Page 1



PAGES 21-23



FEBRUARY 3, 2012





[In-depth 21-23]


West High celebrates black history month with an in-depth look at West students’ racial identity.

[Health 22]


The West Side Story has the low-down on the health risks and legal consequences of getting high on synthetic marijuana.



Paul Curry ’14 acts out a character from his humorous interpretation, The Book of Mormon.

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 12&13]

Break! Flow! Pop! From humorous interpretation to policy debate, West High’s speech and debate team has us convinced they’re nationally competitive.


[A&E 25-27]

The ICCSD is once again undergoing changes in finances and faculty. The district’s upheaval is unpacked here.


Every issue, you hear our opinions about the best eats and treats around, now it’s time we heard yours. The results are in on the best of the area.

[Sports 28]


[News 6-7]




As this winter cools off, West High’s hockey stars are just heating up.

Correction: The Dec. 16 edition incorrectly stated that Nari Williams suffered from a stroke. The cause of her episode is unknown.

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.

what’s new on: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT





show me the love







picture this! the evolution of a portrait SOUNDSLIDE BY // SHAMIS MCGILLIN

room {me}


A person’s bedroom says a lot about them, their tastes in art, their strange habits, their hopes and dreams. Some students who walk these halls may seem a bit mysterious, a tad unknown, but worry no longer; in seven minutes, you can learn a lot. In the first episode of room {me}, a WSS profile series based on The Mortified Sessions, hear what Jane Moye-Rowley ’12 has to say about small things, comics and alien slime boogers. To recommend a candidate for the show, tweet at @wsspaper with the hashtag #ROOMme. See the first episode on

you’re so tweet:

Mention @wsspaper on twitter for the chance to have your tweet featured in our next issue and win a Panchero’s gift card! Here are some shining examples! @kdaws_12 @wsspaper Congrats on the app! #itsawesome @icanhaskerri Just read the impressive December edition... Alma mater making me proud.


permanent stories

What does love mean to you? See what Lauren Bohner ’15, Jenna Pepic ’15 and others have to say. This Valentine’s Day video special is sure to warm your heart, make you laugh, and give you some food for thought. Check it out on

Have you ever wondered what goes on in an art class at West? Check out this web exclusive where Eimile Collins ’12 and Liz Scranton ’12 work on self portraits in their exploratory drawing class. Learn about the creative process, interacting with other artists, and the inner workings of the West High art department. Go to

As we age, we realize what we value, what we live for. For a select group of students, their convictions are so powerful, they’re emblazoned upon their skin. Literally. Chris Varcadipance ’13 (pictured above), Charlie Rogers ’13, Madeline Otterbein ’13 and other West High students, share their reasons for their body ink. With permanent art in memorial for life experiences, dedicated to fallen friends, and to display their religious beliefs, the students of West High divulge the meaning behind their tattoos. This web-exclusive video is on


03 WEB



Tax Increment Financing

What it is: tax breaks offered to real estate developers from cities to promote economic development particularly in urban areas

Talk is cheep

The West Side Story first covered anonymous twitter accounts after @westhigh_ hoes began tweeting compliments. Since, an estimated 15 anonymous accounts have cropped up, from nice to not-somuch. Now, most of the accounts have been shut down or stopped tweeting. @ westhigh_hoes was revealed to be Julia Chaloupka ’12 and @westhigh_bros was revealed to be Courtney Dauber ’12 both of which tweeted sweet messages. Kaitlyn Robinson ’12, who was tweeted at by many of the accounts, said she is glad the controversy has ceased. “I never really felt bullied by the tweets because I know what they had to say about me was untrue. … It’s all so unnecessary - West High is above this kind of ignorance.” “A few of us thought up the idea of sending a message to everyone who was following a mean account, and we basically reminded them that they are propagating these people to say mean things and cyberbully. To our surprise, it actually knocked off about 20 followers which we were pretty proud of,” said C.J. Drew ’12.


That’s right, F-cubed is now also factorial. Luckily, I know some mathematicians up to the challenge. West High’s varsity and JV math teams both placed first overall at the Iowa Falls competition Jan. 14, with a plurality of individual winners. Anna Furlong ’14 and Ben Sheff ’13 placed first in the sprint competition and Jing Yao Li ’15 and Ivan Ye ’13 placed first in the target competition, each for their r e s p e c t i ve grade levels. Shi-Ke Zue ’12 placed first in the 12th grade division of both events. 04 NEWS

Your house: The city of Coralville has recently stirred up controversy by offering Von Maur more than $15 million in TIF incentives to move their current location at Sycamore Mall in Iowa City to the Iowa River Landing district in Coralville, with construction beginning as early as this spring.

State house: The store’s relocation caught the attention of the Iowa Congress, which opened this legislative session by questioning TIF’s effectiveness and discussing new regulations. Iowa TIF districts are currently funded by $283.2 million, or 5.9%, of statewide property taxes. Proponents say TIF has been vital in the revitalization of underutilized urban areas like downtown Des Moines, Dubuque and Sioux City.


White House: TIF is now used by every state but Arizona and Wyoming to fuel urban renewal, including over $500 million in revenue allocated to public infrastructure and private development in Chicago and another $500 million to fuel green jobs in Mesa del Sol in Albuquerque.

FOLLOW: Amiela Canin ’13 writes updates from Italy:

“ The streets are barely wide enough

for a car to pass, but the Italian drivers seem to have

mastered the art of swerving

around pedestrians missing the stone walls

by centimeters.”


side stories

Coaches’ corner

Volleyball coach Kathy Bresnahan and tennis coach Kay DiLeo are each one of eight finalists recognized for the National High School Coaches of the Year Award sponsored by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. The winners will be announced this summer. It must be award season, because Charlie Stumpff was inducted into the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the Iowa Baseball Coaches Annual Convention and Banquet this year. One of his favorite coaching memories is the first time West baseball made the State tournament, in 2004. “There was hardly a team more unexpected. We were playing the number one team and we ended up beating them and going on to win. It was crazy, kids were just running around all over the place,” he said.

Famous Shamis

Shamis McGillin ’12, above, has a future so bright you’ll need shades (like the ones he de signed). McGillin just finished designing a line of hats, wigs, glasses, and t-shirts for a UK-based company, after they approached him to design prototypes for their new men’s line. McGillin’s friend who modeled for the company, introduced the firm to McGillin’s high fashion - which he has been innovating since he started putting on photo shoots in junior high. “My style’s kind of surreal, so I needed to create things that weren’t already on the market,” he said leading to late nights spent figuring out how to create things. He is inspired by surrealism and transformation - and currently in a pop culture phase. “I like making fun of pop culture. I love pop culture, but I also hate it so much,” he said.


Red Avocado says adieu

Controversy is simmering where vegan delicacies simmer no longer. The Red Avocado’s last day was Saturday, Jan. 22. The Iowa City restaurant located on Washington Street, along with Defunct Books housed above, closed down after they were given 30 days of notice by developer Allen Homes, Inc. that the space would be renovated to become a multi-purpose development. Defunct Books has plans to relocate at Sycamore Mall, while Red Avocado owners reported that it is unlikely to be able to reopen. A communityled petition opposing the development garnered nearly 3,000 signatures.

Dance, for the love of people

City and West 1440 Interact organization will hold Dance for Humanity, the annual night of international dance moves and local charity, on Feb. 19. Tickets, costing $5 for students and $10, benefit Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds affordable homes. According to 1440 co-president Davy Perlman ’12, the event will feature live music from the University of Iowa’s Latin Jazz Ensemble and a salsa dance instructor, along with a silent auction. “[The salsa instructor] is pretty cool because I, personally, have no clue how to dance in any way, shape or form. I went in last year thinking I would just avoid the dance floor, but learning how to dance was surprisingly fun,” he said.



[New York]

[North Carolina] A Walmart employee in North Carolina reported a suspicious transaction to police. A man was trying to pay for electronics worth several hundred dollars with a bill supposedly worth $1 million.

In New York City, a “CSI” fan was convicted of pinning false evidence on his ex-girlfriend in regard to several of the NYPD’s open cases, forcing her to spend seven months in jail with $1 million bail.


AP US HISTORY FOR FRESHMEN? [Japan] Very honest search-andrescue personnel in Japan collected around $80 million worth of lost wallets and safes, and turned them in as missing in the five months following the devastating 2011 earthquake.

A shark fetus, found inside a pregnant dusky shark, was discovered off the coast of Mexico. The fetus had the rare congenital “cyclopia,” which meant it had a single, centered eye.

Wen’s winning research


ABOVE: Working with yeast cultures, John Wen stands in front of his Lion King Model. In his research, each character represents an individual protein. Wen believes it is this uniqueness that helped him win the award. tive functions, such as the A1AT proBY AMELIA MOSER tein. But in A1AT deficiency, the A1AT John Wen ’12 was one of six students aggregates, getting stuck there and selected from a pool of 2,000 to win an destroys liver tissue. My research basiindividual award in the 2011 Siemens cally found a degradation pathway to Competition for his research on a dis- prevent the aggregation of A1AT in the ease called A1AT deficiency. A shortage liver,” Wen said. Wen was inspired by resources the of the A1AT protein is the most common genetic cause of liver disease in University of Iowa had to offer. “I went to a couple of big science children, and the most common cause seminars hosted by the University of of the lung disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, in cauca- Iowa. Learning science is pretty interesting, but doing science, I think, is sians, according to Wen. “The basic idea is that in the liver, even better. So…I went to the Univeryou have proteins that serve protec- sity of Iowa and found a position as a


volunteer at a lab. That’s how it all began,” Wen said. Working with people at the University of Iowa helped him achieve his success. “I’d say my biggest inspiration to research degradation pathways of proteins came from my mentor, Dr. Kevin Glenn. In addition to helping and inspiring me with my project, he also works in the field of aging,” Wen said. Five hundred hours of research and compilation of data later, he had produced an 18-page research paper that was sent into the competition. But Wen isn’t ready to finish researching yet. “In the future, I’m probably going to pursue biological research. I think the main reason is because when I was young, my parents fostered a scientific mind. You know how kids always ask the dreaded ‘why’ question? Well, my parents actually answered those questions for me. And when I got older, I wanted to answer them myself,” he said. One opportunity this award opened up was meeting other recipients. “My favorite thing about the Siemens Competition was meeting…the other competitors. And you wonder, how do nerdy biologists, physicists and mathematicians socialize?...It turns out, these people weren’t dull or cutthroat at all. Most…were super nice and cool. I’d say 40% of the competitors knew how to breakdance. And 100% knew how to karaoke. Not so well,” he said.

The rumor that West High was going to start offering AP U.S. History to freshmen starting next year has been proven false. City High has decided to open the class to freshmen in order to meet enrollment requirements. If there aren’t enough students signed up to take the class, City High will be unable to offer it Principal Jerry Arganbright said that the class is “inappropriate” for freshmen, as it has “too much rigor.” “It’s a great course, but we don’t think it’s designed for ninth graders,” Arganbright said.

BUSTED NEED TO KNOW CPR? A new state mandate requires all Iowa high school students to have CPR training prior to receiving their diploma, starting with this year’s senior class. However, if a student is already certified in CPR the requirement will be waived. Principal Jerry Arganbright said that he likes the idea of West High students having CPR training. “Who can argue about everybody having CPR training?” said Arganbright. “But I don’t like the schools having so many mandates placed on them as well.” Seniors will be required to take this CPR class on Feb. 20, President’s Day.






Remember the late tax payments and the budget crisis? An independent audit took a comprehensive look at the district’s administration. It’s unpacked here.

Behind each computer in the lab is a school administrator. On every school lunch tray and supporting the new front steps is a program administrator operating from the Central Administrative Office, including the superintendent and other district-wide employees. Oh - and by the way, almost all the money that funds every school is allocated by the administration. The CAO has recently been under fire for operational inefficiencies particularly in the Business Office. Last July, the district was nearly fined $25,000 for a late tax payment, and in August an additional $2.5 million was discovered in the budget due to an accounting error in which an expenditure was counted twice. In light of such criticisms, the Iowa City Community School District ordered an audit reviewing the procedures and performances of the administrative departments earlier this fall. Synesi Associates was paid $59,000 to conduct a third-party evaluation, releasing a final report of the results in December. The review is available on the district’s website, iowacityschools. com. Overall, the findings corroborated concerns about a lack of organization, stating “there are no documented standard operating procedures in [the Accounting Department].” The audit also highlighted other areas of weakness including insufficient technology and inadequate school lunch. Murley said that many of the concerns raised in the audit had become apparent to him through the course of last school year, and that the longstanding inefficiencies were accentuated by an unanticipated level of growth. The district gained 400 students this 06 NEWS

year, double the projected number he wouldn’t do it to our own homes?” he said. said. “[The audit said that] the district deHe said the main purpose of his veloped an operational system that had complaints and formal charges was to not matured as the district grew,” Mur- make the public aware of the concerns ley said . brought up by the Synesi audit, calling Ed Stone, a parent of former City the performance review a major turnHigh students, agreed – saying the dis- ing point in changing individual comtrict’s first priority should be updating plaints into investigated facts. its system to upload all of its financial Phil Hemingway, an ever-present expenditures to a public website, fos- voice at school board meetings who tering complete transparency. Stone ran unsuccessfully for an open seat last filed an open records lawsuit against year, expressed similar sentiments. the district last year that he believes is “It’s validating for those of us that now near have been resoluadvocating tion . for these Stone changes documented standard repeatedly for some contacted time that the previwe were ous school right and b o a r d we were member s ignored. and for… No mer suone takes perintenyou serident Lane ously until Plugge, you pay as well as $60,000 - the ICCSD audit M u r l e y, to get via email someone regarding a sidewalk renovation proj- in from Illinois to come in and validate ect at City High that he believes did you,” he said. not adhere to its contract, a new parkHemingway’s daughter Monica is a ing lot at Garner Elementary that had senior at City High School, and for him to be redone at a cost he estimates to it all comes back to education. be over $100,000 and an athletic field “[The district’s biggest weakness] is at City that he said doesn’t drain prop- just a serious lack of recognition that erly, which became the foundation of dollars wasted outside of the classroom his lawsuit. decrease the opportunities to edu“If you wouldn’t tear up your back- cate kids in the classroom. We waste yard and leave it permanently muddy, so much money through inefficient don’t go do that to our schools. It’s just practices and procedures that even a golden rule thing. Why are we do- though we got $160 million from the ing this to public buildings where our state and our budgets are growing so kids go to school every day when we we get more every year, we can’t meet




“There are no


procedures in [the

accounting department].”


the needs of all our students,” he said. “Every dollar that we waste or don’t allocate appropriately is a theft from your education.” Overall, the performance review found the district’s budget to be “inartfully crafted,” saying that although there may be a need for additional funding, “the real problem in the district exists due to poor management of existing funding procedures.” Hemingway explained that although money for construction and equipment comes from a different tax stream than money used for hiring teachers, all money must be managed efficiently to meet the district’s needs in every area. He cited costly practices such as the district’s purchase of its own $145,000 garbage truck as what he sees as missed opportunities to fund better technology, better maintain school buildings or make desired additions to music and athletic facilities across the district. He is a strong proponent of more competitive bidding for contracts, a process by which businesses compete for a contract with the school district – driving down the price and increasing the quality of the service. “I’ve been advocating that for so long I’m tired of bringing it up, but when you have contractors that are the only bid on half a million dollars for the school district [such as Quality Care lawn service], does anybody think we’re getting the best deal?” he said, adding that he hopes to see changes when Quality Care’s contract comes up for bid next month. “For what we’re paying the landscaper we could pretty much have another instructor,” he said. Murley said the administration plans to be more aggressive as contracts need to be renewed. Paul Schultz, director of the Physical Plant that manages bidding on

Stone agreed that the dedicated teach- unchanged and recruiting faculty to fill ing staff has obscured systematic prob- the full time positions for the start of lems. next year. “The problem is that [ICCSD teachBefore the money was discovered, the ers] have been delivering a phenomenal district was faced with the prospects education regardless of these problems, of leaving the positions of 12 retiring and that causes the public to just shrug teachers unfilled and cutting 10 additheir shoulders and I just don’t think tional teaching positions. Murley exthey realize how close to the edge the plained that the state’s policy of 0% alsystem is. It will be hard to have another lowable growth in the 2011-12 budget generation of that quality of educators prevented the hiring of 20 teachers, and if we don’t get our house in order and admitted that while more money is not offer more support for our educators,” a solution, the district requires funding he said. that is both “adequate and equitable.” Fellow English teacher Margaret Shul- He said that although the district is still law said smaller class sizes should be a operating at a deficit, it will use the higher priority at the administrative $2.5 million to pay back its debt sooner level. and without further cuts. Murley said “When there are …70 kids in two the added teaching positions will all be classes and everybody writes a paper, kept and filled by full-time staff memokay, it’s an hour per paper. That’s 70 bers via the regular hiring process for hours. Does anybody [in the administra- next school year . tion] think about that? Maybe they do. Hemingway was quick to affirm the That to me would be transparency: what strength of the district’s staff. are they looking in to?” she said. “We have phenomenal teachers. … If Murley said the district plans to build I could choose between a school with on pathways between teachers and ad- the best facilities and a state of the art computer minislab and one trators the with that have best teachalready that we waste or don’t ers, I would proven take the one successallocate appropriately with the best ful. teachers,” he Argansaid. bright Shullaw said that said she is as a rein happy sult of her job, and the audit, doesn’t want school Phil Hemmingway, her concerns prinactive City High parent to overshadcipals ow the joy across of working the district have been included more meaningwith her students, co-workers and adfully in the budgeting process. ministration. Both teachers supported the district’s Beyond budgeting, the audit is esperecent decision to add long term substicially critical of the accounting office. It tutes to classrooms across the district. reads, “within the school community, a Murley cited the once-overlooked $2.5 great deal of negativity exists because of million as crucial coverage of shortfalls untimely reporting from the accountin staffing and increasing class sizes, aling office, obsolete reports from the aclowing him to hire 8.5 long term subcounting office, and technology related stitute teachers at the elementary level, shortcomings that impede an effective starting last Jan. 17, and 7 more at the delivery of instruction.” secondary level that will take effect at Paul Bobek, the former Head of Adthe trimester break. ministrative Services and overseer of Arganbright said that although West the Business Office, resigned on Jan. 9. High was allotted funds to hire three Bobek oversaw the Physical Plant, the long-term substitutes for the remainCustodial staff, the Food Services proder of the year, the administration has gram and transportation, in addition to taken no action to do so. He believes the Business Office. the best plan will be leaving schedules Bobek said he would pursue similar



contracts, said the district already engages in competitive bidding. “We obtain quotes from multiple contractors for [projects under $69,000]. They are not publicly advertised or read. For projects between $69,000 and $125,000 a government entity must make a good faith effort to obtain quotes from at least two contractors. …The bids are then opened publicly and read. After projects for 2012-13 are approved by the Board, they will be listed on the district website,” he said. Principal Jerry Arganbright said that a lack of “stable, accurate and long-term” information on budgeting due to administrative disorganization makes it more difficult for schools like West to adequately prepare and provide for the education of its students. “This year we ended up with fewer resources than we needed. … If Mr. Murley had a better budgeting process in hand, it would have helped us to [better prepare for overcrowding] in August and July,” he said, blaming the system instead of Murley himself. Personnel makes up approximately 80% of the budget, and the review also criticized the lack of “input from educational leadership” during the budgeting process. “It seems like teachers are rarely consulted [in the creation of budgets],” said co-chair of the English department Kerri Barnhouse. “It’s possible that we’re not asked because we’re not dealing with the budget system.” But Barnhouse said that teachers need to be given adequate information that would enable them to provide meaningful input. She explained that the communication disconnect works both ways. “I don’t understand why there has to be such an ‘us versus them’ mentality. Right now it feels like teachers versus district. I feel like we’re not on the same team because I don’t know what’s going on [at the CAO]. I feel like I’m working harder and harder and harder with less and less and less. There’s no acknowledgment of that. … Come to our building meeting. Answer our questions. Hear our concerns. See what we’re doing and talk to the kids,” she said, saying that she sees few meaningful outlets to express concerns to administrators. “At the end of the day, we will all show up and do our very best to teach our students. Because [the CAO staff members] know we are all dedicated to what we do and we’re not going to cheat our students, there’s no acknowledgment of our added burden.”

“Every dollar

is a theft from your


employment opportunities elsewhere. He declined to comment on the results of Synesi’s audit, which he said was received by the board after his resignation. He also declined commentary on the reasons for his resignation and the negative perception of the Business Office overall. According to Murley, the district plans to fill the position by July 1. “We’re re-evaluating who does what here [at the Central Administrative Office]. We are looking for opportunities to leverage the skills of people we already have on the team to fill [Bobek’s] position,” Murley said. “I appreciate the time that Paul [Bobek] spent with the district but I know in my own dealings with him … he was too secretive with the finances of the district, and that’s wrong. … We have every right to know where every penny of our money goes. We can’t be stonewalled, we can’t be delayed, we can’t be ignored,” Hemingway said. Hemingway and Stone both said new management in Bobek’s positions and leading other administrative departments such as the Physical Plant, are important for progress in the district. In the short term, Murley broadened the responsibility for the district’s tax payments to two staff members, saying this will help prevent late payments. In the long term, the audit recommended the implementation of new software to manage resources, a change Murley said will be considered, although the district needs time to fully explore the potential impact on the functions of current staff members. Synesi’s audit explained that although the staff members are knowledgeable, competent and committed, “few of the members could articulate how their role assisted in the delivery of instruction.” “But [each administrator’s] job does have a direct impact on what happens in the classroom. School lunch is a great example. Getting a good lunch makes students better to participate in classes after lunch. … [Also,] having appropriate technology allows teachers to enhance their lesson plans,” Murley said. Overall, the audit frequently affirmed the strength of the staff across departments. “They frequently cited the diligent and hard-working people we have and they cited that our staff was doing the best job they could with inadequate tools. … If we give our team the right tools, they have the power to create some really positive change,” Murley said.




LEFT: West students crowd the central staircase by the library every passing time. West High will offer more early bird classes for juniors and seniors to alleviate over-crowding.


Early bird gets the worm?

Additional early bird classes to be offered for juniors and seniors BY BRENNA DEERBERG It’s a near constant annoyance at West High - having to shove yourself and your backpack between groups of people in the hallways or racing the bell to your math class on the day of a big test. Thankfully, a temporary solution will be introduced starting next school year. According to Principal Jerry Arganbright, West High will implement an optional early schedule for next year’s juniors and seniors. “There will be a group of juniors and seniors who so choose who will come earlier [to school] and leave earlier [from school],” said Principal Jerry Arganbright. These students will attend school starting at 7:10 a.m., and leave after either fourth or fifth period. Students

who use the early schedule will have their open hours and study halls placed at the end of their day in order to get them off campus by sixth period. During the trimester that students have P.E., however, they will be allowed to use sixth period as well. This stretching of the school day is intended to cut down on the congestion before and after school, as well as easing the overcrowded classrooms and science labs. Arganbright stressed that students who choose to take advantage of this new schedule will have to leave the building as soon as their final class is done and return after school if they have activities to attend. Students will not be allowed to stay anywhere on campus during the remainder of the school day to avoid disruption to ongoing classes. Likewise, Arganbright said early

classes may be isolated to a small area of the building to minimize disruptions such as other students arriving for the regular school day, but the issue has yet to be directly addressed. The policy aims to achieve smaller class sizes, as well as creating greater flexibility for using science labs. Assistant Principal Molly Abraham said that whether or not certain elective classes will be available to early bird students has yet to be determined. The courses offered will be determined by student registration. She said that the administration will work to ensure that all classes are available to all students. “Hopefully we can figure out how we can [make all electives available to everyone],” Abraham said. Another issue will be making sure substitute teachers know when they

are supposed to arrive and making sure early students pay close attention to snow delays and snow days. Students will only be able to utilize this new scheduling if they meet a series of requirements. They must be able to provide their own transportation to and from school. In addition, they must have their parents’ or guardians’ permission and agree to use the early bird schedule for all three trimesters. The option to opt for this new time table will be available during regualr course scheduling. More information regarding available early bird classes will be announced after next year’s scheduling is completed. However, early bird P.E. will be available only to students who plan on taking on a full, seven period schedule. So far, 18 teachers have offered to have their year-long classes become an early bird option. However, not all of those teachers are guaranteed to teach an earlier schedule next year. Whether or not this change will be a positive one for many students is up to interpretation. Will the early bird get the worm?

English 9 to be offered with honors next year BY BRENNA DEERBERG brenna.deerb

Traditionally, freshman year is one of the last times students are enrolled in general classes without the option of adding honors or choosing subject area. But in an effort to upgrade options to accommodate every student, next year’s freshmen class will have the option of taking English nine with an honors distinction. Incoming freshmen will spend their first trimester at West High taking the same English class as the rest of their peers. However, come second or third trimester, students will have the option of adding an honors distinction to their transcript. 08 NEWS

“We didn’t want to shock ninth graders coming in,” said Principal Jerry Arganbright. Students in English nine honors will be in the same classroom as the rest of their peers, but will given extra assignments that allow them to dig deeper into the big units. “We didn’t just want to add more work for the honors students to do. We wanted to add a challenge [for motivated students],” said Havilah Peters, an English nine teacher. Kerri Barnhouse, a co-head of the English department, agrees with Peter’s assessment of the program. Barnhouse said that students will complete “enrichment assignments” to go along with the original curriculum. Barn-


house also feels that keeping the freshmen class together is important. “I think that kids can learn a lot from being together in mixed groupings,” Barnhouse said. “Everybody brings something different to a class. ... After ninth grade, [tracking] separates everybody, but we [wanted to keep freshmen together].” Assistant Principal Molly Abraham agrees. “[The English teachers] felt like this was a better way to [integrate an honors distinction] rather than have a separate English nine class,” Abraham said. “I think it’s a great plan. I like it myself.” Current freshmen see an option to take on an honors distinction as a good thing.

“I think [being able to take on an honors distinction in English is] a good idea, because if you want to put in the extra work you should be rewarded for it,” said current freshman Megan Donahoe. A group of five or six English teachers will be working on creating extension activities this summer to flesh out this program further. While the new program is still in its planning stages, some teachers are hopeful that the program will be a beneficial addition to the ninth grade curriculum. “[Adding the option to take English nine honors is] a step towards trying to reach all of our students across the board,” Peters said.

The rules of the road


Do you think

Congress considers setting the national driving age at 18

all of the other states in the nation do not allow [texing while driving],” Bandy said. However, Bandy says he does believe that 14 and 15-year-olds are mature enough to begin learning about driving as long as they are never unsupervised

ly impacted. “[The bill] probably would change the number of students enrolled for 14 and 15-year-olds, but also increase the number of older students. I have had students that were 21, 25, 34, 18 and 40 take driver’s ed.  They learned much more than expected with the course,” he said. Iowa state representative Mary Mascher, while not directly involved in the debate over the bill said that “It would be very difficult to pass such a bill in congress.  I think many states would oppose it, preferring state laws to Ron Bandy, driver’s ed teacher federal laws.” Bandy also says behind the wheel. that parents must play a huge role in According to the Iowa Department of teaching young adults about safe drivTransportation, in 2008 nearly 8,000 ing techniques and should set individstudent drivers under the age of 16 ual rules and restrictions within each were issued school licenses. Currently, home. motor vehicle crashes are the number “It is unfortunate that we are relying one cause of teenage deaths in Iowa. more and more on the [government] to And while Bandy knows that the bill raise and provide for our children and would influence the ages of students young adults as well as protecting the enrolled in his classes, he believes that vulnerable and ignorant,” he said.    overall enrollment would not be great-


Congress may be asked to consider a bill this January which would set a national standard that bumps the unrestricted driving age up from 16 to 18 years old. If passed, the bill would add a touch of tartness to the sweet sixteens of student drivers across the country. The bill would allow teenagers to receive a learner’s permit at age 16, as well as granting the eligibility to enroll in a driver’s education course. Arguments for the bill include an attempt to lower motor vehicle accidents and fatalities among minors. Driver’s education instructor Ron Bandy believes that the bill would be effective as well as beneficial for Iowa student drivers. “I am convinced, regardless of what some parents may believe, that 14 and 15 [years -old]  is too young… to take on the risk involved with driving because of their weakness and inability to avoid deadly distractions while driving [such as] cell phone-texting... Almost



“14 and 15 [years old] is

too young

you’re old enough to be a

responsible driver?

The West Side Story asks sophomores if they think they’re old enough to drive.

... to take on

“I’ve had a few incidents this year, but practice makes perfect. I feel like my driving abilities have [improved].”

the risk involved

with driving.”

Eleni Katz ’14

“I feel that I am responsible enough to drive. I don’t think I should have my liscence yet, but I think I’m old enough to Jacob Verry ’14 drive [with supervision].”

“As long as you take the [driver’s ed] courses and pass the tests [you can drive responsibly].” Kaitlyn McCurdy ’14





For these students with parents who work at West, every day is bring your kid to work day.


What’s it like during cross country practice? Brian: I don’t treat him any differently, I try to separate the parent and teacher expectations, he walks to his own beat. Avery: It’s not so bad, it means if I screw up in practice I get chewed out on the field and at home. Also it means he doesn’t have to worry about my parents if he decides to “motivate” me to run faster. On some occasions I’ll run past him and he’ll say ‘If you look behind you, you can see the mark in the grass from where you're dragging your butt so hard! Go!’ We’re so different that if he wasn’t my father, I wouldn’t get through the season without getting thrown off. PHOTO BY//QUENTIN MISIAG


How do you act in the halls? Brian: He tries to ignore me. I guess it depends on who he’s with, like if he’s standing with some girls I might walk up and give him a big hug. Other than that though I try to leave him his bubble. It’s hard to rattle his cage. Avery: It’s actually quite a show. He’ll walk up and make some comment like ‘You need a hair cut’ and then we’ll go back and forth with these until one of us walks away. One time I was hugging my girlfriend, and he came up behind me. Then when I was done he gave me a big dramatic hug, said he loved me, then walked away with a big cheesy smile.

WWW.WSSPAPER.COM Log on for exclusive web coverage.

Brian Martz coaches his son, Avery, in cross country.

Breitbach Family:


Paul Breitbach is a counselor for his son, Stephen, inside and out of school.

What’s it like when you have counselor meetings? Stephen: We never really set formal meetings. We still talk about the same stuff as other students but we can have longer, more personal meetings to see what classes fit best for me. Paul: When he started having grades, I started checking up on him, having conversations, it can be hard to manage being a father and a counselor. I want him to do well in school, but also be healthy and balanced, as is our goal for all the students we work with.

Belding Family:


Do people ever realize that you look alike or comment on it? Annie: Actually, people are always surprised that she is my mom. Do you think this makes it easier to be involved in their lives? Beth: Absolutely. Teenage years can be distancing, but I feel that our situation has allotted the opposite. What is it like when you mom leads one of your classes? Emily: I try to show her the same respect that I would show for any other teacher. 10 FEATURE


Is it ever awkward being in the same building? Stephen: Not really, my friends know him and think he’s a pretty cool guy. They enjoy being around him. Sometimes they’ll even say “hi” too. Paul: As a freshman he was a little uncomfortable, but very quickly he got used to the idea. Especially with the added little benefits of having a good connection. Steph has always been easy to work with, from a week after he came home from the hospital he was sleeping through the night. PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH

When I first started at West, it was a little different for me because she has been teaching me things my entire life, but never in a school environment. Do you feel that this situation has brought the three of you closer together? Emily: This has put family bonding on a whole new level. We spend more time together and have a lot in common to talk about. Annie, Beth, and Emily Belding bond both at home, and in school.




For The Kids. The motto of Dance Marathon that is chanted to keep dancers motivated and remind them who they are dancing and raising money for: the kids with cancer receiving treatment at the UIHC Children’s Hospital. Dance Marathon is a year long effort to support these kids and their families, culminating in a 24 hour long event on Feb. 3 and 4 where participants can’t sit, sleep or drink caffeine. The WSS asked West students to share more about their experiences with Dance Marathon. “I decided to participate in Dance Marathon this year because last year was such an amazing experience. When you are at the Big Event and you hear all the family’s stories it makes you realize how fortunate you are and how the families really appreciate all the emotional and financial support you give them.”

“I kept participating b e cause it was s u c h a thrill to be a part of something so big and great. I loved getting to know new people and working together for a great cause.”

“I am involved in Dance Marathon because it is the most fun and inspiring 24 hours possible. Once you see how happy and excited the kids are, even while battling cancer, you realize that there really isn’t any reason not to be and it really helps to show you what is important in life and not to take anything for granted. Standing for 24 hours doesn’t compare to what they have to go through, and to know you are helping them is worth any cramp or pain you’ll ever have.” -Sara Petersen ’12

-Emily Starman ’14

-Lauren Larson ’13 “ T h e $ 4 0 0 amount definitely seemed o v e r whelming when I first heard it, but raising the money is actually a breeze. For the most part, I raised my money by sending out letters to family and close friends around Thanksgiving time. I also got involved with the fundraisers at West including the bake sale and DM t-shirt sales which raised a ton of money.”

-Jesse Robinson ’12


“[Power hour] is the final hour of Dance Marathon where everyone comes out on the dance floor and everyone is jammed together. It’s a non-stop hour of dancing. By this time, of course, you’re exhausted and your body kills. But you push through because you know that everything you’re doing is all for the kids. What you experience during Power hour is an indescribable feeling. You really feel like you are making a difference in these children’s lives and it is one of the most rewarding feelings I have ever felt.”

-Alli Peterson ’14

“[Dance Marathon] is a chance to [experience] a little bit of the pain that the kids go through when getting treatment. But we get to go home and get away from it at the end, which they don’t. It’s also awesome to raise money for a good cause, even though it is kind of challenging. And during the Big Event, we get to see what all the money is doing and how it is helping the kids. Hearing all the stories that are so inspirational is why I do it: for the kids.”

-Rob Grady ’12






Dynamite debate duo West policy debate team among top in nation BY ELEANOR MARSHALL

ART BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH 12 PROFILES You know that feeling when your teacher clarifies a concept and you find yourself unable to stop wondering why about a million different parts of the explanation? Or that itch you get to factcheck the sources of a friend’s information during a discussion? Do you make at least one sarcastic remark for every three sentences others utter? Liam Hancock ’12 and Jeffrey Ding ’12 do. In fact, the above characteristics are the hallmark of a policy debater, according to Ding. And he would know. The duo has been ranked first or second in the nation in policy debate by, which positions teams based on their performance at major tournaments. Ding and Hancock have debated their way to six bids – more than all but one team in the country - to the Tournament of Champions, the most prestigious tournament in debate. The pair has already been crowned champion of the University of Michigan tournament out of a field of over 150 competitors and reached semi-finals at the Glenbrooks, the nation’s largest high school speech and debate tournament. Policy debaters discuss the same topic all year, focusing on space exploration and development this year. But the development of new arguments and different manifestations of old ones keep every round interesting. “Every debate round desperately forces you to think of a reason that an argument is wrong. Every round is like a puzzle,” Hancock said. “[The hardest part] is gaining the ability to comprehend all the information thrown at you. It’s cool to realize that two things that are seemingly unrelated actually are.” Ding explains that each debate is equal parts research and thinking on your feet. Not only do debaters process information quickly, their speech is on pace with an auctioneer’s in an attempt to enunciate as many arguments as possible. “My friends sometimes call me slow pain because I’m slower [at speaking] than most people, but my arguments are just as painful. … [Debate is] really information-centered, because we believe that better information leads to better debating. … I read somewhere or heard from the grapevine that the amount of


research you do or information you soak up is equivalent to a master’s degree,” Ding said. According to Hancock, high levels of debate move beyond argument to persuasion. “A good policy debater realizes that debate is not a competition between you and the other team, it’s a conversation between you and the judge. It’s about communicating well with the judge. … [My favorite part is] the moment right after I end a speech where I’ve made all the points I needed to. [It’s] the moment after the timer stops and before the other team starts [cross-examination],” Ding said. Ding described policy debate as his “niche in the high school ecosystem,” and Hancock expressed similar sentiments – saying it attracts sarcastic and politically-minded people who don’t all agree, but are eager to argue about it. Policy debaters are somewhat infamous for linking almost everything to eventual nuclear war and condoning arguments about whether racism and sexism are actually good.

“People would be surprised at the crazy arguments you hear. There are people out there that say that this table is equal in worth to [a human] or that there’s no difference in worth between [a person] now and if I shot her and she was a corpse. … [Debate] forces you to have a reason why for everything and really understand why you accept basic premises like that everyone should have health care or that economic growth is good,” Hancock said. While policy is seriously academic, debaters make time to crack jokes in round. Hancock once “forgot” his third example in a reference to Rick Perry’s “oops” moment, and Ding said his go-to joke is “trust my math, I’m Asian.” Ding has been state champion for two consecutive years with his former partner, David Huang ’11, and is hoping for a third with Hancock. Ding is also hoping to get farther than his fourth place finish last year at the National tournament this spring, and Hancock seeks to win the Tournament of Champions – though the team has undebatably already championed good argumentation.

Speech and Debate West students Liam Hancock ’12 and Jeffrey Ding ’12 prepare for another after school debate practice. PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH

Curry’s many faces BY SHIRLEY WANG Paul Curry ’14 has many different personalities. In fact you could say he has about six of them. In his portrayal of The Book of Mormon, these personalities come out to play, earning him laughs, admirers and sixth place at Glenbrooks, the largest high school speech and debate competition in the nation. Ever since his eighth grade teacher encouraged him to join the Northwest Junior High speech club, Curry has been practicing daily to perfect his many characters, all of which he performs by himself in the event Humorous Interpretation. The process is like creating a person; it takes a personality, physical traits and entertaining voices to build a distinct character. “You want to work on small little actions that the character might do, like adjust his backpack or change his voice or react differently to different lines because judges will really appreciate when you have a really cool, well-developed character,” Curry said. Speech, in many ways, is like acting in a play or musical. Acting is something Curry has experience in, having been in seven musicals and plays since


a young age, in addition to a role in last year’s production of The Princess Bride. “I’ve always been dramatic, so I guess it just kind of came naturally,” Curry said. And in some ways speech is different from acting on stage. In speech, a performer performs either alone or with a partner and in a short time span. “It’s a ten minute speech and it seems kind of short, but there’s so much you can do. It has to be memorized and it even goes beyond in that all the jokes need to land and there can’t be too many jokes otherwise the audience is like ‘what’s going on, Curry said. Ten minutes is enough for Curry. “There is so much you can do in those ten minutes.” Curry said. RIGHT: “Some people think you’re born with set amount of facial expressions, but you’d be surprised how elastic your face can be,” Curry ’14 said. BELOW: Lew ’12 gives a speech during a practice debate. LEFT: The nations #1 debate team poses for the WSS. Hancock ’12 was recently featured in Wired Magazine’s article on high school debate. PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH


Arguing to the top

BY AMELIA MOSER All kinds of debates have been held. The famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, the current political debates among potential Republican nominees, the arguments you have with your parents over whether you can borrow the car. Then there is high school debate. High school public forum debate puts argumentation skills to work in a format where two teams of two give a series of speeches on a set monthly topic. Katie Lew ’12 has competed in the activity for four years, going to tournaments around once a month, and is captain of the West public forum debate team. Thus far this year she has managed to earn one of two necessary qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions, or TOC, a national tournament annually held in Kentucky. “I think [going to the TOC] would be a great way to end my senior year. I am really hoping we will be able to get a second bid in order to qualify,” Lew said. Lew earned her first bid in December, debating with partner Eleanor Marshall ’12 at the Dowling Catholic debate tournament in Des Moines. It was the first tournament they attended together.

Aside from the exhilaration of success, Lew says the activity is good for social reasons. “One of my favorite things about speech and debate has been all the great friends I have met through the activity,” Lew said. In order to practice, the team meets to discuss new arguments. “The first thing we do when we get a new topic [each month] is as a public forum team discuss ideas for our cases. After we have bounced ideas off of each other, each partner writes either the pro or con [arguments],” Lew said. Lew enjoys the variety of topics. “I love being able to take a new topic each month that I know very little about and become an expert on it by the end of the month. The activity keeps you very informed on current issues going on,” she said. She says her favorite topic so far this year has been “Resolved: In the United States, current income disparities threaten democratic ideals.” “It was a topic that was fun to debate because it was very current with the Occupy Wall Street movement and something that I felt pretty strongly about,” Lew said.





Will Code’s three legged-friend When Ranger the golden retriever was four, he got a little more than he had bargained for. The larger than life golden retriever had cancer in his back hind leg, and it was spreading fast. In order to save his life, the Code family did the only thing that vets said would stop it: they amputated. At first there was fear that the pup would take weeks if not months to recover and get used to life with only three legs. Much to the Code’s surprise not two weeks later Ranger, weighing in at close to 100 lbs, was up and moving. “I was going to give [Ranger] a walk, but my mom warned me to go slow because he was still recovering. Right after we started out, he sprinted and dragged me the entire walk,” said Will Code ’13.

Ranger takes no additional work to take care of or feed. In fact, he’s just like any other golden retriever except a tiny bit slower. He only has three legs, but he certainly acts as if he has all four in tact, and is ready to break the 100 meter dash record. “Whenever we take him swimming he thinks we’re all drowning and tries to rescue us. Watching him drag my brother to shore is a sight to behold,” Code said. Ranger uses his size to his advantage, and Code warns not to mess with him, he may only have three legs but he’s absolutely stronger than you are. “I’ve never tried wrestling him. He almost knocks me over just when he’s greeting me at the door,” Code said.

Savannah Butler rescues rare animals

Will Code sits with his three legged dog, Ranger. Most people have one to two pets. Any owner really social. My mom did some research and is a brave soul who’s ready to take on lots of found out quite a bit about ground squirrels and cleaning, lots of training and lots of animal food we went to a rescue center; the rest is history,” if they have more. Most owners have only cats or Butler said. dogs but right now let go of that assumption. For Ground squirrels are very much like guinea Savannah Butler ’13, three cats, a dog, some fish, pigs, they love to be held and can be very social. a lobster, rats, a gecko, frogs and two ground Mini is yet another step closer to domestication. squirrels were her roommates. “If you scratch him he gets really excited and Though many of the animals have come and makes noises sort of like a guinea pig. It’s so cute. gone, she still shares space with Mini and Sunny, They also ‘yahoo’ when someone sneezes or her two ground squirrels. All of the animals the makes a really loud noise,” Butler said. family owns are rescued from shelters and ocNo two animals are alike, and Butler has seen casionally the side of the road. But how Butler the personalities of the whole spectrum. They’re decided on ground squirrels, well that’s more all different, and they all have their own likes and than just providing a home. dislikes, but in her own words, learning about “I wanted a chinchilla but my parents didn’t them is worthwhile and they’re also really cute. want one because they’re nocturnal and not


Savannah Butler holds her pet ground squirrel. She has two of them: Mini and Sunny.

Paul Ross’s prickly pal Pets can often be perceived as something to hug or to stroke as they respond joyfully. Then there are the pets owners wouldn’t be caught dead sticking their hands on. And in this case, it might actually harm them. Paul Ross ’13 grew up with a hedgehog named Dixie and lived with it up until its departure five years ago. To put things simply, a hedgehog isn’t a run of the mill house pet. How does one end up with a hedgehog? Well in Ross’s case it was delivered to his front doorstep. “My grandpa surprised us with it. He got it some place in Arizona. [My parents] were surprised because they didn’t really want it. But my mom gave in. She’s a sucker for pets,” Ross said. Although hedgehogs have pointy spines, they are not poisonous or barbed. And unlike its porcupine cousin


Paul Ross loved to play with his pet hedgehog, Dixie, when he was younger.


the barbs aren’t easily removed. The spines may not be deadly, but they are still very sharp, and this fact kept Ross on alert. “I pretty much steered clear of it when it was out roaming around. I was a bit scared of its pointy quills. Whenever it got scared it rolled up in a ball and you could hear faint growling,” Ross said. When considering the diet of a hedgehog, 10 lb bags of peanut butter protein pebbles easily purchased from a local convenience store don’t come to mind. But what they do eat resembles more of a trout. Little meal worms Ross describes as “disgusting little things.” The life of a domestic hedgehog might not be as exciting as Nintendo star Sonic, but it’s absolutely unique. The only other addition would have been to teach it to collect rings. “I LOVE MY PET GECKO, BOB.” - KRISTEN LINEBACK ’13



with SPIT directors

Every kid loves to play, but especially the four seniors directing Students Producing Innovative Theater, or SPIT. Evan McCarthy ’12, Nicky Beaurivage ’12, Nick Gerken ’12 and Javier Miranda-Bartlett ’12 will present their student-led productions Feb. 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.


Javier Miranda-Bartlett ’12 West Side Story: What first sparked your interest in theater? Javier Miranda-Bartlett: My sister was involved in theatre at West for four years before I came to West. She always had such fun at shows and was such good friends with everyone she worked with that it seemed like a great community. And it is. WSS: Was directing what you expected it to be? JMB: Directing is harder than I expected it to be, but it’s really just natural that the people you cast will do things unlike how you would do them. The best part of directing is actually when actors will do this incredible stuff you’d never expect. WSS: What was the most difficult part of directing thus far? JMB: The most difficult part of directing is figuring out how to ask actors to do things. People are motivated by different things, so it can be about knowing how each actor works.


WSS: What is your role as a director? JMB: Along with my co-director, Nick Gerken, I picked out a script, cast the characters, determine the rehearsal schedule and decide how each scene is performed. We also work out the lighting for each scene, decide what props we’re going to use and how we’re going to position the set.


Nicky Beaurivage ’12

WSS: Do you like directing or being a stage manager better? NB: It’s hard to know at this point which I like better because I like both of them for different reasons. I like all the responsibility and pressure of stage managing during the actual run of the show. However, I enjoy directing because I get to make more decisions that influence the show. WSS: Why did you decide to direct the drama?



Nick Gerken ’12 WSS: Can you give us a brief synopsis of the comedy you’re directing? NG: Jonathan, a ditzy real-estate agent, is sent to Transylvania to close a sale with the mysterious Count Dracula. When Dracula falls in love with Jonathan’s fiancee, of whom he sees a picture and mistakes for his bride of centuries past, a zainy adventure ensues. WSS: What was the most difficult part of directing thus far? NG: The most difficult part is keeping organized. There are an awful lot of things to do when you put on a show. Then, you have to make sure all four of the directors are on the same page, and on top of that you’ve got around 20 actors to keep in the loop. WSS: Is Spielberg overrated?

NB: I got chosen by last year’s SPIT directors to direct the drama, but I’m glad I’m directing the drama because I would like to try and give the audience something to really think about and possibly be affected by instead of just trying to make them laugh. WSS: What is your favorite part about Theatre West? NB: My favorite part about Theatre West is that it really does turn into a kind of family. The program always has so many different kinds of kids involved and is very accepting of new people so it’s easy for people to find a place to fit in and feel accepted which I think is really important for kids, especially in high school. WSS: Do you plan on pursuing some form of theater in college? NB: I plan on going to a theater school and hopefully major in stage management. I may change my mind on the area of theater I want to do, but I definitely want to stay in the theater industry for a career.

The directors for the 2012 SPIT productions converse in a West High corridor. From left: Evan McCarthy ’12, Nicky Beaurivage ’12, Nick Gerken ’12, and Javier Miranda-Bartlett ’12. NG: I don’t think so. To direct something and make it good is one thing. To direct something and make it a classic is impressive. And then to do it consistently, repeatedly-- that’s pretty awesome. WSS: What is your role as a director? NG: As a director, I have to collaborate with Javier to make sure the actors look good. Really, it’s their moment in the sun, and we’re there to make sure it’s the best experience it can be for them.


Evan McCarthy ’12 WSS: What is Lockdown about? EM: Lockdown’s about a group of students trapped in their classroom during a lockdown. Nobody knows what’s going on and the show is meant to explore how different kinds of people will react to a stressful situation. WSS: How did you become a director? EM: There was a selection process at the end of last year where people who had been in at least two theatre shows could “audition” for the SPIT direc-

tors that year, and then they picked the people they thought would be most qualified. WSS: What is your favorite part about theatre West? EM: It’s hard to break it down into parts now that I’ve been involved in more than one aspect, so I’ll just say all of it. WSS: Is it theatre or theater? EM: Theatre. Definitely theatre. WSS: Do you plan on pursuing some form of theatre in college? EM: If I can, yeah. Most of the schools I’m looking at have good student theatre and school produced programs so I hope that I’ll be able to keep being involved. COMPILED BY//LEAH MURRAY


15 A&E



“I’m in an environment where everyone is just as academically motivated as me: one hundred percent.” -Diana Tchadi PHOTO COURTESY OF// DIANA TCHADI



hile most fourteen-year-olds in Iowa City leave the halls of Northwest Junior High to attend West High, a mere three miles away, Diana Tchadi ’14 embarked on a 1,000 mile journey to attend Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts. According to Tchadi, she applied to Phillips Andover Academy in order to be “more academically challenged.” “At Andover, there are no kids who fall asleep. I found that usually at [Northwest] there were only a few students who were attentive and raised their hand, but at Andover everyone is like that. At school, I feel like I’m in an environment where everyone is just as academically motivated as me: one hundred percent,” Tchadi said. 16 FEATURE

Tchadi has a challenging course load, enrolled in college chemistry, pre-calculus and study of logic courses. Although her courses are difficult, she is able to receive one-on-one attention with teachers. “The classroom environment is really small; there’s about a six to one student-teacher ratio. It makes the biggest difference. Tons of seniors will come back and visit and say college isn’t that bad. I think the rigorous pace of learning here prepares us, so [I think] college will be easy for me,” Tchadi said. At Phillips Andover, students are required to be a member of a sports team. Tchadi, who received an athletic/academic-based scholarship given to about fifteen students each year, competes on the varsity soccer, indoor and outdoor track teams. “More students here are involved in some type of extracurricular activity. Sports are required and many students are involved in community service,” Tchadi said.


Although Tchadi is plenty occupied in academics and athletics, she is experiencing a newfound independence while living on the school’s campus. “Living alone has made me feel completely independent. Since I’m more than halfway across the country from my parents, I can’t just call them when I need something or help with homework,” Tchadi said. Tchadi usually spends weekends with friends, buying groceries for her dorm from a local organic food store or simply roaming the diverse streets of Boston, a five-minute walk from the school’s campus. “There’s so much diversity here and it’s really neat. Some of my best friends and classmates come from Korea, New Zealand, China and Sweden. . . I really like the way people in the East Coast dress and speak. You see a lot more pea coats, button-down shirts and ties. It was kind of a culture shock and took getting used to, but I really love it here,” Tchadi said.


“They’re also incredibly nice, incredibly smart, and incredibly engaged people.” -Thea Raymond-Sidel “I felt like I just wanted a change - a change of scenery, a change of pace. …You can’t really give something like this a shot. I didn’t really realize that. It’s hea Raymond-Sidel ’12 was slightly older kind of all or nothing,” she said. “If I was going to than 11 when she got her acceptance let- move halfway across the country and do something ter, and her flight takes off just past terminal like that I wanted to be with really engaged people.” Andover doesn’t offer AP or honors courses, be9¾, but after finishing eighth grade at Northwest Junior High, she had a hard time convincing the muggles cause it wants all classes to be at a high academic standard. Raymond-Sidel’s favorite subject is history. she left behind that she wasn’t heading to Hogwarts. “The classes can be really competitive, but that leads Instead, she apparated in Andover, Massachusetts, and unpacked her trunks at Phillips Andover Acad- to great discussions. I mean, I’m a pretty competitive emy, the boarding school she’ll graduate from in May. person, but there isn’t so much unfavorable competiAlthough she spells homework answers instead of in- tion. People respect what other people are doing… cantations, and students turn out for lacrosse instead You have to fundamentally enjoy [academics] just to of quidditch, Raymond-Sidel agreed to snitch about get through it, so everyone to a degree is really academically-minded and really driven,” she said. her home (and school) away from home. Raymond-Sidel is a commentary editor for AndoRaymond-Sidel’s sister, Rosie Raymond-Sidel ’08, also attended Andover, but it was the academic rigor ver’s student publication, The Phillipian. She is also the head of the Microfinance Non-profit Initiative, which more than the familiarity that charmed her. raises money for small loans primarily benefitting women in Haiti. Although she visit nearby Boston as often as These Iowans have a 1,000 mile doesn’t she’d like, she spends many weekends by commute to high school. Orginally the New Hampshire border – pausing her academics for paws. She feeds and walks from Iowa City, they headed east shelter puppies there to fulfill her lifelong in search of academic rigor and dream of dog ownership. Furry friends are forbidden in Andover’s independence, landing at Phil- dorms, but Raymond-Sidel has enough responsibilities as a proctor for lips Andover Academy, a boarding weekly a floor of sophomore girls, which she school near Boston. compares to a prefect in Harry Potter – providing supervision and support for younger students.



“One of the girls likes to come into my room and watch Jon Stewart with me because she used to watch it with her family,” she said. Rituals like these have helped Raymond-Sidel grow close with many of her diverse classmates. “I wasn’t expecting everyone to be so nice, or everyone to be so different. … You sit in class and the kid next to you is from California and the other kid next to you is from Korea and that’s normal. [The ‘preppy’ boarding school stereotype] fits to a certain extent. I won’t lie and say a lot of people here aren’t from New England and play lacrosse. But they’re also incredibly nice, incredibly smart, incredibly engaged people. People would be surprised by how inclusive it is,” she said. Even Iowans find their place in the campus culture, she said. “It’s very cool to see Iowans on campus. You feel like you have some shared heritage. … [Being Iowan] is kind of a little joke, like when I’m eating corn at dinner, but it’s nothing mean-spirited at all. … [Kids from other places are] all dispelling stereotypes about their own places, and as are we,” she said. Raymond-Sidel is headed to Columbia University next year to study economics and history. Although she’s a veteran dorm dweller, she said she will still have plenty of adjusting to do in college. “I wouldn’t say I’m more prepared [for college], I might even be jaded when people leave pizza boxes in the room. I’d be like, ‘Take it out to the recycling. Who are you?’ … College is different because our lives are so structured here,” she said. Raymond-Sidel’s parents have since moved to Madison, Wisconsin, but her friends keep her connected to Iowa City.

“I’m with my best friends 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s like a never-ending sleepover.” -Scott Diekema



or most high school seniors, saying goodbye to home is a daunting task. They have grown accustomed to their parent’s cooking, beloved pets and best friends. Journeying out into the world alone for the first time is a truly scary thing. For Scott Diekema, however, a current sophomore at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, leaving the nest was just another adventure. After touring the school with a family friend, Diekema immediately felt comfortable with the school and what it offered. And so, instead of attending West High for the 2010-11 school year, Diekema flew over 1,000 miles to attend the prestigious boarding school out East. Many of his friends were sad to see such a valued member of the class depart.

“Scott was the one who helped bring all the school together, plus the kid was hilarious. All around [he was] a nice guy,” said friend Abbey Lawrence ’14. Diekema’s choice to leave wasn’t as much about flaws in Iowa as the promise of amazing things in Massachusetts. According to Diekema, the school has definitely delivered. “One of my favorite aspects of boarding school is that I’m with my best friends 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s like a never-ending sleepover. I also love the independence of boarding school. We can go into Boston for the night if we want, or just hangout downtown. It’s a lot like college,” Diekema said. Of course though, just like any child away from home, there are some drawbacks. “The biggest disadvantage for me is being away from home. I miss my family, my friends back home and just Iowa in general,” Diekema said.

However, living out East on his own has allowed Diekema to experience a new culture and see a different way of life. “Being away at school has made me more independent and I’ve adjusted slightly to the culture…the culture is very different [from Iowa], but not necessarily in a good or bad way. There are fewer cornfields, and more lacrosse fields. Also, I’ve noticed that the people out east drive more aggressively than Iowans. It can be scary sometimes,” Diekema said. When Diekema does come home from the lacrosse fields and scary drivers, there is one thing (other than his family) that he cannot wait to have. “It’s hard to go without a Pancheros burrito for three months, but it makes that first burrito, when I come back to Iowa, so much better,” Diekema said.




Encarnação steps right into the spotlight BY OLIVE CARROLLHACH

Thousands of years ago, nomadic tribes roamed North America. These people could cover thousands of miles in a lifetime. For most of us, things have changed. But over the course of his short life, Yannik Encarnação ’14 has lived everywhere from his family’s homeland in Germany to New York, finding new ways to adapt wherever he settles. Every time Encarnação and his family relocate due to his father’s university job, his love for the theater and fondness for new people help him acclimate to a new environment. Having been at West for just two months last fall, Encarnação took center stage as Lefou, Gaston’s sidekick, in Theater West’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Due to the demanding schedule and rigorous expectations of putting on a musical or play in high school, many cast members believe there are few better ways to bond with fellow students. “When you’re in a musical, you get to know people in a way you can’t know them otherwise. Take the kids at West. Other kids have known them for years longer than me, but I might still know them better because we shared [this experience],” Encarnação said. Although Encarnação will admit

there is some hierarchy in the musical caused by a division of grade and skill level, he says “the line between people can be easily crossed if you’re willing to put in some work.” Fellow Goodtime member Will Code ’13 quickly bonded with Encarnação when he joined choir. “I liked him because he was really friendly and forward. He wasn’t shy or reserved like many kids from other schools,” Code said. Although his attitude may be atypical for a new-comer, Encarnação’s forwardness is a trait shared by many students in show choir. “I think everyone in show choir has a pretty open attitude. It’s a class that’s different and variety can take people out of their comfort zones,” Code said. His comfort with both the limelight and meeting new people is one reason Encarnação became interested in acting. “I’ve always been an actor. I like being involved with others and being in the spotlight. It gives me an opportunity to showcase myself,” he said. Though he may be a choir kid, Encarnação literally plays the field with his interests. He quickly joined Alliance soccer club upon moving to Iowa and is hard at work training for the spring where he will try out for a varsity position on West’s nationally ranked team.


ABOVE: In West High’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Yannik Encarnação ’14 played Lefou, Gaston’s bumbling counterpart. Due to his many activities, Encarnação has little time to spare, yet this Junior has no shortage of determination. “The biggest thing I’ve learned from soccer is that you’re never done working and you can’t ever stop. When you don’t play for even a little bit, you lose all you had to begin with. I apply that mentality to everything I do,” Encarna-

cao said. Whether he’s in America or Germany, on the stage or the soccer field, Encarnação keeps a positive outlook. “Whenever I move and leave people behind, I remind myself there’s always better things to come,” Encarnação said.

Blaise and Justine Shabani cross continents BY ZORA HURST A typical day for Justine and Blaise Shabani ’13 in their home of Congo went something like this: wake up and finish a few last homework assignments, do some housework, read a well-loved book and then start classes. Which were conveniently located in their home. “English wasn’t a class we had [in Congo],” said Justine. The first thing she noticed was different about America was the education system. “We could finish studying and relax at home.” The French-speaking junior and her brother Blaise moved to Iowa City for 18 PROFILES

their parents’ jobs--their mother works at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Most of their family and friends still reside in the Congo. “[School here] isn’t hard--we just don’t know the language,” said Justine. “My favorite class has been math,” said Blaise. His sister’s academic tastes are different. “[I prefer] history... It’s important to know the past, to prepare ourselves [for what may come],” said Justine.

RIGHT: Justine (left) and Blaise (right) Shabani ’13 are siblings who moved from their home in the Congo to Iowa City this winter.



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Today, Feb. 3

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“I feel that there’s only one type of race and that’s the human race.” -Waale Gbara ’13


n Jan. 16, a group of 50 people paraded through the Iowa City Pentacrest, their arms linked and heads held high in silence. The rubber soles of their shoes scraped against the leftover sand on the bare sidewalks of downtown Iowa City. After turning the last corner, the marchers filed into the Old Capitol Building to listen to the first black female Iowa Supreme Court Justice, Romonda D. Belcher. Belcher praised Martin Luther King Jr. and highlighted her own experiences with racism as she addressed the audience of community members. “Growing up, I experienced racism or I realized people were treated differently either because of race or economic background,” Belcher said. Belcher says she grew up in an environment where she was often the only person of color and she sensed that she was different. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a judge. “My dream was not becoming the first African American judge, my dream was

to help people [by becoming a judge],” Belcher said. From the march across the Pentacrest to the daily navigation of high school’s halls, Iowa City citizens are walking together during Black history month and every month – despite the stereotypes that still abound. At West High, students disagree on how prominent racism is. They affirm that there are existing racial stereotypes, but at what point do they become harmful? “I think we still have racism.We aren’t really being discriminative, but we’re making judgments,” said Andy Rosse ’13, who describes himself as “racially ambiguous.” Rosse recalls several racist remarks made by a former instructor, who assumed that Rosse was Mexican, but he says remarks like this do not really bother him. Conor Henry ’14 has also been mistakenly called Mexican, when he is, in fact, Greek. Henry agrees with Rosse, saying that stereotypes usually do not become a problem unless acted upon. Sarah Kolder ’13, who has one black parent and one white parent, questions her identity because of stereotypes.


Civil Rights Movement in Iowa

1851 The Iowa General Assembly removed the ban on inter-racial marriage.

The Iowa Constitution was modified to give African Americans the same rights as every citizen.


“If I were to call myself black I would get criticism but I don’t really call myself white either,” Kolder said. Kolder, who has lived in Iowa City for her whole life, recalls being one of four black kids in elementary school. While she says she has never experienced bullying or harassment because of her race, she has been a victim of the assumptions made based on her skin. “It hurts a lot when people say you’re not really black, but it’s hard to argue otherwise,” Kolder said. “People make assumptions that aren’t fair, but there’s not necessarily something you can do.” Waale Gbara ’13 says she also felt ostracized from her African American classmates in elementary school. “In elementary school I was treated very differently from my African American peers because I spoke differently from them,” Gbara said. “I’m friends with a lot of different people but my closest friends are not black.” The situation described by both Gbara and Kolder was portrayed in a recent exhibit at the Johnson County Historical Museum and the Cedar Rapids African American museum. “The Only One: Exploring the Experiences of Being a Minority in Iowa” is a collection of photos and oral histories from African American Iowans who have experienced the “only one” situation, according to Doris Montag, who helped develop the exhibit.

1868 The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a 12-year-old girl could not be barred from a Muscatine school on the basis of race in Clark Vs. Board of Directors.

“I am in a mixed relationship with a local man who collects African American history and artifacts. About six to seven years ago we were discussing exhibits using his collection and he told me that he would like to tell the story of being the “Only One”: meaning the only African American in white groups. He had many photos with only one Black in the group and we conceived this as a photo exhibit,” Montag said. The exhibits, which opened in January, were funded by a $10,000 Humanities Iowa grant. The exhibit’s introduction states: “Historically in Iowa, racial and ethnic minority groups have made up less than 10% of Iowa’s population. Many photographs exist of sports teams, organizations and other groups in which only one member of the group is a racial or ethnic minority. Being an ‘only one’ was and continues to be a common experience for Iowans who are members of a minority group.” The experience of the ‘only one’ is still a reality to many minorities but there are many existing support systems here, including Successful Students Inspired through Knowledge and Education, or SSIKE. According to the organization’s president, Alaa Mohamedali ’12, SSIKE is centered on education and provides volunteer opportunities, access to scholarships and information to help students prepare for college. The club is targeted for

The Iowa General Assembly passed the Civil Rights Law, making it a crime to deny equal enjoyment of all places of amusement.


1924 Native Americans are given the right to vote.

minorities, but welcomes all students regardless of race. Mohamedali says that SSIKE programs such as the Diversity Focus program have helped her learn about the importance of diversity, which plays a key role in influencing new ideas. At the same time, Mohamedali said subtle racism occurs so frequently that it has become the norm. She says she jokes with her other ‘headscarf friends,’ or Muslim students that wear the hijab, that they have three things counting against them: they’re women, they’re not white and they wear headscarves. With so many things counting against you, it can be hard to stay positive, but Mohamedali says she and her friends do not let that limit them.

She admits that she has probably surprised some people and she thinks that some students do not work as hard because of others’ expectations based on their race. According to Mohamedali, race can determine what others expect from you but it does not affect who you are. “I feel that what race you are should not determine your character or what you want out of life,” Mohamedali said. Gbara agrees that race does not play a part in personal identity. “I feel that there’s only one type of race and that’s the human race. Skin color has nothing to do with your personality, what you’re able to do,” Gbara said.



ABOVE: A collection of artifacts depicting African American imagery are displayed as part of “The Only One: Exploring the Experiences of Being a Minority in Iowa,” a new exhibit at the Johnson County Historical Society. The exhibit, which will be on display for the duration of 2012, encourages visitors to share their own experiences as the only one.

ABOVE: Civil Rights supporters march past the steps of the Old Capitol building in downtown Iowa City on January 16th. The event was held in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day. “The walk was a perfect symbol for our theme: walking forward in unity,” said University of Iowa President Sally Mason, as she addressed the crowd after the march.

The first permanent North American Mosque is constructed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It becomes known as ‘The Mother Mosque.’


1949 The Iowa Supreme Court successfully applies the 1884 Civil Rights Law for the first time in the State of Iowa vs. Katz case.

The Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 established the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, which enforces statutes that prohibit discrimination.


1980 The Iowa Supreme Court rules that divorce child custody orders must not be based on race.

Iowa statutes offer enhanced penalties for crimes committed because of Hate Crime protected characteristics.




JUSTIN GORGONE ’12 FAVORITE MOVIE The Lion King, I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid. It was one of the first things in my childhood that made me fall in love with music. FAVORITE DANCE MOVE Tilts and C-Jumps. They are so much fun. I always used to idolize dancers that were able to do them, and now that I can I just want to do them over and over again. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to dance. FAVORITE SONG My favorite song changes very often, however, I have always and will always love the music of Kate Nash. Her music really speaks to me. FAVORITE SONG TO PERFORM “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars. This is the song my solo dance routine for the Debut Dance Recital is to. It is so serious and intense. It’s such a challenge to bring out the emotions from the lyrics into the choreography, but it’s also really fun. I also really enjoy “In the Midnight Hour” [by Wilson Pickett]. This is our second song we perform in [Good Time Company], and one of my favorite songs I’ve ever performed in show choir. The choreography was a challenge at first, but once we got it down it just became a party on stage.

FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT New York City, or any place where I can go shopping for hours and see a Broadway show all in one day. It’s like everything I love all wrapped up into one place. FIRST ALBUM Baby One More Time by Britney Spears. I got it for Christmas from my parents. Obviously, it was a good idea. FAVORITE ALBUM My favorite album is The Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack. There is nothing negative to say about it. FAVORITE TV SHOW One of my new favorite TV shows is Dance Moms. I just know that I’m going to be like one of them in fifteen years. WORDS OF WISDOM This year I have personally blossomed into the person I was meant to be. I’ve also achieved so much this year. I joined Forte dance company at Debut Dance and I am a choreography captain for the Good Time Company. I would have never guessed that this is who I would turn out to be, but I’m loving every second of it. COMPILED BY//HANNAH RUBLAITUS PHOTO BY//ZORA HURST


24 A&E


BEST of th e WEST Every issue our staff picks its favorite eats and treats.

Now it’s your turn. From a school-wide poll students voted on their favorite places to...


















With three locations within a ten minute drive from West and a burrito that can only be described as transcendent, Panchero’s hits all the requirements for a quick lunch. Despite having locations in 17 states, Panchero’s is truly an Iowa City tradition, with students of all ages flocking there at every opportunity. The prices may be slightly steep, but the price is well worth it for just one bite of their famous queso dip, a combination of molten cheese and pure deliciousness. Each burrito is reliably great, yet it feels like no two are ever the same. Every Panchero’s location has its own personality and burrito-making tendencies, leading to many fervid debates between students as to which location is the best. There is, however, one thing West students COMPILED BY// tend to agree on: Panchero’s is the best lunch stop DAN ROTHMAN there is.


Good will

Looking for a hotdog Halloween costume, ugly sweater for Christmas or simply some cheap and chic clothing? Look no further than Ragstock, voted West’s Best Vintage find. Located on 209 East Washington Street, this store is a great place for vintage clothing, both cheap and chic. Not only does the store contain a colorful array of Cosby sweaters, animal-shaped rings and shuttershades, it holds an adventure in itself. “There’s always different stuff every time you go in, so it never really gets boring. Every (visit) is a micro-adventure,” said Conor Henry ’14.


The University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) was voted West High’s best place to work out. For a $7 fee, you have complete access to 72 treadmills, 44 elliptical machines and numerous stationary bikes. The year-old facility boasts and features an Olympic-size pool with an 18-foot diving well and holds three basketball courts. Exercising not your thing? No worries. The lobby features a smoothie bar, a lounge area and a 50-foot rock climbing wall. “The downtown rec center is really great to workout. But it’s also a great place to run around and have fun,” said Jordan Rossen ’13.

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Dig up your old binoculars- it’s time for a safari. Downtown has many fascinating creatures to offer at all times of the day and night. Hip, lame, young and old; in Iowa City there are all kinds. Voted by students as best place to people watch, the ped mall furnishes visitors with free entertainment in warmer weather. Take a seat on a park bench and be sure to check off the animal prints of those barely-there sorority dresses. If the cold makes outdoor viewing difficult, there are many coffee places and stores filled to the brim with creep worthy subjects.


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GHURTIE’S 2nd Place Da Queireyn

3rd Place

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When it comes to studying, West students don’t look far, as the West High Library cruised to victory. With a variety of comfortable seating options, the library is the perfect place to spend an open hour cramming for a test or working through some homework with friends. On top of that, if students find the library too noisy to get work done (and the librarians try their hardest to ensure that that never happens), there are also three closed off study rooms available for student use.



27 A&E

equals 10%

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The Java House





With it’s family friendly atmosphere and creative flavors, in the past year Ghurtie’s has captured the hearts of West students as well as your vote for number one. With frozen yogurt flavors like birthday cake and pumpkin pie, as well as over thirty toppings for their many types of frozen yogurt, this locally owned dessert shop was the first of its kind in the Iowa City area. Ghurtie’s re-opened on February first, sporting new renovations and perhaps flavors. As for what exactly has changed, students will just have to stop by to find out and sport their fro-yo spirit. PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY



Band Crush The halls of West High have always been unique -- from clothing choices to favorite classes to artists that give us inspiration. Music is no exception. From jazz to Nirvana to Beyonce, check out these student’s most popular plays. “Right now I’m really into Tupac. He’s got great rhymes and his music is totally poetic. “All About You” makes me feel really hardcore. When I see other people, I just turn up the bass on my headphones so people will say ‘Who’s that G?’ When most people think of me, they think ‘Lady Gaga, gay stuff,’ not hardcore rap. [Listening to his music] is really empowering; it adds to the uniqueness of my personality.” -Dan Kauble ’13 “Lately, I’ve been listening to No Doubt and Rilo Kiley. I really enjoy the song “The Frug” by Rilo Kiley right now. It’s got some random lyrics and the song is a little reminiscent of the Beach Boys, whom I adore. I listen to it when I’m doing homework or late at night when I want something pleasant and familiar to listen to.” -Ruchira Laroia ’12

“My favorite album is Hello, Avalanche by the Octopus Project. I like to listen to it when I need to get something done, or I’m feeling good. I like this album because it has a lot of great synth riffs, and it reminds me of Daniel Gardarsson ’14.” -Graham Bly ’13 28 A&E

“I’m really into Metric right now. A friend told me about them this year . . . It’s really good driving music. The beats are cool and the lead singer is amazing. The track ‘Gimme Sympathy’ on their album really sticks out to me. I listen to them a lot . . . Metric time is all the time.” -Austin Parsons ’13

“My favorite artist is Beyoncé. Whenever I’m upset, I listen to her music because it’s so upbeat; it just puts me in a better mood. Her music is so much fun to dance to. The year the song “Single Ladies” came out, I took time to learn the dance she does in the music video.” -Alli Peterson ’14

“I’m really into the album World’s Bliss Medieval Songs of Love and Death by John Flegal. It just gives me the shivers. It has a really unusually sound, it’s very resonant. The singer has a great voice, and it’s really fun to look up the lyrics because they are written in middle English. I’m not exposed to this music often and it has a nice folk sound to it.” -Eva Thomas ’13

“I love listening to Drake, especially before races. He really pumps me up and makes me want to go forward. I really love “The Motto” off of Take Care. Also, his new album is amazing.” -Kiana Wilson ’15

“My favorite band is Nirvana; I enjoy listening to them when I’m alone so I can focus better on the meaning of the songs. Their songs appear to have little meaning when you first listen but when you listen a couple more times, you begin to find an underlying message and I tend to make sense of those. “Lithium” is a great example; every line in the song contradicts itself.” -Bryston Peden ’13

“I love to listen to [the album] When the Heart Emerges Glistening by Ambrose Akinmusire. I discovered [Ambrose Akinmusire] two years ago when he came to Iowa City. It’s not the standard old school jazz; it has a modern hip-hop fuse to it. I like how his music is more emotion-based; it’s deep. I can listen to it for two hours and do absolutely nothing else.” -Blake Manternach ’13

“The Once soundtrack with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova is my favorite album, it’s so passionate. “The Hill” has made me cry multiple because it’s so powerful. Also, I have good memories listening to it in the summer and singing along with my sisters. And it’s so good, it actually won a Grammy.” -Lily Pypes ’14


The deal on synthetic marijuana

PAGE DESIGN BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH We’re all familiar with marijuana, the notorious gateway drug. We’ve learned about it in health class. Currently, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that 25% of teenagers surveyed have tried it at one point in their life. Among the many key consequences is the threat of arrest. Ask yourself, what if it were legal? Recently, a new substance that is rumored to be legal has been making its way into communities across the country and in the all-too familiar halls of West High: synthetic marijuana. Commonly referred to as “spice,” “K2” and “genie,” it is frequently made by spraying a leafy plant, often a legal one like potpourri, with chemicals that create a high. The state of Iowa recently outlawed six common chemicals used, and is doing everything in its power to keep all types of the substance illegal, said Levi Kannedy, West High’s MECCA counselor - a task he says, is hindered by the ever-changing ingredients used to keep the chemicals unregulated and the drug untestable. “[Synthetic marijunana] is not actually legal. That’s the biggest misconception. An officer can arrest you for any substance producing a marijuana-like high,” he said, explaining that “stores [that sell synthetic marijuana] are able to get around legal obstacles by marketing the drug as incense used for burning, and labeling it ‘not for human consumption.’” Iowa City Police Sergeant Denise Brotherton said that although you can buy “herbal incense,” another name for

synthetic marijuana, legally, officers When first starting out, the senior can arrest anyone for possession of the female didn’t have any reservations drug. about the substance. However, one Aside from producing a similar hal- time in particular, she said her head lucinogenic state to the one that comes felt as though it was spinning unconfrom smoking the herbal variety,the trollably. She said she wanted to go to packaging of the synthetic marijuana the hospital as soon as possible, afraid also draws in users. The inconspicu- she wouldn’t make it through the night ous packaging frequently looks similar alive. to small bags of candy or cough drops, The physical and psychological efcomplete with colorful, attractive de- fects that result from the drug are signs. unique One a n d f e n u male mersenior o u s. w h o A c c hose cordThat’s the biggest misconception. to reing to main t h e anonoffice for any substance producing ymous of Nasaid tional s h e Drug conConLevi Kannedy, sidt r o l West High MECCA counselor ers it Policy, safer use of than synthe herbal variety because it does not thetic marijuana can result in nausea, show up on basic urine screenings and agitation, vomiting, a racing heartbeat, the experience is shorter. elevated blood pressure, tremors, sei“Synthetic is also readily available zures, hallucinations and paranoid bewhen I want it,” she said. When she havior. Case reports reveal psychotic first started using, it was considered episodes, withdrawal and dependence legal. in users of synthetic marijuana. Kanne“I found out about it through people dy reports that the makers of synthetic that have graduated from West and oth- marijuana change the exact chemier area high schools who I met through cal compounds to circumvent those a few mutual friends. I first tried it “banned” by law, leading to dangerous when I was 16 and the most recent and unknown ingredients. time I smoked it was this past summer.” Medical first responders report that




“[Synthetic marijunana] is

not actually legal.

An officer can arrest you

a marijuana-like high”

individuals using these substances have suffered from intense hallucinations. “People report that the high brings more bizarre hallucinations,” Kannedy said. A senior male’s experience with the drug is far more nerve-wracking. He regrets ever using the substance, saying the feelings while under the influence are almost indescribable. “It felt like maggots were eating my eyes out. Eventually, I got to a point where I thought I was going to die,” he said. Another student reports that it made her feel extremely depressed and sick. During her last experience, she recalled thinking about suicide the entire night. The friend she was with, also a West High student, even had a seizure under the influence of synthetic marijuana. A final regretful West High senior said, “It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, in all eighteen years of my life. If you have ever thought about trying it, simply don’t. It turned my surroundings into faceless cartoon characters that wouldn’t stop.” A junior male said that despite his troubles with the substance, he says he’s not going to turn it down if offered; rather, he simply won’t buy it. According to Sergeant Denise Brotherton of the Iowa City Police Department, “The legislation to make the drug illegal was a long process and despite the new law, I don’t believe it will stop individuals from experimenting with it. I would imagine the use will continue due to the ignorance of individuals who think that it isn’t as real or harmful as traditional marijuana.”




The truth about synthetic marijuana according to a recent report conducted by the National Institute of Health.

1 in every 9 high school seniors have used synthetic marijuana in the past year and 1 in every 15 high school students smokes synthetic or natural marijuana on a nearly daily basis. Poison control centers received 5,741 calls about synthetic marijuana since October, 2011. This is double the number from 2010. The chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana have not been tested for toxicity in humans. Users report suffering from psychotic episodes, withdrawal and dependence. ART BY// OLIVE CARROLLHACH ART BY// OLIVE CARROLHACH



Necessary or supplementary?



West Side Story has the scoop on vitamins from A-Z BY JULIANN SKARDA

How many students at West report to the nurse’s office complaining of scurvy? Probably the same number of students who are currently suffering from rickets. Such instances are rare according to pharmacist Leslie Kallsen, mother of Erin Kallsen ’13, because “most Americans have access to all the foods necessary to prevent vitamin deficiency related diseases.” Diets following the guidelines laid down by the food pyramid have become more easily attainable in the last century, and are even regulated by Iowa law through the Healthy Kids Act. Taking things a step further in the quest for

a balanced diet, some even take additional supplements or multivitamins to ensure that they receive the full spectrum of essential nutrients. However, according to Dr. Ellen Link, the Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, “multivitamins are generally safe, but often unnecessary… Supplements in general are not regulated by the FDA.” Kallsen agrees, saying “the majority of these [non-vitamin] supplements are not classified as drugs so they don’t have to undergo government regulated testing… that means there is no proof that the product is safe to take or does what the manufacturer claims it does.” There is even a set standard regarding multivitamins and supplements for

youth outlined on the national level. “In general, healthy children, teens and young adults eating a well-balanced diet and drinking vitamin-D-fortified dairy do not need a vitamin supplement according to the American Academy of Pediatrics,” Link said. Kallsen also points out another common misconception concerning mega doses, or doses that are larger than the daily recommendation for a vitamin or supplement. A frequent example is taking additional vitamin C in the case of a cold. “Fat-soluble [vitamins] can accumulate in the body and build up to toxic levels… Other vitamins are watersoluble, so if the recommended dose is exceeded, the excess vitamin will just be eliminated from the body and will

do no harm other than waste the person’s money,” Kallsen said. The current herbal supplements trend has little evidence regarding its legitimacy as well. “There is no proof that non-vitamin supplements such as Ginkgo, St. John’s Wort, Cat’s Claw, Stinging Nettle Root, etc. have any beneficial effects,” Kallsen said. Link says that in the cases of dietary restriction and certain illnesses, additional vitamins or supplements may be necessary. “I would recommend discussing anything you take with your physician first,” Link said.

The dark season

The science behind seasonal affective disorder BY ELEANOR MARSHALL

Humans have been worshipping the sun since the moment they existed. From the sun gods of ancient Egypt to the sun salutations of yogis, we’ve been formalizing our praise for the great giver of warmth and light for millennia. But in many ways our solar idolatry is more biological than spiritual. The world literally revolves around the sun, and we’re no exception. Consider what powers our fuel and food – and if you thought plants were the only ones that photosynthesized, think again. Humans also feed on sunlight, or at least their mood does. In fact, it’s much harder for some to maintain a sunny disposition through the dark winter months. For 10-20% of the population, the light shortages this time of year trigger the onset of diagnosable depression – a phenomenon known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, according to Dr. Scott Stuart, co-director of the Iowa Depression and Clinical Research Center. For sufferers of SAD, symptoms start in early fall – draining their energy and making them feel moody and unhappy. The sensation lasts for the duration of winter; often peaking in Janu-

ary and February, then melts away with the snow. “The current theory is that it’s the change in light, not so much the cold that makes a difference. And this is just theoretical, there’s no evidence obviously, but people have suggested that it’s an evolutionary or biological thing. For Eskimos living in Alaska, it was a survival mechanism to have their metabolism slow down, for them to feel tired, and eat more. I use that metaphor with a lot for people, I think it’s certainly a possibility,” Stuart said. Its origins may be as old as evolution, but SAD has only been clinically diagnosed since the mid-’80s. Although Stuart’s clinical experience has been that SAD is milder, he said it can reach the severity of major depression. “[People affected by SAD] will tell you that in spring, summer or early fall they feel fine. … Imagine that your first and third trimester at school you could get straight A’s, but second tri you didn’t feel like doing anything. You didn’t want to talk to your friends, you didn’t want to study for your classes, you didn’t enjoy things you used to like doing. Every single year you would lose that middle trimester,” he said. In fact, according to Stuart, SAD’s symptoms are largely the same as

those for clinical depression, including a depressed mood – which patients describe as feeling sad or down, a loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable and a sense of hopelessness or anxiety. SAD specifically triggers symptoms like fatigue, poor sleep, a change in appetite and a loss of energy. “Usually the criteria are that people have to have two weeks of consistent symptoms. [SAD is] much worse than waking up and having a bad day or flunking a test or having relationship problems,” he said. Stuart said that the most common age of onset is in a patient’s mid-20’s, similar to major depression, but that the disorder can develop at any age. According to the Mayo Clinic website, seasonal depression is more severe in people further from the equator, and appears more in women than men, regardless of location – an unexplained phenomenon, according to Stuart. A hereditary history of SAD or depression in general can also predispose a person to developing the disorder. SAD is an interaction between an individual’s genetic predisposition and the environment he or she is exposed to, according to Stuart. He explains that someone living in Hawaii with the genetic predisposition for SAD might

never experience symptoms, while someone living in Alaska who didn’t inherit any risk of SAD would also be symptom-free. Stuart said that many people affected by SAD never identify themselves, but those seeking treatment have a variety of options. Stuart first checks in with patients’ general health: making sure they are sleeping, eating and exercising properly. Next he turns to light therapy – which is exactly what it sounds like. “You literally sit in front or to the side of a very bright light box for half an hour to an hour, usually first thing in the morning. …Bright light seems to really reset things for people,” he said. If light therapy isn’t fully effective, Stuart prescribes antidepressants, but mentioned that psychotherapy sessions have not proven effective. He said that many people are treated by their primary care doctors. Stuart mentioned that although many people benefit from treatment for SAD, many also love the winter months. People respond to the seasons differently, and SAD patients need some extra sunbeams to keep them beaming.



IRL, Edward would be arrested for stalking It’s NOT romantic

vior includes: Stalking beha meone Fol owing so eone's car to Disabling som movement prevent their use someone’s ho Breaking into eep em sl to watch th 0 ine • 335-600 24 hr Crisis L

Counseling Center UAY counselors are available to assist teenagers or parents of teens who are facing challenges. On call 24 hours 338-7518 410 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City

It’s NOT okay RVAP: Responding to Sexual Abuse and Harassment Since 1973

West High 1440 Interact and City High Interact present

Dance For Humanity Sunday, February 19 from 7 to 10pm Old Brick 26 E. Market St. Iowa City

Adults: $10 Students: $5

Join us for a night of international flavor with live music by UI Latin Jazz Ensemble and UI World Beat Ensemble, a silent auction, dance lessons, door prizes, and refreshments.

All Proceeds Benefit

Info and Tickets at

Counseling Center UAY counselors are available to assist teenagers or parents of teens who are facing challenges. On call 24 hours 338-7518 410 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City

Now Serving Caribou Coffee Counseling Center

UAY counselors are available to assist teenagers or parents of teens who are facing challenges. On call 24 hours 338-7518

Get. It. Now.

410 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City

$1.50 Counseling Center

Students Producing Innovative Theatre

UAY counselors are available to assist teenagers or parents of teens who are facing challenges.

Show: February 3 & 4 On call 24 hours 338-7518 7:30 p.m. 410 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City West High Little Theatre Cost: $7

Counseling Center




Play by play BY KATIE MONS Piles of snow and freezing weather are finally here and it’s that time of year to move from the football field to inside the West High gymnasium, pool or even the bowling alley. But just because sports are indoors now does not mean the excitement is over or even reduced. The student section is just as crazy and spirited, the pep band and drum line just as powerful and the athletes just as fired up. It doesn’t matter what is happening outside, West athletics and Trojan spirit are everywhere, regardless of the weather. PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH

UPPER LEFT: West’s Jason Stewart ’13 enters the start of a free throw during the City-West rivalry game. Both Trojan teams went on to gain a win over the Little Hawks. TOP RIGHT: While on offense, Trojan guard Austin Swank ’13 charges in to deliver a two point bonus to West. LOWER LEFT: During practice, Michael Weber ’13 practices his spin. The collective boys and girls bowling teams practice at Colonial Lanes. BOTTOM RIGHT: Jessica Shull ’12 waits to rebound the ball between two Little Hawk opponents. West won 72-62 and Shull scored 9 points at the contest on Jan. 13. 32 SPORTS


TOP RIGHT: Jackson Folwer ’13 wrestles an opponemnt from Waterloo West. Justin Koethe ’12, a teammate, said, “He’s fun to have around. He’s always making people laugh.” Fowler placed 3rd at the meet on Jan. 19. MIDDLE RIGHT: Justin Koethe ’12 throws an opponent from Waterloo West during the wrestling match on Jan. 19. Koethe is a three time letter winner. He placed third at last year’s state meet and placed first at the MVC Conference and District meets. BOTTOM LEFT: An explosive two pointer, Dondre Alexander ’13 sinks yet another shot during the City-West game.


BOTTOM MIDDLE: A member of the girls bowling team, Katy Kelly ’14 practices her dilevery as her friends cheer her on from behind. BOTTOM RIGHT: Number 50, Jason Stewart ’13 shows his effort to sink a basket during the City-West game. PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH






Quin Kavanaugh ’12 skates through hockey practice at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. PICTURE COURTESY OF// QUIN KAVANAUGH

Blades of glory PHOTO BY// ABBIE SKEMP

BY DAN ROTHMAN When the biting cold sets in as the unrelenting result of yet another frigid winter, most West students want little more than to nestle into some warm, cozy haven and forget all about the frosty freeze typical of the season. Quin Kavanaugh ’12 and Monique Phillips ’14 aren’t that type of student though. Instead of seeking respite from cold, the two spend their afternoons in the last place most warm-blooded creatures would want to go: the ice rink. More specifically, the Cedar Rapids Ice 34 SPORTS

Arena, where Kavanaugh and Phillips play in hockey leagues. This is hardly a new development. Kavanaugh learned to play the sport at the age of seven. “My dad’s from the East Coast, so ever since I was little he’s pushed me to learn how to skate,” said Kavanaugh. “I started out by playing Pee-Wee hockey, and I’ve just kept at it.” Phillips also got involved at a young age. “When I was little, my aunt played hockey and it really spurred my interest in the sport,” Phillips said. While hockey might seem like an

unusual choice, the sport possesses a unique set of challenges. “In most sports, teams have a selection of plays that they run,” Kavanaugh said. “Hockey’s different though. There’s a lot more improvisation. It’s all about relying on your instincts.” Although it isn’t offered at West High, hockey requires all the time commitment of a varsity sport. “We practice about three times a week and have games at least twice. It’s a lot of work, but that doesn’t really matter because of how much fun it is. I’ve been playing with the same group of guys for years now, and I’ve


become really close with them,” Kavanaugh said. “It’s definitely tough. The key is just learning to skate. Once you can do that, you’re in good shape,” Phillips said. For Kavanaugh, the practice has paid off. “Our team struggled for a while, especially against Waterloo, our main rival. Last year though, we got it down to a tie game with just a minute or two left. I got the puck in a perfect position and scored the game-winning goal,” Kavanaugh said. “To do that after all the work I’ve put in was really rewarding.”

Rising Stars



Danielle Craig gets the point BY BLAKE OETTING This basketball season,West High has seen some pretty amazing things. Both basketball teams have gone undefeated in their conference, both teams are ranked first in the state and have swept crosstown rival City High. Danielle Craig, a freshman point guard, has been an integral part of this journey. Craig’s journey, however, started long before this high school season. Craig picked up the sport in second grade with the help of her father, a fellow basketball player. “I’ve been playing for seven years; my dad was a basketball player in high school and he got me into it. I guess he passed it down,” Craig said. Her early development has instilled in her some of the most important aspects of an excellent

player. “I think I’m [not] selfish, but I still know when to take the shot,” Craig said. This willingness to do anything for the team to succeed, even if it means sacrificing the spotlight, has made her a true member of the team. Craig enjoys the team aspect and the atmosphere associated with it. “It’s fun at practices, but we still get a lot of work done to play as a team in games,” Craig said. This hard work has certainly garnered stellar results as the team is currently 15-1 (at time of publication on Jan. 30). But there is still work to be done if the team is to fulfill Craig’s hopes for a state title and an undefeated record this season. The older girls on the team are helping out Craig and the other underclassmen to achieve these

goals. “They taught me how West High basketball is played, how to push the ball and play intense defense,” Craig said. Junior Ally Disterhoft has seen the results of Craig’s hard work over the past few months. “I think that she serves as a good role model for the other underclassmen. Her mannerisms on the court are very mature, she knows what her role is,” Disterhoft said. The Women of Troy have proved their potential, and with promising young talents like Craig, West can expect more chances in the future to bring the state trophy home.

RIGHT: Danielle Craig ’15 dribbles past a Linn-Mar player during the varsity game on Dec. 20. West won the game 74-51 boosting their record to 9-0 at the time.


Jakeb Bakken: 120 pounds of toughness from the age of five, he only started wrestling competitively once he reached sixth grade. To obtain any sort of success, a wres“I was really more of a basketball playtler needs a fair amount of motivation, er when I was younger,” Bakken said. perseverance and a good diet. Jakeb According to Bakken, he decided to Bakken ’14, has all three. Bakken was stop putting so much effort into basketball and start focusing more on wrestling by attending two wrestling camps at West High. In addition to building his experience, Bakken has had to maintain his weight to stay in his weight class, which is the 120 pound class. “I don’t really like maintaining weight, but it’s just a part of [wrestling],” Bakken said. The culmination of all his hard work, for Bakken, was the Battle of PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY Waterloo. “I got to wrestle the Jakeb Bakken ’15 wrestles an opponent from Washington West at their meet on first round and we won Jan. 19. West won the meet 71-3.


first introduced to wrestling by his father, who wrestled both in high school and at Buena Vista University. “When I was really young [my dad and I] would practice [wrestling] in the basement,” Bakken said. While Bakken was wrestling for fun

that match,” Bakken said. In fact, West High wrestling won every single point available during said match. Bakken said the victory was truly a team effort. “He was getting beat in the match and he came back and got the pin,” said Ben Gast, Bakken’s coach. “As a coach, that is the type of attitude you love to see.” “We all have a really positive relationship,” said Bakken of the team, adding that the bus rides are a highlight of all the meets. “I really look up to our upperclassmen who have scholarships [for wrestling] and I aspire to be like those people.” As a freshman, Bakken has another three years ahead of him to devote to his wrestling goals. He hopes for West High wrestling to be state champions. “The sky is the limit for Jakeb in wrestling and with his knowledge, work ethic, and dedication nothing would surprise me,” Gast said. “As a team we always strive to be the best as individuals and as a team. Jakeb can be a driving force in helping make this happen now and in the future.”


Dare to be different PAGE DESIGN BY//LEAH MURRAY

West High Poms take its routines to Nationals


BY OLIVIA LOFGREN “Dare to be Different” was the slogan for West High Poms dances this year. “Our vision for this year was to be a team that brought new and innovative ideas to the competition, both choreography related and costume related,” said Coach Katie Melloy. “We wanted to be something nobody has ever seen before.” And that is exactly what they plan to do Feb. 4 and 5 at the 2012 National Dance Team Championships in Florida. This year is the second year in a row that the team has qualified for Nationals. “Each year we practice our routines to get them perfect. If we can reach 36 SPORTS


our goal of perfecting our routine in its entirety then we usually have a great shot at placing high,” Melloy said. “This year we have done a great job of perfecting the dances. It helps just having three new members because everyone else has done this before and understands the process and work ethic.” The dancers also agreed that the second time’s the charm. “This year is more exciting, because we have been there before and we know what to expect,” said Kiara Mitchell ’14. “The second time is better because we still get nervous but we are not going in blind” said Maddie Vernon ’12. The team practices five to seven times a week at an average of three


hours per day. In practices they warm up, work on technique, clean and watch videos to analyze both their competition and themselves. “The attitude is always positive and everyone is always excited. This year we are a bit more competitive since we have had such a successful season,” Melloy said. Vernon agreed. “Our motivation is knowing we have the potential to do so well; we don’t want to waste what our team has this year,” Vernon said. The team believes their potential can take them even further than Nationals - all the way to the finals. “The team stays motivated by picturing the team dancing on the Nationals stage each time they do the dance,” said Abby Burgess ’14.

“I think the girls have a great shot of making finals. It is important to note that the best of the best compete in this competition. Our pom and jazz categories each have over 60 of the best teams in the nation,” Melloy said. “The experience is amazing... competing against the best teams in the country after working so hard together all year is just amazing.” “However, we remain realistic as we know that many teams we are up against have been placing in the top ten for over ten years. This is only our second year ever competing at Nationals, so just making finals would be a huge honor,” Melloy said. “No matter what happens, we know we have done our best and practiced to our full potential” said Brooke Lofgren ’14.


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

Oobleck BY ANSEL LANDINI After months of postponed winter, the first harsh snow of the season has thrown off Iowa locals, who had forgotten what snow looks like. The snow fall came after a day where temperatures had reached close to 50 degrees. People were walking around downtown Iowa City in short sleeves, students of Best High were going out for lunch and everyone was enjoying the fifth warmest winter in Iowa History. Until Jan. 12, the day their dreams were shattered. “I couldn’t figure out what was going on,” student Jess Bell said. “It’s like little white specks were falling from the sky. I thought the sky was falling, but for real!” Similar feelings were felt across the board, as Hawaiian t-shirt wearers with khaki shorts clutched their arms in

desperation to prevent the bitter chill from permeating their winter tanned exteriors. Reports of people dropping to their knees and screaming were also filed. “I was just walking down the street, and confetti fell from the sky. It was the coldest confetti I’d ever touched and once it was on me, it was like the whole atmosphere around me had dropped temperature. The person walking in front of me fell down and just screamed ‘Why is this happening!’” said Ignacio Pop. Frightened by standards ran for shelter, begging people to end their freezing predicaments. But few knew how to solve the problem that people were experiencing. “I handed a few of them flip flops to cover their previously shoeless feet. It didn’t seem to help! Neither did the towels, or the suntan lotion. We

quickly ran out of options!” said Molly Florida. “It’s crazy like the world’s going to end. All I can think to do is keep wearing shorts and a t-shirt to school and hoping the mysterious white stuff vanishes and it warms up again,” said Richard James. That Thursday evening the streets were barren of all life. As snow spun around light poles and clumped up in the streets, not even snow plows could figure out what to do. As close to four inches of snow finally seized to fall. It seemed only Peeve Surly, the superintendent of BCCSD, knew what was going on. School started on time the following day for students as they slipped and slided around in mystery, having no idea how to drive on the mysterious white dust.



heights in their futures as well.” Not only are staircases being given higher classifications of importance in Lowa City, their importance is being earmarked in school budgets nationally. One Californian journalist at LCCSD’s press conference anonymously said, “I never thought I’d be covering so many stories on stairs. That’s all anyone will talk about these days. I should be investigating but instead I just keep getting stories about how school districts are cutting teachers, realizing they have extra money, then spending that money on staircases. It’s madness. I’m moving to Canada.” Word on the terrifyingly-small-elevator-that-breaks-down-nearly-everyweek at Best High is yet to come. The Best Side Story has you covered.

Level of awesome “Given that the Lowa City Community School District has a significant amount of previously unknown wealth, minus the amount we spent on finding it, we have decided to allocate a sizable portion of the discovered funds to the Staircase Renovation Fund,” said one school board member on Friday at a Regional press release. This statement comes in reference to the money found in LCCSD’s budget several months ago. Many citizens were pleasantly surprised by the decision. “I hadn’t expected them to fix those rickety staircases. They’re only forty years old, I’m older than that and I could get up the stairs just fine. I thought they’d give bonuses to long-

suffering teachers or perhaps secure a few jobs at the high school level, but stairs are important too,” Sara Castic, a local resident and LCCSD parent, said. Students across the school district have been noticing this shift for several years now. Best High’s long and arduous spiral staircase renovation was only finished a couple years ago. “For too long our staircases have been in disrepair - long neglected despite their relentless hard work come rain or shine, despite their long hours in service to us,” Peeve Surly, superintendent of LCCSD, said. “If our school staircases are not the best we can get we are not teaching our students anything about reaching for success. If students avoid merely climbing to the top of a staircase, they will avoid reaching new

Amount of cheesy cards, chocolates, etc.







Feburary 14th


How big the universe is

Staircase of success




How insignificant you feel





Operation education

When an audit of the school district found a general lack of standard operating procedures, it both highlighted a huge problem and presented a unique opportunity to start from scratch on systems that make sense.

Besides the fact that having literally no standard operating procedures in almost all of the major departments of our administration is a huge problem, it’s actually kind of a cool opportunity. Here we are, with a new superintendent, looking for a new head of administrative services and facing a clear mandate from the audit conducted this fall to lay down some ground rules. So out of the maelstrom of teachers being cut then added and money lost and then found, comes the perfect storm for us to reinvent ourselves as a district. And that’s nothing against the old administrators. We weren’t doing half bad before, and the job of a school administrator seems like one that no one notices until something goes wrong. In fact, the Synesi audit made a point to exalt our district’s “valiant” staff. Valiant. Even in the accounts payable department, which is one of the most heavily criticized. I wouldn’t know, but I don’t think that kind of quality exists in every district. But still. There is no denying that there are some serious upgrades in order. The status quo is a powerful thing, but considering the excellent intentions and accessibility of almost everyone we talked to while writing the story “School Grounds” (see pages 6&7), and adding to that the deep level of investment demonstrated by a multitude of workers inside and out of the school system – we think we have a legitimate shot at change. And I we mean we. Overseeing the education of 12,000 kids is hard to even think about, and it’s even harder to be psychic about. If we as students, teachers and parents aren’t communi-

cating our needs directly to the people that can fill them, we’re making it a lot harder on ourselves. Holding school officials accountable for unspoken discontent is unfair. Granted, a lot of spoken disgruntlement has faced slow or no progress, and we should be able to expect to be heard and responded to in a clearer way – not chastised for being difficult. Let’s make a system for that. Let’s send out anonymous electronic surveys to the community more often, and include the students this time (but maybe not publish all of the antagonistic responses so publicly). Let’s set up a poll on the district website where community members can submit specific questions or concerns or ask for progress reports on areas of interest, and then have our superintendent, school board or other relevant officials post responses to top requests every week or month. Let’s invite administrators to more of our building meetings. Sometimes it takes a crisis (or series of them) to convince ourselves we need fixing, and if we can step up and really figure out how to funnel our money directly into smaller class sizes and increasing equity among schools by providing more support for the ones with less, that’s a pretty darn shiny silver lining for some temporarily misplaced bills. If we were doing things inefficiently due to inertia from having always done them that way, let’s formalize a way to do them better. For example, the budget. You may remember that it mattered to you last spring when teacher cuts appeared ominous, but were thankfully avoided. As far as we can tell, since then there have been two schools of thought (par-

don the pun). There are the people that believe that we should stop buying garbage trucks and start paying more teachers, and then there are the people that think that there’s nothing we can do about it because the money for those two items comes from different tax streams. I don’t know, but it seems like they’re both right. Since we seem to systematically have too much money in some tax streams, and not enough in others, let’s change the course of the tax flow. Let’s artfully craft a better budgeting system so that we can ensure that when we have shortages, the first thing to get cut is the list of extra speakers, instead of our teachers. Changing tax code is way over our heads, and doubtlessly takes time and tedious work, but let’s invest in it. We’re in the market for an upgraded system anyway. We have a plethora of smart and engaged people in this district, overflowing with good ideas about how to turn our lack of a system into the blueprint for a better mode of operating. It’s not every day you get to start from scratch – just today.

Does the Iowa City School District need to reform its operating procedures?

11-2 The WSS editorial board voted for the district to reform .

QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX FEBRUARY CPR Requirements Is CPR useful? Yes. Should learning it be encouraged? Yes. Should it be required of all seniors in order to graduate? No way. Are my reasons for opposing this fairly self-centered and born completely out of laziness? Probably. That said, is there any way that knowing CPR can resurrect our three day weekend? Unfortunately, no.

Minus 4

Republican Primaries Iowa may no longer be the center of attention, but the race has given us more unintentional comedy than the last 10 Nicolas Cage movies combined. Let’s just hope that it stays entertaining even with the losses of candidates/ Daily Show fodder like Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain and... wait, who was the third one? Oops.

Plus 1

3-D Movies I’ll admit that there is a certain novelty to it, and when done right (Hugo, Avatar etc.) 3-D can actually take a good movie to a whole other level. That said, it’s really not necessary to re-release every big movie of the last 30 years in 3-D. Pulling off that act with animated films like Beauty and the Beast is one thing, but upcoming re-releases include movies like The Phantom Menace. Because, you know, Jar Jar Binks wasn’t quite annoying enough in two dimensions.

Minus 2




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

Snow Days Nope.

Minus 2 Total: Minus 7 COMPILED BY// DAN ROTHMAN

West High hopes for a helmet


When Caroline Found ’12 died this summer in a tragic moped accident, the entire West community was shaken. Caroline Van Voorhis ’12, Olivia Lofgren ’12 and Leah Murray ’12, West Side Story staffers and close friends of Found, decided to try to use the tragedy to create positive change. They have been lobbying the Iowa legislature to pass a law requiring moped riders under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. Here the three defend the controversial measure. Iowa. It’s the state in which we were born, the place that has shaped us and the place that we have grown to love and have pride in. Pride, in nearly everything, with one glaring exception: helmet laws (or should we say the lack thereof). Although Iowa is a leader in politics, education, medicine and agriculture, for some reason we significantly lag in our legislation in this arena of public safety. Iowa is ranked 49th in the nation for lives and money saved due to helmet use. 49th, as in second to last. We want Iowa lawmakers to act responsibly and pass a law that is long overdue.We want the legislature to think about the safety of young Iowans and stop bowing to special interest groups who represent a small percentage of the population, yet dole out large sums of money to politicians. We believe this issue is not a partisan

issue. Rather, it is a question of protecting our young citizens. Our proposal addresses only moped scooter riders under the age of 18; the most inexperienced group of riders on the road. We are tired of those who immediately shoot down our proposal upon hearing the words “helmet law.” Instead of taking the time to actually listen to what we are lobbying for, the phrases “loss of personal freedom,” “big government,” and “a slippery slope” spill from their mouths, pens and keyboards in an attempt to drown out our talking points. If they would stop and listen, this is what they would hear: 1) Many lobbyists who oppose our proposal don’t realize that it’s for riders who are under the age of 18. Minors have many restrictions placed upon them for health and safety reasons. Why can’t the requirement to wear a helmet be added to this list?

2) Let’s be honest: we’re teenagers. Take a moment to think to yourself how many times you have disregarded your parents’ advice or rules. If anyone can respond with “zero,” props to you. Teenagers will comply with a law in order to avoid a fine and a smudge on their driving record much more readily than to appease their parents. 3) If we thought of every proposal as being on a slippery slope, none would make it through the legislative process. Take the seat belt law, for example. Would you oppose this law that is proven to save lives because, just think, what if the government then passed a law requiring drivers to wear over-theshoulder-restraints, like the ones you wear on roller coasters?! Although the common sense seat belt law took nine years to pass, it has saved hundreds of lives since it was implemented in Iowa in 1986. We are willing

to fight for this helmet law no matter how long it takes. Whether we have to spend two years or 20, if we can spare another community from dealing with a brain injury or going through the loss of a loved one as a result of a moped accident, the fight will have been 100% worth it.

No child left behind. It sounds like a brave proclamation, something a hero would cry before saving a fifth grade class from a burning school. And maybe that’s what the Bush Administration intended all of ten years ago, to rescue children from slipping through the cracks of the education system by requiring continuous improvement on standardized tests. Now it’s Governor Terry Branstad who would like to be Iowa’s hero, saving us from a flawed system of assessing our schools. Unfortunately, his efforts still fall a little short. NCLB forces states to develop tests which measure basic skills and to set a state-wide standard of how students should score. Federal money is at stake for schools who choose not to do so. On average, that’s about 10 percent of the funding for all school districts. With such a substantial hunk of money at stake, schools don’t have the option of non-compliance. You see, these days education reform

is driven by the need to set academic standards. They set benchmarks for what students of a certain grade should know and skills they should possess. The reasoning behind this is to regulate teachers and schools by making sure they are more or less keeping up with everyone else in the nation. In theory, this seems like a plausible way to monitor the progress of the United States’ education system and make sure we are constantly charging forward. But in real life, in the real world, with real students and teachers- things aren’t so black and white. If a school falls short of their state’s standard, they are labeled a SINA school, or School in Need of Assistance. If they spend two years on that list, students are given the option to transfer to another school at the previous school’s expense. While these sanctions are meant to aid and encourage schools, they often seem more like punishment. Six years on the list is the final straw.

The federal government can choose to close the school entirely or hire a private company to run it. Even if a school meets the test requirements in 26 of the 27 categories of evaluation, they remain on the list. Governor Terry Brandstad wishes to seek a waiver from the federal NCLB law in order to put his own blueprint for education into action. In doing so, he would begin a mentoring program which would take skilled teachers out of classrooms in order to mentor others who are just beginning to teach. This would take the focus off educating students, which should be the top priority for all schools. The plan also provides for slew of additional standardized tests to be given to third-graders and high school juniors, as well as preK students. The problem is that both Branstad and NCLB fail to take into account the backgrounds of the students who fill a school’s classrooms. Neither consider students who may test at substandard levels before living the dis-

trict, as well as poorly-motivated students who see standardized testing as an opportunity to spell profane words with their Scantron forms. While Branstad would like to change the way teachers are educated and NCLB targets the performance of schools as a whole, neither are directly aimed at what should be at the very center of every school. Politicians should take a look at students’ needs and abilities outside of overly specific tests before trying to make changes to the education system.

Common sense left behind

Should the Iowa State Legislature pass the proposed helmet law?

13-0 The WSS editorial board voted in favor of the bill being passed.

Is Governer Branstad’s education policy in the best interest of the state?

3-10 The WSS editorial board voted against Branstad’s policy. 39 OPINION


BY ASHTON DUNCAN The Postal Service never lost any business from me before freshman year; I’ve always loved sending and receiving mail. Holidays, online shopping packages via the hands of a well-trusted post worker and letters to friends at camp who will be gone long before the snail mail reaches them. The instant world has drawn me into its clutches now, my hand never free of my smartphone, my entire evening ruined without my wi-fi. But another switch has occurred since freshman year: I got my driver’s license. And it terrifies me. As snow and ice coat the roads like frosting, half-forgotten images from driver’s ed videos returned to the forefront of my active imagination. Key in ignition, snow falling around the car, I startled to think that I was not only putting my life at the mercy of my inexperienced hands, but also the lives of those around me. Needless to say, I


When I was young I read a story titled The Little Prince by Antoine de SaintExupery. When I read it as a child, the only real conclusion I got from the book is that there was a star child who disliked the thoughts of adults and was in love with a rose. Re-reading the story as a young adult, I learned there was much more to the story than a boy traveling to planets; there was a meaning about friendship and uniqueness that one can possess. That which is special to an individual is special to that person in only a way they can imagine. The way one perceives the idea of love through their own eyes is the way that they will always view it. It actually seems more like a love story now. The story is written as a childrens’ book and the main character is a child. After doing some research I came to conclude that Saint-Euxpery was 40 OPINION

Snow right

took the bus. I have a job, grades to maintain and a little sister who incorrectly heroworships all I do. The last responsibility I need added to my plate is the heavy weight of a stranger’s life. It doesn’t flow on a to-do list quite the way “get groceries,” “finish English essay” or “do the laundry” does. I’m sixteen. I’m barely responsible for my own life; my parents still buy me school supplies, pay to go to dinner, pay for each others’ holiday gifts. It’s better that I learn driving skills at home, with the support of my parents, rather than hitting the road full speed ahead at sixteen. My dad tells me stories about when he was in high school: he drove before the graduated license system, got his license at sixteen and proceeded to break every traffic law in Muscatine county. He’s a safe driver now - but only alive due to luck. The graduated

license system has saved countless lives by giving kids a chance to grow up and think before gambling with their lives. Cars have become safer since my father’s time (the inventions of fire and the wheel helped progress along), but a few tons of metal speeding within feet of each other going opposite directions will never be entirely safe, even with cars that can parallel park themselves. And maybe cars have gotten safer, but the drivers have become more dangerous. When my father drove, his only danger was his own recklessness and inattention, but now that same effect can be thoughtlessly aided by the cell phones that have melded effortlessly with our culture. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and as the teen driving death toll inches higher more and more legislation is passed and proposed to regulate driving hours, ages, cellphones and even the number and age of passengers. Sim-

ply put, stricter laws protect those who wouldn’t be careful and do not affect those who are attentive drivers anyway. When that new text message notification arrives, tempting me like a wrapped present or an unopened envelope, it’s in my backseat because I don’t want to lose my license or trade my future, or anyone’s, for that matter, for six feet of dirt. I’m not driving when I get that text message - when I open it and marvel at modern technology. When I gaze upon it and read “K”, one of those one-word texts I so detest, I’m not on the road swerving into the other lane of traffic, smashing into a soccer mom or the veteran heading to see his grandchildren. Are you?

showing how a child’s mind is open to dreams and imagination that an adult cannot fully understand. That there is always curiosity within their thoughts and there are more tendencies to ask “What If?” Of course, in the story the young prince meets an adult who is more open to listening to what the prince has to say - demonstrating that even as an adult one can still learn and be open to new ideas. Love, in the story of The Little Prince, is that of the boy and a rose. The rose grows on the prince’s planet one morning capturing the attention of the boy. Prince falls into a trance of admiration and affection for the rose. He takes care of her for she is his to take care of.The rose is his love, something he cares about and that relies upon on him to be able to survive on the planet. The rose is stubborn and hard on the prince, and though it is the center of his affection, he begn to feel isolated. He later leaves his planet in search to find friends. A fox tells the little prince “One Sees Clearly Only With The Heart, What Is Essential, Is Invisible To The Eye.” Ex-

plaining that, what can be seen through sight is not always important. But seeing through the way one feels, they can express more emotion towards and feel a stronger connection with someone or something that they love. I took this as a quote of love. It could be the love connection of a human and an idea or that of one person to another. The quote shows that no matter what type of love one sees, what is true to them is true to their heart. The concept of personal belongings appears various times throughout the story. The rose and the stars are brought into this showing that though there are many of one thing, each one may be special to a person. The rose is the little prince’s love, which he takes care of, and no one else can see the rose the way he sees it. For instance, when the Prince visits a rose garden he notices that the roses are not like his rose at all. There is also a reference to the stars that Saint-Euxpery adds to the Little Prince’s Character. “In one of the stars I shall be living. In

one of them I shall be laughing, and so it shall be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night.” The Little Prince tells a snake that whatever star he is to the snake is the star that the snake will see. That if the snake wants to see a laughing star in the sky at night then he will see a laughing star for the star that is laughing to the snake is the snake’s special star. I never really liked snakes, but I always did like looking at the stars. Though there are many lessons in the book that I learned from reading The Little Prince, everyone can gain something, whether they are grown up or still a small child. As an eighteen year old boy reading a book I last read ten years ago, I realized that the things that are special to me are what have made me become what I am today. Whether they are certain people or events, I have found meaning in all of them. That’s how I see love. Who knew that such big feelings could be learned from such a Little Prince?

More information:

The little lessons



Hot and dangerous The n-word BY WSS INTERN JORDAN ROSSEN As GOP candidate hopefuls travel the country in an attempt to gather support; the overwhelming body of scientific research suggests that the world is warming at a rate which, in the longterm, is ultimately unsustainable. Out of the five leading GOP candidates, Mitt Romney is the only one who is willing to admit that global warming is a major threat facing humanity. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a international group of thousands of scientists and 97% of climate scientists, according to a University of Illinois survey, concluded that global warming is happening and anthropogenic, meaning human-caused. Why do Republican presidential hopefuls deny global warming in the face of compelling scientific evidence? In order to understand this skepticism one has to look at the political motives. The burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming. Regulations which could help save the environment and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases are also those the oil industry wishes to prevent. New legislation has the potential to slow the oil industry’s growth by imposing new tax growth and reducing demand for fossil fuels by promoting the research and development of renewable energy.

BY ANSEL LANDINI I often find myself wondering how in this day and age people still find it polite and correct to buy over-priced songs whose prices are decided by how many people are downloading them. A dollar a song in today’s economy is a steal, so where exactly is all that money going? Well a percent of it goes to iTunes, some goes to the artist’s label and the rest goes to the artist itself, right? So in other words, whenever I buy a song I am fund-

The oil industry is willing to make substantial contributions to those politicians who will kowtow to their interests. In a tight political race, campaign contributions can make all the difference and to admit the dangers of global warming would be to kiss oil lobby’s sweet campaign funding goodbye. In 2009 the oil industry spent over $39 million on political lobbying according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The massive donations to individual candidates is exemplified by campaign contributions to Rick Perry from the oil and gas industry. Since 1998, Rick Perry has taken in over $11 million from the oil and gas industry, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. With tougher legislation and more strict regulations being introduced that number is bound to increase. Regardless of how much money Big Oil is willing to throw at politicians who are willing to ignore the facts, it doesn’t mean those facts don’t exist. We, as (soon to be) voters, should remember those facts when picking a candidate to endorse. If the rest of the GOP candidate wannabes are going to stand a chance beyond the Republican primary they will have to make concessions on issues such as global warming to steal away the independent and disappointed with Obama vote. Until lobbies begin to make contributions to the voters, we should try to see through the haze and find out which politicians will work for the people, not for the contributions.

GUEST COLUMNIST RUCHIRA LAROIA The word “nice” is profoundly offensive, even disturbing, to me. “Nice” is a swearword to my mind. Just like swearwords, I sometimes slip and use it. But the folly is followed by an aching regret in my heart, and I quickly try to cover up the mishap by saying something more descriptive and accurate. The word itself seems harmless enough, so what would make me so affronted by its usage? It’s the lack of thought that comes along with using the word as an adjective. Why on earth would you say something is “nice” when you could use a host of other, more complete and specific adjectives? Because it means you can’t think of anything better to say. Imagine this: I ask you, “Hey, do you see that girl over there? What is she like?” and you reply with, “She is a nice person.” Unless you’re a real troll, your intention behind choosing the word “nice” in this situation was not harmful. However, analyze what you are really saying and you’re kind of giving a backhanded compliment to the poor girl. In this context, the word “nice” doesn’t tell me anything about her. Is she a kind person, or is she a person who simply exists, wanton, and can’t seem to make a better impression than that pathetic

A pirate is free ing people who don’t need the money. And instead of being strictly focused on getting the name of the artist out there and generating fans, it’s about increasing their wealth again. A typical band will form their fortune by playing live shows, an $18 show with three bands cuts close to $6 per person that shows up. And frankly, any concert anywhere is going to have at least one hundred people attend. People act like pirating music is the worst possible crime. As if hitting the download key is raising the black sails and heading forward towards East India Trading Co. ships to rob them of their

goods and riches. However, this interpretation is incorrect. Pirating music is like sailing the ship up to another, shouting “We’re the Virtuous Pirates” and then sailing away. Then as the other ship sails of and tells about what happened, the popularity of those pirates sky rocket, without actually increasing their wealth. In turn these people who are now familiar with the pirates may give compensation anyway. But the pirates never have to cheat the people out of their hard earned treasure. If you were choosing a charity to donate to, you wouldn’t choose to donate to the charity that’s doing fine. You’re

little word on you? The alternative: “She is a kind, amiable person.” This way, you’re actually telling me facets of her supposedly winning personality, not just saying a bland, weak, thoughtless word to fill the silence. Another common use of the word “nice”: “Have a nice day!” No. Just… no. I don’t want to have an irrelevant, trivial day. I would much rather have a “pleasant,” “delightful” or “wonderful” day. Even a “good” or “great” day would be better than a “nice” day. If we steer ourselves over to and scroll to the very bottom of the fifteen definitions, we see that “nice” ultimately means “obsolete”. Take a moment to take this in: even the definition recognizes how useless the word is! The descriptiveness doesn’t stop here. I urge you to find the right word for your particular need. Our generation has no excuse. There are dictionary. com apps for learning new vocabulary, an infinite number of games online, and even Word-of-the-Day emails. If nothing else, you’ll be an unstoppable beast when playing Words With Friends. Imagine, if we all used words that conveyed messages swiftly and directly, texts would be succinct (and ripe with the possibility of learning a new word), instruction manuals would take minutes, rather than hours, to comprehend, and tedious textbooks would make more sense in the wee hours of the night. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?

more columns online at going to find a charity that would really appreciate the funding and send it their way.That’s not what iTunes does, iTunes makes you pay for something you love, and gives your funds to the artist who won’t even feel it until he checks his bank account. Now look at someone who hears the song, likes the band and then spends to see them in concert. That person can have an actual connection with that band, and when he walks up and tells the band how much they mean to them, the reaction is immediate, not dependent upon how narcissistic the lead singer is feeling. Is that not a more noteworthy connection? 41 OPINION


New Pi’s Soilmates  Working for




ICPL’s eBook & eAudio book collections include thousands of titles to choose from.


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Spring Play Auditions “The Derek Project” is returning to West High! Watch for information about the upcoming project in March 2012!

Feb. 7 & 8 3:30 p.m.

Do you like to dance, sing, play an instrument, act, or write? Are you someone who likes to work for good causes in your community? Would you like to meet a Pulitzer Prize winning poet? “The Derek Project” fuses literature, dance, music, acting, and writing as a way to raise awareness about pressing social issues.

WHS Little Theatre Want to be involved? Contact Amie Ohlmann at or visit “The Derek Project” on for more information.

End of Second Trimester

Feb. 4


Chill style




everal feet of deep snow can send even a die hard fashionista running for snow boots and a parka, but these West High students meet the chill with clothes that are even cooler, adding layers and long-sleeves to their winter wardrobes. When the rest of us feel like curling up in several sweatshirts, these fashion icons are stepping out in dresses and classy sweaters.

ABOVE: Kasra Zarei ’13 stays warm with a classic combo: a long-sleeved shirt and jeans. TOP RIGHT: Alice Macnamara ’13 layers on a cardigan to stay warm when it’s freezing outside. BELOW: Zach Digmann ’13 adds a little lumberjack to his wardrobe this winter with a plaid shirt and jeans. BOTTOM LEFT: Erin Weathers ’13 makes her dress winter-worthy with a pair of patterned tights. PHOTO BY // ZORA HURST






Zora Hurst ’13, You gave my life direction, a game show love connection, we can't deny. I'm so obsessed, my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest. And I'm always gonna wanna blow your mind.

Dear Rachel Stovall ’13, your smiles seduces me like a sexy fox. I’d get with you in a cardboard box. Xoxoxoxoxo

I Dear Mr. Boyland, Please come back. Sincerely, every female in Barnhouse’s English 10 Honors.

Y O U Sometimes it’s hard to tell your crush how you feel, so these secret admirers confessed their love for West High students anonymously.

Sam Black ’13, Whenever you come near me, i get butterflies in my stomach. You love me Dear Rob for me. Don’t Grady ’12, change for the You're amazing. I sit and watch world. you in the hallway every day as you pass. I can't sum up my feelings in one letter...but know...I know your My dear class schedule... Sarah Vining that's love. ’12, ;) Your eyes are

Dear Emily Pitlick ’12, You’re awesome, funny and nice. You are different from others, just by your goofiness and the way you express yourself. You are kind to me, even when I am being a jerk. It’s good to know there are people like you out there.

as blue as the toilet my beautiful dog drinks. I would like to invite you to my lair. Then I will begin to pet your hair.

Dearest Blake Oetting’14, I had to muster up my courage to write this. Something about your lustful blond locks gives me butterflies. My only dream in life is to be able to talk to you, or even just catch a whiff of your aqua di gio cologne. BLAKE OETTING, I WANT YOU. PLEASE BE Dear Ryan Holte MINE. ’13, Dear Emily Weis ’13, I You are seriously the coolest love you for being my guy I know. You are so easy to sweetheart and friend, talk to and you're really sweet today and forever for too! I hope one day you see your beauty has no me as more than a friend. end. Until then... COMPILED BY// SHIRLEY WANG

Feb. 3, 2012 West Side Story  

West High's newsmagazine

Feb. 3, 2012 West Side Story  

West High's newsmagazine