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SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

the fall sports are off to an exciting new season! for full coverage, including football, volleyball and crosscountry, turn to pages 22-27 find more on West High sports online at


wss staff members

what is a “healthy kid�?

[news 6]

homecoming candidates

[profiles 9]

find out the real story behind the Healthy Kids Act homecoming court elections are today - make sure you read up on the candidates before you vote!

plain point

[a&e 12]

check out this up-and-coming West High band

we are the world

[feature 17]

where are West High students from?

new year’s resolutions

[in-depth 18-19]

students and staff share their resolutions for the new school year

what you missed

[sports 26]

highlights of the summer sports

lilli oetting editor-in-chief anna hippee design editor, in-depth editor emily kreiter managing editor garrett anstreicher managing editor david huang copy editor eleanor marshall copy editor lauren parsons business editor alissa rothman news editor madhu srikantha opinion editor becky sweeney feature editor anna egeland feature editor olivia lofgren profiles editor caroline van voorhis profiles editor evan smith a&e editor caroline found sports editor daniel rothman sports editor elizabeth dagle backpage editor saranya subramanian beats editor bridget novak artist sarah dirks photo editor jojo silverman photographer lindsay best photographer elizabeth lin ad designer, staff designer audrey evans staff designer laura stamnes staff designer leah murray staff designer ashton duncan staff writer ansel landini staff writer amir sabbagh staff writer juliann skarda staff writer pombie silverman staff writer adam canady webmaster sara jane whittaker advisor

equity statement It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, disability, or socioeconomic status in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices. If you believe you have (or your child has) been discriminated against or treated unjustly at school, please contact the Equity Director, Ross Wilburn, at 509 Dubuque Street, 319-688-1000.




03 news

WSSPAPER ONLINE [Right] Ryan Shields’11 takes a swing for the West High Boys golf team at their meet against Dubuque Wahlert and Cedar Rapids Xavier. The website has weekly updates on all sports from golf to football to cross country and volleyball.


[Below] French Club hosts a good bye party for the French Exchange students. The students stayed for two weeks. To see more pictures from the party check out the website. PHOTO BY//LINDSAY BEST

[Above] Despite the late start and poor weather, the West High student section didn’t fail to show their team spirit during the Battle of the Boot. [Left] Sophie Shultz ‘14 practices at the Coralville Recreation Center. Read more about her on page 26. For more photos of the rising stars, check out www. PHOTO BY//JOJO SILVERMAN PHOTO BY//LINDSAY BEST

[Left] The West High Boys Varsity football team takes a break during the West v. City game to talk to their coach after a huge comeback. The score board read 41-21 at the end of the game. Read more about the game on the website. Check out our coverage of varsity games, i n c l u d ing away games.

PHOTO BY//ANNA EGELAND [Right] Canvassing, meetings, phone banks. These are just a few of the activities enjoyed by members of the already busy Colors club, the gay straight alliance group at West High. Every Tuesday and Saturday, members from Colors devote their time to spreading the word about the Iowa governor election in November. They call registered voters and ask them to vote by mail. The phone banks are 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday and 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and are sponsored through One Iowa. Also, every Wednesday after the Colors meetings in room 122, members go to the Iowa City farmers market to canvass and ask for volunteers to help with the phone banks. The canvassing lasts two hours, from 5-7 p.m. Check our website to see what other clubs are doing at their weekly meetings.



04 news




Pastor Terry Jones canceled his plan to burn on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. A) PIECES OF WOOD B) QURANS C) TWIN TOWER REPLICAS D) A CROSS A resurgence of has caused people to use dangerous insecticide inside their homes. A) FLIES B) TICS C) BEDBUGS D) CARPENTER ANTS The Israeli and leaders met with President Obama recently in the latest round of peace talks. A) IRAQI B) IRANIAN C) SAUDI ARABIAN D) PALESTINIAN A gunman who had taken hostages at the headquarters of was shot and killed by police. A) DISCOVERY CHANNEL B) CNN C) NICKELODEON D) ABC The nation of recently suffered two days of riots over food. A) GHANA B) MOZAMBIQUE C) IRAN D) BRAZIL President Obama’s speech to the nation on Aug. 31 marked the end of . A) THE OIL SPILL CRISIS B) THE COMBAT MISSION IN IRAQ C) THE RECESSION D) HIS PRESIDENCY

5 04



1.B, 2.C, 3.D, 4.A, 5.B, 6.B



compiled by alissa rothman

Sims certified BY JULIANN SKARDA

We ’ r e not all Superman. N o t everyone can bear the weight of innocent LAUREN SIMS ’11 lives in their hands. Retrieving and caring for an injured person until they reach a hospital is a great responsibility, requiring a blend of medical know-how, nerves of steel and team work. So, no, Lauren Sims ’11 isn’t Superman either, but she is out to prove that she has what it takes to become an Emergency Medical Technician. An eight-and-a-half hour job shadow gave Sims her first taste of an EMT’s work. Alongside her current classroom instructor, Bob Libby, and the paramedics at JCAS (Johnson County Ambulance Service) she was able to ride in an ambulance and observe how paramedics handled emergency

calls. She was even able to play cope with. an active role in a few. “I am extremely squeamish “I cannot share any informa- [around] blood . . . but with tion about the calls specifically. the adrenaline you won’t even Let’s just say that I once had a notice or feel any emotions unreally bloody one; one not so til you are done and away from scary the patient,” o n e ; Sims said. a n d Sims is also one exlooking forward tremeto the variety ly scary, and excitement threatthat the a career ening as an EMT will and inoffer. volved “[There’s] alo n e ,” ways going to S i m s be the thrill of said. going on a call O n and potentially t h e getting a patient Lauren Sims ‘11 road to who might have becoming a certified paramed- just fainted, or may need you ic, she is enrolled in an EMT to save their life,” she said. Basic Theory class at Kirkwood For now, she’s just in trainUniversity. She must also com- ing, but soon it will be the real plete a series of clinicals, situ- deal. EMT Basic Theory classations where she must have an mate, Ben Libby thinks she can important role in an emergen- handle it. cy call. “It’s a lot of pressure ... but Despite her strong drive to she’s good under stress,” he help others, Sims still has ba- said. sic fears that she must learn to






T h e Grand O l d Party just got a little m o r e youthful. T h e C.J. DREW ’12 Young Republicans Club has been restarted at West High with a new group of excited students ready to talk about issues and candidates and lend a hand to some of the candidates in the area. “We are helping out in the elections in our area, and most of our focus is going to our biggest race, Dr. Mariannette

Miller-Meeks, who is running against [Rep. Dave] Loebsack in the most liberal congressional district. We are helping her by doing phone banks and this past weekend we tailgated with her and got to meet Senator Chuck Grassley,” said C.J. Drew ’12, the founder and president of Young Republicans. Helping out in the community is not their only objective. “Our focus is on West High and the community,” said Joe Henderson ’12, vice president and treasurer of Young Republicans. The club hopes to change students’ perspectives on what it means to be a Republican and encourage more students to consider joining the party.

“We want to show that not all Republicans are super conservative. Many of us want to move forward. We are not the Grand Old Party, we are more progressive than that. In fact, many Republicans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. We are not all like what you see on Fox News,” Drew said. This spirit of discussion and ideas of varieties within the Republican Party is what attracted Jacob Larson ’11 to the club. “I’m moderate. I have many views that are Republican and many views that are Democratic. . . . This club is a great way for me to meet representatives and talk politics,” Larson said.

Stuart aces ACT RUMOR

05 news


Although Ryson Stuart ’11 is known for his athletic abilities, he’s also not a half-bad at taking tests. After all, Stuart is the only senior at West High who has received a perfect 36 on the ACT. The score didn’t come without effort, however. When he first comRYSON STUART ’11pleted the test, it didn’t go as well for him as it could have. “I was freaking out on science the whole time,” Stuart said. “I didn’t know what I was doing.” Nevertheless, Stuart still received a score of 33. However, Stuart was not satisfied, and began to practice ACT-taking skills in order to re-

ceive a higher score in the future. “I used the online ACT Preparation [application]. . . . I mostly studied the science section,” he said. After studying the ACT and retaking the test, Stuart felt confident enough that his score of 36 did not come as a huge surprise. “I was expecting a pretty good score,” Stuart said. “Not to sound cocky or anything.” As a matter of fact, Stuart’s parents were more surprised than he was. “We expected Ryson to do well, but not a perfect score. We were very proud of him and congratulated him,” said Scott Stuart, Ryson’s father. West High’s mean ACT score this year was 25.6. West High has scored a new all-time high composite average on the ACT for the past

three consecutive years. In addition to helping students with college admissions, high ACT scores help the school itself. “It provides a measure to see how well we’re doing,” said Jerry Arganbright, the principal of West High. “It measures how we stack up against other schools in Iowa.” Consequently, good ACT scores improve West High’s reputation and make it more likely to receive funding. In the end, Stuart’s achievement is a positive thing for everybody involved: Stuart gets an impressive score in his transcript, and he does his family and school proud. “I’m very proud of any student that succeeds in any endeavor,” Arganbright said.


panels for better sound, a nice Elementary t-shirts and encouraglunchroom, geothermal heating/ ing parents to “buy a brick.” The cooling and a beautiful library,” said families can have the brick imprintMindy Paulsen, principal of the ed or engraved with their message new school. that can be kept or donated to the The PTO is currently engaged school for use in landscaping. in fundraising to finish paying for “We are also pursuing a number two separate structures that will of grants, and one project we just be the Garner playgrounds, asking enrolled in is the Clorox Power parents and citizens to lend a hand. Bright Future project. People can The playground is to be built in two register at phases. The first was completed on and vote for our project once a day the kindergarten through second from October fifth to November grade side of the school Sept. 17- first. It would be great if we could 19 of this year. get West High students’ support for “We will need to raise the other this effort and help us spread the $84,000 to go forward with Phase word to others,” Smith said. II, which will include a structure for grades three through six . We are planning to have this structure be completely tiled,” said Kelly Smith, Playground Fundraising Co-Chair on the Garner PTO. The PTO is undergoing projects such PHOTO BY//JOJO SILVERMAN as selling Garner For 365 elementary school students, this school year begins in a new

Garner opens

Buford Garner Elementary, home of the Garner Gators, opened its doors this year to around 365 new students and a new faculty. The school is the first to be built since 2005, when Van Allen Elementary opened, also in North Liberty. Garner is the third in the trend of eco-friendly schools that have opened in ICCSD. The new school includes features such as geothermal heating and motion-detecting lights. Another feature is the taller desks for fifth and sixth grade classes with “wiggle bars,” a movable bar under the desk that swings back and forth for students to get energy out. Garner also scored a rock wall and a computer lab, features that separate Garner from Van Allen. Another separating feature: while Garner was built for $9.5 million and includes 25 classrooms, as of its opening, it didn’t include a playground. “Our building is awesome and it provides a great learning environment. We have a lot of acoustic

school, Buford Garner Elementary.



The day before school started, an animal chewed through a wire, causing the internet to crash in West High. The question running through the halls is: what animal could do such a thing? “We are pretty sure it was a squirrel,” said Dr. Arganbright. Though the animal was never actually caught red-handed, Arganbright said, “it was definitely some rodent type, and it was more work than a mouse could do.”


FIRST AVE. CONSTRUCTION NEVER ENDING? The single lane access in First Avenue is a constant nuisance to West High drivers, but there is an end in sight. According the Coralville website, the First Avenue construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2010. The project has been building a new First Avenue bridge, along with widening First Avenue to five lanes from Clear Creek north to Sixth Street and installing wide sidewalks, lighting and streetscape improvements.


Though it’s somewhat unbelievable, this widespread rumor is true. “It is true that cell phones, smart phones and IPods, if set to Wi-Fi, are really affecting the network,” said Denise Rehmke of the District Tech Center. Rehmke explained that the district is trying to make the network more secure, and hopes to soon add measures such as a password.



Nutrition Facts I 06 news

Serving size: New regulations and guidelines for your lunch BY ELEANOR MARSHALL

n the middle of the school day, the only story problem worth solving is the one that determines how much food can be eaten in just 32 minutes. And the only relevant grammar is in the English it takes to communicate an order. Lunch is everyone’s favorite class, but it turns out it just got a bit more rigorous. The nutrition regulations passed in the Healthy Kids Act by the Iowa Legislature on May 13, 2008 are finally being enforced this school year with a crackdown on vending machines and a la carte lunch items. The Act is also responsible for the physical activity logs that will be required again this year and a new CPR course requirement. Bake sales are significantly limited under the act, but, rest easy, your puppy chow is safe. “[Bake sales] are supposed to be regulated, but we’re not [going to restrict them]. There’s a level of common sense with how we employ the guidelines. If they’re selling food that I like then they’re permitted . . . I don’t think they’re harmful. In a school this big they aren’t taking away from any of the other options,” said West High Principal Jerry Arganbright. Diane Duncan-Goldsmith, the Iowa City School District’s Director of Food Services and a member of the committee that helped to develop the Healthy Kids Act regulations admitted that enforcement still needs to be ironed out, and a monitoring system will be addressed at a committee meeting in November. “Now it’s kind of like, ‘Here’s the guidance, we hope you follow it,’” Duncan-Goldsmith said.




KIDS ACT? compiled by audrey evans


The Healthy Kids Act specifically Goldsmith said. regulates vending machines and a la “The a la carte stuff is all gone and carte items, and the regulations apthere are only a bunch of 100 calorie ply “bell to bell” during the school packs. And some of us don’t need 100 day, but not before or after school. calorie packs. We would like our food According to Arganbright, this means to be more than 100 calories,” said Sothat all vending machines providing phie Meyer ’11. food remain off until 3:15 p.m., and The physical activity guidelines were vending machines providing beverin place beginning last year, requiring ages are turned on, but can’t offer 6-12 graders to get 120 minutes of any drinks with artificial sweeteners physical activity per week. The requireor any juice product that isn’t 100% ments will be monitored through activjuice. No soda is allowed until after ity logs similar to last year, but this year school. they will be enforced more through the A la carte items, or anything that physical education classes than advisory, doesn’t qualify as a part of the reimaccording to Arganbright. bursable meals for free and reduced The Healthy Kids Act also requires all lunch participants (bagged items like students to complete a CPR class before cookies, bagels, they graduate, chips, etc.), must starting with meet nutrition the graduating standards limitclass of 2012. ing not only total According to calories, but the Assistant Prinamount of socipal Molly dium, sugar and Abraham, no fat. One of the final decisions biggest changes have been is the pizza ofmade about fered, now Domhow to fill the ino’s Smart Slice requirement, pizza, which is but CPR made with whole training will wheat crust and most likely be reduced-sodiincorporated Jerry Arganbright um cheese and into an alsauce. ready-existing “They’ve noticed the pizza already. class like health or P.E. We’ve had lots of comments about Even Duncan-Goldsmith admits that the pizza. . . . We [also] had a really the Healthy Kids Act hasn’t achieved hard time finding cookies that fit, but perfection. we’ve come up with an option that “We’ve kind of missed nutritional will be consistently available. We quality and looking at the full nutrididn’t take [most a la carte items] tional package. For example, a bag of away, we just reformatted them to Sunchips doesn’t meet the regulations, make it all fit the guidance,” Duncanbut a 100 calorie pack of Oreos does.








Standing on its own, I would much rather have kids choose Sunchips than a healthy and nutritious bag of Oreos. I’m hopeful that in three to four years we can have a discussion as food service workers about full nutritional quality. . . . There aren’t good foods and there aren’t bad foods. All foods fit into a healthy diet,” Duncan-Goldsmith said. She oversees the production of about 1,200 breakfasts and 6,300-6,400 lunches for 19 elementary schools, three junior highs and three high schools. And Duncan-Goldsmith has worked hard to make even the food options not regulated by the Healthy Kids Act healthier by modifying recipes to reduce the sodium, fat and sugar content and offer more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. She says the district is close to meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge, a program with strict health guidelines. And she is optimistic that the changes will expose students to healthy options that will influence their choices at home. “The more you’re exposed to [healthy choices] and the more kids try, the more open they are to saying, ‘Oh, well, I can actually try that and I actually like it.’. . . Often the child, because they’ve had a kiwi or a yogurt parfait or veggie pizza [at school], will bring those ideas home and we’ve had very positive feedback,” she said. “I think [the Healthy Kids Act] can’t hurt. Some things I agree strongly with and some things I think are negligible. It’s just good to remind all of us not to be shoving sugar into our body as much as possible,” Arganbright said, emphasizing that beyond the Act, West High teachers should be good role models. “We as adults should walk the talk and try to eat healthy. . . . I don’t have a dozen glazed donuts everyday.”


07 news

What in the WORLD? CAPE COD, MA

BUTTE, MT Royce Spottedbird Jr., 23, apparently once thought it was cool to have his name tattooed on his neck. However, when he was pulled over in a routine traffic stop and feared a warrant might be out on him, he gave the officer a bogus name. When he could not explain what “Royce Spottedbird Jr.” was doing on his neck, he was detained for obstruction of justice and eventually pleaded guilty.

When x-rays came back for Ron Sveden showing a small but ominous dark spot, everyone assumed it was cancer. However, when the biopsies came up negative for lung cancer, the doctors decided to go in and see for themselves. He recently received the good news, he didn’t have cancer. He had a pea sprouting inside his chest (which doctors were able to easily remove).


Southern Sudan has unveiled ambitious plans to remake its capital cities in the shapes found on their state flags, which includes a plan to turn cities into the shape of a giraffe, a pineapple and a rhino. An official says the government is talking with investors to raise the $10 billion the fanciful communities would cost. However this plan seems somewhat far-fetched in an area in which most services such as electricity and sewage is a luxury and the area is filled with poverty after a two decades long civil war.

TOKYO, JAPAN When Sogen Kato’s 111th birthday rolled around last week, he was hailed as the oldest living man in Tokyo. But there was just one problem with the claim on that title: He’d been lying dead in his bed for some 30 years, which is where city authorities found his mummified skeletal remains. Apparently, his family tried to hide his death so that they could inherit the 9.5 million yen (or 109,000 USD) widower’s pension guaranteed to him. ART BY//BRIDGET NOVAK compiled by alissa rothman

Clubs sans advisors Clubs become increasingly student run BY SARANYA SUBRAMANIAN

Clubs come aplenty at West High. West offers quite a range, from Student Senate to Colors to Business Professionals of America to Anime Club. Finding a club for a student has never been a problem LIBBY LOGSDEN ’11 until this year. This year, clubs are faced with many issues: a lack of funding, an absent advisor or just little interest. “This year we needed to limit our paid club sponsorships to 20 for our total. We have had as many as close to 30 in the past, MELANIE JOHNSON so we needed to reduce due to district finances. We tried to eliminate those that were not very active clubs, or those that we not annually up and running,” said West High principal Jerry Arganbright. Because of these new measures West High

has lost a few clubs. Currently, Culinary Club is taking a break due to budget cuts. Last year, Culinary Club delivered homemade meals to teachers’ classrooms, but since clubs are now in charge of raising their own money they found it hard to purchase necessary supplies. The volunteer club at West, 1440, is still up and running, but this year in a different room. The group faced the issue of finding a new adviser after Melanie Johnson declined the offer. “I’m just too busy and . . . felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Coaching debate is an incredibly time intensive activity and I teach an AP class with lots of grading, so I’ll probably always feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, . . . it was time to cut back in a few areas,” Johnson said. As part of the budget cut process, a few club advisors lost their stipend (a form of salary). Johnsons made the decision of leaving the group before the cuts were made. Johnson continues to coach the debate team at West High. 1440 now meets in American Studies teacher Stacey Strief’s room on Wednesday mornings at 7:30. “When the 1440 presidents realized Ms. John-

son no longer wanted to support the 1440 group we started to look for other teachers. The first teacher I asked was Ms. Melchert [now Strief], who showed interest previously. She lets us user her room but we’re mostly student led. We were cut from the budget but we still have money in our account. We get a lot of support from other rotary clubs in the area,” said Libby Logsden ‘11, one of the 1440 co-president. “The group still exists, [just] as a student-run, student-led organization,” Johnson said. A not-so-new problem to West High is a lack of interest in clubs. Clubs have been permanently shutting their doors. This year, West said good bye to Poetry club. The club would meet in English teacher Jeff Finns room. Students would gather around, share poetry and meet new people. Students, of course, are still encouraged to create a club, but first ensure you have an advisor and student interest. Clubs still come aplenty at West High, but not with as impressive of a range, as it once had.


08 profiles

926 days and counting Becca Pypes ’11 has not missed a day of school since seventh grade BY OLIVIA LOFGREN

With sick days, sports games and vacations, for most of us the absences pile up faster than Powerschool can keep track of. But imagine not missing a full day of school since seventh grade, even going to school when you feel sick. Meet Becca Pypes ’11, a senior at West High who is trying to get through the year without missing a day of school. “Well, in kindergarten I never missed school, then my uncle died, but I cried so much that they let me stay at a friend’s house so I didn’t have to miss school. Then my perfect attendance award was all printed and ready to go when I suddenly got really sick on the second to last day of school and had to miss. They still gave me the award, but I was a very upset six year old,” Pypes said. Throughout elementary school Pypes rarely missed school, but here and there she would get sick. “Mrs. Walling and some friends were all talking one day after school, and we all realized that I hadn’t missed a day PHOTO BY//SARAH DIRKS since seventh grade. I was so excited,” Becca Pypes ‘11 is only eight months from a perfect high school attendance record. Pypes said.

Head of the trojan New mascot here to pump up the crowd BY CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS

Everyone has noticed the mascot at the home football games, standing with the cheerleaders and pumping up the crowd. But for most students, the man behind the mask remains mysterious. Under the huge Trojan head is junior Andrew Robinson. Robinson snagged the job at the end of the 20092010 school year, after he was the only one to attend the tryouts held by last year’s mascot, Gabe Teager ’10. Teager didn’t make Robinson complete any of the tasks he had planned for the tryout. “If many people would’ve showed, I [would] have just asked to see how crazy they can be, because when you’ve got that ten pound head on, that’s what it’s all about,” Teager said. Instead, Teager passed down the Trojan costume to Robinson right away, along with a piece of advice. “I tried to tell Andrew to get outside his comfort zone; if it feels stupid and weird then you’re doing it right,” Teager said. From that point on, Robinson has been on his


own. He was never instructed on his responsibilities, as there is nobody in charge of the mascot position. Although Robinson’s job of getting the crowd pumped is the same as the cheerleaders, he isn’t managed by the cheerleading team. However, he does stand by them at games and go to events with them. According to cheerleader Kailey Barber ’12, Robinson is basically a cheerleader, but without the title. So far, his favorite part about being school mascot was joining the West cheerleaders in the homecoming parade. Being the mascot will become quite a bit easier for Robinson during the winter sports season. Football games can get pretty hectic for Robinson, as he also plays the sousaphone (tuba) in marching band. He has to switch back and forth between his mascot outfit and marching band attire. “I do pre-game with the band, then I switch to mascot,” Robinson said. Robinson also does the half-time marching band show before changing back into the Trojan outfit and putting the huge head back on.

Kathleen Bowman’12 was one of those students talking with Mrs. Walling. “It’s crazy that she hasn’t missed school since seventh grade, especially with vacations and illnesses.” “This whole thing started out as a coincidence. My mom used to run a daycare center so my immune system is pretty intense, but now that I’m a senior in high school and I haven’t missed a day in so long I feel like I can’t miss a whole day. I have gotten kind of sick and still have gone to school, that has definitely happened more than once. My parents were never the type who let me stay home from school for no reason, but my sisters have missed more school then I have so they don’t have a goal to pass me up or anything. My parents are not crazy dictators; if I’m truly sick, they let me stay home,” she said. “Not missing school has helped my grades, though. It’s always frustrating getting back to school and catching up on everything you missed. In college, I don’t know if I will be as dedicated as I have been in high school, I will definitely have a good excuse to not go to a class,” Pypes said.

PHOTO BY//SARAH DIRKS Andrew Robinson ’12 is not only the new mascot, but also a member of the marching band.

homecoming nominees meet the


a did

09 profiles




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What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve done in the name of spirit?









10 profiles


There are some brand new faces among the West High faculty this year. See how well you know the newbies by matching the staff member picture to their description.








1. 3. 10



be the first to bring all four faculty signatures to the newsroom (room 115) and get a prize!

Favorite summer trip: Milwaukee Brewers baseball game Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa Pet peeve: when people smack their gum Couldn’t live without his/her: computer, jeans and iPod Pets: two cats named Coco and Minnie Biggest fear: elevators Nickname: Iowa, earned while attending St. Norbert College in Wisconsin Favorite summer trip: hiking in Colorado Hometown: Boulder, Colorado Biggest fear: cats, which he/she is also allergic to Favorite T.V. show: Grey’s Anatomy Would most like to meet: Matthew Perry Nickname: Knock-Out Is a huge sushi fan.



Favorite summer experience: trying out for the professional baseball team Shansberg Flyers Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan Pets: two dogs named Shelby and Sammy Biggest fear: spiders Would most like to meet: Johnny Depp Nickname: Prathan Fan of Pirates of the Caribbean.


Favorite summer experience: learning how to wakeboard Hometown: Muscatine, Iowa Couldn’t live without: the Internet, spaghetti and his/her car. Pets: Maltese named Oakley Favorite T.V. show: Sons of Anarchy Would most like to meet: Tony Dungy or Mike Ditka Enjoys studying clouds and weather patterns. ANSWERS: A. 4 B. 1 C. 3 D. 2



Introduction of the homecoming candidates before the game at 7:00 p.m.


FIRST TRIMESTER MIDTERMS: Wednesday, September 29.

12 A&E

It’s all natural for West band BY ANSEL LANDINI

Ever wondered if getting a couple of friends together and jamming would increase your popularity past what your fortunately optimistic mind had previously created for you? Well singing pianist Justin Moser 11, drummer Brian Wall 11 and singing guitarist Abhi Pant 11 did and they are raking in the benefits. Plain Point, founded by Moser and Pant in late last May has a unique style of music because they have no musical boundaries. Straying from the traditional “one genre” has allowed them to create a variety of genres of music. This was very different from their last musical venture, the a cappella group Five Cent Lemonade. But they give attribution to this early exposure to music as what brought Plain Point to life. Moser and Pant had the vocals, guitar and piano, but they needed drums, and Wall was the perfect candidate. “That’s how it started. Just doing something fun, and then it escalated,” Pant said.

Before they knew it, they had booked their first performance at the West High Choir’s Winter Swing Show. “It was an honor. We just threw some stuff together and were happy that we were able to perform,” Pant said. Writing songs has never been easy for Plain Point. They have a collection of covers, but when it comes to their own music, they have to tap into their raw emotions and experiences to create a piece. Luckily one man isn’t tackling it alone, the whole band works as a team. “It’s great having two singers,” Wall said. And he agrees that without the other members, there would be no progression. Plain Point has accompanied a few other choir concerts, all the while improving their original songs on the side. The band currently has one song released called “Paralume,” which can be heard at and is working on recording two others. Though it has been tough to find practicing

PHOTO BY//LINDSAY BEST Band members Brian Wall ’11, Justin Moser ’11, and Abhi Pant ’11 continue to discover their style as they write new songs.


LYRICS with jill hofmockel



time with the constraints that school and college applications have put on them, they still plan to find performances and make all the music they can. In the future, the three of them are planning on attending colleges in Iowa, never failing to bring music wherever they go. In fact, Moser and Pant would even consider careers as professional musicians. Wall was slightly more skeptical. “The music scene is risky, it could end poorly. But if I knew we would make it, then I’d do it for sure,” Wall said. Though there’s risk, the music is what drives Moser to keep up his hopes. “Music is my dream, if I could get that, I’d definitely go for it,” he said. Moser will be appearing on NPR in early November where he will be playing his alto saxophone and answering a few questions. He is excited to have this opportunity and his band mates are enthusiastic for him as well. Moser’s performance will be aired the first week of November during NPR’s From the Top. The band is currently still looking for upcoming gigs and is eager to continue playing. They don’t feel pressured at all out on stage “We don’t really consider them gigs … they’re just so relaxed; chill,” Pant said. For the music and the fun, Plain Point is in it whenever they can.They bring with them inspiration and the feeling that they can never fail. “We tell ourselves that if we’re having fun, the audience is having fun. And that’s all that matters.” Moser said.

WSS: I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, saying ay-oh gotta let go. I wanna celebrate and... HOFMOCKEL: Be asleep by 9:30. WSS: I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad, buy all of the things I never had. I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine, smiling next to Oprah and... HOFMOCKEL: Gayle. WSS: California girls, we’re undeniable fine, fresh, fierce,

THE MONTHLY CD REVIEW compiled by pombie silverman Katy Perry Teenage Dream Katy Perry’s latest LP is a quick, 45 minute mix of teen party starters full of chunky dance beats and electro-meets-girl-pop tunes. Perry keeps her lyrics chatty, whether she’s serenading her fiancé Russell Brand (“Hummingbird Heartbeat”), or singing a sun-drenched summer anthem (“California Gurls”). Perry is carefree in her catchy pop track, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, with swingy guitar riffs that are reminiscent of a modern version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” A rookie in One of the Boys, Perry comes back with a stronger, fruitier sophomore album sure to pack the radio with hits you just can’t get out of your head.

Lady Gaga The Remix

Lady Gaga follows up her smash hits The Fame and The Fame Monster with a disappointing compilation of singles on The Remix. Remixes are usually better left unmixed, and this is no exception. Despite Gaga’s over-thetop eccentricity, her sound is not unique: it is the familiar tune of selling out. Gaga’s tunes vary greatly per producer, though none of them meet the standards of the original. “Telephone (Passion Pit Remix)” contains Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-worthy auto tune and redundant club track beats, while Marilyn Manson’s groans in “LoveGame (Chew Fu Ghettohouse Fix)” make me want to do the same. In short, The Remix has two main themes: wasted time and wasted money.

we got it on lock. Westcoast represent now put... HOFMOCKEL: On a sweater. WSS: Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a... HOFMOCKEL: Telescope. WSS: You got designer shades just to hide your face and you wear them around like... HOFMOCKEL: It’s 1984 and you’re

Corey Hart. WSS: And my momma swore that she would never let herself forget and that was the day that I promised I’d never sing of love if it... HOFMOCKEL: Wasn’t auto-tuned WSS: You think I’m pretty without any make-up on you think I’m funny when I tell the... HOFMOCKEL: Knock-knock jokes. compiled by emily kreiter

13 A&E

Search for a spectacular sandwich


1. The Cottage A- 2. Charlotte’s There aren’t many times when I feel both healthy and satisfied after eating out, but The Cottage is most definitely an exception. Their veggie sandwich was undoubtedly the best one we ate – nutritious, filled with a deliciously unusual combination of vegetables between two slices of bread and a hint of spice courtesy of pepperjack cheese. Their other sandwiches are not to be outdone, though. The paninis can only be described as grilled perfection. The delightfully constructed sandwiches offer a perfect combination of cheese, veggies and meat, with none of them overpowering the other. A little bit of grease is to be expected of a grilled sandwich, but the Cottage balances out the priorities nicely.


Although it’s location is far from ideal (it’s located on the corner of Penn Street and IA-965 in North Liberty), the food there was by far the best around. Every ingredient tasted fresh, and the bread was crisp and delicious. They were, without a doubt, the best sandwiches in town. Additionally, all the sides we got were wonderful. The soups were tasty, the cakes had exactly the right sweetness and the fries were perfectly seasoned. There’s not much more that can be said. This is normally the point in the review when we would have some criticism of the restaraunt filled with witty jokes about the extremity of its fault(s), but we literally can’t think of one flaw to write about. The food is just amazing. Go eat there. Now.

3. Which Wich? A 4.Quinton’s Sandwiches C Despite their fluffy bread and delicious curly fries, Quinton’s Bar and Deli could not stand up to the competition. Although there was nothing inherently wrong with the quality, the sandwiches were just nothing special. Their most popular sandwich (the T.A.C. – for turkey, avocado and cream cheese) sounded delicious on the menu, but when we actually went so far as to put it in our mouths, it was disappointing. The quality of the turkey itself was substandard, although, as stated earlier, the bread was fluffy and delicious. Quinton’s is just an average sports bar with a deli, but it is not a place we would go if we were craving a good ’wich.

1. 2. 3. 4.


Which Wich? is a sandwichista’s heaven – warm, toasted bread every time, too many choices to adequately evaluate (a desirable problem for sandwich-lovers like us) and are well worth the price – about five dollars. But they are failing on one front – their signature sub. There are times when we have joked of a mythical sandwich containing an unquantifiable amount of dead animal, but Which Wich required no witticisms when they served up a nightmare in the form of a Wicked, something that could only appeal to the likes of carnivores. Five types of meat, three types of cheese (apparently it is quantifiable) easily surmounts to hell – for us, at least. But we love Which Wich? enough to forgive her for her mistake and recommend all of the other subs to anyone and everyone.

P.O.S 14 A&E

“I was going down a hill, I turned the wheel and the car kept going straight. Then both wheels wouldn’t go back to straight so it couldn’t be driven until it was fixed. That was a little scary.”


1993 GEO Storm Izaak Sunleaf ’11

“Only one windshield wiper pump works, so only one side of the windshield gets washed.”

“If a deer would run into my car, the deer would win. If I hit a baby, the baby would win.”

“It sat on a farm for years so the interior and exterior are really nasty. There’s a big brown stain on the back seat. Probably from racoon poop.


Upcoming Events [a]






compiled by emily kreiter





[a] Sept. 30 – Diversity Dinner Come to the West High cafeteria at 6 p.m. to enjoy a variety of cuisines from a host of different countries. [b] Oct. 1 – University of Iowa Homecoming Parade Come to downtown Iowa City at 5:45 p.m. to see an array of floats, as well as the West High Marching Band. [c] Oct. 2 – Flyleaf Flyleaf will be performing at the Wheelhouse in Cedar Rapids at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22. [d] Oct. 8 – Bill Cosby Bill Cosby will be nearby at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50. [e] Oct. 11 – Orchestra Concert The West High Concert and Symphony Orchestras will be performing at 7:30 p.m. in the West High Auditorium under the direction of Wayne Thelander. [f] Oct. 19 and 20 – ITEDs Seniors can stay out late and sleep in while the 9th, 10th and 11th graders spend their time filling in bubbles!

Races begin at 8 AM this includes a 1/2 mile,


16 feature


FAD DIETS With negative body images scattered throughout modern society, some teenagers are willing to try drastic measures to lose weight.The WSS wanted to investigate these extreme fad diets, so three WSS reporters, embarking on a week-long fad diet and meticulously measuring the results, bravely went where too many have already gone before.



DAY 0: I’m a grazer and a snacker. Big meals? Not so much. So I figured that eating 152 lbs three healthy snacks a day along with two SlimFast shakes and a meal less

than 500 calories for a week would be a breeze. Plus, I could eat unlimited quantities of sugar-free gelatin dessert. Well, this experience has taught me two things. One: Never ever in my life will I happily eat sugar-free gelatin. Ever. And two: Not eating sucks.

DAY 1: One word: Torture. I was incredibly tired due to a lack 152 lbs of carbohydrates and I had a constant headache. This

wasn’t just in my head; people noticed and asked me if I was alright. I got three “you look tired”s and one “‘you I reached a turning point today. The headaches beDAY 3: came a dull nag, and I adjusted to the lack of carbs 153 lbs by going to sleep at 9:30 p.m. and waking up right around 7:00 a.m. However, the increase of water intake led to

DAY 4: Today was not any better. My headache increased as

151 lbs mealtimes, or should I say shaketimes, neared. And ELIZABETH DAGLE SlimFast Diet, consisting of SlimFast shakes, sugar-free gelatin and a 500-calorie dinner.

DAVID HUANG Orange Diet, consisting of eating solely oranges.

MADHU SRIKANTHA Milk Diet, consisting of a half-gallon of milk a day with other regular eating habits.

once I sat on the bench to enjoy my apple and shake, I wasn’t hungry. But the risk of being hungry five minutes into fourth period made me force the food down my unwilling throat. Standing proved to be challenging, after a short period of time, I would start to feel dizzy and have to sit down. I cherished my precious 500-calorie meal. Sadly, it was hands down the highlight of my


DAY 7: Judgment day. I had lost 3 1/2 pounds. For such large changes in my diet, 148.5 lbs I’m not going to lie, I was expecting that number to be a little bit bigger.


Oranges were the only thing that Dictator Idi Amin Dada, DAY 1: Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, 154 lbs and Conqueror of the British Empire ate. As an ardent fruitarian, he believed that such a diet would empower his body and soul, and act as a natural aphrodesiac to boot. Wanting to be powerful in war myself, I thought I’d do the same thing. Oh my god, oranges. Hell does not compare to the pu-

DAY 4: trid citrus that stalks my every breath. It’s like someone 153 lbs

is waterboarding me all the time except instead of water, they use orange juice.

DAY 5: Although many people have asked, there has been no

153 lbs change in the color of my urine. Fatigue plagues my body, but that may also be because of the late nights playing StarCraft II. I’m constantly hungry – no amount of oranges can satiate the extreme desire I have for pizza or Quizno’s.

It seems as though regular, healthy eating and exercise would’ve given me the same, if not better, results.


DAY 1: Someone told me that after a lactose intense week I might become tempo-

106 lbs rarily lactose-intolerant. That sounds like so much fun. Note sardonic tone,

please. I dearly hope that does not happen, but hey – I would indubitably lose a significant amount of weight if I was lactose-intolerant and drinking a half gallon of milk per day. Just think about it.

DAY 3: Milk has pervaded every one of my senses. I taste it, I feel it, I think it, I smell

107 lbs it. I hate it. I have five more days. I haven’t lost weight but I predict that I will,

if only because the fact that the constant taste of milk in my mouth has made everything else appear unappetizing. Indian food is absolutely off limits – this is a really helpful thing considering that nearly all the food in my house is Indian.

DAY 4: Yesterday I kind of settled into a rhythm where 108 lbs milk is easy to fit into my schedule – one cup

per period and the rest after school. But I’ve begun to gain weight. That’s bad because it defeats the purpose of a weight-loss diet. Great. Actually the whole weight loss thing is

It looks like my weight loss will be capped at a whopping

DAY 6: looking up. A whole freaking pound.

in war, either. If you like oranges, go ahead, eat them ’till you drop, but if you don’t, the result is a constant feeling of hunger and a breath baited not with any emotion, but a citrus tinge.

ing this much milk is definitely worth it for that ONE POUND. Thus far, which is pretty far, I would recommend this diet to anyone and everyone who want to feel gross and gain/lose weight at their milk’s whim.

DAY 7: 2 pounds. And I haven’t been blessed with any victories 152 lbs



105 lbs The nausea experienced from drink-


17 feature

Where ya from, West Side? COMPILED BY AMIR SABBAGH


The WSS surveyed 1327 students about where they were born and where they have lived. 1 ICELAND




1151 U.S.A.










































5 1































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4 1 1


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14 6



It’s a continued one, to do an increased job knowing students names. Every morning I glance at the Yearbook to learn a few more names. . . . [Also] not to lose anybody. If you come to school you should have fun, but also prepare yourself for life after graduation. That’s not just for kids who naturally enjoy school and work hard. We’re trying to get that message to all students, all 1,856 of them. -Jerry Arganbright, principal “[I] resolve to finally let Mr. Gross beat me in an intellectual debate, dispel the rumor that [I am] Mr. Gross and discover the appeal of Jersey Shore.” -Nate Frese, English teacher

Be more approachable to kids who find me scary. Sometimes I think I’m amusing but I come across as abrupt. I always feel pressured for time, but my students shouldn’t necessarily know I feel that way. . . . [My goal is to] continue to challenge myself to think of ways to make learning not just purposeful, but also enjoyable. -Margaret Shullaw, English teacher

“One big change is SSIKE is meeting three days a week after school instead of one day a week so the library needs to be more of a study atmosphere after school. . . We’re trying to think of a plan that will work for everyone. We know some students have been sitting in class all day and just want to hang out. It’s going to be a compromise.” -Jim Walden, librarian I want Student Senate to get more ninth or tenth graders involved in events we have and get more people involved in our wellness activities. On Wednesdays we’re organizing after school walks and runs for Run for the Schools [on Oct. 17]. -Brady Shutt, social studies teacher

January first isn’t the only day for new beginnings. For most of us, in fact, the long days of mid-August, not the snowy nights of January. So this year, the Wes celebrate the new year on its own terms, asking students, teachers and admini goals and resolutions for West High during the 2010-11 school year with us Ne

I want every student in our school district to get the best education possible in the healthiest, safest and most supportive environment possible in the interest of maximizing their potential as student learners, as adults in our society and as members of the world community (lofty yes, but that is my big thinking at work). As for West High, how cool would it be if West High was the first school in the State of Iowa to achieve a composite score of 26 on the ACT? West High got close last year and I know everyone there is striving to do better (a little less lofty, a little more measurable and audacious in its own right).I also have the same wish (26 composite score on the ACT) for City High. . . . If I had my magic wand, I would make this happen. Outside of that we hire a great Superintendent who puts together a great staff and then we let them do great work.” -Michael Shaw, school board member

new year comes in the st Side Story decided to istrators to share their ew Year’s style.



[To] spend quality time in the building and in classrooms to insure that I fully understand the culture of WHS and the range of offerings afforded to the students. -Steve Murley, superintendent [I don’t want to] get anybody pregnant. -Jordan Rossen ’13

My resolution is to tell Nikilesh [Rao] that I love him more often, and also to see how many stickers I can stick on his back in one day. -Alexa Kramer ’13 Everybody [should] brush their teeth after every class period and wash behind their ears. Stay out of trouble, be nice to your mothers, keep your shoes polished, hold the door for a lady, always say please and thank you and sir and ma’am. And to wrap it up - [something explicit]. -Paul McKinley ’11

We want to be more efficient, try new recipes. Basically, we want to do everything right. -Julie Peterson, West High Food Service To get Dr. A to learn every student’s name. -Kap Mueller ’11 I want everyone to get excited for spirit days, not only the whole green and gold aspect, but the smaller events as well. If everyone got excited about smaller events, like Phestival of Pumpkins for instance, West would be way more exciting! -Amanda Gillispie ’11 “All fraction lines are going to be written horizontally, not diagonally. And to make West High a friendly place, a comfortable place for students.” -Michelle Larson, math teacher

20 feature

University upgrade


The University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC), which made its debut on Aug. 2, replaced the 83-yearold Field House as the U of I and Iowa City’s main athletic facility.

(left) While non-U-of-I students must pay a one day walk-in fee of $5 and a year-long membership of $360 for general facility use, the front lobby entrance is a designated “free zone” for all community members. The lobby features a smoothie bar, a lounge area and a popular 50-foot rock climbing wall. “I scaled the rock wall a few times. It was exhilarating to make it to the top. I’d recommend people to try it,” said Shamis McGillin ’12.

(above) Accolades abound for the new facility’s aquatic center, which features a lazy river, a 50-meter competitive swimming pool and an 18-foot diving well. “I’m glad we don’t have to walk down the creepy hallway of doom to get to our lockers anymore. The new facility is absolutely beautiful,” said Meredith Heath ’11, a member of the University of Iowa Flyers Swim Club.

(above) For a $15 monthly fee, anyone can have access to 72 treadmills, 44 elliptical machines and numerous stationary bikes along with a locker lounge with a large-screen TV.

(right) The second floor features three basketball courts, one of which can be used as an indoor hockey or soccer field, as well as several volleyball courts. University officials hope students will take advantage of the CRWC as an alternative to drinking, especially in the wake of the controversial 21only ordinance. PHOTOS BY//JOJO SILVERMAN AND LINDSAY BEST




Gym Hall during Lunch Hour








OCT. 11 7:30 PM

7:30 PM

WED. OCT. 20


CHOIR concert OCT 12 at 7:30 PM


Girls race to the top West High cross country goes the distance 22 sports


Coach Mike Parker inspires the West High Girls Cross Country team to work hard. “We have high expectations this year, every meet counts. Coach always prepares us for our tasks.” said returning varstiy runner Taylor Fehlberg ‘11.

compiled by Pombie Silverman




Starting out the season with the state’s top ranking may sound like an amazing feat, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for the West High girls cross country team. “We’re pretty accustomed to [being highly ranked],” said Coach Mike Parker. “Even on what we consider to be a down year, we’re still contending for a state title.” And with five of last year’s top six runners returning and a top-fifty national ranking, it’s far from a down year. The team began the season ranked forty-three in a national list produced by ESPN, which considers over 10,000 high school cross country programs. The rankings are compiled based on surveys of high school coaches. “[The rankings] put a little pressure on the team, but it’s also nice to think that other teams think so highly of us,” said varsity runner Taylor Fehlberg ’11. Other returning varsity members include Pombie Silverman ’13, Molly Leveille ’13, Brett Guerra ’12, Bridget Novak ‘11 and Alissa Rothman ‘11. Although they will travel to a regional competition in Kansas, the team is able to find heavy competition within the state as well. West Des Moines Dowling, West Des Moines Valley and cross-town rival City High are some of the team’s main rivals this season. The girls had their first test at the Cedar Rapids Invitational, in which they raced against City High and Bettendorf, two of the best teams in the state. “We didn’t run like we are capable of running,” Leveille said. The team ended up placing third at the Invite, moving them to fourth on the state rankings, but is determined to improve upon this performance in the future. “We plan to come back hard and win it when it means the most,” Fehlberg said. For this team, the overwhelming goal is to take home a state championship. In the meantime, the girls are focused on improving throughout the season and making a strong showing at upcoming meets. The West High Invite, West High’s home meet, will take place on Sept. 28 and carries particular importance for the team. “Our upcoming home meet is important because we have won it 13 years in a row so we need to carry on the tradition,” Fehlberg said. Tradition is an important force in the minds of the girls on a team which hasn’t finished below sixth place at state and holds five state championships. This legacy is part of what pushes the team to continue to improve, and gives them confidence that they can achieve any goal in their sights. “Every day we need to get better and keep on improving, if we keep it up nothing can stop us,” Leveille said.

Ashley Knudson ‘13

Favorite Food: Spaghetti Background Info: Knudson was a top 800m runner last track season, her 4x800 team finished fourth at the state track meet. Fun Fact: Knudson has a pet cockapoo named Ginger.

Brett Guerra ‘12

Favorite food: Spaghetti Background Info: Guerra won the Luther College Invitational last year. She also placed 26th at the State Meet. Fun Fact: Enjoys boating and wakeboarding.

Playing for the present 23 sports

MEET THE PLAYERS compiled by caroline found

Anthony Brown ‘12

PHOTO BY//LINDSAY BEST Charlie Rogers ’12 runs the ball against City High on September 10 at West High. The Trojans fell 41-21 after the game was delayed nearly two hours because of heavy rains. The loss dropped the Trojans to 1-2.



t’s tempting. It’s harder to resist than a bakery opening up next to a Weight Watchers clinic. The West High football team starts very few seniors, with none at the skill positions. But head football coach Brian Sauser’s message to his young team is clear: Don’t play for next year. “We are playing a lot of sophmores, but we have what it takes to win right now,” Sauser said. However, those wins have yet to be seen. The Trojans are 2-2 going into tonight’s game against Jefferson. That hasn’t dampened Sauser’s hopes though. “We’ve been executing a lot better this year,” Sauser said. “We go into every season hoping to win state. To do differently is to set yourself up for failure. Now, as our recent records show, we haven’t always been very close to that goal, but we have a very strong team this year, and we’re getting better with every game.” Indeed, West’s record has improved each of the past two seasons. Leading the charge is a young set of skill position players, headed by quarterback Charlie Rogers ’12. “We’ve got a great group of really talented players, so now we just need to go out there and win some games,” Rogers said. While Rogers, who is known for his quick feet, has been leading a potent Trojan rushing attack, it’s his work throwing the ball that makes the offense a wellrounded threat. “This whole off-season I’ve been working on my performance as a quarterback, and not just as a run-

ner,” Rogers said. “After last year, my throwing and decision-making needed a little work, but I’m working on becoming a much more well-rounded player.” All the hard work has been paying off. “He’s always been one of the most physically talented players in the state,” Sauser said. “But he’s become a great leader, always looking for ways to help the team.” There are two sides to every coin though, and West’s defense has plenty of room for improvement. “Our defense needs to get nasty,” Sauser said. “We’ve got the talent and the size, now we just need the aggressive mindset.” As a team, though, the Trojan’s mindset is clear: Don’t look ahead to next year, just go out and win.

FOOTBALL FACTS COACH: Brian Sauser (3rd year) 2009 RECORD: 3-7 2009 RESULTS: Lost to City High in substates 45-20 2010 RECORD: 1-2

Height- 6 foot Eyes- Brown Favorite Food- Jerk Chicken Favorite TV Show- Sportscenter Favorite Movie- The Dark Knight Favorite Football Memory- Playing Waterloo West at home this year. First big victory.

Stephen Brietbach ‘12

Height- 6 foot Eyes- Hazel Fav Food- Steak Fav TV Show- Two and a Half Men Fav Movie- The Blind Side Favorite Football Memory- Going undefeated at NWJH. 23

The Final Countdown Volleyball team ready for first-place finish 24 sports

MEET THE PLAYERS compiled by caroline found

Briannie Kraft ‘11

PHOTO BY//SARAH DIRKS The West High volleyball team swept Cedar Falls (3-0) at West on September 7. West is ranked second in the state, with 10 returning varsity players. “We have some new key players coming up and stepping in. We are just as good as last year if not better,” said Alli O’Deen, a fouryear member of the varsity squad.



n 2008, West’s volleyball team found themselves in third place after the semifinals of the state championship tournament. In 2009, the team took it one step further and took second place, after a loss to Ankeny in the championship game. This year, the team is out to take first place. “This year’s poster theme is three, two, one, The Final Countdown. . . . This year we want to win it all,” said Paige Yoder ’11, a member of the varsity volleyball team. Although the team has several returning members, inexperience will still play a factor in their efforts to become state champions. “The biggest obstacle we have as a team is our age. We have a lot of new team members with little or no varsity experience that will see a lot of playing time,” Yoder said. “However, we’re clicking really well and I think we have great potential this season.” “This year we’re trying to grow


through our inexperience. We have a lot of inexperienced players on defense and some inexperienced hitters, but we’ve been growing as a




team and that’s what we want to see,” said Head Coach Kathy Bresnahan. This year, the team has experienced an additional setback: three-year starter Alli O’Deen ’11’s ACL injury. “I’m

looking forward to my first game back. . . . I’m super pumped to start playing again after six and a half months,” O’Deen said. Bresnahan said that the entire team will benefit from O’Deen’s recovery. “Once we get everyone back on the team, we’ll have two four-year starters, and one three-year starter, which is an advantage we haven’t had in the past. We’ll also have a lot more height this year than we’ve had in the past,” she said. Despite these stumbling blocks, the team still has high expectations “Once we find ourselves, I think we will turn a lot of heads and be one of the top teams in the state,” O’Deen said. “The team always looks forward to the post-season. Playing at state is indescribable. It’s just so awesome to play in front of hundreds of people, and to prove to all the other teams in the state that you belong there and show how hard you’ve been working the entire season.”

Favorite Food- Watermelon Background Info-Kraft was born in Oklahoma City, then moved to New Jersey, and New York. At age 7, she moved to Iowa City. Kraft started playing volleyball in 6th grade with Top Dog Club Volleyball.

Kelley Fliehler ‘12

Favorite Food- Bomb Pops Favorite TV Show- One Tree Hill Favorite Movie- Remember the Titans Background Info- Going to St. Louis with the Iowa Rockets 16U Black is her favorite Volleyball memory.

25 sports

Ryan Shields ’11 makes a putt at Finkbine Golf Course on September 2nd during a meet agaisnt Depuque Walhert and Xavier. Shields is one of several returning members of last year’s squad, which finished ninth at the state meet and had an overall record of 54-23 within the MVC. The team will compete in districts on October 5th to try to qualify for state again this year.

Stiles rises to the top Soccer coach wins ESPN award BY CAROLINE FOUND

West High soccer coach Brad Stiles was named coach of the year on ESPN RISE All-American first team. ESPN RISE is a high school sports magazine published monthly to inform and connect high school athletes across the nation. The West High school boy’s soccer team has become a sports dynasty in the state, winning five state titles since 2000, and leaving this season with a record of 22-0 (42-2 in the past two seasons). The Trojan Soccer team is the first team in the 16 years of Iowa High School Soccer history to win five state championships, all under the work of Stiles. “Brad deserves this award because he has had success throughout his entire time at west. But this past year was just something special,” said starting defender Alex Troester ’12. Throughout the season the team frequently checked the ESPN Rise web-


SOMETHING SPECIAL.” Alex Troester ‘12

site to find out their national ranking, which soon became a habit for the players which Stiles was not too fond of. “I refused to look at it from the middle of the season forward and I would not let the players talk about it around me. Soon enough, I received a call from a parent asking if I had checked the website recently, and I had not,” Stiles said. “No one gave me any information so I had to go look for myself. I had an instant permanent grin when I saw my

name attached to the high school AllAmerican team,” Stiles said. “ESPN did not contact me and did their own write up about our season and my time at West High. If not for the parent I may have never known. I have emailed the RISE concerning a certificate or plaque and have not received a reply. Therefore, no ceremony. I will make my own plaque, and it’s now a small part of positive history,” Stiles said.

Girls’ so

26 sports


Summing up summer sports BY LEAH MURRAY


e t last year, th e tournamen n last at ai st ag e l th el w at g second cted to do pe ex as w After placin ng ri their am nes Valley du oy’s soccer te Women of Tr ans lost to West Des Moi ded in over time. Valen Troj ment which season. The e state tourna ate tournament. th in e m ga uld first tire st knew we co to win the en because we ilson ed nt W n oi ley went on ri pp E ent],” said kind of disa ate tournam “[We were] st e th [in r farthe h, have made it ar ters. ’s head coac the team’s st al, the team th en os R e ’11, one of first year Dav e state tournament. This was the th ry good first round of e th e against a ve had lost in ry good gam ly stronger,” ve al a ic ed ys ay ph pl entally and “I think we m e er w ey end, th team. In the id. sa al th en os R

Alex Troester ‘12 rushese down the soccer field.



The boys’ soccer team was able to live up to their ex winning state fo r the second year pectations in a row, over su “There wasn’t a mmer break. point [at which] we thought we did [first place] beca n’t deserve use of last year,” said Alex Troeste the few underclas r ’12, one of smen on last year ’s team. The boys went un defeated througho ut the entire seaso ended season rank n an ed second nationa lly. On top of th junior Tanner Sc at, thenhilling ‘11 was na med the all-tour captain. nament team “I’m glad I receive d it, but I wish on e of the seniors wo have received it, ” Schilling said. uld

Erin Wilson ‘11 dribbles pa st the com peti



tz ‘12 steps

up to the

West High’s young softball team had a successful season which unfortunately did not transfer over to their regional tournament. “We exceeded expectations all year, but we just wished we could’ve made the final push into the state tournament for the first time” said Brianna Sturtz ’12, the team’s starting second basemen. The Trojans lost their first game to Xavier 0-2 after Xavier scored a home run in the sixth inning. “I think we played a really good game, but our bats weren’t as good as our defense, after the home run our spirits were down,” said Mackenzie Haight ’12, the team’s lead pitcher.



For the seco second at th nd year in a row the boys’ baseb e state tou rnament, lo all “We’re pro sing 1-11 in team placed u their final Charlie Stu d of our accomplish ga ment, that mpff, the te ’s a good ru me. am’s head The Trojan n” said coach. s struggled replace thei before the game whe rb n they had propriate p est pitcher, Ryan Ru to mpf ’11, b hoto taken ecause of an by him whi “It hurt to ch was then in watch the shown to o apte pitched, it thers . would have am go down like that . If I would bee Leo Franz have ‘11, a form n different. Definitel y,” er junior fr Rumpf. om the team Rumpf said. agreed wit “We weren h ’t focused enough on incidents,” the game b he said. ecause of te am



Brianna Stur plate



Boys’ soccer

Pitcher Ryan Rumpf ‘11 winds up in preperation to hit to strike zone





28 sports

Fantastic freshmen four Freshmen stand up to the competition BY EMILY KREITER


lthough they’re young, freshmen Lilian Zhu ’14, Meredith Cullen ’14, Sophie Shoultz ’14 and Jas-

Lilian Zhu ’14

has been swimming for almost her entire life. “I’ve been swimming competitively since I was six, but my parents plunked me in the pool starting when I was around three. My dad swam when he was little and all through college, so whenever he was teaching Vivian [Zhu ’11] how to swim, he’d bring me along and let me mess around on the side by myself. I guess eventually I decided to imitate the lap swimmers for fun, and I found that I liked it,” Zhu said. Zhu’s goals for high school swimming are to make it to the state meet, and beyond high school, to go to her top college to swim. Zhu said her teammates are what keep her motivated. “My teammates are really important in the respect that they help me keep going when I’m having a tough day, because the know exactly what swim-

mine Roghair ’14 have already proven themselves to be exceptionally skilled in the water. The season has only just begun, but there are high expectations for all four freshmen. “This freshman class as a whole has the

potential to accomplish great things. They are loaded with talent and ability, now I just have to eliminate their selfdoubt and limiting expectations,” said head coach Robert Miecznikowski. “I have learned, from 38 years of com-

petitive swimming, that the greatest obstacle to achieving one’s goals is simply oneself.” And these freshmen have so far proven that their mental and physical toughness is well up to par.

Meredith Cullen ’14 got

more I loved being in the water. As I got better and better, I got more involved with swimming and more competitive. I finally joined a swim team, and have been swimming year-round ever since. Seeing my times drop was the thing that kept me going.The faster I got, the more I worked every day in the pool and out,” Cullen said. Like Zhu, Cullen is looking forward to the state swim meet. “I’m excited to have a really strong team with these great, young swimmers coming in with me. Lilian, Sophie and Jasmine are going to be a strong asset to the team, as well as many younger swimmers that will be swimming with high school in the future. I think we will have a good chance at winning state in a few years. I want to do the best I can to help West High earn its first state victory,” she said.

ming is like,” she said. “High school swimming is really different from club swimming in the fact that high school is all about team, and when you swim you are swimming to help and boost your team up.”

Jasmine Roghair ’14

has been swimming with the Iowa City Eels swim club for the past six years. “My mom signed me up when i was eight years old after I finished the Red Cross Swim Lessons. My family and coaches were the ones who motivated me the most, helping me try to get state qualifying times,” Roghair said. “My teammates, friends, parents and coaches always congratulate me no matter how I finish, as long as I did my best. It’s easy to be motivated when you have great teammates.” Roghair also said that the “team” element of high school swimming keeps it fun. “There are a lot more people and it’s so cool seeing so many people


outside of school swimming from all different grades. It also feels more like a team than club swimming because trying to get points for your team becomes more important. There’s also a lot more spirit and the team dinners are fun,” she said. Outside of swimming, Roghair learns Chinese with her mother, who is from Taiwan.

started swimming two-and-a-half years ago, after attending her sister Jessica Cullen ’08’s swim meets. “I loved watching them, so I started swimming lessons.The more I swam, the

other people your age in a lake. There are no lanes and everyone swims in a big group. The Iowa team had about six people on it, and the water was really cold, but we still had a lot of fun hanging out and just experiencing what it was like to swim open water,” Shoultz said. PHOTOS BY//JOJO SILVERMAN Shoultz said that so far, she enjoys the relaxed and supportive atmoSophie Shoultz ’14 has sphere of high school swimming. been swimming competitively since “I really like that the atmosphere the age of seven. Her favorite swimming memory comes not from a pool, at meets is more relaxed and there’s less pressure. I also like the fact that but instead from a lake. “I was 12, and my mother and I drove we definitely cheer a lot more at high up to Indianapolis to swim in an open school meets, and it’s more of a team water event. An open water event is environment than a club meet, where where you go and race - usually one there aren’t as many of your teamor two miles - with about a hundred mates in your heat,” she said.

29 radish


Radish PETA adds a P The

Note: All Radish content is satirical and is not meant to be perceived as factual


In a new wave of protests, PETA members discourage the consumption of plants

PETAP often fought for its cause through radical actions that annoyed and frightened those who subscribed to differing belief sets. Wheat farmer Sally Pierson was the victim of one of these actions. “Those PETAP folks just came up to me and threw cream of mushroom onto my clothes,” recalled Pierson. “It took me hours to get all the gunk off. I really reconsidered my profession as someone who harvested plants which had a future of just being tortured and then violently consumed.” Many questioned what PETAP’s exact plan was, after declaring both plants and animals off-limits for consumption for its members. “Photosynthesis,” Highland said. “They tried to photosynthesize. Not even a lack of chlorophyll was going to stop PETAP from accomplishing their goals. They were truly champions of all rights. The crossspecies Mother Theresa of our times.” A group funeral for PETAP’s members will be held Oct. 2.



n a strange turn of events, a local plant and animal rights group completely starved to death after declaring that “plants are people, too.” “I don’t think it was a hunger strike,” said Dave Highland, a sibling of the group’s president. “I think they kind of just… ran out of things to eat. They were just fighting the good fight – for too many steps on the food pyramid.” Indeed, the group, known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Plants (PETAP) had initially formed over the consumption of small, adorable puppies by area cannibal and overall menace Mannibal the Cannibal. “I’m a cannibal,” Mannibal said. The group then sought larger challenges, growing to protect the rights of other genuses and phylum. “Eventually they were just like, screw it, plants have feelings too,” Highland explained.

ZONE In response to the Ground Zero Mosque, Catholic Church plans to build a church next to an elementary school. BP executive spills glass of wine at banquet; takes several months to clean up.

In response to new tailgating restrictions, tailgaters vow to protest by drinking more.

Fox News donates $1 million to the Republican Party, claims to be “fair and balanced.” Oh wait. That’s true.

compiled by garrett anstreicher


Homecoming nominations



th f au

School Spirit






jok e is



compiled by madhu srikantha

Time 29

Principles over emotion 30 opinion


community center with an auditorium, a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bookstore sound like great additions to any community regardless of it’s proximity to Ground Zero. The Park51 project in downtown Manhattan has created a wildfire across the country, stoking hate, anger and racial tensions. Even on September 11, protests against the center overshadowed what should have been a solemn day of remembrance. The events of September 11 are imprinted in all our minds and anything related to that tragic day is a very emotional issue. However, when it comes to the proposed center, it is important to hold principle over emotion. The West Side Story supports the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative in their plan to build a community center near the World Trade Center.

We strongly believe that Muslims have the same right to practice religion as everyone else in this country. Freedom of religion for all Americans is one of the principles our nation was founded upon, yet it seems many want to deny the Muslim community this right. However, hatred only generates more hatred. Not all Muslims are radical extremists. Al Qaeda is not representative of all Muslims. Muslims are just as much a part of America as any other religious group, and they deserve equal treatment. Innocent Muslims died on 9/11 too. It is time to push beyond our bigotry and demonstrate the principles that make America great. It is this strength that can best counteract the extremist movement; by showing our strength as a nation we can show the weakness of our enemies. If we are unable to push past these divisions, we will reveal ourselves as a deeply hypocritical society, proving the

terrorist right and further fueling their hatred. What are we to say to Muslims who have lived here their whole life and now are worried for their safety as they hear hatred about their religion throughout the country? That they are no longer welcome? That the land they have grown up in, the land that prides itself on religious tolerance, is too fearful to tolerate them? What kind of precedent is that setting? If America denounces freedom of religion, can we really say that it is still America? We all remember the fear, the pain, the insecurity that pulsed through the country on September 11. That day, the country changed. Not only was it fearful, but it was also more prejudiced. Immediately after that horrible day, there arose a distrust that was directed towards those of Middle Eastern descent. Many saw them as those that looked like the people that had caused us pain, and for some time it felt like

the country would not get over its intolerance. However, 9/11 united the nation and the initial impulse to discriminate evaporated. This new tide of discrimination worries us at the West Side Story. The pain of the attacks will eventually fade away, but prejudice can stay around forever. We hope that it is not the case that the event that once united us as a nation will now start to tear us apart.

Is the location of the prospective Muslim community center an insult to 9/11?


Snyder v. Phelps Sound-off I

t’s probably a fair assumption that most Americans do not believe that homosexuality will destroy our nation. And, regardless of creed, almost all Americans disagree with the methods the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas used to publicize this message as they picketed near the funeral of 20-year-old (heterosexual) soldier Mathew Snyder with signs like “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags.” Many of us may be sympathetic to Mathew’s father Albert’s anger, even his lawsuit against Westboro pastor Fred Phelps for emotional damages from the offensive messages. But the question facing the Supreme Court on Oct. 6 in Snyder v. Phelps isn’t whether the picketing was appropriate or inappropriate. It’s not about sensitive or insensitive. And it’s not about wrong or right; it’s about protecting our rights as citizens. And Westboro Church had the right to protest the funeral. The protestors stayed 1,000 feet away and completely within their bounds: protected by the freedom of speech, religion and assembly guar-



anteed (among others) by the First ometimes, people simply need Amendment. to be told to shut up. Such is You have to protect the free speech the case in the Snyder v. Phelps rights of ignorant bigots even when case that involves members of the you disagree wholeheartedly with Westboro Baptist Church picketing what they choose to say, so that no funerals to protest black and homoone can stop you when you have sexual men. something truly important voice. It is certainly true that protests for What does free speech protect if not political or social causes should enjoy the right of the minority, no matter absolute protection under the First how small, to voice a dissenting opinAmendment. However, the protests ion? Who gets to decide which views of the WBC are an unusual case. Their Americans are allowed to express, picketing serves no legitimate cause. and which we aren’t? Their actions does not resemble so So we sincerely hope that the Westmuch “speech” as harassment and hateboro Baptist Church does not achieve mongering. The story of America has any progress in perpetuating intolerbeen a story of gradual acceptance and ance in our government, but it’s our tolerance for others, and this rhetoric job to listen to them as we wait for does nothing more to slow and potenour turn to speak. Maybe the next extially reverse this process. Because the tremist group or concerned individual homosexual community of America is that speaks out will offer real answers. currently struggling to receive their W e wellhope deserved we get a rights, Did Snyder have a right to express his chance these views at the funeral in which he protested? lunatics to hear them. who promulgate such an-


ti-homosexual vileness should be told to put a sock in it by the people and the government alike. The premise of the “slippery slope” is pretty scary. However scary it may be, though, it hasn’t happened. Numerous restrictions have already been placed on the First Amendment – no shouting “fire!” in a movie theatre, no words that are meant to goad someone into violence, etc. – and despite these rules placed on our free speech, we have not seen the snowballing effect that so many people are afraid of. Despite restricting our speech somewhat, our government has not evolved into Big Brother, and there’s no reason to believe that it will in the future. Thus, the government can and should place laws restricting the hate speech and harassment that the WBC seems so eager to spread around. The message of the WBC does nothing but hinder our society’s progress towards the acceptance of others, and reasonable laws can and should be put into place to tell these nuts to shut up and leave others alone.

On amending Quality of Index an amendment Life September 31 opinion


merica is not known as the land of diminishing opportunity, but if ardent nativists succeed in legally reworking the definition of citizen to exclude people born in America without American parents, we might have to file for a motto change. But first, to evaluate the roots of America’s stigma as ferment ground for opportunity, her history must be paid attention to. The 14th amendment was adopted in lieu of the Civil War to combat the controversy over the naturalization of slaves by guaranteeing them the rights of all American citizens after granting them citizenship itself. And to an extent, it worked – until the KKK rose up to combat racial equality (which was no doubt a valiant fight.) Afterward, the 14th took a hundred year rest. But then the Civil Rights Movement claimed it as their anthem for all oppressed, deprived and liberty-less – and it was here that the 14th became synonymous with opportunity. And it is that very definition that is at risk as the debate to amend an amendment is at hand. As former Attorney Alberto Gonzales has stated in a recent Washington Post article, creating new amendments ought to be reserved for instances in

which the matter at hand cannot be resolved or regulated through any other means because it is, indeed, a very involved process – with good reason. Clearly the issue at hand, illegal immigration, has vociferous activists on either side of the debate. But the current state of the issue is political in nature – not governmental, an important distinction to make. Because if Gonzales is right, altering the 14th Amendment is far too drastic a solution for this regulation problem. Then there are the rhetorical reasons that the 14th Amendment should not be amended – because America is the land of the free, because America is a refuge for countless people (unlawful admission to America for people under dangerous conditions carries little in the way of regretful action) and because America’s diversity is a huge component of the definition of being an American citizen. But ultimately, rewriting the Constitution would mean redirecting our future away from what the 14th has thus far been able to accomplish. And because the 14th Amendment has had such an instrumental part in creating equality between citizens in America, changing the wording can only reinforce doubt in previous court rulings and perpetuate anti-diversity attitudes.


First Ave Construction

Slowly inching my way home each afternoon now has the added bite of fear of falling into the crevasses that now surround First Ave. I guess the excuse for tardiness might be a blessing in disguise for the chronically late, but for the likes of me (actually I’m a member of the chronically late…), this just sucks, to put it eloquently. Minus 3

Hallway monitoring

I can’t count how many times someone has complained to me about the stringency of lunch-time hallway passage, but it’s getting on my nerves. The hallway monitors may as well just add a “Here there be dragons” sign to the entrance of each door, it might prove more effective… Minus 2

Teenage Dream

Can someone please explain to me what Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” actually is? Because if it’s to have the song be played on the radio so often that I want to cry every time I hear it, then Katy, you have achieved your goal. Minus 1

Standardized Tests

I’m a senior. I don’t have to take them.You do. OMGLOLTTYL. Seriously, that’s all I have to say on this subject Plus 5

The School Year

You knew this was coming. An unwelcome month this has been, as my pessimism has become flamboyant through a defiantly work-filled school year. How lovely. Minus 4

Total -5 compiled by madhu srikantha


I killed a fish Just doing and I liked it my part 32 opinion



was not a young lad, newly introduced to the art of fishing when I held one of those sputtering creatures in my hand for the first time. I was, in fact, a young girl, and my curiosity (stupidity, some might say) got the better of me as I reached into my family’s then-new fish tank to catch the orangey-yellow creature we called Sunshine. At the young age of six I could not read the desperation that was apparent in the fish’s eyes as it sat in my hand, deprived of water, as each molecule of oxygen assertively entered its gills. While the fish did not die in my arms as poetry would suggest, it did die about a week later and I was completely distraught. And thus, with sadness in my heart, I learned my first lesson in pet care: fish reside in water for a reason. My next visit to the pet store brought home a slew of new fish, for I was not yet ready for the upper-echelon pets. These fish sat on my desk directly next to a cactus my friend gave me so they could both have access to what I assumed was an adequate amount of sunlight and water. So, after a shortage of food that easily amounts to unintentional abject cruelty, the fish died. With their deaths I learned my second lesson in pet care: animals are not, in fact, plants. For one thing, they are not green. For another... they are not plants. This time, my parents were slightly more wary when I came to them with an infantile smile pasted on my face with matching doe-eyes as I said, “Mommy, Daddy – can I please get another pet?” Apparently that mischievous glint in my eye was unapparent, so my parents proceeded to buy me more fish. The next and final batch taught me my third lesson: I simply could not take care of fish. And they scared me. I didn’t want to give up, though. I made up my mind at that moment – I was not going to rest until I had found a pet that would accommodate its lifestyle to mine and live in spite of my poor care. I then laid eyes on my next conquest – a group of four frogs. Diligently, I fed them crickets, played with them, hopped like a frog myself and even held them as they went to bathroom (accidentally). They died when I went on vacation because I had forgotten to find someone to care for them. With that my fourth lesson arose: don’t leave your frogs with a dad who doesn’t even remember the fact that you bought frogs. But this time, the temptress of success had brushed by my perfectly poised fingers. Then, it hit me – I needed to make my family care about my pet more than I did so that when I neglected to perform its daily life tasks, my family would oblige the creature and step in. I knew that my manipulation had to be unwavering in its precision. My plan was instigated, with a sloppy coat of sugary lies, during my bedtime. I coaxed my mother into helping me read the Henry and Mudge stories thinking that if she was exposed to the cuteness of a fictional puppy, she would want one in reality. Shockingly, my poorly constructed plan worked, and a year later I had a dog whose consequent chores I took no part in. And with that, I learned my last lesson in pet care: anybody can learn how to be responsible by getting a pet – but me.




igh school is a nearly perfect breeding ground for self-centeredness, and in the hectic balance of homework, friends and sleeping, I end up in serious need of a reality check. To quote Plato (and Tyson), high school is like a cave. It’s a surreal world that is very different from the real world I’ll be in once I graduate. No longer will my greatest fear be taking a test that I didn’t prepare for. It will involve the poverty and hunger of others, as it should. The past two summers, I’ve gone on a mission trip with my church called the Appalachian Service Project. The whole point of the trip is to work on a series of home improvement projects for houses or trailers in need. Twenty to 30 people ride down in a series of large white vans to stay at any school, church or community center that is willing to host us. Yes, there are airbeds and cold showers, but the whole experience is about so much more than the insignificant sacrifices we make to be there. It is about the difference we make in other people’s lives. This year, my work crew was given the task of replacing the underpinning on a trailer. Basically, we build a wood frame, nail insulation to it and screw tin on top of it. Except it’s a lot harder to do than it is to describe. Living in the trailer was Phyllis and her husband Bernie. Bernie, who was often at work laying bricks, was a quiet man. Although, he hardly spoke, he would often finish whatever project we had begun that day after we had left. Phyllis, however, was Bernie’s opposite. She kept us entertained through our work with stories about her eccentric family, her cooking experiments and her dogs. She also always made sure that we took Popsicle breaks four to five times a day. A couple days into our work, she started telling us about how hard life in the mountains could be. How she was once cheated out of a car by a local dealership, and lost three month’s worth of pay. When characters like Robin Hood steal from the rich and give to the poor, it’s a kind of wrong that ends up right. The rich stealing from the poor is just so terribly wrong. On the final day, we finished the underpinning, the project we were given. But before we left, I realized how much work still needed to be done. Not on the trailer, but on people. When your biggest problems consist of things like getting a date to homecoming, there’s some one else who has far greater concerns. What I learned this summer was that sometimes good people have to live in bad circumstances, and that the world is not fair, but I am going to spend my life trying to change that.

Megafreak of nature

33 opinion

son in our 1,800 high school, inching dangerously close to the ceilings at 6 feet 9 inches. For a while, being incredibly tall was not much fun for me. When I was little, other adults expected me to act older than I actually was, as they assumed that I was roughly 12 when I was barely turning seven, and for about as long as I can remember my conversations with strangers have gone like this:



o it’s my seventh birthday. I’m playing with my friends, having a blast and then I decide to go into a bouncy castle. All’s fun and games until . . . I get kicked out. I was traumatized. It wasn’t because I was being too rowdy, and it wasn’t because I was trying to carve huge holes into the structure with a butcher knife. No, I was rejected from having fun because at 5 feet 1 inch, I was already too tall. In second grade. See, this whole “tall” business started back when I was born to a mother of 6 feet and a father of 6 feet 4 inches. I was entered into kindergarten early because my parents worried that if I waited another year I would be so much taller than the other children that I would be singled out. By the ripe old age of seven I was taller than my second-grade teacher (granted, she was a short lady, but c’mon). Doorframes began to viciously attack when I entered high school, and when the only other megafreak that was even taller than me graduated last year, I became the tallest per-

It was certainly nice to get so much attention from everybody, but these people weren’t interested in me because I had a nice personality, because I was intelligent or because I was funny. Rather, I drew intrigue solely because of my megafreakishness. I felt like I was in the center of a freak show, but I didn’t get to be secluded in a cage next to the bearded lady, I had to live in public!

This went on for a while, but eventually, people’s lofty (and sometimes irrational) expectations of me inspired me to think forward. Without drastic measures like amputating my own legs, I wasn’t going to get shorter anytime soon, so moping about being regarded as a freak would hardly help my freakishness. Instead, I decided to exploit my role as the freak. As long as these strangers were ogling me so shamelessly, I decided to incur more positive attention. For most of my life as a child I practiced martial arts, and I continued pursuing them until I reached a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. This granted me impressive flexibility, which, when used in conjunction with my height, turned me into a lethal version of Gumby. In addition to amazing everybody by, well, standing, I would kick the tops of doorframes or even ceilings to awe an ever-increasing crowd. In the end, my height became a blessing. Though the strangers were still more interested in my body than me as a person, the fact that I could make them happy and impressed with my stunts made me feel good about myself. In addition, my height kept me from being bullied, gave me an extremely powerful serve in tennis and allowed me to reach the cookie jar a heck of a lot earlier than my mother expected. For all of these reasons and more, the weather up here is nothing less than beautiful. Oh, and to the guy who kicked me out when I was eight - there’s going to be a bouncy castle party at my place. Six feet tall is the minimum. Deal with it.

playing Barbies than I did running around with the neighborhood kids. When I wasn’t “playing Barbies,” I picked out cute outfits for them, and I created little challenges for myself like trying to find the ugliest piece of plastic-y Barbie clothing and, to quote Tim Gunn, “make it work.” Or else I’d give them makeovers, which mostly consisted of grabbing a pair of scissors and ruining their synthetic hair. I played with Barbies for far too long. Well, that’s the hint that society gave me at least. In first grade, I started to feel ashamed for owning a pink shirt that was made by the Barbie Company. Soon enough, all of the “cool” kids started bringing their soccer balls to school, the “geeks” brought in their Pokémon cards and the girls who brought in dolls were mercilessly mocked. Desperately afraid that I’d be made fun of, I kept my favorite activity a deep, dark secret from everyone, even my best friends. As another school year passed, the amount of both embarrassment and judgment that I expected other kids would pass on me in-

creased. I decided it was about time for me to grow up and stop playing with Barbies. I put each individual in my beloved collection in her best clothes, gathered up her accessories, and dumped her into a big, plastic bin, which was to be shoved into the back of my closet. I left them like that for days, maybe even a week. But soon, I wanted them back. At this point, I realized I couldn’t deny my love for playing dolls any longer. I took that big, plastic bin out of my closet and put it in the middle of my room for everyone to see. That bin didn’t even move when my friends came over to play. I was finally free from the shame that had been building up all of those years. And much to my surprise, I soon learned that I wasn’t the only one who still liked to play Barbies, nor was I part of some minuscule club. A lot of my friends still played dolls regularly, and those who didn’t, well, they had their own guilty pleasures. During those couple of weeks, I learned at least one very valuable lesson: only I can make myself be embarrassed about something.

Stranger: OHMYGAWD YOU’RE REALLY TALL! HOW TALL ARE YOU!? Me: (insert height here; currently 6 feet 9’ inches) Stranger: OHMYGAWD THAT’S REALLY TALL! DO YOU PLAY BASKETBALL!? Me: No. Stranger: CAN YOU DUNK!? Me: No. Stranger:YOU SHOULD PLAY BASKETBALL! YOU’RE REALLY TALL! Me: (eyes shifting) I’ll think about it . . .

I’m a Barbie girl A


s a young girl, I had a little bit of an obsession with Barbies. I’m pretty sure I had at least seven of them… and their accessories. When my sisters refused to include me in their games, which they often did, I would go up to my room, pull out my Barbies and play for hours. I gave each of the Barbies “distinct” personality traits and complicated, juicy drama to get caught up in. What was considered “complicated, juicy drama” at seven, I do not know. But the lives of the Barbies that I made up became more engaging than my own life, and I spent more and more time up in my room


A real live That’s not maverick my name 34 opinion



t approximately 1 a.m. on my first day of work at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, I was cleaning up after the wedding that had just successfully concluded when I found myself facing the predicament of what to do with the centerpieces. These centerpieces were not the typical sort made of flowers and fruit. These centerpieces were fish. Live ones of the betta variety. I approached the bride to ask her what she wanted to do with the fish, assuming that since she had brought the fish, she had plans to take care of them after the festivities were over. She had no clue what to do with them. There were approximately 20 bowls of fish scattered throughout the Marriott’s Coral Ballroom, and there was nowhere to put them. We gathered the banquet servers and the bride asked if we wanted to take them home. I was so afraid that the fish were destined for the Marriott toilets that I took two of them home. I left the hotel struggling with two fish bowls, terrified that I might spill n’ kill them. By the time I got home, I had named them already: Iceman and Maverick. Iceman was blue, Maverick was red. When I got home, I found a spot for them on the windowsill and went to bed. The next morning when I woke up, I went immediately to their bowls and literally spent HOURS watching them. By the time I left their bowlsides, I had memorized their tail patterns, as well as the arrangement of the tasteful garden rocks at the bottom of the bowls, which the bride had provided. The rocks are a significant detail for later. I also knew all about each fish’s disposition. Maverick was an active fish, exploring every inch of his six cubic inch bowl. Iceman was calmer, which worried me. He spent his days drifting near the bottom of the bowl, and I was afraid that I would one day come home to find Iceman floating at the top. But the tables would soon turn. One day, I arrived home to find Maverick at the bottom of his bowl. Ordinarily, in terms of fish, this would not be a bad thing. In this case it was. Maverick, being the feisty little fish that he was, had chased a pellet of food down into the tasteful garden rocks and somehow, in a manner unbeknownst to me, buried himself beneath the rocks and drowned. I felt terrible. I was such a bad pet owner that my fish had drowned. I no longer had Iceman and Maverick. I just had one fish with a lame name. Thinking back on this event, I still cringe at the memory of Maverick jammed beneath those rocks. How he lifted the rocks that were twice his size without opposable thumbs is beyond me. Although his death was untimely and gruesome, I can’t help but feel proud that I still saved him from the Marriott toilets, and drew out his life for an extra five days. Those five days (minus the very last one) were probably the best of his life. The majority of his life was fraught with drunk wedding-goers, but that does not mean his existence was any less important than yours or mine. He made a 17-year-old girl very happy for five days straight. I challenge any and all of you to attempt that. For those who were wondering, Iceman is still alive, and doing well. I removed the rocks from Iceman’s bowl to save him from Maverick’s fate. He is now much feistier than Maverick had been in life, and even responds to a human presence.




izzy is short for Elizabeth, Mandy is short for Amanda, Dick is short for Richard (among other things). Of course, these nicknames perfectly relate back to the original given name, as most nicknames do. But how do you get Pombie out of Sarah? No matching sounds, letters, nothing that would make one name relevant to the other. Not even a middle name to make it sound at all appropriate. I was born Sarah Camilla Silverman. But according to my older sister, “Pombie” fit my personality better. Pombie was unusual, interesting and a little odd, just like me. She was two years old at the time, so she can’t remember why she picked the name. Everyone just assumes it must be something exotic, since my mom comes from Portugal. It’s not even close to an actual Portuguese name, just the product of an overactive two-year-old mind. And when people assume it’s Portuguese, I don’t dissuade them. They’re happy. It works. The name stuck like road tar. Everyone in my family has a nickname. However, only mine became public. Very public. It has usurped my “real” name. Every time I passed the Sheraton hotel, my sister would say, “See that ‘S’ on the building? That stands for SARAH!” Sister-baiting is a time honored skill among older siblings; and this caused me to resent my given name even more. I would always introduce myself as Pombie and correct those who refused to call me by that nickname. Much later on, I realized that maybe the name “Sarah” itself wasn’t such a bad name after all, but it was too late to change. “Pombie” followed me like an extremely friendly dog that I just couldn’t shake off; all the way to kindergarten. “Is that how you say it? Bambi?” I remember my teacher asking me on the first day of school. “No,” I said, slowly enunciating, “Pom-bee!” “Pamby?” Grrr...this would take a while. Had no one ever heard of “sounding it out” (I thought that’s what they taught you in elementary school)? My name had been distorted like Nancy Pelosi’s face after Botox treatment. It took a while for people to correctly pronounce my name; almost everyone I meet asks about it. It is a little embarrassing to tell someone that your nickname is used on your official high school registration form. “Wait, your real name’s Sarah?” Yes, my real name is Sarah, now can we move on to another subject? Any subject? So, what’s everyone’s favorite muffin flavor? So… Pombie it is. Whatever humiliation might sprout from the nickname needs to be placed into the right context: Sarah may be my given name, but my accurate name would be Pombie. Due to the insane facial reactions, the strange conversation topics and the awkward silences that come both from my name and my mouth, Pombie fits my personality much better than being just another Sarah. Will is short for William, Ben is short for Benjamin and Pombie is short for this Sarah.

PHOTO BY//JOJO SILVERMAN Emma McClatchey ’11, Sophie McClatchey ’14, and Suzanne Moore ’14 do the Hokey Pokey during Fry Fest 2010. “It was impressive to see so many people - especially adults - doing the hokey-pokey all at the same time. It was hard to tell while we were there exactly how many people were around, so when we found out we had demolished the old record it was very exciting! I think we made Hayden Fry proud,” said Emma.



awkeye devotees flocked to the second annual Fry Fest in the thousands to celebrate the beginning of the Hawkeyes’ ’10-’11 football season. Despite being in only its second year, Fry Fest, named in honor of legendary football coach Hayden Fry, has established itself as a beloved Hawkeye tradition. Live music, pep rallies and autograph sessions with Coach Fry as well as former football players were included in the festivities. In addition, attendees, which included numerous West High students, broke the world record for the most people doing the hokey-pokey at one time, a nod to a tradition established by Fry in which members of the Hawkeye football team hokey-pokeyed before each game. Fry Fest attendees wait in line at Vesta, a resturant next to the Marriot. Vesta was packed full of hungry Hawkeyes, waiting for their delicious variety of grilled goods. There were multiple venders with food, including Vesta, Perkins and HyVee.

Black gold

PHOTO BY//SARAH DIRKS Fry Fest volunteers watch a boy shoot a basketball during Fry Fest 2010 in the Exhibition Hall. “I’ve always been a huge Hawkeye fan, so Fry Fest was the perfect chance for me to express my devotion to the team,“ said Emma McClatchey ’11. Thousands of people came to the Marriot to celebrate and volunteer in honor of past Hawkeye football coach Hayden Fry.


Erin Swartzendruber ’12 and Tessa Meisner ’12 chat before the Hokey Pokey record breaking during Fry Fest 2010 on Friday, September 3. Iowa beat the record for the largest simultaneous Hokey Pokey with about 7,000 people attending the event, breaking the last record by well over 2,569 people. PHOTO BY//JOJO SILVERMAN



compiled by olivia lofgren


As we settle back in to school, And the classrooms are all but cool, Give yourself a break, Some fun you will take, Because word games basically rule.




2 I I I I I I I I I













ANSWERS: 1. thunder storm 2. keeping you out of trouble 3. eiffel tower 4. one step forward, two steps back 5. quarterback 6. mini skirt 7. foreign policy 8. one life to live 9. address 10. walk on wate

Sept. 24, 2010 West Side Story  

The West Side Story's first issue of the year

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