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May 10, 2013

FUTUR E PL Check out ANS the center spread to see who’s going where.



8701 Pacific St. Omaha, NE 68114

Volume 57 Issue 8


Journalism guru completes distinguished Westside career

By Emma Johanningsmeier EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

To journalism advisers around the state and around the country, Rod Howe is a high school journalism expert. He’s the winner of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Key, the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award, and the adviser of an award-winning newspaper and yearbook. To his colleagues in the journalism department, he’s a mentor and a friend, the guy to go to for advice about anything publication-related. He was even the teacher magazine adviser Nathan Moseley student taught with in the spring of 2003. And to the student members of Westside journalism, he’s the friendly face in the J-room, the person who regularly sends out e-mails about things to cover in the newspaper and yearbook. He’s also the guy who’s famous for flipping the journalism couch when he gets frustrated with his staffs. And after this year, he won’t be around to do that anymore. Howe had planned to retire after two more years, but since the district’s generous payout policy is going away after this year, he decided now was the time to go. It’s bittersweet, because Westside journalism has been his life for the past 23 years. It started in 1990, when Howe was working as an English teacher and newspaper and yearbook adviser in Sidney, NE. He’d been looking to move to a larger city, somewhere he could work on a masters degree, and he wanted to be in a program that was journalism only. Then, John Hudnall, the journalism adviser who was leaving Westside, called and suggested Howe apply for his position. Howe filled out his letter of application, and “went from there.”

Omaha and Westside weren’t easy to get used to, though. Coming from a hometown of 160 people, Howe found it almost overwhelming having 150 students in his journalism program alone. But he’d inherited a great program. Hudnall had maintained high standards within the journalism program, and at first Howe just wanted to maintain those standards. By the second year or so, he was comfortable enough with how the Lance and Shield operated that he was ready to start adding his personal touch. Although Hudnall’s publications were strong, he didn’t have any background in photojournalism, and the photo department hadn’t been great. The newspaper photographer the first year didn’t have any experience shooting photos, so Howe ended up taking a lot of them himself. Through the years after that, he built a solid photojournalism class, which he considers “one of the greatest improvements” since he’s been here. Not only has the class proven successful, but it’s also been popular. This semester alone, he has 30 students enrolled. But it wasn’t only the photojournalism class that made the photos better. At a certain point, Howe decided he shouldn’t be taking photos for the newspaper and yearbook, and he started giving students in continued on page 2

Ph oto by Es tell aF ox

In a mural on the J-room wall, journalism adviser Rod Howe is featured holding a lance and a shield to represent the two publications he advises.

Language department faculty leave Westside By Joe Hack EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Spanish Instructor Ricardo Varguez leads his Spanish 4 Honors class through whiteboard races on May 7. Varguez has been teaching at Westside for 10 years. Photo by Sarah Lemke

Over a half century of teaching experience in the World Language department will be lost to retirement, higher education opportunities and international jobs in the next year. Department head Mitzi Delman, Spanish instructors John White and Ricardo Varguez and German instructor Diane Wulf will all be gone next year. White has had an itch to travel the world and experience other cultures for many years. By his count he has visited 43 countries, having toured Latin America and Southeast Asia extensively. White has intended to teach abroad since receiving his graduate degree from UNO, but didn’t have the chance to apply for international positions until last September, when he applied through International School Services to several international schools in Asia and Latin America. The perfect opportunity to go abroad presented itself when the Cayman International School offered White a position as a middle/high school Spanish instructor, which he has accepted. “I love to travel,” White said. “I love to get out and see the world. I’ve volunteered abroad with the Irish Christian Brothers and now I’m teaching abroad.” The school, located on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean Sea, has an enrollment of 400 students, most

of them the children of foreign diplomats and businessmen. White’s two children, who are elementary schoolaged, will attend the school and his wife will work as a guidance counselor at the same school. White, who was a college basketball player, hopes to coach as well. Instead of bus rides across Nebraska, White can look forward to boat trips across the Caribbean to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic for away games. “I’ll have the opportunity to continue coaching,” White said. “I’m excited about it because people will come visit. It’ll be warm, and my wife and I, and my kids will be at the same school.” The Cayman Islands’ natural attributes and renowned beaches have made it a popular tourist destination, and White and his family certainly plan to take advantage of those amenities while there. However, White also hopes to immerse himself in a new culture and expose his children to a highly diverse learning environment. Although the Cayman Islands are largely supported by American and European tourists and only 4o% of the population is native, White expects there to be a transition typical of moving to any foreign country. “I call it ‘the National Geographic stage,’ when everything is just beautiful and awesome,” White said. “Then you go through the struggles of living there. Then, you come out of it really appreciating the culture and understanding it.”



May 10, 2012

HOWE: beloved adviser retires after 20 years

Far left: Journalism adviser Rod Howe teaches Mass Communication, the introduction to journalism course. Howe will retire this year after an illustrious career at Westside. Photo by Estella Fox Left: Howe helps yearbook staff member Kelly Grubb during the 1992-93 school year. Photo courtesy of Rod Howe Above: Lance managing editor Sophie Goldberg pretends to be Howe in a humorous video the newspaper staff recently made for Howe. The video depicts everything devolving into chaos after Howe’s retirement and ends with the words “Howe will we function?” Photo by Emma Johanningsmeier continued from page 2 general more responsibility. He said the journalism program has reaped the rewards. “In the last 10 to 15 years I’ve been able to let go a lot more as far as trust and confidence, and I can’t put a turning point on that for me in terms of those skills,” Howe said. “As you guys know, I think the better the production is, the more I trust the editors-in-chief and managing editors. And then the editors-in-chief and managing editors feel more responsible, and thus feel more empowered to do it right. I think I’ve become much better at just simply advising and steering people in the right direction.” This has certainly proved successful as a strategy for winning awards. Although Howe said that’s “icing on the cake,” the fact that Westside has won a number of state journalism championships, including one this year, is testament to the fact that he has built a great program. So is the number of Westside journalism graduates who have gone on to be successful in professional journalism. One of Howe’s former students, Sara Kugler Frazier, was an AP reporter for 10 years, and is now the managing editor of NBC New Another graduate was the editor-in-chief of Chicago Social magazine for years. Another got a job as an anchor at a major TV station in St. Louis. One now works as a feature writer at the World-Herald right here in Omaha. Maggie Tomasek Jenkins, a 1998 graduate who was a managing editor of the Lance her senior year, worked as a sports journalist at several

newspapers, from Utica, N.Y. to Des Moines, before moving to Chicago, where she now works as the communications director for a local Chicago Teamsters Union. When Jenkins spoke at the end-of year journalism banquet Monday, April 29, she told about about how working on the Lance taught her the value of teamwork and good writing. She also credited Howe with setting her on the path to professional journalism. “Mr. Howe instilled in me some of the core attributes of an outstanding journalist — curiosity, creativity, and confidence,” Jenkins said. But besides gaining these invaluable attributes from Howe, Jenkins said she enjoyed memorable times in the J-room with the Lance staff, coming up with cheesy headlines and having fun. This certainly rings true to current newspaper and yearbook staff members, who are likewise part of the culture Howe has helped build. And Howe himself is an integral part of this culture. Last year, the Lance staff experimented with a “house point” system modeled off Hogwarts, and posted in the J-room a picture of Howe’s face Photoshopped into a picture of Albus Dumbledore. The result: the journalism headmaster “Howbledore”. Junior John Ficenec, a yearbook photographer, said Howe’s face has also been put into a picture of Jesus, and a picture from the Twilight movies. “I think he’s just kind of an icon in himself, and so that’s why we like to put him on famous figures or whatever,” Ficenec said.

Mr. Howe instilled in me some of the core attributes of an outstanding journalist. Maggie Jenkins Westside graduate

Ficenec said he was a little nervous when he signed up for yearbook for his sophomore year, because he’d heard Howe could be grumpy, but “all those fears went away.” Ficenec said he and Howe became closer through being the only men on an almost all-female yearbook staff. Occasionally, they plan days when they dress up in matching outfits. Like Ficenec, Howe said he’ll always look back on his time at Westside with pride and good memories. And he said besides improving as a teacher and adviser, he’s figured out something about himself. “I’ve learned that teenagers can become great leaders and mature people that deserve respect a lot earlier than a lot of other adults would expect,” Howe said. “To me, the word trust has been a big part of who I am, and my relationships with students.” High school journalism isn’t like this everywhere. In particular, some journalism advisers run into problems with their administrations and get frustrated with censorship. But at Westside, it’s never been like that. Early on in Howe’s career the yearbook staff printed photos of beer cans that upset some parents, which prompted the idea of a review committee for newspaper and yearbook content, but the committee never materialized. “There’s been other controversial issues, but I’ve always had great support and backing from the administration,” Howe said. In fact, in his address at the journalism banquet this year, Howe said he couldn’t have done what he has without the support of four superintendents, five principals and two English department heads. He also thanked Rasgorshek and Moseley for everything, as well as his family and the dedicated journalism students he has advised through the years. Mr. Howe, the gratitude is mutual.


1991: Howe’s first year at Westside




Soccer teams play in benefit for cancer education and research By Zane Fletcher MANAGING EDITOR

The Westside varsity boys and girls soccer teams participated in the eighth annual Kicks for a Cure soccer exhibition weekend April 19-20. The boys squad played against Creighton Prep, losing in a hard-fought game 4-3. The girls team also was defeated after putting forth a tremendous effort, falling to No. 1-ranked Marian 2-0. Kicks for a Cure is a benefit event for Liz’s Legacy, and features both a mens and womens high school soccer match, along with both mens and womens collegiate matches. The benefit, aimed at raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, also includes a banquet and a soccer clinic hosted by the Creighton womens team for area youth. Since its inaugural event in 2007, the total amount raised each year by the games has increased significantly, from $107,000 to over $230,000 in 2012. Liz’s Legacy has a special connection to District

66, as Liz Karnes (for whom the foundation is named) served as a school board member in the district for 17 years. “The Karnes family feels a connection to our school,” Athletic Director Tom Kerkman said. “When they started Kicks for a Cure, we weren’t in it for two years and they always wanted us back in. Our school has adopted it as one of our major fundraisers, and it’s a great event for the school and the kids.” Westside has participated in the event for the last two years, but had not been involved for the two years prior. This year, Westside raised approximately $10,000 for Liz’s Legacy, compared to an average of around $1,000 to $2,000 for other area high schools. Westside soccer teams also visit patients at Children’s Hospital. “It’s part of what our soccer culture is about,” Kerkman said. “A lot of their effort is trying to promote this cause. It’s not just playing in a game for them — it’s so much bigger.”

Junior Summer Khalil dribbles around a Marian defender during the Kicks for a Cure game April 20. Westside was defeated by No. 1-ranked Marian 2-0. Photo by Estella Fox


May 10, 2013


Wellness award

Westside becomes first district to receive distinction By Connor Flairty OPINION EDITOR

The Well Workplace Platinum Award is given by The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), which distributes this award, along with others, to businesses who link health promotion with their business outcomes. On April 23, Westside Community Schools became the first school district in the nation and one of just 37 businesses ever to win the award. Though District 66 just received the wellness award this year, the district has been involved in the program for over 30 years. “We have been pretty instrumental in this organization since it started,” Westside Wellness board member Rick Avard said. Avard is one of four board members who help organize District 66’s involvement in WELCOA. The Westside Wellness board was founded in 1982. “After all these years — we just applied and applied [for awards],” Avard said. “Finally, we received the Platinum Award.” The Platinum Award is the highest of four awards. Westside has achieved each, and has been the first school to do so each time. To earn these awards, businesses must score points in seven benchmarks. The benchmarks include ways to score points, from CEO support to creating a supportive environment for wellness. Many think that wellness just deals with physical health, but WELCOA believes wellness is much more then that. “Wellness is much more than merely physical health, exercise or nutrition,” wellness board member Stephanie Hornung said. “The Westside wellness model includes social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness.” One way the district is promoting these wellness

traits is through multiple online programs staff compete in, the latest being the Mission to Mars Fitness Challenge this April. Staff members pick teams or compete individually to see who can get the best score. Ways to score points include 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week or sleeping seven to nine hours five days a week. This program has been a hit, according to board members. “Mission to Mars has been extremely successful,” board member Peg Cramer said. “The staff love the competition, [and] like to one-up each other, have fun and be healthy.” In these online programs, staff participation has resulted in Westside’s award. Sixty-six percent of all staff, from custodians to administrators, competed in the Mission to Mars program. “To me it’s just amazing that this many people within our district want the best for themselves,” Cramer said. According to Avard, being a teacher makes participation even more difficult. “This is an industry where many do not have the luxury of a lunch hour,” Avard said. “So for us to have the participation that we do is quite astounding.” Even though it is more difficult for school staff to participate, the support remains strong. “What makes us successful here is the support that we get from the top all the way down,” Avard said. “Any company with lack of support, it just will not work.” Although the award is nice, the true function of the Westside Wellness board is to create an overall healthier staff, according to Cramer. “These programs not only are fun but they simply make you feel better,” Cramer said. The programs also make a better work environment in general. “Our goal is to develop a positive school culture

that is focused on celebrating and improving the quality of life for all employees,” Hornung said. With all the benefits that have come out of the award and the program, the board plans to continue it, by doing many things, including getting students involved. “We would like to keep up the participation levels, and our level of platinum, and eventually leak this all down to the students,” Cramer said. So, in the near future students may also be competing in online programs or joining walking clubs, being just as involved as school staff are in their own quest for wellness.

Physical education instructor Craig Secora works out after school. Photo by Estella Fox

WORLD LANGUAGE: Percival to become department chair

Spanish instructor John White leads a Spanish class in room 146. White will be taking a leave of absence next year to teach at the Cayman International on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. Photo by Estella Fox

continued from page 1 While White and his family are tremendously excited about the move, they plan to keep their house in Omaha, and White has taken only a leave of absence. “There is a chance that we could just end up loving it and staying there,” White said. “I have wanderlust big time, but we haven’t sold our house yet. So, there’s a strong chance we’ll be back.” Westside’s language students may have Cayman pen pals next year. White is trying to establish some collaborative learning channels between the Cayman International School and Westside. While White is excited for the change, he will also miss Westside. “I like the students,” White said. “I really like the students and I like my colleagues, who are knowledgeable and professional.” The Spanish Department will also lose instructor Ricardo Varguez next year, who will pursue a job in academia. Varguez, a native Spanish speaker, has taught in the district for 10 of the past 11 years. He holds a PhD in Foreign Language Instruction and Instructional Technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Varguez came to Nebraska after completing college in Mexico. He never intended to work here until his wife, a former Westside teacher, invited him to lecture. The school soon after offered him a job. “I thought I would only be at Westside for five years,” Varguez said. “But I loved

it and ended up staying for 10.” Now, Varguez will teach prospective language teachers about how to be better, more effective and technologically literate instructors. Regional universities such as UNL, UNO, Creighton University and Midlands College have all invited Varguez to apply for a teaching position. He expects to hear back soon from those institutions. As a graduate student Varguez has had many professors who didn’t connect well with students and were aloof teachers. “I feel that so many of the higher ed [education] professors have been disconnected from reality, so immersed in the theories that they forget the great elements of teaching,” Varguez said. “We do a great job of teaching at Westside so that every student learns something at the end of the day. I want to join higher ed [education] to see if I can change the paradigm a little bit and bring higher quality education to college.” Varguez, the department’s only native Spanish speaker, has thrived as the Spanish 5 AP teacher. As a native speaker, Varguez can anticipate what vocabulary will appear on the AP test and make higher-level students aware of their proficiency. However, Varguez appreciates the strengths of his non-native colleagues and believes students benefit from a mixture. “I don’t think an ideal department would be full of native speakers, because we’re not looking for perfection,” Varguez said. “People bring different skills to the table.” Although his students are changing, Varquez is grateful for the time he’s spent at Westside. “I’m going to miss working with students,” Varguez said. “Not everybody is a strong foreign language student, but if you stay in that class and do your best you are going to leave with something meaningful from that class.” The Foreign Language department will also be losing two of its most experienced and distinguished faculty this year to retirement. Department Chair Mitzi Delman and German instructor Diane Wulf are both leaving Westside. French instructor Sarah Percival will assume department chair duties next year. The department will miss its four departing teachers. “There’s not an easy way to replace all the experience that is leaving,” Percival said. “It’s just a matter of identifying the things we do well and continuing to do them well and improving the things that need improving.” Enrollment is increasing in the Latin department and more kids are taking two languages. Percival would like to develop an AP French class and bring other classes, like Italian, into the curriculum. However, budget constraints make such changes unlikely in the short term. “I would love for us to be so busy teaching French that my department role becomes secondary, because our students come first,” Percival said. “I hope I’m not naïve in saying that my role as a teacher won’t change.”



May 10, 2012

lance The Lance is a schoolsponsored publication of Westside High School, Westside Community Schools, 8701 Pacific St., Omaha, NE 68144. The Lance office is located in room 251. Phone: (402) 3432650. The Lance is an in-house publication. The paper is distributed every month to all students, except in vacation periods. Subscription rates to others are $25 prepaid. The Lance is printed by White Wolf Web, in Sheldon, IA. Advertising rates are available upon request. The Lance editorial staff reserves the right to edit all ads for clarity and grammatical errors. The editorial staff reserves the right not to publish any ads that are libelous or that contain non-factual information. The Lance editorial staff also reserves the right to nullify contracts at any time without prior notification. The Lance also refuses ads that promote activities illegal to a majority of the student readership. Reader response is welcomed in the form of letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300 words, signed by the author and sent to room 251. Names may be withheld upon special request. Lance editors will decide whether to honor such requests. The Lance editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and grammatical errors. The editorial staff also reserves the right to not publish any letters that are libelous or that contain non-factual information. The Lance is a member of the Nebraska High School Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill & Scroll Society. The Lance staff recognizes that the administration of Westside Community Schools controls the curriculum and, thus, sets the parameters of the production process of school publications. The Lance staff also recognizes its own responsibilities to inform, enlighten and entertain its readers in a way that reflects high standards of journalism, morals and ethics. Editors-in-Chief Joe Hack, Emma Johanningsmeier; Managing Editors Zane Fletcher, Sophie Goldberg; News Editor Kellie Wasikowski; Opinion Editors Connor Flairty, Tom Schueneman; Feature and InDepth Editor Andrew McVea; Sports Editor Aren Rendell; Arts & Entertainment Editor Skylar Harris; Staff Writers Ellie Anderson-Smith, Sophie Clark, Grace Fogland, Tim Graves; Photo Editors Aaron Boyle, Estella Fox; Staff Photographer Sarah Lemke; Business Manager Kate Durst; Adviser Rod Howe.

Graphic by Joe Hack

Immigration issue needs more debate If there has been a single defining feature of the American political system over the last decade, it has been extreme polarization. No legislation of any significance gets passed without a legislative battle from which the original intent of the bill is lucky to escape alive. The universal support for immigration reform, then, should come as a welcome reprieve. Granted, the reason for this agreement is almost entirely political, but it is agreement, and that alone is practically worthy of a memorial. This welcome display of bipartisanship should not, however, do away entirely with the system of legislative inertia that the framers of the Constitution envisioned in the legislative bodies they laid out. To be sure, immigration reform is sorely needed in this country. There are roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and while there may be some debate as to what hypothetical state of affairs would be ideal, the status quo quite clearly isn’t. Hardline conservatives would clearly prefer to have fewer undocumented immigrants competing with American workers, while liberals clearly don’t want 11 million people denied the rights of naturalized citizens. Inaction is ideologically untenable for both sides. But for Republicans, even certain positive actions may be untenable in the near future given the demographic shifts of the nation, and instead Republicans are submitting surprisingly readily to Democratic proposals — which isn’t an inherently terrible practice. However, an issue like this warrants more discussion than it has been getting recently. The concern here is that in their haste to monopolize the rapidly growing Hispanic vote, both

parties appear to be more interested in political expediency than in creating the organizational infrastructure for immigration in the coming decades. The fact is, both sides have political gains to make from a more lenient and comprehensive immigration bill. The Democrats won the 2012 presidential election with 72% of the Hispanic vote and 76% of the Asian demographic, which constitute 80% and 11% of the undocumented immigrant population respectively. If the immigration bill passes, Nate Silver, the New York Times statistical guru, predicts 50% of the 11 million unauthorized citizens in America currently will become citizens. Of those, 50% can be expected to become active voters. Factoring in natural demographic growth and racial voting preferences, the Democrats will win the next nine elections and have 419 electoral votes in the 2048 election. Even Texas, that bastion of conservatism, will become blue. And even if the Republicans succeed in completely denying citizenship to illegal immigrants for the next 10 election cycles, Democrats will still have 378 electoral votes by 2048. Demographic forces will favor the Democrats as the Republican Party wanes into irrelevance. So the Republicans clearly have a strong incentive to cultivate a broader Hispanic base and win voters with proactive immigration reform. The Republican National Committee, has exhorted its politicians to pass an immigration overhaul or else face the prospect of eradication. Immigration reform should not be treated like a political tool, it

should be treated like a practical necessity.   The mutual political expediency of an immigration bill gives it a good chance of passing. However, the worry is that legislators will take the route that’s most politically feasible as opposed to most democratically sound. Democrats know they have a sizable percentage of the Hispanic vote regardless of the bill, while Republicans are quickly realizing they have to pass something if they are to remain competitive, even if the bill is toothless in practice. The confluence of these two positions will inevitably lead to bad policy.   At present, the proposal outlines a system in which immigrants who came to the United States prior to Dec. 31, 2011 will be allowed to apply for “provisional citizenship.” However, immigrants coming into the country after this date will have to undergo a lengthy citizenship process that will take the better part of a decade. Meanwhile, the government will continue throwing money at the border in an attempt to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants — an effort that will likely be no more successful than similar efforts have been in the past decade. While the bill addresses the significant problem posed by the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States now in a humanitarian way, it will likely do little to reform the immigration practices that have failed so spectacularly in recent years. The inevitable inefficacy of this legislation is the direct result of the failure by both parties to actually debate one of the few issues that actually warrants a prolonged national discussion, not a self -serving grab for political capital.

warrior voice

What do you think of NBA player Jason Collins coming out?

I believe that it will inspire young athletes to keep playing, no matter what their sexuality.

It’s good for him. He obviously earned his way there and should be accepted.

He is very brave and courageous, but I think they are making too big of a deal out of it.







I think it’s cool that he was able to do that. JACOB KOESTER senior


May 10, 2012


Seniors Joe Hack and Zane Fletcher lounge in the sun on a lazy Monday afternoon while showing off their styles. Zane and Joe are certified advice columnists and beekeepers. Photos by Estella Fox


Two friends share thoughts on love and life By Joe Hack & Zane Fletcher EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & MANAGING EDITOR


We know each other’s fashions so well that we decided to write about our exquisite fashion senses for one another. Enjoy. You’re welcome. Zane (by Joe): I wake up each morning at 4:30, long before the stars have lapsed into the cradle of the lambent dawn. And, as the city slumbers fitfully and the moist night air cloaks the grass with rivulets of dew, I put on my cozy Forever 21 robe, step into my Ugg slippers and gel my hair with enough product to season 10 woks. I, Zane Fletcher, take a lot of pride in my glorious mane. My beautifully coiffed faux-hawk is the envy of all the lesser men who bask in its spiky glow. Girls are slave to its seductive powers. How many have thrown themselves at my feet, cast their clothes off with feral abandon and sworn their undying love for merely one stroke of my ebony locks! Please, ladies, have a little self-respect, cuz this Hebrew is taken! My hair walks, nay, segues the line between sexily tousled and hipsterishly disheveled. All future Fletcher spawn: you’re welcome. I apologize for all my future shortcomings as a father, but damn, children, you all have fine heads of hair! Did I mention I was once a ginger? When it comes to my other assets I have only one rule: show as much ankle as is socially acceptable and then go two steps beyond that. I do not own any pair of pants that is not permanently cuffed to mid-thigh, nor for that matter have I ever worn socks on my feet. As long as the sun’s out, as long as the earth’s rotating on its axis, I will be wearing a pair of lurid flat- tops, pastel cords and some type of sweater or long-sleeved T, rolled up to accentuate my massive forearms. I’ve never seen an outfit that couldn’t be made better with a bow tie and/or cardigan. (I hope you’re taking notes wherever you are, Justin Bieber, you fat slob.) I am many things: painfully handsome, exquisitely sensitive, stunningly articulate, legally blind, not allowed within 50 feet of a Chucky E. Cheese, but above all I am a trendsetter and a maverick. I am on the cutting edge of the hair stuck to the cutting edge of the razor that is fashion at this school! I am Zane Fletcher and I will not be tamed! Joe (by Zane): I really value my beauty rest. I wake up around 7:50 each morning to a pitch-black room. Without opening my carpetlike shades or illuminat-

ing my room in any way, I feel around my floor until my groping hands hit enough clothing to constitute an outfit. After nearly suffocating myself by attempting to put my pants on my upper body, I finally figure out the correct placement for my clothing. When I turn on the light and take in my image, I find I am clad in an awkwardly short pair of shorts and a mismatching sweater. I slip my white Crocs onto my feet, which are already clad in socks knit by my mother. Perfect. I push my luscious curls out of my face — blond hairs plucked from an angel’s bottom. I check my rosy complexion in the mirror, and decide to touch up my blush a little bit. My eyes, perfectly defined, require a hint of guyliner to make my captivating blue eyes pop. A watch always adorns my wrist. It’s not like I ever use it, but it gives off the aura that I care about whether I am on time or not. One time, in the subway of Toronto, my chiseled face attracted the attention of a short, balding Frenchman who decided I was worthy of a modeling career. He mentioned my strong jawline and my piercing blue eyes as point of interest, and offered me a business card. However, I was worried my visage would detract from the clothing I was supposed to be modeling, and I therefore declined. I am the most oblivious ladies’ man around, and I stroll the halls without noticing a single stare. That could be due to my mountainous height, as my 6’5” frame often disallows me from viewing my peers without stooping to their level. Anyway, I digress. Women walk into walls when they see me, completely unaware of anything but my beauteous countenance. My incessant pushups have left me with a build to die for, and biceps that could crush a truck. All said, I am the slob that pulls it off. The grime that looks great. The cutie with a booty. I am the man girls around the world see in their dreams, and are shocked to see outside of them. I am Joe Hack, slob lady killer.

Being on time

Take heed of this relatively useful advice from two boys who found out they had very little to say of actual use. Zane: I have never been tardy to a class or to a homeroom. My sterling attendance record is a direct inverse of that of my colleague and close friend, Joe Hack. I can vividly recall moments where I sprinted through the hallways, dodged freshmen like an NFL running back, opened the door and slid into class barely on time.

Why, you might ask, do I feel this need for promptness? Why, you probably ask, do I spurn socialization in favor of being to class four minutes early? The answer largely stems from a fifth-grade baseball coach I had the (mis)pleasure of having. His mantra was “If you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re 15 minutes late.” While I still struggle with the math surrounding this logic, the general idea stuck with me. My promptness, as well as the way I present myself, have garnered me much appreciation in the teaching community. When teachers see me on their roster they definitely let out an audible “yes!” full of exuberance. I am also humble. The most humble. There is a flip side to my personal choice, however: a way of life perpetrated by my aforementioned nonamorous lover — constant tardiness. While there may be benefits (longer sleep time, more sleep, sleeping longer) there are also many detractors, namely paranoia, high blood pressure and stress. Joe: I have never successfully made it to school on time for more than three consecutive days in my entire high school career. I usually accrue six tardies within the first 10 days of each new month. While walking into school on a rare punctual morning a few weeks ago I was startled by the strange ringing of a bell and freaked out because I thought a tornado drill was going on. It turned out it was the 7:55 bell, which I had not heard in two years. My friend and mentor, Zane Fletcher, says the detractors of a late lifestyle are “paranoia, high blood pressure and stress.” I find that the opposite is true. I get stressed out when I’m early. It makes me physically uncomfortable to be early. I think I’m in the wrong place, or that there’s been a mistake. However, allow me to qualify the last paragraph. I don’t see the necessity of being on time to homeroom, because nothing of academic benefit happens in homeroom. I don’t need it to get homework done and I can get the announcements through PowerSchool. Homeroom, in a perfect world, would simply be a buffer period, a 15-minute window for you to get to school before your first-period class. Attendance would be taken at the end and somebody would bring donuts every morning. In most contexts I understand the importance of being on time: actual classes (sorry, Mr. Schmeckpeper, for being consistently late to Wednesday first-mod AP Chem), dentist appointments, weddings, court dates, etc... So, Zane, my esteemed colleague in advice, do whatever floats your boat, but know that late people can have fulfilling, stress-free lives too.

The Facts 70 mph: the top speed a cheetah can attain in pursuit of prey. The cheetah lives in the savannahs of Africa and subsists on a diet of small mammals. 1-mile box: if you took all 7 billion people in the world and compacted them into a cube one mile wide, one mile tall and one mile deep, that box could be hidden in a remote corner of the Grand Canyon and never found. 900 minutes: the approximate combined run length of the three Lord of The Rings movies, extended edition. Zane and Joe have watched all three movies in succession, twice. 300 lbs: The total weight of Hanover’s sourdough pretzels Zane has consumed in his life thus far. Zane has been known to inhale several pounds during one sitting.



May 10, 2012

Senators block gun bill, fail citizens Shootings have become a growing issue. There is no wonder that one of the longtime goals of President Barack Obama is to increase gun control. Finally, a major step was taken to increase gun safety meaConnor Flairty sures. On April Opinion Editor 17 a bill was proposed to the Senate. The proposition, named the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, would have increased background checks to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. The bill focuses mainly on mental illness, due to the fact that Newtown, CT shooter Adam Lanza suffered from poor mental health. However, even in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, the Senate still denied the bill. The vote resulted in 54 votes for the bill and 46 against, with 60 votes needed to pass the bill. This serves as a huge roadblock for Democrats, who hope to bring more gun control to avoid more mass killing tragedies. President Obama described it as a “shameful day in Washington,” as the families of victims from such tragedies as the Virginia Tech, Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings waited 0utside the Senate chamber only to receive a shocking and disappointing result. Though gun-related tragedies are now becoming a bigger and bigger issue in our society, why do many senators treat it like it is no big deal? How many more tragedies does this nation have to endure for this bill to pass? When will we grant this issue the concern it deserves? Those opposing the bill include most gun enthusiasts, including the National Rifle Association, which has over 5 million members. However, a smaller but still major group, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, actually broke away from most gun associations and decided to endorse the bill. With even a major gun committee deciding to support the amendment, it seems surprising that the bill couldn’t even be passed through the Senate. Some think politics in particular had a role to play in the rejection. Specifically, a few Democratic senators from red states that have elections coming up in 2014 rejected the bill in what seems to be an attempt to please voters in their states, costing the amendment key support. In such a serious situation it is disturbing to think that senators would care more about politics than about the safety of American citizens, especially when the bill was so reasonable that an association supporting the right to bear arms would be in favor of it, and given the fact that two national shootings happened in just the past year. When the bill is looked at properly, it doesn’t make sense why the Senate didn’t support the bill. The amendment would keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and those with mental illness. This amendment is extremely basic, and would have been a key stepping stone in a long road to making America’s gun situation more safe. How are we suppose to make the nation better if we cannot even get past step one? This is far from the end of the issue; more amendments will be created and more Senate voting will occur, but how long until a bill is successful? The process to pass an amendment is a long and painful one, and new amendments will most likely run into more roadblocks in the future. However, I hope the failure of this amendment will only be a small bump on the way to passing a different bill to increase gun control, which will hopefully in turn increase safety and prevent more tragedy across the country.

The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25, which equates to 29 quarters. A proposal by President Obama to raise that by a mere seven quarters could have huge impacts in unexpected places. Graphic by Tom Schueneman

Wage hike beneficial despite side effects Every year, usually sometime in January, the nation sits down and forces itself to pay attention to politics for one hour to listen to the President’s State of the Union address. It used to be, early in the nation’s history, that this was a significant event each year, affording the average citizen a glimpse at the political cogs running the country. But with the technological advancement of media, parTom Schueneman ticularly since the advent of the InOpinion Editor ternet and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s become more a ritual than anything — an opportunity for the president to announce to members of Congress what they generally already know, and to announce to the people what they would probably find out about the next day anyway. But it can still be worth paying attention to if you know what to listen for. In President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address, he outlined a proposal that could have a big impact on not just the macroeconomic health of the United States, but on your ability to get a job this summer, and the quality of that job: an increase in the minimum wage. This brings to the table an entirely larger issue — whether one’s political opinions should align with one’s personal interest, or the wider interest of the nation as a whole. While a minimum wage increase is widely agreed upon by mainstream economists to be a positive move, there’s no doubting it will make it more difficult for young people to find and keep jobs. The issue behind minimum wage laws is relatively simple in theory. If a company that usually pays its employees minimum wage is forced to increase its employees’ pay, it’ll reduce the number of employees they have to pay in order to compensate. This can have a significant effect on employment, as a fairly large portion of the country lives on minimum wage. Many minimum wage workers are students, however, who aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits, and are therefore left out of unemployment statistics. This is only logical, given that employment generally doesn’t have a huge impact on quality of life for minors. This leaves students with jobs or those looking for jobs with a moral

quandary. On one hand, young people are disproportionately affected by cuts to the minimum-wage labor force. There’s more to this position than rabid self-interest, though, as these cuts also widely affect the poor. Ultimately, however, these measures will improve the health of the economy, and in turn this will offset the short-term unemployment. Employment is obviously a hugely important indicator for the economic wellbeing of the country, but employment in itself is not the sole measure of a strong economy. Employment itself doesn’t mean a whole lot when it can’t support a decent standard of living, which minimum wage jobs generally can’t. In that sense, an increase in the minimum wage is a necessary step towards economic recovery, since people are likely to spend that extra money they’re getting, creating more economic activity, more growth, and eventually more jobs. This, at least in theory, offsets any job loss the increase in minimum wage may initially cause. So as long as the minimum wage increase isn’t too extreme, and is appropriately timed — such as when the economy is improving after a slump, as it is now —it can provide a modest but notable increase in the standard of living and purchasing power of lower-income Americans, without any drastic long-term effects on employment. This is great, unless you’re a high school student looking for a summer job, in which case you may find it more difficult than ever. Aside from possibly illegal immigrants, high school students represent one of the cheapest forms of labor available in the United States. Students without the responsibilities of adults can reasonably be paid next to nothing. Job turnover can be high, as teens often get tired of their work, and frequently have other commitments, but for every one that quits there are a dozen more willing to take his or her place. Being cheap, plentiful and easily replaced, student workers are often taken for granted, so if the price to employ students is increased, most businesses will not hesitate to cut these positions where possible. The upside to all this, as a teenager, is that minimum-wage jobs will now pay better, which is obviously a good thing, but it doesn’t matter much if you can’t get a job or are let go from one you already have. There is more than ample reason for student workers to dread an increase in minimum wage, but ultimately, while it may put a dent in your summer plans, it’s a positive and necessary step towards economic recovery.

An increase in the minimum wage is a necessary step towards economic recovery.

PowerGrade A+

The Lance gives an A+ to another exceptional year of teaching put in by all of the fantastically knowledgeable and dedicated educators on this staff. We all learned a lot and feel grateful to have received another wonderful year at Westside.


Well done, class officers and parents, for planning successful and surprisingly fun Prom and Post-Prom activities this year. The hypnotist was a great idea and Lauritzen Gardens looked beautiful as always. However, did the costs were a little pricey.


Do seniors really have to sit through an exra week of classes? Seniors are being let out a week later than previous classes in an effort to boost AP scores and accrue a bigger budget for next year. We all want to do well on our tests too, so why shouldn’t we have more time off to study for them?


May 10, 2012


Jamie Reed to help graduate visit homeland By Sophie Clark STAFF WRITER

Westside graduate Garang Lual poses for a photo on his birthday. Lual graduated in 2009 and went to college on a sports scholarship, and is trying to return to Sudan to visit his family. Photo courtesy by Jamie Reed

When English as a second language instructor Cyndi Reed first encountered a new student, Garang Lual, in 2005, she saw a shy, malnourished, Sudanese boy who didn’t speak a word of English. Little did she know what this young boy had already been through. Westside graduate Garang Lual was 9 years old when he was kidnapped from his home in Sudan. He and his brother were taken by the Northern Military. The men separated the brothers and made sure to put Lual in a group of people that did not speak his language. His job was to watch their cattle all day and all night. If anything happened to the cattle, they threatened to murder him on the spot. The Northern Military rarely fed Lual, giving him only the scraps left over from their meals. They gave him just enough to keep him alive so that he could do his job. One day, people from the United Nations found Lual and asked him who he was. When they discovered he had been taken from his family, they transported him to the United States. He came to Westside High School as a freshman, graduated in 2009, and received a sports scholarship to Wayne State College. Reed was the first person he told his story to. “When he had learned enough English, he wrote a paper for his ninth grade English class,” Reed said. “He alluded towards the fact that he had been taken and hadn’t seen his family in years. He didn’t say very much, so when I had him alone in my room I asked him to elaborate on his story. That’s when I really learned what happened. When I asked him questions, you could see the sweat bead up on his forehead. It was very emotional because he was reliving his past.” Reed and some of Lual’s other teachers encouraged him to share his story with the school. Social studies instructor Jon Preister encouraged Lual to speak during a Global Intolerance class. Lual was reluctant until

his senior year, when he finally gathered the courage to speak to his peers. Reed remembers an overwhelming response from the students. “The students were so moved and full of questions,” Reed said. “One student even passed a hat to try to raise money for Garang to go home to see his family. But of course, $100 isn’t going to get him to Sudan. Although that student was moved on that particular day, no one has ever tried to raise the money since then.” Four years after Lual’s graduation, Lual’s fundraiser to return home has been brought back to life. Senior Jamie Reed, daughter of Cyndi Reed, decided to make Lual’s fundraiser her senior project. After hearing his story and about his connection with her mother, Jamie was motivated to continue raising money for Lual’s journey home. “He [Lual] is probably the most humble person I’ve ever met in my life,” Jamie said. “When his brother went back to Sudan, Garang did not so he could help him with the money.” Jamie said a ticket to Sudan and back is around $2,000. So far, she has been raising money by holding a sixth grade dance at Swanson Elementary. She plans on gathering small donations during her large group classes and setting up a movie screening. “A lot of teachers want to help with fundraising, because he made such a big impact on Westside,” Jamie said. Cyndi said she is extremely proud of Jamie for taking on the project and putting her whole heart into it. She plans to assist Jamie with her future fundraising plans for Lual. “He [Lual] really wants to go,” Cyndi said. “There’s unfinished business there. He really needs to make that connection while his mother is still alive. The life expectancy in Sudan is reduced, and with the turmoil, you never know what will happen. I hope that he will get there eventually.”


Spreading the word as important as donating in saving lives By Kellie Wasikowski NEWS EDITOR

One unit of blood can save three lives. Take three times the 71 donors who donated blood recently at the blood drive at Westside, and the Red Cross now has the potential to save up to 213 lives. The blood drive on April 19 attracted students and teachers alike who all wanted to give one of their most precious resources — blood. Science instructor and Medical Club sponsor Brenda Zabel explains the importance of blood donation. “Even with all the advances in medical science, blood is something that can’t be replicated synthetically,” Zabel said. “It has to come from live human donors. So having blood in the blood bank for when disasters occur, such as what happened recently in Boston, is something that the medical community can’t do without.” Zabel also thinks it is important to hold blood drives at high schools because it encourages donation regularly if students have a positive experience during the first time donating. Junior Kayla Holmes, president of Medical Club, agrees with Zabel on the importance of blood donation. She also thinks that it is vital to educate students on where their blood will go. “I think it’s good to educate kids on why blood donation is important,” Holmes said. “Because there are so many different reasons people need blood — organ transplants, blood loss, et cetera.” Not only is giving blood a way to donate, but the Medical Club members and various other students participate by volunteering their time before and during the day of the blood drive. “What we do as a club and volunteers is we sign up for different time slots to work at the blood drive,” Holmes said. “We will do things like hand out snacks and sign donors in and out, and we also help set up in the morning and take everything down after.”

Along with the student volunteers, the Red Cross has representatives and nurses that run the blood drives. Kayla Wutkin is the donor recruitment representative for the Red Cross in Omaha. Wutkin believes people who can’t donate blood can still make a difference by recruiting others to donate. “I know that I am making a difference by recruiting donors,” Wutkin said. “I am actually saving lives at the same time that they are saving lives. Spreading the word is just as important as donating.” The process of donating blood takes just around an hour. Donors first have to register, and then they go through a mini-physical in which their blood pressure, temperature, and pulse are taken to make sure that they are physically fit to do the donation. The nurse then draws a pint of blood from the donor’s arm. After, the donor waits for a while to make sure he or she won’t get lightheaded, and he or she is are given

snacks and a drink to revamp blood sugar. Many people who donate blood or help participate in the process have a more personal connection to it. Wutkin, for example, has a cousin who was born with a rare disease that requires her to have a blood transfusion every other week. Wutkin knows that her role with the Red Cross allows her to give back, even though she can’t give blood herself because she doesn’t weigh enough. Medical Club is exposed to stories of people who have received blood transfusions, and how they now regularly donate blood. “Medical Club has gone on field trips to the Red Cross,” Holmes said. “There, they have shared some stories about people who have received organ transplants, which requires a lot of blood. Those people now donate blood monthly to give back to the people that have given to them.”

Sophomore Gage Forbes donates blood during the blood drive on April 19 in the Activity Gym. Seventy one people at Westside donated blood that day. Photo by Estella Fox



May 10, 2013

Oh, the places they’ll go

Survey conducted by Andrew McVea Arizona Arizona State University: Lila Ferber Regan Szatko Scottsdale Community College: William Frei University of Arizona: Barclay Hughes Michael Mellen California California Polytechnic State University: Benjamin Jodis Compton Community College: Taydor Yoyat Loyola Marymount University: Sarah Moore Occidental College: Olivia Baker Soka University of America: Samantha Steed Stanford University: Aaron Grant Glazer Joseph Hack Redlands University: Madison Ryan Colorado Colorado Mesa University: Erick Vargas Colorado School of Mines: Kayln Kaslon Joseph Schanbacher Colorado State University: Parker Grogan

Ellen Pribus Regis University: Laura Jenson University of Colorado-Denver: Amanda Lewis University of Denver: Madeline Person Georgia Georgia Institute of Technology: Benjamin Ashby Iowa Coe College: Emily Laing Drake University: Capris Quaites Iowa State University: Natasha Arritt Alec Stevens Dalton Taylor William Zimmerman Iowa Western Community College: Lukas Cammarota Reese Baumgartner Andrew Carlson Gabrielle Costanzo Vondre Green Kaitlyn Jensen, Jeryt Norton University of Iowa: Andrea Meisenheimer Idaho Brigham Young University- Idaho: Kimberly Christensen University of Idaho: Owen Harry Illinois Loyola University Chicago: Caroline Cimino

Northwestern University: Katherine Slosburg University of Chicago: Andrew McVea Indiana University of IndianaBloomington: Noah Placzek Purdue University: Cailyn Ludwig University of Evansville: Alycia Olson Notre Dame University: Casey Seline Kansas Benedictine College: Jacob Koester Joshua Payne Brandon Sladek University of Kansas: Elena Anderson-Smith Jordan Meradith Gabriella Michelizzi Washburn University: Trent Gardner Massachusetts Boston College: Anna Skold Maryland Anne Arundel Community College: Byron Seidler Michigan University of Michigan: Sophia Goldberg Mathew Wiesman Minnesota

Crown University: Joshua Musser Hamline University: Amelia Jensen Minnesota State University- Manako: Morgan Teuscher St. Olaf College: Hannah Battafarano Southwest Minnesota State University: Jillian Hoppe Virginia Phelps University of Minnesota- Twin Cities: Erin Beerman Gabriel Levin Mackenzie Mikkelsen Missouri Missouri Western State University: Allison Ladd Northwest Missouri State University: Hannah Beber Zacchary Ebert Zachary Hendrickson Heath Thomas Rockhurst University: Grace Love Monica Page Truman State University: Lauren Akers Quentin Bishop University of Missouri: Brigit Mahoney Wentworth Military College: Robert Micheels Mississippi University of Mississippi: Grace Hoyme

North Carolina University of North Carolina: Sonia Schrager Nebraska Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics: Amber Clark Ashleye McAdams Corey Wilken Clarkson College: Elizabeth Whittington College of Saint Mary: Carolyn Hanus Concordia College: Kristin Manley Creighton University: Karl Khandalavala Ornelle Koffi, Veronika Lovas, Margaret Novoa Emily Nygren, Anne Torson Grace University: Mitchell Bollig Joshua Montayne Hastings College: Cory Curfman Jack Dickerson Russell Riley Ella Sherman Metropolitan Community College: Alysha Abraham Kevin Beerman Allison Bollig Allicia Brown Courtney Bryson Alonzo Carr Tyler Caudell Brandon Cruz Jennifer Cummings Lizaveta Davydzenkava Ann DeMaranville Justin Garrison

Samantha Gonzalez Austin Guenther Conner HickmanPodany Tyler Hooper Jennifer Johnson William Luleich Sydni Mlady-Sporven Jensen Morris Andrea Nelson Megan Orr Desirae Plagman Katelyn Porter Anthony Roberts Phoenix Rumsey Michael Sanchez Taylor Schrum Blaine Seals B’onca Smith Joshua Steffes Thomas Trouba Ana Turner Ephraim Vraspir Tyler Warren Midland University: Paige Clemons Ali Sodal National American University: Daniel Sichmeller Nebraska Wesleyan University: Natalee Nelson Christina Smith Craig Timmons Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare: Ruby Twedt Peru State College: Alexander Stuart Brody Tangeman Southeast Community College: Devin Tweedy Jacob Tweedy

University of Nebraska- Kearney: Emily Anderson Aaron Boyle Kailey Siebert University of Nebraska- Lincoln: Khea Barnes Rebecca Barnett Brogan Becker Taylor Bosch Tyler Brattain Emily Dickson Kate Durst Alexander Edwards Zachary Farho Julian Fox Hannah Frankel Adam Froendt Jessica Giri Noah Gould Reid Hammitt Sierra Hansen Molly Hughes Harrison Jordan Taylor Kapustka Jordan Kellog Leanna Klimisch David Korff Michael Kracher Hunter Kruszka Catherine Kyle Kelly Lewis Joshua Martine Mitchell May Riley McQueen Thomas Meier Samuel Milone Omar Nasir Leemah Nasrati Jake Newcomb Sarah Nodskov Erica North Marisa North Matthew O’Dell Nicklaus O’Donnell Carson Ohm


May 10, 2013


o: post-secondary plans

Aulana Outerbridge Weston Perrine Evan Quartoroli Saugat Rana Jamie Reed Catherine Rock Claire Salem Cory Schulenberg Emika Severson Alexandra Snodgrass Elizabeth Stevenson Jessica Swanson Joei Tipton Megan Ulrich Haille Vierregger Katie Wallace Connor Weseman Sydney Wieseler Katelyn Williams Dawn Worthington University of Nebraska- Omaha: Jacob Abboud Chloe Adler Nuradeen Ahmed Rachel Amidon Desirae Anson John Alan Ausdemore Gabrielle Babe Matthew Benson Brogan Bishop Jordan Brown Frances Cammarota Marissa Carson Di-Ren Chen Li-Dunn Chen Kevin Chesire Carley Cubrich Claire Cunningham Rachel Cunningham Alyssa Curran Bridget Darby Alyssa DeClue Kyra Dobry Irena Drincic Riley Fahey Zane Fletcher

Marissa Gigantelli Victoria Harvey Jessica Hensley Mumin Hussein Katarina Johnson Thomas Jorgensen Hayden Koll Joshua Kussman Guillaume Leclou Amber Leonard Amber Maggard Rashad Matthews Katarina Matuska Shay Maulsby Naiya McKizia Abdullahi Mohamed Jacob Noble Richard Oshlo Lila Padios Eliza Phillips Brenda Pike Vincent Pistillo Vanessa Portillo Jiahao Qi Hannah Radler Gina Raneri Micaiah Reineke Angela Reynolds Zachary Roland Emily Scribner Nathaniel Skokan Sokpa, Darryl Julia Stebbins Natasha Stickel Noah Sullinger Katrina Swanson Kylie Tallant Elaine Taylor Evan Thibault Garrett Tingley Audrey Wardian Kaitlyn Washburn Chad Wasikowski Louis Wilson Bryce Winkler Elizabeth Woltemath Wayne State College:

Matthew Bacon William Boyd Joseph Deseck Grant Duin Laura Faucher Lyndsay MacDonald Ariella Maldonado Joseph Penry Samantha Warneke New Mexico University of New Mexico- Albuquerque: Ariel Kohll Nevada University of NevadaLas Vegas: Brigette Rech New York Alfred University: Ryan Smith Fashion Institute of Technology: Hannah Wilcox Hofstra University: Marissa Boyer Macaulay Honors College: Megan Bogatz New York University: Erin Hodges Sara Schnackel Pace University: Nick Povey School of Visual Arts: Madison Pflug The New School: Eli Hershiser University of Rochester: Jehong Ahn Oklahoma University of Tulsa: Quintin Jaeger

Pennsylvania Drexel University: Sara Braun University of Pittsburgh: Michael Keefe South Carolina The Citadel Military College: Logan Moran Texas Southern Methodist University: Rachel Sullivan Texas Christian University: Claire Dyer Leigh Lindquist University of North Texas: David Bone University of Texas at Dallas: Amir Mobalegh Utah Brigham Young University- Provo: Ellen Frederickson Wisconsin Marquette University: James Patrick Coyle Amy Elliot-Meisel Karly Meyer Wisconsin University of Wisconsin- Madison: Erin Reynolds Gap Year: Grace Arant Camren Arnold Jenna Hager Noah Kochanowicz

Marah Moran Sabrina Pivonka Caroline Rockman Military: Andrew Cordero Cory Cole Peter Diaz Collin Dunn Trevor Fajardo Jacob Ficenec Aaron Gray Nathan Herold Kathryn Kmezich Devin Perez David Porter Traxxon Stecklein John Wheeler Other: Dustin Ecklebe Skylar Harris Bryce McMullen Connor Randleman Zane Slatten Transition Year: Britney Grimes Abigail Rotert Kevin Sieczkowski Christopher Tran Wyatt Washburn Undecided: Shelby Anderson Taylor Carr Paige Dankof Mae Kilpatrick Taylor Kniewel Tyler-James Kozisek Jordan LaNoue Quiron Larsen-Brown Jordan Loring Nathaniel Meegan Eloy Rodriguez Ruiz Trevor Sebastion Jason Stubblefield Quiana Thomas

Workforce: Timothy Bass Cody Chloupek Maxwell McClelland Kara Pane Trenton Timmerman Thomas Wzorek Did Not Participate in Survey: Nimo Abdi Joseph Adams Evan Carpenter Raul Castillo Brittany Christenson Samantha Clere Nathan Cosgrove Jared Cvetas Alexis Dahlgren Christina Deden Jared Dee Ryan Delay Ryan Dillon Shelby Downie Shawn Dunham Justina Eckersley Elyssa Fredrickson Anastasia Gallagher Davion Garrett Lauren Gohr Zach Griffith Dylan Gutchewsky Canadi Hanns Mary Heldridge Sam Helm Morgan Herrera Gage Hoffman Nathan Houck Samuel Hulsebus Delaney Jackson Eric Michael Jensen Ian Johnson Daniel James Kemp Hannah Knutson Kyle Krone Alyssa Kuncl Henry Kutilek

Bob Lee Jasmine Lessley Zachary Lewis Sean Libby Michael Livingston Madeline Lynch Hana Maaiah Madison Malone Madison McCarthy Michael McGuire Amanda Miller Daniel Moore Mariah Norman Zachary Nutsch Kiana Owens Joseph Palmesano Bryan Perkins Cole Petsche Joshua Pulverenti Blake Putjenter Dustin Quinata John Ricceri Quinton Roberts Jennifer Rompich Mary Claire Rosholm Hayden Ruh Phillip Salado Justin Sass Cheyenne Schlegel Grant Schuttler Anna Scribner Patrick Stutzman Alyssa Sweeney Natalie Swoboda Steven Taylor Quentin Tripp Devin Watson Alexander Wiechman Joshua Wiles Good luck, Class of 2013!



May 10, 2012

This is the fourth installment in a Lance series about Westside teachers retiring this year.

Moore leaves Westside, continues teaching By Grace Fogland STAFF WRITER How many teachers at Westside own cattle? Social studies instructor Lonnie Moore owns both fullblood and half-blood Salers cows that live in Saunders County under his care. This makes for a lot more work every day, yet he has loved cows since he was nine years old, and doesn’t mind the extra work. “My great-grandfather, Bert Moore, began raising registered beef cattle for selling to other farmers and ranchers as their seed stock in 1904,” Moore said. “His son and my grandfather, Ralph Moore, continued the business. Then his son and my father, Harold Moore, picked up the reins.” The Moore family has sold their cattle to many different people in 11 different states as far south as Texas, and as far north as Montana. They are selling a select few as breeding animals to other producers, while the other animals become beef for consumers. “Some of my best beef customers are staff members at Westside High School,” Moore said. “At this point, I hope I never see the day that I don’t have some cattle to call my own.” In addition to taking care of his cows outside of school time, Moore also coaches boys hurdles and helps sponsor the mock trial team. He teaches AP Human Geography, and is the team leader for Global Geography. “I had a dream of teaching in college,” Moore said. “I wanted to teach history and Bible, in college, but I wanted to make sure that I had skills to teach. So, I went to a teachers’ college, and when I got done, it had taken me seven total years to get my bachelor’s degree because of changing majors and changing colleges.” Moore went to Grace University for three years, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for four years. Before teaching at Westside for nine years, he taught at Oxford, Nebraska Southern Valley Schools and Bryan High School. G D

“I think Westside is a really interesting place because of modular scheduling,” Moore said. “It’s a fabulous system for getting people ready for college. I’ve also really enjoyed the students here. Most students are driven to do well. The very first time I came here I was impressed with the students’ respect and courtesy.” Moore also rejects evolution, and completely refuses to believe in macroevolution, which is the development of completely new kinds of plants and animals. During his time with Westside, Moore has designed multiple high school courses, especially for geography, and has either taught in or directed teacher workshops for about 18 summers. He became a teacher consultant for Geographic Educators of Nebraska, which is a part of the National Geographic Society. He has helped write the National Standards for geography, and helped write the standards for social studies. “I have also developed teaching U.S. history through historical characters,” Moore said. “Some of those characters I’ve performed at banquets, and at other places for the general public.” In addition to his academic contributions, Moore has developed many personal connections with his students. “I would describe him as a really funny, laid-back guy who is extremely knowledgeable about his area of expertise — geography,” junior Nate Lippincott said. “My favorite part about Mr. Moore is how he’s an incredible teacher who implements fun and interesting activities into everything we studied. He’s influenced me by showing me that there are many ways to make something fun while still learning a lot about it. Also he’s shown to be a pretty hardworking guy, considering he has a farm and is a full-time teacher.” After Moore leaves, he will continue teaching at Omaha South, officiating football and basketball, and continue working with his cow herd. When he’s not doing either of those, he will try and travel with his wife. F C

Above: Social Studies instructor Lonnie Moore flourishes a can of SPAM in front of his AP Human Geography class. Photo by Aaron Boyle Left: Moore poses in one of his geography-themed outfits. Photo courtesy of 2008 Shield

J 62 A H 46 A B H J F C B 0 J 3 63 F G C D A H 14 A B H J 47 F G C D 1 G D 3 64 A B F C 15 F G C D B 8 J 4 B 2 J A H 3 A 65 A H 16 A B H J 9 F G D 4 1 5 3 G D C 3 F F C 17 F G C D B 0 J E 5 2 5 B 4 J A H 3 D A H 18 A B H J C K 51 F G J 53 5 G D 3 B J 9 G D F C 1 2 A H E 5 D F C 54 36 A B H J 1 F G D 4 B 0 J 2 C K J A H 55 E 37 F G C D 42 A B H J E 21 F G C D D D 5 C K 38 A B 43 F G C D K 22 A B H J B J J A H E 39 H 44 A B H J E 23 F G C D 31 F G C D K D C 45 F G C D K E 24 A B H J 32 A B H J E J D H 46 A B H J E C K 25 F G 33 F G C D K D B J C 47 F G C D K A H E 26 B 4 J 3 B J 1 G D A H E 2 H 48 A B H J F C K 5 F G D 3 G D E B 2 J C K 2 C 49 F G D A H E 36 A B H J E B C K 3 G D 2 50 B J F C K 7 G D 3 A H E B 4 J F C K 2 A H E 11 F G C D K B 8 J 3 5 G D A H 2 D E F C K 12 A B H J E 9 F G C 3 D B 6 J 2 B J C K A H E 13 F G C D K 0 A H 4 B J 7 G D 2 A H E 29 F G C D F C K 14 A B H J E G D B 8 J 2 F C K 30 A B H A H 15 F G C D K J B 2 J 9 G H 2 A H E 31 F G C F 16 A B H J E G D 3 F G D 0 F C 3 C K 32 A B H 17 F G C D K 22 A B H J B 4 J A H E 33 F G C 18 A B H J 23 F G C D 5 F G D D C K 34 A B C 19 F G 24 A B H J B 6 J B J A H E 35 A H 20 5 F G D 2 7 F G D 5 G D C 1 C K F C B 6 J 2 B 8 J B 6 J A H 1 A H J A H 7 G 2 9 F G H F 17 F G C D B G D 8 A 2 0 F C 1 B 8 J 1 29 F B 8 J A H A H 9 G D 1 30 A 9 F G D F C J D C B 0 H 2 C 31 F A 10 A B H J G D B J 1 F C 2 A H 32 11 F G C D 22 A B H J 1 F G D C 33 12 A B H J 23 F G C D B 2 J D A H 34 C 13 F G 24 A B H J 3 F G D B J C 35 A H 14 5 F G D 2 B 4 J 5 G D C 1 A H F C B 6 J 2 5 F G D B 6 J A H 1 C

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May 10, 2013


Dornans help another large family By Ellie Anderson-Smith STAFF WRITER Dinner at the Dornans’ house is certainly an experience. The hustle and bustle of the large family occupies the dinner table and it’s hard to focus on one thing at once — the TV in the background, the clang of pans in the kitchen, the three or four conversations going on at once. It’s easy to label this family as busy and eventful. The Dornans are well-known for being large, and diverse in their ethnic backgrounds, even though they share the same last name. Three of the Dornan kids are in same grade, yet they are not biologically related. With nine children in total, and five adopted from Eastern Europe, the family is full of unique experiences. Yet this is only one reason why the Dornans are unique compared to other Westside families. Apart from their diverse makeup, they recently took on a unique task — to help a foreign family call Omaha home. The Htoo family is made up of Peh, his wife Ka Na, and their four children all under the age of eight. “We have a large family, so we like to have a large family to help,” said Stu, the Dornans’ dad. The Dornans worked with Lutheran Family Services, of which Stu is a board member, and chose to sponsor a family that had faced persecution in Burma. As part of the Karen ethnic group, the Htoos were driven out of their home country and had been living in refugee camps in Thailand ever since. They chose to apply for a ticket to America, but it took over two years to get approved. Though they had some family members already living in Nebraska, the family needed guidance to

help adjust to American life. The Dornans took this task very seriously and went above and beyond the normal expectations of sponsorship. Most sponsors do not meet the families they help. The Dornans met them at the airport in the wee hours of the morning, goody bags and welcome signs in hand in both English and the Htoos’ native language. They even accompanied the Htoos to their new apartment and showed them basic skills, like turning on and off the oven and using the shower. Before this, though, a lot of planning was involved before the Dornans even met the Htoos. “We got a lot of donations from a lot of different people — everything that you need to have in order to live,” Stu said. “From kitchenware to furniture to bedroom stuff, anything that you would see in my house we were able to either get donated or get in general.” Upon meeting the family for the first time, Stu said, he found them understandably exhausted and confused. In fact, the Htoo family did not know who the Dornans were when they first came to the United States. However, the Dornan family members are no strangers to culture shock. With their experiences with international adoption, they were able to empathize with the family on a more personal level. “It was overwhelming for me when I came here, and I’m sure it was the same way for them,” said junior Edita Dornan, who was adopted from Romania at seven years old. “Both families came to a better home. I think overall it’s easier to connect with them because of that.” Now, the Htoos and the Dornans are better acquainted. Sophomore Kelly Dornan visits the family two to three times a week to help around the house and work with the kids. Despite the huge difference between refugee and

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American lifestyles, the Htoos are adjusting well. “They other day [Peh and I] got lost around 48th Avenue,” Kelly said. “He was telling me where to go, which was funny because he’s only been here a couple of weeks. We finally got there with his directions.” However, that is not to say that the family will not need assistance in the future. Stu is looking to find Peh a job at one of the packing plants, and Kelly has made flash cards to help the children with their English. “Down the road, I could see getting the kids involved in activities they have a passion for, to get the Karen community exposed to different things. There is still a lot for them to learn,” Stu said. The Dornans are a continuing influence on both the Westside community and the Omaha community as a whole. While some might just donate their money, this family has chosen to donate their time, effort and experiences as well. “It’s just another opportunity to invest in a family,” Stu said.

Dari, Edita, Stu, Maddie and Nikita Dornan prepare to meet the Htoo family at the airport. The Dornans are sponsoring the Htoos through Lutheran Family Services and are helping them adjust to life in America. Photo courtesy of Dornan family



May 10, 2013

Distance Sprinting vs


Juniors Emily Reece and Jordan Wheeler pose in their different starting positions for racing on the track May 6. Reece is a sprinter and Wheeler is a distance runner. Photo by Sarah Lemke

Red Sox and Yankees. Nebraska and Oklahoma. Duke and North Carolina. Westside track distance runners and Westside track sprinters. What do they have in common? They are all fierce rivalries that have pushed both parties to compete hard every season. At Westside, one of the main parts of the rivalry is the annual kickball game, where the girls sprinters face off against the girls distance runners. This season the sprinters took home the team trophy, the Metro Cup, by winning 9-7. “We have now won for the third straight year in our sprinters versus distance kickball game, and it really shows how hard the sprinters work,” said junior sprinter Emily Reece. “We’re going to continue to work hard, and we are looking to win next year also.” Junior distance runner Catie Thull knows her team can do better, and thinks they will come back strong next year and finally break the sprinter streak. “We went easy on them,” Thull said. “They better watch out — next year we aren’t holding back.” Even with the kickball game result, Thull considers the distance crew to be the superior team. “Sprinters do not get the points at meets,” Thull said. “Distance for sure gets the most points, and that’s because we are better. And it’s not because we have

easier events — it’s because we are better runners.” Reece disagrees. “I definitely think that sprinters are better than distance, because we train 10 times harder than them,” Reece said. Thull points to a saying placed on t-shirts made by the distance runners to discount Reece’s statement. The saying is “Your workout is our warm-up.” Reece points to a lack of evidence of the distance runners’ hard work to show that sprinters do actually work harder. “No, [they don’t work harder],” Reece said. “There is really no proof that distance actually works out, because you see them leave the school and come back 15 minutes later, but no one sees them during that time that they’re gone.” Junior distance runner Jordan Wheeler thinks distance works harder, but he said the girls place more importance on the rivalry than the boys. “I think the girls take it way more seriously than the boys do,” Wheeler said. “There has been some serious Twitter fights [between the girls] about it.” Wheeler acknowledges the rivalry can be amusing, but in the end both sides are working together to win. “It’s a friendly rivalry,” Wheeler said. “It’s fun to mock and make fun of the other side, but in the end we’re all on the same team, all getting points.”

SCOREBOARD Senior Bryce McMullen pitches on the Westside baseball field at practice May 7, in preparation for the upcoming state tournament. McMullen drove in two runs in the team’s 8-0 win against Columbus May 6. Photo by Estella Fox

Baseball The baseball team is headed to the state championship tournament, after winning its district by winning both games of a double header on May 6. In the first game, the team beat Lincoln High 5-0 to advance to the district championship game. In the championship game, Westside scored seven runs in the fourth inning to beat Columbus 8-0, and to advance to the state tournament, which will take place May 11.

Boys Golf The boys golf team will be playing in the district tournament at Highlands Golf Course May 13. If the team places in the top three at the district tournament it will move on to the state tournament, which will be held May 21 and 22 at Pioneers Golf Course in Lincoln. One of the highlights of the golf team’s season was senior Eric Jensen making a hole-in-one at the Millard South Invitational at the fourth hole, a par three, at the Platteview Country Club. The hole-in-one is the first in competition for Westside in over two decades. Jensen went on to tie for second in the invite.

Boys Soccer The teams district championship game, on May 2, against Millard West, came down to a shootout. After playing to a 2-2 draw, and a 0-0 extra time, the team lost 3-2 in the shootout. The result was marred by controversy, though. A goal by junior Chase McCann was dissallowed by the referees with senior Ali Sodal called for running into and knocking over the goal keeper. Westside fans disagreed, as it appeared the goalie had been pummeled by his own teammate.

Girls Tennis The team has not lost a dual or triangular since April 2, when it was beaten by Lincoln Southwest during a triangular. The team continued its streak with a 5-4 win against Lincoln East May 6. The team has been led by sisters junior McKinney Harwood and freshman Lizzie Harwood, and by sophomore Sydney Harlow. The team is headed to the state tournament, which is May 16 and 17 at the Koch Tennis Center.

arts & entertainment

May 10, 2012



Seniors showcase award-winning artwork By Estella Fox PHOTO EDITOR On May 1, the main hallway was packed with people appreciating the talented artists of our school. The Excellence in Design Show is held every year to showcase the talented seniors who have excelled in the subject of art and fashion. The students displayed some of their best work. Some students were asked to showcase and others applied to participate in the event. Everyone was invited to attend the sixth annual senior art show. Many people who did not showcase art also had a role in the art show. Faculty set up the art and helped run it. Also, the Foods department made cookies to give to anyone who came. Volunteers helped run the

raffle. Each raffle ticket was 50 cents and the winner of the raffle received a hand-made quilt. The art show showcased many different forms of art including sewing, photography, pottery, and painting. There were several awards given that night. The two awards categoeies were Art and Fashion. Some winners included Rachel Cunningham, Gabbi Costanzo, Amber Leonard and Hannah Wilcox. Senior Skylar Harris, a participant in the Excellence in Design Show who mainly contributed pottery, had some thoughts on the matter. “I think that it was a success,” Harris said. “However, they should have more categories as far as art goes. It seemed like a lot of 2D awards and there should have been a 3D art category. There were a lot of talented kids that didn’t get the recognition they deserve.”

Top Left: A painting by Marissa Boyer is exhibited during the art show. Above: Senior Skylar Harris displays her Pink Floyd-inspired cup. Behind the cup is a painting of Jim Morrison on a vinyl by Harris. Left: Senior Russ Riley shows his pottery in the main hallway. He showed over a dozen pottery pieces. Photos by Estella Fox Far Right: Sophomore Danny Glazer takes a photo of a teapot displayed at the Excellence in Design Show Right: Pamphlets were given out to the art show attendees. Photos by Estella Fox

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arts & entertainment

May 10, 2012

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Every third Saturday of April, audiophiles and musicians come together for one special event. Record Store Day is a global occasion where hundreds of artists release new records, meet fans, perform and issue special vinyl and CD releases. This year, there were over 300 exclusive vinyl releases. Record Store Day was founded in 2007 and since then, thousands of people have flocked to their local independent record store in April to celebrate the art of music. Although music piracy is on the rise, this year’s sales were much higher than last year. On average, local records stores saw a 60% increase on sales to the year prior and customers spent around $70. This year, Record Store Day was held on April 20 and the official ambassador was Jack White. Many artists reissued music and released new albums, some of whom included: Atmosphere, Best Coast, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, MGMT, Pink Floyd and the White Stripes. Sophomore Maddie Hurley has participated in Record Store Day for the past three years. “I was really impressed with this year’s releases because some of my favorite bands had new vinyl out,” Hurley said. “I regularly go to Homer’s Music, which is Omaha’s local music store. I have never seen so many people there as this year. I am definitely excited for next year.”

Top: A Homer’s Music customer scans the back of a Captain Beefheart vinyl on the busiest day of the year for record stores. Homer’s is one of the most popular record stores in Nebraska and has one of the largest selection of used and new music. It also sells posters and other memorabilia. Above: A customer browses through Homer’s extensive vinyl collection. Behind him are band posters and tapestries on discount for Record Store Day. Left: Homer’s shoppers wait in a long line to purchase their items. Near the register, Homer’s has a large display of new and used CDs for sale. Photos by Estella Fox


New horror movie returns to basics, turns out to be best of year By Skylar Harris A & E EDITOR “Someone’s in my fruit cellar, someone with a fresh soul” is an unforgettable line from 1981’s Evil Dead. This movie was never meant to thrill or do much more than achieve a good laugh. The original Evil Dead isn’t a movie you’d typically watch for a good scare. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead has a cult following and got Bruce Campbell arguably his biggest role. The movie spawned two sequels: Evil Dead II, which was the conclusion of Evil Dead, and Army of Darkness, which was a different movie entirely, aside from Ash, Bruce Campbell’s character. Evil Dead 2013 is not the fun, corny Evil Dead. It’s not a family movie. Evil Dead 2013 is the greatest true horror film that’s been released in the last 20 years. Unlike recent releases, Evil Dead doesn’t rely on scenes that make you jump. Using the jump scenes as a theatrical crutch is a cheap way to produce a scare. Evil Dead, however,

utilizes its great gore, decent make up, and psychological torment to get the real thrill in it. To call it a psychological thriller would be underselling the film. It’s a slashing thrill ride through hell. Even the most experienced horror lover won’t be able to see some of the twists in the movie. Evil Dead keeps loosely to the original film. Unlike the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, Evil Dead rations out its gore in tasteful servings. The gore itself is discerning. The blood, for most scenes, isn’t overred or too clear. In the less realistic gore scenes, the gore is reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’s bloodier works, where the blood and guts are used in a very cinematic way — somewhat cheap-looking, but purposefully so. In a movie that keeps you on the edge constantly, Evil Dead’s soundtrack is extremely clever. The classic quiet orchestra plays throughout. Roque Banos, the film’s score composer, didn’t make the music a dead giveaway, but instead an adrenaline rusher, a refresh-

ing move for the horror industry. No matter how you slice it, Evil Dead is a remake done right. Even the one-liners beat the original. The film’s script allows some slight cosmetic breaks, but they’re blended in with the madness of the mess that the five 20-something year-olds have gotten themselves into. Mia, played by unknown Jane Levy, is battling heroin withdrawals in the opening of the movie. Throughout the film, you become just as confused as her companions as withdrawal mixes with demonic possession. There’s constantly that voice in the back of every Dead fan that says, “You know what this is, you know how this movie’s ending.” At the same time you’re being convinced by the cast, a cast of virtually unknown actors, who so easily make you believe otherwise. Evil Dead marks as Fede Alvarez’s, the film’s director, first full-length movie. A movie that will make you see shadows for hours after. Evil Dead is certainly a movie to see in the dark by yourself, with a defibrillator nearby to shock your heart back into rhythm.

The Stats Opening week box office: $26 million Rotten Tomatoes reviews: 71% by the audience, 62% by the critics Number of years between original and remake: 32 years

arts & entertainment ww

May 10, 2012



By Skylar Harris A&E EDITOR

Over the years, many awful movies have been released. In the beginning, movies were made to entertain. Now, movies are made seemingly for profit only, with no deeper meaning to them. However, over the years there has been a collection of films that convey a deeper meaning. These films haven’t gotten as much credit as they deserve for the thought-provoking storylines they build.

For Vendetta




It is a staple of the first day of English classes. Whether it be the beginning of sophomore Honors Literature class or the introduction to Creative Writing class, invariably the short story known as “Big Boy” is read aloud. The story, as you may remember, follows the narrator as he encounters a very large defecation at a party at his friend’s house, then, panic-stricken that the abomination will be blamed on him, frantically tries to dispose of it. It is a humorous introduction into the writing of humorist David Sedaris, who this past month released the new book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. The book, which is a collection of short vignettes of Sedaris’s life, is his eighth book. Despite what its title might indicate, it actually has very little to do with owls, other than one owl-themed chapter. This story, which is a highlight of the book, follows Sedaris as he tries to find a stuffed owl to buy for his boyfriend. The story opens with Sedaris looking through his rather owlish house. From owl candles to owl plates and a mug reading “Owl love you always,” the Sedaris residence has an owl theme. Building off this, Sedaris wishes to purchase the closest thing to a real live owl. His task is made more difficult by the fact that owls are a protected species and it is illegal to stuff them in most countries. After some searching, he eventually finds a small taxidermist in London, where there are three stuffed owls for him to choose from. Also on display for Sedaris is the skull of an African pygmy, a severed arm from a sailor brawl and the 400-year-old preserved head of a teenage Peruvian girl. The scene is a bit gruesome, yet one can’t help but be drawn into the strange fascination and excitement Sedaris feels. The rest of the essays fall into familiar territory for Sedaris’s writings, including multiple stories about growing up in a rather dysfunctional family. This is Sedaris’s eighth book, and unfortunately some of the best material from this period in his life has already been picked over. There are still some funny moments, and Sedaris’s self-deprecating humor is as sharp as ever, but unfortunately these stories are not as strong as in his earlier works. The main strength of this volume of essays is Sedaris’s stories about traveling across the globe. Since becoming a world-renowned author, he has had book readings in China, Italy, Australia, and even a Costco in Toronto. The book acts as a travelogue of sorts, allowing Sedaris to share his observations on the cleanliness of Japan, the domestic animals on East Asian menus and the littering situation in England. Even a chapter about being delayed at an airport is full of humorous observations and superb wit. It is perhaps not Sedaris’s best work, but like all his books, it is a diverting and ultimately rewarding read. If you enjoy engrossing, often laugh-out-loud and at times touching anecdotes, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, along with the rest of Sedaris’s works, is a must-read.

Graphics by Kellie Wasikowski

In the midst of very violent and confusing times, with terrorist attacks, both foreign and domestic, constantly appearing as a slur of death across the news stations, V for Vendetta (2005) has a plot set in the near future in London. The shake-down of the movie is that the city has fallen onto hard times, and become a dystopian society entirely in control of the government. It takes place in a post-riot civilization riddled with domestic terrorism, which the government told the people was caused by Muslims and loss of faith in God. The terrorism was actually caused by the government, which had a prison where it ran Joseph Goebbels like experiments on people who lived above

the ridiculous laws of the government, in hopes of creating a biological weapon to scare the citizens into complete submission. The government has gained complete control over the people of London, control that of course is corrupt. The film’s hero, V, is one of the brave few to resist the government’s brainwashing and start to deflower their unholy reign. V’s talents, supplies, and schemes are all unreachable to the basic human being, but his ambitions and hopes are not. V for Vendetta shows what will happen if people allow fear to run their lives. Don’t believe everything you’re told. Think for yourself. One person is the beginning of a big change.

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick is by far one of the greatest cinematographers of the 20th century. He’s directed blockbusters such as The Shining, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick is also known for his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange. The film tells the story of Alex, an almost-man-boy living in the not-sodistant future. Alex lives, bullies, and sponges off his elderly parents, who turn a blind eye to his shenanigans and legal troubles. Alex and his friends rape, rob and bludgeon anyone they please. With a

strange semi-molestation scene and a few signature flash scenes, Kubrick establishes a terrifying look into the future. A Clockwork Orange is a movie that portrays the reality check—the bad guy always wins. It’s not the valiant hero with great intentions, it’s the one with the most power, the most ability to destroy things. It makes society take a look in the mirror and be disgusted with what a bleak future that encouraging violence and over -sexualizing youth will bring.

Logan’s Run In the distant future, Logan’s Run takes place in a wonderland where no one grows old or has to work unless he or she chooses to. The naïve people of this controlled environment don’t question their surroundings; they only enjoy it and live brainlessly. Every day a group of people is “Renewed” on their 30th birthday. The society believes the renewal ceremony is the rebirth of the people, that they are born again young and refreshed. In reality it’s the people being vaporized to prevent overpopulation. The main character, Logan 5, is a sandman, which is like a policeman. The sandmen track down and kill or capture runaways. These are people

They Live

In 1988, a little-known movie was released, and it remained unknown. The movie was cheesier than cheddar and was about a homeless man who stumbled upon a pair of glasses that allowed him to see reality, not what he was blindly accepting as reality before. This movie is They Live. Once the man sees true reality through the glasses; he sees the people who only live for money and consumption. Aliens have integrated into society to stimulate the stock market. The more possessionhungry people that are created, the more power the aliens have. The man discovers the subliminal messages of “consume” that are plastered all over

the city, in the magazines and on television. The money really has “this is your God” printed on it, and everything else says possession translates to happiness and a good life. This film obviously was made to open the viewer’s eyes to how wrong the distraction of mass consumption really is. It’s a way to turn a blind eye to how trivial life really is. They Live was made in order to create awareness of the stupidity that comes from lust for worldly materials. When people are in love with what they see in the mirror and in their houses, they lose their morals and selves in the possessions and in the need for more.

who question the renewal process and are seeking “sanctuary,” which is a way to get out of the city and live freely in their own society. Logan meets a woman seeking sanctuary, who convinces him to rebel from the societal beliefs. Logan’s Run was released in 1976 and conveyed a message that may not be apparent at first. People shouldn’t blindly accept religion and tradition just because there will be consequences if they think differently. If there are such consequences set into place, than the rules probably should be questioned to the fullest extent. This film also demonstrates that if you don’t love any thing or live too carefree, and you don’t have a reason to live.


May 10, 2012

arts & entertainment


Faculty, administrators fail to see humor By Skylar Harris A&E EDITOR Senior pranks are traditionally a way seniors have released the steam built up during the past 12 years of their school days. The pranks range in severity, and usually are disruptive or destructive. Chemistry instructor Kevin Biga, who has taught at Westside since the ‘70s, is repulsed and annoyed by the pranks and thinks that no prank, even with the best intentions in mind, is a good one. “I think they’re stupid,” Biga said. “They’re destroying property and humiliating people. They’re just wrong.” According to bouncer Linda Seals, the school toilet bowls were filled with fish one year, and cement another. School bouncer Trent Goodman added that his sophomore year in high school, balloons were filled with urine and thrown off the landing. None of the usual senior pranks, like beach balls being thrown off the landing, have been seen at Westside this year. Running of the Bulls has been a senior tradition at Westside, which entails one senior leading the rest through the school as a matador would the bulls. These pranks may seem dumb and harmless, but cause disruption in an otherwise regular school day. Assistant Principal Trudi Nolin says students have gotten a variety of punishments over the years for the pranks — anything from being sent home early to being made to pay restitution for the damage, being charged for destruction of property, and not being able to walk during the graduation ceremony. So far, there have been no senior pranks for the class of 2013, besides for senior Brogan Bishop’s she-

nanigans. Earlier in the year, the big letters spelling out “National French Week” on the social studies hallway windows turned into “National Brogan Week”, and the lists of rules in the social studies IMC were replaced with signs saying, “There are no rules.” But in my four years at Westside, I’ve seen swimming pools full of water in the landing and crickets released in the halls. In years prior to mine, there have been a variety of pranks, such as bachelorette party balloons being released in the landing as well as a chicken, smoke bombs being thrown up in the cafeteria which started a small fire, and hardboiled eggs left to rot between the books in what has then the Social Studies IMC (now guidance.) According to several current seniors, three years ago a group of seniors made a large poster of a squirrel, got onto the roof and hung it over the side of the school. Once, during a large group in the auditorium, some seniors splashed paint from above onto those sitting in the seats. According to Nolin, no matter how clever the pranksters think they are, they always get caught. Westside is a school with as many security cameras as Wal-Mart. Future seniors may think they have shoes to fill with wacky pranks, but they need to remember a few things. Pranks are more fun when they’re not disruptive, and an non-disruptive prank isn’t a prank at all. Additionally, no matter how smart an 18-year-old brain may think it is, it’s not smart enough to outwit Westside’s security system.

One year in recent memory, the toilet bowls at Westside were filled with fish as a senior prank. Another year, they were filled with cement. Photo illustration by Estella Fox

Lance Issue 8  
Lance Issue 8  

This is the eighth issue of Westside High School's newspaper, the Lance.