AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Volume XXI

Issue I Page 2

North student population exceeds 1,700 Are you aware that Apple- By Erik Bakken

in staff members, as more teachers and support staff are required to maintain a feasible ratio of students to staff. Along with these changes and challenges, there are more opportunities open to North students because of the student population growth. In the past, advanced courses such as AP Physics, AP Calc BC and AP Statistics were not able to run every year because of a lack of students to ¿ ll classes. Now, with a larger student body, more classes are recurrently available and full. Staff have expressed their excitement for the increase in curricular op- portunities. “It’s de ¿ nitely positive that a greater number of students means a greater number of courses for students,” said Mrs. Baker. As for North’s future stu- dent population, it is not en- tirely clear as to whether it will continue to grow. If so, city school boundaries may even- tually be modi ¿ ed in order to equally distribute students at each of the three Appleton high schools. Additionally, if the city of Appleton grows signi ¿ cantly, a fourth Appleton school may be constructed in order to curb the in À ux of students attending the three existing high schools. than a conversation interrupted by tweets and updates to your snapchat story. This is partially the reason why the staff of the Noctiluca decided to dedicate a whole is- sue to awareness. We collected stories that (we feel) students should be aware about ranging from student features to policy changes. Giving these stories the coverage they deserve is hope- fully a small step towards be- ing more aware. Awareness will make us more compas- sionate and knowledgeable. So take out the earbuds, look up from your phone and give people the attention they de- serve. There is so much going on around you if you just pay attention. Megha Uberoi is a senior and Editor-in-Chief of the Noc- tiluca. Contact her through school e-mail or Facebook. Uberoi : Awarness importance, from page 1

There are many different ways that Appleton North stu- dents get to school every day. Some drive themselves. Some walk. Some take the school bus. And some take the city bus. Taking the Valley Tran- sit city bus is an option at all three of the major high schools across the city as well as at the middle schools, but the bussing system makes it much harder at Appleton North. While Appleton East and West are regular bus stops, meaning that the bus stops are once an hour, Appleton North is a peak stop, meaning the bus only stops here during peak traf ¿ c hours; for North, that means the bus stops here twice – once before school at 7:17 a.m. and once after ton North’s entire student population has exceeded 1700 this year? This ¿ gure includes students from the Appleton Career Academy, Renaissance School for the Arts and Tesla Engineering Charter School. The À uctuating size of the stu- dent community at North has generally grown due to many factors, producing both chal- lenges and bene ¿ ts for stu- dents and staff. There are several factors behind the surge in student population at North, the most prominent being the increased open enrollment at North. More students who live in boundary areas are choosing to come to North for region- ally acclaimed programs such as music, theater and sports. In general, North receives the most open enrolled students of the high schools in the AASD. Another external factor in- À uencing the growth in student population is increased preva- lence of businesses such as Kimberly Clark and Thrivent in the community since North opened, drawing more families into the Appleton area. Because of the growth in North’s student population, some challenges are posed to both students and staff. One By Ally Price

This bar graph depicts the number of students for all grades at Appleton North, Appleton Career Academy, Tesla and Renaissance. Growth in the number of stu- dents has caused scheduling con À icts and opportunities. Graphic by Erik Bakken

gym and PFM have become more dif ¿ cult to secure a place in, and class sizes have sometimes swelled in required courses. “The PFM courses that I teach have become more full. I would say that they’ve grown in size from around 25 students to around 30 students,” North PFM teacher Mrs. Roberta Baker said. Similar growth is evident across many required courses at North. The student growth often translates to an increase

North’s Student Population Data as of Sept. 18, 2015. Freshmen 414 37 1 6 Sophomores 410 24 2 4 Juniors 376 27 3 6 Seniors 414 23 2 10

North ACA Tesla Renaissance

of the greatest challenges per- tains to scheduling con À icts with many students. “Because there is a greater number of students who want to take the

same courses, scheduling has become more rigid in many cases,” associate Principal Dave Pynenberg said. Required courses such as

AASD seeks new public bus policy

school at 3:10 p.m. The fact that the bus is a peak stop rather than a regular stop can be problematic for kids who rely on the city bus for transportation to school. “Because the bus only comes twice a day, if someone who relies on the bus to get to school misses the morning bus, they have no way to get to school and will likely end up missing the whole day,” said Mrs. Debbie Strick, Ap- pleton North’s social worker. “Whereas if North became a regular bus stop, they could catch the next bus and only miss an hour or two of class.” The bus leaves right after Related Editorial Creating a public bus line that serves all students equally, Page 5

Talks have resumed between Valley Transit and AASD Assistant Superintendent Ben Vogel. Photo by Katharine Hackney

stop. The bus stop is seen by many as something that would greatly help students in poverty or with mental health and attendance issues, since a majority of students who rely on the city bus fall into this category. While as of right now, there are no immediate plans, ne- gotiations between Assistant Superintendent Ben Vogel and Valley Transit have been taking place, and attempts are being made at making North a regular stop on the bus line.

school and doesn’t come back means that students who rely on it for transportation can’t take part in after-school ac- tivities, whether it be a sport, a club, theater, or even attend- ing events like football games or plays. “Not giving these students easy access to transportation after school is cutting off an entire population of our stu- dent body,” said Mrs. Strick. Over the past year, she has been involved in contacting Valley Transit to advocate making North a regular bus

AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Volume XXI

Issue I

Page 3

Changes to school attendance policy spark criticism By Rachel Flom

Many teachers are also very willing to create plans and schedules to get students caught up again. Some students feel as though they receive the most grief from secretaries, whose job it is to inform stu- dents of issues regarding their attendance. According to Berlowski, deans from Appleton North met with the District Office to address issues regarding the policy. They decided that atten- dance will now by counted by the minutes a student is at school instead of counting by days or half-days. Those minutes will be added up to equate to the al- lowed 10 school days, which hopefully will decrease the amount of truant students dur- ing the 2015-2016 school year. Families have still not been in- formed about how this policy change will work. There is still the question of how these minutes will add up, if it counts as so many min- utes per class period or per day. Will lunch periods be counted? What about privileges and re- leases? Students and parents still with a rule like this, the draw to sports will be significantly less due to limited competi- tiveness. In fact, students will be less willing to join sports in general. If there is no com- petitiveness, there is no point. Lastly, If WIAA does this, what is next? Seriously. What would be next? If we can’t do these “offensive” chants to pump up the players and students, what can we do? Is WIAA going to ban signs? Are they going to ban chants all together? The WIAA might as well ban student sections. As Wisconsin sports anchor Bill Michaels said in a Facebook post: “at this rate, why keep score?” This is a losing battle for the WIAA and a huge dagger in the heart of Wisconsin high school sports. If they don’t reverse this policy, they don’t deserve to run high school sports in Wisconsin. This is sports, not book club. Let’s keep it that way.

With that, and the policy change at the beginning of the school year, a student can end up in truancy court without much warning. Letters are issued out to families once a student has reached seven days of absence, but delays in the post office and address changes might result in a family not knowing that their child is at risk for being truant. Although the student hand- book was updated with the new policy, families were not di- rectly notified when the district policy changed at the begin- ning of this school year, which resulted in even more students being forced into court. Many students did not even find out about the policy until they were pulled out of their second hour class and given a detention slip. The irony behind this is that students are pulled out of yet another class to be informed that they missed a class, which most students are clearly aware of. Many students were not pleased to hear about the initial policy change. Students with chronic health issues were be- ing threatened with truancy for visiting doctors. Cheyenne DeShaney, a senior at Apple- ton North, says that staff were not accommodating when she

Are you aware that the Appleton Area School District changed its attendance policy? In previous years, policy stated that students would either be counted as missing one half or one full school day. With this policy in place, students who missed a class period for an appointment or slept through their alarm would be considered missing for up to four school periods, even if that was not the reality. Some students would in- tentionally miss extra class periods because they would be considered absent regardless of their actual attendance. Since students are given 10 excused absences before they are considered truant, appoint- ments, family emergencies, and illnesses can push a stu- dent to reach that limit before the end of the school year. After the switch from Par- ent Portal to Infinite Campus, it has also been increasingly more difficult to find exactly how many days a student has been absent, since the website does not add up the total num- ber of absences. Although stu- dents can see how many class periods they’ve missed, they can’t check how many total days they’ve missed during the school year. The WIAA has crossed the line and it is time that student-athletes take a stand against it. High school sports are fun and beneficial to success. At the same time, they are meant to be competitive. They are also supposed to prepare student-athletes for the next level: collegiate athletics. In college, there are count- less chants and anthems that each school’s student section creates. Some of them are vulgar. While those are not family-friendly or necessary for a sporting event, they are part of the atmosphere. While I do not think that those types of chants should be permitted in a high school setting, that is reality on a col- lege level. In addition, those vulgar chants are prohibited from high schools already. The WIAA wants to pro- hibit chants such as: “USA,” “you can’t do that,” “score- board,” “air ball,” and many By Benji Backer

The Student Services office is in charge of inputting absences into Infinite Campus. Photo by Sofia Voet

enough, students have to come back to a staff that blames them for missing school, even when situations state otherwise. Some staff at Appleton North have been extremely ac- commodating to students who miss school. Matthew Ber- lowski, one of two deans at the school, has been willing to sit down with students to go over the policy and where students stand with it. on chants like these is why my generation is turning into a generation full of “victims.” Rules like this are teaching youth to be offended when they shouldn’t be. Not every- thing is offensive and rude. The WIAA obviously cannot look past that. Secondly, these bans ruin competitiveness. Chants from a student section pump up the players and the teams. No matter who is chanting, it pumps student-athletes up. If the opposing student sec- tion is chanting “you can’t do that,” it gives athletes motiva- tion to show them what they can do. It angers us, but it also pumps us up. If the chant is from our own student-section, it gives us confidence. Having a supporting crowd with competitive chants is key to success as a team. It makes the event more com- petitive and ultimately more enjoyable for both teams. It’s hard enough to get students to attend sporting events, but

injured her ankle during a run. “I think [the policy] is stu- pid. I have an injury and I was threatened with truancy even though I have been turning in doctor’s slips,” said DeShaney. Other circumstances like that have led to students requir- ing absences for physical ther- apy and other types of therapy, surgery, and appointments. As if having to catch up with homework and tests isn’t

have many questions for the school, the most pressing one being, “When will we be in- formed?” New WIAA chant rules are ruining high school sports

The student sections at sports games are usually full of shouting and excitement. Photo by Alex Neumann

others. Despite the outrage from high schoolers and adults, the WIAA has stayed true to their course. In fact, the WIAA alerted a Wiscon- sin high school about a stu- dent who tweeted against the policy. She was suspended from her basketball team for five games. These new re- strictions are absurd for a multitude of reasons. First of all, I’m still waiting to hear a reasonable explana-

tion as to why the WIAA finds the chants offensive. Is telling the opposing team that their team is losing offensive? Is chanting “you can’t do that” to a player who caused a pen- alty disrespectful? Is that what we, as a society, have come to? If so, what isn’t offensive anymore? The politically-correct cul- ture in this country has gone over the top and this situation is a prime example. The ban

AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Volume XXI Issue I

Page 4

America’s growing obesity problem By Salma Abdel-Azim Are you aware that obesity

Noctiluca Mission Statement

The Noctiluca and are the student-run news sources of Appleton North High School. Noctiluca and are designated public forums for stu- dent expression. Student editors make all content decisions. Noctiluca’s mission is to publish information relevant to its readers and its community. Its goal is to maintain high ethical standards and provide a designated public forum for free and responsible expression of views. The newspaper and website welcome diversity of scope, depth and breadth of coverage in order to heighten mutual understanding and awareness through our entire community. Appleton North High School Mr. Ramponi, staff advisor, at: ramponiaaron@aasd.k12. Editorial Staff Senior Editor-In-Chief Megha Uberoi Co-Junior Editor-In-Chief Elise Painton News Editor Katharine Hackney Opinions Editor Kate Bennett Features Editor Rachel Flom Co-Centerspread Editor Fatima Ali Leah Dreyer Nora Ptacek Erik Bakken Managing Editor 5000 N. Ballard Road Appleton, WI 54913 Phone: (920) 832-4300

be taught better habits, such as eating vegetables and eat- ing healthy meals, that will stay with them as adults. Also, school lunches need to be healthier, without sacrificing taste and amounts. Students should feel satisfied, both by taste and amount, at the end of a lunch hour. Parks should be built in more neighborhoods to encourage children to exercise more. Screen time should be lowered and fun, engaging ac- tivities should be encouraged. Exercise should be looked at as fun and not as a form of torture. In addition, healthy food everywhere should be in- creased. More grocery stores should be built, so people have access to healthy food. If we rectify the mistakes our society has made, we can become a more healthy soci- ety and reduce the disease rav- aging our nation. Encouraging exercise and healthy eating will ensure a better society.

obese. This is in part because poorer neighborhoods tend to have many more fast food res- taurants than grocery stores. This means that fresh, healthy food is limited. In fact, about 23.5 million Americans do not have access to a supermarket within a mile of their homes. TV, video games, and other electronic devices contrib- ute greatly to the obesity of America. While parents feel at ease when their children are at home, this does have a cost. Many children engage in “mindless eating” while watching TV or playing video games for lack of anything else to do. So what needs to change? We need to start at the root of the problem. According to Michael Rosenbaum, author of a CNN episode discussing obesity, “One way is to focus on obesity prevention, which starts in the home, school and community.” Children need to

caloric intake of sugary drinks has almost tripled. 50 percent of Americans consume fast food weekly and 75 percent of them, monthly. Only one-third of adults ex- ercise the recommended daily amount and children spend about 7.5 hours of screen time per day. All of these fac- tors contribute to the fact that Americans burn 130 calo- ries less daily in comparison “Encouraging exercise and healthy eating will ensure a better society.” to 1970, which compounds into 31,000 calories annually. In addition, the financial sta- tus of the families is an added factor to obesity. In communi- ties whose families earn under $15,000, ⅓ are obese. In com- munities whose families earn over $50,000, ¼ of them are for the past year. This proj- ect, lead by various members of staff and administration, is aimed to serve those at North without the financial means or capability of taking a school bus or providing their own transportation. Mrs. Strick, the school’s social worker, has been one of the main staff members involved in the proj- ect. “This route will serve stu- dents who are living in pov- erty, and those whose health issues make it difficult to get to school right away in the morn- ing, allowing them to at least make it for part of the school day,” she said. This new bus line will also allow many students the abil- ity to participate in after school activities that before were un- available to them. Kids who normally avoid going out for sports and theater would no longer be held back by the lack of available night time trans- portation. “The bus will increase student involvement at school. Every- one will be able to cheer on the football team or see the musi- cal, regardless of their eco- nomic status,” said Mrs. Strick. Students who take classes at alternative schools also suffer from the lack of public trans- port. Those learning at the Valley New School who wish to be

is plaguing America and soci- eties all over the world? It is a big issue around the world and is discussed widely. Ac- cording to, currently, one in every three adults is obese and so are one in every four children in the U.S., making our country one of the world’s most obese na- tions. Studies have shown that by the year 2030, over half of Americans will be obese, which will add 6 million cas- es of diabetes, 5 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and over 4 hundred thousand cases of cancer. This issue is so serious that our generation will be the first generation with a life expectancy that is lower than our parents. Forty years ago, this was not an issue, so what has changed? Americans are consuming about 25 percent more calories. In comparison to 1970, the percentage of the Are you aware that there is no hourly bus line to North? For many students, when the final bell rings, the real day begins. Teenagers all through- out the school rush to soccer practice or theater rehearsal, not a thought in the world about how they’ll be getting home afterward. However, for students who can’t afford the luxury of a personal vehicle or whose parents are unable to pick them up, this thought is everything. The city of Appleton is for- tunate enough to be endowed with a public bus system. Running Monday through Saturday, this invaluable re- source provides a method of transportation throughout the Fox Cities, making hourly trips to all of its seventeen established routes. Of these seventeen, there are two sepa- rate routes that carry passen- gers directly in front of both Appleton East and Appleton West high schools. Appleton North, on the other hand, is scheduled on a “peak hour” route, providing busing only twice a day, before and after school. For students who use the Valley Transit, this means that there’s no way of getting home past 3:05. At North, there has been an attempt to get an established public bus route in the works

Noctiluca Editorial

Creating a public bus line that serves all students equally

Culture Editor Maddy Schilling

Sports Editor AJ Floodstrand Photography Editor Sofia Voet

Copy Editor Abby Davies Advertising/Social Media Rachel Brosman Graphics Editor Morgan Stuedemann Online Editor Abby Plankey Advisor Mr. Ramponi Contributors Salma Abdel-Azim Fatima Ali

Many North students take the Valley Transit bus home from school every day. Photo by Rachel Flom

involved are required to par- ticipate in extracurriculars at North, as their school does not contain the necessary facilities or student population. Howev- er, there is no method of move- ment between the schools; the bus only stops at North once in the afternoon, and the VNS kids get out too late to catch it. This creates a barrier for many economically challenged kids, whose parents are unable to drive them or may not even own a car themselves. This lack of accessibility hurts not only students, but their par- ents as well. If parents have no way of getting to the school, how can they be expected to meet with administration, fill out paperwork, and attend con- ferences? Things that most of us take for granted would be unavailable to those whose

economic situation doesn’t af- ford them the luxury of a per- sonal vehicle. Fortunately, there may be a line on the way. Assistant Su- perintendent Ben Vogel has had ongoing conversations with Fox Valley Transit in an attempt to create additional bus lines. The goal of this project is to have a bus run to North several times a day and into the evening. The establishment of a steady bus route to Appleton North is crucial to our school’s acces- sibility and sense of equality. Without this reliable form of transportation, many students will miss out on many invalu- able opportunities that high school can offer, robbing them of countless social and educa- tional experiences.

Benji Backer Erik Bakken Kate Bennett Rachel Brosman Maddie Clark Rachel Flom AJ Floodstrand Katharine Hackney Nora Ptacek Jack Russell Maeve Salm Maddy Schilling Morgan Stuedemann Sonia Tallorth Megha Uberoi Sofia Voet Jacob Zajkowski Olivia Molter Elise Painton Ally Price

AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Vol. XXI

Issue I

Page 5

During the past 30 days, how many days was your mental health not good? (Mental health includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions.) Ptacek : an unseen battle, from page 1 TO GET HELP If you or someone you

(YRBS) done with Appleton North freshmen and juniors, when asked: “During the past 30 days, how many days was your mental health not good? “(Mental health includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions)” only 40.3 percent of freshmen and 35.7 percent of juniors answered 0 days; the rest of them answered any- where from 1 to over 14 days. During the past 12 months, 29 percent of juniors felt so sad and/or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities. Mental illness affects many students, even if others can’t visibly observe it. Rarely is depression simply the people with dark clothes, or an aloof attitude. So many students with depression are immensely suc- cessful in their academic and extracurricular lives, but also successful in hiding their pain. “If you saw me in the hallway, or if you sat next to me in class, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this is something that I struggle with. Unless I told you,” she said. It’s really hard for her to keep a positive persona on at school; to constantly pretend that it’s okay when it is quite the opposite. The night of the intense bullying incident she decided she wanted to kill her- self and that it was not worth living anymore. That terrifying night, she ended up in the hos- pital but knew it wasn’t worth it and that she could get herself out. At school the next day it was back to normal. An out- sider could never guess what happened that night; would never know how close she was to not returning to Appleton you sat next to me in class, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this is something that I struggle with.” North. “The depression makes everything really hard because when you have depression, half the time you feel sad and half the time you feel nothing at all,” she said. She went on a new medication, started to see a new counselor and things got a bit better but senior year was devastating. Two more doctors and an increased dosage later she felt constantly tired and never her- self. The depression hung over her like a cloud, following her “If you saw me in the hallway, or if

everything worse because she is a very high achieving student and she wants to be successful. Though this student feels alone, she is most certainly not the only student who experi- ences mental illness. Accord- ing to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 youth, or 20 percent (ages 13-18) have a diagnosable mental illness. Maybe this is you. Maybe it’s your friend, your neighbor, sib- ling or classmate. But whoever it may be, they need to know they’re not alone. They need to know that you recognize what they’re going through and that you are aware of their struggles. This is what she said: “What I also want people to know is that I really need your support right now and I just really need to know that you care. There’s nothing really other people can do except let me know that they care, because I don’t care any- more.” Mental Illness Fox Valley- http://www.namifoxvalley. org/ Prevent Suicide Fox Cit- ies-http://www.preventsui- School resources such as the school psychologist Mrs. Strick. know needs help cop- ing with mental illness or thoughts of suicide please contact one of these re- sources for con ¿ dential as- sistance: National Alliance on

Statistic taken from the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) conducted at Appleton North. Statistic indicates responses of North Freshman class. Graphics by Nora Ptacek

that’s linked to mental illness. “I’ve stopped eating because I don’t want to live anymore. But I don’t want to end it all rapidly, in one rapid ¿ re decision. So I just stopped eating because that way it will eventually be done but it will take awhile. It’ll be long, it’ll be drawn out, it’ll be more painful for me, but I can always turn back if I need to.” You might see her laughing in the hallway but will never know she’s only eaten a protein bar and protein shake. That’s just to keep her going until 4 p.m. where she can go home and sleep until the next morn- ing. She’s falling behind in all her schoolwork because she just can’t get it done now that she just sleeps. And that makes

During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing some usual activities?

though she knows and under- stands that other people never see her that way, it doesn’t change the way she sees her- self. Just recently she stopped eating in a very conscientious and controlled manner. She de- scribes it as an eating disorder Statistic taken from the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) conduct- ed at Appleton North. Sta- tistic indicates responses of North Junior class.

everywhere she walked. She has what’s called passive sui- cidal thoughts which are de- ¿ ned by the Valley Behavioral Health system as a desire to die, but without a speci ¿ c plan for carrying out the death. Even just walking through the hall- ways at North she thinks “may- be it would be better if you just popped the pills, or just crashed that car,” but she always push- es those thoughts away. “When you have depression you don’t see the world the way other people see the world. You see the world through a veil...that makes everything grayed out, not visually but emotionally. You feel pain. That’s what a lot of people don’t get.” She des- perately wants to help others. But what worsened the depression was the realization that she must help herself be- fore she can begin to help oth- ers. Even that was a struggle because she sees herself in a different light. So many look at her and see beautiful, smart, funny, and wise. This student sees herself as stupid, ugly, awkward, as someone people don’t want to spend time with, and someone who doesn’t de- serve to have friends. Even

Are aw

UW Eau Claire Riley Dougherty Intended Major(s): Undecided

What attracted you to the campus? The small class sizes and the beautiful campus made it ideal for me. Did North classes prepare you academically for college? Yes, North really helped me. I had 12 credits from taking AP classes going into college.

When Appleton North students start thinking about applying to college many look no further than t schools, especially since ther ty-six campuses in the UW E vide affordable and good q Noctiluca features six of th of last year’s graduates att

UW Oshkosh Blake Ebben Intended Major(s): Business

What attracted you to the campus? The huge net- work the school provides and being able to stay in- volved while attending. Did North classes prepare you academically for college? Yes, but it mainly depends on student drive because some people prepare less and some people prepare more in high school.

UWMadison Alexander Reis Intended Major(s): Business Psychology and Spanish

What attracted you to the campus? The beautiful, vibrant atmosphere of Madison with plenty of music, art, and fun. Did North classes prepare you academically for col- lege? Yes, North did help prepare me for the academ- ic rigor but only college experience could really prepare me for college.

A reflection on

you re?

UW Green Bay Katie Henning Intended Major(s): Science of Nursing

What attracted you to the campus? Its affordability and connection with Bellin College’s nursing program. Did North classes prepare you academically for college? Yes, coming in with college credits from AP and CAPP classes really put me ahead of the other students.

, e UW are twen- tension which pro-

ality education. Here, the four-year universities many nded.

UWMilwaukee Chris Cudnowski Intended Major(s): Undecided

What attracted you to the campus? The relatively close proximity to home and the condenseness of the campus. Did North classes prepare you academically for college? Yes, the AP classes helped me understand the amount of work I’d have in college and also reminded me that I have to balance class work and extracurriculars.

UWWhitewater Cynthia Lor Intended Major(s): Marketing

What attracted you to the campus? The benefit of Whitewater’s successful Business program along with the homey environment the city offers. Did North classes prepare you academically for college? Yes, North prepared me not only for aca- demic classes but also my on-campus job.

elect UW schools

AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Vol. XXI

Issue I

Page 8

Appleton North’s Improvedy reaches new heights

By Jacob Zajkowski

done in a while.

A rookie to the Improvedy scene, sophomore Sam Strat- ton is experiencing his first year of the antics of the troupe. Stratton’s love of comedy drew him to the shows and eventually the club. “I feel like we’re a really close group of friends that love to do funny stuff on stage and make each other, and people watching, laugh until their sides ache.” To Stratton, Improvedy is a great way to express himself and show who he is. “It’s also a great way to try out new puns,” he added. When asked about rehearsal, Stratton said: “We play improv games to help get better at maintaining a good stage presence, coming up with things on the spot... and other stuff that helps us be funny when we are in front

Are you aware of the most side-splitting club at Appleton North? Improvedy, the local improv troupe, has been going on for almost sixteen years, and the laughs just keep com- ing. Improvedy is a comedy troupe that performs based on skits and games that are changed and suggested by the crowd. Improvedy is the only improv group in Appleton run by a high school, according to the Appleton North The- atre webpage. This group of nine even leads workshops at businesses and performs for parties. The improv group consists of Appleton North stu- dents ranging from freshmen to seniors, featuring students such as Emma Knutson, Jack Russell, Sam Stratton, Claire Riebau, Brett Peters, Timo- thy Rausch. Ben Wylie, Saul Roselaar, and Alyssa Gruen- der. Emma Knutson, a junior this year and one of only two girls in the troupe, has been in Improvedy for two years. In an interview with Knutson, she was asked why she decided to Are you aware that writ- ers recently embarked on NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month in November? NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization that supplies schools around the world with classroom kits and other things needed for a successful education, all at no cost to the schools. During November, countless writers worldwide write stories of 50,000 words for NaNoW- riMo. Participants can get support from locals in their community and meet new people, and they even get pep talks from published authors! Story genres range from realistic fiction to fantasy, and everything in between. Participants of NaNoWriMo also look forward to the “Night of Writing Danger- ously”, a writing marathon in San Francisco at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. Hundreds of writers congregate here to get ahead in their novels and talk with their peers. This international event has many participants in our own community. According to, the Fox Cit- ies wrote almost one million words in five days this year! By Jacob Zajkowski

Appleton North’s Improvedy Troupe features new and returning members for the 2015-2016 school year. Their next show is on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $5 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. Photo from Appleton North Theatre

audition and join Improvedy: “I thought they were cool, and I liked their show.” Despite how fun it looked, she knew the commitment she needed to make to be a part of the troupe. Improvedy members meet weekly to rehearse, creating suggestions of ideas they think people will suggest during their performances. During the shows, Im- provedy members explain the rules for certain games and skits and then create scenes based off of suggestions from the audience. “My favorite thing is probably getting to be

with all of the other Improvedy members as a team,” Knutson said. One expectation Knutson doesn’t like is the assump- tion that she is funny all of the time. Another two-time member of Improvedy, senior Jack Rus- sell describes his experiences with Improvedy. “I’d seen the shows a lot during middle school and thought they were interesting,” said Russell when asked why he joined. Having tried out as a freshman and sophomore, Russell finally joined Improvedy in his junior year at North.

Russell defines Improvedy as, “being in a room of clowns, and you can’t leave until you’ve told a joke.” Russell enjoys experimenting with what’s funny on stage: “It’s incredibly rewarding to be funny, but even more so from failing big.” His only Improvedy-related pet peeve is the pre-show. He said, “The part I dislike the most is the ten or fifteen minutes before the show...I just want to show people now.” Russell’s favorite part of the troupe is trying out the new games and skits, espe- cially ones that haven’t been Outline October and Editing December if I decide I want to seriously consider getting the book published.” It has become a goal for McDermott to write all fifty thousand words. Another participant is Madeline Clark, and she shares Cecelia’s goals for someday completing a novel. She has been a member of NaNoWriMo for less than a month and was introduced by a friend of hers. Although this is her first year, Clark plans on continu- ing because she thinks it is a fun and engaging experience, and she has more things to write about. Her introduc- tion to NaNoWriMo has not affected her social life, but it has affected how fast she does her homework. Clark has chosen to write a fanfic- tion based on the characters written by Rick Riordan in the Heroes of Olympus; she chose this because she enjoys his writing. When asked about what she wants to gain from NaNoWriMo, Clark said “I just want my writing to get out there and for people to like it.” A sophomore at North named Margaux Pisciotta also

of an audience.” Stratton is exhilarated for the upcoming show on Feb. 13. “The goal is to have fun and make people laugh, which I think is really cool.” Improvedy’s shows are based off of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” National Novel Writing Month in November gains new participants

participates in NaNoWriMo. Her novel this year is about two teenage girls and the high school troubles they face. When asked why she chose this she said, “I think it is a very relatable story and is something that a lot of people in high school could connect to.” This is Pisciotta’s second year as a participant; she was introduced by an author, Amy Zhang, that had just gotten her novel published. The author explained that it had started as a NaNoWriMo draft, and Pi- sciotta was immediately taken with the idea. She managed to complete all 50,000 words during her freshman year. Her passion for writing, and the pressure of the time limit, keeps bringing Pisciotta back for another month of writing. Her message to everyone is, “If you’ve ever even thought about writing a novel before but have been too intimidated to do it, try NaNoWriMo...” NaNoWriMo is a way for writers of all ages to share their stories; a place where writers can get support from local peers and make new friends worldwide. Many peo- ple fall into their inner writers during November and share their stories to the world.

Margaux Pisciotta begins writing the first chapter of her realistic fiction novel for National Novel Writing Month 2015. This will be her second novel complet- ed through NaNoWriMo. Photo by Rachel Flom

Writers even walk among the North High population. One of them is Cece- lia McDermott who found NaNoWriMo three years ago via a YouTube video of a participant. Since November is the only time she pursues writing outside of academics, McDermott plans on continu- ing to participate in NaNoW- riMo. Although she partici- pates, school always comes first. McDermott doesn’t even like to start writing if it means she won’t be able to finish her


This year, she wrote about people who can hear some- one else’s thoughts, and they must find the other person before the voice will go away. She loves to write and would recommend NaNoWriMo to anyone. “As long as you go in with an idea and a little moti- vation, you can achieve what you never thought possible” she said. McDermott hopes to finish a novel someday during NaNoWriMo. “...that probably means an extreme

AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Vol. XXI

Issue I

Page 9

By Jack Russell Pop goes the world: Music returns to its roots

Smith and Adele’s new hit singles of the past year hear- ken back to a simpler time when we sang about what re- ally mattered, and didn’t need all of the fluff of shiny, chrome studio magic. Hozier reminds us of our beloved gospel sing- ers from the 60’s south, albeit with an Irish and very much in- the-present-day twinge. We’ve entered a time where, it is my great pleasure to announce, we’ve started to use real instru- ments to write and record real music again. We’ve exhausted our instru- ments, and it’s time to start fresh. When it comes to pop mu- sic, genres change not only because of society, culture, and significant current events; our music world exhausts certain instruments and styles. We go from jazz, to rock and roll, to proggy stuff, grunge, and now indie pop/indie rock. The way it works, is that once we’ve realized that anyone can play jazz or grunge, it’s time to move on. It’s only a matter of time that the underground folks at school realize that just about anyone can become the Foals, or Wavves, or even Walk The pleton North senior, volun- teered for two years assisting Devine within several large group therapy sessions, primar- ily working with children. “We just had the kids practice com- municating with each other by singing, talking, and playing instruments.” Regarding the general impact musical therapy had on the children she worked with, Jones says, “[These ses- sions] have all sorts of positive impacts…[they] help individu- als become better versions of themselves.” As Devine mentioned, “... each case is diverse and unique to each person. Every session is different, as well, depending on circumstantial occurrences.” To treat depression, for in- stance, Ms. Devine utilizes lyric composition and analysis techniques to find the complex relationship of emotions and words; for kids with certain special abilities, she provides them with memory recall exer- cises in addition to information for playing two-handed instru- ments in order to improve mo- tor skills. Once an individual begins to improve, Ms. Devine schedules sessions on a less fre- edgeable person is required to help with treatments. Jacie Jones, a current Ap-

Moon - and pretty soon that genre will be exhausted. The reason we are going back to our roots with more traditional pop instruments, is because we’re rebooting a little bit from exhaustion. We build up a sound, and build up an- other, and keep increasing the arrangements of electronics and different layers until we’ve created something unlisten- able: dubstep and trap. This is a theory I like to call “Rev The- ory.” We rev up new sounds and styles over the years, like a manual gear on a car, until that genre gets exhausted (or gear). We then shift gears, and we start anew, evolving more sounds along the way after we’ve re- turned to our roots for a bit. We are currently in the fraction of time between the peak of a “gear” and the next rev state, where we need to bring back traditional pop, piano, guitar, and the human voice. Pop music isn’t just affected by the world around us, it also has to do with us becoming too musically comfortable with ourselves. And we’re not quite sure if we like that. So it may be time to switch our gears and start fresh.

In the 20th and 21st centu- ries alone, pop music has un- dergone massively significant stylistic shifts, mainly due to the compelling societal and cultural changes our nation has experienced. The classic country of Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash paved the way for Fleetwood Mac and The Jackson Five. Guns N’ Roses led the scene to leave room for Oasis and Sunny Day Real Es- tate. Even Britney Spears left the limelight; the likes of Katy Perry (and yes, Fetty Wap) took focus. However, something quite peculiar is happening in today’s music world. We’re repeating ourselves. The cycling genres of yesterday are now coming full circle. Hozier. Adele. Sam Smith. Notice the homages paid to Billy Joel. Sinatra. Tom Waits. Popular music has al- ways been an evolutionary art and we as a culture evolve with it, but strangely enough, we’re reverting back to a better time, a simpler time. We’ve been taking a closer look back at our past. And here’s why. The world is still changing, Why do we like music? For most people, the first answers that comes to mind may in- clude “it motivates me,” “it’s a great distraction when I’m bored,” or a straightforward, “I just do.” However, some might say that the simple plucking, crooning, banging out of notes helps them get through the day, makes them happy, and pro- vides them with an inexplica- ble sense of relaxation. Across the board, research in music stimulation has dem- onstrated that the human brain responds resoundingly well to any activity relating to or in- volving music; it is proven to

Pop artist Sam Smith, pictured above, is an example of the recycled genres of today. Photo Courtesy of Purple PR.

but we’re seeing some patterns. “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In almost every case, this phrase has irrefutable weight to it. Y2K spawned a techno- logical revolution with the ex- pansion of the Internet, much like the industrial revolution of 1900 onward. The recession of 2008 reminded us of the Great Depression. Even the supreme court decision of June 25th, 2015, to legalize homosexual marriage had roots in the de- segregation of the south in the 1960s: freeing a social minority from abuse and torment. be an effective and positive supplement for accomplishing a variety of tasks, whether it be improving cognitive ability, regulating emotions, or coping with specific gene irregulari- ties. Because of the many com- pelling connections humans have with music, musical ther- apy has provided an alterna- tive, positive method of healing for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. But how can music therapy, something seemingly so com- plex, be confined to a single definition? According to the American Music Therapy Association website, music therapy is the use of music to

Many events in our current generation have roots, similari- ties, or even carbon copies of events that happened in the past century. With that, we’re seeing resurgences in cultural breaks. Political activism is at a record high. Therefore, music, art, and general media is starting to browse through the past; mu- sic is starting to strip down its sound, abandoning the electric instruments of two decades ago, the synths and breakbeats of yesterday, and choosing to strike up the piano, acoustic guitar, and soulful voice. Sam improve personal wellness, re- lieve stress and pain, regulate emotions, improve memory, enhance communication skills and increase physical mobility, among other things. Expressive Therapies, LLC of Appleton, owned and oper- ated by Sara Devine MT-BC, LCSW with the assistance of Maly Massot MT-BC, has provided such therapy for in- dividuals of all ages and back- grounds. Devine has treated a multitude of issues, including but not limited to depression and anxiety, cancer, neurologi- cal disorders and NICU (neo- natal intensive care unit) infant complications. To optimize the effective- ness of treatments, Devine con- ducts an evaluation process for each individual. She helps her clientele form attainable goals and typically asks their reasons for enjoying music. “Usually my analysis extends for six to seven pages...but the most im- portant thing is getting to know the individual well.” Once the evaluation has been completed, sessions are scheduled one to two times a week, depending on an individual’s availability and situation. Since people and their lives vary from day to day, a very adaptive and knowl-

Musical therapy improves personal wellness By Maeve Salm and Maddy Schilling

quent basis. “We discuss [treat- ment termination] much; the termination process is impor- tant to talk over several times. At the final session, we have a big hoorah to celebrate such a significant accomplishment.” Ultimately, healing through musical therapy encourages self-improvement but does so in an easily-connectable, largely personalized manner. It perpetuates that music, more than being a mere source of entertainment, has the capacity to effect the human brain in in- credibly positive ways. Appleton North senior Jacie Jones volunteered with Expressive Thera- pies. Photo by Maddy Schil- ling.

Music therapist Maly Massot (pictured above) works at Expressive Therapies in Appleton. Photo Courtesy of Expressive Therapies, LLC.

AREYOUAWARE? Appleton, Wisconsin February 2016 Vol. XXI Issue I An evening of holiday mischief By Molly Biskupic Page 10

Appleton North Students and is headed by North’s own Mrs. Dechant, held a gift drive during the con- cert, wherein attendees were encouraged to bring a new unwrapped gift to the per- formance. These gifts have since been donated to fami- lies in need at the Fox Val- ley Warming Shelter, COTS, Homeless Connections, and the Harbor House. Overall, the evening, which was standing room only, has been labeled a suc- cess by the event’s coordi- nators and can be expected to run once more in Decem- ber 2016. For more informa- tion, check the Mile of Mu- sic Facebook page or their website at http://mileofmu- full understanding of the show and their complete dismissal of a vital part of the story. Alice, as abstract as we have made it to be, can only be done right with utmost precision and with maintaining the efficiency of our carefully crafted, well-oiled machine. This system is what defines us as One Act performers, as participants in such a com- manding production. Walking off stage as the final seconds of our pro- duction elapse, the pas- sage of time seems surreal because of our collective enthrallment in the remark- able happenings onstage. Afterwards, we await our results in a silent storm of exhaustion and nervous energy. Stop or advance, pass or fail, win or lose, it would be a lie to say that the judge’s’ jurisdiction won’t mean the world to us, because it will. Still, whether or not we put on a show that reflects our blood, sweat and tears and that inspires other theatre programs to do the same is what will last. That, for me, is our entire purpose. For more information re- garding upcoming shows, visit appletonnorththeatre. com.

You may have rolled your eyes at the tree dis- play at Target, cringed at the carols playing on the radio, and avoided eye contact with the Santa at the mall, but the holidays came and went and, with advertisements and pro- motions galore, they were impossible to dismiss. They may have past, but it is impossilbe to forget the season of cheer synony- mous with baked goods, wishlists, seasonal drinks, pointless coffee-cup argu- ments, family reunions, and of course music. For the fifth year in a row, An Evening of Holi- day Mischief provided the community with a night of “Go!” the stage manager shouts queuing a flood of set pieces to surge onto the stage in a choreographed frenzy. For the next forty minutes or less, the Apple- ton North One Act cast and crew becomes one in purpose: to immerse our- selves and our audience in Wonderland. As the timer ticks, we are an instrument of concentration, rendering Lewis Carroll’s beloved story. I play Alice Liddell in North’s One Act produc- tion of Alice in Wonder- land this year. Although Alice One Act isn’t the first production I’ve been a part of with the North Theatre Program, it is cer- tainly among the ones I’ve grown the most fond of because of its whimsical and wonderfully abstract nature. Not to be confused with either one of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland’s, the North theatre production is an original adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s novel, condensed into a single act and performed as a part of the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association’s One Act competition. Working in the Alice cast is an indescribable experi- ence, but I’ll try my best to

hijinks, holiday cheer, and genuine generosity. North alum Cory Chisel hosted alongside his longtime col- laborator and partner, Adriel Denae. Attendees enjoyed solo performances from both Chisel and Denae, as well as collaborative pieces. According to the event’s official Facebook page, “Rhodes Wilder Chisel [the couple’s son] brought down the house with his perfor- mance” as well. With the duo’s Ameri- cana take on classic holiday songs, you can be certain this wasn’t your grandma’s Christmas pageant. Many surprise guests joined the headliners throughout the concert. In years past, these

A tabled filled with gifts donated by attendees have been sent to families in need across the Fox Valley. Photo Courtesy of Mile of Music.

singer and bass player. To spread the cheer throughout the community, Willems Student Marketing team, which features many

performers have included community choirs and local artists, and this year includ- ed the Appleton Boychoir and John Wheelock, a local

By Rachel Sina Student perspective: One Act performing

From left to right: North theatre director Ron Parker, actress Rachel Sina, and stage managers Kamy Veith and Maddy Cuff in an early rehearsal of the Alice in Wonderland One Act. Photo by Maddy Schilling

explain nonetheless. On one hand, there are exceptional bonds formed between fel- low cast and crewmembers that are comparable to be- ing part of a family; we are driven not only by the love of the theatre, but also by a shared desire to uphold the reputation of our the- atre program’s ancestors. One Act excellence is a tradition at North, with our Theatre Program obtaining the coveted Critic’s Choice award at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Fes- tival for the past sixteen consecutive years, so each member of the cast and crew is eager to continue to be the best we can and to tell of Alice’s adventures

with honesty and heart. On the other hand, One Act is an experience not for the weak-hearted. For one, there is the un- derlying stress of each per- formance, with set up and take down included, having to be under forty minutes in order to meet the guidelines of the competition. Then, there are the grueling eight to twelve hour rehearsals wherein numerous changes are constantly made; with surpassing the trials of district and sectional com- petitions, the intensity of rehearsals as the show trav- els to state become more heightened than ever. Frankly, it gets pretty de- manding. From my person-

al perspective as an actor, making sure you’re seen, heard, and understood are all crucial elements of the production. For everyone involved, it is paramount to be in, ahead, and above the moment all at once. Practice makes perfect, and staying at school until around ten at night as well as mentally reviewing scenes individu- ally is necessary to achieve this perfection. After all, receiving Crit- ic’s Choice is completely dependent on how three es- teemed theatre profession- als interpret the play. Pro- jecting a single sentence or remembering a simple gesture can be the differ- ence between the judges’

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