Smallville Torch — Season One

The Smallville Torch is Smallville High School's student newspaper, often referred to simply as the Torch. The paper reported on the news around the school and the town of Smallville in the show "Smallville." This archived section is a compilation of articles from the series' first season.

Volume 50, Issue 54 | 2002

Volume 50, Issue 54 | 2002


By Heather Riggs

What do you do after school in Smallville? Take care of chores…walk the dog…toil over homework…sit on the couch contemplating which comic book superheroes could beat up the others. If these are your answers to that question, you’re not alone! 

With the closure of the Talon, students at SHS are left with one option for a hangout here in town. The result? Forced exclusive socialization at The Beanery. The Beanery, once the hottest teen spot in town, is rapidly drifting towards “passé city.” It is a well-known fact that the younger members of society gravitate to new places, and this initial push gave The Beanery immediate success. But the one-time staple has been losing customers. Many blame recent shoddy service, while others believe the trend is something far more extreme. 

“I think kids today want more than just a coffeehouse,” says SHS student Pete Ross. In the past, Ross has frequented The Beanery, but he now opts for spending time at friends’ houses. Rachel Woodward, another former customer, said that she would still go to The Beanery if the atmosphere were more diverse. “I think a place for local garage bands, poetry readings or funky art would be cool,” Woodward said. “All The Beanery offers now is ground beans! I’d rather be at home grounded–my parents would probably provide a better atmosphere! I can even get coffee there…and it won’t cost me $3.60 a cup!” 

Sadly, the teen-hangout market is still cornered by The Beanery. And unless another venue is opened soon, SHS students may be forced to order a low-fun latte or, worse yet, a grande iced social life.

Volume 50, Issue 54 | 2002


by Chloe Sullivan

My recent confinement to the Smallville Medical Center has ended without incident, and I was released, having been charged an arm and a leg–and I don’t mean the ones that were injured! I am still very grateful for the attention of the faceless myriad of doctors and nurses who assisted me during my stay. Fortunately, I’m finally shaking off the effects of hospital guess-the-meat-of-the-day meals. (If given the choice, I would have dined solely on my IV drip.) I even had sleep issues, learning that “stationary” is really “uncomfortable” in hospitalese. 

Comfort issues aside, I came to a realization while living in the Hall of Health. Hospitals are designed to be a haven for the sick and injured. But do they work? Does secluding the sick with the sick, the injured with the injured, for an extended period of time promote recovery? I needed the hospital. I’m not too proud to admit that. I was seriously injured, and my life was in jeopardy. Thanks to the medical services provided me, my life was saved, and my injuries taken care of quickly and efficiently. But after spending several days in recovery, listening to the hypochondriac complaints of the patients that surrounded me, I wanted out! My injuries were treated, yet I was still there! Why? Is this actually an effort by hospitals to force patients to pay extra fees that aren’t really necessary in the grand name of “further observation?” 

In the late 1800s to early 1900s, hospitals weren’t nearly as prevalent as they are today, particularly in towns like our beloved Smallville. Instead, the town doctor visited the patient’s home, made the diagnosis and prescribed the remedy. Patients generally recovered in privacy, without having to sit in a little room, dressed in a backwards cape, telling a nurse that they don’t need anything, every hour for four days. 

Don’t misunderstand me, however. I am not calling for an outright closure of hospitals. And I am certainly not suggesting we return to the prehistoric medical-torture methods of C-clamps, hand drills and bourbon anesthetic. Few people support the utilization of modern technology more than I do, and hospitals are the Mecca for new technological applications. But wouldn’t I have recovered just as quickly at home after one night in the hospital, away from some of the other patients who were abusing the hospital in an effort to get attention? And it would have been cheaper for my insurance and family. Perhaps it is time to reintroduce the idea of house-calling doctors for patients who do not need the advanced services of a hospital for extended recovery and would enjoy the comforts of their home.

Volume 50, Issue 54 | 2002


By Pete Ross

I’m happy to report that the battle for better textbooks is a fight that Smallville High students are taking very seriously. After my last column, I received a flood of e-mails from readers. Here’s what a few of you had to say. After you read them, I have a surprise. 

Senior Dawn Wellington writes in and suggests this: “Maybe have a date or handyman raffle with the jocks or something? You know, highest bidder gets free labor for a day.” That could work, but unfortunately, we’d still be several hundred thousand dollars short of our monetary goal. It would be a good start though. So would other ideas like bake sales and a beverage counter at the football and basketball games, as suggested by Louie Quantum. 

Junior Edie Starstrom, who attended Eisenhower High last year, told us that the students there challenged local businesses to match the money they raised. “We reminded them that we’re their future workers and that they only want to hire the best. Helping us get new textbooks would go a long way towards ensuring that we are the best.” 

A respondent using the pseudonym Lagrepus (what kind of name is that?) reports this: “I have a geography textbook that says there is still an East Germany! I mean, please, the school needs to keep up with the ever-changing world.” 

And now for the good news, fellow Crows. I forwarded several of your e-mails to delegate Catherine Jeanette, and I received the following reply–a far cry from our last correspondence. 

“Dear Pete, thank you very much for providing me with the background I need to get to the bottom of this problem. I would be more than happy to help you. I have spoken with the education subcommittee, and we hope to present this issue to the legislature on March 19th. You are invited to the State House to see the legislature in action, if you would be interested.” 

I must say, I’m impressed and a little in awe of the idea that our words could make a difference. Without your e-mails and suggestions, this may not have even been possible. Thanks to everyone for a job well done! Now we don’t have to storm the State House. We’ve been invited. 

Round one has been won, my friends. We can make this work!