1 The Chariot MARCH 2015 FREE Mini-THON 2015 Teachers Honored in Annual Event EDITION 5 By ALEX SHIELDS and ABBY WAXLER When you hear that an estimated 16,000 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2015, the fact has quite an impact. Fortunately, some cases may be discovered early. These kids are treated and after a long fight, back on their feet living out great lives. Others won’t be so lucky and will tragically lose their fight. No matter the battle fought, one thing always remains the same: these kids don’t let cancer stop them from living the lives they know they deserve. Unfortunately, pediatric cancer can be a difficult battle monetarily as well. Medication, treatment, psychological needs and travel expenses pile up to create a bill that even the most fortunate of families can struggle to afford. For that reason, families can be glad a foundation like the Four Diamonds Fund exists today to relieve the financial burden and emotional burden cancer causes. Started by Charles and Irma Millard after the death of their son Christopher in 1972, the Four Diamonds’ mission is to, “conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.” Thanks to events such as Penn State’s THON and Mini-THONs such as ours, the Four Diamonds is able to ensure that these families receive the aid that is necessary. More than just money or research, the Four Diamonds provides comfort to families dealing with such difficult and often tragic circumstances. The outcome of Wyomissing’s Mini-THON goes well beyond the amount of money raised. Families across the region will feel the impacts of our efforts. Our Mini-THON is so special because we are helping kids that, in just their first few years, have gone through more hardships than some of us will ever go through in our entire lives. Raising as much money as Correction: The previous print edition listed the year as 2014. It was, in fact, 2015 and the seniors will, in fact, be graduating this year. Hazardous Parking If you’ve ever had the pleasure of driving through the high school parking lot at 7:15 in the morning, you know that there are problems with the drop-off system. PAGE 2 possible, knowing it is going to such a worthy cause, and even meeting families who benefit from the money we raised more than makes up for the long, painful hours on our feet. We can find motivation in reminding ourselves that the exhaustion some of us felt, struggling to stay awake in the final hours of the event cannot compare to the struggles these kids and their families are going through. Being able to help such inspirational kids is an absolute honor. Often we can walk away from a Mini-THON without remembering that the primary focus of the event is on Pediatric Cancer; after all, those of us organizing the event wanted to ensure the night was filled with fun and entertaining activities. Yet, it is important to remember that after all the fun – and all the hard work – we raised over $30,000 which will have a tremendous impact on people who desperately need our help. Everyone who attended the event, or gave any contribution – (Continued on Page 7) Advice Column When your life at the high school gets super serious, the experts are here with creative solutions to your problems. PAGE 4 Opinions Because if there’s one thing you need, it’s more people giving you their options . Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. PAGE 3 By BRETT DRIBEN Buzzers and Balances. Math and “Macbeth”. Kilns and Robotic Copter Drones. From much needed Electronic Balance in the high school’s Science department to Tablets for a Math Program at WREC, Wyomissing Area Education Foundation has funded grants in support of an array of subjects across the district. As budgets become ever tighter and funding for extras dries up, WAEF has picked up the slack. As spring comes peeping out from behind snowy clouds and this school year draws to close, it is once again time for WAEF annual “Toast to the Teachers.” This series of events provides not only an opportunity to honor the teachers that make education so enjoyable, but also to help fund the tools the use in their classroom. It’s a “win-win situation,” said WAEF director Karen Moser, “We celebrate teachers, raise money, and give back to the very teachers and students that attend the events.” Continuing a tradition started last year, the first “Toast” is being organized by the WAEF Student Committee, a volunteer group of high school students. On Friday, May 1, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, you can come to the Wyomissing Stone House for the “Mad” about Science Celebration and join WAEF for an evening of “experimenting” delicious appetizers, desserts and beverages, while socializing with terrific teachers of Science at Wyomissing JH/HS. The price is $15 Adults and $5 for Students (Continued on Page 7) Sudoku This time there’s four, count ‘em, four Sudoku. And for those of you who really enjoy Sudoku and/or squinting at small numbers, here’s another one. PAGE 8 Meanwhile, at the High School... Parents enter on Cambridge Avenue and start their treks through the parking lot. The first unofficial (and illegal) drop off zone is by the roundabout at the flagpole. Parents “pull over,” but still block the main part of the By PAIGE GARAPOLA road, making it difficult for passAnd DEMI KUCZALA ing cars to get by. After their children get out of the How parents are supposed precious car, the parents often pull back to drop their kids off: into the lane without fair warnThe school rule on parent use of a blinker. drop-offs in the mornings is that ing orContinuing through the the cars must enter the parking lot parking lot, we on reach our next on Cambridge illegal drop Avenue, go all spot. Outthe way side the new through the gym, you parking lot, will again and stop only find yourself when they trying to get reach the senpast parents ior parking lot. who are This is where hardly the kids should teachers line up to get to the pulled over. get out in a Parents, students, and high school . This marks timely fashion the start of a building-long line in order to reduce traffic and al- of parents lined up to let their low senior drivers to get through kids out. Instead of continuing to to their parking spots. Then, the the actual door, the parents stop parents are supposed to continue in random spots and cause chaos through the parking lot and exit in the parking lot. on Evans Avenue. As students trying to get How parents actually drop through the lot to our parking their kids off: spots, it can be very frustrating Hazardous Parking to wait 15 minutes for adults that and send them out to all of the are disregarding the district’s parents in the district. The rules rules. Coming around the final that are supposed to be followed turn to get to the student spots, are common sense, but still people parents stop in spots that are have a hard time following them. difficult to get around, and then To ensure a successful droppull out without regard to cars off do not stop in the middle of that are trying to pass. the street, continue moving with traffic, do not Possible pull off to the solutions: side for any Accireason or at dents are any time, only going to ocstop by the cur if someentrance in one does not the senior stop the chaos parking lot, that goes on and always in the parking lot. Parents do Few parents actually drop of their kids in the use your blinkers. One not have the designated unloading zone as shown. other solution courtesy to even turn on their blinkers when would be to not enter the school they are done illegally dropping area at all and just drop your kid off their kids. Needless to say, off on the side of Evans Avenue. this could cause some serious All of the kids will be fine walkissues. To get through the morn- ing an extra 100 feet into the ing commute to school success- school. It is up to both the adminisfully and in an appropriate manner there needs to be a solution trators and the parents to come up to the issues in the parking spot. with a reasonable solution to deThe school has already crease chaos in the parking lot. asked that a police officer sits in Overall, this will also improve the front of the school and direct level of safety for students traveltraffic but that area is only where ing through the parking, which the problem begins. The admin- should be a priority of the administration needs to set firm rules istration. The Cafeteria: The Heart and Soul of Our School By EMMA NUGENT The cafeteria. A beacon of light. A safe haven for kids after a grueling 5 or 6 periods of frying their brains. Most people look forward to lunch, for it’s a time to relax, talk with friends, and most importantly, refuel with delicious food. Most students pack or, if they do buy, complain about the quality of the food. While the food may not be gourmet, it’s still fairly good, not to mention edible and assembled by the caring hands of our underrated lunch ladies. One of the most common complaints of the students at Wyomissing Area High School in the cafeteria is the quality of the food. Most students are used to homecooked meals, and, while those are desirable, the cafeteria is responsible for serving around roughly 900 kids, so you can’t expect grade A meals. The lunch ladies try their hardest to make the food good enough for us, getting here at the crack of dawn to start their rigorous process. There are always vegetables and fruits lying out for you to grab and large cases full of water and milk. They also provide us with a large array of choices, so if you’re unhappy with one option, you can check out the others. Some other options provided besides the main meal are types of hot sandwiches, such as meatball subs or chicken cheese 2 steak. Across the lunch room is the cold cut deli. There’s even salad bar with over a dozen choices of toppings and even premade ones as well, some with meat for those who are looking for protein, and a few more without for vegetarians. While it’s hard enough to prepare one type of meal for 900 kids, imagine preparing 4 other meals as a backup option as well. For the amount of time the staff is given to prepare us a meal, they do a pretty good job. And while the food may not taste the best, it is nutritious and edible. While many people aren’t too fond of the food, they adore the lunch ladies. It’s not hard to see where they’re coming from either. When you walk into the cafeteria or to the morning concession stand in the lobby, they always greet you with a smile and a warm welcome. One particular lunch lady, who I’m sad to say I never learned her name, always asked how I was doing and how my day was going, making the start of the day much better. The employees of our school aren’t too thrilled to be here this early either, yet these dedicated, culinary artisans always manage to have a smile on their face. They always answer any questions we have and point us in the right direction if we’re lost and confused. The lunch ladies are severely underrated and treated poorly by us students, yet they still treat us with respect. So, next time you go to complain about how awful the lunch is, or how rude you think the staff is being, think about how hard it must have been for less than a dozen ladies to prepare this meal, and appreciate it. While the food may not be the best in the world, the people and the amount of effort put in may as well be. 58 Feet of Terror: The Breezeway of Death By TIERNEY BANCO Has this ever happened to you? You’re the average Joe, just minding your own business in the four minute time zone between classes. You have to walk quickly towards your next class; it’s at the opposite end of the school. The most convenient way is to walk directly through the breezeway and straight down the hall. Great plan, right? One problem though. Everyone in school had the exact same idea at the exact same time! All at once, people from every possible direction jam into a terrifying blob of anxious students all trying to get through. You’re stuck in the middle and now need to spend two out of the three remaining minutes between classes going a very short distance. The true issue with the breezeway lies in its disproportionate measurements compared to the maximum number of students who can squeeze in there. By my definition, the breezeway goes from the start of the stairwell closest to Mr. Gallagher’s room (hereby referred to as the main stairwell) to the opposite end of the stairwell that will take you down to the vending machine room of the cafeteria (referred to here as the cafeteria stairwell). According to those standards, the breezeway is exactly 58 feet. But it’s not the length that is a problem, it’s the width. The breezeway’s width is rather inconsistent throughout its ing the “busy breezeway time” I short distance. From the section can almost guarantee a stampede of the breezeway leading from and at least a few broken arms. around Mrs. Jordan’s room to I’m not exaggerating. There the cafeteria stairwell, there is 10 is hardly a current Wyomissing feet, 8 inches of room. Then the soul who does not have a students must funnel into the six Breezeway horror story or been foot frame doorway. Thankfully, affected by the massive crowd. the width widens to 12 feet, 5 My own story came on the first inches allowing for much more day of seventh grade. I was a room (not really). However, the tiny little sevie walking down the art case cuts this width down to main stairwell. Being unused to 10 feet, 4 inches. As soon as the the crowd flow, I was unpreart case stops we return to 12’ pared when I was shoved from 5’’. The behind and rush to get through the breezeway at the end of the landed on library doors Theday literally packs the hallway from wall to wall. give us the the student most room, in front of a full 17 me: a rafeet. But ther anthen we go noyed senback to 12’ ior. Thank 5’’, right goodness before we he was get to funnel there or I into another would’ve 6 foot doortumbled way. The down the remaining part of the breezeway stairs...but that’s not the point. is a lovely, tightly spaced 10’ Every day students dealing 4’’, directly in front of the busi- with the Breezeway trouble end est stairwell in the school. up late. Camryn Carwll said Yes, I am well aware that recently, “I had to walk back to fire codes dictate these doorways my locker to get something, as a requirement, but, in the which maybe added thirty secwords of Mr. Beck, “Get rid of onds to my walk to class. But those doors and we have no because of the traffic in the problem.” The funneling of hun- breezeway, I was still extremely dreds of teenagers into a six foot late because I got stuck.” Carspace, then widening only to men Heinly goes out of her way have them funnel once again all the time saying, “If I don’t go only results in crushed arms in the breezeway I try to avoid against heavy backpacks. In fact, the traffic but I always get stuck if someone shouted “FIRE” dur- around 2nd period. But more 3 importantly, I can’t go to my locker.” Maddi Bickel stated the thought that goes through everyone’s mind, saying, “I hate when they (being everyone) push on my backpack because it is not going to do anything.” Whenever I walk during busy breezeway time the first thought that comes to mind is “Why in the world did they design it like this?” Thanks to Mr. Beck, a Wyo alum, I got a little history lesson. He was in high school in 1993 when the problematic hallway was constructed. Floor plans of the school from this time period show that the library was previously located in the middle section of science, math, and English department wings (where Mr. Delp and Mrs. Santoro’s rooms are now). I learned that the bottom-level of the breezeway (leading from the bottom of the main stairwell to the entrance of the cafeteria), had been there since 1965. In order to walk from the old part of the school to the new part you had to walk down to the bottom-level, walk across, and walk up another stairwell on the other side. While I’m sure that yet another stairwell in your day would be very taxing on your already tired self, this breezeway is the better option. Keep in mind that back in 1993 the class sizes were around 90 students, not the 150ish average size that we have now. Sadly, we must continue to struggle through the daily avalanche. Word of advice: plan out your walking strategy and avoid the breezeway during time of maximum capacity. Building School Spirit: Putting the “U and I” in Uniform By JAILENE DIAZ School uniforms should be a must, not only in Catholic Schools but in most public schools too. Uniforms are beneficial in a lot of schools and help the students feel united as a school, as well as disciplined. Going to school means you have to look respectful and decent. Amelia Rothermel, a sophomore in Wyomissing High School explains, “Having uniforms help with the dress code policy.” Basically, uniforms help prevent inappropriate clothing. Inappropriate clothing can cause distraction and it is not the right attire people use to go to a place where you learn and need to be respected as an individual. For example, people won’t take a guy serious if he’s wearing jeans down to his knees. If a girl is wearing attire that shows a little too much skin, people won’t respect her as much as they would if she were wearing a formal uniform; such as a formal collar shirt with skirts and leggings, or even wearing color coordinated tshirts with khaki pants. So why is having a school uniform a benefit for you exactly? As Megan Conlin stated, “No one can make fun of what you’re wearing, and it saves you time in the morning.” People can’t make fun of those who cannot afford brand clothing, or don’t have the latest trend of certain clothing. Having school uniforms can eliminate certain cliques that are based on their looks, how rich they are, or what they wear. Thus, making students and family feel as if there’s equality actually going on. Kids shouldn’t have to feel left out or bullied by what they’re wearing. Having school uniforms can prevent things like this from happening. It gives people a sense of belonging and some school pride. As Conlin stated, having a school uniform can save you a little extra time in the morning. You don’t have to be rushed trying to look for your clothes or spend time at night before going to bed, trying to figure out what you’re going to wear for tomorrow. All you have to do is grab your washed uniform, put it on, and voila, no more time spent rushing in the morning. School uniforms within a public school can also improve security. So for example, in an extreme circumstance, if a trespasser enters the school building, everyone would automatically know that the trespasser is not supposed to be in the building. People will be able to easily identify whether or not there is an intruder in the school just by what they’re wearing. Overall, having these ensembles is just a better idea overall. Security would be improved for the benefit of everyone. Having school uniforms would be a lot a safer, not just for the teachers having to worry about dress code, but for the students as well. Uniforms help them feel a source of equality, it saves students time in the morning, and wearing uniforms has the students seem like respectful young adolescents. 4 Opinion Which Water Wizard Wins? By AVERY HOLT and KRISTEN HAFER Water. This essential compound “H2O” makes up about 71% of the very planet we live on and can be found at a potable state in practically any building across America, whether it be in bottle form or streaming from a ‘water fountain’. The average person drinks from 9-13 cups of water each day, originating from about 490 different water brands. All of which are competing to be the “best water company” with the purest water for their consumers. Popular bottled water brands competing in the U.S. market are Deer Park, Acadia, Aquafina, Dasani, The Water Guy, Poland Springs and Nestlé Pure Life. However, how can one go about the process of deciding which water company to buy from? How do we know which one will quench our thirst beyond compare? With the advice from Avery Holt and Kristen Hafer, maybe you will be able to come to your senses regarding which water bottle you SHOULD be purchasing. Avery: I’m going to make this short and sweet. In Berks (Continued on Page 7) Fly Eagles Fly By JUCHE JACKSON and SAM WEAVER It has been complete anarchy in Philadelphia since the start of NFL free agency. Some people have called it a quote- damn outrage -unquote and others have embraced the radical approach Coach Kelly has made. Juche Jackson and Sam Weaver discuss the big names being brought into the city of brotherly love and most importantly, if the money will pay off in the season. The discussion is going to be based off of three questions that have been going around the sports world non-stop. We will answer each question in order. 1) Yes the Eagles are different, but are they better? Juche: There is no real an- The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mr. Stanchek, The Editors of the Chariot, or any relevant kittens. The Ultimate Guide: Finding the Perfect Roommate By MADDI BICKEL and CARMEN HEINLY Deciding what college you are going to is an exciting moment. The next step after this decision is finding the person you are going to live with at this school. Schools have many different methods of finding a roommate. Some have random selection, quizzes that match people, and/or an option to select your own roommate. Facebook is a prime location to search for your future roommate. Most schools create Facebook pages which you can join; on these pages you can read others’ posts about themselves or make posts of your own. If you see someone who you think you would get along with, you can message them and see if they’re interested. There are several ways to find a roommate for future college students. You can take the more traditional approach and fill out a survey, or you can connect through social media, which is what most people do. This approach lets you connect with your future roommate on a more personal level, but there are some drawbacks. These days teens tend to exaggerate their life on social media which is something to be mindful of. Do not swer to this question because we are in the off-season. However, I think that they are making the correct steps to be better. I like the fact that defense is finally becoming a priority. It is no secret that the defense was horrible, specifically the secondary. I am fully convinced that former cornerback B r ad l e y Fletcher will get beat off the ball and Mossed by 325 lb. defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Cary Williams likes to hug receivers, get on their backs for a piggyback ride, or grab jerseys like a tug of war rope so thank goodness he is gone as well. Sam: No one can deny the choose a potential roommate based on the amount of Instagram likes they receive. Instead use social media to get a general idea of the person, and get to know them by simply contacting them. If you don’t think you two would get along, it’s not a hard bullet to dodge. The easiest way to get out of that situation is to explain that you are looking to room with someone else, but you look forward to seeing them on campus. One habit that is difficult to avoid when looking for a roommate is judging them by their appearance. It is in our humannature to look for someone who is attractive; attractiveness signifies health, strength, and the idea that they are fun to be around. Morally, it is best to overlook any pictures the person may have posted and examine the personality traits and habits they have described themselves with. This is a difficult thing to do, but you may be better off if you judge a potential roommate by the kind of person they are as opposed to how they dress or how pretty their hair is. Just because someone is good looking does not mean they will be a fun person to live with. Some traits are necessary to address before committing to live with someone for a year. fact that the Eagles are different in many aspects on both sides of the ball. Trading LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso really showed the fact that Chip Kelly was going to stress the improvement of his defense. The defense that was ranked 28th out of 32 teams in the league, allowed over 375 yards p e r game. They have introduced new corners to the team, both players from the legion of boom from the Seattle Seahawks. With these adjustments on defense I think that the Eagles defensive unit has improved dramatically. Juche: I do like the pickups Future college freshman should ask their potential roommate what their sleeping schedule is like, how neat or messy they are, how much they value grades, how often they like to go out, and what kind of activities they plan to participate in when they get to college. If any of these traits contradict each other, you may be better off searching for someone who has more similarities. In most cases, there are so many people going to the college, at least a few thousand, that you are bound to find someone who you will get along with well enough to live in a couple hundred square feet together. Deciding who to spend your entire college career with can be overwhelming. The idea of spending almost the entire day and night with someone that you have yet to meet is stressful, but there are a few pieces of advice you need to follow to put your mind at ease. A roommate may sound like a heavy commitment, but if you two simply don’t get along, most universities are very accommodating. You can easily switch roommates. Depending on where you go, there are thousands of students, if you don’t end up becoming best friends with your roommate, don’t get discouraged. As long as the two of you are civil, it should not be a problem. they have made on defense. Despite his injury, Alonso shows great potential and has a natural instinct for the ball. With respect to the great veteran linebacker, Demeco Ryans is 30 and is naturally losing some steps so a young rehabilitated Alonso would make a great fit on Kelly’s team (again). The secondary is looking promising with cornerback Byron Maxwell bringing his talents from the Legion of Boom to the BirdGang also. Another former Seahawk defensive back, Walter Thurmond III, will be coming to Philly from New York. Like Alonso, Thurmond III will be joining his former coach (not much of a coincidence I know). Juche: On the offensive end, a super running back committee named the Legion of Zoom has been assembled. The superteam is made up of this past season’s (Continued on Page 8) Ask the Experts: For When Life Gets Super Serious By MEGAN CONLIN and AMELIA ROTHERMEL Inconsiderate Parker Ignores Unsaid Rules Dear Experts: Every day I park on Evans Avenue next to the same people. There are no set spots but there is an unwritten rule that everybody parks in the same spot everyday, but yesterday someone was in my spot. I had to park all the way down by the pool and I was almost late. I want to ask the person to move out of my spot, except there is not set rule and I’m not sure who this person is. What should I do? - Puzzled Parker Dear Puzzled Parker: We’d love to help you with your problem! One extremely helpful tip we can give is this: place a camera in the front of one of your friend’s cars and at the end of the day watch the footage. When you see who has been parking in your spot, ask them about it. If they begin to deny parking in your spot, whip out your camera and show them the proof. Yes, this may seem extreme but do you want your parking spot back or not? When you confront them, make it friendly at first; you don't want to intimidate them. Let them know that you are not trying to make it a bigger issue than it is, but you deserve that parking spot. *** Brazen Strategy Helps Reveal Sneaky Cheaters Dear Experts: in English class I sit next to someone and I’m not sure if they’re cheating off of me or not. When we get our tests back, we have a lot of the same answers and they never do their homework. I don’t want to start a problem if there isn’t one but I don’t want to be caught cheating. What do I do? - Flustered Freshman Dear Flustered Freshman: We know some people may tell you to just cover your paper, but they aren’t the experts. We suggest that you answer every question on the test wrong. Talk to your teacher about intentionally failing the test and find out if you would be able to retake it. When the tests are handed back check to see if your suspect also had a failing grade, and if so confront them or ask your teacher if you can switch seats. Confronting them usually works best because it gives you the chance to get your anger out. Make sure that when you are taking the test you make it easy for them to see your answers. *** Socially Unconscious Mom Ruins Life Dear Experts: my mom packs me the same food everyday and puts a note in my lunch. I think that it’s sweet but my friends have started making fun of me. I play along with the joke because I don’t want them to know it bothers me, but my feelings are actually really hurt. How do I make them stop? - Pestered Packer Dear Pestered Packer: We understand your issue and have come up with a solution about the food in your lunch being the same everyday. You and your mom should have a system where you can request ideas regarding what foods you would like her to pack. This will spice up your lunch and keep your friends from thinking you have the same boring routine everyday. Now for the note: you obviously want to keep receiving them every day, and an easy way to get your friends to stop making fun of you is to have your mom sign the notes “your girlfriend,” so your friends think that you’re a player. They will respect you more and get off your back. Ask the Experts appears monthly, distributed by Chariot Features Co. Incorporated Syndicate and Friends. Please email your problems to [email protected] (but only if they’re super serious). We’re serious if you are. Standardized Tests: Who Can’t Wait for Keystones?! By MADDIE FEEMAN If a student is asked about standardized testing, most likely their answer will be negative. But do students ever think of the positives? Usually the answer is no. Believe it or not, there can be positive outcomes to taking a Keystone test. The seemingly endless preparation for the Algebra 1, Biology, and English Keystone tests can be worthwhile to the students taking them. Keystones do in fact have benefits and the students who disagree with them are not looking at the entire picture. Because even though the months of preparing is irritating, getting a good score and using the information that students learn from the test after high school is benefiting them. Students dread the 90 minute test, and most of them automatically think that it will be a waste of their time. Envisioning that they will not benefit from a good score before they even enter the testing room is not the way to look at Keystones as a whole. However other students are trying to understand how important the Keystones are. Leon Powell, a sophomore, says, “They give us extra motivation to work harder so we can pass our classes, and the test, to graduate.” While teachers are not only helping everyone master the skills needed to pass the test, they are preparing students for the future. Students often ask their teachers, “When will I use this in my life?” But what students may not realize is that the content on the Keystone test will be used after high school and college. Yes, after college a student probably won’t have to find the hypotenuse of a right triangle by using the Pythagorean Theorem, but things like scatter plots will appear a lot after graduation day. The content presented needs to be studies so, as students, everyone must remember these things when they need them as an adult. Even though some are only thinking about how their score will affect them immediately, others are realizing that the content on the Keystones will be around forever. Many students at Wyomissing agree that Keystones mainly benefit kids for p o s t secondary school, Megan Conlin says, “You have to take standardized tests to get into college. So taking Keystones gets everyone used to the format and time limit of tests like the SAT’s and ACT’s.” Kids often get bombarded by the stresses of those big tests, especially knowing that these scores define what their life will be like after high school. Because students have to take Keystones, things may be a little easier, and maybe less stressful, for them during the SAT. 5 Tumbling Down a New Path By MEGAN LEAGANS Almost all social media sites have the same general trends that overlap with each other. If you see one popular post on one site, it’s typical that you’ll see that same post slightly adapted on another. While Facebook is more commonly used by adults and Twitter is more commonly used by teenagers, both are mostly a medley of random posts that serve little to no purpose in the grand scheme of things. But Tumblr isn’t like all the rest. Created in early 2007 by David Karp and now owned by Yahoo!, Tumblr is a social media site that allows users to produce their own blog. You can title your blog, choose a theme or even make one, follow other blogs and make your own posts. In a way, it’s similar to any other social media outlet because you have the freedom to post whatever you want, there are famous accounts and there are trends throughout the website. But Tumblr isn’t necessarily only a composite of useless posts that devote nothing to the greater good of society. Simply put, Tumblr could be classified as a hybrid of social justice and liberal policies. The trending posts on this site are all (Continued on Page 8) While looking towards college and adult life is commendable the results of the tests could greatly influence the way that the student learns, and where the student will go in life. A sophomore, Emma Nugent, says, “It tests our knowledge and lets us see how much we have improved.” Learning how much a student has improved over the course of their preparing for the Keystones can help them strive to achieve their goals of a passing grade. And getting a passing grade on the Keystone can, in turn, help students be motivated to achieve their goals of better grades after high school. Standardized tests may be lengthy and depressing, but the content on them will be a benefit in students’ lives after both college and high school. Especially the information from the Keystones. Even though most students may not enjoy taking these long tests, we will learn that the many hours spent preparing will be worth it. This is Not the Issue You’re Looking For By MARK GOLDBERG A while back we finally got a trailer for the upcoming Star Wars episode VII. By far the thing that everyone complained the most about was the cross guard lightsaber handle. This seemed to be the only thing everyone talked about. However, it is not as stupid as many people make it out to be. First off, I should address the fact that any protection is better than none. What I mean by that is that there is no large reason not to have a cross guard. The only thing it would then do is make the handle slightly heavier. The cross guard would also still be useful in fighting magnaguards, who use electrostaffs. You might remember them as General Grievous’ guards in Episode III. Since electrostaffs are basically lightsaber resistant material with electromagnetic pulse generating tips, a cross guard would stop it. Speaking of lightsaber resistant material, it is a real thing in the Star Wars universe. This could be what the cross guard is made out of, allowing it to block lightsabers as well. A third reason that the handle would not break is addressed in the Colbert Report. His theory is that the lightsaber blade goes throughout the whole cross guard. This would also keep the lightsaber cross guard from being cut. However, it is also possible that the cross guard is not made for defense. No, I’m not going to say that it would be good for offense, because it wouldn’t. I’m talking about a third use. If you look at the blade in the trailer it looks a bit shaky. This is characteristic of an unstable lightsaber. Maybe the sith lord (yes I am technically assuming that he is a sith lord, but give me a break) had no one to teach him how to build a lightsaber. He also may not have enough material to build a perfectly up to date lightsaber. This would mean that he might need to add a few less effective components. The cross guard could just be a way for the lightsaber to cool down. In the end, we just don’t have enough information yet to make a judgment. Instead we should spend our time complaining about the things in the trailer that have no explanation such as what I guess is a R10 astronomic droid (the thing with R2D2’s head and a soccer ball for a body). There is no way that thing could go up stairs much less fix a spaceship! Cross about the Cross Guard By MARK GOLDBERG A while ago the Star Wars Episode VII trailer came out. It showed the worst creations from Lucas Films ever (Note: jar-jar does not count as a creation the same way people don’t call chemical waste creations): a cross guard for a lightsaber. In battle, cross guards are used to keep your opponent’s blade from sliding down your blade and cutting your hand. However, this is not helpful for a lightsaber. Your opponent’s blade would just go through the blade emitter and cut your hand anyway. The cross guard would also add more weight to the handle. This may not seem like a problem to some people, but normal swords are made to have the blade the same weight as the 6 handle. However, lightsabers can’t do this as the blade has no mass. This is why non-force users have trouble using lightsabers. Making the handle heavier would offset this balance even more than it already has. Colbert from the Colbert Report said that the blade must divide at the cross guard meaning that an opponent could not cut the cross guard. However, lightsabers are not built in such a way that this can happen. To get this to work, something would have to change the direction of the lightsaber into three streams. Since no material can change the direction of a lightsaber, Colbert’s plan would not work. Even if he were right, the metal on top of the cross guard would be a waste of material (though the bottom would be useful as it would keep the sith lord from sliding his hand onto the blade). Alexz Johnson’s Let ‘Em Eat Cake Covers Every Aspect of Love and Heartache By NOELLE FROMUTH For music fans who are looking for something new that features great talent and meaningful lyrics, Alexz Johnson’s new album is right for you! Her second album since Voodoo in 2010, Let ‘Em Eat Cake exceeded the expectations of many fans who donated to her through the crowdfunding website PledgeMusic.com, Her campaign, which was 156% funded, allowed her to not only make an amazing album, but give the fans that helped her many special treats from signed postcards to house concerts. If you don’t know who Alexz Johnson is, there is a chance that you may have seen her before. She played Jude Harrison, the lead, on the TeenNick show Instant Star from 2004 to 2008, and she also sings the current theme song for its sister show, Degrassi. You may also know her as Erin in the movie Final Destination 3. (She also inspired Demi Lovato to become a singer, so that’s pretty cool.) The album opens with the soul-filled “Heart Like That,” giving it a fun and exciting start. Next comes the song that the album is titled after, “Let ‘Em Eat Cake”: a message to all of her haters, who were not kind to her as they were waiting for the album to be released. Sometimes when she promises new music by a certain date, she asks for patience since she needs more time to make the album sound exactly how she wants it to. This makes many fans angry, because they get tired of waiting for music that was supposed to be released months ago. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that Alexz is an indie artist, which gives her the freedom to make her music the way she wants. While it may take longer, it allows her to release a better quality product that she can be proud of. It may not satisfy all of her fans, but thankfully Alexz doesn’t let any of their nasty tweets or comments bother her. Other notable songs on the album are “Cologne,” “That Pain,” and “Ruthless Love.” “Cologne,” a fan favorite, tells the story of a kindling romance. The song is accompanied by a music video that she filmed while she was on tour to promote the album. (I had the pleasure of seeing her in Philly for the last show of the tour, and she was AMAZING!) “That Pain” is my personal favorite. It is upbeat and has a great message about heartbreak: “Chains, stones to the ground. Nothing’s there to hold you down,” is the message in the chorus, reminding listeners that one bad relationship won’t hold them back. Songs that shed a positive light on break-ups can provide healing, and that’s something that everybody needs. “Ruthless Love” shows of Alexz’s amazing vocal talents. It’s impossible to listen to this song without being shocked by the high note she hits in the final chorus. And no, she is not auto-tuned. She sounds better live than she does on any recording. The album closes with “I Will Fall In Love,” a song that provides hope for anyone who is still looking for that special someone. It is a positive ending to an amazing and emotional album. You can download Let ‘Em Eat Cake on iTunes or Alexz’s website (AlexzJohnson.com). On her website, you can also purchase a signed physical copy of the album for only $15! I would highly recommend checking it out. Don’t just take my word for it; my friends all agree with me, since I have forced her music on all of them at one point or another. If you are looking for new music that takes a spin on traditional pop music, I promise Alexz will not be a waste of your time. Laxmi’s Grille: Deliciously Spicy By MEERA JAGADESAN If you’re looking for a good restaurant on a weekend for take out or to sit down, Laxmi’s Grille is a perfect choice. From the appetizers to the chai, the food is overall delicious. To start off with a meal, you need a delicious beverage. If you have a sweet tooth, a mango lassi is a perfect choice. A lassi is an Indian drink that is similar to a smoothie and is made with yogurt to cool down the spice of the food yet to come. Some of the appetizers could have been better but if you pick the right ones they are out of this world. The favorite of the appetizers is the vegetable samosas, a small mix of spices and vegetables wrapped in a deliciously, flaky dough. The dish is perfect for sharing and a great little snack before your main meal. As for the main part of the meal, there are so many options which are also organized by type of meat to make it very easy to pick. To eat a delicious meal, there is a few options that are surprisingly healthy or a coffee that is spiced to taste similar to chai. The service is very quick and friendly. Even when it is busy, they take your order very carefully and ensure you have everything served correctly. All of the food comes out in order starting with rotis with chutney with the rest following promptly. The check also comes out as soon as it is needed. Overall the service was very attentive and accommodating. Being one of the very few Indian restaurants in Reading, Laxmi’s has become very popular. It is a smaller space so a recommendation is to definitely call for a reservation first during dinner hours. For the lunch hours, the restaurant became attracted many working in the area so it is suggested to get there very quickly to grab a table. With great food, service and atmosphere, Laxmi’s Grille has earned five stars from Indian food lovers. So next time you’re looking for a nice and quick bite to eat, think of Laxmi’s Grille. Eye Candy: So Bad It’s Good By CAMRYN CARWLL Cheesy reality shows, old movie reruns, and occasional music videos: these are the things MTV is known for. And yet, the Music Television channel has recently been delving into the realm of scripted television dramas. From the very popular Awkward. to the far less than popular Happyland, MTV has been trying to make a name for itself as a credible dramatic channel. The most recent pitch for MTV has been the show Eye Candy. With childhood actress Victoria Justice, who was reviewed as one of the worst actresses on a children’s TV show, as the main character, the show was set to be a hit, right? Well, not exactly. Eye Candy begins with a difficult plotline that is nearly impossible to follow. But, I will do my best to summarize. Meet Lindy. Lindy is an internet hacker whose younger sister was kidnapped four years prior to the beginning of the show. Following her sister’s disappearance, Lindy goes on a mad hunt to find her sister using all of the resources she can find, whether they’re legal or not so legal. Her methods lead to her being arrested and placed on probation, which is lifted at the beginning of the show. The officer credited for arresting her is Ben, a man she had fallen in love with prior to him arresting her. Lindy forgives Ben for his actions and they make up, but all to no avail because he dies. Sorry for the spoiler, but it’s from Season 1 Episode 1 so it’s not too much of a shocker. During Lindy’s first night out following her probation, she makes an account on Flirtual, an online dating site. On this site she meets three eligible bache(Continued on Page 8) 7 (Continued from “Water”) County, there are a wide variety of water companies to choose from. My top two come down to Deer Park and Acadia. Both have a refreshing taste to them, unlike Dasani which tastes like straight up tap water. If you want Dasani water, I suggest you just stick your mouth under a faucet because it’s basically the same thing. My good friend Bradley Ganster refers to Deer Park as the most patriotic of all bottled waters or, “America’s water”. Although this is true, Deer Park is not as economically reasonable as Acadia water is. Acadia is about 15% cheaper than Deer Park water is, making it the more intelligent choice. Since Acadia has equally great taste as Deer Park but is also cheaper, it is the most dynamic water. Kristen: The selection of your everyday water bottle shouldn’t be all that difficult if you learn the simple pros of Deer Park water. First thing’s first, it’s the realest! (Literally.) The Deer Park brand consists of 100% natural spring water. Every drop of Deer Park Water comes from carefully selected spring sources, captured at the source, and are continually replenished. Drinking water is a simple way to stay hydrated and healthy and drinking refreshing Deer Park Brand 100% Natural Spring Water is the best path to take. If you’re one of the athletes at Wyomissing and you’re trying to be in the BEST bodily condition for your upcoming competition, you basically have no other choice but to get hydrated with some Deer Park water. In addition, beverages make up 21% of the average American’s calories. Deer Park Brand 100% Natural Spring Water have zero calories, along with a clean, crisp taste and all the benefits of proper hydration. Not only does Deer Park bottled water give the consumer satisfaction, it also benefits the environment by making their water bottles with 50% recyclable plastic! If Wyomissing’s Environmental Club needs a new project for school, why not get the environmental healthy water bottle! Better yet, start serving us Deer Park water bottles in the cafeteria for a refreshing gulp of water after being engaged for several hours in Wyomissing’s education. Freshman Megan Masano states “I can taste the freshness of Deer Park water as soon as I take a sip.” Do you want to feel the same sensation that Megan feels? Buy Deer Park water. Are you tired of your water not tasting pure enough? Or have you not yet fulfilled the empty hole in your heart of finding the perfect tasting water? Don’t just go out and buy the first water bottle you see. Instead, buy the brand that will be most beneficial to you. With the help of Avery “water wiz” Holt and Kristen “the real water wiz” Hafer, we’re sure you have come to see which water bottle is the right one to purchase. (Continued from “Mini-THON”) time or money - has done their part in fighting pediatric cancer; and that is absolutely something to be proud of. We all came together to make a difference in the life of a child fighting can cer , with that our love for Wyomissing has grown exponentially. Who knows? When in a few years there’s a cure for cancer, you can all say you helped make that happen. (Continued from “WAEF”) K-12 and you can pay in advance or show up at the Stone House the night of the event and pay at the door. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate your favorite teachers! (If you would like to join the WAEF student committee and assist WAEF in planning yearly events, you can submit a brief letter of interest in the WAEF mailbox in the athletic office or email Karen Moser directly at [email protected]) (Continued from “Eagles”) leading rusher Demarco Murray, former Chargers’ running back Ryan Matthews, and the small but mighty Darren Sproles. The backfield has a great combination of power, speed, and receiving skills. 2) Does Chip’s madness make sense? Sam: When the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles I thought Chip Kelly was crazy. Nick Foles had a 15-9 record as a starter (NFL.com) and helped produced one of the most high powered with the help McCoy… who was traded to the Bills. My intial reaction was to give up on the upcoming season for Eagles, but like most Eagles fans the proceeding moves by Chip Kelly helped us see the light. Demarco Murray was one of the best running backs in the league last year by rushing for over 1,800 yards. The best part about this acquiring Murray is that he was from Dallas, so not only did we take him for our offense but we have him now so our defense doesn’t have to deal with him. All of the moves in free agency are starting to make sense to Eagles’ fans. Juche: At first, no one could get what Kelly was trying to do. Some responses to Kelly’s moves sounded like, “Are you an idiot, why trade McCoy?” and “Good God why is this man doing this to us?” but the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are starting to form. For once a Philadelphia team is being radical and making changes to win! A Philly team not being cheap for once? That’s insane. Kelly is getting aggressive and demands a great secondary and not one elite running back, but three. I think I can respect Kelly’s moves so far. Yes, the quarterback situation is iffy along with a receiver but with the moves Kelly has made so far, I’ve decided to simply just shut my mouth and watch him find that diamond in the rough that can lead the offense. 3) Are they now a serious postseason contender? Sam: I think a serious postseason contender is an understatement. Chip Kelly is ready to take his team from an average team to an elite team that is a Super Bowl contender. Getting Murray, Matthews, Maxwell, Thurmond, Brafford, and other notable players really changed the face of the Eagles and for the better I believe. If the Eagles are as successful as they were in free agency in draft they will surely be a Super Bowl bound team. Juche: I’m excited to see what the Eagles have in store this year. With the way the NFC East is looking this year, I believe they are able to create their own destiny. However, I believe that having a strong defense will take them from being good to being great. Yes, having an explosive offense seems great on the scoreboard however, we have seen a constant pattern of offensive powerhouses like Manning’s Broncos and the Colts falling to phenomenal defenses in the postseason. You can ask the Superbowl 49 champion Patriots or even the Superbowl 48 champion Seahawks about how they won the Lombardi trophy and they will simply tell you, “Defense wins championships.” (Continued from “Tumbling”) current events and it’s extremely easy to catch up on all points of view of something that happened around the world in a matter of minutes. Tumblr doesn’t just focus on the major stories that are covered by networks like CNN and NBC; I have learned many things about smaller, lesser known countries and read stories that are hidden in the depths of news webpages or only highlighted on local news stations. One thing that I was exposed to on Tumblr is feminism. While I will not go into the specifics of the feminist movement, I have come to the realization that feminism is viewed, talked about and treated extremely different on Tumblr than it is on other social networks, like Twitter. Twitter, as a whole, has actively decided to look at only the extreme, stereotypical side of feminism. If I had only learned about feminism on Twitter, I would view this movement in a completely different light. Being surrounded by Twitter accounts like @MeninistTweets, whose sole purpose is to mock feminism, and to see this account’s incredible amount of support, it would only make sense to partake in the “fun.” But Tumblr has countless posts that focus on the basic principles of feminism, those of which do not include having an undying hatred toward the male species, like wage equality because a woman only make $0.70 to every $1 a man makes. There is also no character limits on posts on Tumblr. This allows users to take as much time, energy, and space as they want to accurately tell a story or explain a situation. It is encouraged to publicly display your opinions on different topics. Take the Michael Brown case as an example. In the heat of this story, Tumblr was drowning in long opinion posts and pictures of what was happening in Ferguson. I was constantly seeing posts about this story from regular users, while on Twitter I had only seen tweets about it from verified accounts, those of which were people who were either politicians or worked in the news industry. The only time I had seen tweets from the majority of my peers were right after the shooting happened and right after the grand jury’s decision and prosecutor’s statement were released… I hadn’t seen anything else about the case in between that time. Tumblr is an underrated site that is not nearly as popular as sites like Twitter and Facebook. It is unfortunate that many people are not exposed to the pros of being a part of a network like this because it enlightens users on controversial issues. 8 (Continued from “Eye Candy”) lors (one of which describes his job as “liking fast cars”) and is one her merry way home when she gets a message from an unknown number clearly stating that someone is watching her. Insert crazy serial killer who murders matches on Flirtual. This serial killer, for some reason, is obsessed with Lindy, so she enlists the help of some old friends and enemies to help find the murderer. This help includes George, another hacker; Tommy, a police officer and Ben’s former best friend; Sophia, her roommate; and Connor, Sophia’s other best friend who hates Lindy but still pulls all of the stops to help her. With a crew that fine on the hunt, the Flirtual killer is meant to be found in days. Right? Of course not, then they couldn’t get a full ten episodes out of the spotty and obvious plotline. While the premise of Eye Candy seems fresh and appealing, the show itself has some major issues. The main issue being consistency. There are a multitude of storylines that the Eye Candy writers simply dropped once they were introduced. From people that die and are never searched for, to romances that are developed and ignored, and characters that are established and forgotten, the show has completely abandoned almost too many storylines to make any sense. Despite its many downfalls, Eye Candy also has some redeeming qualities. While the storyline is spotty at times, the entire premise of the show is pretty cool. When the murderer is revealed (Episode 9, no sooner, no later), it does come as a shock to the audience. The show also has some witty comedic relief in George, the hacker who, at one point, describes the average mattress as a “water bed” of sweat. With the impressive soundtrack and light twist on a heavy plotline, Eye Candy definitely isn’t a complete and total flop. The show is definitely worth a spot on a rainy weekend to-do-list.
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