WEST SI DE STO RY IOWA CITY WEST HIGH SCHOOL
2901 MELROSE AVE.
IOWA CITY, IA 52246
VOLUME 50 ISSUE 4
FEBRUARY 16, 2018
P H OTO F E AT U R E
A woman just finishing the Womenâ€™s March throws her hands up while repeating the chants being said on Jan. 20.
CONTENTS FOLLOW US @WSSPAPER
COVER ART BY ANGELA ZIRBES COVER DESIGN BY CATHERINE JU
06 15 22 30 38 46
F E AT U R E
04 GET HYPED
MORE THAN MEETS THE “HI”
THE AP O B S TAC L E
VA L E N T I N E ’ S DAY H O R R O R S TO R I E S
THE WEIGHT OF WRESTLING
W H Y I T ’ S O K AY TO B E S I N G L E
08 LUNAR NEW YEAR
PROFILES 1 0 N E W R O O M , N E W F R I E N D S : M A RT I N A S C H I A N C H I 1 2 5 , 0 0 0 M I L E S AWAY: M U K E H L A M I N
C OV E R E N T E RTA I N M E N T 2 8 W H I C H W E S T H I G H T E AC H E R A R E YO U ? 3 2 B E S T P L AC E S TO G E T D R I N K S 3 4 W R I T T E N I N T H E S TA R S
S P O RT S 3 6 W I N T E R O LY M P I C S P O RT S 4 0 T H E C O U N T D OW N B E G I N S 4 2 B O R N I N TO B OW L I N G
OPINION 4 5 T H E LO S T A RT 4 7 E D I TO R I A L : A T R A D I T I O N O F S I L E N C E 5 0 AGA I N S T T H E C R E AT I V E C U R R E N T
LETTER FROM THE Dear readers, I hope you have been trekking through these winter months successfully and sliding around the WHS parking lot safely. I know January must have been difficult due to the lack of a print edition of WSS, which is why we made this one our best issue yet. You’ll find the best places to find drinks, potentially the love of your life (check the back page) and even which teacher you’re most like. Although we are highlighting some pretty incredible people and topics in this issue, we also chose to focus on some issues that are in need of some work in our district. I’m fairly confident most students who take AP classes at West High feel as though they are surrounded by a fairly homogeneous group: white and often middle to upper class. Even if they don’t feel this way, the data proves this phenomenon. Our cover story examines the great lack of racial and socioeconomic diversity in AP classes as well
EDITOR as the steps the district is taking to remedy this. In light of the #MeToo movement and the reforms being taken throughout the nation, the district must also step up in the way it handles cases of sexual harassment and assault, which is reflected in our editorial. Our board voted unanimously on a policy proposal—a vote that rarely happens. I hope this issue makes you think, laugh, and most of all, reflect. P.S., 14 more school days until #SB2K18 <3 Bonus: clog @MrGrossatICW’s Twitter by tweeting which photo of him you like best (professional office one or BA tennis rings one?). See you soon!
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D E P Y
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ne thousand dollars is enough money to buy a ticket for a Caribbean cruise, a new iPhone X or a nine-day trip to Disneyland. One thousand dollars is also enough money to buy one Supreme hoodie if it’s on sale. The recent growth in popularity of premier brands like Supreme, Gucci, Bape and others, which typically market to teenagers, is unprecedented. This ever-growing trend has been dubbed hypebeast culture. Unlike conventional luxury apparel, clothes from hypebeast brands do not cost more because of expensive materials or high labor costs. Instead, the value of a hypebeast item comes from the brand’s reputation. Few customers buy these items on a whim at such drastic prices. Instead, most experience a gradual introduction to the hypebeast scene starting with expensive shoes or watches. Ryan Braverman ’18, who has been involved with hypebeast culture for nearly five years, was no exception. “There was a lot of influence, seeing it on social media. I was always into Jordans, and a lot of people start with that, what I would call introductory brands including Bape and Supreme, and it kind of takes off from there,” Braverman said. Furthermore, expensive clothing has become a central bragging point for influencers such as musicians, elevating these brands into mainstream culture. “The music industry has influenced a lot of people. You hear people rapping about these brands now and rappers wearing them, and other musicians wearing these brands. I think that draws a lot of kids into the hypebeast scene,” Braverman said. Additionally, many of these brands inflate the value of their products by releasing only a small amount of each item. These releases are referred to as “drops.” When supply is restricted in this manner, demand skyrockets. With this unbelievable demand and huge markups, many who are lucky enough to buy hypebeast items attempt to sell them for an even more exorbitant price. Braverman has attempted to flip a substantial amount of items over five years. Procuring these items is a daunting task for anyone. Typically, any hypebeast article of clothing sells out within seconds of being listed on the brand’s website. With such little margin for error, most in the industry of flipping merchan-
dise have abandoned attempts to buy these items themselves and have instead employed automated programs, or bots, which can purchase these items and check-out instantly. Braverman, who has used a bot for over two years now, notes the increasing difficulty. “This can be [profitable]. I don’t think it is as much anymore. If you’re lucky enough to get something on a drop, then it is, but [the industry] is so saturated now because everyone is trying to do this. Business has become harder and harder,” Braverman said. Because purchasing clothing off a brand’s site is so challenging, many in the resale industry buy items from users on third-party sites like eBay and Grailed. Often, users will list items at lower than market value, which allows others to resell these items for the correct value. This still requires some degree of luck, and the payoff is usually not as great.
“ IT ’S R EALLY COO L , PEO PLE K E E P SAYI N G ‘CO N G R ATU L ATI O N S’ BUT IT J U ST SE E M S LI K E TH E B EG I N N I N G. TH E R E R EALLY I S SO M UCH WO R K THAT HAS TO B E DO N E ,” -DEMETRIUS PERRY, CO-FOUNDER OF VICE With the market for hypebeast clothing expanding, the business of resale has begun to transcend amateur high school vending. Tony Casella, Peter Krogull and Demetrius Perry have been engaged in a four-month-long process of starting a store in downtown Iowa City which aims to buy, sell and trade hypebeast merchandise. The store, dubbed Vice, is set to open in late February. Perry, a former West High student, was a long-term fan of hypebeast merchandise before becoming involved with resale. “I’m a really big fan of the items we have. I feel like that’s what drove us to open Vice; we [would
TOP LEFT & RIGHT: Items from Vice in downtown Iowa City. BOTTOM RIGHT: The Supreme box logo. BOTTOM LEFT: (From left to right) Demetrius Perry, Tony Casella and Peter Krogull pose by the name of their store. SECOND PAGE BOTTOM RIGHT: A pair of Nike Jordans on a shelf in Vice PHOTOS BY TEYA KERNS DESIGN BY AMY LIAO & EMILY MOORE
be] customers of this store and we see that there’s nowhere around for us to be able to get [hypebeast clothing] at. Our love for vintage clothing and Supreme drove us to open up a lane in Iowa City for people to come and see all the items that we have,” Perry said. Although the industry is young and at times volatile, the trio has hope that their buy-selltrade model could net huge profits in the Iowa City area. The team has hosted several pop-up shops, or seasonal storefronts, to test the waters, and has seen favorable results. With preparations for the grand opening only moving further and further along, Perry is optimistic about unveiling the project. “It’s really cool, people keep saying ‘congratulations’ but it just seems like the beginning. There really is so much work that has to be done,” Perry said.
F E AT U R E FEB. 16, 2018
BY JENNA WANG
THE SOCIAL MEDIA TRAP
The most popular social media today connect billions of people worldwide, with each account filled with photos, videos and lifestyles of each individual person. While these accounts give people an insight into the everyday lives of others, it may be increasingly hard for the millenial age to see the reality behind the profile perfection that society demands today.
udging from her Instagram profile, Caroline Young ’19 appears to live a charming life. With a passion for photography, she takes pictures of her friends and her travels, hiking down paths to arrive at sprawling glaciers and forests. She is supported by her loving siblings and parents, interacts with her goats at the family-owned Lucky Star Farm, and receives many positive comments from friends and followers. On top of all of that, she has plans to start an Instagram page that models Humans of New York, hoping to tell the stories of the people of Iowa City. However, Young’s internal view of social media is much more concealed. Her self-esteem especially flares when she compares herself to the posts she sees. “If I see people at a party or hanging out with friends and I don’t have anything going on, then I feel kind of unincluded, so that definitely makes me feel like people don’t want me around,” Young said. “They kind of make it out to seem like they’re doing this stuff all the time and I don’t do [that], so I guess it made me com-
3.5 BIL 70% 36 % 07
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pare my life to the highlights of everyone else’s.” These comparisons make Young reflect on her body image as well. As a photographer, she easily notices when people alter their images. “[People] obviously edit and choose the best photo of themselves,” Young said. “There’s all this stuff that you don’t really think about that goes into putting a perfect picture on Instagram. Just waking up every day and comparing myself to this perfectly-edited photo ... it’s a misrepresentation in what you compare yourself to.” As negative self-image becomes increasingly associated with social media, social studies teacher Megan Johnson is quick to point out the source. “It’s like, ‘I want to look good to everyone and even if I’m not super happy or popular and even if my life isn’t amazing every minute, that’s how we want to make ourselves look on social media,” Johnson said. “When someone who is maybe having a difficult time in their lives sees other people presenting their perfect life, it makes those people feel like their life isn’t as good.” However, this doesn’t stop Young from constantly scrolling through her social media accounts. Of the many detrimental effects these platforms can cause, such as self-comparison and depression, one that teenagers especially struggle with is addiction. “I definitely have my phone sitting on the table while I’m doing homework and I’m getting my work done a lot slower because I have to check
“J U ST WAK I N G U P EVE RY DAY AN D CO M PAR I N G MYSE LF TO TH I S PE R F ECTLYE D ITE D PH OTO ... IT ’S A M I SR E PR ESE NTATI O N I N WHAT YOU CO M PAR E YOU RSE LF TO.”
- CAR O LI N E YO U N G ‘19 and reply back immediately,” Young said. In an effort to combat this tendency, she has considered many options, even to the point of deleting her social media accounts but couldn’t bring herself to do so. “I’ve found that deleting [everything] will actually make you feel really lonely, because it’s how you communicate nowadays. I don’t want to be on my phone all the time, and other people don’t either, but no one is stopping. When you’re not on it, you’re not connected to these other people and you just feel very left out,” Young said. This dependence on social media has furthered
“ WH E N TH EY HAVE TO PART WITH IT, YOU CAN SE E TH E EXPRESSION S ON TH E I R FACES. IT ’S CR AZY HOW M UCH OF AN ADDICTION IT HAS B ECOM E .”
- M EGAN J O H N SO N , SOCIAL STU D I ES TEACH E R
the opportunity for people to lie about their identity and take advantage of the situation. “There are people who make random fake accounts. I’ve had an experience with at least five accounts of the same person who were all trying to ask for photos of me and get information out of me,” Young said. “My block list is very long.” As the number of teens absorbed in social media continues to grow, the pressure to have the perfect lifestyle only rises. “There’s almost a level of peer pressure to be the person who posts the cool photos and gets a lot of likes. It’s a whole new level of attention and popularity seeking and feeling like you belong, but the problem is, you are never going to feel like you belong because you get a lot of likes or retweets,” Johnson explains. Since Johnson was a high school student, she continually notices how peer pressure plays a larger role in the lifestyles of students. “It was almost the norm that when I was younger, people would spend an hour at night actually talking on the phone, and now it’s crazy that some of the research shows that people will spend four hours a day on their phone,” Johnson said. “I’ve always had students on phones, but it’s increasingly become a thing that when they have to part with it, you can see the expressions on their faces. It’s crazy how much of an addiction it has become.” Over the years that Young has had social media, it has taken her time to realize the reality beyond the screen, but she now has come to adjust how
THE SOCIAL MEDIA REACH 3.5 of the 7.6 billion world population are internet users, as of October 2017. Of the internet users, 3.03 billion are active social media users. EFFECTS ON TEEN SUICIDE Teenage use of electronic devices, including smartphones, for at least five hours daily has more than doubled from 8 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2015. These teens were 70 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions than those who reported one hour of daily use. In 2015, 36 percent of all teens reported feeling desperately sad or hopeless, or thinking about, planning or attempting suicide. For girls, the rates were higher — 45 percent in 2015 versus 40 percent in 2009.
Source: Clinical Psychological Science
she views and uses social media. After incorporating her passion for photography into her social media with a photography account, she uncovered a whole new view of networking and inspiration from other photographers, building a new relationship with social media. “Personally, I’ve become more comfortable and confident,” Young said. “[Social media] is more of an accessory now than what I base things around, and it’s less of a necessity and more of something to do for fun.”
24% 71% 88%
of teens go online “almost constantly”
of teens use more than one social media site of teens have access to a cell phone
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TEYA KERNS DESIGN BY CRYSTAL KIM Source: pewinternet.org
新 年 快 乐
F E AT U R E FEB. 16, 2018
LU NA R NEW YEAR
BY SHAWN THACKER
Feb. 16 marks the beginning of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese lunar calendar. With traditions ranging from fireworks to dumplings, Chinese New Year is regarded as the most important celebration of the year in Chinese culture.
H I S TOR Y Lunar New Year was first celebrated thousands of years ago in mainland China. The story of how this holiday came to be starts out not with festivity, but fear. As the legend goes, at the end of each year a mythical beast named Nian that resembled an ox with a lion’s head came to a Chinese village and destroyed crops, property and people alike. Eventually, a wise old man in
the village told his fellow villagers to ward off Nian, coincidentally meaning “year” in Chinese, with loud noises, fire and the color red—all of which the monster was afraid of. Villagers started setting off firecrackers and hanging lanterns all night long on New Year’s Eve, and as the wise man predicted, Nian was too scared to come out to attack their village. Celebrations each year
began to include lanterns, lots of red decorations and fireworks set off at midnight. Although this 15 day-long holiday evolved as a period to honor deities and ancestors, today Chinese New Year marks a time for families to get a break and spend some time together over a reunion dinner, celebrating traditions of the past and wishing for a future year of good fortune.
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New Year’s Eve - Families gather on this day to have a celebratory dinner, decorate their houses with the color red and enjoy midnight fireworks
Jie Cai Ceng - Gods of prosperity supposedly come down from heaven on this day, so businesses set off firecrackers to signal a year of fortune
FEBRUARY 20 FEBRUARY 16
New Year’s Day - Children receive money in red envelopes called hong bao from their elders. Nowadays, there are even red envelope apps for parents to virtually transfer money to their children
Lantern Festival - Last day of the New Year celebrations; lanterns are lit throughout streets and if your heart is pure, you can see Chang E and her rabbit on the moon
I O WA C I T Y C E L E B R AT I O N Chinese Spring Festival Event Feb. 16, 6pm, University Capitol Center Room 1117 With free admission, all are welcome at this Chinese New Year celebration sponsored by the University of Iowa Confucius Institute to come and enjoy Chinese cultural performances and refreshments.
Eight Treasures Rice Made of glutinous rice with eight kinds of dried fruit and red bean paste, each ingredient has a different meaning
Tang Yuan Black sesame rice ball soup represents family ties and togetherness
Dumplings Spend New Year’s Eve preparing dumplings and then eat at midnight; more dumplings signify more wealth
Noodles Long noodles stand for happiness and longevity
Fish Fish, especially carp, symbolize an increase in prosperity DESIGN BY LYDIA GUO
PROFILES FEB. 16, 2018
N E W RO O M , N E W F R I E N D S : M A RT I N A S C C H I A N C H I â€˜ 2 0
Martina Schianchi has lived in more countries than most people will visit in their lifetime. Her most recent move was to Iowa City, Iowa. BY NINA ELKADI
PHOTO BY ALLIE SCHMIT-MORRIS DESIGN BY MEGAN BOLAND
FEB. 16, 2018
artina Schianchi ’20 has been living in a hotel for the past few weeks; the hotel is her first residence in the U.S. as she and her family await the arrival of their furniture from Geneva, Switzerland. Schianchi was born in Parma, Italy. She doesn’t remember too much of her days there because at the age of two she moved to Prague, Czech Republic, where she lived until age seven. Schianchi doesn’t remember much of her life in Prague either, and is authentic in admitting so. “Apparently, according to my parents, Prague was very pretty,” Schianchi said with a laugh. Schianchi wasn’t a nomad simply moving to different cities, but rather followed her father and mother who work for Procter & Gamble. Before long, Schianchi was off to Brussels, Belgium. She remembers passing grazing horses as she rode the bus to school each day. At 10 years old, Schianchi found herself packing up again to move to the capital of Romania, Bucharest, where the term culture shock became more prominent than ever. “There was communism in Romania 50
years before I got there. Romania was catching up to the rest of the world,” Schianchi said. “You could see people working on the field with horses with no machinery or anything. Many bathrooms were outside.” Schianchi and her classmates were aware of the fact that the quality of life for the majority of Romanians differed greatly from their own. Instead of simply raising awareness of the issues that permeated through her community, her school provided various opportunities for students to volunteer throughout Bucharest and Schianchi always chose to give her time to the orphanages. Volunteering has been a common theme in Schianchi’s life; although she has lived in many different countries, her greatest memories stem from a recent trip to Zambia she took with her friends from Bucharest. They fundraised for a year before heading to Africa, where they hand-delivered their fundraising and helped build houses. It is also where Schianchi ate her first fried caterpillar. At age 14, Schianchi took off again for Geneva. At this point for Schianchi, experiencing culture shock became the norm. One of
the biggest culture shocks she experienced in Geneva didn’t come from the language or food, but rather the way people greeted each other. “In Geneva it’s three kisses on the cheek. In Italy it’s two, sometimes one,” Schianchi said. After a mere year in Geneva, Schianchi moved again. Iowa City is now added to the extensive list of places she’s lived in; it’s also the city Schianchi hopes to live in for the rest of her high school years. “I knew I was moving to the U.S.,” Schianchi said. “It was supposed to be Cincinnati, but [my parents] said, ‘Nope, you’re moving to Iowa.’ I was like, ‘Where is that?’” Other than redoing her room in every new residence, Schianchi enjoys meeting new people and embracing the local culture. “At first [moving] was hard, but it becomes easier,” Schianchi said. “Part of the thing I like is getting to change everything. Being able to say, ‘These are still my friends. Now I’m going to go ahead and make new friends.’”
“AT F I RST [M OVI N G] WAS HAR D, BUT IT B ECO M ES EAS I E R . PART O F TH E TH I N G I LI K E I S G ETTI N G TO CHAN G E EVE RY TH I N G. B E I N G AB LE TO SAY, ‘ TH ESE AR E STI LL MY F R I E N DS. N OW I ’ M GO I N G TO GO AH EAD AN D MAK E N EW F R I E N DS.’ ” - MARTI NA SCH IAN CH I ‘20
PROFILES FEB. 16, 2018
5,000 MILES AWAY Before Mukeh Lamin ’19 applied to become a foreign exchange student, he never imagined he would be given the opportunity to leave home. One year later, he has experienced a multitude of firsts in the United States, 5,000 miles away from Sierra Leone. BY ANJALI HUYNH
etween November and February, it’s not uncommon for Iowans to experience bitter temperatures, icy roads and piles upon piles of snow. After all, for most West students, Iowa’s unpredictable weather and frigid winter temperatures are the norm. But for Mukeh Lamin ’19, seeing snow for the first time is just one of many new situations he had to adapt to after coming to the United States last fall. “I’d seen snow before in TV or movies, but I never knew how it felt like,” Lamin said. “When I first touched snow [and] it just melted in my hands, it was really, really cool. When I stepped on snow and it made sounds, it was amazing, but it was very different.” “Amazing but very different” seems to be Lamin’s overall take on living in the United States so far, as this is the first time he has traveled outside his home country of Sierra Leone. Lamin is the first exchange student hosted by West High in years and came to the United States after receiving a scholarship from the Iowa Resource for International Service, also known as IRIS. Back home, Lamin lived with his mother and his brother in Bo, the second largest city in the country. His father lived and worked in a different city and would only come home to visit his family from time to time. This created some distance between Lamin and his father.
“ I AM TH E F I RST S I E R R A LEO N EAN TO PARTI CI PATE I N TH E PROG R AM WITH I RI S, SO I ’ M R EALLY HAPPY TO B E AN EXCHAN G E STU DE NT AN D SHAR E MY CU LTU R E AN D LI F E WITH OTH E R PEO PLE AN D ALSO LEAR N H E R E .” -MUKEH LAMIN ‘19
“Our mom, I felt like she was doing everything for us,” he said. “Sometimes [my dad] would come by, have some time with us and then go back. I was more close to him when I was a kid, but then when I grew up I wasn’t as close.” Lamin’s main priority in Sierra Leone was similar to that of many students here: to do well in school. However, he has noticed several differences between the two countries in terms of education. For example, Lamin feels that the competition at school in Sierra Leone was much higher than at West. “This school is a little bit different in terms of grades,” he said. “[At home] they would read out our grades to everyone, and here, you only know your own grades … For us, announcing the grades might be shameful, so … the very, very good students would start working harder so that they could compete and lead the class.” He believes peer pressure may have encouraged him to work harder. “In some situations, my friends might have a very good grade and I might not,” he said. “They [wouldn’t] mock you, but you wouldn’t feel very happy or good, so later on, you would be pressured to study harder to get the same grades, especially when they’re your friends and you do everything with them in school. It’s a lot of pressure.” Despite this pressure, Lamin maintained good
FEB. 16, 2018
grades throughout school, which led to him being recommended for the IRIS program. Following this, he underwent a rigorous application process involving further academic testing, proficient knowledge of English and an interview process. While Lamin had experienced great academic success in Bo, he was doubtful that he would be accepted into the program. “Sincerely speaking, I wasn’t even focusing on whether there would be any possibility of me being a finalist, so it was a surprise for me,” Lamin said. “I never thought that I could ever be an exchange student … so I was really happy.” But when he was informed of his acceptance into the program, he was ecstatic to have an opportunity to further both his educational and cultural knowledge. “One of the reasons why I was really happy was for my academic background because I know so many great, great, great scientists … are from the United States,” he said. “And then, later on, they explained to us the importance of the program. I am the first Sierra Leonean to participate in the program with IRIS, so I’m really happy to be an exchange student and share my culture and life with other people and also learn here.” When Lamin first came to the United States, he lived with Norman and Bonnie Anderson. Because of their affiliation with IRIS, they have hosted a variety of students from Africa—some from Nigeria, others from Tanzania, but never from Sierra Leone. Right away, they were able to see that Lamin would be a great addition to their home. “He was a very friendly student, and it’s been a good relationship ever since we first met,” Norman said. “He’s been very nice to deal with ... and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know him.” Soon after moving, Lamin was exposed to an integral part of high school culture in the United States: extracurricular activities. Since coming to the United States, Lamin has participated in a variety of activities, rang-
PHOTO BY KARA WAGENKNECHT ART BY ANGELA ZIRBES DESIGN BY JENNA ZENG
ing from joining Science Olympiad to building a home with Habitats for Humanity. “The only thing I could do back home after school is go home,” he said. “But clubs give you the opportunity to meet new students and also to try new things like singing in gospel choir. I never knew I could sing, but joining that club helps you learn to sing. Clubs are one thing I’ll really miss back home.” Lamin’s host family feels that joining new groups of people and having new experiences has helped Lamin learn and develop as a person over his time spent in the country. “He’s grown up a lot,” Bonnie said. “I think [exchange students], in the year they come, have a lot of growth intellectually, mentally and physically. They come over as young people, young teens, and they go back very mature and grown up.” Lamin goes back to Sierra Leone after the end of this school year—something he has mixed emotions about. “I’m having a very good time here,” he said. “I miss my family, but my host family is taking very good care of me, giving me support, so I could say that I’m in between … Most of the things, like simple things, I’ll miss. Like rotating classes, during first trimester—it was a little bit harder for me to adjust to that, but I think now I’ve adapted, so it’s a really fun thing for me. And I think all my classes have been very good for me … There are all sorts of things that are really, really nice.” While Lamin is unsure about whether he wants to come back to the United States, he knows he’ll always look back fondly on his “amazing but very different” time spent here.
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S FEB. 16, 2018
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FEB. 16, 2018
MORE THAN MEETS THE
“ HI ”
When you think of school administrators and secretaries, one of the first images that comes to mind is that of greetings. But hidden behind these hellos are unique stories. The following profiles account these perspectives, and in doing so, may remind you that our secretaries and administrators are more than meets the “hi.”
TA R A A N D R E S E N BY LUCY POLYAK
n the right side of the main office, donning a black headset, sits Tara Andresen, the administrative assistant in charge of attendance. However, working as an office administrator wasn’t Andresen’s initial plan for her life. Andresen grew up in rural Iowa on an acreage between Tipton and West Branch with her parents and younger sister. During high school, she participated in groups such as 4H and her school’s branch of the National FFA Organization, formally called Future Farmers of America. These agricultural programs led to her choice of attending Kirkwood College and receiving a degree in veterinary assistance. After finishing college, Andresen went on to work a job in logistics where she met the man that would later become her husband. The pair soon moved to Naperville, Illinois to start their life together. However, before long, Andresen’s mom was diagnosed with cancer. Andresen then spent much of her time traveling back to West Branch or to Zion, Illinois for her mother’s treatments before she ultimately passed away. Then after some time, the couple moved out to Oswego, Illinois and had their son, Evan. However, three months after her son’s birth, tragedy struck again when Andresen’s husband suddenly passed away. Because of these two major losses, Andresen made the decision to return to West Branch in order to be near her family and friends who could become her support system. “It was really hard to not have family right
PHOTOS BY ALYSON KUENNEN & MADDI SHINALL DESIGN BY LYDIA GUO
FEB. 16, 2018
down the street. It was just that I knew I had to come back to the area to get that support,” Andresen said. “When [he passed away] it was just kinda like I knew instantly that my life was not going to continue in Illinois, other than continuing friendships.” Andresen chose not to go back to work after moving back to Iowa. She figured she would just stay home with her newborn son while she processed the losses she had just faced. However, a problem soon arose with that plan. Being a very social person, Andresen realized she needed something to do that would keep her busy while still allowing her to come home to be a mother without any workplace stresses. “Working at a school is nice because there’s breaks. [Additionally], with losing a couple major family members, not only are you shocked, but it can also be hard to function. Having a newborn on top of it made me need something different,” Andresen said. “I’m wired with really strong work ethic … [and West is] great because [the others here] understand that I am an only
“ [WEST I S] G R EAT B ECAU SE [TH E OTH E RS H E R E] U N DE RSTAN D THAT I AM AN O N LY PAR E NT, SO IT ’S A N I CE BAL AN CE .” -TARA AN D RESEN
parent, so it’s a nice balance.” The kind-hearted yet always-changing atmosphere of the office is one of Andresen’s favorite parts about her job. The secretaries who work in the main office are very close-knit and have formed a “work family” of sorts. “Even though we’re here together, we still get together outside of work and have gatherings and stuff. [It’s] really fun to have that friendship outside of work as well,” Andresen said.
Enduring two incredible losses has lead Andresen to focus on what is truly important which brings her happiness in life. “If there’s any advice to give to people that have rough times in their life, like losing my mom and my husband, I would say that. They were both very young ... It goes to show not to worry about materialistic things and not to worry about the things that, in the end, really don’t matter. You just kind of gain a different perspective.”
MITCH GROSS West Side Story: What do you do in the office? Mitch Gross: I’m really kind of a resource for students and teachers
who need to have a mediation between each other. I’m here for students who need help talking to a teacher about something like needing to get caught up. I’m here for teachers who need to talk to students, really about anything. I’m a teacher who spends his morning teaching and spends his afternoon in the office. I’m kind of like a utility player in baseball.
WSS: What can you help with? MG: Anything and everything really. If I can’t help you with what
you want, I can help point you in the direction. For example if you’re a student that needs a way to get to school, I can help you figure that out.
WSS: What made you decide to take this position? MG: People have always commented about my approachability, so
I thought it would be a good fit. I’ve also had my principal’s license since 2011, and I have been a little curious what is would be like to work outside of a classroom. This allows me the best of both worlds.
WSS: How can students get a hold of you? MG: Shoot me an email (email@example.com) or stop down the main office 5th, 6th, or 7th hour. COMPILED BY NINA ELKADI
FEB. 16, 2018
BECKIE SMALLEY BY CAECILIA SHOPPA
ver since she was little, financial secretary and office manager Beckie Smalley has been very organized. “I remember being really organized as a child, always cleaning my toys and making lists for fun,” Smalley said. Despite being so young, Smalley always knew she wanted to apply her organization skills to her future work. “When I was little, I loved going to school and learning new things,” Smalley said. “In fact, when I was home I would play ‘school’ and pretend to be in charge.” Now, for nearly 15 years, Smalley has been West’s financial secretary and office manager. “I am in charge of all of the finances from school events, so I’m responsible for organizing, counting and depositing the money. It’s a big responsibility. It’s kind of fun to count the money and make deposits. It makes me feel powerful,” Smalley said. Continuing to use her organization skills through college, Smalley worked for her university’s admissions office through a work study, preparing transcripts for students transferring to different schools. “I mostly just wanted something productive to do outside of class, but I figured it might as well be something I enjoy,” Smalley said. After graduation, Smalley began working as a substitute teacher at an elementary school in the Mid-Prairie District. “They are all so eager to learn, but they are a lot harder to control and teach independence to,” Smalley said. A few years later Smalley decided that, despite her love for teaching, she wanted to have a fami-
ly. With one infant and another baby on the way, Smalley realized that continuing her work and taking care of an infant would be a lot to manage, so she decided to be a stay-at-home mom. After her children grew older, Smalley felt an inclination to go back to work. She decided to slowly transition by becoming a secretary at her local church. “It was part-time and close to home, so it was
“ WE ALWAYS TRY TO B E AS CO M PASS I O NATE AN D H E LPF U L AS POSS I B LE ,” - BECKI E SMALLEY
a good fit for me and the rest of my family,” Smalley said. After 13 years of working at her church, an opportunity at West High came Smalley’s way. “One of my parents’ close friends who worked as a secretary [at West] was leaving for two weeks and needed a sub,” Smalley said. “She convinced me to do it.” In 2003, a couple weeks after Smalley’s subbing
at West, a secretary retired which left a full-time position open at West. “I had the experience of being a secretary and I love working with kids, so it was a good fit. Plus the other secretaries talked me into it,” Smalley said. After working as the financial secretary and the assistant principal’s secretary, Smalley was offered the job of office manager in 2013. After accepting the position, Smalley began learning the different tasks in the main office. “I overlook different areas of the main office, such as attendance, room keys and the bell schedule,” Smalley said. Since working in the main office, Smalley often gets phone calls and requests—some of them peculiar. “Every so often we will get calls from drivers seeing our school sticker on a student’s car and they call to complain to us about their bad driving,” Smalley said. “We never know what to say to them. If it doesn’t happen here, we can’t help.” Whether a student needs a ticket to the musical or to break a hundred dollar bill, Smalley and the rest of the office staff do everything they can to fulfill a request. “When a student, parent or teacher comes in, we are the first faces they see, so we always try to be as compassionate and helpful as possible,” Smalley said. Now celebrating a decade and a half at West, Smalley claims there is nothing she doesn’t like doing for her job. “I love coming to work,” Smalley said. “I don’t think there has been a day when I woke up dreading coming here.”
FEB. 16, 2018
PEGGY TUCKER BY PRATEEK RAIKWAR
hile it was normal to grow up wearing “[Studying humanities and psychology] has Inspired by her work in California, Tucker rehand-me-downs like her older broth- served me well because I did a lot of social work alized that she wanted to continue providing huer’s oversized shorts, administrative after college,” Tucker said. “After I graduated manitarian services while pursuing her passion secretary Peggy Tucker now believes that she from Central, I joined AmeriCorps and that’s for Spanish. The perfect opportunity arose when was privileged based on her unexpected ser- what brought me out to the San Francisco Bay she moved back to Iowa in 2010 to Postville and vice-based career path. Area … There is just so much diversity out there Marshalltown, two cities with large, low-income Tucker first realized she wanted to pursue [that] helped me get out of my bubble and talk to Spanish-speaking communities. In these comhigher education late during her junior year but people I may never have talked to before.” munities she conducted similar work as at Head was never informed about the basics of the colTucker recalls that some of her most intimate Start, finding housing for community members lege application process like the testing require- conversations involved families at her Ameri- and working with students in a preschool. ments, as she was the first in her family to attend Corps assignment called Head Start, a program Eventually she moved to North Liberty to find college. that encourages school readiness of young chil- more work opportunities and raise her chilLooking back, Tucker bedren. Fortunately, eight lieves her lack of preparamonths after moving, an tion for the college applicaadministrative secretary tion process also translated position opened at West into her undergraduate High. Whether it’s guiding “ I J U ST WANT TO DO SO M ETH I N G years. For example, she a student to their locker or didn’t like the atmosphere assisting a Spanish-speakWH E R E I H E LP PEO PLE J O I N TH E at her first school, Mount ing family in the West High CO M M U N IT Y.” - PEGGY TUCKER Mercy University. She decommunity, Tucker maincided to transfer to Central tains her pursuit of service College instead, a problem and feels fulfilled through she could’ve prevented by this job. visiting both colleges beNow Tucker is also confore making her decision. Once at Central, pur- dren in low-income families. Here she worked sidering going to graduate school to receive a suing a degree came with its own challenges. with these families in finding important family teaching license to instruct English as a second “Nobody really sat down with me and said, resources such as diapers and organizing im- language. This would allow her to become more ‘Here’s what you need to do, this is what it’s go- portant documents. involved with non-English speaking families ing to look like, choose a major and get credits “If I never would’ve learned Spanish, joined and to serve as the guidance she lacked during in that area,’” Tucker said. “I just took a bunch AmeriCorps and moved out to the Bay area, I high school and college. of classes that sounded interesting, so when it never would’ve had the opportunity to talk to “That really interests me because we always came for graduation I didn’t really have very people who rode in a van for 17 hours through have a steady stream of families coming into the much credit accumulated in one area.” the US border while hiding behind a seat or … community who don’t speak English, so it would As a General Studies major, Tucker pursued learned what it’s like to live with five families in a be nice to help them out,” she said. “I just want concentrations in exercise science, humanities, two-bedroom apartment,” she said. “Things like to do something where I help people to join the psychology and Spanish. that just make you appreciate what you have.” community.”
FEB. 16, 2018
H E AT H E R G R I E S E R - YO D E R BY ANJALI HUYNH
ffice secretary Heather Grieser-Yoder decided she’d had enough. So at 17 years old, she packed her bags, sold her car and set out for a new life in California, thousands of miles away from her Iowan home. “I have never been very close with my parents, even growing up,” Grieser-Yoder said. “I would mostly live with my grandparents during the summer … [but] my grandparents died, and I was just ready to leave.” However, Grieser-Yoder was no stranger to change. Prior to her escape to California, she had spent her life moving around the Midwest with her family due to changes in her father’s job. Towards the end of high school, Grieser-Yoder was determined to try something new. While she had her doubts, she decided that moving to California was worth the risk. “I was a little scared, just because I didn’t really know what would happen, but I always knew I could come back,” she said. “Not home-home, maybe, but back to Des Moines, back to things I knew. I was scared, but I just did it anyway.” After arriving in her new home, she realized her car money would only last so long and found a job as a nanny. This job had two characteristics Grieser-Yoder enjoyed: low time-commitment and free housing. However, her life as a Californian came to an end when the family she worked for no longer needed her, and she realized she couldn’t afford living there. Nonetheless, she believes she matured as a result of her year spent away from home. “I definitely grew up a lot,” Grieser-Yoder said. “I had to make every decision for everything that I had to do. I think when I came back, I kind of knew what I wanted and how to do things and
knew how to survive almost anything.” Once she came back to Iowa, she went to Des Moines Area Community College but was unsatisfied and switched schools, eventually coming to the University of Iowa. Following college, Grieser-Yoder got a job doing scientific research, got married and had kids. Her life seemed to be set. However, all this changed when she got di-
“ WH E N I CAM E BACK ... I K N EW H OW TO SU RVIVE ALM OST ANYTH I N G.” - H EATH ER GRI ESER-YO DER
vorced when her kids were still young. “That really changed a lot of how I thought that I was going to raise my kids,” Grieser-Yoder said. “The ideal you have of when you get married and have children [was gone]. It was a big turning point because it was just me and them … Everything turned to just being all about everything that they needed.”
Later on, she transitioned to a new research position that was well-paying but also very time-consuming, taking her away from her children. “I was there all the time,” Grieser-Yoder said. “I had a ton of vacation hours and sick time, but it was the type of job that you just didn’t want to take time off. You’d get so far behind if you did. And being a single mom, I felt like I never saw my kids. I was working on holidays, I was working late at night and something had to change. I just was never around, and so that’s why I decided to come [to West].” Grieser-Yoder left her research to become a part-time fitness instructor and a secretary in the West High main office. At West, she was met with exciting work and a supportive co-worker community while also getting to be closer to her children. “I really like it here,” Grieser-Yoder said. “I love the teachers, the people I work with and all the kids. It’s really great because you never know from day to day what’s going to happen … You get a phone call, there’s a fight, there’s just always something new and different.” Throughout her many life adventures, both good and bad, Grieser-Yoder feels every experience has been worthwhile and wouldn’t change a thing. “I don’t think there’s anything I would’ve done differently [in my life],” she said. “There’s little things that sometimes I’m like, ‘Okay, I wish I wouldn’t have done that,’ or ‘I wish I would’ve continued school’ … because maybe something would’ve been different. But I think everything has brought me to where I am now, and I’m good with it.”
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S FEB. 16, 2018
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A DV E R T I S E M E N T S
FEB. 16, 2018
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THE OBSTACLE BY EMMA BRUSTKERN & LAUREN KATZ
For years, both students of color and students of low socioeconomic status have been underrepresented in the Advanced Placement Program. While the ICCSD has dedicated itself to increasing diversity in AP courses, a variety of factors still serve as barriers to participation.
he Advanced Placement Program began in the 1950s as a result of the Cold War and the government’s fear that secondary schools were not providing enough academic rigor to keep pace with other nations. The program has evolved since then but continues to see gaps in the AP course participation rate by race and family income level. The “missing students” problem is not new and the Iowa City Community School District has been working on creating a more equitable district for many years. Recently, the district partnered with a company called Equal Opportunity Schools, also known as EOS. EOS is located in Seattle and has helped over 450 schools identify students of color and low socioeconomic status who may be well-suited for an AP or IB course but are not currently enrolled in one. “I think the clearest objective is that we’re [trying to match] our student demographic population,” said Kingsley Botchway, Director of Equity and Engagement for the ICCSD. “We want our AP and honors courses to be as diverse as our schools.” AP social studies teacher Dominic Iannone said that while some students have qualification barriers, specifically for math and science courses, other students are choosing not to take AP courses in these areas for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications. “I’ve overheard people specifically say, ‘I’ve signed up for an AP class and I was the only student of color in the entire class, so I dropped it,’” Iannone said. “And a lot of the kids in AP classes already know each other because they’ve been taking the same classes since freshman year. So you’re trying to come into this pre-established academic culture that you don’t necessarily feel like you’re a part of … That can be hard.” Currently, about 64 percent of white and Asian students are enrolled in AP courses at West High compared to about 42 percent of Hispanic or Latino students and 25 percent of black or AfricanAmerican students. Similarly, about 64 percent of medium to high income students are participating in at least one AP course, as opposed to only 30 percent of low income students. According to EOS, in order to achieve socioeconomic and racial parity at West High, an additional 66 low-income, 11 Hispanic and 58 African-American students need to participate in at least one AP course. To fill the “missing students” gap, EOS gathers information through a survey to create Student Insight Cards for potential AP students who may be disadvantaged based on their race or socioeconomic status. The Student Insight Cards include traditional measures of academic success such as test scores and GPA, but they also identify teacher recommendations, personal struggles and a trusted adult in the student’s life.
Based on this overview of a student, teachers have the ability to reach out and inform students that they have the potential for success in AP courses. “This is a way that we can create a system … [so] that it’s not just good intentions every year but that we actually have a model to go from that would help us achieve this,” said Assistant Superintendent Matt Degner. The administration has identified courses that they consider to be entry point classes for the AP track. Some examples include those with few prerequisites, including language courses as well as classes in art and the humanities. While the administration has purposefully targeted these classes for higher inclusivity, the district continues to parse students into math and science classes at a young age based off test scores like Iowa Assessments. According to Philip Lala, the Science Curriculum Coordinator, Science Issues and Applications I and II have replaced the Foundations of Science series at the junior high level and there is now a required Earth and Space Science ninth grade course. The administration identifies biology as an entry point course, opening up opportunities to take additional higher level science courses later on. However, students can only qualify to take Earth and Space Science in eighth grade with a score of 95 percent or above on the seventh grade science section of Iowa Assessments and must be enrolled in Pre-Algebra or higher as an eighth grader. When looking at AP courses at the high school level, the ICCSD has also turned its focus to the Extended Learning Program. In order to qualify for the program, students must have both a suitable Iowa Assessment score as well as a high score on the Cognitive Abilities Test, also known as COGAT. Unlike Iowa Assessments, the COGAT is not based on prior knowledge or mathematical problem solving. Instead, it tests logical thinking through problems involving analogies and deductive reasoning skills. Previously, parents and teachers only allowed high-achieving second graders to take the COGAT. This created a diversity problem, as the number of recommendations for minorities and low socioeconomic status students was considerably lower than the amount for their white, more affluent peers. To combat this issue, every second-grader is now issued a COGAT preliminary screener with no recommendation or previous test score required. Elementary schools then administer the full COGAT to any student who scores highly on the screener. In addition to taking students with the highest COGAT screener results, schools also administer the full COGAT to 10 percent of black or AfricanAmerican students and 10 percent of Hispanic or Latino students.
“WE WANT OUR AP AND HONORS COURSES TO BE AS DIVERSE AS OUR SCHOOLS.” -KINGSLEY BOTCHWAY, ICCSD DIRECTOR OF EQUITY AND ENGAGEMENT
“We want to make sure that we’re casting that net wide and getting as much data as we can about these kids so they have every opportunity to qualify,” said Diane Schumacher, director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the ICCSD. In addition to the COGAT, administrators have been implementing other programs at the elementary level. One such example is the Weighted Resource Allocation Model, or WRAM. WRAM analyzes which elementary schools are in need of more resources based on the percentage of students on Free and Reduced Lunch. Students in schools with higher percentages of Free and Reduced Lunch are allocated more teachers, making class sizes smaller than an average elementary school. Although the program was only implemented last year, the district is seeing a greater rate of improved test scores within these schools. Aside from programs meant to specifically increase engagement in AP and other advanced courses, the ICCSD is trying to diversify course offerings. According to Schumacher, the idea is that if minority students see themselves reflected in the classroom and the curriculum, they may be more engaged in AP classes. One such option may be AP World History, which is currently offered at Liberty and City High to sophomores and above. “Maybe [classes like] AP European History aren’t that attractive to African-Americans or to Hispanics that may not come from Europe or
“MAYBE [CLASSES LIKE] AP EUROPEAN HISTORY AREN’T THAT ATTRACTIVE TO AFRICANAMERICANS OR HISPANICS THAT MAY NOT COME FROM EUROPE OR HAVE EUROPEAN ANCESTRIES.” -DIANE SCHUMACHER, ICCSD’S DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT
may not have European ancestries,” Schumacher said. “We need to listen to that too and we need to find AP courses that connect to all of our students, not just to the white population we’re currently connecting with.” In terms of course offerings, West and City High are adding a new Ethnic Studies course for third trimester. Lisa Covington, a professor from the University of Iowa, will lead the course. “The Ethnic Studies course provides an opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation around race and ethnicity and gender than we currently have,” Botchway said. West High administrators and teachers have also laid out plans for the Rising Scholars Program, a pilot project designed to provide academic and social supports to students identified by EOS and enrolled in their first AP class. “In conversations with students of color who had taken AP classes before, some have said that they don’t really know who to talk to to develop support networks and to develop study groups,” said Travis Henderson, AP social studies teacher and a leading member of the Rising Scholars Program. “The Rising Scholars cohort would provide those students with a safe space alongside other students who are going through similar struggles. The idea is that they can discuss those issues and work together to brainstorm ways to more fully integrate into the AP class experience.” Despite the district’s work to remove barriers, information dissemination remains a nationwide challenge to creating complete AP access. Both administrators and teachers agree that the ICCSD needs to continue its efforts to inform parents on the availability of AP classes and programs in place to support students. “Sometimes school is not always a trusted institution, especially for students of a minority group or a low socioeconomic status,” Degner said. Currently, the only provisions in place to inform parents about their child’s academic options are school-organized parent nights and parent-teacher conferences, neither of which are as widely attended or as diverse as the district would like. The ICCSD hoped that the Internet could be a solution to making information more available,
64% 42% 25%
of white and Asian students ... of Hispanic or Latino students ... of AfricanAmerican students ...
medium to high income students ...
low income students ...
...ARE ENROLLED IN AP COURSES AT WEST HIGH
INITIATIVES AT WEST HIGH One-on-one conversations with a student’s identified “trusted adult” MLK day sessions informing students on benefits of AP classes Rising Scholars Program Ethnic Studies Course Source: Equal Opportunity Schoools
but the digital age has made it even more difficult for some students to access information about AP classes and their benefits. Not every parent has access to a computer at work or at home and if the school relies on emails or other online update methods, only certain parents are able to see it. According to Dr. Sarah Bruch, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Iowa and the director of social and education policy at the Public Policy Center, there is also a growing language barrier associated with online communication, given the huge increase in ELL students. Many parents don’t necessarily read in English at the level that the schools are sending information home in. Amina Ahmed ’20 moved from Saudi Arabia to the district in seventh grade and learned English through the school’s ELL program. “When we arrived, my parents spoke broken English but now they’re okay. They took classes at the University of Iowa,” Ahmed said. Although Ahmed and her parents are now fluent in English, she thinks the district should try to send letters home in a family’s first language to make information more accessible. Had she gotten letters in her first language when she arrived, Ahmed said she might have known about the effect of Iowa Assessments on determining eligibility for the science track. “I had the opportunity to take biology as a freshman, but I didn’t,” Ahmed said. “I didn’t know before I took Iowa Assessments that I would have this opportunity. Only afterwards when I had registered [I found out], but it was too late.” Larger districts in the nation are compensating for the larger population of people speaking and
“I THINK [MY SIBLINGS] SHOULD BE INTRODUCED TO THE MATERIAL [ABOUT AP CLASSES] IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. I HOPE IT IS DIFFERENT FOR THEM.” -AMINA AHMED ‘20
reading in different languages by translating materials to make them more accessible. While this is more expensive, schools may need to target certain groups of parents that have historically been marginalized. “The education policy literature would suggest that having general parent meetings encourage the same, advantaged parents to show up,” said Bruch. “I think the district [needs] more targeted meetings and recruitments to make sure parents of certain minority groups understand that the meeting is for them as well.” Bruch suggested that the school district tell elementary students and their parents that there will be different levels of courses in math and science. “The whole structure for these courses needs to be laid out,” Bruch said. “Parents should know that what their child does now will impact the [opportunities] they have later on down the road.” A contrasting view is that making families aware of opportunities at a young age will create pressure on the child to be at the top of the class or for parents to internalize a strategy to push their kids to be the best. “That creates an arms race and some people want to delay that as much as possible,” Bruch said. “I think the reason why [academics] suggests you give everyone full information as early as possible is that you can’t pretend like people don’t already know that [parsing occurs], that certain tests open up opportunities. Making parents unaware of tracking only advantages the already advantaged because they’re already preparing their children.” Bruch emphasized that parents’ socioeconomic background was one of the most important
factors in thinking about test scores and which students are in AP classes. “Test scores, even starting in kindergarten, are not a measure of how smart you are or your actual natural abilities,” Bruch said. “They very much reflect your access to things like learning and how many books your parents read to you or how many books you had in your house. Exposure to [opportunities] to learn is what it reflects, not your actual ability.” The district has begun pilot projects like the AVID model, a system that prepares students for success in high school, post-secondary education and a career, especially for students historically underrepresented in higher education. It is currently being implemented at Kirkwood Elementary School, a school identified for having a high percentage of students on Free and Reduced Lunch, to lessen socioeconomic disparities. “The idea is to start really young and train the [elementary] teachers to make [sure all] students are performing at really high levels,” Bruch said. “They do that partly through mindset, making it clear that the expectation is for all students to someday take AP classes and go to college. The thought is that a college education is one way towards social advancement, as well as breaking the self-fulfilling prophecy of some students living up to lower expectations because of the way teachers treat them.” Bruch also noted the after-school model of targeted resource enhancement, which could take the place of general before-and-after-school programs. “The more affluent are likely already getting resources to their children. You target the less affluent, whether that’s ... bringing tutors or providing explicit test prep resources,” Bruch said. “Usually those are brought to the school instead of transporting students to another school.” While programs like this would be helpful at the elementary school level, they wouldn’t be
ART BY ANGELA ZIRBES DESIGN BY CATHERINE JU
“TEST SCORES ... ARE NOT A MEASURE OF HOW SMART YOU ARE OR YOUR ACTUAL NATURAL ABILITIES.” -DR. SARAH BRUCH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
as likely to succeed at the secondary level. With places hiring at the minimum age of 14, many students work after school, making any kind of after-school program less accessible. “The students I know aren’t working to just have some petty cash for going to a movie, they’re working to support their family or to support themselves,” Botchway said. “[If programs began before school], the bus couldn’t get students there on time without having them up egregiously early compared to their other classmates. Those are some of the biggest barriers: transportation, finances and just in general, scheduling issues.” Any after-school program is expensive because it involves staff members and could pose potential barriers, such as transporting the child home afterwards. Additionally, although volunteer groups often spur initial change, the downside to people tutoring in an unpaid capacity is that they have less motivation to stick with the program in the long run. According to Bruch, mentorship is crucial for young students, and not having the people who are part of the primary support negatively impacts students going forward. According to Bruch’s 2017 ICCSD Climate Survey, students of less educated parents perceive less positive academic support from teachers. Additionally, African-American and Latino students are lower than white and Asian students in reporting positive relationships with teachers beginning in elementary school, which could partly explain why there are different rates of students of certain backgrounds entering AP classes. West High has attempted to address this problem by providing opportunities for one-on-one conversations with the “trusted adult” that students identified. “When I heard we were able to have individual conversations with our students, I was really excited because I [thought], ‘How often do
your teachers get to sit down with you and say, “You’re so awesome. You should try something challenging?”’” said Henderson. “One of the students I was talking to ended the conversation saying, ‘I guess I just didn’t know that anyone believed in me before,’ and I thought, ‘What an important day for that student and for me as well to be able to facilitate that.’” Ahmed said she might have done things differently had she known about certain opportunities, but now knows how to help instruct her family. “I have siblings, they’re still young … but [in the] future, I think they should be introduced to the material [about AP classes] in elementary school or junior high and then talk more about it when they are freshmen and sophomores,” Ahmed said. “I hope it is different for them than it was for me.” At the high school level, one option to consider is providing meetings, currently offered exclusively to ELP students, for the entire school population during registration to help students choose their coursework for next year. Because upperclassmen run the sessions, students may benefit from being able to converse on an intimate, honest level with a peer. “Let’s say you don’t have any friends who are in the courses you want to take. It’s hard because you want the resources, you want to talk to someone who actually knows what it’s like,” said Erin Elizalde ’20, a student who moved to the district from Muscatine in junior high. Testing out programs in a small-scale way makes change more incremental but it also makes the program more likely to succeed in the long run, according to Bruch. “Even if you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t want to start a program in all the schools at the same time, because you might start the wrong model in all the schools,” said Bruch. “It’s always better to start one model in a couple schools and then say, ‘Oh, this worked really well from this small experiment. Now that we know how to do it right, now we’ll have all the schools try it.’” Current equity projects in Iowa City include the Belin Blank Center’s five-year, $2.1 million plan to increase educators’ capacity to identify and provide talented and gifted programming to underrepresented students in Iowa, as well as using money from the Spencer Foundation’s $400,000 grant to hire a full-time staff member to work in the equity office. Botchway is the only person in the ICCSD in charge of equity, so the additional staffer could potentially help increase the district’s capacity to implement projects that the task force has recommended. This includes tracking how students are doing, evaluating the success of the programs and continung work on teacher training,
“IT’S HARD BECAUSE YOU WANT THE RESOURCES, YOU WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE. -ERIN ELIZADE ‘20
whether that includes making the curriculum more inclusive or implementing cultural competence training. The other part of the grant will be allocated toward paying university students to collect and analyze the Climate Survey data, complete evaluations of the existing programs and work on policy briefs. The district has begun an unprecedented number of initiatives to open higher level course access to all students. With these programs, the goal is that more students will graduate from college and have the opportunity for social advancement into the middle class. Still, despite the strides the ICCSD has taken in terms of equity, there’s still work to be done. “We’re still in the opening stages, where there’s a lot of happiness around this work, but we still need to get down to the details,” Botchway said. “Everything is up on the table for consideration to ensure that we’re removing as many barriers as possible.”
E N T E R TA I N M E N T FEB. 16, 2018
WHICH WEST HIGH
BY REAGAN HART
Take this quiz to discover which teacher you are most like. For best results, pick the choice that is closest to what you agree with.
What do you think your enemies are envious of?
A MY ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A BACKUP DANCER B TEACHER C MARINE BIOLOGIST D PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
B MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER
C MY HUMOR
C ANYWHERE BY THE OCEAN
D MY SENSE OF EMPATHY
What is your biggest pet peeve?
WITH GOOD FOOD
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
B TEXT SPEAK
B TO FLY
C COFFEE STIR STICKS
D FALSE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT PEOPLE
D TO TIME TRAVEL
TEACHER ARE YOU?
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
FEB. 16, 2018
if you got... Compassionate is basically your middle name. However, you don’t believe this includes the occasional white lie that makes people feel better. You tell it like it is in hopes that the truth will make everyone a better person. You strive for perfection which can sometimes be hard. Finding free time isn’t always easy for you either, but when you do, you like reading and exercising. To you, life is about finding a purpose and carrying it out.
MAUREEN HEAD mostly Cs
LUIGI ENRIQUEZ To you, the meaning of life is found in music and food, but that doesn’t mean a lot if you don’t have people to share it with. You enjoy cooking with friends and spending many weekends participating in game nights. You may lack the ability to say no to people and have a lot on your plate as a result. Even so, it doesn’t bother you because you will always be there for your friends.
You are a very kind and positive person. You might not always do what you say you are going to do and your procrastination sometimes catches up with you. You make up for it by being a very loyal and outgoing friend. This makes you a very loved person and despite what you may think, your friends believe many people are envious of your looks. You’ll read any genre of book, but for music you’re partial to the 60s and 70s.
KERRI BARNHOUSE mostly Ds
MITCH GROSS Your main goal is to make life better for others. You do this by brightening people’s day with jokes and being the person who always knows where to have a good time. Family is very important to you and you enjoy spending time with them. You love the outdoors and enjoy many activities in the open air such as gardening. You are confident in your strengths and aware of your weaknesses.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALYSON KUENNEN DESIGN BY JENNA ZENG
E N T E R TA I N M E N T FEB. 16, 2018
VALENTINE’S DAY BY JESSICA MOONJELY
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS Standing in line to buy movie tickets, the boy helplessly felt his pockets for his wallet as he and his date neared the front of the line. He realized his wallet was not in his pocket after all. It was still sitting in his mom’s car that was now driving away. Annoyed, his date paid for everything. Then, just when he thought the night was turning around, he dropped both of their slushies. Her prized new shoes were no longer white. “So let’s just say after that day, we went our separate ways.”
LIGHTS, CAMERA, BUT NO ACTION Taking a quick glance at the boy next to her, she wondered why she was so uncomfortable. They had been texting and Snapchatting the whole summer. They even went to the same junior high. Yet sitting in the plush movie theater seats, both felt as rigid as a board. He had even splurged on a big tub of popcorn for their date, but it remained untouched as the credits rolled and the lights went on. “I just thought it was the funniest thing looking back on it because I love popcorn, so that was really hard for me. But I didn’t want to reach over him and get popcorn. And the whole time during the movie, I felt like he was reaching his hand towards mine to hold it, but I kept inching it away because I got scared.” PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY PAREEN MHATRE DESIGN BY WINGEL XUE
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
FEB. 16, 2018
HORROR STORIES WILL YOU BE HIS VALENTINE?
THREE’S A CROWD
A freshman girl sat watching as the teacher wrote on the board in geometry class. Time was slowly ticking away when suddenly another girl burst into her geometry class. She proudly presented a cupcake to her and asked if she would be her brother’s Valentine. She had known the sophomore boy and had talked to him before, but the experience was nonetheless embarrassing. “Freshman year everyone is kind of awkward and the teacher was kind of awkward ... Then [his sister] said, ‘So will you be his Valentine?’ And I said, ‘I guess?’ There was also a note from him. It’s just funny that he sent his sister, and he never talked to me about it after.”
It was Valentine’s Day and there she was, stuck third-wheeling on her friend’s date. She sat in the movie theater and tried not to notice as the boy repeatedly attempted to kiss her friend. Then, with twenty minutes left in the movie, her friend said she had to leave. “When she left I was thinking, ‘I need to leave. I need to leave.’ But at the same time I’m like, ‘I’m invested in this movie at this point.’ So I sat there, with her date, and awkwardly watched the rest of the movie after she left. [My friend and the boy] ended up dating afterwards.”
THE CREEPY CAMPER While the girl rode the bus back from summer camp, her friend’s camp boyfriend randomly started texting her. It started out pretty normal, but then he started flirting with her even though he was still dating her friend. Eventually it got to the point that he asked how much she liked him on a scale of 1 to 10. When she asked him if he meant like a friend he texted, “No … and 5 is just like average.” “Then it got kind of creepy because he started texting me good night, trying to call me and it was just weird.”
E N T E R TA I N M E N T FEB. 16, 2018
TO GET DR I N K S BY NATALIE KATZ
Relax & Refresh
From spending quality time with friends to catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation, there’s truly no better experience than enjoying a good drink. For those of you tired of going to the same old places time and time again, here are some of the hidden gems in the area.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY OLIVIA DACHTLER DESIGN BY FRANCES DAI
PIE SHAKE W
ith shakes fading into the world of the 50’s, it’s important to keep them a part of our generation’s lives while we can. The Hamburg Inn reminds us time after time just how necessary these tasty treats are. Unclear as to which part of the meal this beverage belongs to, the pie shakes at Hamburg Inn are well-known throughout the entire country. The lively atmosphere and pictures of visiting celebrities such as Ronald Reagan and Hillary Clinton covering the walls gives the small restaurant an ‘old-fashioned diner’ feel.
Some things about this blend of locally made pie and ice cream just can’t be described, like the crumbles of pie crust that sit at the bottom of the shake. If drinking two of the best desserts together doesn’t suit your taste buds, their other shakes are equally as good, even though you won’t feel as much like Bill Clinton while drinking them.
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
FEB. 16, 2018
CAFE LA LA
ew to the cafe scene, Cafe La La’s bubble tea has quickly become a popular drink. Originating in Taiwan, bubble tea is a sweet, tea-based drink with tapioca pearls that has become a trend all over the world. If you’ve never tried it before, milk tea is the quintessential flavor to get, and at Cafe LaLa you’ll definitely get a memorable taste. Coming in only one size, 20 ounces of bubble tea will leave you wanting to go here every day. Served both warm and cold, it’s perfect for all seasons.
Soaking the tapioca pearls in honey gives them a sweeter taste, making them especially tasty at Cafe LaLa. A tip from the pros: save the bubbles for last to savor each individual one. With a lot of natural lighting, the spacious interior is the perfect place to study without feeling the need to bring a flashlight, as is the case in many cafes. If you stop by, be sure to try their specialty flavors such as mocha or strawberry.
hether you consider yourself a ‘regular joe’ or feel that you need a beginner’s guide to coffee, Caffe Crema is said to have the best coffee in town, according to review sites like Yelp. With their creative latte art and wide selection ranging from misugaru lattes to classic Americanos, it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the choices. However, have no fear because the patient baristas are here to help select the perfect drink for you. If you want to try something new, a siphon press is the way to go. Caffe Crema is the only place in Iowa City to serve siphon, a complex 10-step process that produces a much more delicate and aromatic brew by not boiling the water.
Cushioned chairs and wide tables create a cozy atmosphere, and the soft hum of voices and French music in the background make it a comfortable destination for meeting with friends, studying or losing yourself in a good read. Who knows? Your latte just might have a portrait of you on it.
MAR. 21-APRIL 19
FEB. 19-MAR. 20 The hardest part of any relationship is being shut out by a partner if they have a bad day. If you’re in a situation like that, don’t fall into a fearful state. Give them time to work through what they’re going through and spend some time for yourself.
GEMINI MAY 21-JUNE 20 This weekend, get out of the confinements of home and enjoy a trip downtown with your best friends. Let your curiosity lead the way, talk up a storm and peek into places you haven’t explored yet. It’ll be a fun break of routine.
JAN. 20-FEB. 18
You’re willing to take things on and make them your own, but don’t be afraid to spend time with your friends and let their experiences shape your own ideas and goals. They’ll have some great things to say.
APRIL 20-MAY 18
Your partner always relies on you to hear them out and tell them the truth. Know when to let them go and allow them to do things for themselves for a change, though. They’re not going to be unfaithful to you. In fact, if you give them these opportunities, they’ll love you more.
Despite your loyalty, you can be overly suspicious every time a friend or partner hangs around someone that could be competition. Take a deep breath. Tame your imagination and let your emotions run free by writing in a journal.
JUNE 21-JULY 22
Everyone appreciates your zest for life and ability to lead everyone through stormy waters, but sometimes your intensity rubs people the wrong way. Know when to turn it down and release it somewhere else.
BY LUKE REYNOLDS
Whether or not astrology can predict the future, it’s always nice to have a little guidance when life gets hectic. Read advice for all 12 astrological signs to discover what relationship tips you need and if they’re for yourself or those you hold close.
WRITTEN IN THE STARS
SEPT. 23-OCT. 22 Your social butterfly wings flutter around any group of people. But sometimes this graceful ability hides a grudge against a friend or partner. Be cooperative with them and let them know what’s bothering you. Forgiveness is the most gracious thing you can possess.
DEC. 22-JAN. 19 What you’d love is a night spent with your family. You can make your favorite foods, watch some great movies and play all the board games your hearts desire. Everyone deserves some good old fun with their parents and siblings.
AUG. 23-SEPT. 22 You’re a kind person that can worry and over-criticize yourself. Now’s the time to relax and do something where you’re one with the world. Go on a winter hike and spend some time exploring nature so you’ll get the chance to appreciate what’s around you.
SAGITTARIUS NOV. 22-DEC. 21 You may find yourself in hot water when you promise to get your partner an expensive gift and can’t pull through. Generosity is great, but be realistic. Perhaps you should go for the present that’s cheaper but would also mean a lot more to them. Watch out for subtle hints.
JULY 23-AUG. 22
Your happiness may take first priority sometimes, but your friends cherish that theatricality about you. They also love your generosity and your passion for what you love. Reward them with a trip to a local movie or theatre production.
OCT. 23-NOV. 21
Friendship is the most important thing to you. You can be trusted with keeping secrets and letting others know the truth if it’s absolutely essential. Just keep in mind when you cross the line and know you may accidentally hurt someone’s feelings.
DESIGN BY TYLER THOMASSON
3S P O6R T S
FEB. 16, 2018
WEST STUDENTS TAKE ON
WINTER SPORTS As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang approach, WSS takes a look at some West High students who are no stranger to these activities.
BY WILL CONRAD
SHREDDING THE SLOPES
or snowboarders, unfortunately, the Iowa City area isn’t exactly home to towering, snowy mountains. In a sport that depends on these natural features, those at West who wish to participate must look elsewhere. Snowboarding has experienced constant growth for the past few decades, ever since it was added to the Winter Olympic Games in 1998. Other events such as the X Games have only served to further inspire the next generation of boarders, including Clay Warren ’18. “I saw Shaun White doing crazy tricks and I always thought that was the coolest thing, so I really wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Warren said. Most riders, including Warren, typically have a few preferred spots to do their riding. Warren opts for Chestnut Mountain in Galena, Illinois, as well as Sundown Mountain in Dubuque. Keystone Mountain in Keystone, Colorado is a special site that Warren visits on longer trips, such as winter and spring break. “I think it’s really freeing. It’s liberating when you’re out there, especially when you’re in the trees of the Everglades [Mountains] in Colorado,” Warren said. Primarily, snowboarding is a sport of creativity. Every year professionals attempt crazier stunts. In a sport that revolves around showmanship, critics often portray snowboarding as dangerous. However, Warren insists that training and the way in which one rides are always key. “It depends on your riding style. If you’re an aggressive rider, then you definitely need to watch out. If you play it more safe, you should be fine. If you’re already a longboarder, you’ll be able to pick up on it pretty fast but otherwise it might be kinda hard, because your body parts all have to move at the same time,” Warren said. When injuries do occur though, they are often vicious. With about 42 fatalities each year, accidents are a definite risk to participants. Connor
Harris ’18 had a particularly surreal experience when trying to make a difficult jump. “I knocked myself out. I just went off a jump and I landed on my head. It’s hard to remember. My friend was at the top, and the ski patrol came up and I was just spitting up blood. I didn’t know where I was or anything and I didn’t remember anything,” Harris said. With the number of resorts only growing and the demand for lessons increasing, it is getting easier than ever before to pick up the sport. For those like Warren, starting is the best decision one can make. “Anybody who’s never tried snowboarding should definitely give it a try. It makes you super happy. It makes your thoughts clear. It feels like you’re on top of everything,” Warren said.
FEB. 16, 2018
ON THIN ICE A thletic teams at West travel to Cedar Rapids multiple times in a season, but for hockey players, this 30-minute commute is a daily ritual. Iowa City lacks a consistently available hockey arena, as the Coral Ridge Ice Rink lacks locker room space and competition-quality ice. As a result, most who play the sport at West are members of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, a club team based in the nearby town. The Roughriders are off to a 14-22 start this season in the Midwest High School Hockey League, which is composed of teams all across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. Because of the short commute between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, players on the Roughriders team come from Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, West and even
quiet down because we’d play at around 12 at night,” Heiar said. Although many players can manage daily travel, financial issues can be huge in the sport. High quality equipment can cost hundreds of dollars, making it difficult for those with monetary strain to become involved with hockey. Ben Pizzimenti ’19, another Roughriders member, weighs in on the cost. “Top-of-the-line equipment gets really expensive. That, with the included cost of playing club hockey, really affects the number of people we get playing in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area. If it was school affiliated, I think the cost of ice
time would be reduced, and therefore the overall cost would be reduced,” Pizzimenti said. Although factors like these put a damper on the recruiting numbers that the Roughriders see, the team is ultimately moving in the right direction. While school-affiliation might help in some aspects, the Roughriders are happy with the progress they’re making. “The team is so tight-knit even though we draw from many different schools. Of course every time you get a win, it’s so exciting on the bench and after the game. It’s a feeling you can’t recreate,” Pizzimenti said.
“O F COU RSE EVE RY TI M E YOU G ET A WI N , IT ’S SO EXCITI N G O N TH E B E N CH AN D AFTE R TH E GAM E . IT ’S A F E E LI N G YOU CAN ’T RECR EATE ,” -BEN PIZZIMENTI ‘19 Liberty. However, the team doesn’t let these differences isolate players. Tanner Heiar ’19 has been playing hockey with the Roughriders for his entire high school career. “I really like the opportunity to get to meet [players from other schools] and talk to them. I’ve known them for quite a while. I think we have a great bond,” Heiar said. The bond is strengthened by the structure of the Roughriders’ program. The Roughriders have a youth team in addition to their high school squad. Almost all of the players on the high school roster have played on the youth team in prior years. “During tournaments [in youth league], we’d usually stay at hotels, which was a lot of fun. We did a lot of dumb stuff when we were little. We’d bring mini hockey sets and play in the hallways. Security would always have to tell us to stop and
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BEN PIZZIMENTI & CLAY WARREN DESIGN BY THOMAS DUONG
FEB. 16, 2018
THE WEIGHT OF
WRESTLING ENUTIFA GAMIA â€˜18
calories a day to maintain weight
DAY 2 WEIGHT:
200 lbs 208 lbs
DAY 1 WEIGHT:
Hours of exercise
NONE Food intake
Hours of exercise
FEB. 16, 2018
BY ELLIE GRETTER
It is no secret that one of the most notorious aspects of wrestling is the rigorous diet that the sport demands. However, it may come to a shock just how extreme an athlete will alter their lifestyle to meet them.
KEATON SPEICHER â€˜19
calories a day to maintain weight
DAY 2 WEIGHT:
128 lbs 140 lbs
DAY 1 DAY 2
Hours of exercise
DAY 1 WEIGHT:
Food intake PHOTOS BY SEAN BROWN DESIGN BY SELINA HUA
FEB. 16, 2018
THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS Just months after voting to implement shot clocks for high school basketball in June, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) decided to later rescind its decision in December. The vote had been set to have the 35-second shot clock up and running for the 2019-20 basketball season, but negative feedback played a role in reversing this decision. Wisconsin wouldâ€™ve joined eight other states in the US that already make use of a shot clock.
BY DENIZ INCE
o now, what about Iowa? Bordering state South Dakota is already in the mix of states employing shot clocks in high school basketball. Coupled with the recent controversy in Wisconsin, many have ignited a similar debate in Iowa. Generally, teams benefit from shot clocks when the game is still in contest. As time runs out, the clock prevents one team from holding onto the ball and possibly their lead. If a team’s shot fails to hit the rim or enter the hoop, possession is granted to the opposing team. Boys basketball coach Steve Bergman would like to add shot clocks, along with a few other changes, to develop high school basketball. “I’d like to see us go [from quarters] to halves, I’d like to see us play a little longer games and I’d like to see us have a shot clock. Anything that can get the game to keep flowing and moving is good,” he said.
“ I TH I N K IT ’ S WH AT I OWA N E E DS, H O N ESTLY, B ECAU S E WE ’ LL H AVE LOTS O F LO N G POSS ESS I O N S [F RO M]
FEB. 16, 2018
IOWA’S CLOSELY GUARDED RULE A closely guarded situation occurs when a player in control of the ball in his/her team’s frontcourt is continuously guarded by any opponent who is within six feet of the player who is holding or dribbling the ball. The distance shall be measured from the forward foot/feet of the defender to the forward foot/feet of the ball handler. A closely guarded count shall be terminated when the offensive player in control of the ball gets his/her head and shoulders past the defensive player.
TE A M S TH AT LI K E TO S LOW IT DOWN .” -JAKE AN D E R SO N ‘18 Additionally, many players and coaches believe shot clocks keep the game in contention until the end. “A couple years ago in the [semifinals] at state, [West Des Moines] Valley held the ball for four minutes and took one shot and went to the championship,” Jake Anderson ’18 explained. “I think it’s what Iowa needs, honestly, because we’ll have lots of long possessions [from] teams that like to slow it down.” Logan Cook ’18 also cites that they may benefit teams with an astute offense or skilled rebounders, as the shot clock resets every time a player earns an offensive rebound. On the other hand, Brett Nanninga of the Iowa High School Athletic Association says that the addition will not be implemented in Iowa anytime soon, as the closely guarded rule is already in place to address the same issues as a shot clock. According to this rule, the ball will be turned over if a player does not move the ball in five seconds if a defender is within six feet. “We went to our clinics this year with all of our officials [and] that was one of the points of emphasis, as it still is in our online rulebook,” Nanninga said. “You have to enforce it. That compels the kids to play. They can’t just stand there looking at each other.”
LEFT: Dante Eldridge ’19 stands with the ball during the City-West game on Jan. 23, 2018. RIGHT: Dadrian Hoambrecker ’18 shoots a free throw during the City-West game on Jan. 23, 2018. PHOTOS BY MADDI SHINALL
Additionally, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) decisively voted against it; however, Cook also described how they may be helpful to athletes going on to the collegiate level. “My opinion is that you don’t really need them, but for players that will go on and play in college, it would be nice to get used to them in high school just because I’m going to have no experience [before I] play at Iowa,” Cook said. Nanninga, a former college basketball player himself, still believes the shot clock is unnecessary for high schoolers. “I’s definitely a different and higher level and there’s some things that happen at the college level that just don’t at the high school because not everybody’s capable of playing at that level,” Nanninga said. “So your talent pool is so much more different and so much more diverse in high school as opposed to the college level.” Anderson and some West players still remain
“ YO U R TA LE NT POO L I S SO M U CH M O R E D I F F E R E NT A N D SO M U CH M O R E D IVE RS E I N H I G H SCH OO L .” - B R ETT NAN N I N GA , IAH SA A ASSOCIATE D I R ECTO R hopeful about the future of high school basketball, especially for Iowa. “I don’t think it would affect us as a team,” Anderson said. “I think the slowdown teams would really struggle at first but I think overall as a state we’d get used to it and it wouldn’t affect us after that. It would definitely change the game—make it faster [and] make it a lot more exciting.” DESIGN BY CRYSTAL KIM
FEB. 16, 2018
BORN INTO From a childâ€™s beliefs to their behavior, parents play a key role in the development of adolescents. For Corey Roth â€™19, his father has played a significant part in reaching his dream to become a professional bowler.
BY ANNA BROWN
young boy attempts to pick up a bowling ball for the very first time. With the encouragement of his family guiding his actions, he slowly makes his way to the lane. Gathering his strength, the boy grasps the ball with both hands and throws, aiming for the pins, but ending up in the gutter. Disappointed, he turns around to see the optimistic faces of his family. Nine years later, with the support of his family, Corey is now one of the top high school bowlers in the state. Corey’s father, Kevin Roth, first introduced Corey to league bowling when he was seven years old. Inspired by his own parents and personal experience as a bowling coach in Japan, Germany and throughout the United States, Kevin wanted to share his love for the sport with his son. Since then, Corey has been on the Lancer Lanes Jr. Sr. league team in Cedar Rapids and trained with his father for nine years. This training continued into high school, where Corey quickly became one of the best on the team with his father’s guidance. “[I admire] my dad for the mental side of it ... [My dad] always wants my game to be as best as it can, and the only thing he can do [during games] is give some advice and I have to take it from there.” Corey said. Kevin not only provides mental support and advice on how to perform well in the heat of a match, but continuously works to help Corey improve his physical game prior to competition as well. “They’re constantly talking back and forth about which bowling ball to use, where to stand, what arrow to throw over [and] what board to throw the ball over. They work pretty hard together,” said head bowling coach, Mike Mellecker. However, even with all of his father’s assistance, Corey’s main source of improvement is his determination to do well and improve his game in order to reach his goal of going professional. “Corey wants to do well and his dad is just there to assist him, keep him on track,” Mellecker said. “Each year, Corey’s increased in his average quite a bit and then this year he knew that he could be one of the top bowlers in the state, which he is, and he just worked really hard at it.” Not only is Corey an important asset to the team for his individual skill, but also for his leadership. “It was a really great experience [to work with him]. He was a great leader and I felt he made a tremendous difference in the team. He was well-gifted and [performed] to the best of his abilities,” said former teammate and 2016 state champion, Patrick Wood. Corey is just as grateful for his teammates who
FEB. 16, 2018
BY TH E
N U M B E RS
number of games played
pins per game
“ TAK E IT O N E STE P AT A TI M E . I F YOU TH I N K TOO FAR AH EAD, YOU ’ LL PU SH YOU RSE LF TOO FAR SO M ETI M ES AN D TH E N YOU ’ LL G ET LOST ALO N G TH E WAY.”
are always supportive and keep up a pleasant and positive team dynamic. “We had a Baker tournament, which is amazing. It was a total of eighteen teams and we went in there not knowing what would happen, but we came out as champions and it was really nice,” Corey said. “The whole time we were supportive; we were in there and we were focused in. When someone was feeling down, we would always come hype them back up and it was great.” One particular experience that is very memorable for the Roths and marked a turning point in Corey’s bowling career was when he bowled his first 700 series—a difficult feat in which the bowler gets over 700 points in three consecutive games. “When I had my first 700 series, it was a 775 and I came back and my dad was there and he was really proud of me that I came that far. It was last year that I shot it. I felt accomplished and happy that I was up there now and knew how to get there,” Corey said. Now with years of experience, Kevin considers Corey to be “worlds ahead of where [he] was at his age,” and he couldn’t be any prouder. “I got my dad’s help for most of bowling. I was pretty nervous at some points in my bowling career, but when I needed help I got it from him,” Corey said. “I’ve gotten a lot better than he has and I can see that he’s pretty proud of me so far because I’ve come such a long way from my start, and he’s happy to see me improve so much.” Corey’s end goal is to take bowling to the professional level, but he acknowledges the effort that will have to be put in to achieve this. “It’s a long term dream that I have, but I’m going to have to work pretty hard to get there. [My end of season goals are] just to be a better teammate, be a better bowler, focus in at practice, focus in on meets and then just improve my game,” said Corey. Kevin continually supports Corey in his dream and knows he has what it takes to go professional. “If this is something he desires, he will have to push himself in all aspects of the game: physical lane play, ball dynamics and especially the mental game. I think he can do it because he has a solid base, a great support system and wonderful opportunities available to him in the college and the bowling community.” Throughout his bowling career, Kevin has provided Corey with much advice, but there is one in particular that has stuck in Corey’s mind. “Take it one step at a time. If you think too far ahead, you’ll push yourself too far sometimes and then you’ll get lost along the way.”
-KEVIN ROTH, COREY ROTH’S FATHER
PHOTOS BY IVAN BADOVINAC DESIGN BY JUNHEE LEE
A DV E R T I S E M E N T S FEB. 16, 2018
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FEB. 16, 2018
THE LOST ART
TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO “HATE MATH”— I DO TOO. OR AT LEAST THE “MATH” WE TEACH IN OUR SCHOOLS. BY JUNHEE LEE
hat is the next natural question to ask ourselves?” The first time I experienced this philosophy was in a graduate-level Analysis course. My professor introduced a topic and we asked ourselves the next natural question, leading the lecture in whatever direction we were curious about. It was the first classroom experience where I was encouraged to be an innovator; I was asking questions and solving them for myself instead of absorbing what others said or reactively solving exercises. So when I walked out of the program, I asked myself the next natural question: Why is it that I had not experienced this creativity earlier on in my math education? The picture of American high school mathematics became extremely frustrating after that experience. It was horrifying to me that students in Geometry would learn flowchart proofs instead of learning basic mathematical reasoning skills and lose the ability to articulate mathematical ideas. People in Pre-Calculus or Calculus on super-accelerated tracks came up to me in the middle of the year with questions that demonstrated that they had zero fundamental understanding of what they were learning. These problems all stem from a flaw in the American math education system: the idea of mass-producing human calculators. In the interest of creating a society where everyone “understands the language of math,” we indoctrinate our elementary school students with the incredibly boring notion that math is just monkey work, manipulating numbers and symbols with a strict set of arbitrary rules and formulas. And once everyone is able to do basic arithmetic and algebra, they’re finally ready for interesting mathematical concepts and productive mathematical application, right? In reality, once most students graduate from high school, they’re stuck with the thought of, “I hated math in high school, so I don’t
want to do it anymore.” And for good reason; if all the math I’d ever known was computing x for the millionth time, I’d also be that kid in the back of math class, working only to get the necessary grades and to fill my three years of math credits (God, what a chore!). On the other end of the spectrum, students who are told that they have mathematical talent due to their innate ability to bash out calculations and formulas faster than others find themselves in over their heads in
“ TH ESE PRO B LE M S ALL STE M F RO M TH E F L AW I N TH E AM E RI CAN MATH E DUCATI O N SYSTE M : TH E I DEA O F MASS PRO DUCI N G H U MAN CALCU L ATO RS.” college because they actually have to be able to think. The horror! Frustrated and now learning that their high school math education has failed them, these “talented students” find themselves discouraged and switch to a different major. After all of that, the government wonders why there’s a lack of mathematical proficiency in the United States and then “reworks” the math education system so that kids will understand arithmetic and basic algebra better, adding in useless stuff like lattice multiplication and hang seven division to allow students to be “creative” in their arithmetic. And with virtually zero change
to the system, the cycle starts all over again. So, the only people who end up being successful are those who realize their curiosity about math at a young age and seek out resources to fill that curiosity. However, opportunities to do so are limited. Camps like the Ross Math Program are expensive and remote, and classes at West like Art of Math Problem Solving, which offers students the option to ask questions and explore math, are only offered as independent study courses and have extremely low enrollment. Should it really be so difficult to understand the art and beauty of math, instead of settling for the hollow shell it is now? We need to start at the ground level and teach children to ask mathematical questions. Why is it that we don’t have an integral solution to 2x = 1, but a solution exists in the rational numbers? What properties are unique to the integers or the rational numbers, and what do they have in common? Students: when you’re in math class and learning a formula or a theorem without any context or explanation, ask yourself, “Why?” And once you know why, ask yourself, “What’s the next natural question?” Teachers: when you’re giving a lecture, don’t just move ahead to the next item on the agenda; instead have your students ask the next question and lead themselves further into the curriculum. Because what I don’t understand is, if we’ve established that there is a problem, isn’t the next natural question, “What can we do to fix it?”
PHOTO BY PAREEN MHATRE DESIGN BY FRANCES DAI
OPINION FEB. 16, 2018
WHY IT’S OKAY TO BE SINGLE ON VALENTINE’S DAY BY ABBIE CALLAHAN
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You can learn from your friends' relationships. It can be a bummer when you're the only single one in your friend group, but think of it this way: you get to learn from all their drama so that you don't make the same mistakes when you start dating someone. It can also be a small victory when you see a couple bickering. You have time to do a million things like going to swim practice, making cookies at a friend’s house or babysitting the little girl next door. And that's only Monday. If you were in a relationship and spending all your free time with your significant other, you might not have time for all the awesomeness that's currently in your life. You will also have more time to dive into your studies. There will be less drama clouding your thoughts, leading to better grades and a higher drive to succeed. You're able to learn exactly who you are. Figuring out who you are and who you want to become is hard enough without the added pressure of being a good significant other.
When you're single, friendships are everything. Of course, people in relationships can have amazing friendships too, but you'll be happier without having to deal with the issue of splitting your time between your besties and your significant other.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ALYSON KUENNEN DESIGN BY MEGAN BOLAND
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In high school there is definitely a sense of urgency to secure a significant other. I can't be the only one who has fantasized about finding the boy of my dreams since they were five years old. In searching for my Prince Charming I have realized that sadly these fantasies aren't the reality of dating, especially not in high school. So don't fret; have a stress free Valentine’s Day and enjoy the reasons why being single is simply awesome.
You can crush on anyone, anytime, anywhere. This is a beautiful thing. Cutie in math class? On it. That hottie sitting in your row at the movie theater? Yep. That babe you stumbled across on Tumblr who has the coolest taste in music on the planet? Uh-huh. You always get to choose what to watch on movie nights or Netflix marathons. Let's face it, compromising on a two-hour movie is never fun.
You don't have to worry about your siblings embarrassing you. Yes, they'll definitely flip when they find out you're dating someone. They'll either get majorly overprotective or they'll try to embarrass you every chance they get.
It's no big deal if you've never officially dated anyone. That's extremely common in high school and even college; in fact, almost 40 percent of high schoolers decide not to date according to Child Trends, a non profit research organization. Lastly, when someone special comes along, you'll know it's right. Your time spent single means you have time to become the most authentic version of yourself without the need to impress or change yourself for another person.
E DITORIAL: A T R A DIT ION OF SIL EN CE
P OLICY P RO POSAL The Iowa City Community School District should update its Good Conductt Rule to outline specific policy guidelines for handling cases of bullying and harassment, particularly in instances where criminal charges have not been filed. A separate, transparent process should be established for handling cases in which sexual assault claims have been filed.
80 PER CE N T O F COU N SEL ORS FE E L U N PR EPA RE D TO HA N DL E S E X UA L M ISCO N D U C T COM PL A I N T S.
I N FAVOR OF TH E P O L I CY PRO PO SAL.
ccusations of sexual misconduct against an ever-growing list of public figures have precipitated discussions of sexual harassment and assault. This growing issue strikes close to home; numerous sources approached West Side Story and have all stated that they are unwilling to speak out publicly because of a disconnect they feel with the administration. West Side Story finds it necessary to propose policy changes that should be instituted in order to make students feel more comfortable reporting and discussing sexual harassment and assault. It is the Iowa City Community School District’s policy that all students must abide by the Good Conduct Rule, which states that students must “serve as good role models” in order to participate in extracurricular activities. The Good Conduct Rule lists some specific offenses, such as possession of alcohol or illegal substances and explicit punishments for each offense; however, bullying and harassment are not mentioned. Thus, one of the most glaring flaws with the Good Conduct Rule is that claims of bullying and harassment are not under the jurisdiction of the administration.
For example, when a case that falls under the Good Conduct Rule involving an athlete is reported to the administration, the decision of whether to punish the student is at the discretion of the coach of the sport in which the student is involved. Directors of other clubs have similar discretion in these decisions. According to West High’s athletic director Craig Huegel, all incidents are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, Huegel said, it is difficult to take action without a criminal charge being filed or actual substantiation of the claim. Yet not all victims are willing to undergo the process of filing criminal charges and may choose to seek help from the school instead. But even in cases where the administration decides a student’s bullying claim is founded, leaders of extracurriculars may choose not to take action. It is therefore important to establish specific policy guidelines for how the district should handle cases where claims of sexual misconduct have been made against a student. A specific step-bystep outline of how a sexual misconduct claim is processed by the administration needs to be written and made public in order to make the protocol transparent so that administrators are
held responsible for addressing sexual assault. Before establishing guidelines for handling claims of sexual misconduct, it’s important to first define all terminology relevant to the topic, including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual abuse, retaliation, stalking and intimidation. Above all, it is vital to define consent in the context of K-12 students, taking into account legal ages of consent and sexual or dating behavior in minors. It must be made clear that participation in sexual activity does not imply consent, and some students are unable to consent due to age, disability or intoxication from drugs or alcohol. Defining these terms will give students a baseline which they can use to file a sexual misconduct complaint, and help authorities know what to look for when conducting sexual misconduct investigations. The district must identify different methods a victim can take with regards to a sexual misconduct claim. Many students may be unsure of how to go about reporting sexual assault or harassment. There needs to be direct outreach to students to inform them of how to report an incident and to inform them of the resources the district has for both victims and witnesses seek-
O N E OF TH E MO ST G L A R I NG FLAWS W I TH TH E GOOD C O NDUCT RU LE IS T HAT CLAIMS O F BULLYI NG AND HA RAS S M ENT ARE N OT U NDER TH E J U R I S DI CTIO N O F TH E A D MI NI S TRATIO N. ing to help a friend. If a student wishes to file a criminal complaint, the district should provide contact information for the proper authorities and provide the victim with information on local or state laws regarding sexual misconduct. If a student does not feel comfortable with a formal criminal complaint, the district should make it clear that there is an option to file a confidential complaint with an independent investigation conducted by the ICCSD or West High administrators. This investigation process should be made transparent to those involved in the confidential complaint by providing timeframes starting with the beginning of the investigation and ending with the verdict. The timeframe should not be used to rush an investigation and render incomplete results but rather as a means to provide reassurance and further transparency to the victim regarding the investigation process. The student should be made aware of the standards that investigators will use to gather evidence. The student should be made to understand that specific details and punishments cannot be disclosed under state and federal privacy laws. The district should outline specific punishments, po-
tentially including but not limited to: sanctions; in-school accommodations for the complainant, including increased monitoring or schedule changes; and rehabilitation measures for the perpetrator, including counseling or courses on sexual misconduct. Although the ICCSD’s bullying hotline is an important anonymous resource, students may still feel uncomfortable reporting sexual misconduct because it is unclear what happens after a text is sent. Therefore, a clear process for investigating sexual misconduct is crucial not only to ensuring the administration is accountable for fairly evaluating each case, but also to giving victims a sense of agency throughout the process. In addition, the district must also establish safeguards to prevent retaliation against victims or witnesses who choose to report an incident. The administration should encourage students to come forward anonymously and institute a set of sanctions that may be taken against students who harass victims following the filing of an incident. If a report of sexual assault comes to the district, the victim should be immediately offered resources such as help from an advocate or academic accommodations.
Lastly, but most importantly, both members of the school community and the district must be made aware of the district’s sexual misconduct policy. The effort to prevent sexual misconduct must be preceded by an effort to educate students on the harmful effects it can have and how sexual misconduct will be punished. The district should thus create a mandatory information session for all members of the school district regarding sexual misconduct policy and outline and schedule other programs. Above all, employees, particularly guidance counselors, should be trained on how to handle complaints. According to a study from Break the Cycle, 80 percent of counselors feel unprepared to handle sexual misconduct complaints. The district thus should train all its counselors on the specifics of the new policy and use sexual misconduct experts and officers to train all relevant personnel in the investigation process. It is important that the district makes a broad commitment to policy change instead of handling sexual misconduct as isolated instances; this is a necessary step in transforming the ICCSD community into a safe space and in building trust between the students and the administrators. This is not to say that the administration does not have policies in place to protect victims; West High offers academic accommodations for victims of sexual harassment or assault, which include making changes to students’ schedules so that a victim will not have to see their harasser in the hallways or parking lot. Counselors and teachers are available to help students at any time. However, we hope these proposed policies will open the discussion for effectuating positive change. The Good Conduct Rule hasn’t been updated since 2011. It’s time to bring it in line with current, pressing issues at West.
Editorial Policy: Sources may wish to have their names withheld from a particular story, and some may have valid reasons for this. The Editorial Board will decide on a case-by-case basis whether anonymity may be granted to protect the source. The Board recognizes that a high school is a very confined community of young people, and that some topics, while important to the community, may involve public embarrassment and official sanctions if names are printed. Once anonymity is granted, the Board must stand behind its decision, whatever the pressure. This, therefore, is a weighty decision. PHOTOS BY PAREEN MHATRE PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANGELA ZIRBES DESIGN BY CATHERINE JU
OPINION FEB. 16, 2018
CREATIVE CURRENT BY MICAH BRODSKY ‘18
ainstream creativity sounds like an oxymoron. Isn’t the whole point of creativity to be different and original to show the world your individual worldview? Technically, yes. The reality, however? There’s a figurative river of collective creativity, and in modern society, the works that garner the most attention are the ones who swim with the current and follow similar plotlines with different characters and settings. If people who are supposedly guilty of using similar concepts are caught, they are shredded by society and written off as unoriginal frauds. Don’t believe me? Let me show you. Picture this: a dystopian future, where the world as we know it is gone. All that is left is a high-tech society completely different from our own. This society is divided into rigid social groups that are stringently monitored. Our protagonist is a girl in the very lowest of the low within the society. She has been forced to fend for herself due to circumstances beyond her control for as long as she can remember, and she is of self-professed average beauty. All of a sudden, a tremendous change dramatically overturns her life, and she is forced to enter a completely different lifestyle and
adapt quickly or die. She also begins to learn secrets about her world, while falling for two guys: one from her past in the low caste of society and one from her new life. Now, she must survive both her external and internal struggles. Was I describing Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games,” Veronica Roth’s “Divergent,” Ally Condie’s “Matched” trilogy, or Kiera Cass’s “The Selection” series? As an author, avoiding drowning in this
“OU R SOCI ET Y PR AI SES O RI G I NALIT Y AN D PLACES IT O N A PE DESTAL , TOO H I G H FO R ANYO N E WITH OUT EX TR AO R D I NARY TALE NT TO ACH I EVE .” vortex of repeated concepts is exhausting. Whenever I come up with an idea I feel confident sharing with other people, I’m always nervous that I’m going to see their face turn sour right before they say that my idea sounds exactly like something else. Whenever that happens, I curse the writing gods for giving me such a great idea that already exists. I love the “Eragon” series, but there are critics who say that aside from several minor details, it is essentially a high fantasy version of Star Wars. Our society praises originality and places it on a pedestal, too high for anyone without extraordinary talent to achieve. We dismiss ideas such as misunderstood
goth vampires as cliches and belittle them to the point that people feel like they’re not worthy of creating if they want to create it. That is incredibly far from the truth. In my opinion, creativity should be something that is decided on a case by case basis. Yes, some things are obvious rip-offs, but unless it operates exactly the same as the thing we are accusing it of copying, calling it a ripoff is demeaning to the creator and the effort they put into it. Is no one else allowed to write about wizard school because J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter? Is the topic of mutants taboo because Stan Lee coined the X-Men? Can no one make a film about the Titanic or other tragedies because of James Cameron’s emotional interpretation of it? Also consider that even Disney, the titan of the animation business, reuses its old ideas. Just look at the live action versions of classics such as “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Jungle Book.” Doing something that is similar to something else isn’t necessarily unoriginal; it’s all about the spin you take on it. Using a concept such as the story of Sleeping Beauty and then turning it on its head to tell the story from the villain’s perspective is one of the reasons for the movie Maleficent’s success. The message that I hope you, the reader, take away from this is that if you want to create something, create it. Even if it’s literally just the plot of Harry Potter with different characters and Harry’s a girl and his siblings died instead of his parents, write it. Any creation that helps you further yourself and your talents is something that deserves to be created. As a society, we give too many things lip service. Let’s not let our commitment to individual creation be one of them.
PHOTO BY KARA WAGENKNECHT DESIGN BY SELINA HUA
P H OTO F E AT U R E C O N T I N U E D
Emma Koch ‘19 attempts to make a basket, while City High’s Aubrey Joens ‘18 blocks the throw on Jan. 23. The Women of Troy lost to City High 70-79.
C D N SE IO IS T M EC NN
S The forces are so strong between us not even Mr. Kahler can keep us apart <3 I hope the motion map shows you moving towards me.
To anyone who might be interested: hmu on my google+ dating profile I’m lonely as hell. From: the poor soul still using gchat
Dear boy who is talented even if he doesn’t know it with the great hair you’re really really great, thanks for talking about vines with me, you’re the best, let’s date. -Miss Keisha
Music to my ears. Apple of my eye. Sweet pea. Octopus legs. No other man for me. Wait for me, babe. Adorable angel. Nestle in my arms. Graticulation.
To cute quiet girl: you cute ig. My sweet bearded casanova, please notice me. Much love, a super shy gal.
Brown Eyes, sometimes I’ll catch yours looking at me in class. We broke up a couple years ago and we’ve both moved on, but those eyes will always be the best part of my day.
Dear show choir dreamboat, I really don’t know how I’m still breathing because every time I see your hair flowing and your boy song facials, I die a little. To the boy in AP English, You will always be literally every girl thinks in the front row of you’re super hot and you already my heart. I’ve got rejected me but hey, everyone my “eye on you.” deserves a second chance right? XOXO To the girl I walk past by the library every day, you beautiful and let DESIGN BY FRANCES DAI me know when you want to get married.
COMPILED BY LUCY POLYAK
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