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February 15, 2013     West Seattle Herald
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February 15, 2013
 

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6 Friday, February 15, 2013 West Seattle Herald C MMENT Evergreen High name change is a question of tradition By Jerry Robinson There was taft among some Highline School District staff and students at Evergreen High School last week about changing the designation from (EHS) to maybe an acronym like TEC, HS3 and AAA originally titled Technology, Engineering & Communications School (TEC), Health Sciences and Human Services High School (HS3), and Arts and Academics Academy (AAA). Some students apparently do not agree with the idea of changing, even going as far as chanting "EHS,EHS" at a recent basketball game where the EHS logo had been covered up. The three separate entities of the "Evergreen Campus" were formed in the last few years as part of the district's focus on education through some help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The stir on campus is over tradition vs ideologic change. Whether this happens or not I have some fond memories of Evergreen. Nearly all my kids went through the school. As the owner of the White Center News, I printed the school newspaper (Timberlines). I had to. A few of my kids were on the staff of that paper. Virginia Nerheim was the newspaper advisor. She ran a tight ship. We were a busy family. There were games and concerts to attend. I made as many as I could and nearly always found a way to get to Moshier Field for the football games. As a member of the working press I carried a card I did not have to show to the gate attendant, Mr. Fred Lapasin. Fred was my #4 son Patrick's elementary school teacher at Hazel Valley. Fred is a great guy (now 75). He would always recognize me as I approached the gate. His warm smile and friendly greeting made me feel honored to be there. We cheered for the home team, bought some hotdogs and hot chocolate at halftime and generally stayed in the spirit of the season. Oh,.. there was one occasion that is memorable for the angst we .... suffered. It was not exactly a homecoming loss but close. . e WOlverines Our car was broken into sometime during a game. Elsbeth lost her purse. I ..... lost a beautiful Battenkill f Fly Rod I had in the trunk. The police never caught the guy. I hope he used the money to buy fishing lessons. Evergreen produced some great athletes and students during the years we were close to the school. Chuck Brigham, a former University of Washington star, was the track coach. It seemed that the Wolverines were always near the top of the league with their performance. Howard Dowdell set a state record in the 440 yd run in 1959. John LeCompte was a star pitcher in baseball in those years. John Leslie wowed the crowd with his all around athleticism in three sports. Dick Sample and John Gambill were terrific basketball players. In 1965 Larry Almberg became a near world class distance runner, competing against the likes of high schooler Jim Ryan (world record holder in the mile run in those days). We mentioned in an earlier article how our current governor, Jay Inslee, attended and played basketball at Cascade Middle School. Jay left before he got to Evergreen where he would have played on the state title contender in 1968 with John Aumann, Jack Steadman, Wes Clingan, Rick Reed and Jay Hambly. Maybe one of the finest football players in the state lived in little old White Center. The "Throwin Samoan", Jack Thompson, thrilled the crowds taking his team to the state playoffs two out of his three years as QB. Our own family member, Charlie Ganong, was a lineman on Jack's team, later attending Harvard University. More recently Senio Kelemete made his mark with the UW Huskies and is now with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. Most of those kids lived in or near White Center. They likely munched down on hamburgers at Lou's Drive-In, owned by Lou Dapas. Dapas came from a long time White Center family. The history of Evergreen athletes can be celebrated like some beautiful contestants for Miss Washington. Lynda Kilp and Diana Cindrich are two that come to mind. Lynda went on to win the state crown before she became a touring professional singer with former Evergreen alum Bobby Williams. Since the fall of 1956 the Wolverines have truly made their mark on the community. Will the school with a new name be able to carry on that tradition? Will alumni attend homecoming games for the Technology, Engineering & Communications School (TEC), Health Sciences and Human Services High School (HS3), and Arts and Academics Academy (AAA) Wolverines? It does not have the flair and simplicity of EVERGREEN. Besides, how can they possibly get all those letters on the jerseys? Jerry Robinson is the publisher of the West Seattle Herald/White Center News. He can be reached care of Ken Robinson at kenr@ robinsonnews.com. Take Two Violence video, violent viewers By Kyra-lin Hom Does viewing violence in media trigger violent action? In high school, I wrote a column on the correlation between violent video game play and violent behavior. I poled several of my high school peers (both genders) on their beliefs in regards to the topic as well. What I found was that, despite evidence suggesting that violent video games and violent behavior activate the same areas in the brain, my peers, who regularlyplayed these kinds of games, did not believe that the two were related. An interesting little bit of self-blindness there. It's now about six years later. New research has been done, new information is available, and I have a degree in film. Combine that with my online psychology class currently covering developmental psychology (includingthe influence of violent media) and I felt the sudden urge to revisit the topic. It turns out that the debate is still as fresh as ever. New studies have shown that consuming violent media does consistently increase a viewer's aggression, desensitization to violence and apathy toward victims. This change is more pronounced in men than in women. It doesn't matter if that media is film, TV or video games. For example, a study in 2009 showed that individuals who had just watched a violent film were less likely to help an injured woman than individuals who had watched a non-violent film. Notice that this influence extends beyond aggressive tendencies and into how we relate to others in daily situations. But the caveat is that the duration of this effect is questionable. This is especially true when studying adults. Depending on the study, this mood adjustment lasts anywhere from a half a year to just a few minutes. Plus, there is no dependable data that links violent media to violent crime. I mean, statistically, homicide rates tend to double after TV is introduced to a culture, but critics rightly point out that correlation doesn't mean causation. There could be any number of compounding factors. Children however are much more malleable. Back in 1961 Albert Bandura showed rather decisively that children internalize observed behavior, particularly the behavior of figures they look up to. Ariother interesting bit of research from 2011 found that people in general are more vulnerable to violence priming when the observed violence is a) performed by an attractive individual, b) believably 'justified,' c) goes unpunished, and/or d) causes no explicitly visible pain or harm. I think that puts us three-quarters of the way to an American feature film, don't you? In that same vein, not all violent media is 'bad.' An increase in video game specific research is revealing that these games can teach empathy just as well as apathy and can be a healthy outlet for built up aggression. Case in point, role playing games (as opposed to first person shooters) involve friendship, cooperation, trust and teamwork, both with other online players and computer generated characters. The better the game design, the more realistic the situations. Playing these games can actually improve social behavior. And as far as being an emotional outlet, when a violent game is played with the goal of releasing aggression rather than engaging in it, playing the game does become a kind of catharsis. It's pretty clear that watching Shoot 'em Up or Saw V isn't going to turn you into a psychopath. But it is quite possible that watching these movies will put thoughts in your head that you might not have had otherwise, thus priming you to react more violently in stressful situations. Science is both incredibly imprecise and extremely demanding so it's refusing to conclude one way or the other. Marketing and the military don't have quite the same compunctions. Consider that the military uses war- simulating video games to recruit future soldiers. Or that pilot-training flight simulators would be right at home in a large arcade. Or that billions of dollars is funneled every year into media advertising and political campaigns because research supports the effectiveness of mere product exposure. Now tell me, how is violence less seductive than a balding, middle-aged man showing he really understands? It's not. For one reason or another, violence holds our attention. Polished and glamorized violence (and sex if we're really going to get into it) sells. Have you ever watched badly shot but real footage of violence? Boring. I had the startling realization a few weeks ago that actual footage doesn't look real to me. That's the biggest problem - and our best order of response, reminding ourselves just what is real and what is constructed. It's harder than it should be to do. Kyra -Lin Hom is a columnist for the West Seattle Herald/White Center News. She can be reached care of Ken Robinson at kenr@ robinsonnews.com.