Volume 3 Issue 1 November, 2007

Dear Reader, You may or may not be acquainted with the publication you are now holding, and if not, introductions are in order. We are an independently published, anonymous underground newspaper created for South. We attempt to fill a void that our esteemed colleagues at The Axe cannot; that of satire, humor, and ideas the administration may disapprove of. We are free to speak our minds. We have chosen anonymity for a simple reason. Darkness gives us strength. Our ideas, our stories, our creations will be judged on their merit alone. The author’s identity is irrelevant. However, if you do desire to contact us, feel free to send an email our way or visit our Facebook group. There have been some changes in the past year concerning this issue. We are no longer identified as a particular person on Facebook. Our account was banned as our good friend, “Walter from Facebook,” realized that “Inconspicuous Lit” could not possible be the name of a high-school student. Therefore, we have now created a group titled “Inconspicuous Lit,” which is administrated by our writers. Of course, we are all identified with our pen names. If you are inclined to do so, make a game of guessing our true identities. You may also contact us at inconspicuouslit@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us about anything. If you have some aversion to the publishing your correspondence in our newspaper, please say something in your email. We’ll probably ignore it, but at least you’re making an attempt. If you want to make completely sure your email is heard, please learn how to spell “inconspicuous.” Yes, english is odd, but get over it. And enjoy the issue. Blatantly Subtle, The Inconspicuous 2007-2008 Staff


Table of Contents
‘Mart Madness Gallo: Friend, Teacher, Mentor College Essays 600 Hall: The Expedition Inexcusable Rants on Various Topics Gallo: Overrated, Manipulative, Facade The Absence of Sense Garland! Psst… The Freshman Study Guide Emo Poetry 2020 Hey Gertrude p. 3 p. 4 p. 5 p. 7 p. 7 p. 9 p. 9 p.10 p. 11 p. 11 p. 12 p. 13 p. 14 p. 15


than an XXL. I was astounded. Thinking quickly, I headed to the children’s section, where I found, by Justin Kayce again, only larger-than-life sizes. These might fit “I’ve got some really bad news for you, kid,” my fa- me, I thought, though they would be very loose. I ther said, his voice heavy with the traumatic realiza- felt my face droop as I realized what must then follow: I must enter a Walmart fitting room. tion. “And I’m really sorry it’s come down to this. The woman at the station stared straight ahead, But I think we have to go to Walmart.” lifeless. Even as I approached, she did not blink or Immediately I balked. “No way. No way. I am turn her head. I quickly checked to see if she was not setting foot in a Walmart.” I struggled against breathing .... wait ... no ... yes! There it is! I saw her the imminent peril all the way to the parking lot. It breathe, she’s alive! was a futile effort, though. My father parked, and I “Um, hi,” I said, checking behind me to see just slowly unbuckled my seat belt. Resignedly, I got out of the car. “I don’t like this, Dad. This is not a good what she was staring at. A rack of gray t-shirts. “I need a room.” place. This is an evil place.” “How many ....” Her voice was small, timid, as “I know,” he said stoically, and we headed with though more than a few words might bring out the brave hearts toward the SuperStore. We passed the covered area designated for smoking. We passed the burly men in black. I could only assume she was asking how many items I wished to try on. six soda machines. We passed the seven toy ma“Oh, just one,” I said, struggling to smile. She chines with the funny crane thingies. We passed the did not smile back. Instead, without blinking or very lonely man attempting to sell newspaper subscriptions, apparently unaware of the 99% illiteracy moving her eyes at all, she mechanically turned to the closest door. It was adorned with a strange fur rate among Walmart customers. Finally we entered dress, made, it seemed, of the skin of a giraffe-zebra the building. hybrid. It was open. I cautiously entered the room. I stepped back in horror. It was worse than I’d The walls oozed the tortured mold of those who ever imagined. Old people in blue Walmart emhave seen, over and over, naked Walmart customers. ployee vests roamed the store aimlessly, a haunted It is not a mold I wish to see again. look in their jaundiced eyes. One saw me, saw the I left quickly, practically sprinting from the fityoung spirit still alive within me, and threw himself ting room area. The woman did not turn to watch at my feet, crying, “Save me! Oh, God, please, just take me out of here!” He was quickly dragged off of me speed away. I searched for my father in vain. He was not at the Gobstopper display. He was not near my person by burly men in black clothing and was taken to a back room. We heard his screams of ago- the televisions. He was not anywhere that I could find. So I paid for my clothing, quickly, careful not ny echo across the cavernous store. The customers, to let the grimy change touch my skin. The cashier the employees, the small children that ran rampant had used the cash register’s calculator to subtract through the aisles - no one seemed to hear. eight from ten. When she was not sure of the first I turned to my father. “Dad, please, can we answer, two, she tried again. “That doesn’t seem leave? Please!” right ...” she told me as she handed me two crumBut I knew the answer. The certain article of clothing I needed (which will not be specified so as pled dollars. “This machine’s been acting up a lot, to remain Inconspicuous) was not to be found at any though. So you never know.” I fought back tears. other store in the Pacific Northwest. So we sallied Out in the rainy parking lot I took in my first forth, steeling ourselves against the sickening stench actual breath of air since entering the store. As of consumerism that saturated the air. soon as I unlocked the car, I stripped my purchase My father was in need of some gadget or anothout of that despicable bag, that slimy little bag that er, so we agreed to meet at the Gobstopper display. enclosed so many of America’s shortcomings. My I headed towards the clothing department, trying desperately to ignore the McDonald’s that for some father was not in the car. Which meant he was still in the store. Which meant I must go back in and incredible, inexplicable reason had plopped itself rescue him. down in a retail store. I searched long and hard, As I walked across the asphalt, I saw a stream but I could not find an article of clothing smaller 3

‘Mart Madness

of shiny water that flowed along the curb, to a drain near the store’s entrance. I got closer. It was not water. It was oil. My heart wrenched inside me. I paced around the store for upwards of twenty minutes, realizing that I would be better oriented in rush hour Moscow. Finally, after what seemed to be forever, my father emerged from behind a ten-foottall stand of Suave shampoo. “It’s been so long!” I cried, running to him as though he were home from war. “I know,” he said, still stoic. I could tell that he’d been beaten down, though, that his spirit was waning. He’d picked up a bottle of bleach in his epic journey. Where he went, I’ll never know. He doesn’t speak of his odyssey. But wherever he’d gone, he’d been past the bleach and decided we needed some. The cashier, remarkably competent with basic mathematics, was even able to speak to us as she calculated. “Did you find everything you needed today?” she asked, bored. “And more,” my father said darkly. “Yeah,” she said, matching his somber tone. “That’s the way it usually works here,” and she stared desperately past us, as though contemplating suicide. “How did this happen to the world?” I asked him, finally safe inside our car. He stared through the windshield, gripping the steering wheel. “Saving money isn’t worth it if you lose your soul,” he said tightly. I know, Dad. I know.

Gallo: Friend, Teacher, Mentor
by Ezra Rex
Though it has been years since Nietzsche said “God is dead,” I never truly understood what he meant until now. South Eugene IHS will sorely miss Daniel T. Gallo as he leaves to pursue more noble educational endeavors. On ratemyteachers.com, Gallo consistently got 5s amid comments like “I learned more V&B in his history class than I did in V&B,” “the most real person I have met in my lifetime,” “inspiring, patient, funny, and passionate,” “freaking amazing,” “spectacular,” “honest,” “without the help of Gallo […] every feeling of purpose and unity would have been lost,” “my favorite teacher in the whole world,” “I actually found myself crying on the last day of his class,” and “one of the greatest human beings you will ever meet.” One wonders how anyone could claim that he is “not a god.” Because of his departure from our world, I propose that the IHS staff simply omit the sophomore year. It would not be the same without him. Frosh, after the 9th grade “year of death,” you will not want to go on without Gallo at your side. Without his lessons on economic systems via analysis of Adam Smith and “To Live,” no student would survive junior year economics. Without his discussions on causality and beliefs, we would be lost in the tides of history, incapable of analyzing contemporary politics or international relations. Truly, without Gallo, school and the Eurasian conference would lose their meaning. The current frosh and sophomores will never know what they missed. Classic South kids of all ages will die soulless deaths for the crime of not having experienced the wonder that is Gallo. Those of us who had him for but a brief year will experience peace, for though he is no longer with us, his anecdotes of being a bike messenger and getting thousands of dollars of travel vouchers will remain with us forever.


College Essays
by Ezra Rex
In an attempt to raise the caliber of South students’ college admissions essays, the writers you know and love at Inconspicuous have some tips. 1. Start now. Early action deadlines are less than a month away, and regular admission deadlines are less than three months away. Essays are like Bean from Ender’s Game: they are never finished and are only as good as they get before you turn them in. According to some estimates, a college admissions essay and a college admissions officer spends one third of the time on your application reading your essay. Begin as early as possible so that you can draft and redraft to make that one third count. 2. Use your voice. The admissions officer doesn’t want to admit student #102579, they want to admit you. There is no one formula to getting into college. There is no one student type that admissions officers want. If you try to write like someone else, your writing will suffer. Unless you are an expert at empathy and fiction, your own experiences will be more genuine and more vivid than someone else’s. This also means that you shouldn’t be afraid to use humor. If you are funny, you will automatically be one step up from the thousands of dull essays that are submitted each year. 3. Use your resources. Your family, friends, and teachers exist for a purpose. It is helpful to have them edit your essays. Your friends and family know your voice well enough to tell if you sound genuine and they might know a thing or two about grammar. They will also know plenty of your experiences, so when you have that one paragraph that just doesn’t seem to work, they can suggest an anecdote or an idea that will, once you write about it, work perfectly. Your teachers, in addition to being knowledgeable about grammar and writing, will be able to simulate the role of an admissions officer: they will have read hundreds of other essays and might not know you quite so well. 4. Avoid clichés. It’s one thing to say that Gallo makes you sick, it’s quite another to dodge his syphilitic exaltation. If you use a metaphor or simile that you have heard before, it’s probably 5

overused and unimaginative. By making up a new metaphor, you will present your ideas in a more individual manner, and you will increase the chances of your voice coming through. 5. Avoid common topics. Sum up your topic in a few sentences. Could anyone else have written that topic? If so, why should a college admissions officer admit you instead of them? If you write a travel essay about how you finally learned the magic of humanism and how all people are wonderful, all the college admissions officer will know, after they wake up from their nap, is that you can string words together into sentences and that you have done the same thing as hundreds of thousands of other students. 6. Avoid restating things available in the rest of your application / fill in the gaps from the rest of your application. The admissions officer has already read everything else. They know what you got on your SATs. They have a list of your accomplishments. They are aware of your many clubs. Restating any of these things in your essay won’t get you anywhere. Filling in the motives, the personal attributes, and, overall, the “why” behind those test scores and accomplishments will, however, give the admissions officer a more complete picture of your life. Do you not have many extracurricular activities because you have to take care of your siblings or work? Write an essay about that and its impact on you. 7. Be unique. If there’s one thing in common with the above tips, it’s that you need to set yourself apart and give the admissions officers a reason to accept you. Just like thousands of students can write a travel essay, each of your experiences is, on face, not unique. It is only when you go in depth and explain everything about that experience that you have differentiated yourself from the masses. Use your own metaphors, write from your own experience, and make this writing something that only you could have produced. If you explain the reasons behind each decision, the odd sensory details you remember, and the larger impact on your life, you have made yourself admittable. If you try to stretch yourself too thin and half explain three ideas, you won’t have shown yourself to be any different than the many others that each have those attributes.

8. Don’t be afraid to break the rules (if you can pull it off). Good writing is good writing. Just because sets of three are supposed to include a conjunction doesn’t mean that Caesar wasn’t persuasive when he said “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Similarly, if you have a unique, thoughtful, and personal travel essay, write it. Just because someone else could have written your topic doesn’t mean that they could have tackled it with your voice. Just make sure that you really can pull it off. Admissions officers will literally read hundreds of modular travel essays. Do you really think that yours will be the most unique and thoughtful of them? 9. Do your grammars goodly / listen to your English teacher. That paper that you wrote for AP comp gets red pen all over it and so does your admissions essay. Learn your commas, conjunctions, semicolons, adverbs and every other part of grammar. Once you get to the finer points of grammar, they probably won’t care, but if your essay is full of superfluous commas and run-ons to the extent that it is difficult to read, you don’t get a second chance. Also, adhering to stylistic conventions has its uses. Phrasing your sentences in the active voice, in addition to sounding better, will save you a few precious words. 10. Prewrite. There’s a reason that your teachers have been forcing you to write outlines since you were in middle school: they help. However, a personal college admissions essay also has a few other tasks that you should complete in your outline or, alternatively, before writing your outline. Most notably, you need to figure out what your essay will show about you. You could try making a list of attributes that you posses and experiences that demonstrate the development of those attributes. Because of the open ended nature of college admissions essays, it’s easy to have a rambling essay if you don’t confine yourself to a narrow focus. 11. Get the name of the school right. Yes, students have gotten into “Vasser” and “Wellsley,” but it’s much better if the admissions officer is laughing with you, not at you. 12. Read successful college essays and tips from people involved in admissions. Several websites that I have found helpful – once you ignore the product that they’re trying to sell, that is –

• • • • • • • • •

include the following: http://www.justcolleges.com/essays/essayedge/ lo_college.htm http://www.college-admission-essay.com/ admissionessayresources.html http://www.college-admission-essay.com/ essays.html http://www.essayedge.com/college/ essayadvice/course/ http://www.essayedge.com/college/essayadvice/ samples/ http://www.accepted.com/college/ applicationessays.aspx http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/ essay-skills/9405.html http://www.questbridge.org/resources/applying/ writing_essays.html http://www.bestcollegeessays.com/samples.html http://www.ivyedge.com/Admission_Home/ Sample/College_Essays/college_sample_ essay_17/college_sample_essay_17.html.


600 Hall: The Expedition
by John Nedry
Inconspicuous explores the world of one of South most elusive and secret places. The cool night’s breeze ran through my hair as I traveled down the sidewalk. Nothing but the rustling of leaves could be heard around the empty school as I moved briskly toward our destination. Ever since reading the Axe’s article about the mythical locations of South Eugene, my curiosity had been piqued: Where are these places? What are they really? And perhaps the most alluring question of all, what is it really like to be there? Finally, on this cold October night, I was about to find out. There we were at last, standing in front of the entry, a location I had passed countless times commuting from class to class. I glanced about me at the rest of the expedition team. Now was the time. The passageway down was revealed, and with one last glance at life above ground, we began our descent… The 600 Hall. Unlike any other South hallway, this massive complex is barren. The earthen floor stretches out into the darkness, a labyrinth so vast that flashlights fail to penetrate it. Its bare light bulbs do little to illuminate the various oddities scattering the ground- rubbish, mechanical scraps, tools left behind, and several lone chairs, whose stories remain unknown. Divided up by corridors of piping, cement fire walls, and an overwhelming darkness, one could very easily never find their way out. As was my concern when we headed off into the black abyss. Equipped with lights and a few navigational tools, we pushed forward into the darkness, protected by a twenty foot perimeter of light. As we traversed across the many passages and wide expanses, it became clear exactly how gargantuan the school really is. The basement stretches out underneath the entirety of South Eugene; that is, it is over one-quarter mile long. During our journey, we navigated the 600 Hall all the way from beneath the cafeteria to the gym, following underneath the back and front hallways. During our excursion we found a great many curious sights: A lone chair sitting in the empty chamber beneath the cafeteria. An inexplicable giant pile of wrappers… A roll of toilet paper hanging from a wire in the ceiling… 7

Walls with doors to nowhere… After a solid hour of trekking, we were back at our point of entry. Our expedition had come to an end. While the Inconspicuous expedition may have finally uncovered the truth behind what lies beneath South, there are still many questions that remain unanswered. One, for instance, is the account of an underground passageway connecting South and Roosevelt. And while we saw no evidence of such a tunnel, there is no denying that the underground network is so expansive that there could easily be an undiscovered corridor. Perhaps we will never know. But one thing is for sure: Below you is another world. A forgotten world, surrounded by legend, which few have ever seen. A hidden treasure in its own right, with as much history as the school itself. And one can’t help but wonder: if the biggest place in South Eugene High School lies unnoticed beneath our feet, what other secrets does South hold? What other treasures rest in plain sight, waiting to be found?

by Justin Kayce
Day 1 (Ring, Ring) Mother of South Student: “Hello?” Randy: “Hello, Ms. X? This is Randall Bernstein. You can call me Randy.” MoSS: “Oh, hello. You’re the principal of South, are you not?” R: “I most certainly am. Listen, your student was marked absent from one of his classes today.” MoSS: “Oh, dear. You don’t think Johnny was skipping, do you?” R: “Well, we really don’t like to make assumptions here, ma’am. We really believe in the integrity of our students. But yes. Yes he was.” MoSS: “Well, I will certainly have a talk with him about this, then.” R: “We’re cracking down this year, ma’am. The new unexcused absence rule and all that.” MoSS: “Yes, Johnny told me. Well, I’ll be talking to him tonight abou-” R: “The rule’s new this year. Five unexcused absences. Five. Then the teacher has to assign partial credit.”


MoSS: “Okay. Well, then, Mr. Bernstein, I’m sure you’re –” R: “Randy, please.” MoSS: “Randy, then. I’m sure you’re busy, and I wouldn’t like to keep you, so …” R: “ … I can take a hint, Ms. X. Good day.” (Click) Day 2 (Ring, Ring) Same Mother of South Student: “Hello?” Randy: “Hello, Ms. X? It’s Randall Bernstein again. You can still call me Randy.” SMoSS: “Oh, dear. Was Johnny marked absent again?” R: “I’m afraid he was, Ms. X.” SMoSS: “Well, that’s quite odd, Mr. Bernstein –” R: “Randy.” SMoSS: “… Randy, because Johnny tells me he attended all his classes yesterday.” R: “Ah, yes. They tend to say so, Ms. X. Kids these days have no appreciation for honesty. Or the value of corporal punishment. It’s quite distressing.” SMoSS: “… Well, yes, perhaps. But I really don’t think Johnny is lying to me about this.” R: “It would be nice to think so, wouldn’t it, Ms. X? But I’m afraid the attendance records don’t lie.” SMoSS: “No, I suppose you’re correct. I’ll talk to Johnny again, I suppose.” R: “Have you heard about the new attendance policy, Ms. X?” SMoSS: “Yes, Randy, I have.” R: “Because after just five unexcused absences –” SMoSS: “Goodbye, Randy.” (Click) Day 5 (Ring, Ring) Same Mother of South Student: “Again, Randy?” Randy: “Hello, Ms. X? This is Randall Bernstein. You can call me –” SMoSS: “Randy, I know. Thank you. Please don’t tell me he’s absent again.” R: “I’m afraid so, ma’am.” SMoSS: “That’s every day this week.” R: “Yes, yes it is. This happens to be his fifth unexcused absence. Have you heard about the new attendance policy? Just five unexcused absences and -” SMoSS: “For God’s sake, Randy, I know!” R: “…. Sorry.” SMoSS: “This really doesn’t seem like my son. I’ve spoken to him every night about this. He vehement-

ly denies any skipping.” R: “Good use of ‘vehemently,’ Ms. X.” SMoSS: “Thank you, Randy. R: “Well, this does seem a bit out of character for your son. His records show he has a 4.0, that he’s missed only one day of school in the past three years …” SMoSS: “He’s not a skipper, Randy.” R: “Yes, this does seem a bit suspicious.” SMoSS: “Is he being marked absent from the same period each day?” R: “Yes … let me see … it’s been European Literature, all five days.” SMoSS: “And who teaches that class?” R: “Zach Stewart. But he’s having his sixth hip replacement this month. This one’s a titanium-bronze mix.” SMoSS: “How unique.” R: “Yes, yes. Well, anyway, he’s been out of school for two weeks, so it’s not him marking your son absent … let me check the substitute listings …” SMoSS: “So do we know yet who has mistakenly marked my son absent for five classes in a row?” R: “Yes … it seems here that the substitute is …. DON McCLOUD!!!” SMoSS: “Oh, no. Oh dear God, no. So my son is doomed?” R: “I’m afraid so, ma’am. Sorry about that. But Don McCloud has never corrected an attendance mistake in his entire career. Yet Stewart will not have anyone else to be his substitute. I’m afraid your son would be better off just dropping out of high school altogether.” SMoSS: (In tears) “Thank you, sir. I’ll tell my husband.” R: “No problem ma’am.” (Dramatic pause) R: “Have you heard about our new attendance policy?” SMoSS: (Click)


Rants on Various Topics
by Felix Falkasius
Writing rants is hard. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on perspective,) the world as it stands in my little sphere of existence is lacking in suitable rant-worthy topics. So as to have something to rant about, I have chosen to compile a few minor unrelated annoyances that are somewhat timely and rant about them all to fill space so my colleagues won’t get mad at me for a lack of writing. 1.Youtube’s Audio Quality: For those who speak techie, the audio on YouTube is mono 65kbit/s at 22.05 kHz. For those who don’t engage in technobabble on a regular basis, audio on YouTube sounds something like whatever the sound is supposed to be played through a tin can and string apparatus, then recorded on a telephone microphone and played back through a really poorly constructed guitar amp that has a hole in its speaker. In other words, it sounds bad. Very bad. So bad that your ears are often hurting afterwards. You’d think that they’d have somewhat decent audio quality considering how much music there is on YouTube, but instead we have some of the worst sound available on the internet. That makes sense. 2. Awkward Paint Colors: As I was writing the previous sub-rant I noticed how awkward the paint color in my room is. I’d place it rather close on the awkward scale to a 7th-grade dance party, between the letter K and my social skills. (I’ll let you guess as to the relative positions of the latter two items on said scale.) The color is best described as the hue a Post-it note attains after three years of exposure to the elements. It is a depressing faded yellow, the color you’d imagine a urinated-upon newspaper would look like. I think I’m repainting my room next weekend. 3. The Letter K: The letter K is pointless. Why does it exist? C can fill all its words perfectly and adequately. For example, pronounce the letters S, U, and C as if they formed a word. Do they not still have the efficacy of their four-letter homophone? Basically the only other time K is used is in the beginning of words. Think of Krypton. Doesn’t the K in Krypton have 9

the same sound as C in cat? Email me your counterexamples so I can rant about myself next issue. inconspicuouslit@gmail.com 4. Daylight Savings Time: Does arbitrarily changing our notation of time to make the sun rise earlier make sense to anyone? Supposedly this saves energy or something. I haven’t checked recently, but I’d be willing to bet that my house hasn’t used any less energy this week than last week. I’d also guess that this is true for most people in the country. Daylight Savings Time serves a different purpose, a dark, scary, evil purpose. Even now, agents of our government are testing a dime dilation field. They use the extra hour to test its effects because most people won’t notice the change. Watch your clock next time the extra hour rolls along. You might find evidence of a conspiracy staring you in the face. 5. Pencils: Has anyone else noticed that pencils just plain suck? Why would anyone want to use them? The impermanence of pencil lead encourages frivolous scribbling. Ink is forever. If you don’t mean it, you don’t write it. Pencils also have that annoying scratchy feeling on paper. Pens just glide smoothly across the paper. I like pens.

Gallo: Overrated, Manipulative, Façade
Daniel Gallo is not a god, and when people exalt him as such it makes me sick. Their syphilitic praise infects me as I try – to no avail! – to avoid it. Wherever I go, wherever I try to hide, it is there. Gallo worship permeates our school, and, I hate to wonder, how many others? Many will mistake Gallo’s manipulative nature as “charisma,” but I can see it for what it really is: a false front dedicated to subtly convincing us of his outrageous beliefs while, simultaneously, perpetuating the belief that all is as it should be. Rules, clearly, have no bearing on this man. Even as he is a mask of perfection at the Eurasian conference, he changes the allotted times to make things go more “smoothly.” After all, who’s to notice when one activity is cut short for the sake of anoth-

by Ezra Rex

er? This rebellious attitude shows up in his class as he disregards the course outline to galvanize students into supporting Islam. As many students tout, Gallo teaches more Values and Beliefs than Youngblood. How could he not? That is his primary mode of brainwashing young, innocent sophomores and converting them to his way of thinking. Not only that, but he disregards the ways of IHS. As some sacred souls such as Saraceno instill ideas of local sustainability, renewable resources, and global equality, Gallo teaches Adam Smith. In addition to disregarding the lessons, Gallo ignores time honored ways of teaching. Posters beware! You shall, in Gallo’s class, be replaced by in-class debates and discussions. Where other teachers let us watch movies as we see fit, Gallo impinges on our freedom with extensive anti-socialist note sheets for the movie To Live. Learn to follow the rules, Gallo, and maybe some of us will stop our gleeful celebrations at your departure.

The Absence of Sense
by Leah Wode
You wake up in the morning and roll over, squeezing the pillow into your face. You’re about to attempt sleep again, when the flashing numbers on your alarm clock catch your eye. 8:15. You’re LATE! Frantically rushing, you pull on your clothes, skip breakfast, grab your keys, and rush out the door. You can’t believe this is happening again. Two other times you’ve slept through your alarm, thanks to late-night/early-morning homework sessions. On the way to school, you average a speed of ten miles over the speed limit, cut off two cars, and drive through a red light. And you still miss first period. A week later…. You’ve completely dismissed the “missed first period” incident as an unimportant mistake. So now you’re in your fifth period class, studious as ever, when there’s a knock on the doorand it’s Randy. He calls you out of class and tells you, in a matter-of-fact voice, “So unless you get that first-period absence excused, we’ll see you in detention this Saturday!”

But, just your luck, your parents refuse to excuse your absence. They are school-administration lackeys, and since you’re not mortally ill or at a family member’s funeral, your absence is UNexcused. You will report to Saturday school. The new attendance policy is, frankly, ridiculous. It states that three unexcused periods- periods, not days- equal for Saturday school. And five unexcused absences per class equal partial credit. But let’s be fair. This policy isn’t a problem for those students who have reasonable parents. It only punishes those whose parents don’t give them any breaks. And let’s face it- most students whose parents are that strict probably need a mental health day once in a while. But under this policy, many students who need less stress are pushed to their breaking point. This isn’t even mentioning the all the extra work the administration has to perform. According to Inge Wells, the office is, “spending too much time,” policing the student body. First they call home, then pull students out of class, and finally have to supervise Saturday school (or school-day/after-school detention, if the student is unable to attend on Saturday). And even after all this, they realize that “the student is not directly involved in taking responsibility for the absence.” Well, perhaps students don’t take responsibility because they cannot. This policy shifts the relationship from school-student to school-parent. Students are not allowed to take responsibility; when contesting an absence, the only response they receive is, “Get your parents to call in.” So here’s a word to those truancy officers: Rethink your strategy. Make it easier on yourselves and stop policing the halls. You’re thrusting as much responsibility on yourselves as on parents and students. This policy is extremely black-andwhite as well; it doesn’t make any concessions for students who accidentally miss school, seniors who skip in order to work on their senior paper, or those with unnecessarily strict parents. You’re punishing yourselves as well as those who make mistakes. And if you won’t rethink your rules for stress students, do it for your stressed staff.


by Felix Falkasius
“Many American spies died to bring us this information,” said he, General Jeff Garland of the Artillery Brigade. The blasted Soviets were using their spectrophotometery lab to create weapons of mass destruction. We had to stop them. The noble general gave the order to prepare for battle. We were to stealthily insert to a field near the Soviet laboratory. After we assembled our gear, we would bombard the infernal Soviets with our newly built dihydrogen monoxide shells. General Garland had conveniently marked all of our ammunition so as to more easily evaluate their its efficacy. We crept to our assigned position, hoping the Soviets would not notice the movements of our gigantic cannon. The general joined us, and offered to fire the first shot. A countdown was shouted, and our gleaming projectile burst forth from the muzzle of our gun and sped parabolically towards the laboratory of our vile Soviet opponents. Blast! The general had assembled the cannon in the wrong direction. Our shots were directed down the adjacent field rather than to that damned Soviet laboratory. Two of the general’s adjutants ran down the field with a measuring tape. “67 meters!” Our cannon lacked the range to strike our despicable Soviet foes. Again, the general shouted, “Fire the Cannon!” And as our fearless leader ordered, we pulled the trigger. Only a small puff emanated from the cannon. We were out of power! Two of our bravest men offered to sprint back to base with our fuel tank to recharge our weapon. Those two noble souls rapidly vanished beyond the horizon, and we thought we’d never see them again. After they returned, as we reconnected our fuel lines, one of our companies noticed a troupe of contemptible Soviet officers meandering around our blast craters. Quickly, our gunners opened fire. Unfortunately, none of our shots hit home. After an hour of sustained fire, General Garland ordered us to stand down, and our company trooped back to base for debriefing. I have a problem.


by Ezra Rex


I know a secret. I probably shouldn’t tell you about it, but it is fairly juicy. What can I say? I’m a gossip. The Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook (along with those nice and very informative talks on the first day of class), but it seems a little bit light on telling you your actual rights. Even if we ignored the First Amendment, a new Oregon bill, HB3279 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/07reg/measpdf/hb3200. dir/hb3279.intro.pdf) now gives students the right to say whatever they want without school censorship. This bill guarantees that any school sponsored media (media that is “prepared, substantially written, published or broadcast by student journalists” under the supervision of any person “who is employed, appointed or designated by the school district to supervise, or provide instruction relating to, schoolsponsored media”) shall be completely under the supervision of students. Even if we look past the Axe, knowledge of this bill would beg the question of many South requirements. Why, for instance, would clubs have to get posters approved by the school? Because they are for a club, that means that they are school sponsored media and that they were produced under the supervision of a student media advisor. The school, then, would have no right to review the material or otherwise censor it unless it was libelous, somehow invaded privacy, or incited students to break the law or school policy. We disdain to conceal our views or aims. Let the administrators tremble at a Literary revolution. By writing without censorship, you have nothing to lose but your chains. STUDENTS OF ALL SCHOOLS, UNITE!


The Freshman Study Guide
by Leah Wode
You’re here. You’ve finally made it to high school. But now you’ve moved up from the top of the middle school food chain to the bottom of the high school feeding frenzy, how do you deal with everything that comes with being a frosh? Though there are definitely new social opportunities, perhaps the most panic-inducing aspect of 9th grade is the unfamiliar academic atmosphere. So, what do you do to cope with the homework load? If you’re lucky, you have a free period. If not, then if you’re pressured for time you may have to utilize your lunch period, or come in before school to squeeze in that extra bit of study time. But where do you go? For those that actually want to get homework done, hanging out with friends isn’t the best idea. The library is best for intense studying. The cubicles allow for uninterrupted concentration, and the librarians enforce this. Those that have attended South for over a year know that crossing the librarians can be uncomfortably irksome, even deadly if finishing homework is your top priority. Talking loudly will earn you a severe reprimand, perhaps even an disinvitation from the library. However, this provides less distraction. Eating, too, is taboo. You may be kicked out for a week if you are caught smuggling in food. That is, if you are caught. The restriction of 4 to a table can also be frustrating when you want to study with friends, but on the flip side can reduce noise if you prefer working in silence. Finally, the library is the only study area with computers (with the exception of the computer lab), which are essential for writing last-minute essays. IHSers- you will get extremely good at creating paragraphs five minutes before class starts! The math department is another good, little-known study environment. Since it’s out of the way (the westernmost rooms in the math hall) very few people are there to interrupt you, though the atmosphere isn’t as repressive as that of the library. Additionally, calculus students can earn community service hours just by spending time in the math resource center. Technically, tutoring is required, but

few students in there actually require tutors, so you can finish your homework in peace. The best place to complete homework assignments while spending time with friends is the Science Resource Center, fondly nicknamed “the fishbowl’ due to its aquarium and wide windows paneling two of the fours walls. Talking is allowed, as teachers rarely frequent it during class time. Eating is also permissible during classes, for though it is technically banned from the science wing, teachers can’t uphold this rule while they’re teaching. One of the most relaxed places to do homework is the courtyard. However, the cold months make being outside unbearable, so you should probably study outside when you can. Take advantage of each sunny day, as there are few before winter sets in. Obviously, eating, talking, and even running is allowed in the courtyard. You can get homework done as long as you’re not easily distracted! Lastly, it’s possible to work in the cafeteria, though it’s not exactly a great spot! Let’s just say there are some interesting people hanging out there, and the smell of school-prepared lunches permeates every inch of the area. But if you’re so inclined, tuck yourself away in the back corner by the windows, and you can finish work if you’re determined. Other, lesser areas to study are: the career center, the counseling center, or a teacher’s classroom. Though these aren’t ideal, they’re still rather conducive to studying! One last tip for homework-laden students, particularly all you newbie freshmen: try to utilize at least a few of these areas and you’ll relieve the weight of the classes that are giving you a premature hunchback. And yeah- try staying out of the way of upperclassmen. We get testy when we’re sleep-deprived.


by Maynard James Ferguson XII
Oh physics You are so cruel My heart cries out in anguish To calculate Vo from 2ad and V f2 Is an act of lunacy Like calculating my soulo from 2pain(agony) and unrequited love2 Physics, You are such sweet misery My orchestra teacher is a Cruel man. He uses the metronome On us. Tick Tick Tick In exorably in to in finity Like a rhythmic chisel Chiseling at my heart

Emo Poetry

facebook apps they allow me to be whatever i can imagine like a zombie a vampire a pet bunny even—hermione. my soul runs free on facebook.

i am ---------------- e. e. :cummings!



Student Refuses to Move to Back of Line by Maynard James Ferguson XII
EUGENE—A student at South Eugene High School who had forgotten her student body card refused Wednesday to move to the back of the line for textbooks in the AV Room. She was suspended on charges of insubordination. Witnesses say the girl, junior Rachel Plessey, did not move when AV Lady Elsa Niesahermanerkaderkaburg issued a general call for ID-less students to move to the back of the line, then refused to move again when the AV Lady discovered she had no card and became irate. After she had repeatedly refused to give up her spot in line, the AV Lady called The Administration, who forcibly removed her. Some students applauded in support as she was dragged from the room, though no others had been brave enough to imitate her choice at the time. “So I’m forgetful! I can’t help it. That’s just the way I was born!” said Plessey of the incident. “I’m sick and tired of being punished for a condition I have no control over. I just decided to stand up for myself and for all the other absent-minded people in the world.” Later in the week, as news of the incident spread, other students began staging similar protests. “We’ve been sent to the back of the line too many times, and we’re not going to take it anymore,” proclaimed one student at such a protest, wearing a stocking cap over his face. Typically, the protests entail a number of students, often masked, deliberately standing in the front of the line and stating their ID numbers when asked for their student body cards. Dozens of students have been detained in a specially designated holding area set up in the school since the original incident. Similar protests have begun appearing in several other area high schools. While many students voiced their opinions through the line-standing protests, others chose to 14


express their dissatisfaction by simply boycotting the use of the AV Room. The idea of boycotts was suggested by a local preacher, Billy McNoname. “I feel that this woman needs to take a chill pill, and boycotting is a time-tested solution to unchill behavior.” McNoname was briefly detained and questioned by The Administration, but since he is not affiliated with the school and his actions were not illegal, there was little officials could do. “The best part about civil disobedience is, I don’t have to do my homework,” said sophomore Tad Baker. “At first my parents were upset when they found out I’m failing five of my classes, but then I told them it’s to combat social injustice. Now they think it’s great.” South Principal Melissa Bernstein announced Friday that any students caught protesting would be given community service, as well as issuing an order for students not to lend books to peers who were participating in the boycott. “This is almost as bad as that time when that kid put porn on the library computers when I was going here,” Bernstein said in her statement. “Although it isn’t nearly as funny.” She also announced that the library was planning to close for reasons she wasn’t sure of. Students and Administrators are not the only ones reacting to the incident. Dangerous Elderly Persons’ Regional AV Employee Directive, the local AV union, issued an official statement over the weekend threatening to strike if Administrators are unable to bring the protests under control. Other AV Persons unions around the country issued statements of support. The president of the local union, however, was too grouchy to comment when Inconspicuous contacted her. The pinnacle of student protests came Monday when a large group of students paraded through the school, carrying Plessey on their shoulders. The students wore masks of varying description, black clothing, and signs bearing their ID numbers, and chanted slogans as they walked. The march was the beginning of a larger rally against the Administration’s actions. Many students left classes as the procession passed, and followed it outside the school, where other area high school students were gathering in solidarity.

by Gertrude Kalinowsky
Hey Gertrude, I’ve become friends with a guy at Sheldon. He’s really nice and whatever, but he apparently has been getting the wrong signals. While I consider him just a friend and could never think of him as more, he keeps trying to ask me to date-ish things. At first I didn’t catch it, so we went just the two of us to the WOW Hall. And we’ve hung out a few times just us. But nothing ever happened. I didn’t even flirt (not that he’d want to see that – I’m a horrible flirt). But no matter how “busy” I am or how often I ask to bring a friend, he just doesn’t get it. What should I do? - Burning in the Spotlight Hey Burning, Men are often not known for catching subtle hints. Or if they catch them, somehow your best friend’s constant appearance just shows how much like Siamese twins you two are (rather than that you’re truly not interested). You could keep doing what you’ve done until he asks, “Would you come to bed if she’s allowed too?” But, at some point, subtlety be damned. This is when you take his hand and spell it out for him, metaphorically speaking. Actually taking his hand will be counter-productive since he will be so mesmerized at the step forward he will not notice you kicking him out the door. I’d suggest leaving the sidekick at home for this one because it’s likely he’ll feel a tad bit embarrassed, and the pink tinge might leave toward merlot if she’s in the room (and he realizes she’s known the entire time). It will be awkward, uncomfortable, and not unlike one’s first time, but eventually the embarrassment will fade, and the two of you can just be friends. After all, it’s already awkward – this way it may be a higher molarity of awkwardness, but the over all time period shorter. And if you think it’s bad for you, just remember how much more embarrassing it will feel for him. And have an ounce of pity for unrequited love…crush…high school whatever. Best of luck, - Gertrude

Hey Gertrude

Hey Gertrude, Love your stuff. Marry me? - Your Beloved Hey “Beloved,” As you are proposing to one who loves words, I highly recommend to you the Oxford English Dictionary. Should you use it, you shall see that a ‘beloved’ is ‘one who is loved,’ not one who loves. Only if I love you are you my beloved. Until then, you’re simply stuck with ‘secret admirer,’ ‘stalker,’ or some other such term for one of as yet unrequited love. I understand that some people in high school have met their future spouse, perhaps even dating them already (so as to be able to use the term ‘high school sweet hearts’ at their fiftieth wedding anniversary), but it is not generally the norm to marry in high school, particularly to someone who can see the sun rise on the ocean’s horizon whereas you can see it set. Further, if you happen to be female, you’d need to take a hop skip and a jump over here to Massachusetts. Yet, that will be a non-issue because I, darling Gertrude, still have some more kicks to get before settling down. Perhaps after grammatical mastery, - Gertrude


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