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Six Campuses, One Community, Every 14 Days.

March 1 2010

Vol. 45 Issue 3 The latest news is always at

Gaming Rooms Come to Life on Campus

Inspiration at Annandale By Annie Ryan Operations Manager

If one needed encouragement to counter balance the negative daily news regarding the employment and the economic downturn, the Ernst Cultural Center Theater on the Annandale campus was the place to be on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Author, entrepreneur and public speaker Jonathan Sprinkles was Continued on Page 3

Students enjoying time off from studying in the Annandale Campus Gaming Club Lounge.

By Chris Pilcher

Staff Reporter

What’s better than playing video games at home, with all the lights off, just you and 5 million other people all connected by headsets? Playing with friends at school, that’s what. Video games have become more of a social past time than ever. Let’s take a look at the past few years. Games like Halo 3, Gears of War 2, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and a multitude of other games have involved less single-player and more glorious, fragging multi-player action. With such a drastic leap toward social gam-

ing, why are some gamers still insisting on sitting alone in front of their consoles day after day, playing against opponents they don’t even know? Truth be told, we probably all do it. It’s easy, convenient and how college kids roll. But, what if it was just as convenient, just as easy, and even more fun to play games at school? A gaming room recently opened at NOVA’s Annandale campus. During the school day, it is not uncommon, when walking through the CF building toward the cafeteria, to hear cries of victory, the rat-tat-tat of gunfire, and John Madden saying, “Now here’s a guy who, when he runs, he goes faster!” Players of all shapes, sizes and skill levels line up to beat each other up, shoot each other in the feet and jump on each

other’s heads. The room itself is unassuming: four walls, five or six HDTV’s and all the latest gaming systems and games. What does it cost to use? Just the temporary loss of your NOVA ID and a lot of time. As expected, there are time limits for playing so that everybody gets to play. But fear not, you can stick around and play the winner of the next game. Every game picked is there to be played by multiple players. You won’t see all the latest and greatest in single-player RPGs, or single-player anything, for that matter. After all, how much fun is it to watch the ending of a game that you have sitting at home, waiting to be finished, played by someone who isn’t you? Sorry, PC gamers, nothing for you here. But Continued on Page 5

Read how the NOVA lacrosse team did in its inaugural game.

A look at the myths and facts of the stimulus bill.

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What’s going on?

What is lifecasting? >>

Check out the Fortnightly calendar for a complete list of events at all six campuses and in the community during the next two weeks.

A messy art is documented by a reporter who had a copy of his face created.

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By Joshua Davis Editor-In-Chief

Tax season is rapidly approaching, and with it the stress of complicated tax laws. However, with free tax preparation workshops at NOVA and special tax credits for students, there are many ways to make the season easier. There are several tax provisions that are designed to help students. One is the Hope Credit which can provide $2,500 for education Continued on Page 3

Has the stimulus worked?

<< Lacrosse team premieres.

Free Tax Prep Workshops

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March 1, 2010


the Open Computer Lab in CT105, or send an email to Isha Haider with Workshop in the subject line. Annandale CT 107 March 2 3:00-4:30 p.m.

[Job Events]

Career Center Featured Employer: Premier Aquatics Stop by the Annandale Career Center to learn about available positions at Premier Aquatics. Room CM 327 on March 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Excel/Access 2007 Workshop Discuss templates, creating a simple chart, using formulas, adding clip art, creating hyperlinks, generating graphs, creating databases, queries, designing forms and running reports. All Annandale students are invited to attend. If you are interested, please sign up at

Annandale CM 327, on March 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

[College Transfer Employer on Campus: Tysons Corner Apple Store

Events] Adult Transfer Fair

The Tysons Corner Apple Store has vacancies in sales, training and tech support positions. Stop by the Career Center to learn more. At

This Transfer Fair is one that focuses on the needs of the many nontraditional, adult students who

attend NOVA and who desire to continue their education. We invite colleges and universities who provide not only traditional track curriculum, but also programs which are delivered in more flexible and non-traditional methods and which support the theme of Work, Live, Learn, which embodies the lives of the adult student. At the Annandale CE Building Forum March 2, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Transfer Admissions Visit: Marymount University Drop in and meet with an admissions representative. At the Annandale Transfer Resource Center, in room CM 327 March 4, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Campus - Information Visit Drop in and meet with an admissions representative about all the allied health programs offered by NOVA. At Annandale CM 327 on March 16, 2010 10:30a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Transfer Admissions Visit: American University Stop in and meet with the representative. At the Annandale Transfer Resource Center, CM 327 on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 8:00-11:00 a.m.

NOVA Medical Education

What’s going on this fortnight? March 1 – March 22 Email us about your events at: [Movies]

116 on March 16 from 2-4 p.m. Movie Night: Sherlock Holmes Screening of Sherlock Holmes. At Annandale campus in room CT 127 on March 17 from 6-9 p.m.

Ice skating sponsored by the Loudoun student activities office. At the Ashburn Ice House on March 19, 2010 from 8:00-9:30 p.m.


[Community Service]

Movie Night: Precious Screening of Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, a 2009 drama film. Presented for Women’s History Month. At Annandale in room CM 332, March 4, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

LO - Women’s Documentary Documentary for Women’s History Month at Loudoun in LW

Ice Skating

Spring Break ‘Trip’ - Hunger and Poverty in Fairfax County

Ice Cream Social Ice Cream Social. At the Loudoun Student Lounge on March 19, 2010 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by United College Ministries this event will help the community living in poverty south of Alexandria with a food pantry, food delivery, and assisting with preparing and serving lunch. Pickup and drop off at the Alexandria and Annandale campuses. Contact Pete Fountneau at for details and to register.

Three reasons to advertise with the NOVA Fortnightly: 1. Reach 5000 students 2. Affordable ad rates start at $55 3. A creative team that can design unique advertising

For more information email


March 1, 2010


Speaker Gives Inspiration for Getting Through Hard Times Photo by Kama Storie

Jonathan Sprinkles gives a motivational speech to a group of NOVA students at the Annandale campus.

Continued on from front page

the special guest speaker on that afternoon. Still a believer that the United States is the land of opportunity, Sprinkles said that he loves visiting this part of the country. One can talk to someone expecting one thing and get something completely different, the answer could come in any language under the sun. This was evident during the course of conversation with one taxi driver from Ghana. Sprinkles asked the man why he had come so far to pursue his education. “In my country if you’re born poor you die poor,” the man replied. “Here no matter where you start out, you can choose where you finish.” In America more money is spent on trash bags annually than all accumulated goods purchased yearly in some of the world’s

poorest nations. “Somewhere in the world someone is praying for your problems,” Sprinkles asserted. According to him, immigrants to the United States are four times more likely to become millionaires than natural born citizens because of one word – choice. Though many have experienced pain and disappointment and may ask, “Why me?” the motivational speaker turned the question on its head asking, “Why not me?” Obstacles shape us into the people we will become. Once one has suffered, that person is less likely to judge someone else in the same situation and more likely to help solve problems. Eight years ago Sprinkles walked away from an $82,500 salary as a sales representative at Dell, Inc. to embrace an unknown future pursuing his passion, public

speaking. A couple of years ago that same company hired him to speak at an event on leadership. People may discourage noble endeavors, asking “Have you finished that associates? How is that business going? Have you gotten rid of that credit card debt?” Sprinkles told his audience to reply, “Stay tuned, it’s coming. The end is better than the beginning. Don’t let an underachiever determine what you can or can’t do. You were born an original – don’t be a copy.” If we accept the best and worst things that happen to us happen for a reason, then it is easier to take chances in life. As Sprinkles told his audience, “Why live a good life when you can live a great one?” You can learn more about Jonathan Sprinkles at www.

Free Income Tax Preparation at Alexandria, Woodbridge Campuses Photo by Aleksandra Lagkueva

be used by more students, including those pursuing graduate and professional goals. NOVA, in partnership with the Northern Virginia Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope Campaign, holds tax workshops from January to midApril to help low income, and those with low English proficiency file taxes. Volunteers are trained in tax preparation basics and in special tax credits. They can also assist in free electronic filing of taxes. The campaign is part of a broader

initiative run by the IRS, which trains and certifies volunteer tax preparers. Tax preparation is held by appointment only at the Alexandria and Woodbridge campuses. An appointment at the Alexandria campus can be scheduled by calling 703-845-6222. To make an appointment at the Woodbridge campus, call 703-878-5684. More locations throughout the Northern Virginia area for these tax workshops can be found at

Keep Up With the NOVA Fortnightly Online: Free tax preparation workshops at Alexandria and Woodbridge can help students save the money of a tax preparer.

Continued from front page

expenses; the other is the Lifetime Learning Credit that affords a broad range of tax refunds for educational expenses. The Hope Credit is available to

students completing their first two years of college, who are working on a degree, and who are enrolled at least half time. Even though the tax is called a credit, it is not refundable. In other words, if the credit is more

than the amount paid in taxes no extra money will be granted. The Lifetime Learning Credit pays 20 percent of the first $10,000 spent on educational expenses. The Lifetime Learning Credit also can

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March 1, 2010

Black Abolitionists: Revising Historical Stereotypes Photo by Kama Storie

Dr. Joseph Windham talks to students and fellow professors about the historical stereotypes of black abolitionists.

By Annie Ryan

Operations Manager a r ya n@ n ovafo r t n i ghtl y. o m

During the summer of 2009, Dr. Joseph Windham, Professor of History at the Alexandria campus, attended a Yale University seminar, Passages to Freedom: Abolition and the Underground Railroad. The course was taught by Professors James and Lois Horton, graduates of George Washington University and George Mason University. The seminar series offered at The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was designed to help teachers bring new life into teaching history. On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Windham led a lecture in the Bisdorf Building, sharing what he learned with NOVA students. The Abolition Movement in the United States was one of the most intricate, successful grass roots movements in history. Over time, the profile of the individual abolitionist has been fictionalized by stereotypes such as being defined as that of religious pious and zealots. In reality, the movement was comprised of mostly working class, some middle class, and few

upper class people. Politicians, milk men, Quakers, slaves, and African seamen all participated. Abolition began with the slaves. “Slaves saw themselves as human beings. Something maintained that in their condition that made them resist,” Windham addressed his audience. The difference between anti-slave beliefs and abolitionists was that abolitionists put their belief into action. Slavery was the law of the land, and every man, woman and child had to enforce that law at the peril of their livelihood and freedom. The law penalized subverters with incarceration, property seizure, and death. Furthermore, if a runaway slave crossed paths with and went unnoticed by a white person, that white person could be imprisoned for it. From the beginning, Africans were outnumbered, out-armed and faced disease caused by the wretched conditions of capture. These Africans were captured by rival clans and merchants in the interior of the continent then brought to the shores where most of the prepping and sales actually

took place. Suffering from abuse and physical trauma, the captured men and women faced a future of indefinite ownership and torture strengthened by their cultural memory, heritage, religion, and faith that things would get better one day. Many slaves could communicate amongst themselves in the New World because many were captured from the same locales and transported together. Of all the Africans transported from their homelands, 90% went to Latin America. Of the remaining people, they did not come to America as slaves at first, but rather as indentured servants. The first colonists did not believe in slavery. In The Infortunate: the Voyage and Adventures of William Moraley, an Indentured Servant, an indentured servant was described as, “A laborer under contract to an employer for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for their transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities.” Poor Irish, Scottish, English and Africans were all indentured servants for the first 50

years of the colonies. The eventual dehumanization of Africans in the 1660s changed the descriptions of Africans from Ashanti, Ebol and Bariba to Negro. Before this transition to a colorcoded slavery system, people were never black, red or white. Slaves fought for their own freedom since the Revolutionary War, on both sides. The first to offer freedom as an incentive were the British. “Lord Dunmore put up posters inciting slaves who ran away from their masters to fight for the British in exchange for their freedom,” Windham said. The ploy worked, and soon the colonists were making similar promises. The British were going to abolish slavery. However, after the war, most of the slaves who were promised their freedom were duped out of it. Instead, many were taken north to Nova Scotia and Halifax, Canada. In the North, quasi-free Negro slaves were hired out and apprenticed, so they had marginally greater freedom of movement. They could not vote, participate in politics or hold any form of employment that competed with “white employment,” so from the beginning “Blacks were not allowed to have legitimate gainful employment. Employment was [racialized].” It is a misconception that the Civil War was about anything other than racism and slavery. Some historians like to say it was about personal freedom versus tyranny. However, in truth, slavery isn’t incidental. “Go read Jefferson Davis…the confederate leaders say it [white supremacist ideology] clearly in their writings. They make Hitler sound like a boy scout,” Windham lectured as he explained codified racism. The first laws written in the United States were segregation laws, which dictated that poor whites and poor blacks could not congregate in saloons, churches,

stores, etc. unless the elite delegated it. “Humans are pragmatic though and are more humane than that. They understood that they needed each other. They were trying to improve their lives and they did what they needed to do.” Windham said that some in the late 1700s wanted to deal with slavery, to abolish it. It was an expensive system both economically and socially. Yet, the lure of free labor was too much for rich planters. So when the Revolutionary War failed to address slavery, it came as no shock that the Constitution was written as a slave document. It included the 3/5 compromise which stated that for political purposes each slave would represent 3/5 of a person. This fateful decision was feared to be the only way to agree to the union of the northern and southern colonies into one nation strong enough to gain freedom from England. It delivered political power into the hands of the rich southern planters. We need only to look at who the first presidents of the United States were. Of the first ten presidents of the United States, only John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams did not own slaves. Some of the abolitionists that made huge contributions to the morale of enslaved African Americans included Benjamin Banneker, Rev. Richard Allen and Olaudah Equiano. Benjamin Banneker was the free African American surveyor, author, farmer, mathematician and astronomer of Baltimore, MD who helped engineer L’Enfant Plaza in Washington. Reverend Richard Allen founded the first African American United Methodist congregation and was elected its first bishop. He and Absalom Jones founded the Free African Society. When slaves would run away to Philadelphia, they would seat them in their church in Continued on Page 6


March 1, 2010

Photo by Joshua Davis

Sounds of Scott Joplin Liven up Library By Joshua Davis


On a dull rainy day the sounds of Scott Joplin lit up Alexandria’s campus library. In honor of Black History Month, Professor Harvey Jacobson played the music of that famous African-American composer and pianist. Around 100 students gathered in the lobby of the library to hear the music on Feb. 23. “This was the first time a concert had been held in the library,” according to Dr. Jimmie McClellan, the dean for liberal arts. While not the first time NOVA’s Alexandria campus has had a concert, the library seemed a fitting place for the late 19th century musical genius. “Many of you have not heard ragtime,” remarked McClellan while introducing the pianist. Biomedical student and piano player Diego de la Torre said he didn’t know what

ragtime was and stopped by just because he “wanted to hear it.” Several Joplin pieces including The Entertainer, Weeping Willow Rag and Maple Leaf Rag were played as surprised students walked through an ordinarily much more subdued place. Many students interrupted their study at the library in order to be part of the standingroom audience. The half hour of music was nearly perfect, and several students could be scene smiling as the intricacies of these rags filled the library. The rags were not played in the upbeat manner that some play ragtime. Jacobson does not believe in playing ragtime like Dixieland, he says that the beauty is “spoiled” when this happens. While the concert introduced many students to the sounds of Joplin, Jacobson also hoped to let students know NOVA has a music program. With most Alexandria

Gaming Rooms Open on Campuses Continued from front page

why not head down to the cafeteria and see if you can’t get a mini-LAN party started up? But you don’t have to go all the way to Annandale just to play a game of New Super Mario Brothers because there is a new gaming room coming to the Alexandria campus. According to Haroon Ismail, president of the Alexandria Student Government Association, it will open sometime around the week after spring break. Located in the Bisdorf Building’s international café – which is across from the cafeteria – it will be the center of the gaming community at Alexandria. It will also be the meeting place of the brand-new Gaming Interest Group, led by Cody Hart.

While still in the stages leading up to becoming a full-fledged club, it definitely has some followers. How often do you see students sitting around campus, playing a game of some kind to pass time between classes, who are more than likely running late? Chances are, they have signed up for, or are thinking of signing up for, the Gaming Interest Group. Organizers are currently in the late stages of hiring and training students to work there. It should be open soon, so keep your eyes out for signs. If you don’t find any, take a good listen. If you hear someone scream, “Ha! I beat you!” chances are it is open.

students enrolled in a scienceoriented program, Jacobson wanted students “to share technology and arts.” Joplin composed over 44 rags and one of his pieces, Maple Leaf Rag, became the first ragtime hit. While his turn of the century music had a profound impact, it was not until the 1970s that Joplin’s work became widely admired again. Joshua Rifkin recorded his pieces, selling over a million albums. Shortly after that, the movie The Sting was released, featuring several of Joplin’s compositions. Harvey Jacobson teaches and tutors piano study at the Alexandria campus. He has also performed at places such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Harvard University. He holds three degrees in music and one certificate from George Mason for community college education.

Harvey Jacobson holds up a portrait of Scott Joplin.

Student Photography Exhibit Seeks Submissions By KJ Mushung

Managing Editor a r ya n @n ova fo r t n i g ht l y. om

Entries are being sought for the 2010 Juried Student Photography Exhibit. The deadline for entries has been extended due to the snow that caused the school to close. Submissions must have been created during, but not necessarily for, enrollment in an Alexandria-

campus NOVA photography class since February of last year. Each student may enter up to four pieces. Frames and mattes are optional. Students wishing to submit their photos need to do so by March 25 to the photography department in Tyler Building on the Alexandria campus. The exhibit will hang in the

Tyler Building from March 31 to April 14. There will be an opening reception and awards ceremony April 1 at 6 p.m., where the winners will be announced. Cash prizes will be awarded. For more information, contact Aya Takashima at atakashima@

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March 1, 2010

Using History to Help at Risk DC Children

Ayize Sabater. Dr. Joseph Windham introduced Sabater, a former student of his at Morehouse College. On the Feb. 17 visit Sabater spoke about how his non-profit organization is using progressive history to nurture at risk children of color and help them achieve positive educational outcomes in the District of Columbia. Sabater was raised in Brook-

lyn, NY, referred to as “Crooklyn” or “Brooknam” by his childhood friends. In his day, a soldier was “more likely to survive Vietnam than a black man was to survive to adulthood in Brooklyn.” Walking the fine line between a strict mother’s requirement of academic excellence and his peers’ standards of underachievement, Sabater was a solid B minus / C plus student. “In the hood it’s cool to be a fool,” he mused to a spellbound audience as he burst into a jovial, infectious, high-pitched laughter. High school history teacher Dr. Garofalo made all the difference. She made history come alive for Sabater. Garofalo saw through the juggling act and believed in him. In turn, a passion for history was born in Sabater. Garofalo encouraged him to look into Morehouse College in Atlanta. Morehouse, established in 1867, is the only black men’s college in the nation which promotes academic excellence and community service as its core values. Sabater followed through. While attending Morehouse, Sabater hungered for the American dream and decided to become an entrepreneur. He chose business as his major until a professor of one of his classes informed him that there was more to life than making a lot of money. The professor posed a question to him, what did he really love? History, Sabater answered. Sabater felt that he had a debt to pay to society because of all that his teachers had given him by investing in him as a human being. “Each one

has to reach one,” Garofalo had told him back in high school. After reading Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s MisEducation of the Negro Sabater convictions only strengthened. Before that Sabater argued with Dr. Becker, his Constitutional Law professor at Morehouse, that racism did not exist today. However, numbers do not lie. “How can 15% of the population occupy 50% of the prisons? Why is the number of incarcerated black men higher than the college enrollment of black men? Why is the unemployment rate of black men 20% while the total unemployment rate 10%? And in some areas of D.C. the unemployment rate is 75%.” With statistics like that it is clear that the political, social, educational and economic systems in this country are failing the African American male population, according to Sabater. It was in his history classes that the individual stories of history’s heroes came alive in vivid color and where the early model for M.O.M.I.E’s TLC began to come together. In those history classes, Sabater studied the lives of Phyllis Wheatley, Booker T. Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Irene Sendler. They are the same figures that M.O.M.I.E’s clientele learn about today. “Great people have lived before you, great people are living right now, and you are great too,” Sabater says to them. Then he questions them as to what they can do about global warming, working with senior citizens, and other social issues.

The Children’s Black History Museum, a mobile interactive art exhibit showcasing the work of the children, is an important component of M.O.M.I.E. Each year, the museum exhibits the work for one week at a fixed location. The museum attracts an estimated 500 patrons during its run. The art exhibit includes the drawings of historical figures such as Robert Clemente, Abraham Lincoln, and Nina Simone. M.O.M.I.E’s is raising money to purchase a vacant row house on Georgia Avenue across the street from Howard University. The goal is to renovate the structure from a 1500 square foot building into an eco-friendly 5800 square foot facility out of which M.O.M.I.E’s will operate and where the children’s artwork will be on display permanently. Recently M.O.M.I.E’s children learned about Aung San Suu Kyi, the prime minister of Burma, who has been under house arrest 14 out of the past 20 years according to Newsweek Magazine. They were so moved that they decided to write to the Burmese Embassy to demand her release. They “are getting it… nurture the genius in children,” Dr. Sabater said to the NOVA students and went on to say, in the words of Gandhi, “It is up to each individual to be the change we hope will come to pass.” You can learn more about M.O.M.I.E’s TLC online at www.

off of the Niger River and was kidnapped off of the coast and sold into slavery at the age of 11. At first he was treated well, but later he was sold to European slave traders and was taken aboard a slave ship where he witnessed the gruesomeness of the slave trade up close, and of which he gives

an account in his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. As an adult, he acquired his freedom and became an abolitionist. Windham told of his contributions while he worked on a slave ship to give news to family members in Africa about

their captured relatives back home. During Black History Month, we cannot help but learn more about the American heroes who have done so much to build this country. Black abolitionists are as much a part of our past as slavery. As much as slavery and racism is a shameful and atrocious part of our history

in this nation, when we accept the whole truth of it we move forward and treat each other with mutual respect, appreciating the strength in our diversity as a nation. “As much as we need to remember slavery, we need to understand that we abolished slavery and celebrate that,” Windham encouraged.

Photo by Kama Storie

Ayize Sabater, co-founder of M.O.M.I.E’s TLC, speaks to a group of students and visitors at the NOVA Alexandria campus.

By Annie Ryan

Operations Manager a r ya n@ n ovafo r t n i ghtl y. o m

An African American History II class on the Alexandria campus recently had a special guest speaker, the co-founder and CEO of Mentors of Minorities in Education’s Total Learning Cis-Tem - also known as M.O.M.I.E’s TLC - Dr.

ABOLITIONISTS Continued from Page 4

the center of the congregation. “In that way the congregation would see them and would take responsibility for them as a community,” Windham spoke as he looked into the eyes of a NOVA student. Olaudah Equiano was born



[thoughts] NOVA Closed Seven Days for Record Snow Photo by Lori Milani

Staff Repor ter

n di a nto n i o @n ova fo r t n i g ht l y. om

By Joshua Davis Editor-In-Chief

jd av i s@n ovafo r t n i ghtl y. o m

Most students spent their snow break eating more than usual, according to an online poll at To a lesser extent, students evidently grew bored spending more time than usual “Twittering or Facebooking.” With the grass and mud starting

to peak through the snow pack and memories of Snowmageddon I and II fading fast, a gallery of the storms was added to this newspaper’s web site. NOVA was closed for seven straight days, starting at noon on Friday, Feb. 5. As a result, the drop date for classes was postponed by a week to Feb. 18.

A quiet neighborhood in Oakton, VA, on Feb. 3, 2010.

Photo by Aleksandra Lagkueva


Worst Date: Happily Never After By Nicole DiAntonio

Bent pine trees in, Arlington, VA on Feb. 6, 2010

March 1, 2010

I have never been crazy about first dates. Though there is the excitement that goes along with them, mostly it involves a lot of anxiety. I hate that initial discomfort before a date and the feeling of a bomb about to explode in the pit of my stomach. Why put myself through that? Now, one might ask how bad my dates could have possibly been to make me feel this way. It seems like I have had especially bad experiences compared to my friends. Some of my first dates could have been right out of a comedy. Though, the more appropriate genre would be horror. What I am about to tell is the epitome of a bad date. Unfortunately, this story has not been expanded or fabricated in any way. Once upon a time in the far-away land of Fairfax, Va., this guy – I will call him Tim – asked me out on a date to a romantic dinner and movie. He was cute and quite popular in high school. He liked me, too. So how could I resist? In retrospect, the first mistake was agreeing to go out on Friday the 13th. Tim picked me up. As soon as we started driving there was a horrible scraping noise under the car, like nails down a chalkboard. It sounded like something was being dragged along. Because the scraping was so loud I could only hear half of what my date was saying. Despite that, we had a good interesting conversation. Merging onto the highway, we got lost. He pulled off the road and started cursing at his GPS system that had apparently misled us. After 30 minutes of calling friends and family, we finally received directions on how to get to the movie theater. As we pulled up to the theater, those on the streets stared as they

maybe wondered what on earth was making that horrible sound under Tim’s car. As Tim pulled into a parking space, he hit a car. He angrily muttered under his breath and inspected the damage. When he got back in his car, he off-handily said, “It’s fine,” and finished pulling his car into the parking spot. He sighed and looked at me. All right, now let’s go have fun! “Ha ha, yeah, all right,” I thought to myself. But how much worse could the situation actually get? Walking into the theater we realized we had missed the showing of Slumdog Millionaire. Just one other movie was playing at this time. So, Confessions of a Shopaholic it was. During the entire movie Tim was quite the sport. I have to admit he did a pretty good job of pretending to look interested in the girlie, pre-teen movie. Of course he had to make it more awkward by trying to put his arm around me. He could pick up on my awkward vibe because within five minutes his arm was back by his side. When the movie ended, it was only 10 p.m., not late enough to pull the whole “Oops it’s getting past my curfew excuse.” So, instead I used the “I’m not feeling very well, so I should probably get back home,” excuse. That one he bought, thank God. As we were driving away from the theater, I saw a girl clutching her ears from the screeching sound Tim’s car was making. Within five minutes of heading back, we heard a huge bang. What was that we wondered? Tim got out of his car to inspect the situation. From the side view mirrors I saw Tim pick up his bumper from the side of the road, lug it back to his car and stick it in the trunk. The good news? There would be no more

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screeching for the rest of the drive home. We were almost home when Tim stopped at a gas station because the tank was nearly empty. “Shoot,” I heard Tim shout from the side of the car. “Oh, no,” I thought to myself. What could it possibly be this time? “What’s wrong Tim?” I sweetly asked. He informed me that he did not have his wallet. He must have left it in the theater. In one fell swoop, I stepped out of the car and went up to the counter to pay for Tim’s gas. “All right, let’s get you home,” Tim sadly remarked as he finished pumping the gas and sat back down in the car. He said he would go retrieve it the following day. As much as it pained me to say it, and believe me, it did pain me, I convinced him to head back to the theater to retrieve it. We looked but did not find the wallet. So we finally migrated back to the car and called it a night. We were both rather silent the entire way back. And we lived happily never after. I did not talk to Tim for a while after that day. In fact, the next and last text I got from him said he had brought his car in to the shop and was told that after hearing that screeching noise we should not have taken it on the highway. There was a good chance it could have exploded. Well, there it is folks. Still don’t understand why I don’t like first dates? The good news is the experience makes an amazing story. Seriously, whenever I encounter an awkward conversation I just ask, “Hey, wanna hear a funny story?” Not to mention, I know in the back of my head that a date cannot possibly get worse than that.

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March 1, 2010

3001 N. Beauregard St Tyler Bldg, Rm 227B Alexandria, VA 22311

Has the Stimulus Worked?

Many questions still remain on the effectiveness of the stimulus act.

By Joshua Davis Editor-In-Chief

As the US inches closer to being in default many are wondering if the multibillion dollar stimulus worked. That answer seems to depend on which side of the political spectrum one is on. Ask Obama and he’ll say yes, ask the congressional Republican leadership and surely you’ll get a no. However, there are clear facts that sort out the political claims. First, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, colloquially known as the stimulus, must be evaluated for what it was created for. It was designed to save and create jobs. It was also written to create economic growth and increase accountability and transparency in government spending. Lastly, the stimulus was designed to be a multiyear spending package, designed to reduce the likelihood of a double dip recession. The act has already created two million jobs, while in the year that

the law has been in place two million jobs have been lost. The stimulus act did not create new net jobs. However, it kept two million workers off the unemployment rolls, and it helped to remove the economy from the worst of the recession. Accountability has also been present. The bill required the creation of, a website that enables citizens to track and for data geeks to more deeply analyze data that can shine new light on spending. The multiyear stimulus is still in progress. Many of the infrastructure projects will start this summer, providing more construction related jobs. The stimulus money is less than half spent, leaving plenty of opportunity for more help to a hurting economy. There is also confusion over what the stimulus did. The stimulus money never went to banks. A January CNN poll found there was much confusion about the bank bailout and the stimulus. Over half of Americans believe the stimulus money went to


“bankers and investors.” In fact the only institutional bailout in the stimulus was towards cash strapped states. The so called bank bailout, which is technically known as the Targeted Asset Relief Program was a separate piece of legislation, initiated by the Bush administration, and cost about $700 billion. Most would think spending money on infrastructure projects, which creates many jobs for the working class, is good. Handing billions to irresponsible bankers? Not so popular. No wonder politicians like Sarah Palin have said the stimulus was loaded with “corporate giveaways,” linking it with the highly unpopular bank bailout. The stimulus has succeeded in creating and saving jobs. Billions have gone to state and local governments, allowing them to preserve jobs, such as teaching, that otherwise would have been axed as local governments deal with income problems of their own. However, despite the bill’s

successes Republican opposition has been strong. Former presidential candidate Ron Paul criticized the bill for “accomplishing exactly what it was intended to accomplish – grow the government.” While there has been growth in the government to properly oversee the disbursement of the funds, most of this money has gone directly to states and private contractors working on a myriad of projects. The goal of the stimulus act was not to create a super government, with the populace dependent on government jobs. Its end result has not been that either. Even more outlandish is the claim made by groups such as Americans for Tax Reform who say the stimulus has increased unemployment. This is simply untrue. Even without counting the private sector jobs created, thousands at the state level have been saved by increased funding in areas such as education. The basis for ATR’s belief that the stimulus has only stimulated the government is a Congressional Budget Office report that said 80 percent of ARRA dollars went to programs like student aid, unemployment benefits and social security. This money in no way “stimulated” the government but transferred it to people that were likely to put the money immediately back into the economy. Students, the unemployed seeking work and the social security dependent likely spent the vast majority of their money. It went back to businesses, and that is how an economy grows. Being just a year into the multiyear stimulus makes it too early to judge its fruits, but the stimulus so far looks successful. Two million jobs have been saved, government spending is more accountable and transparent and last quarter the economy grew nearly six percentage points. That sounds like a law that is meeting its goals.

5,000 copies of NOVA Fortnightly are published twice a month and distributed to all NOVA campuses. Advertising Inquiries March 1, 2010 Volume 45, No. 3

Advisor Dr. Jimmie R. McClellan Editor-in-Chief Joshua E. Davis Managing Editor KJ Mushung Operations Manager Annie Ryan Photography Director Vadym Guliuk Marketing and Sales Director Simarpreet Singh Training Director KJ Mushung Web Editor Joshua E. Davis Copy Editor Tamika Taylor Page Designer Ruben Tipparach Graphic Designer Joseph Durrel Staff Reporters Grecia Balboa Nicole DiAntonio Emily Pfister Chris Pilcher Arch Scurlock Maria Sioco Tamika Taylor Staff Photographers Komron Babakhanzoda Aleksandra Lagkueva Samantha Ondrusek Victor Salcedo Kama Storie Lucy Tobultok

Northern Virginia Community College does not control the content of this publication.The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent those of NVCC, its faculty, staff or students. The editorial policy and content of this publication are solely those of the organization and not of the college. © 2010 NOVA Fortnightly



March 1, 2010

Casting Light on Lifecasting Photo by Kama Storie

The finished lifecast of Chris Pilcher’s face, made with a plaster-gypsum mix, and with a fauxmetallic finish.

Chris Pilcher Staff Reporter

There I sat, my face covered in goop, my hair wadded up in a rubber bald cap and my chest covered in a barber’s drape. No, this wasn’t the result of a wild night out gone horribly awry, but art in progress. Lifecasting is an art form. It is also a lot of fun. The premise is simple: take a mold of someone’s face, hand or other body part using a substance called alginate, pour some plaster into the mold, and voilà! You have art! In practice, it actually takes years of experience to do correctly, as something as simple as the wrong water temperature when making

the alginate can result in a problem. And, of course, you cannot just take a cast of someone’s belly, stick it on a wooden board, and say, “Here you go, that’ll be 50 bucks.” Many lifecasts are painted after they finish drying. But, you may ask, who practices such an art? Lots of people. There is a world-wide community of artists, called the Association of Lifecasters International, or ALI for short. Members range from part-time hobbyists to professional lifecasters. And, as chance would have it, NOVA is graced with the presence of one such member, NOVA Fortnightly’s own Kama Storie. Based out of Fairfax, Storie has been lifecasting for 10 years, and the experience definitely shows.

It isn’t easy, keeping the alginate out of a person’s airways, while simultaneously trying to spread it to the entire face before it starts to dry. Storie did a spectacular job of keeping one of my most basic and needed functions working. The whole process took about 30 minutes, including the time it took to mix the alginate and cut the plaster bandages. So what exactly is the process? It starts with a bald cap, keeping hair out of the face and therefore out of the path of the alginate. Then comes the relaxing cholesterol conditioning, which covers any and all facial hair so that it, too, does not stick to the alginate. After this is done, the alginate is spread all over the face, even over the eyes and the lips, but keeping the nostrils clear. Once this layer sets a little, another layer of alginate goes on, which is promptly covered with a plaster bandage, so that the mold will keep its shape. From there, the mold is pulled off the face, and the person can take a nice, deep breath through his mouth. But that isn’t all. After the mold is completely dried and ready for casting, the artist mixes together a plaster made of gypsum and subsequently pours it into the mold. Once the plaster has dried, the mold is cut away, revealing in stunning detail a replica of the subject’s face. From here on out, it is all down to creativity. The artist may paint pictures on the cast or coat it in a metallic paint, making it look like metal, or even simply leave it the way it is. Many different body parts can be cast. The material used for the mold is the same material used by dentists to take molds of teeth and is therefore non-toxic. Many people have their children’s hands or feet lifecasted. Some people even have casts taken of babies before the babies are even born. These are called pregnant belly masks, and are usually decorated with pictures,

writing or a mold of the mother’s arms holding the mask. There are also many casts of adults holding hands with their children or spouses. Newlyweds often get a cast made of their hands sporting their wedding rings, and in some cases, the wedding rings themselves are even added to the finished mold, so that they never lose the ring. Molds have been taken of animals: dogs, cats, lizards, snakes. You name

it, they have probably had a cast taken of it. This is a good way for someone to remember a pet, even long after the pet has passed on. Lifecasting is fun. It is different. And it looks very cool. If you want more information, or are interested in having it done to your own face, you can check out Storie’s web site at More information is available on ALI at Lifecasting. org.

Prep for St. Patrick’s Day with these hangover remedies Things that will shock you sober


1. Waking up on the ledge of Bisdorf Building’s roof 2. Early morning Mass 3. An IRS audit 4. Britney Spears at full volume 5. Death (which is more merciful than Britney Spears at full volume) 6. Your S.O.’s mother at your door 5. A root canal 6. The police at your door 7. Forehead contact with a tree 8. Realizing you’re not wearing any pants and this is not your house 9. Working for the newspaper 10. Getting your paycheck after working for the newspaper 11. For only $9.95 we’ll tell you, and we’ll throw in this lovely knife set for free! 12. Screw the hangover and keep on drinking – Compiled by staff, friends of staff and some people we met in a bar.

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March 1, 2010

Lacrosse Team Falls in Inaugural Game Photo courtesy of Brian Anweiler

By Brian Anweiler b a nwe i l e r @nvcc.e du

NOVA midfielder Dustin Hennessy in action in the team’s first game against Mercyhurst North East College.

In their first ever game, NOVA’s men’s lacrosse team fell to Mercyhurst North East College on Thursday at Old Redskins Park in Herndon, 12-6. After a quick opening goal by Mercyhurst, NOVA’s attackman Mitch Brown responded, scoring the team’s first goal to knot the game at one apiece. Both defenses held strong as neither team managed a goal for the remainder of the opening

NOVA Men’s Basketball Takes Loss By Arch Scurlock Staff Repor ter

a sc ur l o ck @ n ovafo r tn i ghtl m

After three games were called due to snow, the NOVA men’s basketball team finally took the floor against its strong VCCS arch-rival: Southside Virginia Community College, on Feb. 13 at Annandale’s Ernest Center. Southside, with three campuses southwest of Petersburg near the North Carolina border and 8,000 students, returned only one player from last year’s VCCS tournament winners. NOVA kept the score close in the first half, but Southside exploded in the second half, ending in triple figures as it won 103-87, duplicating its winning score in its first game against NOVA. NOVA got off to a needed quick start after Southside had scored the game’s first four points, and was ahead 15-8, led by Howard Lyles with two three pointers and Jamal Jones with five points. SVCC then slowly crept back into the game, taking a 22-20 lead with 9 ½ minutes to go. NOVA fell behind by as much as 39-32, but closed the gap to 49-46 at halftime in this fast-paced game

which both teams prefer. For the first half, NOVA’s Jamal Jones had 15 and Howard Lyles 11, while AJ Fowlkes with 15 and CJ Boyd with 10 paced Southside. The second half promised another period of exciting, close action between the two teams. However, after NOVA closed the gap to one point at the start of the half, Southside took off on a 16-2 streak to lead 65-50. Not to be outdone, they went on a streak of its own, 15-5, to cut the Southside lead to five at 70-65 with nine minutes remaining. Southside then revved up its game plan of quick, precise passes; constant drives to the basket, scoring under the basket off missed shots, and superior defense against NOVA layup attempts as it ballooned its lead to 88-70 with five minutes to go. It’s hard to keep up with this team. From there, Southside coasted to its 103-87 victory. With its seventh straight win, Southside’s record improved to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in the VCCS. Its only VCCS loss, in double overtime, came when four of its starters were missing against Thomas Nelson, and it later defeated that team by 19. NOVA, losing its third in a

row, fell to 9-11 overall, 3-3 in the VCCS. For NOVA, Howard Lyles led its scoring with 21, followed by Jamal Jones with 17, though only 2 in the second half, and Jemal Fair with 14. AJ Fowlkes of Southside led all scorers with 28 while CJ Boyd had 22. Other NOVA scorers: Brandon Allen 11, Cordero Holt 10, Joe Scorah and Jermaine Wright 4 each, and Sheng-Yuan Wang, Dion Romero and Malik N’Garmin 2 each. Photo by Arch Scurlock

Howard Lyles drives for a layup.

quarter. In the second quarter, the Saints tallied six unanswered goals to enter halftime leading 7-1. In the third quarter, NOVA rallied with back-to-back goals by Mitch Brown and Simon Yi to cut into the deficit. NOVA outscored the Saints 4-1 in the third quarter to stay within striking distance heading into the game’s final period. Mercyhurst held off any additional late game heroics by NOVA scoring four goals in the fourth quarter. “For our first game ever as a team we made some great strides and I am

very proud of what we achieved,” said head coach Matt Blamey, making his debut as a college coach as well. “However, we know we have some work to do to continue to build this young team.” Brown totaled three goals on the day to pace NOVA’s offense. Other contributors consisted of midfielder Landon Jones with two goals and one assist and Yi finished with one goal. CJ Ward had a tremendous second half for NOVA in goal, notching 8 saves.

Women’s Basketball Team Misses 11 Games By Arch Scurlock Staff Repor ter

a s c u r l o c k@n ova fo r t n i g ht ly. co m

The NOVA women’s basketball players joined the team to compete versus other teams, but the last two months have been mainly practices with only two games played due to various reasons. Perhaps if you know of a good women’s team that needs a game, send your message to NOVA Coach Vincent. The string of game cancellations began Dec.19 when the game against Cecil College was cancelled due to the big snowstorm. The team did play on Jan. 4 against the Community College of Philadelphia, losing that game. The Jan. 9 game at Southside was cancelled as Southside could not field a full team, and then the Jan. 13 game against the College of Southern Maryland at home was cancelled, as reportedly it could not field a full team, perhaps due to the awful season it was enduring. Then it happened-on Jan. 17, a winning home game versus Thomas Nelson. Two games in two weeks! That game was to be the women’s last game until (perhaps) a scheduled

home game on Feb. 20-a period of almost five weeks. A Saturday game on Jan. 23 against Germanna College was cancelled as they did not have a team. Snow, the next weekend, cancelled the trip to the Tidewater area for two games. A newly scheduled game against the Catholic University JV on a Wednesday was cancelled. Then the two snowstorms cancelled the Montgomery College and Baltimore City Community College games on Feb. 8 and 10. The next game at home against Southside was cancelled as they again could not gather enough players. Finally, the next game was to be against Germanna which had no team. The scorecard for those two months: two games played, five games called off due to snow, six games called off by the other team. In those latter instances, the men’s team did play. This mid-season inactivity is too bad, as NOVA has a fine team with a present record of 11-4 in actual games played, and has several especially talented players in their final year of eligibility.

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[games] Crossword Clues: 1) As of June 2004, how many men have walked on the moon? 2) In the board game monopoly, what colour is Bond Street? 3) Whose ghost is said to haunt the White House? (Surname) 4) If you were born on July 25, what star sign would you be? 5) In the famous Nintendo games, what is the name of Mario`s brother? 6) From which animal does Cashmere wool come from? 7) In which field was the sixth Nobel prize established? 8) In Greek mythology, what was Medusa`s hair made of? 9) If you were born on September 1, what star sign would you be? 10) As at Nov. 2005, who was last British Prime Minister not to have a wife? 11) What is myrmecology the study of? 12) How many American cents make up a dime? 13) Heliophobia is the fear of what?

March 1, 2010


14) Where on your body would you wear espadrilles? 15) How many columns are their in the game Connect 4? 16) Latvians believe that which goddess determines the length of the day? 17) After how many years of marriage is a wooden anniversary? 18) Which Roman Goddess is also a brand of margarine? 19) Under Islamic law, how many wives is a man allowed to have at any one time? 20) Where in your body would you find the anvil and the stirrup? 21) What was the first name of O.J. Simpsons` wife who was killed in 1994? 22) What colour is the cross on the national flag of Switzerland? 23) In the nursery rhyme. what was old Mother Hubbard looking for in her cupboard? 24) Who is the patron saint of Scotland? 25) Which popular sport features in the NATO phonetic alphabet?

Answers from Last Issue The answers for the current issue will apear in the March 22 issue.

Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9Ă&#x2014;9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3Ă&#x2014;3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contain the digits from 1 to 9 only one time.

NOVA Fortnightly March 1 2010  

Volume 45 Issue 3.