Monthly Archives: November 2014

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8:55am: The announcements begin and each person in the school is asked a simple courtesy — to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.  It is a simple gesture that gives respect to the real superheroes out there fighting for our freedom. However, this simple gesture is easily forgotten and ignored.

When you stand for the Pledge each morning, all you are doing is giving your respect. You are silently acknowledging the fact that millions have fought, protested and given their lives prematurely to give you the right to choose whether standing for the Pledge is something you are going to do or not.

District 99 Superintendent Mark McDonald affirms that while you should stand for the Pledge, it is ultimately your choice.

“I think standing for the Pledge of Allegiance is a sign of respect. I have always done so when I have had the opportunity. [With] that said I realize that the constitution affords citizens the right not to say the pledge,” McDonald said.

Some may have grievances about the exact wording of the Pledge, saying that it encroaches upon the First Amendment that states, “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion.” But merely saying the phrase “under God” during the Pledge does not acknowledge or respect a single religious establishment.

God is, in fact, a very loose term. While Christians refer to the omnipotent power as God, the Jewish faith recognizes the entity as Yahweh just as the Islamic faith calls the being Allah. God is not a name, but a general term for a power beyond that of our own. Furthermore, it does not respect any one religion and therefore does not encroach upon the First Amendment.

This is akin to saying that, “one home, under mom,” is promoting the religion of the ideal American home. Both are just referred to as a overseeing power or something that gives us strength — which for 83.1% is true. According to a 2007 survey, 83.1% of U.S. adults affiliate themselves with either the Christian, Islamic or Jewish “God”.

This by no means implies that religious minorities don’t matter at all. Imagine a world where decisions are made based off pleasing everyone; nothing would get accomplished. We can’t appease everyone, but we can do our best to represent a majority of the population.

Math teacher Steve Trepachko believes that the youth of America is almost blind to the freedoms we have.

“They [students] just don’t get what kind of freedom they have here… in a foreign country where kids just don’t have the freedoms and don’t have opportunities like they do here. I think that might make them appreciate what we have here,” Steve Trepachko said.

What the students need to realize is that we are all blessed. Blessed to be able to go to school, blessed to be in a place where our opinions can be heard, and blessed to even have the opportunity to verbalize opinions on something as small as the Pledge of Allegiance.

There is no reason that is powerful enough to make a student refuse to stand for the Pledge.

Living in America is a privilege that many in this world are not lucky enough to have.  It is because of this that whenever the Pledge is being recited in the morning, I truly believe the whole school should just stand, maybe not recite, but stand and recognize how lucky we all are to be parts of the American way of life.

Contact Wes at

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Welcome to 2014 everyone, where artists reference their badonkadonks about a million times within a song to create “music.” Jennifer Lopez has recently released a new single called “Booty.” It was expected to be a big hit, but it single handedly disappointed the majority of her fans.


 In the song, Lopez constantly states facts about her butt so much that it is repulsive. “Big, big booty, what you got a big booty.” I counted the amount of times that she said “booty”, and it came out to roughly 40 times. Oh boy, what a song.


 Throughout the entire piece, the chorus stayed the same while her vocals remained neutral and flat. The redundant and repetitive lyrics made me want to hop in a good ol’ DeLorean and head back in time just to prevent myself from having an aneurysm. But the good news is we know that music will only get better from here.


 Yes, we get it Lopez, you want to show the world your so called “booty”, but her being a parent, I don’t think it’s suitable. Is this really the type of example that a parent should be setting for his/her children? I highly doubt it.


A handful of parents wouldn’t approve of the type of message that she is sending to their children, I don’t think anyone would. But hey, as long as she is bringing home the big bucks, that’s all that matters.


 But wait, wait, wait–don’t even get me started on the video. Everything about it screamed inappropriate. The only things that you could see were butts rubbing against butts, and then more butts.


 The original song featured Pitbull, but in order to give the song a little more “booty” and a little less bald head, Lopez decided to make a remix with Iggy Azalea, a younger female artist. But sadly, it still lacked the flair that it needed.


 With Lopez’s previous albums shortcoming, she had to reinvent herself bringing in a younger pop artist. I guess Jenny from the block was fooled by the talent that she didn’t have. So, if I were you I wouldn’t waste my $1.29 on this trashy music.



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Graphic by Alexis Carpello

Graphic by Alexis Carpello

During the fall season, it would appear that many students have an innumerable amount of things on their plate; from school work to extracurricular activities and much more. It would seem a little ludicrous to some to add one more activity to their already busy schedule. But the theater kids put time and effort into the production.


With the fall plays opening night fast approaching, Nov.7 to Nov. 8,  DGS’ theater program dedicates themselves to, “The Importance of Being Earnest” a victorian era satire poking fun at the British upper class. In this tale of lies, mistaken identities and love, by British playwright Oscar Wilde.


The theater program, both actors and stage crew, works about four to five weeks in preparation for the upcoming play, which includes rehearsing and building sets everyday. Senior and lead actor Sean Boyd had a lot to say about the busy schedule he has


“For a regular practice it’s about, four hours, and then there’s about two hours after that on my own time. That’s everyday, except on weekends,” Boyd said.


Play director, Tiffany Rubin, keeps the actors devoted to their roles by having them do drama terging [theatrical research] and blocking [thinking in-depth through an actors movements].


“ …  By having them actually think through why their characters [are] doing what they do, versus me just telling them to go move around stage. It’s a collaborative process it’s just not all about me and what I want,” Rubin said.


      With all the practice at school and home, it leaves little time for those apart of the program to do much socializing with their friends after school.


Senior and scenic chief Allison Quinn, talked about the things that she had to cut out to complete her job finishing the play’s backgrounds.


 “I give up some time hanging out with friends and family for stage crew, and some time for homework too,” Quinn said.


Auditorium manager  and technical director William Evans also pointed out that even though theater kids give up some of their time for friends and family, they were still able to socialize during rehearsal/ crew.


“ … Some of our social life is within our work life, so we kind of mix and match”  Evans said.

“The Importance of being Earnest” had its opening night Friday, Nov. 7, and closed  Saturday night, Nov. 8.

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For junior Emily Tom and freshman Lindsay Tom, gymnastics has been a part of their lives for a long time. They started gymnastics at the Park District when they were about three years old and fell in love with the sport. They decided to continue with it by competing in meets all across the state.

They now continue their journey by trying out for the DGS gymnastics team and hope to contribute by helping them do their best this season. For Emily, gymnastics has taught her many life lessons.

“I have learned that you are stronger than you think you are and that if you set your mind to something, it is possible to achieve. I have also learned to never give up,” Emily Tom said.

Following in her sisters footsteps, Lindsay Tom hopes she can learn valuable life lesson from gymnastics.

“From gymnastics, I gain being more confident, and I’ve learned how to be more outgoing,” Lindsay Tom said.

Lindsay Tom is also looking forward to the opportunity to compete for the high school with her friends and learn a lot of new skills. She’s also excited to compete next to her sister.

“My goals for this gymnastics season are to be competing a tsuk on vault and double back off of bars by the end of the season,” Lindsay Tom said. “I think trying out with my sister makes it a little bit more relaxing in a way because then you don’t have to worry about not knowing anybody, and I’m looking forward to competing with her this season.”

DGS gymnastics coach Kristyn Campos is excited for the upcoming season. Her plans for this season are the same as always.

“I want the girls to learn and develop their skills and have fun while they do it,” Campos said. “Gymnastics requires hard work, dedication, discipline and mental and physical toughness. We work to help girls gain strength and confidence so they can do their very best.”

Campos said that with hard work the girls will be able to repeat their success from last year’s season. The girls came in first place in the JV and Varsity level, and did well in regionals.

Although Emily went to state last year and placed within the top 20 out of 60 girls competing there, she never compares past seasons with present ones.

“[I plan] to do my best and have fun and not worry about how past seasons are going to compare to this season,” Emily said.

With meet season just around the corner, the girls are preparing for tryouts, which were held on Nov. 11-12.

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benefit holiday gifts

Black Friday- For


As the time gets later and the lines get longer, the excitement grows throughout the crowds. The wait for the clock to hit midnight gets nerve-wrecking for the busiest day of the year — Black Friday.


Black Friday occurs the day after Thanksgiving every year and has been noted to be the first day of traditional Christmas shopping. Each year retailers show off the deals they’ll be having that customers stand in line and fight over.


Senior Caitlyn Minnis explains what Black Friday is all about to her.


“I feel excited when Black Friday comes around, it signifies the start of the holiday season,” Minnis said.


For many its not only the excitement of the holiday season starting that they like about Black Friday, but its also the experience of the atmosphere that comes along with it.


Sophomore Trevor Troha has been Black Friday shopping five times and says what makes it fun is the crowds of people and long lines. He also explains what it is like shopping on that day.


“Inside, the line usually goes around the whole store and [the lines] are usually an hour or an hour and a half. Outside, before it opens the line is all around the building and if you’re at the end of the line, it’s usually a 3 or 4 hour wait,” Troha said.


Advertisements likes “Doorbuster deals”, “ 50-75% off” and “Black Friday blowout” are littered everywhere hoping to attract customers to come in and get the deals they want.


Diana Benoist, Student Assistance Program Coordinator, explains the shoppers’ motivation.


“It seems like there a “thrill of the victory” element.  If you get something at a great price, you feel like you’re somehow beating the system or “winning.”  I think a lot of people get caught up in the consumerism of the day, too,” Benoist says.


Cyber Monday

While deals heat up and crowds get restless in the cold waiting in hopes to be the first to the big sales, many prefer to stay indoors and get the great deals with just the click of a button.


Cyber Monday, a newer approach to the holiday Black Friday, has been said to be the easier and more efficient way to get annual festive shopping done. Waiting in line for hours before a store even opens can be irritating and time consuming.  “It is easier to shop online because if you deal with crowds sometimes they can be violent”, senior Summer Hardee said. Cyber Monday is a newer way to avoid lengthy lines and edgy crowds.


When it comes to hectic holiday shopping, it’s all about ease. Online shopping can give you great deals simply by clicking “add to cart” creating a convenient approach to stock up on bargains during the holidays. But beware of this tempting way to browse. “I think people spend more money online. If you see something you just buy it because there’s no one to talk to or find a coupon…like Black Friday, there are sales and people want to spend money, so they go where the cheaper price is,” CTE/FACS teacher Ms. Parpet said. Having the option for an electronic cart takes away the burden of having to carry items by hand while scrambling through aisles in search for the next deal.


Less stress equals more shopping time; being in the comfort of home takes away the the confrontations with uptight shoppers and brings the ease and simplicity of the same deals. Some websites even offer better deals online than in stores causing less hassle to get the same items at a better price. According to, Cyber Monday offers the best deals for certain items that can’t be beat in stores or at any other time of the year, making it the best time to pick up those gifts with a bigger price tag. Staying up hours on end can also take a toll on the excitement that holiday shopping is supposed to bring. Shopping via the web is a way to avoid the sore legs and tired wallets that midnight shopping entails.


Cyber Monday offers an alternative way to shop this year that saves time, money, and stress. “There is no wait, no crowds, no violence, and you get what you want” Hardee said. With all the benefits that Cyber Monday brings, holiday shopping has become easier and faster than ever.


As the hustle and bustle of people creep out from their Thanksgiving dinner to take on any Black Friday deals that come their way, workers at these stores have been ready and waiting for hours prior.

Being a retail employee working on Black Friday seems like no easy task. Those two words that are loved so much by shoppers, but despised by employees.

With so much commotion going on, employees must constantly stay alert and be ready for any fight that might break out over the hefty discounts on items.

Senior Anthony Huerta works at Target, which is one of the busiest stores on Black Friday. He explained how insane the work can get due to the amount of people in the store.

“It’s crazy and hectic because everyone loses their cool [because] they just want to check out and get out. There’s [a] line to check out to the register and it’s huge,” Huerta said. “It’s about halfway through our store and security is on constant guard and usually [one to three] people get kicked out.”

Even though working Black Fridays can be extra crazy, Huerta doesn’t mind working because of the extra cash employees will make.

“They give us some extra money to our hourly pay for working Black Friday so why not?” Huerta said.

Making extra money may be the plus side of working on Black Friday, but instead of relaxing and spending quality time with family members on Thanksgiving, must make sure they’re ready for their long shift ahead.

While Thanksgiving is about being thankful, retail employees are fearful for the madness of the bargain-hunting crowd that will soon emerge through their doors.

Stacey Polen, Career and Technical Education teacher, explained how businesses values’ are completely opposite of thankfulness during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“If you see it from the side that you have a family member affected by it, you can’t even celebrate a holiday anymore because people are so hyped up about going out to shop,” Polen said.

Lauren Hoel a Physical Education teacher, explained how she doesn’t think anyone should be forced to work Black Friday. She also explained what she would do if her children ever had to work on Black Friday.
“I don’t think anyone should be forced to work a holiday that takes time away from family, especially teens.  I also know that is not always an option when you have a job,” Hoel said. “If my son or daughter had to work Back Friday, I would make our family celebration fit their schedule.  Eat earlier or later, or whatever it takes to make sure we have family time. That’s really what it’s about, or even celebrate on a different day if we had to.”

On the other hand, there are workers who are eager to work Black Friday for the first time. Senior Toni Rae Pileggi explained that if she works Black Friday this year, it will be the first one she works.

“I love going shopping every year on Black Friday and I think it will be really fun to work in all the chaos,” Pileggi said.

Anti-Black Friday

Although Black Friday seems like a harmless way to find good deals on otherwise expensive items, many believe that it also encourages our materialistic society to become excessive with its spending habits and negligent towards family obligations.


Providing an outlet for compulsive shopping places a higher value on spending money rather than saving it. This reassures our object-oriented culture to continue to spend money even if it’s not practical or necessary. DGS teacher Joette Conger explains that Black Friday only creates false needs for a culture already used to gorging itself.


“It just feeds consumerism….our consumer culture needs to stop,” Conger said.


Thanksgiving is a holiday where people realize the value of time with family and reflect on good aspects of their lives.  According to, Black Friday shopping makes the American people, “crazy rather than thankful”.


Although some families make Black Friday a family event, it usually doesn’t end up that way. Among the chaos and disarray of the event, it’s hard to get in any quality family time.

Senior Romi Beaubron explains how she never got any real time with family when she went Black Friday shopping.


“I don’t think we really enjoyed that time with family…it cuts into Thanksgiving,” Beaubron said.


It is agreed by many that there are many more important things to do on the holidays. Freshman Meredith Maloney explains what she would rather be doing during her Thanksgiving break than going Black Friday shopping.


“I would be spending Thanksgiving with my family, and sleeping in”, Mahoney said.


Black Friday seems to do more bad than good because of the rush to get out and go shopping it decreases the value of family time and strengthens the distorted image of our material-obsessed society. Spending time with family over the holidays is a priority in the minds of many, and is more important than spending all day in a vast sea of deal-craving shoppers.

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Dancing is not something that comes to mind for many when thinking about competitive sports. Many don’t know how many hours dancers put into practice when they can never actually master dancing as a whole.

The DGS Fillies practice multiple times a week for many hours to try to be the best in the state. Last years Fillies placed 7th overall in the state and they hope to place even higher this year.

Coach Dawn Jovic thinks the team overall could make it into the top 10 at their upcoming competition.

“We compete in the 3A category, which is the biggest and most competitive category in Illinois competitive dance.  There are over 80 teams in our division,” Jovic said. “The Fillies and I are hoping to make it into the top 10 at the State Finals once again this year.  My personal goal [for the team] is to place within the top six.”

For dance, one has to be in time and coordinated with the other members of the team. Junior Leanna Ivanova thinks that to be able to win, a team has to work and think as one to ultimately achieve the same goal.

“I personally think being a team player is really important. As a dancer on a dance team, you need to understand that you’re working with 17 other girls for one main goal,” Ivanova said. “You’re not always going to be center or in the front row, but at the end of the day, you are working just as hard as all your other teammates to win.”

Assistant Coach and Special Services teacher Amanda Cerf wanted to get involved with the Fillies because of the energy the team gave off.

“The Fillies are an amazing, state-bound program that is a great symbol and group to represent DGS. I love the DGS community and wanted to further my involvement in that,” Cerf said.

The most important thing to some of the dancers is how dancing makes them feel. Senior Allison Stears thinks the combination of dancing and the music playing makes dancing an experience rather than a chore.

“The best part about dancing is losing myself in it,” Stears said. “The combination of the choreography and the music just takes me to another place. I forget about everything else that is going on and it’s like I am in another world.”