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westsidestory IOWA CITY, IA 52246


INSIDE: The West High Project insert

DECEMBER 16, 2011


[PAGES 18 & 19]


Red, white & you




TEENS AND TIARAS See that girl, watch that

scene, dig these West High beauty queens - plus the WSS’ exclusive interview with Miss Iowa.

[Health 23]


ADD and ADHD have become almost commonplace - check out page 23 for what they really mean in the first place.



Molly Mason ’14 watches Anna Pashkova ’12 set during the volleyball state finals Nov. 12. West won.

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.


[Feature 10]

Two WSS staffers make ultimate sacrifices - one living techno-free and the other commuting without a car.

RED, WHITE & YOU With caucuses just around

[In-depth 18&19]

[Profiles 14]

Writers’ Workshop tell their stories.


the corner, the votes are in on West High’s political opinions and involvement.

VOLLEYBALL VICTORY The West High volleyball

[Sports 28]

WRITE AROUND THE BLOCK Local writers from the Iowa

[Feature 8]



team won its second consecutive state championship Nov. 12. And they did it for Line.

WSS STAFF MEMBERS EDITORIAL POLICY ELEANOR MARSHALL [Editor-in-Chief] ANNA EGELAND [Design Editor, In-Depth Editor] CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS [Managing Editor] JULIANN SKARDA [Copy Editor] POMBIE SILVERMAN [Copy Editor, A&E Editor] QUENTIN MISIAG [Business Editor, Circulation Manager] BRENNA DEERBERG [News Editor] AMELIA MOSER [News Editor] BLAKE OETTING [Feature Editor] SHIRLEY WANG [Feature Editor] OLIVIA LOFGREN [Profiles Editor] ASHTON DUNCAN [Columns Editor, Social Media Editor, Web Staff] DAN ROTHMAN [Editorial Editor] ABBIE SKEMP [Photographer] FRANK WEIRICH [Photographer] ASHLYNN YOKOM [Artist] OLIVE CARROLLHACH [Artist, Designer] ANSEL LANDINI [Writer, Designer, Web Staff] KATIE MONS [Designer] LEAH MURRAY [Designer] TYLER VOSS [Designer] ADAM CANADY [Webmaster, Photographer] HANNAH RUBLAITUS [Web Manager] ZORA HURST [Web Manager, Artist] GRANT LEONARD [Video Editor, Web Staff] SHAMIS MCGILLIN [Photo Editor for the Web] FATIMA JAYOMA [Web Staff] NATHAN PETERSON [Staff] SARA JANE WHITTAKER [Adviser]

A full copy of the Editorial Policy is available in room 111. The West Side Story reflects the views of the staff and does not represent the school administration, faculty, or student body. Guest articles may be accepted to represent an additional point of view or as part of a collection of reader contributions. The staff will carefully scrutinize all reader submissions. All ads are subject to approval by the business staff. Those that are libelous, obscene or plainly offensive may be rejected. The West Side Story attempts to publish all letters, which must be signed, to the Editors, but may reject submissions due to space limitations, inaccuracy or poor quality. It is the responsibility of the opinion editor to verify authorship. Editors can make minor edits for the sake of clarity, length and grammatical correctness.

The West Side Story staff would like to dedicate Volume 43 to former Sports Editor Caroline Found.



A unique occupation

Occupy Iowa City protesters brave the winter

The protesters haven’t just occupied Wall Street, they have occupied the national debate of late - infiltrating not only parks across the nation, but opeds, dinner conversations and blogs of all political tilt. The occupy movement began on Sept. 17 on Wall Street, protesting wealth inequality under the banner “we are the 99%” - arguing that the overall economy has suffered because the top 1% of wealthiest Americans hold 1/3 of the nation’s wealth.The slogan spread to all corners of the country and even the continents beyond, eventually organizing in Iowa City. Protesters began occupying College Green Park in downtown Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 7. And although the tents in College Green have begun dropping along with the temperature, the heartiest among the occupiers have stayed fired up about their cause. Those that remain have insulated the bottom of their tents with palettes and set up an arctic tent with a small heater – and the group plans to pare down to only the necessary tents, grouping them to ward off wind and snow throughout winter. The occupiers began assembling a semi-permanent structure at College Green Park approximately a month ago, but when the configuration wasn’t approved by the city, they dismantled it and transferred the pieces to the Cedar Rapids occupy movement. Connor McCallum, University of Iowa sociology major and current occupier, spends 4-5 nights a week camped out and says he is joined by no more than 10 fellow campers each night, compared to up to 40 in the first two weeks of the protest. At its peak, over 200 supporters showed up to the General Assembly meetings held nightly at College Green at 7 p.m., he said. And although he said it’s getting harder and

harder for people to spend time outside, the movement has amassed a large email list and many Iowa City residents are involved remotely in the planning of events and dissemination of information. Iowa City will continue to be occupied all winter, he said. “The only way you’ll get us to leave is if we don’t get a permit [from the city of Iowa City after the current one expires in February], and then we’ll occupy someplace else. There’s an almost endless list of problems we could protest,” McCallum said. And in response to national criticisms that the movement lacks specific goals or messages, “I would say that’s one [of the movement’s] strengths because it’s a big tent. … It’s inclusive,” he said. They are staying be-Connor cause they believe in the occupation, said Brandon Ross, who visits the camp every other day. “I believe that the occupiers reflect the national realization of the unhealthy inequality of wealth created through criminal means. … There’s a disease in the top 400 [wealthiest Americans], and it’s greed, and I don’t know if there’s a cure for it. … We are more disparate [in wealth] than we have been since the 1930s. Unions used to arrest the nonsense that went on at the top [earning Americans]. You show me a person that’s worth 600 times more [in salary] than another,” Ross said, saying corporatization of schools, post offices and other public institutions, including the lawmakers themselves, have left the


system broken – burdening the working class. “My dad bought a house on no college education, without even graduating from high school. … His money got him further in the 1960s and ’70s than my two degrees get me.” For Tyler Paintin, who spends nearly all day every day at the occupy camp, standing up for the economically disadvantaged gets personal. He said the unemployed are blamed for their fate – while Paintin blames corrupt politics tied to corporate interests. Paintin is homeless, and says he is one of few occupiers at College Green without a home. “I’m disabled. I can’t get a job, I can’t get disability, and people here who mostly have almost nothing welcomed me immediately, McCallum while those who have so much won’t listen. … I came up here [to occupy Iowa City] and they gave me a tent and fed me, and [without the movement] I wouldn’t have a place to sleep. I haven’t had glasses in close to a year and people here helped me get them, like him [gestures to McCallum]. …You can’t have a life, you can’t have a family and kids, because it’s so hard to get a job,” he said. According to fellow occupier and University of Iowa student Sam Pottebaum, much of the movement is about creating a forum for real discussion of what he sees as large and pressing national issues, like the corporatization of the food and energy systems in America.



“The only way

you’ll get us to leave

is if we don’t get

a permit, and then we’ll

occupy someplace else.”

“We’re actually doing something here at occupy. We’re talking about [underdiscussed national issues]. … We are creating that environment for people to form a creative community.You can’t do that inside your car alone driving 80 miles per hour … you are imprisoned by that,” Pottebaum said. Though the camp was hardly occupied at 4:30 p.m. when we arrived, supporters trickled in – building a small crowd of participants in their 20’s through 50’s by 7 p.m., joking warmly with each other despite the chill and freely discussing problems in the medical system and many other aspects of American life. A man who identified himself only as “Ant” and has been “occupying a different way of life for 6 years” – carrying his belongings as he hitchhiked across America – also emphasizes discussion, everywhere and at all times – saying that not only should we reconnect with neighbors, we should inform ourselves on current bills and be vocal about our opposition to our legislators – promoting accurate information at every outlet available. While University of Iowa students’ reactions to the protesters have been mixed – one threw down a brick and tried to fight with McCallum, the older Iowa City’s response to the occupiers has been largely positive, according to Paintin – community support McCallum had expected from Iowa City. Many individuals have donated food to occupiers and the co-op provides hot water. The permit to stay in College Green will expire in February – but the movement will remain indefinitely, according to McCallum. WWW.WSSPAPER.COM Log on for more phot exclusive web coverage .






You’ve got an app for the weather, one for the bus schedule and another to tell you which socks go with that sweater; and now you can get the West Side Story app. The app offers quick and easy access to a wide variety of the West Side Story’s exclusive web content, from videos to reviews to updated sports coverage. The free app is available for download on the Itunes App Store as well as directly from wsspaper. com/app. The production of the app was spearheaded by WSS web editor Adam Canady ’12. “The hardest part was inte-

grating it with our content management system so that staffers could post content on the website and have it similtaniously appear on the app,” Canady said. The app was created with the purpose of allowing on-the-go West students the ability to access West Side Story content wherever they go. “It provides seamless access to updated West news for the whole West community,” Canady said.

Scan this with your iPhone to download the WSS app or go to!

Northwest whites it out BY BRENNA DEERBERG

The recent rezoning of the Iowa City school district has resulted in many big changes for students at Northwest Junior High. Current seventh graders who attended Lincoln Elementary and were slated to attend West High, will now feed into City High after attending Northwest. With this monumental change, comes the struggle to make sure these transitioning students aren’t excluded in any way. Thus, this school year the green and gold colors that have signified Northwest for decades have been replaced with a green and white color scheme. According to Gregg Shoultz, Northwest’s principal, the new colors were a result of various discussions between parents from Lincoln, the PSTO, student government and Northwest’s central office staff, as well as various other faculty members. “We got a lot of feedback and all of it was different,” Shoultz said. According to Ally McKeone ’16, a student at Northwest who won’t be affected by the rezoning, there was a class vote in which the majority of Northwest students voted to keep the traditional green and gold. Another suggestion by the central office staff 04 NEWS

RUMOR BUSTER PRESS-CITIZEN “YOUR SCHOOLS” PAGE GONE? Although Rob Daniels, former editor of the “Your Schools” page, is leaving, the Press-Citizen has extended an invitation to both the West Side Story and City High’s newspaper, The Little Hawk, to start compiling sidebars as well as the A+ Achiever segment on the “Your Schools” page. The two high school publications will trade off on a bi-weekly basis. “I think this is a great opportunity for high school journalists to cover the people they know best: their classmates. Hopefully we will be able to use the A+ Achiever to feature a diverse range of students who really deserve this recognition,” said WSS staff memeber Anna Egeland ’12. If you would like to nominate a student for a profile, send them to Sara Whittaker at




ABOVE: Due to redistricting, Northwest recently changed school colors to green and white, but the facade still wears green and gold. was for Northwest to take on the Iowa bad. State University colors, red and gold. “I’d never heard about [the new colHowever, green and white did win out, ors] until they changed,” Yao said. “I and both students and administration think it’s a good idea. If they have half are glad. West [colors] and half City [colors] it’s “I don’t really like [the new colors.] I good.” think we should have just stayed green While opinions on the rezoning and and gold, [but] I’m glad they didn’t do new color scheme differ, Shoultz said red and gold,” McKeone said. that he doesn’t foresee any real op“I think keeping the green color was position or rebellion against the new so important because it’s an architec- colors. tural part of our school,” Shoultz said. “Most of [the students] grew up in “We couldn’t afford to change it.” green and gold, but [there shouldn’t According to BohanYao ’17, a student be any problems],” Shoultz said. “The who will be bused to City High in the eighth graders were great about it. We future, the color change and rezoning had a spirit day and they all came in were unexpected, but not necessarily white.”

Iowa is one of three states that does not have a helmet law for moped riders. But that may change. A new movement for a law requiring helmets for all nonadult moped riders has been led by West students including Leah Murray ’12, Caroline Van Voorhis ’12 and Olivia Lofgren ’12, along with other community members. Their voices are being heard in the government. “I am extremely excited about the possibility of Iowa having a helmet law...In the past there has always been organized opposition to this legislation, but this year there will be organized support to counter those who are opposed,” said Iowa state representative Mary Mascher.




Canin says “ciao”


Amiela Canin ’14 is moving to Italy for the next six months BY JULIANN SKARDA


Canin says “addio” to West High and “buongiorno” to Italy. Canin will be spending the next six months living overseas in Orvieto, Italy, while continuing her West High classes ART BY// ASHLYNN YOKOM via email.


“I think AP Euro will help her appreciate and understand the rich history of Italy that she will have a number of opportunities to explore and experience ... I hope she is able to get to the art museums in Italy,” Johnson said.

As a way to share her experience with students at West, Canin will be keeping and frequently updating a blog about her immersion in Italian culture. She says she plans to use Tumblr to write journal entries and post photos of her

discoveries. “Doing everyday things is going to be completely different … but I’m looking forward to seeing the architecture in Rome and the sunny weather,” Canin said.

Bresnahan breaks records BY CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS

that overachieved and overcame immeasurable hardship and a team that was determined to meet their goals for Caroline [Found]. The fact that they could do this without [Found] is a tes-

[ She’s the Mississippi Valley Conference and class 4A coach of the year. She was honored this season for her 600th career win. She was nominated for National Coach of the Year and the Press-Citizen Person of the Year. Still stumped? She also coached the West High volleyball team to a 39-6 record and a state title. You guessed it, this accomplished woman is volleyball head coach Kathy Bresnahan. Of all the recognition she received this season, Bresnahan is most Coach Bresnaproud of her 600 career wins. han coaches “[Career wins] represents all the the varsity girls great kids I’ve gotten to be around, volleyball team all the great teams and memories,” at the state volBresnahan said. leyball tournaBresnahan said all the awards and ment. Bresnanominations were an honor, but humhan achieved bly accredited them to the players and 600 wins this the team. season and was “It was just because the kids overcame named MVC and so much this year that I got those class 4A coach awards,” Bresnahan said. “I had a team of the year.

“It takes an extraordinary person to get through a season like this and have so much success. [Bresnahan] kept a lot of us going. She adapted her coaching to us because it was so different. She cares so much about each of her players and checks on us every day. She put the team and all of the players’ grief and needs before her own, even though she was really hurting too,” said Fliehler. Fliehler’s explanation sums up exactly why Principal Jerry Arganbright nominated Bresnahan for the Press-Citizen Person of the Year. “During the aftermath of losing Caroline Found, I think Bres held it all together to help so many others work through such a tragic loss for our school-and of course, the many students and staff who loved Caroline.  I think [Bresnahan’s] work this fall was imperative to helping our students and school try to process such a terrible happening.”


juliann.skarda Amiela Canin ’14 will be saying “addio” to the dreary Iowa City weather this winter break and spending the next six months in Orvieto, Italy. Canin and her family will be finishing out the school year in the town located just an hour outside of Rome while her father participates in a writer’s workshop. She will continue her classes at West through email correspondence and a blog she plans to share with the student body. Though she only recently began packing and picking up a handful of Italian phrases, Canin has been preparing for the trip since the beginning of the school year through her enrollment in AP European History. Her instructor, Melanie Johnson, believes that the hands on experience will improve both her understanding and experience in the class.

“It takes an extraordinary

person to get through a

season like this and have so much

success.” -Kelley Fliehler ’12

tament to their character,” Bresnahan said. Kelley Fliehler ’12, who took over as starting setter this year, believes Bresnahan deserves the awards, not only for coaching a successful season, but for helping the team cope with the loss of Found, their former teammate.


27th annual State Winter Games Jan. 9-11, 2012 Dubuque, Iowa

Enjoy Your

Winter Break

December 21 - January 3

Sundown Mountain Ski Area Grand River Center Albrecht Acres Mystique Community Ice Center

425 Athletes, One Amazing Cause


Write around the block

Writing has enriched the lives of these Iowa City writers and their readers, both through the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and writing in a city of literature.


Coffee shops, libraries and small apartments across Iowa City are brimming with writers, each in their own secluded intellectual world. Participants in the famous Iowa Writers’ Workshop cozy up with a cup o’ Joe and their fiction. As for how they got here, the stories of these literary masters are as varied as the writers themselves. For Chinelo Okparanta, the journey here was an odyssey of religion, self discovery and exploring the culture of her native home. Okparanta was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Through her writing, she addresses many of the social issues her country faces. “The combination of who I am [gives me a unique literary voice] because I’m an American, not native born, but an American; and also an African. This combination makes me uniquely aware of social issues like sexuality and gender,” Okparanta said. These, she said, are issues which few African authors are willing to examine. As a child, Okparanta was raised in an intensely religious household on a “highly traumatized continent.” Her family and peers used religion as a way to escape difficulties found in daily life. Similarly, Okparanta has used religious exploration in her life and writing. “In trying to understand religion, I tried to understand myself,” Okparanta






Righ write t





A a.dee said. of how to get students rberg DEERB @wss Raised as a Jehova’s Witness, to be receptive. It’s pape ERG High Okparanta was taught that ho- the same in middle school mosexuality is wrong in all forms school, high school students perhaps have an and there were few resources and college. People easier time than any other age group available to her to contradict this come into class with sympathizing with a full schedule. The frame of mind. all these issues in average high school student is balancing “If you wrote about it, you’d be their lives, and it’s five to seven classes worth of homework, banished from the country. You a game of getting familial and social obligations and a host can be killed for being homosex- them to let go of extracurricular activities on top of it all. ual [in Nigeria],” she said. for the hour or It’s often hard to find time to do the things Because of these experiences, two that I have you love. Now, imagine carting two children Okparanta found herself in a them. Teaching around to their activities, keeping on top of unique situation once she gradu- is a very imyour own obligations, staying in touch with ated from college and started portant job. your friends and still finding time to indulge in writing. I help them a favorite hobby. Welcome to Iowa City writer “I realized I have stories to tell escape.” Wendy Henrichs’ daily life. because of my heavy history,” Henrichs knew that she wanted to write from the she said. “I was always aware I time she was very young. Fortunately, she had much had a gift for writing, but I never more free time to write then. thought to use it [professionally], “I was an early reader with three older sisters,” Henbecause I knew I needed a job richs said. “Since age seven, I wanted to write books and that could pay the bills.” my sisters would proudly show my writings and drawings Okparanta initially sought to be to their friends. I think this was an early influence for me. a teacher, and taught school afAnd, because they were either off to school or were leaving ter earning her master’s degree. me in the dust, I spent a lot of time in solitude, listening to When she enrolled at the Univerbooks on record or reading by myself, which also helped to sity of Iowa for her PhD five years shape my interests.” ago, “The idea was to go about it When she reached college, Henrichs thought she wanted to in a doctorate way, I’d continue write adult books, but eventually realized that her true love lay writing on the side but not in the in children’s books. Upon graduating, Henrichs was holding down workshop.” three jobs and considered applying to the Writers’ Workshop. Unfortunately, the PhD proHowever, Henrichs got married, had children and got swept up in gram was dropped by the Uniher life. While she never applied, Henrichs has great respect for the versity. Iowa City Writers’ Workshop. “I went back and taught middle “I appreciate and admire the Workshop for making Iowa City a special school, but I felt I had unfinished place where literary cred is sandblasted under the very streets we walk business in Iowa,” Okparanta on,” Henrichs said. “Just being here in Iowa City is inspiring to me.” said. Henrichs recently had two of her picture books published: I Am Tama, Now she has graduated and is Lucky Cat and When Anju Loved Being an Elephant. Currently, Henrichs is writteaching at Iowa, with plans to ing for an older age group. teach creative writing in the “Although picture books are my main love, I am also striving to write a future, Okparanta gets to put young adult novel,” Henrichs said. “I remember that difficult time of life and the pieces together. sympathize with young people. My parents told me, ‘These are the best years of “Teaching is psychologiyour life.’ Thank goodness I didn’t believe that for one second.Your best years are cal,” she said. “It’s the art ahead of you. Going off to college and into adulthood is scary and stressful, but it’s the beginning of something wonderful and something every young person has to go through to get to their happiness.”



West dancers shine in Christmas classic

Three West High students performed in Nolte academy’s Nutcracker production


ABOVE: the Nolte Academy of Dance’s 2011 production of the nutcracker ballet feautred three West High students: Hannah Abram, Blake Boseneiler and Katie Milani. to watch me try to dance,” said Nolte tice every Saturday, executing difficult You never want to be the one that BY BLAKE OETTING dancer Hannah Abram ’14. moves repeatedly. Dancers also must screws it up,” Abram said. Although the dancers at Nolte have have passion for what they are dancing This holiday staple is a tradition that here are some things that just won numerous awards at state-wide for, and the ability to convey the mes- is performed annually because of its scream Christmas. Tall pine competitions, the Nutcracker perfor- sage of the show correctly and clearly. beauty and elegance and is just as remitrees, glinting red and green mance holds a special slot. It seems though, that these dancers niscent of December holidays as those lights and fluffy white snow give you a “It’s a very different environment and have a very distinct view of why they holiday wreaths. It speaks the message feeling of festivity. These feelings usua very different type of show because it are performing this show. of the holidays through the movement ally drive people to sing carols, feast on is a full show,” Abram said. “It’s a traditional story about Christ- and leaps of dance just as movies exham or simply lend a helping hand. But The show has a large variety of differ- mas. We do it because it is a classic bal- press the message through the Grinch, for the dancers at Nolte Dance Acadent roles with West dancers occupying let that everyone knows,” Boseneiler Cindy Loo-who and Santa Claus. For emy, the spirit of the holidays inspires some of the most coveted slots. These said. many, the holidays just aren’t the same them to put on a show. That’s right girls have not only accepted their roles The instructors at Nolte know how without the chance to view the play in folks, the local ballerinas and danseurs but also enjoy them. important of an experience this show action just as they’re incomplete with(a term for male ballet dancers) of “I’m snow queen. I like it because it is, and encourage as many young danc- out reindeer, Nat King Cole’s ChristNolte are back to Arabesque, Bourrée has challenged me,” said Nolte dancer ers to participate as possible. mas CD and presents sitting under the and Chassé in the spirit of the holidays. Blake Boseneiler ’13. “Grace, our ballet instructor told me it tree. The dancers in this play know the West High is lucky enough to have “I’m a Russian [dancer] and Arabian would be a good opportunity,” Abram importance in their efforts on stage, several of the dancers from the show. [dancer]; I like these because they’re said. they understand that it has influenced These girls have honed their skills two completely different parts,” said But these girls know that performing many a family’s traditions and they love through many years at the Nolte studio Nolte dancer Katie Milani ’13. in this show is as important if not more to see people come back every year for in Coralville. In order to pull off a show, a show that important then other recitals they par- more. “I have participated in dance for ten has been performed internationally ticipate in. “It feels rewarding to put on a show,” years at Nolte. My mom put me in it since 1892, the dancers at Nolte prac“The nutcracker is a huge tradition. Milani said. because she thought it would be funny





Two West Side Story staffers went without staples of a modern life and lived to tell the tale.



ABOVE: After giving up her car, Pombie Silverman ’13 holds her bike above her head.




Olive Carrollhach ’13 poses with her favorite devices: her cellphone, iPod and laptop.

I’ve put this off again and again. I knew this assignment was coming, but I delayed it with excuses of phone calls and insomnia only a good song can cure. I won’t be playing “Without You” by David Guetta as I shut down 10 FEATURE

Alright, time to bike to school. I’ve done this plenty of times before in the spring, why should the cruel, freezing, windy winter weather be any more difficult? It doesn’t look too cold. I think two sweaters should do the trick. I make it to school safely enough. It’s actually faster for me to bike to school since I live so close. As someone who doesn’t actually own a car of my own, I find biking very convenient. I also live in University Heights, which is close to everything I will ever need to travel to. Except maybe my best friend’s house, who lives in North Liberty. Sorry Molly Leveille ’13, you are driving to my house.

right? Maybe two sweaters weren’t everywhere. It has given me the opporenough. . . let’s try three for tomorrow. tunity to collect my thoughts without having to worry about running over a squirrel or riding the clutch. It’s a nice So the whole character-building idea feeling knowing that I can look pretty isn’t working out so well. My bike is a stylish while riding a bike and still be piece of crap. Both of the tires are flat eco-friendly. and the gears suck. The chain decided to slip off my bike right as I trekked up the largest hill in downtown Iowa City. Did I mention there were plenty of college students surrounding me? And some pretty attractive ones, might I add. Well, this is awkward. However, this has given me an opportunity to whip out my fancy handyman skills. You may call me Rosie the Riveter if you wish.

I’ve got to make a trip downtown to the library. I really don’t want to walk, so biking it is. The rain is quite aggressive today. And it’s cold. Also, I’ve got to stop assuming that my bike has the same features as a car, like, heating and windshield wipers. So let’s be positive. This kind of stuff builds character,

Now that I have started early bird P.E. the environment has become about ten degrees colder. But I’ve become less stubborn: instead of sweaters, I’ve settled on wearing my winter coat (but I’m just as cold). Overall, though, today wasn’t bad at all. Although the weather hasn’t treated me too fairly, I am starting to enjoy riding my bike

my laptop because that would require an iPod, so I guess I’ll have to content myself with humming instead. Five minutes in and I can tell this is going to be a long week. I suppose I’ll go... do homework. Fantastic. Five minutes later: Shoot, what was the AP Gov. assignment? Anyone know? I guess I’ll just send a letter to Mr. Shutt and hope for the best.

my stimulation-free state. I have been more organized with my social life and school work. I have been more productive without the distractions of iPod games, Facebook and the ever-tantalizing Hulu. I can feel myself evolving into a better, smarter, (and dare I say better looking?) form of person. I’m looking to class reading assignments for entertainment. I want my real self back.

Without the alarm on my phone, this morning I relied on my running watch to wake me up. Unbeknownst to me, this watch is still set to daylight savings time. I awoke at “7:50,” ten minutes after I should have left for school, in a blind panic. I grabbed a packet of popcorn for lunch and a pear for breakfast and hit the road at about 50 m.p.h. When I arrived to an empty parking lot, I finally checked my car clock, which read 7:01. I proceeded to curl up and nap for an hour.

Today I completed all my homework before 2. Not 2 a.m., 2 p.m. I am really not myself without my constant stream of procrastination.

After the initial shock, I feel as if my brain and schedule have acclimated to

It is so hard to do online homework without the Internet... This is going to require some serious teamwork with my dad.Whenever I tell people the reason I can’t use my phone or have a life, they always laugh and say “Good luck with that!” sarcastically. When I tell them I’m actually on day five, the scene doesn’t improve; they just look terribly sad for me. Is this what our lives have come to? When the world ends

So, it’s the weekend. I could go out and bike back to my house in the wee late hours…or my friends could just come over. The latter it is. Sometimes the bike can’t get me to the movie theater, but it still does a pretty great job getting me to the places that I actually need to go to. Overall, I’d say not using a car for a week was a pleasant experience. While it was hard to give up a car at first, I realized that I don’t actually need one. I can still get everywhere I need to go, and at the same time save gas, money and burn up a few calories along the way. Not everyone will completely give up a car, but it’s not too much of a sacrifice to carpool or whip out the ol’ twowheeler every once in a while. ART BY// ASHLYNN YOKOM

next year we teenagers are screwed. If zombies or giant bugs don’t get us, our texting-deprived thumbs surely will.

At the start of all of this, I believed that I didn’t have an unnaturally large dependence on technology. I was sure that without it I would be the same person. I thought constant contact and entertainment was something society inflicts on me, but not to the extent that I can’t break free. Guess what, former Olive? You’re wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Perhaps in the golden days when facts were found in the research section, everyone knew what a thesaurus was and Facebook was a book full of people’s smiling mugs, people were better. Now, perhaps instead of exercising self-denial, we should just be grateful for what we have now and exercise enough restraint so that it doesn’t possess us. 10 p.m.: Self-reflection aside, I just really want my phone, my life and my freedom back. This is impossible. Technology owns my rear end and I want it to stay that way.


A healthy interest in medicine


Students get a head start on their careers with West High’s nursing class BY POMBIE SILVERMAN Hematoma. Cardiopathy. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Any of these terms sound familiar? While these words sound completely foreign to most students at West High, for the nursing class at West High, these words have become part of their everyday vocabulary. The class is currently taught by Kirkwood professor Valerie Bauer during sixth and seventh period at West. The class switches between two curricula every other day, alternating between a medical terminology class and a nursing skills class. In medical terminology, students learn medical language by focusing on the individual body systems, for example, the digestive system and musculoskeletal system. “[For the medical terminology class] we memorize and define medical terms and conditions. On average we memorize 50 to 75 new words a week,” said Allie Gilbaugh ’12. “It feels like I’m learning a new language.” In the nursing skill class, Health Occupations, students learn everyday skills a nurse needs to assist patients,

such as helping patients get in and out of bed, brushing their teeth and helping them undress. “ The lab portion of this class focuses on skills for care giving within the industry. They learn many skills from taking vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse, to safe patient transfers in and out of bed.There is heavy emphasis on safety, both for the students and the patient,” Bauer said. With heavy emphasis on communication techniques, working within a group, critical thinking including ethics in health care and even writing a resume, students believe the class can get fairly intense. “We have homework for anywhere from an hour to three hours; it depends on what we are learning,” Gilbaugh said. “It’s worth it, though; I’m glad I’m taking the class. This is a college class, but we don’t have to pay for it or drive to Kirkwood.” Senior Brett Guerra agrees and also believes the coursework can get heavy. “[In the class] you have to do a lot of studying on your own and keep up on your own like a college class. It’s your responsibility to learn what you

need to know. It’s a very doable class if you’re self-motivated,” Guerra said. A perk of the class is the small class size. For Gilbuagh, the small class size is helpful for learning. “With a small class size, there’s a very relaxing, easy-to-learn environment. [The students] know each other really well, which allows us to learn a lot. It’s like a little family,” Gilbaugh said. Guerra took the class in order to prepare for a nursing program at a four-year university next year. However, students aspiring to be physical therapists, anesthesiologists and CPR specialists are also enrolled. “I recommend this class to anyone that’s going into the medical field; it’s a really great class and we go into a lot of medical detail,” Guerra said. “I’m learning a lot of stuff that I didn’t know before. You really get to ask questions you want and figure out things you didn’t know. [This class] really reinforces that I want to go into the nursing program.” Gilbaugh agrees. “I just really like stuff in the medical field and helping other people; I find it interesting. [This class] does a good job

of fulfilling those interests and gives you a basic understanding of the medical field,” Gilbaugh said.

Allie Gilbaugh ’12 and Morgan Lytle ’12 practice lifting and moving patients in bed during their sixth and seventh hour class.


Iron men

West High students are driven to pursue auto mechanics at City High BY ANSEL LANDINI When you slide into your car before school and turn the key to the ignition, it doesn’t simply roar the car to life. The ignition must send an electrical charge to the spark plugs through ignition wires. Which then continue through the distributor, down a second set of ignition wires, and finally into the engine cylinders. This is the action that brings the mechanical beast a breath of cool morning air as you head out. A process that takes place in less than a second. This process is exactly what West High students Nathan Lade ’12 and Zack Binns ’13 are learning in the early hours of their school day inside the walls of City High. And although it can seem like a lot of work to learn the ins and outs of a car engine, it all pays off as the two of them take a step in front

of the mechanical game. Automotive Technology is laid out in three parts, one per trimester. During first trimester, the students learned many of the mathematical calculations and labor costs that come in the Mechanic business. This trimester, they are getting deep into the building blocks of the engine. How everything works piece by piece. And for the final third of the year students will be hands on almost every day in the shop tying everything together. “We never leave the shop, there are desks set up, and an overhead for transparencies, but every Friday we actually work,” Binns said. Though the environment can be fun for the students, there’s still a lot of pressure to pay attention and do well. “It’s kind of strict, like if you don’t stay awake at all times, you’re going to fail. There’s zero tolerance for that and [teacher Dave Raaf] will just tell you to

leave if you do,” Lade said. Unfortunately, this is the last year that Automotive Technology will be taught at City High. The shop area is being torn out and replaced by their new band wing. Lade expressed his disappointment with what is to come. “We had college people come in and talk to us. These days mechanics are in high demand. West doesn’t have the class anymore and, I mean, without it at City, it’s going to cancel people’s dreams of becoming mechanics,” Lade said. The class will have to take place in the University Heights Art college as the renovations dominate its final year, but the students aren’t dwelling on the fact. “I feel like it’s a tremendous loss that people will no longer be able to study it and make an informed decision about the career and I feel extremely lucky for taking it,” Binns said. ART BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH


West students Zack Binns ’13 and Nathan Lade ’12 watch a lively demonstration during second hour mechanics class at City High. Both students drive to the class every day, and return to West for the remainder of their day.



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to study! Don’t forget

[January 11]

JAN. 12






e’ve all heard about it in health class. We’ve used the words “anorexic” and “bulimic” as adjectives to describe skinny girls, making casual jokes about them, not knowing that eating disorders are one of the most deadly mental illnesses, but for students struggling with eating disorders, the disease is much more than a diet. “[It bothers me] how people don’t see [eating disorders] as mental illnesses, which is what they really are,” said Hannah*, a student diagnosed as having anorexia with bulimic tendencies, and who is currently receiving out-patient treatment. The physical effects of eating disorders can be obvious for severely underweight sufferers, although usually one cannot pick a disordered person out of a crowd. A person with EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) usually has a fluctuating or maintained weight. “In a year, I’ve lost 100 pounds, and gained 90 of it back,” said a blogger in Tumblr’s “thinspo” community with diagnosed EDNOS. “I lost 30 pounds, I had starved all my muscle away, my bones stuck out in a disgusting way...I looked sick,” Hannah said. When recovering from an eating disorder, the two main treatment techniques are in-patient and outpatient treatment. Those receiving out patient treatment live at home, going to the hospital for therapy appointments and medical observation. In-patient treatment is a live-in facility where the disordered live at the center for round-the-clock observation, often for weeks or even months. “In-patient treatment is so stressful. They wake you up at all hours to take your vitals [blood pressure, blood

samples, heart rate, etc.] ...It’s really not fun,” said Jennifer*, a recovered anorexic. According to the National Eating Disorders Association or NEDA, full cures for eating disorders can take years to a lifetime and eating disorders cause death in 20% of those diagnosed, through health complications or suicide. In recent years, an epidemic of young women have been involved in the “pro-ana” community; short for “pro-anorexia”. “Pro-ana” is mimicking the symptoms of eating disorders, generally anorexia and bulimia, for weight loss purposes. Those involved in “pro-ana” starve themselves





was centered around

my eating disorder

every last

second of my day.”

-An anonymous source

and justify it by calling it “anorexia.” Those involved think of eating disorders as diets, not mental illnesses. “[Starving yourself and calling it anorexia] is like saying you’re schizophrenic so people will look at you funny,” Hannah said. “Pro-ana” has often led to health complications for those involved, and if one who participates in “pro-ana” behaviors has a predisposition for mental illness, their voluntary eating irregularities could become an actual eating disorder. Pro-ana has also led to complications in treatment centers with doctors being unable to properly treat true eating disorders because of having to deal with treating those participating in pro-ana behaviors, who more so have issues with simply not liking their bodies. In treatment

centers, doctors become preoccupied with assuring the “patients” they’re “beautiful” and “good people”, while some people who suffer from clinical admit that eating disorders don’t center all of their attention on body image. The daily life of someone with an eating disorder is a lot different than what one would imagine. “It was not that I wanted to be ‘beautiful’ or ‘thin’, it was that I had to change it, because I could control it, and that’s what every aspect of my day was about,” Jennifer said. In the height of Hannah’s disorder, it was wake up, work out, avoid food, avoid people, avoid the world. “Everything was centered around my eating disorder, every last second of my day,” Hannah said. What a lot of people don’t understand is that although eating disorders manifest themselves in the department of weight and wanting to be thin, eating disorders go much deeper than someone simply thinking that they are overweight. “[Eating] isn’t that simple. Eating couldn’t fix the real, underlying problem,” Hannah said. Often times eating disorders are paired with depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting, bipolar disorder and various other mental illnesses. “It’s about control,” said Lisa*, whose sister suffered from bulimia in 2009, but has since recovered. “I just remember she looked so frail and breakable.” The NEDA states that in a single lifetime, an estimated 50,000 people will die from eating disorders. Only 10% of people with eating disorders receive treatment and fully recover. Hannah advises those who are struggling or know others struggling with disordered eating behavior to seek help. “Trust me, get out while you can, I wish I could have,” Hannah said. *Names have been changed




Pageant queen, only sixteen BY BRENNA DEERBERG

If the closest you’ve ever come to pageantry is Miss Congeniality, you’re like Ivy Lenane ’13 just months ago. And then she got sixth place in her first pageant. “[Being in a pageant has] always kind of been on my bucket list,” Ivy said. When Ivy received her acceptance letter to the Miss Teen USA: Iowa Preliminaries at the beginning of last summer, her mother, Chris Lenane’s, first thought was, “we are definitely not pageant people.” Ivy seconded this notion, saying her family was very supportive, but Chris was not a typical pageant mom. Chris helped Ivy put together outfits and practice for the interview round of the pageant. The interview was one of the pageant’s three parts; the others being a swimsuit round and an evening gown round. In addition to preparing with her mom, Ivy attended a workshop from June to October to prepare with other girls. “It was more of a lecture type setting with the person who runs the pageant,” Ivy said. Once the 41 contestants had finished the workshop, it came time for the rehearsals. “[The rehearsals were] fun because we had music blasting and everyone was dancing backstage,” Ivy said. “It’s hard not to make friends when you’re con-

fined with them for two days.” The overall atmosphere and the attitudes of the other girls surprised both Ivy and Chris. Chris said she expected the other girls to be mean and snotty, but most of the contestants had a good attitude about the competition. When the pageant itself finally PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM// IVY LENANE commenced, Ivy Lenane ’13 (middle) poses for the evening gown Ivy’s months portion of the Miss Teen USA Iowa Preliminaries, her of preparation paid off. Ivy felt first pageant. Lenane placed 6th overall. she did particufluke. I was really proud of her.” larly well on the interview portion of Ivy, who hadn’t expected to make the the pageant. top 15, had to scramble to put together “The interview was what I scored new outfits. Ivy ended up winning sixth highest on,” said Ivy. “I like to see [the in- place overall - a much higher place than terview] as more of a conversation with she had originally expected. the judges. It was less nerve-wracking Ivy felt that the pageant was a very thinking of it that way.” positive experience for her, and plans to And score high she did. Ivy and Chris participate in another in the future. were delightfully surprised when Ivy “I feel more empowered as a person made the top 15 round. Ivy was the only and more self-confident,” Ivy said. “I girl in the top 15 without a coach or think anyone would if they had to walk professional training. across a stage in front of a live audience “I was so excited,” said Chris. “[The in a swimsuit and heels.” pageant] was something she just did as a



14 PROFILES Dress size zero, prefect bone structure, air brushed face and the ideal hour glass figure - things many high school girls dream of. For Junior Kimberly Bates, going against the stereotype she sees in magazines and on TV motivates her at each modeling photo shoot. “We all know that modeling stereotype. The dress size zero, perfect eyes and perfect brows. But that isn’t true, that’s not what it takes to model,” Bates said. Even Bates was relucatant to try it. “As a kid I didn’t want to model; I had low self-esteem, but my mom wanted me to get into this career. I wasn’t pushed into it but persuaded into mod-

eling,” Bates said. Bates’ first modeling opportunities were in sixth and seventh grade where she had to act like a bully in a photoshoot, and from there, many more opportunities to model presented themselves. Her photographer, Cliff Jette, who works for the Gazette newspaper helps her find clothes and locations for her photoshoots. “I model for Raygun, Capri College and do fashion stories for the Gazette. Cliff gets my sizes and outfits from the Dress Barn. This is just my Hannah Montana life,” said Bates, who originally had dreams of another kind of secret stardom. “As a child I always wanted to be a


Rebecca Hodge, West High graduate and sister of David Hodge ’13, was crowned the 2011 Miss Iowa USA. Rebecca Hodge ’08

WSS: How did you prepare for the pageant? Rebecca Hodge: I had never done a pageant before so I had to talk to a few pageant girls so they could show me the ropes. My pageant coach, Roxanne, helped me out a lot with what to expect as well. WSS: What was your favorite part of the competition and why? RH: My favorite part of the competition was definitely the swimsuit portion. I thought to myself “If I can walk on a stage in front of hundreds of people wearing a swimsuit and heels... I can do anything.” [The swimsuit portion] was what I was most nervous for, so accomplishing that definitely gave me a confidence boost. WSS: What are your responsibilities now that you have been crowned Miss Iowa? RH: As Miss Iowa USA, I attend many charity events, banquets, walk-a-thons, those types of events. It has been a blast so far. Preparing for Miss USA is also a main focus. COMPILED BY// CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS

singer. I sang in church from fourth to ninth grade, but freshman year I realized I want to be on magazines; I wanted to be known for something. Modeling isn’t something to be cocky about; it has nothing to do with looks, family or money. You don’t need a professional, anyone can do this - if I can do this then anyone can,” Bates said. Her mother continues to be supportive of Bates’ career. “I hope she sees that outer beauty can be a matter of makeup and lights and that inner beauty is what truly lasts. I want her to remain modest and yet appreciative of the opportunity she’s been given,” said Bates’ mother, Molly Rossiter. “I’m extremely proud of the humble way she has dealt with this opportunity.”


Willet’s wooden wonders BY JULIANN SKARDA Each of us sees the world a little differently. We peer out through our own unique lens, shaped by our experiences and by time. For every student in wood working class just hoping to keep all ten digits, there is another finding an outlet for expression. And for every person drifting off during history class, another finds inspiration. Enter Carlie Willet, an artist of many talents and mediums, and also the Assistant Principal’s Secretary in the main office. “I love history. People and their experiences intrigue me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was young. It is safe to say their recollections have shaped where my interest lies

in terms of subject matter, “ she said. Willet’s fascination with history is complemented by a love for art. She is well-versed in many different art styles and forms. “I enjoy artist books, graphic design, printmaking, painting, photography, textiles and mixed media. My favorites are woodcut relief printing, silkscreen and loom weaving,” Willet said. Her favorite piece to date is a woodcut featuring the avian bird flu epidemic. Its intricate design was achieved by dividing one image onto three different cuts of wood before using them to create detailed and colorful prints. “Each print rolled through the press a total of 14 times . . .You can only move forward. The challenge is that each time you carve the block after printing you create more

Carlie Willet detail. You have to be in a mindset of working general to specific in terms of detail,” she said. As of this past summer, a number of her works can be found lining the walls of the Mormon Trek Java House. Willet not only enjoys her own work, but loves helping students to achieve their artistic potential as well. “I am involved with Art Club and Theatre West. There is so much talent here, and it is such a joy to meet and work with students interested in art.” she said.

Sophi’s snapshots BY ANNA EGELAND

Sophi Brenneman, a receptionist in the main office, has taken senior pictures for 22 West High students, including Bailey Countryman (top left), Angel Williams (bottom left), Justin Koethe (top center) and Fatima Amin (bottom right).

ABOVE: This is the final print in a series of 23 titled as “Jump School.” Inspired by her father who served in Vietnam, Carlie WIllet takes the viewer through the emotional experience of parachuting by change in color and contrast. As the final print, this shows the end of the experience toned down to black and white. LEFT: Carlie’s first imprinting photo,“In”, was inspired by a friend from her hometown, Williamsport, Indiana, who had just started as a volunteer firefighter. Whether you are emerging from the frigid depths of Lake Macbride in a prom dress or propped up on a rusty red tractor in a blue flannel shirt, your senior portraits are supposed to be memorable. They are, after all, the only chance you get to actually choose what goes in the yearbook next to your name. Thanks to Sophi Brenneman, receptionist in the Main Office, that stunning shot you’ve been dreaming about might be just down the hall. Brenneman has always loved photography and taking pictures of her daughter, Jordin Brenneman ’11, her daughter’s friends, her nieces and her family’s pets. Brenneman’s love for photography combined with encouragement from others to pursue a business led to the creation of SophiB Photography, Brenneman’s up-and-coming business. So far, Brenneman has taken official senior pictures of 22 West High students and she is scheduled to take five more this winter. “For practice I’ve taken so many more [photos]. My daughter, Jordin, and her friends have been my models for

years,” Brenneman said. Brenneman says she also takes family and baby portraits for friends and fellow West High faculty memSophi bers, but her favorBrenneman ite type of photo is the senior portrait. “I get inspiration from magazines… it’s fun to try to recreate some of the pictures I see in the fashion magazines. In another life I want to be a fashion photographer, setting a stage with props, gorgeous clothes, make-up, etc.,” Brenneman said. Brenneman says she plans to continue taking senior photos because she really enjoys getting to know the kids she photographs. Brenneman says she tries to capture the subjects’ personalities by making sure they are comfortable and happy. “A great photo shows the subject’s personality,” Brenneman said. “I love contrast…I love putting a pretty girl in a pretty dress in a back alley with graffiti.”










Let’s be honest, the family gathered around the Christmas tree has been done. For a twist on the holiday card classic, take a road trip to Eldon, Iowa, and pose in front of the same house two farmers scowled in front of in Iowa’s most famous painting: “American Gothic.” It’s the prefect corny representation of your down-home Iowa pride in a way worthy of awkward family photos – everything I’m looking for in a Christmas card. The visi-

tor’s center even loans out overalls, spectacles, pitchforks and dresses in assorted sizes for free, all you have to provide is the dour expression - and a photographer. In true rugged Iowa fashion, you have to pose and photograph yourself (which is actually part of the fun). And seriously, who doesn’t want to see mom and dad looking like fools? The visitor’s center also houses a free “American Gothic” exhibit, featuring the back story and pop culture parodies of the painting. The center is open Tuesday-Friday

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and SaturdayMonday 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Eldon is just over an hour and a half away – easily a day trip. And besides, it will count towards your quota for family bonding over the holidays - killing time while keeping you from killing each other. Or use the trip as an excuse to get away from the family for an afternoon and take off with some friends. Just don’t go looking for much more to do in Eldon - you won’t find it. COMPILED BY// ELEANOR MARSHALL ART BY //OLIVE CARROLLHACH




The wonderful hidden world of clocks in the walls of a busy Paris train station is an unlikely home for an orphaned boy. However, it’s absolutely perfect for little Hugo Caberet. The film’s beautiful settings, most of which are different areas of the train station, are a prime example of how special effects these days have come to shape our resplendent universe. If you think you know the plot to this movie 16 A&E

as you walk into the theatre, be prepared for a shocking change of pace as what happens may confuse even you. On the outside the plot follows a boy trying to build a robot that may contain secrets of its past. On the inside, though, a grander scheme of things will connect him to a cold-hearted old man. Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) takes the scene. Besides Hugo’s bouts with Georges, he has a relationship with Georges’ daughter Isabelle, played by Chloë Grace Moretz. In all honesty

when she asks Hugo to come with her to a secret place, I thought she was going to kill him, whistle, and then Nicholas Cage was going to jump out of no where dressed as batman and with a big smile say “Nice Job, hon!” Luckily it didn’t. In the end, the film will make you sad, make you happy and make you utterly confused as clowns riding a horse with a broken neck cross the screen to the tune of Erik Satie. COMPILED BY// ANSEL LANDINI


Heavy guitar and piano layered with tinkling xylophone accents gives Coldplay’s new album a surreal fantasy vibe. Unlike their previous album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, this melodic gem is surprisingly free of orchestral instrumentation and thick prominent rhythms. Instead, Coldplay has contrasted major chords with melancholy lyrics in songs such as “Up in Flames” and “Us Against the World.” This album shows the band’s progression and willingness to experiment: they even go so far as featuring Rihanna on their track “Princess of China.” Through Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay communicates the action of finding freedom through creativity and self-expression. While this album seems like less of a powerful, driving force than previous ones, it is definitely worth a listen. Songs like “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” and “Paradise” will take you on a journey you will never want to come back from and you will find yourself singing along in the car, creating your own third part harmony. …or maybe that’s just me. COMPILED BY// ANNA EGELAND



Are you a foodie? Do you daydream of desserts and possible feasts that could await you when you get home from school? Does your cooking ability consist of pouring cereal, putting Easy-Mac in the microwave and hastily washing apples then drying them on your pants leg? If you’re tired of the mediocrity that is your lunch, check out There’s the wacky as well as the ordinary. From sandwiches made with Ramen and ham to classics such as the Reuben or Peanut Butter and Jelly. People cut their sandwiches in half, scan them, and send them to this blog. If that’s not a symbol of the greatness of the internet, I don’t know what is. Food is shared (virtually, if not in reality), inspiration is gained (or jealousy, or maybe just hunger cramps) and a mild disgust is harbored for those who can make sandwiches like chefs.So for those of you out there with bananas and crackers for lunch, or a hastily-bought bag of Sun Chips, check out for virtual nourishment. COMPILED BY//ZORA HURST


January 3, 2012. For once this season, it isn’t a holiday. Maybe it’s the end of a family vacation or the final deadline for a college app. But Jan. 3 should ring a bell beyond the sounds of the season. It’s the date of the Iowa caucus, or the preliminary election held by each political party to determine their candidate in the general election Nov. 6, 2012. In case you live under the last un-politicized rock in Johnson County, Iowa has the first caucus in the nation – and not to brag, but winning here is kind of a big deal. At least, according to fellow Iowans it is. David Yepsen, who covered every caucus between 1976 and 2008 for the Des Moines Register wrote that no candidate has ever won a party’s nomination without placing in the top three in Iowa. The whole ordeal – the retail politics and the great debates, works both ways. Candidates reach out, and citizens are supposed to reach back and engage, said Kazra Zarei ’13, cofounder of the Young Democrats club. In fact, like Zarei, many of the loudest voices aren’t yet voters – they’re high school students. “If everyone thinks that one voice doesn’t matter, then no one will feel like anything can get done in politics,” he said. C.J. Drew ’12, is similarly politically active, though he’s on the other end of the political spectrum. Drew is already a politician in his own right, serving as both the Student Senate and senior class president this year. He is also a cofounder of the Young Republicans club. “I felt like there wasn’t really a place for conservatives in the school,” he said. Yo u n g

Republicans’ other founder, Joe Henderson ’12, hasn’t always been so Republican. Believe it or not, Henderson was once a “Hillary guy” – supporting democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primaries. His parents are both Democrats. Matt Johnson ’12 remembers political discussions with Henderson during third and fourth grade in which Henderson was more liberal than he was. Johnson is economically liberal and interested in foreign policy – founding International Affairs club this year. Johnson said his worldview didn’t really form until high school. But the story of Henderson’s political beliefs begins long before the ’08 elections. When he was six, his grandmother, a staunch conservative moved in with his family, and began explaining issues like oil drilling in the arctic to Henderson. Much later, he discovered the “Fox News fellows” and his aunt’s conservative blog in Idaho. “I started re-examining and re-evaluating my whole outlook on politics. [The change in my views] seems sudden, but it really wasn’t, it was gradual,” Henderson said. Henderson now describes himself as an “old school Republican,” driven by conservative economics without a strong stance on most social issues. “The issue that motivates me the most is the issue of liberty and freedom to pursue what you want. … I want that promise ensured for our generation,” he said. Henderson is now actively conservative – his twitter account is followed by prominent politicians like Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and former Presdient Bush adviser Karl Rove. In fact, he has been retweeted by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who he now supports for his party’s nominee. His tweet, directed at Gingrich, read “amazing specifics, powerful answers and a great comeback to [Fox News anchor] Chris Wallace’s

questions.” But around his family members and classmates, he says he is a little more careful. “I will admit it’s tough to live in a Democratic house in a Democratic town. I have to watch what I say. … I avoid anything political over Facebook because my family tends to see stuff there and it can make family gatherings awkward,” Henderson said, adding that he talks openly with friends at West who share his views – and many who don’t. As he has become more comfortable discussing his views, he enjoys discussions with those he disagrees with. As for 2012, elections aside, Henderson is graduating and considering a political science major, but not being a politician – or at least not a national one. “I don’t have the conscience for politics, or I hope I don’t,” he said. Since third grade, Johnson’s political development went in a somewhat different direction. Like Henderson, Johnson’s family dinner conversation growing up often included talking politics. “While I would say that my family has guided my political affiliations, I would not say that it has truly guided my worldview. I think I can truthfully say that I developed my worldview on my own in a very personal way,” he said. Johnson said he probably would have called himself a socialist 20-30 years ago, and believes in an “engagementist” approach to foreign policy, in which the U.S. uses its resources to “shift the potentials” for outcomes like democratization. He, like Henderson, feels that social issues are of secondary importance. He believes, simply put, that politics matter because they determine which problems get solved and how. “I also feel that staying politically aware is the most essential social responsibility we have. We get the government we deserve, no better, no

worse. … I believe that it is crucial to the survival and efficacy of our democratic society that people become much more informed on all of the problems of today. I wouldn’t say that it is important for young people to be opinionated and I wouldn’t pair it with being informed. I would hate to sound preachy, but I have seen the Promised Land and the Holy Grail of honest and frank political discussion; and not just in International Affairs Club. Set and uncompromising opinions only get in the way of political discussion,” he said. Zarei entered the political debate in junior high when his seventh grade Global Studies teacher and former peace corps volunteer Alisa Meggit often brought up political issues for discussion in class the year before the 2008 elections. While Zarei shares similar views with his parents, he says they try to expose him to all sides of an issue, and got him hooked on PBC and NPR. And they have helped personally inspire him to get involved. “Immigration is one [issue that motivated me] in a way because my parents are immigrants and moved here from Iran,” he said. Stephen Bork ’14, also a member of Young Democrats, is interested in political policy because it is so widely reaching – spanning infinite issues and touching students as well as adults. “A lot of times politicians don’t focus on students. We have to remember that by high school age, students are thinking about issues. Student politics provide an outlet for those students,” Bork said. Bork has long been one of “those students.” “One of my earliest memories is asking why Gore lost Florida in 2000. I have always had a sense of the political process,” Bork said. A process that is on its way to Iowa. Where will you be Jan. 3?

The WSS conducted a survey of the student body, see the results below.

1) How would you describe your political views? (1,378 students responded)



t ra





30% Don’t know



4) What has the strongest influence on your political views? (1,479 students responded)

Family Personal Experiences Other Media Religion Friends



(1,391 students responded)






18% More liberal



26% Re p

(1,412 students responded)

3) How have your political views changed during high school?

14% No

Neutral Independent


2) Do you support the same political party as your parents?



More conservative

My views haven’t changed



KRISTEN LINEBACK ’13 FAVORITE ALBUM Abbey Road by the Beatles. I really love the Beatles. It reminds me of my childhood. While all my friends listened to Hillary Duff, I listened to the Beatles. I felt a little isolated, they thought I was a freak. My dad introduced me to them when I was eight and I became obsessed. I listened to them all the time, knew all their songs. I even made my dad buy me Beatles t-shirts and a lunchbox. FAVORITE BOOK I really like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Tolkien creates a whole other world. I like books that can just put you in another zone. Some people have this kind of feeling with Pokémon or Harry Potter, but I have it with the Lord of the Rings series. FAVORITE MOVIE Slumdog Millionaire has such great music and enthusiasm. The characters have the initiative to get their lives going. [The director] took little kids from slums and featured them in the movie; it’s just really inspirational. When [Slumdog Millionaire] won best picture, I was about to cry. The cast looked like such a family on the stage. Plus, I really like Frieda Pinto. FAVORITE NOTE I love to play a C# on the French horn. No one else likes it. It’s cutting and dramatic; I like the tone quality on it. PHOTOS BY//ZORA HURST




BEST GIG ATTENDED I went to Madrid for vacation last summer and saw a classical concert there. It was a huge orchestra playing the last movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. It was absolutely amazing. There was a storm towards the end of the concert and in the distance there was lightning, like a movie. I was like, “Oh my God!” It was awesome. FAVORITE SONG I like to play Franz Liszt’s “Liebestraum” on the piano. The piece is very emotional and romantic. It’s technical to play, but you channel feeling into [the piece] and it calms you. RIGHT NOW I’M LOVING I’m obsessed with “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes right now. However, what I like changes every week. This song pumps me up and makes me happy. I just love singing this loud in the car. WISE WORDS Music is very emotional. It’s my thing. It’s what I enjoy doing. Some people have running, reading and writing, but I just love music. I can’t live without it. COMPILED BY// POMBIE SILVERMAN


Log on for more photos and exclusive web coverage .


P.O.S Of the month

1999 Plymouth Neon (Four-door)


At the Works in Progress showchoir concert, at City High, The Good Time Company performs their rendition of “Promises in the Dark.” West’s Varsity and JV show choirs will give complete performances at the Winter Swing Show Dec. 17.

Ready for a Good Time?

body to the same performance level. But everybody’s doing a great job and I think we’re going to be just fine,” Knapp said. For many members, that hard work definitely pays off.


It’s that time of year again. Get your dancing shoes ready, because it’s time for the annual Winter Swing Show feauturing The Good Time Company, West High’s varsity showchoir and Showtime, West’s JV performing comapny. This year, the choirs are putting in overtime, performing two shows in one day instead of the normal single show, giving the show choirs more chances to perform on stage. The shows are seen mainly as opportunities for both show choirs to prepare for the upcoming competition season. Running their entire show in front of an audience and practicing quick costume changes make competition performances run more smoothly. Showtime director Mary Kay Knapp notes that these are not easy elements to add. Both show choirs rehearse once a week to organize an entire show for a full season. It’s especially difficult this year, with a record number of members, including 56 in Showtime. “Just with having that many kids it takes a little bit longer to get every-

no, a dinner catered by local restaurant Mondo’s. During this dinner and the two shows, students or small groups have a chance to get on the stage themselves and perform special acts. Any student is allowed to audition, including those who aren’t in West’s music programs. Hence the wide varieties of special acts that often include performances from singing to tap dancing to Star Wars quartets of galaxies far, far away. “I‘m excited to see the special acts because I like seeing new talent and hearing the new songs. Also I like dancing it out in the shows,” said Good Time member Amy Schey ’13. The Winter Swing Shows will be on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., along with the West High Italiano dinner in between. And in the words of Good Time Company’s opener, “Tonight tonight it all begins tonight,” this year’s Winter Swing Show “won’t be just any night.” “What families can look forward to the most is a very entertaining evening of not only our show choirs, but our individual acts that really show the high level of talent thatWest High students have,” Knapp said.



“It’s kind of like

aawakening fun

for everybody.” Gage Van Dyke ’14

“It’s kind of like a fun awakening for everybody because you get on that stage and you’re proud of how far you’ve come. You’re wanting to perform and have fun because the process of getting to that point is hard work,” said Showtime member Gage Van Dyke ’14 Families and friends are also invited to eat together at the West High Italia-

Tessa Walz ’12

•No automatic windows/ locks •Unreliable •Vibrating steering wheel & driver side mirror •Poor acceleration •The horn once sounded like a train, then quieted to a dying animal and now makes no noise at all.

“The driver’s mirror vibrates so much when you’re driving and you can’t really see out of it that well. It takes forever to accelerate even if you’re flooring it [the gas pedal]. The steering wheel also vibrates a lot when you go over 60 m.p.h. or so.” COMPILED BY// QUENTIN MISIAG


21 A&E





TOP 10 MOVIE PICKS BY ANSEL LANDINI Mainstream film has its ups and downs. And many viewers find them less than unexpected. Whether it’s our ability to predict what is going to happen based solely on the title of the film or the all too familiar feelings we witness on the big screen, to put it frankly, we’re bored. Instead of thinking in terms of commonplace, let’s take a step back for a moment. Forget the ordinary and the predictable, open up our minds and take in what’s in front of us in a new sense. Sit back , relax and enjoy the unique recommendations of the four West Film Club presidents: Mary Bozaan ’12, Will Blair ’12, Katherine Stratton ’12 and Jane Moye-Rowley ’12. This is their top ten.



UN CHIEN ANDALOU A French silent film that skews one’s sense of time, the film follows a young woman named Simone as increasingly obscure events take place around her. “It’s a surrealist silent film. It was awful the first time because I actually watched it silent, then I found out there was an orchestral soundtrack and that made the movie absolutely great,” Moye-Rowley said.

WAKING LIFE A full length animated film concerning lucid dreaming and death, this film is awakening. “It’s a series of short philosophical bits. Each scene is by a different artist so you really have to pay attention to what’s happening or it won’t make any sense. The whole movie was an immersing new take on things,” Stratton said.

LES TRIPLETTES DE BELLEVILLE Offering a musical twist on an all -too real plot line, Madame Souza travels to find her son who partook in the Tour de France and is kidnapped by the mafia, then dragged away to Belleville, France. “It’s really cool because there’s close to no dialogue. It’s a great window into how people in other countries view us here in America,” Moye-Rowley said.

MOON After three years of isolation, Sam Bell goes through a personal crisis as he subsequent ly discovers a reality he never expected. “It’s about this totally alone guy on the moon as he mines energy for Earth. One day he discovers a version of himself and the rest of the movie is about all that happens to him afterward,” Blair said.





TEKKONKINKREET This animated film is centered aroundTreasureTown, a fictional city that is being terrorized by the Yakuza police. “There are so many different themes in this movie. It’s technically an anime but without all the focus on girls’ appearances. You really have to ask different people how they feel about it, because everyone seems to have a different positive reaction,” Stratton said.


LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Welcome to the story of a vampire girl and a bullied young boy as their unique relationship builds. As increasingly shocking events take place, Eli and Oskar become more connected than they had ever first imagined. “This movie is more entertaining than anything else, so it’s good that it’s included in this list because it shows the difference between the types of movies we show,” Stratton said.


MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO This film follows two sisters in postwar rural Japan. As they are settling in to their new home, they discover and befriend wood spirits that live around them. “It’s really cute and sweet and super simple, you just want to cry the whole time. It’s a pastoral world full of these large woodland spirits who try to help the two girls settle in to their new home,” Blair said.

8 22 A&E


BATTLE ROYALE A group of school girls get a field trip they had never previously imagined. A luxury stay on a small Island, where the only way to go home is to be the last one standing. “It’s about a bunch of 9th graders who have to kill each other on an island, but it’s more of a metaphor for how difficult and tough the workforce is in Japan. In high school they’re all kidding around and stuff, but once they meet the real world there’s so much pressure that basically they’re encouraged to kill each other to survive,” Moye-Rowley said.


MAC AND ME In this film, an extraterrestrial who goes by the name “MAC” or Mysterious Alien Creature, escapes a group of NASA agents and teams up with a handicapped young boy as they hunt to find his family. “It’s completely, unintentionally, about consumerism. Literally every scene has either Coke, Skittles or McDonald’s products in it. On base level, it’s a comedy, but any deeper than that and it’s more like horror.The scariest part is at the end because you actually want to eat McDonald’s and Coke and Skittles,” Blair said.


THE SCANNER DARKLEY Robert Arctor, who’s identity is secret to the police, is an undercover informant who becomes mixed up in his work, as the trail to cracking the drug cartel of “Substance D” ends up leading to him. “It’s a metaphor for the bureaucracy of it all. No one knows who he is, yet he’s working right in the middle of the police force and they’d never know it. Everyone knows who he is in the outside world, but in reality no one really knows anything.And, it’s about the paranoia of it all like thinking there are planted drugs in the walls for the police to find,” Blair said.




e all know that feeling when we get assigned endless math problems for homework or the continual chapters of Huckleberry Finn that all seem to run together, not to mention the everlasting bubbles on the ACT or SAT. Focusing is a little challenging, to say the least, but at what point is your inability to focus on these tedious tasks diagnosable? “ADD used to encompass everything, including subtypes that are primarily inattention (instead of hyperactivity). Now we just call it ADHD, with the subtypes that are more descriptive,” said University of Iowa Pediatrician Amy Stier when asked about the difference between ADD and ADHD. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which through the years has become a commonly diagnosed disorder. To get diagnosed with ADHD, one goes through an interviewing process, an observation session and a formal check list from teachers and parents. In addition doctors and psychologists will look for inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity both at home and in a school setting. “I don’t have any numbers [quantifying] children that are correctly diagnosed with ADHD, but I do feel it is important to accurately diagnose ADHD with a doctor’s opinion and psychologists input to ensure that kids don’t have other learning problems in addition to or that mimic ADHD,” said pediatrician Stacy McConkey, who also works at the University of Iowa. “You can’t tell if a person is ADHD


just by looking or interacting with them, however, in general, people with ADHD have extreme difficulty staying on task or paying attention on a regular basis, which interferes with their ability to function,” Stier said. As ADHD becomes more recognized and well-studied, the diagnosis has become more common, and use of medication has increased. “There is some controversy in the press regarding whether or not to take medication or use behavioral techniques. Overall, though, ADHD is very well-studied and the available medications are safe and effective,” Stier said. Now that teachers, parents and phy“It gave me the ability to switch my motivation to school work or other things I would start working on.”





Parker Davis ’12

sicians are more educated about the diagnosis, and effective treatments are widely available, we’re diagnosing and treating it more. “ADD /ADHD is not curable, but the symptoms are treatable, types of medication include stimulants (like Ritalin or Concerta), some antidepressants (like Wellbutrin) and other medications that assist in combination with stimulants (like Clonidine),” McConkey said. As with many medications, certain treatments for ADD and ADHD may cause side effects. “A few people experience trouble sleeping or become irritable, others feel sleepy. Few have headaches or

stomach pain. Appetite suppression can occur, but people usually make up for low appetite by their hunger when the medication wears off. Overall, with adjustments in dosing or type of medication, most people that need medicaPHOTO SKEMPwithout tion can findBY// one ABBIE that works side effects,” Stier said. “There is a genetic component to ADHD and there are some things in the environment that can predispose to ADHD - prematurity, exposure to drugs or alcohol while mom is pregnant with the patient and brain injury (like meningitis),” McConkey said, although no major cause has yet been identified.

“It helps outside of school with staying organized and not acting on impulse. And helps me defend better when I’m playing soccer Blair Puetsch ’12 Adam Holmes ’14 too.”

“My grades have skyrocketed and my relationships with others have grown. All around I have matured as a person.”




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You don’t just wake up and get diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosisa debilitating disease of the nervous system - it takes time. Dr. Terry Wahls of Iowa City, mother to Zach ’09 and T Zebby Wahls ’12, first experienced symptoms while she was U H e in medical school in 1980. Episodes of facial pain escalated to unexRA wsspap O Z rst@ plained stumbling and falling in 2000. After a foot drop which made her Y B unable to lift her toes properly, Wahls had tests conducted and was diagnosed zor with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). At this time, she was confined to a reclined tilt wheelchair because her back muscles were so weak. Her condition, without severe change, would continue to deteriorate until she was completely bedridden. “Peo Since researchers have yet to find a cure for MS, after going through chemotherapy in 2003, ple Wahls began to conduct her own studies. As she analyzed data amongst Huntington’s, with Parkinson’s, MS and Alzheimer’s patients, Wahls found that mitochondria (the diab “powerhouse” of the cell) of afflicted patients were reduced in effietes , ob esity ciency. Creating a way of eating to strengthen the building , he Wahls’ plan, called the Paleo Diet, is not for the typical blocks of her mitochondria, Wahls overcame art American, unwilling to part with the fare that is associated with our dise a year - going from a wheelcountry. But Wahls says eating right isn’t just for those with chronic illnesses. ase, her MS inchair to completing an eighdep “[We all need to] slow the curation of our bodies. We say we’re losing energy because we’re teen mile bike tour. ress getting old, but we [just] need to keep putting vitamins and minerals into ourselves,” she said. i o n , an The diet consists of: nine cups of vegetables a day (three of green leaves, three of sulfur rich vegetables like cabbage xiety and three brightly colored like carrots and beets), no dairy, no grain and few carbohydrates. Lean cuts of meat and fish are al, atic lowed, but refined flour, sugar and the preservatives found in most processed foods are prohibited. u a r m t “Your energy will improve.You’ll have increased clarity of thinking, more energy,” she said. d n The foods Wahls recommends provide the vitamins (A, B, C and K) that are essential to every cell in our bodies. er a d r o s “In my clinical practice, I see that people with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, Post To Di Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries have symptoms reduce as they ress t put Wahls’ S adopt [this] diet,” she said. atic diet to the test and see m u PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM// TERRY WAHLS a r T if I could detect an improvement t Pos in my own often-short attention span, I went on the Paleo diet for a school week. It should be noted, that my diet usually consists of bread, cheese, chocolate, the occasional fruit and variants thereof. The first two days were brutal. As Dr. Wahls explained to me prior, the bacteria in my body that thrive on sugar and flour (each and every one of them, it seemed) had to die. I, too, felt like I had to die. I was listless and edgy - ready to fight an unnamed counselor who entered the school at lunch hour carrying a bag of Taco John’s. If I’d had the energy to attack with the ferocity I craved, I would’ve been expelled. Fortunately for my academic career, the third day brought about a huge shift. My attention span seemed quicker to focus and when I set out to accomplish a task, I wasn’t jittery from the candy whose wrappers I continued to find in my pants pockets and textbooks. I ate a lot of kale. Before this week, I ate vegetables as a punishment - usually on Christmas Eve, hoping it would be enough to tip the Naughty/Nice scale in my favor. But when your lunch consist of a plastic container of spinach salad and a bag of carrots and radishes (both sliced in order to appear higher in volume), you inhale whatever is put before you, no matter what it is. Even though I do not intend to continue my existence with a lack of bread and candy and cheese, I learned this: self control, no matter how difficult, how much agony it may cause, is worth it. It’s wonderful to prove to yourself that your stomach doesn’t rule your life. You do.

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Play by play


BY LEAH MURRAY Snow, ice, cold. Frost bitten noses, bodies layered in coats and jackets and friends huddled against the wind trying to stay warm. Take heart, with the winter sports season comes the opportunity to cheer on your classmates and snuggle up with others in the student section within the warm glow of the

West High gymnasium, a cozy bowling alley or a pool deck filled with thick layers of steam. While many students dread the inevitable winter weather, there’s an upside to the holiday season: no worries of rain delays, no need to search for hand warmers and you can leave your favorite stocking hat at home, because this season isn’t about the weather, it’s about the sports.

TOP LEFT: West forward Dondre Alexander ’13 rushes the basket after a breakaway during their game against Linn-Mar. TOP RIGHT: Jessica Shull ’12 scores against Waterloo West at the end of the first quarter. LEFT: James Riley ’13 dives in during swim practice. BOTTOM: The West High Poms placed first in the pom category and second in jazz at the state dance competition on Dec 2. PHOTO BY// FRANK WEIRICH PHOTO BY// OLIVIA LOFGREN





LEFT: Shelly Stumpff’ 12 scores during thier home game on Dec. 6. The Women of Troy beat Waterloo West 98-46. BOTTOM: Holding his own against a Linn-Mar defender, Jacob Gylten ’12 pushes in toward the basket. TOP MIDDLE: Ally Disterhoft ’13 runs in for a layup against Waterloo West. TOP RIGHT: Emily Nicholson ’12 bowls a spare at their meet Dec. 9. MIDDLE RIGHT: The West wrestling team practices for an upcoming meet in Kansas City.






BY DAN ROTHMAN Last fall, in the moments after winning West’s first every volleyball state title, former setter Caroline Found gleefully promised that the team would repeat as champions the following year. That was before the tragedy. That was before the redemption. That was before Found, the team’s spark-plug, passed away in a moped accident. It was before the team began their season under perhaps the worst circumstances imaginable. It was before students took to wearing shirts reading “Live Like Line” to every game, before “Sweet Caroline” started to be played after every match. It was before the team rallied around each other, before they rallied to a 39-6 record and became the top-ranked team in the state. “At the beginning of the season, I would have guessed that we’d be a .500 team,” said head volleyball coach Kathy Bresnahan. “Not only had we lost an all-state setter, but the leader of the team. You just have to give credit to all the girls who worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen.” Yet, as the state final began, it quickly seemed a repeat victory wasn’t meant to be. The Women of Troy dropped the first two sets to chief rival City High in nail-biters, falling 23-25 and 27-29. “I was just really hoping for the girls’ sake that we didn’t get swept. At that point, if we had just gotten one, I would have been satisfied,” Bresnahan said. The players, however, were unfazed. 28 SPORTS


sweet as

hing t o N

epeat r a

Just as Found had predicted,West was back on top. “Winning that game meant everything to us. It was the perfect way to end the season after everything that happened,” Stumpff said. “It truly felt like we had the whole community behind us. There would even be times where officials would come over to me and let me know that everyone was pulling for us,” Bresnahan said. “It seemed like people were using the team as a way of coping with everything. When we won, it was really cathartic, like we’d all had a big burden taken away from us.” Stumpff paced the team with 22 kills, while Fairfield added 13. Kelley Fliehler ’12, who stepped up to replace Found in the setter position contributed 18 assists. PHOTOS BY//ADAM CANADY “I never told them to win for Caroline, because in my mind that just “I don’t think any of us were worried at all,” said places an incredibly unfair burden on the girls. Shelly Stumpff ’12. “We knew we weren’t going to Caroline was just the absolute last person you go down that easily.” would ever want to let down,” Bresnahan said. “But It has been said that what happened next could I know it was on every one of their minds. We all have come straight out of a movie, but, in retroknew she was with us.” spect, it seems inevitable. After all the team had already overcome, needing a 3-0 run almost seems Go to wsspaper. trivial. Soon enough the Women of Troy, led by all-tourcom/statevb to nament team members Stumpff and Olivia Fairfield watch interviews ’12, had stormed back to grab the next two games with the team and even up the match. Even as West went down 1314, they continued to fight back. After grabbing a 17-16 lead, Stumpff ’s thunderous kill clinched it.


Rising Stars

Carson Miller BY BLAKE OETTING We’ve all heard it before: practice makes perfect. Whether it be in the classroom, on the court or at work. For Carson Miller ’14, it’s on the pool deck. This old cliché holds true for the sophomore who has been swimming for eight years and recently broke the school record in the 200 medley relay with teammates Thomas Burrill ’13, Kaisen Yao ’12 and Anthony Lehnertz ’12. Despite his success in high school, Miller’s introduction to swimming was similar to many other kids’ experiences. Miller started out in the Red Cross swimming lessons. Unlike most kids, he stuck with the sport, eventually swimming for the Iowa City club IFLY and now with the West High Trojans. However, this rewarding journey didn’t come without sacrifice. While most of the student body was downtown at Jazz Fest, watching the Fourth of July fireworks or on vacation, Miller

was hard at work in the pool. “Over the summer, I would swim nine times a week,” Miller said. Certainly this work load is ambitious, but it has garnered wonderful results for Miller and the entire West team this year. Miller is excited about the swimming aspect of the team and has enjoyed the team’s camaraderie and spirit. “[The team] is a lot of fun. All the guys seem really close and coach is really cool,” Miller said. Like the school motto, Miller strives for excellence; he is expecting great results from himself and his team for this coming swimming season. “I’d really like to have the record in the 100 meter breaststroke [59.7 seconds] and for our relays to break [the school record],” Miller said. With one of Miller’s goals already a reality, he hopes to fulfill another one: a state title.



Grace Tafolla

BY LEAH MURRAY Grace Tafolla ’15 is pretty amazing. As a freshman, Tafolla is a starter on the sophomore basketball team and floats to the varsity team to play from time to time. Just this past fall, Tafolla participated on the sophomore volleyball team and as an eighth grader Tafolla played on the freshman and sophomore softball team and occasionally played on the varsity team as well. While Tafolla enjoys each of her select sports equally, she has a strong passion for basketball. “I like basketball because it was one of the first sports I starting playing when I was little. I like how it's a team sport and you aren't dependent on one specific player or players. Everyone comes together. And no matter what size or skill you have, something you have is always contributed,” Tafolla said. This rising star thanks her parents for her passion of the game. “My parents signed me up when I was little; then, I couldn't stay away from it. The more I played, the more I liked it,” Tafolla said. Not only does Tafolla shine on the court, but also in the hearts of her teammates. “[Tafolla] always works her hardest and is a lot of fun to play with. She is also very encouraging and funny. Her heart for the game helps her stand out. She always works so hard and is very positive in helping her teammates,” said Laynie Whitehead ’15, a teammate of

Tafolla’s. A proven great athlete and friend, Tafolla hopes for a great future in West High athletics. Surely, she will have bleachers full of students chanting her name in coming years. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.


Carson Miller ’14

Grace Tafolla ’15

Events: I swim 200IM and breaststroke. Favorite pre-race food: Lasagna Pump-up song: “Before I Forget” by Slipknot Best sports experience: Going to the Grand Prix 2010.


Favorite pre-game food: Pasta Gameday superstition: I’m pretty superstitious, I always put my left sock on before my right sock, same with my shoes. Best sports experience: Placing third at nationals for softball. COMPILED BY//LEAH MURRAY




THE Note: all Radish content is satirical and not meant to be perceived as factual.

Justin One ’14 recently decided to drop all of his classes, save AP Euro, in an attempt to memorize a rhyme about the wives of Henry the Sixth. One’s new, alternative style of learning focuses primarily on his one remaining AP class, but also on getting the recommended amount of sleep a night. The Best Side Story has the scoop. BSS: What made you decide to drop most of your class load? One: I’m still a high school student, mind you, but I thought it was the only way to truly ingrain “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.” It wasn’t really that difficult to

selors think? One: There’s one less student in six sophomore classes, so my counselor is happy. My parents are pretty thrilled too. My doctor just told them that the recommended amount of sleep for a teenager is 8-9 hours. Did you even know that? That’s crazy! Who has that much time? Even though I dropped all of those classes I still have sports and debate and I volunteer every week. It isn’t as if I have this fabled “free time” stuff. Free time doesn’t look good on a college application! For One, this was an important decision. For the rest of us, it just leaves us wondering what he’ll do when it comes to memorizing “James, Chuck, Chuck, James.”

Tis’ the season for Ramania BY ZORA HURST Across the nation, in front of Best High and gracing the lawns of numerous public institutions, is a display of great meaning to a devoted religious group. Three bowls of varying sizes are filled to their brims with ramen and arranged as insulation for the noodles (and aesthetic purposes) Hostess Cupcakes and Ding Dongs nestle against the outside of these glazed bowls. “Ramania is more than just the holiday season, more than justYakisoba Day which we celebrate by giving the gifts of poor eating habits and obesity,” said Emily Penko ’11, who has been recently initiated into the Iowa City chapter of Ramania. 30 RADISH

Initiation includes: eating boiling Ramen straight from the stove, swallowing packets of Ramen flavoring and super gluing a pair of chopsticks to your hands for a week. Traditionally, members must be at least freshmen in college-- “In order to fully appreciate the importance of this action... to truly live and love Ramania and practice not only day by day, but moment by moment,” said Jerome Sesame ’89, a long time Ramania follower. And just like any holiday display, there is opposition. A group called the Anti-Carb Coaliion (ACC) has taken to smashing unattended bowls of Yakisoba and setting Hostess cakes on fire, writing in the ashes “Boil in Hell” and “Type Two Is ForYou”. An anonymous veteran of many Ramania protests said, “It’s just

not right-that’s just crazy, thinking you can gain meaning from a bowl of cheap noodles...they’re all mentally unstable and should be put away.” So celebrate your holiday season with plenty of cheer this year, or as the Ramanians would say-with plenty of college-approved sustenance.


BY Level of frustration

decide. I need AP Euro for college, but I can take all of my other classes over the next two years. I know I won’t have a chance for a 5 on the AP test if I don’t remember this rhyme. BSS: How did you decide which classes to drop? One: Well, I just didn’t have time for English 10 honors anymore, and French just had to go, so I chopped it. Kind of like the French Revolution’s guillotine, actually. My third class didn’t have enough people in it so it was on its way out anyway. I was getting a B in Biology, so that had to go immediately so it didn’t kill my GPA, and finally I cut geometry honors because it was that one last obstacle. BSS: What do your parents and coun-


Time spent staring at “Where’s Walden?”

Level of respect



Snow/break days off

Dropping classes for a rhyme


Usage of Comic-Sans

Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May



Foul play at Penn State

On Nov. 6, news broke about a shocking scandal at Penn State University that shook the country. The report, which claims that former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight minors, traumatized the university, culminating in the firing of legendary head coach Joe Paterno. Students immediately took to the streets protesting the decision. Shortly after Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was fired, several hundred Penn State students took to the streets in protest. These particular students were so upset by the sudden unemployment of their beloved coach that they knocked over a news van and kicked out its windows. First of all, that’s not a very good way to deal with anger (it’s not the news van’s fault, is it?) and second of all, these ignorant activists must have been completely clueless as to why Paterno was fired. It would be impossible to protest the firing of Paterno in full knowledge that the media would be covering you and the victims and their families would be watching, and not be completely consumed with guilt. For those who have not been following the Penn State scandal, there are three key officials involved. Jerry Sandusky is the former defensive coordinator at the university, who is now being charged with forty charges

related to the alleged sexual abuse of eight young boys. Sandusky is the accused perpetrator. Mike McQueary is the former assistant coach who walked in on Sandusky raping a young boy in the locker room. McQueary is the witness. Paterno’s role in the case is more difficult to define. Paterno was simply a link in a long chain of officials who were required to report the incident, but not necessarily do anything about it. Paterno and McQueary did not break any laws. They each reported the incident to their superiors, which was the fulfillment of their legal obligations. The question that this case brings up is whether or not there is something beyond that legal obligation: a moral obligation, of sorts. When someone witnesses a crime, isn’t it his or her duty to report that crime to the police? After Paterno and McQueary fulfilled their legal obligations, they watched as nothing happened. Sandusky was allowed to continue working at Penn

State and, potentially, rape young boys. As school officials, Paterno and McQueary did not take responsibility for making sure that their school was a safe place for everyone. The public’s reaction to the sex abuse scandals at Penn State, and more recently Syracuse University, has been utterly shocking. Apparently, this is the time in American history when we are forced to ask ourselves if the glorification of collegiate athletics should obstruct sensitivity to victims involved in public scandals. It’s hard enough as it is to come forth as a victim, but it’s even more difficult when the victim must face active opposition from the public. Paterno and McQueary allowed this case slip through the cracks. They let Sandusky continue to commit horrific crimes right behind their backs. They are almost as responsible for the crimes Sandusky committed, and so, they almost deserved to keep their jobs.



QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX DECEMBER Winter Break Quite possibly the best two weeks of the year. This glorious time is the perfect opportunity to snuggle up with the family and celebrate one of our most treaured holidays: Hanukkah! Wait, what? That’s just me? Oh well...

Plus 4

Justin Bieber What’s the only thing funnier than Justin Bieber rapping? Justin Bieber rapping to “Little Drummer Boy.” With just one hilariously non-sensical verse, Bieber manged to irreparably mutilate a holiday classic. Now I just have one question: Is it bad if I know all the words? Plus 1

Spring Concerts

With the recent announcement that Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover a.k.a. Troy from Community) will be coming to the IMU in April, joining a lineup that already included John Oliver (a.k.a. the British guy from The Daily Show), there’s a lot to get excited about that will help us all deal with the crushing pain of winter break ending.

Plus 3

EDITORIAL BOARD Juliann Skarda Anna Egeland Eleanor Marshall Ansel Landini Ashton Duncan Adam Canady Daniel Rothman Olivia Lofgren Caroline Van Voorhis Blake Oetting Pombie Silverman Frank Weirich Brenna Deerberg

Was Penn State’s firing of Joe Paterno a justified decision?

8-5 The WSS editorial board voted in support of the firing. 31 OPINION


West High Sports It’s looking like both basketball teams are going to continue what has been a truly remarkable year for Trojan athletics. First the football season had its best season in almost a decade, and its almost impossible to put into words how transcendent the volleyball team’s season was (although you can check out our attempt to do so on page 28). Now we have two of the best basketball teams in the state. It’s a good year to be a Trojan.

Plus 7 Total: Plus 15 COMPILED BY// DAN ROTHMAN

Blown out of proportion



Recently, a photo of a life-size Barbie made the rounds on Facebook, sparking controversy and inspriring fervid debate over the image that the popular doll creates. The doll, created by a student at Hamilton College, stands at five feet nine inches, has a 39 inch bust, an 18 inch waist and 33 inch hips, and has raised questions about the effects of the doll on society’s youth. The West Side Story asked West students for their reactions to the photo.



Kaitlan Bender ’12

I think it is disgusting that we market a doll that has unattainable and unhealthy looks. But at the same time, Barbie is just a doll. She isn’t meant to be blown up to real proportions. Barbie is for the imagination and not meant to be taken seriously. Also, she is a great inspiration for many girls. She shows you that you can be anything from a doctor to an astronaut. Although her perfect looks may be detrimental to some children’s perceptions, she is not the only influence on body image. Overall, I think Barbie does more good than harm because she is a childhood best friend to many people.

Joe Henderson ’12

This image shows just how deplorable Barbie products are. Barbie’s give young girls a perverse idea of body image. Not only does it give a ridiculous portrayal of body image, but it instills values in kids that lead to a decline in American culture. I’m certain that the production of these toys has led to preteen girls wearing gratuitous amounts of makeup and dressing like Vegas hustlers. Hopefully girls will see this image and realize that the “perfect” Barbie is far from perfect.

Kate Anstreicher ’14 I am appalled by this image. To think that the majority of elementary-school age girls in America (including myself a few years back) play with Barbies makes me sick. Body image and eating disorders are big enough societal problems without these disproportional dolls. It is physically impossible for a human being to look like that; to put such a romancized figure on the market is just asking for trouble. I think that many moms are against Barbies, but what if a Cinderella Barbie is all their kid wants? Not all families can afford American Girls Dolls; sometimes disproportional dolls are the only affordable option.

The above image shows barbie’s actual proportions when blown up to life-size.




Waiting for water to boil BY ANNA EGELAND It’s around six in the evening when I head over to my neighbors’ house to babysit their three kids for the next several hours. Hastily, their mother tells me the details about bedtime, T.V., snacks, computer games, reading and finally: dinner. “There’s a frozen pizza in the freezer and some left over broccoli in the

fridge. You can just heat it all up in the microwave.” So far, this probably seems like a completely reasonable suggestion, but for me, the final word sends chills down my spine: the microwave. The worst part is that the toddlers I babysit can’t explain how to use their microwave or how many seconds it takes to heat up leftover lasagna, no matter how many times I ask them. This appliance has always seemed a bit awkward and foreign to me, like chopsticks or tortillas; I understand the purpose, but there are more comfortable substitutes which I prefer. The oven, the gas stove, the solar oven my little brother made for boy scouts, the clunky toaster oven we used to have and the other toaster with perfectly

sized slots for slices of bread or bagel halves all seem like perfectly viable substitutes to me. When I was little, I used to be embarrassed about our under-equipped kitchen. My friends did not understand why my family did not have a microwave and I could not really explain it. Usually, I explained that as a matter of fact, microwaves are bad for people who have pacemakers. This was generally followed with the question “Does anyone in your family have a pacemaker?” and my meek response: “No,” as if this had never occurred to me. The truth is, my family does not have a microwave as a matter of principle. I’m still not sure exactly which principle that is yet, but I’ve decided it’s maybe not such a bad one. Sure, it’s a little

bit annoying to have to wait four minutes instead of twenty seconds to boil water for my instant oatmeal, but those extra three minutes and forty seconds have taught me patience (which is a virtue, by the way. Hello, cliché). Maybe my instant oatmeal isn’t so instant, but hey, I don’t need everything in my life to be instant.

“warm- up” each day snowballed into something so much more. My class hour usually started like a kindergarten class, story time, featuring “Yesterday, Gwen did this…” stories. If my daughter only knew how much of life saver her life was those first two years of my teaching! At home, as my daughter’s vocabulary usage and comprehension increased, we also shared similar stories. I asked her about her day, and she about mine. She got to know my students indirectly through the stories I had. She can even recall names of some of students I had years ago. The funny thing is that as she went through her developmental milestones, so did my students. I listened and watched intently as they achieved a new skill. Of course, these things were on an ebb and flow. We had both our good and bad days. Potty training! While many think it applies to toddlers age 3-5, I think they need to expand the age range to include 3-17. If you are a teacher, you know exactly what I mean. A very innocent question, why didn’t you go

during passing time? Answer: I didn’t have to go then. Why does this seem like I am having a déjà vu moment? Oh, yeah, yesterday, going to the children’s museum, in the car on the way there. If you are a parent, you know exactly what I am talking about here. Artwork! Many believe that this is in the eye of the beholder, I can strongly agree with that. The day Gwen found a green Crayola marker under the couch and marked the walls, as I was in the kitchen cooking dinner. When I asked her what happened, she declared proudly and enthusiastically, “Pretty!” Much like some students who decided to draw pictures or write words on the desks/chalkboard/papers, you name it. In either situation, silence is not always a virtue. Electronics and technology! Remember when you were a kid, always fighting over the TV remote with your siblings, or pretending to talk on that toy telephone to grandma. Not much has changed, except, now when you play with your phone; there is actually someone on the other end! Even more amazing, is that like that

toy phone, you scream and throw a tantrum even to this day, when someone takes that phone away from you, or tells you it is time to put it away. Blame game! The day our toilet overflowed because an entire roll of double roll toilet paper had mysteriously unraveled into the toilet and then was flushed, and Gwen and I were the only ones home, who else could have done it? Of course, Mickey, our cat. How did your workbooks get like this? My locker. Nap time/Recess! Who am I kidding; we never really grow out of this phase, and who would want to. Am I right? My husband has always told me, live your life with no regrets, and I can happily say I have. On any given day, I never know where home begins or ends, because all I see is a beautiful blend. I consider myself blessed. I am still not sure though, and maybe you can answer this for me, is being a teacher helping me to be a better parent, or vice versa?

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When I began teaching for the first time, nearly six years ago, I had an almost-one-year-old at home. Every day was an adventure in both walks of my life: mommy and Frau Choun. It was amazing to me how these two halves of my life paralleled one another. I have never known one to be without the other. What was even more ironic was the fact that on any given day my students sometimes called me “mom,” and my daughter started calling me “Frau Choun.” As a new teacher, every day I made the most genuine of efforts in getting to know my students; likes, dislikes, extracurricular activities, etc. Naturally, my students also asked those same questions in return. This short


An evolution

That time of year



PAGE DESIGN BY//ASHTON DUNCAN I guess I thought nothing of it. I was born and raised in a Christian family. I went to church on an almost weekly basis, prayed before dinner and bed, learned about how God created the world and was taught about heaven - the great place in which I believe we will all meet again someday. I went to Weber Elementary School where in the middle of December we took what was once called Christmas break but now is referred to as holiday break. During Christmas break there were candy canes and Christmas cookies galorenot to mention loving that we got two full weeks off of school to play in the snow, visit Santa Claus, open Christmas presents and attend church service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, looking back on my school years I understand how the evolution of the word Christmas has changed to holiday. I still call holiday break Christmas break. It is Christmas break to me and the religion that I practice. Sitting in class one day, I was talking with my classmates and our teacher and “holiday break” came up. I referred to


the holiday break as Christmas break, and was corrected. I am a Christian, and Christmas is a huge celebration of the birth of Christ for me. At West High we have the opportunity to learn about other religions and learn to respect each other’s freedom of religion and religious practices. I find it interesting that most other holidays are celebrated by all religions. Technically your birthday could be considered a holiday, but we don’t say “happy holiday” to you, and Thanksgiving is yet another holiday, but we don’t call that holiday break either; it’s called Thanksgiving break. Because of the differences surrounding the meaning of Christmas break, is the reason Christmas break is referred to as holiday break. However, I still believe you can say “Christmas break” or “Happy Hannukah” and not require correction. We have the freedom to express ourselves, as long as we also respect others. I do not think that students in other classes or teachers should correct students who use the term Christmas when defining break any more than someone should be corrected if they use the term Hanukkah. The diversity of religious beliefs and respect of everyone is what makes West High such a great place. I enjoy hearing about others celebrations. So, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas or holiday break, whichever applies.

Winter is a confusing season. Sometimes I think the wild geese and brown bears have the right idea: head downward – southward or earthward, anywhere warmward. And then I see the painted reindeer braving the elements and the scribbles of Christmas lights in tree branches against the early darkness of the sky. Jack Frost nipping at my nose seems almost enjoyable when sung in Nat King Cole’s warm tones. I can’t seem to decide if it’s wintertime or Christmastime – maybe my biological clock is frozen. I can’t decide between nature’s barrenness and the man-made overload of festivities. So I choose not to choose between hibernation and celebration. There is room for both at the table. We’re stuck inside, worn down and wearing endless layers, because we wouldn’t rest otherwise. And we create merriment because we wouldn’t wake up otherwise. It’s exhausting to think about all the time that’s passed since last Christmas and all that’s left to do in the dwindling days before next year; and it’s exhilarating to think about a whole new rotation of months. We are meant to feel conflicted, because we are at a crossroads. It is a triumph of humanity that we are stopped in our snowy tracks and forced to recalibrate the rhythms of our lives at the very same moment we are pushed inside and close together and bombarded with messages of hope, peace and generosity. Forget about consumerism and whatever else is corrupt about the holidays – I probably agree with you, but let’s sugar coat it and carry it on a platter over to the neighbors and choose to buy in. The longer I sit on silent nights, the more I think about the neighbors I’m surrounded by and the gifts they are deserving of, the new year’s resolutions

I’ll start tomorrow and actually keep, the way the warmth and light of one candle can permeate the bleak winter in a wholly holy way even though I’m not sure if I believe in God. As I think about this year as a unit of my life’s time – doing the calculations about what’s left, I am reminded to factor in miracles. As I watch people light their candles and be merry when everything around us is cold and bleak, my belief in goodness is renewed. It makes me think of a poem I’ve been reading forever: “There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good.” It seems particularly relevant as we welcome extended families into homes where our nuclear families can already be explosive, and we receive unwanted gifts with grace and we eat too many cookies because we want each baker to know we thought theirs were delicious. It seems particularly relevant as we resist each other a little more than usual, as our fireside chats are ruined by over-politicization and irreparable disagreement and our Christmas shopping is dampened by a still slumped economy. But we come together anyways because the real reason we are here is to love each other and believe in each other and to believe in change. It is winter and the Arab spring is still blossoming with free elections in Egypt. People are still camped out in College Green and parks everywhere because they believe that things can be better, together we will make them so. Iowa City is flooded with food and clothing drives and we make the long drives to see our families. Winter and Christmas are both about hope. Hope. In the solitary owl in the empty woods who (hoooo) knows that spring will come. In the glittery joy of the season. Ho-ho-hope.


A new perspective BY OLIVE CARROLLHACH



ABOVE: Jason Uhm ’14 created this untitled piece in stained glass class first trimester. Last year, Uhm was recognized for his entry in the Doodle for Google competition.

Jason Uhm ’14

rt is hard to describe in words, which is why it's worth a thousand. Art is a balance between medium and emotion. It portrays an idea or a thought, a taste of the grand picture that exists within the artist's mind. But above all, art is a gift - for the creator to the connoisseur. The work of these artists and many others from West High’s art classes are showcased at the U.S. Bank in downtown Iowa City through December.

RIGHT: Robbie Hanson ’12’s sculptural ship was created based on Pirates of the Carribean films.

“(The ship) took forever to make for starters, and once I thought of it, it had to be perfect. I even watched every Pirates of the Caribbean movie just to get a good look at the ships in the series. I was very attentive to details, every little scratch and ripple had to be burnished out. I burnished it until it shone like freshly Zamboni-ed ice. When it was finished, it looked so beautiful I wanted to cry, or maybe that’s just because it was three in the morning, but it was definitely worth it.” Robbie Hanson ’12 PHOTO BY// ADAM CANADY


LEFT: Anna Furlong ’13 used ballpoint pen in Black and White Drawing Class first trimester to capture mathletes at work. “The ink drawing was a challenge for myself to see if I could create a piece of art without erasing. I did it completely in ballpoint pen to try to work out some bad habits and to make myself actually think about the lines I was putting down before I made them. It was also an exercise in different shading methods since you can't smear with pen. The drawing depicts a typical scene from F Cubed, the math club that Anna Furlong ’13 meets every Friday, and I wanted to show how much fun the club is and how much that means to me.”

The Evolution of Art

With Zebby Wahls ’12


Preliminary sketch


Transfer to computer



Edit in Photoshop


Can you spot Mr. Walden on vacation? ART B


Where’s Walden?










Dec. 16, 2011 WSS  

Dec. 16 issue of the WSS

Dec. 16, 2011 WSS  

Dec. 16 issue of the WSS