And the Anchor Poll #1 Results Are In…

By Taylor Leighton and Tanner Leighton

Thank you everyone who took the time to fill out the form. It is greatly appreciated. The survey consisted of 13 general questions regarding Southwest, sports, current issues, and miscellaneous topics. The goal of the poll is to compare and contrast the answers of students and staff at Southwest. Posted below are the results.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST:

Are you happy to be a part of Southwest High School?

YES

NO

Students

98%

2%

Staff

100%

0%

The first Anchor News poll is complete and the students and staff have spoken. Fortunately, 100% of the staff and 98% of the students are happy to be at Southwest. As for the other two percent… there’s always Washburn.

Do you think lunch options are too limited at Southwest?

YES

NO

Students

66%

34%

Staff

56%

44%

Interesting enough, 1/3 of all students didn’t think lunch options are too limited. Wow, who knew people would like bread with cheese on it three days a week. Oh wait- there’s always that cold, chunky marinara sauce to throw on top.

Do you think that having stadium lights for athletic events overrides neighborhood concerns?

YES

NO

Students

48%

52%

Staff

82%

18%

Regarding the stadium lights issue, less than half of the students are in favor of the permanent lights. The only explanation for this is that all of them live in surrounding houses. I mean come on; “I saw the light” shouldn’t be a bragging phrase, because most schools have seen the light at every athletic event.

SPORTS:

Do you think we should fund a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings?

YES

NO

Students

18%

82%

Staff

5%

95%

The Vikings have gone from a top team to one of the worse in all of the NFL. This is one of the obvious reasons why we shouldn’t fund a new stadium for them. Seeing as the Metrodome was built for the Vikings, they should be happy with anything, at least until they start playing with some self-respect. I think someone should inform them that the game doesn’t end after the first half. But, for those who want a new stadium, I agree with you because it will help them play better… YEAH RIGHT!

What Minnesota Sports team do you have the most faith in?

Twins

Vikings

Wild

Timberwolves

Students

50%

12%

28%

10%

Staff

47%

13%

40%

0%

Before long, the Timberwolves will be one of the best Minnesota sports team. Lucky for me I will have moved out of state by this time.

CURRENT ISSUES:

Do you blame President Obama for the poor economy?

YES

NO

OTHER

Students

3%

80%

17%

Staff

16%

74%

10%

Southwest is very liberal… enough said.

Do you think that violent video games negatively affect kids?

YES

NO

OTHER

Students

27%

52%

21%

Staff

76%

18%

6%

The only negative to video games is that they cost $60 a game. So with Modern Warfare 3 out, start saving gamers!

Do you think inappropriate rap lyrics negatively affect kids?

YES

NO

OTHER

Students

27%

52%

21%

Staff

79%

16%

5%

There is no $&*%# way that rap lyrics affect %$&*$@! They are always positive toward women and a healthy life-style. So shut your $%#& mouth, you %&*$, $%#@ because they don’t affect %^$&!

Is social media a detriment to kids socially?

YES

NO

OTHER

Students

34%

50%

16%

Staff

28%

44%

28%

Thx Mark Zuckerberg! U r gr8! JK, lol! Suzy hasn’t left the computer in three days! She is starting to smell.

Do you think the U.S. is an immigrant-friendly country?

YES

NO

OTHER

Students

44%

40%

16%

Staff

53%

26%

21%

America is called the “Melting Pot,” for a reason. So turn the heat up. We were all immigrants at one point, so we have no right to judge.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Do you see yourself living in Minnesota 20 years from now?

YES

NO

Students

35%

65%

Staff

88%

       12%

As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing worth staying around for. If I leave, you’ll know why: the cheese bread hasn’t killed me, Southwest doesn’t have stadium lights, we wasted our tax money on the pathetic Vikings, no Minnesota team is worth following, and if I don’t get killed by a video game addict, I will be leaving Minnesnowta most definitely. (For all you staying, have fun freezing your %&$ off!)

boys soccer

Southwest Men’s Soccer Victory is Testament to Laker Pride

Boys' varsity team celebrates with team photo after placing third in state.

 

I have a confession that very well may jeopardize my status as a loyal Southwest student. During finals week, I stayed at school all day every day to make sure that I was prepared for my exams. That’s right. I did not attend the boys’ soccer final versus Eastview, or the victorious consolation match against Maple Grove, and for this, I am sincerely apologetic.

Never during the school year is the beauty of belonging to the Southwest student body better demonstrated than during soccer season, especially if the men’s varsity team qualifies for the state final (and “gets dome,” as it were). At this time, students rally behind their cleat-clad peers as if our school were declaring war and the players were our revolutionary icons. This year more than ever, pride in our soccer team took hold of the school like a virus, insofar as finals week was put completely on hold, and even the most conservative students sported a purple T-shirt with more than subtle innuendo printed across the front. Such is the power of Laker Pride.

It is a shame that not every Southwest sports team is as strong as our soccer lineup, for if that were the case, Laker fans would have more opportunities to share with the world their sheer strength in numbers.  True, other Southwest sports—notably the Nordic skiing—have competed at a state level in recent years, but it is no wonder that the whole school does not pack its things and stand in the cold to see a split second of the favorite skiers. That said, a soccer game is the perfect setting for a signature display of zeal and wholehearted commitment on the part of our young Laker fans. To stand united in the purple sea of fans that flooded the Metrodome on Tuesday, November 1, to experience collectively the anguish of defeat; and again on Thursday, November 3, to celebrate together a 3-1 victory, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Again, I’m sorry that I missed it.

Congratulations to the boys’ soccer team for taking third place in the state tournament and for the thrill that you have brought to Southwest this season.  Specific congratulations to Garret Powell and Ryan McLean for making the All-State soccer team. Last but not least, congratulations to the Laker fans for giving all the other crowds a run for their money.

“Boeing Boeing” Hits Southwest with Sixties Fad

A quick glance at the state of American media—and the popularity of “Mad Men” in particular—denotes an immense fascination with fifties and sixties glamour. It is not unlikely that student directors Peter Centner and Jon Riddle fell victim to this addicting phenomenon or at least recognized its potential, for the audition posters for “Boeing Boeing” largely featured the notorious Don Draper. Opening the Unhinged season the week of October 4-7, this well-crafted production took the charm of Draper’s generation and ran with it to great success.
It is hard to trace the allure of this era to its source. It might be the suave style of clothing and conversation, the inversion of morals and manners in favor of selfish indulgences, or perhaps, for girls, the combination of cuteness and independence. Whatever it was, “Boeing Boeing” captured it and compacted it into an hour and forty-five minutes of theatrical excellence. The immaculate styling of the production, combined with a talented set of actors and their crafty execution of shticks pertaining to the six doors that made up the set, made it nothing short of impressive.
“Boeing Boeing” takes place in the Paris apartment of the American-born Bernard, played by Phillip Timmons, who brought to his smooth-talking and morally bankrupt rôle an endearing side of quirkiness. With the help of his brash housemaid Bertha, played by Meredith Casey (a natural stage comedienne), Bernard is able to pull off a ridiculous and completely debased feat: remain engaged to three flight attendants at once without their knowing. When an old friend, Robert (played by Ben Tracy, who time and time again exudes confidence onstage in whatever rôle that he is given), shows up at Bernard’s home, it is no surprise that his tightly-wound scheme begins to go awry. The three fiancées, played by Alison Graba, Stephanie Revering, and Charlotte Anderson, lit up the stage with the pep and verve that is so characteristic of sixties ladies.
Directors Centner and Riddle agreed that the toughest thing about this production was timing, whether in terms of comedic execution or available hours for rehearsal. Said Centner, “We only had four weeks from start to finish, which meant we had to be very efficient. We couldn’t have put the show together like that without a really skilled cast and crew.”
In summary, “Boeing Boeing” excelled in style and execution. The sixties-era set, complete with a white fur rug, avant-garde paintings, and six doors, was the best that the Black Box has seen in a long time. The show flowed seamlessly, and, from the performance that I saw, was extremely well-rehearsed. Sure, the plot was at times predictable, and the jokes occasionally sexist, but all of this can be overlooked respectfully in light of the period in which this play takes place and the nonstop laughter that, by the end of the night, left audience members in extremely good spirits.

Picture 1

A Notable Exception to Southwest Liberalism

Southwest High School is viewed traditionally as a bastion of liberalism, where Republican students are oddities, impassioned classroom debates are encouraged, and discrimination is simply not a problem. In my high school experience, I have found these assumptions to be mostly true—in the Unhinged theatre program, the most controversial plays are often the most successful; in sports, all players are welcome. Thus, when I set out last spring to produce a documentary about the reality for gay adolescents in this day and age, I assumed that Southwest would commend my efforts. What I found instead was an undercurrent of unresolved feelings about a controversial social issue.

That is certainly not to say that Southwest is bigoted. I love attending a high school where I can exercise freedom of speech without reluctance in classroom discussions, the only risk being that I may tick off a few of my peers. Compared to other area high schools and practically every suburban high school, I have not a single complaint about the level of tolerance at Southwest. Yet herein is the root of the problem. It is time that I stop looking at the level of open-mindedness at Southwest relative to other schools, and start looking at how I can improve the situation right here.

It was during softball season at Southwest that I found out that I would receive a grant to make my documentary. At the time, I was excited and proud, but for some reason, incredibly reluctant to share the news with my teammates. When I finally spilled the beans, I was congratulated, yet it was the follow-up question that always made me wring my hands and kick up dirt: “What is your film going to be about?” In about half of the older girls on my team—as well as a few parents on the sidelines and coaches—my answer elicited an ever-so-subtle change in facial expression (like a raised eyebrow) or caused speaking voices to jump an octave.

Perhaps I just was being paranoid, but I could not help but wonder what judgment had crossed their minds at the moment that I professed my interest in gay rights. It was not unlikely, I thought, that they had jumped to the conclusion that I myself might be a lesbian, and if so, that they had better keep their distance. For the rest of the season, I avoided discussion of my film at all costs.

To harp any more on intolerance at my high school would not only be insolent but also misleading. Had I not received support from a handful of Southwest teachers and peers, I never would have captured some of the most vital footage in my film, taken right here in the halls and classrooms. In the process, however, I certainly discovered some of Southwest’s less liberal-minded niches. To iterate my point, it is not as though there are more than a few openly gay students in our entire high school of over two thousand students.

The good thing is that I cannot think of any topics that stir up awkward reactions at Southwest besides homosexuality (although I am sure that there are a few). Even so, at a time when the number of gay teenaged suicides is increasing steadily, my observations have unsettling implications about how liberal Southwest really is. If we want to maintain our pride in being open-minded, we cannot continue to overlook the unwelcoming aspects of life at Southwest for gay and lesbian students.

The first step toward change is to stop measuring tolerance in what does not happen—e.g., bullying, censorship, suicide—and to start thinking about taking the initiative. As far as how that can be done, I leave that up to you. Open discussion is always a good start.

 

To view Morgan’s completed documentary, “This Gay & Age,” click here.

Boys Soccer Team Beats South in Sections Game!

On Tuesday, October 18, the Southwest boys soccer team faced South for the third time this season in the Section championship game. The Lakers came into the game seeded third in the section with a 13-3-1 record, and the Tigers seeded first with a 14-2-1 record. Southwest had previously lost to South 3-2, but won 4-3 at the home Soccer Saturday game.

Early in the game, senior Shane Marshall scored the first goal of the night on a penalty kick. South retaliated, scoring with just two minutes left in the half. Freshman Chico Molina scored the winning goal with less than 4 minutes left in the game, making Southwest the section champions. After the buzzer, the team jumped into the crowd, ecstatic to be returning once again to the State tournament.

Hay, Sadies Wasn’t so Bad!

Hayrides, bonfires, and square dancing: the perfect combination for the Sadie Hawkins dance. As I walked into the barn where Sadies was to be held, I heard the sound of fresh, crunchy hay beneath my feet. The entire dance floor was a smooth bed of hay.This is where hundreds of Southwest students would be arriving for a night of the usual dancing: grinding (or so they thought).

Grinding has been the main way of dancing at high school dances for years, and is famous for making parent chaperones look away in disgust. Although I can tolerate grinding, it does get a bit old after awhile. That’s why my heart leaped when I walked back into the barn after going on a hayride and saw students dosey-doeing and spinning their partner round and round. I quickly joined in and listened to the instructions. Pretty soon I was sashaying and spinning with my date like everyone else.

It was great to see almost the entire student body interacting with one another and laughing. However, to my dismay, I saw some people walk off or lean against a wall, not wanting to participate in something as lame as square dancing. Sure, it’s different and unusual, but it was a nice change from the hot and sweaty mosh pits that usually happen at Southwest dances. But lo and behold, after the square dance portion of Sadies was over, the lights turned off and the inevitable happened; students ran to join the undulating mob of teenage bodies rubbing against each other. I found myself joining in because, after all, this kind of dancing was fun too!

After about five songs, the lights flickered back on and the groan of hundreds of students filled the air. No matter how much people complained, the lights would not be turned back off in order to ensure that there was no “inappropriate dancing.” The fact that students weren’t even allowed to leave the dance was annoying, but I decided to make the most of the rest of the night. Songs like Cotton-Eyed Joe and Justin Bieber’s Baby played, and even though the lights remained on, people couldn’t resist the urge to dance. I saw kids jump to the beat, make up crazy dance moves, dance around in a circle, and even take part in a dance-off.

Sadies might not have been what dances at Southwest are usually like, but it was a fun and different experience that turned out to be pretty exciting!