Page 1

Red and Black

Montgomery County Public Schools Northwood High School 919 University Blvd. W Silver Spring, MD 20901

Volume 1 - Issue 2

February 2010

Northwood High School

A Cheering Success By Dean Michelsen

“North-wood, North-wood, Northwood” was the chant heard as the fans waved their arms from side to side during the Montgomery County Cheerleading Championships at Blair High School on Saturday, November 21st. With a confident performance and a noisy crowd, the Gladiators were able to take home first place and the Spirit award. The performance enabled the lady Gladiators to hold off BCC and Rockville, who finished second and third respectively. Throughout the competition, the Gladiator fans remained standing and started numerous chants to secure the Spirit award. As the announcement was made, the Lady Gladiators and their fans stormed the court jumping up and down in celebration. “When they were announcing the winners, I was so nervous because there were so many amazing teams. When they called our name for first place and the Spirit award, I jumped up and snatched the trophy. I was overjoyed,” said junior cheerleader Ashley Davis. Coaches Crystal Greenwood and Corrie Ortega made up the complex routine. The first place mark is a result of dedication and hard work. “They did very, very well, I am so proud of them,” said Coach Crystal Greenwood. Last year, Northwood finished second and received the spirit award. “We worked harder to keep up the reputation we had after getting second last year. We also had more girls, meaning we could do more difficult stunts,” said senior captain cheerleader Adriana Ruiz.

Devastation In Haiti Felt At NHS By Marie Meroney

Northwood High School cheerleaders and fans celebrate their Division Championship and Spirit Award.

pg. 2

Photo by Blanton Studios

2nd Semester Schedule Changes By Nora Smolonsky Second semester has always been something to look forward to; every student gets new teachers, new classes, and a new individual schedule. This semester, everyone got more than usual. The new schedule has arrived and students and teachers have dealt with the change. But there is still the lingering question, “Why did they do this?” It seems like the answer

was felt throughout the student body at Northwood, however freshman Luckline Jean-Baptiste has been personally affected – her family lives in Haiti. Most of her family lived outside of the area affected by the quake, but two of her uncles watched their houses turn to piles of rubble and her cousin has gone missing. “They’re living in the street now, but they’re getting by,” she says. In some cases, people are buried under these piles. According to CNN, one man was found after being buried alive for two weeks. Men, women, and children are still being pulled from

On January 12, 2010, the country of Haiti was turned to rubble by a fearsome 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The world rushed to Haiti’s aid, with organizations like the American Red Cross setting up easy ways to donate through text and ‘tweet’. “It’s sad - I hope reconstruction continues to happen,” said senior Nadji Lambert. This sentiment Continued on pg. 4

10,580 pds of Trash Clean-up

is one that only four people in the school know. But Ms. Ruschelle Reuben has agreed to let the rest of the school in on the administrative secret. Reuben said, “The objective is for students to complete missing assignments.” The hope is that the extra time to complete missing work will cause an increase in the amount of eligible students at Northwood. There it is, plain and

simple: students have too much missing work, therefore they are ineligible. Administration has taken notice of this negative pattern and wants things to change. Though administration believes longer lunch will increase eligibility, most students do not. Freshman, West Boliea thinks gladiator lunch will not work.

By Celena Jenkins On Friday January 29, Gladiator Express Card members enjoyed an ice cream social. But, is the card system effective? According to Northwood’s data, the express cards are working to help students increase their GPA’s. These cards are part of a reward system at Northwood that encourages students to earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The number of students holding an express card from quarter one to quarter two

increased from 31% to 37%, an increase of 6%. Out of the 521 students who received an express card, 199 of those students were new to the reward system. The majority of the students received a red card. Students with a GPA of 3.0 to a 3.4 can earn a red card, 3.4 to a 3.79 a silver card, 3.8 to a 4.0 a black card. Ms. Jackson, Science Resource Teacher, is in charge of the Continued on pg. 3

Continued on pg. 4

Do Express Cards Impact Achievement?

Ask Charlotte Debuts pg.


Fashion Speaks pg. 10

Hip-Hop / R&B Music Reviews

pg. 8


February 2010

School News Red & Black

No More Trash in Our Backyard by Kelly Reyes Is it pollution? Is it non-sense? Is it un-sanitary? Many answered “all of the above” concerning the conditions of the wooded areas behind Northwood. As a result, there is currently an eight month project underway to restore 15 acres of Maryland State Highway Administration land and build a nature trail that will be named, the Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trial. To start this project off volunteers cleaned up thousands of pounds of trash, bordering Northwood’s property. Around 60 volunteers worked for three hours on Sunday, November 22, a pleasant afternoon, removing 10,580 pounds of trash. Seventy five percent of the volunteers were students from Northwood and two feeder middle schools. Trash that was removed included jugs of used automotive oil, lawn mowers, bikes, windshields, broken cars, construction debris, sinks, and lots more. This project will be completed around May. The people involved in this project are Northwood High School, Friends of Sligo Creek, Potomac Appalachian Trial Club (PATC) and Maryland State highway administration. Creating the trail was an idea between Mr. Sauter, the cross country coach at Northwood, and Mrs. Jennifer Chambers, a member of the PATC. Northwood’s interns will do more research, put new plants around the trail and construct signs educating the walkers about the trail. “This is a great idea, it will get people outside walking, running, learning and enjoying nature,” said Mr. Erol Miller, the environmental science teacher.

Top: Mr. Miller, Environmental Science Teacher and State Senator Jamie Raskin congratulate the many volunteers including Ben Kreitzberg (Left) and Jenny Duong (Above). Photos courtesy of Jennifer

School News


February 2010

Express Cards Cont. from page 1 Gladiator express card system. She states that “being academically eligible isn’t good enough and it raises student’s expectations.”Students with an express card can earn rewards such as gifts and gladiator express apparel as well as free entry into NHS sporting events. Brittany Nguyens (’11), who has a black card, believes that “express cards help students strive for better grades.” Madeline Stanley (’11), is a previous red card holder in quarter one. She states, “My express card motivated me to do better and now that I have lost it I strive for it again. Madeline also states that “People think that a 2.7 is good but with the express cards it proves to them that they can do better.” Madeline Stanley is just one of the 108 students who lost their cards at the start of quarter two. Ms. Wolf, assistant principal, and a member of the gladiator express card committee, states “A reward is giving someone something they would appreciate for achieving a certain goal, the certain goal being at least a 3.0.” Students aren’t rewarded for improving grades. An “E” student who raises his/her grade to a “C “would not receive a card. Ms. Wolf states that “Students should be acknowledged for improvements but rewards should be as intrinsic as they are extrinsic.” Extrinsic refers to the outside sources, like the cards, intrinsic refers to an inside source such as self motivation. Students have varying opinions. Ian Winick (‘12), had earned an express card in quarter one and lost it quarter two. His current GPA is a 2.87. Ian states “I don’t think I should be rewarded for my 2.87 but some other students should who can’t do better.” Express cards are supposed to be rewarding and make students strive for better grades but here Ian states that, “Not having an express card anymore didn’t really make a difference.” Rosie Townsend (‘13) who has a silver card states “Students should be doing well on their own and be self motivated. I would still do well in school without express cards.”

Why don’t students turn in homework / classwork / projects or study for test? According to NHS students:

Teachers of the Month by Ashley Davis

Two teachers were recognized for their efforts over the past months: Mr. Daniel Warrington and Dr. Lori Kurth. Mr. Warrington works in the foreign language department and Dr. Kurth is a member of the science department. When administration was asked about the process of selecting the teachers for each month, Ms. Wolf stated, “The leadership counsel nominates a teacher from each department and then the administrators chose who we think is best choice. Then we get feedback from students to reassure our decision is the correct one. We find Dr. Lori Kurth and Mr. Daniel Warrington to have very engaging classes and motivate the

students to learn.” Warrington said “I enjoy teaching the students and making activities fun. In order to be a great teacher you have to remember what it’s like to be a high school student learning a different language; but also love what you do.” Junior Sarah Dayhoff said “he is a fun teacher to have; he is very helpful and makes sure everyone understands what’s going on before moving forward with his lessons.” Dr. Kurth also received praise. Junior Amavi Acolaste said “Dr. Kurth is a great teacher; she is there to help us students and she is very lenient with assignments.”

Northwood Community Night Thursday February 4th 6:30pm - 9pm

School News


February 2010

Red & Black

It’s Academic by Erik Britch

On Thursday, January 7 an academic competition took place between Northwood, Blair, Whitman and Good Council High School. The basic idea for the “It’s Academic” meets is to compete against other schools in knowledge such as Math, Science and History. Raphael Grimes, Cary Koenig, Andrew Soncrant, and Eleni Brenner are the team members that represented Northwood. The first match was between Northwood and Whitman. Northwood won by a score of 555-90. For the first round of each game, the points were 20 points each, the second round were 10 points each and the 3rd round 15 each. Often featured in the competition were lightning and visual questions. The lightning questions came one after the other and went to the people who answered it first; the visual questions were held up i n a piece of paper by the questioner. Northwood excelled in most areas and defeated Whitman and Good Council.

Club Spotlight

was used for, also the buzzer was used for “up for grabs” questions. Northwood also defeated Good Council 550-165 but lost to Blair 590 Northwood 280. Each academic meet was about two hours long and usually lasted 3 games. Cary Koenig, one of the team members noted, “We did very well against Good Council, Whitman. We don’t have an elite team like Blair’s but we are slowly making our way up.” In total there are 13 members of the Academic team for Northwood. The academic club meets every Tuesday and Thursday in Mr. Jelen’s room (B213).

Comedy Club By Liam Brennan

Picture if you will, 20 teens, running around, talking, joking, making fun of each other. You can’t actually require that they participate, suddenly somebody shouts “DROP THAT CHAIN SAW!”. This anecdote almost perfectly describes the Comedy Club at Northwood, formerly the Lee Comedy Club, led and directed by Harry Bagdasian, a lifelong resident of Silver In the 3rd round, there were bonus Spring and a professional Director and questions worth 5-30 points each. Playwright. The story goes like this, in 1995, One other variety of question was the E. Brooke Lee Middle School had no form “pop up” question in which the buzzer of drama or acting group. The principal at

Schedule Change Cont from pg 1.

He says, “If the kids aren’t doing anything to help themselves now, they’re not going to change anything.” Boliea thinks it could cause counter productivity saying, “They’re getting ten extra minutes to goof off.” The new schedule is actually not new at all, but rather old. It may have been recognized as the schedule from last year. The time for gladiator lunch was originally taken away to stop the fights which mainly occurred during lunchtime. Senior, Josh Smith, thinks the fights will return, “There will be

Websites to Consider for Donations: American Red Americares: Habitat for Humanity: Operation USA: World Vision:

the time approached Lisa Levin Ittév, an English teacher at the school, and Harry Bagdasian, whose daughters attended the school, about starting one. They agreed, but on two conditions. The first, it must be a comedy club. “There’s just something about doing comedy when everything else is so damn serious.” The second? It all must be original material. F a s t forward 14 years and Mr. Bagdasian is still tearing his hair out trying to keep things under control and moving along towards the final goal for each year, a show of original material written by him and students. Over the course of the years, additional shows have been added to the agenda, including one last year at a coffee house hosted by Wheaton high school and another on January 15th at Paint Branch Unitarian church. Following the show at Lee in 2008, the comedy club moved left Lee due to space conflicts and issues with

a lot more violence when they’re roaming the halls doing nothing.” Smith thinks the only thing the extra ten minutes will improve is students’ social lives. Replacing the schedule with the old one was not a snap decision, but one that weeks of thought went into. There were three options administration debated, and found that having a long lunch to get makeup work done would prove to be the most effective. Ashley Watts, who is a 9th grader, agrees with the administrative decision and thinks most students will be motivated enough to go to gladiator lunch. However, Sophomore Abraham Shalom thinks students will not go to gladiator

lunch unless there are consequences to skipping it, like there are with skipping classes. Students may disagree with the effectiveness of the schedule change but what they do not realize is they could have had a radically different schedule. Each new schedule option provided extra time for students to make up work in class. One schedule left only a half an hour for lunch, where students could not meet with teachers. These schedule prototypes were intricate in detail and carefully considered by the administrive team. But lunch appeared to be the easiest and most efficient time for students to meet with teachers and make up work.


So far, Northwood has no organized fundraisers planned. “The SGA doesn’t have anything planned quite yet, but it is an idea,” said freshman SGA president Saeeda Mazyk. Dr. Johnson has stated that “It is really up to the SGA to start help efforts,” and students are eager to provide support. Other local schools have started taking initiatives to help those in Haiti. Fellow University Boulevard native Montgomery Blair High School collected $1,000 in just two days and held additional fundraisers afterward; Blake High School even created an action committee.

Cont. from page 1 the wreckages. Organizations, however, are anticipating the worst and expecting the death toll to increase as more bodies are found. It’s been two weeks since the initial earthquake, but as of January 27th the United States Geological Survey has reported quakes reaching magnitudes of 4.0 in the Haiti region. On January 20th an aftershock reached a magnitude of 6.1. Under these conditions, Haitians need all the help they can get.

administrators and moved to Northwood. Mr. Bagdasian had started a Northwood Comedy Club early in the school year, but was derailed by a car accident that put him in bed for several weeks. However, the club at Northwood has had plenty of trouble even with him at its helm. In ’09 four students were found to be ineligible four hours before the show and the show had to be rescheduled, with some members dropping out due to other obligations. Then, this year the club had their budget slashed to a quarter of what it was in the previous year, and the salary for the adults working with the group including himself, assistant director Beck Krefting and improvisation coach Austin Villemez slashed in half. Despite this, the group is intent on finishing the year. A show will be held in the early spring. Photo by Liam Brennan

Northwood’s 1st Semester Bell Schedule Period Period 1 Period 2 Lunch Period 3 Period 4

Starts 7:25 9:02 10:26 11:12 12:44

Ends 8:56 10:26 11:06 12:38 2:10

Northwood’s 2nd Semester Bell Schedule Period Period 1 Period 2 Lunch Period 3 Period 4

Starts 7:25 8:56 10:20 11:16 12:46

Ends 8:50 10:20 11:10 12:40 2:10

“I feel so bad… [so] I donated $10 via text,” said freshman Rosie Townsend. She is one of the many students who turned to texting as an easy solution for sending money. There are several different text donation systems set up, but the American Red Cross has been able to earn upwards of $8 million dollars thus far. While many students search for ways to help Haiti, Luckline is hoping that her family will soon hear from her missing cousin. When asked if she’s fearful for her family’s country and family, she merely says “Yes… but I have to be strong for them.”

Local News Fighting for Youth Space at the New Civic Center By Nathan Taitano On Thursday November 12, supporters from the youth groups Gandhi Brigade, Gap Busters, and Mixed Unity attended a town hall meeting with county executive Ike Leggett to discuss the allocation of a space for youth in the new Civic Center, and the creation of a Youth Action Committee for Silver Spring. The Civic Center was built over a large patch of astroturf (basically thousands of little pieces of green plastic made to look and feel like grass) at the corner of Fenton and Ellsworth. The idea of a Civic Center has been around since 2007, and, at the time, raised some major

controversy, as the astroturf had been a popular hang-out and picnic spot for teens and families. Speakers representing Mixed Unity asked County Exec Leggett to support the allocation of a small space in the building that youth groups might use to hold events, meetings, and work for the benefit of the Silver Spring/ Takoma Park community and its youth. “It’s not just a place to play pingpong,” said Sandrine Emambu, speaking on behalf of Mixed Unity, “We’re looking for a place for youth groups to come and do work. “ Emambu cited the Mixed Unity Peace Summit as one event that would have benefited from such a space. Other groups that would also

Where Do We Work?


February 2010

use the space, she said, would include Asian American Lead, Gap Busters, Identity, Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers (MMYC), and many others. A speaker from Mixed Unity also asked for the creation of a Youth Action Committee for Silver Spring and Takoma Park, which would work to give a real youth perspective and influence on programs and policies that affect youth in the area. A plan for such a committee is already in the works, said a Mixed Unity spokesperson, and the Positive Youth Development Initiative has expressed interest in being involved in such a process. “It’s not a solution for all the problems,” said Ben Sudbrink, “But

it’s a base on which to build them.” Since the Town Hall meeting, members from different youth groups have met to discuss the youth space in the community. Some areas that were put under consideration included the old Silver Spring Library, which would take around three years to allow the new Library to be built, and the Flower Theatre on 8725 Flower Avenue. Additional meetings have taken place regarding the Civic Center, including one in mid-December with the group in charge of managing the Center, but prospects look bleak for the youth space, and the official stance of the County is that all the available space in the Civic Center is currently taken.

Dances with Loaves

By Markia Lewis

Briana McMillian (‘11) has been working at Sports Zone for six months. “I enjoy working there because I and my mangers make the best of it”. Ali Vahidikhah (‘10) has been working at Spring for two years and has not gotten a raise. He gets paid above minimum wage. “I enjoy working there when it’s not busy. He gets shoes and does shipment.

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Jaime Cordero (‘10) has been working at Continental Pizza in Kensington, MD for a year and four months. He gets paid above minimum wage. He likes his jobs at times. He makes subs and pizzas. “It’s really small and hot but I get to take a free meal every night. Yessica Barahona (‘10) has been working at Gymboree in Montgomery Mall as a Sales Associate for over a year. “I don’t like it sometimes because the customers are rude and they make messes, but I enjoy helping customers find clothes. I also enjoy working with my co-workers.” Aharon Turpie (‘10) worked at Ben Yehuda for a year. He is now working a Topline selling computer parts. He gets paid 8.00 an hour. “My job has good hours and good pay.”

Mare Lewicki (‘10) has been working at Mi Rancho’s in downtown Silver Spring as a hostess for two years. “I’m always on my feet and the rushes get hectic.”

Photos by Markia Lewis

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February 2010

Red & Black

Ask Charlotte

Dear Ms. Charlotte, Over the years, fashion has changed dramatically. When I was in high school, fish net stockings were popular along with, to name a few, hip huggers, Go-Go boots, and short skirts. We (if I can speak for the rest of my generation) liked this style because, well, it was the fashion of the day. However, never did we have anything like pants being worn way, way, way below the hips, with the possibility of personal effects to be seen. Ms. Charlotte, would you please comment on why this type of fashion is seen as ‘fashionable’ and what can ‘an old fogeys’ like me do to E-mail your question to prepare ourselves for the next wave Charlotte at: of fashion? Mrs. C. Dus Sault English 10 Dear Mrs. C. Dus Sault, I understand what you mean, I see that all the time around school. But come on now, you’re not an old fogey! And if anyone calls you that, you should give them a piece of your mind. While Go-Go boots died a long time ago with poofy hair, out of all the other fashions that you mentioned short skirts will NEVER change. Girls (and guys depending on what type they are) are obsessed with looking “hot” and “sexy” for the boys who have their pants way, way, way below their hips. The main issue with teens today is that we can never decide what we want; we always change what we want and we expect it to be changed ASAP. Fashion is probably the biggest example of that. For example last year everyone loved Converse shoes but this year everyone’s hearts belong to Vans, Ugs, and DC’s. Preparing for the new wave fashion only requires you to be you. Don’t stress, or even try to keep track of all the fashions because it’s going to change no matter what you do. But if you really want to know the new fashions just ask your students (or some teachers like Ms. McGee or Ms. Vanderhorst). What better way to find out the new fashions than by asking the people who helped changed them? I personally don’t care much about what other people think. I believe that if I think I look good then I do look good. My outfits reflect my sarcastic and upfront personality. PS. I agree with you that wearing pants way, way, way below the hips is not attractive. I think it’s so stupid! What’s the point of wearing a belt if you’re going to have your underwear showing?! But some guys think it’s cool while some girls think it’s cute. Adults always taught me that “The only cheeks people want to see are the ones on your face!” Charlotte

Red and Black Editorial Policies

The Red and Black is published quarterly by the students of Northwood High School. Signed editorials contain solely the opinion of the writer. Only unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the entire staff. Letters to the paper are encouraged. Adequate space will be provided up to 250 words. Letters must be signed, though they may be published anoymously. Restrictions on content include, but are not limited to: libel, obsenity and invasion of privacy at the discretion of the newspaper staff.

What Does Society Value ? by Phillip Shattan Most of us know the words ‘politically correct’, but what does it mean? Does it simply mean we’re respectful of other people’s culture, that we refrain from using stereotypes or racial slurs about other cultures, or is it simply another way of saying “polite”? Perhaps these things are what political correctness was once meant to be, but if I had to summarize it now I would say it has become a gag on the American voice. During the recent Fort Hood shooting Nidal Malik Hassan, an American born Muslim psychiatrist went on a killing spree, killing 13 and injuring 30. When this first got out, most news stations claimed he had simply “broken” under the stress, such as the MSNBC article titled “‘Good doctor stressed out by deployment?” They ignored the fact that Hassan had been in contact with a known terrorist, that he had given a medical lecture that included him claiming non-believers would be sent to hell, decapitated, and hot oil poured down their throats; they ignored that his actions were religiously motivated. Now, their actions are understandable, to a degree. After the inexcusable and racist actions conducted against American Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks it is easy to understand why many groups wanted to downplay Hassan’s religion, lest it resemble a witch hunt. But how could a man who was suspected of having serious mental issues by his colleagues for years operate freely for so long? His case was discussed often, but why did no one do anything? Why did no one make a serious attempt to have him detained, removed from his post, or at the very least not let onto a military base filled with weapons? How could a man who showed clear signs of being mentally disturbed, who, as an army psychiatrist, was regularly surrounded by many other competent army psychiatrists and whose signs should have been instantly recognized, be allowed to roam freely throughout a military base? Because their throats were gagged. Because none of his colleagues wanted to be called the dreaded “R” word, because none of them wanted to deal with the ACLU or the media, because no one wanted to risk their career for what would probably amount to nothing. So what do we value in society? Do we really value the truth? If that were the case, then we would be outraged by the current state of the media which presents pundits opinions as facts, in which men like Glenn Back and Keith Olberman are the face of the news, the noticeable pro-Obama tone of the media, and even the unrestrained torrent of anti-Bush articles that have long since dismissed the idea of the Yale graduate being even a vaguely competent man. Do we only value being respectful of other people’s cultures, even to a fault? If that were the case, then we should be outraged by the antics of Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright to the degree that they would no longer wield any real political influence (such as what occurred to Don Imus) or, at the very least, no longer be invited to speak at the NAACP. But we don’t. So then do we only value being extremely “polite” to minorities, even if it means ignoring a mentally deranged man on a military base? Do we believe that the phrase “liberty and justice for all” is true, but some groups get more justice than others? I can understand that, in order to balance historic wrongs programs such as affirmative action are necessary, but incidents such as the Tawana Brawley debacle, Farrakhan’s description of Judaism and the Duke Rape case make the modern civil rights movement seem to believe more in an eye for an eye rather than the sentiment that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”-Martin Luther King Jr. I will be honest; I do not know what we value anymore as a people. Can we say we value truth, but only when it conforms to what we want it to be? Can we say we value justice when people are treated differently depending on their race and religion, whether in the north or south? Can we say we value freedom in all forms while the First Amendment means less and less every day? Can we even say we as students value our own country when 99% of us won’t even stand up or be quiet for the pledge of Allegiance unless the teacher forces us to? There was a period in American history when it was illegal to discuss slavery in Congress, and as a result no real action was taken to address the growing tension which ultimately exploded into the civil war. I do not believe we are anywhere near that point, and I hope we never are, but I do believe that it is quite difficult for us to fix many of Americas problems with gags in our mouths.



February 2010

Is NHS Homophobic? An interview by Ronald Palmer

According to a study by G.L.S.E.N, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, five percent of America’s high school students are of the homosexual orientation yet 81% report hearing homophobic terms in school and 66% reported using homophobic terms during school hours. Here are actual life experiences and beliefs from actual students at Northwood. To protect their identities they have chosen not to use their real names during the interview. RP: What are your views on homophobia? M.C.R-“I am anti-homophobic because I believe it destroys lives and families.” Jaime-“I feel homophobia destroys society and promotes discrimination of varieties.” RP: Do you feel someone cannot believe in homosexuality yet not be homophobic? M.C.R-“Yes.” Jaime-“Yes.” RP: Have you ever felt someone or ones were acting homophobic towards you or somebody you know? M.C.R-“Yes, towards someone I know.” Jaime-“Yes, towards myself.” RP: How do you feel about cultures and religions that shun homosexuality? M.C.R-“The Unitarian Universalism Church embraces all people and I believe other religions should also allow others into their church.”

Jaime-“Although the certain religion may not believe in homosexuality, we should all be capable of living in peace with each other.” RP: Have you ever felt homophobic yourself? M.C.R-“No, but when I was younger I did feel uncomfortable about homosexuality but don’t anymore.” Jaime-“No, but when I was young I was told to kill homosexuals.” RP: Studies have shown that, on average, 10% of any population is homosexual. Are you surprised society isn’t more acceptant of homosexuality even though one tenth of humans are homosexual? M.C.R-“Yes, it does surprise me.” Jaime-“Not really, because only 10% is homosexual and usually the majority of a population wins.” RP: Have you ever seen or experienced any degree of homophobia while at NHS? M.C.R-“No.” Jaime-“Yes.” RP: Where in a person’s life, do you believe homophobia usually stems from? M.C.R-“Childhood.” Jaime-“Childhood.” RP: If given the choice would you, turn all humans; A-Heterosexual (Straight) B-Homosexual (Gay or Lesbian) C-Bisexual (Attracted to both genders) D-Leave human kind as it is M.C.R-“D, because everyone was their choice to be who they are.” Jaime-“D, because if we were all gay or bisexual the human race would decrease and if we were all the same we would lack diversity.”

Do you think Raising the Driving Age was a Good Decision? Definitely by Marie Meroney

Definitely Not by Sherry Muolo

As much as the next teenager, I’m eager to get out on the open road and drive a car – who wouldn’t want to feel like they’re in charge of their destination? However, as of October 2009, the Maryland government decided to make teens wait longer before they got behind the wheel alone. The Maryland State Government and Maryland Vehicle Association expressed fear for the safety of teenage drivers, mainly on the grounds of the irresponsibility of teenagers and safety for drivers on the road with teenagers. To counteract the danger, Maryland raised the minimum driving age requirement to 18 and extended the length of time that one is in the learner’s permit stage. This is a wise decision, considering the statistics – the National Safety Councils website says that “A classroom worth of teens die each day” in vehicle crashes, while MSNBC reports that 94% of teens are distracted while driving. In recent studies, it’s even been found that teenagers’ brains lack complete development of the cortex that controls ‘risky behavior’. Psychologists and neurologists state that it’s this risky behavior that leads teens to drive while intoxicated, speed, and even drive aggressively. The opposition to this argument may say that it is necessary for teenagers to be able to drive themselves elsewhere – but teens have many other options than being dependent on their parents. Public transportation is free for MCPS students during the week before 7pm, and there’s always the more healthy choice of biking or walking. As someone who is now learning to drive, I think it’s good that Maryland took the proactive initiative to protect teen drivers from themselves, and to protect other drivers from teens.

Driving is probably one of the biggest milestones in life, and no doubt one of the most important. So why continue to raise the driving age? Getting teens out on to the roads earlier can create more time to get suitable experience with driving. Driving is like learning a new language: The earlier you start off, the easier it will be in the future, and the longer it will stick. In learning to drive, teenagers can pick up on responsibility and its importance. Once you’re able to drive, a few responsibilities can arise. These responsibilities may include getting groceries, picking up a sibling from school or a sports practice, filling up the tank, and paying for any tickets you receive. So learning to drive can teach a lot of responsibility to teenagers. Driving yourself around is a whole lot easier than constantly asking your parents to drive you places. Sometimes you have to nag them, and they have to put up with it. Sometimes they can’t drive you right away. High school is the time when teenagers start wanting things like clothes and music, and parents stop supplying the money for them to get these things. Therefore, teenagers apply for jobs. These jobs will probably not be in walking distance of your house, so having a license can be useful. Then there are afterschool activities. How many times have you had to take the Ride On, catch a ride with someone else, or had to call up a relative to drive you home? Wouldn’t it just be easier on everyone if you could drive yourself home?


February 2010

Arts & Leisure Red & Black

On December 3rd, at 7pm the doors of the school opened and the adults and students waited patiently for the musical comedy to begin. “The Wedding Singer” started with a montage of clips from weddings and a short New Jersey car scene. Then came the light show as flashes of blue, green, and red hit the black and white checkered floor. The characters emerged singing and dancing to “It’s Your Wedding Day.” The stage was set up as a wedding chapel and on each side of the side were flowers against the wall.

Partying Like it’s 1985 by Shonelle Turner

While some technical aspects of the show were met with mixed reviews, Rebeca Perez, a freshman, believed the show was as entertaining as the movie. “I loved how the show was creative and everyone looked like they were having fun. There were a lot of funny parts in there too.” Arthur Kraus, a freshman who played Glen in “Wedding Singer” stated that he looks forward to doing another Northwood play. “I made a lot of new friends and increased my talent.” When asked what his favorite part during the play, his response was simply this: “Corneilus “Tina Turner” Bullard.” Guess you just had to be there. The new play coming up is called “Night Must Fall,” a murder mystery, and is scheduled for performances on February 25, 26 and 27.

Photos courtesy of Yearbook Staff

Music Reviews by Nancy Vo

Album #2 MixtapeLupe Fiasco- Enemy of the State: A Love Story. “I’m OCD, I never think its clean enough, that’s what defines me” – Popular Demand.

Hello music lovers. I’m dedicated to ensure the successive interest of the readers, to explore the landscape of the hip-hop culture and the subculture that surrounds it. Music is therapeutic to me, music has done so much for my life, its became the friend that I can always relate to from the passing of Tai Lam, and guys that try to send me through the “turbine” to day to day stuff. I have a lot more appreciation for music then I ever have before. I’ve always heard music, but I just started to listen to it. Enjoy the reviews.

Album #1: Wale- Attention Deficit “One day everybody applauding, the next day you is everybody’s target” – Contemplate. My friend put me on Wale, a DC based rapper a while ago. I enjoy most of his music from the past and the mixtapes are dope too - from Paint the Picture, Hate is the New Love, Back to the Feature just to name a few, so of course I was more than excited to check his first album out. It got leaked on the net but I still wanted to hear it in its entirety. Overall WALE is my man. I really enjoyed his album and there are couple tracks that are on heavy rotation on my iTunes. Wale is pretty versatile with his flow; he’s got something for the ladies, dudes, parties, and even gets into his own personal experiences. From tracks like 90210 -produced by Mark Ranson, Beautiful bliss featuring Melonie Fiona & J.Cole. Album also features production along with an appearance from N.E.R.D frontman Pharrell. (One of the best bands might I add) Wale puts the whole DMV on the map with his amazing flow and stunning style. If you haven’t heard the album yet check it out !

Lupe Fiasco, where do I even begin when it comes down to his music. Personally, I am a big fan of Lupe; his impact on hip hop is stunning and the tricky metaphors that he makes seem so natural. Lupe rarely fails to impress. This mixtape brought in the “cassette style” is a continuous twenty- two minute long track. Lyricism is set to be a focal point this time around it seems. If you haven’t check it out for now, as Lupe dropped off another mixtape this past Christmas titled “Friend of the People”. Lupe is a classic, his poignant lyrics are brilliant for example on the track The National Anthem Lupe says, “Healthcare hairs, drive by thighs, education lips, HIV eyes, environment feet, justice get her so wet, brains get you brains”. Lupe continually pushes the envelope, with his latest track titled I’m Beaming in his upcoming album entitled “We Are Lasers” highlights just that. The anticipation is growing till his album comes out. I know he will Exceed Expectations.

Album #3. The Clipse - Till the Casket Drops. “Am I my brother keeper or for himself, everyman? – Malice (Freedom) “ We in the same group but I don’t share my brothers pain – Pusha T (Freedom)

The Clipse “ Till the Casket Drops” was released on December 8th, even though I personally wasn’t a big fan on The Clipse, I took my feelings for The Clipse and put them aside when I decided to give the album a listen. I remember my good friend Malik Sapp told me about him a while ago but I just recently got on game. I wasn’t disappointed on what I listened to, I was actually pretty oblivious to how good and versatile they were. The Clipse album speaks on humor, drugs, crime, self reflection etc. Tracks that will be played heavily on my iTunes: Freedom, which is a very great intro to the album, Champion and Popular Demand (Popeyes) which features an appearance of Killa Cam. Check it out if you haven’t already.


January’s Signs :

Aquarius & Capricorn Aquarius 1/20-2/18 Capricorn 12/22-1/19

Aquarius 1/20-2/18


February 2010

When Capricorn and Aquarius join together in a love match, they tend to bring out the most positive attributes of one another. Capricorn is a more cautious, rational outlook on life, while Aquarius is insatiable, fostering an idealistic approach to nearly everything. On the surface, they may seem like total opposites, but once these two set eyes on one another, an unbreakable bond is formed

When Capricorn and Pisces join together in a love match, on the surface, it may appear to be opposites attracting. Capricorn is downto-earth and regimented, with a very strong work ethic, while Pisces tends to be more emotional and dreamy, and takes on the needs of those around them. This couple is honest, and can be devoted to one another. They admire one another: Capricorn appreciates Pisces's kind nature, and Pisces is drawn in by Capricorn's quick wit and tenacity.

When Sagittarius and Aquarius join together in a love match, Aquarian ideals and Sagittarian knowledge combine to make them a creative and unique couple. This partnership is uninhibited, and while it can get competitive with these two, there's never a dull moment! Underneath any romantic overtone, there exists a great friendship; their Signs are two apart and this tends to give them an ability to communicate well as well as an excellent rapport. Both are idealistic and excited about life, and together they enjoy great times. Together, the two can fly without fear of falling.


By:Celena Jenkins

Capricorn 12/22-1/19

Pisces 2/19-3/20 Sagittarius 11/22-12/21

Excerpts taken from

Remember: February 14 is Valentine’s Day Album #4. Rihanna – Rated R “ The only thing I’m missing is a black guitar” - Rockstar The Good Girl Gone Bad has finally shown herself, definitely raw. This album is a portrait of lived experiences that unfolds. This honestly is her best album yet because her personality finally comes out instead of what music just sounds good, from telling us how its gonna be in the beginning with Mad House and then putting us in our place with Wait Your Turn which is my personal favorite. She lets us know how hard she is but then she admits how she is Stupid in Love which we as females can all relate too. Russian Roulette is fire bomb, Photographs show us her soft side that every girl has, then though you can’t help but to miss them when you come across memories. She hits me deep with that one. This album has to be the soundtrack to my personal love life. The vulnerability it shows up to the confidence I gained. Her image also evokes a style of female empowerment. Get on it if you haven’t already.

Album #5. Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom Alicia Keys, The Element of Freedom was released on December 15, 2009, (sigh). What her music does to my soul. Almost all the tracks on her album deal with the ups and downs of love. Her life is on display and the growth she made is inherent and that’s what makes this album amazing, when you listen to her album you feel something, her music allows us to tap into emotions that were previously walled off and grow deeper into ourselves. A personal favorite, Empire State of Mind Pt II, is an undeniable song, anyone that listens to music would understand. Trying to Sleep with a Broken Heart, and Unthinkable (I’m ready) ft. Drake, is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, this song is an extraordinary example of Alicia Keys power to make us truly feel something; turn the light low, pull someone you love close, turn on this song and see what happens.



February 2010

Red & Black

Fashion Apparel : Individuality is the Key to Success

By: Nancy Vo

Avish Rodriguez:

Noah Hirsch:

Q: What makes someone fashionable? A: The way you carry yourself with what you wear, being different and creating your own style.

Q1: How does individuality reflects what you wear? A: I wear what I think looks cool, not worrying about brands or where it comes from?

Q: When it comes to fashion, it’s like an open book, the boundaries can be so limitless. How has that helped you when it comes to developing your own style? A: Allows me to be my own self, change the current fashion into my own style and preferences.

Q2: What do you think is the most attractive part of your sense of fashion? A: Mix of different styles together.

Q: Favorite Brands? A: Nike, Levi Jean, LV, Supras.

Q3: Stores you shop at? A: Commonwealth, Palace5, Urban Outfitters, and Thrift Stores.

Jasmine Powell: Courtney Queen : Q: How does uniqueness, originality, and creativity reflect your sense of fashion? A: I’m different; I like to think outside the box. I don’t follow trends; I make them. I make my own craft and put out great art through my fashion. Q: There’s a little get rich and famous mentality running through the clothes you wear. Do you agree? If so why? A: To an extent, I wear things that people might want to thrive off on my everydays. I like to be daring, having that mentality for those who aren’t and those who might want to. I know what works for me but some people don’t. Q: Trends that should come back? A: Harem pants, pumps, and big belts.

Q1: How does the way you dress reflect your personality? A: I’m cute and unique - same goes for my style, but at the same time I like to be comfortable in what I wear. Q2: What inspires you to dress the way you do? A: Magazines like Teen Vogue, Elle, Seventeen and also Thrift stores that have old vintage stuff and I can make it more modernize. Q3: Trend that should die? A: leggings with flats. Photos by Nancy Vo



February 2010

Review of the Decade! 2000-2009 By: Raquel Avila

Red and Black Staff Writers

Nathan Taitano

Raquel Avila

Shonelle Turner

Liam Brennan

David Wilson

Erik Britch

Adviser: Daryl Alston

Cassandra Cuebas

2000: •The Y2K computer crisis doesn’t really happen.

2001: •The invention of the first i-Pod. •9/11/01 •The first Harry Potter book becomes a movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

2002: •TV series American Idol debuts on FOX •The movie Spider-Man was the year’s box-office blockbuster, grossing more than $406 million.

2003: •Johnny Depp earned an Oscar nomination for his role of Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. •The Recording Industry Association of America cracked down on people who illegally downloaded more than 1,000 songs over the Internet, filing lawsuits against hundreds of people, including a 12-year-old girl.

2004: •Kanye West make his album debut with College Dropout •Freddy Adu, professional soccer player, made history in April, when he stepped onto the field to play in his first Major League Soccer game

2005: •The popular video game Guitar Hero makes its debut •Moviegoers in the U.S. spent $8,945,298,267 at the movies. •Hurricane Katrina damages the Gulf coast and more than 1,000 die and millions are left homeless.

2006: •Cancer replaces heart disease as No. 1 cause of death for people ages 85 and under.


Gabriel Cuevas-Iraheta

Red and Black Patrons

Ashley Davis

The Britch Family

Celena Jenkins

The Brennan Family

Isha Koroma

The Cuevas-Iraheta Family

Markia Lewis

The Smolonsky Family

Alex Mendelsen

The Lewis Family

Marie Meroney

The Muolo Family

Dean Michelsen

The Turner Family

Sherry Muolo

The Wilson Family

Ronald Palmer

Printing by: Silver-Com

Kelly Reyes Ivette Roman

Special Thanks to:

Phillip Shattan

Northwood Administration

Nora Smolonsky

Ms. Bisset, Ms Dixon, Ms Bowes-Dietz

Upcoming NHS Dates to Remember: Feb 3 - Report Cards Distributed Feb 4 - Northwood Community Night Feb. 18 - Registration Cards Due Feb. 20 - Junior Parent Breakfast Feb. 25, 26 & 27 - School Play “Night Must Fall” March 2 - Music Faculty Recital and Opera March 4 - Music Recital and Opera March 26 - 3rd Quarter Ends March 29 - Spring Break Begins April 9 - Battle of the Classes April 29 - Billboard Magic May 1 - Billboard Magic

•Deadliest year for U.S. troops in Iraq.

May 3 - May 14 - Advanced Placement Exams


May 8 - Powder Puff Game

•Michael Jackson’s goes into the Guinness book of world records 2008 for his “Thriller” album that is the biggest selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide.

2009: •Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States. •Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first latina sworn in to be the sworn into office as the associate justice of the United States supreme court. •Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Brittany Murphy, and Farrah Fawcett die.

June 3 - Class of 2010 Graduation

Gladiator Sports February 2010

Red & Black

Winter Update

Battle of the Boulevard By Dean Michelsen

On January 22, in the annual basketball matchup known as the Battle of the Boulevard, the Gladiators edged the Blair Blazers 41-40 in a thrilling finish. Senior Ed Dyson, who was in foul trouble early on only had 8 points with 10 seconds left on the clock. But with the Gladiators down by one in the final seconds, Dyson raced up the court and pulled up for a ten foot jumpshot. Dyson hit the shot with 0.8 seconds left. The Gladiator fans stormed the court in a joyous fashion. The refs ordered the fans back in the stands because there was still 0.8 seconds left. The Blazers threw the ball in and shot a half court heave but it was no good. The Gladiators took home the bragging rights for a year. Ed Dyson was quoted by The Gazette after his game winning shot. “I was just speechless. I was praying to God that I’d get the shot off. I can’t believe it myself.” With the win, the Gladiators sontinued their winning streak while the previously undefeated Blazers fell to 1-12 on the season. Since the win the Gladiators defeated Kennedy and Rockville to improve their record to 7-8.

Sina Ghirma (‘10) is currently averaging 4.75 ppg and is the floor general for the Lady Gladiators.

Winter Schedules Varsity Girls Basketball 2/5 7:00pm 2/9 7:00pm 2/12 7:00pm 2/18 7:00pm 2/23 7:00pm

Einstein Clarksburg Northwood Northwood Northwood

@ NHS @ NHS @ Poolesville @ Paint Branch @ Magruder

Boys Varsity Basketball Fri 2/5 5:15pm Tue 2/9 7:00pm Fri 2/12 7:00pm Fri 2/19 7:00pm Tue 2/23 7:00pm

Luke Stocky (‘11) last year’s 125lb Montgomery County Champion is off to a solid start as he works to beat last season’s 30-3 record.

Einstein @ NHS NHS @ Clarksburg Poolesville @ NHS Paint Branch @ NHS Magruder @ NHS

Wrestling Wed. 2/3 6:00 PM Match #10 B-CC at Northwood Sat. 2/6 2:30 PM Match #11 Northwood and Springbrook at Blake Swimming and Diving

Warren Jackson (‘10) placed first with a 56.62 in the Boys 100y butterfly and a 5:44.25 in the Boys 50y freestyle.

Saturday, 2/6, 11:30 AM Northwood and Clarksburg at Gaithersburg Aquatic Center Saturday, 2/13, 7:30 AM Division IV Diving Championship at Olney Swim Center Poms Competition: MCPS County Championship Date: February 13 Start time: 9:30 am Location: Richard Montgomery High School Ed Dyson (‘10) is currently 5th in the county in scoring (19.8 ppg) and is the team’s leading rebounder. Photos courtesy of Susan Shaffer and Blanton Studios

Northwood Red and Black  

Volume 1 Issue 2 2010

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