Wylde Q. Chicken Award Winners

University Laboratory High School

Honorable Mention:
Kristi Emilsson, Masha Gelfand, Diane Plewa, & Nick Sansone
The Daily Cheese
1999 Wylde Q. Chicken Award Winner:
Jim Prell
Suite for Violin and Piano
Special Presentation:
U.S. History Seminar Class
The 11:02 Phenomenon

Math Teacher Craig Russell nominated Jim Prell:

I decided to take my lunch to Room 109 to hear music club performances one day, rather than risk dripping tomato juice from my sandwich onto my computer keyboard (again!) or try to make space on my desk. To my delight, James Prell and Chris Otto performed a spirited, definitely non-traditional, ditty for piano and violin. While much "new music" is branded by critics (somewhat justifiably, in many cases) as noise, and even though James' composition certainly did not fit into a more reserved category, everyone in the room enjoyed the magic of lightly delivered dissonance.

With any modern art, a quick glance gives the observer an impression of randomness, and the question, "What kind of jerk calls this junk art?" pops to mind. So it is with painting, sculpture, poetry, and music. It takes a real artist to wrench this first, gut-level reaction into a sincere appreciation for the beauty underlying the artist’s work. Though I have been (almost) thoroughly innoculated against modern music (I really like some of the bizarre stuff), I usually see that gut-level reaction on the faces of others hearing a contemporary piece in performance. I did NOT see that with James’ music--almost everyone in the room was smiling peacefully by the all-too-soon end of the piece.

Endorsement by Rick Murphy, Uni's Fine Arts Department Head:

Jimmy Prell’s piece is an exciting composition for the piano that falls into the avant-garde, tongue-in-cheek category. Although he has written a fair number of works for class, this piece was not one of them. He has written many types of music and really enjoys composition. He has been experimenting musically with several of his classmates for the past few years. Jimmy, a sophomore, is a first-rate performer, concert-goer and avid listener as well as a charter member of The Uni Music Club, a group that meets regularly at lunch time and performs several recitals during the school year. In short, I would say Jimmy's musical knowledge and level of interest is extremely advanced for someone so young.

"III" from "Suite for Violin and Piano"

Composed by Jim Prell
Performed by Jim Prell (piano) and Chris Otto (violin)

Listen now:

View the score

Jim Prell

Jim Prell

Jim Prell writes:

I wrote the piece on my own, for fun. There are four total sections to the piece, and III is the one I submitted, because the other three are much longer, and III is the most playful. On the recording, Chris Otto (also a sophomore) plays violin, and I play piano.

Honorable Mention
Kristi Emilsson, Masha Gelfand, Diane Plewa, and Nick Sansone
The Daily Cheese

The Nomination

This is Nick Sansone, a current sophomore here at Uni. I am writing to nominate a project that my friends Kristi Emilsson, Masha Gelfand, Diane Plewa, and I made last year in computer science class for the Wylde Q. Chicken Award. The assignment was to create anything that interested us (a newspaper, a web page, a program, or whatever) as long as the creation involved computers. Along the way, we were supposed to send weekly progress reports to tell what we had done, what software and hardware we used, and what our goals for the week to come were. Once the projects were completed, each group was supposed to go in front of the class and give a twenty-five minute presentation on the project, the creation of it, and how it works. We also had to complete a final paper on the construction on the project. We were given fifty minutes a day for basically a whole semester to complete the project.

Our group got together to decide what we wanted to do. None of us knew how to make web pages or programs, and making a plain old magazine was far too boring for us. Therefore, we turned to the dark recesses of our mind for inspiration and decided to create: A TABLOID!!! Almost all of the pictures were self-taken, all articles were self-written, and all pages and pictures are self-edited and designed (we apologize, but a few of the pages are missing). This just goes to show you what happens when you give four wacky students an open-ended assignment, unlimited access to computers, and practically no censorship. Although we may not have gotten quite as much out of doing the project as the teachers may have hoped, we certainly had fun and came up with an original product which was probably much unlike they had ever seen before.

As you can see, we took some...um...creative liberties at every step along the way. This was what we actually turned in, and, amazingly enough, we didn't even flunk. (By the way, be sure to notice what the message is if you take the first letters of each of the lines of the last paragraph of the paper.) Thank you so very much! Enjoy!

Love and sunshine from
Nick, Kristi, Masha, & Diane

The Daily Cheese Crew

The Daily Cheese Crew

Nick Sansone Diane Plewa
Kristi Emilsson Masha Gelfland

Sample Pages from The Daily Cheese

Mike Howie's Endorsement


I'm Mike Howie. I co-teach computer literacy at Uni and wish to lend my support to The Daily Cheese for the coveted Wylde Q. Chicken Award. Nick, Diane, Masha and Kristi worked in the lab I supervised during the bulk of their project and I must say they approached their work, ludicrous as it was, with astonishing diligence. They took the work, but only the work, very seriously.

It's worth noting that we seldom approve these projects at the outset if they require a group of four people; we prefer groups of two or three. But from the start, these four knew what they wanted to do and followed their dream to its illogical conclusion.

I guess I should say that I also work at The News-Gazette where, for a year or more, it was my distinct pleasure to pick the best tabloid headlines each week for the weekly entertainment magazine there. So the Daily Cheese spoke to me as no other project ever has.


Honorable Mention
U.S. History Seminar Class
The 11:02 Phenomenon

Class photo and nomination A Tearful Appeal:

Mr. Sutton Loves His Students:

The 11:02 Gang
Wylde Q. Chicken poses with the notorious "11:02 Gang".

Certificate of Wyldeness
Each member of the 11:02 Gang received a certificate like the one pictured above.

Footnotes blown up from a size .00007 point font: