The Chamblee High School
Blue and Gold
Volume 87, Issue 1
Chamblee High School 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. Chamblee, GA 30341 (678) 676-6902 Principal, Dr. Rochelle Lowery
Administration Changes Challenge the Experienced
photo by Maddy Wetterhall
The year is 1500 A.D.; the stool in the middle of the classroom is the Mediterranean Sea. Pick a direction to be north, and say what is going on there. Gail Barnes’s past students can clearly remember this intimidating activity from the first day of school, as it was the moment many of them realized that the Advanced Placement world history class they had signed up to take would be no walk in the park. The year is now 2013, though, and times have drastically changed. For the first time in Chamblee’s history, all of the admin-
by Maddy Wetterhall istrators are prior CCHS teachers: in addition to principal Dr. Rochelle Lowery, who taught physical education, Candace Steadman (assistant principal of curriculum/instruction), Rick Blitz (assistant principal of discipline), and the newest administrator, Barnes (assistant principal of attendance) all are former social studies teachers. At the end of each school year, students are given the opportunity to select what classes they will be taking the following year. Students are given the option of taking Advanced Placement courses after completing freshman year. One of the most popular AP classes to take is world history, which was previously taught by Barnes. “It [AP world history] was different than any class I’d ever had. It was extremely intense, and there was a lot of information, but I found it really interesting and learned so much,” said junior Starr Sandoval, who took AP world as a sophomore. “Mrs. Barnes was an amazing teacher, and I definitely feel more prepared for other AP classes. I realize that you have to take them seriously and actually do all the work in order to succeed.” Having made a name for herself as an exceptional AP world history teacher, news of Barnes’s acceptance of the assistant principal of attendance position came as a shock to some students. “I basically chose to take AP world because it was what everyone that I knew was taking, and I’d heard really great things about Mrs. Barnes,” said sophomore Anna Folger, who is currently taking AP world history with Wesley Graham. “Once I found out that she wasn’t teaching it anymore, I was really surprised and kind of worried. It’s okay now, though, because Mr. Graham is doing a good job. He’s really showing us what a college-level class is like.”
Barnes compliments Graham’s teaching style and says that he “is going to do a great job.” Students are not the only ones facing changes: Barnes is also learning how to manage her new position. “My goal is to better Chamblee at the school level. It is a massive learning curve, and I always love learning new things,” said Barnes. “As a teacher, I knew when the bell would ring, when I could eat lunch, when I could use the restroom, and so on. It was so regimented, and I knew exactly what I was doing. Here, I don’t know what will happen on any given day.” Blitz, who will be retiring after this semester, also acknowledges the changes he faced nine years ago when he transitioned from teaching to being an administrator. When asked what aspect of his job is the most meaningful, Blitz responded that he loves interacting with the students. “Most of them [the students] are good,” said Blitz. “I like to stand out by the bus lane or in the hallways during class changes and say ‘hi’ to everyone. It’s a great feeling to have them smile back at me and ask how I’m doing.” Although Blitz has learned to love the interaction he has with students as an administrator, he does admit that it is different now than when he was a teacher. “Now, it [contact with students] has more of a disciplinary aspect to it,” said Blitz. Both Blitz and Barnes concede that they miss being in the classroom. “I don’t necessarily miss grading papers or having to deal with calling parents, but I do miss being in a room and teaching,” said Blitz. “I miss seeing the ‘light bulb’ go off.”
DeKalb County Enacts Substitute Hour Limits in Advance of ObamaCare According to the United States Department of Labor, there are 13,040 substitute teachers employed in the region encompassing Atlanta, Marietta, and Sandy Springs. For those subs who work in DeKalb County School System’s classrooms, the 2013-2014 school year has brought new— and for some, unwelcome—changes. Under the set of rules put in place August 12, the current 1,191 substitutes in DeKalb may no longer work more than 16 days a month, according to the county’s chief human resources Officer Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith. This will put them below the hours threshold that would merit insurance benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare). According to the act, groups employing more than 50 workers must offer insurance plans to those working an average of 30 or more hours per week starting in January 2015—or face a penalty. This aspect of the act was set to go into effect starting in 2014, but was delayed to, “provide time [for employers] to adapt health coverage and reporting systems,” according to a July statement from the US Department of Treasury. Despite the delay in penalizing companies for noncompliance, students in DeKalb may feel repercussions from the act. “I think there is a lot of misinformation in terms of the implementation of the actual act, or law as it will become,” said Ward-Smith. “The state has still not provided us with any guidance in terms of which plan we have to offer, if and when we determine part-time employees who are eligible [for insurance]. We know that the plan will be different from what we have to offer full-time employees, but there is so much uncertainty that DeKalb is just being safe in that substitutes are limited to 29 hours [a week] or 16 days per month.” Although substitute teachers are already seeing the impact of the new changes—they must now sign a form before each job saying that they are aware of the limits and the fact that insurance will not be offered to them—students may be in the clear from any potential negative results for a few months.
by Mollie Simon In situations such as a teacher going on maternity leave, where long-term assignments (defined as lasting 10 days or more according to the county’s most recent substitute teacher newsletter) must be made, multiple individuals may now be needed to fill a single position. “My concern is not necessarily the subs, but in ensuring that the classrooms are covered; particularly in months in which there are 20-plus work days that teachers will work,” said Ward-Smith. While August was a short month, with only 15 teacher workdays, October and March exceed 20 days and only November, December, and May fall under the 16 day limit. These months may also coincide with times when large numbers of teachers must miss work. “When flu season hits, it doesn’t just hit kids. It hits teachers, teachers’ kids and families; so, there are times when there are ten people out, and it can be hard to get that many subs,” said assistant principal of attendance Gail Barnes, who processes substitute requests and checks that all jobs are filled in the mornings. In addition to simply having shorter months in terms of workdays, the beginning of the school year usually has fewer teacher absences to report. According to Chamblee bookkeeper Errol Simon, who checks subs in and out each day, there were only about two subs needed on average per day for August. Although students have not seen the changes to the system at play yet, the substitutes themselves have felt the impact. “A lot of them [substitutes] don’t like the hours being cut as some of them use this as a full time job, and they are able to go to different schools every day,” said Simon. The issue for some subs is not necessarily being blocked from an offer of insurance, but rather wishing they could still elect to work an unlimited number of days if positions are available. “It [the change] was not very professionally done,” said a Substitute A, who wished to remain anonymous and only became aware of the new limits after the school year had begun. “If you make this kind of major change, it should
be told to substitute teachers more clearly.” DeKalb is not the only school system facing difficult decisions in terms of the Affordable Care Act. Based on an August article in Reuters, Fort Wane Community Schools in Indiana has made hour cuts that will save them an estimated $10 million in potential health insurance annually. Penn Manor School District in Pennsylvania has also taken measures but in a different way—contracting their sub positions out to a third party company. Had Substitute A been given more forewarning, he would have made different employment choices at the beginning of the year, such as working for Kelly Services— the largest employer of substitute teachers nationwide, according to their website. Notably, Kelly Services also states that they offer their employees benefits, including optional insurance. Currently, DeKalb hires its subs directly and allows them to search for available positions through a system called SubFinder. Despite the work limits, DeKalb is still taking on new subs. “We are actually going to complete a huge mail out, where, for any retired teachers from the last four or five years, we are going to simplify the application process and invite them back to sub,” said Ward-Smith. “This is one strategy we are using to increase our sub base; and, they are retired teachers, so we know they are quality personnel.” In terms of why the county is not allowing subs to cross the hour threshold that would merit benefits, it comes largely down to the fluctuation of the system. “If I am required to offer you benefits in January, and, for instance, in February you only work for three days as a sub, then once you pick up those benefits, you have to keep them the rest of the year,” said Ward-Smith. “Teachers only work 185 days [compared to the maximum of 160 per sub], so if someone wants to be there every day to sub, then they need to apply to be a teacher.” Coninued on page 4
On the Inside: Cafeteria price changes felt by students Page 2
Lacrosse: The final sports frontier? Page 5
Abortion debate from a student perspective Page 8
The story of Chamblee’s annex Page 10
Meet Chamblee’s newest staff members Page 11
News 2 Sports 5 Opinion 7 Features 10
V 87, I News Students Are Not the Only Ones With Class Changes olume
At the beginning of every new school year at Chamblee, a handful of students go through a schedule change or two. Or three. Students are prepared for potential schedule changes and are usually aware of how to go about adjusting their schedule or taking care of a problem with it. However, this year, students are not the only ones who have had a last minute change of plans. A number of teachers have gotten assigned to teach new classes that they did not teach the previous year at Chamblee. Most teachers were notified in the nick of time before the school year, but some were even notified after. The reason more teachers have had their schedules changed this year compared to previous years is the influx of new underclassmen that have come with the promises of the new building. Class sizes have increased dramatically as the years have gone by, forcing teachers
by Sarah Magee to either switch subjects they teach or take cepted a position as assistant principal of on more than one. attendance, so Wesley Graham, former Jeremy Karassik, who in the past has senior economics and freshman civics and taught civics, geography, Advanced Place- geography teacher, took her place as the AP ment psychology, and United States history, world history teacher. now teaches senior economics. “With AP world history being a college“The Friday before school started at five level class, it is much more demanding for in the afternoon, I got a call,” said Karassik. both the students and teachers,” said Gra“They [the administration] told me they ham. “But I do like teaching it the best. It is needed me to teach two economics classes more to my interest level, and the maturity in addition to my three civics classes.” level of the students is higher.” Chloe Kasper, who has recently moved Besides the changes in the sophomore here from Tennessee to teach economics, is world history teachers at Chamblee, there not able to yet because she has her econom- have also been teacher changes for psycholics certification in Tennessee, not Georgia. ogy classes. Karassik is used to teaching multiple “We had too many sophomores and not subjects at a time (one year he taught three enough world history teachers,” said an civics and geography classes, and two AP Adavnced Placement psychology teacher psychology classes), but this is the first year Kurt Koeplin, who now teaches one period he has had a course change so last minute. of accelerated world history. Former Advanced Placement world Koeplin has taught world history before, history teacher Gail Barnes recently ac- so the subject is “not completely naked”
to him. “I do love teaching AP psychology the most,” said Koeplin. “I prefer interaction with older students, especially seniors, because I am a senior-class sponsor. That’s not to say I’m not having fun with world history though. All these old history stories are coming back to me now and the kids seem great as well.” Carrie Dickey now teaches the general psychology classes that Koeplin had to give up when he added a world history class to his schedule. This is Dickey’s first time teaching psychology, but she says it is natural for her to teach because it has a relationship with human growth and development, which she is used to teaching in her early childhood education classes.
Soaring Food Prices Strain Students’ Wallets by Emani Jones
ally buy soda a few times a week, and to think that the price has changed on something so small is ridiculous to me,” said senior Katlin Sosebee. Other changes in food prices have crept up on students as well. An ice cream cup, for instance, cost fifty cents last year, but this year, an ice cream cup is sixty cents. Students who are accustomed to last year’s prices are taken aback by the sudden increase when they go to the snack stand in the cafeteria, and photo by Emani Jones discover that they are short on cash. Snacks in the vending machines as well Lately, the deal on lunches and snacks as meals in the cafeteria have been priced has proved to students to be extremely higher this year than they were last year. one-sided. So far, there is no difference in While the price of lunch has been raised by what students at Chamblee see in terms of fifteen cents, the prices of drinks and snacks the selection in the vending machines or have risen as well. purchase in the cafeteria. At first glance, the difference is not “The thing that really bugs me is that significant. It is easy to overlook an added they [vending machine providers and the 15 cents for lunch, or an extra quarter a cafeteria] are not giving us anything that week for water. In the long run, however, we haven’t had last year—in fact I think the changes become quite evident. there may actually be less food choices than Students who pay full price for lunch can before,” said senior Alexis Creagh. make a quick calculation and find that they Contemplating the extra money spent will spend at least $27.60 more on food than on food has irritated some students, yet they did last year. This increase only takes others feel as if the pricing changes are not into account money spent on one lunch each day of the week for the entire school year. Visits to the vending machine for an afternoon snack are also a more costly venture than they were last year. While the price of a select few snacks has fallen by a few cents, other prices, such as the ones on drinks, have risen by as much as 25 percent, and students are agitated by the change. “I don’t think it is fair, and they should bring back the old prices, because a lot of kids can’t afford that change since they struggle to pay for other things too, like school dues,” said senior Meia Francis. Considering the popularity of snacks such as Cheetos, the five percent price drop appears to be a privilege. Students who pay for lunch, however, make up for the small Cheetos price change by paying a 7.5 percent ($0.15) increase. “I go to the vending machine about two or three times a week, and I feel like they make enough money off of the vending machine, so they shouldn’t raise prices,” said senior Sabrina Redfearn. Furthermore, students who prefer to purchase water rather than bring a Thermos every day will pay $73.60 more for food than they did last year, based on a $0.40 increase each day. The idea that simply purchasing a water bottle and a lunch every day can garner such a hefty price in one year is astounding. “I don’t buy lunch at school, but I usu-
necessarily something to be concerned with. “I went to a private school [before coming to Chamblee] and pricing there was not a problem, because they did not serve lunch, but I still think that the lunch price change is fair, because it is only a small difference each day-- the fifteen cents is not that big of a deal,” said sophomore Nikhil Nargundkar. Students are also wondering why the prices escalated in the first place. “It’s kind of weird to me because they [Chamblee] are government funded, but I hope the extra money is going into buying us more food,” said Nargundkar. As it turns out, the purpose of the extra money that students are spending on food is not to improve the quality of the food or produce more food for students, but it is to fund bringing the food into the school. “Food prices have gone up all over the world, so it affects us too. It’s not just Chamblee or DeKalb County that’s suffering,” said Chamblee lunch manager John Townsend. “It costs us more than an extra twenty-five cents a case to bring food into the school, so really, if you think about it, we are doing the kids a favor, because we are barely making it in terms of paying for the food.” Considering the additional costs to
bring food to Chamblee, students are fortunate that the price was not so drastic as to increase by a couple of dollars per meal, which would better fund purchasing food for the school. “It’s [the price of lunch] not a drastic change. Nothing has changed the fact that students have to eat either, and it’s only fifteen cents extra. The school is not making a profit off of its students, and besides, where else can you eat a nutritious meal for $2.15? You can’t beat it,” said Townsend. Prices of snacks at the vending machine have also gone up, but since they are not affiliated with DeKalb County food suppliers, their price increase is unrelated to what students pay for lunch. Vending machine companies are most likely facing the same problem as DeKalb County in terms of raised international food prices. “We serve healthy food every day. There are fruits and vegetables, but if students don’t want to pay the extra money, they don’t have to. They still have the option of packing a lunch,” said Townsend. “One thing hasn’t changed though—you’ve got to eat.”
V 87, I 1 News Druid Hills Cluster Bringing Innovations to Public Schooling Page 3
On August 13, 1,130 ballots were counted in the vote for the approval of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster. The proposal won with 92 percent in support. The vote only needed 60 percent in favor to pass. The proposal was for Druid Hills High School and all of its feeder schools to seek their own board, which would hire itsown administrators and oversee the cluster. These schools would almost make their own school system within DeKalb County. The cluster will pay their own faculty, who may have better chances at receiving higher salaries. This proposal affects Druid Hills High, one middle school: Druid Hills Middle, and five elementary schools: McLendon, Laurel Ridge, Briar Vista, Fernbank, and Avondale. The overwhelming support came after DeKalb County has been put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and School, has had four different superintendents in less than ten years, and has had Governor Nathan Deal step in to hire new board members. This new charter idea allows for Druid Hills and feeder schools to make their own curriculums that follow one another. The lead organizer, Matthew Lewis, who has a junior at Druid Hills High School, thinks that the new charter will change the learning environment.
by Aurora Blumberg “Our ability to plan our own curriculum from K-12, instead of having a different one for elementary, middle and high school,” said Lewis. “Students will have the same learning pathways and curriculum the whole time. “ While the vote had 92 percent approval, the numbers show that only 20 percent of eligible voters participated according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Eligiable constituents included parents who had a student who was in one of the schools or teachers working at one of the schools included. On the day of the vote, a Georgia State University professor, Dr. Henry Carey, went to the polling location and wrote a scathing op-ed for the Atlanta Journal Constitution on how the supporters were the people volunteering to work at the polling location. His view was that people running the vote were in favor its passage and not well educated on how the system worked. “In all the elections that I have observed around the world, in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Pakistan, Romania and the Philippines, I have never seen such a sham election within a polling area,” wrote Carey. This new charter idea is coming just as Chamblee’s five year charter is set to expire on June 20, 2014. During this school year, Chamblee’s Governance Council and parents
will have to approve a new charter, and the Druid Hills Cluster Charter could change the way parents at Chamblee want the school to be run. “If the Druid Hills charter works really well, I think we should use some of their new structure, but I don’t want to have exactly what they have. I think it’s too rogue for it to work,” said a Chamblee parent, who wanted to remain anonymous. Advanced Placement United States history teacher and member of the Chamblee Governance Council, Steve Rubino, sees the autonomy idea as having both positive and negative aspects. “[As a teacher] I would vote no, but as a parent I would vote yes. I don’t know there are guarantees like you have with a larger system for the teacher,” said Rubino. “You have more people closer to the money, which just always seems to cause corruption. I’m not totally convinced this total autonomy charter is the right way to go around things. The laws are only as good as the people who wield them.” Lewis thinks however that this is a good system, and others should follow suit. “I think we are implementing a new system that is more responsive to students and teachers,” said Lewis. “We are trying to preserve the county.”
Students Prepare for the SAT For many high schoolers, the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a huge cause of stress. Students’ scores on the exam help determine whether or not they are accepted into the college of their choice. Because of the extreme competitive nature of many colleges, there is a lot of pressure on high schoolers to do well on the SAT. This particularly worries juniors, who are usually the ones who take the exam. There are three sections: critical reading, which includes sentence completions, math, and multiple choice writing. On the SAT, there is also an essay that is twenty-five minutes, unlike the PSAT [which has no essay section]. Each section has a maximum
score of 800, and the maximum score on the essay is a twelve. Senior students who have already taken the test and were happy with their scores and SAT prep teachers have advice to give those preparing for the exam. “I memorized five SAT words every day, and I did well,” said senior and Simon Scholar Liza Luna. “On top of the five words, I memorized five math techniques [from an SAT prep book] every day.” English SAT prep is not the only class offered for students looking to improve their chances of getting a higher score. There is also math SAT prep, taught by Judith Landers. “It’s not always about doing
by Megan Carey the math; it’s about using strategies to eliminate answer choices,” said Landers. “One strategy is called working with the answers, and that’s when you test each answer in the problem. Another strategy is plugging in a number with a given expression or equation, where you pick a simple number and test it in the formula.” Teachers suggest that students focus on learning strategies of good test-taking skills because the SAT has similar characteristics each year and sometimes even repeats questions. “I firmly believe that ETS [Educational Testing Service], that’s the people who make the test, do not reinvent the wheel,” said Macon-Gee. “They just go back
into their archives. I’ve had students say ‘you won’t believe it, the same sentence completions we were working on a few weeks ago were on the test!’” Learning the basic format of the exam has also proven to be helpful, as the organization also tends to remain the same. “As I understand it, the answers on the SAT are written in numerical order from smallest to largest and the questions go easy to hard,” said Landers. “You don’t want to skip a question that you really can do.” Just like the formatting of the exam, grading guidelines never really change; they keep the same general requirements from year to year. If you answer a question but get it wrong, more points are taken off than if you had left it blank and unanswered, in which case nothing is lost. Macon-Gee also said to know where your ‘assets and limitations’ are, meaning to work on what you are worst at. “It’s the idea of practice, practice, practice. If I wanted to try out for the tennis team,
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photo by Megan Carey
I certainly should be practicing, practicing, practicing. The same thing applies for any team or any test,” said Macon-Gee. To practice, Landers suggests doing the problem of the day on collegeboard.org. Macon-Gee also gives out a ‘word of the day’ every morning and has it defined during the morning announcements. Students can expand their vocabulary outside of school as well though. “Just read anything-- newspaper articles or stories,” suggested senior Alvin Franklin. When taking the math section, it might help to create a visual. “Always draw a picture when you have a word problem. It doesn’t have to be to scale,” said Landers. Not everyone needs to worry about getting a 2400, which is a perfect score, on the SAT. Students just have to decide what score they want to be their goal and aim for that. “When my students ask me what’s a good SAT score, I say it’s whatever score that your number one or number two school is asking for,” said Macon-Gee.
The Blue and Gold wants to hear from you! Do you have the inside scoop on an interesting event or activity that a Chamblee student is taking part in? If so, please stop by trailer T4A!
Volume 87, Issue 1
Back-to-School Ad Stirs Unwarranted Controversy Back-to-school advertisements serve as a figurative alarm clock, waking us up from the haze of a summer dream to face the reality of another school year fast approaching. Retail chains start advertising their deals as early as July to capture the interest of an anticipated flood of parents and children ransacking store shelves come August and September. These ads are usually not given a second thought, but this was not the case for one this year. Early in August, a particular commercial for retail giant JCPenney came under fire after consumers argued that it promoted bullying. It was one in a series for JCPenney’s “First Day Look” campaign for the new school year. What bothered some parents was one part of the commercial in which a boy is shown sitting alone at a lunch table, presumably because his clothes were not “cool” enough for his friends. The ad also featured a voiceover from a mom talking about her children’s new clothes saying,
by Liya Mammo “I’ve been told this stuff can make or break sive behavior in which someone intentionyour entire year.” ally and repeatedly causes another person Critics who have spoken out against the injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the ad claim it was sending the wrong message form of physical contact, words, or more to children, hinting that wearing the wrong subtle actions.” kind of clothes is a reason to get bullied. Clichéd bullying-related stories that are Since the ignition of the controversy featured in many TV shows and movies surrounding the commercial, upset consum- depicting high school have been consistent ers have taken to voicing their opinions on in their elements. Typically, we do not hear JCPenney’s Facebook wall. about a teenager tragically committing “My objection to the commercial is that suicide because they were physically bulthey stress that the only thing that matters lied by their peers. We hear about students on the first day is what you wear and how who suffer because they have been isolated, you look,” wrote Polly Shaw on JCPenney’s ridiculed, or “innocently” made fun of. wall. “It could also set up a bully situation Despite the assertions of some, there was where girls who may not have the best fash- no intent of malice or insensitivity with this ions cannot be seen as popular or successful commercial. It was simply a commercial in the social aspect of school.” that–like any other–was designed to help The controversy reignites the question draw in customers during one of the most of what should be considered bullying and crucial seasons for clothing stores. what types of bullying are most prevalent In a real-life scenario, a child would nowadays. not be abandoned or isolated by their peers The American Psychological Associa- solely because of his or her wardrobe. tion defines bullying as “a form of aggres- Clothes are important to kids because they
serve as a way to be expressive and reflect what traits and qualities exist on the inside. “We’re committed to carrying a broad range of styles that let kids express their individuality and make a positive first impression. Our marketing is meant to inspire kids to create and reveal their look as they head back to school this season,” said a spokesperson when replying to a Facebook comment. In response to claims and concerns written on Facebook, JCPenney has also responded by saying, “Please know that our intent was never to trivialize or promote bullying. We certainly understand the seriousness and sensitivity around the issue, which is why we have been a strong supporter of anti-bullying efforts.” These efforts include supporting organizations such as STOMP Out Bullying and the Crisis Text Line, both of which strive to reduce bullying across communities and provide a support system for those who need it.
County Enacts Substitute Hour Limits (Continued From Page 1) For substitutes who cannot access benWhen October and other longer months called on if a sub position goes unfilled, and don’t want to have positions that are unefits through their respective employers, come to pass and the substitute system is put the more undesirable task may be covering covered, but it is important that individuals the Affordable Care Act will offer a new to the test, the second line of defense for for a teacher who is running late to school. communicate with the central office and “Health Insurance Marketplace” beginning filling positions may be classroom teach- In this second situation, there is no substitute prepare.” As it turns out, the purpose of the extra ers, money we$15 are doing thethe kids a favor because we are barely so much,” saidOn Scialo. in 2014. whothat are paid to cover positions code associated withmaking the job, sothem the teachers the plus side of the changes, Wardstudents are spending on food is not to improve the quality it in terms of paying for the food.” continued on page According to the US Department of during their planning periods if necessary. are not compensated for their time. Smith3has seen increased efficiency in of the food produceServices, more food1,698,881 for students, but“Sometimes it is to though food is anthose international Health andorHuman itEven [filling in] raised can be an prices For positionsconfor which subs are terms of teacher requests for subs, where fund bringing the food into the school. cern as of late, some students are still not convinced Georgians who are currently uninsured imposition because teachers have a lot to requested in advance,that more time will be bookkeepers are now submitting the papers pricestohave so it af-the this change in pricing. will“Food be eligible nowgone take up partallinover this the op-world, do during day,justifies and it isthehard to get it required to assess whether the hour limits sooner, allowing for more appropriate indifects us, too. It’s not just Chamblee or Dekalb County that’s “They [Dekalb County food create suppliers] get seasonal, tion—though this number does not tell the all done,” said science department co-chair anycan problems. viduals with specific qualifications to fill the suffering,” said Chamblee lunch manager John Townsand. regional goods from local farms or vendors and story of wages that may be impacted by cut Karen Porter-Davis. “We haven’tsupport had anyour issues yet, but this required posts. “It costs us other more unintended than an extraconsequences twenty-five cents aPorter-Davis case to community without added price of shipping. don’t hours and is also quick to notethe though is just going to They require consistent commubring food into the school, so really, if you think about it, really have to get food from overseas since it is hurting of the act. that there are teachers who request to be nication,” said Ward-Smith. “We certainly
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Sports Chamblee Anything But “Lax”on Lacrosse
Volume 87, Issue 1
by Alex Bragan
As the number of young males participating in football continues to drop due to extensive evidence of prolonged negative effects on the body, America looks to fill its addiction to contact by another means: lacrosse. According to United States Lacrosse, the sport’s governing body, over the last decade, lacrosse has seen a 218.1 percent spike in youth participation (compared to a 10.5 percent drop in football), making it the fastest growing sport in America. From 2010 to 2011 alone, the sport added almost 30,000 new players. Invented by Native Americans, lacrosse is often referred to as “North America’s First Sport,” a moniker lacrosse fans love. “The fastest game on two feet,” is an incredibly catchy and marketable slogan that numerous lacrosse organizations across the country use to lure in young athletes. So why is lacrosse not up there with baseball, basketball, and football? Experts on the sport such as lacrosse
historian Donald Fisher say the only reason the sport is not already extremely popular is that it was plagued by limited access to equipment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “In the late nineteenth century, manufacturers such as Albert Spalding provided America with a large supply of baseball bats, balls, and gloves,” Fisher said in an interview with The Atlantic. “Conversely, virtually every American lacrosse player’s wooden stick was produced by Mohawk Indian craftsmen from the St. Regis Reserve near Cornwall, Ontario.” Fisher says the craftsmen simply could not produce the quantity required to reach a huge audience. He also says that many of the sport’s earliest devotees were steadfastly committed to keeping the sport amateur. The culture surrounding professional sports, however, has changed drastically over the past quarter century, and efforts are already being made to bring lacrosse to masses; two professional
leagues already exist. Physical education department chair Bob Eskew believes that Chamblee is ready for a lacrosse team. He is currently in the process of trying to start a program. “It’s a sport that a lot of people are playing,” said Eskew. “I think it would be very popular [at Chamblee].” There are currently four schools in DeKalb that field boys lacrosse teams: Druid Hills, Dunwoody, MLK, and Southwest DeKalb, all of which (except for Druid Hills) have girls programs as well. Lakeside has a lacrosse club that is not sponsored by the county, allowing students from other schools to play on the team. Eskew is unsure yet whether or not the team would be county sponsored, but is making every effort to earn sponsorship. Senior Ben Brockman, who played lacrosse last year at Lakeside, has been working to spread awareness of the possible program. “I love lacrosse,” said Brockman, who
was starting defender. “It’s the fastest growing sport in America for a reason. It has everything we love.” Brockman expects that Chamblee could get enough players for a team. The sport requires ten players on the field, and an average bench size is about eight or nine. “I definitely think there is a buzz surrounding the possibility of a program,” said Brockman. “I think it’s that sort of hype that will get people to come and see what it’s all about.” Sophomore Katharine Green and junior Sara Lozano both expressed interest in a lacrosse team. “I would definitely come to games,” said Green. “It’d be something new.” Lozano felt similarly. “Playing a sport seems to be an important part of the high school experience,” said Lozano. “And, I think that it [lacrosse] is something that our boys would like to play.”
Bulldogs Bite their Way through Non-region Competition by Nelson Raphael Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at that time again. It is time for the start of high school football. This year Chamblee [3-1 at Blue and Gold press deadline] hopes to continue the trend of success that it has had under head coach Allen Johnson, who teaches Advanced Placement computer science teacher. It has been a shaky start with their 45-0 defeat at Greater Atlanta Christian School on September 13, which has been the toughest opponent thus far. After the GAC defeat, the players did not lose faith. “I still felt confident about our chances,” said Cornelius Gyamfi, junior outside linebacker and running back. “Our defense’s motto is to bend, but not break.” The game progressed and things started to go downhill for the Bulldogs, as the scoring gap widened. Gyamfi did feel there was one moment when the team could have scored. “It was fourth and goal at the two-yard line in the fourth quarter, and we fumbled,” said Gyamfi. Despite going through their first loss, the team plans to come back better than ever and face of against the South Atlanta Hornets “We will be back and more disciplined and focused than ever,” said Gyamfi. “This is our first taste of defeat as a team, and it doesn’t sit well in my soul; we will be back.” In their previous game on September 6, the Bulldogs faced off against the Druid Hills Red Devils, where they won with a score of 26-16. It was a great game, but it also happened to be one of the team’s first serious injuries, with John-Henry Carey, the senior kicker and quarterback, receiving a staggering concussion. “After getting hit, I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know what day it was, and I couldn’t remember the number the doctor wanted me to remember,” said Carey. “It was a busted play, but it was not the offensive line’s fault; it was partially my own.” The coaches take the health and physical condition of their players very seriously. “For an overall perfor-
mance grade I would give it a 90 percent,” said Theodore Carter, assistant football coach. “I hated to see John-Henry’s con-
and it was a great performance that ended with a win of 28-0. This was a strong way to start the season,
Junior Courtland Rogers returning a kickoff during the Chamblee vs. Greater Atlanta Christian School game
cussion happen because I have a bigger concern about how that will affect him in the classroom.” The Bulldogs had their season opener against Dunwoody Wildcats on August 30th,
photo by Chris Smith
especially for student-athletes looking to become top high school prospects. “We started out slow, and the first game is usually learning ways about how you are supposed to make adjustments,” said
Johnson. “It took us a while to get going since we did not score our first touchdown until second quarter, but after we made some adjustments we were fine.” New players got their chance to show their talents to the coaches, even though for some of them that was already anticipated. “We got a new player, one of our coach’s sons, Xzavier Shugars (a junior running back and free safety); his performance was outstanding, and it wasn’t a surprise,” said Johnson. “I knew what kind of kid he was.” Shugars, who is a very domineering athlete on the field, strived to do his best from the very beginning. “I want to keep my goals high, so I can keep my focus in the right place,” said Xzavier Shugars. “My goals going into that game were to have three touchdowns and two interceptions, so I fell kind of short.” The passion that they play the game with always shows how much pride they take in what they do. “I love it, and it is all I think about; I wake up thinking about football,” said Shugars. “On game day, it is just a different feeling.”
Sports Atlanta Sports Yearn for Local Support
by Justin Henderson Falcons were the only “I was born in Dayton, Ohio, but we team in the top half of immediately moved to Neenah, Wisconsin,” their respective league, said United States history teacher Jennifer ranking 11th out of 32 Tinnell. “In that area you’re a Cheesehead teams. [Green Bay Packer fan]. Since I moved here A recent study con- [over 20 years ago] the Falcons haven’t ducted at Emory Univer- given me much to be supportive of.” sity determined that the Some fans, however, are born and raised Atlanta Falcons have the in Georgia, yet still claim allegiance to other second least loyal fans in teams from all over the nation. the NFL, only ahead of “My favorite teams are the Baltimore the Oakland Raiders. A Ravens, Los Angeles Clippers, New York similar study at Emory Yankees, and Ohio State Buckeyes,” said sealso concluded that the nior Justin Milton. “It’s not that I don’t like Hawks had the second them [Atlanta Pro sports teams], but I don’t least loyal fans in their like their fans. They’re overconfident.” photo by Justin Henderson league as well. If Milton were to drive to see all of his Atlanta has a reputation of being one of The lack of support teams play and come back, he would log the worst sports cities in America. Profes- for professional sports in Atlanta can be at- over 8,600 miles. However, Milton’s teams sional sports teams get much less support in tributed to three factors: transplants, lack of also had two championships in the last five Atlanta than they would in other cities, as success, and the Southeastern Conference. years. The 2008 Yankees and 2012 Ravens evidenced by the Winnipeg Jets, who a seaOver the last few decades, businesses both won titles. son after leaving Atlanta, saw a 13 percent have moved to Atlanta for multiple reasons. Forbes.com ranks Atlanta as the second increase in average attendance according “Atlanta, and Georgia as a whole, has most miserable sports city in the nation, only to ESPN.com. been inviting to companies for the past 30 behind Seattle. This takes into account not Between the three professional sports years,” said Advanced Placement human only long periods of consistent losing, but teams that call the city home today, the geography teacher Brian Ely. “There’s a also losses in critical games. average stadium is only 81 percent filled friendly tax system, no labor unions, and Atlanta sports teams have played a total according to cbssports.com. air conditioning.” of 159 seasons. Of those, only the 1995 According to ESPN, in the 2012-13 These factors have caused companies Braves have captured a championship. The season, the Atlanta Hawks were ranked to bring jobs from as far as the northeast Atlanta Falcons have only played in one 23rd out of 30 teams in the NBA in average and midwest down to Atlanta. When people Super Bowl in 1998. The Hawks have yet attendance in the NBA. In 2013 the Atlanta move from their hometowns to Atlanta, they to reach the NBA Finals since relocating to Braves were ranked 16th of 30 teams in maintain their allegiances to their hometown Atlanta in 1968. the MLB in the same statistic. The Atlanta teams. Some fans, such as senior Jerrid Brewer,
Volume 87, Issue 1
have continued to support the teams through their perennial failures. “I stick with my teams,” said Brewer. “They [people who switch teams] aren’t real fans.” Professional sports in Atlanta perhaps take their biggest hit from college sports with the University of Georgia, Auburn, Clemson, the University of South Carolina, and several other college football powerhouse schools within five hours of the city, Seven of the top 25 most loyal college football fanbases, according to ticketcity. com, are within five hours. This statistic helps explain the Falcons and Hawks’ rankings. It is not that residents of Atlanta are not loyal to their teams, but that their teams are not located in Atlanta or Georgia. There seems to be one solution to the lack of local support that professional teams in Atlanta get: winning. Over the last five years, as the Falcons have posted five consecutive wining seasons, they have leapt from 25th in attendance to 16th according to ESPN.com. A championship from any one of the Atlanta pro teams would benefit all of them. Fans would have a renewed sense of belief in their teams or start to root for the team where they live. Regardless, it will take fair weather to attract fair-weather fans.
Teams are like a big group of coworkers: you have the whiners, the overachievers, the underachievers, and the bosses. Just like in an office, you need every part in order to be working properly and efficiently. Certain roles are achieved by each individual part. The whiners help you focus on something other than yourself, providing a much-needed distraction when it comes to sore muscles or injuries. The overachievers serve to motivate you into pushing yourself beyond what you had previously believed to be possible. Underachievers keep you from overtraining and help in preventing you from setting unachievable goals for yourself. The bosses, or coaches, are there to guide you, look out for your best interests, and make sure all parts of the operation (or
by Maddy Wetterhall in this case, team) are working properly. judge where they should be during comThe absence of one part of the team can petition. The teams that have their runners negatively affect the rest of it. In soccer, running closest together are the teams that missing the starting goalie may mean los- often win, thus proving that the old saying ing the playoff game. In swimming, if the “teamwork makes the dream work” holds underachiever skips a meet, the overachiev- some truth. ers may have a difficult time finding comic A push-pull factor is at play. relief in between events to help them relax. It is as if a group of athletes are conThat being said, attendance is impera- nected by an invisible rope: one, at the tive. No matter how big or small your role front, is leading the pack and pulling the is on a team, it is still a vital position that others with him. When he tires, he drops you must fill. back to let his teammate take the front end Some argue that sports such as cross- of the rope and lead. Sharing responsibility country running are not team sports, but I of being the pacer takes away some of the would argue differently. stress associated with such an imperative In cross country, you often see teams position and helps an athlete perform better. running together, with different athletes “Invisible ropes” that tie a team together leading at different points in the race. The exist in other sports as well. group acts as a unit, with members relying In swimming, it may stretch across on each other to help set the pace and to several lanes or even heats. In gymnastics,
seeing a teammate’s score on the board helps you to push yourself into matching or surpassing it in a certain event. In wrestling, the contestant on the mat is tied to his teammate on the side, whose encouragement and keen eye in spotting the opponent’s weaknesses help to reinvigorate him and lead to an eventual pin. Although it may be called an individual sport, it is arguable that it really is a team sport. Individuals make up teams just as coworkers make up successful businesses. Even if you have individual goals, those goals often times affect the entire team and, in most cases, are achieved through a collaborative effort. As the law of the jungle states, “the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
Game Over: College Football is Dead The life you once knew as a college football fan is slowly coming to an end. This year will be the final year of the Bowl Championship Series which was born in 1998. The dream was supposed to solve the great dilemma of having the two best programs meet at the end of their regular season. We tried to set goals for the BCS by having preseason polls that ranked teams merely on our own crystal ball predictions. That didn’t turn out so well. We thought using computers with a complex mathematical formula would eliminate our errors, but we all know that computers are only as smart as the people that make them. The first year of the BCS saw a one loss Kansas State get snubbed in favored of #4 Ohio State playing a two loss Florida team that was ranked eighth at the time. During the 2000-2001 football season, the BCS snubbed not one, but two teams (Miami and Washington) for a chance to play in the big game. The BCS tried to pacify its fans and critics by implementing the “quality win” bonus to its equation, but this proved to be nothing but snake oil for many fans.
by Todd Spearman My own alma mater, Auburn University, structed, colleges and coaches benefit the was snubbed in one of the biggest BCS most. The devil himself, Nick Saban, will controversies ever during the 2004 season make nearly $45 million over eight years as an undefeated SEC team. The University in base salary not including speaking enof Southern California destroyed Oklahoma gagements, and having people name their in the championship game to the tune of 55- offspring after him. Is it any wonder now 19. This was further complicated by the fact that more and more players are now biting that former USC running back, and Heisman the hand that feeds them? trophy winner, Reggie Bush, was ineligible During the last ten years, four out of the leaving the BCS champion vacated, and last ten Heisman winners (Cam Newton, without a true victor. Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and Johnny As the years passed during the BCS’s Manziel) have generated some kind of tenure, less prestigious NCAA programs controversy involving receiving benefits, or like TCU and Boise State were undefeated, money. The NCAA decided to drop direct but left without a seat at the table in favor of sales on jerseys after Jay Bilas from ESPN teams that would generate greater television shamed them into doing so. Yet, individuratings and revenue. These games became ally colleges can still profit. The irony is that less about getting it right than it did about A.J. Green, a former UGA wide receiver, finding ways to generate the most money. will never see a dime from sales of his jersey During the 2011-2012 season, the by UGA. Yet, he was suspended for selling NCAA’s total revenue was $705 million, the jersey off his back by the NCAA. most of which came from a right’s agreeThe NCAA even exploits athletes further ment with Turner and CBS Sports. Accord- not only in terms of selling merchandise, but ing to NCAA.org, 81% of this total revenue their likeness as well. If you bought a copy came from television and marketing. of NCAA 2014 from EA Sports for Xbox The way the system is currently con- 360, or PS3 you may want to keep it in its
plastic. Due to the lawsuit by former UCLA basketball player, Ed O’Bannon, this will be the last year EA Sports will be able to create a college football game under the NCAA name. It’s hard to suspend your belief that running around as a pixelated six foot tall white guy wearing a #2 Texas A&M jersey isn’t ego manic “Johnny Football” after all. A playoff system won’t fix everything, but I do believe it is better than hitting the reset button on the BCS. Football scholarships put thousands of men through college for free at the expense of exploiting them for a lifetime. “Keep on using me…until you use me up” was a song lyric by Bill Withers in 1972 from his hit “Use Me”. He was singing about a girl he loved, but was only using him to get what she wanted. Like the song, we want to believe that college sports is still this charming last bastion of goodness in the world, but we can’t stop loving it even though deep down we know it’s all wrong.
V 87, I 1 Editorials Safety Not Up to Standards During Construction olume
Blue and Gold Staff Editor-in-Chief Mollie Simon
News - Maddy Wetterhall Editorials - Solina Jean-Louis Features - Liya Mammo
Onna Biswas Aurora Blumberg Alex Bragan Morgan Brown Megan Carey Miriam Chisholm Kunal Goel Justin Henderson Emani Jones Sarah Magee Nelson Raphael Sierra Reese Dan Richardson Michelle Serrano Kobi Warner
Christopher Smith The Blue and Gold accepts and encourages all signed letters and other submissions but reserves the right to edit such submissions for size and content. The Blue and Gold exists to serve the needs of the Chamblee High School student body and therefore is a forum for free expression. The opinions and views expressed within the Blue and Gold do not necessarily reflect the views of the faculty and staff of Chamblee High School or DeKalb County. The views expressed in all signed articles represent the views of the author only. Likewise, all unsigned articles represent only the views of the staff and editorial board of the Blue and Gold and in no way reflect upon the views, opinions, or beliefs of Chamblee High School, its faculty, staff, or students or DeKalb County, or any agent or affiliation thereof. The Blue and Gold is a student publication of Chamblee High School 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. Chamblee, GA 30341
On August 20, Michael Brandon Hill entered the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition, despite the fact that the building keeps its front doors locked during the school day. At Chamblee, even basic security is currently hard to come by. The recent intruder alert has raised many questions among the students about how safe Chamblee is during the day when gates are open, doors are unlocked, and the instructional village is visible from major roads. “I feel safe like 50 percent of the time. Sometimes I feel like I am riding MARTA alone in the middle of the night,” said Student A, who wanted to remain anonymous. Some agree that it is hard to keep the campus safe when it is so large and fragmented. assistant principal Rick Blitz said that security has been tightened since the instructional village was first put into use. “We have teachers standing outside their doors whether they are in the building or outside, said Blitz. “The school also has one armed police officer and ours is Officer Davidson.” Davidson last worked at Stone Mountain High School before coming to Chamblee. He believes that the teachers, security team, and administrators are doing a worthy job. He also found the shooting quite hard to deal with.
by Aurora Blumberg “The shooting [at McNair] was shocking seeing [something] that bad could happen in DeKalb County. It put us on edge,” said Davidson. “I think the staff and teachers work together well. I give it an A.” The day of the McNair episode, the Instructional Village was evacuated into the building, and it was described as “pure chaos” by freshman Daeya Shuster, who was in a modular at the time. “They just threw everyone from the modulars into the cafeteria,” said Shuster. Blitz said that the Chamblee administrators did not make the decision to evacuate the Instructional Village. “The reason students were moved was because we were given a call from the county office to evacuate. It was the county office’s decision,” said Blitz. The concern about gathering everyone into one large room is the possibility of making students easy targets. If an intruder were looking to repeat what happened at McNair, forcing him or herself into the building, one would go for one of the first doors. At Chamblee, the first doors are to the cafeteria. Language arts teacher and Interact sponsor Jennifer Andriano said, “I feel very unsafe in the trailer park. Anyone could just punch
through these walls. A bullet can’t go through brick, but it could go through these thin [trailer] walls.” “We are all always hearing about how Blitz and Carter have to constantly redirect parents out of the trailer park, and make them sign in,” said Andriano, “That makes me nervous that anyone could just walk in. By also having only one armed officer, I think he should be outside instead of inside most of the time, because of how open we are out here.” Two years ago, when the school had breakins, including theft, it was called forced entry. If a person who just wanted an old laptop could come in with ease, then a person who had the intent of much worse could possibly accomplish his or her goal. The solutions to the lack of safety measures are minimal. The county does not have enough money to hire another officer, or to put in a system where students need to scan their student IDs to enter the building or trailer park, leaving the school with few options. This is the third year Chamblee has not had everyone in one building, and if the administration had real concerns, something would have changed. “I think the security at the school does a good job with what they are given, but they aren’t given much help,” said Student A.
I Can Learn If I am Not in School It was once stated in the DeKalb County Code of Conduct that “I cannot learn if I am not in school.” While students can obviously learn nonschool related things outside of school (how to drive, how to do a cartwheel, how to play a sport), they can also learn school-related materials outside of the traditional classroom setting. One program for nontraditional learning lies within a square of Valdosta University’s campus for a one-month period in June and July every summer. Georgia’s Governors Honors Program is a free four week residential program for Georgia’s gifted sophomores and juniors. This summer, I had the honor of attending to study German. The process began almost a year ago in September of 2012. After filling out an application and attending many interviews at the county and state level, I found out in March that I was accepted. I did not know what to expect from GHP. Everyone I had talked to said it was a “life changing experience” and that it would be “the best summer of your life.” Still, I had reservations: what could be so amazing about spending four weeks doing schoolwork in Valdosta, Georgia? I would soon find out, however, that they were right all along. To many people, “learning” means a boring classroom full of mostly uninterested students who would rather be anywhere but school. They think learning means textbooks full of words that students hate reading, long lectures, or science experiments that they do not even understand. The goal of GHP is to have learning be the exact opposite. Starting in September, students apply for their “major”, which is the subject that they excel and are interested in. It could be anything from physics, to theater, to design, and beyond. All majors have a final project that they work towards. To name a few, social studies majors put on an expo filled with research projects on anything ranging from “Buddhism and the American Dream” to “Abortion Around the World”. The music and vocal majors played vari-
by Solina Jean-Louis ous concerts throughout the program, and the technology majors put on a tech fair, displaying all of the amazing things they created during their time at GHP. Along with majors, students participate in minors for two hours Monday through Friday. Most students use minors to explore something they are interested in, but may never have gotten the chance to participate in, such as art, theater, agricultural science, and others. This summer, my minor was social studies. Unlike my major (German), which only had 15 people in it, the social studies minor had 80. Because there were so many of us, we took a different class every week. The learning experience was not like anything I had experienced before; the classes were mostly discussion based and it was interesting hearing everyone’s opinions. Various social studies classes ranged from “1968”, to “Serial Killers” to “Republican Party: Where are you Going?”. Needless to say, discussions could get pretty heated, but it was all for the sake of learning and broadening our educational experience. At this point, you may be thinking, “Why would I want to spend six hours a day leaning when I could be doing better things with my summer?” Along with the time spent in class, students are offered various seminars, ranging from leaning Japanese, to making friendship
bracelets, playing soccer, to singing along with Disney movies. These seminars are an excellent way to balance learning with fun activities. More than ten were offered each day, so there was a wide variety to choose from. Participating in seminars also helped to build a sense of community within the program. There were also various fitness activities offered, although I gave up on waking up at 5:30 in the morning just one week into the program. GHP is not just about learning, but about broadening your experiences. It is about learning how to be away from home, and finding who you are, and I can confidently say that I gained all of that and more from my time spent on the “Magic Square.” I would give anything to go back to GHP for just one more week. It was truly a time of my life that I will cherish forever. Although I cannot go back, I would love to see as many Chamblee students apply for GHP as possible. If you are a current sophomore or junior interested in GHP, talk to your counselor as soon as possible. GHP is not about how smart you are, but really about how passionate you are. Once you get to GHP, you will realize how amazing a feeling it is to be surrounded by 700 other kids who love something as much as you do.
V 87, I 1 Editorials Dress Code Limits Female Students’ Freedom of Expression
The Dress Code from a Female’s Point of View by Miriam Chisholm
The way that students dress is probably one of their greatest freedoms. Sometimes the easiest way to express themselves is through dress. As new fashion trends emerge and styles evolve, female students continue to raise the question of whether or not the school dress code is limiting this freedom. The Student Code of Conduct features pages of information on the student dress code. With so many rules included in the dress code, many teachers do not enforce it 100 percent of the time. This leaves many students, females especially, confused and weary of when they will be punished for dress that violates the dress code. Students are not the only ones affected when certain teachers do not enforce the dress code. Family and consumer sciences teacher Carrie Dickey said, “My thing is enforce it [the dress code]. Enforce it at all times. Don’t let some teachers such as myself be looked at as being strange when we enforce it.” The majority of students, when asked about the current dress code, believe that it is not necessary and that what students wear should be based on what their parents allow them to wear. “We should be able to wear what we want to wear, as long as we keep it in perspective, and it’s appropriate for school,” said an eleventh grade member of the Fashion Club. Although the DeKalb School of the Arts is known for promoting the artistic aspects of life as well as individuality, students there experience some of the same problems
with the dress code. “I think the dress code should be based on what our parents let us wear because nine times out of 10, our parents won’t want their little girl walking around in something inappropriate,” said a student from DeKalb School of the Arts. Students are not the only ones with thoughts about this topic. Assistant principal of discipline Rick Blitz said, “There would be too much variation. There has to be a consistent rule for everyone across the board.” When confronted for dress-code violations, many students feel as if the faculty and staff are out to get them, but some might say otherwise. “We are looking at a society where if you are revealing too much, the minds of our society say ‘oh you are opening yourself up to something that can be detrimental to you,’” said Dickey. Another argument against dress limitations by students is the double standard that can sometimes be noticed when violations are involved. “I think they [faculty and staff] should let girls wear short shorts because guys can wear them,” said sophomore Hannah Rosen. Most students think that administration turns a blind eye to the dress code violations of certain people, but this is not true. “We can only catch one student at a time. The speed limit on I-75 is 55 but everyone does between 60 and 70. When a cop catches you, you were speeding. Yes, others
were speeding, but they can only catch one person at a time,” said Blitz. Arguments made by faculty and staff about dress code are usually that certain attire can be distracting; but many students disagree with this idea. “I don’t think it’s a distraction because we’ve all seen a leg before,” said Rosen. Every day when students, females in particular, prepare to go to school, they are faced with the question of what to wear. During this process students must take into account that there is a dress code. Because of this, there are some do’s and don’ts of school attire. “Stiletto shoes are not appropriate in a hallway or outside because you could hurt your ankle. That shoe is a part of occasional attire,” said Dickey. Students see their peers almost every day, and most students have personal do’s and don’ts that can be helpful to their peers. “Girls shouldn’t have a lot of skin exposed, and when they do have skin exposed, it shouldn’t be tacky or inappropriate. Also, people need to take their body shape into account,” said a sophomore student. No matter what the dress code is, it is only here to help us in the long run. Assistant principal of attendance Gail Barnes said, “We are trying to get you ready for life in which you need to be dressed appropriately.”
Forty Years Removed, Abortion Debate Persists in Society by Kunal Goel
A recent Huffington Post study showed that over the past three years, over 54 abortion clinics have closed in 27 states (most of which are majority Republican) due to new state-passed, anti-abortion legislation. According to the article, new laws restricting abortions and slashing Planned Parenthood funding have made the efforts of women to get abortion services or parenthood help a “nightmare,” especially in states such as Texas and Arizona. The 1972 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion was just that: a decision. However, it was hardly a resolution, and the sensitive issue is still being debated and discussed by everyone from the members of the state governments in Texas and Arizona to the teachers and students of Chamblee High School. To be fair to the reader, I ought to state early on, that I am pro-life, except in the cases or rape, incest, or when the health of the mother and/or baby is endangered, which is a view that likely varies from the more liberal population of Chamblee. However, abortion is a multi-sided issue, and has many angles from which one can argue, including the economic, anatomical, and moral issues. Seniors who are taking economics with Carolyn Frasier were required to read Freakonomics over the summer. The book takes an unconventional view of the correlations and causations of economics, and finishes with a grand thesis that the drop in crime rates during the 1990s could be directly correlated to the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1972 (suggesting that had many families who had abortions were not prepared to raise kids, therefore making the kids much likely to resort to crime and poor decisions in life). “From an economic perspective, abortion decreases the production capacity of the future,” said Frasier. “However, there is always that Freakonomics opinion, that because of abortion many criminals have been kept off the streets.”
The anatomical angle of whether life starts at conception or at birth is one of the mostly hotly debated. Some argue that abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, not a baby, and that, medically speaking, fetuses are unable to feel pain. Others argue that from conception, unborn babies have the right to life, which must be protected. “From an anatomical perspective, at the moment of conception, something is growing, and is basically alive,” said anatomy teacher Leila Warren. “We learn in class how quickly things like the heart or fingernails start to grow. We see at the time of a miscarriage or abortion how much growth has taken place.”
The moral disagreement on abortion exists plainly in the names of the sides themselves: pro-life and pro-choice. Although both the economic and anatomical perspectives have their merits, no debate remains more sensitive and difficult than the moral aspect of abortion. In Georgia schools specifically, the issue of abortion is one that is off-limits. “As a Georgia counselor I can’t say much because I am only supposed to preach abstinence,” said a DeKalb County counselor . “If a student is talking to me about a relationship and mentions pregnancy, I have to stop the conversation, and she is no longer under my jurisdiction.” The moral disagreement on abortion exists plainly in the names of the sides themselves: pro-life and pro-choice. The former argues that no one has the right to end the potential for a life and that one should defend life that does not have the ability to defend itself. The latter suggests that a woman (or a couple) should have the right to control their own
bodies and to focus on the health and preparedness of their lives instead of that of an unborn baby. With all of these factors on the table (not to mention multiple factors that were not mentioned, such as religion, illegal abortions; and, the elephant in the room, the meaning and practice of sex) one can see why the issue is divisive. I, like most of my liberal friends at Chamblee, was solidly pro-choice (when I classified myself as such, I preferred the term pro-abortion, because I was not anti-life, rather anti- abortion). However, this changed when I found out that a close relative had decided to get an abortion years ago. The thought that there was another member of my family, who could have his or her own chance at an independent and free life I would never get to know changed me drastically. I came to the realization that pregnancy and the start of life is so rare and sacred, that it must be respected and guarded. No one has the right to take a life away, and everyone has the right to live, including one who cannot say so him or herself. The “realistic” argument, that most people who engage in recreational, unprotected sex are those unsuited to have kids, and are therefore more damaging to society than if the baby were not to be born, is valid. However, I find abortion a cruel, almost violent escape from this debacle. Rather than punish an unborn baby that will never get the chance to live out whatever potential it may have had, we should instead rectify the attitude towards sex and pregnancy, and begin to emphasize the use of contraceptives (all those interviewed agreed that abortion is not a form of contraceptive) among our younger population. However, predicting the abortion debate right now is exceedingly difficult, and the issue remains as divisive as ever.
Leadership Qualities Prepare the Student College applications have always been not only the highlight of a high school student’s life, but also the testing point. Along with time consuming essays, teenagers now have to deal with incorporating acts of volunteering and, even more puzzling, leadership qualities. While tutoring services can teach students how to write better essays, tutors can never teach how to become a leader. When colleges ask for leadership qualities in a student, they do not want a student who plays it safe and stays inside their school clubs as if that were their comfort zone. According to Big Future, a program by the College Board, colleges love to see students who take risks in their community and get initiatives done. 21st Century Leaders is a perfect example of an organi-
by Kobi Warner zation giving kids opportunities to become leaders in their communities. Established in 1991, 21st Century Leaders conducts annual overnight summer programs that introduce high school students to college experiences. Of course, in order for a teenager to get this opportunity, they have to display signs of potential leaders with an application and during interviews with 21st Century Leaders alumni. This organization takes the definition of a leader and gives it an update. They teach teenagers that a leader is not just someone who takes control over their peers and tells them what to do. They teach that a leader has to balance quality over quantity, by listening to opinions, establishing ideas, and in the long run, doing what is best for the com-
munity and not just themselves. Thanks to the 21st Century Leaders organization, students can rest assured that it is not completely impossible to become a daring leader. A leader by today’s definition is not just somebody who can take a position’s name and call themselves the leader that everyone expects them to be. They are everyday students who rise to the challenge above their peers, doing community service and events that even adults would not find easy to do. They are people who are not afraid of criticism and are not afraid of failure because those people are true leaders who rise up from the ashes of their defeat, take the knowledge they have learned from their loss, and use it to help others.
Volume 87, Issue 1
Trip to D.C. Stands as a Reminder of the Freedom of the Press by Mollie Simon
From Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post to companies struggling to make online content profitable, the journalism industry has been in the news quite a lot recently and has been painted as a tumultuous and shifting medium where the jobs are often dwindling and the content is everchanging. Today, a person interested in pursuing a career in the freedom of the press must be ready to adapt, experiment, fail, and possibly live in the middle of nowhere for a few years. They must be somewhat crazy, or maybe, they must be a bit of a “free spirit.” Sitting down to make a call for the school newspaper at the start of this year, I dial a number and quickly hear the mechanical “beep” telling me I need to leave a message. “Hi, my name is Mollie Simon, and I am a student journalist with...” I stop, quickly catching myself and correcting the last words. “Sorry, I am a journalist and a student at...” Before participating in the 2013 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference and scholarship program in Washington D.C. this past July, that is how I saw myself and the role of a school newspaper staff-- a group of student journalists with a passion for reporting. Standing alongside 50 other young “free spirits”--one from each state and the District of Columbia--Gene Policinski, the chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, taught me one of the endless lessons I learned during my journey. He told us that above all else, we are journalists. It does not matter that we are students still in high school; what matters is that we are protected by the First Amendment and have the ability to create effective change by exercising the freedom of the press. And yes, we also learned that journalism is not a dying art.
In the span of five days, the 51 “free spirits” went from one exhilarating experience to the next, while honoring the namesake of the program--USA Today founder and longtime Gannett CEO Al Neuharth who passed away in April. During the times when we were not hearing from such inspiring people as PBS news anchor Judy Woodruff, astronaut Thomas Mashburn, or Pulitzer-Prize winner Sara Ganim, we were exposed to the importance of a free press in the context of the United States government. Instead of being presented with one view of the press, we were exposed to its different sides. From a visit to the press galleries on Capitol Hill, to a journey into a district court, and the chance to watch a live taping of “Meet the Press” (on an episode that happened to include Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Al Sharpton among others), we were guided into discussions about the future and state of the First Amendment. Wandering through the time capsule that is the Newseum--a museum dedicated to news--we were shown the meaning of a free press. This museum became our homebase for the week, and we not only explored its exhibits, but met the people behind them as well. Looking up at the largest section of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany and then walking through a room of newspaper front pages that are updated every day, we could see clearly how fortunate Americans are to live in a country founded not on what you cannot do, but instead based on what you have the unalienable rights to do. On the bus traveling between adventures for the week, the 51 students became a unit, with 51 different perspectives but a single shared passion for journalism. Students brought with them every story from their freedom of the press being limited in their schools, to how their newspapers
nabbed stories that changed their communities. Each student also carried a unique reflection of their home, leaving one another with the knowledge that for as large as the country is, there are factors that can easily unite individuals from Alaska or Nebraska to someone who grew up in Maine or Georgia. From technology guru Val Hoeppner, we were shown the future of the industry in the form of transformative apps and social media tools. But instead of simply looking forward, we also looked back at how the First Amendment drove the Civil Rights Movement and how Neuharth--a man with a vision--changed the way people read newspapers. Leaving D.C., we were left not only with a view of the importance of the press, but also an appreciation for the responsibility that comes with the title of journalist (student or otherwise). We were taught about times when media ethics have been breached and times when people lost sight of news in deference to sensationalism or trying to break a story. Then, we were taught that journalism is not a dying art. By the time the class of 2013 Free Spirits graduate from high school this coming summer, a few million more people will likely have condemned the job of journalists to a thing of the past and newspapers to the bottom of their recycling bins. Yet, those same people will then open their Twitter accounts, turn on the nightly news, flip the page in a magazine, check a media site online or simply seek out the work of a journalist to learn what is happening with a war Syria, a shooting in Connecticut, or a school construction project in their city. Journalism is not a dying art, simply because an unbiased press is an essential part of a country that aims to be by and for its people.
Haley Joel Osment Solved the Student Debt Crisis Solution to Student Debt Is Not a Complex Idea
blueandgoldnews. blogspot.com @bulldogspage1
On August 22, President Obama began giving speeches across the nation on the issue of student loans and the more than $1 trillion that young Americans owe because of them. Behind mortgages, student loans are now the number one source of debt for the American public. In 2012, 70 percent of students attending an institution of higher education took out some type of loan, according to a fastweb.com study So it obviously is a problem that must be countenanced soon. The question becomes what we will do about it. First, let us take a rudimentary look at how student loans actually work. There are two types of loans, federal and private. Their names are rather self-explanatory; the government offers federal loans, and individual banks offer private loans. Without getting too far into the tedious details of either, federal loans are typically the preferred of the two. They feature lower and fixed interest rates, possible debt forgiveness, and all sorts of other little perks since the money is federally guaranteed. In order to apply for a federal loan, students must fill out what is known as the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It requires applicants to give a plethora of documents and forms to determine eligibility for the different loans the government offers, which are Perkins, Stafford, and Parent PLUS. Perkins is generally regarded as the “best,’ with the lowest interest rates at around 3.4 percent, and the highest possibilities of exemption. Subsidized Stafford loans, with rates around 6.8 percent, offer students the chance to have the government take care of interest during school as long as they maintain half-time status, which is six credit hours or more per semester. Private loans do not offer the same guarantees, and present much more risk. After all, banks stand to gain profit from accumulated interest (let it be noted that the government also profits off of student loans; about $101 billion worth from 2007 to 2011, according to a 2012 Huffington Post study). Furthermore, the loans are bankrupt proof, meaning that one way or another, they must be paid off. The White House recently outlined a new plan to make college more affordable. It touts such provisions as Pay As You Earn, which links debt payments to salary and caps the interest rate at 10 percent, and a new method of tying federal financial aid to a college’s performance in a number of areas such as tuition and average earnings for graduates. Now, Pay As You Earn would need to be passed by Congress, but the college rating system, which President Obama hopes to have in place by fall of 2015, can be directly
by Alex Bragan implemented by the Department of Education. figure out the feasibility of a bill. For their final exam, they This all sounds nice, and I truly believe the president’s presented their findings in front of the state senate. head is in the right place. But in reality, there are a lot of While still only a “state” discussion, if the bill were to stipulations and theoretical situations (chiefly Congress eventually go nation wide, millions of students would be actually passing such a bill), which leave me looking for offered education that they once could not have dreamed more. For example, the aforementioned debt forgiveness of it. Last year, Chamblee alone sent over 115 students to programs only apply to certain students who choose public in-state institutions, according to the Blue and Gold’s own service positions, and even then, only if they have made list of 2012 graduating seniors. 121 on time payments. Admittedly, the bill still has a ways to go before coming Catches like that leave doubt as to whether or not any to fruition, and it is by no means a “be all end all” solution. solutions will ever be offered. Critics of the bill argue that the start up costs would One idea that I am extremely privy to is something that, be too much, or that by simply making college free crein theory, has existed since 2000. ates suspicion around the discretionary amount of money Back in 2000, things were quite a bit different: George students would later pay in income taxes. W. Bush was Time’s Man of the Year, the St. Louis Rams And while there are solutions to each of these problems, stood as champions of professional football, and according I can understand their qualms. But I think many fail to see to the Higher Education Project, the average college student the real beauty of this bill. with student loans owed $16, 928. It is outside of the box thinking like this that is required Also in 2000, Haley Joel Osment starred in the movie if we wish not only to solve student debt, but the litany of “Pay It Forward,” based on a novel of the same name. Es- other problems we face as a nation. sentially, Osment’s character suggests that people should Furthermore, the unorthodox way in which this bill commit random acts of kindness to complete strangers, was created shows promise. If the coming generation can and ask only in return that these strangers do the same for show this sort of cleverness, then perhaps we are not in as someone else. Instead of “paying back” a favor, you should deep as we think. simply “pay it forward,” a novel idea that even inspired a I personally hope that the discussion of a program like holiday and a non-profit. this, or perhaps even customized state programs, will be Now Oregon is adopting the same strategy, but apply- brought to the national forefront. ing it to student loans. They are even calling the program But until then, try not to accrue too much debt. “Pay It Forward.” The bill, once implemented (the first vote passed unanimously, but still faces other votes and Visit the Blue and Gold online to read more articles discussions), would allow all stuand to see special multimedia features dents to attend state colleges and such as the Speaking Of series universities for free, and then have or the Half-Childish podcast! a relatively miniscule three percent income tax later in life to help pay for those after them. Ironically enough, the bill was not the brain-child of a House committee but of a collaboration between an economics class at Portland State University and the Economic Opportunity Institute, a Portland based think tank. Students in the “Student Debt: Economics, Policy, and Advocacy” course conducted research and spoke with state legislators to
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Volume 87, Issue 1
Constantly Adjusting: The Story of the Annex by Justin Henderson In the 2009-10 school year, 13 DeKalb County high schools failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress. Parents of children who lived in the areas surrounding those schools were allowed to exercise “school choice,” which essentially means that students were given the right to attend a school that was meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. Hundreds of rising freshmen used this option, and about 300 of them were told they would be attending Chamblee Charter High School. For the first three weeks of the school year, they attended their home schools, which were not making AYP. After the third week, however, the students did attend Chamblee High School-- just not in Chamblee, Georgia. These 300 or so students were located in a building at the Chamblee Annex. While the official first day of school in Dekalb County was on August 9, 2010, classes did not begin at the annex until August 30. Ten teachers from all around the county were called in with little to no forewarning. “We had to go after the third week of school and create a school with little direction,” said business teacher Lanice Jones. “But overall we gelled well and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.” The annex was located at 1701 Mountain Industrial
Blvd, along with the main DeKalb County district office, DeKalb Early College Academy, and Elizabeth Andrews High School. This building is 13 miles away from Chamblee’s campus. Within the first month, the number of students dwindled down to just over 90. Although separated, every attempt was made to make the students at the annex feel like a part of Chamblee. Every afternoon, a bus traveled from the annex to the main campus for students who wanted to take part in extra curricular activities. Buses also took students to pep rallies and special events. Once a month, principal Dr. Rochelle Lowery would pay the annex a visit. There was an honest effort made to bridge the gap between the schools. Despite all attempts made however, there was still a very clear divide. “We didn’t feel welcome when we came to visit,” said senior Kaylin Eiland. “It didn’t seem like any of the students wanted us around.” At the freshman assembly, an assistant principal referred to the students as “guests from Highway 78.” At the pep rally before the homecoming game against Lakeside,
the bus arrived late, and there were no more seats left. The students were forced to stand under the basketball goal for the remaining half of the assembly. After the 2010-11 school year, the students were allowed to attend school at the main campus. Parents were reimbursed for transportation to and from school. Reimbursement checks stopped before the 2012-13 school year, and with them went about half of the original annex students. In this school year (2013-14), about half of the students who finished the 2010-11 are still enrolled at Chamblee. The divide that initially existed between the students has all but evaporated. Only three of the original ten annex teachers, Obiageli Uzoh, Amina Fatima, and Lanice Jones, are still at Chamblee. This spring, Chamblee students and teachers will be moving into the new building. For the Annex students, this will be their fourth school building in four years. While the rest of the students struggle to adjust to a new environment, the students from the annex wildol transition easily. They are used to change, as they have been dealing with it for years.
Teachers Share Personal Methods and Styles by Morgan Brown
photo by Maddy Wetterhall
Math teacher Judith Landers
In order to compensate for the many different types of learners that fill their classrooms each year, teachers such as Adrienne Keathley, Dr. Katherine Zuehlke, and Judith Landers have developed approaches of their own to teaching. Keathley, a literature teacher, focuses on expanding the level of depth and creativity of students’ thinking with lectures, discussions, and creative projects. She then works on instructing them on how to communicate this in writing assignments. She measures her own technique’s effectiveness through clear signs of progress. “I would say at least 95 percent of my students exit better writers,” said Keathley.
To help lessons sink in, Keathley tries to catch students’ eyes through writing on her board in bright colors. She also uses different symbols, acronyms, or metaphors to stimulate memory and help students develop mental connections. To include visual learning, Keathley allows room for creative-based projects. “Two or three times a semester, I like to give students the chance to showcase their other talents,” said Keathley. According to Keathley, her biggest hardship as a teacher are the rumors about her that spread to students before they take her class. “I try very hard to break the stereotypes. I attempt to build rapport, and to make students feel safe to make mistakes and learn from them,” said Keathley. To make sure that students grow as writers, Keathley provides ample feedback on all writing assignments. She writes out specifically what is well done or what needs and be improved on in each student’s paper. “After that, it is upon the student to read and make time to discuss how they should go about improving,” said Keathley. Every year as new students come in, Keathley alters minute but important parts of her lessons according to their needs. “I think every good teacher knows that [teachers] are always evolving. [Teachers] are always growing,” said Keathley. Landers, a pre-calculus teacher, has a different approach. Typically, she only lectures in the basic levels of a new concept and then allows the students to build on their own and seek help when needed. “I’m a fan of discovery. I believe that to truly understand work, you have to own it. [If] you own it, you can solve anything,” said Landers. She also believes that students must discover methods of finding solutions that work best for them. She relates this to the Rule of Four in math, in which there are four different possible methods to understanding a problem. While they
are all necessary and connected, students instinctually first find the one that works best for them. “You can’t just teach for one student or one brain. I start at the most basic level, and in the upper, levels I start to put more responsibilities on the students,” said Landers. Landers also does not believe in grading homework. She sees homework as the time to make mistakes and corrections. She measures progress through a Problem of the Week assignment and through tests. If tests show that students did not know the material, then she reteaches, reviews, and retests again. “I’m preparing students for life after high school,” said Landers. “So for the big picture all together, success comes from the next course they are in, regardless of grade.” Chemistry teacher Zuehlke’s style of teaching is constantly changing. “I reflect on my teaching constantly by observing student behavior during class, comparing how various classes respond to changes in my lesson as the day progresses,” said Zuehlke. She acknowledges that while students might form one overarching group, the moods and responses of students may change from the start of the day to the end, so she makes changes accordingly. Once she builds a firmer relationship with her students, she tries to relate to them more to encourage more sound communication and to make herself appear more available to help. “As I get to know my students better, I can incorporate student interests more easily and relate what we are learning to their interests, “said Zuehlke For science fair every year, she gets more familiar with students as she consults each group individually as the date for science fair looms closer. For the average everyday assignment, she hones in on ideas and concepts that are most important, and may overlook smaller errors. “This is particularly important because their later work builds on early assignments,” said Zuehlke.
Motivations Vary Among Chamblee’s Volunteers by Dan Richardson Volunteering is a key pillar in the academic playbook that schools use to help mold young people into intelligent young adults that colleges are willingly to accept and educate. While the benefits of volunteering cannot be questioned, what can be questioned is what motivates so many students to participate in such selfless acts. Colleges and universities today do not just look at a student’s grade point average and standardized tests scores. They instead try to find the complete package; a well rounded student who has diverse interests and accomplishments, from sports to involvement in many clubs, to leadership positions and volunteering. This emphasis on a well rounded student makes some believe that these droves of student volunteers are not invested in giving back to the community and instead seek to gain an edge over other college applicants. “Personally, I think that if students weren’t pressured to volunteer by parents, colleges, and clubs, most people wouldn’t volunteer,” said a upperclassman who wishes to
remain anonymous. “Time is a commodity for the college bound student, and volunteering is a big commitment. Some people may still do it out of the goodness of their heart, but most people do it because that is what’s required to stay in certain clubs or so they can earn some award that looks good to colleges.” Volunteer based organizations, like National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Interact are some of the largest clubs at Chamblee. Clubs with such a large student base, face the reality that student involvement in projects outside of school are not always motivated by their drive to do good. “Overall, I feel that the students in Interact here at Chamblee do it because they enjoy giving back and helping people,” said Interact Sponsor Jennifer Andriano. “There may be a few that only think about volunteering as a check box to fill, but once they start doing it, they realize its impact and really enjoy it.” Beyond the college application aspect and the incentive to give back, there is also the motivation of discovering a future career that is generally overlooked by most students.
A majority of students head to college unsure of what they want to study or what they want to do with their lives, but volunteering at specific organization can shed light on what you may enjoy as a career, or, just as importantly what you may dislike. “For the longest time I wanted to become a doctor, so one summer I volunteered at the local hospital and logged over 900 hours as a junior intern,” said Chamblee’s newest counselor. Lydia Adle. “It was a great opportunity because it showed me that I didn’t want to become a doctor. The fluids, the pain, and the patients weren’t something I was going to learn fully about until I got out of medical school, and I’m so glad I learned I couldn’t handle it then instead of a couple years down the line.” Adle also discovered how much she enjoyed helping people and bring people happiness while volunteering at the hospital. She would pick a career in school counseling so she could continue this passion.
Volume 87, Issue 1
Meet Some of Chamblee’s Newest Staff Members Holloway
by Liya Mammo and Solina Jean-Louis The Questions: 1.What is your fondest memory from high school? 2. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go and why? 3. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be any why? 4. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done? 5. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 6. Name a song, book, or movie title that best describes you. Sherry Holloway
1. My fondest memory from high school is graduation because I had accomplished something. The world was so new at that time, and I still remember the feeling of, “Wow, I can do anything.” 2. I would go to Hong Kong because I was blessed to go there once. My husband’s job sent him there, and he was able to take me, so we spent almost a week in Hong Kong. I would love to go back there for the shopping. 3. It would have to be President Obama. I would love to talk to him and tell him how much I admire him, how much I pray for him, that he’s doing a great job, and that he is an inspiration to more people than he realizes. 4. In order to get my degree from the School of Education [at Georgia State University], I had to do five physical education events such as canoeing, horse-back riding, rockclimbing, etc. I went rock-climbing and climbed up and down Trey Mountain in Helen, Georgia. We also had to sleep in a tent at the very top of the mountain. I’ve also been to the Holy Land in Egypt. 5. I think I’ve always dreamed of teaching. I remember having a little chalkboard and playing school with my younger brothers. 6. My Fair Lady. I can relate to a character in the musical, the flower girl. She started out very poor, but she took a chance on life, and she ended up fulfilling her dreams. Mary Kelly
1. I had really great friends that I’ve managed to keep in my life. Part of what I loved about high school is that I came into who I am as a person. Those friends who saw me through that process are still around, and I think that is pretty amazing. 2. I’ve always been fascinated by South Africa. They’ve had a really interesting history, and the post-apartheid world would be really fascinating to go to and learn about. 3. I would want to meet Mother Theresa. She’s such a powerful life. 4. I zip-lined upside down in Costa Rica this past summer. There’s something about being upside down that changes your perspective so dramatically that you feel like you’re flying. 5. After watching the movie The Fugitive, I really wanted to be a pediatric cardiologist. 6. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. The title is funny and dramatic. Shaheen Begum
1. I was voted “Miss Popular” at my all girls’ school when I was in my senior year. 2. I would go to India, so I could meet my family. I don’t have much family over here [in America], besides my brother and sister, so I would go back home and get a hug from my mom. 3. James Watson and Francis Crick. They developed the double-helix model of DNA, and Watson is still alive. 4. A couple of years back, I went parasailing on Lake George in New York. I was with my husband, children, brother, and his wife. 5. I was always into teaching because my parents have their own schools. In my free time, I would go and tutor kids, some of whom were older than me. However, at that time I did want to be a doctor. 6. An Ordinary Life Lived in an Extraordinary Way Mattie Kaspar
Photos by Maddy Wetterhall, Chris Smith, and Solina Jean-Louis
1. Friday night football games; a friend and I were copresidents of our pep club, the Maniacs. It was so fun because it united the school. 2. I would go to Searcy, Arkansas to visit my sister. She’s in college there, and I haven’t seen her in a long time, and I miss her. 3. Martin Luther King, Jr.; he was so influential and he believed in peace.
4. I went to a really rural area of Mexico for a medical relief program three times. Helping people with their most basic needs was really influential for me. 5. I wanted to be a teacher pretty much from the very beginning, but for the briefest moments in high school, I wanted to be a funeral director, but all my friends eventually talked me out of it. I thought it’d be interesting. 6. That is such a difficult question because I love reading, movies, and pretty much all music. Lydia Adle 1. We had a pretty diverse high school, so we would throw these multicultural pep rallies. People would dance or sing or perform something from their culture. 2. I’ve done a lot of traveling in Europe, so my next stop would probably be South America. Peru and Costa Rica are at the top of my list. 3. There are so many awesome people in the world— anyone who would be willing to have dinner with me, really! 4. When I was 19, I decided that I wanted to travel. I went to Croatia by myself and lived there for eight months. I tutored English to students and tried to learn the language. I wasn’t fluent, but I knew enough to get by. 5. I really wanted to be a firefighter. I then learned that you needed to get experience in the paramedic field. I started volunteering at a hospital, but then learned that I don’t like the sight of blood. 6. “Walking on Sunshine.” It’s really cheesy, but I always have a smile on my face and always try to look for the positive in things. Officer WIlliam Davidson 1. The high school environment itself was great. There wasn’t a lot of technology then, so we had a lot of fun hanging out with friends. 2. Los Cobos, Mexico on the Pacific peninsula. The whale tours, the jet skis, and the sea lions are all so fun. I have been there, but I want to go back again. 3. Martin Luther King, Jr; because of the things he overcame and the vision that he had, it would be really interesting to sit down and talk with him. 4. I jumped out of airplanes in the military. Right when I got to the door to jump out, I had that “why am I doing this” moment. It was very thrilling. 5. I always wanted to be a police officer. I played “Cops and Robbers” when I was kid, and I was always the cop. 6. My favorite movie of all time is Jaws, but Easy Rider probably best describes me because I like riding motor cycles. Wanddolff Bretous 1. We were all so excited about going off to college. Some people were leaving the country, so we wanted to know what all of our friends were doing. 2. I would like to go back to Haiti, but I am afraid at the same time because I know all of the bad things that have happened. I want to keep my good memories of Haiti alive. 3. Gandhi; his nonviolent approach was very inspiring. 4. My friends and I would start in Haiti and motorcycle our way through the Dominican Republic to the ocean and stay there, and then come back with all the motor cycles back to Haiti. 5. I always wanted to be a writer. 6. “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Jacques Brel is the most beautiful song I’ve heard in my life.
To hear what Chamblee’s newest staff members had to say in answer to the following questions, visit the Blue and Gold online at blueandgoldnews.blogspot.com or scan the code below. 1. Where did you grow up? 2. Where did you go to college? 3. Why did you become a teacher? 4. What are your hobbies? 5. What are you looking forward to most about this year? 6. Are you married/ have kids, etc? 7. What advice would you give your former high school self?
Volume 87, Issue 1
Project Procrastination: Steps to Avoiding Science Fair Traps by Emani Jones Balancing school work and free time is difficult enough without science fair occupying your time. Once you receive the required due dates from your science teacher, you may think that you have plenty of time to do all the work, but do not be fooled. Students who procrastinate on science fair usually end up neglecting their schoolwork and floundering about the week before it is due. There is only one way to make science fair disappear: you have to finish it. Waiting around might take your mind off of it, but it will never fail to haunt your grade. Get ahead on science fair and save yourself mountains of stress and time. First thing first: make sure that you are required to do science fair. If you are in the twelfth grade, and you took two science classes last year, you may not have to do science fair. Since you have fulfilled your science credits, completing the project may not be necessary, but be sure to check with your teacher. There are also some classes that are science based, but do not require that you do science fair because they are electives, like Advance Placement computer science. Also, if you are currently taking two science classes, you only need to do one experiment and complete one backboard, as long as you turn in all documents and your research paper to both of your teachers. Your agenda is undoubtedly filled with deadlines, so you should work with a partner. Using Facebook to communicate with your partner is useful, but you may want to exchange email and cell phone numbers with them as well. Establish meeting dates with your partner as soon as
you decide that you will be working together. Getting on the right track early on eradicates a lot of the confusion that comes with science fair. Choosing a topic that you can understand is also important. Your teacher and the judges want to know that you made a valid effort on a worthy project and produced accurate results. If you really have the desire to build a nuclear fusion reactor in your garage, though, go for it. Once you have decided on the topic with your partner, you should decide on the aesthetic part of the project early as well. Waiting until the last minute to decide how the board will look is a mistake because you want your project to look presentable. Dedicate a Saturday to make a sketch of your backboard and shop for decorations. While you are shopping, pick up the materials for your experiment. Last minute preparation is always a bad idea, and that includes purchasing materials. Get it out of the way, so that when it is time to do the experiment, you can devote the entire day to gathering and recording data. Keep in mind that you have other obligations to tend to. Set aside thirty minutes for each Saturday to complete some part of your research paper. Write in your log book twice a week as well, so that when it is time to turn it in, it will not be as blank as the expression you will give your teacher when he/she asks you where the rest of your work is. Teachers are not too pleased when you procure a project with boundless information without citing any sources. Designate a separate notebook for keeping a consistent record of all your sources. This is convenient when you are writing your final report and need to refer to your sources. Thinking about doing your experiment may make you
cringe but you need to get it over with. Rip it off like a band-aid and start your experiment in October so that if anything goes wrong or if you have questions, you have ample time to tend to both. When it is time to turn in the pilot study, you will not have to make corrections, so you will have two and a half months to edit your paper and put together your backboard (which you already have a detailed sketch and supplies for). Treating the day before winter break as your deadline for your research paper is a perfect way of avoiding the holiday trap. You are not going to want to do anything remotely science related when it is time for winter break, so if you reserve the work for then, you will find yourself frantically typing a report a few days before it is due and fumbling about with a backboard. If your project calls for an experiment that lasts until January, then make predictions for your data based on what you have observed during the first semester. When the experiment is officially complete, you will only have to make a few small changes to match your results. Begin completing the board the week you get back to school with your partner. You have three weeks until the deadline, but do not wait. The first Saturday is more than enough time to add pizzazz to your project. It can be difficult, but getting a jump start on your project can free up your time for other schoolwork and activities. If you can get ahead, you will not have to be the student that sits in the hallway trying to glue random bits of data to a backboard the morning that its due, or the student that copies and pastes information from Wikipedia over the break.
Looking Under the Headscarf as Students’ Identities Are Unveiled by Onna Biswas
According to the Northeastern University Political Review, since the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Muslims all over the world have been accused of being terrorists, including young women and girls. Much of this comes from the fact that they wear headscarves. Some are even stopped at the airport, have extra security to go through, and are treated like second-class citizens. Ever since the September 11 attack, many girls, have stopped wearing hijabs. “A hijab is basically a religious thing. To me it is a way of showing that I am a Muslim, said junior Gahouray Dukuray. “I have been wearing a hijab ever since I was in the sixth grade.” Now, many girls have started wearing their headscarves again. “When I was in middle school, I would usually get comments from people saying that I am a terrorist,” said Dukuray. People who wear turbans, which is what Sheikh men wear, are also assumed to be terrorists by some, according to a story in the Huffington Post religion section. “When I was getting my passport, it did take a while for me to get it. My ears and hairline were covered by my hijab. The people in the photo room said it was ok for me to leave it on, but then I received a letter stating that they couldn’t see my ears and my hair line, so they delayed it,” said Dukuray. Even now, many individuals must go through extra security at airports and have had issues like Dukuray. “I sent a letter stating that I’m a Muslim and that I must wear a hijab. And so then my passport came the day before I went,” said Dukuray. “I have been wearing the hijab ever since I was in the second grade,” said senior Yusra Ahmedin. “The hijab is my pride, my joy. I really like my religion and I’m proud [of it].”
Many choose to wear it because they see it as a beautiful and traditional thing to wear. “I wasn’t forced to wear it, I chose to wear it. My parents are pretty supportive because of it,” said Ahmedin. Many parents tend to force their daughters to wear the hijab. Sometimes it is even required for a Muslim woman to wear the hijab in front of any man she could possibly marry.
Student Gahouray Dukuray
“You would think something bad has happened to me, but in reality, it hasn’t affected me in any way,” said Ahmedin. A woman who wears a hijab is called Muhaajaba in Arabic. It shows that one has pride in one’s culture and religion. “I have been wearing a hijab for about two to three years now. The hijab means a lot to me,” said junior Mariama Diaby. “I admit, I didn’t like it all when I first started wearing it, but then after two to three weeks, I did.” Just because young women wear a hijab, does not mean that they are in some way linked to being terrorists.
The PTSA Reflections Arts Contest 2013-2014 is here! The Reflections Arts program offers students the opportunity to create works of art for fun, encourage creative thinking, foster student talents and recognize arts achievement. Students: Reflect on the theme, create an original work of art, get recognized and win great prizes!
“I have actually received positive comments. People have been so [generous] by holding the doors for me and saying salam alaikom,” said Diaby. Salam Alaikum, is an Arabic greeting meaning peace be unto you. “One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I was told to ride the bus. I didn’t like riding the bus,” said Student A, a sophomore who wished to remain anonymous. “So as I was waiting for the bus, there were two white men next to me saying that I was a terrorist or maybe I was the daughter of one, which hurt me terribly on the inside.” Many are still being hurt, not physically, but emotionally. “I sat down right behind the driver, and we were off to school, and then from nowhere she said to herself, ‘oh gosh is it just me or does it stink in here. I hope we do not die today.’ I knew that was being referred to me because: one, I just knew it and two, I could see her looking at me through the mirror,” said Student A. While the students were getting off, the driver asked her why photo by Michelle Serrano she was not the first one off, for fear that “her dad would come and kill all of them.” People may think those girls who wear a hijab are weak, but in reality they are not. After this comment, Student A realized that she had had enough of this. The driver had been doing this to her for about a year now. So she decided to stand up for herself. “It’s not easy being a Muslim girl. It’s not. I am proud of being a Muslim, and I love my culture. I was bullied. I was told that I am a terrorist. I have been through a lot.”
All students must submit their artwork to Ms. Georges or Ms. Guyton in Rooms 122 and 123 by October 18. Works are judged by art professionals and the winning entries advance to the Council level for judging. Top entries from each State PTA Reflections contest advance to the National PTSA for the final round of judging. Last year 100% of CCHS’s winning entrants had artwork that advanced to the State level of judging and one entrant won third place at State!
Volume 87, Issue 1
Lauren Hudson: A Model in the Making by Michelle Serrano As she walks down the hallway, turning heads with her beauty, people often notice her looks. Therefore, students are not surprised to find out that Lauren Hudson is into modeling. Hudson first started modeling at the age of just eight years old, doing minor photo shoots. However, she did not seriously start until she was thirteen. People surrounding her, such as friends, family, and even strangers, who noticed her height and appearance, even at a young age, suggested that she look into modeling. “My family has a history with modeling as well, so my family was like ‘you should do it.’ I love fashion and things like that; it just kind of had an appeal to me,” said Hudson. Although many young girls today dream of becoming super models, Hudson thinks she will only take it as far as “high fashion, commercial and runway.” Hudson would like to become a runway model. “It’s not my favorite, but I feel like I’d be really good at it. I’ve been practicing a lot for it, like high fashion commercial stuff and things like that,” said Hudson. Most young girls who aspire to become models have role models already in the business. “Tyra Banks and Coco Rocha! Coco Rocha is so weird and quirky; it inspires me so much. She’s [Banks] just prefect! I love them both,” said Hudson. Modeling is not an easy career path to take on, but nonetheless Hudson is serious about it.
“I think that as I’ve become older, I’ve become more serious about it. Recently I just signed with a new agency, and I’ve been getting a lot more work,” said Hudson. She prepares herself by taking classes and doing shoots to try to become better at modeling. Especially now, since she has been singed with a new agency. “Modeling is my passion; it’s my life. It’s something that I definitely take seriously,” said Hudson. Aside from modeling, Hudson’s time is consumed by work, school and going to concerts and shows. She goes to as many shows as she can per week (often at least two). Although, she would really like to become a runway model, Hudson would like to get a business degree and make modeling more of a ‘side project’ incorporating it into her life as much as possible. “I would like to be viewed as someone who is classy, humble, courageous and truthful. It is very easy to have bad views on models just because of how most people stereotype them into people that don’t eat or are not ‘classy’ because of nude photo shoots.” “I personally eat a lot, and I would never do anything like nude photo shoots because of the type of person I am and the morals that I have,” said Hudson. Hudson enjoys this path she has taken so far and hopes to become a runway model some day. She is working hard to reach her ambitions. photo by Michelle Serrano
Risking Time to Secure the Future
Are students overcrowding their schedules with unnecessary classes and activities? by Miriam Chisholm
“How many AP’s are you taking?” was a common question repeated throughout the halls of Chamblee after schedules were finalized. Advanced Placement courses and involvement in extracurricular activities, as many know, can sometimes be deciding factors as to what college students get in to, but this creates the question of whether students are taking on too much. “Highly selective schools love to see AP courses. So it’s a fine balance with the students. They have to know how much time they can invest in these AP courses,” said head counselor Alan Loper. Lack of free time after school to invest in such rigorous courses and activities can leave students wondering if they are taking on too much. AP is a program that was created by the College Board in order to offer high school students college curriculums and examinations. An exam is given at the end of the course and certain scores can allow the AP course to count for college credit. Although the choice to take an AP class may seem strictly beneficial, students must remember a few key facts. “You want to protect your GPA [Grade Point Average] but if you’re taking numerous AP courses, your GPA may drop, if you’re overwhelmed and cannot keep up with all
the AP work,” said Loper. First and foremost a student’s GPA is very important. Although AP courses give students an extra point towards their GPA, the time commitment of AP courses sometimes forces students to decide what they will spend their time doing. Some people, such as sophomore Kameren Saulsberry, are willing to take on the extra time commitment. “I’ve taken AP courses to get into my dream school (Howard University),” said Saulsberry “Otherwise I wouldn’t risk getting a bad grade.” A sophomore student who is new to Chamblee said, “I don’t think taking multiple AP classes are worth it because if you fail the exam, you won’t get college credit.” Transitioning from not taking any AP courses as a freshman to having a schedule featuring many of these rigorous courses could be one reason for the increased stress that students have noticed. “I don’t think freshman year prepared us for taking AP courses sophomore year,” said sophomore Kalkedan Bezabih. “They kind of held our hand throughout everything last year, so now it feels as if we’re in the dark. AP classes require real dedication, if you want to stay in the course.” Taking AP courses is not the only thing that students do in order to get into college. Extracurricular activities
provide an additional determining factor in the college admissions process. Most would think that students participate in activities that interest them, but with the importance of a college education, students often contemplate which extracurricular activities look best on college applications. “If you are a part of Beta [club], if you’re a part of NHS [National Honor Society], that is very impressive but then again if you are a part of chess club or any club, schools look at that as you are a well-rounded student and you are not just focused on academics. They just want to know that you are a well-rounded individual,” said Christians in Action sponsor and SAT prep teacher Marti Macon-Gee. At the end of the day, it is solely a student’s decision as to what classes he or she takes and how he or she spends his or her time. When making this decision, it is important to remember the wise words of a senior student here at Chamblee who said, “This is a cliché, but focus on your work. Do not let anything or anyone distract you because all the drama of high school and most of your friends are temporary, so make your school work your number one priority.”
Chamblee Graduate Plows into Her Future Five to ten years after graduating, Chamblee alumni are firmly establishing starting places for their career paths.
by Morgan Brown Their stories provide examples of lives after college that many Chamblee students are considering. Lilly Workneh, class of 2008, is now in New York as an associate producer at “the Grio,” a publication centered on African-American news by MSNBC and NBC. Much of her day is spent looking for and writing stories and meeting with other producers. “It’s a very free, open, flexible environment, which is part of why I love it so much,” said Workneh. After graduating from Chamblee and starting as a freshman at the University of Georgia, Workneh knew that she wanted to go into journalism and reporting. Having been a part of broadcasting and the Blue and Gold newspaper at Chamblee, she started out as a prebroadcasting major. While taking several classes, she realized that written journalism was more her forte. Following an internship with CNN, she realized that she wanted to do online journalism. Other ventures during her college years included “the Showcase,” her very own magazine, and internships with the National Associaction of Black Journalists, InStyle Magazine, and the Association Society of Magazine Editors.
Upon graduating from UGA, she moved to New York for an internship with People magazine, where she got the opportunity to dabble in many different interests. After a summer, however, she moved on to the “more fitting” role at NBC. “I wanted to do more hard news, more breaking news; news that, to me, affected more people,” said Workneh. Now at the Grio, she considers herself lucky to work in a field she wants to pursue permanently and get the chance to learn and hone her skills while learning how to survive in the real world after college. “It’s New York, so I’m learning how to be independent. You’re just kind of thrown out there, so I’m learning about my own determination,” said Workneh. She considers Chamblee to be the source of her first career in journalism. As a Blue and Gold staff member and with her column “Lilly’s Life Laws,” she learned a lot of necessary basics. “Have hobbies or something that you’re passionate about. Be well versed, so keep an eye on the news, even if you aren’t going to be a journalist. Set goals and write things down. Everything is mental, so don’t stress out or let yourself be overwhelmed,” said Workneh.
photo courtesy of Lilly Workneh
Do you know any alumni doing notable work in their fields? Let the Blue and Gold know! Email us at email@example.com
Volume 87, Issue 1
Comparing Chamblee to Other Schools Students at Chamblee this year may have noticed the return of Rebekah Carrington to the English department and several new transfer students coming from other Georgia schools.
photo by Megan Carey
Students and teachers alike have noticed contrasts between Chamblee and other schools regarding various
by Megan Carey elements. “Clarkston is on block schedule, so they have four 90 minute classes a day,” said Carrington. “Ninety minutes is a long time to sit in the classroom and after about 50 minutes students started losing interest (we taught bell to bell). However, it was really nice to have a longer planning period for teachers.” Senior Summer Cheek, who attended Decatur High School her freshman and sophomore year, agreed with Carrington on that difference. “Decatur was on block schedule,” said Cheek. “Chamblee is also just bigger.” Cheek was paying tuition at Decatur, but since Chamblee is a public school, there is no cost, which her parents decided was a much better choice economically. Junior Jeremy Salley went to Tucker High his freshman year and Mt. Vernon Presbyterian his sophomore year. He said he chose to switch to Chamblee because of the diversity of the population and the academic prestige of the school. “It’s one of the best [high] schools in Georgia, and you just can’t beat that,” Salley said. “Chamblee is just more open [than Mt. Vernon], and you can be more yourself instead of having more of a social ladder like in Tucker.” However, Salley does miss the sports culture at Tucker. He said Chamblee is more academically driven instead of as focused on sports. Senior Tuscany Simmons previously attended Arabia Mountain. She said she particularly enjoys the course selection at Chamblee and the diversity. “I really enjoyed taking AP psych here,” said Simmons. AP psychology was not offered at Arabia Mountain, and
Simmons likes the new opportunity. At Clarkston, Carrington described an especially unique system where she had the chance to interact with more teachers and administrators from across the globe. “Principals and different administrators from across the world came to see what we were doing at Clarkston. It was pretty cool to get that exposure and feedback from people all over the world which you just don’t get here. You just don’t get that kind of exposure as a teacher, period,” said Carrington. “It was a pretty cool thing, but it was also a lot of pressure. You want to be the best every day and just make sure you are on your game which made me a better teacher for sure.” There was also a different system to evaluate teaching methods at Clarkston. “We had to do weekly data talks which was a positive thing,” said Carrington. “You take an assignment and have to analyze the data [scores] from students each week.” While doing the weekly data talks was very useful for teachers in helping them judge how their students were progressing at Clarkston, it demanded more time out of the classroom. “Here you probably have the same amount of work but it’s all localized in the classroom,” said Carrington. When asked why she chose to move back to teaching at Chamblee, Carrington said it was a very difficult decision for her since she loved the students and the people she worked with at Clarkston. “Ultimately, this [Chamblee] is my home,” said Carrington. “This is where I started, and hopefully where I can continue my career.”
Students Abstain from Unruly Role Models After Miley Cyrus’s provocative performance at the Video Music Awards, there has been an uproar of comments on her choice of attire, body language, and song lyrics. It is not strange to see a person under the age of twelve accessing pop culture television shows such as the VMAs or the MTV Music Awards. Technology has made it easier for children to access information (good or bad) about their favorite celebrities. The actions of many former celebrity role models such as former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes, who was charged with reckless endangerment, and former Disney Channel star Vanessa Hudgens, who posted nude photos of herself on the internet, have parents questioning whether or not their children will start to imitate the behaviors of these individuals. “We have those discussions [about role models],” said art teacher Angela Georges who is a mother of two. “I’ll allow them to get on Youtube and they will sometimes click on the videos on the side of the screen. If I see something that’s inappropriate, I will tell them ‘Mommy doesn’t like those videos.’ Actually, my eight year old, if she sees something that’s inappropriate, she’ll exit out right away.” When parents teach their children what is right and what is wrong, children begin to police themselves. “I can see Miley Cyrus on the VMAs, and know that I’m not going to do that,” said ninth grader Georgia Wescott. “You have to raise your children right ,so then they can
by Sierra Reese make their own decisions.” Even though it seems as if all celebrity role models are bad, there are still some good ones. “Ariana Grande is one of my role models because she is amazing. She inspired me to sing and do what I love,” said freshman Keturah Howard. “Demi Lovato, another one of my role models, says no matter what you do, come back stronger.” Many students have role models that preach self love and happiness. They tend to stray away from the celebrities that exhibit outrageous or scandalous behaviors. “I don’t turn to celebrities for advice,” said sophomore Nabila Islam. “Family members and people that know you really well tend to give the best advice.” Most students agree that children should not look to celebrities as a valid source of advice. They believe that friends and family are best source of advice because they have been around the students all of their lives and they know how the student perceives things. “I go to my friends for advice because they know me better than anyone,” said ninth grader Taylor Ryan. Surprisingly, many students say that parents, the indi-
photo by Sierra Reese
viduals who are concerned that their children do not have good role models, are best source of advice. “Parents are good role models because they have probably been through everything that you’re going through now so they are better equipped to help you get through situations,” said freshman Griffin Valentine.
Motivational Methods and the Presentation of Grades Bear Consequences by Michelle Serrano Many high school students lack enthusiasm in school. However, some teachers have been taking action to give these students the push they need. A method used by some teachers is putting out tests for students to see their grades, but it essentially becomes a competition. Teachers such as social studies teacher Robin Mask have
(in the past) handed out a sheet with everyone’s grade, by student ID number, for a given assignment to pass around the classroom. “It motivates me because I see other people’s grades and that makes me want to get higher grades,” said freshmen Eileen Hernandez. “But then again if my grade is the lowest I get embarrassed and I don’t want anyone else to see it,” said Hernandez. This method, however, can be a contributing factor to stress and academic dishonesty; students feel pressured to have grades equally as high as that of the grades they see next to other student’s ID number. “It stresses me out when teachers share class grades because I don’t want people judging me for whatever grade I got,” said junior Jennifer Rios-Balderas, “I feel like the teachers should have other ways of showing us our grades, even if it just has our students ID number by our grade.” Even though this technique makes some students uncomfortable, it does, encourage students to try harder on assignments or exams, so that they can have grades like the higher ones they see on these sheets. “Teachers think that even though they don’t show our names that it doesn’t make it awkward for us. Even if our
names aren’t on the sheet, our friends still ask us what we got on the test or quiz, and it’s not like we can just say ‘mind your own business,’” said junior Arely Hernandez. Teachers can implement new or more efficient methods of persuading kids to do better in school without the negative side effects, such as embarrassment. “I’d be happier if teachers could try other ways to ‘motive’ us like exempting us from finals if we get a 95 or higher in the class or something. This way gets kind of embarrassing sometimes,” said Arely Hernandez. Finding other approaches would benefit the students in a more optimistic way such as rewarding them for pervious academic achievements by giving out homework passes or things of that sort. “I feel that showing us everyone else’s grades actually makes me feel like I have to do better, because otherwise I’ll be the one with the lowest grade, and well you don’t want to be that person,” said junior Allie Karszes. By creating new ways to be supportive of students in a constructive way, they would be inclined do better, without as much pressure, as opposed to having so much pressure that the method that is being used causes negative effects.
Volume 87, Issue 1
Students Work Outside of School, Too Every teenager knows the disappointing feeling of opening his or wallet and finding it empty. Perhaps he has had the “it’s time to get a job” talk with his parents. Either way, high school is a time where some students decide to take on their first jobs. Whether it be easy or hard, part time or full time, summer or year-round, the responsibility of a job teaches teens valuable lessons and prepares them for life. Students at Chamblee have many different jobs, some typical of that of a high school student, some unique. Senior Carson Smith-Saunders works at an auto shop during the summer called Summit Auto Service, which fixes cars imported from different countries, but mostly from Japan. He initially took the job because he is interested in cars and has ended up loving it. “I get to do the easy car stuff like change the oil and brakes,” said Smith-Saunders. “Overall, I have learned a lot about myself and grown up by doing it. It has helped me transition into manhood and become a well-rounded person, and it has been a great experience for me.” Like Smith-Saunders, senior Brooke Taylor has a job that reflects an interest and hobby in her life.
by Sarah Magee “I work at Art and Soul Pottery Studio,” said Taylor, an artist in her own right. “I teach people how to paint; I meet kids, load the kiln and glaze pieces and [get to] see all the beautiful things people create.” Physical education teacher Paul Ireland got senior Kristin Robinson a job that is more play than work, at AllAmerican Skating Center. “I love it there because they play good music, [and is] a very diverse and relaxed environment to work in,” said Robinson. “I mainly work the snack bar and the skate room.” Lifeguarding is a job typical of young adults, and several students at Chamblee have taken advantage of that. “Getting bronzed on the job compensates for getting minimum wage,” said junior Ross Young, a lifeguard at the Brittany Club pool. “I like my job, and I do it for the money because I live an expensive life of fast food and paying people to drive me around. This job makes enough money to support my teenage needs.” Junior Casey George is also a lifeguard and says she thoroughly enjoys it. “I have to keep the chemicals [in the pool] in check and watch to make sure nothing bad happens to any of the
people there,” said George. Senior Nico Rubiano had a demanding and unusual summer job for a teenager, working shifts that lasted from morning till evening Monday through Friday all summer long in an office building. “I was a programming analyst for my dad’s office,” said Rubiano. “It’s an engineering firm that creates cement plants. I had to create programs that help computerize things, such as expense reports and time sheets.” Rubiano had his own cubicle and computer and said it was a “real life office job experience” that helped him develop skills as a programmer. Many teenagers land their first jobs at restaurants, either working as a host/hostess, waiter/waitress, or sometimes even in the kitchen in the back. Junior Salman Hussain worked as a waiter at an Indian restaurant called Rose of India before he left for Bangladesh for the summer. “I would welcome the customers, seat them at a table, hand them menus, take their orders, and when the food was ready, serve it to them,” said Hussain. “I would clean tables when they left and set it up again for the next people.”
New Fine Arts Teacher Recounts Her Past A long and colorful life in the music and drama world led new teacher Linda Lirette to Chamblee where she plans to share her past creative influences. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Lirette took to her artistic side as a child. Although quiet in school, Lirette used to make imaginative home videos of herself and her two brothers for fun. Being part of the yearbook staff and drama department in middle school brought her out of her shell outside of the home. “I could no longer be shy because I took on leadership roles in those areas,” said Lirette. For high school, Lirette went to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where she was mostly involved in musical theater and the school’s chorus. She found her high school experience to be fulfilling, and despite actually being able to graduate early, she stayed for her senior year. The entire way through school there were juries which tracked students’ progresses at the school. “It was a good thing because only the serious students made it through,” said Lirette
by Morgan Brown
ana, she had to relocate to Loyola University Chicago for a semester before she returned to New Orleans to complete her undergrad studies. “It was a tragedy but it was also liberating,” said Lirette. “I left with only three pairs of clothes, my laptop, and my unused books for my classes that I never got to start.” Finally outside of her comfort zone of New Orleans, she used the move to Chicago as a way to recreate herself. Such an experience is one she would recommend to others. Years later, after she had moved to New York, gotten married, and done many other jobs, Lirette photo by Chris Smith became a teacher for Teach for America in Newark, New Jersey. Lirette attended college at Loyola University New Originally, however, her teaching experience started in Orleans in the College of Music and Fine Arts. There, she did more musical theater and was part of productions such 2005 in her college days when she founded Enriching Arts, as “Grease,” “Hair,” and a short and humorous German a musical workshop for students. She currently has three years of teaching in a classroom under her belt as well. opera called “Die Fledermaus.” Aside from hobbies involving the arts, Lirette also While looking at colleges, Lirette was nervous about leaving home, which partly fueled her decision to attend works with a nonprofit and practices kung fu. school in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina hit Louisi-
Teens Define the “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke’s controversial song “Blurred Lines” claimed Billboard 100’s number one spot for the top summer song. The questionable music video and song have captured the attention of many. They have provoked an array of emotions from discontent to full blown outrage. The explicit version of the music video degrades women by using them merely as props. There was no problem with them only wearing nude colored thongs. The problem stems from them being chased with giant syringe needles and one model even got cigarette smoke blown in her face. Song lyrics such as “I know you want it” and “That’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl” make song listeners question the meaning of this song. Some say that the song is just a fun, playful song that should not be closely scrutinized but others believe that the song is talking about the line between consensual and non-consensual sex. “The song is degrading and sexist. It just makes me feel gross because I can easily put myself in the position of a girl who’s being harassed by a guy who won’t just leave her alone,” said senior Kaitlyn Jordan. Many female students feel that the song has “rapey” or non-consensual undertones. Thicke was recently quoted as saying that his song was supposed to be empowering women. That statement stirs a debate over
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by Sierra Reese whether or not women are really being empowered if men are giving them the empowerment. “I don’t think the song is empowering women. It’s the exact opposite,” said senior Justin Clay. Around school, there is also a presence of sexist behavior towards females and males alike. “The dress code specifically is an example of sexism,” said sophomore Charlene Adhiambo, “You have to have four-finger wide straps and fingertip length skirts.” The school dress code is implemented to ensure the safety of all students and also to maintain a level of modesty. But sometimes it can seem as though the dress code
is enforced more heavily on females. The fingertip length bottoms rules apply more the females than males. “Sometimes boys are ridden harder when it comes to discipline,” said world history teacher Theresa Abernathy. It does seem as though guys are more likely to get in trouble for rambunctious behavior than girls. One prevalent source of sexism is in the language that students use. Guys will sometimes use derogatory feminine words to express that the other person is a lesser being. Usually if females call them out on this behavior, they say that they are being too sensitive as if someone should not react to offensive language.
Volume 87, Issue 1
The Bush Acclimates to an Array of Changes by Dan Richardson Over the past summer Chamblee has seen a new chapter unfold in the conflict between the Bush and the Ivory Tower. Drastic changes have erupted and nothing is as it once was. As a new school year dawns, the Bush’s chances of remaining free grow dimmer. The Blue and Gold coverage of the Tin Can Rebellion or the War for Bush Independence, the name depends on a person’s affiliation, last left off with the Imperial County discovering the secret conflict and imposing a détente between the two sides. The détente was initiated simply to resolve the conflict so the summer could be enjoyed by all. The plan was short sighted and was easily abused. They used their influence to subtly (and not so subtly) manipulate the other over the summer. One of the first and most notable moves by the Ivory Tower was the coercion and removal of the Bush leader Governor Brian Ely. The Ivory Tower stated they are trying to westernize Ely and that is why he has been moved from the Governor’s Mansion at T3D to room 201. The Imperial County is not concerned with the day to day operations of the school so this change is going uncontested from the County. The Bush’s new sole leader Premier Jeremy Karassik of Karassikstan was outraged at the removal of his great ally and good friend. He knew open retaliation was not an option, the punishment would be another pay cut, and with pay for teachers already so low, he would have to start paying the County to work. The Premier developed a plan to plant a great friend of the Bush in a place of high power, on the council of Principals for the Ivory Tower. He turned to a secret friend of the Bush, Gail Barnes. Her influence over the school is on par with Mr. Leader, also known as Mr. Rubino, or Governor Ely. He would push for the creation of a new position on the council that would represent the Bush’s agenda on a daily basis and then recommend Barnes. The Ivory Tower, thought
and continues to think that Barnes’s loyalty lies with them, jumped on the opportunity to prove to the Imperial County that a working relationship was developing. Barnes was promoted and the reach of the Bush has
the Premier against the Ivory Tower. This single new ally signaled a change for the Bush. But not before the Ivory Tower took one more swing at the Bush leadership. First Scoggins departs over the vast Pacific, then Governor Ely was kidnapped to the Ivory Tower, and finally Wesley “Bo” Graham was removed. The Ivory Tower now had a free room in the Tower and decided to capitalize on their luck by moving the Premier’s lieutenant inside where his influence would be minimized. The list of the Premier’s allies grew ever shorter and his faith in maintaining the grand freedoms of the Bush weakened. The benevolent leader found resolve in the idea, that he has only to out last the Ivory Tower to achieve victory. He realized that soon both sides will lose when the Imperial building consumes them both. The Ivory Tower’s war on the Bush would end in failure if they could not control them and mold them like they continuously try to. As long as the spirit of the Bush is held by its citizens then, its freedoms cannot be diluted by any glass monstrosity. The school year started with the odds stacked against the Bush, which now only consists of Karassikstan, but the Premier now uses the twitterverse to rally people to his cause via the hash-tag “#freeEly” and to gain supplies for the Ely Airlift. Using intelligent carrier pigeons and a few hawks, the Premier can keep the Governor and his lieutenant appraised of the ongoing struggle to keep photo by Dan Richardson the Bush alive. He also airlifts edible food that the cafeteria lacks and unique Bush dirt with great healing now entered the once secret meetings of the Principal properties. The Premier continues the airlift and citizens and her Vice Principals. A grand victory was won but an of the Bush are encouraged to stop by M3D and give what unanticipated repercussion occurred that would shake the they can to the cause. Premier’s faith. Sources from inside the Ivory Tower give credence to The absence of the great Queen Leisa Scoggins of the the rumors that the Ivory Tower has begun mobilizing for Scogginton Commonwealth left her organization without a counter attack to minimize the morale boost Karassikstan a sense of leadership. Emperor Jason Davenport rose up to has established but everyone can only wait for someone to hold his community together and has pledged to stand with deliver the next strike.
The Top Ten Things Every Student Loves to Hear It is not a secret: every student dreads going to class. From the second students shuffle in the classroom and sit in their seats, a collective sigh drapes the room. The teacher welcomes the students and announces the plan for the day, which merits another sigh. However, once in a while a teacher can say something that pulls students out of their depressed slumber. Here are the top ten things students love to hear teachers say: 1) “There will be no homework tonight.” There is nothing more pleasing to the ears of high schoolers than the words “no homework.” No homework does not mean one thing less to do on that day, rather it means that a students has a chance to finally do something that does not have to do with school. For example, a student might have time to eat a full meal or sleep for an extended period of time, like six hours. When asked what goes through his head when he hears this hallowed phrase, junior Alex Valicin simply said, “That’s the way it should be.” 2) “Today we will be watching a movie in class.” Does this even need an explanation? Lights are turned off, and no work or effort is needed on the part of the student thanks to the amazing stimulation that movies provide. Unless of course, you allow your dreams to stimulate you, and utilize the time for a nice nap.
3) “I won’t be here tomorrow, so you will have a substitute.” No offense to the teachers, but students love substitutes. Substitute teachers might as well be called “days off” because without the regular teacher in class, students can not be expected to do much more than nothing in class (noticing
by Kunal Goel a trend here?). “For me this means a combination of three things,” said junior Kavi Pandian. “‘No homework, sweet!’, ‘nap time!’, or if I have a test the next day ‘study time’.” 4) “Your test has been postponed to tomorrow.” The surge of utter relief that follows this phrase for many students goes unmatched throughout the year. Students know that they will have to take the test eventually, that despite their expectations, they are not going to do any extra studying, and that the test will be just as hard tomorrow as it would be today. But that makes no difference- a test tomorrow means one more day of not taking the test, and another day to procrastinate. 5) “For this assignment, you may use your smartphones.” Wait, what? We can use our phones?! Do we still have to hide it? Get ready teachers, if you let this one loose, expect a full period of Doodle Jump and Snapchatting. Well, in reality teachers can expect that on a daily basis. But actually enabling students to do so will just make it all the more frequent. Students do not come to school to learn, they come to unlock the next level of Candy Crush. 6) “You will have no homework over the break.” Okay, this may be cheating, and you could probably stick this under the first one. But seriously, nothing ruins the Thanksgiving or holiday spirit like a homework packet. Students really hate that stuff. 7) “For this project, you may work with a partner.” There is very little that can qualify the word “project” that makes it easier to do, but “group project” certainly
How much do you know about Chamblee and the inhabitants of the Bush? Test your knowledge below by filling in the appropriate teacher (or teachers) for each question. When you are done, visit blueandgoldnews.blogspot.com to check your answers.
Can you name..... 1. The teacher in trailer row two who is a Georgia Tech graduate and soccer enthusiast? 2. The new French teacher and head boys soccer coach?
does the trick. Nobody likes working alone, and working with a partner can ease a lot of tension, making the entire project-process easier. Note: this can depend very much on the partner you are working with. 8) Anytime a teacher talks about sports, music, or anything unrelated to school. It is nice to find out that teachers really do have lives out of school. Finding out that a teacher likes the 49ers, or listens to Lil Wayne, or even learning something juicier like talk about past relationships can turn a dull class into an interesting, engaging one. Not to mention that getting a teacher off-topic is a prime time waster. “Teachers who open up are the ones I go for,” said senior Luke Qin. “It let’s us know they care about us, and we are not just their source of money.” 9) “Yes, you can, but not here.” (credits to Brian Ely) This go-to quote of Ely’s if someone asks to use the restroom comes in at number nine because using the restroom can sometimes be a stressful process. It might sound sad that a common body function has to be so difficult, but every teacher seems to have their own rules when it comes to using the restroom. The students only have one rule: when you gotta’ go, you gotta’ go. 10) “Have a great summer.” No explanation required. So teachers, the next time your students walk into class, and that sigh permeates the room, keep in mind these ten things. They might just make your students’ day.
3. The teacher in row three that played football at Georgia Tech and holds two georgia track and field state records? 4. The teacher in row one who is an ALTA city tennis champion? 5. The teachers in row two and modular three who both have young daughters? 6. The Chamblee alums who teach in trailer five and modular two? 7. The teachers who teach in T4F, T3F, T2F, T1F?