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 The right type of love songs to make you fall in love.

Stefani Zeiger
Entertainment Editor
March 30th, 2015 

Whole Lotta Love // Led Zeppelin - The opening track to Led Zeppelin’s second album uses simplified language to create a great song. The instrumentals help the song flow and provide an edgier vibe to a song about love.


First Date // blink-182 - Although pop punk band blink-182 is currently undergoing lineup issues, before the band’s troubles occurred, front man Tom Delonge helped write this track using memories from his first date with wife Jennifer Jenkins. This catchy romantic song depicts the average teen and is full of the excitement of a new relationship.


This Guy’s in Love with You // Herb Alpert - Produced in 1968, this soft rock ballad reached number one  on Billboard’s top 100 upon its release and is a cult classic. The movie “Pirate Radio” featured this song on its soundtrack and brought the song back to a national stage.

Iris  // Goo Goo Dolls - Anyone who has gone to a middle school dance has either slow danced to this song or sulked in the corner. Written for the movie “City of Angels,” this alternative hit is sure to be a hit for the heart.


I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing // Aerosmith - Created for the movie “Armageddon,” the lyrics of this song are filled with so much meaning and emphasize on intoxicating love. This power ballad hit number one on Billboard’s top 100 in 1998.

Chasing Cars // Snow Patrol - Another middle school dance hit, this mellow alternative tune is a great slow song. Featured in the second season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy,” this song gained popularity mid-2000s.

Hold My Hand // New Found Glory - Pop punk icons New Found Glory belted out this tune about falling madly in love with a girl. The lyrics speak of how he promises her everything, and the lightness of it emphasizes the meaning.


 Cupid’s visits vary in classrooms
Stephen Wald 
Staff Reporter 
March 30th,2015


Daniella Feijoo, senior: Feijoo, president of Student Leadership, NHS and FBLA, believes that Valentine’s Day is “a time to celebrate those you love.” Although she is single, Feijoo also said that it is a day to appreciate a significant other. This year, however, it was used to celebrate herself. She said, “For Valentine’s Day, I am going out to dinner for my birthday with my friends.”


Antonio Miles, senior: Antonio Miles views Valentine’s Day as ¨a day where you show love and appreciation to those you feel you love.¨ Finding it an important holiday, he continued by saying, ¨It’s a wonderful day to express your feelings for someone.” Although Miles was single for Valentine’s Day, he still looked forward to going on some dates and having a good time. Miles exclaimed that he was most looking forward to “Laying the smooch down” this year on Valentine’s Day and that his dream Valentine would be singer Niykee Heaton.


Ryan Fairweather, junior: Fairweather’s Valentine’s Day was romantically influenced by his girlfriend. “[It is important for me because] I have a girlfriend, so I need to be ready for that,” he said. Fairweather seemed to have a clear understanding of what his girlfriend wanted because he described a day filled with flowers, chocolate and extra sweetness. “Making her happy” was what Fairweather was most excited for this Valentine’s Day.



Kenzie Toland, sophomore: For single Toland, Valentine’s Day is an important day for “celebrating what you’re grateful for and the people around you.” She looked forward to spending time with her family this year as she opened the holiday up to be about celebrating with all of those she cares about rather than just one special someone. For Toland, it’s not about the commercialized aspect but rather the appreciation toward those in her life.



Andrew Owens, freshman: Love was not in the air for Owens this year. “I don’t have a girlfriend, but if I did have a girlfriend, [this holiday] would be important,” he said.  He planned instead to spend time with his friends for dinner and a night out.

Todd Parola, varsity baseball coach and P.E. teacher: Parola was unaware of the upcoming romantic holiday. He said he doesn't find Valentine’s Day important and feels that V-Day is just a “money-making scam.” However, he is married and knew he'd most likely be going out to dinner with his wife who would be his Valentine this year. Therefore, he was most looking forward to “hopefully [going] to a good restaurant and [eating] a good meal.”


Ernie Billittier, English teacher and boys and girls varsity soccer head coach:  When asked what holiday is coming up, Billittier answered with, “President’s Day.”  President’s Day tops V-Day on Billittier’s list of holidays as he joked sarcastically about the importance of V-Day in his life: “Besides President’s Day, it’s the second most important holiday on my calendar because, without Hallmark, I wouldn’t get to spend a precious evening with the woman I care about.” He then went on to explain how ridiculous this holiday really is to him and the lack of understanding he has for it. “Valentine’s Day is really dumb. It means nothing to me. I don’t understand it… I think it is a created holiday… a Hallmark holiday.” He added that one doesn’t need to have a holiday set aside to show the one you care about lots of love. At the time of this interview, he currently had no plans with his fiancé for the Hallmark holiday.  


Dean Petros, psychology teacher: Petros offered a psychological perspective on Valentine’s Day in his life. For Petros, V-Day is “a time where you get to reflect on the good times with the person you love. It’s important to recognize [these memories] even formally every once in a while but still treat every day as Valentine’s Day to a certain extent.”  Petros uses the holiday as a reminder to reflect upon the good times he’s had with his wife, but he also explained the psychological component to love. “We associate those that we love with good times,” he said, as he referenced Ivan Pavlov’s famous classical conditioning beliefs.


Susan Theotokatos, Social Studies teacher: Theotokatos (Theo) said Valentine’s Day’s importance has evolved for her over the years. “Valentine’s [Day] would have been important to me back in the day when you’re in your honeymoon phase of dating… where you really wanted your significant other to gift you to show you how much they love and appreciated you. Now I love to give gifts to my children-- my husband, not so much,” said Theo.  With absolutely nothing planned for Valentine’s Day this year, Theo is most looking forward to a special hug from her kids.




Delaney Appelhans
Opinion Editor 
March 19, 2015

The annual Turnabout dance follows the tradition of ‘Sadie Hawkins,’ where the girl asks the boy to the dance. In preparation for “Neon Madness,” the theme of the dance on Sat, Feb. 28, MHS girls plotted ways to ask their boys to join them for a night of dancing. 


Danie Hoffstadt, sophomore, and Cole Coutre, sophomore.“I bought him a cookie cake with his name on it and made a poster that said, ‘We’d have a Sugar Rush if you went to TB with us,” said Hoffstadt.

Terri Doby, freshman, and Anthony Norris, freshman

“I texted Anthony and asked if he wanted to hang out and that my brother could take us to Chipotle. I told him I could pick him up, and when I got to his house, I had my sign ready,” said Doby.

 Dottie Desmond, sophomore, and Chris Koenemann, junior“It was during a basketball game [in] pep band; he was playing, and then [the band] played a song ‘Star Wars- Imperial March,’” stated Desmond. “Then I had Ryan Jones [junior] come in with a Darth Vader mask, and the sign said, ‘Why join the Dark Side when you can go to TB by my side?’”

Emily Hay, junior, and Mike Ward, junior

“I filled 30 balloons, each with a little memory/inside joke and some confetti. Then I went to his house and hung up the poster in his room and put all the balloons on his bed and also had some heart and helium balloons,” stated Hay. “I did all of that before he came home from practice, and I hid in his sister’s room across the hall before he got home. When I heard him walk into his room, I gave him a minute to take it all in, and then I walked in and hugged him.”

 Love in the hallways: Did students find their match through school survey?
Madison Feigen
Staff Reporter
March 19, 2015

When Valentine’s Day was just around the corner, Byte Club developed a plan to spark some love in the halls.

   If students were looking for someone who shared the same interests as them or someone who could be their next valentine, then Byte Club encouraged the students to take the next step and fill out a matchmaking survey created by its members to promote the club.

   “The purpose behind Byte Club was to let people in our school start up what they want to do. It’s an easy way to get people interested in programming,” said Chris Palacios, a senior involved in the club.

  Palacios and his friends made appearances in each homeroom and handed out flyers, but he said the survey “spread like wildfire over Facebook.”

   Students could actually take the survey by clicking on a link posted on the Red Rage Facebook page.   

  Raphael Kats, senior, helped come up with the idea to make up a matchmaking survey just in time for Valentine’s Day. In hopes that the survey would be enjoyable, both Palacios and Kats wanted kids to be more interested in attending hackathons in the Chicago.
   For those who are not part of the programming world, a hackathon is an event where computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate on software projects.

   Members of the club, then, hoped that more students would take an interest in the club’s purpose if they could see that programming can result in a fun survey.

   “Wow, what a good idea to use a fun matchmaking survey to get other students interested in hackathons. Truthfully, I had no idea they had fundraisers like that,” said Senior Marissa Martin, who added, “When I found out about the survey, it reminded me of that one episode of “Zoey 101” when their school did a matchmaking survey, and I was more interested to see who I would be matched to.”

  The buzz about the survey showed that students were excited to see with whom they could be paired.  Students talked about the survey and attempted to guess their results in the hallways and in the classrooms. 

  “I don’t think people will seriously find a new relationship, but perhaps it will spark new friendships,” said Senior Michael Cascarano.

 Even though the creators of this matchmaking survey did not intend for it to be taken seriously, some people feared that it could have caused conflict.  

  After the results were posted, Martin said, “People in my class were laughing at who they were matched with, which could be taken as being judgmental, but then again “I was matched with my best friend and got a laugh out of it as well.”

   More than 800 MHS students took the Mustang match survey. The results were posted Feb. 9 right before Valentine’s Day and Turnabout.

Get your anti-Valentine’s Day records on!

Katelyn Culp
Staff Reporter 
March 19, 2015

   When Valentine’s Day rolls around, for some, it means a chance to be with the one you love and a time to eat heart-shaped desserts. But for some of you, the phrase “love is in the air” may make you want to hold your breath until it passes. So whether you believe Valentine’s Day is forced on us all by card companies or you’re single and not ready to mingle, you may need some help getting through days like Valentine’s Day. This playlist is a unique collaboration of songs from different genres throughout the ages to power up your energy levels and boost your spirit for anti-Valentine’s Day.


Picture to Burn // Taylor Swift- Back in 2008, Taylor Swift released this song that was, to no surprise, fueled by a breakup. For those of you looking for a sassy country option about revenge, cheating and heartbreak, this is your go-to breakup recovery record.


Love Stinks // J Geils Band- We’ve all been in that bad situation where someone we liked didn’t like us back, or worse, they liked someone else! The J Geils Band’s hit “Love Stinks” is a relatable and catchy tune to get those angry feelings out with a classic twist.


I Will Survive // Gloria Gaynor- All anti-Valentine’s Day songs don’t have to be downers. This song is uplifting and empowering because being alone can be a positive thing, too.


Everything about You // Ugly Kid Joe- This is four minutes of angrier rock that spotlights the revenge and annoyance stage in a breakup. While still an upbeat song, it’s the perfect track to get some friends together and sing your hearts out.  

Single Ladies // Beyoncé- It was a given cliché that we could not get through this list without some single ladies! Beyoncé’s hit will make you want to dance away those Valentine’s Day blues. This is a great choice for taking away the love pressure that Valentine’s Day often brings while reminding us that we’re still strong when we are independent. So, get your girls together and celebrate!

Before He Cheats // Carrie Underwood- Whether you’ve been wronged by a lover or are looking for revenge, this song is all about it-- which is great as long as you look for a much healthier alternative to what Carrie did in the song; she wrecked his car. Hopefully getting those feelings out with this country kiss off is the perfect mood setter for a better holiday.


These Boots Are Made For Walking // Nancy Sinatra- If your boots have been walking straight to the after Valentine’s Day chocolates instead of to the Valentine’s Day party supplies, it’s time to rethink. This super classic hit is a sassy and mid-tempo tune to go with our revenge theme.  

We Are Never Getting Back Together // Taylor Swift- Swift is the queen of breakup songs, hence why she begins and ends this list. There’s a reason Swift never writes a breakup song about the same person twice; she never goes back to someone who has done her wrong. The chances are some of your friends are in a tough relationship problem, too, so why not get them together and celebrate friendship rather than lovers. You can’t help but sing along to this upbeat, catchy hit. You’ll be too busy singing and dancing to remember your ex anyway.

MHS students share their Halloween favorites
Alissa Angelo
Staff Reporter
October 28, 2014  

With the most anticipated autumn holiday swiftly approaching, students and staff are eager for the spooky day and share what their favorite aspects of the holiday is. 
   One favorite is watching horror films, dating from the 20s to the 2000s.  
   “Halloween is one of my favorites,” said Dave Whitson, driver’s education and wellness teacher.  
   He grew up near Haddonfield, Illinois, where the classic horror film was inspired.
   Besides watching scary movies, others like to attend parties, where classic games, such as bobbing for apples or ghost in the graveyard, are played.
   Nurse Susan Lange has a Halloween party every year. She decorates her whole house, inside and out, in scary decor. Lange displays tombstones and spider webs.  She also filled her basement full of balloons with glow sticks inside to illuminate the room. Last year, she even hired some MHS students to wear masks to scare the children who were participating in a haunted scavenger hunt.
   A favorite decoration for many is the fall staple--pumpkins.  
 According to Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AMRC), over 12.4 million pumpkins are sold during the Halloween season worldwide every year. 
   Many of these purchased pumpkins are then carved into jack o’ lanterns. 
   “I like the happy face,” Libby Burmeister, freshman, said about her favorite type of carving. The classic face with a toothless grin is her favorite because it is “simple and cute.”
   Besides the pumpkins, people also remember their favorite costumes, ranging from princesses and professional athletes to ghouls and zombies.
   “I liked to think that I was a princess,” said Kiamara Ponce, freshman, whose favorite princess was Cinderella because of the sparkly dress and shoes.
   The scary activities and festive decorations and costumes are all in preparation for what many people label as their favorite part of the season-- trick-or-treating.
   “I like the candy,” said Joe Maxell, ELL/Bilingual teacher. 
   Whatever part of Halloween people like, Andrea Escobar, senior, pointed out what truly makes this holiday unique.
   “It’s not like any other holiday,” she said. “You get to do or be whatever you want for a day.”

Travels provide for thrilling, unforgettable summer for MHS staff, students

Summer equals time for fun, change
Elizabeth Ramer
Staff Reporter
October 28, 2014

To escape the ways of normal life can be as simple as leaving and taking a vacation. For Janeece Ader, junior, she and her family accomplished this by venturing to Texas for a week and a half. 
   But what made this trip especially different wasn’t about where she was, but rather about who she was with. 
   “There were only three kids [out of all the siblings],” she said. 
   Many students this time of year experience their friends or older siblings leaving for college and moving on with their life. For Ader, she and her brother Jordan Ader, junior, saw one sister off to college and another moving on to get a job. Her oldest brother also is getting married.
   “It’s sad that all of us are growing up and are grown-ups. I think the most depressing thing in life is growing. There’s a quote that people put in their homes that says ‘Excuse the mess; the children are making memories,’ and it’s sad that in two years there will be no more children to make memories,” said Ader. 
   Even though this was a unhappy realization for her, Ader was able to have some more time with her older sister before she left for college in Spring Hill, Alabama.
   This time things were a bit different in terms of how they housed. 
   “We stayed in a smaller resort in a kind of wooded area, and it was pretty homey, which was different. But overall it was fun since we did a lot of family activities,” Ader said. 
This way Ader had one last span of time with her family before everything changes for them. Even though the two oldest siblings weren’t there, all that mattered to her was how that time was spent. 
   “I got to spend time with my family, and with everyone getting older and having lives, that rarely happens anymore,” said Ader.
   During their time there together, the Aders were able to go horseback riding and mini-golfing.“We also went to a water park called Schlitterbahn, which was really fun since there were so many rides,” said Ader.
   In many ways, Texas was different than life she is used to in Mundelein. 
   “Obviously it was warmer… The people had a nice southern bell vibe,” said Ader.
   Usually her family will take trips to her grandparents’ lake house in Minnesota, but since she had colleges to visit in Texas (Baylor University and Texas Christian University), a family trip to that state seemed like a good choice. 
   After this trip, then, Ader is one step closer to making a college decision.  Her preferred college there is Baylor University, which is known for treating the athletes extremely well.  Ader said this could play in favor for her since she may play soccer in college.
   “I’m in the middle of deciding if I want to play soccer anymore or not, so the choices could be very limited if I don’t,” said Ader. 
   If she does decide not to play soccer in college, there will certainly be many more changes in her life that aren’t just about family.  
 Until that time, you aren’t missing anything. 

The best place on earth

Cobos watches a parade, including young children, while visiting her family in Mexico.
Photo from Samantha Cobos
Julie Avila
Staff Reporter
October 28, 2014

After visiting Cotiro, Municipal de Coeneo, Michoacan, Mexico, during summer break, Sophomore Samantha Cobos is convinced that Mexico is the best place on earth. 
   “I can’t wait to move there,” Cobos said. “It’s so nice that all the people there are familiar with each other. There’s no such thing as being strangers.” 
   Cobos said that she would move down there if she ever got the chance to because it’s a lovely place to be, and she wants to be able to bask in the beauty of it all. She also enjoys being in Mexico more than she enjoys being here at home. She feels more free and close to nature and her surroundings. 
   “[It’s a] really good way to get away from stress,” she said. 
   She lived on a small ranch in a tight-knit community.
   “My grandpa owns his own land, so every once in a while I actually had to drive to the lot of land alone and get the animals and the horses at like 5 in the morning,” she said.
   Ironically, her house this summer was three times bigger than her home here in the States so that gives her all the more reason to want to travel more often, she said.
   “The rides took pictures of people’s faces unexpectedly,” she said.  “I remember after every ride running up to the screens and laughing so much due to my family’s reactions.” 
Because Cobos has many relatives there, she tends to go to Mexico often and has grown accustomed to that way of life.
   Because Cobos has many relatives there, she tends to go to Mexico often and has grown accustomed to that way of life. 
   Cobos recalled a special moment when all her family went back to her grandfather’s land, and he was able to see where he grew up when he was little. It turned into an emotional experience and an unforgettable one, too. 
   Besides spending time with her family and working the ranch, Cobos was able to enjoy her favorite activity, too.  
   “My favorite thing to do there is go shopping around for necklaces or bracelets,” said Cobos. “I love jewelry.”
   Cobos also noted other activities children did in Mexico.
   “There’s also random game shops, kind of like arcades, where they have GTA and Call of Duty, and all the little kids go there to just play,” she said. 
   In the end, it was “the best trip” she ever took. She recommends everyone go down there and sees the best place on earth.

Universal studios offers universal thrill
Jarielys Carrasco
Staff Reporter
October 28, 2014

   Over the past summer, Lisy Vazquez, junior, went to Florida’s Universal Studios, which opened 10 new movie-themed attraction rides. The new rides include Transformers 3-D, The Amazing Spiderman, The Hulk and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. 
   “The parks were so realistic; it made you feel like you were in the movie, as you sat there enjoying the ride,” said Vazquez, who liked riding in the front of the rollercoasters. 
   The front row seating for the roller coasters have long waiting lines, just like Six Flags Great America, but  because of the number of tourists, the time for waiting in line could take anywhere from one to three hours for any ride.  
   According to Vazquez, though, it was worth it.  
   “Sitting in the front row is nothing like sitting in the front row of the roller coasters at Six Flags Great America,” she said.
   Also, street performers, whom Vazquez described as being “full of energy,” helped tourists pass the time while in line.  
   “It was fascinating to see them do their routines; it was something you’ve never experienced before,” she said.
   The longest line she witnessed was for The Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey Ride. She described the ride as just getting on a train and riding through Hogwarts, based on the Harry Potter movies; she didn’t believe it was going to be interesting.
   “The waiting time for that ride was about four to five hours,” Vazquez said.“Personally, I wouldn’t have waited for that ride even though I love Harry Potter.” 
   Besides the lines, Universal Studios is similar to Six Flags Great America because of the pictures snapped during the rides.

Photos from Lisy Vasquez 

   Vazquez didn’t know if her family was enjoying the ride or if they were terrified. 
   Of all the rides at Universal Studios, she recommends the movie-themed ride The Hulk.
   “The Hulk would be my all-time favorite ride because of the exciting twists and turns. It was just all a big surprise and new to me,” Vazquez stated.  “I’ve been there before, but every time you go on the ride, it feels as if it was the first time.”
   Vazquez and her family stayed in a hotel for one week while they were on vacation, where she loved the feeling of waking up and not knowing what to expect and see that day.
   “Overall, I loved going to Universal Studios because it was a great time and very memorable,” she said.
   Vazquez concluded that she wouldn’t mind going again with her family as everyone is getting older, and she would love to experience it all over again. 
   She added, “If I had to rate my overall experience, I would give it a nine out of 10 just because it’s not something you’re used to on an everyday basis.”

Romania gets a visit from one of our own

Marybeth Stone

Staff Reporter
October 28, 2014

   At the start of summer, hundreds of Mundelein families were ready to pack up and hit the road for a relaxing, much needed vacation. While many jumped in a car and headed for Disney, Kevin Stone, junior, hitched a ride on a plane to a destination over 5,000 miles away: Romania.

   Romania is a small European country southwest of Ukraine, full of lush mountains and valleys. The miles of open land and loose atmosphere give a sense of freedom, according to Stone.

   “Everyone isn't soaked up in technology, so you go play around outside until like midnight, then go to sleep and repeat,” said Stone.

   While Lunca La Tisa, the Romanian village where Stone stayed, has been acquiring more technology in recent years, most of the townspeople still prefer entertainment of the natural sorts.  Adults work all day and then relax. Children play all day and then relax.

   But the vacation wasn’t all fun and games for Stone, who traveled with his older brother, 2014 MHS graduate Michael Stone. They had to work every day helping their uncle, whose 

home they stayed at for five weeks.
   “I felt tired from being in the sun all day, and it was very boring and repetitive,” said Stone, whose work consisted of turning over grass in the fields so that it could be dried by the sun. He used a scythe to chop down the tall grass beforehand.

   ”It’s an old, little barn town, so basically there’s mountains, and people have land, so what they do is they cut the grass from the land and either sell the grass or feed it to the cow. They cut the grass with a scythe and sharpen [it] quickly every 20 minutes. When the sun rises, people are out on the field working till noon or till sunset. Sometimes, like last time we went, there were pigs, so we killed the pig, and we ate it,” said Stone.     

   Romania is bound to be different from what we call home in more than one way. Stone explained how the village is made up of small houses, and citizens wear what they can find, unlike America and its obsession with fashion.  In addition, work and religion run the people’s lives. The natives have a hard work ethic and only take off on Sundays.

Crab digging surfaces memories in Mexico

Kate Siltman
Features Editor
October 23, 2014

   Eva Bello, senior, reconnected with family this summer while looking for sand crabs in Guerrero, Mexico.

  “Ever since I was little, I always wanted to go back to Mexico,” said Bello, as she started to recall the memories she made on her vacation. The last time she stepped foot in Mexico was when she was six years old.

  “I couldn’t believe I was seeing my grandparents again; it was unbelievable…I got really emotional [when I was reunited with them],” said Bello.

   She did not know how to describe her feelings other than happy and excited. Spending time and reconnecting with family was the part that Bello cherishes from her vacation.

  Bello stayed with her grandparents during her visit. She went to the beach, ate at some restaurants and did some shopping with her family. Out of all of that, though, spending time at the beach was Bello’s favorite part.

  “The waves made you feel like you could fly,” she said about her experience body surfing into the shore.  

   Body surfing was not the only water activity that Bello participated in. In fact, her favorite water activity involved getting down and dirty in the sand with her family-- to dig up sand crabs.

  Bello explained that sand crabs can be camouflaged well. They are almost the same shade of the sand, so finding them can be a difficult. However, this was an enjoyable task for Bello because she was spending time with her family.
  Bello and her family would have to wait until the crystal waves crashed onto the shore, which would wash-up the crabs hiding in the sand. 


Photo from Eva Bello.
Bello and her family in Mexico

   Once the tide rolled in, then Bello and her family would take their two hands and start digging, feeling around for these creatures.
   “Since they were sand crabs, they wanted to dig up your hand, but they would tickle your hand with their feet instead,” said  Bello.When Bello and her family finally found a sand crab, they noticed their sizes would vary. Some would be large, while others would be tiny. No matter the size, Bello and her family would always release the crabs back into their habitat, so they could continue on with their life.

  “It reminded me of when I was little,” recalled Bello. She explained that the last time she was in Mexico she had also dug up sand crabs with her grandparents. It was like reliving a childhood flashback in reality.

  Nearing the end of her vacation, leaving her family after she got to meet them again, was difficult for Bello. However, whenever she misses her family, she relives the memories she made with them at the beach.

It's not only a mountain
Tyelr Olson
Staff Reporter
October 24, 2014

   Kevin Rieck, senior, had an idea that would help him discover his future lifestyle.  

   In a recent trip to China, Rieck went on a solo hike to Wolfo Temple, a temple on top of a mountain on the outskirts of Beijing.

   “The temple was very small and was only for meditating, and I was the only one up there,” he said.

   He stayed for about an hour and half.

   “I took off my shoes and sat down cross legged with the goal of deciding what I wanted to be when I grow up,” Rieck said.  

   He added that being in China can be pretty hectic at times, so he wanted some time away from modern civilization.

   “There are tourists everywhere,” said Rieck.  “Many of them are just wandering around looking at the culture of a different country.  There are so many people that it can become very loud and crowded.”

   Rieck, who appreciates nature, said that more people need to get away from technology and modern civilization every once and awhile.

   “The hike in China I wanted to go to was away from the tourist attractions, and I wanted to see the true beauty of China, along with the goal of meditating in a temple on top of a mountain,” Rieck said.

   He liked being able to be alone without any distractions.

      “Once I reached the base of the mountain, I determined it would be around an hour- long hike to the temple,” he said. “I was eager to get to the top.”

    Rieck realized that he didn’t want to rush his voyage to the top; he wanted to make sure he was able to enjoy the whole experience.

   “Along the way, I often had to stop to truly admire the beauty of the country.  I looked out into the distance and realized that nature’s beauty really is amazing,” said Rieck.

    As the top of the mountain neared, Rieck became eager for some peaceful alone time.

   “When I saw I was near the top, I instantly became relaxed,” said Rieck.  “It felt like once I got to the top that I wouldn’t have a worry in the world.”

   Once at the top, Rieck was surprised to see that there was nobody else there.  However, this didn’t bother him.

   “I was kind of relieved that I was the only one up there,” said Rieck.  “I knew that being totally isolated would really allow me to be in peace and to have all my thoughts to myself.”

   After juggling his thoughts for an hour and a half, Rieck made a decision.

   He said, “In the end, I came up with the idea that I don’t want to be any one thing; I want to be many things.  I don’t want to be stuck in a lifestyle with a simple daily routine.  I’d rather spend my life exploring many ways of life and have a life experience of my own that is like no one else’s.”


Operation: Lend a hand

Photo from Brendan Ouimet
The group of students and staff who participated in the mission trip gather for a photo.

Jessica Carrasco

Staff Reporter

October 3, 2014

   Brendan Ouimet, senior, spent a portion of his summer thinking of others instead of himself. While other people were at home, with friends or travelling, he made time to go on a mission trip to Cincinnati, where he volunteered at the Burlington House Nursing Home.    

  Ouimet said that he went with people from his parish youth group and some family members. It took about seven hours to and from Cincinnati, Ohio, where the trip lasted from June 15 to June 20.

  They stayed in a classroom at a Catholic school where “it was hot and small; we had to sleep on the floor, and we had to bring our own blankets,” said Ouimet.

   Because of the limited space, they were only allowed to bring a limited amount of their own personal items, so he was only able to take his backpack, clothing bag, and a bag with his sleeping items.

   All of this was fine with him,  though, because the main purpose of the trip was to help the people who were less fortunate than he was at the Burlington House Nursing Home, where they were able to spend time with people who had Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

  According to the home’s website, “they encourage family participation, extend our support and offer education to assist families in coping with and understanding the changes that occur as their loved ones progress through the disease.”

   So, the main focus of the mission trip was to focus on this mission.

   To be able to do that, the participants had to prepare themselves every day to be able to volunteer, and their days unfolded almost the same way every day. 
  Their days consisted of having a “morning breakfast, announcement, and mass. 

 Then [we went to] these busses, [went to] our destination, and helped out. Then [we would] come back and have dinner and free time and night activities,” said Ouimet.

  The trip was very enjoyable, according to Ouimet, but there were some things that he disliked, such as having a 6 p.m. curfew, not being able to travel outside of the group and being “strictly forbidden” to visit the rest of the town.

  Even though those aspects were a negative, the group had events planned for them outside of volunteering. For example, they attended a dance party.

  “[I enjoyed] the party because they played music, and we danced around having fun.”

  He also enjoyed going to the nursing home. Going there made him feel excited and confused, unsure of what volunteers might be asked to do. He felt this way because he had never been to a place like this home before.

  Ouimet was able to work with different people each day they were there, so he was able to hear a variety of stories. He met “one guy who used to be a boxer and worked out in the same gym as Muhammad Ali.”

  He was also able to meet new people when he volunteered because there were people from all over the United States to lend a hand. It is a little bit sad for him because since they are from many different places, he feels that he will never be able to see them ever again. However, helping out those people on a mission trip was a good memory for Ouimet that he will remember for the rest of his life.

  “I felt good because I did a good service to these people,” said Ouimet. “Maybe I will be able to visit or contact them someday, or maybe even go visit the [home] again, just to see them.”




A Summer in Switzerland

Melissa Burgett
Sports Editor
October 23, 2014

The 12 day trek through Europe of Social Studies Teacher Susan Theotokatos was highlighted by Switzerland’s beauty and Austria’s cultural differences in comparison to the one Mundelein holds as its own.
   The traditional buildings, linguistics and history struck a chord with Theotokatos immediately.
   “I would say Switzerland had the most lasting impression on me,” she said. “It was the cleanest; it was orderly, and the architecture was beautiful.” 
   Far from the Swiss beauty these days with school back in session, Theotokatos described how exciting the trip had been, going into great detail on her stays in Switzerland, as well as several other nations.
   Theotokatos, another teacher and several students (some already graduated, some current who signed a liability form) began the 12 day tour in London and made stops later, not only in the aforementioned Austria and Switzerland, but also in Paris.
   “Everything was beautiful. I had a totally history moment in Versailles,” Theotokatos said.
   While Paris is often regarded as a usual European tour destination, Switzerland and Austria, nestled between Germany to the northwest and Italy to the south, aren’t always as common.
   Their cultures range from the traditional French in language and in custom to the wild aspects of Hungarian cuisine and Slavic Bohemia. Their gothic architecture and unconventional foods make the region a must for Americans looking for that vacation like no other, as Theotokatos and her fellow travelers had.
   The group stayed in the largest Swiss city, Zurich, and also a traditional Swiss village outside of Lucerne in the German-speaking region of Switzerland.
   It seemed communication with the native German speakers, however, would be the least of the traveler’s worries.
   “Everyone spoke English, which was good,” Theotokatos said, mentioning her biggest apprehensions revolved around the students getting around so far from home within the snow-capped Swiss Alps.
   Finding themselves in Salzburg, Austria, Theotokatos and the group quickly embarked on a tour inspired by the 1965 film and musical The Sound of Music, which centers on Maria, a young nun with a tendency for


The beautiful mountains of Switzerland.
Photo submitted by Susan Theotokatos

trouble. She is invited to become the nanny for the children of a Prominent Naval officer. The Captain’s family is run strictly, and Maria does not immediately fit the mold, yet the family warms to her. The film is set during WWII, which boosts the plot point when Austria is annexed by Germany.  
    The Austrian town, populated by 145,000 people, garners double that amount in tourists over the course of a year, all looking to see landmarks from this famous production done on Broadway and played in theaters. The tour includes a stop at the beautiful Mirabell Gardens, Hellbrun Palace and Mondsee Church, where the famous wedding scene took place.
   Besides the tours of the Austrian cityscape, Theotokatos took advantage of the opportunity to expand her taste-bud horizons through Austrian cuisine, made up of various meats, game or cheese spreads for the many popular local breads. 
   “I really loved the culture and authentic foods,” Theotokatos said.
   Beef and pork are commonly served as Viennese sausage or stews or are served raw with spices. 
   “We tried schnitzel, which is like breaded meat, and we tried traditional desserts,” Theotokatos said.
   Strudel in a variety of flavors is a popular dish in Austria; apple, blueberry, cherry, sweetened cheese curd, and poppy seed are most common.
   Now back in Mundelein the trip is memorialized by Theotokatos in the form of a beautiful green and wire ring from Austria, which she proudly displayed on her right hand, a new Louis Vuitton bag from Paris and several gifts for family members.
   The experience of the trip was one of great learning, new understanding, renewed appreciation for different cultures and memories to last a lifetime.

The best vacations aren’t always glamorous

Hannah Koehler
Staff Reporter
October 24, 2014

   When most people picture a summer vacation to Mexico, their minds instantly fill with images of the beautiful city of Cancun, fancy hotels and beaches crowded with tourists. However, there is a different side to Mexico that not everyone knows about. For an entire month, Alexandra Gutierrez, senior, got a taste of how her family in Tepalcatepec, Mexico, lives a different lifestyle at a ranch.

   “It was a really small ranch in Tepalcatepec made of cement,” Gutierrez explained.

   The ranch was an open floor without rooms, and she and her family slept on straw beds with no bedding material.   

   Gutierrez also described how there was no air conditioning, Wi-Fi or plumbing-- they had to use outhouses as bathrooms. As for food preparation, they used a mud stove and burned wood on top of it.

   “I was surprised at how well I handled the conditions down there in Mexico because I didn’t think I was going to tolerate not having Wi-Fi or AC for a whole month,” Gutierrez noted.             

   With no air conditioning, she described it as “humid and hot.” It was always dry, and the daily temperatures

were 95 degrees or higher. She could only shower once a day due to the limited supply of water. She also explained that the showers were just buckets that were filled with water.
   Gutierrez rates her trip a seven on a scale of one to ten because she had so many incredible experiences with her family, despite the hard conditions. She became emotional when it was time to return to the U.S.

   “I was very excited but also sentimental because I was leaving behind family that I might not get to see for a while,” Gutierrez said.                  

   While she was in Mexico, Gutierrez also explained how she learned valuable life lessons.  

   “I realized there are a lot more opportunities in the U.S. than Mexico...There’s a lot of poverty down there whereas in the U.S. you don’t see as many homeless people on the streets. You always see food on the table here, but you don’t always see that in Mexico,” Gutierrez said.

   Gutierrez also said embracing Mexico’s culture and conditions as well as visiting with her family had a huge impact on her life.

   “It made me appreciate what I have more,” said Gutierrez. “I realized that I shouldn’t take things for granted because they’re not always going to be there.”


Time in the tropics: student’s summer cruise wipes away windy city blues
Allisa Angelo
Staff Reporter
October 30, 2014

   After a beautiful and relaxing cruise to the Bahamas, Cheyeann Phelps, freshman, compared the living conditions in the city of Chicago to those of the islands.
   “It was worse than Chicago,” Phelps said, as she described how close together the homes and buildings were and how many people were in the streets.
   Instead of luxury apartments and spacious homes, the Bahamian people live in huts and jam-packed houses.
   People lived outside of buildings, and in alleyways, just like the city of Chicago. They also lived in dilapidated and run-down homes, where there was no running water or electricity.
   “There were a lot of homeless people. It was really sad, but they looked so happy with what they had,” Phelps said.
   In contrast to the living conditions, there are hundreds of hotels and businesses on the islands, which are reputed to have very friendly islanders.
   Along with the hustle and bustle of the busy streets, cheerful street performers played traditional Caribbean music.
   “I really liked the music. It made me want to dance,” Phelps said with a smile.
   While exploring the beautiful island, Phelps and her family got lost and stumbled across a village of natives. Instead of pushing them away, the natives guided them back to town and wished them luck on their day.
   “Everyone was really nice there,” Phelps remarked.
   Everywhere she went, the natives asked how her days were going, helped her family when they were lost, and gave them advice on what to do.
   But it wasn’t just the friendliness of the islanders that made Phelps describe the Bahamas as “really cool and nice.” 
   She also was exposed to the Creole language and the spicy food.
   These aren’t the reasons, though, while Phelps would return.  She would go back because of the incredible calm and relaxing atmosphere.
   “The overall vibe of the place was really cool. It was such a nice change,” Phelps said, remembering the calm and serene island.
   When she says “cool”, however, she isn’t talking about the weather. 
   The average weather for the month of July, when the Phelps family visited, was around 90 degrees.
   “The weather was so hot. I was sweating every day,” she said.
   But, there was never a cloudy day on her seven-day cruise on the Royal Caribbean.
   While cruising through the waters, Phelps stayed in a room with a huge window overlooking the blue ocean.
   The luxury boat departed from Port Canaveral, Florida, on July 10. She was greeted with tropical music and friendly employees. The five-star ocean liner had three pools that Phelps spent her time in when she wasn't on the island. At lunch and dinner, performers played Caribbean music to set the mood for the passengers. 
   Off the ship, there weren’t many American restaurants in the town of Freeport, where Phelps stayed. Many of the restaurants had tropical or Bahamian names to attract tourists.
   One of Phelps’s favorite meals she ate while on vacation was spicy chicken with rice.

“It was kind of like Mexican but kind of different,” she stated.
   When she wasn’t trying the new food, Phelps spent some time soaking up some sun on the white, sandy beaches of the islands
   “I saw a dad teaching his little boy how to swim. It was really cute,” she said.
   Phelps also saw wild sharks, whales, dolphins and seals in the blue waters.
   “It was really cool but was really scary at the same time,” she said.
   Phelps also spent her time shopping, where she purchased some souvenirs.    
   She bought a tie-dye shirt and a Bahamian bracelet made of shells and twine.
   “It was my favorite vacation ever, she said. “I can’t wait to go back.”
   She also took back with her an authentic shell straight from the beach.
   Phelps said, “I really miss the island. It was so much fun, and it was so calm. I wish I could live there.”

Family hike turns into unexpected plunge

Michael del Rosario

News Editor

October 6, 2014


   Jumping off of a 40 foot cliff into Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks can be daunting, but Megan Schlebecker, sophomore, conquered this feat on a family vacation over the summer.

   Schlebecker felt “very nervous, and [her] legs were shaking” just before she, along with her cousins and sisters, embarked on what would become the highlight of their trip.

   Originally, the cliff jump was not on the itinerary for the day.

   “It wasn’t planned; It was improvised . . . I thought it looked cool and that we should jump,” said Schlebecker.

   That day, she and her family had been hiking through one of the many hiking trails near Lake of the Ozarks. While on the cliff, Schlebecker described “the scenery as beautiful with nice water and warm weather.”

   As they came upon the cliff in the midst of their hike, Schlebecker was hesitant to jump. Unable to choose who should attempt the intimidating task first, her family agreed to all jump together.

   They approached the edge of the cliff and prepared for their descent, and as they jumped, Schlebecker felt courageous as she thrusted herself into the air.

  They approached the edge of the cliff and prepared for their descent, and as they jumped, Schlebecker felt courageous as she thrusted herself into the air. 
  “It hurt the second I hit the water,” said Schlebecker, describing her immediate reaction after the jump.

   Although the initial pain may not have been the greatest feeling, the pride that followed was the real reward.

   “I was nervous at first, but I’m happy that I did it,” she said.

   Schlebecker already had a close relationship with her cousins and sisters prior to the jump, but this adventure deepened it.
   She said “it was fun to share a new experience” with her family members. It’s a moment she will never forget.

   As their week-long trip went on, the cliff diving fun didn’t stop. Now that her former fears were conquered, Schlebecker couldn’t settle for just one jump. She went “four more times that day and seven times the next day.”   

   Schlebecker hopes to return to the lake in the future and maybe even have a similar experience next summer. The family retreat is something she especially longs for now that she’s back in school.

   For Schlebecker, this surprising summer excursion was a great reminder that life can take people off course, but sometimes people should just be spontaneous and take the plunge.


Croatia leaves lasting impression

Ashley Wolfe


October 9, 2014


  When you think of vacationing, the first thing that comes to mind is a lavish beach with sun-kissed sand and waves that lull you to sleep. For Guidance Counselor Kathy Schweda that was nowhere near what her vacation consisted of.

  Alongside friends whom she’s known for an extended amount of time, Schweda traveled to Croatia and the nearby countries of Bosnia and Montenegro. She chose Croatia to embark on a new adventure and visit somewhere she’s never been before. Without a doubt, she enjoyed herself immensely and left a different person than when she arrived.

  Located in the European region and bordered on one side by the Adriatic Sea, Croatia has plenty of trees and greenery which, one can imagine, attracts tourists year round. During her recollection, Schweda shared that it was “a beautiful country.”

  As for activities, there was quite a lot of walking and sightseeing. Historical buildings, plants, and even friendly locals were just a few of her interesting encounters.

  “That’s one of the first things my husband and I say,” Schweda said. “How nice the people were. I don’t know if we ever saw any policemen. The crime rate is incredibly low; it’s very safe. It just doesn’t get any better.”

  Low crime rate? Natives who actually are kind to foreigners? One could mistake this as a paradise.

  Unfortunately, it isn’t. The city of Bosnia, for example, has had its times of trial.

   While exploring the country, Schweda came across a Muslim graveyard dating back to a war that took place in the city. Formerly a park, the graveyard now is home to a multitude of 

victims from the Bosnian War (1992-1995), a territorial conflict resulting from the breakup of Yugoslavia, which Bosnia was formerly a part of.
  What stuck out most to her was the fact that the dates of death on the gravestones were unusually close together.

  Schweda described the experience, saying, “To walk through there...when the deaths are all within a year of each other, it just...it gives me the chills…I think that left a huge impact [on me about] going into Bosnia.”

  Ancient buildings with bullet holes and damage from long gone wars still remain among the city, a constant reminder of the country’s history and further proof of the citizens’ stories which they pass down from generation to generation, according to Schweda.

  “[I enjoyed] hearing about the history firsthand from the people that have lived during that time...what went on there was phenomenal.”

  Since she’s begun traveling out of the country, Schweda has learned a lot and experienced what many can only dream of.

  Although she may not have spent a week in the Bahamas or gone sailing on the Pacific Ocean, she did enjoy a taste--literally and metaphorically--of the other side of the world.

  “I used to leave the water running when I brushed my teeth. I don’t, and I haven’t for years since I started doing this,” she said when explaining the impact her travel experiences to other countries have affected her.

  Yet, Croatia left a stronger impression than some of the others.
   “I think I would [go back to Croatia],” Schweda said. “I don’t say that about every country I’ve been to…I think there’s a lot more here than what we covered.”


Dangerous, daring, deep: Brotherhood built through cliff diving

Alex Loding
Staff Reporter
October 31, 2014

   As Dallas Osborne, sophomore, leapt into the air and shut his eyes, he tensed his body and plunged into the freezing, rushing waters below.    

   Osborne had just jumped off a 30 foot cliff into the cold waters of the Sturgeon River near Houghton, MI.  

   On a trip to Houghton, which is located within the upper peninsula of Michigan near Lake Superior, Osborne and his football team participated in several team building activities.

   Osborne described his trip as a near perfect vacation with his best buddies for a full week.   

   “The adrenaline and sheer will power it took to throw myself 30 feet down into the freezing water below made cliff diving so exciting,” Osborne said. “I had never done anything like that before!”

   When jumping off heights, time seems to fly by, and that is what Osborne felt during his jump. He quickly left the cliff, and in turn, quickly hit the water.
   “The water was coming up fast. All the details of the ledge were rushing by, then Smack! I hit the water,” he said.  “I surfaced and

couldn’t believe what I just did.”   
   Osborne explained that having his closest friends there with him made the jump special to him and the vacation that much better.

   “My best friends added a new level of peer pressure to my experience, but at the same time made it tons of fun,” he said.  

   Even though it rained every day, Osborne said that he would take this trip again and with the same people because they made it special to him.  They also made sure to participate in various activities each day, despite the weather.  

   “Those people with me made the trip a great experience,” Osborne said.

   They went on a hike to Mount Baldy and spent time at Michigan Tech to become closer as a team.      

   “We had practice every day at the Huskies’ stadium, and at night we would do fun activities like watching inspirational movies,” he explained.

   Osborne was thrilled with his trip to Michigan this summer with his entire football team but mostly with the adrenaline rush coming from the cliff dive into below freezing water.

   “This is something I’ll definitely remember for the rest of my life,” Osborne said. “It will be a great story to tell my children in the future!”  


Ziplining challenge accepted

Natale Fiocchi

Staff Reporter

October 7, 2014


   While Junior Libby Chuma experienced many activities in Maui, Hawaii, with her family, one has been labeled as the event “she will never forget”.

   “It was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Chuma said. Even though she seemed on the fence about doing this at first, Chuma decided she would not back down from the challenge.

   The challenge was going on a zipline ride.  Because Chuma had heard about many of her friends and others doing it, she told herself she should definitely do it while she still can.

   “I was excited and nervous because I was going to be 600 feet off the ground,” Chuma stated.

   She added that she and her family had to prepare by packing lots of water bottles and sunscreen. “I knew it was going to be a long day.”

   The worst part for Chuma was the hike up the mountain. She said it was a long walk, and going uphill did not make it easier. She also said it was hot and humid, but the scenery was so beautiful that it was worth it.

   Once she reached the top, she was harnessed in by stepping into a contraption that went around her legs and then pulled up to be strapped around her chest.

   “It was a mile long ride that took me over three different valleys 

and climates. One was dessert, rainforest and rocky/ dirt mountains… the view was absolutely beautiful when I passed over the rainforest,” Chuma said.

   She said the trees and bright colors looked like something straight out of a children’s book.

   “The leaves were a neon green that were twice the size of me,” she added.  
   During the zipline, she felt like “she was floating on air”-- a feeling she had never experienced before.

   It was all going smoothly, though, until her line froze. There, at 645 feet above ground with no one around, Chuma was stuck.

   “Oh great. Now what?” Chuma thought to herself in a panic.

   In order for her to get out safely, a guy who worked the zipline had to hook himself to Chuma’s line. He then crawled out to Chuma, hooked himself onto her harness, and crawled to the end of the line with his hands, dragging her with him.

   Chuma was almost done with the zipline ride when this happened, so the man only had to crawl a little less than halfway to the end.

   “Only this would happen to you,” said Chuma’s mother as soon as she made it to the end safely.

   Despite the hang up, Chuma said she would not change this experience in any way because she was grateful to get this experience even if she did have a problem along the way.

   It was a memorable time for her and her family because they “did things they never thought they would do.”

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