despised it.” The busy week built to a relaxing end, though, and Gingerich said he always looked forward to his day off, Sunday. “On Sundays we would milk the cows, go to church for three or four hours then we would spend the rest of Sunday afternoon reading bibles,” Gingerich said. “Sunday was always over way too fast.” Although Gingerich struggled to deal with the Amish lifestyle, he said he does not regret the way he was raised because it made him who he is today. The work made him tough, but the community’s strict order had the opposite effect on him.

“They try to break your spirit,” Gingerich said. “You’re not allowed to the think independently. If they don’t break your spirit at a young age, then they may have lost you. That’s how their parents did it, so they feel like that’s how they have to. My dad died [when I was] 12, but the reason I wasn’t broken by then was I was a good actor. I would pretend like I was broken when I would get [a] whipping, but they never managed to do it.” There were a number of problems Gingerich experienced with the church. For one, the community elders enforced strict punishments, including banishment if someone was caught with items deemed “worldly,” such as electronics. However, as Gingerich explained, that was not the biggest problem with the church. “Child abuse,” in the form of corporal punishment, Gingerich said, “was how they try to manipulate your mind to be a good little Amish boy. My childhood was very dark. There are a lot of controversial things that go on in the Amish [that] they hide underneath the law, under freedom of religion.” At the age of 16, Gingerich left the church, though he was forced to return after only five months. Gingerich remained a member of the Amish community for five more years before cutting off ties completely. “The biggest decision I ever made was when I finally stepped across that fence and left the Amish for good,” Gingerich said. “Everything that I had ever done the first 22 years of my life — everybody that meant anything to me, family, church, the sense of community — was cut off for life. Forever. It’s been over eight years since I’ve seen or talked to my family. They don’t want to talk to me, and I knew that when I

Energy drinks cause health risk ALEX WALTERS


unior Jordyn Stanford was sitting in class when she looked down to see her hands shaking. Stanford was experiencing the aftermath of the Red Bull she had consumed earlier that morning, which contains 27 grams of sugar. Her daily habit of getting out of bed to go to a gas station and purchase a Diet Red Bull had culminated in a breakdown in the middle of the day. “I used to drink them because Red Bull ‘gives you wings’ or whatever, and it really did give me a lot of energy in the mornings,” Stanford said, “I don’t get a lot of sleep, so I always turned to energy drinks in the morning to keep me going through the day.” Stanford’s justification for regularly waking up to energy drinks applies to several Americans. The Untied States energy drink industry made approximately $744 million in 2007 and saw a 34 percent increase the following year, according to However, the drinks’ effects differ from person to person. For instance, junior Ciara Davis regularly uses the caffeine in drinks to boost energy, but they have never affected her negatively. “I’m just more alert, and they make me stay up later,” Davis said, “but they don’t make me go crazy and act all crazy hyper. I don’t really crash from them; I just end up going to sleep later than normal.” Energy drinks can be fine in moderation, according to, but in larger quantities, they can cause nervousness, irritability, insomnia, rapid heartbeat an increase in blood pressure, rest-

lessness, upset stomach and muscle tremors. In some cases, like that with senior Nikki Watson, energy drinks can even make the drinker more tired. According to the Milwaukee School of Engineering, energy drinks have been known to cause fatigue, which is commonly followed with dehydration. “I drink [energy drinks] because of [their] taste more than anything because they actually make me tired,” Watson said. “The caffeine in it is usually designed to make adrenaline flow and your heart beat faster, but with me, the chemicals react differently. I have depression, so I take [medications], and they counteract the chemical imbalance. So everything that other people have is reversed for me since I have to reverse it anyway.” Because of high caffeine and sugar contents, energy drinks can cause other major health risks, as well. Dr. Mark Kantor, associate professor at the Department of Nutrition & Food Science at the University of Maryland, wrote in his study that the largest amount of energy received from the drinks comes from the high amounts of sugar.

He also said the amount of caffeine, another stimulant, is not required to be on the label, but there is a warning about the caffeine quantity. Not all students think about the array of ingredients in the drinks. Instead, they are hoping to find an efficient manner of obtaining energy. Energy drinks are bad “because energy should be natural,” sophomore Drew Rodgers said, “like from fruits and vegetables, not from sugar and caffeine. It’s just better for your body. I don’t want all that caffeine and sugar in my body.” Though some students look at the ill effects, others still use the results of the drink to their advantage during school and leisure time. Despite the potential adverse effects, students are willing to make the trade-off for the boost of energy. “I would rather be jittery and awake than be a zombie at school,” Stanford said, “Once [after] I stopped drinking [energy drinks], I actually had like some sort of caffeine withdrawal where I would get these horrible headaches and was really irritable all the time. It was pretty pathetic.”

left. That’s why it was such a big decision.” The Amish elder said Gingerich’s choice to leave has graver consequences than isolation. “Having true hope in Jesus, that’s what he’s missing out on,” the elder said. “They have less communication with God. They get more involved with the outside world rather than God.” Gingerich hasn’t spoken to any of his 13 brothers or sisters or his mother since he left, helping him recognize his role in kids’ lives as they leave the Amish community. He said he could have used some help as a kid leaving when he did. “There’s a lot crap you can get into when no one’s watching your back, so I give them a second chance,” Gingerich said. “When they leave, they are rejected. They are disowned. It’s like they don’t exist anymore, and that’s tough for any kid. My motivation is to be an example for them and show them that there is actually someone there that cares about them. And that means a lot to them.” Gingerich was the one who took Miller in when he didn’t have a place to go. He gave him a job working construction and let him stay in his home. This is something Miller did not forget, and he would find his own way to give back. “Just a couple weeks ago I helped two kids leave the Amish community where I used to live in Wisconsin,” Miller said. “They called me up and wanted to leave, so I helped them out, and now they’re living with me, and I got them jobs. One was 18, but one was 17. It was a little risky taking a 17-year-old across state lines, but I left when I was 17, and I knew how bad I wanted to leave.” infographic by Sawyer Wade

“I don’t get a lot of sleep, so I always turned to energy drinks in the morning to keep me going through the day. ” Jordyn Stanford junior


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In-Depths · 11

March 24, 2011



art by Laura Ge Song

Spontaneous choices add excitement to life SHIVANGI SINGH


hen she was 8 years old, sophomore Paige Kiehl suddenly threw all her clothes and stuffed animals, her plastic tricycle, vanity and bed and high chair, her stroller and her rocking chair against her door, blocking the entrance. Her friend was at her house, and she did not want him to leave. She thought that piling everything in this way would stop her mom from entering her room and her friend from leaving her house. As a second grader, she would climb every rock she saw and would fill every mud pit. That was seven years ago; however, now she cannot even imagine acting that impulsively. “When you are younger, you don’t really comprehend that there are pros and cons to everything,” Kiehl said. “When you start to grow up, you learn more about that the world isn’t just going to clean up your mess, but you have to decide what is best.” Although University of Columbia — Missouri psychologist Bruce Bartholow recognizes individual differences in the change of impulsivity from childhood to adolescence, he said teenagers tend to be more impulsive than kids because of the difference in brain development. “The reason this happens, at least what neuroscientists be-

lieve, is that the part of the brain [that] pushes us towards seeking new adventures is already developed by the time someone is in puberty,” Bartholow said. “But the part of the brain that helps us realize when something is risky and helps us to control ourselves and keep ourselves from doing things that are dangerous … that part is still developing and isn’t finished all the way until someone is 20, 22 years old.” Because that section of the brain is still growing, Bartholow said teenagers often misinterpret the dangers involved in acting on impulse, which leads to negative consequences. Some things that can happen are giving in to peer pressure and substance abuse. This portion of the brain is not able to keep the student from controlling the urge to behave subconsciously. “It’s hard because people don’t appreciate really well what the negative consequences could be, so it doesn’t maybe seem as dangerous as it really is,” Bartholow said. “Another thing is that certain experiences are inherently very rewarding or very exciting, so it’s hard to deny yourself that experience, especially when the part of the brain that would help you control that is not fully developed yet.” When junior Emily Perry turned 16 and got her license, she immediately knew the plastic card was going to change her behavior. When Perry was doing homework with a friend on an afternoon, her friend suggested taking a trip to St. Louis. Within minutes Perry agreed and they left for a shopping ad-

venture within six hours. Bartholow said the place where such instant decision processes occur is the part of brain located behind the forehead. The frontal lobe interacts with other parts of the brain and helps one decide how to approach a situation and think about the consequences. “We know that this part of the brain is related to impulsivity [because of] several things. … One is that in people who have some kind of damage to that part of that brain — an injury — those people tend to be more impulsive and make more risky decision[s] and risky choices than people who don’t have that kind of injury,” Bartholow said. “We also know from animal studies that when you introduce a drug to that part of the brain that would keep it from performing its normal functions, also risky choices go up. So exactly how is not clear, but we know that that part of the brain is involved.” Despite the inconclusive data on this subject, Perry said she is happy about how impulsivity has shaped her life, and she looks forward to it in the future. Instead of resisting her impulsiveness, she embraces it and enjoys all the opportunities it provides. Acting impulsively “gives you an adrenaline rush, and things seem more exciting because it isn’t the same routine you are always doing,” Perry said. “It’s something more exciting and new.”




Psychological urges supersede morals SAMI PATHAN

O Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that has been shown to be related to antisocial behavior. Low monoamine oxidase activity results in disinhibition, which can lead to impulsivity and aggression. -source:

ne year ago, out of sheer boredom, sophomores Adrik Bryant and Tucker Burns decided to break the law. They drove their cars onto a rural Missouri back road, lined them up at one end of the street and raced to the finish. They discovered a sense of exhilaration with that first race, so they kept at it, letting what was an impulse grow to become a habit. “It was just a sense of excitement we got. It got our adrenaline going and was just really fun,” Bryant said. “We had nothing to do, so we thought, ‘Why not?’ There aren’t any tracks around Columbia, and even if there were, they would cost a ton.” Clinical psychiatrist Nigar Sultana, M.D., said impulses are sudden urges that are a normal part of the human thought process. But in some cases, she said, they can escalate to become dangerous, as in the case with law breaking. “Impulses sometimes make it hard for one to control what they do. They might react suddenly to something in a negative way even though there is a more reasonable action,” Sultana said. “In some cases the outcome might be unwanted or unnecessary.” In his U.S. Studies class last year, a classmate was taunting senior Tez Wells by throwing Germ-X-covered coins at his head. At first Wells didn’t react, trying to avoid a conflict, which he knew would end with someone getting in trouble, but eventually impulse took over. “It was just really immature,” Wells said. “Eventually, it got to the point of being ridiculous, and I kind of pushed my chair back, and I rushed at him [and] basically threw him out of his chair. I got in lots of trouble for that. The teacher didn’t see what happened, but it was pretty obvious something had happened. The teacher gave me a couple days of LOP [loss of privilege] for what I did.” This was not Wells’ first brush with an impulsive fight. When he was younger, an older boy constantly harassed him for what he said was no apparent reason. “This kid would pick on me a lot. He would come to my house and ask to fight me, knock on my windows at night, pick on me at the park — even yell at my mom about it,” Wells said. “So I just decided one day that I had to

fight him and get this over with. He was bigger than me, and I was a lot younger, so it didn’t go like I’d hoped. I do kind of wish I hadn’t gotten into it in the first place.” Sultana said impulses like this can be dangerous because they cause people to react without worrying about consequences. An impulse might be to lash out and hurt someone, and, according to Sultana, it might be hard to overcome and see the effects of one’s actions beforehand. “Impulses are by some definitions an involuntary inclination to action,” Sultana said. They “cloud your judgment and make it hard for someone to register what could happen as a result of their action.” Some of these types of impulses are the reasons behind many crimes. School resource officer Keisha Edwards has seen how students can let sudden emotions get the best of them. Many student fights end with the arrest of the offenders even though it is avoidable according to Edwards, if the students did not act so rashly. “A lot of students get into these types of fights in school where they just act on impulse and have to face the consequences,” Edwards said. “I’d definitely say they regret their actions after something like this happens. They could face consequences like 10-day suspension from school among other things.” However, as in Bryant and Burns’ case, the consequences might not be enough to push one away from committing these crimes. Because of the rush they got from their first race, the two ignored the other worries of getting in trouble and regretting their actions. “We just really get excitement out of it. It doesn’t really make a difference whether we get caught or not.” Burns said. “It started small, but we got a feel for our cars and what they were capable [of], and it was just so much fun to have all the adrenaline pumping that we haven’t stopped.” But this same feeling of adrenaline can cause one to make his impulse into a habit. Bryant and Burns street race, an illegal activity, on a regular basis, which makes them liable not only to get in trouble with law enforcement, but also cause dangers for themselves. “We’re pretty safe about it; we go all the way out into the country, so we won’t be bothering anybody. And we know the roads, so we know the turns and stuff, so safety’s not really an issue. We use seat belts and roll cages and stuff,” Burns said. “But I would say that it’s kind of become a sort of addiction, just getting the thrill of going 115 miles per hour.” Sultana conjectures that the best way to limit negative after-effects is to try to control impulses as much as possible. Giving way to the sudden emotions can be negative to others as well as oneself and may also lead to making the activity habitual, which in a number of cases is not desirable. “You have to be careful. People are often most attracted to what they’re not supposed to do, and it’s quite likely that you could get enjoyment out of something illegal,” Sultana said. “It’s best to try to control the emotions, so they don’t become a problem, like breaking the law or endangering people.”

9 % of Americans are affected by aggression, compulsive gambling, severe personality disorders and attention deficit problems, which are associated with high impulsiveness. -source:

all art by Laura Ge Song



March 24, 2011

Scientists have discovered links between “violent impulsive behavior” and genetics with alcohol. Such behaviors as suicide, aggression and addiction may be linked to impulsivity. A study by the National Institute of Health demonstrated that all the violent crimes in a sample of criminals in Finland were all impulsive. -source:

Patients with conduct disorder, personality disorders substance use disorders, and bipolar disorders are more impulsive than other psychiatric patients or healthy subjects. -source:

Stores trigger spontaneous shopping MADDIE DAVIS


uying clothing and food on a whim is not out of the norm for junior Beth Ehrhardt. Whether it is online or sale shopping, Ehrhardt is no stranger to spending money simply to spend it. With two credit cards and access to nearly anything she wants, Ehrhardt finds no reason not to. “I think this started when I was 5 because I would sneak things into my mom’s shopping cart that I didn’t really need,” Ehrhardt said. “My problem has definitely carried on to now because it’s almost the same as it was then, except I’m actually spending my mom’s money. Whenever she realizes I buy things, I just say I asked her about it, and normally she believes me.” Although Ehrhardt spends money on clothing, the bigger problem is gum. She averages $500 worth of gum per year just because it is by the cash register. “I’ll be checking out at the store, and I see all these packs of gum, and they are

just staring at me,” Ehrhardt said. “I normally have about two packs in my car at the time, but when the gum is right in front of me, how am I supposed to walk away from it?” Senior Jordan Farris said the problem of simply leaving something behind is what causes him to buy things he doesn’t necessarily need. His impulse purchases consist of mostly clothing and shoes. “I’ll be in a store, and I see a shirt. I try it on, and it fits, so I think I have to get that,” Farris said. “Then since I get the shirt, I have to get bottoms, so I’ll find some bottoms. But once I get bottoms, I need shoes. It spirals, and I end up having a whole outfit or even a few outfits.” The spiral effect of buying one thing and then another is only the start of impulse buys. According to www.newsweek. com, 89 percent of Americans have bought an item on impulse at least once. Most impulse shoppers make excuses as to why they shop and later regret their actions. “Up to 70 percent of people’s purchases are due to impulse,” marketing professor

at the University of Missouri—Columbia, Murali Mantrala, Ph.D., said. “People are most influenced by promotions and advertising in the store. They’ll see an advertisement on TV, but it doesn’t really affect them until they are in the store. All of the big retail companies have been trying to take advantage of that.” Sophomore Taylour Wilson does not know why she buys items on impulse. However, Farris knows exactly why he finds the undeniable need to buy things that he, in reality, does not need. “I buy clothes when I want them because they help me be awesome and have style,” Farris said. “I probably spend $600 of my own money on clothes each month.” Impulse buying occurs in people with both limited and unlimited amounts of money. Wilson spends both her money and that of her parents to make sure she will be able to purchase whatever she wants while shopping. “I worked this summer, so I have money from that,” Wilson said. “But normally my parents give me money, too, when I shop.

It’s not like it’s an unlimited amount, but I like to have enough money on me in case I see something. I normally just buy things in the moment because it’s there, and it makes me feel good.” Happiness is a common emotion after purchasing something extra while at the mall, Ehrhardt said. She uses “retail therapy” to feel happy and satisfied with her life. “When my brother moved out, then the amount I started shopping went up and through the roof,” Ehrhardt said. “If I feel lonely or bored, I’ll get online and just buy things because I don’t have anything else to do.” Despite the compulsive behavior of Ehrhardt, she feels if she really wanted to break her habit, she could. However, Wilson thinks her near addiction to shopping will always be a part of her life. “I just like shopping, and I don’t see it being something that I’ll stop liking,” Wilson said. “There’s nothing more to it than me liking to shop, and I don’t want to stop either.”

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Editorials· 15

March 24, 2011


RBHS students take the soapbox and make their voices heard

Equality should exist for sports teams art by Sawyer Wade

Facebook user evaluates uses of social networking WARREN SZEWCZYK


’ve come to a sad realization during the past few weeks. Well, maybe I’ve known a while longer, but only recently have I cognitively labeled my behavior. You see, I am an indiscriminate Facebook friender. Let me put it this way: the number of worthwhile Nicolas Cage movies is greater than the number of friend requests I’ve denied on Facebook. That’s not exactly a statistic I’m proud of. This fact doesn’t necessarily signify that I have abnormal self-esteem or social issues though, right? For example, maybe only those who legitimately should be my Facebook friend have requested to be my friend. To answer this hypothesis, I looked at a list of the last 47 friends I added. After quickly going through the names, I recognized a grand total of 26 people. Ouch. If I extrapolate that, roughly 40 percent of the people I add on Facebook are unrecognizable to me within two weeks of adding them. And of those recognizable 26, I can identify nine with whom I’ve had a face-to-face conversation. Of those, I can recall the voice of only three. Not to mention the Ugandan guy who I couldn’t even pick out of a lineup, seeing as he requested me by virtue of being a friend of a sister of a friend. Oh, and the guy from Iraq he’s such a good “friend” that when I messaged him to ask who he was after he posted “Happy birthday” on my wall, he wrote back, “i dont no, who are u?” So what is there to make of my friending promiscuity? Is it a problem? Or am I just actualizing my desire to be a social butterfly in a relevant manner? Am I simply on the leading edge of a wave of the future in which social interaction comes in the form of “liking” and wall posting? To calm my cyber-qualms, I turned to any teenager’s most trusted source for advice and guidance regarding significant personal troubles: the net. Any time I use the Internet to answer my burning questions, I just want to know am I the only one that (insert problem here)? This case is no different. According to, indiscriminate frienders are “narcissists” whose computers are destroyed by viruses that they pick up from illegitimate friends. Hmph. Sounds vaguely familiar to freshman sex education. As tells me, friending a stranger who looks like a cool person is O.K., so long as we engage in “Facebook foreplay” first. Huh? Also sounds like my friends’ attempts at sex education. Hmm, this insight provides me with more to think about. As I scroll through my 935 friends, I begin to wonder whether my Facebook habits underscore a creeping vanity or if I’m merely using a “social networking site” for its intended purpose: social networking. The more I think about it, the more I worry about the former. Why exactly do I add random people to my friend list, giving them access to my pictures, thoughts and other friends? Why do I spend upwards of 30 minutes per day in a virtual world, cultivating, both consciously and unconsciously, a certain virtual image? Why do I untag awkward photos of myself and post statuses about my life as if anyone cares what I look like or have to say? I realize I could and should be using the time I spend on Facebook to be bettering my real self instead of my virtual self. The list of things that would be more useful to me is exhaustive: actually socializing with friends, having a conversation with my siblings who live away from home or my parents, doing schoolwork or (gasp!) reading a book or simply embracing the silence of the natural world. I get on Facebook because I have nothing better to do. And if I really can’t think of a better way to spend an hour than Facebook, I don’t have problems with self-esteem, I have problems with creativity. I have problems with laziness. Sure, Facebook is an easy way to fill my time; that’s half of why it’s so popular. But it’s disheartening to think I choose that sort of undemanding endeavor over something enriching, like reading the news or a novel. I won’t say, however, Facebook is entirely useless. It still has its merits: keeping in touch with friends from afar, sharing interesting news stories or learning about upcoming events your friends are possibly attending. I’m not going to become some sort of nostalgic rube who gives up the Internet on principle. I haven’t suddenly joined the legions of “Gen-Xers” who seem to think the “interweb” is a Communist plot to decimate the attention spans of their children and grandchildren. But I have come to recognize that because there’s so much more than the Internet, there’s just no need to doodle away an hour of my day connected to a reality that is fundamentally not real. I’ve taken it upon myself to spend as little time as possible on Facebook from this point forward. I want to spend less than 10 minutes a day on the site, and I encourage anybody reading this to legitimately ask yourself the next time you’re logging into Facebook: is there something better I could be doing?

The Rock Rock Bridge High School 4303 South Providence Rd., Columbia, Mo. 65203-1798 Vol. 38. Issue 6 The Journalism: Newspaper and Honors Seminar classes produce The Rock. Call us with comments at 573-214-3141, ext. 1. The Rock’s purpose is to inform, educate, enlighten and entertain readers fairly and accurately in an open forum. The Rock is a member of the National


t 2:40 p.m. March 10, students and teachers funneled into the gym, awaiting the pep rally for RBHS’s most recent state appearance: boys’ basketball. In the 20-minute assembly, everyone learned Bru Crew cheers, watched a video of the season and was told to be at Mizzou Arena for the next game, the state semifinal. School spirit is an admirable attribute: it connects the student body and encourages sports teams to excel. However, the importance of support for teams begs the question: why is this the first pep rally of the year? 2010-’11 has been a banner year for RBHS sports. Boys’ soccer, girls’ golf and both cross-country teams went to state. RBHS sent wrestlers and swimmers to state competition, and girls’ tennis won the title. Even those less athletically inclined can find great success with choirs, bands, FFA and scholar bowl. So why all the attention for basketball? The answer is obvious. More people like watching basketball. Out of soccer, golf, cross-country, wrestling, swimming, tennis and basketball, more crowds of students support and cheer for the latter. However, this does not mean the school should give extra attention to

basketball. Sure, students probably would not be as excited for any other pep rally like basketball, but the athletes deserve the recognition. It is impossible to force people to care about something. If no one likes watching golf or tennis, the school cannot make the student body change its mind. However, the administration has a duty to all its athletes, not just those in the popular sports. Not to be disrespectful to the basketball team, but all RBHS sports teams contribute similar amounts of time and effort. Some teams have been even more successful than basketball, yet none has received close to the same amount of recognition. If no one will go to any other sporting events, there seems to be no point in holding a pep rally, since the purpose is to encourage and build up the fan base. However, there is more to a pep assembly than just energizing the fans. It recognizes the continued success that a team has had — that their hard work and excellent play have paid dividends. While a swimming pep rally may not encourage a majority of the student body to come enthusiastically to a meet, it still gives swimmers their deserved recognition for performing so well.

Despite the benefits of pep rallies, they have an inherent problem: taking away instructional time. Twenty minutes is not that much, but when there is one for each of the successful sports teams, it starts to add up, which is especially important considering the number of snow days. The solution to this issue is simple: if the school does not have the time to hold pep rallies for each team going to state, it should not hold any in order to treat all teams equally. Besides, having to stay in class all day, many students will not find themselves devastated by the omission. It would be a shame not to recognize the athletes, but right now the school is only celebrating one team, and its policy should be the same for all sports. Sports are a great venue for student-athletes and fans to become passionate and enjoy themselves. Some sports, like basketball, have a greater spectator aspect, leading to a greater following and more attention. However, all student-athletes should receive equal recognition if they achieve the same level of success. While some sports will always be greater than others in the eye of the public, the administration cannot view its student-athletes through such a lens.

DOUB D O U B LE L E TAK TA K E E Should the school give equal attention to all successful sports teams? “I do not think these sports teams should be equally recognized because more money and time is being poured into the successful sports such as basketball and baseball and they overall seem more popular to the students.” Brett Oster, junior The Rock Staff


“More support and focus should be given to the sports and organizations that aren’t as popular and well-known because if those sports are supported they will better represent our school.” Ben Pintel, senior

“I definitely think that all sports need equal representation in our school. Especially lacrosse, they pretty much get the shaft when it comes to assemblies, pep rallies and whatnot.” Emily Sewell, senior


23 8

Rock Bridge Students



158 22

photos by Parker Solomon art by Laura Ge Song

Teacher tenure generates debate in Missouri House


n the Missouri State House of Representatives, Representative Scott Dieckhaus is in the process of drafting a bill in the Education Committee that would significantly alter or remove tenure for public school teachers. Tenure is the process by which teachers have job security after a set period — usually four to six years. Schools must go through a lengthy process of observation and correction to fire tenured teachers, leading some, like Dieckhaus, to question its benefits. Teaching is a profession possibly unlike any other. It has no definitive measure for success, like productivity or sales, since there is certainly more to learn from teachers than what standardized tests can show. There is no widely accepted model for achievement, nor a definitive answer for what success even

Scholastic Press Association and International Quill and Scroll. Advertising is $50 for a quarter page, $90 for a half page and $130 for a whole page. The Rock accepts letters from the students, teachers and community members signed with a valid signature only. The Rock reserves the right to edit contributions if they are libelous or obscene. Any grammatical errors at the fault of the writer will be printed. Editors-in-Chief: Craig Chval,

looks like. Few occupations are results on standardized tests. so influential to the future of Having tenure gives teachers our society. this latitude, thereby leading to The uniqueness and more effective teachers — and uncertainties of teaching make better-learned students and a tenure for instructors necessary. more knowledgeable society. Teachers must T h o s e be able to against tenure Should teachers adapt to their say teachers students, with such job have the tweaking security grow opportunity for lessons and lazy and strategies. cease to find tenure? To be truly beneficial successful, ways to help this requires students, 21-Yes creativity l e a v i n g and boldness, schools with 10-No which only incompetent tenure can teachers for provide. decades. Yet the tenure system If teachers lose tenure, they is in place to prevent this. also lose the security with Like students who which they can be innovative. have opportunities to redo If they fear being fired, they assignments or tests to ensure will be more likely to teach in they master the knowledge, a straightforward, thoughtless tenured teachers have the ability manner, clinging to strategies to hear from administrators that would create positive about their problems and fix

Omar Taranissi Production Manager: Missy Wheeler Chief Financial Officer: Craig Chval News Editor: Tessa Vellek Features Editor: Shivangi Singh Editorials Editor: Omar Taranissi In-Depths Editor: Avantika Khatri Commentary Editor: Brian Dresner Sports Editor: Mary Herndon Design Editor: Brian Dresner

Art Editor: Laura Ge Song Graphics Editor: Brandon McGonigle Arts & Entertainment Editor: Lauren Baker Artists: Dan Hainsworth, Grace Priest, Sawyer Wade Photography Editor: Kylee Fuchs Photographers: Muhammad AlRawi, Parker Solomon, Savannah Viles Staff Writers: Kirsten Buchanan, Rachel Craig, Maddie Davis, David Duffeck, Shannon Freese,

them. Teacher tenure also offers schools stability. Each time a teacher leaves a school, there must be a replacement ready to create his own system. Since teachers often spend years improving their curriculum, firing teachers disrupts students’ learning. Additionally, teacher teams –- an important facet of the RBHS curricula –- rely on collaboration, which occurs over time. This is an asset to RBHS that cannot afford such disruptions. As high school students, we witness the importance of teachers every day and sometimes overlook the structure that allows RBHS instructors to be so successful, as shown by the repeated national recognition the school has attained. Getting rid of tenure does a disservice to these teachers, which, in turn, negatively impacts students and society.

Erika Holliday, Halley Hollis, Ashley Hong, Jimmy Hunter, Abby Kayser, Joanne Lee, Alyssa Mulligan, Leslie Neu, Jackie Nichols, Sami Pathan, Jack Schoelz, Caraline Trecha, Alex Walters, Walter Wang, Emily Wright Adviser: Robin Fuemmeler Stover

16 · Ads

March 24, 2011



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Sports · 17

March 24, 2011


Lacrosse boys stick it out for season EMILY WRIGHT


photo by Kylee Fuchs

Whip it: Senior Sam Fisher runs drills at lacrosse practice March 16. Their first game, scheduled for March 20, was cancelled due to weather.

espite losing many of last year’s starters, the boys’ lacrosse team is aiming high this season. Coming off a season that ended at the state semifinals, the team has two goals in mind: finishing at the state championships and earning a victory against rival Hickman. “Our goals this year pretty much begin and end with crushing Hickman,” junior goalie Jacob Whitt said. “We lost a lot of players last year, including our entire attack and most of our midfielders. Hopefully, this year we will be able to improve skills, such as shooting, dodging and basic stick skills.” After its third-place finish at state last year, the lacrosse team believes it can rebuild and refocus on improving its finish at state. For some players, the goal of a state championship is not out of the question. “We will work to win the state championship,” junior attacker Shane Kuse said. “The fact that we are not technically a school sport does not matter much to us in terms of being motivated.” Whitt agrees the team will have great opportunities for success. He hopes through the squad’s improvement, RBHS will show interest in making lacrosse a school-sponsored sport, which he said means the team could have even greater success. Because of all the gear that lacrosse re-

quires, the lack of school sponsorship makes the sport expensive. “In my opinion lacrosse not being sponsored by Rock Bridge sucks,” Whitt said. “Recruiting is near-impossible because of the way CPS is set up, and then there’s the fact that all players have to purchase their own gear, such as helmets, sticks, pads and cleats.” However, the players said a lack of funding is not an excuse for a lack of perseverance. Whitt said in order to reach its goals, the team has to endure a tough practice regiment every day. For 2 1/2 hours each day after school, they go through a combination of sprint and distance running to keep conditioned while also maintaining technical skill through scrimmage. “There is very little time to catch your breath as the clock is continuous,” Whitt said. “Lacrosse is a game of speed, whether it be running, shot speed or the reaction speed of your goalie. We usually work on some offensive and defensive sets, as well as fast breaks and clears.” The players have developed a cohesive team, Kuse said, playing off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses in practice. This is why Kuse believes the team has a legitimate shot at a state title. “We have talented players returning, and we can really work well together because most of our starters have been playing together for a while, so we’re used to having each other as teammates,” Kuse said. “A

Trout fishers march into open waters Families make connections via seasonal fishing LESLIE



or senior John Marshall and his father, the beginning of March means the start of early mornings, plastic worms, tackle boxes and stringers of fish. The Marshalls have been to almost every trout fishing opening day for the past eight years. “We go to Meramec Springs. I’ve probably gone every year since I was at least 10,” Marshall said. “My dad has gone every opening day for 30-some years; my great-grandpa actually worked at the park, and that was why my dad was there so much as a kid.” Trout season runs March 1 through Oct. 31. Opening day attracted more than 5,000 fishers across the state to come out and spend the day casting their lines, according to “Usually there are a lot of people there,” Marshall said. “This year was a lot less just because it was a Tuesday and we’d had a lot of rain and the river was up high and it was really murky. You couldn’t sight fish or anything like that.” Marshall uses multicolored lures and a method called “sight fishing,” in which he looks from above the water for larger fish. “Sight fishing is for when you’re lunker fishing, which is much bigger trout, like fish you’re going to put on a wall. And once you find it, you start putting the lures right in front of its nose and hope it bites,” Marshall said. “You can put on these sunglasses that help you see better in the water. That’s when it

gets really fun for me because sight-fishing is a whole new element and style of fishing.” For senior Gabby Gotangco, trout fishing is a very different process. Originally from Louisiana, Gotangco grew up fishing on a boat with her grandparents. “I fish speckled trout,” Gotangco said. For bait, “I use shrimp. Leave the shrimp ends on, and you hook the hook through the shrimp so it looks curled and floating around in the water.” In Louisiana Gotangco and her family make a competition out of many aspects of fishing, from individual casting precision to who can catch the biggest fish. “Each person can only catch five fish, and we’ll compete to see who catches the first five,” Gotangco said. “And then we’ll see who has the biggest from there. When my cousin Adam and I go fishing, it is ridiculous because he’s ‘bigger and better,’ but I’m older, but [he says] ‘I can catch the bigger fish.’ We just have bragging rights until the next weekend or the next time we go fishing.” According to the Missouri Conservation Department, the record weight for a brown trout caught in Missouri is 28 pounds, 12 ounces and 18 pounds, 1 ounce for a rainbow trout. Marshall and his father compete with each other, but Marshall admits his father’s record is extremely hard to beat. “My dad has a very unique record that I cannot beat,” Marshall said. “My dad’s got two mounts at Meramec where you buy your tags. One of them is a really big brown trout that was 11 pounds or something. The other

“I use shrimp. ... You hook the hook through the shrimp so it looks curled and floating around in the water.”

Gabby Gotangco


one is a stringer, and all five fish are lunkers over 3 pounds. Even though that’s not me, I feel proud because that’s my dad with his string full of lunkers.” In spite of his father’s seemingly unbeatable record, Marshall has his share of big fish stories, including the tale of the biggest fish he has ever caught. In October 2008 a 6 pound, 4 ounce lunker took him for a ride upstream at Meramec Springs. “I found a lunker closer to the spring at Meramec. I fished this fish for 30 minutes, and it wasn’t moving. Finally I got it to bite, and it took off. It went in between these big boulders, and I freaked because I thought for sure the line was going to break if it got caught up on that rock,” Marshall said. “I jumped in and started chasing this thing. I follow it between the rock so it wouldn’t get caught, and I’m up to my waist, soaking wet, trying to pull my [boots] because they were full of water. Luckily it slowed down, and I caught up to it and [was] able to get my net under it.” For Gotangco, fishing on a boat is more relaxed but requires just as much determination. She believes patience is the greatest virtue fishing has taught her. “Growing up on the boat, you have to sit there and wait for hours for a bite,” Gotancgo said. “I would get so impatient and angry, but my grandfather would say, ‘No, let them come to you. Just chill out, Gabby.’” Fishing is a family affair for both. Gotancgo learned to fish at age 3 with her grandparents; Marshall’s father also taught him at an early age. The lessons and tradition that each has instilled continue to define what fishing means for them. “Over the past four years, the people in my family have been getting a lot older. Now it’s mainly me and my dad,” Marshall said. “I’d do it by myself, but it is part of the tradition: me and my dad, on the river, fog rolling off the top, the river rolling and the sun’s just about to come up. It’s got a very tranquil feeling to it.”

lot of our team has been in the playoffs before, so we are used to being in that situation together.” Head coach Max Holter has a similar opinion of the team’s strengths. He said the boys have technical skills that are hard for teams to match. “There are a lot of individual strengths that we build around. Our team strengths involve having some coordination and a pretty consistent strategy,” Holter said. “We have core strengths, such as passing and catching, some of the fundamentals that a lot of Division II teams struggle with. We’re actually improving and finding a competitive advantage with this.” This level of skill, Holter said, is what will lead the players to exceed the limits of their past success. Holter said under the right conditions, the lacrosse team could compete for the state title. “They pass, they catch and they have some coordination,” Holter said. “I think we will probably be playoff contenders, and, honestly, if they do things right, we could end up in the final game.” Overall, Kuse and Whitt said the lacrosse team is ready for whatever comes its way. In their opinion, the athletes’ love for the sport is what keeps it alive despite a lack of sponsorship. “The future of lacrosse at Rock Bridge is really promising,” Whitt said. “This year we will be able to get the new guys familiar with the game, but last year we made it to third in state, and hopefully Rock Bridge will soon recognize lacrosse and get it sanctioned.”

District asks coach for final resignation JACK SCHOELZ


fter 33 years of coaching both the boys’ and girls’ swim programs at RBHS and Hickman, Athletic Directors Jennifer Mast and Doug Mirts asked Head Coach John Hamilton to resign. “I think, just in general, we can all say it was just time for a change,” Mast said of the request. Mast declined to cite specific reasons referring to the situation as a “personnel issue.” Hamilton announced his resignation to athletes through an email. “I guess that is it for me,” Hamilton said in the email. “I am grateful for the group of girls I got to coach this past season. Because of you, I have some great memories to take with me.” Mast said in order to create the most successful programs possible, separate programs for each school is a possibility. “We need a plan that is not short-sighted. … It’s possible [we’ll split the two programs], but I’m not sure how it’s going to be and how to staff that with three high schools instead of two,” Mast said. “We’re just hoping to have swim teams — healthy programs where kids who are interested in swimming can swim.” Although no official announcements have been made, junior Eric Wetz fears that splitting the two programs could hurt their success. “From a performance standpoint, the [other team is] there to help us push harder, go faster at practices and they do support us at meets,” Wetz said. “But the meets are scored as individual teams, so at meets it’s not really a strength, but practice-wise and getting to meets, it’s really a strength.” Ultimately, Wetz believes adjusting to a new coach will be a challenge to overcome. “Whoever they do hire, it’s going to take a little while to really get to know the coach and for the coach to really get to know the simmers,” Wetz said. “But I think after that, and in the years to come, hopefully, the swimmers and the coach will have a good bond, like what we had with Hamilton.” Hamilton was unavailable for comment.

18 · Sports

March 24, 2011


Paradise: beaches and blue grass Baseball team heads on annual Florida trip What are you packing for the Florida trip? A book "even though I read a solid 10 pages each year." -senior Jordan Bley

Gardettos -junior Ryan Phillips

RBHS baseball short shorts -senior Brendan James art by Sawyer Wade



oday more than 45 teenage boys will begin over a day’s worth of travel on a bus. This spring break the boys’ baseball team is packing up mitts, bats and uniforms and heading down to Florida. Orlando, Ft. Pierce and Vero Beach are just a few of the destinations in past years, but this year the trip will be gulf side in St. Petersburg, home of the spring training of the Tampa Bay Rays. “The real question is what don’t we do on that 26-hour bus ride. Everyone brings their favorite movies, and we continuously have movies playing through the day and night,” junior Ryan Phillips said. “We usually all have our iPods in or our heads buried in our pillows trying to catch a few hours of sleep, which is hard to get with 45 kids on one bus. And if everything else fails to suit our interests, we will just eat, eat and eat some more.” Phillips said running out of food is unheard of, and traveling through many states allows many stops, particularly for food. “There is never a scarcity of snacks on the bus, whether it be stuff we bring ourselves, mooching off of other people, or Mrs. Pfeiffer’s cookies that she makes for us every year,” Phillips said. “We stop in Kentucky and Georgia with a few other stops along the way to get some grub, and spare time after meals also means a quick stop to the gas station.” Phillips said the bus ride is not only time for chilling out, but also a time for pranks, some more thought-out than others. “We bring as many things as we can think about to keep us occupied, but the thing we do most is talk to each other. Most of the best times are just the laughs we have with each other,” Phillips said. “Usually every year we’ll pick someone on the bus that we just will continuously give crap to. It’s usually a sophomore. It’s nothing personal though; it’s all in good fun.” Senior John Austin Miles said oftentimes the pranks are more complex. Sometimes, besides messing with people when they fall asleep, the boys like to mess with each other’s

heads. “We don’t do anything too serious, but a fun thing to do on bus rides, when a kid has a good game, is prank call from a college coach’s number and be like, ‘Hey, I’m Coach Hobbs from University of Missouri, and I’d like to talk to you about your game today,’ and then get their hopes up,” Miles said. “It’s a funny prank to do, and no one ends up taking it too seriously.” Phillips said once they are in Florida, it’s down to business. It’s a time of practicing and playing and overall development. “Whenever we work, whether it’s in the weight room or on the field, we always make it a point to always be the hardest working team in the state,” Phillips said. “We never want anyone to out-work us; we get our work done, as well as keeping that competitive nature firing on all cylinders.” While the team is used to gearing up for competition in Missouri, the trip to Florida mixes things up for them. Head coach Justin Towe said the diverse competition is exciting. “We play teams from East Coast, West Coast, north and south,” Towe said. “A lot of Midwestern and northern schools that do the same thing because we’re not able to get our games in this early because of weather, but if we go down there, we can.We’ll play teams from New York, Oregon, Minnesota, just about anywhere you can think of.” Phillips said “spring break” is not really the correct term. The boys know the week as “baseball boot camp” because the trip is strictly designed to improve everyone’s game and in turn, unites the team. They still enjoy the trip though, and value the luxury of traveling to Florida every year. “Usually when we get down to Florida, we will get off the bus, check into our hotel and then, literally, have practice 30 minutes later,” Phillips said. “So we don’t mess around.” Being in Florida around sandy beaches and warm weather can tease the senses. In their free time, Phillips said the boys like to check out the pool, and this year being seaside will mean access to the beach, a nice break from all the playing time. “We play 11 games in a matter of about

three days between the varsity and JV teams. When we’re not playing or practicing, we’ll go to the hotel pool and get our tan on,” Phillips said. “Or since we’re close to the beach this year, we may even get to do that. Going to the beach is never something we really ever do when we’re down there.” For the 13 sophomores, however, the spring trip is brand new. They do not know what to expect other than team bonding and multiple baseball games. “I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the guys better and just have the opporunity to be in a place like Florida getting to place baseball,” sophomore Tyler Hill said. “I think it will jumpstart our team and get us ready for the season before anyone else. We’re all expecting it to be fun but mostly work.” Although the trip may seem like all business and little play, the team enjoys the trip year after year, and takes pride in being able to fund the trip on their own. “We fundraise, we get all of the money, and none of the money comes from the district,” Miles said. “And parents always pay the difference and whatever we can’t make.” Selling coupon books in order to make the trip possible is a popular choice, but Phillips said a different tradition is a more exciting way to do so. On March 13 the boys hosted a fundraiser called the “Hit-a-thon” in order to raise as much money as possible. They did so in a contest that tested their batting skills. “Each player gets 10 pitches to hit on the field, and depending on if they get a single, double, triple or home run, they get money from people who they asked to donate for them,” Phillips said. As the team has continued this tradition for four years now, Towe said there are several reasons why he believes the trip is important, as well as a learning experience for the team. “First, we get down there and know that we are going to have good weather, unlike you see now, and second, we go down there, and by doing that, it gets the players and coaches together away from all distractions, and it’s a big bonding experience,” Towe said. “The bus ride is no fun, but once it’s all said and done, it’s a good time.”

Tennis boys head to National Championship ABBY KAYSER


ith the boys’ tennis season officially starting with a 9-0 win March 21 at home against Quincy, Ill., the boys are already anticipating the National High School Champions Tournament, held in Louisville, Ky., March 25-26, the first Friday and Saturday of spring break. The Bruins were invited to this national tournament this year after having such huge successes last season. “This tournament is a big deal for all of us since it’s an invite and the best of the best will be there,” junior Ford Zitsch said. “It’s 16 of the greatest teams in the country, all competing against each other. But there’s not going to be any pressure. We know all the teams down there are going to be unbelievably good, so we either win or lose. It doesn’t necessarily affect our actual Missouri state season, just kind of a prestige thing.” In the first round of the tournament, the boys will play Montgomery Bell Academy, a private, all-boys school out of Nashville, Tenn. By word of mouth, the boys have heard that this first-round match isn’t going to just be handed to them. They’re going to have to work extremely hard for it instead. “We play a team out of Nashville,” senior Daniel Liu said. “We’ve heard their lineup is pretty good, so we will be considered the underdog, but that means nothing to us. We can win if we grind out every match.”  Prepping for this type of competition is not going to come easy, either. According to the varsity teammates, they are planning on not only being more mentally focused compared to previous seasons, but also working a lot harder to prepare compared to past seasons. “For me, and I think for quite a few of the other boys as well,

the stakes at state and this national tournament are going to be much higher this year, so I am a little more mentally focused compared to my past two seasons that I’ve been here for,” junior Jack Fay said. “I suppose that not only [for] me, but most of the other guys too, that there will be a little less ‘goofing off’ this season too since it might be our last chance and it is going to really count for a lot of us.” Whether or not the pressure is affecting this well-prepared tennis team because of this national tournament or post-season play, they are hoping to reach the state finals again. In order to do this, they’re going to go in as confident as they can while looking forward to what’s to come next.  “I expect us to handle it well.  We have several new players in our varsity line-up but I think they will perform well under pressure.  If I am right, we have as good a chance as anyone,” Coach Ben Loeb said. “If I am wrong, then the 42-year drought will continue.  I think our guys are up for the challenge.  But for now, we need to focus on how well we handle pressure when we face it during the regular season.” Last year, when the boys reached the final four of state, the finals for state was a close match. The match came down to the wire when all the pressure was on the doubles team — Zitsch and then-junior Jimmy Hunter ­— going to a third set, having split both of the sets before that. The two won their match and, consequently, the state title for RBHS. Hopefully, the boys will come out with the win and this season, they hope to be able to do it again this year. “I think we’re all looking most forward to not only this national tournament coming up, but most importantly, post-season play. That’s what really the whole season comes down to,” Fay said. “I would consider it a failure if we do not win state again this year.”

photo by Parker Solomon

Spring fever: Junior Jack Fay serves at the first match March 21 at Cosmo-Bethel Park. The boys all won for a total of 9-0.

Sport · 19

March 24, 2010


Girls basketball ends at district tournament LAUREN BAKER


inishing a 21-6 season, the girls’ basketball team was confident in their skill up until the last game. In that final game, RBHS lost by one point. “Going into the game, we weren’t cocky at all, but we were very confident. We had beat Jeff City by 27 just two weeks before, and as long as I’ve been in the program, we’ve never not won districts. It was kind of just a thing we were used to. And so, just going in the game it was just like [any other] game. We thought we had it handled,” senior Emily Holt said. “At the end of the first quarter we were up like 17 to 2, or something like that. We were doing really well, and then little by little they just started chipping away at the lead and coming back with it. It was a really big shock. … Their first lead of the game ended up being the final score. It wasn’t really something I was expecting at all.” Senior Megan Marshall did not expect the results of the last game either and said, “It was probably the worst way I could end my high school career.” She said that all the girls “really care for each other” and they all knew how much they wanted to win another district title. Despite the loss, both Holt and Marshall felt good about the season. Marshall noted a few

differences in this season from the previous years. Marshall, who has played on the basketball team for four years — three on varsity — said the “tons of new girls” this year did not hurt the team and rather “was just another obstacle to overcome.” After building up team chemistry and learning each teammate’s specific nuances, the team did well, rolling through the Bruins sixth straight season of 20 or more wins. “I think that more people were depended on to contribute this year. ... It wasn’t like after the five starters there was a drop off or anything,” Marshall said. “Everyone was equally as talented when people came in, so everyone was expected to contribute.” In addition to being a young team with only four seniors, Holt said the actual team composition played a factor in cohesion. This year the Lady Bruins had two sets of twins — seniors Allison and Megan Marshall and freshmen Kayla and Shayla Cheadle — in addition to sisters freshman Audrey Holt and senior Emily Holt. “It kind of helped us be a family as a team; we would all hang out,” Emily Holt said. “I’ve been on teams where you’re just there to play, and then you go home, but we’d go out to dinner after, and we were like friends along with teammates.” From a coaching perspective, Head Coach Jill Nagel did not think the three pairs of sisters had

any profound effect on the team’s performance. “It’s a unique situation, definitely, but at the same time, [the sisters] aren’t used as a duo, just as an individual like everyone else,” Nagel said. “In many ways we kind of forgot because they’re all unique individuals trying to make the team better. Five girls — Emily Holt, Megan Marshall, juniors Lindsey Cunningham and source: girls’ basketball manager Adam Wilkerson infographic by Dan Hainsworth Carmen Boessen and sophomore “Each year we lose seniors who were inteHannah Dressler — ended up being the final five startersw, after it was “mixed gral parts of the program,” Nagel said. “But around” to find the perfect balance, Holt said. we’ve always built on top of that — very much After this year Nagel is certain next will be no in a positive fashion — and had a great team the next year as well.” different.

Injuries plague Junior varsity players utilize time RBHS catchers behind the plate S EMILY WRIGHT



eing a catcher has its risks, especially after the games are fin-

ished. Like professional catchers Joe Mauer, Miguel Olivo and Jason Castro, catchers at RBHS suffer from a variety of dedication-induced injuries. As a member of the softball team and having played competitive softball for eight years, senior Brianne Bond spends a majority of her on-field experience behind home plate. Bond has had a pinched sciatic nerve in her back, as well as hip and knee problems because of her position as a catcher. “I had to actually stop, and my coach made me completely stop catching for a while — not during high school season but during the summer,” Bond said. “And instead of catching at practice and in games, she made me catch just during games, and I was supposed to do the minimal work at practice, so it just loosened up the muscles in my back.” She first noticed the problem when “it would shoot pains down my leg,” and “it was getting hard for me to straighten my leg.” For the first time in a year, Bond said she is cleared of all injuries. She had participated in a lot of physical therapy in the fall. To help with sports injuries and therapeutic exercises, Greg Nagel takes on about 150 RBHS athletes throughout the year, including Bond. Nagel, a physical therapist contracted to RBHS by Peak Performance Physical Therapy, believes the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a problem area for catchers. Catching is “really hard on knees because of the deep squat,” Nagel said. “If you go back past a 90 degree angle — like you’re sitting in a chair — if you go below that 90 degree angle, that puts a lot of stress on the joint surfaces, and over time it puts wear and tear on the ligaments of the knee, specifically the ACL.” Senior Taylor Yeagle had been a catcher for six years when she gave up softball, a torn tendon in her left knee being one of her many reasons to quit. Yeagle was in physical therapy at Peak Performance for six months, stretching

and lifting weights to regain the strength in her knees. However, she said her back still troubles her “in waves” throughout the year. Hardly able to sit for extended periods, Yeagle has issues on road trips and even sitting through class. “Some days my back won’t be too bad,” Yeagle said. “But every so often, about once or twice a year, I will have put too much stress on my back, and I can’t even get up out of bed.” During first semester Yeagle missed three days of school because of her back problems; unfortunately, Nagel said that back pain from catching can sometimes be long-term. “Chronic issues, such as low-back pain—a lot of those issues, you’re kind of stuck with them,” Nagel said. “You can rehab the back conditions and make those feel better, but the chronic low back injuries that you get from the degeneration of wear and tear, a lot of times physical therapy will help those but not completely alleviate those as surgery would for the knees.” Though the baseball team seems unaffected by the physical problems that riddle the female catchers, Nagel said stress on male and female catchers’ knees is the same. “The one variable that I would pay attention to would be time and reps,” Nagel said. “As far as the squat position, I see no difference.” Senior Wilson Pfeiffer, a regular catcher for the baseball team, said he has never experienced many physical problems and his knees only hurt occasionally. “Catching puts a lot of stress on the knees, obviously, so I’ll probably have horrible knees when I get older, but I’m fine for now,” Pfeiffer said. “Knock on wood.” Luckily for Bond, these injuries have not affected her ability to play after high school. Bond, who has signed to play for Wichita State University next year, said catchers’ injuries are widely acknowledged when scouts search out new players. “This is a really common thing among catchers, so they’re prepared to deal with it and they don’t see it as being a problem,” Bond said. “They know that sometimes I just to have to take some time [to rest], and they’re okay with that.”

ophomore Vikram Arun trains tirelessly day after day on the lower tier of the RBHS tennis courts; he knows his chances of getting moved to the upper tier to practice with the varsity team are slim to none. Being an underclassman with only junior varsity tennis experience, he knows he will not gain local fame nor recognition for his meet performances. However, to Arun, being a junior varsity or “JV” athlete is worth working for. “I kind of think of it as one or two years from now, I could be at the varsity level, and so I should focus on getting better now so I can get there later,” Arun said. “I just view JV as a stepping stone.” Arun said even though he will not be competing with last year’s state champion tennis team returnees, he can still work to keep the tradition of success alive as he pushes himself and his teammates to work towards varsity roles in the future. “There’s a correlation between age and experience,” Arun said. “More experience means you’re better, so generally if you’re older, you’re better. So for now there’s nothing wrong with JV as long as I continue to get better.” The key to his personal improvement at the junior varsity level, Arun said, is keeping

his fellow junior varsity team- on the team as a whole, even mates motivated. The differ- as a member of junior varences in both skill level and at- sity because of his ability to mosphere are the reasons why push himself in practice and Arun said the junior varsity in meets regardless of natural and varsity teams are split up ability. In running, he said, at practice. athletes receive inspiration “Overall, JV doesn’t interact from each other, making every much with varsity,” Arun said. athlete necessary. “We don’t see each other much “We’re not going at the at practice, and if we do see same pace as everyone else, each other, we don’t really in- which would look superficialteract with each ly as though other. It’s much we’re working “I kind of think more competihard, but of it as one or two less tive at the varsiwe’re working years from now, ty level, whereas just as hard on JV it’s more at our skill I could be at the relaxed.” level,” Harvarsity level...” However, rington said. for senior track “To the team, runner Grady the JV defiVikram Arun Harrington, nitely contribsophomore his team is not utes because separated. As JV is working an upperclassman, participat- more with the team as a whole. ing at the junior varsity level I definitely think JV can inspire is no longer about working his the whole team because I think way up in rank. Knowing he everyone’s performance is difwill likely finish his senior year ferent. The numbers may be with junior varsity meets, Har- different, but the effort is still rington believes his role is to there.” help improve the running proDuring her freshman year, gram overall by leading less junior Stephanie Monticelli experienced runners. experienced firsthand the con“As JV guys, we work more tribution that the junior varsity with the new guys, trying to had on the soccer team. Montiget them more accustomed to celli played goalie on the junior the team and the sport in gen- varsity team while also playing eral,” Harrington said. “As a as a back-up goalie for the varsenior, my role is leadership at sity team. Splitting her time this point, like lead by example between the two teams, she of what to do day-in and day- said, was what allowed her to out at practice.” appreciate the less publicized Harrington also said he be- role of the lower teams as she lieves he can have an impact aimed for a varsity role.

“My motivation was always to get that top spot but also to improve how I played and how I talked to my team and presented myself on the field,” Monticelli said. “I needed work on all of that, and I feel like starting on JV really helped me to get better, and now I feel like I’m a better goalie because of that motivation aspect.” Monticelli said what kept her going through grueling practices with little recognition was that the junior varsity team aimed higher together. Instead of only being competitors, Monticelli said that she and her teammates pushed each other to advance in skill level, acknowledging that though they were not on varsity, they still had important roles as teammates. “We definitely all motivated each other even when we competed against each other,” Monticelli said. “I was competing against another goalie all the time, but we still would always motivate each other and try to make each other improve. If we didn’t motivate each other, we wouldn’t have had a team.” Despite the minimal publicity, many junior varsity athletes can agree it’s not the fame that makes a sport worthwhile but, rather, the determination to achieve personal success. “It’s not always about competition,” Harrington said. “It’s about being there to do your best and being there every day working your hardest.”

RBHS hires volleyball coach ALYSSA MULLIGAN


fter head volleyball coach Vicki Reimler retired at the end of this season, Principal Mark Maus and Athletic Director Jennifer Mast filled the position by employing former University of Missouri volleyball player Tatum Anderson. Anderson will begin coaching off-season activities through the spring and the summer before volleyball season starting Aug. 8. As long as she can remember, Anderson has had a heart for volleyball. She later became attached to RBHS athletes. When the coaching position was open, she was ready to acquire the job. “Volleyball has always been a passion of mine, and now that I no longer compete, coaching had become something I was very interested in,” Anderson said. “Over the past few years, I have had the privilege to work with several of the Rock Bridge volleyball players and fell in love with the girls.” After interviewing possible applicants for the position, Maus and Mast said they selected the most qualified and experi-

enced interviewee. “In our opinion, she will be a tremendous head volleyball coach at Rock Bridge,” Mast said. “Coach Anderson was hired because we felt she was the best candidate for the job. Her experience as a Division I volleyball player will bring a perspective that few coaches have. We believe Coach Anderson’s effect will be positive on the lives of our volleyball players.” Junior Cora Trout said Anderson will bring success to RBHS by incorporating new techniques from her college experience. “I think she will bring a new coaching style to Rock Bridge, perhaps one that is more like the one she experienced in college,” Trout said. Because of extensive and complex knowledge about volleyball, there are methods that players cannot easily reach from a high school level, Anderson said. The two levels are linked to benefit both the coach and the players. “Volleyball is a game that is everchanging and difficult to learn,” Anderson said. “Since it is such a skill-oriented sport, there are many techniques that high school girls are [not] exposed to until the next level. I do, however, look forward to

“I hope to bring a fresh outlook on the game and be the mentor to these girls...”

Tatum Anderson head coach

bringing many of the skills that I learned as a Tiger to the Bruin team as this program has the talent to effectively learn and use these techniques.” Junior Nici Thaler said she knows Tatum Anderson from Missouri Volleyball as well as previous one-on-one training. Because she is familiar with the new head coach, Thaler is eager to tryout for the upcoming season with Anderson. “I’ve known Tatum for several years now,” Thaler said. “She coached me on a team at one point and gave me private lessons for a while. I’m so happy she’s coaching this year.” Anderson wants to begin on a clean slate this season despite Vicki Reimler’s past success. “I am coming in after a great, successful coach, Vicki Reimler,” Anderson said. “I am not familiar with what her coaching style was, but obviously she knew what she was doing. I hope to bring in a fresh outlook on the game and be the mentor to these girls that I had the pleasure of having as a high school student. I have lots of great ideas and high hopes for this programs.” Anderson stands out because of her passion for volleyball and coaching. Players look forward to her first year at RBHS and many more to come, Mast said. “We believe players will appreciate Coach Anderson’s heart for student-athletes, her passion and expertise in the sport of volleyball,” Mast said. “We welcome her to the Rock Bridge family.”

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Sports · 21

March 24, 2011


Extreme Sacrifice Sport meets recreation JACKIE NICHOLS


very kid remembers the first time they took off their training wheels and rode a bike. “Riding bikes” never sounds dangerous or risky, but when seniors Matt Dimitroff and Jacob Guilford hit the dirt each week, their practice is anything but safe. “I do it for fun because I love it, and you can’t let an injury or death come between what you love to do,” Dimitroff said. “You can’t live in fear, and you have to live every day of your life to your fullest because you never know when it could end.” This passion for an extreme sport does not always come with clear warning labels. While many sports have an executive board or safety protocol, motocross has nothing of this sort. All racing requires is a license, similar to passing a driving test, and money put down on a bike. “I can definitely say I have had more injuries than the average teenager: broken leg twice, broken wrist, arm, ankle and a mild concussion,” Guilford said. “Just this year I had one of my worst. [I] hemorrhaged both my lungs and bruised my kidneys, which almost killed me if I hadn’t gone to the hospital in time.” Even a March 10 news blog by the Mayo

Clinic showed concerns with the dangers of motocross. In a 2010 study of 299 motocross related injuries, nearly one-half of the patients required hospitalization, while an additional one-third required surgery. The severity of motocross causes many athletes to suffer injuries while riding. Although Dimitroff has never broken a bone, he does not let the danger of the sport prevent him from doing what he loves. Motocross has the potential to be life threatening, and Dimitroff’s dad, Ted Dimitroff, takes the sport very seriously when watching his son ride. “It worries me a lot when I watch Matt ride. There is always a chance that something might happen and he could get hurt,” Ted Dimitroff said. “I get nervous when I see him crash, but once I see him get up, then I know he is usually O.K.” Because motocross has never been a school sport, practices are not held every day at 3 p.m. in the gym, and games are not every Saturday morning. The boys practice on their own time at their own track with “workouts” designed by and for them. By the side of Matt Dimitroff’s house is a dirt track, and racing requires traveling around the state each weekend. Each race they enter is broken up into age groups, then classes and bike sizes. “I practice pretty often at least once a week, if not more,” Dimitroff said. “Races are almost every weekend, but with the weather now,

there is nowhere to ride or race unless you go to Texas or an indoor arena somewhere.” The lack of structure in motocross forces both boys to rely on self-motivation to stay up with the sport. As they have found, being a student tends to invade time they would rather spend racing on the dirt. “I haven’t competed because I never had the time on the weekends due to a job,” Guilford said. “This, in turn, [made] me more distant to motocross, which I’m not completely happy with. I would love to compete more, but because I’m going to be on a college waterski team next year, I’m going to be practicing [that] this summer even more than I did last. I love to race, but I would rather just have fun practicing on the track with fellow riders and not having to worry about placing.” The fact that motocross is not an organized school sport allows for individualism that kids like Dimitroff are desperately searching for. Competitive school sports can leave students feeling that they must look and act a certain way in order to be successful. A sport without size requirements, motocross pulls kids in who do not feel like they fit the strin-

gent guidelines of high school athletics. “Growing up, I played almost every sport or at least tried it but was never any good or took interest to any one in particular,” Dimitroff said. “I was never a big or tall kid, so team sports weren’t for me. I don’t like being yelled at by a coach or being blamed by your teammates for losing a game. I think that’s why motocross is so different.” For Dimitroff and Guilford, motocross is not just a part-time hobby. They view it as a way to let loose after a long day and wash away some of the stresses of being a teenager. “It’s a form of expression, and it’s hard to explain the way you ‘flow’ on a dirt bike,” Matt Dimitroff said. “It’s like swooshing a three-pointer or hitting a home run, but you get that awesome feeling the whole time you ride.”

photos by Kylee Fuchs

Leap of faith (both): Senior Matt Dimitroff practices motocross at Finger Lakes State Park in preparation for a meet later in March in Kansas City.

22 · Arts & Entertainment

March 24, 2011


KFC Double Down

Toilet-Bombing Heart-Molester

The McGangBang

State tourney awaits speech, debate teams


photos by Savannah Viles

Novelties raise calorie count, discomfort BRIAN DRESNER

L Review

et’s face it; when it comes to food, the American way of life has become completely unsustain-

able. We’re consuming resources much faster than we can renew them, and we’re constantly continuing to feed on the Earth until we both perish. If you agree, then I invite you to listen as I introduce three new meal items which were invented by trendsetting citizens who have fully embraced this idea of excess. Besides, if we’re all going to die, we might as well eat like kings.

KFC Double Down

Where to get it: KFC What it is: The KFC Double Down is, in short, a bacon, cheese and fat sandwich — except with buns that are actually fried chicken. Between these two “chicken buns” are two pieces of bacon, two pieces of pepperjack cheese and a gooey sauce which could have only been composed of lard and orphan tears. You can actually get the pieces of chicken grilled instead of fried to be healthier, but you won’t because you wouldn’t be eating this thing unless you hated yourself, right? Right. Eating it: This sandwich is a tie between either being way too salty or way too chicken-y. As a novelty item that proves customers will eat anything, this

product is successful, but as a sandwich, it actually fails. Because the Double Down makes the “bread” the star of the show, little consideration goes into what goes between it, which, by definition, is what makes a sandwich a sandwich, after all. I mean, there were only two pieces of bacon. Just two. I was suffocated by chicken-flavored buns and actually found myself begging for more fat sauce and bacon to make the ratios reasonable. After eating it: The Double Down is not big (barely bigger than a fist), but it’s also undeniably dense and manages to pack a whopping 1,190 calories into itself. Although I knew my stomach was full, my brain yearned for more because I couldn’t equate three minutes of chewing with having enough food in my system to last the week. For this reason, I have dubbed the Double Down a death threat masquerading as a sandwich. Beware.

The McGangBang

Where to get it: McDonald’s What it is: The McGangBang is actually pretty fascinating, as news of it has spread throughout the nation only by word of mouth and Internet forums. First, you take a McDouble and then a McChicken off of the dollar menu. Then, you shove the McChicken between the patties of the McDouble to make a su-

per-tall sandwich for a mere few bucks. Ordering this thing is especially tricky because it’s not officially on the menu. Granted, you’re really just supposed to order each component and make it yourself. However, there exist some establishments that actually know what the McGangBang is and will give you one fully assembled if you ask for it by name. The only problem is you’re never aware if your McDonald’s knows about the trend until you ask, and if they aren’t, then you’re the drooling idiot who just ordered a “McGangBang.” Note: I have found the McDonald’s located on Nifong is not aware of this trend. Ordering the McGangBang by name will cause the workers to look at you like one might look at a toilet full of used condoms. Eating it: Big deal. We’ve all eaten hamburgers and chicken sandwiches before, right? Well, something happens when you combine the two. The flavors complement each other and really make for a fascinating dining experience. It’s the saltiness of the chicken mixing with the sweetness of the beef that really makes a sublime harmony in your mouth. If you’ve ever eaten pineapple pizza or yogurt pretzels, it’s the same idea. After eating it: Destruction on the physical, emotional and spiritual plane — I felt sick and paranoid, as well as frequent

stomach pain. When I walked down the street, it was as if I had hooked up with a random girl in the closet at a party; people stared and slowly backed away as I walked by. I knew it was impossible, but I couldn’t help but feel like, somehow, they knew.

Toilet-Bombing HeartMolester

Where to get it: Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and any place that serves French fries What it is: Besides an affront to God, it is a french fry sandwich with a personal-pan pizza and a crunch-wrap supreme serving as the bread. Aside from Internet memes, the exact origins of this meal are unclear. However, I can speculate that its creator was a man who just wanted to feel something again, even if that something was certain death. Eating it: The TBHM is a marathon of eating. It was so heavy I actually had to set it down halfway through because my arms were so tired. This was also the closest time I’ve ever come to throwing up while eating, and I once ate four pounds of cheeseburger in a Fuddrucker’s contest. After eating it: I won’t say it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done, but that’s because I may have been a serial murderer in a past life. If not, then, yes, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. I was compelled to go get baptized a second time to wash all the sin this sandwich left on my body.

ollowing their showing at the regional contest March 17-19, 19 students from the speech and debate teams have qualified for state contests. Competitions are April 15-16 at the University of Missouri — Columbia. Senior Bekki Kaempfer and juniors Mackenzie Mayer and Sami Kanago qualified for the state level in the prose and poetry reading categories, while juniors Syed Ejaz and Rick Flinn accomplished state qualification status in debate categories. Flinn was emotional upon learning he and Ejaz reached state competition. “I ran and hugged Syed like a little girl, actually,” Flinn said. “I was overjoyed, psyched to have reached state for the first time.” Flinn and Ejaz have been debate partners for more than three years. They trust each other to be prepared come debate time. “I don’t really review [as] much as [I] gather evidence, but I do that a few hours a day,” Flinn said. Debate is essential in real life situations, not only as a pastime, he said. “Debate is really important to me and Syed, so we prepare quite a bit for our competitions,” Flinn said. Similarly, the 15 students in the speech class put on a strong performance to reach state. Junior Sarah Henzel, a longtime participant in the performing arts, loves the life Readers Theater brings to the stories. “Readers Theater is an ensemble of people reading a story, but acting it out,” Henzel said. “I’m really excited so many people made it with us to state. The state level is really competitive, so we will have to practice a lot to make sure everything is perfect.” This will be the last competition for debate and speech teams this season. —Nadav Gov-Ari

‘Paul’ solely favors geeky audiences

‘Limitless’ intrigues, pleases viewers



“Saturday Night Live”) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio, “Superbad”), a duo of gun-toting rednecks and Ruth’s enraged father chasing he latest alien movie to debut on the big the group across the country in his truck. screen, “Paul” has kept the bar low for With such a killer cast, not to mention plenty the slew of extra-terrestrial blockbusters of cameo performances featuring Sigourney hitting theaters this year. Instead of creating Weaver (“Alien”), Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Jeffrey another spectacular comedy that audiences Tambor (“Arrested Development”) and David would expect from director Greg Mottola Koechner (“Anchorman”), the film deserves (“Superbad”) and writer duo Simon Pegg and high expectations. Unfortunately, the cast’s Nick Frost (“Hot Fuzz”), this movie has little potential is never really fully realized, and to offer for anybody who can’t recall quotes instead the script depends heavily on gay from “Star Wars” off the top of their jokes and obscene humor. head. As usual, Pegg and Frost have filled Review The film stars Pegg and Frost as two the movie with plenty of references to British comic book geeks on a road trip well-known alien films, but this time to visit the locations of America’s most many of the references simply aren’t famous UFO sightings after visiting funny. Instead, they’re cheesy and feel the annual Comic-Con conference. like the result of half-hearted writing. On their drive the pair encounter the Other times the references are simply fugitive Paul, (Seth Rogen, “Pineapple a quote taken directly from another Express”) a foul-mouthed, laid-back film, but these quotes rarely mix with alien on the run from the mysterious the context of the scene to generate and cunning secret government Agent any humor. Zoil (Jason Bateman, “Juno”). “Paul” is a movie for geeks, which The trio embark on a cross-country road wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it were actually trip to get Paul back on the mothership funny. But instead of creating an original script and off of Earth before the government can that cripples the entire audience with laughter, capture, kill and dissect him. Along the way the writing puts most of its effort into weaklythey accidentally kidnap the right-wing, placed references, catering to an audience that bible-loving Ruth (Kristen Wiig, “Saturday has lovingly grown up on sci-fi since the ‘70s Night Live”) and evade Zoil’s never-do-well rather than creating a movie anybody can henchmen, Agents Haggard (Bill Hader, enjoy.



hat does a mixture of Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover”), Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull”) and a pill that can change any normal being into an unstoppable genius bring? A film containing twists and turns that will keep its audience guessing in a nonstop feature showing that when you have to power to gain everything you have always wanted, you have to face the consequences. The movie features Cooper as Eddie Morra, a struggling writer who can’t seem to catch a break. Then one day, in the middle of extreme writer’s block, Eddie runs into Vernon, his former brother-in-law, who gives him a pill called NZT that completely changes his life. In 30 seconds Eddie has access to his entire brain, instead of the usual 20 percent, making him a genuis, able to remember everything he’s ever seen barely longer then a glance. “Limitless” provides unexpected events and ultimately ends with the resonating question, “Would I take NZT if I had the chance?” This movie is enjoyable because anyone can relate to it. NZT can basically solve any problem; it can get one out of any unwanted situation just by thinking. The concept at first sounds tedious, but it is presented in a manner that leaves the

viewer craving the pill. High school students will develop a desire for NZT, seeing it as a fix to writer’s block, confusing essay questions and unbearably long research papers. Ultimately, the film leaves its audience wondering what they would do with their lives if their mental abilities were limitless, if they would use their powers for good or evil. Unfortunately, the movie beats the subject of the drug’s power to death; however, the film redeemed itself by always coming up with a new, creative twist around every corner. Even if someone has no interest in seeing “Limitless,” he or she should attend anyways because if all else fails and the viewer is not pleased with the movie, the ending of this thrilling blockbuster will still keep them guessing for sure. “Limitless” is relatively pleasing for a spring movie: it has action, suspense, comedy and even a little mystery. It shows how much information one has stored in his brain, which, because of the short attention span of most humans, cannot be reached. Although some of the side effects were gruesome and various scenes are not recommended for the squeamish, the film shows in a spectacular fashion what humankind is willing to go through not only for power, but also to understand the feeling of having an immeasurable amount of information at the blink of an eye.


photos used under fair use exception to copyright law

Arts & Entertainment · 23

March 24, 2011


Farmers’ Almanac predicts foul weather RACHEL CRAIG


wo years ago, the Farmers’ Almanac editors had already predicted the harsh winter Columbia experienced this Jan.Feb. Although there has already been one snow storm in February, the Almanac foresees another one in late March. The Farmers’ Almanac predicted that at some point today

through Sunday, a major storm will evolve over the southern Rocky Mountains and move eastward, bringing significant snowfall to Kansas and Missouri. “Does that mean all of Missouri? I don’t know, but we have this one more snow storm between the 24th and 27th that we say will bring a significant amount of snowfall. Then we talk about it being clear and unseasonably cold, and then I think in April you get your real springtime,” Peter Geiger, editor of the Farmers’ Almanac, said. “We can’t say it’s going to start raining at two in the morning and stop at noontime. I’m not too specific, but what we’ll talk about is significant snowfall, clear or a warm temperature, so I think the whole thing is just challenging to do, but I think that we’re pretty consistent no matter where you live.” Using no weather screens, the Almanac’s predictions are based solely on advanced calculations. Instead of technological advances, the Almanac’s first editor, David Young, developed a mathematical formula in which he applied sun spot activity, planet position and the moon to predict weather patterns. 2011 marks

infographic by Dan Hainsworth

Strait, Womack, McEntire, will play at Mizzou Arena


ouring the country with his new album, George Strait will add a little of his “Twang” to Mizzou Arena April 8. Lee Ann Womack will start the concert off at 7 p.m., with Reba McEntire and Strait taking the stage shortly after. Strait’s latest tour displays his sweet, southern side as well as debuts a new Hispanic flare. “El Rey,” a song on album Twang, which he sings in Spanish, displays the shift in his fan base. In an industry where anyone who can strum on a guitar and rock a 10-gallon hat can hit it big, Strait has always been a trueto-heart cowboy. At the top of the country music charts for the past 30 years, Strait’s record sales have surpassed 67 million copies. With artists like Strait, the genre is mostly male-dominated. However, critics named McEntire “Queen of Country Music” and, like Strait, her records reach back decades. “Only in My Mind,” a song recorded in 1985 and one of her hits, explains a solemn conversation between a man and a woman. The song is the only one on the album that McEntire wrote by herself; it chronicles a woman explaining how she has never cheated on her husband but wishes she could. Womack, known for her old-fashioned style in her albums about lost love and infidelity, will perform songs from her recent album ‘Call me Crazy’. A 2008 album, after three years of silence, shows a darker side of Womack, drinking and losing love. —Jackie Nichols

Blue Note welcomes Cage the Elephant performance


he band that’s bringing rock ‘n’ roll back is coming to Columbia April 9 at the Blue Note. In a music era that’s becoming all about electronic pop, one band made it big doing just the opposite: Cage the Elephant. Rather than play what was popular at the time, the group took their own route and has since achieved rock star status. After Cage released its self-titled debut in 2009, the hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” put them on the map, helping to sell close to 400,000 copies and spawning three top 5 singles. It is not just the music that the fans love about the band: it’s their whole feel. It’s hard not to like the attitude Cage brings to the table through its new album, Thank You, Happy Birthday has a lot to live up to; its new single “Shake Me Down” is already a hit. One of the band’s biggest goals for the disc is to not conform to a popular sound or look. Cage the Elephant’s tour has taken them across the world and will now stop at Columbia’s Blue Note with Biffy Clyro and Sleeper Agent. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20. —David Duffeck

Mike Posner to perform in April


ike Posner released his debut album, 31 Minutes To Takeoff, last August with three singles that have already reached the Billboard’s Top 10. His first single, “Cooler Than Me” harbors electronic pop style that is a snappy rebuttal to snobby women who “never say ‘hey.’” His second single, “Please Don’t Go” which has the same breezy tone and style, personifies Posner begging for his girlfriend not to leave him. Posner will perform in Columbia at the Missouri Theatre April 20, for $25 per ticket. Posner writes and performs music that has an incomparable beat one can just dance to with his sultry voice. Posner, one of the most popular new artists, is sure to draw viewers to the Missouri Theatre, so buy a ticket ahead of time. —Abby Kayser

the 194th year of the formula’s use. “The formula hasn’t really changed much through the years,” Geiger said. “The mathematical components are the same. The formula is the same, and the sun spot activity that gets measured, [but] probably the measurement of sun spots is even more accurate [now] than maybe it was way back.” Only one person at a time knows the formula to crack the weather code. One family handed it down for three generations, and then it went to Caleb Weathersby, the current person predicting the weather. The Almanac predicts weekby-week weather for each region in the United States. Different formulas and factors predict the data for sections other than the weather covered by the Almanac. “The weather is only one thing that we do, but there’s a lot more to it,” Geiger said. “Every generation has had to deal with great adversity. Your challenge is going to be the lack of resources. You will grow up during an era when the U.S. is not the biggest world economy. China and India and other nations will see a growth in their living standard. This will put pressure on everything from steel to wood to food. So your generation and mine will have to learn quickly how to do more with less. This is where the Farmers’ Almanac comes in handy. We are always dealing with issues of getting more out of less, including how to fix and reuse things instead of tossing [them] away. This will be a huge shift in how we live. And I think this is a big reason you and your friends should be interested

in the Farmers’ Almanac. If we don’t adjust how we live, this country will collapse.” The Almanac predicts not only the weather, but also the helpful dates for fishing calendars, hunting information and even recipes. “It’s evolved over the years. It’s still the Farmers’ Almanac, but people who read it aren’t necessarily farmers. But I think we keep the name because a farmer is someone who is hardworking and industrious, and I think that speaks for the publication,” Geiger said. “The publication is dealing with how to get better gas mileage, how to remodel without spending a lot of money. We are very contemporary because the economy has been so difficult, and we try to help people do things without spending money and without buying things and making their own product, and that’s the kind of stuff you’ll find in the Almanac in addition to just good advice, so the Almanac does change, and the advice changes. It’s not a farm book.” The effect the moon has on the Earth also calculates the “best days” selection, according to Geiger. In recent years the Almanac expanded their “best days” to apply to other activities, such as shopping and buying a house, all calculated on the impact the moon has on the earth and the signs of the zodiac. “I think the Almanac tries to speak to what life is about, and that’s basically what the book does,” Geiger said. “In the times that it’s been tracked, we think that we’re about 80 percent accurate, but the weather is only one thing that we do. But there’s a lot more to it.”

Percent for Art program brightens Columbia Artists focus on projects for local buildings to inspire conversation OMAR TARANISSI


n 1997 Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs initiated the Percent for Art program, which stipulated that in the case of any major construction project costing more than $1 million, one percent of the money would go to a sitespecific art piece. Since then the program has funded 10 creations around town, varying in location from downtown parking garages to the Orr Street fire station. “The Percent for Art program is very important for a city’s cultural and artistic development,” said University of Missouri—Columbia art professor Lampo Leong, Ph.D, who is currently working on a piece being funded by the program. “A city-managed public art program is a good way to ensure the quality of art being put in public spaces in terms of the value, content and execution. … It is a positive voice in the society and could enrich the cultural and artistic life of the citizens.” Beyond just making a community more aesthetically pleasing, public art can provide a number of practical benefits. As stated in the policy resolution that established the Percent for Art program, the initial aims and goals included to “further enhance the civic pride of the people,” and to “promote economic development in Columbia.” “I think it creates dialogue. So whether someone hates a piece or loves a piece, you end up having conversation about it,” art teacher Sharyn Hyatt-Wade said. “Good art causes conversation. If you never really look at it or talk about it — it’s so common [or] everyday that it doesn’t become a part of your world or your discussion— that’s probably not a very powerful piece.” Columbia is one of only two cities in Missouri with a Percent for Art program. Senior Advanced

Placement art student Kristen Williams said this fact separates Columbia from other cities that are not as supportive of the arts. “You go downtown, and it’s not a dreary place,” Williams said. “Like, I don’t want to be rude or anything, [but] some of the cities I go to, like Jeff City—it’s not very pretty when you walk around. [In Columbia] you see the artists really coming out onto the streets of downtown.” Currently, there are three projects in progress under the Percent for Art program, two of them set in City Hall and one in the Fifth and Walnut Parking Garage. Leong, whose work is on the second floor of City Hall, said with his art he wishes “to share my reverence to nature’s awesome majesty.” “In my current series of paintings, I have created a postmodern visual language that incorporates the rhythm of Chinese cursive calligraphy with an approach to color reminiscent of the symphonic effects achieved by abstract expressionism,” Leong said. “Departing from its literal meaning and set against meditative hues or fiery colors, calligraphy is shattered and layered to generate depth and dynamic tension. Energies shift and explode to create serenity.” Beyond the program there are also other projects going on all over the city. Artist David Spear, who participated in Percent for Art in 2008, is working on a commission for the new entrance of Boone County Hospital. “The painting is a landscape painting that encompasses around 12 square miles of Columbia. I want the painting to be an experience for the viewer that transports them outside of themselves. I want the painting to be an enlightening distraction from the serious business of a hospital,” Spear said. “I also want the viewer to see Columbia not as just a city or town, but also an organism that relies on all

its parts to work, as a body relies on all its organs.” As both a city and an organism, Columbia possesses many facets that provide support to various fields of study, and art is no exception. The Percent for Art program continues the city’s tradition of integrating design with functional

structures. “At the end of the day, the Percent for Art program is vital to encourage local artists and to keep Columbia’s supportive culture for creativity,” Williams said. “It provides a direct outlet for artists to get involved in our community and keeps the city vibrant.”

Going down to city hall: Artist Lampo Leong created paintings that now reside in Columbia’s City Hall with the Percent for Art Program. It allots one percent of construction funds for on-site art.

photos courtesy of Lampo Leong

Focusing in: A closer look at artist Lampo Leong’s painting shows it is inspired by the look of Chinese calligraphy.

Philharmonic Orchestra builds community JOANNE LEE


ertainly, classical music is not for everyone. A casual classics listener would probably know Beethoven and Mozart, maybe Stravinsky, rarely Berlioz, Bartok or Barber. But what many non-classical music students fail to realize is the complex beauty hidden beneath the notes. They could excuse this detail with many explanations, such as “it’s not my type,” but they cannot, however, make the excuse, “It’s not in Columbia.” Community-friendly Missouri United Methodist Church partners and supports the 9th Street Philharmonic Orchestra, named after the 9th Street that is home to many trademarks of Columbia: Shakespeare’s, Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts and the Blue Note. Artistic director and conductor Alex Innecco brings to the philharmonic some spice with his Brazilian accent, abundant humor and endless charisma. “Our battle is to keep the audience awake, ones like my dad,” Innecco bellows to the orchestral group in a March rehearsal. When Innecco first performed classical mu-

sic, he was an eager 15-year-old singing the Brahms’s Requiem with a chorus in his native country of Brazil. His proud father searched for him in the first movement with binoculars, but shortly after the first movement was finished, it was Innecco who found his father, who was fast asleep in the audience, binoculars hanging from his neck. More than 25 years later, March 12, Innecco was not singing, but conducting the same piece. To the wind section, “stick together like Japanese rice,” Innecco commands with enthusiasm. He continues to relieve the laboriousness of the rehearsal with humor, “The flute section has the shortest dynamic range in the orchestra. It’s from forte to...forte. So, if I ask for a little less [sound] from them, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, whatever.’” His humor lightens the mood for orchestra rehearsals, but his sincerity in music, combined with the community and the musicians’ dedication, all brings stunning results in concert. “Alex is so funny that it’s actually enjoyable to rehearse a piece for two or three hours, three days a week [each month],” 9SPO violinist sophomore Daphne Yu said. “I love playing the violin, but Alex ties my love for music in with a

sense of community, friendship and humor, that I don’t think is possible to get anywhere else but 9SPO.” Such experiences are indeed treasured for Yu, who has continued to play with 9SPO’s entire past annual season series despite her busy schedule in her first year at RBHS. In a certain swelling passage where the violin section soared with heart-wrenching melody, Innecco said pointing to the front row of the pews, “You guys know the row of women who sit here? I want these women to take out their hankies.” Primarily the community makes up the 9SPO audiences. The orchestra contains retired individuals who have an undying passion for music, individuals with other jobs who have music as their cherished hobby, MU music students and high school students, currently including musicians from RBHS. “9SPO really connects everything and everybody together; in 9SPO I get a chance to meet many different kinds of people I wouldn’t normally meet, from a Latin professor at MU to MU music grad students,” Yu said. “It made me realize there are a lot more people in our community that do play music and do appreciate music, and it makes me happy.”

24 · Backpage

March 24, 2011


Bruins end year fourth at state OMAR TARANISSI


nly moments before the jump ball, the five starters of the boys’ basketball team stood in front of their adversaries in the final four match-up against Troy-Buchanan. Around the court players could see their fans dressed in green and purple filling up the first level of seats in Mizzou Arena. “I was kind of nervous seeing all the people there,” senior center Karon Hayes said. “It felt different. It felt like you were in the spotlight.” The Bruins won the tip-off, and for a short while, it seemed they would control the game. Two plays in a row, senior guard Matt Kelly started at the key, took the ball down the lane and finished easily. However, the Troy guards also began to find their rhythm. “Defensively, they had two players that led them through the game, and we could never really shut them down,” sophomore forward Manuale Watkins said. “It was a team effort. We missed a lot of helps and a lot of rebounds.” Troy’s starting guards, Derek Deters and Neil Branham, put up 43 points collectively, scoring both from the perimeter and in the lane. Deters and Branham were too much for the Bruins, and Troy-Buchanan ended up winning the game, 57-45. “It felt pretty crappy,” sophomore guard Travis Jorgenson said. “You just want to win championships so bad. You’ve worked for four months — and your whole life — to get to this situation, and you have a bad game, you have an off game, and that’s the end of it, the end of the dream.”

Despite falling to Troy-Buchanan and losing the following day to Lee’s Summit North, the Bruins’ season was ultimately successful, defying preseason expectations. Skeptics “didn’t even pick us to get out of our district, let alone get to the final four,” Watkins said. “We didn’t really finish it how we wanted to, but it was a successful season. Everybody thought it would be a rebuilding year, and we went to the final four.” Considering the Bruins had lost four seniors and only had two returning players with extended varsity minutes, Jorgenson and Kelly, many had written them off this year. However, after winning 16 of their first 20 games, the Bruins showed they were playing to win. Head Coach Jim Scanlon attributed the success of the Bruins to the attitude of the players. “They got to the point where they were fun to watch,” Scanlon said. “They bought in to what [the coaching staff] was selling, and they listened. I think the biggest difference was that they listened. They paid attention to what we were trying to say, and they tried to do it.” Besides the players’ openness to coaching, another factor that differentiated this team from last year’s was the bond among teammates. Kelly said he and the other players built on their friendships as the season went on. “We were closer than any other team I’ve played with. We did, like, everything together: we joked together, and we all got along. And we were really like a brotherhood,” Kelly said. ”I don’t know — it was something special. And we played as a team; it was a team game. It wasn’t one person standing out — we all were a team and

helped to get to the final four.” Kelly said his favorite moment from the season was when Hayes “got his first dunk, and then a couple of plays later, he got hung,” or blocked by the rim. Hayes thought it was funny when senior Robert Cheadle dunked on freshman Nick Norton at practice. Besides these moments, several players agreed one of their favorite memories from the season was Scanlon. “Some of the stuff Coach Scanlon says in practice — he’s very serious, and we take him seriously, but stuff is just very funny,” Watkins said. “If you do something wrong, he’ll just stare at you for, like, 10 minutes, and you don’t know what you did; he just looks at you. And then he’ll stop practice, and sometimes he’ll be, like, ‘Just give us the balls.’ And we’ll have to work harder, and he’ll give us the balls so we can start practicing again.” Other highlights from the year, the team said, were when they won the district championship in Jefferson City and beat Branson in the quarterfinal

match-up. While the end of a successful season is a cause for celebration, it also means the end of the high school careers of four seniors. Kelly, who has played for the Bruins since his freshman year, expressed his gratitude toward the coaching staff, as well as toward the players. “I wouldn’t want to play at any other high school,” Kelly said. “I’ve had great teammates and great coaches, and we’ve had great success. So I wouldn’t pick any other high school. I’ve had fun the last four years and really enjoyed playing Rock Bridge basketball.” While Kelly was not completely happy with the outcome of the final four match-ups, he said, ultimately, the season was a success. “We fought really, really hard, and we competed every minute we were on the floor. I was very proud of my team, considering people didn’t even pick us to win our own district and have a winning season this year,” Kelly said. “So to make it to the final four — I was pretty proud of my team.”


1) Flying high: Senior Karon Hayes rebounds during the first game against Troy-Buchanan. Hayes caught 249 rebounds throughout the season, excluding the final two games. 2) Being a team: Junior Coltin Hermann puts a comforting arm around senior Robert Cheadle near the end of the fourth quarter of the first game. Playing at Mizzou Arena, the team lost to Troy-Buchanan High School. 3) Crashing down: Hands tightening around the ball in frustration, junior Will Echelmier reacts strongly to the foul called on him; Echelmeier fouled out of the second game during the fourth quarter. Sophomore Manuale Watkins and freshman Nick Norton express their outrage at the referee’s call, as well. “It was just really diappointing. We worked so hard to get to that position, and everything was right there for us to make history,” Echelmeier said. “So when I walked off the court, it felt like the whole season was crashing down on me, and all I wanted to do was crawl in a hole.”

photo by Kylee Fuchs

photo by Kylee Fuchs

Quite an upset: Junior Will Echelmeier, senior Matt Kelly and sophomore Manuale Watkins hide their faces during the fourth quarter of the Troy-Buchanan game on March 11 at the Mizzou Arena.

1 photo by Kylee Fuchs


photo by Mary Herndon

March 2011  

March Edition of The Rock, 2011

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