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Zach Wahls ’09 speaks to an assembly of students during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


photo by//Lizzie pruneau


class in session

Registration papers have been handed out, and it’s time to figure out your schedule for next year. Check out what’s changing and what new classes will be offered.

[07-09] IN-DEPTH

In a year of rising Iowa City crime rates and numerous theft-related incidents at West, the WSS investigates what has happened and how the school intends to respond.


Based on CraigsList’s “Missed Connections” page, West High students anonymously express their feelings about people they’ve encountered.

WSS staff

Madie Miller Anna Mondanaro Katie Mons Amelia Moser Matthew Murry Blake Oetting

Katie Peplow Anthony Pizzimenti Lizzie Pruneau Apoorva Raikwar Velarchana Santhana Leela Sathyaputri Daniel Syed Julia Truszkowski Gage Van Dyke Tyler Voss Shirley Wang Jaycie Weathers Rebecca Wen Sara Whittaker Grace Young

Photo Editor, Sports Co-editor Designer Managing Editor Editor-in-Chief Copy Co-editor Assistant Editor, Arts and Entertainment Co-editor Designer Writer, Co-Web Master Photographer Designer, Videographer Profiles Editor Artist Writer Web Copy Editor Photographer Design Co-editor, Feature Co-editor, Backpage Editor Design Co-editor Feature Co-editor Writer Adviser Business Editor, Designer

Cover photo by//shirley wang


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Copy Co-editor Opinion Editor Writer Archivist Photographer Sports Co-editor News Co-editor Video Editor Co-Web Master Photographer Artist Web Sports Editor, Designer Writer, Artist Social Media Editor, Arts and Entertainment Co-editor Writer News Co-editor Sports Co-editor Artist, Designer Photographer Feature Co-editor Writer News Co-editor


Hilah Kohen Lauren Knudson Brittani Langland Jaeho Lee Brooke Lofgren Kaitlyn McCurdy Consuelo Mendoza Hannah Merrill

AP Studio Art was offered at West for the first time this school year, encouraging students to cultivate their creative sides.



Lushia Anson Fiona Armstrong-Pavlik Stephon Berry Lucy Blair Abby Burgess Aaron Carter Meredith Cullen Paul Curry Schyler Davis Nick Deerberg Anna Furlong Lydia Hinman Kelsey Keranen Megumi Kitamoto

artistic ability

Please R

[04] NEWS

art by// jaeho lee

@wsspaper asked West High students What is your favorite winter accessory?

Student publishes work After he wrote a short article online, a Korean publishing company contacted Tim Yim ’14 about writing part of a compilation book. “[The publishing company] is interested in me writing about my high school story since a lot of Korean kids want to study in the United States as a high schooler or a college student,” Yim said. His piece is about what it is like to live in the US as an international student and what American schools are like. “I wrote about how I ended up here in Iowa and what kind of difficulties I face,” he said. “My guess is that five or six more high school seniors and college students are writing it.” The book will likely only be available in Korea.

@m_fairfield: A warm hug from Leela Bassuk. Because it stays with Zach Richmond ’14 me all day to keep me warm through my heart.

Mckenzie Fairfield ’15

@iconfaron My headphones because music saves me from a lot!

Faron Rush ’14

@iMcGil An airline ticket so I can go somewhere warm.

side stories



bogo (boh-goh) substitute for ‘bogus’

“Sorry man, I ate the last slice of pizza.” “High-key, that’s really bogo.” COMPilED by//matt murry

E.A.T.S. Club to begin composting Starting mid-February, all students can begin post-consumer composting in the cafeteria. Orange bins for compost will be placed throughout the cafeteria next to recycling and trash bins. On Feb. 10, the New Pioneer Co-op Outreach and Education coordinator Scott Koepke will give a brief presentation in the Little Theater to science classes on how and what to compost. Pre-consumer composting began Tuesday in the kitchen only. On that day, 100 pounds of compost was collected. E.A.T.S. Club has been pushing for the school to compost for several years. COMPilED by//rebecca wen


Ian McGillicuddy ’15

@Cm0n3ysw4g Flannel shirts, because they’re casual and warm.

COMPilED by//katie peplow


“I’m really excited for competition season after this past weekend at Waukee Starstruck Invitational. We’ve put in months of work, and can’t wait to show people what Iowa City West can bring.” - Zane Larson ’15, on West High’s varsity showchoir, ‘Good Time Company.’ COMPilED by//matt murry

The current (by print date) state ranking of the boys swim team

The number of times school has been delayed or canceled due to winter weather thus far this year

Inches of hair participants cut in total during the West High Mini Dance Marathon on Jan. 19.

COMPilED by//matt murry


Through countless hours of hard work and dedication, West High’s Mini Dance Marathon raised over $55,000 for the University of Iowa Dance marathon on Jan. 19. In addition to raising funds, several people donated their hair or shaved their heads. Dancer Addy Taylor ’14 did both.

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Cameron Braverman ’15

“I am unable to donate a lot of money or time to the cause, so hair is really all I can give,” she said. “I realized how much I hate my hair and how selfish it is that I don’t appreciate something that little girls would give anything to have. ... My shaved head is a reminder to people that I encounter to donate.” Co-Executive Director Adrienne

Jensen ’14 believes that Mini Dance Marathon is important for students to participate in. “I wish everyone had the chance to participate in dance marathon,” she said. “It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of something so big, bigger than anything I could ever begin to imagine.” COMPilED by//matt murry


West announces class changes for the 2014-2015 school year By FIONA ARMSTRONG-PAVLIK

Juniors will start meeting with counselors next week, which marks the beginning of the registration period. AP Human Geography, a yearlong social studies class equivalent to one semester of a college class, will be offered starting next year. The course will be aimed at freshmen and sophomores, and there will probably be three or four sections next year. “It’s designed to be a social studies elective,” said guidance counselor Paul Breitbach, meaning that freshmen choosing to take the class would still need to take American Studies. Freshmen still cannot take AP U.S. History in place of American Studies. The early bird schedule that was introduced for the 2012-2013

school year may be available next year, provided enough students enroll in the classes. “Because of lab space, our goal is to offer early bird chemistry, physics and biology,” Breitbach said. Scheduling an early bird biology class could pose difficulties with transportation, since many sophomores do not drive themselves to school. Unlike in the 2012-2013 school year, electing to take early bird classes does not necessarily mean students will be able to leave school earlier in the day. According to assistant principal Molly Abraham, decisions about what courses to offer are made at the district level with both comprehensive high schools in mind. Students will be able to register for several Kirkwood Academy

PHoto by//Gage van dyke

ABOVE: Van Allen Elementary School is a school that was built to adjust for growth.

ICCSD makes redistricting plans for 2015 By hannah merrill

Recently, the ICCSD has decided to redistrict again to support the growing district and the Diversity Policy. The plan was presented on Jan. 14 at the school board meeting and it aims to reduce the 4 NEWS JANUARY 2014

number of times that re-zoning will occur, which can disrupt students, families and the community, according to Superintendent Stephen Murley. This way, schools can adjust to growth without affecting the learning process of students, a concern among many

classes as well. The culinary, p h a r m a c y technician, d i g i t a l electronics and emergency m e d i c a l technician academies will be available PHoto by//Madie miller again after not ABOVE: Selecting her classes for next year, being offered in Danielle Craig ’15 sits in the library. the 2013-2014 school year due to not enough credits. “The idea is you take a number students signing up. A new Arts and Sciences academy of courses year long, so you’d go will be available for the first time to [the Kirkwood Academy class] next year. In the first semester, from 7:30 to 9 every day and take a students will take courses in English couple different courses,” Abraham composition and fundamental said. Kirkwood Academy classes will communication. For the spring semester, students will take another be offered at Trek, located at the English composition class and an former Roosevelt Elementary introductory psychology class, School and at Kirkwood’s Oakdale for a year-long total of 12 college campus. community members. Re-zoning will begin during the 2015-2016 school year to meet the Diversity Policy’s requirements. “The intent of the Diversity Policy is to more equitably distribute students across the district at all levels to ensure that every student has an appropriate learning environment,” Murley said. Murley pointed out that schools in the district will require additions as well as new schools to support growth, and that when new schools are built, attendance areas will be redrawn. He cited the new elementary schools Borlaug, Garner and Van Allen as examples of schools that were built to accomodate a growing district. The Diversity Policy attempts to help even out the socioeconomic distribution district-wide, as poverty is an added challenge to the learning environment. The boundary changes in fall of 2015 will help this, just as the closing of Roosevelt Elementary School and opening of Borlaug Elementary School did. The plan would group

schools into clusters and then redraw boundaries so as to avoid students having to travel too much for school. By 2019, five clusters of elementary schools would have new boundaries. Uneven distribution at the junior high level still persists: South East Junior High has a significantly higher free or reduced lunch rate compared to North Central Junior High and still carries the burden of overcrowding. Therefore, efforts will be made in the spring to determine the best approach to balancing the junior high schools. “It is likely that some students will move from South East Junior High School to Northwest Junior High School, some students will move from Northwest Junior High School to North Central Junior High School and some students will move from North Central Junior High School to Northwest Junior High School,” Murley said. However, much is still to be decided and revised as the ICCSD continues to strive for equality in schools. DESIGN BY//HANNAH MERRILL

19 South Dubuque ~ St. Downtown Iowa City ~ 319-338-5500 JANUARY 2014 ADS 5

(AP)titude for art By DANIAL SYED

In the spirit of hands-on education, many of West High’s classes contain interactive elements: labs in science, defense days in English and role-playing history games in social studies. This year though, West has started offering a new class: one that takes “hands-on” to a whole new level. Generally, there aren’t any lectures in AP Studio Art or formal lessons of any sort. There is a critique day every two weeks at which point each student shares the creations they’ve prepared; often, these pieces are part of a concen-

tration, a theme that reflects on a common element. Outside of critique day, pretty much anything goes. Some students work on their pieces under the supervision of instructor Jennifer Saylor. Others even take a second class in the same period, only attending AP Art on critique days. Don’t be fooled though—AP Art isn’t a course for slackers. It requires incredible amounts of time, dedication and creativity. As the following photos will show, AP Art’s continuous “hands-on” experience helps produce breathtaking wonderful results.

LEFT: AP Studio Art students wash their brushes and trays before the end of class in room 155. BELOW: Preparing to begin a new piece, Emily Hollingworth ’15 gets inspiration from maps and magazines. Her concentration is how travel has influenced her life. FAR LEFT: Using colored pencils and sharpie, Hannah Sheldon ’15 listens to music while she works. FAR BELOW: Julia De Martino ’15 chats with AP Studio Art teacher Jennifer Saylor as she works on her piece during class. RIGHT: Erica Fisher ’14 paints the background layer of her project during class on Jan. 22.

PHOTOs by//MADIE MILLER ART by//Kelsey keranen










ONE ARE THE DAYS WHERE CELL PHONES SAT NESTLED IN UNPROTECTED SIDE POCKETS OR WERE LEFT UNATTENDED ON TABLES, OR WHERE CAR-LOCKS WEREN’T ALL THAT IMPORTANT. THEFT HAS BECOME A MAJOR ISSUE AT WEST HIGH THIS YEAR, CONCERNING STUDENTS AND ADMINISTRATORS ALIKE. “I don’t remember a year where we PERSONAL ACCOUNTS Michaela Just ’14 was one of the were talking about [theft] before,” said librarian Jill Hofmockel, who students who had her phone stolen had her smartphone stolen last at the end of first trimester. “I was really shocked, but I October. “Certainly the car [thefts have] not, in my experience, actually caught the girl who did it so I went after her and told her to happened here before.” However, assistant principal give my phone back,” Just said. “I Colby Miller says the thefts earlier felt [my backpack] move, so then in the school year have raised I checked my pocket where I kept awareness among the students, it and I noticed it wasn’t there and causing a decrease in the number I saw her turn around at the same time.” of reported thefts. Just reported the theft to the “As a staff with our increased security and technology, and administration even after she students being able to inform us recovered her phone. For some people, if something has taken recovery has not been so place we’re ... able to easy. resolve some of these Anna Schuchert ’15 situations better than had her phone stolen in we have in the past,” late October, and was Miller said. “People are angry upon finding out. seeing situations being “I went into [Academic taken care of, [so] it Dean Brian] Sauser becomes more in the Michaela Just ’14 the next morning,” she forefront of people’s said. “We went through minds.” Miller believes that this is the security tapes from the cameras cause of the decline of thefts from in the hallways and found out where I was and followed me on the beginning of the year. “I can tell you from the beginning the cameras in the hallways and of the year to this point in time, followed my path until we found because of the way we’ve been the boy who reached his hand into able to respond, we have seen my backpack.” Although she was able to find the a significant decrease in those incidents from September to person who stole her phone, she January,” he said. “[Reported thefts] was unable to recover it since the are very few and far between at this person had already sold her phone. Ashlynn Yokom ’14 also never point in time.”

recovered her phone after having it stolen out of her purse during her Creative Fabrics class. It was the last class of the day, so school was let out before the administration was able to find the culprit. “You can’t accuse somebody, or say, ‘Oh, I think you did it,’ and … have no proof of it; you have no evidence that someone stole your phone unless they have it,” Yokom said. “They can’t search you if you’re just some random person.” Others, like Hofmockel, are still trying their best to get their phones recovered. On Oct. 18, 2013, Hofmockel had her phone stolen off her desk while she was in the hallway during a passing period. She first went to the school administration to try and track it down. “Mr. Miller was really helpful, and we even did the “Find My iPhone” thing,” she said. “He actually went to the residence where it was at, and he spoke to people.” When that yielded no results, the Iowa City Police department also became involved in the case. However, hope came about two and a half months later, when Hofmockel was contacted by a company called EcoATM. EcoATM’s website describes itself as an “eWaste recycling station,” and allows clients to sell used electronics to a machine for instant cash. EcoATM has a kiosk in the Coral Ridge Mall, where apparently Hofmockel’s phone was sold. “I’m working with them and … I don’t actually have it back yet, and they’re working with the police,” she said. “Apparently when you [sell a phone], you have to have an

ID, and they take your picture, so … eventually, apparently, they’ll have the name of the person.” Miller said that dealing with each case of reported theft can be a different experience for the administration. “There isn’t a clear-cut step-bystep procedure, because every case is different, depending on how much information we have,” he said. “We rely on the individuals who were involved, all the information they can share; security cameras also help us, [and] information from other parties that might have witnessed or seen something - we kind of take all that information and proceed from that.” Another issue that has been brought to attention at West High is car thefts. Principal Jerry Arganbright even made an announcement over the intercom about the issue. Aaron Armstrong ’15 was one of the people who had their car stolen. Right before Winter Break, Armstrong’s car was taken out of the West High parking lot after he left his keys in his car. His parents called the police that afternoon. “They came out and ... looked ... to figure out if a window was broken, and we filed a report that it was stolen,” Armstrong said. Armstrong was lucky enough to get his car back. “My dad was just driving around looking for it and he found it, and he called the cops,” Armstrong said. Although he got his car back he said the thieves still have his car keys which the police are still looking for, as well as the thief.



-Anna Schuchert ’15 on how she discovered the culprit.

HOW TO PREVENT A THEFT: Keep your phones in a zipped pocket. Don’t bring expensive items to school unless absolutely necessary. Avoid leaving expensive items visible in your car. Lock your car. Keep your bag on you at all times.


The Iowa City Police Department gives us the numbers.




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armed robberies

armed robberies

armed robberies




armed robberies

and for our staff,” he said. “It also Some people believe that the helps deter people that might school is partially at fault for the consider doing something that they thefts. shouldn’t be doing in our building.” “There is only so much that we Miller said that such installments can do [to keep valuable items can be expected starting this spring. safe]. The locks [in the locker However, the administration is rooms are not reliable] and [there being careful not to take the new are] no cameras in the locker security installments too far. rooms, so to an extent we have to “We don’t want to get to a situation be responsible, but also the school where we … lose that feeling of a is at fault,” Schuchert said. school,” Miller said. “The last thing Just disagrees. we want is for our building to feel “We all chose to bring our own like a prison, for example, with things to school and they’re not metal detectors and bars on the responsible for it,” she said. “It’s windows, because sometimes that not any of their fault if we get our can have an adverse effect on our stuff stolen … we have some great building and our climate and our security cameras … and we have culture.” great teachers that are around to Miller highlighted some other watch us, and a great dean [and] alternatives to keep West High great security guards.” educated and aware about the issue According to Miller, security of thefts, including shifting the improvements at West are attitude about reporting crimes to on the way. Even though the the administration. administration is comfortable with “We have some bystanders that the current number of cameras, see situations that don’t report they are planning on installing it because they don’t more to have more definite want to immerse information when thefts themselves, or don’t occur. want to cause problems “We actually are in the for themselves,” he said. process of having more “We continually want security cameras installed to get to a place and in different parts of our create a culture where building, interior and everybody feels safe in Aaron Armstrong ’15 exterior … to provide reporting and saying, safety for our students ‘Hey, that’s not okay.’” THEFT PREVENTION


WE WANT IS FOR OUR -Assistant Principal BUILDING TO FEEL LIKE Colby Miller, on security A PRISON.” installments at West.



RIGHT: Nate Kelsay ’16 runs laps on the wrestling mats before practice as the team warms up on Jan. 24. RIGHT ABOVE: Chike Ukah ’14 salutes Malik Williams ’14 during the starting lineup introductions before West plays Xavier on Dec. 20. PHOTO by//MADIE MILLER







ABOVE: Tanner Lohaus ’16 shoots the basketball over a Xavier defender on Dec. 20. RIGHT: The student section watches free throws during the Dec. 20 boys basketball game vs. Xavier. West beat Xavier 71-65.



PHOTO by//LYDIA HINMAN FAR ABOVE: Regan Steigleder ’17 drives the ball to the basket during a game on Dec. 20. ABOVE: Mollie Mason ’14 dribbles past a Xavier defender on Dec. 20. ABOVE MIDDLE: Noah Knosp ’14 throws the ball at Colonial Lanes during a bowling team practice.


By Aaron Carter

photo by// Madie Miller Varsity boys basketball coach Steve Bergman addresses the team during halftime against Cedar Rapids Jefferson on Jan. 17.

How will they bounce back? By Aaron Carter

A 21-point loss to Dubuque Senior High School on Jan. 10 broke the West High varsity boys basketball team’s record of 60 consecutive games won. West defeated Senior twice last season. The first time was during the regular season. The second time was during the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

West was also defeated 54-60 in overtime by De La Salle, a very well-regarded team from Minneapolis, Minn. However, even after these losses, the team is still determined to achieve their goals. “We need to learn from our mistakes and keep getting better everyday,” said Tanner Lohaus ’16. Although the team is not undefeated, the road to state is still open. “Our goal remains to win state.

Anything less than that would be a disappointment,” Lohaus said. The team has been putting extra effort into fine-tuning their weaknesses. “We’ve really locked down on rebounding and defense since the first loss, and we have kept improving in those areas ever since,” Lohaus said.

Swimming towards state By Matt murry

The boys swim team is one step closer to a state title after winning the MVC conference supermeet and the outright MVC championship last Saturday night in Cedar Falls. Currently ranked second in the state by the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s power rankings, the team hopes to capitalize on both their strong underclassmen talent pool and senior leadership. The team has high hopes, according to coach Robert Miecznikowski. “[Our goals for this season are to] post automatic All-American times in all three relays, break the state records in all three relays, add a few All-American times in individual events [and] most importantly, win a state championship for West High,” he said. Will Scott ’16 believes that relays are a strong part of the team. DESIGN BY//BRITTANI LANGLAND

“We always are happy when we try. I know I would regret lookhear there are close relays to us, but ing back and knowing that I could in truth, we don’t have much com- have done better, and I’d prefer not petition when we put it together to live with that.” correctly,” he said. “Currently we are trying to figure out who goes in each of the three relays. We have a chance to break two state records, but we don’t know if we want to try that, or solidify our [chance of] winning state.” For senior Zach Hingtgen ’14, this is the last year to leave a mark. “I would definitely say that I feel more motivated to work hard and really give it everything because I can’t say ‘maybe next year’ anymore,” he said. photo by// Megumi kitamoto “This really is my last shot West swimmers swim against Waterloo West on and I would be letting Jan. 14, the last home meet for seniors. West won myself down if I didn’t 113-57.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be the coldest Super Bowl in *cue collective gasp* NFL history. While the average temperature will be 32 degrees Fahrenheit (not including wind chill), the competition of the game will be red hot. When the New York faithful found out that they were hosting the 2014 Super Bowl, they were hoping to see their own Eli Manning go for a third Super Bowl ring, but instead they got his much more consistent and record-breaking prone brother, Peyton Manning. After coming off the best season of his career, Peyton Manning is facing the number one defense in the NFL – the Seattle Seahawks. Richard Sherman, a Pro-Bowl Cornerback and the leader of the Seattle defense, is set to give Manning fits in the passing game. We have seen Sherman talk the talk in the viral video of his epic NFC Championship postgame interview with Erin Andrews, which, I might add, has NOT been made into a catchy remixed song yet *hint hint someone get on that,* but don’t get Sherman wrong, he can certainly walk the walk. So it’s between the best defense and the best offense. But who has the best touchdown dance? All I want is to see someone do the worm and/or a cartwheel. In all seriousness, though, the fact that both teams never played each other during the regular season makes this matchup much more anticipated, and therefore also makes it harder to predict. Considering Manning is very experienced and the Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson is playing in his first Super Bowl, I give the Broncos the upper hand. So who is going to be the champion of Super Bowl XLVIII? Will the halftime performance of Bruno Mars black out the stadium like Beyoncé’s? Will the commercials this year even be good? These are the questions that haunt me in my sleep, and they won’t be answered until Sunday, Feb. 2nd . JANUARY 2014 SPORTS 11





student mixtape: madeline silva ’16


“Left to My Own Devices” Pet Shop Boys “They’re my favorite band of all time ... it’s a good example of their sound.”

britney jean By grace young

“Walking on Music” Peter Jacques Band “Probably best disco song of all time ... the whole thing is perfect.”

photo by//lizzie prUneau

“Love in Your Eyes” Gazebo “I like the lyrics about a man who is in love with his synth more than his girlfriend. Accordingly, the synth in the song is incredible.” “Spacer Woman” Charlie “I love this song so much because it sounds like a coked-up Russian prostitute.” COMPilED by//BLAKE OETTING

permanence By anthony pizzimenti

The movie The Social Network makes a few good points. In the scene where Mark Zuckerberg finds his old girlfriend in a restaurant, she says something interesting: “The Internet isn’t written in pencil, it’s written in ink.” This is accurate due to all the personal information available out there, not only to colleges or higher institutions, but to anyone that can sit down at a computer screen. Have you ever scrolled way-wayway down on your Facebook or Twitter feed just to see what it was like a few years back when it was exciting to post things on the Internet? It’s a hellish joyride of embarrassment and regret with ups and downs of poorly used language, bad memes and terrible photos. And everyone can see it. Imagine it’s 1957. No Internet, just mail. You write a raunchy let14 A&E JANUARY 2014

ter to a suitor of yours and send it off, only to have it taken by the postman and tacked up on the office pinboard. Later that day, a news reporter writing a piece on the ever-increasing intricacies of envelopes happens to take the letter and send it to his editor, who puts it on the front page of The New York Times with the headline ‘Look What I Got 4 U.’ Now take out the postman, and make him the friend you accidentally sent that text to. Make the pinboard his Facebook wall. Replace the reporter with a potential employer at your favorite company forever. The publication of your once-private letter is now a rejection notice from your dream job. Think before you speak. Or text or type or message or snap. Just don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to send to your grandma, because if your grandma would disapprove, so will the public eye of the world until the end of time. Scary, isn’t it?

Interested in more reviews? Go to

for more

movie and music reviews of 2013, including One Direction, “Now You See Me” and more.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Britney Spears, and I guess I just assumed she was hairless and in jail. My last memory of her prior to the Nov. 29 release of “Britney Jean” was being chastised in my basement by my older pals for not understanding the “secret meaning” of her hit song “3.” Googling it now, I realize it was released five years ago, and apparently I’m not following the right entertainment blogs on Twitter. However, after listening to “Britney Jean,” I wasn’t missing out on anything. The album was first brought to my attention when “Work B**ch” came on Pandora one afternoon and the electronic dance beat was enough to draw my attention away from the stirring math assignment I was staring at. “Get to work, b**ch,” Britney yelled at me. Rude? Maybe, but the song screamed pump-up and by the end I was ready to actually start my homework, which is really a testament to Britney Spears. Energized, I decided to look up the rest of the album and my hopes were quickly dashed. Techno beats were everywhere, taking over songs at times. A short electronic dance break would have been enough in most cases, and even the wild noises couldn’t distract from Spears’ disappointing vocal range that even I could keep up with. Despite that, some bright spots did shine through – specifically “Perfume,” which stayed with me all day. In all, “Britney Jean” had its moments, like any album, but the shining areas weren’t illuminated; instead they were hidden amidst a whole barrage of techno tones. photo used with permission from DESIGN BY//MEGUMI KITAMOTO

With palpable nostalgia, our older compatriots continually comment on “the good old days”: a time filled with big hair, drive-in burger shacks and swooning choruses. Well, tell your parents that their childhood musical messiah has arrived. Based out of Oxford, Miss., Dent May will surely exhume the doo-wop generation’s carefree, surf-pop joy. To say that Dent May is influenced by the Beach Boys is laughable. He is a modern copy, fusing the classic quintet’s sunny baselines and charming lyrics into a brilliant solo act. His first studio album “The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele,” was perhaps, too referential. However, with his latest work “Warm Blanket,” May establishes his originality and

West Side Story: Describe your style. Alex Gudenkauf ’16: A classic academic style with some modern flares. WSS: How has your style evolved? AG: I used to be big into dressing up, but then I had a few years where I went away from it. Now, I’ve gotten more into shirts and ties. WSS: What’s a fashion no-no? AG: Wearing red and orange together, or other clashing colors. It makes me cringe. WSS: What’s your favorite item in your closet? AG: I like my bow ties. I have to say my pink bow tie is my favorite. DESIGN BY//MEGUMI KITAMOTO

photo by//gage van dyke

fashion profile: alex gudenkauf ’16

WSS: Is there anything that inspires you to wear what you wear? AG: I take some inspiration from my dad. His style is more of the businessman. I dress like that on formal occasions or the weekends. WSS: What is your go-to outfit? AG: A plain-colored dress shirt, a colored khaki and a bow tie. WSS: Has fashion influenced you? AG: When I dress up more I feel confident. It makes things more enjoyable because I’m confident with myself and who I am. WSS: Where do you shop? AG: I usually shop at Dillard’s or JCPenney.

photo used with permission from//creative commons

seems somewhat out-of-place in a musical scene dominated by giants of pure rock and roll like Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire – “bona fide” stars with cigarettes, groupies and a hefty sense of self-importance in tow (see Winn Butler’s recent interview in Rolling Stone for some, let’s say, confident examples). Yes, Dent May is catchy and quirky and everything else a successful indie act needs, but his most useful and hopefully sustainable characteristic is his accessibility. He isn’t a pretentious “poet” from Portland; he is a humble peace-

preaching musician from the South. Dent May isn’t toting hair gel and a chip on his shoulder, but instead is highlighting the beautiful things in the world. And he creates his work in such a way that listeners of his age group will look at their parents and say, “hey, those good days have returned.” Dent May will be performing at The Mill in downtown Iowa City on Feb. 2 at 9:00. Admission is $8 and persons under 19 will be required to leave after 10:00 PM.


photo by//gage van dyke

By blake oetting

distinct interpretation of ’60s pop. On “Found a Friend” and “Let Them Talk,” he synthesizes classic styling with modern psychedelia. May begins to sound like Jens Lekman was shoved into a hippie convent and forced to write music on LSD, rolling around in a field of dandelions while praising mother Earth. Yes, his sound quickly jumps forward to the ’70s. The original Woodstock audience certainly missed out on a great act. This is not to say, though, that Dent May’s songs are dismissible as cliché. Just when his album begins to become a tad repetitive, singles like “Born Too Late” and “Corner Piece” pick up the pace and benefit from a heavier dose of synth. Still undeniably upbeat, his sound touches a modern pulse, reminiscent of a retro, happier Chaz Bundick. The result? A masterpiece showcasing a distinct sound which is unique in the modern scope of alternative music. Sporting oversized plastic glasses, bowling shirts tucked into flared khakis and his ukelele, Dent May


band crush: dent may

COMPILED by//gage van dyke

JANUARY 2014 A&E 15

Baby you hurdled over the competition and into my heart … just like you hurdle like a stud in track. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I wouldn’t trade you for anything.

You make me feel like I’m livin’ a teenage dream, the way you turn me on. I can’t sleep, let’s run away and don’t ever look back! “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry says it all, babe.

I love the passing period between 6th and 7th because I get to walk behind you and see that donk ;)

Take a chance with me. Who cares if college is right around the corner? Who cares what anyone else thinks? Who cares about a little distance? When someone like you comes around, you hold on for your dear life. You don’t just let them go that easy. Let’s take on the world together. It won’t be easy, but you are completely worth it. So ask yourself “Why not?”

Missed connections

As Valentine’s Day approaches,West Side Story asked students about their unsaid feelings.

I wish I could talk to girls, especially you. If only I could find the heart, and with it, courage to conquer my fears of women.

I saw you wearing your cute argyle socks, and I happened to be wearing my argyle sweater vest that day too. I wanted you to come talk to me but I had to go to class instead :(

Dear Cutie from Chemistry, every day I look forward to seeing you in the goofy lab goggles in 1st period. You’re so smart and funny. I wish I had the guts to talk to you but sadly I just watch from afar. Maybe one day I will accidently spill the contents of my beaker on us and we will have to talk. Stay cute :) Annie, as a sweetheart and a friend, your beauty has no end. Rock on!


Jan. 31, 2014 WSS  
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