westsidestory IOWA CITY WEST HIGH SCHOOL
2901 MELROSE AVE.
IOWA CITY, IA 52246
VOLUME 43, ISSUE 6
APRIL 11 , 2012
*STUDENTS AND TEACHERS SHARE STORIES IN HONOR OF THE DAY OF SILENCE
THERE’S ALWAYS AN EXCEPTION As twice exceptionality
HOME ON THE RANGE In a state known for its agri-
DON’T LEAVE ME
Theatre West’s production of Almost Maine is debuting this weekend, with shows on Friday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
becomes more common in classrooms, we examine what it really means to learn with a disability and a gift.
culture, students that live on farms are a minority at West. Put on your work boots and step on to the farm.
We asked students to gather the 10 items that mean the most to them, and unpack their significance.
BREAKING THE SILENCE In time for the day of silence, LGBT students and teachers voice their experiences coming out.
1 in 2,000
In a school of almost 2,000 students, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, but each student has a story. Hear from several West High students.
WSS STAFF MEMBERS EDITORIAL POLICY
PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY
Ashley Knudson ’13 takes off with the baton at a West track meet.
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. COVER PHOTO BY // SHAMIS MCGILLIN
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.
PAGE DESIGN BY//KATIE MONS
A new frontier for Easter with New Pioneer Obama ART BY//SHIRLEY WANG
COMPILED BY//ELEANOR MARSHALL
COMPILED BY//CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS
This year, teacher and tennis coach Mitch Gross had to tell the Easter bunny to come to a different address: 1600 Pensylvania Avenue. He received a phone call from the White House a few weeks ago, inviting his whole family to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, to celebrate with President Obama. Gross said the invitation was an honor and that he was very excited for the unique opportunity. “It’s not every day you get asked to spend Easter with the president of the United States,” Gross said. Gross’ three daughters also excitedly anticipated their family’s trip to the Capitol, looking forward to the Easter Egg Hunt and sightseeing, but most importantly: the chance to meet the Obama’s dog, Bo. Look on wsspaper.com for exclusive photos from Gross’ trip to Washington D.C.
The downtown New Pioneer Co-op has plans for a new frontier, leaving some old pioneers uncomfortable with the move. The co-op will be shifted from its current location on South Van Buren Street to a lot a block over at the corner of Gilbert and College Streets. After finding the lot, the move was overwhelmingly approved only after ballots were sent out to all 25,000 of
the co-op’s members on March 1 – with the results coming in on March 31. The co-op now sits in the middle of the 100-year flood plain for Ralston Creek and the shift would not only dry up concerns about flooding, but would allow the store room for significant expansion – offering more parking space, improving water and energy efficiency PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH and stocking more products.
Dream come true COMPILED BY//CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS
Seven years after appearing on the Iowa Women’s Basketball poster as a fourth-grader dreaming of beAlly Disterhoft ’13 ing a Hawkeye, junior Ally Disterhoft has realized her dream. Although numerous Division One schools were scouting her, she made
the decision to stay in Iowa City and verbally committed to play at Iowa on March 26. “The girls on the team are all really nice and I really trust the coaching staff. They’re good coaches, but they’re even better people,” Disterhoft said. As a junior, she has an entire year to get ready for college-level basketball. She plans to hit the weight room and go to national tournaments with her AAU team, the All-Iowa Attack.
Vanda Station, Antarctica 
Death Valley, USA 
El Azizia, Libya 
ART AND COMPILED BY//ANNA EGELAND
Check out these record temperatures from all over the world
COMPILED BY//BRENNA DEERBERG
Kathy Bresnahan has won several awards celebrating her impact as a coach and, thanks to Principal Jerry Arganbright, she is in the running for another. This honor, from Children of Promise, is not only awarded to coaches. Nominees range from coaches, to personal trainers, to any adult who has a positive impact on children through athletics. “[Children of Promise is for] people who have an effect on youth through sports,” said Bresnahan.
Away from home
COMPILED BY//ELEANOR MARSHALL
If you tune in to the radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” this weekend, keep your ears open for some super bass. Bridget Kearney, a 2003 West High graduate and current bass player, will be performing on the show this Saturday, April 7, at 5 p.m. with her band, Lake Street Drive. While at West, Bridget was a multiyear all-stater and a member of the Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble. Now, after graduating from the New England conservatory of Music and Tufts University, Kearney lives in Brooklyn, and plays over 300 performances per year with Lake Street Drive and her blue grass band Joy Kills Sorrow.
THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT THIS SPRING WAS AN EARLY BLOOMER, BUT WHETHER YOU FIND IT BALMY OR BEAUTIFUL – SOAK IN THESE FUN FACTS ABOUT WEATHER.
PAGE DESIGN BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH
In South Carolina, a man was convicted of assault and battery even though he had a pleading excuse tattooed on his body. Across his forehead was stated, “Please forgive me if I say or do anything stupid.”
What in the World?
In Maine, a convicted felon had four years added to his sentence after a security guard happened upon some interesting paperwork amidst his belongings. The prisoner had stolen $119,000 from the IRS over four years by filing 117 fake tax returns.
COMPILED BY//BRENNA DEERBERG
In England, Localtraders.com is planning a “World-Watching-Paint-Dry” competition for 2012. Contestants will have their favorite color painted on a wall, and the person who stares the longest without looking away will be the winner.
In an art museum in the Netherlands, a man accidentally trampled a floor exhibit because the curator had decided not to fence it off. The destroyed artifact was actually a re-creation of a 40-square-foot platform made out of peanut butter by Wim T. Schippers.
ART BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH
IF YOU ADD 37 TO THE NUMBER OF CHIRPS A CRICKET MAKES IN 15 SECONDS, YOU GET THE TEMPERATURE IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.
PAGE DESIGN BY//TYLER VOSS
RUMOR BUSTER ARGANBRIGHT’S RETIREMENT?
PHOTO BY// ABBIE SKEMP
In a West High biology classroom, students prepare for a lecture the day before testing. Under Branstad’s reform, students would have to test through third grade along with continuous assessments throughout high school.
Branstad’s education policy BY BRENNA DEERBERG firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharpen those number two pencils, stock up on good erasers and leave all food or drink outside of the testing area because Governor Terry Branstad’s education reform bill has recently passed through the House in Des Moines, thanks to a Republican majority, and, as of press time, was pending decision in the Senate. Branstad’s $25 million reform package is designed to improve the quality of an Iowa education by making both teachers and students more responsible for the students’ learning. Critics say it would require teaching to the test with little substantive improvement. This dramatic change would implement more state mandated tests to monitor students’ progress from preschool all the way up through their senior year. If the current bill passes, students attending preschool will be required to take a test focusing on their literacy and number skills to determine if they are ready for kindergarten, a similar test will be required to attend third grade and 11th graders will be required to take a college entrance exam, such as the
PART BY// ASHLYNN YOKOM
ACT or SAT, in order to graduate. In addition, all high school students will have to take mandated end-of-course tests in core subject areas, including algebra, English, science and U.S. history. All of these tests are intended to shift the focus from the amount of time students spend learning a subject to their competency levels. Principal Jerry Arganbright said that he doubts these tests would greatly affect West High students. “The teachers in our district are already [good about preparing our students],” Arganbright said. “I see how well our students are doing now.” A particularly controversial part of the bill is a new requirement for passing the third grade. At the end of the school year, kids will take a reading aptitude exam that determines if they are reading at their grade level. If a student fails they will be held back in the third grade. “I don’t think there’s much support for [holding back many third graders],” Arganbright said. The House’s bill placed more restrictions on Branstad’s open policy to the creation of online courses, such as lim-
iting the online course load to 50% of a student’s total. It did not significantly alter Branstad’s interest in exploring options for charter schools, which use public money but are not beholden to public school requirements. Branstad has also proposed other reforms based on teacher performance, potentially requiring them to pass tests showing both teaching and content-specific knowledge. Annual evaluations of the teachers, principals and superintendents would help to determine their performance and teaching positions would be awarded on the basis of said performance, rather than by seniority. Some critical teachers and citizens worry that holding children back in third grade increases their likelihood of dropping out of high school, and that cutting funding for preschool, as Branstad repeatedly proposes, would disadvantage lowerincome students - among other concerns. Branstad looks to states like Florida, which have enacted similar reform as an example of the law’s potential for success.
The recent whispers of Principal Jerry Arganbright’s imminent retirement have been proven false by the man himself. A chuckling Arganbright said he intends to be West High’s principal for years to come. “The students started the rumor [of my retirement],” Arganbright said. “No, I’m not retiring.”
BUSTED KNAPP RETIRING? West High will see a marked shift in the choir department next year as Mary Kay Knapp takes her leave. After a long history of teaching at West Knapp is retiring to the Twin Cities. “I am retiring, but I plan to still be active in vocal music,” said Knapp. Knapp says certain parts of her experience have been “lifechanging”. “My favorite thing about teaching [at West High is] the kids,” said Knapp.
COMPILED BY// BENNA DEERBRG ONE SEPTILLION [THAT’S A ONE WITH 24 ZEROS AFTER IT] SNOWFLAKES FALL EVERY WINTER.
PAGE PAGEDESIGN DESIGNBY//BLAKE BY//BLAKEOETTING OETTING
ART BY// SHAMIS MCGILLIN
Uniquely gifted BY JULIANN SKARDA email@example.com
Twice exceptional students must learn to balance a disability with exceptional talent. Bright students are usually nurtured from a young age, given extra challenges and later whisked off to honors courses. Struggling students are also targeted early on, instead placed in tutoring programs and provided with other resources. Between the two exists another kind of student, one who doesn’t fit neatly in either category. Twice-exceptional students are those who have a disability and gift, and often these gifts are masked by their disability, which can be frustrating for both students and teachers alike. Undiagnosed, twice-exceptional students may be mistaken as struggling students rather than as belonging in classes which will challenge and nurture intellectual gifts. Psychologist Dr. Claire Whiteman and a team of other University of Iowa Staff members are working on a five-
year project to develop a National Institute for Twice-Exceptionality, which will provide resources for twice exceptional students. “University-based gifted programs like those offered by the Belin-Blank Center, provide important opportunities for twice-exceptional students; however, such programming does not replace the need for intervention in the K-12 setting,” Whiteman said in an interview for the University of Iowa’s Spectator. For Nat Lovin ’13, twice-exceptionality refers to “someone who has some sort of learning disability with above average intelligence.” Lovin has considered himself to be twice-exceptional since elementary school, and has learned to cope with his disability while still reaching his potential. “I wasn’t able to talk at all until I was
three … my muscle control is weaker so it takes more effort to pick things up or form sounds … it took longer to do basic stuff, to show what level I am at,” he said. Despite challenges, Lovin excels in school and a difficult course load with the help of minor accommodations. “With my disability, it is harder to write for a long time. It’s harder to write an essay in class because my hand cramps. I take a lot of notes on my computer … I have trouble figuring out where to put circles on multiple choice tests,” he said, adding that he is allowed to circle answers on test forms rather than filling in bubbles forms. Lovin believes that his twice-exceptionality has provided him with certain advantages as well. “It gives you a broader view of life. I’m intelligent; I’ve struggled to show
06 FEATURE HILO, HAWAII, IS THE MOST PRECIPITOUS CITY IN THE COUNTRY WITH ANNUAL RAINFALL OF 128 INCHES.
my intelligence. I sympathize with people that struggle with learning. I understand that people learn at different paces and it’s okay,” he said. British Literature teacher Kerri Barnhouse agrees, saying that Lovin’s subtle sense of humor fits in well in her class. “He is a wonderful addition to the class. He brings a unique perspective and a lot of enthusiasm,” she said. Teachers like Barnhouse have made high school a positive environment for Lovin. “Now that I’m older, teachers seem to get it more and are more willing to be accommodating. I feel more confident about my speech… I don’t think a lot of people know I have a disability, or care, so I just go with it,” Lovin said.
lmost, Maine, is a play com-
posed of nine vignettes about the sorrows and joys of love. The play, by John Cariani, is unique in its intimate cast of characters. Each scene has just two or three actors on stage at a time. The scenes all take place on the same winter night in the small, fictional town of Almost, Maine. Join Theatre West on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 14 at 2:00 p.m. or 7.30 p.m. in the auditorium. Take a peek back stage as the cast and crew prepare for opening night.
ALL PHOTOS BY//HANNAH RUBLAITUS
ABOVE: Jonah Pouleson ‘13 runs through a scene in preparation for the production of Almost, Maine. LEFT: Students Javier Miranda-Bartlett ‘12, Nick Gerken ‘12, Andrew Altmaier ‘12, Hahn Lee ’12 and Ruolu Liu ‘13 cram in homework between scenes during tech week. BOTTOM LEFT: Technical crew prepares the set and lights for show time on April 13. BELOW: Shamis McGillin ‘12 designed this year’s production poster.
COMPILED BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH
THE LARGEST HAIL STONE EVER DISCOVERED WAS FOUND IN NEBRASKA, WITH THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF A SOCCER BALL.
PAGE DESIGN BY//SHIRLEY WANG
Around the in
Every year, spring brings more than just showers and flowers. For these students, spring means a trip to France, Spain or Germany to experience life on the other side of the Atlantic.
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PERM ED WITH
COMPILED BY// CAROLINE VAN VOORHIS
PHOTO USED WITH PERMIS SION FROM// ALE
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JEWELL // ALEX ION FROM
Log on for exclusive video coverage.
HAIL CAUSES ABOUT ONE BILLION DOLLARS OF DAMAGE EACH YEAR TO CROPS AND PROPERTY.
L OM// A SION FR
Tower in Par is, Fra nce
2 Eilderts ’1 n v y a R from
SION FROM// ASH PHOTOS USED WITH PERMIS
,a in Ulm orhood any b h ig e An Germ South city in
A view of the Segov ia Cathed Segovia, ral in Spain. Th is 500 ye building h ar old as many characteri the Gothic stic of period.
from Alyssa M cKeone’13
WITH PERM ISSION
FROM// AL YSSA
The traveling Spanish class poses in front of Pa lacio Real in Madrid, the capital of Spain
PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM// ALYSSA MCKEONE
THE FASTEST WIND GUST EVER RECORDED TRAVELED 231 MILES PER HOUR – MEASURED DURING A SEVERE STORM IN 1931.
PAGE DESIGN BY//KATIE MONS
Home on the range A few miles out of the city, the road turns to gravel and you can see for miles in every direction. Join these students on their farms. BY ELEANOR MARSHALL
firstname.lastname@example.org e hear “Iowa living” and get nostalgic for a childhood on the farm most of us didn’t actually have: the army of stiff corn standing at attention, the early morning runs for fresh eggs – squeezing into the chicken house with eyes still squeezed shut from sleep, the lazy pastures of cows standing sedentary like heavy cream. We may have spent our lives correcting people who assume we’re farm folk, but we’re really not so far removed from farm life. Drive just a few miles West on Melrose and you’ll hit gravel roads and crops stretching out to the edge of both horizons. For some students, farming is more than a postcard cover; it’s a part of their heritage and identity. Natalie Kasper ’12 has lived on a farm near Tiffin all her life, growing corn, beans and oats and tending horses, cattle, rabbits and goats – including one that faints. Her favorite is a spotted horse named Poco. The property is lined with a row of apple trees and an old, defunct windmill looms just behind them. A big barn rests comfortably on its haunches, faded to russet; while a few feet over a spry little shed perks up, its red paint still glinting. It is a simple, striking symbol of the passing of generations, the old knowledge and values renewed. The shed houses the woodworking of her brother, Peter Kasper ’07 and the big barn holds hay and equipment. The farm is everything you’re imagining, she said: tractors, red barns, chipping paint – down to the white farm house.
THE WORLD’S LARGEST TORNADO – STRETCHING 2½ MILES WIDE – OCCURRED IN NEBRASKA IN 2004.
PAGE DESIGN BY//KATIE MONS
PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY
ABOVE: Natalie Kasper ’12 hops on to her favorite horse, Poco. Horses inspire her art and she hopes to be riding them well into her future. “Sears used to sell parts to making kind of a NIMBY [Not in My Backyard] a house, so you could go to the store approach, I just like the openness. … and pick out the parts you wanted,” she There is something refreshing about said. walking through a cornfield or walking Kasper said that most people are sur- by a creek,” Kasper said. prised to learn that she lives on a farm Brooke Stutsman ’13 also comes from – and when they ask if she drives a red a long legacy of farmers, working the pick-up and bales hay, she lets out a same land as her great grandfather. Her laugh and an enthusiastic confirmation. family’s agricultural business, StutYes, she does. sman, Inc. just celebrated its 76th an“I feel like I have two different iden- niversary. Her family grows corn and tities. I wear clothes to school that soybeans and raises cattle, and she said are fashionable and chic – like, I wear she has loved being raised on a farm. dresses. And then I get home and put “There’s always something to do on a on a sweatshirt and jeans covered in farm. … it’s so open and free out there, crap. Cowboy boots are like second na- you can do anything you want. You ture to me,” she said. can be adventurous,” she said. “People Her farm has stayed relatively small would be surprised how quiet it is and and local, with most of the work done surprised how much there is to do.” by her uncle and grandfather, a sight Stutsman and Kasper both take pride she said is getting rarer and rarer as the in the independence they said they had acres around her are sold to develop- learned from farm living. ment. “Growing up it was really hard for It’s no coincidence that fewer and me to get away from home. … I never fewer of us feel connected to rural really knew anyone in my area. You relics. According to The Land Insti- would usually find me playing with my tute, 95% of Americans were full-time brother or off on my own. [By living farmers when Thomas Jefferson took on a farm], you become more indepenoffice in 1801, but by 1900 the num- dent, you’re able to entertain yourself,” ber had dropped to 45% and in 2000 Kasper said. just 2% of people lived on farms. ConOn her farm, Kasper pointed out an versely, over the last half century, the old corn crib which she and her brothfarms themselves have doubled in size er transformed into a fort, making a from 200 to 400 acres on average, ac- canon out of old pipes and climbing the cording to the Living History Farm old rope ladder. foundation. Kasper said she recognizes Besides a wild imagination, the open the efficiency and profit in the indus- farm environment has cultivated the trial landscape defined by feedlots and kind of practical skills most of us pay machinery– but that she operates un- someone else to have. Kasper’s family der a different model. cans apples, cherries and berries each “The work is mostly done within the year, and she and her mother make family, and neighbors come help us do caramel and soap with the goats’ milk. the combine. A lot of the land around Much of the furniture in their house us has been sold to build lots and build- was either made or mended by a family ings. … I think it’s sad, but I know that’s member.
Kasper has picked strength from bailing hay and lifting saddles, and she has ended up with an almanac of knowledge about crop rotation and plant and animal biology. For example, “If you cross two polled goats [goats without horns], there’s a one-sixth chance you’ll end up with a hermaphrodite.You just know stuff like that,” she said. “I’ve seen live births and dealt with different illnesses. Sometimes I feel like a little bit of a doctor,” Kasper said. Kasper has been riding horses since she could sit up straight on the saddle, and has ridden seriously since the summer after fourth grade. She shows the rabbits and goats she raises at the county and state fair through 4H club – where she also competes with her artistic creations like her handmade prom dress or photographs and woodworking pieces. Stutsman works all summer with her mother and brother to raise lambs to show at the fair – feeding and walking
the sheep to develop muscle tone. “You feed it right so it’s in the right weight bracket, kind of like wrestling,” she said, adding that showing lambs takes the same practice, time and effort as a sport. Stustman won champion showman for the intermediate division at a competition in Denver this January – out of 500 competitors, and 90 other people entered in the showmanship division. Stutsman, who is also actively involved in West High’s business professionals of America, and said she plans to pursue agricultural business. And Kasper said that, wherever her career path takes her, she hopes to be near horses. Both agreed that no matter where they go, they will take their farm identity with them. “It’s so much a part of my identity that it’s hard to even figure out what all would change [if I hadn’t grown up on a farm],” Kasper said.
Go to wsspaper.com/farm to watch a video featuring Natalie Kasper’s farm! BELOW: Natalie Kasper ’12 raises goats on her farm near Tiffin. This year’s bunch have just started to give birth to new kids. PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY
PROSPECT CREEK, ALASKA, HOLDS THE RECORD FOR COLDEST TEMPERATURE IN THE U.S., PLUMMETING TO -80 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.
PAGE DESIGN BY//OLIVE CARROLLHACH
s r e m a g
BY BRENNA DEERBERG email@example.com
New technology becomes obsolete faster than you can google the next apple product on your iPhone 4, and electronic entertainment tends to lose popularity after a relatively short time. However, there are some games so legendary they have escaped the label of a passing fad. While Dungeons and Dragons, a virtual role play game, has become even less common, it still captivates a select few students at West High. Rowan McKee ’14 was first introduced to Dungeons and Dragons by his parents at the age of nine, but nowadays McKee prefers to spend his weekends hosting “D and D” games with his classmates. The games usually last around four hours with four to five players. McKee plays the role of Dungeon Master. “I play the role of God. I just give [the other players] a whole bunch to do.” McKee’s fellow players include Oskar Martin ’14, Noah Stevens ’14 and Steven Bork ’14. They play the fourth and most recent edition of D and D. Wizards’ Coast, the creators of D and D recently announced that they are working on a fifth edition the classic game, with some key components of gameplay altered for a different experience. “The original Dungeons and Dragons was very simple and you could do practically anything,” McKee said. The gamers play as custom characters and are careful to keep them alive. McKee said that when a character dies you have to create a new one and it’s “too much work.” Armand Christian ’13 prefers a slightly different gaming experience. “My favorite game is Hackmaster. Game-play is pretty similar to Dungeons and Dragons. I started playing in eighth grade. Lots of people think that’s too young, because of the violence.” One favorite character of the group
is a gnome rogue: an advanced character with thievery skills, “We like to throw [the gnome rogue] around a lot. Literally,” McKee said. “[Oskar] threw him at a dragon one time.” According to Bork the best part of D and D is the storytelling aspect of game-play. “My favorite part is being able to visualize what’s going on,” said Bork. He said he loves the ability to bring his “grandiose ideas” to life. One such idea is Bork’s character, a “dwarf fighter.” “I’m the person who has all the armor and makes sure no one gets hurt,” Bork said. In addition to playing Dungeons and Dragons, McKee enjoys attending gaming conventions, although the rest of the group is usually unable to attend with him. McKee went to Gamma-Con in February and an Iowa convention called I-Con in October, where enthusiasts wear medieval-styled clothing. While timeless games like Dungeons and Dragons will always be - well, timeless, McKee also wants to introduce his group to World of Darkness, a more recent roleplay game. According to McKee the game features more options than D and D, most notably the broad range of playable time periods. Unlike Dungeons and Dragons, in World of Darkness a player isn’t stuck within a medieval time period. Players like Bork play Dungeons and Dragons to have fun, and “can be irked” by negative stigmas attached to roleplay games. “I don’t like how everyone assumes that [playing Dungeons and Dragons] makes you a nerd,” Bork said. “They’re not mutually exclusive.” Although their choice of recreation may be unusual, like anyone else these West High students are looking for a good time above all else. “What can I say?” said Bork. “It’s fun.”
LIGHTNING CAN TRAVEL OVER SIX MILES HORIZONTALLY THROUGH THE SKY.
players HRISTIAN ARMAND C
pert Player type: Ex e: Favorite gam r te as m Hack oice: Weapon oficch tured) in
A katana (p d a short one hand an r he ot e sword in th
Character typ Drow Ranger
ROWAN MCKEE '14
Dungeons and Dragons
Weapon of choice: Bow and arrow
Character type: Elf
COMPILED BY// OLIVE CARROLLHACH
West High’s ve ry own Dunge ons and Dragons w arriors tell all
PAGE DESIGN BY//ANNA EGELAND
pieces of paper have been used by West High printers between October 2011 and March 2012, according to the West High library
DOWN TO EARTH BY AMELIA MOSER
firstname.lastname@example.org April 22 has been a day to celebrate and preserve our planet’s environment since 1970. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, was responsible for Earth Day’s founding by inspiring 20 million Americans to demonstrate in favor of protecting the environment. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global and had 200 million people supporting it around the world. Senator Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in founding it.
pounds of CO2 emitted by West High drivers parking in West’s 826 considering the average commute to school is 4.2 miles, according to a Terrapass report, and each mile driven equates to roughly one pound of carbon emissions.
pounds of trash created at West each day, plus more when there are athletic events at the school.
COMPILED BY// AMELIA MOSER
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Slow Food has been working on some of their own projects. Recently they’ve been assisting in the planting at Friendly Farm, a local pesticide-free farm. “We’ve planted somewhere around 8,000 seeds this year at Friendly Farm...we have students come volunteer to help [Friendly Farm] get started up in spring, such as starting seedlings in their greenhouses, and in return they give us some of their plants,” said Bennett Thompson ’12. “We’ve started lettuce, kale, parsley, escarole, basil, sage and a number of other delicious plants.” They’ve been doing work on their own garden here at West High as well, getting ready to plant. “Right now we’re expanding the garden to a whopping 1,850 square feet. We’re excited to be eating up more of the school lawn and that we’ll be able to provide more food for the cafeteria,” Thompson said. Slow Food is also starting a new project. “We’re also working on composting. [This spring] we will have a number of days where students and kitchen staff can divert all organic waste to be composted at the garden and at the Iowa City Landfill,” he said. The group will launch its composting initiative on April 23.
EcoCentric has been tackling a number of environmental projects recently, including sending a kid to Taproot (a program meant to educate about the environment and encourage valuing it) for a week, organizing school events and building bat houses. “My brother has gone to Taproot for years, and he really enjoys it. He’s learned a lot about his local environment and the importance of conserving resources to help the earth as a whole. I’m glad we can make it possible for another kid to have the same experience,” said Hilah Kohen ’14. Some of the school events they’ve been busy with include Focus the Classroom and Bike to School Week. Focus the Classroom was an effort to encourage teachers to spend a day talking about conservation, and an opportunity to bring environmental speakers into the school. EcoCentric discouraged driving to school by handing out treats to people who biked during Bike to School Week, April 2-6.
BY THE NUMBERS INFORMATION FROM//NATIONAL RESOURCE DEFENSE COUNCIL AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
BY THE NUMBERS 13 FEATURE
OF U.S. WASTE IS NOW RECYCLED
RECYCLED CAN SAVES ENOUGH ENERGY TO POWER A TV FOR 3 HOURS
OF WATER BOTTLES ARE NOT RECYCLED
A LIGHTNING BOLT TRAVELS UP TO 60,000 MILES PER SECOND AND CAN REACH TEMPERATURES AS HIGH AS 50,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.
DAY OF SILENCE PHOTOS BY//SHAMIS MCGILLIN
COMPILED BY//AMELIA MOSER AND HANNAH RUBLAITUS
Young people across the United States, and even across the world, will fall silent to raise awareness for those who don’t always have a voice – people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. By taking a vow of silence on April 19, students at West are taking a vow to expose and halt discrimination against those who are “different.” PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM//JUSTIN GORGONE
Justin Gorgone ’12
“Coming out of the closet wasn't shocking for too many people. Wait, it wasn't shocking for anyone, who are we trying to fool? The response I received was only positive. There was never a ‘What? Justin's gay?!’ It was more like, ‘Yeah, of course he's gay, he just wasn't ready to come out yet.’ I was incredibly fortunate to have the idyllic, perfect coming out experience. In the media you always hear the stories of gay teens that are abandoned by their families and that their friends don't support them. I'm lucky to say that my experience has been the complete opposite. I think that that is mostly due to the fact that I didn't change who I was after I came out. The only thing that was different was that I was openly gay, I admitted that I liked boys. My personality was the same, my fashion sense improved immensely and I was happier. Only positive improvements. I still remember sitting in the car with my mother when I told her. The only thing that she said to me was that she was so proud that I could be so strong and to be happy no matter what, whether I was gay or not - that wasn't important. I feel as if I've accomplished that much, I'm happy. I'm here and no one is going to change that. Haters gonna hate, who cares.”
Eva Thomas ’13
Dan Kauble ’13
“When I came out it wasn’t really dramatic. I never came out and announced ‘I’m here and I’m queer,’ preferring rather to tell a few close friends before letting it spread around amongst the friends I didn’t tell. I didn’t lose any friends, but I believe that is because the friends I was surrounded with were people who supported who I am. The few people I feared would take it badly were the people I didn’t talk to about it; I figured if they thought it was a major problem, they would either bring it up or start avoiding me. Since such a choice on their part could not be avoided, I decided I might as well not engage in that conversation. And it’s been pretty mellow for me... I’ve never been severely harassed by anyone, but I still struggle with it, especially given the lack of openly gay people at West. That makes starting up a relationship extremely difficult. Growing up, I never pictured my life turning out this way; I always believed that I’d have a typical love life, and it’s been hard adjusting to the knowledge that I never will. Also, I don’t have any gay men to look up to as role models, and thus the dynamics of such a relationship are foreign to me. As a result, the future is scary because I am uncertain about what the road ahead will look like.”
“A lot of gay people say that they always knew they were different from other kids growing up, but I didn’t really feel that. I expected that I would grow up and marry a boy just like everybody else, even though I knew people like my aunt and her girlfriend [now wife]. I first thought I might be gay in sixth grade when I developed a crush on one of my friends, and in seventh grade I came out to my parents and closest friends. At the time, it was very stressful to me, but everyone’s response was sort of like, ‘Um, yeah? I thought so. Is Jon Stewart on yet?’ All of my friends and family were very accepting, but when I started going out with one of my friends, there was some negative attention at school. People asked me if the rumors were true, sometimes using not very nice language; but mostly I think they were curious rather than caustic. It’s hard to separate the natural way friends grow apart in middle school from anything that might have been caused by my coming out. I definitely still feel like I have to ‘act straight’ in some circumstances, especially when I’m around younger people. A lot of parents don’t want their kids to hear or see any information about same-sex relationships even if the same content would be totally PG if the participants were opposite genders. But I feel very comfortable at West High and I know there are a lot of people here who are dedicated to preventing homophobia and who are very accepting.”
By the numbers SOURCE//2009 GAY LESBIAN STRAIGHT EDUCATION NETWORK NATIONAL SURVEY
OUT OF 10 LGBT STUDENTS REPORT VERBAL, SEXUAL OR PHYSICAL HARASSMENT AT SCHOOL OF LGBT STUDENTS REPORT MISSING AT LEAST A DAY OF SCHOOL IN THE PAST MONTH OUT OF FEAR FOR THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY
Jenifer Secrist, science teacher
“Our society has an interesting way of defining complex dynamic processes into simple terms which often leads to stereotypes and pre-determined judgments of a person you know nothing about. If a process is static, give it a simple term. Coming out, is not static! I equate ‘coming out’ with the process called ‘living life.’ I believe that getting stressed about ‘coming out’ is a waste of time and energy. That energy would be better spent focusing on being the best you that you can be. Do not allow others the power to make you feel the need to define yourself with a social slang term, live your life well and it will define you well.”
Nick Wagner ’13
“Coming out has definitely been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. And coming out never truly stops; you’re always coming out to different people: to family members, to new friends and to anybody you choose to tell. I’ve always known I was different, but I didn’t realize I was gay until my sophomore year. I eventually had to tell someone. I remember like it was yesterday, sitting in the library with my friend Riko [Ohashi ’12], shaking and barely being able to speak. I eventually worked up the courage to say it. After I told her I felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of me. When you come out to the first few people, you give a part of yourself to that person. Another thing that was and still is very important to me is to have teachers I could talk to. Besides our parents, teachers are probably the only adults we see every day. In a time of coming out, it’s very important to have adults other than your parents there to support you. Melanie Johnson was the third person I came out to last year, she was probably the most important adult in my life last year. Definitely the hardest part of all was telling my parents. Once again, I remember the whole day like it was yesterday. Throughout the day, I would get physically sick to my stomach. I felt like I was going to throw up. When I wasn’t feeling this way, I felt like I was going to faint. The memory is so vivid, sitting on the couch and uttering those words, ‘I’m gay.’ I get emotional just thinking about it. We talked for a long time, everyone got emotional. Life was very stressful and difficult. Many things were said that were very hurtful. But I never felt alone with the support of my friends, my teachers and the overall supportive atmosphere of West High. Being gay in high school is difficult, but I will never regret the decision to come out. I have developed so many close, endearing friendships with so many people. Being able to find yourself is not easy, it takes a long time and a lot of thinking, and the process never stops. It takes a lot of courage to come out of your shell. You fear the judgment of everybody, but the biggest fear to overcome is the fear of yourself. I’m so happy that I’ve started the journey to find myself. Although it’s been hard, and I’ve faced obstacles along the way, so many good things have resulted from coming out. I have never felt more confidence in myself to be who I feel inside.”
Cyndy Woodhouse, English teacher
“The hardest part of coming out, for me, was admitting it to myself. I was teaching at a summer debate camp in Washington state, and we had some time in the library for the kids to research. I picked up a couple of books to read about the topic we were researching. The books were about LGBT youth and their stories. I read an entire book in two hours because I just couldn’t put it down. The stories were amazing, emotional, funny ... and real. I struggled with the fact that I really identified with what some of them were saying and was simultaneously relieved that someone else had finally articulated what I was thinking and feeling, but couldn’t quite put my finger on. Before I told anyone, I said it to myself in the mirror of the bathroom on the third floor of that library (what I told myself is just for me). When I told my family and friends, I started with friends and worked my way through to the people who meant the most to me in my life. My father was the last person I told because I was most concerned about his reaction. My family and friends all reacted the same way: indifference or immediate and overt acceptance. There was no negativity directed toward me. I did find out, years later, that there was a lot of turmoil in my immediate family (my father, my stepmother, my mother) and they each struggled in a his/her own way, even rejecting me (without actually rejecting me). The only significantly negative reaction I received was from my brother, who not only told me that he didn’t agree with my ‘choice,’ but that he thought it was his responsibility to ‘change [my] mind.’ We are no longer siblings beyond the blood connection, he has only met my wife twice, and he will never get to know his nephew. After talking with friends and family, I never “came out” again. Instead, I talk about my family just like anyone else. I don’t come out to my classes, I simply make reference to my wife and my son. I don’t ‘push the gay issue,’ but I can be a resource. The way I look at it, who I love doesn’t define me ... ‘The closet’ is where other people put you, under this false assumption that if you’re not heterosexual, you have to make sure people know it. Keeping your sexuality to yourself doesn’t make you afraid, shy or weak. You’re free in your identity when you know who you are, not when other people put a label on you. If you want to let people in on this part of your life, do it in your own time, only if it’s going to help you, and never to make someone else happy or ‘clued in.’ If you never make it a point to declare your sexual identity, you’re still you. It’s ironic that the most deeply personal detail of our self-definition, is something society expects that we share with people if we’re ‘different.’ Well, I’m not different. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a sister. I’m a friend. I’m a professional. I’m a person. That’s all you need to know.”
Don’t leave me:
PAGE DESIGN BY//ZORA HURST
ten items of immeasurable meaning
COMPILED BY//OLIVIA LOFGREN, LEAH MURRAY AND NATHAN PETERSON PHOTO BY//OLIVIA LOFGREN
1. Phone: “I take it with me everywhere I go.” 2. Floral painting: “It was hand-painted on a slab of wood by an artist in the Bahamas.” 3. Fountain pen and ink: “It’s a lot smoother and nicer to write with than a typical pen. Plus, it’s golden and looks pretty sweet.” 4. Watch: “The band was my grandfather’s and I customized the face.” 5. Roll of duct tape: “Duct tape has an infinite number of uses, and I’m sure I could find one.”
A natural disaster is about to hit your house. Your entire family is scrambling around in panic. You have minutes left before you have to evacuate and in that time you grab the ten most important things in your life that could fit in a backpack. FEMA can take care of the items necessary for survival, but they can’t provide pictures full of numerous memories and instru-
ments used to relieve stress or supply entertainment or letters filled with the handwriting from loved ones. The West Side Story asked students what items they would bring if they were in this situation.
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Alex Grady ’14
1. Letter: “From Tonya Nicholson; it’s a way to remember her.” 2. Babydoll: “Given to me by my grandmother.” 3. Ring: “It’s my great grandma’s, my grandma’s and my mom’s wedding rings combined.” 4. Friend trinket: “It was given to me from a friend who moved to Texas, it says ‘friendship isn’t a big thing, but lots of little things.’” 5. Pointe shoes: “I have danced for twelve years.”
PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM//DALTON STRAUSER
PHOTO BY//OLIVIA LOFGREN
1. Drum sticks and pad: “It’s what I love to do.” 2. iPod and headphones: “I couldn’t go a day without listening to music.” 3. Tennis shoes: “They give good support and make me comfortable.” 4. Grandfather’s tie: “I was very close to him.”
Nic Rude ’12
Christina Stroback ’15 1. Notebook: “First rough draft of the first 90 pages of the book I wrote.” 2. Letter: “From my mom on Easter after I was confirmed.” 3. Picture on her phone: “The cover of her book called The good fight.” 4. Bracelet: “From a friend to remind me everyday to stay strong.” 5. Shard from plate: “A group of friends and myself wrote our fears on a plate and broke the plate and everyone kept a piece.”
PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM//NIC RUDE
16 PROFILES THE WINTER OF 1932 WAS SO FRIGID IT FROZE NIAGARA FALLS COMPLETELY SOLID.
THE NEW GIRL:
aty Nahra is more than just a lovely face. This Davenport native and graduate of Central High School has become an honorary faculty member as she substitutes long-term for Mrs. Heenan, who is currently on maternity leave. Nahra graduated from Truman State University with a degree in Theater Arts and completed graduate school at the University of Iowa where she received her masters in education. The WSS asked her a few questions regarding her involvement in the drama department (she was an assistant director for Beauty and the Beast this past fall and is also involved with Almost, Maine, this spring) and her affinity for teaching.
PAGE COMPILED BY//ZORA HURST
Were you nervous when you began substitue teaching? Not really, that’s when I knew that was what I wanted to continue in... I pursued it as fast as I could. I started with elementary students and there’s only so much you can do on that level so I knew high school was for me. I liked being able to do something new every day... I taught a lot of different things.
Are your skills with drama transferable to the classroom? I think they go hand-in-hand... you have to be confident. [Theater] helps you read people and most social interactions... these are all things you need to be a good teacher.
How much of an effect did your childhood have on your interests? You’re always going to be influenced by your surroundings... I grew up in a caring environment where education was valued; my parents had that ingrained in me. Instead of taking me to a babysitter, they took me to a drama class at the community theater after school. I took lessons there... that was my outlet.
Did you have any significant teachers in school that inspired you to go into education? When I took physics, I was struggling and [the teacher] would show up at 6:30 every morning to help this group of us... he did whatever he could to be there for his students. That was a great example to me.
What do you like about being at West High? What’s not to like? The students are outgoing, ambitious, goodspirited and friendly. I was very lucky [to be mentored by English teacher Margaret Shullaw]... this is a coveted place to be; I was always aware that this was going to be a great experience. Amy Shoultz and Shullaw are veteran teachers who have lots of experience. I did my practicum with Mrs. Havilah Peters; I shadowed her... She let me try things, let me jump in. From day one, she let me be involved.
Be sure to look for Nahra at Almost, Maine, being presented Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 15 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - she is a co-directing the production with Ann Rocarek, Havilah Peters and Nicky Beaurividge ’12. Nahra said, “I love getting to work with them... we have fun. Maybe too much fun.”
PHOTO BY// FRANK WEIRICH ARICA, CHILE, ONCE WENT FOR OVER 14 YEARS WITHOUT RAIN.
through in numerous ways at a young age. “My family has always known that the best way to foster a creative spirit is to encourage it from an early age,” Bailey-Murray said. Today, in the midst of having her artwork premiere at Chait Galleries in downtown Iowa City April 13th, Bailey-Murray has settled into drawing with graphite pencil and chalk pastels in favor of traditional brush techniques because it makes for a more intimate connection with her artwork. “It may seem weird, but I really like to smudge and blend with my hands; I have marked it in some way and made it indisputably mine by having a literal hand in its creation,” she said.
Tyler Fridrich ’12 has been reaping the benefits (and collecting quite a fat paycheck for a high school student) as the continued demise of VHS tapes and cassettes pushes the demand for DVD and Blu-ray discs to higher levels. Fridrich, owner and founder of Memories Preserved - an audiovisual conversion business specializing in converting life’s timeless moments from film reels, cassettes and VHS tapes to modern formats - started the business in the summer of 2009 shortly after entering the halls of West High. The halls have changed from the foreign to the all-too familiar for Fridrich, and so has his business.
Stemming from self-taught knowledge of audio speaker set-up, the business has grown leaps and bounds. Today, Fridrich is the company’s lone employee, and has completed over forty projects, from recording and converting wedding footage to preserving home movies all from the comfort of his home. His main customer base is “younger to middle aged parents with small families,” according to Fridrich. “About one-third of my work is from repeat customers. One day I don’t have to work at all and the next day I can put in five hours.” Fridrich credits much of the success of the company and the individual he has become today to his father, who has had a lifelong love for car stereos and other audio equipment. He describes the process as “lengthy and tedious, but the work isn’t difficult. For one of my
photo gallery on wsspaper.com
Often labeled as an expression of life, art comes in many formsthe various techniques and styles chosen by the particular artist at hand. For Christina Bailey Murray ’12, working with art has been a lifelong endeavor. Growing up shy, drawing was that “attempt to understand and portray other people’s personality.” Living with two supportive artists as parents (her mother majored in art in college, her father in photography) allowed BaileyMurray’s creative sides to come
How long have you been playing guitar?
I’ve been playing the guitar since 7th grade, I started piano in 6th [grade] and I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.
Who are you inspired by?
I really like Adele, I like Taylor Swift, I’m madly in love with John Mayer and just anyone that who works hard to get where they are and doesn’t just buy it.
What’s your favorite genre?
I don’t have a favorite genre. I love music in general.
Check out 1 in 2000, a musician:
CHRISTINA BAILEY-MURRAY ’12 TYLER FRIDRICH ’12
IN 1967, HURRICANE BEULAH UNLEASHED 115 TORNADOES OVER TEXAS.
first clients, I had an old VHS tape and while I was working on it late at night, the tape frilled . . . Fortunately, I had already known how to splice tapes, so I only ended up losing about a minute. I could’ve ended up losing three hours’ worth.” Joining West High’s Business Professionals of America chapter his junior year helped propel his self-confidence to a new level. After fine-tuning Memories Preserved, Fridrich placed second at the 2011 State Leadership Conference for Entrepreneurship, opening the door to new opportunities. Fridrich will attend the University of Iowa in the fall, majoring in computer engineering and minoring in business. While he intends on continuing the business, he said “it will be more of a side job.” As far as pursuing it after college, he added, “that’s always a possibility.”
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KINSEY KOCH ’12
Not only does West High have a tradition of excellence, but also a tradition of individuality, from athletics to academics and beyond. The WSS uncovers some of those characters, based on the New York Times’ One in 8 Million series. COMPILED BY//ASHTON DUNCAN, FATIMA JAYOMA AND QUENTIN MISIAG
WHAT DO YOU WAKE UP FOR?
four people, one question, one thing that makes them unique
I wake up to play the piano. It calms me down and allows me to think about other stuff. If I’m having a hard time, it helps me clear my mind.
Johnathan Ni ’14
Evan Weinschenk ’12
I wake up to help and support all of my friends and family. I like to see other people happy.
Dom Bell ’12
I wake up to learn new things from my parents, Japanese school or just from anything or anyone.
Megumi Kitamoto ’15
LIGHTNING IS 5 TIMES HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN.
[I wake up] to go out and to promote [my company’s] tshirts. The [company’s] name, EYL means Enjoy Your Life, which is a contradiction to the theme of the t-shirts.
4 .1 .1
PAGE DESIGN BY//ASHTON DUNCAN
PAGE DESIGN BY//DAN ROTHMAN
PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY
RIGHT: The day before their April 3 scrimmage in Cedar Rapids, Alli Peterson ’14 and Sam Ryken ’13 practice turning and finding the defender during practice. ABOVE: Practicing for their upcoming meet, Adam Dellos ’14 works on his return with a teammate. The effort paid off, as the team won the next day against Linn-Mar. BELOW: Allye Bordman ’15 takes a swing, chipping the ball back onto the green. The girls golf team won their meet on April 3, despite marking mix-ups.
PHOTO BY//ABBIE SKEMP
ABOVE: During a boys’ varsity soccer scrimmage Ben Troester ’14 traps the ball, manuvering away from teammate Bryton Ostler ’12. The boys are practicing in anticipation of upcoming games with the season just beginning. TOP LEFT: Mondo Williams ’12 gives his last ounce of effort while crossing the finish line in the 100 meter dash. The boys’ track team won their home meet on April 3 with 170 points. Linn-Mar was runner up with 116. 20 SPORTS
ONE SMALL THUNDERSTORM HELD MORE THAN 33 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER.
PHOTO BY//FRANK WEIRICH
PAGE DESIGN BY//DAN ROTHMAN
PHOTO BY//ABBIE SKEMP
No hurdle too high
The steady stream of warm weather has graced Iowa City in recent weeks, heralding the beginning of spring. While for some students this time acts as little more than a bridge to summer, for West’s many dedicated athletes it signals the arrival of something even more exciting: spring sports. From track to tennis to soccer, sports are now in full swing, working hard to make their seasons memorable. For even more coverage of spring sports, make sure to check out wsspaper.com and follow @wsspaper for game-by-game coverage. PHOTO BY//ADAM CANADY
COMPILED BY// DAN ROTHMAN
BOTTOM LEFT: Courtney Dauber ’13 and Kiana Wilson ’15 finish the 200 meter dash at the Women of Troy track meet on Tuesday, April 3. The Women of Troy won the track meet 159 points over Linn Mar and Cedar Rapids Kennedy, who tied for 2nd with 93 points each. BELOW: Brittani Langland ’15 hits an overhand at her meet on April 3. Langland won her match 10-7. PHOTO BY//ABBIE SKEMP
IN TEN MINUTES, A HURRICANE RELEASES MORE ENERGY THAN ALL THE WORLD’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMBINED.
PAGE DESIGN BY//TYLER VOSS
ON THE ARTS
Billy Frailey ’15
When did you pick up your first guitar? For my ninth birthday I asked my parents for a guitar. My dad used to be in a band and I used to just mess around with his guitar when I was about six or seven. I then decided that I wanted to play guitar. I immediately loved it when I picked it up; it felt so right. I knew it was the instrument for me. I remember one summer when I was visiting my dad in California, he just sat me down in a guitar shop and taught me how to play a simple chord. [The chords] just filled the room. Music produces that strange kind of euphoria. Just that knowledge, knowing that with music you can silence a crowd or make them scream is powerful. Who taught you how to play guitar? When I was younger, I bought books and videos to teach myself how to play [guitar]. At first I didn’t have time for lessons and wasn’t really interested in taking them. I wanted to be independent and didn’t like having someone else’s influences forced upon me. I just like to do these types of things on my own. Who has influenced you? My dad used to be in a band, my mom played saxophone in high school and my brother [Sean Frayley ’12] used to play drums. I don’t think my family has influenced me musically, though. I worship Avenged Sevenfold [guitarist] Synyster Gates, though. He comes up with the best stuff. Most musicians
have to spend at least several years learning music theory in order to perfect their technique, but [Gates] can do that and also break the rules. How often do you practice guitar? I’ll go home after school and play guitar for more than two hours every day. I learned every Avenged Sevenfold song on guitar; there’s about 76 [songs]. When I practice guitar, I’ll play along with their songs because it helps me master the tempo and ornamentation. I get in a strange state of mind when I play guitar; I’m not focused on anything else. Time is able to pass by, even three hours or so, and I can’t even tell. However, I also play piano, drums, bass and vocals so I’ll spend time practicing those instruments as well. How important is music to you? Music is my whole life. Just learning new songs, listening to new music, especially Avenged Sevenfold, is really nice. However, I also like older bands like Iron Maiden, AC/ DC, Black Veil Brides and Atreyu. Music is really important; I think it’s something a lot of people don’t realize. Music has the ability to manipulate emotions for a large crowd of people and seem magical.
COMPILED BY// POMBIE SILVERMAN PHOTO BY// FRANK WEIRICH
AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME, THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 1,800 THUNDERSTORMS OCCURRING IN THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.
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The cost of Under the hood collateral damage PAGE DESIGN BY//DAN ROTHMAN
It’s already hard to imagine what it would be like living close to an army base. And imagine that base just made a threatening statement directed toward you and your loved ones. Now imagine that as you’re sitting in your home, a stranger walks into the neighborhood and begins to open fire on people. People you know. People you grew up with. On March 11 in Afghanistan, that happened. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is charged with walking into homes and killing sleeping civilians with a handgun. With already strained relations and spreading anti-American sentiment, he made a cruel call. And no one knows why. The American government decided to send $50,000 per person killed to the victims’ families. They attached a little note saying “From President Obama” and expected the money to clear up all the problems Bales caused. No one likes to be slapped in face. But it’s a whole new level to shoot someone and then slap their family. What does $50,000 say to an Afghani citizen? It says “forget this ever happened.” Pay up a little and all the problems vanish into thin air, dust to dust. What they don’t tell you is what happens to the person on the receiving end. Everything goes back to normal? I think not. For example, imagine your brother, or your sister or a parent were killed, but the murder left your cabinets full of fine china.You then wake up the next morning and are at a loss as to where
your sibling has gone. Opening up the cabinet you find the dish, to your delight, and pour a glass. But as you drink your coffee from the expensive china, you’re still wondering where your sibling is. You may have the money to buy a fancy set of teacups, but you are still left with the memories. That’s what will be flooding through your mind. Yes this is an isolated incident. But we cannot stop at merely mourning the tragedy - it is a wake-up call that sounds a loud and clear indication that we need to re-examine our strategies as Afghani civillian casuaties are higher than they have been at any other point in the conflict. NATO and American troops have killed almost 13,000 people in the crossfire of the conflict since 2006, worsening relations to the point where the Afghani president referred to the U.S. and the Taliban as Afghanistan’s two demons. It’s time to stop buying off the tensions, and start really re-evaluating our international policy. We want substantive reforms over empty “I’m sorrys.”
Is the payment made to the Afghani victims’ families an adequate response?
2-11 The WSS editorial board voted against the payment.
Letter to the editor
You’d have to be hiding under a rock to not notice the rallies, the hoodies and the interviews. The aftermath of the shooting and killing of 17-yearold Trayvon Martin sparked a media wildfire that reached across the country. On Feb. 26, George Zimmerman shot and killed the teen, which led to large protests spawned from questions about whether the killing was racially motivated, or if Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law is as defensible as originally thought. The details surrounding Martin’s death are enough to merit suspicion, as Zimmerman claimed that the teen assaulted him after verbally confirming that he was going to attack. Yet, Martin’s girlfriend claims to have phone records of that night, and was even talking with him while Trayvon was being followed by Zimmerman. She explained that Martin was actually nervous about the strange man following him, who yelled at him to stop without explanation. This, along with no actual evidence that Zimmerman was injured that night created doubt about the 28-year old’s motives. This allowed the Martin family to bring together church groups in Sanford to protest the murder of their son. While Zimmerman was taken to the police station that night, he claimed self-defense, which under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, allowed him the right to defend himself if threatened. The outrage over Zimmerman’s effortless escape from the consequences of killing a young person, sparked coutry-wide anger and created a growing unease in
states getting ready to pass similar laws. The right to self-defense should be allowed - yet, at what cost? Trayvon Martin lost his life because Zimmerman felt threatened, and even if the investigators reveal otherwise, the incident will always pose the question: At what point is one able to claim self-defense? Using protection as a justification for murder is a stretch, but Stand Your Ground allows it. All you need is to feel threatened, and as Zimmerman showed the world, it can become a unilateral defense against any cause for pulling the trigger.
EDITORIAL BOARD Juliann Skarda Anna Egeland Eleanor Marshall Ansel Landini Ashton Duncan Adam Canady Daniel Rothman Olivia Lofgren Caroline Van Voorhis Blake Oetting Pombie Silverman Frank Weirich Brenna Deerberg
Should the Stand Your Ground Law protect George Zimmerman from punishment?
0-13 The WSS editorial board voted against the law.
To the Editors: I am always impressed with the courageous journalism that fills the pages of the West Side Story but Vol.43 issue 5 represents some of the best human rights journalism that I have ever read. Juliann Skarda and Ashton Duncan did an outstanding job of covering immigration challenges at three levels. This article could easily serve as a primer for any reader unfamiliar with the justice issues faced by immigrants. For me it served as a reminder that there is hope in our community for more humane immigration policy. That hope is riding on this generation of scholars who question authority and seek the truth through the stories of those who might otherwise be voiceless. I am proud to serve this school district every day, but Ms. Skarda and Ms. Duncan have made me especially proud today. Congratulations, journalists, on a job well done. Sincerely, Sarah Swisher Director, ICCSD Board of Education Founding Member, Sanctuary City Committee Former Feature Editor, West Side Story 23 OPINION
PAGE DESIGN BY//ASHTON DUNCAN
BY ANSEL LANDINI
email@example.com I can’t say I’m particularly a big fan of rap music. Though I will admit that occasionally rap lyrics really inspire me to grab a fat, blackink pen and start scribbling on the back of note cards and notebook margins. However, I am consistently disappointed by rap music that doesn’t follow this trend, which is a lot of it. I have found often times if I flip to a random radio station, there will be a song playing that consists of a single four word phrase and a beat. Astonishingly enough, that phrase always contains at least one expletive; and because a sentence must contain one verb and one subject, that doesn’t leave the artist a whole lot of room to speak their mind about the world.
The simplicity project Needless to say, I am unimpressed. What I’ve also noticed is that if a rap song has a catchy enough chorus and background base, it doesn’t matter what-so-ever what they say during the verses. Take everyone’s favorite example: “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO has a chorus that literally anyone who hasn’t completely tuned out modern music, or lives in a basement closet with walls made of 18” steel so no radio waves can penetrate, will recognize. I cannot possibly be the only human being to have taken apart the verses of the song, and realized they don’t mean anything at all. “Sexy and I Know It” is exactly the same. LMFAO is to rap as I Set My Friends On Fire is to screamo;
they’ve extorted the fact that people can say literally anything they want in a song as long as no one can understand it. Anyway, the point that I’m slowly arriving to is that because rappers and other genres alike have realized they can say whatever they want, it takes nothing but basic lyrical understanding and beat recognition to write a rap song. Please hold all of your death threats for a moment. I’m not trying to say that rappers don’t have talent, I’m just saying they don’t have a lot of talent. It takes a lot of work to develop an ear for a lyrical system and then figure out how best to write absolutely nothing in the space between each hook. Not to say there is anything wrong with
spending 15 hours writing a good chorus and 25 minutes on the rest of the song. And since today most artists don’t even do that much work, and can bill someone with the talent to do it for them what’s any of it worth anyway? Now none of these comments are from a blind, critical perspective because while I was thinking to myself “What’s the best way to prove any of these notions are true?” It hit me, why not give it a try myself. So I did. I wrote this entire song in one hour and thirty minutes exactly. If it’s awful, I suppose you can disregard everything I just said.
Check out Ansel’s rap on wsspaper.com
Learning to be a Trojan BY GUEST COLUMNIST B.P. WATERBURY It was the year City High won its first state championship in boys’ track, and began an era of dominance that I remember most about my senior year in high school. City High boys’ track in the 1990s was what the New England Patriots were to football during those ought years a decade back. I’ll always remember Coach Rafensperger yelling at us on a semi-mild early March afternoon after the snow had melted off the track which now bears his name. 24 OPINION
Apparently, some guys were running inside. Raffensperger was all about plyometrics and weight lifting in February and that cold, first half of March so long as it was in the gym, but running in the school was a big no-no back then. “I don’t know why you guys think you can run in the building when you can’t during the day,” he said. “Besides!” he continued, “I don’t know how you buttercups and daffodils think you’re gonna win state—there are a lot of cold track meets in April!” No one on our team ran in the halls again. Rules are rules, after all. So after the snow had melted, we got to the business of what winning state track with sprint relays is really all about: practicing full speed
handoffs. When I say I ran with NFL star Tim Dwight and 400 meter Olympian, Joey Woody, sometimes, people look at me funny. But it’s true-I could always catch them and give them the baton. Much like the Trojan and Women of Troy basketball teams this year, the 1992 City High track team simply set the goal of winning state a the beginning of the season. And the team title simply came from all of our individual hard work. All I can say after all of the hard work I’ve seen going into volleyball, and girls’ and boys’ basketball, each with their own state title? Well, I’ll always be a Little Hawk. But I’m learning to be a Trojan.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR may be sent to dan.rothman@wsspaper. com (letters should not exceed 300 words). Each letter must include the full name of the author and year of graduation (if written by a student). The WSS reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. GUEST OPINIONS should be sent to ashton.duncan@wsspaper. com and should be approximately 300-400 words. Please include your full name and phone number.
THE SUNNIEST PLACE ON EARTH IS THE SOUTH POLE - IT IS SNOW COVERED. THIS IS BECAUSE THE SNOW REFLECTS 50-90% OF THE SUNLIGHT.
TE outh A N Y
Come experience one of the following events hosted by local organizations April 28, 2012 - Coretta Scott King Scholarship Luncheon
Hosted by the Tau Psi Omega Alumnae Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Learn about the extraordinary woman, Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader, and world peace advocate. Open to the public. 11:30am - 1:30pm at the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame, Iowa City.
May 19, 2012 - NAACP Youth Empowerment Luncheon
Celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of 2012 African-American high school seniors. Featuring SHIFT Speaker, Azure Antoinette. Open to the public. 11:30am - 1:30pm at the Clarion Hotel, Cedar Rapids, IA.
May 19, 2012 - Student Leadership Conference Unplugged Did you attend last years’ Student Leadership Conference? Then you know the force that is Azure Antoinette. Well she’s back! Spend the afternoon with this world renown poet and spoken word artist and enjoy a real dialogue discussing issues surrounding today’s youth. Specifically for past attendees of Diversity Focus’ Student Leadership Conferences. Seating is limited for additional students. 2:00pm - 4:00pm at the Clarion Hotel,Cedar Rapids, IA.
ite d r o av war F A ur an o Y r fo Youth Awards Program: May 9, 2012 The City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission Youth Ally Award recognizes an adult who has inspired local youth to become involved in human rights activities and initiatives either locally or abroad. The Youth Ally Award is an award where youth in the community nominate an adult for special recognition. The Award recognizes an adult who through their work and trust in youth have empowered youth in the Iowa City area. VIsit: www.icgov.org/humanrights For a nomination form
Register for all events at www.diversityfocus.org Nominations will be accepted through April 20, 2012
Did you know . . .
that high school students get 1/2 price services at the Emma Goldman Clinic? 1-319-337-2111 www.emmagoldman.com April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month “My back pack was
YOUR REACTION MAKES A DIFFERENCE
“That’s what you get
for leaving it in your locker.”
Responding to Sexual Abuse and Harassment Since 1973 •
When someone tells you they’ve been raped,
START BY BELIEVING. 335.6000 (24-hrs) • rvap.org
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ONLY!
*Must present valid high school student I.D. card. Not valid with any other offer. 14 & 15 years of age must have parental consent. See store for details. Expires 4/21/12
115 Hwy 1 West, Iowa City • 338-0810 585 Hwy 965 S. Suite #C, North Liberty • 626-3040
No Appointment Tanning • Open 7 Days a Week www.ashleylynnstanning.com
Open LATE & on Sundays!
132 S. Clinton St. Iowa City, Iowa (319)-338-0500 (Next to Active Endeavors on the Pedestrian Mall)
Show your West High student ID & receive 15% off your total purchase! (expires May 15, 2012) Scan this QR Code to visit our Facebook page!
Now accepting bookings for graduation parties
ICPL’s eAudio book collection includes more than 2,000 titles to choose from.
Download? We have
What are you listening to? Share your favorite downloads with your friends on Facebook with the new Overdrive FB share link.
overdrive.icpl.org today to nd:
• Popular young adult ction • Book report books • School reading list books • Biographies • American history books • Language learning books
FREE AUDIO BOOK DOWNLOADS • Works with your iPod • Burn some titles to CD and listen in your car • Install free software at overdrive.icpl.org.
For residents of Iowa City, rural Johnson County, University Heights, Hills, and Coralville.
Good Books Any Way You Want to Read Them
PAGE DESIGN BY//frannie rizzo
Youâ€™ve got a friend in me BY FRANNIE RIZZO
firstname.lastname@example.org s each day stretches a little longer, reaching a little closer to summer, the whole earth seems to awaken.We all look forward to the farm-fresh produce that will make its way to the table in late spring and early summer, but few realize that the hard work of providing this produce starts long before spring begins. For local growers like Friendly Farms, the same farm that helps West Highâ€™s Slow Foods club and campus garden, planting is well on its way.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Pots of starter plants, all perennial herbs, sit in the greenhouse until they begin to grow again. They are planted in homemade pots which are biodegradable. BOTTOM LEFT: Starter plants ranging from lettuce to herbs will grow in greenhouses, which serve as a protective environment for the plants, until conditions are good and the plants are mature enough to be transplanted. ABOVE: The tractor is a vital machine in preparing the farm for growing season. The rich soil is turned and tilled starting in the middle of March. RIGHT: Sprouts of candy onions, a popular summer crop, have been coming up quickly in the greenhouse.
ALL PHOTOS BY// FRANNIE RIZZO
PAGE DESIGN BY//BLAKE OETTING
WEST HIGH FOODIES Are you a fan of Rachel Ray, Bobby Flay, or the Food Network in general? Well you dont have to turn on the TV to see great food being prepared. West has its own bunch of “foodies” that love to cook and create edible delights. Here they share their favorite recipes.
Kate Anstreicher ’14
“Food is a way
Joseph Malanson ’13
“This dish is one of
my favorites as it’s filled with
for people to bond. It is a
lots of local produce.”
way to show your personality.” Leek and Goat Cheese Galette Steps for Galette:
1.Slice and wash 6 large leeks; they often have sand trapped in their layers, so it is important to let them soak in water for a while. 2.Mix 2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Add 1 1/2 sticks of cold butter that is cut into tiny pieces (about pea-sized). Sprinkle 1/3-1/4 cup of icewater on top of the flour-butter mixture, and toss it in until the dough can form into a ball (if the dough still isn’t forming, add more water one tablespoon at a time). Refridgerate the dough for 15 minutes. 3.Meanwhile, put 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet. Once melted, add the leeks, some chopped thyme (optional) and 1/2 cup water. Stir over medium heat for about 12 minutes, or until the leeks are tender. Add 1/2 cup of white wine, and let it cook down until there is hardly any liquid. Add 1/2 cup cream and let reduce again. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, then add 1 beaten egg and chopped parsley (optional). 4. Reheat the oven to 400 degrees, and roll out the dough into a large circle (about 14 in diameter). It is VERY important that you sprinkle your rolling space with flour; the dough will stick and you will become very irritated (I have personal experience!). Transport the dough onto a large baking sheet or a pizza stone. To do this, I usually fold the dough in fourths, place it on the sheet, and unfold. This method prevents potential tearing (and swearing!). Spread the leek mixture on top of the dough, but leave a two-inch border around the edge. Crumble goat cheese (about 1/4-1/2 cup) on top, and then fold the two-inch border over the filling. There WILL be filling left uncovered, and this is totally fine. Bake the galette until the crust and the cheese are browned, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, cut into anywhere from 4-8 pieces, and enjoy! If you don’t like leeks or goat cheese, there are many variations of galettes; you can make it with carmelized onions, mushrooms, greens such as spinach, meat, and any type of crumbled or grated cheese that you want!
Chicken Stir Fry Ingredients for Stir Fry:
- 3-4 Chicken breasts - 3 tablespoons sesame or vegetable oil - 1 medium yellow onion (sliced thin) - 2 cups broccoli - 1 cup thinly sliced carrots - 1/2 lb. asparagus stalks sliced diagonally - 1 red or yellow pepper (cut into strips) - 1 cup sliced yellow squash or zucchini - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat for about 1 minute, then add the sesame or vegetable oil. 2. Add chicken strips and saute for several minutes until lightly browned. 3. Remove chicken strips from skillet and keep warm. 4. Remove grease from pan and begin adding vegetables. 5. Saute onions first, then add broccoli and carrots until partially done (add more oil if needed). 6. Add peppers, asparagus, and squash until everything is almost done (stir almost constantly over medium high heat). 7. Before vegetables are completely done, add sauce (see below for ingredients/instructions) and continue cooking. 8. Add cooked chicken and pepper flakes for last few minutes. 9. Serve immediately with white or brown rice.
Ingredients for sauce:
-1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice -1/4 cup tamari sauce -1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger -2 garlic cloves minced -1-2 tablespoons honey -2 teaspoons sesame oil -1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1. Combine first 6 ingredients. 2. Put cornstarch in a bowl and whisk the liquids into it. 3. Whisk sauce just before you add to your skillet of vegetables.