Liberated women = more divorce?

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Contributed By Coach Cagle

It’s no secret that the gender roles have undergone countless changes since the good old days. Whereas women were once expected to fulfill household duties, monotonous as they were, modern men are often the ones to stay home to care for children, clean,and cook. Perhaps the astronomical increase in divorce rates since the 50’s can be attributed to the evolution of marriage roles and household expectations. The following excerpt from the May 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly illustrates some of the outdated expectations of women in the home.

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
* Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
* Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
* Your goal: try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
* Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
* Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness or truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
* A good wife always knows her place.

The downfall of the sports world according to crazy Brit

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By Kevin Timms
Editorials Editor ’04

A-Rod joins the Yankees – Why?!?! The “if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em” method reaches a new height, but is this fair? Many teams couldn’t acquire A-Rod due to his ridiculously large contract, but the Yankees only end up paying him roughly $16 million a season. Hmmm…something is wrong here. How come the Texas Rangers continue to pay a lot of A-Rod’s contract when the Yankees could afford the pay the whole thing? New York definitely bullied the Rangers into basically handing them A-Rod for nothing (I know they got Alfonso “Swing and Miss” Soriano in return, but the Yankees aren’t paying him to play for the Rangers.) So, what is the reason? Maybe Yankees owner George Steinbrenner offered the Rangers’ owner a chance to touch the upcoming Yankees’ World Series trophy. Or maybe the Rangers’ owner received Yankees season tickets, a brand new Bentley, and some of Mrs. Steinbrenner’s homemade cookies. Whatever the case, A-Rod’s trade is reason enough for a salary cap to be implemented into the baseball structure, and for a team other than the Yankees to win the World Series…Go Braves!

Clarett wins lawsuit against NFL – Hypothetically speaking, you’re a 20 year-old running back who has been suspended for legal troubles a year after you helped the Ohio State Buckeyes win a National Championship. Do you: a) accept your suspension and await for reinstatement b) transfer to another school and live up to your freshman year hype or c) think that you’re the best thing since the Pet Rock and cry to the NFL that they’re discriminating by having an age restriction on their possible NFL draftees? If you chose C, you’re Maurice Clarett. So, now that he has won the lawsuit and caused the NFL to lose its age restrictions, my seven year-old neighbor is eligible for upcoming 2004 NFL draft. That’s right…he’s 4’7 and 90 lbs. and has excellent work ethic—all the stats needed for a future NFL superstar. This lawsuit might eventually cause high schoolers to skip college and go straight to the NFL, much like LeBron James and Kevin Garnett in the NBA. I can’t wait to see these high-schoolers on the other end of a Ray Lewis tackle! Breaking news: Kevin X has just sued the NBA for not drafting him because he can’t shoot, pass, play defense, or jump higher than one inch. It’s discrimination!

14 year old girls playing on the PGA tour – Basically, equality in sports is reaching scary new levels. I don’t have a problem with girls playing in the men’s golf tournament, but please make the equality universal—which means I should get an extra two minutes (males have two minutes less than females) in BPE to complete the six lap test. And then…shouldn’t I be able to try out for Girls’ JV soccer and eventually develop my career in the WNBA?

The Atlanta Hawks giving away players – Here’s an idea: let’s trade two of our best players for a troubled starter whose contract expires at the end of the year. Then, let’s trade that player for 3 no-name players and mediocre draft pick. Then let’s trade another good player for two players that aren’t good enough to make any teams and then in turn release one of them. Hint: That’s not how you win games and instill confidence in your fans. Not even Spiderman can save the Hawks from embarrassment.

Barry Bonds in general – After hearing that Barry Bonds severed ties with the Major League Player’s Association, I felt no sympathy for what Bonds had called his negative image portrayed by the media. By severing ties, he basically forces companies to negotiate personally with Bonds over any product they produce. Now, I agree with individual commercials, but when Bonds forces videogame makers to negotiate with him to place him into baseball games, he crosses the line. It should be a privilege to star in the latest Playstation 2 baseball hit. I guess he needs more money because his trainer has been discovered dealing with steroids. How much does the destruction of evidence cost? (On a side note, I have copyrighted my full name, so if any teacher/school uses it on a website or roster then they will need to personally negotiate with me.)

Players without talent that trash talk – The first player that comes to mind is the former (thank God!) Atlanta Falcons cornerback/liability Ray Buchanan, whose only reason for not giving up a big play is that a wide receiver lost concentration (probably laughing at Buchanan’s lack of talent) and dropped the ball. Plus, Buchanan’s only way of stopping a wide receiver from humiliating him in front of fans is to use the unique pass interference method. I know the first amendment guarantees free speech, but the framers really meant that freedom of speech and trash talking is only reserved to those possessing an ounce of credibility.

More than just a hobby: Lassiter students’ bands

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By Joey Kaufmann
Staff Writer ’06

Paradox – Rock/Metal

Members: Sam Ortiz – lead vocals – keeps it original because he listens to just about everything
Bryan Strickland – guitar – his major metal influence gives the band a harder sound
John Godfree – bass – contributes a funk sound with the bass
Kerry Reece – drums – his percussion gives the band some major jazz influence
Biography: Sam’s chiropractor for rehabilitating his football injury was Kerry’s mom. Sam and Bryan had been looking for a bassist and a drummer, and when Sam mentioned it in passing, Mrs. Reece mentioned that her son and his best friend were looking for a singer and a guitarist. The rest is Paradox history.
Influences: Korn, Metallica, Park, Blindside
Listening to: Senses Fail, A Perfect Circle, Lamb of God
Releases: “Lost Memories are Better Forgotten” to be released sometime in the future
Upcoming shows: March 20th @ The Masquerade (Battle of the Bands)

Liaison – Emo/Screamo

Members: Josh Miller – vocals – will be releasing his first solo CD shortly. Ryan Stockmal – guitar, Matt Larson – bass, Ryan Cain – guitar, Alex McWalters – drums – A.K.A Chico Martinez
Biography: When Week Proposal broke up, a boy got together with Ryan Cain. Ryan brought his bass player, Nick, and started a new band with Ryan Stockmal. After their first CD release “The Lawry Six Inch,” Nick quit for “domestic reasons” and was replaced by Matt Larson. They have been rocking out really hard ever since.
Influences: Week Proposal, Death Cab for Cutie, The Locust, Josh’s lame metal bands.
Listening to: Clay Aiken, “Toxic,” Ludacris, The Beatles
Releases: 3-song demo on sale for $3. “The Radio Effect” to be released soon.
Upcoming shows: March 20th @ The Masquerade (Battle of the Bands)

Plano – Acoustic/Emo

Members: Mike Jansen – vocals, guitar, drum machines – former singer of Far From Fairfield.
Billy Justineou – guitar, piano, backup vocals – plays drums for Lassiter’s Drumline and a jazz band
Jessie Giles – backup vocals
Biography: Mike Jansen wrote some songs and asked Billy if he was interested in playing also. The songs now are fuller and more instrumentally complete. Jessie doesn’t play with Plano live but graces the band inside the studio with some great background sound. and
Influences: Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Folds, Straylight Run, The Get Up Kids
Listening to: I Married My High School Sweetheart
Releases: free two-song demo, LP due out in April
Upcoming shows: March 23rd @ Swayze’s with The Lyndsay Diaries

Xero – Metal/Rock

Members: Danny Helms – lead vocals, Ryan Yunker – guitar / vocals, David Ljung – guitar, Ben Hopper – bass / vocals
Biography: In January 2002, Ryan, Josh, Ben, and David came together to form a much-needed band. They had all been looking for people to play with them and finally united to create Xero. When invited to play at the Masquerade this January, Xero invited Danny Helms to sing for them and the band has now made a name for themselves on the local metal scene.
Influences: Nirvana, Taproot, Deftones, Korn
Listening to: Linkin Park, anything techno, 311, Incubus
Releases: 6-song instrumental demo
Another with vocals out soon
Upcoming shows: March 20th @ The Masquerade (Battle of the Bands)

Lassiter shows off its “Men of Troy”

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By Jillian Farr ’06 and Matt Speer ’05
Staff Writers

On the night of March 11, 2004, the first annual Mr. Trojan contest was underway. No one knew what the night would entail, but everyone was excited to see how it would turn out.
The night started off with an unusual introduction of contestants. Each contestant got to choose an outfit that captured their personality. Some of the more interesting outfits included freshman James McConnell’s “country club member” outfit, complete with a blue sweater on his shoulders and tennis racket to carry; junior Eric Duncan’s “class nerd” style consisted of plaid shorts, suspenders, and taped up glasses; finally, Chris Newberry’s choice of clothing was perhaps the most interesting of the night; he sported a tight velvet dress that left little to the imagination.

As part of the application, the contestants were each asked some questions that were announced the night of the contest. If you could trade places with any woman in the world, who would it be and why? What would you do if you were Mr. Trojan? And what was the worst movie you have ever seen? The audience laughed at almost every answer. Freshman Reed Halterman said he didn’t like the movie “A Walk to Remember” because Mandy Moore died at the end of it. Sophomore Brad Evans said he would most like to change places with Ashley Olsen so that he could get closer to Mary-Kate.

Eric Duncan woos the girls with his amazing ribbon dancing.

While on stage, the contestants were each asked a random question and had to answer it in 30 seconds. When asked what he would do if he only had a week to live, junior Stephen Shaw said that he would take his family to Florida and go to Disney World. This drew a long, “Awwwww!” from the audience. Justin Williams, a junior, pleased the crowd with his rendition of his favorite television theme song, Batman.

After all of the contestants had dazzled the crowd, senior Jackie Holmes entertained the crowd with a song while the scores were tallied. The contestants were brought back onstage for the announcement of the top 10 semi-finalists. As a few of the guys linked arms and crossed their fingers, emcees Holly Hansen and Jeremy Muxworthy announced the lucky ten: freshman James McConnell; juniors Eric Duncan and Justin Williams; and seniors Jeremy Ciak, Mark Kasilus, Adam Tart, Chris Newberry, Nathan Pyle, Nate Watkins, and Robert Shostak.

The semi-finalists were rushed backstage to prepare for the talent competition, which turned out to be the most hilarious part of the night. James McConnell wowed the crowd with his amazing musical abilities. He played “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on three glasses filled with water. Eric Duncan stole the show with his ribbon dancing to OutKast’s “Hey Ya.” Jeremy Ciak impressed the audience with his hula-hooping skills, and Adam Tart performed a “slight of foot” card trick. Chris Newberry grossed out half of the audience and impressed the other half when he stuck a balloon up his nose and pulled it out through his mouth. He called his trick “mental floss.”

After the talent portion concluded, the audience was granted a short intermission to buy concessions. A portion of the proceeds was to be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the real reason that this entertaining night occurred. With the audience rejuvenated and the remaining contestants anxious backstage, it was time to announce the final five guys who would be competing for the coveted title of “Mr. Trojan.” The tension and emotions ran high onstage as the guys were announced. They were freshman James McConnell, junior Eric Duncan, and seniors Jeremy Ciak, Mark Kasilus, and Adam Tart.

Now it was time to get ready for the “Worst Case Scenario” portion of the competition. Each guy was escorted out by the lovely Elan members. They were then paired with a Thespian member to act out their worst case scenario. Jeremy Ciak made the crowd roar with laughter as he acted out being stuck in an elevator with the most annoying person on the planet, played by Robyn Almeida. Jeremy calmed down Robyn in the elevator when he revealed that he was Superman. He tore off his dress shirt and underneath was a Superman T-shirt.

Eric Duncan drew lots of laughter when he had to try to explain to his mom, played by Suzanne Delaney, that he had wrecked her mid-life crisis red Viper. He said that he had to swerve to miss a giant beaver in the middle of the road and that he would need a little bit of wax to cover up the “scratches.” Mark Kasilus had to bring his girlfriend, played by Brooke Yates, home to her parents’ two hours after curfew. Mark was quick with excuses such as having to fly to India to stop world hunger and resolve world peace. By this time, the audience had tears streaming down their faces from laughing so hard.

As the night was coming to an end, it was time to announce the class hotties: for the freshman, James McConnell and Reed Halterman; for the sophomores, Brooks Louder; for the juniors, Justin Williams and Stephen Shaw; and for the seniors, Robert Shostak, Chris Newberry, and Adam Tart. The class hotties received a mini top hat (because they had class) and a medal (because they were all winners). The next award was for Mr. Nice Guy, which was voted on by the contestants themselves. This award went to sophomore Brooks Louder. He was awarded a medal, a gift certificate to a candy store “because he is so sweet,” and a fireman’s hat “because who’s nicer than a fireman!”

Then came the moment we’d all been waiting for, and the winner of the 2004 Mr. Trojan contest was…drumroll please…Eric Duncan! Eric fell to his knees in joy, screaming in jubilation. He ran across the stage and even did a belly dive for the audience. Eric was awarded a medal, a gift certificate, and of course, a king’s crown because he was king of the night!. The first annual Mr. Trojan turned out to be a huge success. Congratulations to all of the winners, and especially to Eric Duncan, Lassiter’s first ever Mr. Trojan!

Lassiter number one thanks to lacrosse

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By Becca McGovern
Layout Adviser ’04

Go ahead and order the state champion rings now because this year Lassiter’s Varsity Lacrosse team is unstoppable. Thus far undefeated and ranked number one in Georgia, Lassiter has an excellent shot at playing in the state finals and claiming the title of 2004 state champions. If you were a lacrosse fan last year you might be wondering how the team went from losing twice to last year’s state champs Westminster, to running the clock on them this season with a score of 15-5. Last year the Lacrosse team was good but this year they are taking no prisoners, so when asked about the difference from last season’s performance to this year’s defenseman Mike Collins and attackman Logan Erickson accredited the teams winning season to “a lot of summer camps, the coaching this year, but mainly because the team is so close and most of the guys have been playing together for at least three years.” Founder and booster club president Terry Mayne also attributed this season’s success to “the guys putting the team first rather than their individual goals” and concluded that, “by doing this they win more because it’s a lot harder to beat a team than a group of individuals.” Throughout this season the lacrosse team has demonstrated a strong team effort. They were able to keep the momentum going despite three injuries to attackmen Michael Mayne, Logan Erickson, and Jordan Rutte, along with another incident regarding the loss of team members. Nonetheless they upheld their winning streak and in the midst managed to beat former Tennesse champions McCallie; however, the game was close with a final score of 6-3. Along with the incredible team effort this season many team members also attribute the season’s success to the coaching. New head coach this year Rick Beaulieu and assistant coaches Keith Gravit and Gene Ferraro have kept what Mike Collins called “a tough but fair” environment. Aside from Collins, Goalie Alex Crawford also mentioned the coaches being strict but fun and praises coach Beaulieu saying, “he is awesome because he is easy to relate to and can act like a big kid sometimes.” However excited the Lacrosse program may be about the playoffs beginning and the season coming to an end, unlike last year, at the end of this year the team will be losing many of its senior players. This year’s seniors include defensemen Greg Lentz, Mike Collins, Josh Satterthwait; Mid-fielders Kyle Dickherber, Neil DiVito, Mark Vogelgesang, JD Douthit, and Scott McGuire; Attackmen Logan Erickson, Michael Mayne; and Goalie Erick Hansen.

Joe’s computer tip of the month

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By Joseph Zollo
<GEEK> Editor ’04

You know what I can’t stand? Spyware. Spyware is software that is installed onto your computer without your knowledge. It will often change the configuration on your computer and somehow display popup ads. It also has the ability to send data to its creator, what could this data be? Various websites employ covert methods to hijack your browser and install this facetious software. My job involves computer service and repair, and almost every computer I’ve worked with has a ton of spyware installed. Recently, I worked on a computer that had over 200 spyware related objects.

This spyware problem isn’t going away anytime soon. Security holes in Internet Explorer (which is of course the most popular web browser) are to blame for most of the spyware you can find on your computer. Microsoft hasn’t done a very good job fixing these bugs in a timely fashion. Removing spyware is one thing, but keeping it off is another story. This month’s tip will focus on Spyware Removal and Prevention. Here are some suggestions I have…

1.) Get Ad-Aware! Ad-Aware is one of the best spyware detection removal tools available for your computer. It will go through every file on your hard drive and scan it for spyware. After it has detected all the spyware on your computer it will give you a detailed report of exactly what spyware programs have been installed and give you the option to delete them. Ad-Aware 6.0 Personal can be downloaded from I highly suggest updating and running this program every week to ensure that your computer is 100% free of spyware.

2.) Stop Using Internet Explorer! Let’s face facts; Internet Explorer is not a secure web browser. It uses a proprietary technology by Microsoft called ActiveX, which has been exploited numerous times to allow installation of spyware without the user knowing. Newer, and more frequently updated browsers such as Opera, Mozilla and Mozilla Firefox do not support ActiveX, which means there’s no way whatsoever for websites to install spyware. Opera can be downloaded at and Mozilla and Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded at

3.) Use stricter security settings! Still insist on using Internet Explorer? Fine, but you’ve got to crank up those security settings. Open up Internet Explorer and go to “Tools” and then “Internet Options.” From the Internet Options dialogue select the security tab, you should see a list of content zones (“Internet”, “Local Intranet”…etc), select Internet and click custom level down below. You should see a whole bunch of settings regarding ActiveX controls. Set all of them to “prompt,” that way, you will be notified if any websites try to install anything without your permission.

Follow those simple suggestions and your spyware worrying days are over!

The Maroon and Golden Globes

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By Jillian Farr and Rachel Reinke
Staff Writer ’06 / A&E Editor ’06

In line with the Golden Globes theme, performers sang and danced to theme songs from popular movies and television shows. Before the show began, students were delighted to view some of our own “celebrities” dressed up on the red carpet. One of the celebrities to grace the stage was Derek Zoolander, played by Coach Zmuda, who gave us his best “Magnum” impression.

Ms. Nichols and Mr. Dill were the enthusiastic hosts for the event. The show kicked off with junior Matt Speer singing and playing on the guitar “Dare You to Move” from the movie “A Walk to Remember,” the Best Teen Drama winner of the Maroon and Golden Globes. Next was the song and dance recreation of the “Cell Block Tango” (from Best Musical “Chicago”) by Addie Hampton, Asako Yamauchi, Holly Hanson, Brett Williams, Shira Lebow, and Brooke Yates. The ever-so-talented Ms. Traci Blanchard wowed the crowd with her rendition of “Because You Loved Me” from the movie voted Best Romance, “Up Close and Personal.” Next, Lassiter students Stacey Sneed, Ricardo Dones, Katie Edelen, Brittany Gerberich, Marcus Thomas, and Jonathan Watkins got their groove on to the song “Blowin’ Me Up” from the hit movie “Drumline,” which was voted Best Dance Sequence.

Junior Maddie McConnell lit up the stage with her performance of “I Do Love You” from the movie acknowledged for Best New Artist, “Coyote Ugly.” Perhaps one of the most memorable performances of the show took place thanks to Coach Mark Zmuda, who sang “In the Jungle” from the “Lion King” soundtrack. Coach Zmuda was accompanied by two backup dancers, Anna Gleyzer and Chris Jordan. Next, a group of students impressed the crowd with their dancing abilities to the song “Eye to Eye” from “A Goofy Movie,” awarded Best Animated Movie. Sophomore Addie Hampton, who was one of last year’s American Idol winners, left the audience in amazement when she sang “Pearl Harbor’s” “There You’ll Be”, which was voted Best Drama. Ending the event with a bang was Mike Jansen, Billy Justineau, Richard Carney, and Alex McWalters, who performed the “O.C.” theme song “California” and made the crowd go wild. After the final performance, all of the performers came back out on stage and each was given a Trojan Doll for an award.

After a year of waiting, Music Midtown’s finally coming!

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It’s time for that metro-Atlanta, school’s-almost-out, I-need-to-party right of passage once again, folks: that’s right, Music Midtown weekend is bearing down on us quickly, and it’s time to get ready. This year’s lineup includes some of the world’s most popular artists, including Lil’ John and the Eastside Boyz, Foo Fighters, Puddle of Mudd, the Strokes, and half of Outkast (the Big Boi half, which is, arguably, the lesser half of Outkast, but that’s neither here nor there).

Never been to Midtown? Well, congratulations. All four of you. But guess what! This year is a great year to start. To get you off on the right foot, here are some starter tips:

1. Don’t try to park at the actual event. Parking doesn’t abound in midtown on your average day, and certainly not when there are tens of thousands of extra people in the area. The nearest Marta (it’s smarta’!) station (North Springs) is just a few exits down 400 (trust me, you can’t miss it), and from there you simply take the train to either the Civic Center or my personal preference North Avenue stations and follow the crowds. Scared to leave your dad’s Beemer and ride Marta? Don’t worry; Music Midtown is public transportation’s most suburban-friendly weekend.

2. If you’re going to “use the facilities” at Music Midtown, use the Port-a-Potties early in the day. Better yet, go before you leave the house, because…eww.

3. If you’re going to do a full 8- or 10- hour day at Midtown, don’t leave the sunscreen at home (as my best friend and I did so tragically two years ago). Just because there’s no warm sand and sparkling ocean doesn’t mean the sun won’t burn you just as badly in Midtown Atlanta as it will in Destin.

4. Bring a map to with you, especially if you’re a first-timer, so you can find the stages and won’t miss anything while wandering around lost. Also, pay careful attention to where there may be autograph tables. Usually it’s a bunch of B-listers, but every now and then the Midtown folks come through with a truly amazing band willing to sign things and say hi.

5. Flip flops are not appropriate mosh pit attire.

Ok, so now you know what to do in order to stay comfortable, but with a schedule so vast, who do you see? Not everyone is a music aficionado, but for the sonically challenged, we’re here for you. On Friday night, the V103 stage is the festival’s best bet, even if you’re not a huge rap fan. Youngbloodz and Lil’ John and the Eastside Boyz are up back-to-back, and even the biggest hipster won’t be able to resist singing (we know you know the words) and dancing if the mood is right. After all, with the biggest competition coming from Puddle of Mudd, who wouldn’t give Lil’ John a shot? On Saturday, head on over to the 99x stage for Damien Rice, the Offspring, and the Foo Fighters, but I’d suggest splitting time between the Foo Fighters and Big Boi, who play simultaneously. As for Sunday, go see the Fire Theft if you are a fan of Sunny Day Real Estate’s older stuff, but if that’s not your cup of tea, stay home and sleep off the other two days of partying, because the schedule isn’t good enough to get most reasonable people out of bed. So have a great time, bring plenty of cash for $2 Cokes, and don’t buy too many band t-shirts, because I promise you won’t ever wear most of

This computer is reserved…

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Media center restrictions are often mandated by Cobb County

Three school issues can almost always be anticipated to inspire and even incite student activism: parking, the cafeteria, and the media center. Over the years here at Lassiter, I’ve listened to the wails of sorrow and frustration over limited student parking and the loss of parking privileges; I’ve listened to students complain about cafeteria food (even while the chicken finger and French fry line continue to grow, providing plenty of demand); and I’ve noted the criticism directed at an always-evolving and ambiguous entity, the media center. Oh, and yes, I can attest that it was once indeed called the Library. The name changed, though, because its function changed, not simply out of political correctness. Information and knowledge can be accessed now through a variety of media, way beyond the typical print materials once associated with “Libraries.” Our titles serve to emphasize that very point. Criticism of our media center more often than not focuses on access to information available in cyber space as opposed to the more traditional and often more dependable print media (as when servers go down).

Some of the criticism, however, deserves response. I believe the associated frustration is relevant. What I question is the focus of implied blame.

Most of the disputed policies in this discussion can be attributed in origin to the “powers that be”: administrative directive, school system policy, school board decisions, and tax payer influence. So, when we speak of the “media center,” we must remember that it is an institutional effect, managed by professional personnel who know their responsibilities and who probably are more frustrated daily by bureaucratic demands than any one student can imagine. In addition, bureaucracy is often slow to catch up to technological advances.

I completely understand the offense students experience when they feel the limitations imposed upon them through censorship, but ultimately, such actions are the result of policies aimed at censoring student use according to parent demands (i.e. limited access to web sites that might be philosophically deemed inappropriate for student use, including but not limited to porn). To ignore those influences is to open the door to potential conflicts involving legal liability. And yes, some students do go to porn sites; some students do go to their personal e-mail sites; some students do play games; some students do use the time on the computer to watch streaming videos; and some even research the availability of hotel rooms in PC during the week of Spring Break. Trust, unfortunately, is not always the most practical approach.

The other liability at stake involves property. Are most students interested in damaging keyboards or stealing mouses (mice?)? I doubt it. But such damage does occur, in the media center, in the Mac Lab, in business classes, etc. The costs add up, and staff members can be held accountable for student misuses. So, when students want to use computers before first period and are denied access despite seemingly available workstations, one must remember that, as has been pointed out, there is no “0” period. There is no classroom teacher (who knows the student) to supervise. The sign may say “This Computer is Reserved,” but the intended message is that this computer is not available. I guess the media center personnel could make two signs and switch ‘em several times a day. Another more effective approach might be for students to approach “the powers that be” and request that a true “0” period be developed similar to the various departmental after school study sessions. Like everything else, though, the funding has to be found.

Another issue involves the encouraged use of access to taxpayer paid databases. Part of the job of media personnel is to encourage students to make use of the databases available to them, information that often goes beyond a typical google search in terms of scope and organization. Not only do these professionals provide relevant knowledge on the use and range of this material, thus limiting the more irrelevant of internet searches, they also serve the greater population of students and staff in trying to maintain and support the performance of the entire computer network, which can be compromised when its use goes beyond its capacity. Naturally, the answer to providing a system that keeps up with its demands requires money… and more money… and more money…

What costs money? Hardware, software, and people. So what do I suggest? Nothing profound really. I believe it’s important to address concerns to those who make policy, not just enforce it. If, for example, you read your minimum day form before you sign it and note the policy on leaving campus, you may want to begin addressing the issue then, not after having policy enforced upon you. In fact, you could choose to take a full class load, thus truly maximizing the return on your parents’ tax contributions. Right. I believe we should not only express our concerns, but should participate actively in promoting practical solutions. I think we can all adapt to the compromises we must make as we do in most things: one should, for example, plan ahead and get a pass from a classroom teacher in advance, which gives media access all five days of the week; one might also consider not procrastinating until the morning of a due date. Imagine that. I also believe in communicating directly, respectfully, and comfortably with our media specialists. And, finally, I believe in the relevance of hard print… so, when the computer is not available, try reading a book. You might be surprised…

Welcome to the revolution

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By Amanda Mull
Staff Writer ’04

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m addicted to the ways in which our culture glamorizes wealth. More specifically, I live vicariously through all of the wonderful TV coverage the rich and useless have been getting lately. And I don’t mean news coverage (because let’s face it, Paris Hilton and Ally Hilfiger have never done anything remotely newsworthy in their lives), but that’s completely inconsequential to the people that make and watch these shows (myself included). For god’s sake, I’ve spent at least an hour of my life watching the episode of ‘Rich Girls’ where Ally Hilfiger and her father don’t do much more than fold her hundreds of pairs of jeans at least twice. Probably more. I’ve lost count at this point. Want to know the sad thing? I’d watch it again if it was on. And I’m not the only one.

It seems like a new show about rich, young, beautiful people behaving badly pops up every day. And quite honestly, I’m all for that. “The Simple Life?” Seen all the episodes. “Rich Girls?” That too. “Newlyweds?” Love it. “The Fabulous Life of *Insert Name Here*?” Wonderful. “The Osbournes?” Loved it before it got bad (circa season 2). I can’t buy a Bentley, I may very well never own a multi-million dollar house, but I can still watch brainless starlets and talentless musicians enjoy theirs on “Cribs,” which may have started the whole genre (not including “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”).

Why are these types of shows so popular? Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer that one. America was built on the fire and ingenuity that propels one to work harder in an attempt to “keep up with the Joneses.” In an age of multibillionaires, the Joneses are the likes of Kelly Osbourne and Jessica Simpson. We want to see exactly what they’re up to (how are we supposed to keep up with them without knowing what they’re doing?) and most stars are willing to do nearly anything in pursuit of the almighty dollar, so when you combine the public’s desire to know with a celebrity’s desire to be paid, you get the bastard child that is “The Anna Nicole Show.”

That being said, many critics bemoan the rise of reality television and, more recently, the rise of celebrities being famous for, well, being famous (see: Paris and Nikki Hilton) as the end of television as a dramatic art form. The thing is, they’re entirely wrong. You have to consider the nature of television: it was a medium invented to entertain those of us with the sort of attention span well-suited to half-hour snippets of drama that we didn’t have to get dressed or leave our houses in order to enjoy. As such, what is better suited to that sort of entertainment venue than shows that have no plot and no preplanned dialogue written by people who are much smarter and more articulate than those actually saying the lines? Theater? That was meant to be intelligent. So was classical music. TV? Not so much. Stupid fun has never been outside the realm of possibility for television (game shows, anyone?) and there’s no real reason for that to change now. “Rich Girls” isn’t any more the downfall of American culture than “Let’s Make a Deal” was in its era.

So, my classmates, be proud of your TV-watching habits. Ok, maybe not proud, but don’t be ashamed. Entertainment doesn’t have to be smart; it just has to be entertaining. Not everyone likes “Frasier,” but that doesn’t make you stupid (in fact, I’d be inclined to argue that that actually makes you very intelligent), just like those who don’t watch “The Simple Life” shouldn’t automatically regard themselves as intellectuals.

In conclusion, to me, only one thing is clear: there better be a second season of “Rich Girls” or MTV is getting a strongly worded letter from me.