Monthly Archives: May 2012

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BY MADI DETTLINGER ’13| Staff Writer

Creating an impressive video for an Honors Freshman English project, Natalie Schunk ’15 has found her passion in video animation.

The video, a paper stop motion, was created for a project about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It chronicles Dr. Frankenstein’s efforts in creating his monster, showing scenes of him collecting body parts, assembling the monster and bringing it to life.

Schunk’s efforts with the film did not go unnoticed. Youtube comments on the video sing her praises with exclamations like, “Brilliant!” and “Amazing work!” One viewer, presumably a teacher, went as far as saying that Mary Shelley would be proud and that he planned on using the video as inspiration for his students.

Her first hour class voted her project the best of the hour, and teachers at the school have used it as inspiration for students to show what they can create if they put their mind to it, said Kelli Fimbinger, Schunk’s English teacher.

Grant Lobert ’14, Schunk’s friend, agreed that the video was one of Schunk’s finest.

“I thought it was amazing,” said Lobert.

Schunk said it took a lot of time and hard work to get to the skill level needed to create the stop-motion film, starting with cartooning classes.

“I had always thought it would be kind of cool to make my own cartoon, but I never really thought it through. Then I took a cartooning class three years ago where part of the program was to make an animation in Adobe Flash, and I found out that I really liked it a lot and wanted to do more animating,” said Schunk.

 Schunk got more and more interested in animating, eventually producing her own films. Besides Frankenstein, she has done four different videos using varied animation techniques.

 “The first was the one I made in the (animation) class three years ago. It’s still on my Youtube. It’s two seconds long. The second was a stop-motion with little bead animals I found, and I made them go on an adventure for a treasure chest. It wasn’t very smooth animation. The third one was my first experience with paper animation, which was great. I liked that a lot. The fourth one was about 20 seconds, and it was a ‘dapper’ gentleman getting quite upset about his moustache flying off his face,” said Schunk.

Schunk said that the amount of time and work put in for a video depends on what you are working with and the type of video that is being created.

“For something like Frankenstein I had to make sure the tripod and background scenes didn’t move at all, and everything had to be absolutely perfect, essentially,” said Schunk. “The whole thing took well over 24 hours and editing took up less than 5 hours, I believe. The paper puppets and backgrounds alone took up around 10 hours. I think I made a few mistakes overall, but it’s my second paper animation I’ve ever made so I’m definitely not a professional.”

There are many qualities that one has to have in order to be a successful animator, Schunk said. Besides a good camera and an artistic eye, animators have to be willing to work and to persevere. They have to will themselves to keep going despite different setbacks that may be encountered.

“If you want to animate, then you have to be patient,” Schunk said. “Expensive software and tools always help, but being creative and devoted is the most important thing.”

GRAPHIC BY LILY KOSS'13
GRAPHIC BY LILY KOSS'13

MARGARET BRENNAN ’13| Staff Writer

GRAPHIC BY LILY KOSS'13
GRAPHIC BY LILY KOSS'13

Teen athletes are constantly striving to perform better, but all of their work could be wasted with the consumption of alcohol and other drugs, which could be toxic to their performance in the classroom and on the field.

All students who participate in a sport at South are required to sign the Athletic Code of Conduct. According to the Code of Conduct, first offense for possession and/ or use of alcoholic beverages results in immediate suspension from participation in 20% of the MHSAA allowed competitions, served consecutively for the athlete’s current or next sport. A second offense results in a 40% suspension and upon the third offense full suspension from all athletic participation for the remainder of the athlete’s high school career.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, about 5,000 kids under 21 die every year as a result of underage drinking – from crashes, homicides and suicides.

“Car crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 20,” said Health teacher and Varsity Baseball Coach Dan Griesbaum.

“I find my friends doing things they wouldn’t normally do when under the influence – that’s sometimes half the fun of it,” said Ali Crowley’ 13.  “But the other half you don’t know what they are going to do.”

Brain development is one thing that is largely affected when drinking. According to dontserveteen.gov the human brain continues to develop into a person’s early twenties and the exposure of the developing brain to alcohol may have long-lasting effects on intellectual capabilities and may increase the likelihood of alcohol addiction.

“Sports have been a way for me to stay preoccupied and I am fortunate enough to be blessed with athleticism, I have been given this gift to play and I don’t see why others just throw it all away for one sip of alcohol,” said Marsh.

The drug interferes with lactic acid break down causing it to builds up in the muscles, causing sourness after a workout. However the worst side effect of all is dehydration. For every 1% of dehydration the player reduces their performance level by 10% Griesbaum said.

For teen athletes, sleep is critical for performance. Alcohol is a depressant and can cause the body to fall asleep very quickly, but the problem comes during the duration of sleep according to the University Health Center.

The sleep cycle can get skewed after consuming large amounts of alcohol. Alcohol affects the second half of the sleep cycle, where the consumer may find themselves waking up periodically during the night but then returning back to a nights rest, according to University Health Center. 

“I have a very strict sleeping schedule prior to a big tournament, I make sure that I get ample amounts of sleep; it’s really critical to my playing ability,” said Varsity Soccer Player Chelsea Marsh’13

In terms of nutrition, alcohol has seven calories per gram; while fat has nine calories per gram, alcohol stores in the body much like fat does according to Nutritionist Jane Quick. Alcohol also destroys amino acid chains and stores them as fat. 

For those students who confront a school counselor about having a drinking problem prior to getting caught are excused from the athletic suspensions however, these students require mandatory counseling, Greisbaum said.

“Sports have been a way for me to stay preoccupied and I am fortunate enough to be blessed with athleticism, I have been given this gift to play and I don’t see why others just throw it all away for one sip of alcohol,” said Marsh.

For a closer look at the dangers, warning signs and information on Alohol Abuse, click here.

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LINDSEY MESTDAGH ’13|Staff Writer

One drink, two drinks, three drinks, floor. High school drinking is a strong concern as one beer at a party may turn into a serious addiction.

There are a number of reasons why teenagers in high school drink, Health education teacher Dan Griesbaum said. Some drink because they like the feeling of it, some because they feel it opens up their personality to be more outgoing and others to let go and blow off steam.

“There are levels of use, beginning with experimentation and progressing into use, abuse, dependence and then addiction,” said Griesbaum.

Alcohol use is considered to be a serious problem when the user begins to suffer negative consequences, Griesbaum said. Increased tolerance, blacking out, difficulties with school, problems involving relationships and the encounters with the law are all key to finding the signs of an alcohol problem.

“Drinking is such a common theme in high school that kids feel a sort of need to get into it,” said Janie Kaess ’14.

It’s not only seen at parties on weekends, Kaess said. Students are often drinking for school events and other celebrations, she added.

When alcohol is used to meet the need of an individual, that person is more likely to get in trouble with it, Griesbaum said. Many teens use it to fit in with other people as well as an escape from the stress and pressure put on them.

The biggest thing that students who are drinking overlook is that alcohol is illegal at their age, school counselor Carla Palffy said. Kids forget this because they have so many different viewpoints and values, but in reality they are breaking the law. Alcohol has no positive effects that will lead to success in the future, she said.

“There is a tremendous amount of risk in using alcohol that people don’t realize,” said Palffy. “You are risking your college future, what you have to put on your applications and other harmful risks to your body.”

Alcohol abuse is a sign of other issues, Palffy said. A teen may be suffering depression, anxiety or other problems mentally and feel that alcohol is a solution.

Some people are predisposed to alcoholism because it is in their genes, Palffy said. When these people start drinking, it may turn that specific gene on. The earlier the age this happens, the higher the risk to becoming an alcoholic in the future.

“It started with occasional drinking on the weekends, developed into a habitual thing, and then turned into hospitalizations, one being a near death experience,” said a friend of student with an alcohol problem. “Her use of alcohol increased and became more intense from freshman year to now.”

Her friend was always the one looking forward to drinking and getting drunk the most, the senior said.

In a casual talk one day, the senior found that her friend began drinking alone on school nights while doing homework. This is when she realized that her friend had an alcohol addiction problem.

“There is a tremendous amount of risk in using alcohol that people don’t realize,” said Palffy. “You are risking your college future, what you have to put on your applications and other harmful risks to your body.”

“Even though my friends and I saw her problem, we honestly didn’t suggest help to her,” said the senior. “We felt it was something her parents needed to address and we didn’t know if it was really serious enough to the point to go tell on her.”

With real negative results of excessive binge drinking exposed, other friends and students of South can realize the troubles it causes and learn from it, anonymous said.

Those with an alcohol problem don’t want to admit it, Griesbaum said. They feel uncomfortable with the fact of thinking they have a problem themselves.

“I’ve seen many ways friends help each other by just telling them they need to calm down and stop drinking,” said Gerard Smith ’13.

Friends of drinkers always seem to help them in the moment when they’re having a rough night or having problems, Smith said. No one seems to take it that serious or to look into getting someone help even if they need it.

“A lot of times the denial is so strong that they don’t realize they have a problem,” said Griesbaum.

Teens usually don’t feel the need to tell someone about their friend’s alcohol abuse problem because they don’t want to get them in trouble and don’t want to be the one to rat on them, Griesbaum said.

“Always confide in a trusting adult for guidance; the problem is bigger than a teenager is prepared to handle on their own,” said Palffy.

In receiving help for someone, don’t just tell and assume it is taken care of, Palffy said. It is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. A good friend should follow up to make sure someone is taking action; it may not be their business to know how it is handled, just that something is being done.

“If people around the alcoholic are covering up for them all the time and making excuses for them, then they don’t see the need to get help,” said Griesbaum.

There is a lot of good that comes out of getting a troubled individual the help they need, said Griesbaum.  They will see other people are concerned and may look at themselves and notice their problem. Then they may be willing to get help.

As a friend, there are ways to help anonymously, Griesbaum said. Contacting a trusted adult such as a teacher, parent, coach or counselor are always good options.

Student assistant counselor, Doug Roby works with struggling students to overcome their problems and make changes to help them in their everyday life.

Roby can work with students privately, but lets them know up front when he may need to involve others.

“Students need to know that they can trust me with concerns they have about decisions they’re making, but if they’re a risk to themselves or others then I can’t keep that confidential,” said Roby.

Risk taking behavior is the most common trait of an alcoholic, Roby said. Not only are they taking risks with alcohol, but many get into other illegal substances, disobey their parents, skip classes and are involved in stealing as well.

If students are heavily involved in alcohol, they need to sit down and look at how it is impacting their life and think about the long-term consequences, said Roby.

“There are alcoholics that drink everyday and there are also binge alcoholics who don’t drink every day, but when they do drink, they consume a significant amount,” said Roby.

What always puts a spin on things is that about 80 percent of active adult alcoholics still go to work every day and are able to meet their day-to-day responsibilities even when they consume alcohol every day, Roby said. Most alcoholics can still function enough to get through the day.

The biggest struggle for a teen alcoholic is a change in behavior because in most cases the people they associate with are continuing to drink, Roby said.

“It’s very unlikely, if not impossible to lose a friendship because you cared enough about somebody to get involved,” said Griesbaum. “They need to show them through caring, love and concern that they are worried about them and worried about their drinking and how it might be effecting their life and their future.”

The success rate for young adults in recovery is very low, Roby said. The main reason is that alcoholics who go to an inpatient facility are taught to get different friends who aren’t involved in alcohol, and for a high school student that is a very difficult task.

“Getting a friend the help they need may be giving them a whole second chance in life,” said Palffy. “It could be saving a life or even just turning on a light bulb that makes them realize they were headed down the wrong path.”

Expressing concern to someone with a problem can be best through an intervention, said Griesbaum.

“It’s very unlikely, if not impossible to lose a friendship because you cared enough about somebody to get involved,” said Griesbaum. “They need to show them through caring, love and concern that they are worried about them and worried about their drinking and how it might be effecting their life and their future.”

Through personal encounters with true alcoholics, Griesbaum learned that people don’t need alcohol to have a good time.   

There are really good resources throughout the community to help deal with these problems outside of school, Palffy said. There is a group called Care along with the Family Center. These groups work specifically with these kids to overcome their problems and direct them back on the right track.

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Photo by Margaux Forster '12. Title: monarch 1. The picture is the centerfold located in the 2011-2012 issue of Looking Glass.
Photo by Margaux Forster '12. Title: monarch 1. The picture is the centerfold located in the 2011-2012 issue of Looking Glass.
Illustration by Amelia Rennell ’13. Title: untitled. Rennell’s graphic was featured as the Looking Glass’ 2011-2012 cover. Students were able to submit pictures, illustrations and poems to be shown in the literary magazine.

Jack Chase ’13 | Staff Writer

Featuring work by South students, the 2011-2012 edition of Looking Glass, South’s literary magazine, is on sale for $5 in the main hallway during both lunches.

With over 150 copies of Looking Glass preordered, there are still copies available for purchase, Editor-in-Chief Char Koelsch ’12 said.  This year was the first time that students submitted their work online, which led to a greater number of pieces to choose from, compared to previous years.

“(This year) we were more meticulous with the layout and we changed to online submissions, which helped streamline the process, allowing us to review submissions better,” said Koelsch.

Being the leader of Looking Glass comes with its fair share of responsibilities, Koelsch said.  On top of coordinating meetings, Koelsch makes the draft for the layout of the final publication and has the last word on whether a piece makes it into the magazine or not.  One of the most important pieces to decide upon was the cover artwork.

“My favorite piece was probably the cover (done by Amelia Rennell ’13),” said Koelsch.  “It is very colorful and most of the past covers were dark.  I think it is nice to have a change.”

Final layouts of Looking Glass are so protected that Rennell was unaware her submission had been selected for the cover until Friday, May 19, 2012, Rennell said.  Designed around a Buddhism theme, she made the unnamed colored pencil drawing to symbolize being an all around good and happy person.

“I started it about two years ago in the summer and just procrastinated and once I finished it, I saw the Looking Glass thing and just thought I’d submit it,” said Rennell.  “(Making the cover) was a big surprise.”

Photo by Margaux Forster '12. Title: monarch 1. The picture is the centerfold located in the 2011-2012 issue of Looking Glass.
Photo by Margaux Forster ’12. Title: monarch 1. The picture is the centerfold located in the 2011-2012 issue of Looking Glass.

Although every piece in the Looking Glass is outstanding, only two can be selected as Editor’s Pick, the decision is made by all the editors, Koelsch said.  One work from the visual and one from the written submissions were chosen. This year’s Editor’s Pick from the visual submissions was “Umbra” by Alex Pizzimenti ’12, Koelsch said.

“I’m really excited that they (Looking Glass) liked my work because I submitted it to Scholastics and they really didn’t like it,” said Pizzimenti.  “Just that they liked it made me happy; I got something out of my work.  I was really surprised.”

From all the written submissions, the poem “Commencement,” by Dominique Whitney ’13, was selected for Editor’s Pick, Koelsch said.

“It is about graduation and it’s actually my favorite piece I’ve ever written,” said Whitney.  “I just put a lot of work into it, (I’ve been) working on it since November.  That is actually the seventh version, but I ended up sticking with that one.”

Whitney was humbled by being selected as the best overall written submission.

“There are a lot of people I think are much better writers than me,” said Whitney.  “I’m really proud of it; I just get really embarrassed when people mention it.  I don’t like the attention.”

While maintaining her position as editor, Koelsch also submitted pieces of her own writing to be published, Koelsch said.  Deciding which pieces should be published helps Koelsch improve her own work to meet the same standard.

“I get to be on both sides (of the process), submitting and also reviewing submissions,” said Koelsch.  “It has made me look at my work more critcally and know what I want to be published and know when I need to edit more of my own writing.”

Copies of the Looking Glass are available for purchase during lunch near the main office.

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The Mothers' Club's annual scholarship evening took place Wednesday, May 23 in the South auditorium.
Photo by CHRISTY FLOM '13 | Online Clubs Editor. The Mothers' Club's annual scholarship evening took place Wednesday, May 23 in the South auditorium.

CHRISTY FLOM ’13 | Online Clubs Editor

The Mothers’ Club of Grosse Pointe South High School held its annual scholarship evening on Wednesday, May 23, at 7 p.m. in the South Auditorium.

Consisting of more than 25 scholarships awarded to 60 recipients, the amount given totaled $60,950. This amount includes $25,200 in community scholarships as well as an additional $35,750 in Mothers’ Club funds raised through their fundraising efforts such as the Holiday Walk, Spring Benefit and School Store, Vice-president of Scholarship Helen Srbernak said.

From specific Mothers’ Club awards such as the Mothers’ Club True Leader Award, to awards given from various community groups such as the Grosse Pointe Sunrise Rotary Club Scholarship, every award highlighted the hard work individual South students put into their daily lives. Srbernak said she and the Vice-president of Enrichment, Mrs. Biglin, reviewed the applications, conducted interviews and worked with South administrators and counselors to ensure the most qualified candidates were selected to safeguard the integrity of this important process.

Photo by CHRISTY FLOM '13 | Online Clubs Editor. Five seniors wait onstage in the auditorium to receive several of the Mothers' Club Achievement Award.

Senior Caitlin Moore was awarded the Mothers’ Club Achievement Award on Wednesday, along with fellow seniors Meredith Bury, Carmen Engel, Andrew Malley, Margaret Stafford, Somers Brush, Jack Lightbody, Marty Moesta, Jack Schulte and Jill Schummann. The Mothers’ Club Achievement Award was just one of the multitude of scholarships given away.

“It was a really nice ceremony and I was honored to receive one of the scholarships,” said Moore. “The whole interview process was a really good experience and I am very thankful to the entire Mothers’ Club for providing me with a scholarship.”

While the awards varied from art and achievement to academics, all student recipients shared a common thread, service and volunteerism within the community. In the short speeches the presenters said about each student, volunteer work at Beaumont Hospital, summer camps, and neighborhood sports teams were just a few of the noted ways that students helped give back to the community.

After the ceremony, there was a reception held in Cleminson Hall, with refreshments created by Life Skills teacher Patty o’Hare and the Commercial Foods students.