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Madison Hawkins

I’m sure many of you have heard of the coming of the end of the world predicted to happen on December 21st by the Mayan calendar. Well, I’m not going to get into it, but I did find an interesting article that listed some things you

Staff Writer

could do to prepare to read this article listing survive the end of the things to prepare you for world. Many interpretasurvival of doomsday, I tions of how the world thought some of them is going to end include were kind of ridiculous. total chaos and destrucHere are my thoughts: tion. So that’s what I usually picture when “the Keep Hydrated end of the world 2012” is Be sure to stock up at mentioned. So when I least three days worth of water if there are plans for your area to be evacuated. Why only three days? Because if the world ends, we won’t have nearly enough

resources to support all of our survivors right. Oh, and if you’re going to be staying in your home, you’ll need to store two weeks worth of water because, again, we can’t support that many people, so some of you are going to have to go...just saying.

Stock up on Food

See previous tip... you want to have three days worth of rations. After all, if the world ends, the grocery stores will probably be closed.

Stay Clean

Be sure to keep bleach and soap handy, because we all know the most important things to do after the world ends are to clean up and wash those clothes! You shouldn’t be worrying about the fact that it’s most likely your close friends and family are all gone and dead. Not at all! What you should be worrying about is how clean you and your clothes are. More on page 3

Urban Outfitters has you covered for shark socks!

Buy your own Facekini! Just in time for the holiday season!

December 14, 2012

How to Survive the End of the World

By Madison


Staff Writer

Stash your car keys somewhere you can find them later

Continued from Page 1

Entertain yourself

Don’t forget to pack your books, toys, and board games though, because you don’t want to be bored once all of your belongings, friends, and Earth as you know it is destroyed. Certainly there will be a nice quiet rock somewhere that’s comfortable enough for you to sit on and play a nice, serene game of solo monopoly.

Can’t forget your cash

Because when the world ends, everyone will be super worried about you paying for things at the grocery store. Nobody will be

“Not optimal” After an attack in Benghazi, Obama appeared on the Daily Show. When asked about the attack, he said it was “Not optimal.” This spurred the relentless fiery rath Shark Socks Have you ever had the desire to trick all of your friends and family into thinking your legs are being viciously attacked at that moment by terrifying fish? Now you can! These socks

When the world ends, and there aren’t any roads, let alone traffic lights, you’ll definitely be able to use your car to get around to that supremely important salon for that incredibly essential manicure appointment you made the week before, oblivious to the fact that the world was about to end at the time.

Keep your house keys somewhere safe

concerned at all with the fact that the world as we’ve known it has been destroyed, but every grocery store associate still alive will be concerned with you paying your 27 cents for a can of soda.

Facekini In China, a new fashion sweeps the nation. While here it is common to want a tan, in China face-kinis preserve their pale that is the internet skin, making them super trendy. Everyto attack on Twitter, with updates of one knows that pasty terrible news with the hashtag NotOptimal. Speaking of, the world is ending next week. #notoptimal

Because when the world ends, and your house is destroyed, the door is the only thing that will be left, and you’ll need a key to unlock a door to a nonexistent home that you could have gotten into by simply walking around the door.

complexion is where it’s at, especially when it means wearing a piece of spandex on your face with eye holes is involved. Someone explain to me why this hasn’t come about until this great day.

have been showing up everywhere, striking up conversations and creating problems for the gullible. Get yourself some shark socks this holiday season and go watch the hysteria!

Procrastination Is it a real trend if it’s pretty much always a thing? It better be. I was going to type this write up, but I’ll do it later.

Make your own lemon cupcakes for the special day!

Get your own Dreidel paraphernalia!

December 14, 2012

The other Holidays

Understanding the Actual Hanukkah By

Kate Grobowsky Staff Writer

A look at the days in December that people celebrate besides Christmas By


Kate Grobowsky Staff Writer

ou know about Christmas. The little target dog with an ornament has been parading around in your TV for months now. You’re either on the bandwagon, or running for your life. Well, if the latter happens to be the case, perhaps it’s time to explore some other worthwhile holidays. Perhaps the most underloved holiday of the season is Hanukkah. This menorah laden week of festivity buys a joke or two and a smile as well, most of which are dreidel related. Or not. I would make this a light hearted piece with lots of jokes, but that may or may not offend every single person here, so I shall resist. As fascinating as this is, there are more important holidays to cover. Happy bouillabaisse day! This is the day in which we celebrate all that is the traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. Oh joy this is the day we have waited for many a day! Celebrate at your local French restaurant and wave your French flags with pride. In the same breath, we can talk about tomorrow. National lemon cupcake day! Treat yourself to a delicious lemon cupcake (see the link for a fabulous recipe) and ponder the importance of said baked good. Influencing our lives and giving us purpose, the lemon cupcake is deserving of this holiday and much more. Over-exciting holiday’s that deserve much more credit than they are given, what more does December have to offer? I mean, who doesn’t want a French, Dreidel shaped, lemon cupcake every day of December? Now go forth, young one, and celebrate in style.

Quick Poll: What do you think about Christmas?

An Open Letter By

to Christmas Trees

Kate Grobowsky Staff Writer

Every year I go through a bit of post-Christmas mayhem. In that, sometimes the Christmas tree is simply forgotten. This year I wrote a note to my tree to soften the blow of out and throwing it away. Dear Christmas Tree, You know I love you. I really do, but every day I see more and more how strange our relationship is. I mean, come on. There’s a tree in my house, why is there a tree in my house? That’s not normal. I’m sorry I have to say it but... Tree, you are drunk. Go home. It was fun, but all good things must come to an end. You’ve overstayed your visit. You are now simply obnoxious and I’m sorry but you’re just too needy. “I need water. I’m falling over. The cat just jumped on my branches and pushed me over.” There’s no end to the complaining with you! I can’t take it anymore. If I hear one my peep about how you’re dying or whatever, I will kill you and

everyone you love. Let’s get this straight, II don’t want you in my house, so please just leave. I can’t live my life coming home every day to be reminded of this parasitic relationship. It’s not me, it’s you. Get out of my house or I’m calling the police. I have to be harsh here. I’m sorry. Actually, you know what? Sorry not sorry. You deserve this for all of times you restricted the walkway to the refrigerator. You knew how lazy I was and how much I wanted food, but you went and did it anyway! Don’t even give me that “But you put me here it isn’t my fault” crap. You did this on purpose. I had to walk around the couch. AROUND THE COUCH, DO YOU HEAR ME? Don’t even bother pretending it isn’t true, it’s too late. I don’t love you anymore. Look, we just aren’t compatible anymore. I know this seems sudden, but I think we both knew it was coming, if not now, then soon. It’s time. It’s better this way. Best Wishes, Kate

Check out Quizlet for easy studying techniques!

Remember to visit Gradespeed every now and again. You’re gonna need it.

December 14, 2012

Teachers Prepare for Semester Exams Too

By Kimberly Velazquez Staff Writer We all know that students stress and what we do as teachers and what you as stucomplain about finals, so how do teachers dents have learned.” feel about this? Do they feel less or more Robyn Davis, an English teacher, explained stressed than students? This is why I decided that finals do not stress her at all. “All the to interview teachers to ask how they feel English teachers work all semester on final about finals and the whole testing week. exams and not at the very last minute. We The responses I got from the teachers I are prepared since the beginning of the interviewed were shocking, yet I felt like the school year.” answers were expected. All the teachers anJason Ondruch, a teacher in the math deswered the same thing and explained the partment, was the only teacher that said he reason why. felt stressed about finals. He stated not beCaleb Brown, a math teacher here at West- cause of the finals themselves but because side, said he doesn’t feel stressed towards of the students. “I’m a little stressed because finals. “Why would I? I’m a teacher. If you’re prepared, finals won’t be hard.” DeLonn McCall, an English teacher, also said that finals aren’t stressful for her. “This is my 29th year being a teacher and making finals for students. It’s what I have to do as my job.” George Shull, a teacher in the Social Studies department, said finals don’t stress him either. He said “No I don’t feel stressed because I’m not taking them.” He knows that finals stress out the students more than the teachers. Roy Conwell, another teacher in the math department, unsurprisingly answered that finals weren’t a big stress for him. He stated “No, because if teachers do their job correctly and students study, then finals shouldn’t be hard or stressful because it shows

I feel that I am concerned more about the students’ grades than they are towards their own grades.” My interview with Mr. Ondruch was the only shocking one because even throughout the interview, he seemed stressed out. However, the majority of the teachers seem to be very confident in that they’ve managed their time well and only have to worry about getting in the last grade, the final grade. If anything, that should be an indication that we need to work hard so their efforts don’t go to waste as well.

Need help studying? eHow has the answers.

Make holiday time more memorable.

December 14, 2012

Mr. Roy Finally Finds His Home By Molly


Staff Writer

“I was on one side of the mountains and I needed a ride to get to the other.” David Roy, a substitute teacher, spent most of his young life exploring. Thinking of what it would be like to get from where he is, to where he wanted to go. He’d explore. Make friends. Create multiple families wherever he went. Make the best out of every situation and enjoy his youth. He met a girl while in college. They decided that they wanted to marry, but he wanted a month to explore more of America before settling down. “So, with just my shoes I hitchhiked to Seattle. I told Jamie that she shouldn’t wait for me but when I came back she started dating someone else. But I mean I guess, that’s what young love is. It made me free in a way, so it gave me a few years to just travel. I lived in a tent for three years. I traveled with the Renaissance festival. I wintered with them, and moved with them.” He made a home for himself everywhere he went. “I started working at the Rennaisance festival in Houston, and from there [traveled to different areas around] America. I did different jobs while I was in Ren Fest.” Roy said. “I sold coffee for a while and later learned how to blow glass, make little girl hats, and make bubble bobbles.”

Society today has gotten used to living the everyday kind of life. Moving from school, to college, to a job, making a family and then going day by day after that. Not many people choose to go past the norm, and although it isn’t the always right choice for everyone, the option to do something different can give experiences and memories that can’t be claimed any other way. “They were having a children’s circus at the town north of mine, so I joined them. [When I first started my job at the circus] I started with prop setup and takedown. I did that once, and then I left.” Roy said. Someone that can be fully trusted is hard to come by, and Mr. Roy is one of the few that kids and students alike have learned they can trust and rely on. “[While I worked with the circus] I wintered, which is [what their term is for where and how we were staying.] I stayed with a lot of the kids that were runaway children, so in a way I became, to a lot of them, their Den Mother type figure.” After he traveled around the U.S. for a while, he discovered a job working in a school setting with autistic children. “That’s where I learned that I loved teaching, and working with kids.” Roy said. “Which is why [I’ve settled down, and started] subbing at Westside.”

The End of Holiday Family Time By

Madison Hawkins

Thanksgiving has passed, and maybe you had a nice dinner or gathering with your family or extended family. I’m sure a lot of people did, or at least were able to tolerate it without thinking much about the event past November 22nd. However, I’m sure there are many people who, like me, were very unhappy or at least quite irritated this past Thanksgiving date. Maybe you were forced to eat terribly homemade thanksgiving dinner with extended relatives you barely know, maybe you had a nice dinner, but you can’t stand your relatives at all, or maybe you just hate big holidays in general. Whatever the case is, here are some ways to avoid your family or extended family this Christmas, or any other major holiday family gathering: Fake a bout of amnesia.

Staff Writer

Scream, “You’re not my family! I don’t know you!” and run into your room. Lock yourself in the bathroom and say the door is broken. Develop a clothing allergy Pretend to be asleep. This

takes commitment. Someone will inevitably slap your cheek or throw water in your face. You must not react. Smear ketchup on your hands and chant in a monotone, “The

way their eyes go blank. Curiously blank. Eternally blank.” You’ll have no problem getting permission to go to your room. Clutch your stomach and claim you have “lady troubles.” This is even more effective if you’re male. Convert to a religion that doesn’t believe in celebrations, family, or joy. Hire a lawyer to prove that you are adopted. Say, “What’s a holiday to a king? What’s a king to a god? What’s a god to a non-believer?” If someone calls you out on ripping off Kanye West and Jay-Z, run. For a full list, go to figment. com, using the QR Code in the middle of this article.

No More Pretending*

By Molly


Staff Writer

The phrase ‘coming out of the closet’ comes from the 18th and 19th century, when they would shove, cripples, insane, and homosexuals into pantries, basements, and closets. The idea was created to hide the people that were different and pretend that they don’t exist. “I came out of the closet because it was one of those things where you hold it in for a while and it just explodes out [of you]. I wasn’t okay with being trapped inside myself.” As the years go by, people have become more in-tune with others feelings and choices, and society is learning to be more and more accepting of gays, and difference as a whole. “I went on a boy hiatus over the summer, and while I did, I met a girl at leadership camp in Florida. We kind of just hit it off. We were good friends at first and we just kind of clicked. I told people and I didn’t care if anyone knew.” Even though people are becoming increasingly more accepting, not everything has changed yet. The struggle with being gay can sometimes be compared to a roller coaster that doesn’t quite follow the rules of gravity. There is a track to follow, and the expectations of nothing changing, but that’s not necessarily the track fate sticks to. Even after accepting this feeling of yourself, the challenge of sharing this information with others can be tricky. “[When I told people it] affected how people saw me- lots of people saw it coming, a few people started treating me differently. But it’s one of those things where if they can’t deal with it, you move on. I’m not one of those people that are screaming gays but it is who I am and it isn’t anyone’s place to tell me how to live my life.” Coming out of the closet goes in steps, each coming one after the other at the rate that people decide to take it. “[My parents don’t know] both of my parents are conservative Republican so I don’t quite know how they’re going to take it. I think my mom will take it well but I’m not sure about my dad. He’s big into religion and he’s born and raised in the Church of Christ.” It takes an abundance of courage to show people this different side of you, and it takes steps with different bumps and hills till the ride is finally over. “[It is a big change, but I wouldn’t ever decide to go back in the closet.] How can you expect society to accept you, if you don’t even accept yourself?” *The Howler has kept the source of this story anonymous at their request.

Why Parents Shouldn’t Lie About Santa

Email Santa A Letter

December 14, 2012

A Deceitful Tradition By Ashley


Staff Writer

With winter holidays coming up, several things instantly come to mind: glowing trees and reindeer, mistletoe and snow... but one thing that automatically relates to the snowy holidays is Santa Claus, St. Nicolas, Jolly Ole’ Saint Nick! “I think it’s messed up for parents to teach us that it’s wrong to lie, but lie to us for like seven years,” said junior Fred- erick Garrett, “but I guess it makes the holidays fun.” For ages, parents have carried on the tradition of the jolly, rosy cheeked man riding in his sleigh Christmas Eve, bringing good boys and girls gifts to open on Christmas morning. Though this has put a smile on many a young face, controversial conversation has been brought up between individuals regarding whether or not it’s right to lie to children about the existence of Santa Claus. “I know when my parents told me the truth I was shocked,” said sophomore Justin Ndamati, “I didn’t understand how they could keep a lie and play along with it for so long, and they were so good at it!” Studies have been done to prove that at the age kids are told about Santa (four-seven

years), they are in their “magic years” and live in fantasy. On PBS Parent website Dr. Benjamin Seigel explained that “most kids do fine when they learn a myth is not real”, he continued on to say that “sometimes parents feel very badly because they want their kids to continue to believe in Santa Claus. Maybe parents like the myth because it makes them feel good, or because kids get disappointed in them when they find out the truth. Kids realize that parents aren’t so powerful, but that happens in adolescence anyway.” “I don’t mind the lies for Christmas,” said junior Diandra Vargas, “I mean, it contributes to the fun. It kinda sucked finding out the truth, but by that age I already had some suspicion towards my parents.” There are many opinions on the subject and none of them are really wrong or right. The traditional will of course, live on regardless of people’s feelings towards it. Besides, without these lies, Christmas wouldn’t quite be the same!

Holiday Giving

If everyone gave to everyone then everyone would receive something. It only takes one person to start a movement. By Bryce


We all tend to want to have the best time of year during the holidays. We go out for the elaborate gifts for our loved ones and even sometimes to fulfill our own justifiable selfish needs. But. . .don’t you think we should consider those who maybe in our peripheral vision. Those who may need a blanket a little more than your 32 gig Ipod. I think it’s high time we started to actually give during christmas. All of us. Its a little difficult if you think of it at the usual standpoint of how it benefits yourself, but maybe if you were to put yourself in the position of the opposing party. We are one of the most successful nations in existence surely we can spare a few bucks to those of us that sleep in the filth. If we all just had a little bit of incentive

Staff Writer to give think of the state our population could be in. If all the children who suffered in broken homes and go to low income schools were just given a little, what could happen? Think of the new innovators that we could create, politicians that actually know what its like to be a low income citizen, business owners that live on the other side of the spectrum, and an increased population of middle - high class citizens that boost the economy. Think about what your real gift could be. Instead of giving to yourself you can give your community the gift of economy and political growth. That one child given the school books he needs could change the world If everyone in the world just gave a dollar, that could be close the the equivalent

of 8 billion dollars. Thats 1,142,857,142 blankets, 133,333,333 Text books, 1 billion warm children in there beds, 133 million children who could possibly obtain greatness and change the world forever. When you give what are you giving for? What are you giving to this holiday season. Maybe one of our main problems in the world isn’t so complicated. Maybe all we have to do is change the human natures standpoint on selfishness. If we all gave we all could have something. Dont just think about it do something. Give.

A Christmas Maze!

Vist the NBA Web Site December 14, 2012

First All District

One of Westside’s High School’s Varsity Volleyball players is awarded with the title First Team All District. By

Ashley Bosarge Staff Writer


estside High School’s Varsity Volleyball team’s own Junior, Brittany Gilpin was one of the players chosen to be in the First team all district. First team all district, as Gilpin describes, is when different coaches from the district handpick players and print their names in the Houston Chronicle and on the website as winners of the honor. Gilpin said, “It’s a pretty cool title to have because only certain people on the teams can make it.” However, this isn’t the first time she has won. Gilpin goes on to say, “I also placed my freshman year, it’s a good accomplishment to have.”

To prepare for the season Gilpin says the teams puts in a lot of hard work. She’s even in the volleyball club where they practice from the beginning of August to the beginning of November. She has much love and dedication for the game. Going to practice in the summer from 10:00-12:00 & 2:00-4:00. Gilpin said, “In practice we run a lot, like all the time. We have to run a lap around the track for every point over 8 scored by the other team and the most we ever ran was 12 laps.” That’s pretty intense and she still got back up the next day to do it all over again for the game she has love and dedication for.

Westside Athletics Booster Club Web Site

‘December in My Town’ A Play Performed by the Wit Cast During Finals Week By Nicholas

Marshi Staff Writer

Photos By Ashley


The play “December In our Town” is a namesake musical based on the song that will be sung in the beginning of the play. The play is about travellers going to different groups collecting canned goods. Along the way they encounter many different groups of various beliefs and destinations. The Groups One of the groups is called the Innkeeper group. They are playing Mary and Joseph as the couple heads towards the barn to spend the night. The other groups are Kwanzaa, People coming home from vacation, La Fiesta, Rock and Roll O’ Saint Nicholas, and Christmas shopping. Potentially, there might be more groups added into the play. The songs “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” will be sung at the end of the play to close it off on a note wishing the audience a great holiday season. The play will be in the Mini-Theatre during the 3rd period final-exam.

The Westside Howler  

Vol. 12, Issue 3.

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