Future scientists explore their passions

For their final project in AP Physics 2, RAHS upperclassmen have been tasked with an open-ended assignment to create a helpful project, whether it be for their own benefit or for the benefit of future students.


Seniors Kaeden Wile and Matt Vredevoogd have created a simulator that will help students in the coming years in one of the key focus areas of the class.


“Kaeden and I are making a thermodynamics simulator for students,” said Vredevoogd. “Thermodynamics is the study of thermal energy, and it’s one of the first units in AP Physics 2.”


They created an interface that will allow students to experiment with thermodynamics and the components of the ideal gas law.


“Essentially we are just implementing a JavaScript function that generates an output for the ideal gas law PV=nRT given a variety of user inputs,” said Vredevoogd. “We think that our simulator will be helpful for future students because it’s easy to understand. It’s a clean UI (User Interface) that provides concise quantitative feedback.”


Both Vredevoogd and Wile are excited about using coding to help future students.


“We are both interested in web development,” said Vredevoogd. “It was a fun experience to put together a powerful, but easy to use tool for future physics students to use.”


Like his fellow seniors, Benton Smith is working on something that combines his own passions and what he’s learned about thermodynamics to create a tool for incoming classes.


“I am building a 3D-printable model of a 2-stroke engine,” said Smith, “alongside a presentation of the internal workings and the physics behind the way this engine works.”


Smith believes his model will help future students understand something that this year’s class had difficulty understanding.


“When Mr. McComb was bringing up the physics of the internal combustion engine in class, I feel that a lot of the physics went over the class’s head because they couldn’t visualize what was going on,” said Smith. “With this model, Mr. McComb can have a teaching tool to model what is going on when an engine revs, and I can build something I think is really cool.”


Originally, Smith had a different idea for his project. However, due to classroom restrictions, he decided to take a different approach.


“My initial idea with this project was to build a working model of an internal combustion engine, with a simple mechanical distributor and a lathe-bored cylinder,” said Smith, “but Mr. McComb was not a big fan of this idea, as I could easily blow a couple of my fingers off. So, we brainstormed together and came to the conclusion that a 3D-printed model would be much safer and far less dangerous.”


Smith chose to create this model not only to help future physics classes, but to allow him to explore his own passions.


“I’ve been working on cars my whole life, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon,” said Smith. “I doubt I’ll be working on engines as a career, but I think they’re really cool.”


Senior Joey Meboe is also designing a tool to help students understand a difficult topic from the first portion of the year.


“I am making a new science lab [experiment],” said Meboe. “In the lab, the student will learn how to make a capacitor. They’re a big part of physics. Charged particles are held apart to make a difference in potential [voltage].”


Future students aren’t the only people who will benefit from this project. Meboe hopes to further his own understanding of the more complex components of electricity.


“[I designed this project because] I love the idea of using capacitors instead of batteries,” said Meboe. “Also, I needed to learn more about capacitors.”

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RAHS to offer 4 years of Spanish next year

These Spanish 1 students will have the opportunity to take AP Spanish or potentially AP Spanish Language and Culture their senior year.
These Spanish 1 students will have the opportunity to take AP Spanish or potentially AP Spanish Language and Culture their senior year.

In February 2017, the Highline School District mandated that all schools offer four consecutive years of world language. As a result, next year RAHS will offer four years of Spanish. Director of Language Learning and Teacher Development Bernard Koontz believes that the Academic Assurances will benefit the district and RAHS.


“A couple of years ago across the system, there was the development of what’s called the Academic Assurances, which are a set of course offerings that we are committed to offering students across the system,” said Koontz. “One of the assurances is that students can take a third and fourth year of world language.”


There are two primary reasons behind the changes in course offerings around the district.


“One main reason for these changes is to support students in becoming as competitive as possible on college applications,” said Koontz. “More importantly, we are ensuring that eventually all students at Highline Public Schools will have a pathway to becoming bilingual.”


Koontz believes that the new opportunities will facilitate students’ progress towards bilinguality. The district hopes that by 2026 all students who graduate will be biliterate.


“I hope to see an increase in the number of students who are able to take advantage of that opportunity to become bilingual, and eventually more students will be graduating bilingual and biliterate,” said Koontz. “The benefits of that are many. There are economic benefits in the job market, students will become more employable, and there are academic benefits as well. Studies have shown that being bilingual and learning a second or third language makes your brain stronger.”


RAHS Spanish teacher Señor William Peterson also believes that these changes will benefit students.


“This change creates the opportunity to have more exposure to Spanish, which, in and of itself creates more of an opportunity to become bilingual, and more proficient,” said Peterson. “This will also help make them more conscious and culturally aware, more linguistically capable, and, in my opinion, more intelligent.”


Peterson thinks that the decision to add another year of Spanish will create more opportunities for students to become biliterate.


“I definitely think that students would, given another year of practice and immersion, do really well on the World Language Proficiency test, getting a 4 out of 4,” said Peterson. “I think that it really pushes students to be bilingual.”


Bilinguality isn’t the only goal the district is trying to reach. In order to create more equality between schools, the Highline School District is changing requirements so students will have similar opportunities at each school.


“Right now students access to a third and fourth year of world language really depends on what school you to go to,” said Koontz. “Some schools offer third and fourth year of language and some do not. So the positive impact of this change is making sure that students have access to that third and fourth year regardless of what school they attend.”


In the state of Washington, there is a shift towards “Core 24,” which is the upcoming requirement of 24 credits to graduate. RAHS students generally graduate with 24 credits already.


“Statewide, we have had to shift to Core 24 and we have additional requirements In art as well as math and science,” said Koontz. “This leaves less room for electives, which makes it even more difficult to adjust to the master schedule.”


This isn’t the only problem presented by this change. After state requirements changed, Principal Terese Tipton was forced to prioritize with funding and the FTE (full time employee) budget.


“All states fund basic education at a certain level. In the State of Washington, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) dictates the funding for public education,” said Tipton. “The districts then distribute that funding, which is a very complicated process that I don’t even fully understand.”


Each spring, the district passes on a “staffing” (an allocation plan for human resources) to each school.


“The district passes down a staffing. This is called an FTE. 1.0 FTE is equal to one full time teacher,” said Tipton. “Those FTEs tell us what we have to teach, how many electives we get, and how many language classes we get.”


When requirements were changed, RAHS was forced to adjust some of its own language program based on staffing restrictions.


“When our staffing came this year, and we were still only able to staff 1.8 for foreign language, but we have to add another year of Spanish to satisfy the requirements of the district,” said Tipton. “We had to look at what most kids were taking, and how to balance the changes. It was a question of limited staffing and what we have to do.”


In order to offer a fourth year of Spanish, RAHS decided to remove Japanese from the schedule. Tipton regrets that she wasn’t able to preserve the Japanese program.


“One of the problems, looking at Japanese, is that we have students and a teacher that are passionate about it, which made the decision really difficult,” said Tipton. “I just want students to know that this was a really hard decision. I know it disappointed students, but sometimes those decisions have to be made, and someone has to make them. It’s the worst part of my job to make decisions like that.”


Despite the loss of the Japanese program, Koontz believes that there will still be many benefits of offering another year of Spanish at RAHS. One of the goals of the district is that students will eventually be graduating with a Seal of Biliteracy.


“We’re continuing to develop and strengthen our communication with parents and families so that they know that the seal of Biliteracy is available and what it would be able to provide for their student,” said Koontz. “The Seal of Biliteracy is earned by taking a proficiency test, which is something that a lot of students do when they learn a language outside of school, or through taking the AP or IB tests.”


The Seal of Biliteracy can be earned in Washington State as well as a handful of other states across the country. It’s an endorsement on a high school diploma that declares that students have achieved a certain level of language proficiency in any language they take the test in.


“Since the goal of our program is not worksheets or games or passing scanned tests out of the textbook, a fourth year sounds great, because our goal is immersion and language proficiency,” said Peterson. “Because now students can have an even better shot in a better and a better chance at becoming bilingual, which is really my goal.”


Peterson would prefer to offer AP Spanish Language and Culture to accompany the current AP Spanish course. He believes that AP provides a more rigorous and advantageous education platform and opportunities for college credits.


“I would want to offer AP Spanish Language and Culture, which is a course that we have had a lot of success with, which is 15 credits, and then we offer AP Language and Culture as well, that’s another 15 credits if the student passes both tests,” said Peterson. “That’s just about a Spanish minor, which is generally 25-35 credits.”


Peterson also believes that students will take advantage of the opportunity when it’s presented to them.


“I think that students at the school in particular, students do step up to the challenge when it’s presented to them,” said Peterson. “I do think that they would take advantage of that opportunity to take another language class. I think that they would be guinea pigs (or cuys) [for the program] and they would be trying to figure that out with me.”


Koontz believes that despite the challenges RAHS has faced, the changes will be worth it long term.


“There is an interest across of all of Highline School District in making sure that all students can access the third and fourth year. That’s really the bottom line,” said Koontz. “We have a responsibility to make sure that students can access the same high level of instruction at any school regardless of which highline school it is. That’s really what’s behind the academic insurance of the third and fourth year.”

Dress complaints cause crackdown

One of these things is not like the others. Khakis, collared shirt, fingertip length skirt, hoodie and three-quarters of a pair of pants.

As the summer approaches, RAHS students participate in a tradition as old as the pancake breakfast and as prestigious as the wingman award: summer dress code violations.

RAHS Dean of Students Mrs. Nuka Nurzhanov believes that when as the temperature increases, so do dress code violations.

“Dress code violations have increased in the second semester of school, so I have been paying more attention to the dress code,” said Nurzhanov. “The increase of complaints about student dress code violations from staff, parents, and even students reminded me that I needed to be more effective in dress code enforcement. It became clear that I needed to do my job to support the professional culture of our school.”

Though Nurzhanov is doing her job by making sure students comply with the dress code, there has been some backlash.

Senior Tatiyana Jenkins believes there has been a significant increase in the enforcement of the dress code since when she started at RAHS in September of 2012.

“From my freshman year to now, dress code has most definitely changed,” said Jenkins. “It’s ramped up a ridiculous amount. It’s to the point where we’re now more focused on ‘making sure you’re in dress code’ than the learning that’s supposed to take place in a school.”

Jenkins worries that the enforcement of this rule interferes with her and other students’ education.

“I HATE that I’m always being watched and dress code seems to be bigger than my education,” said Jenkins. “I could do without being pulled out of class, I can do without constantly being harassed because administration doesn’t know their only policy. I can also do without being targeted because I happen to have ‘more going on’ body wise that I have to have everything covered.”

Though Jenkins has concerns, Nurzhanov reminds students to reflect on themselves, and to think on whether or not they are complying with the dress code contract they signed at the beginning of the year.

“I would like students to reflect on how they judge, and on unfair criticism,” said Nurzhanov. “The best attitude and answer I received this year from a dress coded freshman, was, ‘Do not apologize, I understand you’re just doing your job.’”

Student discipline is a primary part of Nurzhanov’s job. She cares about the dress code in particular because she believes that it is a part of the school culture.

“The school was founded upon a professional culture and we reside in a professional environment,” said Nurzhanov. “The dress code should be respected and enforced.”

“We all signed the form agreeing to abide to the dress code,” said senior Senay Emmanuel. “That must be honored, but at the same time, people need to understand fully what they signed through better wording and a balance of clear expectations with ‘open to interpretation’ rules.”

RAHS senior Harkarn Baines also believes that there has been an increase in dress code enforcement, and that it’s not something students should worry about.

“I just feel like it is being enforced more strictly,” said Baines, “and to be honest there is nothing wrong with that. It’s the same dress code but now that people are getting called out on it, it’s no different. Yeah there may be a few instances where the rules may be enforced too strictly but it’s the staff’s job to enforce the rules and [ours] as students to follow them.”

This issue was addressed at an ASB meeting on 31  April 2016 , which seniors Baines and Emmanuel attended.

“After sitting with ASB during a meeting about the dress code there was a great point brought up that we need to be more specific in our dress code,” said Baines, “that our dress code is business casual, but what is this business casual based on?”

Emmanuel also believes that the definition of business casual is not always clear. This issue was addressed at recent ASB and PTSA meetings that were held because of a student making a claim on Facebook about improper handling of dress code enforcement.

“The definition of ‘business casual’ is still evolving,” said Emmanuel. “[At the PTSA meeting we discussed] a need for less ambiguity in the female dress code in particular. A better outline of expected dress guidelines needs to be made with full understanding.”

Students discussed several ways to improve the dress code itself by cutting out wiggle room.

“Next year, the new principal, students, faculty, and administration need to come to the table and review the dress code,” said Emmanuel. “Greater understanding needs to be developed and possible edits need to be made so that there is consensus across the board.”
“I think having the dress code be clear as day [would help],” said Jenkins. “I think because the dress code can be interpreted in different ways is where the fault is in it.”

ASB upset over yearbook absence

In RAHS’s annual, released Friday 3 June 2016, ASB was shocked to find that their usual page in the yearbook was not there. 2016 alumni and former ASB Vice President Karl Nielsen was very vocal about the issue.

“Those [on ASB] who I did talk to were very upset,” said Nielsen.

There were many complaints made by ASB about their lack of representation in the yearbook, however there were no formal complaints to the Yearbook staff.

“ASB didn’t actually approach us about this issue,” said Yearbook staff member Isha Singh. “We actually heard about it through the grapevine.”

Though there wasn’t a dedicated page to ASB, the annual did include pages about ASB functions like spirit weeks and dances.

“The interesting thing is that our accomplishments were featured, just without credit to ASB,” said Nielsen. “There was a full two-page spread for Homecoming, a full two-page spread for tolo and a full two-page spread for assemblies. Yet on none of these pages were specific names of ASB members or even ASB in general mentioned.”

ASB is upset with their lack of representation, however Yearbook had no ill-intent by not including a dedicated page to ASB.

“We definitely weren’t trying to attack anyone. That was definitely not our intention,” said Singh. “If they were to ask, we could figure it out. Talking is the key to solving problems.”

Nielsen agreed with the idea that talking is the best solution.

“I think the best course of action would be to just have next year’s ASB and next year’s Editors sit down, discuss what happened, and set up a plan going forward,” said Nielsen.

The yearbook is meant to represent the entire student body, including pages about academic clubs and spring sports.
“If you want pages in the yearbook, it obviously costs more, and we really want to represent everyone,” said Singh. “There are definitely other clubs who weren’t represented, they weren’t singled out. We had to pick and choose.”

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RAHS remembers No-Shave November cause



Movember, or No-shave November, is that time of year that’s known for its lack of kisses. Goatees, mustaches, and logger beards are brandished by men all over the country.

Now Movember is over, and students at RAHS who participated in this year’s beard-growing extravaganza are getting ready to shave. Finally.

Men’s Health Online reminds men that No-shave November isn’t just about growing a sweet moustache.

“Movember is about more than just growing your mustache. (Don’t forget to trim and style it along the way, too),” said Men’s Health. “It’s about bringing awareness to prostate cancer—and looking dapper while doing so.”

Marcie Wombold, a humanities teacher at RAHS, thinks that No-shave November is a noble cause, if it is done properly.

“The people who I know who do No-shave November right are deliberate about both documenting their efforts and raising money for the cause,” said Wombold. “They work it as a charitable opportunity.”

Wombold believes that students who choose to participate in No-shave November should know the point of their facial hair.

“I think that the people who don’t work the opportunity, but use it as an excuse not to shave because they’re lazy are entertaining, but missing the point” said Wombold, “The extent of what they accomplish is facial hair.”

Some of the teenage boys at RAHS who grow facial hair to support the cause aren’t as successful as others. RAHS student junior John Porcaro knew what he was growing his facial hair for.

“I wanted to grow my facial hair out, and [No-shave November] gave me a great excuse,” said Porcaro. “All my friends are doing it, but most don’t know it’s to raise awareness for prostate cancer.”

Wombold believes that if a student is going to participate in  No-shave November, they should do something to promote awareness and stress the big idea.

“Go big. Make an impact by saying something,” said Wombold. “If people compliment you on your new scruffy teenage boy beard, tell them what it’s for.”

Some students, like senior Joe Spallino, know the cause but have no plans to actively raise awareness.

“I’m participating in No-shave November,” said Spallino, “but honestly I’m not really planning on doing anything to raise awareness. I would probably explain if someone asked though.”

Porcaro believes there are perks aside from raising awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer.

“I think that on a scale of one to ten, growing facial hair is definitely a ten,” said Porcaro. “It’s really fun, so I don’t mind supporting the cause. It can be a bit of a pain in the butt to maintain though.”

Despite the inconveniences of his facial hair, like shaping and maintaining, Porcaro enjoyed Movember, and would definitely participate in the future.

Senior Harkarn Bains, who has a beard year-round, is willing to support the cause now that he knows what it is.

“I support No-shave November,” said Bains. “I have a beard, and I’m lazy. I don’t mind supporting the cause. I mean, it certainly fits in with my schedule.”

Even though some students aren’t so pumped about raising awareness for men’s health, participants agree that the experience was worth doing.

“I love having facial hair, and I love supporting the cause,” said Porcaro. “Ten out of ten would do again.”


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New date: still no date

ASB creates posters to get people psyched for the Aviators' Ball on 14 Nov. from 8-11 p.m. Photo by Jenny Mannard.
ASB creates posters to get people psyched for the Aviators’ Ball on 14 Nov. from 8-11 p.m. Photo by Jenny Mannard.

Originally scheduled for 17 Oct., the Aviators’ Ball has been relocated to Des Moines Beach Park Auditorium and rescheduled to 14 Nov., only a week away. Many students have been left in the dark regarding the cause of this major change.

Senior Julia Toone, ASB Events and Operations Coordinator, has played a major hand in the planning the dance, selecting the location, and changing the date.

“Homecoming is so late because we were going to host it at the hangar, because that’s tradition,” said Toone. “[Galvin Flying] has always been bad with communication. So, when they didn’t respond after we contacted them the first time, we assumed that’s what they were doing.”

Eventually, their lack of communication bested ASB. When they finally heard back, it was too late.

“They told us ‘no’ because they are demolishing the building soon,” said Toone. “We then realized it was too late to move it because all the other venues are booked until November.”

The timing, while convenient for some, has caused a lack of enthusiasm and other problems for attendees like junior Maryam Mayanja.

“I don’t know how homecoming is going to be this year. There hasn’t been a lot of school spirit about it, and nobody is really talking about it,” said Mayanja. “Honestly, I would have forgotten about it had it not been for Señor Peterson putting it on his test. So, I guess I’m excited for it, but I also feel it’s going unnoticed.”

There is also one major problem for some girls who plan on attending. Ladies who are planning on buying a dress for the Aviator’s Ball may have some trouble finding one from what’s left over from other schools’ homecomings.

“I’m kind of worried about not being able to find a dress I like. Dresses always fly off the rack during this season, and all the other schools have had their homecoming already,” said Mayanja. “I don’t think I’ll be able to find something I’m happy with because they’re all gone. It’s okay though. I’m excited, and, worst comes to worst, I’ll throw on a friend’s old dress.”

Though the dress issue may be a bother for some girls, there are actually a few problems that have been avoided because of the date change, like conflicts with club competitions.

“We settled on the 14th of November,” said Toone, “mostly so it wouldn’t conflict with any of the clubs, like Frisbee, Robotics, Debate, and Science Olympiad.”

Though ASB is trying to avoid conflicts with clubs, the date still overlaps with a Debate event. ASB Vice President and senior Karl Nielsen is also worried about some problems that are cropping up.

“The problems we foresee are twofold,” said Nielsen. “First, rather than conflicting with a Robotics tournament and a Ultimate tournament, the new, later date conflicts with the Joe Sutter Lecture Dinner and a Speech and Debate tournament. Second, with the later date, not only is weather a concern, but the sun sets at 4:30, essentially negating any chance of outdoor pre-dance photos.”

Though there may be problems due to the later date of the dance, ASB has worked hard to find a place and time to have it.

“I think people will enjoy it a lot,” said Nielsen, “it fits well with our theme and is at a great location.”

ASB considered many different themes, and they eventually chose “Written in the Stars.” They think those who attend will really enjoy it.

“We went through a lot of themes before we settled on one,” said Toone. “We wanted a real classy theme this year because the venue has nice, stained glass windows. We thought about a ‘Secret Garden’ theme because the place is also surrounded by bushes and the ocean.”

Often, there are many themes that ASB kicks around before they settle on one.

ASB creates posters to get people psyched for the Aviators’ Ball on 14 Nov. from 8-11 p.m.

“We finally chose ‘Written in the Stars,’ so we’re working with a lot of lights to create the ambiance,” said Toone. “There are going to be lots of holiday lights so it’ll really feel like you’re dancing under the stars.”

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Laptops return to (not) play

Broken laptops like this plague students throughout the year. Photo by Alex March.

While students were out and about during the summer, RAHS’s Blended Learning Technologist Anthony McLaughlin was hard at work fixing the laptops so they would function better during the 2015-2016 school year.

After a cleaning of the hardware, inside and out, as well as updating necessary programs and cleaning out the software, laptops have been returned to students.

“Most of the things I did over the summer included general cleaning and dust removal,” said McLaughlin, “as well as reimaging laptops with latest software build, and updating the BIOS with latest firmware.”

While McLaughlin was updating programs and software, he also dug up a lot of problems from students messing with their computers.

“The most common problem with the laptops is battery and/or hard drive failure,” said McLaughlin. “Tech violations were mostly centered around students changing or attempting to change the administrative credentials.”

Some students, like last year’s seniors, were never punished for abusing their laptops. These actions left incoming freshman like Shayla Haynes to bear the burden of their busted laptop.

“I feel like it’s not just mine, but everyone else’s as well,” said Haynes. “Some (or most) students may be happy with these laptops, and I really am grateful that we have them, but there are most definitely things that could be fixed.”

Freshmen who received laptops that were used by someone else last year often find that their laptops have software and hardware problems.

“Students use their laptops a lot, and even when they are charged every single night, the battery life runs out quickly,” said Haynes, “and we are not allowed to plug them in and charge them.”

According to McLaughlin, the most vital thing that can be done to keep laptops in good condition is to keep them in their cases, but there are also some other rules and guidelines that are listed in the student handbook.

“Remember the laptops are property of the Highline School District,” said McLaughlin, “and that they should be used in accordance with the Technology Contract in the 2015-2016 Student Handbook.”

That’s only an overview of how computers should be treated. McLaughlin also has a list of more specific things to be done to keep the computers healthy.

“When prompted to restart computer for Windows Updates, do so when computer is plugged in,” said McLaughlin. “Also, keep backup copies of any work stored on your laptop onto your networked H-drive, for in case of hard drive failure your data stored locally may not be recoverable.”

Many teachers have their own rules regarding computers, and preach saving in multiple places. Great options for places to save are flash drives, Google Drive, OneDrive, or locally on the computer.

Though they are meant to be helpful, all these guidelines and suggestions, from both the technology contract and teachers, can leave students confused or irritated.

Junior Vlad Nazarov finds that the rules in place are not only unnecessary, but stop him from being able to fix his laptop when he has trouble.

“The HDD (hard drive disk) is at fault for the problems I have had with the laptop,” said Nazarov. “HDD don’t have the reliability or speed as modern SSD (solid state drives).”

He appreciates laptops are provided for us, though he thinks that they’re not all they were cracked up to be.

“If the computers were bought for $300 I would be very happy, but for something that costs $1k,” said Nazarov, “I don’t understand when there are modern laptops out there for the same price that are far more practical and reliable.”

Though the laptops often have issues, they are given to students to enable them to do both homework and classwork that might not otherwise be available, and are tools for education, not play.

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Big bands jam their way into Seattle

Chelsea Grin with Alex Khoeler performing at El Corazon during the 2013 All-Stars Tour.

During the spring and summer, there is a significant increase in concerts and events that come through Seattle. Students at RAHS are already buying tickets and getting pumped for their favorite bands’ concerts.

Some of the bigger names coming to town that students have expressed interest in include the current members of Queen,Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, Of Mice and Men, All Time Low, Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea, Theory of a Deadman, Def Leppard, Lana Del Ray, Lindsey Sterling, Hoodie Allen, Man Overboard, as well as over 150 bands at Warped Tour and other shows.

There are many different venues that these bands are coming to that are close to home, including KeyArena, the Tacoma Dome, the Showbox, the Columbia City Theater, Woodland Park Zoo, Marymoor Park, and many other smaller venues.

Further away, shows by well-loved bands can be anywhere from ten minutes to six hours or more away. A popular venue where some great performers can be found is the Gorge in Eastern Washington.

Concert tickets, depending on which venue, how popular the band is, and when purchased, can range from $15 to $200. Some shows could be down to $5, or even be free.

Junior Ethan Fuller and senior Will Clawson are excitedly getting ready to go see their favorite bands in concert and in summer events.

“Concerts I will be attending [are] the Wombats on May 19, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on May 14,” said Clawson, “and AWOLNATION on May 27.”

Clawson has several bands that he is planning on seeing, but he also has some recommendations.

“An up-and-coming Melodic Metalcore band known as Avoid the Void play all the time at Studio Seven and El Corazon,” said Clawson. “They’re on Warped Tour, as well. These guys put on an awesome show and have some serious talent.”

While Clawson is getting ready to see the Wombats, Fuller is getting psyched about the Warped Tour.

“Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! is coming to El Corazon on May 23, and that’s most likely going to kick off my summer of shows,” said Fuller. “They were stellar at Warped Tour [last summer], and I’m stoked to see them again.”

The Vans Warped Tour comes to Auburn’s White River Amphitheater on August 8. Over 150 bands play in the duration of this event, all within walking distance of each other.

“This year Slipknot is headlining,” said Fuller, “as well as Lamb of God, Three Days Grace, Motionless In White, Bullet for My Valentine, Crobot, and a Seattle indie-rock band called Aryon Jones and The Way.”

Tons of opportunities can be found at Warped tour, as well as Sasquatch and Paradiso. When in search of a calmer venue, Woodland Park Zoo and Marymoor Park could be great, low-key options that still house great shows.

There are even a couple students at RAHS who are playing some music of their own. Clawson and fellow senior Lori Baca are in a group with the working title “The Patients.” After performing shows at the Culture Club Lock-In and Soulful Books in Redmond, they will soon be playing in the Talent Show in May.

“[We] have been playing music together for several months. We focus on pensive, acoustic sounds while attempting to remain fun for an audience and accessible for a listener,” said Clawson. “After a short hiatus for senior projects, we’re already back to writing music and searching for Open Mic nights. This spring is a really exciting time for us, as we will soon be recording our first demos!”

There are so many options this year with so many bands coming to town. During tour season, it’s possible to catch a great headliner that might be once-in-a-lifetime, so it’s time to crack open the piggy banks, grab that babysitting money, and head out to catch a great show.


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Tribesmen worship strange children in costumes


Tribesmen are very enthusiastic about worshiping Archimedes by mimicking him. Photo by Joshua Stuek

ociologists working with Raisbeck Geographic have been studying the Noitaiva tribe for long enough to observe a pattern in the behavior of the tribe’s worship. There is a lot of physical evidence and observed behavior that points to the worship and admiration of three different gods. There is an annual pattern the tribesmen seem to follow–some rituals are only tri-annual, while others are daily.

The Noitavia appear to participate in a religion in which they worship three separate gods. These gods are Archimedes (AR-KUH-MEE-DEE-S), who is represented as a large, fiery bird, Newton (NOO-TUH-N), who is represented by a skunk, and a strange, nameless black and white bird that they seem to believe is on fire.

While the entire tribe worships Archimedes, only certain clans worship Newton and the burning puffin. The clan of the metal war machines worships Newton, while the clan of rapid argument worships the smouldering raven. This is interesting, because while each of the other clans sport a god, the clan of tinkering appears to practice a sort of atheism.

Lead Sociologist with Raisbeck Geographic, Frederick Notwen, was extremely surprised when he found a statue that appears to depict one of the tribesmen’s three main gods, ignited zebra bird.

“Despite what the name suggests, it is not actually on fire,” said Notwen. “Why the tribesmen call him this despite his true appearance, we may never know. We think that they do this to make him appear or sound more intimidating to clans from tribes outside theirs, despite his cute and cuddly appearance.”

On a daily basis, around midday, there is a sacrifice to the gods. Many tribesmen trade currency of sorts for food provided by the feeding grounds, and after consuming ⅔ of this food, they sacrifice the other ⅓ of their meal into a bin of collection that goes to the gods.

After digging through the bins of sacrifice, Notwen was surprised with what they found.

“We ran some tests on the nutritional value of the food, it wasn’t even kind of nutritious,” said Notwen. “When we had our intern taste it, he said it was like cardboard. This appears to have no actual value to the gods: it’s just a gesture that pleases them.”

In a much larger, tri-annual worshiping ceremony called spirit week, tribesmen wear traditional Noitaivan clothing and warpaint. The warpaint and ensemble change from day to day during this week of worship, however, it seems to follow a common idea. Tribesmen often spend large amounts of time interacting with Archimedes during this time. Sociologist Payton Madson investigated further into this topic.

There are many seemingly random events throughout the week. Many rituals are performed, largely involving food consumed in copious amounts. There are also ceremonies in which tribesmen are put into a pit and made fun of, like a circus animal in a cage. The timing of this coincides with the times gods can look upon the tribesmen from the heavens.

Tribesmen believe that these actions during the grand weeks of worship will earn them honor with the gods. Oftentimes the god Archimedes will bless the tribesmen who are most involved with these ceremonies by embracing the tribesmen in a ceremonial clasping of hands or arms. Tribesmen often duplicate this ceremonies as what might be a sign of respect to the gods, and a sign of respect among each other.

During weeks of worship, Archimedes is most often found near the feeding grounds. It is rumored that Archimedes descends among the tribe near the chamber of enlightenment belonging to Elder Fitz. However, Newton is found more sporadically near the war machine room and with his clan. The smoking toucan is rarely seen in the temple of learning, though it is said that tribesmen from his clan can channel his spirit while engaging in tribal battles.

“It’s amazing that the minor gods [the fiery dodo and Newton] are able to go from the temple of learning even though the Noitaiva’s major god [Archimedes] can’t,” said Notwen. “It’s probably because the tribesman trapped him in the temple so he will stay where they can worship him.”


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Terrifying tales from Valentine’s Day past


Valentine’s Day can be a day of love for some, but it can also be a worst nightmare. Remember, an entire day of romance can just go all wrong.

Horrifying fact: In Japan, girls put their periods into chocolate so that they can claim their man when he eats it.

“It was eighth grade, and I was in a relationship with my first girlfriend. She was the girl I had my first crush on back in Kindergarten. We had gone to all of elementary school together and now middle school. I finally asked her to be my girlfriend in 7th grade on Valentine’s day. Skip a year of blissful middle school romance–I think she kissed me once on the cheek?– to February 14. I had prepared something big as I often do.

We both had watched Top Gun for the first time together a month or two previously, and we both loved it, therefore I would be dressing as Maverick (flight suit, aviators, spiked up hair and all), and I would ask her to be my Valentine while “Take My Breath Away” plays. All of this would happen after school, and naturally I was excited. I was eating lunch with some of my friends when she asked me if I could come talk to her in private. I was wondering if she had a Valentine’s day surprise in store for me. This was not the case. She told me that she felt that neither of us was very committed to the relationship, and that it should end. I was devastated. More so when I found out that the next week she was dating one of my friends. Since then I have vowed that the girl who accepts my Top Gun proposal is the one for me.” – Nicholas Tucker

“On the 14 of February in 2013, a friend of mine got his Valentine a teddy bear.  The teddy bear was holding a heart, but what his Valentine didn’t know was that there was a fake dead mouse inside.” – Xhelan Sylve


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Ultimate Christmas Special Deathmatch

Students this holiday season are preparing to go to blows over their treasured TV holiday traditions.

“My favorite Christmas special has got to be Charlie Brown, simply because it puts all others to shame… I can’t stand anything Disney related though… It taints your soul with a darkness that can’t be scrubbed away.” -Sophomore Champagne Ryder

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town (the claymation) is best because it reminds me to just keep putting one foot in front of the other… While sporting a Kevin Schilling beard. A Christmas Story is definitely the worst because then I decided to go test out whether or not MY tongue would stick to a frozen flagpole…” -Senior Jonah Graves

“My favorite Christmas special has to be A Charlie Brown Christmas. As for my least favorite, that’s hard to pick, because I don’t watch the others.” -RAHS teacher Troy Hoehne

“My favorite Christmas special of all time is a rendition of Sherlock Holmes, with Jeremy Brendt. It’s got something about the hope diamond, and there’s this mess with a Christmas goose. My least favorite Christmas special by far is Die Hard 2. Yes, it’s a Christmas movie.” -Junior Hannah Baker

“My favorite Christmas special from my childhood is Charlie Brown, ‘cause they got the snowflake music that’s all ‘doodle do doodle do doodle do doo,’ and the part with the Christmas tree, and when they said all it needed was a little love, and I was all ‘AWWWW’” -Junior Nick Tucker

“I love all Christmas specials. Why can’t they play all year round?” -Junior Kat Bronson

“Christmas specials kinda suck.” -Senior Thomas Blanchette

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