The Wildcat Tales volume
May 24, 2012
Plano Senior High School
Plano, TX, USA
Around the Next Bend
The Only Place Review
Pages 4, 5
Farewell to retiring teachers By Haley Bunnell and Danielle Deraleau They are the ones who help us learn and grow, the ones who spend hours grading papers and the ones who try to make every day fun and interesting. Teachers here are passionate, determined, intelligent individuals that thrive on making Plano the best environment and learning experience that they can. Teachers Rhonda Maloney, Teresa Fresquez and Elizabeth Smith, after all teaching for at least 30 years, will retire this year. Leaving their Plano
Photo by Danielle Deraleau
family and home has made their decision to retire more difficult, but they won’t be too far away. They all will come to visit or sub once in a while. Maloney, Fresquez and Smith will always be remembered for their passion of teaching, their smiles and their helping hands. As the motto says, once a Wildcat, forever a Wildcat.
Continued on page 2
From left to right: Teachers Teresa Fresquez, Rhonda Maloney and Elizabeth Smith spend their last few weeks at school.
Student’s artwork to be displayed at Capitol By Stephanie Jabri
As a little girl, junior Tiffany Weng would spend whole days sitting next to a pile of computer paper just drawing. When she would finish a picture, her mom would allow her to tape them up on a special wall reserved just for her doodles. That same girl has been nationally recognized for her art after winning the chance to have a piece hung in the Capitol. Weng, inspired by her love for art class in elementary school, took the elective in eighth grade. She wanted to continue taking art in high school, she was not aware that she needed a teacher recommendation for Honors Art I. The day of freshman schedule pick-up she came home in tears; she was not in art at all. Art I was full, and the fact that she knew people who had signed up for the class solely to fill graduation requirements further frustrated her, as her interest in art was genuine. “I didn’t draw or make any art that following year, which I regret now,” Weng said. “I was really timid back then so when the counselor told me no, I accepted it. I should have explained to her clearly why I wanted to take it.” As a sophomore, Weng was able to sign up for Honors Art I. The next year, with only a year of high school art experience under her belt, Weng nervously took AP Art 2D. As with the four other AP classes Weng is taking, she found that AP Art is a rigorous course. This year alone she has made almost 40 pieces, having to make one or two pieces each week. The sudden change in the amount of work Weng has to deal with was overwhelming at first. She and her friends even labeled their Sundays as “sleepless Sundays” because of the projects they had to finish before the upcoming school day. Even so, Weng feels that art has taught her how to manage her time more efficiently. “I really enjoy the amount of independence I have in the assignments that are given,”
Weng said. “In art, I’m given a deadline and a topic. How I want to develop that topic or carry out the concept is all within my own imagination.” Although at first she was nervous to take the class, Weng has accomplished many things with her art in the span of a year. She has received recognition for three of her pieces at the Visual Arts Scholastic Event, had two pieces displayed at The Shops of Legacy in a juried show and had a piece go on a traveling exhibition around Collin County.
were eligible to submit two-dimensional art to their respective congressman, Sam Johnson. The winner would receive two tickets to Washington, D.C. to unveil their piece later in the summer alongside winners from other districts. Their art would be on display in the tunnel of the Capitol for one year. “I simply entered because I thought it was a good opportunity to showcase myself,” Weng said. “When I found out that I won I was obviously surprised. I didn’t even know
Photo submitted by Tiffany Weng
Junior Tiffany Weng poses with her award-winning piece “Texas Skyline” that will be displayed in the tunnel of the Capitol.
She said that some of her best memories are from the times she attended competitions. “I don’t believe that the amount of medals or exhibitions a person earns defines whether or not he or she is ‘talented’ at what they’re doing,” Weng said. “It’s a matter of the amount of hard work and effort a student puts into what he or she is doing, and the best judge of that is themself.” In March, Weng submitted a piece to the Congressional Art Competition for the second time. All high school students residing in the third congressional district of Texas
two free tickets to D.C. would be included until my teacher told me.” Weng thought her piece was chosen because it represented Texas well. Her “Texas Skyline” was her first digitally based piece made specifically for the competition. She spent three days in class using Photoshop to make the layout and format the piece. She spent the next day cutting up a map to make a collage. Then she printed out her piece and used an ink transferring technique to create the skyline. Through her winning piece, Weng has
integrated both art and technology. She hopes to do the same with a future career such as one in graphic design or medical illustration. “I don’t think that those who want to pursue art should automatically be labeled as ‘starving artists’,” Weng said. “Graphic designers are vital in advertising and magazine companies like Seventeen. Overall, I feel like art will provide me with a myriad of opportunities in the near future.” Weng’s parents support her decision to study art, and she said that her mom, who is her biggest supporter, will be accompanying her to D.C. “My parents, who came from traditional Chinese homes, did not really get to voice themselves when they decided what to take for their career path,” Weng said. “My mom strongly supports my own decision to pursue art as a career path simply because it makes me happy. She has a lot of confidence in me and often tells me to just do my best in whatever I choose to do.” Reflecting on her time at school, Weng realizes that there is one lesson that has been of great importance to her: Do not give up. As a freshman, Weng received a rank in the mid 300s as she was not trying her best in school. However, her biology teacher told her that there was still time to improve in the six semesters she had left to complete. In the next two years, Weng’s rank has increased by 200 and she has made it to the top ten percent—which is something she is very proud of. “A word of advice is just to not give up whether you’re a sophomore preparing for senior high school, a junior working on their college applications or senior going to a new college,” Weng said. “There’s always time to change your attitude and attain your goals.”
News Teresa Fresquez
Photo by Kathleen Shaffer
May 24, 2012
By Danielle Deraleau
AP Spanish 5 Literature and Spanish 4 teacher Teresa Fresquez will be retiring after nine years at Plano. “Basically, there are some changes happening in AP, so I figured if I was thinking of leaving it might be a good time to let the new person kind of get into the changes,” Fresquez said. “I thought of that, and I also thought of the time that I’ve put into education and I figured, ‘Well, maybe I’ll spend a little more time with the kids,
Pictured: Teacher Teresa Fresquez
By Danielle Deraleau BC Calculus and Pre-Calculus teacher Rhonda Maloney will be saying goodbye to Plano after 34 years. Years ago, Maloney told the Wildcat Tales that coming to Plano was like coming to heaven. “I came from a school in which they just stuck me in a room in a temporary building—never got to see anybody, never got any help about what I was supposed to be doing,” Maloney said. “They stuck me teaching all low-level classes, and they didn’t
Pictured: Teacher Elizabeth Smith
even care whether I did them or not. I did more pregnancy counseling then teaching. When I came here, and it’s still somewhat this way, you were put in a classroom with another teacher, and you taught as a team. You learned from experienced teachers, and you learned ‘the Plano way’. There’s a Plano way, and it’s still a mark of excellence. So coming to Plano was a lot like coming to heaven in that way. It was so much better.”
Photo by Danielle Deraleau
the grandkids, and so on.’ And just time for myself, I guess. I’m already missing it. I mean, I don’t know any other life other than teaching. It’s going to be quite an adjustment, but that’s where I’m coming from. I really want to focus on going to my grandkids’ schools and helping out. I figured I could stay home and distribute my time.”
Photo by Danielle Deraleau
Pictured: Teacher Rhonda Maloney
By Haley Bunnell
Her voice became shaky as she tried to hold back her tears. “This is the best place in the whole world to me,” she said softly while drying her cheeks with a tissue. After 42 years of teaching and interacting with students— 36 of those years proudly wearing maroon— German teacher Frau Elizabeth Smith is retiring. Even though she received her Master’s in German education from University of Kansas, she began teaching in the fall of
1976, a year after the school opened. Once German class became more popular, she began teaching German, along with other electives like cheerleading, drill team and speech and debate. According to Smith’s daughter, Kim Hampton, who was in her class from 1990-1992, she teaches more than one level of German in a single class period.
To read more go to wildca t tales.com
May 24, 2012
Jean -Pierre Salazar Editor-in-Chief Walking into Plano, I never expected to maroon establishment. fall in love with tradition, with responsibility, with a position and, most importantly, with the potential that the future entails. I never imagined that I would apply to be editorin-chief or that I would ever become an integral part of this wonderful community. Before this year, I never imagined I would break this mold of complacency. I never had the urge to be a part of something. But seeing the camaraderie and pride that newspaper aroused made me crave something. I wanted a role, and a place, among the history of this majestic
I’m in love with this school; I won’t even try to hide it. I thought maybe it was the football games. Maybe it was the added sense of independence. Maybe it was the countless hours spent typing interviews and thinking about my stories — but it wasn’t any one thing. As the juniors of next year will find out, Plano isn’t just a school made up of six buildings; it’s a force made up of a collaborative effort. It’s something that changed me and the way I think. Now it’s my turn to contribute
and leave my paw print on the school. It’s invigorating to think that I will get to produce something for hundreds of people to read. I truly want to make a paper next year that’s unparalleled and evokes a sense of honor into all of next year’s students. I can’t wait to collaborate with Alyssa and provide the student body, the teachers and the faculty with stories that entertain, inform and teach. I can’t thank the students, or the school, that make this paper possible enough for this opportunity. Hopefully, I can create something to show just how much I do appreciate it.
AlyThere’s ssa Matesic Editor-in-Chief something incredible about writer and as a person. And I know I will seeing your words printed on hundreds of papers. That feeling—that exciting moment when new stacks of The Wildcat Tales come in—is what I want to share with the rest of the staff next year. I want to help create something that we are all proud of, something that we all look forward to opening up and distributing every two and a half weeks. Being a part of The Wildcat Tales this year has already taught me so much. Through journalism, I’ve had to face rejection, go out of my comfort zone and perfect my communication skills. I’ve grown, both as a
Shezal Padani Layout Editor
As we end the 2011-2012 school year, I can undoubtedly say that being a staff writer has been a life-changing experience. As cliché as that might sound, being on staff has taught me many skills that are necessary for not only publishing an excellent school paper, but skills that have also shaped me into a more mature and dedicated human being. After conducting numerous interviews, my communication skills have advanced and my confidence level has increased exponentially. Furthermore, I was given the opportunity to work with other dedicated and persevering staff members. Meeting others who shared my aspiration in writing had a great impact on me and pushed me to pursue my passion as a writer. Therefore, my decision to apply as an editor for the next school year went without hesitation, because I knew that being a part of the school newspaper was where I belonged. When I discovered my position as layout editor I felt honored. As an artistic individual, I am looking forward to applying my creative skills into designing the paper next year. Also, I am
Photo and Graphics Editor
The reason I joined Newspaper: I love to write. This year’s editors, staff and adviser made me love it even more. Without them, I would never have learned how to write a newspaper story correctly. It is a different style of writing that is harder than it looks. I’ve learned how to portray my personality through each of my stories and found a new family--people who love to write, love computers, love the warm feeling of the paper when it first comes in, and love to go to conventions and learn from the best journalists and designers in the country. I’ve created memories that I am going to remember for a while, a long while. 2011-2012’s newspaper was incredible. The layout, the writers, the diversity of stories, the columnists; everything was amazing. What is left for us new editors to do? Make it even better. We want more people reading the paper, whether it is online or print. We want more people to know what is going on, to know how many extraordinary students we have and
eager to continue working with a great group of people who have supported me every step of the way. As I look back upon this school year, I know that being a staff member has changed me. I am ready to use the skills I have learned this year and my passion for writing to transform the paper into a symbol of wisdom for other students to look upon and improve themselves as individuals whether it is through a touching story, or an incredible accomplishment from a fellow student. I want our newspaper to be more than just a paper, but a source of inspiration and encouragement.
how awesome the teachers are. Next year’s editors are not only going to keep the paper interesting and diverse, but we are going to put in what you, the reader, wants to see. I promise to put in more pictures. I am extremely excited for next year. I know we will have an outstanding staff. I cannot wait to see what the new team of editors and staff will accomplish. I hope to create a strong family all over again and bring you a newspaper you’ll want to read, see over and over and share. 2012-2013’s newspaper will be remembered. We, the editors, will make sure that happens.
continue to grow as an editor. Next year, I want the paper to be more connected to the student body; I want there to be fewer papers left in the bins. I would like to continue to achieve a balance between stories that inform, stories that expose and stories that entertain. I hope to utilize our online paper to its fullest capacity by updating constantly and posting links to stories via Facebook. I would love to include more picture galleries and videos, as well. However, more than anything else, I want there to be enthusiasm associated with The Wildcat Tales. The ideal paper, for me,
Kimberly Mei Copy Editor
When I first decided to fill out a Newspaper application my sophomore year, I knew I was taking a chance. I had not taken Yearbook in ninth or 10th grade. I knew no friends applying for Newspaper; they were stocking up on the APs and caffeinated nights. However, I had a hunch that if I passed up the opportunity, I’d regret it the rest of high school. This past year, while my friends crammed for tests together in the library during lunch, I transcribed recorded interviews and slowly pieced together first drafts. While Newspaper and the people in it were new to me, writing was not, and being surrounded by those who found it just as worthwhile an activity as I did gave me an unspoken feeling of belonging. When I read the first issue of the year, I was amazed. I realized that those who had so innocently and quietly worked alongside me in the classroom every day were actually secret writing masters, disguised gods of perfect vocabulary and careful phrasing. The nicest
Kathleen Shaffer Business Manager
What began as a room full of strangers has transformed into a group of friends that share memories of laughter, failed current event quizzes and valuable experiences. We’ve all grown, not only as a group but as individuals, and being on the newspaper staff been impacted me in so many more ways than I originally thought it would. Before being in the class, I never realized how much of myself I would put into writing my story or how rewarding it would be to see my work printed for everyone to read; every minute spent interviewing, every hour used to write a story and every phone call made to sell an ad was worth it. The pride I felt seeing The Wildcat Tales in the hands of hundreds of students was like nothing I had experienced before. Next year I look in playing a larger role in helping put the paper out and helping the other staff members. Advertisements play a vital role in putting the paper out because they dictate what we are able to do with it. As the business
would be created by a staff who loves to report, and read by a student body who truly wants to be informed. The paper should get people talking. It should open peoples’ eyes. It should make a difference. I plan on fully dedicating myself to The Wildcat Tales and its staff next year. I am ready to take over the responsibility of putting out a great paper and feel that, along with JP, we can create something amazing.
part was that all were believers in the power of the pen—nobody scoffed at the fact that you liked to “write for fun” or sourly claimed that it made you a “loser”. This past year my eyes have also been opened to the unique individuals who wordlessly pass me every day in Plano’s halls outside Newspaper. With a little nudging at first, I scheduled interviews with people I normally would never have contacted and saw into each of their lives for a moment. In a time where news is often just a list of ditzy Facebook statuses or condensed headlines, I hope that next year I can do my part to get a few more kids to pick up the Wildcat Tales and, for a few minutes, share in the lives of others.
manager, I have several goals for this upcoming year’s paper and staff. Most importantly, I hope to promote optimal participation from the newspaper staff in their efforts to sell ads. I don’t want to be limited in what we are able to do with the newspaper based on a budget. My second goal is that our newspaper provides a way for local business owners to connect with the student body and promote their business. I want students to be able to find out about different businesses. Lastly, I hope that our paper will be better than it ever has been and that all the students will appreciate what the newspaper brings to our school.
May 24, 2012
By Jessica All
Photo submitted by Zach Mastellar
Photo by Erin Ball
Pictured: Senior Zach Mastellar (left), senior Sam Morell (right).
As June rolls around, most students are preparing to move to their colleges, but seniors Sam Morell and Zach Mastellar are taking a different route. They feel as if they have a calling to go out and take the road less traveled. Mastellar and Morell are both going on mission trips after graduation, Morell to Pasadena, California and Mastellar to Romania. Morell is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a 19-year-old male about to graduate high school, Morell is expected to go on a twoyear mission with his church. “I want to go on this mission because I feel that it is the most important thing that I can be doing in my life right now,” Morell said. “I want to help people, teach people, learn more about my church and serve others.” Mastellar is a member of Prestonwood Baptist Church and has been active in mission trips with the church throughout high school. He is part of a program called Trek-x and will participate in a four-year missionary journey. Mastellar heard about the program freshman year while on his first mission trip to Romania. “I decided to apply to the program because I fell in love with mission work and wanted to be able to pursue that more than anything else,” Mastellar said. Morell will focus fully on his mission, putting off college until he gets back, whereas Mastellar will take college courses online through Liberty University. He plans on getting his Bachelor of Science in degree religion and possibly double majoring in Psychology. Both Mastellar and Morell are looking forward to going on their trips and learning new things along the
way. “I’m most excited about being with a close group of Christians and getting to better myself in my walk with Christ as I go on this journey with them,” Mastellar said. Morell is looking forward to all the new relationships he will build with people on his mission. “I am excited to make memories with people in the area,” Morell said. “I’ll get to talk to them about my church and see the good that it will do in their lives.” Mastellar said he has a few fears about the trip, as he is entering the Trek-x program as the youngest member. “I am afraid my voice won’t be heard much in the group,” Mastellar said. “I know that’s just fear messing with me. I know through Christ my voice will be heard.” As Morell prepares to leave, he said he realizes that life on his mission will be very different; he will not have a cell phone, computer or television. However, he will be able to call his family twice a year and write to them once a week. “Serving on a mission will be the best two years of my life,” Morell said. “It will be something that I will benefit greatly from.” Entering into his four year journey, Mastellar hopes he will become more disciplined along the way. “I will no longer have my parents to help me along the way with everything,” Mastellar said. “But I’m not worried about it being too different. I know that God has me right where he wants me.” Mastellar said he can see himself being a missionary for the rest of his life if it is the Lord’s plan for him. “I just simply love the mission field,” Mastellar said.
“I love traveling to new places and meeting new people and getting to tell them about Jesus Christ.” Mastellar is praying that the people he comes in contact with on his mission trip will be openminded to what he has to share with them. “I hope to see hearts and lives changes on this mission trip,” Mastellar said. “I hope to become even more excited about walking with the Lord every day.” Mastellar’s advice to any teen wanting to become a missionary is to pray about it before making the decision, because the commitment is huge. “You need to be sure that it is something that you want to do,” Mastellar said. “Some people aren’t called to go out into the mission field permanently, but that just means God has bigger plans for you.” Knowing that trials will come his way, Mastellar is prepared because he knows the Lord will always be with him. “God doesn’t promise us an easy road,” Mastellar said. “We are going to have trials but God will always be there. I am not just a Christian, but a Christ follower. I choose to pick up my daily cross and walk with Him. Christ is my everything, and I will serve him until I can’t any longer.”
May 24, 2012
By Yeesoo Lee In two months, he will pack his bags, say goodbye to his family and embark on a 2390 mile flight. Senior Ed Hunt will be traveling to Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Hunt said it’s a big change from Plano to Hawaii; however, he is looking forward to being immersed in Hawaii’s culture and living on his own. “I’m going to Hawaii because all my life everything has been given to me from people I love,” Hunt said. “I wouldn’t have been able to live without those people, but I want to challenge myself and see if I can live in a place where I have no choice but to rely on my own work ethic and morals.” Hunt said most students wouldn’t think about receiving a college education in Hawaii and, initially, he hadn’t either. “The more research I did, the more I saw it as a great fit for me,” Hunt said. “I threw it in as a last minute application and hoped for the best.” As a college freshman, Hunt said he chose a double major to challenge himself. “Although it might be tough, I plan on double majoring in Ukulele performance and business,” Hunt said. Hunt said that since he has been playing the Ukulele for a while, he is very excited to spend time formally learning about performance. Not only that, while in Hawaii Hunt said that he hopes he can gain more experience playing with other Ukulele players. He has also applied to life guard on the beach. “I hope that I can play with some incredible players and possibly join a Uke (Ukulele)
orchestra. It would make me explode with copious amounts of happiness,” Hunt said. “I am also looking forward to life guarding on the beach because I’ve only guarded for public pools and I would like to see the similarities and differences.” However, Hunt said that his greatest hope as a freshman is meeting his greatest influence—Jack Johnson, a well-known artist and Uke player. “I am super pumped to try, with all my heart, to meet Jack Johnson,” Hunt said. “He’s the reason I began to truly love guitar and the Uke because, I would just try to learn and play every one of his songs. He’s taught me so much whether it was in music or in general.” While Hunt is excited to attend Manoa and accomplish his greatest wish, he said that his decision was not an easy one to make. And getting all of his family’s support at first was a bit challenging. “At first they were a bit shaky on my proposal of Hawaii,” Hunt said. “But after we all found out how much Manoa had to Photo by Yeesoo Lee offer me, they were excitedly eager about my decision.” Though Hunt has his family’s full support, he said he had to find advice from another source. Hunt said that because his parents didn’t have a lot of experience living out of the Continental U.S., he spoke with the father of his best friend, Zach Walters. Hunt said that Walters’ father grew up in Hawaii and went to undergrad there so he was supportive about Hunt’s decision and gave him an abundant amount of helpful advice.
Pictured: Senior Ed Hunt.
Hunt said that for any student who is considering going to college out of the continent, he or she should seriously consider it and see what the places have to offer like he did. “Hawaii was never a top choice for me,” Hunt said. “But somehow I feel like I have found the perfect place to learn and develop as an adult. There is just so much Hawaii has to offer and I’m thrilled to experience it all.”
By Dani Sureck
There is a first time for everything. Seniors Sarah Scarborough and Pedro Paz can relate to this saying because both students are first generation high school graduates in their families. “It means a lot to me and my family,” Scarborough said. “I feel like I’m supposed to do it. I want to make my family proud because I think graduating and going to college is important.” Scarborough will start her nursing major this fall at Stephen F. Austin State University. She said that she has worked hard throughout high school because she does not want to follow in her brother’s footsteps. “He dropped out of high school,” Scarborough said. “His mistakes are what drove me to finish high school because I want to be able to support myself in the future.” While Scarborough was motivated by her brother, Paz has been inspired by his parents to finish high school and major in environmental
science at Collin College. “It’s a big deal,” Paz said. “I think it’s normal for everyone to go to college, but then I think about my parents. They are going to be proud when I walk across the stage at graduation and will probably cry a lot. It will be a nice moment.” Paz believes that higher education is important because it can provide someone with a more stable future. He said that some students are more intrigued by having a job directly after high school instead of going to college, but that it is not always the right decision. “I think that people focus too much on the present and don’t really think about the future,” Paz said. “That’s why education is important. To students considering dropping out, the idea of making money is nice, but you should continue school to get a career. There is a difference between the two.” As her senior year comes to a close, Scarborough said she has been reminiscing on high school. She said she will miss her two favorite classes this year, anatomy and
honors English, the countless trips to Cat Corner and making new friends. Scarborough believes that students who drop out of high school miss out on these and future opportunities. “Dropping out would be the biggest regret of my life,” Scarborough said. “A high school diploma is the best thing you could ever have because it leads to more options. I’m going to make my kids graduate from high school because with a diploma, you can pretty much do anything: go to college, join almost any branch of the military and other things.” Paz and Scarborough both believe receiving diplomas will symbolize all of their hard work throughout the years. “I am most looking forward to walking across the stage,” Scarborough said. “I will be showing my family that someone can do it.”
May 24, 2012
By Paul Burnham My impending graduation and what lies ahead of it has got me thinking about a lot of things and in recent weeks, I have literally woken up every morning with my head screwed on backwards. This is my final column submission to the newspaper that has let me call it home for the past two years of my life, and while sadness is one of many emotions I am currently experiencing while writing this, a great deal of happiness encompasses it. Happiness brought on by the sense of accomplishment I’ve received from submitting my hodgepodge of thoughts and positions, and happiness that people have actually read them. It is with that sense of accomplishment that I bring to you my final “words of wisdom” and share with you what I have taken from the past 12 years of my life in the school system. In first grade, I learned how to identify patterns. In fourth grade, after a great deal of angst and tantrums, I mastered multiplication and division. In sixth and seventh grade, I learned what a disappointment being in the school band was and why playing the euphonium is a really bad excuse to go on a date with someone. My first years of high school taught me why communism was a horrible concept and that the quadratic formula was best remembered to the tune of some unidentifiable children’s song. Most importantly, through all the ups and downs present both in and out of school, the one thing I was taught, though never directly, is how to live. To say that I’ve been blessed to be in Plano schools my entire life would not nearly do the district justice. The relationships I
have formed with my teachers, no matter how many late assignments have been or how many times I’ve chosen happy hour at Sonic over math models, have shaped me as a person. Lessons learned in the classroom have gone far beyond trigonometry and Henry David Thoreau, but how to be genuine and passionate about whatever it is that I am doing. Coming into each class, our teachers have been prepared to take whatever is thrown at them with a smile, never talking down to anyone or lessening the value of someone just because they have some serious attitude issues. Feeling safe in school is a right that is protected, but feeling like you have somewhere to belong is a much different privilege and it is one that was consistently delivered throughout my education. Looking back, there is only one thing I wish had been different. This, to anyone picking up this copy of the paper at any point in the future, might be the wisest advice you have ever been given—get involved. The amount of opportunities I missed makes me wish I could go back and do it all over again. I feel like society today wants to always find a way out and they often aren’t looking past the tip of their nose, which I didn’t for far too long. With a district as established and well organized as ours, and with a staff that is committed to the excellence of students like me, the way out is everywhere you look. Whether that means you join DECA in your last year of high school and after not giving a crap for six months find yourself competing at the international conference, that’s cool. If you choose to get involved in
art, or journalism or music or fashion design or even the Environment Club, getting involved is the key to doing things right. It puts you out there, allows you to meet people you probably wouldn’t have met and opens the doors to millions and millions of opportunities, whether that is going to a Mavs game for a field trip or flying 1000 miles across the U.S., also for a field trip—getting out there is what’s important. I realized a few years ago that teachers aren’t actually out to get us, and with some polite verbage and a little effort, they will more often than not lead you down a path of a million more opportunities. Talk to them, ask questions and come to them with a solution—you’ll be amazed at what they can do for you. I will always be a Wildcat. I would hope, after I leave this great school, that the classes behind me continue to keep our name strong, holding up the reputation that we, as a school, have prided ourselves over for the past 35 years. Our motto is a tradition of excellence, and it is with great hopes that we continue to deliver results and commit to expanding our knowledge, never leaving a question unanswered. Never underestimate the power of your words and actions, whether good or bad, and never lessen yourself for anyone. Smile, hold the door for people, say please and thank you and most importantly, never be afraid to look like an absolute idiot in front of your peers, because the odds that their opinions will matter ten years from now are slim to none. And finally, for one last time, keep it classy Plano.
The time I dug out my typewriter from underneath my bed to write to him while he was away. The time we fell asleep in the afternoon didn’t wake up until it was dark out. The time I told him to hide in my closet because he wasn’t supposed to be over. The time he borrowed one of my razors and ended up having to borrow Band-Aids instead. I look around now and he’s still here— lying on my bed half-asleep, sitting in my computer chair plugging in his iPod because mine is somehow inferior, standing behind me in the mirror watching me put on makeup. His presence comforts me; it keeps him in existence. I don’t want him to fade away. I understand now that there is no way to trap memories. They are intangible and cannot be contained. There is no way to escape them. They are permanently sewn into me and everything that surrounds me. And yet, even with these ghosts around me, I feel empty. It’s as if I’ve fallen from the bow of a ship. When my body first hit the water, all of my senses numbed. The sudden
coldness was physically unbearable. As I slowly regained feeling, every wave that crashed against me brought a sudden burst of pain. It became hard to breathe; my lungs contracted, and I swallowed water with every gasp. When drowning seemed a viable option, my survival instincts kicked in and kept me from going under. And then the water calmed. I haven’t quite figured out how to be alone yet. Staying afloat on my own somehow seems foreign now—it’s been too long since I’ve had to swim alone. But bringing myself to shore will be more rewarding than using a lifesaver. I will be forced to embrace myself, to face my weaknesses and plunge ahead. Things are oddly hollow now. There’s that little box on my dresser, yes, and his everlasting presence, but I cannot rely on them for all of my comfort. I have to find peace in myself. I still can’t see the coast on the horizon. I don’t know my destination, and that scares me. But, to move forward, I have to pursue alone into the unknown. Into uncertainty. Into uncharted territory.
By Alyssa Matesic I hit the play button again and walked to the other side of my room. The song was on its ninth repeat. I took the dead roses off my dresser— they were from my first bouquet. I took the cards off my bookshelf—they were all handwritten in boyish scrawl. I took the necklace from my jewelry box—it had broken two days earlier. Then I walked over to my wall and began to peel the pictures from it. There was the one from our dance two years ago. The one we took with my Polaroid in August. The one from our walk on the railroad tracks. The one we took on my 16th birthday before going to a concert. The one from my sister’s wedding. All of our memories fit into a little box. I closed the lid and placed it on my shelf—I still wanted it in sight. I wanted to be able to access those memories. It seemed strange to me that they could be contained so compactly—it made them seem so finite. Then I realized that he was still everywhere. I remembered the time I sat at my desk on the phone with him while we played video games against each other for hours.
By Maelyn Schramm I’m not very good with change. Each morning, I wake up and go through my getting-ready-for-school routine that has stayed the same all throughout high school. I depend on a solid group of friends that have known me practically since birth. I tend to be hesitant when people suggest we go to a restaurant I have never eaten at before. But in three months, everything will change. Thinking about all of the differences between now and August is overwhelming. My morning schedule will change daily depending on when there is an available shower in the dorm floor bathroom. My friends and I are splitting in all different directions, relying on Skype, Facebook and texts to stay in touch. Each and every restaurant, coffee shop, movie theater, mall and nearly every other building in Waco will be new to me. In a matter of months, I will drive away from my home of 17 years. I’ll pass the corner where I used to sell lemonade, the tree that inconveniently covers my street’s name and my old stomping ground known as Aldridge Elementary. The next time I walk through the front door, it will no longer be my home but my parents’ home. Changing will suck. It will be hard, I will miss my friends, family and all that is familiar back home. I will shrivel up like a raisin from crying so much the first few nights. I will most likely be a loser, spending hours on the phone with my parents when all I need is to hear their voices. Changing will rock. I will learn how to make something of myself in the real world without depending on my mom to wash laundry and make dinner. I will have new freedoms, friends and experiences coming at me all at once. Even though I am not good with change, and even though the idea of leaving in a few months scares the living daylights out of me, I think I am okay with change in this particular scenario. My parents aren’t just shoving me out the door with a suitcase saying, “Good luck, kid.” Each teacher, mentor and parent has left his or her own nugget of wisdom to take with me out in the real world. Little did I know, they have been preparing me each day my whole 17 years of existence for when I’m out on my own. Like a child, I might have to touch the stove first to learn it’s hot. I might make mistakes along the way, but a few small burns won’t hold me back, they’ll push me forward. In three months, everything will change. But come August 15, I will be ready for change.
May 24, 2012
The only place
By Matt Wood
California has the uncanny ability to produce endless surf-rock bands and churn out summer anthems every season. With this in mind, Best Coast makes sure not to stray too far from this concept. The two-piece band of Bethany Consentino and Bobb Bruno brings together themes of beaches and waves to create songs perfect for driving with the windows down on a hazy summer afternoon. In their May 15 release, “The Only Place,” Best Coast upped their song tempos, cleaned up dreary guitar tones and streamlined their songwriting. The title track, “The Only Place,” exemplifies the change Best Coast has gone through. Consentino herself said their “songwriting style was pretty different” during these sessions and have forgone the lo-fi sound for their newer one. The tones sound similar to those in Real Estate’s newest album, “Days,”
and the drum and rhythm sections are reminiscent of Wavves, with whom Best Coast has recently toured and collaborated. Consentino seems less lovelorn and more optimistic in her lyrical content. She sings about adolescence, sun and summer instead of whining about not having a boyfriend. Though they are not overtly insightful or life-changing, Best Coast’s lyrics serve their purpose well. Criticizing Best Coast for lyrics is like complaining about a Disney movie for not having enough depth to it. It misses the point, because that is not the goal. Best Coast is not trying to revolutionize music; they just want to produce singalong tunes that make their rounds on summer radio, and do so with great aplomb. The swaying and dragging riff of “Last Year” wanders in and out of a reflective story about disaffected youth and how time flies by. It is a slower track, but it balances the energy of the album well.
“No One Like You” is a distinct display of Best Coast’s ability to diversify in song style. Consentino’s voice shines through a glossy wall of calm guitars in this beach ballad, which has hints of hope hidden within somber nostalgia. Although calling it mature would be a stretch, it is more developed and a unique twist on the California surf-rock formula. Although the album reveres the beaches and sun of California, the sentiment can be appreciated by those who have to survive the sweltering Texas summer, and this album makes a fine addition to any summer playlist.
By Paul Burnham Purple Cow Snowballs, FAIRVIEW Snow Cone Lady, FRISCO
Notorious for purple milkshakes and sundaes, The Purple Cow in Fairview has recently added a new addition to their fountainfront store—a snow cone stand. Located just inside the entrance to the store, Purple Cow Sno Balls offers a variety of classic flavors that change periodically and, get this—flavors are made with seasonal fresh fruit. During my visit, I tried pineapple and strawberry half and half as well as their signature purple vanilla. The syrups are homemade, and the balls are made to order all day every day during the summer. The Purple Cow Fairview is located right across from the fountain in the Village at Fairview and it a perfect hangout spot during those hot summer days!
Yes, the line is likely going to be an hour long. And yes, she operates her business out of a literal hole in the wall. However for about a dollar you can have a huge portion of shaved ice and any flavor you want, even adding cream to anything. Her list of flavors requires a dictionary’s worth of paper and there is guaranteed something for everyone. My favorites include tiger’s blood, orange cream, cotton candy and my inner 5-year-old likes the blue raspberry. If you can manage the short drive to old Frisco and bear the line wrapped around the entire city block, it’s definitely worth the wait.
Snow Fusion, PLANO This little place has been sitting in the Walmart parking lot at Spring Creek and Coit for a while now, and every time I drive by, it’s brightly-painted wood paneling always catches my attention. They have a sign that advertises that the shack is “great for wedding photos”, which makes no sense to me, but whatever—the snow cone was amazing. The menu has all the classics and then about a thousand odd ones. My choice? Creole cream cheesecake. On the list of better snow cones I’ve had in my day I would put this somewhere near the top. I got it with cream, naturally, and for $3 I literally had enough snow cone for my entire family.
Sugar Mountain, PLANO While a little more east than I typically care to travel, the folks at Sugar Mountain recommended I get a little crazy with my snow cone which was a good start to an awesome trip. Not only do they have a “happy hour” of sorts from 2 to3 p.m. every day, but they shave their ice much finer than most of the places which I love. I got the sour blue raspberry and sour pink lemonade half and half and it definitely hit the spot. Their list of flavors is immense and a few are made from super-secret recipes that left even my taste buds puzzled.
The Wildcat Tales May 24, 2012
Volume LXVI Issue Twelve
The Wildcat Tales is a student produced publication that serves to educate, inform and
Editors-in-Chief Daniel Hinson Eilie Strecker
Online Editors-in-Chief Diva Gulati Madison McDaniel
Baby Editors-in-Chief Alyssa Matesic JP Salazar
Copy Editor Meital Boim
Baby Copy Editor Kimberly Mei
Editorial Editor Maelyn Schramm
Layout Editor Meaghan Pulliam
Baby Layout Editor Shezal Padani
Baby Photo/Graphics Editor Cristina Seanez
Adviser Terry Quinn
Business Manager Amber Robinson
Baby Business Manager Kathleen Shaffer
Jessica Allman Erin Ball Emma Barishman
Haley Bunnell Paul Burnham Danielle Deraleau
Staff Writers Miles Hutson Stephanie Jabri Yeesoo Lee
Maddie Patton Kathy Santiago Josh Spruchman
Summertime in Texas has consistently left its blistering mark on all of us and with every May that passes, brings with triple digit temperatures, sunburns worth tweeting about and… snow cones? Any veteran Texan will tell you that the best way to cool off during those scorching hot days is to grab a snow cone, and I have taken the liberty of trying a few dozen to help you make the best choice when it comes time to chill out.
The Only Place Mexican Summer Records. © 2012
Dani Sureck Matt Wood
entertain the student body in a professional manner which will provoke thought while upholding the principles of a free press. The publication is a forum for the students of Plano Senior High School. Any opinions expressed in The Wildcat Tales is the opinion of the writer and of the writer only.
Policy: Students and faculty are encouraged to send in any questions, comments, concerns or criticisms to be published. Letters to the editors can be put in the envelope in room B208 or emailed to The Wildcat Tales at firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff reserves the right to edit a letter for grammatical errors and space issues. Any errors found in the publication will be rescinded in the following issue. Additional and daily updates can be found at our website www.wildcattales.com. Past issues can be viewed at www.issuu.com/wildcattalesonline. Businesses wishing to advertise in The Wildcat Tales can email us at email@example.com. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisements deemed to be inappropriate.
The Wildcat Tales is the official student publication of Plano Senior High School 2200 Independence Pkwy Plano, Tx 75075 469.752.9300
May 24, 2012
Plano Senior High School
Plano, TX, USA