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Volume 54 Issue 8 Omaha Westside High School 8701 Pacific St. Omaha, NE 68114 April 23, 2010


Senior surpasses competition while mother battles cancer

Cara Wilwerding Editor-in-chief

Brushing tiny grains of sand from the soles of his Nike Zoom TJ’s, the 6’1” track star prepares for yet another jump. His warm-up music, the heavy metal tone of Metallica, fills his head as he aligns himself with the white stripes along the crimson track. With hundreds of competitors, coaches, teammates and fans cheering him on and intensifying his nerves, senior Mark Stehno has only one person on his mind: his hero, motivation and role model — his mother. In July 2007, Carole Stehno was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). IBC makes up only 1-6% of all breast cancer cases in the United States, but is difficult to detect. In this specific type, cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the breast, causing it to swell and become red. However, the cancer is often not detected by ultrasound or mammogram tests because it does not cause a lump in the breast. “I really didn’t know what to think when she was first diagnosed,” Stehno said. “I never really showed a lot of emotion about the subject or knew exactly how serious this actually was. After a while, when more information about this cancer rolled in, I started to realize that it was very serious.” Although Stehno worries about his mother’s health everyday, he tries not to let it affect his schoolwork. Nonetheless, this can be difficult. “I look up to her in every way. Just having to know Photo by what she goes through helps me get through all of Senior Mark Stehno strides out during practice. Stehno did not originally intend to run Hannah Rector my problems because I know she has to deal with so track in high school, but opted for another sport when a broken wrist hindered his ability much more,” Stehno said. “In school, I sometimes find myself thinking of her and start to think of the to play baseball. worst possible scenarios that could happen. I know it’s not an excuse for not getting my work done, but a cause that makes free wigs for women who have lost and radiation, the Stehno’s became it does have a great impact on everything.” hair to cancer. confident in Carole’s cancer-free state. He competes in the 400-meter dash, 1600-meter Duin has also seen support that Carole brings the Unfortunately, later tests showed that the cancer had relay, 400-meter relay, long jump and triple jump. track team for nearly every event. moved to her spine, brain and other areas of the body. Stehno currently holds Westside’s triple jump record, “Overall [Mark] stays very positive,” Duin said. “It According to Stehno however, she is currently feeling with a distance of 44’ – 10 ¾’’. He made this jump last is good to see his mom come support us at track meets, healthy, moving around well and has a great attitude April at the Millard South Invite and strives to improve and I have seen her and Mark joking around with each about life. upon it this season. However, with motivation and a other. Even when he’s having a bad day on the track, “The only thing that I really fear in all of this is strong figure behind him the record is not the most Mark still stays confident in his abilities.” having the cancer taking over everywhere and keeping significant thing on Stehno’s mind. Hoping to prevent cancer developments in future my mother from being able to move and reside into a “When I run track, I am always running for my generations, Stehno’s family has opted for a healthier vegetative state,” Stehno said. “I don’t think I would be mother,” Stehno said. “I know it gives her great joy to lifestyle. Now consuming more organic foods free of able to see my mother that way. I just keep praying that see me excel in everything that I do and that it doesn’t pesticides, they have tried to restrict fast food from their she will have many more years on this Earth to live and matter if I win or not, but that I give 100% every time. diet. To ease the emotional pains this disease brings, the that they are the very best of her life.” The medals don’t mean a thing — though they are nice Stehnos find solace in their religion, reading the Bible As Stehno makes history on the track, his mother to have — if I don’t go out and compete to the best of and praying on a regular basis. gives the fight against cancer everything she’s got. The my ability. Last year my 1600-meter relay teammates “My family believes that the Lord is in control and family plans to do whatever it takes to beat this fatal and I ran not only for my mother, but for anybody that has everything planned out, we just have to trust in Him illness. had a mother with cancer. I am proud to say that we are and know He will take care of us during this journey,” “My mother’s goal throughout this whole process was continuing that tradition this year.” Stehno said. “We have always been a Christian family to kick this cancer in the butt. You never really know Friend and teammate senior Ethan Duin has done and with all of this happening, [Mom] has become how easy your life is until someone you care about most his best to support the Stehnos in every way possible. a much stronger Christian, and it has moved on to is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease,” Stehno Although he hasn’t cared for the family directly, Duin everyone in our family.” said. “You don’t stress so much over the little things in chose to donate his hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, With initial signs of recovery through chemotherapy life as much. They don’t seem worth the worry.”



Tanning Tax



China Trip



Omaha’s Best Burgers



2 News


Photo by Ian Holmes


Media Center, Tech Support receive new technology to provide, pilot for students Hannah Gill Copy Editor

Tech Support Assistant Joe Bellanti waited in line at the Regency Apple Store at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, April 3 for his iPad. Tech Support Director Paul Lindgren arrived even earlier, at 4 a.m., to ensure Tech Support received its own iPad. “[We wanted] just to look at it as a potential educational tool. We just want to make sure it is an educational supplement,” Paul Lindgren said. The newest Apple creation, iPad, is similar to a giant iPod Touch with added software including Word, Keynote, and Numbers. Project Gutenberg, a base of online literature, is also available with finger-flip pages. “It’s not just [mice]; you can actually touch. It’s more manipulable and intimate,” Lindgren said. Though some colleges are taking a one-to-one initiative with iPads, the technology and process is still very new. “As far as providing them in an organized fashion… not for a while,” Lindgren said. “MacBooks are more fully operating machines.

There are too many questions left to be answered.” If iPads do come to Westside, Tech Support predicts it will be in addition to iMacs. “It would be like having a book open next to you,” Lindgren said. Having two screens to view cuts time switching between documents, discourages plagiarism and improves writing. Junior Max McDermott gets this same effect using the new Media Center computers. “I just feel more organized – the picture quality, the way they look,” McDermott said. The Administrative-ABC building provided the Macbooks after the older computers started breaking down. “They work a lot better; they’re faster,” media specialist Carrie Turner said. “We’ve just seen more and more kids using them.” iPads are a possibility for the Media Center and school, but they are still in the discussion stage. “I think we want to get one and see what could be done with it,” Media Specialist Theresa Gosnell said.

Salon owners worry after passed health care bill includes new tanning tax Grace Lyden Design Editor

On an average day, about a million people head to a salon tanning bed to receive intense exposure to UVA rays and darken their skin tones faster than outdoor tanning would, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). With the passing of the recent health care bill, the same people, 70% of them women between age 16 and 29, will be paying a 10% tax for each visit starting on July 1, reports Blake Ellis of CNN Money. The tanning tax is expected to generate $2.7 billion over the next ten years, to fund the $940 billion health care overhaul, Ellis said. Replacing the initially suggested Botax, a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery, the intent of the tanning tax is not only to raise money, but also to discourage what has been proven to increase the chance of contracting skin cancer. “Eventually, any long term tanning has the potential to aggravate or start skin cancers, including the most deadly form, melanoma,” said Joel Schlessinger, dermatologist and president of Affected salons are those with electronic tanning products that use ultraviolet lamps with wavelengths from 200 to 400 nanometers. The tax does not apply to heatless indoor tanning, such as sprays like Mystic Tan. Joseph Levy, vice president of the International Smart Tan Network, estimates the tax will jeopardize 9,000 jobs and 1,000 salons. More than 200,000 signed letters of opposition sent

to Congress suggest the tax targets the same people the bill is meant to help: middle-class females, who own twothirds of the nation’s salons, Levy said. However, Lori [no last name for privacy], the female owner of Tropical Gold Tanning in Omaha, is not worried about it affecting her business too much. “[It will harm business] maybe a little, maybe not,” Lori said. Lori will adjust her prices in accordance with the tax’s requirements, but she will otherwise make no changes to her usual business regimen. The AAD is thrilled about the tax: they cite research indicating a 75% increase in melanoma risk caused by tanning before age 35. Though some salon owners say the risks of tanning are exaggerated, Schlessinger says people don’t see the health consequences because they appear later in life. “The problem is that it doesn’t show up immediately, so the damage is seen years after the actual tanning,” Schlessinger said. The tax is expected to reduce the cost of skin cancer treatment, currently $1.8 billion per year, according to the president of the AAD, William James. $300 million is spent on melanoma alone.

However, salon owners Photo illustration by maintain that it will unjustly Ian Holmes target and disadvantage their business. “I don’t think it’s fair, especially to us small tanning salons around the area who are trying to offer a service and keep jobs,” Lori said. *Name Changed for privacy

Terryl’s Flower Garden 7631 Pacific St 402-393-3131 Fax: 402-393-6053 The Lance

Page Design Grace Lyden

News 3



New legislation proposed to limit abortions Julie Dworak News Editor

hormones, neurotransmitters, and electrical current to close the loop and create the conditions needed to perceive pain. In a fashion similar to explaining the electrical wiring to a new house, 2010 started off for Nebraska legislature with we would explain that the circuit is complete Exhibit A, the Abortion Pain Prevention Act. from skin to brain and back,” said Dr. Jean Nebraska speaker of Legislature Mike Flood Wright, an anesthesiologist specializing in Pediintroduced this Act (LB1103) Jan. 21. atric Critical Care Medicine. (http://www.nrlc. The sole purpose of this act is to make abororg/news/2010/NRL0203/NE.html) tions that cause the fetus to experience pain Wright’s metaphor of a illegal. The passing of this complete circuit from skin to new legislature would make brain and back clearly indicates Nebraska the strictest state in her beliefs that the fetus can exthe union. Currently abortions are It can be clearly demonstrat- perience the sensation of pain weeks. limited to the first 24 weeks of ed that fetuses seek to evade at 20 “It can be clearly demonthe pregnancy. The Abortion certain stimuli in a manner strated that fetuses seek to Pain Prevention Act would ban abortions after the fetus which an infant or an adult evade certain stimuli in a manner which an infant or an adult reaches 20 weeks. This would would be interpreted as a would be interpreted as a reacgive mothers roughly a month less time to decide to undergo reaction to pain tion to pain,” said Dr. Richard Schmidt, past President such a procedure. The only Dr. Richard T.F. T.F. of the American College of Obexception on the proposed 20Schmidt stetricians. (http://www.nrlc. week limit is if having an abororg/news/2010/NRL0203/ tion would “avert serious risk NE.html) of substantial and irreversible The main push behind this physical impairment of a major new 20-week limit is also to bodily function” or to save the help close the gaps in the curmother’s life. rent ban of 24 weeks. The truth “My bill does not center is the ban right now has one major loophole. around viability. It creates a new standard,” The basis of the current ban is the age of viFlood said. ability when the fetus can survive on its own, exRight now the bans on abortion are decided cept to “preserve the life or health of the mother.” based on fetal viability, or whether or not the fe“The Court awards each physician a veto tus can survive outside the mother’s womb. This power of the State’s judgment that the procedure ban would change based on whether or not the should not be performed. Requiring Nebraska baby can feel pain. to defer to Dr. Carhart’s judgment is no different Pro-life activists have used a new emotional than forbidding Nebraska from enacting a ban campaign to gain ground, such as this new legisat all; for now it is Dr. Leroy Carhart who sets lature. They use terms like “fetal pain” and wear abortion policy for the State of Nebraska, not the big, bright stickers that read “Abortion HURTS!” legislature of the people,” said Supreme Court to grab people’s attention. Justice Anthony Kennedy. ( “An unborn fetus after 20 weeks of gestation news/2010/NRL0203/NE.html) has all the prerequisite anatomy, physiology,

 The American Law Institute (ALI) proposes a model penal code for state abortion laws. The code advocates legalizing abortion for Reasons including the mental or physical health of the mother, pregnancy due to rape and incest, and fetal deformity.

 Apr. 25: Colorado Gov. John A. Love signs the first "liberalized" ALI-model abortion law in the United States, allowing abortion in cases of permanent mental or physical disability of either the child or mother or in cases of rape or incest. Similar laws are passed in California, Oregon, and North Carolina. 1970 
Apr. 11: New York allows abortion on demand up to the 24th week of pregnancy, as Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller signs a bill repealing the state's 1830 law that banned abortion after quickening except to save a woman's life. Similar laws are passed in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state.

 Jan. 22: The U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling in Roe v. Wade, finding that a "right of privacy" it had earlier discovered was "broad enough to encompass" a right to abortion and adopting a trimester scheme of pregnancy.
 Jan. 22: The first March for Life is held in Washington, D.C.

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Page Design Grace Lyden

April 23, 2010

4 Opinion


Trip to China shapes students, teachers into global citizens

Page Design Grace Lyden


Our sister school relationship with Tianjin Experimental High School in Tianjin, China started off a little rocky last year. Communication gaps led to unanticipated frustration, and expectations did not translate. While there was a degree of doubt as Principal Pat Hutchings spearheaded this new program, it is proving to be an innovative approach to shaping students’ thoughts and behavior. Twenty-six students and three staff members traveled to China April 2-12 as part of establishing the sister school relationship. The group spent three days in Beijing before going to Tianjin to greet their homestays, with whom they spent a week. Asian culture remains a mystery to several Americans, many whose only knowledge comes Photo by from movies like Disney’s Mulan. Westside students walk around the campus of Tianjin Experimental High School in Mary Susman There is no Asian History course Tianjin, China. Twenty-six students and three staff members visited Beijing and Tianjin offered at Westside High School, April 2-12. and although there’s been a buzz connected with the world they are a part of, with lars to begin this program. Funds from alumni for years about adding Mandarin a better understanding of how interconnected donations, ticket receipts and dance proceeds as a world language course, no such class exists. they all are. were gathered for three years to make this idea Despite China’s growing power in our world, we The students and teachers who participated a reality. Because of these funds, students who rest in ignorance. in this trip learned valuable lessons no textbook normally would be unable to afford this experiHowever, this new sister school relationship could teach. They ate authentic Chinese food, ence were now able to participate. is a huge step in the right direction of globalizathey practiced their bartering skills and, most No one knows how this relationship will tion. Eyes were opened to a whole new world importantly, they built relationships. evolve in the future, especially considering the when students visited China. Immersed in a new Everyone is taught how, regardless of nationfinancial expense. However, it is important to not culture, not knowing the language or customs, ality, each person is a human being. Yet everyone let figures entirely fog up views on this unique students had to be patient as they navigated thinks of Chinese people — or any other foreign cultural exchange. This expanded the educational unknown territory. They also had to keep open people, for that matter — as people far away on experience beyond cinder block walls. It made minds and respect this different culture as they the other side of the world. This experience broke each participant a better global citizen. served as ambassadors of Omaha, Nebraska and down any remaining barriers the students or inKudos to Hutchings and Westside administrathe United States as a whole. structors had because they established real contors for bringing this life experience to students. Whether these students go on to study Mandarin in college, study Chinese painting or choose nections with people. No matter their language or The impact of this visit may not be realized imtraditions, they are all just people. mediately, but there’s no doubt that its benefits not to further their study of Chinese culture, What’s baffling about this whole program is will thrive for years. Thank you for bringing this each student leaves this experience more aware what remains a mystery to the general public; sister school relationship to life, or as the Chinese of both American and Chinese cultures. FurtherWestside did not sacrifice thousands of dolsay, “xie xie.” more, they come away from this experience more

The Lance is a schoolsponsored publication of Westside High School, Westside Community Schools, 8701 Pacific St., Omaha, NE 68144. The Lance office is located in room 251. Phone (402) 343-2659. The Lance is an in-house publication. The paper is distributed every monthly to all students, except in vacation periods. Subscription rates to others are $25 prepaid. The Lance is printed by White Wolf Web, in Sheldon, IA. Advertising rates are available upon request. The Lance editorial staff deserves the right to edit all ads for clarity and grammatical errors. The editorial staff reserves the right not to publish any ads that are libelous or that contain non-factual information. The Lance editorial staff also reserves the right to nullify contracts at any time without prior notification. The Lance also refuses ads that promote activities illegal to a majority of the student readership. Reader response is welcomed in the form of letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300 words, signed by the author and sent to room 251. Names may be withheld upon special request. Lance editors will decide whether to honor such requests. The Lance editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and grammatical errors. The editorial staff also reserves the right to not publish any letters that are libelous or that contain non-factual information. The Lance is a member of the Nebraska High School Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill & Scroll Society. The Lance staff recognizes that the administration of Westside Community Schools controls the curriculum and, thus, sets the parameters of the production process of school publications. The Lance staff also recognizes its own responsibilities to inform, enlighten and entertain its readers in a way that reflects high standards of journalism, morals and ethics. Editors-in-Chief Mary Susman, Lauren Florea, Jenny Shehan, Cara Wilwerding; Managing Editor Mary Hepburn; Business Manager Madeleine Werthman; Copy Editors Shelby Pieper, Hannah Gill; Design Editor Grace Lyden; Graphics/Art Editor Julius Fredrick; Photo Editors Ian Holmes, Hannah Rector; News Editors Shadi Feddin, Julie Dworak; Opinion Editors Jessie Lassley, Lea Rendell; Feature Editor Kaylan Maloley; In-Depth Editors Lizzie Davis, Samantha Juster; Sports Editor Charlie Ziegenbein; Entertainment/Web Editor Brian Frey; Asst. Entertainment Editor Daniel Kemp; Staff Writers Victoria Anderson, Allie Fisher, Katie Hamel, Alia Khalil, Emma May, Sam Raybine, Matt Sockrider, Ali Tomek; Adviser Rod Howe.



With a great start to another strong season, the girls varsity soccer team won Metros and are currently ranked No. 1 in the state. The team beat Millard North with a score of 1-0. Keep it up guys, we want state!


Less than two months of school are left and it seems teachers are racing against the clock to assign as much homewwork as possible. Tests, projects and papers are loading up. Although this is common every year, the beautiful weather, which we haven’t seen in months, makes it increasingly difficult to focus.


If you are impolite enough to hang out on the landing having pivotal conversations such as who is dating whom, don’t act all rude and offended when someone pushes through to get to class. This has been repeated year after year, but please find a new place to hang out. That, or at least allow those who have important things to do get through.

April 23, 2010

Opinion 5 Life lessons

The problem with the policy in loco parentis is that it is vague.

“ “

We hear it all the time: in the “real world” your boss won’t accept this project late. In the “real world” you’ll need to work with people you don’t like. In the “real world” you’ll have to learn to sit still without natural light for half your waking hours. We’re in “life” boot camp. So, if high school is intended to train us for life as citizens of the free world, why is it that we aren’t learning to practice democracy? “No one is born knowing how to exercise their fundamental rights. Public schools should be laboratories for freedom and justice,” said Dr. Charles Haynes, who specializes in First Amendment Rights in Public Schools. Constant reminders inform us that we do not enjoy the rights of everyday citizens because we are under the school’s domain. Referred to as, in loco parentis, schools can perform some of the functions of a parent and therefore, in situations deemed for the students’ best interest, can restrict certain rights. The problem with the policy in loco parentis is that it is vague. It doesn’t specify which rights a school may restrict, and in doing so, leaves the interpretation up to the school. Some schools do their best to respect the civil rights of their students, but more frequent in the public school system is the attempt to squash them. Of course, it is only natural that an institution be wary of power in the hands of its subjects, and in that way I suppose this school system really is preparing us for the real world. The policeman arresting you is not likely to jump to help you exercise your rights, just as your principal probably won’t inform you that you do have a right to wear the protest armband which she has informed you is not acceptable at school. Which is why it occurs to me that this repression of student rights in part of the institution is natural — not right, but natural. It does not, however, explain or justify the recent trend in Supreme Court decisions to limit student rights. As of 1969, things were looking to be headed in the right direction for student rights. In the precedent setting case Tinker v. Des Moines, the Supreme Court ruled that students had the right to express themselves as long as the school couldn’t prove the expression to be a serious distraction to learning. In the case of Tinker v. Des Moines, this meant that students could wear black armbands protesting the Vietnam War. Since then, however, Supreme Court decisions have been moving in the wrong direction. In 1987 New Jersey v. T.L.O. deemed that schools only needed “reasonable suspicion” to perform a search — not a warrant, not even probable cause. A year later Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier established for schools the right to censor student publications. In 1995 Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton gave schools the right to force athletes to submit to random drug testing — a new “blanket” search even more limiting of civil rights than New Jersey v. T.L.O. because it did not even necessitate “individualized suspicion.” Yes, our rights are restricted while we are in school. That does not mean, however, that we should stop fighting for them. If students refuse to mobilize and risk punishment in exchange for their civil rights, they will most assuredly lose them. Freedom doesn’t come for free, and when it is granted it is the result of hard work, collaboration and a willingness to question authority. We, as students, have a duty to our selves and to the students who will come after us. Don’t take repression sitting down — unless, of course, you’re protesting.

Page Design Jessie Lassley

I think it looks fine if it’s not too dark.

I don’t think it’s necessary, and can be bad for your health.

Freshman Erin Reynolds

Sophomore Christian Piquette

It’s a lot like cookies... the right shade of brown is attractive, but too dark and burnt is unattractive.

Junior Max McDermott

I think they look just as orange as the girls.

Senior Melissa Kline

Ignorance Minds go blank when politics are brought up LEARENDELL

Managing Editor

What’s your overall thought of persistent tanning in the opposite sex?

“ Try spending at least 20

minutes a day reading a news source, whether it’s via newspaper, TV, or online. Even skimming the headlines can give you a little information.

Opinion Editor

As a teenager, it’s easy to learn the latest gossip about Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Britney. We are constantly bombarded with celebrity “news.” With all of this junk crammed into our heads, it’s hard to find the time to learn about the important information. Although most teenagers are aware of the recent passing of the health care bill, few know how it affects them. It’s easy to think we are too young for this to have an effect on our lives, but there are parts of this bill that will directly affect the teenage population. Yes, we are in high school and health insurance is not a big concern — our parents take care of that. We don’t have to worry about our medical care.

But let’s ignore the direct affects it will have on health insurance and focus on something that more teenagers can relate to. Many high school students have been to an indoor tanning salon at least once. The health care bill will be causing some changes in this activity. The health care bill will cause a tanning tax to come into effect July 1. Little changes like this make it imperative for students to stay informed. It doesn’t take much time to go online and do a little research. Everyone should be aware of changes around them, regardless of whether it has a direct impact on them. Students need to stay updated on current events. Go online and read stories about new legislation. Know what is going on around you. Try spending at least 20 minutes a day reading a news source, whether it’s via newspaper, TV, or online. Even skimming the headlines can give you a little information. Our time in high school is helping shape us into the adults we will become. If we don’t start building good habits now, it will be hard to change in our adulthood. Americans in general spend little time learning about the news and events taking place around them. . We have the opportunity to change this cycle. All we need to do is make an effort to be involved in the world around us. Make catching up with the news a top priority. If new legislation is passed, be sure to know how it will affect you. Don’t agree with the opinions of other people because you haven’t made the effort to form your own. Start shaping the habits of an informed citizen today. Take advantage of the many resources from which you can learn. Learn about legal matters. In the end, ignoring what’s going on around you only hurts you.



Rights distorted WARRIOR VOICE

Staff Writer

The majority of us believe that by doubting the topic in question, it makes us smarter and superior.

I almost didn’t write this column. After all, who would listen or care? Nothing written in a tiny newspaper could make a difference. Ironically, my attitude was empowering. I realized my latter thoughts proved the necessity of this piece, and the increase in cynicism in our generation can no longer be ignored. At the mention of a certain public figure, new legislation, or even local policies, everyone seems to be skeptical. Whatever the new plan or policy, students automatically retort, “That’ll never work.” Suddenly everyone thinks they are the next Holden Caulfield. The difference is Holden had J.D. Salinger to make his persona engaging; we don’t possess the same fortune.

Intelligence misunderstood through rebellion

The majority of us believe that by doubting the topic in question, it makes us smarter and superior. But it doesn’t. Criticizing the experts doesn’t make you an expert. What happened to showing higher thinking by analyzing a topic from all angles, noting both its strengths and weaknesses? Sadly, most of us know very little about the subject we are so quick to call stupid. In our country, we’re encouraged to find something that makes us angry and do something about it. But it loses its importance when we get “angry” about everything. We grew up around an environment of mistrust and confusion. When the World Trade Centers fell, most of us were younger than 10 years old, and soon our nation entered two of the most criticized wars of its history. Higher authority became more difficult to trust, which adults clearly expressed to us but failed to include explanations. We carry this attitude with us to the point where Jon Stewart has become our generation’s Walter Cronkite—the most trusted man in America. It’s easier to believe failure and a bleak future are inevitable, rather than taking responsibility and making changes. Our generation has been accused of several bad vices, but most are untrue. I find us to be caring and intelligent. Many of us have big dreams and lots of potential, but nothing will be achieved if we continue to be cynical. It is one of the most handicapping qualities in life and doesn’t lead anywhere. Youth is a time of unparalleled optimism. If we already doubt human sincerity, if we already believe we will fail before we try, where will we be 30 years from now? Eventually we will inherit the world. Granted, it has a lot of problems, but we cannot forget its merits either.

April 23, 2010

6 Opinion

I’m glad it passed, I’m excited people will be able to get health care.


“ I think it’s going to be difficult to get it to every American, and it’s expensive.


Marriage project

Social Studies Instructor


English Instructor

country can’t afford it. It’s too large of a democracy, and it’s not going to solve problems or help people out.

I know that I’m less worried because I have health care through my job. It hasn’t been a concern.

Art Instructor

“ I think it’s gone too far to social medicine, but I’m glad they didn’t go with the public opinion.



think it will help uninsured children who have no health coverage. I think it’s essential they have health care.

“ It’s a disaster, the


“ I’m very hopeful. I



What are your thoughts of the new health care bill?

Jessie Lassley Opinion Editor



Some miss out on real life experience


Currently, the Sociology course turns a blind eye to reality.

It was awkward. Former Sociology instructor Rob Johns stood in front of the large group reading how when families fail, society fails. He said families need a father and a mother. Children need a father and a mother. Now he wasn’t up there trying to send some anti-gay message — at least I don’t think he was. However, as I sat in the row listening uncomfortably, feeling forced to marry someone of the opposite sex, I heard his words loud and clear. This was only a subtle message, one he may not have known he was sending. The Sociology department has taken a more blatant stand. The Marriage Project in Sociology began as a way for students to study marriage in a more realistic manner. The project is designed to show the ups and downs, causing students to think about marriage as 17 and 18-year-olds in terms of finances, preparedness and compromise. The problem with this project is the reality it avoids. Following Nebraska law, only couples of the opposite sex are allowed to marry in this course — and everyone is encouraged to do so. Although a gay couple can live in Nebraska and marry in Iowa, they are not allowed to marry in Sociology. And while other options are sought in real life — several gay couples proclaim their love in marriage ceremonies each year — heterosexual marriage is the only option given to students. There is an alternate project of writing a research paper on one of the topics discussed in the unit. However, this alternative is not

Page Design Jessie Lassley

presented to students. The one time it was mentioned in my class, it was not discussed or presented to students, but unexplained and discouraged from any consideration. I will not be marrying someone of the opposite sex in the future. Why, then, should I be completing this project if, according to Nebraska law, it’s not a realistic option for me? I do believe gay marriage will eventually be legal in Nebraska; I believe it will eventually be legal across the country, and I think most people can agree that legalization is coming. Then shouldn’t I be allowed to prepare for my marriage now, as other students are? In reality, there are gay couples that will marry. They will propose, plan a ceremony, argue over which kind of cake to serve at the reception and they will plan their futures together. Currently, the Sociology course turns a blind eye to reality. As a result, several students miss out on the important lessons in Sociology. Out of protest against, or more often fear of, the Marriage Project, students do not enroll in the course. They lose the opportunity to learn valuable information — from information on different “isms” in society (sexism, racism, ageism — funny enough, even heterosexism) to violence in society. What’s worse is this rule sends the wrong message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. During this project, they are unrecognized as members of society. They have to conform to the heterosexual lifestyle, playing out a fantasy that’s unrealistic and even degrading. How would heterosexual people like to do a project where they are forced to plan a homosexual marriage and future with someone? You may think I’m taking it a little far, but that’s how it feels for LGBT youth. LGBT students must complete a detailed project answering questions about their husbands or wives; some questions for the project make sure to clarify “in heterosexual relationships.” It’s time for the Sociology department to face reality. LGBT youth deserve recognition, especially in a class such as Sociology.

Graphic by Jessie Lassley

April 23, 2010

Feature 7 Pandas, chops sticks, Kung Fu

Student reflects on experience overseas Maddie Goodman Guest Writer

Last year, around 40 Chinese students from Tianjin Experimental High School (TEHS) in Tianjin, China, visited Westside. Over spring break, 26 Westside students traveled to TEHS. Day 1 (Friday) It was an early morning when we started our journey to Tianjin. We met at the airport at 5:30 a.m. and there was a nervous buzz throughout the whole crowd. On the long flight, I was seated next to a Chinese man who knew no English. That’s when I knew China was going to be different than any place I’d ever been. I watched the Statue of Liberty disappear into the distance as our 14-hour flight began. Day 2 (Saturday) It was mid-afternoon when we arrived in Beijing. We loaded a tour bus and were off to our hotel for a much needed nap before dinner. The hotel we stayed in was beautiful, covered in classic Chinese art. The dinner we had was an authentic Chinese meal. Some people were skeptical of many things on the menu, but I was eager to try everything in front of me. At this restaurant we all had our first encounters with squat toilets. In China, instead of toilets, there are holes in the ground. We were all nervous about this new experience. Day 3 (Sunday) The delicious Chinese breakfast consisted of healthy vegetables and steamed dough, giving us energy to climb the Great Wall that day. When they say, “climb the Great Wall”, they mean it; there were steep areas where some almost fell. After lunch we went to the Olympic Birds Nest. While we were there, Mr. [Jeff] Wagner managed to get himself stuck in a bathroom for 40 minutes. The people that worked there had to rip the door off its hinges to get him out. From there we went to the Silk Street Market, where we haggled to purchase gifts for family and friends. Day 4 (Monday) That morning we went to Tiananmen Square, crowded with tourists of all nationalities. Not only did we get our pictures taken with Mao’s portrait, but we also snagged a photo with a group of Italian tourists. From there, we entered the Forbidden City, the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Everything from the architecture to the gardens was breathtaking. We left Beijing for Tianjin by bullet train. These trains can travel up to 343 km/hr. When we got to Tianjin we went straight to the school to meet up with our host students. My host family took me to a delicious dumpling restaurant, then back to their house for the night. Day 5 (Tuesday) On our first day of school we learned about acupuncture, then got to try it ourselves. I was surprised at how well it actually worked at relieving muscle tension. In the afternoon we went to Culture Street where we shopped and haggled more. Then we were off to Food Street where we tried some Chinese snacks. When we arrived back at the school, our host students were there to take us home. Day6 (Wednesday) At school, we did Chinese knot making. Some people picked

it up quickly, but I thought it was difficult. We also learned some Chinese, including a song. We then got a taste of a Chinese school lunch, which was so yummy; I was surprised it came from a school cafeteria. That afternoon we visited a museum in the house of an important man who lived in Tianjin 120 years ago. Through seeing his mansion, we could further experience old Chinese architecture. Day 7 (Thursday) Today was martial arts day. We were given Kung Fu outfits to wear that were funny looking because they were so large. We pretended we were Kung Fu masters. Next we had a Chinese paper-cutting lesson. I was even worse at this than I was at knot making; it was difficult to cut out the small spaces. In the afternoon we visited the Tianjin Eye — a huge Ferris wheel, where each pod seats five people. The ride would have been really boring because the wheel moves slowly, but I liked the people in my pod. The rest of the afternoon we drove around the city and saw the beautiful sights. Then we returned again to our new homes. Day 8 (Friday) This evening we were to stay in the dorms at school because it was UN day. We all met at the dorms and then headed off to the opening ceremonies. A former UN official gave a speech that was a little long, but full of information. After lunch, we broke off into our individual meetings. At first it was intimidating being around all the people who knew what they were doing, but once the session started, it came more naturally, and I actually found it a lot of fun. In the evening, they had a talent show with kids from all the schools participating — from across China and Thailand. At this talent show, senior Emily Maynard and I sang. It was so much fun to see what kids from other schools do in their free time. Day 9 (Saturday) This morning we wrapped up UN day and voted on our resolutions. At the closing ceremonies they gave awards for best delegate; six out of 10 were from Westside. After the conclusion of UN day, we went off with our host families. Mine took me back to the museum we had visited. It was interesting to go back and see parts of it I had missed the first time. Day 10 (Sunday) Today we spent the day with our host students again. Mine took me to her other apartment to meet the rest of her family. Then they took me to a traditional Tianjin restaurant that was kind of like the Melting Pot. The best part of the day was watching a pirated Chinese version of the sixth Harry Potter. It was funny to hear people in the theater laughing in the background. Day 11 (Monday) This was our last day in Tianjin. We met at school and had one more class before we departed. We learned Chinese painting, which was a lot harder than it looked. Once this concluded, we loaded the bus and were off to Beijing. Our flight to Newark had been delayed so we had to rush to catch our flight to Omaha from there. It was difficult to say goodbye to China. This won’t be my last visit.

(Top) Junior Emma May samples a scorpion in Beijing. (Bottom) Senior Jim Kerrigan helps the Americans win a basketball game against TEHS students in Tianjin. Photos by Mary Susman

Sophomore Mary Kerrigan barters with vendors at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

Page Design Sam Juster

April 23, 2010

8 Feature


Student actress takes turn behind the scenes, directs last school play of the year Ali Tomek Staff Writer

Cast members of You Can’t Take It With You reluctantly took down the set of last year’s final school play. Though the theater season was ending, returning thespians were already looking toward the future. Theater director Terry Fischer announced that with the arrival of her first child, only three plays would be produced instead of the typical four the following year. Senior Mickele Hogan wasn’t about to let her final year be short one play. “I thought that opportunities were being lost for students to be in plays,” Hogan said. “I asked if I could direct a play for my senior project.” Fischer granted Hogan’s request and plans began to develop for the first play directed solely by a student. “Once she scheduled out the year for the other plays, my play wouldn’t be able to be produced until the end of the year,” Hogan said. “My product already had to be done. I decided I’d make a booklet on how to direct for my senior project, and as an outcome, I’d direct a play.” Hogan’s booklet allowed her to delve into the world of directing before experiencing it firsthand. “I read a book, On Directing, by Harold Clurman. It was a guide to directing, and I manipulated that process to a student process,” Hogan said. She puts her knowledge on display with the play Proof, opening May 13 in the Little Theatre. Proof revolves around a famous mathematician, one of his former students and his two daughters. As a new director, Hogan wanted to work with a smaller cast than usual. Proof has just four characters. “I looked at a few plays that had smaller casts,” Hogan said. “I’ve known about Proof for awhile. I heard a bunch of students raving about it. After reading the script, I knew that I’d want to do that one.” While a smaller cast has its benefits for a new director, casting proved to be a challenge. “There were about 25 who ended up auditioning. It was very difficult to select,” Hogan said. “There were many different combinations of casts that we could have gone

with but you have to pick one.” Among the 25 who auditioned was junior Abby Legge, who was chosen for the part of Claire. “I was pretty nervous because there’s only four people in the play, only two girls,” Legge said. Joining her onstage are seniors Kelly Hagen and Tim Brawner, and junior Drew Conley. Hagen, cast in the role of Catherine, is excited to work with a student director. “Pretty much every play I’ve been in, Mickele has been in,” Hagen said. “Especially because it’s someone as experienced as Mickele, I’m not concerned. I know she’s going to have a vision that she wants to work with.” Local professional actor and director Vince Carlson-Brown is Hogan’s community consultant for Senior Mickele Hogan follows along in her script as Photo by the process. junior Drew Conley and senior Kelly Hagen act out a Hannah Rector “The fact that she has a consultant like Vince, who is a professional in the scene. Conley plays Hagen’s deceased father in the play. community, is going to help her out if and Jake Gyllenhaal, has helped Hogan to generate ideas she’s not exactly sure how she wants about her version of the production. to articulate her vision on the stage,” Hagen said. “Watching that gave me some ideas, but movies can do Hogan has already faced challenges as a director. a lot with different scenes and a play is just one space,” “What’s been hard for me is establishing when I need Hogan said. to act professional like a director, and when I have to be a With experience as both a director and an actress, peer, student and friend to people,” Hogan said. Hogan plans to major in theater or musical theater in As a cast member, Legge faces a similar challenge. college. “It’ll be weird having someone your age directing you,” “I plan on continuing my life as a performer. I don’t Legge said. “You have to give them the same respect that know if that will change but my goal is just to keep doing you would an adult.” what I love,” Hogan said. Hogan has found that a clear difference exists between A unique opportunity for a student director rose out acting and directing. of what was supposed to be a theater season lacking one “Acting, you think about just your character. Directing, you have to think about every character and how you want play. “It’s apparent that she has ideas about what she wants to shape them,” Hogan said. to do,” Hagen said. “It’s going to be really amazing.” The movie version of Proof, starring Gwyneth Paltrow

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Sports 9

Above: Senior Olivia Loh rounds the final curve of her 400m dash. Loh has run at state all four years. Right: Wisdom Loh watches a race, waiting to give the athlete feedback.


Photos by Hannah Rector

Former Olympic athlete uses passion to coach daughter, others to success Lizzie Davis In-Depth Editor

Senior Olivia Loh rounds the final curve, breathing rapidly. Her limbs feel weak, but she pushes through the pain, hearing nothing but the sound of her feet hitting the track and the din of hundreds cheering. Suddenly one voice stands out from all the others. “Pick up your knees! Pick up your knees!” It is the voice of Loh’s father, deep and resonant, distinct with its Ghanese accent. Loh heeds his words, driving her knees and lengthening her stride. Following his advice helps her to cross the finish line in first place. “In the last stretch, when it hurts the most, I always seem to catch my dad’s voice screaming one of three things: drive your arms, pick up your knees, or cock the toes,” Loh said. Wisdom Loh knows exactly what to say to coach runners to success because he’s been running for a lifetime. He long jumped and triple jumped for Ghana, his country, in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and has assisted in coaching numerous track teams. Even with such a passion for the sport, he never pushed his daughter to take it up.

Page Design Grace Lyden

“I’ve done a million sports and liked them all, but the reason I started running track had nothing to do with my dad, really. When I was nine, my best friend Edna ran [for a U.S.A. Track and Field team, the Bengals] every summer,” said Loh. “Of course when you’re nine you want to do everything your best friend does, so basically that’s how I got introduced to it all.” Even before she began running, Loh attended college track meets with her dad, who helped coach at UNO. “The UNO girls always made fun of how I’d been at track meets when I was still in a car seat,” Loh said. Being present at meets at a young age taught Loh what it takes to go from being just an athlete, to being a contender. According to Loh, what it takes is discipline and patience. “It’s up to you to show up to practice and work hard, and to keep pushing through a race. Speed and endurance take a lot of time if you don’t have them naturally,” Loh said. Loh says her dad’s words stick with her, whether she wants them to or not. His advice, along with her abundance of natural talent, has allowed her to excel in the sport. She’s qualified for state in the 400-meter dash for the past three seasons, and is the first leg of the

school’s record-holding 1600-meter relay. While she doesn’t only owe her success to her father, many athletes have been transformed by his coaching. “He actually knows what he’s talking about. If you’re willing to put in the time and work, he’ll put in just as much for you,” Loh said. Other runners can attest to this. “He’s so committed to making us better. This year he spontaneously bought me new spikes after mine got worn out,” junior hurdler Danny Kemp said. Junior athlete Tiras Bolton notes that Wisdom is extremely positive, always providing feedback that is both valuable and encouraging. He finds different ways to help his athletes, sometimes even going so far as to video tape them to show their errors. “If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t still be jumping,” sophomore Matt Berkshire said. Athletes that have worked with Wisdom all say they would be hard-pressed to find a more genuinely caring coach. “Wisdom never stops moving or talking to someone. He is a very passionate person and loves what he does. You couldn’t ask for a better coach,” junior Ethan Kocourek said.

April 23, 2010

10 Rage


The search to find Omaha’s best burger begins with average reviews

Smashburger 7204 Jones Street 12330 K Plaza

Brian Frey Entertainment Editor

Julius Fredrick Graphics Editor

Burgers are a classic when it comes to American man-food. A thick beef patty between a light bun can be notoriously spotted at sports games, tailgate parties, backyard grills, and even five-star restaurants. But what is the perfect burger? This question is almost as complex as the meaning of life. Every man grills his burger differently and prefers different toppings. But on average, the typical burger consists of an all-beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and American cheese. With this in mind, we set out to find the perfect burger in Omaha. To tackle this immense task, we narrowed down our search to five restaurants that focus mainly on selling burgers and that are of affordable price. With our salivary glands exhausted from production, and our hands covered in grease we reviewed the restaurants based on taste, atmosphere, price and overall experience.






Frey: Smashburger seems to be the new burger joint everybody is talking about so we added it to our list. It is a small, clean environment with a modernized look. Besides burgers, the menu offers chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and salads. You can create your own burger and choose from a variety of buns and toppings, or just order off the menu. The “smashed” burger was tender, juicy and easy to chew. It was also quite messy and sauce dripped out of the sides onto my hands. The fries were slender and salty, but tasted as though they had been frozen. After my meal I left feeling greasy and in need of a hand washing. Also, if you ever get a chance, order a Haagen-Dazs milkshake; they are delicious.

Fredrick: Vibrant colors and walls lined with arbitrarily placed objects welcome those venturing to the bizarrely decorated Fuddruckers restaurant. The place has a zany charm, and judging by the amount of kids gorging themselves on fat juicy burgers, Fuddruckers is doubtlessly a familyoriented restaurant. The burger was delicious; it was juicy without being messy, and in my opinion the best thus far in our conquest of Omaha burgers. A help yourself toppings/condiment station made creating your own special burger both fun and affordable, and is a great feature in my opinion. I’d say that if you’re having a family-wide emergency burger craving Fuddruckers is the place to go.

Frey: Fredrick:

Frey: Goldberg’s is the oldest of all five burger places we reviewed. First walking into Goldberg’s, you are relaxed into a timeless atmosphere. This is a sit-down restaurant, so expect a good hour-long meal. The menus are packed with a variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, soups and even Mexican food! Much to my dismay, the burgers were average and tasted as though they came from a backyard grill out. The fries were thin and bland, desperately in need of salt or seasoning. Don’t confuse Goldberg’s with Goldberg’s II in Dundee, the two are no longer affiliated. Fredrick: An Omaha classic, patties-a-sizzlin’ since the 1970’s, Goldberg’s is a seasoned contender in our quest for Omaha’s best burger joint. The lighting is dim, the tables and chairs are of smooth, dark wood and the place’s history is clearly evident. It feels old school, and that’s a good thing. The burger was simple; it appeared as a burger one would find at a family cook out. Frankly, it didn’t taste like anything particularly special and was a tad dry without dumping some sauce on it, but good nonetheless. So if you’re in the mood for a good ol’ home-style type of burger, plus a little atmosphere, Goldberg’s is for you.

Fredrick: Ostensibly placed geometric shapes, music of the jazzy variety and a clean, modern feel sets the mood for the Smashburger franchise’s recent expansion into the metro. It looks good on paper, but honestly, leaves the more spatially aware senses unsatisfied. Just make sure you have a full napkin dispenser, or maybe a fire hose for good measure as you may find those hands of yours coated in signature Smashsauce, an unfortunate side-effect of the burgersmashing process. Avoid the Smashfries, they are oily and taste indescribably odd. Smashburger is great if you just need a burger when short on time, without resorting to fast food.

Frey: Self-declaring itself the “World’s Greatest Hamburger,” Fuddruckers is one of the largest burger chains with locations across the country. This restaurant is definitely family oriented. It focuses on the idea of building your own burger picnic-style, which is awesome. You get to pick how your burger is cooked and add toppings yourself. After handing me the burger, I walked over to the toppings bar and decked it out. The burger itself was not too dry, and not too juicy. The fries were seasoned potato wedges full of flavor. I left feeling fully satisfied. The only thing I didn’t like was the cheesy, family picnic atmosphere. I probably would not go here for dinner with my friends.

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Frey: Fredrick:


Page Design Brian Frey and Grace Lyden

Rage 11


Restaurant brings new tastes to Metro area Lauren Florea Editor-in-Chief

Walking through the doors, I’m greeted by a large crowd of people. The place is overflowing, with people scattered across the waiting area. However, the wait isn’t long and I am quickly seated. The atmosphere in Hiro is modern, with a trendy vibe. There is a hint of Japanese design present, such as the path you walk along between the front entrance and the outside door. However, overall there are no other obvious authentic decorations. The space is open, with a high, unfinished ceiling and exposed pipes. Partitions between the bar and main seating area are not solid, but have spaces so you can still see to the bar while feeling separate from that space. Popular radio music is the soundtrack to this dining experience, and can at times seem loud, but normally blends into the background and is not noticeable. I arrived at Hiro at 10 p.m., in time for the late night menu. This is one of the large draws of the restaurant. Between 10 p.m. and midnight, sushi is half off the listed price. The waiters are friendly and helpful, willing to explain how to order the different types of sushi if you are new to the experience. They are also quick, getting the order in as soon as you place it so that you don’t have to wait longer than needed for your sushi.

The sushi rolls are made fresh and reflect quality. The ingredients, which range from the common salmon and tuna to eel and squid, are flavorful but not overpowering. If you aren’t a fish lover, sushi might not be for you, but don’t rule it out before you try it. Sushi rolls have a different texture than plain raw fish, which is covered up by the roll’s other ingredients.. The California roll is a mild and well-known type of sushi for a beginner. This roll is made of crab, avocado and cucumber, so it doesn’t have large chunks of raw fish. Though Americanized, not authentic like other options, it can be a good neutral option. My other favorite is the Hiro’s crunch roll, which is made of crab, avocado, cucumber, and topped with hot sauce. It is tempura fried, which is a Japanese method of deep-frying. Other rolls are made with cream cheese, which balances the raw fish taste well. This includes the asparagus salmon roll and the Hollywood roll. Besides sushi rolls, Hiro specializes in Sashimi and Nigiri sushi, which are more traditional forms. There is also a menu with other dishes from several countries in Asia. The restaurant is reasonably priced, with the dinner and lunch menus being in the $5- $15 range, and the sushi priced between $5- $10. There are two locations in Omaha, Hiro in West Omaha and Hiro 88 downtown. Both are open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and late nights.

Hiro serves sushi rolls, Sashimi and Nigiri sushi and other Asian dishes.

Photo by Cara Wilwerding


Trivializing stories leads to dissatisfaction Jenny Shehan Editor-in-Chief

“Let’s go see that new Miley Cyrus movie. We can hold hands, bawl our eyes out and watch some hunk walk around half naked for a majority of the movie,” said the teen movie goer. The Last Song is a drama of betrayal, angst and most importantly, teenage heartache. Based off a Nicholas Sparks novel, the film is 107 minutes of pure cheese: love, learning and loss. It seems chick-flick, cliché films like this are the ones that resonate with young girls, and often their reluctant male counterparts get dragged along. This story, however, did not begin in the theater. There is no doubt about the great influx in novel to screen adaptations in recent times. Let’s make a list: consider Where the Wild Things Are, Dear John, New Moon, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sherlock Holmes, Alice in Wonderland, The Lovely Bones, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, My Sister’s Keeper and even The Kite Runner. Most of these films were topgrossing and featured prolific actors, and all are based on bestselling novels. At times the screen adaptations trivialize the stories, reduce them to the gimmicks of pop culture in an attempt to please and entertain. Films stray from the true novel form, and those who have completed their reading assignments are sure to look for the variances. Was Miley’s character supposed to be from Georgia or North Carolina? Did Alice have a thing for the Hatter? Did Max from Where the Wild Things Are have an anger problem? Film versions typically deviate from the novel, and at times this can lead to disappointment. I agree that good stories should not go to waste. Imagine the movie industry in the last 10 years without the likes of Harry Potter. Not only did the teenage wizard cause a stream of muggles to discover the wizarding world, but he also worked magic for the pocketbooks of theaters, his production company and of course, J.K. Rowling. However, the movie industry seems to be more interested in instantly gratifying consumers than staying true to the story. I also find it annoying that I cannot go to the book store and get the original copy of novel without being offered the motion picture version. I realize it’s a big deal for an author to get his work on the big screen, but shouldn’t we care more about the characters than the money we can make off of them? So, read the novel or see the movie first? Chances are, if you see the movie you’re not likely to read the novel and enjoy the story. At the same time, if you find yourself falling in love with the novel, and you find differences in the film, you’re going to be dissatisfied. The most pleasing aspect of your movie going experience may just be a half naked teenager.

Page Design Grace Lyden

April 23, 2010

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Issue 8  

The eighth issue of the Lance.

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