McKinley’s Misdiagnosis

My throat was sore, I had nausea, my lymph nodes were swollen, and I had a fever. I was misdiagnosed with mono.

I was not the only victim of misdiagnosis by McKinley Health Center. Fellow freshman, Jason McGrath and Colin Knipe, were also diagnosed with mononucleosis.

Knipe was told he had mono, pale skin, and appeared weak. Then, when he was able to go home, his doctor told him that it was just bronchitis.

“I was in pain all over; I felt like my throat was going to close up and I could not even move,” said Knipe.

McGrath went to the hospital at home, and his mono test was also negative. If McKinley continues to misdiagnose a disease as simple as mono, it makes me wonder if they will be able to diagnose a more serious disease properly.

“I might have actually had mono,” said McGrath, “but the hospital at home diagnosed me with degenerative disk disease.” Degenerative disk disease is a serious back problem that causes acute back pain.

Mononucleosis is an extremely common and painful disease caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus. It is rarely misdiagnosed when a doctor has proper resources to complete a EBV panel, but McKinley Health Center continues to misdiagnose the virus.

I was sent down to the basement lab of McKinley to get blood work done. I later got a call from a nurse and she broke the news that I had mono.

I never thought I would end up in Carle Hospital a couple weeks later. I took the typical precautions for mono and slept as much as I could, but my symptoms continued to get worse.

I went back to McKinley and they said I should just keep doing what I was doing, but the next day I ended up in the hospital with a 103.3 fever, a differentiating heart rate, weakness, and a lack of desire to do anything.

A downward spiral of tests, blood work, and three nights in the intensive care unit at Carle Hospital began. They tested for everything, including mono, but it was not present. I saw an infectious disease specialist, a cardiac specialist, and every other specialist Carle had to offer.

I also went to multiple doctors at home, but to no avail.

Each doctor had a different theory. It changed from mono to pneumonia to a heart disease to cancer and then, ‘yeah, you’ll be okay in a week or two, just give it some time.’

They were unable to diagnose me with anything, but they were able to conclude that I did not have mononucleosis.

After nearly three weeks of searching for an answer, my condition began to improve. There was never a clinical diagnosis, and the most accurate answer was, “I don’t know what you have, but you have something.”

I do not feel comfortable going to McKinley after finding out how much they missed in their diagnoses between myself and my peers. Everyone at McKinley is incredibly nice, but it is ridiculous that a college health center is not able to cater to the simple needs of its students.

McKinley tries to rush everything as they cater to majority of the student body. The doctors and lab technicians should really be more careful and thorough. It is not realistic for them to be perfect, but they should be pretty close.

People of LFHS: Sra. Marni Levinson

Lake Forest High School has many amazing teachers, but Sra. Levinson is one that has established herself as a perennial student favorite by all. Levinson has been at LFHS for 12 years after a brief tenure at Deerpath Middle School, but she still manages to brighten the halls of LFHS with her radiant smile and her caring attitude. The perpetually happy member of the Foreign Language Department will go to great lengths to ensure her students’ success in the classroom.

Levinson remains one of the busiest faculty members on staff in the beginning of her second decade teaching here at the high school. She is almost finished with graduate school, where she is studying to be a counselor, and is currently completing her internship in the LFHS Guidance Department. Señora Lev, to which she is affectionately called by her students, barely has a single free moment in her day between teaching and cross country coaching responsibilities mixed with her counseling internship. Somehow, though, she is always able to find time to help her students out in a variety of ways. Whether there is an issue at home, a social issue, or if a student needs help in class, she tries her best to carve out some time to help any way she can.

Spending every day with her students is Señora’s favorite part of teaching, but when she is not at school, she is an intense, accomplished athlete. Levinson competes in Ironman competitions, triathlons, and also has run numerous marathons. On the wall in her classroom hang her numbers from each race she has competed in. Aside from running, the spirited Spanish teacher also enjoys hiking, backpacking, and walking her dog, Mirabelle, who occupies the home screen of her school computer.

When Levinson came to LFHS, she was just finishing her Master’s degree in Spanish Literature.

“The timing was perfect. There was an opening at LFHS and I was so excited about being qualified and chosen to teach at this beautiful high school,” Levinson explained, her constant smile radiating from ear to ear. 

Sra. Levinson has not lost any enthusiasm or excitement to come to work each day, evidenced by the positive sentiments her students share about her each year. Her students all appreciate her passion and we all notice it. “She gets to know her students on a personal level and really does make learning fun. She influences you to want to learn more,” explained senior Maddy Moore.

Each February, Sra. Levinson celebrates the birthday of her favorite American icon, Abraham Lincoln. She uses the week leading up to his birthday as, “Abe Week.” She dresses up in Abe Lincoln-themed clothing that range from t-shirt that read, “I heart ABE,” to high socks that have pictures of Lincoln on them. However, Lincoln is not the only figure that Levinson finds humor in dressing up as. Years back, when the popular movie Superbad was a box-office hit, Levinson dressed up as Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character, McLovin.

Perhaps Sra. Levinson’s greatest attribute above all is her ability to listen to her students. She tries her best to make the class something everyone can enjoy and makes sure everyone has the potential to succeed. Speaking from my own experience, it is clear every day that we have a voice and we all feel like we belong in Spanish class. No one is ever uncomfortable because of the environment Sra. Levinson has created; no one judges anyone.

Another positive attribute of Señora’s classes is that each student gets to know each other on a personal level. We do not just know people’s names, but she makes sure we know each other personally in order to develop lasting connections. She pushes everyone to go outside of their comfort zone and believe in themselves because she–as she readily mentions–believes in all of us.

A true kind spirit, Señora often surprises her classes with doughnuts, Jolly Ranchers, or Starburst because she feels like her students deserve a reward for their hard work after or during a tough day. In truth, it is Sra. Marni Levinson who ultimately deserves the reward.

“She is the most lively, energetic, and most in touch with the lives of students of any teacher at LFHS,” said senior Liam Pooler. Pooler reiterated the opinion that all students who have had the great opportunity to be taught by Sra. Levinson share: Everything she does is for her students, and all of her students look up to her and respect her for all she does.

LFHS’s Most Interesting Man

There are not many recent graduates who have not heard the name Mr. Paul R. Goldstein. Mr. Goldstein arrived at LFHS in 2005 and has been teaching students more than just math for eleven years. Goldstein, who is now on his third career, is an Ivy League educated lawyer by trade who decided he was bored and left the profession to become an English teacher. After a short stint, he decided to follow his true passion and came to LFHS and began teaching math. Mr. Goldstein also teaches his students life lessons that we will always remember. Some are about food, some are about how to succeed, and some are simply about why we should do what we want in the future.

Esquire Goldstein left Highland Park High School with a legacy that will be remembered forever, he was the valedictorian of the class of 1988 and took his academic aptitude and unforgettable personality to Dartmouth College. The driven student, fraternity member, and intramural softball participant took Dartmouth by storm. He played first base despite his 5’5” frame because that is the position lefties play. He was a contact hitter in college and excelled in his education and decided to pursue a legal career at Cornell Law School. He later graduated and began practicing law in Chicago.

The story of Mr. Goldstein coming to LFHS is an interesting tale. He practiced law for five years but grew tired of the profession. He did not like having an empty office and wanted more than simply to practice law. Mr. Goldstein decided to retire from the practice and went back to school to get his teaching degree. He student taught at New Trier High School in nearby Winnetka and began his student teaching with four English classes. He instantly fell in love with teaching and enjoyed having a classroom with kids in his company, which became much more rewarding than an empty office.

After growing fond of student teaching, he decided to become a full-time teacher. Goldstein went to the Lake County job fair and got in the English line, but it was such a wait that he decided to change to the shorter math line. Math was his favorite subject at Highland Park High School, so he decided to pursue it at LFHS. He has held his position in the Math Department for twelve years. For him, his favorite part about teaching is helping kids, with a secret liking to having the summer off to spend at his lake house in Fontana, Wisconsin.

Mr. Goldstein brings smiles to his students’ faces with his stories from his college days and about his life. He has been kidnapped by a camel, bowled with a frozen turkey, and uses a version of the quadratic equation that he found on a whalebone. Mr. Goldstein has traveled extensively over the years and has a story from each trip. Once, he travelled to Alaska on a cruise and was shopping at street vendors when he saw a whalebone for sale with math equations written on it. He did not purchase the bone because it was too expensive. Today, he teaches students with the traditional quadratic equation at first, but it is not always correct. The version on the whalebone is more accurate, so he finishes the lesson with the whalebone version and swears by it.

Mr. Goldstein also has a life that many do not know. He is a “proud cat owner,” and has been since 2003. His cat is named Griffin Aster, which is also the alias of Mr. Goldstein. He is a foodie with an extreme knowledge of quality. If you ever want to know if it is worth trying a restaurant, ask Mr. Goldstein! He will tell you if it is good or if it is not worth trying and will provide details if applicable from his own experience. He is almost never satisfied with the food unless it is cooked to perfection. His standards are higher than most chefs. Mr. Goldstein is also an author on the side.  who has published one book under his alias titled, Peter In Chains: The Fall, and intends to publish the three other parts in the future.

“I like how he builds a personal connection with his students by telling life stories. It is the most personal relationship I have ever had with a teacher. I actually knew him, and because of that, I learned more and genuinely enjoyed the class,” mentioned senior Jon Day about Goldstein. Jon is just one of thousands of students who have crossed Mr. Goldstein’s path as an educator, but each student remembers Goldstein as someone who actually cares about his students and tries to relate to them while also pushing them to succeed.

Whether you are looking for a laugh, your next meal, or help on homework, Mr. Goldstein is the person to go to. He always has something to say and it is normally at the perfect time. Take his advice and live in the moment.

Rantoul vs. St. Thomas Moore

A hot and humid day became a picturesque night at Henneman Field. Two conference rivals faced off on homecoming for the St. Thomas More Sabers. The visiting Rantoul Eagles got off to a slow start but pounded the Sabers.


The Sabers opened the scoring on their first drive after an Eagles fumble. Sabers quarterback Bryson Lee showed off his athleticism while scrambling and throwing a 40 yard touchdown pass to Nate Kelton. From that point on, the Sabers would not score another point.


On the next possession for Rantoul, Taveous Bell showed off his power and speed with a 52 yard touchdown run on the second play of the Eagles drive.


Each time the Sabers would touch the ball, they would march down the field and turn the ball over or would run into the brick wall of the Eagles defense. Eagles coach Tom Hess said, “we have worked a lot on physicality and on accountability this season, that is what led to our victory.”


The Eagles seemed to run over every player on the Sabers and ended up winning the game 54 to 7, their highest score in years. They were shutout by the Sabers last season, but  were able to make up for the poor game they played one year ago tomorrow.


The passing attack was non existent for the Eagles, who only attempted one pass. Coach Hess asked me, “why pass when you can score on the ground like we did tonight?”


Clearly Taveous Bell is the star of the team. He ran for 220 yards on twelve carries and had five touchdowns. It was an impressive game for a back who has averaged over 100 yards per game. He had his offensive line to thank. “Those guys have my back, and every time I got the ball there was a hole for me; I tell them I love them after each time I score,” said Bell.


Lack of age, size, and personnel were the main factors that caused such a crushing defeat for the Sabers on their homecoming. A team with 23 players and not a single senior is not built to win at the varsity level. Their star quarterback also had to sit out the second half with a left ankle injury and backup Trevor Hummel had to come in. WIth the position switch, they were short their top receiver and had to fight to move the ball.


Hummel is not a quarterback, so more turnovers were expected when he was thrust into a new position. He fumbled and threw an interception. The Eagles defense did not make life easy for Hummel.


Coach Hess made a questionable choice by leaving his starters in the game until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. In the dwindling seconds, the reserves and underclassmen took the field and played stellar defense. They showed their coach what they are made of and why the Rantoul football program is on the rise. With tonight’s game, the Eagles advanced to a 2-3 record, while the Sabers are at a lowly 1-4, making a playoff berth seem nearly impossible.

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